History Main / MockGuffin

12th Mar '16 6:46:44 PM drac0blade
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* In the mid '80s, a secret vault was found in a building once owned by Al Capone. Geraldo Rivera hosted a prime time special devoted to opening the vault and finding what treasures it contained. Anything could be in there. Money! Bodies! Pictures of J. Edgar Hoover in compromising situations. Anything at all. Unfortunately, "anything" turned out to be "nothing". On live TV. After two hours of build up. Awk-ward!
** It wasn't actually a vault, though there was some justification for thinking it could have been (Capone was known to have had a rather extensive network of secret tunnels). It also didn't literally contain "nothing" (which would have made for a very short show), since behind the wall were tons of fill dirt. From the sponsors' perspective this wasn't an ''unmitigated'' disaster, since the possibility that something ''might'' be discovered behind/underneath the dirt kept people watching up to the end (when the crew discovered another concrete wall and knocked it open in the last minute, to reveal ... more dirt). It didn't do Rivera's career any favors, though.
*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise." [[http://www.geraldo.com/page/al-capone-s-vault You can watch the entirety of the special on Geraldo's website.]]
** Homer Simpson even started to write a song about it before he came up with the B-Sharps' hit single ''Baby On Board'':
-->''There was nothing in Al Capone's vault,''
-->''But it wasn't Geraldo's fault!''
** Similarly, the opening of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Southcott#Legacy Joanna Southcote's box]].

to:

* In the mid '80s, a secret vault was found in a building once owned by Al Capone. Geraldo Rivera hosted a prime time special devoted to opening the vault and finding what treasures it contained. Anything could be in there. Money! Bodies! Pictures of J. Edgar Hoover in compromising situations. Anything at all. Unfortunately, "anything" turned out to be "nothing". On live TV. After two hours of build up. Awk-ward!
** It wasn't actually a vault, though there was some justification for thinking it could have been (Capone was known to have had a rather extensive network of secret tunnels). It also didn't literally contain "nothing" (which would have made for a very short show), since behind the wall were tons of fill dirt. From the sponsors' perspective this wasn't an ''unmitigated'' disaster, since the possibility that something ''might'' be discovered behind/underneath the dirt kept people watching up to the end (when the crew discovered another concrete wall and knocked it open in the last minute, to reveal ... more dirt). It didn't do Rivera's career any favors, though.
*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise." [[http://www.geraldo.com/page/al-capone-s-vault You can watch the entirety of the special on Geraldo's website.]]
** Homer Simpson even started to write a song about it before he came up with the B-Sharps' hit single ''Baby On Board'':
-->''There was nothing in Al Capone's vault,''
-->''But it wasn't Geraldo's fault!''
** Similarly, the
The opening of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Southcott#Legacy Joanna Southcote's box]].
10th Mar '16 5:14:47 AM DannWoolf
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*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise."[[http://www.geraldo.com/page/al-capone-s-vault You can watch the entirety of the special on Geraldo's website.]]

to:

*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise."[[http://www." [[http://www.geraldo.com/page/al-capone-s-vault You can watch the entirety of the special on Geraldo's website.]]
19th Feb '16 11:29:24 AM MisterBeeg
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*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise."

to:

*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise.""[[http://www.geraldo.com/page/al-capone-s-vault You can watch the entirety of the special on Geraldo's website.]]
19th Feb '16 11:24:13 AM MisterBeeg
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Added DiffLines:

*** Actually, even with the letdown, the special may have ''helped'' Rivera's career in the long run. [[WordOfGod As he wrote in his autobiography]]: "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise."
24th Jan '16 4:54:26 PM WarriorsGate
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Literature/FoucaultsPendulum'': The mysterious list Col. Ardenti leaves the protagonists. Either it's [[spoiler: the Knights Templars' key to harnessing the Tulluric currents that can reshape the face of the world, or a shopping list.]] Trying to get a definitive answer out of this book is [[UnreliableNarrator rather]] [[SanitySlippage missing]] [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness the point]].
26th Nov '15 3:07:37 PM VoxAquila
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* There is a very old form of scam (so old it's incredible people continue to fall for it today) where an apparently mentally challenged man approaches a victim in the street offering her (as it is often an old woman) the chance to buy some "stamps" in an envelope or suitcase. The "stamps" are bills of the highest denomination, so the full content can easily sum thousands or even millions, but the supposed retard, apparently unaware of the value of bills, asks only for some hundreds in coins. The victim is then approached by another "smart" guy that offers her to buy the "stamps" together and divide them between themselves. The victim agrees, and the smart guy always gets the upper half of the money while she gets the other which, as she realizes when arriving home, it's just sheets of newspaper.

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* There is a very old form of scam (so old it's incredible people continue to fall for it today) where an apparently mentally challenged man approaches a victim in the street offering her (as it is often an old woman) the chance to buy some "stamps" in an envelope or suitcase. The "stamps" are bills of the highest denomination, so the full content can easily sum thousands or even millions, but the supposed retard, scammer, apparently unaware of the value of bills, asks only for some hundreds in coins. The victim is then approached by another "smart" guy that offers her to buy the "stamps" together and divide them between themselves. The victim agrees, and the smart guy always gets the upper half of the money while she gets the other which, as she realizes when arriving home, it's just sheets of newspaper.
14th Nov '15 2:36:28 PM nombretomado
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* The 'Film/HolyGrail' in the RobinWilliams film ''Film/TheFisherKing'' is [[MagicalRealism most likely]] nothing, but his insanity has convinced him it's the true grail.

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* The 'Film/HolyGrail' in the RobinWilliams Creator/RobinWilliams film ''Film/TheFisherKing'' is [[MagicalRealism most likely]] nothing, but his insanity has convinced him it's the true grail.
1st Nov '15 7:08:37 PM Andyroid
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Added DiffLines:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' episode "The Battle Royale", thanks to GossipEvolution and Wander's ill-planned attempt at [[ShipperOnDeck getting Lord Hater and Lord Dominator to hook up]], various villains and their armies of mooks have a massive fight over what they think is a Ring of Invincibility but is really just a blorpberry-flavored candy ring.
25th Aug '15 1:56:38 AM Sammettik
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* Similar to the "Al Capone's Vault" case (described below), ''Series/KenanAndKel'' once found a map to a secret safe (albeit Kel insisted it read "sofa"). Following the map's instructions, they eventually found and opened the safe, and found [[spoiler: a sofa. Kenan was understandbly disappointed but Kel actually liked the sofa (and the fact he was right).]]

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* Similar to the "Al Capone's Vault" case (described below), ''Series/KenanAndKel'' once found a map to a secret safe (albeit Kel insisted it read "sofa"). Following the map's instructions, they eventually found and opened the safe, and found [[spoiler: a sofa. Kenan was understandbly understandably disappointed but Kel actually liked the sofa (and the fact he was right).]]



* A few episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' have involved a MockGuffin at one point or another.
13th Jul '15 11:40:41 AM nombretomado
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* The ([[Administrivia/RenamedTropes former]]) TropeNamer is the Golden Helmet of Mambrino (actually a barber's basin) from ''Literature/DonQuixote''. (It even gets a song dedicated to it in ''ManOfLaMancha''.)

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* The ([[Administrivia/RenamedTropes former]]) TropeNamer is the Golden Helmet of Mambrino (actually a barber's basin) from ''Literature/DonQuixote''. (It even gets a song dedicated to it in ''ManOfLaMancha''.''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha''.)
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MockGuffin