The Call Knows Where You Live

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Uncle Owen? Aunt Beru?
You cannot run from life as you did from us, Garrett. Life has a way of finding you, no matter how artistic a thief you are.
Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.

Just to make sure that the hero can't refuse the call of destiny, his family or loved ones will be brutally murdered by the enemy to drive home the point that he can't run away from his life mission. If a villain has already threatened to do this the result is this trope.

The Hero thus takes up the avenging banner, embittered and hardened for the experience. Many an Anti-Hero has been shaped by this. He Who Fights Monsters almost certainly has.

Related to Doomed Hometown, only viciously more personal. Contrasts with Stuffed Into the Fridge, where the similarly personal tragedy is exceptionally cruel but there was no Refusal of the Call and the event seems largely unnecessary for the story. Villains may inflict this on the heroes friends because "They Were Holding You Back."

Related to and sometimes overlaps with Death by Origin Story. The Forgotten Fallen Friend is the name of the trope where, after the hero starts the adventure, he or she gets over the deaths with remarkable aplomb. May be referenced in a Troubled Backstory Flashback. Contrast with Plot Detour.

Examples of The Call Knows Where You Live include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Magical Project S Sasami doesn't want to be a magical girl. Too bad her enemy Pixy Misa knows her secret identity and tortures her wherever she is.
  • In the Stardust Crusaders part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Jotaro's mother develops a Stand that's slowly killing her; the only way to save her is to destroy Dio.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima. His parents' actions during the Great War(no, neither that one or the other) made enemies with two AncientConspiracies -the Cosmo Entelechia and the Megalosembrian Senate-, the latter so bad that his mother was scheduled for execution and his father has to bail her out and fake her death. It's no wonder that they decide to leave the boy to some relatives on a village at a different planet inhabited by mages. Unfortunately, the senate managed to get the intel on his whereabouts and send a demon army to wipe them out. The destruction of the village would define Negi's character for years to come.
    • A lesser example in Chisame Hasegawa: A girl who most definitely wants a normal life (Double life as a Net Idol notwithstanding), but happens to be in the one classroom the Call has on Speed Dial.
  • Poor Kira Yamato... this happened to him twice. The first time he Falls Into The Cockpit and reluctantly joins. By the second season, he's taking care of orphans with his girlfriend, when Durandal's assassins come and blow everything up.
  • Illya from Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. In the first season she becomes a Magical Girl by being forced, the second season starts with Rin and Luvia straight-up kidnapping her to force another mission.
  • In Inuyasha, after returning to her time after her first trip to the feudal era, Kagome assumes the whole experience was a dream and proceeds to forget about the whole thing....until Inuyasha barges into her house while her family is having dinner. It doesn't help that one of the bad guys seeking the Shikon Jewel tries to enter Kagome's time moments later.
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, Yang Wen-li doesn't have any other ambition than to be a historian and to enjoy his tea. However, circumstances force him to join the military, where he has to use his tactical genius time and time again to survive in the long conflict against a rejuvenating Galactic Empire, cultimating in him becoming the military leader of the only remaining pro-democracy force in the universe


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Peter Parker was taught that power comes with responsibility through the death of his Uncle Ben.
  • Matt Murdock loses his strict but loving father when the old man refuses to take a dive in a prizefight. Father is killed, ergo Daredevil. (Note that Spider-Man and Daredevil were created by the same person.)
  • The Punisher exists because the mob knew where Frank Castle lived.
    • Most conspicuous in Born, set during Castle's time in Vietnam. Castle is seen having an internal monologue with himself, pushing him towards violence and guaranteeing that he could keep Castle's war going on forever. Towards the end of the book, Castle is in the middle of a truly hopeless battle, alone versus a massive amount of VC. The voice says that it will let Castle live and continue to fight... if he pays a price. Castle agrees, goes on to murder the entire enemy force alone, but promptly leaves the service, planning to live in peace with his wife and children. The voice then reminds him, there's a price to be paid.
  • In Joss Whedon's comic Fray, new slayer Melaka Fray drags her heels over her destiny until her young friend Loo - The Cutie - is murdered. The really awful twist is that she wasn't killed by vampires, but by Mr. Exposition Urkonn, specifically in order to motivate her.
    • Joss likes this trope. See also, Serenity. Crew decides maybe they'd better not, y'know, mess with an entire interplanetary government. Then the Operative starts destroying all their safehouses...
  • A variant is used in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Origin comic. Buffy's family does not come under attack, but her school does - The Call Knows Where You Go To School, perhaps? Later, a character tells Buffy that she is a creature of destiny - in other words, her school wasn't attacked by Lothos because she went there, she went there because it was under attack by Lothos.
    • Which likewise happened when she moved to Sunnydale hoping to start a new, monster-free life. Hehe tough break kid.
  • This trope is pretty much the entire point of the supervillain Zoom. He thinks that by killing off any surviving relatives or friends of a superhero that they have, they'll have more time to devote to hero-ing and will have nowhere else to turn to.
  • Justice Society of America. Vandal Savage gets pissed off about legacy heroes and decides to bump off entire blood lines. Works in some cases, creates new heroes in others. Try not to send the guy powered by steel to kill the relatives of Commander Steel.
  • The Filth revolves around this trope—although Greg Feely, the main character, was always an Agent. Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe it's all a lie. Maybe Greg's gone crazy.
  • Happens in 2011's Incredible Hulk. Whereas Hulk, after separating himself from Banner, has finally found peace and acceptance among a community of Moloids, Banner has become a Mad Scientist obsessed with recreating the Hulk. When a Mad Scientist-hunting agency tries to recruit Hulk to go after Banner, he initially declines, but then some of Banner's gamma-mutated monsters, viewing Hulk as a rival for their creator's attention, attack the Moloids.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In the Buffy/Stargate Fan Fiction Trick or Treat, Xander is told point blank by an agent of the Powers That Be that he is going to go along with their plan, one way or another. Subverted in that once his girls are attacked, he dedicates a remarkable amount of insight into derailing not only their grand plans for him, but a for few of their favorite champions as well. He succeeds.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Dates back as far as the 1956 classic The Searchers.
  • In Star Wars, Luke is obliged to become a Jedi when his home is burned down with his aunt and uncle left as charred remains outside. However, he wanted to help fight the Empire in the first place but his Uncle and Aunt wouldn't allow it. So it was more their refusal than his.
  • An oddly literal variation occurs in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film: Elizabeth's cursed gold piece actually 'calls' to the pirates, which brings them to her Doomed Hometown.
  • The beginning of Mel Gibson's The Patriot fits this to a tee. Benjamin Martin is a dedicated pacifist, arguing against going to war in the State Assembly and refusing to let his sons join the Continental Army. It's not until the British Col. Tavington burns down his farm, kills his second son, and drags his oldest son off to be hung as a spy that Martin joins the fight.
    • This also happens in Braveheart—William Wallace just wants to 'till fields and maybe raise a family.' Guess what happens to his new wife?
    • Mel Gibson is good at roles like these. In Mad Max, his very first action movie, the killing of his partner drove him out of the force. The killing of his family drove him to vigilantism.
  • In a literal case, in Bruce Almighty, Bruce finds a pager which he cannot lose or destroy with a number. When he calls the number, he is told to go to a certain address "or we'll just keep beeping you."
    • Which is a rip-off of the memo John Denver gets from the Almighty in Oh, God!, which he throws away over and over again only to have it keep resurfacing, even when he's at home in bed (it's under his pillow).
  • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen The call knows where Sam goes to school and where his parents went on vacation. It's a very thorough call.
  • Anti-hero Josey Wales is content to be a poor dirt farmer in Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales; until the Union's brutal "Red Legs" militia burned his farm and murdered his family, which he barely survives. After he's had time to recover, he's met by and joins up with a Confederate guerilla band; achieving notoriety as a skillful and unrelenting fighter, and a substantial bounty is placed on his head by the Union. After the war, he ends up defending several First Nations individuals from brutal exploiters, and an innocent homestead from former Union Red Legs turned bounty hunters and bandits.
  • Alex Rogan wasn't crazy or stupid enough to hop into the middle of a space dogfight that had absolutely nothing to do with him...until Xur decided to send assassins to Earth to hunt him down and kill him. Cue epic one-man god mode wipeout.
  • Played with a little in Tombstone. Wyatt Earp leaves Dodge to have a normal life, only to wind up living and working in a town where a gang of lawless thugs are running things. His brothers answer the Call and become lawmen, but Wyatt keeps resisting... and then the bad guys start targeting his family. Cue Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Space Cowboys, the call literally knew where Frank Corvin lived. It caught him fooling around with his wife while stuck in their garage during a failed garage door opener replacement.
    • It would've made for a great Cialis commercial if you replaced the two NASA employees with two bathtubs.
  • Stranger Than Fiction has a far less tragic example, but after finding out that he's living out a novel, Harold tries staying at home and doing nothing so his narrative can't move forward and he can take back control of his life. This ends in a wrecking crew smashing through his apartment wall.
  • As mentioned above, Serenity—several times, in fact. The crew and River are reasonably content in their lives flying under the radar until the Operative remotely triggers River's Psycho Waif Fu mode with a subliminal broadcast. Then, the crew is fine with going to ground until the whole thing blows over, except that the Operative's men destroy nearly all of their safehouses, including killing dozens of innocents and their personal friend Shepherd Book. Hell, Mal was ready to turn them out (he did, in fact, for a very brief period) until the severity of the situation pushed all his loyalty-to-the-crew buttons. In short, Serenity is a tale of eight friends (and a dead black guy) who the government just plain won't leave alone, to their peril.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Eragon finds his uncle's house blown up and his uncle dead; abruptly he realizes that dragon ownership comes with responsibilities.....
  • In Animorphs, Marco was reluctant to involve himself in fighting the good fight—until he discovered that his mother was also controlled by one of the brain-stealing aliens.
  • Rand al'Thor and friends in the Wheel of Time have their village attacked not once, but twice, because the Pattern is calling them into service.
    • The first attack is to force the boys out into the world. The second forces the mantle of leadership onto Perrin.
  • In Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins never actively resists the Call, but he drags his feet about leaving the Shire to the point that he just avoids meeting a Nazgul on (literally) his front doorstep. (And it turns out that, at the same time, Saruman's thugs were invading the Shire from a different direction...)
    • You could say that this happened literally to his uncle Bilbo in The Hobbit, since Gandalf invited the dwarf party, which provided the Call, right into Bilbo's house (without Bilbo's permission). It would've been tough for Bilbo to refuse the Call without injuring his pride or insulting his (unexpected) houseguests.
  • The Name of the Wind: Kvothe leaves to gather firewood for five minutes, and comes back to witness the (supposedly fictional) Chandrian kill his entire acting troop, family included.
  • In both the second and last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Lord Foul exerts influence in our world to torment the previous heroes until they return to the mythical Land to confront him, as his plans require their powers.
  • Hogwarts sent Harry Potter a series of acceptance letters, pinpointing his near-exact location at the time the letter got there. Uncle Vernon went to great effort to keep Harry from getting the letter, up to moving the entire family to a small shack on a rain-swept island - where Harry got the call in the un-ignorable, unavoidable form of Hagrid.
    • Destiny seems to have a thing against Harry, since it seems to kill a lot of the people he loves.
    • At least the bad guys don't know where he lives until he's 17, thanks to the Blood Magic Dumbledore invoked.
  • Stationery Voyagers offers Pextel, who gets pretty roughed up by the Call without any warning or provocation.
  • Di Tregarde, refusing the call to use her Guardianship, ignores an inept sorcerer's plans to summon an inhuman demon that was too strong for him, thinking it's not my problem. Naturally he summoned the thing, it killed him and was wounded in the process, and it then went after Di, because even if she wasn't doing anything with it Guardianship sticks around. She beat it, but the panic attacks triggered by anything that reminded her of it lingered, as did the lesson that ignoring these things, on a purely selfish level, meant that they would meet her on their terms.
  • Sherlock Holmes overworked himself on more than one occasion, which usually prompted Dr. Watson to take him on a vacation so he could relax. Unfortunately, no matter where Watson seemed to choose as their vacation spot, there would inevitably be a mystery and people seeking Holmes' help. The good Doctor was never very happy at this, but ironically enough Holmes' investigating the problem actually seemed to revitalize him. See The Adventure of the Reigate Squire, The Adventure of the Devil's Foot, and any number of pastiches as examples of when Watson and Holmes try to relax on vacation, only for Holmes' reputation as a detective to precede him.
    • Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple tended to have similar problems. As did Jessica Fletcher. Come to think about it, if you're a literary detective, amateur or professional, all vacations are working vacations.
  • In The Silver Crown The Call not only knew where the heroine lived, it firebombed it. If she'd not opted to go on an early-morning stroll, it'd have been a rather different story.
  • In the Sword of Truth, Richard has one of these. In an unusual example, three weeks before the events of the book, in the form of his dad getting gruesomely murdered. He's essentially been wandering around trying to deal with it until Kahlan shows up.
    • It's the job of the Sisters of the Light to be the call.
    • The Chimes cause this in Richard. No matter how hard everyone else tries to convince him otherwise.
    • The Temple of the Winds does this. It's possible to refuse that call, but the Temple wont help balance out the situation if you do.
    • Chainfire is this, just like the Chimes. Only here, his allies are justified in not believing Richard because that's the point of the spell.
    • This is part of the recruitment process for Mord-Sith, but that's a much darker example.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Happens twice in Supernatural's pilot episode for Sam. First, his Dad goes missing and Dean comes to get him. He refuses that after killing the Monster of the Week, but watching his girlfriend burn up on the ceiling like his mother finally forces him to take the call for good.
    • In fact, any time either boy starts thinking about getting out of the business, they're dragged back in by rather brutal means. The Call doesn't just know where you are, it will stalk you from Hell and back. Literally. As in, angels besieged Hell and dragged Dean out because they had work for him. They dragged the brothers back from Heaven, too.
    • In seasons four and five and most of three, The Call is in fact semi-omniscient beings, requiring them to travel under a couple different types of mystic shielding. It steps up from hex bags to ribcages engraved in Enochian so Heaven and Lucifer wouldn't turn up and explain with nasty graphic examples why You Can't Fight Fate.
    • The other Call instances are mostly equally engineered, although the menace that sends soulless Sam into Dean's neighborhood in season six, dragging him slowly back onto the road after over a year of retirement, was just a monster seeking revenge on them for an earlier kill.
  • Often occurs in Ace Lightning. Fortunately for Mark, it's not a very competent call.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers has instances of characters not being so eager to join the team, but for some reason or another end up getting attacked by the villains anyways. Most well known example to American viewers would be in the pilot of MMPR, when the rangers decide they aren't interested in being thrown into a fight to save the world, but Rita didn't know that and sends her Putty Patrol to kill them anyways, creating the team that would thwart her for the rest of the series.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager pilot is built around this trope.
  • In Heroes, Destiny seems to follow Hiro and Ando around like a puppy dog. At one point, Ando says "I wish destiny would lose our number".
  • In Legend of the Seeker, Richard displays a significant amount of sense in being completely weirded out by Kahlan and Zedd trying to name him Seeker. Meanwhile, his dad is being killed, his house burned, and his brother set up against him. Contrast it to the less cinematic example in source material.
  • On Leverage, Nate was wanting to get out of his life of crime, of his variety. This changes when the Irish mob attempts to kill a man in front of him while he is going about his normal life.


Music[edit | hide]

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Scion. Your life will become a legend, whether you want it or not. Fate makes sure of that.
  • Geist: The Sin Eaters has elements of this. It's not just that you have an incarnation of death attached to your soul and whispering in your ear. You can see dead people... and the dead people know you can see them, and will seek your help any way they can.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The title character of Max Payne initially refused Alex's offer to transfer to the DEA and work for him ("You'd make me work undercover in some hellhole. Sorry, Alex. Michelle and the baby come first."). But all that changed when three murderous junkies hopped up on a new designer drug called Valkyr broke into his home and killed his wife and baby girl.
    • And, literally enough, the Big Bad phones Max's house as this happens to see if her hit worked.

"Is this the Payne residence?"

  • In Lost Odyssey, the call most definitely knows where Kaim lives. In fact, the call essentially comes (for all the immortal characters) in the form of the main villain, who, years ago, inflicted tremendous emotional pain to the point that the damage to their psyche was literally a fate worse than death, then subsequently sealed off their memories and left them to become walking corpses, eternally (but NOT desperately) searching for their purpose in life.
  • Happens twice in Baldur's Gate. First, the protagonist's foster father is killed. Later, almost everyone in your entire home town is killed and replaced by evil shapeshifters loyal to the Big Bad.
  • Fei from Xenogears, not only is his mother (who was taken over by one of the Big Bads) is killed by his father (who is taken over by a previous incarnation of Fei). Then, his adopted hometown is burned to the ground by a battle from the ongoing war.
    • Of course, a great deal of the damage to the town was done by Fei himself!
  • At the start of Starship Titanic, the eponymous starship literally demolishes the fourth wall by crashing into the player's house.
  • In Famous: To be honest, there was no way Cole could have possibly avoided The Call. Kessler knew where he worked, asked for him to deliver a package by name and took him to an area with a large number of people before having him open it, so he could absorb plenty of neuro-electric energy to make him as powerful as possible. Kinda hard to avoid The Call when the guy who's making it is you from the future and knows pretty much all there is to know about you.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor somewhat inverts this; your character has a mighty destiny that he can take hold of in any way he wishes. However, he also has the option of running away from it all; the result of this course of action, however, is that the huge majority of his friends, along with hundreds of thousands of other innocent people, die in a manner so horrific that it will Squick you out if you think about it too hard; it's so bad that the top Seraph of Heaven comes to bitch you out for being a coward... and the player knows this is how things will play out before committing to the option.
  • Dragon Quest IV has a variation where the villains are shown searching for The Chosen One long before you actually get to play as the chosen one. Instead, the first several chapters are spent controlling the hero's future companions and seeing some of their adventures before meeting each other. This also allows the player to see some of the effects that the villains' global search for The Chosen One has. And, of course, once they find out where the chosen one is growing up...
  • This happens to poor old Banjo in both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie with the kidnapping of his sister and the death of a dear friend, respectively.
  • All Ezio Auditore wanted to do with his life was jump and skip across the rooftops of Florence, screw the most beautiful women in Italy, and loot small chests of their money content. Then, his father and brothers are arrested by the Big Bad, betrayed by their close friend, and hanged in the public square.
    • His descendant Desmond ran away from home when he was 16 because he wanted to see the world outside of Assassin training. Then the Templars' modern incarnation Abstergo Industries found him when he tried to apply for a motorcycle license, kicking off the main plot of the games. Realizing that the Templar threat was real all along, Desmond finally embraces his calling as an Assassin.
  • Summoner is funny because it unites Jumped At the Call, Refused the Call, and The Call Knows Where You Live: Joseph is identified as a summoner by a passing monk, who offers him a summoner's ring and to help him study his power. Joseph gladly takes the offer. Raiders attack the village, and Joseph calls forth the demon of darkness that resides inside the ring. The demon slays everyone in town, raider & villager alike, except for Joseph and the monk and one other guy. Joseph decides he wants nothing to do with the summoner's legacy and tosses the ring down a well, fleeing to live as a farmer in another village. Then The Empire attacks the village, looking for the one with the mark of the summoner, who is prophetized to kill the emperor. Joseph has no choice but to take on the legacy he threw away earlier if he wants to live and save The Kingdom.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, Vanille attempts to avoid her Focus, which inadvertently causes the horrible things that happen to the cast throughout the game.
    • Hope also isn't very keen about the whole fighting the Sanctum thing, but changes his mind after his fathers home gets demolished by a strike team.
  • In Homeworld, the newly-finished mothership is sent out on a mission to test its hyperdrive by jumping out a distance, then back to the home planet. Oops, someone destroyed the home planet. It's not like they weren't already planning on embarking on the trip across the galaxy in the first place, but there's certainly no turning back now.
  • In Red Faction Guerrilla, Alec Mason initially declines his brother Dan's offer to join the eponymous Red Faction, until the EDF decide that gunning Dan down and trashing their shack would be a fun thing to do. The Faction show up to rescue Alec from certain doom, with the side effect of having him labelled as one of them by the EDF.
  • In Thief, Garrett refused to become a Keeper (an agent of "Balance" in the City) and started life as a thief for hire. This doesn't stop him from being dragged into various missions to preserve said Balance in all three games. In the end, he finally accepts the mantle of Keeper—indeed, he ends up being the last true Keeper.
  • In Dragon Age every Origins story ends with you having to conscript to the Grey Wardens to escape jail or death giving you little choice in the matter. In many of these events people close to you get hurt or killed. Then at Ostagar every Grey Warden in Ferelden gets killed by betrayal and a lot of Darkspawn, except for you and Alistair.
  • Poor Gaidel. The man thought that living in a small Brazilian village with his family would be enough to hide from the other Orochi warriors, but it wasn't. Goenitz brutally proved him wrong via dropping by... and brainwashing his pre-teen daughter Leona into killing him and everyone else.
  • In Penny Arcade Adventures, The Call smashes your house. Twice. The second time it literally knew where you lived and was going there to pick you up.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Summed up nicely in this The Princess Planet strip. "Okay! I get it! If I don't go on quests bad stuff still happens to me!"


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In Peasant's Quest, Trogdor burninates Rather Dashing's thatched-roof cottage, thus motivating him to liberate the peasant kingdom of Peasantry from the Burninator's influence forever.
  • Active in Dept Heaven Apocrypha, where fate was so insistent that Nessiah wind up exactly as messed-up as his canon self, his only place of sanctuary—his previous school—was destroyed when his unstable magic went out of control.
  • Marble Hornets. WE WILL WAIT FOR YOU NO MORE
  • Bladedancer of the Whateley Universe. When she didn't really get with the program, a demon-lord from a fiery hell invaded her home, killed her father, burned down her house, destroying the magical artefact that allowed her to resume her natural form, and chased her halfway across the country to sanctuary at Whateley Academy.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond had his father murdered, which made him steal the batsuit and set him on the path of a new Batman. In Justice League Unlimited, it's revealed that Project: Cadmus was planning to have his parents murdered in a manner similar to Bruce's to inspire him, but scrapped it due to moral restraint... Only to have some villain do their job for them eight years later. Didn't they get lucky?
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang finds out he is The Chosen One. Aang runs away. His entire race is exterminated. No one ever said the call was subtle.
    • It's implied that if he had not run away, Aang would have been killed along with the rest of the Airbenders, but nevertheless, he still had to accept his destiny as the Avatar and take care of the mess the world was in 100 years later.
      • Killing the Avatar just causes him to be reincarnated. by running away, Aang gave the Fire Nation a hundred years of free reign instead of just the 10 to 20 that the reincarnated Avatar would have needed to grow up into a formidable enemy.
      • Unfortunately, due to the Avatar cycle and its tendency to choose a host from a different location from the last one, the Fire Nation had a very good idea where the next Avatar would be born. Kuruk was born in the Northern water tribe, hence the next would be born in the southern. The reason Katara is the last waterbender in her tribe is because the rest had been slaughtered in order to kill off the next Avatar.
      • It also wasn't his idea to get frozen in ice, which was the reason for the 100-year gap; the running away just kept him alive. Though it is one of the great mysteries whose idea it was. It just kinda happened. Magic spirit ice. Looks like The Call wanted to be put on hold or something.
    • Also: Aang wakes up, and proceeds to hang out with the Southern villagers, incognito. Aang finds out about the war. Continues to be incognito, does not have any idea how to cope. Unfortunately for him, Prince Zuko is in the neighborhood, and everything gets busted wide open. Zuko's continued pursuit motivates the first season in a way 'stop the world war' just couldn't for a bunch of kids, especially a kid like Aang. Many fans, and possibly Iroh, consider Zuko to be the long arm of Aang's destiny, prodding him in the butt. It's not a dignified position.
  • In Transformers Super God Masterforce, Hydra and Buster start killing truckers in order to eliminate Ginrai; since most of their victims are Ginrai's friends, this results in Ginrai being motivated to actually get involved in the fight.
  • In Barbie and the Diamond Castle, Liana jumps at the call (despite her friend Alexa's reluctance) after their home is destroyed by the Big Bad's literal dragon.
  • In Titan A.E., Korso tries to recruit Cale for a mission to locate the Titan. Cale blows him off, but the agents of the Big Bad promptly kick down the door and try to kill him.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), during a Rite of Passage to test if he's ready for kingship, young Prince Lion-O receives a brief, vague, frightening Mirror Monster vision in the Sword of Omens, but avoids telling anyone for fear his longstanding reputation as a Cloudcuckoolander will be furthur cemented. He sees his Kingdom destroyed and his father assassinated by ancient Outside Context Villain and series Big Bad Mumm-Ra, the very enemy whose face he saw in the sword.
  • In Conan the Adventurer, the eponymous hero gets started on his adventure when his parents and grandfather are turned into stone by the Big Bad.

Mythology[edit | hide]

  • God wants Jonah to deliver a message of damnation to Nineveh. Jonah says no, because he thinks that if Nineveh will repent, God won't destroy them. Jonah attempts to flee God. Cue great fish. Ninveh did repent. God was pleased. Jonah wasn't.
  • The Buddha was destined to be either a great ruler or a great teacher. His father was a king and, wanting his son to follow in his footsteps, strove to keep the child from learning anything about suffering and death, as they would tempt the greatness in the child's nature toward compassion and thus the teaching path. But a god is more powerful than a king, and the gods themselves took the forms of beggars, sick men, and corpses in order to drive the Buddha onto the path to enlightenment.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • During World War II, the US was reluctant to enter the conflict, instead aiming for a peaceful resolution. The bombing of Pearl Harbor pushed them over the edge and precipitated the US's active involvement in the war.
    • Note this was 1941, and Hawaii was not quite a state yet (though it was an incorporated territory, which was essentially the same thing). So it was specifically The Call Knows Where Your Strategically-Located Island Territories With Military Installations Are. The Onion's faux headline parodying Pearl Harbor read: "Dastardly Japs Bomb Colonially Occupied U.S. Non-State".
      • Note also, however, that American and German ships had been "unofficially" firing on one another for at least a year prior to this and FDR was faintly desperate to get involved. It would be more accurate to say that the populace wanted a peaceful resolution (viewing the conflict as largely a European problem) while FDR and several others in his administration knew that it was impossible and were looking for a way to get the USA involved. Pearl Harbour gave them the rationale for something they wanted to do anyway and Adolf Hitler sealed the deal (and his doom) when he declared war on the USA a few days later.
      • Well, when you're clearly supporting one side through the Lend-Lease program (and more importantly to the Japanese, an oil embargo), are you surprised when their enemies (they) try to disrupt your supply shipments (cripple your navy)?
    • A LOT of neutral countries got this in spades during WWII. In sequential order: China, (arguably) Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the Philippine.
      • It might be more of The Call Knows You Are In The Way in many of those cases.
  • Perhaps a closer example would be the history of the US in World War I, when the American leadership was even MORE reluctant to go to war than the civilian populace, only to discover that Germany's effective state of perpetual war with it (based on the 1898 Cuba/Kuba Memorandum) meant that Germany continued to pick fights and disrupt the peace until it became impossible for anybody to pave over. Brave Little Belgium, Luxembourg, and Serbia also count. The Armenian resistance may or may not (given the fact that their participation was very much the result of The Call Knows Where You Live but they were never formal combatants).
    • The Zimmerman Note in particular involved this. The US largely wanted to stay out of the war, but it was revealed that Germany was trying to get Mexico to attack the US to prevent US involvement. Carranza wasn't stupid enough to bring Mexico in, so Germany had to deal with them instead, though US involvement in WWI was fairly minimal, as Germany surrendered due to the amount of new troops that would be brought in before the US had placed more than a few divisions.
      • The Zimmerman telegram also had Germany promising to aid Mexico in reacquiring the land Mexico had lost to the U.S. in the Mexican-American war once it was finished in Europe. Seeing as Texas and everything west of it was land acquired from Mexico...