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There is an important MacGuffin that two or more characters want. One character manages to get his or her hands on it, and now he or she needs to escape. Unfortunately, now everybody is after his or her ass, and they won't stop until they get it. In fact, they probably will get it, in which case, the hunter now becomes the hunted, as this character must flee, before the others snatch the MacGuffin back from them.

Often the reason the character opt to run instead of fight is due to a time crunch. They can't afford to take the time to fight, or no-one is strong enough to beat the other without getting badly injured. Or maybe there a just some many people involved in the chase, it's impossible to keep track of all the players. Expect the aforementioned Macguffin to trade owners numerous times. Sometimes one person finally comes out on top, and claims the prize, but often due to all the fighting, it is destroyed either due to someone dropping it by accident, or one person deciding that destroying it is better than letting the enemy claim it.

In some older Cartoons, it would often have one character running off with the Macguffin, only to have another character coming from the opposite direction run by, and snatch it out of his or her hands, only to have someone else do the same to them. That is when they don't just stick out their foot and trip the other character. This is usually done in the more humorous stories.

A Sub-Trope of Chase Fight, with a bit of Cat and Mouse Boss thrown in, with the twist that rather than getting a power up that makes the boss run from you, you claim an object that means now you have to run from him. Will likely either be the result of, or caused by a Melee a Trois. Also see Crowd Hockey, particularly for when the melee takes place in crowded areas, As well as Loot Drama. Compare Stolen MacGuffin Reveal, where the MacGuffin is only stolen once (twice, tops).


Anime and Manga


Live Action TV

  • Angel Season 4: Several different factions want to get their hands on Angel's baby son.
  • Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Who Mourns for Mourn? - Everyone fighting of Morn's latinum.

Pro Wrestling

  • WWE: For a while the Hardcore Title was defended on the "24/7 rule." Anybody could challenge for the belt at any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what the champ was doing, as long as they had a WWF ref to call the match. Frequently the new champ would then be attacked by one of his friends, who would win the belt only to be challenged in turn, and so on.

Tabletop RPG

  • Paranoia: This is the basis for the first three sections of the adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Almost every secret society and service group in Alpha Complex wants the title Black Box, but most of them don't even know what's in it. It changes hands repeatedly between the various groups during the missions.

Video Games

  • There is an entire gameplay type for multiplayer FP Ss generically known as "capture the bag" where you gain points by carrying the "bag". The idea is to kill whoever has it and hold onto it yourself for as long as possible.
  • Space Station 13. Changelings, Nuclear authentication disks, wizards, RC Ds, EVA, and to many others to count. The game is a giant one.
  • Persona 3: The Answer has one point where all of the main party members are fighting each other over their individual pieces of the Key of Time.

Western Animation

  • The Spectacular Spider-Man did this when Spidey, Hammerhead, Silver Sable, and eventually the Rhino, all throwdown over a disk with technology that will allow the wielder to create their own Rhino-like henchman. Spider-Man and Rhino team up since they don't want that (Spidey does not want more Rhino's, and Rhino likes being the only game in town), allowing them to break the stalemate.
  • Numerous Looney Tunes episodes, especially ones where Sylvester and another chat compete over who gets to eat tweety. The winner is always Tweety.
  • Likewise, Tom and Jerry sometimes had episodes where Tom had to compete against another cat in order to eat Jerry, and in one case, for a female cat.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants had a special where Prehistoric Spongebob, Prehistoric Patrick and Prehistoric Squidward have a battle for a flaming log.
  • Happens in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Vanessassary Roughness", when Doofenshmirtz goes shopping. Several cast members have a reason to get the glowy Macguffin, and of course it's the last one in the store. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Kim Possible has a four way battle between Kim, Shego, Monkey Fist and Duff Killigan for possesion of Ron's naked mole rat Rufus.
  • Bionicle: The end of the 2006 and the entire 2007 storyline was this involving the mask of life.
  • Xiaolin Showdown was arguable one big Macguffin Melee. Heroes and Villains knocked each other all over the place over the Shen gong wu, until two of them grabbed it at once and were forced into a XiaolinShowdown to determine the winner.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures also did this. The Talismans of Shen du, the demon portals, The Animals that contained the Talisman powers, the Shadow Kahn masks, and then finally the powers of the other Demons. They were always hunting for something, and when both heroes and villains converged on said Macguffin at the same time, one of these usually ensued.
  • The Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes episode Hail Hydra had this between the Avengers, Hydra, and Advanced Idea Mechanics aka AIM for the Cosmic Cube.
  • In the Pink Panther short "Extinct Pink", the Panther, a caveman, a T-Rex and a small dinosaur go after the same bone.
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