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Well-Intentioned Replacement

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Whether intentionally or accidentally something has been destroyed, or else it never arrived via delivery or whatever. Our hero feels the need to replace it, but budgetary and/or time constraints have forced them to make a few cutbacks. Like, actually having it be what it's supposed to. It is not uncommon for it to be a Shoddy Knockoff Product.

This is a sister trope to Broken Treasure. See Dead Pet Sketch if the replacement involves an animal.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In a Ranma ½ flashback it's revealed that Ranma accidentally ruins Ukyo's special sauce that requires ten years of aging. He frantically makes some sauce of his own out of whatever he can find. One imagines it was inedible to begin with, but after ten years of aging... yuck!
    • Another time, Ranma accidentally broke the traditional doll that gave a very famous inn its name. He hastily reassembled it into something of a frog-shape, incurring the doll's (and Akane's) wrath.
  • In FAKE, Bikky saved up money to buy some expensive jewelery for Carol and even bought it, but on the way out met a kid crying because he'd just been mugged and couldn't buy something for his mother. So of course Bikky goes back into the shop, returns the gift, and gives the kid the money. Carol winds up with sunflowers Bikky cut from his foster dad's window sill (and since she was following Bikky and saw the whole thing, she's just as happy with that).
  • Kiki's Delivery Service has another subversion. Kiki has lost the stuffed cat she's supposed to deliver, so her cat Jiji (who happens to look identical) is called in to play mime while Kiki finds the toy. A more dramatic use of this trope occurs later when Kiki is forced to borrow a street sweeper's broom to fly to Tombo's rescue. She can make it fly... but not very well.

    Comic Strips 
  • Not quite Good-Natured, but in Dilbert the gang has to bring a prototype to a tech show. It's a prototype for a holographic AI interface. They don't have anywhere near enough time or money to do this, so they gut a computer monitor, punch a hole in the bottom and the table, and have Wally stick his head up. He's supposed to pretend to be the interface. Too bad they are visited by the Dark Angel of Product Demos (Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light, his "hello, Wally" would've been bonechilling if heard in animation).

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Agent Cody Banks 2. The sidekick is pretending to be the chef, and he must come up with a dessert at the last minute. His solution-Chocolate Surprise! Basically candy in a chocolatey pudding.
  • This is the whole point of the movie Be Kind Rewind.
  • The Parent Trap. The girls (with the assistance of Hickey and Verbina) recreate the restaurant from their parent's first date as part of an attempt to get their parents back together. Everything is quite homemade and primitive, but it's touching, nonetheless.
    • Averted in the remake, where apparently they try to one up the first movie by recreating the photograph from their wedding as closely as possible, down to a decorative life-buoy. It's mentioned that one of their grandparents paid for most of this.
  • The robotic Santa of The Santa Clause 2.
  • In Mister Roberts, after giving away a half bottle of whiskey as a bribe to secure a visit to a liberty port, the officers discover that Pulver had promised it to a nurse. The create a substitute out of medical alcohol, Coca-Cola, iodine and hair tonic. It is surprisingly effective.
  • In Bean after the title character accidentally destroys the famous painting of Whistler's Mother (by trying to clean it after it gets wet and rubbing the paint off her face), he tries to restore it by drawing a crude face in its place with a marker pen.

  • In the Discworld novel Hogfather, Albert kicks this trope in the nuts. Hard. He talks about how he wanted a rocking horse as a kid, but his parents could never afford it, so his dad carved him a little wooden horse instead. When Death asks him if that was more important because of the effort the dad put in, Albert snorts and says that's how adults think. You're a greedy little bastard at 7-years-old.
    • Even more prevalent is the fact that Death is acting as the missing Santa. It is constantly emphasized that he can only copy, not create or understand the underlying concepts of life and living, he only understands that Santa must be. While going about these duties, he has to be warned not to greet any more children with "Cower, brief mortals." Further demonstrated at the end when he turns out to have bought that rocking horse and evidently plans to give it to the extremely aged Albert.
  • The story Ben and Me has Amos, Ben Franklin's mouse companion, doing a few of these:
    • Ben Franklin has set up his electrical equipment for a demonstration. To Amos it doesn't look like the diagrams, so he "fixes" it, dumping the extra stuff into a chair. A very prominent citizen later gets zapped.
    • Amos has taken it upon himself to "fix" the latest edition of Poor Richard's Almanac by adjusting the lists of maxims and the tides table. This doesn't end well, but he was certainly was good-natured in his intentions.
  • In Through the Looking Glass Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee are about to do battle (over a water-soaked rattle, LONG story...), but they don't have any real armor or weapons. Their strategy? Strap pots and pans to their bodies! Yeah, sure that's the same...
  • In one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, a child wants a bicycle, but the parents don't have the time to find a proper one, so the dad makes a small bike model. The child is told that the model can be exchanged for a real one. Cue the tears—the child would never trade the bike made for them by Daddy!
  • Inverted in Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace", where an up-and-coming young petite bourgeoise wannabe socialite borrows a necklace from a rich friend to wear to a party, but loses it somehow. She and her husband decide to buy an identical necklace to return to her friend rather than admit it was lost, but it's so expensive they have to sell most of their possessions and become working class in order to pay for it. Cut to about ten years later, when they meet by chance on the street again, the woman now tough on the edges from years of manual domestic work and being a governess, the friend still as beautiful and young-looking as ten years prior even with a young child accompanying her. The woman finally admits to her friend that she had lost the original brooch and had worked so hard in order to replace it. Her friend tearfully reveals that the necklace was a fake, mere costume jewelry made of glass, worth perhaps a tenth of what the woman paid for its replacement.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory: In the Season Three episode "The Corn-husker Vortex", while the guys are having a kite fight, Howard ditches Raj right as they are about to win to chase after a girl that passed them by, thinking he has a shot with her. This causes Raj to lose his authentic Patang kite to Sheldon, and he's naturally pissed at Howard over it. Howard tries to make it up to him by buying him a replacement, but Raj isn't happy with it since it is a cheap Hello Kitty kite as opposed to the one he lost that took him a day to build and two days to paint.
  • At the start of Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's shown that the Buffybot was used to replace Buffy, but does a pretty bad job at most of it. The only reason they do it is to prevent the destruction of Sunnydale, which would happen if anyone found out the Slayer was dead. Luckily, they resurrect Buffy as a group of Biker Demons comes to Sunnydale after finding out just that..
  • Friends
    • Ross accidentally breaks a Brown Bird's (read Girl Scout) leg. She really wants to win the trip to Space Camp, but even with some last-minute purchases of cookies Ross can't win. The guys outfit Joey and Chandler's place as "Sara Tuttle's Special Space Camp!"
    • Joey has lied about his dancing experience, and now he's been put in charge of a dance audition. He can only do lame arm-pumping and head-nodding dance moves, along with jazz hands (which he's just now learned), so instead of the complicated "The Combination," he just teaches everybody how to do his style of dancing.
    • Chandler and Monica have promised to make their anniversary presents instead of buying them. Yet another one of those ideas that sound better in theory. The day arrives, and both frantically think of things to present as their own creation. Monica ends up giving Chandler one of the sock bunnies that Phoebe makes (claiming that Phoebe actually makes sock rabbits, ugh), and he gives her a mix tape that Janice made for him, not realising that Janice had decided to record herself singing over the tracks. It is strongly implied that Chandler just couldn't think of anything to make for Monica, whereas Monica apparently forgot about their plans to make gifts in the first place.
    • As a wonderful subversion, Chandler insists that Monica wear some earrings that he bought for her. She loses one, so frantically substitutes another pair instead. The final punchline is that she gets away with it. Chandler has forgotten what they look like; he had Ross buy them.
    • In another episode, it's Valentine's Day and the gals are trying a cleansing ritual to rid them of lousy dates. Phoebe has a book with very precise ingredients, too bad Monica doesn't have any of them.
      Phoebe: Now we need the sage branches and the sacramental wine.
      Monica: All I had was oregano and a Fresca.
      Phoebe: That'll work!
    • Chandler thinks he has lost the photos of his and Monica's wedding. With Ross's help, he crashes another wedding and takes a bunch of pictures of himself and Ross in an attempt to pass that wedding off as his own. For the finishing touch, he walks up to the bride (who fortunately happens to resemble Monica from the back), kisses her while Ross takes a picture, then runs. When Chandler later shows Monica the pictures, she informs him that she had their wedding photos all along... leaving Chandler to try to explain why he took a photo of himself kissing another woman. They call it even when Chandler notices that Monica opened all their wedding presents without him.
    • In yet another episode, Joey nails an audition for a part as an Italian immigrant. However, it's important to the plot that the actor be uncircumcised, and Joey lacks the, um, proper equipment. He goes to Monica for help, and she tries everything from deli meat to Silly Putty to fashion a replacement. It doesn't work out so well.
  • On Frasier Roz's daughter had started painting in school. Too bad she practiced on Frasier's new painting, too. So off Roz goes with the real painting to the art restorer's, leaving Alice's painting under the cover as a dummy. That night is the grand unveiling. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Scrubs:
    • Played with when Carla has lost Turk's stuffed dog Rowdy (she left him on top of the car after going to get him cleaned by a dog groomer). Janitor (a known taxidermy freak) manages to get a replacement stuffed Golden Retriever, but it's not quite as big. Luckily Carla can "distract" Turk before he can quite realize the discrepancy. The Janitor tries to blackmail her in a later episode by returning the original Rowdy and thus revealing her deception, but the guys are so excited to have two stuffed dogs (one for each of them) that they don't even care.
    • In another episode, JD has been assigned to videotape the birth of Dr. Cox's friends' child. Too bad JD used the tape that was already in the camcorder, which had the protection tab removed. Thus JD didn't tape anything. Efforts to videotape another baby's birth and swap the tapes are enough to fool the new parents, but fail miserably to convince Jordan.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Debra finds out that Ray had proposed using a cubic zirconium ring, so she went out and bought a diamond to replace. Only to discover that Ray had purchased a replacement real diamond to secretly replace his original knockoff replacement. (Since he really felt guilty about the knockoff- it just took him a few years of saving his beer money to buy the real thing). Of course the new diamond wasn't nearly as expensive as the old diamond which Debra had discarded.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Holodoc has beamed himself halfway across the galaxy, leaving Tom Paris in charge of sickbay. He's bored out of his mind and going through withdrawal from not piloting the ship, so he asks Harry Kim to make a new emergency medical hologram. It's easy enough to duplicate the body, but reproducing the immense knowledge and skill base required for a ship's doctor only resulted in a sputtering, unresponsive hologram that recited Gray's Anatomy until it glitched itself out of existence.
  • In Black Books, Bernard and Manny accidentally drink a bottle of priceless, 100 year-old wine that was going to be presented to the pope. Going by a book that describes the taste "a hint of vanilla," "an oaky finish" etc - they try to make their own replacement with cheap wine, vanilla ice-cream and twigs, while a thunderstorm rages outside and they devolve into Hammer horror-style Dr. Frankenstein and Igor.
    Bernard:They'd all laugh at me if they knew what was trying to do. To create a new superwine in half an hour with a fraction of nature's resources and a FOOL for an assistant. "Bernard Black - he's mad!" they'd say. "He's insane! He's dangerous!" WELL I'LL SHOW THEM! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!
    • Not exactly good-natured. They get away with it, but later we see a headline reading "Pope killed by inferior wine" and Bernard doesn't even notice.
  • Oddly enough, it's actually successful in one episode of Northern Exposure.
  • In Hannah Montana, Miley's brother accidentally destroys her childhood teddy bear. In revenge, she destroys his priceless, irreplaceable baseball that was signed by some retired (and embittered) pitcher. When her brother has her bear fixed, she has a Zany Scheme to replace his ball before he finds out about the damage. She was successful in getting a genuine signed ball, but the original was actually a forgery.
  • In Blackadder The Third, Baldrick accidentally burns Dr. Johnson's dictionary and Blackadder tries to recreate it in one night. In the end, it turns out the dictionary was fine, what Baldrick burned was in fact Blackadder's autobiography (written under a pseudonym) which took ten years to write and which Johnson loved, saying it would make both of them millionaires.
    • And then at the end of the episode Baldrick casually throws the REAL Dictionary on the fire anyway.
  • The Red Green Show has Red do this once in awhile using nothing more than duct tape and the odd piece of junk.
  • The Britcom To the Manor Born has this. Audrey is successfully selling her homemade honey to the droves of birdwatchers that have come to see a rare bird. Since her small beehive is capable of only minimal honey production, she buys jars of commercial honey from the supermarket and puts new labels on them.
  • One Seinfeld episode had Elaine temporarily taking over J. Peterman's role. She uses the expense account to buy George a sable hat. He, of course, loses the hat and when it's found out that she needs to replace it, she can't because it costs $10,000. She opts to buy a cheaply made squirrel hat of the same kind to try and replace it.
    • There was yet another instance of this when Elaine, craving a sugar high, eats a slice of cake from Peterman's office fridge. Turns out, it was a piece of wedding cake from a 1937 British royal wedding, worth $29,000. She replaces it with a $2 Entenmann's cake from the local supermarket. She gets found out in the most unimaginable way, when an antiques appraiser specializing in vintage pastry points it out immediately. And then Peterman checks the security camera footage. Rather than punish Elaine, he simply implies that the cake probably wasn't fit for human consumption, seeing as it was 60+ years old at this point, by saying:
      Peterman: Elaine, do you know what happens to a butter-based frosting after spending sixty years in a poorly-ventilated English basement?
      Elaine: Um, it hadn't occurred to me.
      Peterman: Well, I think what's going to happen to you is punishment enough. Dismissed.
  • In an episode of Hardcastle and McCormick, Hardcastle's basketball that was autographed by Wilt Chamberlain is stolen in a break-in (that was McCormick's fault). When they are not able to recover the ball, McCormick attempts to replace it by getting another ball and forging Chamberlain's autograph. Unfortunately, not being a basketball fan, he signs it Walt Chamberlain.
  • Something similar happens in That '70s Show when Hyde is left to watch his dad's house for a weekend and his dad's prized possession (an autographed guitar) is damaged. When they get the guitar repaired, someone cleaned the autograph from the guitar, thinking it was graffiti. In a panic, Hyde scribbles the autograph back on the guitar.
  • Eternally unlucky protagonist Victor Meldrew from Brit Com One Foot in the Grave spills what he thinks is the ashes of his neighbours' mother, whereas it's actually herbal tea. He replaces it with burnt toilet paper, which later ends up being fed back to him when his wife makes him some of the tea.
  • Happens twice in the Pixelface episode "The Ugly Truth". Aethelwynne, Kiki and Claireparker attempt to bake a new Mega Jump Power Star to replace the one they ate and end up creating a star that causes extreme flatulence. Riley promises to repair Alexia's dress that he accidentally ripped, and creates a hideous dress out of scraps of cloth he finds in his game.
  • In an episode of M*A*S*H, Klinger accidentally throws away Margaret's wedding band. The guys help him buy a new band and Margaret falls for it until she reads the inscription, which says, "Over hill, over dale, our love will ever fail," leaving out the "N" that should have been in "never." Margaret is upset at first, thinking Klinger was just trying to dupe her, but Klinger manages to explain that he was only trying to replace something that he knew he would never be able to find and he didn't like seeing her upset.

  • The Music Man has Harold Hill painting a mental picture of the forthcoming band in fancy perfect uniforms in order to get everybody to support the band. The ones that really come are basic red coats and white pants that just barely qualify. I suppose it's an Inversion, as it's a Knockoff, but not good-natured by any definition.
    • The band itself. Harold may not be Well Intentioned but the band members certainly are. They're terrible, but the parents love the music anyway.

    Video Games 
  • This was the entire setup for Day of the Tentacle. Inverted, because they start with an inferior item breaking and have to replace it with something better. Mad Scientist Dr. Fred makes a time machine, using a giant cubic zirconium instead of a real diamond. It shatters, stranding one kid a century in the past, one kid a century in the future, and one kid doesn't go anywhere. The kid in the present has to find a way to get a real giant diamond to fix the time machine to get his buddies back.
  • A running gag in Monkey Island games is that Guybrush has to use replacement items that are widely unsuited for the job like using a live monkey as a replacement for a monkey wrench. He also often uses subpar voodoo ingredients and the final product tends to backfire on him.
  • A running gag in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is that the Kurain pot is never assembled the same way twice.

  • VG Cats: Christmas 2010. Leo sees Aeris wanting the latest "Dungeon Guy" game, and gets several strange, Video Game related jobs to afford it. He gets her the previous year's game. She visibly becomes a bit disappointed in it, then realizes how hard he had to have worked to get it, and plays it happily. Heartwarming without the diabetes.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Winnie the Pooh Christmas special Pooh lost the letter everyone sent to Santa, so he does his best to cobble together replacements from whatever he can find. A trunk tied around Eeyore instead of an umbrella to protect his house, a teapot full of mysterious powder instead of a flyswatter for Rabbit, etc.
    • In one episode of the TV series, Pooh believes he has accidentally destroyed the "Wishing Star" by wishing for too much honey. So he sets about to grant all the wishes his friends had already made, and later fashions a star costume and suspends himself from a tree branch for when Christopher Robin comes out to make a wish again.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", when Homer is spending a lot of time away from the family as he tours the world with the Be Sharps, Marge makes a fake Homer for the children by stuffing his clothes with balloons and using a tape recorder for the voice. The result is grotesque enough before the head falls off and bursts his arm, scaring the kids.
    • When Ned Flanders' house is destroyed in "Hurricane Neddy", the people of Springfield get together to rebuild his house. Only it sucks and Ned goes bonkers. Apu stands outside one room (one of the few human-sized doors in the house) and announces "This is the room with electricity, but there is too much electricity. So I don't know, you might want to wear a hat". Both his and Ned's hair reacts as you would imagine.
  • When The Powerpuff Girls decide to create a fourth sister to help fight crime in "Twisted Sister", this trope fully comes into play. Thanks to some clumsy substituions in the recipe of "sugar, spice, everything nice, and Chemical X", "Bunny" turns out to be brutish, not too bright, and pathetically ugly, and the one time she properly does good, her unstable body explodes shortly afterwards.
  • In Liberty's Kids, James turns his mother's ring into a necklace for Sarah after she lost hers.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the Season 3 premiere the cast hosts a festival for the Crystal Ponies based on information found in a history book. The book lists the centerpiece of the festival the "Crystal Heart", so Twilight carves one... only to find out later that that Crystal Heart is a magical artifact that's kinda important: it can protect the Crystal Empire from magical threats, including the ghostly unicorn king who's currently knocking on their door trying to take over again. A good chunk of the premiere from that point on consists of the cast trying to keep everyone away from the fake heart while Twilight and Spike try to get ahold of the real deal.
    • In the season 4 episode "Rarity Takes Manehattan", Rarity is basing a new fashion line on a new fabric she designed, but she lends some of the spare fabric to her old friend and fellow designer Suri Polomare, who uses it in her own fashion line, so Rarity will look like she's copying Suri instead of the other way around. Realizing that she needs a new style immediately, Rarity scavenges her hotel room for material (curtains, carpets, lampshades, couches). Since she's Rarity, it works.