Audrey:Exactly What It Says on the Tin
So you can't feel anything? Nathan:
That's right. Audrey:
What about ice? Can you feel ice? Nathan: Oddly enough, yes, I can feel ice. Audrey:
You can feel ice? Nathan: No
. In normal living things, pain functions as a warning system for the body that tells it to try and get away from whatever is causing the sensation. However, sometimes someone can't feel pain for whatever reason, usually due to nerve damage or other factors. Fiction likes to explore this idea and will often explore the consequences in a very philosophical way
For humor purposes, a man may sometimes gain a temporary version when Distracted by the Sexy
As in Real Life
, a person like this is very likely to accidentally injure themselves and not realize it for some time. In fiction these people also tend to develop a skewed perception of reality, and may take to killing people for fun. Other times they're simply shown as tragic individuals who are literally out of touch with the rest of us.
It may become a Disability Superpower
if the advantages are played up far more than the disadvantages. This is also a common feature for Super Soldiers
, especially disposable ones. In such cases, the massive crippling drawbacks of not feeling pain tend to be downplayed, or, if addressed, aren't seen as a problem since they won't be alive long enough for them to have any effect.
Contrast Frozen Face
, also stemming from nerve damage.
See also Made of Iron
and Nigh Invulnerable
for when a person resists damage, but may still feel something. This trope may result in a Major Injury Underreaction
, though the latter is usually a temporary state of affairs. When a character with this trope is thought to be immune to emotional
pain as well, they may eventually break down and ask Did You Think I Can't Feel?
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Anime and Manga
- In Karas, the hero, born to a rather messed up mafia family and more apparently his brother is his father, and for half the series, he's in a coma, acting through a projection into an animated suit of transforming samurai armor, and after dying, he's reborn through the will of the City, says he feels no pain, allowing him to be the enforcer to said mafia family, taking 9mm shots and still remaining at full functionality. He also comforts a girl attempting to treat his wound he got from a demon during the local Apocalypse by saying he feels no pain so he's all right. Apparently, no sensation of pain means the wound is ... just not there. There is a justification to this, but it's not pretty: Through the production of incest, it gave him a condition to which if he were to even lose his arm, he would not feel it.
- As shown in the above picture, Yuki Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi shows no sign of pain even through being impaled by several swords through presumably vital areas. She also catches laser beams potent enough to sear through part of her hands without flinching. Whether this is truly because she does not feel pain, or if it's because she's that stoic, is unknown.
- The Zero series of Artificial Humans in Loveless were designed without pain receptors, and their creator thought this would make them unstoppable. However, in the story, Soubi ends up exploiting this when fighting the male Zero pair by lowering the temperature around them to dangerous levels; as a result of having no warning system, both Zeroes' bodies begin to shut down, and they can't defend themselves. Later a female pair of Zeroes are brought in, and it's eventually revealed that one of them is apparently losing her powers and is starting to feel pain, which she hides from the other girl.
- In Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru, the underground fighting ring champion Kevin Norton occasionally uses PCP before entering the ring, rendering him insensitive to pain. In the end, the drugs themselves take a harder toll on his body than the blows he ignored in combat.
- Asagami Fujino in the third Kara no Kyoukai chapter/movie is insensitive to pain both physically and emotionally, though she keeps this a secret from everyone else so they don't think she's abnormal. She has even been repeatedly raped by a gang because of her passivity and her unwillingness to tell anyone about her 'pain'. She starts getting her sensation back in fits after one of the gang hits her with a baseball bat. The pain makes her feel more alive... and murderous. They die messily. It turns out that the lack of pain is the result of her father medicating her as a child to seal her psychic powers before they got out of hand, which has now backfired.
- In Princess Tutu, Mytho is unable to feel pain because he lost his heart and thus, his ability to feel emotions. Since his only personality trait left is to rush to the aid of anything that's helpless and in danger, he constantly places his own life in danger, and is completely unaware why everyone seems so freaked out by it when he does so.
- In Cynthia the Mission, the Ripper of 2010, aka Yumiko, has this problem. Unfortunately, when she saw a show that talked about how normal humans have natural limits thanks to pain, she realizes she can do whatever she wants and normal humans can't stop her. She's proven wrong the second time she attempts to escape the insane asylum she's in, and the big sister of the girl whose eye she stabbed out kills her with a neck-shattering kick.
- Deconstructed in One Piece. While fighting a giant zombie, Chopper, the team's doctor, tells it that the fact that it can't feel pain is its greatest weakness, as it has no way of knowing how much damage its body parts are accumulating until they're so injured that they simply stop responding altogether. The Straw Hats eventually beat it by shattering its spine, leaving the thing laying on the ground wondering why it can't move.
- A similar battle occurs against a puppeteer enemy in Rurouni Kenshin, in which Kenshin blocks a pivotal joint with a rock; he points out to his opponent that a person feeling pain would have noticed the obstruction right away.
- And in YuYu Hakusho, where Hiei and Kurama were battling a giant construct designed not to feel pain. They're quick to demonstrate why not realizing how much damage your body is taking really isn't as good an idea as it seems.
- Checkmate from Ultimate Muscle went through intensive training as a child to not feel pain. As with most of these cases, he loses because he can't tell what his body's limit is. This is all completely forgotten about once he turns good.
- Al from Fullmetal Alchemist by virtue of being Animated Armor. Sadly he can't (physically) feel anything else, either.
- This is what allows Ax-Crazy Knife Nut Farfarello from Weiß Kreuz to go out kicking ass with near-total impunity. It's also indirectly implied to be why he's missing an eye and covered in a lot of nasty-looking scars.
- Astro Boy, being a robot is supposed to be immune to pain, though this was sometimes portrayed inconsistently over the manga's long run, possibly justified by his AI developing to be more humanlike.
- Indeed, for example, in Volume 7 When Hamegg has Astro in the circus, he beats him with an electrical whip. It very clearly hurts Astro, as he cries out in pain and begs him to stop before collapsing.
- Cyborg characters in the Ghost in the Shell universe have the option of voluntarily shutting off their body's pain receptors. This is used on multiple occasions, such as Hideo Kuze's attempted assassination of Prime Minister Kayabuki in Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG.
- Several of the 'Invisible Nines' in Pumpkin Scissors 'benefit' from this. The 901st Anti-Tank Troopers are mostly insensitive to pain at all times, and go completely numb when activating their 'Blue Lanterns' — this allows them to march through a shower of tank-shells and machinegun fire, not stopping until their bodies have been literally torn apart. Meanwhile, the flamethrower-wielding 908th 'Heat Troopers' wear suits filled with anesthetic fluid, which prevents them from noticing that the constant, oppressive heat given off by their weapon is literally melting off their skin. At the end of the war, most of them took off their suits to celebrate, only to literally fall apart as a result...
- Kahlua in Rosario + Vampire, thanks to a "charm". While this made her nearly unstoppable in battle, as she was nearly impossible to knock out, her superior was Genre Savvy enough to realize that this prevents her from knowing when her body is too damaged to go on.
- Faust from Shaman King constantly keeps himself doped up on morphine, which allows him to perform surgery on himself during or after a battle. Well, that and the fact that he's not quite right in the head.
- Shira from Blade of the Immortal lost his sense of pain due to brain damage suffered when Magatsu sent him falling off of a cliff. Luckily, the ridged sword that Manji owned tore Shira up so badly that the psycho's limited regeneration was slowed down by the damage he sustained over the course of their final fight. It still took a Big Damn Heroes moment from Magatsu to take him down, though.
- One of Ray's friends in Ray can't feel pain. There's a flashback to when she broke a finger and just kept smiling. Ray assumes she's dealing with a fraud when the girl cries about how much something hurts, but the friend explains that she's gotten very good at pretending to feel pain, because she remembers how creeped out people got at her nonreactions to injury.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: By weakening the link to their body a Magical Girl can lower the amount of pain they feel, at the cost of slowing their reactions. And they always feel less pain than a regular human.
- Gunslinger Girl. The cyborg girls of the Agency feel pain, but it's programmed to go away quickly if they're injured, enabling them to keep fighting despite injuries such as punctured eyes or being shot by anti-materiel rifles.
- Zero from Yami No Aegis, due to being shot in the head
- Miroku drinks a poison that will make him insensitive to pain every time he sucks miasma into his Wind Tunnel so that he's able to protect the ones he loves and keep fighting, even though it'll only kill him faster.
- During her brief period as Naraku's Unwitting Pawn, Sango had a Shikon Jewel shard embedded in her body that rendered her unable to feel pain, with the idea that she would fight Inuyasha to the death if she didn't know how badly she was hurt. Indeed, Inuyasha has to explicitly point out to her that she was bleeding all over the place during their fight. When Naraku later retrieves the shard from her body, Sango is promptly incapacitated from the pain and ends up falling into a coma for over a week.
- Katou from Holyland due to being drugged up.
- Durarara!! Shizuo didn't realize he'd been shot until he slipped in his own blood. Pens and knives are even less effective.
- In episode 2 of The Heroic Legend Of Arislan, Dariun is forced to fight a duel with a giant who supposedly couldn't feel pain on behalf of one of the prince's allies. In the end, it was shown to be partly true: the giant certainly didn't react to a massive diagonal slash down his chest, but Dariun's thrown sword plus a timely lightning bolt causes him to scream in pain and give up the fight.
- In Area 88, Greg is impervious to pain. In the manga and OVA, he sterilizes a shrapnel wound by pouring ''alcohol'' directly on it. In a manga issue that did not make it stateside, he sterilizes a wound by pouring gunpowder from a bullet into it, then igniting the gunpowder with a lit cigarette.
- If the Titans in Attack on Titan feel any pain while being slashed and shot, they sure don't show it. This doesn't apply to all of them equally; when a human runs experiments on the captured Titans nicknamed "Sonny" and "Bean" that involve torturing them, Bean just tries to eat her, but Sonny recoils in agony.
- Yukari from Murciélago does not feel pain, which allows her to shrug off blows that would put a normal person out of commission. This is also best seen when she loses a leg and arm and only reacts to the amputations with surprise.
- In the Next Men comic, Bethany is Nigh Invulnerable but the side-effect of this is that she can't feel any physical sensation, including pain.
- Traditionally, zombies and many other undead don't feel pain — their nervous systems aren't running. Alternatively, they feel, but not pain. This is used in Marvel Zombies for the creepifying factor — a bone tears its way out of Bruce Banner's stomach, and he reports in horror that it doesn't hurt... but he can still feel it.
- One issue of Global Frequency has a special operative of the titular organization called in to deal with an assassin who stole his biofeedback techniques (pain-negation) techniques. What ensues is a brutal, bloody brawl that fails to incapacitate either combatant until the operative rips off the assassin's arm and shoves it down his throat.
- Played realistically in an issue of X-Men. Xavier feels no pain in his lower legs because he's paraplegic. He was crawling through a tunnel and caught a snag; when he ripped himself free, he didn't realize until later that he had ripped the skin on his leg and was worried that he'd bleed to death before reaching the X-Men.
- As a result of nerve damage sustained during his first failed attempt at being a superhero, this could be considered the closest thing Kick-Ass has to a superpower. Even then he can feel some pain (in The Movie he specifically states that even with all the nerve damage, having mafia goon torture him still really hurt).
- In Cruelty, one character is punched in the face and bloodied. He is kneed in the groin. He feels none of it, and proceeds to hand out an ass-kicking. He is drugged to the gills.
- Lobster Random has this as a result of his claws. It also gives him no empathy whatsoever with his torture victims.
- In Gensokyo 20XX, we have a subversion with Reimu, who can feel pain but she doesn't seem give much any reaction to pain, so it is almost as if she doesn't notices it. Justified, as she was conditioned that way, so she wouldn't really know to respond to pain and tends to ignore it, as the instinct to respond to pain stimuli has been removed from her, unless someone called it to her attention somehow, she wouldn't respond to it. In that vein, she doesn't seem to respond to discomfort as well. This was changed in 20XXV, when she was kicked in the face and responded, causing her to fly into a rage and stab the perpetrator.
- Roger in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? "No pain! *dish to own head* No pain! *another one* No pain! *yep*". He probably could (and would) have continued on indefinitely if Valiant hadn't stopped him.
- Interestingly, this only works if Roger's prepared to take the hit—he can still be incapacitated through pain if he's not ready for it. (Chalk it up either to his being a toon, or to his stuntman training.)
- Renard from The World Is Not Enough cannot feel pain due to a bullet in his brain that is slowly working its way through.
- And this somehow turned into immunity to third-degree burns. Because he couldn't feel the hot rock he was holding, it apparently didn't damage his hand at all.
- The cursed pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl "feel nothing", allowing them to not even flinch when stabbed full in the guts or be more worried about losing their head when it's cut off than distracted by the pain.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data is incapable of pain — until he gets living skin grafted on in Star Trek: First Contact, allowing him the experience for the first time. He doesn't much care for it.
- Saruman's Uruk-hai in The Lord of the Rings are said to not know pain. How much of that is true is debatable, but their chieftain who dueled with Aragorn was not reacting to penetrating stab wounds and limb loss, except for the reduced mobility. Later on a uruk berzerker howls in pain when he gets Gimli's axe in the groin, suggesting that it may not be as complete an immunity as first thought.
- Darkman has this as one of his three powers. After gaining third degree burns over most of his body, experimental surgery is performed to ease his pain. Afterwards, he can feel nothing all over his body. Starved for sensory input, his brain makes his adrenal gland go wild, giving him unusual strength. His final power is scientific, as he can create synthetic skin to appear as anyone he likes by grafting on a new face. Why Darkman doesn't get horrible infections and die from his constant injuries is anyone's guess
- In Kingdom of Heaven, the King of Jerusalem has leprosy and feels no pain. This fact is later used to reveal that his nephew has it too.
- Adam Sandler's character in Mr. Deeds has a blackened foot from a past frostbite which he is unable to feel anything including pain.
- Played for laughs in You Don't Mess with the Zohan, where Zohan and the Phantom try to outdo each other while saying "No, no, no. I feel no pain!" The Phantom sticks a piranha on his cheek while laughing. Zohan grabs the piranha and sticks it down his shorts while looking bored.
- As Friday the 13th series progressed, Jason Voorhees seemed to gradually lose the ability to feel pain, with only extremely severe attacks (like the ones inflicted on him during the fight in Freddy vs. Jason; see him stumble in one scene) fazing him.
- The little boy in Bereavement has CIPA. The villain believes, at various times, that this means he has no conscience, has a completely clear conscience, or has no soul.
- Three Finger, One Eye and Saw Tooth, the main hillbillies in the Wrong Turn series, are stated to have a severe case of congenital analgesia (meaning they feel little or no pain) in Wrong Turn 4 Bloody Beginnings. This led to a period of presumably exploratory Self-Harm in their youths; Three Finger bit off and ate his missing two digits, One Eye gouged out and ate one of his eyes with a fork, and Saw Tooth began grinding his teeth against walls.
- Bane's mask in The Dark Knight Rises is nominally meant to supply him with anesthetic gas that reduces the pain from a serious injury he suffered in the past. The fact that Bane inhales the anesthetic implies a general effect rather than being specialized to one area (as it would be in an injection), rendering him immune to all other pain—such as when Batman is beating him senseless.
- Inverted in X-Men where Rogue asks Wolverine if his claws hurt when he extends or retracts them. He grimacingly says, "Every time."
- Sidestepped in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. When the T-800 is asked if his (many) bullet wounds hurt, he states flatly, "I sense injury. The data could be called pain." This suggests that Terminators do feel pain, but they're programmed not to care. Since the damage to their biological components is not essential to their survival and secondary to their missions, this trade-off is fairly logical.
- The Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. John Cleese said in commentary the scene would be cruel and sadistic if not for this trope and the fact that the knight doesn't care what happens to him.
- In Cube Zero, the Cube soldiers are impervious to pain as part of their programming. After Haskell is 'reactivated', he is impaled on a spike by the escaping heroes and shrugs the injury off. When the Cube then undergoes a clean sweep (every occupant inside being vaporized at once) he looks with bemusement at his scorching hand until he's gone.
- In Lucy, the protagonist gains control over her ability to feel pain, allowing her to pull a bullet from her shoulder and have a drug packet removed from her abdomen without anesthesia.
- Several different characters in Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy displays this power. Ferro Malljin feels little to no pain due to being part-demon. Logan Ninefingers can't feel pain when he's overtaken by The Bloody-Nines, but DAMN can he ever feel it afterwards... Also, all of The Eaters loose the ability to feel pain — or anything else, for that matter. Which, along with their Healing Factor, makes them really hard to torture.
- The Zombie Survival Guide makes it very clear that the only way to stop a zombie with guns is by shooting their legs and knees, or destroying the brain, or causing some other injury which makes them physically incapable of advancing.
- "Brisingr", the third book in the Inheritance Cycle, had soldiers who could feel no pain due to magic. For some reason this makes them practically invincible, and people are advised to destroy the brain or sever the head as though they were zombies.
- Citizens of The Culture are wired so that while their other senses are normal (and in the case of sexual arousal, heightened), they don't feel pain to a great extent. Thus, in several novels, there are scenes where protagonists suffer really horrible injuries but describe them in a fairly detached way.
- A variation occurs in the Halo novel Ghosts Of Onyx: The Spartan III soldiers have been given a cocktail of chemicals that prevents their body from going into shock when gravely injured to give them an extra edge in combat, so at one point when a soldier is hit it doesn't register and he only collapses once he loses enough blood for his heart to stop working, since he lost most of his chest.
- By the third book of the Parrish Plessis trilogy, the protagonist's Corruption has advanced to the point where she's able to ignore even serious wounds.
- One of the many afflictions of Mario Incandenza in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is a relative insensitivity to pain—at one point, he burns himself on a stove, and it's the ETA cook, with whom he is talking, who notices.
- One of the later Callahans Crosstime Saloon books includes a character of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with familial dysautonomia (AKA Riley-Day syndrome), which leaves him unable to feel pain and impaired at feeling temperature, with vertigo and other problems as a "bonus".
- An aspect of metalcrafting in Codex Alera. This usually presents itself in increased endurance and pain tolerance. But the first book mentions a courier who had enough metalcrafting to ignore pain from an infection in his foot but lacked the sense not to and ended up losing the foot.
- Miles Hundredlives in The Alloy of Law. In his case, it's because of how insanely effective his Healing Factor is- he's been injured so many times, and his injuries always heal nearly instantly, to the point that he barely remembers what pain feels like.
- One of the characters in The Millennium Trilogy has a congenital inability to feel pain, and is also beastly strong, which makes him a really tough opponent to take down in a fight.
- The Unsullied (elite eunuch slave soldiers) in A Song of Ice and Fire are dosed with an elixir called the "Wine of Courage" that deadens the sensation of pain from a young age.
Live Action TV
- Played for Laughs on A.N.T. Farm when Olive states she is so scared to sleep away from home that she was awake and coherent during surgery on her appendix. While they don't make mention to her pain tolerance, intense pain is the main reason for being put to sleep prior to surgery. So one can only imagine how painful that had to be.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- This happens to Riley Finn as an eventual side-effect of Professor Walsh's experiments, though the strain it put on his body led to a Hollywood Heart Attack.
- This applies to The Mayor, who used it to showoff his own invulnerability.
- One of House's patients had CIPA — congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. In a scene which is as interesting as it is freakin' hilarious, she and House (who is in constant chronic pain in his right leg) get into a whine-off over which of them has the worse deal. And in the process, she's very clear about the downsides of her condition — she has to wake up every morning and check manually to see if she scratched her corneas while sleeping, she doesn't even know it when she has a fever...
- House won that contest with "I got shot". But by the end of the episode, the patient can top even that: House slices open her stomach to remove a 25-foot tapeworm from her large intestine. Without anesthesia (although the lack of anesthesia doesn't matter in the slightest with her).
- A child had this on Grey's Anatomy. She thought it was a superpower and allowed herself to get beaten up to prove it.
- Used in an episode of The Middleman: The villain is the only man who can lie when faced with Pain's River, because the zombifying pike that injected venom directly into his spine left him impervious to pain.
- Subverted in Heroes: given Claire's penchant for mangling her body for the flimsiest reasons (*cough* garbage disposal *cough*), you'd think she doesn't feel pain. However, in her own words, she feels pain: she's just learned to endure it get over it quickly. This is also believed to be a trait of Wolverine.
- Played straight in the 3rd season, where Claire seems to lose the ability to feel pain after Sylar pokes around in her brain. She's quite upset by this, as she felt that the ability to feel pain made her human.
- Also, it seems like this is going to result in her finding purpose in other people's pain.
- It's a good thing she can withstand pain, and good thing she can heal, since just bumping into someone will rotate her head 180 degrees.
- Subverted in a Scrubs episode, Elliot has broken up with Sean and, upon meeting up with him a couple weeks later, asks him how he's doing: "Well, I've been crying a lot, then I was numb for a while... and this morning I stuck a fork a half-inch into my thigh to see if I could still feel the pain." "And?" "Oh, yeah, I could."
- Not exactly no pain, but Star Trek's Vulcans can suppress pain with mental discipline much the same way they suppress emotion.
- Nathan Wournos in Haven. He calls it idiopathic neuropathy, but it's seeming more like some sort of Troubles-related affliction with the IN label slapped on for convenience (idiopathic meaning no known cause).
- It's not discussed, but his seems to be coupled with a sort of minor healing factor. Even after getting his hands severely burned by a red-hot gun, he requires little more than a bandage and it heals with no scars. This is likely why he suffers from few of the side afflictions you would expect from someone with no pain.
- He can still feel Audrey Parker, which he once uses to find a shapeshifting impostor. Also, one episode involves him temporarily regaining the ability to feel.
- In the episode dealing with a "Groundhog Day" Loop, Nathan is hit by a car. He gets up a second later, claiming he's fine. Audrey points at his midsection, where he is horribly injured, and he falls over dead.
- A bad guy who stole Nathan's ability is defeated because his arrogance over not being able to feel pain makes him subscribe to The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort, and he's downed by bullets.
- Nathan's biological father Max Hansen had this too. Max's former cellmate explained that he used it to be nearly unstoppable in prison brawls.
- In The Cape the Lich boasts that he can't feel pain. As one might realistically expect, this doesn't help all that much, and he gets knocked unconscious.
- The present day killer in the Criminal Minds episode "Painless" suffers from Pain Asymbolia after surviving bring at ground zero of a bomb blast, which means he can still register the sensations of pain, but pain no longer bothers him.
- In one The Twilight Zone episode, a young woman realizes that she is just another robot that her "parents" built. She has a Freak Out and starts slamming her hand against a wall, screaming about how she can't feel any pain.
- At the start of the fifth season of Gossip Girl Chuck Bass is unable to feel anything at all, be it physical or emotional. He doesn't fully realize this until he crashes with his motorcycle and feels nothing only to later find half his abdomen is bruised. He goes as far as paying people to beat him up in the hopes that he'll feel something but nothing works. The reason why he can't feel any pain is said to be a form of PTSD after going through way too much crap in season four, culminating in letting the love of his life go so she can marry a prince and have her fairytale fantasy come true. This all lasts until the third episode where Blair tells him that she's pregnant and he's not the father. He ends the episode crying on his bed, comforted by his dog, feeling both the emotional pain of losing Blair and the physical pain of all the injuries he's sustained over the past three episodes.
- Mike from The Young Ones, attempting to nail plates to the table, somehow managed to drive the nails through both his thighs without noticing he was doing so. The pain didn't seem to hit him until Vyvyan cut away his chair's legs, leaving his body's weight supported only by the nails in his legs.
- According to one villain from The Wild Wild West, those under his hypnosis are insensible to pain. He demonstrates by sticking a needle into Artemus Gordon's shoulder. Down to the bone. Artie, as it later turns out, isn't actually hypnotized; somehow he manages to remain still and expressionless so as not to give this away.
- In the Supernatural episode "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" (S09, Ep01), Castiel's loss of this angelic trait is his first clue to his humanity when he scrapes his palm after falling.
- In an episode of Perception, the victim got shot and kept on walking into the courtroom where she died. Dr. Peirce realized that she can't feel pain.
- The Courier from The Blacklist has congenital analgesia, and as a result often stores evidence inside his own body for safekeeping and is immune to physical torture. His brother explains that because of this their abusive dad was frustrated that his physical punishments never had any effect and resorted to more extreme measures, such as making his son fight a dog in a ring while the neighbors watched, and even without the lack of pain sense such a thing could and did warp his personality pretty badly. After he's captured one of the FBI agents is forced to impersonate him at a meeting with a client and is asked to prove his identity by demonstrating this, which he does by cutting his arm open and pretending not to feel anything. The client is suitably impressed since she already knows he's not really The Courier for unrelated reasons and only asked to see if he'd actually do it. At the end of the episode we also see a case of Reality Ensues when it comes to this, since rather than shrugging it off after getting shot multiple times The Courier collapses from the massive damage to his body and dies.
- Ravages Of Time: This is Liaoyuan Huo's disability, but of course because he's the main character this turns him into an Implacable Man and not a limbless mess.
- The Undertaker originally embodied this trope in the WWF. No matter what was thrown at him, he would just keep coming. These days, it varies.
- Kane also had this as part of his power set when he first introduced. the novel Journey into Darkness, an attempt to put all of the bizarre crap they've thrown into his backstory tried to set up the reason behind this as being because he has a condition called HSAN, which stands for Hereditory Sensory and Autonomous Neuropathy. Essentially, he was supposed to be completely incapable of feeling pain. Even the book mentions however that while his case is severe it does seem to have some limits. Like everything else with Kane, this has been either forgotten or outright ignored as the years have gone by.
- Subverted by Mankind. Early on, the commentators would say of him "I don't think he even feels pain! Or maybe he likes it!" In his Worked Shoot interview with Jim Ross, he demolished this perception in absolutely brutal fashion.
- An actual word-for-word universal special rule in the Warhammer 40,000 core rulebook. Examples include Plague Marines, devotees of the god of decay whose bodies are so corrupted and putrefied that they barely notice any weapons not strong enough to kill them outright, and the Death Company of the Blood Angels, whose warriors are insane with bloodlust and constantly hallucinating the death of their Primarch. It's worth pointing out that both examples were Space Marines to begin with, making them superhumanly tough by superhuman standards.
- However, this rule is also used for infantry squads with what essentially amounts to a medic in it — those cases don't really go under this trope.
- In the fluff, Orks are like this, and often can survive things like decapitation and clinical death for sometime before going down.
- On the tabletop this may or may not be represented, depending on the perspective of the player. Orks are tougher than any normal human can ever be, but in 40K humans are pretty weedy anyway. But to many weapons eg: battle cannons, plasma guns the difference is negligible anyway.
- Played with in consideration of the followers of Slaanesh, who are "gifted" to feel roughly any stimuli as pleasurable. Their minds can react to pain in a positive manner, even though they are feeling that pain, so they will feel rapturous when being nearly burned to death or hacked to pieces. This would make interrogations difficult, to be sure.
- It might depend on the source - some describe it as their senses being heightened by Slaanesh, causing them to overload on pleasures, but eventually deaden their senses by overuse to the point they feel that anything particularly extreme is pleasurable (even pain) because they can feel little else. Yes, just like drugs only more severe, though they almost certainly use those along the way.
- While this seems to be played off as horrific, there's definite potential to make this rather amusing.
- The Juicer and Crazy character classes in Rifts both feature this trait — the former due to being in a constant state of computer-controlled drug dosage, the latter due to Nanomachines in their brain editing pain signals out.
- The Pain Editor in Shadowrun is bioware (artificial organ implant) which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- In GURPS this requires both the disadvantage of "Numb" and the advantage of "High Pain Threshold". Cruelly, "Numb" makes it so you can feel only pain.
- Several types of entities in Deadlands Feel No Pain, including some Player Characters that are Blessed with Suck. Like the Bruce Banner example in the Comic Books section above, these beings can usually still feel when something's wrong, but the sensation isn't described as unduly distracting. Excessive injury can still cause penalties to dice rolls, though, because it's hard to walk without your favorite patella, and it's hard to maintain balance without your spinal column.
- Prometheans have this as one of their special tricks — whereas other supernaturals (and mortals) start taking wound penalties at a certain level, and have to roll to resist passing/bleeding out when their health meter fills with bashing/lethal damage, Prometheans will continue onward even if they're losing limbs, not falling down until they're dead. And even that doesn't stop them.
- In both the Old and New World of Darkness, Werewolves and Vampires ignore wound penalties during frenzy.
- Mage: The Ascension included the merit "Insensible to Pain", which allows the character to ignore wound penalties.
- Trolls in the Mystara setting Feel No Pain in addition to traditional D&D-trollish Healing Factor. The combination has led them to develop a fondness for games in which participants toss their own or others' severed arms, legs and heads around.
- Some Malfeas Charms in Exalted make it so that while you do feel pain, it doesn't actually affect you. At Essence 5+, with By Agony Empowered active, you can have multiple open aggravated wounds, and yet you keep fighting at full capacity until your Incapacitated health level gets marked off with aggravated damage. With the right Overdrive charms and Driven Beyond Death, you can arrange to then stand up again, go One-Winged Angel, and wreak havoc, still without being debilitated by your wounds.
- Zombies in All Flesh Must Be Eaten who have the Senses trait "Like The Dead" don't feel pain. "Like The Living" or better gives them that quality back - even though they don't suffer real damage from heavy blows, it feels like it, and thus they lose their next action if they take significant injury from a single attack. The sourcebook Atlas of the Living Dead adds the Feel No Pain quality, which removes that drawback from the higher Senses traits, allowing for zombies with incredible perception and a complete lack of concern about injury.
- Tortogs in the DragonMech setting only really feel pain when something punches through their shell. It's what makes them great smugglers - when night is virtually guaranteed to bring anything from a stinging micrometeorite hail to a full-on orbital strike, you don't need speed to get around - you need durability, and tortogs are good at durability.
- Hayden, the protagonist of darkSector, has congenital insensitivity to pain. This is the reason he can use the superpowers given to him by the mutagen he has been infected with during the story, as it is revealed later than normal humans go insane from the constant pain it gives them.
- As above, the Halo series, the Spartan IIIs have had their nervous systems modified to block most pain from injury and prevent the body from going into shock. At one point a Spartan is still on his feet after having his insides ripped to shreds, and though he does die seconds later he only stays up as long as he does because he couldn't feel it, and a normal person would have gone into shock instantly.
- The infamous Coffee Mindfuck in Tales of Symphonia involves Lloyd tricking Collette into thinking that the hot coffee he'd handed her was ice-cold in order to make her admit that she'd lost her sense of touch, and by extension, her sense of pain as she's transformed into an angel. She gets better, though.
- One of the 48 body parts you get from killing one of the Majins in the videogame of Osamu Tezuka's Dororo (released in English as "Blood Will Tell") is Hyakkimaru's pain receptor nervous sytem. In practice this just makes the controller vibrate.
- In BioShock 2, one of the audio diaries indicates that the researchers at Rapture gave the Little Sisters medication to eliminate their pain response, in order to get around the issue that they rapidly healed yet still felt the pain of their injuries. Unfortunately, this resulted in the Little Sisters chewing off their own tongues in ignorance of what they were doing.
- "Let's expose our military to zombie-dust so they can't feel pain. They don't NEED skin."
- To better clarify, One forgotten post states of a Forgotten Beast causes a player's military to lose their skin, their eyes, and permanently paralyzed their peripheral nervous system. Thanks to the player's medical skills, the Military became a force of skinless, eyeless, Legendary military that, thanks to the nerve paralysis, felt no pain.
- Clones in Dystopia have all of their nerves rerouted through a device called a Combat Control Unit which filters out about 90 to 95 percent of pain signals. They don't feel pain so much as they do the sensation of getting shot or cut.
- In League of Legends the mage Swain first came to attention of the Noxian government when he limped into a medical ward with his leg broken and the bone visibly protruding. The doctor who treated him noted that he showed no distress, and had no reaction to the bone being snapped back into place.
- The chapion Sion also has an ability called Feel No Pain, which has a chance to reduce the damage taken from attacks.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic VI (Well, technically, Might And Magic Heroes VI, for unexplained reasons), the 'Cyclops' (which is the Champion-level creature of the Barbarian faction) has the special ability Insensitive To Pain, apparently due to being heavily warped by demonic energy. In gameplay-terms, it means that whatever damage is inflicted on a Cyclops, won't affect it until its next turn — a potent ability, since it enables the Cyclops to always counterattack with his full strength, even if the attack should've killed him. And better yet, it can trick people into wasting more attacks on a unit that is technically already dead - he just hasn't realized it yet. Oh, and if you're clever, there's a number of spells you can use to take further advantage of it in various insidious ways... so in that universe, at least, being unable to feel pain is a definite advantage.
- Yomiel in Ghost Trick, who proves it to Cabanela at one point by slamming his fist down on a boiling hot stove and holding it there. This is due to the fact that the Temsik frgament lodged in Yomiel's body is constantly rejuvinating his body to the state it was in (i.e. perfectly healthy) the moment before he died. And thanks to the ending, it's a possiblity that Sissel might now have this trait too.
- One of the random traits your characters can have in Rogue Legacy is "Congenital Insensivity to Pain" (see Real Life section below), which makes your health bar blank. You still get knocked back from Collision Damage, though.
- Kohaku from Tsukihime is a purely psychological (though apparently no less effective) version of this trope. One scene has her cutting her finger, then claiming that if she just tells herself she's just a doll, she won't feel the pain. She really does believe she's just a doll, who has to act human to fit in. And the "doll" thing was a defense mechanism created to deal with much worse things than mere cuts.
- Noiz from DRAMAtical Murder has a condition which prevents him from feeling pain. Embarassed by their son's abnormality, Noiz's parents choose to isolate him from others as a child.
- Vlad from El Goonish Shive has a variant of this based on relative pain due to an incident when he tried to transform and it nearly killed him. He could still feel pain, but nothing else compares to the feeling of his own body trying to rip itself apart. Once he is transformed into a human woman, he gains it back.
Vlad: Since that day... all other pain... is numb.
- Heavily tainted Drow in Drowtales merge with a demon and have a reduced sense of pain as a result, and in cases of extreme tainting it makes the Drow more or less unstoppable, which proved to be a huge problem with a group of tainted Drow decided to attack the main city. Naal, a girl who is so badly tainted that she shouldn't even be alive, comments that "I broke one of my fingers this morning, and I didn't feel anything." Later, an Imperial Guard gets gravely wounded on the head, but doesn't feel anything. Everyone including the guy is freaked out about it.
- One of the forum admins later clarified that this only applies to people who have either been tainted accidentally or with an intentionally faulty process and that "merged"/safe tainted, who go through a special ritual devised by Snadhya'rune creator of said faulty seeds have a completely normal pain response, which might seem odd until you remember the massive disadvantages that come from this trope.
- In S.S.D.D, the "Gigglers" are created without the ability to feel pain, since they're disposable clone soldiers. One of the major characters is a "turned" clone who gained the ability to feel pain through nanomachine implants, though he seems to enjoy it a bit too much
- Richard the Omnicidal Maniac warlock from Looking for Group. Examples include Annoying Arrows, annoying swords... annoying dragons... giants...
- Justified. He is undead, after all. Except not really.
- Grey from Inhuman cannot feel pain, which might be why he's covered in scars.
- Technically, Maytage of Flipside does feel pain, but she's trained herself to "accept" it, rather than the natural gut instinct to "deny" the pain being inflicted. To wit, she can endure slicing off her own left pinky (nearly one of her breasts) and having a mutated cannibal girl eat the rest of her left arm past the elbow with little to no flinching.
- The golem girls from Wapsi Square don't seem to be able to feel pain. For example, a welder to the finger elicits the response "That tickles." However, they are also pretty much indestructible, so there really isn't much of a reason for them to need to feel pain.
- The characters in The Cartoon Man become immune to all pain when cartoonified. At one point, Roy demonstrates by jamming a fork into his arm.
- Cecil, the announcer of the Welcome to Night Vale radio show, offhandedly announced that he was born without pain sensing nerves. Then again, so was 53% of the town's residents.
- Haruo in the Bay 12 Katawa Shoujo Roleplay has this as a birth defect.
- In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Abridged Jotaro barely even knows what pain is.
Kakyoin: Doesn't that hurt?
Jotaro: Doesn't what hurt?
Kakyoin: Aren't you in pain?!
Jotaro: What is "pain"?
- In The Mask, villain Pretorius considered this part of the key to The Mask's powers and tried to reproduce it in himself.
- Terry once fought a man whose psychic power was to shut off his own pain receptors in Batman Beyond. Somehow, this made him super-strong and allowed him to fall thirty stories or so, leave a crater, and walk away without injury.
- Justice League Unlimited: Ten of the Royal Flush Gang was said to not feel pain. This didn't stop him from making pain-like grunting sounds during his fight with Superman, though.
- Rusty from Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot was built without pain receptors, allowing him to take truly ludicrous amounts of punishment with a smile. One episode involves him getting turned into a cyborg & developing a sense of pain, drastically reducing his effectiveness as a superhero.
- For an entire episode of the short-lived series O'Grady, nobody feels pain for a while on account of the ever-present "Weirdness" that plagues the town. Everybody enjoys the opportunity to do some "Groundhog Day" type stunts they normally would never have gotten away with, until, of course, The Weirdness wears off and their physical senses fully return. Ouch.
- In one episode of Moral Orel, sexually frustrated Bloberta Puppington starts using power tools as sex toys. Rather than addressing the actual problem, Dr. Potterswheel prescribes painkillers. After he increases the dosage a few times, she's seen humming to herself as her hand catches fire in the course of cooking without utensils.
- Mort of The Penguins of Madagascar is proven in the episode "Sting Operation" to be "protected by a halo of ignorance"; he literally doesn't have enough brainpower to register pain.
- Elmyra of Tiny Toon Adventures was often shown shrugging off her pets' attempts at self-defense through this trope. One episode established (for that episode, at least) that she could actually feel pain, it just had to be insanely severe to penetrate her general obliviousness. And even then, it could take a while.
- Soundwave of Transformers Prime seems to be this way if his fight with Wheeljack is any indication. Part of this might be the fact that he has no face or voice to show his reaction to being hit.
- Deliberately stated as being an advantage Nemesis Prime had over the other Autobots, being almost purely automaton meant it didn't feel tired or the strikes of it's opponent while the others had to recover from being knocked around.
- Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy can give Soundwave a run for his money. He endured being crushed by a house, smashing through a brick wall, being twisted around, etc... all the while laughing his ass off.
- Completely inverted with Eddy's brother, something as small (in this show's standards) as a door ramming into his face knocked him out-cold, complete contrast towards everyone else being Made of Iron.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress reveals that as the result of punching ironwood trees for twenty years, she now "feels nothing". She proves it when Po punches her palm and he's the only one that gets hurt.
- In Corpse Bride, the titular character Emily, who is dead and can no longer feel physical pain, unflinchingly takes a sword to her belly to prevent Victor from being killed by Lord Barkis.
- There are two levels to pain immunity. One level is simply not feeling pain (possibly in addition to simply not feeling anything). Another level is to actually feel the sensation of pain, but utterly lack the knowledge and instinct that pain is anything but a different kind of feeling. In the latter case, the aversion or unpleasantness associated with pain just isn't there. In both cases, there's a variety of things that can cause it, none of them pleasant:
- Leprosy is such a crippling disease because it destroys the nerve receptors, causing its victims to neglect injuries; in time, the wounds become infected to the point of needing amputation.
- Diabetics can develop numbness in their extremities. They can step on something sharp and not know it until they look at their feet.
- There are rare genetic conditions that keep some people from feeling pain for their whole life. As a result, they tend not to live long, since they never learn to avoid injury, and can't determine its seriousness even when they've noticed that everything's not right with their body.
- One such condition is CIPA, Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis. Besides not feeling pain, they can't feel temperature and don't sweat. Overheating is a constant problem and leading cause of death in babies. People with this condition must constantly check for injuries, monitor their body temperature, check orifices for cuts or bleeding, etc. There are only about 20-30 people in the world with this condition at any one time, and it obviously shows up much, much more frequently in fiction.
- People with CIPA sort of just "fall apart" in their 30s or 40s, as they do not subconsciously shift their weight when they are sitting still or sleeping. This results in great damage to their joints and most of the patients eventually die of arthritis complications.
- Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in medical history, could not feel pain in his feet, so he didn't know a leg brace caused a blister, which got infected, which killed him at only 22 years old.
- Individuals under the influence of PCP are said to be completely detached from any pain stimuli, to the point that police often find them nearly impossible to take down short of crippling them. The standard protocol for taking down a rampaging person high on PCP is to make them unable to walk by damaging or restraining their limbs so they can't be used.
- Powerful painkillers such as morphine often work by depressing the entire central nervous system, which can result in an obliviousness to pain.
- Certain drugs, including PCP (see above), ephinephrine, and others are often used by militia and insurgents (e.g. insurgents in Mogadishu and Fallujah) to give them increased staying power in combat; though they can still bleed out, the painkillers will dull any pain and keep their hearts pumping even after they should be clinically dead.
- Nomads in the Sahara Desert gain very tough soles on their feet from years of walking through the sands. As a result, some can actually put their feet in a low fire and not even feel it!
- Bad lacerations or burns can result in nerve damage that makes it impossible to feel pain (or anything else) in the affected limb(s). This is actually the definition of a third-degree burn, when a burn goes so deep and does so much damage to the nerve tissue that it stops hurting; this frustrates paramedics, since the patient has a tendency to refuse help. Depending on the extent of the damage and follow-up medical treatment, this may be temporary or permanent. As with the other real life examples, this can be a major risk factor as a person unable to feel pain in their arm can, for instance, place their hand on a stove and not realize that the stove is actually on at the time until they happen to look down and notice their hand is smoking.