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Unwitting Instigator Of Doom / Western Animation

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  • Adventure Time:
    • The Ice King continually interferes with Finn's attempt to prevent the Lich from reaching the Well of Power and regaining his full power. As a result the Lich, having regained his full power by the time Finn and Jake finally reach him, ends up jobbing Finn and destroying the Gauntlet, the one weapon that can hurt him, forcing Finn to find an alternative. Then the Ice King accidentally drops Bubblegum into the Well, which melts her and allows the Lich to possess her. After being frozen with help from the Ice King, she shatters, requiring medical attention to be put back together. Part of Bubblegum is missing though, causing her to come back as a 13-year old, which later results in Earl of Lemongrab assuming the throne, if only for an episode.
      • The snail was responsible for the Lich breaking free in the first place. He just happened to have crawled into Finn's backpack right before Princess Bubblegum took Finn and Jake to the location of the Lich's imprisonment. As soon as he crawled out, the snail, having no psychic protection, was mind controlled by the Lich into freeing him and setting the above chain of events into place, not to mention the ongoing threat of the Lich when the Lich possesses the snail directly.
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    • If it weren't for an unnamed Scandinavian dock worker selling an old crown to an antiquarian by the name of Simon Petrikov, the Ice King would never have existed. However, if that happened then Marceline would have most likely died in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, so it isn't all bad.
    • In the Alternate Universe "Farmworld", the Destiny Gang terrorising Finn's village and his family leads to him wearing the Ice King's crown, which in turn leads to the release of the Lich and the world being inflicted with another apocalypse.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Earth King informed Azula (disguised as a Kyoshi Warrior) of the invasion of the Fire Nation. Cue next season where the invasion force finds all royalty in hiding, and the invasion ends in failure with almost all of them captured. Zuko hoped this would lead to his father re-thinking his strategy with the war. Unfortunately, it did, but it led to Ozai plotting genocide on the Earth Kingdom.
    • During a war council, Zuko is asked how the people of the Earth Kingdom would react to occupation. He honestly replies that as long as they had their pride, they would never give into the Fire Nation. His statement led to Ozai plotting genocide on the Earth Kingdom.
  • In the one episode of Combo Niños where neither Diadoro nor Gomez had released any Divinos, Principal Bronka accidentally released a Family of snake-like Divinos.
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  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends special Destination Imagination, Herriman interferes with a resolution between the Face and the rest of the main characters, Frankie included, by scolding him, causing him to go berserk. Unlike most other examples of this trope, he immediately comes to regret this.
  • In The Jungle Bunch, Ernest the Kiwi's machines, which are usually created for some mundane task (one being a machine that dug chunks of ice out of a mountain and delivered the piece to Ernest's drink) often tend to become a danger to the jungle that The Jungle Bunch has to stop.
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy is one in the episode "Let's Play the Quest for the Wholly Gruel". He finds the titular Wholly Gruel, a magic crayon which can make anything it draws real, and uses it to doodle all over some hieroglyphics in a cave depicting characters who resemble him and his friends. He draws a meteorite about to strike them, and his real friends, meanwhile, almost get hit by an actual meteorite.
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  • Everything that went wrong in the Kissyfur episode "The Birds And The Bears", from the cubs taking Gus' paddlecab for a spin which eventually leads them through dangerous rapids to the gators taking control of the paddlecab and using it to capture the cubs, all happened thanks to Donna's rebellious behavior. She even gets called out for it when she and some of the other cubs are captured by the gators.
    Lenny: It was your dumb idea to fool with the paddlecab, Donna!
    Duane: Yeah, it definitely wasn't a cool thing to do!
    Stuckey: Not cool at all!
  • This often happens in Miraculous Ladybug where a character picks up the Jerkass Ball and accidentally drives someone into enough despair to be corrupted by Big Bad Hawk Moth. The undisputed queen of this trope is Alpha Bitch Chloé Bourgeois, who has a body count in the double digits. Subverted with Gabriel Agreste, who is Hawk Moth and thus a Witting Instigator of Doom.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the season 6 premiere episode, Flurry Heart destroys the Crystal Heart, the magical artifact that protects the Crystal Empire by keeping out the arctic climate of the rest of the region. This results in a massive blizzard that threatens to destroy the entire kingdom and either drive off or kill the inhabitants. The unwitting part is because she's a baby alicorn; she didn't intend to destroy it, she didn't even have the cognizance to realize what was going on. Fortunately, the Crystal Heart gets repaired and in the process seems to have helped brought her own power under control.
    • The episode "Rock Solid Friendship" reveals that Pinkie's sister Maud Pie inadvertently helped Starlight Glimmer take over "Our Town" with her cutie mark removal spell by informing her of a stone that could contain the magic.
      Pinkie: [laughs nervously] Hey, I got an idea. Let's not tell anypony that part where you maybe, for sure, accidentally helped Starlight enslave a town! [laughs again, then gives Maud a Death Glare] Tell nopony!
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Sean's Robotic Arm", Mindy slams her toy rocket on the seesaw, causing Sean's Neil Armstrong figure to fly in the air and fall into a crevice.
  • Recess In the Season 2 episode "Bad Hair Day", TJ bribes Randall with a Señor Fusion issue #8 comic to say the haircut he give Mikey was good. Randall compliments Mikey's haircut by saying the famous rock band called Dog's Pajamas got the same haircut, causing all the kids on the playground want the same haircut. Then they learn the truth, that this haircut was bad and the members of the band have hair that goes all the way down to their butts, causing all the kids to be angry at Gus, T.J. and Vince. Gus manages to quickly escape, but T.J. and Vince are chased away by an angry mob of their clientele.
  • A strange example of a fictional character ending up being one for the real-life events. The Ren & Stimpy Show had the minor character George Liquor getting brutally beaten up by Ren in the episode "Man's Best Friend". Said scene was later one of the reasons for creator John Kricfalusi's firing.
  • The third Robot Chicken Star Wars special has an unnamed man suggest that Palpatine go into politics, which of course eventually leads to him becoming Emperor, the galactic war, the forming of the Empire, and the destuction of the Jedi. Said man is seen thirty years later realizing that it was all his fault and preparing to commit suicide...at least until Wheel of Fortune comes on.
  • Many a Rugrats episode's plot gets kicked off by the babies misunderstanding something they hear from the adults:
    • "The Old Country" has Tommy overhearing Stu talk about trying to "keep out the elements" while staying in a cabin in the woods, and misunderstanding him to think that elephants are going to crush them all.
    • "The Legend of Satchmo" has Grandpa spooking the babies with a story about Sasquatch, prompting them to run off and get lost in the garden.
    • "Reptar on Ice" has Angelica talking about how the dinosaurs went extinct, prompting the babies to think that Reptar must be in hiding and so they wander off to find him at the titular ice show.
    • "The Dog Broomer" has Tommy again mishearing 'dog groomer' as 'dog broomer' and is convinced that the woman hired to groom Spike is going to kidnap him - causing all sorts of trouble for her.
    • "Dummi Bear Dinner Disaster" has the babies scheming to ruin a dinner party when Susie fears she might have to move if it goes well (her father is just having a business colleague over).
    • "When Wishes Come True" has Drew bringing a statue of Angelica to the house, with the babies fearing that Angelica has somehow been Taken for Granite. Of course the expensive statue ends up broken in their attempts to revive her.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: While Catra is the primary mover in the world nearly getting destroyed, requiring Queen Angella to make a Heroic Sacrifice to preserve it and making Horde Prime aware of Etheria's existence, it took a few others to get her into that position, most notably Shadow Weaver. Overlooking the role Shadow Weaver played in shaping Catra into the free-roaming disaster that she currently is, it was Shadow Weaver's escape and defection to the Rebellion that set off Catra's biggest emotional breakdown to date and left her in the mental state to do what she did.
    • In season 4, Shadow Weaver (again) and Double Trouble both work to undermine Glimmer's bonds with Adora and Bow - Double Trouble for money, Shadow Weaver in order to gain influence over the queen. With Glimmer's support structure in ruins, especially after the loss of her mother in the last world-threatening disaster Shadow Weaver unwittingly set off, she becomes more ruthless and short-sighted, culminating in an attempt to use the Heart of Etheria's power that nearly allows Light Hope to destroy a fair chunk of the universe, and does leave Etheria in the path of Horde Prime's armada and the Sword of Protection in fragments; Glimmer herself is only spared immediate death because Catra intervenes. Meaning that ultimately nearly everything bad that happens from season 3 onwards is directly descended from Shadow Weaver tricking Catra into bringing her the badge she wore back at Mystacor in the penultimate episode of season 2.
  • Homer from The Simpsons does this at least once or twice a season. He's even responsible for the death of Maude Flanders; Homer tells a group of bimbos to aim their 'Free t-shirt' bazookas at him, only to duck at the last possible second as he grabs something off the ground. The barrage of t-shirts knocks Maude over the edge of the stadium to her death in front of her husband and two young children.
    Homer: I'm the one whose antics drove her out of her seat. I'm the one who provoked the lethal barrage of t-shirts. I'm the one who parked in the ambulance zone, preventing any possible resuscitation.
  • South Park:
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Hall Monitor," Mrs. Puff does this when she (begrudgingly) chooses Spongebob to be the hall monitor of the day. It's taken further when she allows Spongebob to wear the belt and hat for the rest of the day because the latter overdid his speech and couldn't do his duties. Spongebob ends up causing so much chaos to the point that he's wanted by the police. She even lampshaded this shortly after giving Spongebob his belt and hat.
    Mrs. Puff: What are the consequences of what I've just done.
  • Steven Universe: It turns out, after several epic Reveals, that Bismuth may have been responsible for the Diamonds' Corruption attack on the Earth via giving Rose Quartz the idea to stage the shattering of her true identity Pink Diamond in an attempt to get Homeworld to leave the planet. She bitterly lampshades the fact when she finds out, and feels immensely guilty over what she inadvertently inspired Rose/Pink to do.
    "I thought all of our problems could be solved if we just shattered a Diamond. Guess she took my advice."
  • Wild Kratts: Bumper the baby sperm whale, and/or his mother, tend to crop up at inconvenient times that cause more trouble than help. Although friendly enough to the Wild Kratts team, just having such large animals arrive unexpectedly has caused Aviva to crash her hoverbike in "Sea Otter Swim", and forced Chris to abandon his giant squid Power Mode in "Seasquatch" for fear that other (and hungry!) sperm whales may be hanging around the mother/calf pair.


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