"What’s the matter, Gaggles? Can’t talk cause you’re gagged, Gaggles?"
When a Snooping Little Kid
, Damsel in Distress
, or Faux Action Girl
(or the occasional unlucky guy
) is captured by the villain, they're usually restrained in some fashion, and to keep them from crying out for The Hero
, they're usually silenced as well. In the olden days, this was usually accompanied by some form of fantastical Death Trap
to add to the suspense.
Nowadays, the victim's cell phone will invariably ring and the villain will pick it up and answer, "Sorry, she can't come to the phone right now ... she's all tied up
at the moment." (Villains never get tired of this one
. Never. EVER
To the captives themselves, they're likely to say "I Have You Now, My Pretty
" or "You Got Spunk
" or some variation/combination of the two.
Sometimes this is done for humor instead. For example, a character who is considered annoying might be tied up by the group simply to get that person out of the way. Of course, if that character is really cute
, the intended humor might be lost a bit on some audiences. Other times, someone might be tied up humorously as the result of some mishap.
When this trope is played for dead serious drama, you can expect, in many cases, very dark lighting and only glimpses of the bonds. It generally tends to be more light-hearted adventures that actually show a lot of rope. In those cases, part of the fun is often seeing the hero escape, or try to escape, the bonds, so there's a lot of emphasis on showing the bonds, the struggling, and the escape or rescue. When it's played for drama, the emphasis is on how terrible the captive feels, so there's more focus on facial expressions and less on the bonds.
Related tropes include:
- Hilariously done in Ratatouille, with one unusual twist — it's the "good guys" doing the binding and gagging (on a Health Inspector and an interfering former Head Chef)!
- After Torchesac/Oily-creep/McCreep steals the magic flute the night before in The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, Lady Prattle finds Peewit like this in his room.
- Happens to both male and female leads in Tangled, often with Rapunzel's own hair as the bonds.
- Played for Drama in the second manhwa of The Breaker, New Waves. When it's revealed that the doctor who helped Shiwoon overcome several members of the S.U.C was only trying to get close to him, Shiwoon is then shown Strapped to an Operating Table. It turned out that the doctor was after him for the Phlebotinum he was given in the previous manwa. He's given two options: join the S.U.C, or have his blood turned into a powerful Phlebotinum that will help the S.U.C qonquer Seoul. Since the doctor is responsible for his mother's severe injuries in an S.U.C. attack, he naturally refuses. So, the doctor promptly shoves a gag in his mouth and gets ready to turn him into a living blood bank.
- Diana Palmer from The Phantom - it seemed in the early years nearly every story had Diana kidnapped and tied and gagged by an assortment of villains.
- The opening vignette for In Nomine includes a (possibly) more benign use of the trope. The Cherub Tariel, assigned to protect the mortal woman Patricia, has to drive out to meet a contact but doesn't dare let harm come to his charge — so he binds and gags her in the passenger seat next to him so he can keep her safe (making sure she's carefully seat-belted, of course).
- In One Touch of Venus, a screaming Gloria is tied to a barber chair by Savory and Taxi during their failed ransacking of the barbershop.
- In The Most Happy Fella, a prank is pulled on Herman by tying his arms with light bulbs and putting a basket over his head, causing him to stumble around blindly. Since he's not gagged, he can talk to Cleo, but he stubbornly refuses to complain about his situation.
- In Arsenic And Old Lace, Mortimer Brewster describes how a not-too-bright character in a play he's recently seen just sits down in a chair "waiting to be trussed up and gagged," and a moment later has exactly that happen to him. The first policeman who finds him is less interested in untying him than in reading the second act of the play he's written.