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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/X2XMenUnited http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Magneto_plastic_prison_5144.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"[[JokerImmunity You know this plastic prison can't hold me forever, Charles."]]]]

->''...she did confine thee,\\
By help of her more potent ministers\\
And in her most unmitigable rage,\\
Into a cloven pine; within which rift\\
Imprison'd thou didst painfully remain\\
A dozen years...''
-->--Prospero, ''Theatre/TheTempest''

A personal [[TheAlcatraz Alcatraz]] made with special precautions to stop this one person from escaping. If he has a [[StockSuperPowers super power]], then it likely incorporates either a PowerNullifier or mechanisms that are power-proof.

[[RuleOfDrama Eventually he'll break out]] but to be fair to the prison's designer, the villain usually can't escape on his own.

He [[EvilIsNotAToy gets some help]] from [[BreakingOutTheBoss his henchmen]], some UnwittingPawn, or an ill-advised upstart villain exploiting the prison's FantasticFragility. The purpose of the Tailor-Made Prison in a story is usually one to give a villain street cred: he must be ''really'' bad to merit it. Also, a previous BigBad can be considered to be CommutingOnABus when in the prison. He's being kept around with a plausible reason for him to be [[OrcusOnHisThrone cooling his heels]] instead of raising hell and can be sprung out when dramatically convenient. Considering that any villain who merits such attention very likely has JokerImmunity in a world of {{Cardboard Prison}}s, the builders of the place may be [[GenreSavvy fully aware that this is temporary solution]] but hope it will give them, at least, a few months of peace.

There are generally skeletons -- BackStory {{Red Shirt}}s -- [[UnwillingSuspension hanging about]] to indicate that this is not a normally escapable place.

Sometimes this is the purpose of the PhantomZone. Compare SealedEvilInACan for those immortal villains who can't be held by a mere custom-designed prison but can overlap if their can is custom made. Compare also ShippedInShackles, which is the mobile version of this trope. For added psychological trauma, may be paired with TheAloner. Sometimes combined with GildedCage. See also CrystalPrison for a common cage.

{{Cardboard Prison}}s occur when this happens way too often and ''way'' too easily.

%%Not to be confused with RealLife oubliettes, which work completely differently, by dumping prisoners in a pit too deep to climb out of and leaving them there. Maybe they get fed, maybe they don't. Probably they die there. Many chambers described as dungeons or oubliettes were in fact storerooms, water-cisterns or even latrines. In the Middle Ages, imprisonment was mainly reserved for those too politically important to execute or have murdered, and such a prisoner was of great value (a duke or a king) for ransom purposes, so there was an incentive to keep the prisoner alive and moderately healthy.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Mag Mel from ''{{Bakugan}}'' got this treatment, both because he's a very powerful villain and because he [[spoiler: is the former BigBad, the power hungry Emperor Barodius, who in his quest for more power than he already had attempted to]] perform '''genocide''' [[spoiler:on the peaceful planet of Neathia]]. [[spoiler:Code Eve]] imprisoned him in armor [[MadeOfEvil created from his own evil]], sealed him in another dimension, ''and'' bound him to his own throne with magical webbing. Yeah, this guy was so evil he got ''an entire dimension'' turned into a prison and then had ''more'' levels of imprisonment put in place just for him. He eventually breaks free by absorbing energy from his PsychicLink with TheHero, which [[spoiler:Code Eve]] didn't know about when she put him in there.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', TheManBehindTheMan in the Muramasa FillerArc was imprisoned in one of these, which for some contrived reason is located inside of [[AdventureTowns Karakura]] [[ContrivedCoincidence for no real adequately explained reason]] other than to give the villain the ability to threaten Ichigo's friends AndYourLittleDogToo when released. The arc's FillerVillain releases him in the arc's climax, only for both to end up the way all {{Filler Villain}}s do.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'' had the Diclonii in underground research facilities, for lack of a better term, trapped in meters thick full body casings much like Iron Maidens, being fed through IV tubes, with a perimeter marking that no one was allowed in lest their hands get to them. The only reason that any of them got out is because either a) someone stupidly dropped a PEN inside of the circle or b) they were let out to take care of the Diclonius released in a)
* Lab 5 in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' combines this with a sort of "Area 51" kind of place. It is guarded by living suits of armor containing the souls of serial killers believed by the public to have been executed, as well as fierce chimeras. One prisoner in all versions is the MadBomber Zolf Kimblee who has his hands in "minature stocks" which prevent him from using his powers. In the first anime, the homonculus Greed was imprisoned there for about two centuries until a fortuitous explosion frees him. At this point, the lab takes on CardboardPrison qualities, as he proceeds to free the other prisoners. It was custom-designed to hold alchemists, not [[NighInvulnerable Homunculi]], after all.
* In ''KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', the defeated and captured members of Yami (organization of villainous martial arts masters) are sent into one of the series of so-called "Big Locks" - massively built prisons designed specifically to keep the Yami members inside for good.
** Some of the newer chapters suggest that these prisons won't hold a master should one really want to get out. What holds them there is "Obey the winner" mentality and their martial artist pride.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'' it seems to be standard practice to create prisons made entirely out of seastone, which is not only [[MadeOfIndestructium indestructible]] but also serves as the local KryptoniteFactor for Devil Fruit users.
** Impel Down serves as this; the World Government puts some criminals down in Level Six, and everyone is supposed to forget that they ever existed. In fact, most people don't even know that Level Six itself exists, including most of the prison's inmates, thinking that it stops at Level 5.
* The [[EldritchAbomination Kishin]] Asura in ''Manga/SoulEater'' was trapped [[spoiler:in a bag made out of his own skin.]] Even then, Shinigami-sama has to use most of his power to keep him trapped, which binds him to Death City.
* The very first ''TenchiMuyo'' movie featured Kain, an amorphous evil entity which broke out of his subspace prison at Galactic Police Headquarters and then escaped into the past to try and kill Tenchi's mother.
** The initial plan to stop him was to put him into another Tailor-Made Prison (an alternate dimension), but when he [[TakingYouWithMe grabbed Tenchi's parents along the way]] they had to go inside and finish the job with a galaxy-destroying cannon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''TheAuthority'' has a prison located in a distant prehistoric era, before mankind ever evolved.
* In ''CaptainAmerica'', Bullseye, who can throw anything with [[ImprobableAimingSkills deadly accuracy]] (literally), was kept in a straitjacket in a cell with no furniture. He was fed a nutritional paste that was piped in a bowl that was set in the floor. He eventually escaped by slamming his head into a wall until he broke off a tooth and then feigned unconsciousness, using the tooth fragment to kill the guard who came to check on him.
* Carl Draper, at times The Master Jailer, or Deathtrap, was originally the architect of a tailor-made prison for Superman's convicted criminal enemies, who could not be kept in in a standard prison. The prisoner's own powers were used to keep each other locked up. This fell apart when Superman ticked Draper off by showing him up in a case of actual {{Superdickery}}, and Draper's ego collapsed, turning him into a StalkerWithACrush toward Lana Lang.
* [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]] once tried to end the threat of Doctor Doom for good by trapping ''both'' of them in a Tailor-Made Prison; this being the only way he could be sure Doom would never escape. The team discovered Reed's sacrificial plan in time to rescue him, bu Doom got out too. Note that Reed only trapped Doom inside of that prison because he didn't think ''Hell'' would be secure enough, and he was right. ''Nobody imprisons Doom!!'' Reed was right. Doom ''has'' been known [[LikeABadassOutOfHell to escape from Hell.]])
* In ''ComicBook/HelOnEarth'', Lex Luthor is the only prisoner in a prision that he designed himself. He built the prison when Superman challenged him to create a prison that even he couldn't break out of.
* ''{{Incognito}}'': [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Black Death]] is an extremely powerful supervillain who is kept in a specially made cell that uses up massive amounts of energy and acts as a PowerNullifier.
* ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' featured the Superman-esque villain Conquest beaten into a coma, then sealed in a 400-ton block of solid steel kept in an unmanned facility seven miles below ground, with motion sensors designed to collapse the entire compound if he so much as twitched. [[FingerPokeOfDoom He escaped in a single page.]]
* One of the JusticeLeague's recurring rogues is The Key, who in recent years can count among his powers the ability to open any door or lock. He's escaped everything from interdimensional prisons to being imprisoned within an infinitely-branching mental prison created by the MartianManhunter. At one point, he decided to try and trick Batman into killing him so he could impress the hero by escaping from ''death itself.'' Ultimately, [[BatmanGambit Batman neutralized him by claiming that the only thing that would impress him is a prison the Key couldn't escape from]], prompting the villain to voluntarily enter Arkham Asylum and instruct everyone on exactly how to imprison him for good, one step at a time.
* During ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'', The Corrosive Man was sealed away in a special room that constantly sprayed him with material that suppressed his acidic abilities. He ended up covering his hand long enough to allow him to use his powers and escaped.
* In the MarvelUniverse, the only way to imprison The Absorbing Man, a supervillain whose body becomes any form of matter he touches, at one time was to put him in a cardboard box and put it in a prison cell since he would otherwise become the materials of the cell (like stone and steel) and smash his way out. Unfortunately, there was eventually a water leak that dripped on the box, allowing him to change into water, move to the cell floor, change into stone and break free.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' comics:
** The multiple-series comic arc ''ComicBook/{{Vector}}'' focuses on a Jedi named Celeste Morne who lived 4,000 years before the films. The arc ends 130 years ''after'' the films. Morne survives the first nearly-4,000 years thanks to the Tailor-Made Prison of Lord Dreypa, which works as basically an indestructible Bag-of-Holding version of this trope. How does she get out? She's released 18 years before the original trilogy. Who's the idiot who releases her? [[spoiler:Darth Vader]]. Another one figures in the ''ComicBook/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' comic series (where Vector begins), but this time it's used only as suspended animation to hold an old woman for a month or so to keep her from dying. [[spoiler: It also keeps her from stopping the BigBad from ripping a nice schism in the Jedi Order, in a XanatosGambit planned out by said BigBad. She gets released eventually and dies within thirty minutes.]]
** ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'' introduces the [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Universal_Energy_Cage universal energy cage]], a transportable cell designed to hold Jedi by suspending them in an antigravity field, electrifying the bars, and featuring feedback systems that would cause the use of Force powers to rebound upon the user.
* In the Crimson Dawn arc of the X-Men comics, Psylocke is forced to concentrate all her telepathic power on the Shadow King (an extremely powerful and malevolent psychic entity which feeds on the hatred of humanity) in order to keep him permanently trapped in the Astral Plane.
** Some time later, after the Shadow King escapes and comes looking for vengeance, Psylocke ends up trapping him inside a mutant that eats psychic energy. Because she'd already lobotomized said mutant, there's no way for the Shadow King to get out again.
* During the ''Fall of the Mutants'' storyline, the Comicbook/{{X-Men}} were fighting a monster known as the Adversary, and the only way to defeat him was to sacrifice their lives and souls to seal away into the form of two stone tablets. Needless to say, even Roma sees this as only a temporary set-back for the villain and once the smoke clears, [[ComicBookDeath resurrects the X-Men so that they can get on with their lives while Adversary takes his time out.]]
* The Phantom Zone in the ComicBook/{{Superman}} comics.
* If you want to make ''real'' sure a [[{{Transformers}} Transformer]] isn't going anywhere for a while, you ''take his [[OurSoulsAreDifferent spark]] out of his body'' and put it it in a box. Standard feature of a TF prison in the comics; rare in shows but has happened once or twice.
* In ''{{The Trigan Empire}}'', The Worst Man On The Planet aka The Prisoner Of Zerss (we never learn his actual name), is kept in a cell on top of a tall pole surrounded by walls on an island in a "monster-infested sea". A henchman blackmails Peric, the {{Omnidisciplinary Scientist}} who designed the place to show him how to escape. There's an AirVentPassageway right under the rug in the middle of the cell.
* Almost every comic book has some sort of "super villain" prison where they set up specific cells to confine the villain depending on his abilities. The Sinister Six from various ''{{Spider-Man}}'' incarnations are usually confined in this way.
** An especially good example is 42, a prison in the Negative Zone built by the pro-reg side during the Marvel ComicBook/CivilWar. Not only is it nearly impossible for the villains inside to escape, but even if they do, they're still in ''the Negative Zone'' with no easy way home.
** An older one is the Cube, literally a giant cube-shaped prison in the middle of the desert. It was intended to hold superpowered supervillains, especially those possessing SuperStrength.
** The Vault was ''designed'' as a Tailor-Made Prison by the government to hold super-villains, but it turned out largely ineffective, becoming more of a CardboardPrison. Fortunately, the government eventually realized its flaws, and shut it down, which led to smaller, more efficient facilities being designed.
** Genetically-altered Super-villains get sent to the Big House, an complex where everyone inside is shrunk by Pym Particles, and where even the strongest can be stopped by the pointer finger of a normal-sized SHIELD guard.
* Also of note is the way Superboy-Prime has been confined over the years. When The Flashes drew him into the Speed Force, he was kept in a place with only red sunlight until he was able to build a set of armor that converted it into yellow sunlight. When Infinite Crisis ended, the Guardians Of The Universe locked him in a special Sciencell inside a red Sun Eater, which was itself guarded at all times by fifty Green Lanterns. Then after he was rescued by the Sinestro Corp and landed in the future, he was sent back to Earth Prime. This was maybe the most hellish prison of all, since he got what he wanted and was sent home, only to find his parents knew everything he'd done and he was hated and unloved by everyone, unable to get back to the comic book world - not that he wanted to. When he finally ''did'' get drawn back, he tried to kill Conner Kent and ended up imprisoned in the Source Wall for his trouble. ''Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}'' probably did him a favor.
* Despite being an infamous CardboardPrison, Arkham Asylum is actually partially built on being a tailor made prison for the psychos of Gotham. For example, the crazed serial killer Zsasz is permanently restrained due to his AxCrazy psyche. Poison Ivy is kept in a glass prison with no space for her to control plants to break herself out, and Mr. Freeze is given a modified meat locker for his cold body. Not that any of these ever stop the more unpredictable criminals like SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker from breaking out at will more easily than the power specific villains.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''FanFic/AndIfThatDontWork'' has the Caina Containment Complex. A massive underground chamber used to imprison [[PhysicalGod Angels]]. It's secured by a nuclear SwordOfDamocles DeadManSwitch, much to [[spoiler: Iry]]'s chagrin.
* ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni'': When [[EvilSorcerer Lung]] captures [[VillainProtagonist Jade]]'s astral form, he seals her inside a glass sphere that can't be broken from the inside, and rings it with industrial-strength lights, denying her any shadows to [[CastingAShadow work with]]. (They also make handy [[ColdBloodedTorture torture devices]].)
** There's also the cage Jade [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy has prepared for if they ever capture a hero]] — held upside down by a chain, feet handcuffed together, wrapped in a straightjacket, neck tied to the floor to restrict any remaining movement.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'', Anne-Marie ends up in what amounts to a gigantic bird cage suspended over an almost bottomless pit at one point.
* Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' sees the Titans released from the undersea vault Zeus imprisoned them in.
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' - Tai Lung's prison Chor Ghom was built specifically to hold him and no other prisoners. Built into a mountain, it consisted of multiple levels with the bottom level holding the evil snow leopard with some sort of acupuncture needles paralyzing him and his front paws held by ropes tied to massive boulders hanging over the chasm. The upper layers included pulley elevators, ballistae, [[RocksFallEveryoneDies dynamite tied to huge stalactites]], and 1000 rhino guards (several hundred of them archers). He got out by using a ''fallen feather'' to pick the lock on his restraints - a feather from a duck sent there [[SelfFulfillingProphecy specifically to make sure that Tai Lung didn't escape]]. He then uses everything that was used to imprison him to pull off an elaborate escape.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheAvengers'', we are introduced to a SHIELD prison designed to hold, and if needed, kill the [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]]. The audience never gets to see if it lived up to its designs but [[Film/{{Thor}} both Loki and Thor]] ended up escaping it.
* Used by the villain in the film ''Film/FirstKnight''. As described above, Maligant lowers a bridge, marches Guinevere over to a ledge, then raises the bridge, trapping her within "walls of air."
* In ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'', Cobra Commander and Destro are being kept floating in suspension tanks, pumped full of a drug that allows their eyes and their breathing to function, but nothing else.
* The planned punishment for Louis in ''InterviewWithTheVampire'' is "Eternity in a box" (which, combined with the vampire fact, adds a healthy dose of AndIMustScream). He's released by the sympathetic vampire Armand in a few hours, but too late to prevent Claudia's death.
* ''Film/JasonX'' begins with Jason being held in a facility seemingly built for the sole purpose of containing him. He's chained up in a big room, has guards and guns trained on him at all times, is stuck in multiple straightjackets that appear to be made of burlap, and is kept in a constant state of sedation by a pillow-sized IV bag hooked up to his head and neck.
* In ''Film/JudgeDredd'', Rico was held on an island surrounded by a bottomless pit. On the walls surrounding the pit were guards with guns and {{Sentry Gun}}s trained on the prisoner. It tries to keep the prisoner in by offering nothing in the way of tools or weapons, and possibly even binding him with chains on top of that. He got out when a WellIntentionedExtremist judge sent him a gun to take the warden hostage with.
** He was originally supposed to have been executed, but the same judge decided to keep him around, just in case.
* In ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'', upon solving a KnightsAndKnaves style riddle, Sarah falls into a pit of hands, leading to an Oubliette.
* The BigBad in ''Film/TheMummyTrilogy'' gets shut into one of these after being mummified alive. Rather than being because the imprisoners believed ThouShaltNotKill, it was because they felt that ''[[FateWorseThanDeath death was too good for him]]''.
* In the movie ''Film/RunawayTrain'', Alaska's Stonehaven Maximum Security Prison has had only four escapes in its history, three of them by Manny, the protagonist of the movie. The deputy warden gets so fed up with him that he orders the door to Manny's cell be welded shut, at least until a judge decides this represents Cruel and Unusual Punishment and he's put back into the general population. He rather quickly escapes again.
* In ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' Dr. Lecter's home for most of the movie is his cell in a Baltimore insane asylum. It is a standard cell with one exception: Instead of having a fourth wall of bars it has a thick sheet of plexiglass to prevent him from reaching through the cell at orderlies. The extradiegetic reason for the plexiglass is the filmmakers not wanting to film through bars, as long closeups are a key part of the visual style. In the novel Lecter's cell has regular bars but also has a nylon net to serve the same purpose as the plexiglass.
* Silva gets imprisoned in one inside [=MI6=]'s temporary headquarters in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''. This does not end well.
* In ''Film/SkyHigh'', villains are kept within stark white prisons with [[PowerNullifier power nullifiers]] trained on them.
* Magneto in the ''Film/{{X-Men}}'' movies is locked in a cell made entirely of plastic. He got out thanks to Mystique giving one of his guards an "iron supplement," actually at least half a pound of the stuff, in liquid form. In real life, this would have given him iron poisoning, but he didn't survive long enough to find that out.
** In ''X3'', Magneto attacks a mobile prison convoy that contains several dangerous mutants. Juggernaut is manacled to the wall 24 hours a day so he cannot build up any momentum.
* In Star Wars ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' Obi-Wan is held inside a force field cage that appears to be electrified and nullifies his powers. Unlike the more complicated comic book version it simply shocks him repeatedly, thus preventing him from focusing on anything other than nullifying the pain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Downplayed in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. Visser Three (by then, [[spoiler:promoted to Visser One]]) is tried and imprisoned in a special "Yeerk box," built by the Andalites that lets him hear and speak, and then he's shipped off to a special max-security prison until he dies. The 'downplayed' comes from the fact that he's a sentient slug that can barely move under its own power and is deaf and blind. The reason he's imprisoned now is that he led the Yeerks trying to take over the human race.
** Also, David. He was trapped in rat form (by being kept in a space too small for him to resume human form, thus unable to change back before ModeLock set in) and kept on a rocky island with not much life on it for being willing and able to destroy the Animorphs and any hope for the world with a few words to the Yeerks and repeatedly trying to kill them. Books later, Crayak and the Drode give him a chance at revenge at Rachel, but when Rachel ignores Crayak's offers for super strength, Crayak and the Drode leave. Rachel catches David and David pleads to be killed, as being put back on the island would be a fate worse than death. It is left unclear at the end whether Rachel killed him or sent him back to the island.
* Meg Murray's father's prison in ''AWrinkleInTime''.
* JimButcher's ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series has several mentions of prisons made to hold [[ElementalRockPaperScissors particular types of crafters]]. Earthcrafters are held in wooden cages off the ground to prevent contact with the earth, windcrafters are held in windowless stone cells to prevent breezes, watercrafters are held in a ring of fire that dehydrates the air around them, and so on. That's adequate for normal people, who only have access to one or two types of elemental, but High Lords and Ladies have access to all six, so a prison for them has to be incredibly complicated, often tailored to the specific individual.
* Also by Butcher, in the short story "Love Hurts", the villain lovingly describes the cage for the protaganist. It is covered in spikes so that he can not fall asleep, inside a half-bowl so he must stand in his own waste, and there is a rack with three needle-nosed spears on it outside so any passing evildoer can participate.
* In Peter Hamilton's ''Literature/CommonwealthSaga'' novels, very serious but non-capital crimes are punished by a one-way trip to the surface of a prison world, which is much the same as being cast back into the Stone Age, as there is no real civilisation or technology. No visitors, and a military blockade ensures no rescuers will get close enough to even see the world.
* The Gordon R. Dickson short story ''Danger - Human'' had the aliens construct an escape-proof cell, consisting of metal physical enclosures, an impenetrable force field, constant armed surveillance, and access only for carefully monitored brief periods to provide food and water, to study a human they'd abducted to try and find out why humans kept conquering the galaxy. Didn't work.
* The first part of Dante's ''Literature/DivineComedy'' was thick with this, not so much due to the fact that Hell was escape-proof, but due to the fact that sinners were punished via creative means that fit the crimes they had committed in life. To give one example, thieves had their very forms stolen from them, and continually shifted from one monstrous form to another.
* In ''The Eyes of Kid Midas'' by Shusterman Neal, Kevin creates a prison for the school bully full of fish. Fish being one of the few things that Kevin knows that the bully is afraid of.
* ''Literature/{{Fablehaven}}'' has several examples of this. One of the most unique examples is Olloch the Glutton--he isn't trapped anywhere, he's just TakenForGranite...until [[SealedEvilInACan someone feeds him]].
* Spore, in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', is harmless in the vacuum of space. It needs air to spread and bare skin to [[TheVirus infect]]; being stored in a sealed room in a deep pit on an airless asteroid, with plenty of warnings outside of the door, is ideal. The Ithorians didn't kill it because of their dedication to pacifism. Unfortunately, in the three hundred years since the outbreak was contained they started letting people mine the asteroids, even ''that'' asteroid. Partly this was out of the knowledge that if they said what Spore was, TheEmpire or others would [[EvilIsNotAToy try to use it]], whereas if they just warned people away, it would just make treasure hunters more determined.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ''The Hour of the Dragon'', ConanTheBarbarian is thrown into a prison with a skeleton and taunted with the fact that only the slaves and their master know of it, and he will die there like the last one.
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Zarracka has a custom made cell to negate her ice powers. It has successfully held her for ten years [[spoiler: and she never escapes from it. Her jailer, Daniar, was so paranoid about her breaking free while she was gone, that she took the IcePerson with her to another country and she escaped from a weaker cell.]]
* In ''TheBlackPrism'', the first book of ''TheLightBringerTrilogy'', the brother of the Prism, who both share the ability to create temporary matter from light, called luxin, is trapped by the Prism in a blue crystal prison, which is designed to absorb all blue luxin on contact, rendering his abilities useless. While it is supposed to be the perfect prison, the Prism is extremely paranoid, and makes [[spoiler:6 more identical cells, each for every color of the light spectrum, all of which lead to each other through a series of traps and pitch black tunnels filled with crystals that drain the luxin of those exposed to them.]]
* In ''Suldrun's Garden'' (the first book of the ''Literature/{{Lyonesse}}'' trilogy) by Creator/JackVance, Aillas is lowered into an Oubliette ("a bell-shaped cell fourteen feet in diameter and seventy feet underground") for impregnating King Casmir's daughter and left to die. Aillas finds a dozen skeletons sitting around the oubliette, with a note scrawled on the wall welcoming him to their "council." Just before he figures a way out, he starts to hear them talking to him. Taking months, he constructs a ladder from the bones of the previous occupants, and escapes.
* In ''[[MythAdventures Myth-ing Persons]]'', Aahz is imprisoned on Limbo in a special jail cell designed to hold ''vampire'' criminals. It's the mouth of an animated dragon's-head statue, which is mobile and aware enough to swallow a would-be escapee who tries to rip out its teeth/bars with vampiric strength, or inhale them if they turn into mist.
* In ''The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas'', Utopia is PoweredByAForsakenChild locked in a dark basement.
* Tartarus in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians''.
* In ''TheSilmarillion'', where Melkor was imprisoned in a completely inescapable prison. If only those morons didn't release him for good behavior. All Sauron's lairs worked this way too. Thorin's father was imprisoned for so long he could no longer remember his own name.
* The SinisterSixTrilogy has Electro, who's first seen in a sealed plastic box suspended in water.
* Doctor Impossible is in one at the beginning of ''SoonIWillBeInvincible''.
* In ''[[Literature/StarShardsChronicles Shattered Sky]]'', Dillon Cole has the power to see patterns and create order from chaos. No ordinary prison could hold him--locks would spontaneously unlock themselves in his presence, guards would bow to his whim, and he could easily tap into the resonant frequency of a wall to tear it apart. The millionaire genius Elon Tessic manages to design a specialized prison that won't be affected by his powers. Naturally, Dillon, being a protagonist, manages to escape anyway.
* Digitised personalities run in virtual environments in Creator/RichardKMorgan's ''Literature/TakeshiKovacs'' series are effectively immortal if their environment is not sophisticated enough to include death or the possibility of suicide. Someone running in a simple, low-power simulator could remain there for a very long time indeed, made worse by the fact that simulations run faster than normal time. [[AndIMustScream Few hundred years of boredom sound like fun?]]
* In ''Literature/WarOfTheDreaming'', [[MeaningfulName Azrael]] de Gray's imprisonment in Dreamland takes the form of a cage made of inward-pointing, sharpened hooks, suspended on a mile-long chain off the rim of a FlatWorld. Food and water are provided by the cage's momentum swinging him periodically through the rim-waterfall. The Fae ''invented'' this type of prison specifically for him.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov published books that were a collection of short stories. One involved an alien species trying to deal with an alien murderer and considered the constrictive prison to be inhumane. They created a much larger building for that alien to reside in, with food deliveries through a [[TubeTravel Pneumatic Tube system]], and no way out other than a fatal 50 foot drop. The prisoner opened its wings and flew away.
* In ''Twenty years after'', the first sequel to {{Literature/The Three Musketeers}}, D'Artagnan and Porthos have been captured on the orders of Cardinal Mazarin and are imprisoned in Rueil Castle. Mazarin requests ''thirty'' extra soldiers to guard exclusively the two "special guests". Unsurprisingly, [[spoiler: they manage to escape anyway]].
* In the first book of The Literature/ColdfireTrilogy, the Hunter is captured and rendered totally helpless by being placed in a simple bonfire. A normal human who can manipulate fae could easily extinguish the flames and escape, but the DealWithTheDevil the Hunter made for immortality long ago robbed him of his ability to manipulate anything related to life or light, like fire. All he can do is tap into the weak currents of earth fae to constantly heal himself to avoid being burned to death. Damien wonders what is more painful to the Hunter: being burned alive, or the blow to his pride due to being rendered powerless through such mundane means.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* When the protagonists of ''Series/{{Alphas}}'' are brought to Binghamton, they're put in custom-made cells too sturdy for Bill's SuperStrength and soundproofed and signal-proof to block the abilities of Rachel and Gary.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' the gang is plagued by a sadistic ghost named Pavayne who feeds other dead souls to hell in exchange for not going there himself. He tries to do this to Spike (a ghost at the time) but they stop him by corporealising him. Since they cant kill him, since that would put them back to square one, Angel [[SealedEvilInACan has him]] [[AndIMustScream locked in a box in the basement of Wolfram & Hart]]. [[WhatTheHellHero A coffin like box with a small window in which he can live "forever"]].
** Connor does this to Angel and drops him in the harbor for a couple of months, too.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Angelus is in one, which he gets out of via perfect happiness brought on by screwing Buffy (she must be VERY good in the sack). The Ubervamps are in one (the Hellmouth) as well.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Pandorica Opens", [[spoiler: one of these is constructed for the Doctor by a huge number of his enemies working together, to stop him from destroying the universe. The Doctor, through timeline wonkiness, literally ''let himself out'' (as in, an Eleventh Doctor on the outside released the one on the inside, albeit by proxy).]]
** The Eleventh Doctor gets stuck in another one during the opening of "Day of the Moon". It's assembled around him (while he's chained and straitjacketed) from bricks of dwarf-star matter and is completely impregnable. This time, however, [[spoiler: it's part of his plan to get himself and his friends away from their enemies' eyes and ears - he was sitting next to the cloaked TARDIS the whole time.]]
** Earlier examples from the new series are also apparent. In "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit", The Tenth Doctor encounters one of these.. The Time Lock which was put into place during the Time War can be seen as one as well, as it effectively sealed the rest of the universe from the War.
* Building 26 in the eponymous ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' episode has one of these for [[AnIcePerson Tracy Strauss]]: she's chained to a chair in an extremely hot room. Which turns out to be a ''really'' bad idea, as trying to "make ice in an oven" [[TrainingFromHell has supercharged her powers]] in a weird form of CharlesAtlasSuperpower. Level 5 is where the Company kept all the most dangerous super powered criminals, usually keeping them drugged. Flint's cell was fireproof, Echo was gagged, and Knox was kept in a straitjacket.
* An ''Series/OuterLimits'' episode featured a mental version of these. People would serve out their sentences within a day of real time, but would in their minds experience their entire captivity in a prison like this.
* ''TheSlammer'': Erica the Critic is kept with a special cell in solitary confinement that is chained shut from the outside.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', being a show that runs on SealedEvilInACan, has a few of these. In all cases escape requires extensive outside intervention.
** Lilith et.al. merely get out of the general Hell at the end of season two, and Dean goes there and is not considered a particular escape risk at the end of three, but season four revolves around keeping TheDevil in his, referred to as The Cage and locked with six hundred seals. And season five winds up being about putting him back in it--this time with his brother Michael, Sam, and Sam's half brother Adam. Sam gets out half a season later, but only with the help of [[DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu Death]].
*** And just in case you think reusing the previously escaped prison on Lucifer is [[CardboardPrison a poor idea]], the first successful attempt took, in this order: getting a particular, necessarily heroic guy to sell his soul for the right reason and then break under torture, then performing sixty-four arbitrary atrocities of varyingly complex natures while fighting off the heavenly host (this is the easy part), and finally leading another (incidentally heroic) particular guy to kill a particular entity in a particular fashion in exactly the right place, ''after waiting millenia for the right pair of guys to be born in the first place''.
*** Oh, and making sure to catch the second guy's mom ''ten years before he was born'' to give you the correct use-rights to him as a baby to give him the powers you apparently need him to use to kill the specific entity at the correct time.
** And then in the start of season seven Purgatory, which in this setting is the holding tank for non-human souls, apparently including vampires, however that works, turns out [[spoiler: to have originally been built to contain the Leviathan, a race of horrible unkillable shape-shifting black slime things God didn't know how to unmake and was worried would "consume the rest of creation."]]
* The criminal alien Jeanio from ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' (and his ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' counterpart) gets this as his punishment; as he has the ability to escape into the reflection of any mirrored surface, he was eventually captured on a planet devoid of any starlight and kept in a pitch-black cell with all mirrors removed surrounded by guards wearing matte sunglasses. He escaped by forcing one of the Rangers (whose family was killed by him) to cry and escaping in his tear's reflection.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* The Labyrinth was build by Daedalus to be a prison for the [[ALoadOfBull Minotaur]].
* In NorseMythology, the god Loki can shape-shift his way out of any kind of fetters, talk his way out of any kind of incrimination, and seemingly almost by reflex think up plots to bring down the invincible. So the gods turn his sons into wolves ripping each other's guts out and tie him up with said guts, entomb him in an isolated cave beneath the world, and place a snake over his head that constantly drips venom into his eyes to keep him distracted. He is sprung by his children on the eve of Ragnarok. His monstrous children that is - not his humanoid children, whose intestines bind him.
** Fenris Wolf, Loki's monster son, was imprisoned with a specially crafted, unbreakable, ribbon-like chain, made from women's beards, cat's footfalls, and other things you don't see around anymore.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''{{Champions}}'' setting includes Stronghold, a prison specifically designed to hold supervillains. And unless your GM changes things around, it does a pretty good job of holding them.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** In ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition]]'' Tharizdun, [[MeaningfulName The Chained God]], [[CaptainObvious obviously]]. Ironically, Torog, the patron of slavers, torturers and prison guards as well.
** The TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} campaign setting. Yes, the ''setting'' is composed of prisons tailored to hold and torment a very special guest.
*** A large chunk of the MetaPlot of the setting (back when it had one) was woven around the Lich Azalin's elaborate plans to get out of his particular custom prison regardless of the fallout. He almost [[RevengeBeforeReason succeeded once]], with another notable failure. In an unusual take on this trope, so far the prison is still holding.
** Several editions of D&D (not to mention 3.5's spiritual successor ''TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'') have had the ''imprisonment'' spell, which puts the target in stasis and traps them underground until such time as the proper counterspell is cast.
*** ''TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'' ups the ante with the high-level spell ''binding'', which [[{{Troperiffic}} throws in a number of relevant tropes]]: the caster can make the binding ritual more reliable by having additional casters as assistants, and the effect comes in six different flavours, including physically binding the target to one location, [[KingInTheMountain sending it into a decades-long sleep]], permanently banishing it to a separate plane of existence, or [[SealedEvilInACan sealing it inside some small object]].
** The 3.5 Edition supplement Fiendish Codex 1: Hordes of the Abyss has Layer 73: the Wells of Darkness, which is an entire demiplane containing nothing but these. Doubles as a combination of [[SealedEvilInACan a 24-pack of sealed evils]] and, since most prisoners can't communicate from within their cells, AndIMustScream.
** The ''Pathfinder'' adventure path ''Legacy of Fire'' introduces a [[{{Golem}} construct]] called the ''tophet'' that's essentially an ''ambulatory'' Tailor-Made Prison. They're often commanded to convey prisoners [[KillItWithFire out into the desert at noon]]...or [[OxygenMeter underwater]]. (And that's just the ones that don't have nasty enchantments built right in.)
* ''TableTopGames/{{Exalted}}'': While not for a single individual, the prison-realm of the Yozis fits this trope perfectly. It was made from the mutilated body of Malfeas, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the King of Primordials]], and reinforced with the "surrender oaths," a ritual combination of physical and spiritual torture intended to permanently bind the creators of the world to the body of their King, such that they could never escape.
** As appropriate to this trope, the Yozis have struggled for Ages to free themselves from their prison. Their most recent attempt was the creation of the Infernal Exalted, though it remains to be seen whether this plan will work any better than their previous ones.
* ''LegendOfTheFiveRings'' has the Tomb of Iuchiban, built when the Bloodspeaker was captured and turned out to be unkillable. The tomb encircles him with multiple levels of mundane and magical wards, and surrounds those with a DeathCourse of traps - not to keep him in, but to kill any of his followers trying to free him.
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' has a spell called "Oubliette", which forces someone into a nightmarish pocket dimension, [[MindRape where all sense of space and time breaks down, they see and feel future images of themselves at different points of their imprisonment, and are physically and mentally tortured]]. [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Using this spell will ding your]] KarmaMeter unless you're at such a low Wisdom that [[AndIMustScream trapping someone in a prison of inescapable eternal torment doesn't bother you.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', if the Lady of Pain decides, for whatever reason, that simply passing over you and letting her shadow reduce you to shredded meat isn't the right punishment, she seals you away in a personalised planar labyrinth, a "Maze" as the locals call it. There's always a portal out, though the trick is finding it before you go utterly mad or die of old age.
** And of course there's the persistent rumour that Sigil itself is a tailor made prison. For the Lady of Pain. Yup, the absolute supernatural ruler of the City of Doors is unable to leave.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'' has a Justice Boon called "Personal Prison" where the subject is tossed into an inescapable prison for years to face the true horror of their crimes... and then the effect ends, and they realize that their experience [[YearInsideHourOutside lasted a few minutes in real time]].
* ''{{Warhammer40000}}'': The C'Tan, being ancient evil gods that have only recently woken up, tended to get hit with this trope. [[FromBadToWorse Strictly past tense at this point.]]
** [[GrimReaper The Nightbringer]] was trapped in a two-part dimensional prison with his star-eating ship of the same name. [[spoiler: Uriel Ventris prevented the ship from being freed, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero but not the entity itself.]]]]
** The Martian Dragon is believed to remain trapped in a prison the God-Emperor himself fashioned for it. Which means [[FridgeHorror it was on Terra at some point]].
** The Outsider was supposedly trapped in an extra-galactic prison by it's kin, who feared it. But the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] are giving that part of space a ''very'' wide berth, so...
** However this has been downplayed after the 5th edition retcon, as Necrons revolted and enslaved the C'tan, they now use tesseract labyrinth which is basically a [[{{Pokemon}} pokeball]] made by DoctorWho.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Franchise/{{Bionicle}} gives us Avak. Belonging to a species that was subjected to an experiment GoneHorriblyWrong, he received the power to conjure cages made out of absolutely anything at will. These only exist as long as he keeps focusing, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* In ''{{Arcanum}}'', the Caladonian authorities have a special jail cell that was custom-built by one of Arcanum's finest engineers to imprison J.T. Morgan, the world's greatest lock-picker.
* The ExpansionPack to ''BaldursGate 2'', Throne of Bhaal, adds one of these in the form of Watcher's Keep. It's a huge, elaborate prison, full of traps, puzzles, and even dips a little into alternate planes of existence. All to keep its prisoner safely under lock and key for all eternity. Said prisoner is none other than [[spoiler: Demogorgan, Prince of Demons!]]
* Killer Croc in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' is kept in the deepest, darkest depths of Arkham, where the guards occasionally drop down some food for him and try to forget he even exists. This is because physically, Croc is the most dangerous inmate, and his [[IAmAHumanitarian feeding habits]] make him even worse.
** Even the standard cells in the place are tiny, barely large enough to lie straight, and the inmates seem to spend long times locked in them with no means of recreation, judging from the ways some walls have been 'decorated'.
** Mr. Freeze similarly has a unique prison cell, but in his case it is to keep him alive without his suit and its assorted powers.
** Clayface's cell is completely hermetically sealed, impossible for one person to open and has warning signs explaining that the occupant is a shapeshifter and ''will'' try to impersonate someone else to trick passersby into letting him go.
* ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 2}}'''s Persephone prison has solitary confinement cells and the prison itself is suspended over a deep underwater trench.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' games have [[spoiler:the Vault]], designed to hold [[spoiler:the Destroyer in 1 and the Warrior in 2]]. There's also the custom Eridium device used on [[spoiler:Angel]].
* The MMO ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' features a couple of these, for sealing demons or villains with mental powers. The best example comes in the Adventure Pack "Resistance", in which you travel to a MirrorWorld, and your main mission is to break two members of that world's resistance out of a couple of these prisons. In one of the prisons (Stronghold) this has backfired, with the most powerful psychic villain in the world having broken free of his restraints and taken over the prison from the inside using other prisoners and villains.
* The Allied victory in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2: Yuri's Revenge'' has Yuri Prime being captured, escorted by mind-shielded guards, and put in a special capsule where he would be unable to use his powers. NightmareFuel for anyone who is claustrophobic. It's literally like a hyper-advanced coffin, with Dentist equipment near his head.
--> '''General Carville''': He won't be able to mind-control a fly.
* Baal of the ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' universe was imprisoned in a soulstone along with his two brothers. His, however, cracked and in order to contain him it was driven into the mind of the mage Tal Rasha, who would engage in an eternal Battle of Wills with the Prime Evil. On top of that, Tal Rasha was chained both literally and magically inside a very tightly sealed tomb in the middle of a killer desert. It didn't end well. On the other hand, it was apparently the only prison of the three that wasn't subverted from within by the Prime Evils- sucks to be Tal Rasha, but it ''did'' keep Baal trapped until Diablo showed up to break him out.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', the Grey Wardens constructed a fortress in the Vinmark Mountains that serves as a prison for numerous demons, but mostly to hold [[spoiler: [[BigBad Corypheus]], one of the first darkspawn]]. Notably, the magical seals on the prison must be occasionally renewed with BloodMagic from an untainted Mage, requiring them to use apostates outside of the Circle. Malcolm Hawke is revealed to have been the last mage to do so, having been forcibly coerced by the Warden unless he wanted anything [[ShameIfSomethingHappened bad to happen]] to [[IHaveYourWife Leandra]], who was pregnant with Hawke at the time. The ''Legacy DLC'' revolves around Hawke (and possibly their sibling) travelling to the prison to find out why the Carta are so determined to use their blood to break the seals and get into that prison.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' has one of these for [[spoiler: Corvus]]. Guess what you're [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption forced to do]]?
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', the Interdimensional Rift acts as one; a prison for the worst demons in history, with its entrance sealed away in a space between dimensions. For example, when speaking of [[BonusBoss Omega and Shinryu]], the game says that "Inside the Rift the demons were interred; so should they stay until forever's end, their names to stay unspoken evermore." Unfortunately, it turns out that the Rift is home to the power of the Void (or it may be the same thing, the game is unclear), which means that it was necessary to seal the prison itself, because it had become a ''weapon''.
* Adel, the tyrant sorceress and former ruler of Esthar in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', is imprisoned in a stasis capsule suspended in orbit above the planet, and her powers are suppressed by an antimagic field so powerful that radio communication on the planet's surface is next to impossible.
** The [[FallenAngel Esper Ultima]] is sealed Giruvegan's Great Crystal behind a maze of force fields and teleporters for [[spoiler:leading the Espers' rebellion against the [[JerkassGods Occuria]].]]
* ''{{Metroid}}''
** [[BigBad Gorea]] from ''[[MetroidPrime Metroid Prime: Hunters]]'' had an interdimensional prison to lock him away and keep him from demolishing the Alimbic Cluster. His means of egress are a forged psychic message and the eight Octoliths that power the device necessary to open it again... too bad the person responsible for opening the door just happened to be ''Samus''.
** The eponymous creature in ''Metroid Prime'' was trapped in the impact crater by a forcefield erected by the Chozo. In the NTSC version of the game, Space Pirates accidentally free it by digging under the forcefield and take it to be studied, although it escapes and returns to its lair. This was RetConned in the PAL and Trilogy versions where it never got out. Samus has to collect the artifacts needed to open a passage into the crater and kill it.
* The BigBad of ''[[VideoGame/{{Mother3}} Mother 3]]'' [[spoiler:VideoGame/{{Earthbound}} Porky Minch]] has lived for thousands of years, and is both immortal and immobile. By his request, Dr. Andonuts created him an Absolutely Safe Capsule, to keep himself safe after his mecha breaks down. The catch is, being ''absolutely'' safe, there's no way out of the capsule, making it the only way to remove him from the fight permanently.
* Frequently appears in the ''{{Myst}}'' series. Linking Books can transport you to whatever sort of world is described on their pages, but if there's no Linking Book leading ''back'' you're trapped for good.
** The so-called Trap Books featured prominently in the game also might count. They work like Linking Books; however, due to a slight alteration, they link to a non-space between universes where a person can end up trapped forever, unable to move or interact with anything, their only view of the outside world being the panel they touched, and only if the book is open. A Trap Book only holds one, however, and if another person touches the panel while the book is occupied, the two switch places.
** After the {{retcon}} in ''Myst IV: Revelations'', the Trap Books seen in ''Myst'' and ''Riven'' are explained to simply link to Prison Ages - worlds where, as described above, there are no Linking Books leading back.
* In ''[[VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2 Mask of the Betrayer]]'', you and your party find Gannayev in a small, windowless prison cell covered from floor to ceiling in magical runes. The reason for this is because has the ability to travel through people's dreams and, while he can't use this ability to escape, he ''can'' [[PowerPerversionPotential use it to get hot dream-sex]] when he should be being punished.
* A secret teleporter in ''PathwaysIntoDarkness'' traps you in one.
* Being based on ''{{Planescape}}'', the Mazes naturally featured in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''. A major part of the game is finding your way into the Maze of Ravel Puzzlewell (who had found the exit long ago, but either no longer wants to have anything to do with the wider planes or is too muddled in the head to be able to comprehend leaving). You can also get trapped in your own Maze and attempt to find your way out. This is considered a BonusLevelOfHell for several reasons.
** Furthermore, Ravel implies [[spoiler:that Sigil is the tailor-made prison of the Lady of Pain. The reason Ravel invaded the city with an army of devils was apparently an attempt to ''free'' her.]]
* You can build one in your house in ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', and drop people in through a trapdoor in the throne room. Unfortunately, [[VideoGameCaringPotential you build a door in the cage holding the prisoner]], so they can escape, usually. The oubliette's floor can be covered with spikes, a murky pool with tentacles, [[KillItWithFire fire]], or a weak monster.
* ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier'': An entire world is turned into a massive prison, originally built to house one single prisoner: [[spoiler: the prison's own warden]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Othar Tryggvassen, GentlemanAdventurer!, of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is introduced imprisoned in one of these in Castle Wulfenbach. He tries to get Agatha to release him from it, thinking her to be the MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter (she didn't do it, [[GenreSavvy not wanting]] to be the easily [[UnwittingPawn duped minion]] that sets the insanely dangerous experiment free). [[AuthorAvatar "Professor Phil Foglio"]] is later found and [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20060726 inadvertently freed]] by a group seeking to rescue Agatha in Sturmhalten. He's '''singing''', "[[IncrediblyLamePun Oubliette, oubladaa, life goes on, yeah!]]". It was a pit filled with the bones of all those who pissed off the local Prince. The rescue party also ended up in another one but a comrade they'd been separated from earlier showed up through a secret door and let them out.
* Lok's prison in ''Webcomic/{{Juathuur}}''. He still gets visits, sort of.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Roza}}'', [[http://www.junglestudio.com/roza/?date=2007-05-13 old Gil]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheDementiaOfMagic'', Marzos was imprisoned by other mages, but escaped.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' makes these, both for anomalies which are dangerous to humanity and for harmless anomalies which would break the {{Masquerade}} if they got loose. The prisons can range from as extreme as keeping a [[HealingFactor regenerating]] OmnicidalManiac immersed in a vat of concentrated hydrochloric acid to as minor as fencing off areas where weird stuff happen.
** In fact, the Foundation is (indirectly) named after this. The Foundation calls a paranormal entity/object/etc an SCP, which comes from "'''S'''pecial '''C'''ontainment '''P'''rocedures"; the list of things which must be done to keep a paranormal thing locked up, or at least reduce the danger it causes and keep the public ignorant of it, and the rules which must be followed by any researcher who wants to study it.
** "Safe" objects are anything that can be contained with relatively mundane and simple methods like a locker (by that definition a grenade would be "Safe"). "Keter" objects either require extreme measures to contain them or are actually impossible to fully contain. The aforementioned OmnicidalManiac is one of these. It repeatedly escapes its prison and kills many people before being recaptured. "Euclid" objects are in between the two -- objects that are originally "Safe" can easily become "Euclid" once they display more anomalous properties and can eventually become "Keter" if those properties make containment unfeasible.
*** The distinction here has become muddied as of late. The official definitions of the classifications now say that "Safe" are well understood, and will always do the same thing under the same stimulus (i.e., a gun will fire a bullet if there is one loaded and the trigger is pulled), while Euclid are something of an IronicNickname (every once in a while, the bullet fired will heal someone instead of injuring them). Keter are dangerous and unpredicatible (a sentient gun that can fly and hunts people down in alphabetical order, except on Tuesdays where it goes by birth date). The containment of Euclid and Keter is often a Tailor Made Prison, but occasionally doesn't need to be; sometimes locking it up and leaving it alone is enough. Meanwhile, some Safe objects might need a special method of locking them up, as long as it's one that always works.
* ''TechInfantry'' has the Federation (and later Imperial) Prison in the R45 system, a DeathWorld with orbiting warships and magical fields to prevent escape or rescue, where the most dangerous supernatural criminals are sent. The more mundane version of the trope is seen when Andrea Treschi kidnaps Xavier Pollos and holds him prisoner in a deep pit to force him to carry out an assassination on Treschi's behalf.
* The web novel ''{{Literature/Worm}}'' features The Birdcage, a prison designed to hold supervillians on life sentences. It is designed to counter a huge variety of superpowers through both active and passive measures, most of which are spectacularly lethal to those who attempt to escape. An escape is eventually effected with the aid of an individual on the outside who has the ability to create dimensional portals.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Dr. Robotnik builds one of these for SonicTheHedgehog in one episode of ''AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''. Sonic lets himself get captured in order to break a comic artist out of Robotnik's prison but his plan backfires when Robotnik's specialized prison wing is meticulously designed to counter every one of his abilities and activate upon seeing his blue fur. [[spoiler:He still escapes in the end by duping the system's color-trigger with a poster of himself taped to Grounder's back, which causes the security system to attack Grounder and Scratch, leaving him to get away.]]
** In ''SonicX'', when Sonic is [[ClearMyName arrested]] for a crime, he's put in a cell that's underwater because [[GenreSavvy they know]] he [[SuperDrowningSkills can't swim]]. Only Chris and his butler Mr. Tanaka get him out, Dressed like they're the [[ShoutOut stars]] of Franchise/TheGreenHornet.
* The Fire Nation in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' used special "cooling cells" to imprison rowdy firebenders. The cells were so cold they couldn't muster up the heat to firebend. Zuko used his fire breathing to keep warm and remove the fastening bolts from the inside.
** Waterbenders were likewise kept suspended in metal cages far from the ground and water, as well as having hot dry air pumped in. When they were given water, their arms and legs were fastened. Hama got out by learning to manipulate the blood in living beings.
** Earthbenders also received the Fire Nation Touch; their prison was an offshore metal prison. They eventually broke free by using the coal from the boiler room to earthbend. Later, Toph gets trapped in a steel cage, with her captors convinced that she can't escape because she can't bend metal. Subverted there, however, since Toph proceeds to become the world's first metal bender, turning any future cells into Cardboard Prisons. That is, until some GenreSavvy guards locked her up in a prison... made of wood. Thankfully, Katara was with her and she was able to sweatbend the wooden bars off their cell.
** Even Air Benders can't escape the Fire Nation's obsession with tailor made prisons. When Aang was captured by General Zhao, he was bound hand and foot in taut chains to avoid him airbending. Though he could still blow with his mouth, he was trapped so completely Zhao threatened they would keep him imprisoned until he died to avoid the hassle of searching for the next Avatar. Good thing the [[MaskPower Blue Spirit]] came along!
* Probably the most dangerous villain in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' is Inque. She came closer to killing Terry than any other villain - even Blight - likely did, and he was ''never'' able to defeat her alone. She is [[WeaksauceWeakness vulnerable to severe cold]], however, so when he apprehended her that way, they figured the best way to hold her was to simply keep her frozen. And it might have held her for good if the guy in charge of watching her [[TooDumbToLive hadn't developed a weird crush on her]].
* Used against the heroes ''by'' the villain in ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' - GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe with phasing powers Mira Nova was put in a cell that played loud noises to keep her from concentrating, and TheBigGuy Booster was stuffed into a cell with bouncy sides so he couldn't break out. Backfired hilariously, when Mira dismissed the sound as "a little annoying" and Booster considered the bouncy cell to be the ''funnest thing ever''.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'' when Freak ends up not only revealing his weakness to Gutierrez, but also helps ''build the cage to trap him''. Freakazoid kicks himself for it while Gutierrez {{lampshade}}s it all.
* The Inhumanoids from ''WesternAnimation/{{Inhumanoids}}'' were sealed up in their own personal prison at the beginning of the series: Tendril, chained up in an underground cell; D'Compose, petrified in a massive hunk of amber; and Metlar, trapped in another creature's magnetic field.
* Doomsday from ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' was imprisoned in one by Project Cadmus after Justice Lord {{Superman}} lobotomised him, as he was literally impossible to kill. He escapes from it with the help of a wronged minor villain, goes right back to getting his revenge on Superman, is encased in magma from a volcanic eruption, and banished to the Phantom Zone.
* Referenced in the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' episode "Stop Team Go", when Hego reacts to the appearance of an old enemy:
-->'''Hego:''' [[PsychoElectro Electronique]]? You broke out of [[MrExposition the specially constructed non-conductive plastic prison]]?
** There were a couple episodes in the PostScriptSeason where other villains broke Shego out of prison (while leaving [[ButtMonkey Drakken]] behind to rot). Presumably her cell was made tough enough that she couldn't use her [[HandBlast powers]] to break out on her own.
* In the TV series ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'' episode 'Owl Be Back', there are two; an owl-shaped cage for Fenghuang, and a panda shaped one for Po when it's feared he's turning evil. It also lampshades the above example by stating Po "[[NeverSayDie obliterating]]" Tai Lung ''put the guards out of work'', and one in particular really holds a grudge toward Po about it.
* In ''ReBoot'' the heroes create a Firewall to seal off Megabyte's entire infected sector of Mainframe. It works against Megabyte, keeping him imprisoned at least until Enzo's TimeSkip. Hexadecimal, on the other hand, easily overloads the Firewall and leaves Mainframe at Megabyte's mercy.
* ''ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'': Professor Pericles is kept in a special isolated cell (visually based on Magneto's cell from the ''Film/{{X-Men}}'' movies) in the maximum security animal asylum.
** The treasure of Crystal Cove is actually [[spoiler:a TailorMadePrison for the Nibiru Entity. The device that trapped it was also its only connection to our world.]]
* On ''TheSpectacularSpiderMan,'' NormanOsborn's company is hired to make these for all the new supervillains (which is ironic, since [[PlayingBothSides he was also involved in their creation]]). Sandman's was designed to use air pressure to keep him from escaping, while Rhino's released [[InstantSedation tranquilizer gas]] if he tried. Their escape was due to [[PsychoElectro Electro]] blowing the power to the whole prison.
** In "[[PrisonEpisode Opening Night]]" we see Rhino and [[PlayingWithFire Mark/Molten Man]] in a separate area of the prison. Presumably this means that Mark's cell is also designed specially, but we do not see how. (Not that it makes much difference, since [[PowerIncontinence he can't control his power]] anyway.)
* In ''SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'', it's revealed that CaptainAmerica and the Red Skull have been stuck in what is one of these, "outside of time", since the ending days of WWII. When they get released, Skull gets back to his old schenanigans, and is such a hassle that Cap makes a HeroicSacrifice by dragging him back into the machine that sent them into the pocket dimension all over again.
** Dr Octopus was kept in a prison cell that were made to hold his tentacles.
* Livewire in ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' got an electrically insulated cell. She escaped when a ditzy janitor let her [[TooDumbToLive borrow his tape player]].
** Superman in the DCAU has several point been held up in cells that had red sun light sent in to cancel out his powers. When [[spoiler: Hawkgirl betrayed the team in the Justice League]], each of the team was put in a personalized cell to counter their powers.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men Evolution}}'', Professor X is called away to deal with a situation at the Tailor-Made Prison holding his brother (usually best known as the Juggernaut), whose security has been tampered with. Since the prisoner's supervillain name often gets prefixed with "the unstoppable" for very good reason, he's kept asleep in a liquid-filled tank without his helmet and ''still'' chained up just in case. Tension mounts when the safeguards need to be shut down and restarted properly, which allows him to start waking up...though in something of a subversion, while he does snap his chains without even trying hard, he's rendered unconscious again at just about the last moment before he can ''really'' start to move. (It turns out that the whole threat of Juggernaut getting loose was merely a distraction to get the Professor out of the way, allowing [[spoiler:a shapeshifted Mystique to infiltrate the school and acquire Cerebro's files on the X-Men]] without getting caught.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'', the Plumbers planned on placing Vilgax in one of these. To prevent Vilgax from [[ManipulativeBastard manipulating anyone into helping him to escape]] the Plumbers were going to send him to an entirely automated prison complex with him as the sole inmate.
* The Electric Eel on Underdog was captured in a large glass jar, which neutralized his "electric shocking power."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Back in the 19th century the worst prisoners spared from death penalty were boxed in into tiny alcoves that were then bricked shut save for a window through which they were fed. In practice this was a far more cruel punishment than death, as it meant slowly wasting away from infections - apparently the builders thought that NobodyPoops. [[CruelAndUnusualDeath Or they didn't]].
* Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed of Sixteeth Century Hungary (aka "The Blood Countess") was a brutal serial killer who tortured and killed hundreds of young girls over several years. Scholars say there may have been as many as 650 victims, but evidence was only found for 80 of them. When caught, her accomplices were executed or sentenced to life in prison, but she was never tried for any crimes due to her noble status. Instead, she was placed under house arrest for the rest of her life, where she was immured in her bedroom with only a small opening to provide her with food. She died after living this way for four years.
* Stammheim Prison was the first supermax prison in Germany, purposely built to keep captured members of the [[WesternTerrorists Red Army Faction]]. As with many improvements in public security of the period, it was a huge failure; the captives were quite able to communicate with each other and even had firearms smuggled inside their cells.
** The guns in question were allegedly used to commit suicide. However, persistent and not entirely baseless theories have circulated that, actually, the Baader-Meinhof gangers were executed by the German government (Andreas Baader, for instance, fired his gun at least 3 times and supposedly shot himself in the back of the neck so the bullet exited his forehead. So, how much of a failure the prison was is debatable.
[[/folder]]

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