Follow TV Tropes


Museum of Boredom

Go To
"We're going to spend the next eight hours learning about the genius of this little bent piece of wire."

Some museums have interesting exhibits and displays. Some museums contain downright weird things. This, however, is a museum containing extremely boring things. The exhibits are repetitive or only of interest to nerds who specialize in the topic. It could be the location of a disappointing Class Trip, although if Played for Laughs at least one member of the visiting party will be fascinated. It might be made even more boring by an especially dull, droning tour guide or a pedantic curator.

It may emphasize Small Town Boredom if the museum features the tedious history or industry of the boring place in which it is located. It might also overlap with Nature Is Boring if the exhibits are nature-related.

May be a source of Incredibly Lame Fun.


    open/close all folders 

  • An advertisement for the Polish cereal "Kangus" depicted a class of kids on a dull museum trip, with their teacher droning on about exhibits such as "the beautiful vase with Greek figures", until the wacky Kangus the kangaroo shows up to enliven their day.
  • One advert for Dairylea lunchables features a class being taken to an art museum being bored by their teacher's lectures until one kid uses his lunch to liven things up, namely messing with her wig and trapping her in a sculpture.

  • Victoria Wood mentions in one of her shows a visit to the "Tungsten and Ball Bearing Experience".

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Animal Kingdom: The Melbourne museum of art is implied to be boring because one of the characters needs somewhere no-one ever goes in order to have a secret conversation.
  • Bunny and the Bull: The scene where the characters visit the Polish National Shoe Museum, complete with interminable tour guide.
  • Rat Race lampshades this by having the Pear family dragged to a detour at the Barbie Museum, which all but one member of the family expect to be a museum of boredom. However, the museum turns out to be the Klaus Barbie museum, run by Nazis. Hilarity Ensues.

  • Discworld:
    • The Discworld has museums of things like dwarf bread or minerals, which generally bore any non-dwarf (Captain Carrot finds it interesting, but he's a dwarf by culture even if not by blood).
    • There's also the Colossus of Morpork, which while slightly more interesting than a bread museum is still unimpressive because it fits in a cardboard box. Bloody Stupid Johnson fully deserved his nickname.
  • Frank Stockton's short story "The Queen's Museum" (1887). The title museum is full of buttonholes, which the country's queen finds fascinating but everyone else finds completely uninteresting.
  • The children's book Ratman has the Museum of Feathers, which the main character notes gets five visitors per year.
  • The children's' book Thanks For The Sardine features the heroine Aggie persuading her boring aunts to come to a day course about how to be a good auntie by telling them it's an iron filings museum, which they find fascinating.
  • The protagonist of Tick Tock, You're Dead! somehow considers the American Museum of Natural History — one of the largest museums in the world, housing over 30 million exhibits in 26 interconnected buildings — to be one of these, complaining that his parents should bring him to somewhere else "cooler" for their trip in New York like Rockfeller Center or the Statue of Liberty. Justified, since the protagonist is 12.
  • In The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson reminisces about his father's ability to find such places while driving on holiday.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One Episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has The Comically Serious Captain Holt seducing a potential corporate spy by bringing him to the Barrel Museum. Jake, who is listening in on a transmitter, has to fight to stay awake as they discuss a single barrel for 3 hours.
    • And in an earlier episode, the 99 visits Rochester for a cop convention. While everyone else is excited to throw a big drunken party with the other police departments, Holt is particularly interested in the local thermometer museum.
  • The Coogan's Run episode "The Curator" is set in a dull local museum. The museum might actually be mildly interesting if the curator himself wasn't so desperately dull. The curator blames his museum's failure on the bigger museum down the road that keeps getting all the best exhibits.
  • In The Flash, the chief exhibits in the museum are the jewel that Captain Cold is targeting and a stand dedicated to a guy who saved hundreds of cows from a flood. In fact a major tip-off to the museum's staff that Cold is planning a robbery is that he took the tour twice, which apparently no-one has done before.
  • Flight of the Conchords: Not a museum, but it has this feel. Murray goes on a walking tour of historic band rotundas. He'd planned for Brett and Jemaine to come with him, but they don't share Murray's enthusiasm.
  • The Golden Girls:
    • One of Rose's stories about St. Olaf mentions the St. Olaf Children's Cheese Museum. Her roommates were not impressed.
    • Another episode features Miles taking Rose on a date to a thimble museum, which Rose finds incredibly dull.
  • Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: Gomer enthusiastically drags Sgt. Carter and his girlfriend to a rock museum, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Parks and Recreation: The town of Pawnee has a snow-globe museum. Leslie really likes it, but it's suggested that no one else finds it that interesting, including the museum's staff.
  • The Grand Tour: Hammond organizes the trio's itinerary during their trip to Switzerland, going to various "attractions" in a single town that fit this trope, including a chess museum. Clarkson and May are increasingly unamused, not helped by their stay at a detox clinic, forced to eat vegetarian food and to abstain from alcohol. May eventually calls Hammond out on it, realizing that the only reason they keep coming to the town with all the Museums of Boredom is because it has the only fast-charging point for his electric-powered supercar in range of their accommodations.

  • Rilo Kiley pokes fun at this idea in "It's A Hit" in one of the stanzas:
    Any asshole can open up a museum
    Put all the things he loves on display
    So anyone can see 'em.
    A house, a car, a thoughtful wife
    Ordinary moments, in his ordinary life.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" name-checks a few likely candidates, all of which really existed when he wrote the song. Elvis-A-Rama (since closed) was in Paradise, Nevada. The Tupperware Museum is in Orlando. The Boll Weevil Monument is in Enterprise, Alabama. Ocean Spray Cranberry World (since closed) was in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Shuffleboard Hall of Fame is in St. Petersburg, Florida. There are several rock formations called Poodle Rock or Poodle Dog Rock; at least one is in Nevada. The Mecca of Albino Squirrels is in Olney, Illinois. The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota is in Darwin, Minnesota. The town celebrates "Twine Ball Day" on the second Saturday in August every year.

  • The Museum of Everything largely averts this, since it contains... well, everything. But some of the exhibits count, such as the history of stairs exhibit which is located between floors one and two.
  • The first episode of the BBC radio series St. Berks involves a visit to the Museum of Concrete.

    Video Games 
  • The The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Mod, Beyond Skyrim, has the so-called "Hall of the Champion" in Bruma, a small museum dedicated to the Champion of Cyrodiil, the Player Character of Oblivion. Said museum is nowhere as exciting as its owner tries to make it out to be. Amongst the things he has on display are the shackles from the Champion's cell in the Imperial Dungeon, the armor of a Bruma guard the Champion bumped into while entering the city, and a handkerchief that he claims the Champion once blew their nose in.
  • In the Fallout 4: Nuka-World DLC, you can take a break from the titular soda-themed park to visit the nearby Wixon's Shovel Museum. It features artifacts such as a weapon wielded by the feared British Shovel Fighters during the American Revolutionary War, a shovel used by Abraham Lincoln's cousin's neighbor to build a latrine that the future 16th president may very well have used, a recreation of a Stone Age shovel "if it were made in modern times in Mexico," and a "long-handled spade" that while technically not a shovel was popular from April 3, 1963 to April 7, 1963. Oh, and one terminal still displays a resignation letter from an employee who left to pursue a new career at the Museum of Mops and Buckets.
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road focuses on roadside attractions, which include the museum at the foot of the Biggest Ball of Twine in the World. It's dreadful.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: in "The World of Tomorrow", the class goes on an annual overnight field trip to the science museum. All of the kids enjoy it…except Binky, who was Held Back in School and is doing it all again. He’s bored and miserable until he finds out about the titular exhibit.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • A school trip to the natural history museum in "Carpe Museum" is a boring ordeal for Louise, who ducks out of a tour with her trip buddy Rudy to explore a part of the museum that's closed off to make way for an upcoming exhibit, forcing chaperone Bob to track them down. Other students make the best of it, like Zeke, who has a checklist of all the boobs you can see there.
    • Another school trip in "If You Love it So Much, Why Don't You Marionette?" was to a puppet theater, which could have been fun, if only it didn't have an insipid play about stamps. The kids were asked to make their own puppets and stage their own play, but even that was made dull by only giving them eye stickers to put on the marionettes and a generic fill-in-the-blanks script.
  • Freakazoid!: The Great Hall of Spackle. It houses some potentially interesting exhibits, like an Egyptian pyramid and a piece of the Berlin Wall, but the premise is clearly meant to be ridiculous, as is Freakazoid's excitement to go there.
  • The Great North: The log museum from "Dead Moon Walking Adventure" is implied to be one. Except for the Tobins, the only people who go inside only want to use the bathroom, plus one person who seemed to have a fetish for licking logs. Furthermore, the Tobin siblings and Honeybee are only there to enjoy the free chocolate-covered pretzel logs. Beef seems to be the only one who is truly enthusiastic about logs.
  • The Simpsons: Several:
    • Although not technically a museum, the Springfield Elementary trip to the box factory has this feel, even a "tour" of the manager's cramped office that consists of them following a yellow line around his desk and back out the door. Bart wanders off from the group, but Martin and Principal Skinner find the visit fascinating.
    • Subverted with the cracker factory, which Bart thinks will be boring and feels sorry for Milhouse who's there for "Take Your Kid to Work Day" but it's actually amazing (the salt storage area is big enough for the workers to ride through it on dogsleds).
    • The Springfield Natural History Museum includes a sign claiming: "Egyptian artifacts now less boring".
    • Homer apparently feels this way about all museums: "Good things don't end in '-eum,' they end in '-mania'... or '-teria'!"
    • The Springfield Stamp Museum.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: "Interdimensional Field Trip" opens with Star's class going to the Echo Creek Paperclip Museum. Star is initially excited, but everyone else is quickly bored out of their minds.
  • The Weekenders: Bahia Bay's world food museum is a Running Gag in several episodes. Naturally, the one time they offered samples of something (baklava) that wasn't either "boring" or a Masochist's Meal, they ran out before Tino got there.


Video Example(s):


The Log Museum

The Log Museum hardly gets any customers and the other people who enjoys are the Tobins, but the kids only like it for the free chocolate-covered pretzel logs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / MuseumOfBoredom

Media sources: