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Plot-Triggering Book

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Better pray that you don't find these magically absorbing books.
Indiana Jones: It's Dad's Grail diary. Every clue he followed. Every discovery he made. A complete record of his search for the Holy Grail. This is his whole life. Why would he have sent this to me?
Marcus Brody: I don't know, but someone must want it pretty badly.

A character, usually The Protagonist, comes across a random, special book one day, and boom — the plot is kicked into motion. Alternatively, another character introduces the book to our protagonist. Why does it have to be a book, you say? Because in fiction, books are easily accessible objects that can wield enormous power or contain great, unlimited knowledge/classified information that allows the holder to use it with good intentions or exploit it for evil, thus beginning their journey.

This is played out in several ways:

The book doesn't necessarily need to be present through the entire plot, but it has to be the reason the plot even takes place. It also can be a tome, a grimoire, a scrapbook, a scroll, etc.

A subtrope of Stumbled Into the Plot. Compare with MacGuffin, an item/element that triggers the plot in general, but serves no other purpose. Compare Myth Prologue, where a story opens with a recounting of a usually plot important myth or legend in the setting. See also Plot Device, something whose sole purpose is to drive the story.

Not to be confused with Storybook Opening, that shot at the beginning of a film that shows a book opening to the tale we're about to view.

When adding examples don't refer to the two types instead of providing context because that's not allowed. Please explain how the example fits the trope in detail. Also, this trope is for books that are responsible for kicking off the plot of a story, merely discovering a book or being handed one that doesn't trigger the events of the plot doesn't count.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: In the anime (only), Sakura finds the Book of Clow in her basement and accidentally releases all but one of the mayhem-inducing magical cards inside. She is then tasked by the guardian of the book to recapture the cards.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami discovers a notebook that grants the user the ability to kill those whose names are written in it. While the notebook doesn't have any supernatural powers by itself, it's still capable of killing anyone whose name is written in it by the user. From here on, Light's normal life changes forever as he decides to become a Vigilante Man cleansing the world of criminal filth — and soon becomes consumed by a God complex.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: The main character and her friends are sucked into the world of a mysterious book found in a national library, where the bulk of the story's plot happens.
  • Love Tyrant has the Kiss Note — a powerful notebook that makes any pairing who have their names written there immediately become a couple if they kiss each other. The story begins when cupid angel Guri accidentally writes down Seiji's name and tells him that if he doesn't kiss someone, Guri will die. Chaos ensues afterward.
  • Madlax: Margaret's story begins with her searching through her missing father's possessions and discovering a mysterious book written in a strange language. Margaret's investigation of this book's origins leads her to be targeted by an evil conspiracy, discover the truth behind her missing memories, and meet the eponymous Madlax. The book turns out to be Secondari, one of the three tomes needed to bring about a new era for the world.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero starts with protagonist Naofumi Iwatani browsing a library and happening upon a fantasy novel about four Cardinal Heroes with unique weapons. Moments later, he's summoned into the world spoken of in the book to become the Shield Hero. It's left ambiguous whether the book had any powers in and of itself; the other three Cardinal Heroes were summoned from playing MMORPGs in their versions of Earth.
  • Vermeil in Gold: Alto Goldfield attends a magic academy, where he's failing at summoning. Desperate not to flunk, Alto opens an old family tome of spells and tries one of the summoning rites therein. He succeeds in summoning the shapely but powerful demon Vermeil, who agrees to become Alto's familiar because Alto's mana is delicious to her.

    Comic Books 
  • The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror: The issue 14 story "Murder, He Wrote", which parodies Death Note, has Bart finding a similar notebook that works with the same rules as the Death Note anime.
  • X-Treme X-Men (2001): In a late-90s X-Men story, Kitty Pryde discovers the precognitive mutant Destiny's diary, predicting the upcoming ascension of the ancient villain Apocalypse. Later, in 2001, author Chris Claremont reutilizes this plot point for new series X-Treme X-Men and expands the diary to a series of 13 volumes. The books reportedly map out the future for mutant-kind, and Storm and a group of X-Men hunt for them around the globe to keep them from falling in the wrong hands.

    Films — Animated 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Linguist Milo Thatch, whose father was an explorer searching for proof of the existence of Atlantis, is summoned by Preston Whitmore, a friend of his father's. Whitmore hands him the Shepherd's Journal, a book reportedly written by someone who found it in the Atlantean language and has information about the legendary lost continent, including how to find it. Thatch thus becomes part of an expedition to Atlantis, interpreting the book's information to lead them to it.
  • The Care Bears Movie gets started when Nicholas, the assistant to a stage magician, is sorting through a trunk the magician just purchased, which includes a sapient, and a very evil, spell book.
  • Nahuel and the Magic Book tells the story of Nahuel, a boy who fears the sea. He comes across the eponymous magic book called "Levisterio," which seems to be the perfect solution. However, an evil sorcerer who's after the book kidnaps Nahuel's father. He goes on an adventure to rescue his father and overcome his fears.
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas: The Book of Peace is a magical tome that sustains and protects Syracuse. When Eris, goddess of discord, manages to abscond it, Sinbad goes asea to recover this book. For Sinbad, it's more of a mission to Clear My Name, since he was framed for the theft. Eris toys with him, proposing a Riddle Me This with the Book of Peace as the prize.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Babadook's plot is launched when Amelia finds a strange children's book, entitled "Mr. Babadook", on her young son's shelf. She has no idea how it got there, and when she reads it to him as a bedtime story, she realizes that the content is much darker than she was expecting.
  • Back to the Future Part II: In 2015, old-Biff overhears Doc Brown telling Marty to throw away "Gray's Sports Almanac" before they return to 1985 because he didn't invent Time Travel to help them gamble. As Marty and Doc Brown rush to get Jennifer out of her and Marty's future home before she sees her future self, old-Biff "borrows" the Delorean-time machine. When the trio gets back to 1985, Hill Valley has been turned into a dystopia where the town is one large slum and Biff is a billionaire casino owner, as Doc Brown and Marty discovered that old-Biff went back to 1955 to give his teen-aged self the book so that he could be rich and powerful in the future.
  • The Book of Eli: Eli is in possession of a special book, one of the last remaining copies of the Bible, and is on a journey to deliver it to a particular place. Along the way Eli encounters Carnegie who tries to take the book, believing that he can use it to influence people towards his own ends.
  • Death Note (2017), being a Pragmatic Adaptation of the Death Note anime, follows the same plot, albeit with major changes. On a fateful day, Light Turner finds a leather-bound notebook with instructions that states that if a person's name is written in its pages, that person will die. In this adaptation, Ryuk, the notebook's owner, convinces Light to use the notebook.
  • Eastern Promises: A teenager living in London dies during childbirth and leaves a diary in Russian. Anna, a midwife, discovers the journal and translates the clues inside it that could tie the teenager's child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob.
  • The Evil Dead (1981): Ash and his friends find the Naturom Demonto (retconned as the Necronomicon in the sequels), a mysterious book in an unfamiliar alphabet, in the basement of the cabin they are renting. They listen to a recording of a disappeared archeologist who read an incantation from the book. This sets off the plot where Ash and company fight for survival against the Evil Dead.
  • Evil Toons: A bunch of pretty girls finds a book of scary cartoons in an abandoned house. They intentionally release a cartoon monster that possessed one of the girls.
  • The Fog: As the city of Antonio Bay prepares to celebrate its centennial, an eerie fog rolls in from the ocean. At the stroke of midnight, a portion of the wall falls away in the church, revealing to Father Malone a diary that belonged to his late grandfather, which details a conspiracy to kill a group trying to start a leper colony nearby and steal their gold. The vengeful spirits of the leper colony are rising up to take revenge, targeting the descendants of the original seven conspirators. Father Malone, at the climax, also learns from the journal that his grandfather, in a fit of guilt, stole the gold from his co-conspirators and buried it in the church walls so that no one would profit from it.
  • Goosebumps (2015): In this movie, the manuscripts for the books are used to imprison the many monsters of the series. Zack, the protagonist, discovers and accidentally unleashes the Abominable Snowman, causing a chain of events that lead to Slappy the Talking Dummy unleashing all the monsters on the town as retribution against R. L. Stine for locking them up.
  • The Haunting Hour: Cassie purchases a book called "The Evil Thing" from the Halloween Store. She reads it to her little brother Max as a bedtime story, just to get even with him for turning off her computer and deleting her homework. The Evil Thing was brought to the real world to kidnap Max.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: In the prologue, young Indy tries to talk to his father Henry Sr., who's too busy writing his diary about Holy Grail lore to listen. In the present, Indy gets a strange package from Venice before being approached by Walter Donovan to lead an expedition to find the Holy Grail after the previous leader disappeared. When he declines, suggesting approaching his father instead, Donovan reveals that his father had been the previous leader. And Indy realizes that the package was actually his father's diary, setting the stage for Indy to look for his father and the Grail.
  • The plot of The Mummy (1999) is already semi-underway by the time our heroes find a copy of the Book of the Dead, but reading a passage from it is what really gets things going by bringing the movie's title character Back from the Dead.
  • National Treasure: The prologue begins with a young Ben Gates discovering an old tome in his grandfather's attic. After grandpa discovers him with the book, he tells him the family lore about the treasure that was hidden somewhere in the Thirteen Colonies by the Freemasons among the Founding Fathers during the American Revolution, setting up the rest of the film. The book is the log of the Gates family's nearly two centuries of failed attempts to rediscover the treasure.
  • National Treasure: Book of Secrets: Two books kick off each part of the plot. The first is a diary belonging to Ben Gates' Civil War ancestor Thomas, which seemingly proves that Thomas was an accomplice in Abraham Lincoln's assassination. To clear his name, Ben follows a code in the diary, leading them on a hunt for clues that, upon the discovery of the final clue, leads them to a possible second diary, shared by previous presidents to the present, containing information about national secrets and conspiracies, of which he must get explicit permission from the current president, to read.
  • The Neverending Story revolves around the bibliophile Bastian who one day steals a book called "The Neverending Story" from a bookstore. The more Bastian reads the book, he discovers that it's about Fantasia, a Magical Land threatened by "The Nothing," a malevolent force that devours everything, and a young boy like him who's on a quest to save it. Bastian begins to wonder if Fantasia needs him to survive.
  • The erotic movie Poison Ivy 2: Lily starts when the sheltered Lily finds an old diary with nude pictures of Ivy, a girl she never met before. The diary describes Ivy's sexual misadventures, and Lily slowly becomes obsessed with it. She attempts to adopt Ivy's sexually forward and risk-taking attitude by cutting her hair and wearing revealing clothes.
  • The main conflict in Please Turn Over is caused when Jo publishes Naked Revolt and her readers believe what she has written using real people as inspiration for her characters is all true.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Stella and her friends find Sarah Bellow's book of scary stories on Halloween night. She took the book and it made new scary stories that come to life.
  • Young Frankenstein: Frederick Frankenstein is led by mysterious music to his late grandfather's private library at the end of the first act, where he finds his grandfather's book, How I Did It. This details how Victor Frankenstein brought his creature to life, and inspires Frederick to do the same.

  • The Book of Eve: The story starts when the protagonist, Beatrice, is given the titular books by a pair of dying women. Members of the Church are looking to destroy the book, as it has been declared a heretical text.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The entire plot kicks off because Ginny Weasley found Tom Riddle's diary in her cauldron. It's an unusual example in that the triggering event took place off-screen, and it's only at the end of the story that it's retroactively revealed to have taken place.
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Part of the story's plot revolves around Harry coming across an old tattered potions textbook belonging to "The Half-Blood Prince" that is extensively graffitied with amended procedures and scribbled notes for potion formulas, which helps his performance in Potions class dramatically. It also contains spells that said Prince created, but when Harry severely injures Draco using one of them, he quickly disposes of the book.
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova begins when a young woman, the daughter of a historian, comes across a peculiar little book purporting to tell the true story of Vlad Tepes. Soon the novel itself becomes a frame for stories-within-stories, as the heroine unravels her father's past in Transylvania and his connection with her supposedly-dead mother.
  • Less a single book than a huge trove of unorganized notes and half-finished essays, but the plot of House of Leaves kicks off when the narrator Johnny Truant moves into the apartment of a recently deceased intellectual and discovers his life's work: an enormous essay on a nonexistent movie about a house with some very unique properties. His attempts to make sense of this, and the subsequent Sanity Slippage and Mind Screw associated with it, form the Framing Device of the novel.
  • The Inkworld Trilogy: A case where the book itself has no powers, but was the one in place to be affected by a character's powers. In the first book, Inkheart, Mo ends up reading a book called Inkheart as a bedtime story for his daughter Meggie, which ends up resonating with his power to turn stories real when read aloud. Various characters from the book, including the Big Bad, end up appearing in the real world, along with Mo's wife getting sucked into the world of the book.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray: One of the ways Lord Henry corrupts Dorian is by giving him a shocking roman décadent, confirmed out-of-universe to be J.-K. Huysmans' A Rebours. Dorian spends a significant chunk of narrative time patterning himself on its protagonist. (This is a downplayed example, however, as the book isn't introduced until halfway in.)
  • The Scholomance: Partway through the first book, the protagonist finds the Golden Stone Sutras, a long-lost Spell Book for creating enclaves, otherwise a privilege of the magical elite. She makes it her life's goal to use it to build safe havens for her fellow indie wizards, and in the third book, uses the Sutras to save several enclaves from destruction.
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles: Arthur Spiderwick's field guide to the world of faeries is responsible for instigating the numerous confrontations the Grace siblings have with the fae, especially Mulgarath the ogre, who wants to steal the book so he can use its knowledge to Take Over the World.
  • Sword of Truth: In the background to the first book, years before its events started, Richard's father gave him an important book of magical instructions for Richard to memorize and then burn. A few years later, the Big Bad came searching for the book.
  • Time Warp Trio: In Knights of the Kitchen Table, Joe's magician uncle gave him a mysterious blue book for his birthday. After he accidentally triggers The Book's magic properties, he and his friends Sam and Fred are transported to medieval times. The Book's seemingly-random triggers would become the basis of their adventures from then on.
  • Titanicus: Per Warhammer 40,000, the alliance between the Imperium of Man and the Adeptus Mechanicus is founded on the principle that the God-Emperor of the former is the same as the Omnissiah worshiped by the latter. A subplot in Titanicus deals with a dispute between two Mechanicus factions regarding this principle, which suddenly blows up with the discovery of an ancient manuscript that (supposedly) proves it a lie all along. This threatens to spark a civil war within the Mechanicus and a schism from the Imperium, which would be disastrous for both bodies given how tightly interlinked they've become.
  • Young Wizards: The first novel in this YA series kicks off when the protagonist finds the titular So You Want To Be A Wizard. In-universe, the book or its equivalent finds young potential wizards to start their training.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dash & Lily: Dash, a cynical teenager, comes across a red notebook with a message written on the front: "Do you dare?" at a bookstore. Dash then searches for the notebook owner, who's a girl called Lily. Afterward, Dash and Lily trade clues and dares in the notebook they pass back and forth at various places across New York City.
  • A Discovery of Witches is a series based on a fantasy trilogy set in a version of our world where humans are unaware of the existence of vampires, witches, and demons among them. The three varieties of Creatures coexist uneasily and forbid interbreeding among themselves or with Humans. There's a legend of a missing volume of a book that may explain how the nonhumans were created. When a "spellbound" witch from America finds the volume in the library at Oxford University, it ignites a series of events that leads to her falling in love with a Vampire and discovering troubling facts about her parents.
  • Kamen Rider Saber: Protagonist Touma Kamiyama acquired the Brave Dragon Wonder Ride Book as a child, which leads to him acquiring the Seiken Swordriver and the Kaenken Rekka, beginning his journey as a Kamen Rider.
  • Psychopath Diary: The timid and unassuming Dongsik witnesses a gruesome murder one day and stumbles upon the killer's diary, a horrifying record of the vicious crimes committed by a Serial Killer. When he flees in panic, he gets hit by a car and becomes amnesiac due to the accident. Because of the diary he now owns, he mistakenly believes he's a psychopath and hilariously tries acting like one.
  • The Word is a 1978 miniseries centering upon the discovery of papyrus texts written by James, brother to the Lord Jesus Christ. Steve Randall is part of the team that aims to authenticate and then publish this newest book of the Bible. However, Randall begins to have doubts when a derelict hermit, who'd been an altar boy abused by a priest, describes in detail how he'd concocted the forgery.


  • In Frame Story of the Tsukiuta stage play Rabbits Kingdom, Hajime finds a mysterious old book in a language he doesn't recognize, in an antiques shop, but something makes him feel drawn to the book. So he takes it to Shun, the friendly neighborhood demon king, and Shun tells him, "It's a story about us!" — it's Rui's diary from an Alternate Universe, and it contains... the story of the Rabbit Kingdoms.

    Video Games 
  • Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book: The inexperienced alchemist Sophie encounters a mystical, sentient book named Plachta, who has lost almost all of the memories contained in her pages. Sophie becomes determined to recover Plachta's memories and her former human form.
  • Devil Summoner: At the beginning of the game, the protagonist checks "Theory on Ancient Japanese Civilization" out from the local university's library for their girlfriend. Later, this gets them killed by Sid Davis, leading into the rest of the plot.
  • Eternal Darkness: At the beginning of the game, Alexandra discovers the Tome of Eternal Darkness hidden inside the mansion of her deceased grandfather. As she explores the mansion, Alex finds the book's missing pages, which allows her to read about other people who have previously discovered the tome. The book allows people to use magic such as casting spells or summoning monsters like zombies and creatures called horrors.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Mewt finds an unassuming book in a book shop, the Gran Grimoire. When Marche, Ritz, Mewt, and Doned start reading it, they're all transported to the land of Ivalice, suddenly finding that the book has granted each of them their strongest desires that they couldn't have in their old world, jump-starting the game's plot.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Luso is assigned to work in the library as a punishment at school. He discovers the Gran Grimoire while tidying the place up and is transported to the magical world of Ivalice after trying to write himself into the story.
  • The events of Koudelka and the Shadow Hearts trilogy all started when Patrick Heyworth acquired the Emigre Manuscript in 1898 and attempted to bring his late wife back to life.
  • Makai Kingdom: Upon hearing a prophecy concerning his Netherworld's safety, Overlord Zetta heads down to consult The Sacred Tome, which forms the cornerstone of his Netherworld and records all events — past, present, and future. After dispatching a would-be assassin, he consults the book, only for it to display an insulting message. Furious, he then torches the book, only to remember a few seconds too late that destroying it would erase his Netherworld. With only seconds to spare he confines himself into the Tome, kicking off the plot in earnest.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: The game's plot kicks off when Luigi discovers a book containing the world of Paper Mario and accidentally opens it, sending the Paper Mario characters into the regular Mario world. Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario search for all the paper characters to put them back in the book, while Bowser and Paper Bowser try to claim the book so they can have control over both worlds.
  • Myst: Not unsurprisingly uses this trope repeatedly as the world-writing books are central to the plot.
    • The one book that kicks off the entire series is the titular "linking book" that the player somehow finds at the start of the game. It takes the player out of our universe entirely, and to the eponymous island, through a glowing moving image on the front page of the book.
    • Riven: There's a book that kicks off the plot, starting from where Myst left off. You are being tasked on a mission by the artisan book writer you rescued in Myst, Atrus, to save his captive wife, and defeat his tyrannical father, Gehn. You're whisked away to the titular, decaying world of Riven through a gigantic dictionary-sized linking book that describes the fabric of its reality by a glowing moving image on the book's first page.
    • Myst III: Exile: 10 years after the events of "Myst" and "Riven," Atrus has a new home, as well as another linking book containing the home of the surviving inhabitants of his civilization, the D'ni. A thief, wanting revenge, suddenly enters Atrus' home while you're conversing with him, sets his office on fire, steals the book, and uses another linking book to escape, which you follow him through.
    • Uru: Ages Beyond Myst: The prologue is a quest to obtain the linking book to Relto, your own personal age, and that starts the quest of the main story.
  • In Octopath Traveler, From the Far Reaches of Hell in Cyrus's story serves this function due to being a Tome of Eldritch Lore. Ostensibly a book about necromancy, it is in truth about the fallen god Galdera's power over life and death, and contains dreadful secrets such how to obtain great power and immortality at the cost of other people's lives using Blood Magic. The book's mere existence poses a great threat because of the knowledge it contains, and Cyrus has to decide whether or not to destroy the book and its knowledge forever to keep it away from those who would abuse it.
  • The plot of Rakenzarn Tales starts when the protagonist finds the titular book in his house one day, which transports him into the world of Rakenzarn. The book stays with him to serve as a chronicle of his journey and gaining new powers as he progresses.
  • The Simpsons Game: Bart finds an instruction book called "The Simpsons Game" in an alleyway. He reads it and learns that he and his family are video game characters with superpowers. Bart then uses his newfound powers to do good deeds.
  • Stories: Path of Destinies: Early on Reynardo recovers an ancient magical book that supposedly will bring about the Emperor's downfall. He starts reading, goes on an adventure to aid the Resistance, gets killed, and finds himself back on the airship after he grabbed the book.
  • Super Paper Mario: The Dark Prognosticus is an in-universe book explaining how to bring about the end of the world, inspiring antagonist Count Bleck to begin his path of destruction.

  • Jupiter-Men: Arrio is given a book and a ring for his sixteenth birthday as mementos from his late mother. Unbeknownst to him, said book and ring are magical. Touching them awakens Arrio's latent magical abilities and marks him as a target for an invading Magitte who would like to take the spell book and Ring of Power for himself.
  • The Seer: Korbyn receives an old book from her grandma Fala after she dies, and opening it unlocks her destiny as the "Seer." Not long after she does so, she gains deadly allies who protect her from Zalgo's minions, who seek to kidnap her. Inside the book is a key and Fala's letter, written to explain Korbyn's new duty and guide her on where to go to take Fala's place as the new Seer.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: The third season reveals that Marcy stranded the trio in the eponymous world on purpose and kicked off the entire plot after reading a book that contained pictures and a description of the Music Box that zapped them there and recognizing the same box in the Pawn Shop.
  • Christmas In Tattertown: The strange book a girl named Debbie finds sucks her, her Little Miss Muffet doll, and Dog, her stuffed dog, into Tattertown, where discarded objects—including Muffet and Dog—come to life. While Dog remains loyal to Debbie, Muffet, who has long felt oppressed by the wear and tear of being a toy, runs away. Muffet eludes Debbie and, calling herself Muffet the Merciless, makes up her mind to conquer Tattertown.
  • Gravity Falls: The journal Dipper finds in the woods pushes said character to explore the mysteries of the town and follow his sister when her boyfriend bears a striking similarity to the zombies described within. In a grander sense, this journal, plus the other two, held the information needed to build the trans-dimensional portal.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The pilot begins with Twilight reading a book that describes an old legend in which the alicorn sister who had ruled the night had become the evil Nightmare Moon and rebelled against her sister who ruled the day and was banished into the moon. This prompts Twilight to look up a second book, according to which, on the night of that very day, the long-banished alicorn will return and plunge the world into The Night That Never Ends. This spurs Twilight into obsessively trying to find a way to prevent this, which sets off the events of the pilot itself and through that sets up the premise of the rest of the series.
  • The Owl House: The plot is kicked off when Luz Noceda chases the mysterious owl who stole her “Good Witch Azura” book through a magical doorway and finds herself in the Demon Realm. Though the book itself contains no significant information, its very existence is what gets the entire plot moving. It’s also revealed later to be significant to Luz’s growth and motivation as it’s revealed that the first book in the series was left to Luz by her late father, giving her a deep emotional attachment to the series as a whole..
  • The Simpsons: A standalone segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXXIII" with a major Animesque Art Shift has Lisa being given a "Death Tome" where she is given the opportunity to wipe out CEOs she feels are ruining the planet, with the Shinigami noting how easily the vegetarian went bloodthirsty, in a Whole-Plot Reference to Death Note.
  • A Thousand and One... Americas: All the oneiric adventures Chris experiences over the course of the series, except for the one from the first episode (which simply kicks in when he falls asleep during class), begin after he finds the expedition book on pre-Columbian history written by his late grandfather in the attic of his house at the end of the first episode.