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No Sense of Direction

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On a scale of Zoro to ten, how would you rate your sense of direction? note 

"Grrrr!! Not again! This is the 75TH time! I could have SWORN Caelin was in this direction!"

A character who has no idea where he's going, and tends to get lost easily.

And not just the regular kind of lost either. They could get lost in a walk-in closet. This person simply has No Sense of Direction.

A little like the Flying Dutchman, except that this character wanders not because of a curse but because he can't find where he's trying to go. Often becomes one of those Achievements in Ignorance when the character somehow arrives at the right place despite their utter inability to get there. Sometimes exaggerated by the character getting so lost that they warp reality and end up in a place it would've been physically impossible for them to walk to.

Also see Directionless Driver, when the character actively refuses navigation assistance. Contrast with The Navigator, someone who's skilled with directions.

If the individual is lost because of the location itself being impossible to navigate, it may be a form of The Maze, Magical Mystery Doors, or an Eldritch Location.


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  • One commercial for a mobile phone's GPS mapping feature shows Ozzy Osbourne needing the device to find the bathroom in his mansion. Hilariously enough, it shows he didn't even know he had said bathroom.
  • A series of radio commercials for a Southern California tire store had two characters trying to tour the world and constantly mixing up remote locations for more local ones — assuming they were in Ontario (the Canadian province) when they were actually in Ontario (the California city), for example.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Anne Happy, Hibiki has one of the worst senses of direction ever. On several occasions people have pointed out a destination that's in her sight, and she thanks them, turns around and runs in the opposite direction; she then later blames the people who gave her directions for getting her lost. She always gives herself at least three hours to get to school on account of this.
  • In Battle Spirits Shonen Toppa Bashin, Masako's horrid sense of direction is played as a Running Gag. She can even get lost in her own workplace. For inexplicable reasons, she's always given delivery missions.
  • In B Gata H Kei, Miyano Mayu's lack of a sense of direction has reached impossible levels, to the point that at one point Kanejo opens a secret room protected by numerous barriers which only she can open, and Mayu walks out from inside this room no one could even know about crying and wondering how she got so lost.
  • In Bleach, Kenpachi Zaraki is so bad at this that has to rely on Yachiru for guidance. Unfortunately, she is just as bad as him. Small wonder, considering she's actually the manifestation of Nozarashi, Kenpachi's Zanpakuto; her form, personality and powers were shaped by his soul imprinting its essence on the nameless Zanpakuto he took for himself. The fact that Seireitei is built like a huge labyrinth makes both worse but doesn't slow them down any.
  • Ran Mouri in Case Closed. Combine that with some bad luck, and the kid often ends up in trouble.
  • In spite of her job as a courier being her only purpose in life, Red Blood Cell AE 3803 of Cells at Work! constantly gets lost in the most dramatic and astounding ways possible. She gets better at finding her way as the story progresses, but at the start, she somehow ended up in the kidneys while looking for the lungs.
  • In the manga of Chrono Crusade, Rosette's journey from NYC to San Francisco to rescue her brother (A mission she went into demon-hunting to accomplish, and willingly sacrificed 3/4s of her lifespan to accomplish) took the the following route: First she went on a pilgrimage to her childhood home in Michigan. Then she traveled to Washington DC, where she got her car demolished (again). From there she took a train to Chicago (Which was hijacked and totaled en route). At this point, the Order got sick of the damage caused by her meandering journey and chartered a plane to take her to California. Either Moriyama didn't look up US Geography, or Rosette is a terrible cross-country navigator, because her trip was about 1500 miles longer than it should have been.
  • A Running Gag with Mizuki from DAYS. So far, he has managed to get hopelessly lost on the way to the bathroom at a training camp, almost board the wrong bus and end up at Mt. Fuji with a group of senior citizens instead of the team, and even keeps taking care of the wrong grave when the one he's trying to look after is his grandfather's. Note that he's the team captain.
  • Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man has been described as a "master of getting lost."
  • Dominic from Eureka Seven has a working sense of direction, but he can't read a map for the life of him. He'll find his intended destination if he isn't relying on a map at all.
  • In Father and Son the reason Youichi Hisaka gives his little boy Shou regarding why his mother isn't around is because Mami Hisaka left one day to pick up Shou from daycare and got lost. At the time, it would be reasonable to assume that You is giving a palatable lie rather than tell Shou something worse but nope, Mami really is a world champion at getting lost.
  • Flying Witch gives us Makoto Kowata, a young witch-in-training. She arrives in a rural town to live with members of her extended family. When her cousin shows up to take her to his house, she tells him that she can at least remember the way. No points for guessing what happens next.
    • In a subsequent episode, she proudly tells her youngest cousin, Chinatsu, that she made it home from school without getting lost. She then says she has to write it in her diary before she forgets, and promptly gets lost on her way to her own bedroom.
  • Sousuke Yamazaki from Free! is terrible with directions, to the point of getting lost in his own school. Granted he is a transfer student who is new to the school, but still. When he and Rin go to the movies, he has to call Rin to help with directions after using the bathroom, because he has no idea where he is.
  • Hatsuharu in Fruits Basket gets lost a great deal. So much that whenever he has to go to the Sohma main estate for any parties, the family delivers him the invitation days before they do the same to the others so he won't arrive late.
  • Shinnojo from Gamaran is this combined with The Stoic, and usually blames others for his failures. Gets hilariously lampshaded by Iori during the travel to the Juuren Village.
    Shin: (dangerously near to a cliff) I think we should go East...
    Iori: OK guys, let's go West then.
  • Ginji Amano from Get Backers. He goes back to The Limitless Fortress (Mugenjou) and gets lost while attempting to find Makubex in the IL arc. Keep in mind that Ginji was the leader of his area, called lower town, in Mugenjou. Also, he grew up there.
  • Manga series Gorgeous Carat has Florian, who is frequently shown getting lost. It becomes important to the plot, even. The other main character Ray realizes Florian has been kidnapped when the kidnapper tells him Florian left to go sightseeing, something he would obviously never do.
  • In the little-known hentai manga Gorgon, all three Gorgon Sisters have this in levels that even rival Ryōga, the king of this trope. When you add the fact that Ciera has fangs and a curiously familiar headband, it makes you wonder if they aren't related.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, Gran gets the party lost repeatedly on their way to the ruins in episode 8. Vyrn explains that he's always been like this and even occasionally got lost in Zinkenstill.
  • Hajime no Ippo
    • Alexander Volg Zangief is a Russian man with very rusty Japanese, so in his first appearance he couldn't read the kanjis in the subway signs adequately and wasn't able to really explain his problem to others until Ippo showed up. He never seems to mind, even sleeping outside or under bridges without complaint when he can't find his way to lodging.
    • There is also Sendo Takeshi, who seems to get lost despite being from Japan (admittedly a different region from Ippo). He relies on cats to tell him where to go and sometimes just wanders until he finds what he is looking for. At one point he ran right past a boxing gym he had been to on several occasions.
  • Handsome Girl and Crossdressing Boy: Sayuri is terrible with directions. Her brother Iori is a little better, but gets lost easily when he's under pressure (like from trying to find Sayuri).
  • Hayate the Combat Butler
    • Isumi seems to be magnetized towards Nagi's house when she's not lost altogether. Once she ended up trying to take a train to Rio de Janeiro and somehow wound up on DenLiner. She also once left her house in Tokyo and ended up in Greece.... Then she actually broke down in tears when she arrived somewhere on time for about the first time ever.
    • Nagi also has this, although the normal version, rather then epic levels like Isumi. (It's even on her character sheet!) However, between Hayate, Maria and the SP's... she doesn't get many chances to display it because everyone knows not to leave her alone. If she is left alone, she gets lost in short order.
  • Austria from Hetalia: Axis Powers is so bad at directions that he actually had to stay home for Valentine's because his roommate at that time, Germany, told him that he'd get lost if he went outside to buy a Valentine's gift for his best friend and ex-wife, Hungary. He opted to make her a gift himself. Comes up again in the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, where he gets lost looking for the phone which is just in the next room.
  • In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki has Team Boar. In addition to all 3 being rather dim bulbs, none of the trio has any sense of direction whatsoever. For reference, the Kunoichi squads were formed by whoever arrived together at a shack up a straight mountain path. Team Boar couldn't find the mountain, walking in the complete opposite direction. When the group return to the village, they claim to have solved the tossing Dokudami's club into the air and walking the direction it lands in. Not shockingly, they're still as clueless as ever.
  • In Is the Order a Rabbit?, main character Cocoa gets lost on a regular basis. She gets so lost in fact that when Rize is walking straight to her school, Cocoa somehow walks past her several times heading in the opposite direction at a leisurely pace. After the third time she finds Cocoa in front of her still heading the other way, Rize starts to wonder if she's in some sort of loop.
  • The whole premise of the Junji Ito Kyoufu Manga Collection story "Map Town", about a town cursed so that its inhabitants lose all sense of direction, forcing them to rely on a complicated system of maps and signposts.
  • Kengan Ashura has Sakura Akiyama, who manages to land herself in Siberia when she's supposed to meet the others in Shibuya station.
    Juzo: She's so directionally challenged it's almost an art form.
  • Love Hina
    • Su and Shinobu end up touring Japan by accident while trying to reach Kyoto. They even knew that they could just get there by one train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. They ended up traveling from Tokyo to Hokkaido (the far northern island), and then later ended up in Okinawa (the far southern island) and many places in-between.
    • Motoko and Mitsune are no better. They ended up spending all the money they had at tourist attractions along the way, so had to find some quick cash just for food and transportation.
  • In Nagasarete Airantou, Shinobu can get lost crossing a street, and often suffers from severe hunger since she couldn't find any food for days. In one issue, another character found her and actually tried to hold her hand in order to get her to her destination. Unfortunately, Shinobu didn't like being babysat and ended up replacing herself with a log and even an animal. They both ended up getting lost. Shinobu seems to think there's nothing wrong with this character trait. Then again, she's just Dumb Muscle.
  • Nyan Koi!: Chizuru Mochizuki is a mail carrier and she even admits she has a horrible sense of direction, asking Junpei to help her find the places she's supposed to deliver to.
  • Several of the Straw Hat pirates in One Piece, as pictured.
    • Roronoa Zoro (pictured above, upper left), by far the worst, is prone to get lost easily. Hilariously seen in a fan video. To the tune of Yakety Sax, for added points. While Ryōga Hibiki may have the worst sense of direction in anime/manga, Zoro is an easy close second.
      • He'll take off in the opposite direction as soon as The Team sets out.
      • When needing to go south, he once went in exactly the wrong direction despite being in the company of a bird whose head will only ever point to the south.
      • When told to head north, he climbs the tallest building in the vicinity (again, the "north is up" principle).
      • He can be quoted as having once said "It was on the right side of the map, so I just have to keep going right." He then turned to the left.
      • Zoro gets lost in a situation where it should've been impossible, and often blames the others for "getting lost". The absolute worst example has to be at Enies Lobby. After Nami outright tells him to follow her, he gets lost walking to a set of stairs 20 feet in front of him. He blames Nami's bad directions. Chopper (pictured above, upper right) responded by offering to make Zoro a cure for hopeless idiocy.
      • Post-time skip, when the crew was reuniting on Sabaody Archipelago, Zoro was first one there and is incredibly smug about it (though it was thanks to Perona's help). Though played straight back into position when he decides to go fishing and gets on the worng pirate ship as well, he then blames it on destiny and cuts the ship in half.
      • He has, on the other hand, no trouble finding someone when he wants to get away from them, like in a post-Enies Lobby filler episode when he's wearing an embarrassing shirt he doesn't want to be seen in and ends up running into everyone in the crew when trying to avoid them.
      • He's been called a fantasista (roughly, calling someone a "daydreamer" in a derogatory fashion) twice. By Nami in Enies Lobby, and by Perona in the Whereabouts stories.
      • In the anime's G8 filler arc, the marines have set up an ambush at one end of a straight hallway and it doesn't have any offshoots from it. Zoro was leading the crew down that hallway towards the end where the marines set up the ambush, but they were being followed by a separate bunch of marines. Somehow the marines that were chasing Zoro and the crew got to the ambush before the Straw Hats did. It is this event that proves Zoro can get lost in a straight hallway.
      • In Dressrosa, Zoro has a Tontatta in his pocket giving him real-time directions and somehow still manages to get lost. The frustrated Tontatta then tries to explain to him that when she says "left" she means the side that he doesn't have his swords on, having concluded that Zoro doesn't even know what directions are.
      • The manga now decided to say hold my beer: he manages to get lost and separated from his group of Luffy, Law and Kiku while they're all riding on the back of the same lion-dog, without any battle involved. In short, he managed to get lost while just sitting down.
      • Subverted in one instance. Yes, Zoro did get lost, but on this occasion it was not the fault of his poor sense of direction. The miniature islands of the Sabaody Archipelago have numbers on giant trees to act as a guide. Zoro recognized this and assumed he wouldn't get lost so long as he remembered to look for tree number 1. The number was actually 41, but his view of it was obscured. And then Double Subverted when he failed to find Grove 1, either.
      • During one of the anime filler episodes that was added onto the Long Ring Long Land Arc, the crew is doing Red Light Green Light with Foxy's crew as part of the Davy Back games. Despite the fact that it is daytime, the pathways they are taking are surrounded by water and there is no way to get lost whatsoever, Zoro still goes the wrong direction and ends up at the only dead-end on the paths. He can literally see the finish line and all he has to do is walk in that direction and he still had no idea how to get there with a straight shot.
      • It's lampshaded in the SBS for Volume 85, when one reader asked who would win in a fifty-meter race (Brook, because he's the lightest). Zoro is ranked fifth and it's said he'd get higher, but he got lost. It also says he'd do better in a shorter one where he wouldn't run off the track due to his poor sense of direction.
      • Eventually, his fellow Straw Hat members got so fed up with his tendencies of getting lost that when he offered to help searching for Vegapunk's real body in Chapter 1074, they immediately turn him down on the basis that they would have to look for him too.
        Sanji: Hold up, Mosshead!!! You?!! Searching for someone else?!! Who's going to look for you?!!
        Chopper: Yeah! You gotta stay here, Zoro!
        Robin: Be a good boy, won't you?♡
        Zoro: ...
    • Luffy (pictured above, bottom of image), thinks the best way to find "south" is to head in the direction it's warmest. It's so bad that in the anime version, even the narrator gives up on them.
    • Chopper, who is also on the page picture, does not have a bad sense of direction per se (his is actually slightly above average as revealed in the SBS for Volume 85). He is just very fearful, and as the forest the four characters were traversing was full of dangerous enemies, he got so scared that he just ran off without noticing where he was going.
  • In Otaku Elf, Yord, a close friend of the title character and an elf herself, has a bad habit of getting lost when allowed to wander without an escort. This is made more problematic due to her tendency to want to wander off and explore. A bonus chapter has said Miko scolding her for going to the Umeda Underground alone, which she describes as a dungeon, ending with her telling Yord word for word, "you have no sense of direction."
  • Magical Pokémon Journey: The bonus chapters are about Ash, Pikachu, Misty and Brock accidentally wandering into the world of the manga and trying to get back to their world while finding out about various things that differ between the anime and manga.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In the beginning of the Sinnoh arc, Dawn has no clue how to get to the Sandgem Town lab and so she runs into Professor Rowan by complete accident. Her Piplup is even worse, though it may run in its evolution line...
    • Team Twerp cannot help but get completely lost on too many occasions to count. It gets ridiculous when you realize that at some point in their journey (throughout the Advanced Generation series, and halfway through the Diamond and Pearl series), they even had their universe's equivalent of a GPS.
    • Like in the games, Galar Champion Leon is horrendously bad with directions. In one of the opening variations, he spends scenes trying to read his map while the kids explore the surroundings he aimlessly drove them to.
  • Ryoma of the Power Stone anime has an incredible tendency to get lost, though not as often as most examples.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • In the first episode, Ryoma Echizen asked Sakuno Ryuzaki for directions... and she gave him the wrong ones. In a later episode, she arrives to their meeting several minutes late because she got lost too.
    • She's nowhere as bad as Kintarou, though. I doubt she'd get off a train in the wrong city!
  • Tomoe and Shizuka in Queen's Blade can't find where they're going with detailed maps. Granted, most of these maps are centuries out of date, but even with proper maps they still manage to get completely lost.
  • The Trope Codifier is Ryōga Hibiki of Ranma ½.
    • He's so predictably late that everyone schedules their meetings with him a week early to allow for a week of him finding his way. A big part of his backstory is that he missed a fight with Ranma because he got lost for three days, despite the place they were supposed to meet was behind Ryōga's house. He's not only terrible at finding directions inside a single house, but also at knowing where to run towards in a race right at the starting point.
    • This runs in his family and leads to Parental Abandonment as they can never manage to find their way home at the same time (girl-Ranma was even able to claim she was a sister he had never met using this and a Wig, Dress, Accent). Even one of his puppies suffers from this condition, although the dog mother doesn't seem to be affected for some reason.
    • He seems to always either take the wrong direction (when given the choice between three roads, one of which he's told is right and one of which he's told is wrong, he takes the third road), or take directions too literally (when told to go "straight down the road" to the Seikan Tunnel from Hokkaido, he did just that — despite the fact the road curved and his route caused him to leap off of the road). His absurd levels of stamina, which lets him run at top speed for literally hours or even days without stopping, as well as being able to plough right through everything in his path, makes this worse as he can cover distances far sooner than direction-givers might expect and particularly after learning the Breaking Point, there's literally nothing that can force him to change directions.
    • In the Shishi Hokodan story arc, Ranma is reading a letter from Ryōga which he claims to have sent from Hokkaido. It's accompanied by a photo of him standing in front of a sign reading "Welcome to Hong Kong" with Chinese locals visible in the background. The signs were mistranslated and written in Hiragana, it read "Nagasaki Kunchi", which is, according to Wikipedia, "the most famous festival in Nagasaki, Japan".
    • In his first appearance, there's a snippet with people laughing when he says he walked to that location. He's on a yacht.
    • At one point, he goes the wrong direction immediately after being given directions.
    • He once made a map describing how he found the item of the week. The map shows France, Africa, China, the dojo and a red car.
    • He even went the wrong direction from the starting line in a race. It was a three-legged race and he was tied to Ukyo who was going the right way. They still won by reaching the goal from the other side.
    • One of his Image Songs (Haikei Akane-san) is written as a travel card/love letter to Akane. He angsts a lot about being so far away from her, but the lyrics make it clear that while he thinks he's in the other end of Japan, he's probably in her backyard.
    • Ani-Mayhem represented this particular quirk by forcing Ryōga to move in a random direction every third turn; on top of that, in an odd example of Painting the Medium, Ryōga's card uses a different icon for his Movement stat than every other character in the gamenote .
  • Rurouni Kenshin
    • Sanosuke Sagara not only got lost trying to get to Kyoto, but he got himself even more lost with a compass in the Shishio arc.
    • This is apparently an inherited trait: his father Kamishimoemon is seemingly just as bad, as IIRC they met up after years in the north of the country... when his dad was just as lost as Sano was.
  • The title character of Saki. It's pretty much a Running Gag in the tournament arcs that Saki gets lost whenever she wanders off on her own.
  • Hotaru, from the manga version of Samurai Deeper Kyo is a prime example. In the final chapter, he sets out from the Mibu lands at the base of Mt. Fuji to Edo and somehow manages to wander all the way over to China (where a panda bear is seen taking pity on him). In the epilogue chapter, he finally manages to return to Japan...after accidentally circumnavigating the globe!
  • Samurai Harem: Asu no Yoichi now has an entire family tree of people with no sense of direction. To make it even worse, they have great senses while fighting blindfolded.
  • In Shirobako Sara Satou has a poor sense of direction, and once gets hopelessly lost while running errands as a production assistant for MusAni. This may be why she joind MusAni, since the commute there is shorter than to her old job.
  • Soul Eater
    • Marie, to the point where in the last few episodes of the anime, Crona decides just to choose all the opposite directions Marie takes and they end up getting to where they need to go.
    • Free the werewolf isn't much better. In the Baba Yaga arc of the manga he was supposed to destroy tower 1 and he went toward tower 2 instead. In the end he ended up at tower 8. Besides towers 2 and 8 were opposite to each other. He had been in Baba Yaga's Castle for a pretty long time by then...
  • Kouyuu from The Story of Saiunkoku is constantly getting lost on the walkways of the imperial palace, even with a map, and claims that the library where he works has been moved. This is mostly because during his childhood, his foster mother had the furniture rearranged every time he left the living room to strengthen her stories of the house being haunted and to curb his possible escape plan. It eventually cost him his sense of direction. He can get lost, it is said, within thirty paces. The only exceptions are if it's an emergency — when he discovers that Shuurei has been kidnapped, he's able to rush directly to Shuurei's rooms without incident — and, for some reason, if he's drunk.
  • Tenchi Muyo!
    • Mihoshi has managed to wander aimlessly into extradimensional spaces, such as Washu's Lab... especially Washu's Lab. Which is not only extradimensional, but specifically designed only be possible to connect to the outside universe when Washu wants it connected. In the OVA continuity Mihoshi carries a Rubik's Cube-like device that lets her create portals, but no one knows just she dials in the destinations she reaches with that thing.
    • Similarly, Mitoto in GXP gets so engrossed in her cleaning that she usually ends up scrubbing the decks of a battleship even though she started in a bathroom at Galaxy Police Headquarters. Even the Space Pirates know about her, and let her go about her business when she ends up on their ships (probably because it would be impossible to hold her!). Like mother, like daughter. Namely, they're Washu's great- and great-great-granddaughter respectively. Washu herself, to the contrary, never gets lost. Nor does Mihoshi's great-great-aunt Ryoko (Washu's genetically engineered pseudo-clone daughter).
  • Urusei Yatsura has the Prince of the Underworld. An alien warlord who could excavate tunnels with incredible speed and greatly enjoyed doing so, he also was infamous for getting lost in his own tunnels and digging them in the wrong directions. As an earlier Rumiko Takahashi series, he's often considered to the prototype for Ryōga Hibiki.
  • Turns out to be another one of Nozomi's impressive list of fails in the second Pretty Cure All Stars movie. It's okay, though — she has Saki to accompany her as both of them just can't read a map to save their lives. There's even a scene were Saki and Mai are looking at the map they were given and Saki lifts it up, then holds it upside down, leading to her fairy companion Flappy to utter "Oh, brother-lapi."
  • Suzy from Zatch Bell! was once described in one anime episode as "Being able to get lost in a walk-in closet". She's extremely ditzy and scatterbrained while also being a Kindhearted Simpleton. Half the time Kiyo runs into her being late for class because she got distracted in some way.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Hilariously enough, Careful S. has this, needing visible directions, in the form of arrows on the ground, to get to a meeting place on his own.

  • The outdoor humorist Patrick McManus often wrote about his ability to get lost. He even invented the "Modified Stationary Panic", (jumping in place and screaming) which keeps you from running blindly into 1) a tree/rock/lamppost or 2) the next county/state/country when you realize you're hopelessly lost.

    Comic Books 
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: Mortadelo's level of disorientation is legendary. Instructed to drive to Córdoba, Argentina (M&F are playing the 1978 FIFA World Cup with the Spanish team) he makes it to the Córdoba of Spain. After fording the ocean thinking it was a very wide river.
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Among his other failings, Nautilator has a deservedly bad reputation for getting lost very easily and then needing to be rescued because he swims like a cement block. For the record, Nautilator transforms into a lobster monster and is part of the Decepticons' underwater operations team, the Seacons. When they combine into Piranacon, Nautilator is forced to serve as his gun instead of forming a limb lest his incompetence infect the gestalt. The only reason that the other Seacons bother to find him after he gets lost is because he somehow manages to stumble into valuable resource by pure accident nearly every time.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert: The Pointy-Haired Boss has such a poor sense of direction he can't find his way out of a cubicle.
  • One The Far Side strip has a wife angrily telling her husband as they're driving along the surface of the Moon:
    "For heaven's sake, Warren, now look where the Earth is! Pull over and let me drive!"
  • One Knights of the Dinner Table story had Dave mapping the dungeon corridors. He is so incompetent at it that the party ends up going around in circles and repeatedly falling into the same spiked pit.
  • One Zits arc saw Jeremy get lost trying to drive home, to the point he ended up in different states and countries entirely. And yet he still protested his dad gifting him a GPS at the end.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ranma ½: The Abridged Chronicles, Ryōga goes from having No Sense of Direction, to having No Sense of Direction and a stubborn refusal to ask for them. When he finally decides to ask, he thinks that "north" is "up."
  • The Dark Lords of Nerima has Ryōga mistaken for doing it intentionally to elude tracking by his enemies. When they finally find his house, they think it's a spy safehouse due to it being empty for months at a time.
    This trail is... diabolical. They're taking the rooftops, jumping, doubling back on themselves, crisscrossing countless times in every conceivable direction... In all my years, I've never seen anyone take such a perverse delight in confusing their path.
  • Discworld-set fic Strandpiel sees young Witch Rebecka Smith-Rhodes being adopted by a Pegasus and being inducted into the Air Watch. As with the other Witches who fly for the Pegasus Service, she is assigned a Feegle as her Flight Navigator, who will crawstep her around the Disc via the Portal Network only Feegle know. As she discovers, the problem with her Navigator, Wee Archie Aff The Midden, is that
    Ye are directionally challenged, laddie. I hear ye couldnae navigate your way oot of a broon paper bag even if somebody was haudin' it open for ye!
  • Ron in After Lily.
    Ron: Maybe [Peter Pettigrew] was lost. What? I've been here for over two years and still can't find my way around.
    Fred: Yeah well, you wouldn't be able to find your way into your own Christmas jumper if Mum didn't stitch your initial on the front.
  • In Gadach Wen, after a fifth-year Hufflepuff named Stephen comments that he'd never be able to find his way to the dungeons on his own, Susan Bones replies "You wouldn't have been able to find the common room had we not drawn you a map in first year."
  • Midnight Green has very poor navigation skills. On one occasion when he simply wanted to walk down the street, he ended up touring the entirety of Equestria, including Cloudsdale. Keep in mind he's a unicorn. His magical GPS doesn't help him either, as the thing simply does not work at all, claiming him to be in Canterlot when he's at Zecora's hut.
  • In Papa Snape Harry and his best friend from Muggle school are teasing each other on the Hogwarts Express before first year.
    Melody: You got lost in the school building the last day of term — walking from your locker to the cafeteria. They're right next to each other!
    Harry: I made a wrong turn!
    Melody: You were found on the roof.
    Harry: It was an accident!
  • The Hobbit: This has become a popular characterisation of Thorin Oakenshield since the film version, due to his losing his way on the way to Bag End. Twice. Bag End, it must be noted, is built into the hill on what seems to be the main street of Hobbiton, so one must wonder how on earth he managed it.
  • The Boy Who Wasn't:
    The trio traversed the dangerous and occasionally moving staircases of Hogwarts in order to make it to their next class, Transfiguration, on time. Draco and Pansy wisely did not offer to let Harry lead them, otherwise they would probably have ended up on the completely opposite side of the castle, knowing the dark-haired boy's atrocious sense of direction.
  • Second Wind: Roronoa Zoro, has this as the only thing keeping him from being a perfect badass Blood Knight in canon, to the point of getting lost in a straight line. But it's hammered home just how hopeless he is in Chapter 3 of the Peggy Sue Fan Fiction , when Luffy has to explain to him the fault in his logic…and he still doesn't get it.
  • In One Piece-Naruto crossover, Tales From The Blue Sea, Sasuke repeatedly attempts to conduct surveillance on Zoro by getting ahead of him to cut him off at the pass. This fails spectacularly until he gives up, at which point Zoro runs into him and starts asking for directions.
  • In the Fuku Fic Bishonen Senshi Sailor Moon, Ryōga manages to get lost while possessing the mercury computer, which has a GPS function (he was using it to play Tetris).
  • Last Child of Krypton: Misato gets lost very easily. In the third episode of the redux, she got lost on the way to her own office.
  • One of the Ash Clones from Too Many Ashes ended up so lost he found himself and his Pikachu in the distortion world.
  • What Insertion?: Teitan Elementary's Principal Valen, though its understandable in light of Ryōga Hibiki being a nephew of hers. This is downplayed some if she access to a map and a compass, which at least allows her to do her job without ending up on the other side of the city.
  • My Heroes Reborn: Poor Mashirao Ojiro now has the worst sense of direction in all of anime after Priestess awakens his Past-Life Memories as Ryōga Hibiki — to the point that, when he drops out of a car right in front of U.A., he immediately begins to walk away, and once gets lost even though he was in the middle of a group. This make Izuku Midoriya (the reincarnation of "Black Leg" Sanji) the most effective at corralling him, since he was on the same crew as the man with the second worst sense of direction in all of anime.
    • And now Zoro, the aforementioned man with the second worst sense of direction, has been introduced into the fic by way of Priestess awakening the Past-Life Memories of Katsuki Bakugou.
  • Hero Academia D×D: True to her canon self, Celica A. Mercury has a terrible sense of direction. This gets to the point that, during the Sports Festival, she gets second place during the Obstacle Race and the teachers watching nearly have a collective aneurysm trying to understand how it happened.
  • Dimensional Links: Realm a.k.a. The original Link (as in, from the first game, not the earliest in the timeline) has the utterly lethal combination of this - he literally does not know the difference between left and right - and what turns out to be powerful latent magic which manifests as 'Wandering' a.k.a. Random Teleportation. Oh, and it gets worse the more he's thinking about the direction he's going. He's managed to get stuck in a volcano from a library, wound up on the same island in a lake in his Hyrule three times while looking for Death Mountain, and found a random cavern with a cow - and that is far from the most absurd situation he's wound up in, with the other Links complaining about how he defies both logic and physics. On the upside, his stamina is so vast that he can literally run for days without stopping (meaning that he's usually one of the chief distractions). Eventually, he weaponises it against his version of Ganon to terrifying effect. Even after he got it magically cured/controlled, he still runs through the same kitchen four times and mistakes it for four different kitchens.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Lampshaded by Misato. Her infamously bad sense of direction has been the subject of many jokes among her subordinates, but she points out she made it to the secret meeting point on time just fine... although maybe the huge, glowing highway sign helped a little bit.
    The drive out of the Geo-Front took about thirty minutes, then another twenty to head out of town on the empty highway. Her sense of direction was famously bad, and often the butt of jokes among her staff, but Misato had no problem finding the right exit despite not being familiar with this area. The huge neon sign in purple and day-glow green helped, too.
  • Aki-chan's Life: Parodied. When Ritsuko asks if Misato knows where her lab is, the latter replies very angrily she hasn't gotten lost in months... and then she proceeds to get lost anyway because she did not know Ritsuko has relocated her headquarters.
  • You Are (Not) At Fault: After spending several hours wandering around a ghost city, Misato bitterly reflects Instrumentality did not improve her awful sense of direction, and she now finds herself hopelessly lost.
  • Crossed Lines: Zoro's sense of direction is taken to the extreme when not only does he somehow end up at Marineford when trying to go from one island in the East Blue to another, but it's implied he traveled through time by just getting that lost. Kuina is no better, having sailed them to the West Blue from the East Blue while trying to find Syrup Village.
  • This Bites!: Zoro's sense of direction is just as bad. In the G-8 arc, he's outside the base as part of the Straw Hat's plan. Soundbite takes his attention off him for ten seconds - and he returns it to find him inside the kitchen's fridge.
  • Pirate Heroes: When the Straw Hats are at Drum Island, Zoro goes to swim in the sea. He somehow ends up in Kureha's castle at the top of the mountain.
  • A Clash of NEETs: Iris Targaryen is the World's Strongest Woman, a Made of Iron Blood Knight One-Man Army who could easily conquer the Seven Kingdoms on her own... if she could find them, that is - because she can't read a map to save her life. When the story begins, she's in Pentos, in Essos' closest coast to Westeros. She sets out to travel to Westeros - and ends up in the other side of Essos. When she finally arrives to Westeros, intending to go to the North to help stop the Big Bad, she goes to Dorne - Westeros' southernmost point.
    Aqua: Look, I had to make something her Dump Stat, and "Knowledge: Geography" didn't seem like it would come up much!

    Films — Animation 
  • Pooh's Grand Adventure: Played for laughs and straight; After Pooh's trusted with the map deciphered by Owl, he attempts to give directions but because he is illiterate he has the group running in a panicked circle. Rabbit gets fed up with Pooh's lack of direction and assumes the role of The Leader when he takes the map himself. Fortunately, Rabbit can read the map much better than the others.
    • Played with later when the narrator states that the map itself no idea which way it was going, which makes sense since it was drawn up in a short time by Owl, but Rabbit, who thinks that if something is written down then it must be true, blindly trusts whatever the map says and insists that the way to the mountains is in the opposite direction even though they are clearly visible in front of them. Even Pooh realizes this doesn't make sense. Eventually they get hopelessly lost in a fog and Rabbit admits that he hasn't know where they are for hours, and they only find where they were going to by accident.
  • The Princess and the Frog: When Ray tells Tiana and Naveen that they've been going the wrong direction to Mama Odie's, and the frogs glare at Louis.
    Tiana: Louis, Ray here says you've been taking us in the wrong direction.
    Louis: [chuckles nervously] I-I was... Well, listen. I-I-I was confused with the topography and the geography and-and the choreography and the...
    Ray: First rule of the bayou: Never take directions from a gator.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Bostock's Cup, Bostock Stanley's coach driver believes Southport to be on the south coast of England (it's actually in Merseyside, near Liverpool), and Pontefract to be in Wales (it's in West Yorkshire, near Leeds).
  • Help!: The Beatles' road manager Mal Evans, does a cameo as a swimmer who has this, looking for the White Cliffs of Dover while under some ice (in Switzerland — just roll with it) and again at the end in a Brick Joke in the Caribbean Sea.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy says that Marcus Brody "once got lost in his own museum".
  • In Joe Versus the Volcano, the Waponis are renowned for having no sense of direction. Some of their ancestors were the crew of a Roman galley that got so lost that it sailed deep into the South Pacific and discovered their island.
  • The main characters of the Spanish film Más de mil cámaras velan por tu seguridad are unable to find an exit from Madrid's underground because the bad guys have changed the signs. Said underground is regularly used by blind people.
  • The Muppet Movie: On their way to California, singing "Movin' Right Along", Kermit and Fozzie get epically lost, meandering through such places as the state of Rhode Island and Saskatchewan, Canada. One time, Fozzie got so turned around he wondered why the sun was coming up in the west.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic is fast, but he's ultimately not from Earth and doesn't know how to get exactly where he needs to go. When Tom tells him San Francisco is directly west (from Montana more southwest) Sonic zooms off, only to return a moment later wet and a fish on his head saying he hit the ocean.
  • This is Spın̈al Tap: During one gig, the members of Spinal Tap managed to get lost between their dressing room and the stage.note 

  • In Alcatraz and the Scrivener's Bones, Kazan's Smedry Talent is to get lost, which allows him to wind up in places which should be impossible to reach once he finds himself again.
  • Agrivex in Curse of the Wolfgirl; her attempts to teleport from London to Edinburgh go via Southampton (about as far from Edinburgh as you can get on the UK Mainland), Cardiff (Wales), and an unknown island containing some seals, amongst other places. And this with her using a map.
  • Dirk Gently, of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, his preferred method of navigating is following any car that looks like it knows where it's going. In this case, though, it's less a poor sense of direction and more a case of intentionally invoking the Theory of Narrative Causality.
    Dirk Gently: I find an automobile that looks like it knows where it's going, and follow it. I find that I rarely end up where I wanted to go, yet always end up where I need to be.
  • Discworld: In Terry Pratchett's and Stephen Briggs' The Discworld Mapp, explorer Sir Roderick Purdeigh once "wrote a short monograph claiming that the Circle Sea was in fact one million miles across. His erratic six-month voyage on it, during which he never once sighted land, has long been considered one of the most difficult ever achieved (akin to turning an elephant around inside a phone booth without touching the sides)." In The Last Continent, the Dean mentions that Sir Roderick once got lost in his own wardrobe.
  • The reason Ludo Bagman gives for not being worried about Bertha Jorkins' disappearance in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is that Bertha has no sense of direction and probably went to Australia when she meant to go to Albania.
  • In Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar mysteries, barrister Julia Larwood is notorious among her friends for getting lost in her native city of London, let alone anywhere else.
    • This is a plot point in Thus Was Adonis Murdered, when Julia goes to Venice on holiday, having borrowed Ragwort's guidebooks to various cities in the region. She manages to more-or-less navigate for some of her fellow tour group members one day by checking the map, finding out where they are, and recommending that they go see anything near that spot. She turned out to have been using a guidebook for the wrong city, which led to an art thief, also in the party, stealing a valueless painting from one of the churches they visited, because Julia quoted the guidebook's entry for a different church altogether.
    • Mentioned in passing in The Shortest Way to Hades, when Julia wraps up one of Selena's court cases, where finding the court in question is described as an expedition comparable to finding the source of the Blue Nile.
  • Joey Harker in Neil Gaiman's InterWorld has literally gotten lost in his own house... though his inability to find his way around in three-dimensional space might have something to do with his worldwalking abilities.
  • Bill Bryson's father is described at length in The Lost Continent as being unwilling to ask for directions, and, when finally pressed into doing so, wanders off with the person he asks leaving his family sitting in the car watching flies copulate. And Bill himself manages to get hopelessly lost on more than one occasion.
  • Button-Bright, introduced in L. Frank Baum's The Road to Oz is a stellar example of this trope, especially given that his tendency to get lost often leads the other characters to places or objects they need in order to solve a larger problem.
  • Sir Gareth in Gerald Morris' The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf. One of his brothers comments that he "needs a trail of breadcrumbs to find his own chamber pot".
  • There's one children's book about a little boy who's the World Champion of Getting Lost. Yes, apparently this is Serious Business in this book — it's even mentioned that he took the title from another kid some time ago.

    Live-Action TV 
  • At least one team a season on The Amazing Race gets eliminated after getting tragically lost. Has led to a few Shocking Eliminations.
    • The most notable example of this are three-time contestants Cowboy Jet and Cord, who are incredibly proficient at the actual challenges involved in the game but frequently manage to blow the lead they acquire by finishing them quickly by getting lost or making poor travel decisions along the way.
    • In Season 32, sisters Victoria and Michelle were eliminated after they got lost for six and a half hours trying to find a location in Paris that was only two kilometers away.
  • Awaken: Jung-woo. Jamie learns this the hard way when he gets both of them lost.
  • Blackadder: Captain Redbeard Rum (a one-shot character played by Tom Baker) managed to discover Australia 200 years early while trying to sail from England to France. His usual method of sailing is to spin in circles until everyone gets sick, then go home. Except that by "everyone", he apparently means himself — he doesn't believe a crew is a necessary part of a sailing expedition.
  • The Closer: Brenda Johnson is a brilliant interrogator who can see intricacies and loopholes in a case that no one else would even think of, but she couldn't find her way out of a paper bag... which is why Sgt. Gabriel usually does the driving.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The major example is an aversion. For ages, the TARDIS was notorious about not landing the Doctor at the destination he wanted to get to, with the navigation system being referred to by at least one character as "knackered". However, "The Doctor's Wife" reveals that the TARDIS does this on purpose, as she can see all of time and space at once, and takes The Doctor to any point where she feels he is needed the most.
    • However, in "Planet of the Dead", the Doctor complains about never being able to find Easter because it moves around, despite it always being in one of two months every year.
  • In a Family Matters two-parter, the Winslow family travels to Disney World along with Steve where he plans to show off his transformation chamber along side several other inventors. A subplot involves Eddie and Waldo driving down there since there aren't enough plane tickets. At one point, after waking up from a nap, Eddie asks where they are, and Waldo says they're heading towards a place called "Canyada". Eddie looks at the map and realizes he means Canada. By the time they finally make it to Disney World, everyone is getting ready to leave.
  • Mentioned at one point in Flashpoint, creating a rare lighthearted moment in the largely Tear Jerker episode "One Wrong Move".
    Spike: (talking to Lew over the radio) You see the battery? Use that as your orientation point. We're calling that north, you got it?
    Lew: Okay, I got it.
    Spike: You sure?
    Lew: I got it!
    Spike: Yeah? Because it wouldn't be the first time you took a left when I told you to take a right.
  • Maxwell Smart in Get Smart gets lost in the Pentagonnote .
    Maxwell Smart: But even if they do get a man into the Pentagon, that's not saying he'll be able to get out. I remember one of our own agents was lost in there for three days.
    Chief: Three days? Max, no agent could be that confused.
    Maxwell Smart: Well, let's see. I went in there on a Thursday...
  • A character named Wrong Way Feldman, played by Hans Conreid, appeared in two first season episodes of Gilligan's Island.
  • Chidi in The Good Place claims to have what doctors call "directional insanity". Apparently, he once got lost on an escalator.
  • Kaamelott: Perceval cannot handle directions, be they given with left and right or north and south (since he cannot grasp the concept of his position relative to the cardinal points). Lancelot and Arthur end up having to give him directions based on local landmarks ("a little after the clearing near the big rock that looks like a loaf of bread").
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • "The 1972 Silly Olympics" skit of a special for German television featured "The 100-yard dash for people with no sense of directions". At the boom of the starting gun, they scatter every which way.
    • "The Upper Class Twit of the Year" has the four participants of the contest wander across their lanes aimlessly at the starter's gun.
  • NCIS gives us Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, ME. He always seems to blame his assistant, Palmer, but it's Ducky whose giving the directions.
  • Larry Fleindhart of NUMB3RS once called his colleagues from Minneapolis because he couldn't remember whether he was in Saint Louis or Cleveland.
  • Odd Squad:
    • Otto is completely hopeless with directions. Olive does teach him the "L" trick (whichever hand makes an "L" shape, with your thumb sticking out to the side, is your left), but a couple episodes later has him needing to be taught about landmarks at the ripe young age of 10.
    • To say nothing of Ohlm, whose reasoning for refusing to be sent back to the Odd Squad Academy — a six-building campus — is that he can't find it. And that's not even including the entirety of his journey to find the Puppy Master's lair in "And Then They Were Puppies". This particular example is justified, however, due to The Reveal in the Season 2 finale that he is Obfuscating Stupidity and faking being idiotic.
    • Even Oprah gets hit with this in "Olympia's Day", when she and Olympia briefly have trouble finding their way back to the bullpen after parting ways with Otis at the precinct's elevator, and proceed to run back and forth trying to find it. Olympia gets some justification due to her being relatively new. Oprah, on the other hand, who's worked at Precinct 13579 for decades...not so much.
  • While it's not as obvious as his manga counterpart, Roronoa Zoro from One Piece (2023) has this trait. While Luffy and Nami search for the Grand Line map in the Shells Town Marine base, Zoro can be seen wandering around the base in the background. He describes Kaya's mansion as a "maze" while standing in the middle of a completely straight, easily-navigable hallway. And after escaping the well in the mansion's backyard, he attempts to get back to the mansion, only to somehow manage to end up on the road leading to the mansion's front despite the mansion clearly being in view from where the well was.
  • Tokumei Sentai Go Busters: Cheeda Nick, Hiromu's Buddyroid and Cool Bike, is hilariously bad at finding his way around, to the point where it's considered common sense to ignore directions he gives, or go the opposite way. This gets spun on its head in Mission 27, where he does have the right directions, but the Monster of the Week's power makes it seem like he's telling Hiromu to run into a wall.
  • Top Gear
    • Co-host James "Captain Slow" May is reputed to have no sense of direction. Undoubtedly some of this is played up for comedic effect. His second nickname is even Captain Sense-of-Direction. May claims that his mental mapping is off and his mental picture of England is flipped north/south. He did start the Botswana challenge by driving towards the wrong border. His sense of direction is bad enough that during his stint on Top Gear, he manages to get lost on racetracks not just once, but three times. And one of those racetracks is an oval.
      Clarkson: To make sure we aren't accused of bias towards the car, it will be driven by [...] a man with no known sense of direction. Him!
      (cut to the back of May's head, as he is facing the audience instead of the camera)
      Hammond: Meanwhile, James managed to get lost... on an oval.
    • Michael Schumacher is apparently afflicted with this, as he did a lap around the track and had no idea where he was going. He eventually started going the wrong way, then got lost before the second-last turn. And this is despite being a Seven-Time Formula One World Champion (go figure). Then again, since it is Top Gear, when Rule of Cool isn't in play, Rule of Funny usually is.
      • They did not play Schumi's lap for laughs for no reason though. He was still with Ferrari and contractually prohibited from driving other cars (like the Suzuki Liana) and thus could not set a proper lap. And they did the Schumi-is-Stig bit because Ferrari insisted their driver do the Ferrari FXX* test lap and not Stig.
  • The Wire: Major Colvin is in his office welcoming in two new transfer cops to the Western District. He asks them to point to which direction is north. One cop points to the east, the other points at the ceiling. Colvin immediately orders them to carry compasses at all times until they know their sense of direction. The two officers leave Colvin's office, and walk past Herc and Carver, who are sitting at Carver's desk writing up on an arrest.
    Herc: Hey Carv, where you at?
    Ellis Carver: I'm at a desk outside the roll call room on the first floor of 1034 North Mount. My feet are facing west and my dick is pointing south-southwest! [grins]
    Herc: [to the rookies] Bunny Colvin's been giving that speech as long as you guys were sucking air.

  • Shin Angyo Onshi: Something of a Running Gag with the main hero, Munsu. He often gets lost in deserts, mountains, etc... Even when he has a map. Justified in one example though, as the map that Hwang gave him that leads to Mt. Chilgap was utterly useless (featuring a cutesy picture of Hwang, a mountain, and a straight arrow going from one to the other).

  • They Might Be Giants has a song about how they were unable to make a radio appearance due to not being able to find their way around, "They Got Lost." It was apparently based on an actual incident where they couldn't navigate their way to a radio station in Boston (note: the two faces of the band grew up near the city), although one hopes that they embellished the part where they couldn't tell the difference between a road map and a fast food wrapper.

  • Downplayed in The Chronicles Of Oz. Locasta tells Dorothy and Boq to just follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. She later notes to herself that she's terrible at giving directions, an allusion to early Oz maps mixing up east and west.


  • The chaos of sports can sometimes induce this...
  • 1/1/29: During the Rose Bowl, California Bear Roy Riegels picked up a fumble and began running to his own end zone before he was stopped by a teammate at his own 1-yard line. The following punt was blocked and recovered by the Yellow Jackets for a safety — the ultimate difference in an 8-7 Georgia Tech win. Riegels picked up the nickname "Wrong Way" ever since.
  • 10/25/64: Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall picked up a fumble and ran to the end zone (his own, that is), giving the 49ers two points on a safety when he tossed the ball away thinking it was a touchdown. Thankfully for Marshall, his team still won the game, in part because he made a critical defensive play later on.
  • 9/30/12: Kent State player Andre Parker recovered a muffed punt, only to run in the wrong direction. He returned it 58 yards, going the wrong way, until he was stopped by 2 Towson players who had grabbed the Idiot Ball themselves. Fortunately, college football rules state that a muffed punt can't be advanced (or retreated), so Kent State didn't lose any field position and they would go on to win handily.
  • When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were an expansion team in 1976, their first game was played in the Houston Astrodome. They couldn't find their way from the locker room to the field, and almost missed the kickoff. Keep in mind that expansion team rosters are stocked with players from existing teams: a couple of the Buccaneers had formerly played for the Houston Oilers, whose home stadium was the Astrodome, and who played seven games there every season. Even if one considers that they only knew how to find their way from the home locker room, that doesn't excuse the ten or so former Cincinnati Bengals on the team, who as division rivals played a game there every season. Plus, the Bucs were held scoreless in the game, meaning that once on the field, they couldn't find the end zone.
  • Miami Dolphins defensive end T.J. Turner was nicknamed "Wrong Way T.J." after flipping his vehicle at a highway exit ramp in West Palm Beach. He apparently took a wrong turn at Miami's confusing Golden Glades Interchange, where several— err, too many major highways intersect. Easy enough mistake to make...but he went on for another 80 miles before trying to turn around, and was not able to execute said maneuver without turning his truck upside down.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Agarest Senki Zero: Sayane is horrible when it comes to navigation; she casually claims that they need to go right, only to head left instead. The first time your party actually meets her, she is completely lost due to holding her map upside down. This is explained by the fact that she is ambidextrous, so while most people learn to distinguish directions by assigning them to their dominant and non-dominant hand, this only confuses Sayane.
  • In Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, this is hilariously played with by Shurelia, who easily gets lost in her own tower, not to mention, everywhere else. Also referenced to in Cross Edge, where Misha and Aurica are suddenly worried and go into a panic when they realize that Shurelia is missing.

    Gets parodied even further in Cross Edge when she goes missing again, and Meu goes to look for her. They both end up getting chased by monsters and getting even more hopelessly lost. Zelos puts it best: "Those two need GPS devices tagged on them or something." And within the same game, both Whim and Lily supposedly get lost, and as Raze points out, they were both right behind the camp.
  • Atelier Annie has Beaux, who somehow managed to cross an ocean without even knowing how he did so. He goes missing for a week while delivering a package next door to Annie's workshop, and even with a globe and a compass he still gets lost. He was in denial until he gets the compass fixed.
  • Kanon of BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! gets lost very easily, and tends to panic easily when she does, usually requiring Misaki to come help her out. One 4-koma, as well as the event 'A Dreamy Promenade', demonstrates how difficult it is for her to go out places with her childhood friend Chisato, who is okay with directions but can't figure out trains (since as a child celebrity, she was always driven around everywhere)
  • BlazBlue: Chronophantasma gives us Celica A. Mercury, who takes this trope and runs with it. It is made clear from the word go that she can get lost on a straight road with a map, and many characters have to functionally escort her for this very reason. At one point, Kokonoe has to give her step by step directions to get back to her without Ragna at her side, and even Hakumen worries that she'd "starve in an alley" without a guide. This trait is naturally exaggerated in her Chronophantasma Extend gag reel, leaving Ragna complaining loudly about how parenthood sucks if not reaching for the .22-caliber aspirin. Heck, one of her entry animations has her looking at an upside-down map and pointing in a direction, despite her Robot Buddy trying to point her at the correct one.
  • Born of Bread: Lint is a good raccoon and all, but when it comes to directions...well, let’s just say you might need a map.
  • Bravely Default:
    • Agnès Oblige, much to her embarrassment. She can even get lost along a straight path.
      Agnès: That path [Norende Ravine] was... very twisty. I'm sure it's a maze even to the locals.
      Tiz (from Norende): Ha ha ha... Not really.
    • And in the sequel Bravely Second, one of the bits in the journal comments "The last time Agnès gave you directions you got lost in your own house". Her sense is so bad that a superstition says it is a good day to visit the Wind Temple if the pope (herself) can find her way to it. Only after she says this does she realize it's talking about her, much to her dismay.
    • Agnès ceaselessness is justified by the fact she spent her entire life in a religious shrine far removed from the rest of the world, so she never developed any sort of path-finding skills. That said, the number of goofs she makes through out the story does kind of make you wonder. By the second game, she STILL gets lost despite the fact she's traveled the world several times over.
  • In Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, Lucas gets drunk during his business meeting with his team and then gets lost in Kerry Park at midnight, prompting Riona to drive him home. In playthroughs where Riona stops visiting the café, he instead struggles to find his way home on his own and gets a hangover the next day.
  • Dragon Age II:
    • According to her ingame profile, Merrill has ended up at a dog racing track in Darktown, the Chantry (think church) in Hightown, and the Viscount's airing closet while trying to get home — it's gotten to the point that one of your other party members, a dwarf named Varric, mentions that he has given her a ball of string in party banter and has recommended that she stick it somewhere in her destination so she can backtrack and try again. She mentions how it drives the merchants in the markets crazy — but she gets home! One has to wonder how she gets the string back...
    • Played for Laughs in the Mark of the Assassin DLC, when your party is separated and Hawke and Tallis get incarcerated. The other two party members (whoever you brought with you) try to break you out but get hopelessly lost in the (not really that expansive) dungeon. Merrill, of course, doesn't see anything unusual in the situation, and several references are made to her spool of twine (which she conveniently forgot to bring along). Varric, in the meantime, alludes to Hawke's impeccable visual memory and sense of direction.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • This is, for reasons which have never been stated, a racial trait of the Dremora, an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell. As a general rule, they have a poor sense of direction.
    • In Skyrim:
      • Plautis and Salonia Carvain, two Imperial nobles who are on their way from Cyrodiil to Solitude to attend a wedding. You can encounter them all over Skyrim, except near the place they need to be. In fact, they'll never make it to Solitude and instead end up in Windhelm, which lies in the northeast of Skyrim, while Solitude lies in the northwest. Quite the accomplishment, because while Skyrim is a big place, sticking to the main roads and following the signs normally gets you where you need to be.
      • Another character you can meet on the road is Faldrus. He's a Dark Elf on his way to the Shrine of Azura. No matter how many times you encounter him in locations that are miles apart, he never seems to reach the shrine. However, if you follow him after encountering him, he does eventually reach the shrine
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Wallace in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. To the point that, after he sets off adventuring after the tutorial levels, he may somehow manage to run into your party again while lost, and rejoin you. It is hinted, however, that that one may have been less related to his lack of direction sense and more to him singlehandedly hunting down the Taliver bandits that killed his lady in liege Lyn's parents and tribe. After the end of the main story, he tried to go back to Caelin but he got lost and somehow ended up in Ilia, which is all the way on northern Elibe even though his destination was at the southern end of the continent.
  • Shez from Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes tends to get turned around quite often, which Arval likes to mock them for. One of Shez's dislikes is "reading maps," they run into the house leaders at the start of the game because they couldn't find the village they meant to get to, and the Gatekeeper's paralogue reveals that they participated in the academy's mock battle entirely because they got lost on the way to the monastery.
  • In Fire Emblem Engage, this is one of Boucheron's signature quirks. If you decide to play the training minigame in the Somniel when Boucheron is in the training area, Boucheron will go off to fetch his liege Prince Alfred, who's in charge of the minigame, asking you to send a search party if he's not back in a few minutes. According to the Ally Notebook, this comes from him often traveling by carriage growing up.
  • In Valve's commentary for Half-Life 2: Episode 2, they noted that during playtesting, one of the players literally spent an hour walking in circles in a cave area. This made Valve redesign the level a bit to help players find their way.
  • In Hyrule Warriors Legends, Linkle has this to a severe degree. Despite the fact that her most treasured possession is a compass, she's completely unable to read a map or tell which direction is actually north. In fact, her victory animation is based on an early story mode scene with her, where she's trying to head to Hyrule Castle and walks in the complete opposite direction of a sign pointing to it. If the level takes place on Hyrule Field, said castle is in the background during the victory animation, and she still goes the wrong way... unless she's close enough on the map, in which case the sign will actually be pointing away from the castle.
  • The Idolmaster: Azusa Miura is not only a ditzy easygoing girl, she is directionally challenged. When not really escorted, she could easily get lost.
  • In the NES 3rd party unlicensed Christian game King Of Kings: The Early Years, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Kings must have all had horrible senses of direction. For example, when Jesus runs off to the temple across town, his parents take a detour through the North Pole to get there, and while we're not sure where exactly the Three Kings came from, it's probably a safe bet their journey did not take them through the Amazon rainforest or the hollow earth.
  • Cado in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. He is trying to meet with Impa who is at New Serres Stable on the route to Hebra, a short distance northwest of your main base of operations. But if you decide to ignore Hebra and visit some of the other regions first, you'll find him all over the map and he'll admit that he is totally lost.
  • Mega Man 3's Magnet Man, according to his CD data in Mega Man & Bass. The comics show him managing to screw up walking in a straight line.
  • Metal Slug has the Aikawa siblings, Rumi and Madoka, both of whom are in the supply division. Before each mission, they load up their bags with useful items and try to deliver them to the player characters. Unfortunately, the both of them are horrible with directions, which lead to them getting the nickname "The Wandering Ghost."
  • Just about anyone playing a Metroidvania for the first time, without any guides. Or the original Metroid, which early on has paths leading everywhere that in turn have more paths leading everywhere. And no in-game map.
  • Gemma in Ninja Pizza Girl apparently suffers from this. Luckily, her brother Tristan acts as Mission Control and keeps both her and the player heading in the right direction.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon X and Y, there's one out of place Lass amongst all the Ace Trainers and Rangers in a late-game route. Speaking to her afterward reveals that she is trying to find the Trainer's School. Somehow she ended up on the opposite side of Kalos.
    • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the Champion of the Galar region, Leon, is this, to the point where everyone around him, both human and Pokémon, have to keep him from getting lost. One of the very first things you and your rival (Leon's younger brother) Hop do when starting up the game is going to fetch Leon from the train station despite the fact the station is a straight shot from your homes. Another ridiculous moment is when Leon says that without his Charizard, he'd never make it to Motostoke Stadium on time. This sounds alright until you realize that Motostoke Stadium is the biggest building for miles around (it's visible from Hammerlocke Hills), is in the dead center of the city and is connected to the main city gate by a long, wide, straight road. Good thing Charizard was there! The Isle of Armor continues the Running Gag even though Leon doesn't appear in the story. After defeating Mustard in one of the island's towers, he tells you that Leon, who was his previous student, was never able to complete the training because he couldn't find either of the towers even though they're both clearly visible from the dojo (in fairness, one is on the other side of a branching cave, but the other is along the beach).
    • Wanda in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a Security Corps member who has a questline revolving around her getting lost in every area of the game, as a result of her own awful sense of direction or getting stranded by hostile Pokémon. When the Player Character first meets her and gives her directions back to Jubilife she immediately starts off in the opposite direction before being corrected.
  • Pavel of Professor Layton is an explorer who has no idea which way he's supposed to go. In The Curious Village, he somehow gets from the sewers into the sealed tower. One result of this is that he drops every foreign language he knows into his speech, because he's apparently ended up in a lot of countries this way. He also appears in the sequels, where he ends up in Folsense (a mysterious town not found on any map) and the future, making him just as lost in time as he is in space. That last example is a subversion; where he tried to go (a giant underground cavern) and where he ended up (Future London) are revealed to be exactly the same place. It's a clue hidden in a Running Gag.
  • Puyo Puyo:
  • In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, you run into a girl named Nagi who got lost in the Amber dungeon on the way home. After the third time you encounter her, Recette eventually tells Nagi where her shop is... and has to stop for breath twice in the process until Nagi says she gets it. It gets better: she never even realizes she's in a constantly-shifting dungeon until it's pointed out. Recette and Tear are genuinely shocked when she finally makes it to the shop. And to cap it all off, the game goes on to imply Nagi got lost while going from point to point the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan. The game is set in the equivalent of France.
  • In RuneScape, during one quest, you can run into an NPC named Olaf. Eventually, you get a map from him, but he warns you that he could never decipher the mysterious and runic symbols on the map. It's a map of the immediate area with a big X about fifteen steps away.
  • Wu Mhi from the Richman series has this trait in the game's eighth main title: She can't tell the differences of Hawaii and South America along with south and north, she can't even read a map, much to the dismay of the pilot taking her home.
  • Sierra Ops: Jean Brookes, by her own admission, can find her way around a military starship just fine but quickly gets lost anywhere else. The Sierra, with its confusingly laid out corridors, is no exception: Jean gets lost in several of her downtime events and needs Junius’s help to get wherever she was going.
  • Sammar in Sonic Unleashed. She starts out lost in Apotos, and after you help exorcise her demons, she thinks she's able to get back on her way home, only to get lost again a few more times.
  • Pulled twice in the Suikoden series, with Raura in II and Hortez VII in III. Konami plays with this trope a bit with Hortez, actually. He seeks to make a scroll-making shop in the army's home base, but every time your character gives him the directions, he ends up in a completely different town. After doing this 3 times, you're given the option to give him the wrong directions. Naturally, doing so will result in him getting to the base and officially being recruited.
  • Masaki Andoh in Super Robot Wars tends to get lost easily, whether it's in a battleship or flying around on his Humongous Mecha. A brief list of his "accomplishments":
    • In Super Robot Wars 4 and F, he flew around the Earth ten times and failed to find Japan. In Alpha, the record became twenty times.
    • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation he gets lost when someone is giving him an guided tour.
    • In Alpha Gaiden, they actually resort to using the ZERO System, an advanced combat analysis computer from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, in order to find him, and Heero remarks that even with ZERO it was a tough job.
    • At the end of the Nintendo DS remake of Super Robot Wars Gaiden, he gets more lost than he's ever been before. How lost? So lost that he actually ended up in an entirely different video game — Another Century's Episode: R. A video game that takes place on another planet, in Another Dimension. Ironically, at the end of the game when everyone is sent to their home dimensions, Masaki shows up fine but his friends Ryusei and Kyosuke get lost somewhere in transit, a Sequel Hook for Original Generations 2
      • And before that, between Super Robot Wars 2 and Super Robot Wars 3, he ended up in the world of Hero Senki... then comes back for 3 and tries to advertise the game!
      • ACE:R has a little more fun with this; the OG cast's Trophy is called "Eternally Lost Boy" and is earned by having Masaki travel a certain distance in-game.
    • Super Robot Wars 30 takes this to an insane level as dialogue when you recruit him hints that the Masaki that shows up here is the one from the Super Robot Wars Alpha timeline. Meaning, somehow, Masaki crossed space and time.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace from Alice in the Country of Hearts has a legendarily bad sense of direction — a trip that would take a normal person half an hour can take him days. He constantly carries around a tent and camping supplies with him and views every change in location as a chance for Adventure!
  • Chelsea Arcot of Blessing of the Campanella, who was still pacing outside of the Clan Oasis homestead where she was headed, not knowing if she's there yet. Lampshaded by her childhood friend Shelly Maycraft after being ushered in and introducing herself. Interesting for such a person to become a Holy Knight.
  • The Visual Novel Happiness! has Shinya Kamijyo, who has such a terrible sense of direction, that when he intends to go to school (even when accompanied by his twin sister Saya), he always ends up elsewhere (such as the sewers), but no matter where he is, whenever Saya is in any danger, he instantly knows where she is and comes rushing towards her exact location within seconds.
  • In the Dating Sim Princess Debut, Prince Luciano is notorious for his total lack of navigation skills, and gets angry if anyone calls him on it. In one instance, he confuses the local lake for an ocean.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao is a subtler example than most, but still fits. In Shizune's route, it takes him an hour to get back to the school from the Shanghai, which students often visit at lunch. In Act 1, while looking for the library, he wanders into the tea room and meets Lilly for the first time.
  • Masaomi Hibiya of Serendipity Next Door not only has no sense of direction, he can't even read a map to save his life. The protagonist has to guide him from their apartment building to a nearby convenience store on several occasions, as without someone to show him the way he tends to end up wandering helplessly around outside the building trying to figure out which way to hold the map.

    Web Animation 
  • The Roronoa Zoro/Erza Scarlet episode of DEATH BATTLE! has Zoro getting lost trying to find the shipyard and getting into a fight with Erza after she recognizes him from the wanted poster. After he wins, he ends up in Metal Slug!
  • Donut of Red vs. Blue tends to wind up at the opposing Blue base due to this, those times he doesn't wind up at the cliff wall, instead. This apparently extends to spatial awareness as well.
    Donut: What? You're leaving us out here without any transportation? We'll die!
    Church: Die of what?
    Donut: Exposure! We're stranded! This is murder.
    Church: Your base is right there, I can see it.
    Donut: You may as well just feed us to the buzzards right now.
    Church: You could have walked back to the base in the time we've been discussing this.
    Donut: Go. Just sign our death warrants.
  • Pokémon: Twilight Wings: In case it being a Running Gag in the games isn't enough, Leon gets to show off exactly how horrible he is with directions in his focus short. He tries to go to Wyndon Stadium for a match, but gets (in his own words) "a little lost on the road"...aka, ends up in the middle of the wilderness climbing a mountain. The Corviknight cab driver who finds him is rightfully baffled.

  • Black Belt in 8-Bit Theater has gotten so lost he breaks the laws of physics. On separate occasions, he has managed to wind up on a completely different continent from where he started, somehow got inside a temple whose only point of entry was locked, successfully found the Light Warriors, but only because they were on the wrong side of the planet, and in his most egregious case managed to accidentally create a temporal duplicate of himself by wandering through time and space while trying to navigate a straight hallway.
    Black Belt: You try walking a straight line without bumping into wave functions of neighboring realities!
    Black Mage: We do it all the time. It's called not being so stupid it warps the universe!
    Fighter: Univarse. It's pronounced "univarse".
  • Featured in "The Detour", a Buttersafe comic.
    Demon: You ended up in the Twelfth Plane of Torment on your way to the kitchen?
  • Conventional Wisdom is all about anime conventions, which means lots of road trips, unfamiliar cities, and large hotels and convention centers. This comes up.
  • The woman in this Doghouse Diaries strip is so bad at driving, she doesn't just get lost in space when trying to drive somewhere, she gets lost in time.
  • El Goonish Shive: Tara the gryphon from an Alternate Universe comes to Moperville looking for her wife Andrea, under the impression that she's been kidnapped, injured, or otherwise rendered unable to return. Ashley, a fan of Ranma ½, suggests that perhaps she just can't find her way back to the Cool Gate, and Tara is forced to admit that this makes perfect sense. This gets a Call-Back when the griffins return:
    Lord Tyrant-Slayer: (thoughts) The three on their way are clearly not as adept at sensing others as I am. And ... is one of them going in completely the wrong direction? Oh. Right. Andrea.
  • Saffron of Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts is especially prone to this. For example, Ambrosia gives us:
    Ambrosia: One time when she was a kid, she got lost in the castle for several hours trying to find her room.
  • In Gone With The Blast Wave, it appears that everyone without a map is completely lost, and those that do have them tend to either lose them or misread them.
  • Gosu: It has started to become a Running Gag with the members of the Doh Family. Both Doh Gyeom and his younger sister Yeon got hopelessly lost trying to find their way to the tavern-on-the-fork and needed outside assistance to make it there.note 
  • My Deepest Secret: Yohan Lee manages to get lost very easily. It's usually played for laughs, but ends up played for drama when he notices he's being followed and means to go to a crowded area...but ends up at an abandoned house instead. This leads to him pulling a Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Zoro's lack of direction is also present in the webcomic One Piece: Grand Line 3.5. As part of his Min-Maxing, Zoro's player took the "Super Directionless" flaw. Whenever he wants to move without help he has to roll a 100-sided die and see where he winds up, making it essentially a random teleport.
    Nami: Are you on another island?
    Zoro: Well, I have a swim speed, so technically it is possible.

    Web Original 
  • One of Battlefailed's claims to fame is such ridiculous Bizarchitecture that it repeatedly broke the pathfinding of fallen beasts and other threats, leaving them wandering around the lower levels of the fortress for years. In fact, one of the fortress's rooms is impossible for the players to locate.
  • SCP-920 "Mr. Lost" from the SCP Foundation is wholly incapable of being transported or directed to any destination. He himself can't choose a destination and just wanders aimlessly everywhere. If anything does try to transport him, random events such as radar malfunctions and earthquakes will render transportation impossible. Even worse, his lousy sense of direction is contagious. For instance, if he's forcibly stopped and a building is constructed around him, anyone attempting to find the building will become lost.

    Web Videos 
  • Epic Rap Battles of History:
    • In the "Moses vs. Santa Claus" episode, Santa's elves offer Moses a GPS wondering who could possibly get lost for 40 years. Of course, given that Moses is shown high, this could be justified.
    • In another episode, Captain Kirk mocks Christopher Columbus's inability to reach any place he attempts to sail to, most notably India.
  • The trio from HAT Films tend to either go in circles or simply not pay attention to what they are carrying whenever they play Minecraft.
  • Another YouTube Let's Player, Headless Wonder, has gone on the record to say "If it's possible to get lost in a game, I will."
  • Two characters from the Noob franchise display this: Sparadrap among players and Non-Player Character Jack Céparou, who's sometimes seen looking for his compass.
  • Soviet Womble's videos feature a variant of this with Cyanide, who specifically has trouble remembering what cardinal directions are. Pretty frequently when he's without a map and has to work mentally, he usually needs a moment to remember "Never Eat Sea Weed" (or alternatively, Nobody Enjoys Soviet Womble) before he figures out which way he needs to go.
  • TB Skyen spends a lot of time going the wrong way in Dark Souls games, particularly when backtracking to find a specific door that he now has a key for. Often there will be a hyper-accelerated sequence of him just running in the wrong direction forever.
  • YouTube star Tobuscus suffers from this in any game he plays that doesn't have an obvious linear path forward. Particular examples include Minecraft and Skyrim. In the former he has a mod that provides a minimap plus waypoints and completely ignores it 95% of the time; and in the latter he regularly ignores his compass and the quest markers that appear on it, often spending half an episode wandering off in the entirely wrong direction.
  • All of the Player Characters in Twitch Plays Pokémon, thanks to the Hive Mind's conflicting directions.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Played with. Zuko is tracking Aang to capture him, but the records of his positions show his movement near impossible to predict. Zuko comments that he must truly be a master of evasion. Cut to Sokka saying, "You have no idea where we're going, do you?" as Aang is literally going wherever he wants to have fun at, e.g. a place to go surfing before heading off to a different location.
  • Beast Wars: Near the end, with the Darksyde destroyed, Inferno vows to locate a new base of operations, Waspinator counters, "Ant-bot not find own thorax with both hands and a road map."
  • BoJack Horseman: In the Season 3 premiere, Todd manages to get lost in the same hotel hallway all episode long.
  • Bugs Bunny: Bugs can end up anywhere in the world, after missing that left turn in Albuquerque. At several points (ironically when his wrong turn was somewhere other than Albuquerque), Bugs would somehow get so lost he winds up travelling through time.
  • Danger Mouse: In "Penfold B.F.", DM is out to retrieve a Patagonian pygmy pigeon that has a secret message and is hampered by Penfold, who through swallowing an untested vitamin pill becomes a rhyming superhero. The message turns out to read never to try to catch a Patagonian pygmy pigeon because they have no sense of direction.
  • Garfield and Friends: It once took a whole day for Jon to find the way out of a tunnel. Garfield can't understand how it happened.
  • George of the Jungle has a tendency to swing into trees, but this trope was in full force in the episode "Monkey Business". While trying to find who captured Ape, George finds a set of tracks, and immediately follows his "Jungle Intuition" and runs in the opposite direction. His path takes him all over the world;
    "But help was approaching... the long way around."
    George: (while paddling a canoe through what appears to be the Arctic Ocean) This way, George sneak up on them from behind.
  • High School U.S.A.: Marsh, who has to pretend to live in the 1990s, had to drive from his school to his house without GPS. He ended up driving around town late into the night completely lost.
  • Itsevaltiaat Kuningasmusikaali: Two Finnish ministers got lost while trying to find a dragon's lair (It Makes Sense in Context). Their path goes trough a farm, a tropical island and the moon until accidentally finding a dragon's lair.
  • Lavender Castle: Sproggle, who tends to have trouble telling apart his left and his right. Ironically, Captain Thrice ends up making him the navigator of his spaceship.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: The bushwoolies and the furbobs are both terrible at finding and giving directions, although for diametrically opposite reasons.
    • Bushwoolies are both highly excitable scatterbrains and inveterate doormats and yes-men who always agree with whatever has just been said. They tend to excitedly essay random directions when asked while heartily agreeing with whatever ones anybody comes up with, as Spike finds out to his chagrin in "The Quest of the Princess Ponies, Part 1" when he takes a shortcut they proposed and they become lost in the middle of the Jewel Desert.
      Spike: Oh, some shortcut, we've been walking for hours. Okay, let's try again. Which way leads to Dream Valley?
      Bushwoolies: This way! That way! Sure! That way! You bet!
      Spike: [sigh]
    • The furbobs, by contrast, never agree on anything — least of all directions — and have been constantly relocating for an unspecified amount of time by the series' start. Even if they can remember where their home is this time, they'll still wildly contradict each other's directions as a matter of course.
  • Season 6 of PAW Patrol introduced Travis, a televised explorer who always ends up in the wrongest places possible (ex. going to the Arctic and thinking he's on Mars).
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Captain Peter "Wrong Way" Peachfuzz. He's so bad that his crew keeps him in a fake control room while the ship's real controls are elsewhere. But then he loses his way, goes into the real controls by mistake, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "The Wild Brood", Sheriff Stone somehow managed to get himself lost in Daphne's closet while trying to leave her room in a huff.
  • World of Quest: Way is a living direction finder, able to locate and display a route to absolutely anything, anywhere. The rest of her people can't go two blocks without getting lost.

    Real Life 
  • Famed aviator Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan: Denied permission to fly the Atlantic by the FAA in 1938, he took off after angrily declaring his intention to return home to Long Beach, California. He landed in Ireland 28 hours and 18 minutes later, claiming he'd flown the wrong way. Wrong Way Corrigan lived until 1995 and never once admitted that his transatlantic flight was anything other than an accident. Several fictional characters on this page were named in his honor.
  • There is a Russian saying for No Sense of Direction meaning "to lose one's way in a three-pine forest". There are many more colorful idioms out there for describing the trope. One of the most common in English being not being able to "find one's butt with both hands", sometimes with "and a road map" thrown in for emphasis.
  • In Japanese the word "houkouonchi" literally means "directionally tone-deaf", and is used more idiomatically to call someone an idiot.
  • This is the reason why turn-by-turn GPS units are so popular.
    • And even then, sometimes Artificial Stupidity rears its ugly head, and they start giving you idiotic or even impossible routes.
  • One of the common reasons that people fail the driving test is that they may drive fine but find it hard to follow directions, especially while nervous and under pressure.
  • Developmental Topographical Disorientation is a cognitive disorder which causes people to literally have no sense of direction — not just being bad at finding new places, but being unable to orient themselves in their own house or neighborhood.
  • People who are not right/left-dominant often have trouble telling right from left because the "wiring in the brain" is crisscrossed. They frequently have trouble with directions that include "turn left", or will give directions like "turn towards the old red barn". This often applies to people with autism.
    • Yet many of these same people will score perfectly at navigation if you use compass directions.
  • Norbert Weiner, a famed mathematician and inventor of the field of Cybernetics, and one of the better-known real-world examples of the Absent-Minded Professor trope, had so much trouble finding his way around the offices at MIT that he would use the 'right hand rule' for closed mazes to navigate the hallways: he would put his right hand out, with a book in the other hand, and walk along the rooms with his index finger running along the walls, and would keep walking until he found himself in his office. He was known for walking into, around, and out of offices and classrooms this way, never saying a word or taking his eyes off of the book.
    • An Urban Legend says that he once got lost on his way back home, and stopped to ask a young girl for directions, saying, "Young lady, would you know where the famous mathematician Norbert Weiner lives?" Her reply was, "This way, Daddy, Momma sent me to find you." However, his daughter has denied that this ever happened, saying that no matter how lost he got, he always recognized his children.
  • It is said that if you lose a pet skunk, you probably will never see it again for this reason. Though it's more likely that the skunk just decided to strike out on its own, given that skunks aren't domestic animals and don't have the instinct to seek out humans the way a dog or even a cat would.
  • When a person who usually has a good sense of direction starts getting lost in new places, it's often a symptom of age-related cognitive decline.
  • The crash of Varig Flight 254 is thanks to a series of this. The airline had recently switched to a system of giving flight headings as a four-digit number, with the last digit representing a decimal. The captain of this flight had been on holiday when the change happened, and when presented with a heading of '0270' interpreted it as 270° rather than the correct 27°. Despite the massive difference in direction that this represented, the crew still flew the plane for an hour in the wrong direction and only realised their error when they began to descend and couldn't see the city they were supposed to be landing in. The crew then attempted to navigate using commercial radio broadcasts, unaware that a different city shared the same frequencies, which sent them even further off-course until they eventually crash-landed in the Amazon rainforest. What makes this especially noteworthy is that the flight took place during sunset when the location of the sun should've provided a massive clue in both instances that they were not flying north.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lack Of Direction Sense


Lewis and Clark Expedition

Lewis and Clark decided to go into the "exploring" business and went to make the Western half of the Northern continent. The only problem is that they went over 10,000 miles in the wrong direction, finding themselves in Palau-Palau when they meant to go to Oregon.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EpicFail

Media sources: