Created By: ginsengaddict2 on February 10, 2012 Last Edited By: lalalei2001 on November 17, 2015
Troped

Captured On Purpose

Someone willingly allows themselves to be captured in order to infiltrate the enemy base

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Trope
When one, some, or all the members of a heroic or villainous side are captured, sometimes it was part of the plan all along. Other times it isn't, but the captives will make use of their improvisational skills and whip the captors in due time.

The usual set-up for this trope is for someone to willingly surrender in order to be taken into the enemy base. When a hero does this, it's usually so they can get inside the Big Bad's secret lair, stop them, and maybe rescue a few prisoners on the way. When a villain does this, it's usually so they can escape while wreaking maximum havoc; expect at least one of the heroes to be a little bit suspicious and say something like "It's too easy".

See also The Infiltration. Supertrope to Get Into Jail Free; this trope doesn't require a jail setting. Compare Assimilation Backfire, Playing Possum, Wounded Gazelle Gambit. May or may not invoke Pity the Kidnapper, Play-Along Prisoner, or involve becoming a Poisonous Captive. Often overlaps with Prison Episode, as many such episodes are the result of this. Trojan Prisoner is a variant of this when a captive(s) is brought in by their friends posing as the enemy guards to fool the other guards.

See also Self-Restraint when they willingly let themselves be put into prison and stay there for various reasons.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Near the end of Full Metal Panic!, Gauron gives himself up to Mithril operators during an operation to take out an American military installation in the Pacific. What the crew of the Tuatha de Danaan doesn't know (until later) is that Gauron needed to be locked up in the submarine's brig so that he can seize control of it with the help of double agents in order to seize control of the bridge.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note does this to prove he is not Kira. He gets himself imprisoned, and according to the Death Note if someone who uses it does not kill anyone for 40 days that person will die. A few months later, the forty days passed and since there were still occurring deaths which seemed to be done by Kira they release him, and even invite him to join to investigate the Kira case. He arranged all of these events, the forty days rule was fake, he wrote it on the Death Note as a decoy, he then both renounced to his Death Note (which would cause him to lose his memory and pull a Memory Gambit) and instructed Rem to give it to someone else (with a specific personality type so he would use it on a certain way) and when that Kira was captured he re-obtained the Death Note and his memories, also he made this part of a bigger plan to get rid of Misa's protector so he could use her like he pleased without fear of Rem taking revenge on him.
  • Outlaw Star: Jean is blackmailed into doing this by Gwen Khan, who uses Melfina as leverage, in order to meet with a prisoner who knows the coordinates to the Galactic Leyline.
  • An episode of Digimon Adventure 02 had the kids and their mons let themselves be locked up in one of the Emperor's prisons to they could organize a jailbreak.

Film
  • The Dark Knight Saga
  • In Thor: The Dark World, Kurse the dark elf poses as a random criminal that got captured by Asgardian guards and then gets put in their prison. When the other dark elves attack the capital, he blows up the prison using a grenade that he put inside himself, causing a prison riot, and then sneaks into the castle's power room and disables Asgardian's city dome, allowing the dark elves to assault further in.
  • The Avengers
    • At the start of the film, Black Widow is implied to have allowed herself to be captured so she can hear the bad guy's plans.
    • Loki's capture and imprisonment on the helicarrier was part of his plan all along, to cripple SHIELD and eliminate the only threat to his plans.
  • Diamonds Are Forever. Near the end James Bond arrives at Blofeld's oil rig base and allows himself to be captured. He plans to switch a standard cassette tape for the tape Blofeld uses to control the laser Kill Sat. Due to Tiffany Case's interference his plan fails so he has to destroy the computer center by hitting with a minisub.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po and the Furious Five let themselves be captured so they can be taken to Lord Shen and his secret weapon, at which time they free themselves to destroy it.
  • Silva from Skyfall let himself get captured to begin the first stage in his insanely long plan of revenge.
  • In Return of the Jedi, Luke surrenders himself to some Imperials to try and bring out the goodness in his father; they handcuff him and present him to Darth Vader.

Literature
  • In the Theirs Not To Reason Why series, Ia evades a kidnapping attempt that successfully nabs the other officers and noncoms in her unit. She arranges to be kidnapped by a space pirate who owes her a favor and sold to the criminal group that took the others. The purpose of this is to get her Psychic Powers into range of their electronic systems so she could disable their defenses and prevent them killing the hostages when her troops rolled in with guns blazing.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's novella Gulf. When FBS agent Joseph Briggs is captured by Mrs. Keithley's men, "Kettle Belly" Baldwin (the leader of a secret society of geniuses) tricks them into thinking he's also an FBS agent so they'll capture him too. His plan is that Mrs. Keithley's operatives will put him and Briggs together so he can trick Briggs into telling him where the "Nova Effect" document has been sent. Later he and Briggs break out together.
  • A key part of the final plan to capture the pool ship at the end of Animorphs is Cassie getting captured by the Yeerks so that the other Animorphs can sneak onto the ship in flea morph.
  • Carole Nelson Douglas' Spider Dance has Sherlock Holmes impersonate a Pinkerton agent and arrange to get himself captured by the bad guys, with British agent Quenton Stanhope, barrister Godfrey Norton and Nell Huxleigh following him to the culprits' lair. At the lair, they also find Irene Adler Norton and a young Consuelo Vanderbilt, who was kidnapped as part of a campaign to get her father to give them a hidden cache of gold.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek: Voyager episode "Unimatrix Zero". Janeway's epic plan to take down the Borg collective involves getting herself and two crewmates assimilated.
  • In an episode of Kung Fu Caine needs to get into a prison to rescue an old friend from the temple, so he "robs" a bank by walking in and politely requesting that they give him money. "I wish to rob your bank. Not all your money, only what is customary in such cases."
  • Batman. In "The Greatest Mother of Them All", Ma Parker deliberately allows the Dynamic Duo to capture her and her gang so they can get into Gotham Prison. She plans to use the prison as a base to run her criminal operations, and believes that Batman would never suspect them of being able to commit crimes while in prison.
  • Stargate SG-1
    • In one episode the team allowed themselves to be captured so they could get a message to a Tok'ra deep cover agent posing as a minor Go'uld. Though no one told the fanboyish scientist who tried to "rescue" them, much to Jack's annoyance.
    • In season 10 Daniel is converted by the arc's Big Bad, the Ori, and apparently brainwashed. However he is also planning to get captured by SG-1 so he can takeover one of Earth's star ships and kill the Ori. He even criticizes SG 1 for taking too long to capture him and leaving him too little time to execute his plan.
  • Blake's 7: Avon allowed himself to get captured on Earth in order to capture a Federation interrogator using the Liberator's teleport system, in the episode "Rumors of Death."
  • In the "Fulsom Prison Blues" episode of Supernatural, Dean executes a plan where he and Sam commit a crime so that they will be arrested and sent to the county jail in order to hunt a ghost that is inside the facility. They do this at the request of one of the guards who has planned for their escape once they get rid of the ghost. The authorities arresting them, however, are not aware of the plan. It doesn't go as smoothly as they hoped it would.
  • Justified: Boyd Crowder assaults a U.S. Marshal in a federal courthouse in front of dozens of witnesses. He is sent to a federal prison where he provokes a fight and is sent to solitary confinement. He is trying to get close to Dickie Bennet who is in the same prison and currently in solitary confinement. He needed to make it a federal crime to end up in the federal prison
  • Prison Break: Is based on the fact that Micheal got himself arrested and sent to prison so he could then break out his brother from death row.
  • In The CW's The Flash (2014), Hartly Rathaway/Pied Piper organizes his attack so that the Flash will catch him and take him to STAR Labs, so he can steal some important data.
  • The first episode of The Blacklist features Reed Reddington - one of the most wanted men in the world - surrendering to the FBI as part of a larger scheme to steer them against one of his enemies.
  • One episode of Daredevil opens with a hired killer murdering a crime boss and his men and then turning himself in to the police in order to draw suspicion away from his employer, Wilson Fisk.
  • In the Series One flashbacks of Arrow, Yao Fei manages to capture the Big Bad Edward Fyers and tries to extort him into getting Oliver and himself off the island. Fyers plays along at first, but then asks Yao Fei whether or not he finds this is almost too easy. Cue Oh Crap! from the duo as several mooks and Deathstroke emerge. Yao Fei tells Oliver to run, barely buying him time to escape before he gets knocked out and dragged away.

Tabletop Games
  • Champions adventure The Great Super Villain Contest. Villains in the Contest may use the "Oh My I'm Caught" scenario. They allow themselves to be captured by the authorities so they can engineer a massive breakout from jail, freeing other prisoners and scoring a large number of points.
  • The quote for the Spy archetype in Feng Shui is: "They never tell you this in training, but the best thing to do in this situation is get yourself captured so you can find out what the enemy is up to."

Theatre
  • In Pokémon Live!, upon hearing Team Rocket has Pikachu, when Jessie and James arrive to capture him Ash lets them. They're put off by this.

Video Games
  • In Metal Gear, you are advised that the best way to infiltrate the enemy fortress is to get captured on purpose, and a particular truck in Building 1 is where Snake gets captured...only to find himself in the cell next to Grey Fox.
  • During the Imperial Agent storyline of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Cipher Nine must let themselves be captured by the villains on Corellia, then "break" under torture and "reveal" to them all the Imperial secrets—however, said secrets are actually fake so that the villains are forced to react rashly and reveal themselves.
  • At the end of Alpha Protocol Mike surrenders so he will be taken to the "Graybox" facility (which he doesn't know the location of due to being drugged before going in and out) where the Big Bad is while Mike's allies tail him to rescue him at the end.
  • Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China opens in the middle of this scenario. The protagonist Shao Jun has just returned to China immediately following her trip to Italy to train under Ezio Auditore, to find that the Templars have devastated her Order and infiltrated her headquarters. Her first move is to be deliberately captured so that she can break out and assassinate the local Templar leader before embarking on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Invoked, but then subverted at the end of Spec Ops: The Line, Walker and Adams get surrounded by 33rd. Walker abruptly drops his weapon, explaining that "surrendering" is the only hope they have of gaining entrance to the Burj Khalifa which ostensibly serves as their headquarters. Adams refuses and opens fire on the 33rd, creating a diversion during which Walker runs to the Burj Khalifa.

Web Comics
  • In The Order of the Stick, General Tarquin lampshades this trope by saying villains letting themselves get captured to manipulate the heroes is popular these days.

Western Animation
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Imprisoned": Katara gets captured by the Fire Nation to rescue Haru, when he got captured because the Fire Nation gets knowledge that he can earthbend and Katara feels guilty for encouraging him to do so. Later the plan slightly changes when she wants to rescue the other imprisoned earthbenders as well.
  • In Gravity Falls, in "Blendin's Game", Mabel and Dipper decide to surrender to the Time Guardians and take part in the challenges on the arena. This is because they realize that, if they win, they can give the reward - the Time Wish - to Soos, which would allow him to change history in a way where he finally meets his father.
  • In Max Steel 2013, Air Elementor deliberately gets captured so he could free his fellow Elementors and dormant Ultralinks.
  • When a mysterious aircraft lands near a military base in the Jonny Quest episode "The Robot Spy", Dr. Quest and Race Bannon take the black orb inside it onto the base and store it in a guarded hangar for later study. There, the orb opens its eye, sprouts spiderlike legs (revealing itself as a Spider Tank) and goes snooping for Doctor Quest's secret para-power ray gun.


Community Feedback Replies: 118
  • February 10, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • In the Avatar The Last Airbender episode "Imprisoned": Katara gets captured by the Fire Nation to rescue Haru, when her encouraging him to use his earthbending gets him interrupted.
  • February 10, 2012
    nielas
    • Justified: Boyd Crowder assaults a US Marshal in a federal courthouse in front of dozens of witnesses. He is sent to a federal prison where he provokes a fight and is sent to solitary confinement. He is trying to get close to Dickie Bennet who is in the same prison and currently in solitary confinement. He needed to make it a federal crime to end up in the federal prison

    • Prison Break: Is based on the fact that Micheal got himself arrested and sent to prison so he could then break out his brother from death row.
  • February 10, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Literature:
    • Carole Nelson Douglas' Spider Dance has Sherlock Holmes impersonate a Pinkerton agent and arrange to get himself captured by the bad guys, with British agent Quenton Stanhope, barrister Godfrey Norton and Nell Huxleigh following him to the culprits' lair. At the lair, they also find Irene Adler Norton and a young Consuelo Vanderbilt, who was kidnapped as part of a campaign to get her father to give them a hidden cache of gold.
  • February 10, 2012
    Duncan
    Supertrope to Get Into Jail Free.
  • February 10, 2012
    nielas
    ^ So my jail specific examples should go into that trope and this trope should be used for examples that do not actually involve prison.

    Related to I Surrender Suckers
  • February 10, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • In one Stargate SG 1 episode the team allowed themselves to be captured so they could get a message to a Tok'ra deep cover agent posing as a minor Go'uld. Though no one told the fanboyish scientist who tried to "rescue" them, much to Jack's annoyance.
  • February 10, 2012
    lalalei2001
  • February 10, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
  • February 10, 2012
    ginsengaddict2
    ^ Trojan Prisoner'd be a subtrope at most. "Disguising as guards and taking a comrade into the enemy base as 'prisoner' in order to infiltrate it." is not "Deliberately getting/letting yourself be captured or arrested as part of a scheme."

    ^^ Play Along Prisoner is not related. It can overlap, but there need not be any scheme to begin with for a captured character to willingly continue pretending to be helpless, when at anytime he can escape without a problem.

    And I recommend taking Self Restaint to the Trope Repair Shop. It seems superfluous and covered by Other tropes mentioned here.
  • February 11, 2012
    dalek955
  • February 11, 2012
    ginsengaddict
    ^ Related trope. Not the same thing. I'm working on the description.
  • February 11, 2012
    Arivne
    Some of the examples on I Surrender Suckers are also this trope. E.g.:

    Tabletop RPG
    • Champions adventure The Great Super Villain Contest. Villains in the Contest may use the "Oh My I'm Caught" scenario. They allow themselves to be captured by the authorities so they can engineer a massive breakout from jail, freeing other prisoners and scoring a large number of points.
  • February 11, 2012
    deuxhero
    At the end of Alpha Protocol Mike surrenders so he will be taken to the "Graybox" facility (which he doesn't know the location of due to being drugged before going in and out) where the Big Bad is while Mike's allies tail him to rescue him at the end.
  • February 11, 2012
    chicagomel
    In the novel Comet Dis'aster, the heroes have one of their own intentionally captured so that when he's eaten (food's scarce and the baddies have gone total cannibal), he'll poison the big bad and hopefully some of the mooks and make it easier for the heroes to make their final move.
  • February 11, 2012
    pawsplay
    Possibly present in the Captain America movie. Luke does this twice in Return of the Jedi.

  • February 12, 2012
    troacctid
    • A key part of the final plan to capture the pool ship at the end of Animorphs is Cassie getting captured by the Yeerks so that the other Animorphs can sneak onto the ship in flea morph.
  • February 13, 2012
    AWormandaDuck
    Trojan Prisoner covers this.
  • February 13, 2012
    captainsandwich
    this either a trojan prisoner, or trojan prisoner falls within it.
  • February 13, 2012
    Catbert
  • February 13, 2012
    pawsplay
    This not Trojan Prisoner, which treats the prisoner as a pretext and involves fake captors. The trope being described here is about actually getting captured to get inside.
  • February 13, 2012
    pawsplay
    Which means that this trope should perhaps get the name Trojan Prisoner, while Trojan Prisoner gets renamed to something else, like Fake Prisoner Transfer.
  • February 13, 2012
    ginsengaddict
    ^^^ Agreed. Help write one.
  • February 14, 2012
    pawsplay
    Related to I Surrender Suckers.
  • February 14, 2012
    Catbert
    It is very hard to tell what this trope is and how it relates to other tropes because the description is very poor. This is Example As A Thesis writing at its worse. And just trailing of with Oh Crap... that tells us nothing.

    This description is crying for a proper defining sentence.

    "Prisoner Gambit is when X, Y and Z happens."

    It also needs to have a section that compares it to Trojan Prisoner, Play Along Prisoner and I Surrender Suckers to let us know what the difference is.

    And no ginsengaddict, I can't write for you because I can't read your mind and tell exactly what you are getting at. I can only tell you what types of information you need to include.
  • February 14, 2012
    Tambov333
    The Dark Knight example is in no way a Xanatos Gambit. It is a Xanatos Roulette.
  • March 8, 2012
    deuxhero
    In Metal Gear in order to reach Gray Fox's cell, Snake allows himself to be captured.
  • March 8, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime

    • Outlaw Star: Jean is blackmailed into doing this by Gwen Khan, who uses Melfina as leverage, in order to meet with a prisoner who knows the coordinates to the Galactic Leyline.
  • March 8, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Doesn't get himself arrested so much as simply impersonate a transferring convict.

    That example is tough to pin down since we see pretty much nothing of the set-up.
  • March 8, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@TomWalpertac2 - True. Now I'm a second guessing it myself.
  • March 9, 2012
    NightNymph
    May not be an example, depending on the final description:

    • In the "Fulsom Prision Blues" episode of Supernatural, Dean executes a plan where he and Sam commit a crime so that they will be arrested and sent to the county jail in order to hunt a ghost that is inside the facility. They do this at the request of one of the guards who has planned for their escape once they get rid of the ghost. The authorities arresting them, however, are not aware of the plan. It doesn't go as smoothly as they hoped it would.
  • March 9, 2012
    ginsengaddict2
    ^ Yup, that qualifies.
  • March 9, 2012
    Damr1990
    • Ligth Yagami from Death Note does get this to prove he is not Kira, he gets himself imprissioned, and according to the Death Note if someone who uses it does not kill anyone for 40 days that person will die, so a few months latter(L keep him more time than that) after the forty days passed and since there were still ocurring Deaths wich seemed to be done by kira(L didn't told him until) they release him, and even invite him to join to investigate the kira case he arranged all of this events, the forty days rule was fake, he wrote it on the Death note as a decoy, he then both renounced to his death note(wich would cause him to lose his memory and pull a Memory Gambit) and instructed Rem to give it to someone else(with a specific personality type so he would use it on a certain way) and when that kira was captured he reobtained the death note and his memories, also he made this parte of a bigger plan to get rid of Misa's Protector so he could use her like he pleased withon fear of Rem taking revenge on him. Just As Planned Indeed
  • March 10, 2012
    NightNymph
    ginsegaddict2 - I just noticed that my Supernatural example is listed under Get Into Jail Free, so I'm not sure what to do with that information.
  • March 11, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Blake's 7: Avon allowed himself to get captured on Earth in order to capture a Federation interrogator using the Liberator's teleport system, in the episode "Rumors of Death."
  • November 13, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    Another Stargate SG 1 example: In season 10 Daniel is converted by the arc's Big Bad, the Ori, and apparently brainwashed. However he is also planning to get captured by SG 1 so he can takeover one of Earth's star ships and kill the Ori. He even criticises SG 1 for taking too long to capture him and leaving him too little time to execute his plan.
  • November 15, 2013
    GeminiSparkSP
    • Loki from The Avengers allowed himself to be captured so that he could unleash the Hulk inside the helicarrier. It worked.
  • November 15, 2013
    DAN004
    I thought Trojan Prisoner is general enough to cover this. Can someone at least give me a good distinction?
  • March 3, 2014
    lalalei2001
    I was looking for this exact trope and couldn't find it; the closest I got was Self Restraint.

    Either way, I have 2 examples.

    • In Return Of The Jedi, Luke surrenders himself to some Imperials to try and bring out the goodness in his father; they handcuff him and present him to Darth Vader.
    • In Pokemon Live, upon hearing Team Rocket has Pikachu, when Jessie and James arrive to capture him Ash lets them. They're put off by this.
  • March 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Okay, so Trojan Prisoner ploy involves someone posing as prison guard. This trope doesn't.
  • March 3, 2014
    ptbnl
    I feel this!

    The "prisoner" being taken in acts completely alone in getting him/herself into the imprisonment.

    Can also apply to groups of people.

    There need not be allies/bosses on the outside to help our prisoner, correct?
  • March 3, 2014
    lalalei2001
    [up] Sounds like it!
  • March 3, 2014
    Koveras
    • During the Imperial Agent storyline of Star Wars The Old Republic, Cipher Nine must let themselves be captured by the villains on Corellia, then "break" under torture and "reveal" to them all the Imperial secrets—however, said secrets are actually fake so that the villains are forced to react rashly and reveal themselves.
  • March 4, 2014
    lalalei2001
    Edited the description.
  • March 4, 2014
    TheTitan99
    • Silva from Skyfall let himself get captured to begin the first stage in his insanely long plan of revenge.
  • March 4, 2014
    Arivne
    • Re-formatted Examples section.
    • Namespaced and italicized work names.
    • Added blank lines between Examples media sections for readability.
    • Corrected some spelling errors.
    • Put an episode title in quotes.
  • March 4, 2014
    robbulldog
    In MetalGear, you are advised that the best way to infiltrate the enemy fortress is to get captured on purpose, and a particular truck in Building 1 is where Snake gets captured...only to find himself in the cell next to Grey Fox.
  • March 4, 2014
    Timwi
    In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Daring Don't", Daring Do intentionally lets Ahuizotl capture her so she can get into his base and retrieve the rings.

    • This is not correct. She tries to buy the ring from the henchmen and then tries to escape. She does not let herself intentionally captured.
  • March 4, 2014
    TonyG
    In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po and the Furious Five let themselves be captured so they can be taken to Lord Shen and his secret weapon, at which time they free themselves to destroy it.
  • March 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Too close to Get Into Jail Free, I'm afraid.
  • March 5, 2014
    Arivne
    Get Into Jail Free is specifically about getting put into a jail/prison by committing a crime.

    This is a wider trope about deliberately allowing yourself to be captured by anyone, e.g. the Big Bad in order to get into his headquarters.

    All of the examples we have that are actually Get Into Jail Free but aren't already on that page should be moved there, and both this trope and Get Into Jail Free should mention the relationship between them.
  • March 5, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    That's a reasonable distinction from Get Into Jail Free. That page has attracted plenty of misuse, though.
  • May 8, 2014
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Robert Heinlein's novella "Gulf". When FBS agent Joseph Briggs is captured by Mrs. Keithley's men, "Kettle Belly" Baldwin (the leader of a secret society of geniuses) tricks them into thinking he's also an FBS agent so they'll capture him too. His plan is that Mrs. Keithley's operatives will put him and Briggs together so he can trick Briggs into telling him where the "Nova Effect" document has been sent. Later he and Briggs break out together.
  • July 4, 2014
    ptbnl
    I took the liberty of editing the original post with a new title and broader description. What's everyone think now?
  • July 4, 2014
    Ominae
    • Near the end of Full Metal Panic!, Gauron gives himself up to Mithril operators during an operation to take out an American military installation in the Pacific. What the crew of the Tuatha de Danaan doesn't know (until later) is that Gauron needed to be locked up in the submarine's brig so that he can seize control of it with the help of double agents in order to seize control of the bridge.
  • July 4, 2014
    DAN004
    So I guess I get it: Trojan Prisoner involves Dressing As The Enemy (as to escort the "prisoner") in addition to this one?
  • July 6, 2014
    Arivne
    Film
    • Diamonds Are Forever. Near the end James Bond arrives at Blofeld's oil rig base and allows himself to be captured. He plans to switch a standard cassette tape for the tape Blofeld uses to control the laser Kill Sat. Due to Tiffany Case's interference his plan fails so he has to destroy the computer center by hitting with a minisub.
  • July 6, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Deleted.
  • July 9, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    With such laconic and description, the use of "Backfire" in combination with "Gambit" in the title is _not_ justified. Someone likes the word "Gambit" though, looks like.
  • July 9, 2014
    DAN004
    Self Restraint Gambit?

    Cuz this is a subversion of Self Restraint
  • July 9, 2014
    mongol
    Five hats for a trope page that has only three examples listed?
  • July 9, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    Well there are enough other examples that haven't been added. At a guess, some people think that they suffice and lack of Rolling Updates is not reason enough to down vote.
  • July 9, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    "It may have been more of a Xanatos Gambit, " in one of examples may have been more of a violation of HowToWriteAnExample/ExamplesAreNotArguable.

    Five hats means that... it means nothing.
  • July 9, 2014
    Dalillama
    ^^ It is by my standards; being ready for launch includes having the examples listed. Especially since there's still ongoing dispute about the title.

    • In the Theirs Not To Reason Why series, Ia evades a kidnapping attempt that successfully nabs the other officers and noncoms in her unit. She arranges to be kidnapped by a space pirate who owes her a favor and sold to the criminal group that took the others. The purpose of this is to get her Psychic Powers into range of their electronic systems so she could disable their defenses and prevent them killing the hostages when her troops rolled in with guns blazing.

    (Yes, I know the Literature page hasn't been launched yet, but it will be soon and I don't feel like going back and reindexing things later on)
  • July 9, 2014
    DAN004
    Who wanna grab this? (Me, if nobody objects)
  • July 9, 2014
    Dalillama
    If you don't, I'll probably get around to it at some point, but go ahead.
  • July 9, 2014
    Quatic
    The Ransom Of Red Chief, hello. Kidnap victim turns out to be a little monster who drives his captors nuts until they agree to pay his parents to take him back.
  • July 9, 2014
    rodneyAnonymous
    This is covered by Trojan Prisoner and Mugging The Monster. Tropes Are Flexible. There doesn't need to be a separate article for every possible slight variation on a theme.
  • July 9, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Then let's fix Trojan Prisoner first. Description should reflect that flexibility.
  • July 9, 2014
    rodneyAnonymous
    This is not the place to discuss that. Trope Talk I think.
  • August 4, 2014
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • Batman. In "The Greatest Mother of Them All", Ma Parker deliberately allows the Dynamic Duo to capture her and her gang so they can get into Gotham Prison. She plans to use the prison as a base to run her criminal operations, and believes that Batman would never suspect them of being able to commit crimes while in prison.
  • January 5, 2015
    F1Krazy
    I had this exact trope idea earlier today... good thing I checked to see if it was already here. Sadly it seems to be mired in a few arguments. Might rewrite this a little to make it easier to understand. Maybe add the examples we've collected so far to the actual article?
  • January 5, 2015
    StarSword
  • January 5, 2015
    dalek955
  • January 5, 2015
    dalek955
  • January 5, 2015
    dalek955
    oops Doppelsenden
  • January 6, 2015
    F1Krazy
    I was thinking just shorten it to "Capture Gambit". I'll add Pity The Kidnapper to the "See also" section as well.
  • January 6, 2015
    DAN004
    How isn't this Poisonous Captive?
  • January 6, 2015
    ginsengaddict
    ^ A Poisonous Captive didn't necessarily choose to be captured. The key aspect of this trope is that the captive is taken of their own volition.

    edit: Also, the motives are different - the PC will undermine from the inside without ever leaving their cell. The captive of a capture gambit is there with a plan to escape.

    Film
    • The Avengers. Loki's capture and imprisonment on the the helicarrier was part of his plan all along, to cripple SHIELD and eliminate the only threat to his plans.
  • January 6, 2015
    DAN004
    So I guess Pooisonous Captive is merely annoying while this is intentionally endangering?

    Again, name this Self Restraint Gambit
  • January 6, 2015
    aurora369
    In The Silmarillion, Sauron allows the Numenoreans to capture him, because he wants to get to Numenor and influence its king. Eventually, he dupes the king into following his advices, and turns Numenor into an evil empire by creating a cult of Morgoth there.
  • January 6, 2015
    sigh824
    The premise of Youre Next. The Final Girl definitely wasn't planning on being trapped, but she certainly made do.
  • January 6, 2015
    SolipSchism
    Often overlaps with Prison Episode, since many such episodes are the result of this.
  • January 25, 2015
    DAN004
    While I'd like to grab this, I think we still have ginsengaddict around.
  • January 25, 2015
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Kung Fu Caine needs to get into a prison to rescue an old friend from the temple, so he "robs" a bank by walking in and politely requesting that they give him money. "I wish to rob your bank. Not all your money, only what is customary in such cases."
  • February 19, 2015
    DAN004
    I'm afraid that some examples would fall better into Get Into Jail Free or Self Restraint.

    I also have a few concerns for Self Restraint, namely that it might be a supertrope to this.
  • February 19, 2015
    robinjohnson
    I don't think this title is good; it has nothing to do with self-restraint. (It is related to the other trope punningly called Self Restraint, but Everythings Worse With Snowclones.)

    Captured On Purpose would do what it says on the tin.
  • April 11, 2015
    partner555
    In Max Steel 2013, Air Elementor deliberately gets captured so he could free his fellow Elementors and dormant Ultralinks.
  • April 12, 2015
    ZuTheSkunk
    • In Gravity Falls, in "Blendin's Game", Mabel and Dipper decide to surrender to the Time Guardians and take part in the challenges on the arena. This is because they realize that, if they win, they can give the reward - the Time Wish - to Soos, which would allow him to change history in a way where he finally meets his father.
  • April 13, 2015
    MetaFour
    It's been years since I've read The Silmarillion, but I thought getting captured wasn't Sauron's plan at all. The fleet of Numenor attacked him, and Sauron only surrendered because he knew that he couldn’t win the battle. Then he wound up being a Poisonous Captive.
  • April 13, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    Live Action TV
    • The first episode of The Blacklist features Reed Reddington - one of the most wanted men in the world - surrendering to the FBI as part of a larger scheme to steer them against one of his enemies.
    • One episode of Daredevil opens with a hired killer murdering a crime boss and his men and then turning himself in to the police in order to draw suspicion away from his employer, Wilson Fisk.
  • April 13, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ @Daredevil: what does the killer do in the prison after that?
  • April 14, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    • An episode of Digimon Adventure 02 had the kids and their mons let themselves be locked up in one of the Emperor's prisons to they could organize a jailbreak.

    • In The CW's The Flash 2014, Hartly Rathaway/Pied Piper organizes his attack so that the Flash will catch him and take him to STAR Labs, so he can steal some important data.
  • April 14, 2015
    Str8taim
    As soon as the examples are all added and anything else is taken care of, I submit a Motion to Launch
  • April 14, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    @Dan: I've amended the Daredevil example to give more information on why the guy surrendered himself.

    Who's in charge of adding the examples?
  • April 14, 2015
    DAN004
    Added examples, removed The Silmarillion example
  • April 24, 2015
    captainmarkle
    I have a variation here, wondering if that could be taken into account.

    • In the Series One flashbacks of Arrow, Yao Fei manages to capture the Big Bad Edward Fyers and tries to extort him into getting Oliver and himself off the island. Fyers plays along at first, but then asks Yao Fei whether or not he finds this is almost too easy. Cue Oh Crap from the duo as several mooks and Deathstroke emerge. Yao Fei tells Oliver to run, barely buying him time to escape before he gets knocked out and dragged away.
  • April 24, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • When a mysterious aircraft lands near a military base in the Jonny Quest episode "The Robot Spy", the soldiers take the black orb inside it onto the base and store it in a guarded hangar for later study. There, the orb opens its eye, sprouts spiderlike legs and goes snooping for Doctor Quest's secret para-power ray gun.
  • April 24, 2015
    SolipSchism
    Hey, this game just came out a few days ago:

    Video Games:
  • April 24, 2015
    Folamh3
    • At the end of Spec Ops The Line, Walker and Adams get surrounded by 33rd. Walker abruptly drops his weapon, explaining that "surrendering" is the only hope they have of gaining entrance to the Burj Khalifa which ostensibly serves as their headquarters. Adams refuses and opens fire on the 33rd, creating a diversion during which Walker runs to the Burj Khalifa.
  • April 24, 2015
    Gamermaster
    • Batman Arkham Asylum Starts off with Batman taking the Joker back to Arkham, before revealing that it's all so the Joker can take over.
      • The sequel has the same thing, only it's Bruce Wayne getting captured instead.
  • April 24, 2015
    Laevatein
    • The quote for the Spy archetype in Feng Shui is: "They never tell you this in training, but the best thing to do in this situation is get yourself captured so you can find out what the enemy is up to."
    • At the start of The Avengers, Black Widow is implied to have allowed herself to be captured so she can hear the bad guy's plans.
  • April 24, 2015
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ Arkham Asylum is an example of the subtrope: Get Into Jail Free.
  • June 5, 2015
    Ominae
    This ready to go?
  • June 6, 2015
    Arivne
    ^ No.

    • Examples section
      • Namespaced and italicized work names.
      • Changed unnecessary double curly braces to Camel Case.
      • Corrected spelling (ocuring, wich, this -> these, reobtained, Prision, US -> U.S.).
      • Capitalized (Death note, death note).
      • De-capitalized (Protector).
      • Corrected improper Example Indentation in the The Avengers examples.
      • Deleted unnecessary Pot Holing in the Blake's 7 example.
      • Blue Linked (mooks).
      • Re-wrote the "The Robot Spy" example for accuracy.

    But now it is. :)
  • June 6, 2015
    AgProv
    Literature;
    • in one of The Stainless Steel Rat novels, Jim diGriz allows himself to be captured by his enemies, the Grey Men, to get inside their base and free his wife Angelina, who is being interrogated there. He takes pains to be completely free of all weapons, accessories and working tools so that all they see is a naked defenceless prisoner, But what they don't know is that the clothing taken from him is saturated in an explosive substance which is inert at normal body heat. When after an hour or so it cools, however, and reaches trigger temperature...
  • June 23, 2015
    pvsage
    I'm having trouble seeing how this is different from straight-up perfidy, as in I Surrender Suckers.
  • June 23, 2015
    eroock
    ^ As I see it, I Surrender Suckers is more situational, the surrendering doesn't last for more than a few moments before the counterattack is launched.
  • June 23, 2015
    pvsage
    I don't see a distinction. Whether the counterattack/coup comes within moments or months, it fits as perfidy. The only difference is whether the surrenderer is concerned with immediate gain or playing the long game. Plenty of Real Life examples have involved We Wait; sometimes it's a race between We Wait and Stockholm Syndrome.

    Would the Hague make any distinction based on timescale?
  • August 4, 2015
    zoop
    There's quite a number of tropes involving allowing onesself to be captured or remaining in captivity even when one could escape... I think we need to make this a supertrope to all of them and then redefine them a bit so there aren't so many and the distinctions between them are more clear.
  • August 4, 2015
    zoop
    Basically, we have:
    • "Captured on Purpose": A person surrenders because they want to go to the enemy's base / jail / etc for any purpose whatsoever. (Talk to another prisoner, help someone else escape, they've fallen in love with their captor, etc)
    • Trojan Prisoner: One person is brought in as a prisoner by their friends disguised as guards. This is more to get the friends in undercover than the prisoner himself.
    • I Surrender Suckers: A subversion where you only pretend to surrender, but kick ass before the actual capture takes place.

    Other prisoner tropes, such as Play Along Prisoner, appear to be more about what happens after the capture than the capture itself.
  • August 4, 2015
    lakingsif
    ^ we also have Deliberately Distressed Damsel, as well as all of the ones already mentioned. It literally says "she doesn't get captured because she's weak, she gets captured because she wants to".
  • August 4, 2015
    eroock
    ^^ I Allowed You To Capture Me seems to be about the same thing as Captured on Purpose: Being captured to strike at the heart of their opponent.
  • August 4, 2015
    zarpaulus
    • In Dune Alia allows herself to be captured by the Emperor's Sardaukar in order to deliver a formal declaration of war from the thought-extinct House Atreides. And kill the Baron Harkonnen while she was at it.
  • August 5, 2015
    Koveras
    • Hades Vandein in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force lets himself be taken into custody by the Bureau without incident, despite clearly being able to fight them off and escape, although what his real plan was had never been revealed, as the manga went on an indefinite Series Hiatus soon thereafter.
  • August 5, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Would this count?
    • Thunder In Paradise episode "Sea Quentin" begins with Spencer as a prisoner being brought to a new underwater prison for extremely dangerous convicts. It turns out of course that he's there undercover to look for weaknesses that would allow prisoners to escape. And while he's there, a group of prisoners attempt a takeover of the prison.
  • August 5, 2015
    Quatic
    • In Taken 3 the hero, on the run from the cops after being framed for the murder of his ex, allows himself to be arrested so that once in the cop car he can access its on-board computer.
  • August 5, 2015
    Exxolon
    You can use this as a one of the rescue tactics in a The Lost Jedi gamebook when a bunch of your rebel friends are captured. You can walk into the same jail, get captured and provided you've set things up correctly, by leaving your lightsaber in your dogdroid so he can sneak inside and you can retrieve it from him using the force, use the lightsaber to escape your cell, free your comrades and cut your way out through the guards.
  • November 17, 2015
    lalalei2001
    Think we can launch this?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cmm9unhjzevteu6i0gd1206z