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Series: The Lost Room
The Lost Room was a miniseries that aired on Sci Fi Channel late 2006, with a continuation comic in development hell.

It involved the entanglement of Detective Joe Miller with the Objects, a collective of over 100 items, all with separate powers, and all being vied over by separate groups.


Examples of tropes include:

  • All Your Powers Combined: Knife + Watch = Telepathy
    • Key + Comb + Watchbox = Access to "Alternate Room 9."
    • Nail Clippers + Pack of Cigarettes + Ashtray + Clock + Key + Toothbrush + Watchbox = Something Very Bad.
  • And I Must Scream: The Occupant reveals that the Objects all sense one another, a sensation he likens to pain, electricity, and noise. While the Objects are inanimate and feel nothing, the Occupant does... and to him, it's unbelievable torture.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: While Wally's not usually judicious about using his ticket, he does seem to use it at least once to stop a bunch of guys from fighting. He then sends a teenage girl to just outside Gallup because she was mocking his bowling game.
  • Artifact Collection Agency: Several examples.
  • Artifacts of Attraction: The Objects have a... knack... for making people covet them. Murderously so.
  • Artifacts of Doom: The Objects. Some people see them as Pieces of God, "quantum hiccups," or merely their way of making a living.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Played with; the question is just fine, but the answer is unintentionally vague.
    Joe: What is this [key]?
    Wally: It's an Object.
    [beat]
    Joe: Yeah?
  • Ate His Gun: Averted, but not how you'd think. The Occupant tries to off himself with Joe's handgun. However, he ends up just spitting out the unharmed bullet, thanks to his invincibility.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical/Practical: A lot of the objects run along this spectrum, from hard boiling eggs, to getting anywhere in the world with an on site tumble-lock door. Even the Room itself has reality bending uses.
  • Big "NO!": Joe when Anna disappears in the Room.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The series operates on this trope with the players in the object conflict ranging from being well intentioned extremists at least from their own point of view, Joe wants to bring his daughter back from the room, the legion wants to rid humanity of the objects and the evil they've indirectly caused, and The Order of Reunification believes collecting the objects is the only way to contact God, to being in the conflict for their own personal gain: Karl Kreutzfeld wants to use the objects to resurrect his dead son and the Weasel is just a Chaotic Neutral.
  • Blessed with Suck: Most Objects do absolutely random things, that would only be interesting at parties. And even the genuinely useful ones seem to bring more misery than anything else to their owners, so there's two distinct subtypes of this trope present.
    • The Bus Pass drops any one who touches it just outside Gallup, New Mexico. Wally uses it to banish people he doesn't like but it took him a long time to get the duct tape on.
    • The Comb allows you to stop time for up to 10 seconds, allowing for you to dodge bullets or find a hiding place. It also freezes everything else in place, making it so that you can't physically have any effect on anything around you during those 10 seconds (no opening doors, taking things out of people's hands, etc.) and causes motion sickness with each use (this is said by its primary holder to be lessened if you remember to stop and stand still right before time resumes).
    • There are also Objects with unknown or forgotten uses. They can only be useful in the fact that they're indestructible. The Coat, for example, doesn't seem to do anything, but can be used as a bullet-proof vest. Getting shot in the area covered by the coat will hurt, but won't kill you.
    • The Pencil makes pennies when you tap it, which could lead you to become rich. However, in order to get a large amount of money out of it, you would have to tap it so many times it would probably drive you mad (which happened to at least one of its owners, who eventually killed himself).
    • The Eye is a highly powerful weapon, capable of flinging/disintegrating people and healing wounds. But to use it, you have to replace one of your own eyes with it.
    • The Occupant no longer ages and is invincible outside the Room, but he gets headaches from being near other Objects, his wife no longer remembers him, and he no longer legally exists, so he ends up in a mental hospital, presumably for life. All of the Objects have minds, but only the Occupant is sentient. So the Occupant can be driven insane and have severe headaches from the mental static caused by the Objects.
  • Blown Across the Room: The pen seems to hit people with the force of a cannon, even though it's supposed to be microwaving them.
    • This could be a similar misrepresentation to how the scissors "rotate things".
  • Break The Fake: All of the Objects are indestructible, and therefore attempting to break, burn or tear something suspected of being an Object was a common way of identifying fakes.
  • Brown Note: The umbrella, nail file and deck of cards all have a Brown Note effect on whoever sees them.
  • Came Back Wrong: Averted. Kreutzfeld's son can be brought back to life as a memory with the Quarter, but it's always as a boy with leukemia.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Sort of the entire point, but the bus ticket is notably far more useful than one would first have thought.
    • Chekhov's Gun:
      • Kreutzfeld has sliding doors in every single part of his house, preventing infiltration via The Key. But then Joe sees he bought his son a play-house for his birthday... Also counts as Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.
      • Wally mentions in the very first episode that there's always a price to be paid when using the Objects. Early on it seems that it's just being put in danger for simply having a powerful Object, and Anna being taken by the Room. The whole "price" detail is ignored from that point onwards until it's picked up by the Occupant himself, at the tail end of the final episode, and it's a lot more dire.
  • Collector of the Strange: Anyone who associates with the Objects.
    • Mostly. Kang and the Sood are scrupulous about collecting information, not the Objects themselves, because having an object could get them killed. Though the Sood does collect signs of the Objects, so he might count anyway.
  • Cool Key: The Key can get you into the Room from any door that meets certain lenient qualifications (see Cool Gate).
  • Cool Gate: The door of the Room (the Door?) can open to any door that doesn't slide (regardless of it having a tumble lock, it just needs one to be opened). It can even adjust itself when the destination door is tiny, or isn't framed in a door.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Joe and the Weasel head to Kreutzfeld's home to acquire the Clock, Joe assumes that the door missing from the blueprints upstairs was merely walled over. Not only is he correct, but he also assumes that its knob will have been removed; he brought a power drill and a new doorknob with him to install in the door itself.
    • Didn't think to buy a drill that was cordless though.
  • Cult: The Order of the Reunification, who believe the Objects are "pieces of God".
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Weaponized Objects however, are much more valuable. Merely possessing an Object will mess up your life. Besides people fighting over the Objects, many of them have terrible side effects, and the possessors tend to become increasingly paranoid and dysfunctional the longer they own one.
    • The Objects attract or "call out to each other", tending to bring people who possess them into the lives of each other. This can be used by one person to track other objects. Knowing that person with the pen and/or the eye could just walk up to you, kill you, and take your Object is a very disconcerting thought to have to live with.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Both Kreutzfeld AND Montague. Kreutzfeld has nothing but sliding doors because he knows the Key can't access them. Montague has his lackeys burn every door in the rail station before Joe arrives with the Key. (Well, almost all of them.)
  • Deadpan Snarker: Joe's fairly sarcastic to everyone he meets, though being impatient he usually only snarks once before getting mad. Jennifer gets a bit of this as well.
  • De Fictionalized: The Sunshine Motel
  • Disintegrator Ray: The eye can be used for this.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The rift that the Conroy Objects open.
    • Room 10 to a lesser extent.
  • The End... Or Is It?: At the end of the last episode, Joe tosses the key in the room and closes it from outside, hoping the reset would put the key out of anyone's reach. At first it appears to work, but then the camera pans back to the hotel and the door opens on its own, revealing the key.
  • Eye Scream: The Glass Eye is a powerful weapon, but only if you stick it in one of your eye sockets. For someone with a full complement of eyes, that leaves just one option...
  • A God Am I: Ruber, in a hallucination, sees himself in the place of the Occupant... and promptly declares himself Prophet of the Objects and that collecting them all would make him God.
  • Genre Savvy: A few characters throughout the series are well aware of the Objects and the effect they have on people. Kang and the Sood don't even touch the Objects themselves - they know they'd just attract the wrong sorts. Kreutzfeld makes all his doors slide, instead of swivel, so that the Key can't be used to get in. And Joe anticipates Kreutzfeld's betrayal, since after all, Ruber, one of his best friends, betrayed him for the Key as well.
  • God Is Dead: It's suggested at one point that the Event that created the Objects was the death of God.
  • Gold Fever: Dr. Ruber's character to a T, just substitute "Magical Key" for "Gold".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: If you put all of them back into the room from whence they came, no one really knows what would happen. But it would probably be cool.
    • Or horribly lethal. Or both.
    • Or, upon being put in their proper places, the objects may just lose their powers, and reality ensues. This makes sense if you think about it.
    • When an Object enters the Room, it loses its powers and invulnerability. If they were all returned to the Room, the most likely outcome would be that nothing happens, besides the various collectors and trackers having to get new jobs.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Anna, paired with Innocent Blue Eyes.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Scissors "rotates things." Joe isn't concerned when confronting the owner... until she sends him tumbling through the air with a twist of her wrist.
    • So many Objects fall into this category, it's mind-boggling. The Pencil spawns pennies when you tap the eraser against a solid object, best "get rich" plan ever. The Bus Ticket drops you out of the sky outside of Gallup, NM from anywhere in the world, no tumble lock door required, think about that. The Glasses stop combustion, The Flask lets you Vader Choke people, and the Watch hardboils eggs. Any one of these can be twisted around ala Death Note to achieve some pretty crazy things, even more so when synchronization is in play.
  • Heroic Neutral: Joe doesn't care so much about the fate of the objects so long as he gets his daughter back.
  • Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: On one hand, you have the Key, which can get you anywhere in the world with a tumble-lock door. And then there's the Pen, which microwaves whatever the tip comes in contact with.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Ruber.
  • Left Hanging: The miniseries was intended to serve as a pilot for a show that never made it into production. Joe gets his daughter back, but apart from that pretty much every plot thread is left dangling. Is Joe now an Object? Does he clear his name? What happens to Kreutzfeld, Ruber, Weasel, and the cabals? The promised comic continuation may answer these questions, if it ever materializes.
  • Made of Indestructium: Objects cannot be damaged, at all, unless you take them back into the Room. Even then, another Object from outside the Room will take on the power of a destroyed Object (in strict accordance with the Conservation of Objects). For example, if the Pen were to be destroyed while in the Room, some other pen somewhere in the world would become the new Pen.
  • Meaningful Echo: "There's always a price to pay for using the Objects." Wally says this early on, and while its context is different, the Occupant echoes this to Joe at the very end.
  • Mercy Kill: Twice, sort of. The collector trapped in Room 9 was "living", well, more like trapped in horrifying agony. When Joe pulled her out and stabilized her with the Comb, she promptly keels over after telling him his daughter is alive. Later, The Occupant begs Joe to kill him, since life outside is hell for him since he can constantly hear / sense every other object, like a constant drowning noise. Plus, doing so would make Joe an Object and allow him to rescue his daughter. The really scary part? The Occupant doesn't consider himself a person, just an Object with Will.
  • Mind Rape: Don't look into the Deck Of Cards. It's bad for your health.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Yes, the Key can sneak you into football games, doesn't mean it should.
    • Or Women's locker rooms, for that matter...
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Joe and Jennifer post-sexual encounter. Inside of the Room, no less.
  • The Mole: The Legion has a mole in Kreutzfeld's security team, ready to strike... but it turns out Kreutzfeld has a mole in the Legion.
  • Mr. Smith:
    • Joe's not very amused with the pseudonym Jennifer gives him.
      Joe: "Joe Doorman." Hilarious.
    • Also, The Occupant has the name "John Doe" when in the asylum.
  • Mugging the Monster: The Mechanic with the Glasses decides to threaten an increasingly unstable Ruber, who responds by setting him on fire.
  • Mundane Utility: The Watch hard boils eggs.
    • The cufflink lowers blood pressure...maybe.
  • Necessarily Evil: The Legion collects Objects via the quickest means necessary - generally theft and making under-the-table deals - to keep them away from the general public and criminal worlds.
    • It's worth mentioning that their code forbids killing. Then again, there are times when they were forced to kill out of self defense or desperation.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Jennifer is seen taking a sledgehammer to a series of nearly-identical radios, because the one she can't destroy is the Object she's looking for.
    • This is also how Joe manages to stop the owner of the Comb long enough to capture him and bring him into the Room: he throws a bunch of similar combs to him.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Occupant is a living Object, and like all other Objects he can't be damaged.
  • Noodle Incident: The Event. Nobody can explain what happened, because technically, it never did. The motel never had a room 10. The effects of the Event were removed from the time stream, but somehow they still linger as the titular Lost Room and the Objects.
  • Occult Detective: The Sood studies the Objects and their history.
  • Papa Wolf: The Weasel and his mooks learned this one the hard way when they tried kidnapping Joe's daughter.
  • Perma Stubble: Joe.
  • Physical God: Ruber believes he can become one if he brings all the Objects together.
  • Pieces of God: Maybe.
  • Plot-Sensitive Snooping Skills: Much is made of the Objects' potential significance, what might happen if they're destroyed or reunited with the Room, and what happened in the Room. Despite the Photo and especially the Eye, it's comparatively late in the story before anyone stops and considers whose Room it was.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Unsurprisingly, this happens a few times. The most notable example was Joe and Kreutzfeld's trip to the Collector's vault. The vault's "combination" was actually three Objects (Key, Scissors and Clock). Each of these were used to remove or circumvent obstacles specifically designed with those Objects in mind.
  • Portal Door: The key can create these.
  • Reality Subtext: The Googie / Streamline 1961 design of the objects, plus it's convenient (and affordable) location in the New Mexico desert, evoke associations with both the Atomic Age and golden age of space exploration. However, there is nothing to confirm or deny that the creation of The Room had anything to do with Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, Negative Space Wedgie, or I Love Nuclear Power.
  • Reality Warper: The right set of Objects are capable of opening a rift in reality, which only the current Occupant can close.
  • Reset Button: How the Room behaves when accessed with the Key. Whenever a tumbler lock is opened with the Key, whatever changes were made to the Room are reset in the following ways: Objects are returned to where and how they were at the time of the Event, and non-Objects are seemingly deleted ( actually moved into another iteration of the Room, of which there's countless combinations). This is a big plot point, as Joe's daughter is left inside the Room during one of its resets, and the rest of the miniseries is Joe's attempts to learn how to get her back.
    • The reset also acts as a Chekhov's Boomerang: while the reset is usually used to get an Object out of a safe, or separate it from a group of non-Objects, it's also used to get the fingerprint of one of the Collectors.
  • Ret Gone: Room 10 of the Sunshine Motel was brought out of time and space along with the person inside.
  • Secret War: Members of rival cabals have been known to fight over Objects, and according to the Sood there have been full-out cabal wars in the past.
  • Set Bonus: The point of the series. Even just a few objects can have powerful combined abilities.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the miniseries, Joe throws the key into the room to keep it out of everyone's reach then drives away with Anna and Jennifer. Only for the camera to pan back to the door to room 8 (the door Joe used to access the room) and for the door to open revealing the room and the key inside. Almost makes you wish the miniseries went to full series just to see what happens next.
  • Shout-Out: Sort of hard to see, but when Joe discovers proof of the Occupant, he talks to a librarian who says he appeared out of nowhere, claiming to be her husband, and he presented her with a photo of their wedding as proof. Similar to the sequence from It's a Wonderful Life when George runs up to Mary in Pottersville, screaming that they're married. Shout Out? Maybe...
  • Spoiler Opening: Nearly all of the most important Objects are shown in the credits, with the only non-Objects shown being the mugshot of the Weasel and the black and white photograph of Joe and Anna. Of course, Joe himself is an Object by the conclusion of the miniseries, so that one's not entirely a lie. Also, the Occupant's (wife-signed) wedding photo is shown.
  • Synchronization: The objects are presumed to affect probability itself just to get closer to one another. The one exception being the Occupant, who happens to have a will of his own, and chooses to repel other objects away.
  • Tragic Dream: Poor Kreutzfeld, he just wants to bring his son back to life by ripping a hole in reality...
  • Time Stands Still: ... for about ten seconds when you run the comb through your hair.
  • Uncanceled: After five years, the Lost Room is coming back in the form of a comic continuation. Sadly, the product has since been placed on the backburner indefinitely.
  • Unperson: The Occupant, formerly Eddie McCleister.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kreutzfeld, who wants to recreate the Room 9 experiment to bring his son back to life.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: When the watch isn't with the knife, it can hard boil eggs.
    • Although that particular object might actually be a ridiculous stealth visual pun. Consider that a watched kettle never boils...does a watched clock?
      • Surely it's actually a watch-kettle? And it never has to boil...
    • Joe has this reaction to the Scissors (they rotate things) when he first hears about them. He learns otherwise.
    • This could actually be useful if you like hard boiled eggs, but don't want to carry around a portable range and a pot of water. You just need a cooler with eggs in it and the watch.
      • It could also be useful if you happen to be a magician.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: It's implied the Occupant is immortal, and he's not very fond of this.
  • Weirdness Censor: Despite having been around for forty years, having caused countless deaths, and having several organizations dedicated to tracking / collecting them, the media, the authorities, and the general public seem completely oblivious to their existence. Very little is said as to whether an actual Masquerade is in effect; in fact, Wally seems outright annoyed that Joe doesn't know about the other objects yet. Joe, Ruber, and Det. Bridgewater all work for the police department, but never get their higher-ups involved for various reasons. All that being said, it's no small wonder the government hasn't swooped down and locked everything up for scientific (or military) research.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Joe just walks into an encounter with the holder the Scissors, thinking their ability to rotate is another useless power. He's nearly killed as a result. There's also a funny moment early on where one of Montague's cronies (who is well aware of the Objects' powers) wonders what Joe's gun does.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: With the help of The Quarter.
    • But only if you swallow it. And only for the time it's in your digestive tract.

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alternative title(s): The Lost Room
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