History Main / MagicFeather

23rd Jul '16 2:23:39 AM AnotherDuck
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Placebos can cause people to be less troubled by the subjective symptoms of an ailment, even though they do nothing to treat the actual cause of the symptoms (unless the cause is also psychosomatic, in which case they can cure it perfectly). Thus they can help treat some mental illnesses, such as depression (indeed, for mild to moderate depression, placebos are as effective as actual antidepressants - meaning that actual antidepressants for such people effectively ARE placebos), as well as reduce the perception of pain, but they can't cure cancer or kill pathogens.
** All medical studies require the use of placebos as a point of comparison, to determine whether or not the treatment in question has a benefit beyond the placebo effect. The most extreme version of this is sham surgery, where a surgery is performed without the actual medically necessary part of it occurring, to ensure that a surgical treatment is actually effective; several procedures have failed this test.
** Interestingly, placebos still have a minor effect even if the patient knows that they got a fake treatment, though they are at their most efficacious if they do not, in most cases.
** Doctors frequently prescribe placebos, and patients frequently ask for them, desiring some sort of treatment for whatever ails them. The most common form of prescribed placebo is antibiotics prescribed for viral infections, which is extremely bad, as it can lead to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. [[WhatAnIdiot Many patients don't care]], simply wanting some sort of magical pill to treat them.
*** Sometimes doctors will actually prescribe placebos, such as [[SdrawkcabName Obecalp]] and Cebocalp, which are just sugar pills. This sometimes enrages patients who later discover they've been given placebos, even though frequently they're prescribed as a means of putting off someone who wants to be given ''something''.
* Almost everything which isn't an essential nutrient which is marketed as a dietary supplement does nothing - if they actually DID do something, they'd be regulated by the FDA as a drug. Even vitamins and various minerals are frequently used as such by people who believe that taking large amounts of vitamins will make them healthier.
* Some people drink distilled water, believing that the extra pure water is better for them. Ironically, extremely pure water is actually somewhat dangerous to drink, because it is so lacking in ions it can draw them out of your body into your digestive tract.
* Many cures for stage fright or other performance-related issues, as well as artistic remedies: things that get the creative juices flowing.
* It's not uncommon for parents to provide a Magic Feather to their children to overcome their apprehension or self doubt about a particular activity.
* There are loads of hiccup cures of the "drink from the wrong side of the cup", "hold your breath and take 7 sips of water" variety that are all just tricks to make you control your breathing.
* There was a psychology experiment where people were given three coloured buttons and asked to figure out what pattern made a light come on. In fact the 'pattern' was just press the blue button then press it again five seconds later (doesn't matter what you do in between). People found some very complicated ways of filling those five seconds.
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22nd Jul '16 9:20:40 PM eroock
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Added DiffLines:

* Satan provides this aesop in [[http://zeropercentdiscountcomic.tumblr.com/post/70942350753 this]] strip from ''Webcomic/ZeroPercentDiscount''.
17th Jul '16 8:07:20 PM szielins
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* [[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/000293.html One strip]] from ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' has it all go wrong.

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* [[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/000293.html One strip]] com/index.php?comic=293 Strip 293]] from ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' has it all go wrong.
7th Jul '16 8:24:10 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* Played straight in the novel ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince}}'', wherein Harry tricks Ron Weasley into thinking that he (Harry) has just poured some "Felix Felicis" luck potion into Ron's drink to improve his Quidditch game (which had been suffering due to an extreme case of nerves). Hermione saw Harry do it, and warned Ron not to drink it, as it would be cheating to use a potion in a Quiddich game. Ron drinks it anyway, and his game improves hugely. Then, when Hermione confronts Harry again afterward (once Griffindor has won with over 200 points), Harry shows both of them that he hadn't poured a drop--in fact, the bottle was still sealed. Ron mocks Hermione, who tries to compliment Ron/backpedal, but fails. (Harry had ''not'' foreseen his play backfiring; still, Ron's confidence improves for the rest of the book.)
** Unlike most examples of this trope, the ''real'' potion actually ''works'', as Harry found out when he [[spoiler:used it to convince Slughorn into giving him and Dumbledore a memory that contains information vital to defeating Voldemort (it also had the bonus effect of starting a rift between Ginny and Dean, as well as between Ron and Lavender, paving the way for Harry and Hermmione, respectively, to get back wtih them)]]. The potion also demonstrates WindsOfDestinyChange abilities later on, when several of Harry's friends use it to avoid getting hurt while fighting [[spoiler:the Death Eaters invading Hogwarts]].
** This is also seen in ''Literature/TheTalesOfBeedleTheBard'' during the story "The Fountain of Fair Fortune". [[spoiler:In the end, it turns out that the fountain is just an ordinary fountain, but the three witches and the {{Muggle}} knight who traveled to reach it have all had their lives changed for the better.]]

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* Played straight in the novel ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince}}'', wherein Harry tricks Ron Weasley into thinking that he (Harry) has just poured some "Felix Felicis" luck potion into Ron's drink to improve his Quidditch game (which had been suffering due to an extreme case of nerves). Hermione saw Harry do it, and warned Ron not to drink it, as it would be cheating to use a potion in a Quiddich game. Ron drinks it anyway, and his game improves hugely. Then, when Hermione confronts Harry again afterward (once Griffindor has won with over 200 points), Harry shows both of them that he hadn't poured a drop--in fact, the bottle was still sealed. Ron mocks Hermione, who tries to compliment Ron/backpedal, but fails. (Harry had ''not'' foreseen his play backfiring; still, Ron's confidence improves for the rest of the book.)\n** Unlike most examples of this trope, the ''real'' potion actually ''works'', as Harry found out when he [[spoiler:used it to convince Slughorn into giving him and Dumbledore a memory that contains information vital to defeating Voldemort (it also had the bonus effect of starting a rift between Ginny and Dean, as well as between Ron and Lavender, paving the way for Harry and Hermmione, respectively, to get back wtih them)]]. The potion also demonstrates WindsOfDestinyChange abilities later on, when several of Harry's friends use it to avoid getting hurt while fighting [[spoiler:the Death Eaters invading Hogwarts]].\n**
*
This is also seen in ''Literature/TheTalesOfBeedleTheBard'' during the story "The Fountain of Fair Fortune". [[spoiler:In the end, it turns out that the fountain is just an ordinary fountain, but the three witches and the {{Muggle}} knight who traveled to reach it have all had their lives changed for the better.]]
4th Jul '16 6:34:23 AM Morgenthaler
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* The TV show, ''SmartGuy'', had TJ giving his idiot friend, Mo, sugar pills to make him smarter. When he found out that it was a placebo, Mo got his own sugar pills to continue replicating the effect.

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* The TV show, ''SmartGuy'', ''Series/SmartGuy'', had TJ giving his idiot friend, Mo, sugar pills to make him smarter. When he found out that it was a placebo, Mo got his own sugar pills to continue replicating the effect.



* Parodied hilariously in the live action version of ''TheTick'', when the The Tick walks up to a stranger, hands him a hub cap and tells him "Remember, it was not a magic hub cap. The magic was within you all along."
* In one episode of ''MyWifeAndKids'', Michael pulls this on his son Junior, using grandson Junior Jr. as the "magic baby" and saying that holding him will make Junior smarter. Eventually, when Junior drifts into annoying territory, Mike lets him in on the truth, saying that his own father pulled the "magic baby" trick on him, using Junior.
* ''FlightOfTheConchords'' did this with hair gel which supposedly made the boys look cool. When the hair gel is all used up, they can't bear to even leave the house, and Murray, their manager, tells them that the gel didn't make them cool, it just gave them the confidence to show everyone how cool they really were. Inspired by his words, they go to perform their gig sans gel, only for the entire crowd to walk away once they start playing. Murray concedes that yes, it really was the hair gel that made them cool.

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* Parodied hilariously in the live action version of ''TheTick'', ''Series/TheTick'', when the The Tick walks up to a stranger, hands him a hub cap and tells him "Remember, it was not a magic hub cap. The magic was within you all along."
* In one episode of ''MyWifeAndKids'', ''Series/MyWifeAndKids'', Michael pulls this on his son Junior, using grandson Junior Jr. as the "magic baby" and saying that holding him will make Junior smarter. Eventually, when Junior drifts into annoying territory, Mike lets him in on the truth, saying that his own father pulled the "magic baby" trick on him, using Junior.
* ''FlightOfTheConchords'' ''Series/FlightOfTheConchords'' did this with hair gel which supposedly made the boys look cool. When the hair gel is all used up, they can't bear to even leave the house, and Murray, their manager, tells them that the gel didn't make them cool, it just gave them the confidence to show everyone how cool they really were. Inspired by his words, they go to perform their gig sans gel, only for the entire crowd to walk away once they start playing. Murray concedes that yes, it really was the hair gel that made them cool.



* ''PunkyBrewster'' once got a "magic coin" from Henry.

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* ''PunkyBrewster'' ''Series/PunkyBrewster'' once got a "magic coin" from Henry.
2nd Jul '16 5:56:42 PM lavendermintrose
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* Subverted in ''Theatre/LElisirDAmore'' - when the DoggedNiceGuy gets the girl, ''and'' inherits his uncle's money, the SnakeOilSalesman tells the townspeople, "My LovePotion not only does that, it can make a poor man rich!"

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* Subverted The titular LovePotion in ''Theatre/LElisirDAmore'' - but when the DoggedNiceGuy gets the girl, ''and'' inherits his uncle's money, the SnakeOilSalesman tells subverts the reveal aspect by telling the townspeople, "My LovePotion not only does that, it can make a poor man rich!"
2nd Jul '16 5:18:12 PM lavendermintrose
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[[folder: Theatre]]
* Subverted in ''Theatre/LElisirDAmore'' - when the DoggedNiceGuy gets the girl, ''and'' inherits his uncle's money, the SnakeOilSalesman tells the townspeople, "My LovePotion not only does that, it can make a poor man rich!"
[[/folder]]

27th Jun '16 2:37:16 AM Morgenthaler
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* In [[IncarnationsOfImmortality On A Pale Horse]], while fighting {{Satan}}, [[TheGrimReaper Death]] realizes that he doesn't actually need his scythe and cloak to use his powers, reasoning that if that had been true, Satan would have attacked him earlier while he was off duty.
* Subverted in ''{{Mistborn}}'', where the MagicFeather given to Yeden's army by Kelsier (a promise that his mistborn abilities could be channeled into others) [[spoiler: leads Yeden to send out his still unprepared army prematurely out on a raid because of overconfidence, killing them all]]. Kelsier gets a serious WhatTheHellHero by his entire crew for his efforts.

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* In [[IncarnationsOfImmortality [[Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality On A Pale Horse]], while fighting {{Satan}}, [[TheGrimReaper Death]] realizes that he doesn't actually need his scythe and cloak to use his powers, reasoning that if that had been true, Satan would have attacked him earlier while he was off duty.
* Subverted in ''{{Mistborn}}'', ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', where the MagicFeather given to Yeden's army by Kelsier (a promise that his mistborn abilities could be channeled into others) [[spoiler: leads Yeden to send out his still unprepared army prematurely out on a raid because of overconfidence, killing them all]]. Kelsier gets a serious WhatTheHellHero by his entire crew for his efforts.
18th May '16 3:09:54 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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* Inverted in ''NewsRadio'', which showed Matthew being given a homemade "Smart Drink" by Joe and becoming super intelligent. Smatthew (for "Smart Matthew") later begins to lose his intelligence, but upon being urged to consume more of Joe's smart drink, concluded the drink was a placebo and only worked because stupid Matthew was so dumb he believed it would. He loses his newfound intelligence permanently.

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* Inverted in ''NewsRadio'', ''Series/NewsRadio'', which showed Matthew being given a homemade "Smart Drink" by Joe and becoming super intelligent. Smatthew (for "Smart Matthew") later begins to lose his intelligence, but upon being urged to consume more of Joe's smart drink, concluded the drink was a placebo and only worked because stupid Matthew was so dumb he believed it would. He loses his newfound intelligence permanently.
12th Apr '16 9:56:51 AM Jice_Wumpkin
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* A variant occurs in the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Look Who's Purging Now", when the normally meek Morty goes on a bloodthirsty warpath during the Purge. At the end of the episode, Morty is worried that he has several demons to work out within himself, only to be told by Rick that a candy bar he had eaten earlier contained Purgenol, which increases aggression. Cue the shot showing [[spoiler:that the candy bar is "Now Purgenol-Free".]]

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* A variant occurs Inverted in the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Look Who's Purging Now", when the normally meek Morty goes on a bloodthirsty warpath during the Purge. At the end of the episode, Morty is worried that he has several demons to work out within himself, only to be told by Rick that a candy bar he had eaten earlier contained Purgenol, which increases aggression. Cue the shot showing [[spoiler:that the candy bar is "Now Purgenol-Free".]]
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