Douche:Everybody must get stones.
? Are you serious?
You're sending us KIDS
out into the world to find EVERY POKÉMON?
You don't see ANYTHING
dangerously irresponsible about this? Oak:
Nope! GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL!
The most basic form of Plot Coupon
. There's a number of somethings
spread far and wide, and the cast is tasked to go find them. Each one has its own subplot, which could be as short as a few frames of a Montage
or as long as a Story Arc
; but, of course, the most common pattern is for the cast to collect one per episode
. Often the reason for Walking the Earth
, specially as a step in the way To Be a Master
. Often each coupon is guarded by a boss monster
Convenient for TV series, as it provides an easy Story Arc
for the whole series (or season) just by virtue of there being more than one MacGuffin
to find. Meantime, each episode can have its own obstacles, villains, and setting, and be written by a different author, just as long as the plot coupons keep getting found. Also popular in video games because it's easy to implement; some of the earliest non-Excuse Plot
videogames (e.g. The Legend of Zelda
) were built on it, and it continues to be ubiquitous today.
The Twelve Labours of Hercules
are perhaps the earliest occurrence of this. (Originally Hercules was expected to perform ten, but the Dungeon Master decreed that two of them didn't count and made him do two extra.
In all media, common things that must be found include:
In interactive media, they can also be categorized as follows:
- Crucial: You must collect all of these items to complete the game.
- Important: You need to collect some of these items and they're prominent in gameplay, but you only need all of them if you're going for 100% Completion (or perhaps for the good ending, if the game developers were being sadistic). Hopefully a Completion Meter tells you how many you've already acquired.
- Optional: You don't have to collect these items to complete the game. They may be the object of a Collection Sidequest which earns you a Bonus Stage or the Infinity+1 Sword, or they may only be there to make 100% Completion harder and for the bragging rights. In fact, they might only be awarded in bonus stages, in which case they are Bonus Stage Collectables.
Compare and contrast Gotta Kill Them All
, which follows much the same pattern, but takes a more...destructive approach.
If the item in question can be bought, then lets hope it's crack
. If each item is individually useful, but as a complete set very powerful, it's because of the Set Bonus
open/close all folders
- A commercial for an auto parts dealer showed a young man biking to the store over and over, each time retrieving a different component to repair a roadside clunker. At the end, he drives to the store to show off the car he's Caught All the necessary replacement parts for.
Anime and Manga
- The main goal of Cardcaptor Sakura is imprisoning every escaped Clow Card into the magical Book of Clow again.
- In Chrono Crusade, Aion's plan hinges around finding the gifted children known as "Apostles". Chrono and Rosette's True Companions attempt to stop him from doing this. But only end up handing him the last one he needs. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
- Dinosaur King revolves around new dinosaurs appearing in every episode, with the D Team and the Alpha Gang racing to get them. The DS game makes this mandatory, including a Dinosaur Encyclopedia that catalogues the Mesozoic beasties that you obtain, with rewards for getting certain amounts.
- This is essentially Dark's main goal in D.N.Angel—he's stealing all of the magical works of art created by Satoshi's family, the Hikaris—who also created him.
- Hyakkimaru from Dororo is hunting down the 48 demons that took his body parts as part of a Deal with the Devil his father made.
- How many story arcs in the various Dragon Ball series have involved the heroes and villains racing to see which side can obtain all 7 of the Dragon Balls?
- Technically speaking, the main plot of Fruits Basket is how the Zodiac curse afflicting the Sohma family is finally broken. But all fourteen members of said family must go through various stages of Character Development before that even becomes a possibility. The curse is (early on, anyway) just a Framing Device for the characters' adventures, and a pretext for exploring the viewpoints of various Sohma members. (Of course, as each character becomes more filled out, the curse's full effect on their lives- and the reasons it must be broken- become disturbingly clear.)
So now it's Haru...They
just keep showing up, don't they?
- In Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka, being the Priestess of Suzaku, must gather the seven Celestial warriors in order to summon Suzaku. Cue an Unwanted Harem of men. In the second half of the series, they have to race their enemies for two Shinzahous.
- Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou, like Fushigi Yuugi, has collecting the team of pretty boys. Then, in the second half of the series, collecting the Four Seals.
- The cast of InuYasha are searching for the umptynine pieces of the Shikon Jewel, an artifact of incredible power (that, incidentally, will allow the main character to become a full demon). The Big Bad wants all the pieces too, so that he can achieve the same goal.
- Jewelpet features this in 4 seasons so far.
- The first series is about a girl and her friends having to find the Jewelpets that fell into the human world.
- Jewelpet Twinkle is about mages-in-training gathering twelve Jewel Stones each, so they can enter a tournament.
- Kira Deco is about a Five-Man Band gathering items called Deco Stones to repair a Mirror Ball.
- Happiness is about three girls having to gather all Magic Gems for some as of yet unspecified reason.
- Appears in Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, after a sudden Genre Shift with the story getting more serious and actually having a plot. It is revealed that in order to become the next Vongola leader, Tsuna must assemble all six of his Bishōnen guardians (Rain, Storm, Thunder, Mist, Sun and Cloud, with him being seventh element - Sky). Tsuna ends up having to do this twice, the second time being after he time travels 10 years into the future.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has the Jewel Seeds, dangerous artifacts that Yuuno lost on earth. Nanoha decides to help him collect them, but troubles arise when she meets Fate, a Dark Magical Girl who is also collecting the seeds for her mother. The usual "one MacGuffin per week" scheme doesn't survive past the second episode (out of twelve) and by the middle all Seeds have been caught - they are just in different hands.
- In Naruto, the Akatsuki are trying to capture all of the bijuu. Pain wants them to create a Fantastic Nuke, whereas Tobi needs them to facilitate an Assimilation Plot.
- Pokémon Special had some fun with this. Like the game that inspired it, this is Professor Oak's dream so he can make a comprehensive Pokédex. Since he's too old, he just hands out Pokédexes to the main characters and asks them to do the job. Problem is, the Dex Holders all have their own goals, and this isn't high on the priority list. Oak is understandably pissed about this, and he ends up hiring Crystal to do the job. She succeeds... and then it turns out there's a whole other generation to catch. Poor Oak.
- In Princess Tutu, the main character searches the town for shards of Prince Mythos' heart, a soul jar which was shattered when he and a demon lord were summoned from a storybook and he imprisoned the demon lord in the real world. Unfortunately, each of these shards does things to Mythos' mind. Especially the shard that was corrupted.
- In the first season of Sailor Moon, Luna and Usagi must find her comrades, and then the group must find the seven Rainbow Crystals to reform the Silver Crystal. The S season also has the Three Talismans, but there's only the three.
- In Sekirei, Mikogami Hayato approaches the Sekirei Plan as though this were the point. He's going to collect all the cool, rare Sekirei and all the awesome treasures! This makes him Wrong Genre Savvy, since this is a series about The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship.
- The Secret Treasures of Sengoku Collection.
- Soul Eater is a partial example. Each weapon/meister pair has to collect 99 kishin eggs and one Witch soul. However, there are implied to be thousands of Kishin eggs out there, more than enough to go around.
- Also a rather dark partial example, since those "kishin eggs" are the souls of humans on Shinigami-sama's hit list. Admittedly evil and occasionally goofy souls, yes, but high school kids are still collecting them by killing people. With weapons who are actually other high school students. Oh, and the witches can kill most of these students fairly easily.
- Those Who Hunt Elves spoofs this by scattering the runes of a spell to send the cast Trapped in Another World home. However, the runes are on the bodies of the elf inhabitants, so the cast decides that the logical (huh huh) thing to do is to strip every elf they come across in order to find the runes.
- Transformers Armada was all about racing to retrieve the Mini-Cons, though getting all of them isn't necessary. The series even acquired the Fan Nickname "Pokeformers."
- Keima from The World God Only Knows has been tasked to capture Escaped Souls from hell by romancing the girls they possess. At one point he finds out that there are about 60,000 left for him and other buddies like him to collect. He is not entertained.
- In Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL, Astral's memory has been broken into 100 parts (the "Numbers" cards, one of which he got to keep). When a Number is defeated in a duel by Yuma, Yuma gains it and Astral gains a piece of his memory back. A number of other characters are also searching for the numbers.
- The entirety of the Evillious Chronicles franchise is based around Elluka Clockworker (and other more morally ambiguous figures) trying to collect the vessels holding the demons of sin, seven in all (not counting when a vessel has multiple parts, as in Pride having four mirrors.) The vessels change hands often between characters, and the reason for collecting them varies; Elluka just wants to seal them all to keep them from causing more trouble.
- One of the subplots of Brightest Day concerns the search for the Emotion Entities. A mysterious being is hunting them down for some reason and has already captured Parallax and Ion. Its revealed Krona captured all seven and unleashed them on the Guardians.
- A Donald Duck comic by Don Rosa, "Recalled Wreck", has Donald doing this after he finds out that his neighbor (without any bad intention) sold the pieces of his beloved car to the neighbors.
- The 99 is initially about Dr. Ramzi's efforts to track down the 99 noor stones, but that goal shifts in the first issue to finding the people who have been bonded to them.
- The second half of My Little Unicorn is devoted to heroes and villains trying to find the "Rainbow Stones," (Renamed the Star Stones in the remake) which would grant them new powers; My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III has them search for the shattered remains of the Crystal Heart.
- Tealove's Steamy Adventure has a slight variation. The villain is trying to collect all three of the Epic Tea Leaves—which, if brewed, will make the drinker into the most powerful being in the known universe. The heroes are just trying to keep the Leaves out of her hooves.
- The Vasyn in With Strings Attached was sundered into three pieces and scattered across dimensions five hundred years ago. Guess who's asked to put it together?
- The villains of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom had been trying to collect all five Sankara Stones, and indeed held three of them until Indy showed up.
- In fact, Indy himself. He is of course, an archeologist. (After everything else that is...)
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack even made a list of everything he had to collect/make to be able to create a good Christmas.
- The villain of The Phantom is tracking down the three silver "Skulls of Touganda", which will grant him immense power. There is a fourth skull, on the Phantom's Ring of Power.
- Pirates of the Caribbean:
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl film required the crew of The Black Pearl to track down 882 pieces of Aztec gold to break their curse. As the film starts, though, they've already found them all, and are on their way to deliver the last piece.
- The Nine Pieces of Eight are needed to assemble the Pirate Lords and complete the spell in At World's End. This actually becomes a plot point as a reason not to kill Jack.
- The keys to the Fountain of Youth in On Stranger Tides.
- In the 2001 remake of Thir13en Ghosts, Cyrus Kriticos has to find thirteen spirits with specific themes in order to power his demonic machine, the Eye of Hell.
- In Bridge of Birds, the characters gather five pieces of a special ginseng root.
- Each book in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series involves finding at least one artifact or set of artifacts: the grail (split between Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch), the Signs (The Dark Is Rising), the harp (The Grey King), and the crystal sword (Silver On The Tree).
- All of the Deltora Quest books contain a variation on this. The first series involves the protagonists collecting all seven gems that adorn the belt of Deltora. In the second, they gather the three pieces of the Pirran Pipe, though this isn't the driving conflict in the plot. In the third series, they have to find and destroy the Four Sisters.
- In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, the Knights of the Cross have, over the centuries, collected some of the demon-possessed coins of the Order of the Blackened Denarii, but cannot finally defeat the Denarians until they get them all. This was a major plot point in Small Favor.
- In each volume of Jack Chalker's The Four Lords Of The Diamond, one of the Assassin's alter egos must find and either kill or subvert the Lord of the particular Diamond world to which he is assigned, as well as investigating his particular piece of the overall puzzle.
- The entire plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows rests on this. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to search for all of Voldy's horcruxes; but after learning about the Deathly Hallows themselves, Harry debates for a while and then decides not to race Voldemort to the last one. Perhaps a double subversion, since Harry does get it in the end?
- The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
- In Douglas Adams' Life The Universe And Everything, the third book in the series, it's the villains who are collecting the pieces of the Wikkit Gate, and our heroes are trying to stop them (or, some of them are. The rest would rather get a drink and have a lie down).
- On a more lighthearted note, there is Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, who has grown so bored of immortality that he's made it his mission to track down and verbally insult every sentient being in the universe. In alphabetical order.
- The Holders Series are an odd subversion. The idea is apparently for the Seeker to "Catch" one or two of them to prevent them from ever being brought together, which will result in The End of the World as We Know It. Then again, it also says that not bringing them together will result in something which may or may not be just as horrible ...
- In And Eternity, Orlene makes a deal with Nox, Incarnation of Night, to restore her son to life and cure him of a disease that afflicts him whether he is alive or a ghost. She must collect: a blank soul from Death, a grain of sand from Time's hourglass, a thread from Fate's loom, a seed from Mars, a tear from Gaia, a curse from Satan, and a blessing from God. It is hinted that the items were not necessary, but the entire journey was just a Secret Test of Character for Orlene.
- Louise Cooper's Indigo series involves an immortal protagonist who is destined to walk the earth until she has banished the seven demons which she accidentally loosed upon the world. Or so we're led to think throughout most of the series, anyway...
- Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom combines at least two forms of this; in each book, the protagonist must find one of the seven separated parts of the Will of the Architect (each of which is a character in its own right) and one of the seven Keys.
- Lyndon Hardy uses a variant of this trope in Master of the Five Magics, in that his protagonist learns the use of his world's five known types of magic over the course of the novel, and needs to use all five in combination to win in the end. The sequel, Secret of the Sixth Magic, inverts this scenario by requiring its protagonist to fail at all five magics, before catching on that a sixth form actually exists.
- Septimus Heap combines this with Dismantled MacGuffin, since while the Paired Codes don't work at all if they're split, Septimus and Marcia have to collect The Darke Index and The Undoing Of The Darkenesse as well to make The Great UnDoing work.
- Much of the plot of The Silmarillion is the various forces of Maiar, Valar, Elves, and Men seeking the three Silmarils of Fëanor — particularly the sons of Fëanor, who have sworn a terrible vow to oppose anything in the entire cosmos that prevents them from gaining the Silmarils.
- Variation in The Twelve Chairs, protagonists needed to obtain just one of the eponymous chairs (in which treasure was hidden), but they didn't know which one. Due to combination of bad luck and Rule of Drama they still ended up tracking down all of them.
- Subverted in the Twelve Treasures Trilogy - The plot of each novel involves restoring one of the stolen Treasures of the magical kingdom, and (obviously) there are Twelve Treasures, but only three of them have actually been stolen (that the readers know of; a different noble house keeps each one, and no one will admit to having lost one, so things get a bit murky).
- Author Matthew Reilly is overly fond of this trope... To the extent that his latest piece of alliterative schmutz Six Sacred Stones ends with a mid-plot cliff-hanger where the badass Hero has not caught them all with his bionic arm and we simply must buy another book for the resolution.
- And in that one, he STILL doesn't succeed in collecting them before the big End of the World Deadline, and ends up dropping one down a bottomless shaft (that is actually bottomless!) so that no one has that complete set.
Live Action TV
- Armor Hero: In this first ever Chinese Tokusatsu show, they have to seal 52 monsters into 52 cards, in 52 episodes. It's quite a clean show like that.
- Brimstone: Ezekiel Stone, the main character of this short-lived 1998 series by Fox, is released from Hell by the Devil to use his police skills to track down and retrieve 113 damned souls who escaped the afterlife back to Earth. Short life meant he got nowhere NEAR his goal.
- Chousei Kantai Sazer X: The twelve Cosmo Capsules. When united, the twelve of them grant one wish. So naturally everyone is after them. Each episode even keeps a tally on who has what Capsules.
- The Collector:
- One of the Devil's clients got the ability to get rid of guilt by transferring it to others through tattoos, turning them into sinners. His redemption required finding them all and completing their tattoos, restoring his memories of the guilt's reason as well as their original behavior.
- Another client had to re-absorb the people made from her split personalities.
- Community: In the episode "Introduction to Statistics". Annie has a breakdown if everyone doesn't show up to her Halloween party.
- Cupid: Ditto with this show by Jeremy Piven, who was supposed to unite 100 couples. The show only ran 15 episodes, and some of them didn't add any couples to his tally.
- Doctor Who:
- The six pieces of the Key to Time.
- Subverted Trope in "Last of the Time Lords" where Martha talks about having to travel around the world to collect the four hidden pieces to a gun that could kill the Master and prevent him from regenerating. When the Master catches her and reveals that he knows her plan, she laughs at him and says, "You really believed that?" Turns out the whole thing was a bluff and her actual plan was something else altogether.
- The eponymous Keys of Marinus.
- Dream House: Both editions of this game show (ABC, 1968; NBC, 1984) had couples vying for rooms of a house in each show. Collecting seven rooms won them a new home.
- Friday the 13th: The Series: The premise is that Micki and Ryan must recover all of the cursed antiques purchased from their uncle's store.
- Ik Mik Loreland: Mik spends the first season finding letters after everyone in Loria is magically turned illiterate.
- The Legend Of Dick And Dom: The heroes are questing for potion ingredients (the claw of a siren, the mists of time, a pint of milk...) to cure a plague.
- The Lost Room: In this Sci-Fi show, characters are, for various reasons, seeking artifacts known as Objects, which originated in a 1960s motel room and are endowed with curious properties (for instance, one Object is a watch which can boil an egg placed inside the band).
- My Name Is Earl: Earl must fix all the things he's ever done wrong in order to clear his karma.
- One Hundred Deeds For Eddie Mc Dowd: A show on Nickelodeon. The title character, a juvenile delinquent, was turned into a dog and needed to do 100 good deeds in order to regain his human form.
- Power Rangers and Super Sentai:
- These shows have created a meta-example of this. To further make use of the Merchandise Driven nature of the show, the number of Humongous Mecha have expanded in recent years. Gaoranger/Wild Force is seen by many as the start of it, with 22 Power Animals/Wild Zords, all of which were released in toy form.
- However, there are times when the plot really is 'collect the six whatevers.' ''Operation Overdrive'' revolved around the five jewels to a magical crown (other artifacts empowered by them were clues, but also powerful themselves.) The Mighty Morphin Rangers also once had to go collect the pieces of the Dismantled MacGuffin (which they broke and scattered. Didn't want the bad guys to get the Zeo Crystal, didn't realize they'd actually be needing the thing.)
- Reaper: The main plot point of this show is that the lead has to catch escaped souls from Hell, similar to Brimstone mentioned above.
- Revolution: In the episode "Soul Train", Rachel explains to Big Bad Monroe that there are 12 pendants and that they are the key to getting the power back on. This turns into a Subverted Trope later. Rachel destroys two pendants in "Ghosts", and Randall Flynn reveals that he is not at all interested in collecting the pendants. A number of the pendants are not even located in the USA, and if they are, they are well hidden, as shown on a map in "The Children's Crusade". The first season finale has the power turned back on, and the pendants had absolutely nothing to do with that.
- Seven Keys: This 1961 ABC game show had a player collecting up to seven keys to open a vault full of prizes by completing a board of 70 squares in fifteen chances. Getting all seven keys won everything automatically.
- Supernatural: Season 4 revolved around the protagonists trying to stop demons from breaking the seals that keep Lucifer locked. It was pretty hard, since the demons only had to break 66 seals of the 600 that exist. In season 5, they learn that the rings of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse could be used to lock Lucifer again. Luckily, they already had two of them at that time.
- Warehouse13: This is a show, similar to The Lost Room above, where objects have special powers for one reason or another (for example, a gun invented by Nikola Tesla is shoots energy bursts that knock people unconscious), and the Warehouse is trying to collect them.
- WMAC Masters: This short-lived show that was a strange cross between Professional Wrestling, American Gladiators, and Power Rangers, featured this as its central mechanic. Winning a competition allowed one of the competitors to take his opponent's "symbol" (a medallion with a symbol engraved that relates to the character's nickname), and once one of the competitors got the symbols of each of the others, he could challenge for the championship.
- Johnny Cash's song "One Piece at a Time" is about a man who builds a Cadillac in this manner.
- The series of Vocaloid songs (by producer mothy) that are part of the Evillious Chronicles features the Vessels of the Seven Deadly Sins, with several characters throughout trying to obtain all of them for one reason or another. In the chronological beginning of the series in "Chrono Story", Held asks Elluka Clockworker (Luka) to collect them to keep them from causing trouble, and later on near the chronological end Gallerian Marlon (Kaito) wants to collect them all because he believes he can achieve "utopia". After he dies, his "daughter" ( actually the Vessel of Sloth, the Clockwork Doll, sung by Miku) takes over her "father"'s ambition.
- Older Than Dirt: In Egyptian Mythology, after he was murdered and dismembered by his evil brother Set, Isis searched for and reassembled the pieces of her husband Osiris's body. Technically she didn't Catch Them All, but that's a deficiency the couple just had to learn to live with. If you don't know what that means, the missing part is his penis. A fish ate it.
- Stern Pinball's The Avengers requires the player to recruit all six Avengers to reach the game's first Wizard Mode. Reaching the second one requires making them fight each other.
- Corvette requires the player to race and collect nine classic Chevrolet Corvettes for a chance to get an unreleased prototype test car.
- Finishing Doctor Who requires getting all sevennote Doctors through the Video Mode.
- Dr. Dude has you gathering the Elements of Coolness (a Magnetic Personality, the Gift of Gab, and the Heart of Rock and Roll) three times each to enable the Molecular Mixmaster and become a dude.
- In Stern Pinball's Family Guy, "Stewie Multiball" requires having Stewie get all of the members of the Griffin family.
- Most of the tasks in Stern Pinball's Indiana Jones requires collecting various objects, such as Sankara stones.
- Jurassic Park requires collecting all six dinosaur species to complete the map and enable T-Rex Tri-ball.
- Two examples in The Lord of the Rings:
- Getting all the Fellowship members starts the Fellowship of the Ring Multiball.
- Collecting 5,000 souls starts Return of the King Multiball.
- Stern Pinball's Playboy requires collecting twenty-five Playboy rabbit logos for each of the game's twelve Playmates — for a total of three hundred rabbits to be collected.
- Rollergames requires collecting all six league teams to light the Extra Ball.
- A Real Life example: As the page image shows, Safe Cracker featured twenty different Magic Tokens for players to collect.
- In The Simpsons Pinball Party, activating Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard mode required catching all of the Simpsons family members and the Cletus Kids — 31 people in all.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has you collecting the four turtles to start multiball.
- In order to get the Gold Rush in White Water, you have to shoot the area three times to get three items: a flashlight, key, and map (not in that order).
- World Cup Soccer has the player getting the five attributes of a good soccer player to start multiball: Speed, Stamina, Spirit, Strength, and Skill.
- BIONICLE had this almost on a yearly basis, though, only a few instances were truly driven by marketing.
- First, the heroes gathering Great Kanohi Masks.
- Then Krana, similar to masks but alive.
- Then the heroes had to collect the Great Kanohi Nuva Masks. They also found out that the village elders have been collecting loads and loads of scary worm things called Kraata.
- Then (or rather earlier) Great Kanoka Disks.
- Then (still in the flashback) a bunch of heroes turned mutant hunchbacks were trying to save every surviving monster in the city after an attack of Giant Spiders, while also gathering the six Makoki stones.
- And then (present), the heroes from earlier were given a big list of things to do, including collecting several ancient artifacts.
- After that, the heroes were trying to collect some magical keystones to open a big magical door.
- Also worth noting is Onu-Metru, a city that consists of a huge underground museum where a sample of everything is kept; quite obsessive folks, aren't they?
- Lately, on Bara Magna, Tahu had to collect the six pieces of the Golden Armor in order to defeat a legion of Rahkshi.
- Into the Woods - the Witch requires the Baker couple to retrieve four fairy-tale related items to break a curse.
- In The Adventures of Lomax, it's the coins and freed lemmings, although they're completely optional.
- A Hat In Time is inspired by collectathon platformers for the N64 and PS1, and thus features the Time Items, hats, attack pins, and even more unusual things like Mafia neckties.
- The puzzle pieces in Alundra 2. They're optional, but if you want better attack, you will be collecting these.
- Animal Crossing. Too many things to collect. Furniture... Clothes... Fish... Bugs... Fruit... Flowers... Gyroids... The list goes on forever!
- In An Untitled Story, you have to collect at least some number of gold beads in order to open the way into the final dungeon.
- In the Ape Escape series you must capture all of the monkeys for 100% Completion and to reach Specter's true final boss fight
- Assassin's Creed I has a "quest" needed for 100% Completion and for achievements; namely, the collection of miniscule flags on every single map.
- Assassins Creed II has a version of this; the feathers you collect for your [Ezio's] mother.
- Also present in Assassin's Creed 2 is the sidequest to upgrade Monteriggioni. The collection of all armors, weapons, buildings, etc. can be annoying, though the payoff can be worthwhile.
- Both the Baten Kaitos games have the Gathering, a sidequest to document every Magnus in the game. Including pictures of enemies, quest magnus, and other things that can be easily Lost Forever. In the first game, one magnus takes 336 hours, or two weeks in-game time to transform. And it does nothing in battle.
- Beyond Good & Evil has the pearls you need to buy necessary parts for your hovercraft, but the real example is the animals: You get money for photographing them and a prize for finding them all.
- Bomb Jack and its sequels are about collecting Cartoon Bombs, for reasons that are not very clear.
- The Borderlands DLC "Robot Revolution" has several achievements which involve collecting sizable numbers of excruciatingly rare items that serve no other purpose whatsoever.
- Cats in cat planet! No one knows why, no one knows how, you just have to find all the cats!
- In Chack'n Pop, Chack'n has to recover a bunch of hearts that have been stolen by Monstas and trapped inside cages. It's just that kind of game.
- Chrono Cross: 45 playable characters, three playthroughs with no mistakes to get all of them. Have fun!
- Dark Cloud 2 needs you to go recruit town members in the initial city by doing a lot of sidequests then put them into various places. This somehow is the method to fix a broken future.
- In Diablo II:
- The player may collect various armor sets; if you get all the pieces you usually get a special bonus.
- In Act II, the hero must collect the pieces of the Horadric Staff, then combine them in the Horadric Cube.
- In Act III, the hero must collect various relics, then combine them in the Horadric Cube to open the entrance to the Durance of Hate.
- Dragon Ball Z: Attack Of The Saiyans of all games has this as well: you're tasked into using Tien's Mafuuba/Evil Containment Wave on every single non-boss enemy in the game in exchange for various items. Never mind the fact that the reason the attack is never used on anything later in the story is because it kills off the user, while in the game all it does is cost him a chunk of his HP which is easily gained back between turns later in the game.
- Dynasty Warriors 4, of all games, has two of these. In The Symbol of the Mandate, the objective is to find the Imperial Seal. Meaning that after smashing the enemy force (maybe four minutes if you're taking it nice 'n easy), you have to break all ninety-nine empty crates scattered around the building to make the one with the Imperial Seal appear, three of which aren't even present at the start of the stage. (And of course, Sun Jian will act like it's a normal stage, meaning he'll sit on his royal butt in the corner and periodically whine about how long you're taking.) Even better, the Seal appears automatically once the timer is down to 3 minutes, meaning that if even one crate is still standing by then, you've run all over the place and worked yourself into a lather for nothing. In the Battle of Yi Ling, on the Wu side, you have to destroy all the archer towers before Zhu Ran reaches shore for the fire attack to automatically succeed, otherwise you have to escort him to the Shu camp. Since leaving even ONE tower standing results in failure, which is very bad if you're hunting down towers instead of taking out the Shu forces which are going to be on Zhu Ran like a pack of rabid wolves, it's a much better idea to forget the towers and just make as safe and simple a trek for Zhu Ran as possible. Needless to say, Koei never used the idea again.
- The main quest of The Elder Scrolls: Arena revolved primarily around collecting the eight pieces of the Staff of Chaos - one in each country on the continent - in order to defeat the Big Bad.
- Fossil Fighters features this in the form of collecting fossils, which in turn are used to revive into dinosaurs known as vivosaurs.
- Glider PRO: "There are 6 stars in the house. Get every star to win."
- Graffiti Kingdom is a platformer/RPG hybrid in which you can draw your own characters, or use any enemy as a base, bosses included, up to and including Satan. And, unlike some games, the way you draw your creature has a huge impact on how it controls and what it's capable of.
- This also includes a number of cameos that need to be found... including some VERY unlikely ones. (Flying Maidennote , anyone?)
- In Gran Turismo, people try to collect every single car avaiable. This counts: Duplicates, diferent versions, racing versions, cars that aren't avaiable to buy and useless cars. The only game that's impossible to do is 2, because your garage has a limit of 100 cars.
- Guild Wars. Hoo boy. There are 1,319 skills including 293 elite skills, 26 heroes, and 33 charmable animals to add to your Zaishen Menagerie. Aside from the elite skills, it's all just for fun and/or 100% Completion; the elite skills contribute to four maxed titles toward the thirty required (and thirty-eight available, so you don't technically Gotta Catch Them All, and in fact can't) for the game's ultimate Bragging Rights Reward: the God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals title.
- Half-Life 2: Episode 2 had the optional quest to get every single Antlion Grub. Doing so got you nothing but an achievement, albeit an achievement hardly anyone has got.
- The Ham-Chat words in Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! and Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak. The stickers for Rainbow Rescue can count as well if you're into that sort of thing.
- Hans Kloss: Gather all the pieces of the secret superweapon plans scattered around the base.
- Good luck collecting all 53 Royal Notes in HarmoKnight.
- The Harvest Moon games have a Gotta Catch Them All aspect in Magical Melody (music notes) and Harvest Moon DS (harvest sprites).
- An easter egg (Optional) in the Microsoft Space Simulator Hellbender involves capturing pieces of "Bion Technology" (one hidden in each level) to form a Superweapon upon collecting all the pieces.
- In Jables's Adventure, there's an optional sidequest to collect the 10 Hero's Fruit.
- Jigsaw has the player reassembling an ... enchanted? hyper-tech? ... jigsaw puzzle, unlocking more destinations for their time machine with each piece found. Then, at the end of the game, you find out you were also supposed to be sketching animals to achieve the (only slightly different) good ending. Better start over!
- In The Journeyman Project III: Legacy of Time:
- The player must collect each of the three pieces of the legacy, one from each time period / location in the game.
- Collecting the piece held by the Shangri-La monastery requires that the player unlock a staircase in a particular chamber. This involves locating each of the six Buddha statues around the monastery, giving each something it requires in order to get the object that will unlock a corresponding section of the staircase.
- Kakurenbo Battle Monster Tactics has 125 types of monsters to defeat, each with their own type of pawprint (called a Montac) and a skill to learn if the defeated monster has enough power. (Some monsters give up the same skills though.)
- Kingdom Hearts. Hoo boy.
- The first game gives us treasure chests, puppies, weapons, trinity marks, synth items, Ansem reports, Gummi blocks and blueprints…
- Its remake, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, has all of the above (adding more of some) and then some, most notably Gummi missions and ten Metal Slime Heartless to be registered in the journal. There's one for each world, except Olympus Coliseum (if you care… ). The American release of the game puts it on PlayStation 3, which means that there are trophies to collect, too.
- Chain Of Memories gives us cards, cards, and more cards.
- Kingdom Hearts II has limits, summons, drive forms, abilities, synth items, and still more Ansem reports. Its Final Mix version adds puzzle pieces, Absent Sihouettes (though there are only five of those), and thirteen Metal Slime Heartless.
- Days gives us panels, emblems, and the insights of the protagonist's fellow Nobodies.
- Birth By Sleep has commands, shotlocks, keyblades, more commands, ice cream, treasure chests, stickers, still more commands, and Xehanort reports.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance only has keyblades, treasures, Dream Eaters, and commands.
- In King's Bounty, in order to find the scepter that was the game's ultimate goal, one had to find the pieces of the map detailing its location. As a Shout-Out, its successor series, Heroes of Might & Magic, has generally allowed you to similarly gather pieces of a map to find some special building or artifact, although it's now a Side Quest, rather than the game's central plot.
- The Great Cave Offensive game in Kirby Super Star lets you win by just running straight to the right and beating a few bosses ... but it's not a VICTORY unless you pick up the 60 treasures along the way.
- Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards - The Crystal Shards are needed for 100% Completion ( and access to the True Final Boss); you can also collect enemy data cards if you feel like it.
- Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge. The player has to locate four pieces of a sacred scroll, each of them concealed in a different "world" within the game. The gameplay of each world is completely unrelated to the others and except for the first one, can be played in any order as the player chooses. It sort of smacks of a committee of writers who couldn't get along and were separated for their own good.
- LittleBigPlanet has the Prize Bubbles in the story mode. They contain a myriad of items, including clothing items, materials, music and sound objects, and stickers and decorations. Of course, it's all completely optional.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo has optional briefcases to collect or win by completing bonus objectives, they contain either concept art or extra Combos to perform.
- Every Mario RPG ever made. Super Mario RPG has Star Pieces, Paper Mario has Star Spirits, The Thousand-Year Door has Crystal Stars, Super Paper Mario has Pure Hearts, Sticker Star has pieces of the Sticker Comet, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has pieces of the Beanstar, Partners in Time has pieces of the Cobalt Star and Bowser's Inside Story has Star Cures. All are crucial, although their importance varies.
- Super Paper Mario also has Catch Cards. The game says these Catch Cards increase the damage done to an enemy (plus, they stack). However, some of these Catch Cards do nothing, and are there just for the sake of collecting them, like the Pixl cards and the cards containing the partners from the previous Paper Mario games.
- The Megaman Battle Network series does this. In each of the 6 games in the series, you battle with battle chips. Each game has a couple of hundred to find by either defeating enemies quickly or simply picking them up. Collecting them all usually allows you to fight a Bonus Boss.
- The Mega Man Zero series until the fourth game also does this, with the cyber-elf computer programs. These little critters are collected all over the place, powered up, and used to give Zero useful bonuses. The games inhibit the latter feature, though, by lowering Zero's rank with each use.
- Mischief Makers has a Gold Gem on each stage, some easier to find than others. The more that are collected, the more of the epilogue, end credits, and stinger the player can see.
- Monster Rancher has this as a Self-Imposed Challenge and this trope that it imposes with depends on the version of the game. Unlocking every monster requires putting in different CDs/DVDs into your console, completing rather dodgy side quests with no other information how to get them available other than detailed online guides, etc.
- In Mother, you needed to collect eight melodies throughout the game (although this wasn't obvious). In EarthBound, most of the game consisted of visiting "Sanctuary" locations, and collecting... eight melodies. Finally, a big part of Mother 3 was pulling needles. The catch was, your literal Evil Twin was too.
- Virtually all the Nancy Drew video games require Nancy to track down missing pieces — gears, dolls, crystals, mirrors, whatever — for some sort of mechanism. The Last Train To Blue Moon Canyon interlaces three collect-em-all subplots.
- NetHack variant Slash Em Extended allows certain characters to throw poke balls at monsters, transforming them into pets. It's possible to assemble a large amount of pets that way, and the ball has a bigger chance to catch an actual Pokemon monster. Good luck finding that elusive Steelix or Arcanine! The other way to get them would be catching an Onix or Growlithe, then hope they don't get killed while you try to level them up enough to evolve into their high-level versions. You can look at the caught monsters to get a Pokedex entry, too.
- The Neverhood requires you to collect twenty videotapes telling the story of the world, narrated by Willie Trombone. You can watch these and get a good idea of what's going on even with several tapes missing, but collecting all twenty is important, since it unlocks the final part of the movie, allowing you to get a key from Willie.
- Ōkami: The plot has you collect the thirteen Zodiac Gods; you can also collect treasures, fish, and Stray Beads just for the hell of it.
- At the most primitive end of this trope in this medium, Pac-Man can be classified as a Gotta Eat Them All game.
- Pikmin: Olimar's ship was hit by a meteor and 30 parts were scattered throughout the planet. You have 30 days to collect at least the 25 essential parts before your life support runs out.
- Pikmin 2 has Olimar and Louie collecting treasure to pay off their company's debt, this time without a time limit.
- Pikmin 3 has Alph, Brittany, and Charlie collecting fruit to save their planet from starvation. While there is a time limit, it can be extended with each piece of fruit collected, for a grand total of 99 days of gameplay when all 66 fruits are found. Additionally, this game has data files that Olimar has left for future explorers scattered throughout the planet, which players sometimes have to go out of their way to collect.
- This is the main mechanic in Pixel Junk Eden, besides jumping and grabbing. You collect thousands of pollen spores to grow seeds, which number from about 30-120 per level, which you use to collect Spectra, of which there are 75 total.
- The Trope Namer is a U.S. advertising slogan for Pokémon, which features both the creatures and the Gym Badges. Nintendo and the Pokémon Company dropped the slogan around the time Ruby and Sapphire came out, possibly due to there being no real (legitimate) way to catch 'em all thanks to the inability to trade between those games and the previous two sets. It returned as the slogan around 2013.
- Interestingly, the catching of the monsters themselves are just optional, given that there's a large number of creatures present in the game. The Gym Badges, meanwhile, are of the crucial variety, given that they are needed to advance the plot. And it's not just the Pokémon themselves. Throughout the series there are medals to collect, items to gather, and many other things.
- There's this Pokémon called Vivillon, a butterfly whose wing patterns vary depending on your 3DS region. There are 18 patterns to gather, and some are even rare because of player rarity! There's a reason why people joke about it being the 666th Pokémon!
- Chapter 4 of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is a quest that involves travelling the world to collect five eggs that are segments of an ancient key. Each of the five locations has its own subplot/side-quest in which Layton and his companions must solve a mystery in order to acquire the egg.
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal had fifteen trophies; nine found in various levels, two found be collecting 40 titanium bolts and 30 skill points respectively, two found by completing every type of a certain challenge, and two found by maxing out your health and every weapon. The kicker? You had to beat the game once, then play through it again just to get everything.
- In Resident Evil 5, there is an achievement/trophy which requires you to get every single type of treasure in the game. This may require a guide or FAQ due to a few obscure ones: eg. from killing many enemies during a part where the game wants you to run.
- The vast majority of The Riddle of Master Lu is spent collecting the pieces of information that comprise the titular riddle. The ancient Chinese sage Lu has built the tomb of China's first emperor so that it can only be entered after interpreting a tablet he left behind, requiring knowledge of ancient scripts from three different places around the world he'd traveled to and a sort of key that shows which parts are to be read.
- Runescape: While the player doesn't need to do this, it's implied the gods themselves are fighting over the artefacts left behind by the elder gods. There are twelve, and one of them, a crown, can locate the others. Saradomin wears it.
- Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf is all about stealing all of Sam the Sheepdog's sheep, one by one.
- Demons in Shin Megami Tensei, and Personae in the Persona series. Enjoy filling the Compendium! In later games Demons and Personae's skill sets are entirely customizable allowing the player to even save their custom layouts.
- Strange Journey has this with the Exotic Material and Cosmic Eggs
- In Skies of Arcadia, you do this with both the Moon Crystals (the 5 you actually can get are promptly stolen from you when The Dragon ambushes and destroys your base; you do not get them back) and optionally with crew members.
- Though you need to find all Discoveries and at least 90% of the game's chests in the GameCube Remake if you want the Three Secrets an Infinity+1 Sword for Vyse, another Discovery worth lots of money and a Bonus Boss.
- Sly Cooper did this with the first game collecting pieces of his family's how to be a great thief guide, the second collecting the remains of the first games Big Bad, and the third game revolved around collecting party members for a big heist at the end of the game.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Find all the Chaos Emeralds...
- Spuds Quest has fifty trinkets hidden around the game world.
- In Spyro the Dragon games, at least the first 3, we must look for eggs (first and third game) and orbs (second game). Every time there's an arbitrary minimum limit of how many we must find before we can go to the next world, but finding ALL of them is optional.
- In the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign, Raynor must complete certain missions to acquire all the pieces of a Xel-Naga artifact before unlocking the final three missions of the game. The artifact is the key to defeating Kerrigan. Other missions are optional, but a certain number must be played to unlock each of the artifact missions.
- The Suikoden series of games does this with the 108 Stars of Destiny to get perfect endings — party members and usually-helpful NPCs for your castle
- There was a heavy degree of Pokémon-ness in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Finding all the cores and catching (AND evolving) all those monsters definitely caused a heavy sense of nostalgia.
- In Tales of Xillia 2, a long term sidequest has you go out and find a total of 100 cats hidden all over the world, in places ranging from normal (Like towns and fields) to downright bizarre (A volcano and an Eldritch Location in another dimension, for some examples).
- In Thief: The Dark Project, you must find each of the four elemental talismans to unlock the wards on the Haunted Cathedral. In Dark Project this involves two quests, while in the Gold version each talisman has its own quest.
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater has gaps, areas where you have to grind, manual, or jump from point A to point B. Finding all of them nets 100% Completion.
- Tsukumogami fits the 'Important' template above. Despite the English title of the game being '99 Spirits'', there are actually a bit less than that to capture - but if you just want to get through the game and get the Normal Ending, you won't need to capture and train more than a dozen or so - a handful for solving riddles, and a handful for supporting you in combat. However, the Golden Ending requires you to have Caught 'Em All... (Among other things.)
- Ultima Underworld II required the Avatar to collect a blackrock gem from each of eight different worlds.
- In Ultima IX: Ascension the Avatar had to collect each of eight corrupted runes of the virtues and their eight corresponding sigils in order to cleanse the eight shrines of the virtues. Eventually, he also needs to collect three additional sigils for various virtues.
- Unreal 2's Tosc-unlocking thing. You hop around all but two missions (the first and the defense one) gathering pieces of the artifact. Then it turns out that it alters the most harmless sentient creatures in the game into killing machines with black hole guns, so what you just spent the entire game doing turned out to be a really bad idea.
- Warzone 2100's campaign practically revolves around finding new parts to upgrade your forces - lest you get stomped to bits by your enemy.
- This is the focal point of the Scientist Path of WildStar. The Galactic Archive isn't going to fill itself!
- Many of the Ys games revolve around such a quest, such as the Books of Ys in the first game, the Statues in Wanderers from Ys and Oath in Felghana, the elemental power crystals in V, and the pieces of the Mirror of Zeme in The Ark of Napishtim, as well as the optional Tabulas in that game.
- Yume Nikki has you collecting the 24 effects.
- The Zelda series always have some of sort: 8 pieces of the Triforce, 6 medallions, 8 instruments, 3 jewels, 4 masks...the apparent only exception is Zelda II The Adventure Of Link, in which the hero has to put 6 jewels on statues, but the principle is the same...
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, you have Kinstones, which each matching pair having a different effect (unlocking secret paths, removing barriers, making special items available, etc.)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which has the Nintendo Gallery. You have to take pictures of pretty much every character, enemy, and boss- all 133 -in the game. Well, here's your Picto Box. Have fun!
- Gold Skulltulas. Technically they're a case of Gotta Kill Them All, but you still have to catch the tokens. There's a whole hundred of them, and you have to revisit some dungeons with new equipment you didn't have the first time around to get them. Have fun.
- Majora's Mask should get special credit; it's one of only three N64 games that was so detailed and complicated in gameplay that it needed the RAM Expansion Pak to play (and the only one of the three that didn't have Rareware in a dominant part of the development). In addition to Pieces of Heart, weapons, songs, wallets, fairies, hidden bosses, and various other odds and ends, the game has 24 masks to collect. Only six of them are absolutely necessary to complete the main storylinenote (though some others make it easier), but the other 18 are necessary for 100% completion. Oh, and the 24th one? Obtainable only by collecting all of the other masks.
- Twilight Princess has the Golden Bugs and Poe Souls, in addition to the Tears of Light, Fused Shadows, and Mirror Fragments.
- Phantom Hourglass has spirit gems; Spirit Tracks has bunnies and force gems. They also have boat parts and train parts respectively.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Silent Realms- gearless stealth-based sections in which you must collect the 15 Tears in each while avoiding the Guardians. (Extra bonus: you have to leave your Exposition Fairy behind.)
- A Link Between Worlds continues the tradition. Besides the usual, there are 100 baby Maiamais that have to be found, and every ten you find lets you upgrade an item. Except when you get all 100, which upgrades your sword.
- Many BioWare games operate like this.
- Neverwinter Nights is almost entirely based off this trope. First, you need to collect the bits of fantastic creatures to cure the plague, then you need to collect the journals of the cultists to prove they are in Luskan, then after Luskan you need to collect the Words of Power, after which the final battle begins.
- Shadows of Undrentide: You begin by collecting the artifacts stolen from Drogan, arranged in such a way so that the important one is last, then you collect the Three Winds so as to get into the spire on top of the city of Undrentide.
- Hordes of the Underdark: The second chapter actually does this in a way that makes sense, with your primary quest being to demolish the Big Bad's power base by removing her allies.
- This trope is much less prominent in fan-made expansions, but collecting the map parts in Tales of Arterra and the seven lessons in the beginning of A Dance With Rogues qualify.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer, hunting for clues to the cause of your curse might qualify, as does hunting for allies in the first chapter.
- Knights of the Old Republic: You get to collect the Star Maps so that you can find Darth Malak's base of operations and power base.
- Knights of the Old Republic 2 has the Jedi Masters you have to hunt down and gather at Dantooine or kill.
- Mass Effect 1: You collect bits of a coordinate, more coordinates that tell you how to use what you find when you get to the first coordinates, and somebody who can understand the whole thing. A checklist of planets, each with a beginning, middle and end, and each with their own miniature scenario which you must resolve as part of your quest to Save The Galaxy.
- Mass Effect 2: This is very nearly the entire point of the game. Most of the game revolves recruiting teammates for your suicide mission (with DLC, there are 12 members in total, though you technically only need 8 to complete the game) and then gaining their loyalty so they don't die during the final mission.
- Rareware seems to be in love with this trope, managing to shoehorn huge numbers of things you need to collect into practically every game.
- MANY classic Interactive Fiction games rely on this concept: learning all the spells (Enchanter, Spiritwrack), assembling the Dismantled MacGuffin or some other piece of machinery (Starcross, Stationfall, Wonderland), or retrieving all the treasures from a dangerous area (Zork, Adventure, Hollywood Hijinx, dozens more).
- Marvins Mittens puts a Metroidvania style twist on the collectible hovering objects of typical 2D platformers by having Marvin's double jump be increased for every snowflake he collects. The map keeps track of how many you find in each area.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, all seven Millennium Items are needed to free the Egyptian God Cards.
- The "plot" of Adventurers revolved around finding the Elemental Relics. Unfortunately, these were the relics of the modern elements: Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, and all the other elements in the periodic table. The progress on this quest was generally kept in the background.
- Alien Dice involves scattering a number of "dice" over a planet and capturing the animals they bond to. It's supposed to be a deconstruction of the Mons genre if you couldn't guess.
- Professor Dr. of The B-Movie Comic just fell to the urge.
- Keychain of Creation chronicles the story of a group of heroes searching for the five Keys of Creation, powerful weapons which can open any lock or unseal any can, in order to keep them out of the wrong hands. Good News: They start out with one of the five keys. Bad News: It takes exactly 379 strips for the party to finally meet someone face-to-face who has another key, and the hiatus on that arc started with that someone declaring a tournament with the key as the prize. As of now, the hiatus is still in effect.
- The main quest in Our Little Adventure is to collect pieces of a wish granting artifact known as the 'Magicant.'
- Wasted Youth has 50 Piggymon cards for you to collect, a card game with hamsters.
- In The Graystone Saga, Lady Gray is on a Mission From Gods to defeat and capture the twelve demons, known as shades, who escaped into the world more than a hundred years ago.
- A double-subversion occurs in The Holders Series. The 538 cursed objects must NEVER be brought together, or it will result in The End of the World as We Know It. That doesn't stop the Seekers from trying to find them, though.
- While lists of best movies can stimulate this kind of behavior, website Icheckmovies (which even gives a Cosmetic Award for progress in official lists) turns this into an art form. Many user pages or list comments admit they're watching many movies only complete some sets - as one comment in All-Time Worldwide Box Office (every movie that passed $200 million worldwide, currently at 518) goes: "3 to go. I've slogged thru some crappy movies, but the completionist in me is willing me on."
- The aim of My Opinions on Every Pokémon Ever is to review every single Pokémon.
- Lab/Treasure/Land maps, Talisman pieces, collectable plushies... Petsites are full of these, and they always have a final goal, that's it, some sort of status for the users that collect these, since it's impossible to have all the pets at once.
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog features a four-episode story arc concerning the quest for the Chaos Emeralds. In each episode, Dr. Robotnik uses his new time machine to travel back in history in order to acquire one of the four emeralds, invariably pursued by Sonic and Tails.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has the team founded with the intent of re-capturing 74 villains, who break out of prison in the sixth episode. However, only a handful of episodes from the first season have re-capturing an escapee as the main focus. Most of them get captured during subplots or Offscreen Moment Of Awesomes, occurring while the Avengers tackle threats that could destroy the world unless foiled.
- Bailey's Comets, an obscure De Patie Freleng Enterprises cartoon from 1973, had ten roller derby teams in cross-country races trying to find clues to a hidden treasure.
- A ton of old G.I. Joe episodes involved Cobra's attempts to Catch Them All, perhaps the best-known being their collection of historical military leaders' DNA to create Serpentor. The 5-part G.I. Joe miniseries MASS Device involves the Joes in a race with COBRA to collect three rare elements from various places to power their teleportation machines. One of the rare elements is heavy water which is in pools at the bottom of the deepest ocean (obviously).
- Jackie Chan Adventures: Each season has a group of artifacts or creatures that are targeted by the good and bad guys: Talismans, Demons, Talisman Spirits, Demon Masks, and cursed objects.
- King Arthur & the Knights of Justice had the twelve Keys of Truth, that could return the knights home.
- The premise of Lilo & Stitch: The Series (a Recycled: The Series of the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch) is that everyone has to find the other 625 experiments (Stitch's "Cousins") lost throughout Hawaii. As of the finale movie Leroy & Stitch, this has been completed, up to and including Leroy, who is unofficially Experiment 629
- The Honeybee badges of The Mighty B!. Unlike most examples, however, this is not necessary, and is a personal goal Bessie has set for herself (believing she'll become a superhero if she succeeds).
- The pieces of the Pyramid of Power in Pandamonium.
- The crew of the Wraith in The Pirates of Dark Water were supposed to collect 13 treasures. The show only lasted long enough for them to get 8, in part because the eighth took the entire (truncated) second season to find.
- In the Rainbow Brite episode "The Beginning of Rainbowland", proto-Rainbow Brite has to find and rescue all 7 of the Color Kids in order to transform the world into Rainbow Land.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has Scooby and the gang involved in a double-edged assignment: locate the whereabouts of the original Mystery Inc. and obtain the six pieces of the Planespheric Disc which leads to the hidden treasure of Crystal Cove.
- The South Park episode Chinpokomon mercilessly sends up the Pokemon phenomena through the medium of the kids being swept up in the craze, and the bafflement of their parents at the impenetrable non-sequeterial nature of Japanese animation.
- In the beginning of the second season of Transformers Animated the All-Spark shatters into umpty-nine pieces each which affects Future-Detroit's technology as well as the giant robots in different ways. The cast has to find them. The similarity to Inuyasha didn't go unnoticed by the fans.
- The Shen Gong Wu from Xiaolin Showdown.
- The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo had those meddling kids (well, four of them: Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy) plus mentor Vincent Van Ghoul and the supposedly lovable young rascal Flim-Flam trying to recapture 13 ghosts that had escaped from "The Chest of Demons".
- The MIT Mystery Hunt, probably the world's most famous Puzzle Hunt, has this in the form of puzzle and meta-puzzle solutions: You need to solve puzzles in order to solve the meta-puzzle their answers are associated with, and you need to solve meta-puzzles in order to solve the meta-meta-puzzles, and so forth. However, generally speaking, these are designed such that you don't need to solve all the puzzles in a given set; it's often possible to guess at the answer to a meta-puzzle once you have some portion of its component puzzles completed. Technically, if you could find the answer without solving any of the puzzles, you could jump right into it, but that's basically impossible, so they're Semi-Important.
- During the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, military personnel were provided with sets of playing cards picturing 55 "Most Wanted" Iraqi terrorists.