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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 him 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.

Examples of Well Intentioned Replacement include:

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 streetsweeper's broom to fly to Tombo's rescue.


  • 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 (please correct me if I'm wrong).
  • This is the whole point of the movie Be Kind Rewind.
  • The Parent Trap. The original Hayley Mills one. The girls (with the assistance of Hickey and Verbina) have recreated the restaurant from their parent's first date. 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.
  • The robotic Santa of The Santa Clause 2.
  • In Mister Roberts, after giving away Ensign Pulver's 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 and hair tonic. It is surprisingly effective.
  • In Meet the Parents, Gaylord Focker accidentally sets the cat of his parents-in-law out of the house and the cat escapes. He then fakes 'finding' the lost cat by getting a similar looking cat at a shelter, then spraypainting its tail to completely the resemblance. Not only is he found out when a neighbor finds the real one, but the fake cat pees on the bride's wedding dress.


  • 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."
  • 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, I'm sure that's the same...
  • One of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books depict a heartrending version of this. The 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, but then the Tastes Like Diabetes moment comes. Cue the tears. The child would never trade the bike made for them by Daddy!

Live Action TV

  • 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..
  • One episode of Friends has Ross accidentally breaking 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Played with on Scrubs. Carla has ruined Turk's stuffed dog Rowdy. 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.
    • In another episode, JD has been assigned to videotape the birth of a friend's 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 fail miserably.
      • To convince Jordan perhaps. It seemed to fool the parents.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, the wife finds out that the husband had proposed using a cubic zirconium ring, (there was some extended story about how the original diamond had been lost and the guy had replace it with zirconium), so she went out and bought a diamond to replace. Only to discover that the man 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 the wife 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.
  • 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 recver 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 Britcom 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.

Newspaper Comics

  • 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" I'm sure would've been bonechilling if heard in animation).


  • 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 Uncle Thomas number from The King and I.

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.
    • Pick any adventure game; 9 times out of 10 you'll have to bodge together random objects to make a thing because the original thing is unavailable somehow.
  • A running gag in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is that the Kurain pot is never assembled the same way twice.

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.
  • In The Simpsons when Ned Flanders house is destroyed, 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 Marge was pregnant with Lisa, Homer built a clown-themed bed for Bart that was so nightmare-inducingly ugly that little Bart was scared of falling asleep in it. ("Can't sleep. Clown will eat me.")
  • When the Powerpuff Girls decide to create a fourth sister, this trope fully comes into play. The creation of the Rowdyruff Boys is sort of an inversion of this, isn't it?
  • In Liberty's Kids, James turns his mother's ring into a necklace for Sarah after she lost hers.

Web Comics

  • 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.

Real Life

  • Much of the autographed memorabilia you can buy on the open market is fake. As an example, Penny Marshall, a big NBA fan, was showing Kobe Bryant her basketball that she had bought with his autograph on it, complete with certificate of authenticity. Kobe told her, "That's not how I sign my name," then turned the ball over and signed it for her as proof.
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