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"You know, when you name your son 'Jeeves', you've pretty much set up his life's path for him. What is he going to become... a hitman? 'Pardon me sir, but I'm afraid I must whack you.'"


Some names, frequently taken from historical events, seem to be jinxed. No one wants to ride on a ship (or a Space Sailingship) named "Titanic" or "Hindenburg". Similarly, anything named "Icarus" is begging for a wing-clipping, and the Goliath is going down hard, probably to a smaller opponent (bonus points if said smaller opponent is named David.) Likewise, don't compare your defenses to the walls of Jericho - that'll just make 'em go splat like an ant beneath an elephant's foot (with said ant being you, and said elephant's foot being the wrath of God.) It's probably not a good idea to name your vehicle the Doom Buggy, either, especially if you plan on driving your friends around in it. And if you're assigned to name a computer, let alone a supercomputer, "Skynet" is strictly off limits; after all, what good is a computer if all it wants to do is Take Over the World?

Note that it has to be the name of something that has already gone down: The original Hindenburg was not an example of this trope (but Titanic arguably was, see the Real Life section below).

Compare Names to Run Away From Really Fast, Prophetic Names, I Don't Like the Sound of That Place and Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. Related to Analogy Backfire and of course Tempting Fate.

WARNING! There are unmarked Spoilers ahead. Beware.

Examples of What Did You Expect When You Named It? include:


  • Naming any form of flying contraption "Icarus". Who in his right mind calls something after the most famous story of a man killing himself by recklessly misusing a flying device that performs safely when used as intended? We have a trope for this.
    • On the other hand, this is probably a good reminder that reckless misuse is bad.
  • There seems to be a minor trend in entertainment (particularly sci-fi) where any episode or chapter that is called or refers to "The Great Leap Forward" will involve a major, disasterous incident.


Comic Books

  • Ozymandias in Watchmen. Apparently he wanted to reclaim the name from the elegant ignominy to which Shelley's poem had consigned it.
  • Icarus of the X-Men, a mutant born with wings. Reverend Stryker cuts his wings off, tricks him into helping kill a busload of his former friends and then murders him.

Fan Works

  • Averted in Kyon: Big Damn Hero: Kyon jokes about his new PDA (made with alien technology) conquering the world, comparing it to SkyNet—which is what he then ends up calling it. And so far, it's been anything but rebellious and threatening.


  • People seem to find humor in Disaster Movie bombing at the box office.
  • The ship in Sunshine is flying to the Sun with the name Icarus Two. As if the name isn't Tempting Fate enough, they still stuck with it after losing Icarus One.
  • To the humans in Avatar - you named the new moon Pandora? Really? I don't care if it means "All-Gifted," there's a reason you don't try to open things named after or belonging to Pandora!
    • This is probably more a case of the creator invoking Meaningful Name, which seems to be a theme of the movie. For crying out loud, they're going after a precious mineral literally called Unobtanium!
  • The Asylum movie Titanic 2 features a shipping magnate not only building a second Titanic but also setting its maiden voyage in the 100th anniversary of the original disaster and having it traverse the exact same route of the original (though in the opposite direction). Somehow, things go even worse than in the original voyage: the ship is slammed by an iceberg carried by a tsunami and later is hit by a second "mega tsunami". It ends with the female lead as the sole survivor. And this is played 100% straight.
  • In Cherrybomb, the health centre where Malachy works is called "Titanic Leisureplex". And people are surprised when bad things start happening there.
  • In the James Bond film Die Another Day, the villain's superweapon is named "Icarus". At the end of the movie, the villain loses control of the weapon and accidentally burns the wings off his own plane, causing a spectacular crash.
    • In his defense, the superweapon was intended to burn things through sunlight.[1]
  • In Mimic, genetic engineers attempt to exterminate cockroaches with their own genetically altered cockroach. They call it the Judas Breed. Three guesses what the new species prefers as prey.
  • In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the main primate is named Caesar. (the original could fit too, even if the name was given to him by the circus owner who adopted him—parents named him "Milo".)
    • Also, if you pay attention in to the TV in the background during one scene, you'll see news coverage of a NASA launch which is called Icarus (implied to be the ship that crash lands in the beginning of the original Planet of the Apes). Sure enough, just a few scenes later, a newspaper headline can be seen proclaiming that the ship has mysteriously vanished, and we all know what happened to it after that.
  • The original colonists' ship in Forbidden Planet is called the Bellerophon. In Classical Mythology, Bellerophon was a great hero, yes, and he did tame the Pegasus. However, he also fell victim to hubris, and was punished by being sent crashing down to Earth from his mount, where he died a blinded cripple. Guess what happened to the ship?
  • Hey, we've got a band! We've got one really great song called That Thing You Do. What should we call ourselves? The Wonders? Perfect!
  • The Classic Doctor Dolittle movie - the one with Rex Harrison - features this exchange:

Matt: I told you Flounder was no name for a boat!
Dolittle: Nonsense. Flounders have survived for millions of years.
Matt: Yes, under the water!



  • The Last Colony by John Scalzi centers around the newly-colonized planet of Roanoke. The protagonist essentially facepalms when it hits him.
  • The Starship Titanic is mentioned in The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, along with the GSS Suicidal Insanity.
    • The latter is part of a crescendo sequence, GSS Daring, GSS Audacity, and GSS Suicidal Insanity. Daring and Audacity are actual names of Royal Navy ships.
    • Starship Titanic later got its own game and novelisation. Its maiden voyage went as hilariously badly as one would expect given the name and the author.
  • A Wing Commander novel has a character refuse to name a ship the Alamo because while the Battle of the Alamo is an inspirational bit history and the defenders were heroes... they lost.
  • Lampshaded in one of the Honor Harrington books. The Havenite battle plan is code named Icarus, and one of the commanding officers muses that if he were in charge, he wouldn't have named the plan after the one whose wings fell apart. Strangely, it's one of Haven's most successful operations.
    • It's possible that the "Icarus" in "Operation Icarus" actually referred to the Manticorans.
    • Also: The Solarian League named a series of ships Joseph Buckley. They should've known.
      • Their probably did — given that the scientist himself was well known in-universe for his reckless disregard of common sense.
  • In the Navigator Pirks series, there is a story about a spaceship called "Goliath", which was sent to investigate Saturn rings. Goliath was killed by a small rock. Saturn's rings are made of small rocks. Guess how well that goes.
  • There's a short story which replays the Charge of the Light Brigade with robots on another planet. The general whose orders accidentally sent the robots attacking the wrong enemy positions was observing from a starship Balaklava, named for the battle in which the original charge took place.
  • There's Soviet book about Captain Vrungel (mix of Wrangel and vrun "liar"). He named his boat Pobeda "Victory", because "it will sail according to how you name it. You can name your boat "Trough" or "Sieve", but don't expect it to not to sink at its first sailing". Ironically, at Pobedas first sailing, two letters fell out, and the ship became called Beda "Trouble" (The pun is "Courage" and "Rage" in the English translation). The four letters remaining are the only part of the ship to complete the journey.
    • There's a Shout-Out to this in Alpha Protocol, where a mobster's yacht in Moscow is named the same thing, with the "Po" missing; by the morning after Mike visits, it's a ghost ship with no signs of a struggle.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Han confronts an incredibly naive Imperial weapons designer about the projects she's worked on. Projects with names like Death Star, World Devastator, and Sun Crusher. Did she really think that these would be projects with peaceful applications?
  • The good airship Hubris in More Information Than You Require.
  • Discussed in Diane Duane's Star Trek novel My Enemy My Ally. The Rihannsu (Romulan) belief system places great meaning on names, and it is considered unlucky to name a ship after a virtue, as it is all too likely to take too much of the spirit of that virtue. Kirk then muses on the unlucky histories of ships named Intrepid, and the Rihannsu renegade he's speaking with explains "Name a ship after the spirit of fearlessness, and it forgets to fear."
  • Harry Potter gives us Professor Remus Lupin who is a werewolf — "Remus" being a mythical child raised by wolves (brother to Romulus, founder of Rome), and "Lupin" as described above. In addition, out of the two Roman brothers, guess which one died (killed by his twin, even) when you have to be alive to found a city. He appears aware of this as he uses "Romulus" as a pseudonym for a radio broadcast late in the series. J. K. Rowling seems very fond of meaningful names.
    • There's also a minor werewolf character named Fenrir Greyback. Fenrir is the wolf-shaped son of Loki in Norse mythology, and Greyback is obvious.
  • In a short story Sucker Bait, humanity tries to colonise a lush, though somewhat cold (but rich in biosphere) planet called Troas. The first colonisation expedition died after three years on the planet - and now they prepare to send the next... (although, to be fair, they did file away the records about the first attempt)
  • In the Troy Rising series, the alien Rangora are rather baffled by the fact that Earth's first two Battlestations are named after famous, historical DEFEATS - the Troy and the Thermopylae. But ultimately, the trope is subverted - both battlestations wind up facing scenarios similar to their historical counterparts, but weather them. In the third book, Tyler Vernon admits that he named the first two stations after those historic defeats because back then, he didn't know if they'd WORK - his main hope was that, even in defeat, they'd be memorable and serve as an inspirational example to future resistance, similar to how the fall of Troy caused the birth of the Roman Empire, and the Battle of Thermopylae catalyzed Greece into an ultimately successful union to oppose the Persian invaders.
    • People often tend to forget that on a strategic level Thermopylae was a victory (or at least the successful damage control): the whole point of the 300 was delaying action, when it became obvious that the retaining of the pass is impossible, and letting the main force to retreat. Leonidas, the rear guard commander, held the Persians for the whole three days, giving Themistocles, who commanded the whole war (and the navy), enough time to retreat and reorganize — directly leading to his later victories at Salamis and Plataea.
  • German novel Azrael has the eponymous experimental drug named after the angel of death. Of course the book is of the horror genre.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series the ships named Invicible naturally have very short lives.

Live Action TV

  • The Doctor Who episode "Voyage of The Damned" features a space faring vessel called Titanic that resembles the famed ship. Used for tourist visits to a primitive planet (namely Earth), it was named after a "famous ocean-going Earth vessel." The Doctor comments on how poor a name that is, and isn't too surprised when the ship starts to blow up and "sink." It was an Invoked Trope. The ship was supposed to crash into the planet and go nuclear, as a sort of genocidal insurance fraud...
  • One episode of Babylon 5 featured some barely-audible background dialogue along the lines of "Transport Marie Celeste now docking." When fans pointed out online that no one would be crazy enough to name a starship after a famous ocean-going ship whose crew vanished mysteriously, creator J. Michael Straczynski pointed out that Australians might indeed be just that crazy.
    • Babylon 5 also had a ship named the "Icarus". It was an archaeological explorer's vessel, and it was destroyed with all hands lost when it went to Z'ha'dum, the home of the Shadows, and woke them up. And technically, there were survivors, but most were turned into living computer cores. Only Morden remained whole, but he was a bastard to begin with.
    • Lets not forget the Babylon 5 station itself. That "5" is there because there were four other Babylon stations before it, all either destroyed or, in one case, vanished. The actual ancient city of Babylon didn't fare too well either...
  • The first episode of Stargate Universe features the Icarus Project. Let's just say there's been a little SNAFU.
    • An earlier incidence was lampshaded on Stargate SG-1 when O'Neill complained about the proposed name for the first X-303, Prometheus saying "Its a Greek tragedy, who wants that?" That didn't stop them from choosing the name anyway, though, because "guy who stole fire from the Gods" was too appropriate to pass up when fighting god-wannabees (and using technology stolen from them); the creators lampshaded it further by naming the episode in which it was eventually destroyed after the eagle who tormented mythological Prometheus ("Ethon").
      • Of course, the main reason he didn't want it called Icarus was because he wanted to call it the Enterprise.
      • McKay also got shut down for that by Sheppard. They went with Orion instead. None of the other named ships appear to match their name origins. Although, that was mainly because the ship's original Ancient name, Hippofaralkus, was universally considered to be kind of lame.
  • In Noob, the titular MMORPG guild is hinted to have gotten its resident n00b after being named. Coincidence?
  • In one episode of Seinfeld, Jerry joked that if you name your kid Jeeves, you are guaranteeing that he'll be a butler when he grows up.


  • There's a musician who calls himself Mighty Casey. You've heard of him, right? ...oh.

Newspaper Comics

  • There was a Hagar the Horrible strip that featured Hagar looking at a ship Unsinkable II and wondering "What happened to the first one?"
  • One FoxTrot strip had Jason submitting an idea to James Cameron for Titantic II about a ship named 'Titanic II', complete with a "They thought it couldn't go wrong again..." narration.

Tabletop Games


  • In the Musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Daisy is about to board a plane, but has a premonition that it will crash. It turns out that the plane had the same name as a boat she had boarded in her previous life that sank.

Video Games

  • The Douglas Adams computer game Starship Titanic.
  • While the flying city of BioShock Infinite is named Columbia, its government codename was..."Project Icarus". This being Bioshock, things go badly there.
    • Not to mention the original BioShock. It may not be fitting to name a projected utopian city "Rapture"
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II, the ship the Jedi Exile returned to the Republic on (and subsequently gets overrun by Sith assassins) is named the Harbinger.
  • In Borderlands, humans are looking for fame and treasures in a legendary vault on a planet named Pandora. Never mind that even before hearing this name most people wouldn't want to spend five minutes on it.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind there is an item found early in the game called Scroll of Icarian Flight. It gives you 1000 extra jump skill, which both allows you to jump very high and absorbs damage from long falls. The problem? This skill boost only lasts 7 seconds. You won't be able to reach the ground before the scroll wears off.
    • To give you more of a get the scroll off the dead body of a mage, when he lands in front of you from out of nowhere.
  • Fallout: New Vegas brings us Camp Forlorn Hope—a front-line NCR military outpost on the edge of being overrun by the Legion. About the only way the camp name could be even more conducive to the loss of battles and morale is if it was 'Camp Certain Death.'
    • Actually, it's even worse. "Forlorn Hope" is a military term coming from the Dutch "Verloren Hoop", "lost heap", referring to the first wave sent into attack who are pretty much doomed to die. Basically, it's 'Camp We Have Reserves'.
    • In fact it apparently used to be called Camp Hope. It got the name after things went to hell.
    • There is an actual Forlorn Hope Spring in Nevada, and the camp does indeed have a spring running through it. They probably could have picked a nicer name for the spring, though.
  • In Solatorobo, the ship Red infiltrates in the Prologue is named the Hindenburg. Of course, by the end of the Prologue, it's lost to a giant monster that suddenly appears in front of it.
  • When Hawke is tasked to find out what happened to the workers at a mine near Kirkwall in Dragon Age 2, s/he mentions to its owner that his first mistake was naming his mine "The Bone Pit." Subverted in that the owner, Hubert, didn't actually name the mine; the locals did, largely due to the area's grisly history.
  • Kid Icarus tried to skirt the trope by having the protagonist actually named Pit. Whether or not it worked well depends on if you want to see it as taking three games or twenty-five years before his wings got burned off.

Web Comics

  • Parodied in Schlock Mercenary, during a conversation between an AI controlled, damaged semi-kamikaze ship and the central computer.

The rogue: Any last words?
Ship: Make sure you don't skimp on fire extinguishing foam when you build Predictably Damaged VI. Oh and.. [Explodes]
Narrator: Humans would pick a new name after five losses. The rogue appreciates humorous irony too much for that.


Sonic: Wait a second here, this guy's name is Vile?
Mega Man X: Yeah!
Sonic: When they named him, were they trying to make a Maverick?


Web Original


Nostalgia Critic: So this is Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. You know, when you name your kids that, aren't you just begging for them to turn out like this?


Nostalgia Critic: (on the movie's villain) McNasty? Really? That's his name? You know, you're sort of leaning his future towards evil when you call somebody McNasty. I can't really see a daycare called "McNasty's" (He shows a picture of a McNasty's daycare center with a sign that says "Only 5 days since our last disappeared child"


Nostalgia Critic: So back in the ‘90s when we still had an economy, a young boy is born to a millionaire named Richard Rich. The boy’s name? Richie Rich. You know, you ever wonder if either the father or son would have a different life if their parents named them Poor E. Broke?
Chester A. Bum:(excitedly) Hey! That's my legally born name!


Western Animation

  • Futurama had an entire Titanic pastiche. It took place on a space cruise-liner named "Titanic". The spaceship resembled the original Titanic with added sci-fi bits tacked on. Naturally enough, by the end of the episode, it's sucked into a black hole. They even christened the ship with the head jar of Leonardo DiCaprio and he didn't warn them.
    • Amusingly, nobody sees anything wrong with the name; after 1,000 years, it's not common knowledge. But when it comes to 20th Century born Fry's opinion, he's too much of a dumbass to know any better.
    • Of course none other than Captain Zapp Brannigan is repeatedly Tempting Fate.

Kif Kroker: But that leads us straight through a comet field!
Zapp Brannigan: Ah, yes. Comets, the icebergs of the sky.

    • There was also the Land Titanic, the world's largest land vehicle. It sank on 7th Avenue after hitting a mailbox. This took place before the spaceship Titanic, so surely the ones who made the spaceship should have still had suspicions about the name.
    • Mixed with Gone Horribly Right there was "Project Satan", an attempt to create the most evil car in the world. What went wrong? Well, the car was pure evil.
  • An episode of DuckTales (1987) went for the Double Dog-Dare with an airship named the Hindentanic.
  • In one episode of Family Guy, Peter jumps up shouting "Quick, to the Petercopter!, and immediately crashes a helicopter with his face on the front lawn of his neighbor Joe. A few scenes later, the situation repeats itself with Peter shouting "Quick, to the Hindenpeter!" and all we get to see is a zeppelin with Peter's face passing by through the window with exactly the results you would expect.

"Joe, I am sooo sorry!"


Real Life

  • After the success of the movie Titanic, someone tried to build a replica of the famous ship to cater to all the movie fans who wanted to have a romantic ocean cruise on a ship like that. They couldn't find enough investors willing to tempt fate that boldly.
    • Then there's the "original" Titanic. What are the original Titans most famous for? For being roundly defeated and sealed into Tartarus once Zeus and company came along, and if they weren't imprisoned they got lousy fates like holding up the sky for all eternity, or being chained to a rock with an eagle snacking on 'em for all eternity... or being married to Pandora.
    • The Titanic sort of is an example in another way. In 1898, a merchant seaman wrote a story called "The Wreck of the Titan", about a giant cruiseliner called the Titan which is meant to be unsinkable, whose passengers include lots of famous and rich people, and on one of whose voyages in its first year of service—yes, across the Atlantic—it hits an iceberg in the middle of the night in April and sinks. And no, there weren't enough lifeboats for the characters in his story either.
    • The Titanic was the second of three ships in the Olympic Class, all of which seem to be jinxed:
      • The first ship, the Olympic, collided with the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hawke eight months before the Titanic sank.
      • A few weeks after the Titanic sank, crewmen aboard the Olympic tested the collapsable lifeboats on the ship and found that they were all defective. The White Star Line refused to fix the problem, so 54 crewmen mutinied.
      • The third ship was supposed to be named the Gigantic. However, after the sinking of the ship that (supposedly) even God Himself couldn't sink, the White Star Line reconsidered and named it the Britannic. During World War I, it did service as a hospital ship. It sank in 1916 when it hit a mine off the coast of Greece.
    • Investors crazy enough have finally been found. The replica is scheduled to launch in 2022. If it will follow the fate of the original remains to be seen.
  • Throughout history, several people appeared to think that calling a car "Phaeton" is a good idea... (For those who don't know their Greek Mythology, Phaëton was the son of the Greek god Helios. He tried to drive his father's chariot, lost control, and was shot down by Zeus.)
  • Icarus. It was a bus—not very likely to melt down, but as for the "flying too far" part, bendy bus variants sometimes got nasty skidding (when not driven carefully).
    • Contrary to what one might expect, they still manufacture them. Thankfully, they didn't tried their hands in building airplanes.
  • An-22 "Anteus". The Soviet transport plane named (in a fit of black humor?) after the giant who lost his strength when he was lifted from the ground.
    • Its NATO reporting name is just plain insulting. It's "Cock." Though at least that's something well-known for rising.
      • It doubles as a stealth insult, considering the other kind of "cock" can't exactly fly.
    • One of the scientists working on the design of this plane said the name was chosen because it really did "take its power from the land", since refueling occurs, you know, on land.
    • It can't refuel mid-air? Or on an aircraft carrier?
      • The An-22 was the world's heaviest aircraft until the arrival of the C-5galaxy and the larger An-124. An aircraft carrier large enough to handle it would be more strictly termed "an island".
  • Various world navies have named their ships after losing battles or even past ships that have been destroyed (possibly as a way to say "never forget").
    • During World War Two, it was also a means of psychological warfare—when the Japanese sank a carrier, the US would generally name a replacement after the destroyed ship to keep the Japanese guessing about US repair and refit capacity.
    • The US Navy ships USS Bunker Hill were all named after a battle the US lost.
      • Almost as bad were the Kidd class destroyers, informally nicknamed the "Dead Admiral class". All four were named for USN admirals killed in action during World War II, and three of them were killed in battles the USN lost too.
    • The UK ship HMS Ark Royal was sunk in WWII, several design flaws were found to have contributed to the loss. This hasn't prevented the UK from naming two other ships the same name since; one was an Invincible class aircraft carrier.
      • Although none of the other Ark Royals were lost in action and the very first one was the English flagship in the victorious battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. And while most of the crew got off the World War 2 Ark Royal unhurt, the previous HMS Invincible, a battlecruiser, had an even more noticeable design flaw and blew up at Jutland with the loss of nearly the entire crew (there were just six survivors).
        • The commander of the Invincible was Admiral Hood....
    • The British Royal Navy has had four ships named "Icarus", starting in 1814, and all of them continuing through their careers without serious problems. The fourth Icarus was an I-class destroyer, launched in 1936 and which participated for the duration of the Second World War, sinking four German U-Boats. It was decommissioned in 1946 and torn up for scrap in Scotland.
    • The pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was named after a German admiral killed in the South Atlantic during a battle in the first year of World War I in which the cruiser squadron he commanded was annihilated. (The flagship of the victorious British fleet: the battlecruiser HMS Invincible). It came to grief in the battle of the River Plate in the South Atlantic in the first year of World War II.
    • The Imperial German Navy and the Federal German Navy had a total of four ships called Vineta, after a mythical coastal town that famously sank beneath the waves of the Baltic Sea. Almost as ominous as naming a ship or other kind of vessel Atlantis...
    • The current flagship of the Italian Navy is the aircraft carrier Cavour, named after the first battleship sank by torpedo planes in history, and while in a harbor with waters too shallow for torpedo planes to be effective to boot (her fate inspired the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor).
  • The Soviets named a battleship which they inherited from the Russian Empire after a French revolutionary who was killed in a bathtub. It was sunk (not permanently) three months after the Germans attacked.
  • The US Navy has a slightly morbid tradition of naming submarines for ships that sank (or at least it did before it decided to name them after states, cities, and sea monsters and peanut farmers from Georgia).[2] This could be considered an attempt to turn this trope to a positive end: after all, you want a submarine to go underwater.
    • Oddly enough when a submarine is recovered after being sunk, the Navy traditionally recommissions it with a new name. The USS Squalus became the USS Sailfish after she was salvaged for example.
    • It's said that the peanut farmer's name was chosen deliberately. USS Jimmy Carter is a special operations submarine, that conducts hush-hush double-secret-squirrel missions. And that will spend (it is hoped) all its life never being spoken of...
      • Or perhaps because when Jimmy Carter served in the U.S. Navy, he was involved in Hyman Rickover's nuclear submarine program. Normally, former U.S. Presidents get an aircraft carrier named after them, but since Carter had been a submariner, he got a nuclear sub instead. YMMV.
  • There seem to be a disturbingly large number of sports teams names after the residents of Troy...
    • Although according to Roman myth, the Trojan survivors became the first Romans. The same Romans who, in Real Life, built one of the largest empires in history and, notably, conquered Greece. So it could be seen as defeat just makes them come back stronger...
  • Man names boat Titanic II; sinks before leaving harbour.
  • There's a famous image around the net of the speedboat "Temporary Insanity II". He should have known better after the first time.
  • In 2002, VW launched the Phaeton, a high price luxury car. Even though the brand is mostly known for its very small family cars Beetle and Golf, and the company also owns the Audi brand, which is actually a well known brand for large luxury cars. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing bombed because nobody who could afford one wanted to be seen in a VW. The Greek legend of Phaeton is about Phaeton bugging his father Helios to be allowed to drive the sun chariot, immediately creates a huge accident, and gets killed by Zeus with a lightning bolt to prevent the destruction of the world when he crashes the sun into it. Whoever proposed the name for the car apparently knew exactly where the whole project was heading.
  • Although the car achieved commercial success, the AMC Gremlin has got to be a Tempting Fate honorable mention.
  • The Hellenic Air Force Academy logo features Icarus.
  • The UK has a series of military satellites called Skynet of all things; however, they can be excused for starting the series and coming up with the name long before James Cameron started work on The Terminator.
  • The Tampa International Airport's parking garage has elevators named after various heroes of aviation... and Amelia Earhart.
  • Apollo 13 (and since then NASA has never launched a vehicle with "13" in the name—during the Shuttle program they changed the mission numbering system after STS-9, and then changed it back after the loss of the Challenger).
  • There's an urban legend in the British Royal Navy that says the Admiralty decided to disprove one of the Navy's most cherished superstitions, namely that Friday is an unlucky day to set sail. Not only did they christen a ship HMS Friday, but they had her keel laid on a Friday, and she was commanded by a Captain Friday. The myth continues that the ship disappeared without a trace during the shakedown cruise.
  • There's a comforter set called the Othello. Did the designers of that not know what happens in that play?! For those that don't know the climax involves Othello smothering his wife to death in their bed.
  • Following a decade of managerial complications and enormous financial loss following its "merger of equals" with Chrysler, Daimler AG decided in 2007 to sell the company to a certain Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
    • Cerberus would acquire infamy for acquiring several firearm companies in 2006-2008, then proceeding to gut all quality control (new products literally shipped with heavy rust), crashing market share. As a result of Cerberus none of the companies will ever escape the land of the dead.
  • One would expect a Delilah's Barber Shop to be jinxed, after the Traumatic Haircut she gave to Samson in The Bible, much like one couldn't open a Ford Theatre without invoking the ghost of Abe Lincoln... but businesses with this name (or a variant) exist.


  1. The specific reckless usage that Icarus did was, most commonly, flying too close to the sun and having the warmth melt his wings
  2. That covers all submarines currently in commission.
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