Museum of the Strange and Unusual
Welcome to Professor Tropington's Museum of the Strange and Unusual. Within these halls, you will find exhibits dedicated to the mysteries of the world. For example, you will find the UFO displays up the stairs, next to the planetarium. To see the cryptid exhibits, take the hall to your left. To visit the Psychic Powers exhibit, well, you should know where that is. And yes, we prize the eclectic range of our collection over any benefits that might be gained from consistent themes. May I point out at this moment that the laboratories are strictly off-limits to unauthorized personnel. In addition, emergency exits are in place should anything happen. We also guarantee that none of the exhibits will come to life, drive you insane, or open a portal to another dimension. After you leave, you may want to visit the Bazaar of the Bizarre, the Artifact Collection Agency (or the one-man Collector of the Strange) or the Superhero Trophy Shelf. Now, feel free to peruse our fine museum, but beware... You never know what may happen. If you were looking for the Museum of Boredom, you'll find them just across the commons. Ours has much better exhibits, though, if I may say so myself...
In this exhibit you may find:
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Anime and Manga
- In XXX Holic, in the movie, there was the house of the collector... he collected collectors.
- To specify, each room of his gigantic house was full of a different collection (bird cages, coins, etc).
- In Book of Bantorra, despite its name, the Library of Bantorra is better described as a museum since the "books" it deals with are not ordinary paper books written in any alphabet; they are stone tablets spontaneously appearing when someone dies recording the memories of their whole life, that anyone can experience simply touching the tablet. The librarians' job requires having combat training and some kind of super power since monsters prowl the vaults, too. In fact, the only thing that shares with a regular library is that the Library has a Customer Service that borrows the books to the general public (well, most of them).
- In Dell (yes, Dell) Comic's Superheroes published in 1967, a group of teens visited the Dell Hall of Heroes where they discovered an unguarded exhibit of android superheroes. At that exact moment an evil ex-Dell employee experimented on an evil robot elsewhere in the city, creating a power surge that zapped the teen's minds into the superhero androids. (Dell was not known for superhero books, hence the title and loony-even-for-Silver-Age plot.)
- The British Museum in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
- Night at the Museum. At night, an Egyptian artifact brings all the exhibits to life.
- The Library in The Librarian. Within this building, you have Excalibur, the Shroud of Turin, Poseidon's Trident, Pan's flute, and multiple other legendary artifacts.
- The Conjuring depicts the Warrens' public collection of cursed items, including the infamous Annabelle, just as in real life.
- Perhaps the Trope Maker is Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story A Virtuoso's Collection, where the titular collection is shown to be filled with books, animals and artifacts from mythology, religion and folklore... with the kicker being that the collection's proprietor is the Wandering Jew.
- Tales from the Wyrd Museum, a fantasy novel trilogy, was set in one.
- Sarah Monette's short story Draco Campestris takes place in one of these.
- Monette must really like this trope, since her Kyle Murchison Booth short stories, collectively labelled The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth, also feature one of these as a major setting.
- A Walking Tour Of The Shambles, by Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe, includes a brief description of the House of Clocks, of which perhaps all that need be said is that its (actual) website is preserveusfromthehouseofclocks.com.
- The theme of the various-authors anthology The Thackery T Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities.
- In Black Legion, the Hall of Titans aboard Vengeful Spirit houses variety of trophies and curiosities collected by Abaddon during his pilgrimage through the Eye. He even gives Khayon and Lheor a tour of it.
Live Action TV
- The Framing Device in Night Gallery involved paintings in a museum that represented the various stories in the show.
- Spellman's Magical Museum of the Circus in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- Oddities. Very unusual and pretty strange.
- Henry Van Statten's personal museum in Doctor Who contains pieces of alien artifacts and, in some cases, pieces of actual aliens. Van Statten is smart enough to try to reverse-engineer and patent any devices he finds, or even some things that shouldn't be patentable, like a Time Lord's dual cardio-vascular system.
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9: First Impression Parts 1 and 2" depicts modern life as a funhouse museum of the strange and grotesque.
- The Museum of the Weird, a collection of strange and often occultic items that would have served as a companion piece to The Haunted Mansion, is one of the more infamous examples of What Could Have Been for the Disney Theme Parks and would eventually emerge in comic book form as "Seekers of the Weird''. Some of the basic premise would also be used by Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor.
- The first Shivers takes place entirely in one, and is the trope namer.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- The Museum of Artifacts in Mournhold contains an assortment of legendary items (almost all of which the player has to find first.)
- There's the Museum of Oddities on the Shivering Isles, which contains a tomato-shaped soul gem, a ring that strips the wearer and a coin with two heads, among other things.
- Skyrim has a lite version in Calixto's House of Curiosities, it's a retired adventurer's collection of semi-valuable herbs and alchemy reagents, with a handful of interesting artifacts.
- The Freak Show in CarnEvil has the "Museum of the Slightly Curious", a small alcove full of oddities. Some of these include a "Thing in a Bottle", a mummy sarcophagus, an Ancient Mystery Skull of Time, and even the World's Biggest Shoe.
- The Death Museum in The Halloween Hack. It features models of Paula, Jeff, Poo, and Dr. Andonuts' wife. Most creepily, it has a pedestal perfectly fit for Varik. The upon reading the label on the blank pedestal, it proceeds to get confused about Varik. A mental image of Dr. Andonuts in said museum claims he is proud of killing the Chosen Four.
- Sierra Petrovita's house in Fallout 3 is a museum of all things Nuka-Cola.
- Arcanum Space Station in Star Wars: The Old Republic is a space station in very remote space, heavy security with mostly droids. It's also a first-rate collection of Sith artifacts and history the Empire has deemed Too Awesome to Use or so vile even they want to lock it away.
- The Tarmalon Museum in Legacy Of The Ancients has a treasure room, a rare tree with near-miraculous fruit that enables HealingPotions, portals to towns and several nasty dungeons, functional weaponry, even a Pegasus under glass...oh, and that Compendium of Magic that the museum's personnel believed was just harmless local supersition.
- In An American Tail, the mice raided one of these to build the Giant Mouse of Minsk.
- The Mystery Shack in Gravity Falls. It's explicitly stated to be a tourist trap (Where the real mystery is why people keep coming) run by Dipper and Mabel's Great-Uncle Stan, but it's been hinted in more than one episode that there's some secret about the building itself.
- The Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditoriums.
- The Museum of Jurassic Technologyin Los Angeles, California.
- The Mutter Museum of Medical Anomalies in Philadelphia. Has, among other things: an entire wall-length and height display of human skulls, a woman whose body turned into soap after she died, all sorts of floating things in jars, and the largest human intestine ever.
- Dave Barry's office was one.
- What's left of Michael Jackson's estate could be considered this.
- The Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists
- The Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great.
- Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the Seattle waterfront is half oddball souvinier shop, half this. Look for the old-school peep show (1920s, postcards), the skrimshaw carvings, and the two well-preserved mummified humans under glass in the back.
- Ed and Lorraine Warren ran a little museum out of their home of supposedly cursed and haunted items they acquired during their cases. The museum is depicted in The Conjuring.
- Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach, Washington, home of Jake the Alligator Man, some self-playing musical contraptions, and other things.
- The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices has quack medical devices, and now is part of the Science Museum of Minnesota.