Created By: foxley on May 28, 2017 Last Edited By: foxley on June 13, 2017
Troped

Bring The Anchor Along

A character is chained to a heavy or immovable object to keep them out of the way. They later show up dragging the item with them.

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Sometimes the heroes (or the villains) need to restrain someone, but are in a hurry and do not have the time to properly imprison them. A temporary solution is to handcuff (or otherwise shackle them) to a heavy or immovable object, which should ensure that they are still there when the hero returns to retrieve them. But this underestimates the determination of the prisoner, and they turn up later, still handcuffed to the object and dragging it with them (and often looking for revenge).

Compare Chained Heat (when you're chained onto someone else).

See also Epic Flail and Chain Pain when this is weaponized.


Examples:

Advertising
  • A print ad for a brand of Scotch whiskey has the slogan "Some things are just worth it." The photo shows a Dalmatian's leash tied to one corner of a hay shed on a farm. The dog has dragged the foundationless structure all the way to his master's back porch, because ... dog.

Anime and Manga
  • In the Skypeia arc of One Piece, Luffy's first fight with God Eneru ends with Eneru throwing Luffy off his airship with a giant gold ball attached to his arm. That ball stays on Luffy's am for nearly the entire rest of the arc. It's broken off of Luffy's arm and smashed to pieces in the course of the final attack against Eneru.

Comic Books
  • The Mighty Thor: the Absorbing Man is iconic with his ball and chain that was used to restrain him when he was in jail before he acquired his material absorption powers; the ball can also change its material along with him.

Film - Live Action
  • At the start of The Quick and the Dead, the Lady knocks out Dog Kelly and shackles him to the wheel of an old wagon buried in the desert. Later Dog turns up in town, dragging the wagon wheel with him, and challenges the lady to a duel.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Max is held prisoner by the Warboys, and tied to Nux (who's leukemic) to administer blood. When Nux crashes his car with Max aboard, Max is unable to break the chain tying them (and a car door) together, and settles for carrying them with him.

Literature
  • In Unseen Academicals, Nutt describes his early childhood labouring in a dark forge, where he built up his strength by working with larger and larger equipment until he could even carry the anvil. When his friend asks why that was so important to him, he clarifies that he was chained to the anvil.

Live Action TV
  • Doctor Who: In "Robot of Sherwood", the Doctor and Robin and shackled together in the dungeon of Nottingham Castle with chains that run through a bolt in the floor. When the Doctor and Robin escape, they are still chained to each other and carrying the large stone the chains are attached to between them.
  • Agent Carter: In the second episode, Peggy defeats an accomplice of a Leviathan agent but knocked him out cold before he could be interrogated. She ties him to a chair and leaves, and he's found later by the SSR fleeing out in the road with the chair still tied to him. Chief Dooley, after arresting him, snarks at the guy trying to play it casual.
    Dooley: Yeah, I know. I used to go for walks at night with a chair strapped to my ass too.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): In one episode, Jacquelyn is tied to a small tree. She escapes by uprooting the tree and carrying it on her back, which she does for almost the entire episode.

Newspaper Comics
  • Footrot Flats: When Jess the bitch is in heat, the Dog will often take off while still chained to his water tank/kennel; taking the water tank with him.

Theatre
  • In the climax of The Play That Goes Wrong, Dennis - who is playing Perkins - is handcuffed to the chaise-lounge. He is supposed to be released when Perkins's innocence is established, but this being the play that goes wrong, they have lost the handcuff keys. Dennis struggles through the rest of the scene carrying the chaise-lounge.

Video Games
  • The trial of Thievery in The Secret of Monkey Island ends with Fester Shinetop tying the stolen item, the Idol of Many Hands, to Guybrush Threepwood and dropping him in the bay. How does our hero get out of this? Just pick up the Idol. You know, the one he was just carrying a few seconds ago. It should be noted this is the only part of the game in which Guybrush can die.
  • Sengoku Basara: One of the playable characters, Kuroda Kanbei, has his hands tied and chained to a huge ball as he's a prisoner of war. Nevertheless, he's strong enough to carry it around and weaponize it.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: In "Homer the Great", Homer is punished for ruining the Stonecutters' sacred parchment by being stipped naked and forced to pull the "stone of shame" all the way home. When the Stonecutters' notice a birthmark identifying homer as The Chosen One, they release him and instead make him pull the even larger "stone of triumph".
  • Looney Tunes: In "Birds Anonymous", Sylvester handcuffs himself to a radiator to keep himself from getting Tweety. But when he can't restrain his urges any longer, he just charges at Tweety, yanking the radiator off the wall.
  • The Looney Tunes cartoon Buccaneer Bunny has Bugs Bunny hornswaggled into rowing Shanghai Sam's ship across the sea, with the rabbit affixed to his post with an ankle shackle attached to a heavy iron ball. Nonetheless, Bugs is able to carry it to the Captain, demanding that he rid the rabbit of this device. Shanghai Sam complies by throwing the ball overboard ... taking the rabbit with it.
  • Samurai Jack in the episode where's he trains to 'jump good', he unknowingly volunteers to have a boulder tied to him. This is thus an inversion (subversion?) of the trope, as it's for training, but he carries the rock around until he can bear its weight.
Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • May 28, 2017
    BKelly95
    Video Games
    • The trial of Thievery in The Secret Of Monkey Island ends with Fester Shinetop tying the stolen item, the Idol of Many Hands, to Guybrush Threepwood and dropping him in the bay. How does our hero get out of this? Just pick up the Idol. You know, the one he was just carrying a few seconds ago. It should be noted this is the only part of the game in which Guybrush can die.
  • May 28, 2017
    Getta
    "But this underestimates the determination of the prisoner, and they turn up later, still handcuffed to the object and dragging it with them (and often looking for revenge)."

    Is this part necessary?
  • May 28, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • The Simpsons: In "Homer the Great", Homer is punished for ruining the Stonecutters' sacred parchment by being stipped naked and forced to pull the "stone of shame" all the way home. When the Stonecutters' notice a birthmark identifying homer as The Chosen One, they release him and instead make him pull the even larger "stone of triumph".
  • May 28, 2017
    zarpaulus
    • In Idiocracy the second time Joe is sent to prison they chain him to a boulder, moved by forklift, as the first time he escaped by tricking the (moronic, like everyone else of the future) guards into thinking he was supposed to be let out already.
  • May 28, 2017
    Getta
    May lead to Breaking The Bonds later, or may lead to a search for a Conveniently Placed Sharp Object.
  • May 29, 2017
    foxley
    Originally I intended this trope to be about being shackled to an object and then carrying that object with you. Just chaining someone to something so they don''t escape seems like People Sit On Chairs. I think taking the object with you is still a viable trope. Perhaps there is a missing Super Trope.
  • May 29, 2017
    Tuckerscreator
    • Mad Max Fury Road: Max is held prisoner by the Warboys, and tied to Nux (who's leukemic) to administer blood. When Nux crashes his car with Max aboard, Max is unable to break the chain tying them (and a car door) together, and settles for carrying them with him.
    • Agent Carter: In the second episode, Peggy defeats an accomplice of a Leviathan agent but knocked him out cold before he could be interrogated. She ties him to a chair and leaves, and he's found later by the SSR fleeing out in the road with the chair still tied to him. Chief Dooley, after arresting him, snarks at the guy trying to play it casual.
      Dooley: Yeah, I know. I used to go for walks at night with a chair strapped to my ass too.
  • May 29, 2017
    foxley
    I've changed the title to make it clearer that this trope is about being chained to an object, and then taking the object with you.
  • May 29, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    It doesn't just happen with wrists. Ankles, waist, whatever.
  • May 29, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ Especially with a heavy iron ball around one ankle, it's a popular icon.
  • May 29, 2017
    foxley
    I'm open to title suggestions. A Weight Round Their Wrists is intended to be a play on 'a weight round their necks'.
  • May 29, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    This involves tying rope around the victim rather than chaining their arm, but I think it could count:

    Live-Action TV
    • A Series Of Unfortunate Events 2017: In one episode, Jacquelyn is tied to a small tree. She escapes by uprooting the tree and carrying it on her back, which she does for almost the entire episode.
  • May 29, 2017
    Getta
    Cuffed Weight Carrying? Something along those lines

    By the way
    • Sengoku Basara: one of the playable characters, Kuroda Kanbei, has hid hands tied and chained to a huge ball as he's a prisoner of war. Nevertheless, he's strong enough to carry it around and weaponize it.
    • The Mighty Thor: the Absorbing Man is iconic with his ball and chain that was used to restrain him when he was in jail before he acquired his material absorption powers; the ball can also change its material along with him.
  • May 30, 2017
    hszmv1
    • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Marvelous wears a pair of bracelets when he plays darts on the ship (and almost always hits the bullseye). Don tries this and finds out that the bracelets are incredibly heavy and realizes that Marvelous uses them to train himself to play with the weight, which translates to better control of his strength on the battle field.
  • May 30, 2017
    TonyG
    Looney Tunes: In "Birds Anonymous", Sylvester handcuffs himself to a radiator to keep himself from getting Tweety. But when he can't restrain his urges any longer, he just charges at Tweety, yanking the radiator off the wall.
  • May 30, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ See, this guy posted a wrong example because of the title.
  • May 30, 2017
    Getta
    Compare Chained Heat (when you're chained onto someone else).
  • May 30, 2017
    sgamer82
    • In the Skypeia arc of One Piece, Luffy's first fight with God Eneru ends with Eneru throwing Luffy off his airship with a giant gold ball attached to his arm. That ball stays on Luffy's am for nearly the entire rest of the arc. It's broken off of Luffy's arm and smashed to pieces in the course of the final attack against Eneru.
  • May 31, 2017
    KZN02
    See also Epic Flail and Chain Pain when this is weaponized.
  • June 2, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Advertising
    • A print ad for a brand of Scotch whiskey has the slogan "Some things are just worth it." The photo shows a Dalmatian's leash tied to one corner of a hay shed on a farm. The dog has dragged the foundationless structure all the way to his master's back porch, because ... dog.
  • June 2, 2017
    ImaginationStarts
    Playing with words, but: Chained For The Long Haul sounds more accurate as a trope name In For The Drug-Along Haul is funnier, but I'm not sure it'd be allowed in the rules. Along For The Ride is available, but shares the name with a book that probably has nothing to do with this, so maybe not. Bring The Anchor Along, seems really accurate: indicates chains, a great weight that's normally not easily mobile... Actually, does this trope NEED to be heavy? I seem to recall some 'chained to X but detached X from wall or floor and just brought it with.'
  • June 2, 2017
    foxley
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll change it to Bring The Anchor Along for now, and see how tropers react.

    The object does not have to heavy, but all of the original examples were. I'll change it to 'heavy or immovable'.
  • June 2, 2017
    ImaginationStarts
    I can't think of any specific examples at the moment, but could this also be accidental self-imposed chaining? Oh! Thought of one! Samurai Jack in the episode where's he trains to 'jump good', he unknowingly volunteers to have a bolder tied to him. This is thus an inversion (subversion?) of the trope, as it's for training, but he carries the rock around until he can bear its weight. (found the scene, so you can decide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGW1m6DZYKA )
  • June 3, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The Looney Tunes cartoon Buccaneer Bunny has Bugs Bunny hornswaggled into rowing Shanghai Sam's ship across the sea, with the rabbit affixed to his post with an ankle shackle attached to a heavy iron ball. Nonetheless, Bugs is able to carry it to the Captain, demanding that he rid the rabbit of this device. Shanghai Sam complies by throwing the ball overboard ... taking the rabbit with it.
  • June 3, 2017
    Getta
    Um, we have Anchors Away...
  • June 5, 2017
    foxley
    ^That shouldn't be a problem. A word is allowed to appear in more than one trope title.
  • June 5, 2017
    intastiel
    • In Unseen Academicals, Nutt describes his early childhood labouring in a dark forge, where he built up his strength by working with larger and larger equipment until he could even carry the anvil. When his friend asks why that was so important to him, he clarifies that he was chained to the anvil.
  • June 6, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ But if the word has different meaning in each then they shouldn't use the same word. Say, many Sword Tropes use "sword" in their names and the word only has one meaning in each.
  • June 7, 2017
    foxley
    ^Such is the nature of the English language.
  • June 7, 2017
    Getta
    Damn it, trying to find synonym of "anchor" and I can't find any better word...
  • June 12, 2017
    RustyBill
    Just for grins, I checked thesaurus.com for anchor synonyms. None of them really works; stick with "anchor".
  • June 12, 2017
    Getta
    "Sometimes the heroes (or the villains) need to restrain someone, but are in a hurry and do not have the time to properly imprison them. A temporary solution is to handcuff (or otherwise shackle them) to a heavy or immovable object, which should ensure that they are still there when the hero returns to retrieve them."

    Dunno if it always have to follow that scenario.
  • June 12, 2017
    foxley
    ^Tropes Are Flexible. This a common set-up.
  • June 12, 2017
    LegitimateIdiot
    Would Anchors Aweight be too punny? :P
  • June 12, 2017
    MazeMaker
    In Idiocracy, Joe is sentenced to what is basically a car jousting match, and he's chained to a giant boulder to hold him until the event. While he's being loaded into his car, his captors realize that he's still chained to the boulder. Rather than finding the key to release him, they load the boulder onto the back of his car, crushing it and severely weighing the vehicle down.
  • June 13, 2017
    foxley
    ^I don't think that is this trope, as Joe was not moving the boulder under his own power.
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