: an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to keep the plot in motion despite lacking intrinsic importance.
Like the glowing suitcase in Pulp Fiction, the letters of transit in Casablanca, or the rug in The Big Lebowski this playlist isn’t about the music itself but what happens because of it. Virtual boy, Radikal Guru, and Snowman are all trivial… but the plot would be lost without them.
In a 1966 interview Alfred Hitchcock , who invented the term, told 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.”
20 Jaguars Trapped in the California Redwoods – 200mb