A subtrope for Mundane Made Awesome
. Happens when a character that is oblivious to the world around him has acquired or encountered a normal everyday object. These objects range from umbrellas, elevators, computers, doors, kitchen sinks, mirrors, ANYTHING
, granted that it is mundane and common to normal people, and by 'normal' we meant normal by our standards and not the other way around. This is usually followed by the character exploiting or praising the particular object while being amazed by its usefulness. This can also be the Running Gag
for the series.
These characters are usually one of the following:
Generally, this trope is played in comedic effect. However in some cases, the segment will not always end well. Perhaps the character had too much fun or overestimated its usefulness, destroying the item in the process. Or perhaps they just ran over a stroke of bad luck, damaging it in the process. Either way, the character will cry over the object, and the ending will be set in a Heartwarming Moments
Compare Incredibly Lame Fun
and Kids Prefer Boxes
Contrast Worthless Yellow Rocks
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Anime and Manga
- One of the Manos in El Eternauta does a long praise of the elegance of a... coffee pot. Believe it or not, it's a thoroughly touching sequence in which the Manos reveals he comes from a noble species, enslaved by the alien conquerors and forced to do their bidding. Finding beauty in everyday objects would be the Manos' purpose in life were they left on their own.
Live Action Television
- The Doctor will occasionally wax poetic about various elements of human nature he likes. He did a fairly long one on edible ball bearings in "Fear Her".
- This was a regular feature of The Pretender, where Jerod would become fascinated with some item like Twinkies, Mr. Potato Head, or roach motels, and then work them into his scheme for an Engineered Public Confession.
- In episode ten of From the Earth to the Moon, "Galileo Was Right", there is an epic scene (with upswelling music and lots of drama and a sense of utter and complete triumph) about the astronauts finding a rock. Granted, it was a pretty awesome rock, but it was just a rock.
- In one episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick is fascinated by a box of kleenex, particularily the way it keeps producing a new tissue every time he takes one out. In another episode, Dick marvels over the word-play in a book he's reading... which happens to be Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss.
"When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles / And the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles / They call this a muddle puddle tweedle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle!" (beat
) This man is a genius!
- Sabrina of Sabrina the Teenage Witch was traveling through closet doors during Christmas while dressed as Santa Claus and happens upon a bratty kid who demands a present. She hands him a random object, a spatula, and travels on. Cue to, at the end of the show, the kid happily burbling about the spatula Santa gave him while his expensive toys he received as gifts languish in the background...
- Aaron Sorkin likes to give his TV Genius characters Popcultural Osmosis Failure as a way to demonstrate that (as Ainsley Hayes of The West Wing says when she can't set up call waiting on her phone) they've "been focusing on other things." President Bartlet has several moments of being amazed by the everyday world, such as when he drinks an egg cream for the first time and tries to explain it to Toby.
- In Dead Gorgeous, the sisters have this reaction upon their first exposure to television.
- In the Barefoot Bob's episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay brings in an accountant to help with the finances. One owner becomes absolutely giddy and even remarks that she's probably the only person ever to get excited about seeing an accountant.
- Much of the Blue Man Group's comedy revolves around the fact that they have no idea what any modern physical object is or does, and will investigate its uses and capabilities as best they can.
- From the SCP Foundation: SCP-328 is the alien equivalent of a CD, containing research logs for a bizarre, mysterious, and extremely dangerous alien artifact. This is a perfectly reasonable description to come up with when your primary sense is taste and electromagnetism in the UV/Vis spectrum is lethal to you, but to a human reader, the object is obviously a laptop computer.
- In the Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse episode "Gifts, Goofs, Galore", Barbie's friends shower her with lavish and expensive birthday presents, only to learn that she already has most of them due to her affluence. Then, Ken gives Barbie a rare charm bracelet, which she admires mostly because she didn't have any charm bracelets at all before.
- In Regular Show, Benson shows his new surveillance system to Pops, who exclaims, "What a marvelous device!" He was referring to the computer mouse.
- Likewise when Benson buys a new state-of-the-art cart. Despite all the amenities like heated seats and a GPS, what fascinates Pops most are the cup holders.
- In the early episodes of Futurama, Fry, being a Fish Out of Temporal Water, was constantly amazed at things that he (and we) would found astonishing but that people in the 31st Century dismiss as commonplace. He even accuses the others of acting "like you're from the boring time where I come from."
- In The Little Mermaid, Ariel is fascinated by the world of humans, and has collected an entire secret grotto's worth of trinkets that the surface-dwellers had dropped into the ocean. Unfortunately, her contact regarding information about what they are and what they do is Scuttle the seagull, who imparts such wisdom as a fork being called a 'dinglehopper' which humans use to comb their hair.
- In The Simpsons, Homer got all enthusiastic about the napkin dispenser in a 1950s-style diner, acting like it was some fantastic antique. Lisa tried to point out that they have those in modern restaurants, but to no avail.
- When Jasper was defrosted after trying to cryogenically freeze himself in a Kwik-E-Mart freezer he thought he was in the future and was amazed when he found a product called moon pie.
- "A pen: The most permanent of all writing utensils!"
- Stewie from Family Guy, despite being something of an Evil Genius, has a sense of childlike fascination. It's justified by him being a year old.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy Eddy gets a package from his brother that turns out to be a bunch of baby stuff. Ed is fascinated by the baby rattle.
Ed: [while hugging Eddy and Edd] Listen. [five seconds of rattling]
- Dexter frequently experiences this, due to being a Ditzy Genius.
- A constant problem for Soos in Gravity Falls.
Soos: Oh man, I'm so glad I turned my head. That dot does not disappoint.
- Sev'ral Timez, due to their isolated upbringing, find regular objects astounding.
Creggy G:Yo, I heard about these things called 'trees?!' I dunno WHAT they are, but I wanna KISS one!
- In My Little Pony Equestria Girls, Twilight Sparkle enters the human world and is utterly impressed with computers.
- The concept behind Cargo Cult is closely related to this trope.