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"No matter what I do, the ones I love are always the ones who suffer."

A character followed by doom and despair. He himself won't feel the full sting of this cloud of doom. Instead, any character who he knows, is friends with, is related to, or even makes eye contact with, is inevitably doomed to some wretched fate, be it death, or something worse.

A character like this is usually does one of two things: He either goes about his life, uncaring that this is happening, or he goes about life lamenting about how he can't stop causing suffering.

Basically, a character who always indirectly has collateral damage all around them.

Any Hitman with a Heart especially runs the risk of suffering this.

Related to Cartwright Curse, and Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds. The more Genre Savvy sufferers of it keep their It's Not You, It's My Enemies speech ready.

The Jinx is a lighter version, causing unlucky incidents but rarely deaths. Walking Disaster Area is for when the doom happens to a large number of redshirts around the main character, on a much larger scale, but tends to leave major and supporting characters alone. If locations tend to suffer instead of people, then the hero is a Destructive Savior.

Compare and contrast Deus Angst Machina and Trauma Conga Line, if the character in question also suffers from all this doom. If the character literally causes plants to die and the environment to become dark and dreary, it's a Walking Wasteland.

Examples of Doom Magnet include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • Vash the Stampede in both the anime and manga Trigun fulfills this trope like it was written just for him. Wherever he goes, everyone (and their mother) dies horribly, including but not limited to the total destruction of two cities, the deaths of all the occupants of at least four others, and pretty much anyone who says something nice to him. Throughout the story he laments about how "no matter what I do and where I go, I'm followed by blood and gun-smoke."
  • Keita in Kurokami. Pretty much everyone he becomes close with dies, and Keita tries hard to have as little friends as possible. And it's not like it's his enemies, even. Just someone's screwing destiny done horribly wrong.
    • Technically, all alter egos are one; as they are not supposed to exist any longer, the world will go out of their way to kill them. And if one of those alter egos manages to kill off their Root, he won't be unlucky anymore, but he'll bring that bad luck to everyone else around him.
  • Johann Liebert in Monster. Sure he goes out of his way to ensure that doom follows him (and destroys his "loved ones") but a surprising amount of it really isn't his fault, not that he would care anyway.
  • The main protagonists of Weiss Kreuz suffer from this phenomenon in spades. Between the four of them they total at least two sets of dead parents, four murdered love interests, nine colleagues killed in the line of duty, and no less than eleven friends/family members/love interests that the protagonists end up having to kill personally. The lucky ones -- one sister, two would-be love interests, and one Distressed Damsel -- survive to never see the protagonists again.
  • It's a part of the XxxHolic plot that Himawari is cursed with this. It later turns out that Watanuki is as well because, as Futurama taught us, all time-travel duplicates are doomed. Things are made worse by the duplicate in question's suicidal tendencies and depression drawing supernatural dangers to him like a lighthouse.
  • Guts of Berserk is a literal Doom Magnet; the Brand of Sacrifice he received during the Eclipse attracts demons to him. He's tough enough to fight them, but many of his friends are not.
  • Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star attracts trouble mostly due to his reputation as the World's Strongest Man. After all, "Where Hokuto Appears, Chaos Follows".
  • The protagonists of Project ARMS, so much. Because they were all born to be the big fighters to bring down the Egrigori, virtually every mutant, soldier, and experiment is tossed at the heroes. Ryo is forced to watch Katsumi die multiple times, Hayato has the terrible memory of watching his adopted dad being brutally murdered, Takeshi's adopted sister Maya is kidnapped and nearly killed, almost all Egrigori experiments who decide to ally themselves with the ARMS teens wind up brutally murdered, Yugo is killed while saving Ryo, and Al's twin brother is murdered in front of him. Not to mention the fact that all sorts of horrid stuff happens to the ARMS teens themselves, which makes each teammate a sort of a Doom Magnet for the others.
  • Wolf Guy Wolfen Crest: It appears that all werewolves are doom magnets and Walking Disaster Areas no matter how far they run or how big of a Jerkass Facade they put up to isolate themselves. An implied werewolf mentions that he'd like to meet anti-hero protagonist Inugami, but doesn't want to risk it because of how severe Inugami's magnetism is (the same psychic pronounced doom on both of them. After meeting the implied werewolf she was hit by a car and hospitalized; after meeting Inugami she nearly had a Heroic BSOD and died a few seconds later when a plane crashed into her house). As for Inugami himself, besides the psychic his parents are hunted down and killed/kidnapped by "commandos", his caring teacher is almost raped and eaten in the same night, and 85 of his adoring classmates and the principal are murdered by a thug on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge with uzis and hand grenades whose brother he insulted and beat into a coma. And that's just one flashback and a few months in school - there's still about 10 years in between we haven't seen yet.
    • To be totally honest, about half the bad crap that happens around Inugami is because he is something of a jerk. Let's see, he takes the desk of the local gang leader as his own on the first day of class knowing full well in advance who it belongs to and what is likely to happen as a result of it. He deliberately antagonizes said gang members, whose leader is the sociopathic son of a mob boss, just to prove he is top dog around the campus. He deliberately pushes away any help people offer him which usually leads to a worse situation then if he had simply accepted their help to begin with. Then he has this smug smile of superiority almost constantly on his face, which coupled with his Superior-Than-Thou attitude towards almost everyone meets, which is almost guaranteed to attract the wrong sort of attention.
  • The Raregroove family of Rave Master seems to be this. Anyone who means squat to them or they meant squat to seems fated to die in some glorious way. neither King nor Lucia seem to concerned with the later, but the former drives them crazy.
  • Invoked by a Yagyu clan assassin in a later chapter of Lone Wolf and Cub: his strategy was to makes his target believe that they had become one of these by trailing them unseen and unannounced, slaughtering anyone who showed them the slightest kindness and then putting the bodies on display, only moving in for the kill once the despair had eroded their will to defend themselves. Of course, such tactics mean little who those who already walk the Way of Demons...
  • Duo Maxwell, resident Broken Hero of Gundam Wing took on the name "Shinigami" because he recognizes that he's a Doom Magnet. In the backstory, his best friend Solo and his pseudo-family at the Maxwell Church all died, leaving him to fend for himself. At the end of the anime, his mentor Professor G performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop a Colony Drop. The sequel novel Frozen Teardrop continues the trend by having his wife Hilde die, leaving him to raise their son Duo Jr. by himself.
  • Deconstructed Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Judai Yuki tends to be this, by season 4 he starts to distant himself with his friends as he is afraid of all the danger he keeps attracting to himself and they usually end up suffering from it.
  • Wherever the Cat Eyed Boy goes, something horrible is bound to happen in the home he settles, though it's not clear whether he's followed by supernatural disasters or if he follows them.

Comic Books Edit

  • Daredevil. Every new storyline seems to be based around ruining Matt Murdock's life even more.
  • Hellblazer - Anyone who John Constantine calls 'friend', other than Chas, inevitably winds up horribly dead, completely screwed over, or something worse.
    • Not that Chas really gets off easy either. He's been screwed over because of his friendship with John tons of times.
  • Bad things tend to happen to everyone in the BPRD other than Hellboy. From Liz having the life literally sucked out of her (by Roger the Homunculus), to Johann's new body dying just after he gets it. And don't get me started on all the problems that befall Abe and Captain Daimio.
  • Spidey. Here's a fun drinking game - in any Spider-Man medium, read or watch from the beginning and take a shot whenever you see someone who's doomed to mutation, insanity, disfigurement, misery, death or any mixture of the above. You won't be sober long. Extra points for remembering to point at the character and yell "DOOOOOMED" every time he/she's onscreen/on panel. Good starting points include Flash Thompson, Eddie Brock, Liz Allan, Betty Brant, Harry Osborn, John Jameson (J. Jonah Jameson's son), Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben, Felicia Hardy... and the list goes on (and on, and on, and on...)
    • In case you were wondering, that's basically Spidey's entire supporting cast.
    • If you have a clearly stated first and last name in this universe, you're screwed.
  • Groo the Wanderer.
  • The Incredible Hulk. Oh poor, poor Hulk. Or rather, poor anyone-he-has-ever-cared-about. It stands to reason that being friends with the Hulk would be dangerous, but it goes beyond that. Jarella died in the super-villain equivalent of a random mugging, by a baddie who didn't even know she was the Hulk's girl. His entire planet got laid waste in "Planet Hulk", right after he'd won and gotten the girl. Let alone what a Weirdness Magnet Hulk is just on his own. Unlike most "heroes", all Hulk wanted in the Bronze Age was to hop around the desert and be left alone, but he couldn't go ten yards without stumbling across an alien invasion, lost land, or supervillain plot, and violent hijinks would ensue.

Fan Fiction Edit

  • Michikyuu Kanae from Kyon: Big Damn Hero, who has caused hundreds of worlds to be invaded by aliens just by being present.

Film Edit

  • The Pirates of the Caribbean crew, though in that it's a case of massive Redshirt Army usage. What's more surprising is how they seem to stop doing it as the story continues.
  • Taken to extremes in Perfume, in which everyone the central character associates with winds up dying horribly shortly after their relationship ends.
  • In Children of Men, every single character who helps Kee ends up dead before the end of the film -- including the protagonist, Theo.
    • The same is true of plenty of characters who didn't help Kee but were just in the vicinity of the wide swath of destruction.
  • Luke and Leia can probably be considered Doom Magnets since both sets of parents that adopt them are killed, pretty much because they adopted them. (Alderaan wouldn't have been blown up if Tarkin hadn't been making a point to Leia.) The EU makes it worse since characters like Luke, Leia, Han, and Wedge have Main Character Armor (with the conspicuous exception of Chewbacca) and therefore get to watch a hell of a lot of people die, usually in the course of trying to kill one of them.
    • It seems like every woman Wedge has gotten serious with had something horrible happen to them. Mala was killed by Imperials. Iella's husband was found not to be dead, but instead a Manchurian Agent whom she had to kill. Qwi was Mind Raped by Kyp Durron. He's known in universe as a survivor.

Literature Edit

  • In Rieyalindis, the title Elf feels like and literally is this. As a baby she was cursed to be alone; anyone who stays with her will eventually die (painfully). The record for surviving around her is two years.
  • Gaia Moore of the Fearless books often laments the fact that everyone who gets close to seems to die. A Justified Trope in her case, since most of those deaths are caused by people who are out to get her.
  • Jean Baptiste Grenouille, in Perfume. Everyone who had so much as a passing relationship with him ended up doomed, be it a few years in the future or immediately after his departure. The nun who cared for him in his first days goes nuts. The perfumist who takes him as an apprentice ends up with his house thrown into the river a few mnitues after Grenouille decides to leave him. There are at least five people who get their lives completely destroyed just by happening to know him, and I´m specifically leaving out all the girls e kills at the end of the book, and the catastrophe he unleashes when he´s about to be executed
    • However in a few cases, this was due to following the story of other people to its end. One woman dies close to 70 years later.
  • Sinbad the Sailor. He goes on seven voyages, mostly just to have a nice time at sea. Seven times he's the sole survivor of some sort of cataclysm. The best survival tip the stories give you is: If you're going on a cruise and another tourist happens to be named Sinbad, stay home.
  • Odysseus, of The Odyssey, loses members of his crew left and right until, finally, he is only person to survive the complete destruction of his ship in a storm. His being a Doom Magnet is Justified in-story because Poseidon, god of the sea, is very, very angry at him, and his patron goddess has gone off in a huff.
  • The Stationery Voyagers. ALL of them. Liquidon has an especially bad case of it.
    • Pextel's mother went insane with mechie-phobia, his father dies of Buliod's, and he himself is a literal Ghost in the Machine due to Unwilling Roboticisation. As for his girlfriend...
    • Pinkella's parents were suddenly murdered by her brother, who is then betrayed and murdered by his gay lover! She is forced to play dead to escape death herself. Concerning her and Pextel, determining Doom Magnet Cause and Effect is a futile exercise.
    • Rhodney: Best friend at Daredevils 4U becomes a mechie. Best friend's girlfriend turns into a Rich Bitch and deserts everyone. Has no family. Explanation never given. Girlfriend is a spy for the enemy, who leaves him as part of a truce.
    • Oceanoe and Erasaxo are more of The Woobie. But they still have to worry about riots starting the second they exit a building.
    • Marlack's mother was claimed by Death by Childbirth while having his sister Bonnie...who was raped by a Yehtzig Pirate...and then Grandpa Licorine ends up constantly being shot at. Licorine then ends up being a the new caretaker for Stella-Marie Jenkins, who runs into legal woes because of Spike Inkfong. It spreads from Marlack to his family and friends like a chain letter.
    • Neone...her teammates are only still alive because of their Plot Armor (and a few angels). Her father (both of them) ends up dead in a very bad way. Her mother doesn't fare much better. Her pimp abuses her and murders her best friend. And that one kid she knew in grade school and is indirectly responsible for getting expelled? He turns into a supervillain. Her boyfriend when she was a hooker? Shot to rags by her boss. Doesn't help she lives in a world ruled by a Religion of Evil, with Everything Trying to Kill You...that looks like Seattle.
    • Viola escaped Feltipwa after her part of town turned into The City Narrows. Knowing her meant death by bazooka for some.
    • Liquidon: When a pirate lord starts a genocide campaign against an entire world just because you're the screw-up who killed his brother? Your girlfriend is a vampire who is obviously suicidal since she wants be near you when you reek of the very power that is most fatal to her species? Everyone you know is either being infected with something, kidnapped, subjected Mind Rape, shot at, or worse?
  • Turin, in JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. Despite his best intents, Turin's actions cause or catalyze the eventual death of everyone that gets involved with him or cares for him. The narrative leaves it ambiguous whether the reason for this is in Turin's own character, or in the curse that the Dark Lord Morgoth laid on Turin's father Húrin:

  Morgoth: Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of Melkor, Master of the Fates of Arda. Therefore, with mine eyes thou shalt see; and with mine ears thou shalt hear; and never shalt thou leave from this place until all is fulfilled to its bitter end.

  • Feanor from The Silmarillion is very much a Doom Magnet, although the Silmarils are even more so.

  The Doom of Mandos, to be precise: Tears unnumbered shall ye shed; and the Valar (will) shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them... The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.

  • Harry Dresden of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is a Doom Magnet; terrible things tend to happen to those in his general orbit, whether they're acquaintances, friends or enemies of his. Being a professional wizard, Harry is also a Weirdness Magnet.
  • People who interact with Covenant in Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have a disturbing tendency to end up dead or insane or at the very least get their life metaphorically shattered. Some of it is due to repercussions of Covenant's own actions, while the rest can be chalked up to the resident Evil Overlord who has an interest in Covenant.
    • Author Stephen R. Donaldson is fond of Woobies, so this trope shows up a lot in his works.
  • Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock. Elric sacrifices his Sidekick to the Greater Good. And in the Next Book, Elric acquires a new Sidekick and gets angsty.
    • It gets much worse. Elric denies the existence of any real Greater Good, to start with, merely wishing to not serve any particular evil. In the course of his efforts, his incestuous love gets put into an endless sleep so the bastard wishing the throne could claim her, he ends up bonding to the foulest artifact in his world, he personally sees to the sacking of his kingdom and feeds his love's soul to his blade in the doing, those travelling with him meet grisly fates as he tries to see just how badly he's screwed himself, he disturbs the peace of mind of his own later and earlier incarnations, he stands witness as what he's done to date leads to the dissolution of the world, his later effort at a love ends up a caterpillar with a human head and gets fed to his sword, and the sacrifice of his sidekick is so he can call forth the end of his world's era. Stormbringer (having fed on the sole mortal that knew the rules of the dance between Chaos and Law) promptly ate Elric and tried for his own Xanatos Gambit at that moment of Armageddon.
      • The Champion Eternal is a Doom Magnet on the multiversal scale, as it usually turns out whatever madness is engulfing one was the result of a previous incarnation's efforts.
  • Arithon S'Ffalenn from Janny Wurts' Wars of Light and Shadow leaves a trail of dead, maimed, orphaned and imprisoned people behind him. His insane half-brother can't get at him, so he instead murders everyone who might conceivably be helping him. Arithon is constantly torn by grief about this, so much so that the Sorcerers forced him to swear a magically binding oath not to commit suicide.
  • Kaladin in The Stormlight Archive spends a large amount of his screentime contemplating this fact.
  • God, Harry Potter is a Doom Magnet. Especially later in the series. Many characters in the series say he tends to actively pursue trouble and dangerous situations, or at least behave recklessly, but while he tries to solve the mysterious that keep occurring around him, there's no doubt that often it's trouble that comes to him.
    • Harry himself lampshades this whenever someone, usually one of the Weasleys or Hermione tells him to keep out of trouble, he reminds them that trouble usually finds him.
  • Lone Wolf, from the eponymous Gamebook series, is often said by fans to have a "death aura", in that anyone who sticks around him for more than a few pages is going to die. The pages don't even have to be consecutive.
  • K.J Parker's Scavenger Trilogy. Poldarn is likened to a dog running through a cornfield with a torch tied to his tail. To ride with him synonymous with death. Anything and anyone he contacts will come to ruin.
  • In the Parrish Plessis series, Parrish has the misfortune of being a Doom Magnet with Chronic Hero Syndrome. She tries so hard to help everyone she meets, and it so often turns out for the worse...
  • In Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy Kylar Stern's status as Doom Magnet is a major plot point, since many of the decisions he makes throughout the second and third books of the series, several of which get him killed, are made in ignorance of the fact that every time he dies and is brought back, someone he loves dies as a means to balance the divine economy. His immortality MAKES him a doom magnet.
  • Shirakawa Kaede in Tales of the Otori gets this reputation since men who tries to marry or sleep with her has a disturbing tendency to die rather quickly.

Live Action TV Edit

  • The Doctor from Doctor Who attracts doom in practically every episode. His TARDIS is seemingly attracted to trouble. Wherever he goes, something bad happens (worlds blow up, invasions are happening, etc.). Everyone who hangs out with him (his companions) is in danger of being killed, mind wiped or left behind. There are so many examples I just can't name them all. Things rarely, if ever, go right for this guy.
    • It's still so bad that most people/aliens/organisations that know about him (but haven't met him in person) view him as some sort of avatar of destruction and harbinger of the apocalypse. Its even been said in the show that the Doctor's only one true companion is death. Ouch.
    • The Doctor is painfully aware of this, as seen in "The Doctor Dances," which ends with him overjoyed over the fact that no one died over the course of the adventure. It seems it is very rare for him to have a day where someone doesn't get killed.
      • Notably, the episode has a NEGATIVE death toll, as at least one character who was already dead at the beginning is alive again at the end.
    • In "The Doctor's Wife", the Doctor complains to the TARDIS (a conscious entity, temporarily in human form) that she didn't always take him where he wanted to go. "No, but I always took you where you needed to go."
    • It's hard to say if the Doctor is really a Doom Magnet. While there are several adventures where the Doctor is the cause of the problem of the week, usually he's just passing through when something terrible happens and without his intervention the death count would be much, much higher. Several characters have pointed out that without the Doctor, the Earth would have been wiped out ages ago.
  • Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood is very much this. Very much so. Exemplified by the fact that he is immortal and thus survives what no one else would, including a bomb in his stomach that destroys Torchwood 3, a building full of a virus that kills his boyfriend (and a bunch of other people), living beyond everyone he knows that doesn't end up dying a horrible premature death, ending up having to sacrifice his own grandson to save the world, and let's not forget the first death on Doctor Who, the lone survivor (other than the Doctor and Rose) of a space station massacre perpetrated by Daleks.
  • Hurley from Lost believes he's one of these, having used the series' Arc Words (4 8 15 16 23 42) to win the lottery and bringing a curse on himself. It's left vague whether the numbers actually cursed him, or whether the heart attacks, suicides, plane crashes, and meteor strikes affecting those around him is just coincidence.
  • John Connor in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Just watch the last half of season two and watch the supporting cast drop like flies.
    • Possibly justified in this case, as everyone he loves knows just how important John is to the fate of humanity and is usually more than willing to sacrifice themselves rather than risk anything happening to him.
  • Smallville has gone this direction. They originally blamed it all on Green Rocks, but later seasons has anyone and anything trying to kill Clark's inner circle...without green rocks.
  • In 24, Jack has been indirectly [sometimes directly] involved in the death of several friends of his, and even part of his own family. In the Season 6 finale one character even said that there was a curse on him. Doom Magnet indeed.
  • River Tam. It is not pleasant to be the big brother of an Ax Crazy Super Soldier who is wanted by The Government. Because of this, it is not pleasant to take on Simon as a passenger with a mysterious cargo even if one's ship is sufficiently disreputable. Because of this, it is not good to have business contacts with a tramp ship that carries such a hazardous cargo.
    • Although it's not as if she has a roaring good time of it either.
      • Arguably, River Tam is just one of the many dooms brought on by associating with Mal Reynolds. This is exemplified in the Serenity RPG where his stat block includes the dismerit "Things don't go smooth."
        • This is lampshaded by Jayne in Serenity

 Mal: I don't plan on any shooting taking place.

Jayne: Yeah, well, what you plan and what takes place ain't always exactly been similar.

Mal: (Death Glare)

  • Fujimaru Takagi in the J-Drama Bloody Monday, Everyone around him seems to ether get kidnapped at some point or die. Taken to new heights in Season two where in the first episode alone All but one his Co-workers at his part time job as well as a few customer's are killed, and later when his unofficial girlfriend from season 1 is killed via euthanasia, though he was lied to and told she was still alive so he would continue hacking to stop a Nuke.
  • Lampshaded in The Peacekeeper Wars before John and Aeryn inevitably get involved in another dangerous situation:

 Aeryn: This is not our fight.

Crichton: I agree. But as long as there's a war on, everyone's after me 'cause I'm the winner-take-all weapon guy.

Aeryn: You know, every time we get involved...

Crichton: I know. People die.

  • Sheridan is accused of this in Babylon 5, by a Minbari who claims that 'if there is a doom on this station, you brought it here'
    • There was also a minor character nicknamed Jinxo, introduced in the episode "Grail", who worked at construction of all the Babylon project stations. And each one blew up shortly after he'd left it during construction (or, in the case of Babylon 4, mysteriously vanished after completion). This convinced him that he cannot leave Babylon 5 lest it suffer the same fate. The person he discusses this turns the viewpoint on its ear; perhaps Jinxo was simply lucky that he wasn't aboard when these things happened. Sure enough, when Jinxo leaves at the end of the episode... the station remains intact. And it continues operation for another 20+ years.
  • There's an episode of Psych in which a young Indian man is convinced he is cursed because every girl he falls in love with almost dies in a freak accident. Shawn and Gus set out to prove to him it's not a curse. Eventually it turns out that the man's sister-in-law-to-be has fallen in love with him instead of her fiancé and decided to take matters into her own hands. Violently. Multiple times.
  • Eric Idle's character in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Prawn Salad". Things just keep happening around him -- mirrors falling off the wall, people killing themselves by tripping and falling on antique Brazilian daggers, and so on. He doesn't have anything to do with it.

Tabletop Games Edit

  • One GURPS supplement had a variant of this as a character flaw -- Jinxed would give penalties to any roll someone close to the character (but not the character themselves) made unconsciously (for example, surviving a large single attack), and it could be taken multiple times. Characters with high levels of this tended to have few (surviving) friends.
  • In the Ravenloft setting, Doctor Van Richten was affected by a Vistani curse that caused the death of almost everyone he cared about or hunted monsters with.
    • Ravenloft also has the Bussengeist, the undead spirit of someone who died in a great calamity resulting from their action or inaction. Literal Doom Magnets, Bussengeists almost always have a sad, worn feature from the countless disasters they have witnessed.
  • Possibly the player characters in Scion. As the children of the gods, Fate sees to it that trouble finds them. Of course, they might be tough enough to deal with it, but if they aren't or if they don't bother to do anything but save themselves, then others are going to suffer. The game itself dubs this the "Fateful Aura", and admits that it's an in-universe excuse for the Storyteller to drop his plot on them. The stronger you get, the worse it gets - there's even a power available to gods that temporarily ratchets the Character Level down to lessen the effect.
  • By the rules as written, this is the exact effect of the "Grim Harbinger o' Death" drawback in Deadlands. No matter where you go, bad things happen, and even when you're unscathed, others aren't so lucky. The Marshall is outright told to describe suffering resulting from any situation where you get involved: if the outlaw shoots you and misses, the bullet blows a hole through the head of a child watching the duel. If the monster doesn't find you hiding, it's because some poor NPC attracts its attention and gets eaten instead. Etcetera, etcetera.
  • In Paranoia, one of the Mutations available for characters is called Doom Magnet. Knowledge of precisely how this affects gameplay is of Ultraviolet clearance, Citizen.
    • Then again, this is Paranoia. You're all doomed anyway.

Theatre Edit

  • The Evil Dead Musical portrayed Annie as this. She complains of a "trend" in her life where all the men she knows are killed by Candorian demons, mentioning her father and fiance. When Ash points out that's only two people, she goes on to clarify at length.

  Annie: Cause the men in my life - and I mean all the men in my life - every single man in my life - keeps getting killed, by Candarian demons.

  • Hamlet, the classic story of how everybody related to him dies, with one notable exception.

Video Games Edit

  • In the Baldur's Gate games, a major plot point is made of the player character being a Doom Magnet. As a child of the deceased god of murder, it is your fate to bring death to everyone around you - your enemies, your friends, your family, even your loved ones. Lo and behold, you do end up being indirectly responsible for the deaths of many, many people... though depending on the ending you choose, you might be able to break free from the curse (maybe; the ending leaves room for much doubt).
  • Very effectively played straight and justified in Planescape: Torment. The Nameless One attracts tormented souls to him, and their existence becomes even more miserable once they become associated with him.
  • Suikoden's Soul Eater Rune pretty much worked on this principle, destroying the people around the user while granting him/her power.
  • Shiki Tohno causes misfortune to those around him due to his proximity with death. However, only the ones who really notice said presence are affected strongly. Satsuki, who we all know to be misfortunate, and Arihiko are the two main ones. Arihiko is perfectly aware that as long as he hangs around Shiki, he's likely to die in some bizarre and violent way. His love interests all get a share of this when he gets involved with them as well, but that's not entirely his fault. Overlaps with Weirdness Magnet with which he is much more strongly identified in the story itself.
  • Subverted with Marduk from Sacrifice who was a Doom Magnet to such an extreme extent that his mere presence in a world cause it to corrode and, eventually, die... Only, he was an Omnicidal Maniac, and annihilating worlds in this manner was what he lived for, his very purpose...
  • Wherever Samus Aran goes, any level of destruction is destined to follow. Whether it be limited to orbital stations, nationwide destructions or even total planet killer-level, whatever environ Samus Aran sets foot on WILL go up in flames. It doesn't matter whether Samus engineered its destruction intentionally, like she did Phaaze to wipe out Phazon, Dark Aether fullstop or SR388 to destroy the X parasites, or completely accidental, i.e. Zebes, destruction seems to follow the poor girl to any corner of the galaxy. Being fair, though, Tallon IV[1], Normal Aether[2], Most of the Alimbic Cluster, Bryyo[3], Elysia[4] and even the Pirate Homeworld[5] survive her appearance, at least in terms of "not blowing up". Oh yeah and if Metroid Fusion is anything to go by, even space stations aren't safe.
    • She seems to have inherited this trope from her adoptive parents, the Chozo. While they're Genre Savvy enough about it to bail and head for another planet whenever things get really bad, there's a reason Samus keeps finding Chozo artifacts (but no Chozo) on such a variety of planets. Planets that are usually overrun by various monsters and pirates, with notes from the Chozo that boil down to "Here you go Samus, we left you some weapons; we saw you were coming and we're sure you can handle it. Bye!".
  • Zidane Tribal from Final Fantasy IX has a strange Gameplay and Story Segregation example... specifically that all these bad things would have happened eventually, as there's a war going on, but the kingdoms in question only lose/explode once Zidane arrives. Doesn't this seem familiar?
    • Perhaps it's linked to the circumstances of his creation as Garland's 'Angel of Death,' to aid with the collection of souls needed for Terra to assimilate Gaia?
  • HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic can have his memory core repaired, which both gives him permanent stat increases and causes him to repeat a bit of his history; he'll tell stories about his past owners (a businessman, a senator, a crime lord, and a Mandalorian soldier). In each of these stories, HK-47 inadvertently leads to the deaths of his owners.
  • Keyblades seem to have this function. Not even Mickey freaking Mouse is strong or light of heart enough to overcome the tragedy and doom that befalls and surrounds all Keyblade wielders eventually. Once The Heartless are unleashed, it turns from an implicit effect attracting misfortune into an explicit one attracting horrific monstrosities, since aforementioned abominations are attracted to Keyblade-holders like moths to a flame that they're trying to extinguish.
  • With four The Forgotten Sands games being added to his canon, the Prince of Persia from the Sands of Time part of the franchise has become this. He's constantly bringing doom down on himself and everyone around him. He's had to kill the sand monster that had been his father, and the demonic entity that had been his brother. The ancient djinn queen who decided to help him died in the process. His mentor was killed by the Dahaka in Battles of Prince of Persia, and while looking for a way to escape the creature he started a war in which his mother was killed. When he came back from the Island of Time with Kaileena, she died, and soon after that his father, whose death had been undone, was killed for real.
  • Max Payne has this problem even if you exclude the occasional Roaring Rampage of Revenge. It causes him profound psychological damage, and the second game suggests he's unable to get over it until literally everything he loved dies.
  • Nathan Drake From Uncharted. In his own words: "Everything I touch turns to shit."
  • Yuuto calls himself one at the beginning of Eien no Aselia, though it's unclear if it's really true or not.
  • If The Legend of Zelda's Link shows up, there's the very high chance that all of the surrounding lands are or will be ravaged by monsters, cursed, or otherwise in deep trouble. This is justified though, as it's implied that the goddesses just choose a new hero whenever there's a time of need, or deliberately send Link to a land in trouble.
  • Dragon Quest VII has the aptly named Doom Magnet town of Loomin. Most towns, you need to save them from monsters once, twice if they have an elemental spirit living nearby. Loomin needs to be saved at least four times.
  • Lexine Murdoch from Dead Space Extraction and the Dead Space 2 DLC "Extraction", who is the only one in the series that can suppress the effects of the Artifact of Doom, has a bad tendency to attract love interests that end up killed, including her first boyfriend Sam Caldwell, Nathan McNeill, the detective she has some romantic subtext with, and her husband Gabriel Weller.

Web Comics Edit

  • The Sluggy Gang tends to be around death and destruction wherever they go, and most characters who aren't major or important better say their prayers. Case in point (not even counting Wispydale).
  • Likewise, the Onion Kid (who becomes Sarda) in Eight Bit Theater. Horrible things, usually Black Mage's fault, tend to befall anyone who takes him in, but the child himself escapes with only severe psychological scars. Until Chaos takes over his body, that is. Then it's pretty much terminal.
  • The Ciem Webcomic Series Shalia plays it more straight than Candi does, oddly enough. Women who were at any point good friends with Shalia can expect to find their heads on a platter as soon as the Hebbleskin Gang learns about it. And anyone who befriends Candi has a shortened life expectancy, especially if they're anywhere near as horny as she is.

Web Original Edit

  • Wishing Star attracts strange and unusual events with such regularity that her wife seriously debated whether or not to leave her behind while going into the Everfree.

Western Animation Edit

  • Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender wrestles with feelings of this, as his girlfriends tend to suffer, and his master plan for invasion failed, causing dozens to be captured (or killed). He eventually gets over this partially when he rescues Suki and his father from prison, though that doesn't mean his horrific luck is over.
  • Zim. Just... Zim. A partial list of his "accomplishments": He singlehandedly wrecked a universal conquest operation, mostly obliterated his home planet, caused TWO planet-wide blackouts (one when he was TWO MINUTES OLD), killed TWO previous leaders of his planet... oh, and he blew up a planet by scratching himself.
  • Arcee in Transformers Prime is worried about this, as her two previous partners have died and she fears the same might happen to Jack.

Notes

  1. already utterly doomed and depopulated when she got there
  2. already heavily damaged when she got there, would take years to rebuild
  3. already utterly doomed and depopulated when she got there
  4. already utterly doomed and depopulated when she got there
  5. already heavily damaged when she got there, would take years to rebuild

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