Torture. That word should evoke all kinds of horrible images of pain and suffering and humiliation. Even when it is merely ''[[ToThePain described]]'', it has the effect of reducing many to wailing shivers. It takes a special kind of person to withstand [[ColdBloodedTorture brutal torture]]. No surprise, those characters make excellent heroes.

An episode about reinforcing how BadAss the hero is... by showing them completely helpless and at the mercy of someone who doesn't have their best interests in mind. Expect a lot of [[DeadpanSnarker defiant comebacks]]. The torturer will almost always be AffablyEvil. A BattleOfWits is commonplace also. [[FreakOut Permanent psychological damage]] is a possibility.

Subtrope of BottleEpisode.
* [[TheChewToy Slaine]] in ''Anime/AldnoahZero'' spends much of episode 8 being brutally whipped and beaten in a torture chamber in Castle Cruhteo.

* ''Film/{{Barbarella}}'': Her brief stint in the Ex-sex-sive machine. It proved that orgasming her to death... [[TooKinkyToTorture would not be possible]].
%%* The second third of ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''.
* If the sequel to ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'' had been made, part of it would have involved evil members of E.T.'s race coming to Earth searching for him and torturing Elliott and his family for information.

* The ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Abyss" is about Jack being tortured for information by Ba'al -- mostly information he doesn't actually know.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': In "The Chain of Command, Part II", Picard, after being captured by Cardassians, is tortured for information. When the [[Creator/DavidWarner torturer]] is failing to make any progress in breaking Picard, he attempts to get Picard to tell him that [[TwoPlusTortureEqualsFive there are five lights when there are only four]]. Picard defiantly insists there are four lights, despite being put through a full-body pain experience every time. In the end, Picard doesn't break, and when he is set free after after Star Fleet demands his release, he loudly proclaims that "THERE! ARE! FOUR LIGHTS!" He later tells his counsellor that, in fact, his release happened just in the nick of time, because at that moment he was so broken that not only was he ready to say that there were five lights just to make the pain stop, he could ''[[DespairEventHorizon actually see five lights]].''
** This is a pretty direct reference to [[TwoPlusTortureMakesFive Orwell's 1984]].
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** After being captured by the Clark Administration, Sheridan was sent to an interrogation center on Mars, where he underwent brutal psychological torture and attempts to subvert his hold on reality. To further portray his isolation, the episode had no B plot, being set entirely within the center. Sheridan fails to crack and prepares himself for death, only for the execution to be a fake and a new cycle of torture begins under a different interrogator.
** An unusual version in B5 Season 2, Comes the Inquisitor when Delenn spends the episode being tortured by a Vorlon inquisitor. The Vorlons are Delenn's allies. [[spoiler: The audience knows from early on that she has volunteered for this as a test of her worthiness to play a leading role in the upcoming war, though that doesn't stop the Inquisitor from getting carried away, especially when Sheridan intervenes.]] At the end [[spoiler: it turns out that [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy the Inquisitor is Jack the Ripper]], abducted from Victorian London by the Vorlons so they could harness his fanatical belief in absolutes of right and wrong, an early sign of the Vorlons' true nature.]]
** Another B5 example: G'Kar, after captured by the Centauri under [[TheCaligula Emperor Cartagia]]. As part of his scheme with Londo, he needed to stay alive, and this involved giving up his pride to preserve his life, giving Cartagia his scream.
--->"I must have my scream."
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': Happened to Crichton at least once per season, starting with that Aurora Chair.
* The ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "War Stories," where Wash and Mal are captured by Niska and have to endure his worst while waiting for the rest of the crew to bail them out.
* The writers of ''Series/PrisonBreak'' [[WhatCouldHaveBeen wanted to add one of these]] in the second season, but the MoralGuardians [[ExecutiveMeddling didn't approve]].
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest:'' "Alethia" and "Asylum"
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': "Heaven Sent" sees the Doctor subjected to ColdBloodedTorture by unseen tormentors who have trapped him alone in a castle in the middle of nowhere and observe from afar as he tries to figure out the workings of the place and escape a creature with a TouchOfDeath, all to get information about the Hybrid prophecy from him. He emerges from the experience for the SeasonFinale "Hell Bent" as a...''changed'' man.

* ComicBook/TheQuestion spends most of the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' episode "Flashpoint" being either tortured or carried out of the torture facility.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' somewhat parodies this with "The Box". The episode deals with Miss Finster's new punishment for the kids, "the box", which is just a square drawn on the blacktop. After T.J. ends up in there, it ends up breaking him and sends him into a MadnessMantra.
* "WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb [[BootCampEpisode Get]] [[MindRape Busted"]]. [[spoiler: Though it was AllJustADream]].
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has "Power Animal", in which Finn is abducted by gnomes and forced to power their doomsday machine by various sadistic means.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'' has "Rebel Resolve", where a recently captured Kanan is tortured by the Empire for information. He was deliberately kept out of the loop on the secrets they want, so he has nothing to give.