Created By: sanveron on March 30, 2011 Last Edited By: shimaspawn on March 30, 2015

Disposable Keepsake

The dead leave something that isn\'t designed to last and their loved ones keep it anyway.

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Trope
It is a common practice to keep something that belongs to a dead relative/friend/lover/etc as a means to remember them. For that reason, that something is commonly a valuable, long-lasting item; a pendant or a photo are particularly popular choices, as are weapons.

But sometimes, a character instead keeps something related to their dead beloved one that should've been more... disposable. Or otherwise a petty item that the character is being sentimental about.

It can be a food item that their loved one had prepared before their untimely death. It could be their last message on their phone or e-mail. It could be a worn-out item that the dead usually uses/wears such as clothing, dining utensils etc. It could also be an unwrapped present, provided that they keep it unwrapped.

It is often a sign for the character that does this to be someone who holds their dead loved one very dearly. Either that, or someone who has Excessive Grief.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn Asuka keeps his sister's cellphone for many years after her death, mainly for the recording of her voice in the voicemail greeting.

Film
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Starlord has kept a present from his deceased mother unopened for 26 years.
  • In 21 Grams, the protagonist keeps an answering machine message of his deceased husband saying he's about to come home.
  • In The Reconstruction, a grieving widow has a heated argument with her teenage daughter because she washed her deceased father's clothes, the last place on Earth with his scent.
  • Inverted in Pan's Labyrinth. Captain Vidal keeps his late father's broken pocket-watch on him at all times as a memento. His father had smashed it against a rock in his dying moments so his son would "know when a real man died." Captain Vidal spends the movie constantly tinkering with it and keeping it in perfect working order. Interesting in that this inversion is shown as something evil people do.

Live-Action TV
  • An episode of True Blood featured the main characters puzzling over whether they should eat, keep or simply throw out a cake made by a recently deceased, still in the fridge.
  • A humorous inversion in an episode of Married... with Children. Al takes a trip to buy Aunt Maddie's famous potato pie, only to find out she has died. Her funeral turns into a competition, between all the mourners, to get the last piece of pie... by stealing it before it's buried with her.
  • On House, Wilson struggles to wash a coffee mug that still has leftover lipstick from Amber. There's not going to be a print of those lips, in the universe, ever again.
  • Monk keeps the last birthday present his late wife gave to him... unopened.
  • Bones. Brennan keeps unopened presents from a Christmas in which her brother played Santa and she thought her parents had returned.
  • On Criminal Minds a comic book artist suffered a psychotic break after his girlfriend was killed by a street gang. He is shown regularly calling her old voice mail number just so he could hear her voice on the recording.
  • Played for Drama on Breaking Bad. After another character's death, Jesse Pinkman is frequently seen calling her phone to hear her voice on the voicemail greeting. Eventually the phone is deactivated, and he calls it only to hear an automated intercept message saying that the number is invalid.

Web Comics
  • xkcd - Admin Mourning. When a user dies their screen sessions remain, and you can't stand to reboot and wipe them out ("The Ghost in zshell").

WesternAnimation
  • Averted in Adventure Time: Finn and Jake consider keeping the last pickle in the jar that Prismo made before his vanishment, but decide in the end that he would have wanted them to eat it. Then it turns out that dreaming after eating the pickles is key to letting Prismo return.

Real Life
  • Dave Barry had an article on Graceland where he interviewed some Elvis fans. One of them had kept a radio he'd given her, including the original long-dead battery and the wrapping paper.
Community Feedback Replies: 78
  • March 30, 2011
    Rolf
    That night be Too Rare To Trope
  • March 30, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Your question is more of a Lost And Found entry than ykttw. But since it's here...
    • Married With Children "A Bundy Thanksgiving." Per IMDB:
      It's Thanksgiving. In Al's childhood, it was a tradition to eat aunt Maddie's potato pie on Thanksgiving, so Al takes a trip with Griff to see aunt Maddie in order to buy some pie. Unfortunately it turns out that she's just died.
    Al goes to the funeral to try to get her last pie, which is being buried with her. Turns out most of theother people at the funeral are just there for the pie too. Al manages to get it, and eats it.
  • March 30, 2011
    TBTabby
    (Sorry, misunderstood the title.)
  • March 30, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    This might be able to be expanded into a broader trope about leaving things unfinished that relate to a dead person, because it would be too final and you don't want to admit that they are really gone. Like how in Monk, Monk kept a birthday present from his dead wife for years without unwrapping it.
  • March 30, 2011
    Earnest
    If we expand this to "saving the departed's last touched object to remember them by", then...

    One episode of Tales From The Crypt had a guy who seduced wealthy widowed elderly women. She kept he husband's last jigsaw puzzle as he left it to remember him by... before she entices him to get it on right on that table! Apparently she couldn't stand his jigsaws.
  • March 31, 2011
    Arivne
    ^^ Second what thegrenekni3t said above.

    Some related situations I've read about:
    • The deceased recorded the message on an answering machine or left a message on it. The message isn't changed or deleted so the relative can hear the deceased's voice again.
    • An article of clothing is not washed because it still has the scent of the deceased person.
  • March 31, 2011
    sanveron
    These are very good examples and I too find that the trope applies to everything 'Unfinished'. Though I would like a better word, 'cause "unfinished" is unintuitive: many many times you want to "finish" whatever task a deceased love one was up to (like fulfilling your father's oath of revenge from a dark lord).

    So it would be about all things that have no way back if you interact with them like you're supposed to; Monk's WRAPPED present is definitely in, but it wouldn't if it was unwrapped (just a remember-you-by).

    I remember a message recorded by a deceased in the movie 21 Grams. I also remember an episode of House where Wilson struggles to wash a cup that had lipstick from a loved one. Those two fall more in a gray zone, 'cause you can really hear the message again and again for as long as you want - though socially, you ARE putting a hold to the usual order of things (erasing old messages).
  • March 31, 2011
    Narsil
    A variant early on Bones. When Brennan was 14, her parents vanished mysteriously shortly before Christmas. On Christmas, her older brother put surprise presents under the tree, the way their parents always had. Brennan thought her parents had returned, and freaked out when she found out it was her brother's doing. At the end of the episode, we see that she still has the (not-yet-unwrapped) present from that Christmas, and she's finally able to open it.
  • March 31, 2011
    TweedlyDee
    This sucks. Remove all your personal information, otherwise it's a vanity page.
  • April 1, 2011
    sanveron
    Wow, looks like there are even more examples that are about presents. More ideas, anyone?

    ps thank you all!
  • April 1, 2011
    johnnye
    I'd say expand it to "a memento to remember a dead friend by" and it's a good trope. Specifying that it's frozen food is probably Too Rare To Trope.

    And what Tweedly Dee meant to say (before the penis sprouted from his forehead) is that we generally try to make a YKTTW look like an early draft of the finished page, rather than including all the personal information. As someone said above, we have Lost And Found for trying to find out Do We Have This One.

    Welcome to the wiki, by the way!
  • April 3, 2011
    sanveron
    Oh. Ok. Cool. So is it okay if I just edit the whole thing? Change the title, turn it into a draft, etc.

    Thanks for not having dicks sprouting out of your forehead. (There's a phrase I never thought I'd utter...)
  • April 3, 2011
    Earnest
    Here's an inversion:

    Inverted in Pan's Labyrinth, Clock King Captain Vidal keeps his late father's broken pocket-watch on him at all times as a memento. His father had smashed it against a rock in his dying moments so his son would "know when a real man died." Captain Vidal spends the movie constantly tinkering with it and keeping it in perfect working order. The only part of it he left broken was the glass inner face.
  • April 4, 2011
    sanveron
    Interesting in that the inversion is shown as something evil people do.
  • April 4, 2011
    Wynne101
    Also interesting in that Captain Vidal tries to play it straight with his own son, but the rebels flat out deny him.
  • April 13, 2011
    sanveron
    Edited it. Please share your thoughts!
  • April 14, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    I would just sort it by media type. This is such a varied trope that there probably aren't going to be very many examples of any one category, and there could always be a whole new category with only one example in it. Sorting by media and noting the object in the example text is probably easier to read.

    Check out the Text Formatting Rules to learn how to do the Wiki Word links, italics, and spoilers. Bullet points are done with asterisks. You can click "Source" on the Trope Entry Template (or any other trope page) to get an idea of how everything should look.

    One grammar nitpick in the description: it should be "part of the process... is finally letting... and erasing that message..."
  • May 5, 2011
    TBeholder
  • May 6, 2011
    Bisected8
    You could call this Consumable Memento?
  • May 6, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: Homer bought a small lobster to grow and eventually eat. Then he got emotionally attached to it, naming it "Pinchy" and treating it better than anyone else in the family. Pinchy died when Homer drew him a "nice hot bath." Homer then ate Pinchy.
    Pinchy would have wanted it that way.
  • May 15, 2011
    TBeholder
    Random Mourning Memento?
  • May 17, 2011
    sanveron
    sorry about letting this lie; i'll have more free time in my hands again next week

    consumable memento it's a great title! i think we're going for it. see, lobster guy, it's when you're NOT willing to consume the memento what counts. could count as a subversion (inversion?), though. i'm not sure how to judge the fact that pinchy was its own memento.
  • January 30, 2015
    sanveron
    Soooo it's been almost four years, sorry. I plan to finish it soon and see what you guys think.

    Added an example from Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Next, I plan to re-edit the whole thing so it's sorted by media type.
  • January 31, 2015
    DAN004
    So it's when the dead leaves something that isn't designed to last and their loved one keeps it anyway?
  • January 31, 2015
    sanveron
    YES! Wait. Except that sometimes it's an unwrapped present. The present itself may be designed to last. The 'unwrapped' state isn't.
  • January 31, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ Then it still counts, as downplayed example.
  • February 1, 2015
    Skylite
    You mean a wrapped present?

    • wrapped: all done up pretty with paper and bow. You can't see what the present is.
    • unwrapped: the paper has been torn off, and ribbons undone, and now know what the gift is.
  • February 1, 2015
    CatAna
    This needs a better title. I was thinking of Meat Loaf...
  • February 2, 2015
    sanveron
    yeah, sorry haha. i meant unopened. thank you!
  • February 2, 2015
    SolipSchism
    I can barely parse this. "Too lazy to learn the wiki language" is your problem, but you're making it everyone else's. Spend twenty minutes reading Text Formatting Rules and experimenting in a sandbox or in your Troper page, it's not hard.

    That said, the idea is solid and definitely not Too Rare To Trope. I would like to see a better title, though. I'm fond of Consumable Memento. It lacks in the witty department, but it's super clear and concise. It also doesn't just suggest food, since the examples seem pretty varied in that respect.
  • February 2, 2015
    DAN004
    Do we have a trope when someone has something petty/funny as a memento?
  • February 2, 2015
    sanveron
    yeah, sorry about the lazy part! it's gone now. I guess I was lazier 4 years ago? I will take my 20 minutes to learn the wiki language, I promess.
  • February 2, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Not sure if this counts...

    • Seinfeld: Elaine's boss J. Peterman has a 60 year old piece of wedding cake from King Edward VIII's marraige to Wallis Simpson that he keeps in his office fridge. One day Elaine eats it, not knowing what it is. Peterman is upset but doesn't punish her, because given that she ate a 60 year old cake "what you are about to go through is punishment enough."
    • The Big Bang Theory: Penny gives Sheldon a napkin that Leonard Nimoy signed and wiped his mouth on.
    • The Brady Bunch: When Desi Arnez Jr. kisses Marcia on the cheek she declares "I'm never going to wash this cheek again!"

    I recall times when Alice keeps Bob's last voicemail message/text/etc. before he died but can't cite specific examples.
  • February 3, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^^ Whoa. Sorry. I think I'm lazy, or just unobservant, because I totally didn't notice this was four years old. Sorry. Minor quibble: You want "Consumable" in the title, only one M, not two.

    ^ I think those might fall under a related trope, but this one seems to be pretty explicitly about mementos of dead loved ones or friends.

    I recently saw an example where Bob died, and whenever Alice was alone she would call his phone to hear his voice on his voicemail greeting (the whole "Hey, this is Bob, leave a message" type thing), and I think there was a particularly heavy moment when she called, but the phone account had been shut off so all she got was an error message. But I can't for the life of me remember what show it was. Maybe that description will jog someone's memory, though.
  • February 4, 2015
    TonyG
    ^^The Seinfeld example is borderline, since it's not about the memento of a recently deceased loved one, but it may count. The thing about not washing off a kiss, I think, is a related but distinct trope. We don't seem to have a page for it, it might be nice to split it.
  • February 4, 2015
    nielas
    ^^ Don't remember this particualar example but there was a very similar example on Criminal Minds
    • On Criminal Minds a comic book artist suffered a psychotic break after his girlfriend was killed by a street gang. He is shown regularly calling her old voice mail number just so he could hear her voice on the recording.
  • February 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ The one I'm thinking of definitely isn't Criminal Minds (I've never seen that show) but it's the same situation, so that seems like a solid example to me.

    ...Maybe it was an anime? What animes have I seen recently... Augh, this is going to drive me bonkers until I figure it out. I wonder if this kind of question is appropriate for YKTS.
  • February 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    I found it!

    Live Action TV:
    • A variant is Played For Drama in Breaking Bad. After Jane Margolis dies, Jesse Pinkman is frequently seen calling her phone to hear her voice on the voicemail greeting. Eventually the phone is deactivated, and he calls it only to hear an automated intercept message saying that the number is invalid.
  • February 9, 2015
    DAN004
    Where the hell is Arivne when we need him?
  • February 10, 2015
    Arivne
    • Corrected spelling (coffe).
    • Examples section
      • Added media section titles.
      • Added an asterisk at the beginning of examples to indent them.
      • Namespaced, Blue Linked, italicized and de-capitalized (!!!) work names.
      • Deleted "Ditto in...where" in the Bones example as per How To Write An Example - Remember That This Is A Wiki. You can't assume that the page (or any part of it) will always remain the same.
      • Alphabetized media sections.
      • Added context to the xkcd Zero Context Example.
  • February 10, 2015
    SolipSchism
    Oh, gorgeous. Arivne, you are an angel.
  • February 10, 2015
    sanveron
    Glorious.

    (See? Because "angel"... No? Ok)
  • February 11, 2015
    DAN004
    Description needs work.
  • February 12, 2015
    Chabal2
    Dave Barry had an article on Graceland where he interviewed some Elvis fans. One of them had kept a radio he'd given her, including the original long-dead battery and the wrapping paper.
  • February 12, 2015
    SolipSchism
    sanveron, are you adding examples?
  • February 12, 2015
    DAN004
    Call it Impermanent Memento plz.
  • February 12, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ That's not great—nothing implies that these mementos won't last indefinitely, just that they (A) could potentially be "used up" (like a wrapped present), or (B) might "expire" or go bad eventually (like food items or the voicemail one).

    It's entirely possible that Alice might keep a wrapped gift from Bob forever. Well, until her death, anyway.
  • February 12, 2015
    DAN004
  • February 12, 2015
    Koveras
    • Time spores in Mnemosyne give the angels' their abilities and extracting them from their bodies kills them instantly. If a man then swallows the extracted time spore, he turns into an angel himself, but if an immortal woman does so, the time spore is destroyed but she acquires all memories of the dead angel. In the final episode, Rin thus consumes Koki Maeno's time spore after hanging on to it for three episodes as the last memento of him and his Heroic Sacrifice for her. His memories and spirit then help her break free from Yggdrasil that is trying to consume her at that moment.
  • February 12, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^^ ...Now that has the opposite problem, it implies that the mementos will last forever, despite the fact that many examples are Played For Drama when the memento is used or destroyed (such as, again, the voicemail example from Breaking Bad).

    Shitty spitball ideas: Ephemeral Memento, Unusual Memento, Expendable Keepsake, Transient Memento, Perishable Keepsake. Could mix-and-match those adjectives and nouns.
  • February 12, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ So what you said is that the problem with my proposed names are that they imply the eventual state of the item in the question, when the trope doesn't concern about it?

    Well, maybe Disposable Keepsake?
  • February 13, 2015
    SolipSchism
    Ooh, disposable, I didn't think of that. It's not 100% all-encompassing but I like it.

    I think the problem is that the trope covers things that could possibly last forever (like a wrapped present) as well as things that definitely can't (like a sandwich), and it's hard to find words that encompass both. "Disposable" is great, though; it doesn't really cover a voicemail, but it gets the idea across that "this is a thing that you could get rid of".

    I like Disposable Keepsake. In fact, I like it a lot. It's got my vote.

    It also just occurred to me that this trope is probably related, in some weird way, to Too Awesome To Use. Rather, the memento is Too Precious To Use.
  • February 13, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ the problem with that is that it doesn't imply "keepsake" when this trope is about keepsake.
  • February 15, 2015
    sanveron
    Erased my own editing comments from the text body, they should go in the comments. So here they are: "Cleaned up, added an example, made the text better (I hope). Erased "Real Life" section, felt a bit redundant, erased a couple dubious examples. More work to come. Thanks a lot to Arivne for the formatting."

    I really like Disposable Keepsake. Changed the title.
  • February 15, 2015
    sanveron
    Rewrote the description. I like it but I'm not crazy about it; I think it shows that English is not my mother tongue. Help is appreciated.
  • February 15, 2015
    sanveron
    Adding examples... This is stupid, but I didn't want to spoil myself about the Breaking Bad one, so I wrote off the name of the character. Feel free to add it back.

    Should I add ALL the examples you guys are bringing up? I only added the ones I thought fit the trope.

    Gotta work more on the wiki language... Though I was able to make a couple things.
  • February 15, 2015
    Koveras
    ^ You don't have to add all examples if you don't think they fit the definition. However, if you don't, it's common courtesy to explain to each commenter why you think their example doesn't fit.

    If Breaking Bad example with the phone counts, then maybe this will, too:

    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn Asuka keeps his sister's cellphone for many years after her death, mainly for the recording of her voice in the voicemail greeting.
  • February 15, 2015
    DAN004
    I might help with the description, if you're cool with that.
  • February 15, 2015
    sanveron
    Totally cool. Go for it.
  • February 16, 2015
    randomsurfer
    • Doctor Who: Clara has a dried leaf which she keeps because that very leaf, floating down off its tree, caused her parents to fall in love.
    • No loved ones involved, but on Arthur Big Eater Buster has a glass case where he keeps "interesting" food, such as a slice of pizza that looks like Abraham Lincoln or a pudding that came from a restaurant he liked. Every once in a while his mother comes in and cleans it out because the food is moldy at best.
  • February 16, 2015
    DAN004
    Help administered.

    Note: Excessive Grief is still in YKTTW
  • February 17, 2015
    SolipSchism
    @DAN: I wasn't saying that I think Too Precious To Use is a potential title, I was just using an amusing Red Link to illustrate that I think this is obliquely related to Too Awesome To Use.

    Broken note markup, and I'm not sure what the note is trying to say. It sounds like you're basically using way too many words to say that the item simply has sentimental value.
  • February 18, 2015
    PistolsAtDawn
    • Averted in Adventure Time: Finn and Jake consider keeping the last pickle in the jar that Prismo made before his vanishment, but decide in the end that he would have wanted them to eat it. Then it turns out that dreaming after eating the pickles is key to letting Prismo return.
  • February 18, 2015
    SolipSchism
    I'm not sure the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed example counts. If the phone itself has the greeting on it, then it's not really disposable/perishable/limited-use at all, it's just a piece of technology.

    A lot of the markup is broken. Pans Labyrinth, Criminal Minds, and Breaking Bad are all linked incorrectly. (See the source of this post for the correct formatting.) (I'm not sure why the custom title on Pan's Labyrinth isn't displaying correctly in this post, but looking at the page, it definitely has one, so I can only assume it's a bug.)

    The Reconstruction should also at least be italicized (and lose the quotes on both it and Pan's Labyrinth). There's no rule against Pot Holing it if it is a legitimate work, even though we don't have a page for it, but that's not required. I recommend linking it, though. And lose the double quotes on The Reconstruction and Pan's Labyrinth; use two single quotes to italicize it.
  • February 19, 2015
    Arivne
    • Examples section
      • Italicized and Blue Linked work names.
      • Deleted unnecessary double curly braces in work names.
  • March 8, 2015
    sanveron
    Did a little bit of editing, just a touch. (Thanks a LOT Dan004, and Arivne of course.) Added a few examples. As to why I didn't add some examples:

    - Mnemosyne: As Solyp Schism said, it doesn't really fit.

    - The jigsaw example: The woman doesn't really keep the puzzle untouched, after all.

    - Simpsons: I get it in that Homer didn't eat the lobster like he was supposed to... but it's not like Pinchy was reminding him of someone, so I don't think it qualifies.

    - Seinfeld: Peterman keeping the cake isn't really a case of not disposing the disposable. The cake is meant to be a memento from the kings' wedding.

    - Ditto Big Bang Theory. You're supposed to keep Spock's napkin, not use it.

    - As for Brady Bunch, a kiss is not an object. Sorry.

    - Dr Who's dried leaf: I think it's just a memento. I mean it's not uncommon to save leaves or flowers, usually inside the pages of a book.

    - Arthur's moldy food doesn't fly because it gets moldy and then thrown out. Not really kept. Plus (this is the big one) it isn't really a memento for anything else, its value is in itself for being funny by resembling Lincoln, etcetera.

    (I feel like Umberto Eco defining things strictly because they are in place of something else. I'm loving it haha.)


    Two things:

    I'm not sure what to do with the red link at the end. Excessive Grief isn't done but it looks like it will be, so I kept it. Is it OK?

    ALSO what does 'intercept' mean in this context?: "an automated intercept message". Couldn't I just erase the word 'intercept' and the meaning of the sentence would be the same?

    BUT beside those two points, you guys think it's ready to launch? I gave it another hat towards that purpose!
  • March 8, 2015
    Gowan
    • In A Brothers Price Jerin has his grandfather's bathing gown. He almost never uses it, and only takes it out of his keepsake chest when there are guests at the house and he thinks that just a towel will not do.

    Not sure whether that qualifies, as the family doesn't treat clothes as something to be thrown away in the way people do nowadays.
  • March 8, 2015
    DAN004
    Well, it's a used item, so I guess it counts. Maybe you can detail the condition of the bathing gown?
  • March 9, 2015
    Gowan
    No description is given, as far as I recall, other than that it is made of silk. Considering that it belonged to his grandfather when said grandfather was the age Jerin is now, it's either somewhat threadbare, or hasn't been used for its intended purpose for a long time.
  • March 9, 2015
    SolipSchism
    • Re: the Breaking Bad example (spoilers in this bullet, of course), the identity of the character is central to the example, as they're lovers and he feels responsible for her death for reasons I won't get into. Since Jesse only ever gets romantically involved with, I think, two characters over the course of the show, there aren't many options for who it could be (and the first is dead by the time he meets the second, which narrows it further—if a troper has seen the second, then they already know about the first and have seen the example).
    • As for Mnemosyne, I didn't comment on it, and to be honest I think it does fit, but it's written very confusingly.
    • I'm on the fence about the Doctor Who example, but I think I would include it for the following reason:
      • First, I just realized this trope description doesn't say anything about the act of using/opening/losing/letting go of the keepsake, which is not required, but often happens in dramatic examples, and has tons of plot significance and character growth. Thus examples of this trope are made stronger when the keepsake is eventually "used". Now, with that said...
      • (Mild spoilers for one episode in this bullet) In the Who example, Clara keeps the leaf not only because it caused her parents to fall in love, but also because it reminds her of her deceased mother. The leaf is eventually used to defeat a monster that eats memories, or something; the leaf is associated with all of Clara's memories of her parents, and the infinite possibilities of what might have been if her mother hadn't died, and the infinitude of thoughts causes the monster to implode. Or something.
      • One other note is that it's not uncommon to save leaves or flowers, but the fact remains that they are highly perishable objects that do not naturally last long, so I'd say such an object would count if it's being used as a memento or keepsake. Now, a character whose hobby is pressing flowers wouldn't count if the flowers are only being kept for their own sake. But if it's a single object and it is a keepsake, not a hobby, it should count, I think.
    • Re: red links, there's no harm in keeping a Red Link on a YKTTW, just remove it if this trope launches first. As long as the Red Link isn't on the live wiki, it's harmless.
    • Re: "intercept", see the Wikipedia page for "intercept messages". Specifically, the word "intercept" here means you are not actually reaching the number you have dialed; you are being "intercepted" by an automated system that informs you that the number is disconnected. But more importantly, it's the technical term for that type of message. I mean, it probably wouldn't hurt to remove it, but it does make the example slightly more technically correct.
    • If the Brother's Price example is threadbare or otherwise not really serviceable by ordinary standards, it could count, even if the family has unusually frugal attitudes about saving old clothing, but if it's in decent enough shape that a normal person would keep using it, I don't think it would count.
  • March 9, 2015
    LadyEvil
  • March 9, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ Would like to see specific examples; if there are a lot, it could be added to the description as a common variant. But "it's a fanfic cliche" doesn't really fit anywhere.
  • March 9, 2015
    randomsurfer
    @sanveron

    re Big Bang: You're not "supposed to keep Spock's napkin," you're supposed to put Leonard Nimoy's used napkin in the garbage (or laundry if it's a linen napkin). Except because it's Leonard Nimoy's napkin (and he signed it) it becomes a keepsake.

    similarly, in Seinfeld the cake wasn't originally designed to be kept, it was designed to be consumed at the wedding reception. But whoever originally got it kept it as a keepsake, and now Peterman has purchased it.
  • March 10, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ I'm down with both of those examples.
  • March 26, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Just found Kissed Keepsake for the "I'm never washing this cheek again" version.
  • March 26, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ That could be a subtrope/sister trope of this.
  • March 30, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ Seconding this; definitely closely related.
  • March 30, 2015
    DAN004
    BTW can a Kissed Keepsake count for an item that someone kissed?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=fgglxecg3d53idu3dh7462hp