Created By: Knight9910 on July 21, 2013 Last Edited By: Knight9910 on July 24, 2013
Troped

Leaking Can of Evil

Being sealed away doesn't mean you can't still break stuff.

Name Space:
Main
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Trope
Long, long ago, there existed a terrible evil. The people of the time managed to defeat the evil and seal it away never to return. There's just one problem: they may have sealed away the being itself, but they didn't manage to completely seal away its power.

To be clear, the evil in question has been sealed away, but in a way that allows it to still influence the mortal world, most often in destructive ways. In religious and mythological uses, the evil is usually not aware it has this ability. In fictional stories, especially in the Horror genre, it is likely to be aware of its ability to affect the mortal world, and will probably use that influence to facilitate its release.

Is a Subtrope of Sealed Evil in a Can. If the evil is sealed within a physical object, that object is likely to become an Artifact of Doom. Compare Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All, for when this applies to mundane criminals. See also Evil Is Not a Toy and Made of Evil.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • Soul Eater: The Demon God Asura was sealed in a bag made of his own skin. Even after this, his madness is strong enough to warp the statue of a god holding his container and make everyone who tries to approach it see horrible hallucinations. However, it is only when Asura is freed that his madness is able to spread all over the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • This is how Winnowill from ElfQuest ends up when Rayek traps Winnowill's soul inside his own. Winnowill is mostly contained but occasionally is able to either affect Rayek's actions or even lash out with her own magic powers.
  • Shadowpact reveals that the slumbering, highly powerful and very evil sorcerer Dr. Gotham has been sleeping beneath (wait for it) Gotham City for centuries. He inadvertently influenced the city into becoming a crime ridden cesspool with a penchant for attracting costumed lunatics.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
  • In Time Bandits, Evil has been locked away in the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness by The Supreme Being. He plots on acquiring the McGuffin map that would allow him to escape and wreak havoc upon all creation. Albeit he's locked away, he can still Mind Control the weak-willed bandit across time and space to lead the group into his lair with the coveted map.
  • Prince of Darkness. The Anti-Christ is trapped inside a glass cylinder inside a church. It sprays a liquid at one of the people researching it and takes control of them, then has that person spit the liquid at other people to possess them as well. It also uses Mind Control on street people who live near the church to surround it and trap the researchers inside.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
  • In prologue to the Space Wolf novel Ragnar's Claw, set about a century after the rest of the book, a Chaos cultist tells Ragnar that "Botchulaz sends his regards." In the book proper the Inquisition and Ragnar's squad of Space Wolves end up having to repair the seals on an eldar construct keeping a Great Unclean One confined.
  • Discworld: In the very first book, the prison of the Soul Devourer is untouched by time, and avoided by most wildlife because of that.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Dark One is sealed outside of reality. In the Age of Legends, a bore was made into its prison, and it wreaked havoc across the world until a seal was made. Throughout the series, the seal is weakening, and the crux of the plot is finding a way to restore it before the Dark One can escape and unravel the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1, Big Bad The Master is trapped underground inside the Hellmouth but he has minions who work to free him, Darla being the one with the most character development. He almost gets out a couple of times, and during one episode where people's nightmares come true he's seen free and walking around Sunnydale in Buffy's nightmare.
    The Master: I am free because you fear it. Because you fear it, the world is crumbling. Your nightmares are made flesh.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Religion and Mythology]]
  • The titan Typhon from Greek Mythology. He was sealed away along with most of the other titans, but his roars were capable of causing volcanic eruptions across the world.
  • Loki from Norse Mythology was sealed away in an underground vault, with a snake drooling venom onto his face. His beloved wife is usually there with a bowl to catch the poison, but when she has to empty the bowl Loki's agonized thrashing causes earthquakes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In the Forgotten Realms setting, after Cyric, god of murder and lies, murdered Mystra, goddess of magic, in 1385 DR and caused the Spellplague, several other gods worked together to imprison Cyric in his home plane. He can still grant spells to his worshipers but he can't affect the Prime Material directly and is slowly going (more?) insane. Strangely his co-conspirator Shar seems to gave gotten away scot free.
    • Module WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. Though the evil deity Tharizdun has been sealed away, his power can still affect creatures that enter the title temple if they touch certain places or objects.
    • Module OA6 Ronin Challenge, Episode 6 "Keluh Valley". The powerful being known as the Earth Spider is trapped in the Realm of Mirrors, but it can still communicate with its worshippers in the Keluh Valley. It orders them to look for a woman of the Wood Spirit people so it can marry her and be freed from its prison.
    • Module B3 "Palace of the Silver Princess". Arik (AKA Arik of the Hundred Eyes) is an ancient, evil being of great power. He was banished to a special dimension centuries ago to be imprisoned for all eternity. However, he has managed to send one of his eyes into the campaign world, where it works to open the dimensional barriers and free him from his imprisonment.
  • Call of Cthulhu. In his tomb on the sunken isle of R'lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming. True to the source material Cthulhu is capable of communicating with his followers through their dreams. In the Cthulhu Now supplement adventure "Dreams Dark and Deadly", Cthulhu was able to contact the minds of dreaming people and tried to use their magic points to create an avatar of himself that didn't need the stars to be right to exist.
  • A specialty of daemonically-possessed weapons in Warhammer 40K / Warhammer. Using them gradually brings you under the daemon's control (or just makes you go insane, which is often the same thing). Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising has an entire game mechanic based on this, to determine which member of your squad becomes the traitor.
  • Champions
    • Organization Book 3 The Blood and Dr. McQuark. Inhuman creatures who are virtually immortal, immensely powerful and hideously evil are trapped inside the Earth. They can contact humans and corrupt them to gain followers, but can't escape on their own.
    • Adventure 4 The Great Super Villain Contest. The Crimson Claw's secret masters once ruled the Earth, but the power that banished them set up barriers to keep them out. The only way they can return is to be summoned by a creature on this side. They have sent the Crimson Claw to provide three devices - the Emerald Eyes of Azog - to the most powerful supervillains. In addition to being able to see through the Eyes, the secret masters can cause them to act as gates to allow powerful demons to enter our reality.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Videogames]]
  • Ganon was sealed away into the Dark World by the seven mages in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but used his evil influence to recruit Agahnim. The mage infiltrates Hyrule Castle and sets into motion Ganon's plans to capture the seven maidens and break the seal made by the seven sages.
  • In the Mass Effect franchise, the central antagonists, The Reapers, sealed themselves away 50,000 years ago to wait for the right time to return. However, they left one of their own behind to observe and report. Even after that one is killed by the central protagonist, however, The Reapers still have thousands (if not millions) of Slave Mooks that they control, as well as the ability to make more almost any time they want. They can even Assume Direct Control of these mooks to directly speak to, and deal with, tougher threats.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Mantarok the "Corpse God" is in its death throes for more than seven centuries. However, it had already set a chain of events in motion by this time that manipulate several pawns and allow them to defeat the other Eldritch Abominations that bound him.
    • The other Ancients qualify as well. They're sealed in the great Darkness with only Mantarok to keep them in check. The events of the game involve one of them (actually all of them) using their various pawns, artifacts, and minions to simultaneously get themselves free as well as completely screw over the others.
  • City of Heroes. The demon Bat'Zul, which was sealed under Cap Au Diable in the Rogue Isles. He was sealed properly, until a Mad Scientist realize he could drain electrical energy from the demon to provide cheap and efficient power to the city... with the small side effect of lightning demons occasionally jumping out of the power lines.
  • In The Secret World, most of the cans are a bit leaky to begin with, with The Filth, a tarry ooze that causes nasty tentacled growths and even nastier insanity, being the most obvious sign. Some of the sealed evils can influence the world in other ways, too (Aten was able to keep its cult going despite being imprisoned, for example).
  • Epic Mickey: The Phantom Blot is a being of paint and thinner who spilled over Wasteland and spread destruction all over it. They managed to seal it back into its jar, but little blotling enemies keep leaking out of it.
  • In Dante's Inferno Satan was able to send his essence out from Hell and corrupt others to do as he wishes. He escapes his secondary prison (a giant Eldritch Abomination body) to fight Dante, but in the end, Dante uses the souls he absolved in Hell to defeat Lucifer and seal him back in the 9th Pit of Hell (with a stronger seal this time). However, he somehow manages to escape as the ending reveals he transforms into a snake.
  • Corypheus, the ancient sentient Darkspawn in the Dragon Age series, has been sealed away by the Grey Wardens since the First Blight, but is still able to telepathically enthrall individuals in the general vicinity of his prison, who then devote their lives to finding a way to break him out (which involves trying to kill the Player Character and his/her sibling in the Dragon Age II DLC Legacy).
  • In Final Fantasy V, Exdeath spends the first half of the game sealed away by the crystals, but he is still able to command monsters and to mind control some people in order to bring about his release.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
  • In MeatShield the ancient half-dragon demon Disparoxus is imprisoned in a magic seal inside a cave, but if somebody actually comes into the cave and finds the seal he can talk to them, and he gives one guy a medallion the lets him talk and cast spells through it (although he only uses the latter when his dupe outlives his usefulness).
  • The Snarl from The Order of the Stick was sealed by the gods in a jail that used the entire planet for the lock. However, five rifts have formed in said jail, one of which allowed it to reach through and kill Soon the paladin's wife. Soon's party locked the rifts with impassable gates, but now four of the five gates have been destroyed, and the rifts they covered have grown huge.
  • anti-HEROES has the demigod Arderas, who was imprisoned in a special demiplane by a fiend who used to be his colleague. However, he managed to kill said fiend halfway through, leaving enough gaps in the prison for him to talk to mortals. At the time of the story, that ability had earned him his own city and army.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
  • Mighty Max: Skullmaster spends the first season sealed up inside the Earth's core, but still manages to control his various minions on the surface.
  • In Danny Phantom, Sidney Poindexter's spirit is trapped in an alternate spirit dimension version of 1954 Casper High. The mirror he left behind in his old locker, 724, serves as a portal between the worlds. Poindexter can't normally cross through the mirror portal, but as he witnesses several bullying attempts on the present-day real world side, he is able to use his ghostly power to reverse the bullying and turn it back onto the bullies.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 51
  • July 21, 2013
    DAN004
    Often if the evil is sealed within an object, said object becomes an Artifact Of Doom.
  • July 21, 2013
    dvorak
    Loki from Norse Mythology was sealed away in an underground vault, with a snake drooling venom on his face. However, his beloved wife is usually there with a bowl to catch the poison, but when she has to empty the bowl, Loki's agonized thrashing causes earthquakes.

    Don't forget to

    Categorize
    • and bulletpoint examples.
  • July 21, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Dangit, though about Loki the instant I read the description, but was beaten to the finish line, it seems.

    Film

    • In Time Bandits, Evil has been locked away in the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness by The Supreme Being. He plots on acquiring the Mc Guffin map that would allow him to escape and wreak havoc upon all creation. Albeit he's locked away, he can still Mind Control the weak-willed bandit across time and space to lead the group into his lair with the coveted map.

    Videogames

    • Ganon was sealed away into the Dark World by the seven mages in The Legend Of Zelda A Link To The Past, but used his evil influence to recruit Agahnim. The mage infiltrates Hyrule Castle and sets into motion Ganon's plans to capture the seven maidens and break the seal made by the seven sages.
  • July 21, 2013
    StarSword
    This could do with a non-snowclone title but I've got nothing ATM.

    Literature:
    • In the Space Wolf novel Ragnar's Claw the Inquisition and Ragnar's squad of Space Wolves end up having to repair the seals on an eldar construct keeping a Great Unclean One confined. In the prologue to the next book, Grey Hunter, a Chaos cultist offhandedly mentions that despite having been resealed, the daemon can still apparently send messages.

    Tabletop Games:
    • In the Forgotten Realms setting, after Cyric, god of murder and lies, murdered Mystra, goddess of magic, in 1385 DR and caused the Spellplague, several other gods worked together to imprison Cyric in his home plane. He can still grant spells to his worshipers but he can't affect the Prime Material directly and is slowly going (more?) insane. Strangely his co-conspirator Shar seems to gave gotten away scot free.
  • July 22, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons module WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. Though the evil deity Tharizdun has been sealed away, his power can still affect creatures that enter the title temple if they touch certain places or objects.
    • Call Of Cthulhu. In his tomb on the sunken isle of R'lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming. He communicates with his worshippers through dreams. In the Cthulhu Now supplement adventure "Dreams Dark and Deadly", Cthulhu was able to contact the minds of dreaming people and tried to use their magic points to create an avatar of himself in the real world.
  • July 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Influence Beyond Confinement? (Though that would apply to mundane criminals behind bars too)
  • July 22, 2013
    m8e
    Something like Influential Sealed Evil might work too. The Sealed Evil part isn't really a bad snowclone.
  • July 22, 2013
    OlafMerchant
  • July 22, 2013
    Chabal2
    There has to be a plumbing-related pun somewhere...

    • A specialty of daemonically-possessed weapons in Warhammer 40 K / Warhammer. Using them gradually brings you under the daemon's control (or just makes you go insane, which is often the same thing). Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising has an entire game mechanic based on this, to determine which member of your squad becomes the traitor.
    • Discworld: In the very first book, the prison of the Soul Devourer is untouched by time, and avoided by most wildlife because of that.
  • July 22, 2013
    Chernoskill
    If you don't take the "sealed away" part too literally, you could also include all kinds of crime lords who are imprisoned but still manage to control their empires from their (often lavish) cells.
  • July 22, 2013
    StarSword
    @m8e: Yeah, I wasn't so much worried about the "sealed evil" part, I just didn't feel like cloning the whole thing.
  • July 22, 2013
    KingZeal
    • In the Mass Effect franchise, the central antagonists, The Reapers, sealed themselves away 50,000 years ago to wait for the right time to return. However, they left one of their own behind to observe and report. Even after that one is killed by the central protagonist, however, The Reapers still have thousands (if not millions) of Slave Mooks that they control, as well as the ability to make more almost any time they want. They can even Assume Direct Control of these mooks to directly speak to, and deal with, tougher threats.

    • In Eternal Darkness, Mantarok the "Corpse God" is in its death throes for more than seven centuries. However, it had already set a chain of events in motion by this time that manipulate several pawns and allow them to defeat the other Eldritch Abominations that bound him.
  • July 22, 2013
    Knight9910
    For the title, I used "Sealed Evil In A Cannon" mostly because that was the typo that led to this idea. I always assumed it'd have to be changed because Everythings Worse With Snowclones.

    As for what the new title should be, I kind of like Leaking Can Of Evil. It's a good middle ground between FORKS and SPOONS: witty while also making it clear what the trope is. I am still open to other suggestions, though.

    EDIT: I also think we should make a decision here: should this apply only to evil Cosmic Entities that were sealed away, or should it also apply to criminals who are imprisoned but still manage to use their influence to affect the world beyond their bars?
  • July 22, 2013
    StarSword
    They feel like Sister Tropes to me.
  • July 22, 2013
    Knight9910
    This and Sealed Evil In A Can? I dunno. Feels like Subtrope/Supertrope to me. Again, though, I'll change that if there's a good argument for them being Sister Tropes.

    EDIT: Also, I'm not exactly familiar enough with The Lord Of The Rings franchise to make this call (only seen the movies and not even all of them, never read the books) so maybe someone could help out. Would you consider Sauron to be an example of this trope? Or is he not sealed enough to count? (My understanding is that his body is dead but his essence isn't really "sealed" at all.)
  • July 22, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Not this and Sealed Evil In A Can are sister tropes, "supernatural evil in a can still has influence outside" and "imprisoned mobster still has influence outside" are sister tropes.

    And I'm more of a PLATTER guy, myself. Witty should always be striven for, but make it clear first.
  • July 22, 2013
    Generality
    For the mundane criminal version, we have Might As Well Not Be In Prison At All. Which I agree is a sister trope.

    • In The Wheel Of Time, the Dark One is sealed outside of reality. In the Age of Legends, a bore was made into its prison, and it wreaked havoc across the world until a seal was made. Throughout the series, the seal is weakening, and the crux of the plot is finding a way to restore it before the Dark One can escape and unravel the world.
  • July 22, 2013
    MattStriker
    • In The Secret World, most of the cans are a bit leaky to begin with, with The Filth, a tarry ooze that causes nasty tentacled growths and even nastier insanity, being the most obvious sign. Some of the sealed evils can influence the world in other ways, too (Aten was able to keep its cult going despite being imprisoned, for example).
  • July 22, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • Epic Mickey: The Phantom Blot is a being of paint and thinner who spilled over Wasteland and spread destruction all over it. They managed to seal it back into its jar, but little blotling enemies keep leaking out of it.
  • July 22, 2013
    Fawfulster
    For the Video Games entry:

    • In Dante's Inferno Satan could "escape" his prison (Hell) and still taint others to do as he wishes. He escapes his Eldritch Abomination body to fight Dante, but in the end, Dante uses the souls he absolved in Hell to defeat Lucifer and seal him back in the 9th Pit of Hell (with a stronger seal). However, he somehow manages to escape as the ending reveals he transforms into a snake.
  • July 22, 2013
    MattStriker
    Regarding the Space Wolf example: The mention of Botchulaz (the daemon sealed in the pyramid) happens in the prologue of the book he's in, not the next one. The Space Wolf novels always use a battle in the 'present' (where Ragnar is a Wolf Lord) as a framing device, where something invariably reminds him of an event that happened ages ago when he was young.
  • July 22, 2013
    Knight9910
    Added additional examples, and a mention to the sister trope Might As Well Not Be In Prison At All.
  • July 22, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^My bad.
  • July 22, 2013
    jatay3
    According to JRR Tolkien, Morgoth is being held prisoner until the end of the world but his influence is still here.
  • July 22, 2013
    MrRuano
    • Shao Kahn's Arcade Ending in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe reveals that having the DC heroes seal him in the Phantom Zone actually made him strong enough to take control of all the villains there and then break out.

    • Injustice Gods Among Us has Regime Superman locked away in the Phantom Zone, but it seems that even while locked there, he can use his heat vision to some extent, possibly hinting that he may get strong enough to break out.
  • July 22, 2013
    Knight9910
    Mr Ruano, those aren't really examples of this trope. This is where the thing sealed away can still affect our world, not just "character found a way to beat their Tailor Made Prison.
  • July 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Just thinking: Does this cover "Leaking Can of Good" as well?
  • July 22, 2013
    Knight9910
    @DAN 004: Just as Sealed Good In A Can and Sealed Evil In A Can are different tropes, I would say Leaking Can of Evil and Leaking Can of Good have to be different tropes.

    Here's a question, though. Are there really enough good examples to justify it? Because I can't think of any.
  • July 22, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Good generally is less likely to be sealed away, is usually portrayed as less insidious in seeping out of it's prison or whatnot- usually, when good is stashed away, it's due to some phophecy malarkey to do battle with the forces of darkness when they decide to make an appearance. Good is more likely to be in a stasis or magical slumber until the appointed hour of need. Of course, there's some examples in fiction where there's a damsel or whatnot and they're able to contact the hero via means of couriers, telepathy or dreams, but I dunno if it's really good influence seeping out of it's confines.

    Evil leaks tend to have more obvious effect, like monsters popping up in the countryside, nature twisting into bad neighbourhoods, funny weather, stuff like that. Evil is usually portrayed as more potent, and growing stronger in it's 'prison' before usually busting out or barely so, thanks to the timely intervention of Big Damn Heroes.
  • July 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 1, Big Bad The Master is trapped underground inside the Hellmouth but he has minions who work to free him, Darla being the one with the most character development. He almost gets out a couple of times, and during one episode where people's nightmares come true he's seen free & walking around Sunnydale (Buffy's nightmare).
    The Master: I am free because you fear it. Because you fear it, the world is crumbling. Your nightmares are made flesh.
  • July 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Anime and Manga
    • Soul Eater: The Demon God Asura was sealed in a bag made of his own skin. Even after this, his madness is strong enough to warp the statue of a god holding his container and make everyone who tries to approach it see horrible hallucinations. However, it is only when Asura is freed that his madness is able to spread all over the world.
  • July 23, 2013
    MattStriker
    I can think of one example of good in a leaky can offhand: Age Of Wonders: Shadow Magic. Merlin spends most of that sealed away, communicating with the various wizards through dreams and a messenger sprite.
  • July 23, 2013
    Melkior
    Comic Books
    • This is how Winnowill from ElfQuest ends up when Rayek traps Winnowill's soul inside his own. Winnowill is mostly contained but occasionally is able to either affect Rayek's actions or even lash out with her own magic powers.
  • July 23, 2013
    Koveras
    • Corypheus, the ancient sentient Darkspawn in the Dragon Age series, has been sealed away by the Grey Wardens since the First Blight, but is still able to telepathically enthrall individuals in the general vicinity of his prison, who then devote their lives to finding a way to break him out (which involves trying to kill the Player Character and his/her sibling in the Dragon Age II DLC Legacy).
  • July 23, 2013
    KingZeal
    Adding to the Eternal Darkness example:

    • The other Ancients qualify as well. They're sealed in the great Darkness with only Mantarok to keep them in check. The events of the game involve one of them (actually all of them) using their various pawns, artifacts, and minions to simultaneously get themselves free as well as completely screw over the others.
  • July 23, 2013
    dalek955
    • In Meat Shield the ancient half-dragon demon Disparoxus is imprisoned in a magic seal inside a cave, but if somebody actually comes into the cave and finds the seal he can talk to them, and he gives one guy a medallion the lets him talk and cast spells through it (although he only uses the latter when his dupe outlives his usefulness).
    • The Snarl from The Order Of The Stick was sealed by the gods in a jail that used the entire planet for the lock. However, five rifts have formed in said jail, one of which allowed it to reach through and kill Soon the paladin's wife. Soon's party locked the rifts with impassable gates, but now four of the five gates have been destroyed, and the rifts they covered have grown huge.
    • Anti Heroes has the demigod Arderas, who was imprisoned in a special demiplane by a fiend who used to be his colleague. However, he managed to kill said fiend halfway through, leaving enough gaps in the prison for him to talk to mortals. At the time of the story, that ability had earned him his own city and army.
  • July 23, 2013
    StarSword
    Cleaned up the draft, including fixing the Space Wolf example to match Matt Striker's correction. Also, addition to the Zelda example:

  • July 23, 2013
    Generality
    ^ I don't think that counts. Neither Ganon's nor Zant's powers are leaking into the light world; Zant is invading outright.
  • July 23, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Ok, I'll buy that.
  • July 23, 2013
    Earnest
    See also Evil Is Not A Toy and Made Of Evil.

    Actually, the title makes me think of a tipped over twist-lid jar that's ever-so-slowly leaking evil. ;)

    Comics
    • Shadowpact reveals that the slumbering, highly powerful and very evil sorcerer Dr. Gotham has been sleeping beneath (wait for it) Gotham City for centuries. He inadvertently influenced the city into becoming a crime ridden cesspool with a penchant for attracting costumed lunatics.
  • July 23, 2013
    Stratadrake
    A not-serious title idea: Sealed Evil In A Colander.
  • July 23, 2013
    Knight9910
    @Star Sword: Thanks. I honestly had no clue what to do with the Space Wolf example. ^^;;

    Well, this trope seems to be going along swimmingly. Unless anyone has any objections I think we're good for a launch tomorrow.

    Also, added some more of our examples. Oh, and mentioning an example I added previously:

    • City Of Heroes. The demon Bat'Zul, which was sealed under Cap Au Diable in the Rogue Isles. He was sealed properly, until a Mad Scientist realize he could drain electrical energy from the demon to provide cheap and efficient power to the city... with the small side effect of lightning demons occasionally jumping out of the power lines.
  • July 23, 2013
    immortalfrieza
    In Final Fantasy V, Exdeath spends the first half of the game sealed away by the crystals, but he is still able to command monsters and to mind control some people in order to bring about his release.
  • July 23, 2013
    Knight9910
    Western Animation

    • Mighty Max: Skullmaster spends the first season sealed up inside the Earth's core, but still manages to control his various minions on the surface.
  • July 23, 2013
    StarSword
    @Stratadrake: I call Redirects Are Free on that one, just for the humor value.
  • July 23, 2013
    Koveras
    I wanted to tell you to Just Launch It Already but saw that it still has one day to go. :-/
  • July 23, 2013
    StarSword
    I'm not completely sure on the details of this one since I stopped buying the Naruto manga because Crack Is Cheaper and I honestly didn't find it as interesting as other series, and Shonen Jump ceased paper publication. Feel free to correct me.

    Anime and Manga:
    • Weaponized in Naruto with the Jinchuriki, humans with Pure Magic Beings sealed inside them. For the most part the seal allows a controllable amount of chakra to leak out, letting the Jinchuriki borrow their power, but Naruto's Nine-Tailed Fox in particular is quite malevolent and can take him over if he isn't careful.
  • July 23, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ x 6 @OP/Knight9910: You're still getting lots of examples, so you might want to wait until they die down.

    Film
    • Prince Of Darkness. The Anti-Christ is trapped inside a glass cylinder inside a church. It sprays a liquid at one of the people researching it and takes control of them, then has that person spit the liquid at other people to possess them as well. It also uses Mind Control on street people who live near the church to surround it and trap the researchers inside.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • <Ravenloft example>
      • <Tharizdun example>
      • Module OA6 Ronin Challenge, Episode 6 "Keluh Valley". The powerful being known as the Earth Spider is trapped in the Realm of Mirrors, but it can still communicate with its worshippers in the Keluh Valley. It orders them to look for a woman of the Wood Spirit people so it can marry her and be freed from its prison.
      • Module B3 "Palace of the Silver Princess". Arik (AKA Arik of the Hundred Eyes) is an ancient, evil being of great power. He was banished to a special dimension centuries ago to be imprisoned for all eternity. However, he has managed to send one of his eyes into the campaign world, where it works to open the dimensional barriers and free him from his imprisonment.
    • Champions
      • Organization Book 3 The Blood and Dr. McQuark. Inhuman creatures who are virtually immortal, immensely powerful and hideously evil are trapped inside the Earth. They can contact humans and corrupt them to gain followers, but can't escape on their own.
      • Adventure 4 The Great Super Villain Contest. The Crimson Claw's secret masters once ruled the Earth, but the power that banished them set up barriers to keep them out. The only way they can return is to be summoned by a creature on this side. They have sent the Crimson Claw to provide three devices - the Emerald Eyes of Azog - to the most powerful supervillains. In addition to being able to see through the Eyes, the secret masters can cause them to act as gates to allow powerful demons to enter our reality.

    Like I said. :)
  • July 23, 2013
    Knight9910
    @Koveras: Believe me, if it didn't still have a day to go I'd have already launched. :p

    @Star Sword: I've seen enough of the Naruto anime to know that his Nine-Tailed Fox is totally a proper example of this trope, but as you're not sure about the Jinchuriki and I'm not either, I'll wait a bit before adding that example.
  • July 23, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • In Danny Phantom, Sidney Poindexter's spirit is trapped in an alternate spirit dimension version of 1954 Casper High. The mirror he left behind in his old locker, 724, serves as a portal between the worlds. Poindexter can't normally cross through the mirror portal, but as he witnesses several bullying attempts on the present-day real world side, he is able to use his ghostly power to reverse the bullying and turn it back onto the bullies.
  • July 24, 2013
    Knight9910
    Launched. I could have waited for more examples, but I was tired of having to add them all myself as Rolling Updates. :p Add new examples to the trope page here: Leaking Can Of Evil
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=snbur86g883qiax27vug4228&trope=LeakingCanOfEvil