"How come it never goes smooth?!"
— Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly
These characters (or objects) attract a particular type of plot or item, apparently by pure chance. They generally aren't deliberately looking for whatever they attract, nor is anyone necessarily setting them up for it, but time and time again, they find themselves enmeshed in the same plot, or followed by the same people or stuff.
Specific types are: <!—index—>
- Born Unlucky - attracts all kinds of bad luck.
- Bully Magnet - attracts people who bully them.
- Butt-Monkey - attracts humiliation and "put him through hell" storylines.
- Chick Magnet - attracts lots of ladies.
- Animal Chick Magnet - attracts lots of ladies simply by owning one or more pets.
- Clueless Chick-Magnet - attracts lots of ladies, but isn't good at dating.
- Coincidence Magnet - attracts improbable coincidences.
- The Comically Serious - a serious character who attracts comedic situations.
- Crime Magnet - attracts criminals out to rob them or otherwise take advantage of them.
- Designated Victim - attracts danger and trouble Once an Episode. Frequently winds up kidnapped.
- Doom Magnet - attracts doom and despair to those around him.
- The Dulcinea Effect - attracts trouble brought about by trying to save the girl.
- Dude Magnet - attracts lots of guys.
- Fanfic Magnet - a minor character who attracts lots of fanworks.
- Fight Magnet - attracts fights.
- Hollywood Magnetism - magnets that attract things inaccurately.
- Magic Is a Monster Magnet - attracts supernatural trouble due to one's magical nature.
- Magnetic Medium - attracts ghosts and spirits.
- Magnetic Hero - attracts allies.
- Character-Magnetic Team - group of magnetic heroes that attracts fringe characters and party replacements.
- Magnetism Manipulation - magnetism as a superpower.
- Magnetic Plot Device - the magnet is actually a MacGuffin the character is somehow associated with
- Mystery Magnet - attracts mundane mysteries.
- Nemesis Magnet - attracts arch-enemies.
- Power-Up Magnet - attracts dropped items, whether power ups, treasure, or other things.
- Selective Magnetism - magnets that only attract things sometimes.
- Walking Wasteland - attracts death and destruction everywhere they go.
- Weirdness Magnet - attracts Speculative Fiction Tropes.
- Villain Ball Magnet- attracts people who cannot or will not see them as anything but evil, effectively treating them as a villain.