Mundane Object Amazement


(permanent link) added: 2011-02-20 16:16:19 sponsor: lacusness (last reply: 2011-02-24 12:03:16)

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I think I've acquired a weapon of immense power!
- Ika Musume after receiving an umbrella.

Happens when a character that is oblivious to the world around them and acquired or encountered a normal everyday object. These objects range from umbrellas, elevators, computers, doors, kitchen sinks, mirrors, ANYTHING, granted that it is mundane and common to normal people. This is usually followed by the character exploiting or praising the particular object while being amazed by its usefulness. This can also be the Running Gag for the series.

These characters are usually either:

  • From Magical Land, therefore everyday objects can amaze them.
  • Aliens, some Earth's objects just don't exist in outer space.
  • Still a child and is growing up to know the world.
  • A foreigner, said object might be rare in their own country.
  • Really rich, to the point that some normal things can amaze them.
  • Had previously lived a sheltered life.
  • A time traveler, making them a Fish Out of Temporal Water.

Generally, this trope is played in comedic effect. However in some cases, the segment will not always end well. Perhaps the character had too much fun or overestimated its usefulness, destroying the item in the process. Or perhaps they just ran over a stroke of bad luck, damaging in the process. Either way, the character will cry over the object, and the ending will be set in Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming way.

Compare Incredibly Lame Fun and What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In Bleach, Rukia is amazed at the way you drink out of juice boxes, by poking the straw through the foil hole and using it to drink. In the Anime she even tells Hanatarou about it as if she'd mastered some difficult skill by being able to do it.
  • Happens in Gintama episode 111, Kagura received an umbrella with a flower pattern from Gintoki.
    • This is followed by a montage(with a nice melody) of Kagura strolling around the streets happily, the montage is repeated with slightly heavy rain with more rock added into the music. She still went out with the umbrella even when there's a typhoon rampaging outside.
  • In the anime Ika Musume, The title character considered the umbrella that Eiko gave her as a "worthy weapon" while fantasizing on how she will used it to fight a robotic Eiko. The umbrella was crushed after being ran over by a random car passing by, when Eiko came out from the store Ika was crying on the death of her partner, named Ika Model One, 'Excelsior' Eiko asked Ika Musume to share her umbrella together and then went home together.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, all the boys in the extremely rich Ouran High School's Host Club are amazed at everyday 'commoner' things that Haruhi does or uses, like instant coffee, and saying things like "Commoners are so clever!"
  • Yotsuba&!, being young is no stranger to this trope. She is amused at just about everything, except for the scarecrow.

Video Games
  • In Dragon Age : Origins - Awakening, Justice, an immortal spirit from the Fade, is massively amazed by most trivial things in the material world. For instance, his favorite possession is a simple ring lined with Lyrium that apparently emanates beautiful sounds that only he hears.
  • Elizabeth and Theodore in Persona 3. Not only are most of their fetch quests about getting mundane objects they find fascinating, they also will be amazed by everything around them when you take them out on a date.

Film
  • This was kind of the entire concept behind the film "The Gods Must Be Crazy", which dealt with the quasi-cargo-cult reaction of a group of Kalahari bushmen to finding a glass Coke bottle.

Literature
  • Xanth novel Man From Mundania features one Princess Ivy, who travels from her Magical Land to "Mundania" (the 'real' world) where she encounters a computer for the first time. Given than in Xanth, Com-Pewter is an evil creature, Ivy is rather taken aback by the computer's innocuous nature.
  • In the Harry Potter series a number of wizards have this reaction when they come into contact with muggle technology. Arthur Weasley is amazed to see an escalator in operation in London.
  • Ax of Animorphs is constantly amazed by human technologies, especially those adapted for mouths, like a lid over a cup of coffee.

Western Animation
  • In Regular Show, Benson shows his new surveillance system to Pops, who exclaims "What a marvelous device!" He was referring to the computer mouse.
  • In the early episodes of Futurama, Fry, being a Fish Out of Temporal Water, was constantly amazed at things that he (and we) would found astonishing but that people in the 31st Century dismiss as commonplace. He even accuses the others of acting "like you're from the boring time where I come from."
  • The Little Mermaid had Ariel fascinated by the food utensils of Humans and using a fork as a comb.
  • In The Simpsons, Homer got all enthusiastic about the napkin dispenser in a 50s style diner, acting like it was some fantastic antique. Lisa tried to point out that they have those in modern restuarants to no avail.

Live Action TV
  • The Doctor will occasionally wax poetic about various elements of human nature he likes. He did a fairly long one on edible ball bearings in "Fear Her".
  • This was a regular feature of The Pretender, where Jerod would become fascinated with some item like Twinkies, Mr. Potato Head, or roach motels, and then work them into his scheme for an Engineered Public Confession.

Real Life
  • The concept behind Cargo Cult is closely related to this trope.

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