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  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • In the pilot, as Skye is sitting in her van broadcasting to the internet how S.H.I.E.L.D. with all its resources will never be able to find her, the van's door opens to reveal Agent Coulson standing there.
    • In "Shadows", Glenn Talbot boasts on national television that he has all but eradicated both HYDRA and SHIELD... only for him and his family to be attacked by a superhuman working for HYDRA, and he's then rescued by SHIELD.
  • Alias Smith and Jones: Lampshaded in "The Day They Hanged Kid Curry". After Heyes finishes explaining to another fugitive why his plan for escaping the law is absolutely going to work, the other man agrees that it's foolproof. Heyes gives him a very pained look and asks why he had to say that.
  • Angel:
    • Lampshade Hanging in the episode "Spin the Bottle" when Lorne produces the Phlebotinum:
      Lorne: A memory spell — provided by one of my clients — that is guaranteed to bring our Cordy back to the way she was.
      Angel: Guaranteed?
      Lorne: No pain, no side-effects. I'm telling you, swingers, there's no way this can fail.
      [scene cuts to Lorne narrating]
      Lorne: So, I'm an idiot. What are you — perfect?
    • Skip's death. Guns have been largely useless in combating the forces of evil throughout the Buffyverse's entire run, and Skip snarks at Wesley "Do those things ever work?" Wesley sees a spot where Angelus tore off a horn, and puts a shot right in his brain.
      Skip: That's just not right.
    • Wesley's "I think we're winning!" Next scene, they're tied up.
  • In one episode of Angie Tribeca, a prison warden reassures Angie and Geils (who are posing as prisoners) that they're safe as long as he's in charge. He then rolls his chair backwards and falls out of a second-story window.

  • Babylon 5:
    Londo: Yes, your ships are very impressive in space, or in the air. But at the moment, they are on the ground.
    Morden: So? They can sense an approaching ship from miles away! So what are you going to do, Mollari? Blow up the island?
    Londo: Actually... [produces detonator from his jacket] Now that you mention it...
    Morden: NOOOO!!!
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): The Cylons are evacuating New Caprica amid Stuff Blowing Up. They say Baltar can come along too, if he chooses:
    Baltar: [head in his hands] I just want to sit here and die.
    Gaeta: [giving a *Click* Hello with a pistol] You're about to get your wish, Gaius.
  • In the Silent E segments of Between the Lions, the eponymous villain wants to have a closer look at his arresting officer's cap or pin. "Well, sure. I don't see any harm in that," says the cop. Even he fails to anticipate what Silent E will do next.
    (Silent E) He knew that pin would do just fine
    (Silent E) He changed it to a pine
  • Blackadder:
    • Played straight. Blackadder has been convicted of a crime at his court-martial and is going to be shot the next morning:
      Blackadder: I wonder if anything in the world could depress me more.
      [Baldrick walks in, holding a bag]
      Blackadder: [tone hardly changing] Of course it could.
    • Earlier in the same episode:
      Blackadder: Any impartial judge is bound to let me off.
      General Melchett: [from next room] BAH!
      Blackadder: I'm dead!
  • Boy Meets World: Cory Matthews always invokes this trope. He even lampshaded this in the episode where he joined the wrestling team, saying he wouldn't be asked to wrestle this season just so he can prove what he says won't happen, will happen. Next thing you know, he is asked to wrestle in his first match.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • This show is pretty guilty of this, usually in combination with Gilligan Cut. Find us someone in the series who actually hasn't done this, and we'll be impressed. Xander seemed to tend to get the worse of it though.
    • Lampshaded in "School Hard", however:
      Xander: As long as nothing really bad happens between now and then, you'll be fine.
      Buffy: Are you crazy? What did you say that for? Now something bad is going to happen!
      Xander: What do you mean? Nothing bad's going to happen.
      Willow: Not until some dummy says, "As long as nothing bad happens."
      Buffy: It's the ultimate jinx.
      Willow: What Were You Thinking?? Or were you even thinking at all?
      Xander: [nervously hugging his bag] Well, you guys don't know...maybe this time it'll be different...
      [cut to Spike arriving in town]
    • Also worthy of mention is "Wild At Heart":
      Buffy: [after killing a vampire] That's it? That's all I get? One lame-ass vamp with no appreciation for my painstakingly thought-out puns. I don't think the forces of darkness are even trying. I mean, you could make a little effort here, you know? Give me something to work with.
      Spike: [watching her from a distance] Watch your mouth, little girl. You should know better than to tempt the fates that way. 'Cause the Big Bad is back. And this time, it's... [suddenly he's being tazered] Urrgh! Aaaahhh! [he is dragged away by commandos]
    • Lampshaded in "Spiral", too:
      Dawn: ... But there's a bright side.
      Buffy: There is?
      Dawn: At least things can't get any crazier. Right?
      [an arrow flies through the window and hits the wall — right next to Buffy]
      Buffy: You know this is your fault for saying that.
    • And again in "Ted", only this time, they don't particularly care:
      Xander: Yeah, with Spike and Drusilla out of the way we've really been riding the mellow and am I like jinxing the hell out of us by saying that?
      Buffy: Yeah, but we'll let you off this time.
    • Even the video game gets in on it.
      Buffy: Maybe now we can start enjoying the evening.
      Xander: Geez, Buff. Jinx us, why don't you? That's a cue for something evil to crash in if I ever heard one.
      [And he doesn't even get to finish speaking before vampires crash into the Bronze.]
    • Once again in "Crush", when Buffy makes her final rejection of Spike and warns him to stay away from her and her friends and family. Spike is undaunted.
      Spike: No, it's not that easy. We have something, Buffy. It's not pretty, but it's real, and there's nothing either one of us can do about it. Like it or not, I'm in your life. You can't just shut me out!
      [as he tries to follow Buffy into her house, he hits an invisible barrier, discovering that Buffy has had Willow revoke his invitation]
    • "But I will never kiss you, Spike. Never touch you. Ever! Ever again!" Needless to say Buffy is kissing Spike by the end of the episode and they're having passionate Destructo-Nookie in the episode following. One can't help thinking she was doing it deliberately.
    • In the Season 2 episode "Passion":
      Angelus: Don't worry, rollerboy, I've got it under control.
      [Giles tosses a Molotov cocktail.]
    • In the Season 3 episode "Dead Man's Party":
      Willow: No, let them go, Oz! Talking about it isn't helping, we might as well try some violence!
      [A zombie breaks in through the front window.]
      Willow: I was being sarcastic!
    • Almost a Running Gag with Willow actually.
      • "Beer Bad": Men haven't changed since the beginning of time. (cavemen burst in).
      • "Triangle": I wish Buffy were here. (Buffy enters)
      • "Two to Go": There's no one on in the world who has the power to stop me now. (Giles blasts her with a fireball)
  • Burn Notice: Almost rises to the level of Once an Episode. It goes like this: one of the main characters takes a seemingly innocuous job, probably something like tailing an embezzler, finding a missing daughter, or giving an abusive husband a firm talking to. It turns out they need the help of another main character (or all of them) to do it. The first character assures the other character(s) that the job is simple, easy, will probably take barely an hour, etc. At this point, the amount of time before things go completely to hell rarely tops 5 minutes.

  • Chuck:
    • In the season 3 episode, Emmett Milbarge is telling a man to go away or else he will hurt him... not knowing he is being rude to an assassin. Luckily for him, the assassin doesn't think killing him is worth and starts to walk away, causing Emmett to call him "Pussy". That made the assassin shoot him in the eye killing him. If Emmett didn't call him that, well, he would still be alive...
    • From the penultimate episode of season four:
      Sarah: Everything is perfect; nothing can go wrong.
      Chuck: [horrified] Oh, Sarah, you didn't...
  • The Closer: "Layover" had Provenza after discovering that a pair of hot flight attendants were using Flynn and him to protect them. wondering if there was any way that Flynn and he would look any stupider. A second later, the flight attendants stole Provenza's car.
  • The Colbert Report: Has an excellent one when you think about it:
    Stephen Colbert: It's gonna take more than a four-star general to get me to cut! my! hair!
    [ominous thunder, and the White House logo appears on screen]
    Barack Obama: Excuse me, General?
  • CSI: Miami: When Horatio Caine remarks that you might want to someday own a vehicle with doors (as opposed to your motorcycle), do NOT reply "I have plenty of time for that." Tim Speedle does. Poor Speed.

  • The Dick Cavett Show: In one episode, 72-year-old publisher Jerome Irving Rodale, an advocate of organic farming, died of a heart attack on stage. Earlier, Rodale had made some boastful comments on his supposedly good health, and bragged, "I'm going to live to be 100, unless I'm run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver." Unsurprisingly, the episode was never aired.
  • Dinosaurs: In the Grand Finale "Changing Nature", after causing an ecological disaster and the attempt to reverse it resulted in an ice age instead, Earl Sinclair tries to assure to his family it will all work out in the end.
    Earl: After all, dinosaurs have been on this Earth for 150 million years. And it's not like we're going to just... disappear.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Earthshock": The Doctor and Adric get into an argument when Adric demands to go home, but the Doctor says he won't risk taking the TARDIS back into E-Space. At one point, the Doctor tells Adric: "I'm not hanging around while you plot the course to your own destruction!" Then, at the end of Episode Four, Adric gets blown up.
    • "The End of the World": While the Doctor and Jabe are discussing Platform One, he comments that she makes it sound "unsinkable". Jabe considers the metaphor appropriate, only for the Doctor to note that he was once on a ship declared unsinkable, and wound up "clinging to an iceberg".
    • "Aliens of London": Early in the episode, Rose admits to the Doctor that it's pretty cool being the only human on Earth who knows that aliens exist. Immediately thereafter, a spaceship flies overhead and crashes into Big Ben before landing in the Thames.
    • "Dalek":
      • Simmons, the scientist who had been torturing the "Metaltron" to get it to talk, asks of the titular monster, whom he believes is disabled: "What are you going to do; sucker me to death?" The Dalek promptly crushes his skull with its plunger arm.
      • Rose, Adam and DiMaggio, while fleeing the Dalek, go up the stairs in the stairwell, assuming it can't follow. Adam even taunts it to that effect. Then:
        Dalek: EL-E-VATE!
    • "Boom Town": "Cardiff, early twenty-first century, winds coming from the... east. Trust me, safest place in the universe." Then the Doctor finds out there's a Slitheen plotting to blow the place up with a faulty nuclear power plant.
    • "Tooth and Claw": After the werewolf is driven back by a barrage of gunfire, the steward is convinced it's dead. The Doctor says otherwise.
      Steward: And I'm telling you, I'll sleep well tonight with that thing's hide upon my wall. [walks over to the door, looks down the hallway] Must have crawled away to diAAAAAARRRRGHHHH!!!
    • "Rise of the Cybermen": At the beginning, the Doctor says he knows exactly what he's doing. Cue the TARDIS console exploding.
    • "The Age of Steel": After a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal leaves Evil Cripple John Lumic's life support damaged...
      Lumic: I will upgrade only with my last breath!
      Cyberman: Then breathe no more.
    • "The Impossible Planet":
      Ida: We've come this far. There's no turning back.
      The Doctor: Oh, did you have to? No turning back? That's almost as bad as "nothing can possibly go wrong" or "this is gonna be the best Christmas Walford's ever had!"
    • "Fear Her": At the end, Rose has this to say to the Doctor. She just had to say it...
      "They keep on trying to split us up, but they never ever will. […] We'll always be okay, you and me."
    • "42": Erina, annoyed about having been sent to fetch tools to repair the engine, makes an unwise comment as she closes the locker: "Please, kill me now." The possessed Ashton is more than happy to grant her request.
    • "Voyage of the Damned":
      • The villain tries to tempt fate by naming the interstellar cruise liner he means to scuttle the Titanic. It doesn't work nearly as well as he'd hoped, mainly thanks to the Doctor.
      • The Doctor tries to assure newsvendor Wilf that this Christmas, nothing disastrous is going to happen in London. He gets teleported away mid-sentence, and almost immediately afterwards disaster strikes.
      • The Doctor mocks Capricorn for being too incompetent to sink the Titanic. He responds by remotely shutting down the engines.
    • "Partners in Crime": The Doctor tells Donna that Miss Foster having a sonic device of her own is "very unlikely". Next shot, Foster is using her sonic pen to unlock the doors to the roof.
    • "The Poison Sky": At the end, Martha says her goodbyes to the Doctor and Donna while still onboard the TARDIS... thus giving the Sapient Ship the opportunity to close the door and take off of her own volition just as Martha turns to leave.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": Martha, crossing the hostile surface of Messaline, tells her companion that their destination "can't be much further..." and promptly trips and falls into a pool of quicksand.
    • "Forest of the Dead": When the Library's Self-Destruct Mechanism is activated thanks to the sentient computer having a breakdown, Lux says that the Doctor Moon, the central computer's virus checker, will stop it. In the very next scene, CAL (the computer) manages to shut Dr. Moon off with her TV remote.
    • "Midnight" has perhaps the most blatant and extreme example:
      The Doctor: Stuck in a big space bus with a bunch of strangers on a diamond planet called Midnight? What could possibly go wrong?
      • Things do go wrong. Very, very wrong, and the Doctor nearly dies.
    • "Turn Left": Worn out by living in a Crapsack World where she never met the Doctor, when this timeline's version of the ATMOS crisis goes down, Donna exasperatedly asks Rose how things could possibly get worse. She finds out soon enough...
    • "Journey's End" gives one to the Omnicidal Maniac villain:
    • "Planet of the Dead": Double-subverted with DI McMillan and Sergeant Dennison. At the beginning, while pursuing a bus that Classy Cat-Burglar Lady Christina is riding, Dennison sets up a roadblock at the north end of a tunnel the bus is passing through and tells McMillan the bus has no way out. He responds, "We've got her." Then the bus is transported through a wormhole. When the bus returns to Earth at the end, the two cops still catch and arrest Christina, but the Doctor helps her escape.
    • "The Waters of Mars":
      • The Doctor's reaction when he realizes he's in humanity's first Mars base, the destruction of which is a fixed point in time, right as the events leading to said destruction are beginning:
        The Doctor: I should go. I really... should go. [hears a roar over the Tannoy] Oh, I really should go...
      • Later on, as the crew is evacuating the base:
        The Doctor: Right, I should leave! Finally! I should leave! Yuri my old mate, no, no point in me seeing the icefield? No point at all! No... [begins to run after her] ADELAIDE!
    • "The Time of Angels": The Doctor is disinterested in getting into another adventure with River Song, for vague reasons, but Amy points out he promised to show her a planet next, requesting five minutes to see the planet River wanted to come to.
      The Doctor: All right, five minutes! But I'm telling you right now, that woman is not dragging me into anything!
      • Naturally, within those five minutes, River has roped him into helping hunt down a Weeping Angel loose in an underground maze.
    • "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe":
      The Doctor: This is one of the safest planets I know; there's never anything dangerous here...
      [a loud crash is heard nearby]
      The Doctor: ...there are sentences I should just keep away from.
    • "The Wedding of River Song" has an example with greater consequences than normal.
      Dorium: Time catches up with us all, Doctor!
      The Doctor: Well it has never laid a glove on me!
    • "The Day of the Doctor": At the very end of the Time War, as the Doctor is finally regenerating, he comments to himself that he hopes his next incarnation's ears won't be too conspicuous. Before regenerating into Christopher Eccleston's Doctor.
    • "The Time of the Doctor": The Eleventh Doctor promises Clara he won't forget a second of his time as the Doctor, before regenerating into the Twelfth... who promptly forgets how to fly the TARDIS.
    • "Time Heist":
      • The Doctor insists no harm ever came from answering a phone. Cue Smash Cut.
      • As the Doctor says there's no immediate threat the alarm goes off. He lampshades this by saying "I should stop saying things like that."
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": Karl the crane operator listens to an affirmation tape reassuring him that he's special, valued, and someone wants him. That someone? The Monster of the Week, Hunting the Most Dangerous Game.
  • The Drew Carey Show: Drew shares the elevator with Larry after he has been promised a promotion as long as he reaches the boardroom in thirty minutes. When Larry congratulates him, he says that he doesn't want to talk about it for fearing of jinxing things.
    Larry: Hey, they're calling you up. There's no way you can lose now. Nothing but blue skies ahead! Not even the gods above with their so-called "powers" could... (elevator breaks down)
    Drew: You happy?

  • Family Fortunes: In one episode of this British adaptation of Family Feud, a contestant gave "Over a fire" as a response to "Name a way of toasting someone." As he often did on off-the-wall answers, host Les Dennis quipped, "I tell you what, if it's up there, I'll give you the money meself!" Cue "Grill" lighting up on the board for 12 points - Les, man of his word, wrote the contestant a check for 12 pounds afterwards.
  • Farscape: Played straight and then instantly lampshaded:
    Aeryn: You know we don't have a contingency.
    Crichton: Ah this'll work. Unless that plant can mutate in five minutes, what could go wrong?
    Crichton: Damn, I did not just say that.
  • Firefly:
    • Evidently Joss Whedon likes this trope (among many others). Any time someone thinks things are going smooth... they're not. Lampshade Hanging by characters completely fails to avert the trouble — or the comments.
      Mal: It never goes smooth. How come it never goes smooth?
    • One of the most striking examples is in the movie, when Wash says, after a particularly skillful and heroic bit of flying, "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I-" And is immediately skewered through the chest.
  • Friends:
    • In the season four finale, "The One With Ross's Wedding", Ross invokes this trope as a way of dooming his upcoming wedding to Emily:
      Emily: Oh, you weren't supposed to see me like this before the wedding. It's bad luck.
      Ross:"It's okay. I think we've already had all the bad luck we're going to have.
      [Rachel enters... ruins the wedding.]
    • Also when Rachel quits her job at Central Perk:
      "Ah, and no offense to everybody who still works here... You have no idea how good it feels to say that, as of this moment... I will never have to make coffee... again."
      [in the next scene, she's at her new job... being told how to make coffee for her new boss]
  • Full House:
    • After Danny witnesses the mess in Stephanie and Michelle's room as the result of Michelle's leaf-collection "hobby", Danny meets Jesse in the kitchen and asks him if the day can get any worse. Then they see the cement truck pouring cement into the house as the result of Car Meets House.
    Jesse: Yup.
    Danny: My kitchen!
    • Early in the episode "Making Out is Hard to Do", Jesse tells Barry Williams, who's trying to promote the Rippers at the time, that one shouldn't expect to make it big in music quickly. Cue the new Rippers song becoming a smash hit and pushing the band to stardom quickly, causing Jesse to give up music altogether. He does decide to reverse his "giving up music" decision late in the episode, but only after suffering a Humiliation Conga that turns out to be All Just a Dream.

  • Game of Thrones:
    • Early in the first season, as Eddard Stark and his son Jon Snow say their farewells before Eddard goes south to King's Landing and Jon goes north to Castle Black, Ned promises Jon that the next time they meet, he'll tell him all about his mother. Oh, Ned.
    • In Season 3, Daario says there's only a few soldiers guarding the gate at Yunkai. After killing them, a bunch more charge out an an alley. When our heroes have polished them off and Jorah is commenting sarcastically on this event, even more soldiers come running up. Fellas, just keep your mouths shut.
    • Like Ned, Robert and Benjen both say something akin to "We'll talk when I get back". They thought they would, huh? Well, Benjen did.
    • Before the Red Wedding, Talisa asks Robb if their baby is a son, they can name him Eddard Stark, in memory of Robb's father. Of course you can, if a certain crazed old man didn't lure you all into a devious trap to kill you all. Sure enough, neither the father, mother or the baby lived.
    • Tywin sarcastically asks if Tyrion is going to kill his own father, which he does.
  • On Grand Designs, if a client states an optimistically fast timeline, low budget, or both, they'll inevitably fall behind schedule and over-budget.
  • The Great British Bake Off:
    • At the start of the technical challenge in the second episode of series 7, Selasi mentions that he's made this recipe before, and acknowledges that saying so out loud may be tempting fate. He comes last in the challenge.
    • Rav, in episode 5 of the same season, says that he can't come last in the technical for a third week in a row, immediately before doing so.
  • Grey's Anatomy: Lampshaded:
    George: Do you have anything for us, anything good?
    Callie: Nope. It's slow.
    Alex: You don't say it's a slow day in the pit.
    George: You never say it's slow... you just jinxed us.
    Callie: It's a day and it's slow.
    Alex: When that phone starts ringing with traumas, you're gonna wish you hadn't said that.
    Callie: The phone's not gonna ring. It's a slow day.
    [the phone rings]
    • The "I'll be right back" version happens to Shepard.

  • Horrible Histories:
    • "The Borgia Family" song:
      Cesare: I am the mostest powerfulest, evilest of all
      As long as dad's alive, there's not a single chance I'll fall!
      Rodrigo: [dies]
      Cesare: Oh, no!
    • Used again in the 'Court of Historical Law' sketch featuring Tsar Peter III's case against a rat (or possibly 'a mouse, with delusions of grandeur') that he found nibbling his toy soldiers:
      Judge: Well, this certainly can't get any weirder...
      Peter: [triumphantly produces a teeny little gallows, complete in every detail]
      Judge: [barely changing expression] ...Yes it could. It could get weirder.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Referenced in one episode. Marshall and Lily agree to write each other "death letters" with a final goodbye and important information (bank accounts, passwords, etc.). Turns out that Marshall didn't write one, but he's planning on doing it soon. Ted and Barney assure him that there's no chance that he could suddenly drop dead before writing it. No chance at all. Marshall berates them for taking advantage of his superstitious nature, throws salt over his shoulder, knocks on wood, turns around three times and runs home to write the letter.
    • Used in "Perfect Week", where Barney was attempting to sleep with seven women in seven days. Lily utters the phrase "perfect week", thus jinxing it. The next day, Lily gleefully points out that Barney was getting along with "third martini girl," pointing out there was no such thing as a jinx...only for 2009 World Champion New York Yankee member Nick Swisher walked through the door and every lady in the bar oogling at him.

  • Happens in the trailer for Legends of Tomorrow. After easily dispatching Vandal Savage's Mooks, Ray Palmer says that, if this is all Savage can throw at them, beating him will be a piece of cake. Leonard Snart looks at him with contemptuous bewilderment and asks why Palmer would say something like that. Cue a giant robot foot crashing through the ceiling.
  • Lexx: In the backstory, a miner named Rockhound complained to his friends that he was tired of their routine and wished that something, anything, interesting would happen to him. Minutes later when he goes down to a small planet to survey it he is possessed by the essence of the Insect hiding deep within the planet, becoming the first Divine Shadow.
  • Little Mosque on the Prairie: Yasser reassures Amaar that the open house is going on "without an itch". The Chekhov's Gun-ish electric box he has been tasked to fix proceeds to blow up.
  • Lost: Often used, especially in tandem with the Answer Cut. For example, Juliet is worried that Ben will react badly to her affair with Goodwin. Goodwin replies, "What's Ben gonna do?" Cut to Ben sending Goodwin to his death infiltrating the tail section.

  • Major Crimes: The After Show to The Closer, one perp learns a lesson about asking people if they're going to shoot you: Sooner or later, someone's going to answer YES!
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Averted Trope. Malcolm and Reese both participate in an illegal race-betting scheme, with Malcolm even turning to the audience to ask, with no trace of sarcasm, "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" One flip cut later, he's showing off the thousands of dollars he made in the scam, which apparently went off without a hitch. Unfortunately Malcolm screws it up by wasting all the winnings on a lemon car.
  • Married... with Children:
    • There is hardly any episode where this trope isn't invoked by at least one character. The episode "Luck of the Bundy's" even establishes that a Bundy must never admit that he is lucky because an equal amount of bad luck is just waiting around the corner for him to be Tempting Fate. The result of that episode? The police "confiscates" all the money Al has been winning at poker so far, he gets arrested for grand theft auto (because all cars he also won were stolen), Bud's college dorm burns down forcing him to return back home, Kelly has a major stunt accident and is uninsured, and Al is getting hit by a lightning strike from the only cloud in miles, which is hovering above his house.
    • Frequently lampshaded as well, like when Bud needs to score 10 points in the last frame of a bowling game.
      Jefferson: Whatever you do, don't leave a split.
      Al: [Aside Glance] Gee, I wonder what's going to happen now.
    • It was actually revealed in the three-part episode when the Bundys go to England that Al Bundy's ancestor pissed off a witch who put a curse on his entire bloodline, explaining the bad luck of temping fate.
  • Match of the Day: The opening day of the 1995/96 Premier League season saw Manchester United lose 3-1 to Aston Villa. In response to Manchester United fielding a number of youth players, Alan Hansen said, "You can't win anything with kids". Nine months later, Manchester United had won the Premier League and FA Cup double.
  • Gets a Lampshade Hanging in one episode of The Mentalist. Rigsby suggests that the team is due an easy case; Lisbon is immediately irritated that he said that, because now there's no way that's going to happen. When Jane starts causing trouble shortly thereafter, her first response is to say to Rigsby, "See what you did?"
  • Merlin:
    Arthur: Maybe, just this once, we'll have no trouble at all. [gets hit in the neck with a drugged dart]
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: after listing off what his invention does, Dr. Fruitcake tells those assembled at his press conference that his latest invention is completely safe (his own emphasis). Cue explosion. Then he starts telling them about another invention of his. Cue another explosion!
  • My Cat from Hell: One of cat trainer Jackson Galaxy's methods is testing a cat's "challenge line" - pushing a skittish cat to see how closely it can be approached before it will scratch or bite. Of course, if you do this, then sooner or later you're going to get scratched or bit.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Tom Servo's favorite riff. "It can't [blank]! Doodly-doodly-doo! It can [blank]!"
  • MythBusters:
    • An unscripted example occurs in the "Exploding Fire Extinguisher" myth on this show. It looks like their big bang will take a while, so the gang starts playing charades. Tory asks, "Sounds like?" Cue Stuff Blowing Up.
    • During the Hammer vs. Hammer myth: Tory was trying to drive in a nail with one swing. He missed the nail twice, hitting the same spot both times.
      Grant: Why don't you put the nail there?
      Narrator: It's worth noting a smart remark rarely goes unpunished.
      [Cue the hammer slipping out of Tory's hand and nailing Grant in the shin, missing the steel-toe cap of his shoe.]
    • On the Mythbusters Revealed special, they reveal that when a member of the crew or cast is caught with a cell phone going off during a shoot, they're fined a case of beer. Adam is often caught with his phone on so he buys a few cases every couple of weeks. During the episode, Jamie smugly explains to the camera that he makes sure his phone is set to vibrate so he doesn't have to buy beer. Not a second after he finishes speaking, his phone audibly goes off on-camera and the crew laughs at him.
      Narrator: And that's a case of beer.
  • MythQuest: In "Minokichi", Mosaku tells to Alex the story of Yuki-Onna, a snow demon that feeds on body warmth and then freezes her victims to death. The last thing he says before going to sleep? "Wouldn't want this to be the last place I see." Yuki-Onna kills him in his sleep that night.

  • Anyone on NCIS who says anything about Gibbs in the squadroom is begging for a Dope Slap from fate (and Gibbs), given his known tendency to appear right behind the speaker.
    • A more serious example in Series 11: a sub-plot involved Dr. Palmer and his wife trying to find a surrogate mother for their child. In "Bulletproof", they finally get someone to agree, and Palmer becomes paranoid that he'll invoke this trope. And he does. Twice. That very episode. And gets immediately called out on it on both occasions by his colleagues. Sure enough, after the surrogate mother gives birth, she changes her mind and decides to keep the baby, leaving Palmer devastated.
    • In the Season 1 episode "UnSEALed", Chris Pacci wants to talk to Gibbs about a cold case he's looking into, but declines when he sees how busy Gibbs is. "What's one more day?" The next episode starts with his body being found in an elevator.

  • Power Rangers has had this in several incarnations.
    • It happens in the second episode of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, becoming a very noticeable Running Gag from there.
    • Power Rangers Mystic Force does it in the second part of the "Dark Wish" three-parter, when the Rangers' genie falls into the hands of the Big Bad, and he wishes the Rangers away. Yellow Ranger Chip comments as the full force of what has happened hits them.
      Chip: Let's see. We've lost Jenji. We're no longer Power Rangers. We no longer have any magic. In fact, there's no longer any good magic and the world's ruled by the dark forces. This is officially about as bad as it gets.
      [enter Koragg]
      Koragg: I've been looking for you.
      • Though that case is subverted, as Koragg had been betrayed by Imperious, and had sought out the Rangers not to destroy them, but for an Enemy Mine.
    • Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel: Things appear to be going very well for the villain Draven in the tenth episode, "Dimensions in Danger". After all, he's got an army of evil Rangers and is on the brink of conquering all dimensions by shattering the barriers between them using his three Mega Arrows. Having already fired the first arrow, he shoots the second one. He then informs the Ninja Steel Rangers, "You don't have any chance against my entire army!". Cue ten Rangers from past seasons literally showing up out of nowhere to help them.
      Tommy: Their odds just improved.
      • Later in the episode, when things inevitably go south for Draven (who is now gigantic), he attacks the Rangers while shouting, "YOU WON'T LEAVE THIS DIMENSION ALIVE!" Yes, I believe a Mr. Tommy Oliver would like to have a word with you.
  • Press Your Luck:
    • Not every case of Tempting Fate has to be life or death. Ask the late Peter Tomarken, host of this show. Naturally, you want a game show host to wish good will upon the contestants, but he had no idea what they were in for when he said "We're gonna have Big Bucks today, I can feel it." Two episodes' worth (To Be Continued and all) of taping and $110,237 worth in cash and prizes later, Michael Larson made Tomarken eat his words. Larson knew the fixed sequence to the game board so he knew which spaces never contained a Whammy and which ones would always offer extra spins.
    • But nonetheless, the tragedy gods would still have the last laugh. In the opening segment, Tomarken makes a jab at Larson, saying "Hopefully you won't OD on money, Michael." Larson lost a lot of his winnings in a scam, had even more of it robbed when he left bags of it laying around in his house, and then had to flee from the law due to illegal trading. Seems like the Whammies had gotten their revenge after all....
    • Sometimes the Whammy would tempt fate in an animation. For example, he sang "Who'd ever hurt a Whammy?" in a Boy George parody, only to get hit with a hammer.
  • Primeval: In episode 8, a giant worm comes down from the ceiling and latches onto Connor's head immediately after he comments that they are now safe.

  • Queer as Folk: Averted Trope in the American version. A gay teenager is found dead in a dumpster, and everyone starts speculating that he was killed by a one-night stand. Brian deliberately tempts fate by picking up a random guy at the club that night, declaring that, "There's never been a hotter time to fuck a stranger." When Justin calls him on it, he even backs slowly away while wiggling his fingers dramatically and saying, "I'll be fine!" He's right, and nothing bad happens.

  • Reba has a positive version of this at the end of the sixth-season episode "Bullets Over Brock", where Reba, dismayed at the prospect of Brock and Barbra Jean getting a divorce, claims "I'll never be able to relax now." Then she sits down and turns on the TV, sees the video clip of Van at Jake's soccer practice that Cheyenne filmed, and promptly bursts into hearty laughter due to Van's over-the-top behavior in the clip. By the time the video clip sequence ends, Reba is calmly sipping tea, grinning and giggling happily, before muttering to herself: "I'm definitely relaxed now."
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Ace Rimmer (What a guy!) parachutes into a base full of Nazis, kills most of them, and zooms away on a flying motorcycle. Two surviving guards watch him go:
      Guard #1: He got away! I can't believe he got away!
      Guard #2: That was Ace Rimmer! We're lucky to be alive!
      [Snappy the crocodile falls out the sky and crushes both of them.]
    • In another episode, Lister goes on a long soliloquy/rant about how there can be no true justice in the universe, at the end of which he falls down an open maintenance shaft.
  • Revolution: The Wiry Stranger that steals the Mathesons' food in the flashback in "Chained Heat" is threatened by Ben with a gun. Double Subversion as it initially appears that Ben won't do it, but then the flashback resumes again just in time for Rachel to pull the trigger.
  • Robin Hood: Robin tells Much about his secret engagement to Marian and comments: "Let's hope we live to enjoy it." They don't.
  • Happens a few times on Robot Wars:
    • Perhaps the most famous example came during the Hypno-Disc v Splinter battle in the Series 4 semi-finals. When Splinter's scoop proved capable of deflecting Hypno-Disc's initial attacks, even allowing it to push Hypno-Disc around, Jonathan Pearce remarked, "Could this be one of the biggest shocks ever in Robot Wars?". The exact instant he began to float the possibiltiy of Splinter winning, Hypno-Disc tore Splinter's scoop clean off and what followed was one of the most brutal and spectacular Curb-Stomp Battles in the history of the show.
    • Earlier, in the first round of Series 3, favourites Cassius were up against a robot called Dundee, whose predecessor Loco had been beaten by Cassius in Series 2. Again, the exact instant Pearce remarked that Dundee was doing better against Cassius than Loco had, Cassius flipped Dundee over onto its back to claim the win.
    • Lampshaded and averted in Series 6. When introducing newcomer Dantomkia before its first battle, Pearce declared them to be his personal heat favourites (bear in mind they were in the same heat as two-time champion Chaos 2). As soon as the battle started, Pearce quipped that he could probably expect Dantomkia to lose in ten seconds, now that he'd endorsed them. Instead, it went on to win the heat in decisive fashion, pulling off a massive shock in the heat final by flipping Chaos 2 out of the arena.
  • Rome
    • There's a hilarious coda to the episode "Egeria", where the legionaries are shivering on the deck of a galley as it battles through a raging storm:
      Titus Pullo: This is cac, this is! I'm wet through!
      Lucius Vorenus: We're perfectly safe — a very favorable offering was made to Tritonnote  before we left.
      Pullo: Well, if he can't keep me drier than this, he can suck my cock!
      [ship's mast breaks]
      Vorenus: When will you learn to keep your fat mouth shut?!
    • Played seriously when Julius Caesar refuses to execute Vorenus and Pullo for having let Pompey escape, because their incredible luck implies they're protected by powerful gods.
    • Also when Vorenus uses a Blasphemous Boast to frighten Rome's criminal gangs into accepting him as their leader. Pullo warns him the gods doesn't like that sort of thing, but Vorenus thinks he's lost everything anyway. "What more can they do to me?" At the end of the episode, it's revealed his children hasn't been killed as he thinks, but have been sold as slaves.

  • Saved by the Bell: The New Class:
    • Early in the Season 4 episode "To Tell the Truth", Nicky expresses confidence that the Home Ec class he, Ryan, and Eric are taking will be easy to pass, claiming that all they have to do is show up and eat. Cue the Home Ec class teacher showing up to inform the boys that they'll have to bake a pie to pass the class and concludes her announcement with a question before walking away: "Did you think all you had to do was show up and eat?" Cue the boys scrambling to cram for the test.
    Ryan: Holy Betty Crocker, we've got a lot of studying to do, Batman.
    • In a separate Season 4 episode "Karate Kids", Screech decides to fortify Mr. Belding's office for security purposes. Ryan talks Eric into volunteering alongside him as Screech's assistants, claiming that they would have no responsibilities to handle. After they volunteer, Screech tells them that they will have a lot of work to do.
    Eric: When will I stop listening to you?
    Ryan: When will I stop listening to me?
  • Selfie In "Un-Tag my Heart", Henry joins Facebook after being mocked about it by a few people. He initially dismisses it as "mildly entertaining, certainly not all-consuming." Cue montage of him crying at videos, picking favorite Mean Girls quote (I'm a cool mom!), finding out what Game of Thrones character he is (Sansa Stark), and being on it from night to the next morning, drinking and eating pizza.
    • Eliza does this in the same episode, planning on sleeping with her casual sex partner who she's been trying to avoid (so she has the strength to avoid him more, inspired by her friend's comments about cheating on her diet). Internally, she thinks that if she really wasn't supposed to see him, the universe would send her a sign. She then immediately gets hit by a car, but because its a smart car, she's kind of ok. She pops up, says it didn't even hurt... and then falls down a manhole.
  • A constant on Shark. Whenever Sebastian starts crowing on how great a case looks, you can bet the very next scene introduces a huge wrinkle to derail it.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • Stargate Atlantis: In "McKay and Mrs. Miller", Rodney, Sam, and Jeannie are discussing a plan to harness energy from another reality. Jeannie points out that this would create dangerous, world-destroying exotic particles in the other reality. Sam assures her that the chances of them picking an inhabited reality is "astronomically slim". Shortly into the experiment, they find out that the other reality is inhabited and on the verge of destruction.
    • Stargate SG-1: Carter is playing around with an alien device and says she wants to try stabilizing the energy signature it's emitting. Cam's surprisingly Genre Blind response: "Sure, what have you got to lose?" She hits a button, they both get transported to an alternate dimension where no one can see them. Ooops.
    • Stargate Universe:
      • Remember that "I deserve a break" line at the start of the article? It came from Lieutenant Scott. Guess what happened to him. Go ahead, we'll wait.
      • In "Time":
        Eli: Well this couldn't get much worse.
        Rush: I'm afraid that's a failure of imagination.
        [they are promptly attacked by flying alien squid chest busters]
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • In the opening of "Armageddon Game", Bashir and O'Brien are wrapping up a mission to help two groups of aliens clean up the aftermath of a war. When they're invited to stick around for a celebration, O'Brien says "One more day here won't kill me." It doesn't, of course, but not for lack of trying.
    • The teaser of the episode "Our Man Bashir" ends with Garak saying "What could possibly go wrong?" while in a Bond-esque holoprogram with Bashir, which is just funny. (And, yes, something does go very wrong. It's the holodeck; what do you expect?)
    • In the first episode of Season 5, Worf and Gowron have a Bath'leth duel, which is stopped. Gowron comments that Worf missed his chance to slay him and won't get another. Near the very end of the LAST season, Worf and Gowron duel again, and, you guessed it, Worf kills Gowron.
    • In the novelisation of the very first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo remarks to Bashir, that: 1) he doesn't get ill, 2) should he fall ill, Bashir (or any UFP doctor) will never be able to help. Near the end of the show, Odo does get ill, and Bashir is his only hope.
    • In "Sacrifice of Angels" Dukat pours a glass of canar for a celebratory toast while still five hours away from taking down the minefield to get reinforcements from the Dominion. Weyoun reminds him it's far too early and a lot can happen in five hours.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise ("The Council"). An away team (including a notable Red Shirt) have successfully infiltrated a Sphere and reached its redundant memory core, whereupon Reed says: "It's practically gift-wrapped." Cue shot of Glowing Mecha-Tentacle of Death...

  • Teen Wolf:
    • Scott really shouldn't correct his loony coach. Especially when said coach is also the Economics teacher:
      Coach: Remember, there's no 'me' in team!
      Scott: Uh... Yes, there is.
    • A lesson Stiles has learned well ("Call me Biles from now on!").
  • Top Gear (UK):
    • Jeremy Clarkson traditionally introduces new Challenges by describing the task, then looking into the camera and saying "How hard can it be?" Hilarity Ensues.
    • In later series they've had Richard Hammond routinely lampshade this. In the first show in which he returned from his near-fatal crash in the rocket car, Hammond said, "How I've missed the pang of dread whenever you say the words, 'How hard can it be?'" And in recent episodes, Hammond's standard reaction to Clarkson's asking "How hard can it be?" is to shout "Don't say that!" (or similar).
    • Speaking of the crash: Later in the episode they showed some of the footage from that day. It starts with Hammond explaining the rocket car with "This ignites the afterburner. And when that happens, I haven't got 5,000 horse powers. I've got 10,000 horse powers. And possibly the biggest accident you've ever seen in your life."
    • The only time Hammond tempted fate and got away with it was when he had a race between a Bugatti Veryon and military jet. He lived. His words before the challenge? (paraphrased) : "If I don't stop in time, I die a horrific death and YouTube has a field day."
  • Top Gear (US) had a "Dangerous Cars" episode featuring Tanner in the rollover-prone Samurai, Rutledge in the fishtailing Corvair, and Adam in the notoriously flammable Pinto. Each of them at the start make comments to the effect of "The problems are exaggerated, I'm sure we won't have any problems when we're driving." Within the first ten minutes, Rutlege spins out on the track, Tanner rolls completely off into the dirt, and Adam has an internal fire. The best bit is at the end, though, after a demolition derby where they put their modified deathtraps to the test, Adam gets stuck in a ditch and is unable to exit the arena, but declares that the Pinto is okay, especially after disparaging the condition of Tanner and Rutledge's cars. At which point, the Pinto explodes and is caught on camera, burning dramatically.
    Adam: Let me just say one thing, it went through the whole race, no fire, no explosions. So I may not have been able to drive out because I was in a rut, but the car is perfectly safe. *KABOOM*
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Twilight Zone S1E8 "Time Enough at Last"". Near-sighted book-lover Henry Bemis survives a nuclear attack on the city he's in. He discovers a library that somehow survived the blast and cheerfully says that he now has "time enough at last" to read all of the books he wants. A few seconds later he accidentally breaks his glasses, which will prevent him from reading ever again.
  • The Two Ronnies: "The Bogle of Bog Fell" ends with the narrator saying: "One last thing I'll say to ye: The tale I've told ye may seem strange, and almost impossible to believe — but if it's not true, may I be blown to smithereens and the various parts of my body be distributed and scattered throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, including the Trossachs." A few seconds later...

  • Undercovers: A Russian is leading the Blooms through a minefield (with a mine-sniffing rat, no less). He invokes the trope:
    Russian: I assure you, This is safe procedure. Follow me. *BOOM!*

  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Well, we finally found out why things went to Hell, thanks to a flash back in the third season finale which showed Elena's real first meeting with Damon, during which she gave this fateful line:
      Elena: This is Mystic Falls, nothing bad ever happens here.
    • Cue vampires and witches and werewolves and the town's citizens beginning to drop like flies. Thanks a lot, Elena.

  • Warehouse 13: Meanwhile, in this show... asked why, when everything else is powered down, the Dark Vault still has power:
    Claudia Donovan: Backup generators, cause everything's so dangerous. Don't worry, these should hold up long enough for us to... [power goes down] realize my karma sucks.
    • Warehouse 13 visits Eureka: A visitor experiences this:
      Jack Carter: Are you enjoying the tour?
      Claudia Donovan: Yeah, the nanotech lab was impressive, the underground biosphere was off the chart, but, I dunno, this is Eureka, right? I was kinda hoping to see something insanely weird.
      [cue something insanely weird]
  • The West Wing:
    • In the episode "Election Night", Toby makes frequent neurotic attempts to prevent the other campaign staff from tempting fate by behaving as if they've won before the results come in:
      Sam: You wrote a concession?
      Toby: Of course I wrote a concession. What, you want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?
      Sam: No.
      Toby: Then go outside, turn around three times and spit. What the hell's the matter with you?
    • There's also the actual Tempting Fate scene, where he interrupts a premature celebration of the (100% certain) confirmation of their Supreme Court nominee, going around the room plucking champagne glasses out of people's hands because:
      Toby: In the three months this man has been on my radar screen I have aged forty-eight years. This is MY Day of Jubilee and I will not have it screwed up by WHAT, Bonnie?
      Bonnie: By tempting fate.
    • In the season one episode "The Short List", Josh is a little too confident about the ease with which the President's (initial) nominee for the Supreme Court will be confirmed, and doesn't so much tempt fate as lasso fate and drag it towards him:
      Josh: [The confirmation process is] gonna sail, Donna.
      Donna: There's many a slip twixt the tongue and the wrist, Josh.
      Josh: Yes. Well, your fortune cookie wisdom notwithstanding, it's gonna sail.
      Donna: Please don't get your hopes up.
      Josh: Why shouldn't I get my hopes up?
      Donna: Because when it doesn't work out, you end up drunk in my apartment in the middle of the night and yell at my roommate's cats.
      Josh: Smooth sailing, Donna.
      Donna: Cautious optimism, Josh.
      Josh: Nothing bad is gonna happen this week.
      Donna: Exercise cautious optimism.
      Josh: Look, there is no reason—
      [A chunk of plaster falls from the ceiling and crashes onto the desk between them.]
  • Wheel of Fortune:
    • A contestant was faced with _ _ _ _ _P S in the Bonus Round. Pat quipped, "If you solve this, I'm retiring." And after a few seconds, the contestant blurted out the right answer, HICCUPS.
    • A contestant had G L O _ E showing. Pat said, "Well, I'm gonna be surprised if you don't get this." Obviously, the answer would be either GLOBE or GLOVE — and it should be easy to guess one, then if Pat says it's wrong, guess the other. The contestant did guess GLOVE before the timer started, and after being told that it was wrong, spent the entire 10 seconds in silence, failing to come up with GLOBE.
    • In a 2014 episode, a contestant was faced with T _ _ _ _ _ T _ _ _ _ _ _ _ in a Speed-Up round. Pat jokingly dared her if she could solve (a Running Gag of his)… and within about two seconds, she blurted out THOUGHTFULNESS, which was correct!
  • Wild and Crazy Kids: In the closer of an episode featuring Marc Summers as a guest, host Jessica Gaynes proudly proclaims, "I can't believe we just made it through an entire episode with Marc Summers and no one got slimed!" Cue all three hosts immediately getting the green treatment.
  • Will & Grace: When Karen and Lyle are together, Lyle raises the concern that Karen might have trouble getting along with his daughter. Karen confidently asserts that she and Lyle's daughter would have no problem with each other. Then Lorraine (whom Karen's ex-husband cheated on Karen with) walks in saying: "Hello, mother." Karen falls off the chair she's been sitting in.

  • Young Dracula: In "Halloscream", Robin says "It's just an old biscuit tin. What's the worst that could happen?". As it turns out, opening the tin unleashes an ancient curse that will turn the Dracula family human.
  • The Young Ones:
    • Parodied. At the end of the first episode an airliner pilot cheerfully remarks, "Gosh, I really hope we don't have a crash."
    • And again, in the series 2 finale. Everything goes wrong for the titular characters, lose their house, school, to the degree they steal a bus, go over a cliff, end up up side down. They proclaim "Whew! That was close!" in unison. Cue big explosion.
    • Also in the series finale, the Landlord declared that his house was the wackiest house on television.
      Mr Balowski: Why, if it isn't, may God strike me dead! (is promptly vapourised)
    • Rick was particularly prone to this trope, as his most sarcastic remarks routinely turned out to be accurate. "I suppose you've arranged for a bloody great articulated lorry, loaded with money and food and everything we need, to come smashing through the front windows!" (Points at windows. Crash!)


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