And then ... suddenly ... tragedy.
Gil Gerard is generally credited with the origin of this macro, on the classic television docudrama Code IV, although any of its clones would have sufficed: Americas Most Wanted, Unsolved Mysteries, or California Highway Patrol.
Mr. Johnson was kayaking near the nuclear power plant when suddenly tragedy.
The event in question should be mundane enough so that tragedy is not actually possible. Of course, some tragedy is always possible; you should always be prepared for the worst as a Harbinger of Doom.
Neal began folding the third napkin when, suddenly tragedy.
– Neal Manson (August 1, 1993)
I was saying this way back around 1984, around the time when Gil Gerard
was still in space humping Erin Grey, or whatever went on up there.