[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clingymcguffin_3652.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Poor kid has to spend the rest of the series finding another MacGuffin just to get rid of this one!]]

->''"How many times have you flung a magic ring into the depths of the ocean, and when you come back and have a nice bit of turbot for your tea, there it is?"''
-->-- '''Nanny Ogg''', ''Discworld/WyrdSisters''

AppliedPhlebotinum with one specific quirk: you cannot get rid of it. It cannot be removed, lost, given away, buried, thrown in the ocean, blown up, or separated from the owner in any way. It's usually not intelligent or sentient, but is nonetheless bound to you, for better or worse, till death do you part, or otherwise.

This can be found in {{Fairy Tale}}s, particularly those where [[SelfFulfillingProphecy Self-Fulfilling Prophecies]] are not to be thwarted by a condition such as "You have to get this ring back to marry my daughter."

The most benign form is an EmpathicWeapon that's a little too empathic. It's not necessarily something you would ''want'' to get rid of, but it can sure make maintaining the {{Masquerade}} much harder if your Glowy Sword of Doom simply will not let you leave it at home. Also, if a villain is after it, you can't easily comply with [[HostageForMacGuffin a demand to hand it over to save a friend.]] In this case, the only chance they have of getting it is killing you.

The evil version is more like an [[ImplacableMan implacable stalker]]. From the moment it crosses your path, no matter what you do to get rid of it, it will always be there. If you're lucky, it will just make you a WeirdnessMagnet. If you're unlucky, it'll be an ArtifactOfDoom that will make your life a living hell until you fulfill TheQuest to destroy it or [[SealedEvilInACan seal it away]] for the next hapless victim.

If a Clingy [=MacGuffin=] appears in an ongoing series, expect several episodes about the character's attempts to get rid of it so that he can lead a [[IJustWantToBeNormal normal life]]. He might even succeed a couple of times but circumstances will always manage to bring the two of them back together because otherwise, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption there wouldn't be a show]]. The character might also come to accept or even enjoy their new life and actively seek to regain the Clingy [=MacGuffin=].

Technically, any comedy in which a hapless person gets something -- a paintbrush, a Post-It note, etc -- physically glued to their body and can't dislodge it could qualify as a (non-magical) descendent of this trope. If the attached object is relevant to the plot (e.g. the accidental lipstick stain that can't be wiped off, sabotaging the protagonist's romantic chances with his girlfriend), it actually ''is'' this trope.

If the MacGuffin is a piece of clothing, it's a ClingyCostume. If it's a living thing, it falls into TheCatCameBack. Compare LoyalPhlebotinum, which can be physically separated from the owner but still only works for its [[TheChosenOne Chosen One]]. Contrast SlipperyMacGuffin.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Bakura's Millennium Ring in ''Manga/YuGiOh'' UpToEleven in the Manga, where the ring [[spoiler:[[http://www.mangareader.net/285-20525-12/yu-gi-oh/chapter-50.html embedded itself into Bakura's chest.]]]] [[{{Bowdlerise}} This didn't make it into the Anime.]] It did however always manage to find its way back to Bakura, regardless of what anyone tried to get rid of it.
* Manjyome's Ojama spirit monsters in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''.
* This is a major theme of ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL''. All of the Numbers (except for Number 39: Utopia, ''maybe'') are malevolent beings that corrupt whoever owns them, each causing its host to become drunk with power and become obsessed with it. What's more, the Numbers Holder is driven to find other Numbers by it. There are people, whoever, who are immune to this effect and those who can resist it, mostly Numbers Hunters like Yuma and Kaito, but they usually have some supernatural or technological aid.
* The title character of ''LightNovel/{{Gokudo}}'' planned to abuse his magic sword in a similar manner as in ''Series/DeadLast'', though his genie stops him before he can even try.
* The G Units from ''Manga/{{Guyver}}'' cannot be properly removed from their hosts without a specific piece of technology. Tearing out the control metal causes the armor to actually consume its host, but the metal regenerates the host shortly after.
* The Blue Water from ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater''. There's a moment when she throws it into the ocean, only to have it rise from the waves and return to her.
* When Ichika from ''Anime/UtaKata'' tries to throw away the charm given to her by Sei, it just flies back to her, signifying that it is too late already to change her fate.
* ''Manga/MagicalCircleGuruGuru'' has an award statue that reappears whenever Nike tries to dispose of it.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': An egg-shaped stone called a [[ArtifactOfDoom Beherit]] might get lost or change hands temporarily, but is ultimately fated to find its way into the hands of the person who is destined to use it to [[SummoningArtifact summon]] the God Hand for a DealWithTheDevil in their moment of [[DespairEventHorizon deepest despair]]. According to Flora, if it is meant for you, then even if you throw it away it will find its way back to you. If it is meant for someone else, then no matter how you cling to it it will somehow escape your grasp. A good example of this is how the jailer accidentally drops Griffith's Crimson Beherit down a drain, so that it is seemingly lost forever. However, Zodd assures Griffith that it will come back to him when the time is right, and so it comes to pass: When Griffith ends up crippled and broken in the shallows of a lake, the beherit finishes its trip downstream from the dungeon's drain and appears before Griffith exactly when he needs it.
* The Silver Crystal from ''Franchise/SailorMoon''. Despite the canon belief it can be taken, and in the [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]] it is passed on, present Usagi always, ''always,'' has a copy of it. Even when Chibi-Usa takes the future version, Usagi still has the past version. Usagi eventually gets that copy back as well. In the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]], Chibi-Usa even gets a new pink crystal so Usagi can keep the Silver Crystal. Not that she's ''trying'' to get rid of it.
* A "kinda" example from ''Manga/{{Legendz}}'': in the first episode, Shuu tries to get rid of his Talispod, but the wind blows it back to him.
* In a ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' OVA, Naga, on pure impulse, puts on a valuable bracelet made out of rare {{Orichalcum}}. Unfortunately, she discovers that she can't take it off. And what's more, a powerful superweapon became attracted to the bracelet and Naga and Lina got chased all over by this creature.
* Kazuki's kakugane in ''Manga/BusouRenkin'', which had been put in his heart's place by Tokiko so he could survive a mortal attack from a homunculus which she was trying to kill. From this, the whole story kicks off, and halfway into it [[spoiler:we find out that the kakugane is of the black variety, which tends to make the user absurdly powered, but he has to nourish on other people's energy to subsist.]]
* The title item of ''Anime/{{Witchblade}}'' is a strange bracelet that turns the user into a {{Stripperific}} death machine. Its clingyness is demonstrated in a sad sequence when Masane tries to get it off... using dangerous tools that could cost her an arm. At one point it wakes up, slices a press into ribbons and goes back to sleep. Worse, if Masane dies, it passes on to her daughter. [[spoiler:Eventually she sacrifices herself, taking the Witchblade with her.]]
* Ichigo's Hollow mask in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. If removed from his person it will disintegrate into nothing, but it always reappears on him, appearing to block fatal blows early on. When his Hollow gains enough power to start interfering in Ichigo's fights, it becomes downright dangerous. The "Hollow" is revealed much later to be [[spoiler:his true [[EmpathicWeapon Zanpakutou spirit Zangetsu]]; the "Old Man" really being a manifestation of his Quincy heritage. Ichigo can't get rid of it because it's part of his own soul, and [[SplitPersonalityMerge accepting it as a part of himself]] is quite the part in his CharacterDevelopment.]]
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': Kaijinbou forges [[EvilWeapon Toukijin]] but cannot get rid of it. It [[DemonicPossession controls]] his will, driving him to hunt Inu-Yasha and eventually (accidentally) killing Kaijinbou through sheer force of power. Death doesn't separate them, Toukjin just animates Kaijinbou's body and keeps going. In the end, Inu-Yasha has to hack off the smith's wrist to separate them, which allows the dead body to disintegrate, leaving Toukijin behind. When Sesshoumaru touches Toukijin, his will is so powerful it instantly defeats Toukijin's power, turning Toukijin into a LoyalPhlebotinum instead.
* A chapter of the ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' manga has female Ranma ending up in a cursed swimsuit with the talking figure of a devil dog adorning it. No amount of efforts can remove it (panda Genma gets near it with a pair of scissors, but the devil dog's face ''eats them''). The only way to get rid of this curse is to fulfill the swimsuit spirit's wish before the sunset... or it will drag Ranma to the bottom of the sea.
* [[Recap/LupinIIIS2E107 An episode]] of ''Franchise/LupinIII'' has Lupin steal the Hope Diamond to make into Fujiko's engagement ring, unaware of its infamous curse. After bringing misfortune to everyone around it, Fujiko attempts to get rid of it, but it just keeps reappearing.
* In ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' once Hijikata gets the cursed sword, which alters his personality, he can no longer leave it, always taking it with him. He himselfs talks about the problem while ''stirring his drink with said sword.''
* In ''LightNovel/TheRisingOfTheShieldHero'' the Legendary Weapons must always be on the Hero's person. Luckily for them the Weapon's size and location on their body can be adjusted, so it's possible to use both hands for bathing and eating. They are also clingy in another way, as they will punish Heroes for trying to use a Weapon that does not match their Weapon's nature.
* In ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' and ''especially'' the prequel ''Manga/FushigiYuugiByakkoSenki'', the ''Universe of TheFourGods'' both plays this trope straight and subverts it:
** Straight example: Not only it's [[MadeOfIndestructium impossible to destroy]], but no matter how many times its temporary owner Takao Ohsugi stores it away to keep it from swallowing his daughter Suzuno inside, the book alway finds it way out and back to Suzuno's surroundings. [[spoiler: It even happens after the Great Kanto Earthquake, where Suzuno barely escapes from being crushed by her house's debris and finds herself with the Book in her hands... and then the wounded Takao sends her inside the Book, counting on it being indestructible enough to keep her safe in the chaos and destruction.]]
** Subversion: In Chapter 3, when Suzuno [[spoiler: is sent back to Tokyo and then is almost MadeASlave by child traffickers]], one of them grabs the ''Universe...'' easily from her hands, and after she's rescued by [[spoiler: Seiji and Dr. Oikawa]] the book goes completely missing. Considering how the Universe would later be stored for ''decades'' in the Tokyo Central Library and would only start "reacting" when Miaka and Yui [[note]](or, in the ''Suzaku Ibun'' games, Madoka and Misaki)[[/note]] went into the building together, it looks like the book will only fit into this trope [[BecauseDestinySaysSo when it's time]] for [[TheChosenOne any of the Priestesses]] to raise into action.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* In the card game ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'', there is a curse called "cursed thingie". It curses an equipped Item, which then doesn't give any bonuses anymore and can't be removed voluntarily. The result is, that it still occupies its slot (for example footgear), therefore blocking it. Therefore, the cursed player wants it on an item which is small and does not occupy a slot or hand. The other players want it on something that occupies both hands or a slot and is big, for maximized inconvenience.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', Liliana Vess eventually realizes that the Chain Veil is an ArtifactOfDoom and wants to get rid of it. She liked the power it gave her -- enough power to kill two of her demonic masters -- but the multitude of spirits in the Veil itself are just as eager to enslave her. And while her mind might want to throw it away, her hands refuse to obey. At one point, she even tries summoning a skeleton and ordering it to take the Veil from her. The skeleton does so, then quickly falls apart as the magic that animated it fades. As it falls, the Veil "coincidentally" drapes itself over her arm. The spirits of the Veil explain to Liliana that they are not done with her yet, and that deep down she doesn't really want to be rid of the Veil either. They even point out that she put on the Veil again during their conversation, and she didn't even notice it was on her face before they mentioned it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Pierino e il burattino'' (''Peter and the Puppet'', an Italian comic, by Antonio Rubino, 1919) used this trope as subject. Obsessively. Although defining the puppet as AppliedPhlebotinum can be excessive: it has no apparent property or power, but it comes always back to its unwilling beholder.
* One of these features prominently in one of the issues of the Spanish comic ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'', titled "The Warlock": a magical note, enchanted to kill anyone who reads it. The title characters subsequently try to remove it by the most varied means, chucking it into the bin, shredding it, burying it, tying it to a rock and throwing it to the sea, and ''hitting it with a full discharge of a flamethrower''. And yet the note manages to never be actually harmed due to some kind of karmic immunity that causes people around it to suffer instead. They do manage to get rid of it. How? [[LaserGuidedKarma They send it back to the guy that commissioned the warlock to send the note to the Super]].
* A villainous example occurs in the ''ComicBook/IronMan'' comics with the Mandarin and his alien rings, which give him a variety of fantastic powers. The rings are attuned to him and cannot be taken from him by force. A partial subversion comes from the fact that the Mandarin can voluntarily lend his rings to his [[{{Mooks}} minions]], although if they're knocked out or killed the ring automatically comes back to him. If the Mandarin himself loses consciousness, all the rings automatically reappear on his fingers, which left his {{Mooks}} powerless to stop the Stark employees they had kidnapped from escaping on one occasion after Iron Man knocked out their boss.
* Shows up in ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' on occasion. When Hal Jordan was given a Blue Lantern ring, he was unable to remove it without hoping for something. In a Green Lantern cameo on ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', Kyle Rayner couldn't remove his lantern ring even when he tried.
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan''. The alien symbiote-suit that does get forcefully removed (although not easily), and promptly sees about finding itself a more appreciative host (thereby becoming Venom and its offspring, Carnage and Toxin). Even having successfully removed this MacGuffin from his body, the Web-slinger still isn't free of it: year after year, host after host, it comes back to fight him. It also has a "crazy ex-girlfriend" thing going on, and several comics have stated that it would gladly go back to Peter if he accepted it, which means it's still trying to be even clingier.\\\
It's gotten worse in recent years. The symbiote messed with the physiology of its last two long-term hosts, making them literally unable to survive without it. This forced Mac Gargan to be locked back into an upgraded Scorpion suit, and nearly killed Flash Thompson when the suit possessed [[spoiler:the ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan]]. Numerous stories have seen Venom, Carnage or other symbiotes "permanently bonded" to their hosts such that they can never be removed again. Hell, it's noted in Venom's first appearance that this happened to Eddie Brock. [[{{Pun}} It never sticks.]]
* ComicBook/ConanTheBarbarian once came into possession of the Ring of Molub, an artifact connected to an ancient, NighInvulnerable demon of the same name. The demon will relentlessly pursue and slaughter the bearer of ring, which can only be disposed of by passing it on to someone without their knowledge, condemning that poor bastard to an extremely horrific death. Conan gets rid of it by slipping it on the finger of that story's BigBad... and then breaking his hand for good measure.
* The Pistols in ''ComicBook/TheSixthGun'' bond to whoever picks them up after their previous owner dies. Anyone else gets burned by green fire.
* Parodied in ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'', with the piece of sticking plaster from ''Recap/TintinTheCalculusAffair''. When Captain Haddock tosses it off, it sticks to someone else, who in turn shakes it off. And so it goes all over the bus, before coming to the Captain's cap. It then follows him aboard the plane, eventually makes its way to the cockpit (causing the pilots to momentarily lose control), lands on the Captain again by the end of the flight, is thrown away at the police station, only to return ''yet again on the captain's clothes'' in the hotel room!
* The Blue Beetle Scarab is "permanently" infused on the back of {{adorkable}} Jaime Rayes that turns him into the 3rd (rightly named) ComicBook/BlueBeetle.
* In "The Sliceman Cometh" in ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'' #44, a French Revolutionary executioner who'd killed an innocent man at the request (and payment) of the victim's brother keeps trying to dispose of the head only to have it return to him in various plausible ways. Finally he decides to chop it to bits -- which is when the headless corpse shows up looking for it...
* The Star Brand of ''ComicBook/TheNewUniverse'', an energy source that can do anything the user wants to. However, even if you do find a way to get rid of it, a piece of it will still live on in you and recharge itself.
* The current ComicBook/CrimsonAvenger is a woman who bought a pair of Colt handguns to exact revenge on a murderer who escaped justice. The guns are cursed, and bonded permanently to her hands. They also lack triggers and never need to be reloaded, apparently firing by themselves and using her as a "host", to bring about vengeance on those who go unpunished for their crimes. She gets an "assignment" by reliving the death of the killer's victim, then involuntarily teleports to the killer's location. One time she tried to kill herself instead, but the guns render her immortal.
* The quantum bands that come with the job of Protector of the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, once put on, don't come off again until the death of their wearer. As a result, ComicBook/{{Quasar}} gets killed once precisely because the BigBad of that story arc is after the bands and discovers that the bands can't even be removed from his wrists after ''cutting off his lower arms''. (He does eventually get better.)
* The Tallus, futuristic-looking wristband used to guide the ComicBook/{{Exiles}}, cannot be removed from its wearer's wrist. If, for instance, you cut off the current wearer's ''arm'', it will just reappear on the other arm.
* There's a ''ComicBook/{{Mickey Mouse|ComicUniverse}} comic that combines this trope with MundaneUtility. Mickey receives a cursed miniature sculpture that is so ugly that no-one wants to keep it, but it will remain with the person who found it until they can find someone else to voluntarily accept it. At the end he is still unable to get rid of it, and finds a cave filled with thousands of identical copies of the object. After thinking for a bit, he makes them into keychain holders and starts a booming business selling them, as whoever buys one will never lose their keys again.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Witchblade}}'' doesn't like attempts to remove it. When Mary tries to use bolt cutters on it in ''ComicBook/Switch2015'', it results in the bolt cutters being destroyed. Another girl who tries to use a car press to remove it has the car press ''shredded to pieces''.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/TheBridge'':
** A Siren's magic necklace can only be removed by its wearer. Even someone with SuperStrength cannot steal it and it will protect itself with a tiny forcefield. [[spoiler:When Aria Blaze's heart stops, the effect is removed, but returns when she is revived.]]
** In ''The Bridge: A Shimmer in the Dark'', Countess Mircalla dons Nightmare Moon's old suit of armor and gains her powers. However, when she decides to take a break, she cannot remove it and is informed only someone like Nightmare Moon herself would be able to remove it. [[spoiler:Eventually, Sunset Shimmer is able to nullify the armor's magic, allowing Mircalla to remove it.]]
* In several ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fics, the Deathly Hallows have been portrayed as unable to be left behind, given away or permanently destroyed. Some, such as ''FanFic/{{crawlersout}}'', even going as far to have the Deathly Hallows consider Harry their master no matter what time, place, or dimension they're in.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Piece of Resistance from ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'', the only thing that can stop the Kragle ([[spoiler:a tube of Krazy Glue]]), is glued to [[IdiotHero Emmet's]] back for most of the film.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Loki's Mask from ''Film/TheMask'' (the Jim Carrey movie) falls into this category: when Stanley tries to throw it out the window, it boomerangs right back to where he picked it up from. It also functions in a HostageForMacGuffin scenario, although this is subverted by the fact that ''Stanley himself'' is the hostage, trying to save his own life.
* In ''Film/{{Click}}'', the "Universal Remote Control" given to the main character. In one sequence, the character tries to rid himself of the device, but it returns in a variety of hilarious ways.
-->'''Michael Newman:''' Oh, yeah? I'll take my clothes off. Then what's--?\\
'''Morty:''' I wouldn't do that if I were you. There's only one place left for it to pop up.
* In ''Film/{{Help}}'', this is taken to the point of absurdity: [[Music/TheBeatles Beatle]] Ringo Starr has an Eastern sacrificial ring stuck on his finger, and nothing anyone can do (and everyone tries) can get it off. It can only be removed by an act of courage from Ringo, so it isn't until the end of the movie that it gets removed.
* In ''Film/TheGodsMustBeCrazy'', Xi's tribe tries to throw the Coke Bottle away, but it keeps coming back (occasionally causing mayhem in the process), leading up to Xi's [[TheQuest Quest]] to throw it off the edge of the world.
* Once the ruby slippers in ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' appear on Dorothy's feet, they become stuck and won't come off, something the Wicked Witch of the West remembers the hard way when they shock her as she tries to remove them.
* In ''Film/TheMummyReturns'', Alex tries on a bracelet that turns out to be the key the bad guys are looking for. It's not detachable. [[spoiler:It will also kill him if he does not reach the pyramid at Ahm Sher in time]].
* In ''Theatre/{{Oscar}}'', there is a subplot revolving around three identical valises -- one containing money, one containing jewels, and one containing the maid's clothing and undergarments. The police and other gangsters are made suspicious by the way the valises keep going in and out of the house, but whenever a valise is seized and opened, it is invariably the one that contains the maid's clothing.
* Franchise/IndianaJones's fedora. Through all four movies (and the video games, as well) it's constantly with him, and seems to follow him everywhere when he's not wearing it. See toward the end of ''[[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade The Last Crusade]]'', where Indy sits resting after the tank fight and the wind magically blows his hat back to him.
* The bracelet-gun in ''Film/CowboysAndAliens''. Later subverted when it turns out [[spoiler:he just didn't know he needed to empty his mind of thoughts in order to unlock it]].
* Bud's titanium wedding band in ''Film/TheAbyss''. At first this is just psychological; he and Lindsey are on the brink of divorce, but he still loves her and can't bring himself to stop wearing the ring. (At one point he takes it off and throws it into a chemical toilet, but is unable to leave it there. He fishes it out, staining his arm blue to the elbow.) When he uses his hand to stop a hydraulic door from closing (which saves him from drowning), the ring prevents the door from crushing the hand, but is deformed just enough to make it ''physically'' impossible for him to remove it.

* ''Pipe Down'', a title in the Franchise/SuperMarioBros ''Literature/NintendoAdventureBooks'' gamebook series, has this happen to Princess Peach when she receives a mysterious pair of red sneakers for her birthday. When she puts them on, they begin forcing her to dance a la the Hans Christian Andersen tale, and she eventually becomes the unwilling star of a Koopa basketball ballet. If Mario and Luigi manage to find her in the desert in one sequence, she'll tell them that she's tried over and over again, but the sneakers just won't come off her feet.
* The hero of J.H. Brennan's ''Saga of the Demonspawn'' gamebooks, Fire*Wolf, comes across a sentient magical sword that he keeps with him because it's a powerful weapon. It's only later that he learns [[BecauseDestinySaysSo he was destined to inherit it]] and finds he can't get rid of it. At the end of the series, when the {{Big Bad}}s try to cripple the hero by stealing all his weapons, they find they can't deprive the hero of the sword.
* In ''Literature/TheFabledLands'' if you earn the favor of Nagil, the god of death, you can be gifted with his White Sword. Besides its staggering +8 combat bonus, you'll have it forever. Even if you die and are brought back to life, you'll lose all the rest of your stuff, but not the sword.

* In the ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'' series, there is a ring that makes the wearer the owner of the eponymous castle. You only can take it off when you're dying, although there seems to be quite a long timespan between being able to take it off and actually dying. Ward is not happy when that is revealed, mainly because rings are impractical in combat.
* In the ''Undead...'' Series by Mary Janice Davidson, there is the Book of the Dead.
* The young adult novel ''Literature/TheEyesOfKidMidas'' features a pair of sunglasses that allow the wearer to change reality any way he wants... but the glasses cannot be removed.
* The short story "The Zahir" by Creator/JorgeLuisBorges involves a variant on this trope. The title object is cursed, causing anyone who sees it to become gradually unable to think of anything else. The main character succeeds in getting rid of the zahir itself, but is unable to get it out of his head.
* Another Borges example is "Shakespeare's Memory". The narrator -- a German Shakespeare scholar -- meets a man at a party and unwittingly agrees to accept ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: the personal knowledge of all the experiences of William Shakespeare, recollections of which encroach more and more upon his thoughts, threatening to displace his own identity. He can only get rid of it by convincing another person to willingly accept it.
* The Creator/JohnBellairs novel ''Literature/TheSpellOfTheSorcerersSkull'' features a miniature skull that can fit in a pants pocket... and returns there after the protagonist drops it into a lake.
* The walking stick in ''Iron Kissed'', by Patricia Briggs. The protagonist Literature/MercyThompson acquires a magical walking stick, exact properties unknown. She tries to return it to [[TheFairFolk the fairies]] several times, but it keeps coming back. A slight twist in that the stick shows up "in places where I live", like in her bed, her car and her work area. [[spoiler: Mercy later uses this fact to lure her attacker into a trap. She could have retrieved the stick from any area she spent time in, but only told him about the spot that was protected.]] Apparently, it also has the power to ensure that all the owner's ewes will bear twins -- not particularly useful for a Volkswagen mechanic. [[spoiler:It comes in handy in ''Bone Crossed'' -- apparently it was made by Lugh of the Shining Spear, and so can be used as a spear when needed.]]
* Vain from Stephen Donaldson's second ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' trilogy, who was brought to life to serve some mysterious purpose. He doesn't actually do much except hang around grinning like an idiot, but he's virtually indestructible and has a knack for overcoming insurmountable obstacles to return to the protagonists whenever something detains him. Not so much a case of TheCatCameBack because, as it turns out, [[spoiler:he's an embodiment of pure order that will become one-half of the new Staff of Law when combined with an embodiment of pure magic.]]
* In Robert Louis Stevenson's story ''The Bottle Imp'', the title MacGuffin (ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, it's a bottle, with a devil inside) grants the owner's wishes... but the only way to get rid of it is to sell it at a loss, and still having it in your possession when you die means eternal damnation. [[spoiler:The problem is averted when the bottle ends up sold to a minor character who doesn't care about the cost because he fully expects to go to hell anyway, and exchange rates permit the sale even when the bottle was bought for a single penny.]]
* The Power of Stormhold in ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'', which Yvaine must carry until the heir of Stormhold asks her for it. But we don't know how clingy it is, because she never actually tries to get rid of it in any other way. In the book, Yvaine's lugging the gem around is explained as an obligation -- though it knocked her out of the sky it's not hers, and as stars take obligations very seriously, she can't just leave it. She dislikes having to carry it, but will not get rid of it until the right person asks -- that would be inexcusable for any star. A sort of culturally-induced Clingy MacGuffin.
* ''Literature/TheElricSaga'': Elric, Last Prince of Melibone, is a sickly albino who keeps himself competent as a badass cliché hero through drugs, magic, and his evil EmpathicWeapon, Stormbringer. After destroying his kingdom and losing his true love he has a narmy sequence where he tries to get rid of it and it stands in the ocean smirking at him and Elric becomes... very dramatic on the topic of realizing he's stuck with it. Bonus points for the illustration: it is in the fantasy-illustration style that includes every tiny detail of his outfit, and he gives an impression of faking female orgasm. Of distress. Possibly fainting, too. Perfectly normal for his type, really.
* In Katharine Kerr's {{Literature/Deverry}} Series, the Silver Daggers Otho make are usually enchanted to return to him when lost or when their owners dies. However, Rhodry's dagger, due to an attempt to remove its glowy anti-Elf charm, starts seeing Rhodry as its true owner, and finds him under any circumstances. Including politically risky ones.
* A dragon scale keeps appearing in the path of the heroes in Creator/MercedesLackey's ''One Good Knight'' in her ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms'' series. Fortunately, Sir George knows better than to disturb it; they eventually find that a fox has been following them and moving it around. In fact, the Tradition is a reliable source of Clingy Macguffins -- if it's [[ApothecaryAlligator Traditional for a wizard to have a stuffed alligator in his office]], he will have one there no matter how often he disposes of the existing one. The only way to escape Tradition is to shift one's personal circumstances so that they no longer suit that particular tale.
* ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'':
** Need takes the direct approach. Unless Need ''wants'' to change bearers, trying to get rid of it takes a fair bit of willpower, causes all manner of NightmareDreams, and frankly ''hurts''. Just trying ''not to use it'' takes an act of will. However, once Need becomes fully conscious, she is no longer clingy.
** Tarma and Kethry, in one of their short stories in ''Oathblood'', find a cursed bad-luck coin in their possession. They can't get rid of it in any ordinary fashion, but they do manage to find a way to pass it onto a more deserving group. It required considerable self-sacrifice on their part, with someone else inadvertently taking it.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** The Luggage and Rincewind in many of the books, which can follow its owner to non-magical worlds and the end of time itself. The Luggage is made of sapient pearwood, a rare wood that grows in high-magic areas. ''Anything'' made of sapient pearwood gains virtual immunity to magic and the ability to follow its owner anywhere in the multiverse, which is why a traveling chest made of sapient pearwood is said to be more valuable than anything and everything that said chest could possibly contain. And given that it's also a BagOfHolding, that can be quite a lot of stuff.
** In ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'' Tiffany's horse pendant turns out to work exactly as the ring in the folk tale; she gets rid of it near the start of the book to keep the Wintersmith from finding her, and near the end of the book finds it in the guts of a pike caught by her little brother.
** The sentient hellblade Kring -- or possibly a purgatory blade -- was thrown into a very deep sea from a very great height by an owner who had been driven to insanity by its continual boring chatter. A parody of Moorcock's ''Stormbringer'' (see above), it shares a few characteristics, except, unfortunately, Stormbringer's ability not to sink in water.
** Considering that the Discverse is largely made up of Narrativium, this is just an example of the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality at work. Any sufficiently important item in the Discworld will behave in this way, from the [[Discworld/{{Sourcery}} Archchancellor's Hat]] to [[Discworld/NightWatch Vimes' silver cigar case]] (though the latter took a lot of work).
* ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'':
** Slappy the recurring DemonicDummy and his one-shot equally evil peer, Mr. Wood.
** Inverted in another book, with a demonic sponge that kills the possessor in 24 hours if left alone. It made a habit of running off to try and kill the protagonist.
** The Haunted Mask, which is incredibly difficult to remove once you put it on. In fact, it claimed the faces of several previous wearers.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Lyonesse}} The Green Pearl]]'' by Creator/JackVance, the eponymous green pearl is so beautiful that it fills the hearts of everyone who sees it with greed. Unfortunately, the pearl is cursed: no-one will ''buy'' it, and if thrown away or given away it will always return to the current owner (even if it has to animate a corpse to carry it back). It can however be transferred by being ''stolen'', which half the time involves the murder of the current owner.
* ''Literature/TheMisenchantedSword'' by Creator/LawrenceWattEvans is about a sword that is a flawed ClingyMacGuffin. It makes one almost invincible in single combat (against adult males) about 100 times -- then will pick a new owner and kill its old owner. And each owner will get betrayed faster. When sheathed the sword must stay within a certain distance from the wielder, but it becomes far more clingy once drawn and prior to killing; the blade must maintain contact with the wielder at all times. Trying to throw it away or hide it won't work, and is dangerous -- the spells used cause an earthquake to return it at one point. On the other hand, nothing ''except'' the sword can kill its owner. The way the owner deals with it is refreshingly different than you'd expect: he used it as a mantle piece. Someone tried to steal it, and the resulting chaos almost wrecked his bar. Finally he got tired of it and just kicked it under his bed.
* The title painting in Creator/StephenKing's short story ''The Road Virus Heads North'', which not only shows scenes of mayhem occurring in its wake, suggests that the subject of the painting is following the protagonist and fully intends to kill him as well when he catches up. It is suggested that the painting cannot be gotten rid of or destroyed by any means. [[spoiler:It's also suggested at the end that the painting isn't actually a painting, but part of its painter's ghost; the other part is hunting after the protagonist.]]
* The [[CymbalBangingMonkey creepy monkey]] in King's short story "The Monkey" is also resilient and extremely hard to get rid of.
* The One Ring from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' could perhaps be considered one of these: there's a moment, for example, in the first chapter of ''The Fellowship of the Ring'', when, as Bilbo is preparing to leave the Shire, Gandalf persuades him to "stop possessing it, give it to Frodo", and Bilbo agrees, but as he walks out, Gandalf stops him: "You have still got the ring in your pocket." The Ring also attempts to compel its wearer to put it on when a Ringwraith gets near. However, it could also be seen as a partial subversion of this trope, as it also has a tendency to slip off the bearer's finger unexpectedly, often when it is most needed; this is how it came to Bilbo after slipping off Gollum's finger. It also slipped off of Isildur's finger, revealing him to a band of orcs, thereby betraying him to his death.\\\
In the book it is noted that ''even if thrown into the sea'' it would eventually find its way back to civilization by compelling some fish to eat it, and if ''buried under a mountain'' it would gnaw on the minds of the person who knew its whereabouts. (And imagine having the willpower to throw even an ordinarily priceless item such as the diamond in ''Film/{{Titanic|1997}}'' into the sea.) Anyone sufficiently powerful to safeguard it would be tempted to claim it and become the new Ring lord, and it would try to slip away from anyone sufficiently weak to avoid temptation or ability to wield it -- and slip into the hands of someone who could.\\\
The film explained this fairly concisely. The ring cannot be destroyed, except for within Mount Doom. The Ring cannot be guarded, buried or lost again; it will always call out to the nearest person to possess it, and cannot be resisted for long. The Fellowship could not be avoided. However, its ultimate goal is always to return to its creator. Though no characters bring up the issue in advance, this all begs the question of why its psychic influence would allow someone to intentionally carry it to the volcano and throw it in, and in the end it turns out [[spoiler:destroying it on purpose is impossible, but it ''can'' be destroyed by accident. Frodo and Sam reach the necessary lava pit but cannot bring themselves to throw it in, despite their racial resistance to its power. Gollum shows up, steals the ring and, while celebrating his success, trips and falls into the lava. In the movie version he falls in when Frodo attacks him to take the ring back (for himself, not to destroy it).]]
* Another Tolkien example, from ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', is the Silmarils and the Necklace of the Dwarves (which was built around one of the Silmarils). Morgoth is unable to part with the Silmarils even though their holy light burns him, and later Beren is unable to throw away the Necklace when he is told to, instead giving it to Lúthien to wear.
* Played with in Creator/GeneWolfe's ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' series, which takes place billions of years in the future. The hero, Severian, believes that the tiny claw shaped piece of LostTechnology called the Claw of the Conciliator that he had been carrying with him for a while was destroyed in an artillery bombardment. However, he later pricks himself on a bush and finds that the thorn is the Claw. However, later he discovers that [[spoiler: he had actually subconsciously created a new Claw using a psychic link to some ImportedAlienPhlebotinum that he did not know he had. He later goes back in time and gives the new Claw to the same religious order that he got the old one from, creating a TimeParadox. During the same time trip he acquires his link to ImportedAlienPhlebotinum from SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, giving his younger self the power to create the Claw.]]
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', it is implied that the Elder Wand can't simply be destroyed: neither [=McGonagall=] nor Harry think about it when the chance presents itself. [[spoiler:Though Harry does believe Dumbledore's plan will work -- if all goes well, at least.]] The Elder Wand can be passed on fairly easily, the wielder just needs to lose a fight. The curse, so to speak, comes from the fact that it was usually passed on by lethal force. This isn't a requirement, but since very evil people tend to be the most covetous of its power it's no surprise that murder is a common method of "defeating" the current owner.
* In ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'', when Elphaba finally confronts Dorothy, she demands Nessarose's silver slippers, which Dorothy is wearing. Unfortunately, Dorothy finds that the slippers won't come off her feet, much to her and Elphaba's mutual frustration. Dorothy {{Lampshades}} this trope by stating that she's been trying to get the slippers off for days... [[TooMuchInformation and now her socks are so sweaty that "it's not to be believed."]]
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Percy Jackson's magic pen/sword ''Anaklusmos'' ("Riptide") can't be lost. Every time it's seperated from Percy, it simply returns to his pocket as a pen.
* In Creator/DavidEddings' ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', Princess Ce'Nedra is given a magical amulet by Belgarath, Polgara, and Garion that once belonged to Garion's ultimate grandmother. Once accepted and donned willingly, it cannot be removed by anything short of the wearer's death. Being the AlphaBitch as well as a {{Tsundere}}, Ce'Nedra at first bursts into tears thinking they are giving her a symbol of enslavement, but later discovers that the amulet gives her unique powers of perception.
* The title swords of Creator/TadWilliams' ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' behave in this manner. They do not have any powers of movement, but subtly [[EmpathicWeapon influence those around them]] to do their bidding. As their power grows throughout the story, it becomes impossible for their bearers to willingly give them up. (Yes, this was heavily inspired by ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.)
* The Device of Time Journeying in Weis and Hickman's ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' novels stays with the person to whom it is given.
* Creator/RobertWestall's ''Literature/TheCatsOfSeroster'' features a knife that conveys immortality on its owner and if you try to discard it will come back to you or bring you back to it. The only way to get rid of it is to trick someone else into taking it.
* In ''Literature/MondayBeginsOnSaturday'' by the Creator/StrugatskyBrothers, the protagonist accidentally obtains a "non-changeable dime" that returns to the owner every time it's spent.
* The chain letter in ''Chain Letter'' by Creator/ChristopherPike. Once the letter is sent to you and you are on the list, the only way to free yourself from eternally being commanded to perform tasks (each task progressively becoming more malicious and difficult) is death.
* In John Bibee's ''Magic Bicycle'' series, most supernatural objects are like this, especially number cards.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian novel ''Literature/TheHourOfTheDragon'', the Heart of Ahriman cannot be held by the sea.
* In Creator/LarryNiven's short story "Literature/NotLongBeforeTheEnd", the barbarian warrior [[OverlyLongName Belhap Sattlestone Wirldess ag Miracloat roo Cononson]] (his friends, who tend to only be temporarily so, call him "Hap") is rightly proud of his magical sword, Glirendree, and the fact that he cannot put it down or let it go doesn't really bother him... until the Warlock informs him that Glirendree is actually a demon forced into sword-form, and the reason he cannot put it down (or even transfer it from his right hand to his left) is that the demon has already sunk its fangs into his hand.
* ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'': Creator/EEDocSmith's Lens is this after a fashion. Yes, those who acquire it do so deliberately and in full knowledge of the cost, and the thing is not ''intrinsically'' troublesome, but earning it elevates one to a rank that carries grave responsibilities for all its wearers; promotion to the elite ("Unattached" status) carries a 90% mortality rate (and the survivors are mostly artificial parts); and you '''can't ever give the thing away''' because it'll kill anyone who comes into more than fleeting contact with it. Come the final battle against the Eddorians, even Lensmen long since retired are required to do their bit.
* In ''The Wizard of 4th Street'', the runestones keep reappearing in the pockets of Wyrdrune or Kira when they try to sell or discard them. Later, when they're joined by [[spoiler:Modred]], the three stones fuse themselves with the three characters, becoming permanently Clingy.
* Michael [=McDowell's=] novel ''Literature/TheAmulet'' features the eponymous amulet as an ArtifactOfDoom that is passed from resident to resident in a sleepy Alabama town. Anyone who stumbles across it is invariably compelled to hold it up around their neck and press the ends of its broken chain together, often to imagine how it would look on them. The chain then magically fuses together, resisting any subsequent efforts to remove it - [[spoiler: until after the wearer has perished in a terrible freak accident, after which it comes loose of its own accord for the next unsuspecting victim to find.]]
* In one of the stories from ''Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror'', ''The Demon Bench-End'', the eponymous item is this, overlapping with DrivenToMadness and DrivenToVillainy. Moreover, its current owner cannot get rid of it on purpose - it has to be stolen from them. It's implied that attempting to destroy it simply causes the owner to destroy something that they hold dear instead.
* In Creator/StephanieBurgis's ''[[Literature/KatIncorrigible A Most Improper Magick]]'', the MagicMirror is this to Kat.
* Louisa May Alcott wrote a considerably more lighthearted and benign version of Andersen's ''The Red Shoes'' with ''[[http://www.online-literature.com/alcott/alcott-reader/4/ The Skipping Shoes]]''. A naughty girl named Kitty puts on a pair of new shoes that force her to behave, and that won't come off her feet when she tries to remove them. The shoes do have their upside, as when Kitty starts trying to be nice the shoes actively help her do it. They also give her the ability to talk to animals and even start teaching her how to dance. While their magic wears off at the end of the story, Kitty learns that GoodFeelsGood and continues to act as if she was still wearing the shoes.
* ''Literature/TheSouthernReachTrilogy'' features an otherwise ordinary broken cellphone brought back from the EldritchLocation Area X, which always somehow returns after being thrown away. Control is stymied by his inability to get rid of it in ''Authority'', and flashbacks in ''Acceptance'' reveal that it had previously behaved in a similarly clingy fashion towards the psychologist.
* In ''Literature/TheWatchmakerOfFiligreeStreet,'' the watches made by the title character can never be lost or sold - they always return to their owner after a few days. Pawnbrokers in the city refuse to accept them anymore.
* The ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' book has the piece of paper that says "KING CITY". Early on in the book, the main character tries many times to get rid of it, only for it to regenerate every time.
* In ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'' Picker aquires a set of self-tightening torcs through not-exactly-legal means. They quickly become a nuisance to her, and the only one who can help her with the problem is the one they were originally intended for anyway. She delivers them just in time for them to become important to [[spoiler: Gruntle's ascention to Mortal Sword of Treach]].
* A minor case in ''Literature/TheDarkWizardOfDonkerk'' where the Boreal Crown can be removed or thrown away, but will return upon the owner's head the moment they think of it.
* Literature/TheAffix always chooses a keeper. After its former keeper passed away and Mike found it in a storage unit, it stuck with him even after multiple attempts to get rid of it. His final attempt, getting his more responsible friend Matt to hold onto it, worked: by the Affix now choosing Matt as its new keeper. Then it [[OhCrap wakes up]], ratcheting its causality-breaking ways UpToEleven.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Many objects in sci-fi/horror anthology shows fall into the evil stalker category: the "Talky Tina" doll and the guitar in ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'', the Curious Camera in ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark''...
* The magic car that Sabrina bought without her aunts' permission in ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch''.
* ''Series/TheAmandaShow'' has this played for laughs -- Amanda's character (in a sketch) was trying to sleep, only for the doll to be constantly talking and wake her up. She even throws it out the window, and then it jumps back in. She has her ''dog'' eat it, only to hear the voicebox still functional.
* In the short-lived series ''Series/DeadLast'', the Talisman owned by the main characters that allowed them to see ghosts always returned to them, no matter how they tried to dispose of or destroy it. One character actually took advantage of this in different ways -- for example, he pawns it repeatedly in the first episode and makes a sizable sum of money.
* Parodied in ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' with the canister episode. A jar to hold crayons and cookies becomes symbolic of Marie's never-ending hold on Debra and the Barone family.
* The demonic vessel box that holds the Weapon of the Week in ''Series/{{Reaper}}''.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'''s mysterious numbers are an intangible but ClingyMacGuffin for Hurley. They keep turning up, though Hurley runs from them at every turn.
* A non-magical example occurs on ''Series/AllyMcBeal'' when the title character is dragged to a bowling alley by her friends after work. Since she doesn't have a ball, she borrows one from another bowler. Unfortunately, Ally's fingers swell up in the holes and the bowling ball becomes stuck to her hand. She tries to get it sawed off, but the bowler she borrowed it from pleads with her not to do it, since it was a memento of his dead wife. Ally is forced to take the ball with her to the office the next morning, just as they're about to try an important case. Fortunately, the swelling in Ally's fingers goes down and the bowling ball slides off... only to land right on her foot.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Clark Kent at one point is tricked into putting on a ring that takes away his powers. It wouldn't come off and was seemingly indestructible (it was unaffected by Clark using a grindstone on it). He considered cutting his finger off, but Chloe begged him not to, so he didn't try. It took the power of the Fortress of Solitude to get rid of it.
* A benign example of this, similar to the Ring of Polycrates story, can be found in the miniseries ''Series/TheTenthKingdom''. Wolf purchases an engagement ring for Virginia, and after being rejected, he throws it into the lake. At the end of the story, Virginia ends up ordering the fish that ate the ring [[spoiler:and Wolf takes this chance to propose again, with greater success]].
* The Glove of Myneghon from the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Revelations". It's an all-powerful gauntlet that will not release its hold on the wearer until death.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** Rodney once found an Ancient forcefield device that protects its wearer. Then he can't take it off. It turns out it's controlled by the user's mind, which means Rodney only has to ''want'' to deactivate it. Since he's... well, Rodney, his fear keeps it from ever deactivating, protecting him from [[NighInvulnerable bullets, falls,]] [[BlessedWithSuck eating]] (his fear of random accidents was greater than his fear of starvation), etc. At least until he realizes it makes him the perfect candidate for a dangerous mission, at which point it promptly falls off. (A later episode shows that it does not protect one against drowning.)
** In the episode "Tracker", the Runner Kyrik (Runners are [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame human big game prey]] for the Wraith) is in possession of an ancient armband artifact that fused onto him, and allows him to teleport short distances as long as it's powered up.
* In ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', the title character accidentally has a database of government information uploaded into his brain, setting off the events of the series. A recurring storyline is Chuck's attempts to have the Intersect removed. Though he succeeds a couple of times, circumstances usually force him to re-upload it.
* In ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'', an artificial gland that allows a person to become invisible is implanted into a convict named Darrien Fawkes. The only person who can remove it is killed by the series BigBad, who wants control of the gland.
* The baseball from ''Series/DefyingGravity'' in the episode "Rubicon" is a variant on this. It is a symbol of Donner's unresolved guilt for [[spoiler: being forced to leave his girlfriend to die on the Mars mission]]. Once in each of the two time periods that the episode takes place in Donner gives the baseball up; both times he gets the ball back. The episode ends with [[spoiler: Donner chucking the ball out the airlock, a symbol that he's finally given his guilt up]].
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** In ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder,'' the white Dino Gem is much more powerful than the others. This makes it a very bad thing, as in this state it's (a) unremovable, (b) turns the user into an insane dark Ranger who fights [[BloodKnight simply because he can]], and (c) you can't control when it will activate. Having some of its energy drained resulted in the loss of those qualities, but also makes Trent [[RedemptionDemotion no stronger than the other Rangers]].
** In ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce,'' the EvilMask containing Zen-Aku's spirit can't be removed even while you're still yourself -- a condition that won't last long.
* The key to the ''Series/{{Lexx}}'' can only be removed from its owner through death, or late in the series as things get even more silly, at the peak of sexual ecstasy.

* The title doll in Jonathan Coulton's "[[http://www.jonathancoulton.com/songdetails/Creepy%20Doll Creepy Doll]]".
* The title Thing in Charles Randolph Grean's "[[http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/song/song-635.asp The Thing]]".
* in ''Vicki Vomit'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj59W57hV80 "Wohin mit Oma's Leiche"]] he can't get rid of his dead grandmother.
* In Kate Bush's "The Red Shoes". The musicvideo contains scenes from the short movie "The Line, the Cross and the Curve" The story is a mash up of the fairy tale "The Red Shoes" and [[spoiler:making a deal with the devil]].

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* The story of the ring that returns to the owner (and often carries with it a bad omen) is OlderThanFeudalism. It goes back to Ancient Greece, but appears in folklore in many variations: The oldest version is probably the story of Polykrates, tyrant of Samos, as recounted in ''Literature/TheHistories'' by Herodotus of Halicarnassus (5th century BCE). Polykrates threw a precious ring into the sea as sacrifice to the gods, because his friend, the pharaoh Amasis, was afraid that Polykrates' legendary luck might anger the gods and they would destroy him. A few days later, a fisherman caught a beautiful fish and brought it to his king as a gift. When the fish was cooked and cut open, Polykrates' ring was found in its belly. A bad omen, since this meant that the gods had rejected the sacrifice. The German poet Friedrich Schiller based his poem "The Ring of Polykrates" on Herodotus.
** In Schiller's poem, the smart friend immediately packs his bags and leaves, because somebody with that good luck is bound to get Karma Backlash soon.
** The English fairy tale "The Fish and the Ring" [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/jacobs/english/fishring.html]] is named for its use of this trope: the baron is trying to forestall a SelfFulfillingProphecy by refusing to let his son live with his wife, a peasant girl, until [[EngagementChallenge she presents him with a ring]] he threw into the sea. She takes a job as a cook. He is served a dish containing fish -- and the ring. The girl had cooked it. He ceases to resist fate.
** Also happens in a tale told about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Mungo Saint Mungo]] -- in this case, the ring clears a queen of infidelity. The fish and ring are on the Glasgow city coat of arms.
** Creator/TheBrothersGrimm used a slightly different version of the trope in the fairy tale "The White Snake", only this time the lost ring belonged to an unnamed queen and was found in the belly of a duck.
** The quote by Nanny Ogg at the top of the page hangs a [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] on Polykrates' story. it's immediately subverted: after some consideration, Granny Weatherwax replies, "Never. Nor have you." (Naturally, in a [[Discworld/{{Wintersmith}} later book]] it actually happens to them.)
* [[RoleCalled The title]] [[http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheRedShoes_e.html Red Shoes]] from Creator/HansChristianAndersen's tale. Poor, poor Karen. What is it with red shoes? Apparently they always cause tragedy and horror. Well, according to a ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' sketch, only whores wear red shoes. Also according to [[Discworld/WitchesAbroad Granny Weatherwax]]:
-->'''Granny:''' You know what they say about women who wear red boots.\\
'''Nanny:''' Just as long as they also say they have dry feet.
* Similar story, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_of_Stavoren "The Lady of Stavoren"]], of an extremely rich woman ordering shiploads of grain to be dumped into the sea as starving people watch. Someone cries out that the rich woman will one day regret it. The rich woman laughs, takes a ring off her finger, throws it into the ocean and says [[TemptingFate she will believe that if she ever sees that ring again]]. Cut to later when her cook is preparing her dinner and finds a ring inside a fish. Said cook takes the ring to her expecting a reward (he didn't know of her boast). [[CallItKarma Almost at once she begins getting reports on how her businesses are failing]], and [[RichestoRags she ends up completely destitute]].
* ''Literature/{{Mahabharata}}'':
** Karna with his father's gift "kavach kundal". He ended up having to cut the thing off his body.
** The ring in fish version also appears in the story of Śakuntalā. Unfortunately, the ring, which restores the cursed king's memory of her, only appears after much drama where she begs him to acknowledge her and her child, and after being sheltered, is taken off for the birth by her supernatural mother.
* In Myth/JapaneseMythology, after [[https://justanimeforum.net/threads/japanese-culture-princess-hachikatsugi.5389/ Hachikatsugi-hime's]] dying mother puts a huge wooden hat on her daughter, she can't take it off for anything. The hat causes [[FallenPrincess Hachikatsugi]] to be mocked and looked down, first by her WickedStepmother and then by the people she works as a maid off, but it also saves her life as she once falls into a river and a fisherman grabs the hat and then her out of the stream. [[spoiler: In a more benevolent example, it turns out the hat is a BagOfHolding that contains Hachikatsugi's dowry (kimonos, jewelry, etc.) and proof of her BlueBlood, which lets her marry her boyfriend aka the son of her employers.]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* A mild example occurs in ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''. Jen throws the Crystal Shard away into a dark swamp at night. That should be one very lost shard. But the next morning there it is, far less than a stone's throw away from where the heroes have slept.

* In the ''Suspense'' episode "The Pasteboard Box", a man murders his twin brother in order to [[TwinSwitch take his place]], dismembers the body to dispose of it more easily -- and then just can't get rid of the pasteboard box containing the head. [[spoiler:Until the end, when the police show up to arrest the other twin for murdering his secretary. He tries to prove his true identity by showing them his brother's head, and opens the pasteboard box to find that he did manage to get rid of the head after all, and ''this'' box only contains the fishbowl he ordered earlier.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The obscure fantasy game ''Dragon Warriors'' featured Vallandar's swords in the first adventure. Vallandar was the universe's King Arthur-equivalent who would return to his kingdom at the end of the world, and anyone who took one of the swords (they were just standing there) would have it with them forever so that they could join him. Bury it in the woods, drop it in an ocean, and a few days later it would return to your inventory. These were good swords though, and would even become magical if the player played his cards right.
* Many cursed items in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' do this:
** ''The Loadstone:'' Weighs down the user, decreasing his base speed, and appears in one's possession even if destroyed.
** ''The Talisman of Zagy:'' When used wrong, it acts like a loadstone. But in a subversion, not only CAN you destroy it, but it turns into a diamond if you hold onto it for a few months.
** Many cursed weapons (e.g., the ever-popular ''sword -1'') will appear in your hand every time you enter combat, forcing you to use a sub-par weapon. Players quickly found [[GoodBadBugs clever uses]] for this item. After all, you can never be disarmed and never have to carry a weapon when you're "cursed" with the sword. Fighting with a -1 weapon is far better than fighting with no weapon.
** Unless it's a ''cursed berserking weapon'', which in a fight will force the wielder to attack ''everyone'' in sight ([[LeaveNoSurvivors even their own allies]]) until they're dead, incapacitated, or [[WhatHaveIDone the only one left alive]]. [[CursedWithAwesome Ironically, those types of weapons often have magical bonuses]].
** A more benign version are the [[http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/legendaryWeapons.htm Legendary Weapons]] from 3.5th Edition. Once a character has started to take levels in the Scion PrestigeClass for such a weapon, it can't be separated from its owner for very long, as fate literally will find a way to reunite them. Adding to the fact those weapons are quite hard to destroy, it insures the character will hardly ever be disarmed.
* In one ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' module, the {{PC}}s are ordered to dispose of a trash bag full of treasonous Communist propaganda pamphlets, which prove to be indestructible (and if they just ditch it somewhere, then someone ends up finding it and returning it to them). Eventually, they get the pamphlets superglued all over themselves (though this does at least let them [[CursedWithAwesome survive a massive weapon blast]] just before the final confrontation).
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', a Lucky Rock is an otherwise ordinary stone that always reappears in its owner's possession. Simple (but expensive) magic can transfer this quality to javelins, arrows, and other tools of war. The effect is not immediate, so a "lucky arrow" is not a bottomless quiver in and of itself, but the enchantment has obvious utility regardless.
* ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'': Each Sin-Eater has a Keystone Memento, an object that exists partially in Twilight and represents the Bargain they struck with their [[OurGhostsAreDifferent geist]]. It can never be taken from the Sin-Eater, and if it is, it just disappears and reappears the next time they call on it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In a {{Meta}} sense, plot-relevant items which cannot be removed from your inventory are this ''especially'' if item space is limited and '''infuriatingly''' if they are completely or nearly useless. For example, the Mars Star you drag around for the entirety of ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' and the ATM Card[[note]]While you can technically store it, you can't replenish your money without it[[/note]] from ''VideoGame/EarthBound''.
* The Soul Reaver of ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'', as his "symbiotic weapon", becomes forever inseparable from SupportingProtagonist Raziel once he obtains it -- more so in ''Defiance'', where it serves as the only weapon he and Kain ever wield.
* "The Thing That Your Aunt Gave You That You Don't Know What It Is", in the old Creator/{{Infocom}} text adventure version of ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', can be briefly thrown away, but will always return automatically to your inventory. Even if you've {{time travel}}led or [[FantasticVoyagePlot shrunk yourself and entered your own brain]]. It's mentioned in-game that you've been trying to get rid of it for years. But it's a good thing it always comes back, since it's also a [[spoiler:BagOfHolding]].
* A recurring hazard of many fantasy roleplaying games (both [[TabletopRPG pencil-and-paper]] and [[RolePlayingGame computer/console]]) are [[ArtifactOfDoom cursed magic items]] which not only carry some in-game penalty but which force the cursed character to continue using them until the curse is magically removed.
** Cursed items in ''VideoGame/NetHack'' and most roguelikes will ''weld themselves to your hand'' -- if you have the misfortune of trying to use a two-handed cursed sword or a cursed sword and a cursed shield you'll be unable to cast spells or use most of your inventory because both your hands are attached to a chunk of metal. There's also items like Nethack's loadstone, which begins doing this the moment you pick it up -- it cannot be removed from your backpack in any way until its curse has been lifted and weighs more than most full suits of body armor, and more than the ''entire'' weight that some weak characters can carry without being slowed down by the load. And heaven forbid you make the mistake of wearing a cursed blindfold... though the worst is probably putting on an amulet [[HaveANiceDeath that turns out to be a cursed Amulet of Strangulation]].
** There's a few of such undroppable cursed items in ''VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon''. However, getting rid of them just require one ''Remove Curse'' spell, which is accessible to both mages and clerics. So it's only a problem if your characters are too low level to cast it (or can't rest and regain spells, but then you have a much bigger problem on your hands).
** Cursed artifacts in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' cling to the wielder (like a toothy ring) once they equip them and can only be removed via a cleansing spell. In their defense, they usually offer good buffs so you will only want to get rid of them if you find a something even better for the respective slot. This was true for most cursed weapons and equipment in Infinity Engine games. The difference about it in ''Torment'' was that relatively few of the "cursed" items had a downside other than it being impossible to remove them. The true Clingy [=MacGuffin=] of the game, however, was [[SealedEvilInACan Moridor's Box]], a quest item that can't be removed unless you give it away, open it, or leave a specific area without completing the quest.
** Some of the medium-high bracket of weapons and armour in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' are cursed, which means when you put them on you cannot take them off again unless you go to the games' resident healers and pay through the nose for what can only be described as "curse solvent". Also cursed weapons have a habit of paralysing you for a turn in battle.
*** ''Medium''-high for the second game, at least, but the cursed items in the first game were the strongest you'd get, or at least, strong enough that you'd want one of your characters to use them (along with the Cleric's Ring, which nullified every part of the curse except the inability to take them off.) The only reason not to have them is that it prevents you from "fixing" the RandomNumberGod for the [[RandomlyDrops item drops]].
** Same goes for the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games. Once you equip a cursed item, you cannot remove it unless you go to a healer. It may appear to be a high-end weapon, but only give a lousy change in stats.
*** One notable exception is the Sword of Destruction in the second game: it is far and away the strongest weapon in the game, with a boosted critical hit rate as well, but it prevents you from attacking roughly 1/3rd of the time. As long as you're okay with that, it can be extremely effective.
** Cursed items have functioned like this in Camelot's games since even its earliest RPG, ''VideoGame/ShiningInTheDarkness'', and the ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'' in general as well.
* The Keyblade in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' is a benign example of this trope. In fact, its inability to leave its user was used as a plot device, as Sora gave it to [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Captain Jack Sparrow]] as payment -- and it naturally reappeared in Sora's hand later. Said inability is also used for one of the attacks in series; who needs a boomerang when a thrown weapon will unerringly reappear in the wielder's hand, no matter how many times he throws it at an enemy? It's used in a similar way when [[spoiler:Roxas tries to disarm Sora by pinning one of his own keyblades into the ground in the handle. It returns Sora's hand, Roxas gets confused, and Sora deals a fatal blow.]]
** It can however be passed to another worthy wielder so long as the original doesn't object and call it back to them. Sora and Riku repeatedly wind up holding each others Keyblades during the Xemnas battle. Also if a keyblader is in self doubt ala Sora thinking he wasn't really accomplishing anything, then another keyblader with stronger convictions can actually steal it until they get out of their funk. Sora, Riku and Roxas have stolen Keyblades from each other and stolen them back throughout their various battles when one of their heroic resolves wavered. Lack of confidence can even lead to the wielder being unable to call the keyblade at all, though Xion can still use Roxas' own effectively when he lends it to her.
** In the ''Days'' manga Roxas throws his keyblade out the window in a fit of anger and it come right back to him.
** Despite all of the benefits and quirks listed above, the Keyblade's clinginess is actually somewhat of a case of BlessedWithSuck. For all of the power it gives, it also acts as a permanent homing beacon for the forces of darkness, meaning every user will be unrelentingly attacked by Heartless, Nobodies, etc. for as long as the Realm of Darkness remains connected to the Realm of Light (which is, luckily, usually not the case). While this is really just a framing device to give a reason for Heartless to keep popping up in the games' combat areas, it's really a nightmare when you think about it; they ''never'' get a day off (unless somebody takes the dangerous journey to disconnect the Realms).
* Anything designated as a "plot item" in all of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' is undroppable and unsellable and un-give-to-party-members-able. You are stuck with it. For example, you can't get rid of the Relic of the Reaper in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights: Hordes of the Underdark''. [[spoiler:At least, not until Mephistopheles, who bound it to you, takes it from you in person.]]
* The 27 True Runes of the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series. The True Runes are effectively the gods of the ''Suikoden'' world, but they (usually) can't do much without a human host. While the hosts can exercise varying degrees of control over their Runes, it's almost impossible to get rid of them. The Runes chose their own hosts, and also choose when (or if) they leave. Typically that only happens when the host dies, which could take awhile because immortality is one of the side effects. If the host [[IJustWantToBeNormal would prefer to live a normal life]] and [[WhoWantsToLiveForever die eventually]], but doesn't want to die ''now''...that's just too bad. There are very few methods of removing a True Rune against its will, and they either result in either a drastically reduced lifespan (as in, death within a matter of ''days'') or a FateWorseThanDeath, both of which can only be averted by taking the Rune back. And sometimes not even death is enough for the host to escape; at least two of the Runes are confirmed to have absorbed the souls of their prior hosts.
* ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery''
** {{Downplayed}} with ordinary cursed items (that is, ones that have the "cursed" status): once equipped, they can't be unequipped because you can't bring yourself to do it, even if the item is somehow killing you. Remove the cursed status, though, or somehow get the item destroyed, and the problem is solved. "Trapped" armour is a step further because it can only be removed by destroying it.
** The self-replicating, seemingly useless artifact known as the "si" can cause major problems if a player tries running the Infinite Dungeon while carrying it. Extra sis can't be ditched inside the Infinite Dungeon, and the artifact will copy itself, over and over, until the player finds himself crushed under the weight of hundreds of them.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' has a minor variant of this to keep players on their toes -- sometimes a Strange Old Man will pop up near your character, give you a puzzle box, and disappear. This box can be solved for a small reward, but cannot be dropped or banked. What's more, if you don't solve it quickly the box doubles itself, taking up more inventory space until there is none left. Each box then has to be solved individually to make it go away, but you only get a reward after the last one is solved.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** The series' in general plays this straight on a meta-level starting with ''Oblivion'' having "Quest Items". These items are flagged as essential and cannot be dropped until the associated quest is completed. Unfortunately, quite a few of them are bugged so that they remain undroppable even after the quest is completed, leaving you stuck with these items as eternal inventory clutter. Popular [[GameMod mods]] for both ''Oblivion'' and ''Skyrim'' removes the quest item tag altogether, which means being careful not to lose the items, just like the earlier games in the series.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', the Staff of the Everscamp is an in-universe example. Cursed by [[MadGod Sheogorath]], the staff cannot be discarded by the owner. When the quest giver acquired the Staff, she tried to cast a spell with it but ended up causing a whole bunch of non-hostile [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Scamps]] to appear and start following her around. She couldn't bring herself to get rid of the staff due to the enchantment, but her friend learns that if someone willingly takes the staff from her, then the curse would transfer to them. That's where you come in... (Don't worry, the end of the quest is you finding a way to permanently get rid of it.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' has an in-universe example with Hircine's Ring. Sinding, a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolf]], had stolen a ring of Hircine's in the hopes that it could help him control his transformations. However, Hircine, angered by this, cursed the ring such that it made Sinding's transformations even less predictable, and also bonding it to him unless he can find one willing to take the ring from him. The player character finds him in the jail of Falkreath town, and, if they take the ring from him, it becomes permanently equipped to them unless they can appease Hircine with a ritualistic hunt, [[spoiler:culminating in the player either killing Sinding or the hunters that now pursue him. Sparing Sinding results in the ring's curse being lifted, and can be equipped by the player anytime to transform into a werewolf multiple times day]]. Before being lifted, the curse of the ring also affects the player. If they are not introduced to lycanthropy beforehand[[note]]Ergo, have advanced enough into the [[spoiler: Companions']] questline enough to become werewolves themselves.[[/note]] then all it does is to hog your ring slot for no effect whatsoever. If they ''are'', then they get a rather high chance to transform into a werewolf against their will, multiple times a day instead of the customary once-every-sunrise. And it happens even more frequently when neutral or friendly {{Non Player Character}}s are around, who'll instantly want you dead.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
** The {{Creator/Bethesda}}-era ''Fallout'' games (''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Fallout New Vegas}}'', and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'') inherit their ''Elder Scrolls'' sister series' idea of Quest Items. And just like the ''Elder Scrolls'', there are several mods available for each which remove the "quest item" tag so that the items can be discarded.
** The series iconic Pipboy 3000 is also a canon form of this. This wrist mounted computer is nigh indestructible and can't be separated from its host (voluntarily or involuntarily in most cases). This is taken to ridiculous extremes at times: the Brotherhood outcast sawed a vault dweller's arm off to try to get his Pipboy, but the device wouldn't work afterwards. This is a little inconsistent, however--at least three games in the series (''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', ''New Vegas'', and ''Fallout 4'') start with your character receiving a Pipboy which explicitly belonged to someone else. In ''Fallout 3'', it is inconsistent within the game itself as well. The very same Pipboy 3000 that your player character received at their 10-year birthday was refurbished from some undisclosed origin (either a previous owner or a cargo crate, hinted to be the former), which was [[MadeOfIndestructium bombed point blank!]] [[NotHyperbole And you thought the technician who gave you it was exaggerating...]]
* ''VideoGame/CosmicOsmo'': You can [[PortalNetwork use various shortcuts to slip between worlds]], but your spaceship the Osmobile will warp to the new location and wait faithfully in orbit.
* ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' has several variations.
** In ''[=MM3=]'' the quest items appeared normally in the inventory but could not be dropped or sold.
** In ''[=MM4-5=]'' they never show up in the regular inventory, but had their own section and could not be manipulated in any way. [=MM6-8=] followed the traditional version of this trope, where after dropping a quest item somewhere and then going to talk to the Oracle the item would reappear in the party's hands.
** ''Clash of Heroes'' brings us the Blade of Binding, which fuses with the users arm.
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfVermilion'' has the cursed Dark and Death Swords. If you equip either one, you won't be able to unequip it or cast any spells.
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' has the Dark One Sign. If you try to put it in your storage chest:
-->''You realize with horror that you are totally unable to put down the Dark One Sign here. It seems to have a will of its own.''
* The Pyrite Parrot of Petaluma in ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'', which survives being molten and keeps coming back to Guybrush Threepwood.
* In ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'', collecting the Stop N Swop items will cause them to stay in your inventory forever. You cannot get rid of them, even if you delete your save file. You can, however, get rid of them if you are playing the XBLA version of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/TheClueFinders 4th Grade Adventures'', Joni gets an ancient Egyptian ring stuck on her finger, which doesn't come off until [[spoiler:the bad guy's goons use a magic spell to attract it]]. Said ring turns out to be [[spoiler:the key to releasing Set]].
* The dead fish in ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest 6''. It's confiscated twice from you. First, when you're captured by the BigBad's {{Mook}}s. When you teleport away, one of them throws it back to you ("Here's your fish!"). The second time is when you are capture by the security personnel on the ''[=DeepShip=] 86''. When you escape on a stolen shuttlecraft, a bunch of [[Franchise/StarWars Imperial stormtroopers]] show up, one of which throws the fish into the shuttle's engine with the same words. Subverted in that the fish turns out to be quite useful in the end.
* Link and Zelda are stated to have had parts of the triforce [[ItWasWithYouAllAlong with them all along]]. In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', this forces Zelda to disguise herself as Sheik to stop the BigBad from getting it, implying that there's no way to just remove it and hide it somewhere. In Link's case, this is implied to be the reason he's the one who has to go on the quest to save the world.
** The Master Sword is this in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild''. Unlike all other weapons, it can't be dropped, thrown or broken, with it merely 'resting' until it recharges if it's used too much. It's also likely this in most other games in the series (since outside of the final battle in Ocarina of Time Link never drops it or has it taken away from him), though the fact ''every'' item he ever picks up is a ClingyMacGuffin with a few odd exceptions means it's hard to be sure.
* The [[ArtifactOfDoom Book of Claws]] in ''VideoGame/TheyBleedPixels'' has been confirmed to be immune to burying, burning, and dumping in the river with chains wrapped around it. It may or may not be intelligent, but it can almost certainly teleport.
* Kurt from ''VideoGame/UnlimitedSaga'' has a cursed gaunlet which he can't take off. If you play as him, Kurt will be forced to fight one-on-one with a monster from time to time.
* The first game in ''VideoGame/TheSpellcastingSeries'' contains a book so good, you can't put it down. Literally. The only way to get rid of it is to give it to someone else, who then suffers the same problem. [[spoiler:Doing this to the BigBad in the penultimate puzzle thwarts his evil scheme, as he needs two free hands to activate the Sorcerer's Appliance.]]
* ''VideoGame/HeroinesQuest'' has a cursed ring that you cannot remove. Worse, if you restore your game to a moment before you picked it up, you'll realize that you ''still have it''!
* Ratatosk's Core does this to Marta in ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnoftheNewworld Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World]]''. The only way to remove it is [[spoiler: for her to die.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' and its sequel, quest items cannot be sold, broken down, or given to a container (the exception being when your entire inventory is removed, such as on the ''Leviathan'' in I or Citadel Station in II). This is a harmless example: at worst,[[MacGuffin MacGuffins]] you need exactly ''once'' (the Telos shuttle launch codes, the Khoonda master card key, datapads)remain on your person for the remainder of the game. There are two other notable exceptions, however:
** In I, all quest items from Taris are removed from the inventory when you land on Dantooine.
** In cut content for II, the Sonic Imprint Sensor turns out to be [[spoiler:how the HK-50s are tracking you. When you meet and kill three squads of HK-50s, HK-47 is able to trace the location of their factory to Telos, shutting it down during the endgame.]]
* At one point in ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', Karim needs to place the ''[[TomeOfEldritchLore Tome of Eternal Darkness]]'' into a special stand to unlock a nearby door. He is literally ''not allowed to move'' until he picks it back up again. It really underscores that all of the humans in the game are being manipulated by forces outside of their control, with the Tome as the conduit.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In one ''Creator/RoosterTeeth'' short, Geoff experiences this trope with a box he stole from the Devil in a dream -- it was on his chest when he awoke, throwing it into a dumpster only causes it to leap back out, and in spite of leaving it at home that morning, it was sitting on his desk when he got to work.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Similarly to the blinker stones below, the amulets from ''Webcomic/AgentsOfTheRealm'' always return to the MagicalGirl of their choosing, even if she gives it away. Good thing for Norah, [[BearsAreBadNews seeing what she got herself into]]...
* ''Webcomic/TheGodsOfArrKelaan'' has a pink rubber mallet which always returns to the main character.
* Blinker Stones from ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' are a rather benign variety. They can be retrieved from anywhere with a thought, even if you don't own the stone, though it's not clear whether one can be taken from its owner using this method.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Hemlock}}'' the band Sindri slapped on Lumi can only be removed by him and it can harm her if she annoys Sindri enough.
* The book of E-Ville in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', as illustrated when it is [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=041219 thrown through a window]].
* In ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'', Quentyn's sword "WildCard" is indicated to be just such a MacGuffin -- its efforts to get back to its holder increase in direct proportion to the distance it is from him and the level of danger he appears to be in at the time... and [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00191.html it's pretty unsubtle in how it tries to get there.]]
* The Necklace of Septumet in the currently defunct comic ''For Your Eyes Only'' not only had a difficult to control ([[HypnoTrinket and undesirable]], [[ChickMagnet at least for the current wearer]]) power, but it ''transforms into a tattoo'' when put on, making it irremovable.
* The [[http://www.grrlpowercomic.com/archives/163 artifacts]] that give Sydney her powers in ''Webcomic/GrrlPower''. They cannot get more than a few metres [[http://www.grrlpowercomic.com/archives/370 from her]] or her [[http://www.grrlpowercomic.com/archives/184 from them]]. How [[http://www.grrlpowercomic.com/archives/201 they react]] seems to be based on the RuleOfDrama or RuleOfFunny.
* In ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'', Lewis has a cursed 20-sided die that is every gamer's nightmare; it always rolls a 1. The gamers give is a burial, [[http://ffn.nodwick.com/?p=125 but it returns]]. They bury it again, this time under a statue of the Virgin Mary, with a bunch of garlic. It returns again. The characters decide to de-curse it by mixing it with some dice that are extra lucky -- they rolled every die in their gaming store and bought the ones that came up as 20 three consecutive times. But after doing this, ''all'' the dice start rolling 1s. ("[[TheVirus It's like we tried to cure a zombie by locking it in a room with normal people!]]") Then the other cursed dice vanish, and the number 1 starts appearing world wide -- sports all end up with a score of 1, clocks stop at 1:11, etc. The gamers decide that the only way to break the curse is to make rolling a 1 ''good''. Fortunately, Nelson had the foresight to buy a lottery ticket with all 1s, and won $1,111. They use this money to bribe Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast to temporarily change the rules of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' so that 1s are good (version 1.1.1 -- their word processor was cursed too). Lewis rolls the die in the hopes of getting a 1 and lightning strikes, destroying it.
* The Dewitchery Diamond in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-06-09 seems to have a will of its own]], somehow managing to thwart attempts to permanently hide it away from where "cursed" beings can touch it.
* The Sword of Return in ''Webcomic/{{Kubera}}'' is a god-level item, a powerful weapon against [[OurDemonsAreDifferent sura]] that inhibits their HealingFactor. The problem is, it also inhibits the owner's HealingFactor, bringing it down to human normal. Furthermore, once the sword has bonded to an owner, only that individual may use it, and the only way to give it up is to die (at which point it returns to its resting place in the Temple of Chaos). Yuta claims that the standard rules don't apply to him; he could draw the sword, use it, then hand it off to someone else. It's not clear if this is because he's half-Chaos Clan (magic doesn't work on them quite the way it should) or if it's because [[spoiler:his mother is the goddess Kali, who made the sword in the first place]].
** The [[AmplifierArtifact Golden Knight]] qualifies as well. It's a bracelet that attaches itself to whoever is wearing it, and the only ways to get it off are to die, cut your arm off, ask the Priest of Earth how, or make a wish to a 5th zen god. Currently the heroine Leez is wearing it, and has no way to get it off since [[spoiler:Asha bribed the Priest of Earth not to tell her]].
* When Parson ends up in [[spoiler:Transylvito]] during a failed escape in ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'' he offers to buy back his prediction bracer as part of the [[spoiler:prisoner ransom]]. When [[spoiler:Benjamin]] says they might not want to return it ''at all'' Parson stops smiling and offers his unsure theory that this would be a very bad idea and that the bracer would just end up returning to him anyway, probably harming [[spoiler:Benjamin and Transylvito]] in the process. Though Parson wasn't entirely convinced that the bracer was a ClingyMacguffin, the bracer's own prediction confirmed it when asked.
* In ''WebComic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Roy's sword, because of everything he has gone through with it, has become a Legendary Weapon, which counts among its abilities the capability to return to its owner's hand if it is thrown or lost, upon being called to come. This becomes useful when he loses it while in a fight on a zeppelin and they don't have the time to go back for it. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1078.html See here]].
* Invoked, taken literally, and parodied in [[Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures]] when [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_1305.php Mab tries to explain away]] some [[BearTrap bear traps]] as "aggressive earrings":
--> '''Alexsi:''' They're not on your ears Mab.
--> '''Mab:''' Very aggressive earrings with very bad aim!

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** The object [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-050 SCP-050]], which only switches owners if someone plays a good enough prank on its current owner. [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/document-050 Hilarity]] [[HilarityEnsues ensues.]]
** Also [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-1015 SCP-1015-1]], which only switches owners if taken without permission, or the owner is killed.
** A lethal Clingy Macguffin is [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-607 SCP-607]]. It will commit suicide, come back to life a couple of days later and attach itself to a new owner then kill itself which kills the new owner at the same time...
* The Amulet of Cthon from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse''. Putting it on makes a person utterly invulnerable to attack from forces both mystical and scientific... and slowly causes the user to become obsessed with [[EldritchAbomination the Great Old Ones]], to the point that within a couple of years, the wearer is an utterly invulnerable cultist devoted to bringing the Old Ones back. And it won't come off until the wearer dies...
* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'', Sparadrap's hacked staff (and presumably similar objects [[TheCracker Tenshirock]] introduced into the game) can't be deleted by normal means and will be part of the StarterEquipment if its possesser get banned by a Game Master and creates a replacement avatar. It's actually so clingy that the Game Masters settled for getting it BroughtDownToNormal the second time they ran into it.
* In ''WebVideo/JourneyQuest'', you have the Sword of Fighting. Sir Perfluous wants nothing to do with it (as he's a LovableCoward, not the kind of hero who'd willingly wield a magic weapon in face of danger), but after accidentally picking it up he just can't get rid of it. Even after repeatedly throwing it away, including down a cliff, it just comes back. Worst, it's a TalkingWeapon, and it makes very clear that it will always find Perf... "Everywhere!"
* In ''The Adventures of Theatre/TheLeagueOfSTEAM'' episode "The Tiki Room", the title Tiki can't be removed from the living room of its owner, despite the efforts of the Leaguers.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': Finn's Grass Sword becomes attached to his right arm (this is treated by most others as if it were a curse, [[CursedWithAwesome but Finn finds it ''totally awesome'']]... the sword is a pretty good weapon, after all). Come Season 6, however, and [[spoiler:the sword is removed... along with Finn's entire arm]].
* The Omnitrix in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' can't be removed without ''incredibly'' specialized equipment, skills, and technical knowledge -- and a whole lotta pain. You could also kill the person wearing it or cut off the limb that the Omnitrix is attached to. Naturally, the BigBad tries this but is thwarted by the good guys before he gets the chance to hack the boy's arm off. Oddly, in the WhatIf episode where Gwen gets the Omnitrix, the BigBad indicates that he ''could'' remove it a lot less painfully (though Gwen hadn't been wearing it nearly as long), but wants to hack it off anyway ForTheEvulz.
* Subverted in the immediate sequel, ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce''. The series finale reveals that Ben has learned how to remove the watch himself using a voice command and OverrideCommand, so it's not technically a ClingyMacGuffin anymore. [[spoiler:It gets destroyed before the episode ends, and it's currently unclear if his new Ultimatrix is clingy or not.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'':
** The Nano Tick and the Centurion Project.
** Another episode has our heroine donning a pair of red shoes that will allow her to move at hyperspeed to keep up with all her responsibilities. Unfortunately, once again they work ''too'' well, as they become stuck and won't come off her feet. For the rest of the episode, Kim (and Rufus, who also had a pair made for him) are stuck moving at hyperspeed, and at the end of the episode they're ''still'' wearing the shoes. Kim eventually {{Hand Wave}}s this by assuring Rufus that the shoes will probably come off... eventually, anyway.
* The Manacle of Osiris from ''WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries'', is a quite literal ClingyMacGuffin in that it requires the use of ''another'' MacGuffin to remove.
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce''. Two undying, self-mobile dummies (voiced by Josh Homme of Music/QueensOfTheStoneAge and Music/TPain) plague the household. Smash them, bash them, they just return. Shake, in an odd moment of logic, uses them to create a profitable magic show. Turn one into splinters, it just wanders right back out from behind the curtain.
* ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'' has Sabrina getting a pair of magical dancing shoes for her boyfriend Harvey when he confesses that he can't dance. Unfortunately, the shoes work ''too'' well, as they won't come off Harvey's feet and force him to dance whenever he's in the vicinity of music.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** PlayedForLaughs in an episode. The family goes on [[VacationEpisode vacation to Hawaii]] and Candace finds a Tiki necklace that seemingly curses her with bad luck. She tries to get rid of it, but it keeps coming back to her. It later turns out the Tiki necklace was a restaurant gimmick, and earned her a free dessert, which she turned down.
** And then there is the episode that parodied ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''. When the Wicked Witch (played by Dr. Doofenshmirtz) demands that Candace hand over the magic red-rubber boots, she replies that she would, but they've grown on her. By that, she means that ''[[LiteralMetaphor thorned vines have literally grown onto her legs and they won't come off]].'' It's only after Phineas and Ferb give her a red-rubber shoehorn that she's finally able to remove them.
* One ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'' short was actually about MickeyMouse having a hard time sleeping because of his new alarm clock's ticking noise. He always tries to get rid of it, but no matter how hard he tries, the clock will inevitably make its way back to his house.
* The Green Shoes in the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoon ''The Wearing of the Grin''.
* The Alicorn Amulet from the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Magic Duel" is a variant of this trope: it can be removed, but only by the wearer. Since it grants immense magical powers to the wearer (Trixie in this episode), they will have no desire to remove it, but [[ArtifactOfDoom it also makes them evil]], so the main characters have plenty of reasons to want her to remove it. They succeed in making her remove it by tricking her with an even more powerful (actually fake) amulet.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SheZow'' the main character's TransformationTrinket is bound to his finger, though the episode "[=SheZow=] for a Day" has him briefly able to give it to his sister (whom was intended to be [=SheZow=]).
* In ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' we find out that [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda Princess Zelda]] was now connected to all three Triforces. When Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo steals two of the three Triforces, she's brought to the brink of death and Link and the N-Team have to hunt down the missing items.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGummiBears'', a Gummi medallion cannot be taken from a Gummi Bear by force (humans, should they get one, have no such privilege) and will zap anyone who tries (unfortunately, it ''can'' be lost or dropped).
* In the ''WesternAnimation/WeBareBears'' episode "Jean Jacket", the eponymous jacket [[GoodLuckCharm brings enormous good luck to its owner]], but the Bears [[AppleOfDiscord get into a huge fight over who gets to wear it]]. They decide to get rid of the jacket for good, but every attempt they make not only causes the jacket to return, but [[PlagueOfGoodFortune brings even greater luck]], as if [[ArtifactOfDoom the jacket itself was trying to tempt them into keeping it]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollhunters}}'', the Amulet of Merlin is extremely difficult to separate from its titular Trollhunter. If the Trollhunter tries to get rid of it, it will simply teleport back to them and while this doesn't work if the amulet is instead stolen, the Trollhunter can still exert enough will over the amulet to make it fly back to them from wherever it is.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This can happen to people who wear the same ring for too long, such as a wedding band. Over time, a person's fingers can develop around the ring to the point where it becomes stuck and can't be removed without filing it off. It's common enough that specialist tools exist just for removing such rings.
* Glitter (AKA "the herpes of craft supplies"). Try getting it off you.
* Pet hair. Especially when you're wearing black.
* Fine sand, especially from the beach. You'll find sand in places you never know could be possible.
* Credit history, criminal records, educational records, and a myriad of other records collected by the government and private industry tend to follow, and potentially haunt, a person until they die. Or longer.
** Similarly, the church refuses to destroy baptism records even if you renounce your religion.
* Ankle monitor units issued to enforce parole or house-arrest restrictions are designed to resist attempts to remove them, for obvious reasons.
* Information or anything else you post on the internet will be stuck to your persona or name for eternity.