Waldorf: Of course not, you fool! We're bolted to the seats!
Pretty much what it sounds like. A character (or characters) is/are forced to watch an event occur.
- Several DC villains are prone to taking over TV stations or theatres and executing their plans in front of a live audience. The Joker does this fairly often, but it's especially common for The Flash's villain Abra Kadabra, who has a pathological need for applause (which he will force out of his audience, if necessary.)
- The Legend of Total Drama Island has a downplayed example using the business definition (see "Real Life" below). The first-day orientation includes a stop at the Tuck Shoppe, essentially an on-site convenience store. Chris informs the contestants that the Tuck Shoppe can provide various things to make their lives a little easier, but warns that they'll have to pay captive audience prices for those luxuries. In other words, everything will be expensive.
- In A Clockwork Orange, main character Alex is strapped into a chair and forced to watch scenes of violence that are set to classical music as part of his reeducation.
- In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, after having lured a bunch of intelligence-deprived guards into a trap by performing a fan dance, resulting in their being surrounded by Kirk and his armed escorts, Uhura makes a joke about always wanting to have performed for a captive audience.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane locks an injured Bruce Wayne in a cell with a television screen showing a news program on Bane's reign of terror on Gotham City.
- In The Hunger Games, the impoverished districts, despite not having enough resources for food and medicine, are forced to watch their children fight to the death on televisions in their own homes.
- Statler and Waldorf of The Muppets. Despite their obvious disdain for the Muppets, they're at every show. Finally explained in the page quote.
- Joel/Mike and the bots on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Used in a very sinister manner on Criminal Minds. Several UnSubs have forced one victim to watch the torture/rape/death of a fellow victim before their own demise.
- Taken to ludicrous extremes in a Saturday Night Live sketch where a movie audience was trapped in the theater and forced to watch preview after preview, interspersed with cheery jingles which made light of their no food/no water/no bathroom status.
- The entire Guild in Jam And Jerusalem, every time Pauline gives one of her talks.
- In Portal 2, GLaDOS tells Chell that after Chell killed her, she was forced to watch the last moments of her life over and over again.
- The chicken on Robot Chicken
- And in Season 6, the mad scientist has changed places.
- And, in Season 8, they've traded places yet again.
- In Phineas and Ferb, Doofenshmirtz ambushes a TV executive at a Fan Convention and forces him to listen to his pitch for an action series starring characters based on Perry the Platypus and himself. Funnily enough, the executive actually likes the idea, but when he politely suggests that Perry's character have a love interest, Doof winds up feeling insulted and infuriated and storms off. The executive ends up making a Writing Around Trademarks version anyway that Doof admits really is better.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, the Joker has a whole studio audience captured and forced to watch Batman as he is electrocuted by a chair powered by the laughs of the audience. He uses his gas to get them to laugh.
- According to some sources who have been to North Korea — such as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof — every apartment and public space in the country is rigged with loudspeakers that can't be shut off. They are actual propaganda machines that broadcast into every occupied space in the country. North Koreans don't need alarm clocks. The speaker starts blasting "news" and music every day at 6 a.m.
- Other dictatorships have been known to have propaganda loudspeakers in public spaces.
- The business definition is a downplayed example. In the business world, a "captive audience" is one that comes to the business location for some purpose other than to patronize the business. Restaurants located in airports or shopping malls are good examples of businesses that cater to captive audiences. For various reasons, businesses tend to charge higher prices to captive audiences than they would elsewhere.
- Movie Theatres are another downplayed example. Since it's not known beforehand when a movie will actually start, moviegoers often have to sit through half an hour of trailers for other movies, ads, and public service announcements before seeing the movie they've paid to see. Think you can just show up late to compensate? You might have to struggle to find a seat in the dark - and if you're watching a movie on the one day that the theatre decided to skip the previews and just show the movie, you've just missed the first part of the movie. And that's before we consider the overpriced refreshments...
- Mobile versions of websites often have an ad that plays before the user can view the site that the user can't exit (or has a minimum wait period before this option is available).