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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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"A man often meets his destiny on the very road he took to avoid it."
French/Chinese/Tortoise proverb

Whenever anyone tries to avert a prophecy, for good or ill, the end result of their actions is to bring the prophecy about. The harder they struggle to prevent it, the more inescapable their destiny becomes. Fate, it seems, loves irony. Strangely, the other side of this, where the prophecy is fulfilled because someone wants to fulfill it, is rarely explored in fiction (Either-Or Prophecies notwithstanding).


When a hero tries to prevent the prophesied release of an ancient evil, their actions will help it escape because You Can't Fight Fate. When the Big Bad tries to slaughter all the members of a given people in order to kill the one among them who is prophesied to end them, they will only manage to create the hero that they fear, Because Destiny Says So.

One common mechanism for this is a Prophecy Twist. If no one understands the real meaning of the prophecy, any attempts to avert it will naturally be futile. A cynic will point out that by this measure, a prophecy must be vague. Otherwise, it would be easy to defeat, or else those it affects must carry an Idiot Ball and not take the direct approach that would have no room for failure.

To be this trope, a member of the cast must be actively trying to prevent it from happening. Then it happens, most often because of the attempt to prevent it. Generally, this happens through one of two courses: either a) the person the prophecy concerns will, in their pre-preemptive efforts to prevent their purported doom, end up creating the very circumstances by which the prophecy is fulfilled; or b) having taken their preventative measures, they will then unwittingly blunder right into the prophecy's hands. More complex prophecies may include both.


The archetypal Older Than Feudalism example is the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex. A prophecy says the king will be killed by his own son, so the king orders his infant son killed. (He has his feet nailed to a board and left to die of exposure in the wilderness, rather than, say, cutting him in half with a sword.) Oedipus is rescued, and brought up not knowing he's the prince. Twenty years later, he learns his fate: he will kill his father and marry his mother. Wanting to protect his adoptive family — who he believes are his natural parents — Oedipus leaves home. On the road, he meets his biological father (whom he doesn't recognize, naturally), gets into an argument, and kills him. Shortly thereafter he comes to the city his father ruled, and frees them from the Sphinx; as a reward, Oedipus is made king of the city and marries the widowed queen... his own mother.


Most of the real-world prophecies that come true are also self-fulfilling — simply stating that something will happen often ensures that it will happen someday, whether by accident or because someone read your prophecy and decided they'd make it happen.

An example sometimes given is that a prediction that a bank may go bankrupt may scare people into withdrawing their money from the bank all in a rush — but since the bank only keeps a fraction of their deposits actually on hand (the rest is invested out, e.g. bank loans), the run on the bank can drive the bank into insolvency, ironically just as predicted. In simpler terms, fear that a certain commodity (like gasoline) will run short may trigger people to stock up on it, leading to a shortage of that very commodity. Then there's plain old paranoia, which is a good way to make enemies.

Contrast Self-Defeating Prophecy. Compare Catch-22 Dilemma, Prophetic Fallacy, The Firefly Effect, Streisand Effect, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero (and/or Nice Job Fixing It, Villain, depending on who did it), and Nice Job Breaking It, Herod. Often an integral part of tragedy. May cause a Clingy MacGuffin or be caused by being Improperly Paranoid. For the Time Travel version, see You Already Changed the Past and Stable Time Loop. See also Situational Irony.


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    Audio Play 
  • In The Broken Cyborg: A Biopunk Fairytale, New Albion's mayor gets a message that the city is about to go through a great upheaval on the scale of the one that previously led to New Albion becoming a police state and the ensuing civil war. There's a community of transhumanists living in a shantytown in the city's central park which she fears will be the catalyst, so she orders the military to exterminate them all. Some of the survivors including Jane, the titular cyborg, escape through a gate into the fairy realm where they learn how to alter their bodies in even more extreme ways. With this knowledge, Jane leads an army of mutants and The Fair Folk to reclaim the park and declare it a sovereign territory.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Fish and the Ring, Vasilii the Unlucky, "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs", The King Who Would Be Stronger Than Fate, and many other fairy tales, a man who finds his child is destined to marry a poor child tries to kill them several times, and the wedding always come to pass due to their attempts to prevent it.
  • In Sun, Moon, and Talia, an older variant of Sleeping Beauty, wise men prophesy that Talia will be harmed by flax. Her father, therefore, bans it from the castle — which means Talia doesn't know what it is and finds it intriguing.
  • In Madame d'Aulnoy's Princess Rosette, the fairies (reluctantly) predict that the princess will cause grave danger, or even death, to her older brothers. So her parents lock her in a tower. When they die, her brothers immediately free her. She learns that people eat peacocks and, in her innocence, resolves to marry the King of the Peacocks. Her loving brothers try to bring this about and end up in grave danger (though they do survive).
  • In The Brothers Grimm's The Bright Sun Brings It to Light, a tailor's apprentice in need of money robs and murders a poor Jew who prophesies with his last breath that the apprentice won't get away with it because "the bright sun will bring [the crime] to light." Years pass and the apprentice eventually finds work, marries his boss' daughter and starts a family. One day, he notices the sun shining on his coffee and the reflection making circles on the walls and mutters "yes, it would like very much to bring it to light, and cannot!" His wife asks him what he means by this and pesters him until he admits his crime to her. She confides the secret to someone else and it soon becomes public knowledge. "And thus, after all, the bright sun did bring it to light."
  • Downplayed in The Grateful Beasts. Ferko's brothers, looking for something to slander him with, claim he will carry off the princess. He does marry the princess, because of the consequences of that.
  • Russian Mythology and Tales: In a Russian fairy tale, a ruler is foretold that his favorite horse will cause his death. He orders the horse taken away and killed. A year later, he goes to the place where the horse was killed, taunts its bare bones and kicks the skull. An angry snake crawls out of the skull and bites him in the leg, killing him. The story was turned into the poem Old Oleg by Alexander Pushkin. In his version, the prince does not have the horse killed but decides not to ride it anymore and leaves it on a distant pasture to graze. Many years later, he comes to the place and finds that the horse has died of old age in the meantime. Then he makes the mistake of approaching the skeleton...
  • A story is told in England about a 14th-century nobleman named Robert de Shurland. Upon getting a prediction that he will die because of his horse, he killed it on the spot. A year later, he passed nearby and kicked the skull. A piece of bone pierced his foot, causing blood poisoning.

    Films — Animated 
  • A Bug's Life: Hopper continuously bullies and threatens the ants to keep them submissive and scared, preventing them from realizing their vastly superior numbers would allow them to easily fend off the grasshoppers if they stood up for themselves, a fact he is well aware of. Unfortunately for him, doubling down on his abuse to stomp out any signs of disobedience results in the ants eventually getting fed up with being treated like garbage and standing up to the grasshoppers, just as he feared.
  • Encanto: Bruno's talent is the ability to predict the future. However, many of his prophecies work this way. For instance, when he said "it looks like rain" during Pepa’s wedding, she freaked out and her weather powers go haywire (it doesn’t help she's very emotionally unstable), or when he said a woman's fish will die (since it was living in a bowl and was mortal), or a man would get fatter (well, this is what happens when someone overeats or has a slow metabolism), or the priest will lose his hair (it’s called "genetics"). Because people tend to do exactly what the prophecies say, they immediately label Bruno as a jinx.
  • Frozen has infant Elsa injure Anna with her magic. When their parents take her to the trolls, Pabbie warns them that Elsa's magic could be devastating if not controlled, and emphasizes the threat to Anna if she gets hit in the heart with ice magic. The parent's response is to lock Elsa away, to teach her what a threat she is, and to repeatedly tell her to repress her feelings and her magic so she doesn't hurt anyone. This causes Elsa to develop severe anxiety and fear about her powers, which in turn mean she is no longer able to control them. As a result, not only does one of her panic attacks freeze all of Arendelle, but she also ended up accidentally striking her sister by her heart, the very thing that Elsa wanted to avoid in all her life.
  • In Hercules, Hades gets a prophecy from the Fates that the only thing that can foil his plan to rule the cosmos is the titular hero. When he tried to dispose of Herc as a baby, he set off a chain of events that led to Hercules growing up to be a hero and foiling his plans.
  • Kung Fu Panda has the Old Master Oogway warning that he had a premonition that the villainous Tai Lung will escape his prison. Master Shifu has a bird messenger sent to the prison to increase the security; when he gets there, he inadvertently provides the essential element (a feather, used as a lockpick) that puts Oogway's premonition in motion and lets Tai Lung escape. Oogway even tries to warn Shifu of this possibility before the fact.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 has the Genocide Backfire version: Lord Shen hears that he will be defeated by a "warrior of black and white", so he destroys the panda village in the area. This act eventually causes baby Po to be sent to the Valley of Peace, which allows him to become the Dragon Warrior and get the training he would need to fulfill his destiny, and indeed, he defeats Shen and ends his ambitions of conquest. It goes into full Prophecy Twist territory with how Shen dies: Po was willing to offer Shen mercy. However, Shen continued to attacking, cutting ropes holding up Shen's creation, a giant cannon. The cannon falls, crushing him. Shen, who through his colored plumage (and through the constant Yin Yang motifs throughout the film) is also a "warrior of black and white." Shen not only caused his own defeat by Po, but also caused his defeat by himself.
  • In The LEGO Movie, Vitruvius admits that he made up the prophecy about "the Special" because he knew that it would inspire hope and bring about an actual "Special" by the hidden potential found in everyone.
  • In The Prince of Egypt, Rameses remains firm on not freeing the Hebrews out of fear of weakening Egypt. That attitude causes God to send the plagues and as a result, Egypt gets severely weakened.
  • In The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, Nicodemus foretold that M. Brisby's youngest son, Timmy, had a great destiny of saving his loved ones awaiting him, and should, therefore, be sent to Thorn Valley for further education. This possibility enrages his older brother Martin so much, that he runs away from home, gets captured by NIMH, gets experimented on by being given hyper-intelligence, causing him to go Hitler, upon which he manages to brainwash all the other rats in the facility, causing an uprising against the scientists, after which he organizes the lab rats into an army to invade Thorn Valley, longing for revenge, and is then gradually and conveniently stopped by Timmy, who has henceforth managed to keep his loved ones safe.
  • Titan A.E.: The Drej destroyed the original Earth and drove humanity into galactic-wide vagrancy because they believed we'd one day destroy them. They end up used as power for the titular Titan, the world-builder that creates the new Earth. It's safe to assume the protagonists wouldn't have needed to do that if they still had the old Earth...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A prophecy said that the title character in The Beastmaster would bring down the Big Bad, so the villain tried to have the boy killed before his birth, the act which gave him the beast empathy powers that led to the villain's downfall.
  • Subverted in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: Cesare predicts that Alan has until dawn to live, and then goes and ensures the accuracy of his prediction. With a knife.
  • In Caddyshack Al Czervik bets that Judge Smails will slice his drive into the woods. Despite claiming he never slices, this is enough to put the thought into his head, so he does indeed slice into the woods. Any avid golfer can tell you this happens all the time in Real Life.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, Lord Marshal Zhylaw experiences Genocide Backfire when he kills off the entire Furyan Race to avoid death by one of their hands. Except he misses the infant who later became Riddick, who might not have even known or cared about Zhylaw's crimes if he didn't keep trying to kill Riddick and his friends. He actually missed two, and the other one saves Riddick's life.

    This part of Zhylaw's character is especially evident in the climax, where he is wounded while fighting Riddick before his second-in-command Vaako attempts to kill him and take his throne. Zhylaw uses his transportation ability to flee, but realizes too late that Riddick is waiting for him on the other end. Being forced to choose between dying at the hand of either Vaako or Riddick, he chooses the latter.
  • In The Dark Crystal, the Chamberlain outright says that it's the prophecy's fault for causing the Genocide Backfire of the Gelflings. If it hadn't been for the prophecy, the Gelflings wouldn't have been annihilated, and the last survivors wouldn't have as much a motive to kill off the Skeksis by healing the Dark Crystal.
  • More or less the backstory of the titular character in The Enchantress. She's a Japanese martial artist from a powerful Japanese sect who entered the Ming Dynasty, but she later fell in love with a Ming swordsman, becoming pregnant with his child in the process. But the Ming fears the Japanese's powers after learning of how the Japanese could potentially overwhelm their martial world and wipe out all members of the Ming practitioners, so they initiated a clan massacre on the Japanese, only for an ancient Shinto curse for her to return with her handmaidens in tow, as a group of Vengeful Ghosts who is now on a killing spree on the Ming.
  • In the 2006 Bollywood superhero movie Krrish, a modern take on the ancient story of Krishna in the Mahabharata, the antagonist Dr. Arya builds a supercomputer that can predict the future. After seeing his own predicted death at the hands of Krrish, he begins hunting him down. Krrish's friend Kristian is shot dead by Dr. Arya when he is mistaken for Krrish. As a result, Krrish vows to revenge against Dr. Arya and eventually kills him. Dr. Arya's attempt to prevent his death led to it becoming true.
  • Unlike most examples, The Matrix series as a whole justifies this trope in that those prophesied about actually WANT to fulfill the prophecies made by the Oracle. Also further justified in that the Oracle may SEE the future, but she usually doesn't TELL the future. That is, she doesn't tell the Zionites what the future actually holds. She just tells them what they need to hear in order for that future to come about. The Oracle was a memetic program designed to understand and manipulate human emotions. Go figure.
    • The Oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase. Neo turns around to see what vase she's talking about, and in the process knocks it over. Then she tells him to wonder about if he still would have broken it if she hadn't said anything.
    • Trinity said that the Oracle had told her she, Trinity, would fall in love with the guy who was the One from the prophecies. When Trinity fell in love with Neo, she used this to justify her belief that Neo was the One. But maybe she only fell in love with him because she thought he was the One? She was so fixated on the idea of the prophecy that she was unable to fall in love with anyone else, but once Morpheus announced Neo as The Chosen One, Trinity wanted desperately to believe in it. The shooting script actually included additional lines about Morpheus finding other "Ones" before, who all died (hence why Cypher tells Neo not to screw with Agents as others did and just run) and Trinity whispering to Neo that she knows he IS The One, because she had a feeling about him she did not have about others.
    • When Neo asked the Oracle if he was the One the first time he met her and she told him "No, not in this life", she was speaking the truth. He wasn't. Not at that point in time, anyway. This may also count as an inversion when her telling Neo that Morpheus would die for mistakenly believing Neo was the One unless Neo did something about it eventually led to Neo dying, and getting resurrected in a blatant Christian metaphor, and at THAT point he becomes the One. And gets himself crucified a few films later.
    • However, it's subverted when Neo, the Messianic Archetype "prophesied" by the Machines to perpetuate a cycle of death and rebirth of Zion that had repeated several times before, rebelled against the prophecy and later broke the cycle with the unwitting help of Smith. Then double subverted at the end when the Architect suggests that she planned all of it, thus the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy came about by just not telling Neo the real prophecy.
  • Minority Report plays it straight for most of its length, but subverts it near the end. Or more simply:
    'destiny ain't what you thought it were'.
  • Office Space: Tom Smykowski's prediction that he'll lose his job; since he apparently spent more time worrying about getting fired instead of preparing for the interview with the Bobs that he knew was coming, he's a nervous, sweaty wreck by the time he's in front of them and completely falls apart after a few questions that really shouldn't have been that difficult to answer. Needless to say, the Bobs assume his job isn't that important and can him.
  • Over the Edge: Everything the parents do to crack down on their children's criminal tendencies only leads to even worse outbursts since they don't accept the fact that their interest in making in profit is what is burning them out. Carl, who is warned by his father to stay away from reform school, ends up there by the end of the movie. Mr. Sloan spells it out for Fred.
    Mr. Sloan: Seems to me like you all were in such a hopped-up hurry to get out of the city that you turned your kids into exactly what you were trying to get away from.
  • Paycheck. And not Paycheck. The newspaper scene plays this straight with the machine that can see the future, but the rest of the movie subverts this. Specifically, the machine sees in the future that there will be a plague. So, leaders use the machine to see who will get the plague, round them all up and keep them together to prevent it from spreading. Surprise! They all get the plague. The machine predicts a war with another country, so leaders launch a preemptive strike against the evil country and the result is a war. By seeing the future, the leaders create the future, which they then see. It's weird and circular but makes sense: the machine doesn't so much see the future, it sees the future that the machine will create merely by existing.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard is prophesied to die at the hands of the "One-Legged Man". Convinced that he can't beat the prophecy but can cheat it, he sets sail for the Fountain of Youth. This plan of action creates two critical mistakes which allow the prophecy to come to pass: he has given the One-Legged Man a location at which to find him, and in reaching it deprives himself of the considerable magical abilities granted to him by the combination of his enchanted sword and ship.
  • The Sandra Bullock film Premonition, mixed with Anachronic Order via Unstuck in Time. This is a particularly frightening example, because of the Anachronic Order nature of the film, she spends every other day as one before and one after her husband dies, and spends the movie trying to prevent his death not knowing that her eventual presence at the scene of his accident is what causes it.
  • In Sex and Death 101, Roderick gets a list of all the sexual partners he will ever have in his lifetime. Reading the list causes him to break up with his fiance and seek out the other women. He resigns himself to doing what the list says, at one point having sex with a crazy homeless woman and a man just because it says he will.
  • The bank insolvency example was mentioned in Sneakers.
  • In Star Trek (2009), Nero boasts that James T. Kirk will never become the hero that history remembered him as because Nero would kill him first like he did his father. Ironically, Nero's deeds are PRECISELY what leads to Kirk becoming a hero; in fact, he might've accelerated it!
  • Star Wars:
    • The entire plot of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Anakin has visions of his wife dying in childbirth and turns to the dark side in an attempt to prevent it, only to get Drunk on the Dark Side and accidentally kill her. This was done to contrast with Luke later being confronted by the same sorts of troubling prophecies, but ultimately being able to Screw Destiny and avoid the path his father took.
    • The Last Jedi: Luke feared that his nephew, Ben Solo, would turn to the Dark Side, and so attempted to murder him in his sleep. He caught himself and changed his mind, but it was already too late. Ben woke up to see his uncle looming over him, lightsaber in hand, and so Ben attacked to defend himself, prompting his turn to the Dark Side and becoming Kylo Ren.
  • Tell Me How I Die: An experimental drug gives people who use it visions of the future, including their own (violent) deaths at the hands of a killer stalking the testing facility. It's left ambiguous whether people can influence the visions they have or the visions influence the people having them, but the female lead eventually realizes that it works as a self-fulfilling prophecy because every character she told about the manner in which she saw them die ultimately do so in the exact way she described by trying to prevent it, while the only person that she didn't explicitly tell about hers died in a different manner than the vision predicted.
  • In The Ten Commandments (1956), Pharoah Rameses I on advice from his High Priest Jannes orders the massacre of all Hebrew babies born at the time predicted that a Hebrew male would grow up to deliver his slave nation from bondage. It does not work, as the one surviving male baby Moses is secretly adopted by the pharaoh's own daughter Bithia to actually grow up to make the prophecy come true.
  • Terminator:
    • In The Terminator, John Connor would not have been conceived if the T-800 hadn't traveled back in time and attempted to kill Sarah Connor, while Skynet wouldn't have been created if T-800 hadn't traveled back in time and attempted to kill Sarah Connor. Thus, Skynet created both itself and its greatest enemy.
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in general puts forth the idea that it's not so much a self-fulfilling prophecy anyway, but a kind of predestination... Judgment Day will always happen, and there will always be a human Resistance that rises up to fight it. It's the details such as the date of Judgment Day and who leads the Resistance (and whether the Resistance wins) that can be changed. All we know is that at some point, John Connor got conceived and added into the temporal shuffle, at which point his own actions formed a Stable Time Loop assuring he'd be born.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, the eponymous prophecy of Asgard's destruction at Ragnarok couldn't have been fulfilled if the heroes didn't know about it... because they actively invoked it to Summon Bigger Fish.
  • 12 Monkeys. Not the cataclysm itself, but the protagonist's vision of someone dying. And La Jetée, the short French New Wave film it was based on.
  • In Wanted the Loom of Fate causes Sloan to fall into this. The loom marks Sloan for death, but Sloan is the only one who interprets the loom's coded marks, so he simply hides it away and manufactures targets to make money as well as shape the world as he sees fit. In the end, the loom also marks the entire Chicago Fraternity for death; one tries to say Screw Destiny but is killed by the Action Girl just after, who kills herself with the same bullet, in the same shot, as her name is on the list. Though Sloan survives this scene, his attempt to turn the Fraternity into assassins for money and his failure to succeed allow the main character to survive and kill him in the very next scene.
  • In Willow, the local evil sorceress tries to kill the infant prophesied to be her downfall, inadvertently rallying all her enemies to try and protect the child, ultimately leading to the sorceress's defeat. In addition to that, in the end, she ends up destroying herself with the very spell she was going to use to destroy the child.

    Folk Tales 
  • A fable from the Middle East tells of a wealthy man of Baghdad, whose servant begs for his master's fastest horse to flee the city to Samarra. The servant tells his master that he saw Death in the marketplace that morning and that she had made a threatening gesture at him. The master acquiesces, then hunts Death down for an explanation as to why she'd threatened his servant. Death replies that she was not threatening, only surprised to see the servant there...because she had an appointment with him that night in Samarra.
    • Retold by W. Somerset Maugham in "The Appointment in Samarra".
    • And by Italian singer Roberto Vecchioni in "Samarcanda"
    • Also used as a Title Drop in the TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death.
    • Given a lovely recitation by Boris Karloff in Targets.
    • That story is played with in Discworld when Death runs into Rincewind and tells him they have an appointment in another city and asks Rincewind to please hurry and go there, even offering to lend him his horse. Rincewind refuses. It was the same city Rincewind was planning to run to in the first place, making it a sort of accidentally self-defeating prophecy.
    • The Jewish version of this story has King Solomon meeting the angel of death, who looks sad. Upon being asked why he is sad, the angel replies that he is supposed to take the lives of two of Solomon's advisers but can't. Solomon, worried for his advisers, sends them off to the city of Luz, famous for the fact that all who live within have immortality so long as they remain in that city. The following day Solomon sees the angel of death again, who is happy this time. Why was he sad yesterday, and why is he now happy? Because he was supposed to take the lives of those advisers just before the entrance to the city of Luz, and couldn't do so so long as they weren't there yet...
  • There was a small town. One day, an old lady said something bad was going to happen that day. Word gets out, and then every person is so paranoid that the townspeople burn it down and run.
  • The ancient Greek fable of Oedipus Rex (later made into a play by Sophocles), which ended in Oedipus gouging out his own eyes and his wife/mother hanging herself.

  • The Kate Bush song "Babooshka" is about a woman, bitter and paranoid that her husband is cheating on her, initiating a Two-Person Love Triangle with him to test his fidelity. He ends up succumbing to the charms of the mysterious Babooshka... but only because 'she' reminds him of his wife before she 'freezed on him'; if she hadn't succumbed to paranoia about her husband's fidelity and turned on him, he wouldn't have become unfaithful in the first place.
  • The Black Sabbath song "Iron Man" is about a man who travels in time to the future, sees the world being destroyed by a man of steel, then while returning to his original time, turns to steel because of a magnetic field. He becomes immobilized and is ignored by the people when he tries to warn them. This causes him to become bitter and angry until he finally has his revenge on mankind. In other words, he becomes the very thing he was trying to save the world from.
  • The theme of "Oh No!" by Marina Diamandis:
    I know exactly what I want and what I want to be
    I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine
    I'm now becoming my own self-fulfilled prophecy
    Oh, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh!
  • Evillious Chronicles: In the song Project "Ma", Queen Maria Moonlit prophetized the end of Levianta (her country) and the whole world by <The Dark Legacy, "Sin">. Levianta's answer was to create Project [Ma] to purify the sins. The first project's failure caused Eve Moonlit's mental instability and the second project created Hänsel and Gretel, the twins she would later kill for, unleashing the "Sin" onto the world.
  • In the music video for the They Might Be Giants song "Bastard Wants to Hit Me", the "crazy bastard" is so mad about getting snubbed by the narrator that by the end of the video, he does want to hit him (and does so).
  • In Joe Diffe's "Third Rock from the Sun" a man in Smokey's Bar sees a beautiful woman walks into the bar and calls up his wife to tell her he is working late (so he can make time with the lady in question). The wife calls up her sister and asks her to come over to comfort her, which gives her boyfriend time to go out and get a beer from a nearby store. He leaves the keys in his car, allowing some teenagers to take a joyride in his car. The teenagers end up in the path of a semi truck, which crashes into them, goes across a bank parking lot and hits a nearby clocktower. The clocktower falls over and takes out a powerline, making the entire town go dark. A waitress calls the police in panic, claiming aliens are landing, and the police call the mayor, waking him up because they can't find the sheriff. The mayor tells the police to use their heads - if he isn't in his car, he's probably hiding from his wife down at Smokey's Bar. So he is going to have to work late after all.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Tower of Babel was built because its builders feared being scattered across the Earth. As part of His punishment, God did just that.
    • Joseph has prophetic dreams saying he will one day rule his older brothers - so they fake his death and sell him into slavery. But this then starts a chain of events which lead to him becoming grand vizier of Egypt and controlling the only source of stored food when a famine hits, leading to his brothers having to beg him for help.
    • King Ahab was warned by Micaiah the prophet that he would die in the battle of Ramoth Gilead. Ahab tries to avert the disaster by dressing up in different clothes before going into battle while King Jehoshaphat wore his royal clothes, hoping that the Syrian army would go after Jehoshaphat instead of him. However, an arrow shot at random pierces King Ahab, and he ends up fulfilling the very prophecy that was spoken about him.
  • The origin story of Buddhism involves founder Siddhartha Gautama, a Hindu aristocrat, being prophesied as a child to become either a great religious leader, or a great ruler. Hoping for the latter, his parents spoiled him rotten and made sure he wanted for nothing. However, on his first trip out of the palace he saw suffering for the first time, and began studying with ascetics to come to terms with the shocking-for-him reality of life outside the aristocracy, ultimately becoming the religious leader his parents tried to keep him from being.
  • Christianity: In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, it is generally accepted that the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ was bound to happen from the beginning of creation, even if humanity did not fall to sin (this is something known as Recapitulation Theory). Thus, the entire Bible can be seen as a back-and-forth tug-of-war between Satan trying to delay the inevitable and God outsmarting him at every move.
  • Classical Mythology: Greek Mythology frequently displays this trope.
    • Priam and Hecuba hear a prophecy that their son Paris will cause Troy to burn down. They abandon him in the woods to die, but he is raised as the son of a shepherd. When Paris is herding sheep, Zeus chooses Paris to judge the beauty of Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Paris chooses Aphrodite, who promises him the hand of Helen. By marrying Helen and stealing her from her husband Menelaus, Paris triggers the Trojan War which results in the destruction of Troy. If his parents had raised him as a prince of Troy, Zeus would not have chosen him to judge the contest.
    • Cronus hears a prophecy that one of his children will defeat him. He swallows his children as soon as they are born. Eventually, his wife Rhea hides her sixthborn child, Zeus, and tricks Cronus into swallowing a rock. Zeus grows up, defeats Cronus, and frees his siblings.
    • Averted. Zeus is warned that his lover Metis would bear a son great enough to oust him. He swallows the pregnant Metis, whose child is Athena.
    • Averted. Zeus and Poseidon lusted after the sea-goddess Thetis. After they learned that her future son would be greater than his father, they decided not to have sex with her and arranged her to marry a mortal. No matter how great her son became, he would only be a demigod with a mortal's fate.
    • Greek tragedy often revolves around the idea that You Can't Fight Fate. Those who attempt to do so suffer grisly punishments for their hubris. If you consider Oedipus et al., Paris got off lightly.
    • Then there's King Croesus, who was told that if he attacked his neighbor, a great empire would fall. Think about that for a moment — obviously, it's going to come true, since whichever empire lost the war would fall. Croesus just didn't consider that it might be his empire. This is lampshaded in The Cartoon History of the Universe's version, where Croesus' response is "What kind of answer is that?! I might as well flip a coin!" Also, when Croesus complained to Apollo and his oracle after his campaign turned out a disaster, he got the response: "You should have asked which empire instead of assuming that it would be Cyrus' empire that would fall." As a matter of fact, if people got an unsatisfactory answer from the oracle in Delphi they could ask for another one, and Croesus as a favoured benefactor of Delphi easily could have done just that.
    • See also the myth of Perseus' birth. See, the oracle at Delphi told King Acrisius that his grandson would kill him, so he decided to prevent his daughter Danae from ever bearing a son by locking her up in a brass tower, where her weeping drew the attention of Zeus and he sired a child with her. Once Acrisius found out, he locked them up in a coffin and floated it out to sea in the hopes that they would drownnote , but a fisherman found both of them and took them in. Though Perseus never sought out revenge against Acrisius, he did end up accidentally killing him. As Perseus returned home from his famous quest, Acrisius learned he was still alive and fled to the remote city of Larissa. Turns out Perseus got shipwrecked there too, where he entered a local athletics contest, and accidentally caved a crowd member's head in with a discus. Guess who that crowd member was.
    • Oedipus. Before his birth, someone cursed his parents, declaring that their child would kill the father and marry the mother. When little Oedipus was born, they spiked his heels and left him on a hill to die of exposure - only for the rulers of another nearby region to find the child and take him in. The rest, as they say, is history. Or maybe mythology. Even worse, Oedipus learned about the prophecy and ran away from his foster parents to prevent it from happening. Little did he know he was not their biological son. Poor, poor Oedipus...
  • Norse Mythology:
    • This is the cause of Baldur's death. Baldur has visions of his death approaching, so he turns to his mother Frigg for help. Frigg makes all things in the world swear not to harm Baldur, making him invulnerable to any form of attack, so the other gods start a game out of throwing things at Baldur. Loki gets frustrated by this and discovers that Baldur is not invulnerable to mistletoe (Frigg having forgotten to ask the mistletoe or discounting it as harmless depending on the version), makes an arrow made of mistletoe and tricks Baldur's blind brother Höðr into using it to kill him.
    • Many of the attempts at preventing Ragnarök (tricking Fenrir, tossing Jormungandr in the ocean so he drowns, casting Hel into the realm of Hel) actually end up giving them motivation and power to cause it.
  • The Talmud (Berachos 56-57) speaks at length about dreams and whether or not they can predict the future. Many of the opinions contradict each other, unsurprisingly, but a popular opinion is that interpreting the dream actually causes your prediction to happen. To that end, it proceeds to give a Long List of different ways to interpret dreams, almost all of which are positive.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • At Ring of Honor's Undeniable 2007, Kevin Steen rejected Adam Pearce's offer to join Hang Men 3 at the expense of El Generico, arguing that only he was allowed to have fun smacking Generico around. At the 2009 Final Battle, guess what Steen did to Generico?

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the primarch Horus gets infected with a demonic plague that causes him to fall into a coma and get visions of the future from the Chaos Gods. In the visions, he sees a world where the Emperor is worshiped as a god and his name is not mentioned anywhere. This, combined with his anger about the Emperor returning to Earth and leaving him and the other Primarchs fighting to expand the Imperium, causes him to turn to Chaos and start a civil war that nearly destroys the Imperium. As a result of the war (known as the Horus Heresy), 10,000 years later the mortally wounded Emperor, now confined in the life-supporting Golden Throne, is venerated as a god and the names of Horus and other traitorous Primarchs have been removed from Imperial records.
  • A Black Crusade campaign can start one of these, depending on how the GM follows the plot thread the antagonist of the introductory adventure, False Prophets, starts.
  • In the first edition of Aberrant, a secret subdivision of Project Proteus fears that the superhuman novas will eventually either enslave baseline humanity on purpose or simply render them extinct in some fashion. To counter this, they slip sterilizing agents into the drugs that all novas recruited by Project Proteus are fed in order to help them control their powers, and assassinate any novas that either learn about this, seem to powerful, or have powers that could counteract their sterilization project. Naturally, when this inevitably comes out, it provokes so much outrage and fear amongst the novas that it triggers a full-fledged supers vs. baseline race war.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade, "thin-blooded" vampires who are sufficiently removed from the power source behind vampirism are frequently hunted and killed by vampire elders. These elders fear that the thin-blooded are a portent of doom whose presence heralds the end-times return of the Antediluvians, the slumbering Abusive Precursors of their kind. The official sourcebooks for narrating the actual end times reveal that nothing gets the attention of the Antediluvians like large numbers of their descendents getting killed, no matter how distant those descendents may be.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: A Dragon article about bartering with dragons warns about having them invest in your business, however much of a sure thing it is. They hate having a part of their hoard out of their sight, and will hover around to keep an eye on it and make sure you aren't cheating them. Once they've scared away all your customers and you've gone bankrupt, that just proves they were right to be suspicious about the deal the whole time.

  • Shakespeare's Macbeth revolves around this trope.
    • When the Witches greet Macbeth as the King of Scotland in the first act, it prompts him and his wife to plot to steal the throne from the rightful King after the Witches' earlier prophesy (that Macbeth would become the Thane of Cawdor) unexpectedly comes true.
    • When the Witches prophesy that Macbeth's friend Banquo will give birth to a line of kings, he tries to have Banquo and his son Fleance murdered so that it won't come true. He only succeeds with the first part, with Banquo ordering Fleance to avenge him with his last words.
    • When the Witches warn Macbeth to "Beware Macduff, beware the Thane of Fife," it prompts him to send his assassins to massacre Macduff's castle. Macduff isn't home, but the assassins do succeed in murdering his wife and Macduff all the reason he needs to storm Dunsinane with his allies and personally kill Macbeth in single combat.
  • Shakespeare's Henry IV also has this, in its own way. King Henry's refusal to ransom Mortimer under the fear that he might lead a rebellion eventually causes Hotspur to lead a rebellion of his own.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Durkon has one of these in his background. He's going to cause bad things to happen when next he returns to the dwarven kingdoms, so his boss (High Priest Hurak) send him away without telling him why, and tell him never to return. But he would never have really been able to return if he hadn't left. (Handwaved when Hurak pointed out the possibility of him buying groceries or somesuch -Hurak seems to have believed any variety of "returning home" was risky.) The kobold Oracle has prophesized that he WILL return home... albeit posthumously. This begins to make sense after Durkon becomes vampirized by the Linear Guild, foreshadowing the first prophecy to come true. Notably, Hurak's successor, High Priestess Rubyrock, actually rescinded Durkon's exile, as Hurak took the prophecy to his grave with him. However, the letter telling Durkon as such was eaten by the Monster in the Darkness when Team Evil attacked the Azure City Outpost where Miko Miyazaki was resting for a night.
      Dwarven cleric 1: 'Tis risky business screwing with prophecy.
      Dwarven cleric 2: Aye, don't I know it.
      • It later came to a head. The vampirized Durkon is the servant of Hel, who, by having Durkon attend the Godsmoot, where the Gods debate whether to destroy the world to stop the Snarl, plans to have the world destroyed. This will doom every dwarf to her domain, since according to the dwarven faith, all who die dishonourable deaths belong to Hel, and dying in the apocalypse carries no honour. Not only did kicking him out of his home mean that Durkon went adventuring, joined the Order and became a vampire, but, according to the evil but free will-possessing vampire spirit controlling his body, the resentment he still carries against the dwarfs for exiling him means that the spirit, who was tailor-made for Durkon's soul, was willing to go along with the plan, while another spirit in another dwarf may not have.
      • The characters actually discuss this, wondering why Odin even gave his priest the prophecy, since it wouldn't have happened otherwise. They conclude that Odin foresaw Durkon needed to be part of the Order, which wouldn't have happened unless he was exiled. Thor also has a theory that it was a plan to get Durkon in the perfect position to stop the Snarl. Odin himself, though, is revealed to be a bit touched in the head and doesn't remember planning any of that, so it's anyone's guess whether he knew what he was doing.
    • Belkar kills the Oracle because the Oracle earlier told Belkar that he would kill someone from a short list of subjects (including the Oracle himself), and Belkar didn't actually get to kill any of them yet. The Oracle then tries to weasel out of the prophecy with a bunch of pretty lame Prophecy Twist ideas, all of which were lifted from the Epileptic Trees in the comic's forum. The actual answer was that Belkar would cause the death of any in that list of subjects, and when the Oracle said that Belkar did cause the death of most of the people in the list, Belkar just stabbed him.
    • Another Oracle-related one (well, what do you expect, with future-prediction?): the Test of the Heart, which one must undergo to reach the Oracle (a simple health check) was instituted after someone came in for a prediction, which was that they would have a heart attack right after being told they were going to have a heart attack.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: In "Fortune Kobold", Dame Gilda the Seer predicts another kobold's death. In the next strip, he gets beheaded because he was pursuing Gilda in anger.
  • Divine Bells: It's said that men with Divine Powers are a bad omen and will spell certain ruin for the country, because they lust for power and are brutal in executions, using their Divine Power for personal gain. After Bake-Yeom had to suffer through being badmouthed like this for years because of his own Divine Powers, he decided that he might as well do as they say and become brutal, using his powers as brute force to obtain more power if necessary.
  • Jade of Homestuck has some semi-precognitive abilities, and ends up creating one of these. She sees a vision of Dream!John crying in the future— then, presumably, being confronted by Jack Noir. So she prepares a birthday present — a collection of high-level weapons — to protect him against Jack. Said gift falls into Jack's hands first, who uses it to launch his rise to power, causing the scene which prompted her to send the present in the first place.
  • Pops up in The Wotch during the War Stories arc where one of the good guys betrays them to the villains under the belief that the ancient prophecies around the Big Bad Xaos were inevitable and ended up helping him out in hopes of bargaining for their safety. Theodore calls him out on this, leading to a Redemption Equals Death moment.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Damien was created with the intent of fulfilling a prophecy.
  • Sluggy Freelance: In the chapter "K'Z'K", after a lot of complications, the characters manage to change the outcome of events that were going to lead to the release of the demon K'Z'K and The End of the World as We Know It — you could say it’s a Zig-Zagging Trope. However, on a smaller scale, when Riff heads to Manhattan to see that K'Z'K can't capture his mother to use as a hostage, K'Z'K sees him heading that way and guesses what he's doing — and goes there ahead of him to capture his mother.
  • In Erfworld, Parson is Fated to defeat the Big Bad, Charlie. Until the events of Book 2 however, he was content to manage a city and study tactics with Jack and Sizemore. But in his efforts to stall the prophecy, Charlie sabotages Gobwin Knob, causing them severe losses and putting Parson back in charge of the war effort. Eventually, Charlie reveals his hand to Parson and makes things personal, ensuring that Parson will go after him.
  • In Far Star Summer School, Falguni implies something along the lines of this trope, when she warns Constanza that the more Constanza tries to subvert the course of destiny, the more forcefully it will seek to prove her efforts to be futile.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Baron Wulfenbach believes that Agatha is dangerous, and takes steps to neutralize her even though he knows that she hasn't actually done anything wrong yet. This makes his empire vulnerable both to Agatha, lone Sparks, Stormlords, and the Other. He ends up affected by a one-of-a-kind mind control device, loses the peace he so desperately fought to maintain, and eventually freezes himself in a timestop in Mechanicsburg with Agatha and most of the other dangerous players so that his son can clean up the mess he created. Unfortunately, this plan failed to contain the most dangerous of his enemies, but luckily Agatha managed to escape and helps save the world again.
    • A bit more of a literal one regarding the Storm King. Several hundred years ago, there was a prophecy that Europa would never see peace until the Storm King and the Heterodyne Girl were wed. The First Storm King ruined his kingdom searching for his lost bride, and the continent descended into chaos again. All that was left were the Knights of Jove, the Storm King's honor guard, who kept an eye on the royal line and talked about the "good old days." Then, when Klaus Wulfenbach put an end to the Long War for the first time in centuries, the Knights refused to acknowledge him and did everything they could to undermine him in favor of their chosen new Storm King.
  • Better Days: Sam’s wife gets paranoid about the possibility of him cheating on her, so she starts treating him like crap. Her petty and mean-spirited attitude eventually pushes him to actually start an affair with Sheila.
  • Princess Princess: When their father died and asked them to rule together, Claire locked Sadie in a tower. This was after Sadie outright admitted that she had no interest in ruling the kingdom, and that Claire was better suited to the job. However, she remains convinced that Sadie is out to take her place and continues to antagonize her, which ends up getting her turned into a pig by her own magic, meaning Sadie has to take the throne in her place after. Furthermore, Sadie overcomes her crippling lack of self-confidence in the process.
  • Done in SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal while explaining the word "Exigology" (a word the author invented) as a statement whose converse is its own explaination. Among the examples is a man that doesn't vote because politicians never hear his group, and a woman that doesn't practice a new skill because she is not good at it.

    Web Original 
  • Used in Red vs. Blue where Church attempts to stop a whole lot of bad things that happened in Blood Gulch, only to cause most of them.
  • Done 'spectacularly' in Opifex's The Storm Dragons series, a fan fiction series based on the Inheritance Cycle world. Most Elves and Dragons know a legend about a black dragon born during a storm that will cause a great deal of evil for the world. Both races attempt to kill the black dragon Ravana, but not only does he prove himself extremely hard to kill, but their attempts to do so drive him over the edge of insanity when he realizes every living thing is his enemy, turning him into exactly the kind of vengeful and murderous creature that the prophecy spoke about.
  • On TV Tropes, anything added to the Flame Bait page will... well, become flamebait, because then people will argue about whether it belongs there, scold other people for adding it to tropes, and so on.
  • In The Gift of Mercy, an alien race from the other side of the galaxy discovers humanity after picking up radio signals from Earth, and starts studying us, concluding that we're all a bunch of barbaric savages obsessed with violence and killing, but fortunately much too stupid to ever be a threat to them. Then we develop space travel and they start getting a bit worried. Then we start deliberately sending radio transmissions out into space trying to make first contact, and they collectively shit their pants in terror. "They knew we were out here, and they were coming for us." They scramble to build a WMD to wipe us out, the titular "Gift of Mercy", and launch it directly at Earth. They aren't exactly happy about doing this, but see it as a necessary evil to save themselves. Crossing the galaxy takes a really long time even at lightspeed, and in that time we evolve so much that we all become Transhuman pacifists who make some of the most beautiful art the galaxy has ever seen. Alas, there is no way to stop the Gift of Mercy from reaching its target, Earth and most of our solar system is obliterated, and the aliens are left wracked with guilt over committing a genocide that turned out to not have been necessary after all. Then, a Hope Spot: it turns out that millions of humans still survived on other colonized planets that were far enough away from Earth to have avoided destruction. The aliens breathe a collective sigh of relief that they didn't actually wipe us all out after all... and then they get a message from us: "We know you are out there, and we are coming for you."
  • In The Backwater Gospel, the coming of The Undertaker always signifies that someone will die. In the end it's the townsfolk's fear of him and desire to survive at all costs that turns the town on itself, causing the people to viciously massacre each other and bring upon the deaths The Undertaker's coming augured.
  • Todd in the Shadows concluded that Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" was created as a Take That! to a Hatedom that didn't exist until the song was released.
  • There's a Man in the Woods details a teacher that cares for his students, and a greedy brat named Sid who was spreading rumors about a Serial Killer hiding in the woods. Eventually, the rumor underwent Gossip Evolution (including things such as Batman ears and a woman's severed thigh) and spread to the parents, who get the teacher fired. The result that the teacher, with his life ruined by the fiasco and being bitter and angry about it, decided to go back to the school, now ruined by the paranoia the rumor caused. The final shot is him in the same woods, glaring at Sid and reaching into his coat pocket threateningly...
  • Whateley Universe: Whateley Academy student Semiramis Vesmarran's Code Name, Sahar, is Arabic for 'the evil eye'; her main ability is the power to psychically impress a self-fulfilling prophecy of Doom on a target's mind, causing them to act as if they are cursed and draw disaster upon themselves accordingly.
  • In The Ruins of an American Party System, the Troika ruling the Soviet Union come to fear that the increasingly popular Grand Marshal Tukhachevsky will stage a Military Coup and overthrow them, to the point that they excommunicate him from the Party and try to have him relieved of command... which pisses off Tukhachevsky (who'd actually had no treasonous thoughts whatsoever) and his men to the point that they do stage a coup.
  • In the 500th Episode of Atop the Fourth Wall, Linkara tried to prevent the Bad Future caused by Brother Eye by calling the person who created it, Welshy, and apologizing for never finishing their crossover review. At first, it seems to work as the evil future Welshy disappears, but Linkara forgot to hang up the phone, causing Welshy to realize the alterior motive of Linkara's apology. He swears to get revenge for Linkara's actions, almost certainly resulting in the future Linkara was trying to prevent.

    Real Life 
  • The self-fulfilling prophecy is a fairly major sociological concept. The idea is that when other people expect something of a person, that person will act that way as a result of their actions. In one test, a class of children were given an aptitude test, and afterwards their teacher was told that child X's results showed him/her to be particularly gifted. Child X had, in fact, been drawn at random. When the experimenters followed up on the class a few months later, they found that X was performing much better than before — because the teacher was giving them more attention.
  • The Ironic Process Theory (a.k.a. the White Bear Problem) is the idea that the more you try to suppress a thought, the more likely it comes back. You try to avoid thinking a thought, but because the conscious part of the brain actively tries to avoid it, the subconscious part of the brain reminds your conscious part to avoid it, resulting with you thinking about that thought anyways.
  • Caretakers or family members of a person with a disability will often create a self-fulfilling prophecy. In assuming that the person they are caring for is too disabled to be capable of a certain life skill, they won't bother to try teaching them to do it, thus guaranteeing they won't be able to do it, and it will have to be done for them. note 
    • Similarly, calling your child stupid, lazy, slow, etc., in order to make them a better version of themselves, not only is unfair to them, but it ultimately backfires as this would crush their self esteem, and be exactly what you’re were trying to avoid to be in the first place, since, you know, what’s the point of trying to be better if all what you gets is to be still treated like garbage because of unrealistic and unhealthy expectations?
  • Economics: Investors' fears of a downturn in the stock market are one of the most common reasons for a downturn in the stock market.
    • Recessions in general work similarly, since consumer confidence is a major factor. Once the news media alerts the general population that there might be a recession coming, people start spending less money, and before you know it, we're in a recession. The longer and louder the media goes on about it, the worse it's likely to be, in part because of the warnings.
  • Banking runs are considered to be often impacted by the perception of a bank being solvent. In reality, most banks can't withstand all of their liquid money being hit at once. The FDIC knows this, and their list of banks most likely to fail is considered to be top secret, since publishing the list will cause runs on those banks that will in turn cause them to fail. An example is the Washington Mutual bank failure in 2008 - it was going relatively okay, until a bunch of people heard the bank might fail with the economic downturn. Then, in one day, 10% of its assets were withdrawn by panicky account holders, causing the bank to fail and get bought out by Chase.
    • These are actually the Trope Namer. Robert K. Merton coined the phrase and used a banking run as the classic example. A particular real-life example of a bank run was seen in the UK with Northern Rock. The bank quietly asked the Bank of England if they could have an extended overdraft (effectively), even though they didn't actually need it at that point. Word got out, leading to every branch in the country being besieged by savers desperate to take all their money out before the bank collapsed - which it wasn't in danger of doing until people panicked.
    • Similarly, during the Great Depression, many people worried that they would lose their money due to the stock market crash and failing banks. As a result, people rushed to get their money out, thereby causing the banks to fail. This would be part of the reason the FDIC would later be created, because if you were unlucky and didn't get your money out of the bank in time, you lost it. Banks that are FDIC-insured protect bank consumers up to $250,000 in the event of a bank failing. This has the effect of protecting not only the customers but the bank itself, since customers would, at least in theory, be less likely to attempt to run on an FDIC-insured bank and accidentally cause it to fail if they knew they were protected.
  • The fate of Sengoku Jidai Japan was decided at the Battle of Sekigahara. Prior to it, Mori Hidemoto's retainer Kikkawa Hiroie believed his side, the Western Army, would lose and the Mori would be punished and stripped of their lands. Hoping to prevent being punished for losing, Kikkawa made a deal with Tokugawa Ieyasu who commanded the Eastern Army. When the battle was joined, Kikkawa refused to participate with his forces. Not only that but by virtue of being the vanguard of forces stationed on Mount Taiguu, Kikkawa blocked the road of the forces stationed there and prevented Mori and others, totaling 33,000 men (over 1/3 of the 82,000-man army) from participating and attacking the rear of the Eastern Army. This resulted in the defeat of the Western Army. And Tokugawa Ieyasu stripped the Mori of two-thirds of their lands, anyway.
  • An example from the UK in 2008 or so: a two-day strike at an oil refinery in Scotland wouldn't have affected petrol distribution in the slightest as several days' reserves are stored off-site. However, as soon as news of the strike got out, queues appeared at petrol stations all over the country - even those areas which got their petrol from completely different refineries. This meant they sold out of petrol quickly, leading to local news stations running stories about petrol stations running short, which led to more people trying to fill up before the nationwide fuel drought struck their beloved motor...
  • In September 2021, a combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the country was thousands of hauliers short. This included fuel tanker drivers, so there was a general warning that unless the situation improved, petrol stations were going to face shortages. Cue drivers all over the country racing to fill up and causing that shortage.
  • When there was a sugar shortage in the UK in the early 1970s, a presenter of BBC Radio 4's morning news-magazine programme Today joking said: "At this rate, there'll be a salt shortage next". Some people took him seriously, panicked and started stockpiling, and before the day was out there was a salt shortage.
  • This is essentially how the entire Foreign Exchange market works. People think that a currency will go up? It goes up. People think it's about to plummet? It plummets. It's even more self-fulfilling with Technical Trading (Foreign Exchange Trading based on technical analysis). The idea is that past prices and patterns will repeat themselves, but it only works because so many people and institutions place orders on the belief that they will, that those very orders cause it to happen.
  • The Induced Traffic theory. City fathers and developers argue for the building of new roads and highways and the expansion of current ones to both relieve current traffic congestion and prepare for traffic increasing in the future. In truth, it's building the roads themselves that cause the increase in traffic by encouraging more and more people to drive (especially since many of the roads built are not pedestrian-friendly).
  • Relatedly, one of the most powerful factors in determining who wins an election (especially the Presidential primary) is who the media (seeing a pattern here?) claims is "leading". This is why most of the attention is given to the earliest primary states, and why states (like Florida in '08, for instance) jockey for the earliest races.
  • In 1973, Johnny Carson made a joke about a potential toilet paper shortage. This caused viewers to stockpile toilet paper, thus creating the very shortage he'd joked about.
  • Another instance comes from accounting. Companies are required to file statements of possible losses from lawsuits should it be considered reasonably possible that they may lose the case. However, once they do so, their own statements are used against them as evidence of their "obvious" guilt and they usually lose the case shortly afterwards.
  • When Richard Nixon was President of the United States, he was well-known for being both intensely paranoid and very concerned about the kind of legacy he would leave behind. So when the Watergate scandal came up, and Nixon discovered that he wasn't about to get out of it, he tried to cover it up as best as he could. If he had simply come out in the very beginning and humbly admitted what he did wrong, his legacy might not have been so harshly viewed. He wouldn't be liked, but people probably would have respected his being forthcoming.
  • Economically disenfranchised areas of an American city tend to have higher crime rates than the rest. Police look upon residents of said areas as more likely to commit crimes. This creates or exacerbates a distrust of the police in said communities. This leads to a lower chance of any crimes being solved, which lowers the police's opinions of said communities, etc. It is rather tragic to see the same person complaining that "the system" doesn't care about their community also telling informants to "stop snitchin'".
  • During the May Day 2012 protests in Montreal, a photo was circulated of protesters mocking police by dangling donuts on strings. Their defenders claimed that the protesters weren't responsible for any consequences from their needlessly baiting police. Many protesters seek to deliberately do something that makes the police arrest them in order to prove the police are oppressive, then have a friend record it and cut down the video to just the police's response so they can try to claim they're being arrested for no reason.
  • The Roman Empire:
    • After Nero committed suicide, the experienced Governor Galba became emperor. His neighbouring governor Otho was then told by an astrologer that the venerable Galba would soon be dead, and he would be Emperor. Spurred by the prophecy, Otho then spent seven months currying favour with Galba in an attempt to be named his formal heir. When Galba finally decided on someone else, Otho was so enraged at the rebuke he had Galba assassinated and seized the throne for himself.
    • The Praetorian-prefect named Marcus Opellius Macrinus was informed of a prophecy from an oracle that he would become the emperor. Luckily for him, he got the information before the sitting emperor (the, quote, "Common enemy of mankind"), Caracalla, since if he didn't he would most likely be executed as a possible threat. Since the emperor would inevitably find out sooner or later, his hand was forced so as to actually assassinate Caracalla and he ended up as the new emperor after the Guard proclaimed him such. Not that it made much of a difference since he would also be the first emperor to die before entering Rome. For this reason, making prophecies about the imperial succession was usually a crime punishable by death.
    • Not a prophecy as such but a major part of the death of Caligula was a betrayal by the commander of his guard. By most accounts, the man was loyal, until he found out the Emperor was having doubts about him and remembered what happened to the last guard commander Caligula didn't trust.
  • When the first Twilight film came out, the media acted as if the Twilight series was a serious rival for the Harry Potter series with headlines like "Move Over Harry Potter, Twilight Has Arrived," implying the existence of a Fandom Rivalry - and creating one as a result.
  • One aspect of supply-and-demand involves the idea that when people believe that the price of a good will increase, they'll buy more of it before the expected increase, and as such will be the cause of the price increase thanks to the demand going up. Inversely, if there's a report, true or false, that supplies are low, people will buy more of it, and the result is that supply will be low. Some companies try to profit from this, by claiming that "supplies are limited" when they are, in fact, anything of the sort, creating a sort of artificial demand.
  • Stereotypes, people subconsciously adapt to behave 'normally', with stereotypes representing what people consider 'normal' behaviour for certain groups of people. The situation is made harder by the fact averting stereotypes is usually a conscious decision to make a character that is 'different' (implying they are abnormal) and backlash against stereotypes often goes wrong, creating 'reverse' stereotypes (for example, Real Women Don't Wear Dresses).
  • People who claim to be psychics run off this. They hope that if they tell you something will happen under certain circumstances, you'll enforce those circumstances on your own. If they tell you "You will meet your future spouse while wearing red shoes," they hope that you'll wear red shoes all the time (especially since if you're asking a psychic, you're likely a little desperate), so when you inevitably meet someone, the "prediction" comes true. Similarly, if you ask about, say, having a baby, that implies you're stressed about it (stress can make it harder to conceive). They hope that if they tell you you're going to have a baby soon, that'll reduce your stress levels, possibly encourage you to "try" more, and increase the odds that you will have a baby.
  • Fat people who are otherwise as average in eating and activity habits as their thin counterparts may come under attack by individuals or groups who make fun of them or stereotype them as lazy and gluttonous as a misguided attempt to motivate them to adopt healthy habits. Unfortunately, this may crush their self-esteem so much that it prevents them from doing so in the first place as they see no reason to.
  • While the population of people on the Internet roughly reflects the gender distribution of the world population, roughly half male and half female, many regulars on gaming and technical forums firmly believe that There Are No Girls on the Internet. When a woman does show up, boorish, misogynistic behavior by the male regulars drives them away, resulting in male-dominated technical spaces. This partly explains why relatively few women major in technical fields.
    • It also works the other way; well-intentioned female teachers, guidance counselors, relatives will tell a girl who is interested in a STEM field that she's "brave" for choosing such a path (implying she's signing up for a harsh life) and relating the narrative over and over again that STEM fields are a gauntlet of sexual harassment and abuse where the girl, despite her interest and aptitude, will never truly fit in or succeed. And then those same well-intentioned female teachers, guidance counselors, and relatives wring their hands over why the girls choose anything other than a STEM career.
  • The idea that games with female leads don't sell well is also one of these, as argued here - publishers are afraid the game won't sell and as such put only the minimum amount of effort into marketing, resulting in nobody even being aware the game exists, and as a result, it doesn't sell well.
    • Also often the case with minorities, leading to the Minority Show Ghetto. If your protagonist isn't a part of that country's major ethnicity, then there might be less effort put into the marketing because everyone thinks it won't be popular anyway, thus causing it to have less visibility and thus be, in fact, less popular. Not helped when so-called "minority issues" are the focus because by definition the majority will have trouble understanding them, but since the majority won't understand them and thus the work won't be popular, producers decide "might as well do it" and make them the focus, thus ensuring the majority of people won't get it.
    • This is also an issue for niche games (e.g. a Widget Series). For example, some argue that several Fire Emblem games outside of Japan could have sold better had they got the promotion and advertising that Fire Emblem: Awakening received. In other words, a niche game remains a niche game (and is doomed to obscurity) because publishers treated it like a niche game, not trusting their advertising dollars to make it sell any better.
  • In programming, people tend to wait until the end to optimize code because they think it takes too much time and effort, but it mostly takes so much because it grows more complicated due to the delay.
    • On the other hand, "premature optimization is the root of all evil." If you go into a program expecting to optimize it before you even know if there's a problem (let alone where), then your "optimized" code will likely be longer, harder to decipher, and more prone to bugs and slowdowns than if you'd just written a naïve implementation and gradually improved on it as problems show up.
  • TV scheduling can run afoul of this quite easily, too. After buying or making a show, the broadcaster later comes to the conclusion that it probably won't do well with the audiences, so they typically put it on in a late-night "death" slot, and frequently poorly advertised ahead of time too. Quite predictably, the show's viewing figures are dismally low due to few people even knowing that the show is on, and still fewer people willing to watch it in such an awkward time slot. The broadcaster then says "we told you this show wouldn't do well" and cancel it.
  • According to an episode of Air Crash Investigation, the crash of TAM Airlines Flight 3054 on July 17, 2007, was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil was notorious among pilots for its extreme degree of difficulty in landing jets there. The main runway was 1,945 meters long (short for large jets), and the airport was built on a hilltop surrounded by roads and buildings. Brazil's rainy climate, delays in carving water channeling grooves in the runway, and a number of close calls led pilots to believe that there would be a major crash involving the airport. On the evening of July 17, 2007, TAM Airlines Flight 3054 was scheduled to land at Congonhas. It had been raining in the days prior, and the airplane had had one of its thrust reversers (used to slow the plane after landing) disabled four days earlier. The pilot, fearing he wouldn't be able to stop his plane with a newer single-reverser landing procedure, opted to use an older procedure that, while allowing the plane to stop in a shorter distance than the newer one, had been abandoned due to pilots accidentally leaving the disabled reverser engine at full power. Guess what this pilot did? The plane skidded off the end of the runway and crashed into a TAM Airlines warehouse and the gas station next to it, killing a total of 199 people.
  • William Henry Harrison, during his run for President, was criticized for being old and frail (at 68 during his inauguration, he was then the oldest man elected President, and would remain so until Ronald Reagan 140 years later), and many people speculated that he would be the first US president to die while in office. He tried to prove his detractors wrong by giving a two-hour inauguration speech outside in the rain in cold weather without wearing warm clothes, subsequently catching pneumonia and, a month later, becoming the first US president to die in office.
  • That small percentage of people in any democracy who don't vote because they don't think their vote counts. And who thus act in a way that makes sure that it won't. Some people won't vote because none of the parties they could support represent their views well enough. So why aren't politicians representing those views? Because the people who care about them the most don't vote. The "I didn't vote" argument is an extension of this. People become cynical and convinced that their votes don't matter because corrupt politicians and fundamentalists will just cheat and/or bribe their way to victory. Thus they don't bother going out to vote, which just makes it easier for the corrupt individuals to keep themselves in power by paying off friends and allies to pad out the ballots in their favor.
  • Similarly, Duverger's law states that single-member district plurality electoral systems tend to lead to two dominant political parties because people will not vote for candidates from smaller parties and instead vote for one from the two largest parties that they believe have a chance of winning.
  • During the 2012 Presidential Election, there were times when it seemed like Mitt Romney was ahead enough in the polls to win the Presidency from Barack Obama. While Ohio was close and Pennsylvania was within striking distance according to the polls one week before the election - some even having him ahead by a couple of points, Romney feared that he might still lose those key states. So he decided to focus his final week campaigning in Pennsylvania instead of the other states he believed were already his, and he decided to release commercials in Ohio claiming that President Obama was planning to ship Jeep production jobs overseas as part of the bailout deal with General Motors and Chrysler. The campaigning in Pennsylvania was a waste of time, as Romney lost this historically Democratic state by a large margin during the election, at the same time also losing states that he should have won like Florida (one of the closest states). And he lost Ohio after his ad about the Jeeps was fact checked and proven wrong, turning many potential voters against him right before the election.
    • Many theorize the same thing happened in the 2016 election. Even though both candidates were incredibly unpopular, Hillary Clinton still seemed to have it in the bag with a huge cash on hand advantage and most media outlets and celebrities supporting her. Speculation of the outcome was also highly in her favor. A lot of her supporters went on the bandwagon of treating her as the only right choice, trying to snuff out any chance of a Donald Trump upset. Their tactics of trying to sway voters got increasingly worse and the campaign itself was accused of being tone-deaf and condescending, focusing mostly on issues of personality rather than policy. This led many 3rd-party voters, undecideds, and people who were going to skip the election to vote Trump instead. By the end Trump, to the surprise of many, won.
  • Game developers who don't make games for a particular system because they have no faith in it or are unimpressed with its low install base inadvertently make said game for that system fail because of it, and also fail to grow the console's install base. Same goes for those who make poor ports of multi-platform games for said system, causing that version of the game to sell poorly.
  • Nintendo tends to get hit with this the most often, as early as the Nintendo 64's debut — "Only Nintendo games sell on Nintendo platforms." This mentality absolutely murdered third-party support for their later consoles,note  leading to Nintendo themselves being the source of the vast majority of quality software. The Nintendo Switch is finally averting this.
  • Racial profiling in law enforcement. Proponents of profiling say that "Group X has a higher crime rate, so we should profile them." The profiling then ensures that Group X continues to have a high crime rate, both in reaction to the treatment and because crime rate statistics are based on the crimes being seen, so the profiling will never end.
  • World War I was one: everyone was convinced it would happen, so it did in spite of the few sane people who tried to avoid it (who included the Tsar). Also subverted with the idea it would end soon: the Triple Alliance had a plan to make it end by Christmas, but it fell through when Italy declared neutrality (thus depriving the German Army of the diversion they needed to take Paris and kick France out of the war). The war was predicted almost to the day by Otto von Bismarck himself twenty years prior, and he even predicted it would be caused by "some fool thing in the Balkans". As Extra History will attest, the lead-up to the war is an utterly tragic comedy of errors, even starting right from Franz Ferdinand's choice of date to visit Sarajevo, which was a day of pride for Serbia. When he was assassinated, everyone was trying to achieve their goals while also trying to avoid the European war they feared would happen, only to be foiled by incompetence or twists of fate.
  • The open American entrance into World War II was based on one as well. While helping the Allies through Lend-Lease, the United States was generally not interested in involving itself in the fighting, although many assumed it was inevitable at some point, but everyone assumed it would be against Nazi Germany. Japan wanted to seize the European colonies and independent nations in Southeast Asia for resource reasons (said European countries being somewhat distracted at the time), but the US-occupied Philippines were situated such that military forces based there could easily attack Japanese shipping going to and from these operations, so to secure their planned attacks they had to somehow neutralize the Philippines as an American base of operations. But in order to do that, they needed to ensure naval dominance in the Western Pacific so the Americans would not be able to reinforce the islands, thus the attack to cripple the American fleet at Pearl Harbor and the seizure of American bases like Wake Island which would allow them make their conquests and secure their logistics without the US Navy being able to respond effectively. As a result, in order to prevent the possibility of the Americans interfering with their offensive operations if the United States entered the war, the Japanese carried out operations that guaranteed the United States would be entering the war. Five words describe the long-term aftermath of Pearl Harbor succinctly: Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.
  • People deciding there's no point in watching an off-beat TV show or buying an off-beat comic book, because just when they're getting into it it'll be cancelled due to poor ratings/sales.
  • On the other hand, comic book companies can decide publicising their off-beat publication is a waste of money, because nobody's going to buy them anyway. Book publishers have been known to do this as well; Terry Pratchett used to say that his first US publisher didn't so much launch his books as bury them.
  • During the reign of Suleiman I (the Magnificent), Suleiman and his second wife Hürrem Sultan were afraid that Suleiman's four sons would end up killing each other over the line of succession. Suleiman went crazy over this, culminating in having two of the sons put to death for "disloyalty" to the throne, and watching a third weep himself to death.
  • The American Civil War - many in the American South were absolutely convinced that Lincoln's election in 1860 would mean the most radical Republicans would get control and destroy traditional Southern institutions (read: slavery) and their only course of action was to start an armed revolt - thus ultimately assuring that slavery was killed off just as they predicted.
  • The Placebo Effect shows that this trope works even on a physical level: If a patient takes a neutral substance (such as sugar pills), but believes it's a treatment that will make them feel better, the belief can be enough to make them actually recover. There's also a negative counterpart called the "Nocebo Effect": If the patient is told a neutral substance will have negative side effects or cause harmful symptoms, they're likely to experience those symptoms as well. Both effects don't just work on subjective symptoms, such as pain or mood, but on things that can actually be physiologically measured, such as heart rhythm and blood pressure. While the effect isn't fully understood, the current theory is that the patient's expectations have a lot to do with the outcome of the treatment. Your Mind Makes It Real, after all.
    • In short, the brain-mind relationship is yet to be fully understood, but while the brain as a chemical computer (and assorted limits) influences the mind and thus chemical imbalances cause distress, it's becoming apparent that the mind is powerful enough to force the brain into doing things as well, thus forcefully solving the chemical imbalances and hence the person becoming healthier.
  • Stage fright can be a self-fulfilling expectation as a worried performer-to-be can end up undermining their performance by worrying that their performance will be rejected by the audience. Learning to get over it and getting in the right mindset to become the character is key to putting on a compelling performance. There are also people who just entirely ignore everyone else and thus have no stage fright at all. Whether this is a good or bad method is debatable, but it's certainly highly effective.
  • From the late 2000s into The New '10s, Pepe the Frog—a character originating in Matt Furie's webcomic Boy's Club and popularized as a meme on 4chan—was widespread across The Internet. Thus, during the 2016 presidential election in The United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign team labelled Pepe as a far-right mascot due to 4chan's association with the growing alt-right movement. At that point, everyone else dropped Pepe like a hot potato while even more of Clinton's right-wing opponents adopted him as a badge of pride. So Pepe indeed became a far-right mascot.
  • People who are afraid of being rejected by someone they love often become distant and avoidant towards that person in order to protect themselves. Their distantness and avoidantness then lead to that person rejecting them.
  • In late 2017, Grace Mugabe, the wife of the long-time president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, publicly accused leadership rival Emmerson Mnangagwa of plotting a coup against her husband, who subsequently dismissed Mnangagwa from his position as vice-president and forced him into exile. Reports vary, but most observers seem to agree that Mnangagwa was just biding his time and waiting for President Mugabe, who was in his mid-90s and in failing health, to die of natural causes, and didn't see Grace as a serious threat. The end result of this was that the Mugabes ended up causing the very coup they were worried about, resulting in their being ousted and replaced by Mnangagwa.
  • Josef Stalin spent years in a state of paranoia while constantly purging his inner circle for fear that someone might try to assassinate him. It's now generally agreed that someone in his inner circle did indeed assassinate him because they were afraid of getting purged.
  • Feuding within families often happens because of this. Say a parent claims that their child-in-law intends to move away with said parent's son/daughter, they will eventually do so, because the parent had been making life unbearable to them as a result.
  • Deciding you don't like a film or TV show before you ever see it or based on a trailer or preview clip often plays out like this as you're more inclined to go into something already not liking it and unwilling to have your mind changed, focusing only on what you don't like.
  • Naming fictional concepts before they become reality ends up as this. The term robot was coined for science fiction (and named after Robota, a Czech term for serf labor) long before actual robots were created, a hypothetical form of antimatter is named Quintessence, after the fabled fifth element, and, as Orson Scott Card notes, if Hyperspace is ever discovered, it will almost certainly be called Hyperspace.
  • This has been suggested as the reason why Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina missed out on an all-around medal at the 2000 Olympics. During the final for the event, the vaulting horse was inadvertently set to an incorrect height, causing Khorkina (as well as several other gymnasts) to fall on her vault. Unaware of the equipment problem, Khorkina went to the next rotation believing she had made a mistake and blown her chance at an all-around medal; she might also have had in her mind the fact that she had fallen on the event a few days earlier in the team final. Unable to fully get her head in the game, Khorkina fell on that same element, blowing her chance at an all-around medalnote .
  • In computing, the "password paradox". In other words, the more stringent requirements for a password (e.g. fifteen characters minimum instead of eight, including several symbols, non-sequential numbers, and rules on capitalization and password changes, and forbidding common words), the simpler the password created such that it would just qualify. The user would create something simple to remember (e.g. "!#579TropePswrd") and thus easier for a hacker to get in, as opposed to a shorter but more random and harder-to-crack password with less stringent requirements (e.g. "m3HJ9pA8"). Also, if the password needs to be changed frequently, the user would only make very minor changes, possibly incrementing a digit or capitalizing a character so they don't have to remember a new password. All this makes it easier for a hacker to get in. Furthermore, harder passwords would more likely be written down or copied somewhere (e.g. a Word file within the computer, or physically on a Post-it note on the monitor), making even a casual observer be able to get in.
  • A common phenomenon in driving known as "target fixation", where a driver becomes so visually focused on an object ahead that they're trying to avoid, they subconsciously end up steering themselves towards it (because their hands are following their eyes) and increasing the chance they accidentally collide with the object.
  • Any fears over the lack of a certain product/resource is easily an example of this. It goes like this: People get afraid of a lack of certain commodity. They then buy them en masse to stockpile a supply. Because everyone has the same idea, this causes the demand to eventually overcome the supply. This results in the lack of the product in question. Examples include the water shortage of the Y2K scare due to everyone having the same idea of stocking up water in their bathtubs and the toilet paper shortage during the COVID-19 outbreak where everyone initially bought them all out which resulted in empty shelves later on.
  • Unfortunately, depression can often cause a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since it often weakens one's self-esteem, it may cause one to believe that they are The Friend Nobody Likes or The Load of their friend group. This can cause them to either act cold and distant in order to "avoid burdening their friends", or alternatively, overly clingy and affectionate in an attempt at "appeasing" them. Over time, these behaviors may end up genuinely harming their relationship with their friends, resulting in them actually being abandoned as they feared might happen.
  • Three symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are self-loathing, an intense fear of being abandoned, and feeling emotions with extreme intensity. A person with BPD may feel undeserving of love, and be scared and worried that their loved one will leave them. When their loved one does something that upsets them, even unintentionally, the person with BPD sees it as a sign that their loved one doesn't care about them and/or is going to abandon them (in other words, they shift from seeing them as a good person to seeing them as a bad person, a behavior called splitting). They get angry and upset and lash out at their loved one, which damages the relationship and may cause the loved one to eventually leave. The BPD person hates themselves even more for driving their loved one away, and becomes even more afraid of their other loved ones leaving them.
  • A variant of this occurs with the sociological concept called "labeling theory." At its simplest, if you label a person (or group of people) as something, then that person or group is more likely to act according to the label. The reasons are manifold. Firstly, the expectations others have for us matter in how we behave. When a person gets labeled as something negative or lesser, their own self-expectations are lowered or altered in response. At the same time, others react to the label they have placed and limit a person's avenues of expression by their expectations. Label someone as "violent", and any attempts to behave otherwise are seen merely as deception, waiting for their "true nature" to come out. The decision has already been made: others will think of them as something bad without regard to what they do, so they don't see the point in making an effort to rise above that label (or they start thinking that the label may be accurate, internalizing it). Applied more broadly to groups, individual members subject to that group's label have been pre-judged unfairly for something completely beyond their control to change, and accept the label as a guideline for their own conduct. When it comes to labels, one is guilty until proven innocent (which may never happen).
  • According to one version of the events, this happened during the first test flight of Caproni Ca.60 Transaereo flying boat. A bunch of Italians believed it will definitely crash on it's maiden flight, so they rented a motorboat to witness it "from the first row". The motorboat driver mishandled the controls and got right in front of the plane while it was taking off, the pilot tried to avoid the collision and the plane crashed. The project was abandoned.
  • One of Russia's many excuses for invading Ukraine in 2022 was because of the number of former Warsaw Pact nations that had joined NATO, and to prevent Ukraine from doing the same. The result? Traditionally-neutral Sweden and Finland—the latter of which was the trope namer of the concept of "Finlandization", where a nation was forced to be neutral to avoid the wrath of a bigger neighbor—both are now seeking to join NATO. In addition, western European countries, which had long been skeptical of the continued utility of NATO, have increased military spending and reactivated what had become a dormant alliance.note 


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Alternative Title(s): Self Fulfilling Prophecies


TWA Chosen One prophecy

The implications of this type of prophecy are explored.

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