[[quoteright:350: [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oubliette_6905.png]]]]

->''"It's a place you put people... to forget about 'em!"''
-->-- '''Hoggle''', ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}''

A character gets rid of another character by physically or magically trapping them within some uncomfortable location so remote it will be impossible for them to escape by themselves.

This is a way to do the death/resurrection plot without [[DeathIsCheap cheapening death]], since the trapped character is always brought back.

A fun word for a prison of this type is "oubliette" where a prisoner would be thrown to be literally forgotten about (from "oublier" = "to forget").

Related to OutOfSightOutOfMind, PutOnABus and SealedRoomInTheMiddleOfNowhere. Compare AndIMustScream.

Not related to TimmyInAWell, although they can both involve someone in a well.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In Creator/DiC's ''Anime/SailorMoon'' dub the Doom and Gloom girls trap each of the Sailor Scouts in the Negaverse except for Sailor Moon in the first season finale, Sailor Moon's magic frees them all and wipes their memories in the next episode. In the original however the DD Girls (rather graphically for a show aimed a young girls) ''killed'' every Sailor Senshi except for Sailor Moon in the first season penultimate episode, with Moon's dying wish in the next episode, made on a PowerCrystal whose magic is CastFromHP, resurrecting everyone (herself included.) Japanese kids apparently got sick watching the original, so it is not that bad it was censored. WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids.
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'': Excel is temporarily held prisoner in a deep well when she accidentally stumbles onto a military group, where she finds the Man in the Iron Mask at the bottom and slowly loses her sanity over the course of a few hours before finally escaping in the typically [[HilarityEnsues hilarious]] manner Excel, well, [[IncrediblyLamePun excels]] at.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf,'' this is how Mr. Tendo and Genma get rid of Happosai the first time: they tie him up, put him in a barrel, seal the barrel, tie it in seals, tie it up ''again'', then throw it in a cave, dynamite said cave, and sealed the entrance. It kept him away for about a decade before lightning re-opened the cave.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', [[spoiler: Yugi ]] is trapped this way in mid-season 4. Different in that it's not done specifically to trap him, but as part of a bigger plan.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', [[IneffectualLoner Wolverine]] catches ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} as he's just about to fall down a chasm (depth unknown) whilst they're in Genosha, fighting some machine monster. Wolverine decides this is the best time to get rid of the [[MurderTheHypotenuse competition]] for ComicBook/JeanGrey and chucks him down. Luckily for Cyke but not really for Wolvie, Cyke survives, and after various hijinks (being rescued by the badguys) eventually confronts Wolverine a few weeks later. Wolverine goes "I was a twat. Do what you have to." What Cyke "had to" do was [[EyeBeams ZORT]] him with a single high-power blast, leaving him naked, scorched, and knocked the FUCK out in an Alaskan terrain. Scott leaves him there, saying that he's off the team. He does think better of it later, as much to prove that he can forgive as to bury the hatchet between them so that they don't end up like Xavier and Magneto.
* ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'':
** In story arc ''ComicBook/ManyHappyReturns'', Supergirl has sealed [[EldritchAbomination Xenon]] away in an empty pocket dimension he can't leave.
** In ''ComicBook/SupergirlCosmicAdventuresInThe8thGrade'', the Imps of the Fifth Dimension punish Mxyzptlk by banishing him to the Second Dimension forever.
* In the Franchise/{{Superman}} StoryArc ''ComicBook/LastSon'', General Zod traps Superman in the PhantomZone. Since the storyline is a partial adaptation of Superman II, this was expected.
* In the ''ComicBook/StarWarsTales'' story ''Yaddle's Tale: The One Below'', the title character was imprisoned in a well by a tyrannical dictator after he killed her master as a potential bargaining chip. The wardens and villagers kept taking care of her well after the dictator forgot her and she was able to use the isolation to strengthen her connection to the Force. An earthquake ends up providing her an escape and she helps the villagers defeat the dictator's son when he comes to collect the planet as his inheritance.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In ''[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/firebird/stories/goldbird.html The Golden Bird]]'', the hero's envious brothers shove him down a well to kill him, and succeed in trapping him there.
* Similarly, the brothers in ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/412.htm The Bird Grip]]'' throw the hero into a lions' den, and in ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/368.htm The Golden Blackbird]]'', into a lake.
* In ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/212.htm The Story of Bensurdatu]]'', the hero is trapped at the bottom of the river.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''ComicBook/PowerGirl'' fanfic ''Fanfic/AForceOfFour'', Franchise/{{Superman}} imprisoned Mala, Kizo and U-Ban in a Kryptonite globe which he left drifting about the edge of the solar system. Decades passed before Badra released them.
-->In the reaches of outer space, a green-glowing globe floated, undisturbed for 31 years. The three beings inside it were numb, in suspended animation, as they had been for almost all of their imprisonment.
* Averted in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World''. To keep Paul from causing problems, [[spoiler: the Circle]] planned to teleport him to a remote island far away from any potential rescue. However, their two attempts to immobilize him and take him there failed miserably.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}''. The hand of the Other Mother is smashed and thrown into a deep well when it escapes to the real world which doubles as a [[KarmicDeath Karmic End]] for her, after she did the same by trapping Coraline's real parents inside a snowglobe and Coraline ''herself'' inside the mirror.
* In ''Disney/AladdinTheReturnOfJafar'', Iago decides to ditch Jafar by dropping his lamp down a well, with the obligatory bad pun "Hope all goes ''well''". However, the lamp landed in the bucket, and when the villain Abis Mal hoists it up to wash his head he finds the lamp, He sets Jafar loose unexpectedly when he decides to shine the lamp up to sell.
* Just before the final battle in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'', the Rainbooms and Sunset are thrown down a stage trap into a locked room, where [[spoiler:[[HatePlague their tensions that have been building throughout the film]] come to a boil, [[EmotionEater fueling the Dazzlings with enough negative emotional energy]] [[NearVillainVictory to reach full power]]. Fortunately, Sunset is able to [[WorldOfCardboardSpeech resolve their argument]], and Spike, who avoided the trapdoor, fetched [[ChekhovsGunman DJ Pon-3]] to rescue them]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', Belloq leaves Franchise/IndianaJones trapped inside the Well of Souls, the underground temple where the Ark was hidden. He taunts Indy thusly: "You're about to become a permanent addition to this archaeological find. Who knows? In a thousand years, even you may be worth something."
* In ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', Khan leaves Kirk and company trapped inside the Regula planetoid, "...marooned for all eternity, in the centre of a dead planet...buried alive."
* ''Film/{{Superman}}'':
** General Zod to {{Superman}} in ''Film/SupermanII'', by sending him to the PhantomZone.
** In ''Film/{{Supergirl}}'', the villainess Selena does the same thing to the [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} title character]].
* ''Film/TheRing'':
** Samara is tossed in a well by her mother.
** The book has it that Sadako was tossed in by a guy she threatened to kill.
** Sadako's father in the movies.
* In ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'', Sarah falls into an oubliette, where she would've stayed if Hoggle hadn't rescued her.
** Subverted in that Hoggle was supposed to be there to rescue her and lead her back to the beginning to break her spirit. Jareth failed to take ThePowerOfFriendship into account though and Hoggle did a classic HeelFaceTurn.
* The basic plot of ''Film/{{Enchanted}}''.
* In ''Film/FirstKnight'', Malagant, the errant knight of the Round Table, stashes Guenevere in one, to lure Arthur and the other knights into a trap.

* Joseph (of the Dreamcoat) gets thrown in a pit by his brothers in Literature/TheBible (book of Genesis). OK, they pull him out and sell him as a slave, but that was the original plan.
** The prophet Jeremiah gets lowered down an (almost) dried-up well, with the implied intention that he starve to death there. Fortunately some friends in high places spoke up for him and he got pulled out.
** Another prophet (Daniel) was thrown into a well ''with hungry lions''. He was pulled back out when he was just fine the next morning.
* In ''Literature/{{Lyonesse}}: Suldrun's Garden'' by Jack Vance, Aillas is thrown into an oubliette by the king. He discovers a number of skeletons all sitting against the walls as if in a conference, with a message scrawled on the wall, "Welcome to our brotherhood." Aillas manages to escape with his sanity more or less intact.
* In ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'', Nathaniel threatens to do this to Bartimaeus if Bartimaeus gets him killed... although in this case it also invokes the GenieInABottle trope.
* In Murakami's ''Literature/TheWindUpBirdChronicle'', the narrator is thrown down a well in a somewhat symbolic episode. Actually, the author has [[AuthorAppeal a bit of a thing]] for wells.
* In ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'' by Creator/StephenKing, Dolores leads her drunk husband on a wild goose chase to make sure he falls into the well, then she throws a rock on his head to make sure he died.
** King uses the trope to ''NightmareFuel'' effect in the short story "A Very Tight Place," as well. The titular "place" is, rather than a well, a [[{{Squick}} Port-O-Potty]].
*** Discussed in ''Literature/RitaHayworthAndShawshankRedemption'', in terms of older prison methods in the state of Maine. Rather than a well, Red describes a hellish fate called gaol, used to punish minor offenses such as leaving the house without a handkerchief on Sundays.
* The literal fate of [[spoiler:Miss Taylor]] in John Harding's ''Florence and Giles'', thanks to an assist from [[spoiler: our narrator, Florence.]]
* In ''[[Literature/HorusHeresy Vulkan Lives]]'', Vulkan is imprisoned in one of these. [[spoiler:He escapes by climbing the subtle imperfections in the walls]].
* ''Literature/JoePickett'': In ''Endangered'', Liv is kidnapped by the Cates clan and held prisoner in an old cellar on their property. When they decide they no longer need her, they intend to murder her by filling the cellar with sewage.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'', [[spoiler:his son]] trapped the title character in a box and then tossed the box into the ocean.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', Hiro Nakamura disposes of [[spoiler:Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei]] in this way.
** Another ''Heroes'' example, with an interesting twist: in season 3, [[spoiler:Future-Peter]] gets [[spoiler:Present-Peter]] out of the way by [[spoiler:shoving him into someone else's body]].
* Happened to Callisto on most of her appearances on ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', until it was time to bring her back for another episode. [[spoiler:This was especially true once she became immortal.]]
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' stuck Leo in a giant block of ice for most of the last season (referred to by [[Website/TelevisionWithoutPity many]] as "The Doltsicle") before bringing him back for the series finale. (After the show's budget got slashed they couldn't afford the actor, but didn't want to kill Leo and Piper's near series-long marriage.)
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has a clever variation using artificial gravity. Baal has O'Neill thrown into long cell with no door. ArtificialGravity then kicks in and causes the back wall to [[GravityScrew become the new floor]]. What was a corridor is now a deep pit with absolutely smooth walls. This leads to some fun interactions with guards and visitors, as the door is now a hole in the "ceiling", and those outside the cell seemingly standing on the wall.
* A memorable storyline on ''Series/AllMyChildren'' in 1991 involved crazy Janet throwing her sister Natalie down a well in order to take her place.
* Literally done to Desmond in the last season of ''Series/{{Lost}}''
* Lucifer's cage in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''.
* Discussed on ''Series/TheMillers.'' Debbie figures they can't afford to pay for Tom to live in a nursing home, so she tells him "We're going to have to throw you down a well."
* In a segment of Series/DaAliGShow, [[FunnyForeigner Borat]] went to the southern U.S. to learn about country music. When he tries to sing a supposedly real Kazakh song translated to English, it turns out to be about throwing "transport", Jews, and finally his own family down a well.
* One of the defining moments of Grant Ward's childhood in ''Series/AgentsOfShield'' was his younger brother Thomas being stuck in the well. [[spoiler:Grant blamed his older brother Christian for the incident, but a discussion with Thomas himself in the third season revealed that it was ''Grant'' who threw Thomas down the well.]]

* The main conflict and the fate of the titular character of Music/SoundHorizon's ''Märchen''.

* This is how the Bar Ghost is defeated in ''Pinball/AmericasMostHaunted''

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'', Gruntilda is defeated by being thrown from her tower and being buried below a giant rock. Naturally, it's rescued in the next game by her sisters, but being buried for 2 years left her as a living skeleton.
* In ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings II'', you can throw prisoners into an oubliette if you want them to hurry up and die but can't or won't execute them yourself for whatever reason.
* Done in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime Hunters'' on a CosmicHorrorStory scale: The resident EldritchAbomination, Gorea, is [[SealedEvilInACan sealed away]] in the [[HeroicSacrifice Seal Sphere]], which is then sealed away in the Oubliette, which, in turn, is sealed away in a rift between dimensions known as the Infinity Void. [[spoiler:He comes back by [[XanatosGambit tricking the Hunters into freeing him.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' has Mr. Eaten who was apparently thrown down a well among other things in the game's backstory. Although it might have been metaphorical. Unfortunately, it didn't really work and what's left of him is now out for revenge. [[ArcWords A reckoning will not be postponed indefinitely.]]
* In the [[NonStandardGameOver bad ending]] of the ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' scenario ''Gemini Station'', you are convicted of Jack Melville's murder and sent to an oubliette where you are [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption forced to kill yourself]] with a DescendingCeiling trap.
* In ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', when entering the Historical Society, James jumps into a well with no apparent way out, until you examine the loose bricks, which can be broken with a board or pipe.
* This is the driving force in the plot in ''{{VideoGame/Vanish}}''. You're thrown into a sewer filled with molemen and have to escape.
* This happens to Adol a few times in the ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' series, and Dogi or another character usually has to [[BarrierBustingBlow smash the wall]] for him to escape.
* ''VideoGame/RomancingSaga3'' has a particularly grim example with the Dead Man's Well dungeon. According to the game, during the time the world was ruled by the Four Devil Lords, the sick and old were thrown into the well located in Moses until it became a mass grave.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'', Richard was sent to an empty white space he dubbed "The Plane of Suck" for several pages before being put on trial.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', in the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' parody "Torg Potter and the Sorcerer's Nuts", Torg puts a sleeping [[SmugSnake Ralfoy Malfoy]] in a trunk and has him sent to Antarctica. He's later show trying to escape by bungee jumping (???). Of course, in the next installment he's back without any particular explanation.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[Wiki/TVTropes This very wiki]] has the Administrivia/PermanentRedLinkClub.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' Cartman locked Butters in a storm cellar (convincing him that the world was ending) [[EvilIsPetty so that he could take his place at Kyle's birthday dinner]], causing the whole rest of the town to think he was abducted or missing.
* Norm the Genie on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' has been trapped a lot like this by Timmy. First, sent to Canada in a smoof lamp, then sent to Mars in the same smoof lamp and then Jorgen later took his lamp to be put on urinal cake. GenieInABottle, just like ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' example.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' Lapis Lazuli is trapped in a mirror that can show anything that it has seen. However, Steven frees her and she flees for the gem homeworld.

* Real oubliettes were [[http://sparrowlet.hubpages.com/hub/Oubliette-French-Torture-Halloween one of the more horrific]] medieval French punishments, which they introduced to England. Perhaps the most famous victim was [[UsefulNotes/RichardTheSecond Richard II of England]].