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And I Must Scream / Fan Works

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  • Kenpachi's zanpakutou in Sight is described as being constant agony and is screaming with no one able to save him and his wielder can't save him because he can't hear him. The zanpakutou disturbs Ichigo greatly, but he can't do anything about it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • In Worlds Apart, Angel and Wesley each all-but-explicitly state that this applies to Angelus's current existence, trapped within Angel and only able to watch as Angel does good and protects humans. In the sequel, Angel experiences this from the other side when Angelus takes control of his body during Gachnar's near-escape at the haunted frat house, trapping Angel under Angelus rather than their usual dynamic.

Calvin and Hobbes

  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
    • Inflicted by the heroes in Retro Chill - their final plan is to trap Rupert, Earl, and Retro in paused time forever. It works.
    • Implied in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: the MTM defies this by refusing to teleport in an area with high electromagnetism, as it could trap the protagonists in some sort of void forever.
    • Long before this, Calvin himself defies this when Hobbes attempts to initiate a Stable Time Loop.


  • The Bridge: Monster X spent about 72253 days, or 198 years, entombed within the giant asteroid Gorath, with only his own voice and nightmares for company. He didn't go insane, but by the time he was released, he had lost all his memories. His Superpowered Evil Side Kaizer Ghidorah has it even worse. Whenever he's not in control, he's trapped inside a cage deep within X's mindscape, but aware of everything.
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  • Children of Time: The fate Moriarty intends for Sherlock Holmes after his "rebellion" in the final episode is to be Locked in the Dungeon, submitted to Cold-Blooded Torture, and, every now and then, Forced to Watch Beth's death on video. And he can do it until Time itself ends, since Time has broken and no one can age.
  • Divine Blood: The people whose minds Kodachi Kuno devours in order to take over their body as part of her collective are eventually shown as having fragmented pieces of their mental identity remaining in her collective mind as well as their entire souls enslaved to her will. When she manifests in a mindscape shortly before finally being exterminated, the mouths of the multitude of people she'd devoured are shown to be either gagged, sewn shut with needle and thread, ripped out or simply not there.
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  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Queen Beryl's final punishment for her minions' failures is Eternal Sleep, which is eternal imprisonment in a crystal that provides perfect isolation from the outside world. Meaning, the prisoner is completely immobilised and suffers from total sensory deprivation. Sooner or later everyone goes insane. While Jadeite, Mareki and Umbra were saved in time, poor Tiger unfortunately wasn't.
  • Fallout: Equestria: This happens to Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy during the apocalypse. Twilight is absorbed by the nascent Goddess!Trixie, who has been mutated into an Eldritch Abomination by a massive overdose of Impelled Metamorphosis Potion, becoming part of her subservient Hive Mind. Fluttershy survives the initial megaspell exchange, only to stumble upon a field of mutated Poison Joke that transforms her into a sentient tree, forcing her to watch her world suffer, wither, and die.
  • Her Shadowed Realm: Yù (the Alternate Universe version of Jade who had Face–Heel Turn) only avoided being driven insane by the isolation of her banishment to the Shadow Realm by meditating. A lot.
  • Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: In A Month of Sundays, Quetzalcoatl states that he was trapped underneath the remains of an ancient Aztec Temple for 500 years, screaming and begging for someone to help him.
  • Is Your Great-Aunt an AI?: Voldemort's consciousness is put into a potato.
    GLaDOS: You have a mouth, and I'm sure you must scream. But nobody is going to help you.
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion: C.C.'s immortality already caused her quite a bit of suffering in canon, but here she ends up being used as a reusable blood bag by a group of vampires for centuries before being freed by a Hamon master.
  • A Man of Iron: Old Nan's stories state that the souls of people raised as wights by the White Walkers are still trapped inside their decaying corpses, unable to do anything as their bodies kill their loved ones. Judging by Tyrion's dreams and Bran's visions, this is also the fate being suffered by Sansa now that she's been possessed by the Night's Queen.
  • Out of the Corner of the Eye: Francis White was rendered immortal by Nyarlathotep, and then flayed. While insanity has helped him cope with the pain, one of his journal entries reveals just how much constant agony he's trapped in.
  • old light still slants through: Izuku ends up putting the Sludge Villain who attacked him on ice with Zero Point Breakthrough: First Edition. Due to having no memory of the incident after Tsuna took temporary control, the Sludge Villain spent three months unmoving as a frozen statue, leaving Izuku wracked with guilt and making him go back to free him despite the Sludge Villain's attempt (and subsequent attempt) to murder him afterward.
  • Opening Dangerous Gates: A tengu removes all five senses from the party. Lucy almost goes insane, but realizes she can still move and her keys must still be on her belt even if she can't see or feel them. With a bit of effort, she manages to grab the white key and summon Ulquiorra, and the sheer reiatsu released by his arrival dispels the effect.
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM: This is revealed to be the fate that befell the humans killed during the God of Darkness' genocide. Their fractured souls were trapped in a state of endless suffering, where a single moment of pain seemed infinite and they fell for what seemed to be eternity until it finally stopped and left them trapped in an endless void. Their pain and rage would shape the void they were trapped in, and Hell was born from the anger of the Slaves of Doom.
  • Scoob and Shag: Mickey Mouse intended to go into Containment 1 in suspended animation. Instead, Velma locked him in there awake, consigning him to fifteen years in utter isolation in a confined space with absolutely nothing but the Voices for company.
  • Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights:
  • A Storm of Chaos: A Doctor Whooves Adventure features both a pre-Season 3 Discord and a post Five Doctors Borusa. A little bit of a theme, yeah.
  • Super Sentai vs. Power Rangers: The Liveblog: Radiguet has the Scouts' souls trapped in the elemental stones of the fallen monsters, and the energies from it make the heroes vessels for the new souls, turning them into the Fallen Scouts. Every time a Fallen Scout uses a powerful attack, a part of the original Scout's soul vanishes, much to the horror of the All-Stars. The Scouts can do nothing but watch as they are forced to fight their friends and transform into hideous beasts, but they later gain the strength to break the spell.
  • Thousand Shinji:
    • Gendo and all SEELE's members fates: Their souls were ripped from their bodies and imbedded in the walls of the properly named Hall of Torment, where they'd remain trapped for all eternity.
      He was at the Hall of Torment.
      The senior members of SEELE and his father were imbedded in the walls, ceiling, and floor of this place, screaming in agony, their souls trying to claw their way out of membranes of unreality that would trap them for all eternity.
    • Later on, the Chaos Gods would use this same method to punish child abusers and human traffickers.
  • Waking Nightmares: Celestia does this to the Zompony Grey Hoof. Not only was he imprisoned in the ruins of his home, Sunnytown, but a fear spell was placed on the land, one that causes all forms of life (including plant life), to flee in fear and become too afraid to approach. In addition to this, the town itself was shifted into a pocket dimension, and he was rendered unable to go insane. He's cursed to be alone forever, with no escape...


  • There is a bit of controversy in Teen Titans fandom over whether the fate of Terra, who was transformed into stone at the end of season two and possibly revived in the series finale, involved this or not. Creepily, a few particularly vindictive Fan Fic writers have her remain conscious during her stone imprisonment, going against the fan consensus that she is/was probably unconscious or in a death-like state. Those who see her as The Woobie sometimes do this as well to portray her in a more sympathetic and tragic light.
  • In the series Lex Luthor Triumphant, Lex Luthor traps Superman, keeping him powerless with a combination of red sun rays and brain surgery. He develops an interface that allows him to control Superman's body and has him kill Lois Lane, after she finds out he captured, lobotomized and skinned Superman, and that selling his eyes, skin, teeth, and fingernails has made Luthor even richer than before.
  • In the Teen Titans Saga, this is Veneficus' ultimate fate, as he is trapped in the void between dimensions with no means of escape. And since demons appear to be immortal barring being killed by someone else...
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Wildfire spends one thousand years turned into a anti-matter star floating in space -after his containment suit is destroyed as fighting the Anti-Monitor-, unable to make contact with someone or escape. Mon-El -who spent one thousand years trapped in the Phantom Zone- empathizes with him right away.
    Wildfire: Well, Dawny, it's kind of—ah, how long have I been away?
    Cosmic Boy: About a thousand years, give or take a few.
    Wildfire: Oh, hell. I've been playing mumblety-peg with myself for a thousand years. I can't believe I spent all that time in that star and still stayed sane.
    Mon-El: I know the feeling.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Lex Luthor manages to trap Superman into a tank containing the Parasite's body, turned into a gelatinous mass of goo. Superman spends over one month immersed into living sentient jelly, unable to speak, move or feel anything except for his life force being being slowly drained off, and a hostile mind reading every thought and memory of his.
  • In Man of Steel fanfiction Daughter of Fire and Steel, General Zod's coup fails, and he and his followers are put into individual fluid-filled pods, where they will be "reconditioned" for their sentence's duration, and then sent into the Phantom Zone. Zod irately states that nobody will release them because Krypton will be destroyed, so they are being condemned to remain frozen inside sarcophagi and floating in a black nothingness forever.
    Dru-Zod: (scoffing) "Krypton is dying and you respond by clinging to protocol. The Phantom Zone isn't even a death sentence! Who will be left to release us when our conditioning is finished?"
    Lor-Em: "We are here to discuss your punishment today Zod. Not your release."
    Dru-Zod: "You won't kill us but you'll damn us to a black hole for eternity so you won't sully your hands."

Digimon Adventure 02

Death Note

  • Fanfic Plaything of the Gods focuses on this happening to Light. He learns that the Shinigami King has come to Earth and he's told by Ryuk that the King is looking for him. Light sets up the stage so that he can meet the King and become more powerful. What Ryuk failed to mention was that the King will violate his body. Multiple times. He spends weeks being drugged and raped by the King and is practically begging for someone to help him. What truly makes this horrifying is that he gets sealed in by the task force and is going to spend years as the King's sex toy. But hey, at least he'll be powerful like he wanted.

Fairly OddParents

  • Never Had a Friend Like Me: When the Pixies and the Anti-Fairies attempts to kill Timmy and Amanda, Norm who was watching and has grown attached to Amanda, does not take it well. After Amanda wishes that the Pixies and Anti-Fairies couldn't try to do this again, Norm traps them in a pocket dimension indefinitely. Of course, Norm might come around and ask for a favor from them for good behavior, but it fits.

Final Fantasy VI

  • The Terra Episode details Tina Branford's life before the events of the game. Faced with neurological death by the Slave Crown, Tina begs the Guardian - a stranger she worked for on the promise of secrets revealed - for an alternate option. The Guardian offers to try and preserve Tina's consciousness instead, but her body will still be under her captors' control. Tina invokes this trope shortly afterwards.:

Final Fantasy VII

  • In Need for Control, Hojo had put Vincent through this as a method of torture that left him unable to function as a 'free' human being:
    Vincent: "After my arm was removed, I was rendered unconscious again. When I awoke, I had no idea where I was. I found myself in the dark, unable to move. I couldn’t feel my body or hear anything. Even the air around me seemed to lack any type of smell whatsoever. At first, I found this to be a relief, thinking that if nothing else, that I wasn’t being tortured. However, that complete lack of external stimulation began to do something to me. Time seemed to have stopped, and I had no idea of how long I had been in there. I began to wonder if I was even alive… Not being able to feel, see, or hear anything does something to you after a time. I began to long for the torture. At least when that had been happening to me, I knew that I was alive."
    • However, that's not even the worst of it, as it's stated that all the time that Vincent was in the coffin before you find him? He's in that state. Twenty-seven to thirty years of it.
      Vincent: "He put me back in the dark…I never even knew what it was that I’d done wrong… He just put me back in the dark and forgot about me… Twenty-seven years, Cid… I was in there for as long as I had been alive before Hojo had put me in there…"
  • In Off the Line, Vincent is trapped in a virtual reality game for 15 years where he can never sleep or let his guard down without risking being killed by players or the game's moderator and no one until Rainstorm had ever realized that he was a person. As a consequence his mind is a wreck and he can't remember anything outside of his own name because he never had the chance to rest, thus he couldn't properly process his memories.
  • In Eirs Tommorrow, during the Apocalypse How and death of his original timeline, Cloud cannot die and has to watch everyone he loves, his home and the world die and he could do nothing to change anything.

Fullmetal Alchemist/Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

  • In At Gates Edge when Edward died and became a ghost, he has been trapped in an office, unable to look outside and unable to be seen or heard by anyone for seven years. But this changes when Roy is able to see him.

Harry Potter

  • In The Prince of Gryffindor Harry turns Voldemort into a jellyish goo and traps him in an unbreakable, unopenable jar, then throws it through the Veil of Death.
  • Voldemort's ultimate fate in Wind Shear is to have his spirit trapped in a crystal with no senses or means of movement forever. Harry even notes that within half a day, Voldemort will be begging for death.
  • The TriSchool Tournament by DisobedienceWriter has Harry sabotaging Voldemort's rebirth ritual by throwing all kinds of random trash like paper and moss into the cauldron. The result...
    They found some kind of revolting ritual site, just as Harry had described. But instead of a liquid inside the cauldron, they found a solid substance, fleshy, warm to the touch, a heart beat even. That disgusting flesh perfectly filled the entirety of the cauldron. It seemed alive somehow, but it didn't register as exactly human. It had no mouth. Because Harry had kept the word "Voldemort" out of his story – just explaining that Pettigrew had intended to use Harry in some kind of ritual, which Harry spoiled after Pettigrew died – no one ever knew what it was. Flesh that couldn't die, couldn't move, couldn't speak, couldn't eat, couldn't access magic. It was immortal and yet perfectly useless.
    The Department of Mysteries would end up devoting three hundred years worth of study to the disgusting lump molded inside the cauldron. They would never come to any firm conclusions, other than that the thing should only be examined in a well ventilated space as it was quite foul-smelling.
  • No Competition: After the Dursleys tested the Dark Community's patience one too many times, according to Harry's silent analysis on the runework on the Dursleys, the Lich deliberately didn't destroy their souls because that would have left them brain-dead. Instead the Lich removed the Dursleys' souls without destroying them, so that their minds would be trapped and gibbering inside their heads.

Haruhi Suzumiya

Hetalia: Axis Powers

  • In Human Curiosity, it's theorized that the frozen nations are experiencing this, leading to Liechtenstein wanting to speak to Switzerland's body. Subverted in that when France recovers from having been frozen, he could not remember any of that time.
  • Not all the Nations who died in the 1983: Doomsday Stories passed on right away when the bombs fell. Some managed to stay alive for some years after, though as a Body Horror that's slowly falling apart.
  • The fate of Sweden in the High School A.U. Outcast if the spirit of Ancient Scandinavia takes control of his body for good. Normally Ancient Scandinavia can subdue Sweden's consciousness completely, but Finland's involvement has given Sweden the strength to fight back and stay awake during these bouts of possession. Not that it makes much of a difference against an ancient and extremely powerful spirit hell-bent on vengeance. Ancient Scandinavia teases Finland by saying that Sweden is like "a mouse trapped in a glass cage" at the back of his own mind — conscious of everything the malevolent ghost doing with his body, but unable to do anything to stop it.


  • The Kin of Hivefled are the ghosts of trolls tortured to death by the Grand Highblood, trapped in a metaphysical dark room for thousands of years and potentially forever. They still carry the wounds of their death, which may still hurt, and the Highblood can come in and make more use of them any time he feels like it.

Inheritance Cycle

Invader Zim

  • In Gaz Dreams of Genie, Gaz accidentally frees the genie Azie when she breaks her lamp. After wasting the first two wishes she gets from this, she wishes for the ability to grant her own wishes, thinking it's a case of Loophole Abuse. Instead, the poor wording leads to Gaz and Azie switching lives, leaving Gaz trapped in the restored lamp until someone else rubs it, with nothing to do but nap and plot how she'll get her life back. Which will never happen, as the last scene shows the lamp being locked away in a Secret Government Warehouse.
  • The works of HeCallsMeHisChild feature a species of shapeshifting, blob-like predators called Morflar, which feed on Irkens. Once absorbed, the Irkens are robbed of movement and every sense except tactile feeling, which means they can't even scream as all they feel is themselves being digested (and due to the Irkens' Healing Factor, this process takes about a century). In two different continuities, this fate befalls Tallest Red.
  • In Invader Zim: The Series, this is the final fate of Zoburg, crucified to a rocket and shot into orbit, but with his pressurized armor keeping him alive indefinitely.
  • In Mad World, PAKs store the minds of Irkens and can be transferred into new bodies, but Defectives are blocked from this, leaving them aware but totally sightless and immobile forever if their bodies die. Zim's was modified by the Tallest to trap his mind in a recreation of his worst moment (learning of his exile to Earth) on loop. By the time that Dib saves him, he's been practically broken.
  • At the end of Night of the Mannequins, Gaz sneaks into the mall at night to be first in line for the release of the new Game Slave 3 the next day. That night turns out to be the night of the Harvest Moon, and its magic causes the store mannequins to come to life and transform her into a mannequin, leaving her completely immobile, but fully aware of her surroundings. And to rub salt into the wound, she's put in a window display right across from the store selling the Game Slaves, forced to watch everyone else buy them. However, the narration implies that she will turn back to normal on the next Harvest Moon night...which will be next year. Or maybe the year after that. Or even later. Who knows. Have fun, Gaz!
    • In an alternate ending posted by the author, Gaz instead has a mental breakdown that causes her to see everyone around her as living mannequins. She goes insane and is eventually locked up in the Crazy House.
  • In Virtual Reality, Real Terror, a group of students and teachers — sick of Gaz's constant bullying (which she gets away with because of her father) — hire an entity known as the Exile to deal with her. It does this by absorbing her into itself, wherein she's kept alive indefinitely, but unable to move or speak (or, in keeping with this trope, even scream), and forced to experience first-person recreations of every act of violence she's ever committed against anyone else.

Jackie Chan Adventures

Kill la Kill

  • In Natural Selection, any student wearing one of Nui's Goku Uniforms is subjected to this. They can do battle at a higher level than usual, but when they get hurt beyond the point a normal person would drop out of a fight, they are compelled to keep on going. Students are described as fighting on with broken limbs, tears welling up on expressions fixed in hate.
  • We have this happen to Ryuuko in a silent Photo Comic series titled Stasis. One caption mentions that, while in her 3 week long deep sleep, she's aware of what's happening around her and another caption mentions that she also knows she can't wake up or do anything until her stasis ends, except cry.

The Legend of Zelda

  • The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 has a love affair with this trope.
    • Link Sr was sealed alone in the Fierce Deity mask for almost a century. He describes the ordeal as "goddamn annoying". Subverted by the fact that he can and does free himself without help, it just takes time.
    • Magi is considerably less fortunate. As punishment for ordering Link's people and family murdered just to get to him, he is chained in a Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere for roughly a decade while insects devour his honey-covered, disembodied heart over and over again.
    • The goddesses are implied to suffer this after Link awakens as the God of Fear and chains them to Fate and Destiny's former throne, but no details are given.
    • Link himself suffers this during his four seven-year naps when the goddesses see fit to send his mind through the Ocarina of Time adventure "about 3,500 times give or take a few hundred, each year, and in each timeline" for a total of 98,000 times over 28 years all for the purpose of refining his instincts to create as powerful a warrior as possible. They even had to tinker with his mind by building a "wall" around those instincts to contain them.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (DragonRand100) Link sees horrifying visions during his journey, from the dead remains of his allies and innocent civilians, to the sight of blood on the corpses of fallen victims, to the horrors experienced during visions and the perils found within the temples and dungeons he and Navi must traverse. Not to mention, he loses an eye while conscious.

The Lion King

  • In The Lion King Adventures, the immortal cub Shocker is buried alive by the Interceptor, stuck in an endless cycle of death and rebirth.

The Lord of the Rings

  • In the fanfic Left, Frodo regains consciousness after being stung by Shelob, but is unable to move or to tell Sam he's still alive.

Marvel Universe

  • A Prize for Three Empires: As Carol Danvers remained under Marcus Immortus' influence her conscience was trapped inside her own body, struggling to break out, which was not possible until Marcus passed away.

Mass Effect

  • Crucible:
    • The bare-faced turian a.k.a. the Grim Reaper, who turned out to be Shepard's father, gave one to the doctor who destroyed his wife and daughter's life by creating an accident that left the man totally paralyzed. According to him, he would have to lay there immobile, imprisoned in his own body until its withered away to nothing, until Sol burned the sky away and nothing else remained... but even then he may still survive since his tormentor still hadn't decideed about it yet.
    • General Marius, a racist, child-molesting (two of his victims were his daughter and nephew) turian was subjected to a similar fate but in his case, it was much faster. Garrus's dad, Avitus, poisoned him with a drug that left him paralyzed but still fully aware of his surroundings, then ripped his heart out of his body while he was in that state.
    • Tali in the Bad Future, meanwhile, was forced by Gaius to see him kill her daughter. Then he tied her to a pillar with her own guts, keeping her alive with nanomachines, to make her watch him destroy Rannoch and push the whole Quarian race to extinction.
    • Makerm was sealed away by his wife to prevent him from massacring everyone outside the North. Just like all examples above, he still has full awareness. Unfortunately, because of that, he constantly tried to posess his descendants to escape, leading to Garrus's grandfather's death before the series's start.


  • In the fic Two Moons, Deidara's soul is removed from his body during a fight with Orochimaru, and takes up residence in the back of Itachi's head. Fittingly, Deidara isn't pleased (he actually does scream for quite a bit), and is completely incapable of getting even Itachi to realize he's there. He is also incapable of sleeping, and has to experience every thought and every bit of sensory input that Itachi does. The author admits that writing a chapter sometimes makes her head hurt as much as the readers'.
  • One can almost pity Madara in A Growing Affection. Hinata's Singularity Rasangan atomizes him, and according to the description seems to slow down time like a real black hole. Due to his immortality being tied to his eyes, he doesn't die until they are consumed. And fittingly, he tries to scream in pain but the sound cannot escape.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Happens in the story Tender Words when Marinette is akumatized into Seamstress, though Chat Noir is able to free her from it. Whereas most akuma-possessed victims are Brainwashed and Crazy but fairly autonomous and acting on their own desires unless Hawkmoth steps in, Marinette is completely under Hawkmoth's control from the start and is visibly distressed by what's she's forced to do (which is still connected to what caused him to target her, namely Chloe humiliating her when she confessed her feelings to Adrien), and unlike presumably all victims in the show, she remembers every detail when it's over. The reason for this disparity is that she actually refused Hawkmoth's Deal with the Devil only for him to override her, to the point of sewing her mouth shut during her transformation.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In one alternate ending to the infamous fanfic Cupcakes Pinkie Pie, unable to cope with the guilt of what she did under the influence of a Parasprite, voluntarily submitted herself to this via Taken for Granite.
  • The Immortal Game:
    • Twilight Sparkle spends the first portion of the story trapped in her own mind, forced to watch as her Superpowered Evil Side, Nihilus, repeatedly tries to kill her friends.
    • Nihilus in turn does this to Rainbow Dash, subjecting her to a Mind Rape spell called the Insanity, which changes her into an insane, nigh-amnesiac berserker who serves as Nihilus' Dragon, with Dash stuck inside and tortured if she tries to fight back.
    • A flashback shows Titan apparently subjecting Discord to this (we only get vague details about it) after Discord caused the death of Titan's son. It's strongly implied that Celestia and Luna's defeat of Titan is what allowed Discord to escape. Though to be fair, Discord is considered the Lesser of Two Evils between him and Titan to the point the heroes actually free him to form an Enemy Mine against Titan.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Dinky's fate in the Bad Future was to be turned into a filly-shaped muffin. When she's restored by the Elements of Harmony a thousand years later, it's revealed that she was completely aware of everything the entire time.
    • Also in the Bad Future, it turns out this was Fluttershy's fate as well. Fluttercruel, like in the main timeline, is a separate entity from Fluttershy who was granted control of their body. Unlike in the main POV verse, however, Dark World Fluttercruel remained in control and was raised by Discord instead of Fluttershy, becoming an even bigger monster than him, while Fluttershy was forced to watch all the horrible things she did. And on top of that, it turns out Fluttercruel liked to torture Fluttershy in their mindscape for fun. Fortunately, Cadence's spirit eventually managed to save Fluttershy's soul, though only after five hundred years of all this.
    • Turns out, even Discord himself was subjected to this in Dark World. Nightmare Paradox has kept him trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that always ends in the deaths of his daughter and himself for somewhere in the equivalent of a few hundred million years. It's so bad that when he gets Dragged Off to Hell and horribly killed by his family for his crimes over a billion times, he doesn't mind in the least, as it's relaxing compared to what Paradox put him through.
    • Sweetheart's little sister Cream ended up suffering this in Sweetheart's 7 Dreams/Nightmares story. The shock from the explosion that destroyed G2 society ended up "locking her in", meaning her body was paralyzed to the point she couldn't even speak (worse, this is a real condition), but she was completely aware and conscious of everything. Including being dragged off and torn apart by mutants created by the explosion, taking this trope literally in that she literally couldn't scream. Worse in that because of her condition, they may simply have went straight to eating her alive. Thankfully, during a Cosmic Retcon that Applebloom does after hijacking the Rumors and using them to fix the timeline, Sweetheart now gained Healing Hands powers from the disaster, which she used to heal her, avoiding this awful fate.
    • In the Shining Armor Arc, it turns out that Makarov's Alicorn Cyborgs were all ponies he abducted and forcibly transformed. Now they're trapped in their own twisted bodies, unable to stop themselves from killing at his whim.
    • In Character Rerailment, Silver Spoon becomes trapped in a nightmare where she's forced to live through the events of the episode "One Bad Apple", unable to control her body and forced to watch and listen as herself, Diamond Tiara, and Babs Seed make the Cutie Mark Crusaders (who had become her friends earlier) suffer. She eventually finds the strength to break free.
    Silver Spoon's thoughts: Daddy! Something's wrong with me!...Listen to me daddy! Please! I'm not happy! I'm scared! Can't you see that?!
    Silver Spoon's thoughts: I want to cry...But I just keep smiling...
    • At the end of the Wedding Arc, Cadence — now the Queen of the Changelings — does this to Kabuto, Chrysalis' sociopathic Mad Scientist. As punishment for his countless crimes, she has him sealed inside the sun, completely aware and in agony, for a length of time no less than the number of years equal to those his victims might have lived. He'll be there for several generations, at least.
    • Ironically, in the same arc Fluttershy reinstates to the interviewers that this is what Celestia would've have done to Fluttershy in a fit of rage had Nightmare Whisper fiasco ended with the deaths of thousands of unborn foals.
  • Played with in The Powers of Harmony: Horizon's conscious mind was destroyed when Zemblani used his lifeforce to force open the Gate of Tartarus. However, his subconscious (which, by now, is basically a separate entity) survived, and is now stuck in a virtual limbo, in constant agony and only able to experience life through the eyes of the Echoes attached to Horizon's remaining lifeforce.
  • Progress has Luna trapping Discord in a dream-world and turning his mental self to stone. Since his physical body also suffered this fate, Discord is effectively sentenced to Eternal Waking.
  • In The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments, Twilight Sparkle was turned into a crystal statue, split into a large number of fragments, and thrown across The Multiverse. She's still conscious within the fragments.
  • Some of the Mane Cast in Sweetie's Mansion is this when they temporarily become Sweetie's Spirit Advisor to help her defeat their ghostly selves whenever she takes a picture of one. Luna on the other hand is well aware that her spirit is under the control of Specter but she can't stop herself from attacking Sweetie Belle, Luna can only warn her what her ghostly self is about to do like the mane cast who became Spirit Advisors for Sweetie.
  • In Pages Of Harmony, after Twilight Sparkle kills the other Elements of Harmony, they don't move on to the afterlife. Instead, they're trapped in a limbo-like state where they can see and hear Twilight, but she can only hear them. And their Mind Raped personalities are still intact even after they die.
  • Plenty to go around in The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum.
    • Due to it being a Deconstructive Hate Fic to the TCB genre (especially the works of Chatoyance), it's a given that ponification is this. The author Redskin 122004, however, went above and beyond in making it horrifying though, and they're frequently referred to as perpetually smiling zombies on the tropes page and among the fans. The single crowning moment of Nightmare Fuel for them, however, has to be the fact that the human converts' souls are literally broken to pieces and bound to Queen Celestia and Tirek's will. Even worse, according to the Zebra shaman Quagga, it is utterly impossible to repair said souls; only death will make the newfoals' souls whole again. Meaning even if the Queen and the bag are defeated, only mass euthanasia will set their souls free.
    Marcus (describing the potion): "Rewrites a person into a pony... changes their body, their mind, binds their soul in chains... takes them away from you."
    • The Wham Episode chapter For Whom the Bell Tolls reveals that this is also the case for the TCB Universe's Mane Six. When Canon!Luna fishes around in TCB!Twilight's mind to gather some information, she discovers that Queen Celestia personally Mind Raped each of the girls by imprisoning them in their own minds and then implanting evil new personalities to drive their bodies around to carry out her will. All the TCB!Mane Six could do over the three long years of the war was helplessly watch on as their controlled bodies commit Moral Event Horizon grade acts against the humans and other species of Equis. TCB!Twilight herself is reduced to a horribly broken and sobbing wreck who desperately begs Luna to kill her already and stop the madness.
  • In The Elements of Friendship, Trixie's soul is half devoured by the Alicorn Amulet at the end of Book IS, leaving it trapped inside her comatose body, begging for death.
  • Marionettes:
    • Trixie has a nightmare where she's unable to move, speak, or scream while Gear Shift, Cover Story, and a mysterious stranger order her chest cut open with a machine right out of an alien abduction story. She eventually guesses that it wasn't a dream, but a memory. Later, Lightning Dust admits she had the same nightmare.
    • Gear Shift and Cover Story brainwash Lightning Dust into a minion. When the Mane Six and Trixie manage to free her from the control, she reveals she was aware the whole time, a prisoner in her own body.
  • In A Crazed Gleam, sequel to A Mad Glimmer, Discord shows Starlight Glimmer a Bad Future resulting from her actions (or so he says), where the changelings conquered all of Equestria and modified the pony race to serve as their food and power sources, which they accomplished by using magical genetic engineering to reduce the ponies to a race of identical mass-produced, fetus-like creatures called "generators" incapable of feeling anything but love. After a final Hannibal Lecture, Discord punishes Starlight by transforming her into a love generator and inserting her into the timeline to be used as a living power source for the changelings, with her mind completely intact. It also counts as Ironic Hell for her, since she is now trapped in a world where everypony is equal, happy, and contributes exactly the same to society—the utopia she aimed to create, just not the way she wanted it.
  • In The Lunar Guardsman Luna's stay in the moon is suspected to be this. A thousand years infused with the moon, with no body to control, alone and with nothing else but her own voice in her head screaming for help. She has constant nightmares that she's still there unless Raegdan is close to keep the fear away, and tried to commit suicide when she scared herself that her sister might send her back again someday.
  • The Big Bad and Celestia and Luna's older sister Astelle in Princess Trixie Sparkle is revealed to have been trapped in a tapestry for most the time prior to the events of the story.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The final fate of the soul that had been the Nightmare - dropped into a pit of monsters that were sealed away before time began and would remain there until time ended without any power and unable to die or defend itself.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: The long-term effect of dark magic use is that the user's personality is subsumed, usually becoming a creature of pure id.
    • This is part of the reason Corona is just as nuts coming out of the sun as she was going in. The last thing she saw before getting sent up there was Nightmare Moon, so in addition to her already present insanity, she thought her littler sister had been corrupted by the darkness and taken over Equestria, and she was powerless to do anything about it.
    • One fic, The Hero of Oaton, shows a pony just starting to get corrupted. Her real personality is buried under the corruption's madness, begging for it to stop.
    • The non-canon fic Nightmares Yet to Come has a group of ponies turn up who've apparently all been brainwashed / corrupted by some of Tirek's magic. Another character states that if (if) there's anything left of their original personalities left, they'd be "beating against the insides of their heads". There's some evidence that the character saying this is speaking from personal experience.
  • In My Maker, Smarty Pants is (for unknown reasons) fully sentient and aware, but can't move or speak, and can only see the world around her when Twilight is playing with her.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A Crown of Stars: Don Barceló’s fate, a blood-thirsty tyrant that ruled Buenos Aires. Psychic soldiers put him into a mental loop where he relived every torture, rape and murder he had ever committed - including sensory feeds- from the victim’s point of view. And there were hundreds of victims! A medical clip also prevented him from passing out and dehydrating. It was agreed leave him like that for a while and then hanging him.
  • The Second Try: Gendo's fate. He falls into a coma. Later he becomes kind of aware, but his whole body is completely paralyzed and he can't communicate with anybody. He wonders if this is his punishment, since he can't even kill himself to try and see Yui again.

New Look Series

  • It happens to Young Link in Link's New Look: Playing Princess where due to Peach's "special" perfume he was forced to act like a girly princess while he was unable to do anything about it.
  • A similar fate happens to Ben Tennyson in Ben's New Look: Mallrats where due to Gwen's Feminisa poseon spell he was forced to act like a girly girl in a crowded mall while he can't do anything about it.
  • It also happened to every boy except ironically Naruto himself in Naruto's New Look due to the caged bird seal used by Shizune.

One Piece

  • In This Bites!, this is quoted in full by Dragon as he witnesses the Body Horror of the Straw Hats stuck in Lily Carnation.
    • Played for laughs; Spandam somehow remains conscious through all of Franky and Robin's graphic retribution - although it doesn't quite count, since he still can scream.


  • Poké Wars has two particular instances of this:
    • Mewtwo's fate at the hands of Ho-oh, who turned him into a conscious puppet that can't take any action, even self defense, without some sort of command.
    • Manaphy gets frozen in a pyramid of ice by Kyogre.

Power Rangers

Ranma ½

  • Song of the Phoenix. The souls of certain victims of Jusenkyo —the ones who originally drowned in the springs to create the curses in the first place— are trapped in the waters. Some of them "sleep" in blissful oblivion... others exist in absolute, endless darkness as nothing but thinking souls, for however many thousands of years it takes for someone to fall in the spring and, if they're exceedingly lucky, hitch a ride in their body. They can only watch from within the body, unable to interact, until the cursed person dies and the other soul is allowed to manifest briefly. And then they go right back into the spring, and the darkness... It is explicitly stated that the soul of the Drowned Girl from the spring that cursed Ranma went through this for 1500 years, to the other characters' horror.

Silent Hill

  • Praying in Vain: Over the course of the story the protagonist finds and frees the victim/s and the murderer/s of several killings throughout the town's history, trapped in its Dark World ever since they were killed and continually experiencing their moment of death (including but not limited to bleeding to death, dismemberment and immolation). It's heavily implied that every single person killed there is in a similar state, forever tortured to sustain the town's Genius Loci and at the end, though pissed at the loss of its food, the personification of the aforementioned loci assures the protagonist that she has accomplished nothing, and that there is plenty more where they came from.

The Simpsons

  • The oneshot An Empty, Meaningless Void goes into depth on a gag in the show. Maude Flanders was a very religious Christian woman but, upon dying, learns that there is no heaven. She's just a lone ghost aimlessly floating around for seemingly all eternity. It's an unbearable existence. She tries to warn her husband about it, but the devout Ned simply believes that Maude is stuck in purgatory for some sin she must have committed. Maude still holds onto the slim belief that this is true and maybe her family can make it to heaven, even though she didn't.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos: This is the result of hearing the voice of Dark Tails or being killed by him. He completely hijacks their bodies while the victim is aware and Forced to Watch the whole time. And then, when they die, he takes their souls and assimilates them into his own, using their screams of eternal torment as conduits of Dark Chaos Energy. Both Venus the Seedrian and Trinity suffer this fate.
    • If you're a woman in the Emirate of Mecca, the Muslims turn you into a living broodmother and force you to constantly give birth after being raped by impregnation machines - and make you nearly immortal so you won't die in childbirth.
    • Tails ends up in this fate during the final battle. Dark Tails possessed him and rapidly mutates his body, causing his limbs and body parts to start rotting off. Then they begin to regrow and fall off again and again and again. And for bonus points his jaw falls off, leaving him unable to even scream. Thankfully, Cosmo gives him a Mercy Kill.
    • Interestingly, this trope could describe Maledict himself; he's a Humanoid Abomination trapped in a decaying physical body for the past five hundred trillion years, slowly watching his empire and the universe come to ruin - and if he dies, it'll spell the end of everything he's worked for.
    • Tsali's body never physically accepted his Unwilling Roboticisation; his remaining biological parts are completely infected and gangrenous, keeping him in constant agony. He never grows or ages either, and he's nearly impossible to destroy. Of course, this simply causes him to unleash his terrible pain and rage upon others instead.
      • The Episode 71 rewrite reveals he was awake and aware the entire time during his roboticisation by the Seedrians. No wonder he murdered the entire Seedrian race when he finally freed himself...

A Song of Ice and Fire

Soul Eater

  • Remember Vajra, Kishin Asura's weapon partner who was eaten by Asura? In Mad Love, it turns out that he was Eaten Alive and is still living and conscious inside Asura's body, and was imprisoned for eight hundred years along with him. He can still hear what's going on outside, but he can't see, move, or transform back to human form.
    Thinking of all they have lost and all that they can never be again, Vajra feels as if Shinigami ripped him apart too, and he wishes so badly it hurts that he could still scream.

StarCraft II

Star Trek

  • The MST of the Marissa Picard fanfic Falling into Command: A briefer and more thankfully resolved example; Crow's attempt at sunbathing on the SOL goes horribly wrong.
    [He] moves his mouth as if to speak, but no words come out. He tries to sit up, but his back stretches like taffy and he is pulled back to a lying position..
  • In the fanfic Transcendence, we see the last day in the life of a Lumuran named Celia, before the Borg invade her world and she, along with her entire species, are assimilated. However, the Lumuran mind reacts with the Collective in a unique way. The Lumurans retain the ability to have individual thoughts within the hive mind, but this doesn't help them much, as their minds are still part of the Collective, and their bodies are still under the control of the Borg. Essentially, Celia is still fully conscious within the mind of Eight of Ten, her assimilated self, and is forced to continue to watch the atrocities the drone commits at the Collective's will. To make matters worse, the Borg Queen is aware of this, but is leaving it alone, as the individuals are not affecting the efficiency of the drones. All Celia can do is continue to watch and pray that one day, she will be either liberated or killed.

Star Wars

  • Paranormalities:
    • This is the fate of anyone who is subject to Forceless possession. Not only can Forceless completely hijack the host's body, they can physically shape (read: mutilate) it to their desire, make them functionally immortal, the victim is consciously aware of what is happening to him/her and only those with Force Sensitivity can tell of their predicament. Because there initially isn't any apparent way to have them un-possessed, killing them is usually considered one of the most merciful things that can be done for them (a fact that the Forceless Collective exploits for psychological warfare, especially against Jedi). So far, the only exceptions to this rule are those who willingly serve the Forceless Collective (Emperor Valkor prefers it this way, especially since only Force users can consciously control their own powers), and beings that have developed immunities to possession over generations, such as the Vaelor bloodline. Beings in the latter category are often targeted for extermination if Valkor knows about them (Maesterus/Seferin avoided being marked because early generations can be possessed and Valkor learned too late), because not only can he not control them, the later generations, such as Zolph, are capable of feeding on Forceless for a power boost, making him even more of a threat than just being immune. However, it's later revealed that killing hosts doesn't always free them from the Collective's grasp. Instead of becoming one with the Force, anyone who dies while possessed can have their body consumed by the symbiote and then their consciousness imprisoned in the Pool of Souls, until Valkor decides he wants to resurrect them for his own use (with the possible strings attached being that their new body is made entirely out of Black Matter, and they can be sent back to the Pool of Souls any time they slip up).
    • Balos Oiren (AKA Armogeist) had his body destroyed and his essence transferred to an immobile, wooden figurine by his sadistic former Sith master Masochus after both were exiled from the Sith Empire. While in this state, Masochus was free to torture his apprentice even further without killing him. When they made it to the Valkoran Empire, Balos was freed from this torment when Maesterus and Grein transferred his life force to a much more mobile suit of armor. While this state is undeniably an improvement over the figurine, it still feels like an empty existence to him since he's basically a poltergeist, and Valkor deemed him too valuable to let him become one with the Force.
    • This trope is the core reason Grein refuses to teach Zolph how to use Force liquefaction: This ability requires awareness of every molecule body, how to deconstruct and reconstruct them, and how to move them, and this ability demands mastery. Those who fail to master it can potentially be stuck as immobile but conscious water puddles until they either master it, evaporate to death, or get absorbed into soil. Valkor taught Grein this ability as a way to torture her, and she was stuck in puddle form for weeks, with Valkor adding water to her to keep her alive.
  • Discovery: Ahsoka Tano is just conscious enough while frozen in carbonite to know that she has been frozen for a very long time (43 years, to be precise). All that time, she has been weakly trying to use the Force, despite her state of frozen hibernation, to cry for help, only for no one to reply. And when a Jedi (Kyle Katarn) finally finds her and responds to her Force call, Ahsoka, either not conscious enough to sense him, or desperate to get out of the carbonite at that point, still cries for help in the Force.

Super Mario Bros.

  • In Part 2 of Clash of the Elements, this is Cackletta's final fate, in which her 'Second Life' spell in combination with Alpha's nanomachines will leave her in a perpetual state of life and death until the spell runs out.

Super Smash Bros.

  • Marx's Boss Battle becomes one of these for him in Smile for the Sake Of Everyone. Dharkon is in complete control with his body and forces him to attack his friends, while all he can do is beg for help in his mind. As soon as he is freed, Marx says that all he wanted to do was scream.


Touken Ranbu


  • Numb portrays Megatron as being fully aware that he is being experimented on during his time in stasis, but unable to do anything about it.


  • TRON Fanon holds that rectification is like this, the poor Program intermittently conscious and aware of the horrible things s/he is doing to serve their "masters," but unable to stop themselves from carrying it out.


  • In Through Her Eyes, Jacob Black- now an insane rapist indirectly responsible for Bella being turned into a vampire because he delivered a serious beating to her that she could never have survived otherwise- is punished for his final attack by Bella using her powers to completely shut down Jacob's senses; he is still alive, but has been rendered blind, deaf, and dumb, totally unaware of anything around him, with his wolf status meaning that he could theoretically stay in that state forever depending on his potential lifespan.
  • Briefly in Luminosity: Carlisle once tries using morphine to anesthetize the vampire transformation. Once. It looked promising at first, as the patient appeared to be blissfully unconscious — but the moment the morphine wore off, the patient reported that the morphine actually just paralyzed them and didn't do a thing about the pain.

Warrior Cats

  • In Spottedleaf's plot, Cinderpelt's reincarnation isn't true reincarnation. Instead, Cinderpelt becomes trapped in Cinderkit's body. She has no control over the body and instead acts as a sort-of subconscious instead.

The World of Darkness

  • Early in a Werewolf: The Apocalypse fan fic, the main character suffers sleep paralysis in his bathtub and wakes up right before drowning. As if that wasn't horrifying enough, the character is later kidnapped by the villains and forcefully possessed by an evil spirit. He likens it to the episode he suffered earlier, except he actually drowns.

Young Justice

  • In With This Ring, Michel Siskin was one of the psychics used to create Terror Thing, only his soul was trapped inside and couldn't get out again.


  • In Yu-Gi-Oh The Thousand Year Door, Redux, the Shadow Queen spent the first few three centuries of so of her millennium-long imprisonment like this; she was manacled tightly in a very small, dark cell, unable to move a muscle, fully awake and aware. For much of the fic, the readers - and the protagonists - are led to believe that the Three Heroes mercilessly sentenced her to this fate, and never intended to release her. The truth comes out much later. The same magic that made her a prisoner was supposed to administer therapy to nurture her mind so that hopefully, once all her crimes were forgotten over ten centuries, she could be released after accepting redemption. She was even offered a chance to sleep through it. She rejected both, and fought to free herself of the chains until she succeeded, and then spend centuries plotting revenge.


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