"This will be your home, where I can find-a you always!"
Stromboli, Pinocchio

It appears The Hero has found himself captured. But where would the evil overlord put him? Seems a regular prison isn't around or just wouldn't do.

So the bad guy sticks The Hero in a birdcage. This is usually done both to legitimately keep him locked away and to taunt him. On some occasions, the animal may be kept in the cage with the hero. Note that it doesn't necessarily have to be a birdcage, but is the most common form of this trope.

Another common invocation of this trope is when the Team Pet is captured along with the hero. The hero will usually be placed in a normal prison while the Team Pet is confined in the birdcage.

This becomes even more common when a character is shrunk or otherwise much smaller than their captor(s).


Anime and Manga
  • In Deadman Wonderland, the Carnival Of Corpses is shaped like a giant birdcage, fitting in with the whole 'bird' motif of the Deadmen.
  • Played for laughs in Yaiba, with a cover showing Yaiba holding a shrunken Kotaro (a resurrected ninja who just turned into a bird man) in a bird cage.
  • Puck winds up in a birdcage when he is captured by the Count in the Guardians of Desire arc of Berserk, and spends some time getting to know the Count's daughter Theresia.

Comic Books

Fan Fiction

  • In The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, the shrunken princess is kept in a birdcage.
  • On The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The King of the Moon puts the Baron and Sally in a birdcage, where they find the Baron's old friend Berthold.
  • In Valiant, the one captured in the first few minutes of the film and Bugsy were, naturally, imprisoned in a birdcage. Justified as they are birds and all.
  • This happens to Pinocchio.
  • Batman Returns sticks Max Shreck in one of these when Penguin crashes his ball. Penguin intends to make him watch as the kids he's kidnapping sink into a deep puddle of Shreck's industrial byproducts before making him join them. Shreck gets out when the Organ Grinder's monkey gives him a key, but unfortunately for Shreck, Catwoman hasn't even started with her revenge on him.

  • In the Artemis Fowl series of books, one bloodthirsty villain gets his mind trapped into the body of a hamster. He is then put into a small cage, where scientists throw toy swords into the cage and watch him try to pick them up.
  • In The Hollows, Rachel Morgan gets turned into a mink, and stuck in a cage.
  • When Tristran gets turned into a hamster in Stardust, this happens to him.
  • In Masques, Aralorn, undercover as a slave at the time, is put into a giant bird cage. And then, an illusion that makes her look like a snow falcon is placed on the cage.

Live Action TV

Video Games

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The Prison of Zagyg was a magic item in the form of a small birdcage. When the command word was given, the victim was shrunk to 3 inches high and stored in the cage.

Western Animation
  • In the Teen Titans episode "How to Make A Titananimal Disappear", Raven is turned into a rabbit and then housed in a birdcage.
  • Not only is The Tick shrunk and put in a birdcage, he is also turned into a two-headed bird that speaks French.
  • In the first episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 the heroes, sans Mario, are placed in a giant parrot cage by a pack of recently giant-sized Koopa Kids.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! one of the maximum security prisons for supervillains is like this. They are shrunk using some of Hank Pym's technology, so the prison is small enough to fit on a large table.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "A Gummi in a Gilded Cage" sees Sunni captured and stuck in a birdcage to serve as the Vulture King's 'songbird'.
  • When Scar takes over Pride Rock, he traps Zazu inside an animal's ribcage.
    • Also this seems to also be to keep the hyena's out, as they would likely eat Zazu if nothing else was available.
  • Stromboli puts poor Pinocchio on a cage to keep from going back home.
  • In The Secret of NIMH, Mrs. Brisby is caught inside the farmhouse by a human boy and put in a cage. She makes a daring escape after learning that NIMH is coming for the rats.
  • Fievel is put in a cage in An American Tail after Warren and the Mott Street Maulers catch him. He is taken out after befriending his jail guard, Tiger.
  • In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Zipper Come Home", Chip, Dale and Gadget are trapped in a bird cage by a tribe of beetles, and placed near a rising river that threatens to drown them if they don't get out in time.
  • The Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "Stop, Look, and Ed" ends with the Eds hanging from a tree in a cage made of hockey sticks after Edd calls everybody's parents due to everyone else committing anarchy.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Zatanna does this to Abra Kadabra in "Chill of the Night!".
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Trixie traps the Mayor in a giant birdcage after taking over Ponyville in the episode "Magic Duel".
  • In the second part of the Demon World duology in Jackie Chan Adventures, Viper is first introduced while being locked up in a birdcage and having to sing for Hsi Wu the Sky Demon.
    Hsi Wu: Sing for me my little caged songbird.
    Viper: Twit, twit.