History Main / NoMacguffinNoWinner

18th Oct '17 7:24:49 PM PaulA
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''Franchise/IndianaJones: Thunder in the Orient'', Indy and his allies in the Chinese resistance are racing the Japanese to find a set of scrolls said to contain the original account of the Buddha's teachings, written by the Buddha himself. Once they find the scrolls, however, [[spoiler: they crumble as soon as they are exposed to air, before anyone can read what they say.]] Of course, as the examples in the Film section show, this is about par for the franchise.

to:

* In ''Franchise/IndianaJones: Thunder in the Orient'', Indy and his allies in the Chinese resistance are racing the Japanese to find a set of scrolls said to contain the original account of the Buddha's teachings, written by the Buddha himself. Once they find the scrolls, however, [[spoiler: they crumble as soon as they are exposed to air, before anyone can read what they say.]] Of course, as the examples in the Film section show, this is about par for the franchise. ]]



** In ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk,'' TheArkOfTheCovenant [[spoiler:is confiscated by the US government and put in a crate with multiple locks marked "Do Not Open Under Any Circumstances."]] Yet again, however, getting the girl and [[spoiler:the opportunity to see Rene Belloq die in his moment of supposed triumph]] is still a plus.
14th Sep '17 4:06:36 PM nighttrainfm
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', Master Fung teaches the kids a lesson about "not losing" when a clear win in untenable. Fung does this by having them try to snatch a jade elephant from him while he dodges them; when it becomes clear that they're going to win, Fung takes out a hammer and smashes the statue. In that same episode, Omi had already lost a [[MacGuffin Shen Gong Wu]] to mook of the week [[ClassyCatBurglar Katnappe]], and opts to keep the [[OurWormholesAreDifferent Tiger Claw]] out of her hands by opening a portal to the core of the earth and tossing them in. At the end of the episode, Master Fung offers to repeat his earlier exercise with a different statue, but the kids wisely refuse. Omi recovers the Tiger Claw several episodes later when they are needed again, though.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'':
**
Master Fung teaches the kids a lesson about "not losing" when a clear win in untenable. Fung He does this by having them try to snatch a jade elephant from him while he dodges them; when it becomes clear that they're going to win, Fung takes out a hammer and smashes the statue. In that same episode, Omi had already lost a [[MacGuffin Shen Gong Wu]] to mook of the week [[ClassyCatBurglar Katnappe]], and opts to keep the [[OurWormholesAreDifferent Tiger Claw]] out of her hands by opening a portal to the core of the earth and tossing them in. At the end of the episode, Master Fung offers to repeat his earlier exercise with a different statue, but the kids wisely refuse. Omi recovers the Tiger Claw several episodes later when they are needed again, though.



* Third season of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'': Jackie attempts to destroy the [=MacGuffins=] of the first season by firing a laser at them. It only destroys the ''physical'' talismans - their powers seek out new hosts, setting the third season Macguffin-hunt in motion.
** Also, in one episode he says of the current MacGuffin "This is too dangerous to be in a museum," and smashes it.

to:

* Third ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'':
** In "Enter the Cat", Jackie - usually the first person to say ItBelongsInAMuseum - decides the [=MacGuffin=] is too dangerous even for that, and smashes it.
** In the third
season of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'': premier, Jackie attempts to destroy the [=MacGuffins=] of the first season by firing a laser at them. It only destroys the ''physical'' talismans - their powers seek out new hosts, setting the third season Macguffin-hunt in motion.
** Also, in one episode he says of the current MacGuffin "This is too dangerous to be in a museum," and smashes it.
motion.
11th Sep '17 11:08:37 AM DrFraud
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Occasionally AnAesop: when two children are fighting over something in RealLife, the parents will often punish them by not letting either of them have it. (If it is an item, they will lock it away, sometimes even give it away; if it was an event, they will call it off.) This kind of punishment carries over to television, where the futility of a fight is often demonstrated by having it to turn out to have been in vain, with the goal taken away at the last minute or destroyed by the fighters themselves in the heat of the battle. In-universe, this will often work amazingly well as a lesson where after a few moments of LyingInTheDirtTogether, the two former enemies will be inviting each other for drinks, no longer having a reason to fight, the whole business now a shared memory to look back on and laugh at. In real life, not so much -- because, of course, [[BlameGame it was the other kid's fault for starting the fight in the first place]]. Compare NiceJobBreakingItRivals.

Since writers often want to avert an ending where TheBadGuyWins, this trope is a perfect insurance against having an ending which is seen this way: The BigBad may be the obvious winner in terms of who kicked whose ass, and [[BittersweetEnding the hero may be suffering some kind of loss which is really nothing to be happy about]], but at least the villain is unsuccessful in that he hasn't made himself any richer or made any progress toward [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over the world]]. Which was really the whole point anyway.

to:

Occasionally AnAesop: when two children are fighting over something in RealLife, the parents will often punish them by not letting either of them have it. (If it is an item, they will lock it away, sometimes even give it away; if it was an event, they will call it off.) This kind of punishment carries over to television, where the futility of a fight is often demonstrated by having it to turn out to have been in vain, with the goal taken away at the last minute or destroyed by the fighters themselves in the heat of the battle. In-universe, this will often work amazingly well as a lesson where after a few moments of LyingInTheDirtTogether, the two former enemies will be inviting each other for drinks, no longer having a reason to fight, the whole business now a shared memory to look back on and laugh at. In real life, not so much -- because, of course, [[BlameGame it was the other kid's fault for starting the fight in the first place]]. Compare NiceJobBreakingItRivals.

Since writers often want to avert an ending where TheBadGuyWins, this trope is a perfect insurance against having an ending which is seen this way: The BigBad may be the obvious winner in terms of who kicked whose ass, and [[BittersweetEnding the hero may be suffering some kind of loss which is really nothing to be happy about]], but at least the villain is unsuccessful in that he hasn't made himself any richer or made any progress toward [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over the world]]. Which was really the whole point anyway.
31st Aug '17 6:00:14 AM Doug86
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "The Slaver Weapon." Both the Starfleet personnel and the [[KnownSpace Kzinti]] renegades want to get the titular LostTechnology because of its awesome power: a beam that causes [[EarthShatteringKaboom total conversion of matter into energy]].

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "The Slaver Weapon." Both the Starfleet personnel and the [[KnownSpace [[Literature/KnownSpace Kzinti]] renegades want to get the titular LostTechnology because of its awesome power: a beam that causes [[EarthShatteringKaboom total conversion of matter into energy]].
23rd Aug '17 9:37:38 PM LadySugarQuill
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Literature/HarryPotter:
** The Elder Wand from ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'' cannot be beaten in direct combat, has power much greater than that of a standard wand, and will only work for whoever defeats its previous master. Many witches and wizards have killed for it, but as the wand places its owner in constant danger, Harry chooses not to accept it, probably hoping that nobody with the ambition of getting the wand figures out that he's the current master and goes after him.
** The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' falls directly into this trope.

to:

* Literature/HarryPotter:
** The Elder Wand from ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'' cannot be beaten in direct combat, has power much greater than that of a standard wand, and will only work for whoever defeats its previous master. Many witches and wizards have killed for it, but as the wand places its owner in constant danger, Harry chooses not to accept it, probably hoping that nobody with the ambition of getting the wand figures out that he's the current master and goes after him.
**
The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' falls directly into this trope.
18th Aug '17 5:29:11 PM JackG
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Subverted in Season 4 of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' where a string of these events ends up demoralizing our heroes more than the sociopathic BigBad Servalan. For instance in "Volcano", an entire planet chooses to activate a DoomsdayDevice [[IDieFree rather than submit to Servalan]]. It's pointed out that Servalan doesn't care much because that means no-one else can rule that planet either.

to:

* Subverted in Season 4 of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' where a string of these events ends end up demoralizing our heroes more than the sociopathic BigBad Servalan. For instance in "Volcano", an entire the Liberator tries to use the planet chooses to Obsidian as a base. Servalan wants the planet for the same reason, so sends in an invasion fleet, and the inhabitants activate a DoomsdayDevice [[IDieFree rather than submit to Servalan]]. submit]]. It's pointed out that Servalan doesn't care much because that only means no-one else can rule have that planet either.
18th Aug '17 6:18:57 AM JackG
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Inverted in ''The Tightrope Men'' by Desmond Bagley, where the MacGuffin every intelligence agency has been fighting over is deliberately leaked to the Soviets to maintain the balance of power (e.g. to prevent humanity from "falling off" the tightrope).

to:

* Inverted in ''The Tightrope Men'' by Desmond Bagley, where the MacGuffin every intelligence agency has been fighting over is deliberately leaked to the Soviets to maintain the balance of power BalanceOfPower (e.g. to prevent humanity from "falling off" the tightrope).


Added DiffLines:

* Subverted in Season 4 of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' where a string of these events ends up demoralizing our heroes more than the sociopathic BigBad Servalan. For instance in "Volcano", an entire planet chooses to activate a DoomsdayDevice [[IDieFree rather than submit to Servalan]]. It's pointed out that Servalan doesn't care much because that means no-one else can rule that planet either.
9th Jul '17 4:25:34 AM RedScharlach
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Subverted in ''ComicBook/{{Grandville}}''. Near the end of the story, the voice recording that all the characters fought over is shattered before anyone can hear its contents. The subversion comes from [=LeBrock=] behaving as if the recording is still intact and he was privy to its contents. The threat of revealing the recording, and using the few bits of information he has to back his bluff, is enough to drive [[spoiler:The Prime Minister of Britain]] to suicide.

to:

* Subverted in ''ComicBook/{{Grandville}}''. Near the end of the story, the voice recording that all the characters fought over is shattered before anyone can hear its contents. The subversion comes from [=LeBrock=] behaving as if the recording is still intact and he was privy to its contents. The threat of revealing the recording, and using the few bits of information he has to back his bluff, is enough to drive [[spoiler:The [[spoiler:the Prime Minister of Britain]] to suicide.



* In Roman Polanski film ''Film/{{Frantic}}'', Harrison Ford ends up throwing the MacGuffin, a small electronic switch used in the detonators of nuclear devices, into the river, so neither the Arabs or the Israelis get it.

to:

* In the Roman Polanski film ''Film/{{Frantic}}'', Harrison Ford ends up throwing the MacGuffin, a small electronic switch used in the detonators of nuclear devices, into the river, so neither the Arabs or the Israelis get it.



* There's a protest song from TheSixties by the band Coven called One Tin Soldier. In it, the people of the valley slaughter the people of the mountain for their treasure (which the people of the mountain had offered to share). They find that the treasure is simply a message stating "peace on earth." [[LostAesop Clearly, this is a parallel to the Vietnam war.]]

to:

* There's a protest song from TheSixties by the band Coven called One "One Tin Soldier. Soldier." In it, the people of the valley slaughter the people of the mountain for their treasure (which the people of the mountain had offered to share). They find that the treasure is simply a message stating "peace on earth." [[LostAesop Clearly, this is a parallel to the Vietnam war.]]



* The episode "Jack and the Labyrinth" of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' has the titular Samurai and a thief (an expy of [[Franchise/LupinIII Daisuke Jigen]]) both fighting over a gemstone. They sway back and forth between helping and fighting one another for it and, when everything is over and they've escaped, after a moment of LyingInTheDirtTogether the thing breaks and ends up worthless.

to:

* The episode "Jack and the Labyrinth" of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' has the titular Samurai and a thief (an expy {{expy}} of [[Franchise/LupinIII Daisuke Jigen]]) both fighting over a gemstone. They sway back and forth between helping and fighting one another for it and, when everything is over and they've escaped, after a moment of LyingInTheDirtTogether the thing breaks and ends up worthless.



* The military carry thermite grenades for this very reason. If they have to abandon vital supplies for any reason, they will use a grenade to destroy it, so that it can not be used against them by the enemy.

to:

* The military carry thermite grenades for this very reason. If they have to abandon vital supplies for any reason, they will use a grenade to destroy it, so that it can not cannot be used against them by the enemy.
29th Jun '17 1:32:59 PM Psyclone
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A rule in all ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer 40000}}'' novels which involve an STC.

to:

* A rule in all ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer 40000}}'' novels which involve an STC.STC[[labelnote:Explanation]]A data storage device containing ''the sum total'' of Mankind's scientific and technological knowledge during the [[LostTechnology Dark Age of Technology]], which not only eclipses the Imperium of Man's heavily fragmented and distorted by superstition knowledge of the same but the technological output of most, if not all, the races in the setting.[[/labelnote]]
28th Jun '17 8:08:30 AM Thesedaysthosedays
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

Since writers often want to avert an ending where TheBadGuyWins, this trope is a perfect insurance against having an ending which is seen this way: The BigBad may be the obvious winner in terms of who kicked whose ass, and [[BittersweetEnding the hero may be suffering some kind of loss which is really nothing to be happy about]], but at least the villain is unsuccessful in that he hasn't made himself any richer or made any progress toward [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over the world]]. Which was really the whole point anyway.
This list shows the last 10 events of 215. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NoMacguffinNoWinner