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Blindfolded Trip

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I'm sure this could never end poorly.

"Who wants to put on some blindfolds and get into my car?"
Grunkle Stan, Gravity Falls
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A point in a story where a character is blindfolded and taken somewhere.

A blindfold is not even necessary. Being shoved and driven somewhere in a locked car truck is pretty much blindfolded, for all intents and purposes - so long as the protagonist doesn't know where they are being taken.

Sometimes used in initiation ceremonies. Sometimes used in trust-building exercises. Sometimes used to hide the location of where a prisoner is being taken. Sometimes a character will sit down and try to figure out where they were taken by other senses than their vision.


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Examples

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    Comic Books 
  • Batman usually does this when bringing visitors to the Batcave, for Secret Identity reasons.
  • Buck Danny was once captured by Lady X's goons and driven into her headquarters that way.
  • Nightwing blindfolds Robin (Tim Drake) for a training exercise where they balance on top of a train and Dick occasionally asks Tim where they are to see how well Tim is paying attention to their surroundings without the use of his sight.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • At the end of Frozen, Anna leads a blind-folded Kristoff through the streets of Arendelle to show him a surprise. She accidentally leads him into a pole along the way.
  • Minion in Megamind kidnaps Roxanne with Knockout Gas, then puts a bag over her head when she starts to wake up, so she won't know where she is. Since this isn't the first time this has happened, she's more concerned with Megamind failing to wash the bag between kidnappings than with actually being kidnapped.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Sherlock Holmes (2009) movie, Sherlock Holmes has a bag slipped over his head, and is taken to a secret location... however being Sherlock Holmes, he easily provides a turn-by-turn recap of the route they took.
    Sir Thomas: Mr. Holmes, apologies for summoning you like this. I'm sure it's quite a mystery as to where you are, and who I am...
    Sherlock Holmes: As to where I am, I was, admittedly, lost for a moment, between Charing Cross and Holborn, but I was saved by the bread shop on Saffron Hill. The only baker to use a certain French glaze on their loaves - a Brittany sage. After that, the carriage forked left, then right, and then the tell-tale bump at the Fleet Conduit. And as to who you are, that took every ounce of my not-inconsiderable experience. The letters on your desk were addressed to a Sir Thomas Rotherham. Lord Chief Justice, that would be the official title. Who you really are is, of course, another matter entirely. Judging by the sacred ox on your ring, you're the secret head of the Temple of the Four Orders in whose headquarters we now sit, located on the northwest corner of St. James Square, I think. As to the mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered to blindfold me at all.
  • In the movie Sneakers, a man is blindfolded and kidnapped but a blind member of the team is eventually able to make out where he was taken by asking how far apart the seams sounded in the bridge that the car crossed. Subverted when the kidnap victim says he passed near what sounded like a cocktail party — it turns out to be a gaggle of geese.
  • In Time Bandits, Kevin is blindfolded and taken to the king's room to be initiated as the king's son.
  • A variation happens in Beverly Hills Ninja, Haru is blindfolded when he is first taken to the Big Bad's warehouse. Later, he blindfolds himself and tries to use his "ninja skills" to remember the route. He is completely clueless, of course. Luckily, his clan brother Gobei knows the route well and takes the wheel without Haru knowing.
  • In Legend (1985) Jack blindfolds Lily before taking her to see the unicorns.
  • In the first Mission: Impossible film, Ethan Hunt is told to put on a mask before he's taken to see the mysterious Max, being told that it's "the price of admission".
  • In Taken 2, when Liam Neeson's character and his ex-wife are captured. During the trip, he counts time in seconds and notes any and all turns they make along with any sounds he hears.
  • At the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises a group of Bane's mercenaries are captured and put on the CIA plane with bags over their heads so that the CIA interrogator is unaware until it's too late that one of them is Bane.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Lois Lane and her photographer are black-hooded when going to interview a rebel leader. Turns out the photographer is a CIA agent carrying a Tracking Device. And later when Lois is kidnapped by Lex Luthor's men, they make no attempt at this trope, ferrying her by helicopter directly to the Lexcorp building, as the plan is that Superman will turn up and save her anyway.
  • Rogue One. Saw Gerrara's forces take Jyn, Cassian, Baze, and Chirrut to their base but put bags over their head. Chirrut, already blind himself, is exasperated.
    Chirrut: Are you kidding me? I'm blind!
  • Although we don't see it, Marian and Sarah (her maid) ask for this to be done when they're taken to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' hideaway so as not to endanger him or the other outlaws hiding there.
  • In Murder at the Baskervilles, Stanford is blindfolded when being brought to or taken from Moriarty's hideout.

    Literature 
  • Small Gods - Brutha and Vorbis, while being led through the trap-filled labyrinth of Ephebe, which protects the inner city from people like...well, Vorbis. Unfortunately, the labyrinth keepers never counted on someone with a memory as perfect as Brutha's. When he's ordered to lead Vorbis through the maze so the Omnians can take over, Brutha realises that he could just make a run for it or lead Vorbis into a trap, but can't bring himself to do it, even knowing what Vorbis has planned.
  • Night Watch has the History Monks blindfold Vimes to bring him to his temple so they can explain just what happened to him. Vimes gets around it by "reading" the street through his feet, since he is so familiar with the city that he can tell the difference between the different types of paving, which lets him find his way back to the temple. Lu-Tze actually bets that this would happen.
  • Happens twice in The Lord of the Rings:
    • In The Fellowship of the Ring the elves of Lothlórien insist on blindfolding Gimli's eyes before the fellowship is taken to the elf village. When he objects to being singled out that way, Aragorn says that all of them shall be blindfolded.
    • In The Two Towers Faramir blindfolds Frodo and Sam before leading them to the refuge of Henneth Annûn.
  • In Geheimen van het Wilde Woudnote  by Tonke Dragt, Tiuri and the Fool are captured, blindfolded and led to the Taren Castle. As the Fool has however been there before (and escaped), the trope is mildly deconstructed at the end:
    Fool: I know where we are! I hear it, I smell it, I feel it, friend! I don't need to see it.
    Fool: (continues with an extremely detailed and lengthy description of the landscape)
    Viridian: You can take off their blindfolds, they shall see everything. One of them can apparently see through the rag anyway, and neither of them will be able to tell anyone about this.
  • Bobby Marks gets to have one of these courtesy of Willie Rumson in One Fat Summer
  • Used in at least two Sherlock Holmes stories. In both "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb" and "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", Holmes' client was bundled into a carriage that they could not see out of and driven to an unknown destination. Holmes, of course, figures out where they had been taken or at least the general area from clues.
  • This is what happens with the cobbler is brought in to sew Kasim's body back together (he was drawn and quartered by the thieves, and if he were buried like that it'd make him look like a crook) in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves: He is blindfolded and spun around before being brought to the room where the body is kept. Interestingly, the thieves find the place in spite of this by taking advantage of the cobbler's muscle memory - one of them blindfolds him and spins him around the same number of times, then has him lead the way.
  • This happens to Nancy Drew in the book The Captive Witness, set in communist East Germany, when she is taken to a viewing a film that has been banned by the country's government. Of course, being Nancy Drew, she is still able to get a general idea of where she's been taken by making note of how long they've been driving, the sounds she hears, and the number of stairs at their destination.
  • Happen in one of the Judge Dee stories, where the victim thinks he was taken somewhere in the mountains in a closed palanquin. Tao Gan, however, thinks it's a ruse- he thinks it more likely that they carriers simply tilted the palanquin and walked around the inner courtyard of a large house, with the occasional "Watch the cliff!" for effect.
  • In the Modesty Blaise books, Modesty occasionally gets the blindfold treatment — which doesn't help, as she seems to have an unerring sense of location.
  • Charlie Wilson's War. A Pakistani official is blindfolded when taken to the CIA's Spy School. He takes offense, given that he's already running the CIA's proxy war in Afghanistan for them.
  • In Death Plus Ten Years, the author Roger Cooper is arrested by the Iranian secret police, who then get into an argument on which one of them was supposed to bring the blindfold. He has to guide them to a nearby chemist so they can get a bandage for the task. Cooper was familiar enough with Tehran to work out where they were taking him anyway, despite a deliberately circuitous route. When in prison, he was also blindfolded with a towel when being taken to the shower or toilet — the kinder guards adjusted the towel so Cooper could at least see his feet when walking.
  • Mentioned and subverted in Rainbow Six: former Russian spy Dmitriy Popov is taken by a contact to meet with the head of an IRA terrorist cell wearing a blindfold, and he notes that the car takes a deliberately circuitous route...that he doesn't bother at all trying to memorize, because he has no interest or need to do so, and because, as his internal monologue points out, trying to memorize the route is possible to a point, but after a few dozen turns, anyone will get hopelessly lost. When he meets with the terrorist leader, Popov doesn't miss the opportunity to point out that the fieldcraft is excellent, as he has no idea where he is, with the unspoken implication being that he's just stroking the terrorist's ego.
  • In The Bridge Kingdom Archives Maridrinian princess Lara, newly-wed to Ithicanian king Aren, is blindfolded when they enter the Ithicanian bridge - the structure and particularly the ways in and out are the nation's greatest secret and Lara was supposed never to even get inside it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5 has Garibaldi end up having to deal with this in the episode The Exercise Of Vital Powers. As he has well-founded trust issues, he's not excited about the prospect, and ends up discussing it at length with Wade, his mysterious employer's agent.
  • Better Call Saul: Early in season 4, Gus Fring is seeking structural engineers to figure out how to excavate a secret basement underneath a laundromat he just purchased, with the intention of using said basement to build a meth lab. Because Gus doesn't trust local engineers, he recruits outside help from overseas. As a security measure, engineers being sought for the job must take a very complicated route. They fly into Denver, where they are directed to a pre-paid car with keys and a burner phone. They are then directed by Mike to drive to a certain spot in the Rocky Mountains, where they are to then take out their luggage and put a black hood over their head. Then, Mike and another guy, Nick, show up, put the candidate in the back of a windowless van, and drive him all the way down to Albuquerque, not removing the bag until the candidate is inside the laundromat. Then the candidate does an analysis of the site, while Gus is discreetly observing them from the shadows and having Mike act as his representative. The first candidate, a French engineer, is quickly rejected when he starts talking about other jobs he did and shows more interest in getting paid well than doing a proper job. As a result, he is re-bagged, put back in the van, and dumped back on the Colorado road where he left the car with a return plane ticket in his pocket. The second candidate, a German engineer, proves more trustworthy and more meticulous with his work ethic despite looking shabbier and having stomach issues, so is not subjected to this return trip and is instead hired by Gus on the spot.
  • On Jericho, Mrs. Green is taken to a secret location where Jake Green is being held prisoner. When she returns they are able to identify it as a pig farm from her saying there was a horrible smell.
  • Get Smart had Max being taken by Ziegfried to a secret location. Not only was Max and Ziegfried are blindfolded but the driver is blindfolded too.
    • Another episode had Max and 99 blindfolded and made to feel they were being put on a long plane trip (without leaving a room in Washington) to let them deduce they were taken to a secret headquarters in Buenos Aires.
  • In one MythBusters episode, Jamie heads out to "a secret location" to shoot a fish with a minigun. When he arrives, he pulls a blindfolded Adam out of the back of the car.
  • Used in Supernatural. Of course the boys are trained to memorize twists and turns...
  • In the pilot of Falling Skies, Tom and his team are taken prisoner by a gang of outlaws, who have set up in a school auditorium. The prisoners are, of course, taken to the location wearing black bags over their heads. Later, when Tom's son Hal is taken back to bring the kidnappers' demands to Captain Weaver, he is also wearing a bag.
  • Mike Rowe is blindfolded on the trip to the source of the mud used to dirty MLB baseballs (pristine balls are difficult to grip). He says it reminds him of "that time I interviewed that sheik."
  • One episode of The Saint had Simon Templar made prisoner and driven around a city. Too bad they passed some locations that made very characteristic sounds.
  • The Bill. The police doubt the story of a bank manager who was held captive overnight, then forced to empty his vaults, because he said they drove over a couple of humpbacked bridges and stayed in a room near a combine harvester, none of which matches anything near Sun Hill. While the detectives are driving around checking out clues however they drive over two humps on an unpaved road and realise that the hostage, scared and locked in a trunk, could easily have mistaken them for the bridges. Working from that clue they soon find the room, which is near a factory whose machinery produces the 'harvester' sound.
  • Used in The Amazing Race Family Edition, where teams were put onto a bus to be taken to a mystery location (Huntsville, Alabama).
  • Used occasionally on Burn Notice. Michael's narration discusses how this is somewhat of an occupational hazard for spies, but wearing a sack on your head is still very unpleasant. Not necessarily because you're being kept in the dark - sometimes people don't bother to wash the head bags.
  • The Lifetime Movie of the Week The Last Mafia Marriage is the story of a young woman married to a mafioso. While he was in hiding, she would drive to a local restaurant where she would be met by his associates in the mafia and blindfolded before being driven to his secret location. The explanation for this was "if you don't know where you're going, you can't tell anyone", namely the cops looking to interrogate her in order to find out where her husband was.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sandor Clegane is hooded after he's captured by the Brotherhood without Banners, along with Arya and Gendry.
    Audrey: Apologies, but you're one ugly fucker, and I'd rather not see you no more. (Sandor can't see where he's going, so his head slams into the top bar of the wagon) Watch your head.
  • Person of Interest. Any Victim of the Week who has to be taken to the disused library that's the headquarters of Team Machine gets this. Usually though when someone gets a black hood over their head, it's a sign they're about to be carted off by assassins to be interrogated and murdered.
    • When Team Machine reluctantly rescue Leon Tao a second time, they take him to their safehouse in a hood. Though they claim it's not for secrecy, but because they don't want him turning up again, asking for help.
  • Altered Carbon. Takeshi Kovacs is taken unconscious to the headquarters of the Big Bad. He leaves under escort from The Dragon, who hands Kovacs a black hood while they're still in the elevator so Kovacs won't know where he's been. When Kovacs refuses to wear it, The Dragon makes it clear that either he plays along or his friends die. "Whom should I kill first?"

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Basic Dungeons & Dragons module B8 Journey to the Rock. If the PCs surrender to the chameleon men they're blindfolded and taken to a secret mountain cavern.

    Video games 
  • The "Mike Toreno" mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where you have to track down a stolen van, based on Toreno telling T-bone Mendez what he can hear from his surroundings outside the van.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • In the South Park episode "Fantastic Easter Special" Stan's dad Randy puts a bag over his head when they drive to the secret location for The Hare Club For Men, but he takes it off when he finds out he already knows where it is.
  • In an early episode of Family Guy, Peter is blindfolded on the way to his birthday surprise. The camera pulls back to reveal he's the one driving there.
  • In Steven Universe, Steven has a habit of doing this to Lapis Lazuli when he wants to surprise her with a present. As she's twice as tall as he is, she helps him out by blindfolding herself with her (translucent) wings. It's as adorable as it is silly.

    Real Life 
  • Often used as a trust-building exercise.
  • The blind only technically go everywhere like this. They tend to pick up on more things than the sighted give them credit for, though.


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