[[quoteright:347:[[WesternAnimation/DespicableMe http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/punishmentbox_1054.png]]]]

->'''Carr:''' These here spoons, you keep with ya. Any man loses his spoon spends a night in the box. No one will sit in the bunks with dirty pants on. Any man with dirty pants on sittin' on the bunks spends a night in the box. Any man loud-talkin' spends a night in the box. You got questions, you come to me. I'm Carr, the floor-walker. I'm responsible for order in here. Any man don't keep order spends a night in --
->'''Luke:''' -- the box.
->'''Carr:''' ''[to Luke]'' I hope you ain't gonna be a hard case.
-->-- ''Film/CoolHandLuke''

Our protagonist is in a [[WorkingOnTheChainGang Chain Gang]] prison and has violated one of the CorruptHick sheriff's rules. So they send him to the Punishment Box (more commonly, "The Box.") The Box is a small metal shed in the middle of the compound, exposed to sun. They put you in and you are tortured by sweating it out in 120-plus degree heat, basically frying you alive. Unless it's a cold night, in which case you have to keep from freezing to death.

Various forms of this have been an unfortunate TruthInTelevision (see TheOtherWiki for a few examples), which is probably where the trope originates from.

Although the box could be made of cardboard, especially in comedic examples, this is not to be confused with CardboardPrison.
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!!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* In ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', a particular incident similar to this is PlayedForLaughs. A strip shows Sealand ignoring his "Papa" Sweden and watching TV. Sweden gets a big cardboard box, writes "England" on it, (for some reason) and then sneaks up behind Sealand, and throws the box over him and shakes it with him inside, calling it a "Dambolis" with Sealand saying "Please stop it!". It's even funnier because the strip is presented as a step-by-step of how to make a Dambolis (it will take 3 minutes, it claims).
* In ''Anime/KillLaKill'', Gamagoori briefly mentions that Honnouji Academy has a "time out chamber" which students can be sent to for months at a time. This being Honnouji, it's not surprising.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'', Ginger is put on a coal bin every time she's caught trying to escape. Like many other scenes in the film, this is an homage to ''The Great Escape''.
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' has [[spoiler:Sunnyside's sandbox]] used for this purpose.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'', orphans who disobey [[JerkAss Miss Hattie]] get put in the (cardboard) Box of Shame.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Live Action ]]

* 'The box' in ''Film/CoolHandLuke'' is probably the TropeCodifier here.
* In ''Film/TheGreatEscape'', it was The Cooler and it was reserved for attempted escapees. The fact that SteveMcQueen's character had been in it so many times, and had survived, led to him being termed The Cooler King.
* In ''Film/{{Hook}}'', pirates who [[YouHaveFailedMe have failed]] are put into the "Boo Box", a chest which is also inhabited by several scorpions.
* In ''Film/{{Matilda}}'', the sadistic headmistress is fond of [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment (among other things)]] using the "Chokey," a closet lined with massive spikes and blades, thus like an iron maiden in which there is just barely enough room to stand.
* The Japanese prison camp in ''Film/TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai'' has a metal punishment box that stands outside in the sun. Prisoners don't get any water.
* In ''Film/StirCrazy'', GeneWilder asks for an extra day in The Box when they come to get him out. He's just TooKinkyToTorture.
* ''DasExperiment'', based on the infamous Stanford prison experiment, recycled in Germany.
* The hot box used in ''Film/DjangoUnchained'' on the plantation owned by the sadistic Calvin Candy.
* The hot box, an old truck, in ''VonRyansExpress''.
* Also called the hot box in the 2005 remake of ''Film/TheLongestYard''. It's basically a tiny shack where prisoners bake in the desert heat for days at a time -- and sometimes the guards "accidentally" forget to give them food and water.
* Discussed in ''Film/ShockCorridor'', where the hero is threatened by the warden to receive this treatment.
* In the Ozploitation movie ''Film/TurkeyShoot'' the main protagonist is put in a cage out in the sun where he's forced to hold up a heavy weight.
* In ''Film/{{Life}}'' prisoners are punished with time in "The Hole," which is an outhouse sized shed with no light or plumbing out in the sun in the South.
* Parodied in ''MuppetsMostWanted'' where Tina Fey's character opens the slot of one during a musical number, and the guy inside sings.
* In ''Film/TakeTheMoneyAndRun'' Virgil escapes from prison but is recaptured and sent to a labor camp. When ''that'' fails to break him, they lock him in a sweatbox [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment with an insurance salesman]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''HoratioHornblower'': In ''Mr. Midshipman Hornblower'', Hornblower, while being held prisoner in Spain, is placed into a small hole in the ground covered by a grate. The hole has neither room to stand upright or lie down, forcing the prisoner to crouch uncomfortably while exposed to the elements.
* In ''Dragon and Slave'' by TimothyZahn, there are sheds that do this.
* ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' has "Chokey", which is more or less a non-lethal Iron Maiden.
* In ''Literature/TheTalisman'', during the part of the book that takes place in the Sunlight Gardener Home, rulebreakers are sometimes locked in a refrigerator-shaped container simply called "The Box".
* In ''[[{{Gor}} Captive of Gor]]'', Elinor is locked into a slave box for eighteen days to break her spirit after repeated minor offenses.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV: ]]

* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Paradise", a group of colonists who crash-landed on a planet 10 years ago use the Box as punishment for any transgression. Like stealing a ''candle''. The society insists on refusing other technology, but the torture box is just fine. Hypocrites!
* ''KungFu'': Caine finds himself in a two-man Box, and teaches the other man in the box to meditate so as to avoid the torturous aspects of being in the box. The guards & other prisoners are amazed that they're able to leave under their own power instead of being carried out.
* ''Series/TheIncredibleHulk'' episode "The Slam:" David gets put in one. Strangely enough, he doesn't HulkOut. Another prisoner in the box next door tells him how to survive: find a rock to suck on, put your head in the least exposed place possible, and don't move around.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'': Earl goes to prison to cover up the fact that Joy really did the crime in question. The prison there has a 2 person "Hot Box;" there's a chain link fence between the two sides of the box, but there's also a hole in the fence big enough to put your arm through.
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Jaynestown", Jayne's former partner is kept prisoner in solitary confinement, in a small (looks to be maybe 5 foot by 5 foot) box on stilts in the middle of a swamp. It's said he was held there for four freaking years. It's a wonder he could stand and walk as nobody could survive a hot box for that long.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Trevor" starts with a guy being punished by going into a small shed. The kicker, this was before a major tornado was about to hit. Of course, not only the guy survives, he somehow becomes an IntangibleMan and murders the warden who put him in the shed.
* The heroes are subjected to this punishment in ''Series/TheTimeTunnel'' episode "Devil's Island" when they arrive on the eponymous French PenalColony and are mistaken for prisoners.
* In ''Series/SevenDays'', Frank's background includes several days in such a box while being a captive (a form of interrogation). He never cracked ''that'' way, but the project recovered him from a madhouse.
* ''Series/{{Hornblower}}'', "The Duchess and the Devil": Midshipman Archie Kennedy tells Horatio that when he attempted to escape from Spanish prison, he was put in a small hole in the ground covered by a grate. The oubliette had neither room to stand upright or lie down, and he couldn't walk for a month after the punishment. The exposition was a ChekhovsGun, as Horatio was held there too, facing rain, cold, hot sun and rats.
* In the ''Series/{{The ATeam}}'' episode "Bad Time on the Border", Hannibal Smith is kept for some time in a box of corrugated scrap metal in the heat of the middle of the day.
* ''Series/{{Profit}}''. It's the central object at the heart of the show. More specifically, it's a box emblazoned with the Gracen & Gracen logo. As a child, Jim Profit practically lived in it thanks to his abusive parents. A television set, visible from a small hole cut in the box, was his only way of learning about the outside world. Even as an adult, he still has that box...

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Magazines ]]

* Done in the ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' parody of ''KungFu'' (referenced above).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* In ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', the PointyHairedBoss once threatened to put Dilbert in "the Box" if he didn't work harder. Dilbert asked if "the Box" was bigger than his cubicle.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Podcasts ]]

* In ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'', Cecil expresses fear, or maybe just mild annoyance, about the possibility of having to attend "another HR re-training session in the dark box."

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''AlphaCentauri'' has the "punishment sphere", which make the oppressed masses too frightened to ever riot no matter what. For some reason, constructing this city improvement is not on the list of atrocities that will turn the other civilizations against you.
* {{League Of Legends}}' Thresh, a sadistic jailer-turned-undead TortureTechnician, has his ultimate ability named "The Box" in reference to one of these.
* In ''[[VideoGame/MegamanLegends The Misadventures of Tron Bonne]]'', some servbots sometimes can start not to obey you; when it happens Tron sends them to the punishment chamber (a minigame that basically is about applying VideoGameCrueltyPotential on the servbot).
* Referenced in the ''VideoGame/FalloutTactics'' intro cinematic.
--> '''Paladin Rychek''': There are three simple rules to follow with Brotherhood equipment: If you damage your weapon, you will spend a week in the box. If you damage your armor, you will spend a week in the box. If you ''lose'' either, [[ThisIsUnforgivable I'll kill you myself]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' has a reference to it:
-->''(Tristan says something stupid)''
-->Joey: Do you want to go back in the box?
-->Tristan: Please don't make me go in there!

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': Bobby is put into one of these at a military school. It most assuredly does not break him.
-->I've slept on a mattress. I've slept on cement. I'm a mattress guy.
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', the Box is just a square drawn on the playground floor. T.J. at first laughs it off, but eventually it breaks him when he [[GoMadFromTheIsolation Goes Mad From The Isolation]].
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', an amnesiac Bruce Wayne becomes a captive of a forced labour camp made up of homeless people owned by a FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit. The main punishment for failure to work is being placed in the box. Being Batman, he regains his memory and breaks out.
* Happy Peppy Gary and Happy Peppy Betty on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' are shown punishing kids by putting them in the "Fun Box", an inhumanely small cage. They even gave it a [[TastesLikeDiabetes happy, peppy theme song]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'', Baloo stays at a Thembrian penal colony which he has mistaken for a fitness camp. He is frequently sent to what he calls a "solar powered sauna."
* In the "Boiling Rock" episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', the titular prison has "The Cooler," a small refrigerated cell designed to contain fire benders. Plays the trope straight in that it's a small, confined box they're put in as punishment, and inverts the effect in that it's a punishment because it's ''freezing'' rather than hot.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'' has Space Ghost telling Zorak to do what he says, or he'll go to The Box. Zorak frightfully whispers "The Box?" before complying with Space Ghost's orders. Notable because Zorak is usually impossible to intimidate.
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