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LobotomizeMe
topic
01:08:48 PM Apr 9th 2013
Souhiro
topic
04:01:03 AM Sep 10th 2012
What would be the main diference between a Macguffin, and Phlebotinum?

I mean: In Indy & Last Crusade, The Grail is a MacGuffin, but in the end, it's haling powers are used... maybe a case of Applied Phlebotynum?
suedenim
06:22:23 PM Sep 10th 2012
I'd say there's no reason an item can't be both. Whether the Grail has supernatural powers or not is irrelevant to its plot-driving MacGuffin nature.
SomeSortOfTroper
09:16:29 AM Oct 26th 2012
I think there are a few examples that work like this- the device is mostly a macguffin as usual until the end when it does something that helps end the story. Maybe that should become a spin off trope. All of the items in Indiana Jones do it- The ark kills the Nazis and Belloq, the stones turn really hot and burn the villain thus giving Indy the chance to kill him, the Grail and its fakes cause the death of the major villain, heal his dad and destroy the location; the crystal skull + aliens kill that movies villain.

Actually, if I have several examples but they are from the same creators, does that count for the Three Rules of Three?
EduardoSilva
07:50:34 AM Nov 1st 2012
I did not understand posing the Grial of Indiana Jones either. According to the very deffinition in the page, "It actually serves no further purpose" and "it won't actually do anything". I cannot see how this can be applied to an artifact which saves one of the protagonists. Applied Phlebotynum or not - this item simply does not match the definition provided.
Kernigh
07:34:17 PM Nov 8th 2012
edited by Kernigh
Here is a possible rewrite:

Problem: I do not recall if the Sankara stones do anything to disqualify themselves as MacGuffins. I would probably need to watch the movie again to check if the Sankara stones are MacGuffins or not.
TompaDompa
08:11:15 PM Nov 8th 2012
When Indy and Mola Ram are hanging on the bridge, Indy causes the stones to burn a hole in his satchel, burn Mola Ram's hand, and fall down (somehow). This wouldn't happen if they were, for instance, secret apple pie recipes.
captainsandwich
topic
11:24:49 PM Mar 12th 2012
what is an item that is like a macguffin but it does other things in addition to furthering the plot?
troacctid
11:58:04 PM Mar 12th 2012
Cider
11:02:05 AM Nov 1st 2013
A plot device or plot coupon if it does something but is not actually wanted for what it does.
Forecharmer
topic
09:44:58 AM Nov 20th 2011
I see the joke that gave this trope its name, but I dont get it. Could someone explain the punchline?
MrMous
topic
10:03:00 AM Apr 15th 2011
Just to make this clear- the Nostalgia Chick is NOT using the official trope, but her own version. Fifth Element (I haven't seen Dune) does NOT count as the stones are used at the end and so have a purpose- you CANNOT replace them with a bag of gold.
MorganWick
02:21:19 AM Jul 23rd 2011
At the same time, it is interesting that the Fifth Element review veers off into the same discussion we had on the forums a while back...
Scardoll
09:32:15 PM Apr 9th 2012
Spice is also not a Macguffin. It has qualities that affect the plot other than its desirability (Such as its addictive nature confining people to Arrakis), when the entire definition of the Macguffin is that it must be desirable without any other plot-affecting qualities.
66.66.102.77
topic
12:05:34 AM Nov 20th 2010
I'd like to make an edit, but I'm new here. To me, Mac Guffin should be directly linked to Chekhov's Gun as an Antonym. If something is introduced, as a minor detail, it has these two possible paths. Mac Guffin is the "red herring" to a Chekhov Gun. Obviously there is a spectrum between these two tropes, but these are the opposite results: it either becomes incredibly important (gun), or it doesn't, and serves to distract the viewer's attention (Mac guffin).
BMeph
topic
02:31:30 PM Sep 2nd 2010
On the same note as Mercury, I call "Foul" on identifying the Holy Grail as a MacGuffin. Since the Big Bad gets the Hero to find and give it to him by shooting his dad, the healing properties of the Grail are essential to the plot.

SomeSortOfTroper
03:56:05 AM Oct 12th 2010
I'll link in here this minor discussion since it touches on the recurring issue with this trope and this discussion entries.
Mercury
topic
12:12:48 AM May 30th 2010
Has anyone yet pointed out that the crystal shard from The Dark Crystal is NOT in ANY WAY a Mac Guffin and shouldn't be included in the example picture? The shard is a piece of the titular crystal - it is vital to the plot, because reuniting it with the crystal saves the freaking world. If it were replaced by any other object in the universe it would, y'know, NOT save the world. Sorry for the tone, but it's pretty irritating to see something which is very obviously not a Mac Guffin half an inch from the description of what makes a Mac Guffin.
BardicFire
10:10:58 PM Nov 17th 2010
I thought the same thing, but then realised that though it looks like the Crystal Shard, I don't think it is, it's not purpleish in anyway, and it's lying on a completely plain table, which after recently watching the movie, I can tell you it never appears sitting on a table. I think its just intended to be a crystal of no importance, as crystals tend to be fancy "important" items that don't actually matter at all.
99.199.126.99
topic
02:25:58 PM May 18th 2010
Isn't there a type of MacGuffin which is more abstract, like a pearl of wisdom, or is that a different thing entirely?
SomeSortOfTroper
topic
03:45:20 AM May 9th 2010
It seems to me that we should not have the first line of this be nearly identical in meaning to the first line of Plot Device. Hence my attempt at a change.
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