: You know, there's this classic film called The Defiant Ones
, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier
. It's about two prisoners – one black, the other white – and they escape handcuffed together... Brad
: And while they don't like each other at first, they come to respect and care for one another by the end. Lucy
: You've seen it. Brad
: No, but I know what you're getting at
. And I don't want a moral lesson
in tolerance and cooperation. I just want to get through the next couple of hours without committing murder.
Two, usually diametrically opposed, characters are chained or handcuffed together for the duration. An Aesop
occurs. In the right genre, may result in a forced Enemy Mine
. May be employed in a symbolic manner and progress into Chains Of Love
. In other genres, it will be played for laughs as both characters will then try to carry on with their (often conflicting) activities despite the handicap. Also odds are good they'll want to hide what happened, letting them make up a wild story as to why they are holding one another's hand. Hilarity Ensues
(sometimes in the form of Toilet Humor
, as at least one of these types of stories has a part where one of the characters has to go to the bathroom
and the other doesn't).
This trope may begin with the two characters unaware of the link that binds them together, only to discover it when they try and walk away from each other.
Can overlap with Working on the Chain Gang
when this trope occurs between escaping prisoners.
See also Locked in a Room
, With My Hands Tied
Unusually, the Trope Namer
- the Girls Behind Bars
film Chained Heat
- is unrelated to this trope.
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- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, Magnetism, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy end up like this due to two magical bracelets meant for people in troubled relationships forcing them to touch at all times, or else they'll be slammed back together.
- In this Glee fic, Brittany handcuffs Kurt and Mike together on Valentine's Day and promptly loses the key. At the end of the school day, Kurt finds out that she did it because she knew that Mike had a crush on Kurt and wanted to help him out.
- The Crimson Badger contains the mouse/stoat duo of Jans and Broggen, who are a rare willing example of this trope. The backstory is that Broggen committed a crime in Urthblood's service that should've landed him a death penalty, but Jans took pity on him and saved him from the badger's wrath. Urthblood declared that the stoat would be his responsibility for the rest of his days, and to keep Broggen from getting into further trouble, they decided to chain each other together. In spite of their predicament, they're one of best warriors in the army. At the end of TCB, Jans is killed in battle, freeing Broggen from his manacle.
- The Chained Melody Universe by Diane Bellomo are a series of Star Trek: Voyager Slash Fic's involving various beligerant crewmembers forced to work together — Ho Yay or Les Yay ensues.
- An extreme example in book three of The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Bartimaeus and Nathaniel trying to take on The Legions of Hell while Sharing a Body. And mind-linked.
- In the book Judge Benjamin: Superdog, Judge and his dachsund antagonist Henry manage to get their collars caught together. This was after Henry semi-accidentally flooded the garage and took refuge on Judge's head. They were rescued by their owners and taken to the local hardware shop to get the collars disconnected. Later that night they learned to work together when the owner of the hardware shop tried to rob the garage.
- In the ST:TOS novel How Much for Just the Planet, by John M. Ford, Uhura and Aperokei wind up handcuffed together and have to deal with that while on the run.
- Company Z stage this in Rapido Clint by J.T. Edson: having Alvin Fog pose as a criminal and handcuffing him to a wanted felon, then orchestrating an escape so the felon will take Alvin to his boss.
- Done as a punishment in a Darkover short story; when two Renunciates quarrel to the point of drawing blades, their house mothers chain their hands together as a way to force them to cooperate and live together. It works, eventually, and they become life-long friends.
- The video for Michael Jackson's "Beat It" has two rival gang leaders tie their hands to each other for the world's most stylized knife fight.
- One FoxTrot storyline had Jason and Paige stuck together by bubblegum (made with industrial polymers) when their bubbles touch — which has the added awkwardness of connecting them by the faces rather than their arms. When the realization sinks in that they're going to have to sleep and shower together, they scream so loudly that it blows the gum right off.
- Garfield, alongside first Jon, then Odie, spent several weeks stuck in a window blind together. Somehow, this gets parsed as something freaky by the woman Jon asks to try and help them get out of this...
- They are later joined by a man, an old lady, and eventually a street light.
- A "Strap Match" is a Gimmick Match with two wrestlers tied to opposite ends of a belt, rope, steel chain, or anything similar in order to keep them in close proximity to each other. This can also be referred to as a "Dog Collar Match," when the competitors are shackled at the neck.
- Differs from most other depictions in that the two wrestlers are not forced to cooperate. In fact, the whole point of the strap match is to force the two wrestlers to fight each other while tied together. This naturally is a great disadvantage for some wrestlers, as it takes their signature moves out of play.
- In The 39 Steps, the main character is handcuffed to a woman who thinks he is a murderer. He must drag her with him as he tries to escape the villain's henchmen.