[[quoteright:250:[[Film/TheMalteseFalcon http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/macguffintitle_9315.jpg]]]]
A work has a title that refers to a specific object. Because the object is so specific in the title, you know without knowing anything else about the story, that, obviously, the heroes will have to quest to find this object, or protect it from the bad guys, or recover it from the forces of evil, or destroy it somehow. This often leads to a TitleDrop.

Something of a pet trope for fantasy novels and video games, (especially those with {{Mad Lib Fantasy Title}}s, but can occur elsewhere. Sometimes results in an ArtifactTitle if the series moves on. Can involve a CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase title, especially if the Noun Phrase in question is nothing more than a [=MacGuffin=] itself.

A SubTrope of MadLibFantasyTitle and SuperTrope of CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura'' has some of this, since the main character has to capture cards.
* ''Manga/DragonBall''
* ''Manga/OnePiece''
* ''Manga/DeathNote''
* ''Anime/PokemonArceusAndTheJewelOfLife''
* ''Anime/{{Shinzo}}'', at least in the dub.
* ''RaveMaster'' in the original Japanese where is just called "Rave". "Rave Master" refers to the title of TheHero and not the MacGuffin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Swordquest}}'' is about two heroes on a ''quest'' for a ''sword.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* ''Literature/TheDancingWaterTheSingingAppleAndTheSpeakingBird''
* ''Literature/TheGoldenGoose''
* ''Literature/TheLoveOfThreeOranges''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/CourtneyAndTheViolinOfDespair''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Franchise/{{BIONICLE}}: Mask of Light''.
* ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheDiamondCastle''
* ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'' says almost nothing about the movie, [[ItWasHisSled but we kinda know what it's talking about]].
* ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'' qualify. ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' doesn't.
** The title was going to be ''Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail'', but director Steven Spielberg didn't want people to confuse it with...
* ... ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''
* ''Film/TheHotRock'' The valuable emerald that's stolen six times is the major plot fuel but not really important to any major character.
* ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' is named for the valuable gem in the heist, and not for the cartoon feline that appears in the credits, and ''certainly'' not [[IAmNotShazam Inspector Clouseau or any other character]].
* ''Film/TheGoldenChild''
* ''Film/{{Brick}}''. The title refers to a brick of heroin, the theft of which sets off the film's entire plot.
* ''Film/TheOogielovesInTheBigBalloonAdventure''
* ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''
* ''Film/{{GoldenEye}}''
* ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny''
* ''Film/RomancingTheStone'' and it's sequel, ''Film/TheJewelOfTheNile''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* The eponymous ''Literature/DragonBones'' appear very early in the book, but if you didn't pay attention to the title, or read a translation with a different title, you'll think they are just a dragon skeleton in the basement, sad and embarassing to have there, but not important. It later turns out that [[spoiler: the dragon bones are what the villains were after the whole time, and it is of vital importance to make sure they don't get them.]]
* Literature/TheRadix, a book about people chasing after a holy plant called Radix (or Radix Ipsius, "the root of itself") that belonged to Jesus.
* Phillip Pullman's ''HisDarkMaterials'' is a trilogy of MacGuffin titles. ''The Subtle Knife'' is a particularly good case of this.
** Not in the UK, however, where the first book is titled ''Northern Lights''.
* Crops up in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. The first book is definitely one, but the best example is ''A Crown of Swords'' for combining this with ProphecyTwist - even some of the {{Title Drop}}s seem to be symbolic.
* Creator/JackVance's ''[[Literature/DyingEarth The Eyes Of The Overworld]]''.
* ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheDark'' by Creator/TimPowers references not one but two [=MacGuffins=].
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' has ''Literature/TheSilverChair'', which doesn't turn up until quite late in the book, but still counts.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series includes the eponymous [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone Philosopher's Stone]], [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire Goblet of Fire]], and [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]], though the Goblet is a plot starter, not a PlotCoupon. The [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets Chamber of Secrets]] also counts, as it is a MacGuffinLocation.
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy''.
* ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' does this recursively: Not only does the series-name refer to the three [=MacGuffins=], but the titles for individual books (''The Dragonbone Chair'', ''The Stone of Farewell'' and ''To Green Angel Tower'') all refer to various important objects.
* Maggie Furey's ''Artifacts Of Power'' series has titles like "The Harp of Winds" and "The Sword of Flame".
* ''Literature/KeeperOfTheSwords'' by Creator/NickPerumov is kinda like that. It sounds like a word salad at first, but later you learn that the eponymous Swords are the McGuffin. The first book in this series, ''Literature/DiamondSwordWoodenSword'', plays the trope completely straight.
* ''Literature/TheDarkswordTrilogy'' centers around the forging and use of a powerful AntiMagic sword InAWorld of magic users.
* ''Literature/TheEyeOfArgon''.
* Creator/AlexandreDumas père's ''The Black Tulip''.
* ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' by Emily Rodda.
* ''The Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain'' include ''The Book of Three'' and ''The Black Cauldron'', and also the MacGuffinLocation ''The Castle of Llyr''.
* The books in the {{Elenium}} trilogy by Creator/DavidEddings sound like they're this trope, but only the third book in the trilogy - ''The Sapphire Rose'' - actually fits the bill.
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is Quenya for "of the Silmarils," an abbreviation of the full title ''Quenta Silmarillion'', the Story of the Silmarils.
* The first book in the ''Literature/ChaosWalking'' trilogy, ''The Knife Of Never Letting Go''.
* ''Literature/TheMoonstone''.
* ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'' by Dashiell Hammett.
* [[UsefulNotes/DichterAndDenker TheodorFontane's]] novel ''L'Adultera'' doubles as a ForeignLanguageTitle; on the surface it refers to a painting by Tintoretto ("The Adulteress before Christ").
* InterstellarPig by WilliamSleator. The title refers first of all to the fictional board game titled "Interstellar Pig," and second of all to an entity called The Piggy which is central to both the board game and the plot as a whole. The board game Interstellar Pig wouldn't seem extremely important when it first appears, but of course the title is something of a giveaway that [[ThisIndexWillBeImportantLater it is important]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' setting of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' is named after a powerful, magical, sentient ship that everyone in the setting dreams of finding and commanding. The captain who successfully claims it as his own will be unstoppable. It is also named for the generic name for spacefaring ships, and for the people crewing them. Spelljamming and spelljammer have lots of related meanings in ''Spelljammer''.
* {{TabletopGame/Paranoia}}: John M. Ford's adventure ''The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues''. There is, indeed, a black box.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre]]
* ''Theatre/TheGoldenApple''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/{{The Legend of Zelda}}'' series has several of these, to various extents:
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Swords]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]''
* The ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series as a whole is a case of this, as the titular object is almost ''always'' a plot-important item in the games; the only time it isn't important to the plot is in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'', where it is only mentioned off-hand by a certain character.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear''
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' and ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
* ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2 Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}''
* ''VideoGame/AnotherCode'': Another is the name of the device at the heart of the story.
* Several titles in the ''Franchise/ProfessorLayton'' series, such as ''[[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheDiabolicalBox The Diabolical Box]]'', ''[[ProfessorLaytonAndTheLastSpecter The Last Specter]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheMiracleMask The Miracle Mask]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode [[Recap/BatmanTheAnimatedSeriesE22JokersFavor "Joker's Favor"]] show us that the favor the Joker wants is [[spoiler:to open a door. Then we see that was only an excuse to KickTheDog]].
[[/folder]]

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