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Alone with the Psycho

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What's the matter? YOU SCARED!?

You tried to cut me down, told me I was alone
Felt like a prisoner trapped inside my own home
You tried to kill me dead, but I won't feed your ego
Sidney Prescott, bitch, I'm in this for the sequel!
RedHook "Cure 4 Psycho"

The young police officer goes to visit the house of one of the suspects in a Serial Killer case. Meanwhile, back at the police station, the detectives put together the clues to see who the killer is.

Simultaneously, the two parties figure out the truth — the detectives through the DNA test, the officer through finding the Torture Cellar or the Room Full of Crazy. The suspect is the Serial Killer. (If the officer doesn't find the lair, then at the very moment the detectives figure it out, the suspect — having pulled the wool over everyone's eyes up to now — will suddenly start acting like a serial killer.) The detectives try to contact them, but their mobile isn't working properly.

They're alone in the house with a serial killer. Will they survive? The answer to that is generally "yes", although The Cavalry almost certainly won't arrive until the very nick of time.

The killer may take the opportunity to engage in some Evil Gloating, probably involving I Have You Now, My Pretty. If the would-be victim is feeling gutsy, she may respond with Shut Up, Hannibal!

The house-visitor is most often female and attractive, although there have been male examples.

Compare Exposition Victim and Consulting a Convicted Killer. See also The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Inverted in Black Lagoon when Balalaika finds herself alone with Psycho for Hire Hansel. The inversion is that Balalaika quite easily has him killed.
  • Conan's friend Mitsuhiko finds himself in this situation in Case Closed, when he goes firefly hunting in a forest... and the man who tags with him is a Serial Killer. Subverted in that the Serial Killer never intended to harm Mitsuhiko; he wanted to see the forest of his childhood one last time before being executed for his crimes.
    • Also happens to Conan himself, Ran, Sonoko, Officer Takagi and Kobayashi-sensei. In Ran's case, she almost was drowned by said psycho; in another subversion, he didn't intend to kill her and just wanted an alibi. And in Takagi's, he was beaten bloody and then shot by the psycho, and only a Pocket Protector saved him from certain death.
  • In the climax of the first arc of A Certain Scientific Railgun, Saten is put into a coma by the Level Upper, causing Uiharu to go visit Dr. Kiyama to analyze the data they've collected. While Dr. Kiyama is getting coffee, Uiharu notices some research papers sticking out of a drawer. Meanwhile, at the local Judgment branch office, Ms. Konori is accessing the Judgment database to see if they can find whose brainwaves are being shared between the victims of the Level Upper. Just as they discover that it's Dr. Kiyama, it cuts to her walking in on Uiharu reading the research papers. Realizing she's been found out, Dr. Kiyama kidnaps Uiharu and flees. The other characters try to call Uiharu, to no avail, before notifying Antiskill and giving chase. There's a bit of a twist, though, in that Dr. Kiyama is not evil, and even gives Uiharu the key to fixing what she's done to use after she accomplishes her goal, even as she has Uiharu handcuffed and held hostage.
  • From Death Note this happens to Naomi Misora on two separate occasions, once in a prequel and once in the main story. She doesn't survive the second one.
  • Happens in FAKE when NYPD cops Ryo and Dee vacation in England. They do their best so it doesn't become a Busman's Holiday but Ryo eventually finds himself alone with a serial killer. Who also happens to be the owner of the hostal they're staying in, and has a HUGE hate for Japanese people (like Ryo) since three Japanese tourists raped and killed his daughter.
  • Happens to Tohru in Fruits Basket. In that case, the psycho is Akito, who's going through a HUGE Villainous Breakdown. Tohru manages to turn the tables around via speaking to her gently and trying to offer her friendship. And then Tohru falls off a cliff... and Akito soon has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Happens in Haruhi Suzumiya, when Kyon is alone in a room with Asakura Ryoko who reveals to be a Stepford Smiler Psycho Knife Nut. She also uses her data manipulation skills to make the room inescapable. Luckily, Yuki Nagato, who is just as skilled with data handling, notices it from outside and busts in for a rescue. This is par for the course as he also knows a girl who may destroy the universe whenever she gets PMS and another who kidnaps the entire world just to be alone with him.
  • In The Heroic Legend of Arslan, while at Peshawar, Arslan is cornered by Hilmes when walking alone at the top of Peshawar's walls, with Hilmes having killed the patrolling guard earlier. It's made clear that Hilmes was toying with Arslan the entire time when he could have easily killed the boy.
  • Anyone who has an encounter with Johan in Monster usually does not survive the ordeal, although there have been exceptions.
    • The scene in which Dr. Reichwein counsels a mysterious patient, only to find out it's Roberto.
  • This is used for the Ambiguous Ending of Odd Taxi. At the end of the last episode, a murderer gets into Odokawa's taxi and it is unclear if they are planning to kill him and it is also uncertain if Odokawa was able to figure out the murderer's identity, though it was implied earlier that he did.
  • A variant is done in Red River (1995). Just as Prince Kail and his men catch a servant who spills the beans on who The Mole is in their group, Yuri discovers that she's been alone with the evil queen's right-hand man, and had asked him to help her find the MacGuffin the queen was looking for.
  • Happens frequently in Sci-Fi HARRY whenever someone (usually Harry or Catherine) gets a visit from the local Creepy Child, Chiniro.
  • This happens in the sequel to Tokyo Ghoul, with the Quinx Squad split into two teams independently investigating the Ghoul Torso. Mutsuki ends up getting into a taxi cab, which happens to be driven by Torso and happens to fit the Ghoul's preference for victims. He's beaten unconscious after a brief struggle and kidnapped, but the rest of the team manage to separately discover Torso's identity and give chase.
  • A homosexual variant occurs in In These Words where Asano ends up kidnapped and tortured by his Stalker with a Crush who also happens to be a Serial Killer. But the man, whose name he can't seem to remember, has no intention of killing him, at least not immediately, not before he gets to satiate his desires.

    Comic Books 
  • Uncanny X-Men 143 “Demon” in which newest X-Man/girl Kitty Pryde is left alone to deal with an Alien-like demon.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Chromedome goes inside of Overlord's head, alone, to find out how he was upgraded to be so strong. Overlord spends most of it confused, and asking to die. However, when Chromedome reveals Megatron is alive, Overlord hijacks the mental link, wakes himself up and goes off on a killing spree.
  • Subverted in Daredevil #75 when Matt leaves his girlfriend Milla in his apartment to go after Kingpin. He's smart enough by this point to know Bullseye will come after her, and as soon as he shows up, Daredevil throws him out the window, beats him senseless and hands him to the FBI.
  • The first issue of Black Magick opens with Detective Rowan Black being called to a hostage scenario where the hostage-taker is asking for her specifically, by name. In order to secure the release of all of the hostages, Rowan agrees to allow herself to replace them. Once alone with the taker, it becomes clear that he has been put under a spell compelling him to kill Rowan, which he begs her to help him escape. Rowan cannot help him, and is forced to kill him when he tries to burn her alive.
  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics: A variation in the story "The Hooded Eagle" (1994) by writer John O' Conner. Mickey Mouse is hired to take part in the search for a rare, missing eagle. The search leads to an isolated location in the Arctic, and Mickey and his client are the only people around. Then the client turns out to be the Phantom Blot in disguise, and pulls out an ax. The search was a pretext to bring Mickey to an isolated location and kill him. The rest of the story is a battle for survival.
  • A variation in Man-Thing vol. 2 #5 (July, 1980). Early in the story a rich girl called Barbara "Barbie" Bannister takes a liking to a seemingly nice young man, Ian, and convinces her family to take him aboard their ship. He turns out to be a Ruthless Modern Pirate with good looks and no morals. He leads Bannister's family to a trap, where they are slaughtered by his crew. All except Barbara, who is apparently sexually molested. She manages to escape with her life, while the pirates attempt to track her down to kill her. During the story Ian's crew gets killed and Barbara manages to take refuge in a friendly house. But finally Barbara is trapped alone in the house with Ian, who by this point has no other goal other than killing her. He turns out to not be so scary without a group of thugs to support him, so Barbara gets over her fear of her nemesis and attacks him. She beats the crap out of him and the story ends. In this case the Damsel in Distress turned out to be more dangerous than the villain.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Incredibles 2: While looking at the video of her fight with Screenslaver, Elastigirl gets visited by Evelyn Deavor, to whom Helen explains her theory that the man she captured earlier in the evening wasn't actually Screenslaver, but a mind-controlled dupe. Naturally, given what trope page this is, Evelyn slaps a pair of mind-controlling goggles on Helen shortly thereafter.
  • Treasure Planet: While attempting to gain control of the ship, Jim finds himself trapped on the upper deck with Scroop. You know, the red and black scorpion-looking dude with a terrifying voice who killed Mr. Arrow? Yeah, you better believe it qualifies as this trope.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Emmett and Michelle are trapped in a bunker with Ambiguously Evil Howard. The situation becomes creepier after Howard offs Emmett.
  • Jane in And Soon the Darkness runs to the cop who, unbeknownst to her, is a rapist and murderer who raped and killed both a Dutch backpacker three years before and her friend Cathy. Subverted because Paul isn't really dead and saves her.
  • After she spends two and a half films successfully avoiding her abusive adoptive father, Thanos finally gets his hands on Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War. This ends with with a little trip to Vormir and Gamora dying at Thanos's hands as a sacrifice, with no one but Red Skull as a witness.
  • Bad Apples: On Halloween night, Ella is all alone in the house because Robert has to work a night shift at the hospital, much to her chagrin. Then the two girls show up.
  • The finale of Black Christmas (1974) has a young girl alone in the house with the killer. The police arrive too late but find her still alive after having offed what she assumed to be the killer herself. Unfortunately, the real killer is still hiding in the attic of the house and the girl is left alone in the house by the police, leaving her fate ambiguous.
  • In Blood Simple the female lead winds up alone with a psycho killer in her apartment.
  • Subverted in Con Air, where the creepy serial killer Garland Greene (Steve Buscemi) is having a one-on-one session with a little girl. After a cutaway, we see him walk off with the girl's doll, implying that she's dead. However he's later seen singing the same song she was, and she's shown alive too. It seems she was perhaps the first person ever to make an emotional connection to him.
  • In Cruising, the cops' brilliant plan is to get their own man alone with the serial killer. Causes a moment of Fridge Logic later on. Burns allows himself to be tied up by a man he suspects is the killer. His cop buddies bust in to save him, and he tells them they have no evidence because they busted in too soon. But if they'd waited, he would have been raped and killed.
  • Happens in The Element of Crime, in the most twisted possible way: Detective Fisher and a potential victim of the child killer are waiting for him, in a small room. Suddenly, one of the killer's signature statuettes falls from Fisher's pocket. The little girl now believes she is Alone With The Psycho, and tries to flee… and in the ensuing panic, Fisher ends up killing her using the same method as the killer.
  • Played for Laughs in Epic Movie. A dark parody of Willy Wonka makes candy out of human body parts and released golden tickets to people so he could lure then in to his factory for resources. Luckily, the children escape to Narnia, but Wonka gets away with it. It's mainly Gallows Humor so this trope would be remade as comical.
  • Fargo
    • The film seems to be heading for this kind of climax when pregnant Marge Gunderson, the Brainerd, Minnesota sheriff, ends up at the remote cabin occupied by Psycho for Hire Gaear Grimsrud. She captures him easily.
    • To contrast, kidnapping victim Jean Lundegaard is in a similar situation with Grimsrud sometime earlier in the film while Carl goes to meet her father Wade. It ends much worse for her; when Carl returns, Jean is dead, with Grimsrud saying he killed her because she was screaming too much.
  • From Russia with Love has James Bond cornered by the psycho SPECTRE assassin, Red Grant, who was planning a sadistic fate for Bond after he got the Lector. Fortunately, he was enough of a sucker to be tricked into setting off Bond's tear gas booby trap in his attaché case, allowing Bond to tackle him.
  • The Millennium Trilogy: In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mikael is unaware of Martin's true nature until he gets a tranquilizer dart jammed into his neck. Martin was probably going to let Mikael go if Mikael didn't make a slip in conversation.
  • Hard Candy plays out in the house of the victim Jeff, where he is being first sedated and then tortured by Hayley. However, the roles of "psycho" and "victim" switch several times between Hayley and Jeff from the second act onwards.
  • Dennis Nedry finds himself stuck with a cute little dinosaur in Jurassic Park while trying to escape with stolen dinosaur embryos. Unfortunately, the cute dinosaur is actually a violent predator and mauls the unsuspecting villain.
    • Also, Robert Muldoon comes across a Velociraptor while journeying through a forest. He tries to kill it first, but suddenly another Velociraptor surprises him, killing the unsuspecting victim. Clever girl, indeed.
  • An inversion happens in Kiss the Girls: the officer is visiting one of the victims and reveals himself to be the serial rapist/killer just as another detective is putting the pieces together back at the station. The killer manages to cut the victim's phone line just before the other detective tries to call.
  • During the climax of Lady on a Train, Nikki realises that the person she thought was rescuing her from the killer actually is the killer, and has just brought her into the room where he murdered Josiah...
  • Last Night in Soho: Defied by Ellie who tells John to go look for her if she doesn't return from her apartment after 15 minutes. When she indeed doesn't due to getting poisoned by Ms. Collins, John rings the bell and brings the Evil Plan down.
  • The ending of No Country for Old Men has the protagonist's wife encountering Psycho for Hire Anton Chigurh in her house even after her husband's death. Subverted in that she doesn't survive the encounter.
  • In Patch Adams Patch's girlfriend and fellow doctor Carin responds to a call from a chronically depressed patient. After some creepy dialogue between Carin and Larry, we cut to a scene where the dean tells Patch he killed her and then himself. Quite a shocking development in an otherwise upbeat movie. Truth in Television in that Patch Adams' real life best friend died that way. Though his friend was a man whom he had absolutely no romantic interest in.
  • Graham's confrontation with Lecter in Red Dragon is a rare instance of this happening at the start of a movie, and unless the audience is completely new to the franchise, they are well aware of how in trouble Graham is from the beginning.
  • Marvin Nash is tortured and almost killed by sadistic sociopath Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs because of this trope.
  • This happens to Detective David Mills' wife in the film Se7en. Unfortunately, Detective Somerset later finds her decapitated head in a box.
  • The climax of The Silence of the Lambs occurs when a Cut Apart reveals the police squad followed a false lead, but the main character actually meets Buffalo Bill and follows him into his own booby-trapped lair, initially unaware he's anything more than a witness.
  • Sin City has a scene where Marv visits an old farm to search for clues and doesn't realize it is the home of the Serial Killer. He survives, but the killer does defeat and imprison him for a time.
  • Switchback: Lane, after he's realized Bob really is the serial killer. They're in a train car, and Bob murders the other person there.
  • In When the Bough Breaks (1994), Macleah breaks into the killer's house, and is still there when he arrives home. The two teenage girls he's holding prisoner are also there, but they're in no condition to help Macleah.
  • Occurs at the end of Zodiac. Subverted in that while the character played by Jake Gyllenhaal is convinced the clues all add up, the truth is never revealed.
  • In Dark August, Jackie sneaks into the house of McDermott, who's put a curse on her boyfriend Sal. While she's snooping around the basement where he works his magic, he suddenly arrives home and grabs her by the neck. She manages to fight him off and escapes with the wax ball he used to place the curse.

  • Blindfold: After being convicted of murder, Trey ends up sharing cellmates with Serial Killer Eli Stone, although it's played with since Strone (who sees himself a dispenser of justice) considers Eli an innocent for most of their time together and never tries to add him to his list of victims.
  • In The Cabinet of Curiosities, Smithback breaks into Dr. Leng's mansion expecting to rifle through an abandoned old house looking for clues to the murders 130 years ago. He finds he's stumbled onto the lair of the current killer and is quickly taken captive.
  • City of Bones (1995): Khat is repeatedly caught alone by the insane, murderous archmage Constans, and has to resort to distractions to get away. However, Constans turns out to be a different flavour of crazy than thought and is more interested in manipulating Khat into helping him than in killing him.
  • In Crime and Punishment, Svidrigailov locks Dunya in a room with himself and a gun... because he loves her. Alone With the Psycho indeed.
  • In Crooked House, the protagonist is alone several times with the killer, Josephine, but he never suspects and instead feels quite protective of her, ironically fearing she, being a child, might become a victim.
  • In the novel Falling by Christopher Pike, FBI agent Kelly Feinman thinks she has tracked down the Acid Man serial killer, Michael Grander. She goes to interview Michael's university professor, Gene Banks, to get background info to support her case on Michael. All the while she has kept her insights secret from the rest of the FBI. Professor Banks invites her to his apartment to supply information on Michael. While there, Kelly deduces Banks is the Acid Man and had all along planned to frame Michael. Banks holds her hostage and pours acid on her, with the FBI none the wiser.
  • Fallocaust:
    • Done twice with Killian and Perish. The first time Killian is forced to pretend to be Perish's boyfriend when he and Reaver are held captive to earn their captivity. In The Ghost and the Darkness Perish uses a Slave Collar to drag Killian and a Dwindling Party of slaves across the greywastes until it ends as this.
    • Roughly the first half of Severing Sanguine has Sanguine held captive by a pedophile.
  • In Four Against the Mob by Oscar Fraley, Elliot Ness is conducting a lengthy interrogation of a suspected Serial Killer, under the guise of a friendly conversation as they have no evidence against him. At one point, Ness orders in lunch for them both and gets rather uncomfortable when the suspect starts eying him while clutching a steak knife, but reassures himself that two of his men are in the next room. Only when he opens the door after the interview is over, he finds the room empty! Turns out his men went out to get their lunch when they heard Ness order his, not realising how serious the situation was.
  • Older Than Radio: Near the end of Great Expectations, Pip is captured and imprisoned by the violently insane Orlick.
  • At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry barely escapes from Voldemort, managing to return to Hogwarts. It seems like he's safe until he's lured to an office by Barty Crouch Jr, disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, and held at wandpoint while Crouch maniacally explains his plans. Luckily, he is interrupted by Dumbledore before he can kill Harry.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Put the One Ring on? Now you're in the Wraith World, with only Sauron and any Nazgûl that happen to be in the area for company.
  • Millennium Series: Seen in Men Who Hate Women (English language title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), with the satisfying twist that the older man, Blomkvist, is the idiot who goes to interview the murderer alone and gets captured. The attractive young woman, Salander, is the one who figures it all out and races over to take out the killer and save her partner's life. Considering that the psycho in this case is promising him rape, torture, and death by strangulation in a short time frame, it's probably a good thing that Lisbeth has access to a golf club.
  • In Murder is Easy, one of the amateur sleuths goes to stay with the suspected murderer, thinking that if the murderer does not know they know, they will be safe. In fact, the psycho has other reasons to kill her, with her partner only figuring out the vital clue at the last minute.
  • A variant is used near the climax of Otherland. Australian cop Calliope Skouros goes to an apartment on the trail of a Serial Killer after backtracking a suspicious Internet search. Knocking on the door, she encounters not Dread himself, but his unwitting conspirator, Dulcie Anwin, who has coincidentally just discovered Dread's secret and is in the throes of a Heroic BSoD over it. Skouros doesn't realize Dread is there until he stabs her in the back and subsequently shoots Anwin. Both survive, but it's a very close call.
  • Pretty Girls has Lydia Delgado kidnapped and tortured by Paul Scott for the last third of the book.
  • Rivers of London: In The Hanging Tree, Peter is conducting a routine sweep of a victim's home for occult materials when he deduces that the victim's father is the Faceless Man.
  • Sherlock Holmes: In "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", Holmes states that this is why he deems idyllic rural settings potential haunts for Karma Houdini Domestic Abusers.
    "There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard's blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbors, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going, and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields ... Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser."
  • In Still Life with Crows, Corrie runs off to investigate the cave without calling Pendergast because she doesn't want to look foolish if she's wrong. She ends up running into the killer and taken prisoner.
  • Teen Power Inc.: In Danger in Rhyme, the villain is a Mad Bomber who blows up places that rhyme with the lyrics in the song "This Old Man", and once it's time for the tenth bomb. Then, around the time the tenth bomb is due to go off, the heroes get a massive Alone with the Psycho Oh, Crap! moment when the person they have just identified as the most likely culprit (and who Elmo has suggested may be suicidal) enters the room while carrying a bag big enough to hold a bomb. It turns out that he is only a Red Herring, but the scene is a tense one.
  • In the Temps story "Leaks", when Ken's getting involuntary electroshock from a DPR scientist who wants to prove a point, it's fairly obvious he's alone with a psycho. However, he then deduces that the psycho is also partly responsible for the scheme that brought him here in the first place... and then realizes that this probably wasn't the best time to say so.
  • In one of the Zack Files books, Zack and a friend were stuck in a house alone with an actor who turned out to be a vampire.
  • In Z for Zachariah, the main protagonist discovers the man she's nursed back from radiation sickness, possibly the only other living human being on the planet, turns out to be a controlling, borderline-sociopath who shoots her in an attempt to make sure she can't run away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, Lana escapes the asylum and goes home with Dr. Thredson to avoid being found at her own house. While there, she begins to notice several frightening clues that point to him being the local serial killer Bloodyface; specifically she has a silent Oh, Crap! moment when she notices a lampshade with a human nipple on it. Lana excuses herself under the pretense of needing to use the bathroom but is actually trying to escape when she accidentally comes across Thredson's "workroom". He catches her and sends her through a trap door down into his murder dungeon. There, he keeps her captive, chaining her to a bed and holding her there because he's been obsessed with her for sometime.
  • The Avengers: The episode "The Joker" has Emma Peel trapped in a house with a psychopath who is obsessed with her, and wants to drive her as insane as he is. The script was recycled from a previous Avengers story, "Don't Look Behind You", which starred Emma Peel's predecessor, Cathy Gale.
  • Just like in the film above, in Bates Motel anyone stuck with Norman Bates is in grave danger. Not even his girlfriend, Bradley Martin, was safe when she tried to leave town with him. He ended up killing her in one of his many psychotic episodes.
  • Blake's 7. In "Countdown" the rebels are searching for a Federation officer, who unknown to them has killed a rebel and stolen his uniform. Because this man and other Federation troops are still prowling around, Blake is assigned a bodyguard. Of course the bodyguard turns out to be the disguised Federation officer, which the rebels only realise when they finally locate the officer's file with his photograph.
  • In Season 3 of The Boys (2019), while the Boys are in Russia dealing with Arc Villain Soldier Boy, Starlight is stuck in New York with Homelander while her only ally Queen Maeve is keeping a low profile and her friendly ex-boyfriend Supersonic ends up getting killed by Homelander. Because she's one of the few people who dared to stand up to his bullying, he spends his time tormenting her psychologically to the point of forcing her into a Fake Relationship for ratings.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Psycho Faith has been alone with a victim who was a friend of Buffy's many times, especially Joyce ("This Year's Girl") and Xander ("Consequences").
  • In season 2 of Carnivàle, Sophie becomes the house maid of a very particular psycho.
  • The Cleaner (UK): The plot of "The Widow"; as Wicky is cleaning up the crime scene alone, the murderer comes back and holds him at gunpoint. They seemingly develop a connection and the widow decides to head away with Wicky. However, it's eventually revealed that he used the opportunity to call the police when she wasn't looking.
  • In an episode of The Closer, Chief Johnson goes to the docks to notify the ex-husband of a serial killer's victim that his ex-wife has died and ask him a few questions. Right in the middle of the notification, she gets a call from her team; they just found the long-dead body of their top suspect. She quickly realizes that she's alone in the shop of the new most likely suspect, and tries to get out and call for backup without raising his suspicions. It doesn't work; he attacks her, and she's forced to shoot him.
  • Community parodies the concept in the episode "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics". Annie is left alone with Duncan, after it appears he must be the Ass Crack Bandit. It features a "tense" scene in which Annie must pick up her keys without bending over. Though it is quickly subverted when Duncan himself becomes a victim. And ironically, it is likely that Annie herself is likely the bandit, thus actually inverting this.
  • In Criminal Minds, this seems to happen to Reid a lot, though usually he's not on his own:
    • When Reid and J.J. try to interview a witness at his house but get turned away, they realize moments later that their witness is in fact the UnSub (serial killer they're trying to catch). Rather than wait for reinforcements and let him get away, they brilliantly decide to split up at which point Reid gets knocked out and kidnapped by the unsub. Turns out the guy has multiple personality disorder, with his timid actual personality being cowed by his domineering father's personality, so Reid has to withstand days of torture, emotional distress and drug injections as the rest of the gang races to track down the UnSub's hiding spot.
    • In "Damaged," Reid and Hotch are interviewing a death row convict when it turns out that the criminal planned the timing of their meeting so that the guards aren't present to stop him trying to murder them.
    • "Somebody's Watching" has Reid alone in Lila Archer's house with Lila and her stalker.
    • Reid and Prentiss are held hostage by a religious cult in "Minimal Loss".
    • Reid also tries to do this at the end of "The Fisher King". Hotch and Gideon don't let him.
    • Prentiss uses her similarity to the UnSub's victims to get into his house at the end of "In Name and Blood", and is nearly killed when he stuns her with a plank of wood.
    • Hotch at the end of season 4 and beginning of Season 5. However, Hotch, stabbed multiple times, is not rescued by his teammates, but rather by the Reaper, who ambushed him, and who takes Hotch to hospital to makes sure that he survives to suffer.
    • It was a seriously bad idea to let Elle go home at the end of Season 1...
    • The end of "Our Darkest Hour" sees Morgan and Detective Spicer (then, when the detective's killed, just Morgan) held captive by the Prince of Darkness. After incapacitating Morgan, the Prince leaves with Spicer's daugher Ellie, who he keeps with him until his death.
    • In "The Performer," JJ visits the house of the victim's friend. In accordance with the trope, the team discovers that she's with the UnSub while she's there, alone.
    • Season 7 has Seaver get in trouble after she decides to go see someone who turns out to be the killer.
  • CSI also did it with Catherine in season 3's "A Little Murder," when a uniformed cop failed to clear the scene completely and Catherine got jumped.
  • CSI: NY has done it twice; first with Stella in "All Access," and more recently with Jo in "Means to an End." Both cases resulted in the would-be killer being shot in self defense.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Ben Urich ends up the victim of this in the penultimate episode of season 1 as he comes home after being fired from the Bulletin, and finds Wilson Fisk in his apartment. They have a conversation that ends with Fisk choking Ben to death with his bare hands for having gone with Karen to see his mother Marlene.
    • Karen Page does this once per season.
      • Season 1: In "The Path of the Righteous," in response to learning about her and Ben visiting Fisk's mother, James Wesley kidnaps her, takes her to a warehouse by the docks, and tries to intimidate her into telling lies about Fisk. It culminates in her grabbing Wesley's gun and shooting him to death when he's distracted by the sound of his phone ringing, as Fisk tries to call him from the hospital.
      • Season 2: In "The Dark at the End of the Tunnel," after Frank Castle is seemingly killed when the Blacksmith's boat is blown up, Karen makes a visit to Frank's former commanding officer Colonel Ray Schoonover, to interview him for a profile on Frank. At one point, Karen glances at a wall where Schoonover has a number of photos of himself posing with fellow soldiers, and freezes when she recognizes one of them as one of the dead bodies she saw getting zipped up in a body bag at the docks, causing her to realize that Schoonover is the Blacksmith.
      • Season 3: In "Upstairs/Downstairs," as a response to Dex's attack on the Bulletin, Karen visits Fisk in his penthouse, planning to provoke him into trying to kill her so that he'll violate the terms of his house arrest and be sent back to prison. She initially tries to get him to snap by revealing the details of the visit that she and Ben paid to Fisk's mother at the nursing home. That doesn't work, as Fisk counters by revealing that he knows Matt is Daredevil. To which Karen shoots back by revealing her role in Wesley's death. Foggy ends up intervening before Fisk can hurt Karen in response to this. Not only does Karen's gambit end up failing, but Fisk puts a hit out on her, dispatching Dex to the church where she's hiding out, and getting several innocent people (including Father Lantom) killed in the process. (And to top it all off, the FBI guards later turn out to be working for Fisk, so what's to say they wouldn't have intervened had Foggy not shown up when he did?)
  • A very creepy Double Subversion in the six-episode anthology Darknet. The second episode starts with a police officer entering an apartment to question a woman about a murder in the building. The woman, an artist, begins asking all sorts of creepy questions about the murder, and the cop explains that a knife was used to slice the victim's throat, after which the victim's blood was used to paint something on the wall. It's all but stated that the woman is the killer and the cop is Alone With The Psycho... until she asks when the murder happened and the cop answers "It hasn't happened yet" and attacks her, seizing a kitchen knife and slicing her throat.
  • The climax to season 1 of Dexter has Dexter's adopted sister, Debra, kidnapped by her boyfriend - who also happens to be Dexter's biological brother; another serial killer obsessed with having a "family reunion" with his long-lost sibling.
    • And the ending of season 2 has Doakes and Dexter sharing a few deep, emotional conversations, and bonding a bit, while Doakes is Dexter's prisoner at the cabin.
    • An episode of season 6 has Batista visit the house of Doomsday Adam, realizing only too late that he and his wife are working with the Doomsday Killer, Travis Marshall.
  • Sherlock in Elementary sometimes goes out of his way to be alone with someone who he knows is the psycho to confront them without the police or anyone else knowing, such as in the episode "The Deductionist".
    • Happens to Joan in "Heroine" when she was forced to go out to a fancy restaurant for lunch with Irene/Moriarty.
  • In Flashpoint:
    • Happens often when the subject tries to get a room/location with only them and their hostage.
    • In "A Day In The Life", Marina is pursued by a former employee who is a Stalker with a Crush for her and returned to the office with a gun. Marina managed to evacuate the others except for her and two others. The employee killed one but Marina, under Parker's guidance, talked him into releasing the other, leaving her alone with the employee (though she still has the SRU team nearby and Parker's aid via bluetooth).
    • "Acceptable Risk" has Claire corralling members of a pharmaceutical company who she felt was responsible for her husband's death. It's made clear she has an extensive hit list. She corners her final victim and his wife before she finally killed by Team One.
    • In "Day Game", Parker is captured by the subject while in the security room and is separated from the rest of the team.
    • Downplayed in "Clean Hands", Sam is taken hostage by the subject but the subject's target is the serial killer the team is safeguarding. While talking with Sam, it's clear he doesn't want to hurt Sam but in his state of mind, the subject might be willing to do so if it got him to his target.
  • The Following:
    • Before Ryan realizes that Joe is the man he's looking for he goes to him for help on the case and they become extremely close, to the point that Ryan feels comfortable casually drinking in Joe's house.
    • This happens threefold in Episode 12 when Ryan, Mike and Debra go to investigate a suspects house and get separated from each other with Debra getting knocked out, tied up and felt up by Jacob, Mike getting trapped in a bulletproof room with Joe and Ryan trapped outside while Joe forces Ryan to watch as he beats on Mike until Ryan agrees to talk about his father's death.
    • Claire, Joe's ex-wife, gets weeks of this when Joe has his followers kidnap her and their son.
    • In the season one finale Joe, after having Ryan's partner kidnapped and murdered, having a hit put out on his protégé and leaving messages for Ryan that he was going to kill Claire, gets Ryan to give himself up to him, has him drugged and taken to an isolated lighthouse so that Joe can explain to him why he has to kill Claire and how he fell in love with Ryan at first sight.
  • Used in Good Eats. Alton goes to visit Coco Carl in a maximum security prison, to ask him about the ingredients in a store-bought protein bar (which included palm kernel oil, high fructose corn syrup, and large amounts of sodium), that was being marketed as a health food.
  • In the Glue finale James is kidnapped by the murderer, beaten, and almost killed.
  • In Gotham, Harvey walks into this in "Spirit of the Goat". He knows that the person he's talking to is the killer, but doesn't realize the way in which they're going to attack him.
  • Hannibal makes generous use of this trope. Really, any time someone's alone with the title character.
    • In a flashback, Miriam Lass visits Hannibal Lecter at his office. When Miriam realizes that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, he asphyxiates her.
    • In season 1, Abigail flees from Will during his mental breakdown. She finds Hannibal at her old house, where he admits to her that he's a serial killer and murders her offscreen.
    • In the season 1 finale, Will realizes that Hannibal is a serial killer when the two are alone at the old Hobbs home. Jack arrives just in time to stop Will from shooting Hannibal.
    • In season 2, Beverly suspects that Hannibal is a murderer. After breaking into Hannibal's house and uncovering evidence of his cannibalism, a VERY unhappy Hannibal discovers her and kills her offscreen.
  • Heroes: Sylar gets this twice with the Bennets. But the dog loves him... actually make that three times, and this time he manages to steal Claire's power. And back in the first season, Mohinder visits a powered human, unaware that the "Zane" he's speaking to is actually Sylar. The real Zane's body is stashed in the kitchen.
    • Any scene with Sylar and another character, really.
  • Jekyll a variation of this occurs when Tom Jackman's assistant, Katherine, ends up trapped alone in their apartment after he transforms into Hyde. Worse still, Katherine has switched the power off as part of a very risky gambit to get past Tom's security, meaning that the security cameras that normally keep Hyde in line are also off; fortunately, after toying with her for a while, Hyde lets her live - so long as she explains why she drugged Tom and switched off the power in the first place.
  • On several occasions in Midsomer Murders, Barnaby puts all the pieces together and figures out the killer's identity, only to then learn that his wife or daughter has gone with the killer to a secluded location and must race to get to them in time. At least twice when this occurs he gets there only to find that the killer has confessed everything to his family member and now wishes to turn themselves in.
  • Millennium (1996): this trope is used several times, most notably in the episodes "The Mikado" and "In Arcadia Ego". In both, Frank Black figures out where the killer is before the police do, and has a confrontation with the killer.
  • Monk loves this trope more than his deceased wife. Usually it's Monk himself who has to be rescued, sometimes it's Natalie or his other sidekicks.
    • Both "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan", "Mr. Monk and the Magician", and "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" have variants of this trope with just Monk.
    • "Mr. Monk Buys a House" has Monk and Natalie chained up to a bathtub by a killing handyman, and Stottlemeyer and Disher barely manage to save them in the nick of time, thanks to a Chekhov's Skill that Natalie has.
  • The pilot episode of Murder, She Wrote sets this up as Jessica has finally found the last piece of evidence that allows her to deduce that the man standing with her is the killer. As she lays out how she realized that he was the murderer, the scene shifts to an ominous angle with suspenseful music only for the killer in question to ask if Jessica will accompany him when he goes to the police to confess.
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "The Talking Dead", a serial killer has arranged for certain people's names to appear in the obituaries, and is then making them true. One of the names is that of Detective Watts. The widow of a man who had reason to blame all the victims for his descent into crime and eventual death confesses. While she's taken away, Detective Watts offers to take her daughter to the fair, before the orphanage has to collect her. After they've gone, Murdoch thinks about a couple of inconsistencies, and realises the motive was right, but it wasn't the mother...
  • Happens quite often on NCIS, and almost always ends in a Redundant Rescue. Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, and even Abby (who is a noncombatant Lab Rat) have all taken their turn here at least once.
    • Neatly subverted in the season five episode "Recoil". Gibbs, Tony, McGee, and Abby check Michael Locke's fingerprints against those of a murderer, while at the same time Ziva takes Locke with her to walk herself back through a previous incident in which she was almost killed. The scene cuts back and forth between the lab and the site of the incident and seems to be building to an Alone With The Psycho realization - especially when Ziva turns around and finds Locke standing behind her in place of her earlier attacker - but when the fingerprint results come back, it's not a match, and Locke is proved innocent.
    • Also subverted in a third season episode where Ziva is in a log cabin and finds a missing woman who was to be the next victim. The Serial Killer is with Gibbs and the others.
  • In Night and Day, Jane’s final encounter with Danny in the catacombs fits this trope. He also has several disturbing sequences alone with Della.
  • Person of Interest has a variation on this concept. Each week, they get a social security number whose owner will soon be involved in a violent crime, but they don't know whether that person is a victim or a perpetrator. One example even featured a character hiring an assassin to kill her alias in an attempt to lure out the heroes.
  • Pretty Little Liars is apparently in love with this trope, so much that they pulled it off four times:
    • Season 1 has Emily and Toby alone together while the others desperately look for her and try to call her. they're wrong about him being the psycho, so technically the trope is averted, but that's what they think it is.
    • Season 1 finale has Spencer alone with Ian at the church.
    • The second season finale has Spencer again, this time with Mona.
    • And in "The Lady Killer", it's Emily's turn to be alone with Nathan St Germain.
  • In almost every episode of Pushing Daisies, someone from the investigation team is directly endangered by the criminal.
  • In season three of "Rizzoli & Isles'' in "Melt My heart to Stone" Maura Isles is having dinner with the killer and the audience figures it out the same time that Rizzoli does. The team rush to save her as the killer pours more wine for the unsuspecting Maura while planning to kill her.
  • This happens fairly often to Rosemary and Laura in Rosemary & Thyme.
    • Zig-Zagged in the episode "Agua Cadaver". Rosemary is alone with Greg, when Laura finds handwriting evidence that points to Greg and rushes to save Rosemary, leaving Neil and Nicola behind. Greg didn't do it, and further analysis points to Neil. Greg, Laura and Rosemary rush back to save Nicola. They find her standing over Neil's body, claiming he attacked her. They then find evidence on the body of Neil's innocence and thus Nicola's guilt. Nicola is caught, and fortunately, Neil is Only Mostly Dead.
  • In the Seinfeld episode, The Opera, Elane creeps into the apartment of "Crazy" Joe Davola. a potentially murderous psycho who she's been dating and is, unbeknownst to her, stalking Jerry. She sees photos of her on the wall taken with a telephoto lens, and Davola invites her into his dark room. It is a surprisingly tense scene.
  • Sherlock:
    • Played with in the first episode "A Study in Pink". Sherlock leaves the flat, ostensibly to "get some air", leaving John to sit about in confusion and continue trying to track down a victim's phone through its GPS. After only a few minutes, John realises that the phone was at Baker Street because the cabbie who was there a few minutes ago had it - and now it's moving again, because Sherlock went out after him, putting Sherlock Alone With the Psycho. Played with in that Sherlock knows full well he's Alone With the Psycho, and actively put himself in that position.
    • Happens to John at the end of "The Lying Detective". As Sherlock finds the clue on the note left in his flat, John realizes with a shock that his therapist he is sitting with is actually an impostor, too late for him to do anything but sit and watch as she locks the doors on him and pulls the trigger.
  • Supernatural had Dean assume the sad eyed little girl he comes across is another victim of the MOTW, turns out she and her family are the MOTW in "The Benders".
  • In the first season finale of True Blood, Sam recognizes the Serial Killer's scent from the jacket left in the bar by Rene, who's just driven Sookie home. Meanwhile, Sookie telepathically catches Rene thinking about his murder of her grandma.
  • The Twilight Zone (2019): In "Try Try" Claudia realizes how uninhibited Mark has become after rejecting him and he reacts with hostility. Mark then openly says he could kill her as the day will just reset. By now, he's gotten her alone in a fairly isolated part of the museum they're visiting too...
  • In the season 2 finale of Veronica Mars Mac finds herself alone with Cassidy Casablancas, who Veronica finds out is responsible for the bus crash which killed their classmates and for raping Veronica at Shelley Pomeroy's party pre-season 1. This particular alone with the killer scenario seems to reference Psycho, with Cassidy intercepting a text from Veronica to Mac stating that he's the killer while Mac is in the shower, though nothing happens to Mac and he goes after Veronica instead.
  • Wire in the Blood has this right out of the gate in the first episode, "The Mermaids Are Singing", all of the victims willingly let their killer into their house: they thought the killer needed help, including Tony for whom the killer had began to fixate on. This happens to Tony a lot throughout the series as he displays extreme empathy towards the killers, using his ability to see their POV to catch them but it also makes them fixate on him in return.
  • Occurs several times in The X-Files, perhaps most frighteningly in the episode "Irresistible" where Scully is captured by the Serial Killer they're investigating — all the more unsettling since this particular case has no paranormal elements.
    • The episode "Unruhe" has a particularly creepy reveal of this as well - while Scully is getting a call from Mulder saying that the kidnapper's legs were out of proportion in the clue they found, the suspect she's investigating shows up in stilts. The shot is blurred, so the focus in on Scully's face, which makes the clear reveal that the man standing behind her is the suspect even more unsettling...

  • "Cure 4 Psycho" by RedHook is about how the singer's ex tried to isolate and gaslight her before she realised his true nature, and mentioned she "felt like a prisoner trapped inside my own home".

  • Really, most of Wait Until Dark, but especially the climax, in which blind Susy is trapped in her apartment with Roat the seething psychopath.

    Video Games 
  • All Alone With Mannie: The whole point of the game is that you're alone in your room with an Ax-Crazy anthropomorphic mouse trying to find and kill you. As such, much of the game is about hiding from her and warding her away with your flashlight.
  • This trope is applied in Baldur's Gate II during the 'skinner murders' sidequest. If, after finding the necessary clues, you decide to present the implications of them to the watch inspector on the case first instead of confronting the suspect directly, you'll find the inspector's corpse stuffed in an oven in the killer's house when you finally do it yourself.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: On a city-wide scale. Civilians have been evacuated from Gotham in the wake of Scarecrow's takeover, leaving Batman, his vigilante allies, Lucius Fox, and the GCPD in the city with Batman's rogues gallery, hundreds, if not thousands, of armed criminals, and the Arkham Knight and his mercenaries.
  • Funtime with Buffy is about a little girl being left alone in the house, and being tasked with cleaning up her toys. All the while she's being pursued by a murderous toy rabbit.
  • The DLC for Heavy Rain focused on a journalist entering a suspected serial killer's house and finding all the proof she needs, just in time for him to come home. Depending on the way the player, um, plays, the main options are for the journalist to hide and sneak out, just plain sneak out, get found but escape, and die.
  • This is a big part of Samara's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2. She enlists your help to kill her serial killer daughter, and the mission has you seducing the daughter until she takes you home, at which point you're trapped alone in her apartment with her and have to keep talking to distract her until Samara can get there and save you. And if your Karma Meter isn't extremely lopsided one way or the other, you'll fail that third and last will save for sure (though Samara still has her Big Damn Heroes moment to save you).
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins has this in its second to last level, with a bit of a twist in that the psycho doesn't even get to the house until the end of the level, and the main character tricks him into thinking he is dead so he can take him by surprise.
  • Clock Tower: The First Fear lives and breathes this trope only with not one, but two active psychos and a third one waiting in the wings in the sequel. Sure, it may not be played straight at first, what with Jennifer (the player) also having three friends with her, one of which, Lotte, is fighting competent, but when the numbers could slowly dwindle down to just Jennifer, and the only ones left eventually are either the scissor-wielding-manically-laughing-deformed Bobby and his equally insane-satanic-vicious-Yandere-potential mother, Mary, this trope is played more straight.
    • This is especially jarring in the C Ending, where (with all three friends dead) Jennifer goes to the second floor and comes face to face with Mary, who proceeds to calmly greet Jennifer (who knows the truth), and attack her with a knife.
  • Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl has a level where, at the behest of an old woman, you seek her lost son in a forest and come across a lonely farm. Exploring, you find a Room Full of Crazy with lots and lots of newspaper clippings about kid disappearances, an imprisoned and beaten cop in the basement, and eventually confront the Serial Killer himself in a barn full of butchered child corpses.
  • Somewhat the point of Five Nights at Freddy's. You're a nameless, featureless security guard trapped in the worst Suck E. Cheese's ever with four murderously psychotic animatronic animals. You are alone, unarmed and if they catch you, they'll horribly kill you. Can you survive until morning?
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 2 has you alone with a grand total of eleven animatronics, but its Five Nights at Freddy's 3 that plays this straightest as it's just you and a lone animatronic who plays this trope frighteningly straight due to being possessed by an actual Serial Killer.
    • In the same vein, a fanmod named Five Nights at Vault 5 has you locked inside an Arena with murderous robots, from midnight to 6 AM, five nights in a row.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: Ludovich Baert after Gaffgarion leaves the room is left alone with a very angry Cardinal Delacroix who kills him in punishment for bringing a fake stone instead of the real one.
  • Madman (2022): The crutch of the game is that it's just you and a killer alone in an Abandoned Hospital.
  • Persona 4: If Tohru Adachi's social link has reached rank six before November 6th—and the player is put on the route to the normal ending—various different scenes play out with him in the hospital, post Namatame kidnapping Nanako, which raise his social link rank even higher. The final of these events follows the protagonist going into the TV alone, in an attempt to bring Adachi to his senses. In response to this, Adachi flat-out denies any and all remorse, and actively attacks the protagonist for being so idealistic. The entire scene unfolds while both the Protagonist and Adachi are alone in Mayumi Yamano's shadow room, and Adachi has a gun trained on the protagonist for the duration.
    Adachi: If crimes could be solved by appealing to morality, we wouldn't need the police!
    • It also retroactively turns every scene with Adachi into this, because you know now that every time you two palled around, or every time he came over for dinner, underneath that easygoing smile and bumbling demeanor he was planning to murder you and your family in cold blood.
  • In the final chapter of Phantasmagoria, Adrienne figures out how to banish the Sealed Evil in a Can that she unwittingly released just as it takes full possession of her husband, alone in the house with her now and trying to kill her in a Grand Guignol-style Death Trap.
  • A serial killer finds out a wanna-be bounty hunter is tracking his last victim, so he lures them down into the basement of his plastic surgery business to dispose of them in secret. However this is Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines and now the killer is alone with a supernaturally strong and fast vampire. It goes about as well for him as you think.
  • In Until Dawn, Sam finds herself alone with the psycho stalking her and her friends on the mountain. It ultimately ends up being downplayed, however, as while Josh's prank was never intended to harm anyone (physically, at least), it's still made clear that they are rather unhinged and his prank could have easily gotten someone hurt or killed had something gone wrong. It just happens that the actual danger to the group has no connection to the prank.
  • Happens in Outlast, as well as in the expansion pack Outlast: Whistleblower.
  • In Far Cry 5, the player character ends up stuck in a bunker with the psychotic cult leader they spent the entire game bringing down-after Hope County gets hit with a nuke from out of nowhere-with the cult leader intending to personally indoctrinate you, as the two of you are now trapped together. Far Cry: New Dawn reveals that Seed successfully brainwashes the protagonist, who becomes his Dragon as "The Judge".
  • A heroic variant in Ryse: Son of Rome. Emperor Nero is taking shelter in his vault with General Marius Titus while Boudica's barbarian army attacks Rome. Nero is more concerned about Damocles the Revenant Zombie finding him instead. But as Marius tells his story to Nero, the Emperor works out that Marius is Damocles, and he's locked in the same room as the man who's vowed to kill Nero for betraying Rome and murdering his family.
  • Mr. Hopp's Playhouse: Your parents have gone missing, so it's just you and Mr. Hopp inside the house.
  • The Doll Shop has an unusual example where the protagonist is the psycho, and the already-suspicious childhood friend of the dollmaker figures this out in the endings where she discovers he's the one who kidnapped and killed the missing girl. He can either kill her as well, or let her go to tell the townspeople.
  • Inscryption: The main premise of the game is that you are in a dark cabin playing a card game with a shadowy figure who intends to turn you into another card for his collection whether you win or lose. After outsmarting him, you later end up alone with a different psycho in a factory, playing a card game to complete his "Great Transcendence".
  • In Police Quest Open Season, after lassoing the dog in Griffith Park, Carey is dragged off to the Serial Killer Big Bad's apartment, and expectedly has to confront the psycho and his dog alone.
  • Saiko No Sutoka: The game revolves around Akira being kidnapped by the titular Yandere girl at their school in the middle of the night so that she could have him all by herself. Much of the game is spent avoiding Saiko while trying to find the code for the locked safe that's in the office, which contains the exit key. Despite obsessively fawning over Akira and her reassuring comments, Saiko is very much a deranged young woman who sadistically toys around with him.
  • At the end of Why Am I Dead, Cricket, who you have been possessing for most of your investigation, reaches the conclusion that the bookish Lucille is most likely the killer. When he confronts her, she asks him to meet her at the scene of the crime, setting up this type of scenario. It turns out to be a huge Bait-and-Switch, with Cricket actually being the psycho that Lucille (an undercover cop) is alone with. In the normal ending, he turns out to be the victim's business partner in a major crime syndicate, and he shoots her in retaliation.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Major/Minor The Midnight Killer likes to do this a lot. They do this especially in the Convention Center. Got an appointment with Max? Expect to die or be set up to die in some fashion.

  • Penny and Aggie has an unusual variant presented in its "Missing Person" arc. Cyndi is trapped with Charlotte, who has kidnapped her and is threatening her. However, despite being taped to a chair, Cyndi herself is very dangerous. Eventually, her words drive Charlotte to slit her own throat. It's only through the interference of an FBI agent monitoring Charlotte's house that she survives. The arc ends with Charlotte in prison and Cyndi in a mental institution, so technically either girl qualifies as the psycho here.
  • Chopping Block likes to use its protagonist as the "psycho" in this situation. Naturally, the girl is much less likely to survive here.
  • Dr. Frost: Chun when he goes to talk to Moon. It doesn't end well.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Scarlet, unknowingly, with Jordan, the first sinner she kills. He seems normal, but is actually a serial killer. The two quickly switch places when Scarlet literally cuts him in half in a dark alley.
    • A second example is the flashback where Chase interrogates a man who murdered his wife and is using his children as hostages unless all charges against him are dropped. They switch roles when, after Chase gets all the information he needs to save the kids, he shoots the man in the head three times, all on camera, knowing the consequences.
  • Age Matters: Near the end of both seasons, Rose Choi ends up alone with Stephen, the hitman who was hired to take out the CEO Daniel Yoon but goes after her to get to him. The first time, Rose gets lost in a crowd and Stephen offers to help her before leading her to a storage room and revealing his true colors. The second time, Stephen sneaks up on Rose after she has run off to be alone, away from her ex.

    Web Original 
  • This situation comes up in each season of Where the Bears Are. In the first season, Nelson thinks that Todd is the killer and subdues him, only to be marched off by Cyril, the real killer. In the second season, Nelson is menaced by one of Todd's exes, and Reggie is ambushed by Cyril but rescued by his new boyfriend Jeremy... who turns out to be that season's real killer.
  • The season finale of Brains sees Alison in the lab alone with the murderer: Professor Sherman.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall:
    • Linkara's first confrontation with the Entity (currently possessing 90's Kid's body) occurs when the two of them are not merely alone in the room, but alone on the planet thanks to the Entity's machinations.
    • Near the end of the "Sleepwalker" arc, Erin ends up alone with Linkara during the launch of Comicron-Two. Granted, Linkara himself isn't the psycho, but the Entity is, which becomes frighteningly clear once it takes control of his body.
  • In one of Dream's Minecraft Manhunts, in the Nether, right before Dream killed BadBoyHalo by shooting his Striderin "Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters FINALE REMATCH," Bad was alone with Dream, who was trying to kill him.
    Bad: Guys, I'm alone with him, he's shooting me!
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: As Jamie heads back home to gather a notebook he has written about his abusers, he is confronted by his father who almost rapes him to death. He has explicitly refused to be accompanied by anyone.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Puppetmaster" Katara ends up alone with Hama, who reveals herself to be evil and a bloodbender, while Aang and Sokka figure out the truth in their own time. Their attempt to come and rescue Katara doesn't work out as planned.
  • Futurama: In "Insane in the Mainframe", where Fry is put into a robot insane asylum, he's roommates with the psychotic Roberto. The room is ten cubic feet across and Roberto likes to practice his stabbing.
  • Kim Possible: In episode 13 season 1, "Monkey Fist Strikes", Ron and Kim go to the home of Adventurer Archaeologist Lord Montgomery "Monty" Fiske in order to ask him a few questions about simian artefacts linked to the ancient art of Tai Shing Pek Kwar, also known as Monkey Fung Fu, when the ninja who stole one of the artefacts earlier reveals himself: Lord Fiske himself, now calling himself Monkey Fist. To make matters worse, "Kim" is actually just one of Wade's holographic images, since he really wanted to test it out and didn't expect a fight to break down. This leaves Ron alone with a superpowered master martial arts fighter and his butler. Just as this is revealed, Kim, at her Cousin Larry's house, learns about Fiske's martial arts skills from Larry and manages to piece everything together. Thankfully for him, with Larry's geek advice Ron manages to get some of the mystical monkey power for himself and Rufus, giving him enough of an edge to put up a decent fight. Ultimately, Fist's martial arts skills prove too strong, and Ron resorts to taking him down by getting Rufus to destroy his monkey idols. Not willing to lose them, Fist catches them one by one until he is holding them all - and can no longer defend himself properly, resulting in Ron knocking him down.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Ed Machine goes home to find Professor Pericles waiting for him, true to form, he left his phone in the car when Angel tries to call him. Sound-Only Death ensues.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Steven the Sword Fighter": The Hologram Pearl, which Steven has been trying to use as a Replacement Goldfish for the real Pearl while she's retreated to her Gem, ends up going berserk while Garnet is off chasing Amethyst, who's floating away as she'd eaten a cloud, leaving Steven to deal with it himself.
    • "Bismuth": At the climax, Steven ends up alone with the title character, who attacks him after he refuses to use her Anti-Regeneration ultimate weapon and insists that it's wrong. He defends himself, but he's clearly terrified.
    • "Bubbled": Steven is trapped in a bubble with Eyeball Ruby, who's recently showed herself to be none-too-sane and wants to eviscerate him to bring his gem back to Homeworld.
  • Wakfu: In S2E20, Qilby the Traitor reveals his true self to Adamai and Grougal after he lures them to his secret lab. They put up a valiant fight but they are ultimately no match for him.

    Real Life 
  • This horrifyingly matter-of-fact passage in The Serial Killers: A Study In The Psychology Of Violence,referring to Edmund Kemper, "The Co-Ed Killer" (more famous to audiences for his fictionalized portrayal in Mindhunter):
    The practice of interviewing convicted offenders by FBI analysts is a valued, ongoing process. No inducement of any kind is offered to the prisoners concerned – some of whom may be on Death Row, awaiting the outcome of their appeals - in return for their co-operation. Furthermore, no visitor may carry weapons inside prison for obvious security reasons, with the result that the lone FBI agents who carried out those pioneer interviews ran considerably personal risk in questioning convicted, violent murderers who literally had nothing to lose, no matter how they reacted. That practice ceased after one agent - who conducted a solitary interview with a serial killer weighing close on three hundred pounds (more than twenty-one stone) and standing six feet nine inches tall - rang three times in fifteen minutes without response when attempting to alert the prison staff that the interview was over. The serial killer... whose crimes included the decapitation of most of his victims, was fully aware of the interviewer's dilemma. "I could screw your head off and place it on the table to greet the guard," he said. The agent bluffed his way through until the warder arrived, and was not harmed; but today all FBI agents work in pairs when interviewing violent offenders in jail.


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Wrong Address

While Buffalo Bill is in his basement, the FBI are seen surrounding a house before attempting to infiltrate using a delivery guy ruse. When Buffalo Bill hears someone knocking on the door and answers it, it's revealed to be Clarice. Meanwhile, Jack realizes the agents are at the wrong address and Clarice is alone with Bill.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

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Main / CutApart

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