Created By: StevenT on April 4, 2012 Last Edited By: Halen on July 28, 2013

Buttering Toast With Excalibur

Using a legendary or otherwise valuable item for a mundane task.

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Anime and Manga
  • In various Lupin III media there's a Running Gag of sorts with Goemon having to use his katana to cut what he considers "worthless objects" instead of its intended purpose; as a weapon in battle with a Worthy Opponent.

  • In Quest for Camelot, the heroes go on a quest to find Excalibur. They find it in the possession of an ogre, who has been using it as a toothpick.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • April 4, 2012
    • In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Mendanbar, the king of the Enchanted Forest, at one point uses his sword, the heirloom and keystone artifact of his kingdom, to do some rudimentary plumbing for someone he's visiting. He offers to do the dishes as well, but she says that's a bit much.

    At a second thought, is this different from Mundane Utility?
  • April 4, 2012
    Mundane Utility is for when you use your superpowers for this.
  • April 4, 2012
    ^ I don't think so, the description doesn't specify superpowers and includes things like using a water-cooled machine gun to make tea.
  • April 4, 2012
    I'd say it's a subtrope.
  • April 4, 2012
    as is Priceless Paperweight, when thee item in question is used as a paperweight.
  • April 4, 2012
    The difference between this and Mundane Utility is that, I think, this is something that's so mundane that it PROFANES the sacred item.
  • April 5, 2012
    • Brewsters Millions (Richard Pryor version): Brewster buys the world's most expensive stamp at an auction and uses it to mail a postcard.
    • Real Life: Steve Ditko uses his old Original Art as cutting boards.
  • April 5, 2012
    • The Antiques Roadshow occasionally features people doing this for real. A notable case appeared in the American version with a man who owned an authentic civil-war sword that could have been worth many thousands of dollars, but was severely devalued because he had been using it to chop firewood.
  • April 5, 2012
    On an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Worf, Dax, and Kor are searching for the Sword of Kahless, which was forged by founder of the Klingon Empire. Once they have it, Kor is later using it to like a fork while he eats. Worf complains, and Kor points out that Kahless himself used it harvest fields and carve a statue of his wife.
  • April 6, 2012
    I think Mundane Utility means you're using something powerful for doing something dull, while this is using something valuable (or downright sacred) inappropriately ("This is an OUTRAGE"-inappropriately).
  • April 6, 2012
    In The Little Golden Calf, Ostap comes upon a church that was closed and used as a warehouse to store potatoes (he spots it by the smell of rotting vegetables). Looks like it wasn't sacred at all to the Soviet authorities.
  • April 6, 2012
    I think this would work as a subtrope of Mundane Utility, but we'll need a very good description to keep things straight. (We can probably pull a lot of examples off the Mundane Utility page for this.)
  • July 15, 2013
    Not sure this counts as there is virtually no description, but here I go.

    • Horatio Hornblower: Hornblower is getting married, and his wife and her mother insist that the wedding cake must be cut with his sword because that's what fashionable navy brides do. Hornblower imagines what his sword cut up in the past and feels squicked in-universe.
  • July 16, 2013
    @aurora: Many churches were repurposed by the Communists. Truth In Television.
  • July 16, 2013
    Is it just me or Steven T likes to make YKTTW with little to no description?
  • July 16, 2013
    In the SF novel Demon of Undoing by Andrea L. Alton, an expatriate human on an alien planet uses an ancient, sacred, ceremonial battle ax as... a battle ax.
  • July 16, 2013
    In Fire Emblem Awakening, if Lucina has any siblings she will catch them using Falchion, not only a legendary ancestral weapon with the power to save the world, but also their last momento from their father, to chop apples. Naturally she scolds them about it.
  • July 16, 2013
    • In The Penguins Of Madagascar, at the end of "Lunacorn Apocalypse" episode, the sacred sword of General Shinjin is literally used for buttering toasts.
  • July 16, 2013
    @DAN 004: It is not just you. They are also in the habit of writing drafts and abandoning them. It's ok to do so, but it's always best to add tags or make t clear in the description/discussion that they don't want to launch it.
  • July 16, 2013
    Ladyhawke Navarre, on seeing his sword being used to cut wood: "This sword has been in my family for five generations. It has never known defeat. Until now."
  • July 20, 2013
    Live-Action TV

    • An amusing scene in the Babylon 5 episode "Sic Transit Vir" has Londo's quarters infested with some kind of bug. After thrashing around frustratedly trying to kill one, he takes his ceremonial dueling sword down from the wall and impales the little critter with it.
      Londo: HA HA! There, you see! This will teach you to trifle with a Centauri, you triple-damned... You know that... You know that you are smaller than I thought you were? (beat) You are smaller. There are more of you!... THERE ARE MORE OF YOU!

  • July 20, 2013
    In a cross between this and Hidden In Plain Sight, in Nomads of Gor the war chief of the Wagon Peoples [sic] uses the last egg of the Priest-Kings (the Physical Gods of the planet) as a beanbag chair.
  • July 22, 2013
    In Exterminatus Now, Rogue's definitely-not-a-lightsaber has been (ab)used as a reading light, among other things, by the rest of the team. Rogue is rarely amused.