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"Let's cut to the commercial break like a news show. (ominous voice) Something in your house may kill you. Find out what--after the break."
Craig Ferguson
"Why is the news always the same as the miniseries that was just on? What are the odds of that?"

Segment from a News Broadcast, usually following a Made for TV Movie, asking the question, "Space alien invasion/drug dealer invasion/mountaintop plane crash cannibalism: could this happen to you?"

This segment serves a triple purpose: to strike fear into the hearts of viewers, for whom watching that station's news show is clearly the only way to survive; to pull in big ratings with the promise of lurid tales of death and violence; and to plug the Made for TV Movie.

Rarely is the correct answer given ("No. That's just stupid."), and rarely is the answer given before the end of the news (see Film At Eleven).

Still, on the off chance that Your Refrigerator Could Kill You!!!, you are compelled to watch the late news.

See also You May Panic Now. The equal and opposite reaction to Ripped from the Headlines.

Needs a Better Description

Examples of Could This Happen to You? include:


Live Action TV


Western Animation

  • In Family Guy, TV anchor Tom Tucker practices in front of a mirror for different ways of announcing a president's hypothetical assassination. One of his different methods is this.


Real Life

  • German TV channel Pro 7 does this on the slot before or after every single movie that is about a major nature phenomenon that usually ends with the world obliterated. More often than not, this will be done via a special episode of some kind of science-show and tell the audience how unlikely the event in real life would be. Sometimes also done with alien invasions, Roswell and ghosts.
  • Happens ALL THE TIME in real life. Be it chemicals in various things that could give your child cancer, or a new credit card scam, or what have you, this is transparent and frequent. While they sometimes have valid points, it's a very cheap tactic (forgoing responsibility to the public and focusing on profits by taking advantage of fear-mongering).
  • The "X? In my Y?" meme started from an ad that took this approach to porn.
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