[[quoteright:300:[[Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Plot_Coupon_9082.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:A somewhat more literal case than most.]]

->''DANIEL RADCLIFFE: Michael, I found out that Ralph Fiennes split his soul into 7 pieces and scattered them around the world. And yes, this really is what I learned, not the set-up to an RPG on Super Nintendo.''
-->-- '''Rod Hilton''', ''[[http://www.the-editing-room.com/harrypotterhalfblood.html Abridged Scripts]] for Film/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince''

A thing that a character needs to obtain in order to cash it in later for a {{Plot}} resolution.

For example, let's say that our intrepid hero must steal a key, then find the Treasure Chest of Galumphry that the key will open, then remove the Orb of Power from the chest and use it to banish the BigBad. The key, the chest, and the Orb are all plot coupons. Extremely common in video games, where collecting these coupons is known as a FetchQuest, it is often presented as [[GottaCatchThemAll collecting several pieces]] of a [[DismantledMacGuffin lost artifact]] or gaining recognition from several factions.

A plot coupon might just as easily be one item in a series of {{MacGuffin}}s, where the things themselves are not important, it is the ''seeking'' of them that moves the story along (indeed, the two terms often get used interchangably). See also SwordOfPlotAdvancement.

If the items in and of themselves are useless and only become valuable in hindsight, see ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest.

If the goal of the mission is to obtain an item that turns out to be less valuable than the finding of it, ItsTheJourneyThatCounts.

Coined by Nick Lowe in a science fiction convention talk, later printed as an article ''[[http://news.ansible.co.uk/plotdev.html The Well-Tempered Plot Device]]'' in the fanzine ''Ansible'' and popularized by the [[http://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/turkey-city-lexicon-a-primer-for-sf-workshops/ Turkey City Lexicon]].

!!Subtropes and Related Tropes:
[[index]]
* PlotCouponThatDoesSomething (affects in-story mechanics)
** SwordOfPlotAdvancement (necessary for hero advancement)
** CosmicKeystone (artifact regulating the universe)
* FetchQuest
** BonusStageCollectables
** FreeSamplePlotCoupon
** GottaCatchThemAll
** TwentyBearAsses
* GoldenSnitch
** AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome
** ArtifactOfDoom
* ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest
** WithThisHerring
** YouWillKnowWhatToDo
* ItsTheJourneyThatCounts
** AllThatGlitters (compare WorthlessYellowRocks)
** TheMagicWasInsideYouAllAlong (MagicFeather)
* MacGuffin
** DismantledMacguffin (the pieces must be reassembled)
** MacguffinEscortMission (the object must be taken deep into X, and...)
** ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin
** SetBonus
** StarShapedCoupon (because it is always stars)
[[/index]]
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* Shards of the Shikon Jewel in ''Manga/InuYasha''.
* The rings with the Cagliostro crest in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro''.
* The Dragon Balls in ''Manga/DragonBall''. In its sequels, the plot is resolved more by fighting, and they become used to enforce status quo.
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' has the two Shinzahou.
* Every StoryArc of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' had one or more of these. Most notable are the Seven Rainbow Crystals...especially since they weren't in the original [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] and were created by the anime specifically to extend the storyline. In the manga they're just looking for one big crystal; in the anime it breaks into seven color-coded pieces so the senshi have to spend that much longer trying to find them.
* The Jewel Seeds in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', and season 3 has the very-similar Relics.
* The five Weapons of Light in the third season of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}''; most of the time, the one we see is the Sword of Light wielded by [[IdiotHero Gourry]]. And it isn't just for the third season either, the Sword of Light is the key to a lot of storyline events.
* The Cyber Planet Keys and Omega Lock in ''TransformersCybertron.''
* The Clow Cards in ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura.''
* The Crests in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure.''
* [[UltimateBlacksmith Shikizaki Kiki's]] twelve Perfected Deviant Blades in ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}''.
* The Philosopher's Stone from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
* The feathers in ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle''.
* ''.hack//ROOTS'' intially has a set of items that the Twilight Brigade were collecting because they think it will lead to the [[CosmicKeystone Key of Twilight]]. Ovan claims that the items are leftover data from the previous iteration of The World and [[MacGuffin have no ingame purpose]] anymore. [[spoiler:They turn out to be the breadcrumb trail for a trap laid by Yata but there's also no reason to assume Ovan's explanation is wrong since he had to fool Yata about not recognizing the trap but being interested in the items.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* The whistle in "Literature/JesperWhoHerdedTheHares".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''[[FanFic/SonicGenerationsFriendshipIsTimeless Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless]]'' combines the plot coupons from [[VideoGame/SonicGenerations both]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic works]], for a grand total of 13: the 7 Chaos Emeralds and the 6 Elements of Harmony.
* ''SuperMarioBrosZ'' has the Chaos Emeralds, as you would expect from a crossover with the Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog franchise and a story based on ''{{Dragonball}}.''
* ''[[Fanfic/PokemonMysteryDungeonReflectingBalance Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance]]'' has the eight Axis Tower crystals, which were stolen from said tower and need to be returned there.
* ''FanFic/CrownsOfTheKingdom'' has the titular crowns, each one representing an era of Disneyland.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The hero's medal in ''Disney/WreckItRalph''. Ralph needs it to win a modicum of respect among the Nicelanders, and the first major plot point is his adventure through ''Hero's Duty'' to retrieve it (within ''Hero's Duty'', it's a {{MacGuffin}}). Unfortunately, it gets stolen by someone who cashes it in for almost exactly the same reason. Then the main plot starts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/LaraCroftTombRaider'' had the pieces of the Eye of the Illuminati.
* ''Film/MenInBlack'' had the Galaxy "on Orion's Belt" [[spoiler: or rather, on the cat Orion's collar.]]
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' had this in each movie. The cursed coins of Cortez needed to lift the curse in the first, the key to open Davy Jones chest in the second, and the Pieces of Eight in the third.
** And the [[spoiler: [[SwissArmyTears mermaid's tear]] and Ponce de Leon's [[ArtifactOfDoom chalices]]]] in ''On Stranger Tides''.
* The Ark of the Covenant, the Sankara Stones, the Holy Grail, and the Crystal Skull in ''IndianaJones''
** Also the headpiece of the Staff of Ra, Grail Diary and Grail Markers.
* Subverted in ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'' when Trinity provokes a Mexican standoff rather than fetch "the eyes of the oracle" in order to save Neo from the Merovingian.
* The Death Star plans in ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/ANewHope''. Luke's original quest was to get them into the hands of the rebels.
* The ''Film/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians: The Lightning Thief'' movie features the titular character, [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Percy Jackson]], and his friends [[PluckyComicRelief Grover]] and [[FauxActionGirl Annabeth]] following a [[MacGuffin magical map]] given to them by a guy who's [[TheUntwist clearly very trustworthy]] to find three magical pearls that will let them escape from the underworld. In the books the three pearls are given to Percy by some water Nymphs, via his father. In contrast to the book, the movie seems to [[LostAesop miss the lesson]] the books set up by having Percy [[spoiler: leave Grover, his best friend in the underworld, abandoning him.]] Then again, I'm pretty sure no one making the movie had actually READ the book, so that's not much of a surprise.
* The tape in ''Film/EnemyOfTheState''.
* The floppy disk in ''Film/TheNet''.
* ''Film/SuckerPunch''- to escape the [[BedlamHouse insane asylum]]/brothel, Baby Doll and the other girls must collect a map, fire, a knife, a key and [[spoiler:a [[HeroicSacrifice distraction]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The Eye of Rom, the single ruby earring used in Haldane empowering rituals, becomes one of these in ''[[Literature/{{Deryni}} Deryni Rising]]''. During their preparations for Kelson's ritual, Morgan and Duncan learn from Kelson that it was buried with his father. The trio have to pay a visit to the royal crypt to retrieve it before they can begin the ritual sequence. [[RuleOfDrama Of course, it isn't as simple as that...]]
* Helen Hawthorn, the narrator of Ni Claydon's ''Literature/HandOfMercy'', is increasingly annoyed when she realises that the [[DismantledMacGuffin scattered bones of Clem's severed hand]] are effectively Plot Coupons.
* Each volume of Susan Cooper's ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' requires tracking down one or more Plot Coupons, all of which are named in a poem presented in the second volume.
** ''Literature/OverSeaUnderStone'' is the hunt for the grail (not the Holy Grail, though).
** Volume 2, ''The Dark is Rising'', involved a hunt for six similar, elementally-themed discs known as The Signs of the Light.
** In ''Literature/{{Greenwitch}}'', the protagonists had to retrieve a cipher key for the inscription on the grail.
** ''Literature/TheGreyKing'' involved winning the golden harp (clues having been provided by the grail), then using it to wake the Sleepers.
** ''Literature/SilverOnTheTree'' had a mini-Plot Coupon sequence to retrieve the actual Plot Coupon (the crystal sword), the user of which had to be protected by the Signs.
* {{Lampshaded}} in [[http://playtesting.net/?cat=3 Death by Cliche]] by Robert J Defendi; only, it's the bad guy who's been collecting them.
* In Creator/TeresaEdgerton's ''[[Literature/{{Celydonn}} The Grail and the Ring]]'', the titular grail. (It is not the Holy Grail, but a grail carved out of a single large sidhe-stone, a substance that grants it magical powers.) Subverted in that [[TheWisePrince Prince Tryffin]], when tracing the object's history in [[AlternateUniverse the Inner Celydonn]], [[spoiler:actually collects a "shadow" of the grail, not the original]]. It's strongly implied that [[TheWatcher Dame Ceinwen]] [[spoiler:disposed of the original in the Marches-Between-Here-and-There to keep it from making any more trouble, then couldn't find it again when it might have been useful]].
* In ''Literature/TheAncestralTrail'', the pods and, later, omni pieces.
* In Austin Grossman's ''Literature/SoonIWillBeInvincible'', [[MadScientist Doctor Impossible]] must collect three of these to construct his latest DoomsdayDevice.
* Justified in ''Literature/BridgeOfBirds'' by Barry Hughart -- the story is structured as an elaborate, carefully-scripted quest, and it turns out that there's a reason why it's structured that way.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d and double-subverted in ''Literature/UnLunDun'' by Creator/ChinaMieville. The book of prophecy claims that, in order to defeat the BigBad, they must collect a chain of these. The initial subversion comes when the protagonist decides this will take too long, and skips to the last link in the chain. The double-subversion comes when she realizes that she actually ''needed'' the Plot Coupons after all. Fortunately, she is able to TakeAThirdOption to get around this.
* In ''Literature/KeysToTheKingdom'', there are parallel sets of Plot Coupons such that one of each set must be retrieved in each book: the Key held by that day's Trustee, and the [[DismantledMacGuffin portion of the Will of the Architect]] being held prisoner by said Trustee.
* Emily Rodda's ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' series and its magic gems (plus other random broken pieces of something in the sequels.)
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', Harry has to track down ''two'' sets of Plot Coupons before he can finish off [[BigBad Voldemort]]. The first set is Horcruxes, of which five remain after two were destroyed, respectively, during ''Chamber of Secrets'' and right before the events of ''Half-Blood Prince''. The second set is the titular Deathly Hallows, of which there are three, and it's an optional quest until Voldemort starts looking for one of them.
* {{Lampshaded}} in Charles Stross' ''Literature/SaturnsChildren'' via a particularly egregious pun:
-->"Don't get cute." He grinds the gun barrel against the back of my neck. "The encapsulated bird your conspirators sent you to fetch. The sterilized male chicken with the Creator DNA sequences. The plot capon. Where is it?"
* EVERY book in the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series has one of these. No exceptions. For example, whatever items Jack Frost stole are these.
* Inverted in Creator/RogerZelazny's ''Forever After'', in which the group of heroes who originally gathered the five sacred weapons/armor pieces, must return them to hiding, to keep the world from tearing itself apart from the strength of the combined energy.
** Zelazny's ''Changeling'' had the hero going on a quest to find the three pieces of his father's magical staff, the only tool powerful enough to defeat the villain.
* ''Literature/{{Coraline}}'' had to recover the souls of three dead children as part of the game to escape the Other World.
* ''Literature/TheAdversaryCycle''. In ''Nightworld'' the protagonists have to assemble a sword of the kind used to defeat Ransolm in ''The Keep'', using the broken parts of prior magic artifacts. This is made more difficult than usual given that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is happening and giant flesh-eating monsters are roaming the earth gobbling up anything that moves, [[GiantFlyer including aircraft]].
* ''Literature/TheLandOfStories'': The items needed for the Wishing Spell.
* The image above is of a Golden Ticket from ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory''. In the opening stretch of the novel, virtually everyone in the world wants to find one of these -- there are only five, each of which is hidden beneath the wrapper of a Wonka chocolate bar. A ticket will grant its finder a tour of the titular, long-closed-to-the-public (and seemingly people in general as no one ever sees workers enter or leave it) factory chaperoned by LivingLegend / ReclusiveArtist Willy Wonka himself, along with a lifetime supply of sweets. PinballProtagonist Charlie is lucky enough to find the last of these tickets, kicking off the rest of the novel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* Mocked in the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Reprise," wherein Angel is told that to get to the BigBad, he needs a ring; to get the ring, he needs to kill a certain demon; to kill the demon, he needs a magic glove. Angel cuts off his informer with, "Okay, now you're making this up."
* The long-running ''Series/TBag'' series, whose 9 series and 4 specials consisted of nothing except chasing plot coupons (first letters, then numbers, then whatever arbitrary things the writers came up with). And [[LampshadeHanging hanging lampshades]] on them.
* Subverted in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode ''Last of the Time Lords'': The Doctor's companion Martha spends an off-screen year assembling a super-gun and set of super-bullets that can kill a Time Lord permanently. As soon as she's done it, the Master captures her and destroys it; Martha later laughs at him for believing in such an obvious plot device and reveals that her search was just a cover for her real mission.
* The Objects in Sci-Fi's miniseries ''TheLostRoom''.
* Just about every Rambaldi artifact from ''Series/{{Alias}}'' (very evident in season one).
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' : [[spoiler: The four rings from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse form a key that will allow Sam and Dean to re-imprison Lucifer.]]
* ''PrisonBreak'' uses this repeatedly, with varying effectiveness. Coupons range from a specific bolt to all sorts of evidence about [[TheConspiracy the Company]] to the five million dollars that [[spoiler: DB Cooper stole and buried in Utah]].
* The protagonists in ''Series/TheLegendOfDickAndDom'' need to make a magic potion, and hunt down an ingredient OnceAnEpisode. The ingredients vary in difficulty (The Eye of the Beholder, which requires a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth! ... A Pint of Milk!) which allows more time to be spent on adventuring or comedy, as required.
* In one episode of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Jake and Nog end up trading one plot coupon for another in a seemingly endless chain. 5000 wrappages of yamok sauce, for 100 gross of self-sealing stem bolts, for seven tessipates of land...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Creator/WilliamsElectronics' ''Pinball/TalesOfTheArabianNights'' features seven magic jewels, which must be collected before the player can confront the evil genie who's kidnapped the princess.
* ''[[VideoGame/ProPinballTimeshock Pro Pinball: Timeshock!]]'' has Tachyonium, which are needed to travel in time, and the Time Crystals, which are needed to prevent the destruction of all of existence.
* Creator/DataEast's ''[[Pinball/StarTrekDataEast Star Trek]]'' pinball requires the player to collect Dilithium Crystals to power the transporter.
* In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimePinball'', you must collect twelve Chozo Artifacts to reach the final two boards.
* The premise for the ''[[Pinball/GilligansIsland Gilligan's Island]]'' pinball is to have Gilligan collect seven different ingredients (coconuts, turtle eggs, a shrunken head...) so the Professor can make some Lava Seltzer and [[AppeaseTheVolcanoGod stop Kona the Volcano God from erupting.]]
* In ''VideoGame/LoonyLabyrinth,'' the player must collect five Galopetra Stones to activate the TimeMachine.
* ''VideoGame/JinniZeala'' requires the player to collect various objects before he can visit the Flying Harem.
* In the Franchise/NightsIntoDreams table of ''VideoGame/SonicPinballParty'', players must collect Ideyas before he can challenge the Nightmaren of that level.
* ''[[VideoGame/ProPinballFantasticJourney Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey]]'' requries the player to collect four special Crystals in order to attack the evil General Yagov's island base.
* Both ''Pinball/{{Corvette}}'' and ''Pinball/MustangStern'' require the player to collect the various automobiles before reaching the final WizardMode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Just about every adventure game ever made: ''SpaceQuest'', ''VideoGame/TheDig'', ''SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'', ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland''. The second episode of ''TalesOfMonkeyIsland'' by TelltaleGames did some LampshadeHanging with this, when a local bait shop will ONLY accept literal coupons to purchase bait. One of these three coupons leads to a (literal) RedHerring, but the other two are quite essential to progress in the plot.
* In ''{{Albion}}'', a long quest revolves around finding (of all things) a virility amulet for a tribal king (and saving the guy who made it, who got lost in a big dungeon). Then there's the Metal-Magic Scroll and the High Knowledge which are required for a spell that is pretty much the only thing that can defeat the Big Bad.
* The Jiggies in ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'', which are used to complete the jigsaw puzzles in Gruntilda's Lair to open new worlds. Used again in ''Banjo-Tooie'' as proof that you are worthy to complete the challenges of Jiggywiggy, who seems to be the master of all things Jiggy, whose completion opens new worlds. They return in ''Nuts and Bolts'', and are gained during the challenges settled by the Lord of Games.
* The parts of Dracula's body in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'', again in the inverted castle portion of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'', and a third time in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance''.
* Almost every ''{{Franchise/Sonic|TheHedgehog}}'' game has used the Chaos Emeralds (or "Time Stones" in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'') as plot coupons. In the earlier games, they were not necessary to complete the game, they just made it easier and gave you the good ending. However, since ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', they have, in nearly every game, been necessary elements of the plot, often being the goals for completing the level.
* Used in most ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen'' games (ship parts in ''Invasion of the Vorticons'', guardians in ''Goodbye Galaxy!'', bombs in ''Keen Dreams'').
* Used repeatedly in ''VideoGame/DiabloII'':
** In Act II, you must collect the Viper Amulet, the Staff of Kings, and the Horadric Cube to assemble the Horadric Staff, which acts as a key to open the tomb of Tal Rasha.
** In Act III, you must collect Khalim's Relics; combined, they act as a key to open the Durance of Hate.
* In ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestIV Dragon Warrior/Quest IV]]'' and sequels, the player must collect the 4 legendary armaments (sword, shield, helmet, and armor). Only the hero may wear them, and by the time the player acquires these, his hero likely already has better equipment.
* In the flagrant DolledUpInstallment ''DragonsLair: The Legend'', Dirk quests to collect the Lifestones to awaken a sleeping giant knight. Specifically, 194 of them. It's as much fun as it sounds.
* Elemental crystals in many ''FinalFantasy'' games.
* The music notes of ''HarvestMoon: Magical Melody'' and the harvest sprites of ''Harvest Moon DS''
* ''[[Videogame/HarmoKnight HarmoKnight]]'' has you hunting for Royal Notes, 53 in all. These are only required to progress further ''twice'' throughout the entire game, the third time to [[spoiler: unlock the level Birdwatching.]]
* VideoGame/{{Kirby}} games generally have a set of special stars (or Crystal Shards in the game with that title) that you must collect to actually face the real BigBad -- who will only show himself you complete everything else. However these items are generally used to make the weapon he needs in the final fight.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' and its various sequels are the namesake for this trope. In later games, there are often two sets of coupons, the first usually being three items (pendants, pearls, etc.) needed to claim the Master Sword, rewarded halfway through. The second act then has a set of more items (medallions, pieces of a mirror, etc.). Another is simply eight items (essences, pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom) without any distinct midpoint
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'': Eight Pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom.
** ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'': The Six Crystals, or rather the six statues to put the crystals in (you have the crystals at the outset).
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'': Three Pendants first, then the Seven Maidens.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'': Eight Instruments of the Siren.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'': Three Spiritual Stones followed by the Six Medallions. In a more literal (yet minor) example of this trope, Zelda also gives you a letter that allows you to pass by a certain guard.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'': Four Mask Remains.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'': Eight Essences of Time (''Ages'') and Nature (''Seasons'').
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords'': Three Great Keys. Note that there are 3 types of Keys (Silver, Golden, and Hero), and to fully complete the game, the player must collect a total of ''nine'' keys. However, you only need 3 of a kind to fight Vaati.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'': Three Goddess Pearls, then the Two Sages, finally the Eight Pieces of the Triforce of Courage.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures'': Seven Shrine Maidens (including Zelda), and Four Royal Jewels.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]'': Four Elements.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'': Four Fused Shadows, then the Four Mirror Fragments.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'': Three Spirits, then the Three Pure Metals.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'': Four Force Gems/chunks of the Tower of Spirits, followed by the Bow of Light, and then the Compass of Light.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'': The three Ancient Tablets, the three Sacred Flames, and the four parts of the Song of the Hero.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'': The three Pendants, and then the paintings of the Seven Sages [[spoiler: and Zelda.]]
* Every {{Mario}} RPG uses this.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars'' has you locating the seven pieces of the broken Star Road.
** ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' makes you rescue the seven Star Spirits. Unlike most examples, the Star Spirits actually unlock usable moves in standard gameplay.
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' has you locating seven Crystal Stars. Like the original, the Crystal Stars also unlock moves. [[spoiler: Peach is also a MAJOR plot coupon, but for a different reason. A bad one.]]
** ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' mixes it up a little, you need ''eight'' Pure Hearts (You start the game with one of them, though, so you still only actually need to find seven).
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga]]'' has you collect the four pieces of the Bean Star after it shatters.
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'' has you collecting the six pieces of the shattered Cobalt Star. Played for laughs in this one, as the number of shards you have goes up and down wildly throughout the game, until you get them all [[spoiler:which is worse than useless; it actually ''frees'' the FinalBoss)]].
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story]]'' has the three Star Cures.
** VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam has the five Ultibed parts and the Dream Stone. The villains steal the last one before you get there though.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** The 3-D Platforming ''Mario'' games also use this trope. ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' and the two ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 games]] all have you looking for 120 stars. In the case of ''Galaxy'', [[spoiler:you even have to get them all a second time to with Luigi to unlock the ''121st'' star (for both characters) for the 100% completion]], while in ''Galaxy 2'' you also have to collect [[spoiler:120 green-colored stars to unlock the Grandmaster Galaxy, which has the last two stars, leaving you with a grand total of 242 stars for 100% completion.]]. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' replaces the stars with Shine Sprites, which retain the purpose of collection and are justified in-game for being the source of solar energy in Isle Delfino. In both ''Galaxy'' games, stars are justified as being fuel.
** The coins in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand2SixGoldenCoins''. These are special coins from boss battles, not the normal kind found in ?-Boxes.
** [[UptoEleven Taken to the extreme]] in ''New Super Mario Bros 2'': The game wants you to collect 1,000,000 coins (regular coins) for no apperent reason. If this is achieved, it then challenges you to find 99,999,999 coins (enough to fill the coin meter with all 9's, basically). You are then rewarded with [[spoiler: a new title screen]].
* Each of the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' games has a set of items that must be collected in order to access the final level. 12 Chozo Artifacts in the first game, 9 Sky Temple Keys in the second, and at least 5 out of 9 Energy Cells in the third. Fortunately, neither ''Metroid Prime'' or ''Metroid Prime 3'' force you to get them in the main quest, and ''Prime 2'', despite having a set of keys for TheDragon of each energy controller (which aren't Plot Coupons themselves), only told you to find them when you needed them, many times along with you doing something more important/interesting. The big exception here are the Octoliths in ''Prime: Hunters'', of which there are eight, as you must find them all at very specific plot points, and in a specific order.
* Each game in the ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' series features Plot Coupons. However, only the first game actually had you collect anything, and that's in the loosest sense of the word.
** ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER1}}'' features the ''Eight Melodies'', or the 8 parts of a song that the mysterious Queen Mary of {{Magicant}} has forgotten. The Melodies aren't actually items. Instead, various [=NPCs=] or Items sing them to you, [[spoiler:you even get one melody from a cactus.]] In order to proceed to the BigBad, you have to sing all eight melodies to Queen Mary. [[spoiler:It turns out that Mary is actually Maria, Ninten's great-grandmother, who was abducted by aliens. Gigyas was a baby she volunteered to raise, and the song you have spent the whole game learning is a lullaby she used to sing to him. Singing the lullaby to Gigyas is the only way to actually defeat him.]]
** ''Mother 2[=/=]VideoGame/EarthBound'' features ''Your Sanctuaries'', eight locations where Earth's Power was the strongest. Each also had a melody associated with it, and when Ness uses the Sound Stone to play them all back, he goes to his own version of {{Magicant}}. [[spoiler:Unlike the first game however, the eight melodies, nor the power of Magicant are used against Gigyas. Paula has to pray nine times instead.]]
** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' features Seven Needles scattered across the Nowhere Islands, which require the use of PK Love to be pulled out. Pulling out all seven [[spoiler:awakens a sleeping dragon that the islands rest upon, who will only listen to the person who pulls out the seventh and final needle.]] The BigBad eventually reveals a mysterious masked general who can use PK Love as well, and uses him to try and pull out the seventh and final needle. [[spoiler:The Final Battle takes place at the site of the final needle.]]
* ''DarkSouls'' has the Bells of Awakening, that must be rung to reveal the purpose of the Undead. And then, after that, [[spoiler: you retrieve the Lordvessel and then kill some gods for their Lord Souls.]]
* Most Bioware games are, to a large extent, about retrieving plot coupons rather than the plot itself:
** In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', the player has to find all Star Maps to get behind the villain's military strength; to retrieve these Maps, he always has to do something that involves finding out about the game's background and/or solving problems unrelated to the actual plot, like a Wookiee civil war or a conflict with Tusken raiders. The main plot will only go on after finding one of these coupons.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has the player finding a few rather large coupons in the form of allied armies - to get these, he, just like in KOTOR, has to solve several local problems unrelated to the main plot.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', most of the game revolves around finding living breathing coupons aka squad members - the actual plot is few and far between and only moves on after gathering a certain amount of members.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'' has Golden Bananas, with 25 available per level: Four bananas per each of the five Kongs, plus one per Kong from "Blueprints", which themselves could be considered Plot Subcoupons due to being traded for Golden Bananas sometime after collection.
** This game also has Banana Coins, with each Kong having their own color of coin. In order to progress, a certain number of these must be collected and traded for "moves" (such as the ability to press stronger switches). Not enough coins means no move (and thus no progression) for you! [[note]]You don't exactly need to go out of your way to locate them though; they're everywhere, and there are even special versions that give five of them to each Kong when picked up, "hidden" in obvious patches of "DK"-marked dirt.[[/note]]
** There are also "DK Coins", which feature heavily in minigames and races. While not traded directly, the races / [[MinecartMadness minecart sections]] require a certain number of these to be in your possession by the end of the section, so even if you "win" the race, if you don't have enough coins, you lose.
* ''VideoGame/SkyOdyssey'' has the four pieces of the Lost Map, hidden in ruins scattered throughout the Islands of the Dark Sea. The player needs to find these map pieces in order to discover the only way into the Tower of Maximus, the games final level.
* ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'' has the X-Stones of the second game. Each one is required to challenge a ranked competitor, and people will go to obscene lengths to hide them and keep their rankings.
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