[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/StarWars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Emperor_Bzzt_5666.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:345:Who ordered the medium-rare Jedi?]]

->''"It's called the Agony Matrix. Direct neuro-stimulation of pain receptors... All of them. Imagine the worst pain you have ever felt in your life times a thousand. Now imagine that pain continuing forever.\\
...Oh, that's right. You don't have to imagine."''
-->-- '''{{Darkseid}}''', ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' -- "[[GrandFinale Destroyer]]"

There's a special place in the heart of SciFi and {{Fantasy}} geeks for the Agony Beam, usually because it's carved that chunk out of our collective heart and crawled into the resultant cavity. Despite being an old school staple that's used to the brink of [[DeadHorseTrope cliche]] and [[UndeadHorseTrope back]], it still sees widespread use and continues to serve a useful purpose: causing PG-rated pain on victims, much like an evil version of StunGuns.

Along with its big brother the DeathRay, the Agony Beam is a staple in the armoury/spellbook of every EvilOverlord and EvilSorcerer worth their salt. It is the Swiss Army Knife of a villain's arsenal: at low levels it enforces obedience when defiant prisoners are ordered to KneelBeforeZod, it [[VillainousDemotivator serves as punishment]] for [[SurroundedByIdiots incompetent minions]] in place of [[YouHaveFailedMe more lethal measures]], and prolonged use or higher settings work as a (bloodless) [[ColdBloodedTorture torture]] method, and when in excessive use or high power settings it can drive one mad or outright kill the victim. Usually it's depicted as a beam that emanates either from a gemmed ring, a staff, a ray gun, or even a miniature lightning storm. This last one works wonderfully as part of the lightshow when the villain gets DrunkOnTheDarkSide. When the victim is a major character, the Agony Beam is usually accompanied by EvilGloating.

As mentioned earlier, the Agony Beam is rated PG. This is because, like the DeathRay, it's very "clean", leaves no [[ScarsAreForever scars]], and is much less {{squick}}y than [[ColdBloodedTorture comparable]] [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique torture tropes]] while being [[WeHaveWaysOfMakingYouTalk just as effective]]. Like ElectricTorture, the lack of physical injury means the hero will be able to continue in the plot once it's over. That said, authors can turn it UpToEleven and cause such unbearable levels of agony that it can [[EmptyShell break the victim's mind]]. All things considered, even at low settings the Agony Beam is the moral equivalent of a [[KickTheDog Dog Kicking Ray]], a fact usually reinforced by the wielder [[EvilFeelsGood getting off on using it]]. It's not going to be just rated ''G'' because... well...it'd be a pretty dark prospect for little kids.

When turned on a hero, they will demonstrate their [[HeroicResolve mettle]] by ''not'' bending knee until it's at least two settings higher than necessary. Of course, at one point you can expect the villain to have their weapon [[HoistByHisOwnPetard turned against them]] (usually thanks to [[MirrorsReflectEverything mirrors]] and/or [[ReflectingLaser silver trays]]) and [[ScreamsLikeALittleGirl do much less well.]]

Closely related to ElectricTorture. The "Increase the intensity!" sample conversation there applies for this too. May be part of a RoboticTortureDevice's arsenal. If used in a device attached to keep someone compliant, it becomes a ShockCollar.
Can be a cause of ImHavingSoulPains.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/MazingerZ'' and ''Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}'', the villainous Baron Ashura often uses this, in the form of a staff that shoots a blast of (usually) non-lethal electricity. [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Dr. Hell]] also uses an identical staff to punish Ashura when he/she/it screws up (or a device on his belt also shoots one).
* The manga and anime ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' brings us Tsukuyomi, a Genjutsu that is instantly cast and lets you live through 72 hours of intense mental/physical pain in a couple of seconds. Both victims in the first part of Naruto were out for a couple of weeks and needed the best medic the Narutoverse has to heal them. In the second part the BigBad wants to use it on the world.
** Tsukuyomi isn't automatically painful; the user can subject the victim to whatever he feels like, but torture is the typical choice. Itachi has used it to show his own memories to another person, while the BigBad intends to [[spoiler:use it for MindControl instead, by casting it ''permanently'' on everyone.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** Freed Justine writes magic runes that inflict a variety of effects, including "Pain" and "Suffering" runes.
** Kyouka can magnify her target's senses, so that no matter how tough they are, they ''will'' be screaming in agony.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The Slave King often uses this in FanFic/TheGreatSlaveKing on anyone who has particularly displeased him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the movie adaptation of ''Film/TheCrow'', Eric defeats the Big Bad with this trope by [[spoiler:Agony Beaming his fiancée's experience of being gang raped, beaten and dying from her injuries over 30 hours later into the Big Bad, rendering the Big Bad incapacitated and vulnerable to the final death-dealing blow.]]
* Emperor Ming in the 1980s ''Film/FlashGordon'' movie used this on Flash several times. Ming had a much less impressive looking version back in the [[Film/FlashGordonSerial 1940 serial]].
* ''SantaClausConquersTheMartians'' gives us the Tickle Ray. If the Agony Beam is PG torture, the Tickle Ray is G torture.
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', Dark Helmet punishes an insubordinate mook by using his Schwarz ring to produce an agony beam that is [[GroinAttack directed at a particularly sensitive part]] of the mook's body. The anticipation of him doing this again becomes a RunningGag among the other Spaceballs.
* Sith in ''Franchise/StarWars'' use Force Lightning both as an all purpose offensive weapon and as a means of torture. The Expanded Universe has a rather nasty example: Chiss weapon, the Charric; it has 3 settings: Kill, Burn and PAIN! Guess which one doubles as stun.
* ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'''s Leviathan likes to shoot people with an agony beam.
* In ''Fortress'', when prisoners arrive at the Fortress (a giant underground prison), the last part of the processing involves the prisoners being forced to swallow a device called an "intestinator", which acts as an Agony Beam if they break the rules. For more severe infractions, it explodes.
* ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'': "Are you a god?" "....no." "THEN DIIIEEE!" :zaaaaaaaaaaap: Clearly Gozer was pulling her punches here; since it mostly just knocked them down, almost blowing them off the roof of the apartment complex. According to the {{novelization}}, the proton packs absorbed most of the energy and nearly overloaded as a result.
** The second film had Vigo disabling the team with a paralyzing (and painful) attack, which he could dial up to a full Agony Beam.
* Inverted in {{Barbarella}}, Queen of the Galaxy: villain Duran Duran tortures the heroine by hooking her into a device which plays her sexual responses like organ pipes, the goal being to orgasm her to death. Barbarella being [[TooKinkyToTorture Barbarella]], it doesn't work.
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', the "machine" isn't so much a ''beam'' as it is a [[BuffySpeak life-sucky thingy]], but since it causes intense pain to the victims at various settings, it qualifies as the trope.
* Another "life-sucky thingy" is whatever the MCP uses to de-rez (kill) errant programs in ''{{Tron}}''. First, we see it used on Clu, then we see Dumont and other elderly (presumably user-interface) programs being put through the same torture.
* Kalgan of ''SpaceMutiny'' has a device he uses to torture the heroine that he claims is modeled on "ancient" dentistry equipment. He shoots a laser at one of her teeth. Doesn't seem to bother her very much, and the laser actually makes the same noise as a dentist's drill.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_II_%28film%29 Genesis II]]''. The mutants have devices that inflict pain by touch. The devices can be set to deliver various level of pain, from a mild correction up to incapacitation.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', where Marty, posing as an evil alien, [[InvokedTrope invokes]] this trope using a Walkman and a VanHalen tape. Surprisingly, the victim didn't notice the headset over his ears, but it's safe to assume he was distracted by the yellow-suited figure threatening to melt his brain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''[[EndersGame Speaker For The Dead]]''
** Specifically, the field surrounds the small colony on Lusitania, preventing anyone from trying to climb over the fence (most colonists are forbidden from interacting with the native Pequeninos). It's later revealed that the Pequeninos can chew a certain herb that temporarily makes them immune to the pain (or rather, they still sense the pain but perceive it as happening to someone else). When [[spoiler:Miro]] attempts to follow suit, he finds out that the herb doesn't work on humans and nearly dies. While the colonists do shut off the power to the field (which is treason as far as the Starways Congress is concerned), [[spoiler:Miro]] still suffers a stroke that leaves [[spoiler:him]] unable to speak properly.
* The neuronic whip in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' universe. This leads to a rather warped conversation in ''FoundationAndEarth''; while exploring the titular planet, the protagonists are attacked by mutated dogs. Trevize's DisintegratorRay is almost useless, as the dogs appear to have no survival instincts and continue their assault no matter how many of them die. But when Bliss hits them with the whip, they scatter. As Asimov considered violence to be perverse, even in self-defense, this is something of an AccidentalAesop.
-->'''Bliss''': ''With a blaster, Trevize, a dog merely disappears. The rest may be surprised, but not frightened. ...The neuronic whip is different. It inflicts pain, and a dog in pain emits cries of a kind that are well understood by other dogs...''
* Jane from ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' had something like this.
* The Cruciatus Curse in Creator/JKRowling's ''Literature/HarryPotter'' [[{{Potterverse}} universe]], which is used to torture several characters, and to drive at least two incurably insane.
* In ''{{Dune}}'', the Reverend Mother tests Paul Atreides's humanity with a box that directly stimulates the pain receptors in Paul's hand. She also holds a poisoned needle that will kill him if he withdraws the hand from the box. The logic is that a lesser creature will simply react to the pain and die from the poison, while an intelligent one will be able to override the instinct and save itself. Paul does not know this until he is told to withdraw his hand from the box, however, and what he ''thinks'' is happening to his hand is described in gory, most definitely not PG-rated detail.
** Something similar happens in ''Film/{{Phantasm}}''.
** Another ''{{Dune}}'' device is mentioned in passing, "pain amplifiers" that presumably make conventional torture that bit more effective with no greater risk of death.
** In the miniseries, the box also appears to be transparent and shows his hand searing from the heat. It's actually just a hologram meant to amplify the psychological effect.
* Inverted -- but oddly horribly -- in Larry Niven's ''KnownSpace'' stories with the tasp. The tasp doesn't stimulate pain; it stimulates ''pleasure'', simultaneously being just as incapacitating as pain and threatening a victim with permanent addiction.
** In the Known Space book ''Destiny's Forge'', the Patriarch's Telepath projects a ''void'' beam: a loss of sensation so horrible you'll beat your brains out on the ground just so you can ''FEEL SOMETHING''. And the Norn's cane in "A World Out Of Time", which inflicts despair on the recipient that makes them want to end their life more than anything in the world. Naturally, it's only used as a torture device when the victim is well restrained.
** In ''Ringworld Engineers'', Louis reveals to Chmee that someone once hit him with a tasp. Later, this caused Louis to become a "wirehead", addicted to a wire plugged in his head to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.
* The Agiel in Creator/TerryGoodkind's ''SwordOfTruth'' series is a magical stick used by the [[TheBaroness Mord-Sith]] to inflict pain on anyone it touches. The Agiel also hurts the Mord-Sith if it's the same one she was 'trained' with, but they're conditioned to withstand the pain. It is fatal, however, if it touches anywhere near the heart. There's also Wizard's Pain.
** Mord-Sith even use the Agiel during ''sex''. Mistress Denna, the main torturer in the first book, tells the protagonist she has never had intercourse without it.
** In the ''LegendOfTheSeeker'' TV series based on the books, [[BigBad Darken Rahl]] has also conditioned himself to withstand the pain of an Agiel. In one scene, he makes out with Denna while touching her with one.
* SergeyLukyanenko's novel ''LineOfDelirium'' starts with the main character being killed by an algopistol, a weapon that causes all nerves in his body to simultaneously transmit extreme pain signals to the brain. Normally, the person dies of shock. It is unclear if the main character died from shock or from bleeding out, as his thrashing caused him to cut him his body on some super-thin webbing. He gets better.
** The algopistol is specifically referred to as a weapon for losers.
* Particularly effective one in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' that also had an opposite number feature built into the device. The idea was, that while pain was a good form of torture, a better method was to cause pain, then an overwhelming happiness, than quickly turn it back to pain to break the victim faster. Rachel considered it's use on Tobias one of the worst things that was done in the war.
** Another book described how the Yeerk Dracon Beams were descended from Andalite Shredder weapons, but were altered to cause as much pain as possible. Shredder weapons set to full power vaporize targets almost instantly and painlessly. Dracon Beams set to full vaporize victims slowly enough that they can feel their molecules explode.
*** FridgeLogic: How did they know that if the weapon itself tears apart molecules? A survivor would be in too much pain to tell the difference between the two anyway...
**** Presumuably if you hit someone with a Shredder they vaporize instantly, and if you hit someone with a Dracon you can hear them scream for a few seconds.
* The agony booth and the agonizer are a feature of ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s "Mirror Universe" first introduced in the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror." In the Creator/DianeDuane novel ''Dark Mirror,'' the crew of the ''Enterprise-D'' confront their mirror universe counterparts. In the mirror universe, Troi's role as [[PoliticalOfficer "ship's counselor"]] involves her using the agony booth a lot and the crew's agonizers take the place of combadges. It's even pointed out how the "old" agonizers were inefficient, brute instruments while the modern version is specifically designed to attack the wearer's most sensitive nerves.
** In the [[Literature/StarTrekShatnerverse Shatnerverse]], the mirror Kirk explains how he eliminated his universe's Pavel Chekov after he found out that he had plotted to assassinate him. He threw him into an agony booth, set it to medium intensity, as a "showcase of [his] leniency". He described it thusly: "Think of a dull toothache throughout your bodyJ in every part. Bearable, but most uncomfortable. And then I kept Pavel in it. It took thirteen days for him to die." (Preserver, 2000)
* ''[[StainlessSteelRat The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell]]'' features a device called a 'bioclast', used on recalcitrant workers by an evil mine supervisor. Its effect is described by the protagonist/narrator ans feeling "like the flesh had been sliced to the bone and boiling acid poured into the wound".
* In the ''Literature/LogansRun'' novel, the Sandmen carried a Gun that fired a "Homer", which homed in on the target and, on impact, stimulated every pain nerve in the body before killing the victim. It was the primary deterrent against Runners: If you turn yourself in for Deep Sleep on Lastday, you'll be put to death by pleasurable gas, but if you Run, you'll suffer the Homer.
* In ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'', it's shown that very skilled ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' witches like Granny Weatherwax can take the pain of an ailing patient out of their body and transfer it to somewhere else. ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight'' shows that, if push comes to shove, that somewhere else could be some''one'' else.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' has a ''lot'' of examples of this. In addition to the Force Lightning featured at the top of the page, there are neuronic whips, the nerve disruptor which was a quite literal agony beam, and the scan grid used by Darth Vader on Han Solo and later improved by Imperial Director Ysanne Isard.
* In Creator/AlastairReynolds's ''RevelationSpace'' universe, this is a preferred method of torturing a Conjoiner; since Conjoiners can use their neural implants to block all physical pain, the only way to guarantee that they'll feel pain is by directly communicating it to their brains.
* In ''Literature/RogueSorcerer'', Sorcerers are shown commanding demons to wrack their enemies with terrible pain.
* In the BizarroUniverse ''TransformersShatteredGlass'', the Autobots have the Agonizing Rehabilitation Chambers, (inspired by both the healing CR Chambers from ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' and the agony booths from ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s MirrorUniverse ) which [[BadBoss Optimus]] uses to dole out punishment to anyone he's not happy with.
* A form of this is used on Winston in the Ministry of Love in ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour''.
* In AndreNorton's ''Storm Over Literature/{{Warlock}}'', Shann's first test is being trapped in the memory of a bully using an agony whip on him. Despite the pain of the first blow, he manages to dispel it by remember it was a decade ago and the man is dead now.
* The Torturer's Lens from the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' spoofed this with Dr. Forrester's DEEEEEEEEP HUUUUUUUURTING, which he used to keep Joel/Mike and the bots in line. The exact nature of Deep Hurting changed from episode to episode; sometimes the Hurting seemed to be actual physical pain caused by a device, but sometimes it was simply the fact that our heroes [[SuckinessIsPainful had to sit through yet another awful movie]].
** In TheMovie, Dr. Forrester demands that Mike and the 'Bots bow to him. Then he turns and pulls a lever when they don't immediately obey. Whatever happens next, it appears to hurt ''the 'Bots'', too.
** Also in episode #611, ''Last of the Wild Horses'', Tom and Gypsy are thrust into the MirrorUniverse where Mike and Crow torment Frank and Dr. F. Crow screws something up, but has failed to keep the batteries in his personal agonizer charged and the Agony Booth is on the fritz -- again!
** The "Brain Guys" were able to inflict pain using their minds to force Pearl and Professor Bobo to fight to the death. For some reason it did not seem to work on Mike or the Bots.
* In ''[[Series/StargateSG1 Stargate SG-1]]'', the Goa'uld "hand device" has this a standard feature. The area it affects is notably red for awhile afterward. [[CardCarryingVillain Naturally]], they love to use it at every opportunity and SG-1 have been zapped so often they should all have a permanent sunburn. [[ButtMonkey Especially Daniel]], who in one later season episode quips, "I think I'm starting to get used to that," after it happens once again. It can kill, though, with prolonged use -- this just doesn't happen, to the heroes, very often.
** At first, one shot of the Zat gun was an Agony Beam, but it eventually became "phasers on stun."
** The Goa'uld have another Agony Beam that looks like a cattle prod. When its used, an orange light comes out of the victim's eyes and mouth, and presumably nose and ears (but that's harder to see). O'Neill gets this one used on him a lot.
*** In an alternate universe, the US is under martial law after revealing the existence of the stargate has caused mass rioting, so the Secret Service is now using the "cattle prod" as a standard tool.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s MirrorUniverse had a device called the "Agonizer," and the "Agony Booths."
** Interestingly, the Agony Booth didn't exactly make the ColdBloodedTorture any less disturbing to watch. When ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' revisited the MirrorUniverse in the "In A Mirror, Darkly" prequel episodes, showing among other things the invention of the booth's first prototype and its earliest usage, a lot of the filming crew got seriously upset while shooting the scene in which Mirror Tucker pleads his innocence while Mirror Archer tries to torture a confession out of him using the booth.
** The booths are sufficiently bad [[Website/TheAgonyBooth one bad-movie recap website]] took its name from them.
** In a ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' Mirror Universe episode Mirror-Bashir uses a hand held agonizer on the Intendant. Being TooKinkyToTorture, she purrs "If you want to teach me a lesson, you'll have to turn that up a bit."
** In "Dagger of the Mind", there is a MindRape machine that looks like a sun lamp shining on a hair-salon chair. And Kirk isn't even strapped in. He '''could''' just stand up and walk off, but apparently it's so intense that he only sit there writhing in pain as a sort of post-hypnotic suggestion is used on him.
** The Eymorgs' pain bracelets in "[[Recap/StarTrekS3E1SpocksBrain Spock's Brain]]". The unbelievable acting done in this episode would be spoofed many times, most notably in ''TheWonderYears''.
** The pain implants used by the mercenaries on [[TheCaptain Picard]] and [[NumberTwo Riker]] in the two-part episode ''Gambit''.
** Also, the pain implants used by the Cardassian interrogator on Picard in "Chain of Command" (TheOneWith the [[TwoPlusTortureMakesFive four/five lights]] argument). The writer, Frank Abatemarco, consulted Amnesty International on the psychology of torturers and their victims, and the actor Patrick Stewart studied tapes from AI in preparing for the scenes. Notably, this one has no sound or light effect to tell the audience when to flinch, just ''really'' good acting.
** Klingon Pain Sticks, from several TNG episodes. It turns out that as cruel as Klingons can be, they actually need their pain (quote from ''[[Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier Star Trek V]]'' notwithstanding) from time to time, particularly for important warrior rites.
** TOS Klingons used an agonizer as well in "Day of the Dove," and in "The Gamesters of Triskelion" collars of obedience were collars used to keep the thralls of Triskelion in place.
** The ''Star Trek: The Next Generation'' episode "Allegiance" also had a green ray effect that did this. Certainly a good example of how simple the effects need to be.
** In "Power Play", the ''heroes'' use a plasma beam to inflict pain on three crewmembers who have been possessed by aliens - not as a means of torture, but to get the aliens to leave.
** Then there was the energy field the space jellyfish in ''Encounter at Farpoint'' subjects Groppler Zorn to, though the sounds he was making made it sound more like he was in a tickle ray.
** In the ''Star Trek: Voyager'' episode "Future's End", Henry Starling kidnaps the Emergency Medical Hologram so he can torture him for information. Starling reprograms the Doctor so that, using a remote control, Starling can cause the Doctor to feel as though he is on fire.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Narn "Pain-givers", seen in action in the attempt on G'Kar's life by a the agent of a recently deceased rival..
** [[JackTheRipper The Inquisitor's]] cane, used in "Comes the Inquisitor", sure qualifies.
* The imprinting chairs in ''{{Dollhouse}}'' can be used to generate this effect, as Bennett shows rather graphically to Echo.
* GeneRoddenberry's TV movie ''Genesis II'' featured the evil mutant [[MeaningfulName Tyranians]] using "stims" -- short rods which could be adjusted to induce either pain or pleasure on contact. Unsurprisingly, hero Dylan Hunt (the one ''[[Series/{{Andromeda}} that]]'' one was named for) didn't fall to the ground until the highest pain setting was used. Then they gave him a pleasure dose: carrot ''after'' stick.
* Subverted in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': the Scarran's natural agony beam is one of solid ''heat''. Not only can it kill, but the camera tends to linger on shots of the victim's skin bubbling and burning as they die- case in point, [[SmugSnake Prince Clavor]] and [[FrontierDoctor Diagnosan Tocot]].
** Which shows the power the Ancients have when the Scarran Emperor Staleek tries to mind-probe "Einstein", only for the latter to NoSell the beam with a literal HandWave.
* Used in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "Vengeance On Varos", which leads to the odd spectacle of a shirtless Jason Connery being tortured by having a torch shined on his chest.
** Also used / threatened in "Genesis of the Daleks" by Davros against the Doctor / Harry and Sarah Jane.
** ...and then, there's the MindProbe. ("What? No NOT the mind PROBE!")
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E3TheDeadlyAssassin The Deadly Assassin]]'', the Doctor is tortured to get him to confess with this.
** The Teselecta in "Let's Kill Hitler" punished historical criminals by intercepting them at the end of their lives to "give them hell." [[spoiler: The beam was used on River Song, but the Doctor intervened so it is unclear whether the ultimate function would have included death as well as pain.]]
** The Master uses this on the Doctor in The End of Time. [[FoeRomanceSubtext And beautifully so]].
** Henry van Statten's body scanner has this effect on the Doctor (with a direct visual CallBack to the torture scene in "Vengeance on Varos"). It's not clear if that's a standard side effect or merely due to van Statten not understanding the ImportedAlienPhlebotinum.
* Angels of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' have this power, though it's explained that when they make a human double over in agony, it's specifically because the angel is messing with the human's internal workings (breaking their bones, removing their lungs, giving them stage 4 stomach cancer) in a nasty way.
* In ''Series/{{Haven}}'', Jordan [=McKee=]'s Trouble is that if she makes skin contact with someone, that person experiences agonizing pain until she lets go. She has no control over it and hates it. Nathan Wuornos is immune because he has FeelNoPain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The music video for {{Powerman 5000}}'s ''When Worlds Collide'' has a pastiche of [[Film/FlashGordon Ming]] with two agony beam rings, the hero manages to overpower his beams with his own [[KiAttacks energy blast]], disintegrating him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* There are several lines of spells in ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D]]'' that do this. The Nybor's line of spells (going from Gentle Reminder to Wrathful Castigation) being particular favourites. 3.x also had an AlwaysChaoticEvil version named Wrack.
** The big daddy of all these spells would have to be Eternity of Torture, which fills the target with unbearable agony unto them being unable to do anything besides writhe in pain. And it makes them immortal. So they can suffer forever.
** The not so subtly named Power Word: Pain.
** Not to mention Love's Agony from the Book of Vile Darkness. To add to the torture, it doesn't even harm the person it hits, instead harming the person they care for most, making it a spell reserved almost exclusively for being pointlessly cruel.
* The Dark Eldar of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'' have a literal Agony Beam, as in a weapon that fires ''pain'', for both battlefield '''and''' ''recreational use''. They also have a disturbingly large number of weapons designed specifically to cause as much suffering in their unfortunate victims as possible. They're [[CombatSadoMasochist just]] [[AlwaysChaoticEvil like that]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Magic'' has "Pain" and the much worse "Agonize" (turns every sensation into extreme pain). ''Ultratech'' has Sonic Nauseators (pain and loss of bowel control) as well as the Neural Disruptors.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has at least two spells whose names imply that they do this. Priests have Shadow Word: Pain and Warlocks have Curse of Agony. Both of these spells inflict continuous shadow-elemental damage over a period of time and can kill their targets.
** Priest's Mind Flay and Mind Sear probably also count (maybe Warlock's Drain Soul too). All are channeled spells that project a beam that rends the target's mind or souls, dealing shadow damage.
** A quest in the Borean Tundra has you use one on a captured mage. The tooltip states that it 'inflicts incredible pain to the target, but does no permanent damage'. After the quest, you can get more of these, free of charge, [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential just for fun]].
** Several mobs in the game have a "Pain Spike" ability, which inflicts instant damage on a target, but that damage wears off over time.
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'''s Emperor Mateus has one of these as part of his [[LimitBreak EX Burst]]. Perform it perfectly, and he performs Entice, suspending the enemy in zero gravity as he continually blasts them with arc lighting from his hand, Emperor Palpatine style.
* At one point in ''LostOdyssey'', the BigBad seems to do this to you--he gets [[FinalBossPreview tired of fighting you]] and uses a spell called "Pain Surge," dealing max damage to everyone in your party. Judging by the following cutscene, it also sends you into a coma.
* The Shivering Isles expansion to ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' has a quest where you ''use'' this. Getting true answers from some people requires several uses.
* ''VideoGame/StarControlII'' has the Excruciator, a device designed to directly stimulate the pain receptors of an Ur-Quan's brain. Unusual in that it was developed by the Ur-Quan, not for punishment or torture, but to protect against mind control by another species which had enslaved them, and was forced to break their control whenever their victims experienced extreme pain.
** Before the Excruciator, they were forced to do things like poisoning themselves (as their hero Kzer-Za did in order to inform the rest of his race about their masters' weakness) and mutilating themselves. Causing pain without lasting damage is probably better.
* In ''RiseOfLegends'', this is an ability for one of the Vinci hero units, which can be used to immobilize and damage a single target.
* Mundus can unleash these in ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry''. He uses them to execute [[YouHaveFailedMe failed minions]], [[spoiler:like Griffon]], and occasionally builds them into his creations, [[spoiler:like Trish]].
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', Uldred and his fellow Abominations torture mages with this until they agree to become Abominations themselves.
* Is ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', there's nerve stapling, and its direct application, the Punishment Sphere which consists in injecting pain directly into the nervous system through implants. It is a fate so horrifying to be sentenced to that if you build one in a city, there won't be any riots there anymore. The downside is halving the research rate in that city. The faction leaders also have some reserved for their rivals, when they capture any.
-->''It is not uncommon to see patients undergo permanent psychological trauma in the presence of the Sphere, before the nerve stapler has even been strapped into position. Its effect on the general consciousness of the culture is profound: husbands have seen wives go inside, and mothers their children. Dr. Xynan left the surface of the sphere semitranslucent for a reason. You can hear them in there; you can see them. It is a thing of terrible beauty.''
--->-- Baron Klim, ''The Music of the Spheres''
** It also works on the Progenitors in the ''Alien Crossfire'' expansion, which means their nervous system is, at least, remotely similar to that of humans.
* This is the schtick that [[spoiler:Saul Karath]] uses against you in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. The JerkAss ups the ante [[spoiler: by torturing your love interest]] if you give him an answer he doesn't want to hear. It's especially brutal if you're playing female [[spoiler:considering the long, nasty history between Carth and Saul]].
* {{Wild9}} puts you in control of one of these. The Agony Beam doubles as a sort of electro-lasso and allows you to throw your enemies off cliffs, slam them into solid objects, shove them through shredders, drop them into jet engines...[[TheJoysOfTorturingMooks the list goes on and on and on.]]
* [[{{Postal}} Postal 2]] gives you one in the form of the "Shock Rocket" stun gun which, when applied to a [[{{Mook}} subject]], causes them to twitch involuntarily and smoke, and then drop to the ground, still twitching, losing bladder control, and whimpering pleas like "Just finish it!" or "I can't feel my legs!" Combine the max-ammo cheat (which bumps the charge capacity up to 999, with usage consuming about 5 units per second) with the fact that the game already runs on VideoGameCrueltyPotential, and you can pretty easily see the kinds of [[EvenEvilHasStandards horrible]] (or [[YouBastard awesome]], depending on your [[VillainProtagonist perspective]]) places this can go.
** With the AWP expansion pack, you can also get a modified Shock Rocket called simply "The Puker." ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, it induces immediate and incapacitating vomiting with even a split second's application to a [[{{Mook}} subject]] of your choice.
* In the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series, the recurring power 'Neural Shock' overwhelms an organic target's nervous system with pain, immobilizing them and causing significant damage. In ''3'', Mordin zaps an STG agent with it to convince him to break protocol.
* A favorite of many Sith in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheReds''. The American Microwave Tank is ''supposed'' to be this, but its operators generally just crank it up to a lethal setting.
* The SignatureMove of the Dark Oppressor from [[NexusWar Nexus Clash]] is Agony Curse, which is a fire-and-forget version of this trope that lingers long after the Oppressor stops paying attention to the victim. Not that most victims live very long after being cursed, since as the '[[EvilVirtues support]]' character for demonkind, the Oppressor is usually doing this to soften up targets for its allies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/comic/issue-3-webpage-41/ the God of the Eternity Spire uses this to punish Cole]].
* In "TheAdventuresOfGynostar" one of Gyno-Star's power is an energy beam that inflicts the pain of childbirth on her enemies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In {{Mortasheen}}, there is a creature called [[http://www.bogleech.com/mortasheen/bifrons.htm Bifrons]] who has this power. The creator actually said about this [[ShrugOfGod "I don't know how I came to design a mutant possum with torture-beam eyeballs"]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' one of the villains creates a bomb with this effect.
** This has the [[ChekhovsGun unintended side effect]] of supercharging Taylor's pain tolerance, as she relates to the cape healing her more than ten chapters later.
* John Lant from ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}''.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''ThePowerpuffGirls''
** In one episode, Bubbles is trying to prove that she's as hardcore as the other Powerpuffs-- and takes Mojo Jojo's Agony Device up on its [[UpToEleven eleventh]] setting.
** Later shows up in the MusicalEpisode ''See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey'' where Gnomey uses a Force Lighting like attack accompanied by OminousLatinChanting to eliminate the villains of Townsville as well as take away the girls' powers. When the girls regain their powers and fight Gnomey, he tries it again, though it only serves to stun them for a moment.
* In the series finale of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'', [[EvilOverlord Darkseid]] gets a chance to show off the "Agony Matrix", which... well, read the quote up above. '''Ow.'''
** Darkseid's first appearance in ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' used his [[EyeBeams Omega Beams]] on low settings as his greeting to Supes. He had to turn it up a bit to force Superman to [[KneelBeforeZod kneel]] though. What makes this just a little bit epic is that this is his ''introduction.'' Darkseid is not attacking Superman or trying to kill him, Superman has simply asked who he is. After leaving Superman in a crumpled heap on the floor, Darkseid walks off, looks over his shoulder, and responds "''[[EstablishingCharacterMoment That]]'' [[EstablishingCharacterMoment is who I am.]]"
* The Franchise/{{Care Bear|s}} [[CareBearStare Stare]]. Well, at least [[EvilCannotComprehendGood to the]] TheHeartless.
* Dr. Wily used one in [[WesternAnimation/MegaMan the Ruby-Spears Mega Man TV show]], incapacitating Roll, Rush, and, oddly, Dr. Light.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''
** Vlad Plasmius has one of these as a standard ghost ability. Danny is rather unappreciative.
** In "[[PunBasedTitle Kindred Spirits]]", Vlad plugs Danny into a nasty-looking [[BuffySpeak zappy capsule thing]] to try to force him to morph into his ghost form. It even has a dial to increase the intensity! Once again, Danny doesn't appreciate this.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' episode, "Journey to the Tower of Omens", BigBad SorcerousOverlord Mumm-Ra exhibits this ability in his OneWingedAngel form, and fully intends to use it to treat TheHero Lion-O to an agonizing death until TheObiWan Jaga intervenes.
* ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries'': The Red Lantern Corps have one on hand for traitors.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Magic Duel", a DrunkOnTheDarkSide Great and Powerful Trixie uses one on Rainbow Dash. [[spoiler:However, since she just removed her AmplifierArtifact, it only tickles.]]
* [[TheBrute Quickstrike]] from ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' has this as his ArmCannon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There's a real life weapon being tested as we speak called the Active Denial System. It uses millimeter wave radio energy to heat the surface layer of the skin, causing intense, incapacitating pain with no lasting injury. It's intended for use as a humane crowd control device (especially compared to the alternatives: tear gas, bullets, ''[[KillItWithFire flamethrowers]]''...).
** There also seems to be a possibility that this system may come into actual use soon. Though the system appears to have taken on a more user-friendly acronym (Assault Intervention Device or AID), its function remains marginally unchanged. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_jail_ray_gun
** Serious controversy has been raised over the question of what happens when people are too tightly packed to move, or rendered immobile by injury (Both are likely scenarios in riots and firefights), especially since the long-term effects are largely unknown, but probably not good.
*** It has been demonstrated to cause burns in skin and if the eye were exposed the cornea would [[EyeScream quickly cook]] causing blindness.
** All demonstrations shown so far, the pain has failed to incapacitate; it's hard to resist, but not impossible for a determined person. The same is also true of pepper spray and tear gas.
** One occasional myth that does pop up is that metal objects worn by a target can heat up faster and cause more serious contact burns. Metal items are reflective in the microwave spectrum and sheet metal could be used as a shield.
* The Long Range Acoustic Device AKA the Sonic Cannon is a sound-based weapon that serves a similar purpose. This is the device that was first widely publicized when it was used to avert a ''{{pirate}} attack''. You just can't make this stuff up! (In practice, it "fires" a blast of sound that, without proper protection, screws up the body's balance mechanism and inflicts some pretty serious pain.) What is interesting is that the sound is perfectly directional. The device can be set to fire out at a specific angle from the speakers. For example, if the device projected at a cone of 30 degrees, only anyone inside that cone would be affected. Anyone standing behind it would hear the device working, but the sound level they hear is only slightly louder than normal speaking volume. Anyone standing even 1 degree outside of the cone would hear the same level, but if they move even one degree into the cone, then the pain begins.
** To its credit, the device is designed with a less-intense setting, making it a stronger, more precise version of a bullhorn that lets you give, say, an advancing mob, fair warning to turn around before they get the full blast.
** The U.S. Army also uses [[LoudOfWar extremely loud rock music]] to drive out terrorists in hiding.
*** And Rick Astley music
* Then there's pepper-spray, which, when dispensed from riot-control guns (also used to ward off bears) count as something between Agony Beams and StunGuns, having a slightly shorter effective range but better takedown statistics than handguns.
* Skunks spray victims and predators in an attempt to escape, causing either irritation or even agony. Skunk spray can be let out as either a gaseous mist, or a liquid stream. The mist is very potent and can be smelled from half a mile away. The stench can cause great disgust from a mere 50 ft, and the smell clings to its victim with greater intensity depending on how long it takes for the victim to wash it off. It clings with even greater intensity to fabric or animal fur. The liquid stream, however, is twice as strong and potent, and can be smelled from over a mile away. Being sprayed by the liquid stream can put the victim in intense agony and literally stun them, especially if it is near the face (which can cause temporary blindness).
** The active components in Skunk spray have been released to the public in recent years as a toothpaste-like gel. Already, some police services use the ''potent'' smelling gel to keep people and animals out of abandoned buildings. It's proven almost 100% effective.
* Another US DARPA project, the Pulsed Energy Projectile, used a "low" power pulsed laser beam to vaporize a small portion of the target's surface, causing a small explosion capable of knocking the target down. One side effect noticed in testing was that the EMP generated by the plasma that the laser impact produced stimulated pain receptors, and work was underway to amplify this effect.
** Happily, like the ADS system above, the US [=DoD=] is keen to distance itself from accusations of torture and devices that might facilitate it, so these projects aren't likely to be released into use any time soon.
** Less happily, this effect is something that could be replicated by any real-life laser weapon set to low-power single pulse output (the PEP was effectively a low power version of a Pulsed Impulse Kill Laser project, which did ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin). In the future, "phasers on stun" won't leave someone quietly snoozing, but burnt and screaming. Lovely.
*** ...and the acronym lends itself to dismissive terminology for the newly "pickled" victim.
* A taser can be used to deliberately inflict pain, when operated in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taser#Drive_Stun "drive stun"]] mode.
* There is also a specialized LED device which projects a beam of light that rapidly pulses random colors. Looking at the light for too long messes up your brain since your eyes can't effectively focus on the colors and then you're incapacitated from a number of nasty side effects, like cluster headaches, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, irritability, and visual impairment. The Secret Service has contemplated using this to protect the President. For example, if the motorcade is traveling down a street, and the SS are tipped off that an assailant will strike from a specific direction, all they have to do is point the device in that direction and '''''EVERYONE''''' over 5 miles will be blinded, friend or foe alike. It's designed to be inconvenient rather than outright painful. The lights aren't so bright as to intentionally cause blindness. It's just that everything suddenly turns completely green.
** The device, called a "dazzler", is in active use in situations where it benefits to briefly delay someone. They're sometimes used at checkpoints to discourage suicide dashes, and some prisons use them against uncooperative inmates or to quell prison riots (the idea is to startle them just long enough for the guards to reach and subdue the prisoner(s)).
* While not in a beam form, the stings of many small insects (as well as [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi platypuses]]) are made specifically for causing pain.
** The worst example is probably the Irukandji Jellyfish, a relative of the Box Jellyfish. While their stings don't kill unless you don't get help (Box Jellyfish stings are more dangerous, though not by much), they cause such a drastic assault on one's pain nerves that even people ''[[FateWorseThanDeath in a medically induced coma still scream in pain]]''.
[[/folder]]

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