->''"My good sir, these are hard times," said Riose, with meaning, "and you have children and friends. You have a country for which you have mouthed phrases of love and folly in the past. Come, if I should decide to use force, my aim would not be so poor as to strike you."''
-->-- '''Foundation and Empire'''

If you are [[SlidingScaleOfAntagonistVileness evil enough]], one way to turn someone to your side or motivate him to stay there is to threaten to hurt someone he cares about. This "friend" might indeed be the target's [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin best friend]] or a love interest; however, if the target is the kind who tries to protect everyone, almost anyone may serve as a hostage.

This trope is a signature tactic of a BadBoss. It is also a form of VillainousDemotivator. Those who have their friends and loved ones under constant threat should they fail might be driven to greater efforts. In some cases, [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou it may not be possible or feasible for the villains to harm the ones]] they are trying to "motivate." However, in the long run this situation can hardly be good for morale or loyalty to the BigBad. The target may, and [[SortingAlgorithmOfFaceHeelTurning likely will]], perform a HeelFaceTurn should the opportunity present itself (and it will) in a desperate bid to save their family and themselves from their circumstances. This can be a factor in convincing people that TheMobBossIsScarier than the police.

Can be PlayedForLaughs if the "friend" is [[ThreatBackfire someone the hero doesn't like]].

Compare EvenMooksHaveLovedOnes, where the Big Bad doesn't directly target his underlings' loved ones but merely shows callous disregard for them. If you actually punish his friend for his failure, that's a form of RevengeByProxy. See also BlofeldPloy. For group punishments see PhysicalFitnessPunishment.


[[folder: {{AnimeAndManga}}]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** In the Water Seven arc, [[SecretPolice CP9]] makes Robin help them obtain the blueprints of [[LostSuperweapon Pluton]] by threatening the lives of the rest of the [[TrueCompanions Straw Hat Pirates]].
** In Luffy's flashback arc, Sabo's father forces him to come home by threatening Ace and Luffy's lives, and tries to get him to deny his involvement with them in that same way, but ends up having to bribe the official.
** In the Fishman Island arc, Hody Jones claims that he has a kraken's brother hostage and will kill him if he refuses to fight against Luffy.
** In a flashback in the Arlong arc, Nami is told at one point that if she doesn't do her work properly, Arlong will bring in and kill a villager in front of her like she did with Bellemere. He also gives her an ultimatum midway through the battle for Arlong Park; come back to him and he will spare everyone except Zoro and Sanji, or refuse and watch her entire village die.
* A particularly brutal version happens to Yuri in ''Anime/AngelBeats''. When she was younger, some crooks broke into her house while her parents were away. They then took her 3 younger siblings, and told her that they would kill one of her siblings every 10 minutes if she didn't give them something valuable. She tries but fails, and the cops arrive 30 minutes later...
* In the introductory arc of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', one of the teachers tells Kuwabara that if he and his friends don't stop fighting and get their grades up, one of his friends will have his work permit revoked. Then, after Kuwabara keeps his end of the deal, the teacher tries to deliberately misgrade his tests so that he won't have to honor his end, and possibly to [[BatmanGambit force Kuwabara into hitting him and actually violating his end of the deal]]. He ultimately gets found out.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', for the climactic battle of the Marik arc, Evil!Marik makes the board a setup which is basically this plus a SadisticChoice. He [[spoiler:pulls Yugi's soul and Normal!Marik's soul out of their respective bodies and hangs them up in the air. When the dueler loses life points, bits of the other's body are removed, and the loser's normal side goes to the Shadow Realm.]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhZexal'', [[spoiler: No.96]] sets up a duel with Astral that if [[spoiler: No.96]] loses life points, [[spoiler: Vector]] will set up another dangerous trap for Yuma to die from.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Smythe in the ''ComicBook/SecretSix'' likes to keep his slaves in line by slaughtering everyone around them to teach them a lesson. Do as he says or people totally unrelated to your failure will get horribly killed.
* A variation is inflicted on Laura Kinney AKA ComicBook/{{X 23}}, after her mother/creator helps her escape from the Facility. Laura is hiding out with her aunt Debbie and cousin Megan, when Kimura tracks her down and recaptures her. Kimura then intends to punish Laura for escaping by torturing her cousin and aunt to death and making Laura watch. She even gives Laura a SadisticChoice as to whether Megan dies quickly or slowly, before summarily deciding to ''[[AxCrazy slowly push her finger into Megan's chest intending to tear out her heart]]''. Fortunately, Laura manages to escape and rescue them but there's no question Kimura would have gone through with her threat.
* The Surgeon in ''ComicBook/CleanRoom'' displays a [[BodyHorror man he rebuilt into an entirely new species]] and threatens to do the same to his target's spouse to secure a mole in Astrid's inner circle.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Fanfiction writers '''love''' this one, usually these type of stories coming under Hurt/Comfort or Anguish categories.
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': [[BigBad Jinnai]] threatens to get his soldiers families killed if they underperform in the battlefield.
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'': [[spoiler:[[MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong Dmitri]]]] warned [[spoiler:[[TheAtoner Gendo]]]] that if he failed his assignment, he would disembowel his children in front of him.
* In the VideoGame/{{Portal 2}} fanfic ''Fanfic/BlueSky'', [[spoiler:[=GLaDOS=] uses Atlas and P-Body to capture the entire population of the town Chell has settled in, threatening to kill them if Chell does not cooperate and do the testing.]]
* In ''Fanfic/ThePrayerWarriors'', Satan tells Literature/{{Percy Jackson|and the Olympians}} that [[YouHaveFailedMe if he fails to kill Jerry]], his best friend Grover will be used as a sacrifice, and Percy himself will suffer a FateWorseThanDeath.
* Haruka establishes a rule like this in ''Fanfic/LoveHinaLikeItCouldHaveBeen'': if one of the girls damages the Inn, while she'll have to pay for the bulk of it, all of them will have to chip in.
* The ''{{Series/Emergency}}'' fic [[http://www.womenwritersblock.net/Rona/ronaEmgcy23.htm "Hostages"]] has a variation with a group of criminals break into Station 51. John is cuffed to the squad, and the guys beat on him when things don't go their way, forcing the rest of the firemen to comply as best they can.
* The HarryPotter fic ''Fanfic/CruciamentumEternus'' has Voldemort Cruciatus-ing and then killing Draco, ostensibly for failing to kill Dumbledore, but in actuality to KickTheDog that is Lucius for being a general failure.
** In a more benign example, this is the point of the house points system in Hogwarts. If one student misbehaves, the entire dorm gets punished.
* In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', [[SmugSnake Kluge]] warned [[TheMole Nakajima]] that if he failed him, he’d get his girlfriend and her little sister killed.
* The Film/TheDarkKnight fic ''FanFic/MessedUp'' employs this. The Joker makes a rule that every time Rose argues or rebels, her friend Sparrow gets hurt. This is mainly used to break Rose, as she is very protective of those younger than her, which conflicts with her instinctual rebellious stance. Sparrow is not only younger than Rose, but suffers from anxiety disorder and is extremely shy.

[[folder: {{Film}}]]
* ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'': He kills [[spoiler:Irene Adler]] and sends men to kill [[spoiler:Watson and Mary]], even after Holmes personally tells him that [[spoiler:Watson will no longer be a part of his investigation]]. Of course, this ends up biting the bad guy in the end, as [[spoiler:Watson ends up stopping his assassin, which he wouldn't be doing if he was still on his honeymoon]]. It's also the same threat that ends up forcing Holmes to [[spoiler:grab Moriarty and jump into Reichenbach Falls]].
* In ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' Stryker forces [[spoiler:Kayla Silverfox]] to conspire with him this way by threatening to kill [[spoiler:her sister, Emma Frost]].
* In the film ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', the first part of the film is about the training of the new recruits in the US Marine Corps. One of them, nicknamed "Gomer Pyle," can't seem to improve in his training, so [[DrillSergeantNasty Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann]] stops punishing him and starts punishing everyone else. The other recruits take it out on him in the infamous "blanket party" scene, where they pin him to his bunk with a blanket and beat the crap out of him with bars of soap wrapped in towels. After this, Pyle starts to show improvement in his training, but also starts to [[spoiler:develop a [[DrivenToMadness psychotic breakdown]], ultimately culminating in the murder of Hartmann and [[AteHisGun his own suicide]]]].
* In ''Film/UnderSiege'', the bad guy is having his {{Mook}}s lead the crew of the captured battleship into the hold. On the way, one crewmember assaults one of the criminals. Not only is he shot for his trouble, the BigBad immediately shoots the guy next to him, claiming this is the price to pay for disobedience.
* In ''Film/UnderSiege2DarkTerritory'', the bad guy uses this tactic to coerce the two intelligence officers (who are having an affair) into giving up their passcodes to the Grazer 1 satellite. He threatens to stick a red-hot needle into the other one's eye, describing in graphic detail what it would do to the eye in question. [[spoiler:He kills them anyway after they give up the codes]].
* In ''Film/DieHard'', John [=McClane=] is messing up Hans Gruber's plans. John's wife's coworker (whom he met once) tries to get in Gruber's good graces by attempting to talk his "friend" [=McClane=] into giving himself up. [=McClane=], fully aware of what kind of a person Hans Gruber is, tries to get the guy to admit he's lying but to no avail. Gruber smiles, and shoots the guy for his trouble.
* In ''Film/TimeLimit'' an officer has made propaganda for the North Koreans while a POW and is going to be court martialed. One officer wants to know why and finds [[spoiler: that after the one POW who betrayed the other men was strangled by the man who drew the short straw, the Korean commander called in the ranking POW and told him that he was going to do everything he was told or the other sixteen men would be taken out and shot right in front of him. He gave in.]]
* In ''Film/RamboFirstBloodPartII'', Rambo is captured by the Soviet "advisors" to the Communist Vietnam commanding officer. The advisor takes Rambo's knife and puts it into the charcoal fire heating his tea. When Rambo won't divulge the information requested, the advisor threatens to stick the now-glowing tip into the eye of the American POW with whom Rambo was captured.
* In ''Film/BiloxiBlues'', Sgt. Toomey routinely punishes Wykowski whenever Eugene fucks up. Subverted in that Wykowski is not Eugene's friend, but the biggest, most ill-tempered soldier in the platoon.
* In ''Film/CrimsonTide'', the USS Alabama's Captain, played by Gene Hackman, needs the Weapons officer, played by Viggo Mortensen, to open the safe where the missile firing trigger is kept. When Weps refuses, the Capt gives him 5 seconds to comply, threatening to shoot him. Then he realizes that if he does, he still won't have the combination. So, he threatens one of Weps men, who doesn't know the combo. Weps complies [[spoiler:but it gave the XO time to remove the firing key on the bridge.]]
* In ''Film/TheGreyZone'', the Nazis resort to interrogating a female prisoner in the death camps who smuggled in powder for the upcoming uprising of the Sonderkommandos by lining up all the other prisoners and shooting the women one by one unless she talks. The officer threatens to clean the entire block out and move on to the next one until she cooperates, [[spoiler:but she kills herself by running into the electrified fence when they prepare to shoot a teenage girl.]]
* In ''Film/{{Wishmaster}}'', the Djinn resorts to threatening and torturing Alexandra's friends and loved ones (including her sister) to force her to aid his plan by making wishes. He even notes this tactic's persuasiveness.
* In ''Film/TheGunsOfNavarone'', the team gets captured by the Germans and interrogated by Captain Sessler of the SS. When none of the men answer his questions, he threatens to use a Luger to beat the injured Franklin's gangrenous leg.
-->'''Sessler:''' I want an answer ''now''! Otherwise I shall [[DeadlyEuphemism personally rearrange this officer's splints]]!
* Happens to the BigBad Le Chiffre in ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006''. After squandering his client's money on a bad investment, the terrorists whose money he lost attacked Le Chiffre and threatens to cut off his girlfriend's arm. The only reason why Le Chiffre's own arm isn't on the chopping block is because, as the terrorist points out, [[PragmaticVillainy he will need it to play poker and recoup his losses]]. Luckily for her, it was just a scare tactic--for now.

[[folder: {{Literature}}]]
* In the ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'' duology, there is [[spoiler: a king]] who kills the lovers of his wife to punish her, as he cannot kill ''her''. He isn't jealous, it's a loveless marriage, he just wants to cause her pain. [[spoiler: His "lover" Garannon is actually someone he has been sexually abusing from childhood on, and who submits to this abuse because he fears for the safety of his family.]]
* In ''[[Literature/TheShamerChronicles The Shamer's Signet]]'', Dina is forced to use her Shamer powers on anyone her captor sees fit, for trivial things. If she refuses, he'll kill Tavis, the random kid who was with her when she was kidnapped.
* ''[[Literature/TakeshiKovacs Altered Carbon]]'': [[spoiler:Kawahara]] threatens to lock Kovacs' girlfriend into a [[FateWorseThanDeath mind-shattering virtual interrogation hell]] if he doesn't do as he's told.
* This is a popular tactic of Lord Voldemort in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series.
** Also how the "house points" system works in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Teachers reward students with points to their respective Houses for performing well in classes, and deduct House points when students break the rules. While some teachers prefer to punish the individual student first, and only deduct House points if such punishments as detention fail to discourage the bad behavior, other teachers will deduct House points for even perceived or imagined infractions. Needless to say, SelectiveEnforcement is frequently in play.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' Bellatrix casts the Cruciatus Curse on Neville to try and get Harry to hand over the prophecy while Neville yells at him not to give in. Luckily the Order shows up very quickly at that point.
* In Literature/TheNeanderthalParallax series, serious crimes in the Neanderthal world are punished by castration of the offender and all others who share at least half his genes (parents, siblings and children).
* This is how the kids control [[spoiler: Erek King]] in the last few ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books. One of Jake's biggest WhatTheHellHero moments.
* The children's book ''Literature/TheWhippingBoy'' is based on the 15th century real-life practice of punishing a companion to a prince as the royal line was considered divine and only another from the royal line could do the punishing on pain of death. In real life, a whipping boy would be a lifelong companion to the prince so that their emotional bond would make the whipping a real punishment for the prince. In the book, the whipping boy was chosen to start a new life in the castle with the young prince, who was a RoyalBrat. This trope is played with, however as [[spoiler:when the two are kidnapped, the whipping boy is more educated than the prince, so believing the prince to be the whipping boy, he is the one punished]].
* Sergeant Grimshawe in Creator/KimNewman's AlternateHistory novella "Literature/TeddyBearsPicnic", being the setting's version of Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann, does this.
* Routinely used by President Snow to intimidate the tributes in ''Literature/TheHungerGames''. Katniss figures out that safeguarding her family and friends is important in order to be able to stand up to Snow. However [[spoiler:her entire ''district'' is then razed in retribution for her and Peeta's stand against the Capitol]].
* In ''The Dragon Revenant'' by Katharine Kerr, the head of slaves tells a tale of how when he was a boy, a slave in the house opposite killed his master. ''Every slave in the house'' was put to death, including mothers with babies-in-arms. That was one of the ways Bardekians controlled their large slave population.
* A common tactic of the People's Republic of Haven in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' books: commanders who lost battles could expect to be executed along with their families.
* In ''Literature/TheGreenMile'', this is how [[spoiler:Wild Bill Wharton]] kept the two little girls quiet while he kidnapped them- he told each that he'd kill the other if they screamed.
* In the Creator/StephenKing story "Quitters, Inc." the main character is shown a room with an electrocuted floor which will be used if he lapses back into smoking. But not on him. [[spoiler: On his wife. And maybe his kid, if necessary.]]
* ''[[Literature/TheColorOfDistance Through Alien Eyes]]'' has the kidnappers hit Juna until Moki subsides and stops trying to help her.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Both Duke Nobel and Count Bricemer make it very clear that Hermeline will be killed if Reynard does not cooperate with them in ''Reynard the Fox''. He mentally apologies to her when he comes to believe that the Quicksilver's mission will fail.
* [[DeconstructedTrope Completely backfires]] in ''Well Of Darkness'', where Prince Dagnarus is provided a whipping boy--but doesn't care about anyone but himself.
* The first ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' book has [[BastardUnderstudy Na-Barron Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen]] [[KlingonPromotion attempt to assassinate]] [[BigScrewedUpFamily his uncle]] [[BigBad Baron Vladimir Harkonnen]] by implanting a poison needle in one of his {{Sex Slave}}s. The Barron discovers this and makes the connection immediately. Since he is not going to harm Feyd-Rautha directly (as he is grooming him to be the next Barron of House Harkonnen) he has Feyd-Rautha go and kill his own favorite {{Sex Slave}}s.
* In ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety and the Prisoner's Dilemma'', the members of the titular society are trapped by the BigBad, Mr. Curtain, in a prison cell. Kate Wetherall escapes through a window because she's the only one of them who can, but she gets caught. When she is brought back, Mr. Curtain brings out the shiny silver gloves that he uses to inflict pain by delivering a powerful electric shock and uses them on Reynie. When Kate complains that this isn't fair because Reynie wasn't the one who escaped, Mr. Curtain responds that he decides what is fair and warns that if anyone acts up again, the punishment will be extended to ''all four of them''.

[[folder: {{Live Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", the bad guy doesn't even warn the Doctor--he just has [[BerserkButton his friend shot.]] The Doctor . . . [[BatmanGrabsAGun doesn't respond well.]]
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': In "Crawl Space", [[spoiler: Gus Fring tells Walt that he will [[TroubleEntendre "take care of"]] Hank and threatens to kill Walt's entire family if he ever tries to intervene]]
** After Jesse [[spoiler: attempts to escape the neo-Nazi compound, Andrea is killed for it, and they threaten to kill Brock if he tries again.]]
* ''Series/{{Southland}}'': This happens in the episode "Derailed". Marta Ruiz, the matriarch of the Avenue drug gang, wants Janilla dead for agreeing to testify against her sons for a drive-by shooting. Marquece, Janilla's ex-boyfriend and a member of the Grape Street gang, after being taken into custody, reports to Marta that the police have her and that he doesn't know where she is. Marta reminds Marquece that the Grape Street gang owes Avenue money, and after Marquece promises to fill her in on Janilla's new location as soon as he finds out, Marta threatens to have Marquece's entire family killed if he screws up again.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Anya wants to undo a wish she granted as a vengeance demon that killed an entire fraternity. D'Hoffryn, her boss, says it will require the death of a vengeance demon and Anya offers herself, as a way to [[RedemptionEqualsDeath repent for her sins.]] Then D'Hoffryn summons up Anya's friend Halfrek and casually kills her.
--> '''D'Hoffryn:''' Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain.
** Invoked as a threat in 'Lover's Walk'. Spike, distraught over his failed UnholyMatrimony, kidnaps Willow and Xander and forces Willow to make him a love spell. Made oddly terrifying by how heart-broken and depressed Spike is.
---> '''Spike:''' And if at first you don't succeed ... I'll kill him, and you can try again.
* Combined with IHaveYourWife, this is the reason the characters do most of what they do in ''Series/PrisonBreak''.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' has Commandant Spangler, the head of the military school Francis goes to, punish everyone for the actions of Francis. It gets a CallBack later when Francis gets him a job at a retirement home in Alaska where [[DisproportionateRetribution punishes all of the members when a woman with arthritis is unable to complete a collage.]]
* On ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'' to keep child slaves in line the mistakes of one would be punished on all of the others. This ensured the kids wouldn't run away when sent out to work or prostitute, because they were certain the others would be beaten or even killed if they ran.
* In a double example, the ''Series/WhiteCollar'' episode "Front Man" has Neal being coerced to perform a series of tasks for a gangster, who threatens to kill his hostage (a young girl) if he refuses. While doing the first task, he is told that if he doesn't get the required information from a female travel agent in a certain amount of time, a sniper will kill her (the travel agent). You can even see a red dot appear on her head and clothing occasionally, reminding Neal of his deadline.
* Toward the end of Season 7 of ''Series/TwentyFour'', [[spoiler:Tony Almeida]] and his men break into a Muslim illegal immigrant's apartment, take his brother hostage, and tell him to do as he says if he wants his brother to live.
* Minnie in ''Series/LarkRiseToCandleford'' has a stepfather who uses this tactic to brutalise and subjugate his wife and her daughters.
* After [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Teal'c]] betrays his god Apophis in the pilot episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'' to help humans, he finds out that his wife and son were exiled from their home (which was burned and branded with the symbol for "shol'va" - traitor). They are forced to live on the outskirts of the village as untouchables. When his son reaches the age of joining, Teal'c wife has to beg the priests to allow Rya'c to undergo the ritual. It took her to finally divorce Teal'c and marry a friend of his in order to wash away his "shame".
* A minor example in ''Series/RedDwarf'': Lister and the Cat are [[ItMakesSenseInContext captured by Caligula and Rasputin]]. Caligula's response to everything [[TheDitz the Cat]] says is to slap Lister.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': In Miami Metro Police Department, Captain Matthews exploits Lieutenant (later Captain) [=LaGuerta=] who is the head of Homicide. Her close friend [[spoiler: and later lover, husband, and Amicably Divorced ex-husband]] Sergeant Batista is the one who suffers -- or is to suffer -- for her screw-ups.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': At the end of the episode "Drive", AD Kersh gives Mulder and Scully a scolding for trying to save lives. They had another assignment, completely pointless as they were ReassignedToAntarctica. He threatens Mulder that he will bill ''Scully'' for the unauthorised expense, which was mostly Mulder's fault.
-->'''Mulder''': Why don't you bill me?
-->'''AD Kersh''': I'll bill your partner instead. You too obviously relish the role of martyr.
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'': Captain Sawyer gets angry at Horatio for no better reason that his informing him that he's shortening sails (perfectly according to the orders), and not asking him beforehand whether the captain permits that. He decides that he will teach Horatio a lesson by getting men from his division punished. The last man to get down from the mast is to get flogged, which causes panic and a lethal accident, as one poor sailor falls down. Horatio, Archie, Styles and Matthews must scrub him off the deck, and Sawyer even orders them to toss him overboard immediately without a funeral. It is the beginning of Captain Sawyer's SanitySlippage. He ends up a prime example of InsaneAdmiral.
* ''Series/TheMentalist'':
** The new director of the CBI, Grace Hightower, calls in Jane and Lisbon on her first day. She tells Jane that he's "golden," he can do whatever he wants with no repercussions. Then she tells Lisbon that if Jane does anything against CBI policy, Lisbon will be punished (since she's his supervisor). Jane doesn't take this well.
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'': In "The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be" after Negan brutally murders [[spoiler: Abraham]] and then taunts his ex-girlfriend about it, Daryl attacks him in a rage. Negan responds by executing [[spoiler: Glenn]] too. Then he has Daryl taken back to his compound, threatening to torture and kill him if Rick doesn't comply with his demands.

[[folder: {{TabletopGames}}]]
* The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebook ''Book of Vile Darkness'' features the spell Love's Pain, which is likely based on this trope.

[[folder: {{VideoGames}}]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalWolfChaos'', people Richard find to be Metal Wolf sympathizers are killed along with their family members within four separations, their old classmates AND their friends and coworkers. Kevin Bacon is understandably concerned.
* In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' this becomes John Marston's primary motivator after his wife and son are kidnapped.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', after exiling Talon of Lon Lon Ranch and taking the place over, Ingo the Stablehand threatens to treat badly the horses that Malon loves if she goes against him, which sets the stage for Link kicking his ass in a horse race on [[CoolHorse Epona]], whom he had befriended as a kid [[ChekhovsGun earlier in the game]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}},'' GeniusDitz [[TheIgor Sheegor]] only works for MadScientist [[DepravedDentist Dr. Loboto]] because he has her beloved pet turtle Mr. Pokeylope and threatens to make him into soup. You have to rescue him as part of the game, after which Sheegor will convert to your side and [[spoiler:[[NotSoImaginaryFriend Mr. Pokeylope himself]]]] will come up with a plan to defeat Loboto.
* Officers Tenpenny and Pulaski pull this in VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas, threatening to make sure [[spoiler: Sweet]] dies if CJ doesn't do what they want him to do. Later [[spoiler: Toreno]] pulls this as well but is less malicious about it, [[spoiler:and ultimately frees Sweet once CJ has done enough for him]].
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** In Case 5 of the first game, the BigBad [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] forces the accused [[spoiler: Lana]] to work for him under the threat of [[spoiler: her little sister Ema]] getting prosecuted for a crime she thinks she's committed.
** In the second game, Maya gets kidnapped by [[spoiler: Shelly de Killer]] in order to force Phoenix to get Matt Engarde a "Not Guilty" verdict, [[spoiler: when Engarde was really guilty. Well, he didn't actually kill Juan Corrida personally, but he did hire De Killer to kill him. [[SadisticChoice Phoenix is forced to decide between getting Engarde acquitted, in which case an innocent young woman is found guilty and executed, or getting Engarde declared guilty, in which case Maya is killed.]]]] The only way out is to TakeAThirdOption and [[spoiler: get de Killer to betray Engarde.]]
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft: Wrath of the Lich King'', you find letters after killing mage-hunter captains of races on your faction (a human and a troll, respectively), reading the letters becomes a very poignant PlayerPunch when it says that they've been forced to work for the blue flight under threat of their family's death. The reason why Vol'jin is hesitant to openly defy Garrosh is because with the Darkspear Trolls so close to Orgrimmar, it would be easy for Garrosh to send in troops to exact retribution on them, and Vol'jin advises Baine, who has similar positions to him and who is similarly close, to also be mindful of what he says. [[spoiler:Vol'jin proves to be correct; he nearly gets killed by one of Garrosh's assassins while trying to prevent Garrosh from bringing back information on making sauroks, and Garrosh has the Echo Isles occupied]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}} Unlimited'', the game starts with Maxwell giving a man a rotten apple. As revenge, the man curses Maxwell's sister to [[TakenForGranite turn to stone]] unless Maxwell collects enough [[PlotCoupon Starites]].
* In the first ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'' game, Dr. Zero traps Princess Darcy in a mirror because Prince Tail lost to him and to Cody. However, if Prince Tail wins (while Robopon is plugged into an cheating device such as Madcatz's VideoGame/GameShark, PDP's Code Breaker or Datel's Action Replay), he might rescue Princess Darcy from Dr. Zero and convince Cody to go back to his good natured ways (as shown on GameWinners).
* In [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Knights of the Old Republic]] this trope is used by [[spoiler: Saul Karath when the party is captured and subsequently tortured for information. Seeing that the [[Main/PlayerCharacter PC]] won't break, Saul switches to [[Main/LoveInterests Bastila for male characters and Carth for females]], and says you can end their suffering if you talk. You are given the option to talk, but doing so boosts your Dark Side points and is totally pointless since Saul says he already knew what you told him and promptly leaves the room with the torture machine still running on everyone]].
* In episode 2 of the {{DLC}} ''Burial at Sea'' for ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'', Atlas threatens to torture Sally slowly if Elizabeth fails to get him what he wants.
* This prompts Leon's FaceHeelTurn in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny''. Hugo threatens to hurt Marian if his son won't [[HostageForMacguffin steal the Eye of Atamoni]] and even when he does, refuses to let her go until he betrays his friends. Made worse by the fact that [[spoiler: she tries to commit suicide to get him out of it]] in the remake.
* In ''VideoGame/BlackCloset'', if you follow the clues to meet up with the [[spoiler: Red Mask Society]] but get cold feet about actually joining them, they mention it would be a ShameIfSomethingHappened to the girl you chose to be your Queen/partner at the Harvest Festival. If you don't carry out their assignment in time, your Queen is [[spoiler: poisoned and removed from the Council for the rest of the semester, forcing you to play with fewer characters.]]
* There was a ''very'' old PC version of Hangman, back in the Commodore 64 days, in which the person about to be hanged had been convicted of all sorts of horrible crimes, as well as [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ugliness]]. The judge, however, "being a lenient sort," was willing to commute the crimes down to just ugliness as long as the accused had at least one friend - which was the player. If the player succeeded in winning the game, the accused could go free; if not, they would, of course, be hanged.
* During the Hoshido/''Birthright'' and ''Revelation'' route in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', [[spoiler: Felicia's sister Flora is forced to fight the Avatar as refusing to do so will result in Garon destroying the Ice Tribe.]]
* Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic: In the Alderaan storyline for the Sith Warrior, when dealing with a House Organa general who is willing to give you necessary info [[EnemyMine if you help her men in a battle]], you can instead start force choking her lieutenants until she starts talking. Eventually, she relents when one of them turns out to be her lover, afterwards you can either let them go or kill them all because they're still your enemies.
* During the final Two-Face mission in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'', Two-Face states that every time a mook gets taken out by Batman, he's going to flip his coin: if it lands on tails, he'll execute the mook's family as punishment for failing to stop Batman. As you take out mooks, you can hear Two-Face calling out either "heads" or "tails". Presumably, however, it's subverted, as Batman arrests Two-Face just minutes later.
* An implied example in ''VideoGame/WolfensteinIITheNewColossus'', where at one point, a Nazi soldier can be heard making a report to his superior. We can't hear the other end of the conversation, but the soldier mentions that his wife is pregnant, and that they already have two children. He then says that "it would kill [him] if anything happened to them." [[FridgeHorror Read between the lines.]]

[[folder: {{WebAnimation}}]]
* Girem6 in ''Machinima/{{Smashtasm}}'' does this a lot to [[ThoseTwoBadGuys Grant and Gront]], as noted in this exchange:
-->'''Grant:''' Why do ''I'' get hit whenever ''he'' says something?!
-->'''Girem6:''' Semantics. Hitting the partner of the offender encourages discipline.
-->'''Grant:''' Oh... well in that case, those boots make you look fat.
-->[Grant gets hit again]
-->'''Grant:''' Why did I get hit ''that'' time?!
-->'''Girem6:''' Because I blame your friend for that comment.

[[folder: {{WebComics}}]]
* In ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'', after Nick-Prime sees that [[EvilOverlord Nega-Nick]] is lying to him about many things about the Nega-verse, including the real reason his plan to have Nick-Prime build Project Velociraptor for his [=MUTex=], Nega-Nick shows him Nega-Ki, strapped to a torture device, [[BadBoss and tortures her until he decides to cooperate]], saying Nick-Prime can't know for certain that it isn't Ki-Prime he's torturing. Nick-Prime gives in, and Nega-Nick then tells Nick-Prime that one prisoner will be tortured to death in front of him for every hour he wastes. [[spoiler:To make matters worse, it is impossible for Nick-Prime to succeed at his task due to Pandemonium's interference]].
* The entire plot of ''Webcomic/TheOverture'' revolves around this. If Richard fails to become a hero, Sophie will kill every member of his family.
* FUG from ''WebComic/TowerOfGod'' coerces Viole to work for them this way.
* In ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'', Grimbark Jade tries to get Dave to comply with the Condesce's orders by kicking WV off a building and into some lava. It fails when Dave just swoops down and rescues him instead.
** Meanwhile Caliborn gets Dirk to draw weird pornography for him by threatening to murder his own sister (who is a friend of Dirk's) -- though Dirk was [[QuickDrawDecision perfectly willing to do it anyway]]. He then reveals the "shitty twist" to his diabolical game: [[spoiler:he had already killed her]].

[[folder: {{WesternAnimation}}]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', TJ is sent to the Dodgeball Wall for extra punishment, when his friends refuse to bow to the bully Randall.
* Slade uses this tactic in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' to (temporarily and forcibly) [[FaceHeelTurn convert Robin over to his side.]] He infects the rest of the titans with nano bots and threatens to kill them if Robin doesn't become his apprentice and follow his every order. [[spoiler: Robin manages to TakeAThirdOption via injecting ''himself'' with nanobots, badly harming Slade's pride and forcing him to release everyone.]]
* Though it's never directly stated, it is heavily implied in a few episodes of ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' that the only reason why Colossus is a member of Magneto's Acolytes is because Magneto somehow threatened his family members who are still in Russia.
* Tirac from the ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' pilot threatened to kill Spike in order to make Scorpan obey him.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Homer gets tricked into joining the army, and when questioning his sergeant, he forces everyone in his unit to do pushups while he eats donuts, and gets a foot massage from the sergeant.
-->'''Homer:''' I don't get it. How does punishing them teach ''me'' a lesson?

[[folder: {{RealLife}}]]
* This trope is used by most totalitarian regimes:
** The Nazis often threatened to kill not only those who tried to resist them, but also their entire families if they tried to defect. This included anyone found harboring Jews in their homes. Erwin Rommel killed himself specifically to avoid this fate after he was found to be complicit in the plot to kill Hitler.
** Successful escapes from Nazi death camps were punished by having ten randomly selected remaining prisoners executed, often locked away and starved to death. (i.e., Saint Maximilian Kolbe became a martyr for [[TakeMeInstead exchanging places with one of these prisoners]].)
** It's also the reason that people in [[KangarooCourt show trials]] confess to imaginary crimes -- if they don't, their families will pay the price. The Soviet Union under UsefulNotes/JosephStalin and the "People's Court" of UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, among others, were particularly notorious for it.
** A story making the rounds in the US intelligence community is about some Chinese exchange students in Soviet Russia, involved in a prank gone wrong. The boys were arrested, and interrogated by the KGB. The interrogation lasted for hours, and the KGB could get nothing. Finally, the Soviets contacted the Chinese Embassy for assistance. A Chinese agent walked into the room, said something to the students, and left. Afterward, the students confessed everything, received whatever punishment was due them, and were sent back to China. Later, the KGB agents wanted to know what the Chinese agent had said to get the students to cooperate. A Chinese translator translated as follows: [[spoiler: You will tell the Russians what they want to know. In exchange, you will be killed. If you do not tell the Russians what they want to know, you will still be killed. In addition, your villages will be massacred.]]
** North Korea reportedly has a series of "family camps" where the families of accused political dissidents are imprisoned for being related to the accused.
** People in Socialist Czechoslovakia were blackmailed to collaborate with the regime or at least pretend to support the Communist Party through their family, which meant mostly children. Will you not vote? Your child can kiss a good school or a university goodbye. Especially dissidents' children had to forget about studying or getting a decent job. But hey, considering that in the Eighties the intellectual elite was formed by dissidents, they got to hang out with the most intelligent people anyway.
* Many of the Latin American drug cartels would do this to those who reported their activities to the police, and even to their own members if they cheated their organization or started informing to the police.
* This is often done in military basic training. When one person messes up, the instructor may collectively punish the entire platoon. If he's particularly harsh, he may punish everyone ''except'' the offender, making him very unpopular among the only group of peers he has. There is a legitimate reason for this: it's a way to teach the trainees that in a real combat situation, the actions of one affect the entire group. One soldier's incompetence or laziness can get the entire unit killed.
* The original "decimation" -- killing one tenth (randomly selected) of a Roman military unit fits this trope well. What was even worse was that those randomly selected soldiers were killed by their own comrades! It was eventually stopped, however; the punishment ruined the unit for any further purpose.
* In ancient Rome, if a slave killed his or her master, all of that master's slaves would be executed. The idea being that anyone would be willing to risk their own life for freedom, but few would be willing to put the lives of dozens or even hundreds of other slaves at risk.
* When Frederick the Great as heir apparent attempted to flee Prussia with his friend and rumoured lover, Hans Hermann von Katte, he was made to watch from prison while Katte was beheaded.
* In ancient China, a person who committed a capital offense, such as treason, would not only have himself punished, but his family as well. The list of which family members get involved varies from dynasty to dynasty, as does the cutoff age below which children are exempt. The largest list involves the criminal himself, his parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, siblings-in-law and uncles and their spouses. In the single most extreme case, the offender's students and peers were added to the list. The purpose of this long list was to serve as a major deterrent to capital offenses, and encouraged family members to keep tabs on each other and make sure they didn't commit any crimes.
* The idea of the whipping boy is that noble children cannot be physically disciplined, so a common-born child would be disciplined in their place, with the hope that this would make the noble child feel guilty. The whipping boy was usually himself a noble. Either from the lower nobility, or a distant cousin, so this method was often an effective tool for teaching noble children that their actions do have consequences and that those consequences will hurt others. The fact that they were forced to watch as someone who had become a close friend get punished for his own actions tended to serve as a deterrent in short order.
* A common disciplinary tactic of teachers ([[SadistTeacher sadist]] or otherwise) in primary/elementary schools is to punish the entire class (denying recess, making everyone stay after class, etc.) for the infractions of one student or a small group. It often backfires, making the innocent students resent the teacher and even begin to misbehave themselves (why bother behaving if they're being punished anyways?), and doing little to correct the behavior of the actual troublemakers.
** Made worse by the frequent use of technology in modern education. Should students misbehave via technology, schools will make a crusade against that function of technology until it is shut down, rather than punishing the guilty. This attempt to discipline students is rather redundant. For everything they stop the misbehaving students from doing, they force them to find another, better way, and more students join the crowd to get their technology-based abilities they've lost back.
** Similarly, Phys Ed classes often make it so that when students slack off and refuse to exercise, the rest must exercise even harder. What does this help? Nobody and nothing.
* Who hasn't, as a kid (assuming they have siblings) had a parent say something like "One more word out of either/any of you, and I won't (insert things the kids want here)" or something similar?
** Or: ‘Your brother broke a window while you were playing? I'll take that off the allowance of you both.’