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"I love the guy like a brother, but every time he comes to town we end up in another fucking war."
Duke Toa M'Jest a.k.a. Majesty referring to Caine, Blade of Tyshalle

Yay! The Hero is coming to town!

Hey, where'd the town go? Why is there just this smoking crater covered in corpses?

Like Weirdness Magnet, except for disasters, death, widespread unpleasantness, explosions, alien invasions, zombies, crazy terrorists and jaywalkers. Wherever they go, cities crumble, villains show up, and weeping is heard. Not because they themselves cause it, but the worst of the worst are constantly drawn to them.

Unlike Walking Wasteland or Destructive Saviour, the person is not causing any of this. It just always happens where they are. Semi-related to Busman's Holiday, but it's not related to the person's job. Stuff just always happens wherever they are.

Doom Magnet is for when this directly affects the supporting cast of the main character and they start dropping like flies. See Person of Mass Destruction, with whom there may be significant overlap. Compare The Jinx, who attracts bad luck on a smaller scale, and the Lethal Klutz who unintentionally leaves a wake of destruction while carrying out simple tasks. If plants and animals literally die in proximity, it's a Walking Wasteland. If there's anything of the city/country/planet left, expect the hero to be Persona Non Grata. See also Hero Insurance.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Fist of the North Star: "Where Hokuto Appears, Chaos Follows."
  • In The Mysterious Cities of Gold, every temple that Esteban and friends go into is destroyed at some point. Usually because Pedro and Sancho try to ham-fistedly steal something valuable, activating a solar-powered trap in the process.
  • Seina Yamada in Tenchi Muyo! GXP is a comic example. Accident and misfortune dog his every step, even causing him to be accidentally recruited into the Galaxy Police. Once he's there, though, his bad luck becomes an asset because it attracts pirate ships which the GP can then arrest. At the end of the series he somehow ends up with eight wives — whether that's good or bad luck is anybody's guess.
  • Trigun: Vash the Stampede, also known as the "Humanoid Typhoon", is so potent an example of this trope that the planetary government legally declared him an "Act of God" and a "Natural Human Disaster". The plot of the anime involves him being followed from town to village by a pair of Insurance Agents who investigate insurance claims taken out against the damage caused by Vash simply being in the area.
    • Trigun Stampede, a retelling of the story, dispenses with the girls being insurance agents (instead Vash is followed by news reporters) but Vash remains Vash. Almost every single one of the places he visits throughout the season winds up being destroyed as a result of his presence, no matter how hard he tries to keep everyone safe. In fact, Vash blames himself for stranding everyone on such an inhospitable planet in the first place, since the Evil Twin who's actually responsible sure as hell isn't owning up.
  • Slayers: Lina Inverse, the "Dragon Spooker". It doesn't help that she's a Destructive Saviour Of Mass Destruction, such that her companions know to get everybody out of Dodge when she decides to bust out her signature spell, Dragon Slavenote , on the Monster of the Week.
  • Kei and Yuri of the anime/Amerimanga/Light Novel series Dirty Pair practically define this trope: Two sexy government operatives who just happen to attract apocalyptic disaster wherever they go. Their typically ham-fisted and violent style in handling such situations doesn't help matters, but Finagle's Law is a way of life with them, and calamity seems to strike wherever they go, even when they're on vacation. In one miniseries, a villain performs an "experiment" to see what would happen when a clone of Yuri is thrown into the mix, injecting three "Lovely Angels" into the situation. The result: a supernova that threatens to set off more supernovae by its shockwave. In another, the unconfirmed sighting of the Lovely Angels in a Wretched Hive space colonynote  makes a dozen different factions decide at the very same time to detonate doomsday weapons as a "screw you" to the WWWA (the colony was completely vaporized, but unfortunately for them Kei and Yui (and their bounties) were already gone by then). Clearly two women you should be inclined to avoid. "It's not our fault!"
  • In Case Closed, wherever the main character goes, he finds himself knee-deep in another murder, theft, or other serious crime. Good thing he's a private eye, huh? Several of the recurring characters, especially the police, lampshade the fact that the Mouri family always seem to stumble upon a case, suspecting that perhaps Kogoro or Conan are cursed.
  • Berserk: After the Eclipse in which he is marked with the Brand of Sacrifice, Guts becomes this. Every town he goes to has a ninety-eight percent chance of ending up in flames and chaos, either because of the demons drawn to the Brand, or his own efforts to slay said demons.
  • Gildartz, of Fairy Tail has this as his superpower. The most powerful member of the Guild, his magic "crash" literally destroys everything he touches. The only problem is that unless he's pissed off, he has an attention span of about 5 seconds and due to his nature prefers to walk everywhere; in a straight line. The town he lives in even has a restructured Gildartz mode where he has nothing in his path, to save on repair bills.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: An oddly specific example. Whatever you do, do not board an airplane with Joseph Joestar on it. He's been in no short of four separate plane crashes. Once during his childhood, once to escape the Ultimate Life Formnote , once when an infamous plane terrorist was on board, and once because of a Stand-wielding baby. Needless to say, Joseph is a disaster magnet for airplanes, and practically nowhere else.
    Jotaro: I'm never riding in a plane with you again.

    Comic Books 
  • Most superheroes. One example is when Batman first dealt with a large plague, then a city-destroying earthquake, then (in the aftermath of the quake) a winter that was far colder than normal.
  • It applies double to heroes with either Power Incontinence or excessively large powers. Or both: the more powerful the hero, the more destruction he/she will cause, especially if he has to fight a particularly powerful villain.
  • Black Dynamite: Alex Haley convinces Black Dynamite to leave the black community and Walk the Earth by pointing out how villains keep showing up to challenge him, resulting in widespread destruction every time.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk's basically the equivalent of dropping a nuke wherever he transforms. Obviously most of the time it's not his fault and the military are also to blame for some of the destruction, but it's nevertheless not a good idea to be near Hulk. Especially if you're the one who pissed him off.
  • Being anywhere near the two main characters of Mortadelo y Filemón is very hazardous to your health. Lampshaded in one of the later albums: When Mortadelo and Filemon boarded a plane, all the other passengers refused to board.
  • Don Depresor from the spanish comic book Fanhunter. Put him in an enemy ship/plane, tell him to act naturally, enjoy seeing the ship sinking/plane crashing.
  • Zipi y Zape: The twins, in many stories, but especially the "Around the world" story.
  • Meet Disaster Des. This British comic character was like a god of destruction. Buildings would collapse, machines would malfunction and ships would sink whenever Des innocently and obliviously passed by.
  • Tharg's Future Shocks: Jeremy Chance is a literal example. He's Born Lucky, but his luck always happens at the expense of someone else, so fortune will contrive all sorts of disasters so that he can miraculously survive them. After humanity shoots him off into space, he goes through a time portal and becomes Halley's Comet, which eventually destroys life on Earth.
  • Gaston Lagaffe is (in)famous for leaving destructive trails entirely by accident, such as taking out a military jet with old chimneys when he repaired the heating system, destroying a flight of stairs with a chemical setup, collapsing the floor of an entire room by applying his special fast-drying paint, breaking every single window in the neighborhood with his gaffophone, or taking out a building from the sixth floor up with one of his science experiments. His crowning achievement can be summed up by his coworker's witness statement:
    Prunelle: I saw it with my own two eyes! He just looked at the fusebox, and every fuse blew out at the same time!
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Alia's mere presence makes people more on edge and quicker to turn to violence as a side effect of being the Warbringer. As she gets closer to her seventeenth birthday when the power will come in fully and her chances of escaping her family curse are over this power starts getting stronger.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Masha and the Bear: MUCH mayhem happens because of the eponymous 3 year old girl's constant curiosity, hyperactivity and clumsiness.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ashes of the Past, Ash Ketchum is this, so much. Lampshaded a number of times, to the point where characters wonder why he is not preceeded by an army of Absol (Pokemon that sense impending disasters) warning people about his approach. Eventually he does encounter an Absol... who promptly attempts a Screw This, I'm Out of Here!. Pity the window she tried to escape through was made of safety glass.
    • He eventually gets his own Absol. The only reason she can withstand him is because she's a "chance-dancer" who's trained her danger sense and thus can decipher the disasters that surround him.
  • In Outsiders Louise and Saito's journey is one long chain of disasters after another, ranging from wild Mega-Evolutions to heists to full blown terrorist attacks. An Absol joins the team to try and mitigate the damage while Interpol initially suspects they're working for Team Flare.
  • XCOM: RWBY Within has Captain Beagle, who's an expy of famous XCOM: Long War Let's Player and Shack Tactical alumnus Beaglerush, whose real-life insistence on cranking the difficulty level up to the point where the developers thought it was logically impossible to win and then doing it anyway is famous throughout the playerbase. The author turns this into an in-universe reputation for Beagle as the Strike Team leader who always has seemingly routine missions go spectacularly awry through no fault of his own, yet somehow manages to come through with no worse casualties than average for XCOM.
  • Defied in Voice of the Condor, where an Inca agent named Dorad Elo goes ahead of the Chosen Ones to reinforce ancient temples to prevent them from collapsing. Esteban's dead mother Muran'Kel also works to prevent this by manipulating the City of Kumlar to keep Ambrosius from stealing its treasure.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mentioned in Batman Begins, as Gordon talks about escalation: "We start carrying semi-automatics; They start carrying automatics. We start wearing kevlar; They start using armor piercing rounds. And you're wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops; Take this guy, armed robbery, double homicide, taste for the theatrical, and leaves a calling card." [Card is flipped over, showing a joker]
  • John Spartan in Demolition Man earned the titular nickname due to his tendency towards leaving any building he performs an operation in as a smouldering ruin.
  • The videocamera-toting cast of Cloverfield probably fit nicely into this trope — wherever they go, whatever they do, the monster is there as well.
  • Near the beginning of The Mummy (1999) Evy manages to level an entire library by accident. Her employer's horrified reaction, and following rant ("Compared to you, the other plagues were a joy!") suggests this isn't the first time she's done something like this.
  • Leslie Nielsen's characters in films like The Naked Gun and Airplane! tend to be a humorous version of this.
  • Bond. The kind of destruction he leaves behind is only partially justified by him being a Cowboy Spy (and the Trope Codifier for the "Martini" Spy Genre). The rest lies in the Big Bad being that determined to stop him. A few movies Lampshade the amount of destruction Bond's escapades tend to leave behind for a supposed secret agent, especially in the Pierce Brosnan era; the Daniel Craig era films Deconstruct it with showing how much bureaucratic and political headache a loose cannon agent can cause for his boss M.
  • Fackler in the Police Academy films. He can't walk through an office without getting a dozen people hurt and the office burnt down and in the first film he is the man responsible for the Disaster Dominoes that create the climactic city-wide riot. And no, he has no idea he is the cause.
  • Get Over It has a lady named Dora Lynn, whom bad luck seemed to follow. In wood shop, she took out half off a classroom with a nailgun (so much that one character cannot even sit down), caused a vending machine to spew tampons like missiles, lights a guy on fire, gets hit by a car, and loses her bikini top. When she goes on a date with Berke to a sushi restaurants, a chain of events causes the restaurant to be burned down.
  • The Pink Panther:
    • Most of the films' humor revolves around the incredible amount of destruction and misfortune caused by the clumsy and idiotic Clouseau. In the second film, Dreyfus claims that with ten Clouseaus he could destroy the world and in the fifth he labels the Death Ray he stole as less destructive than Clouseau. They are definitely not meant as compliments.
    • Curse of the Pink Panther: Detective Cliffton Sleigh is just as unlucky and bumbling as Clouseau. His first scene has him botch an undercover assignment by unwittingly attracting the attention of a drunken men, a situation which escalates into a brawl involving various prostitutes who think he is trying to horn in on their territory (Sleigh is dressed as a woman as part of his cover). Sleigh's similarities to Clouseau are repeatedly brought up throughout the film.
  • On Pure Luck, Heiress Valerie Highsmith is this-so unlucky and clumsy that her entire life has been plagued with accidents that have almost killed her (and have killed other things, like pets) and making her capable of setting an entire town on fire by trying to prepare breakfast. When she disappears in Mexico, Private Detective Raymond Campanella is asked to drag along accountant Eugene Proctor-the only living being who is just as bad, if not worse, on the luck department, on the hope that he manages to literally stumble his way into a solution. Between barely surviving Proctor's own disgraces and following the trail of destruction that Valerie leaves behind (such as the aforementioned town burning) they manage to find her.
  • Inspector Harry Callahan has a habit of stumbling into violent situations that end even more violently. It's lampshaded by another officer in Sudden Impact, who calls him a "walking friggin' combat zone".

  • The Acts of Caine: Caine is this for multiple reasons. For one, because he was an actor by training and for the longest time either sought out or created violent situations to provide material for his adventures. Also, because the way he forces himself on reality actually causes the fabric of magic and chance to send hell his way (according to his more metaphysically-minded companions). But mostly, it's because the crazy bastard can almost never resist the urge to escalate a fight.
  • Jackie Rodowsky of The Baby-Sitters Club is known as "The Walking Disaster" thanks to his seeming talent for self-injury.
  • Bobbie Faye Sumrall of the Bobbie Faye books is infamous for this. Words cannot describe. Eventually a state legislation is passed that classifies her as a walking disaster, and people are warned to run the hell away from her if they ever see her near them. And the Governor of Texas himself absolutely refused to have her in his state, comparing her to the fall of the Alamo, of all things.
  • Jame in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath. She's a walking disaster magnet, as one might expect for someone marked to become Nemesis, the avatar of destruction. Her brother is warned by a friend of hers that he'd probably find their land "reduced to rubble and [Jame] in the midst of it, looking apologetic." As she says, though, "Some things need to be broken."
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden. Ever since he started working in Chicago, there's pretty much three gigantic magical disasters per year. Also it is also due to living in a Disaster Area — the Chicago area is strongly magical, drawing in all kinds of things. A mobster, who is so badass that he joins a magical legal organization containing entities like demigods and wizard councils purely based on being a badass muggle, complains that Harry threatening to show up is more blackmail than he ever does. It turns out that being a Person of Mass Destruction and hanging out with a surprisingly large number of beings who are at least as powerful does wonders for the insurance collection rates. Later it's revealed most major forces in the Supernatural World knew who Dresden was, by reputation, and stayed out of Chicago for their own safety. Arguably, Chicago being the location for the battle(s) in Peace Talks/Battle Ground (2020) was the result of Dresden going missing for several months, starting at the end of Changes — it allowed the Fomor to move in unopposed.
    "The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."
  • In Good Omens, War is working under an alias as a news correspondent, and it's noted by her colleagues that when war breaks out, she's there amazingly quickly — almost before it happens. Eventually the smart ones just start booking flight tickets based on her destinations.
  • Honor Harrington is nicknamed "The Salamander" by the Manticoran media, for her tendency to be where the fire is hottest.
  • The Incredible Worlds Of Wally Mc Doogle: The title character is described by this, and it's completely true, largely due to his extreme klutziness. Anywhere he goes, massive property damage and possible police intervention are sure to follow.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: Jaine's father, Hank, manages to make a giant mess of things no matter what the situation.
  • Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings has been accused of this, hence his nickname of "Gandalf Storm-Crow". He defends himself by saying that there's two kinds of people who show up in disaster-zones: The ones who cause them or take advantage of them, and the ones who go there to help.
  • This is Mercy Thompson in a nutshell. She's just an auto mechanic with the ability to turn into a coyote, but she keeps ending up in the center of mass werewolf kidnappings, vampire politics, attacks by Eldritch Abominations, and even volcano gods. She tends to make it out alive, though she's wound up in the hospital repeatedly. Her enemies, on the other hand, tend to wind up dead. This is because she's actually the daughter of the Coyote of Native American myth and is thus a horrible magnet for all kinds of trouble, whether she wants it or not.
  • The Necromancer Chronicles: In Kingdoms of Dust, Corylus points out that everywhere Isyllt goes, the entire city suffers by referencing what happened to Symir in The Drowning City and Erisin from The Bone Palace. She's directly involved in both incidents.
  • In Redshirts, entire planets catch deadly diseases and go to war just to give the officers of the Intrepid dramatic plotlines.
  • Rivers of London: Peter Grant develops a bit of a reputation for this after his involvement in the Covent Garden fire in book 1, the destruction of a Tube platform in Whispers Under Ground and the illegal demolition of Skygarden Tower in Broken Homes. In most cases, however, the destruction was caused by other characters, most notably the Faceless Man.
  • The Stormlight Archive: In The Way of Kings (2010), everyone around Kaladin dies, especially when he tries to help them. Lampshaded constantly throughout the book. Eventually partially justified. Syl is an Honorspren and has been giving Kaladin unconscious Surgebinding powers. Kaladin continually strives to do the right thing, getting himself into dangerous and disastrous circumstances. Syl's bond has given him the strength to survive them, when others haven't.
  • The Wheel of Time: Rand Al Thor, The Dragon Reborn, of the Wheel of Time is one of these, a fact that rather gets to him as things progress, not to mention damages his chances of winning people over even if he is the Chosen One. It varies a lot in terms of how much destruction and chaos turns up around him, but it always does, on account of him being ta'veren. Ta'veren are people who bend the Pattern (the Universe) around them for a brief amount of time, affecting the laws of probability in their vicinity, and someone who is chosen to be ta'veren will always be central to important events of the era, as ta'veren are chosen by the Wheel (the metaphysical concept of time) to correct history's intended flow.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In All Aussie Adventures, Russell causes a lot of property damage (especially to his own), injuries to himself and others and gets a lot of animals killed.
  • The Hellmouth may be a Weirdness Magnet by itself but the annual near-misses with The End of the World as We Know It in Sunnydale only started when Buffy the Vampire Slayer came into town.
    • And apparently only happen to people in the same grade as her.
      • That has to do with the school being directly on top of the Hellmouth.
    • One of the prequel comics indicates that it's actually the other way round — Buffy is drawn to weirdness, not vice versa.
      • This claim has some weight. Remember when she left Sunnydale? She couldn't spend a few months without tripping over demons again.
    • In the alternate wish-verse the Master's plan from the pilot worked, and while Sunnydale was overrun she was busy in desperate battles in Chicago.
  • The Colbert Report lampshaded this trope when Richard Engel, NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent, was a guest on the show. Engel has been sniffing out (and reporting on) trouble spots all around the world — but mostly in the Middle East — since the 1990s, and has a reputation for always being in the middle of wherever the world is going to hell in a handbasket that week. So Stephen wanted to know if local governments go "Oh, Crap!" whenever they see Engel coming. note  Not coincidentally, Engel's third book (published 2016) is titled And Then All Hell Broke Loose.
  • Susan Mayer from Desperate Housewives tends to cause pretty spectacular accidents. She once managed to SET A HOUSE ON FIRE out of sheer clumsiness.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor. This is heavily lampshaded and emphasized to the point of Anviliciousness in the revived series.
    • Certain Doctors exemplify the trope far more than others, however. The Fifth Doctor instantly comes to mind, with one of his companions dying on him, and most adventures ending with many (if not all) non-mains dead. With the Fifth, it got so bad that one of his companions actually chose to leave for home rather than deal with the death and devastation.
    • One Fourth Doctor story has him coming back a few centuries later to the site of another adventure that happened off-screen. The devastation he left behind was such that the natives had come to "worship" him as their version of the Devil.
    • In "Rose", the first episode of the revived series, a conspiracy theorist has been tracking the Doctor through historical images. Seeing him at the JFK assassination, the day before the Titanic set sail, and the day Krakatoa exploded leads him to believe that wherever he goes, death follows.
    • Possibly topped in "Voyage of the Damned", when the Tenth Doctor discovers that London on one near-future Christmas Day is abandoned, as the residents have come to realize that every Christmas, aliens attack their city.
  • The crew of the Rocinante from The Expanse. They've managed to be the sole survivors of two completely separate ships sinking, and that's only after the first four episodes.
    Holden: We're the only survivors from the Canterbury and the Donnager. We look like terrorists!
  • On Father Ted, we get a brief glimpses at the chaos Father Dougal can wreak if left unattended, with a funeral service turning into a disaster area complete with exploding hearse. And then there's whatever happened during the "Blackrock incident" and the "Sealink incident".
    Bishop Brennan: The amount of lives irreparably damaged...
    Dougal: They were only nuns.
    Bishop Brennan: Nuns are people too! My God, the strings I had to pull to stop the Vatican getting involved!
  • On Hogan's Heroes, we have RAF Group Captain (Colonel) Critendon. The reason why he was a recurring character was because every single operation he was a part of (that didn't involved the Heroes) or plane he was a crew member of was utterly obliterated by the Germans, leaving him the only survivor. It did not helped that he was The Neidermeyer and most of these slaughters happened partially because of his incompetence.
  • iCarly: Carly's brother Spencer is a mild example. Possibly due to Rule of Funny, anything he does has a small chance of spontaneously combusting. Particularly glaring examples involve ringing a small desk bell... and having it burst into flame, and hitting a cymbal with a drumstick, which then began burning. Reaches its apex when, fed up with constant calls, the local fire department just gives Spencer some fire extinguishers for use around the house. Spencer pulls the pin on one, expecting a spray of foam... and gets a spray of fire!
  • Kenan & Kel: Due to being Lethally Stupid, Kel will create a mess or get someone injured just by being there. When he arrives at Chris' house with Kenan to have it cleaned up, it gets demolished.
  • In Metal Hurlant Chronicles the titular framing device is a fragment of a living planet destroyed by its inhabitants cursed to streak through time and space. In more than one episode it is implied if not outright stated to cause the events of the episode on whatever random planet it passes.
  • Eric Idle's character in one Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch (with the random title of "Prawn Salad") seems to cause accidents just by being there. Pictures fall off walls, furniture collapses, and a maid has a very unfortunate accident when showing him a dagger. And then it gets funnier.
  • Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote, and many other characters from detective fiction. Wherever they go, people drop dead at a rate that makes you wonder why the police don't either lock them up or put them under 24/7 surveillance.
  • Ronon Dex of Stargate Atlantis during his time as a Runner. In his case, however, it was due to having been implanted with a Wraith tracking device, meaning he dared not stay in any one place too long lest he bring forth the Wraith down upon their heads.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium, creates one of those. He tries to be posted on the least dangerous-looking commands only to find out they're not quite as safe as he assumed them to be. His favorite artillery regiment (watching the war from several dozen miles behind the front lines) was in the way of a tyranid flanking attack, his checking up on a few insurgents apart from the main host turns up the remnants of an inquisitorial warband fighting a nest of genestealers and having a cozy little war against seemingly poorly-organized orks reintroduces him to his best friends, the Necrons. Finding himself a make-work assignment to avoid the most dangerous fighting only to fall into something more dangerous which incidentally also puts him in the perfect position to save the day is a Once an Episode Running Gag.
  • If you are a Celestial Exalted, you are this. It's just a natural consequence of being one of 700 beings in the entire world that can derail the local Chessmaster's plans. And those of the undead, omnicidal Eldritch Abominations. And the non-undead but just as nasty Eldritch Abominations who intend to turn the world into a literal Hell on Earth. And the Well Intentioned Extremists who want to kill you because they think you're going to turn out just as bad as those other guys trying to kill you. Yeah, it's that kind of setting.
    • And if you're an Abyssal (a corrupted Celestial, basically), this is right there in your job description. If you try to run away from this designation, you'll only make it worse.
    • And if you're a Green Sun Prince, every mote of your very being is a Walking (Running, Flying) Disaster Area.
  • Can happen in Scion, due to the nature of Legend and Fate. As the Scions level up from heroes to demigods to gods, they inevitably either get drawn towards conflicts or cause conflicts to come to them. It gets stronger the higher a Scion's level, until it becomes so strong they have to either take on a godly avatar of lesser power or depart from the mortal world to prevent collateral damage.
  • If you play as a shroud with the misfortune dominion in Anathema then you are this. The misfortune dominion allows you to magically cause fatal accidents.
  • In Deadlands, the disadvantage "Grim Harbinger O' Death" makes the Player Character that chooses it one of these, Played for Horror. The Game Master is asked by the rules to make the collateral damage of anything that happens to this character, whether or not the character actually survives it, as bloody and full of casualties as possiblenote .

    Video Games 
  • Zidane of Final Fantasy IX is such an example that the Console RPG Cliche List named this trope after him. Surprisingly, it all happens for plot reasons (at least in theory) and none of the characters in the game (Zidane included) seem to notice the pattern.
    Zidane's Curse: An unlucky condition in which every location in the game will coincidentally wind up being destroyed just after the hero arrives.
  • Gordon Freeman of Half-Life 2. Any sensible rebels would run for their lives instead of cheering when they see the good doctor approach. Of course, he is actively hunted by the Combine for being the unifying force of said resistance, so...
  • The player character in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; when they turn up the monsters aren't far behind. In fact, it's the easiest way to get some wandering NPC killed. Just wait for them to walk in the wilderness and follow them until something spawns and eats them.
  • The Pariah Dog from Fallout 2. You find him standing in the middle of a pile of corpses, and having him in your party drops your Luck Stat to 1, and give you the Jinxed trait, causing you and everyone around to critically fail almost every move. If the failure involves guns, explosives or energy weapons, the wielder can bid their limbs farewell.
  • Fallout 3 tends to spawn enemies around the player character. At higher levels, approaching civilization can be dangerous — odds are the enemies will far outclass any inhabitants of a given settlement.
    • Fallout: New Vegas ditches the random encounters for the most part, but does have high-level monster spawn points near a few settlements, as well as scripted encounters with Elite Mook hit squads once the player has a negative reputation with either of the main factions. These will quickly lay waste to civilian NPC's when they follow the Courier into a settlement.
    • The Courier also exhibited this in the backstory of the Lonesome Road DLC, where they wiped out civilization in the Divide by delivering an Old World device that triggered the detonation of the nuclear warheads there.
    • The description for the lowest Agility SPECIAL level is "Walking Disaster".
  • Where Samus Aran of Metroid goes, it will probably be destroyed. Unless it is a space station, in which case it will definitely be destroyed.
  • Commander Shepard in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. In their search for Saren in the first, and battle against the Collectors in the sequel, almost no location has managed to avoid being wrecked. Some examples:
    • When choosing your backstory, you can select one of them is War Hero, where Shepard single-handedly held the line against a huge number of pirates when they attacked the planet he/she was taking shore leave on.
    • When you reach Eden Prime, it's under siege. The colony is wrecked and its inhabitants are mostly dead. The artifact you went to retrieve is still there, but after it's triggered by one of your teammates, Shepard interacts with it and it overloads and explodes.
    • After recovering Liara, the Prothean ruins (that had survived fifty thousand years in a seismically active area) get destroyed by a quake Shepard triggered accidentally.
    • In Noveria, they trigger the Peak 15 failsafe (a Neutron Bomb) to deal with a rachni infestation.
    • In Feros, they remove the nerve bundles anchoring the Thorian, causing it to fall down a shaft to its death. The colony, at least, stays intact.
    • In Virmire, they detonate a nuclear device to deal with the Krogan cloning facility. Although then, the salarians had already rigged up the bomb out of their ship's drive core before Shepard arrived. They just deployed it.
    • The Citadel then gets trashed by Sovereign as Shepard is attempting to stop it.
    • In the sequel, then, two colonies are abducted by Collectors just before or as Shepard arrives (at the second you're in time to save one third of the population).
    • A dead Reaper (humongous ship Shepard explores in search of technology) is crushed by the atmosphere of the dead star it falls into after holding orbit for thirty-seven million years.
    • You get to decide whether the Collector base survives or not, but it is to be expected that about half the time it's going to go boom.
    • Jack's prison ship is destroyed. In Shepard's defense, all they were supposed to do was pick up a prisoner. It was the the Warden's idea to try capturing them. As every character notes, Shepard's enemies are quickly acquainted with explosions and death.
    • It's even lampshaded by a batarian on Omega in Mass Effect 2.
    "Things explode around you, Shepard. You can't blame Aria for being careful."
    • And by Wrex upon meeting Grunt.
    Grunt: [Okeer] is dead.
    Wrex: Of course. You're with Shepard. How could he be alive?
    • As well as Rana Thanoptis' reaction to seeing Shepard again.
    Rana: Now if you don't mind, I'm going to run like hell before you blow the place or something. I know how you work.
    • And then there's the end of The Arrival DLC where, whether Paragon or Renegade, Shepard joins in with a plan to hurl an asteroid into a mass relay, which releases enough energy to "resemble a supernova," destroying an entire solar system and killing just over three hundred thousand batarians. An all-time high score for him/her, unless you get forced into the worst possible ending in 3. Unlike the others, that one really bit Shepard in the ass, leaving him/her grounded by the brass for six months to sort out the mass murder and terrorism charges.
      Admiral Hackett: All I know is that I sent you out there to break Amanda Kenson out of prison, and now an entire system is destroyed. I hope you could fill in the leap of logic between those two events.
    • Despite Spectres being the most elite soldiers in the galaxy, they have a strange habit of getting killed around Shepard. In the first game, Nihlus is murdered shortly after meeting Shepard and Saren dies at Shepard's hands. In Lair of the Shadow Broker, after being revealed as a traitor, Tela Vasir is killed during a confrontation with Shepard. The Virmire Survivor can potentially be killed during a stand-off in the third game if certain speech checks aren't met, and Jondum Bau can potentially die, depending on whether or not Shepard recruited Kasumi in the second game.
    • In the Citadel DLC for the third game, Shepard is responsible for the destruction of a posh sushi restaurant after being ambushed by a group of mercenaries. No-one lets Shepard forget it — mostly because Shepard's exit from the restaurant involved falling through the aquarium-floor.
    Javik: Commander, in my cycle, when we fled combat by falling through tanks containing aquatic animals, we... oh, right. We never did. (laughs) You are a trailblazer!
    • Also from Citadel, Grunt's friends broke him out of the hospital to celebrate his birthday. First, they try to lower him out of the hospital on a rope, causing a broken window and Grunt going into a free fall while the doctors are completely oblivious. Then, they climb on the krogan statue on the Presidium. At that point, a police car shows up, prompting Grunt to throw his bottle of ryncol at it, causing the car to catch fire. Grunt and his buddies steal the burning car and crash at a noodle restaurant, where they are sprayed with riot foam, which didn't work on Grunt because he had also caught fire while he was in the car.
    • Shepard almost seems relieved to be visiting Tuchanka in the second game, possibly because until the Reapers get involved it's hard to imagine anything that would mess up Tuchanka worse than the genophage and krogan clan warfare already has.
    • Miranda lampshades this when she's talking with Shepard about theirclone. And this is before she finds out about Shepard's hand in the destruction of her favorite sushi restaurant.
    Miranda: I'm not sure the galaxy could survive two Shepards. Think of the property damage.
    • It is also the in-universe reputation of the krogan among salarians. When Wrex lands on Sur'Kesh, Padok Viks explains that he can't let a krogan loose in the facility, because the infirmary could not handle all the casualties.
  • Nathan Drake of Uncharted would honestly prefer it if stuff didn't blow up everywhere he goes, but it just... seems to happen. Accidentally. This is lampshaded a lot and even played for subtle tragedy late in Among Thieves, when an innocent Tibetan village that happened to be sheltering Nate is invaded and shot to pieces with many casualties. In the third game, Nate manages to accidentally turn a plane in stable flight into a streak of flaming shrapnel from the cargo bay, shortly after boarding it, in an astonishing sequence of events that borders on Disaster Dominoes.
    • At the end of the third game Nate causes the entire city of Ubar to collapse into a giant sinkhole.
    Sully: Three goddamned bullets?! How the Hell did you do this with three bullets?!
    • According to IGN, he's caused roughly 128 million in damages just based on all the vehicles he's destroyed by dumb luck.
  • Hawke in Dragon Age II is both a Fight Magnet and this. Varric lampshades it in the Legacy DLC when Hawke comments that he/she wants to have a quiet vacation somewhere peaceful — maybe a beach?
    Varric: Hawke, the day you go to the beach would be the day an armada of angry demon pirates shows up.
  • The Postal Dude from Postal 2 seems to attract trouble no matter how mundane his task. Go to work on Monday? Protesters break in and shoot up the place. Return a library book on Tuesday? Arsonists torch the library while he's in it. Go to church on Wednesday? Terrorists decide this is the perfect time to bomb the church in the name of Allah. With this kind of luck it would take the patience of Gandhi to beat the game without killing anyone.
  • In the first two series, Lara Croft tended to be more of a Person of Mass Destruction. In the 2013 reboot, however, she tends to fall more into this trope. Things tend to blow up spectacularly wherever she goes as the game progresses, but Lara herself is (usually) not the direct cause of it.
  • While all of the Resident Evil protagonists have a dose of this, Jill Valentine's is larger than most. She's already in a disaster area when Resident Evil 3: Nemesis starts and it gets worse as she goes; shortly after she arrives, almost every location in the game tends to get overrun by zombies, catch on fire, explode, or have large vehicles crashed into it, with the whole thing capped off by a bombing run against the city.
    • Resident Evil 6 exceeds Jill's absurdity by a country mile. All of the protagonists have trouble as they show, but at least for Jake and Sherry they're explicitly being hunted, and Chris and Piers are chasing after the root cause of the carnage. Leon and Helena, on the other hand, are this trope incarnate: literally everywhere they go all hell breaks loose for seemingly no reason. City streets turn into chaos, any vehicle they touch is going to crash, and every possible thing that can go wrong will, as if death itself practically follows them.
  • The C.O.G. in the Gears of War series are well-known for this, every place they show up seems to get overrun by Locusts and/or Lambent. Which is the reason why they're so hated other human groups like the Stranded. Their leader Griffin hates them more then anybody else, because his town "Char" was devastated by Hammer Of Dawn strikes which turned many people into statues of ash. Padduk also mentions this in "Aftermath" when the COG come to his home to get aboat, and they get attacked by Lambent and Locusts alike, Padduk blames them for this, claiming that it never happens to him when he's alone.
  • Lampshaded hilariously in Tales of Vesperia (Multiple times). Many cutscenes and skits center around the other characters accusing Yuri of this. Eventually, even he starts to believe it. Of course, he's also the first one to comment on things and the very first skit is of him commenting on how yesterday had some trouble as well. Apparently, he had it his whole life but since he stuck to the Lower Quarter of Zaphias (with minor exceptions) it never was huge trouble until he gets out into the world and starts calling various things to him as a Weirdness Magnet.
  • In Momoko 120%, Momoko has to escape five alien-infested burning buildings during the first 18 years of her life.
  • Donkey Kong is one of these in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as many of the levels end up collapsing or outright destroyed as he and his friends traverse through them.
  • The Pokémon Absol is misinterpreted as one in-universe, since it's a rare species and only normally appears before humans immediately before disaster strikes. Absol actually has the ability to sense when disasters are about to take place and appears before humans to try and warn them, but the people misunderstand this as Absol itself being a bad omen that causes the disasters.
    • Sinnoh Gym Leader Volkner enjoys being a Bungling Inventor and can't help himself tinkering with electrical appliances. Unfortunately, this often ends up with going overboard and causing blackouts from the smallest of things. The league itself doesn't want him to do his hobby if he does accept becoming part of the Elite Four because they know he's a disaster waiting to happen.

  • The so-called "Light Warriors" of 8-Bit Theater are walking agents of destruction, but they usually do most of the dirty work themselves. The character who does qualify for this trope is White Mage, who can't seem to complete a good deed before a godlike act of destruction annihilates everything she's worked for. The vast majority of those are caused by the aforementioned Light Warriors, particularly Black Mage.
    • In fact, some have given them the appropriate nickname of "Blight Warriors."
  • Happens in WTF Comics with Anna to the point of being lampshaded several times.
    [Anna is exploring a cave under a castle. A crack appears in the wall of the cave]
    Straha: ...Anna... remember what I asked you not to do...
    Anna: What... about causing terrible things to happen?
    [Dragon bursts into cave]
    Straha:'re doing it again...
    • And later upon returning to Anna's home town and finding it in bad shape.
    Straha: ...this usually doesn't happen until after Anna gets somewhere...
  • Adventurers! parodies this. Karn wonders why a town he shows up in has been destroyed—it's because he landed his airship too close.

    Web Video 
  • Played for laughs in Part 2 Max0r's Incorrect Summary of Elden Ring when he uses it to describe how even though the Lands Between was already a shithole by FromSoftware standards, he's here to make it worse.
    "Ah, the Lands Between. So beautiful. So tranquil. Until I showed up."

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The List", Gumball and Darwin mess up any room they walk into, meaning anything not strapped down falls out of place on its own by their mere presence, due to being kids.
  • Beavis And Butthead: The titular characters tend to wreak havoc wherever they go simply by being present, creating traffic collisions, mass destruction, and public disarray, among other things. In Do America, the duo creates more havoc than actual terrorists with their stupidity, such as causing a massive power outage and flooding by setting foot in the Hoover Dam.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • In "Operation: M.A.C.A.R.R.O.N.I.", there's Numbuh 13, the biggest jinx and klutz in the organization, causing accidents everywhere he goes. Sector V is told by central command to give the Toilenator to the Mr. Boss villains in a Prisoner Exchange, and are horrified to find out that the prisoner they're getting back is him. They can't tell the villains You Can Keep Him (because he has information they need) and the team of operatives he belongs to refuse to take him back, so they're stuck with the disasters he causes until the end of the episode, when Mr. Boss accidentally kidnaps him again, much to his horror.
    • He shows up again in "Operation: I.T.", where everyone is desperately trying to avoid being "It" at the end of the massive game of Tagexplanation , but then Numbah 13 gets tagged and is actually happy about this fact. Cue Mass "Oh, Crap!" and a dogpile.
  • Inspector Gadget: Inspector Gadget would likely cause more problems than he solves without Penny and Brain helping him. When he accidentally helps the villains (which happens rather often), you almost feel sorry for them.
  • Invader Zim: The titular character, who once accidentally shut down the power for half a military training planet, for a snack, is this trope. At two minutes old, he blew out the power of most of a planet. His leaders put him in military science to try and turn his capacity for horrible, oblivious destruction in a useful direction, but it didn't really work out. For instance, Zim caused another power outage when he decided to visit the surface of Irk, killed the two previous Tallests by creating a Lovecraftian horror that nearly wiped out all space, and caused a planet to explode just by standing on it. To keep him contained during an invasion, his commanders confined him to a circle drawn on the ground. Zim promptly decided this was too simple a task for his GENIUS and hijacked a Humongous Mecha invasion machine, whereupon he commenced with the invading, the exploding, and the uncontrolled fires, blissfully unaware he had not yet left Planet Irk, and bringing the entire invasion down single-handed. For their next invasion, Zim's commanders exiled him to Earth, as far away from them as possible. From there, he still managed to destroy a large part of the invading fleet with an out-of-control, rapidly moving planet, Mars. In one unused script, there was to be a montage of everything Zim had ever destroyed. It would have gone on for a while.
  • Coop in Megas XLR can't seem to go anywhere in the titular Humongous Mecha without causing mass destruction in the process. Good thing he has Negative Continuity on his side.
  • The Bakshi Mighty Mouse reboot had "Catastrophe Cat", about an oblivious big and fat cat who leaves destruction in his wake.
  • Milo Murphy's Law has the titular Milo Murphy, a direct descendant of the Murphy of Murphy's Law. The incredible misfortune and subsequent destruction that happens around him is so common that most of his classmates treat it as completely normal.
  • Derpy Hooves from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is this in the episode "The Last Roundup", to the extent that she can hardly sit down without causing property damage.
  • Ruby Gloom: Misery and everyone related to her. Apparently, they have been involved in every major disaster throughout history.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson. He was able to cause a radioactive meltdown in an area without radioactive material. The cleanup crew knew him by name. Also, depending on the episode, this means insurance agencies absolutely refuse to cover him because they know he is a ticking time bomb on a very short fuse.
  • Star Wars Resistance: Kazuda Xiono has an uncanny knack for getting things destroyed around him. His status as an inexperienced spy with a klutzy streak certainly helps in this regard. By the second half of the first season, others are lampshading it: In "Dangerous Business", Neeku warns Kaz not to destroy the Office of Acquisitions when he goes off to mind it for the day (the store gets trashed in a fight between two other characters, and Kaz ends up blowing up a freighter). Most notably, in "Descent", when the heroes are planning to deliberately sink the Colossus, Yeager snarks that he always knew Kaz would do such a thing.

  • Jimmy Burns, V-Blogger and foreign correspondent in Shooting War, though he also gets misquoted on this. Then again, he's in a freaking war zone.
  • The adventuring group in Something Awful: Dungeons & Dragons tabletop sessions has noted, with some despair, that places they're in have an uncanny tendency to unmake themselves. This has included a mansion, a magical tower-mountain (twice!), a dream dimension, and some islands.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1440 is an old man who wanders eternally and brings ruin and destruction if he stops in any one place for too long. The interview he gave with an SCP doctor before the on-site nuclear warhead exploded reveals it's what happens when you play Chess with Death... and win.
  • A Running Gag in Rooster Teeth is that anything that Achievement Hunter touches will break or be destroyed, whether it's in-game or in real life. It doesn't help that they also have a unsettling amount of weapons and projectiles stashed in their office.

    Real Life 
  • Canadian metal band The Agonist seem to have this trouble — an alarming number of their gigs have coincided with various natural disasters, and their singer has commented that she sometimes feels like they are "sync'd with nature in the worst way possible". This is especially ironic considering that several of their songs touch upon the theme of Gaia's Vengeance.