Created By: JonnyB on December 21, 2011 Last Edited By: JonnyB on March 2, 2012

There Is Another MacGuffin

The plot-driving Mac Guffin gets destroyed. But don\\\'t worry... There Is Another

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Wondering if there is enough examples of this to make its own trope.

You've found the shiny MacGuffin, and all looks well. Suddenly, somehow the MacGuffin gets destroyed and all appears lost. But don't worry, there is another MacGuffin somewhere out there, you just have to find it.

Subtrope of There Is Another (which deals with people, this deals with things).

Examples:
  • In the first season finale of Terra Nova, the time fracture that allows people from the future to reach the past is destroyed, apparently trapping everyone in the past with no further contact from the future. But the Phoenix Group discovered an old ship's figurehead in The Badlands, implying a second time fracture exists; they just have to find it.
  • In an episode of Adventures of the Gummi Bears, the Great Book of Gummi is destroyed by a fire, so the Gummis travel to an ancient Gummi city that supposedly houses a great library. They eventually find the library, except that all the books there have desintegrated to dust, and all that is left of their Great Book is a bookmark. They take the bookmark back to Gummi Glen and place it in the spot where the Great Book used to be... and it magically restores the Book, good as new.
  • In Disney's Cinderella, Lady Tremaine trips the servant holding the glass slipper and it shatters before they could put it on Cinderella. Fortunately, Cinderella kept the other one, and produces it as proof that she was indeed the mysterious lady everyone had been looking for.
  • In The Tuxedo, Jimmy Tong loses his tuxedo, but finds that there was a second one, albeit with only 90% of the power of the first.
  • In the first Sword of Truth book, Wizard's First Rule, the book of counted shadows was destroyed decades earlier, which is a real bummer for everyone looking for it. Except for Richard, of course, since he's hiding the fact that he memorized every word of it before its destruction.
  • In Tangled Rapunzel's boyfriend cuts off her magical hair just before he dies so the witch can't use it. This also means Rapunzel can't use it to bring him back to life, like she planned. When she starts to cry, her tears turn out to have the same magical power as her hair, bringing him back to life.
  • In Contact, the Machine is destroyed by a suicide bomber.
    Haddon: First rule of government spending: why build one, when you can build two, at twice the price? Only, this one can be kept secret.

  • In Men in Black 2, when the MIB deneuralizer is destroyed, J and K visit Jeebs, who they discover has built an unauthorized deneuralizer out of scrap parts.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • December 21, 2011
    JonnyB
    Odd, it won't let me edit my original description today. (Which is why I nuked it and started over.)
  • December 21, 2011
    nman
    Does it count if the bad guy simply steals the first Mac Guffin, or it somehow gets lost, and then the protagonists find a new one? Because right now your description only deals with the original being destroyed.

    Also, what if the villain has their evil thing, like a Tome Of Eldritch Lore, get destroyed, and then the heroes go off thinking the day is saved, and later on the baddie comes back with a backup one?

    • In The Tuxedo, Jimmy Tong loses his tuxedo, but finds that there was a second one, albeit with only 90% of the power of the first.
    • In the first Sword Of Truth book, Wizard's First Rule, the book of counted shadows was destroyed decades earlier, which is a real bummer for everyone looking for it. Except for Richard, of course, since he's hiding the fact that he memorized every word of it before its destruction.
  • December 21, 2011
    TonyG
    • In an episode of Adventures Of The Gummi Bears, the Great Book of Gummi is destroyed by a fire, so the Gummis travel to an ancient Gummi city that supposedly houses a great library. They eventually find the library, except that all the books there have desintegrated to dust, and all that is left of their Great Book is a bookmark. They take the bookmark back to Gummi Glen and place it in the spot where the Great Book used to be... and it magically restores the Book, good as new.
    • In Disney's Cinderella, Lady Tremaine trips the servant holding the glass slipper and it shatters before they could put it on Cinderella. Fortunately, Cinderella kept the other one, and produces it as proof that she was indeed the mysterious lady everyone had been looking for.
  • December 21, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^^ I think lost counts too, as long as they think there's only one but there turns out to be two (or more). And yes it doesn't have to be a good Mac Guffin to count.
  • December 21, 2011
    Met
    In Tangled Rapunzel's boyfriend cuts off her magical hair just before he dies so the witch can't use it. This also means Rapunzel can't use it to bring him back to life, like she planned. When she starts to cry, her tears turn out to have the same magical power as her hair, bringing him back to life.
  • December 21, 2011
    Sligh
    In Man In Black 2 the only dispositive capable of restoring a neuralized person's memory gets destroyed, so they use the only other: an ilegal one who looked like something built from scrape metal.
  • December 21, 2011
    JonnyB
    As somebody pointed out in the other thread on this (which I nuked but it denuked itself - tvtropes is acting really weird today), this is probably more a sister trope than a subtrope of There Is Another.

    Anyway, if it goes to launch, I'll sort out all the problems post-launch.
  • December 21, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    • In Contact, the Machine is destroyed by a suicide bomber.
      Haddon: First rule of government spending: why build one, when you can build two, at twice the price? Only, this one can be kept secret.
  • December 21, 2011
    Stratadrake
    No, try to sort out as many problems as you can now.
  • December 21, 2011
    Sligh
    ^^^^^ Agreed.
  • December 21, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Does it count if the 2nd MacGuffin was created by the keeper of the first as a backup? For example in Supernatural a demon breaks into Bobby's house and steals an important book. Sam & Dean think that now they have to go hunt the demon who stole the book to get it back, but Bobby says he made a photocopy just in case something like this happened.
  • December 21, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^^^ Well I can't very well do that if it won't let me edit my own trope. Hopefully it'll get fixed soon... I see someone else took a stab at it earlier.

    ^ Hmmm I'm not sure that counts. If it's the only book of it's sort and it drove the plot, and everyone thought it was irreplaceable, then I suppose it does.
  • December 21, 2011
    Sligh
    It was me. I just clicked on it by accident.
  • December 21, 2011
    JonnyB
    Ok, I see what it is now. It just won't let me change the laconic or title. I can live with that until launch day.
  • December 22, 2011
    Sligh
    Oh, this wasn't me. This is a bug. Also... I'd say the title needs work.
  • December 22, 2011
    Bisected8
    I had that problem with a YKTTW a while ago. It seems that the solution is to remove any potholes from the laconic.
  • March 2, 2012
    ozzy63
    • The purpose of the treasure hunt via the Animus in Assassin's Creed wasn't to find the specific Piece of Eden that crops up in Altair's memories, but to find out the location of other ones like it, because they had that one, but it ended up destroyed.
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