[[quoteright:221:[[Film/{{Troy}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HelenOfTroy.jpeg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:221:I'm not the only girl on Earth, ya know.]]

->"''She could have been a briefcase and nothing would have changed in this movie.''"
-->-- '''[[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Noah Antwiler]]''', discussing Rayne's role in ''Film/BloodrayneTheThirdReich''.

They say [[Literature/TheIliad Helen of Troy]] had a face that could launch a thousand ships: well, the Living [=MacGuffin=] has a similar ability to launch [[TheHerosJourney a thousand quests]] in search of them. She may be a [[TheDulcineaEffect heart wrenchingly beautiful]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]] [[EngagementChallenge whose hand can only be won with]] [[ImpossibleTask miraculous feats]], a long lost (or [[ParentalAbandonment left]]) parent, [[ThickerThanWater sibling]], [[TrueCompanions close friend]] or LoveInterest, some variation of TheChosenOne who is needed for some greater purpose, or any number of typical MacGuffin functions.

In terms of traits, they are usually "desirable" or "questable" for any of a hundred reasons. Common ones include: [[WorldsMostBeautifulWoman great beauty]], [[IncorruptiblePurePureness great goodness]], kindness and [[LoveInterest loving or being loved by the hero]], [[RoyalBlood being royalty]], [[AncientKeeper knowing the answer to an urgent problem]], etc. (Thus, they can ''easily'' cross over into MarySue territory.) Alternately, they may carry the negative trait of having [[KickTheDog kicked the hero's dog]] at one point, and so they want to find them (or a way close to them) for {{revenge}}.

See also DamselInDistress (and DistressedDude). If the character is kidnapped and held for ransom, see ThePresidentsDaughter. If a character must be moved from point A to B, it's a LiveActionEscortMission. For cases where the MacGuffin started out as nonliving and later became a person somehow, you want MacGuffinGirl. Characters who are unimportant when introduced but become important later in the story fall under ChekhovsGunman.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* Nunnally from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' gets a role as a living MacGuffin. This is partially because she's the protagonist's little sister, partially because she's so sweet and seemingly helpless that most characters want to protect her, and partially because she's [[spoiler: a princess]].
** C.C. also gets used as a living MacGuffin, as evidenced by the existence of a special canister designed to contain her. In Code Geass R2, she has this role because [[spoiler: she has a special power that is needed in order for TheEmperor's master plan to work]].
** Lelouch in early R2 also qualifies, [[spoiler: before he gets his memories back.]]
* ''Manga/SaintSeiyaNextDimension'': Saori becomes one after she is transformed [[spoiler:into a baby.]]
** In the original series, Seiya's sister Seika was played up as this, despite [[spoiler:only turning up at the end of the series and not appearing in the sequel, yet.]]
* Inori of ''Anime/GuiltyCrown''. At first, she's just the MysticalWaif, but Inori is later revealed to be the vessel for the apocalypse... so, yeah.
* Kagura in ''SpeedGrapher'', [[ThePresidentsDaughter the daughter of a supermodel-turned-financial-superpower]], can also turn people's fantasies to real superpowers with her kiss. The entire series is about rescuing her ''from'' her family.
* While it's debatable whether the torches in ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'' are "alive", Yuuji Sakai is generally treated as living by the main characters. That's partially because unlike other torches, he isn't going to just go out one day. But it's also because he's managed to validate his humanity, even before he found out he wasn't going to become RetGone.
* Insane Casca during the Retribution arc in ''{{Manga/Berserk}}''. Not only does Guts, her former lover and current [[DeclarationOfProtection protector,]] want her, but ''everybody'' is taking Casca in this arc, primarily the pagans who want to make her their queen and the Holy See who want to burn her at the stake. At one point in the arc, all three sides do in fact collide on site with Casca in their sights, and [[MacGuffinMelee a melee ensues.]]
* In ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'', Itsuki Koizumi plays this role in "[[ShowWithinAShow The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina]]". [[DarkMagicalGirl Yuki Nagato]] wants to steal his hidden esper powers, and the eponymous [[MagicalGirl Mikuru Asahina]] is charged to protect Itsuki.
* Manhwa/WitchHunter: TheHero, Tasha Godspell, is revealed to be both the key to the {{Big Bad}}'s plans for wiping out humanity, but also the key to stopping these plans and saving mankind. Exactly ''how'' this works has yet to be explained. There are also several other witches out to capture him, including his own sister.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. Sasuke becomes this after he leaves the Leaf Village. [[SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan Jinchurikis]] provide a straighter example.
* The first half of ''Anime/LastExile'' concerns Claus and Lavie (and later, the entire crew of the Silvana) trying to keep Alvis out of the clutches of the Guild. Why they're hunting her isn't revealed until the last episode. [[spoiler: Turns out she's a living "ignition key" for the eponymous space ship.]]
* In an early episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', Ash's pikachu catches the attention of three shady individuals. Queue many years of Jessie, James, and Meowth attempting to capture said pikachu.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'':
** Eren is hunted by everybody so that he either gets to be humanity's greatest weapon, dissected, executed, [[spoiler: or be brought back to fellow Titans.]] It's later revealed that he is ''also'' [[spoiler: able to control titans to an extent. This is why people with powers the same as, or even ''stronger'' than his were willing to go to such lengths to capture him alive.]]
** Christa [[spoiler:alias Historia]] also becomes an example later on, due to [[spoiler:her royal heritage and ability to reveal the secrets of the Walls]] being revealed. [[spoiler:The Survey Corps' solution to this is to sweep both of them under the rug until they reach adulthood, upon which they can deal with it better]].
** [[spoiler:The Beast Titan, the only non-Shifter Titan thus far shown to be fully sentient, is stated to be this to the Titan Shifters.]]
* Manga/CrimeZone starts off with Aburaya Shiro, the main character who ''thought'' that he was just an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent finding out that he is somehow key to the plans of the vampires who've been put on the run by humankind, and that the government haas been keeping a close watch on him for years as a result.
* Banagher Links of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' qualifies as well. Thanks to [[IAmDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin a dying request]] [[spoiler:from his father]], he eventually becomes the sole pilot of the titular Gundam, itself being the key to [[MacGuffin Laplace's Box]]. Thus he becomes a primary target for various factions who are all after the said box.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', the Black Mage Zeref is treated this way even centuries after his supposed demise. Several villains are out for his power, if not his very existence. At least one cult is shown that worships him and wants to revive him, one Dark Guild devoted all of its efforts to unsealing him, and another Dark Guild [[spoiler:composed of demons he created]] venerates him and is doing everything in its power to honor his wishes despite never having met him. [[spoiler:Zeref himself regards their efforts with either contempt or mild amusement, and otherwise doesn't really care about them that much.]]
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'': [[ArtificialHuman Melifina]] is not only the navigation system for the XGP, she's the key to [[spoiler: unlocking the secrets of the Galactic Leyline]]. So naturally, everyone's out to get her - from the Kei Pirates, to the [=McDougal=] Bros. and, even her creator: [[spoiler: [[TheComicallySerious Professor Gwen Khan]]]].
* ''Anime/VariableGeo'': Satomi becomes the target of [[NebulousEvilOrganization The Jahana Group]], once Damian senses [[AlmightyJanitor the enormity of her latent fighting potential]], during Yuka's match with Jun. Which convinces him that she'd make the ideal vessel for [[spoiler: [[BigBad Miranda]]]]'s [[TheDisembodied disembodied spirit.]]
* It's a SliceOfLife, but Ryou's parents in ''Manga/KoufukuGraffiti'' seems to think their daughter, currently [[MinorLivingAlone a middle-schooler living alone]] while [[ParentalAbandonment they are working overseas]], is this. For all the years they are out of Japan, they kept pressing on hiring bodyguards for her, an idea strongly refused by Ryou's [[RaisedByGrandparents grandmother]] and carried on by Ryou herself. Viewers often see the parents' worry to be legitimate, as other signs may indicate potential intelligence involvement in the said parents' occupations.
* Arslan in ''Anime/TheHeroicLegendOfArslan'' is frequently targeted due to his status as the crowned prince of Pars and that he has a one hundred thousand gold coin price on his head.
* Yuzu and all of her counterparts from ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'' serve as these to [[BigBad Leo Akabar]] for currently unknown reasons. Several political factions try to capture or contain them specifically so the can be ransomed and/or protected, although only Leo himself seems to know ''why'' they're of any value.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Yorick in ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'' is a male example; various factions want him, mostly alive, some dead.
** Yorick has a LivingMacGuffin of his own in his girlfriend Beth.
* Ramona Flowers in the ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' books: the protagonist must go through several obstacles to be with her, but we are shown very little about the relationship, or even Ramona Flowers herself, except that [[InformedAbility we are assured of her awesomeness]].
* [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] refers to Ray Palmer (The Atom) in the trainwreck [[DCComics DC]] crossover event ''ComicBook/CountdownToFinalCrisis'' as "The Mini-MacGuffin".
* Hope Summers since ''[[ComicBook/XMen Messiah CompleX]]'', before really settling into this role with ''ComicBook/AvengersVsXMen''.
* Jot Soora and Monima Das in ''ComicBook/AssassinsCreedBrahman'', with both the Assassins and Templars hunting for them so they can access their genetic memory and discover the location of the real Koh-i-Noor diamond.

[[folder: Fairy Tales ]]
* Film/{{Cinderella}}, Film/SleepingBeauty, Film/{{Rapunzel}}, and many other fairy tale heroines were {{Living MacGuffin}}s in the {{Disney}} films and in those iterations of these fairy tales inspired by the {{Disneyfication}}.
** In the pre-Disney versions of those fairy tales, the nameless prince was the {{Living MacGuffin}}; for example, Cinderella competed with her wicked stepsisters for the hand of the prince, who is treated as a non-entity who exists in the story only to provide the winner with a castle, title, and wealth.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Combined with DismantledMacGuffin in ''FanFic/TheSweetieChroniclesFragments'': Twilight Sparkle gets TakenForGranite and is split into a series of crystals ([[AndIMustScream in which Twilight is still completely sentient]]) spread over TheMultiverse. Sweetie Belle must then gather these crystals by traveling through various {{Alternate Universe}}s, which correspond to various WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic {{Fan Fic}}s.
* In a way, Socrates of ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' is one of these, due to the alien transmitter embedded in his head. He's LockedOutOfTheLoop about it, but it comes up as a plot device occasionally.

[[folder: Film ]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}} in ''Film/ManOfSteel''. [[spoiler:Prior to launching Kal-El to Earth, Jor-El imbued his cells with the Codex, which holds the genetic potential of the entire Kryptonian species]].
* WesternAnimation/ThePiratesBandOfMisfits: The dodo bird.
* ''Film/{{Troy}}'' is a subversion. It is established early on that Agamemnon is only using Helen as an excuse to wage war on the city. At one point Helen says she would give herself up to prevent further violence, but Hector makes it clear that even if she did, it would not end anything. Agamemnon even says that he didn't come here for Helen, but for Troy.
* In ''Film/TheDarjeelingLimited'', the brothers use a trip to find their long left mother to tell her about their father's death and try to bond with each other.
** Another long lost mother variation of the living MacGuffin is Mike's mother in ''My Own Private Idaho'', whom he never finds.
* Doug from ''Film/TheHangover'', who is given all the characterization of a very NiceGuy to both his friends and brother in law. So much so that you can honestly believe these guys ''would'' shake down all of Las Vegas to find him.
* In ''Film/KillBill'', finding Bill so she could kill him is the entire focus of the Bride's RoaringRampageOfRevenge... well, that and revenging herself on the people who could lead her to him.
* ''TheSearchers'': John Wayne & Co. spend years searching for his niece, abducted by [[OnceAcceptableTargets Injuns]].
* Private Ryan in ''SavingPrivateRyan'', the search for him in the war zone is the plot.
* Zuzu Petals in ''Film/TheAdventuresOfFordFairlane.'' Everyone Ford meets in the first act tells him to find her, and that's his motivation until he does, at which point it becomes clear she's not even involved in what's going on. After that she's more of an EscortMission, albeit one attended begrudgingly.
-->'''Ford:''' Don't worry. If you fall, I'll make it.
* Kee in ''Film/ChildrenOfMen''. She's the first woman to get pregnant in almost 20 years. The main characters have to try to keep her (and the baby) alive and out of the wrong hands.
* ''Film/TronLegacy'': Quorra is [[spoiler: [[LastOfHisKind The Last]] [[ArtificialBrilliance ISO]]]].
* ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' is centered entirely around Willard's mission to travel to the compound of an insane colonel and to kill him. He becomes even more determined to find and confront the colonel as he learns more about him from previous military reports.
* The hobo in ''Film/MysteryTeam''.
* In ''Film/ElDorado'', the evil rancher Bart Jason.
* The 2007 film version of ''Film/SweeneyTodd'' portrayed Johanna Barker as this, especially as they cut most of her songs and speaking parts from the original musical.
* The plot of the film ''Poetic Justice'' has four friends go on a road-trip from Los Angeles to Oakland, California to visit Lucky's cousin, Kalil. [[spoiler: They find out he's been shot and killed once they arrive.]]
* Roxanne from ''WesternAnimation/AGoofyMovie'' is the reason Max is traveling. He wants to show off to her at a place opposed to his father's destination.
* ''Film/{{Elysium}}'': Max becomes one when [[spoiler:all the security coding for Elysium gets uploaded into his brain, coding that would basically let the user do anything they want. Spider and co. want the information to disable the Elysium security systems and make everyone on Earth register as a citizen, Delacourt wants it to overthrow Elysium's current leadership, and Kruger wants it to take over Elysium and do... unpleasant things.]]
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', Mystique is the lynchpin to the BadFuture in more ways than one. Her murder of Trask not only drives others to complete his work, but her subsequent capture provides them with the key to making Sentinels unstoppable, [[spoiler:which is why Erik tries to kill her before she can kill Trask]].
* [[TheHero Optimus Prime]] in ''Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction'' is hunted by [[BountyHunter Lockdown]], who wants to kidnap Optimus and take him to [[spoiler:the Transformers' Creators]].
* In ''Film/LayerCake'', Eddie Temple's daughter whom the protagonist is supposed to find but is never actually found by him nor appears on screen.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: Helen of Troy from ''Literature/TheIliad'' is a prime example. Helen wasn't attacked by Paris or the Trojans during the whole war, and in fact went willingly because she fell in love with Paris. [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Or was made to, by Aphrodite.]] [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Or simply didn't like her husband very much and couldn't be bothered to struggle very hard.]]
* [[KingArthur Queen Guinevere]] is also not in distress, as most versions have her go willingly with [[TheLancer Lancelot]]. The whole kingdom goes down because the vassals have to choose sides, help Arthur get her back, or help Lancelot keep her.
** Most of the variations have the vassals torn between personal loyalty to Arthur (who would pardon his beloved and his best friend, despite the pain they have caused him) and loyalty to the law itself which demands she and Lancelot be tried for treason against their king (with the lawful side being spear-headed/manipulated by one enemy or another of Arthur's).
* The French chef Anatole in Creator/PGWodehouse's ''Literature/JeevesAndWooster'' stories; the universal desire to lay claim to his peerless talents led to the hatching of many a ZanyScheme.
** [[TheJeeves Jeeves]] himself is highly sought-after; Bertie notes that plenty of his friends want to steal him and make him their valet, and this is borne out in ''Thank You, Jeeves'' when [[spoiler:Jeeves quits and Bertie's pal Chuffy snatches him up almost instantly. Later in the book, Jeeves goes to work for American multimillionaire J. Washburn Stoker, who offers him a position, before returning to Chuffy and finally [[StatusQuoIsGod settling down with Bertie again]]]].
* A few crop up during the course of the ''PrydainChronicles'' -- Hen Wen the pig in ''The Book of Three'', Princess Eilonwy in ''The Castle of Llyr'', and Taran's long-lost parents in ''Taran Wanderer.'' [[spoiler:The last is a subversion. Taran eventually decides that he doesn't need to know who his parents were to know who he is. He is Taran.]]
* In Creator/TobiasBuckell's ''Literature/CrystalRain'', Oaxyctl is looking for John deBrun because he wants to torture "the code" to a spaceship out of him. We later find out that John ''is'' the code -- he has to be bodily present (and alive) to open the spaceship.
* [[Literature/AliceInWonderland The White Rabbit]] is one. The entire reason Alice ends up in Wonderland is her curiosity about the Rabbit. And it's often the Rabbit, constantly hurrying from one place to the next, which brings her from scene to scene.
* Bree Pym is this for Lori and Bill's college chum Cameron; they spend most of the novel ''[[AuntDimity Aunt Dimity Down Under]]'' pursuing the girl over New Zealand's North and South Islands to deliver the Pym sisters' letter and convince her to meet Ruth and Louise before they die.
* Deconstructed in the SwordOfTruth: while fully half of the main cast are some level of this trope, the Confessors have it notably bad. Confessors can't control their ability during moments of passion (read: sex), so they can't have kids with someone they like, or they'll ''destroy their mind''. Male confessors are such a threat that all male children of Confessors ''have to be strangled at birth'', and for their troubles, the Confessors are feared and hated, and since they're raised secluded, have almost no friends. By the time Kahlan met Richard, all of her few friends had been murdered by D'Haran assassination teams. Yeesh.
** Wizards are able to create these in general; the Rahl bloodline is the result of such an experiment, as are Slides, Dreamwalkers, Mriswith, the Sliph, and a whole host of other ''exciting'' pieces of work.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has the Archive, a repository of all written works from all of human history. Because knowledge is very literally power in the Dresdenverse, she's a terrifyingly powerful wizard when called upon. While most wizards see her only as the Archive, [[TheNicknamer Harry]] calls her 'Ivy'. Names have power in the Dresdenverse, so calling her that actually makes her more human and less scary-supercharged-twelve-year-old.
* In Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens's novel ''Literature/StarTrekFederation'', Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive, is one in the TOS and TNG storylines. Former [[ANaziByAnyOtherName fascist leader Adrik Thorsen]] is obsessed with revenge against Cochrane, and Kirk wants to protect him. Picard was mostly an innocent bystander dragged into it by Thorsen.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has Davos Seaworth going to Skagos to retrieve Rickon Stark, as he is a key on getting the Northern Houses to fully side with Stannis, as the North are fiercely loyal to the Starks and they hate Boltons for their part in the Red Wedding.
* ''Literature/InDesertAndWilderness'' [[TheCutie Nel Rawlinson]]'s role in the plot is "Staś's motivation to cross the DarkestAfrica".

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* Towards the end of ''Series/MaddigansQuest'', it's revealed that [[spoiler: Jewel, not the talisman, is what gives Eden his powers.]]
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': Poor John Crichton. By the end of the series, half the Galaxy [[spoiler:which he's close to blowing up with his knowledge of Wormholes]] is after him. He's close to a ''Film/GingerSnaps'' moment.
* Mr. Big in ''Series/SexAndTheCity'', to the point that they don't even bother to give him a real name. You find yourself wondering what is wrong with Carrie Bradshaw and then you remember ... oh yeah, she's Carrie Bradshaw.[[note]]They do in fact reveal his name in [[Film/SexAndTheCity the movie]][[/note]]
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': Teyla's baby is a MacGuffin for Michael as he wants to use the newborn's DNA to advance his hybrid research. Since Teyla's an ActionMom, he doesn't get very far.
* Franchise/KamenRider shows have a few cases of Living [=MacGuffins=], most of which are people the bad guys are after. Their nature is revealed towards the endgame, so be warned of spoilers.
** ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' has Yui, who has been [[spoiler:DeadAllAlong and is]] actually the centerpiece of the Rider War, as the person who runs it is her KnightTemplarBigBrother is trying to rig in his favor [[spoiler:so that he may save her life]].
** ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' has Hana, who is revealed to be the Junction Point, a special type of Singularity Point whose destruction will ensure the existence of the Imagin.
** ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has Phillip, who's [[spoiler:DeadAllAlong and was]] responsible for the creation of the Gaia Memories due to his connection to the Earth [[spoiler:as he was brought back as a Data Being after dying]]. As an interesting variant, the bad guys already had Phillip in the beginning, though he was rescued by Shotaro and his mentor.
** ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' has Kengo, who's actually a being created from an alien artifact that is sought after by the Zodiarts.
** ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' has Koyomi, who's [[spoiler:you guessed it, DeadAllAlong, though she's temporarily brought back to life through a ritual that kickstarted the series]]. She only becomes important in the endgame [[spoiler:as not only is her time running out, prompting her father to step up his game, but also because another Phantom wants the thing that keeps her alive: the PhilosophersStone]].

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' where in a co-op mission you must rescue the daughter of "Farmer MacGuffin."
* Here's a negative version of the Living [=MacGuffin=]: Sephiroth during the first half of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''. Both Cloud's party and Shin-Ra are hell-bent on finding the guy, and he acts as the game's main antagonist to boot.
* At the beginning of ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland'', Kamek kidnaps Baby Luigi (who becomes the DistressedDude), but the stork forces Kamek to drop Baby Mario, who falls onto Yoshi. Baby Mario becomes a free MacGuffin, whose only role is to point the way to Baby Luigi, while the Yoshis perform the MacGuffinEscortMission that will reunite the babies and rescue Baby Luigi.
** Then in ''Yoshi's Island DS'', Kamek and the Toadies kidnap Baby Luigi again, and several more babies. The BigBad ([[spoiler:adult Bowser from the future]]) is searching for the seven star children.[[note]]Seven stars had fallen and were resting inside the hearts of certain babies. These babies are said to contain an extraordinary amount of power. The villain wants to take these stars and become a GalacticConqueror.[[/note]] The villain never gets all seven; some remain free. The star children turn out to be [[spoiler:Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Donkey Kong, Baby Wario, Baby Bowser, and Baby Yoshi. The last two were never captives; Baby Yoshi is still in the egg, and hatches at the very end of the credits.]]
* The Princesses of Heart in ''KingdomHearts''.
** [[spoiler: Ventus in Master Xehanort's first attempt to snag Kingdom Hearts.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' fan-made module ''VideoGame/TheBastardOfKosigan'', Alex is a mix of this and DamselInDistress. And a ChekhovsGunman at the end. [[spoiler:Annoyingly, despite being one of the coolest characters in the series (as evinced by her [[ThePlan cunning plan]] to take over Kosigan by killing the entire ruling family), if you didn't choose to kill her at the end of the second module she dies near the end of the fourth.]]
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'', Ragna the Bloodedge is treated this way since he supposedly wields the Azure Grimoire. In the sequel ''Continuum Shift'' Noel gets this treatment after it's revealed that she is the true wielder of the Azure Grimoire and Ragna's Grimoire is a flawed imitation.
* A variant occurs in ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheCuriousVillage''. Layton knows that he needs to find the Golden Apple of Baron Reinhold. [[spoiler:What he ''doesn't'' know is that the Golden Apple is really Flora, the Baron's daughter.]]
* ''Franchise/BioShock'':
** ''VideoGame/BioShock2'' is centered around the quest of the player, a Big Daddy formerly bonded to a Little Sister, to find that Little Sister - who happens to be BigBad Sophia Lamb's daughter and the messiah of the religion she founded. [[spoiler:Subverted near the end, when she becomes a Big Sister and helps you fight your way out of the city, and is incredibly powerful.]]
** In ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'' Elizabeth is this for no less than three factions in the game at various points: the player character, Booker [=DeWitt=], has been instructed to rescue her from [[FloatingContinent Columbia]] under the orders of a client [[TrappedByGamblingDebts offering to pay off his gambling debts]]; the main villains of the game, [[SinisterMinister Father Comstock]] and [[ReligionOfEvil The Founders]], want to keep her imprisoned (and later, recaptured) so that she can one day take up Comstock's mantle and bring the apocalypse to "the Sodom below"; and by the end of the game, the [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized Vox Populi]] are out to kill her simply because she was such an integral part of the Founder's belief system. [[spoiler: During the ending, Booker's goals are subverted all to hell when it turns out that his memories have been badly mangled by dimensional travel, and he's not out to pay off his debts at all; he's out to rescue his daughter.]]
** ''BioShockInfinite/BurialAtSea'' revolves around Booker and Elizabeth trying to rescue an orphaned girl who was turned into a little sister. The girl appears very few times in the entire game.
* Prince Alexander is a sucker for this one. In his [[VideoGame/KingsQuestIII first game]], he spends half of it trying to find a way to off his BadBoss before BadBoss offs him. The second half of the game comes when the [[AncientKeeper Oracle]] tells him that he's got a twin sister that's soon to meet her end as a HumanSacrifice. In his [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVI second game]], he's trying to reach the Princess he's fallen for before the GrandVizier pulls a scheme to marry her, kill her, and take the throne for himself. Runs in the family, as that's [[VideoGame/KingsQuestII how his dad went looking for his mom]]...
* Similar to the ''Film/TronLegacy'' example above, ''[[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Tron 2.0]]'' had this in the form of Ma3a, who carried the correction algorithims needed for Jet [[spoiler: and Alan]] to get back to the analog world. However, the terrible trio from [[CorruptCorporateExecutive F-Con]] were ''also'' seeking those algorithims in order to digitize an army into {{cyberspace}} and TakeOverTheWorld.
* Ryu from StreetFighter is treated this way for most of his plot involvement. Bison is after him in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' to use him as a new host body while Seth wants to use his Satsui no Hadou to complete his bio weapon.
* The Destined Children from ''RomancingSaGa3'' [[spoiler: The Abyss Lords want them to open the gate to the Abyss so they can escape. Both also serve to summon the Destroyer to end existence if both are in the abyss at once. Abyss Lords used the Devil King for them to rule the world for 3 centuries before the Holy King sent them packing.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MacGuffinsCurse,'' [[spoiler: Alphonse becomes a LivingMacGuffin when he turns into a werewolf himself and goes on a rampage]].
* [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess Zelda]] in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' is a very strong example of this trope. In fact, WordOfGod says that Zelda is the title character because of how crucial she is in [[TheHero Link]]'s adventures.
** A humorous variant appears in ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink''. In one of the towns Link must visit on his quest, he is begged to recover a child, who has been kidnapped and may be found in a nearby cave. The reason it's humorous is because the game treats the child ''like any other inventory item'' - including having Link lift it over his head in his traditional ItemGet pose.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the female krogan dubbed "Eve". Because of [[MadScientist Maelon's]] brutal experiments conducted during the previous game, her fertility is no longer hampered by the [[DepopulationBomb genophage]] affecting all krogan, making her the key to finally developing a cure.
** Commander Shepard can become this in [[spoiler: the Synthesis Ending, as their cybernetic implants from the [[BackFromTheDead Lazarus Project]] make them the perfect mixture of organic and synthetic required by the Catalyst to kickstart TheSingularity]].
* Metroids in, well, ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}''. They only show up rarely in each game, usually as a small band of {{Elite Mook}}s. But while they don't do much to antagonize the player, their invulnerability to conventional weapons means they could easily consume entire planets if Samus doesn't bust up the [[TooDumbToLive total morons who think cloning Metroids is a good idea]].
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' features Chloe Lynch, a software programmer working under the alias "Karma". The main characters believe Karma to be some sort of cybernetic weapon, until they find out Karma is a person. [[spoiler:Her survival is necesssary to obtain the GoldenEnding, as she is the only one who can stop the BigBad's virus attack on the world's computer networks.]]
* TheProtagonist of Videogame/AkatsukiBlitzkampf, Akatsuki, finds himself in this position after he wakes up from being a HumanPopsicle. At the time of his supposed death he was he person in charge of the game's MacGuffin, the Blitz Engines [[spoiler: which is either stored [[PersonOfHolding in his body]] or [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman in his uniform]] ]], so now that he's back after 50 years nearly ''everyone'' in the cast is seeking for him so they can get their hands on the Engines for one or another purpose...

[[folder: Visual Novels ]]
* Charlotte "Charlie" Bronte in ''VisualNovel/ShikkokuNoSharnoth'' serves largely as comatose Macguffin to make her best friend Mary Clarissa Christie go through the plot. [[spoiler:Except in the end, when she's actually an opponent.]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* In ''AMomentOfPeace'', the subject of one of the gods' quests is a glowing entity named Gloria on the Mountain.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheSecretDoor'' has the Queen Unicorn, the most magical creature in all of Zinnia. Malucia is desperate to capture her and drain her magic.