If you don't want it to happen; if you've prayed out loud for it not to happen; if, in fact, there's something you Do Not Want and you've mentioned it, well, sorry buddy, but straight from your lips to the ears of the Ironic Overpower, the overriding force of discomfort, unpleasantness, and comedy in the PPCverse.
When the toast falls butter side down, that's the IO. When that slash pairing you prayed would never happen gets sent to your console, that's the IO. When that thing that you told everyone was infallible breaks spectacularly and incidentally manages to take off your leg as it does so, that's the IO.
Tempting, taunting, or in other ways attracting the attention of the IO is a Bad Idea. It listens out for phrases beginning with:
- 'At least it isn't ...'
- 'It could be worse, for example ...'
- 'Yay, I'm free of ...'
- 'There's no way X can happen ...'
- 'Well, that's the last of ...'
- 'Now that X is over, I can relax ...'
- Nothing could possibly go wrong.
These phrases are known as Famous Last Words. When you think the worst has come and gone, for Eru's sake shut up about it, or worse will soon be on its way.
One superstition holds that knocking on wood after uttering Famous Last Words, or just saying "knock on wood" in the absence of actual wood, will save the speaker from the Ironic Overpower. Maybe the knocking is meant to distract it. However, its efficacy has not been fully tested, so we wouldn't recommend counting on it.