Created By: HandsomeRob on February 9, 2011 Last Edited By: HandsomeRob on June 9, 2011
Troped

Macguffin Melee

Everyone's fighting each other over the Mac Guffin.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One??

There is an important Macguffin that two or more characters want. One character manages to get his or her hands on it, and now he or she needs to escape. Unfortunately, now everybody is after his or her ass, and they won't stop until they get it. In fact, they probably will get it, in which case, the hunter now becomes the hunted, as this character must flee, before the others snatch the Macguffin back from them.

Often the reason the character opt to run instead of fight is due to a time crunch. They can't afford to take the time to fight, or no-one is strong enough to beat the other without getting badly injured. Or maybe there a just some many people involved in the chase, it's immposible to keep track of all the players. Expect the aforementioned Macguffin to trade owners numerous times. Sometimes one person finally comes out on top, and claims the prize, but often due to all the fighting, it is destroyed either due to someone dropping it by accident, or one person deciding that destroying it is better than letting the enemy claim it.

In some older Cartoons, it would often have one character running off with the Macguffin, only to have another character coming from the opposite direction run by, and snatch it out of his or her hands, only to have someone else do the same to them. That is when they don't just stick out their foot and trip the other character. This is usually done in the more humorous stories.

A Sub-Trope of Chase Fight, with a bit of Cat and Mouse Boss thrown in, with the twist that rather than getting a power up that makes the boss run from you, you claim an object that means now you have to run from him. Will likely either be the result of, or caused by a Mle Trois. Also see Crowd Hockey, particularly for when the melee takes place in crowded areas, As well as Loot Drama.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Film
  • Rush Hour 2's Red Dragon Casino fight, involving a bomb detontator.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II has a battle in the TGRI labs over a canister of mutagen.
  • Batman & Robin play literal hockey with a diamond Mr. Freeze is attempting to retrieve.
  • The lounge scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where Jones, Willie Scott, and Lao Che's goons fight over a diamond the antidote to the poison Jones drank.
  • A long extended sequence in the middle of Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest involved this, as almost all of the regulars competed for control of the chest containing Davy Jones' heart.

Live-Action TV
  • Angel Season 4: Several different factions want to get their hands on Angel's baby son.
  • Star Trek Deep Space 9: Who Mourns for Mourn? - Everyone fighting of Morn's latinum.

Pro Wrestling
  • WWE: For a while the Hardcore Title was defended on the "24/7 rule." Anybody could challenge for the belt at any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what the champ was doing, as long as they had a WWF ref to call the match. Frequently the new champ would then be attacked by one of his friends, who would win the belt only to be challenged in turn, and so on.

Tabletop Rpg
  • Paranoia: This is the basis for the first three sections of the adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Almost every secret society and service group in Alpha Complex wants the title Black Box, but most of them don't even know what's in it. It changes hands repeatedly between the various groups during the missions.

Video Games
  • There is an entire gameplay type for multiplayer FP Ss generically known as "capture the bag" where you gain points by carrying the "bag". The idea is to kill whoever has it and hold onto it yourself for as long as possible.
  • Space Station 13. Changelings, Nuclear authentication disks, wizards, RC Ds, EVA, and to many others to count. The game is a giant one.
  • Persona 3 FES: The Answer has one point where all of the main party members are fighting each other over their individual pieces of the Key of Time.

Western Animation
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man did this when Spidey, Hammerhead, Silver Sable, and eventually the Rhino, all throwdown over a disk with technology that will allow the wielder to create their own Rhino-like henchman. Spider-Man and Rhino team up since they don't want that (Spidey does not want more Rhino's, and Rhino likes being the only game in town), allowing them to break the stalemate.
  • Numerous Looney Tunes episodes, especially ones where Sylvester and another chat compete over who gets to eat tweety. The winner is always Tweety.
  • Likewise, Tom and Jerry sometimes had episodes where Tom had to compete against another cat in order to eat Jerry, and in one case, for a female cat.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants had a special where Prehistoric Spongebob, Prehistoric Patrick and Prehistoric Squidward have a battle for a flaming log.
  • Happens in the Phineas and Ferb episode Vanessassary Roughness, when Doofenshmirtz goes shopping. Everyone in the Cast has a reason to get the glowy Macguffin, and of course it's the last one in the store. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Kim Possible has a four way battle between Kim, Shego, Monkey Fist and Duff Killigan for possesion of Ron's naked mole rat Rufus.
  • BIONICLE: The end of the 2006 and the entire 2007 storyline was this involving the mask of life.
  • Xiaolin Showdown was arguable one big Macguffin Melee. Heroes and Villains knocked each other all over the place over the Shen gong wu, until two of them grabbed it at once and were forced into a XiaolinShowdown to determine the winner.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures also did this. The Talismans of Shen du, the demon portals, The Animals that contained the Talisman powers, the Shadow Kahn masks, and then finally the powers of the other Demons. They were always hunting for something, and when both heroes and villains converged on said Macguffin at the same time, one of these usually ensued.
  • The The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode Hail Hydra had this between The Avengers, Hydra, and Advanced Idea Mechanics aka AIM for the Cosmic Cube.
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • February 9, 2011
    DaLucaray030
    In one of those old spongebob specials (Spongebob goes prehistoric?) Prehistoric!Spongebob, Prehistoric!Partric and Pregistoric!Squidward have a battle for a flaming log.
  • February 10, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • February 10, 2011
    TooBah
    Happens in the Phineas And Ferb episode Vannessassary Roughness, when Doofenshmirtz goes shopping. Everyone in the cast has a reason to try to get the glowy Macguffin, and of course it's the last one in the store. Hilarity Ensues.
  • February 10, 2011
    Augustine
    The lounge scene in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, where Jones, Willie Scott, and Lao Che's goons fight over a diamond and the antidote to the poison Jones drank. Also, Macguffin Melee has Added Alliterative Appeal.
  • February 10, 2011
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: the end of the 2006 and the entire 2007 storyline was this involving the Mask of Life.
  • February 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Angel Season 4: several different factions want to get their hands on Angel's baby son.
  • March 10, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    Bump.
  • March 10, 2011
    Bisected8
    There is an entire gameplay type for multiplayer FPSs generically known as "capture the bag" where you gain points by carrying the "bag". The idea is to kill whoever has it and hold onto it yourself for as long as possible.
  • March 10, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    Before I put this one down, are you don't meant "capture the Flag"
  • March 10, 2011
    Bisected8
    No, capture the flag is when teams try to steal a flag and take it to a set point (with either one team guarding it and another attacking or each team having their own flag to protect while taking the other's). Capture the bag is a free for all where there's generally no set place for the bag to be taken to, you just hang on to it for as long as possible.
  • March 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    WWF: For a while the Hardcore Title was defended on the "24/7 rule." Anybody could challenge for the belt at any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what the champ was doing, as long as they had a WWF ref to call the match. Frequently the new champ would then be attacked by one of his friends, who would win the belt only to be challenged in turn, and so on.
  • March 11, 2011
    Aminatep
    Please don't do two line breaks after each example
  • March 11, 2011
    LoopyChew
    Can intersect (pretty heavily) with Crowd Hockey, particularly in crowded areas and battles. Some examples listed there that also apply here:

  • March 11, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    A long extended sequence in the middle of Pirates Of The Caribbean Dead Man's Chest involved this, as almost all of the regulars competed for control of the chest containing Davy Jones' heart.
  • March 11, 2011
    mcredshirt
    Space station 13. Changelings, Nuclear authentication disks, wizards, RC Ds, EVA, and to many others to count. The game is a giant one.

  • April 11, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    Bumping this back up
  • April 13, 2011
    dalek955
    Subtrope: Loot Drama.
  • May 3, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Bump?
  • May 3, 2011
    TBeholder
    • In Elminster In Myth Drannor the Almost Dead Elf saw his old love while dying. The pair was seen together when already dead Iymbryl communicated his last will via lore-gem. Then again, canonically elves are different in this regard.
      Iymbryl Alastrarra: Oh, Ayaeqlarune! Beloved! I come to you at last! Ayaeqlarrr...

  • May 20, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    DS 9: Who Mourns for Mourn? - Everyone fighting of Morn's latinum.
  • May 20, 2011
    Aspie
  • May 20, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Paranoia. This is the basis for the first three sections of the adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Almost every secret society and service group in Alpha Complex wants the title Black Box, but most of them don't even know what's in it. It changes hands repeatedly between the various groups during the missions.
  • May 28, 2011
    MiVaTh
    Man, I thought it meant people beating eachother up WITH the Mc Guffin. But yes, there are a lot of examples like this, I think you should publish it.
  • June 9, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    Want to see if I can get a few more replies, but I am thinking I will launch it soon
  • June 9, 2011
    Madrugada
    Playing Mac Guffin Keepaway perhaps?

    You've got a good trope here.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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