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'MacGuffin' is a generic term used to describes any product produced by the MacGuffin Corporation. The name, much like 'Xerox' and 'Jesus', has become so attached to the company's products that nearly any high-quality, desirable object that serves to advance the plot has come to be known as a MacGuffin. Unlike Xerox or Jesus, however, the MacGuffin Corporation has done little to discourage this practice, as they quite like to hear of people chasing after MacGuffins.
edit Basic Beginnings Beget Brilliant Brew
Begun in 1879 by one Walter MacGyver, MacGuffins were originally marketted as a form of poultice, suitable for nearly anything from snakebite antidote to laundry detergant. The fantastic sales of this miracle product led to MacGyver seeking out more and more ways to market the same product for different uses. As effective as this was, MacGyver was concerned that customers would eventually catch on that they were using the same product on their carpets as they were for their cancer, so subtle cosmetic changes were made between products. When MacGyver Industries moved from a small-time business run out of a barn to a ginormous factory, MacGyver decided to keep the secret, instructing new employees that they really were making different, discrete objects.
edit Picture Profession Proves Problematic
In 1985, after a few decades of mediocre sales, the then-current CEO of MacGyver Industries Andrew Dean Richardson decided to embark on the company's largest advertisement to date: the creation of a television show in which various MacGyver products weren't just featured, but would save the day when combined in complicated, Rube Goldbergesque ways. Anderson himself starred as the titular Angus MacGyver, (though the first name was often avoided in order to keep emphasis on the products, and off of Scotsmen), a laid-back secret agent who knew how to do anything with a length of MacGyver string, some MacDuct tape, and his trusty Swiss MacGyver knife.
Unfortunately, while sales of MacGyver products did slowly trend upward during the 1980s, the show had an unintentional side-effect: Due to Angus' constant jury-rigging of one MacGyver product to do the work of another, consumers eventually caught on to the long-kept secret that all MacGyver products were interchangable. Suddenly, keeping 200 different MacGyvers in the house was no longer required, as customers could simply buy industrial-sized cases of Glazed McGuffins and use them for everything. One by one, speciality MacGyvers like thermite torches or bomb-defusing hockey tickets were phased out as their sales approached zero.
edit MacGyver's Meager Marketability Motivates Moronic Moniker Modifier
In a bid to restore some meaning to the MacGyver product lines, the company decided to change the name to the MacGuffin Corporation and begin marketting themselves as a new brand name. This fooled nobody. After a few weeks of mediocre sales, the MacGuffin Corporation decided to change the name back, and stage a New Coke-style revival. Unfortunately, a small company that made watches had registered MacGyver for their new wizard-with-a-tape-recorder line, and refused to sell the name. MacGuffin was stuck with a silly name, lackluster sales, and warehouses full of interchangable MacGuffin products.
edit Hollywood Holds Hope Hyping Holdings
Reasoning that if Hollywood got them into this mess, it could get them out, the MacGuffin Corporation began supplying props free of charge to studios, in exchange for promotion of the MacGuffin name. Soon, movies everywhere had a MacGuffin as the center of their plot. MacGuffins became a household name, even if nobody was quite sure what they were.
edit Modern MacGuffins
In recent years, MacGuffin sales have been hampered by more and more competition in the form of cheap knock-offs and immitators, such as MalGuffins and IMG. Ironically, DVD releases of MacGyver, the show that caused the downfall of MacGuffin, have served to keep the company afloat. While modern audiences are less familiar with the products involved, they are usually suitably entertained by MacGuyver's exploits and his mullet.
edit Types of MacGuffins
There are too many products put out by the MacGuffin Corporation to list here, but some of the more popular varieties include:
- Glazed McGuffins - The most delicious and illegal snack known to man. Popularized by anthropomorphic police officers Samuel Shamus and Max Atticus, Glazed MacGuffins defy any attempts to describe them beyond "delicious".
- MacGuffin Chips - A piece of circuitry, ususally used in water purification systems. Often confused for shotgun shells.
- Pulp Guffictions - Attaché cases, excellent for carrying glowing orange objects.
- MalGuffin Falcons - Small statues, often made out of malt, highly sought-after on the black market.
- Guffomachines - Very tiny, self-replicating robots that can be programmed to do anything. Anything.
- Sa-MacGuftras - Gigantic battleships, capable of taking out entire fleets in seconds without taking any damage of its own.
- The Amulet of Niffug - Useful for purchasing demigodhood, the Amulet of Niffug is best-known for its inability to be placed in any container, be it a sack, bag, or chest, as well as its tendency to start glowing when near any form of inexplicable portal.
- Swiss MacGyver Knives - These brilliant little pocketknives contain exactly as many blades and tools as the user will need for the job at hand. Assuming, of course, those tools are a corkscrew, bottle opener, and penknife.
- Egg MacGuffins - One processed egg between two pieces of Glazed McGuffin. Capable of propelling the eater from breakfast to lunch with nothing more than a cup of coffee.