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Serendipity Shock

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It happens. We've all had moments like these. When we've been beaten down, or thrown into a depression, sometimes there's something that we've wanted so badly, it seems close enough to touch...



Except, you can touch it. It's there. Right in front of you, and you can keep it, no strings attached.

This isn't just an "I got what I wanted for Christmas" moment. No, this is something that this otherwise unlucky character strongly desires, that suddenly falls in their lap without asking or requesting it. It shakes them or changes them down to their very core, but in a positive way. Usually, and naturally, they will be extremely shocked.

Please note that this isn't Throw the Dog a Bone. In that case, the joy and surprise may be temporary or a passing element, at whatever level it is. This is when a character finds or receives the joy and surprise of the plot element PERMANENTLY.

As this trope is such, spoilers will be unmarked.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Love Lucky: Average Salaryman Fuuta Kinashi has had bad luck in being in love, his previous girlfriends either cheating or taking advantage of his kindness. Fuuta's one love anchor remaining is his crush on the beautiful J-Pop Idol Singer "Kirari", whose music he is a big fan of. At a matchmaking party, Fuuta meets a mystery woman who seems to be shy, because she wears a mask every time they date. They fall in love, and decide to marry in-private. When the woman comes home with him to acquaint herself, she unmasks, revealing herself to be the very same idol singer, Kirari, that Fuuta adores. At first, he is stunned beyond belief, and even thinks it's a dream (until he wakes up the next morning and finds her in his bed), but eventually learns to accept her beyond her talents. However, its permanence is briefly subverted; the record label president orders them to hide their marriage for a year, lest a scandal of Kirari losing her public purity erupt. There are many close-calls in the year, but they're eventually successful, even amazing their families, friends, and co-workers, in the process.
  • Video Girl Ai: Similarly, Youta Moteuchi has had bad luck in love. Despondent, he goes to a video store later revealed to be supernatural. Here, the cassettes contain video girls, entities which come out of the renter's TV to comfort them. He selects one containing a girl named "Ai Amano", but Yota's broken VCR changes Ai, giving her feelings and desires, and Youta falls in love with her. Unfortunately, there are two catches: In one month, Ai will cease to exist due to the videotape reaching its run time, and the video company's CEO attempting a recall note  because she's faulty. In the finale, Ai's videotape is almost over, Youta confronts the CEO, and thanks to sabotage by the video store clerk, defeats him by smashing the VCR to free Ai, causing her to fade away. Ai seems to be gone for good, but from a Deus ex Machina, her essence returns as a permanent human being, with both Youta and Ai being joyously astonished at the occurrence.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Wicked fanfic The Land of What Might-Have-Been, Elphaba finally receives the validation and respect she always wanted after managing to win a hard-won victory over her tyrannical Alternate Self - and witnessing the entire population of Greenspectre chanting her name in exaltation. Having been treated as a pariah and a villain by the people of Oz for most of her life, Elphaba is genuinely shocked by the citizens of the Deviant Nations applauding her, and at first believes that she's dreaming. Eventually the truth sinks in, and she's left so euphoric with joy that she can only float down to ground level and allow herself to be carried away by the crowd.
  • In the How to Train Your Dragon fan fic, When In Rome, Hiccup has been captured by the Romans (specifically Alvin the Trecherous and Agrippina, Nero's mother) and forced to help them train dragons for military use. After escaping with help from Nero's half-brother Britannicus, Hiccup, thinking he's helped destroy Berk, stumbles through the streets of Rome in a grief induced daze. When several of his fellow Berkians find him, he's convinced that they're guilt-induced hallucinations, until Astrid places his hand on her (pregnant) belly.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Paterson, Paterson seems to despair and loses all hope or interest in writing after Laura's dog Marvin rips up his notebook, destroying all his poems. However, while on a depressed walk the next day, he meets a Japanese poet who is reading Paterson by William Carlos Williams and has always wanted to come to Paterson in New Jersey. As if that wasn't serendipitous enough, Paterson denies being a poet, but the Japanese man seems to recognize that he is one and gives him a new notebook. The experience causes the film to end with Paterson writing a poem in the new notebook.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: The family of Charlie Bucket is destitute, living in an old stone shack, with the elders of his family bedridden. When Wonka begins his Golden Ticket contest, 4 of the 5 tickets hidden in the chocolate bars are found rather quickly. Later, the contest seems to be over since the final golden ticket is found, until it's revealed as a forgery. At the time that Charlie hears about the news, he's bought two Wonka chocolate bars and eaten one. With a wild hunch, Charlie opens his last Wonka bar in slow anticipation and finds that... indeed there is a gold shiny corner, of the final golden ticket that is wrapped around the chocolate bar!!!
  • Mr. Holland's Opus: Glenn Holland is a talented composer, and to try to find an outlet and spend more time with his wife, he accepts a teaching job at a local school. But more time is spent with his students and his titular magnum opus. His family relationships suffer, life-related tragedies occur, and his son is born deaf, meaning he will never get to hear his father's work. He's also constantly delayed from completing his music, which by the time he does, it's too late to find funding or support to perform. Holland is forced to retire, due to the now-reduced school budget removing the Arts from the curriculum. On his final day at 60 years old, when it seems Holland's work will never be performed, he is surprised in the auditorium, where all of his former students through the years have gathered, with an audience, to honor him and his efforts and finally perform his long sought-after opus, "An American Symphony".

    Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Alone Together": At this point in the show, Steven has been considered a child with no valid use to the Crystal Gem team, although he's learning. One of his desires is to learn how to fuse, since he's half-gem, and one of the fusion-triggering components is dancing. When he fails at the episode's start, he becomes disappointed, and confides in Connie. She's surprised he can dance, as she doesn't like to dance in public. Steven encourages her, and by complete accident, they fuse into Stevonnie. They (that is, the 'Steven' half of the fusion) are overjoyed at this, and go to show the Gems. All are struck dumbfounded, but Garnet is even more, as she drops her normally stoic demeanor, smiling like an idiot from ear-to-ear. We later learn why: because she's a fusion herself.
    • Subverted in "A Single Pale Rose". For the show's majority, Pink Diamond was known as one of the antagonists, wanting to conquer Earth as a Gem Colony. Rose Quartz, wanting to save Earth and its life (instead of blindly following orders), rebelled against Pink's court, expanding into a planet-wide war. Later, in desperation, Rose shattered Pink to end the war, which brought disaster. Steven had to live with the knowledge that his mother was seemingly a murderer, until memory-based dreams implied Pearl was the true culprit. Questioning Pearl, Steven is brought into her memories, to find out it was Rose Quartz, except it was PEARL's shapeshifted form, and that Pink was only "poofed" (her holographic body disintegrated), with her essence safe in her intact gem; in actuality, Pink was Rose Quartz, with Pink faking her failures, and "Rose Quartz" acting as the rebel, to drive her 'sisters', the Diamond Authority, off-world. Steven is understandably overwhelmed, but relieved at the revelation that Pink Diamond was not murdered, but now must contend with the idea that his mother was still not so innocent as everyone made her out to be.