Created By: astryll on April 24, 2013 Last Edited By: astryll on May 5, 2013
Troped

Glassy Prison

A glass or transparent material-type prison is used to contain a character

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So a character has been busted, caught, kidnapped, jailed ... Whatever. It's not uncommon for characters to be captured, in fact its par for the course for most villains. But the situation does call for a character to be contained somewhere and what appears to be better than a transparent cell where your captors can trace your every move, expression. Maybe if they're feeling generous a little conversation wouldn't go amiss.

However to be imprisoned in such a manner where you are displayed in the same style as an exhibit can either be an riveting or a demeaning moment for our characters. Possibly could be a side effect if the character falls victim to The Collector, or could overap into Human Popsicle stage if taken to a sinister extreme.

This trope comes into action when a character is deliberately placed within a transparent cage to hold them akin to a prison cell. This transparent material can stretch past glass such as plastic, ice, water, resin or any material where the captor can visually see the captive.

Also See; Cardboard Prison and Crystal Prison for examples similar.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Naruto; The Water Prison Technique fits this trope perfectly. Once trapped within one, the target is unable to move due to the sheer heaviness of water.
  • Snow of MÄR interestingly averts this trope, as she encases herself in ice when she first appears though its made quite clear that she can only stay in her ice prison for a couple of hours before she frrezes to death.
  • Pokémon; Team Rocket put Pikachu in one of these in the Best Wishes episode "The Name's N".
  • Puella Magi Kazumi Magica; The Pleiades Saints, Kazumi's team mates are horrifically doing this to other magical girls after harvesting their soul gems effectively turning them into human popsciles.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle; R!Sakura and R!Syaoran voluntarily enter one of these, where they are separated from each other for a long period of time as their price for one of Yuuko's wishes.

Film
  • The blue canine-like alien Stitch, of Lilo & Stitch is firstly introduced to the audience in a holding cell of this variety. He's not happy to be in one to put it lightly.
  • Raoul Silva in Skyfall is taken captive by Bond and is incarcerated in a glass cell before being interogated by M. Due to the visable nature of him within the cell, this makes his escape all the more chilling.
  • Species; The young Sil is held inside a confinement area with glass walls. When the project director decides to kill her with poison gas, she breaks through the glass and escapes the laboratory.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness; The Big Bad, John Harrison (Cumberbatch) is seen quite smug he's sporting this look in the latest trailer.
  • The Silence of the Lambs; Hannibal Lecter goes through a number of glass cages, from a glass-fronted cell in the beginning to a glass-on-all-sides enclosure he eventually escapes from.
  • The Avengers; Loki when finally captured by his sibling spends a fair while baiting someone to get him out of one these. Surprise surprise, he escapes.
  • Thor: The Dark World; Loki makes a guest appearance for this trope in the new trailer.
  • Titan A.E.; features Cale Tucker being held in the brig of the Drej mothership. The door to his cell is a transparent energy barrier.
  • X-Men; Although not made out of glass, Magneto is imprisoned within a plastic, transparent prison at the end of the film.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Nikita: After being overthrown by his Dragon Ascendant Amanda at the end of season 1, Percy ends up in one of these. Naturally, he eventually escapes.
  • In The Twilight Zone episode, "The Silence", a chatty fellow lives in a glass cell in the middle of a Gentlemen's Club so he can prove he's keeping his wager to stay silent for an entire year.

Western Animation
  • One episode of Hanna-Barbera's The Superfriends has a Mad Scientist called The Raven imprisoned in a glass cube. Nonetheless, The Raven is able to construct a lifelike robot duplicate of himself and escape.
  • The Archons of The Sleeping Planet believe that Josie And The Pussy Cats In Outer Space have stolen their Robotron, and imprison them in a huge transparent bubble.
  • The most secure cells in the below-ground Acmetropolis Prison are an isolated circular platform with a transparent dome. The Sagittarius Stomper was put in one, alongside his mother. Likewise for Mallory Mastermind. And for four of the six Loonatics Unleashed.
  • The cells in Arkham Asylum in Batman: The Animated Series have one wall that is made out of glass.
  • Professor Pericles in Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated is imprisoned in a see-through cage.

Video Games
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • April 24, 2013
    ohnoesazombie
    • Silence Of The Lambs; Hannibal Lecter goes through a number of glass cages, from a glass-fronted cell in the beginning to a glass-on-all-sides enclosure he eventually escapes from
  • April 24, 2013
    astryll
    Possibly this for the Image Pick; http:// 24.media.tumblr.com/b9d2a49a4c5503087a817b24b73ebefc/tumblr_mlq68lScPZ1r5o5cbo1_r2_500.jpg - source?
  • April 24, 2013
    KZN02
    What about being sealed in glass or some clear substance?
  • April 24, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • One episode of Hanna Barbera's The Superfriends has a Mad Scientist called The Raven imprisoned in a glass cube. Nonetheless, The Raven is able to construct a lifelike robot duplicate of himself and escape.
    • The Archons of The Sleeping Planet believe that Josie And The Pussy Cats In Outer Space have stolen their Robotron, and imprison them in a huge transparent bubble.
    • The most secure cells in the below-ground Acmetropolis Prison are an isolated circular platform with a transparent dome. The Sagittarius Stomper was put in one, alongside his mother. Likewise for Mallory Mastermind. And for four of the six Loonatics Unleashed.
  • April 25, 2013
    Arivne
    Are all of the spoilers in the OP examples really necessary?

    If it's decided they are, this trope really needs a spoiler warning so they can be unspoilered.
  • April 25, 2013
    astryll
    Hmm the only issue with the amount of spoilers is that normally with most 'prison' tropes it is a character hero/villain whom is captured that could potentially be a large turning point within a story or a giveaway who 'wins' or who has the upper hand at a particular point in the plot.

    This trope does not /necessarily/ entail spoilers. Spoilers can just occur due to their interaction with this trope: hence I don't think that a spoiler warning or a removal of spoilers is necessary unless an increased quantity of examples containing spoilers emerge.
  • April 25, 2013
    astryll
    • The blue canine-like alien Stitch, of Lilo And Stitch is firstly introduced to the audience in a holding cell of this variety. He's not happy to be in one to put it lightly.
  • April 25, 2013
    DunDun
    Magneto is in a plastic prison.

    thats the caption that is it I'm sure I'm helping I don't need to log off yet
  • April 27, 2013
    StarSword
    TV:
    • Nikita: After being overthrown by his Dragon Ascendant Amanda at the end of season 1, Percy ends up in one of these. Naturally, he eventually escapes.
  • April 27, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Should probably note that Magneto's prison is justified by his ability to control metal. In that he was able to escape using the iron in the blood of a guard who had an unusually high concentration of it.
  • April 27, 2013
    astryll
    Anime And Manga
    • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle; R!Sakura and R!Syaoran voluntarily enter one of these, where they are separated for a long period of time as their price for one of Yuuko, the Dimension Witch's wishes
  • April 27, 2013
    KZN02
    Not sure if this counts, but ...

    BIONICLE: The Toa Seal used by the Toa Metru through All Your Powers Combined on Makuta Teridax was transparent.
  • April 27, 2013
    chicagomel
    Anime: Pokemon:Team Rocket put Pikachu in one of these in the Best Wishes episode "The Name's N".
  • April 28, 2013
    GilvaLepista
    Straightforward. Seen It A Million Times. Can't believe we don't already have it. As far as I'm concerned, you're ready to launch.
  • April 28, 2013
    helterskelter
    A couple of things--the text from the image should be taken out. Less images should be used. I'd take out Loki and Hannibal, since it's harder to see the glass prison.
  • April 28, 2013
    UchihaKat
    At the end of Injustice:God Among us, evil superman appears to have been put in one of these.
  • April 29, 2013
    Surenity
    The cells in Arkham Asylum in Batman The Animated Series have one wall that is made out of glass.
  • April 29, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Species. The young Sil is held inside a confinement area with glass walls. When the project director decides to kill her with poison gas, she breaks through the glass and escapes the laboratory.
  • April 29, 2013
    astryll
    @helterskelter - perhaps we should have an image picking discussion or do you just think I should select Loki/Silva/John Harrison as the image as these seem the most straight forward examples of the trope?
  • April 29, 2013
    helterskelter
    The current image works great. Although I'd take out that first line. It's really myopic.
  • April 29, 2013
    ohnoesazombie
    Looks great, but I can't help but wonder why your Avengers example spoiler tags Loki, but leaves the "captured by his brother Thor" unspoiled. Especially when the first line hangs a big 'ol lantern on the fact that Loki's in the cage. Otherwise looks great.
  • April 29, 2013
    astryll
    Anime And Manga
    • Naruto; In both Chapter 13 and Post-timeskip/Shippuden chapter 258, a Water Prison Technique is used on the main protagonists. Once trapped within one, the target is unable to move due to the sheer heaviness of water.
  • April 29, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Once the Loonatics Unleashed defeat the mutant dolphin Adolpho, he's imprisoned in a fishbowl about twelve feet in diameter, complete with a miniature castle at the bottom.
  • May 1, 2013
    Trueman001
    Literature
    • In His Dark Materials, The Authority is shown to have been imprisoned in a glass box by his henchman, Metatron.
  • May 1, 2013
    Trueman001
    Incidentally, the Naruto example needs to be reworded; protagonists are "main" by definition.
  • May 1, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • Titan AE features Cale Tucker being held in the brig of the Drej mothership. The door to his cell is a transparent energy barrier. Cale discovers that he can shunt this energy through his body, creating a hole between the shunt points. Plausible, in that Cale, being human, is mostly water, which can conduct an electric charge; the Drej are energy beings who would find an energy barrier impassable.
  • May 4, 2013
    astryll
    Put an alert on title; since this trope is stretching to materials beyond glass, I am looking for another descriptive word better than 'transparent' to cover all the other materials used - ice, plastic etc.
  • May 4, 2013
    johnnycache
    How about Plexiglass Prision for the alliteration?
  • May 4, 2013
    MonaNaito
    Alternatively, Glassy Prison would cover all the not-quite-glass variations.
  • May 4, 2013
    DunDun
    I like Glassy Prison. It sounds like Classy Prison and that's fun.
  • May 4, 2013
    astryll
    I also like the sound of Glassy Prison (: nice going!
  • May 4, 2013
    MonaNaito
    Aw, thanks! Looks like this page is shaping up nicely!
  • May 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Kur of Gor Tarl Cabot is imprisoned in what the narrator calls a "glassine" tube. The narrator means "glass-like" but that's not what glassine means.
  • May 5, 2013
    JonnyB
    In The Twilight Zone episode, "The Silence", a chatty fellow lives in a glass cell in the middle of a Gentlemen's Club so he can prove he's keeping his wager to stay silent for an entire year.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=dmjsyofhys0q24sooxcxqch8&trope=GlassyPrison