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Aug 2nd 2018 at 7:05:56 AM •••

There was a thread in Trope Finder where some of the examples on this page have been called into question if they qualify.


The description, not much changed since TLP (YKTTW as it was called then), insists that the \"false macguffin\" is an object designed to share the appearance with the actual Mac Guffin (may or may not qualify for Plot Device instead). The troper who wrote that description also included 28 [29] examples at launch.

3 examples use an empty container rather than creating a superficially similar object:

  • In Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Striker S, there is a struggle over a case containng a relic. At the end, the Numbers seem to make off with it, to shock from all sides. Then, after they\'ve left... Teana and Subaru reveal that, actually, they took the relic out of the case and hid it in Caro\'s hat — all the Numbers have is an empty case.
  • In one of The Three Investigators books the bad guy wants a journal that the boys have which was written in the mid 1800s, with potential clues to a Buried Treasure. Jupiter hands it over, then after the bad guy leaves he reveals that he only gave up the oilskin cover of the journal, having taken the pages out first.
  • Happens a couple of times in Lilo And Stitch The Series. At one point, Stitch switches a capsule containing an invisible invisibility-experiment for an empty one to fool Gantu, [and in another, a shape-shifted guest-star is substituted for a shape-shifting experiment.]

3 examples have the original object modified in some way rather than creating a superficially similar object:

  • Hudson Hawk: Eddie is forced to put together the pieces of the critical element of Leonardo da Vinci\'s gold-making machine (which the villains have been pursuing throughout the movie). However, he leaves out one crucial part, which eventually causes the machine to malfunction and explode.
  • In the Doctor Who serial \"The Keys of Marinus\", the Doctor and his companions find a fake Key along with the five real ones. When the villain tries to get the Keys off them at the end of the story, they give him four real Keys and the fake, and he gets blown up when he tries to use them.
  • In the Blood Ties episode \"Norman\", the heroes Vicki and Henry are forced to give a magic dagger to the demonic villain Norman when he kidnaps Vicki\'s secretary and holds her hostage. Norman needed the dagger to complete a spell to release the uber demon Asteroth into the world. However, unknown to the audience, Vicki and Henry had first taken the dagger to a priest to have it blessed before they gave it to Norman, so that when he used it, his spell of summoning failed and he was sucked back down to Hell.

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