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Wizard: You must cast this rin- er... BAND into the fiery depths of mount... KILIMANJARO.

Sangwine: But... that's in Africa!

Wizard: DO IT!!!
How Not To Run A Comic, How Not To Introduce The Plot #7

While many MacGuffin stories are about finding or recovering it, this trope is about when it's in The Protagonists' hands either from the beginning or by the end of the first act. The rest of the story involves getting it from one place to another.

Compare Live Action Escort Mission, only that involves people and could just be a few scenes, while this trope could include anything is one of the main points of the story.

Not to be confused with MacGuffin Delivery Service, where the villain uses the hero to obtain the item. Contrast Keep-Away.

Examples of MacGuffin Escort Mission include:


  • Cattle Drives are merely a job in Real Life, but are typically this trope in fiction.
  • The Dark Crystal, which borrowed heavily from Lord of the Rings.
  • The 2008 Vin Diesel cyberpunk movie Babylon A.D. (in Babylon Babies, the book on which it's based, they just jump on the plane to Montreal, so the journey is less important).
  • The Transporter has the title character doing this as a job.
  • The Enigma Device in U-571. The writer/director even calls it "The MacGuffin" in the DVD commentary.
  • The bible in The Book of Eli.
  • The Big Fat Kill sequence in the anthology movie Sin City involves the transportation of a dead body to be properly disposed of. Later, it involves simply keeping the head out of the mob's clutches.


Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons and Dragons
    • Module I12 The Egg of the Phoenix. One of the missions involves taking the Egg to Doc's Island overland and by sailing ship through hostile territory.
    • Module Kidnapped. The party must get the ransom for a kidnapped boy to the kidnappers before time runs out.
  • Shadowrun. In one published adventure, the runners had to deliver a large package to a specific location. They eventually discover that it contains an egg belonging to the dragon Masaru.

Video Games

  • Dying Earth. In the adventure The Exasperating Cadaver, the PC's must find a specific person and deliver a package containing...a dead body?
  • Eve Online Device. This is a thing. It does stuff. Which leads to "All hail the Device! For it is a thing! And it does stuff! \o/" It is used in a multi-part mission to activate gate.
  • Done occasionally in the Zelda series:
  • Protecting the hyperdrive generator from Darth Maul in the game of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
  • In Sonic Unleashed the titular hero has all seven Chaos Emeralds from the start, but he has to take each one to an ancient temple on each continent in order to repower them and restore the fractured planet.
  • For the first half of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, you're taking the Jupiter Star to the Jupiter Lighthouse in order to light it.

Western Animation

  • WALL-E largely revolves around getting the plant to the scanner so the Axiom can return to Earth, while the autopilot tries to get rid of it, though this only really becomes apparent in the second half of the film or so.
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