-> ''"What?! That is it, I've had enough! This whole goddamn adventure has been nothing but pointless build ups towards pay offs that never happen."''
-->-- '''Black Mage''', ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''

A Shaggy Dog Story is a plot with a high level of build-up and complicating action, only to be resolved with an anti-climax or ironic reversal, usually one that makes the entire story meaningless. The term comes from a type of joke (called "gildersome" in ''Literature/TheMeaningOfLiff'') that worked the same way--a basic premise, a long amount of buildup, and a [[AntiHumor deliberately underwhelming punchline]].

The classic example is a man who finds a shaggy dog similar to one in a "Lost Dog" poster from a rich family, and bankrupts himself trying to return it to them in England for reward money--when he finally makes it there, he's told that the dog "wasn't ''that'' shaggy" before the door's slammed in his face. The End.

For television, these stories tend to be found in two varieties: serious and comedic.

Serious shaggy dog stories generally put the protagonist on a quest or goal, only to undermine the purpose at the last minute. For instance, a cop spends all episode trying to convict a criminal, only to watch the perp be [[DroppedABridgeOnHim hit by a car and die]] before he's brought to justice; or a doctor searches all episode for the cure to a mysterious illness, which seems to miraculously cure itself. This plot highlights the futility of characters' jobs, or the cruel ironies of life. Where the ending is not just absurd, but actively ''[[DownerEnding tragic]]'', you have to ShootTheShaggyDog.

Comedic shaggy dog stories are often parodies, undercutting typical plot structures by offering a [[ContrivedCoincidence ridiculous coincidence]] or [[DeusExMachina unforeseen twist]], or even just making the entire episode irrelevant. ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' enjoys these. Comedic shaggy dog stories can be frustrating in their randomness, but often succeed in execution.

See also GainaxEnding. Can compare to AllJustADream and OverlyLongGag, and overlap with HappyEndingOverride. A reveal that ItWasWithYouAllAlong may feel like this to the protagonist. For short stories which build up to an unbelievably wretched pun, see {{Feghoot}}. Compare with NonProtagonistResolver which may or may not involve this trope [[note]]if it is important that, specifically, ''the hero'' has to resolve the conflict--and not merely that the conflict has to be resolved--a NPR leads to a ShaggyDogStory[[/note]]. Contrast with ShaggyFrogStory, where a familiar story is mangled for comedic purposes. It can also lead to a WhatNowEnding, should the protagonist himself realize that his adventure is all for nothing.

When this is the result of {{Bad Writing|Index}}, it may be a WriterCopOut.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused]] with ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'', which is a cartoon featuring [[{{Pun}} Shaggy's dog]] (when a Scooby-Doo style mystery actually turns out to be this trope, it is MocksteryTale). Also not to be confused with Disney's ''Film/TheShaggyDog'', or the web series ''WebAnimation/ShaggyDogStories''. And also unrelated to Shaggy God Story, an alternate name for EarthAllAlong.

'''Spoilers Ahoy!''' Since this trope is about stories' endings, spoilers are inherent and will be unmarked.

!!Example Subpages:
* ShaggyDogStory/AnimeAndManga
** ShaggyDogStory/DailyLivesOfHighSchoolBoys
* ShaggyDogStory/ComicBooks
* ShaggyDogStory/{{Film}}
* ShaggyDogStory/{{Jokes}}
* ShaggyDogStory/{{Literature}}
* ShaggyDogStory/LiveActionTV
* ShaggyDogStory/{{Music}}
* ShaggyDogStory/VideoGames
* ShaggyDogStory/{{Webcomics}}
* ShaggyDogStory/WesternAnimation
* ShaggyDogStory/RealLife
!!Other Examples:



* Creator/NormMacDonald every time he's interviewed ''so the guy says to me he says to me the guy says...''
* The spoken-word piece "Moose Turd Pie", the [[Creator/DrDemento most famous version]] being done by folksinger/historian Bruce "Utah" Phillips. A guy joins a work-crew of some sort (logging, railroading, etc) where the person that complains the most about the food is forced to become the CampCook. He gets assigned this duty, and decides to get out of it by making the eponymous dish. He serves it up for dessert, the biggest, meanest guy on the crew takes a single bite, throws down his fork, and loudly declares: "That's moose turd pie!!" ...and hastily adds "It's good, though!"
* Nipsey Russell once delivered [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUxOFXWa8Dc a great example]] on Creator/ConanOBrien's original late show. There ''is'' a punchline, but you're not likely to see it coming.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Chapter 18 of ''FanFic/DumbledoresArmyAndTheYearOfDarkness''. Hans Belsen, basically an Expy of Josef Mengele, shows up to the school because he wants to torture children. When Neville and Jack Sloper insult him ''later that chapter,'' he immediately leaves the school instead of, you know, torturing them.
-->"BAM! Other side of his face goes, and Alecto was so furious, she kicked him out of the class. Said he had lost the privilege of learning from Belsen. So that's when I raised my hand and asked if I could lose the privilege too, and Belsen just gave the whole class this long look, looked back at Alecto, and told her that he had been under the impression the teachers controlled Hogwarts, not the students, and he left." -- Jack Sloper describing the surprisingly quick defeat of Nazi torturers.
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/191621/not-the-same Not the Same]], a ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic, is one. It tells the story of Spike and Rarity's relationship, and the way everypony tries to separate them because [[FantasticRacism a dragon can't date a pony]]. [[spoiler:Throughout the fic, hints are dropped that Rarity's behavior has been unusual, which culminate when, after Spike manages to get everypony to accept the love he and Rarity had, it turns out she was a changeling, and the real Rarity had been away for a while. [[WhatYouAreInTheDark Spike then is tempted into continuing his relationship with changeling!Rarity]], but he chooses to free the real Rarity instead, but since the whole thing had been part of the changeling's spell, he's not in with Rarity anymore. The fic ends with [[TearJerker Twilight trying to comfort Spike]] [[LampshadeHanging as he wonders what was the point of all the suffering he went through,]] unable to answer his question.]]
* In ''FanFic/BeingDeadAintEasy'', after spending two and a half hours moving Kaiba's chair across the room and spinning it to where he can sit down, Joey realizes that not only could he have sat on the bed and not wasted so much energy, he'll have to move the chair back before Kaiba wakes up in three hours.
* ''Amazing Man'', a short story by Eneasz Brodski, is about a Superman {{expy}} who finally got fed up with all those [[PunyHumans puny earthlings]], especially the reporters who insisted on slandering him, and decided that the only way to make the world a better place was to rule it himself. [[spoiler: "It's about ethics in superhero journalism!"]]
* In ''FanFic/ThisBites'', [[spoiler:for all the crew's efforts, Merry's keel still snapped, meaning she's still doomed]].
** But...[[spoiler: in the end, Cross found a way to save her, though [[HumanityEnsues she'll no longer be the ship of the Straw-Hats.]] ]]
* The ending of ''FanFic/TheStoryToEndAllStories'' is somewhat anticlimactic as it turns out that [[spoiler: the Nothing isn't as much of a threat as it's made out to be.]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheNewAdventuresOfInvaderZim'', Dib spends all of Episode 5 trying to retrieve the journal of Abraham Van Helsing, hoping that it'll contain information he can use against [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Norlock]]. After fighting his way through various {{death trap}}s, he ultimately [[spoiler: finds out that the journal is useless, just containing random ramblings]].
* After several convoluted plans involving multiple fidelius charms, polyjuice, and learning the lost art of scrying to steal the Philosopher's Stone in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11574569/33/Dodging-Prison-and-Stealing-Witches-Revenge-is-Best-Served-Raw Dodging Prison and Stealing Witches]]'', Harry learns it's a fake from a prerecorded message triggered by the stone moving too far from the Mirror of Erised.
* Queen Cersei still found a way to kill King Robert in the fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12347153/1/Game-of-Thrones-No-One-s-Pawn No One's Pawn]], despite Lancel Lannister refusing to be the triggerman.
* LegacyOfTheRedSun: Small one. [[spoiler: In a bit of dialogue, Han tells how he let a Wookie named Chewbacca free when he was told to skin him, but didn't go on the run with him. He later found Chewbacca had been killed in the street.]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheBippoloSeedAndOtherLostTales''
** "Tadd and Todd": Tadd's efforts to differentiate himself from his brother come to naught as Tadd matches him item for item. However, Tadd does ultimately decide it's not so bad being twins.
** "The Strange Shirt Spot": The boy transfers the spot he got on his shirt from item to item, trying to get rid of it, only for it to wind up right back on his shirt.

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]
* [[http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-07-09/ This]] ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' comic.
** Scott Adams in general is fairly fond of this trope, often times inspired by [[RippedFromTheHeadlines real life stories from readers]] about {{Pointy Haired Boss}}es.
* When the extended flashback in the strip ''ComicStrip/NineChickweedLane'' began, it was promoted as being the story of how Gran fell in love with her husband; it finished as being how marrying O'Malley was a consolation prize because her true love and Juliette's birth father had to return to Austria.
* The ComicStrip/{{Luann}} story with her latest {{Love Interest|s}} Quill seems to be ending up as one of these. After constant WillTheyOrWontThey, they finally decide to get romantic... and just then his phone rings with news that he has to move back to Australia. He leaves to pack, and decides not to even see her again to say goodbye. Averted as Luann and Quill continue their relationship online. Quill even visits again in June 2013.
** ...and he moves back even later in 2013. As of now, it seems the story isn't over yet.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'':
** There was a very ''long'' series of strips involving Peppermint Patty training for an ice skating tournament that ran over a whole winter. First, she hired Snoopy as a coach. Then she convinced Marcie to make her a skating dress; Marcie tried her best, but she couldn't sew, and made an awful dress. It almost ruined their friendship, until Marcie's mother made Patty a beautiful dress. Then Patty needed to get a new hairdo to go with it; Marcie was no good at that, so Patty went to Charlie Brown's dad - who's a barber. Unfortunately, he mistook her for a boy, and gave her a boy's haircut. Patty averted another disaster by buying a wig... [[spoiler:But in the end, it all turned out to be pointless, because the tournament was actually a roller skating competition.]]
** In another long arc, Linus' teacher Ms. Othmar asked him to bring eggshells to school so that his class could make model igloos, but again and again, Linus either kept forgetting or something would happen to foil his plans. (One time he remembered to bring them - on Saturday.) [[spoiler:Finally, he remembered, and brought them to school, only to find that Ms. Othmar had quit her job and was getting married. (As Linus said, "I knew the eggshells were only a manifestation of a deeper problem!") The story did end on a high note: Linus sent her a box of eggshells as a wedding present.]]
** In another story, the gang has a baseball game, but Charlie Brown isn't available. He has to push around his sister, Sally (only a toddler at the time and officially making her debut in this storyline), in a stroller. Everyone is upset including Charlie Brown himself. Linus informs him they're at the bottom of the 9th and still have a chance to win. Charlie Brown ends up leaving Sally to finish up the game. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption Naturally,]] strikes out and is chewed out by everyone, and on top of that, his mother is now angry with him for ditching his sister. He tries to complain to Lucy who gave him the hardest time about everything, and how he's in trouble at home, and she just ignores him. In the end, all he can do is apologize to Sally and promise to be there for her when she needs him.
* In the German series ComicStrip/NickKnatterton most cases turn out to be such, often by the culprit and the intended victim forming an alliance, marrying or similar. For example, a spy attempts to smuggle out secrets in a pivot tooth put into a singers mouth- which ends up being ejected by the sound waves and thrown into the Mediterranean Sea, where it is promptly swallowed by a fish.
* In ''ComicStrip/TheWackyAdventuresOfPedro'', Pedro's roughly two-year search for fruit that could make his homemade ice cream blue ''and'' flavorful becomes this when upon returning [[ItMakesSenseInContext from outer space]], [[spoiler:a friend offers him some blue and flavorful indigo plum ice cream.]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* In a bizarre invocation of the FleetingDemographicRule, Wrestling/{{WCW}}'s Halloween Havoc 2000 pay-per-view featured a Wrestling/{{Sting}} vs. Wrestling/JeffJarrett match, with Jarrett dressed up in Sting face paint. Throughout the match, several fake versions of Sting interfered in the match (reminiscent of 1990's Halloween Havoc, when [[Wrestling/SidEudy Sid Vicious]] fought Sting and was later attacked by a fake), and the real Sting easily handled all of them. One would expect there to be a big payoff from all the fake Sting madness, but the match ended with Jarrett whacking the real Sting with his guitar to win the match.
* Wrestling/{{WWE}} one - Wrestling/JohnCena made a shocking comeback to win the 2008 Wrestling/RoyalRumble just four months after an injury that was said to put him down for at least seven months to a year. He invoked his title match against Wrestling/RandyOrton (who was awarded the WWE Championship upon Cena's injury) at ''No Way Out'' instead of Wrestling/WrestleMania... and then won by DQ, which meant he didn't get the title. Then he got another two title shots, and lost both of them before moving into another feud without ever getting any revenge on Orton.
* During a Wrestling/{{TNA}} JAPW crossover, Knockouts Champion Wrestling/MadisonRayne agreed to give Wrestling/AngelinaLove a title shot ''if'' Love could beat her old rival, the undefeated Jersey All Pro Women's Champion Wrestling/SaraDelRey. When Love did what no one though possible and beat Del Rey Rayne immediately ran out and hit Love with the belt, [[LoopholeAbuse a literal title shot]]. But Angelina Love wasn't knocked unconscious, the referee, Earl Hebner, had the match get officially underway and despite Rayne's huge early advantage Love started to make a comeback...only for Hebner to [[KissOfDistraction kiss her, causing enough of a distraction]] for Rayne to retain.
* The 1/21/13 episode of ''RAW'' held a "Beat the Clock Challenge," the winner of which would choose their own entry number in the upcoming Royal Rumble match. The winner was Wrestling/DolphZiggler, however when he goes to turn in his victory and choose his place as the last guy to enter, Wrestling/VickieGuerrero informs him that he would only have his choice of entering the Rumble first or second, which function exactly the same except for how it goes into the record books. So it turns out that after three matches to determine the winner, the winner's prize is literally being given the worst possible entry in the Rumble. Vickie Guerrero hated Dolph Ziggler for dumping her the month before, which is probably why she did that to begin with.
* The rules of the Wrestling/RoyalRumble state that a competitor is eliminated when both feet hit the floor. In 2012 Wrestling/KofiKingston walked on his hands to the steel steps and was able to reenter the match. In 2013 he leapt onto the back of another competitor and ended up on the announcers' table. He struggled to think how to get back to the ring and finally figured he could use a rolling chair. Only this time, Wrestling/CodyRhodes eliminated him before he could get back in.
* In 2014 former Vendetta Pro Wrestling TagTeam champions the Ballard Brothers told an inspiring story about a man named Sunami who spent all year clawing his way towards a title shot against them, persevered through their under handed attacks and mind games, ultimately winning the belts only to have to vacate them because his partner no showed during a defense, making his entire year a big waste of time. [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech They told this story to Sunami himself]], who indeed was waiting in vain for his partner, leading him to give up on tag team wrestling and take on an ItsAllAboutMe attitude.
* While Wrestling/MercedesMartinez was [[HangingSeparately largely to blame]] for Las Sicarias being [[TheBadGuyWins mollywhopped]] by rival SHINE PowerStable C4, Martinez legitimately positioned herself for a shot at the championship belt Wrestling/IvelisseVelez was forced to vacate and ''should'' have won it. She had Allysin Kay beat in the three way dance and [=LuFisto=] was too slow to stop her, ''[[DiabolusExMachina except]]'' [=LuFisto=] was given the winning pin on a ''one count''. Furthermore, Martinez was put in another match with the woman she by rights beat, rather than the one who was basically given her win. Kay proceeded hit Martinez with a shame motivated flurry...that nonetheless only got Kay to a time limit draw. If Martinez ''was'' champion as she logically should have been, she would have retained, and the trap C4 laid on the returning Velez and [[Wrestling/BlackRose Rosa Negra]] wouldn't have set Las Sicarias back so far.

* Every "Bebop-a-reebop Rhubarb Pie" sketch on ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion'' is one of these.

* Arthur Miller's ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''.
* The entire play ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot'' consists of two guys [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin waiting for a guy named Godot]], [[spoiler:who never shows up.]]
* Gyorgy Ligeti's opera ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Grand_Macabre Le Grand Macabre]]'': Death (called Necrotzar) announces the end of the world. People prepare for the final moment. At the end: nothing happens, except Death dies. Cue {{Epileptic Tree|s}} justifications.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]

* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'', if the Safe ending hasn't been cleared beforehand, then the True ending (which is otherwise the GoldenEnding) ends with [[spoiler:several of the group, including the main character, forced to hopelessly try and work out a passcode for which they lack the necessary clue]].


[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Story Guy videos from ''WebVideo/LoadingReadyRun'' are based almost entirely around this trope. Installments such as [[http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/14/grilled_cheese Gilled Cheese]] and [[http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/36/rare_book Rare Book]] have the Story Guy go on at great length for what is eventually revealed to be no point at all.
* [[http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?18654-Nate-the-Snake This story]] is the best and most perfect incarnation of this trope. Be warned, it's a very long read.
* In ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', this occurs more often than not, due to the [[AnyoneCanDie brutal nature]] of the game. Entire arcs can be left either unresolved or rendered entirely meaningless when someone integral simply dies.
** This is more or less Simon Wood's entire arc is one of these. Poor guy couldn't even pull a [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice]] off right.
** Alex Rasputin; killed two people in v4, and was on the path to redemption. Suddenly, [[spoiler: Liz Polanski destroys a camera, and [[YourHeadAsplode Danya blows his collar.]]]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkXPbEb4NyI This]] video about ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* WebAnimation/CharlieTheUnicorn always ends up on quests like this.
-->'''Charlie:''' Aw, they took my freakin' kidney!
* In his review of Music/TaylorSwift's ''Fifteen'', WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows tells the story of a heart wrenching break up from his past. He then destroys the mood of the story by revealing that it never happened to him but was instead the plot of an episode of ''Series/SavedByTheBell.''
* [[http://travalicious.tumblr.com/post/3007256993/why-are-you-gay "Why are you gay?" "Well, a long time ago, I was sitting at home on the computer..."]]
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick's Dark Nella Saga didn't change the show's BlackAndGrayMorality at all. The Chick's still a {{jerkass}}, Nella's still the abused friend, and Dr. Tease is still evil. [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Bad]] however; the DysfunctionJunction they have going is just too fun to die.
* The last sentence of [[http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=635193 "How David Weber Orders A Pizza,"]] after several thousand words exhaustively describing the ordering and delivery of a pizza, is:
-->Then a nuclear weapon detonated in midair above them, vaporizing the city.
* The ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV5w262XvCU Saga of Biorn]]'' ends with the noble, aging DeathSeeker Viking, seeking entry to [[WarriorHeaven Valhall]], succeeding at dying in battle by saving a convent of nuns from a giant... Except the nuns end up [[NotQuiteTheRightThing burying his corpse in consecrated ground]] and sending him to Christian heaven at the last moment instead.
* Chapter 2 of "Axe Cop" (the Moon Brothers arc) is this. The Moon Brothers find their family turned into bats, travels to Earth to defeat the villain who did it, meets up with Axe Cop's party, gains a bunch of utterly random power-ups, defeat the villain... and finally realize that they had a magic potion all along that could have turned their family back into humans, making the entire story-arc mostly pointless.
* Shortly after the release of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'', a YouTube user known as [=TheJimmyJ57=] put together a series of videos in which he would customize the various vehicles in the game. Episode 27 of this series features the Canis Crusader. After six unsuccessful attempts to steal one from the army base, he discovers that one can be purchased online. So, he does...and discovers the vehicle cannot be modified.
* The first half of Episode 24 of ''WebVideo/CriticalRole''. Tiberius is attempting to access a teleportation sigil that will take him and his team to Kraghammer to retrieve some reward money. After muddling around in the Lyceum bureaucracy, flying back to the keep to pick up a bribe, then flying ''back'' to the Lyceum with the rest of the party, he finally gets access to the sigil...[[spoiler: only to realize that he's burnt through all his spells for the day, and needs to sleep for another eight hours before he can actually cast the teleportation ritual.]]
* [[https://youtu.be/wpfbuAVmYhU This]] satirical video from the Website/YouTube channel "Circlejerk" (devoted to parodying Website/{{Reddit}}) starts out like a typical rant about "social justice warriors." The punch line (based on a popular {{meme|tic mutation}} of 2015) is that one of the SJW Reddit moderators is actually [[spoiler:Wrestling/JohnCena]].
* Website/{{Twitter}} chains, which [[OverlyLongGag the longer they get]], [[https://twitter.com/KQAnderson/status/829825606674219008 more pissed people who followed them will be]].
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Project Freelancers was created as a means to fight aliens [[spoiler: and find a way to bring back Allison.]] To do so, the Director tortured the A.I. Alpha into fragmenting itself so it could provide A.I.s for experimental purposes. However, the Project practically failed in its objectives, with all its Freelancers becoming crazy, going rogue, abandoning the project or dying and [[spoiler: Allison/Tex staying dead.]]
%%* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX_VUSSwS98 Chocolate Milk At Cabin Boys]]'' by [[WebVideo/TheAmazingAtheist TJ Kirk]].

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOawFvFMnuA This commercial]] for Bridgestone tires. It even has dogs. The ad starts with a dog finding its lover [[YourCheatingHeart having sex with another dog]]. The dog is so shocked it starts running away and arrives at a road with lots of cars passing. The dog [[DrivenToSuicide jumps in front of a car]], which stops almost instantly thanks to its Bridgestone brand tires. The end.
* The Great White Sheet Game: Typically played at co-ed college parties with some amount of alcohol, often on road trips where the participants have multiple hotel rooms. One person who has never played before is chosen as the Player, while all those who have played before take on the roles of "Master" (for the leader of the game) and "Others". The Player sits on a bed, and has a sheet tented over him. The Master then explains that this is a test, and that the Player must follow the instructions that the Master or the Others give, to the letter. The game then proceeds, first with the Master describing a scene: "You are walking through the desert. It is hot, and you are thirsty. You realize you don't need to be wearing as much as you are. Take something off, and pass it to me." Usually, the Player removes something inconsequential--jewelry or shoes. The Others then continue in the same vein--embellishing and otherwise confounding the statement, but always with the admonition to remove something the Player is wearing needlessly. As time goes on, articles of clothing start coming off and getting passed out.[[spoiler: The game ends when the Player figures out he's supposed to take off the damn sheet. If he's already naked underneath, well, then the Master and Others won the game.]]
** [[ScoutOut Boy Scouts of America]] has a version where a number of newer scouts stands before a crowd and all place blindfolds on themselves. They are ordered not to make a sound for the duration of the game and are told to take an article of clothing off. The ones who take the blindfold off are quietly told to remain silent and the game is ended when the boys all have their blindfolds off or there are any boys reduced to their undergarments.
* There are cards in ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'' that can make a battle this: say you've encountered a Plutonium Dragon and its Evil Twin, facing painful death should you fail to beat them or run away. After numerous bonuses and anti-bonuses have been played on the monsters, the dragon's Baby Clone, and its Mommy, have been introduced to the fight, multiple one-shot items have been used to help or hinder you, several different methods of backstabbing have been employed, lengthy negotiations of teaming up have been had, and you're ready to reap your whopping eight levels and twenty-five treasures... Some asshat plays a few cards, making the dragon and its twin, clone, and the clone's mommy already dead (and dead broke), or something to the effect, leaving you without any levels or treasure, and everyone many cards poorer. Which is, of course, very munchkinly indeed, and highly recommendable in the spirit of the game.
* [[http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/712563-ruined-childhood This GIF]] is an extremely abridged version of the ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' movies, except [[spoiler:the characters forgot the Ring at home and find out only at the end]].