The Chosen One was destined for greatness, only to trip and stumble and careen off a cliff before he even could.
The Poorly Chosen One was assigned to be the Chosen One of a prophecy or a legacy or some other medium, only for their efforts to fall flat, failing at their task at being the Chosen One. These are inevitable among The Chosen Many. Bad eggs do arise when Chosen Ones come and go. Perhaps The Chooser of The One made a mistake and got the supposed chosen one mixed up, perhaps not. Either way, they were a poor choice indeed.
Not to be confused with The Chosen Zero, where the Chosen One is a loser socially, but ultimately follows the criteria of their chosen-ness. When the apparent Chosen One functions perfectly on his prophetized vocation up until the moment he snaps, see The Paragon Always Rebels.
- Corrector Yui: Haruna was supposed to be the Corrector instead of Yui, but the moment she finally takes the reins, Drosser (the Evil A.I. Big Bad) decides to say "Let's Get Dangerous!" and curb-stomped-slash-corrupted her in her very first battle. It turned out that Drosser had a crush on Yui and decided to manipulate events so she would become the Corrector because that way he would be able to meet her better, fulfill her Magical Girl fantasies... and he was holding back because he didn't wanted to hurt her (bad).
- As a failsafe, Fox Kids purchased an alternate ending for the first story arc of Digimon Adventure, where it's said the kids were found to not be the Digidestined after all, and were sent home.
- Happens routinely in The Twelve Kingdoms. Each of the titular kingdoms is rules by an immortal god-king/queen, chosen by a Kirin. Unfortunately, despite the inherently virtuous Kirin always having the best intentions, they DO screw up sometimes, and puts someone on the throne who'll crack under the pressue, turn into a vicious tyrant, or let the kigndom decay while wallowing in base hedonism. Worse, this world runs by Fisher King rules - a poor king leads to natural disasters, droughts and floods, and even monster-invasions. The series starts when the Kirin Keiki tracks down an Ordinary High-School Student from our world to be the new Queen of Kei - after his previous choice ended very, very badly. Considering this track-record, a lot of the kingdom's people are rather worried about this apparent Chosen Zero...
- Michael Rhodes in Birthright was believed to save the realm of Terrenos from God-King Lore by a sketchy prophecy that not many people believed in the first place. He is trained as a mighty warrior, but when the climatic confrontation against his enemy happens, he gets defeated and strikes a deal with said dark lord to become his enforcer if he gets sent back to Earth. Doubly subverted when it turns out that the prophecy was never real to begin with and Terrenos was already saved a long time ago... By Lore himself who at one point was a heroic figure who mysteriously turned evil, incidentally making him qualify for this trope.
- Smith from Kaboom is believed by a cult led by his presumed deceased father to be their Messianic chosen one meant to rule the world after they destroy it in a nuclear holocaust. Before the cult could get Smith to safety however, the cult's leader sets off the nukes anyway, destroying the planet entirely.
- In Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, a group of Beta-testers believe that Juni is "The Guy", a player believed to be the one to lead them to the prize. Just as they begin to have doubts about this, The Real Guy appears and takes the lead. Right after he opens the doorway to the fifth and final level, The Real Guy is struck by lightning which One-Hit Kills him instantly (in-spite of his 100 lives). Juni is then reinstated as The Guy shortly after.
- In the Star Wars saga, Anakin, believed to be the Chosen One, falls to the Dark Side and becomes a Sith. It's ultimately subverted when years later, he's redeemed by his son and kills Palpatine, bringing balance to the Force at last.
- In China Miéville's novel Un Lun Dun, the Chosen One gets seriously injured in her first confrontation with the forces of evil, and the character who was meant to be Plucky Comic Relief has to save the day.
- In Metro 2033, Artyom was chosen by the Dark Ones to bring about peace between themselves and humanity, as his inherent psychic resistance means that he's the only one capable of communicating with them without being unintentionally Mind Raped by their telepathy. They turn out to have been using their powers to protect him along his journey in the hope that he will be able to save them. He winds up dropping a missile on their home in the Botanical Gardens instead.
- Played with Priestess in Goblin Slayer: Top Goddess Illusion had favored Priestess, but the latter loses her status to no fault of her own, but rather Illusion being horrible at dice rolls. This explains the disastrous results of the Greenhorn Team at the start of the series; however, Priestess is spared due to the timely arrival of the titular Goblin Slayer, which altered her fate, as Illusion had essentially given up on Priestess. In later volumes, Priestess' new ability "Revelation" is implied to be a gift previously bestowed upon her by Illusion when she was the goddess' favorite.
- In Blackadder, Edmund encounters witches inspired by the ones in Macbeth who prophesy that he, the second son of Richard IV, will be king, leading him to spend most of the series scheming to take over. In The Stinger they realize they mistook him for Henry Tudor.
- In Game of Thrones, Melisandre believes that Lord Stannis Baratheon to be the Messianic hero of legend prophesied in the R'hllor religion. After managing to convert him and those in his territory, she advices him in various matters, claiming that the failures that she leads him to are all a part of The Plan. It is not until he and his army perishes against the Boltons at Winterfell (even after offering his own daughter as a sacrifice) is it made clear that Stannis was not the prophetic hero that Melisandre hoped he would be.
- In Legend of the Seeker, Shota turns Zedd young and erases his memory, making him an arrogant youth again instead of a wizened old man. So, when she asks him to name a new Seeker, he chooses... himself, which is apparently allowed. He proceeds to act like a Jerk Ass and is easily tricked by the Keeper to come to the Underworld. This trope is also a plot point in an earlier episode, where the party happens upon the tomb of an earlier Seeker, who supposedly perished in the final battle, where he fulfilled his prophecy. The truth is, he went insane and started slaughtering innocents, forcing a wizard to cut him down and falsify the the story.
- Discussed in Tales of Symphonia. According to various people, there were many Chosen Ones before Colette, but they died at some point in their journeys.
- During the main quest in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Player Character visits the Cave of the Nerevarine, where they can meet the shades of several Dunmer who previously attempted to fulfill the Nerevarine Prophecy, but failed and died. (It's implied that there isn't one true Chosen One Nerevarine, but that anyone who fits the initial criteria could become the Nerevarine. These people fit the initial criteria, but died before they could fulfill the prophecy.)
- Mass Effect 3 reveals the asari race were this to the Protheans, who gave them their advantages over the other races thanks to genetic engineering and a Prothean Beacon, believing they would use it to lead the galaxy to oppose the Reapers. Instead, they became complacent with merely using the Beacons knowledge to maintain their superiority, keeping it secret until the Reapers have overrun their homeworld, by which time humanity was leading the war effort.
- Vampyr reveals that King Arthur was a vampire sired by Merlin to protect Britain from the Morrigan's wrath. Unfortunately he failed in his mission and died prematurely, with the country suffering for his defeat for many years.
- Unkar the Unfortunate from Trollhunters was a Trollhunter who died on his first day, having been torn limb from limb before he could actually do anything his title of Trollhunter entails. His commemorative statue (which is really his re-assembled corpse) is frozen in fear of his pathetic pleas for mercy.
- Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda. His mentor Shifu let the pride he felt for his adoptive son blind him to both Tai Lung's growing personal issues and the possibility that he may not be cut out for the title of Dragon Warrior. As a result, Lung grew up thinking he was entitled to the role and when he was rejected, he... didn't take it well. The big twist is that because he was such an accomplished and confident martial artist the actual benefits of the title would have been worthless to him anyway; Shifu had badly misunderstood what it meant.