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: What happened to the stairs?! Ed
: My parents took 'em down 'cuz I am grounded
: ...That's disturbing.
Teen (or younger) character is grounded or suspended at an inopportune time (usually near the end of Act 2). Often, the parent or principal doing the punishing doesn't have an exceptional reason, or just has a sense that the teen is out of control and needs to calm down (or that the younger character has misbehaved or otherwise did something wrong).
The punished character usually sneaks out the window or similarly blows off the punishment to finish off the story. After the story is completed, the grounding or suspension is never mentioned again. Similarly, if a character is grounded at the end
of an episode, you can expect that in the next episode, said grounding will no longer be in effect, or mentioned at all.
The kiddie version of Turn In Your Badge
. If the punishment is blatantly excessive, it's Grounded Forever
Depending on the context, it can be part of a Family Unfriendly Aesop note
Note: There is one situation where an adult will be told this with a straight face: Pilots who, either due to misconduct or more mundane circumstances (such as bad weather), are restricted from flying. In the punitive variations, this is actually either Turn In Your Badge
or being made to be a Desk Jockey
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Anime & Manga
- Yotsuba&!: Yotsuba is "dirted", as she puts it, for riding her bicycle to Fuuka's school, across town alone, without permission (to deliver milk). She's un-grounded at the end of the next chapter after helping her father and Jumbo build a bookshelf.
- In one of the comic adaptations to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Kimberly ends up screwing up and gets herself grounded. Preferring her to listen to her father and not get in trouble by teleporting away, the Rangers come up with an idea to get Kimberly out with a promise to make up for everything.
- In Dunston Checks In, Robert grounds his two children, Kyle and Brian for using a fountain to spray one of the hotel employees for taking their Frisbee (they hit Lionel Spaulding and some other guests by mistake). Brian notes that it isn't bad to be grounded in a five-star hotel. Later on, while Kyle is walking Neal, Neal encounters Dunston and jumps into a dumpster. The two get "double-grounded," and Robert only manages to assign Brian his punishment before he has to leave to deal with Dunston breaking into a guest's room.
Brian: But what about his punishment?
Robert: Think of something you really like. You got it? NO THAT!
- Subverted in Mean Girls: Cady gets grounded, but her dad has spent decades in the African wilderness.
Cady's Mom: Where's Cady?
Cady's Dad: She went out with her friends.
Cady's Mom: She's grounded.
Cady's Dad: Are they not allowed out when they're grounded?
- In Charlie Bartlett, Charlie and his mother actually negotiate how long his punishment will last, and he is the one who suggests being grounded as punishment.
- In The Hairy Bird (a.k.a. All I Wanna Do), after Odette fakes a note from her mom to go out on the town with her friends, Ms. McVane talks with her mom on the phone, and finds out it was a ruse. So, Odette is sent before the student council for a hearing and punishment. They "ground" her for the rest of the year.
- In Disney: Tangled: Rapunzel has been grounded into the tower her whole life and when she asks to go outside, Mother Gothel snaps and yells "You are not leaving this tower! EVER!"
Live Action TV
- Inverted in Foxtrot; since the youngest brother is such a major nerd that he voluntarily stays indoors all day, his punishment is being (threatened with being) banned from the house, rather than grounded in it.
- During the Cinderella play in Girl Genius, Cinderagatha gets grounded after Mamma Gkika (who has been smashing Agatha's projects to keep her from going to the science fair) has a close encounter with a hive of specially-bred quilting bees. Naturally, this being Cinderella...
- In Bleedman's Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Buttercup fears the prospect of being grounded. Mostly because as a flying superheroine, she interprets it in aeronautical terms (that is, not being allowed to fly).
- In The Saga Of Tuck when Tuck's family find out about his female alter ego Valerie, they not only ground him for six weeks, they fine him $500 and - worst of all to him - cut off his phone and network privileges. To be fair, he had feared it would be even worse than this, and they did later reduce it to two weeks' grounding. Subverted in that Hilarity Ensues and the two weeks expire without much notice. He is, however, grounded the entire time.
- Also subverted similarly during Valentine's Day. The occasion of the grounding being removed (what else do you call it? "expired"?) is cause for a celebration, which probably ought to get him grounded a second time.
- An episode of Phailhaus from the LoadingReadyRun crew pulls this when the Word of the Day was 'condign'.
: Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty! For tonight, we condign
in Hell! Graham
: That's it, mister. You are on a one Phailhaus timeout.
** Worth noting; this timeout lasted a year.