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.

[[folder: Anime ]]

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


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/{{Barbarella}}'': Her brief stint in the Ex-sex-sive machine. It proved that orgasming her to death... [[TooKinkyToTorture would not be possible]].
* 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 second third of ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': In "In the Dark", Angel is tortured by a pedophile vampire named Marcus, hired by Spike, to give up the location of the Gem of Amarra.
* ''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/DoctorWho'': [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E11HeavenSent "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 [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E12HellBent "Hell Bent"]] a . . . ''changed'' man.
* ''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.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest:'' "Alethia" and "Asylum". Also [[spoiler:6,741.]]
* The writers of ''Series/PrisonBreak'' [[WhatCouldHaveBeen wanted to add one of these]] in the second season, but the MoralGuardians [[ExecutiveMeddling didn't approve]].
* The ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Abyss" is about Jack being tortured for information by Ba'al -- mostly information he doesn't actually know.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''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 (in a pretty direct reference to ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]'') that [[TwoPlusTortureEqualsFive there are five lights on a wall 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]].''
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': In "The Die is Cast", Garak, having rejoined his mentor in [[StateSec the Obsidian Order]], is given/volunteers to interrogate Odo. The only tool at his disposal is a device which prevents Odo from shape-shifting or even reverting to his true liquid form, painfully trapping him in his humanoid shape far longer than he can maintain it of his own freewill. After ''hours'' of Odo [[TheDeterminator stubbornly holding out as his physical form ''decays'' and mocking him about his decision to betray their friends]], Garak is the one ''begging'' Odo to tell him something, ''anything'', so that he can end their "session" and release Odo from his suffering. Finally, Odo can't take anymore and reveals the one secret he's been keeping about his people, that he still, despite all their crimes and evil actions, wants to be with them in the Great Link. Garak is smug for a moment, proven correct in his assumption that there ''was'' something Odo was keeping secret, until Odo quietly (and still suffering) offers his congratulations and hope that this information is ''useful'' to him. The look on Garak's face shifts immediately to MyGodWhatHaveIDone and he rushes to disable to anti-shape-shifting field. In the end, what could have been a MoralEventHorizon for Garak, leads to him and Odo becoming ''friends'' based on the revelation that they are NotSoDifferent (each of them isolated from, but longing to return to, their own people despite them being their enemy).
* ''Series/AlteredCarbon'': In "Forces of Evil", Kovacs is imprisoned in a facility that places his mind in a virtual torture chamber, and he is repeatedly tortured to "death" during the episode. Highlights include having his legs removed, having an alien lizard inserted into a stomach wound, and being burned alive. To make matters worse, the actual facility is designed around EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture, and specifically caters to the rich who want to torture/interrogate their enemies.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has "Power Animal", in which Finn is abducted by gnomes and forced to power their doomsday machine by various sadistic means.
* ComicBook/TheQuestion spends most of the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' episode "Flashpoint" being either tortured or carried out of the torture facility.
* "WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb [[BootCampEpisode Get]] [[MindRape Busted"]]. [[spoiler: Though it was AllJustADream]].
* ''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/StarWarsRebels'': In [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E12RebelResolve "Rebel Resolve"]], a recently captured Kanan is tortured by the Empire for information. He was deliberately [[LockedOutOfTheLoop kept out of the loop]] on the secrets they want, so he has [[InterrogatedForNothing nothing to give]].