Sometimes, when someone is locked in a closet or Bound and Gagged
, it's not for ransom or use as a hostage or some other practical concern, but instead merely as a mean prank, or to get someone out of the way. The poor victim is left behind and... what's going to happen to them? Are they being left behind to die, or are they left out in a public place where they'll clearly be rescued? Are they knowingly being left where no-one will rescue them, or did the captor take that into account? For that matter, did the captor just leave them somewhere and then forget about them?
This trope is sometimes the result of bullying or a prank. It's often Played for Laughs
when it's done by the heroes or to an annoying or intentionally dislikeable character. It can also lead to What the Hell, Hero?
on the part of viewers during such cases. Other times, it's Played for Drama
, with tragic consequences. And sometimes it's done for dark humor.
To put it another way: if this invokes Fridge Horror
or What the Hell, Hero?
, it's probably this trope.
- Happens fairly regularly in Empowered, whose lead character gets absolutely no respect from her peers. One time, she even manages to single-handedly rescue the entire team by driving an SUV into the baddie while all tied up, and the team still wanders off, leaving her trapped behind the wheel.
- In A Bug's Life, there's a scene where the boss of the bugs is seen wrapped up in a cocoon and hanging from the ceiling, begging to be let out, "I promise I'll start paying you!"
- In Casper: A Spirited Beginning, a kid who's often picked on by bullies is left locked in the closet of a building that's condemned and about to be blown up.
- MouseHunt plays this for dark humor. It's stated early in the movie that the previous owner of the house with a mouse in it was found dead, locked in a trunk in the attic. Later, an exterminator is hired, and he is later rescued by people who heard his screams and called 911. It's stated he was found locked in a trunk in the attic.
- In The Silmarillion, Maedhros is Chained to a Rock by his right wrist. He is just left there for many years by Morgoth. When his cousin shows up he begs for death, but is freed when his cousin cuts off his hand. Referenced in the Blind Guardian song "Blood Tears".
- Played for mean-spirited humor in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Tetra and her band of pirates rob a rude bomb store owner and steal all his bombs, leaving him Bound and Gagged, which you the player witness before the pirates leave. He struggles infinitely as long as the player is still there, and it's impossible for the player to free him.