Obvious Object Could Be Anything

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A character receives an unmarked present, usually a gift. Think back to X-Mas when you were a kid, and how with some basic shaking, weighing, and appraisal of shape, you could pretty much guess what the object was.

Now imagine a Cloudcuckoolander receiving a present. Current theories on what's inside: either a pony, an astronaut helmet or one of those roombas that's been covered in hair to look like a tribble.

This is a trope played for comedy in which characters are incapable of ascertaining facts that are pretty obvious to normal folk. Another variation is that a more intelligent character responds to the gift sarcastically invoking this trope. In this case, odds are good that the gift in question will turn out to be something completely different from the implied shape. Either way, Hilarity Ensues.

Examples of Obvious Object Could Be Anything include:

Fan Works


Live-Action TV

Joanie: Here's a present from Richie to you. What do you think it is? bounces it to Chuck
Chuck: Hey, watch it. shakes It might be something breakable.

  • In one episode of Community, Troy points out that his present is an even bigger secret. His present is a remote control helicopter, with even the blades being individually wrapped.

Newspaper Comics

  • In a Garfield strip, Odie is shown shaking a wrapped bone, then wondering what it could be.


  • In A Very Potter Musical, Hermione gives Harry and Ron a wrapped gift that is quite obviously a book, but they think it might be a puppy.

Web Comics

  • In one strip of Questionable Content, Marten gets a large envelope from his mother. Faye argues that it might be "A collapsible pony". (Turns out it's an embarrassing T-shirt.)

Western Animation

  • Family Guy has a few examples:
    • Brian (who drinks a lot) receives a bottle-shaped package at Christmas and sarcastically wonders what it could be. Turns out it's a book.
    • Peter and Lois have agreed to go to a meeting about timeshares for the sole purpose of receiving a free boat for going to the meeting. When they're about to accept the gift, the salesman suggests that they could take the Mystery Box instead of the boat, said mystery box being about the size of a shoebox. Peter excitedly demands the mystery box over Lois' protestations, exclaiming that it could be anything, even a boat! It's not.