• 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

If you're not working for the White Witch, you may as well get stoned.


"Defeated by an ugly crone,
From mortal man to standing stone,
With sun and rain upon you blown,
Through carven locks the wind shall moan,
Here you will be through years unknown,

And slowly crumble when time has flown."

A character has been petrified — literally. Transformed into stone (or another inanimate substance) by someone else, the archetypal result is a perfectly sculpted gray (concrete?) statue, complete with matching gray clothes and accessories, frozen in whatever position they were in when the spell took effect, presumably for all time. Heed well, traveler: Should you ever stumble upon a cave filled with impeccably detailed life-size statues showing expressions of terror on their faces, proceed with great caution be Genre Savvy and turn back now.

The ability to transform someone in this manner is a fairly common Stock Superpower, especially if combined with an Evil Eye. Definitely Older Than Feudalism, being fairly common in Classical Greek myth as well as Fairy Tales. If the victim isn't killed outright, he might be in some sort of stasis. At worst, he'll remain conscious while frozen in a form of locked-in paralysis, sometimes accompanied by inescapable pain or anguish. However, it's generally accepted that shattering the statue kills the person held within... hopefully.

More likely to produce Tears From a Stone than most rock — but still not very likely.

It does not count if they transform and untransform on their own (unless they cannot move, such as in Dragon Tails and Super Mario Bros. 3). If the character can transform on their own and remain mobile, then this is an Elemental Shapeshifter.

Being Taken for Granite happens a lot in children's literature, because, unlike death, it is (probably) reversible. Usually.

If a villain knows that this effect can be potentially reversed, you can expect them to consider smashing the "statue" to ensure the person cannot be brought back.

There is often an ambiguity as to whether the petrified person is completely turned to stone, or whether they are 'encased' in a thin layer of stone in a manner similar to Harmless Freezing. You can often see this when a character is only partially petrified — they will seem only to be encased in stone, and may break out. This is probably to avoid the obvious circulatory problems with having a completely petrified limb.

See Wax Museum Morgue for a similar trope when the monster (or whatever) that petrified the people decides to put them on display in a gallery.

Examples of Taken for Granite include:

Anime & Manga

  • In Mega Man NT Warrior (anime), the viruses Pharaohman.exe creates can turn Net Navis to stone. He uses them to prevent people from stopping him (because in that universe, most people are absolutely useless without a Net Navi during a crisis). Net Navis turned to stone can't even log out, trapping them in the network. The effects seem to not happen instantly, however, as Sharkman.exe is able to successfully shut off the electricity (Pharaohman.exe was attempting to hijack a Kill Sat) before he completely turns to stone. However, it was all in vain as Pharaohman.exe manually turns the power and hijacks the satellite anyway. Thankfully, every Navi turned to stone reverts to normal after Pharaohman.exe is deleted.
    • Stoneman.exe can also do this, on people in the real world, because The Ditz businesswoman, who picks him up, accidentally expressed her wish to turn her boss into a stone so he'll stop yelling at her. The result is Stoneman turning everyone in her office into the stones.
  • In Melody of Oblivion the Monster named Medusa does this and then collects the statues, she especially likes pubescent boys (each Monster does something like this to people who see their true form).
  • In SD Gundam Force, the Bagu-Bagu inject a chemical that turns organic life forms into stone. All life on Zero's home planet Lacroa was given this treatment. Near the end, they turn most of the residents of Neotopia to stone, but after regaining his Soul Drive, Captain Gundam reverses the petrifaction by reprogramming them in the Brain World.
  • Cockatrimon in Digimon Adventure and (briefly) Digimon Savers.
  • Ash in the climax of Pokémon the First Movie, after he's hit by two blasts that Mew and Mewtwo fire at each other while he's trying to stop them. He was revived by a slew of Swiss Army Tears from the surrounding Pokémon.
    • Also happens in the very end Fire Red/Leaf Green saga of Pokémon Special, when one of the villains blasts the main characters with an attack from Darkrai. It colliding with Mewtwo caused a reaction that turned the main characters into stone. The next arc uses this as Emerald's reason to pursue Jirachi — to wish the effect reversed.
    • Another ~Pokémon~ example: Pokemon Hunter J has a bracelet device that she uses to petrify Pokémon in order to steal them. It apparently also works on people, because Pyramid King Brandon got turned to stone when he jumped in front of the beam. He is healed though, thanks to Regigigas.
  • Dabura of Dragonball Z could turn people to stone with his spit.
    • Majin Buu has a slight twist on this in that his antenna can turn people into food, which he then eats (or in one case, steps on). This creates a Crowning Moment of Funny when he turns Vegetto into a coffee candy, but Vegetto's immense power means he remains sentient and mobile, resulting in a little hard candy ball beating the stuffing out of a galaxy-destroying monster.
    • He also turned the people of a small village in clay, so probably he can petrify people as well.
  • Algol Perseus in Saint Seiya turns people into stone with his "Medusa Shield". Only destroying the shield and killling Algol will reverse the process. Dragon Shiryu manages to do both, at the high cost of having to subject himself to Eye Scream to avert being literally stoned (in the anime he did try blindfolds and closed eyes, but the Shield's magic still worked)
  • Hayate of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a spell called Misteltein which does this. With it, she managed to turn the giant, bio-mechanical Cosmic Horror of a Big Bad into stone. At least, before it broke free by shedding its old body for a more grotesque form.
  • The villain of the manga-faithful Violinist of Hameln movie was basically Medusa with a chip on her shoulder, and she turns Hamel's companions Oboe, Sizer, and Raiel, into stone statues. Not that this deters Hamel in the least — he goes on to use these statues as missiles to hurl at her. Unfortunately for Raiel, she gets fed up with this very quickly and smashes him into pieces when Hamel tosses him at her...
    • Then, paying heed to the trope, the petrified victims return to normal as soon as she's defeated, leading the panicked Hamel and Flute to reassemble Raiel before he returns to normal.
  • The eventual Big Bad of Mahou Sensei Negima, Fate Averruncus, did this to multiple people in his first appearance in Kyoto ( the only one who's unaffected is Asuna, due to her Anti-Magic). And he's threatened to do it again.
    • A minor villain, Count Herrman, had permanent petrification as his most powerful weapon.
    • Then there is Negi's tragic backstory, wherein almost everyone in his home village except for him, Nekane and Anya was turned to stone. Said Count is one of the demons who did that.
    • Some time later Fate lived up to his threat: he used magical darts to do this to Beatrix, Sayo and Yuna, when they attacked him in an attempt to rescue Asuna. After Asuna is properly rescued, she uses her powers to restore them.
  • There is a manga, King of Thorn, that features a disease with petrifying effects. Within a few days you get seizures and turn to stone.
  • In her first appearance in Keroro Gunsou, Alisa Southerncross does this to two pursuers by turning her headband (actually a part of her amorphous alien adoptive father) into a cluster of snakes (a clear reference to the Gorgon, which another character recognizes).
  • In the Inuyasha special "The Woman Who Loved Sesshoumaru," a one-shot villain turns an entire village full of people, and later on Miroku, Sango, and Kirara, into glass.
  • A demon in the original Shadow Lady story liked to prey on pretty, young girls, so he could take them to his house and turn them into naked stone statues. He smashed one of them to pieces to prove a point to Shadow Lady just before fighting her, bringing up all sorts of grisly implications when he was defeated and all the girls returned to normal.
  • Anacondy, a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in Yes! Precure 5GoGo!, has the ability to do this. It's implied that this is where all the statues in the Eternal Museum came from...
  • Happened to Yui, Freeze and many others in a second season episode of Corrector Yui. And as a bonus, since she's petrified inside the Net.Com, Yui collapses and falls into a coma in the real world. The previously retired Corrector Haruna has to come back to action to save them.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, one of the filler episodes involves a town being infected with a disease that turns everyone's skin into some sort of bark/stone substance.
  • In One Piece, Boa Hancock has the ability to turn people into stone with the power of her Devil Fruit, the Mero Mero no Mi. Though said people have to be at least remotely smitten with her, that's not too big of a problem. The effect is perfectly reversible however, only resulting in minor memory loss to the victims (that is, if she revives them before they're shattered, such as the case with the shattered limbs of pirates at the Battle of Marineford)
    • Mr. 3 of the Baroque Works can also use his hardening wax to petrify people, and unless the victim is saved in time, the effect is slightly less reversible than Hancock's.
  • In the first season of Magic Knight Rayearth, this happened to Clef after he was struck by a spell from Zagato. He's released almost at the end.
  • During a Filler arc in Yu-Gi-Oh!! the villain Noah turns the Kaiba Bros. into stone after Seto loses by risking to use Last Turn, causing Yugi to take over and continue the duel. When Noah gets fed up with everybody, he threatens to turn all of Yugi's supporters into stone, and does, in this order: Duke, robot-monkey!Tristan, Serenity, and Joey. And when he turns Tea into stone, Yugi goes through an over-the-top Heroic BSOD, until Hikari no Yugi tells Yami no Yugi that he's not alone, and everybody that was solidified gives him support, leading to Yugi reviving Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon, fuses it with 2 more, uses Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon to kill Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi, defuses BEUD back into 3 Blue-Eyes, siccing them on Noah, thus winning the duel and saving everybody.
  • In Kannazuki no Miko, Souma's Orochi-granted powers eventually petrify him.
  • In Samurai Deeper Kyo, the "true" Mekira turns Yuya to stone from the waist down, and completely statue-fies the newly heel face turned Santera. They recover after Akari gets seriously peeved and does away with Mekira.
  • The premise of Crystal Blaze is a series of incidents in which women were discovered transformed into glass statues. Fittingly, the alternate title of the series is Glass Maiden.
  • Xanxus from Katekyo Hitman Reborn has a Cool Pet liger who has the power to turn people to stone when it roars. Then Xanxus shoots them through the head...
  • Just one of the many Dark Bring in Rave Master
  • Rosario to Vampire's Ishigama-sensei, the school's art teacher, is a Medusa. Rather than her stare turning people into stone, it's the bite of her snake-like hair that does the job. She's swears she is only turning the school's pretty girls into statues for the art.
  • Not a typical attack, but a real danger of using senjutsu in Naruto. If the user's body draws more natural energy than it can balance with its own chakra, their body transforms into a stone frog.
    • Actually used as an attack against Pein's chakra-absorbing body. As it lacked the knowledge to balance the natural energy, Naruto was able to overload it with the energy and transform it into stone.
    • On Third Movie, one of the main villains, a ninja called Ishidate has a gauntlet/glove with an Medusa-esque eye on it that can turn anyone he touches into a statue. Sakura can cure any limbs he petrifies, but not when he goes Literally Shattered Lives on his opponents. That's at least two Red Shirt Soldiers helping Naruto and his team.
    • The Tsuchikage is also able to use an Earth technique to petrify anyone he is touching, as well as greatly increasing their mass.
  • The demons do this to Dr Hibiki in Brave Raideen.
  • Evergreen from Fairy Tail uses this as her magic, which is done through eye contact.
  • Basho Matsuo from Yaiba can turn people to stone with his magic needles. However, even if they're broken, they return to normal after the needle is removed or broken.
  • In Saint Beast, while plotting to break Judas and Luca out of hell, the other four Saint Beasts are betrayed by the Goddess and turned to stone. After years pass, Saki manages to free Goh.
  • In Dr. Stone the very premise uses this trope. Everyone in the world is petrified into stone for over 3000 years, retaining their consciousness indefinitely... with only the two main characters, Taiju Ooki and Senku Ishigami, eventually breaking free in year 5738. From then on, the two boys plus their Childhood Friend (and Taiju's crush) Yuzuriha Ogawa decide to do anything they can to restore the world itself...

Card Games

  • Not exactly a petrification, but the Flavor Text from the Magic: The Gathering card "Rock Lobster" uses the same pun.
    • Mechanically, creatures like basilisks and gorgons usually just destroy creatures outright, though this is often flavored as petrification (see the card Mass Calcify for a spell example).
      • Basalt Golem, on the other hand, turns enemy creatures to stone. In an emergency, your opponent can still use them for blocking (at least, blocking creatures that aren't Basalt Golem).
    • Story-wise, there's also Lord Konda, the villain of the Kamigawa block. He became immortal when he captured the daughter of the ruler of the Kami, but was eventually defeated when he was turned to stone and shattered (it's implied that he's still alive, just...i n pieces).
  • In the Magi Nation storyline, Tuku is a character who was petrified for a thousand years. In an interesting twist, he is aware of everything that he can see, and still feels things like itching and lack of sleep. A short story, from his petrified point of view, can be found here.
  • In the CCG-meets-Monopoly game, Culdcept Saga, there are several monster cards including a Medusa and a Cockatrice that can turn a monster they attack into a Statue. Depending on your strategy this can be either a good or bad thing. Statues do not recover HP during a Lap Bonus, but they do have a pretty good chunk of HP to start off with. Of course, if you give your Medusa an effect that lets it attack first while defending its territory, turning the opposing monster into a Statue means it can't attack the Medusa at all.


  • In a Bill Willingham Spin-Off featuring Thessaly the witch, the titular witch falls into this trap when she notices that she's surrounded by odd statues wearing horrified expressions. Her last thoughts before she gets turned to stone are exasperated self-recriminations for falling into such a stupid trap.
  • Stone Boy of the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon and comics is a Substitute Legionnaire who can turn into an immobile statue. However, he manages to use this power effectively anyway.
  • The "final" fate of Thanos in the Marvel Comics of the 70's; undone in the late 80's.
  • In Elf Quest, some of the magic users among the Gliders of Blue Mountain spend their lives in apparent trances, focusing their minds on specific limited tasks such as opening and closing portals or correcting flaws in the rock, while their bodies remain almost completely inanimate. It is hinted (though never actually confirmed) that Big Bad Winnowill keeps them this way to prevent them from revealing things they have learned about her.
    • One of them, Door (the male one) in the New Blood series became the tyrant of a people of humans. One way of killing servants that displeased him was making stone from the floor flow up over their skin until they were completely encased in it, effectively creating a statue with a corpse inside.
  • Grey Gargoyle from the Marvel Universe has the power to turn anyone into an immobile statue for one hour (or himself into a very mobile rock bruiser.) He has to touch the target with his right hand.
  • Once while fighting the X-Men, Doctor Doom had Storm turned into a decorative statue. Particularly nasty since she was aware, and such an And I Must Scream moment would have been horrifying for someone who isn't extremely claustrophobic.
    • Doom actually counted on Storm being incapacitated due to panic. The extremely dire gathering of storm clouds outside couldn't possibly be related to her, could it? No, I'll prop her up by the window and go about my plans. Who cares there's no other possible explanation? Because it is a perfectly natural storm, surely there's no way the window could be in danger.
    • This was also one of Doom's earliest plots while facing the Fantastic Four themselves. "I'll turn you all to statues, with liquid titanium steel!"
  • At the end of The Golden Age of Comic Books, the vastly-powerful Spectre, DC's Spirit of Vengeance was abruptly forbidden to kill anyone by the Comics Code Authority. DC's response was to have the Spectre inflict massive Transformation Trauma on his victims instead--the text about the subject mentioned him turning one villain into a burning candle, then snuffing the flame, while accompanying panels depicted him turning another into inanimate sand. Just kill me, please!!!
    • That said, the Spectre himself died in a manner that resembles this somewhat, being thrown in a barrel full of cement and tossed into a river.
  • Tom Strong once wondered why his archenemy Paul Saveen had a collection of statues of other supervillains. One of them was Ingrid Weiss.
  • This happens to SLobo in Young Justice as Darkseid turns him into a, still aware, statue towards the end.
  • In Asterix and Obelix All at Sea this is revealed to be the effect of magic potion overdose. Bonus points for the resulting statue being actually made of granite.
  • The Phantom Blot did this to Minnie's village in Wizards of Mickey, which is what set her off on her own quest. She eventually suffers the same fate in the second arc.
  • One of the wizards' more often used powers in Douwe Dabbert.
  • Supergirl did this to her ex boyfriends with a touch, at least according to this cover of Adventure Comics #389.
    • Bizarro Supergirl has Eye Beams that cover the victims with a stone shell. Because that's the opposite of X-Ray Vision. Apparently.
  • The Fearmaster in Punisher 2099 had a whole collection of women turned to statues with his molecular engineering powers. Each of them is a different material, you know, so it doesn't get boring. Gold, diamond, that sort of thing. He calls it the "Endymion Room", after a poem by John Keats about eternal youth and beauty (more or less).
  • Gorgon, one of the few Wolverine foes that outmatched him in everything Wolvie was good at, could turn people to stone just by looking at them. Unfortunately for Gorgon he was not one of those mutants with immunity to his own power. Wolverine defeated him by popping his shiny reflective claws at just the right moment.
  • When, in Gold Digger, the evil werewolf Brendan temporarily gained transcendent magic power, one of the first things he did with it was turn his opponent — Brittany Diggers, the (thanks to him) only remaining werecheetah in the world — into a living, but motionless statue. Unfortunately for him, he forgot about this when he lost the power again, and oh boy, a werecheetah can land so many blows in under a second...
    • Brittany had been turned into a statue before, but on that occasion she was animate... a super-strong, super-fast granite statue under the magical control of Atlantean sorceror Gyphon.
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, Brian's character is turned to stone by a medusa in "The Stone Menagerie", leading to a Literally Shattered Lives scenario.
  • Sangre, has a artist named Pesolggio do this to the main character after he learns she is an assassin. He encases her in water and mortar and present her petrified body as a statue.

Fan Works

  • In With Strings Attached, Paul is turned into a diamond statue and later blown up.
    • Also, on two occasions George turned himself into a rock and a chunk of metal, respectively. And he did a boulder monster too, though that's alive.
    • And in an inversion, Brox discovered a spell that turns inanimate objects into living creatures.

Fairy Tales

Films — Animated

  • In The Snow Queen's Revenge, the Snow Queen falls into lava. The ending of the movie shows her body to be intact, but completely turned to stone along with her staff. Her eyes glow before the credits roll, hinting that she is still alive. Given that no sequels have been made since, and that she is the SNOW queen fallen into LAVA, however, we can assume she doesn't survive for much longer, and even if she does, her staff (which unfroze her at the film's beginning) isn't doing anything this time, so it's safe to assume she's not going anywhere.
  • The fate of the villain Saluk in Aladdin: The King Of Thieves, when he grabs the movie's MacGuffin, The Hand of Midas, with his bare hands during the climax, accidentally transforming himself into a statue of gold.

Films — Live Action

  • It's okay, everyone. Admit that it happens in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. C'mon — that movie's practically a historical landmark of culture now anyway.
    • Okay. After Frank-n-Furter turns Colombia, Janet, Rocky and Brad into statues, he dresses them up in makeup and corsets, turns them back to normal, forces them to do a floor show, then makes them join him in a synchronized pool orgy. You asked for it.
    • And they find themselves enjoying it.
  • In Hellraiser III Hell On Earth, Pinhead is trapped as a statue, but frees himself after a certain amount of blood.
  • In Part 2 of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, this is what happens to Bellatrix Lestrange before she gets blown to pieces.
  • In Ernest Scared Stupid, the troll Trantor's signature power is to turn kids into little wooden dolls that give him his power.
  • Medusa in Clash of the Titans (1981) turns a few of Perseus' soldiers into stone statues before being killed and beheaded by Perseus. After she's dead Perseus uses her head (and eyes) to petrify the Kraken.
  • Han Solo, frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back, later put on display in Jabba's palace then eventually unfrozen in Return of the Jedi.
  • In Willow, the village sorcerer gives Willow a pouch of magical acorns and says, "Anything you throw them at, turns to stone." This turns out to be true. However, at no point do they actually do Willow any good. He tries to use them in a fight with a troll, but he drops the acorn and instead of turning the troll to stone, it just petrifies the wooden plank it lands on. He actually manages to hit Queen Bavmorda, but it turns out that Bavmorda's magical kung fu is rather stronger than the village sorcerer's, and she shakes off the effect with ease.
    • One of the acorns did Willow some good in the novelization. After rescuing Fin Raziel from the island; a monster which Bavmorda had summoned or created to guard the lake came after Willow and Raziel, and Willow threw an acorn down its throat.
  • The 50's Monolith Monsters features growing towers of crystals that fall and shatter; anyone exposed to their shards begins to turn to stone. What makes it worse is that the crystalline stones expand and even explode when coming in contact with water.
  • The Monkey King's petrification is at the center of the plot of The Forbidden Kingdom.
  • A weapon turning living beings into ash was developed in Star Trek Nemesis.
  • In Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, Medusa turns a disbelieving townswoman to stone. (She gets better.)
  • In Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, when elves die, their bodies turn to yellow stone.


  • Used several times as an ending in the Choose Your Own Adventure style "Give Yourself Goosebumps" books. In The Curse of the Creeping Coffin you are turned into a statue and ghosts 'tease you and pinch your stone nose' until the end of time. In Shop Till You Drop... Dead! two endings turn you into a mannequin and a cardboard cutout.
  • Used in the Choose Your Own Adventure book about being sent back in time to the Ancient Greek Olympics. If you successfully win the Olympics, you will travel to the temple of Zeus and pray for your trip to Ancient Greece to never end. Yeah...
  • In one of the Grail Quest books you can encounter the legendary Medusa herself. Though she has a relatively low chance of actually hitting you, a successful hit means that she has managed to turn you stone and that's it. Game over, go to 14. She also has 100 Life Points, meaning she will have plenty of chances to hit you. On the bright side, if you do manage to defeat her you can walk away with a fortune in gold.


  • The witch in CS Lewis's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe does this. Unusually, it isn't fixed when she dies; rather Aslan breathes on everyone to change them back.
  • One of the short stories in The King in Yellow has a sculptor and dabbler in science discover a new element which changes objects to marble, temporarily. He keeps a swimming pool full of the stuff in his house, which is kind of asking for trouble.
  • The Baaz Draconians in Dragonlance. Upon death, they turn to stone which traps your weapon, then crumble to rubble in a couple of minutes, but seeing as they attack in large groups and you're left without a weapon, getting the weapon back might prove to be a problem.
  • The title character of Margaret St. Clair's story Thirsty God doesn't literally get turned to stone. After he's raped a humanoid girl, he takes refuge from her family in a "shrine" that's actually an ancient biological processor, and the process wasn't designed for humans. When he wakes up he finds that he's a lot bigger than he used to be and incredibly thirsty. But he's still not big enough to fight the girl's relatives so he falls asleep again. A little while after that he wakes up again, feeling even thirstier, and sees that the girl's family have gone. Thinking it's a trick he decides to get up, but can't make his muscles obey him. A little while after that he's visited by the first of many primitive, waterlogged creatures who are going to force his transformed body to painfully absorb their excess moisture (symbolism, anyone?) for years to come while he can never move again. (Also the story implies he's just one of many who have shared this fate.)
    • There are several recent ASFR variants on this story, whose protagonists are forced to experience pleasure rather than pain while paralyzed.
  • The heroes of L Sprague De Camp and Fletcher Pratt's Incomplete Enchanter at one point encounter an evil wizard who has punished his apprentice for spying for the good guys by paralyzing him into a nude, flesh and blood statue. Of course, this being written in the 1940s there's no suggestion that the wizard... does anything else... to his young victim.
  • Land of Oz series:
    • In The Marvelous Land of Oz, Tip escapes the clutches of the pseudo-witch Mombi before she can turn him into a statue.
    • In The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Unc Nunkie and Dame Margolotte are turned into marble by the Liquid of Petrifaction.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, people not actually killed by the basilisk's gaze (which is the normal effect of a direct look) are petrified instead. Though the term confused some people, with even the cover blurb of the American edition getting it wrong, it's clear if you pay any attention that in the Harry Potter universe this means being indefinitely paralysed rather than actually being turned to stone like in many other cases. Happened to Filch's cat (she looked at the basilisk reflection in a water pool), Nearly Headless Nick (already dead), Colin Creevey (saw it through his camera's lens), and Hermione (saw the reflection in a mirror). Also Justin Finch-Fletchley (saw the basilisk through Nearly Headless Nick) and Penelope Clearwater (only in the book, not the movie; saw the reflection the same time Hermione did).
  • In Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, Jim and Will are at one point under a spell that renders them walking statues. When they are left motionless in the Mirror Maze, visitors mistake them for more of the wax figures there, not noticing the wetness in one "statue"'s eyes.
  • Trolls in Middle-earth are petrified if they're exposed to sunlight. In The Hobbit, Bilbo and his dwarven friends are captured by trolls, but Gandalf provokes an argument between them so that they won't notice the sun rising. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin stumble upon the very spot where that happened as they're rushing from Weathertop to Rivendell.
    • The trolls of the Discworld series are a variant of this: trolls cannot be turned to stone, because as silicon-based life forms, they are essentially already living rock. It's just that their brains work better in cold temperatures, so if they leave their mountain homelands, they get stupid, and if it gets too hot, their brains shut down entirely and they go inert until nightfall.
    • Also in Valiant, the second book in Holly Black's Modern Tales of Faerie, wherein the protagonist actually uses this to her troll-friend/love-interest's advantage when he is dying from injuries. Val exposes him to sunlight, turning him into stone and buying him some time. Notably, the effect is temporary and only lasts until nightfall.
    • Played with in Spearwielder's Tale, in which one character is outraged that Tolkien wrote about trolls that turn to stone in the sun because 'real' trolls do not, and that probably caused many deaths from people running from trolls turning to laugh at them when the sun came up
  • A random nameless fire-witch in Patricia C. Wrede's Talking to Dragons turns people to stone, including Shiara. Daystar kisses her; she gets better.
    • And in the first book, Dealing With Dragons, Cimorene meets a prince who's been turned into a living, moving stone statue, having rather hilariously messed up a standard fairy-tale scenario.
  • In Sabriel the title character encounters and frees a naked man transformed into a wooden figurehead on a ship.
  • In Skulduggery Pleasant, elemental magic-users can use earth powers to petrify themselves in order to avoid harm. As they can stay petrified for centuries without being able to reverse it, it's usually a last resort.
  • Terry Pratchett's early novel The Carpet People has a termagant whose gaze turns people to stone, the irony being that the beast is actually quite friendly and doesn't do it on purpose. Its own tears cause the statues to come back to life, unless they have been that way for many centuries.
  • Used as a form of execution in the Darksword trilogy. In the second book, Saryon intentionally throws himself in front of the executioner's spell while holding the eponymous Darksword, both Taking the Bullet and trapping the Darksword in his stone hands. He gets better.
  • In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, a giant turns to stone at dawn. Fortunately, our hero is an engineer from our world; he has everyone run, realizing that when carbon becomes silicon, the isotope is bound to be radioactive.
    • In his Operation Chaos, the same observation is a throw-away joke about basilisks.
  • Charles Stross also uses the carbon-silicon transition version in The Laundry Series. Bob Howard wields a "basilisk gun" in The Atrocity Archive, and the short story The Concrete Jungle concerns the origin of the technology and its installation in Britain's extensive CCTV network. In the books, the origin of the "Gorgon stare" is an extremely rare variety of brain tumor; it's also hinted that said tumor is a multi-species thing, and responsible for the myths about gorgons (when it occurs in humans), basilisks (snakes) and cockatrices (chickens).
  • Within The Wizardry Cursed, the third book of Rick Cook's Wiz Biz series, the protagonist devises a unique defense method, a set of rings that, upon detecting mortal danger, slow the wearer's timestream to a halt, making them almost indestructible until the danger passes. The problem is, their inert bodies are taken to the Big Bad's lair and the ring continues to consider them in danger...
  • This is the state of the title character in Phillip Jose Farmer's The Stone God Awakens at the opening of the novel.
  • Kara Dalkey's Trilogy "Blood of the Goddess" where the titular goddess is the Medusa whose gaze turns people into stone.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Book of Amber series, one of the characters is turned to stone, and serves a coatrack for much of the series.
    • In his Dilvish The Damned stories, the titular hero is petrified by an evil wizard, only reverted back after several millenia.
  • In Ares Express by Ian McDonald, decadent rich people buy furniture made from children locked into a suit that keeps them alive but paralyzed in the desired position: the novel implies that this is irreversible.
  • In The Dresden Files, Aurora, one of the Queens of the Summer Court, transferred magical power into a person and then turned her to stone to keep the magic from being detected by anyone else. She gets better.
  • The trope is named but not invoked in a Valdemar novel by Mercedes Lackey. A rather stoic character makes a pun about his personality, and the fact that people often fail to recognize his role.
  • In the first Percy Jackson novel, Percy and his friends encounter a masked lady who has a garden full of stone animals, stone people, stone satyrs, ... It's the real Medusa. And since Percy's friend Annabeth is the daughter of Athena, Medusa wants a lot of payback.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Shadows in The Moonlight" Olivia dreams of how the statues were men turned to statues for having murdered.
  • At the end of Changer's Moon, Serroi is turned into a tree as the price of defeating Ser Noris. (She gets better in the Dancer trilogy.)
  • In the novella "I Like To Watch", the protagonist turns her restless adventurer sister into stone by watching her thoroughly. It's some sort of a an ultimate "you're better home" statement from the protagonist, who spent her whole life in their childhood home, watching things rather than doing them.
  • In Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy, The Dragon for a minor antagonist steals a heat-resistant ointment from the hero's mentor, slathers himself with an extra-thick coating, then taunts the hero for not having enough as they both venture into the heart of a volcano. He's Hoist by His Own Petard when the extra-thick coating fails to burn off properly as its protective power is expended ... and then solidifies, trapping The Dragon in an unbreakable, suffocating shell.
  • Prince Nakel from Adventures in Agapeland: The Music Machine is rumored to have this power, and as his castle courtyard is filled with stone statues, it may very well be true.
  • Fablehaven: Olloch the Glutton is trapped as a statue until someone is dumb enough to feed him. When he eats whoever fed him, he reverts back to statue form.
    • Dale is also temporarily turned into a lead statue.
  • In The Stormlight Archive Jasnah gets rid of a thug by Soulcasting him into a quartz statue. Also, the corpses of slain lighteyes are frequently Soulcasted into statues to preserve them.
  • A variation in the first Secret Histories novel: a captured water sprite is frozen into a statue. And is completely aware of it.
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl has an anecdote about a boy who was turned into stone. The process was apparently slow.
  • Megisto, a dark sorcerer from Chronicles of the Emerged World was captured by the nymphs and punished for his misdeeds with a curse: He's free to wander and live during nighttime as a human, but during the day he's sealed in a rock in the middle of a forest.
  • Mars, who appears to be this but was actually trapped under a stone shell, and Abraham the Mage, who was turned into a golden statue, from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.
  • In The Stoneheart Trilogy, The Walker looks on the face of the Medusa. Guess what happens.
    • But it's okay, 'cause he was the bad guy.

Live Action TV

  • There's an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures about an alien race who were the basis of the Medusa myth.
  • The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who have this happen as a defense mechanism whenever they're seen "because you can't kill a stone".
    • The Doctor defeated the angels by having someone run into the TARDIS and letting the "angels" converge on it, and then dematerializing at the last second. The angels all turn to stone, because they're left standing in a circle looking at each other.
    • The original novel, The Stone Rose, involves this happen on an involuntary basis to a certain Rose Tyler. And later the Doctor.
    • Progressive Petrification: In the new Doctor Who series, the episodes New Earth (2e01) and The Fires of Pompeii (4e02) feature people gradually turning to stone due to an illness.
    • "The Five Doctors" involves a villain looking for Rassilon's secret of immortality. It turns out, though, that the supposed "immortality" is a trap Rassilon laid for megalomaniacs. Borusa becomes immortal by being turned into a paralyzed, living stone face on the base of Rassilon's coffin.
    • In The Big Bang all matter in every point in history in the universe is erased except for the Earth, and if not stopped in time all universes everywhere will have never existed. Several Daleks and Cybermen were present at Ground Zero, and as a temporary side-effect of their histories never existing are turned into stone after-images before being erased permanently.
    • Subverted in The Time of Angels, when the Angel in Amy's mind makes her think she's turning to stone. She isn't, but it takes the Doctor biting the affected hand to snap her out of it.
    • Also in the old series, this happened in the Season 26 serial "Ghost Light" — the victims were petrified by the story's Big Bad, Light, because of his fear of change and evolution (they had 'adapted' to a new situation, and so he ensured they would 'never change again').
  • The second season of Big Wolf on Campus ended with Merton a stone statue, after he put himself between Tommy and the gaze of Medusa.
    • He gets doubly screwed too, turns out that the cure is also a poison so when he gets turned back he finds himself blind, sweating horribly from a fever, totally unable to care for himself, and with a touch of leprosy (apparently he spits out some teeth).
  • In the first episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Iolaus takes on a "she-demon" while Hercules is in a Ten-Minute Retirement after the murder of his family, and gets petrified for his trouble. Naturally this impels Hercules to go kill the she-demon, which, of course, restores all of her victims, including Iolaus.
  • Happened to Madison in Power Rangers Mystic Force, at the hands of a cockatrice-themed Monster of the Week, so she was naturally sympathetic when it happened to Jenji later on at the hands of a Medusa-themed one. This also occurred to Urara, Madison's counterpart in Mahou Sentai Magiranger (the Mystic Force episode was in fact a near copy of the Magiranger episode).
  • A book in the Goosebumps series was called Be Careful What You Wish For and showcased the trope of this name. In the ending of the TV adaptation, which differed considerably from the book, a girl wishes that "wherever I go, people will come to admire me" — and instantly turns into a statue.
    • In the TV adaptation of "Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes," Major McCall (Mr McCall in the book) is turned into a lawn ornament at the end.
  • Occurs to Farscape's Crichton in the second-season episodes "I Do, I Think" and "The Maltese Crichton" (a.k.a. the "Look at the Princess" trilogy). Crichton actually gets his head cut off and thrown in acid in this state. (Temporarily.)
  • Played for laughs in Look Around You series 2, which has an item about a disease called Geodermic Grantitis (Cobbles), which turns people into vaguely human-shaped piles of rock. Victims can slide around, and can see, hear and talk despite their lack of visible eyes, ears or mouths. The disease has one compensation: its victims can fly. A leaflet, "Coping with Cobbles", is available at pharmacies and quarries, price 1p.
  • In the instructional series Storylords, the evil Storylord Thorzuul turned anyone who couldn't understand what they read into statues for his collection.
  • One recurring obstacle (well, we see it twice but this was a year when no one won) on Knightmare was a giant gorgon head that once turned not just the Dungeoner but the Guides (who are normally immune to harm) to stone.
  • The fact that that he possessed an "Off" Switch meant Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data often fell victim to being deactivated unexpectedly or against his will. This usually resulted in a somewhat disturbing slump (he reacted just as any human would do if they were knocked unconscious). On at least two occasions, however, unexpected deactivation of energy charges brought on total paralysis effectively rendering him a mannequin.
  • Done on Blood Ties.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, people who have their Life Energy drained by Fangire become glass-like and translucent. Only once do we see anyone actually shattering because of this, however. On the other hand, the show completely averts No Ontological Inertia since once somebody's been drained, they're effectively dead.
  • There's a Star Trek TOS episode, By Any Other Name where aliens turn the crew of the Enterprise (except for Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty) into little styrofoam polygons.
  • Queen Admira from The Hugga Bunch special has the power to freeze people in place, which she uses on Bridget after the girl accidentally insults her. Later, Bridget's friends from the Hugga Bunch are able to restore her to normal through The Power Of Hugs.
  • In an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a villain put on a ring that was purported to make one immortal. It "immortalized" him in a way he hadn't bargained for. Removing the ring did not restore him.
  • Friday the 13th: The Series: The Shard of Medusa is a jagged piece of black rock. Those who hold it for long periods become paralyzed. Stabbing such victims with the Shard turns them into stone. What do you do with your new statues? If you're an artist with more ambition than conscience, you put them on display for fame and fabulous fortune, of course!
  • Bob Bishop from Heroes can turn anything he wants into gold. It was only used on inanimate objects in the series itself, but in the webcomic we see it being used on a person. That person was then hauled away and melted down.
  • Eureka features several people petrifying in the aptly titled episode "Stoned".
  • Warehouse 13 has a variation with a knife that turns people into glass.
    • And, of course, there is the process known as Bronzing, which is said to be done to those that have the potential to do the most damage to the world. And they're conscious the whole time!
    • There's also a hybrid of an artifact and a computer virus, which changes people's DNA into a silicon-based configuration, changing their body parts into diatomacious earth. Needless to say, this is incompatible with life.
  • One villain in Charmed shrinks witches and turns them into clay figurines.
    • One of the Titans can turn people to stone. She turns Whitelighters to stone and shatters them to steal their teleporting powers. Paige is turned to stone, but is saved from the shattering and later returned to normal.
  • The Adventures of Sinbad had a Mad Artist villain who could turn anything he touched while wearing magic gloves into stone, and gathered a collection of beautiful women this way. He's defeated when Sinbad grabs his wrist and shoves his hand into his face.


  • The song "Iron Man" tells the story of a hero who was "turned to steel in the great magnetic field" while traveling to the past. However, this was only temporary, and he was revived several hundred years later to "kill the people he once saved" for revenge, because no one tried to help him when he was in his metal state.
  • Owen Pallett's "Basilisk" is Conversational Troping on the subject. Though a cheerful and catchy song, it's rife with subtle Nightmare Fuel.

 Owen, Owen, protect me

From a life everlasting


Myths & Religion

  • This was the trademark of the Gorgon Medusa, cursed by the Greek gods such that whomever looked at her became turned to stone (Medusa'a own gaze was actually harmless). This goes back at least to Pherecydes and Pindar, Greek writers of the 5th century BCE. But for various reasons most depictions flip it around so that it's her gaze that turns people to stone.
  • The gaze of the basilisk can petrify a victim. Depending on accounts, the mythical cockatrice could either kill or transform victims into stone by looking, touching, pecking, or breathing at people. And as if that was not enough, both monsters can also spread lethal poison.
  • The Catoblepas was a bull-like creature whose gaze could petrify instantly. However, it was cursed further with horns so heavy it was forced to look down upon the ground all its life.
  • In The Bible, Lot's wife is turned into a "pillar of salt" after looking back upon the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Whether this line was meant metaphorically or literally is, like many things of the Bible, a matter of debate.
  • Inverted in the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Pygmalion carves a statue based on Aphrodite and falls in love with it; Aphrodite sympathizes with him and brings the statue to life so he can marry her.
  • King Midas' Golden Touch turned his daughter (and in some versions, his wife as well) into a golden statue. Not Stone, but pretty much the same idea.
  • Many stories claim that trolls could only come out after dark, as sunlight turned them to stone. Strange-looking rock formations were said to be trolls that missed this curfew.
  • The Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets and his band of invincible bogatyrs (knight errants) are turned to stone for their audacity to challenge the gods. A symmetric fate, as Ilya Muromets has spent the first 33 years of his life immobile.
  • Niobe, after her children were killed by Apollo and Artemis, was turned into a weeping rock.

Puppet Shows

  • In The Muppet Show, guest star Tony Randall accidentally turns Miss Piggy to stone. Of course the rest of the gang can't resist cracking jokes in her face about "being taken for granite" since she is in no position to retaliate. This is also a variant that while she might be stone, she can still hear and mumble incoherently in that state, making all the insults really hit home.

Tabletop Games

  • Common in RPGs of all sorts, usually as one of the Standard Status Effects but also occasionally as a plot element.
  • In Promethean: The Created, this is an inherent problem of the villainous Pandorans. Without the innate alchemical energy of a Promethean, they're stuck as inanimate objects — they thus hunt Prometheans for this energy. Additionally, the innate human reaction to seeing a Pandoran is disbelieving horror that forces them back into this state. Unusually for this trope, they normally don't appear as just a statue of themselves. This does happen sometimes... but more typically, they become something more innocuous — an "ordinary" statue, a piece of driftwood, a rock, or similar.
  • In the Shadowrun game setting:
    • Mana storms will occasionally sweep an area, hitting it with various elemental and illusion spells. These include the Petrify spell, which a small town in the Australian Outback learned to their misfortune.
    • Additionally, a Seattle nightclub known as the Alabaster Maiden has a statue out front which is supposedly the body of a mage whose spell backfired on her.
    • Some Awakened creatures have the power Petrifying Gaze, which acts like the Petrify spell.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a wide range of these, common enough that earlier versions of D&D had a saving throw against it.
    • As well as your standard medusas, cockatrices and basilisks, the gorgon (a bull-like creature with metal scales for skin) could petrify creatures with its breath.
    • There are spells that can turn people to statues of stone, ice, salt or glass.
    • In addition, beholders, (spherical aberrations with lots of eyes), have a Petrify ray. Aside of being a weapon, it's commonly used for food storage and sculpting (often combined with charm before and disintegration after). One beholder in a sourcebook begins sculpting his victims so their faces looked more like him.
    • In the Planescape setting the Quasielemental Plane of Minerals has this as an intrinsic property: living creatures not protected from petrification who stay there one day too long tend to join the ranks of fancy gemstones and stay there forever.
    • A magic item called Eyes of Petrifaction could turn anyone who put them on to stone. However, 25% of them instead acted like the eyes of a basilisk or medusa and petrified anyone who met the wearer's gaze.
    • Used in a number of adventures and supplements:
      • The AD&D1 supplement Greyhawk Adventures had the Twisted Forest, a collection of twisted stone statues which were Evil creatures petrified by the gods.
      • An entire forest turned to stone is home to one of the goblin tribes in "B10: Night's Dark Terror".
      • Another B-series module, "Palace of the Silver Princess", takes place in a cursed palace where the rightful inhabitants have all succumbed to this trope.
      • Going into Strahd's crypt in "I6: Ravenloft" without neutralizing or avoiding a magical trap can get you turned into a statue, not of granite (which is relatively easy to fix in D&D), but of several metals layered on top of one another.
    • One of the archdevils can even turn people to iron; he also has a power that instantly rusts metal, and likes to render his enemies Deader Than Dead by turning them into iron and then rusting them to pieces.
  • In GURPS magic there are a two versions. Flesh to Stone turns the target entirely into stone or metal and Partial Petrification works piece by piece, specifically so that the target can be tortured.
  • In the Champions adventure The Great Supervillain Contest, one contestant was Brother Basilisk, who had the superpower of (temporarily) turning creatures to stone.
  • In In Nomine, some angels serving David, Archangel of Stone have the ability to temporarily convert their enemies into stone, the unfortunate victim remains aware, but unable to do anything until it wears off (which for weaker foes could take a while).
  • In Warhammer, the Chaos Dwarfs can use magic, unlike regular dwarves, but at a price. They begin slowly turning to stone, from the feet up, once they begin the path of a spellcaster, and it cannot be reversed. Eventually, the completely petrified sorcerers are placed along the roadway to the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund.
  • Arkham Horror features the petrifying solution from the King in Yellow, used as a powerful one-shot magic weapon, one that also negates the endless ability and removes the victim from play. Amusing given the source material.


  • In Die Frau ohne Schatten, the Emperor is condemned to turn to stone and he's almost completely petrified in Act III until his wife the Empress frees him.
  • In Lord Dunsany's The Gods of the Mountain, this is the ultimate fate of the seven beggars who impersonate the gods.
  • In The Winters Tale by William Shakespeare, Hermione is presumed dead, but reappears in the fifth act as a statue who is miraculously brought back to life.


  • In Bionicle the Matoran in the realm of Kharzani would be turned to stone if they even so much as sat down, and were forced to remain standing and working at all times.

Video Games

  • In the beginning of King's Quest: Mask of Eternity, everyone in Daventry are turned to stone by the Big Bad. It's only dumb luck that our hero managed to grab a piece of the titular MacGuffin to protect himself.
    • In King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human, the hero must defeat a Medusa-like creature that lives in the desert. He takes his cue from Perseus, and shows the monster her own reflection (though in a hand mirror, and not a polished shield).
    • Also, near the end of King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder, Cedric the Owl gets turned to stone by accident via Mordack's weakened wand magic (don't worry, he gets better). Graham ends up like this too if he didn't save Cedric from the harpies, as the owl is the only reason for Taking the Bullet. Of course, this only happens on the MS-DOS PC version and any other adaptation except the PC CD-ROM adaptation, where he is just killed by Mordack's magic.
  • In Tomb Raider, Lara can be turned to gold by standing on the hand of a giant statue of King Midas.
    • This also happens in the remake, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, and in this edition Lara is also encased in stone in a boss battle (which she can somehow break out of).
  • Happens temporarily in Legend of Mana during one of the three main plots. Here "temporarily" means about 5 seconds of cutscene.
  • Palom and Porom do it to themselves in Final Fantasy IV to stop a deathtrap.
    • Also, "Stone" is a status effect in nearly all the games in the series, most of which treat it similarly to Death; since it never wears off through time, if all party members are petrified, the fight's over. Later games in the series have it so that if a petrified character is struck with a physical attack, they shatter and can't be revived until the battle's over.
    • Red XIII's father from Final Fantasy VII ended up as such defending his home. Much like how Phoenix Downs couldn't revive Aerith, Softs couldn't be used to fix this. Parodied here.
    • Early on in Final Fantasy IX Blank is turned into stone to protect the heroes from the Evil Forest. He is eventually cured much later in the game.
    • The Fayth in Final Fantasy X are people who are turned into statues so that their souls can be used to summon large beasts. It's unclear if they become the summon themselves (all we know is that a summoning "draws energy from them"), but they are shown being able to manifest as spirits within the chambers that hold their statue.
      • Given in battles where you're fighting specific Fayth you can't call them in yourself... this troper thinks it's pretty much as good as said that the Fayth are the summons themselves.
    • Llednar Twem in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. What's worse? He crumbled shortly after that.
    • Final Fantasy XIII, a curse of l'cie will turn a subject who achieves his/her focus into a crystal, giving him/her an eternal life at least until a new mission is given or the subject is fleed from the curse.
      • Also, a l'cie who had transformed into a cie'th for long enough will eventually turn into a cie'th stone
  • This has been used in the premise of two Zelda games: The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap and The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass, both of which feature Zelda turning to stone, and Link questing to cure her.
    • Also used by Link in the ending of The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. Link stabs Ganondorf in the head with the Master Sword, turning him to stone. Then the tower they're on starts to collapse. Then the magic bubble keeping the entire ocean from falling on them finishes bursting.
    • Wind Waker features Dark Chuchu that turn to stone in the sunlight. This is the only way to destroy them: petrify them, then smash them.
    • Also in Wind Waker, your initial visit to the underwater castle of Hyrule has Moblins and Darknuts petrified in the middle of combat.
    • The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games
      • The boss of the 8th dungeon in Seasons, the aptly named "Medusa Head", has Eye Beams that turn Link into stone if they hit you.
      • And in Ages, when Veran starts fucking around with the past, some people disappear and some turn to stone. Including a little kid, whose grandmother spends most of the game crying over.
  • Elaine in The Curse of Monkey Island was turned into a gold statue by a cursed ring. And Guybrush set off to cure her while leaving the statue in the beach of an island inhabited by pirates. Obviously, it was promptly stolen and he had to go and search for them afterwards.
  • The PC in Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide goes through this, for a blessedly short time.
    • You do get to see the effects of the other people/creatures who stood in the way of medusa, you can restore them, unfortunatly all but one (a sphinx) will attack you the instant they are freed.
    • Poked fun at in the sequel: you can hear a tale about an elf whose stare can turn people into a stone. Not into stone, but into a stone.
  • Philia of Tales of Destiny is first discovered by the heroes in a petrified state.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, it shows up a status effect that immobilizes the affected characters until cured, and results in a game over if everyone is affected by it.
  • In Tales of Graces, the effect is temporary and curable by taking damage, but the hit that frees you from it will deal a lot more damage.
  • Mario loves this trope.
    • In the initial Super Mario Bros Bowser turned all of Peach's subjects into brick blocks. The manual actually said Peach's subjects were the ? boxes that look like bricks, and they're rewarding you for freeing them.
    • Mario could turn into a still statue with the Tanooki suit that was invincible and could kill nearly anything by falling on it.
    • In the Nintendo Power Super Mario World comic, Bowser gave Peach the ultimatum that if she didn't marry him, he'd turn all her subjects into stone. To prove he was serious, he turned all her subjects at the castle to stone. Mario was hit with the blast. Fortunately, Luigi and Toad found the world's greatest Masseuse who manages to — after 3 hours of chiropracticy — loosen Mario's tension back to flesh.
  • The cockatrices in Nethack. Hearing their hiss produces a delayed action petrification which can be cured by eating a lizard or drinking something acidic. On the other hand, touching one with your bare flesh, will instantly petrify you. The statues of petrified monsters can be destroyed in order to retrieve the items they were wearing or carrying.
    • More interestingly, their corpse still turns anything it touches to stone. Meaning an adventurer (or monster) with a pair of gloves can wield it as a one-hit-killing weapon. With the right equipment, you can even turn yourself into a cockatrice, lay a few dozen eggs, and throw them at your enemies for instant petrification.
      • The problem remains that you turn to stone automatically if you are wielding a cockatrice/chickatrice and fall afoul of a trap. "Whatever you do, never move while wielding a cockatrice." See here for a more detailed list of ways you can be killed by a dead cockatrice.
    • Even more interestingly, with a bit of luck and magic, you can get your own pet cockatrice. Good, because you never have to worry about any living enemies — from Shopkeepers to Dragons, if it's flesh, your pet will kill it in one hit. Bad, because the game is balanced around the idea of you eating the corpses of your fallen enemies, and without them, you starve to death later in the dungeon. You do want to keep it away from flesh golems, though...
    • Nethack also contains the Medusa as a unique monster. Just like the mythological version, it possesses a petrifying gaze attack.
  • This happens at the end of the climactic fight between Martin Septim and Mehrunes Dagon in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • A variation occurs in Super Smash Bros Brawl: characters are turned into trophies when they are defeated in battle or through machines used by the Nintendo villains. They can usually be revived just by touching the trophy stand that appears beneath them.
  • In a pretty solid mimicry of the Dragon Tails example at the top, Mage Knight: Apocalypse allows Sarus, a biped dragon, to turn himself to crystal, making himself completely immobile for 10 seconds. See it here.
  • In God of War, Medusa can petrify Kratos, making him vulnerable and easily shattered. After defeating her, he can use her severed head to petrify enemies, who can be shattered and thus easily killed, aerial enemies shatter instantly upon hitting the ground. They can shake it off it not shattered though, and other gorgons are immune to the gaze.
    • In God of War II, Kratos does it again with Medusa's sister Euryale. There is one game, and one more Gorgon, left.
    • Despite this, Kratos doesn't fight Stheno. Instead, your main method of turning enemies to stone on the third game is to summon a Gorgon Serpent once you upgrade your Hades's Claws to level three. Also, doing the brutal kill on a Gorgon will freeze every nearby enemy, much like if you block a Gorgon Flash on the second game.
  • In Part IV of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the order goddess Ashera lets out bursts of energy which were intended to have this effect on the warring humans and laguz. Everybody who is not indoors, sufficiently strong, Branded, or fighting for Ashera is Taken for Granite, Part IV accordingly concerns itself with stopping her before she can do it again and reversing the effect.
    • In Fire Emblem Thracia 776, this is strongly implied to be the final fate of the Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War first generation playable characters who survived or escaped the Barhara massacre.. In fact, it does happen to Lady Eyvel, who is the long-lost Princess Brigid; if she's not rescued, she'll be turned into one of the final enemies.
  • Total Annihilation Kingdoms features the Basilisk and the Acolyte's Turn To Stone spell, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The expansion pack introduced the Creonite freeze weapons, which have a similar visual effect but are supposedly turning the target into frozen ice statues.
  • Happens for about five seconds in Jade Empire.
  • Seen in Sailor Venus's subplot of Sailor Moon Another Story.
  • Earthbound has the Diamondized status effect, forcing you to lug the perma-paralyzed body until he was healed.
  • The Nashkel Carnaval in the game Baldur's Gate has a stone fighter as one of the attractions. If you decide to use a stone to flesh spell on it, it will turn back into a NPC that can join your party.
    • Basilisks will also pop up in several areas, including one set controlled by an insane gnome. One of your dialogue choices when talking to him is funny, but when you think about it later, is truly callous — "Okay, Mr. psycho gnome, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but we're really not interested in your rock garden". Those are real, very unfortunate (or stupid) people, not just statues!
  • Castlevania III's Sypha Belnades is first discovered as a petrified statue, as an effect of the Cyclops' Evil Eye. Strangely, you (Trevor) are never in danger of any petrifying Evil Eye.
    • Medusa makes an appearance in Lament of Innocence, along with a shot of the many soldiers who've tried to kill her that she's turned to stone. Leon can only be petrified as a status ailment, though.
    • Many of the Post-SotN games add Gold Medusa Heads, which can petrify you on contact.
      • See also the Cockatrice card in Circle of the Moon, which can add a petrification effect to your weapons or abilities.
  • In Fate Stay Night, Rider, being that she is Medusa, comes up with a pair of petrifying eyes. However, the one time she actually uses them nobody actually does get turned to stone. Except for Archer's legs. They got better.
  • Kirby can obtain a power that functions like the Mario-turns-self-into-statue variant.
  • Malcolm, the evil jester in the original The Legend of Kyrandia game absolutely loved doing this to whoever crossed him, including Brandon at the end if the player wasn't careful.
    • In particular, Kallak, the royal wizard, was turned to stone at the beginning of the game, but his eyes were left alive so that he could watch his homeland being destroyed. At the end of the game Malcolm himself is petrified, only to be revived and become the protagonist in the third installment.
  • If you have a good relationship with Magoichi in the second Onimusha, there will be a bit where the PC is turned to stone and you'll play as Magoichi while searching for a cure, and to help various peasants who've also been petrified. It's an easy sidequest.
  • Xenosaga Episode III had a medicine called "Seven Moons," which, aside from reviving your characters, also has a slow-acting Petrification effect — apparently an effect of an "inert" virus which has a chance every so often of mutating into an active form. Completing a certain sidequest unlocks an enhanced version of the medicine, without the petrification side effect. Oddly, this effect can be easily countered by applying anti-Crystallization shots to the main characters. Gnosis do not have petrification abilities per se, but they had the ability to turn any human they touched to a pillar of salt.
  • The King of Fighters villain Rugal Bernstein had a hobby of taking fighters he killed in combat and turning them into statues... by dipping their corpses in liquid bronze. And that's just the start of what this Complete Monster likes to get up to.
    • Also in The King of Fighters 2003, the final boss Mukai has the ability to petrify you for a few seconds either by grabbing you, or through a full screen petrifying flash attack.
  • Azelf from the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games can petrify anyone who harms it for all eternity, unless it wishes to reverse it. There's no such move in the game capable of this, however.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, this exists as a Standard Status Effects as well as a plot device- When someone is using a Cruxis Crystal, there is a one-in-a-million chance that it could cause the rare disease called Chronic Angeleus Crystallius Inofficium, which would cause the victim's body to turn into a huge mass of the aforementioned crystal. Colette is quick to be afflicted with it. And disc 2 hits, it comes into light due to a shot from Forcystus's Arm Cannon, and curing it leads to a couple Scrappy Levels.
    • Near the end of the sequel, the entire Guest Star Cast minus Lloyd ('cuz he's special) get turned to stone due to a trap set by Ratatosk for the holder of the Derris Emblem. Though the charm was meant to protect you in the original game, it serves the reverse purpose because Ratatosk originally gave it to Mithos, who betrayed him. Of note is the fact that according to everyone when you free them, they were all still conscious. Ugh....
  • The Romans in Spartan: Total Warrior have a superweapon that uses a Medusa to fire a paralzying beam. After you beat the boss you can use the Medusa Shield, based on Athena's Aegis shield from Greek mythology after Perseus slew Medusa, to petrify groups of enemies.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, a curse covers an entire kingdom with thorny vines and turns all the people and a cat into statue-like plants (except the King, the Princess and one soldier- all of whom have their own curses.)
    • In Dragon Quest VII, there is a town turned into stone by a strange purple rain. You use "Angels Tears" to restore the one inhabitant whose statue isn't to eroded to restore. You later visit a DIFFERENT town and the same rain starts to fall, but you discover the monster responsible for it and stop him before serious mayhem occurs.
    • In Dragon Quest V, the Hero and his wife were turned to stone by the Big Bad. During the Time Skip, the hero was sold off by treasure hunters and became a lawn ornament. He's eventually restored to normal by his children and later had to search for his wife.
  • Atelier Iris 2 features this trope as a Deus Exit Machina for the main character Felt, forcing Viese to follow his footsteps in order to find out what happened to him (and later restore him to normal). Several major characters are petrified the same way by the Big Bad, all of which can eventually be restored. In fact, the entire population of Eden is turned to stone near the end and an optional subquest is to run around "unstoning" every single one.
  • In Ico, Yorda is turned stone late in the game. She gets better. Ico is turned to stone if Yorda is captured, and if he loses the final battle.
  • Lost Odyssey has a version of this. The King of Gohtza and many of Gohtza's citizens are frozen alive. Unusually, the recipients of this condition are considered dead by suffocation, clearly in violation of the existing trope, and definitely Darker and Edgier.
  • The Magi Nation video game for the Game Boy Color had the Big Bad Agram turn anyone who opposed him into stone, including most people from The Underneath and Arderial, plus a few dozen magi from about a hundred years ago who fought him. Reversed after his death, but everyone who was petrified remained conscious for all those years. A short story from the website was from the point of view of one such magi who spent what felt like eternity staring at the same spot in the room because he couldn't move his petrified eyes.
  • In Ogre Battle, the way to recruit Saradin is to cure his petrification. The problem is, there's a statue of him in every town in the region, and only one has Saradin trapped inside of it.
    • Fortunately, the sacred bell used to fix him will only be used up when you actually use it on the right statue.
  • In Tales of Phantasia, Arche suffers this fate at the behest of a lovestruck elf, to serve as collateral in ensuring the remaining heroes would do as she demanded.
  • This is essentially the entire motivation behind the original Star Ocean.
    • Shows up in the other Star Ocean games as one of two status effects that get you an instant game over if everyone is afflicted by it.
  • Darkstalkers Vampire Savior has a rare self-inflicted example. Demitri's ending has him defeating Morrigan, cradling her close and gettging ready to drink her blood... Cut to Demitri's tower, him sitting on his throne, and a statue of Morrigan; he states that she turned herself into stone to resist Dimitri's power, then he goes on to state that resistence is futile and one day he'll reach into her closed mind, and wait forever, if need be. Given the ending, its doubtful she'll ever return to normal... at least in this one.
  • The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess: Jovani turned into a golden statue after selling his soul to the Poes. Also a case of And I Must Scream.
  • On the backstory of Guild Wars Factions, when the Big Bad Shiro was defeated the first time his death released an explosive wave which turned both an inland sea into solid jade and the entire Echovald forest into stone, along with any living creature unfortunate enough to be caught in it, this event was called "The Jade Wind" in the game.
  • Sunlight does this to every normal human in Digital Devil Saga 2. This means that only a fraction of the Earth's population isn't petrified; the statues we do see are all very crumbled, so it is safe to assume that everyone turned to stone is also dead as a doornail. Yikes.
    • From the same game, the Stone ailment is very much like the Final Fantasy type — with the added caveat of every physical attack which hits a Petrified character instantly counting as a Critical hit, furthering the damage and possibly giving more turns to the attacker, depending on the game's mechanics. Hit 'em enough and... well, there's no need to explain that, is there... Plus, if a petrified caracter is hit by a Force, Earth, Gun or Physical-type attack, there's always a high chance of it instantly killing the character. You'd be surprised by how many of the demons can do this. On the other hand, at least it reduces or nullifies most other forms of damage, barring the non-elemental Almighty.
  • Adventures of Lolo has Medusa and its cousin, Don Medusa. Both are capable of petrifying Lolo (and/or Lala in Lolo 3), and will zap on sight, even if Lolo/Lala isn't looking their way. Don Medusa is the more dangerous of the two, because it can move back and forth.
  • One area in Jade Empire features a guardian fox-spirit attacking the locals by petrifying them and smashing the statues because said locals are trying to free an imprisoned demon. It tries it on the PC as soon as it sees you, but the petrification doesn't take due to the PC's Spirit Monk powers.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Engineer has a weapon called the Golden Wrench that was given to 100 users during the Engineer update. The only difference between it and his regular wrench is that when you kill someone with it, they turn into a gold Australium statue instead of a ragdoll.
  • The final boss of Monster World IV has an undodgeable attack that temporarily petrifies you. Your pet Pepelagoo then sacrifices himself to block the boss's petrifying gaze.
  • The Hippogriff boss in Demon's Crest starts the fight as a statue. When you headbutt it, it awakens and fights you. Throughout the fight, it sometimes turns back to stone and must be headbutted again. Once you defeat it, the Hippogriff turns to stone one last time... at which point you smash it to pieces with a final headbutt.
  • This seems to be part of the reason the Patapon empire falls again in the soon to come Patapon 3 (as one of the side effects of opening the Pandora Box.)
  • Neopets love doing this to their faeries.
    • The Darkest Faerie was turned to stone by Fyora for 1,000 years, 1,000 years before Neopets: The Darkest Faerie. And in the end was turned to stone again for another 1,000 years.
    • Additionally, one of the statues as seen in the Altador plot, was really a faerie turned to stone.
    • And all of the faeries were turned to stone at the start of The Faeries' Ruin plot.
      • Which ends up happening to most of the heroes, and eventually Hanso and Xandra.
  • The Medusa Gun from Will Rock. The name speaks for itself.
  • In Elite Beat Agents's last stage, the agents (or divas) are turned to stone by the Rhombulans. They are brought back thanks to the help of all the people they helped.
  • In Dragon Age II, this is the final fate of Meredith.
  • In The Magic Candle II, one level of the Big Bad's fortress is decorated with members of a nomadic tribe who had this done to them.
  • As expected, given the source material, the Dungeons & Dragons series of Gold Box games contain numerous enemies with the ability to petrify the heroes. Luckily, mirrors (and, later, polished silver shields) allow the heroes to reflect the creatures' horrid gaze and turn the enemy to stone.
  • Emil of Nie R has the uncontrollable ability to cause this with his gaze, and so he spends hundreds of years cooped up in a mansion with a blindfold. He later gains the ability to control it after fusing with his sister into the ultimate weapon.
  • The introductory Dwarf adventure in The Lord of the Rings Online, which has you getting Dwarves out of the Silver Deep mine, ends with Gimli battling a cave troll, but before you can help him, both of you are hit with a stun effect. Before the troll can finish off Gimli though, Gandalf shows up with Gormr and blasts away part of the mine with his magic, letting in the sunlight and turning the troll to stone (see Literature above).
    • In addition, quests in Monster Play often involve you looting pieces of stone from trolls petrified this way (called "Sun-Touched Trolls").
  • Archibald Ironfist, the Big Bad of Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars is sentenced to this in the canonical ending, "for some future generation to take mercy upon". The main characters of Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven frees him from that state a decade or so after the Succession War, but for very good reasons (they need to learn something from him to keep the world from blowing up when they save it). The main characters of the RPGs can also be turned to stone as a status effect, but that is more easily reversible[1], while HoMM appears to take the stance that if you are turned to stone in the midst of battle, you are effectively dead.
  • In Desktop Dungeons, the Gorgon have a Death Gaze ability, which causes instant petrification when a player's health is less than half (or, for the boss form, Medusa, anything less than full).
  • Getting Cursed in Dark Souls will cause this for you.
  • Franklin in Drawn: The Painted Tower is turned to stone by a curse. In the sequel, you can free him from the spell.
  • In World of Warcraft, in the Deepholm area, there is a group of basilisks that petrify their enemies. Their work is scattered around them. It's worth noting that their targets were already made of stone, but now they're made of stone and can't move.
  • Happens to both Asura and Akuma In Asura's Wrath. Not that it doesn't stop them from still trying to fight.
  • The statue curse in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery does this to its victims. Unlike the basilisk victims in Chamber of Secrets, individuals petrified by this curse turn into literal stone.

Web Comics

  • A running gag in The Wotch has Scott Winters and Rosetta frequently turned into stone statues. They remain conscious while they're statues, but eventually get used to it. Likewise Natasha Dahlet (pronounced "dolly"), leader of the Straw Feminist group D.O.L.L.Y. — guess what she gets turned into when Miranda catches up with her. (Note: the creators of The Wotch have close ties with the ASFR community, although The Wotch has no sexual content.)
    • Cassie is also turned into a life-sized wooden puppet at one point and remains this way for some time before anyone remembers to turn her back.
  • Lampshaded in this page of Triquetra Cats, Petra gets turned into a statue, but because she's an earth mage she can still move.
  • Happened to Black Belt from ~8-Bit Theater~ here after Black Mage attempted to stop a temporal paradox. There was an extremely popular theory which suggested that the statue would be revived to bring BB back after his Plotline Death. That theory was quite decisively disproven in a later strip, intended to shut up those fans who refused to accept that Black Belt was dead.
  • In her first appearance in Order of the Stick, Celia was the victim of a Flesh to Stone spell. She was later restored by a scroll of Break Enchantment.
    • Part of O-Chul's torture regimen while Xykon's captive involved a "Basilisk staring contest." Jirix notes he technically won, presumably petrified and unable to blink.
    • There's also a greater devil turned to stone by Vaarsuvius with a Prismatic Spray. He certainly makes a kickass tombstone.
    • The Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tails book has a bonus comic involving a medusa who's unable to practice her hobby (sculpture) because everyone keeps taking it for this. She ends up getting a job at Applied Lithogenics Inc.
    • Watch out for Medusa while visiting the women's restroom.
  • Idle Minds is a comic about a woman turned into a (fully aware) statue for a week for spying purposes and must keep herself sane. Better Than It Sounds. Unfinished, but writer promises to continue soon (Famous Last Words, I know. Still worth a look.) Finally finished after nearly a year (or 7 days and 4 hours, depending how you look at it)
    • The author also did some Filler material for The Wotch, including Anne accidentally turning herself into a cookie statue. Oh, and a whole season of sunday specials, if I'm not mistaken.
  • In The KAMics, Nikki was on the wrong end of a Petrifacto spell (it was later reversed).
  • The Dragon Doctors uses it a lot, both offensively and defensively:
    • In the "last victim" arc, a Complete Monster kidnaps magic users, traps them in caves and enclosures with air-permeable force fields and a sheet of paper with a spell to turn them — and them alone, not their clothes--- into stone. They can't turn back until he returns, in supposedly ten days. One of his highlighted victims is stuck that way for CENTURIES because another one killed him, by using a petrification spell that she already knew (he almost noticed; it turns the clothes to stone as well, which he mentions right before she breaks out).
    • Earlier, the whole team[2] is petrified when accidentally looking at a gorgon. Sarin, the total magical badass, immediately de-petrifies herself and solves the problem.
    • In the "Thieves of life" arc, the bad guys use petrification for "crowd control"
    • Early in the comic, it's shown that Sarin tends to stoneskin herself when under attack, allowing her to shrug off daggers while keeping a freedom of movement.
    • Also used in the crax arc, where they intentionally turned someone to stone to perform a very delicate surgery on him.
    • And of course, there's the crystal people, though as a subversion, a crystalline friend was once turned human to have surgery done to her.
  • Used rather horrifically in this Oglaf comic. (NSFW)
  • One Johnny Wander story involves a small blind girl and a basilisk. The inevitable conclusion involves this trope, applied liberally.
  • Hitmen for Destiny has a trantoros which can turn themselves into rocks for extended periods of time, but can't move during that period. A few strips later, they're used as projectiles and as a perpetual motion machine.
  • One wizard in El Goonish Shive has a habit of gaining too much weight while sitting in a dramatic pose. Placing him in a museum led to minor property damage (we can't have this sort of things on CCTV, right?).
  • Happens to the Jones family in Irregular Webcomic, thanks to an encounter with Gorgons. Complete with trope referencing pun.
  • Happens to a customer in Mike Bookseller here when Mike smiles.
  • Tepoztecal's first appearance in Wapsi Square had one of these being reversed. He had been turned into a statue using unexplained methods for unexplained reasons, and Monica accidentally released him by reading an incantation. Fortunately, he did not seem to be conscious throughout.
    • In another strip, Monica startles a gorgon, and immediately gets turned into stone by her. Luckily, the gorgon is friendly (and also happens to be a big fan of Monica), and reverses the process.
  • In the Sluggy Freelance parody of Harry Potter "Torg Potter and the Chamberpot of Secretions", characters start turning mysteriously into chocolate. It's suspected to be the work of a "chokolisk" (spoilers marked for Harry Potter), but it turns out they've instead been victims of a Jackass Genie who just randomly happened to interpret everyone's wishes as "Turn me into chocolate." This parodies the way the basilisk in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets just coincidentally never killed anyone even though it would have taken nothing more than a direct look. Turning into chocolate is considered death here, not a magical condition that can be cured, but Torg manages to turn everyone back with a wish of his own after he gets past the first wish by wishing that Torg Potter be turned into chocolate... which the villain controlling the genie takes to be reverse psychology and commands the genie to obey exactly, which doesn't bother Torg since contrary to what almost everyone thinks, he's not Torg Potter.
  • Ashley Madder in Tales Of Gnosis College steals a mysterious chemical from Professor Corwin's laboratory and assumes that it is "perfume." Later, at a session as a naked model for a student artist,she strips herself and dabs a little of it on her beautiful naked body and comes out.She expresses the wish that people might be able to see her naked beauty forever and her erotic emotions to preserve herself naked causes her to have erotic emotions and her naked vagina to release estrogen at a large scale that activates the chemical's petrifying features that reacts with her estrogen and triggers Ashley's orgasm to its height and begins to alter her every single cell into pure white marble from the genetic level. Uh oh.And within just a few moments the once beautiful Ashley Madder's voluptuous naked body becomes a statue once and for all.Now her naked body is a part of an art gallery's exotic collection of naked sculptures.Ashley's naked statue body is preserved under strong surveillance.Luckily,Ashley's transformation to a statue was so basic,natural and complicated that it is totally irreversible.She practically is now an inanimate sculpture which means that the beautiful naked goddess Ashley Madder shall remain a statue for the eternity.Allowing her naked voluptuous body to remain youthful for good, never letting it to be old and saggy.

{{[[1]] " The statue that was once Ashley Madder is on display of the art gallery.A woman observing her naked body.A docent in the background is keeping a watchful eye on this goddess."}}

Web Original

  • Variants appear in the Whateley Universe. The mutant Gorgon is a psi with the knack of making you think you have been petrified, which of course petrifies you. The mutant Michelangelo (also known as Stoner) does something nastier. He literally causes nearby stone to flow over your body in a thin coating, turning you into a living (but not for long) statue.
  • A gorgon is found among the students of Harlowe Hall in Tales of MU. Though normally a background character, she got a spotlight story where she described her culture. She has the traditional Medusa gaze, which is normally restrained by a shimmery membrane over her eyes. The effect wears off, though one seeing her own uncovered eyes in a mirror could lead to an endless cycle of petrifying and thawing — racial Nightmare Fuel.
  • Basilisx of Super Mario Bros Z can do this with a simple stare.
  • In Arcana Magi Zero, everyone and every object, including the museum walls, turned to stone by a shadow-shaped basilisk. Alysia Perez experiences the pain first hand.
  • SCP Foundation-409 is a crystal that turns anything it touches (except, ironically, granite) into itself.
    • There's also 602, a invisible sculptor that supposedly turns humans into statues. At least in the story its based on.
    • SCP-1013 is a classic cockatrice. It calcifies the outer layer of your body, then happily pecks a hole in you and eats what's inside.
  • Medusa, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the gorgon myth, and shares all the powers of her mythical namesake, including the ability to turn people who meet her eyes to stone.
    • Gorgon can turn people's skin into a layer of stone that is just thick enough to keep them from moving. The effect wears off after a while. Anyone who is strong enough can break through this thin stone shell... if they don't mind being flayed alive when their petrified skin shatters.
    • The appropriately-named villain Stone can transform himself into a living statue, giving himself Super Strength and Nigh Invulnerability. The Brazilian hero Estatua ("The Statue") has the same power. Granite Man and Golem are both like that permanently. Surkha Khamba ("Ruby Monolith") can turn herself into solid ruby.
  • The Neopets arc "The Faeries' Ruin" has this happen to all the Faeries, as well as Hanso and Xandra.
  • In We Are Our Avatars, User:Ozbourne and Mega Man got petrified once and over time, they began to enjoy it if it occurs to them again.
  • The Lost Lady in the fourth year of The Questport Chronicles was turned to stone by a wizard that she scorned.

Western Animation

  • Mystique is turned to stone by Apocalypse in X-Men: Evolution. In this case, it's eventually revealed that Apocalypse turned Mystique's shape-shifting abilities against her, and if Rogue absorbed her powers for just a moment, Mystique could break free. She shoves her off a cliff instead, shattering her. However, it's not the real Mystique after all.
  • Several episodes of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog involve Sonic getting turned into stone. He gets better.
  • Happens to Jackie on Jackie Chan Adventures as the result of magical venom, although unlike most other examples here, he becomes petrified bit by bit, starting with the hand the venom was injected into and gradually spreading to the rest of his body, his head being last. In the intervening time, his stone fists and chest become useful in fights.
  • Used several times in Gargoyles, understandably considering the main characters always turn to stone during the day. Various characters will do this, most notably the Magus of the first few episodes, which sets off the entire series by having the Gargoyles be stone even during the night.
  • A favorite punishment of Zordrak from The Dreamstone is to turn the offender to stone and throw him into a pit where he gets broken down into gravel by ravenous monsters.
  • Similar to Shadow Master from the Double Dragon cartoon trapping failing Mooks in his mural.
  • Happens to Monkey Fist in Kim Possible. It's uncertain if it's permanent or not, but he's still turned to stone in his brief cameo in the final episode.
  • The Iron Man animated series had the aforementioned Grey Gargoyle as one of the Big Bad's go-to goons.
  • The garden-full-of-statues variety cropped up in The Challenge of the Superfriends. No need to worry, though. (Flash resists the effect and then speeds up everyone's molecules or something and that changes them back... 'cause he's fast, you see.) In another episode, in a scene that was bizarre even by Superfriends standards, this effect threatens the heroes for no discernible reason at all.
  • Teen Titans has a major example. During the first part of the season 4 finale, almost everyone in the world gets turned to stone. And they don't get turned back until the end of the third part.
    • Also, at the end of the season 2 arc, Terra turns to stone while using her powers to extreme effect to stop the volcano from forming under the city.
  • One of the central goals of Conan the Adventurer was to undo this and save his family.
  • One of XANA's attacks in Code Lyoko is to turn everybody in school into stone with a greenish gas (episode "Triple Trouble").
  • This becomes the fate of Omnifarious from Static Shock.
  • As per mythology, the Gorgons can do this in their appearance in American Dragon Jake Long.
  • Freakazoid In the episode "Statuesque", Jeepers invents a watch that turns people into stone with the help of a demon named Vorn the Unspeakable (who looks very familiar). He ends up turning Steph to stone, but they rescue her and turn Vorn into stone.
  • The animated Men in Black has Agent K turned to living stone by an alien amplifier device in one episode.
    • Lampshaded by Agent J at the end of the episode.
  • The fate of TMNT villains The Ultimate Ninja and Drako at the end of their season 3 arc. One case turns out to be more permanent than the other.
  • The effect of King Basilisk's special ability in Huntik: Secrets and Seekers.
  • The fossil beam used by the Dinosaucers.
  • In Spider-Man 2000, the Sandman — by letting him connect with cement, thus creating beton.
  • Re Boot has the Medusa Bug, with the additional effect of disintegrating anything infected for too long.
  • An episode of Goldie Gold and Action Jack featured a villain who used chemicals to turn people into stone. He managed to get Jack's hand.
  • On Rocky and Bullwinkle, the Moon Men Gidney and Floid were armed with "skrooch guns" that could paralyze people for a set amount of time, ranging from a few seconds to decades.
  • Subverted on The Herculoids, when a medusa tried to use her power on Igoo, but accomplished nothing because Igoo is already made of stone.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, a cockatrice turned Twilight Sparkle and a chicken to stone, and was in the process of turning Fluttershy to stone, when she stares the monster down, while sternly lecturing it on its rude behavior. This is also a good example of the ambiguity between complete petrification and encasement — Twilight and the chicken are obviously completely solid stone, but Fluttershy only has a layer of stone around her, from which she breaks out.
  • An episode of the original My Little Pony series, The Glass Princess, has Princess Porcina using her magical cloak to transform everyone and everything in Ponyland into glass so everything will reflect her face. A bunch of Ponies that managed to escape confront her on this, and manage to convince her otherwise.
  • The Smurfs in one episode were a victim to a spell that petrified them and half their forest, and would have stayed that way had Peewit not been able to convince two feuding sorcerers to stop fighting with each other and recite the incantation together that reverses the condition
    • Gargamel himself was a victim of a potion that turned him and his cat Azrael into stone. Papa Smurf restored him to normal.
  • In the series finale of DuckTales, the Golden Goose has the ability to turn anything it touches to gold...then it's revealed that it also works on people. The episode revolves around trying to reverse the effects of the touch affecting everything on earth... They manage it, but not before everyone on earth is briefly turned to gold.
  • An episode of Beetlejuice has Delia, Lydia's mom, enter a Neitherworld art contest where it turns out if they win they must agree to become a part of the art museum by being turned to stone. Eventually, Lydia and Beetlejuice are able to rescue her and turn her back to normal.
  • The Looney Tunes short "Porky's Hero Agency" involved Porky dreaming he is in Greek myths and has to save people from a Gorgon (presumably Medusa) who turns people to stone with a special camera.
  • Happens to Roderick in Tiny Toon Adventures in the episode "The Acme Bowl" after running through and smelling a cloud of Fifi's stink, and to Hamton when he gets hit by a blast of Fifi's stink in "The Just-us League Of Supertoons".
    • Also happens to Hamton in "Pluck O' the Irish" when a banshee turns him to stone with her hypnotic stare, the only way to break the spell is to get the banshee to laugh.
  • In the Betty Boop's "Snow White", the wicked queen/witch thwarts Bimbo and Koko by turning them into statues (they get better) — just another turn in a massively surreal cartoon.
  • In Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, it happens to Fallon and Tamara and their animals (temporarily) and then to Lady Kale and her crew (pernamently?) at the end of the second season. Also, all of the people and animals in New Camelot are cursed into suspended animation in the finale of the first season, and Archie turns into a crystal for a while in one episode.
  • This is eventually revealed to have happened to Bean’s mother in Disenchanted. She in fact was attempting to petrify her husband, but as a child Bean unintentionally thwarted her efforts.. Unfortunately, when she is unpetrified, she decides she’s going to turn the entire kingdom to stone. Only Bean, King Zog, and his advisor escape the curse.

Real Life

  • Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is a rare, genetic bone disease which causes bone cells to form in connective tissues (such as ligaments, tendons and muscle), thus immobilizing and confining its sufferers in a rigid and painful prison, essentially turning them into a living statue. The fact that this is an irreversible and often slow process makes it far worse than any of the fictional examples listed above.
    • It also comes in a non-progressive variety.
  • Similarly, Scleroderma, a progressive hardening of the skin and organs.
  • There is a condition called Lithopedion, when a fetus dies and turns into stone inside the womb.
  • Fossilization, the only reason we're able to know about the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.
  1. Given that a stone-to-flesh spell is limited by how long someone has been stone, Archibald likely had been stone for too long for even a stone-to-flesh scroll to work
  2. minus Kili, who was busy elsewhere