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[[quoteright:346:[[WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/captainamericafrozen2_2768.jpg]]]]

->''"There's one solution to that problem. Go to Boot Hill and wake the Saint of Killers."''
-->-- ''Comicbook/{{Preacher}}''
%%One quote is sufficient. Additional quotes can go on the quotes page.

A badass who, as the trope's title suggests, is locked and sealed away from the world, indefinitely (or at least until such a time when their abilities become needed).

This can happen for a variety of reasons: Maybe the Badass's society is peaceful and doesn't need a killing machine (or a BoisterousBruiser) around between missions. Sometimes it is voluntary imprisonment, if the Badass knows his powers are [[SummonBiggerFish too dangerous]] for the world at large; other times the Badass has no choice in the matter, and is merely stuffed away until his or her handlers decide it's time to let him out again. Sometimes they're just in the can so they'll ''keep''; the future needs them young and fit.

SealedEvilInADuel is a special case, where the Badass's imprisonment is a HeroicSacrifice used to ''personally'' ensure that the SealedEvilInACan ''remains'' sealed in its can; alternately, the defeated EldritchAbomination could have declared he's [[TakingYouWithMe taking the badass with him]].

In any case, when the time is right, this character adds whole new meaning to the phrase "opening up a can of whoopass."

A neutral variant of SealedEvilInACan and SealedGoodInACan. If female, it's often a GirlInABox. If the badass is mythical and authoritative, its the KingInTheMountain. Occasionally involves a HumanPopsicle or SuperpoweredAlterEgo. If ([[MillionToOneChance that is to say, "when"]]) the can in question gets opened, it may be a textbook example of AwakeningTheSleepingGiant.



[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Alucard from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'''s anime, locked away by the Hellsing family before he is released by Integra.
* The title character of ''Manga/InuYasha'', who was sealed to a tree by Kikyo for 50 years and released because he was the only one in the immediate vicinity who could kill a powered up Mistress Centipede.
* In ''Manhwa/TheLegendOfMaian,'' Felicia Rand Philistine is this. Originally portrayed as SealedEvilInACan, [[spoiler: recent events have suggested she had noble intentions. She is by no means good though]]. Interestingly enough, Fenix Maian is the actual can, while Felicia is the badass. [[spoiler: Well, the sealed on. Fenix is [[TookALevelInBadass leveling up at the moment.]]]]
* In ''Anime/MacrossII'', we are given a glimpse of the cargo bay of an alien ship, where an army of Proud Warrior Race|Guy}} giant slave-soldiers are preserved waiting to be revived and sent into space.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has Evangeline, an uber-powerful [[ElegantGothicLolita goth-loli]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]] who was placed under a curse by Negi's father which [[SealedEvilInACan trapped her on Mahora campus]] and severely [[PowerLimiter limited her power]]. At one point when the protagonists are outclassed by an enemy demon (by ''far'' the most powerful being the series at that point), they just temporarily release Eva and let her deal with it. She then tops it by forcing the series' BigBad to retreat just by ''being there''. She's still quite badass even with the PowerLimiter, but when it's removed, she's practically TooPowerfulToLive (Well, not that the latter trope would apply because... she's immortal).
* While the rest of the tailed beasts in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' are more SealedEvilInACan, being at the best feral and often even outright malevolent, the 8-Tailed Giant Ox seems to be far more neutral and talks quite openly with its host. The 8-Tails wasn't always that way, and has been [[HeelFaceTurn changed for the better]] because his host befriended/tamed him instead of merely using him as a power source. [[spoiler:A while after Naruto is able to rework his seal, so he can take the Nine-Tails chakra by force without fear of it breaking out, Naruto states that he may some day try it himself.]]
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', Yui is pretty much Sealed MamaBear In A HumongousMecha. Bottom line: you try to off her son - you're dead, period. She definitely fits this trope - she's not evil because she only kills what she's supposed to kill yet she's not good either because when she grabs the wheel... {{Gorn}} Ensues.
** In ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'', [[spoiler:Eva-01 itself is sealed in an orbital Can shaped like a 3D-unfolded tesseract (it looks like a [[CreepyCoolCrosses cross]]). It penetrates the Can briefly to kill an enemy]].
* Inner Moka from ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' is badass enough to [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] all but the best monsters out there. She spends the bulk of her time sealed in a [[CreepyCoolCrosses rosary]] while Outer Moka takes care of daily life. Interestingly, [[spoiler:Inner Moka is the original personality and Outer Moka is artificial, so she's actually sealed ''in her own body'']]!
* Yugi at the end of ''Anime/TenchiInTokyo'' series, [[spoiler:seals herself in a cave]] because she realizes that she isn't mature enough to handle her own power.
* Twenty-fifth Baam from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' in his cave until Rachel found him. It took a while till he got that [[TookALevelInBadass awesome ]], but he definitely counts as the administrators realize early on that he has monstrous talent.
* Yami Yugi from ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is totally badass. Bonus points for being sealed in an AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome.
** From the same series, having all the cards of Exodia the Forbidden One is a non-standard victory condition. Bonus points for needing 5 pieces instead of just one.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/WarrenEllis' ''Comicbook/{{Stormwatch}}'' had Rose Tattoo, the [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Spirit of Murder]], who, in between missions, was kept in a maximum security cell under armed guard on Stormwatch's satellite base.
** And Bullseye when he was with the Comicbook/{{Thunderbolts}}... and written by Warren Ellis. They kept him in line with electroshock nanobots. ScienceMarchesOn and all that...
* ''Comicbook/{{Preacher}}'': The Saint of Killers, until he's de-sealed near the beginning of the story. [[spoiler:He goes back to sleep at the end... ''[[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu After he kills God.]]'']]
* ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD''s' ''Red Razors'' had Agent X, defrosted only in the direst emergency. [[spoiler:Turns out to be (a clone of ?) Comicbook/JudgeDredd]].
* In ComicBook/TheSandman series, Dream is captured and magically restrained for many years. He is neither [[SealedGoodInACan good]] nor [[SealedEvilInACan evil]], but is ''very'' powerful.
* Wildfire of the ComicBook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}} has always been a humanoid named Drake Burroughs changed into a being of living energy (or anti-energy, depending on the writers) who gets around in a human-shaped containment suit to prevent him from dissipating. In the Threeboot version of the series, after the accident that made him this way, the energy that made up his body was collected and stored in an iron-lung-shaped tank by his brother, who told him that the containment suit was only safe for an hour or so at a time in order to keep Wildfire dependent on him and hire him out as a superpowered mercenary. When the Legion encountered him, [[InsufferableGenius Brainiac 5]] was quick to reveal that the tank was completely unnecessary- Drake's brother had just been using the lie to keep him under control.
* This is how the Soviet government used the [[Comicbook/BuckyBarnes Winter Soldier]] in ''Comicbook/CaptainAmerica''. After his brainwashing, he was mostly kept in cryonic storage to avoid the possibility of his memory returning, and therefore only aged a few years between World War II and present day. The work he did outside the Can earned him a reputation as an almost mythical spy and assassin.
* ComicBook/LesLegendaires: [[BarbarianHero Razzia]] got [[TheSymbiote Amy]] that way: she had been trapped for years inside [[EvilSorcerer Skroa]]'s lab and agreed to join force with Razzia in exchange for his promise to kill Skroa.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In the ''Franchise/HarryPotter''/''Series/{{Firefly}}'' crossover fanfic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2857962/1/ Browncoat, Green Eyes]] Harry [[spoiler: seals himself away in a ring passed down through the Weasley family, with the instructions that he be awakened in case of an emergency.]]
* ''FanFic/IAmWar'': Excolotis plays this, though he might also be SealedEvilInACan. Jury's out on that one.
* Papa Jupiter from ''Fanfic/AhArchfall''. Unfortunately, he's also SealedEvilInACan.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', the genie, who has been stuck in an itty-bitty living space for the 10,000 years preceding the film, and returns there until called upon during the film.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/DemolitionMan'' criminals are locked in cryo-storage, and the world gradually gets more clean, neat and pacifistic. Then Creator/WesleySnipes breaks out of cryostorage and starts killing people, and nobody knows how to stop him! Fortunately, they cryo-preserved [[Creator/SylvesterStallone Sylvester 'The Italian Stallion' Stallone]] too, so they thaw him out to counter Snipes...
** Note that prisoners in cryo also endured "Rehabilitation" (read: brainwashing). Stallone's receives a matrix-like lesson in sewing. Snipes... gets a crash course in being the deadliest mothaf***a on the planet. Foolish, foolish CorruptCorporateExecutive, why did you pick the CRAZIEST GUY to try and turn into TheDragon?
* The Beast in ''Film/KungFuHustle'' willingly checked himself into an insane asylum due to a lack of challenging opponents to fight.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' 'verse, cryogenic freezing is necessary for space travel. So at the end of [[Film/{{Alien}} the first film]] Ripley becomes a Sealed Badass in a Can, and again at the end of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', along with Hicks, Newt, and Bishop. [[FanonDiscontinuity And that is where the series ends, with those hardcore survivors sleeping as they journey home.]]
* ''Film/AustinPowers'' qualifies, having willingly frozen himself to continue the fight with Dr Evil, when he re-emerged from his own [[SealedEvilInACan frozen sleep]] in the depths of space.
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', the sea goddess Calypso. Basically a case of Sealed Force of Nature in a Can.
* ''Film/{{Nightbreed}}''. Early in Boon's introduction to the Breed, he finds that the hall to Baphomet's chamber is lined on either side by locked cells containing Berserkers: Breed who are mindless and deformed (even for monsters), but whose strength is unparalleled. During the climax of the movie, Mideon is falling apart, fires are raging through the cemetery, and the Breed are being slaughtered by gun-toting humans. Lylsburg uses his last moments alive to unlock ALL the doors and drive away the invading humans.
* Il Duce is treated like this in ''Film/TheBoondockSaints''; when the [=McManus=] brothers' swath of anti-mob violence spreads too far, Il Duce is released from prison and tasked with finding and killing the brothers (and Rocco). [[spoiler:Of course, Il Duce [[LukeIAmYourFather also turns out to be the brothers' long-lost father]], but that's beyond the scope of this trope.]]
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}} himself is kept in a frozen prison during ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars''... At least, until he's released and goes to fight against several monsters.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': After Han Solo is frozen in carbonite at the end of [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack episode V]], the beginning of ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' focuses on freeing him so that he can help the rebellion.
* As the titular ''[[Film/TheFifthElement Fifth Element]]'', Leeloo, the ultimate weapon against evil, certainly qualifies.

* There is a Christopher Anvil short story. ''THE INTERSTELLAR PATROL: The Claw And The Clock'' depicting a peaceful, pacifistic planetary society. An evil, violent armada of aliens think the planet is ripe for harvest, but soon learn otherwise. It turns out that if any of the people develop violent tendencies, they are put through intense, thorough training in various types of warfare and strategy, and then are put into suspended animation until needed.
** In fact, at the end of the story we learn that [[spoiler:the entire ''planet'' is a literal WorldOfBadass. All its inhabitants are Badasses, and have chosen to live a live of peace because that's more of a challenge than conquering the universe. The ones who get sealed away in a can are the ones who have ''failed'' to conquer their own violent tendencies]]. Before you highlight this spoiler, read the story [[http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743498925/0743498925.htm here]]: the publisher, Creator/BaenBooks, has released it for free as part of the "sample chapters" for its book.
* In Creator/AlanDeanFoster's story ''With Friends Like These..." the Badass who is sealed in a can is the human race.
* Mazer Rackham, the hero who saved humanity from the alien fleet during the Second Invasion in the backstory of ''Literature/EndersGame'', was put in a can (in this case a nearly-as-fast-as-light spaceship on a roundtrip to nowhere) so he would survive until it came time for the Third Invasion decades later. In this case, he was too old to take a direct role in the war after being unsealed, instead playing the role of OldMaster to the much younger best-and-last-hope-of-humanity Ender Wiggin. Unfortunately for Ender, Rackham's mentoring style involves using all his badass martial and psychological skills to torment his protege and hone him into a weapon.
* On the rare occasions when ''Literature/TheCulture'' goes to war they [[BewareTheNiceOnes don't do half measures]], but this leads to [[DeusEstMachina Minds]] created during wartime having an unfortunate tendency to find a peacetime life boring. Most of them therefore choose to shut themselves down until things pick up again, leading to the Culture being dotted with massive hollowed out asteroids holding thousands of Idiran War veteran [=ROU=]s in long term storage.
** [[spoiler:The Sleeper Service which managed build and then deploy in a time of need 512 Type One Offensive Units (roughly equivalent to Abominator class prototype), 2048 Type Two Offensive Units (equivalent to Torturer class), 2048 Type Three Offensive Units (equivalent to Inquisitor class prototype, upgraded), 12,288 Type Four Offensive Units (roughly equivalent to velocity-improved Killer class), 24,576 Type Five Offensive Units (based on Thug class upgrade design study), and 49,152 Type Six Offensive Units (based on militarised Scree class LCU, various types) all while pretending to be a harmless eccentric.]]
* In ''Literature/MidnightTides'', book five of the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', the ancient [[DarkIsNotEvil Tiste Andii]] ascendant [[HeroicAlbino Silchas Ruin]] lies trapped in the grounds of a dying Azath House. He used to be one of the major players among the Tiste Andii and once led his followers into a new world while waging war on the K'Chain Che'Malle, but was betrayed and {{buried alive}} by his friend and ally Scabandari Bloodeye. His slow escape is one of the many plotlines of the book.
* In the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' spin-off novel ''Literature/TheFinalReflection'', by Creator/JohnMFord, the [[spoiler:Klingons]] have a super-soldier with an enhanced metabolism that makes him practically unbeatable, at the cost of a dramatically reduced lifespan. To get the most possible use out of him, his handlers keep him in cryogenic suspension between missions.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Bob, who whenever released for combat purposes makes everyone extremely thankful that it's Harry (now Butters) that owns him.
* Creator/CharlesSheffield's novel ''Tomorrow and Tomorrow'' features Drake, who cryo-freezes himself and his wife to await a cure for her fatal illness. While he's nowhere near badass by our standards, an ultra-advanced future society which has forgotten the whole concept of "war" has a different perspective.
* ''Literature/TimeScout'': Partly how UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper operates.
* Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, was trapped under a mountain by the Buddha for five hundred years because it was the only way to stop him. He might have stayed down there forever if he wasn't needed for a Literature/JourneyToTheWest.
* Fëanor from ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is stuck in Mandos' halls(the place the elves go after dying for a period of reflection before getting reborn) until the end of time thanks [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge to his crimes against his own people while pursuing his revenge]] [[BigBad against]] [[SatanicArchetype Melkor.]] he is openly and repeatedly stated to be the single most powerful(both physically and mentally), [[OmnidisciplinaryScientist skilled]](metallurgist, linguist, artisan, sculptor, orator etc) elf to have ever lived, or ever will. His final act alive was to fight every single Balrog. Alone. [[UpToEleven At the same time.]] [[{{Determinator}} For hours.]] They ran away once [[BadassArmy his army showed up.]]
* In ''Literature/CrystalRain'' [[SuperSoldier immortal cyborg killing machine]] Pepper spent nearly three centuries in an escape pod on his way back to Nanagada. When he emerges, he has a whole lot of ass-kicking to catch up on.
* The Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel ''Peacemaker'' has the Clade, who are {{Living Weapon}}s designed by an unknown civilization millennia in the past. When an unknown enemy attacked, the civilization built the Clades to protect themselves. But the Clades did so well that no one else ever attacked them, and so they were placed on standby, waiting for a war that never came.
** And then, one day, either there was an error in their coding, or else they un-sealed themselves from the Can-nobody knows, because all that's left of that civilization are ashes and weaponized particles.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* There was a ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode where some Klingons who had been in deep sleep since before the Klingons and Federation made peace were about to wake up in their battle cruiser. They were supposed to attack the first Federation ship they encountered.
** In the episode "The Hunted", the crew of the ''Enterprise'' are sent to oversee the induction of pacifistic Angosia III into the Federation when a criminal escapes from a lunar prison. The ''Enterprise'' [[{{Teleportation}} transports]] the criminal on board, but he quickly escapes and starts wreaking merry havoc on the ship. After he's captured again, it's discovered that he and the other "criminals" in the prison are actually {{Super Soldier}}s who, due to their psychological and biochemical conditioning, were considered unsuitable for civilian life and were sealed away after the last war ended.
* Merrick/Zen-Aku in ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce''. Inside the can is a sealed evil, who is actually a BrainwashedAndCrazy badass ''hero'' who took a powerup with a GrandTheftMe side-effect. As soon as they remove that powerup, he's back to badass hero.
* ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'' had an interesting inversion. The 52 Undead are collectively SealedEvilInACan, SealedGoodInACan, and this trope, as each Undead has their own motivations, some evil, some good, and some just want to beat the stuffing out of one another.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' features both Dylan Hunt ''and'' the AI controlling the titular ship. They're averted from being SealedGoodInACan mainly because of Hunt's tendency toward self-justification.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' has Captain Jack Harkness buried alive for nearly 2000 years before being dug out in the early 20th century and asked to be [[HumanPopsicle frozen]] until the early 21st century in order to avoid meeting his past self. Being incapable of staying dead (but dying still sucks), it's a wonder he hasn't gotten insane from constantly suffocating and coming back to life.

[[folder:Myth And Legend]]
* Myth/KingArthur is slumbering in Avalon until England needs him most, Charlemagne will someday return to help Europe, Frederick Barbarossa's beard is wrapping around some table somewhere counting the days till he saves Germany, Denmark has Holger Danske sleeping in the catacombs under Kronborg (Elsinore), and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking America has Walt Disney on ice]]. There is also the Filipino-Spanish mixup of Bernardo del Carpio.
* According to a famous Chinese legend, Sun Wukong (known as Son Goku in Japan, and is the basis for characters from ''Anime/DragonballZ'' and ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'' among others) was a legendarily badass monkey king with incredible powers. He was so badass that he raided the home of the gods, then proceeded to kick the ass of everyone there, up until Buddha himself finally came and put a stop to it, sealing Son Goku with a powerful charm that could only be removed by a priest, and when released, Son Goku would be bound to serve that monk for the rest of his life.

* [[http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=34776 This]] conspiracy theory involving StupidJetpackHitler.
* Redline Energy Drinks. They're pretty much pure '''[[HotBlooded BURNING JUSTICE]]''' in a can. However, [[HeroicRROD the potential risks to your heart]] make it overlap with SealedEvilInACan.
* The basic premise of ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' was that a group of heroes, the Toa Mata, were sealed away in capsules in case something bad happened to PhysicalGod Mata Nui. When they were needed, it turned out their seal was ''too'' good, because they remained sealed for another thousand years, during which they lost their memories.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** For [[TheEmpire the Imperium]]:
*** [[PsychoForHire Eversor assassins]] are kept in stasis pods when not on a mission, as their bodies are pumped full of stimulants that turn them AxCrazy and significantly shorten their lifespan (not to mention cause them to [[ExplosiveOverclocking literally explode upon death]]). To further fit the trope, they often have their mission details provided to them via unconscious conditioning...then their pods are ''shot'' at the target's location from orbit.
*** Space Marine Dreadnoughts are also kept asleep until they are needed (the oldest of them, Bjorn the Fell-Handed, still remembers the Emperor ''before'' he unwillingly became the God-Emperor, some 10,000 years previously). The main difference between a Dreadnought and most other examples is that most Badasses don't ride the can they're sealed in into battle, while a Dreadnought serves as a life support system for the mortally wounded Space Marine interred within.
** For Chaos:
*** Chaos Dreadnoughts work the same way as Imperial Dreadnoughts, but unlike their loyalist counterparts, they see their entombment as torture, and are kept in constant pain. Thus when they are released on the battlefield they strike like a torrent of rage, for the promise of death.
*** This also counts for Chaos Defilers, with the slight difference of the pilot, which is a '''very''' angry Daemon.
** For [[SpaceElves the Eldar]]:
*** As a race, the Eldar use a weird variant of this trope by sealing the badass ''inside their own head''. The Eldar travel different "Paths" of life at a time, focusing on one skill to the exclusion of all others, mastering it, and moving on. So an Eldar who trains to become a specialized Aspect Warrior on the battlefield will set aside those skills and even the whole warrior persona when they're finished, until the time for war is nigh. They effectively cultivate [[SplitPersonality multiple personality disorder]] to help control the bloodlust the Eldar race lives in constant denial of.
*** Wraithguards and Wraithlords are similar to Space Marine Dreadnoughts but are instead piloted by ghosts of dead Eldar, who are awakened as a last resort.
** For the T'au
*** Great military heroes like Commander Shadowsun tend to be put into status between conflicts. This is apparently done to maximise the length of their military career, allowing their tactical expertise to be applied to future battles that their relatively short lives would not usually allow them to see.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' classic adventure ''Twilight's Peak''. The [[{{Precursors}} Ancient]] base has a number of warriors still held in stasis from the War 300,000 years earlier. They were automatically released when any violence occurred inside the base.
* This is the central premise of playing a Solar TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}. After two thousand years of being sealed away in the Jade Prison, the former Princes of the Earth are once again being reincarnated into the world in its darkest hour. But there's no way of knowing whether they will build a new age of glory, or whether they will succumb to the madness of their predecessors and bring even greater ruin...

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Shadow the Hedgehog,]] the world's UltimateLifeForm, was unleashed by Eggman in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', in a long line of [[SealedEvilInACan things being]] [[SealedGoodInACan released]] from cans in that series. As soon as Shadow is released, he defeats a {{giant m|ook}}echa by himself. Shadow seems to have a tendency to get himself canned- this happened again at the beginning of ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'', and again with a large robot, only that time the robot was smaller and ended up becoming his ally in breaking things. For bonus points, he got canned by [[spoiler: the same person who let him out in the first game, and it was probably done to save his life/help him heal from ''orbital reentry'']].
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraft'', this is what happens to the Terran Marines between missions: cryogenic storage. Not surprising, since they're mostly a bunch of "[[RestrainingBolt rehabilitated]]" criminals.
** Except for marauder infantry. Only 23% of them have been accused of murder, and 47% of them have never even been incarcerated.
*** Firebats on the other hand is an entirely different story... Every single one of them is an [[AxCrazy unrepentant]] [[PlayingWithFire pyromaniac]] welded to two heavy-duty flamethrowers and let loose on the battlefield, the result is predictably... [[KillItWithFire crispy]].
*** Don't forget the Reapers, who are all.. well, batshit [[AxCrazy insane.]]
** For the Protoss, there's the Dragoons, Stalkers, and Immortals, which are piloted by Protoss who crippled in combat.
* Illidan Stormrage was this in ''VideoGame/WarCraft III'', having been imprisoned underground in the Barrow Dens for 10,000 years for crimes committed in the {{Backstory}}. Tyrande broke him out in order to put his badassery as a Demon Hunter to use against the Burning Legion, though his perpetual use of the HeelFaceRevolvingDoor prevents him from being squarely in the Good or Evil variations of the trope.
* Between ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' and ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', [[BadassBookworm Gordon Freeman]] is put away in stasis ''somewhere'' for two decades by the G-Man, until the [[RightManInTheWrongPlace right man is needed in the wrong place]].
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Chief goes into a can (cyrotube) at the end of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}''.
** The start of the [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved first game]] features the Chief being unsealed from his can.
** The ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'' trailer has Chief punching his way out of his can, but he gets out the normal way in the game proper, despite having been in it for about four years.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' spent decades undergoing ethics testing in a sealed capsule, to ensure that the world's most powerful android didn't turn evil.
** Between ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' and ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'', Zero ''seals himself'' [[spoiler:in order to purge TheVirus from his body, and so he couldn't harm the people he cared for anymore]]. The latter series begins with him being "unsealed", because the world needs him again, ''badly''.
* Tangentially, in ''VideoGame/InFamous'', a friendly NSA agent you get into contact to warns you that the CIA will do this to you if you give 'em half a chance - lock you away somewhere in an insulated room, and only release you when they want some shit blown up.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' reveals that Frank Jager, AKA Grey Fox, started his 'career' in black-ops as a project codenamed '[=NULL=]'. He was kept in a sensory deprivation tank, without memories or any sense of self, and only pulled woken up when the government needed someone killed.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}: Unidentified Fantastic Object'', the ancient magic the Youkai were trying to unseal is a Buddhist nun who [[HeroAntagonist barely even qualifies as neutral, let alone evil]]. You still fight her, but the heroines aren't entirely happy about it.
* Beyond The Grave, the absurdly badass [[TheGunslinger gunslinger]] from the ''VideoGame/{{Gungrave}}'' games is a prime example, since he has to remain sealed in his can for long periods of time before being released or else his body will collapse, to his young ward's sadness. Mainly due to Grave requiring a large blood supply and regular transfusions to sustain his undead body. Supposedly his blood type is rare and as Juji in the second game explains, Mika and Grave can't exactly walk into a blood bank and request to give a transfusion to a corpse.
* ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar Ultra'': Galacta Knight, the FinalBoss of ''Meta Knightmare Ultra'' and the answer to Meta Knight's wish of fighting the most powerful warrior in the universe. What makes him even more badass is the fact that he was sealed away simply because he was too strong, and that he ''transcends space and time'' just for the sake of fulfilling Meta Knight's wish.
* Melvin from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'', sealed in a small stone by {{God}} immediately prior to God's climactic battle with the Demon Lord on the off chance that the Demon Lord survived, since {{God}} was planning on retiring and letting humanity deal with things after that battle.
* How Arcueid Brunestud was treated by the True Ancestors, and then by herself in ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}''. She'd wake up, destroy a target, then erase most of her memories and go back to sleep. Despite being born a thousand years ago, she only has about 1 year of living experience.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series:
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'':
*** Desch, [[spoiler:who's actually an Ancient]] has amnesia and knows very little.
*** Unei, sealed in the world of dream until you wake her using Noah's Lute.
*** Some of the strongest weapons in the game are sealed in Eureka.
*** All the non-instantly-buyable summons. Odin is notable, as he sealed himself.
*** In the remake, the inhabitants of the secret dungeon.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'': After the war against Enuo in the backstory, mankind sealed its 12 legendary weapons, its strongest spells, and its servants [[SkippableBoss Bahamut and Leviathan]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has [[spoiler: Vincent Valentine]] who is sealed in [[spoiler: a coffin at the bottom of Shinra Mansion.]] Notable in that he seems to stay sealed of his own volition.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' has the Espers, ridiculously powerful entities sealed by the [[JerkassGods Occuria]]. One of them, Zodiark, is a threat to the world [[ApocalypseMaiden simply by existing]].
*** Then there's [[spoiler:Basch fon Ronsenburg the disgraced captain dubbed the Kingslayer, who was locked away in his own little private hell by his brother and the Archadian Empire]]. Seriously, that guy kicks some major ass, even when he's half-starved and not in the best condition.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', you have Grunt, whom you essentially birth from his can since he's a [[DesignerBabies designer baby]] who learned all he knew from neural imprints whilst being grown inside his tank.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', you awaken Javik, the last [[{{Precursors}} Prothean]] and their equivalent of Commander Shepard.
** Invoked as GallowsHumor by Garrus, who suggests that if it ever looks like they're going to lose the Reaper War, they could simply freeze Shepard for 50,000 years, since Javik has proven that this option ''can'' work!
** She had to [[TookALevelInBadass level up a few times,]] but in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' you first encounter Liara when she's trapped inside a stasis field in some ruins and you have to free her. Shepard has a habit of finding these people, it's just not as obvious because, well, [[OvershadowedByAwesome s/he's Shepard.]]
** The Human race might also be considered this, since it's heavily implied that the Protheans were responsible for sealing the Charon Relay in ice, cutting Earth off from the rest of the network and allowing humanity to progress without outside interference, in addition to masking their existence from the Reapers. While [[spoiler: the Asari]] were their intended successors meant to defeat the Reapers, it's implied they were keeping a few aces in the hole, just in case.
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights: Hordes of the Underdark'', [[spoiler:the PlayerCharacter is "killed" by Mephistopheles and sent to the Eighth [[CirclesOfHell Circle of Hell]]]]. Act III is consumed with getting back out.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', the Vault Dweller, Lone Wanderer, and Sole Survivor, whose badass quotients only [[TookALevelInBadass increase]] after leaving the safety of their Vaults.
* ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'':The protagonist, Zetta, is a demon lord who is sealed in a sacred book. He is more known for his cameo roles in the Disgaea Franchise where he is inevitably identified as "Badass Overlord."
** Then again, there are so many examples of this trope in the Nippon Ichi universe, but almost all of them pale in comparison to [[spoiler:[[TomatoInTheMirror the REAL]] Overlord Zenon from ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'', who slaughtered [[OneManArmy 99 Overlords and 1000 Demon Lords.]] [[CurbStompBattle IN A SINGLE NIGHT]]]]. Though technically, [[spoiler:s]]he's more on the [[SealedEvilInACan evil]] kind.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' has the player character Tenno as this. After fighting off the Sentinels in an War, and a possible uprising against the Orokin Empire, their original masters, the Tenno were all placed in cryogenic stasis pods to be awaken to any such future threats to humanity. New players are introduced to the game this way, playing as a just thawed out of cryo Tenno that was about to be destroyed or captured, only to find that the known portions of the universe and the Solar System has gone to hell. Latter on, a common mission involves protecting other, unawoken Tennos' Cryopods from destruction or capture by their enemies.
* Invoking this trope is commonly recommended for ''VideoGame/EvilGenius'' players who wish to hire [[StuffBlowingUp Red Ivan]]. Since every one of his weapons is explosive, letting him engage low-level {{Red Shirt}}s usually results in a PyrrhicVictory for you as he blows up significant parts of your base along with your enemies. If you put him in a Topside Shack with a level 3 security door, he'll only be able to exit it if he has a direct order from the player.
* The player character in ''VideoGame/Doom2016'', now titled the 'Doom Slayer', is this at the start of the game. He was found by the UAC in Hell, locked away in a stone sarcophagus inscribed with every manner of sealing ward known to demonkind. When the UAC expedition was about to retrieve the sarcophagus the demons fought to stop them with unprecedented ferocity. After finding all the pieces of the Doom Slayer Chronicles in Hell it becomes abundantly clear why that was. [[spoiler: The Doom Slayer is the last survivor of the Night Sentinels, guardians of an ancient civilization that was conquered by Hell eons ago. Imbued with supernatural fighting prowess by Seraphim and fueled by endless bloodlust and undying hatred of all things demonic, the Doom Slayer waged a one-man crusade against Hell ages ago and proved completely unstoppable. Even when a titanic demon the size of a skyscraper challenged him to single combat, the Doom Slayer prevailed. Ultimately the demons realized they cannot hope to kill him, so instead they lured him into a trap and dropped an entire temple down on him. Then sealed him in the sarcophagus, praying that he would never break free.]]
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles2'' has a multi-layered example when it comes to the Aegis (which turns out to be a female Blade of immense power named Pyra):
** The ancient hero Addam sealed Pyra behind a seal that could only be opened by a Leftherian, and sunk it in the Cloud Sea so her power couldn't be misused.
** Later on it turns out that Pyra herself [[spoiler: is actually a LiteralSplitPersonality of Mythra, the actual Aegis, who only has access to a fraction of the Aegis' true power.]] She did this because if somebody managed to break the first seal, they still wouldn't be able to use the full extent of her power.
** Even ''later'' on, [[spoiler: It's revealed that neither Pyra nor Mythra has full access to the Aegis' true power, which they can only access in their fused "Pneuma" form, which represents their true personality before they split off from each other.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[spoiler: John, Dave, Rose, and Jade]] are implied to become this in the future as a result of their fight with Lord English.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Wiki/{{SCP|Foundation}}-[[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-076 076]] is the very ''embodiment'' of this trope. Although he also qualifies as SealedEvilInACan.
* Literature/WhateleyUniverse example: the side of [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo]] that isn't Billie Wilson. Before it was sealed away about five thousand years ago, it started wars, conquered star systems, and kicked ass.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRuNxHqwazs POWERTHIRST!]] It's like crystal meth in a can! It's crystal meth in a can! Powerthirst is crystal meth!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The pilot of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' originally had the girls unleashed by a can of "Whoop-Ass Stew". This was changed, obviously, when the show aired.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''
** The show gave us Sealed Myth/KingArthur in a Glass Coffin. Yes, ''that'' King Arthur, and yes, he's incredibly badass.
** The Gargoyles themselves have a [[BizarreAlienBiology bizarre biology]] that causes this to happen to them ''daily'', being frozen in [[TakenForGranite stone-sleep]] until the sun sets. A curse took advantage of this trait by making the transformation [[ModeLock permanent]], forcing them to spend over a millennia trapped in stone before the curse was finally broken at the beginning of the series.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' there was a man known simply as "One", who not only was considered the most dangerous man on the planet, but was mentor to "The Six", a BadassCrew of mercenaries who are also considered themselves to be the most dangerous men in the world, including former member and stoick BadassNormal Six. When he turned into an E.V.O., he was strong enough to suppress his monstrous instincts through intense meditation and ordered a cell around himself in the center of a volcano in a remote island to protect his students and innocent people from his destruction. In addition, his cell contained a safety protocol where if he didn't enter the safety code every 41 minutes, the whole room would collapse into the volcano killing him inside.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Lapis Lazuli functions as this in "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem". She is introduced as a cracked gem powering a magic mirror of knowledge. In this state, she is harmless, only able to communicate with pre-recorded sound bytes the mirror has already been exposed to. After she's freed, she turns out to be an ''extremely'' powerful and just as emotionally unstable hydrokinetic who, even in her damaged state, can easily hold her own against the Crystal Gems, and can even use Earth's oceans to construct a giant tower into space. Once her Gem is healed by Steven, she becomes even more powerful and regains her emotional stability, displaying the ability to generate water from her gem (on her spine) to create a set of functional wings to fly with.
** Additionally, at the end of Season 1, she ends up [[spoiler: pulling double-duty as this trope and SealedEvilInADuel, the evil being Jasper, by tricking Jasper into forming Malachite with her and then using her hydrokinesis to trap their fused form at the bottom of the ocean by literally using the weight of Earth's oceans to hold Malachite in place, and she succeeds all the way up until the beginning of Season 3]].
** There's also Bismuth, the gem who [[spoiler: remained bubbled within [[PocketDimension Lion's mane]] until the eponymous episode when Steven accidentally pops her bubble]]. She turns out to be a cheerful and caring Crystal Gem and not only a very capable combatant, but also an ''extremely'' [[UltimateBlacksmith skilled weapon maker]], being stated to have pretty much single-handedly armed and supplied the entire rebellion with their non-gem weapons, including weapons like Rose's sword itself. [[spoiler: What really lands her here as opposed to in "good" or "evil" is why she was sealed to begin with - She turns out to be have [[TheUnfettered far less of the same inhibitions regarding shattering as Rose]], creating the "Breaking Point", [[OneHitKill a weapon that could shatter a gem's stone in one blow]], for the express purpose of shattering Homeworld Gems. Even if [[WellIntentionedExtremist Bismuth is a caring person who means well]], Rose didn't believe in such casual shattering and it's implied that Bismuth attacked her when she rejected the Breaking Point as a result, and ended up sealing her within Lion and covering it up. Ultimately, Steven similarly rejects it when she presents it to him in private, causing her to attack him under the belief that he ''is'' Rose and forcing him to do the same, but before her form dissipates, he promises to tell the others her story, and she tearfully tells him he really is better than Rose before poofing.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This is why France exiled UsefulNotes/{{Napoleon|Bonaparte}} to Elba and then to St. Helena, rather than just killing him outright. They wanted the option to open the can in case a foreign power posed a threat to France in the future.
** Extremly doubtful. St. Helena was a British colony with British guards while Elba was an independent state to which not France but the (more or less) united monarchs of Europe had banished Napoleon. Being able to 'retrieve' him in case of trouble was already doubtful in case of Elba (a small island) but virtually impossible in case of St.Helena where he was held by one of the potential enemies against which he would have been useful.