Created By: Farmelle on February 24, 2012 Last Edited By: Farmelle on January 18, 2013

I Have Had This Plot Coupon Since Childhood

Bob has had something since childhood that is important or shows that he\\\\\\\'s important

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Needs a Better Title, might need a better description. --- Bob and Alice need to find the Amulet of Bel-Hazar, but they have no idea where to look -- the old king gave it to his long-lost son, who could be anywhere. It's hopeless! Bob sighs, and begins to fiddle with his necklace. Alice takes notice, and blinks...

"Bob, where did you get that?" She asks. "Oh, this? It's just something I've had since I was a kid." It's the amulet, which means...Bob really is the son of the king, the chosen one, the prophecied hero, et cetera et cetera!

...So basically, this is a trope for when something a character has had since childhood turns out to be very plot-important indeed -- either the object itself is important (it's magic, it contains a MacGuffin, etc), or the character who carries it is proven to be important because of the object (someone, at some point, thought this very important thing was safe with this kid). Either way, it's something they've had since childhood. Often, they don't know how they got their hands on it, just that they've always had it.

Usually a Chekhov's Gun, brought up early in the story then ignored until the moment it's shown as important. See also Orphan's Plot Trinket and Memento MacGuffin. A sort of pre-obtained Plot Coupon. Compare It Was with You All Along, in which the entire object of the quest is to find this.

Examples:

Anime And Manga

  • Crown: Mahiro's necklace, the titular "Crown", turns out to be the crown jewel of Regalia, and Mahiro may be the rightful heir. She's an orphan, so it's also an Orphan's Plot Trinket. And of course the evil usurper is after it, although Mahiro doesn't know about that. (The work is a deliberate Cliché Storm Played For Comedy, so it hits all the old warhorses.)

Film

  • Lone Starr's amulet in Spaceballs, which he strongly suspects would tell him who his parents were, if he could only find someone who could read the inscription.

Video Games

  • In Brütal Legend, Eddie's belt buckle belonged to his late dad, who was actually a time traveler. The buckle was his ticket back. Also, Eddie's favorite T-shirt bears the name of his mom, who was a time-traveling demonic Empress.
  • Aerith's White Materia from Final Fantasy VII.

Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • February 24, 2012
    TBeholder
  • February 24, 2012
    Farmelle
    I dunno...the discovery of the object isn't necessarily the purpose of the quest, if that makes sense. Still, if this seems redundant to anyone else, I'll discard it.
  • February 24, 2012
    Koveras
    • In Brutal Legend, Eddie's belt buckle belonged to his late dad, who was actually a time traveler and the buckle was his ticket back. Also, Eddie's favorite T-shirt bears the name of his mom, who was a time-traveling demonic Empress.
  • February 24, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Yeah, I can see the difference between them. Often with this trope the character knows it's important and it's frequently something that's been passed down through the ages to them.
  • February 24, 2012
    elwoz
    Lone Starr's amulet in Spaceballs, which he strongly suspects would tell him who his parents were, if he could only find someone who could read the inscription.

    Come to think of it, "item left with orphan, which reveals orphan's true parentage when someone shows up who can understand its message, usually right at the climax of the plot" is a common subtrope. Gilbert And Sullivan loved it, for instance.
  • February 24, 2012
    lebrel
    • Crown: Mahiro's necklace, the titular "Crown", turns out to be the crown jewel of Regalia, and Mahiro may be the rightful heir. She's an orphan, so it's also an Orphans Plot Trinket. And of course the evil usurper is after it, although Mahiro doesn't know about that. (The work is a deliberate Cliche Storm Played For Comedy, so it hits all the old warhorses.)
  • February 24, 2012
    MorganWick
    What separates this from Memento Mac Guffin?
  • February 25, 2012
    aurora369
    Aerith's White Materia from Final Fantasy VII.
  • February 25, 2012
    Farmelle
    @MorganWick Memento Mac Guffin is something that symbolizes the deep relationship between two characters, but doesn't necessarily have any meaning in itself. For this trope, the object itself is something powerful/meaningful/plot-important, not what it symbolizes.

    @elwoz -- could you specify?

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to rewrite the description to make this point better? It doesn't seem quite right to me right now.
  • March 5, 2012
    lebrel
    Bump. Is this still going?
  • March 5, 2012
    elwoz
    I'm sorry, I can't remember any specific examples from Gilbert And Sullivan beyond being 99% sure it happens in The Pirates Of Penzance.
  • January 18, 2013
    elwoz
    Bump for hats.
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