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[-[[caption-width-right:345:The finest home on earth is still a prison if you can't leave.]]-]

->''"Well, I admit my crib is pretty sweet. But a gold cage is still a cage, Harry."''
-->-- '''Bob''', ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles.''

[[SelfDemonstrating/GildedCage Welcome, illustrious guest, to the Gilded Cage resort and day spa!]]

It's a beautiful place, where the character's every need is provided in abundance. Their every whim is immediately fulfilled by a MaidCorps. The resident of such a paradisiac place can do anything they want.....except leave. See, they are not really a resident but a ''prisoner'' and the MaidCorps are the security guards, in addition to the genuine security guards. There is absolutely no leaving this place for any reason, with plenty of carrots and sticks to make sure no one wants to either.

It may be used by an AffablyEvil villain who has to detain someone for their EvilPlan and wants to be hospitable about it. Maybe they have a VillainousCrush on someone and this is part of their attempts to win them over, or at least keep them from getting too angry about [[AbductionIsLove being kidnapped in the first place]]. It is also likely where the villain's guests will remain [[NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine when not at dinner]].

This is the inverse of the LuxuryPrisonSuite, where a nice place is a prison instead of a prison turned into a nice place. Compare LotusEaterMachine, which also a scenario designed to keep prisoners in place through contentment.

It is often used as AnAesop about why one should prefer LibertyOverProsperity.

See also LonelyRichKid and FantasticNatureReserve. Non-consensual sub-trope of TheShutIn.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* [[spoiler: Athena Tennos]] from ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' used to be a literal prisoner in her palace. [[spoiler: Hayate's brother Ikusa rescued her. Then, he disappeared.]]
* Treize from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' is confined to a posh country estate after he protests the Romefeller Foundation's decision to use Mobile Dolls.
** In the ''Frozen Teardrop'' novels, [[spoiler: Relena's great-aunt Sabrina]] was locked away in a suite of her family's mansion, with her pet cat as her only companion.
* Amuro Ray in ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' has been living in a very nice mansion in the midwest USA since the end of the One Year War. However, he's effectively under house arrest there, with his movements constantly monitored by the Federation government. This occurs despite his war hero status because the Federation is terrified by the existence of Newtypes, and Amuro is one of the most powerful known Newtypes as well as an ace MS pilot, and they are worried he might revolt against them. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Which he ends up doing, in part because of their treatment of him.]]
** It's revealed that some of the other surviving White Base crew also suffered the same fate. In Bright's case, it's being given the "privilege" of being a glorified chaffeur for the Federation's elite while his wife Mirai and their children Hathaway and Cheimin are forced to live in Jaburo as "hostages" to keep him in line. As with Amuro, this backfires: he soon joins the AEUG, and some time later Amuro and his allies rescue Bright's family and take them to actual safety.
* The makers of ''Anime/CodeGeass R2'' designed Nunnally's garden aboard the airship with this in mind. The garden is incredibly nice and well cared for, but it's also surrounded by a deep, empty moat, with only a single narrow bridge leading to the rest of the ship. Since Nunnally is blind and confined to a wheelchair, this makes it extremely difficult/dangerous for her to leave the garden without assistance.
** Lelouch is also put in one of these at Ashford Academy. It's a nice school, and many of his friends are there, but in R2 he's constantly being monitored by government agents looking for signs that he's regained his lost memories and become the terrorist leader Zero again. However, once his memories are back thanks to C.C's sort-of KissOfLife ... by using {{Blackmail}}, MindControl, and [[ManipulativeBastard emotional manipulation]] on the agents sent to watch him, he soon turns the GildedCage into the Gilded Base For His Terrorist Operations.
** This was also the case for Empress Tianzi, who lived, well, like an empress in the Vermilion Forbidden City, but whose greatest desire was to leave and see the world. Luckily for her, she once spared a young officer from execution -- and said officer, Li Xingke, swore to make Tianzi's wish come true. [[spoiler: He succeeded.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Clover}}'', the "greenhouse" [[MysteriousWaif Suu]] was kept in. It's quite beautiful, but Suu has to live in complete isolation from the rest of the world, as she is powerful enough to defeat the government officials, and they "don't want that power to fall into the wrong hands."
* Rea in ''Manga/{{Sankarea}}''. She is restricted from ever leaving her estate by her OverProtectiveDad to where she is barely even allowed to go out to school to the point she sneaks off at night to scream into an abandon well of how she wish she wasn't born a Sanka. And when she starts to talk to a boy, her father even takes school away from her to be home schooled and orders that the boy she was hanging out with to be castrated. After this, she drinks a chemical that contains poisons plants in an [[DrivenToSuicide attempt to kill herself]]. Though it instead did [[OurZombiesAreDifferent something else]].
* Invoked in ''Anime/MagicKnightRayearth'' when Zagato tells the Magic Knights that Emeraude has to "spent her whole life locked up in a cage" as a result of being Pillar. As Pillar, Emeraude was the most powerful person in Cephiro- but she had no freedom, at least not to have what she wished for the most [[spoiler: (to be with the one she loved, Zagato, that is)]]. Later echoed by the Magic Knights when the invaders wanted to take over Cephiro- especially when Aska wanted to be beautiful, and is told "but for who?", since the Pillar could not fall in love with anyone, lest their thoughts and wishes won't be for Cephiro anymore and it will start falling apart around them.
* In ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'', Luctiana kidnaps Saito and Tiffania and takes them to her home in an oasis. They are allowed to roam around the paradise. Since they are in the middle of a desert, they can't possibly leave without a dragon or vehicle to ride.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', this is Eren's opinion of the last human city, although the conditions are somewhat worse than most of them (for example, there's so little farmland, meat is essentially a luxury item), with the only true advantage being relative safety from the Titans. Most of humanity is content to live in the walls indefinitely but Eren repeatedly calls it a bird cage and is determined to see the outside world.
* Deconstructed in the manga of ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', where a woman in this situation begs Wolfwood to free her and he is not inclined to help. He points out a starving bird and comments on how much it would like to have a life like hers. Since the setting is a DeathWorld, freedom is not all it's cracked up to be.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', when Sasuke is taken by Orochimaru he is given better living conditions in Orochimaru's compound than most of the test subjects. Subverted in that Sasuke is not an ''unwilling'' prisoner.
* A first season episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' shows that [[TheMcCoy James]] ran away from home and joined [[TerribleTrio Team Rocket]] partially to get out of one of these and partially to avoid an ArrangedMarriage to a [[{{Yandere}} girl]] he hated.
** [[TheCollector Jirarudan]] in ''Anime/{{Pokemon 2000}}'' is confined to his luxurious airship, essentially a floating art museum, and it's distinctly implied that he has almost no contact with the outside world. Unlike many other examples, this seems to be self-imposed, and he doesn't consider it a prison (although the way it cuts him off from identifying with anything outside his ship qualifies it as such).
* In the ending of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion''. [[spoiler:Homura steals Madoka's godlike powers and resets the world so everybody else is normal and nobody remembers how the world used to be. This is all so [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy Madoka can be safe and happy]]. The problem is that when Madoka and Sayaka remember how the world used to be, they consider what Homura did to be wrong and want to break out, so Homura simply erases their memories, presumably every time they regain them.]]
** Note that the school which was very white in the anime, especially the roof with its lovely gothic cage. It is now literally gold-toned.
* During the Alfheim Online (ALO) Arc of ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'', Asuna's cage fits this description. It is a roomy, literally gilded birdcage, with a canopy bed, table setting, and gorgeous surroundings. The catch, though, is that her consciousness is trapped in ALO due to an executive in her father's company who wants her for himself.
* Princess Shirahoshi from ''Manga/OnePiece'' lives in a comfortable luxury room, but leaving her room would put her in danger, since the AxCrazy Van der Decken IX. throws constantly giant axes at her that follow her wherever she is. The iron door of her room protects her from the axes, but it also seperates her from the outside world. Everything changes when she meets Luffy...
** Doflamingo's kingdom Dressrosa appears to be a bustling and happy place, but only because everyone who knows the truth about it is turned into a toy and forgotten by everyone. When the truth about the toys became revealed, Doflamingo turns it into a much worse prison, enveloping the entire island inside a cage to trap his subjects much more literally.
** The islands in Big Mom's territory, collectively known as Totland, are a series of candy-themed LevelAte where people of all races can live together in harmony...and [[YourSoulIsMine must donate a portion of their soul]] to Big Mom to stay alive, and are not permitted to leave. There's also the fact that Big Mom is prone to violent fits of rage where she'll destroy and kill everything in her path unless she's given what she's craving.
*** Whole Cake Island, the center of Totland and Big Mom's HQ, is this for [[BigScrewedUpFamily Big Mom's children]]. They're all left wanting for nothing, with food and riches everywhere they go, but [[EvilMatriarch Big Mom is so tyrannical and controlling]] that most of her children gave up on defying her to pursue their own dreams [[spoiler: save for her daughter Lola, who successfully ran away with her mother's Vivre Card.]]
*** Sanji, after being captured by Big Mom's pirates and the Genma 66, is given luxurious accommodations but he and everyone else does not hide the fact that he is a prisoner.
** The non-canon Film Gold takes this quite literally, as it takes place on a beautiful entertainment city-ship made entirely out of gold. However, the ruler ''Gild'' Tesoro intends for every visitor to lose their money by gambling and be forced to work for him on the ship, with his gold-controlling powers allowing him to control all of the visitors for good measure.
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', after kidnapping her, Date is a good host to Isanami...aside of the chain spiked to the ground.
* In the beginning of ''LightNovel/LordMarksmanAndVanadis'', Tigre is taken as a prisoner of war by Lady Eleonora's forces. He is treated as an honored guest and even allowed to practice archery, but is warned that he will be executed if he tries to leave.
* The ''{{Hentai}}'' series ''Yuki Yoru Ichiya Monogatari'' (English: ''Snow Night Stories'') is a about a concubine who tells her lord three stories ala ''Literature/AThousandAndOneNights.'' The last story/episode is about a powerful nobleman who, marries a princess from a small neighboring kingdom, and promises to give her lavish gifts on the conditions she never leave his mansion, and [[MaritalRapeLicense satisfy his every sexual desire.]] The story ends with the young Ronin tasked with guarding the princess while she visited her father's grave, convincing her to run away with him by promising to not treat her the way her husband did.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/BatmanNoMansLand'': Two-Face treats Renee Montoya and her family like this.
** Another Batman example -- in ''[[Comicbook/GrantMorrisonsBatman Batman Incorporated]]'', after [[spoiler: [[BigBad Talia]]]] usurps Ra's Al Ghul's control of the League of Assassins and absorbs it into Leviathan, they have him locked up in a cell that, at the very least, is well stocked with books, a chess set, and has a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Ra's himself even says that it's not that bad.
* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}} and the Picaros'' has one of these disguised as a country hotel, which Captain Haddock and Calculus are sent to after they accept Tapioca's invitation. It has cameras and microphones hidden all over, and guards who refuse to let guests head into town without armed escort, supposedly to protect them from the Picaros.
-->'''Haddock''': That young whippersnapper Tintin was right! The cage may be a gilded one... but we're well and truly behind bars!
* In the ''ComicBook/BlakeAndMortimer'' book ''Atlantis Mystery'', the two main characters stumble upon the titular lost civilization and forced to remain there in order to keep TheMasquerade. Despite not being allowed to leave, they are treated like guests of honor, are given very plush accommodations and seem to be adapting somewhat until they find themselves targeted by the BigBad.
* In ''ComicBook/AstroCity'', Infidel resides in such a place of his own design as part of an arrangement with his archenemy Samaritan. It's a literal palace, floating in another dimension, and due to his magic powers he wants for nothing -- even female companionship, as he's constructed homunculi. However, he longs for true freedom and is constantly trying to find a way to bypass the Samaritan's security measures.
* In ''Comicbook/MyLittlePonyFriendsForever'' #6, Trixie is crowned Queen of the Diamond Dogs. Though she enjoys it at first, she discovers that her crown is really a RestrainingBolt that prevents her from leaving.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', during the peaceful chapter where John and Ringo sit on the edge of the cliff and talk, the following exchange takes place:
-->John: We're in a gilded cage, mate. All the magic in the world don't change that.
-->Ringo: There's a lot more gold on this cage than in some we've been in.
-->John: Oh, fuck, man, I know. Obviously itís better than beiní a slave without the magic. Just ask George! And I know everythin' in lifeís a trade-off. We traded our private lives for money and success. Thatís fine. We wanted that. We worked for that. The difference here is we didnít ask for this. It was forced on us.
* ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** The [[BadFuture Epilogue timeline]] has the Sky Ocean, the one good place in all of Discord's [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack]] VillainWorld... and the Sea Ponies don't even realize this, as they've been fed such a [[WrittenByTheWinners twisted version of history]] that they see him as a benevolent and caring ruler, rather than an EvilOverlord who only keeps them around because he enjoys their music ([[SadisticChoice and so the constant threat of wiping them out will force Traitor Dash to carry out his worst orders]]).
** When Prince Blueblood was a child, he was kept secluded in the castle and not allowed to go outside and play with others. This was part of the reason why he grew up to be an anti-social jerk.
* During the third story of the ''FanFic/MyHostageNotYours'' series, when Zim starts conquering Earth, he eventually relocates his base to an European palace (it's never specified which). The resident royal family is allowed to stay, with full access to the staff and palace (minus areas closed off for Zim and Gaz's personal use), but Zim makes it clear that they're not allowed to leave the palace grounds unless they intend to do so permanently.
* Twice in ''Fanfic/CadanceOfCloudsdale'' for Princess Cadance. Her first cage, a monastery in [[HiddenElfVillage Reduit]], is where she was kept for her [[NotGrowingUpSucks her centuries-long childhood]], though she never came to resent it due to being on the level of a preschooler the whole time. When Celestia takes her to Canterlot palace and she begins growing normally, Cadance learns to hate all the restrictions and constant watch placed on her to ensure her safety. However, when her attempt to escape [[GoneHorriblyWrong goes horribly wrong]], Celestia relents and allows her to see more of Equestria.
* ''Fanfic/WishCarefully'' has The Cabal, eight magically powerful girls that were kidnapped to [[BabyFactory be breeding stock for the Death Eaters]]. They live in a luxurious mansion, have their every whim pampered to, and are generally treated well (if only to keep them healthy for their pregnancies), but they aren't allowed outside for fear of Voldemort finding them, and they aren't allowed to see their children unless the child wants to see them.
* The [[WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2 Tower of the Sacred Flame]] becomes this to Lady Lianne and its other occupants after Lord Shen takes over Gongmen City [[spoiler:until the tower is destroyed]] in ''Fanfic/TheVow''. Years earlier, Lianne even [[{{Foreshadowing}} calls the tower this trope]] when she has to spend one year as the peacock family's guest.
** The epilogue has an interesting [[ImplicitPrison variant]]: after [[spoiler:Shen [[SparedByTheAdaptation survives his canon ending]] and returns to Lianne (who's become his wife and expectant with his child), he's made by her to stay inside the borders of the Shan Palace (her birth home) where the knowledge of his survival would be kept secret from all of China. She does this because handing him over to China's authorities would mean either his execution or imprisonment for life and she cannot swallow the thought of losing him again. Eventually Shen concedes to this new life; even if his liberty has been limited, he can still live with his wife and child]].
* In ''FanFic/TheUndesirables'', the prison cell Therapsid has been kept in since the failed invasion of Canterlot, while not luxurious, is very comfortable, and he's kept supplied with his every need.
* In ''FanFic/QueenOfShadows'', both the current Queen who Jade has replaced, and her mother before her, grew up cloistered inside their Fortress, for their own protection. And since the last Queen disappeared (presumed dead) when she ''did'' leave, [[DragonInChief Hiruzen]] has locked the current one in even further.
* Played For Laughs in ''FanFic/TheUltimateHope''. It has the students realize that Hope's Peak Academy is one...and all decide to stay and make the most of it if the rest of the world has been trashed beyond repair. Junko starts to crack when she realizes they turned her death game into the perfect apocalypse shelter.
* In ''[[Fanfic/TwiceUponAnAge Across the Waking Sea]]'', the royal residence in Starkhaven is implied to be this for [[VideoGame/DragonAgeII Bethany Hawke]]. She ''can'' leave whenever she likes - she's a guest of the prince, not a prisoner - but she feels stuck there because she doesn't know where else she could possibly go.
* Just like in [[Franchise/DragonAge its canon games]], in ''Fanfic/WalkingInCircles'', this trope is basically how life is inside a Circle. You will be fed, clothed and given education, if you climb up the ranks high enough, you can even enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. But you canít leave your tower without permission, all of your works belong to the Chantry. Any children you have will be taken away from you at the moment of their birth. Any chance of acting out of line can result in you being beaten, imprisoned, make Tranquil or killed. And even if you act within your line, you can still be abused by the Templars for the hell of it if you donít have your family backing you.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', Esmeralda claims sanctuary in Notre Dame Cathedral, which fits the grandeur element of the trope, though perhaps not the 'comfort.' Frollo invokes this trope almost by name.
-->'''Frollo:''' You have chosen a magnificent prison - but it is a prison nonetheless. Set one foot outside, and you're mine.
* WesternAnimation/WallE has a gargantuan state-of-the-art spaceship with all the luxurious goods its human passengers could possibly desire. Too bad for their ambitious and adventurous side it cannot provide them with anything else.
* When Belle trades herself in for her father in the Beast's captivity in ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', she initially thinks that she'll be kept in the dungeons, but the Beast takes her to much better arrangements in a guest room. She has the Beast's entire servant staff waiting on her and almost the entire castle to herself -- none of which conceals the fact that she is a prisoner.
* Princess Jasmine, ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}.'' She considers the palace to be a prison because she isn't allowed to leave.
* Elsa and her younger sister Anna from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' haven't left their home in over ten years at the start of the film. It's implied Elsa has barely left her ''room'' in that timespan. In Elsa's case it's partially self-imposed due to fear that her ice powers could harm people, while Anna is forced to stay a shut-in due to her sister. Their parents, the queen and king, were {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s who wanted the best for their kids but ended up just shutting them off from everyone. The movie kicks off when Elsa is forced to open her gilded cage on her coronation day. She tries to re-close the gates after an argument with Anna regarding her engagement with Hans presumably to get rid of him but unfortunately before she could do so, Anna's ArmorPiercingQuestion caused Elsa to snap and reveal her powers to everyone which makes her run away in fear.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'', the Other World turns out to be this when after refusing to sew buttons in her eyes, Coraline tries to leave by falling asleep (how she left twice before), only to still be there when she wakes up. The cage tarnishes when she refuses to acknowledge the Other Mother as her mother.
* While humble by every standard, Rapunzel's tower in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' is still this, since it's a charming home in a pretty, secluded glade in the forest by a waterfall. The thing is, Rapunzel can physically leave the tower, but her kidnapper/"mother", Gothel, has forbidden her from leaving and made her afraid to do so for good measure, providing her with just enough in hobbies and housework to keep her content with her situation (although at the start of the film, this strategy proves to be failing). That is, until Rapunzel meets a certain home-invading thief.
* In the 2017 film "Sahara", Eva describes her home in the Oasis as such. From an outsider's view (namely [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer Ajar's]]), it's a mystery why anyone would want to leave such a beautiful peaceful place. But the way nobody is even allowed to ''leave'', perhaps it's fitting that she views it as a prison.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'' Aurora is locked in a luxurious room when she returns to the castle. The contents of the room suggest that it was to have been her childhood nursery, had she grown up there as her parents intended.
* In ''Film/DrNo'', the first cell Film/JamesBond and Honey Ryder are put in is like a five star hotel.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Quills}}'', Dr. Royer-Collard allows his young wife to decorate their home with whatever materials she likes, no matter how ornate or expensive they are... but instructs the architects to install doors that can only be locked from the outside. In his twisted mind, this apparently justifies his continued raping of a girl [[JailBait young enough to be his granddaughter]] every night.
* In the movie ''The Promise'', Duke Wuhan imprisons Qingcheng in a golden cage, keeping her locked away within the castle.
* Henry of ''Film/EverAfter'' specifically calls the castle his gilded cage because his father is telling his that he has to marry and be king.
* In a deleted scene in ''Film/SuckerPunch'', the High Roller buys Baby Doll from the brothel and he calls the room he puts her in a gilded cage.
* In ''Film/TheMouseThatRoared'', the Duchy of Grand Fenwick unexpectedly wins their war against America. A group of New York City policemen, as prisoners of war, are fed and boarded in the best of comfort, while an Army general, knowing his rights (but not knowing the Duchy's accommodations), doggedly insists on a regulation 8-by-10 foot cell and food on a regulation tin plate. The Duchy actually has difficulty in finding the tin plate.
* In ''Film/MoulinRouge'', it's clear that Satine sees the glamorous Moulin Rouge (of which she is the star) as her prison -- not because she's physically prevented from leaving, but because her only other option is life as a common street prostitute, which would be infinitely worse.
* ''Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera'' has [[IllGirl Shilo]] [[EmoTeen Wallace]], a 17 year old girl who, due to a [[SoapOperaDisease blood condition]] she apparently has, spends her entire life inside her own home by [[OverprotectiveDad her father]], unable to leave. [[spoiler: It's especially evident how much of a prisoner she is when it turns out her Dad was lying about her illness and poisoning her meds, just to keep her there with him.]]
** Perhaps a more on-the-nose example comes in [[Music/SarahBrightman Blind Mag]], a prisoner of sorts to [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Rotti Largo]] due to a [[DealWithTheDevil contract she signed]] forcing her to be a singer for them in exchange for eyesight. She's treated as a celebrity but she's [[BrokenBird miserable]] nonetheless.
* In ''Film/TheStudentPrinceInOldHeidelberg'', Crown Prince Karl Heinrich is stuck inside his castle, unable to play with the other boys, or later, to marry the pretty barmaid, because he has to be a prince. One scene shows Karl Heinrich as a child literally behind bars (the fence around the palace), watching regular kids playing ball outside.
* In ''Film/FlightOfTheNavigator'', David Freeman is kept in a NASA dormitory with cable television, robot servants, and staff to assist him in all of his needs. He came following his mysterious disappearance and subsequent re-appearance to have his brain scanned for 72 hours, but soon learned that the higher-ups planned to keep him for a week...''at least''.
* In ''Film/TheSecretWarOfHarryFrigg'', five Allied [[TheBrigadier Brigadier Generals]] are captured by the Italians and confined to a pleasant Italian villa. As it appears that they have become comfortable with their captivity[[note]]In fact, because they are all of the same rank, they are forced to vote on what escape plan to take, but since everyone votes for himself, a plan is never selected.[[/note]], HQ grabs a private known for his escape antics, promotes him to Major General so he can order them around, then sends him to get them all out.
* In ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', the Wives' old home stands out from the rest of the Citadel as it contains abundant greenery, clean running water, soft furniture, and even paper, an incredible luxury in post-apocalyptic Australia... and it's all behind a door salvaged from a bank vault, that's always kept locked. The Wives' themselves are {{Sex Slave}}s, kept by [[BigBad the tyrannical patriarch of the Citadel]] to [[BreedingSlave produce beautiful, healthy children for him.]]
* The titular {{Film/Paul}} is held captive for 60 years, but under conditions pleasant enough for him to not even realise that he's a prisoner. He gets to hobnob with world leaders and cultural icons, even advising them regarding their works, and is supplied with weed that's apparently strong enough to have killed Music/BobDylan. It's not until The Big Guy decides that Paul is more useful to her dead than alive that he realises that he wasn't a guest but a prisoner after all.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', the Avengers take part in a mission in Nigeria where Wanda accidentally causes several civilian casualties while trying to contain an explosion. To appease the UN and public, Tony decides to quietly isolate her in the Avengers compound and have her guarded by the Vision, who is acting as if he were her butler. Wanda has no idea about it until she tries to go out and get some food and Vision stops her. When Tony later offhandedly mentions it to Steve, he is ''pissed'' that he would throw her under the bus like that. Tony tries to justify it as being for security measures as well as by pointing out that it is actually swell as far as containment goes, but nobody is buying it and Wanda eventually breaks out.
* ''Film/JohnWickChapter2'': The Continental would've become this for [[spoiler:Santino]], as John would've definitely come after him once his job was done, but [[TruceZone no business is allowed in the Continental]] without being executed by the Hotel staff so he could easily escape his wrath in there. [[spoiler:He made the mistake of taunting John about this, telling him one could live a whole life like this, at which point John decides a lifetime of being hunted down beat letting Santino live and blew his brains out right in front of [[TheDreaded Winston]].]]
* Every live action adaptation of ''Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast'' features a variation of Beauty taking the place of her condemned father, and being waited on hand and foot by the castle's attendants, in the hopes that she will fall in love with the Beast, marry him, and break the spell.
* ''Film/StellaMaris'': The titular Stella Maris was born paralyzed and was kept inside her house her entire life by her wealthy guardians. They refused to let Stella learn about the hardships of the world around here and sheltered her from anything negative. It isn't until she learned to walk after a surgery that she was let outside and began learning that the world is full of unfortunate circumstances. In Stella's case, she was perfectly content with her life because she didn't ''know'' anything besides it. It isn't until after she becomes more worldly that she becomes angry at her sheltered life.
* In ''Film/NowYouSeeMe2'', it's shown that since Thaddeus was imprisoned after the events of the previous movie, he's somehow arranged to have his maximum security prison cell furbished with a flatscreen TV, a computer with full Internet connection, a recliner chair, and classical music. And he apparently has lobster bisque for dinner on a regular basis.

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' Cullen Moorland feels like he's in an, albeit mild, version of this. He sneaks into Jerin's room and comments that "even the air smells better" when he is where he decides to be, instead of where his family decides he should be.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Sansa becomes a prisoner at King's Landing after her father's [[OffWithHisHead unjust execution]]. She still lives in luxury and is treated as a Lady, but she's at the mercy of the Lannisters and has to keep up a facade of still loving [[TheCaligula Joffrey]] and hating her family for being traitors.
** Following the failed Greyjoy rebellion, Eddard Stark took the last surviving Greyjoy heir, Theon, back to Winterfell to be his ward. In theory, his father wouldn't act up again, knowing if he did his son would be killed. While Theon had all of the comforts and was essentially treated as one of the family, he was still a prisoner and reminded of it frequently.
*** This is frequently the case in Westeros where "fostering" another lord's offspring is a euphemism for "holding them hostage to make sure their parents behave."
** When a plot to [[spoiler: put [[SpoiledSweet Princess Myrcella Baratheon]] on the throne]] fails, the royal plotter, [[RebelliousPrincess Arianne Martell]], is put by her father in a room full of comforts - great food, cyvasse (Westeros' equivalent of chess) - but servants who won't speak a word to her.
* ''Franchise/JurassicPark'':
** At the end of ''Literature/JurassicPark'', all the survivors are kept in a resort and questioned about what they saw at the park. It's stated that the Costa Rican government is very worried what could happen if word gets out, and that the two children would be the only ones allowed to leave.
** Apparently they relented, because in ''[[Literature/TheLostWorld1995 The Lost World]]'', Ian Malcolm is no longer confined and it's mentioned in passing that Dr. Sattler teaches in California. This is because they signed an agreement not to tell anybody about what happened.
* In ''Literature/WieldingARedSword'' by Creator/PiersAnthony, Prince Pride and the Princess Rapture are kept in a lavish magical honeymoon suite, which they cannot leave. Their kingdoms wish them to marry for political reasons, but neither even knows, let alone likes the other.
* In the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, several citizens from the United States of Europe go to London. They are housed in the Tower of London and treated well (for the times at least), but they cannot leave. The characters are imprisoned there for several books.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'', the rooms Andy and Charlie are placed in when they are captured by The Shop are very comfortable, with good food and television, and are comparable to hotel suites. This is no comfort to the characters, and it is remarked that despite all the luxuries, 'a dog turd covered with frosting is not a wedding cake; it is simply a frosted dog turd.'
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheDarkTower'' novel, the Breakers live in a lovely, idyllic 1950s-esque town called Blue Heaven. At a distance, it resembles a college town, with the latest in movies, holographic sex simulations, food and drink. Their every whim is catered to. However, it is set in Thunderclap, a highly radioactive, toxic environment and is surrounded by electric fences and armed guards who will shoot on sight. Almost all Breakers have grown completely used to their privileges and don't care their mission is [[spoiler:destroy all of reality]]. They "get along to get along."
* In the first ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' book the BigBad has an actual gilded cage that he keeps one of his slaves in.
* The space colony with criminal ties named Interchange serves this function in ''Literature/TheDemonPrinces''. It's an institution designed to hold people who have been kidnapped and held for ransom until someone pays the ransom. Kirth Gersen, who ends up in there temporarily, notes that while it's very comfortable and there's no lack of things to do, the whole atmosphere is depressing as nobody really talks to anyone else. And, you know, they've all been kidnapped.
* In ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'', RebelliousPrincess Aravis was to be [[ArrangedMarriage pawned off]] as a [[OldManMarryingAChild child bride]] to the cruel, repulsive Vizier Ahoshta Tarkaan, the second most powerful man in the whole kingdom. She would've been little more than a puppet wife locked in a luxurious palace had she not {{run away|Fiance}}. (Aravis's already married friend Lasaraleen is in a similar situation, though she doesn't seem to mind that much.) Aravis's WickedStepmother manipulated Aravis's dad to come up with the arrangement to get rid of a hated stepdaughter.
* Sigmund Ausfaller is "invited" to be a permanent "guest" of the Hindmost in ''Literature/DestroyerOfWorlds''.
* This is the entirety of the book ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea''. As magnificent as the adventure is, Captain Nemo ''is'' holding Professor Arronax and his companions captive to keep the secret of the ''Nautilus'' safe. Ned Land certainly doesn't forget it.
* Scarlett of ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive'' is put in one of these during the fourth book. She actually realizes almost immediately that she is in a prison. A superbly comfortable, incredibly expensive and luxurious prison, but a prison nonetheless. What she ''doesn't'' realize is that in this case, "the management" is the LegionsOfHell in all but name.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': The Countess Persephone is held prisoner by Duke Nobel in ''Reynard the Fox'', but has leave to wander the palace during the day, and is still treated like a member of the nobility. She is treated so well that Reynard is genuinely surprised to find that her windows are actually barred, and that the locks on her chambers are there to keep her ''in'' rather than to keep others ''out''. Ironically, during ''Defender of the Crown'', [[spoiler: Reynard throws her back into one of these, and treats her worse than Nobel ever did.]]
* Subverted in ''Literature/TairenSoul.'' [[EvilSorcerer Vadim Maur]] has very nice-looking chambers for all his important Fey prisoners to stay in. The catch is that for the most dangerous ones, every inch of the room is threaded with the black metal ''Sel'dor'', which Fey are weak to. Therefore, the Fey in these beautiful chambers are in almost constant pain.
* In the Literature/SwordOfTruth series, the prophet Nathan Rahl is kept in one of these by the Sisters of the Light, and given every comfort, except wine, because a drunken prophet is bad news. Later in the series, Nathan Rahl escapes, and his Mord-Sith servants capture the Prelate, the leader of the Sisters of the Light. He then has her thrown in a grimy prison cell, refuses her requests to see him with the same answers she had refused him with over the years ("I'm busy and can't be bothered to come down every time you clamor for me!"), and gives her all the wine she wants. Later, he shows up to meet with her, acts as if her prison cell is a GildedCage, and then makes a brief speech about how all prisons, regardless of how pretty or comfortable they are, are fundamentally the same.
** The same is true, though to a lesser degree, of all wizards held for training by the Sisters of the Light. Every one is held by a RestrainingBolt that keeps them from moving too far away from the Palace, though with a leeway of at least several miles. And aside from a few hours of daily mandatory training, all trainees are given free reign of the city, with a nigh unlimited allowance to see to their comforts. The catch is that as they progress in their training, the students begin to lose more and more privileges as their magic becomes more dangerous. Thus, a vast majority of the trainees are spoiled [[{{Jerkass}} Jerkasses]] who do the bare minimum of training in order to not be promoted past the allowances they've become accustomed to.
* ''Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia'' by Creator/SamuelJohnson opens with the title character kept in a valley like all the princes who do not succeed to the throne, in the lap of luxury so they don't want to leave. Except that Rasselas finds himself inexplicably miserable. His tutor tells him that if he knew how miserable life was outside, he would appreciate the valley. Rasselas takes it as a suggestion.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfChaos The Orphans of Chaos]]'', Boggins praises the education they are giving the children and tells them they are lucky to receive it.
* In the ''[[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Wheel of Time]]'', [[spoiler: Morgase]] stays as a 'guest' of [[spoiler: the Children of the Light]] for a time. A somewhat dark case, as despite the appearance of civility, the captors were employing ColdBloodedTorture (albeit of a type designed not to leave lasting marks) in order to compel her to acquiesce to their political demands; it's almost certain that she was raped as well.
* In ''Literature/CodexAlera'', we learn that a LuxuryPrisonSuite that later contains an important ambassador was originally made for a previous Emperor's favorite mistress, who was accused of treason and imprisoned there. The Emperor personally [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow interrogated]] her at least once a week during her captivity.
** Later in the series, long after [[spoiler:the Vord overrun Alera Imperia, the [[HiveQueen Vord Queen]] leaves one pleasant little town untouched, if surrounded by guards. She offers to allow any Alerans who surrender to live there in peace, so long as they are made sterile.]]
* In ''Literature/TheShamerChronicles'', this is what Dina was kept in after she got captured by the Villain in the second book.
* Murtagh was kept confined by the Varden in ''[[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon]]'' after refusing to submit to a MindProbe. Eragon is very distressed by this, assuming him to be languishing in a cell somewhere. In fact he is very comfortable with his every need catered for, and considers imprisonment somewhat preferable to the treatment he would get from most of the Varden. [[LockedInTheDungeon Not so much in the film.]]
* On the Literature/{{Discworld}}, Lord Vetinari has a special section of his palace set aside for an {{Expy}} of Da Vinci, the dangerously brilliant Leonard of Quirm, separated from the rest of the palace by a secret passage full of potentially lethal traps. The twist is that Leonard doesn't actually mind it, or even consider himself to be imprisoned, since his particular cage is filled with enough paper and ink and bits of things to keep his mind occupied the whole time. In fact, the first time he was allowed out, a few days later he returned and locked himself back ''in'', so that people who would turn his designs into terrible weapons could not get to him.
** It is strongly implied that this is not, technically, a prison, as Leonard of Quirm can apparently leave it at will, having designed most of the traps. It is not made quite clear whether Vetinari knows this, nor whether either of them consider it a prison or just let everyone else think that.
** Vetinari seems to have this as something of a policy; he claims that you should never build a dungeon you wouldn't want to spend the night in because if you are overthrown the usurper will have you tossed in it. It's not exactly luxurious, but it ''is'' clean, airy, and free of any of the snakes and scorpions that his predecessor employed. There ''are'' rats, but only because Vetinari taught them how to eliminate the snakes and scorpions, and in gratitude they act as servants. There's also a hidden key, and the door can be bolted only ''on the inside''. The man really thought this through.
** ''Another'' [[MagnificentBastard Vetinari]] example: Moist von Lipwig finds his new life as Postmaster General to be this. He can go where he wants and do what he pleases... but he's under the watchful eye of a parole officer. Said officer is a {{golem}} who never sleeps, never stops working, is almost indestructible, and can sense Moist's location wherever he goes. He may be able to move around, but Moist is all too aware that he's still a prisoner.
* In the Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels, ''Cross Roads'' reveals that Henry "Hank" Jellicoe put the Vigilantes and the Big Five into these to keep them divided and unable to disrupt his plans to set up an assassination attempt on President Martine Connor and step in to stop it and make sure the Pentagon keeps funding him and his organization Global Sercurities. Fortunately, the Vigilantes and the Big Five eventually realized that they were stuck in these, and got out of them. ''Deja Vu'' reveals that Jellicoe put a reporter named Virgil Anders in one, because Virgil was writing a book about Jellicoe titled "Man, Myth, Monster", and Jellicoe objected to the "monster" part.
* The city of Axiom Nexus in ''Literature/TransformersTransTech'', to any "[[DoubleSpeak units of interest]]" with technology the [=TransTechs=] deem useful. Axiom Nexus isn't that bad if you can manage to find a good niche for yourself, especially compared to the wartorn universe you're likely from... but you're still not allowed to ever leave or see your loved ones you left behind ever again.
* Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's ''Literature/TheFirstCircle'' is set in a ''sharashka'', the Club Fed-style encampments within TheGulag for scientists doing necessary work (See below under "Real Life"). Solzhenitsyn himself served out most of his eight-year sentence in one, due to his talent as a mathematician.
* All over the place in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'':
** The training area for tributes. Luxurious quarters, beautiful clothes, five star cuisine, and a top-notch training facility to prepare you for your fight to the death. Simply divine. Katniss even says that it will be their "home/prison until the Games begin."
** It's implied that the five-star housing of the victors is also like this. Once they've won the game, they're celebrities around Panem and are treated like it. However, the Capitol keeps a close eye on them, ''because'' they are now potentially influential celebrities.
** The wealthier districts have better living conditions but more brutal and fanatical Peacekeepers. On the other hand, District 12 is one of the poorest districts, but the authorities are far more willing to turn a blind eye to things like poaching and black market trading, or at least until they get replaced by new troops during ''Catching Fire''.
** The Capitol itself could also be seen as this - for somewhere that is supposedly very privileged, we see several people willing to risk their lives to escape. The fact that [[spoiler: Seneca Crane was executed for simply [[YouHaveFailedMe failing at his job]]]] implies at least a very restrictive society, where [[BigBrotherIsWatching you're watched constantly]] and not toeing the line has terrible consequences. In ''Catching Fire'', Effie actually says "That sort of thinking...it's forbidden, Peeta. Absolutely." when Peeta tries to hold the Gamemakers accountable for killing children by [[spoiler: painting a picture of Rue's death]] which implies the Capitol citizens [[{{Thoughtcrime}} may not quite have the freedom Katniss assumes.]]
* In ''Literature/RedeemingLove'', Angelís life as a prostitute looks pretty cushyóshe has extravagant clothes and the luxury suite in the brothel, and itís implied that her services are in such high demand that she makes significantly more money than virtually anyone else in the GoldFever townóbut itís revealed that she has no access to any of her income, doesnít own her fine possessions, and has no control over what she does, where she goes, or whom she talks to; she is intensely lonely and bitter.
* In ''Literature/TheKingdomAndTheCrown'' Miriam comes to see [[spoiler: Marcus' family home]] as one.
* In ''Literature/ForYourSafety'' this is the fate of all of ''humanity'', as the [[AIIsACrapShoot Groupmind]] removes all the humans to a incredibly comfortable ring world in orbit around the Earth. They're provided with every possibly luxury by an army of billions of 'morphs, but may never leave the Ring, since the Earth has now been designated a nature preserve.
* In ''[[Literature/TheRedVixenAdventures Captive of the Red Vixen]]'' Rolas' cell on the ''Scarlet Claw'' resembles a luxury cruise ship cabin, with entertainment center, AutoKitchen, [[PrisonsAreGymnasiums weights and treadmill]]. And a beacon device for his ShockCollar in the door. But after his escape attempt the entertainment center is deactivated and the kitchen programmed to only produce "prison loaf".
* The children's attic prison in ''Literature/FlowersInTheAttic'' initially comes across as this when they are fed regularly and frequently given expensive presents. It becomes a nothing more than a cage, however, when their mother increasingly neglects.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonvarld}}'', the Parliament of Dragons plans this for Melisande. They're not willing to have her wander around free with her magic, and they want her to give birth to a similarly-empowered son whom they can train "properly", but insist that she'll be "given the best of everything". [[spoiler:It doesn't come to pass, because she dies in childbirth after the pregnancy plan gets implemented without her knowing consent]].
* In ''Literature/TheBeyonders'', Emperor Maldor makes good use of one of these. The Eternal Feast is a place where your every need is catered to and you are granted pleasures beyond your dreams. If someone becomes too bothersome and difficult to dispose of, he offers them a place there. Suffice it to say, few refuse and fewer ever manage to leave.
* Just as in its film adaptation, ''Literature/DrNo'' has Dr. No's ElaborateUndergroundBase be part SupervillainLair and part five-star-hotel.
* In the original Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast, Belle goes to the Beast's castle to save her father's life. Aside from the Beast asking for her hand in marriage every day, she's got it pretty good; eating rich food, and being waited on hand and foot by the castle's unseen servants.
* The ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' series reveals that the Emperor had a set of twenty apartments built beneath the Imperial Palace on Terra to house the Primarchs once the Great Crusade was complete. While they're very luxurious and fit for the demigods, the obvious implication is that they're Gilded Cages to contain the Primarchs once they've outlived their usefulness as conquerors and generals.
* When on Earth, Beatrice in ''LightNovel/TheWeaknessOfBeatriceTheLevelCapHolySwordswoman'' is kept in one of these. Known as the Detached Magic Palace, it's a mansion within a large forest in Tokyo. She has access to everything she wants and is served by maids, but if she escapes, she is literally at risk of assassination. It's eventually revealed that she's kept there because [[spoiler:she looks like a younger version of the Sage, a major villain, and so was suspected to be the Sage's past self]].
* Frederick in ''Literature/TheCollector'' keeps the object of his infatuation in one. Since she's an art student, he adds various art books and stationery, as well as anything she asks for, to the basement cage in hopes of gaining her favor.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** During her captivity, Sansa is granted all the luxuries befitting a highborn lady but remains confined to the Red Keep and completely at the mercy of her enemies. The Hound even takes to calling her "little bird" because of this.
** Following his father's rebellion, Theon was taken as a hostage to his father's good behaviour. As such, he was raised among the Stark children but with the constant shadow of a possible execution hanging over the relationship.
* The Village in ''Series/ThePrisoner.''
* Jack is confined to one of these in ''Series/{{Kings}}'' - along with his [[TheBeard clingy wife]].
* In the ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "Legion", the boys are held captive in luxurious "prison" suites tailored specifically to their respective tastes, so that a sophisticated being named Legion can perpetuate his own existence by feeding off their combined psychic energy.
-->'''Lister''': When I finally get round to writing my ''Good Psycho Guide'', this place is gonna get raves. Accommodation - excellent. Food - first class. Resident nutter - courteous and considerate. Psycho rating's gotta be four and a half chainsaws. Higher, maybe.
** Arguably Rimmerís childhood was like this. His family were obviously very well off on Io, sending him off to boarding school and his brothers to the Academy. However, with his parents being horribly abusive and implied to hate each other, as well as his fatherís apparent attempted suicide, itís obvious that Arnold was desperately unhappy there. He finally apparently escaped by divorcing them and claiming emancipation until employment age. However, it is also painfully apparent that despite his Ďfreedomí the gilded cage still exists in his psyche, with him still desperately trying to become an officer and earn his familyís approval 3 million years later.
* In a third season episode of ''Series/NightGallery'' entitled "The Ring with the Red Velvet Ropes" newly crowned heavyweight boxing champ Jim Figg is abducted immediately following his winning bout and transported to a luxurious mansion in an alternate dimension. There he learns that he will be well treated but kept a prisoner until after he has fought the owner of the mansion (played by Chuck Conners) to determine who is the real champion of the universe. If he loses he will be transported back to Earth. If he wins he will replace Conners and gain the companionship of Joan Van Ark.
* ''Series/{{Merlin 1998}}'': King Vortigern keeps Nimue in a gilded cage, to ensure that her father stays loyal to him.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "I Mudd", the Enterprise crew [[spoiler:and Mudd himself]] are confined to a planet where androids serve their every need while preventing them from leaving.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''
** In one episode, Janeway's Creator/LeonardoDaVinci holodeck program is "kidnapped" from the ship, and enlisted by Tau, an alien merchant, to design things for him. Janeway attempts to convince Leonardo she is freeing him from Tau's imprisonment. Leonardo, as an artist from Renaissance-era Italy, sees Tau as a wealthy patron with unlimited resources who lets him create to his heart's content, and insists "if this is a cage, it is a cage of gold!"
** In another episode, "Displaced," the entire ''Voyager'' crew is transported one-by-one off the ship and placed within a prison habitat environmentally-controlled to parameters that the alien kidnappers found would be a good fit for their crew. Afterwards, one of them shows up to tell them that they ought to be grateful...
-->'''Taleen''': I think you'll find there's nowhere to go.
-->'''Janeway''': We don't accept that. We will find a way out of here.
-->'''Taleen''': Captain, your lack of gratitude is unbecoming. You and your crew could have found yourselves somewhere far less hospitable.
-->'''Chakotay''': It's still a prison.
-->'''Taleen''': If you want to be miserable here, that is your choice. But since there's nothing you can do about your situation, I suggest you accept it. Gracefully.
* The setting of ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' comes to mind. High pay, luxury assignments, wealthy patrons...and regular doses of MindRape in addition to being used as assassins, prostitutes, and whatever else the clients desire.
* Mal sees Inara's profession as this in ''{{Series/Firefly}}'', disgusted with the lie of her being a paid companion, bound by the rules of her guild and the tastes of her clients, offering the illusion of love in exchange for wealth and luxury. Inara fires back that at least her profession is ''legal.''
* In the season 4 finale of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Zachariah and the other angels detain Dean in one of these to keep him from getting himself killed [[spoiler:since he's one of the only people suitable to host the Archangel Michael]] and to prevent him from [[spoiler:stopping Lucifer's escape]]. It's a lavish and opulent room stocked with Dean's favorite beer and the best burgers he remembers eating from his childhood; the angels even [[KissMeImVirtual offer him Ginger and Mary Ann]] from ''Series/GilligansIsland'' because [[PerverseSexualLust Dean has always had a thing for them]], but he passes. In a moment of helpless despair, Dean almost gives in and tries to eat one of the burgers [[spoiler:right before Castiel breaks him out.]]
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Army of Ghosts", Torchwood One treats the Doctor as a guest of honor and follow his advice in dealing with the current issue...but also keep armed guards on him at all times and inform him that due to his earlier encounter with Queen Victoria (Torchwood's founder), he is considered an "enemy of the state":
-->'''The Doctor''': If I'm the enemy, does that mean I'm a prisoner?\\
'''Yvonne Hartman''': Oh yes, but we'll make you perfectly comfortable.
** In the Past Doctor Adventure ''The Face of the Enemy'', the Master is locked in a compound originally meant to house defecting scientists. By its nature, it is quite luxurious, but it's also heavily defended and the Master has no illusions about living there. He even quotes the trope verbatim.
* The department store for Charles and Ella in the 1966 Music/StephenSondheim teleplay musical ''Evening Primrose''. Ella recognizes it more than he does, however.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':
** The Royal Apartment Crichton is sequestered in after he kisses the princess in the "Look at the Princess" trilogy.
** When Moya's crew get to Earth in season 4, they're given a waterfront mansion...completely cordoned off from the surrounding area and under constant surveillance and security. John's voiceover even notes "It's a cage - but at least it's a gilded one."
* In season six of ''Series/TwentyFour'', this is where we find former US President Charles Logan, as his punishment for his day 5 activities: He'd assassinated a former president and a few others and committed assorted acts of terrorism.
* In the Showtime original series ''Series/TheBorgias'', when Cesare Borgia finally defeats and captures Caterina Sforza, her brings her as a prisoner to Rome in a literal gilded cage.
* As the marriage between Nucky and Margaret deteriorates in ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'', Margaret comes to regard her life with Nucky as this. She eventually decides to leave, despite Nucky's somewhat arrogant belief, (which he outright says to her at a confrontation) that she would no longer be able to live without the comforts he had provided her during the last few years. She proves him wrong.
* ''Series/{{The 100}}'': The survivors captured by the Mountain Men in the second season are all well-treated, well-fed and generally are much better cared for than in the DeathWorld outside. But they're also forbidden to leave and to ask too many questions, are lied to about the existence of other survivors outside, and in the end [[spoiler:are only here to have their blood and bone marrow harvested.]]

* The Music/{{Eagles}}' "Hotel California" serves as a metaphor for drug addiction and death - ''"You can check out any time you'd like/But you can never leave!"''
* The TropeNamer is a 1900 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EN_wsQwfd4 parlour song]] by Harry von Tilzer:
-->''She's only a bird in a gilded cage,\\
A beautiful sight to see.\\
You may think she's happy and free from care,\\
She's not, though she seems to be.\\
Tis sad when you think of her wasted life,\\
For youth cannot mate with age;\\
And her beauty was sold for an old man's gold --\\
She's a bird in a gilded cage.''
** Repeated in Music/{{Rush}}'s "Limelight":
--->''Living on a lighted stage\\
Approaches the unreal\\
For those who think and feel\\
In touch with some reality\\
Beyond the gilded cage''
* The phrase is dropped in the opera of Creator/{{Voltaire}}'s ''Literature/{{Candide}}'': "Harsh necessity brought me to this gilded cage -- born to higher things, here I droop my wings... Singing of a sorrow [[TemptingFate nothing can assuage.]]" (But it turns out that Cunegonde rather likes her gilded cage a lot more than she lets on!)
%%* "Luxury Cage" by ''Republica''.
* The 1903 song "Little Yellow Bird" (sung by Creator/AngelaLansbury in the 1945 film version of ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray'') tells of a wild sparrow in winter who sees a canary in a cage. The male canary invites her to stay where it's warm and she will be well-fed, but she sees his life as an example of this:
-->''Good-bye, little yellow bird.\\
I'd gladly mate with you -\\
I love you, little yellow bird,\\
But I love my freedom, too.\\
So good-bye, little yellow bird.\\
I'd rather brave the cold\\
On a leafless tree\\
Than a prisoner be\\
In a cage of gold.''
* Music/DavidByrne and Music/FatboySlim's album ''Here Lies Love'' has the song "Solano Avenue". Here, Imelda Marcos has her former caretaker Estrella Cumpas placed in a "safe house" in Manila, with guards "for her own protection". All this because Estrella wrote a biography of Imelda--and Imelda would rather the world ''not'' know about her early years in poverty.

[[folder: Mythology and Religion]]
* In response to a prophecy that his son would become a great religious leader or a great king (and preferring that he become the latter), the father of [[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} Siddhartha Guatama]] kept him in one of these. [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready It didn't work]].
* In Myth/HinduMythology, Sita is kidnapped and held in the palace of Lanka (complete with attendants) by King Ravana, for a whole year. He tried to sleep with her, but as she was already HappilyMarried to [[PrinceCharming Rama]], she refused Ravana's advances.

* Johanna from ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' is living in one contructed by her guardian, Judge Turpin. Fittingly, she gets a song about it called "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" with an obvious bird and cage theme, in which she laments her inability to be content with her comfortable prison.
-->''My cage has many rooms, damask and dark\\
Nothing there sings, not even my lark\\
Larks never will, you know, when they're captive\\
Teach me to be more adaptive''
* Evoked by name in the song "Glitter and Be Gay" from Leonard Bernstein's ''Literature/{{Candide}}'', as Cunegonde laments that her glamorous life as the mistress of two rich men has come at the cost of her honor Ė though she quickly and humorously subverts this trope by revealing that she really does love all the luxury.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'': A story told to your character. Quoted in full:
-->Upon the Plane of Ysgard is the Gilded Hall, where those Sensates that seek the pleasure of gullet and loin can be found. They indulge these passions in earnest, never realizing that the doors of the hall never open and that there is no clear path back to the Civic Festhall. They are the unwanted Sensates, the ones that do not truly believe in the faction, but instead seek only pleasure for pleasure's sake. Are prisoners who do not realize they are such truly prisoners?
* In ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia'', [[RebelliousPrincess Kara]] constantly tries to escape her father's castle before joining [[TheHero Will]] and leaving permanently. She even describes it as a "prison of silk and gold".
* The opening narration of the Mage Origin in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' describes the Tower of the Circle of Magi as one of these. The mages get access to better and better quarters as they rise in rank, they have access to all of the resources a student of magic could ever desire, and they get all of their needs provided for them. [[MundaneUtility The Tranquil even make use of their talent for alchemy to brew fine ale]]. Too bad they can't ever ''leave'' the Tower except on official Circle business unless they want to risk Death by Templar. The same Templars never let them out of their sight -- always watching. Some mages learn to appreciate the benefits and opportunities the Circle provides and come to accept their restricted lives. Others... don't.
** The restrictions aren't incredibly harsh in the Ferelden Circle, at least. In ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'' you can run into a Circle mage doing research on alchemical plants, in the middle of nowhere without any kind of supervision, implicitly for weeks at a time. WordOfGod confirms that the Knight-Commander in Ferelden is considered almost excessively liberal because he's willing to allow mages to leave the tower as long as they arrange it through proper channels.
** Zevran considers being an Antivan Crow to be this. You can be wealthy, respected and desired - provided you follow orders and never quite forget that you're expendable. Not to mention it involves TrainingFromHell starting at a very young age.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' the Kirkwall Circle of Magi has it even worse: not only are the Templars even stricter (verging on psychotic), but over the course of the game the "gilding" on their cage is gradually removed. In Act 2 there's a rather nasty point in which Ser Alrik is implied to be making mages [[EmptyShell Tranquil]] so he can use them as {{sex slave}}s. By Act 3, mages aren't even permitted to leave their cells. The Circle is even housed in a former prison complex, so the gilding was somewhat limited in the first place.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', Cassandra Pentaghast confides that her life before becoming a Seeker was very much like this. She's a distant cousin to Nevarra's royal family and descended from dragonslayers, although she's probably the only living member of the clan who has actually ''killed'' a dragon; as a child, she was the ward of her uncle, who didn't really have much to do with her, and she says that all she knew of Nevarra for a long time was what she saw through the window. She describes her state in the family as being like a porcelain doll, occasionally brought out to be shown off but generally just kept aside.
* In the ''Dawnguard'' expansion of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', Serana observes that Castle Volkihar was essentially this for her as she was growing up. She was never able to go anywhere or have any real friends, mostly due to her family's status (her father was an extremely high-ranking noble, almost a king in his way) and the fact that her parents were [[spoiler:Daedra worshipers who eventually became vampires, and forced her to become one as well]].
* Hyrule Castle is something like this for Princess Zelda in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''. She's still in her lavish childhood home, the interior of which remains untouched by the scourge of Twilight, and although she seems to prefer to remain [[GirlInTheTower in her tower]], there's nothing to suggest she can't visit other parts of the building as well. But she can't ''leave''.
* The titular village of St. Mystere in ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheCuriousVillage'' exists [[spoiler:entirely as a place of safety for Flora, the Baron's orphaned daughter, where RidiculouslyHumanRobot servants and attendants protect and care for her. It's a pretty neat place, with puzzle-dispensing robots and a private amusement park and an elaborate tower for her exclusive residence. But she can't leave it until a worthy guardian appears and solves the riddle of the Golden Apple.]]
* After becoming [[spoiler:the new King Of Town]], Strong Bad [[spoiler:is kept in the Of Town's castle under constant surveillance and (over)protection from the Homestarmy]] in ''[[VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople Strong Badia the Free]]''. Escaping takes the entire rest of the episode.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'':
** You find Victini in a nice, cozy bedroom in the basement of an island lighthouse, where it's been for the last 200 years. It's suggested that the family who bought the land built the room as a place for Victini to hide in so it would be safe from those who would exploit its powers. After the player catches it, everyone agrees that it's safer in your hands.
** N's childhood room is another example. He grew up in a huge room, complete with a ''half-pipe''... but that was the extent of his contact with the world until the events of the game.
* [[LonelyRichKid Rozalin's]] mansion from ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'' is said to be this trope. Luckily for Rozy, she gets out thanks to a [[spoiler: supposedly]] botched summoning ritual.
* The Lucky 38 Presidential Suite in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', though only in the eyes of Cass and Arcade, both of whom have a low opinion on New Vegas. The others range from ambivalent to (in the case of Veronica) enjoying living in relative luxury.
** The Sierra Madre Casino became this when its security systems activated during the nuclear war, trapping the Gala Event guests inside to either starve to death or be killed by the Security Holograms.
** Vault 101 from ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' is another example. Providing you are willing to obey the Overseer, the dictator who runs the place, and never leave, life is dull but comfortable. Meanwhile, people in the wasteland outside are free but have to contend with raiders, mutants and fascist militias trying to kill them at every turn.
** The vaults in general were advertised as this in the event of a nuclear apocalypse, however in reality most of them were designed as experiments and the majority who entered them often suffered rather unfortunate ends.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2,'' the ''Normandy SR-2'' is one of these for [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]]; essentially created to make Shepard more comfortable while working with [[NebulousEvilOrganization Cerberus]], it's a replica of the first ''Normandy,'' but equipped with civilian luxuries that the original never had: a research lab, a kitchen, a lounge with observation windows and a mini-bar, and (as Joker points out) leather seats. Shepard's even given an upper deck for use as his/her private quarters, complete with a king-sized bed, an office space, an en-suite bathroom, a massive fishtank, and a display case for model ships. In spite of all these benefits, it's still a gilded cage: the entire ship has been bugged and most of the crew are loyal Cerberus operatives, so the [[DiabolicalMastermind Illusive Man]] is notified of whatever happens on-board; in spite of all the leeway Shepard is given, s/he's still firmly under the Illusive Man's thumb for most of the game.
-->'''Shepard:''' If we're stuck here, we might as well let them pamper us.\\
'''Joker:''' Does it breach uniform regs if I get that on a t-shirt? 'Cause this is my favourite "You Have No Choice" choice, ever.\\
'''Shepard:''' Technically, this is a civilian ship. I'm probably lucky you're still wearing pants.\\
'''Joker:''' Yeah, I'll save that for the off-hour cameras...
** At the end of the game, [[spoiler:you have the option to make off with it and get a chance for an [[ShutUpHannibal immensely satisfying]] screw you to TIM.]]
** [[VideoGame/MassEffect3 The next game]] also reveals [[spoiler: that the ''Normandy'' had mechanisms so that Cerberus could take control of it remotely if Shepard tried to leave. Fortunately, by the time that became an issue, EDI had been unshackled and shut those protocols down. The last time Cerberus tried to activate them, she flooded their servers [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments with seven zettabytes of porn.]]]]
** Also revealed in the third game is the monastery where [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Ardat-Yakshi]] are kept. They're given a large, open space to live in comfort... but they'll be murdered if they try to leave [[spoiler: or can't stay when it's destroyed.]] On the plus side, there are references to Ardat-Yakshi who demonstrate sufficient self-control being permitted supervised reintegration into asari society.
* ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'':
** A bird in a gilded cage is the manifestiation of Yukiko Amagi's shadow in ''VideoGame/Persona4'', representing her frustration at having already had her fate of inheriting her family inn decided for her and tying her down to Inabi for the rest of her life. [[spoiler: The conclusion of her character arc has her reach the decision to accept this, because she does truly love the inn, the staff, and the town, and she doesn't want to turn her back on them just for the sake of being rebellious when she truly does want to stay.]]
** Haru Okumura from ''VideoGame/Persona5'' may have grown up in wealth and splendor, but her father controls every aspect of her life and is planning to marry her off to an abusive jackass solely for his own political gain.
* [[spoiler:The Eastern Kingdom of Mikado]] in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV''. For bonus points, [[spoiler:the Archangels are trying to change the status quo so humanity is forever imprisoned in their God-sanctioned playpen by tossing Tokyo into a black hole, forever denying humans of the knowledge and technology there. With Mikado under their influence, no one will ever again feel curiosity, need of change, or guilt - erasing Lucifer's taint on the hearts of Men and ensuring the Law faction's absolute dominance ''[[AltumVidetur per secula seculorum]]'']].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Yakuza}} 0'', Goro Majima works in the Sotenbori district of Osaka as the manager of a highly popular and financially successful hostess club. Though he is respected and popular in the club, however, he is kept under the thumb of the Shimano crime family, unable to leave Kansai without endangering his life.
* Wrathion of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' claims this would have been his fate as [[TheLastOfHisKind the last black drake]] if he had not escaped the Red Dragonflight. He would have been effectively imprisoned inside Wyrmrest Accord and kept as breeding stock to try and recreate the uncorrupted black dragonflight, even if he wouldn't have been treated as a prisoner.
* Elizabeth's home on Monument Island in ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' is an almost perfect example, consisting of a suite of lavishly furnished rooms and a large library housed within the statue of the archangel Columbia, from which she is unable to escape by any means. However, Elizabeth is completely unaware that there's a huge scientific facility built around her chambers, and a team of amoral researchers keeps her under almost constant surveillance via a series of one-way mirrors. On top of that, the tower is protected by the Songbird, a gigantic cybernetic beast programmed to terminate any unauthorized personnel with extreme prejudice.
** Similarly, Eleanor Lamb from ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock 2}}'' has wound up like this ''twice'' - as a child, she was taught well, but was kept under lock and key from the rest of [[CrapsackWorld Rapture's]] society via security locks, though she managed to figure out how to hack the systems. When the player finds her as an adult, she's kept in a plush sealed environment, guarded by psychotic psuedo-zombies lead by [[EvilMatriarch her mother]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist Sofia Lamb]].
* In ''Videogame/{{Cursery}}: The Crooked Man'', this becomes an important plot point. Cheryl was feeling smothered and trapped in the chateau by her fiance, who had been obsessively keeping her from visiting her village, that she escaped from their chateau one night. [[spoiler: He was chasing her down to bring her back to the chateau when she stepped on loose ground and fell off a cliff to her death. This drove Blaise insane with grief.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' series, Flandre Scarlet is confined to her room during the events of ''Scarlet Devil Mansion'', due to [[PersonOfMassDestruction her incredibly destructive powers]]. The room is very lavish, and she is not in want for toys (which she always ends up breaking), but centuries of confinement have taken their toll on her sanity.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', after Heavy, his mother, and his sisters escaped from TheGulag together, Heavy turned his cabin into one of these, out of the fear that the KGB agents would return to murder his family. His sisters later protest, telling him that while they love him very much, and that they'll always appreciate his protection, they've become very adept at defending themselves without him, and they want the ability to travel, eat without having to hunt bear every day, and perhaps get a chance to date, or get laid. Heavy tells them they're all grown up girls now, they don't need his help anymore, and lets them free to do as they wish.
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' in Chrom and Gaius's supports. They discuss this trope and Chrom implies that he'd rather be out with normal people than in Ylisse's castle, though he doesn't seem to be very bitter about it.
* Happens twofold in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', [[spoiler: involving the same place]]:
** The Avatar is kidnapped away from his/her family in Hoshido and [[GirlInTheTower confined to a fortress]] in Nohr, the kingdom that took him/her away. At first they're shabbily treated by King Garon, but later their situation noticeably improves and by the time the game begins, the fortress is shown to have very comfortable quarters for the Avatar and his/her retainers (and one of the mangas shows that it's quite a bigger building than one would've believed). The Avatar still cannot get out, though, and the plot is kickstated when he or she ''does'' get the chance.
** It's later revealed that [[spoiler: said fortress was ''also'' a GC for the {{ninja maid}}s Felicia and Flora, the daughters of the chieftain of the Ice Tribe, kept as hostages to force their people into submission. Flora knows this and is very bitter, but Felicia is LockedOutofTheLoop.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has Luke, who is not allowed to leave the family manor due to his kidnapping seven years earlier, to prevent such a tragedy from occuring again. He's so sheltered that not only does he not have basic knowledge of things like stores, he does not know what the city he lives in looks like.
* Toriel in ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' does this to the player character. At first, she is overjoyed to have them in her home and was looking forward to raising them as her own child and preparing a curriculum for your education. She even has a room ready for them and it's already furnished with toys, a desk, and a bed. [[spoiler: Her mood sours when the player character tries to leave and she warns them several times to go back to the room while she destroys the only exit leading out of the Ruins. Following her to the very end of the hall forces them to fight her to prove that they're are strong enough to survive on their own. If the player spares Toriel peacefully, she apologizes for trying to keep them trapped and lets them go with a FinalFirstHug while asking them not to come back.]]
* In ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'', the Japanese colony is this for [[BrokenBird Baiken]] and [[MrFanservice Anji Mito]] [[spoiler: (but not for [[GenkiGirl May]], since she was taken in by the Jellyfish Pirates instead and few know she's Japanese)]]. There are only a small number of Japanese people left in the world after the destruction of Japan, so the world governments created the colony as a last resort to keep them alive. Unfortunately, no one is allowed into the colony without special permission, and its residents are not allowed outside period. [[spoiler: In the story mode of -REVELATOR-, it's revealed that this was done for an ulterior purpose: to ensure that none of the Japanese would be able to escape being turned into living bombs by Ariels.]]
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' has ''The Land of Departure'' which [[{{Irony}} ironically]] serves as a gilded cage for [[spoiler:Ventus]] He was never supposed to leave. He lampshades it when he confronts Master Eraqus, who promptly decides that HeKnowsTooMuch [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness and follows the "logical"]][[AxCrazy course of action.]] (Though, given what we learn about [[spoiler:Ventus]] Eraqus is most likely considering TheNeedsOfTheMany.)
* In the good ending of ''VideoGame/GhostReconWildlands'', [[spoiler:[[BigBad El Sueño]] agrees to become a confidential informant for the US government. In exchange for his intel on other cartels and terrorist groups, El Sueño is given total immunity and a luxury condo in Florida, which comes with 24-hour surveillance, armed guards and CCTV cameras in every room, giving him zero privacy. Bowman also makes it clear that this setup is only temporary, and that they will cut him loose or ship his ass back to a regular prison in Mexico the second he runs out of useful information.]]
* The third mission in ''VideoGame/Hitman2016'' is actually called "A Gilded Cage"; one of the targets, Claus Hugo Strandberg, is a Swedish bank CEO who embezzled billions of dollars from the people of Morocco, and was busted out of police custody by mercenaries working for [[GeneralRipper Reza Zaydan]], Strandberg's partner and the other target. Strandberg's taken refuge in the Swedish consulate in Marrakesh, which has all the comforts of home, but there's a massive protest literally right outside demanding his arrest.
* In ''VideoGame/XCOM2'', this is the state of the city centers controlled by the [[VichyEarth ADVENT Administration.]] The alien regime has rebuilt many cities into shining metropolises filled with parks and monuments to the "Elders," where citizens enjoy a high standard of living, delicious ADVENT Burgers, and free access to gene clinics that have wiped out most diseases. But citizens also live under constant scrutiny and have to go through regular security screenings, heavily-armored ADVENT "peacekeepers" patrol the streets and violently put down any signs of dissent, pets and livestock are forbidden, and those gene clinics are actually a front for the aliens' plan to gather HumanResources. As for those ADVENT Burgers, one character points out it's been a long time since anyone's seen a cow...
* One new faction type in ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}''[='s=] ''Synthetic Dawn'' expansion are "Rogue Servitors," {{Artificial Intelligence}}s that were gradually given more and more authority over their creators' lives until they eventually came to run the planet. They're not hostile to organics, they simply feel that it's in other species' best interests to let machines run their lives and keep them in pampered but efficient living sectors, and can't fathom why anyone would prioritize independence over such a blissful, carefree existence. And this is actually a game mechanic - Rogue Servitors house any non-robotic species in "Organic Sanctuary" structures, and the greater the ratio of these "bio-trophies" to robots, the happier and more productive those robots are.
* This is apparently a common practice of the Templars in ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'': in the event that dangerous scholars and magicians prove too valuable to simply execute, the Templars arrange to have the offenders rehabilitated in as opulent a setting as possible - tenured life at university being a popular variant. The main example of this treatment found in the game is [[EruditeStoner Iain Tibet Gladstone]]; having been caught after a long spree of heavy drug use and dubious practical experiments, he is currently being held under house arrest at the absurdly luxurious Temple Club, with a massive library at his disposal and the Stuart Twins as his [[CloudcuckoolandersMinder Minders]]. As cushy as it is, it's still a prison; Gladstone is not allowed off the premises unsupervised, the threat of worse conditions has been raised in order to keep him out of trouble, he's actually been banned from visiting Oxford - and the faculty are prepared to enforce the ban by having him ''[[DisproportionateRetribution hanged]].''

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'', [[spoiler:the school itself ultimately becomes this to Makoto, Togami, Aoi, Hagakure and Touko (at least until she died) in Chapter 5's Bad Ending. All of them say they're living happily, but their huge talents have gone to waste and now they're confined to the school grounds, having a sort-of little family (and apparently Aoi is the only one giving birth to the kids, since Touko is dead and we don't know ''when'' she kicked it) that won't leave the place ever...]]
** In [[VisualNovel/SuperDanganronpa2 the sequel]], the trope is [[DiscussedTrope discussed]]. In his fourth Free Time event, Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu complains that he'd rather stay at a prison[[note]]as the Ultimate Yakuza, he's the most likely of the cast to wind up in prison[[/note]] than be trapped on Jabberwock Island ([[spoiler:or rather, a virtual reality simulator, but that's a long story]]). Hinata then tells him that it's an odd case, as the place has soft beds, a beautiful ocean and entertainment, a point Kuzuryuu concedes. Essentially, a gilded cage is still preferable to an actual cage.
* In ''VisualNovel/MysticMessenger'', some of the routes have the main character being kept in one place for her own protection from one thing or another. It is most prevalent in [[spoiler:Jumin's route]], but [[spoiler:the bomb trapping MC in Rika's apartment also counts, and Zen's first bad ending may count depending on interpretation.]]
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'':
** The Kuwadorian mansion where [[HairOfGoldHeartOfGold 1967 Beatrice]] ([[spoiler: Bice and Kinzo]]'s daughter) lived fits this trope perfectly. It was a very comfortable mansion and all her needs were provided by her very rich father, but she was essentially imprisoned there due to being [[spoiler: Kinzo]]'s illegitimate child whose existence he had to keep secret. So the girl really, really wanted to leave, so she could find the purpose of her existence. [[spoiler: The time she tried to escape with help from a little Rosa, Beatrice fell off a cliff and died.]]
** Arguably, the meta-world itself also qualifies for Battler - the surroundings are implied to be quite nice.
* One of the meanings of the title ''VisualNovel/TheRoyalTrap'' is how the nobility are all imprisoned by their roles and the expectations of others. More specifically, in Princess Cassidy's case, she's pretty much locked into her rooms in the castle to keep her safe.
* In Toma's route in ''VisualNovel/AmnesiaOtome'', [[spoiler: the heroine is kidnapped by Toma and kept in a cage full of plushies. He lets her get out to go to the toilet and to shower herself, but always with him keeping vigilance.]]]

* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', Baron Wulfenbach takes the children of the nobles in his empire to his floating dirigible fortress as his students/hostages. They receive the best education and upbringing the Baron can provide for them, and most of the students do enjoy their life there and form friendships with the others. None of them ever forgets that they are the Baron's prisoners and hostages meant to keep their families in line.
* ''{{Webcomic/Blindsprings}}'' has the main character, Tamaura, spend all of her childhood [[BigFancyCastle in two]] [[AnotherDimension of these,]] [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld and that's saying a lot.]] In fact, she was straight-up [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleported]] from one cage to another. She had to rescued from the latter one literally [[StockholmSyndrome kicking]] and [[DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel screaming.]] [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] to the point of being a VisualPun [[http://blindsprings.com/comic/a06 here.]]
* In one mini-arc of ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}'', a FallenAngel tricks a hapless dupe into [[DealWithTheDevil signing a contract]] that traps him in one of these. The "apartment" is fully stocked with material comforts (videogames, free pizza, maids w/ benefits, etc.) and he never has to work a day in his life. In truth it's a LotusEaterMachine in Hell that feeds off him and provides power to the Sin Vanity. When he realizes the truth, his mind is no longer able to accept the illusion and he is trapped in an empty room with no way out, his body long since atrophied.
* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', Julie's former boss has been kidnapped by Brian to make drinks for him and Angelo. Judging by how well Angelo tips and the nature of the Souballo Empire, Mr. Patterson is probably living in a GildedCage now.
* In ''{{Webcomic/Drowtales}}'', the Sullisin'rune dome is lavish, luxurious, always has a party going but is unquestionably this. The Sullisin'rune are the remnants of a once great Elven empire who fled underground following a war that devastated the surface, and while they lived in peace with their neighbors the Sharen the two eventually came to blows and the Sullisin'rune lost, leaving those who remained to live in their dome under the "protection" of the Sharen. Their Illhar'ess, Ash'waren, is well aware that their dome is really a cage and that her people have grown complacent and lazy over the centuries, and she has been taking advantage of LoopholeAbuse to get back at the Sharen through the Sarghress clan without technically breaking the terms of their surrender.
* In ''{{Webcomic/Morphe}}'' the Seedlings are confined to Amical's manor. It's a beautiful mansion coated head to toe with portraits, but it is still a prison that the main characters may not leave.
* In ''WebComic/SailorMoonCosmosArc'' Usagi is horrified when she realized she inadvertently created one of these for Chibiusa: [[spoiler:yes, she's treated with all the respect due to the heir to the throne, but by wishing she never awakened as a Senshi, Chibiusa never time traveled to the past and gained the experience she needed to be Queen. Usagi left Chibiusa unprepared for battle and vulnerable to brainwashing by Servant Chaos]]. And all because she didn't want to acknowledge that the BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil existed. On a slightly different note, Servant Chaos's power kept Luna, Artemis, and Diana trapped in the restored Moon Palace, unable to help the Senshi much.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One of the reasons Weiss from ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' is trying to become a huntress is to escape this type of treatment at the hands of her family.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** "The King of Omashu".
--->'''Katara''': This is a prison cell? But it's so nice.\\
'''Aang''': He did say it was newly refurbished.\\
'''Sokka''': Nice or not, we're still prisoners.
** This is how Toph grew up. She lived in luxury and had the run of the whole estate. But she wasn't allowed to travel outside the estate or exercise her incredible potential at Earthbending -- her parents thought this was too dangerous for their "[[UnderestimatingBadassery helpless]] [[CuteBruiser little]] [[DisabilitySuperpower blind]] [[LittleMissBadass girl.]]" Nobody other than her family and her Earthbending teacher knew that she even existed.
** The Gaang's experience in Ba Sing Se. They were allowed to indulge in all the luxury they wanted, as long as they didn't try to leave, or break the rules, or evade the constant surveillance, or search for Appa, or tell anyone about Long Feng's GovernmentConspiracy or the war with the Fire Nation... Toph wasn't the least bit surprised at this, because she's been there before.
** In the SequelSeries, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', similar to Toph, the titular character lives in a large mansion with nothing to worry about except mastering all four elements in safety. However, said mansion is located in a compound miles away from the rest of the Southern Water Tribe -- including Korra's own parents. It is fenced off and guarded and Korra isn't allowed to leave for even a brief period of time without permission. With an upbringing like hers it's little wonder she [[NoSocialSkills has trouble relating to other people]].
* In the Justice Lords' alternate universe in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', Lois is not officially a prisoner and is kept in a very lovely penthouse suite, but that world's Superman refuses to let her leave, for her own protection. This is basically the Lords' "leadership" in microcosm - everything is nice and peaceful provided you do what they say. Step out of line, however, and you might just get lobotomised.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' - the Monarch, with captives Brock and Hank, think he's providing this:
-->'''Monarch:''' I treat my captives as kings. You shall be given the grandest of accommodations! It will be a far cry from sleeping over Dr. Venture's garage like so much ''Fonzie''!\\
'''Hank:''' Hey, last time I was here you kept me in a stinky ol' jail cell!\\
'''Monarch:''' ...you broke my heart, Hank.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Plankton wins Spongebob's contract in a poker game and imprisons him in the Chum Bucket until he starts making Krabby Patties. To entice Spongebob to be more co-operative, Plankton starts catering to his every whim. This soon backfires when Spongebob turns into a spoiled brat to the point where Plankton begs Mr. Krabs to take him off his hands.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' episode "Heart of Parkness", Sunil the mongoose rescues a group of raccoons from a cobra. The raccoons declare him their king and wait on him hand and foot. He enjoys it for a while, but when he tries to go home, they stop him, ordering him to guard them from future threats forever.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The largest bases in Iraq created hotel-style "Freedom Rest" facilities where Coalition soldiers could take time off. While inside the facility, soldiers were permitted to dress in civilian attire, read books, play video games, whatever they wanted. The problem was that, for safety and accountability purposes, you were not allowed to leave.[[note]]You are now reading the rest of this entry with "Hotel California" playing in the background. Have a nice day.[[/note]] As a result, many soldiers preferred to take time off in their tent rather than go through the bother of being caged in a hotel.
** Even better, the name was likely not tongue-in-cheek at all.
* There was a comfortable resort or something in Scotland during WWII where some people who knew too much were kept comfortably, but not allowed to leave. Also, some spy-defectors were also confined to mansions (at least in the UK, maybe the US as well) while the genuine-ness of their defection was being determined.
** This was also done to high-ranking German officers who'd been captured. After their initial interrogation they'd be kept with fellow officers in a mansion with waiters and other amenities, unaware that this was simply to get their guard down as all their conversations were being taped.
** Field Marshal Paulus of the [[ThoseWackyNazis Wehrmacht]] was put into one of these when he surrendered to the Soviet Union. The other German [=POWs=]? [[TheGulag Not so much]].
** In the U.S., the Geneva convention was followed to the letter. In exchange for not escaping, Wehrmacht officers were put in luxurious accommodations as afforded for their rank, with one camp even being nicknamed [[{{Pun}} "the Fritz Ritz"]], after the luxury hotel chain. Enlisted personnel were allowed free classes if they wanted, allowed to play sports within the camps, and paid a reasonable wage if they worked, under heavy guard, outside the P.O.W. camps. Ironically, the food served in these camps is said to have been of much better quality than that given to G.I.s'. In camps within ''TheDeepSouth'', German prisoners could visit, with strict supervision, businesses that were labeled "whites only."
* When [[UsefulNotes/MaryOfScotland Mary, Queen of Scots]] first became the prisoner of her cousin Elizabeth, she was kept in one of these. The later portion of her prison term was spent in a considerably less gilded cage.
* Sun King UsefulNotes/LouisXIV of France's Versailles was like this, as a very comfortable prison for a few months of the year for all the nobles, including plays specifically written for them by Creator/{{Moliere}} and Goldoni, more than 1,400 fountains, and more.
** The living spaces were infamously small for the grand majority of them, however, and the quality of the lavatories was abhorrent. Most of the fancy courtiers lived in rooms that made the modern student boxes seem huge, and shared the lousy toilets with dozens of their fellows.
* The Doge ("Duke" in the Venetian dialect) of Venice was rarely allowed to leave the lavish Palazzo Ducale. The nobles were keen on maintaining executive power and preventing the establishment of a hereditary monarchy (something which was repeatedly attempted in the 8th century). The real power resided with the Council of Ten, a body which was technically reserved for times of crisis, but in the end were the biggest decision-makers in the entire republic from the 13th century up to the destruction of the republic at the hands of Napoleon.
* Despite its sinister reputation, the pre-Revolutionary Bastille largely fit this trope. It mostly housed political prisoners, and mentally ill nobles, and it was perfectly possible for a prisoner from the Bastille to get out and rise to a prestigious position in the court again, so the wardens knew well enough not to antagonize any of them. The prisoners received an allowance, as well as anything their families donated them, and could use the money to buy anything they wanted from shops within the fortress that had as good a selection as in Paris outside. In fact, the only thing of which the prisoners were deprived was dessert with their meals and they accepted that, as prisoners, they had to be deprived of ''something'' to remind them that they were being punished. It was also quite a sizable building for its usual population of 20-50 detainees.
* Minimum security prisons are sort of like being on house arrest at a resort, except you're required to do community service and the like. Granted, the people who go here tend to be white collar offenders.
* In the minds of Western Orientalists Ottoman harems were this, [[RealityIsUnrealistic not so much in real life]]. Life in a Turkish harem tended to be monastic in nature, and only a few residents were actually expected to have sexual encounters with the Sultan, while others lived in perfect chastity. The few high-ranking members of the harem, who usually included the Sultan's mother (''Valide Sultan'') and her handmaidens, did live a life of luxury, but they were hardly confined in the way Orientalists imagined, either -- a great many Sultans found themselves ruling under their mother's strict thumb.
** The average expected lifespan of a new concubine was five years. The harem was a [[DeadlyDecadentCourt true snake pit]] with the various concubines plotting against each other and against their children whilst competing of the favour of the Sultan, and eunuchs were used to execute or assassinate too ambitious concubines. A favoured way to get rid of an undesired concubine was to stuff her in a bag and throw her to sea. Sometimes an unwanted concubine could be given to a sultan's favourite - but that involved [[GroinAttack making her infertile]] by inserting a red-hot poker in her vagina, destroying her womb (and making her incapable of producing competitors to the throne).
* The ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafes kafes]]'' of the later Ottoman Turkey. While the early Sultans resolved the inheritance issues by [[CainandAbel simply murdering, assassinating or executing all brothers and half-brothers]], this left the Osmanli family line on the verge of extinction several times. The later Sultans resolved the problem by locking the [[SpareToTheThrone brothers]] to a confined part of the Palace. Some inmates of the Kafes grew old and died there before having the opportunity to succeed to the throne. Confinement in the Kafes had a great impact on the personalities of the captives in the Kafes and many of them developed psychological disorders. At least one deposed sultan and one heir to the throne committed suicide in the Kafes. The last Ottoman sultan, Mehmet VI Vahidettin (1918Ė22) was aged 56 when he came to the throne and had been either in the harem or the Kafes his whole life. He was confined to the Kafes by his uncle (Abdülaziz) and had stayed there during the reigns of his three older brothers. It was the longest and last confinement of a sultan by his predecessors.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Islands Prince Islands]] outside Constantinople (Istanbul) served the same purpose - a gilded cage for the princes.
* This is the guiding philosophy of [[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1986002,00.html Norway's prison system]] -- treat inmates well, with a plush environment, in order to rehabilitate them and reduce recidivism rates.
* In the Soviet [[TheGulag Gulag]], there were special prisons known as ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharashka sharashki,]]'' where inmates, usually those with some talent useful to the state like scientists or engineers, were given comfortable accommodations and high-quality food, allowed to wear their own clothing, and given a good deal of autonomy in return for working on science projects like the early space program [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Korolev#Imprisonment (Sergei "The Chief Designer" Korolev began his career in one.)]]
* After Napoleon's first defeat, he was exiled in the island of Elba, where he was given sovereignty over the island and had his own personal guard of six hundred men. The island was guarded by the British Navy, but that didn't stop him from escaping.
* UsefulNotes/ElizabethBathory was sentenced to a lifetime of house arrest for the many heinous crimes she committed against the peasants of her country and the surrounding countries, only being allowed company long enough to have food and drink delivered. Even though the bit about her [[BloodBath bathing in blood]] is probably myth, it's certain she was vain, so leaving her alive to grow old and ugly without allowing anyone to see her while she was still youthful may have been AFateWorseThanDeath.
* TruthInTelevision, the practice of exchanging hostages throughout history generally involves treating them very comfortably, though they were still prisoners that their captors could execute at any time should the other party break the deals with them.
* Similar to the Bastille example, the Tower of London was used as a prison at various points in its history, but it was originally built and used as a royal residence and fortress, and when it was used for prisoners, it was almost always for nobles or other high-ranking persons. As such, the accommodations were generally typical of what a nobleman could expect outside the tower, and a prisoner could buy various luxuries. Of course, some prisoners were subject to torture while there, so it wasn't that gilded.
* AbusiveParents sometimes turn their homes into this, belittling their children into believing that they cannot survive outside the home, or bribing them with gifts so they feel guilty if they complain or want to move out.
* First Lady Michelle Obama, after moving into the White House, claimed that "The White House is like a prison. Though it's a really nice prison."
** And she wasn't the first First Lady to voice that: Martha Washington noted that she and George felt like "children out of school" after his presidency was over and it was before the White House was completely built.
* Brazilian former Judge Nicolau dos Santos Neto, who was arrested and convicted for embezzling funds from the building of a courtroom, is occasionally transferred from prison to house arrest on the pretense of treating a depression case.
* When UsefulNotes/GalileoGalilei chose to illegally publish his work rather than frame it as a theory (The Church refused to make his solar-centric universe part of her dogma), he was put on house arrest. Fortunately, his line of work didn't require leaving the house at all, and they didn't take away his telescope, so he just went on doing the exact same thing he was doing before. Whoops?
* In Japan this was enforced during the reign of the Tokugawa Shogunate with the ''sankin-kōtai'', or "alternate attendance" system. The regional daimyo (and a host of their warriors and servants) were required to spend every other year or so in the capital of Edo, where they would lounge about in luxurious estates and socialize with other feudal lords, but otherwise couldn't leave the city. This served numerous purposes: the regular processions to and from the capital required the construction and maintenance of roads that also facilitated trade, culture and innovations got spread throughout the country, the cost of these trips and the capital residences kept the daimyo too poor to cause trouble, and their time in the capital made it easy for the shogun to keep an eye on them - especially since their wives and heirs were kept there permanently as hostages.