Follow TV Tropes


Lost Toy Grievance

Go To

We all love toys, don't we? You can cuddle up next to them, play games with them or even hold them for comfort.

They also get lost rather easily making us rather upset.

Expect a character who's Prone to Tears to react this way.

Truth in Television, as it's part of the process of growing up.

Examples :

    open/close all folders 

  • In this commercial for Duracell batteries, a little girl has to leave the park during a rainstorm, and accidentally leaves her toys, the Duracell Bunny and a toy duck under a tree. She spends most of the commercial depressed over having left them behind and is delighted when they make their way back home to her.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Cubix: Robots for Everyone episode "Klank" involves Dr. K coming across Klank who was the first robot he invented and the closest he had to a teddy bear. He ends up getting so distraught that he breaks down in tears when it's damaged beyond repair during a fight with the botties to the point where he doesn't care about the battle anymore and orders everybody to retreat.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a Calvin and Hobbes strip, a big dog steals Hobbes and Calvin says, "I wonder what I did to deserve this. Whatever it was, I'm sorry already!!".
    • Calvin loses Hobbes (his maybe-real maybe-imaginary stuffed tiger) while out in the woods. His parents have to go out looking for it, with his mom actually calling for Hobbes before realizing what she's doing.
    • One arc has Calvin's family go to a wedding, but Calvin forgot Hobbes under the bed. When they come back, the house has been burgled... and Calvin's first thought is that Hobbes was kidnapped.
    • In another arc, Calvin steals Susie's doll Binky Betsy and Susie retaliates by stealing Hobbes.

    Fan Works 
  • Anger Management: Exaggerated. Lincoln goes nuts on Lynn when she damages Bun-Bun, and when she does it the second time, he outright knocks her out.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Despicable Me, Agnes gets sad when Edith accidentally disintegrates her toy unicorn and demands Gru fix it. When he says it can't be fixed, she gets angry and holds her breath to demand a new one.
  • Toy Story:
    • In the original movie, Andy gets very upset when Woody and Buzz go missing and fears they'd be left behind when he moves.
    • In Toy Story 4, Bonnie immediately becomes very attached to Forky and gets upset quickly whenever she can't find him, so when he tries to run away while the family is on vacation, retrieving him for Bonnie becomes the main plotline.

  • In Adrian Mole, the twenty-year-old Adrian is horrified to find that his mother has cleared out his toy cupboard, including his pink and grey two-legged rabbit, Pinky. Fortunately, Pinky is then rescued from the dustbin.
  • The Miffy story Miffy Is Crying involves her crying over her teddy bear going missing.
  • Shirley Hughes' story "Dogger" has Dave become rather desolate when the titular toy dog ends up lost.
  • The Mr. Men story Adventures With Minibeasts opens with Little Miss Tiny crying after her thimble (which is probably the closest thing she has to a toy) goes missing.
  • Played for Drama in A Song of Ice and Fire: A young Gregor Clegane noticed his six-year-old brother Sandor playing with one of Gregor's old toys, so he grabbed Sandor's head and held it in the fire, giving Sandor a hideous scar and a lifelong fear of fire. Their father covered it up by telling everyone Sandor's bedding had caught fire somehow, and Gregor repaid him by murdering him for his inheritance.
  • John Betjeman's autobiography Summoned By Bells relates an incident when his teddy bear Archibald was taken away:
    One dreadful day
    They hid him from me as a punishment:
    Sometimes the desolation of that loss
    Comes back to me and I must go upstairs
    To see him in the sawdust, so to speak,
    Safe and returned to his idolator.
  • Mo Willems explores this trope in all three books of his Knuffle Bunny series.
    • In the original Knuffle Bunny, little Trixie is a toddler who can't speak yet, which means the loss of the titular character—her beloved stuffed rabbit—is even more serious, because she can't communicate what's wrong. Her Bumbling Dad repeatedly misinterprets her cries and screams, but thankfully, her mother immediately sees the problem and sends her husband back to retrieve Knuffle Bunny.
    • Knuffle Bunny, Too sees an older Trixie attending kindergarten for the first time, and meeting another girl who has a toy identical to her own Knuffle Bunny. The two children get along fine, but late that night, Trixie realizes that the bunny she's holding is not her toy—she accidentally picked up the other Knuffle Bunny by mistake—and immediately runs to tell her parents. Thankfully, the other girl's family is having the exact same problem across town, and the fathers meet for a midnight toy swap.
    • Knuffle Bunny Free has Trixie as an eight-year-old girl traveling to meet her grandparents in Europe. She unfortunately leaves Knuffle Bunny behind on the plane; at this point, she doesn't even have to say what's wrong, as her parents immediately figure it out as soon as she walks into the room with a somber expression. Unlike the other books, though, Trixie is able to make peace with the loss of her toy as she imagines Knuffle Bunny traveling around the world on adventures. When the family boards the plane to return to America, they are surprised to find Knuffle Bunny in a seat compartment, making this seem like a case of Sweet and Sour Grapes—only for Trixie to freely choose to give up the rabbit to a crying baby to make him feel better, a sign that she is growing up. The baby's grateful parents thank her by sending her letters, giving Trixie her first-ever pen pal.
  • Roys Bedoys: In “No Stealing, Roys Bedoys!”, Maker declares it “the worst day of [his] life” when he can’t find his toy car.

    Music Videos 
  • The video for My Happiness by Powderfinger shows a kid losing his Slinky on the train. He is miserable until the Slinky finds its way to his suburb, where it is retrieved by his mother, who places it in his room while he sleeps.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Luke from Jessie is a 12-years old boy who still sleeps with his stuffed koala Kenny every night.
    • In "Creepy Connie Comes a Callin'", he screams when his creepy stalker Connie decapitates Kenny. However, Jessie repairs it.
    • In "Quitting Cold Koala", he gets upset when Jessie accidentally drops Kenny from the balcony and gets run over by a car. The episode reveals that when Luke was at the orphanage, Kenny was "all he had", which is why it's important to him. Fortunately, Stuart performs an "operation" that manages to somewhat fix the stuffed koala. However, this is when Luke decides to get over Kenny for good, mostly due to smelling like chloroform.
  • "Old Friends," an episode of The Golden Girls, explores this trope in its B-plot. Blanche gives away an old teddy bear to a little girl named Daisy, only to discover that said bear was Fernando, Womanchild Rose's favorite toy (keep in mind that Rose is in her sixties). Daisy proves to be a Spoiled Brat who tries to force Blanche and Dorothy into buying her presents and giving her cash in exchange for Fernando's safe return. When the girls nervously explain what happened in the hope that Rose will be understanding, she instead demonstrates exactly why Beware the Nice Ones is a trope: "Just cut the crap and get back THE DAMN BEAR!" The plot ends with Rose seemingly coming to terms with the loss of Fernando, and gently escorting Daisy to the door with the remark "Sometimes, life just isn't fair, kiddo"—only to snatch the teddy and hurl Daisy onto the porch.
    • A minor Running Gag saw Dorothy (who, again, is in her sixties) frequently lamenting the loss of her childhood toys, including a doll named Mrs. Doolittle which her sister Gloria somehow broke ("She made it so she could never close her eyes again! Mrs. Doolittle looked like a morphine addict!"), a paper bird that Sophia promised would someday become a real pet if she was good (that is, until the paper one "died" when Sophia used it to start the pilot light), and even, in one case, a simple stick.

     Puppet Shows 
  • In the Allegra's Window episode "Where's Godfrey?" Allegra can't find her stuffed octopus Godfrey, but all her friends and family help her look for him and help her feel better. In the end, her dad finds him.

    Web Videos 
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Bowser Junior Loses Thomas!", Junior plays with his Thomas & Friends toy and loses it behind the couch. When his friends, Joseph and Cody come over to play, Junior notices that Thomas has gone missing and goes into a deep depression when he can't find him. Chef Pee Pee searches for Thomas, and even tries to buy Junior a new one (the train he gets is a blue one, but it doesn't have a face). He eventually manages to find Thomas when he cleans behind the couch, and this makes Junior happy again... at least until Junior notices that his dinosaur toy has also gone missing.

    Western Animation 
  • Horrid Henry: Peter spends a good chunk of Horrid Henry And The Time Capsule crying over his toy bunny going missing after Henry had placed it in the time capsule.
  • The episode of the Mr. Bean cartoon "Chocks Away" ends with Mr. Bean crying in bed when he thinks that Teddy was blown up when a remote control plane he bought caught fire and exploded. Thankfully it turns out that Teddy was ejected from the plane and he lands safely in Bean's fireplace.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Dog Bites Bear", Stewie's bear doll Rupert — whom he has a very sexual fascination for — gets torn apart by a drunk Brian, causing Stewie to hold Brian accountable for his actions until they scatter Rupert's ashes into the wind at the top of a mountain. All this is undone when Brian simply buys another identical bear doll and Stewie makes no attempt to doubt the new "Rupert".
  • In Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, the second dimension counterpart of Dr. Doofenshmirtz was motivated to become the successful tyrant of the second dimension Tri-State Area all because he lost a toy train when he was growing up. The prime Doofenshmirtz, who suffered one of the most extreme examples of a Hilariously Abusive Childhood in Disney animation, is completely and utterly flabbergasted that this is all it took for the other Doof to become such a (comparatively) uber-competent villain. In the movie's climax, prime Doofenschmirtz manages to make his second dimension counterpart stand down and surrender by giving him his own version of the toy train, which he never lost. Then, in the tie-in episode Phineas and Ferb "Tales from the Resistance", Charlene-2 frees Doof-2 from prison and tosses away his new toy train to make him evil again.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • Bubbles will often get very distraught if Octi goes missing. In "Octi-Gone" it goes from sadness to anger.
    • Buttercup of all characters goes through this in "Cover Up" when Blossom and Bubbles take away her blanket and ends up being reduced to a sobbing mess.
  • Happens multiple time for Angelica in Rugrats every time Cynthia goes missing. At one point in "The Seven Voyages of Cynthia", she even held a funeral when she believe she truly lost her forever. This attitude extends to her in All Grown Up!. When Cynthia gets accidentally donated, Angelica is devastated.
  • In The Simpsons, Mr. Burns uses goes to great lengths to recover his teddy bear, Bobo, who after decades of being lost in the Arctic, somehow found its way into a bag of ice at the Kwik-E-Mart and into Maggie's hands. He uses his wealth to turn the townsfolk against the Simpson family, who only realized what they were doing when Maggie was on the verge of tears. Mr. Burns backs off for now, but promises to get Bobo back again in the future.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • The episode "The Detective" has a heartbroken Anais looking for Daisy the Donkey after she went missing.
    • An earlier episode "The Quest" centered around Anais getting Daisy back from Tina, after she watched her plushie get thrown off the school bus by Tobias.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Sean's Robotic Arm", Sean loses his prized Neil Armstrong figure in a narrow crevice, and is very upset about it since the toy is very important to him and has accompanied him in his many journeys. The rest of the episode is dedicated to the kids constructing a robotic arm to rescue the Neil figure.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Lost and Found", a small boy cries and screams after he loses his teddy fish at the Krusty Krab, forcing SpongeBob to go into the lost and found to find it.
  • One episode of Arthur, "Clarissa is Cracked," plays with this trope. Grandma Thora allows D.W. to borrow Clarissa, the first doll she ever owned as a child (Thora grew up with several brothers, so most of her belongings were hand-me-down "boy toys"). D.W. doesn't know any of this at first, and so treats Clarissa roughly to the point of breaking. She is terrified that this trope will be the reaction, and enlists Arthur's help to fix the doll. Mr. Ratburn eventually saves the day with his knowledge of puppetry, and Clarissa appears as good as new—but D.W. still confesses what happened out of guilt. Thora thanks her for her honesty and reveals that she, too, has broken Clarissa over the years, providing An Aesop about making mistakes and learning from them.
  • A strange shape-shifting entity raises all kinds of hell in one episode of Ben 10: Alien Force, until it is cornered and revealed to be an incredibly advanced device - whereupon a Sufficiently Advanced Alien appears and retrieves it, thanking the heroes for finding her child's favourite toy.
    Alien: Now maybe she will stop crying.
    Kevin: No way would I let any kid of mine play with a toy like that.
  • The Batman episode "Cash for Toys" has Cash Tankinson attack and destroy a toy robot he mistakes for being one of Cosmo Krank's toy minions. It isn't until he sees a child cry at seeing the destruction of his toy that Cash realizes his mistake.

    Real Life 
  • It's common for transport companies when contacted about lost toys and finding them, to post updates on social media of the toy having "adventures" to keep the child happy while they arrange to return the toy.