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Bound and Gagged

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For want of a lyre, the party was saved!
"What's the matter, Gaggles? Can't talk cause you're gagged, Gaggles?"
A Gra soldier to Gordin, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

When a Snooping Little Kid, Damsel in Distress, Faux Action Girl, or unlucky guy is captured by the villain, they're usually restrained in some fashion, and to keep them from crying out for The Hero, they're usually silenced as well. In the olden days, this was usually accompanied by some form of fantastical Death Trap to add to the suspense.

As technology marches around the 21st century, the victim's cell phone will invariably ring and the villain will pick it up and answer, "Sorry, she can't come to the phone right now ... she's all tied up at the moment." (Villains never get tired of this one. Never. EVER. In fact, there have been a few cases where the victim has said it to whoever is calling if she's somehow able to speak at the moment, although she usually needs a very good reason for it.)

To the captives themselves, they're likely to say "I Have You Now, My Pretty" or "You got spunk!" or some variation/combination of the two. Both of which usually inspire the Defiant Captive to be extra defiant.

Simple rope is popular among these villains. Others use handcuffs. Sedatives are rare unless the kidnapper uses it to do the initial nabbing. Some villains will invest in unbreakable chains made of Unobtainium to restrain a super-strong captive (and possibly forget that whatever said chains are bolted to isn't made of the same stuff) or possibly include a Power Nullifier.

Sometimes this is done for humor instead. For example, a character who is considered annoying might be tied up by the group simply to get that person out of the way. Especially if the character has an annoying voice or worse: a Dreadful Musician with horrendous vocal chords. Other times, someone might be tied up humorously as the result of some mishap.

When this trope is played for dead serious drama, you can expect, in many cases, very dark lighting and only glimpses of the bonds. It generally tends to be more light-hearted adventures that actually show a lot of rope. In those cases, part of the fun is often seeing the hero escape, or try to escape, the bonds, so there's a lot of emphasis on showing the bonds, the struggling, and the escape or rescue. When it's played for drama, the emphasis is on how terrible the captive feels, so there's more focus on facial expressions and less on the bonds.

Depending on the means used, a rescue can lead to a Painful Adhesive Removal.

Binding and gagging is the most common of the many methods of restraint.

Please do not add any video examples to this trope.

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  • This Sunsilk commercial right here. Tied to a chair with quite a lot of rope, and having her hair "tortured". A lot of rope.
  • Happens in this Listerine commercial: Two special forces units rescue a bound and gagged hostage and then find out that her mouth smells horrible that they put the gag back and leave her as she was found: bound and gagged.


    Comic Strips 
  • An early arc in Calvin and Hobbes had Hobbes tying Calvin to a chair so that he could try to escape it. Unfortunately, Calvin is no Houdini, and when his parents come in, they're convinced that he did this to himself.
  • In the early years of The Phantom, it seemed that nearly every story had Diana Palmer kidnapped and tied and gagged by an assortment of villains.

    Films Animation 
  • Happens in two of the Dot and the Kangaroo sequels.
    • Dot and the Koala sees the local police force tie up and imprison a family of wombats, including the children, only to be tied up and gagged with logs themselves by Dot and her animal friends in order to save said wombats.
    • In Dot in Space, Dot is tied up and silenced by bubble-shaped aliens under the influence of Fantastic Racism, when she crash-lands on their planet.
  • Shark Tale: Happens to both Oscar and Angie. Oscar by Sykes' jellyfish henchmen when he failed to win the money back from a bet he just made on the race and Angie by Don Lino.
  • The boat captain in the first film of Madagascar and Chantel Dubois along with her men in the climax of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. The penguins are responsible for both.
  • The Man Called Flintstone: During he song "Spy Type Guy", Fred has a Fantasy Sequence where he imagines himself as a spy. At one point, he performs a Metronomic Man Mashing to a bad guy next to a woman who is gagged and tied up to a chair.
  • Kayley in Quest for Camelot, near the end.
  • After Torchesac/Oily-creep/McCreep steals the magic flute the night before in The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, Lady Prattle finds Peewit like this in his room.

  • Played for Drama in the second manhwa of The Breaker, New Waves. When it's revealed that the doctor who helped Shiwoon overcome several members of the S.U.C was only trying to get close to him, Shiwoon is then shown Strapped to an Operating Table. It turned out that the doctor was after him for the Phlebotinum he was given in the previous manhwa. He's given two options: join the S.U.C, or have his blood turned into a powerful Phlebotinum that will help the S.U.C conquer Seoul. Since the doctor is responsible for his mother's severe injuries in an S.U.C. attack, he naturally refuses. So, the doctor promptly shoves a gag in his mouth and gets ready to turn him into a living blood bank.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • During the Evil Versus Evil feud between Kurt Angle and John "Bradshaw" Layfield's Cabinet, Angle bound and gagged diva search participant Joy Giovanni and threw her in the back of JBL's limo to frame him. (The probable cause was that Giovanni was herself feuding with the Cabinet's "publicist", Amy Weber). The hope was that Big Show would come after JBL, as the giant had taken on the little non wrestler as his charge.
  • Melina ordered Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury to abduct WWE women's champion Trish Stratus on Monday Night Raw and this is how they presented Stratus to her.
  • One of the standout embarrassments Chavo Guerrero suffered in World Wrestling Federation (and there are many) was being bound and gagged by Hornswoggle after being forced to wear a cow suit.
  • Fans showing their support of wrestlers by throwing streamers during their entrances is a tradition that goes back at least to the founding of All Japan Pro Wrestling. A tradition disrespected in World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM when the Hana Kimura and Kris Wolf of the resident Power Stable, Oedo~tai, tried to gag and bind Mayu Iwatani with the rain of streamers she received.
  • While working as an announcer for TNA, Christy Hemme got captured and ball gagged by The Dollhouse.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: A 3rd Edition Prestige Class called the Justiciar is much like a bounty hunter who specializes in subduing an enemy without killing him; being able to tie a victim up is so important for this, having a high rank in the Use Rope Skill is a prerequisite. One Class Ability is called Hog Tie, which more or less let's the Justiciar tie an opponent up and render him helpless while grappling with him, usually ending the fight quickly. (Gagging is usually done after the victim is subdued.) High-level Justiciars have Improved Hog Tie which is, naturally, an improvement of the standard ability. (The Prestige Class is available to Player Characters, as both good and evil Justiciars exist. Of course in this case, male victims can be as common as females, although seeing as the Justiciar has to fight the victim to use this ability, a female victim is rarely ever helpless initially.)
  • In Nomine: The opening vignette for the main book includes a (possibly) more benign use of the trope. The Cherub Tariel, assigned to protect the mortal woman Patricia, has to drive out to meet a contact but doesn't dare let harm come to his charge — so he binds and gags her in the passenger seat next to him so he can keep her safe (making sure she's carefully seat-belted, of course).

  • In Arsenic and Old Lace, Mortimer Brewster describes how a not-too-bright character in a play he's recently seen just sits down in a chair "waiting to be trussed up and gagged," and a moment later has exactly that happen to him. The first policeman who finds him is less interested in untying him than in reading the second act of the play he's written.
  • In the climactic scene of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Antonio is bound to a chair (and sometimes gagged, depending on how kinky the director is) in preparation for having his pound of flesh cut off.
  • In The Most Happy Fella, Pasquale leads a group of workers in pulling a prank on Herman, tying his arms up with a string of light bulbs and putting a basket over his head, which causes him to stumble around blindly. Since he's not gagged, he can talk to Cleo, but he stubbornly refuses to complain about his situation.
  • In the Mrs. Hawking play series: At the end of part IV: Gilded Cages, Mary and Nathaniel are captured by Frost's henchman and dragged in with their hands tied.
  • In One Touch of Venus, a screaming Gloria is tied to a barber chair by Savory and Taxi during their failed ransacking of the barbershop.
  • Terrence Mc Nellys Sweet Eros features a female kidnapping victim who is first seen bound to a chair and gagged. Her kidnapper then proceeds to remove all of her clothing while shes restrained.
  • In Urinetown, the start of Act Two finds Hope gagged and bound to a chair in the rebel hideout.

Alternative Title(s): All Tied Up