Misused: Just Eat The Mac Guffin

Deadlock Clock: 4th Dec 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [26]
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This trope seems to be about characters destroying the MacGuffin. Page image and the first paragraph make it look so. In reality, the definition is like Just Eat Gilligan... but for MacGuffins. Snowcloned off that trope, but the title does not make sense without knowing about that trope.

Uses of the trope very from correct use, attempt to destroy the MacGuffin, and successful destruction of the MacGuffin, sometimes by literally eating it.

Destroying the MacGuffin is something that happens often in fiction to resolve the plot. The Lord of the Rings is a famous example. However, there appears to be no trope for it. There is No MacGuffin, No Winner, but that can be unintentional. Together with the missing trope and this trope's ambiguity, misuse was generated. The last sentence of the description acknowledges such misuse. For a trope of only 27 wicks, this is not a good sign.

I propose creating a trope about destroying the MacGuffin, then either rename and clean up this trope or merge it with Just Eat Gilligan.

Check on 24 wicks, excluding an Italian language page, Lost and Found, and MacGuffin Snowclones (a title index).


  1. Contrived Stupidity Tropes
  2. Literature.Doctrine Of Labyrinths
  3. Film.Lara Croft Tomb Raider
  4. MacGuffin
  5. Stupidity Tropes
  6. Film.Under Siege

Misuse for "destroying the MacGuffin"

  1. Artifact of Attraction
  2. Awesome.Dominic Deegan
  3. I Need You Stronger
  4. It Belongs in a Museum (both instances)
  5. MacGuffin.Live-ActionTV
  6. Archive.Lost And Found
  7. VideoGame.Mario And Luigi Dream Team
  8. VideoGame.Mega Man ZX
  9. FullmetalAlchemist.TropesG-P
  10. Borderlands2.Tropes O To Z


  1. Webcomic.Cucumber Quest (characters ask)
  2. Characters.Cucumber Quest (same as above)
  3. Webcomic.Dominic Deegan (destroyed, but not until it is approached by the Big Bad)
  4. VideoGame.Skies Of Arcadia (aversion of a correct use, but can also be an aversion of the misuse)
  5. Recap.Supernatural S 08 E 19 Taxi Driver

Zero-Context Example

  1. Literature.Chronicles Of Prydain
  2. Film.Hellboy
  3. Characters.The Guardians Of Childhood

  • 6 correct
  • 10 misuse
  • 8 unclear
  • 18 misuse + unclear
  • 42% misuse
  • 75% misuse + unclear

edited 27th Oct '13 1:18:58 PM by MikuruFan

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
As a name for the missing trope?
4 SeptimusHeap28th Oct 2013 12:24:20 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I think that this page contains enough material of "destroy the MacGuffin" that it ought to be YKTTW'd and this page disambiguated into these two pages.
Good idea.
6 Madrugada28th Oct 2013 10:36:52 AM , Relationship Status: In season
What, aside from the name using the words "Just eat", does Just Eat the MacGuffin (Why doesn't someone just destroy the MacGuffin?) have in common with Just Eat Gilligan ("An entire show whose continued existence depends on its castmembers not doing one simple, easy-to-think-of thing that could solve all of their problems and wrap everything up in a neat little package."
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
In this case, destroying the MacGuffin is the one simple thing.

edited 28th Oct '13 10:39:48 AM by mikurufan

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Which the examples tend to actually show characters attempting, but the cast of Gilligan's Island didn't. So the usage is the exact opposite of the JEG question.
The correct definition sounds like it should be YMMV.
10 SeptimusHeap28th Oct 2013 03:53:14 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Just Eat the MacGuffin to me seems like the trope about how destroying the MacGuffin would fix the whole conflict of the plot. That seems really like Just Eat Gilligan, but about destroying certain things.
No MacGuffin, No Winner is the trope for destroying a MacGuffin or Plot Coupon. We don't need a new trope. We just need to move some examples.

I propose to rename Just Eat the MacGuffin to Why Not Eat The Mac Guffin.

I propose to delete the current page image. It is misleading, because it shows someone literally eating the coupon, but the trope is about not eating it.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
You're wrong, but a helpful wrong.

In lord of the rings, the Good Guys win by destroying the MacGuffin. So No MacGuffin, No Winner isn't right.

No Man Should Have This Power is linked to on that page, and is the discussed trope of intentionally destroying the macguffin.
Sorry! I read the sentence on No MacGuffin, No Winner that says, "This is often where a side chooses to destroy the object to prevent the enemy from getting his or her hands on it," and mistakenly ignored the "No Winner" part of the trope name.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
I understand. The line is bad. It is in direct contrast to the previous two lines: "Not like it matters, though. The story has officially gone nowhere."

Edit: since there is a trope already for the misused version of the trope, we can move those examples over there. (Cleaning this trope, no crowner needed). The definition, is it really different enough from Just Eat Gilligan, since that trope is not limited to characters? (Merge, requires crowner) The name, have the inbounds been using the misuse, or the definition? Because that should inform us if the trope needs to be disambiguated or redirected.

edited 30th Oct '13 12:46:09 PM by crazysamaritan

I agree about ditching the page image. "Literally eating a MacGuffin" is not what we want to show here.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
I checked the inbound links: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/inbound_referrals.php?pagename=Main.JustEatTheMacGuffin

White wolf forum has it used for No Man Should Have This Power. It was also the only one working that I don't have to login for.

So I'm going to advocate to split between No Man Should Have This Power and Just Eat Gilligan, with the old name redirecting to "Power".

edited 1st Dec '13 9:50:40 AM by crazysamaritan

I'd like to think this as a valid subtrope of "Gilligan". While they are both based on the same idea (simple action that would solve the plot is never tried), destroying a dangerous object the bad guys want to use for evil is something a normal person would probably consider first in that situation, whereas killing someone because their incompetence is holding you back is something most people would never suggest in real life.

In other words, you don't actually have to wonder why they don't Just Eat Gilligan. Because they're not murderers, that's why. The audience can say Just Eat Gilligan because they know its not real. But Just Eat the MacGuffin should be an obvious thing to try.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
That's a good argument for splitting "killing a character" from Just Eat Gilligan, not "destroying the MacGuffin". There's lots of simple tasks, from buying your own breakfast to switching lab partners.
[up][up]I think you're taking the name Just Eat Gilligan too literally; eating Gilligan is something the cast of that show is more likely to try than the rest of us because, well, they're trapped on a desert island. If it's being misused or underused in the way you suggest, maybe it needs a rename.
23 SeptimusHeap5th Jan 2014 01:34:06 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Votes bump!

"Split between No Man Should Have This Power and Just Eat Gilligan, with the old name redirecting to "Gilligan"." is the only item in green with 4 aye and 0 nay.
24 SeptimusHeap5th Feb 2014 01:43:20 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Another votes bump. 3 more votes for the previously cited option in the past month.
25 Willbyr17th May 2014 04:51:26 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Calling to split between No Man Should Have This Power and Just Eat Gilligan, with the old name redirecting to "Gilligan".

Page Action: Just Eat The Mac Guffin
3rd Dec '13 8:22:34 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
The definition is for Just Eat Gilligan, for Mac Guffins, but the trope has attracted misuse in the form of No Man Should Have This Power.

Total posts: 26
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