• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us Koh the Face Stealer, who does Exactly What It Says on the Tin: steals your face and leaves you as a blank. Imagine being stuck, with no eyes, no nose, and no mouth for the rest of your life. Worse, it's possible that you're stuck like that for eternity in the Spirit World.
  • The fate of Donald Duck at the end of "Donald's Snow Fight", where he ends up being frozen alive. This qualifies because of the Tethercat Principle.
  • Bluto suffers this fate in the Popeye short "We Aim To Please", where at the end Popeye lays the finishing blow, which knocks Bluto against a wall, a hook catching his shirt as he falls, while Bluto instantly transforms into "A Lot of Bologna." A Crowning Moment of Funny, or flat out Nightmare Fuel? You decide.
  • In Transformers Animated this seems to be the fate of anyone hit by a device that Swindle made, and Bumblebee seems to be freaked out that he had to spend even an hour like that. Bumblebee is then fine with intentionally deflecting the beam back upon him, freezing him forever to be taken apart and sold at a police auction. Yeah... Though luckily not the last part.
    • Though if you think that's bad then just wait until you hear what happened to Blurr. He was crushed into a cube by Shockwave and was confirmed to still be alive, He was supposedly put into an incinerator soon after though there is some debate amongst the fandom about this.
  • In an episode of the Legion of Super Heroes, the wizard Mordru is wrapped in a metal cocoon and sunken to the middle of the Planet. Pretty harsh when you consider his eyes were still moving as he was buried, and the planet probably has a molten core... so either he is buried alive or melted. Pretty harsh for a team that works with the police and United Planets.
  • In the Double Dragon Animated Adaptation, the Big Bad's favorite punishment for underlings who have screwed up once too many is to make them part of his mural.
  • Turns up a time or two in Batman Beyond.
    • A man with an intangibility device finds the effect spreads to his body without the device being engaged. In the end, his Power Incontinence winds up causing him to phase through Batman's hands, through the floor, and into the Earth. The best case scenario is that the lack of Required Secondary Powers will mean incineration by the mantle, or death by suffocation, starvation or dehydration. If not, he's permanently phased into the core of the earth. Forever.
    • Another villain, Inque, can shapeshift by turning into liquid and reforming. A guard at her prison who had a crush on her is sweet-talked into helping her, but wants powers like hers in exchange. She gives him an incomplete version of the formula, leaving him an immobile half-liquid blob. His guard is seen talking to him just as he once did with Inque, hinting that history may repeat itself, but that's unrealistic: he can't move, and doesn't know enough about the formula to instruct her on how to fully Inque-ify him were she to agree.
    • Earthmover, who eventually fused with earth itself, leading his daughter to find his still conscious skeleton later after it ended up causing a bunch of massive earthquakes. The implication was that he had been there for years. Thankfully, it gets better for him, since he found a way to control the Earth itself, then found release when he was finally killed in a cave-in.
  • Justice League Unlimited is usually nicer to its villains than Batman Beyond, but makes an exception for Mordred: Morgaine Le Fay's spell gave him eternal youth and life, but he's stuck as a child. When tricked into making himself an adult (thus causing him to disappear, as he'd cast a spell that teleported all adults to another dimension) it turns out that by breaking the youth spell, "all he has is eternal life." He's 1500 or so years old and counting, showing every bit of it, and is now essentially immobile in a chair at his (still-youthful) mother's home. And it's only going to get worse.
    • At the end of the two-parter "The Once And Future Thing", Chronos winds up permanently trapped in a timeloop, being forever berated by his shrewish wife. At first glance, Chronos does not appear to be aware of his fate, but if you look closely when Chronos presses the button on his belt, you can see that between screen-flashes there is a one-frame image of Chronos with a look of horror on his face.
  • The famous "Roswell That Ends Well" episode of Futurama had Bender's fall off of the back of the Planet Express ship as it was returning to the present, causing his head, which holds the AI, to be buried under the New Mexican ground for 1,000 years until the crew picked him up. To him, however, it was pretty good until the crew showed up.
  • An episode of Captain N: The Game Master featured a villain who turned his victims into living Tetris blocks.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog Saturday morning cartoon (as well as Sonic Underground, and the Archie comics), roboticizing a person meant turning them into a machine, eliminating their free will. However, their minds still function, causing them to be used as slaves to Robotnik, knowing what's happening but incapable of doing anything about it.
  • In Thomas the Tank Engine, Duke relates the story of a misbehaving engine who was turned into a generator, with his face still intact and presumably still consious. It gets even more horrifying when the Fridge Logic sets in that he was likely buried along with the rest of the old railway and might still be down there underneath several feet of dirt.
    • Duke himself was abandoned in his shed, which was covered over by nature and buried for many years, until he was unearthed in "Sleeping Beauty".
    • This is probably averted, since from what we've seen when the fires in one of the engines are dropped the engine goes to sleep. So the engine in Duke's story probably is not conscious, but is more likly in a coma-like state.
    • Sorry, not completely averted, because they can still dream in that state. In fact, one of the specials had a scene where the engines were dreaming about what might happen if the railway didn't get enough visitors to stay in good financial shape. Gordon dreamed that he was turned into playground equipment, James a circus game, Edward a scarecrow, and Percy a roller coaster.
    • And there's a question that turned up on the Thomas Nightmare Fuel page—do the engines really lose their consciousness if they're scrapped and smelted down into something else?
    • In the special Misty Island Rescue, Thomas and the three Logging Locos get trapped in an underwater tunnel (Bash, Dash and Ferdinand running out of fuel) with nobody knowing where they are.
  • The ending of the Silly Symphonies short Peculiar Penguins, ends with the shark, who was chasing the protagonists for half the picture, with a very large rock falling into his belly, trapping him at the bottom of the ocean to possibly starve to death.
  • Wild Kratts has Donita Donata who specializes in "living jewelry", i.e. living animals frozen in suspended animation and attached to horrendous fashion. And yep, they're still conscious.
  • Paradox in Ben 10 Alien Force found himself trapped in the event horizon of his time tunnel for hundreds of thousands of years, unable to escape or die.

 Paradox: I went mad, of course. But I got bored with that after a while, and went sane. Very sane.

  • In an episode of Darkwing Duck, "U.F.Foe", Darkwing finds his brain taken out by aliens and his body controlled by remote. Although he has no mouth (or beak) and we "hear" his screaming thoughts, amazingly he can still kick ass as he destroys the computer brain and saves Launchpad from the same fate!
    • Similarly, in an episode of DuckTales, the Beagle Boys manage to take control of Gizmoduck's armor by remote - while Fenton is still wearing it. He's not at all happy with being forced to rob his own employer in broad daylight... or stealing his crush's car, for that matter.
  • Kim Possible gives us Monkey Fist's fate-- as a statue.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury has the eponymous hero go up against a madwoman who "collects" criminals and keeps them awake but practically frozen in artistic poses as part of a grotesque, living gallery. She created a type of stasis that slows their bodies down to a crawl but lets their minds be fully functional. It takes them a day and some excruciating pain to even blink their eyes.
  • In The Fairly Odd Parents, it is eventually revealed that everything a child wishes for are put into "storage" in giant lockers. This includes any wishes that result in sentient creatures. And since they are immortal, they are stuck in a small, dark area forever. The fact that no one bats an eye at this says something.
    • Timmy's undone wishes are even worse, given that they had to abandon the locker concept entirely and port them all to an island (possibly a commentary on his tendency to hit the Reset Button every episode). It's revealed that the leader of this island is Timmy's imaginary friend Gary, who also fit this trope in his first appearance. After Timmy got Cosmo and Wanda as his Fairy God Parents, he forgot about his friend... but Gary never forgot about him, and was trapped inside Timmy's imagination, fully aware that he was being ignored. It's no surprise that he went for the revenge route.
    • The fate of Turbo Thunder's parents in Wishology. Luckily, Timmy saves everybody in the end, including them.
  • "Paralytic fluid" in the Aeon Flux episode "Ether Drift Theory". The Habitat laboratory is submerged in a lake of said fluid, which paralyses those who fall in it, with no hope of rescue. But they are still conscious. This happens to Aeon herself at the end of the episode. The last scene of the episode is of Aeon, paralyzed in the fluid, as the two halves of the item that would neutralize the solution slowly float in front of her eyes, collide, and go in different directions.
  • In The Venture Brothers episode "Return to Spider Skull Island", Doctor Orpheus deals with two Jerkass rednecks by trapping their souls in a Homeboys figurine. They can actually be heard screaming.
  • A version of this happens in Robot Chicken where a Werewolf is reduced to a bloody pulp by More Dakka, cremated, had it's ashes snorted and later crapped out and roasted in the sewage treatment. This is then shown to be a Tabletop RPG, where the Game Master states that it's technically still alive because the bullets weren't silver.
  • The Secret Saturdays: In one episode, the family face against a warrior king whose thirst for power long ago could not be quenched. Seeking to use the Methuselah tree, which makes all the water on earth, he ended up entombed in salt due to the tree protectors (giant insect-like crab cryptids) causing an earthquake. Years later he breaks out of his imprisonment when the salt crystal gets exposed to water. Anything that he touches with his right hand turns or gets encased in an unbreakable layer of salt, which he uses to almost accidently turn the tree itself into salt. In the end its revealed his thirst for power has now became a literal, unquenchable thirst, yet unable to touch water to quench it. He demands Zak retrieve the sap from the tree to finally end his suffering. Later he uses a flower from the tree to finally quench his thirst. As it turns out, he became nothing but living salt and drinking the sap from the flower reduced him to a pile of salt, finally ending his suffering.
  • In Trollz, Zirconia was turned into a tree for 3,000 years. It's a bit more complicated than that, though; at first, she was simply imprisoned within the tree. As time passed, she became part of it. She was conscious the entire time.
    • Spinell, her husband, was trapped in the form of a dragon. That couldn't talk.
  • The short film Alma is about a little girl lured into a sinister toy shop by a doll that looks just like her, ending with her becoming the doll after touching it and the shop setting out another doll to lure another victim.
  • In Gargoyles, the Gargoyles whose bodies composed the Cyborg Coldstone are given a moment of freedom by a spell that allows them to possess the bodies of their living brethren in the clan. Coldstone and his mate briefly contemplate keeping the bodies, but eventually give them back up shortly after it's discovered that the Gargoyles they're possessing are still conscious in their bodies. Fortunately, this was part of Puck and Xanatos' plan to transfer two of consciousness' into new android bodies, leaving Coldstone in sole control of his own.
  • In the backstory to My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Nightmare Moon was imprisoned in the moon for a thousand years, and it's implied she was aware the entire time. However, her sanity doesn't seem to have suffered from the experience.
    • There have been fanfics written that try to describe what her isolation must have been like, especially considering that the reason she turned evil in the first place was because she was lonely. Some of these fics imply that Celestia offered her an early release if she reformed; others aren't so generous.
    • Discord offhandedly mentions that "it's quite lonely being encased in stone." Unlike Luna, there's considerably less sympathy to be had for him considering he's a Manipulative Bastard who desires nothing more ruling Equestria in never-ending chaos, tormenting everypony for his own amusement.
    • Also, it's possible that Discord had the ability to at least observe the outside world. Not the most consoling thing to someone in that situation, but most people would welcome anything to relieve the tedium.
  • In the original My Little Pony, ponies were at various times turned to glass, turned to stone, and frozen in ice.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Grant Walker, a sociopathic millionaire, has Mr. Freeze build a duplicate cyrogenic suit for him and has him undergo the same chemical process that happened to him in order to obtain immortality. At the end of the episode Walker is frozen in an iceberg, sinking towards the bottom of ocean, condemned there for eternity.
    • Well, he was. A comic followed up his story by showing that he managed to get out (cause icebergs do melt ya know?) and tried returning to Gotham to get revenge upon Freeze after finding out that Freeze's condition had destroyed most of his body and the same thing would happen to him eventually. He was captured and imprisoned after Freeze almost killed him.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • After coming back their first experience with the time machine, they bring back a T-Rex which tries to eat Candace only to be hit by Dr. Doofenshmirtz's freeze ray turning it into a living statue. He wanted to use the same ray on Perry the Platypus and other secret agent animals.
    • In the alternate dystopian future seen in "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo", kids are kept in People Jars until adulthood "for their own safety".
  • The Galaxy Rangers episode "Psychocrypt" demonstrated that after having their soul torn out painfully, those tossed in the device are fully aware of what's happened, their Life Energy is used to make a construct the Queen (the person who put them there) can see and hear through, forced to do her bidding. God Save Us From the Queen.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: First off, it's implied that the other members of the Heinous family are still conscious in their Human Popsicle state. There's also a throw-away joke about a gnome being completely encased in gold while still conscious.
  • At the end of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Action Figures", the android Metallo is left encased in lava underneath a volcano. His Inner Monologue reveals that he is unable to see or hear anything (in addition to the loss of taste, touch, and smell from being a robot in the first place). To keep himself sane, he gives us this chilling thought:

 I am Metallo, I am Metallo, I am Metallo...

  • Anyone who ends up in the Fresnar in Space Chimps.
  • Dark Danny's ultimate fate in Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy. He's trapped in a Fenton Thermos and exists outside of time, for all eternity. Hopefully.
  • In Beast Wars, after being killed by Galvatron (again), Starscream spent countless centuries as a disembodied spark, before finding a way to go back in time.
  • Near the end of Monster Truck Mater, Tormentor (Mater's monster truck wrestler alter ego) actually traps Paddy O'Concrete (an Irish modified cement mixer monster truck) in his own cement.
  • South Park gives us unfortunate kindergarden teacher Mrs. Claridge, who is burned so horrifically in an accident caused by the boys in pre-school that she's confined to a mechanical wheelchair, unable to move or speak, except beeping one time for yes, and two times for no. This earns her the sympathy of her fellow civilians, but things really go downhill for her when her chair runs out of batteries.
    • the middle of the street, and the townspeople think she's trying to commit suicide.
  • One wonders how Teen Titans villain Malchior took being imprisoned in that book for a thousand years.
  • Another example of such a fate happens to Ch'rell, the Utrom Shredder, in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. After having battled and defeated him many times in the past only for him to return for a rematch later every time, Splinter and the turtles, despite an interruption by Ch'rell, who beats such stuffing out of them that they spend the next episode recovering from their wounds, successfully destroy his spaceship and, along with him, Karai, and Dr. Chaplin, are transported to the safety of the Utrom homeworld by the Utroms themselves just before the ship explodes. There, everyone is attending as the Utrom council places Ch'rell on trial. The council finds Ch'rell guilty and sentences him to eternal exile to his new home on the ice asteroid belt of Mor Tal, where he does very little but let loose a furious Big No. Later, he was found frozen in ice by the Laughably Evil 1987 Shredder in Turtles Forever, which was proof that this was Ch'rell's fate, a fate eventually undone by the 1987 Shredder himself.
  • The genie in Aladdin was stuck in his lamp for 10,000 years! But he doesn't seem too traumatized by the experience. Though he is a genie. For all we know, that's standard fare for them, if somewhat undesirable.
  • Re Boot
    • Upon losing a game, sprites and binomes alike can get "nullified" - in-universe, that means reduced to a deformed, slug-like creature that can't make any noise above a squeak.
    • The Medusa Bug episode, which proceeds to turn everything in Mainframe into stone.
  • In Mummies Alive, Scarab murders the son of the Pharaoh in order to obtain immortality; since Pharaoh cannot execute Scarab, he has him entombed instead. The modern-day archaeologist who accidently frees Scarab from his imprisonment many centuries later notes that the walls have multiple tallies scratched into them, caused by Scarab counting out the days of his immortal existence.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode 'Perfect Chemistry' ends with Plankton being stuck in a corked bottle, in Mr. Krabs safe, where no one can hear him.
  • This is the terrible fate Van Kleiss suffers in Generator Rex. His attempt to control time misfires when Breach interferes, knocking him through a vortex that sends him all the way back to Egyptian civilzation. In order to get back to the present, he constructs a "hibernation" chamber that uses his Nanites to halt the aging of his body while staying fully conscious for 4,000 years. Worse, he's forced to recreate the chamber each time it cops out too soon all the way up to the present, painstakingly waiting through era after era for his exodus. If that wasn't bad enough, a spectral entity is chasing him though it's revealed to be a mutated Breach being dragged along each time he sits in dormancy. Eventually, it takes so much of a toll on Van Kleiss, nearly all of his Nanites have died and the isolation drives him to insanity, causing him to forget his own identity and purpose. When he finally makes it back to present day, he manages to recover his sanity little by little after Black Knight meets with him and tells him to get a hold of himself.
  • In the finale of Action Man, this fate befalls Dr. X, the Big Bad. He's gained superhuman abilities, doesn't need food or air any longer, and becomes Nigh Invulnerable... and then Action Man traps him on an empty rock floating in the immense vastness of space with no means of escape. He actually does scream Action Man's name one last time as the rock drifts away from earth.
  • In Ben 10 Ultimate Alien "Night of the Living Nightmare" Albedo gets a Cassiopean Dream-eater stuck on his head because he slipped on the spilled smoothie that Ben knocked over in the beginning of that episode.. As if having a skull-faced alien jellyfish attached to his head wasn't bad enough, the Dream-eater traps him in a never-ending nightmare so it can feed on the chemicals his fear-addled brain produces. Said nightmare consists of an invincible Ben mercilessly beating down Albedo.