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Cameo Prop

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Many writers are fanboys, just like us. Therefore, it is not unreasonable for them to want to throw in some reference to one of their favorite works. Sometimes, however, said element is a bit more blatant, and a lot more physical. This is the idea behind a Cameo Prop. It originally has nothing to do with the work of fiction or the series it is appearing in, but, usually, for sake of novelty, someone throws it in.

Let's say an episode of a show involves Bob going to an auction and winning the Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland when filming The Wizard of Oz. The rest of the episode might involve Bob wearing them (much to everyone's amusement), and even reenacting scenes from the movie. Almost always, he'll end up losing them in the end.

A cameo prop is specific: Having a Red Stapler or (especially) Aluminum Christmas Trees does not make it a cameo prop. Here's some examples to help make the difference clear. Prop Recycling is a variation when a specific prop from another work is used, but it's not supposed to be a reference.

  • Example A: A DMC DeLorean appearing in a Die Hard movie. This model of car is famous for being that of the car from Back to the Future, however this is an ordinary DeLorean. Not a Cameo Prop.
  • Example B: The DeLorean from Back to the Future appearing in a Die Hard movie, complete with all the gear on the back, flux capacitor between seats, time gauge, everything. A Cameo Prop.


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