How should I scare you?
The more dangerous form of Brainwashed
, for everyone concerned.
A character is hypnotized
/whatnot and sent to kill their friends or do something similarly destructive.
This trope has been tested and busted
in regard to hypnosis; most hypnotists and hypnotherapists (and plenty of fictional villains, for that matter) agree that this kind of mind control through hypnosis isn't possible, as the subject must want
to go through with the suggestion for it to work or, at least, have no good reason to object. Which means an alternate interpretation would be that the brainwashing victim wanted to go through with it, if "hypnosis" is used as the explanation for such behavior.
On the other hand, if a writer wants to convey
that a Brainwashed and Crazy character is indeed such and got that way unknowingly or unwillingly and/or is acting against his or her own interests, the writer will not
depict hypnosis as the method of mind control, because there are far more effective
(and far more frightening
) ways an individual can be manipulated and/or controlled to act in a harmful or dangerous manner. The Real Life Trope Maker
for this would be Nazi Germany
, though a continuing situation of Domestic Abuse
in Real Life
is a far more common example.
It may require Deprogramming
to cure, if the mind-controller doesn't try to force them to break an Intrinsic Vow
. Also may result in an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
, ultimately resulting in a Dying as Yourself
if they cannot be cured or freed and thusly must be destroyed, or kill themselves to spare their friends.
A subtrope of Face Monster Turn
. This trope is the inverse of Heel-Face Brainwashing
. See also Mirror Morality Machine
Please do not add Real Life examples
here. It is sufficient to say they do
exist, but they find their place better under the trope Tyke Bomb
, which overlaps heavily this trope.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- This is one of the main premises of Code Geass.
- In Soul Eater a student named Crona debuted in the series by attempting to kill the two protagonists. This was because Crona was infected with a substance called Black Blood, which is a blood replacement fluid that can be controlled by a human weapon, which sacrifices the user's sanity for invincibility. After being restored to sanity, Crona was allowed to attend the DWMA, but as of recent chapters has been recaptured and rebrainwashed by Medusa and in chapter 104 was revealed to be the series Big Bad, much to the dismay of characters and audience.
- Until chapter 106, anyway.
- In Ao No Fuuin, Soko gets brainwashed by Takao to make her more willing in resurrecting the Oni tribe and it causes her to attack Akira when he tries to rescue her.
- In the Majin Buu arc Dragon Ball Z, it is Vegeta who is brainwashed and made to fight against his former allies. The brainwashing also gives him a major power boost. In fact, that's why Vegeta decided to let Babidi take control of him: so that he could be on even ground with Goku at long last. He eventually manages to break free of the mind control, but the trope is subverted before then, as Vegeta reveals that he could break free at any time.
- It is played in Dragon Ball GT when Baby controls almost all the Earth population. The only ones that weren't controlled were Goku, Pan, Mr. Satan, Majin Buu and Uub.
- In the second movie, Piccolo is captured by Dr. Wheelo and Dr. Kochin and forced to fight Goku.
- In the Garlic Jr. filler, the black water mist does this to all the supporting characters, turning them evil. Piccolo and later Krillin fake being infected, in order to free the currently captured and bottled-up Kami and Mr. Popo.
- It happened several times in the Mazinger trilogy:
- Mazinger Z: The Hero Kouji Kabuto was brainwashed by Viscount Pygman, and later by the Vegans in the UFO Robo Grendizer Go Nagai manga, the UFO Robot Grendizer tai Great Mazinger movie and Super Robot Wars MX in Chapter 10. Professors Morimori, Sewashi and Nossori also were brainwashed by Baron Ashura into one of the earlier episodes of the original anime series. AND in another episode three workers of the Institute were brainwashed into piloting several Mechanical Beasts.
- Great Mazinger: Boss was brainwashed by Warrior Monster Psychoveia in one of the first episodes to kill The Hero Tetsuya. Tetsuya himself also was brainwashed by Vegans along Kouji in the UFO Robo Grendizer manga.
- UFO Robo Grendizer: Brunhild, Duke's best friend back in Fleed was brainwashed by the Vegans into murdering Duke. Also, Kouji and Tetsuya were brainwashed to destroy Grendizer with their own Humongous Mecha.
- Chazz/Manjoume in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was brainwashed by the Society of Light and sent to force-recruit everyone else at the Academy, including his friends. Not quite the same, but considering the Society was an apocalyptic cult, it might as well be.
- Happened to Misawa and Asuka as well. In Asuka's case, she was much more dangerous because she was serious about it, unlike Manjoume's "I've seen the light!" cult ranting. Meanwhile, Misawa released himself by realizing that what he thought he wanted wasn't what he really wanted after all. He thought he wanted to be taken seriously as a duelist, when his real gifts and strengths lay in the realm of duel physics. As soon as he stopped trying to be something he wasn't (a potential pro duelist), he was a lot happier and more confident with himself.
- In fact, Saiou himself, the leader of the cult, qualifies, maybe especially so. He was brainwashed by the greater evil directing the cult and became its pawn. At times, there was a conflict within him, and occasionally, his sanity broke through temporarily (at one point, causing him to give the two keys to his doomsday device to Judai and Edo and warn them never to give them back to him) but his madness always returned until the climax of the arc.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Marik brainwashes Jounouchi and Anzu. Marik released Anzu only when she put herself in a Death Trap whereas Jonouchi broke free over the course of the duel with Yugi. (note that in the original Japanese and Manga, Jonouchi's mind became very unstable after being Brainwashed, adding to this trope further).
- To a degree, also used by Pegasus against Kaiba. When Kaiba got ready to duel him, Pegasus showed him that he had captured and de-souled Mokuba... via making the brainwashed kid come into their presences and hand Pegasus his deck, in front of a very pissed Kaiba and the horrified Yugi and his friends (Yugi himself even is driven to Tender Tears at the sight).
- There's also Shadi, who uses his Millennium Key to brainwash Sugoroku's friend Professor Yoshimori into attacking Yugi's friends in the manga. In the Toei series, Shadi brainwashes Honda instead... he'd already disposed of Yoshimori prior.
- Let's not forget about Dartz doing this to Mai. Even worse, Dartz himself is brainwashed by the Orichalchos.
- Anyone in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL who is corrupted by a Number falls into this trope.
- Ranma ˝: the super-ninja Konatsu is brainwashed by his Evil Stepmother (who bears a scary resemblance to Edward G Robinson) into attempting to kill Ranma. It is only the Power of Love that undoes it.
- The Phoenix People are also able to use something like this (or possibly More Than Mind Control); they have magical eggs that they can throw at people, which then expand and envelop the person. When the egg is cracked open (it doesn't hatch otherwise, but thankfully seems to put the victim in a state of suspended animation), the victim "imprints" on the first person they see, becoming their helpless slave. Kiima does this to Shampoo and then orders her to kill Ranma. To her credit, Shampoo manages to ask Ranma to instead allow her to use one of the eggs on him, so that she won't have to fulfill her orders, but Ranma (understandably) refuses. She then attempts to get Ranma to have sex with her (whereas, up until now, she's always aimed for romance and at one point actually got offended when she was made out to be trying to seduce him), going so far as to threaten Akane Tendo's life to make this happen. Ranma cures her by sticking her in another egg, and Mousse then shows her a mirror, so she imprints on herself. She later cures Genma, who she had managed to capture in an egg of her own, by telling him to snap out of it.
- This was the modus operandi of Goldie Musou in multiple arcs of the Gunsmith Cats manga. It's explained fairly well by her use of the drug Kerasine and her skills in hypnotism to convince her tools that their targets (ranging from complete strangers to beloved family) are possessed by demons, shapeshifting aliens bent on conquest, and the like. Indeed, the murders often cement her hold, by making a return to reality too painful for the subconscious to permit.
- Big Bad Naraku uses this on Action Girl Bad Ass Normal Sango's brother Kohaku nearly every time he appears on the show.
- This happens to poor Inuyasha an awful lot, given how many times he gets forced into his homicidal full demon form by various villains.
- Happened to Kagome once, when Tsubaki the evil Miko contaminated the Shikon no Tama shards with her own dark energy. She then tries to make Kagome attack Inuyasha with her own arrows, despite Kagome's own struggles to not harm him.
- In Sailor Moon, Mamoru was at least twice brainwashed into doing this to the Senshi. in the Stars manga, Sailor Galaxia does this not only to him, but to all the Seishi who are mind-controlled to attack Usagi. In the manga, it's made abundantly clear that the senshi are actually already dead.
- Ami is also brainwashed in a R episode where she is made to think all of her friends hate her for being a nerd. She sees through the ploy and blasts the monster.
- Also in Sailor Moon R, Chibiusa is brainwashed into attacking the rest of the cast, and is made to believe everyone hated her (thanks to the Big Bad altering her memories/taking out important bits of them).
- There's also Professor Tomoe in the anime, who gets brainwashed and crazy as a consequence of a Deal with the Devil with Big Bad Pharaoh 90 to save Hotaru from death.
- In the Stars anime, Haruka and Michiru pretend that they are brainwashed by Galaxia to actually attempt to fight her (going as far as killing Setsuna and Hotaru with their own hands) but fail and ultimately die. This event is redone multiple times in the musical adaptations based on the Stars series.
- In the live action version, Mercury is kidnapped by Kunzite and brainwashed, becoming Dark Sailor Mercury. She is later healed by Sailor Moon (with a My God, What Have I Done? moment included), with no memory of the events In the finale Mamoru takes the Queen Meteira into his body and thus is brainwashed by her.
- Mikoto Minagi in both incarnations of Mai-HiME. In the anime, she is controlled by a pendant similar to the one worn by her older brother Reito, who himself is possessed by the Obsidian Lord, and in the manga, she's possessed by one of the spores from Shiho's CHILD, and attacks the heroes as they attempt to rescue Mashiro from kidnappers. Talk about unlucky. In both versions, she is saved by a Cooldown Hug from Mai.
- In GaoGaiGar FINAL, Guy is captured and chemically brainwashed into a berserk destroyer by the villains, placed in a copy of his Humongous Mecha GaoFighGar, and sicced on Sixth Ranger J along with similarly reprogrammed copies of the rest of the robot team. Right as Repli-GaoFighGar is about to Drop the Hammer on King J-Der, the Repli-Nakama resist the reprogramming and sacrifice themselves to stop Guy and give the remaining heroes a chance to get him back.
- In the original series, all four of the machine kings are all subject to this trope, with all eventually getting redeemed some time into the show, with Primada and Polonaise suffering Redemption Equals Death sort of, while Pizza and Penchinon both get restored to their original forms, Soldato J and the main computer of the J-Ark, respectively.
- Both the Crystal Saint (anime only) and Leo Aiolia in Saint Seiya. Their brainwashing was so through that it took death to release them. Crystal had to die, Aiolia had to see someone else die. Both cases end up in tears.
- This is what happens to four of the main characters Gainer, Cynthia, Gauli and Sara in Overman King Gainer forcing the last main character, and the supporting cast to fight the Overdevil and them at the same time.
- Kolulu and Koko fall under this trope in Konjiki No Gash Bell: the former has a psychotic personality that comes out when her bookkeeper reads spells, and latter becomes sadistic and evil because Zofis tampers with her heart, although he claims he couldn't have done it if the impulses weren't in Koko to begin with. He lies, as revealed after his defeat - the only difference between Koko and his other mind slaves, who had no memories of their time spent brainwashed and crazy, was special tampering intended to drive Koko mad with guilt by keeping all the horrible memories with her, in case she survives Zofis' defeat.
- Played for laughs in Full Metal Panic!, where Sousuke puts his high school rugby team through Training from Hell (fit for navy seals), which results in them becoming brainwashed and crazy killers that completely annihilate the other team. Their eyes are even shown glowing red.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Ginga is brainwashed by the villains, and is then sent to kill her younger sister Subaru. In typical Nanoha fashion, she is subsequently cured of this by the application of a Wave Motion Gun at point-blank range.
- Neo Roanoke in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is yet another example, as he's truly Mu La Flaga from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, after having miraculously survived the utter annihilation of his mobile suit... in space. Go figure.
- Stella, who is really just emotionally fragile and naive, but is brainwashed into freezing up or panicking whenever someone mentions death, and to calm down and absolutely trust anyone who vows to protect her. After being programmed and deprogrammed so many times by Phantom Pain, then Shinn, then Phantom Pain again, her main response now is to go crazy and panic over anything she even loosely relates to death. Which is bad if she's at the controls of a truly giant mecha with about fifty-bazillion Wave Motion Guns and no-one can talk her down.
- Fushigi Yuugi is fond of this device.
- Ikuto from Shugo Chara! when controlled by his evil jerkass of a stepfather and forced to transform into Death Rebel. He's not necessarily crazy when brainwashed at first, just rather cold and emotionless. But, sadly, the control over him eventually escalates to he point where he's trying to murder his childhood friend Tadase and the girl he loves, Amu. Luckily, in more recent chapters of the manga, he's shown to be back to normal thanks to Amu.
- In the Kirby anime Knuckle Joe's father, a renowned Star Warrior, is kidnapped and brainwashed by Nightmare himself. He is sent to attack his former allies, and his best friend Meta Knight is forced to kill him.
- Jellal, a massive expy from Fairy Tail, is made out in flashbacks of when he was a kid to be perfect hero material. He has a strong sense for justice, he risks everything for his friends, and he doesn't bow down to the enemies. At the time the story begins, though, he's trying to revive the Fairy Tail world equivalent of Voldemort using forbidden resurrection magic by sacrificing his childhood friend. Three guesses why.
- Happens to Annabel during the Emerald arc of Pokémon Special.
- Also in Pokemon Special, Blue during the RGB arc and revealed to be the reason that Bruno is in the Elite Four.
- Arguably, also happens to Celebi in the fourth movie.
- Happens to Pikachu a few times: Once from Cassidy and Bunch ("Pikachu Re-Volts"), thrice from Colress in the N arc. And when his Nice Guy tendencies are subverted, he gets scary.
- In the manga series Zodiac PI, Lili's rival, Sirius, is brainwashed into trying to kill her, her friend, and her father. Finally broken thanks to both The Power of Love and the shock of cold water.
- In Monster, Gillen hypnotizes Nina in order to draw out her childhood memories. She refuses to tell him anything, and attempts to strangle him for good measure.
- In a Bleach filler arc, the zanpakuto of most or all of the soul reapers in Soul Society are turned against their masters by a rogue zanpakuto named Muramasa.
- This happens to Rukia in the third movie thanks to Shizuku and Homura.
- And this is also the modus operandi of one Shukuro Tsukishima, who does this via using his memory-altering powers to convince his victim that he's their dearest person ever.
- Later, the Vandereich either brainwash Jidanbou and the Mission Control squad members into killing each other so they can't relay information anymore, or use them as People Puppets so they start killing each other.
- All of Zaitel's followers in Space Carrier Blue Noah have been brainwashed into believing he is their savior.
- In The Legend of Zelda Manga, Link befriends a baby dragon. Seven years later, Ganondorf brainwashes the dragon, and Link is forced to kill him.
- It's not just any baby dragon. It's Volvagia.
- Happens very briefly in most parts of any Slayers media, usually to townspeople. There's Rezo controlling Zelgadis during season 1, and Hellmaster Fibrizzo controlling Gourry during season 2.
- In Digimon Frontier, Kouichi is brainwashed by the Big Bad into believing that he is a digimon and into forgetting about his human life. Later on, Kouichi remembers that he's human, and Cherubimon has to start manipulating his emotions and memories.
- In Hekikai No Aion, the mushis infect a human host. The victims look normal but them become this when they take a look at Seine's face.
- DG Cells have this effect in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Once the metal plague gets into the victim's brain, they become subject to the Dark/Devil Gundam's will. It's also known as the Devil Gundam's ability to self-multiply.
- Lucifer in Angel Cop. Already a powerful psychic she'd actually volunteered to be experimented on and turned into a psychic super soldier because she believed she was helping mankind. Sadly, she's brainwashed to the point that she believes viciously murdering innocent people and her former allies who woke up from the brainwashing is all for humanity's sake.
- Chiho Masuda in Variable Geo was brainwashed into an assassin in order to kill or at least delay the heroes.
- In the Alternate Universe manga The King of Fighters: G, several people are in this state at one moment or another. When Goenitz arrives to the Grand Finale and starts wreaking havoc, almost at the same time Kim Kaphwan and Robert Garcia are briefly brainwashed but bring themselves out on their own (Kim beats Chang and Choi but is released immediately afterwards; Robert attacks Ryo, but reacts when the other doesn't even flinch at the sight); similarly, the maddened Mr. Big is easily defeated by Wolfgang Krauser.
- There are also several cases of More Than Mind Control; specifically Benimaru, Mai and Leona. In the first two cases, their inner struggles are greatly amplified by Goenitz's powers and they're sent into temporal Unstoppable Rages; in the third, Goenitz himself awakens Leona's Orochi blood.
- In Toriko, Joa the Dark Chef has this power. Joa can "cook" others with a few slices to alter their "flavor", changing them into completely different people. Teppei falls victim to this and is now an emotionless fighting machine under Joa's command.
- In Kill la Kill, Ragyo's Mental Refitting forces special Life Fibres called Marionette Threads into her victim's brain, turning them into mindless drones that do her bidding without question. In Episode 18, we first see this used to enslave the entire 1-Star student body of Honnouji Academy. Made even worse when she used it on Ryuuko. She managed to fight it off, though, and physically pull the Marionette Threads out of her own brain with her bare hands!
- This also happens when somebody is "worn by their clothes", and the Life Fibres in their garments forcibly bend the wearer's will to their own. This happens to Ryuuko when she's forced to don Junketsu in Episode 20.
- The eponymous drug in Banana Fish is used to brainwash people into doing things they would normally never do, including committing suicide or attacking their friends.
- In Umi Monogatari, Sedna does this to sea creatures and eventually Marin and Kanon's friends.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Joey and a Red-Eyes Black Dragon are corrupted by an evil sword in episode 7.
- Betty Ross. By M.O.D.O.K. when she was Harpy and The Leader early in her time as Red She-Hulk.
- In Cable & Deadpool, Deadpool is brainwashed by the Black Box to kill the biggest threat to the public safety. After managing to convince Deadpool that this is not a) clowns; b) Simon Cowell; c) Galactus; or d) Karl Rove, Deadpool goes off to kill Cable, who he sees as the next biggest threat. After fighting Prester John and then going through several alternate universes in order to find (and save) that person, he then gets back and tells everyone that he was only looking for him to kill him. He is restrained until the others can remove the effects of the brainwashing.
- If you understand DP at all, a), b), c) and d) shouldn't have been too much of a surprise.
- In Y: The Last Man Yorick's sister Hero falls under the influence of Victoria, the man-hating cult leader of the Daughters of the Amazon, so much that she's prepared to kill her own brother, as well as shooting a young girl in the head on Victoria's order. Even after Victoria is killed Hero still has her voice inside her head.
- An old World's Finest comic in which Batman is brainwashed into being a sadistic warder at a prison for Superman has him reflect that hypnotism cannot make anyone do something against their nature, before the narration explains "But this is super-hypnotism, of a kind never before experienced by anyone on Earth!" (It's almost a shame that this was written in the days of simpler storytelling, as a modern telling of the story would have it revealed that Batman would certainly be a warder on Superman's prison if he thought Superman went rogue...)
- The brainwave scanner in the G.I. Joe comic was a feared—and painful—method of brainwashing. It could eventually be broken by a strong-willed individual, and if one was a master of the "Arashikage mind-set" one could free others as well.
- After massive reader backlash, this explanation was used as a hasty Author's Saving Throw to explain the massive Face-Heel Turn of Batgirl (Cassandra Cain).
- This sort of thing seems to happen to Superman on semi-regular basis.
- Probably the fact that Superman is glaringly not immune to magic and mental powers, coupled with the possibilities inherent in showing just how badass a character is by having him/her hold off frickin' Superman while at the same time giving the character in question a good reason for why they're fighting a good guy, makes this kind of story just too big a temptation for comic writers to resist.
- Mr. Negative, a new Marvel villain on the block since Brand New Day, has this of a superpower to do to other people. Inverting their colour scheme, and having them proclaim glory for Mr. Negative while beating the tar out of others they're sent after.
- Superboy gets a heavy case of this in Teen Titans, courtesy of his genetic progenitor Lex Luthor. Highlights include shaving his head, cutting an 'L' into his T-shirt, and kicking the shit out of the entire team.
- One storyline in X-Factor concerned a villain using brainwashed and crazy assassins to kill targets — including a woman's own mother, Monet, and Shatterstar.
- Lady Blackhawk was brainwashed by Killer Shark into becoming the villainous Queen Killer Shark in the Silver Age and it was even hinted that she had a sexual relationship with Killer Shark when she was brainwashed.
- Thor has been turned against his allies many times over the years, usually delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle until he comes to his senses.
- During the "Ends of the Earth" story arc, Doctor Octopus does this to all the Avengers at once, but is tricked into increasing this to Villain Override over Thor, which renders him unworthy to wield his hammer.
- The Black Panther storyline "Return of the Dragon" has the titular hero fighting Iron Fist after the latter is brainwashed by the brother of the Dragon King.
- In the Sonic The Hedgehog comics, this happens twice during the Iron Dominion arc: First, the Iron Queen uses her Magitek powers to take control of Monkey Khan and use him to destroy the Dragon Kingdom Freedom Fighters. Then, she uses those powers to reprogram NICOLE and use her to effortlessly take over New Mobotropolis. Khan was released by the Queen when she didn't need him anymore, and NICOLE was soon returned to normal by Sally (though she continued to pretend to be brainwashed for a while).
- And earlier, during the "Enerjak Reborn" arc, Knuckles was brainwashed by Dr. Finitevus into absorbing the Master Emerald's power and becoming the new Enerjak. It took his father's Heroic Sacrifice to snap him out of it.
- All Fall Down: Along with receiving a new pair of legs, Pronto is conditioned to attack his closest friends, and to love the idea.
- The title character of The Punisher, Frank Castle, premiered as a vigilante who kills criminals. Writers who disagreed with the concept sometimes took it, and Castle over the top, having him kill or attempt to kill petty criminals such as jaywalkers. When Marvel made the decision to give The Punisher his own series, they had to retcon this to make him acceptable even as a dark hero. So they declared that during his crazy periods he had been under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
- In Death Of The Family, Damian "Robin" Wayne finds himself facing...his father Batman?! Ultimately subverted: it's a martial-arts master in costume who fell behind on a debt to Joker. However, Joker does come dangerously close to pulling this on the entire Batfamily.
- In Hex, Jonah's girlfriend Stiletta was kidnapped and brainwashed into become a bloodthirsty competitor in the Gladiator Games. Jonah is later forced into the arena and Stiletta attempts to kill him.
- In Gothtopia, The Scarecrow has all of Gotham in a gas-induced hallucination, making them think everything is wonderful while attacking anyone who thinks otherwise. This includes the heroes, they eventually break free of the hallucinations and try to figure out what's going on.
- Pick pretty much anyone hijacked by Apocalypse to serve as one of his Horsemen. Even after they're rescued and deprogrammed, the former Horsemen suffer lingering emotional and physical effects, particularly over the things they were made to do while under Apocalypse's control.
- Laura Kinney aka X23 falls victim to this whenever she is exposed to the Trigger Scent. Thanks to the Facility's conditioning, Laura suffers a Pavlovian response to the scent that makes her into a true Living Weapon who will not stop until the people marked with the scent are dead. She blacks out all conscious thought during these times and only comes back after the scent is gone. Just to illustrate how powerful her response to the scent is, in her origin story Innocence Lost she killed the only two people she ever really cared for and who cared for her under the influence of the scent. She also nearly killed her aunt and cousin who only survived because they were able to wash off the scent in time. Emma Frost once claimed that the Trigger Scent response is so deeply ingrained in Laura's brain that Emma can't remove it with her Psychic Powers.
- Yamane Jun from Kyon Big Damn Hero. Bizarrely, the brainwashing was completely unintended and it's dubious if the brainwasher even knew of their existence.
- Twilight Sparkle has raised Nyx like a daughter, but eventually Spell Nexus blesses her in order to get her to attack her...
- Averted in With Strings Attached; Bayanis orders the ensorcelled Paul to go kill the others, but whoops, it turns out he's been faking it all along and ties her up instead.
- All of the ghosts in Sweetie's Mansion are under the control of Specter Yield including the ghosts of the Mane cast. All of them, save for Ghost!Fluttershy, are happy to carry out the order to capture or kill Sweetie Belle to become a ghost, until they are brought back to normal.
- In Clash of the Elements, this is implied to be the case with The Sin Samurai
- The Immortal Game: Rainbow Dash spends the first portion of the story controlled by a Mind Rape spell called the Insanity, which forces her to obey Nihilus. She's eventually able to break free thanks to help from Fluttershy's Stare.
- In the MLP AU story Rainbooms and Royalty, Shining Armor, two of his pegasus guards, and Ditzy Doo/Derpy Hooves are all corrupted into Nightmare Moon's servants — the former as her Dragon, the latter three as the first Shadowbolts.
- Thanks to Danzo, this happens to Hinata in Naruto:Asunder. In her case however she channels the crazy (along with lust) to one person and only one person: Naruto.
- In the climax of Paper Mario X 2, shortly after taking over Peach's body, the Shadow Queen brainwashes Zelda and Amy to be on her side and fight their friends. The others (especially Link) were not happy by this.
Link: It's one thing to possess one girl, but three is definitely crossing the line!
- Played with in Frigid Winds And Burning Hearts: Luna acknowledges that her long imprisonment drove her mad, but Celestia messing with her mind to make her assume the role of Nightmare Moon didn't help, either.
- Occurs a few times in The Lion King Adventures:
Haiba: Quiet, infidel, or I might just have to administer the Kiss of Death.
- The Disgaea fanfic The Curse of Blood has the mother of Laharl controlled by original charcter, Milady. Later on a previously killed Laharl becomes mind controlled as well.
- Queen Of All Oni: During the second half of the story, Jade abducts Viper and force feeds her Ikazuki's chi, transforming her into the Shadowkhan General Hebi, who's conditioned to be utterly loyal to Jade.
- Fallen King has Yami Bakura brainwash Tea to attack Joey and Tristan, thanks to the Change of Heart card.
- Pokeumans: Minions of Pokextinction are fanatically loyal to Mr. X and his ideals, thanks to a little mind control.
- In Mega Man Recut, this happens to any robot affected by Wily's reprogramming gun.
- In Crowns of the Kingdom this happens to King Louie and his servants, who are brainwashed by the Dispirations.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Splash Woman's song does this to Mega Man, Rush, and Plum, as well as sharkbots and other mechanical fish.
- Graduate Meeting Of Mutual Killing implies that Nebulous Evil Organization Diavolos Avante uses an early version of the Junko Enoshima AI to brainwash the Main Board members. The exact purpose is unclear for now, but it's hinted that it may be to break down any moral inconveniences the Board Members may have.
- In We Are All Pokémon Trainers:
- Missingno and 'M end up possessing numerous beings and having them attack the proto-J-Team during the J-Team Assemble Saga.
- What happens what Pokémon are Mind Raped into becoming Shadow Pokémon.
- Mirrors Image: Princess Celestia, of all ponies, thanks to the previous Changeling Queen being a Knight Templar Parent. Usually whenever something triggers it, she suddenly enters an Unstoppable Rage and tries to petrify whoever's standing in front of her. Like say, Twilight Sparkle. Even worse, any attempt to remove the brainwashing also triggers it, which is bad news for one unfortunate doctor (though he manages to avoid being turned to stone).
- Later on, Prince Blueblood thinks this is what's happened to everypony else, and refuses to believe otherwise. It doesn't end well.
Films — Animated
- In Despicable Me 2 Eduardo and Dr Nefario kidnap some of Gru's Minions and mutate them, turning them into mindless, indestructible monsters. This is reversed later by Nefario's antidote
- Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3, when Lotso has Buzz reset into demo mode and convinces him that Jessie and co. are enemy prisoners. Later, when Woody returns to Sunnyside to save everyone, the gang tries to re-reset him and somehow turn him Spanish.
- In Wreck-It Ralph, it's later revealed that the Sugar Rush characters were made like this thanks to King Candy, who is actually Turbo in disguise, hacking into the system and turning Vanellope into a glitch.
- The wolves (and possibly sharks) in Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, making it so that Luke is unable to talk to them.
- In the Sakura Wars movie, Orihime Soletta gets ambushed by Patrick Hamilton, who then brainwashes her, and later controls her to fight the other members of Flower Division. She snaps out of it after her fire energy attack that meant for the Flower Division blows up and wrecks her Eisenkleid. She then says to Leni (Reni) after regaining consciousness, "I'm so sorry. I guess I really blew it this time."
- In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Toothless gets brainjacked by the King/Alpha Dragon. Starts off with him attempting to kill Hiccup — Stoick pushes him out of the way and takes the fatal hit. Later, Toothless serves as Drago's mount until Hiccup saves him with The Power of Friendship.
Films — Live-Action
- Probably the most iconic example is Cesare from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, who is hypnotized into killing people in his sleep as part of a psychological experiment. Or is he?
- In the first The Naked Gun movie, Reggie Jackson is brainwashed to kill Queen Elizabeth II during a baseball game, and Jane Spencer is brainwashed to kill Frank Drebin. (And later in the series, she'd inflict upon him a fate worse than death: marriage.)
- The central plot of Woody Allen's The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion. Allen and his prickly female counterpart are hypnotized at an office party. What at first seems like a simple joke (the hypnotist makes them pretend to be newlyweds on their honeymoon) is really a plot to make them rob their employer on the hypnotist's behalf. Lampshaded in that another character points out at the end that you can't make a hypnotized person do anything they don't really want to...
- In the 1994 movie The Shadow, Shiwan Khan sends a mind-controlled Margo on a mission to kill the Shadow. The Shadow breaks her hypnotic trance after she mistakenly shoots a mirror showing his reflection. Margo realizes that, despite Khan never mentioning The Shadow's name, it was Lamont Cranston she tried to kill, because Lamont and The Shadow are one and the same. It turns out that Khan counted on her learning The Shadow's identity, though he didn't count on The Shadow not killing her to keep it a secret.
- X2: X-Men United:
Done to Nightcrawler with a mind-control serum in to make him kill/try to kill the President (it's not clear if he was meant to succeed or die in the attempt). He snaps out of it and escapes when a bodyguard shoots him. This is also done to Cyclops later in the movie and had already been done to Deathstryke.
Also Charles Xavier, by William Stryker's mutant son Jason, who is himself Lobotomized and Crazy.
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Prototype Sentinels were constructed entirely from polymer, but Magneto controls them through metal he fused to their components.
- Revealed to be the reason why The Baroness was working with Destro in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
- The major plot point of Zoolander is that Mugatu offers Derek a trip to a "day spa" to prepare for his runway show, the spa is actually a facility where Derek is brainwashed to attack the Malaysian Prime Minister when the song "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood is played. Makes Sense In Context.
- In TRON: Legacy, Tron attempted to hold off and defeat Clu while Flynn escaped, seemingly being derezzed in the process. In actuality, Tron was brainwashed by Clu into becoming Rinzler, and evidently became a merciless killing machine until Flynn wonders what Clu did to him during the chase, in which he regains his original memories and turns against Clu.
- During one scene in the Firefly movie Serenity, River, the resident heroic Ax-Crazy and whimsical-in-the-brainpan Woobie, is exposed to a subliminal message buried in a Fruity Oaty Bars commercial. This activates River's deadly martial-arts-killing-machine programming put into her mind by the Alliance, and she proceeds to methodically wipe out a whole bar full of people, even taking down Jayne when he tries to restrain her, and is only stopped when her brother intervenes with a code-phrase in Russian that serves to put her to sleep.
- The 2012 Avengers film gives Loki the ability to easily turn people over to his side by tapping their heart with his scepter. Unusually for this trope, the brainwashing seems to simply change their perspective on the world rather than actual mind control or manipulation, and they maintain their usual personality and knowledge while working for the other side.
- It utterly fails when he attempts to do it to Tony Stark, thanks to his Arc reactor blocking the heart. All we hear is a "ding" of metal on metal. Tony makes a joke about "performance issues", further pissing off Loki.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the titular Winter Soldier (who oscillates between Walking Spoiler and It Was His Sled depending on whether you've read the comics) is revealed to have been brainwashed and turned into a weapon by HYDRA, and that he is really Bucky Barnes, Steve's best friend.
- In the first Wishmaster, a cop wishes that a criminal who has gotten away on seven counts for a crime (not stated what kind) would just commit something that the cops could easily nail him for. The Djinn then controls his body from a distance, and causes the guy to turn into an almost-supernatural killer who immediately grabs a cop's gun and starts a shooting frenzy in the police station. He kills a half-dozen cops before he dies from his own wounds.
- In Videodrome, Max eventually becomes compelled by the Videodrome tapes to murder his partners at Civic TV in cold blood. When he goes after Bianca O'Blivion, she reprograms him to kill her enemies (the people who programmed Max to become an assassin in the first place) for her.
- In Cube Zero, Haskell is remotely reprogrammed by activating the military chip placed into his brain from when he was a soldier. He tries to kill Wynn and Rains before they escape him.
- Played with in Angel Heart. Johnny/Harry kills several people under Satan's influence, but it's left deliberately vague whether the Devil is directly compelling him to commit the murders or if he's allowing Johnny Favourite's vile personality some freedom to indulge in these acts and Johnny is keeping Harry from finding out the truth about himself.
- In Ra One, Sonia is brainwashed by the titular villain, via a glowing ball of "electricity" to the head, and sent off at the helm of a Runaway Train.
- Scanner Cop: Various people around the city are brainwashed by the villain to respond to a hallucinatory trigger. This will make them perceive police officers as monsters and murderers so they will kill the innocent cops in what seems like self-defense.
- In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Peeta has been tortured and conditioned to associate Katniss with mortal danger, so upon seeing her he immediately attacks her and tries to kill her.
- An example in Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events, with Klaus in Book the Fourth; he even appears to have Mind-Control Eyes on the cover.
- One early example is Richard Condon's book (twice adapted to film), The Manchurian Candidate, wherein a group of soldiers captured by the Chinese in the Korean War are brainwashed. (The term brainwashing is, in fact, believed to have originated during the Korean War, in reference to the coercion that the Chinese would use on prisoners.) One of them becomes a Manchurian Agent for the Chinese, against his will and without his knowledge.
- Dean Koontz used this in False Memory, in which the victims had two sets of code words to prevent accidental triggering: a particular haiku (specific to each person), and the name of a character - sometimes a very obscure character - from The Manchurian Candidate.
- Also used in Night Chills and in a way in Mr. Murder where the assassin Alfie is controlled by a special phrase.
- Peeta in The Hunger Games, using a toxin that causes any memories invoked while under its influence to be associated with intense feelings of fear, and therefore making anyone included in those memories (in this case, Katniss) seem like a threat to be destroyed.
- Appears several times in literature set in the Warhammer 40,000 'verse. Unusually and unfortunately, killing the controller does not cure his victims; they either die immediately afterwards or continue doing the dead villain's bidding.
- In Dan Abnett's Sabbat Martyr, Pater Sin's child psykers have the ability to turn soldiers of the Imperium against their comrades. Only a single individual manages to throw it off through an oddly straight version of the Power of Friendship, as his friends and comrades care too much about him to allow him to be swayed. In an interesting variety, the bad guys realize this and decide to just skip over that guy completely.
- And in Sandy Mitchell's Cain's Last Stand, Warmaster Varan has the psychic ability to corrupt anyone he speaks with into his service. Even Adeptus Sororitas, a loyal and likable governor, and a Commissar-in-training, all of whom were portrayed as innocent victims but remembered forever in history as foul traitors. On the other hand, the commissar-in-training, broken free by Jurgen's blank ability, managed kill himself before he succumbed again, and Cain fulfills his last request.
- It's also used liberally in the background by both the powers of chaos (dominating psy powers) and the Imperium's Ecclesiarchy - the latter using a combination of mind control, lobotomy, combat drugs and cybernetic implants to turn heretics into arco-flagellants, Ax-Crazy combat monsters sent into battle against other enemies.
- Happens in the 2nd and 3rd Mistborn books. Emphasis on "crazy".
- The Imperius Curse in Harry Potter, one of the three Unforgivable Curses and essentially the magical equivalent of your average mind control device. Bartimus Crouch, Jr. (alias Professor Moody) was quite fond of it.
- The House Of The Scorpion: Takes place 100 years into the future, where clones are raised to provide organs for a corrupt drug lord and victims trying to cross the border to the United States or Aztlan are forced to become opium-picking zombies programmed by computer chips in their heads.
- Early in The Legacy, Wulfgar is convinced that his fiancée, Catti-Brie, has been cheating on him with Drizzt, so he goes and tries to kill Drizzt. Later in the book, it's revealed that he was hypnotized into thinking this and into feeling homicidally angry about it.
- Stevie of The Fallen becomes like this, poor kid.
- In the Time Scout series, this is one of the effects and causes of Jack the Ripper.
- The Mortal Instruments:
- Amatis Herondale in City of Lost Souls, after Sebastian captures her and forces her to drink from the Infernal Cup, turning her into a Dark Shadowhunter.
- A double subversion in A Clockwork Orange, where Villain Protagonist Alex is already The Sociopath and an incredibly dangerous human being, and is brainwashed into harmlessness by a Pavlovian reflex that makes him cripplingly ill when he thinks of violence. Unfortunately, this just makes him crazier and angrier, and though he can no longer harm others...
- Everyone under the control of the Ix in The Last Dragon Chronicles.
- The Mirrorworld Series: Will, who nearly kills his own brother after smashing through a wall while unable to recognize him.
- Happens to George in a Nancy Drew book, though she doesn't harm anyone, just spends the book bed-ridden and terrified and constantly begging Nancy to drop the case, lest harm come to her.
- This is what happens to the listeners in The Stormlight Archive when they evolve into stormform or one of their other Voidbringer forms, since those forms can only be entered by bonding with a fragment of the Cosmic Principle Of Hatred.
- There are a couple ways of accomplishing this in The Wheel of Time.
- Compulsion is a magical technique that in its most basic form causes the victim to adore and desire to serve the user and can be further adapted for more subtle, complex commands; many of the Forsaken are fond of it, particularly Graendal, who in the last book actually creates a small, mobile army from Compelled good guys. Compulsion can be reversed by a skilled healer, though if it was strong enough it can leave permanent psychological damage.
- Turning is even nastier. A circle of thirteen dreadlords working in concert with thirteen Myrddraal can force any channeler into the Dark One's service. This process turns the victim into a twisted reflection of themselves and is apparently irreversible, though those who knew the victim well can usually tell that there is something very, very wrong with them. This technique is talked up heavily throughout the series but never shown until the last book, when it turns out Mazrim Taim has been using it heavily to recruit for the Shadow.
- Finally, Padan Fain can induce this effect in people he interacts with, thanks to being a walking Hate Plague. However, while his influence can drive people mad with hate and paranoia, it doesn't actually let him control them directly; he has to fall back on being a Manipulative Bastard for that.
- In Smallville, Delete, Clark, Lana, Martha and Jonathan are brainwashed into attempting to murder Chloe violently.
- Ace Lightning gets one of these in episode thirteen of his first series complete with dreary monotone voice. He was snapped out of it by a data transfer, because you know, he's a video game character, they can do that.
- In season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike is brainwashed by the First Evil to start killing again whenever he hears the tune "Early One Morning."
- In Season 8 this happens to Angel, who kills Giles under the control of Twilight.
- In the BBC'S Merlin, Merlin is infected with a snake creature by Morgana and brainwashed to kill Arthur. Fortunately, the snake apparently makes him forget about his magic, and he proves to be the single worst assassin in the history of mankind.
- Several of Arthur's knights later suffer this at the hands of Lamia.
- In season 5, Gwen falls prey to this at the hands of Morgana.
- Doctor Who featured Jo Grant on her first appearance ("Terror of the Autons") getting brainwashed by the Master and sent to open a box at UNIT HQ — which contained a bomb. The Doctor specifically defines it as this trope, saying that an ordinary hypnotist couldn't force anyone to do something they didn't want to do. Yet The Master can manipulate people any way he likes.
- The series contains numerous other examples; the instance in "The Masque of Mandragora" is interesting, as Sarah Jane, in her altered state of mind, becomes after thirteen years the first companion to notice the oddity of everyone in the universe speaking English.
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Family" (2x08), Rya'c is brainwashed in this way by Apophis.
- In the later episode "Enemies" (5x01), Teal'c, Rya'c's father, has the same thing happen, again inflicted by Apophis.
- A whole episode is devoted to making Teal'c rethink his life and fight through the brainwashing. Initially, he manages to convince everyone on the base that he's been cured... until his mentor Bra'tac looks into his eyes.
- Za'tarcs are another form of brainwashing.
- This this case, the subject becomes a Manchurian Agent, acting normally until triggered by a specific event.
- Adria tries to do this to Daniel, but the remnant of Merlin in him protects Daniel from her powers, although he convinces Adria that she succeeded.
- In Charmed: Prue was brainwashed by the demon of fear and Paige was brainwashed by the Source of All Evil. All the sisters and their boyfriends and children have at times been collectively brainwashed, such as the time they became warlocks, became "too good", had their morality reversed, etc. etc.
- Used in several episodes of Hawaii Five-O. One episode explicitly made the "can't do something they wouldn't do otherwise" statement, but then showed a theoretical way around it when, as a demonstration, one character was hypnotized to "shoot" another (with an unloaded weapon) by the hypnotist telling him the person was a double who was about to start a nuclear war and shooting him was the only way to stop it. Other episodes, however, including the Pilot Movie, used the standard fictional "make 'em do anything" portrayals.
- Easily half of Power Rangers' main characters have had this happen to them at least once. Tommy Oliver, the first Green Ranger, had it happen three times. (In fact, that's how his whole career as a Ranger started.) Brainwashing tends to be magic-based, not hypnotic, in this show, and numerous characters have had "spells" make them act a certain way until the monster-of-the-week who placed it on them has been destroyed. Sometimes the Monster of the Week is a character who was forcibly transformed and brainwashed and crazy all at once.
- And by extension Super Sentai. You can watch most of them on YouTube if you type in the heroines names.
- Actually, in Super Sentai, being put in Blue color almost guarantees you to be brainwashed and crazy. Hikari Sentai Maskman, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger are a few examples whereas the Blue ranger gets brainwashed and crazy.
- In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, the Blue ranger isn't subjected to this. However, the Pink ranger is. As is Wolzard, who is in fact the ranger's father
- Power Rangers S.P.D.: It's strongly implied that Broodwing attempted to do this to the Dino Rangers before they escaped.
- Astronema from Power Rangers in Space was always the Super-Powered Evil Side of Karone, but only fit this Trope for the second half (roughly) of the series. Originally, she simply had amnesia and didn't know who she was. When she remembered, she honestly tried to make a Heel-Face Turn, but the Dark Specter had other plans, and used brainwashing to keep her under his control until she was ultimately saved in the Season Finale.
- In an episode of Lois and Clark, Lois is one of a group in a medical facility who are brainwashed into being contract killers before being killed their selves by the doctor at the facility.
- In the Magnum, P.I. episode "Did You See the Sunrise" it turns out that Magnum's friend TC was brainwashed to become a sleeper assassin by Russian agents while he was a P.O.W. of the North Vietnamese.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Mind's Eye", in which Geordi LaForge is brainwashed by the Romulans to kill a Klingon dignitary, draws heavily on The Manchurian Candidate.
- In Dollhouse, this is what happens to the entire world in ten years' time.
- In the episode "Night School" of Teen Wolf, Scott is by an Alpha Peter Hale. He snaps out of it pretty quickly, but still...
- Jackson as the Kanima. Can be snapped out of it when people he cares about are in danger to be hurt by him.
- One episode of The Equalizer features an experimental setup in which sidekick Mickey's memories of McCall saving his life are switched out for a scenario of cruel betrayal, thus giving him the motivation to assassinate McCall. And it still doesn't work, since it turns out that Mickey's loyalty is still strong enough for him to realise what's happened.
- Most of the Kamen Rider "construction" involves this as a stage in the building, however, before that stage usually happens, they get out. There are a few exceptions, such as ZX, Shadow Moon, and Ichigo.
- The main antagonist of LOST, The Man in Black infects certain people with a sickness which turns them into crazy psychopaths. Known victims of The Sickness are Claire, Sayid and most of Rousseau's science team.
- In Chinese Paladin, this happens to Ah Nu near the end of the series, due to making a Deal with the Devil to save her lover Tang Yu. She unknowingly kills her own father in this state.
- Angel has Jasmine brainwashing the entire town of L.A. into becoming her servants. When Fred, later Angel, and then the rest of the team are freed from her control, she proceeds to send all her possessed minions after them.
- The newer series of Mission Impossible had a psychiatrist at his facility 'hypnotizing' select patients , with a combo of drugs and bio-microchips, then sending them out as hitmen. He gets ahold of undercover Nick.
- Wizards of Waverly Place has this when it happened to Justin in "Wizards vs. Angels".
- Castiel, who is under the control of one of the Big Bads, tries to kill Dean after having already killed Samandriel. Fortunately, he he doesn't go through with it.
- In Helix, The Virus NARVIK-B has incredibly "focused behavioral patterns" that cause its victims to behave in this way, as they are compelled to spread the contagion. Though violent and paranoid, Vectors are also cognizant enough to form plans to access uninfected, like Patient Zero Peter Farragut, who manages to find a workaround for a biometric lock via Borrowed Biometric Bypass, severing the arm of a security tech at the research base where he works.
- In Infinity Game, the previous DM caused all the NPCs to go completely insane and kill everybody, though they were somewhat aware of what was happening as Trishia's sisters beg her to kill them or else they'll kill her first.
- Common in Fighting Opera Hustle, where most of the more successful members of the Takada Monster army where well known professional wrestlers brainwashed and turned into monsters.
- Exalted: Most Exalted have a Presence charm that allows them to give other characters compulsions. If your character is an Abyssal, the result will probably be this trope.
- Various RPGs have various powers used to control or influence others, such as the Dungeons & Dragons spell suggestion, and the charm and dominate series of spells.
- At least in the third edition, Charm explicitly didn't work like this, despite being used as such in every game. It only makes the victim think of the caster as a friend, but it doesn't let them forget their other loyalties, meaning they'll likely be rather confused and anguished when their friends attack each other.
- Dominate also cannot make a person do anything directly self-destructive ("stab yourself with your sword", "jump off the castle wall"), and if a dominated person is ordered to do something that is against their nature, they receive a new saving throw, with a cumulative +2 bonus. (A good demonstration is found in The Order of the Stick when they attempt to break the spell on a dominated paladin by disguising Belkar as lord Shojo, said paladin's master and lord.)
- Order of the Stick also provides a good example of how Charm works, again with Belkar. He refuses to kill his friends and give their magic items to Nale... but since he's Chaotic Evil and a greedy bastard, he has no trouble killing them while singing the complete score to Meet Me In Saint Louis as long as he can keep their stuff.
- In the Order of the Stick. Nale, the Evil Twin brother of the bard Elan, casts Charm Person on the party's halfling ranger, Belkar Bitterleaf. The first attempt ("If you see any of your allies before I get back, kill them and bring me their magic items") fails because the spell won't allow the command to go against the character's basic nature, but the second ("If you see any of your allies before I get back, kill them and keep their magic items for yourself") succeeds, even when Nale adds, "While singing the complete score to Meet Me in St. Louis." Hilarity Ensues, of the actually hilarious variety.
- This trope is a huge theme of Oasis's in Sluggy Freelance.
- This tropes causes major plot twists in It's Walky!.
- Homestuck: One of Vriska's more impressive displays of her Mind Control abilities is an example of this. She controls Sollux and forces him into a Superpower Meltdown, and then uses the resulting Eye Beam explosion to kill Aradia. She later pulls off a fairly impressive "double psychic reacharound" to control Tavros and his Beast Master skills to in turn mind control Terezi's lusus and permanently blind Terezi. However, Vriska soon finds her powers are far less useful on humans; the best she can do is make a human fall asleep instantly ( Jade's chronic narcolepsy was in fact Vriska testing the limits of her powers on humans).
- The Condesce later takes this Up to Eleven: Because she possesses the combined abilities of all the trolls, including the aforementioned powers of Vriska and Tavros, she is able to give Dogtier Jade a Grimdark form. She immediately commands Grimbark Jade to zap the Tiaratop onto Jane's head, converting her to the Borg-like Crockerdark form.
- In Sinfest, Satan can BOMF people to bad. Except that the power appears to be decreasing as the strip gets Lighter and Softer.
- In MS Paint Masterpieces, Wily snuck in virus type programming into all the original robot master's to get them to defect. The POV comics with Cut Man's desperate struggles to remain himself are... disturbing and heartbreaking. Then you have the likes of Ice Man jumping headfirst into it and helping to spread the Mind Control.
- Also, anyone under Quintet's Mind Control or using one of his support units.
- In El Goonish Shive, Dex is manipulated into attempting to kill Noah, Grace and Greg (even though it would kill him too).
- Subverted in Exiern: Niels is attacked by a magic user and controlled to steal Peonie, then it's revealed that the spell is just controlling his body and while he can still talk and think, he's powerless to stop it, he apologizes, and then says that he can't do anything about it, so he's gonna have fun playing a bad guy.
- Any and all dark Creturians who attack the protagonists in the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes.
- In The Gamers Alliance, Jessica ends up brainwashed by the Clergy of Mardük and is sent to steal a magic sword from her friend Refan and kill Refan in order to leave no witnesses. Kaizoku and Tanya also end up brainwashed by the same clergy although Kaizoku eventually breaks free from the clergy's control.
- Kaori from The Impossible Man went through this when she fought Wolfgang alongside Yuki.
- This happened to The Nostalgia Chick and Todd in the Shadows in To Boldly Flee when they underwent Unwilling Roboticisation through Mechakara.
- What has happened to Alpha, Fen, Karkat Vantas, Solaire of Astora and Jekyll/Hyde in the Keep the Flag Flying arc of Our Avatars Were In A Room The Continuation, thanks to some Cold-Blooded Torture
- Prolecto has this as the MO of Azazel. Anyone infected by Azazel's Ichor is turned into a slave of Azazel, and has their personality warped under the control of the core.
- In Chrono Hustle Melinda was brainwashed by the TDD to bring them Jack and Mary in order to erase all of their memories of the situation in 2347, as well as capturing Aphrodite for some reason not yet revealed. They had also attempted this on her partner, the second Jack, but he was immune, unbeknownst to them.
- In Journey of the Cartoon Man, Oswald Sherzikien uses the Glove of the Animator to turn cartoonified people into his mindless servants.