%% Administrivia/ZeroContextExamples are not allowed and have been commented out. Please add context before uncommenting.

[[quoteright:250:[[Film/TheMalteseFalcon1931 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/macguffintitle_9315.jpg]]]]
A work has a title that refers to a specific object. Because the object is so specific in the title, you know without knowing anything else about the story, that, obviously, the heroes will have to quest to find this object, or protect it from the bad guys, or recover it from the forces of evil, or destroy it somehow. This often leads to a TitleDrop.

Something of a pet trope for fantasy novels and video games, (especially those with {{Mad Lib Fantasy Title}}s, but can occur elsewhere. Sometimes results in an ArtifactTitle if the series moves on. Can involve a CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase title, especially if the Noun Phrase in question is nothing more than a [=MacGuffin=] itself.

A SubTrope of MadLibFantasyTitle and SuperTrope of CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura'' has some of this, since the main character has to capture cards.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': The seven orbs that summon a wish-granting dragon.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': The legendary lost treasure of the pirate Gold Roger.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': The ArtifactOfDoom that has fueled Light's ascension to VillainProtagonist.
%% * ''Anime/PokemonArceusAndTheJewelOfLife''
%% * ''Anime/{{Shinzo}}'', at least in the dub.
%% * ''Manga/RaveMaster'' in the original Japanese, where it's just called "Rave".
* In a surprising twist, ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' is this in the original Japanese. "Shingeki no Kyojin" was intentionally mistranslated to hide that it actually refers to [[spoiler: Eren, the current host of the "Attacker Titan"]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Swordquest}}'' is about two heroes on a ''quest'' for a ''sword.''
* ''ComicBook/{{Tintin}}'' has three titles that refer to stolen [=MacGuffins=]:
** ''[[Recap/TintinTheBrokenEar The Broken Ear]]'' has a pre-Columbian fetish with a broken ear stolen at the beginning of the story.
** In ''[[Recap/TintinKingOttokarsSceptre 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.
** ''[[Recap/TintinTheCastafioreEmerald The Castafiore Emerald]]'' belongs to Bianca Castafiore, who is paranoid about having her jewels stolen. The emerald disappears only after several false alarms.

%%[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
%% * ''Literature/TheDancingWaterTheSingingAppleAndTheSpeakingBird''
%% * ''Literature/TheGoldenGoose''
%% * ''Literature/TheLoveOfThreeOranges''

%%[[folder: Fan Works]]
%%* ''Fanfic/CourtneyAndTheViolinOfDespair''

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
%%* ''WesternAnimation/{{BIONICLE}}: Mask of Light''.
* ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone'': After the King of England, Uther Pendragon, dies, leaving no heir to the throne, a sword magically appears inside an anvil in London.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheDiamondCastle''
* ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'': 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".
%%* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTalesTheMovieTreasureOfTheLostLamp''

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'' says almost nothing about the movie, [[ItWasHisSled but we kinda know what it's talking about]].
* ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'' qualify. ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' was originally going to be ''Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail'', but director Steven Spielberg thought it sounded too much like ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''
%%* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''
* ''Film/TheHotRock'' The valuable emerald that's stolen six times is the major plot fuel but not really important to any major character.
* ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' is named for the valuable gem in the heist, and not for the cartoon feline that appears in the credits, and ''certainly'' not [[IAmNotShazam Inspector Clouseau or any other character]].
%%* ''Film/TheGoldenChild''
* ''Film/{{Brick}}''. The title refers to a brick of heroin, the theft of which sets off the film's entire plot.
%%* ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''
* ''Film/{{GoldenEye}}'' shares its name with the Russian KillSat the BigBad hijacks to wipe out England's economy.
%%* ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny''
%%* ''Film/RomancingTheStone'' and its sequel, ''Film/TheJewelOfTheNile''
* ''Film/TheRover'': the hero is trying to get back the Range Rover that some bandits stole, though it's a DoubleMeaningTitle: [[spoiler:He's actually only interested in the dead dog in the trunk]].
* The framing device of ''Film/{{VHS}}'' is centred around a group of criminals trying to find a certain VHS tape.
* ''Film/{{Witchboard}}'' is titled in reference to the Ouija board used in the film.
* ''Film/SchindlersList'' is titled after the list of indispensable workers Schindler used to save so many Jews.
* ''Film/TheFifthElement'' has the protagonists working to get the titular Fifth Element, [[MacGuffinSuperPerson Leloo]], to the other four elements to [[BarrierMaiden save the universe]].
%%* ''Film/StargateTheArkOfTruth''
* ''Film/DiamondsOnWheels'' is about a cache of stolen diamonds [[HastilyHiddenMacGuffin accidentally hidden in a teenager's sports car]] and the efforts of a gang of StupidCrooks to retrieve them.

[[folder: Literature]]
* The eponymous ''Literature/DragonBones'' 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 [[spoiler: 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.]]
* Literature/TheRadix, 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 ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' 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 ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. The first book is definitely one, but the best example is ''A Crown of Swords'' for combining this with ProphecyTwist - even some of the {{Title Drop}}s seem to be symbolic.
* Creator/JackVance's ''[[Literature/DyingEarth The Eyes Of The Overworld]]''.
* ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheDark'' by Creator/TimPowers references not one but two [=MacGuffins=].
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' has ''Literature/TheSilverChair'', which doesn't turn up until quite late in the book, but still counts.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series includes the eponymous [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone Philosopher's Stone]], [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire Goblet of Fire]], and [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]], though the Goblet is a plot starter, not a PlotCoupon. The [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets Chamber of Secrets]] also counts, as it is a MacGuffinLocation.
%%* ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy''.
* ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' 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".
* ''Literature/KeeperOfTheSwords'' by Creator/NickPerumov 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, ''Literature/DiamondSwordWoodenSword'', plays the trope completely straight.
* ''Literature/TheDarkswordTrilogy'' centers around the forging and use of a powerful AntiMagic sword InAWorld of magic users.
%%* ''Literature/TheEyeOfArgon''.
* In Creator/AlexandreDumas père's ''Literature/TheBlackTulip'', the protagonist is obsessed with winning a prize offered for breeding a perfectly black tulip.
%%* ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' by Emily Rodda.
%%* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' include ''The Book of Three'' and ''The Black Cauldron'', and also the MacGuffinLocation ''The Castle of Llyr''.
%%* The books in Literature/TheElenium trilogy by Creator/DavidEddings ''sound'' like they're this trope, but only the third book in the trilogy - ''Literature/TheSapphireRose'' - actually fits the bill.
%%* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is Quenya for "of the Silmarils," an abbreviation of the full title ''Quenta Silmarillion'', the Story of the Silmarils.
%%* The first book in the ''Literature/ChaosWalking'' trilogy, ''The Knife Of Never Letting Go''.
%%* ''Literature/TheMoonstone''.
%%* ''Literature/TheMalteseFalcon'' by Dashiell Hammett.
* [[UsefulNotes/DichterAndDenker TheodorFontane's]] novel ''L'Adultera'' doubles as a ForeignLanguageTitle; on the surface it refers to a painting by Tintoretto ("The Adulteress before Christ").
* InterstellarPig by WilliamSleator. 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 [[ThisIndexWillBeImportantLater it is important]].
* The ''Literature/TanteiTeamKZJikenNote'' series often has titles of this type; the first three books that has an AnimatedAdaptation are ''The Missing Bicycle Knows'', ''The Egg Hamburg Steak Knows'', and ''The Backyard Knows''.
* [[Literature/WingsOfFire ''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 ''Literature/TheAffix'' is a gem that throws probability completely askew, [[GlowingGem glows by night]] when it's "awake", and chooses a keeper that it will repeatedly return to.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' setting of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 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''.
* {{TabletopGame/Paranoia}}: John M. Ford's adventure ''The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues''. There is, indeed, a black box.
* ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'' 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 ArtifactTitle now.

%%[[folder: Theatre]]
%%* ''Theatre/TheGoldenApple''

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/{{The Legend of Zelda}}'' series has several of these as subtitles, to various extents:
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', the titular ocarina being a magical instrument required to progress the plot in many areas of the game.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' refers to the ArtifactOfDoom stolen by the BigBad, which is inhabited by the FinalBoss.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'', which is also the name of the conductor's wand used to control the winds and travel in the game.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords 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.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]'' refers to the item that, when filled with the Sands Of Hours recovered from bosses (which, interestingly, includes the BigBad), protects Link from the curse laid on the HubLevel.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]'' refers to Ezlo, who is a Minish turned into a Minish-made cap. Which ends up cementing Link's iconic hat.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' is an interesting variation, as Link's main weapon, the Goddess Sword, was referred to as "the [[TitleDrop Skyward Sword]]" during development.
* The ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' 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 ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'', where it is only mentioned off-hand by a certain character.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' 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.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' and ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' each refer to their respective [[TrickedOutTime time-altering]] artifacts. [[Administrivia/HandlingSpoilers And that's all we'll say here.]]
** Interestingly, ''Cross'' [[TitleDrop drops]] ''Trigger'' 's title in how a certain character is addressed at two different points, creating some extra MindScrew when you factor in ''Trigger'' 's own TitleDrop.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' strangely has three separate [[BuffySpeak things]] referred to by the series title. The MindScrew here is whether the first two examples to be shown are just cases of mistaken identity.
%%* ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2 Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift]]''
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}''
* ''VideoGame/AnotherCode'': "Another" is the name of the device at the heart of the story.
%%* Several titles in the ''Franchise/ProfessorLayton'' series, such as ''[[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheDiabolicalBox The Diabolical Box]]'', ''[[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheLastSpecter The Last Specter]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheMiracleMask The Miracle Mask]]''. They all overlap with CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase, of course.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode [[Recap/BatmanTheAnimatedSeriesE22JokersFavor "Joker's Favor"]] show us that the favor the Joker wants is [[spoiler:to open a door. Then we see that was only an excuse to KickTheDog]].