History Main / MockGuffin

14th May '16 2:08:32 PM mlsmithca
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Our heroes have found a golden helmet, a powerful relic, or magic sword, something of great value, they take it to get appraised only to discover that its actually... junk.

to:

Our heroes have found a golden helmet, a powerful relic, or magic sword, something of great value, they take it to get appraised only to discover that its it's actually... junk.



* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Noir: Mark of Cain'', reimagines the titular mutant superheroes as a gang of hired mercs looking for the fabled [[MythologyGag gem of Cytorrak]] in the jungles of Madripoor. It eventually turns out to be a worthless fake made of glass. However, [[spoiler: the BigBad actually knew this all along. He was planning to use the fake gem to wrest control of Madripoor from the natives so that he could use it as a prison for creating brainwashed agents to beat the Soviets. ItMakesSenseInContext]].
* One arc of ''ComicBook/{{Hitman}}'' has Tommy and Natt getting involved in a bloody dispute over a recently found coffin full of cash from the Civil War. [[spoiler:In the end, all involve find out that it was full of Confederate dollars, worthless and largely ruined by the years]].

to:

* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}} ''ComicBook/XMen Noir: Mark of Cain'', reimagines the titular mutant superheroes as a gang of hired mercs looking for the fabled [[MythologyGag gem of Cytorrak]] in the jungles of Madripoor. It eventually turns out to be a worthless fake made of glass. However, [[spoiler: the BigBad actually knew this all along. He was planning to use the fake gem to wrest control of Madripoor from the natives so that he could use it as a prison for creating brainwashed agents to beat the Soviets. ItMakesSenseInContext]].
* One arc of ''ComicBook/{{Hitman}}'' has Tommy and Natt getting involved in a bloody dispute over a recently found coffin full of cash from the Civil War. [[spoiler:In the end, all involve involved find out that it was full of Confederate dollars, worthless and largely ruined by the years]].



* ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'' is something of a subversion, as the fake one in the movie was substituted by the legitimate owner to prevent theft of the real one. At least, that's what Gutman thinks, but really there's no evidence either way. Maybe the legitimate owner always had a fake. Maybe there never ''was'' a real one. (Apparently, no-one has ever tried to scratch off the black enamel to see if it's really gold underneath before.)
** In what's perhaps a subversion of the subversion a sequel "The Black Bird" has Sam Spade Jr. (George Segal) getting involved with a new group of motley villains looking for the statue that his father kept all these years. [[spoiler: Turns out the "lead" was a coating over the real golden bird.]]

to:

* ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'' is something of a subversion, as the fake one in the movie was substituted by the legitimate owner to prevent theft of the real one. At least, that's what Gutman thinks, but really there's no evidence either way. Maybe the legitimate owner always had a fake. Maybe there never ''was'' a real one. (Apparently, no-one has ever tried to scratch off the black enamel to see if it's really gold underneath before.)
**
) In what's perhaps a subversion of the subversion subversion, a sequel "The sequel, ''The Black Bird" Bird'', has Sam Spade Jr. (George Segal) getting involved with a new group of motley villains looking for the statue that his father kept all these years. [[spoiler: Turns out the "lead" was a coating over the real golden bird.]]



* The cooler in [[{{Film/Crank}} Crank: High Voltage]] that Chelios assumes contains his heart. [[YouDoNotWantToKnow Whatever was really in there...]]

to:

* The cooler in [[{{Film/Crank}} ''[[{{Film/Crank}} Crank: High Voltage]] Voltage]]'' that Chelios assumes contains his heart. [[YouDoNotWantToKnow Whatever was really in there...]]



** Actually, in the case of ''Millennium Falcon,'' it's even more annoying than usual. This "lost treasure" was supposedly left in the dying days of the Republic as something that would critically undermine Palpatine. Once the treasure is revealed, it pretty clearly demonstrates how inept and impotent Palpatine's opposition must've been.

to:

** Actually, in In the case of ''Millennium Falcon,'' it's even more annoying than usual. This "lost treasure" was supposedly left in the dying days of the Republic as something that would critically undermine Palpatine. Once the treasure is revealed, it pretty clearly demonstrates how inept and impotent Palpatine's opposition must've been.



* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', Everything from fake swords to a very beat up piano. Even worse is when the item would be worth more if it were real or in good shape.

to:

* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', Everything everything from fake swords to a very beat up piano. Even worse is when the item would be worth more if it were real or in good shape.



** This repeated again with a TheBeatles album cover. And again, it was the cheaper reproduction.
* ''Series/GilligansIsland'' once had a plot where the castaways find a suitcase which, at a glance, appears to contain top-secret spy documents, leaving them in danger of being chased by enemy spies. One DreamSequence later, the documents fall out and they turn out to be spy documents from the second World War, which had ended twenty years prior and nobody was after.
** There is also an episode where Gilligan digs up a buried chest wrapped in chains while digging a BBQ pit for Mr. Howell. The Castaways believe it to be full of treasure and spend the entire episode arguing over weather Gilligan or Mr. Howell has claim over it. Mr. Howell ends up buying it off the rest of the castaways for a very large sum of money. Finally opened, its full of cannon balls.
* Similarly, many Mock Guffins come through Rick's door on ''Series/PawnStars''.

to:

** This repeated again with a TheBeatles Music/TheBeatles album cover. And again, it was the cheaper reproduction.
* ''Series/GilligansIsland'' once ''Series/GilligansIsland'':
** One episode
had a plot where the castaways find a suitcase which, at a glance, appears to contain top-secret spy documents, leaving them in danger of being chased by enemy spies. One DreamSequence later, the documents fall out and they turn out to be spy documents from the second World War, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, which had ended twenty years prior and nobody was after.
** There is also an episode where Gilligan digs up a buried chest wrapped in chains while digging a BBQ pit for Mr. Howell. The Castaways believe it to be full of treasure and spend the entire episode arguing over weather Gilligan or Mr. Howell has claim over it. Mr. Howell ends up buying it off the rest of the castaways for a very large sum of money. Finally opened, its it's full of cannon balls.
* Similarly, many Many Mock Guffins come through Rick's door on ''Series/PawnStars''.



* An episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has the eponymous scientist thinking she's stumbled across this. A prop sword is treated as much more valuable than its component parts simply because the movie it appeared in is so popular. As with much of anything, Bones does not understand why it is so. Probably because people seem willing to kill for the damned thing.
** The movie was not so much popular as known to be the first Arthurian film ever made (or one of the first). This made the sword valuable as a part of film history.
* 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 understandably disappointed but Kel actually liked the sofa (and the fact he was right).]]

to:

* An episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has the eponymous scientist thinking she's stumbled across this. A prop sword is treated as much more valuable than its component parts simply because the movie it appeared in is so popular. As with much of anything, Bones does not understand why it is so. Probably because people seem willing to kill for the damned thing.
**
thing. The movie was not so much popular as known to be the first Arthurian film ever made (or one of the first). This made the sword valuable as a part of film history.
* Similar to the "Al Capone's Vault" case (described below), case, ''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 understandably disappointed but Kel actually liked the sofa (and the fact he was right).]]



* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', Wess sends Duster into a castle to retrieve a magical artifact critical for the safety of the world. Unfortunately for him, he's not told specifically what it is. He finds an interesting urn of some kind and brings it back to Master Wess. It turns out to be something else completely useless (the Noble Spittoon) and Wess is furious.
** For the record, it WAS Wess's own fault for not mentioning that the item was magical, protected by a doorway that can only be opened by a special dance Duster was taught in his childhood, or '''anything''' other than the thing Duster was supposed to get was shiny.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', Wess sends Duster into a castle to retrieve a magical artifact critical for the safety of the world. Unfortunately for him, he's not told specifically what it is. He finds an interesting urn of some kind and brings it back to Master Wess. It turns out to be something else completely useless (the Noble Spittoon) and Wess is furious.
**
furious. For the record, it WAS Wess's own fault for not mentioning that the item was magical, protected by a doorway that can only be opened by a special dance Duster was taught in his childhood, or '''anything''' other than the thing Duster was supposed to get was shiny.



* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' had the armoire of invincibility, which is just regular old heavy furniture.
** Technically, the armoire ''itself'' is invincible, in that it cannot be destroyed. However, the invincibility does ''not'' extend beyond the armoire, so it's pretty worthless.
** Also, the bottom is made of cheap cardboard.
** And it's ''not'' the artifact Fighter was looking for in the first place. Matoya had the Armoire and Armor of Invincibility, and gave Fighter the wrong one.

to:

* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' had the armoire of invincibility, which is just regular old heavy furniture.
**
furniture. Technically, the armoire ''itself'' is invincible, in that it cannot be destroyed. However, the invincibility does ''not'' extend beyond the armoire, so it's pretty worthless.
**
worthless. Also, the bottom is made of cheap cardboard.
**
cardboard. And it's ''not'' the artifact Fighter was looking for in the first place. Matoya had the Armoire and Armor of Invincibility, and gave Fighter the wrong one.



** The opening of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Southcott#Legacy Joanna Southcote's box]].

to:

** * The opening of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Southcott#Legacy Joanna Southcote's box]].
12th Mar '16 6:46:44 PM drac0blade
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message

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
Is there an issue? Send a Message

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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* 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.

to:

* 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* 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.

to:

* 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message

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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* 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).]]

to:

* 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.
This list shows the last 10 events of 115. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MockGuffin