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A Tortured Index

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Torture is evil. And yet we're fascinated by it.


Physical torture methods

  • Agonizing Stomach Wound: A wound to the stomach which leads to a long and painful death.
  • Agony Beam: The fantastical ability (in whatever form) that causes extreme pain to whoever it hits.
  • Bathroom Control: A character having a Potty Emergency is tortured by not allowed to go to the bathroom.
  • Cooked to Death: Covers torture by roasting or boiling a victim.
  • Corporal Punishment: Inflicting physical pain as punishment for one's misbehavior.
  • Creepy-Crawly Torture: Torture with insects and other crawly things
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: When torture is taken far enough, it may lead to someone dying in a way that is extremely painful, humiliating, and/or bizarre.
    • Execution: Many (though not all) methods of capital punishment (especially in earlier periods of history) are intended to have the victim suffer a very slow and painful death, and thus can be considered an extreme form of torture.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Denying food as punishment.
  • Electric Torture: Torture done by zapping or electrifying the victim — bloodless, but effective.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy Is Torture: Electroconvulsion Therapy depicted in a negative light.
  • Flaying Alive: Removing someone's skin for torture.
  • Flipping Helpless: A creature that is flipped over on its back cannot get back up again without help.
  • Force Feeding: Forced to eat.
  • Forced Addiction: Getting someone addicted to a drug by force in order to break them.
  • Hanging Around: Hanging someone to cut off their air supply without necessarily killing them.
  • Head in a Vise: A character's head is put in a screw-press, slowly crushing their skull.
  • Iron Maiden: A torture device filled with spikes to stab the poor soul inside of it.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The hero needs information, and fast—thus, they immediately decide to torture their captive.
  • Knee-capping: A good way to keep someone down is to go for their knee.
  • Lobotomy: The medical procedure of cutting into part of the brain to change a person's behavior — either as a "treatment" of mental illness, or torture.
  • Mutilation Interrogation: Torturous interrogation wherein the punishment for not talking is having part of you cut off one-by-one.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Someone overpowers another with little effort and in a very painful, bloody manner.
  • Playing with Syringes: Unethical and possibly incredibly painful experimentation with the goal of creating something.
  • Sinister Suffocation: Torturing someone by suffocating them, but not outright killing them.
  • Soap Punishment: Punishment for crass language involves having to put soap in one's mouth.
  • Stock Punishment: A device that holds someone immobile so that others can assault them with foodstuffs.
  • Tar and Feathers: Either as a comedic prank or a serious form of punishment, someone is covered in hot tar and feathers for humiliation.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Someone is flogged with a whip or cane.
  • Tickle Torture: Tickling is horrible.
  • Water Torture: Such as simulated drowning, ie "waterboarding".
  • What a Drag: Torture/attack/punishment by dragging someone across the ground.
  • Wheel of Pain: People are forced to push a wheel as punishment.
  • Zen Slap: A Zen mentor slapping their disciple as a punishment for misdemeanor.

Mental torture methods

  • And I Must Scream: When a character is forever stuck somewhere, probably unable to talk, move, or even die.
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Non-physical forms of torture, usually psychological, that still freak someone out enough to work.
  • False Roulette: A near-empty gun is fired over and over to cause fear that the next trigger-pull with discharge the only bullet—except, the gun is actually empty.
  • Forced to Watch: A character is forced to watch as someone they love is tortured and/or killed.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Getting someone to talk by holding them over a high drop.
  • The Ludovico Technique: Drugging someone and forcing him (sometimes up to strapping the eyelids so he can't close them) to watch something related to his bad habits to "cure" him from them.
  • Mind Probe: A device that forcibly reads someone's mind, usually in the most painful and traumatizing way possible.
  • Mind Rape: Psychological torture that forces the victim to see horrible things, re-live terrifying memories, feel things that aren't happening, etc.
  • Past Victim Showcase: To show just how bad the torture someone is about to endure is, the villain shows them someone who has already been through it.
  • Punished with Ugly: A beautiful character is punished by losing their beauty.
  • Punishment Box: Punishment comes in the form of being forced into an empty, but probably very uncomfortable and/or lonely, box.
  • Reel Torture: Torturing or punishing someone by making them watch a movie, play, TV show, video recording or photo reel that they find so terrible it causes them agony.
  • Sadistic Choice: Forcing a person to choose between two terrible options.
  • Sleep Deprivation Punishment: Not allowing a person to sleep.
  • To the Pain: Telling a future victim exactly what is going to happen to them in slow, painful detail.
  • Torment by Annoyance: Being annoyed over and over and over and over...

Results of torture

Character tropes

Locations of torture

  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: When Hell is depicted as a fiery place of eternal torture.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Someone is locked in a dungeon to be tortured or punished.
  • Maximum Fun Chamber: Something torturous is said to be so, so horrible, but is either never seen, or seen, but seems innocent enough until it's used.
  • Room 101: The audience may or may not even know what happens in there, but this room is the one no one wants to be sent to.
  • Torture Cellar: A room with the express purpose of torturing people.

Other tropes about torture

Alternative Title(s): Tortured Index, Torture Index