History Main / WorthlessTreasureTwist

17th Nov '16 9:22:23 AM TheAmazingBlachman
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'''Abed''': No, it's a metaphor. It represents lack of payoff.

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'''Abed''': No, it's a metaphor. [[TakeThat It represents lack of payoff.payoff]].
11th Nov '16 10:20:09 AM Willbyr
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[[quoteright:167:[[Webcomic/{{Oglaf}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oglaf_6061.jpg]]]]

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[[quoteright:167:[[Webcomic/{{Oglaf}} %% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1477469025024098800
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[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/PoorlyDrawnLines
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5th Nov '16 3:08:41 AM phoenixy
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* ''Film/AFieldInEngland''is built around this trope, right down to a darkly comic moment where a character declares that the true treasure is friendship [[spoiler:(as the entire rest of his treasure-hunting party is dying around him).]]

to:

* ''Film/AFieldInEngland''is ''Film/AFieldInEngland'' is built around this trope, right down to a darkly comic moment where a character declares that the true treasure is friendship [[spoiler:(as the entire rest of his treasure-hunting party is dying around him).]]
5th Nov '16 3:08:01 AM phoenixy
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/AFieldInEngland''is built around this trope, right down to a darkly comic moment where a character declares that the true treasure is friendship [[spoiler:(as the entire rest of his treasure-hunting party is dying around him).]]
27th Oct '16 1:39:47 AM rafi
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* The ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' manga had a chapter where the base's pilots go mad combing the desert after an intercepted radio transmission mentions a convoy carrying gold. It turns out to be the enemy's top tactician, General Gold, who died in an attack on the convoy. The pilot who made the attack (who had been missing for a day or two) had burned half of Gold's papers and used the other half as tissues, since he couldn't read them. The base commander bursts out laughing upon hearing this, since deciphering them could have ended the war.
* In ''Anime/AshitanoNadja'' we have George, Nadja and Kennosuke setting off to find a treasure that supposedly belonged to Joan of Arc [[spoiler: It turns out to be a beautiful flower patch that Joan herself planted as a teenager, before leaving her beloved countryside.]]
* The episode of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' with the Shield card explains that the spirit of said card has, appropriately, an instinct for guarding things and will, in the absence of proper guidance, find some treasure, latch onto it, and protect it from all comers (including, in this case, the very annoyed rightful owner). The treasure it selects is not revealed until Sakura breaks through the shield and captures the card, and turns out to be of purely sentimental value [[spoiler:a bouquet of flowers in memory of Sakura's late mother, treasured by her cousin aka Tomoyo's mom.]].
** In this same episode is a similar example, revealing Tomoyo's most prized possession. Tomoyo is filthy rich, has her own bodyguards, cool high-tech toys, and a seemingly limitless budget to dress up Sakura in cute costumes and film her. Her most prized possession is [[spoiler:a child's eraser, in the shape of a bunny rabbit, worth maybe ten yen, given to her by her best friend Sakura on the day they met and lovingly cherished for years afterwards]].
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' has played with this a few times:
** [[spoiler:Episode 137]] had a mansion where the treasure was the view from a hidden window. On Conan revealing this, the villain had a complete breakdown over all they had done to find it - including mass murder and disfiguring their own face. Another episode had the treasure be the experience of the journey to find it... except there was also a real treasure, as some robbers had been hiding their gains in the same spot.
** In the 11th NonSerialMovie, ''Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure'', the "pirate treasure" of Anne Bonny and Mary Read turns out to be [[spoiler:a hidden but empty pirate ship, built by Anne while waiting for Mary to get out of prison, which crumbles to bits upon being exposed to outside air.]]
** In the anime-only "Meiji Restoration Mystery Tour", the treasure turns out to be a letter talking about the ideals of the Meiji Restoration. Of course, the villains that are also trying to get what they think will be find a treasure rich enough to buy the whole country are not impressed. This is somewhat subverted when it is revealed that the letter had a rare and valuable stamp with a printing error on it that would have been worth a lot if the villain had not torn it up.
* Subverted in ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' episode 15. A treasure hunter looking for treasure in the ruins of an alien planet has hired Kei and Yuri to help him find the treasure and fight off a rival treasure hunter in exchange for a share of the profits. It turns out that the treasure is a piece of paper with writing in the alien language, which Kei and Yuri can't read but the treasure hunter can. He claims that it says is "there is a value in cooperating with each other", referring to it taking three people to open the door to the room where it was. Yuri [[LampshadeHanging comments that "this is the typical ending to a treasure hunt"]]. However, the writing was actually instructions on how to use some LostTechnology and thus highly valuable; the treasure hunter lied about it to avoid paying them. He does later send them flowers - an entire roomful of roses.
* At the last volume of ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' manga, a chapter was about Nobita, Doraemon, Giant and Suneo competed in finding real treasures as 2 pirate teams. The treasures ''were'' there before they decided to make it as a pirate game. However, the very pirate game (which consisted of them sailing at sea and shooting cannonballs at each other) delayed their treasure hunting, resulting in someone had already dug the treasures ahead of them.
* [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]] in ''Manga/DragonBall'': the leader of the villainous Red Ribbon Army sends his {{Mooks}} after the title artifacts so that he can make a wish, something that could potentially grant the army vast powers and resources. His subordinates are not pleased to discover that his planned wish is [[spoiler: to be taller]].



* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'':
** There is a rather silly subversion in the story where Ranma finally reveals himself to his mother. The other half of the story is the attempt to keep his father from taking a family treasure, hidden in a box the whole time, and pawning it. When Genma finally gets the treasure and takes it to the pawnshop, it's only a single slip of paper. The slip of paper is a pawn ticket: one of their ancestors had already sold it. It doesn't really matter, as it was apparently worth about twenty bucks.
** Also subverted in the ''Ranma'' movie ''Big Trouble In Nekonron, China''. Two halves of a scroll that was long ago cut in half are reunited to reveal a precious secret -- which turns out to be a pickle recipe. However, the pickle recipe ''is'' greatly prized by the couple who reassembled the scroll. Mostly because the male, Prince Kirin, literally ''can't'' eat anything ''but'' pickles.
** Nodoka herself pulled this on Ranma and Akane (and their suitors) accidentally. She gives her son a gift to give Akane, and after opening it, everyone believes it's an engagement ring. Cue the chases, battles, claims and flying weaponry before Ranma can ''finally'' give it to her. Turned out to be a pill box with a unique design, for the aspirin and antacids for the hardships that a woman in the Saotome family must endure.

to:

* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'':
** There is a rather silly subversion in
Frequently serves as the story where Ranma finally reveals himself {{Aesop}} to his mother. The other half many episodes of ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel''--mostly due to the fact that the Black Hammer Gang seem completely unable to understand [[LiteralMinded the metaphorical use of the story is the attempt to keep his father from taking a family treasure, hidden in a box the whole time, and pawning it. When Genma finally gets the treasure and takes it to the pawnshop, it's only a single slip of paper. The slip of paper is a pawn ticket: one of their ancestors had already sold it. It doesn't really matter, as it was apparently worth about twenty bucks.
** Also subverted in the ''Ranma'' movie ''Big Trouble In Nekonron, China''. Two halves of a scroll that was long ago cut in half are reunited to reveal a precious secret -- which turns out to be a pickle recipe.
word "treasure."]] Being villains, [[AesopAmnesia they never "get" it.]] However, the pickle recipe "treasures" are always appreciated by someone else, meaning their antics to "steal" them [[VictimOfTheWeek nonetheless disrupt the lives of many innocents.]]
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'': SubvertedTrope. Near the end of the Greed Island arc, the group defeats Razor and goes up a tower to gain an ultra-rare card, Patch of Shore. Their NPC guide talks about how there was no treasure in a particular cave and that its beauty and holiness was the real treasure...after which the ''patch of shore'' near the cave ''becomes a card''. The card ''isn't'' particularly valuable in and of itself, but it
''is'' greatly prized by necessary to beat the couple who reassembled game.
** Actually, it kind of is valuable. It's an SS card,
the scroll. Mostly because highest rarity ranking, only 3 copies of it can exist at a given time in the male, Prince Kirin, literally ''can't'' eat anything ''but'' pickles.
** Nodoka herself pulled this on Ranma
entire game and Akane (and their suitors) accidentally. She gives her son a gift obtaining it is spectacularly hard. As soon as the protagonists obtain it they manage to give Akane, copy it, monopolise it and after opening it, everyone believes therefore force the villains into a confrontation if they want a shot at winning the game. Strategically, it's an engagement ring. Cue the chases, battles, claims and flying weaponry before Ranma can ''finally'' give it to her. Turned a vital asset.
* Part 3 of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'' has Polnareff encounter a wish-granting genie ([[JackassGenie that turns
out to be an enemy stand.]]) When it's revealed that the genie grants wishes by just making things out of dirt, he's disappointed when he realizes that the treasure horde he jokingly used his first wish on turned out to be worthless.
* ''Manga/TheLawOfUeki'' has
a pill DoubleSubversion: The team finds a treasure box as part of a competition, and [[ThePowerOfFriendship considering the theme of the show, it's pretty clear what its going to be]]. But then they open it...and it's a series of rare trading cards with a unique design, the Celestial King's face on them. Not for the aspirin and antacids for the hardships that a woman in the Saotome family must endure.resale, either.



* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' has played with this a few times:
** [[spoiler:Episode 137]] had a mansion where the treasure was the view from a hidden window. On Conan revealing this, the villain had a complete breakdown over all they had done to find it - including mass murder and disfiguring their own face. Another episode had the treasure be the experience of the journey to find it... except there was also a real treasure, as some robbers had been hiding their gains in the same spot.
** In the 11th NonSerialMovie, ''Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure'', the "pirate treasure" of Anne Bonny and Mary Read turns out to be [[spoiler:a hidden but empty pirate ship, built by Anne while waiting for Mary to get out of prison, which crumbles to bits upon being exposed to outside air.]]
** In the anime-only "Meiji Restoration Mystery Tour", the treasure turns out to be a letter talking about the ideals of the Meiji Restoration. Of course, the villains that are also trying to get what they think will be find a treasure rich enough to buy the whole country are not impressed. This is somewhat subverted when it is revealed that the letter had a rare and valuable stamp with a printing error on it that would have been worth a lot if the villain had not torn it up.
* Subverted in ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' episode 15. A treasure hunter looking for treasure in the ruins of an alien planet has hired Kei and Yuri to help him find the treasure and fight off a rival treasure hunter in exchange for a share of the profits. It turns out that the treasure is a piece of paper with writing in the alien language, which Kei and Yuri can't read but the treasure hunter can. He claims that it says is "there is a value in cooperating with each other", referring to it taking three people to open the door to the room where it was. Yuri [[LampshadeHanging comments that "this is the typical ending to a treasure hunt"]]. However, the writing was actually instructions on how to use some LostTechnology and thus highly valuable; the treasure hunter lied about it to avoid paying them. He does later send them flowers - an entire roomful of roses.
* The ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' manga had a chapter where the base's pilots go mad combing the desert after an intercepted radio transmission mentions a convoy carrying gold. It turns out to be the enemy's top tactician, General Gold, who died in an attack on the convoy. The pilot who made the attack (who had been missing for a day or two) had burned half of Gold's papers and used the other half as tissues, since he couldn't read them. The base commander bursts out laughing upon hearing this, since deciphering them could have ended the war.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'': SubvertedTrope. Near the end of the Greed Island arc, the group defeats Razor and goes up a tower to gain an ultra-rare card, Patch of Shore. Their NPC guide talks about how there was no treasure in a particular cave and that its beauty and holiness was the real treasure...after which the ''patch of shore'' near the cave ''becomes a card''. The card ''isn't'' particularly valuable in and of itself, but it ''is'' necessary to beat the game.
** Actually, it kind of is valuable. It's an SS card, the highest rarity ranking, only 3 copies of it can exist at a given time in the entire game and obtaining it is spectacularly hard. As soon as the protagonists obtain it they manage to copy it, monopolise it and therefore force the villains into a confrontation if they want a shot at winning the game. Strategically, it's a vital asset.
* The episode of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' with the Shield card explains that the spirit of said card has, appropriately, an instinct for guarding things and will, in the absence of proper guidance, find some treasure, latch onto it, and protect it from all comers (including, in this case, the very annoyed rightful owner). The treasure it selects is not revealed until Sakura breaks through the shield and captures the card, and turns out to be of purely sentimental value [[spoiler:a bouquet of flowers in memory of Sakura's late mother, treasured by her cousin aka Tomoyo's mom.]].
** In this same episode is a similar example, revealing Tomoyo's most prized possession. Tomoyo is filthy rich, has her own bodyguards, cool high-tech toys, and a seemingly limitless budget to dress up Sakura in cute costumes and film her. Her most prized possession is [[spoiler:a child's eraser, in the shape of a bunny rabbit, worth maybe ten yen, given to her by her best friend Sakura on the day they met and lovingly cherished for years afterwards]].
* {{Subverted}} in ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'': after an adventure in some ruins, Koji and the Autobots find the mysterious treasure Skybite was after, which turns out to be a picture of Koji and his dad. However, it soon turned out that the picture was placed to disguise the ''real'' treasure, a microchip containing information on Fortress Maximus' location.
* ''Manga/TheLawOfUeki'' has a DoubleSubversion: The team finds a treasure box as part of a competition, and [[ThePowerOfFriendship considering the theme of the show, it's pretty clear what its going to be]]. But then they open it...and it's a series of rare trading cards with the Celestial King's face on them. Not for resale, either.
* A little short story in the ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' manga dealt with the host club trying to find the perfect soup that their principal had sampled when he was younger. Turns out [[spoiler: it was a very common soup and that the one giving the soup to the principal would later [[LoveAtFirstSight be his wife]]]].
* In ''Anime/AshitanoNadja'' we have George, Nadja and Kennosuke setting off to find a treasure that supposedly belonged to Joan of Arc [[spoiler: It turns out to be a beautiful flower patch that Joan herself planted as a teenager, before leaving her beloved countryside.]]
* Subverted in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', after the [[strike:Baka Rangers]] low-ranking students in the class go on a quest for a magic book that will let you pass any test. The book exists, but a complicated series of events leads to a FriendOrIdolDecision, and they spend a few days studying the old fashioned way. They all pass, and learn a lesson about hard work or something. [[spoiler: All of it turned out to be a XanatosGambit by the Headmaster.]]



* Frequently serves as the {{Aesop}} to many episodes of ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel''--mostly due to the fact that the Black Hammer Gang seem completely unable to understand [[LiteralMinded the metaphorical use of the word "treasure."]] Being villains, [[AesopAmnesia they never "get" it.]] However, the "treasures" are always appreciated by someone else, meaning their antics to "steal" them [[VictimOfTheWeek nonetheless disrupt the lives of many innocents.]]
* [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]] in ''Manga/DragonBall'': the leader of the villainous Red Ribbon Army sends his {{Mooks}} after the title artifacts so that he can make a wish, something that could potentially grant the army vast powers and resources. His subordinates are not pleased to discover that his planned wish is [[spoiler: to be taller]].

to:

* Frequently serves as the {{Aesop}} to many episodes of ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel''--mostly due to the fact that the Black Hammer Gang seem completely unable to understand [[LiteralMinded the metaphorical use of the word "treasure."]] Being villains, [[AesopAmnesia they never "get" it.]] However, the "treasures" are always appreciated by someone else, meaning their antics to "steal" them [[VictimOfTheWeek nonetheless disrupt the lives of many innocents.]]
* [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]]
Subverted in ''Manga/DragonBall'': the leader of the villainous Red Ribbon Army sends his {{Mooks}} ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', after the title artifacts so [[strike:Baka Rangers]] low-ranking students in the class go on a quest for a magic book that he can make will let you pass any test. The book exists, but a wish, something that could potentially grant complicated series of events leads to a FriendOrIdolDecision, and they spend a few days studying the army vast powers old fashioned way. They all pass, and resources. His subordinates are not pleased to discover that his planned wish is learn a lesson about hard work or something. [[spoiler: All of it turned out to be taller]].a XanatosGambit by the Headmaster.]]



* A little short story in the ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' manga dealt with the host club trying to find the perfect soup that their principal had sampled when he was younger. Turns out [[spoiler: it was a very common soup and that the one giving the soup to the principal would later [[LoveAtFirstSight be his wife]]]].



* Part 3 of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'' has Polnareff encounter a wish-granting genie ([[JackassGenie that turns out to be an enemy stand.]]) When it's revealed that the genie grants wishes by just making things out of dirt, he's disappointed when he realizes that the treasure horde he jokingly used his first wish on turned out to be worthless.

to:

* Part 3 ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'':
** There is a rather silly subversion in the story where Ranma finally reveals himself to his mother. The other half
of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'' has Polnareff encounter the story is the attempt to keep his father from taking a wish-granting genie ([[JackassGenie family treasure, hidden in a box the whole time, and pawning it. When Genma finally gets the treasure and takes it to the pawnshop, it's only a single slip of paper. The slip of paper is a pawn ticket: one of their ancestors had already sold it. It doesn't really matter, as it was apparently worth about twenty bucks.
** Also subverted in the ''Ranma'' movie ''Big Trouble In Nekonron, China''. Two halves of a scroll
that was long ago cut in half are reunited to reveal a precious secret -- which turns out to be an enemy stand.]]) When a pickle recipe. However, the pickle recipe ''is'' greatly prized by the couple who reassembled the scroll. Mostly because the male, Prince Kirin, literally ''can't'' eat anything ''but'' pickles.
** Nodoka herself pulled this on Ranma and Akane (and their suitors) accidentally. She gives her son a gift to give Akane, and after opening it, everyone believes
it's revealed that an engagement ring. Cue the genie grants wishes by just making things out of dirt, he's disappointed when he realizes that the treasure horde he jokingly used his first wish on turned chases, battles, claims and flying weaponry before Ranma can ''finally'' give it to her. Turned out to be worthless.a pill box with a unique design, for the aspirin and antacids for the hardships that a woman in the Saotome family must endure.



* At the last volume of ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' manga, a chapter was about Nobita, Doraemon, Giant and Suneo competed in finding real treasures as 2 pirate teams. The treasures ''were'' there before they decided to make it as a pirate game. However, the very pirate game (which consisted of them sailing at sea and shooting cannonballs at each other) delayed their treasure hunting, resulting in someone had already dug the treasures ahead of them.

to:

* At {{Subverted}} in ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'': after an adventure in some ruins, Koji and the last volume of ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' manga, a chapter Autobots find the mysterious treasure Skybite was about Nobita, Doraemon, Giant after, which turns out to be a picture of Koji and Suneo competed in finding real treasures as 2 pirate teams. The treasures ''were'' there before they decided to make it as a pirate game. his dad. However, it soon turned out that the very pirate game (which consisted of them sailing at sea and shooting cannonballs at each other) delayed their treasure hunting, resulting in someone had already dug picture was placed to disguise the treasures ahead of them.''real'' treasure, a microchip containing information on Fortress Maximus' location.



* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' once had Xena and Gabrielle, along with the master thief Autolycus, hunt for what proved to be the Ark of the Covenant. Finding the Ten Commandments inside, Xena and Gabrielle got the message; Autolycus didn't, finding prohibition against theft and covetousness to be rules no one could live by.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in the ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode "Who Mourns for Morn?" Quark gets his hands on Morn's treasure, only to find that it's nothing but bricks of [[WorthlessYellowRocks worthless gold]]; all the valuable, unreplicatable [[{{Unobtainium}} latinum]] had been drained out. (Thanks to 24th Century replicator technology, gold lost a lot of its financial value; only its aesthetic appeal and industrial uses remained.) It's not, however, a total loss for Quark: for his help Morn gave him no small amount of latinum, and as he notes, some "backward" worlds still use gold for money.
** Played straight in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode "The Chase". The ''Enterprise'', the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians all piece together a long and convoluted mystery and end up finding... a message recorded by the last of the Master Race that created all of them, hoping that it means they have united in peace... and nothing else. It does lead to a NotSoDifferent moment (of a different sort) between Picard and the Romulan commander, but still...
*** This was an in-universe explanation for Trek's RubberForeheadAliens. Of course, they're all bipedal humanoids and have similar enough physiology to interbreed - they all come from the same source. One reviewer called the episode "more Roddenberry than Roddenberry," as the Great Bird was very fond of "NotSoDifferent."
* Subverted on ''Series/TopGear'': When a challenge ends with something other than success, the presenters try to claim the 'experience' of participating was worth more than actually winning it. Considering Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond are two of the most competitive men..... ''in the world''.... you can imagine tongue is firmly in cheek when they say this.
** In the Season 13 Mallorca classic car rally, they arrived too late to be in contention, so they concluded by saying they didn't really care about the result since they'd fallen in love with their cars and had bought them for themselves.
* On ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', the cast spent an episode hunting for treasure hidden by Muriel's old boyfriend, a famous thief. Eventually, they open Muriel's locket and find a message that says "To Muriel: You are my greatest treasure." Muriel grouses, "That's what guys say when they're too cheap to spring for the good jewelry."
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Kate masterminding a bank robbery to get a toy plane out of a safety deposit box probably qualifies.
* Played with in the ''Series/FraggleRock'' episode "The Lost Treasure of the Fraggles": Gobo and Red find a map purporting to lead to the fabled, titular "lost treasure of the Fraggles", which Red hopes will be "diamonds". After the usual series of adventures, the [[FiveManBand usual gang]] find the treasure, which turns out to be a musical box. Fraggles being inherently musical beings, this is considered to be, in fact, a valuable treasure -- one which, unlike material wealth, can be shared without losing its value. (A prophetic comment on music sharing perhaps?)
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman'' [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructs]] this trope. A room supposedly containing a doomsday weapon holds [[AsTheGoodBookSays only a plaque quoting Isaiah 2:4]]--"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Far from convincing humanity to disarm, however, everyone assumes the threat is real, and [[GodzillaThreshold are preparing to resort to countermeasures with catastrophic outcomes]]. Crisis is only averted when Jaime discovers the truth and reports that the doomsday weapon is a lie.
* In the Dutch children's series ''Series/BassieEnAdriaan'', one of the seasons has them go on holiday in Greece. While diving, Bassie finds a stone tablet with strange writing. When they call their friends back home and ask them to translate the tablet, the regular villains overhear them and partial translations suggest it is gives the location of sources of wealth and/or power. In the end however, it turns out to be just a philosophical message about the greatest treasures one can have: happiness, freedom, health.
* An episode of ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' had the murder of an archeologist who had been interviewing a man years earlier who had claimed to be part of a pirate crew who robbed a fantastic treasure from the Hawaiian governors of the time and hidden it. The Five-0 team soon tracks the killers to the house where they're digging up the basement, both dying in the shoot-out. When they get the chest, it contains only a pair of silver candlesticks. The team discover that the "pirate" was only a child when the raid happened, had been fired for stealing the candlesticks from the museum and made up the pirate story to make money, not realizing how many people would pay for his lies.

to:

* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' once had Xena and Gabrielle, along with the master thief Autolycus, hunt for what proved to be the Ark of the Covenant. Finding the Ten Commandments inside, Xena and Gabrielle got the message; Autolycus didn't, finding prohibition against theft and covetousness to be rules no one could live by.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in the ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode "Who Mourns for Morn?" Quark gets his hands on Morn's treasure, only to find that it's nothing but bricks of [[WorthlessYellowRocks worthless gold]]; all the valuable, unreplicatable [[{{Unobtainium}} latinum]] had been drained out. (Thanks to 24th Century replicator technology, gold lost a lot of its financial value; only its aesthetic appeal and industrial uses remained.) It's not, however, a total loss for Quark: for his help Morn gave him no small amount of latinum, and as he notes, some "backward" worlds still use gold for money.
** Played straight in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode "The Chase". The ''Enterprise'', the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians all piece together a long and convoluted mystery and end up finding... a message recorded by the last of the Master Race that created all of them, hoping that it means they have united in peace... and nothing else. It does lead to a NotSoDifferent moment (of a different sort) between Picard and the Romulan commander, but still...
*** This was an in-universe explanation for Trek's RubberForeheadAliens. Of course, they're all bipedal humanoids and have similar enough physiology to interbreed - they all come from the same source. One reviewer called the episode "more Roddenberry than Roddenberry," as the Great Bird was very fond of "NotSoDifferent."
* Subverted on ''Series/TopGear'': When a challenge ends with something other than success, the presenters try to claim the 'experience' of participating was worth more than actually winning it. Considering Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond are two of the most competitive men..... ''in the world''.... you can imagine tongue is firmly in cheek when they say this.
**
In the Season 13 Mallorca classic car rally, they arrived too late to be in contention, so they concluded by saying they didn't really care about the result since they'd fallen in love with their cars and had bought them for themselves.
* On ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', the cast spent
an episode hunting for treasure hidden by Muriel's old boyfriend, of ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'', a famous thief. Eventually, they open Muriel's locket and find "mad-scientist" doctor invents a message that says "To Muriel: You are my greatest treasure." Muriel grouses, "That's what machine to make gold. Mob guys say when they're too cheap force him to spring make gold for the good jewelry."
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Kate masterminding a bank robbery to get a toy plane out of a safety deposit box probably qualifies.
* Played with in the ''Series/FraggleRock'' episode "The Lost Treasure of the Fraggles": Gobo and Red find a map purporting to lead to the fabled, titular "lost treasure of the Fraggles", which Red hopes will be "diamonds". After the usual series of adventures, the [[FiveManBand usual gang]] find the treasure, which turns out to be a musical box. Fraggles being inherently musical beings, this is considered to be, in fact, a valuable treasure -- one which, unlike material wealth, can be shared without losing its value. (A prophetic comment on music sharing perhaps?)
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman'' [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructs]] this trope. A room supposedly containing a doomsday weapon holds [[AsTheGoodBookSays only a plaque quoting Isaiah 2:4]]--"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Far from convincing humanity to disarm, however, everyone assumes the threat is real, and [[GodzillaThreshold are preparing to resort to countermeasures with catastrophic outcomes]]. Crisis is only averted when Jaime discovers the truth and reports that the doomsday weapon is a lie.
* In the Dutch children's series ''Series/BassieEnAdriaan'', one of the seasons has them go on holiday in Greece. While diving, Bassie finds a stone tablet with strange writing. When they call their friends back home and ask
them, until he tells them to translate the tablet, the regular villains overhear them and partial translations suggest it is gives the location make $100 worth of sources of wealth and/or power. In the end however, it turns out to be just a philosophical message about the greatest treasures one can have: happiness, freedom, health.
* An episode of ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' had the murder of an archeologist who had been interviewing a man years earlier who had claimed to be part of a pirate crew who robbed a fantastic treasure from the Hawaiian governors of the time and hidden it. The Five-0 team soon tracks the killers to the house where they're digging up the basement, both dying in the shoot-out. When
gold, they get the chest, it contains only a pair need to provide him with $200 of silver candlesticks. The team discover that the "pirate" was only a child when the raid happened, had been fired for stealing the candlesticks from the museum and made up the pirate story to make money, not realizing how many people would pay for his lies. platinum.



* ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' has an odd variant of this trope. Near the end of the series, the Gokaigers have gathered all 35 Greater Powers and have finally unsealed the MacGuffin of the series, the Greatest Treasure in the Universe - a device that could grant them their heart's desire. They're about to use it before they realize there's a catch - doing so would ''erase'' the powers of the Franchise/SuperSentai from existence, meaning that there would have been no Super Sentai at all. After the Zangyack make their second major attack, SixthRanger Gai decides that they ''should'' use it, but is quickly talked down by the others, showing off their CharacterDevelopment in the process, but leave him the choice of if they really should or not. Gai's decision? [[spoiler:Apologize to his heroes for falling down the DespairEventHorizon, then ''destroy'' the treasure.]]
* The Lamberts from ''Series/StepByStep'' once took a vacation to Hawaii where J.T. and Cody found a treasure map. After following the clues, they tried digging for the treasure where the directions ended. After some fruitless digging, Cody saw that the spot had a perfect view of the sunset. He reasoned that the view was the treasure since it couldn't be owned.

to:

* ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' In the Dutch children's series ''Series/BassieEnAdriaan'', one of the seasons has an odd variant them go on holiday in Greece. While diving, Bassie finds a stone tablet with strange writing. When they call their friends back home and ask them to translate the tablet, the regular villains overhear them and partial translations suggest it is gives the location of sources of wealth and/or power. In the end however, it turns out to be just a philosophical message about the greatest treasures one can have: happiness, freedom, health.
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman'' [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructs]]
this trope. Near the end of the series, the Gokaigers have gathered all 35 Greater Powers and have finally unsealed the MacGuffin of the series, the Greatest Treasure in the Universe - A room supposedly containing a device that could grant them doomsday weapon holds [[AsTheGoodBookSays only a plaque quoting Isaiah 2:4]]--"They will beat their heart's desire. They're about to use it before they realize there's a catch - doing so would ''erase'' the powers of the Franchise/SuperSentai from existence, meaning that there would have been no Super Sentai at all. After the Zangyack make swords into plowshares and their second major attack, SixthRanger Gai decides that spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they ''should'' use it, but is quickly talked down by the others, showing off their CharacterDevelopment in the process, but leave him the choice of if they really should or not. Gai's decision? [[spoiler:Apologize to his heroes train for falling down the DespairEventHorizon, then ''destroy'' the treasure.]]
* The Lamberts
war anymore." Far from ''Series/StepByStep'' once took a vacation convincing humanity to Hawaii where J.T. disarm, however, everyone assumes the threat is real, and Cody found a treasure map. After following [[GodzillaThreshold are preparing to resort to countermeasures with catastrophic outcomes]]. Crisis is only averted when Jaime discovers the clues, they tried digging for the treasure where the directions ended. After some fruitless digging, Cody saw truth and reports that the spot had doomsday weapon is a perfect view of the sunset. He reasoned that the view was the treasure since it couldn't be owned.lie.



* In an episode of ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'', a "mad-scientist" doctor invents a machine to make gold. Mob guys force him to make gold for them, until he tells them to make $100 worth of gold, they need to provide him with $200 of platinum.

to:

* In an Played with in the ''Series/FraggleRock'' episode "The Lost Treasure of the Fraggles": Gobo and Red find a map purporting to lead to the fabled, titular "lost treasure of the Fraggles", which Red hopes will be "diamonds". After the usual series of adventures, the [[FiveManBand usual gang]] find the treasure, which turns out to be a musical box. Fraggles being inherently musical beings, this is considered to be, in fact, a valuable treasure -- one which, unlike material wealth, can be shared without losing its value. (A prophetic comment on music sharing perhaps?)
* An
episode of ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'', ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' had the murder of an archeologist who had been interviewing a "mad-scientist" doctor invents man years earlier who had claimed to be part of a machine pirate crew who robbed a fantastic treasure from the Hawaiian governors of the time and hidden it. The Five-0 team soon tracks the killers to the house where they're digging up the basement, both dying in the shoot-out. When they get the chest, it contains only a pair of silver candlesticks. The team discover that the "pirate" was only a child when the raid happened, had been fired for stealing the candlesticks from the museum and made up the pirate story to make gold. Mob guys force him money, not realizing how many people would pay for his lies.
* ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' has an odd variant of this trope. Near the end of the series, the Gokaigers have gathered all 35 Greater Powers and have finally unsealed the MacGuffin of the series, the Greatest Treasure in the Universe - a device that could grant them their heart's desire. They're about
to use it before they realize there's a catch - doing so would ''erase'' the powers of the Franchise/SuperSentai from existence, meaning that there would have been no Super Sentai at all. After the Zangyack make gold for them, until he tells them to make $100 worth of gold, their second major attack, SixthRanger Gai decides that they need to provide ''should'' use it, but is quickly talked down by the others, showing off their CharacterDevelopment in the process, but leave him with $200 the choice of platinum.if they really should or not. Gai's decision? [[spoiler:Apologize to his heroes for falling down the DespairEventHorizon, then ''destroy'' the treasure.]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Kate masterminding a bank robbery to get a toy plane out of a safety deposit box probably qualifies.



* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in the ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode "Who Mourns for Morn?" Quark gets his hands on Morn's treasure, only to find that it's nothing but bricks of [[WorthlessYellowRocks worthless gold]]; all the valuable, unreplicatable [[{{Unobtainium}} latinum]] had been drained out. (Thanks to 24th Century replicator technology, gold lost a lot of its financial value; only its aesthetic appeal and industrial uses remained.) It's not, however, a total loss for Quark: for his help Morn gave him no small amount of latinum, and as he notes, some "backward" worlds still use gold for money.
** Played straight in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode "The Chase". The ''Enterprise'', the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians all piece together a long and convoluted mystery and end up finding... a message recorded by the last of the Master Race that created all of them, hoping that it means they have united in peace... and nothing else. It does lead to a NotSoDifferent moment (of a different sort) between Picard and the Romulan commander, but still...
*** This was an in-universe explanation for Trek's RubberForeheadAliens. Of course, they're all bipedal humanoids and have similar enough physiology to interbreed - they all come from the same source. One reviewer called the episode "more Roddenberry than Roddenberry," as the Great Bird was very fond of "NotSoDifferent."
* The Lamberts from ''Series/StepByStep'' once took a vacation to Hawaii where J.T. and Cody found a treasure map. After following the clues, they tried digging for the treasure where the directions ended. After some fruitless digging, Cody saw that the spot had a perfect view of the sunset. He reasoned that the view was the treasure since it couldn't be owned.
* On ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', the cast spent an episode hunting for treasure hidden by Muriel's old boyfriend, a famous thief. Eventually, they open Muriel's locket and find a message that says "To Muriel: You are my greatest treasure." Muriel grouses, "That's what guys say when they're too cheap to spring for the good jewelry."
* Subverted on ''Series/TopGear'': When a challenge ends with something other than success, the presenters try to claim the 'experience' of participating was worth more than actually winning it. Considering Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond are two of the most competitive men..... ''in the world''.... you can imagine tongue is firmly in cheek when they say this.
** In the Season 13 Mallorca classic car rally, they arrived too late to be in contention, so they concluded by saying they didn't really care about the result since they'd fallen in love with their cars and had bought them for themselves.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' once had Xena and Gabrielle, along with the master thief Autolycus, hunt for what proved to be the Ark of the Covenant. Finding the Ten Commandments inside, Xena and Gabrielle got the message; Autolycus didn't, finding prohibition against theft and covetousness to be rules no one could live by.



* An episode of the 90s ''WesternAnimation/{{Babar}}'' TV series has much ado about an apparently valuable object of Retaxas' that goes missing. There are criminals and Arthur getting arrested and Zephir kidnapped. Then, at the end, the lovable sidekick criminal reveals that the object itself has no monetary value; [[spoiler:Arthur, Zephir, and the criminal mastermind are not amused. Then it turns out to be Retaxas' beloved childhood music box, much to the rhino king's embarrassment.]]
* This is the ultimate result of the quest for Shiver Me Timbear's pirate treasure chest in ''[[WesternAnimation/CareBearsWelcomeToCareALot Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot]]''. Grumpy Bear is ''not'' pleased at first.
* Part of the ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "The Last Leprechaun" revolves around obtaining Darby Spree's magic pot of gold this way.
* In a fantasy-dream episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', Gosalyn hates studying for a history test and fantasizes about going on a quest for the magical Fountain of Knowledge with her favorite comic-book hero. After a long quest, many bad jokes, and a climactic confrontation with a BigBad, she discovers the Fountain is ... a cardboard prop. As the villain said, "What? You thought you could drink from a fountain and get smarter?" It turns out that the stuff she learned in the quest was what she needed to learn for her history test.
* A ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'' episode had Muttley recovering a treasure chest, only for Dick Dastardly posing as a tax collector who confiscates it. Dastardly attempts to make some purchases with it, but when he opens the chest, he discovers it's full of nothing but dog biscuits.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' episode 'Buried Treasure', it's revealed that the titular buried treasure that the cast has been fighting over is actually a small barrel full of bananas that Donkey Kong hid while playing pirates as a child. Bananas that have now spoiled with age.
* On ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'', Emmy, Max and the dragon friends join Captain Scaliwag of the skies to find treasure, which turns out to be some pictures he drew as a little boy.



* Used in an ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' spoof in ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', in which "Pasadena Jones" (Buster) had gone through all the usual Indy adventures to get to a treasure chest purportedly containing "the Secret of Life", which turned out to contain Babs, Plucky and Hamton - the secret of life is friendship. He wasn't impressed: "In the sequel, I'm going after some gold."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Spoofed in "Bart to the Future". Marge and Homer go out to hunt for Lincoln's Gold. They eventually find a chest and inside it is a sheet of paper saying "my gold is in the heart of every American". Marge thinks it's sweet. Homer thinks it's a con.
** Also subverted in another episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Homer, as a vigilante leader, has caught a notorious cat burglar. The burglar reveals that he has a treasure hidden, and the entire town rushes off to solve his riddle and dig it up. When they find it, there is only a note inside, revealing that it was a ruse to distract everyone while the burglar escaped from prison.
*** In true Springfield fashion, they refuse to believe the note and keep digging until the hole is too big to climb out.
*** "Dig ''UP'' stupid!"
** When Homer and Mr. Burns are in the cabin buried by an avalanche, Carl suggests that maybe "the cabin" they were supposed to find was that special place in their hearts that they go to when they work together. Lenny points out that Burns had promised there would be sandwiches there though...
* Seen on ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', when "the treasure of Third Street School" turns out to be a collection of beloved toys left behind by former students (one of whom happens to be the principal of their school). However, it's not ''quite'' as {{Anvilicious}} as it sounds on the surface -- the hiders of the treasure were, at the time, children themselves, who really ''would'' find such things precious, and really ''would'' be likely to play an elaborate game by "hiding" it as though it were treasure. (Who didn't do similar things as a child?)

to:

* Used in an ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' spoof in ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', in which "Pasadena Jones" (Buster) had gone through all On ''WesternAnimation/EllaTheElephant'', the usual Indy adventures to get to a treasure chest purportedly containing "the Secret of Life", which turned out to contain Babs, Plucky and Hamton - "Treasure Hunters" is note a about friendship being the secret greatest treasure of life is friendship. He wasn't impressed: "In all, signed by the sequel, I'm going after some gold."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Spoofed in "Bart to the Future". Marge and Homer go out to hunt for Lincoln's Gold. They eventually find a chest and inside it is a sheet of paper saying "my gold is in the heart of every American". Marge thinks it's sweet. Homer thinks
kids' parents. Belinda's ''really'' annoyed at first, but then they all agree that it's a con.
** Also subverted in another
great treasure.
* An
episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Homer, as a vigilante leader, ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has caught a notorious cat burglar. The burglar reveals Peter discover that he has a placemat at a local restaurant, supposedly based on a real treasure hidden, map, actually does correspond to real clues, and ends up drawing the entire whole town rushes off to solve his riddle into a mad hunt for the treasure, which eventually fizzles out. Peter and dig it up. When they Lois eventually realize that the treasure is hidden at the Drunken Clam, the oldest pub in Quahog, and find it, there is a small chest hidden behind a photo... only for the "treasure" turn out to be a note inside, revealing that promotional stunt by the restaurant from the opening, and on top of that, it was a ruse to distract everyone while the burglar escaped from prison.
*** In true Springfield fashion, they refuse to believe the note and keep digging until the hole is too big to climb out.
*** "Dig ''UP'' stupid!"
** When Homer and Mr. Burns are in the cabin buried by an avalanche, Carl suggests
coupon for a free meal that maybe "the cabin" they were supposed to find was that expired in 2006.
* The ''[[{{Literature/Franklin}} Franklin and Friends]]''
special place in their hearts that they go to when they work together. Lenny points out that Burns had promised there would be sandwiches there though...
* Seen on ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', when "the
''Polar Explorer'' features Great Aunt Harriet's special treasure of Third Street School" in the Antarctic, [[spoiler:which turns out to be an extremely sparkly and picturesque lake that discovered.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Parodied when
a collection space pirate's ship has been shot and is spinning out of beloved toys left behind by former students (one of whom happens to be control; before it blows up the principal of their school). However, it's not ''quite'' as {{Anvilicious}} as it sounds on the surface -- the hiders captain is seen morosely looking out a port window and saying "Too late do I realize that me children are me only real treasures".
** Also suggested by one
of the monks trying to find God by looking through a telescope (in the same episode, oddly enough). "Maybe the love that this 'Fry' feels for his friend is God." "[[SarcasmMode Oh, how convenient!]] An explanation for God that doesn't involve looking through a giant telescope. Get back to work!"
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'' has Spydra stealing the "most priceless
treasure were, at in the time, children themselves, who really ''would'' find such things precious, and really ''would'' desert" that an emir planned to give to his son. It turned out to be likely to play an elaborate game by "hiding" it as though it were treasure. (Who didn't do similar things as a child?)bottle of water, which would have been a valuable lesson for the boy.



* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'', "Slightly Dinghy." Max wanted to get a quarter to buy a new video game, and after failing to find one in the couch, he talks PJ into asking Pete to take them fishing to find the treasure of the lake. The lake treasure turns out to be worth "less than nothing" in the words of a local reporter. Max is not harmed by this, because Goofy already found a quarter [[DramaticIrony (which the audience was already aware of)]]. PJ, who didn't want to come in the first place, however, had to faint.
* In "Big Bug Island" on ''WesternAnimation/JakeAndTheNeverlandPirates'', Captain Hook is thrilled at the idea of a golden caterpillar that will lead him to treasure and even agrees to an EnemyMine with the protagonists of the show to find it. The treasure turns out to be the joy of seeing the golden butterfly, which delights Jake, his team, and Hook's minions, but aggravates Hook.



* In the ''WesternAnimation/JuliusJr'' episode ''Clancy, Be Careful'', the gang helps Diamondbeard find treasure from a map he's found. It turns out that the treasure was all the stuff that belonged to him when he was a baby, because the treasure was his ''mom's treasure''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' episode "The Treasure of Henrietta Twombly", a greedy treasure hunter hears a rumor that Mrs. Twombly's ancestor had buried treasure, then practically tears the pet shop apart trying to find it. When the treasure chest is finally found, it contains pet kibble, since Henrietta loved animals. Disappointed that there were no gold or jewels, the treasure hunter leaves. Blythe digs through the kibble and finds a book containing Henrietta's secret pet food recipes, thought to have been lost to history. Blythe and Mrs. Twombly realize they could probably make a pretty profit with it.



* An episode of the 90s ''WesternAnimation/{{Babar}}'' TV series has much ado about an apparently valuable object of Retaxas' that goes missing. There are criminals and Arthur getting arrested and Zephir kidnapped. Then, at the end, the lovable sidekick criminal reveals that the object itself has no monetary value; [[spoiler:Arthur, Zephir, and the criminal mastermind are not amused. Then it turns out to be Retaxas' beloved childhood music box, much to the rhino king's embarrassment.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheReplacements'' did a subversion of this, where escaping a trap required discovering the 'real' treasure, knowledge. The trick was, there actually ''were'' piles of gold and jewels waiting for whoever solved the puzzle, and the main characters happened to miss the reveal -- a one-off gag character came in time to grab it, though.
* Filmation's animated version of the novel ''{{Tarzan}} and the Forbidden City'', described above.
* Part of the ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "The Last Leprechaun" revolves around obtaining Darby Spree's magic pot of gold this way.
* In a fantasy-dream episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', Gosalyn hates studying for a history test and fantasizes about going on a quest for the magical Fountain of Knowledge with her favorite comic-book hero. After a long quest, many bad jokes, and a climactic confrontation with a BigBad, she discovers the Fountain is ... a cardboard prop. As the villain said, "What? You thought you could drink from a fountain and get smarter?" It turns out that the stuff she learned in the quest was what she needed to learn for her history test.

to:

* An In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' episode "The Magic Coins", after [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor their ill-thought out wishes]] made on the coins cause trouble, the ponies turn to the coins' crotchety creator, Niblick the troll, for help. Niblick refuses to help unless they bring him a treasure of equal or greater value than that of the 90s ''WesternAnimation/{{Babar}}'' TV series has much ado about an apparently valuable object coins. The ponies risk their necks to bring him three treasures, but Niblick rejects them all. Just as things look hopeless, Megan thinks to use the last of Retaxas' that goes missing. There are criminals the coins to wish for [[ThePowerOfFriendship a friend for Niblick]], and Arthur getting arrested despite the OddCouple dynamic between the two, they hit it off and Zephir kidnapped. Then, at Niblick agrees to help.
* In one animated ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' special, You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown ends up competing in a motocross race with
the end, promise of Pro Bowl tickets as the lovable sidekick criminal reveals that the object itself has no monetary value; [[spoiler:Arthur, Zephir, and the criminal mastermind are not amused. Then it turns out to be Retaxas' beloved childhood music box, grand prize. Charlie Brown, much to the rhino king's embarrassment.surprise of everyone, ends up winning, but in true Peanuts fashion, they couldn't get the Pro Bowl tickets so they tried to compensate by giving him a gift certificate for five free haircuts. The problem? His dad is a barber, plus [[CharlieBrownBaldness he doesn't have that much hair to cut anyway.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheReplacements'' did King Julien anticipates this trope on ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' after hearing about a subversion of this, where escaping a trap required discovering the 'real' treasure. "This is real treasure, knowledge. The trick was, there actually ''were'' piles right? Not one of gold and jewels waiting for whoever solved those 'friendship is the puzzle, greatest treasure of all' deals? Because you can't trade friendship for, you know, the goods and the main characters happened to miss the reveal -- a one-off gag character came in time to grab it, though.
* Filmation's animated version of the novel ''{{Tarzan}} and the Forbidden City'', described above.
* Part of the ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "The Last Leprechaun" revolves around obtaining Darby Spree's magic pot of gold this way.
* In a fantasy-dream episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', Gosalyn hates studying for a history test and fantasizes about going on a quest for the magical Fountain of Knowledge with her favorite comic-book hero. After a long quest, many bad jokes, and a climactic confrontation with a BigBad, she discovers the Fountain is ... a cardboard prop. As the villain said, "What? You thought you could drink from a fountain and get smarter?" It turns out that the stuff she learned in the quest was what she needed to learn for her history test.
services."



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Parodied when a space pirate's ship has been shot and is spinning out of control; before it blows up the captain is seen morosely looking out a port window and saying "Too late do I realize that me children are me only real treasures".
** Also suggested by one of the monks trying to find God by looking through a telescope (in the same episode, oddly enough). "Maybe the love that this 'Fry' feels for his friend is God." "[[SarcasmMode Oh, how convenient!]] An explanation for God that doesn't involve looking through a giant telescope. Get back to work!"
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' episode "The Magic Coins", after [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor their ill-thought out wishes]] made on the coins cause trouble, the ponies turn to the coins' crotchety creator, Niblick the troll, for help. Niblick refuses to help unless they bring him a treasure of equal or greater value than that of the coins. The ponies risk their necks to bring him three treasures, but Niblick rejects them all. Just as things look hopeless, Megan thinks to use the last of the coins to wish for [[ThePowerOfFriendship a friend for Niblick]], and despite the OddCouple dynamic between the two, they hit it off and Niblick agrees to help.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'' has Spydra stealing the "most priceless treasure in the desert" that an emir planned to give to his son. It turned out to be a bottle of water, which would have been a valuable lesson for the boy.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' episode 'Buried Treasure', it's revealed that the titular buried treasure that the cast has been fighting over is actually a small barrel full of bananas that Donkey Kong hid while playing pirates as a child. Bananas that have now spoiled with age.
* This is the ultimate result of the quest for Shiver Me Timbear's pirate treasure chest in ''[[WesternAnimation/CareBearsWelcomeToCareALot Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot]]''. Grumpy Bear is ''not'' pleased at first.
* In "Big Bug Island" on ''WesternAnimation/JakeAndTheNeverlandPirates'', Captain Hook is thrilled at the idea of a golden caterpillar that will lead him to treasure and even agrees to an EnemyMine with the protagonists of the show to find it. The treasure turns out to be the joy of seeing the golden butterfly, which delights Jake, his team, and Hook's minions, but aggravates Hook.
* On ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'', Emmy, Max and the dragon friends join Captain Scaliwag of the skies to find treasure, which turns out to be some pictures he drew as a little boy.
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'', "Slightly Dinghy." Max wanted to get a quarter to buy a new video game, and after failing to find one in the couch, he talks PJ into asking Pete to take them fishing to find the treasure of the lake. The lake treasure turns out to be worth "less than nothing" in the words of a local reporter. Max is not harmed by this, because Goofy already found a quarter [[DramaticIrony (which the audience was already aware of)]]. PJ, who didn't want to come in the first place, however, had to faint.
* King Julien anticipates this trope on ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' after hearing about a treasure. "This is real treasure, right? Not one of those 'friendship is the greatest treasure of all' deals? Because you can't trade friendship for, you know, the goods and the services."
* The ''[[{{Literature/Franklin}} Franklin and Friends]]'' special ''Polar Explorer'' features Great Aunt Harriet's special treasure in the Antarctic, [[spoiler:which turns out to be an extremely sparkly and picturesque lake that discovered.]]
* A ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'' episode had Muttley recovering a treasure chest, only for Dick Dastardly posing as a tax collector who confiscates it. Dastardly attempts to make some purchases with it, but when he opens the chest, he discovers it's full of nothing but dog biscuits.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Parodied
Seen on ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', when a space pirate's ship has been shot and is spinning out of control; before it blows up the captain is seen morosely looking out a port window and saying "Too late do I realize that me children are me only real treasures".
** Also suggested by one of the monks trying to find God by looking through a telescope (in the same episode, oddly enough). "Maybe the love that this 'Fry' feels for his friend is God." "[[SarcasmMode Oh, how convenient!]] An explanation for God that doesn't involve looking through a giant telescope. Get back to work!"
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' episode "The Magic Coins", after [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor their ill-thought out wishes]] made on the coins cause trouble, the ponies turn to the coins' crotchety creator, Niblick the troll, for help. Niblick refuses to help unless they bring him a
"the treasure of equal or greater value than that Third Street School" turns out to be a collection of beloved toys left behind by former students (one of whom happens to be the principal of their school). However, it's not ''quite'' as {{Anvilicious}} as it sounds on the surface -- the hiders of the coins. The ponies risk their necks to bring him three treasures, but Niblick rejects them all. Just as treasure were, at the time, children themselves, who really ''would'' find such things look hopeless, Megan thinks to use the last of the coins to wish for [[ThePowerOfFriendship a friend for Niblick]], precious, and despite the OddCouple dynamic between the two, they hit really ''would'' be likely to play an elaborate game by "hiding" it off and Niblick agrees to help.
as though it were treasure. (Who didn't do similar things as a child?)
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'' has Spydra stealing ''WesternAnimation/TheReplacements'' did a subversion of this, where escaping a trap required discovering the "most priceless treasure in the desert" that an emir planned to give to his son. It turned out to be a bottle of water, which would have been a valuable lesson for the boy.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' episode 'Buried Treasure', it's revealed that the titular buried treasure that the cast has been fighting over is
'real' treasure, knowledge. The trick was, there actually a small barrel full ''were'' piles of bananas that Donkey Kong hid while playing pirates as a child. Bananas that have now spoiled with age.
* This is
gold and jewels waiting for whoever solved the ultimate result of puzzle, and the quest for Shiver Me Timbear's pirate main characters happened to miss the reveal -- a one-off gag character came in time to grab it, though.
* Used in an ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' spoof in ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', in which "Pasadena Jones" (Buster) had gone through all the usual Indy adventures to get to a
treasure chest in ''[[WesternAnimation/CareBearsWelcomeToCareALot Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot]]''. Grumpy Bear is ''not'' pleased at first.
* In "Big Bug Island" on ''WesternAnimation/JakeAndTheNeverlandPirates'', Captain Hook is thrilled at the idea
purportedly containing "the Secret of a golden caterpillar that will lead him to treasure and even agrees to an EnemyMine with the protagonists of the show to find it. The treasure turns Life", which turned out to be contain Babs, Plucky and Hamton - the joy secret of seeing life is friendship. He wasn't impressed: "In the golden butterfly, which delights Jake, his team, and Hook's minions, but aggravates Hook.
* On ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'', Emmy, Max and the dragon friends join Captain Scaliwag of the skies to find treasure, which turns out to be some pictures he drew as a little boy.
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'', "Slightly Dinghy." Max wanted to get a quarter to buy a new video game, and
sequel, I'm going after failing to find one in the couch, he talks PJ into asking Pete to take them fishing to find the treasure of the lake. The lake treasure turns out to be worth "less than nothing" in the words of a local reporter. Max is not harmed by this, because Goofy already found a quarter [[DramaticIrony (which the audience was already aware of)]]. PJ, who didn't want to come in the first place, however, had to faint.
* King Julien anticipates this trope on ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' after hearing about a treasure. "This is real treasure, right? Not one of those 'friendship is the greatest treasure of all' deals? Because you can't trade friendship for, you know, the goods and the services.
some gold."
* The ''[[{{Literature/Franklin}} Franklin ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Spoofed in "Bart to the Future". Marge
and Friends]]'' special ''Polar Explorer'' features Great Aunt Harriet's special treasure Homer go out to hunt for Lincoln's Gold. They eventually find a chest and inside it is a sheet of paper saying "my gold is in the Antarctic, [[spoiler:which turns out to be an extremely sparkly and picturesque lake heart of every American". Marge thinks it's sweet. Homer thinks it's a con.
** Also subverted in another episode. Homer, as a vigilante leader, has caught a notorious cat burglar. The burglar reveals
that discovered.]]
* A ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'' episode had Muttley recovering
he has a treasure chest, hidden, and the entire town rushes off to solve his riddle and dig it up. When they find it, there is only for Dick Dastardly posing as a tax collector who confiscates it. Dastardly attempts note inside, revealing that it was a ruse to make some purchases with it, but distract everyone while the burglar escaped from prison.
*** In true Springfield fashion, they refuse to believe the note and keep digging until the hole is too big to climb out.
*** "Dig ''UP'' stupid!"
** When Homer and Mr. Burns are in the cabin buried by an avalanche, Carl suggests that maybe "the cabin" they were supposed to find was that special place in their hearts that they go to
when he opens the chest, he discovers it's full of nothing but dog biscuits.they work together. Lenny points out that Burns had promised there would be sandwiches there though...



* In one animated ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' special, You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown ends up competing in a motocross race with the promise of Pro Bowl tickets as the grand prize. Charlie Brown, much to the surprise of everyone, ends up winning, but in true Peanuts fashion, they couldn't get the Pro Bowl tickets so they tried to compensate by giving him a gift certificate for five free haircuts. The problem? His dad is a barber, plus [[CharlieBrownBaldness he doesn't have that much hair to cut anyway.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' episode "The Treasure of Henrietta Twombly", a greedy treasure hunter hears a rumor that Mrs. Twombly's ancestor had buried treasure, then practically tears the pet shop apart trying to find it. When the treasure chest is finally found, it contains pet kibble, since Henrietta loved animals. Disappointed that there were no gold or jewels, the treasure hunter leaves. Blythe digs through the kibble and finds a book containing Henrietta's secret pet food recipes, thought to have been lost to history. Blythe and Mrs. Twombly realize they could probably make a pretty profit with it.
* An episode of ''FamilyGuy'' has Peter discover that a placemat at a local restaurant, supposedly based on a real treasure map, actually does correspond to real clues, and ends up drawing the whole town into a mad hunt for the treasure, which eventually fizzles out. Peter and Lois eventually realize that the treasure is hidden at the Drunken Clam, the oldest pub in Quahog, and find a small chest hidden behind a photo... only for the "treasure" turn out to be a promotional stunt by the restaurant from the opening, and on top of that, it was a coupon for a free meal that expired in 2006.
* On ''WesternAnimation/EllaTheElephant'', the treasure of "Treasure Hunters" is note a about friendship being the greatest treasure of all, signed by the kids' parents. Belinda's ''really'' annoyed at first, but then they all agree that it's a great treasure.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JuliusJr'' episode ''Clancy, Be Careful'', the gang helps Diamondbeard find treasure from a map he's found. It turns out that the treasure was all the stuff that belonged to him when he was a baby, because the treasure was his ''mom's treasure''.

to:

* In one Filmation's animated ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' special, You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown ends up competing in a motocross race with version of the promise of Pro Bowl tickets as novel ''{{Tarzan}} and the grand prize. Charlie Brown, much to the surprise of everyone, ends up winning, but in true Peanuts fashion, they couldn't get the Pro Bowl tickets so they tried to compensate by giving him a gift certificate for five free haircuts. The problem? His dad is a barber, plus [[CharlieBrownBaldness he doesn't have that much hair to cut anyway.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' episode "The Treasure of Henrietta Twombly", a greedy treasure hunter hears a rumor that Mrs. Twombly's ancestor had buried treasure, then practically tears the pet shop apart trying to find it. When the treasure chest is finally found, it contains pet kibble, since Henrietta loved animals. Disappointed that there were no gold or jewels, the treasure hunter leaves. Blythe digs through the kibble and finds a book containing Henrietta's secret pet food recipes, thought to have been lost to history. Blythe and Mrs. Twombly realize they could probably make a pretty profit with it.
* An episode of ''FamilyGuy'' has Peter discover that a placemat at a local restaurant, supposedly based on a real treasure map, actually does correspond to real clues, and ends up drawing the whole town into a mad hunt for the treasure, which eventually fizzles out. Peter and Lois eventually realize that the treasure is hidden at the Drunken Clam, the oldest pub in Quahog, and find a small chest hidden behind a photo... only for the "treasure" turn out to be a promotional stunt by the restaurant from the opening, and on top of that, it was a coupon for a free meal that expired in 2006.
* On ''WesternAnimation/EllaTheElephant'', the treasure of "Treasure Hunters" is note a about friendship being the greatest treasure of all, signed by the kids' parents. Belinda's ''really'' annoyed at first, but then they all agree that it's a great treasure.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JuliusJr'' episode ''Clancy, Be Careful'', the gang helps Diamondbeard find treasure from a map he's found. It turns out that the treasure was all the stuff that belonged to him when he was a baby, because the treasure was his ''mom's treasure''.
Forbidden City'', described above.
26th Oct '16 7:50:05 AM Gan_HOPE326
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Added DiffLines:

** Actually, it kind of is valuable. It's an SS card, the highest rarity ranking, only 3 copies of it can exist at a given time in the entire game and obtaining it is spectacularly hard. As soon as the protagonists obtain it they manage to copy it, monopolise it and therefore force the villains into a confrontation if they want a shot at winning the game. Strategically, it's a vital asset.
26th Oct '16 12:52:43 AM Gemser
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Added DiffLines:

* In the original ''Film/GameOfDeath'', all of the suggestions and rumors about what is on the highest level of the pagoda (a scroll with an inspirational message, nothing, a mirror etc.) invoke this. This would be in line with Bruce Lee's philosophy. However, none of these are canon.
25th Oct '16 11:29:22 PM PaulA
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** The early spinoff novel ''Han Solo and the Lost Legacy'' involves Han and Chewie getting involved with a bunch of treasure-hunters looking for the lost treasure of Xim the Despot, a pre-Republic warlord who once ruled a mighty empire and reputedly left behind an immense (but possibly mythical) treasure. They wind up finding the "treasure", but it turns out to be a large stockpile of stuff that was vital and hard-to-find strategic war supplies back in Xim's day, but has long since become obsolete or common as dirt. Another example that is not as bad as some others--what people consider valuable depends greatly on their circumstances.
** Another novel, ''Literature/MillenniumFalcon'', plays with this trope while also featuring an ItsTheJourneyThatCounts in the form of the titular starship's backstory. The treasure turns out to be [[spoiler: The Insignia of Unity from the Galactic Senate]], hidden by those who stole it largely for its symbolic value. By the time the treasure is discovered, however, the trope is subverted, since [[spoiler: the insignia has become a sought after collector's item in the years since its theft.]] Ultimately, this trope is double subverted when [[spoiler: the insignia the treasure hunters find turns out to be a fake.]]

to:

** The early spinoff novel ''Han Solo and the Lost Legacy'' ''Literature/HanSoloAndTheLostLegacy'' involves Han and Chewie getting involved with a bunch of treasure-hunters looking for the lost treasure of Xim the Despot, a pre-Republic warlord who once ruled a mighty empire and reputedly left behind an immense (but possibly mythical) treasure. They wind up finding the "treasure", but it turns out to be a large stockpile of stuff that was vital and hard-to-find strategic war supplies back in Xim's day, but has long since become obsolete or common as dirt. Another example that is not as bad as some others--what people consider valuable depends greatly on their circumstances.
** Another novel, ''Literature/MillenniumFalcon'', ''Literature/MillenniumFalcon'' plays with this trope while also featuring an ItsTheJourneyThatCounts in the form of the titular starship's backstory. The treasure turns out to be [[spoiler: The [[spoiler:The Insignia of Unity from the Galactic Senate]], hidden by those who stole it largely for its symbolic value. By the time the treasure is discovered, however, the trope is subverted, since [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the insignia has become a sought after collector's item in the years since its theft.]] theft]]. Ultimately, this trope is double subverted when [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the insignia the treasure hunters find turns out to be a fake.]]fake]].
25th Oct '16 4:18:40 PM RhetoricalToadlet
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* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': In "The Chase," several races of aliens try to find a secret message hidden in ancient DNA, thinking it could be the clue to ancient technology or a devastating weapon. However, it turns out to be a message hoping the alien races will find peace due to their shared ancestry.
25th Oct '16 4:18:11 PM RhetoricalToadlet
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* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': In "The Chase," several races of aliens try to find a secret message hidden in ancient DNA, thinking it could be the clue to ancient technology or a devastating weapon. However, it turns out to be a message hoping the alien races will find peace due to their shared ancestry.



* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': In "The Chase," several races of aliens try to find a secret message hidden in ancient DNA, thinking it could be the clue to ancient technology or a devastating weapon. However, it turns out to be a message hoping the alien races will find peace due to their shared ancestry.

to:

* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': In "The Chase," several races of aliens try to find a secret message hidden in ancient DNA, thinking it could be the clue to ancient technology or a devastating weapon. However, it turns out to be a message hoping the alien races will find peace due to their shared ancestry.
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