Janine: Do you have any hobbies?People collect things they like: movies, stamps, hummel figurines of baby animals, bottle caps, books and action figures. It's only natural for those individuals who have a specific hobby to develop a fascination with acquiring memorabilia that is directly related to their outlet of interest. Such a pattern of human behavior is quite normal and is relatively accepted in society. However, there are those people who, because of their unique occupation or lifestyle, collect items that are too dangerous, rare or gross for the average human being to even want to own. For those people who gather anything of the bizarre and strange, this trope page is for you. May have a Friend in the Black Market. A group of these might form an Artifact Collection Agency. For the super hero version, see Superhero Trophy Shelf. A more mundane version would be the Trophy Room. Room Full of Crazy is this taken to its logical conclusion. See also Secret Government Warehouse. A specific variant only wants things (and at times people) who are unique and one of a kind. Compare Creepy Souvenir, for when morbid items (often body parts) are acquired as trophies. See also The Collector, driven by the need to collect someone in particular, or the Living Doll Collector, who transforms the living into a collection of custom toys.
Egon: I collect spores, molds and fungus.
Egon: I collect spores, molds and fungus.
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Anime and Manga
- Abiru from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei shows her love for animals by collecting their tails.
- The XXX Holic movie, not only does the movie take place at a gathering of strange collectors, but it turns out the man throwing the party collects collectors themselves.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Negi collects antiques which more often than not turn out to be powerful magic items.
- Carlos from Battle Clash and Metal Combat collects trophies of the mechas he's defeated in combat. He's especially interested in the ST Falcon since he considers it an anomaly that there exists an ST where the pilot and gunner are separate.
- In a darker take, Noah in the Soul Eater manga uses the Book of Eibon to "collect" various artifacts he found interesting. He's not too picky, people, swords, Eldritch Abominations.. It's all the same. He even gets Death the Kid at one point. Oh, and and it turns out he's actually just a personification of the Book's will. He's nothing but the madness of obsessive collecting given form.
- Shizuoka of Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho is too embarrassed to let her clubmates know that she collect strange little statues in a secret closet. That's not what she should be worrying about.
- Ruby, the penguin in Rave Master. What all he collects is unknown, but things he's at least attempted to add are Plue, a bell that becomes a sword, a man-like crab, and a Bluun doll.
- Anju of Karin collects Creepy Dolls, one of which houses a serial killer.
- Old Cho of Domu: A Child's Story collects little trinkets as trophies from each person he kills.
- Madara of Naruto apparently has a warehouse-sized room dedicated to storing pairs of eyes. It becomes apparent after events concerning Pain's corpse and Konan that he does this so he can swap them around at leisure.
- In the manga story "The Collection" by Shintaro Kago, a high-school girl is intent on collecting everything the boy of her dreams touches...EVERYTHING!!!
- Luctiana, an elven researcher in The Familiar of Zero, likes to collect human artifacts from Halkeginia. However, she tends to mistake the functions of those artifacts, leading her use them in strange ways, such as hanging a bucket on a hat-stand, or using an upturned umbrella as a container.
- Miranda Barma from Pandora Hearts is rather manic about collecting skulls. While it's unknown how she goes about acquiring said skulls or even why she does it, it has been established that she has a certain desire for Glen/Oswald's head, and the way in which she attempts to secure it very nearly leads to The End of the World as We Know It, so it may not be hard to guess the how or why.
- Tono to Issho: Date Masamune and his collection of absurd eyepatches.
- Sakura from Kämpfer collects entrails animals, stuffed animals with various mutilations.
- The D'Arby brothers from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders combine this with Your Soul Is Mine, using their Stands to claim the souls of those who lose to them in games of chance. There are a few key differences between them: Elder brother Daniel (The Gambler) puts his victims' souls at rest and turns them into poker chips, while younger brother Terence (The Gamer) hand-carves marionettes of his victims and puts the souls into them, keeping them conscious so he can talk to them occasionally. Both end up defeated by Jotaro (who's a better cheater than them), which frees all their victims.
- The unnamed Mad Artist from Panorama Of Hell collects deformed fetuses and animal parts preserved in jars full of formaldehyde, among other grotesque stuff. He's even seen ''licking'' them.
- Through his years of crime fighting Batman has amassed quite a large stash of villain weaponry and gadgets that he keeps on display in his Batcave. His older incarnation is not opposed to using some of this technology if the situation calls for it.
- Of which three of the most iconic objects are a giant Joker playing card, a giant penny, and a giant dinosaur. Originally, the penny came from a 1947 comic strip story about "The Penny Plunderer", and the dinosaur from a 1946 adventure in a "Dinosaur Island" theme park. More recent continuities (such as The Batman) have changed up these origins.
- In ''Batman: The Animated Series", the giant penny comes from a failed attempt by Two-Face to kill Batman in "Almost Got Him".
- JLA Classified #1 establishes that Batman has a Dalek in storage. We don't know where he got it, we don't know what he plans to use it for, but he does have one.
- In a silly comic that may not have been canon, Gotham City has a museum of the villains' failed death-traps and other ridiculous props, and the Riddler is curator as part of his rehabilitation, where he figures out the flaws that allowed Batman to escape.
- In the Silver Age, Superman's Fortress of Solitude seemed to exist mainly as a place to house his collection of geegaws. Including statues of his friends and things related to them. A few of said friends managed somehow or another to see their wing of the Superman Museum of Stalkees, and most of them were flattered rather than creeped out.
- Of which three of the most iconic objects are a giant Joker playing card, a giant penny, and a giant dinosaur. Originally, the penny came from a 1947 comic strip story about "The Penny Plunderer", and the dinosaur from a 1946 adventure in a "Dinosaur Island" theme park. More recent continuities (such as The Batman) have changed up these origins.
- The Elders of the Marvel Universe are each defined by their obsession. Each one the Last of Their Kind, they devoted their entire immortal life to something, the most famous example being The Collector.
- Cain and Abel of DC Comics fame. Cain collects mysteries, and Abel collects secrets.
- Both the Four and members of Planetary maintain large collections of the world's secrets, including mementos from dead superheroes and alien artifacts. As Mr. Snow observes when visiting a parallel earth "They killed an entire world so that they had somewhere to store their weapons."
- Doctor Strange does this. Generally he has a pretty good idea of what everything is supposed to do.
- Agent Orange, the Orange Lantern, is driven by the light of avarice to acquire other beings. He does so by killing and consuming them. His ring then replicates their personality and creates an orange energy construct in their image which serves Agent Orange. This is the Orange Lantern Corps; they aren't welcomed. They are owned.
- Brainiac in Superman comics collects cities.
- Minor Avengers villain The Collector collects superheroes.
- One issue of Agent X, featured two rather strange people who collected famous people's underwear.
- The Eagle, original home of Dan Dare, ran a short-lived series called The Collector in the early 80s. A horror anthology, each week's story was a horror story featuring an object from the collection of the title character. Possibly inspired by the radio series "Tales from the Black Museum", in which Orson Welles would relate the stories of items from Scotland Yard's "Black Museum" - see Real Life, below.
- Exploited by Iron Man in one of Matt Fraction's early issues. Tony Stark naturally knows several wealthy people who collect bits of Iron Man memorabilia, up to and including pieces of destroyed suits. When Tony discovers that someone has been buying up these pieces and using them to create one-shot disposable supervillains, he deliberately seeds the market with some choice bits—all of which have been tagged with a special tracking virus so he can find the mystery buyer.
- The Phantom has a huge collection of treasures in his Skull Cave. It helps that he's a Legacy Character and that the Phantoms have Been There, Shaped History for centuries. His collection is divided in two: The Minor Treasure room with gold and jewels, and the Major Treasure room which includes invaluable, historical treasures like the snake that killed Cleopatra, Excalibur, the diamond cup of Alexander The Great, Shakespeare's original Hamlet script, and one of Alfred Nobel's first sticks of dynamite
- Disney Mouse and Duck Comics examples:
- Scrooge McDuck, when one thinks about it: his collection includes rare coins, rare books, the Goose Egg Nugget, the Striped Ruby, the majority of the Fabergé Eggs, the #1 Dime, his old prospector tools, a cannon from the Boer War (his sisters freaked out when he sent that one home. It was actually a way to not pay for the ship plane ticket for himself, as he was hiding inside the cannon, but he still kept the cannon and acquired more), a teddy bear (the first one), and many other things, including all the money in the Money Bin (it's actually petty cash, by his standards). The common theme is that it's things he earned himself during his adventures and wouldn't give up, but considering the collection he still qualifies.
- Donald Duck has made some strange collections from time to time, and in Paperinik stories he's shown to keep some weapons and tools from the supervillains he defeated and lots of his own old and damaged weapons.
- Gladstone keeps some of the things he won through his luck instead of selling them, depending on his fancy.
- Goofy collected his ancestors' collections. His attic contains literally almost everything.
- In the Tintin story "The Secret of the Unicorn", the pickpocket that's been plaguing the city turns out to be an eccentric old man who keeps a collection of the wallets he's stolen, without bothering to empty the contents.
- In Food for Thought Colin Creevey has a collection of restraining orders and subpoenas, including an entire room of ones served on Harry's behalf.
- There's a sidekick statue collection revealed in Ducktalez 6. It also keeps track of their deaths, and it is owned by Darkwing.
- The Raptor Squad in It's not the Raptor DNA have a curious habit of decorating their nests with various junk and toys, similar to modern birds. Delta uses bottle caps whilst Blue has a boot that she stole off of Owen a long time ago. Blue also gloats and taunts Owen with this boot.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:As explained in Act III chapter 46, Issa Shuzen is a collector of rare and powerful magical spells and artifacts, though he never actually intends to use them. Unfortunately, one of those spells/artifacts is the dangerous Chrono Displacement spell, and Akua and Kahlua steal it from his archive for Kiria to use in his Evil Plan.
Films — Live-Action
- In Fritz Lang's Secret Beyond the Door (1948), Michael Redgrave plays the role of Mark Lamphere, an architect who "collects" rooms where murders have taken place by reconstructing the rooms using as much of the original crime scene material as possible.
- Nino in Amélie collects footprints, strange laughs and flawed ID photos.
- Maguire from Road to Perdition has a collection of photographs of corpses.
- Predators, which collect the skulls of their victims.
- Egon from Ghostbusters (1984). "I collect spores, molds and fungus."
- Owen, Danny DeVito's Manchild character in Throw Momma from the Train, collects coins. Not rare, valuable or mint-condition coins, just coins. The coins are meaningful to him because he acquired them during times he spent with his father as a kid.
- In Micmacs, one of the arms makers has a collection of the body parts of famous people, such as Marilyn Monroe's molar and the heart of Louis XIV (I think), and he's trying to get Mussolini's eye.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie showcases Tom Servo's underpants collection.
- Jack from Oblivion (2013) collects a variety of pre-war memorabilia artifacts he managed to scavenge, keeping them on a secret cottage he built in a somewhat-untouched grotto.
- Citizen Kane: Charles Foster Kane collected... everything, including a lot of junk from his past, even a little sled.
Newsreel Narrator: [at beginning of news reel on Charles Foster Kane's death] Legendary was Xanadu where Kubla Khan decreed his stately pleasure dome. Today, almost as legendary is Florida's Xanadu, world's largest private pleasure ground. Here, on the deserts of the Gulf Coast, a private mountain was commissioned and successfully built. One hundred thousand trees, twenty thousand tons of marble are the ingredients of Xanadu's mountain. Contents of Xanadu's palace: paintings, pictures, statues, the very stones of many another palace — a collection of everything so big it can never be catalogued or appraised, enough for ten museums — the loot of the world. Xanadu's livestock: the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea, the beast of the field and jungle. Two of each, the biggest private zoo since Noah. Like the pharaohs, Xanadu's landlord leaves many stones to mark his grave. Since the pyramids, Xanadu is the costliest monument a man has built to himself. Here in Xanadu last week, Xanadu's landlord was laid to rest, a potent figure of our century, America's Kubla Khan — Charles Foster Kane.
- Several of the Pinball fans in the Documentary Special When Lit are presented like this; two examples include Steve Keeler, who collects pinball machines and Jaws memorabilia, and Josh "Pingeek" Kaplan, who collects and sells videos of pinball games being played.
- While much of the movie Mondo Collecto is faked, some real collectors of esoteric items are featured. Filmmaker Ted V. Mikels displays his medieval weapon collection, and Earl L. Luckes (as a character named Harutak) displays his collection of Phantom of the Paradise memorabilia (including an original prop helmet).
- In The Wrong Box, Morris Finsbury collects rare eggs.
- The Charlie Parker Series has The Collector, who collects relics of murders and other crimes that he believes are important on some cosmic level.
- In the book Dragon Slippers, each of the dragons collects something - windows, shoes, even dogs.
- Harry Dresden has a collection of vampire fangs. And not the hinged plastic kind.
- Other odd spell ingredients he used to keep on hand include sunshine wrapped up in a handkerchief, mainly for use on vampires. And in Changes, he has to remove stuff from his apartment in a hurry that the FBI might be interested in. The list of stuff he's bundling up includes two swords (one of which the police would call a murder weapon in a local case), depleted uranium and a human skull. (The skull isn't actually a souvenir, incidentally; He's called Bob and he's on Harry's payroll.
- In Black Legion, Abaddon has a staggering collection of trophies, weapons and curiosities aboard Vengeful Spirit, from the Talon of Horus to advanced biomechanical cogitators (computers) and a head of an enormous sea serpent. He has acquired them during centuries-long pilgrimage through the Eye.
- According to Making Money Lord Vetinari has, somewhere in the palace, the death masks of most of his predecessors as Patrician of Ankh-Morpork (those whose bodies were in any state to have a death mask made). When asked if he finds it creepy to have them all looking down on him, he replies that generally he looks down on them because they were fat, greedy, corrupt and incompetent, and he's awesome.
- When Gaspode the Wonder Dog is bathed against his will at the end of Men at Arms, he runs away from his adoptive home and returns to the streets, complaining: "Every flea, gone! And I had nearly the complete set!"
- In Going Postal, the invention of the stamp attracts a new collecting craze, mostly among people who previously had collected pins. Let us clarify: these are not brooch-style decorative pins (a la Disney "Pin Trading"), but the sort of pins you'd use to fasten two pieces of cloth together temporarily.
- A number of Discworld novels make reference to people collecting pressed lizards. An unpleasant child from Hogfather requested a "lizard press" as a Hogswatch gift, indicating it's a sufficiently-popular hobby that someone invented such a device.
- Tiffany Aching once told a passerby that she was making a collection of pressed toads, but this was only a lie to justify her picking up the (talking) toad who accompanied her on a journey.
- In Snuff, Young Sam starts a poo collection, inspired by the one assembled by Geoffrey in The World of Poo. There's a brief mention of some Ankh-Morporkians having smell collections, in carefully stoppered bottles.
It was all a mystery to Vimes, who was absolutely sure that it was impossible to tell the difference between a chicken fart and a turkey fart, but there were those who professed to be able to do so, and he was glad that such people had chosen this outlet for their puzzling inclinations rather than, for example, fill their sink with human skulls, collected on the high street.
- The Collector is a series regular in the Nightside novels, a compulsive hoarder who seeks out anything exotic, unique, or historically significant, then stashes it in various super-secret locations (on the Moon, inside a live tyrannosaur's cage, etc). As one of the things he maintains a collection of is time machines, many of the historical artifacts he's picked up were taken directly from their periods of origin.
- A lot of H.P. Lovecraft protagonists collect curiosities, stories of the unusual, or similarly grisly things. None of them are ready for what they might encounter in-story.
- Orfeo Culzean, The Chessmaster for hire from Ravenor collects deodands - random, innocuous items that have caused people's deaths.
- In Good Omens, the angel Aziraphale collects books of prophecy and "infamous Bibles", antique Bibles with amusing misprints such as the Unrighteous Bible, the Wicked Bible, and the Bugger Alle Thys Bible. Apart from the Charring Cross and Bugger Alle Thys Bibles, all the misprinted Bible editions in Aziraphale's collection really do exist in Real Life.
- Horace Slughorn of Harry Potter fame collects people. He doesn't want to be in the spotlight himself; instead, he purposely acts to collect the trust and affection of hopeful and talented students.
- Arthur Weasley collects Muggle artifacts. Some of them, like a Ford Anglia he enchanted to become invisible and fly, are pretty neat, but a lot of it is junk like electrical plugs and batteries. Considering the average Wizard is disinterested to the point of indifference regarding Muggles, and most of those who aren't are downright hostile towards them, he comes off as more than a bit weird due to his obsession.
- Richard Knaak's Dragon Tome in his Dragon Realm series has a magic-user who collects unusual people.
- Jennifer Roberson also has a character who collects the unusual, including people, in her Tiger And Del series.
- In Mark Twain's "The Canvasser's Tale" a traveling salesman tells the sad story of how his formerly-rich uncle died and left the storyteller nothing but his vast collection of echoes.
- The Weaver from Perdido Street Station collects scissors, apparently because the sound they make appeals to its otherworldly aesthetic sense. Previously it'd collected chess sets.
- Morollan of the Dragaera novels collects Morganti weapons.
- One of the proudest claims of the appropriately-named Bad-Guy Bar the Last Mistake from the Gentleman Bastard Sequence is that it has secured a memento of every ship that has foundered within sight of Camorr over a period of seventy years. The walls are covered in "a bewildering variety of souvenirs, each one telling a visual tale that ended with the phrase 'not quite good enough.'" such as broken bits of ships, split helmets, and a suit of armor with a square hole punched into it by a crossbow bolt.
- In The Westing Game, dressmaker Flora Baumbach tells Turtle that her late mentally-challenged daughter collected fabric swatches from her shop's sample collection.
- Paper Towns: "IT'S NOT MY FAULT THAT MY PARENTS OWN THE WORLD'S LARGEST COLLECTION OF BLACK SANTAS!".
- Snazz, a gremlin murder victim from Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., collected lint as a child.
- In Chronicles of a Strange Kingdom king Shellar III of Ortan collects... his own coffins. No, he's not a vampire, although later he gains the ability to manifest as a ghost while near death. A Running Gag in the series is whenever Shellar risks his life for the sake of his kingdom or his loved ones, or generally is in trouble, at some moment he is falsely presumed dead and a new coffin is ordered for him. Eventually his collection becomes so well-known he starts receiving new additions to it from other monarchs, as sincere birthday gifts. This actually has some plot importance: Shellar's bloodline was cursed to die out unless one of them cheats death thrice, which he did much more than that, and in later books the Archmage actually considers that Shellar's coffins became a sort of good luck charm for him and orders a new one on purpose when the king is in grave danger. It seems to have worked - Shellar survived, although spent several weeks as a ghost with his body comatose. Interestingly, he does not plan to use any of his collection ever, instead going to remain as Spirit Advisor to his descendants via aforementioned manifestation.
Live Action Television
- Gil Grissom's office from CSI mirrors the owner's fascination with insects where he keeps full preserved bodies of giant spiders and other bugs that catch his fancy. This isn't particularly strange by the standards of this trope -entomology is a well-established and perfectly respectable field of study- but bringing his hobby to work with him like that must make his coworkers nervous.
- Night Gallery episode "A Death in the Family": a mortician collects preserved dead bodies.
- The Night Gallery itself might qualify, if one assumes that the narrator actually collects the paintings.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: Tom Servo's underwear collection was first shown in The Movie, but it also figured in the TV show from time to time. For example, in the episode where an alien doppelganger tries to replace Tom, the others play Spot the Imposter by asking how many pairs of underpants he has in his collection. The alien insists that no one would be dumb enough to collect that, while the real Tom rattles off his collection from memory. At which point the alien flees in horror.
- Rimmer in Red Dwarf collects photos of 20th century telegraph poles. Meanwhile the Cat collects clothes, while Lister contents himself with growing the mould in his used coffee cup. (Admittedly that last one's mostly because it annoys Rimmer.)
- Mike on The Young Ones claimed that he'd donated his used-tissue collection to the household kindling supply. He's also referred to his passport collection.
- Knowing Mike, he probably never actually collected used tissues, but simply tossed a fresh one on the fire and claimed that he'd been collecting them. That way, he didn't have to forfeit anything he actually valued.
- Marshall Teller from Eerie Indiana collects leftovers from all the strange adventures he's been in, and stores them in an evidence locker in his attic in the hopes of using them to prove that he lives in the centre of weirdness for the entire world.
- Everything from Warehouse 13. See Secret Government Warehouse and Artifact Collection Agency.
- Doctor Who:
- Van Statten of "Dalek" collected and studied alien artifacts. Collecting a live Dalek may not have been the best move...
- Done again with Grayle in "The Angels Take Manhattan", who does much the same thing with a Weeping Angel, and meets an unpleasant fate.
- For that matter, considering the Second Doctor had all sorts of weird stuff in his pockets for every occasion and the TARDIS has all sorts of cool stuff in it the Doctor whips out for use in various episodes and serials, he's this too, though it overlaps with Crazy-Prepared when you consider his lifestyle.
- Berry Weiss on Storage Wars bids on storage lockers looking mostly for weird and cool collectables. He's found things like a really creepy wooden head sculpture, and metal work-helmets etched with oil-industry images.
- Gonzo on The Muppet Show kept a mildew collection.
- This is the premise of Oddities produced by Discovery.
- In an episode of Midsomer Murders, the fact a suspect for the murder is somewhat mentally distressed is lampshaded by the fact he is an obsessive collector of and wargamer with Games Workshop fantasy armies. He is also a Cannot Talk to Women type whose obsessive love for a female character is condensed into his trying to paint a warrior woman miniature figure to look exactly like her. In TV drama, nobody ever collects toy soldiers who is mentally balanced, psychologically normal and socially integrated. This is always a lazy TV shorthand for obsessive deranged loner.
- Gammil in the Charmed episode; "Size Matters" makes statuettes out of witches.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; in "Treachery, Faith and the Great River", Nog mentions one Al Lorenzo, chief of operations on Dagos Prime, who collects holo-photos of himself sitting behind the desks of Starfleet captains. Nog helps him borrow Sisko's desk for a photo as part of an elaborate Chain of Deals.
- In the live-action puppet series Bookmice, the cat that would later call himself call himself "Exit"note is revealed to have a collection of keys.
- The Carnival in Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's "Karn Evil 9 (First Impression), parts I and II." Given that the song takes place after a nightmarish war between man and machine, the Carnival's wares (the remnants of the world before the war) would seem very unusual to the crowds.
- How strange these things ( a silver spoon for Greed, a glass tainted with red for Gluttony, a clockwork doll for Sloth, four mirrors for Pride, a pair of scissors for Envy, a sword with poison on its blade for Lust, and a yet unknown object that is heavily implied to change forms for Wrath) are is up for everyone to judge, but in Vocaloid song-producer mothy's songs, Gallerian Marlon (sung by Kaito) strives to collect the 'Vessels of the Seven Deadly Sins'- so much, that he is nicknamed The Collector, apart from his first name sounding very similar to 'gallery'.
- Robert Ripley (and the player) take this role in Ripley's Believe It or Not!, traveling the world to document and collect various oddities.
- In WCW in 1997, Heel manager James Vandenbergnote , the manager for Mortis (Kanyon) and Wrath (Bryan Clarke), was supposedly the curator of the Museum of Medical Abnormalities in Taipei and a collector of "rare oddities".
- Sara Del Rey brought up Chris Hero's t-shirt collection, slamming it in comparison to her "very European" garbs.
- Linda in Linda Smith's Brief History of Timewasting collects ceramic birds. But she has to smash them when they become endangered.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Khorne, the Chaos God of war and bloodshed, collects blood and skulls, which form a lake and a mountain, respectively.note
- The Necron special character Trazyn the Infinite. Think Doctor Doom if he was a killer skeleton robot from space and you have a decent idea of what he's like. His collection includes, among other things, the wraithbone choir of Craftworld Altansar, the preserved severed head of Sebastian Thor, an Enslaver husk, and baroque set of Space Marine power armour (with the accompanying Blood Angels marine; it's implied that the poor sap is far from the only technically living thing in Trazyn's collection), and the world spirit shrine of Maiden World Carnac. And Trazyn is always looking to add more things to his bizarre gathering of oddities.
- The Sindarans in Talislanta have collecting as one of their hats. Most of them collect the things you'd expect - art, books, antiques, etc - but not all of them. A fandom suggestion list for "things for your Sindaran to collect" included "lint" and "other collectors' collections".
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, one of the Malkavian character templates is named "The Collector" who collects obsessively out of a desire to understand the world. To that end, he'll collect, examine and catalogue every single variation of a certain item for months at a time; eventually, he'll exhaust all the insights the item has to give, put the collection in storage and move onto another series of object- no matter how bizzare or macabre: insects, oak leaves, human hands, anything.
- The Maeghar (fae-blooded vampires) typically have large collections of small objects, such collections often being of disturbing things such as finger bones, children's teeth, pieces of tattooed skin, and broken dreams.
- In the 2013 musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket collects other people's thoughtlessly-discarded Wonka Bar wrappers at the dump near his home, where a sweet stall passes each day. He's too poor to enjoy an actual Wonka Bar more than once a year, but he loves them so much that he faithfully collects the wrappers, with Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight wrappers (his favorite) especially cherished. His family doesn't see this as strange (Grandpa Joe practically encourages it!) but it does garner bemused questioning from an observer in the opening scene.
- Dante from Devil May Cry adorns his office with trophy heads. While this is not unusual in itself, the skulls on his walls are of all the demons he's killed during his career as a bounty hunter.
- A bonus art from 3 takes this to its logical conclusion, where Dante's office is so filled up with corpses of all the monsters he's killed and gear he's collected over the game, there's almost no walking room left. Presumably that's why he only keep trophy heads in the later games, room's an issue when your business is also your house.
- Gutten Kisling from the video game Okage: the Shadow King collects toenail clippings.
- Admiral ZEX from Star Control II collects beings from various races.
- Geo Strigau in Tales of Hearts collects Spirunes, which are roughly peoples' souls in crystal form. He truly pisses off both Innes and the player when he takes the Spirune of one Lapis Silver.
- Carlos, from the Battle Clash duology, collects the heads of the mecha he's defeated in battle. He's made it his life's mission to defeat ST Falcon, the world's only known two-manned mecha, which he considers an abomination (all other ST models do not have a separate pilot and gunner).
- In the second Simon the Sorcerer game, the two gargoyles guarding the entrance to the Fortress of Doom discuss how far Simon would be able to make it without dying, followed by expressing hope that they are allowed to keep his kneecaps.
- Fire Emblem Fates has Keaton and his daughter Velouria, who share a hobby of collecting "treasures" like broken plates, discarded thread, clumps of dirt, and other random objects their human comrades tend to consider garbage or are ordinary to the point of being above their notice.
- Grand Theft Auto IV Add-On The Ballad of Gay Tony has Yusuf Amir. The son of a rich Arabian businessman says himself that he wants things that he couldn't buy, so he pays you for illegally getting him a chopper with miniguns and rockets (later he plated with gold), a subway car and a S.W.A.T. Tank. He never uses anything for himself, he is lucky enough for having the stuff.
- Over the course of the Baldur's Gate series, you can collect quite a few interesting items. A vampire's hand, golden, silver and bronze pantaloons, a couple of heads, hearts from demons, sharks and humans, a brain, a soul and weapons of all kinds. Fortunately you also get a Hammer Space bag.
- The Elder Scrolls
- In each game in the series since the 3D Leap, as well as in its Fallout sister series, you can easily turn your home into a Superhero Trophy Shelf with all of the questing treasures you acquire. There are far more in each game than you can possibly put to use, so most will go toward decorating your home. Many Game Mods exist which aid in this process.
- In Morrowind, Divayth Fyr has amassed quite the collection of legendary artifacts, and has even set up a Lock and Key Puzzle for those willing to risk their lives (to either his violent Corprus victims or catching the disease themselves) to try to steal them. In particular, he has a number of Dwemer artifacts and items associated with the Imperial Battlespire event.
- Marisa Kirisame, of Touhou fame, has a reputation for stealing and acquiring random objects, many of which are magical in nature. She can't be bothered to sort or identify them. Legendary artifacts have been discovered in her house.
- Earlier, in the PC-98 games, Kotohime was fond of collecting "things no one else finds interesting". She also thought she was a police officer.
- Rin "Orin" Kaenbyou collects corpses. It is mentioned in game how weird this is.
- Kosuzu Motoori collects youma books, books that are written by and/or contain youkai. They are usually indecipherable by humans, but Kosuzu has a special ability to read them.
- In the Let's Play of Sonic Unleashed done by pokecapn and company, medibot names all the collectibles in the game. Sonic ends up collecting everything from a lost sock to an umbrella that only works if you don't look at it.
- Xenon in the Black Emporium DLC of Dragon Age II, who owns a store of items he's collected in his quest to find immortality (which he succeeded in, but not the way he wanted) that Hawke and his group can browse around for.
- In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Edmund Hoover, later known as "Azetlor, the Collector," collected ancient and extremely rare books and tomes, some of which were very powerful. He seduced (and later murdered) Eleanor Twitty, a librarian at the NYCPL, so that he could get his hands on The Gozerian Codex.
- The Ghostbusters themselves fit this trope, what with all the Cursed Artifacts found throughout the game.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the Collector Manikin was known for his collection of human-made stuff. Since this is After the End, they're not in wide supply. To progress in the game, you need to steal a yen note from Loki's room for him.
- In E.P.I.C. Wishmaster Adventures a sergeant in the villain's army collects the skulls of mine slaves he's ordered to be killed.
- Final Fantasy V's Gilgamesh collects rare swords from all the worlds he's visited. His ultimate goal is to find Excalibur.
- The Worm from The Adventures Of Massmouth collects unique artifacts and creatures, and in fact has his own Artifact Collection Agency to acquire new items.
- Brainiac from LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham takes this even further than the comics counterpart. He still collects cities, but is now growing bored with that. He's escalated it to collecting worlds, and also has the Lantern rings on his agenda.
- In Demon Eater, considering demons don't have much time to worry about anything, the fact that the human club exists, and the fact that it has actual human things definitely brands them for this trope.
- Scandinavia and the World: Iceland collects penises. Inspired by the Icelandic Phallological Museum. (Link SFW, against all odds.)
- Vrill in Shadows Of Enchantment. He's an artifact trader, but if he finds particularly interesting stuff he tends to just keep it (or buy it, or in some cases have it stolen). What he's really after is enchanted items, but anything rare and strange might catch his eye.
- The Fox in Tally Ho collects golfballs.
- In Homestuck, all the kids' parental figures collect weird things: Dad collects harlequin paintings and figurines because he thinks John likes them, Mom fancies wizards, Bro fills the house with uncanny amounts of puppets, and Grandpa Harley collects everything from faded beauty salon posters to globes to mummies to suits of armour to taxidermy.
- Dave Strider himself is said to like to collect things preserved in jars.
- Daniel Ti'Fiona in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures collects muscle-powered weapons, swords are his favorite, but his collection includes axes, cross-bows, pole arms, etc. They're displayed on the walls of his room.
- David Wong in John Dies at the End has a garden shed full of things that simply should not exist. For instance, an issue of TIME magazine about the assassination of Bill Clinton.
- Olimar aka End of Days on There Will Be Brawl have a stash of various things from video games including the magic flute.
- Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum collects planets (and is currently trying to add the Earth to his collection).
- The Nostalgia Chick's sidekick Elisa has a large collection of skulls (...well, fake skulls, presumably), and another collection of The Phantom of the Opera merchandise. These are real!Elisa's actual collections.
- Tara, co-host of TGWTG's weird news show, What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? collects toy hippos. In fact, she's said on the show that she has a hippo for every occasion, and there seems to be no reason to doubt this. She has become so identified with hippos that a fan created fanart of her as a superheroine with a cuddly hippo sidekick. This, in turn, spawned the Hippo Lantern Corps.
- Ask That Guy with the Glasses collects boils because they apparently taste nice and souls because that's part of his job of working for the devil.
- Suzy Hanson of Game Grumps, Steam Rolled, and Table Flip fame has started a taxidermy collection.
- The protagonist of Ashens And The Quest For The Game Child collects Shoddy Knockoff Products. Anything that is a genuine product or of actual value, he rejects.
- Ross Scott of Ross's Game Dungeon is very skilled at hunting down rare and absolutely bizarre games that nobody's ever heard of before. A good example of this is Bip Bop II. A better example is Bip Bop III, which basically had Un-person status until he managed to track down a copy by contacting the original developer, who no longer had the source code to the game, but did have a few remaining retail copies on floppy disk, and wasn't sure if they even still worked or not (they did).
- Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show collected used celebrity underwear, opera records, fossilized dinosaur droppings, and jars of rare incurable diseases; his cousin Sven collected used bandages and spit in a jar; and Stimpy collected boogers, which he calls magic nose goblins.
- Finn and Jake of Adventure Time do this to some degree. They have a whole room in their house filled with treasure from their exploits. They are never seen spending it or selling it, so presumably they just keep it around to look at it. Jake, however, is a collector of the strange in a different sort of way... He's a kleptomaniac, so it's inevitable that he'd pick up a few odd bits and bobbles from time to time. Finn also collects glass eyeballs.
- The Ice King collects PRINCESSES. He has been shown kidnapping various princesses and sticking them all in a big cage. Unfortunately for him, they always escape or get rescued eventually.
- Lemongrab's castle has multiple rooms, each containing nothing but a single left-handed catcher's mitt on a pedestal. "The Mountain" eventually reveals that this is because he wants to play catch with his mother figure.
- Helga from Hey Arnold! made a statue devoted to her love out of wads of used chewing gum that the object of affection cast aside.
- Arnold's cousin Arnie collects lint and it is usually mentioned at least once per episode he appears in.
- WALL•E keeps a wide assortment of random trinkets that catch his fancy. The items he collects don't seem to have any particular theme, they're just anything that strikes him as interesting. (At one point he throws out a diamond ring and keeps the little velvet box instead, for example.)
- Egon's collection of spores, molds, and fungus is mentioned twice in The Real Ghostbusters, both times when he decides to bring home food served to him by a Cordon Bleugh Chef.
- Jefferson Twilight from The Venture Bros. collects the fangs from the blaculas he hunts and makes them into a necklace.
- The Autobot Pipes from The Transformers, who collects interesting human knick-knacks.
- Kim Possible collected Cuddle Buddies, local equivalent to Beanie Babies that look like combinations of two animals; not that weird. DNAmy collects the same toys, but then she turns around and uses her knowledge of bio-engineering to make the living equivalent; very weird.
- The Collector from Sushi Pack originally appeared as a connoisseur of fine art who somehow figured out how to animate the figures in paintings, but in his later appearances became a collector of anything, from spoons to hotel soap, and information. In one episode, in fact, he attempts to collect the Sushi Pack.
- Skulker wanted to add Danny Phantom to his collection of unusual ghosts.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: The Delightful Children From Down The Lane collect toenails.
It's not "gross"... it's a hobby.
- Ariel from The Little Mermaid salvages items crafted in the surface world, most of which are quite strange by merfolk standards (e.g. shoes).
- Mayor Jeff from PB&J Otter collects toilet seat covers. A little too enthusiastically for comfort.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes gives us Beezy's collection of chewed gum.
- Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy was once credited as a napkin collector.
- In the episode "Fear and Loathing in Endsville" a truck driver is shown collecting fingernails...but don't tell anyone he uses toenails as a substitute at times.
- On Invader Zim, Dib collects haunted Gummi bears, aside from his general assortment of paranormal stuff.
- In a Simpsons Superhero Episode, Comic Book Guy was a villain called The Collector, who kidnapped celebrities and stored them in plastic wrap . He also had other various nerd collectibles, like a working dual lightsaber a la Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
- ThunderCats (2011)
- Prince Lion-O searches the Black Market of his friend Jorma in search of fairy-tale objects called "technology", collecting, tinkering with and ratholing Black Boxes that most people in his medieval kingdom dismiss as Worthless Yellow Rocks.
- The Duelist is a Master Swordsman who loves unique, well-crafted swords, carrying his collection in a rack on his back, the catch being that these are all trophies he's taken from challenging the unwary to duels. Lion-O's Sword of Omens is unique, and Lion-O is unwary...
- In Arthur Buster collects interesting food which he keeps in a glass case in his room. His mother periodically throws it out before it starts to moulder too badly.
- George Carlin, in a comic routine about losing things, made references to collections of things no one would really want: used bandages, or nude pictures of Ernest Borgnine.
- British cartoonist/musician Gerard Hoffnung in a radio interview: "I like to collect various types of sauerkraut". Interviewer: "And what do you do with them?" Hoffnung: "That shouldn't be any concern of yours."
- The plot of the Alone house at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream.
- A man goes to a psychiatrist:
Well doc, it was my wife's idea to consult you, I like scrambled eggs and thinks it might be a mental illness.
What? Oh come now, I'd know if it was a disease, I like scrambled eggs too.
Really? Then you need to come and see my collection.
- Cabinets of Curiosities and early museums in general.
- There used to be a museum in Alabama, USA called the Museum of Miscellanea. It had a collection like this, featuring a wide variety of oddities.
- Dave Barry has one of these collections in real life. In his work as a humorist, he has collected the following bizarre objects.
- Adam Savage is a real life example, he has even produced a realistic replica of the Maltese Falcon from the movie, as well as a dodo skeleton, and many many other things he's collected over the years, this was showcased in one of the get to know the cast better episodes of Mythbusters.
- This Neatorama post catalogues many Real Life eccentric collectors and their collections. Highlights (lowlights?) include the collectors of belly button lint, toilet seats, airplane barf bags, and posters of fish.
- Jeffrey Rowland, the creator of Overcompensating is an avid collector of vintage Admiral Ackbar figurines.
- The Ripley's Believe It or Not! family of museums and associated books and shows are such collections. The museum's oddities include diseased skeletons, weird art, torture implements, sideshow hoaxes and plenty of other randomness.
- Pathologists and hematologists tend to keep collections of slides from histological samples or blood smears.
- Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family collected macabre objects, like torture devices and execution implements, mostly sent by fans.
- The new TLC show called My Crazy Obsession features weird collections. The first episode featured a couple with the largest collection of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, with over 5000 dolls. Each doll has its own name and personality, and they even built 6000 sq. ft of space to put them in. Other collections featured include wigs and Mickey Mouse memorabilia.
- The show Oddities on The Science Channel is about a pawn shop of sorts...where one can find taxidermy, outdated medical equipment, coffins, and other creepy memorabilia.
- Alex Jordan, architect and builder of The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The House features everything from pipe organs (yes, pipe organs) to old, cast-iron mechanical banks to miniature circuses.
- Games magazine once did an article on people with odd collections such as nuts (the edible kind), Mack trucks, doorknobs and maps of Transylvania.
- The Black Museum crosses the line between this and an Artifact Collection Agency. Beginning as a collection of prisoners' property, it was expanded into an official museum in 1875 (although it is not open to the public). It collects items from criminal cases, including some infamous ones such as Dr. Crippennote , Ruth Ellisnote , and John George Haighnote . The items collected are definitely strange, although the reasoning is not: the Museum is used as an educational resource for Police Officers. Arthur Conan Doyle, who had his famous detective say "there is nothing new under the sun" of Crime, was one of the museum's famous visitors. The rather bland official website is here.
- Many specialist museums have some element of this; as an example, we offer the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri. They do have a purpose, but for those outside the field in question they may seem a bit odd or even macabre (especially true of those where the specialization is some branch of medicine).
- Bowerbirds and pack rats are famous for collecting inedible items. Male bowerbirds use elaborate displays of shiny and/or colorful objects to impress females, while pack rats gather both natural materials and trash into large "middens" that they urinate on to mark territory.
- TV Tropes. We collect records of storytelling conventions and how they are used in works of fiction.