There is an important MacGuffin
that two or more characters want. One character manages to get his or her hands on it, and now he or she needs to escape. Unfortunately, now everybody is after his or her ass, and they won't stop until they get it.
In fact, they probably will get it, in which case, the hunter now becomes the hunted, as this character must flee, before the others snatch the Macguffin
back from them.
Often the reason the character opt to run instead of fight is due to a time crunch. They can't afford to take the time to fight, or no-one is strong enough to beat the other without getting badly injured. Perhaps they are evenly matched as fighters, but the object may allow to make the difference. Or maybe there a just so many people involved in the chase, it's impossible to keep track of all the players.
Expect the aforementioned Macguffin to trade owners numerous times. Sometimes one person finally comes out on top, and claims the prize, but often due to all the fighting, it is destroyed either due to someone dropping it by accident, or one person deciding that destroying it is better than letting the enemy claim it.
In some older cartoons, it would often have one character running off with the Macguffin, only to have another character coming from the opposite direction run by, and snatch it out of his or her hands, only to have someone else do the same to them. That is when they don't just stick out their foot and trip the other character. This is usually done in the more humorous stories.
of Chase Fight
, with a bit of Cat and Mouse Boss
thrown in, with the twist that rather than getting a power up that makes the boss run from you, you claim an object that means now you have to run from him.
Will likely either be the result of, or caused by a Mêlée à Trois
. Also see Crowd Hockey
, particularly for when the melee takes place in crowded areas, As well as Loot Drama
. Compare Stolen MacGuffin Reveal
, where the MacGuffin
is only stolen once (twice, tops). Overlaps with Apple of Discord
, particularly if the MacGuffin
is deliberately set as bait to start a fight.
Anime and Manga
Films — Animated
- The Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog story arc Treasure Team Tango is basically this. Especially the last part.
- Trinity War climaxes in this, with members of three different Justice Leagues fighting over Pandora's Box as a result of the Box's influence. The winner? The Crime Syndicate of Earth-3, which has been manipulating all three Leagues as preparation for an invasion of this Earth. During the melee, Pandora's Box activates and the Crime Syndicate emerges and curb-stomps the Leagues.
Films — Live-Action
- The climax of The Wind in the Willows segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, in which the characters fight over possession of the deed to Toad Hall.
- The Swan Princess has one between Puffin, Speed and Jean-bob, against Rothbart's assistant over a map of the area, which ends with them playing baseball, football, and hockey with it.
- Kung Fu Panda. The final fight between Po and Tai Lung over the Dragon Scroll. This is one of the reasons why Tai Lung loses the fight, as he's concentrating on trying to grab the scroll instead of turning his full strength on his opponent. Po knows the scroll is worthless, except to deliver An Aesop.
- The Adventures of Tintin has this with not just one, but three scrolls that together form the a clue to the location of the sunken treasure of the Unicorn in a chase through the street, and rooftops and walls, of a North African city.
- Rush Hour 2's Red Dragon Casino fight, involving a bomb detontator.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze has a battle in the TGRI labs over a canister of mutagen.
- Batman & Robin play literal hockey with a diamond Mr. Freeze is attempting to retrieve.
- The lounge scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where Jones, Willie Scott, and Lao Che's goons fight over a diamond and the antidote to the poison Jones drank.
- A long extended sequence in the middle of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest involved this, as almost all of the regulars competed for control of the chest containing Davy Jones' heart (or the key that opens it).
- The Great Muppet Caper climaxes with one of these. The MacGuffin in question is the fabulous Baseball Diamond, which the Muppets end up actually playing baseball with.
- Happens twice in Guardians of the Galaxy, first with Peter retrieving an orb which contains an infinity stone on Morag, only to be cornered by Korath and Ronan's other lackeys. He escapes them, but shortly after gets attacked by Gamora, Rocket, and Groot on Xandar. (Although, to be fair, at that point Rocket and Groot are after Peter's bounty, not the actual orb.)
- Angel Season 3: Several different factions want to get their hands on Angel's baby son.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Who Mourns for Mourn?" Everyone fighting over Morn's latinum.
- WWE: For a while the WWE Hardcore Title was defended on the "24/7 rule." Anybody could challenge for the belt at any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what the champ was doing, as long as they had a WWF ref to call the match. Frequently the new champ would then be attacked by one of his friends, who would win the belt only to be challenged in turn, and so on.
- Paranoia: This is the basis for the first three sections of the adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Almost every secret society and service group in Alpha Complex wants the title Black Box, but most of them don't even know what's in it. It changes hands repeatedly between the various groups during the missions.
- There is an entire gameplay type for multiplayer FPSs generically known as "capture the bag" where you gain points by carrying the "bag". The idea is to kill whoever has it and hold onto it yourself for as long as possible.
- Space Station 13. Changelings, Nuclear authentication disks, wizards, RC Ds, EVA, and to many others to count. The game is a giant one.
- Special mention goes to the Nuclear Authentication Disk. There's an entire game mode, Nuclear Emergency, about a team of Syndicate operatives trying to steal it from the crew in order to blow up the station. The crew's goal is to prevent this, generally by fighting the baddies and/or passing the location-tracked disk around like the world's hottest and most bullet-filled potato. It's also on many servers a possible objective for ordinary traitors to steal in other rounds.
- Persona 3 FES: The Answer has one point where all of the main party members are fighting each other over their individual pieces of the Key of Time.
- DuckTales: It happens several times, including both the very first and very last episodes.
- In "Don't Give Up The Ship", Huey, Dewey and Louie and the Beagle Boys fight over the eponymous model ship.
- In "The Golden Goose Part One" it's a fight between the thieving Dijon and the Beagle Boys.
- In "The Golden Goose Part Two" it's a scramble at an abandoned automobile factory between Scrooge, Glomgold, Launchpad, the Beagle Boys, Dijon and his monk brother Poupon.
- The Spectacular Spider Man did this when Spidey, Hammerhead, Silver Sable, and eventually the Rhino, all throwdown over a disk with technology that will allow the wielder to create their own Rhino-like henchman. Spider-Man and Rhino team up since they don't want that (Spidey does not want more Rhino's, and Rhino likes being the only game in town), allowing them to break the stalemate.
- Numerous Looney Tunes episodes, especially ones where Sylvester and another cat compete over who gets to eat tweety. The winner is always Tweety.
- Likewise, Tom and Jerry sometimes had episodes where Tom had to compete against another cat in order to eat Jerry, and in one case, for a female cat.
- SpongeBob SquarePants had a special where Prehistoric Spongebob, Prehistoric Patrick and Prehistoric Squidward have a battle for a flaming log.
- Happens in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Vanessassary Roughness", when Doofenshmirtz goes shopping. Several cast members have a reason to get the glowy Macguffin, and of course it's the last one in the store. Hilarity Ensues.
- Kim Possible has a four way battle between Kim, Shego, Monkey Fist and Duff Killigan for possession of Ron's naked mole rat Rufus.
- BIONICLE: The end of the 2006 and the entire 2007 storyline was this involving the mask of life.
- Xiaolin Showdown was arguable one big Macguffin Melee. Heroes and Villains knocked each other all over the place over the Shen gong wu, until two of them grabbed it at once and were forced into a Xiaolin Showdown to determine the winner.
- Jackie Chan Adventures also did this. The Talismans of Shen du, the demon portals, The Animals that contained the Talisman powers, the Shadow Kahn masks, and then finally the powers of the other Demons. They were always hunting for something, and when both heroes and villains converged on said Macguffin at the same time, one of these usually ensued.
- The The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! episode Hail Hydra had this between the Avengers, Hydra, and Advanced Idea Mechanics aka AIM for the Cosmic Cube.
- In the Pink Panther short "Extinct Pink", the Panther, a caveman, a Tyrannosaurus rex and a small dinosaur go after the same bone.