Roseanne: That is not funny! You're grounded until menopause!
Darlene: Yours or mine?
Roseanne: Your father's!Grounding is a standard discipline technique. But a frustrated parent may blurt out that their child is punished for a ridiculous amount of time, either for something very minor or something very bad. A variant involves a teacher (usually a Sadist Teacher) giving a student a severely extended detention, usually enough to go long after the kid has graduated. A subtrope of You Are Grounded often falling under Disproportionate Retribution and usually Played for Laughs. Almost always undone via Snap Back. Besides, it is unrealistic for a parent to maintain a punishment for such a length of time. An inversion would be grounding the child for a ridiculously short amount of time for a very serious offense. Not to be mistaken with the show Grounded For Life.
— Roseanne, "Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore"
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- Variation in one issue of the The Simpsons comic book, where Bart says that if he doesn't find the school puma by the next day, he'd be doing detention till he's 80.
- An episode of Dennis And Gnasher had Dennis's parents ask themselves how much trouble he could have got into in the ten minutes since the school holidays started, only for a long string of neighbors to come to the door to complain. With each one, Dennis's grounding is increased by a year, until finally he's grounded forever.
- In Ms. Marvel (2014), Kamala is grounded forever after her parents find out that she snuck out to the party in the first issue. She is grounded even more forever in issue 5 when her midnight snack convinces her parents that she snuck out again. Grounding her is pointless anyway since the world's about to end.
- In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Dr. Storm threatens Sue with this.
Dr. Storm: You're grounded 'till you're thirty!
- Stars from Home, Ruth and Charles have threatened Scott with this on separate occasions, both in Fear Leads To Anger situations.
Charles: If you ever do anything like that again…Scott: Grounded for the rest of my natural life?Charles: No, no. I'll have you resurrected and re-ground you.Scott: Won't you be dead by then?Charles: My brain will be put into a supercomputer.
- ''Syngenesophobia features a Played for Drama example; the first punishment the Loud Sisters receive for what they did to Lincoln is being grounded indefinitely.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- New Moon.
Charlie Swan: Bella, do not ever do that to me again. Ever. And you're grounded for the rest of your life.
- Basket Case 3: The Progeny
Sheriff: Cause you are grounded little miss! You are grounded for the next ten years! And no more car, and no more allowance, and you can forget about that pony I promised you!
- The Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap has her saying "We've been grounded 'til the end of the century." To be fair, the film was released in 1998, but still, two to three years is still a long time to be grounded. Then again, "end of the century" was most likely an exaggeration.
- In Ever After, as punishment for his disobedience, the king tells Prince Henry that he'll "deny [him] the crown and... live forever!"
- In The Breakfast Club, Bender keeps goading Vernon to give him more Saturday detentions. By the end of it, Vernon states that he has Bender for "the rest of [his] natural born life" (it actually comes out to two months worth).
- Pride and Prejudice: After Lydia disgraces the family, Kitty protests that if she were to be allowed to go to Brighton, she would behave better. Her father is not convinced:
"You go to Brighton!—I would not trust you so near it as East-Bourne, for fifty pounds! No, Kitty, I have at last learnt to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it. No officer is ever to enter my house again, nor even to pass through the village. Balls will be absolutely prohibited, unless you stand up with one of your sisters. And you are never to stir out of doors till you can prove that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner."Kitty, who took all these threats in a serious light, began to cry."Well, well," said he, "do not make yourself unhappy. If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I will take you to a review at the end of them."
- Good Omens: Adam gets grounded.
"When do you think they'll let you out, then?" asked Pepper.
"Not for years and years. Years and years and years. I'll be an old man by the time they let me out," said Adam.
"How about tomorrow?" asked Wensleydale.
Adam brightened. "Oh, tomorrow will be all right," he pronounced. "They'll have forgotten about it by then."
- In a non-comedic example, Boo Radley of To Kill a Mockingbird as well as his real life counterpart literally had this done to him by his abusive father, and ended up with an (undeserved) reputation as an Ax-Crazy recluse.
Live Action TV
- Happened to Carmen a lot in The George Lopez Show. One notable occasion:
Angie: That's it, young lady. You're grounded.Carmen: Dad!George: Carmen, you are so grounded coffee will look at you and say, "Damn!"
- Diff'rent Strokes: Played straight in the seventh-season episode "Cheers to Arnold." A friend of Arnold's steals from Mr. Drummond's liquor cabinet. When Arnold tries to explain, Mr. Drummond will have nothing of it and tells Arnold he's permanently grounded; of course by episode's end, things are cleared up and Arnold is pardoned.
- 7th Heaven:
Mary: So I guess I'm grounded for life?Annie: That's a given.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
Phillip Banks: You're grounded for 10 years.Ashley Banks: What? But that's not fair.Phillip Banks: Tell it to the judge... Oh yeah. That's me.
- Dinosaurs episode "License to Parent":
For scratching his father's brand new car, Robert Mark Sinclair was grounded for six to ten years. He is currently serving his sentence in his room.
- Roseanne episode "Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore":
Roseanne: That is not funny! You're grounded until menopause!Darlene: Yours or mine?Roseanne: Your father's!
- Similarly (maybe inspired by the Roseann episode), on Now and Again, Heather's mother tell Heather that if Heather ever again has a boy over without telling her, Heather will be grounded till menopause.
- Played for Laughs in Boy Meets World. There was a significant gap in between the two actresses playing Morgan, resulting the character being absent for about half a season. The new actress is introduced by coming downstairs and remarking, "That was the longest time-out I've ever had."
- When the gang is in college, this is inverted by Dean Bolander, who suspends Cory for one day (and puts him on probation) for striking a teacher instead of immediate expulsion like would normally happen. The justification for this is that it is obvious that the professor he struck is very sleazy, and made a pass at Topanga, which led to Cory striking him in the first place.
- Spencer from iCarly, after seeing Carly making out with Griffin, grounds Carly "for till college". He also actually follows through on the punishment until he learns An Aesop, up to and including making Carly wear a horrible sweater, and disguising himself as a janitor at her school so he can catch Griffin when he visits Carly's school to make out with her.
- In My Wife and Kids, Michael punishes Claire by grounding her (and forcing her to do all the chores in the house) until she gets him an apple from the apple tree in the backyard. Then he gives her a few apple seeds.
- There was a series called Grounded For Life.
- One episode of Happy Days has an exchange along the following lines:
Howard: ..I shall now determine a punishment that is judicious, reasonable and fair.Gilligan Cut to:Richie: "Grounded for life"?!
- Malcolm in the Middle: Lois grounds the boys on a regular basis in addition to all the other punishments she gives them when they misbehave. The one that takes the cake, however, is in the episode "Health Scare" when she grounds Malcolm and Reese for an entire week for tracking mud on the floor they had every intention of cleaning up. When they sneak out anyway, Lois then decides to ground them for the rest of the school year!'' The only justification for any of this is that Lois and Hal were both distracted due to Hal potentially having a terminal illness, which turns out to not be the case by the episode's end.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Doin' Time in 2330. After Zack and Cody deliberately skip out on their punishment to take part in London's web show (along with The Cheetah Girls, Chris Brown and Maddie), Carey snaps, to some degree.
Carey: (getting angrier and angrier) Oh, that is it! You are beyond grounded. The next time you see sunlight—Oh, actually, no!—You're never going to see sunlight again. Because by the time your punishment is over, the sun will have burnt out, collapsed into a black hole, and the last remnants of mankind will be living on a rusty little spaceship as the cold silence of space will slowly drive them MAAAAAAD!
- Hannah Montana had this as Miley Stewart (portrayed by Miley Cyrus) and her brother who are fighting over the same bathroom in which her dad, Robby Ray, says this to his daughter who is recently grounded from using the bathroom with Jackson, delaying her girls night out plans with Lilly and Oliver.
- On The Cosby Show, after Theo accidentally throws a Wild Teen Party, Cliff first takes him to the Army recruiting center before being more lenient and making him serve food to the homeless...every day for 6 months.
- In The Wonder Years episode "The Lake", after Paul's mom finds out he has a condom, Wayne says that Paul's been grounded for life. But knowing Wayne, he's most likely exaggerating.
- Subverted in Family Ties, Mallory makes a mistake and her father says to her, "You're grounded until further notice." She looks at him like he's crazy, and says, "You can't ground me, I'm over 18!" Her father looks at her mother in stunned realization that she's right. "Darn, that worked so well when she was younger."
- In an episode of Salute Your Shorts, Sponge is given permission to use his computer in order to connect to a phone line (use of phones is usually prohibited at camp). When the others find out, they use it behind Sponge's back and let him face the bum rap when they rack up an absurdly large phone bill. Sponge later laments that he's grounded for the rest of the summer, and if he comes back to camp the following summer, he'll still be grounded, and if he ever has kids and they come to the camp, they'll be grounded as well.
- In the Lab Rats episode "Memory Wipe", this is said verbatim by Davenport to the kids after he finds them spying on him. Leo's attempt to erase his memory of him giving the punishment goes wrong.
- The Worst Year of My Life, Again: This line is said when the main character decides to have a house party while his parents are out.
- In FoxTrot Peter has been grounded for intervals of decades, centuries, or life. It never seems to stick of course.
- In the book Garfield's Big Book Of Super School Excuses, one excuse for "Why I Can't Go Out With You" is "I'm grounded until college".
- In Bloom County, Oliver's dad grounded him until his 45th birthday for having launched a shuttle chair to Washington D.C. and almost killing Cutter John and a tuba player.
- A frequent subject of Go Animate videos. Prepare to be grounded for a ridiculous long time, which is usually chosen by mashing the number keys. Then again, sometimes they're told to sleep forever.
- In one Amazing Phil vlog, he discusses the time he got caught smoking when he was eleven and was immediately grounded, and comments that he thinks he may still be technically grounded. So he calls up his mother to ask — and she says, "Yes. Forever."
- In an episode of The Brak Show, Dad grounded Brak for 3 years.
- On Codename: Kids Next Door, Mr. and Mrs. Sanban grounded Mushi for life after she "killed" Kuki's Posh Party Rainbow Monkey in "Op. CLUES". When she brings it back to life as a monster, it's increased to five life-time groundings, though her boyfriend sneaks her out of the house before the end of the episode.
- DuckTales (1987) used this as Huey, Dewey and Louie (disguised transformations of the criminal group, the Beagle Boys) made several attempts to steal the lucky dime, they also made a major mess, breaking things. That, however, made their rich uncle pissed off at his nephews, resulting in a major punishment by saying "HUEY! DEWEY! LOUIE! YOU ARE DEFINITELY GROUNDED! YOU NEED TO GO TO YOUR ROOM!" Mrs. Beakley, disguised as a evil witch, finds two of the Beagle Boys in his nephews' room (as much as Huey) and forces 2 of her minions to find his lucky dime so she could steal it for her own evil purposes prior to making her extremely powerful so she used the real Huey and Mrs. Beakley as her kidnapping bait to lure Uncle Scrooge into her trap, thus leaving the fake version behind in their room, making Magica turn Dewey and Louie back into their normal selves as much as Huey back into Burger Beagle, causing Scrooge to say his name). Episode was "Send in the Clones".
- Zig-Zagged in Goof Troop. In "Axed By Addition" Pete threatens to ground PJ forever if he fails his math test, a threat the latter takes very seriously and even plays sick in order to get in one last day of freedom. Once Pete finds out the truth, he yells at PJ for not guessing he was bluffing... and then says he's grounded forever for that, though he has a change of heart when he finds out that PJ didn't even fail in the first place.
- Johnny Test: Johnny's dad threatens to ground Johnny and his sisters forever. One of the sisters reminds him that he can't ground them past 18, so he says he'll ground them UNTIL 18.
- Johnny's dad did this quite frequently. In "Johnny Long Legs", he threatens to ground the kids for two lives.
- Arthur: After Arthur and D.W. ruin their father's souffle, he loses self-control, and gives them a four month ban on TV. His wife helps him to think rationally again.
- An episode of El Tigre ends with Manny admitting to his dad that he expects to be grounded until he's 30 for his actions. It appears as though his dad understands that Manny learned his lesson and will let him off the hook... until a Smash Cut depicts 30-year-old Manny shackled up in his room. Thank goodness for Negative Continuity.
- In one episode of Rocket Power, Otto and Twister go out into a hurricane to retrieve Twister's video camera. When Raymundo tracks down and rescues them, Ray grounds Otto forever, to which Otto replies, "That's cool."
- In a different episode, Ray declares that if his kids were caught sneaking out after dark, they would be grounded until they're his age. Subverted in the end when he only gives Otto three weeks of garbage duty.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012) had this in the episode "(Sweet) Truck Ride"; after Blythe Baxter made her first attempt to rescue her Littlest Pet Shop friends from a runaway truck filled with sweets, Roger Baxter grounds her and takes away her cell phone. While Blythe is grounded, her Littlest Pet Shop friends recover her confiscated cell phone and continued to film a reaction of the same incident, with Roger Baxter in hot pursuit of the same runaway truck filled with sweets, resulting in a major death of his dummy pal (while getting a traffic ticket by a police officer). Roger later apologizes to Blythe, forgives her and joins her in his father/daughter race.
- Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King ends with the Goblin King grounding Willow for 1,000 years. Of course, they're immortal, so it is most likely a normal length of time for such a punishment. As the Goblin King takes the evil magician with him for 1,000 years, the magic show was seriously canceled and definitely closed by the employees who operate the amusement park.
- On The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Jimmy received the detention variant twice. The first time was when he switch bodies with Cindy, their attempts at destroying each others lives include getting themselves 1,800 days of detention. The next comes from after Jimmy sent the teachers into another dimension. When they make a Big Damn Heroes return (It's a Long Story), Jimmy claims to have learned his lesson, but they still sic him with 900 days of detention.
- One of Doug's Fantasy Sequences depicts Mr. Bone making him write lines until they're both old men.
- The ChalkZone episode "School of Destruction" had Rudy Tabootie's father Joe tell his son that he is grounded until college after finding out that he sneaked into the rock concert of the titular band.
- Played for Laughs in the Steven Universe episode "Fusion Cuisine," in another example of the Gems forgetting some things about humans:
Pearl: Steven, you are in very big trouble, and we have no choice but to punish you.
Garnet: No dinner for 1,000 years!
Pearl: (looking at Garnet) We would never starve you! But you will lose your TV privileges. For 1,000 years.
Steven: (falls to knees) Nooooo!
- Darkwing Duck: When Honker is held responsible for an art theft that was actually committed by the villain of the week, his parents ground him in his room. His father makes a list of things Honker isn't allowed to have, including going out, having friends over, watching television, and sunlight, food, and water. His wife points out that those last few items are a bit excessive.
- In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, when Loki and his Anti-Antichrist son are falling down a bottomless pit after the latter defies Loki to save June, Loki grounds him for an eternity.
- One episode in The Fairly OddParents! has Timmy's dad threaten to ground him "for infinity" if his case of glass sculptures ever gets damaged.
- In the US Navy and Marine Corps, a FNAEB (Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board) pronounced "fee nab" exists to decide whether to inflict this on designated naval aviators. Reasons for grounding a pilot can be just plain old inadequate performance, such as too many wave offs during carrier landings, not catching the middle 3-wire enough (implying too many overshoots and under shoots during carrier landings) unsafe flying, even medical conditions. Once the FNAEB grounds you, you lose your aviator designation for good. Till this day, no one grounded by a FNAEB has ever regained pilot status. Not every pilot brought before a FNAEB gets grounded, but a pilot who is "forgiven" is normally told "Don't let us see you here again."
- Any naval aviator who voluntarily "turns in his/her wings" is considered to have permanently quit Naval Aviation for good, and is also grounded for life.