->''"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from [[AssPull a completely ad-hoc plot device]]"''
-->--'''Creator/DavidLangford''', [[http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/dlnw.htm "A Gadget Too Far"]], as a corollary to Arthur C. ClarkesThirdLaw

Phlebotinum is the versatile substance that may be rubbed on almost anything to cause an effect needed by a plot. Examples include but are not limited to: [[{{Nanomachines}} nanotechnology]], magic crystal emanations, pixie dust, and GreenRocks.
%% List is long enough. More is not better.

In essence, it is plot fuel. Without it, the story would grind to an abrupt halt. It's the science that powers the FTL drive on the starship so the characters can get somewhere, it's the magic that hatches the EggMacGuffin so the protagonist can save an endangered species, it's the strange things unknown to science or magic that do basically anything. The reader does not know how Phlebotinum would work and the creators hope nobody cares.

According to JossWhedon, during the DVD commentary for the pilot episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', the term "phlebotinum" originates from ''Buffy'' writer (and ''Series/{{Angel}}'' co-creator) David Greenwalt's sudden outburst: "Don't touch the phlebotinum!" apropos of nothing.[[labelnote:Fun Fact]]Whether or not he had the etymological connection in mind, "phlebotomy" is the drawing of blood, coincidentally appropriate in context.[[/labelnote]]

If the phlebotinum in question is simply a physical substance with unusual/extreme properties you are almost certainly dealing with the element {{Unobtainium}}.

A.K.A. Handwavium. Compare AuthorPowers, HandWave, MacGuffin, DeusExMachina, and AWizardDidIt. Contrast MisappliedPhlebotinum.
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[[index]]
!!Tropes

[floatboxright:
Categories:
+ {{A Sticky Index}}
+ ForensicPhlebotinum
+ FuturisticTechIndex
+ GravityTropes
+ HyperspaceIndex
+ InsecuritySystem
+ MagicAndPowers
+ MagicalComputer
+ ThisIndexHasMagicProperties
]

* AbnormalAmmo
* {{Aesoptinum}}
* AgonyBeam
* AmbiguousDisorder
* AmplifierArtifact
* AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome
* AmuletOfDependency
* AncientArtifact
* {{Antimatter}}
* AreTheseWiresImportant
* ArtifactOfDoom
* ArtificialGravity
* ArtInitiatesLife
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry
* AutomatedAutomobiles
* BackgroundMagicField
* BambooTechnology
* BigRedButton
* BioAugmentation
* BlackBox
* BlindJump
* BloodBath
* BodyToJewel
* ByThePowerOfGreySkull
* CaffeineBulletTime
* CameFromTheSky
* CantHaveSexEver
* CarryingTheAntidote
* ChemistryCanDoAnything
* ClarkesThirdLaw
* ClingyCostume
* ClingyMacGuffin
* CloningBlues
* ColdIron
* CollapsingLair
* CommLinks
* ContainmentField
* CorrespondenceCourse
* CounterpartArtifacts
* CureForCancer
* DangerousDeviceDisposalDebacle
* DangerousPhlebotinumInteraction
* TheDarkSide
* DeflectorShields
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells
* DetachableLowerHalf
* DevolutionDevice
* DeusExNukina
* DivertingPower
* DisabilitySuperpower
* DiscoTech
* DoAnythingRobot
* DoomsdayDevice
* DuctTapeForEverything
* ElectricInstantGratification
* ElectricTorture
* ElementalAbsorption
* {{EMP}}
* EnergyAbsorption
* EveryCarIsAPinto
* EverythingSensor
* ExactTimeToFailure
* ExplosiveInstrumentation
* ExplosiveOverclocking
* ExpositionBeam
* FailsafeFailure
* FantasyMetals
* FasterThanLightTravel
* FertileFeet
* FountainOfYouth
* ForgottenPhlebotinum
* ForgottenSuperweapon
* FunctionalMagic
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke
* GoingToGiveItMoreEnergy
* GravitySucks
* GreatBigBookOfEverything
* GreenLanternRing
* GreenRocks
* HardLight
* HarmfulToTouch
* HandyRemoteControl
* HealingPotion
* HealingVat
* HelpingHands
* HiddenWire
* HoldingBackThePhlebotinum
* HologramProjectionImperfection
* HulkingOut
* HumanPopsicle
* HyperDestructiveBouncingBall
* HyperspaceLanes
* HypnoRay
* IKnowYourTrueName
* ImplausibleSynchrony
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum
* IncrediblyObviousBug
* InertialDampening
* InfiniteSupplies
* InfraredXrayCamera
* InventionalWisdom
* InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality
* InvisibilityCloak
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting
* ItemAmplifier
* ItRunsOnNonsensoleum
* JackUpWithPhlebotinum
* JetPack
* LegoGenetics
* LeyLine
* LightningCanDoAnything
* TheLittleDetecto
* LivingBattery
* LosingYourHead
* LostTechnology
* LotusEaterMachine
* LovePotion
* LoyalPhlebotinum
* MadeOfExplodium
* MadeOfIndestructium
* MadeOfPhlebotinum
* MagiBabble
* MagicallyBindingContract
* MagicalParticleAccelerator
* MagicAntidote
* MagicAIsMagicA
* MagicFromTechnology
* MagicMeteor
* MagicMusic
* MagicPlasticSurgery
* MagicPoweredPseudoscience
* MagicTool
* MagicalAccessory
* MakeAWish
* MatterReplicator
* MayContainEvil
* MedievalStasis
* MenstrualMenace
* MentalPictureProjector
* MindControlDevice
* MindProbe
* MinovskyPhysics
* MirrorMoralityMachine
* MisappliedPhlebotinum
* {{Mithril}}
* MobileSuitHuman
* MutagenicGoo
* MyCarHatesMe
* {{Nanomachines}}
* NoBloodForPhlebotinum
* NoOffButton
* NotOfThisEarth
* NoWaterProofingInTheFuture
* TheNudifier
* ObfuscatedInterface
* OffscreenVillainDarkMatter
* {{Orichalcum}}
* OurClonesAreIdentical
* OurPhlebotinumChild
* OverclockingAttack
* OverrideCommand
* {{Panacea}}
* PercussiveMaintenance
* PerilousPowerSource
* PerpetualMotionMachine
* PhilosophersStone
* PhlebotinumAnalogy
* PhlebotinumBattery
* PhlebotinumBomb
* PhlebotinumBreakdown
* PhlebotinumDuJour
* PhlebotinumGirl
* PhlebotinumHandlingEquipment
* PhlebotinumHandlingRequirements
* PhlebotinumInducedStupidity
* PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs
* PhlebotinumMuncher
* PhlebotinumOverdose
* PhlebotinumOverload
* PhlebotinumPills
* PhlebotinumRebel
* PlacebotinumEffect
* PlotSensitiveButton
* PlotSensitiveItems
* PortalBook
* PortalPicture
* PortalPool
* PoweredByAForsakenChild
* PowerSource
* PowerUpFood
* PressureSensitiveInterface
* ProfessorGuineaPig
* ProjectedMan
* PsychicNosebleed
* PublicDomainArtifact
* PureEnergy
* QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything
* ReactionlessDrive
* ReadingsAreOffTheScale
* ReadingsBlewUpTheScale
* ReinventingTheTelephone
* RestrainingBolt
* ReversePolarity
* RewritingReality
* RubeGoldbergDevice
* RunsOnIgnorance
* SavedByThePhlebotinum
* ScrewLearningIHavePhlebotinum
* ScrewballSerum
* SecretProjectRefugeeFamily
* SelfDefenseless
* SelfDestructMechanism
* SelfGuardingPhlebotinum
* SelfHealingPhlebotinum
* SentientCosmicForce
* SentientPhlebotinum
* SharpenedToASingleAtom
* ShoePhone
* ShrinkRay
* SilverBullet
* SinglePhlebotinumLimit
* SolidClouds
* SoulFragment
* SoulPoweredEngine
* SpaceIsMagic
* SpySatellites
* StatesOfPhlebotinum
* SupernormalBindings
* SuperWristGadget
* SurgicalImpersonation
* SwirlyEnergyThingy
* TechnoBabble
* ThirtySecondBlackout
* ThunderboltIron
* ThoseMagnificentFlyingMachines
* TimTaylorTechnology
* TimeStandsStill
* TimeTravel
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth
* ToxicPhlebotinum
* TrackingDevice
* TransformationCauses
* TransformationRay
* TransformationTrinket
* TranslatorMicrobes
* TruthSerums
* {{Unobtainium}}
* UpgradeArtifact
* UtilityBelt
* UtilityMagic
* VillainBeatingArtifact
* VirginPower
* VirginSacrifice
* VirtualGhost
* WeaponOfMassDestruction
* WeatherControlMachine
* WeHaveForgottenThePhlebotinum
* WhatDoYouMeanItsPhlebotinum
* WheelOfPain
* WhenThingsSpinScienceHappens
* WireDilemma
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity
* WithinParameters
* WordsCanBreakMyBones
* WorldHealingWave
* ZillionDollarBill
[[/index]]
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AppliedPhlebotinum is among the JustForFun/TropesOfLegend.
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