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Anime and Manga
- In Attack on Titan, Eren is hunted by everybody so that he either gets to be humanity's greatest weapon, dissected, executed, or be brought back to fellow Titans. It's later revealed that he is also 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 also becomes an example later on, due to her heritage and ability to reveal the secrets of the Walls being revealed. 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.
- Azmaria from Chrono Crusade is a young choir singer. She's sought after by the bad guys beacuse she's an apostle; a human with holy power. In her case it's healing power.
- C.C. from Code Geass 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 she has a special power that is needed in order for The Emperor's master plan to work.
- Crime Zone starts off with Aburaya Shiro, the main character who thought that he was just an Ordinary High-School Student 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 has been keeping a close watch on him for years as a result.
- Digimon Adventure: Hikari/Kari is hunted by Myotismon because she's the eighth digidestined and the holder of the Crest of Light. Heck, one of her image songs is even called "Holy Light."
- In Franken Fran, a girl is this to a sect. The building of the sect becomes her body. Then she gets pregnant. And when the embryo awakens, mother and child merge to become the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
- Inori of Guilty Crown. At first, she's just the Mystical Waif, but she is later revealed to be the vessel for the Apocalypse Virus. Which is intelligent, and angry that everyone is treating her vessel like an actual person.
- In Haruhi Suzumiya, Itsuki Koizumi plays this role in "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina". Yuki Nagato wants to steal his hidden esper powers, and the eponymous Mikuru Asahina is charged to protect Itsuki.
- The first half of Last Exile 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. Turns out she's a living "ignition key" for the eponymous space ship.
- Maken-ki!: Himegami was initially sought by Kamigari, on suspicion of attempting to break the Amo no Iwato seal, which was later revealed to be a false charge. The true reason they're after her, is because she's the biological daughter of Yamato no Orochi and the seal can only be broken with her Orochi blood.
- Vivio of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, who is sought after by the villains because she's the clone of the last Sankt Kaiser, and they need her to activate and control the Saint's Cradle.
- Shirahoshi in One Piece. Vander Decken wants to marry her so he can use her ability to control Sea Kings.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Madoka Kaname has a huge potential to become a powerful Magical Girl. This drives a lot of the conflict, as Team Pet Kyubey wants her to take up the role, but Dark Magical Girl Homura wants to stop her from doing so, going as far as shooting and killing Kyubey right when she decides to make a contract. Eventually we learn that in this setting, being one goes hand in hand with being an Apocalypse Maiden.
- So, I Can't Play H!: To everyone's surprise (including her own), Mina turns out to be "The One" Lisara and the others had been searching for. The near boundless energy contained within her being can potentially save all of Grimwald, and stems from her overwhelming feelings toward Ryosuke.
- Kagura in Speed Grapher, 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.
- Variable Geo: The Jahana Group pressures Satomi into joining the VG Tournament as their test subject, after Damian senses the magnitude of her aura and has a background check done on her. It revealed she had one of the highest fighting potentials on record, making her the ideal specimen for the "Black Goddess" project: the means by which to resurrect Miranda Jahana.
- Witch Hunter: The Hero, 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.
- Kaname of Full Metal Panic! is a downplayed example, as there are others with her abilities, and she plays an active role in the story outside of being protected/sought.
- X-Men Film Series:
- X2: X-Men United: William Stryker kidnaps Professor X in order to force the latter to commit genocide against mutants. Once Magneto gains the upper-hand, he modifies the settings of Dark Cerebro so that it targets humans instead.
- X-Men: First Class: Sebastian Shaw wants Xavier to join the Hellfire Club because the latter is a more advanced telepath than Shaw's Dragon Emma Frost.
- X-Men: Apocalypse: The titular villain desires Charles' ability for his own because it's "the answer" to Apocalypse's quest for divinity.
Apocalypse: For the first time in a thousand lifetimes, I have you. For all my gifts, I have yet to possess the one I needed most. To be everywhere. To be everyone.
- The Golden Child in The Golden Child is something of a child lama, desired by both sides. He doesn't count quite as a MacGuffin since his own abilities and efforts are conducive (if not critical) to his own escape.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Vision has one of the Infinity Stones implanted in his forehead. Unfortunately for him, there's a Galactic Conqueror out there hell-bent on gathering all six of them.
- The Dresden Files 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, 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 Good Omens, Warlock, the child anti-christ falls into this, being contended for by both Aziraphale and Crowley. Except not as due to a mix-up at birth, the potential anti-christ is growing up elsewhere with another family.
- Lyra Belacqua in His Dark Materials is the "involved in a prophecy version." To be precise, she is the new "Eve" and thus her destiny is to end destiny, without knowing what she's doing. Needless to say, the bad guys do not want to this to happen, while her allies do their best to protect her until her moment comes.
- In Neverwhere, Door spends most of the book being chased by everyone in sight because a) she's Lord Portico's daughter and b) she has the family ability to open doors. This is a lot more valuable than it sounds.
- In The Tygrine Cat, Mati is the last living member of the Tygrine dynasty, the guardians of the soul and consciousness. If he dies, every cat on earth will turn into an Empty Shell. The Sa Mau dynasty want to kill him in order to Take Over the World, while everyone else wants him to stay alive for obvious reasons.
- In Everworld, Senna has various magical powers, but the one that interests the power players is the fact that she can open the doorway between Everworld and ours. Loki wants her so that he can abandon Everworld to Ka Anor, Ka Anor presumably wants to keep any gods from escaping, Merlin wants to put her where she can't be used by others, and our main characters just want her to send them home. However, unlike most of the characters on this page, Senna knows how to milk her situation and winds up being part of the Big Bad Ensemble.
Live Action TV
- Battlestar Galactica (2003) used this with Hera, the first successful Cylon/Human hybrid. She was kidnapped by both sides, fought over, hidden from her parents and even "killed" in the service of filling this trope.
- Farscape: Poor John Crichton. By the end of the series, half the Galaxy which he's close to blowing up with his knowledge of Wormholes is after him. He's close to a Ginger Snaps moment.
- Kamen Rider:
- Kamen Rider Den-O 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.
- Kamen Rider Double has Phillip, who's Dead All Along and was responsible for the creation of the Gaia Memories due to his connection to the Earth 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.
- Kamen Rider Fourze has Kengo, who's actually a being created from an alien artifact that is sought after by the Zodiarts.
- Kamen Rider Wizard has Koyomi, who's you guessed it, Dead All Along, though she's temporarily brought back to life through a ritual that kickstarted the series. She only becomes important in the endgame 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 Philosopher's Stone.
- Stargate Atlantis: 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 Action Mom, he doesn't get very far.
- The X-Files has Baby William, who is heralded as this. He is described as "more human than human", a normal human child with none of the human frailties. He is seen as the salvation of the human race from alien invasion; he is the epitome of what the Syndicate has been trying to do for years: create a human/alien hybrid. While they did it in a lab (with diastrous results), William was gestated naturally. If they can figure out to replicate that, or make a vaccine against the alien virus, the human race has a chance of surviving. So, they're after him. And the Super Soldiers, who are bent on making sure alien invasion is swift and that resistance is futile, are after him to kill him. On top of that, he is kidnapped mid-season 9 by a UFO cult who are convinced he is connected to a UFO they found. He has supernatural powers, most notably telekinesis. He is seen making the mobile above his crib move on its own (scaring his mother to death in the process). He also has a Christ-like birth, with Scully giving birth in a shack in the middle of nowhere, a guiding star, and the Lone Gunmen acting as the Three Wise Men. Though it took place in mid-May, not December.
- Mithra from Asura's Wrath can freely manipulate Mantra to a point where she can be used as a power source to increase the power of the deities. And is apparently the perfect vessel for The Golden Spider to regain his full power.
- BioShock 2 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 Big Bad Sophia Lamb's daughter and the messiah of the religion she founded. 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 BioShock Infinite 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 Columbia under the orders of a client offering to pay off his gambling debts; the main villains of the game, Father Comstock and 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 Vox Populi are out to kill her simply because she was such an integral part of the Founder's belief system. 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.
- A somewhat older version is the teenaged Diadora from Fire Emblem Jugdral, since if she ever gave birth, there would be a high chance for said kid to be a vessel for a Dark God.
- Rui, the girl from Pokémon Colosseum who can identify Shadow Pokemon by sight.
- In Final Fantasy XIII the awakening/reanimation of frozen Apocalypse Maidens Vanille and Fang prompts Cocoon's government to start massacring everyone in Vanille and Fang's vicinity. Unfortunately, The Chosen Ones are among those people. Oops.
- Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender is the avatar's latest reincarnation; the bad guys want to capture or kill him because if he becomes a fully realized avatar then there will be no stopping him from ending their Evil Plan, while others chase after him for the bounty.
- Bloom, the main protagonist of Winx Club . She has the mythical Dragon Flame power and the Trix's target in Season 1 is steal this power. They managed to "steal" Dragon Flame until Bloom, with Daphne's help, realised that she had never lost her powers, but was unable to use them because of her doubts, and therefore regained her powers and defeated the Trix.