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  • TransLink, the company in charge of transit in Vancouver, is quite fond of doing this via their Twitter page. But the New York City Subway Transit Authority seeks to avoid it. Their dispatchers try not to schedule any train from Pelham at 1:23 in the morning or afternoon.
  • Adolf Hitler
    • He began his invasion of Russia on the same day (22 June) as Napoléon Bonaparte had begun his empire-ruining invasion. Okay, that's a little bit unwise. After the first phase of Barbarossa fails to accomplish its objectives, he decides to plan the next phase of Army Group South's campaign at Poltava, site of the battle that ended Charles XII of Sweden's invasion of Russia and ruined Sweden as a Great Power? He was definitely trying to mock someone up there.
      • Even better, he had quite arrogantly declared that "we have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down."
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    • The objective of Case Blue, the German summer offensive of 1942, was the oil fields of Baku, Azerbaijan. In September, Hitler's generals, who were confident of victory, presented him with a cake in the shape of the Caucasus and Hitler took a piece representing Baku for himself. Less than two months later, the 6th Army would be surrounded at Stalingrad and the Germans would be forced to retreat from the Caucasus.
    • Also, one of the later strategic offensive plans of the East Front? "Operation Citadel" (Unternehmen Zitadelle). By the time it was ready to be enacted, each of the possible attack vectors that the Germans would have to push through had multiple lines of defense 100-150 km deep, formed by 4,800 km of trenches, a million landmines, 1,900,000 men with over 5,000 tanks and 25,000 guns waiting for them... What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
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    • Speaking of which, on June 5, 1943, Joseph Goebbels gave a speech in which he declared that the "winter crisis" was over and Germany was now back on its path to final victory. This was, of course, after the catastrophic defeats at Stalingrad and Tunisia, which made many Germans begin to doubt that they would win. The Battle of Kursk began a month later, and this was the battle that sealed Germany's fate in the East.
  • Evidently, Crunchyroll and the creators of the EX-ARM anime adaptation had a lot of faith in the project, boldly saying that they were "declaring war against all of the SF series around the world." How did the show rank compared to other Sci-Fi? Well, it became one of the most poorly-rated anime in history by the first episode, and things weren't exactly going up from there.
  • Hermann Göring reputedly said, "If bombs drop on Berlin, you may call me Meyer." Being called "Meyer" is a German idiom that something is impossible (Meyer, or Meier, is the second most common surname in Germany). Göring also made comments that he would eat his hat. Thus, when he made tours of the devastated cities, civilians would call out "Hello, Herr Meier! How's your hat?" They also took to calling the air raid sirens "Meier's hunting horns."
  • Captain William "Buckey" O'Neill of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War was strolling up and down the lines in plain view. When one of his soldiers asked him to keep his head down, he responded with "Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn't made that will kill me." A few minutes later, he caught a bullet that went in through his mouth and out the back of his head, killing him instantly.
  • As worded in Escape from Alcatraz, "No one has ever escaped from Alcatraz, and no one ever will." 34 people attempted to escape, but everyone was recaptured or killed, one when he reached shore. Five were unaccounted for and probably drowned, though there's evidence pointing to Frank Morris and his co-escapees boarding a nearby boat headed for Brazil, thus making them the only people to successfully escape from Alcatraz.
  • RMS Titanic
    • An apocryphal story circulated after the Titanic's sinking says that that someone once boasted that not even God could sink her.
    • Five years before setting sail on Titanic, while in command of the Adriatic, Captain Smith said that he couldn't "imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that." Christ, there's Tempting Fate and then there's just begging for it.
    • Thomas Andrews, the head designer of the Titanic, remarked to a friend that the ship was "nearly as perfect as human brains can make her." He said this on April 14th, only a few hours before the sinking, though to be fair studies of the wreck has shown that Titanic was more than likely the strongest ship ever built up to that point, and just about any other ship would have fared worse under the same circumstances.
    • Good press about the Titanic might have convinced passenger Ramón Artagaveytia to choose it to return home to Uruguay from Europe. Artagaveytia had recurrent nightmares about being on a sinking ship after he survived a sinking in 1871:
    "'At last I will be able to travel and, above all, I will be able to sleep calm. The sinking of the América was terrible!... Nightmares keep tormenting me. Even in the most quiet trips, I wake up in the middle of the night with terrible nightmares... I have even gotten to the point where I find myself standing in the deck with my lifebelt on...'"

    "You can't imagine, Enrique, [Artagaveytia's nephew] the security the telegraph gives. When the América sank, right in front of Montevideo, nobody answered to the lights asking for help. The ones that saw us from the ship Villa del Salto, did not answer to our light signals. Now, with a telephone on board, that won't happen again. We can communicate instantly with the whole world." — Nobody answered the Titanic's light signals, and the one ship that answered the telegraph — the RMS Carpathia, who dashed to the stricken Titanic immediately — was so far away that even she arrived two hours late.
  • The Britannic was designed with much better safety features and when it when it became a hospital ship in WWI, it was said it would take more than one torpedo to sink her. It struck a single naval mine and met the same fate as its sister, though this time it wasn't the engineers who built the thing that were to blame, but rather a single crewman who failed to activate the watertight door he was supposed to man.
  • Related to the above two examples, folks still don't seem to have realized that naming warships Invincible or Indomitable, or private boats and yachts Unsinkable, Eternal, Everlasting and such (or the equivalent in the local language), is just asking the universe to send them to the bottom of the sea first chance it gets. Bonus points to whoever owns the boat called Unsinkable II that keeps popping up on comedy websites every once in a while.
  • There was once an airship called the R-101. Devised as a part of the British "Imperial Airship Scheme," the contract pitted two competing designs against one another- the exemplary Vickers-built R-100, and the government-built R-101. The materials, design, and capabilities of the R-101 were woefully inadequate in comparison to the R-100, to the point where the airship had to be lengthened so that it would have enough lift to fly- making it the largest airship in the world. More consideration was given to the incredibly spacious, opulent (and heavy) interior than to the vessel's airworthiness. Eager to get a lead on its rival, the government pulled strings to have flight and safety testing rushed through or neglected so that it could make a maiden voyage to India before the R-100. Despite being warned of a vicious storm ahead, the captain decided to plunge straight into it, much like the Titanic before it. The R-101 never made it to India. She was damaged by the storm and crashed into the ground, where her hydrogen exploded in a massive fireball that took the lives of all but eight of the people aboard. Afterwards, the wreckage of the R-101 was collected. It was reforged into a new airship, one of unprecedented size and exquisite luxury... called the Hindenburg.
  • General William Slim's book Defeat into Victory; he said during the catastrophic retreat from Burma: "It could be worse, it could be raining." And sure enough, a few hours later, it was!
  • Former President of Taiwan Chen during his time in office ran a fierce anti-corruption platform. He even stated that if he was ever convicted of corruption that he should suffer most severe punishment the law could mete out. Now that he and his family have been indicted for, among other things, embezzling billions (in terms of US CURRENCY) from Taiwan's coffers, guess what prosecutors are asking for in terms of punishment?
  • Nazi field marshal Fedor Von Bock, who was nicknamed The Dier, was famous for lecturing his troops about dying for the glory of Nazi Germany. He was killed by a British plane, along with his wife and daughter, being the only one of Hitler's field marshals who was killed by enemy fire.
  • Speaking of Nazis - president Harry Truman was quoted by newspapers the day after V-J-day 1945 (August 11), stating: "Today, Nazism is forever dead". He was, of course, dead wrong.
  • The September 11 attacks: A Discovery Channel documentary somewhere in 1999 about the 1993 WTC bombing in which the narrator spoke too soon and was tempting fate. The documentary ended with the narrator quoting the man who drove the van full of explosives into the garage saying something in the lines of "Next time, we'll bring them down!" to which the narrator concluded that for the WTC, there would never be a next time! Unfortunately, we all know who turned out to be right.
    • The 1998 edition of the documentary series Black Box called "Sky Crimes" ended with federal air marshals being trained and said that no American airliners had been hijacked since the 1980s and the marshals think "that's mostly down to them".
    • Stanley Praimnath and Brian Clark, two 9/11 survivors, experienced this. After Clark rescued Praimnath and both men had escaped the South Tower together, Praimnath said that he thought the towers might actually collapse. Clark objected, pointing out that it was a steel and concrete building, but before he finished his sentence... you can probably guess what happened.
    • Several calls were made from Tower 2 after Tower 1 was hit that amounted to "A plane has hit the World Trade Center, but I'm okay. I'm in the other tower."
    • After the North Tower was hit, a number of people in the South Tower started to evacuate. After about ten minutes, they were told to return to their desks. This was for a number of reasons, mostly being that the tower appeared to be secure, the building supervisors didn't want to crowd the concourse with evacuating workers while firefighters were arriving, and, of course, no one in the area knew that there was another hijacked plane on its way. At 9:02, the PA announced to "begin an orderly evacuation if conditions warranted," even though the FDNY chief on the scene ordered that both towers be evacuated. A minute later, Flight 175 slammed into the South Tower.
  • Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech early in the Iraq War, in which he states that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" and "in the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." While Bush was technically correct in that Saddam Hussein had been successfully removed from power, he and his administration had no idea how long and difficult the ensuing guerrilla warfare would be. About 96% of American soldiers killed in Iraq were killed after this speech.
  • George H.W. Bush famously proclaimed as a campaign promise, "Read my lips: no new taxes." However, economic realities forced him to indeed consent to do so while in office, triggering a massive backlash within his own party and causing him to be hammered mercilessly for it during the 1992 campaign.
  • Star Trek technical consultant Michael Okuda tempted fate by saying that NASA did not share Starfleet's concern about 25-year-old spaceships as the Columbia was nearly that old and still flying in his text commentary for the Star Trek 3 Special Edition DVD. Shortly after the release of the DVD, the Columbia burned up on re-entry.
  • The Swiss managed to get a subversion with their experimental nuclear reactor at Lucens. The head of the project assured the federal council that "everything is safe, and nothing can go wrong." On the same day there was a reactor meltdown. But since they feared something like that might happen, the reactor was built in a cave which was then simply sealed off for the next decade.
  • The UK military putting automated death machines under the control of a system called, of all things, Skynet. Nothing bad yet, but we can all agree it is only a matter of time.
  • Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was once watching a propaganda film with his men when it showed a clip of him boasting that the Afrika Korps would never again retreat. Everyone (including Rommel) immediately burst into laughter.
  • The RAF roundel was designed for a number of practical reasons, but one can't help but notice that it looks like a giant bull's eye.
  • One of Gerald Durrell's experiences, recounted in Fillets of Plaice, involved a visit to Mamfe from the District Commissioner. Within two seconds of the DC commenting that he wouldn't have thought you'd get very many animals so close to civilization, the palm leaf fan attached to the ceiling gave way and disgorged a variety of spiders, bats, and a young green mamba.
  • The Iroquois Theater advertised itself as "Absolutely Fireproof". It managed 37 days in operation before catching on fire, and earned the title of the worst building fire in U.S. history.
  • The BBC tempted fate during the Moon landing to a horrifying degree that — thankfully — never went through. While the astronauts were on the moon, the BBC decided to play "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. It was a space-y song, which is understandable. However, the last few lines of the song have Major Tom ask Ground Control to tell his wife he loves her, before his circuit dies. This implies he never makes it back to Earth, which was pretty creepy when you realized that no one knew if the Apollo astronauts would make it back alive.
  • At the turn of the 20th century, a brilliant politician and the Russian prime minister Pyotr Stolypin said that given 20 years of peace he'd be able to turn Russia into a prosperous and advanced power. Before long the country was plunged into the bloodiest war so far, had two revolutions break out with the second of which the Russian Empire was gone. To be fair, he was not even around at the start of World War I, since he was assassinated in 1911. There is still a lot of speculation about what would have happened if he managed to keep Russia out of the war.
  • While en route to California in June 1846, Tamsen Donner wrote, "I never could have believed we could have traveled so far with so little difficulty. Indeed, if I do not experience something far worse than I have yet done, I shall say the trouble is all in getting started." A few months later, she did experience something far worse.
  • The U.S.S.R.
  • Similar to the above noted example from the Soviet anthem, the Coat of Arms of the Austro-Hungarian Empire bore the words Indivisibiliter Ac Inseperabiliter (Indivisible and Inseparable.) Two guesses as to what happened.
  • The last thing that President Kennedy heard was, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you," which he acknowledged with "No, you certainly can't." He was later assassinated in Dallas.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald's last words were, "Aww, there ain't going to be anybody shooting at me. You're just being melodramatic."
  • In April 2010, in response to Iranian cleric Hajotoselam Kazem Swdighi's proclamation that women dressing immodestly causes earthquakes, Jen McCreight, a student at Purdue set up an event called "Boobquake", encouraging women to dress less modestly than usual, to prove that it wouldn't cause an earthquake. The day of the event there was an earthquake.
  • Maurice Krafft famously said: "I am never afraid because I have seen so much eruptions in 23 years that even if I die tomorrow, I don't care". Forty-five minutes later, he, his wife, and dozens of others get all kinds of dead from a pyroclastic flow.
  • According to The Other Wiki, the Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred when BP executives were on board celebrating the project's safety record.
  • Those Wacky Nazis just had to go and call their state "The Millennial Reich" (Tausendjähriges Reich, "Thousand-Year Empire"), didn't they?
  • Similarly before them, the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi of the Qin dynasty, said that his dynasty would last for a thousand years. It then only lasted less than 15 years.
  • There's also the Ottomans, who referred to their empire as "The Eternal State".
  • According to The Other Wiki, leading up to the St. Nazaire Raid during World War 2, one of the German commanders, when asked what would they do if the base was subject to an attack by British Commandos, replied that "an attack on the base would be hazardous and highly improbable."
  • Before WWII, the American military was warned that if the Japanese were to ever launch an attack on the United States, their most likely first target would be Pearl Harbor. Not only did the American military blow it off as nonsense, they fired the guy who warned them as well. A couple years later....
  • Related to the Pearl Harbor attack, on November 29, 1941, the Army and Navy Academies played their traditional football game against each other. In the program is a picture of the USS Arizona with the caption, "A bow on view of the U.S.S. Arizona as she plows into a huge swell. It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiasts, no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs." Today, the USS Arizona is the most famous ship sunk at Pearl Harbor.
  • The Residence of the Bavarian monarchs in Munich has many rooms decorated after a theme, e.g. the Elements, or the Seasons. While most of the building suffered damage during air raids in 1944, one of the few rooms to be completely obliterated along with all its contents was the "Eternity Room".
  • Neville Chamberlain pronounced that "I believe it is peace for our time" after returning to England following the Munich Conference. The date? 1938. While he publicly said this, he privately didn't believe it.
  • The "War to end all Wars" created more wars.
  • During World War I, a British battle cruiser was named HMS Invincible. During the Battle of Jutland, it was blown into fragments by an ammunition explosion (after being hit by a single shell shot by a German battle cruiser) and sunk with most of its thousand-man crew.
  • Jean Drapeau said that the Olympics could no more lose money than a man could have a baby. Although he was mayor of Montreal, he apparently didn't know his citizens very well, and the 1976 Montreal Olympics were nothing short of an economic disaster. He died in 1999 - eight years before Montreal finally paid off the Olympics (around 2007). Much of the problem arose from the sheer profiteering by Quebec businesses and citizens.
  • In the 1700s, British surveyors near the Indian port town of Coringa named a nearby island "Hope Island", in the hope of warding off environmental disasters. In 1789 a cyclone struck the city, causing massive damage and killing 20,000 people, and fifty years later an even more powerful cyclone completely destroyed Coringa and killed 300,000 people. Coringa is now nothing more than a village.
  • The Great Leap Forward, an economic and social campaign led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intended to boost China's economy. In fact, it drastically shrank China's economy and it widely regarded as a colossal disaster, causing the deaths of millions of people, many as a result of violence from the government itself. Admittedly, we have the benefit of hindsight in our cynical day and age, but one can't help wonder whether such a name invited the subsequent catastrophe or not.
  • One advertisement for Northrup Grumman says, "How do cyber-terrorists get past 75,000 of the industry's best? They don't." Oops.
  • The Ikarus ultralight plane. For when you really want to die, since it's not a promising name for an airborne vehicle.
    • Even better, it's manufactured by an aircraft manufacturer called Comco Ikarus.
  • Union General John Sedgwick in the American Civil War. His last words: "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!" Several minutes later, he made the remark a second time and was shot by a sniper while his men were ducking for cover. In some versions of the story, the soldier accompanying him lampshaded this, and Sedgwick replied, "All right, my man; go to your place."
    • Another Union major general, Philip Kearny, was looking to investigate a gap in the Union line following a retreat. When warned by his men, he said "The rebel bullet that can kill me has not yet been molded." Soon after, he was engaged by Confederate soldiers, and chose to attempt to escape rather than surrender, being shot and killed in the attempt.
  • Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer commissioned a Chinese company to create "a 21st-century version of the Titanic" ready to set sail in 2016. Yeah, that's gonna end well...
  • Mark Wilkinson of Birmingham, England gave his 16-foot fishing boat the tongue-in-cheek name Titanic II and took it on its maiden voyage in Dorset in June 2011. No points for guessing what happened to it.
  • Various castles and fortresses that were declared to be "impregnable" at one point or another, although since any television documentary involving a successful siege operation invokes this trope, one has to wonder how often that claim was actually made.
  • Robert McKimson, one of the Looney Tunes directors, told Friz Freleng (who he was working for) one day in 1977 that his doctor said he could expect to live a long time, due to family history. Freleng later reflected, “He had just come from the doctor who told him he had a long life coming because of his [family] history, and he was bragging, ‘I’m gonna be around after you guys are gone!’” A few days later, McKimson died of a heart attack while lunching with Freleng. Freleng outlived him by 18 years.
  • Following a lawsuit over The Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema executives Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne declared in early 2007 that Peter Jackson would never direct another film for New Line while they were in control. Just over five years later, New Line released his newest film, The Hobbit, under new management, Shaye and Lynne having been removed by Warner Bros. in a shake-up directly resulting from the failure of The Golden Compass later that year.
  • During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama was repeatedly called the next "Lincoln" or "Kennedy". Naturally, this was a huge source of snark.
  • During the making of The Lion King (1994), directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff had just gone through a spat with Elton John about the song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight". They said that now they were out of that, things couldn't get any worse. Then the ground started to shake.
  • According to The Other Wiki, the town of Frostproof, Florida so named itself as "a marketing ploy to convince potential landowners that the town has never had, and never would have, a frost that could destroy the large citrus-driven economy". However, only a couple of years later, a frost killed most of the citrus in Frostproof.
  • The Japanese battleship (originally battlecruiser) Kongo, whose name means 'indestructible.' Sunk by a US submarine during World War II.note 
    • There is another Kongo now, a Japanese version of an Arleigh Burke-class (AEGIS) destroyer. We shall see how that goes.
  • American Presidential candidate Mitt Romney had prepared a 1,118-word victory speech, as well as a website for when he won the 2012 election. He had not prepared a concession speech. He lost.
    • He must have missed that episode of The West Wing where Sam and Toby argue about the need for a concession speech...
    Sam Seaborn: You wrote a concession?
    Toby Ziegler: Of course I wrote a concession. 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?
  • In 1991 Steve Irwin did a weekly segment on an Australian kid's show. During his brief segment, he had a python around his neck, and explained why despite this he was safe, because the python wouldn't bite him. Just after he explained why it wouldn't bite him, he asked the station to stop for a moment, because it bit him. (Fortunately, pythons are non-venomous.)
  • US politician Gary Hart was the obvious choice for the 1988 Democratic presidential candidate, and a likely predicted winner of the election. Then he gave an interview in which he mocked journalists and taunted reporters, and ended by throwing them this challenge: "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead.". They did - and photographed the married Hart "meeting" a "model" half his age on the evening of the very same day when he gave his taunt, on a Yacht called the S.S. Monkey Business. Hart's public support went down like a meteorite and Michael Dukakis became the Democrats' candidate, with known results. Hilariously, Hart still seems to have hopes of running as a Democratic presidential candidate one day.
  • In a German newspaper from January 20, 1989 Erich Honecker was quoted saying "Mauer bleibt noch 100 Jahre", "The [Berlin] Wall will stand for another 100 years". The Wall was torn down before the year was out, shortly after his own Politburo forced him from power.
  • The Italian navy commissioned two ships named after count Camillo Benso of Cavour. The first was the battleship Conte di Cavour, which, during World War II, was sank in the harbor by planes twice (the first from British carrier-launched torpedo planes while in Taranto, whose waters are so shallow that the use of air-launched torpedoes was deemed impossible (the Japanese got the idea for Pearl Harbor from this), the second from Allied strategic bombers while in Trieste for repairs). The second (and current one) is the Cavour, an aircraft carrier. Equipped with American-built planes based on a British design. So far, the ship is doing well...
  • In the beginning of May 2013, The Weather Channel expressed surprise at how quiet, tornado-wise, the weather had been and made a bit of their focus more on the upcoming 2013 hurricane season. Then came May 20, 2013...
  • During the fall of 1990, the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge, which was scheduled for rehab and maintenance, sank into Lake Washington. The disaster was caused by someone having the simpler idea of cutting holes in the concrete pontoons and temporarily storing the hydro-demolition wastewater INSIDE them. Then on November 22-24, mother nature came along and poured in some rain and lake water through the holes, causing the pontoons to sink which cost the State of Washington $69 million in damages.
    • The reason why they put the hydro-demolition wastewater in the pontoons is because they were forbidden by Environmental Laws to dump it straight into the lake. Well, they ended up with a much bigger mess instead. Another possible reason is that they put too much confidence on the the weather conditions around Lake Washington which were usually calm all-year-round.
  • When Doug Walker announced that he'd be reviewing Adventure Time, he commented that he'd been told it was impossible to review a comedy like that, and that thinking like that was silly, he'd always have something to say and talk about. Naturally, once he started watching it, he was left speechless and uncertain of what to say.
  • In June 2006, the Secretary of State for Transport said: "Network Rail [...] does not believe that the railway sea defences in Dawlish are likely to fail in the foreseeable future". They failed in February 2014.
  • On the first day of the 1529 siege of Vienna, the Ottoman sultan Suleiman I sent a message to the city reading "I will have breakfast in Vienna's cathedral before two days". Two weeks later, he received a letter reading "Your breakfast is getting cold".
  • The Other Wiki once gave "The weather in London" as an inappropriate title for a Wikipedia page and used it as an example of a Red Link. Naturally, people created the page and made it a redirect to London#Climate, leading to a very long deletion war before it was finally abandoned and the redirect kept.
  • On November 10, 2014 in the midst of public opinion of him reaching an all-time low due to resurfaced rape allegations, Bill Cosby launched an event on Twitter where he said: “Go ahead, meme me!” However, most of the captions created for the event talked about the rape allegations and it was quickly shut down. You can read more about it and see some of the captions here.
  • This comment from then-new NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker shortly after NBC lost NBA coverage to ABC after the 2002 NBA Finals.
    "We lost football two years ago, and we stayed a strong No. 1. We lost baseball, and we stayed a strong No. 1. Now we're about to lose basketball, and I believe we'll stay a strong No. 1. The fact is, it's had no impact on our prime time strength. . . NBC can now program all of Sunday nights without going around basketball. I think that's a huge advantage for us. We haven't been able for the last several years to put a program at 8 o'clock because we've had the NBA."
    • And what happened afterwards? NBC crashed to 4th place, resulting in a new decade-long Dork Age for the Peacock.
  • NASA outlined a potential plan to colonize the upper atmosphere of Venus, with structures in the planet's upper atmosphere rather than its unfriendly surface. It's called the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept... or HAVOC. It remains purely theoretical, so whether this trope is played straight or wondrously averted remains to be seen.
  • Roy Dell Schmidt was one of the hundreds of people ducking for cover in 1966 when Charles Whitman went to the top of the University of Texas at Austin clock tower with several rifles and started shooting people below. Schmidt crouched behind a vehicle with two other men, but being five hundred yards away from the tower, eventually Schmidt stood up and announced that they were out of range. Whitman shot and killed him seconds later.
  • The videotape recovered from the debris of the Columbia space shuttle after it broke up during re-entry covered part of the descent into the atmosphere from inside the cabin (but not the moments of the disaster itself). At one point Pilot Willie McCool says, "This is amazing, it's really getting fairly bright out there", and Commander Rick Husband replies, "Yeah, you definitely don't want to be outside now"...
  • On July 3, 2013, Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb posted a tweet berating himself for not letting himself sleep in as much as he felt like he should have been doing on his vacation, but brushed it off saying "it's not like I'm gonna die". He died later that same day. Tragic, yes, but his fans generally agree that he would have found the whole thing hilarious.
  • On March 10th 1980, Spanish naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente was in Alaska, working to film the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and said "what a beautiful spot to die" before the Cessna plane he worked with took off. The plane crashed several minutes after takeoff, killing everyone within.
  • In his speech accepting the Republican nomination for President in 1928; Herbert Hoover (referencing the economic boom of The Roaring '20s) stated that "We shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this land." Just over a year after that speech (and barely seven months into his term as President); The Great Depression hit.
  • In the United Kingdom, the coverage of the results of the General Election start with the exit polls. The start of the coverage of 2015's results showed huge losses for the Liberal Democrats and large gains for the Scottish National Partynote . When this was shown, two of the BBC's guests - Paddy Ashdownnote  and Alistair Campbellnote  - doubted the results. Ashdown said he would "eat his hat" if the result was right, and Campbell said he would "eat his kilt" if the Scottish National Party did as well as expected. When all the seats had been declared, the Lib Dems did worse than expected (they lost all but eight of their seats) and the SNP got all but three of Scotland's 59 seats. As a result, the BBC offered both Ashdown and Campbell their preferred dessert on the following night's Question Time.
  • From an article on what it was like to be on Air Force One during September 11th:
    Andy Card, chief of staff, White House: I remember literally telling him, “It should be an easy day.” Those were the words. “It should be an easy day.”
  • Captain Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, was shot down only a few days before he was due to go home on leave. His last words were spoken as he climbed into his cockpit while addressing a fan begging for an autograph: "What's the hurry? Are you afraid I won't come back?"
  • After surviving the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima, Tsutomu Yamaguchi's returned to work in Nagasaki. After telling the story to his superior, his superior questioned how a single bomb could destroy an entire city. It was right at that moment when Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki... which Yamaguchi also survived.
  • Speaking of Nagasaki, the Japanese cabinet were discussing how to react to the bombing of Hiroshima, and speculating that that atomic bomb was probably the only one that the US had, when they received news that a second bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki.
  • Barack Obama was the subject of a calendar released for 2012 (and so released in 2011) which counted down the days until 20 January 2013, at which point he'd no longer be President. That day turned out to be the start of his second term.
  • In an interview before the Academy Awards ceremony in 2017, PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan discussed his job of placing the winning nominees' names into the award envelopes then handing them out to the presenters. When asked what would happen in the event that a wrong winner was announced, Cullinan admitted that an exact procedure wasn't in place because it had never happened in the show's history, before dismissing the possibility as "so unlikely". Two days later, Cullinan mistakenly handed the envelope for Best Actress to co-presenter Warren Beatty instead of Best Picture, leading to an instantly notorious flub that, among other things, caused Cullinan to lose his Oscar gig.
  • Thomas Bloodworth was the Lord Mayor of London in 1666. On 2 September 1666, he expressed a lack of concern about a fire at a bakery by saying "a woman might piss it out". That fire would go on to destroy 75% of London.
  • The Six-Day War began with a massive buildup by five larger Arab countries against Israel, which even with reserves only had about half as many troops and inferior technology; Arab leaders made it clear that their intention was total genocide against the Jews. When Egypt blockaded Israel's only Red Sea port, which Israel had warned would be taken as an act of war, the Egyptian president even boasted “War might be an opportunity for the Jews and for Israel to test their strength against ours." When the war broke out two weeks later, Israel suffered less than 10% of the Arabs' casualties, destroyed the entire Egyptian air force before it left the ground and doubled its size in captured land, including regaining control of Judaism's holiest sites in Jerusalem. All in six days.
  • During the reign of Roman emperor Tiberius, a senator quipped it was easier to cross the bay of Naples on a horse than to Caligula to become the next emperor. Not only Caligula did become emperor, one of his first orders was to have a boat bridge built across the bay of Naples just so he could cross it on a horse, and had that same senator watch him do so.
  • Rapper who claimed God made him bulletproof gets shot to death.
  • Defied by stuntman Paul Malvern. According to the documentary Hazard Of The Game, his doubts about a stunt saved his life. For the 1927 film Beloved Rogue, he was told to get into a catapult, which would be sprung and send him flying into a net about 50-75 feet away. His response: "How do you know I'm going to land in that net?" The director, engineers, and technicians tried to assure him it was all worked out mathematically, but Malvern was having none of it—he wanted to see it tested on a bag of sand that weighed as much as he did. The sandbag went through the top of the stage and landed a block and a half away. Malvern's response to this: "There goes your mathematics all to hell, boys." The engineers then worked out the stunt by testing with bags of sand until they got the range right.
  • Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke was reportedly so afraid of his body parts falling into unscrupulous hands that he specified in his will that his dead body be burned to prevent that from happening. Naturally, the black market body part dealers had their way with him first.
  • Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham, commander of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force, held a press conference in Bari on the afternoon of 2 December 1943 where he said "I would consider it as a personal insult if the enemy should send so much as one plane over the city". Later on the same day Bari was bombed by 105 German bombers.
  • A certain anti-LGBT activist group that might be satirical somehow managed to configure their brand's Twitter account to post every single text message sent (to anyone!) by a particular member. One of those texts/tweets read "Look don't worry. I'll delete the tweets in the morning. We're not going to be a laughingstock because of our Twitter account." One of the later tweets revealed that this had turned out to be impossible, and predictably these leaked messages made them a laughingstock.
  • While being interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971, publisher and organic-gardening advocate J.I. Rodale boasted, "I've decided to live to be a hundred!" Sitting on the couch as Cavett interviewed his next guest, Rodale slumped backward and lost consciousness. After two doctors in the audience failed to revive him, he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, a victim of a heart attack at age 72.
  • When Buddy Holly learned that Waylon Jennings had given his seat on a chartered flight to The Big Bopper, he said in jest "Well, I hope your ol' bus freezes up!" Jennings replied in jest "Well, I hope your ol' plane crashes!" These parting words haunted Jennings for the rest of his life, as the plane would indeed crash in what has since been called The Day the Music Died, claiming the lives of Holly, Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
  • In Fear of the Flesh, a retrospective documentary on The Fly (1986), makeup designer Chris Walas recalls telling writer-director David Cronenberg not to cast a lead actor with a prominent bridge-of-the-nose or ears because those features would make his job designing the Slow Transformation of the protagonist from man to monster that much more difficult. Cronenberg ended up choosing Jeff Goldblum, who has both those features. Walas and Stephan Dupuis were both fans of Goldblum, though, and went along with Cronenberg. Their resultant work netted them the Best Makeup Oscar for 1986.
  • Happened to British comedian Ian Cognito when he died onstage. He wasn't feeling well before the show but went on with it anyway, and joked about his health saying "Imagine if I died in front of you lot here?" Then halfway through the set, he suffered a massive stroke and died shortly after. Given that his style of humor tended to be dark, the audience thought it was All Part of the Show at first.
  • On January 28, 1986, a group of engineers from Thiokol, the manufacturer of the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters, watched as the shuttle Challenger took off. They had voiced concerns that recent ice buildup might cause a failure in the boosters' O-ring. They were relieved when it cleared the tower and after a minute, one of them remarked "Oh God. We made it. We made it!" A few seconds later, they watched as the shuttle disintegrated.
    • In the CNN coverage of the launch, correspondent Tom Mintier can be heard saying "this morning it looked like they would not be able to get off," right as the shuttle was lost.
  • Reluctance to tempt fate is the reason why it's customary among the infamously superstitious stage actor community to avoid saying "Good luck!" before a performance. Instead, they go the opposite direction and wish each other bad luck, typically by saying, "Break a leg!"
  • When Selim the Resolute died in 1520, Pope Leo X said "The lion is dead, and the sheep sits on the throne". Said "sheep" was Suleiman the Magnificent, who would prove to be an even greater threat to Christendom than his father had been.
  • In 1801, Toussaint L'Ouverture, the black general who became the Icon of Rebellion of the Haitian Revolution, wrote the first Haitian constitution, which installed himself as governor of the newly autonomous island "for the remainder of his glorious life." Since Napoleon wasn't having any of that shit, he sent an army of 20,000 to the island to capture him, and L'Ouverture died no more than two years later in a prison in France.
  • Kind of an exploited inversion: The mathematician G. H. Hardy was very scared of ship cruises. So when he couldn't avoid it, he announced beforehand he had a proof of the legendary Riemann hypothesis. If God would sink him, he would get instantly immortal, since that wouldn't happen, he was safe. He was right - he survived.
  • "What a view of the Hudson today." - Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, right before US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of geese and performed a miraculous water landing in the Hudson.
  • In 532, the Byzantine and Persian Empires signed a peace treaty titled the "Perpetual Peace," which was meant to end hostilities between the Empires forever. It lasted 8 years.
  • During the campaigning for the 2019 United Kingdom General Election, the Liberal Democrats sent out leaflets proudly declaring their leader, Jo Swinson, as the next Prime Minister. Not only did they come nowhere near having the most seats - they won 11 of the 650 constituencies - but their leader lost her seat and, as a result of the party’s rules, had to resign as their leader.
  • One of the nicknames that the iron ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald had was "Titanic of the Great Lakes." She is now the largest wreck to have sunk in the lakes. Her entire crew perished.
  • IGN's negative review of Just Dance states "...don’t even think about this game lest someone at Ubisoft find out and they prep a Just Dance 2. Such would be the end of all things, mark my words." When the game became a surprise commercial success, a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, Just Dance 2, was released the next year and thus, the series was kick-started and has become a Cash Cow Franchise for Ubisoft since.
  • When preparing for his review for Secret Empire, Lewis Lovhaug tweeted a question asking about a man in a weird helmet, wanting to make sure he didn't screw up the man's name. Cue Lewis's utter incredulity at the man turning out to be Isaac Newton.
  • During the Battle of Midway, one of the Japanese naval aviation force's standouts was unit commander (lieutenant) Tomonaga Joichi. He was considered an elite pilot, and had led the strike that damaged Midway. Now he was due to lead the counterattack on the American surface fleet that had sunk Soryu, Akagi, and Kaga. When his flight crew protested his departure in his damaged plane (the plane had a hole in the fuel tank they couldn't fully patch), he tried to reassure them with a joke: "Don't worry, the Yankees are only 90 miles away. I can get there and back on just one tank of gas." Partway through the air strike, his bomber was hit by gunfire from US Navy Ace Pilot (and expert aerial tactician) Jimmy Thach in his Wildcat fighter. Tomonaga's bomber burst into flames thanks to its leaking fuel and eventually crashed, killing the entire bomber crew of skilled veterans.
  • At the 2016 Republican National Convention, retired US lieutenant general Michael Flynn led a "Lock her up!" chant regarding Hillary Clinton's email scandal, and said "if I did a tenth -a tenth- of what she did, I would be in jail today." In 2017, Flynn resigned as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor after it was revealed he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and he later pled guilty to lying to the FBI, although Trump pardoned him in 2020.
  • In 2018, the Trump administration disbanded a team meant to coordinate and respond to a possible pandemic. Two years later, the COVID-19 Pandemic struck. Likewise, Trump claimed in February 2020 that the pandemic wouldn't last beyond April...more than 18 months have passed and it's still ongoing.
  • On 6 January 2021, all the senators and representatives in the United States had gathered in Washington, D.C., to count and verify the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. In the statements before the counting and verification, Senator Amy Klobuchar said, “January 6 is not typically a day of historical significance for our country.” 2021’s would turn out to be one.
  • On the 9th of June 2021, the Washington Post reported that nobody had been killed by lightning in the USA so far that year, noting that this was a new record. Guess what happened just a few hours later.
  • On November 30, 1963, the actor Sabu had a routine physical in which his doctor told him "If all my patients were as healthy as you, I would be out of a job." Sabu died off a heart attack two days later.
  • In 2021, President Joe Biden executed the long-awaited final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. He remarked that it would not be like the chaotic evacuation from Saigon in 1975. On August 15, the Taliban entered Kabul, and within hours, images of helicopters landing on buildings were already compared to images from Saigon.
  • The Banqiao Dam was nicknamed the "Iron Dam" due to a belief that it was indestructible. When it did fail, it was the deadliest technological disaster of all time (overshadowing even the Chernobyl disaster), causing at least 85,000 deaths.


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