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Gotta Catch Them All
aka: Gotta Catch Em All

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Douche: Every Pokémon? Are you serious? You're sending us KIDS out into the world to find EVERY POKÉMON? You don't see ANYTHING dangerously irresponsible about this?

Everybody must get stones.

The most basic form of Plot Coupon. There are several somethings spread far and wide, and the cast is tasked to go find them. Each one has its own subplot, which could be as short as a few frames of a Montage or as long as a Story Arc; but, of course, the most common pattern is for the cast to collect one per episode. Often the reason for Walking the Earth, especially as a step in the way To Be a Master. Often each coupon is guarded by a boss monster.

Convenient for TV series, as it provides an easy Story Arc for the whole series (or season) just under there being more than one MacGuffin to find. Meantime, each episode can have its own obstacles, villains, and setting, and be written by a different author, just as long as the plot coupons keep getting found. Also popular in video games because it's easy to implement; some of the earliest non-Excuse Plot videogames (e.g. The Legend of Zelda) were built on it, and it continues to be ubiquitous today.

The Twelve Labours of Hercules are perhaps the earliest occurrence of this. (Originally Hercules was expected to perform ten, but the Dungeon Master decreed that two of them didn't count and made him do two extra.)

In all media, common things that must be found include:

In interactive media, they can also be categorized as follows:

Compare and contrast Gotta Kill Them All, which follows much the same pattern, but takes a more...destructive approach. Also closely related is Gotta Rescue Them All, an objective often treated identically to this in gameplay. See also Collect-a-Thon Platformer, a genre of platform game where this trope plays a major role.

If the item in question can be bought, then let us hope it's crack. If each item is individually useful, but as a complete set very powerful, it's because of the Set Bonus.

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  • A commercial for an auto parts dealer showed a young man biking to the store over and over, each time retrieving a different component to repair a roadside clunker. In the end, he drives to the store to show off the car he's Caught All the necessary replacement parts for.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The premise of The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You has the main character on a quest to find his 100 soulmates.
  • The first half of The Brave of Gold Goldran deals with Takuya, Dai, and Kazuki competing with Walter to get the Power Stones.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura's main goal is to capture all the Clow Cards after she accidentally frees them the magical Book of Clow; otherwise, they wreak havoc around town. After they've all been captured, the focus changes to Sakura converting the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards to indicate that she's now their true master.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Aion's plan hinges around finding the gifted children known as "Apostles". Chrono and Rosette's True Companions attempt to stop him from doing this. But only end up handing him the last one he needs. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • Dinosaur King revolves around new dinosaurs appearing in every episode, with the D Team and the Alpha Gang racing to get them. The DS game makes this mandatory, including a Dinosaur Encyclopedia that catalogues the Mesozoic beasties that you obtain, with rewards for getting certain amounts.
  • In D.N.Angel, Dark's stealing all of the magical works of art created by Satoshi's family, the Hikari's—who also created him.
  • Hyakkimaru from Dororo is hunting down the forty-eight demons that took his body parts as part of a Deal with the Devil his father makes.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • How many story arcs in the various series have involved the heroes and villains racing to see which side can obtain all 7 of the Dragon Balls? Discounting GT, there are four Dragon Ball-centric arcs (Pilaf, Red Ribbon, Great Devil King Piccolo, and Freeza); that's almost half of the overall story.
    • Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Goku and pals have to gather seven special Dragon Balls by defeating many of the prisoners so they can escape the Prison Planet.
  • The entirety of the Evillious Chronicles franchise is based around Elluka Clockworker (and other more morally ambiguous figures) trying to collect the vessels holding the demons of sin, seven in all (not counting when a vessel has multiple parts, as in Pride having four mirrors.) The vessels change hands often between characters, and the reason for collecting them varies; Elluka just wants to seal them all to keep them from causing more trouble.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA: Collect the seven Class Cards, by beating the monsters protecting them. Rin and Luvia were supposed to work together to accomplish this, but are so belligerent towards each other that their Empathic Weapons refuse to work with them, so they each end up mentoring a Magical Girl and semi-competing for the cards.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has Aki Ross searching for Spirits whose powers combined could kill the alien Phantoms that wiped out most of the human race.
  • Technically speaking, the main plot of Fruits Basket is how the Zodiac curse afflicting the Sohma family is finally broken. But all fourteen members of the said family must go through various stages of Character Development before that even becomes a possibility. The curse is (early on, anyway) just a Framing Device for the characters' adventures and a pretext for exploring the viewpoints of various Sohma members. (Of course, as each character becomes more filled out, the curse's full effect on their lives- and the reasons it must be broken- become disturbingly clear.)
    Yuki: "So now it's Haru...They just keep showing up, don't they?"
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka, being the Priestess of Suzaku, must gather the seven Celestial Warriors to summon Suzaku. Cue an Unwanted Harem of men. In the second half of the series, they have to race their enemies for two Shinzahous.
  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, Kim and Michel have to rescue all the fairies or else the World Tree can't be renewed.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de is collecting the team of pretty boys. Then, in the second half of the series, collecting the Four Seals.
  • In Hoshin Engi, the true purpose of the Hoshin Project is to collect enough souls to fight the Big Bad.
  • The cast of Inuyasha are searching for the many pieces of the Shikon Jewel, an artifact of incredible power (that, incidentally, will allow the main character to become a full demon). The Big Bad wants all the pieces too so that he can achieve the same goal.
  • Jewelpet:
    • Jewelpet (2009) is about a girl and her friends having to find the Jewelpets that fell into the human world.
    • Jewelpet Twinkle☆ is about mages-in-training gathering twelve Jewel Stones each, so they can enter a tournament.
    • Jewelpet Kira☆Deco! is about a Five-Man Band gathering items called Deco Stones to repair a Mirror Ball and save their world. The Jewelpets help them because said Stones have the power to wake up their dormant goddess.
    • Jewelpet Happiness is about the Jewelpets teaming up with three girls to gather all Magic Gems to stop the influence of the Red Moon.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has the Jewel Seeds, dangerous artifacts that Yuuno lost on Earth. Nanoha decides to help him collect them, but troubles arise when she meets Fate, a Dark Magical Girl who is also collecting the seeds for her mother. The usual "one MacGuffin per week" scheme doesn't survive past the second episode (out of thirteen) and by the middle, all Seeds have been caught — they are just in different hands. Nobody ever gets their hands on all of them either, as the nine that Fate collected end up falling into the dimensional sea with Precia at the end of the season and remain lost for the remainder of the franchise.
  • In Naruto, the Akatsuki are trying to capture all of the bijuu. Pain wants them to create a Fantastic Nuke, whereas Tobi needs them to facilitate an Assimilation Plot.
  • One Piece: It's eventually explained that in order to reach the final island, Laugh Tale, where the titular treasure is supposedly placed, one has to find four Road Poneglyphs, huge cubic stones with coordinates to a certain geographic point marked on them. Where the four points intersect on the map is where Laugh Tale is located. This is much harder than it sounds because, not only is the language on the Poneglyphs nearly undecipherable and research of them forbidden under threat of death by the World Government, two of the Poneglyphs are each in the possession of an extremely powerful pirate (who both have no intention of sharing), one is located on a moving Turtle Island that no compass points to, and the knowledge of the location of the fourth stone is lost.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Adventures had some fun with this. Like the game that inspired it, this is Professor Oak's dream so he can make a comprehensive Pokédex. Since he's too old, he just hands out Pokédexes to the main characters and asks them to do the job. Problem is, the Dex Holders all have their own goals, and this isn't high on the priority list. Oak is understandably pissed about this, and he ends up hiring Crystal to do the job. She succeeds... and then it turns out there's a whole other generation to catch. Poor Oak.
    • In Pokémon Origins, however, it's played straight, with Red and Blue competing to do exactly this. Red ultimately wins by successfully catching Mewtwo, only to figure out that there's still Mew to catch as well.
    • Despite being the primary animated adaptation within the franchise, Pokémon: The Series never had "Gotta Catch 'Em All" as a motivation for the characters. Understandable, as the slogan was created for English localization. This then all changed with Pokémon Journeys, the series that launched alongside Pokémon Sword and Shield, where a new main character, Goh, has a goal to catch all the known Pokémon, with Mew being his ultimate objective, while Ash stays with his To Be a Master goal.
  • In Princess Tutu, the main character searches the town for shards of Prince Mythos' heart, a soul jar which was shattered when he and a demon lord were summoned from a storybook and he imprisoned the demon lord in the real world. Unfortunately, each of these shards does things to Mythos' mind. Especially the shard that was corrupted.
  • Reborn! (2004): It's revealed that to become the next Vongola leader, Tsuna must assemble all six of his Bishōnen guardians (Rain, Storm, Thunder, Mist, Sun and Cloud, with him being the seventh element — Sky). Tsuna ends up having to do this twice, the second time being after he time travels 10 years into the future.
  • In the first season of Sailor Moon, Luna and Usagi must find their comrades, and then the group must find the seven Rainbow Crystals to reform the Silver Crystal. The S season also has the Three Talismans, but there's only the three.
  • In Sekirei, Mikogami Hayato approaches the Sekirei Plan as though this were the point. He's going to collect all the cool, rare Sekirei and all the awesome treasures! This makes him Wrong Genre Savvy since this is a series about The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship.
  • The Secret Treasures of Sengoku Collection.
  • Soul Eater is a partial example. For a weapon to become a Death Scythe (and thus being able to be wielded by Shinigami-sama), each weapon/meister pair has to collect 99 kishin eggs and one Witch soul. However, there are implied to be thousands of Kishin eggs out there, more than enough to go around.
    • Also a rather dark partial example, since those "kishin eggs" are the souls of humans on Shinigami-sama's hit list (in fact, the term "kishin egg" is only used in the anime). Admittedly evil and occasionally goofy souls, yes, but high school kids are still collecting them by killing people. With weapons who are actually other high school students. Oh, and the witches can kill most of these students fairly easily.
    • And an Invoked Trope in-universe, as a broader look reveals most students — and graduates — aren't trying to complete their collections. While that quota does provide the significant benefit of being able to be brandished by Shinigami-sama, soul harvesting (and eating/purifying/freeing/whatever happens when they're turned in) is a side effect of the global supernatural troubleshooting DWMA reps are supposed to be doing. As the DWMA exists partly to get those with an inclination to take souls while they're still young and ethically trainable, and we start focusing on characters with no patience for Villains Act, Heroes React, it's no surprise they're provided with a clear goal to aim for or that their attempts to get it is rerouted into Character Development.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves spoofs this by scattering the runes of a spell to send the cast Trapped in Another World home. However, the runes are on the bodies of the elf inhabitants, so the cast decides that the logical (huh huh) thing to do is to strip every elf they come across to find the runes.
  • Transformers: Armada is all about racing to retrieve the Mini-Cons, though getting all of them isn't necessary.
  • The World God Only Knows: Keima has been tasked to capture Escaped Souls from hell by romancing the girls they possess. At one point he finds out that there are about 60,000 left for him and other buddies like him to collect. He is not entertained.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In addition to playing card games, Yugi's objective is to gather together all seven Millennium Items and reunite them in the stone where they were forged; doing so will open the door to the afterlife so that his Superpowered Evil Side can pass on and be at peace.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Astral's memory has been broken into 100 cardsnote  (the Number cards, one of which he got to keep). When a Number is defeated in a duel by Yuma, Yuma gains it and Astral gains a piece of his memory back. Many other characters are also searching for the Numbers. By the end of the series, Astral has gathered all 100 Numbers, even though only 46note  of them have been revealed to the viewers.
    • The manga has the same goal. Despite the anime and manga don't follow the same continuities, both continuities have the same 100 Numbers, which is a Merchandise-Driven Plot Hole. The manga revealed 24 new Numbers to us.
    • The remaining 30 Numbers that aren't introduced by the anime or manga were later introduced by the OCG year after year, which makes them an Original Generation.
  • Most sagas in Sonic X revolve around the heroes' quest to gather the Chaos Emeralds before the villain(s), sometimes for particular purposes (besides keeping them away from the bad guys). The first two sagas had then doing it because they were their ticket home, while in the Metarex Saga, they intended to use their powers to defeat the Metarex.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • The first half of Futari wa Pretty Cure had the Prism Stones, seven heart-shaped crystals which end up going to our two heroines and all five members of the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Naturally, the Cures need to defeat each of the villains to get their stones, though things do get interesting once the second one is defeated...
    • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure has the twelve Star Princess Pens, which have been scattered throughout the universe. The Cures and the Notraiders all go searching for them, though the series doesn’t end once all of them have been recovered.
  • In SD Gundam World Heroes, there is a threat known as the Black Star coming to destroy the planet that the SD Gundam World series takes place in. To stop it, our heroes must travel the globe and collect the five Haros, who in this series are actually the OOPARTS, and then bring them to the pyramid in Regina World.

    Asian Animation 
  • Catch! Teenieping: The show's premise is Romi needing to catch all the Teenieping back again as they cause chaos in the village. The official synopsis on SAMG's website even namedrops this trope.
  • The original plot of Flower Angel was that some fairies started causing chaos in the human realm, so the protagonist Xia An'an had to go and round them up. Once she's captured a fairy, she can call on them and use their power whenever needed. This formula was forgotten starting in Season 2, where she starts facing a number of villainous fairies instead. It comes back in Xiaoai's story arc, where the fairies represent the 24 Solar Terms.

    Comic Books 
  • One of the subplots of the Green Lantern story Brightest Day concerns the search for the Emotion Entities. A mysterious being is hunting them down for some reason and has already captured Parallax and Ion. It's revealed Krona captured all seven and unleashed them on the Guardians.
  • Curse of the Mutants: After Dracula's death, Xarus and his conspirators separated his head and his staked body for different sects to preserve them. Namor is sent to retrieve the head kept by the Atlantean vampires while Storm and Gambit search for his body being kept on an unmarked island.
  • A Disney Ducks Comic Universe comic by Don Rosa, Recalled Wreck, has Donald Duck doing this after he finds out that his neighbor (without any bad intention) sold the pieces of his beloved car to the neighbors.
  • Lex Luthor's plan in one Justice League story is to harness seven hidden forces that can now be accessed following the Source Wall breaking.
  • In the first chapter of Legion of Super-Heroes story The Great Darkness Saga, the Servants of Darkness devote considerable time and effort to collect several mystical relics which will allow restoring their Master's strength.
  • This is a common plot for Mortadelo y Filemón long stories: Safari Callejero deals with finding several animals that have been experimented on by Bacterio, while La caja de los diez cerrojos has them seek the keys to a strongbox that is rumored to contain a fortune.
  • The 99 is initially about Dr. Ramzi's efforts to track down the 99 noor stones, but that goal shifts in the first issue to finding the people who have been bonded to them.
  • The Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire is about Sonja's quest to collect six of the greatest craftspeople in the world for a party held by Emperor Samala.
  • In Sojourn, Arwyn, Gareth and Neven must find the five fragments of an arrow that once killed the Dark Lord Mordath to end his rule.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The Ancient Gears in Sonic: Mega Drive. Eggman wants them to power his Mega Drive weapon, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy are trying to keep them out of his hands.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): It reaches rather ridiculous extents in Unleashed. Seven Emeralds, seven gate keys, seven temples, Knuckles' Master Emerald shards...
  • Superman:
    • The plot of The Killers of Krypton has Supergirl travel across the galaxy, hunting down six data stones which, if gathered, will reveal how, why and under whose orders Rogol Zaar destroyed her homeworld Krypton.
    • Death & the Family: In the first half of the story, Silver Banshee is trying to gather her clan's seven heirlooms with the purpose of lifting her curse.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Impossible Tales Wonder Girl story in #107 has Diana seeking out each piece of her Wonder Girl costume hidden around Paradise Island by the Amazons, without knowing what the finished product is going to look like until she has all the scattered and hidden parts.

    Fan Works 
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The epilogue to the fourth and final story reveals that a mysterious entity is gathering special items as part of its ultimate plan; it has already regained the Spear of Reclamation (an event which was depicted in the last of the Doa-verse stories), and now the Gem of Sacanas, and is still seeking two items called the Armour of the Creators and the Peytral of Powers.
  • In Golden Threads Tie Us, Grima's Risens have overrun the continent and are marching towards Ylisse's last strongholds, so Lucina decides they have only one option left: gathering the Five Gemstones and the Fire Emblem and performing the Awakening to destroy Grima thanks to Lucina's fully-powered Falchion.
    Lucina: However, not all hope is lost. There's still a way to defeat Grima and seal them away.
    Cynthia: Well, let us at it, then!
    Lucina: We must perform the Awakening.
    Kjelle: The Awakening!? That's impossible! Unless you're suggesting —?
    Lucina: I'm afraid I am. If we can gather all of the relics required for it...
    Gerome: Five Gemstones and the Fire Emblem. All in the hands of Plegia, and guarded within the inch, no doubt.
    Noire: That's suicide!
    Lucina: It very well maybe. I've thought long on it, but I can't think of any other options. I have gathered everyone here because this is a mission I can only ask the ones with which I trust my life. Any groups larger than a handful will draw too much attention, and we need all five Gemstones and the Fire Emblem to accomplish this.
  • Inheritance of Cards and Demons, being a crossover between Blue Exorcist and Cardcaptor Sakura, has this - one of the main plotlines involves Rin trying to capture the Sakura Cards after accidentally freeing them.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: The second half of the story is devoted to heroes and villains trying to find the "Rainbow Stones", (Renamed the Star Stones in the remake) which would grant them new powers; My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III has them search for the shattered remains of the Crystal Heart.
  • The Omnitrix Hero: Trixie's main arc of the series, after regaining her Lady Masquerade persona, is to find all twelve of the magic medallions scattered around Canterlot City before Devious can obtain them for himself, and then return them to their rightful kingdoms that Devious stole them from.
  • The plot of One to Find All is basically this. Due to a spell gone wrong by Salem, six of Deku's classmates had their souls extracted from their bodies and reincarnated on Remnant with no memory or knowledge of their lives on Earth. The gods of light and darkness inform Izuku of the situation and told him that if he could get his friends to remember their lives on Earth then when they die, their souls will return to their bodies on Earth. But if they die without remembering their past lives, they'll die both on Remnant and on Earth. After accepting his mission and teaming up with Ozpin, Izuku works to find and save his reincarnated friends before Salem does and turns them into her weapons of destruction.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Many trainers have this as a personal goal to become Pokémon Masters, most of the time focused on a single type. Examples include Misty (focused on Water-types) and Falkner (Flying-types), and their goals even include Legendaries to an extent.
  • Invoked in Pokémon Strangled Red by Mike to convince his brother and rival Steven to trade starters.
  • Power Rangers Mythos:
    • The first few chapters of the fic focus on the displaced Rangers’ efforts to find the Mythos Morphers so that they can gain new powers to oppose Avanth before he acquires the Morphers himself; this particular "quest" ends in Chapter Seven with Tommy, Flynn and Z wielding the Red, Green and Blue Morphers respectively, while the brainwashed Shelby and Adam have the Yellow and Purple.
    • With the Morphers retrieved, Fae explains that their next step is to find and destroy the various nodes that Avanth is using to poison the Morphing Grid and drain its power for his own use.
  • Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm briefly dips into this. Upon realizing that the Emergency Temporal Shift has sent the Sailor Scouts to the present day, Queen Beryl orders a two-bodied Zoisite to hunt down the remaining Sailor Scouts and kill them before they activate, while Sailor Moon and her friends search Tokyo to recruit the Scouts to their cause. Zoisite's failure to kill the Scouts (instead actually speeding up their activation) leads Beryl to punish him/her by placing the creature under Jadeite's command.
  • Tealove's Steamy Adventure has a slight variation. The villain is trying to collect all three of the Epic Tea Leaves—which, if brewed, will make the drinker into the most powerful being in the known universe. The heroes are just trying to keep the Leaves out of her hooves.
  • Webwork: The nine Oni Essences, released when Tarakudo's mask is shattered (killing the original Oni generals in the process), which seek out new hosts and bond to them, transforming them into new Oni Generals. As of chapter 22, the J-Team has recaptured four (Ninja, Crab, Leech and Razor), two have permanently bonded to their new hosts (Samurai and Bat), two are still loose but unbonded (Mantis and Sumo), and the Squid is active.
  • With Strings Attached:
    • The Vasyn was sundered into three pieces and scattered across dimensions five hundred years ago. Guess who's asked to put it together?
    • The Keys Stand Alone: The Nine-part Key. Only one of the pieces (the Amber Staff) is unique, but some are much harder to get than others. With the four coming in two years after the war started, the two main Power Groups are both down to the hardest pieces. The progress of the other groups is not known, though it's stated that at least one of them is concentrating on ambushing whichever PG finishes the Key. Also the set of instructions as to how to put the Key together and use it.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos wants to obtain all six Infinity Stones to kill off half the universe. He has one when the film starts and gets the second a few minutes in. The location of another three is known to him (and the audience), so there's actually only one he has to truly search for. Avengers: Endgame has the heroes searching for the Stones, because reversing Thanos's victory in the previous movie is necessary. And Thanos destroyed them, so the Avengers have to take the Stones from the past!
  • The Phantom (1996): The villain is tracking down the three "Skulls of Touganda", which will grant him immense power. There is a fourth skull, on the Phantom's Ring of Power.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The villains had been trying to collect all five Sankara Stones, and managed to secure three of them until Indy showed up.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl required the crew of The Black Pearl to track down 882 pieces of Aztec gold to break their curse. By the time the film begins, they've found all but one, and the last piece calls to them not long after the movie begins.
    • The Nine Pieces of Eight are needed to assemble the Pirate Lords and complete the spell in At World's End. This actually becomes a plot point as a reason not to kill Jack.
    • The keys to the Fountain of Youth in On Stranger Tides.
  • In The Seeker, Will's mission is to find all of five "signs" to become powerful enough to defeat the Rider.
  • The Twelve Gold Medallions: The protagonist of this martial arts movie is on a quest to collect all twelve titular medallions to prevent the facilitation of the assassination of a lawful minister.
  • In the 2001 remake of Thir13en Ghosts, Cyrus Kriticos has to find thirteen spirits with specific themes to power his demonic machine, the Eye of Hell.
  • In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Caspain seeks the Seven Swords of the Seven Lords of Narnia, which must be placed on Aslan's Table to put an end to the evil mist plaguing the area.

  • In And Eternity, Orlene makes a deal with Nox, Incarnation of Night, to restore her son to life and cure him of a disease that afflicts him whether he is alive or a ghost. She must collect a blank soul from Death, a grain of sand from Time's hourglass, a thread from Fate's loom, a seed from Mars, a tear from Gaia, a curse from Satan, and a blessing from God. It is hinted that the items were not necessary, but the entire journey was just a Secret Test of Character for Orlene.
  • In Bridge of Birds, the characters gather five pieces of a special ginseng root.
  • Dancing Aztecs: The sixteen statutes (one of which is priceless, while the others are copies it was smuggled into the country with), the owners of which are all developed characters, and naturally, the main characters stealing and checking the statutes don't find the real one anywhere near their first try.
  • Each book in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series involves finding at least one artifact or set of artifacts: the grail (split between Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch), the Signs (The Dark Is Rising), the harp (The Grey King), and the crystal sword (Silver on the Tree).
  • All of the Deltora Quest books contain a variation on this. The first series involves the protagonists collecting all seven gems that adorn the belt of Deltora. In the second, they gather the three pieces of the Pirran Pipe, though this isn't the driving conflict in the plot. In the third series, they have to find and destroy the Four Sisters.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, the Knights of the Cross have, over the centuries, collected some of the demon-possessed coins of the Order of the Blackened Denarii, but cannot finally defeat the Denarians until they get them all. This was a major plot point in Small Favor.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: In order to restore the Gate, Rielle is tasked with finding all seven of the Saint's castings. It's possible that the castings remember how the Gate was made, which will make repairing it more successful. Rielle manages to get three castings before her situation gets infinitely worse.
  • In each volume of Jack Chalker's The Four Lords Of The Diamond, one of the Assassin's alter egos must find and either kill or subvert the Lord of the particular Diamond world to which he is assigned, as well as investigating his particular piece of the overall puzzle.
  • The entire plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows rests on this. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to search for all of Voldy's Horcruxes; but after learning about the Deathly Hallows themselves, Harry debates for a while and then decides not to race Voldemort to the last one. Perhaps a double subversion, since Harry does get it in the end?
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
    • In Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book in the series, it's the villains who are collecting the pieces of the Wikkit Gate, and our heroes are trying to stop them (or, some of them are. The rest would rather get a drink and have a lie down).
    • On a more lighthearted note, there is Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, who has grown so bored of immortality that he's made it his mission to track down and verbally insult every sentient beings in the universe. In alphabetical order.
  • The Holders Series are an odd subversion. The idea is apparently for the Seeker to "Catch" one or two of them to prevent them from ever being brought together, which will result in The End of the World as We Know It. Then again, it also says that not bringing them together will result in something which may or may not be just as horrible ...
  • Louise Cooper's Indigo series involves an immortal protagonist who is destined to walk the earth until she has banished the seven demons which she accidentally loosed upon the world. Or so we're led to think throughout most of the series, anyway...
  • Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom combines at least two forms of this; in each book, the protagonist must find one of the seven separated parts of the Will of the Architect (each of which is a character in its own right) and one of the seven Keys.
  • A variant of this trope occurs in Master of the Five Magics, in that the protagonist learns the use of his world's five known types of magic over the course of the novel, and needs to use all five in combination to win in the end. The sequel, Secret of the Sixth Magic, inverts this scenario by requiring its protagonist to fail at all five magics, before catching on that a sixth form actually exists.
  • Mythic Misadventures: Each book focuses on Pandora and her friends finding and recapturing one of the evils she released from her father's box. She's gotta catch 'em all within a certain time limit or face divine punishment.
  • Paper Towns: A de-fictionalised version. When the book originally came out, there weren't as many "Sad Margo" covers as "Happy Margo" ones, prompting fans to hunt down and buy both available versions.
  • Septimus Heap combines this with Dismantled MacGuffin since while the Paired Codes don't work at all if they're split, Septimus and Marcia have to collect The Darke Index and The Undoing Of The Darkenesse as well to make The Great UnDoing work.
  • The Silmarillion: Much of the plot follows the various forces of Maiar, Valar, Elves, and Men seeking the three Silmarils of Fëanor — particularly the sons of Fëanor, who have sworn a terrible vow to oppose anything in the entire cosmos that prevents them from gaining the Silmarils.
  • The Twelve Chairs: In a variation, the protagonists needed to obtain just one of the eponymous chairs (in which treasure was hidden), but they didn't know which one. Due to a combination of bad luck and Rule of Drama they still ended up tracking down all of them.
  • Twelve Treasures Trilogy: Subverted — the plot of each novel involves restoring one of the stolen Treasures of the magical kingdom, and (obviously) there are Twelve Treasures, but only three of them have actually been stolen (that the readers know of; a different noble house keeps each one, and no one will admit to having lost one, so things get a bit murky).
  • Matthew Reilly is overly fond of this trope... To the extent that his latest piece of alliterative schmutz Six Sacred Stones ends with a mid-plot cliff-hanger where the badass Hero has not caught them all with his bionic arm and we simply must buy another book for the resolution. And in that one, he STILL doesn't succeed in collecting them before the big End of the World Deadline, and ends up dropping one down a bottomless shaft (that is actually bottomless!) so that no one has that complete set.
  • In The Stormlight Archive Axies the Collector is determined to catalog and witness every type of screen (a sort of Elemental Embodiment that covers various processes, states, and abstract concepts). While there are the extremely common ones people see all the time such as firespren and lifespren there are unique varieties spread across the world, and a number that only shows up rarely or only under very specific circumstances, so this requires a lot of dedication. Despite having gotten drunk many times, alcoholspren have appeared to him very rarely, while deathspren can only be seen by those who are almost dead. Ironically his determination to find captivityspren may be the reason he can't find them; when he's imprisoned he's always hoping to see captivityspren instead of feeling trapped.
  • Villains by Necessity: The focus of the story's quest is to find all six segments from the Spectrum Key then put them together to reopen the Dark Gate, releasing evil back and thus save the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd: A show on Nickelodeon. The title character, a juvenile delinquent, was turned into a dog and needed to do 100 good deeds to regain his human form.
  • Armor Hero: In this first-ever Chinese Tokusatsu show, they have to seal 52 monsters into 52 cards, in 52 episodes. It's quite a clean show like that.
  • Brimstone: Ezekiel Stone, the main character of this short-lived 1998 series by Fox, is released from Hell by the Devil to use his police skills to track down and retrieve 113 damned souls who escaped the afterlife back to Earth. Short life meant he got nowhere NEAR his goal.
  • Chousei Kantai Sazer X: The twelve Cosmo Capsules. When united, the twelve of them grant one wish. So naturally, everyone is after them. Each episode even keeps a tally on who has what Capsules.
  • The Collector:
    • One of the Devil's clients got the ability to get rid of guilt by transferring it to others through tattoos, turning them into sinners. His redemption required finding them all and completing their tattoos, restoring his memories of the guilt's reason as well as their original behavior.
    • Another client had to re-absorb the people made from her split personalities.
  • Community: In the episode "Introduction to Statistics". Annie has a breakdown if everyone doesn't show up to her Halloween party.
  • In Cupid, the titular love god was supposed to unite 100 couples. The show only ran 15 episodes, and some of them didn't add any couples to his tally.
  • In Defying Gravity: the true reason for the Antares mission is revealed to be collecting 6 of the 7 mysterious objects transmitting from different planets in the Solar System (one called Beta was found on Earth several years before). Maddux also learns that his failed mission to Mars was also supposed to retrieve the object known as Alpha, but a freak sandstorm (possibly caused by Alpha) prevented it, causing them to leave two of the astronauts behind. In the season 1 finale (the show was cancelled after that), they manage to retrieve Gamma from Venus.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The eponymous Keys of Marinus.
    • The six pieces of the Key to Time.
    • Subverted in "Last of the Time Lords", where Martha talks about having to travel around the world to collect the four hidden pieces to a gun that could kill the Master and prevent him from regenerating. When the Master catches her and reveals that he knows her plan, she laughs at him and says, "You really believed that?" Turns out the whole thing was a bluff and her actual plan was something else altogether.
    • A character version: Clara Oswald in "The Name of the Doctor" when she splinters herself through time to rescue the first 11 known incarnations of the Doctor. She later went on in "The Day of the Doctor" to meet both the War Doctor and a mysterious character known as the Curator, later confirmed in licensed spin-off media as being a future Doctor and travel with the Twelfth Doctor, making her the only character confirmed to have encountered all of them.note 
  • Dream House: Both editions of this game show (ABC, 1968; NBC, 1984) had couples vying for rooms of a house in each show. Collecting seven rooms won them a new home.
  • Friday the 13th: The Series: The premise is that Micki and Ryan must recover all of the cursed antiques purchased from their uncle's store.
  • Ik Mik Loreland: Mik spends the first season finding letters after everyone in Loria is magically turned illiterate.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • The franchise has done this in a Meta sense since Kamen Rider Kiva, where the Rider's Transformation Trinket belt operates off of several smaller collectable items that grant different forms, equipment, etc., to encourage the kids out there to buy every single one.
    • Kamen Rider Blade uses Playing Card Motifs for this purpose, with there being a total of 52 Undead that the Kamen Riders have to defeat and seal away. That said, not all 52 Undead appearnote , and the absent ones — namely, the Jokers — end up being far more important.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has as its villains the Greeed, homunculi whose main goal is to regain the 10 Core Medals that created each of them so they can become complete once more. Thus OOO and his allies fight not just because he needs the Medals to transform but to keep them out of the Greeeds' hands.
    • Kamen Rider Drive uses the same format as Blade, with exactly 108 Roidmudes that need to be killed. Unlike Blade, all 108 Roidmudes appear at some point during the show or in a spinoff movie, making it possible to track exactly how many are left.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost uses the Quest for a Wish format (with a little Lampshade Hanging on the similarity to Dragon Ball), with multiple parties trying to collect the 15 Eyecons, objects which contain the spirits of historical figures like Miyamoto Musashi, Thomas Edison, and more. Protagonist Takeru wants the wish to bring himself back to life, Second Rider Makoto wants to restore his younger sister, and of course, the villains want them for selfish means. Somewhat unusually for the format, the Eyecons all end up in Takeru's hands by the end of the first quarter, he uses the wish to restore Makoto's sister, and the rest of the show follows Takeru pursuing an entirely different set of goals that only tangentially relate to the original premise.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has the Riders collect all the Gashats three times throughout the course of the show: once to use each of the ten main Gashats so that Mad Scientist Kuroto can collect their combat data, once to kill the Bugster tied to each Gashat so Kuroto can collect those and use them to create the ultimate Deadly Game Kamen Rider Chronicle, and once to guide one of Chronicle's players through an arc-spanning Escort Mission that involves them killing all ten Bugsters, so that they can win and thus shut down the game.
    • Kamen Rider Build has the three former Japanese nations battling for the Pandora Box and the 60 Fullbottles needed to open it. Once the Box is opened, the 60 Fullbottles stop being treated as important, but the 10 Lost Bottles take their place as the objects to fight over.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O needs to collect the 20 Ridewatches representing himself and the 19 past Heisei Riders to claim the throne of the King of Time. This collection quest takes a break during the middle of the show for White Woz to instead collect the three Miridewatches, which together will create the Geiz Revive Ridewatch, the only thing that can potentially defeat Zi-O if he turns to evil.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One often treats the Progrise Keys in this fashion. Most of the show's major upgrades are produced by somebody gathering the combat data stored in each of the Keys and feeding them to one of the show's two warring supercomputers.
    • Kamen Rider Revice has George on the lookout for ten particular Vistamps that he wants Ikki to gather. Why it's those specific ten isn't clear, but the result of gathering them all is that he's able to create the Barid Rex Vistamp, which can use all ten of their Remix forms as summoned assistants in battle.
    • Kamen Rider Gotchard has the characters' needs to recapture all 101 Chemies, that are being released from their world in the first episode. According to Rinne, if a Chemy comes into contact with human malice, they could turn into a monster called Malgam. The Chemies' existence purpose was for "humanity's companion," which is why they can synchronize with a human's emotions to lend them their power.
  • The Legend of Dick and Dom: The heroes are questing for potion ingredients (the claw of a siren, the mists of time, a pint of milk...) to cure a plague.
  • The Limitless episode "Headquarters!" featured Brian offering to catch the FBI's top ten most wanted criminals within two weeks to get his own headquarters at the FBI branch he worked at. Subverted at several points, however: he catches one of them before the timer actually starts, one of them is still at large when the timer runs out, and one of them is innocent and subsequently exonerated by Brian. He still gets the headquarters, though.
  • The Lost Room: In this Sci-Fi show, characters are, for various reasons, seeking artifacts known as Objects, which originated in a 1960s motel room and are endowed with curious properties (for instance, one Object is a watch which can boil an egg placed inside the band).
  • My Name Is Earl: Earl must fix all the things he's ever done wrong to clear his karma.
  • Power Rangers and Super Sentai have created a meta-example of this. To further make use of the Merchandise-Driven nature of the show, the number of Humongous Mecha has expanded in recent years. Gaoranger/Wild Force is seen by many as the start of it, with 22 Power Animals/Wild Zords, all of which were released in toy form. However, there are times when the plot really is "collect all the MacGuffins".
  • Reaper: The main plot point of this show is that the lead has to catch escaped souls from Hell, similar to Brimstone mentioned above.
  • Revolution: In the episode "Soul Train", Rachel explains to Big Bad Monroe that there are 12 pendants and that they are the key to getting the power back on. This turns into a Subverted Trope later. Rachel destroys two pendants in "Ghosts", and Randall Flynn reveals that he is not at all interested in collecting the pendants. A number of the pendants are not even located in the USA, and if they are, they are well hidden, as shown on a map in "The Children's Crusade". The first season finale has the power turned back on, and the pendants had absolutely nothing to do with that.
  • Seven Keys: This 1961 ABC game show had a player collecting up to seven keys to open a vault full of prizes by completing a board of 70 squares in fifteen chances. Getting all seven keys won everything automatically.
  • Supernatural: Season 4 revolved around the protagonists trying to stop demons from breaking the seals that keep Lucifer locked. It was pretty hard since the demons only had to break 66 seals of the 600 that exist. In season 5, they learn that the rings of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse could be used to lock Lucifer again. Luckily, they already had two of them at that time.
  • The syndicated series Time Trax: Police captain Darien Lambert must recapture all the fugitives who escaped via time machine to the mid-1990s before he himself can return to his home time of 200 years in the future. The reason being: to use the time machine, one's body must be treated with a chemical called TXP, which only be taken twice — using it any more than that is fatal.
  • Warehouse 13: This is a show, similar to The Lost Room above, where objects have special powers for one reason or another (for example, a gun invented by Nikola Tesla is shooting energy bursts that knock people unconscious), and the Warehouse is trying to collect them.
  • WMAC Masters: This short-lived show that was a strange cross between Professional Wrestling, American Gladiators, and Power Rangers, featured this as its central mechanic. Winning a competition allowed one of the competitors to take his opponent's "symbol" (a medallion with a symbol engraved that relates to the character's nickname), and once one of the competitors got the symbols of each of the others, he could challenge for the championship.


  • Johnny Cash's song "One Piece at a Time" is about a man who builds a Cadillac in this manner.
  • Evillious Chronicles features the Vessels of the Seven Deadly Sins, with several characters throughout trying to obtain all of them for one reason or another. In the chronological beginning of the series in "Chrono Story", Held asks Elluka Clockworker (Luka) to collect them to keep them from causing trouble, and later on near the chronological end Gallerian Marlon (Kaito) wants to collect them all because he believes he can achieve "utopia". After he dies, his "daughter" ( actually the Vessel of Sloth, the Clockwork Doll, sung by Miku) takes over her "father"'s ambition.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Dirt: In Egyptian Mythology, after he was murdered and dismembered by his evil brother Set, Isis searched for and reassembled the pieces of her husband Osiris's body. Technically she didn't Catch Them All, but that's a deficiency the couple just had to learn to live with. If you don't know what that means, the missing part is his penis. A fish ate it.

  • Pulp Fiction requires acquiring all five Cast Members to start Cast Chaos.
  • Stern Pinball's The Avengers requires the player to recruit all six Avengers to reach the game's first Wizard Mode. Reaching the second one requires making them fight each other.
  • Corvette requires the player to race and collect nine classic Chevrolet Corvettes for a chance to get an unreleased prototype test car.
  • Finishing Doctor Who requires getting all sevennote  Doctors through the Video Mode.
  • Dr. Dude has you gathering the Elements of Coolness (a Magnetic Personality, the Gift of Gab, and the Heart of Rock and Roll) three times each to enable the Molecular Mixmaster and become a dude.
  • In Stern Pinball's Family Guy, "Stewie Multiball" requires having Stewie get all of the members of the Griffin family.
  • Game of Thrones requires challenging and collecting all of the Houses of Westeros to advance in the game. Furthermore, conquering a House allows you to collect a Sword, which is worth points in themselves and raise the cap on the Score Multiplier.
  • Most of the tasks in Stern Pinball's Indiana Jones require collecting various objects, such as Sankara stones.
  • Jurassic Park (Data East) requires collecting all six dinosaur species to complete the map and enable T-Rex Tri-ball.
  • Two examples in The Lord of the Rings:
    • Getting all the Fellowship members starts the Fellowship of the Ring Multiball.
    • Collecting 5,000 souls start Return of the King Multiball.
  • In Jersey Jack Pinball's Pirates of the Caribbean, starting At World's End Multiball requires collecting 9 Pieces of Eight.
  • Stern Pinball's Playboy requires collecting twenty-five Playboy rabbit logos for each of the game's twelve Playmates — for a total of three hundred rabbits to be collected.
  • Rollergames requires collecting all six league teams to light the Extra Ball.
  • A Real Life example: As the page image shows, Safe Cracker featured twenty different Magic Tokens for players to collect.
  • In The Simpsons Pinball Party, activating Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard mode required catching all of the Simpsons family members and the Cletus Kids — 31 people in all.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Data East) has you collecting the four turtles to start multiball.
  • To get the Gold Rush in White Water, you have to shoot the area three times to get three items: a flashlight, key, and map (not in that order).
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory requires the player to collect five golden tickets to reach "Pure Imagination"; the conditions for doing so range from completing various multiball modes to fulfilling one of a set of achievements.
  • World Cup Soccer has the player getting the five attributes of a good soccer player to start multiball: Speed, Stamina, Spirit, Strength, and Skill.

  • The party in The Fallen Gods is tasked with finding all the Celestial Artifacts containing the hidden deities of the world to defeat Chaos.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Magical Girl game Magical Burst revolves around the hunt for Oblivion Seeds, which can only be gotten by killing Youma. A Magical Girl who collects 13 of them can get a single wish of hers granted. But because Magical Burst takes a good number of cues from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Be Careful What You Wish For is definitely something to keep in mind.
  • In a villainous example, Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 have the Blue Scribes P’tarix and Xirat’p, a pair of Blue Horrors created by Tzeentch, the Chaos God of sorcery, has been tasked with collecting and cataloguing every spell that has ever existed. It is said that should the pair succeed then Tzeentch will become the most powerful of all the gods.

  • BIONICLE had this almost every year, though, only a few instances were truly driven by marketing.
    • First, the heroes gathering Great Kanohi Masks.
    • Then Krana, similar to masks but alive.
    • Then the heroes had to collect the Great Kanohi Nuva Masks. They also found out that the village elders have been collecting loads and loads of scary worm things called Kraata.
    • Then (or rather earlier) Great Kanoka Disks.
    • Then (still in the flashback) a bunch of heroes turned mutant hunchbacks were trying to save every surviving monster in the city after an attack of Giant Spiders, while also gathering the six Makoki stones.
    • And then (present), the heroes from earlier were given a big list of things to do, including collecting several ancient artifacts.
    • After that, the heroes were trying to collect some magical keystones to open a big magical door.
    • Also worth noting is Onu-Metru, a city that consists of a huge underground museum where a sample of everything is kept; quite obsessive folks, aren't they?
    • Lately, on Bara Magna, Tahu had to collect the six pieces of the Golden Armor to defeat a legion of Rahkshi.
  • BIONICLE (2015) as well. In a lesser example, each hero generally comes with the artifact he's supposed to collect.
    • In the 2016 story, not only do the Toa have to find six elemental creatures and collect six new masks (only one for each Toa), Umarak also has to locate the fragments of the shattered Mask of Ultimate Power — which he achieves within seconds, likely due to the writers having to wrap things up as quickly as possible.

  • Into the Woods: The Witch requires the Baker couple to retrieve four fairy tale-related items to break a curse.

    Visual Novels 
  • Played with in Fleuret Blanc. The mechanics encourage this behavior, particularly regarding other members' prized possessions. However, the Central Theme discusses the pitfalls of materialism and collection, likely creating some cognitive dissonance. This mentality is deconstructed through the judges, who have gone insane trying to amass the most unique collection possible to the point that they will kill for it.
  • Most visual novels encourage this by showing how many routes a player has completed.

  • The "plot" of Adventurers! revolved around finding the Elemental Relics. Unfortunately, these were the relics of the modern elements: Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, and all the other elements in the periodic table. The progress on this quest was generally kept in the background.
  • Alien Dice involves scattering several "dice" over a planet and capturing the animals they bond to. It's supposed to be a deconstruction of the Mons genre if you couldn't guess.
  • Professor Dr. of The B-Movie Comic just fell to the urge.
  • Part 2 of Ensign Sue Must Die, The Wrath of Sue, involves the reboot Star Trek crew and the Tenth Doctor capturing all the self-inserts unleashed across the multiverse before they tear apart reality. Except they were misled into it by Khan, disguised as Sherlock, to intentionally gather them in one dimension to make it easier to tear reality and bring Sue Prime back into the universe.
  • In Godslave, the main plot is Edith's mission to collect eight of Anpu's missing ba, parts of his soul.
  • Keychain of Creation chronicles the story of a group of heroes searching for the Five Keys of Creation, powerful weapons which can open any lock or unseal any can, to keep them out of the wrong hands. Good News: They start with one of the five keys. Bad News: It takes exactly 379 strips for the party to finally meet someone face-to-face who has another key, and the hiatus on that arc started with someone declaring a tournament with the key as the prize. As of now, the hiatus is still in effect.
  • The main quest in Our Little Adventure is to collect pieces of a wish-granting artifact known as the 'Magicant.'
  • Wasted Youth has 50 Piggymon cards for you to collect, a card game with hamsters.

    Web Original 
  • In several of the Highcraft challenge videos, the main goal is for the players to collect all the colored wools.
  • A double-subversion occurs in The Holders Series. The 538 cursed objects must NEVER be brought together, or it will result in The End of the World as We Know It. That doesn't stop the Seekers from trying to find them, though.
  • While lists of best movies can stimulate this kind of behavior, website Icheckmovies (which even gives a Cosmetic Award for progress in official lists) turns this into an art form. Many user pages or list comments admit they're watching many movies only complete some sets — as one comment in All-Time Worldwide Box Office (every movie that passed $200 million worldwide, currently at 709) goes: "3 to go. I've slogged thru some crappy movies, but the completionist in me is willing me on."
  • The aim of My Opinions On Every Pokemon Ever is to review every single Pokémon.
  • Lab/Treasure/Land maps, Talisman pieces, collectable plushies... Petsites are full of these, and they always have a final goal, that's it, some sort of status for the users that collect these since it's impossible to have all the pets at once.
  • Averted in one sense and played straight in another in Pokémon: Rise of the Rockets. On the one hand, collecting a diverse array of Pokémon as possible isn't exactly the goal of any particular character or group. On the other hand, the stepping stone from which the plot began involved the various Agents of the two primary factions being sent to recruit Legendary Pokémon to their side of the war. Even so, this was mainly meant as a means to get players on their feet and has become less and less prominent of a goal as the story has gone on.
  • Port by the Sea: It's eventually revealed that Port and Umi are looking for pieces of the moon in order to repair it.
  • Parodied in the ProZD skit "games that think more gameplay mechanics equals more fun", where the player has to collect 800 eggs as a part of a side quest tied into the game's true ending.

    Western Animation 
  • In The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Scooby and Shaggy were tricked into opening the Chest of Demons, a chest containing 13 of the most powerful, terrifying ghosts on Earth. Along with Daphne, Scrappy-Doo and Flim-Flam and guided by the mystic Vincent Van Ghoul, their task is to recapture the ghosts into the chest. It ended with Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost.
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots it is revealed that at least a hundred treasures have gone missing from the San Lorenzo treasure vault by the time the heroes find the spell that can restore the town's protective barrier which requires all of the missing treasures to be found. This is extremely downplayed as once the first treasure is found (a magical dowsing rod that can locate anything), most of the rest are found off-screen in the following episode.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog features a four-episode story arc concerning the quest for the Chaos Emeralds. In each episode, Dr. Robotnik uses his new time machine to travel back in history to acquire one of the four emeralds, invariably pursued by Sonic and Tails.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has the team founded with the intent of re-capturing 74 villains, who break out of prison in the sixth episode. However, only a handful of episodes from the first season have re-capturing an escapee as the main focus. Most of them get captured during subplots or Offscreen Moment Of Awesomes, occurring while the Avengers tackle threats that could destroy the world unless foiled.
  • Bailey's Comets, an obscure De Patie Freleng Enterprises cartoon from 1973, had ten roller derby teams in cross-country races trying to find clues to a hidden treasure.
  • A ton of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episodes involved Cobra's attempts to Catch Them All, perhaps the best-known being their collection of historical military leaders' DNA to create Serpentor. The 5-part G.I. Joe miniseries MASS Device involves the Joes in a race with COBRA to collect three rare elements from various places to power their teleportation machines. One of the rare elements is heavy water which is in pools at the bottom of the deepest ocean (obviously).
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, each season has a group of magical artifacts or creatures that are targeted by both the good guys and the bad guys: Talismans, Demon Sorcerers, Talisman Animals, Oni Masks, and Demon Powers. The Oni Masks end up being a deconstruction as gathering them together turns out to be a bad idea.
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice had the twelve Keys of Truth, that could return the knights home.
  • The premise of Lilo & Stitch: The Series (a Recycled: The Series of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch) is that the titular duo has to find and capture the other 625 experiments (Stitch's "cousins") lost throughout Hawaii. As of the finale movie Leroy & Stitch, this has been completed, up to and including Leroy, who is unofficially Experiment 629.
  • In the first season of Mia and Me the main characters' main objective is to find all the pieces of the trumptus and put them back together after Panthea destroys it and scatters the pieces across Centopia in episode 4.
  • The Honeybee badges of The Mighty B!. Unlike most examples, however, this is not necessary and is a personal goal Bessie has set for herself (believing she'll become a superhero if she succeeds).
  • The pieces of the Pyramid of Power in Pandamonium.
  • The crew of the Wraith in The Pirates of Dark Water were supposed to collect 13 treasures. The show only lasted long enough for them to get 8, in part because the eighth took the entire (truncated) second season to find.
  • Razzberry Jazzberry Jam: In “Melody Makers”, the Jazzberries have to search high and low through the House Of Jam to find xylophone keys that were scattered throughout the building by a freak air vent accident. It Makes Sense in Context, we swear.
  • In the Rainbow Brite episode "The Beginning of Rainbowland", proto-Rainbow Brite has to find and rescue all 7 of the Color Kids to transform the world into Rainbow Land.
  • Scooby-Doo:
  • The South Park episode "Chinpokomon" mercilessly sends up the Pokemon phenomena through the medium of the kids being swept up in the craze, and the bafflement of their parents at the impenetrable non-sequential nature of Japanese animation.
  • Season 5 of Teen Titans (2003) sees the Brotherhood of Evil trying to capture all kid superheroes and the Titans mobilizing to protect them. This culminates in the Brotherhood eventually succeeding that only a scant few heroes are left, and these remnants decide on a seemingly-futile assault on the Brotherhood's base to rescue everyone.
  • In the first Season Finale of Transformers: Animated, the Allspark shatters into umpty-nine pieces. In seasons two and three, each fragment affects Future-Detroit's technology, as well as the giant robots themselves, in different ways. The cast has to find them. The similarity to Inuyasha didn't go unnoticed by the fans. Made all the more funny by the fact that Optimus is voiced by Sesshomaru.

    Real Life 
  • The MIT Mystery Hunt, probably the world's most famous Puzzle Hunt, has this in the form of a puzzle and meta-puzzle solutions: You need to solve puzzles to solve the meta-puzzle their answers are associated with, and you need to solve meta-puzzles to solve the meta-meta-puzzles, and so forth. However, generally speaking, these are designed such that you don't need to solve all the puzzles in a given set; it's often possible to guess at the answer to a meta-puzzle once you have some portion of its component puzzles completed. Technically, if you could find the answer without solving any of the puzzles, you could jump right into it, but that's basically impossible, so they're Semi-Important.
  • During the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, military personnel were provided with sets of playing cards picturing 55 "Most Wanted" Iraqi terrorists.
  • Disney played this card with their second phase of Cartoon Classics and the Walt Disney Mini Classics video line (each VHS tape in these lines ended with a promo and listing of titles available, complete with "Collect Them All!". The same goes for DuckTales (1987), Darkwing Duck, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventures, Goof Troop, TaleSpin, Walt Disney Classics, Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection, Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection (including the ones that have THX in them), Disney Princess, Walt Disney Film Classics, Walt Disney Studio Film Collection, Disney Channel Original Movies (not counting the ones released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD by other home video companies such as Image Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video), Vault Disney Collection and Wonderful World of Disney.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gotta Catch Em All, Gotta Collect Them All, Catch Them All


40 Time Pieces

There are 40 Time Pieces in all. Your goal is to collect all of them after they are scattered across the planet, both so that you can regain power to your space-ship and to prevent time rifts from wreaking havoc.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / GottaCatchThemAll

Media sources: