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You've lived among Muggles; can you tell me exactly what is the function of a rubber duck?
Mr. Weasley, Harry Potter

A subtrope for Mundane Made Awesome. Happens when a character that is oblivious to the world around him has acquired or encountered a normal everyday object. These objects range from umbrellas, elevators, computers, doors, kitchen sinks, mirrors, ANYTHING, granted that it is mundane and common to normal people, and by 'normal' we meant normal by our standards and not the other way around. This is usually followed by the character exploiting or praising the particular object while being amazed by its usefulness. This can also be the Running Gag for the series.

These characters are usually one of the following:

  • From Magical Land, therefore everyday objects(especially the technological ones) can amaze them.
  • Aliens, because some of Earth's objects just don't exist in outer space.
  • Still a child and is growing up to know the world.
  • A foreigner; said object might be rare in his own country.
  • Really rich, to the point that some normal things can amaze them.
  • Really poor, to the point that normal conveniences seem extravagant.
  • Had previously lived a sheltered life.
  • A time traveler, making him a Fish Out of Temporal Water.

Generally, this trope is played in comedic effect. However in some cases, the segment will not always end well. Perhaps the character had too much fun or overestimated its usefulness, destroying the item in the process. Or perhaps they just ran over a stroke of bad luck, damaging it in the process. Either way, the character will cry over the object, and the ending will be set in a Heartwarming Moments way.

Compare Incredibly Lame Fun.

Contrast Worthless Yellow Rocks.

Examples of Mundane Object Amazement include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Bleach, Rukia is amazed at the way you drink out of juice boxes, by poking the straw through the foil hole and using it to drink. In the anime, she even tells Hanatarou about it as if she'd mastered some difficult skill by being able to do it.
    • When Hitsugaya's advance guard settle into the human world to prepare for the arrancar invasion, Ikkaku is so amazed at the idea that shops can sell multitudes of neatly wrapped onigiri (and order even more when they run out!) that he's convinced it must be a conspiracy - he can't imagine humans being capable of such a feat without something dodgy going on behind the scenes.
  • Happens in Gintama episode 111: Kagura received an umbrella with a flower pattern from Gintoki.
    • This is followed by a montage (with a nice melody) of Kagura strolling around the streets happily, the montage is repeated with slightly heavy rain with more rock added into the music. She still went out with the umbrella even when there's a typhoon rampaging outside, you know the rest.
  • In the anime Ika Musume, The title character considered the umbrella that Eiko gave her as a "worthy weapon" while fantasizing on how she will used it to fight a robotic Eiko. The umbrella was crushed after it was run over by a random car passing by, when Eiko came out from the store Ika was crying on the death of her partner, named Ika Model One, 'Excelsior'. Eiko asked Ika Musume to share her umbrella together and then went home together.
      • The sword is the umbrella's True Form, a fact which remains recognizable to a human until sometime in his 30s.
    • Pillow
    • Air
    • Hat
    • 3D glasses
    • Camera, when she isn't been taken pictures.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, all the boys in the extremely rich Ouran High School's Host Club are amazed at everyday 'commoner' things that Haruhi does or uses, like instant coffee, and saying things like "Commoners are so clever!"
    • Oddly enough Tamaki does seem to have a passing familiarity with several "common" things, but especially cheap convenience foods like ramen which he eats to comfort himself.
  • Yotsuba&!, being young, is no stranger to this trope. She is amused at just about everything, except for the scarecrow.
  • Happens quite a bit in Keroro Gunsou, despite Aliens Steal Cable often taking place.
  • K-On! has Tsumugi, who lived a sheltered life until entering highschool and rarely communicated with the outside world, much less know about it. She is absolutely amazed at anything "normal", usually because either she never saw them before, is amazed at how "normal" it is, or a combination of both.


Comic Books

  • One of the Manos in El Eternauta does a long praise of the elegance of a... coffee pot. Believe it or not, it's a thoroughly touching sequence in which the Manos reveals he comes from a noble species, enslaved by the alien conquerors and forced to do their bidding. Finding beauty in everyday objects would be the Manos' purpose in life were they left on their own.


Film


Literature

  • The Xanth novel Man From Mundania features Princess Ivy, who travels from her Magical Land to "Mundania" (the 'real' world) where she encounters a computer for the first time. Given that in Xanth, Com-Pewter is an evil creature, Ivy is rather taken aback by the computer's innocuous nature.
  • In the Harry Potter series, a number of wizards have this reaction when they come into contact with muggle technology. Arthur Weasley is amazed to see an escalator in operation in London. This happens both ways too. Molly Weasley thinks the idea of healing a cut by sewing up your skin (in other words, stitches) to be crazy.
  • Ax of Animorphs is constantly amazed by human technologies, especially those adapted for mouths, like a lid over a cup of coffee.
  • Simon of The Witch Watch is obsessed with electric lights. Granted this is Victorian London and it's reasonably new but they probably don't deserve to be stared at continually no matter what else is happening around them.


Live Action Television

  • The Doctor will occasionally wax poetic about various elements of human nature he likes. He did a fairly long one on edible ball bearings in "Fear Her".
  • This was a regular feature of The Pretender, where Jerod would become fascinated with some item like Twinkies, Mr. Potato Head, or roach motels, and then work them into his scheme for an Engineered Public Confession.
  • In episode ten of From the Earth To The Moon, "Galileo Was Right", there is an epic scene (with upswelling music and lots of drama and a sense of utter and complete triumph) about the astronauts finding a rock. Granted, it was a pretty awesome rock, but it was just a rock.


Music

  • Pretty much the entire stage gimmick of Blue Man Group is this trope. The Blue Men have no idea what any physical object is or does, and will investigate its uses and capabilities as best they can.


Video Games

  • In Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, Justice, an immortal spirit from the Fade, is massively amazed by most trivial things in the material world. For instance, his favorite possession is a simple ring lined with Lyrium that apparently emanates beautiful sounds that only he hears.
  • Elizabeth and Theodore in Persona 3. Not only are most of their fetch quests about getting mundane objects they find fascinating, they also will be amazed by everything around them when you take them out on a date.


Western Animation

  • In Regular Show, Benson shows his new surveillance system to Pops, who exclaims, "What a marvelous device!" He was referring to the computer mouse.
  • In the early episodes of Futurama, Fry, being a Fish Out of Temporal Water, was constantly amazed at things that he (and we) would found astonishing but that people in the 31st Century dismiss as commonplace. He even accuses the others of acting "like you're from the boring time where I come from."
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ariel is fascinated by the world of humans, and has collected an entire secret grotto's worth of trinkets that the surface-dwellers had dropped into the ocean. Unfortunately, her contact regarding information about what they are and what they do is Scuttle the seagull, who imparts such wisdom as a fork being called a 'dinglehopper' which humans use to comb their hair.
  • In The Simpsons, Homer got all enthusiastic about the napkin dispenser in a 1950s-style diner, acting like it was some fantastic antique. Lisa tried to point out that they have those in modern restaurants, but to no avail.
    • When Jasper was defrosted after trying to cryogenically freeze himself in a Kwik-E-Mart freezer he thought he was in the future and was amazed when he found a product called moon pie.
  • Stewie from Family Guy, despite being something of an Evil Genius, has a sense of childlike fascination, justified by him being a year old.
  • In Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy Eddy gets a package from his brother that turns out to be a bunch of baby stuff. Ed is fascinated by the baby rattle.

 Ed: [while hugging Eddy and Edd] Listen. [five seconds of rattling]


Real Life

  • The concept behind Cargo Cult is closely related to this trope.
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