Prison Dimension

The Prison Dimension is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Another Dimension that is largely used for the sole purpose of imprisoning someone or something.

Has shades of Pocket Dimension and Tailor-Made Prison. See also Phantom Zone.

Examples of this trope include:

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     Comic Books 

  • The One: Based on what we see of the Stygian Penal Colony, the entire Hades Universe (or, at least, that universe's Earth) may be used to dump interdimensional offenders with life sentences.

  • Discworld has the Dungeon Dimensions, which are less than a shadow's width away. The things living there hate everything in the Discworlds dimension for being more real than them.

     Live Action TV 
  • Angel has a few examples:
    • A dimension where Ax-Crazy Straw Mysogynist Billy Blim was trapped until Angel was blackmailed by Wolfram & Hart into breaking him out.
    • A "holding dimension" described as the Senior Partners' version of a penalty box that resembles a US suburban town, in which inmates are stripped of their memories, spend time with a fake family, and then have their hearts cut out by a demon in a vicious cycle.
  • Smallville has its own twist on the Phantom Zone, in which it is typically only the very worst criminals (such as General Zod) who are reduced to phantoms.
  • Supernatural: Purgatory mainly functions as the afterlife for all the monster souls in the universe. However, the Grim Reaper later reveals that it was originally built by God as a prison to prevent the primordial Leviathans, God's first beasts, from eating the rest of creation.

     Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: An ancient Evlen council used to dump the most powerful villains into dimension called the Void instead of simply executing them, since it is possible to return Back from the Dead, but not from the Void. The plot point is that one of the banished is going to return anyway...
  • Killer Instinct: Both Eyedol and his Arch-Enemy Gargos were trapped in a dimensional prison until Ultratech broke them out.
  • Kingdom Hearts: It's stated in Kingdom Hearts II, and later elaborated on in Birth by Sleep, that Pete's constant troublemaking led Mickey and Minnie to banish him to another dimension, where he remained until Maleficent found and recruited him.
  • The "trap books" in Myst work this way, designed to capture greedy interlopers. Riven explains that they are Linking Books that seem to lead to another world, but have flaws in them that prevents the link from being completed, leaving the traveler trapped in a featureless void with only the book's viewing panel to look out of, if they're so lucky that the book remains open. Anyone foolish enough to try the link after this would trade places with the trapped one. Later games retconned this so that the "trap books" were merely stable links to other worlds which contained no way back.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 has the Null Void, which was originally a penal colony created by the Galvan to house their own prisoners, but soon the rest of the universe, including the Plumbers, found out and used it as well.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! uses the Negative Zone Prison idea from the comic book Civil War arc but instead casts it as the prison that Hank Pym, Tony Stark, and Reed Richards create after an unknown force breaks all the supervillians out of the old Super-prisons. Each inmate gets a 8x8 Cell and a personal Ultron Robot Warden. Many of the Avengers consider the idea morally questionable but don't have good answers when asked for a better idea.