History Main / NoMacguffinNoWinner

18th Aug '17 5:29:11 PM JackG
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* 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.

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* 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
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* 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).

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* 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).


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* 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
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* 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.

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* 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.

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* 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.]]

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* 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.

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* 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.

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

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* 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
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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.
21st Jun '17 2:37:35 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* 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.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', Master Fung teaches the kids a lesson about "not losing" when a clear win in untenable> 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.
27th May '17 3:56:59 PM ChaoticNovelist
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The lost object is often (but not always) a MacGuffin; it isn't a [=MacGuffin=] if it did something else before being lost. The loss of the object can be StatusQuoIsGod and ResetButtonEnding, in those cases where keeping the destroyed object would have a major effect on the work. IfICantHaveYou is the LoveTriangle equivalent. See also ShaggyDogStory, where the object was never important after all... and ShootTheShaggyDog, when the characters' lives are ruined in the process. If one side can claim a "victory" by doing this, it overlaps with WeWinBecauseYouDidNot.

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The lost object is often (but not always) a MacGuffin; it isn't a [=MacGuffin=] if it did something else before being lost. The loss of the object can be StatusQuoIsGod and ResetButtonEnding, in those cases where keeping the destroyed object would have a major effect on the work. IfICantHaveYou is the LoveTriangle equivalent. See also ShaggyDogStory, where the object was never important after all... and ShootTheShaggyDog, when the characters' lives are ruined lost in the process. If one side can claim a "victory" by doing this, it overlaps with WeWinBecauseYouDidNot.
21st May '17 10:57:32 AM SAMAS
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** Earlier, Black Manta does this when it looks like the Aqualads were going to stop him from stealing the frozen Starro from Atlantis, even crying out the infamous "If I can't have it" line. This turned out to be a XanatosGambit on behalf of the Light. His destruction of Starro also wrecked the Atlantean science dome, forcing them to hand the Starro remains over to S.T.A.R. Labs on the surface, which would be ''much'' easier for the Light to get at later.
5th May '17 1:58:43 AM fdsa1234567890
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* In ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' "The Rashomon Job" this is the end result, in which all four criminal team members were trying to steal the same item on the same night, getting in each others' way and preventing any of the four from getting their hands on it.
17th Apr '17 4:50:59 PM Drgonzo
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* Done unintentionally in the ''[[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 Transformers]]'' episode "The Golden Lagoon". The MacGuffin is a lake that makes any Transformer who bathes in it temporarily invincible. By the time the Autobots and Decepticons finish battling over it, both the lake and the entire area in which the lake is located have been destroyed. Beachcomber, who had originally found the lake, looks at the devastation and [[PyrrhicVictory bitterly declares that they had won]].

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* Done unintentionally in the ''[[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 Transformers]]'' episode "The Golden Lagoon". The MacGuffin is a lake that makes any Transformer who bathes in it temporarily invincible. Megatron tries to sieze it, but is beaten back by the Autobots, and declares "If we can't have it, ''NOBODY CAN!!''" and begins firing his cannon into the lagoon. By the time the Autobots and Decepticons finish battling over it, both the lake and the entire area in which the lake is located have been destroyed. Beachcomber, who had originally found the lake, looks at the devastation and [[PyrrhicVictory bitterly declares that they had won]].
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