A Big Bad brings the captured heroes to his/her lair — and frequently the very heart of it. For bonus points, sending all the guards away so he can talk to the hero in private.
Yeah, this is always a smart idea. Bring your enemy deep into the control center of your base, and dismiss the guards. There's no way he can mess things up from there...
Any simpler solution seems to be out of the question, after all, for some reason, the Big Bad wants them alive.
- Ken in Ga-Rei. He even lampshades it.
Ken: (Pictures a worried princess) Am I the maiden in distress?
- What is Aizen's first thing to do when he kidnaps Orihime? Show her his ultimate weapon while also making sure they're the only two in the room! It doesn't take long for Orihime to decide that she will destroy it, but being held up in an unidentified part of the lair might get in the way.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Age: What happens when Kio is captured? He's not sent to prison, but the center of the enemy's frigging capitol city. At least in this case he's handcuffed and followed by guards.
- Hitotsukabuto does this to the boys of Cell 4 in Apocalypse no Toride after they return to the prison from the outside, zombie infested world.
- Double-subverted in the ABC Warriors comic book's 'Hell-Raiser' arc- The Big Bad brings the captured heroes to his spaceship's bridge, lampshades the trope, and then immediately springs his prepared Death Trap on them, having assumed in advance that they'd make it up there sooner or later anyway. Doubly subverted in that the heroes manage to escape, and naturally, they eventually get back to the bridge and crash the ship.
- It happens to Spidey a lot in Ultimate Spider-Man
- In the last part of Pretty Soldier Simpson Moon, a The Simpsons/Sailor Moon mash-up, Queen Beryl captures Lisa (who is trying to break into her base) using a force field and takes her to her throne room. Lisa correctly points out that this means she's been taken exactly where she wants to go, instead of being weakened by cold and having to fight her way through guards.
- Star Wars:
- A New Hope: Taking Leia on board the Death Star after she was captured, although this was necessary for Tarkin's interrogation method.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Presumably where Luke was going to go when he met the Emperor.
- Return of the Jedi: The Emperor has Vader bring Luke to his throne room inside the new Death Star. Compounded by sending all the Emperor's usual guards out of the room. The Emperor really needs to see Luke in person to make a new Sith of him, and plans to blast his morale by showing him the Rebel fleet getting trashed; on the other hand, that's the same young man who was responsible for wiping out the last Death Star... maybe showing him around the new one isn't such a great plan.
- The Force Awakens: After Kylo questions Rey and reports, Supreme Leader Snoke says it almost verbatim ("Bring her to me!")
- James Bond:
- Goldfinger. After capturing Bond in Europe, Goldfinger has him brought to his horse ranch in the U.S., the control center for Operation Grand Slam.
- You Only Live Twice. Bond is captured while impersonating a SPECTRE astronaut and brought to the control center on Blofeld's orders.
- Diamonds Are Forever. Bond arranges to be captured by Blofeld on his oil rig headquarters. Blofeld has him brought into his office and later the command center.
- The Spy Who Loved Me. A variation - after capturing Bond Girl Major Amasova, Stromberg takes her to his headquarters, "Atlantis" to gloat over her and stick her in a skimpy outfit. Bond later follows and saves her.
- Moonraker. Happens to Bond and his Bond Girl, but it was probably more the henchmen's idea, since that's just where the Villain happened to be.
- GoldenEye. Bond, having been captured, is brought into the villain's control room. Just to make sure nothing can go wrong, this room also contains copious supplies of aviation fuel and supercooled liquids.
- In Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg Queen has Data brought to the heart of the Enterprise. Of course, she has a little more than interrogation in mind if you know what we mean, but it all works out pretty well for the crew as a result.
- Part of Captain America's plan to infiltrate Hydra's HQ in the Captain America: The First Avenger movie. Combines this trope with Big Damn Heroes moment when his squad crashes through the window to rescue him from Red Skull (who was about to just shoot him in the head). This of course begs the question why he didn't just come through the window with them rather than bother with a frontal assault and getting intentionally captured.
- Star Wars Legends:
- Downplayed by Admiral Karath and Darth Malak in Knights of the Old Republic, though. (Which is something of a surprise, for them.) While the heroes did get taken onto Karath's flagship, they were dumped on the prison level, and the higher-ups went down to interrogate them. Not that it helped, naturally.
- In the X-Wing Series, Isard puts Corran in her torture chambers on Coruscant, stripped naked. Though she didn't dismiss her guard, and said torture chambers were quite expansive. He only escaped when she put him with the less guarded prisoners.
- In Dark Empire, Palpatine's at it again with Luke. It works this time - temporarily.
- Jacen in New Jedi Order is captured by the Yuzzhan Vong and taken to Coruscant, which they have made their base.
- In Legacy of the Force, Ben is abducted, taken aboard the Anakin Solo, stripped to shorts, tortured, and seduced by Tahiri. It's particularly squicky when she's got her hand in his shorts, igniting his lightsaber, and calls him a "big strong Jedi".
- Happens more than once in Animorphs; in the finale, it's part of a plan on the Animorphs' part.
- This trope is mentioned several times throughout the Harry Potter series.
- In a reversal of roles, Jesus Christ in Left Behind has Michael the archangel bring the captured Antichrist and the False Prophet before him to kneel before Him and confess that He is Lord.
- Justified in The Lord of the Rings. While Saruman could have just told the Uruk-Hai to kill the hobbits or worse, doing so would most likely lead to the discovery of the Ring Of Power, thus having them fight among themselves on who gets to keep it instead of bringing it to Isengard. Double justified since, in the animated Rankin-Bass film, that's exactly what the guards at the Torech Ungol gate did over Frodo's mithril coat. The Ring is far more valuable.
- Averted in a Rainbow Magic book. When Rachel and Kirsty let themselves get captured, the goblins initially try to lock them in the dungeon rather than take then to Jack Frost. They have to trick their way into being taken to him.
- Adventures in Odyssey: Gang leader Rodney Rathbone does this with Lucy during the "Darkness Before Dawn" arc. Jellyfish tells him what a stupid move it is.
- In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni instructs Team Rocket to bring him Pikachu alive and unharmed so it can fight MechaMew2. Pikachu refuses to obey them, so Giovanni orders that Ash be captured as well.
- In Cave Story, when the villains capture the protagonist they throw him in "The Labyrinth", which just HAPPENS to contain the engine which keeps the floating island afloat. Apparently, the people who originally made the Labyrinth threw in enough safeguards around the Core that the villains felt they could use the Labyrinth as a prison as well. And since destroying the Core is a nigh-suicidal tactic, the villains don't expect the protagonist to attack it.
- Keep in mind that between you and the Core is a large boulder blocking your path that, without Balrog's help, would be impassable.
- Fallout 3 - The PC is taken to Raven Rock, the Enclave's Capitol Wasteland HQ. Although at first President Eden allows you to come up to talk, Colonel Autumn overrules his orders and wants you shot on sight. But don't worry, all your weapons and items happen to be safe and secure in an unlocked locker in your prisoner cell.
- Mostly averted in Final Fantasy VIII. Our heroes were captured during the assassination attempt on Edea. Instead of doing all that bring him to me crap, Edea has them carted off to a very obscure in the middle of nowhere prison that is a long way away from anything alive. And THEN you get interrogated.
- Always averted in The Legend of Zelda games, because getting captured and dragged before Ganondorf would deprive you of all the fun of breaking into his palace on your own. Of course, once you actually get in there, turns out he wanted you inside all along so he could kill you. Princess Zelda is usually the bait.
- Averted in Dragon Age: Origins, if you get captured by Cauthrien after rescuing Anora you end up in Fort Drakon, which is an actual prison rather than the heart of the villain's power.
- In the "Dangerous Days" arc of Sluggy Freelance, Hereti-Corp uses this trope. Though, in all fairness, none of the people they took prisoner had previously proven themselves to be much of a threat.
- Happens so often in Kim Possible that it might be an unspoken villain tradition.
- The Queen of the Crowns in Galaxy Rangers always wanted the Rangers to come to her or be brought to her. But it's a Justified Trope here. The Rangers were human (or, in the case of Shane and possibly Niko, humanoid), and her lair contained the machine she could use to mash them down for Life Energy.
- Lampshaded in the first episode of Clerks: The Animated Series when Leonardo Leonardo learns that people are still shopping at the Quickstop minimarket instead of his Quickerstop megamall.
Leonardo: Bring this Quickstop to me.Mook: Sir, we can't do that.Leonardo: Bring it to me!Mook: Sir, it's a store. How about we bring you the guys who run it?Leonardo: That will do - for now.