Its Christmas or someone's birthday, and the protagonist goes to a store or mall to look for the one gift his or her friend always wanted, usually in a rush. When the protagonist can't seem to find it, he or she asked the employees where this particular gift is. The employees start laughing (likely at the protagonist), and tells the protagonist that the gift is sold out, and has been for a while. Other customers join in on the laugh. The protagonist then leaves the store in anger and embarrassment. Our protagonist goes through store after store to find it, but always the same results: sold out and being laughed at.
- Jingle All the Way: To make up for missing his son Jamie's karate lessons, Howard promises to give Jamie a Turbo-Man action figure for Christmas. Unfortunately, his wife Liz reminded him that he made this same promise earlier that year and assumed he already got it. Also, the Turbo-Man figures are the must-have gifts this season. He and postal worker Myron Larabee search for Turbo-Man during a shopping stampede. A lady costumer and store employees laugh at them for "looking for a Turbo-Man".
- In "Arnold's Christmas", to help find Mr. Hyunh's lost daughter Mai, Arnold and Gerald buy gifts for an archivist in government records in exchange for the whereabouts of Mai. They complete the list except for one more thing: a pair of Nancy Spumoni snow boots. However, when they come to a store and ask for them, employees laugh at them and told them they're sold out. Then there's a montage of Arnold and Gerald going store to store and leaving when employees laugh.
- In Arthur's Perfect Christmas D.W. wants Tina the Talking Tabby but her mother can't find it anywhere so she gets Quackers instead.
Mom: Now, D.W., you know that Santa can't always get exactly the thing you want.
D.W.: Why? Because I've been bad?
Mom: No, D.W., you haven't been bad it's just that - well, there are a lot of children wishing for the same thing. And...
D.W.: It's because Arthur wrote my letter all wrong, isn't it? Boy, if you want something done right, you've gotta do it yourself.
- Murphy Brown had an episode where Murphy discovers that her son wants the latest hot toy for Christmas. Being ignorant of pop culture trends, she doesn't realise how popular it is until she tries to buy one and discovers it is sold out everywhere.
- Toy Story 2 had Tour Guide Barbie comment sarcastically on the real life occurence of this following the first Toy Story.
- A Woody Woodpecker short had him and Wally Walrus fighting over an action figure for their nephew and niece and nephew respectively.
Non Christmas / non gift example:
- In Dogma:
Bartleby: Hello, we'd like two tickets to New Jersey, please.
Bus Station Attendant: Jersey's sold out, sir.
- In The Nanny episode "Fran Gets Mugged", Mr. Sheffield asked a cop to have their stolen property returned. He started walking out of the room laughing, and says "Hey, guess what I've just heard?".
- In the The Fairly Oddparents episode, "Nectar of the Odds", Timmy calls the Dimmadome ticket office to ask if he can have three tickets for "Crash Nebula On Ice". The office manager laughs at Timmy upon hearing this, then calmly tells him they're sold out.