When the object or objects that characters are searching for is right in front of them, and they don't know it.
that one thing that will be the weakness to the opposition. Sometimes, they both are the same thing. A classic example comes from Star Wars, where the stolen plans for the Death Star are held by R2-D2, and the Empire is trying to find it to secure the plans, and so spell doom for the Rebels, and the Rebels are trying to find the plans to find a weakness in the Death Star. Sometimes, however, the object they are searching for shows up right in front of their face and they are any of the following: convinced (by someone else or just don't believe it themselves) that it is something else unrelated to what they're looking for, magically tricked into believing otherwise, or just don't even notice it. This does not apply if the person in question does not know they're supposed to be finding this particular object. However, if they know they're hunting for it, but have no idea what it looks like, it does apply. MacGuffin Blindness Scale: Class 1: Convinced by themselves that it isn't what they're looking for. It could be that they were distracted, focused on something else at the time, and didn't feel it was worth investigating to make sure. Or perhaps they could simply talk themselves out of it. "This can't possibly be the all-powerful MacGuffin!" So long as it is mundane and the person seeking that manages to ignore the MacGuffin, this is the case. Class 2: Convinced verbally by someone else that it isn't what they're looking for. The smooth-talking rogue could talk the interested party into not buying it for being worthless. Perhaps The Hero has been captured by the Big Bad and needs to fast-talk him into believing it's not what he's looking for. So long as the primary means are mundane and it is not the person doing the searching that convinces the searching party, this is the case. Class 3: Magically tricked into believing otherwise. It could be magical brainwashing, it could be a Jedi Mind Trick, It could be some form of charm that makes the person near it forgetful after letting go of it or putting it away, so long as they still remember they're searching for it, but some supernatural means of causing them not to recognize it must be in play. Compare to It Was with You All Along, where the MacGuffin has been in one's possession all this time and they didn't know it.
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- Bleach: Urahara hid the Hogyouku [[spoiler:inside Rukia, without her knowledge or consent to keep Aizen from finding it.
- In Sailor Moon S, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune look for three artifacts, said to be inside the hearts of normal people. They are, respectively, inside Sailor Uranus and Neptune themselves, and inside Sailor Pluto.
- Many times this is done in Looney Toons. Say Elmer Fudd is hunting Bugs Bunny. Elmer will often ask Bugs if he's seen a rabbit. Bugs will describe himself to a T, to which Elmer will affirm him, but Bugs will then say "Nope. Haven't seen one." A humorous example of Class 2.
- In Harry Potter, after Harry learns what horcruxes are, he attempts to hide a potions book in the Room of Hidden Things. In order to distinguish this cupboard so he can find it again, he puts a bust of a wizard on top of it, and puts a battered old tiara on top of that. That tiara is actually the Diadem of Ravenclaw, one of the horcruxes Harry is supposed to hunt down. This is a Class 1 because, although he doesn't verbally or mentally convince himself it isn't what he's looking for, he's too distracted by something else to really give a care.
- The reason why the locket is not considered one is because at the time he handled it, Harry did not know he would have to hunt it down.
- In Alan Dean Foster's Glory Lane, the protagonists' adorable shape-shifting Companion Cube turns out to be the item everyone else in the entire book is looking for, and no one realizes it till the end.
- Doctor Who, Series 2, Episode 1: "Rose." The Doctor is looking for a big round antenna in the heart of London in which the Nestine Consciousness may have hidden his transmitter. As he's saying this, right behind him framing his head is the London Eye (a giant Ferris Wheel). Rose spots it, but the Doctor doesn't pay attention until Rose points it out.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glory searches all through season 5 for the key, but doesn't until right near the end realize that it was Buffy's sister Dawn all along.
- Star Wars, as seen in the quote above. In Mos Eisley, four stormtroopers ask to see the identification of Luke and Obi-Wan, and investigate into the droids briefly, but Obi-Wan uses The Force to trick the head stormtrooper that they aren't the droids they're looking for. An obvious example of Class 3.
- Averted in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Holy Grail's in front of them, and they know what it is, but they don't know which one it is.
- In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (The Movie sequel to FFVII), Rufas Shinra, who's been stuck in a wheelchair (as he's dying from Geostigma) being interrogated by the villains for most of the film, reveals that not only is he much more well than he lets on, but the head of Jenova was on his lap in a sealed box the entire time. Class 2, because Shinra was doing a good job of hiding it and playing on Kadaj's personality.
- Final Fantasy VII gives us a bit of one, though it's slightly averted, as they soon discover that the Black Materia they're searching for is actually the entire Temple of the Ancients, which they've been exploring for the previous thirty minutes. Class 1.
- Also, the White Materia Aeris carries in her ribbon. The only thing that can stop said Black Materia, and no one knows what it is or does until the end of the game. Aeris thinks it does nothing and is only decoration for a while. Class 1.
- In Quest for Glory there's a thief-specific subplot running through the series regarding the search for a legendary blackbird statue, a Shout-Out to The Maltese Falcon. In the second, third, and fourth games you can find a fake blackbird, and in the fifth you finally find the real one. However, the real bird also appears in the first game, but you can't pick it up because your character doesn't know what it is yet. Although the game is trying to convince you it isn't what you are looking for, which makes it a Class 2, in the context, you yourself don't know what it is, so it is a Class 1.
- Skies of Arcadia Legends For much of the game, Vyse and company travel the globe in search of the moonstones, to keep them out of Empress Teodora's hands. They manage to find all but the silver moonstone, not knowing it was hidden inside Fina all along. She was unaware of this, herself, until Ramirez revealed that all Silvites are born with one!
- Pokemon Black and White: The Dark/Light Stone, depending on your version, is sitting in plain sight in the Nacrene Museum, but Team Plasma doesn't notice it. It doesn't look like what they thought it would.
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