Locked Up and Left Behind
Sometimes, when someone is locked in a closet or Bound and Gagged
, it's not for ransom or use as a hostage or some other practical concern, but instead merely as a mean prank, or to get someone out of the way. The poor victim is left behind and... what's going to happen to them? Are they being left behind to die, or are they left out in a public place where they'll clearly be rescued? Are they knowingly being left where no-one will rescue them, or did the captor take that into account? For that matter, did the captor just leave them somewhere and then forget about them?
This trope is sometimes the result of bullying or a prank. It's often Played for Laughs
when it's done by the heroes or to an annoying or intentionally dislikeable character. Other times, it's Played for Drama
, with tragic consequences
. And sometimes it's done for dark humor.
Often crosses over with Something We Forgot
, in which the victim is left somewhere intentionally but for longer than their captor intended.
- Happens fairly regularly in Empowered, whose lead character gets absolutely no respect from her peers. One time, she even manages to single-handedly rescue the entire team by driving an SUV into the baddie while all tied up, and the team still wanders off, leaving her trapped behind the wheel.
- In A Bug's Life, there's a scene where the boss of the bug circus is seen wrapped up in a cocoon and hanging from the ceiling, begging to be let out, "I promise to start thinking about paying you!"
- In Casper: A Spirited Beginning, a kid who's often picked on by bullies is left locked in the closet of a building that's condemned and about to be blown up.
- MouseHunt plays this for dark humor. It's stated early in the movie that the previous owner of the house with a mouse in it was found dead, locked in a trunk in the attic. Later, an exterminator is hired, and he is later rescued by people who heard his screams and called 911. It's stated he was found locked in a trunk in the attic.
- In the Saw movies, any trap that doesn't kill you outright will do this to you instead.
- In particular, this is done to Hoffman in the final movie - Dr. Gordon chains him to the pipe he was chained to in the first film, but doesn't leave him a saw, condeming Hoffman to a slow death. Word of God confirms Hoffman doesn't escape.
- A Running Gag in Rookie of the Year has doors close of their own accord behind Brickma. This has resulted in him being trapped between the two doors connecting his hotel room to Henry's, and later in his clubhouse locker for the final league championship game.
- At the end of Trading Places, as Randolph Duke is being wheeled past Winthorpe and Valentine, he yells, "Where in hell is Beeks?" "Beeks!" Winthorpe muses. "Yeah, I forgot all about that guy!" Cut to a cage being loaded onto a ship bound for Africa, containing the amorous gorilla and Beeks, who's still in the ape costume Winthorpe and Valentine put him in when they locked him in the cage.
- At the end of The Pit and the Pendulum, Nicholas' wife Elizabeth is left locked in an iron maiden. The only person who knew she was there is dead and everyone else thinks she is dead, so the survivors turn out the lights and seal up the dungeon forever. The last thing we see before the Fade to Black is a close-up of her terrified eyes peering through the tiny slot in the face of her prison. It's OK, though, because she deserved it after deliberately driving her husband insane. Just try not to think about the fact that she's going to die slowly from starvation and/or dehydration...
- In The Silmarillion, Maedhros is Chained to a Rock by his right wrist. He is just left there for many years by Morgoth. When his cousin shows up he begs for death, but is freed when his cousin cuts off his hand. Referenced in the Blind Guardian song "Blood Tears".
- In Reaper's Gale, book seven of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Rhulad Sengar (who, it should be noted, is being driven insane by his Artifact of Doom sword) orders his parents chained up in the dungeons after they dared speak against him in open court. When he remembers later to let them out, he's told that they drowned when the dungeons flooded, days earlier.
- In "All Summer In A Day", the other children lock Margot into a closet before the sun comes out on their constantly-raining planet and only remember her after the rain has come back for another seven years.
- For most of Scrubs episode "His Story III", JD is locked up by the Janitor in a water tower.
- One episode of CSI: NY , "Boo", had a fraternity initiation prank gone horribly wrong. One of the pledges was locked in a coffin in a crypt and the others had to find him. However, the pledge master who run the initiation was murdered and he was the only one who knew where the crypt was.
- One episode of the original CSI featured a former Jerk Jock, who turned out to have been killed by another student he once left duct taped up in a locker (the result being that he was left with scars from removing the duct tape and ended up in hospital for so long he had to drop out of high school, essentially ruining his life).
- The Dukes of Hazzard had an episode where Bo and Luke escaped from the Hazzard Jail by handcuffing Enos' hands to a chair (arms crossed) and gagged, then hung the chair on a coat rack mounted to the wall. Several times during the episode, Roscoe or Boss Hogg is just outside the room he's trapped in, wondering where he is. At the end of the episode, Bo and Luke remember they left him there, by which time he has fallen asleep.
- In an episode of The Mentalist the victim was tricked into letting himself be tied up and locked up in a locker in an abandoned factory. He thought it was just a game he and a co-worker were playing but the co-worker just left him there to die.
- An episode of Cold Case featured a villain who would abduct women and imprison them in a windowless cell for months in order to break their spirit. Once this was achieved, he would leave them there to starve to death.
- The third-season The X-Files episode "Apocrypha" ends with villainous double (triple?) agent Alex Krycek locked in a missile silo eight stories underground, pounding on the door and screaming to be let out.
- Played for mean-spirited humor in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Tetra and her band of pirates rob a rude bomb store owner and steal all his bombs, leaving him Bound and Gagged, which you the player witness before the pirates leave. He struggles infinitely as long as the player is still there, and it's impossible for the player to free him. However, when you eventually visit him again, not only is he free, but he is much more well mannered and his prices become reasonable.
- Before a drinking game in the iPhone app "Roommates Visual Novel", the character Dominic is tied to a chair so he can't interfere with the partying. After getting horribly drunk, the other characters stumble upstairs and leave him there for the whole night. Understandably, they are horrified when they walk downstairs the next morning and find him still there. Luckily, Rakesh loses the rock-paper-scissors game and has to untie him.
- When Bruno considers a kidnap-and-ransom scheme in Bruno the Bandit he remembers the last time he tried it. Several years ago. And forgot about the kidnap victim.
- In Sunstone, during one of Ally and Alan's early sessions, a bad burrito on Alan's part and a blown out fuse conspired to leave Ally alone and tied up for forty minutes that were utterly agonizing for both her and Alan. It was the incident that convinced the both of them that they needed to buckle down and change the game.
- One scene of the Doctor Who-episode "Mark of the Rani" required the Doctor (Colin Baker) to be tied to a large pole in order to pull off a Tribal Carry. Because Baker wore a difficult support harness to take the strain off his wrists, it was impossible to untie him in-between takes, so they just laid him on the ground when the cameras weren't rolling. However, due to rapidly fluctuating weather, the team had to quickly move every time it started raining to film a different scene set in the rain. During one such move, Baker noticed the team packing up, but didn't realize they'd forgotten to bring him along until they were already out of earshot. It took half an hour for someone to realize he'd been left behind and to come get him.
- Baker told this story in the DVD-commentary of "Mark of the Rani". He also said that, because the filming took place in a public forest, he was found after ten minutes by a couple and their dog. But because the couple had never heard of Doctor Who and didn't recognize him, the absurdity of the situation led them to just leave him there.
- Two of Belgian pedophile Marc Dutroux's victims had died because he was incarcerated for car theft, and they starved to death while being kept captive on one of his properties. The worst part: a detective went to search the property and was alerted to the sound of screaming children by a colleague, but he mistook it as children playing in the street and unwittingly left them there.