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Anime and Manga
- Cardcaptor Sakura has some of this, since the main character has to capture cards.
- Dragon Ball: The seven orbs that summon a wish-granting dragon.
- One Piece: The legendary lost treasure of the pirate Gold Roger.
- Death Note: The Artifact of Doom that has fueled Light's ascension to Villain Protagonist.
- In a surprising twist, Attack on Titan is this in the original Japanese. "Shingeki no Kyojin" was intentionally mistranslated to hide that it actually refers to Eren, the current host of the "Attacker Titan".
- Swordquest is about two heroes on a quest for a sword.
- Tintin has three titles that refer to stolen MacGuffins:
- The Broken Ear has a pre-Columbian ffetish with a broken ear stolen at the beginning of the story.
- In King Ottokar's Sceptre, the titular sceptre is the most important article of Syldavian royal regalia, and is stolen by conspirators as pretext for a coup.
- The Castafiore Emerald belongs to Bianca Castafiore, who is paranoid about having her jewels stolen. The emerald disappears only after several false alarms.
Films — Animated
- The Sword in the Stone: After the King of England, Uther Pendragon, dies, leaving no heir to the throne, a sword magically appears inside an anvil in London.
- The Black Cauldron: The Horned King is searching for a mystical relic known as the Black Cauldron, which is capable of creating an invincible army of undead warriors, the "Cauldron-Born".
Films — Live-Action
- The Maltese Falcon says almost nothing about the movie, but we kinda know what it's talking about.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull qualify. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was originally going to be Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, but director Steven Spielberg thought it sounded too much like Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- The Hot Rock The valuable emerald that's stolen six times is the major plot fuel but not really important to any major character.
- The Pink Panther is named for the valuable gem in the heist, and not for the cartoon feline that appears in the credits, and certainly not Inspector Clouseau or any other character.
- Brick. The title refers to a brick of heroin, the theft of which sets off the film's entire plot.
- GoldenEye shares its name with the Russian Kill Sat the Big Bad hijacks to wipe out England's economy.
- The Rover: the hero is trying to get back the Range Rover that some bandits stole, though it's a Double-Meaning Title: He's actually only interested in the dead dog in the trunk.
- The framing device of V/H/S is centred around a group of criminals trying to find a certain VHS tape.
- Witchboard is titled in reference to the Ouija board used in the film.
- Schindler's List is titled after the list of indispensable workers Schindler used to save so many Jews.
- The Fifth Element has the protagonists working to get the titular Fifth Element, Leloo, to the other four elements to save the universe.
- The eponymous Dragon Bones appear very early in the book, but if you didn't pay attention to the title, or read a translation with a different title, you'll think they are just a dragon skeleton in the basement, sad and embarassing to have there, but not important. It later turns out that the dragon bones are what the villains were after the whole time, and it is of vital importance to make sure they don't get them.
- The Radix, a book about people chasing after a holy plant called Radix (or Radix Ipsius, "the root of itself") that belonged to Jesus.
- Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials is a trilogy of MacGuffin titles. The Subtle Knife is a particularly good case of this. In the UK, however, the first book is titled Northern Lights.
- Crops up in The Wheel of Time. The first book is definitely one, but the best example is A Crown of Swords for combining this with Prophecy Twist - even some of the Title Drops seem to be symbolic.
- Jack Vance's The Eyes Of The Overworld.
- The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers references not one but two MacGuffins.
- The Chronicles of Narnia has The Silver Chair, which doesn't turn up until quite late in the book, but still counts.
- The Harry Potter series includes the eponymous Philosopher's Stone, Goblet of Fire, and Deathly Hallows, though the Goblet is a plot starter, not a Plot Coupon. The Chamber of Secrets also counts, as it is a MacGuffin Location.
- Memory, Sorrow and Thorn does this recursively: Not only does the series-name refer to the three MacGuffins, but the titles for individual books (The Dragonbone Chair, The Stone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower) all refer to various important objects.
- Maggie Furey's Artifacts Of Power series has titles like "The Harp of Winds" and "The Sword of Flame".
- Keeper of the Swords by Nick Perumov is kinda like that. It sounds like a word salad at first, but later you learn that the eponymous Swords are the McGuffin. The first book in this series, Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword, plays the trope completely straight.
- The Darksword Trilogy centers around the forging and use of a powerful Anti-Magic sword In a World... of magic users.
- In Alexandre Dumas père's The Black Tulip, the protagonist is obsessed with winning a prize offered for breeding a perfectly black tulip.
- TheodorFontane's novel L'Adultera doubles as a Foreign Language Title; on the surface it refers to a painting by Tintoretto ("The Adulteress before Christ").
- Interstellar Pig by William Sleator. The title refers first of all to the fictional board game titled "Interstellar Pig," and second of all to an entity called The Piggy which is central to both the board game and the plot as a whole. The board game Interstellar Pig wouldn't seem extremely important when it first appears, but of course the title is something of a giveaway that it is important.
- The Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note series often has titles of this type; the first three books that has an Animated Adaptation are The Missing Bicycle Knows, The Egg Hamburg Steak Knows, and The Backyard Knows.
- ''The Brightest Night'' is not an example, but the name of its third part is The Eye of Onyx, referring to a MacGuffin that the protagonist is looking for to end the continent-wide war.
- The central object of The Affix is a gem that throws probability completely askew, glows by night when it's "awake", and chooses a keeper that it will repeatedly return to.
- The Spelljammer setting of Dungeons & Dragons is named after a powerful, magical, sentient ship that everyone in the setting dreams of finding and commanding. The captain who successfully claims it as his own will be unstoppable. It is also named for the generic name for spacefaring ships, and for the people crewing them. Spelljamming and spelljammer have lots of related meanings in Spelljammer.
- Paranoia: John M. Ford's adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. There is, indeed, a black box.
- Warhammer Fantasy was named for Ghal Maraz, the dwarf-made warhammer belonging to the Emperor. However, it shows up little in canon, and is something of an Artifact Title now.
- The Legend of Zelda series has several of these as subtitles, to various extents:
- Ocarina of Time, the titular ocarina being a magical instrument required to progress the plot in many areas of the game.
- Majora's Mask refers to the Artifact of Doom stolen by the Big Bad, which is inhabited by the Final Boss.
- The Wind Waker, which is also the name of the conductor's wand used to control the winds and travel in the game.
- Four Swords, the sword the main character uses to fight this game's specific antagonist. Well, sort of — it's actually named the "Four Sword", singular, but it splits the hero and itself into four, so there are in fact four of them.
- Phantom Hourglass refers to the item that, when filled with the Sands Of Hours recovered from bosses (which, interestingly, includes the Big Bad), protects Link from the curse laid on the Hub Level.
- The Minish Cap refers to Ezlo, who is a Minish turned into a Minish-made cap. Which ends up cementing Link's iconic hat.
- Skyward Sword is an interesting variation, as Link's main weapon, the Goddess Sword, was referred to as "the Skyward Sword" during development.
- The Fire Emblem series as a whole is a case of this, as the titular object is almost always a plot-important item in the games; the only time it isn't important to the plot is in Fire Emblem Jugdral, where it is only mentioned off-hand by a certain character.
- Metal Gear is both the collective name for the franchise and the classification of doomsday weapon that Snake spends most of his life trying to render extinct.
- Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross each refer to their respective time-altering artifacts. And that's all we'll say here.
- Kingdom Hearts strangely has three separate things referred to by the series title. The Mind Screw here is whether the first two examples to be shown are just cases of mistaken identity.
- Another Code: "Another" is the name of the device at the heart of the story.