Created By: KJMackley on October 10, 2012 Last Edited By: Lazarus393 on February 13, 2016
Troped

Skip The Anesthetic

Normally you want to be unconscious for that kind of procedure

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Proposed Index: Medical Horror

There will come a time when you have to undergo surgery or otherwise do not want to feel the pain that is associated with a certain activity. Yet for whatever the circumstances may be you may be forced to skip over the painkillers and endure some very uncomfortable few minutes.

This can be used to indicate that the patient is a Bad Ass, that the situation is dire, or both. Alternately, this can show that the patient Feels No Pain. (If no one knows he doesn't feel pain, he could be going for some cheap Badass points.)

Another variation of this trope is when a character wishes to use an alternative to modern anesthesia. Hypnosis and acupuncture, among other methods, have been used to block pain in Real Life.

This can be Truth in Television. Modern general anesthesia both paralyzes the patient (to hold him still) and blocks pain, there are proven cases where the mix was off and only the first effect occurred. Someone performing Self-Surgery will be limited to local anesthetics at best, and in a Life-or-Limb Decision situation there may not be any painkillers available.

While to be fair, this should be limited to eras/universes where anesthesia is available in the first place, this doesn't limit us by much. The sap of the opium poppy was used by the Minoan civilization, and that's not the only herbal painkiller out there. The painkilling effects of ethanol would also have been known for at least as long.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Gunslinger Girl. Hilshire is wounded carrying out an assassination mission he should have assigned to his cyborg Triela. When Triela discovers this, she flees in tears as she's been conditioned to protect his life at all costs. Hilshire tracks her down and they return to their hotel room, where Triela has to remove the bullet using a pocket knife and no anesthetic, because Hilshire is worried she'll try running away again. Hilshire passes out anyway from the pain and Triela does decide to walk out on him, but barely makes it out the door before having a Love Epiphany.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, the villain's Evil Plan requires vivisecting one of the protagonists. Still, the villain is courteous enough to note that although the victim needs to be alive while their entrails are being pulled out, they don't need to be conscious for this, and offers them a general anesthetic. In the one arc where the victim remembers their previous lives in the "Groundhog Day" Loop, they refuse the anesthetic, hoping that this will burn the villain's face into their memory, so their next incarnation has more time to stop the bad guys (it doesn't really work, however).

Comic Books
  • The Authority: In one issue, The Midnighter had surgery and remained awake for the whole time.
  • Inverted in the Warhammer 40,000 comic Damnation Crusade — a tech-priest says it will be easier to repair a Dreadnought if the occupant remains awake, his superior wants the occupant sedated first. (The occupant agrees with the tech-priest.)
  • The first issue of Invincible Universe sees Robot commissioned to perform surgery on a dying supervillain who also happens to be the host/jailer for a monstrous dragon. In order to keep the dragon from escaping, he is instructed to forgo anesthesia.
  • In Justice League of America: Superpower, as Antaeus' body becomes increasingly cybernetic, he tells the doctors to just skip the anesthesia.

Film
  • The Bourne Series. The Bourne Legacy has Aaron remove a Tracking Device in his hip once he realized he was being targeted as part of The Purge. This is done swiftly out in the Alaskan wilderness and it looked quite painful. It was later established that the "chems" Aaron and the other operatives take are designed to either delude or help them to ignore pain.
  • Subverted in the film version of The Fugitive, as Kimble had to stitch up an injury sustained in the bus crash and was seen sticking in a needle before doing the procedure. It still evokes the trope in how he is performing surgery on himself.
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, Orin, the sadistic dentist, only uses laughing gas for himself.
  • Subverted in The Martian. Mark Watney gives himself local anesthetics, but removes the piece of his biomonitor before they take effect.
  • Tank Girl. Kesslee has lost his arm and suffered severe damage to his face. His doctor offers him a shot to make him comfortable.
    Kesslee: No painkillers. Do I make myself clear, Doctor?
  • Played for Laughs in Jerry Lewis's Cracking Up (aka Smorgasbord: The Movie). Dr. Grassnover Perks (played by Lewis), a sort of Buddhist monk, has a ruptured spleen and needs surgery. On the operating table, he tells the surgeons "No anesthetic," and explains that he will put himself into a deep trance where he will feel no pain. The doctors are incredulous, but ultimately agree. Dr. Perks invokes a silly-sounding Magical Incantation, lies back, and says "You may begin." Of course, the whole thing is subverted when, as soon as the lead surgeon makes the first cut, Perks yells "Ouch! That HURTS!!", and runs around the operating room yowling with pain.
  • In the film adaptation of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World by Universal Studios, young Lord Blakeney takes severe damage to his right arm during the first skirmish between the French ship Acheron and the British Surprise. This injury necessitates amputation, done while Lord Blakeney is conscious and aware, no anesthetic at all. The patient can only bite upon a wooden rod wrapped with leather while the ship's surgeon saws through his humerus.

Literature
  • In the first book of the Sword of Truth series, Kahlan is given some leaves to chew while she is having her wound treated. Upon learning it's an anesthetic, she spits the leaves out - the nature of her powers makes any loss of control too risky.
  • In Tom Clancy's The Cardinal of the Kremlin, the state trooper who was shot refuses pain medications to stay conscious and inform his superiors about his shooters and the hostage in the backseat.
  • In The Stars My Destination, after Gully and Jisbella escape from prison, they go to a Back-Alley Doctor to have his Embarrassing Tattoo bleached from his face so that he's less recognizable by the authorities. Since the two have just had a nasty argument, she puts up money for the procedure but not the anesthetic. Eventually though, she can't stand his pain and gives in and pays the extra money.
  • In the Ender's Game's P.O.V. Sequel Ender's Shadow'', the villainous Achilles is granted surgery to fix his lame leg. Achilles has a pathological need to always appear strong, so he insists that the doctor not give him anesthetic, but she refuses. So for putting him out so she could mend his leg, Achilles kills her.
  • Happens in Rocket Boys when Sonny cuts his wrist open on some scrap metal and almost bleeds to death. At first he accepts the doctor's offer to give him a shot before the stitches, until he's told that his father didn't take any after being hurt in the mine. Sonny instantly changes his mind once the needle goes in and screams "Deaden it! Deaden it!" but the doctor cheerfully says that it's too late.
  • Lensman: Played with in Gray Lensman. Kinnison has barely survived torture and needs radical surgery. He offers to just keep his mental nerve block up, but the doctors convince him that he needs to be out cold due to possible psychological trauma from what they'll have to do to him. Then the anesthesia only blocks the pain and leaves Kinnison conscious. Worsel has to be brought into the operating room to put Kinnison under via mental powers.
  • In Derek Robinson's WW2 air epic Piece of Cake, Squadron-Leader Rex refuses anesthetic because he feels he cannot be spared from the air war over France. He does not want to be sidelined with a woozy head and unfit to fly. The medical officer then sighs and tells him to hold on tight, as he removes a lot of German shrapnel from Rex's back and buttock muscle. Far from taking time out to recover, Rex then goes back in the air having demanded a stimulant drug to keep him awake and alert.
  • In Cheaper by the Dozen, Dad decides to have his tonsils out with only a local anesthetic to show the children that they're being wimps. He winds up coming home in bad shape.

Live Action TV
  • In Stargate Atlantis, when they first met Ronon he revealed he had a tracking chip at the base of his brain stem that the Wraith used to track him down for sport. As he didn't trust the others, he insisted Dr. Beckett perform fairly intense surgery with him awake, sitting up and holding his gun. Subverts the norm as he passed out from the pain once the chip was removed.
  • An episode of Burn Notice had Michael with a bullet in the back from an assassin trying to kill him. It was from a ricochet and wasn't deep but still hurt like hell. As he didn't want to have to explain it to a hospital he had his brother fish it out, and the narration brings up that he had to deal with third world medicine before.
  • Game of Thrones. "Kissed by Fire" When Qyburn tells him there will be "pain" when he cleanses Jaime Lannister's amputated stump, Jaime simply says "I'll scream". When Qyburn rephrases it to "quite a bit of pain", Jaime replies "I'll scream loudly".
    • In this case, Jaime doesn't trust the person working on him, and wants to remain undrugged to keep an eye on the situation.
  • Dollhouse. Adelle DeWitt at the end of "A Spy in the House of Love" when she's getting a gunshot wound stitched up by Dr Saunders. It's implied she's punishing herself for trusting Laurence Dominic, who turned out to be an NSA mole.
  • M*A*S*H
    • Col. Flagg of the CID insists on going into surgery without anesthetic because if he's knocked out he might inadvertently talk, and nobody at the unit is cleared to hear any of the state secrets he might accidentally divulge.
    • In another episode a Turk and a Greek soldier are both at the 4077th at the same time trying to out-stoic one another, refusing anesthetic after a fight at Rosie's bar.
      Turkish soldier: What's this?
      BJ: Something to kill the pain while I fix your leg.
      Turkish Soldier: I am Turk. I not need that.
      Greek Soldier: If Turk no need, Greek no need.
  • In one episode of Scrubs Turk is asked to perform surgery on a patient that is under hypnosis. Turk is reluctant, but eventually does it.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Gunfighters", the Doctor passes up the offer of anesthetic from Doc Holliday when having his tooth pulled. Of course, his options were a slug of whiskey or a rap on the noggin with a pistol.
  • NYPD Blue: Andy, who is a recovering alcoholic, has prostate cancer. When they try to do a CAT scan on him he has a possible heart attack due to a reaction to the dye they inject him with and they take him to the ER. He is given morphine for the pain. He rejects it at first but is convinced that it's necessary in this case. Later, after he has surgery to remove his prostate, Andy is given a button to dose himself with painkillers. He keeps it "in reserve" again due to his addiction.
  • Bonanza: In "Second Chance", Little Joe is shot with an arrow and the arrowhead needs to be cut out. When the doc offers him some booze before the operation, Little Joe declines the offer: "I don't need anything like that." He passes out during the procedure, but it still comes across very manly.
  • In one episode of Nip/Tuck, Christian's nose is broken by his latest paramour, requiring surgery to fix it, but is concerned that his partner Sean might botch the surgery. Christian requests that the doctors only give him topical anesthesia so that he can talk Sean through the procedure.
  • In the Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories episode "Tornado", Father Krang's punishment for Matt Peters' excessive discharge is castration. Krang sees it fair to have the procedure performed while Matt is fully conscious. Learning this prompts Matt to emit a Stock Scream as the operators get started.
  • In The Walking Dead season three episode 'Killer Within' Maggie is forced, due to the bad timing of the walker breach and Lori going into labour, to perform a caesarian on Lori without any anaesthetic available.

Newspaper Comics
  • Subverted in one Garfield strip where Jon is talking about his uncle, "Tough Bob", who once had surgery without anesthetic. After that, everyone called him "Screaming Bob".

Video Games
  • Played for laughs in Team Fortress 2's Meet the Medic vid. The Medic is trying out an experimental new surgery on The Heavy, while keeping him alive and awake using the medigun.
    Heavy: Should I be awake for this?
    Medic: Well... no. But as long as you are, could you hold your ribcage open a bit?
  • In Quake IV, the process of Stroggification involves the subject's limbs being cut off and cybernetic replacements being grafted on in place. The Strogg don't bother to anaesthetise the victims of this process, they just give them an extra-large dose of steroids to increase their chance of surviving the procedure.
  • In Mass Effect 3, a video log in Cerberus's HQ reveals that The Illusive Man is undergoing some kind of surgical procedure to give him reaper-esque "upgrades" and he specifically requests "no anaesthetics."

Web Original

Western Animation
  • In Transformers Prime Megatron stole the arm of an ancient, unnamed Prime and had it replace his own arm. When Knock-Out prepared to induce stasis (as Cybertronians feel pain like any other organism) Megatron refused, claiming he wanted to bask in the power he was about to receive.
  • Referenced by Cotton Hill in King of the Hill in the story of how he and Deedee met. While at a VA hospital, Cotton tells the patient next to him:
    I don't take no anesthetic. Did Lincoln ask for girly gas when they blow'd his head off?
  • Towards the end of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "For Here or to Go", Plankton actually succeeds in getting a krabby patty thanks to the Bogus Business Bureau, however, Mr. Krabs forces him to swallow it in the Krusty Krab, which the BBB allows. After Plankton swallows it, he runs back to the Chum Bucket as fast as he can and orders Karen to perform surgery on him right away to get it out of his stomach. Karen asks Plankton if she should apply anesthetic first, but Plankton tells her there isn't time for that, as they have to get the patty out before it's digested. Even with the anesthetic skip, the krabby patty is already half-digested, much to the horror of the customers who tried to order krabby patties from the Chum Bucket.

Real Life
  • During the Napoleonic Wars, a lot of amputations were conducted without anesthetic even though both alcohol and opium were available. Part of the reason was that it was considered unmanly.
  • Advocates of natural childbirth prefer to use breathing exercises, massage, and hypnosis to manage labor pains, instead of painkilling drugs.
  • According to at least one biographer, Adolf Hitler absolutely refused anesthesia because of a fear of losing control - that whoever ran Germany while the Fuhrer was under might like it so much he'd refuse to give the Reich back. He underwent complex dental treatment without sedation. His dentist remarked that the pain must have been excruciating, but Hitler withstood it without flinching.

Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • October 10, 2012
    Astaroth
    Heavy: Should I be awake for this?
    Medic: Well... no. But as long as you are, could you hold your ribcage open a bit?

    • In Quake IV, the process of Stroggification involves the subject's limbs being cut off and cybernetic replacements being grafted on in place. The Strogg don't bother to anaesthetise the victims of this process, they just give them an extra-large dose of steroids to increase their chance of surviving the procedure.
  • October 10, 2012
    Chabal2
    • Subverted in one Garfield strip where Jon is talking about his uncle, "Tough Bob", who once had surgery without anesthetic. After that, everyone called him "Screaming Bob".
    • The Midnighter once had surgery while remaining awake the whole time.
  • October 11, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In Little Shop Of Horrors, Orville, the sadistic dentist, only uses laughing gas for himself.
  • January 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • MASH
      • Col. Flagg of the CID insists on going into surgery without anesthetic because if he's knocked out he might inadvertantly talk, and nobody at the unit is cleared to hear any of the state secrets he might accidentally divulge.
      • In another episode a Turk and a Greek soldier are both at the 4077th at the same time trying to out-stoic one another, refusing anesthetic after a fight at Rosie's bar.
        Turkish soldier: What's this?
        BJ: Something to kill the pain while I fix your leg.
        Turkish Soldier: I am Turk. I not need that.
        Greek Soldier: If Turk no need, Greek no need.
  • January 10, 2013
    reub2000
    • In one episode of Scrubs Turk is asked to perform surgery on a patient that is under hypnosis. Turk is reluctant to do this, but eventually does it.
  • January 10, 2013
    valbinooo
    In Mass Effect 3, a video log in Cerberus's HQ reveals that The Illusive Man is undergoing some kind of surgical procedure to give him reaper-esque "upgrades and he specifically requests "no anaesthetics."
  • January 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Tank Girl. Kesslee has lost his arm and suffered severe damage to his face. His doctor offers him a shot to make him comfortable.
    Kesslee: No painkillers. Do I make myself clear, Doctor?
  • January 11, 2013
    Stratadrake
    To me, the other phrase for this that comes to mind is Bite The Bullet.
  • January 11, 2013
    jatay3
    In the Napoleonic Wars, a lot of amputatations were conducted without anesthetic even though both alchohol and opium were available. Part of the reason was that it was considered unmanly.
  • January 11, 2013
    robinjohnson
    ^^^^^^ The dentist's name in Little Shop Of Horrors is Orin (at least in the stage musical.)
  • January 11, 2013
    foxley
    Doctor Who: In "The Gunfighters", the Doctor passes up the offer of anaesthetic from Doc Holliday when having his tooth pulled. Of course, his options where a slug of whiskey or a rap on the noggin with a pistol.
  • July 23, 2013
    Odon
    • Game Of Thrones. "Kissed by Fire" When Qyburn tells him there will be "pain" when he cleanses Jaime Lannister's amputated stump, Jaime simply says "I'll scream". When Qyburn rephrases it to "quite a bit of pain", Jaime replies "I'll scream loudly".
    • Dollhouse. Adelle DeWitt at the end of "A Spy in the House of Love" when she's getting a gunshot wound stitched up by Dr Saunders. It's implied she's punishing herself for trusting Laurence Dominic, who turned out to be an NSA mole.
  • July 23, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    • Inverted in the Warhammer 40 K comic Damnation Crusade: a techpriest suggests that the repairs to a Dreadnought could go a lot smoother if they were done while the occupant is still awake. His superior angrily rebuffs him, stating that he's more than earned his rest, and deactivates the Dreadnought before the repairs begin.

  • July 24, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Needs italics, proper formatting and sectioning.
  • July 24, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Western Animation
    • Referenced by Cotton Hill in King Of The Hill in the story of how he and Deedee met. While at a VA hospital, Cotton tells the patient next to him:
      I don't take no anesthetic. Did Lincoln ask for girly gas when they blow'd his head off?
  • July 24, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ Done. Also Name Spaced a couple of examples.
  • September 6, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    I think it's safe to say this is up for grabs.
  • September 7, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • In the film adaptation of Master And Commander The Far Side Of The World by Universal Studios, young Lord Blakeney takes severe damage to his right arm during the first skirmish between the larger French Acheron and the smaller British Surprise. This injury necessitates amputation, done while Lord Blakeney is conscious and aware, no anesthetic at all. The patient can only bite upon a wooden rod wrapped with leather while the ship's surgeon saws through his humerus.
  • September 7, 2013
    DAN004
    Subtrope is Self Surgery: examples of which often performed in a hurry and thus skipping the anesthetic.
  • September 7, 2013
    Omeganian
    Literature
    • In the first book of The Sword Of Truth series, Kahlan is given some leaves to chew while she is having her wound treated. Upon learning it's an anesthetic, she spits the leaves out - the nature of her powers makes any loss of control too risky.

    Web Original
    • In The Salvation War, humans are using anesthetics when treating demons. They are forced to cheat in order to do so, since demons don't like anything that can imply them being weak.
  • September 7, 2013
    Melkior
    I know that there are Real Life examples of this. Some people who are particularly adept at self-hypnosis have used that ability to "distract" themselves during surgery so that they felt no pain even while wide awake. A similar effect is possible for dental surgery. See Hypnosurgery on Wikipedia.
  • October 30, 2013
    Odon
    • Gunslinger Girl. Hilshire is wounded carrying out an assassination mission he should have assigned to his cyborg Triela. When Triela discovers this, she flees in tears as she's been conditioned to protect his life at all costs. Hilshire tracks her down and they return to their hotel room, where Triela has to remove the bullet using a pocket knife and no anesthetic, because Hilshire is worried she'll try running away again. Hilshire passes out anyway from the pain and Triela does decide to walk out on him, but barely makes it out the door before having a Love Epiphany.
  • October 30, 2013
    robbulldog
    Literature
    • In Tom Clancy's The Cardinal of the Kremlin, the state trooper who was shot refuses pain medications to stay conscious and inform his superiors about his shooters and the hostage in the backseat.
  • October 28, 2015
    falcon2484
    Films
    • Played For Laughs in Jerry Lewis's Cracking Up (aka Smorgasbord: The Movie). Dr. Grassnover Perks (played by Lewis), a sort of Buddhist monk, has a ruptured spleen and needs surgery. On the operating table, he tells the surgeons "No anesthetic," and explains that he will put himself into a deep trance where he will feel no pain. The doctors are incredulous, but ultimately agree. Dr. Perks invokes a silly-sounding Magical Incantation, lies back, and says "You may begin." Of course, the whole thing is subverted when, as soon as the lead surgeon makes the first cut, Perks yells "Ouch! That HURTS!!", and runs around the operating room yowling with pain.
  • October 28, 2015
    bitemytail
    Deos this include if someone would want anesthetic for the procedure but isn't given it (like in a Strapped To An Operating Table environment)?
  • October 28, 2015
    DAN004
    Sometimes Self Surgery involves this.
  • October 28, 2015
    Hodor2
    • In The Stars My Destination, after Gully and Jisbella escape from prison, they go to a Back Alley Doctor to have his Embarrassing Tattoo bleached from his face so that he's less recognizable by the authorities. Since the two have just had a nasty argument, she puts up money for the procedure but not the anesthetic. Eventually though, she can't stand his pain and gives in and pays the extra money.
  • October 28, 2015
    Chabal2
    Damnation Crusade: As Tankred (a Dreadnought) is being repaired after a battle, the Techmarine realizes that the painkillers aren't being delivered due to damage. As he tells his assistants to increase the dose, Tankred wakes up and refuses the anesthetic, telling him to get on with it.
  • October 28, 2015
    Koveras
    • In Higurashi When They Cry, the villain's Evil Plan requires vivisecting one of the protagonists. Still, the villain is courteous enough to note that although the victim needs to be alive while their entrails are being pulled out, they don't need to be conscious for this, and offers them a general anesthesia. In the one arc where the victim remembers their previous lives in the Groundhog Day Loop, they refuse the anesthetic, hoping that this will burn the villain's face into their memory, so their next incarnation has more time to stop the bad guys (it doesn't really work, however).
  • October 29, 2015
    Arivne
  • October 29, 2015
    robinjohnson
    Should this include historical or low-tech fantasy examples (e.g. the Game of Thrones example) where anaesthetic doesn't exist anyway?
  • October 30, 2015
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Western Animation
    • Towards the end of the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode, "For Here or to Go", Plankton actually succeeds in getting a krabby patty thanks to the Bogus Business Bureau, however, Mr. Krabs forces him to swallow it in the Krusty Krab, which the BBB allows. After Plankton swallows it, he runs back to the Chum Bucket as fast as he can and orders Karen to perform surgery on him right away to get it out of his stomach. Karen asks Plankton if she should apply anesthetic first, but Plankton tells her there isn't time for that, as they have to get the patty out before it's digested. Even with the anesthetic skip, Karen does get the krabby patty out, but it is already half-digested, much to the horror of the customers who tried to order krabby patties from the Chum Bucket.
  • October 30, 2015
    HeroGal2347
    A possible variation: In Cheaper By The Dozen, Dad decides to have his tonsils out with only a local anesthetic to show the children that they're being wimps. He winds up coming home in bad shape.
  • October 30, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • The first issue of Invincible Universe sees Robot commissioned to perform surgery on a dying supervillain who also happens to be the host/jailer for a monstrous dragon. In order to keep the dragon from escaping, he is instructed to forgo anesthesia.
    • In Justice League Of America: Superpower, as Antaeus' body becomes increasingly cybernetic, he tells the doctors to just skip the anesthesia.

    Live Action TV
    • In one episode of Nip Tuck, Christian's nose is broken by his latest paramour, requiring surgery to fix it, but is concerned that his partner Sean might botch the surgery, and thus requests that the doctors only give him topical anesthesia so that he can talk Sean through the procedure.
  • November 1, 2015
    Siri_und_Nana
    In the episode "Second Chance" of Bonanza, Little Joe is shot with an arrow and the arrowhead needs to be cut out. When the doc offers him some booze before the operation, Little Joe declines the offer: "I don't need anything like that." He passes out during the procedure, but it still comes across very manly.
  • November 1, 2015
    AgProv
    Literature
    • In Derek Robinson's WW2 air epic Piece of Cake, Squadron-Leader Rex refuses anaesthetic because he feels he cannot be spared from the air war over France. He does not want to be sidelined with a woozy head and unfit to fly. The medical officer then sighs tells him to hold on tight, as he removes a lot of German shrapnel from Rex's back and buttock muscle. Far from taking time out to recover, Rex then goes back in the air having demanded a stimulant drug to keep him awake and alert.
  • November 1, 2015
    AgProv
    Real Life
    • According to at least one biographer, Adolf Hitler absolutely refused anaesthesia because of a fear of losing control - that wehoever ran Germany while the Fuhrer was under might like it so much he'd refuse to give the Reich back. He underwent complex dental treatment without sedation. His dentist remarked that the pain must have been excruciating, but Hitler withstood it without flinching.
  • November 1, 2015
    Koveras
    This one needs Rolling Updates badly, but the OP seems to have gone AWOL...
  • November 1, 2015
    sablesword
    Literature

    • Played with in the Lensman novel Gray Lensman. When Kinnison has to undergo radical surgery after being tortured (and then barely escaping with his life), he at first states that he'll just keep holding his mental nerve block against the pain. But he's convinced to let the doctors first apply physical anesthesia (which only numbs his body) and then to let Worsel use mental powers to render him unconscious.
  • November 2, 2015
    eowynjedi
    Lit:
    • Happens in Rocket Boys when Sonny cuts his wrist open on some scrap metal and almost bleeds to death. At first he accepts the doctor's offer to give him a shot before the stitches, until he's told that his father didn't take any after being hurt in the mine. Sonny instantly changes his mind once the needle goes in and screams "Deaden it! Deaden it!" but the doctor cheerfully says that it's too late.
  • November 3, 2015
    Tuckerscreator
    • In the Enders Game's POV Sequel Ender's Shadow, the villainous Achilles is granted surgery to fix his lame leg. Achilles has a pathological need to always appear strong, so he insists that the doctor not give him anesthetic, but she refuses. So for putting him out so she could mend his leg, Achilles kills her.
  • November 4, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Does post-surgery painkillers count?
    • NYPD Blue: Andy, who is a recovering alcoholic, has prostate cancer. When they try to do a CAT scan on him he has a possible heart attack due to a reaction to the dye they inject him with and they take him to the ER. He is given morphine for the pain. He rejects it at first but is convinced that it's necessary in this case. Later, after he has surgery to remove his prostate, Andy is given a button to dose himself with painkillers. He keeps it "in reserve" again due to his addiction.
  • November 7, 2015
    aurora369
    An addition to the Game of Thrones example, explaining why Jaime does not want the knockout potion: he is afraid that Qyburn is going to shorten his arm stump further or remove the arm altogether, making it useless even for installing a prosthesis. Thus he wants to be able to watch and control the process.
  • November 10, 2015
    dalek955
  • November 10, 2015
    DrNoPuma
    Great trope, but there's one sentence in the description that really bugs me due to grammar issues: "If they already Feels No Pain then this might not be as big a deal."

    Maybe you could make it something like "If you're dealing with a character who normally Feels No Pain, then this might not be as big of a deal."
  • November 10, 2015
    DAN004
    Again, mention Self Surgery too.
  • November 10, 2015
    dalek955
    • In The Salvation War, Memnon refuses to be put to sleep when the surgeons are amputating his ruined wings so he can grow new ones, because a mighty demon such as himself fears no pain. The medics agree and then cheerfully drug him anyway.
  • January 20, 2016
    Antigone3
    Tweaked the description and got a start on moving examples, I'll finish later.

    Question: We have two comments referring to Damnation Crusade that contradict each other. Was the Dreadnought sedated or not?
  • January 20, 2016
    Snicklin
  • January 21, 2016
    Antigone3
    Anything else we need before launch?
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