Nice Job Breaking It, Hero/Literature

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  • Nakajima Akemi of Digital Devil Story could be a poster boy for this trope.. Sure, he successfully develops the Demon Summoning Program. Unfortunately, he failed to build in proper safeguards that would impose a contract on a summoned demon. The great demon lord he summons turns on him very quickly, resulting in the deaths of at least half his classmates, as well as many innocent bystanders. To top it all off, after Nakajima defeats Loki, the demon he originally summoned, his teacher, Ohara, ends up summoning Set, the most powerful evil god of ancient Egypt. As icing on the breaking cake, Many demons have sensed the pathway Nakajima opened to their world, kindling their ambition to conquer the human world. More than just a handful of those demons want to ally themselves with Nakajima.
  • In the Anita Blake novel "Blue Moon" the entire plot's problems, involving hostile vampires, necromancers and werewolves stem from Anita SHRIEKING ABUSE at another city's paranoid Master over the phone, and then stomping into his territory with a bunch of very powerful vampires and weres.
    • To be fair, Anita is a bit too hotheaded most of the time. I'm all for womens rights and being equal to men, but she takes it too far, assuming that any act of kindness from a male is derogatory.
  • Happens every book in Harry Potter.
    • In the first book Harry rushes to save the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort. Turns out the Stone was hidded so that only a "pure of heart" (basically) could retrieve it, which Harry does, and the Stone nearly falls into Voldemort's hands.
    • In the second he rescues a girl and destroys the evil artifact that was controlling her, meaning they have no proof that she was controlled, and she's is left the only suspect to blame for the attacks. Thankfully in both cases villains promptly grab massive IdiotBalls and negate the damage.
    • In the third, Harry spares Wormtail by proxy, only to have him escape and help ensure Voldemort's return, but hey, at least Buckbeak and Sirius live!
    • Goblet of Fire: Harry comes up with the idea of both he and Cedric grabbing the secretly-transportational trophy simultaneously; once they arrive at its destination, Cedric is Kadavra'd. Whoops. Of course, if just Cedric had grabbed it, things might have turned out even worse since there wouldn't have been anyone to alert the wizarding world (or at least Dumbledore) of Voldemort's return.
    • Worst of all in Order of the Phoenix, where Harry's desperate attempt to rescue Sirius winds up drawing Sirius to his death, instead. The upside -- Voldemort being exposed as alive -- pales in comparison to the loss; ironically, since the entire book was about Harry's frustration with not being believed and attempts to make people believe him, only for Harry to not give a damn anymore when he was shown to be right.
    • And, to a lesser extent, in the same book, when they manage to break every damn prophecy and all the Time Turners in the Ministry of Magic.
    • Subverted in the Deathly Hallows. Harry realizes he must let Voldemort kill him. As this was all part of the plan, and Harry suffered no more than a bruise, it all worked out.
    • For errors committed by Voldemort, see Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.
    • In a more subtle example, the majority of the population tends to call the Big Bad by impersonal aliases, like You-Know-Who or The Dark Lord, while Dumbledor calls him by the name and encourages others to follow suit. This backfires in the last book, when Voldemort charms his own name, so that whoever utters it will be stripped of all wards and exposed to his minions.
  • In the SF novel Legacy of Heorot, human colonists on an alien planet manage to eliminate the "grendels", a native, komodo-dragon like species, that threatened their existence. They find out too late that the grendels were the mature (female) form of these tasty (male) "fish" that are just about everywhere. (Think frogs and tadpoles. Only the frogs are a lot bigger. And have big, pointy teeth. And decide that people taste good.) The mature grendels kept the population down through cannibalism. Now that there are no more mature grendels all of the immature grendels start to grow up and undergo metamorphosis, and they're hungry. Even worse, all of them can move almost faster than the eye can see. Guess what they decide to snack on...
    • Nice job breaking the food chain, heroes.
  • This is more or less how the Sword of Truth series moves from one book to another: Resolving the conflict of one book leads directly to the problems in the next, at least in the beginning.
    • The problem is that all of these things are so contrived that by the sixth book it feels like the author intended to end the series last book, but got such a lucrative deal to keep going he had to think up something on the fly to explain the next story. Apart from that, though, they are decent books...
  • Happens not once but twice in the Eoin Colfer novel The Supernaturalist.
    • The titular group are hunting ghost-like creatures that they can see congregating around injured and dying people. They want to destroy them to prevent them from sucking away people's life force. Too bad they do nothing of the kind. They're benevolent creatures that feed on pain, easing people's suffering. And the kids' killing them off causes them to crop up in larger and larger numbers, so that many of them begin starving to death.
  • Done several times in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy.
    • First, at the end of the first book when Vin kills the Lord Ruler he warns her that she has no idea what he does for mankind and that she has doomed the world. In the second book, the protagonists discover that the mists that have covered the world for the past thousand years are growing thicker and destroying crops. In addition, the mists are killing a small fraction of the people that go out in them.
    • To stop this, Vin finds the Well of Ascension, which is rumored to have the power to stop the mists. When she finds the well, she releases the power in it as described in the prophecies. Rather than saving the world, this releases the Sealed Evil in a Can. Oh, and the mists are still getting thicker, but that's the least of their problems from this point on. It turns out that the mists were not created by the sealed evil but his now-defunct opponent. He just made them stronger in order to distract the heroes from his true goals. He also perverted the prophecies to play out his Plan. Luckily, it turns out his opponent had anticipated him breaking free and planned for it, but it was still a close call.
    • Also, in the backstory, the Lord Ruler, when he held the power at the Well, tried to burn off the mists by moving the planet closer to the sun to make it hotter. He moved it too far and made the world too hot, so he tried to push it back and made it too cold, then he tried to put it back into its proper orbit and made it too hot again. He finally gave up on that tactic and created the Ashmounts to spew ash into the air to cool the planet, which would have killed all the plants, so he altered the plants to survive, which then required him to alter the people and animals to eat the altered plants and not choke to death on the ash. The end result of this was an ash-covered Mordor landscape where the sun was red and the plants were brown that was the setting for the trilogy.
  • This happens in Warbreaker as well. Vivenna is deceived into furthering the plans of the villains. Denth tricks her into helping to start a war between Hallandren and Idris. After discovering this, she spends the rest of the book trying to make up for her mistakes by helping Vasher prevent the war.
  • And it happens in Elantris, too, when Sarene's curiosity leads to King Iadon being deposed. Sanderson really likes this trope.
  • In the backstory of the Wheel of Time series, Lews Therin comes up with a badass plan to re-imprison the Dark One. Unfortunately, something goes terribly wrong, and from then on all male channelers are doomed to go mad, wreak havoc with their immense powers, and then die horribly. The world gets Broken.
    • Though in his defense, it's technically better than it could have been had the Dark One won.
    • This was also his last resort. His original plan involved both men and women going to fight and seal the Dark One, but the women refused in favor of another plan. One which fell further and further out of reach as the war raged on. The women weren't changing their minds, even after several years, so he had no choice but to go with men only. To be fair, it's possible that if the women went as well, they would of gone insane to, but no-one knows for sure.
  • In the final volume of Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy it is revealed that the swords the hero had been trying to bring together to defeat the Big Bad were in fact the only things which would release the Big Bad from his prison. Whoops.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe New Jedi Order series, it is implied (or outright stated, whichever) that Palpatine formed The Empire and ordered the construction of weapons such as the Death Star to prepare for the invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong, a species whose sole purpose is taking evil to a level that Palpatine could only dream of, making the original movies a Nice Job Breaking It Trilogy. However, it has also been commented that since The Empire lost to the Rebels, they might not have done as well against the Vong as they would have liked to think.
    • Not only that but the death of Palpatine created a vacuum of power. It caused a fracture of the Empire into multiple smaller dominions led by psychotic warlords, who, to solidify their positions, hold even worse weapons, like the Sun Crusher. It caused Admirals (and the last Grand Admiral) to start ploys to resurrect the Empire, raising the specter of a new round of Clone Wars, a working prototype Death Star, and various Super Star Destroyers. It allowed for a cloned Emperor, if possible even more insane than the original, to unleash Devastators on Coruscant. It allowed for criminal organizations to flourish and get into the superweapon race themselves, like the Hutt's Darksaber. It opened the way for genocidal races to use left-over Imperial ships. The New Republic isn't even stable and threatens to collapse many times.
    • This didn't even take a long time to occur. The Truce At Bakura, which starts right when Return of the Jedi ends, is a perfect example. The Rebels intercept a message for the Imperial fleet at Endor, which had just retreated, about an attack at Bakura. They decide to send reinforcements as a PR boost, which consisted on one antique carrier and a small group of fighters, many of which are on the verge of breaking down. This leads to Bakura being a bloody, drawn out battle. One Imperial Star Destroyer would have ended the battle almost immediately because it would have immediately outclassed the entire alien fleet. On top of that, the alien fleet only attacked because a force sensitive boy on their side felt Palpatine die through the force.
  • In the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Covenant's breaking the Staff of Law in self-defense has only good consequences. Then in the Second Chronicles the act turns out to have enabled continuing and rather imaginative evil and suffering on a massive scale. Cue a lengthy quest to repair the damage.
  • In the third book of Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy, the Inhibitors are finally wiped out; however, it is implied that their absence is what allows a swarm of von Neumann machines to eventually consume literally the entire universe. As such this also counts as an Inferred Holocaust.
  • Ian Irvine, and the conclusion to the Well of Echoes series. The Magnificent Bastard has gained two artifacts of unsurpassed magic power and is taking over the world. Tiaan tries to stop him by destroying the power sources of all magic, thus preventing anybody from using it. Except then it turns out that said artifacts are the only significant exception, and what she actually did was destroy every single source of power that would have given the heroes a chance. Dang.
  • The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie. The whole plot is preventing arms manufacturers from pulling off a terrorist attack in order to jack up prices for their new attack helicopters... that made a lot more sense when I was reading it. But anyway, the last page states flat out that the sales of the very weapon he used to beat them skyrocketed. Awkward.
  • In Sailor on the Seas of Fate, Elric helps the Creature-Doomed-to-Live to die... And inadvertently sets in motion events leading to the end of the world. Oops.
  • In Kevin O'Donnell's novel ORA: CLE, set in a universe where all computers run unprotected operating systems like DOS and all news are shown in Bulletin Board Systems, the news is censored by a viral software implanted by the global Coalition. This is a perfect excuse for a coup by a group of erudites, who then keep the status quo and keep the censors; as the protagonist is an erudite but does not agree with the methods of the new group in power, he arranges to hack the several levels of censor programs, each more seriously defended, until immediately before deactivating the last one, he's warned by the leader of the group in power about not deactivating the last censor. The protagonist does anyway and the leader kills herself while communicating with the protagonist. Later is discovered that the censor programs were implanted to prevent extraterrestrial avian invaders, who use Earth as their hunting grounds, from finding out about a plan to transform Jupiter into a star in order to blind their sensors and allow Earth to launch everything against them in a last ditch effort to get rid of the invaders.
  • In the final arc of Deltora Quest, Leif and friends have to destroy the Four Sisters who are killing their land slowly by singing evil spells. No one hears their songs, as they are so quiet and have been in place for so many hundreds of thousands of years that everyone just thought of their songs as the sound of silence. When they finally manage to kill the last one, it turns out that the singing that was making the land barren actually also kept an even worse monster locked down: basically a bubbling pot of poisonous goo that will keep expanding until the entire land--the mountains, streams, forests, cities, and everything alive--is buried under a thick, hard crust of grey stuff. Essentially, it is unbeatable: swords cannot cut it, there is nowhere to throw it away and it expands too fast to curb it in any manner. The Shadowlord thought he had them beat there: die slowly or die quickly were the only options. Thankfully, the goo is not flame retardant, and they did have six gargantuan fire-breathing dragons on demand.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Examples in The Bible:
    • Adam and Eve manage to achieve this for the entire human race. Having been given the paradise of Eden in which to live they are told that there is one rule: they must not eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. One talking snake later and... yeah, nice job.
    • Joseph's eleven brothers plotted to kill him out of jealousy. The eldest son, Reuben, suggests that instead of killing him outright they throw him in a pit in the desert and leave him to die. Reuben leaves momentarily and Judah, another one of them, convinces the rest to lift Joseph out of the pit and sell him to slavery instead of letting him die. Then Reuben returns and majorly freaks out - he was trying to save Joseph all along, and planned to return later to the pit and rescue him. Nice job breaking it, Judah.
  • In the regular Animorphs series, Elfangor tends to come across as noble and wonderful, a cross between The Obi-Wan and Always Someone Better, willing to break his people's laws, yes, but only to serve the greater good. In The Andalite Chronicles, however, we see that Visser Three's capture of Alloran is a direct result of Elfangor refusing to kill a mass amount of unhosted Yeerks. This capture also led to Visser Three's eventual promotion. While he originally gained prominence by being the Yeerks' authority on Andalites, his brutish ways and lack of subtlety wouldn't have let him progress much further. Thanks to Elfangor, who opened the door for him to do what no other Yeerk could, Visser One's agenda is the only thing keeping Visser Three from declaring an all-out space war on Earth!
  • In the original novels of The Ring, the Asakawa delves into the mystery of the Cursed Tape not only because it's a good story, but to save himself, his family, and his friend from the killing curse. In doing so, he chronicles his investigation in the Asakawa Report, which details every little incident of the quest. By the end of Spiral, the second novel, Sadako reveals that the curse has mutated and taken on the Asakawa Report as its new vector, as well as any of its adaptations --movies, television, radio, and any other form of media where the tale is recounted. Eventually, all of mankind will have been destroyed as she replicates within each individual, infected human. At least the Cursed Video was contained...
    • Even in the original concept, it is only the protagonist who realizes that the only way to escape is by copying the Tape and showing it to someone else, as every previous instance stopped at the victim's death. However, by each film adaptation's sequel, the public at large is aware of this method: it doesn't take long for one to realize that this means the Curse will spread like wildfire throughout the world, especially with the advent of new media.
      • Which creates the interesting mental image of Cursed Tape Rickrolls...
      • Four words, not in this order: 'cup','girls','one','two'...just wait until the effect suddenly shows up.
  • In the second book of Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles, our young heroes succeed in luring the rampaging fire breathing giants into the ocean using a recorded mermaid song. As it turns out though, the giants were awakening so they could fight off an even bigger threat: a group of evil dragons that would be even more destructive.
  • In the third book of The Darksword Trilogy, Joram destroys the capstone of the Well of Life. While it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, the fourth book describes a lot of the unpleasant consequences.
  • In Isaac Asimov's short story The Dead Past, the main character's research into time travel reveals that the government has been conspiring to hide the fact that it is easy to build a time telescope that can see perfectly anywhere in the world anytime in the last several centuries. The release of this information dooms humanity to existence with no privacy whatsoever, because you can just as easily set the time telescope to see 1/100th of a second ago as 100 years ago. Sometimes the government keeps secrets for good reasons, geniuses.
    • Were they protecting people's privacy or maintaining their monopoly on unbeatable undetectable Sinister Surveillance? Asimov should have written a follow-up detailing how ubiquitous time telescopes revealed all government corruption and solved all unsolved crimes.
      • Asimov didn't write that follow-up, but Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter did, in their novel Light of Other Days.
  • In another Asimov story, The Life And Times Of Multivac, humans chafe under the generally benevolent but definite control of Multivac. One of them figures out a way to maneuver Multivac into making itself vulnerable, then crashes it. The protagonist declares that humanity is now free... and realizes that it's not at all clear that freedom -- including responsibility for running the world without Multivac -- is what humanity really wants.
  • Metro 2033' has an extremely cruel version of this. To bottom line it, the protagonist ends up unwittingly eradicating a sentient and very humanoid species. Turns out it was trying to make peace with humanity all along and help it to survive. Oh, and it also kept a Sealed Evil in a Can in check, guarded the titular Metro from the worst hazards and was literally humanity's only and last chance to ever regain the planet... or even survive for a few more generations. Nice job indeed, Artjom.
  • Early in the first Hollows novel Ivy Tamwood is gifted with a wish. Rather than use it selfishly for herself she gives it to a Mia, a banshee who once gave her life altering advice. Banshees in the Hollows are the life draining apex predators of a world already filled with powerful monsters. Through various means Ivy's wish allows Mia to gain a human mate as murderous as she is, deceive people long enough to drain them of life before they can defend themselves and conceive a child more powerful than any banshee before her. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished indeed.
  • In The Company Novels by Kage Baker, Dr. Zeus the AI relies on the threat of this to preserve himself after his period of omniscience comes to an end. It doesn't work.
  • In the Ravnica novel Dissension, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV (leader of the Azorius Senate) explains to our heros that House Dimir isn't the reason why the plane/city of Ravnica has had a significant increase in existence-ending disasters: it's because our heros arrested/killed the leader of House Dimir in the first book. Since Ravnica is a world where every Guild and its leader are legally required to exist, even if they are legally required to attempt to kill everyone, arresting/killing the leader of House Dimir had doomed the plane/city to obliteration.
    • However, as the Rogue Cop Agrus Kos points out, that makes the first book into a no-win situation: The first book culminated in Szadek draining the leader of the Selesnya guild - the power sustaining the legal and magical obligation for all the guilds to exist. If Kos hadn't incapacitated Szadek, the power sustaining the civilization would have been destroyed, because he did, the resulting magical imbalance destroyed the civilization anyway.
  • In Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere this is basically the entire plot. All Richard has to do is help Door bring the key to The Angel, Islington, so It can return to Heaven and Door can be reunited with her family. Oh, Islington didn't mention that It isn't in Heaven right now because It had been banished to Earth by God? And its return would lead to God's will being subverted and war in Heaven, possibly leading to Heaven's destruction as well as humanity's? Oops.
  • A recent short story featured an American sniper recruited to test a prototype portable time machine. His mission? Go back some years before the 9/11 attacks and kill Osama Bin Laden. Which he does, only to return to an America suffering a severe depression due to terrorist attacks using nuclear weapons, which he realizes happened because there was no bin Ladin to desire to do something showy, but strategically minor. So he tries again, going back a little further. And again. And again. The end featured him one of Pontius Pilate's dungeons awaiting execution due to a failed attempt on the Roman's life.
  • In Mitchell Scalon's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Descent of Angels, Lion (with Luther's help) unites Caliban to exterminate its horrific monsters, despite warnings that this might ruin Caliban. In Mike Lee's Fallen Angels, it is revealed that the monsters stemmed from Chaos taint, and so kept the people untainted, since they would avoid the monsters; killing them unleashed the taint.
  • What Liquidon in Stationery Voyagers is convinced he's done to start the Imperial War of Markerterion. In reality, it would've happened with or without him killing Astriliad. But by doing that, he convinced Astrabolo to switch from a campaign of conquest to a plan of viral genocide.
  • Codex Alera -- The Vord? The pretty-much the Zerg Horde of Alien Locusts that have almost eaten the entire world, and indeed already have conquered a continent much larger and more populated than Alera itself? It all began with one queen hibernating in an isolated valley until Tavi woke her up. He had no idea what he was doing or what the consequences would be, but that's cold comfort.
  • In War of the Dreaming by John C. Wright, the heroes' derailing the villain's Evil Plan and keeping the MacGuffin away from him result in the God of Evil getting loose and initiating a Hell on Earth.
  • In The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness, Todd thinks he's saved an alien from death. Technically true. He's also allowed it to go raise an army so that said army can come back and kick everyone's ass. This was Mayor-excuse me, I mean President Prentiss's plan.
  • Blade of Tyshalle. Full stop. Deliann, nicest guy you'll ever meet, fucks up. Big time.
  • In Perdido Street Station, Isaac collects a staggering variety of winged animals for his study of flight, then gets fed up and releases or destroys all but one large caterpillar, which he feeds some of New Crobuzon's latest psychotropic street drug. It survives and pupates under Isaac's tender loving care ... and then emerges as a mind-devouring, hypnotic moth-monster that eats his roommate's psyche, escapes into the city, and frees others of its kind, which commence chowing down on every sapient mind they can catch. Nice work, Isaac.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Air Battle Force, a Russian attack on a Turkmeni city is averted by destroying the bombers that would have carried it out; however, this spurs the Russian acting president, who was a bomber crewman and sees it as a personal slight, to carry out nuclear sneak attacks on the USA in the next book.
    • In Rogue Forces, a Turkish airstrike aimed at a Kurdish separatist recruitment drive kills the husband and children of former Kurdish separatist commando Zilar Azzawi, who retakes her sword in response.
  • The entire story arc of The Midnight Meat Train by Clive Barker. The protagonist ends up killing the butcher on the train, only to find out that his killing of the people were to feed the meat to demons as part of a bargain to keep the demon world from spilling over into the human world.
  • In Ted Dekker's Circle Trilogy, the entire plot of the first book involves the protagonist attempting to save two worlds and, consequently, bringing about the disasters (developing a biological weapon in one, letting evil back into the world in the other) he intended to stop. Nice job dooming two whole realities, hero.
  • In Malazan Book of the Fallen, Poliel is revealed to have begun the plague to purge the cancer of the Crippled God from Burn's flesh, until Paran and the Deragoth destroy her.
  • Pretty much the point of R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novel The Pirate King. The heroes lead a rebellion to free a city of the evil wizards that have been ruling it. They succeed, but leave large sections of the city destroyed, a good chunk of the population slaughtered, with a shortage of food and shelter and a long winter approaching.
  • Kitty Norville just wanted to help out a fellow lycanthrope who called in to her radio show. She had no way of knowing that she was actually enabling a psychotic serial killer who went on to kill four women before Kitty and Cormac put him out of his misery. Although, she can share that Nice Job with Meg, the Big Bad of the book, who infected James as part of a plan to assassinate Carl, then left him to fend for himself. Which eventually leads Kitty to expose Meg's scheme.
  • Defied in Rainbow Six. Homer Johnston is ordered not to kill a terrorist who would go on to kill a Littlest Cancer Patient because doing so would most likely lead to the other terrorists killing more children before the Rainbow teams can formulate and execute a plan to take them down. Understandably, no one is pleased about this.
  • In The Burning Realm, Kan Konar sets out to avenge the Deathlings by destroying Xoth, home fragment of the Cthons. He succeeds by destroying the Runestone of the fragment that shielded Xoth from sunlight, causing it to move aside, and forcing the nocturnal Cthons to flee their homeland or perish by the sun's rays. At the end of the book, Pandrogas discovers that this Runestone's destruction, coupled with previous disruptions caused by the Circle, has reduced the time remaining before the Shattered World's sustaining spells are exhausted from several decades to less than a year. Nice Job Breaking It Again, Hero.
  • In the original Dracula novel, the five male members of the Nakama insist that Mina Harker stay home while they do the dangerous work and frequently talk about what a relief it is that she's safe at home while they're hunting down the vampire because a woman surely couldn't handle it. Dracula deliberately takes advantage of this as an opportunity to bite Mina and metaphorically rape her. Nice job with the chivalrous misogyny, heroes!
  • In the Necroscope series almost every single victory the good guys have end up solving the immediate problem, but creating something far worse for the next book. Eventually they manage to "win" their way to ending the world.
  • At the end of the second book in the Star Shards Trilogy, Dillon brings back the Eldritch Abomination parasites from the first book, infects Okoya with them, and tosses him back through a dimensional vortex. Unfortunately, in the third book, it turns out the parasites run amok in the other dimension, displacing its powerful, soul-eating inhabitants, who are now forced to flee from their home dimension and decide to take over Earth. That turned out well, didn't it?
  • In The Pendragon Adventure, without naming the millions of times this happens, a notable mention should go to Bobby, who let the Big Bad nearly win because he quit, and it's slammed in his face at every opportunity just about until the end of the final battle.
    • In the first book, even though he's specifically told not to mix territories, he does it anyway, and the batteries in one of his gadgets are used to start a war, and even though it didn't last that long, everything ended up in ruin.
      • Mixing territories in general usually leads to this.
  • The plot of War and Democide Never Again is that two people go back in time in order to prevent all the worst crimes against humanity committed in the twentieth century from occurring. Technically, they succeed, but the sequel reveals that doing so allowed a dictator to rise the power when he had no such opportunity in the first universe, take over a major country, and nuke the entire rest of the world, setting mankind back centuries. Nice Job Breaking It, Heroes.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Robert Baratheon is determined to make sure that the exiled princess Daenerys does not survive to reclaim the throne with the hordes of Khal Drogo behind her. Drogo has no interest in thrones or the lands across of the sea... until somebody tries to assassinate his wife. Then he vows to sail across the sea, and conquer or destroy all of Westeros. Nice job waking the dragon, Robert.
    • Actually, there are a lot of moments in A Song of Ice and Fire. Two more that have to do with Dany are when she picks a healer for her husband who was raped by her husband's men. This...didn't go so well. Drogo's dead. And speaking of that healer, she tries and succeeds in killing Khal Drogo, but in getting her revenge, she makes Dany more dangerous than either her husband or unborn son would have been by having her life-force used to hatch three fossilized dragon eggs. Oh, and teaching her that mercy is for wimps. Nice going, Mirri.
  • This happens very frequently in The Dresden Files. Perhaps most notable in Ghost Story, where Harry realizes two different ways he's done this. Unleashing Mort's insane ghosts against Capiocorpus allowed her to devour them, manifest, then take any body she wanted and live again. In a wider sense, destroying the Red Court created an Evil Power Vacuum that brought out long-dormant monsters, some clearly more sadistic than the Court was, and engaging in open warfare to seize their resources. The first of these problems can be resolved fairly simply by destroying her, the second not so much.
    • It gets worse. It turns out that Harry's assassination at the end of Changes was arranged by Harry himself, in an attempt to avoid having to serve Mab following his Deal with the Devil. He meant for it to prevent his (considerable) power from being used for whatever horrible ends The Fair Folk had in mind; instead, he wound up leaving his friends to deal with the aforementioned open warfare without their best source of firepower and his impressive reputation. Additionally, to keep Mab from realizing his plan, he had Molly erase his memory of it. Because of this, she's carrying around a ton of guilt for being complicit in his suicide, and the Leanansidhe has started her on Training from Hell; she's now such a wreck that none of her former allies trust her anymore. And it didn't even accomplish his goal. Mab and Demonreach managed to grab Harry's body and preserve it, so that when his soul should move on, he instead comes back to life... and is still in servitude to Mab. It's not hard to see why a fallen angel decided to push him onto that route, is it?
  • This is what happens in Dark Sun when they kill the Dragon which had been plaguing the world. Turns out he and the Sorcerer Kings had been keeping a greater evil Rajaat imprisoned. Whoops.
  • Played with as Running Gag in Myth Inc. In Action, in which Guido and Nunzio enlist in the army to try to sabotage it from within. Every attempt they make to mess with its efficiency and operations, however, not only turns out to help the army, but gets them involuntarily promoted for their excellent leadership. Nice Job Not Breaking It, Hero!
  • Jack Vance's "The Miracle Workers" was set on a planet where human colonists made Hollywood Voodoo work to replace their aging technological weapons. When the planet's natives finally decided to attack the humans, one of the "jinxmen" noticed that dying natives spewed a purple foam. Deciding this foam must be associated in the aliens' minds with death, he used his powers to project the image of purple foam into the minds of a large group of natives. Another jinxman explained, "Then he learned that purple foam means not death--purple foam means fear for the safety of the community, purple foam means desperate rage." So he tried to intimidate them with an effect that turned them into Determinators. Oops.
  • Septimus Heap has several Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moments:
    • Marcia returning to the Castle in Magyk.
    • Jenna bringing Septimus to the Glass in Physik.
    • Beetle's attack on the DoorKeeper in Queste, resulting in them being trapped in the House of Foryx.
  • In Warrior Cats, during the Omen of the Stars arc, Ivypool tries to protect ThunderClan from being invaded by ShadowClan by getting her Clan leader to declare war on them first. However, the entire invasion was made up by the Bigbad Tigerstar so he could weaken both Clans just before a harsh winter set in. Also during the Omen of the Stars arc, Ivypool was spying on the Dark Forest in her dream, about to learn the plans for the final battle, when Dovewing woke her up.
  • Septimus Heap: Simon Heap should really have known better than to set the Things free.
  • Neverend pretty much collapses due to David leaving it for twenty years. Creating the White Queen made it even worse.
  • Half Upon a Time ends with Jack, May, and Phillip accidentally releasing the Wicked Queen back into the world.