Created By: KJMackley on November 10, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on April 3, 2015

The Geek Out Collection

You\'re not a geek unless you have one.

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Trope
Any geek is going to be particular about collecting some series of items. It may be just on display behind them in their Hacker Cave, it might be dedicated to a table in their bedroom or it has it's own room to become a mini-museum.

Generally, if this shows up you will eventually see them either cradling them with fondness from time to time or someone else will eventually see the collection. If that happens a handful of things may occur: the person may accidentally damage it (such as opening one of the Mint Sealed In Box items), they may mock the collector for having a focus on children / girly items, they may geek out themselves or they may steal the collection and hold it as leverage against the person. If it's shown to a potential love interest, it may end up as a Geeky Turn-On.

This doesn't necessarily have to be with children's toys or girly items, as some collections may very well be considered "hip" or "cool." Car Memorabilia in particular is considered very masculine and may result in similar "geek out" moments.

Usually done by a collector, but generally without evil intent. See also Collector of the Strange (when the things they collect are simply strange) and Kitsch Collection. Contrast the Porn Stash, which is a collection most want to keep hidden.

Truth in Television, naturally.


Examples

Film
  • Toy Story 2 had toy store mogul Al with an immense collection based on "Woody's Roundup" and was only missing the most valuable piece, the Woody doll. When Woody is stolen from the yard sale he got to see the massive collection and never knew that his show was so popular or that he was from such a large line of toys. He basically geeked out over his own toy line.
  • In Hot Fuzz, Officer Butterman had a massive movie collection, kept in a rather large walk-in closet.
  • Dr. Chase in National Treasure kept a fairly modest collection of very rare coins, which was missing a single piece that Nicolas Cage was able to find for her.
  • Batman Forever had Bruce show Dick his vintage car and motorcycle collection. It was done in an offhand way (suggesting Dick fill up his motorcycle with gas before heading off). It even had a classic geeky exchange "Only ten of these were made!" "I have another one right here."
  • In The Rock, Stanley Goodspeed is a proud Beatlemaniac, going so far as to spending $600 on the original Meet The Beatles LP.
  • In American Beauty, Colonel Frank Fitts (the Burnhams' neighbor) has a collection of tableware that was used by Nazi German officials, stamped with the swastika. Supposedly there is an avid collector community for this type of paraphernalia, as Fitts' son mentions.

Live-Action TV
  • The Big Bang Theory, being about geeks, features plenty of geeky items in the background.
    • When Penny criticized the group for putting so much effort into "junk" (A full sized prop from The Time Machine blocked the stairway and prevented her from getting to work on time) it depressed Leonard enough to where he wanted to sell his stuff. Later Sheldon calls Penny out for having her own collection of stuffed bears and Hello Kitty clothing.
    • In an AV Club review of an episode, the reviewer asked if comic collectors really do carefully sort and palm through their comics like the guys were shown doing. The answer was an overwhelming "YES."
  • Seinfeld had Jerry dating a woman who he discovered had a collection of vintage toys and board games. So he "drugged" her at dinner time (with turkey and boxed wine to make her sleepy) and spent the night playing with them. She was, naturally, disturbed when she found out what he did.
  • iCarly had Carly start seeing a guy who came across with a "Bad Boy" persona. She ended up losing interest really fast (in addition to a Drama Queen freaking out) when she found out he had a Beanie Baby-esque collection. He would go online to buy the "only sold in Asia" stuff and would only allow others to touch them after they wiped their hands with a wetnap. After all the hype surrounding his bad boy nature, Freddie found it hilarious.
  • In an early episode of Burn Notice, Fiona is enamored of a gun collection kept by the owner of a home that was being cared for by their client of the week. Another episode showed Michael admiring a similar gun collection held by someone he was trying to con.
  • In 30 Rock, Jack had a cookie jar collection which he gave up in order to ascend the ranks of GE.
  • Pawn Stars often have people show their collections of various items to sell, which usually comes with a hefty pawn price reduction because few people want the collection as a whole, so it requires quite a bit of manpower to catalog and sell the items. And then there are the stranger collection like the guy with Sammy Davis Jr's personal VHS tape collection.
  • A episode of Psych had Shawn and Gus call upon the expertise of a UFO expert and old geek buddy of theirs, played by Freddie Prince Jr., who had done a lot in his life to live down being a geek and pretended to be into sports to appease his very attractive wife. He introduced them to his Hacker Cave, filled with memorabilia and they were even clearly playing Halo: Reach before it came out. Eventually his wife walked in on them and he had to confess his geekiness, only to find out she was a big geek too and both were pretending to be something else, leading to a massive Geeky Turn-On.

Music

Video Games

Web Comics

Web Original
  • All the members of the Two Best Friends Play YouTube channel have their own collections, especially as a result of their mailbag episodes in early 2014. Matt in particular has large figurine collection on display.

Western Animation
  • Batman has a long established Super Trophy Super Rack with items pertaining to his various adventures. In Batman: The Animated Series it shows that he also has a dedicated room to "The Grey Ghost" TV show he loved as a kid, and got to show it to the actor who played The Grey Ghost. The only question remains, why is it in the Batcave rather than the actual Wayne Manor?
  • An episode of Powerpuff Girls had an obsessed collector who eventually got all of the Powerpuff Girls merchandise ever made. His life goal suddenly complete, he decided to collect the girls themselves. Naturally, when the people of Townsville come to the rescue they got him to confess by opening his mint-in package items.
  • In Downtown, Alex and his geek friends all collect action figures. When Jen tells one of the friends that he should get laid, he assumes "Laid" is a rare Star Wars figure. The Geek Out Collection becomes a plot point later in the same episode, when Alex realizes he doesn't want to end up being a middle-aged guy still obsessing over toys.
  • On The Simpsons Ned has a secret cache of Beatles memorabilia. Anticipated in a Treehouse of Horror episode where it was The End Of The World:
    Rev. Lovejoy: Judgement Day is upon us. I warned you the Lord wouldn't stand for your minidresses and Beatle boots.
    Flanders: [trying to remove a pair of said boots] I've resisted these for thirty-five years. Why did I wear them today?

Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • November 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The glass menagerie in The Glass Menagerie
  • November 10, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    Used in this LOL Cat pic.
  • November 10, 2011
    LuxExterior
    For Film:

    • In Hot Fuzz, Officer Butterman had a massive movie collection, kept in a rather large walk-in closet.
    • The love interest in National Treasure kept a fairly modest collection of very rare coins, which was missing a single piece that Nicolas Cage was able to find for her.

    For Live-Action TV:

    • In an early episode of Burn Notice, Fiona is enamored of a gun collection kept by the owner of a home that was being cared for by their client of the week. Another episode showed Michael admiring a similar gun collection held by someone he was trying to con.
  • November 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    30Rock: Jack had a cookie jar collection which he gave up in order to ascend the ranks of GE.
  • November 11, 2011
    KJMackley
    Pawn Stars often have people show their collections of various items to sell, which usually comes with a hefty pawn price reduction because few people want the collection as a whole, so it requires quite a bit of manpower to catelogue and sell the items. And then there are the stranger collection like the guy with Sammy Davis Jr's personal VHS tape collection.
  • December 7, 2011
    KJMackley
    Batman Forever had Bruce show Dick his vintage car and motorcycle collection. It was done in an offhand way (suggesting Dick fill up his motorcycle with gas before heading off). It even had a classic geeky exchange "Only ten of these were made!" "I have another one right here."
  • December 8, 2011
    Tuomas
    In Downtown, Alex and his geek friends all collect action figures. When Jen tells one of the friends that he should get laid, he assumes "Laid" is a rare Star Wars figure. The Geek Out Collection becomes a plot point later in the same episode, when Alex realizes he doesn't want to end up being a middle-aged guy still obsessing over toys.
  • February 14, 2012
    KJMackley
    A episode of Psych had Shawn and Gus call upon the expertise of a UFO expert and old geek buddy of theirs, played by Freddie Prince Jr., who had done a lot in his life to live down being a geek and pretended to be into sports to appease his very attractive wife. He introduced them to his Hacker Cave, filled with memorabilia and they were even clearly playing Halo Reach before it came out. Eventually his wife walked in on them and he had to confess his geekiness, only to find out she was a big geek too and both were pretending to be something else, leading to a massive Geeky Turn On.
  • February 14, 2012
    TonyG
    The Glass Menagerie would fall under Kitsch Collection, since there is nothing geeky about glass animals. Besides, it's played for tragic symbolism and not for laughs, as this trope usually is.
  • February 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Laura geeks out over them though. Just because this is usually Played For Laughs doesn't mean it always is.
  • In No More Heroes, Travis Touchdown's place is crammed with Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly merchandise and luchador masks.
  • In The Rock, Stanley Goodspeed is a proud Beatlemaniac, going so far as to spending $600 on the original Meet The Beatles LP.
  • In Sunstone, there's a room that Ally won't let her girlfriend Lisa see. When the readers are finally given a peek inside, it's revealed that Ally is a huge Closet Geek; she has TARDIS bedsheets, a Tomb Raider statue on her desk, and an Eye of Mordor lamp.
  • May 16, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Not "geeky" per se, but a really peculiar (if not disturbing) niche interest:

    Film

    In American Beauty, Colonel Frank Fitts (the Burnhams' neighbor) has a collection of tableware that was used by Nazi German officials, stamped with the swastika. Supposedly there is an avid collector community for this type of paraphernalia, as Fitts' son mentions.
  • May 16, 2013
    Arivne
    Formatted the examples section, including media sections, work title Namespaces and italization, and correcting an improper Example Indentation.
  • May 16, 2013
    McKathlin
    Newspaper Comics
    • In Candorville, Lemont tells Susan that he's ruined his reputation by accidentally tweeting his "junk" for all the Internet to see. The "junk" he refers to is his collection of sci-fi knickknacks.
  • May 29, 2013
    randomsurfer
    On The Simpsons Ned has a secret cache of Beatles memorabilia. Anticipated in a Treehouse Of Horror episode where it was The End Of The World:
    Rev. Lovejoy: Judgement Day is upon us. I warned you the Lord wouldn't stand for your minidresses and Beatle boots.
    Flanders: [trying to remove a pair of said boots] I've resisted these for thirty-five years. Why did I wear them today?
  • All the members of the Two Best Friends Play You Tube channel have their own collections, especially as a result of their mailbag episodes in early 2014. Matt in particular has large figurine collection on display.
  • Updated the main page. Can anyone think of more examples?
  • May 28, 2014
    Arivne
    • Corrected spelling (accidently, childrens -> children's, catelogue).
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Added a space between *'s and the first word following them.
    • Namespaced work name(s) and Creator names.
  • March 31, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump, maybe
  • April 1, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Also from Seinfeld in "The Cigar Store Indian" George's father Frank has a TV Guide collection. Elaine borrows one to read on the train, loses it, and then a man tracks her down and shows her an art piece he made from it. Frank is very upset
  • April 1, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Web Comics
  • April 2, 2015
    eroock
    Where does this trope end and Collector Of The Strange begin? I for one would sort the American Beauty example under Collector Of The Strange.

    Film:
    • The protagonist of The Best Offer has as secret room in his apartment filled with priceless paintings of women. He often just sits there for hours, admiring these works of art. All paintings get stolen in a heist though.
    • Seymour from Ghost World is a sucker for 1920's jazz and blues and his room is shelved up with a huge record collection, pinup art and historical memorabilia of the era.
  • April 2, 2015
    TitoMosquito
    • In an episode of Ozzy And Drix the heroes search through Mayor Spryman's geeky opponent's office. They found his collection of unopen toys. Drix starts geeing out over one toy he doesn't have.
  • April 3, 2015
    Rjinswand
    • Angry Video Game Nerd hosts his show in a room full of retro games, consoles and video game posters. The show has been filmed in several different rooms throughout its history, but all of them were decorated like that. Ironically, most of that Geek Out Collection initially belonged to the show's co-creator Mike Matei, rather than James Rolfe who plays the Nerd.
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