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The lost object is often (but not always) a MacGuffin; it isn't a [=MacGuffin=] if it did something else before being lost. The loss of the object can be StatusQuoIsGod and ResetButtonEnding, in those cases where keeping the destroyed object would have a major effect on the work. IfICantHaveYou is the LoveTriangle equivalent. See also ShaggyDogStory, where the object was never important after all... and ShootTheShaggyDog, when the characters' lives are lost in the process. If one side can claim a "victory" by doing this, it overlaps with WeWinBecauseYouDidnt.

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The lost object is often (but not always) a MacGuffin; it isn't a [=MacGuffin=] if it did something else before being lost. The loss of the object can be StatusQuoIsGod and ResetButtonEnding, is often the motive behind this trope, especially in those cases where keeping the destroyed object [=MacGuffin=] would have a major effect on the work. IfICantHaveYou is the LoveTriangle equivalent. See also ShaggyDogStory, where the object was never important after all... and ShootTheShaggyDog, when the characters' lives are lost in the process. If one side can claim a "victory" by doing this, it overlaps with WeWinBecauseYouDidnt.


** At the end of the movie Anime/OnePieceStampede, Luffy destroys [[spoiler: the Eternal Pose to Laugh Tale. Of course, he had ''already'' beaten Douglas Bullet and won the prize, but he didn't want to take shortcuts to One Piece.]]

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** At the end of the movie Anime/OnePieceStampede, ''Anime/OnePieceStampede'', Luffy destroys [[spoiler: the Eternal Pose to Laugh Tale. Of course, he had ''already'' beaten Douglas Bullet and won the prize, but he didn't want to take shortcuts to One Piece. This is a callback to the canon Sabaody arc when Rayleigh offered the Straw Hats to tell abot Laugh Tale.]]


* In issues 217 and 218 of ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' comics, Sonic and Bunnie find themselves stuck in the middle of a fight over an oil refinery. Unable to choose between helping the local Dark Egg Legion chapter (led by Bunnie's beloved uncle) and the local group of Freedom Fighters (a bunch of [[KnightTemplar fanatic]] {{Jerk Ass}}es), they ultimately decide to just destroy the refinery, keeping either side from getting control of it.

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* In issues 217 and 218 of ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehogArchieComics'' comics, Sonic and Bunnie find themselves stuck in the middle of a fight over an oil refinery. Unable to choose between helping the local Dark Egg Legion chapter (led by Bunnie's beloved uncle) and the local group of Freedom Fighters (a bunch of [[KnightTemplar fanatic]] {{Jerk Ass}}es), they ultimately decide to just destroy the refinery, keeping either side from getting control of it.

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* The quest "[[Recap/RuneScapeSliskesEndgame Sliske's Endgame]]" in ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' involves participants of Sliske's games racing each other in a series of [[TheMaze cryptic labyrinths]] for the right to ownership of the Stone of Jas, one of the twelve Elder Artefacts. His plans go out the window after Kerapac arrives and [[spoiler:destroys it with the Elder Mirror]].


Compare JudgmentOfSolomon, when an impartial mediator [[InvokedTrope threatens this]] in order to resolve the dispute, , TearApartTugOf War, where a non-Maguffin item gets ripped, and NoManShouldHaveThisPower, when one side chooses to destroy the object to prevent the enemy from getting his or her hands on it.

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Compare JudgmentOfSolomon, when an impartial mediator [[InvokedTrope threatens this]] in order to resolve the dispute, , TearApartTugOf War, TearApartTugOfWar, where a non-Maguffin item gets broken or ripped, and NoManShouldHaveThisPower, when one side chooses to destroy the object to prevent the enemy from getting his or her hands on it.


Compare JudgmentOfSolomon, when an impartial mediator [[InvokedTrope threatens this]] in order to resolve the dispute, and NoManShouldHaveThisPower, when one side chooses to destroy the object to prevent the enemy from getting his or her hands on it.

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Compare JudgmentOfSolomon, when an impartial mediator [[InvokedTrope threatens this]] in order to resolve the dispute, , TearApartTugOf War, where a non-Maguffin item gets ripped, and NoManShouldHaveThisPower, when one side chooses to destroy the object to prevent the enemy from getting his or her hands on it.


* Played with in an old issue of the ''Franchise/ArchieComics''. Archie and Reggie spend an entire issue fighting over who gets to take Veronica to a dance. Archie wins and goes to pick her up, only to find she's long since accepted the invitation of a third guy. Archie then [[TookAThirdOption takes a third option]] and ''[[FoeYay invites Reggie]]'' to the dance, complete with giving him flowers and awkward glances from everyone else.

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* Played with in an old issue of the ''Franchise/ArchieComics''.''ComicBook/ArchieComics''. Archie and Reggie spend an entire issue fighting over who gets to take Veronica to a dance. Archie wins and goes to pick her up, only to find she's long since accepted the invitation of a third guy. Archie then [[TookAThirdOption takes a third option]] and ''[[FoeYay invites Reggie]]'' to the dance, complete with giving him flowers and awkward glances from everyone else.


* Franchise/HarryPotter:
** The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' falls directly into this trope.

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* Franchise/HarryPotter:
''Franchise/HarryPotter'':
** The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Philosopher's Stone in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' falls directly into this trope.trope. The BigBad, Voldemort, wants the eponymous stone for himself in order to gain immortality through the Elixir it can make. However, the Stone ends up destroyed by the end of the book, ensuring that nobody gets to use it.



* In ''Literature/AngelFireEast'' by Terry Brooks, Nest convinces the main villain that the unstable MacGuffin had self-destructed. [[spoiler:She is lying.]]

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* In ''Literature/AngelFireEast'' by Terry Brooks, Nest convinces the main villain that the unstable MacGuffin had self-destructed. [[spoiler:She is [[spoiler:She's lying.]]



* This is a recurring theme in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' series. There are many items of power and magic in Prydain; however, mankind tended to kill each other over them until they were lost or useless. Arawn stole many magical labor-saving instruments, tools, and weapons from the people of the land simply to make sure they couldn't have them, with a prequel short story showing that he tricked several people out of them by exploiting their greed, and [[spoiler:those items were all destroyed when his stronghold collapsed in the final book]]. A more low-key case involves two rival lords who constantly bicker over a pure-bred cow. Neither can actually remember who owned her to begin with, but keep going to war to steal her back. King Smoit finally has enough of it all and orders the cow taken for himself. Taran wisely advises him to instead give the cow to a humble farmer, whose lands had been destroyed in the latest fight. There's also an interesting variant with the Red Fallows, a stretch of land that was once incredibly fertile and fruitful. Because of the bloodshed over who owned it, the land was ruined and rendered useless (though it is implied that with some care, it might be made as it once was).

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* This is a recurring theme in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' series. There are many items of power and magic in Prydain; however, mankind tended to kill each other over them until they the items were lost or useless. The theme is that mankind's greed can lead to its own self-destruction.
**
Arawn stole many magical labor-saving instruments, tools, and weapons from the people of the land simply to make sure they couldn't have them, with a prequel short story showing that he tricked several people out of them by exploiting their greed, and [[spoiler:those items were all destroyed when his stronghold collapsed in the final book]]. book]].
**
A more low-key case involves two rival lords who constantly bicker over a pure-bred cow. Neither can actually remember who owned her to begin with, but keep going to war to steal her back. King Smoit finally has enough of it all and orders the cow taken for himself. Taran wisely advises him to instead give the cow to a humble farmer, whose lands had been destroyed in the lords' latest fight. fight.
**
There's also an interesting variant with the Red Fallows, a stretch of land that was once incredibly fertile and fruitful. Because of the bloodshed over who owned it, the land was ruined and rendered useless (though it is useless. It's implied that with some care, it the land might be made as it once was).was, but at the time of the novels, it's worthless.


When a MacGuffin or PlotDevice is removed entirely from the equation at the end story with neither side possessing it, resulting in the plot equivalent of a no-score draw with the heroes usually getting the Man of the Match award. Not like it matters, though. [[ShaggyDogStory The story has officially gone nowhere.]]

Occasionally AnAesop: when two children are fighting over something in RealLife, the parents will often punish them by not letting either of them have it. (If it is an item, they will lock it away, sometimes even give it away; if it was an event, they will call it off.) This kind of punishment carries over to television, where the futility of a fight is often demonstrated by having it turn out to have been in vain, with the goal taken away at the last minute or destroyed by the fighters themselves in the heat of the battle. In-universe, this will often work amazingly well as a lesson where after a few moments of LyingInTheDirtTogether, the two former enemies will be inviting each other for drinks, no longer having a reason to fight, the whole business now a shared memory to look back on and laugh at. In real life, not so much -- because, of course, [[BlameGame it was the other kid's fault for starting the fight in the first place]]. Compare NiceJobBreakingItRivals.

Since writers often want to avert an ending where TheBadGuyWins, this trope is perfect insurance against having an ending which is seen this way: The BigBad may be the obvious winner in terms of who kicked whose ass, and [[BittersweetEnding the hero may be suffering some kind of loss which is really nothing to be happy about]], but at least the villain is unsuccessful in that he hasn't made himself any richer or made any progress toward [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over the world]]. [[VillainsActHeroesReact Which was really the whole point anyway.]]

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When No [=MacGuffin=], No Winner is when a MacGuffin or PlotDevice is removed entirely from the equation at the end story with neither side possessing it, it at the end story, resulting in the plot equivalent of a no-score draw with the draw. The heroes usually getting might get the Man of the Match award. Not like it matters, though.award, but that really doesn't matter. The [=MacGuffin=] is gone, so nobody won. [[ShaggyDogStory The story has officially gone nowhere.]]

]]

Occasionally used for AnAesop: when two or more children are fighting over something in RealLife, the parents will often punish them the kids by not letting either of them have taking the thing they were fighting over away, meaning that nobody gets it. (If it is If it's an item, they the parents will lock it away, or sometimes even give it away; if away. If it was an event, they the parents will call it off.) off. This kind of punishment carries over to television, where the futility of a fight is often demonstrated by having it turn out to have been in vain, with the goal taken away at the last minute or destroyed by the fighters themselves in the heat of the battle. In-universe, this will often work amazingly well as a lesson where where, after a few moments of LyingInTheDirtTogether, the two former enemies will be inviting each other for drinks, no longer having a reason to fight, the whole business now a shared memory to look back on and laugh at. In real life, not so much -- because, of course, [[BlameGame it was the other kid's fault for starting the fight in the first place]]. Compare NiceJobBreakingItRivals.

Since writers often want to avert an ending where TheBadGuyWins, this trope is perfect insurance against having an ending which is seen this way: The BigBad may be the obvious winner in terms of who kicked whose ass, and [[BittersweetEnding the hero may be suffering some kind of loss loss, which is really nothing to be happy about]], but about]]. But at least the villain is unsuccessful in that he hasn't made himself any richer or made any progress toward [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over the world]]. [[VillainsActHeroesReact Which was really the whole point anyway.]]
]] In fact, [[PyrrhicVillainy this "win" over the hero may have doomed his own plans]] now that the [=MacGuffin=] is gone.



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[[caption-width-right:223:Diamonds aren't forever.]]


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* ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' has an example that's a DoubleSubversion. Rocko gets two tickets to a wrestling match, with Filburt and Heffer both trying to butter up Rocko to get the other ticket. However, Filburt and Heffer's antics keep getting further and further on Rocko's nerves, especially when the two of them come to blows over it. Eventually, Rocko has enough, saying that he's going to the wrestling match alone. It's subverted when Filburt and Heffer both handcuff themselves to Rocko in an attempt to force the issue, but then double subverted when Rocko just tears both tickets into tiny pieces so none of them get to go.


* At the end of ''Film/TheManFromUNCLE2015'', Solo and Kuryakin agree to destroy the uranium enrichment research their bosses tasked them to retrieve (and kill the other for), which would have granted whoever got it a massive advantage in the ColdWar nuclear arms race.

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* At the end of ''Film/TheManFromUNCLE2015'', Solo and Kuryakin agree to destroy the uranium enrichment research their bosses tasked them to retrieve (and kill the other for), which would have granted whoever got it a massive advantage in the ColdWar UsefulNotes/ColdWar nuclear arms race.


* The threat of doing this [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Shi_Bi#.22Returning_the_Jade_Intact_to_Zhao.22 happened in China in 283 BC]], making this trope OlderThanFeudalism.
* The military carry thermite grenades for this very reason. If they have to abandon vital supplies for any reason, they will use a grenade to destroy them, so that they cannot be used against them by the enemy.
* Similarly, scorched earth tactics when a military force is retreating: Everything useful in the surroundings is either taken or destroyed in an effort to starve the advancing opposing force of supplies. Famously used by the Russians[=/=]Soviets when they know winter is coming. Mother Russia is vast and its winters are killer. Napoleon ''and'' Hitler found that out to their regret.

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* The threat of doing this [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Shi_Bi#.22Returning_the_Jade_Intact_to_Zhao.22 org/wiki/He_Shi_Bi happened in China in 283 BC]], making this trope OlderThanFeudalism.
OlderThanFeudalism. In the mid-8th century BCE, Bian He of Chu discovered an unworked piece of valuable jade. When the jade was cut and polished into a ritual jade disk, it was recognized as a priceless treasure and became an object of contention among two kings of the Warring States. However, the jade disk eventually ended up getting stolen, and neither side recovered it before it was melted into a statue.
* The military Militaries carry thermite grenades for this very reason. If they have to abandon vital supplies for any reason, they will use a grenade to destroy them, so that they cannot be used against them by the enemy.
* Similarly, scorched [[SaltTheEarth Scorched earth tactics tactics]] when a military force is retreating: retreating work on this principle. Everything useful in the surroundings is either taken or destroyed in an effort to starve the advancing opposing force of supplies. Famously used by the Russians[=/=]Soviets when they know winter is coming. Mother Russia is vast and its winters are killer. Both Napoleon ''and'' Hitler found that out to the hard way when the advance of both of their regret.armies into Russia was halted and eventually pushed back, each time by a fierce Russian winter after the Soviets had already stripped away everything their aggressor might use.


* Similarly, scorched earth tactic when a military force is retreating: Everything useful in the surroundings is either taken or destroyed in an effort to starve the advancing opposing force of supplies. Famously used by the Russians[=/=]Soviets when they know winter is coming. Mother Russia is vast and its winters are killer; Napoleon ''and'' Hitler found that out to their regret.

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* Similarly, scorched earth tactic tactics when a military force is retreating: Everything useful in the surroundings is either taken or destroyed in an effort to starve the advancing opposing force of supplies. Famously used by the Russians[=/=]Soviets when they know winter is coming. Mother Russia is vast and its winters are killer; killer. Napoleon ''and'' Hitler found that out to their regret.

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* In ''Film/TintinAndTheGoldenFleece'', this is attempted by [[BigBad Karabine]] after he gets subdued by Tintin: he decides that if he can't have Paparanic's gold, no one else will, so he opens the hatch of the helicopter he's in and drops the chest into the ocean, where it sinks to the bottom of a deep trench from which it can never be recovered. [[spoiler:{{Subverted}} when it turns out that the chest was a RedHerring containing only copper, and the real gold was hidden in the Golden Fleece's railings all along.]]





* A rule in all ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer 40000}}'' novels which involve an STC[[labelnote:Explanation]]A data storage device containing ''the sum total'' of Mankind's scientific and technological knowledge during the [[LostTechnology Dark Age of Technology]], which not only eclipses the Imperium of Man's heavily fragmented and distorted by superstition knowledge of the same but the technological output of most, if not all, the races in the setting.[[/labelnote]]

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* A rule in all ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer 40000}}'' ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' novels which involve an STC[[labelnote:Explanation]]A STC[[labelnote:Explanation]]'''S'''tandard '''T'''emplate '''C'''onstruct, a data storage device containing ''the sum total'' complete, detailed instructions on how to make a particular device, anywhere from an extremely complicated machine to something as simple as a knife. Because of Mankind's mankind's loss of scientific and technological knowledge during after the [[LostTechnology Dark Age of Technology]], which not only eclipses a single functioning STC is worth more than entire ''planets'' to the Imperium of Man's heavily fragmented and distorted by superstition knowledge of the same but the technological output of most, if not all, the races in the setting.Adeptus Mechanicus.[[/labelnote]]

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