Don't worry, she pretends they're fake.
Janine: Do you have any hobbies?
: I collect spores, molds and fungus.
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.
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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.
- Ayaka in Mahou Sensei Negima!'s Alternate Continuity Gag Series Negima!? was known for collecting Negi-themed merchandise including pillows, swimsuits and bread. It was every bit as creepy as it sounds. A less extreme example would be Negi himself collecting 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 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.
- Through his years of crime fighting Batman has amounted 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.
- 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.
- The Elders of the Marvel Universe are each defined by their obsession. One of them is called The Collector for obvious reasons.
- 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.
- Nino in Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain collects footprints, strange laughs and flawed ID photos.
- Maguire from Road to Perdition has collection of photographs of corpses.
- Predators, which collect the skulls of their victims.
- Egon from Ghostbusters. "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 Mousellini'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: 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. And his private zoo had the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea, the beast of the field and jungle. And 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.
- 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.
- 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 the latest book, 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.
- 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.
- 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 HP 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.
- 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 told the sad story of how his formerly-rich uncle had 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.
Live Action Television
- Gil Grissom's office from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation mirrors the owner's fascination with insects where he keeps full preserved bodies of giant spiders and other bugs that catch his fancy.
- Not all that strange, really. Any biology professor or entomology hobbyist in the world is likely to have a similar collection.
- 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.
- MST3K Tom Servo collects underpants.
- 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.
- 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.
- Van Statten of Doctor Who collected and studied alien artifacts. Collecting a live Dalek may not have been the best move... Then 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.
- 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'.
Linda in Linda Smith's Brief History of Timewasting collects ceramic birds. But she has to smash them when they become endangered.
- In Warhammer 40,000 a chaos god collects blood and skulls, which form a lake and a mountain, respectively.
- The Necron special character Trazyn the Infinite, amusingly. 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.
- 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, there's almost no walking room left.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In E.P.I.C. Wishmaster Adventures a sergeant in the villain's army collected the skulls of mine slaves he'd 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.
- 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 Tallyho 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.
- 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 Howl-O-Scream.
- 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.
- And gorram it, these papers...
- The Mythbusters themselves could be considered for this, given how many of their strange machines built in previous episodes are seen in future ones hanging from the ceiling or walls.
- 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.
- 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 an 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.