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Gone Horribly Wrong
aka: Go Horribly Wrong

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"This is a bad experiment! We are bad people!! WHY DID WE USHER FORTH THE GREEN APOCALYPSE!?"

This is when a plan, a transformation, an experiment, and the like turn out bad, really bad, and fail tragically.

This can happen in many ways: you set an excellent plan, or you're about to transform into something else, or you got all your test subjects ready and the scientists, doctors, and operators are also ready to perform the unethical experiment which is all For Science!, so... What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Well, let's see here.

During their noble quest to advance scientific knowledge or help humanity, or in the middle of the transformation, or when carrying out the plan they spent days working on and perfecting, something will have gone horribly wrong. The variations and reasons for the failure are also endless.

If someone In-Universe is overconfident enough to ask "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" unironically, expect something to Go Horribly Wrong the moment the question is asked out loud.

This is comparable to a Freak Lab Accident, except at the beginning of a story. Heck, a lot of Speculative Fiction serves no purpose but to have something Go Horribly Wrong.

See also Came Back Wrong for when an attempt at bringing someone Back from the Dead Goes Horribly Wrong. For when an experiment/plan would be successful but is deliberately sabotaged, see Spanner in the Works. This may leave the character thinking "My God, What Have I Done?" in more cynical works. When Gone Horribly Wrong results in a project or product being scrapped immediately after its debut, it's a Disastrous Demonstration.

Of course, it can always get worse.

Compare with Gone Horribly Right, where the project/plan/etc in question does whatever thing/task it was intended to do, often with flying colors, but does it in a way that is really, really, really, really so fear-inducingly horrible that they regret even making the project. An Epic Fail is this being Played for Laughs.

Note: this is restricted to plans, science-related projects, and transformations only. For when a character turns bad/evil, see Face–Heel Turn, and if they used to be nice during childhood but turned bad then it's Used to Be a Sweet Kid.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Daltanious: When Planet Helios was invaded and destroyed by the evil Zaal Empire, Emperor Palmillion ordered Dr. Earl to escape with his son, Prince Harlin. Earl obliged and took the boy to Earth, where he set up his cryo-sleep device to awaken them both in 50 years. Somehow, this malfunctioned, and Harlin awoke much earlier than he should have while Earl remained asleep. Harlin was found by a kind Japanese couple who gave him the name "Hayato" and raised him as their own. He grew up believing himself to be of Japanese heritage like his parents, and forgot his memories of being born as the Prince of Helios. He only found out the truth when as an adult, after his ship was wrecked and he was saved by a fellow Heliosian who told him of his true heritage.
  • Digimon Tamers: Takato orders his Digimon to Digivolve to the Mega Level... and the result is a Mega whose mere existence threatens both the Digital and Real Worlds. Oh, and whose name is literally Megidramon. As in, Megiddo, the battle of the Apocalypse!
  • Elfen Lied. Keeping that Diclonius called Lucy seemed so easy, but as it turns out, it wasn't. "From Bad to Worse" is a mild way of putting the series. Trying to keep any of them under control has gone horribly wrong. The entire project with these psychic people is hijacked from the beginning.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • Try to bring back mommy dearest to life? I don't think so.
    • Scientists create an immortal army that hates you because you put their souls in terrifying, freakish bodies and now they hurt all the time? Yeah, shooting them is a good idea. That will kill them for sure. Let's do that.
  • Franken Fran: Fran really just wants to help people, but she seldom thinks through the non-biological consequences of her operations. Though, admittedly, only half the time. The rest goes horribly right.
  • GaoGaiGar: Zonder Metal was invented as a method to control negative emotions. After an accident, it became a device that fed off of negative emotions, turning the victim into a bio-technological lifeform in the shape of the source of their distress, or whatever vehicle/device they integrated into their form.
  • Ginga Densetsu Weed: Apparently getting used in experiments too much caused Kaibutsu to be the monster he had become when we first see him.
  • Macross 7 reveals the Protoculture experiment that went so horribly wrong it indirectly lead to the destruction of their entire species. They attempted to power their living superweapons with energy from an Alternate Universe with no physical matter in it. Problem was, the energy they siphoned from that universe turned out to be intelligent, and immediately took control of the superweapons. Termed the Protodeviln, they started a galactic war that, ultimately, the Protoculture did not survive.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam has Zeon's "Operation British", a surprise attack wherein a Colony Drop is performed with the intent of striking the Federation HQ of Jaburo in South America, effectively decapitating the EFF. It didn't work: the colony used in the drop broke into three pieces and missed their target by a wide margin, landing in North America, the Pacific Ocean, and Australia (Sydney bore the brunt of the impact, being completely destroyed, along with a large chunk of the continent), causing widespread devastation across the entire planet and setting into motion the One Year War that ultimately ends with Zeon's defeat.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Second Impact (a cataclysmic event which changed the world forever) is strongly implied to have been caused by an experiment on a huge god-like being gone horribly wrong.

    Comic Books 
  • Responsible for quite a few supervillain origins. For example: Norman Osborn creates a compound that grants super-strength and healing powers. And turns him into the insane Green Goblin.
  • Daredevil: Daredevil's attempt to reform the Hand as its new leader in the Shadowland storyline failed horribly after the Hand's true leader, the demon known as The Beast, possessed him.
  • Empowered's superteam was looking for an easy win for the PR, so they try to bring down the obscure villain Willy Pete. It doesn't go well at all.
  • Flashpoint: Barry Allen's attempt to recreate the Freak Lab Accident that made him a super-hero goes horribly wrong and burns all of his skin off.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The New Mexico experiments with Gamma Radiation went very wrong for Dr. Bruce Banner.
  • In the Marvel Universe, there have been attempts to recreate Project Rebirth for decades ever since Dr. Erksine was killed just after enhancing Steve Rogers into Captain America. Unfortunately, they have all backfired, most often creating supervillain maniacs and monsters like the 1950s Captain America and Nuke.
  • Morbius tried to cure his fatal blood disease but the experiment turned him into a living vampire instead. Later he attempts to cure his vampirism but only makes himself more bat-like, setting himself on the path to Death of Personality.
  • Robin (1993): Strader Pharmaceuticals develops a drug designed to give the user super-strength. It of course ends up being a Psycho Serum that turns the users homicidal in addition to giving them strength and slowly and horrifically breaks down their bodies killing them.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Doctor Finitevus' first use of his Chaos Siphon suit turned him into a Mad Scientist and bleached his fur.
    • Thrash The Devil had been told echidnas were evil for turning the race of Tasmanian Devils into dog-like Devil Dogs for ages. He then goes and banishes what's left of the echidna race to another dimension out of pure spite.
  • Spider-Man:
    • During The Six Arms Saga, Peter, having had enough of being Spider-Man, creates a potion intended to strip him of his spider-powers for good. Rather than nullifying his powers, the potion increases them, causing him to sprout four extra arms.
    • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Dr. Curt Connors created an enervator intended to purge the Lizard Formula from his body, freeing him from his reptilian Superpowered Evil Side. When he tested it on an iguana, however, the device mutated it into a reptilian humanoid monster similar to the Lizard and imbued with the Lizard's memories. Worse, exposure to the device later causes Peter to mutate into the Spider-Lizard, flipping the script so that Dr. Connors must stop his rampage from harming civilians.
  • Superman:
    • Cyborg Superman (Hank Henshaw) has two (in a meta sense) in his origin story. His backstory is modeled after that of the Fantastic Four, which already involves a trip into space going Horribly Wrong. If that wasn't bad enough, the expied origin story goes more horribly wrong when, instead of developing useful powers, two of Henshaw's teammates die horribly as a result of their mutations and his wife commits suicide, either because of what she's become or from seeing what's happened to her husband. Henshaw himself winds up as a disembodied soul inhabiting technology, goes insane, and spends most of his time trying to die.
    • How Luthor Met Superboy: Twice, teen Lex Luthor creates new inventions that are meant to help Smallville (a sun-reflecting weather tower that lets crops grow in winter and "super seeds" that create fruit trees near-instantly) as a way of one-upping Superboy; however, they both have some major design flaws that nearly cause them to destroy the town (the weather tower almost burns everything to a crisp and the trees created by the seeds start growing uncontrollably), forcing Superboy to intervene to save everyone. As a result, Lex is regarded as a menace by the town and his hatred for Superboy grows.
    • An unpopular period in the 1990s where Toyman was re-characterized as a vicious child murderer was retconned when it was revealed that Toyman was a robot created by the original to go to prison in his place. Unfortunately, the robot malfunctioned and developed its own homicidal personality, much to the horror of the real Toyman, who for all his insanity is a Friend to All Children.
  • The Ultimates: The Hulk's physical abilities are all what Banner designed them to be, but something went wrong, causing the Hulk to be the bestial Id-driven monstrosity it is; Banner designed the Hulk to be as smart as it is strong.
  • X-Men: During a writer's meeting, Peter David suggested Wolverine has his adamantium stripped from his body... as a joke, parodying the extremes the franchise had gone to. To his horror, the other writers kept spinning it, and thus the storyline Fatal Attractions was born.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes; Calvin once asked Hobbes to touch up a part of his haircut he didn't like. The end result was Hobbes shaving Calvin bald in his efforts to cover up his mistakes.
  • In this political cartoon, a woman is telling her friends she donated a Bible for kids to the local daycare center, and is excited to see what they learned from it. In the background, the kids are crucifying the daycare teacher and pointing spears at her.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has more or less every attempt to reconstruct the Super Soldier Serum. While some attempts, such as the Russian Infinity Formula (which stabilised Zola's enhancements of Bucky) worked out well enough, many of the others rather the gamut from 'violation of every ethical standard possible', such as Camp Cathcart (testing serum variants on black servicemen), to 'nigh-apocalyptic scenario that required the Green Lantern, someone with the power of a Physical God, to shut down' such as Project Pegasus (an attempt by SHIELD to master Magic Enhancement). And then there's the somewhat ominous remarks Peter Wisdom has made about the British Super-Soldier project, based in Porton Down, itself a Real Life bio-weapons facility with a reputation for questionable ethics and human experimentation...
  • A Cloudy Path: In regards to the Fallen situation. Micheal, following Adam's advice, who was a trusted friend that he had no reason to think had bad info, went after Aeon after Niner's request. The result was the death of his wife, the escape of a mass murderer, and one of the largest gatherings of Fallen on a warpath against the innocents of the city.
  • Fallout: Equestria: The Stables parallel the Vaults from Fallout. Unlike the Vaults, however, the Stables were intended to save everypony. While each of them was host to a social experiment, they were not needlessly cruel, and the Overmares were given strict orders to shut the experiment down if there was a serious threat to the inhabitants. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough, and by the time the story starts nearly every Stable is a tomb. Some fell to simple accidents, some to side effects of the experiments. Stable 29, in particular, was controlled by an emotionless computer, and when the water talisman was damaged started killing off inhabitants to keep the Stable at a sustainable population level. At first they just looked like accidents, and by the time anyone realized the truth, the pony with the knowledge to override the computer was dead.
  • In Glorious Shotgun Princess, Cerberus continues its trend, with characters joking about it on several occasions. In particular, Liara half-expected their project to resurrect Shepard to end in their usual "experiment killed all the scientists and took over the base" fashion. The fic is also known for giving rise to the famed "Cerberus Taco Cart Theorem" which states that most (if not all) projects that Cerberus undertakes will kill all the scientists and take over the base.
  • Justice: Cheetah used to be a scientist who searched for possibilities of granting humans with animal characteristics. Because of a lack of funding, she ended up using herself as a test subject and ended up transforming into an anthropomorphic animal that was shunned by society.
  • Metal Gear: Green: The HPSC's plan to get rid of the MSF involves 60,000 Cannon Fodder heroes along with some hero students with the intent to crush the MSF group in the area while doing a political stunt where a radiation quirk villain is captured by several powerful heroes backfires horrifically when the supposed 1-day attack turned into a 3-day slog, 10,000 heroes were killed while thousands more were captured or permanently crippled, the refugees attacking many of the heroes for effectively destroying the medical supplies and unintentionally telling them to go fuck off and die when many of them cannot go home anymore due to the lands being irradiated or warlord controlled. The only reason the HPSC didn't get dissolved on the spot was because Madam President had to make a deal with Snake.
    • Likewise, her attempt to get rid of Snake via the Moscow Wolves fails when the MSF fights back and receive backup from Poland's Hussars, who had arrived to pick up the children Snake and Lady Nagant rescued. Instead of getting rid of Snake, their actions destroyed what little trust the Polish Government had with the HPSC and possibly convinced them that Russia, the HPSC and Belarus had ordered Nowak's daughter to be kidnapped in order to force him in line.
  • In The Weaver Option, Project Oblivion was the last gene-engineering gambit of the Old Ones during the War in Heaven before they turned to the Warp. The intent was to create a rapidly-breeding predatory organism capable of consuming necrodermis, driven by hunger to consume the entire Necron race. Unfortunately, Oblivion proved uncontrollable and began ravaging worlds under Old One protection. The threat Oblivion posed was so severe, the two sides of the war temporarily worked together to ensure it was completely exterminated. The project's leader chose to hide samples, which eventually evolved into the Tyranids.


  • BlazBlue: Control Sequence: The Boundary Manifestation Experiments can qualify for this. They're a creation of mankind and the entities who use the Boundary's destructive power implying they probably had a purpose- but the irony is they're now out to destroy mankind. Akuhei has also mentioned that they were merely failed monsters who fell short of the true idea.

Chainsaw Man

  • Wishful Thinking:
    • Makima's plan in Chapter 11's time loop is to have Barem be Denji's only surviving colleague from Special Division 4, so that he can convince Nayuta to control Denji. He instead sides with the Chainsaw Man Church and kills Nayuta.
    • One of Makima's desperate schemes in Chapter 12 is to turn Asa into the War Fiend. The loop ends with the fiend ripping out Denji's heart and eating it.


  • In Daughter of Fire and Steel, Terrax, aka Doomsday, was originally designed to be the perfect Kryptonian warrior; unbeatable in battle. The experiment appeared successful at first, but then he started mutating and went on a rampage resulting in the death of many people, including his creator, Zor-El.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

  • I See The Ocean: Tengen and Kanae lead a mission with Makomo and Shinobu as their support to verify rumours of Upper Moon activity. However, Douma takes an unexpected deviation in the route and confronts the two girls instead of the two Hashiras.

Dragon Ball

Fairy Tail

  • Fairy Tail: Sealing Gone Wrong, the Sealing Spell used by Igneel to rest within Natsu while regaining his magic malfunctions, causing Igneel to wake up in control of Natsu's childish body, with implications that Natsu is in Igneel's body trapped inside his own.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Girls und Panzer

  • Always Advancing: Training Company B and their supervising commander, tasked by Kay to test out the newly-sought-out volunteers, went into a practice match against seeming novices in outdated tanks expecting a Curb-Stomp Battle. Unfortunately for them the volunteers in question were the Duck Team and Rabbit Team of Oarai in the original timeline. It ultimately took all 20 Shermans of both Training Company B and A to bring them down.

Harry Potter

  • The Odds Were Never In My Favour: When Neville gets injured from him and Cho falling off their brooms during a quidditch match and Alexandra choosing to save Cho under the assumption that Dumbledore will intervene to save the life of the Boy-Who-Lived (and he does), Ron and Leo are enraged at Alexandra's perceived refusal to save Neville and attempt to retaliate with a prank. Unfortunately for them both, Ron is under the effect of a Compulsion Charm that drives him beyond the lengths he'd normally be willing to go to and the two boys poison the Ravenclaws' victory feast with experimental and untested Zonko products, causing multiple people to vomit blood and go into seizures. This ends up in the Hogwarts Board of Governors spectacularly coming down like a bag of hammers on everyone involved:
    • Ron and Leo very narrowly avoid being expelled on the spot due to the severity of the prank, coupled with their extensive history of mayhem, mitigated only by Ron not having acted under his own free will. In the end, the two get away with a long string of punishments, involving the complete loss of all extracurricular privileges for the rest of their time at Hogwarts and out-of-school suspensions for months.
    • Zonko's is shut down for inspection and Sirius, being the primary shareholder, has to pay a severe fine.
    • Even Dumbledore isn't spared: having repeatedly pardoned the boys for expulsion-worthy crimes and barely even being at school due to spending all his time playing politics at the ICW and the Wizengamot, instead delegating his school responsibilities to the teaching staff who don't have the free capacity for it next to their own duties, prompts the Board to offer him a choice between resignation from his ICW and Wizengamot positions in exchange for retaining his position as Headmaster, or getting fired for gross negligence and incompetence.
    • The only reason Neville doesn't get into any trouble over having the Potter Invisibility Cloak is because Leo falls on his sword and claims that Dumbledore gave it to him. Dumbledore gets hit with massive fines for giving the cloak away instead of returning it to its rightful owner back in 1981.
  • Where in the World Is Harry Potter?: Harry's experiment to help Dudley lose weight ends up blowing up the Dursley home, destroying every magic detector at the ministry and resurrects his dead parents and godfather in the bodies of his relatives. And trying to fix things turns the Dursleys into the first Dementors, including Dudley turning into his friend Bob, before sending them into the distant past.

Lyrical Nanoha

  • Toward the World's End gives us this combined with Too Dumb to Live. The TSAB detect a huge anomaly in the void. What do they find? An artificial universe that appears to be doing something to other universes. What do they do? Shoot at it with ALL WEAPONS!. The thing creates shields out of nothing, and then fires back with some weapon that the TSAB can't even identify. They manage to stop it obliterating Mid-Childia, but the radiation that spills over destroys life and creates apocalyptic conditions on millions of planets in a ton of other universes. Including the one that Nanoha, Yuuno and OC Protagonist Arthur are on... Earth. If that wasn't bad enough, the radiation also unleashes Eldritch Abominations that are ONLY capable of destruction. Nice going, TSAB.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Reality Rewritten: A downplayed example. In an attempt to prove once and for all that Peter doesn't have an internship at Stark Industry, Mr. Harrington arranges for the Academic Decathlon team to go on a tour of Stark Industry's labs in Avengers Tower. It backfires when they go through security and FRIDAY identifies Peter as Tony's personal intern.

Mega Man

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Chat Blanc Against The World: When Shadowmoth senses Chat Noir's anger, he practically leaps at the chance to akumatize the hero. Unfortunately for him, Chat Blanc proves to be too powerful to control, and all he gets for his troubles is being Cataclysmed twice, getting his identity revealed and being arrested and abandoned in the end.
  • Hawkmoth's plans go to ruin in The First and Last Akuma when the Akuma in question, Marinette, resists both his control and ability to pull the Akuma butterfly. The fight takes six hours and nearly burns down Paris when Marinette decides she wants to prioritize burning down schools. It convinces him that the Hawkmoth idea was a terrible one and he relinquishes his miraculous as a result.
  • Karma Overbalance: In The Karma of Lies, Marinette as Ladybug allows Lila to walk away with doing a big bunch of crimes that hurt all of her fellow students, including stealing the entire Agreste fortune, with only an extremely vague Paranoia Gambit to try to keep her in line and the narration going on about how the misery Lila leaves behind is Laser-Guided Karma to those that fell for her lies and were jerks to Marinette. However, the Recursive Fanfiction showcases that Marinette had not thought of how much Lila would hate not being the one in control, so with the gambit dangling over her head she decided to return to Paris to find anything that she could use to blackmail Marinette into backing off, which gets her killed by Adrien (who is way past the Despair Event Horizon courtesy of the "karma" he gotnote . So now Adrien is going to go to jail for life (and he is perfectly fine with it) and Marinette has Lila's blood on her hands and a deep fear that karma just set her up for a very big fall…
  • Villain Of Your Own Story plays with this. Alya makes two reality-altering Wishes: that she would know Hawk Moth's Secret Identity, and that Marinette would have her worries lifted away and be happier.
    • The Wish grants Alya's first request by making her the Hawk Moth of the new reality. She refuses to acknowledge that this was granting the Exact Words of her Wish — something Marinette specifically warned her about, only for Alya to dismiss her because she was convinced she could easily 'outsmart' the force granting it.
    • Meanwhile, Marinette is much happier in the new reality, since she's freed from the pressures of being Ladybug and has two loving boyfriends in Luka and Nino. But since this happiness didn't take the form Alya expected — mainly by pairing her off with Adrien — she refuses to recognize it as real, resolving to use the Earrings and Ring to make another Wish to 'fix' everything.
    • Alya also mistakes Lila's Laser-Guided Karma for this, by virtue of refusing to acknowledge that Marinette might have been right when warning her about the Manipulative Bitch. Instead, she convinces herself that Lila being Caught on Tape threatening one of her would-be victims is all one big misunderstanding, and that she only wound up punished because satisfying Marinette's 'inexplicible grudge' towards her would make her happy.

My Hero Academia

  • Live a Hero (MHA): Monoma's attempt at getting an upper hand against 1-A backfires as he copied Izuku's quirk and shut down the senses of everyone in the stadium. The end result left Monoma sufficiently traumatized and his team is disqualified as a result.
  • Mean Rabbit: Aizawa fancies himself to be a Stern Teacher who's teaching his students that Life Isn't Fair and they need to give their all in order to succeed. Instead, he teaches them that the only way to get ahead in life is by stepping on those weaker than them, especially the Quirkless. He also teaches Izuku that anyone who's got any kind of authority over him will abuse that without hesitation.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Flash Fog, Caligo Manufacturing of Cloudsdale developed a new industrial cloud formula — one that is much more resilient and almost impossible to disperse compared to normal clouds. It works so well, the tanks can't hold it and the whole mixture becomes a fog bank. The whole story circles around how plain hard it is to eliminate the fog by conventional means.
  • You Call That a Costume?: Twilight attempts to make the Rainbooms' costumes more realistic. Unfortunately, her spell ends up making them more literal than she had in mind.


  • A Leaf of the Tree: This happened to Team 24 during their first C-rank. What was supposed to be a simple escort of a trading caravan to the Land of Tea, Team 24 got ambushed by a pair of missing-nin, one of which was a jonin, and attacked at a time when Hoheto was distracted. Though both missing-nin were killed, Totagi suffered the most out of the genin, being poisoned and needing hospitalization, forcing Hoheto to get her to the closest allied village, being Suna, and Takeo and Suro to finish the escort on their own until reinforcements from Suna could arrive.
  • Naruto: Shinobi Insitute of Performance Analysis mixes this with Gone Horribly Right in the case of Itachi using Tsukiyomi (a genjutsu he barely understood) on Sasuke. The result? A homicidal sociopath that kills enemies and prisoners at every opportunity and brutally murdered at least one classmate before he graduated.
  • In Scorpion Disciple, Neji and Hinata were intentionally pitted against each other for the preliminary matches of Konoha's Chuunin Exams. The idea was that this would give Neji the chance to vent some of his frustrations with the Main House while also teaching Hinata that she needs to be stronger. However, things go off the rails when Hinata proves to be stronger than anybody anticipated... and when Neji realizes that she might actually win their match, he straight-up murders her.

Obey Me! – One Master to Rule Them All!

  • Your Coal: When Lucifer dragged the protagonist to an intervention with his brothers and Diavolo he genuinely meant well, and was planning on throwing them a party in their honor to affirm their place as an equal and member of their family. What DOES end up happening though is that the protagonist ends up dead, permanently this time. Then Luke walks into the room.

Odd Squad

  • In OSMU: Fanfiction Friction, Orla tries to prove to shippers that she isn't any sort of a Dogged Nice Girl by going to the mythical island of Hy-Brasil. The second she lands on the island, she twists her ankle and is then approached by a dragon, which she tries to fight off using nothing more than a stick and fails to do so. By the time Oswald comes across her, she's nearly unconscious with her Protector's Helmet badly dented, with what appears to be a twisted leg in addition to a twisted ankle and with her Un-Dragon-inator gadget trapped under one of the dragon's feet. Luckily, she survives the ordeal and is healed at a Healing Spring shortly after, thanks to Oswald.


  • In Pokémon Strangled Red, a routine Pokémon trade for two trainers to complete their Pokédexes results in the death of one of the Pokémon.


Star Trek

  • A Voice in the Wilderness presents an Origin Story for the Borg Collective of this sort. Preserver scientists on a planet in the Delta Quadrant were attempting to create nanomachines for medical purposes, but the nanites somehow merged with an Artificial Intelligence that spread through the planet's Alternet, becoming the first Borg Queen, One of One. The present-day Queen happened later, after the surviving Preservers managed to capture and imprison One of One's central processor.


  • Confrontation (ack1308): After noticing that Buzz and Shadow Stalker have both been having issues with applying appropriate levels of force and restraint, he decides to set up the two Wards to talk about it with each other in a mostly private setting. Unfortunately, this causes them to realize each other's Secret Identities, which results in Taylor attempting to kill Sophia for the shitty way she's treated her as a civilian. Aegis winds up being officially reprimanded for letting this happen.
  • Worm: Succubus Diaries: Principal Blackwell's attempt to resurrect her son using magic gets her killed.


  • XCOM: The Hades Contingency a Council of Nations member attempts to sow unrest within Germany, in an attempt to prime the country to focus on defense against the alien threat. This plan ended up being co-opted by both EXALT and the aliens (who took advantage of the unrest to further their own agendas) and shut down by XCOM, culminating in an alien terror attack on Hamburg that saw the deaths of several thousands, which led to the German government pulling out from the Council and attempt reaching out to the aliens themselves, which in turn prompts the Council to authorize the Commander to bring the country back into the Council by any means necessary via the Hades Contingency. They technically succeed... except Defense Minister Habicht manipulates the entire process in order to allow him to take over as Chancellor of Germany, with minimal pushback. To make matters worse, it is later revealed that Habicht is a particularly high-ranking figure within EXALT, meaning the Council and XCOM just handed the enemy an entire nation on a silver platter.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Ra's al Ghul hires The Joker to distract Batman while he goes off to set up one of his usual plans to eradicate most of mankind. He didn't expect the clown to go and murder Robin. It gets even worse when he uses the Lazarus Pit to resurrect him, turning him into a man filled with a lot of pent up rage.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Flint Lockwood creates a device that makes it rain food. At first, everything is fine, but through constant overwork, the machine develops a mind of its own, and starts sending down bigger and bigger food, threatening to destroy the world.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Poor Jack; all he wanted was to try his hand at another holiday. Instead, he ended up ruining Christmas for the poor people back on Earth, and accidentally put Santa's and Sally's lives at risk.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien: Resurrection had scientists clone Ripley in hopes of creating a Xenomorph for potential military applications. Things go horribly wrong when the cloning gave the aliens more grey matter than the scientists, allowing them to escape and wreak havoc.
  • Battlefield Earth: Beyond the obvious reference, how else can you describe the plot from the Psychlo perspective? You have a planet completely under your thumb, and one greedy mid-manager does an experiment on a subjugated race, which ultimately results in it gaining the knowledge and power to wipe out your home world and all of the occupying forces. And the reason he bothers is he's so desperate to go back home that he's willing to do anything to get the money to buy his way out of the trouble he caused himself, making this trope also apply to the government official who exiled him to Earth in the first place.
  • The reason they have to drill into The Core: secret government experiments with a giant earthquake-causing weapon have somehow ruined the Earth's EM field by causing the core to slow down and eventually stop.
  • Crack In The World: Scientists try to tap magma from the Earth's core by detonating a nuclear bomb deep underground. This turns out to be a very bad idea indeed. Considering the fact that you can tap magma from the Earth's core at one of the hundreds of active volcanoes all over the surface of the world, they probably deserved to have it go horribly wrong.
  • Nearly every other movie based on a Michael Crichton story follow this trope, with the exception being The Great Train Robbery.
  • The Dark Crystal is set 1,000 years after the urSkeks, a hyper-advanced species, made the ill-advised and arrogant (if somewhat noble) decision to try and eliminate their darker natures; a decision that literally caused a near-apocalypse-level event. This single choice wrought, in its 1000-year aftermath, the fracturing and increasing corruption of the Crystal (and by extension the entire landscape), the eventual near-extinction of one race, the decimation of a second, and the creation of beings of pure evil that ruled over the planet for an entire millennium who certainly didn't improve things. Oops?
  • Das Experiment is based on the Stanford Prison Experiment but goes further. Within just a few days the guards are terrorizing and humiliating the prisoners to keep order, right up to abusing their position of power to commit murder and rape. The head scientist was even aware how quickly the experiment was escalating, he just chose to ignore it For Science!.
  • In Deep Blue Sea, scientists try to cure Alzheimers by harvesting the brain matter of super-smart genetically modified sharks. What went horribly wrong? Well for one thing, experimenting with really aggressive sharks, underwater, on a platform in the middle of the ocean with no way of easy escape might not be the best idea ever... A shark fucking ate Samuel L. Jackson, for one thing.
  • Event Horizon is about a brain-twistingly successful attempt at Faster-Than-Light Travel... that then promptly Went Horribly Wrong. Really, really wrong.
  • The Fly (1958): Teleportation experiment is upset by a literal fly in the ointment. And then it happens againtwice. And then David Cronenberg gets hold of the idea and does it twice as well and ten times as ugly.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: The film deconstructs mankind's desire to surpass nature. Apex built Mechagodzilla as the ultimate anti-Titan Robeast by uploading King Ghidorah's mind into the robot's AI. It was to be merely piloted by a brain interface that allows the user to view the mech as an extension of their own body. Evil Is Not a Toy, as uploading Ghidorah's sentience not only drove Godzilla mad, but once Ghidorah Turned Against Their Masters by hijacking Mechagodzilla's controls, the mech goes on a rampage by leveling a large chunk of Hong Kong. You wanted the ultimate anti-Titan weapon, humankind... you got the ultimate anti-Titan weapon.
  • The Day the Clown Cried is described this way in The Greatest Movies You'll Never See. Put in simple terms, Jerry Lewis had told the producer who offered him the project that he wasn't the right person for it, and then he made the movie and proved it.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (2008), the army's experiments with Gamma radiation gives birth to the Hulk, and Thunderbolt Ross and Emil Blonsky's experiments with the super-soldier serum leads to Blonsky becoming the Abomination.
  • Jurassic Park (1993): A zoo which houses dinosaurs? What could possibly go wrong here?
  • The premise of Mean Creek is that a group of kids devise a plan to get revenge on an overweight, troubled bully named George on a boating trip, effectively humiliating him in the process. However, George ends up being accidentally pushed off of a boat and into the lake below. He is unable to swim and drowns.
  • In Pixels, humans send into space videos of them playing then-popular computer games as a message of peace. The aliens who receive it believe it to be a declaration of war to be fought with those games.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Nazi tampering with the Ark of the Covenant goes "horribly wrong" with infamously gruesome results.
  • Omni Consumer Products "improved" police robots went Horribly Wrong in both RoboCop (1987) and RoboCop 2. Murphy succeeded, but only because he's a special case — as shown by failed cases in the second film, most cyborgs don't handle their new existence well. Of course, using a drug-addicted criminal as a cyborg-policeman is probably not the best idea.
  • The big reveal of Serenity (2005) involves an experimental chemical named Pax. Given the name's meaning, you can guess what it was supposed to do, and for the most part, its problem was that it worked too well. But on a small segment of the population... You know the Reavers? Yeah, this is where they came from.
  • In Son of Godzilla, an experiment trying to control weather plans to start by freezing the tropical island it's happening on. Well, radio interference prevents the detonation of a specific device at the right time, resulting in a massive heat wave, tropical storms, and the already rather large (ten feet long or so) praying mantises living on the island growing to Kaiju proportions.
  • Species: They try to grow an alien child. Then they try to dispose of it when the experiment is shut down. Not happening.
  • Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith: Believing that there's still good in her husband, Padmé tries to speak to him. She even claims that she loves him. She's right, but Anakin takes his wife's message for Blatant Lies and attacks her. Thanks, Palpatine.
  • The Terminator series. Because it's such a good idea to make computers smarter than you then hand them military control. How come the only one smart enough to keep the Terminators from learning too much is Skynet? And yet Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles reveals the existence of machines who have decided to fight Skynet on their own.
  • Total Recall (1990): A routine implantation of Fake Memories at Rekall goes haywire... or perhaps it worked perfectly.
  • The Time Machine (2002): The End of the World as We Know It is triggered when humanity starts excavating more living space into the moon with nuclear weapons. When the hero uses the titular machine to go forward a few years, he finds himself in a dystopia and the fragments of the moon in the sky are getting bigger and bigger...
  • X-Men: First Class:

  • In Aniara, the evasive manoeuvre of the asteroid Hondo and subsequent collision with space debris, which ejects the goldonder into interstellar space with no chances of returning back in the solar system.
  • In Animal Farm, the theory of Animalism compared to what it became in practise. This, of course, parallels Communism perfectly.
  • The Arts of Dark and Light: The Savondir state wizards' experiment in controlling a red dragon with a partially reverse-engineered elvish spell, ultimately aiming to create their own flying corps to match and surpass that of the elves. Rather than controlling the dragon, however, the spell enrages it instead, and it kills a large number of wizards and partially destroys their central Academy.
  • Given a heartwarming twist in the short story The Battle of Newhaven by Rob Davidoff and Miranda Gavrin. One of the factions of an interstellar war developed a computer virus intended to allow the guidance protocols of the enemy's missiles to rapidly self-modify their programming in hopes that this will make them miss, and decide that detonating their warheads would be a net loss. The missile salvo it's used on achieves sapience instead, and negotiates a ceasefire between the two human space nations.
  • The Berenstain Bears Big Chapter Books: In The Berenstain Bears and the Great Ant Attack, Professor Actual Factual and his nephew Ferdy create a new species of hybrid ant intended to eat insects that damage crops, only for the resulting species to be far more voracious than intended... which becomes a problem when a queen ant escapes and starts reproducing.
  • In Carpe Jugulum, the vampires try to get Acquired Poison Immunity to various vampire weaknesses by constant exposure to them, included a wide variety of holy symbols. Unfortunately, when their will breaks, they start seeing holy symbols everywhere.
  • Ice-9, from Cat's Cradle. The Marines wanted a chemical that turns water into a solid at room temperature so that they could cross swamps and rivers. Unfortunately, it converts all water it touches — everywhere on Earth.
  • In The City and the Stars, by Arthur C. Clarke, the hyperadvanced galactic civilization of the far future sets out to create a fully disembodied intellect so as to create a being that may comprehend the universe without the defining bias of physical form, which it hopes will be its crowning achievement in a galaxy it no longer feels challenged by. They succeed, but the first attempt creates the Mad Mind, which is vast and powerful, but, alas, as the name suggests, quite insane. The galactic civilization eventually wins the subsequent war to contain the Mad Mind, but at the cost of widespread galactic-scale devastation, with most of the Milky Way's stars blown up or prematurely aged by the conflict's end.
    • Even though tired beyond measure by this ordeal, the galactic civilization tries again and this time succeeds, creating Vanamonde, a similar intellect that is sane and friendly. It is suggested that Vanamonde's ultimate destiny is to battle the Mad Mind, at the end of time when the prison containing it fails.
  • In Coda (2013), the music started as ways to calm people after the war, as medications were in rare supply. Then the people in power got hold of it...
  • Michael Crichton made his living writing novels about science that Goes Horribly Wrong. The notable exception is Next, in which science does reasonably fine, except for a few cases of rapidly aging a couple of drug addicts that it manages to cure anyway (there are 5, at most). It's greed that goes horribly, horribly wrong.
  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. No one knows for sure where such weird plants came from. But they produce high-quality oil and that's what matters, Just Think of the Potential!! Of course, the oil's even better if their deadly stings are left intact, but simple safety measures are enough, right? And yes, that meteorite shower is... strange, but all the more reason that we cannot miss such an opportunity! Let's all go and look! Right?.. It's only natural... Wait, we just became hapless food for plants?
  • Distant Rainbow by the Strugatski Brothers: Rainbow is the name of a lush planet which is used for experiments with teleportation. But one day the experiments create the Deadly Wave, which begins to consume all organics on the planet from poles onwards, dooming it.
  • In John Brunner's book The Dramaturges of Yan, a race of lonely aliens decided to convert their planet into a spaceship, using the rotary force of the planet's moon. Guess what: It shattered When they get a chance, they try again. It gets worse: This time the planet is destroyed.
  • In A Feast for Crows, Cersei's plot with Lady Falyse Stokeworth to have Bronn die in a hunting accident ends with a beaten and bloodied Lady Stokeworth showing up at the Red Keep in the middle of the night alone and demanding to be let in to see Cersei immediately. When she doesnote , she tells the queen that instead of arranging the accident, her husband insisted on facing Bronn in single combat instead, which he lost, whereupon Bronn took over the castle and gained the loyalty of her husband's men almost instantly.
  • In the children's book Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer and P.D. Eastman, a boy is instructed to feed his goldfish only a certain amount of food, and no more. But the goldfish still looks hungry, so he gives him a little more, and then the fish starts growing and growing.
  • A rare example of sociology going horribly wrong is Joe Haldeman's The Forever War. Instead of conscripting all the stupid people into the army, The Government conscripts all the smart and fit people for military service. Needless to say, things go horribly wrong on Earth soon afterwards.
  • In The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov aliens help humanity build the source of clean unlimited power which will, unfortunately, blow up the sun.
  • This trope is so common that the blurb for Matthew Reilly's The Great Zoo of China, basically Jurassic Park with dragons, doesn't even bother mentioning that things will go wrong. It simply ends with, "The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that the dragons are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong. Of course it can't...
  • Downplayed and parodied in Mikhail Bulgakov's short story, "Heart of a Dog". The protagonist, Professor Preobrazhensky, experiments in the area of transplantation of animal organs to humans and vice versa, with the purpose of rejuvenation. His final experiment is transplanting a human's pituitary gland to the brain of a stray dog, which is adopted by him at the start of the story. The reader expects that the experiment will lead to the creation of a violent and homicidal mutant, but it's not true, the experiment's results are completely safe to humanity: just a short and hair-covered homunculus, who is almost as intelligent as a human. What's the catch? Well, the pituitary belonged to a persistent criminal and alcoholic, and the resulting hybrid personified the worst qualities of both humans and dogs — a heavy-drinking, lazy, violent thug, who is also pathologically cruel and sadistic to stray animals, especially to cats, due to his dog origins. He also sexually harasses Preobrazhensky's female servants and steals money from him. At the end, Sharikov (that's the homunculus's surname, which is taken from the dog's nickname "Sharik") becomes so annoying and cruel, Preobrazensky's assistant Dr. Bormental strangles Sharikov almost to death, then they remove the pituitary gland from his brain, and he becomes the dog again.
  • Inkmistress: Asra's attempt to dictate the future on Ina's behalf accidentally causes the people of Amalska to be slaughtered by bandits. This includes Ina's whole family. She is naturally horrified by this. It turns out to be a common liability of using that gift.
  • In The Mortal Instruments there is Jonathan Morgenstern. Valentin wanted to create a nephilim, who is also partially a demon, to create a whole new kind of shadowhunters. And although Jonahthan was much stronger, faster, and more resilient than the other nephilim, he had been corrupted to evil by the demonic blood.
  • Mutant 59: The Plastic Eaters by Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler. Look, we really need to do something with all that plastic junk anyway. Look how many things are made of plastics. So why couldn't microbiologists conduct some experiments privately? After all, little buggers eat only freakin' plastic, so even if some strain could go loose it's still completely safe, right? At worst, they'll eat... Oh. By the way, if low-oxygen organics decay, what can we get as a result?
  • In the Revelation Space Series, while the origin of Greenfly is never explicitly revealed, it's strongly implied to have originated as some ancient race's (or distant future humans'... don't ask) terraforming device of sorts (as the artificial planetoids it transforms all planetary matter into are technically habitable).
  • The Rising and City of the Dead: let's just run this particle accelerator and...oops, looks like we found the Sealed Evil in a Can that will wipe out our species with a Zombie Apocalypse. Joy.
  • The First Contact on Rakhat in The Sparrow. About half the book is flashbacks to the events that led up to the mission; the other half is the "present day," when the damaged remains of the crew come back to tell the story.
  • In The Stand, the U.S. Army should have expected that trying to design a killer virus as a biological weapon would probably go wrong. But, they didn't, and it escaped...
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Crosscurrent, involved an old Imperial experiment to create Force-sensitive clones by combining the DNA of various Jedi and Sith. Suffice to say that the result involved gratuitous amounts of human sacrifice and cannibalism.
    • Pretty much any attempt to clone Force-sensitives end up with insane Force-powered clones. It's speculated in universe that this is due to the Force itself rejecting or being confused by these strange beings.
    • Well before Galaxy of Fear, two scientists were performing experiments on the nature of life on Kiva, since the Kivans had offered to host them. Gog knew that the latest experiment would backfire and create a World-Wrecking Wave that destroyed all life on Kiva, but he convinced the other that it was safe. The other — Mammon Hoole — was utterly horrified by the result and blamed himself. So to Mammon it was this trope, to Gog it went exactly as he'd been hoping.
  • Striking Steel by Lukins. Defend your planet with a replicating anti-personnel complex! This metal hive's mini-rockets shred anything its radar sees moving: small arms, aircraft or shuttle, can even incapacitate armored vehicles. Then little robots collect the scraps and grow thousands of new complexes — no extra burden for your war-torn industry. They have proper communication and Friend-or-Foe, so you can keep them away from your troops and objects, but it's very secure, don't fear they will be hacked, in this you're ahead of the enemy. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Accumulation of their tolerable limits with copying, for once. Especially in the radio resonators of Friend-or-Foe and control. Three generations, and you're in Death World. And the time for Wi-Fi hacking is just too limited when all this Reverse Shrapnel rips your antennae.
  • John Wyndham's Trouble With Lichen averts this by having the chief scientist and the researcher who semi-stole the discovery anticipating the problems before they start.
  • In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series one man's plan to seal away the Dark One ends up causing every man who uses magic to go horribly insane and rot while still alive. This continues indefinitely into the future as well... until the Dragon Reborn, our protagonist, restores the magic to its prior purity.
    • An even more extreme example in the same series happens before this, when all the trouble began when the greatest magic users in history discover a new and amazing source of power, without realizing that they are tapping into the Dark One's prison, thus unleashing Sealed Evil in a Can and destroying civilization.
  • Wild Cards: The Wild Card virus was invented by psychic aliens in order to give themselves superpowers and an advantage over rival houses. They decided to test it on humans (due to the strange coincidence of humans and Takisans being physiologically near-identical). After it was released, it was discovered that ninety percent of victims "drew the Black Queen" (mutating so horrifically they died in minutes), nine percent "drew the joker" (mutating but surviving), and one percent "drew the ace" (remaining physically unchanged but gaining superpowers). This made the virus absolutely worthless as a method of improving themselves, as a one percent success rate is too low for even the most amoral person to use on their own people. It also made it worthless as a weapon, since one percent success is too high to use on your enemies.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Wings of Fire, the Night Stalkers were supposed to only go into Libya to destroy some missiles. Then Paul dies in the process of stopping the missiles and Wendy goes missing fending off a Libyan retaliation. In Executive Intent, a Kill Sat is used in an attempt to destroy a bunch of terrorists and the missiles they hijacked. It misses and kills many civilians. Things get worse from there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This trope is used in a light, funny way in the episode of The Big Bang Theory entitled "The Vengeance Formulation". To get back at Kripke for humiliating him on NPR, Sheldon devises a scheme. He concocts a solution with the help of Leonard and Raj that has the ability to slowly expand and get all foamy, and puts some in the ceiling tiles of Kripke's office. However, the plan goes horribly wrong when Kripke enters his office accompanied by the president of the university and the board of directors. The foam breaks through the ceiling and drenches all of them. It goes From Bad to Worse when a pre-made video of Sheldon gloating evilly comes on Kripke's monitor, so the bigwigs now all know that he did it. He also names Leonard and Raj as accomplices.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • In the pilot episode, after cooking their first batch together with Walt, Jesse takes a sample of their high-quality meth to his distributor Crazy-8, only for Crazy-8 and Jesse's former partner Emilio to accuse Jesse of snitching on them, and Walt as an undercover DEA agent, and try to kill them. Walt is able to turn the tables on the two of them with some quick thinking, but he's clearly disturbed his first attempted deal went south so fast and that he was forced to kill people.
    • Walt direct Jesse on how to dispose of Emilio's body, advising him to get a large plastic tub to put the body in and then submerge him in hydrochloric acid. Jesse can't find any tub big enough so he just uses his bathtub. Unfortunately, what he didn't realize is that Walt specified it needed to be a plastic tub because that's the only material the acid won't eat through, as is demonstrated when the acid indeed eats a hole right through the bathtub and the ceiling underneath it, splattering the downstairs hall with half-melted human remains.
    • Ted is being audited by the IRS for tax inconsistencies with his company because he's been cooking his books. Skyler is worried because her name is on some of the tax papers, so the IRS will investigate her as well, potentially uncovering her and Walt's criminal activities. For various reasons, Ted refuses to pay off the debt, despite the fact he'll go to prison if he doesn't, even when Skyler just gives him the six-hundred thousand dollars he needs. Skyler eventually gets fed up, and has Saul send two of his men over to intimidate Ted into paying it off, but stipulating that they don't actually hurt him. Ted reluctantly signs the check, but he gets scared and tries to make a run for it, only to trip, smash into a table headfirst, and break his neck. Saul is incredulous that his two guys somehow managed to mess it up so badly like that.
    • In the episode "To'hajiilee", Jesse, Hank, and Gomez set up a ploy to get Walter to confess to his crimes and arrest him. When Walt realizes he's been tricked, he mistakenly believes Jesse's going to kill him and calls in Jack and his gang for help. When he sees it's Hank coming to arrest him, he calls them off because his life isn't in danger and he doesn't want Hank to die. Unfortunately Jack intentionally disregards this, using this as an opportunity to usurp Walt, killing Hank and Gomez, stealing most of Walt's money, and kidnapping Jesse. Walt's drug empire almost instantly unravels, he's disowned by his family, and he has to go on the run, while Jesse ends up tortured and enslaved by the Neo-Nazis for several months.
  • Pretty much all science on Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the possible exception of Warren's robots. Whether it's mutant steroid fish men, demonic Frankensteinian cyborgs, the animated dead looking for a girlfriend, or just the plan to collect the school library info on a database, if it's on the Hellmouth it will work and then start killing people.
  • Doctor Who has naturally dabbled in this:
    • "Inferno": A scientist team attempts to drill through the Earth's crust to access an energy pocket to be used for fuel, but the pocket happens to come with nasty side-effects; namely a toxic slime that reduces humans to primitive ape-men and a colossal volcanic explosion that will roast the entire planet. The story mostly takes place in a parallel universe, so we get to see the Earth (well, a fascist-controlled version of it, but Earth nonetheless) get destroyed in real-time with loving detail. Thankfully the Doctor was able to stop it before the cataclysm came to pass in his world.
    • "The Lazarus Experiment" has an interesting example that may also qualify as Gone Horribly Right: When Professor Richard Lazarus tests a rejuvenation machine that works by reprogramming DNA and commanding it to rejuvenate, he achieves his goal of becoming younger, but accidentally activates some dormant "junk" DNA, turning him into a life-draining monster. However, Lazarus isn't bothered by the change, considering it necessary to be able to possess the extended lifespan he wants.
  • In the Dollhouse episode "Omega" has Alpha's plan to turn Echo into another Alpha by causing her to undergo a composite event go horribly wrong... for Alpha. Since the bulk of Echo's imprints were good guys, Composite!Echo is a moral person, and turns against Alpha. From the perspective of everyone else, the experiment went horribly right.
    • Actually, it's made pretty clear that it's not the whole "bulk of the imprints" thing — it's who they were originally. Alpha was originally a serial-killer-in-training so he of course was evil, whereas Echo was (mainly) a good person back then so she was good. In the future, Alpha's good imprints have eventually turned him into a good person and he's scared of turning back to who he originally was.
    • "Epitaph One" is a bonus episode set in a future where everything has gone horribly horribly wrong.
  • Game of Thrones: Tywin's first lesson to Tommen about being king is wisdom, specifically the wisdom to know when someone else knows more than you do. This is a not-so-subtle attempt by Tywin to set himself up as the power behind the throne. However, Tywin dies not long after, so the indecisive Tommen is left with people who only want to manipulate him for their own gain including Margaery, making him an even bigger Puppet King than his brother. As a result of the machinations of the High Sparrow and his Stupid Evil mother, King's Landing is well on its way to becoming a theocracy, with Tommen having been easily conned into enabling it because no one has taught him to stand up for himself. Cersei ended up flipping the entire table on this gambit gone wrong by simply detonating the entire Sept with everyone in it, making it a non-issue. Granted, it also made Tommen a non-issue, which may count on its own.
  • The entire premise of The Goes Wrong Show. Every "play" is ruined from the start from botched lines to missed cues, sets falling apart, props failing to work and so much more with the actors having to handle it all.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977):
    "Doctor David Banner: physician, scientist; searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry."
  • Kamen Rider Build has Japan uncovering an artifact on Mars that they aptly named Pandora's Box. Much like the mythical box, one person opening it led to numerous problems, such as the people who were at the box at the time of opening having their personalities getting warped, a large wall erecting that split Japan into three, and a strange gas that, when inhaled by a person, can turn them into monsters.
  • Kingdom (2019): Lord Cho Hak-ju only wished to bring the king back to life long enough for his daughter to bear the king's child. This decision leads to a zombie plague being unleashed upon Joseon and thousands being killed.
  • Lost: The DHARMA Initiative has gone horribly wrong at least once, with "the incident" that necessitated pushing the button every 108 minutes. (The demise of most DHARMA members may count, too, after we find out the whole story.)
  • Midsomer Murders: In "Death in the Slow Lane", D.J. Dogboy's murder was probably unnecessary, since he, apart from an initial shock, seemed to have no intention of turning Charlotte in. However, Peter Fossett killed him anyway and in doing so not only he led Barnaby to arrive and, in the course of the murder investigation, learn the truth about Charlotte's drug dealing anyway, but the DCI eventually discovers also other truths that might otherwise have remained hidden, namely that Peter had sexual relations with his (non-biological) daughter, that he is Charlotte's biological father, and most importantly that he is the murderer of Duncan Palmer.
  • Nowhere Boys: The events of the first season turns out to be the result of a spell Felix cast to 'unmake' his brother's paralysis, which also unmade all their existences.
  • In Smallville, let's just say that literally every last one of Lex Luthor's experiments have Gone Horribly Wrong.
    • "Truth": A truth serum that almost gets Chloe killed. Twice.
    • "Onyx": Messing with lasers and green kryptonite leads to the creation of black kryptonite, which splits Lex into good and evil Lexes.
    • "Power": A suit of sorts that bestows Physical Godhood is stolen by Lana.
  • This seems to be humanity's hat in Space: Above and Beyond. Create a race of androids to be slaves? Congratulations, you get a Robot War. Create a race of Designer Babies to fight the androids and get, at best, Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. You could be forgiven for thinking humanity is the villain faction in this show.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series has the episode "The City on the Edge of Forever", where in an alternate timeline, the survival of Edith Keeler led to an influential peace movement which later delayed US entry into WWII, resulting in Adolf Hitler winning the war and the Space Age never happening. Everyone else in the galaxy is presumably screwed, too, as there is now no Jonathan Archer to stop the Sphere Builders.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation examples include "The Royale" (a group of Starfish Aliens attempt to make amends to an astronaut after they accidentally kill his crew with a simulated reality, but their only reference for life on Earth is a trashy novel, trapping the astronaut in a an ironic purgatory), "Half a Life" (they attempt to revitalise a star, and instead it goes supernova) and "New Ground" (they test a "soliton wave", which will allow ships a warp without a need for a warp drive, but it destroys the test ship and threatens to destroy the target planet as well).
    • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "Statistical Probabilities" and "Chrysalis" have the "Jack Pack", a group of augmented humans who possess intelligence far greater than the average human. Unfortunately, their augmentations caused various degrees of severe psychological side-effects: one member is a fast-talking short-tempered sociopath, one is an adult with the mentality of a five-year-old child, one is sexually uninhibited, and one possesses a mind that processes information faster than she's able to take it in, leaving her practically catatonic from the imbalance. Only the last of the four is correctable (by speeding up her visual and auditory inputs to match her processing speed), and that requires a massive experimental procedure.
  • Stranger Things: It was already bad when the facility was torturing children to spy on the Soviet Union, but bringing a monster of unspeakable horror into the world is on a whole worse level.
  • Many of the funniest moments of Whose Line Is It Anyway? happen when a game goes terribly wrong. Such as Wayne's H-O-R-W-A-R-D song, Ryan breaking the light on Drew's desk with his head, and the legendary "Quacking Elephants" sound effect game. Or Ryan Stiles eating an entire tin of Altoids mints as a joke after a sketch ended. (Colin Mochrie had given him a quick kiss as part of the prior sketch.) It didn't take long for him to realize what a really bad idea it was.
  • The X-Files is proof positive that you should not let scientists anywhere near a laboratory without very strict supervision by a non-governmental agency.

  • "Barrett's Privateers" by Stan Rogers: The singer's character is convinced by the lure of easy fortune to join a privateer ship whose condition is somewhat less than perfect even before departure. Three months of deterioration are described in awful detail and only then do they engage their first target, which turns out to be armed far more heavily than they are. It all ends horribly, with only a single crippled survivor.
  • Sting's "Something the Boy Said". At the end of the song, all the characters who started out so blithely and fearlessly are dead except for the singer and even he is too terrified to look behind him as he leaves the scene of the disaster, in case he sees his own corpse.
  • The US Army paratroopers' song "Blood on the Risers". The young paratrooper readies for his first jump and does everything right except for checking his static line (the line attached to the airplane itself which releases the main parachute automatically). Normally a reserve parachute is used should the main parachute fail. The trooper falls in a bad position, deploys his reserve parachute in panic, gets tangled, and bounces. "To bounce" is skydivers' lingo, meaning "to land at unsurvivable speed". The rest is best left to the reader's imagination. "Risers" are the four straps which connect the parachute lines to the harness.
  • 10cc's song "Blackmail" is about a man capturing photos of a woman in an illicit relationship, threatening to tell the world and her husband all about it. The woman gets put in Playboy and, partly because her husband isn't as bothered as he probably should be, the blackmail attempt ends up making her a movie star.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, the Garbage Wrestling promotion, the wrestling promotion that has destroyed its own wrestling rings with explosives, finally came to a gimmick match too dangerous to finish in the May 6th, 1992 No Rope Barbed Wire Fire Death match featuring Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Tarzan Goto vs. The Sheik and Sabu. The wrestlers bolted from the ring as the ring itself started melting and the 60 year old Sheik was rushed to the hospital for third degree burns (but not before trying to see the match to the end from outside of the ring, berating Sabu for throwing water on him and preventing Sheik from throwing a fireball at the fleeing Onita and Goto). Such was this match's infamy that a disqualification was later declared in WWC when a fireball was thrown in one of Sabu's barbed wire matches.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On an episode of The Funday Pawpet Show, Simba is dared to eat an entire pack of the new Listermint breath strips when they were first introduced. Not a pretty sight.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pretty much the entire point of Fiasco.
  • Happens all the time in Genius: The Transgression. The number one cause is letting one of the Muggles touch your machinery. As these wonders don't really work on actual science, which gets imposed when this happens, this tends to drive them haywire instantly in many, many fun ways.
  • Everything wrong with the universe in Mage: The Awakening is a result of someone lighting some blue touch paper he shouldn't have, and breaking the universe as a result. The False Awakening is a good example — it resulted from an impatient mage's attempt to force her Sleeper boyfriend to Awaken, and exists as a contagious form of twisted ascension that drives its bearers to destroy themselves and large chunks of the scenery. It can be cured by a true Awakening, but if these were easy to induce, there wouldn't be False Awakenings...
  • Any given mission in Paranoia will inevitably go horribly wrong, as will all the experimental gadgets. In fact in Alpha Complex getting a new pair of boots can go horribly wrong. This is as it should be, as the universe runs on unleaded high-octane Rule of Funny.
  • Each Lineage in Promethean: The Created started with one human trying to raise the dead for whatever reason — companionship, curiosity, slavery — and getting bitten hard in the ass by this trope. Prometheans themselves can fall prey to this trope, as they need to produce another Promethean in order to complete their Pilgrimage — and if they screw it up, they spawn a number of Pandorans that will turn on them and try to eat them alive.
  • Happens all the time in Ravenloft, where These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know seem to be a required course in any university science program.
  • Rocket Age: The Planet Killer Rocket for the Ancient Martians. The mutated slug controlling Dr Ritterbach would count as another.
  • How Florida got drowned in Trinity, as recounted in "America Offline": a young Aberrant (a superhuman) with power over the oceans was concerned about climate change in Florida, her home state, and attempted to stabilize the Gulf Stream. Unanticipated resonance resulted in massive ocean waves that killed millions of people, including the Aberrant herself.
  • Warhammer:
    • Eltharion the Grim, the Warden of Tor Yvresse, is the greatest Four-Star Badass in the history of the High Elf race. When Tor Yvresse was ransacked by invading Orcs, Eltharion swore that not one more WAAAGH! would reach Ulthuan's shores. So Eltharion led a massive elven army to the shores of the Badlands and swept through it like a wind of blades, hoping to break the spirit of the Orcs utterly. He slaughtered Orc Warbosses in single combat and drove their armies to oblivion. He brought low fortresses that had survived countless battles and earthquakes, the crusades of Bretonnia and the famed vengeance of the Dwarfs. Yet miraculously, there always seemed to be more Greenskins lining up, ready to fight him. Too late did Eltharion learn the truth and the gravity of his misunderstanding of the mindset of his Orc opponents: a race of insane Blood Knights to the last, had learned of the "pointy 'ead" that was giving them a "propa fight" and were now travelling from far and wide for the chance to fight the Elves. And worse, they had learned that an entire continent of these amazing fighters lay just across the sea, waiting for the WAAAGH!...
    • The Chaos Dwarfs, dissatisfied with the weakness and backstabbing nature of goblins, the even more backstabbing nature of hobgoblins, and the stupidity and unreliability of orcs, created their own breed of greenskin, the Black Orcs. These were designed to be smart, strong, disciplined, capable of serving as overseers for their kind without getting distracted by typical greenskin infighting. Naturally, these qualities were put to use leading a slave rebellion that almost wiped the Chaos Dwarfs out.
  • Happens every now and then in the backstory of Warhammer 40,000. Not infrequently, the result is the Imperium destroying the planet where it has gone wrong.
    • Someone asked along the line why, 40,000 years in the future, the Imperium seems to not have any robots at all, at most an automated defense array or like that. Because, tens of thousands of years in "the past", they DID have robots all over the galaxy...until they decided they didn't want to be slaves any more and started a war that almost annihilated the human race and all but destroyed humanity's entire technological base. Thus started a ban that, millennia later, has been incorporated as sacred law into the tech-worshiping religion of the Mechanicum. That's basically the best case scenario when something goes wrong here.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Natalia and Noelia summoned the Steelswarm to fight the Fabled, but that backfired as Natalia lost her life.
    • Happened again when Avance tried to revive Emilia using the power of Photomirror/Soulmirror. The ritual turned Avance into the monstrous Levianima.

  • The Hot L Baltimore: Clifford gets the hotel declared a historical landmark to prevent its demolition. However, as it is now more valuable, a Japanese corporation wants to purchase it for renovations, which gets the tenants back to square one.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: A collection of Story Breadcrumbs details that The Consortium's Gatekeeper Project was formed to grant seven subjects supernatural abilities to utilize them in destroying the Limen crater. During an experimental test, several of the subjects lost control of their powers and resulted in the opening of a dimensional rift that destroyed part of the facility and caused the deaths of multiple researchers, leading to the project being terminated.
  • Arcaea: Everything began when the real Hikari wished herself a Lotus-Eater Machine that she presumably dosed with positive Arcaea shards to drown out her depression. It didn't work for her because she was literally barred from entering it, but the souls of other dead girls began to get suckered into whatever she left behind, and those positive Arcaea shards quickly render the copy Hikari catatonic.
  • The portal that warps The Legions of Hell into Avencast: Rise of the Mage was opened by an experiment in dimensional travel. Subverted in that this was exactly the result intended by Meganteolis as a way to get back to the Kyranian relics and enslave Morgath.
  • At the end of Bayonetta 2's prologue, the titular protagonist summons a massive demon to pull off a Climax attack against a boss angel, much like how most boss fights end in the first game. Unfortunately, about a second after the demon retreats into the portal it came from, it then pops back out and turns against Bayonetta and Jeanne, knocking the latter's soul out of her body and dragging said soul to Hell and turns into the actual endboss of the prologue. Afterwards, Bayonetta spends much of the game journeying to Infero in order to rescue Jeanne's soul.
  • BioShock had an Objectivist Utopia under the sea go horribly wrong. Basically, the visionary behind it betrayed his own ideals and became a President Evil who went to war with The Mafia and eventually the whole city turned into One Nation Under Copyright. That, and a Psycho Serum that granted people superpowers caused everyone to go insane and develop a bad case of the Body Horror.
  • Bloodborne: The reason Yharnam is a Wretched Hive suffering from intermittent werewolf plagues is because basically everything the scholars of Byrgenwerth collage did to study the Great Ones went horribly wrong. The original college was supplanted by the Healing Church and is currently down to one alive and sane member (Yurie), and its splinter factions, the Healing Church and the School of Mensis, proceeded to ruin everything even more. For a list of who screwed up what: Byrgenwerth massacred the Fishing Village in pursuit of Insight and got all hunters cursed with the Hunters' Nightmare, the Healing Church is responsible for the Vicious Cycle of hunters and beasts by overuse of the Old Blood, and the Mensis Scholars are behind the Unseen Village, the (possibly) final boss, and the Blood Moon game phase.
  • Chrono Trigger has everything start going bad with Lucca's teleporter experiment. In hindsight, though, that was probably preordained.
  • If you're going to make an MMORPG set in a Comic Book universe, you're probably contractually obligated to lampshade this at least once. City of Villains brings us Vernon von Grun, a card-carrying Mad Scientist who not only expects things to go wrong, he looks forward to it:
    This is terrible! Nothing bad is happening! We did everything perfectly, but something has gone wrong! My plans are all off-track. Mad science isn't supposed to go wrong like this! But the true test of a mad scientist is how much worse you can make things go wrong. His "colleague" Doc Buzzsaw appears to be not so savvy:
    Oh, what has science wrought? I sought only to turn a man into a metal-encased juggernaut of destruction powered by the unknown properties of a mysterious living crystal. How could this have all gone wrong?
  • Concentration Room begins when a group of kids visiting their parents at a drug research facility are exposed to a botched batch of Truth Serum.
  • In Dead Rising it's revealed that an American company conducted a number of experiments near Santa Cabeza to develop a cow that could produce more meat to meet the demand of American consumers. Unfortunately the end results were that a number of wasps that carried the pheromone meant for the cows escaped the enclosures, infected a number of locals, and it led to a Zombie Apocalypse in Santa Cabeza. Deemed a colossal failure, the U.S. government helped the company cover the whole thing up. Later, during the game's story line, the Zombie Apocalypse that befell Willamette, Colorado was because Carlito Keyes, a survivor of Santa Cabeza, managed to bring some wasps into the U.S. as payback for his homeland.
  • In Dead Space, pretty much anything EarthGov does with the Markers goes horribly wrong in the form of Necromorph outbreaks. They want to study the Markers due to the fact that the Markers seem to produce enormous amounts of energy, and humanity is in a bit of a resource crisis at the moment. They are aware of the risks of people going insane, scribbling on the walls, killing each other and causing Necromorph outbreaks, and they take precautions against such, but they inevitably fail...
  • Devil May Cry 5: Being a Human-Demon Hybrid, Vergil thought separating out his human-half from his demon-half would make him powerful enough to survive The Corruption and years of damage that was killing him. It failed miserably, as both halves were still dying. Unfortunately, he got even more than he bargained for, with his demon-half turning into The Unfettered, and killing thousands of humans to save himself. Vergil's remaining human-half is horrified by this.
  • The plot of the Doom games has experiments in teleportation going horribly wrong due to the teleportation technology tapping into Hell itself, allowing the demons access to our dimension in the process and unleashing a plague of Hellspawn upon the moons of Mars. The Marines are called in to deal with the threat, and are wiped out except for one survivor who has to kill his way through the forces of Hell. And then, things get worse.
  • Implied to have been the cause of the Dwemer disappearing in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The Dwemer were losing the war against the Chimer so they tried to tamper with the Heart of Lorkhan (the heart of a god) to grant their entire race divine powers and immortality. But the spell backfired and caused the entire race to break down to their base elements instead, causing the entire Dwemer people to seemingly vanish suddenly in mid-air. Or it could be the spell worked. Whatever the case, Vivec cannot sense the Dwemer in any plane of existence he knows of.
  • In the Fallout series, most of the underground Vaults seemingly designed to spare the population were in fact huge-scale social experiments designed to test their residents in order to determine their suitability and effectiveness in the event of the populace escaping the war on starships. As the player character, you can locate and explore several of these vaults... most of which are abandoned, in ruins, littered with skeletal corpses and containing plenty of evidence to suggest that these experiments went very very badly wrong. Considering that the nature of most of these experiments took the form of sadistic and largely pointless psychological torture, this is not entirely surprising. Then there's the ones that had Gone Horribly Right instead...
  • In Fate/stay night the Heaven's Feel Ritual was created to produce wonders of magic for use by the three founding families. Due to the fact that it could only grant one wish every sixty years and required seven magi to power it, the collaborative effort of the families turned into the Holy Grail War where nobody got a wish. And this repeated for the next two centuries.
    • The corruption of the Grail also resulted from this when the Einzbern subverted the safety system of the Grail in a failed attempt to summon a god. This resulted the Grail being changed to grant wishes only in the most destructive manner possible while also creating a god of evil.
    • And then, it turned out a group of American mages copied the ritual imperfectly during the Third Holy Grail War and tried to implement it into early 21st century America. Since the original ritual was so complex and magnificent, lots of stuff just fell into the cracks, allowing for the summoning of homicidal Eldritch Abominations as Servants, the complete loss of the Saber template, and the start of two entirely different, simultaneous, Holy Grail Wars.
  • Final Fantasy
    • All together, now: Final Fantasy VII. Contains both the "power source draining the planet's Life Energy" and "borked Super-Soldier program" varieties.
      • And the whole "Let's make a materia that can destroy the entire world! Who'd misuse that?" turns out to be a subversion. While it seems insane, it turned out to be the best way to stop Jenova.
    • Final Fantasy VI also has the Super-Soldier variety. Hey, two out of three non-Omnicidal Maniac Generals ain't so bad!
      • Leo wasn't part of the experiment. That gives it a 50% Omnicidal Maniac output.
      • And they learned how to do it right after they tried it on Kefka, anyway.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers reveals this to be the result of The Empire using the Deadly Gas weapon "Black Rose" in a different timeline: timed perfectly with the destruction of the alternate universe known as "The First" and the subsequent surge of aether into Hydaelyn, Black Rose becomes so virulent that it poisons the entire planet, killing off the near entirety of life in the world and plunging the survivors into anarchy as civilization collapses. But don't take our word for it: the Crystal Exarch saw it, himself, and can confirm that Hydaelyn's heroes also die — including you! That's the entire reason he went back in time, too: to prevent this Bad Future from unfolding.
    • The following expansion, Endwalker, reveals that everything up to that expansion was caused by a major case of Poor Communication Kills: The Ancient known as Hermes created a series of a Cute Monster Girl named Metiton and sent them across the cosmos. He told them to seek out these worlds and ask those there what makes them happy. However, the request was so vague that they ended up in worlds where everything was dying or heading to be dead. The main Metetion learned of this and it broke her, turning her into a nihilistic monster.
  • In F.E.A.R., saying that things have Gone Horribly Wrong is a massive understatement. Harlan Wade, whose actions throughout the game's backstory very nearly propel him right past the Moral Event Horizon, should've known that having his psychic and batshit insane daughter impregnated and stealing her children away from her to engineer them into Super Soldiers wouldn't end well. And it doesn't, once Alma gets free.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 4: Oh, hey, let's prank my little brother who is totally scared of these animatronics by shoving his head inside Fredbear's mouth — Oh, shit, it just bit off part of/crushed his head.
  • In Freelancer, it is implied that the massive Negative Space Wedgie nebula in the Texas system was caused by an incident at a jumpgate research laboratory. The details are unclear, but it can't have been pretty.
  • In Gauntlet: Legends and its re-release Dark Legacy, Garm attempts to summon the Demon King Skorne and use his power to usurp his older brother, Sumner, as the ruler of the Eight Realms. To do this, he requires the thirteen Runestones, but after a long time searching, Garm only manages to find twelve. Growing impatient, he goes ahead with the ritual anyways without the thirteenth Runestone, and manages to summon Skorne from the Underworld. Lacking the final Runestone, though, Skorne breaks free from Garm's control and crushes him to death, then proceeds to lay waste to the Realms.
    • Subverted in the true ending of Dark Legacy when Garm absorbs power from Skorne's remains to begin his own campaign to conquer the Realms.
  • In the Geneforge world, experiments go wrong so often that laboratories, workshops, and schools are designed with the expectation that this will happen sooner or later. Some are built on uninhabited islands, some are built underground, and some just rely on thick doors to seal the place off.
    • Which makes the Shapers the most sensible group on this page, since they know what they do is dangerous and try to control the experiments and consequences as much as possible. Almost all the strife and catastrophes in the series come from intentional misuse of Shaping.
    • And some of those Shapers contribute to making things worse. The Geneforge has a history of causing things to go horribly right, from Trajkov to the rise of the Ur-Drakons. Even the rebels most interested in applying its powers admit that it is as terrible as it is successful.
  • God of War (PS4): The Soul Eaters were the result of the dwarf Andvari trying to turn Ancients into beasts of burden by removing their souls to make them controllable. Turns out, soulless Ancients don't just attack people like regular Ancients do, they immolate their souls, which resulted in Advari's group being destroyed and Andvari himself having to put his soul into a ring to escape.
  • Granblue Fantasy: In the story event "Hope From a Snowdrop", Krelkulkil attempts to resurrect his dead fiancée by performing a ritual that will free her soul from his cursed blade. However, he botches the ritual so badly that he releases every soul from the blade except hers, and they all come out as one big, tormented Eldritch Abomination. In a roundabout way, this does work out for Krelkulkil, as it allows him to be Together in Death with her.
  • Half-Life:
    • Half-Life. A routine... whatever-it-was-they-were-trying-to-do procedure, but "Unforeseen Consequences" happen.
    • Half-Life 2: Episode Two reveals that actually everything went All According to Plan. Though we still have no idea what the G-Man intended by goading the Combine to invade Earth and suffer a massive slave uprising 10 years later.
    • In the same universe, Portal's GLaDOS can be considered an experiment Gone Horribly Wrong. Or an experiment gone right. Look — there's no evidence GLaDOS failed as a de-icing system, and she is arguably alive.
  • Halo: Keeping samples of the unstoppable parasitic lifeform you just wiped out all sentient life in the galaxy in an attempt to starve for study? Fine, if you lock them away in a secure installation. It's not your fault that thousands of years later, a bunch of Cargo Cult religious fanatics decided that it would be a good idea to rummage around the place, carefully ignoring your very indicative warning(s).
  • There's a sizeable one in the backstory of Hatoful Boyfriend. When humanity was devastated by a new flu strain and the population dropped by seventy percent in two years, scientists unleashed a virus to annihilate the birds that spread the flu. This killed many birds, but it uplifted the survivors, who promptly started to fight humanity. The end result is that the world is run by birds and humans are a tiny minority living in caves, and there are still agitators on both sides.
  • Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth takes place after the "Great Dissolution" which saw the simultaneous end of the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance, in the hopes that the yakuza of Japan would find new lives for themselves. Unfortunately, Japanese law makes it hard for ex-yakuza to go straight, essentially cutting them off from the means to do so for five years. The former leaders of the Tojo and Omi set up a legitimate company to hire many ex-yakuza, while Kasuga uses his position at Hello Work to find jobs for others, but this still leaves many ex-yakuza falling through the cracks and ending up either homeless or falling in with one of the smaller yakuza organizations that are still around. It also provides a prime opportunity for certain usurpers in the Seiryu Clan to make a power grab to fill the vacuum left in the Tojo and Omi's wake, part of which entails ruining the lives of many ex-yakuza trying to lead honest lives in order to force them into their employ.
  • The Peak 15 facility on Noveria in Mass Effect was build to hold the queen of an insect species that once almost destroyed the whole galaxy and develop a method to directly control her brood. Not only did the part about controlling the brood didn't work out, the "holding the queen" part didn't work either. When asked a week later in the midst of a hideous disaster what Peak 15 was built for, the captain of the security guards doesn't seem too surprised:
    Captain Ventralis: Labs like these exist to do stupid crap that gets people killed.
    • It all seemed harmless... The Overlord experiment was anything but. Particularly for poor David Archer, the guy at the centre of the experiment.
    • This happens all the time with Cerberus. Most of their projects (almost all of which are massively amoral and unethical) tend to backfire horribly upon them. In the Citadel DLC of the third game, Joker lampshades how frequently this happens, with Shepard being an example.
      • This is known as the "Cerberus Taco Cart" theorem in the fandom (based on this Three Panel Soul page): any Cerberus project will eventually go rogue and kill all of their guys, usually taking over their base in the process. For a full list of failed projects, see the Cerberus section on this page.
    • Tali's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2: Tali had been sending deactivated geth parts to her father, Rael'Zorah, as part of an experiment with the intent of trying to figure out a way to control them. Unfortunately, when the geth parts were reconstructed into complete geth bodies and brought online, the geth proceeded to kill everyone onboard the ship where the experiment was conducted, including Rael.
    • The Leviathans created the Catalyst in an attempt to find a solution to the danger that organic life will inevitably create synthetic life, which will then destroy its creators. The Catalyst created the Reapers as a response.
  • Mega Man (Classic):
    • Quick Man and his brethren were given special devices within their bodies that they could use to withstand the Time Stopper in Mega Man 2. Unfortunately for DWN-012, Quick Man's device backfired.
    • According to his bio in the Robot Master Gallery, Torch Man attempted to control his power by Meditating Under a Waterfall in Mega Man 11. He underwent repairs that took three months.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Monsoon attempts to Break Raiden By Talking, egging him on over his violent past. Raiden proceeds to say that Monsoon is exactly right about him and tap into his old "Jack the Ripper" persona to make mincemeat of him.
  • In Mogeko Castle the Mogekos create Moge-ko with the intention of creating the perfect little girl, presumably to rape, but they messed up the recipe, and ended up creating a cute girl who not only rapes the Mogekos, but also torture them and eating their corpses.
  • Outpost 2: Eden's terraforming microbe was intended to break apart organic molecules and release oxygen to make New Terra into an earth-like planet in a single generation. Organic molecules like the ones in our bodies. Needless to say, it gets loose and starts eating everything on the planet.
  • With Path of Exile's Fall of Oriath expansion, this roughly explains the nature of The Beast. Created by Sin to stifle the Gods from terrorizing humanity, it was created without any ambition which was great for resisting their temptations until humans came along and provided that missing piece and then used it as a weapon to terrorize each other.
  • Pokémon villains usually run into this at some stage, though the crowner has to be in Platinum, wherein Cyrus's plans managed to piss off this universe's equivalent of Satan, who stopped the world-remaking process, dragged Cyrus into a twisted dimension, and almost flat-out destroyed the planet instead of remaking it.
    • Sun and Moon have their own version, in which it turns out that fusing with an Eldritch Abomination called Nihil Ego has serious consequences for a person's mental and physical health. Lusamine has to go to Kanto to try to get the remains of the neurotoxin it left behind out of her!
  • Portal 2 halfway through the game introduces the origins of GLaDOS and how she became the overhead of Aperture Science. Cave Johnson had his secretary, Caroline, be uploaded to a computer should he die before he could be uploaded. Caroline didn't want this at all, but she was forced against her will and essentially became immortal and stuck running the facility forever as GLaDOS. She then proceeded to kill all the scientists that tried to control her and make test chambers full of death traps.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], Redlight is an artificial virus created by Blackwatch during early development of bio-weapons. While initially intended to target specific ethnicities, the virus proved to have a near 100% mortality rate for anyone infected, triggering a local Zombie Apocalypse whose victims would actively try to spread the virus. Mutated strains were experimented on to create more controlled weapons, eventually leading to Blacklight.
  • In Quake IV every mission seems to do this. First your drop ship gets shot down nearly killing you, then the EMP bomb plan fails, then you get turned into a Strogg, then you get shot into battle in a flying coffin (drop pod) which crashes. Basically the entire game is a series of plans gone wrong that somehow works out in the end.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), OsCorp tried to develop a revolutionary gene therapy technique that would seek out and correct damaged DNA strands. This could save millions of lives, starting with the CEO's terminally ill son. Unfortunately, they never could get the part where the compound identified which DNA strands are damaged and need to be corrected to work right, so what they ended up with was the bioweapon known as "Devil's Breath".
  • In Spider-Man 2, Osborne saves his ill son, Harry, with the help of an alien symbiote that completely suppresses his disease. Unfortunately, the symbiote wound up developing a preference for Peter and, when attempting to save Peter from a fatal wound, Harry ends up losing the symbiote as it takes Peter as its new host. This leads to Peter becoming a crueler and harsher man while Harry's disease re-emerges and threatens his life once more. Peter eventually realizes how dangerous the symbiote is and, with Miles's help, discards it, only for the symbiote to re-merge with Harry and, with both of them bitter towards Peter, lead to the birth of Venom and the plan to "heal" the world via total symbiote infestation.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: The backstory of the Zone's creation: A group of enigmatic Soviet scientists set out to rid mankind of anger, cruelty, greed and other negative factors by manipulating an informational field around the Earth called the "noosphere" which interacts with organic beings that are highly cognitive such as humans. Their experiment backfires drastically and damages the noosphere to a point where it breaches the physical plane and begins horribly warping the area around Chernobyl. And if that wasn't bad enough, it is heavily implied that the damage they caused is irrevocable, and the breach will continue to grow until the entire Earth is consumed by the Zone.
  • Star Control II has several examples: first, the Slylandro Probes. The Slylandro meant to program the Probes to go out and make contact with other alien species, and in the meantime, self-replicate using nearby raw materials. They accidentally set the priority for "self-replicate" above "make contact", unfortunately, meaning that the Probes see everything as raw materials to be used in self-replicating (the Slylandro are horrified when they learn of this). The other example is the Mycon, a race of sentient fungi engineered by the Precursors as a terraforming system... that, due to several millenia of being left to its own devices with no input, now terraforms in reverse, seeking out fertile, beautiful planets and turning them into hellish firestorms in which to make more Mycon.
  • The Xel'Naga of Starcraft made the Protoss and the Zerg to make the next generation of Xel'Naga. The Protoss attacked them after they realized that the Protoss were diverging from the plan due to them revealing themselves, while the Zerg killed and ate them due to sabotage from a third party known as The Dark Voice.
  • System Shock: Let's just say that SHODAN wasn't designed to do what she did. SHODAN was messed with before things got worse, though.
  • In TimeSplitters Future Perfect, Jacob Crow's attempts at eternal life result in zombies and the Timesplitters.
  • Transarctica's backstory for the new Ice Age is "Operation Blind", a plan to cool global warming by kicking up dust with nuclear weapons at the poles.
  • In Trauma Team, Albert Sartre's research into the Rosalia virus ultimately ended in an entire university becoming infected and dying, him going insane and murdering Rosalia before similarly succumbing, and ultimately a massive part of the US population becoming infected with the virus.
  • On the path to Undertale's Golden Ending, you investigate the "True Lab", and the experiment with fallen-down monsters to attempt to preserve their SOULs after death by injecting them with Determination extracted from captured human SOULs. The monsters ended up actually getting back up, and looked to be good as new — technically a failure, but a happy outcome nonetheless. Then they all started melting, and their bodies fused together into the terrifying Amalgamates. The experimenter's notes also mention the disappearance of one early and apparently unresponsive test subject, known to the player as Flowey.
  • From Warframe, everything the Orokin Empire build ended up backfiring on them. This includes things they created to fix their previous messes. Let's see, in chronological order of project crashing down on them, how much of a staggering display of Genre Blindness they exhibited:
    • The Sentient. Meant to colonize another star system, ended up Turned Against Their Masters.
    • They created the Infestation to fight against the Sentient. Unsurprisingly, they lost control.
    • The Grineer genetically engineered Slave Race, which so far has been working pretty well, ended up being conscripted to fight both Sentients and Infested, and were generally treated like dirt. It unsurprisingly ended up in a mutiny since now they were the ones with the guns.
    • And the last nail in their coffin, the Tenno, child soldiers in Power Armor, who ended up turning against the Orokin by the Lotus, though they were also treated like dirt, bringing down the Orokin Empire for good.
  • Wild ARMs 3 features the Council of Seven and their Yggdrasil system, which sought to produce nanomachine colonies to modulate the amount of nutrients and resources of their planet, Filgaia, to rejuvenate it, so it could restore the amount of life it once had on it. And guess what? The project worked. Right up until the scientists realized that Yggdrasil was sucking the planet dry of absolutely every life resource it possibly had.
  • X-Universe:
    • This is the plot-triggering event of X: Beyond the Frontier. Your character is a test pilot of a prototype jumpdrive-equipped starship, Earth's first attempt at Faster-Than-Light Travel in nearly eight centuries. During the jump test, the jumpdrive goes haywire and locks onto the method used by the previous attempt, in other words the X-Universe jumpgate network. As the drive charges, you can hear the scientists yelling everything up to and including "Abort the jump test!" Then WHAM! Suddenly you're on the other side of the galaxy with most of your ship's systems shorted out, and to add insult to injury, within a few minutes, you're a few thousand credits in debt to the local Proud Merchant Race for making your ship able to fly again.
    • According to the backstory of the X-Universe, this is how the Xenon came into existence. Originally, the Terraformer fleets were doing their jobs perfectly well and weren't a danger to anyone, then humanity gave them a software patch which turned out to be bugged (or possibly sabotaged), and they immediately turned rogue and hostile, becoming the most dangerous force in the known universe. For added irony, the software patch that caused all this was meant to destroy the Terraformers; humanity had realized just how bad things would be if the Terraformers ever went out of control, and wanted to get rid of them before that could happen.

    Web Comics 
  • The Dummy's Dummy: This is the premise of the series; a master craftsman was cursed to create the opposite of his design's intentions. Instead of creating wonderfully joyful playthings, he created the perfect killing machines - and unwittingly sold them to children. When the bodies started piling up around the world, he realized he could make a hero by intentionally designing a monster - but it's implied that something is also fundamentally wrong with the main character, what with the curse and intentionally dangerous design.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Damien was created as an attempt to cheat a vague prophecy by fulfilling it in controlled circumstances — presumably, no survivors.
    • "Every properly trained wizard has heard of Abraham, the idiot apprentice who recklessly enchanted a massive diamond instead of selling it to pay someone more skilled to fix his cursed noble friend."
  • Happens about as often as one would expect in Girl Genius, given its mad science setting. Sometimes inverted, as some Mad Scientists will have their plan to take over the world go horrible wrong, resulting in them becoming happy well-adjusted individuals that are content to be lab assistants.
  • The Good Witch: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? when you give magic powers to a trans girl who's bullied by apparently everyone in town? Her turning into a psychopath in a "magical girl inheritance" trope gone awry.
  • Homestuck: Jade gave John four Infinity Plus One Swords attached to an Infinity Plus One Bunny for his birthday. She didn't count on it falling into the hands of Jack Noir, giving him the firepower to become The Starscream and promptly tear their Sburb session to shreds. And that's just the beginning of what led to their game session becoming unwinnable.
  • In Luminary Children, people tried to improve humanity by undoing mistakes in history with time travel. It went terribly wrong.
  • The Order of the Stick: Turning Xykon into a lich went very too well, but it was also partially done to give Redcloak some leverage on Xykon. That part of the plan... didn't work. At all well.
  • Pretty much anytime Riff begins playing around with Time Travel or dimensional portals in Sluggy Freelance, things go horribly wrong fast.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, attempts to find a cure or vaccine to the Rash have been this, with humanity only finding products that cause quite unpleasant side effects and even the solution found Just Before the End killing people despite curing the disease, and making them into murderous ghosts without the people using it noticing due to the lack of mages at the time.
  • Many of the spells Anne performs in The Wotch (There's a whole arc titled "Consequences".) Cassie too, even the most innocent situations seem to have these problems.
  • xkcd: In strip #349 "Success", upgrading a computer leads to being stranded out in the middle of the ocean.

    Web Original 
  • In Episode 666 of Bowser's Kingdom, Geno believes that the Zombie Apocalypse occurred because of the Parasol Corporation's attempts to create an unbreakable umbrella.
  • Double Life SMP: On Day 3, Tango attempts to get revenge on Grian and Scar burning down their ranch by ferrying a Warden up into their base, which just results in the Warden roaming the server and terrifying everyone. The resulting chaos indirectly causes the death of soulmate pair Ren and BigB near the end of the session, making the first Red Lives of the season.
  • In the sequel series to Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72, an attempted American invasion of Cuba ends up a complete fiasco thanks to President Donald Rumsfeld's insistence on hiring Private Military Contractors. Highlights include Special Forces remaining behind because their transports aren't insured by the Pentagon, a missile from an F-16 dropping like a lead weight and then locking onto the plane that fired it, body armor so worthless that soldiers just discard it in the middle of battle, a rifle that jams worse than the Vietnam-era M16, you name it. The situation is so bad that Soviet leader Nikolai Ryzhkov initially believes the intelligence reports to be propaganda by the KGB until it's confirmed by President Mitterand.
  • The Final Minutes: In Zombie Plague, The United States government's attempt at slowing the spread of the XMNV virus using nuclear "sterilization" strikes not only wipe out most human life, but also mutate the various zombies into an even worse threat.
  • The Fire Never Dies:
    • Germany abandons the scheme that led to the OTL Zimmerman Telegram, instead scheming to bring about a Carlist coup in Spain and bring them into the war on the side of the Central Powers. The plot is exposed, the Carlists are purged, and Spain instead joins the Entente.
    • Subverted by the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, which was meant to stem the tide of American arms being exported to the Entente. The sinking of the cargo ship Arabia at first seemed like a case of Gone Horribly Wrong, as it triggers the US entering the war, but that in turn sparks the Second American Revolution, bringing a complete halt to American arms exports.
    • The Wilson Administration's decision to discharge all African Americans from the United States Armed Forces during the Second American Revolution was meant to secure their armed forces from the supposed pro-socialist fifth column they poised. While it had a negligible effect for the army (as they were already not trusted in command), it triggered the Great Mutiny in the United States Navy (costing them two thirds of the Atlantic Fleet), since the ships and their sailors would rather defect to the Reds then turn on their fellow sailors, especially knowing that this would put them at the mercy of the Klansmen whom Wilson had allied with to fight the Reds.
    • From the perspective of disarmament advocates, the London Naval Conference is this. While the nations involve do agree to limit the size of their navies (specifically how many battleships they can field), they deliberately leave a massive loophole whereby the major powers can give their excess battleships to other nations. This leads to a massive transfer of battleships from the leading navies to those of their client states or dominions, with no net change in the total number of battleships across the world.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor considers the Imperium in its current state this trope writ large. He believes that Malcador's Marines Errant turning into the Inquisition are also this. He's pretty much right.
  • The Onion: What Kind Of Powdered Chocolate Drink Mix Have We Unleashed Upon The World?
  • The group's decision to kill Zombie Pigmen in an effort to get more Wither Skeletons to spawn in PBG Hardcore Minecraft #2 ends up backfiring horribly, resulting in the deaths of two of the remaining three players, with Barry only surviving due to a conveniently-timed crash.
  • RWBY:
    • During the Faunus Wars, the humans were doing well enough and had vastly superior numbers — until the Battle of Fort Castle. That battle was led by the inexperienced General Lagune, who decided to use his superior numbers to attack the Faunus at night and achieve a decisive victory. However, he didn't realise that most Faunus can see perfectly at night. He did achieve a decisive victory — for the Faunus. He was captured and is now remembered in history classes as an Aesop about the consequences of lack of knowledge and research.
    • Sienna Kahn is the person who transformed the White Fang into a militant organisation, forcing Ghira Belladonna to step down, but still sharing his goal of seeking peace, respect and equality. Adam Taurus embraced her cause so completely that he wants humanity enslaved to the Faunus, and believes Sienna is holding the Faunus back. Although Ghira was concerned about Adam's early violence, Sienna dismissed them and groomed Adam to become her right hand. This gave him a path to power, and by the time she realises what he's truly after, it's too late to stop him. In Volume 5, he murders her and frames humans to create an Inspirational Martyr, assumes command of the White Fang, and transforms it into a Faunus supremecy organisation. Just weeks later, he has pushed the White Fang into a confrontation with humans that they cannot win, exactly as Sienna feared. By the beginning of Volume 6, the White Fang is a shattered remnant of its former self, Adam is powerless to do anything but hunt down the woman he's obsessed with for one last attempt at revenge, and Ghira has resurrected his original plan to forge peace between Faunus and humans.
  • Taerel Setting: The kin'toni (vampires) were made as a Super-Soldier project for the Xerea zu'aan empire. They broke out of the lab and turned on the staff there, and later the zu'aan empire and rest of the zu'aan.
  • Starwalker: The star step drive has the unfortunate consequence of destroying stars and, by implication, entire systems.
  • Uno: The Movie is a Let's Play by Achievement Hunter with the idea of using the points system so that they would play to 500 points. It took nearly three hours to finish.
  • WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.: The Tele-Freq brain frequency reader was originally designed to modify the contents of a TV show or movie in real time to fit the viewer's programming preferences. It since ended up being hijacked by its brain signal-analyzing AI, which now uses it as a weapon with which to wreak havoc on broadcasts.
  • Lots of Whateley Universe examples, but how about the Russian program to create a nanotechnology Super-Soldier? The best iteration had one functional survivor... who melted into goo a year later.
    • Or how about the bioengineering mad scientist who was found on a personal military submarine... or, rather, the people searching that submarine found around a dozen or two protozoan monstrosities, and no trace of the crew.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: This is what happens when the main characters try to fix things. Also, the backstory is portrayed as this.
    Shadi: But then something go horribly wrong.
  • In this video parodying One Piece, Bartolomeo calls the Bounty Collection Office to recap all of Luffy's accomplishments in hope of getting Luffy's bounty increased. The head of the Bounty Collection Office then proceeds to decrease Luffy's bounty, claiming that Luffy is a hero and that he honestly shouldn't have a bounty at all. (While many people Luffy has met consider him a hero, Luffy doesn't think of himself as one, and probably wouldn't appreciate being declared one.)

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • Princess Bubblegum and her Frankenstein's Idiot, Lemongrab. She created him in her laboratory as the heir to the throne, in case something happened to her. Well... he didn't turn out as planned. Instead of a proper, reasonable heir, she ended up with a screaming, brain-damaged, mentally challenged sourpuss with a pathological obsession with sending people to the dungeon. She stuck him in a castle outside of the kingdom, but he came back when she was transformed into a child, as she was "too young" to rule the kingdom. He ended up screaming at everybody and sending all of the candy people to the dungeon for one million years. All of this because something went wrong with that life serum.
    • Goliad is an even worse example. A candy sphinx created by Princess Bubblegum with her own DNA to lead the kingdom as an undying ruler to succeed her upon her death, she easily becomes corrupted due to following Finn and Jake's inept teachings in ruling. Without the timely intervention of the Princess's more successful experiment, Stormo (created from Finn's heroic DNA), she could have easily destroyed the entire kingdom with her psychic powers.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Dr. Robotnik planned for his Co-Dragons, Scratch and Grounder, to be hyper-competent Super Soldiers who could easily defeat Sonic. Instead, he got the exact opposite: two Lethally Stupid clowns who Sonic regularly outsmarts and runs circles around.
  • American Dad! has "Project Daycare," an experiment mentioned in "Haylias" that had CIA agents put their children to undergo severe training and brainwashing to turn them into powerful sleeper agents that will be activated by a phrase only used by the parent; however, should the child remain activated for more than seven days, they'll immediately turn against their handler/parent and kill him. Unfortunately, Stan, who had subjected Hayley to this, was Locked Out of the Loop in regards to this and assumed that the project was discontinued simply because the children lost their free will permanently after seven days; he only finds out the truth after missing the deadline.
  • Dr. Weird from the openers of the first two seasons of Aqua Teen Hunger Force creates the Monster of the Week that immediately turns against him before wandering off to harass the Aqua Teens.
  • Beast Wars:
    • Scorponok hits Optimus Primal with a cyberbee designed to turn him into a coward. Unfortunately, Scorponok is an incompetent scientist and instead turns Optimus into a crazed berserker who, by the end of the episode, tears through the Pred base with ease.
    • Rampage was an attempt to replicate the immortal spark of Starscream. While that part was successful, Rampage was also driven completely nuts. And almost unstoppable. He broke out, and brutalized, massacred, and ate his way through several Cybertronian colonies before he was finally stopped.
    • An inversion when the Predacons infect Rhinox with a virus intended to make him into a Predacon (basically, it removed any inhibitions and gave him tons of ambition). Optimus, a good friend of Rhinox, immediately realizes what will happen and simply sits back to watch the fireworks. In a matter of days, Rhinox uses his genius-level intelligence and newfound ambition to subvert the Predacons from within and is an inch away from getting rid of Megatron. Luckily (for the Predacons), the Maximals find him and turn him back.
  • Beavis And Butthead: In one episode, a student creates a computer program to try and raise his intelligence by 20%. It backfires when Beavis trips and accidentally unplugs the computer's extension cords midway through the experiment, causing the boy's intelligence to drop down to a level where he thinks the capital of France is Jupiter and 1 + 1 = 37.
  • This is what kickstarts the plot of Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, the end result of whatever it was that the Eds tried to pull off with their scam prior to the film. Unlike the previous times when the Eds' scams backfired horribly, their newest scam seen at the movie's start was so terrible it destroyed The Lane and maimed the Cul-de-sac kids (except Sarah and Jimmy, who weren't there), causing Ed, Double D, and Eddy to run away from home to avoid their wrath.
  • Ernest Le Vampire: Simple household tasks would end this way, usually in "vacuum cleaning leads to the house burning down" kind of way, or a "picking up a can leads to the house collapsing" kind of way. Fortunately every episode was a nightmare.
  • The underlying premise of the 90's cartoon Exo Squad was that, in an effort to terraform Mars and Venus, humanity genetically engineered a race called "Neo-sapiens" that were bigger, stronger, and more durable in pretty much every conceivable way... and used them as slave labor. Nope, can't see any way that could go wrong. Luckily, they're sterile. And can collapse into a pile of mush. Yay, science.
  • The Nanites in Generator Rex were created to improve life on Earth and the human condition. Then something happened at the primary Nanite research facility that released a batch of Nanites with incomplete programming, infecting every living thing on Earth. Now every living thing on Earth, from people to bunny rabbits, has a chance of spontaneously mutating into a horrible monster at any moment with little, if any, warning.
  • Invader Zim episode "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy" has Zim try to use a time machine to erase Dib from existence. Because the time portal will only allow rubber piggies, Zim uses them to put past Dib in painful situations. Eventually, Dib becomes so physically malformed that Professor Membrane gives him an exoskeleton that grants him the power of "Ten THOUSAND LITTLE BOYS!!" The result is a super-strong and weaponized Dib rampaging through Zim's base, and each piggy sent in from there just makes Dib stronger.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "The Invisible Monster". Dr. Isaiah Norman's experiment gets away from him and creates a mass of energy that exists only to feed on other energy — including living things.
  • In the Molly of Denali episode "The Story of the Story Knife," Molly plans a welcome party for Willow's stay in Qyah, but the balloons pop, the banner rips, and the confetti drops too early, leaving Willow with a bad impression.
  • ReBoot: Wellman Matrix was just trying to find other systems and create a doorway to them through his experimental stargate. Unfortunately the targeting scanners locked onto Killobyte in the Super Computer and transported him to the stargate and overloaded it. This triggered a massive explosion that obliterated Mainframe's twin city and spawned Megabyte and Hexadecimal in the process.
  • Strawberry Shortcake: This sometimes occurs due to a lack of foresight.
    • In the 2003 series' "A Festival of Friends", the cake that Angel Cake was making explodes, which sends Strawberry Shortcake into a Heroic Blue Screen of Death.
    • In Berry in the Big City episode "The Cakenator", The titular Cakenator was built to perfectly bake every recipe, however this means that it cannot deviate from it for any reason, not even when a customer requests a change. Strawberry, being more willing to accomodate her customers' needs, tries to explain to the Cakenator that treats don't have to always be perfect, they just have to be made with love. The Cakenator cannot process the concept as it goes against its programming, immediately malfunctioning and exploding.
  • Steven Universe:
    • When (post Sanity Slippage) Jasper is getting her butt kicked by Smoky Quartz she attempts to get stronger by Fusing with a Corrupted Gem. Unfortunately, it turns out that The Corruption is contagious...
    • As it turns out, the entirety of the Crystal Gem Rebellion was this. Pink Diamond, hoping to save Earth and its inhabitants from the inevitable destruction of Gem colonization, invented the persona of "Rose Quartz" and started a revolt against her own rule. Rather than accept the Rebellion as cause to abandon Earth, however, Pink's fellow Diamonds effectively told her to suck it up and take charge. Pink interpreted their words to mean that without her, the colonization would end, and faked her death at the hands of Rose Quartz (or rather, Pearl taking the form of Rose Quartz). Unfortunately, she drastically underestimated how much the Diamonds cared for one of their own: Blue, Yellow and White withdrew all Homeworld forces from Earth, but they also unleashed a Fantastic Nuke that inflicted a Fate Worse than Death on every remaining gem as retribution... Which itself is also an example: The Diamonds had no idea what the attack would do, and assumed that it would simply destroy the gems on Earth, but Pink wasn't there when it happened, so the effects were much different.
  • The Thing:
    • The opening heavily implies (and several episodes later confirm) that this is the same adult Ben Grimm from the comics, but with a cure that had gone wrong, so he's unable to transform back into his normal adult self. Now he's stuck as either a scrawny geek or a monstrous pile of rocks, neither of which he likes (but he likes being the Thing less).
    • To a lesser degree, the robot Clunk from "The Thing Meets The Clunk". It's a robot designed and programmed to help people, but in practice it combines strength equal to the Thing with absolutely no common sense, leading him to cause more disasters than he stops. "HELP? CLUNK HELP!" meant that a disaster was about to occur.
  • In The Tick, a scientist tries to genetically engineer the perfect Non-Ironic Clown. The only surviving hatchling (yes the clowns hatched from eggs) became the monstrous hulking superpowered Proto-Clown who quickly goes on a city wrecking rampage. He does manage to fulfill his intended purpose at the same time: his rubber nose's squeaking immediately makes people laugh. Unfortunately, the Proto-Clown hates it when people laugh at him. His city wrecking rampage was triggered by his creator laughing at him, and the attempted Cooldown Hug fails when his nose squeaks and everyone laughs.
  • In Transformers: Prime, Megatron views the revival of the Predacons as this when the powerful dragon Predacon he initially viewed as a success reveals that he is sapient and can transform like any other Cybertronian. Megatron is especially disturbed when the Predacon names himself "Predaking" and asks that Megatron give him command over all of the other soon to be revived Predacons. Megatron wanted an army of mindless Attack Animals, not another potential Starscream (who unlike Starscream himself is fully capable of kicking Megatron's ass) with his own army. Megatron decides the risks are too great and has the project scrapped.
  • Wallace & Gromit: In "The Wrong Trousers", the titular trousers (a set of robotic legs) were bought so Wallace could walk Gromit with zero effort. However they are used by their new lodger and through some convoluted circumstances, to hijack Wallace and have him rob a museum of a diamond.
    Wallace: They're the wrong trousers Gromit! And they've gone wrong!
  • We Bare Bears plays this for laughs. Ice Bear's tinkering with robots has gotten his brother chased up a tree by a homicidal Roomba, and later resulted in a robot bear rampaging through San Francisco.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: In "Talent Turmoil," for the talent show, everyone's props are arranged in a certain order. However, Mr. E spills his soup cans and accidentally messes up the order of the props, meaning that everyone got the wrong props. This plot would have been avoided if Mr. E accepted help with organizing his cans.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Go Horribly Wrong, Goes Horribly Wrong, Went Horribly Wrong


"Where Did History Go Wrong?"

At first, it seemed that Zim's plan to eliminate Dib using a time machine to change the past with rubber pigs worked. Unfortunately, due to unexpected events in the past, his attempt ends up making Dib a more dangerous threat than ever.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (39 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoneHorriblyWrong

Media sources: