Many thousands of years ago, [[BigGood Alice]] [[AliceAndBob and]] [[BigBad Bob]] were sealed away (possibly [[SealedEvilInADuel to fight for all eternity]]). Cue modern times and they have, of course, been released by [[NiceJobBreakingItHero some idiot]], starting the conflict anew. However all those millennia ago, Alice and Bob weren't the only game in town. There's an entire cast's worth of characters for both sides ranging from [[TheDragon Dragons]] to {{mook}}s and [[TheLancer Lancers]] to {{Redshirt}}s. Well then idiot, would you mind [[GottaCatchEmAll freeing Alice's forces]] while [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption preventing]] Bob from [[OffScreenVillainDarkMatter bolstering his army]]? [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive Jolly good]], [[SinkOrSwimMentor off you go!]]

Welcome to the opportunity of a lifetime, writers, this is when rather than having just one count of SealedGoodInACan and/or SealedEvilInACan you have LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters worth of cast members trapped and preserved by the same means, all waiting to be released when the plot calls for them. Perfect for fleshing out your cast while making big savings on introductions and origins! ButWaitTheresMore This exciting offer comes with hundreds of packages to choose from. Pick our mixed pack and have the villains and heroes scramble to track down their allies! Pick up our all evil pack and have the heroes fight a new MonsterOfTheWeek, or pick up our all hero pack and introduce a new member of the TrueCompanions per episode! Or try our new WildCard pack; each "canned" character will pledge their allegiance to whoever released them!

Disclaimer: Offer may require PlotCoupons. We take no responsibility for any characters who end up [[TheScrappy unpopular]] or [[EnsembleDarkhorse too popular]]. If you want a large number of EliteMooks who are in the same place instead of individual characters, please see our SealedArmyInACan. Cast members may resent being treated like {{MacGuffin}}s.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* All the main cast members in ''Anime/SailorMoon'' were killed in a great battle and reincarnated in the modern world. While they weren't actually "sealed" the show follows the same pattern of tracking them down and unsealing them. In universe it's more tracking their reincarnations down and awakening their dormant powers.
* This is what happens to the RoninWarriors, after the first episode.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]

* [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] and all his supporting cast, including villains, were put in suspended animation for 20 years thanks to one of [[MadScientist Dr. Sivana]]'s experiments GoneHorriblyWrong. (This was how [[DCComics DC]] explained the characters' twenty-year absence from publication.)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* The 2010 live-action film, ''Film/TheSorcerersApprentice'' had half the cast aside from the main character stored on an artifact. They emerged in a sort of Last-In-First-Out.
%% Settings in which suspended animation is routinely used in space travel are examples of HumanPopsicle, not this trope.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' the Dark One had a whole army of channelers under his command. The thirteen most powerful of them, called the Forsaken, were at the Bore when Lews Therin and his Hundred Companions sealed the Dark One's prison. The Forsaken were sealed as well and was freed only when the seal against the Dark One's prison weakened enough to allow it.
* In ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'', the Gods of Ancient Egypt.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* In ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'' had the Power Animals. The ones who gave the five main Rangers their powers were still on the [[FloatingIsland Animarium]], but there were plenty of others sealed away in different places on the surface world. The same is probably true of the ''Gaoranger'' source material...
** Although the series didn't focus on them as much as other examples, ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' did the same with the scattered Dinozords.
** ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive'' may be an example; as almost every member of the BigBadEnsemble was sealed away before the series started. Not that anybody ''wanted'' to unseal more: two were released by the discovery of the series' MacGuffin, two were freed by allies and ''then'' got caught up in the conflict, and one freed himself.
** ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'' had both sides searching out new masters to train them to be stronger. This was more pronounced with the villains, as Dai Shi's search for masters took up several episodes, while half of the Rangers' teachers weren't actually sealed in the first place and the other half were only consulted in a two-parter.
** ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'', with new zords being discovered and tamed and/or busted and unfinished equipment being brought out and repaired as the plot demands.
* The final episodes of the second season of the new ''Series/DoctorWho'' ([[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts "Army of Ghosts"]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E13Doomsday "Doomsday"]]) feature "putting the band back together" and the freeing of two evil forces (which promptly go to war) and one of which is inadvertantly reinforced by the actions of one of the band that was put back together.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': The HalfArcSeason for season 6 was assorted Kryptonian baddies being accidentally released from the PhantomZone and Clark & Kira having to round them up.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': On more than one occasion Sam & Dean have accidentally released scores of demons from Hell and have to go kill them.
* ''Series/TheCharmings'' had a similar premise to the ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'' example listed above: the evil Witch put a spell on everyone (accidentally including herself) go to sleep and to wake up in 400 years.
* Subverted in ''Series/{{Angel}}''; Illyria was a SealedEvilInACan, and had an army waiting for her in some kind of pocket dimension. But when she found her way to this pocket dimension, she found that the army had died while waiting in its "can," and she despaired that she was all alone, [[LastOfHisKind the last of her kind]] with no chance of reviving her army or finding any other Old Ones living on Earth.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Multiple Media ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'''s Toa Mata were SealedGoodInACan, but the sealed and then awakened Bohrok, Bohrok Va and Bohrok-Kal provided the creators with one and a half year's worth of enemy sets and plot-engines for a cheap price... [[CrackIsCheaper Not so much the collection completists.]] Subverted in all the Rahi species that escaped from their stasis tubes in the Onu-Metru Archives -- those weren't released as sets, and for the most part weren't even that important to the plot.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mythology ]]

* OlderThanFeudalism: The [[ClassicalMythology Greek myth]] of Pandora's Box, in {{Hesiod}}'s ''Literature/{{Theogony}}''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Ubiquitous in the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness''.
** In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'', these is usually some kind of elder vampire in a torpor. The awakening of just one of them is enough to change power dynamic in a town.
** In ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'', these are the Pandorans, failed Promethean creations that lay dormant until a Promethean gets near them. [[BodyHorror They are not nice]]. They are less characters and more like (extremely nasty) forces of un-nature.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', when the Yozis and Neverborn broke open the Jade Prison to steal the trapped Solar exaltations, they only managed to take half of them. The other 150 immediately flew to Heaven and soon began exalting the first new Solar Exalted in hundreds of years. Whether this is a good thing for Creation is a matter of debate, but the Solars are the default player characters. Of course, those 150 stolen exaltations were warped into new kinds of Exalted, becoming a second sealed cast from the same multipack.
* The ''Innistrad'' storyline in ''MagicTheGathering'' features this. The Helvault, a giant silver mass, imprisons the legendary angel Avacyn, along with the demon she was fighting at the time, Griselbrand, and a whole host of other angels and demons. Needless to say, the Helvault eventually gets broken, in the expansion called ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Avacyn Restored]]''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* How you gain new characters in ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria''.
* If you play co-op, this is how both players begin the game in ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved''. Otherwise it is simply SealedBadassInACan.
* VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft's ''Mists of Pandaria'' expansion introduces players to the [[EnemyMine Klaxxi]] [[EnemyCivilWar faction]] of the [[BeePeople mantid]] by having the player stumble upon and awaken one of their Paragons in the Dread Wastes. The Paragons are [[SealedBadassInACan ancient mantid heroes]] who were sealed in amber to be revived in times of crisis, and the player is tasked with reviving (or in a couple cases, killing corrupted ones) all twelve as they progress through the zone's storyline. Initially, [[SealedGoodInACan the Paragons are allies]], but once the player reaches Exalted reputation with the Klaxxi [[EvilAllAlong it is revealed that they worship the]] [[EldritchAbomination Old Gods]]. This comes back at the end of the expansion when the nine surviving Paragons [[FaceHeelTurn ally with]] [[BigBad Garrosh Hellscream]], who is trying to revive their creator, the Old God Y'shaarj.
* ''VideoGame/HostileWatersAntaeusRising'': Antaeus and her crew.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheThirteenGhostsOfScoobyDoo'', ScoobyDoo opens up a box and unleashes thirteen malicious ghosts onto the world, and must get them all back.
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' might be another example. Around the second season, the BigBad attempts to unleash a number of demons that have been trapped in the demon world for thousands of years.
** And in the third season, the powers of the Talismans were released when they were destroyed, and went into new hosts: random members of their respective species. They were collected and kept in The Vault in cages.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'', this is how the 'Cats arrive on Earth.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' has this ''in spades''. Since [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers G1]], 'bots have been sealed and unsealed time and time again. And the introduction of stasis pods in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' only served to make this even easier.
[[/folder]]
----