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Bound and Gagged
"What’s the matter, Gaggles? Can’t talk cause you’re gagged, Gaggles?"
A Gra soldier to Gordin, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

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. In fact, there have been a few cases where the victim has said it to whoever is calling if she's somehow able to speak at the moment, although she usually needs a very good reason for it.)

Of course, in fiction, using plain old rope is always considered better than handcuffs or other devices used for restraint for some reason, while a gag is always considered better than something to keep the victim sedated. (Even if the villain was smart enough to use chloroform to capture the victim in the first place, he never thinks of using it again when she wakes up. Of course, in these situations, Reality Is Unrealistic.)

To the captors themselves, they're likely to say "I Have You Now, My Pretty" or "You Got Spunk" or some variation/combination of the two. Both of which usually inspire the Defiant Captive to be extra defiant.

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. 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:


Example subpages:


     Advertising 

    Art 
  • If you go to a sites like deviantART and input "Bound and Gagged" along with the name of any female character you want into the search engine, you should get a lot of results. In fact, you could likely narrow your search down by punching one of the related Tropes above into it; most of them should work. Artists never seem to get tired of it.
    • Not to 'worry', but there's also camps of people having the GUYS tied up and gagged. Rarer than the ladies, but still there.

     Film-Animated 
  • 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.

    Manhwa 
  • 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.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • 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.

    Pinball 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • During the evil versus evil feud between Kurt Angle and John Bradshaw Layfield's Cabinet, Angle bound and gagged diva search participant Joy Giovanni and threw her in the back of JBL's limo to frame him. (The probable cause was that Giovanni was herself feuding with the Cabinet's "publicist", Amy Weber). The hope was that The Big Show would come after JBL, as the giant had taken on the little non wrestler as his charge.
  • Melina ordered Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury to abduct WWE women's champion Trish Stratus on Monday Night Raw and this is how they presented Stratus to her.
  • One of the standout embarrassments Chavo Guerrero suffered in World Wrestling Federation (and there are many) was being bound and gagged by Hornswoggle after being forced to wear a cow suit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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 the 2nd Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, there's a Prestige Class called the Justicar who's much like a bounty hunter who specializes in subduing an enemy without killing him; being able to tie a victim up is so important for this, having a high rank in the Use Rope Skill is a prerequisite. One Class Ability is called Hog Tie, which more or less let's the Justicar tie an opponent up and render him helpless while grappling with him, usually ending the fight quickly. (Gagging is usually done after the victim is subdued.) High-level Justicars have Improved Hog Tie which is, naturally, an improvement of the standard ability. (The Prestige Class is available to Player Characters, as both good and evil Justicars exist. Of course in this case, male victims can be as common as females, although seeing as the Justicar has to fight the victim to use this ability, a female victim is rarely ever helpless initially.)

    Theatre 
  • 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, Pasquale leads a group of workers in pulling a prank on Herman, tying his arms up with a string of light bulbs and putting a basket over his head, which causes 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.


Bathe Her and Bring Her to MeI Have Your IndexBag of Kidnapping
Bottled Heroic ResolveAction Adventure TropesBreak Out the Museum Piece
Born as an AdultOlder Than FeudalismBounty Hunter

alternative title(s): All Tied Up
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