History Main / MockGuffin

16th Sep '16 10:30:48 AM twilicorn
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* [[www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a39916/harry-potter-typo/ Reports]] that certain copies of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' contain a small typo got many hyped that their copy could be worth thousands... except that only the first 500 British copies of the book have it. Especially maddening since the typo version was published for years in Canada.

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* [[www.[[http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a39916/harry-potter-typo/ Reports]] that certain copies of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' contain a small typo got many hyped that their copy could be worth thousands... except that only the first 500 British copies of the book have it. Especially maddening since the typo version was published for years in Canada.
16th Sep '16 10:30:28 AM twilicorn
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* OneEpisodeWonder ''WesternAnimation/KorgothOfBarbaria'' features this in its main plot. Korgoth is caught in a PoisonAndCureGambit and sent to retrieve the "golden goblin", a relic of a bygone age, from the tower of powerful wizard after the wizard seemingly disappears. After a dangerous trip that includes massive geographic obstacles, [[WhenTreesAttack being attacked by living trees]], dealing with [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever 50 foot tall]] [[GiantFlyer pigeons]], and finding that the wizard is very much alive and not happy about the intrusion, the legendary golden goblin turns out to be a cheap, kitschy figurine that plays tinny music and dances when a button is pushed.

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* OneEpisodeWonder Creator/AdultSwim's [[OneEpisodeWonder unsold pilot]] ''WesternAnimation/KorgothOfBarbaria'' features this in its main plot. Korgoth is caught in a PoisonAndCureGambit and sent to retrieve the "golden goblin", a relic of a bygone age, from the tower of powerful wizard after the wizard seemingly disappears. After a dangerous trip that includes massive geographic obstacles, [[WhenTreesAttack being attacked by living trees]], dealing with [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever 50 foot tall]] [[GiantFlyer pigeons]], and finding that the wizard is very much alive and not happy about the intrusion, the legendary golden goblin turns out to be a cheap, kitschy figurine that plays tinny music and dances when a button is pushed.


Added DiffLines:

* [[www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a39916/harry-potter-typo/ Reports]] that certain copies of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' contain a small typo got many hyped that their copy could be worth thousands... except that only the first 500 British copies of the book have it. Especially maddening since the typo version was published for years in Canada.
31st Aug '16 10:26:15 AM Vir
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* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' had an episode where Steve and Roger are tasked with finding an old man's inheritance to his grandson. It's just a burlap bag that light's up when opened.

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* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' had an episode where Steve and Roger are tasked with finding an old man's inheritance to his grandson. It's just a burlap bag that light's lights up when opened.



* One episode of ''StrokerAndHoop'' plays it straight, then subverts it at the very the end. Ninjas are trying to find and assemble the pieces of an ancient Chinese sword with vaguely defined mystical powers. When put together, it turns out it just lights up like a flashlight, which Stroker notes was probably mind-blowing in ancient China. [[spoiler: After the protagonists abandon the sword and leave the scene, a random person stumbles across it and accidentally discovers that the sword's beam of light can ''resurrect the dead.'']]
* OneEpisodeWonder ''WesternAnimation/KorgothOfBarbaria'' features this in its main plot. Korgoth is caught in a PoisonAndCureGambit and sent to retrieve the "golden goblin" a relic of a bygone age, from the tower of powerful wizard after the wizard seemingly disappears. After a dangerous trip that includes massive geographic obstacles, [[WhenTreesAttack being attacked by living trees]], dealing with [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever 50 foot tall]] [[GiantFlyer pigeons]], and finding that the wizard is very much alive and not happy about the intrusion, the legendary golden goblin turns out to be a cheap, kitschy figurine that plays tinny music and dances when a button is pushed.
* ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': At the end of "Magic Duel", Trixie finds out, after unwittingly relinquishing the Alicorn Amulet, that the supposedly more powerful green amulet she acquired from Twilight was just one of Zecora's doorstops.
* The ''{{WesternAnimation/Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Silver Falcon", in an homage to ''The Maltese Falcon,'' features a crime boss attempting to steal a trove of hidden diamonds. The first place he digs up contains a mocking note informing him he dug in the wrong place, and the second location he searches has a stash of diamonds that turn out to be fake.

to:

* One episode of ''StrokerAndHoop'' ''WesternAnimation/StrokerAndHoop'' plays it straight, then subverts it at the very the end. Ninjas are trying to find and assemble the pieces of an ancient Chinese sword with vaguely defined mystical powers. When put together, it turns out it just lights up like a flashlight, which Stroker notes was probably mind-blowing in ancient China. [[spoiler: After the protagonists abandon the sword and leave the scene, a random person stumbles across it and accidentally discovers that the sword's beam of light can ''resurrect the dead.'']]
* OneEpisodeWonder ''WesternAnimation/KorgothOfBarbaria'' features this in its main plot. Korgoth is caught in a PoisonAndCureGambit and sent to retrieve the "golden goblin" goblin", a relic of a bygone age, from the tower of powerful wizard after the wizard seemingly disappears. After a dangerous trip that includes massive geographic obstacles, [[WhenTreesAttack being attacked by living trees]], dealing with [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever 50 foot tall]] [[GiantFlyer pigeons]], and finding that the wizard is very much alive and not happy about the intrusion, the legendary golden goblin turns out to be a cheap, kitschy figurine that plays tinny music and dances when a button is pushed.
* ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': At the end of "Magic Duel", Trixie finds out, after unwittingly relinquishing the Alicorn Amulet, that the supposedly more powerful green amulet she acquired from Twilight was just one of Zecora's doorstops.
* The ''{{WesternAnimation/Gargoyles}}'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Silver Falcon", in an homage to ''The Maltese Falcon,'' features a crime boss attempting to steal a trove of hidden diamonds. The first place he digs up contains a mocking note informing him he dug in the wrong place, and the second location he searches has a stash of diamonds that turn out to be fake.
31st Aug '16 10:23:05 AM Vir
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* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' that parodies the film Titanic, Bender's love interest gets sucked into a black hole, leaving him with only her bracelet (a parody of "The Heart of the Sea") to console the saddened robot (with its monetary value). Upon request, Hermes promptly inspects it and informs Bender that "It's fake, mon," sending him into even greater despair(about its monetary value).

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* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' that parodies the film Titanic, Bender's love interest gets sucked into a black hole, leaving him with only her bracelet (a parody of "The Heart of the Sea") to console the saddened robot (with its monetary value). Upon request, Hermes promptly inspects it and informs Bender that "It's fake, mon," sending him into even greater despair(about despair (about its monetary value).
17th Aug '16 8:32:44 PM PaulA
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* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' story ''The Vor Game'', Miles finds a body wedged in a drain pipe, who had drowned when the pipe filled up during a storm. Investigating why the man was in the pipe in the first place, he figures out that the dead man had intended to retrieve a package he had stored in a different pipe, only he had entered the wrong pipe, got stuck, and drowned. Miles finds the package and opens it, revealing... some home-baked cookies that the dead soldier had been hiding from his barracks-mates.

to:

* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' story ''The Vor Game'', ''Literature/TheVorGame'', Miles finds a body wedged in a drain pipe, who had drowned when the pipe filled up during a storm. Investigating why the man was in the pipe in the first place, he figures out that the dead man had intended to retrieve a package he had stored in a different pipe, only he had entered the wrong pipe, got stuck, and drowned. Miles finds the package and opens it, revealing... some home-baked cookies that the dead soldier had been hiding from his barracks-mates.
14th May '16 2:08:32 PM mlsmithca
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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.

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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
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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."
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