Buying sand in the desert YKTTW Discussion

Buying sand in the desert
Desperately wishing for something that could be trivially acquired.
(permanent link) added: 2011-11-07 13:14:27 sponsor: bertrc (last reply: 2013-03-01 13:42:38)

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In several stories, a character becomes overjoyed or obsessed with the possibility of acquiring some trivial gewgaw, even though he is swimming in enough wealth or resources (or the item itself) to easily obtain the item a thousand times over. Essentially, the defining characteristic of this trope is that there is no sane reason why the person would be so obsessed.

It is often used deliberately for comedic purposes, but also occurs accidentally when the story teller does not think through the implications of the situation they have created (ie. when an author mistakenly keeps his or her real world perspective without realizing how much their fantasy world has differed from the real world)


Comic Books
  • It is lampshaded in the Apocrypha series of Miracleman. A janitor who regularly sees parallel worlds and interacts with divine/god-like beings becomes starstruck when he is passed in the road by a vintage automobile

  • The comic "Wanted" displays this at the end, where the protagonist is thrilled at the chance to claim his 10 million dollars even though he essentially owns both North and South America.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons often used this trope for comedic purposes A prime example is from an episode in which Homer, while fantasizing about a world where literally everything is made of chocolate (Lamp posts, rain, dogs, etc.) becomes most excited upon finding a chocolate store selling chocolate at half price.

  • The old Super Friends cartoon regularly demonstrated this trope with the Legion of Doom. The Legion of Doom repeatedly conquers the world, but uses their position of power to rob some banks, or, at most, Fort Knox.

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