11 definitions by Laser Potato

A plot device that motivates the characters and advance the story, particularly one whose importance is accepted completely by the story's characters, yet from the audience's perspective it might be minimally explained or may test their suspension of disbelief if it is scrutinized. The device, usually an object, is common in films, especially thrillers.
It is important that the audience never actually see the MacGuffin. I dunno why.

The term "MacGuffin" was invented by Alfred Hitchcock; according to the Oxford English Dictionary, he explained the term in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University:

In regard to the tune, we have a name in the studio, and we call it the 'MacGuffin'. It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story. In crook stories it is always the necklace and in spy stories it is always the papers.
Interviewed in 1966 by François Truffaut, Hitchcock illustrated the term "MacGuffin" with this story:

It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says, 'What's that package up there in the baggage rack?' And the other answers, 'Oh that's a McGuffin.' The first one asks 'What's a McGuffin?' 'Well' the other man says, 'It's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.' The first man says, 'But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,' and the other one answers 'Well, then that's no McGuffin!' So you see, a McGuffin is nothing at all.
by Laser Potato May 20, 2005
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A mostly brainless ball of fat and feathers that poops on everything. Can be trained, but why?
by Laser Potato August 23, 2004
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a term used to describe well-intentioned but incorrect, obsolete, incomplete, or over-simplified expositions of scientific ideas.
An example of bad science would be the statement that electrons revolve in orbits around the atomic nucleus, a picture that was discredited in the 1920's, but is so much more vivid and easily grasped than the one that supplanted it that it shows no sign of dying out.
by Laser Potato June 23, 2005
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A site that is commonly linked to by Internet trolls in order to shock unsuspecting users with the image.

And now, the origins of this madness:
The alt attribute on the image, "stinger", actually comes from the EFNet #quake channel. The image itself was discovered on a webpage. Goatse.cx was created by a #quake member expressly for the purpose of displaying the image.
The image hello.jpg originates from a set of 40 images depicting the man performing various anal sexual acts.
Die, goatse man. Die die die die die. Something involving rusty hooks and salt, hopefully.
by Laser Potato May 20, 2005
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Shiny, tiny little birds that occasionally hurl themselves into garages and die for some reason. They exist entirely on sugar and drink about half thier weight every day-jesus Christ, no wonder they're so hyper.
Look! It's a hummingbird!

Where?

There!

You missed it!

DAMN!
by Laser Potato August 22, 2004
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(n.)A cool-tasting, aromatic herb that is virtually impossible to start from seed packets, but if you succeed it will invariably escape from its container, invade your garden, and transform your backyard (not to mention every backyard within the tri-state area) into a sea of minty goodness.
"Some more mint tea, dear?"
"I don't want any more mint tea!"
"Well there's mint jelly, lamb with mint sauce, mint candies, mint juliep, mint..."
by Laser Potato June 29, 2006
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Where the partridge goes. Also, the trees they plant all over my neighborhood with flowers that bloom in the spring that look nice but SMELL HORRIBLE!!! AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!
.....
Okay, I'm better now.
These pear tree blossoms smell like cat piss!
by Laser Potato August 22, 2004
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