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Cold-Blooded Torture

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Thermian Captain: I have told you all I know... if you have any mercy within you, please, let me die.
Sarris: When I grow weary of the noises you make, you shall die!

Torture. Sure, some characters gloat until their victims are rescued. But some gloat and torture at once. And others just get to doing it.

Often shown only by implication, or in its aftereffects (which can be nasty even if the victim survives), for obvious reasons.

In ascending order of reason nastiness, the typical reasons: for information, for punishment, and for pleasure. The punishment may, indeed, be for another character to have to watch or see the results. But others are possible. A Mad Scientist may torture to learn about the victim. Human Sacrifice may call for a particular and gruesome death, and if mere death is too good for some criminal (or alleged criminal), he may be tortured to death. If the person wants to break the victim, this may be a way to force him to say that 2 + Torture = 5, or somehow get the victim to join them.

May be a Fate Worse than Death, calling for a Mercy Kill or I Cannot Self-Terminate when the hero comes upon the victim — the victim is likely to plead for death even if the hero can save him, but the hero is (obviously) prone to override the plea and drag him out of there, if he can. Recovery is likely to be improbably complete.

Heroes torture, sometimes, when they are in a great rush and dire need, and there, the effects tend to be rather unrealistic; in Real Life, torture leaves physical scars and mental trauma, and tends to have poor results in terms of getting reliable and accurate information. And some particularly dark Antiheroes may do this for revenge instead of information. If the bad guys don't like getting their hands dirty, they are likely to employ a Torture Technician or Robotic Torture Device to do this for them.

One motive for Better to Die than Be Killed is to avoid this.

Any work that paints The Spanish Inquisition (or their nearest fantasy analogue) as bad guys will often have them engaging in some form of this on people they suspect to be heretics or worse. This general portrayal of the Inquisition is known as the Black Legend.

Compare No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. A "light" sci-fi and fantasy equivalent is the Agony Beam... but if the Agony Beam is set to "Consciousness" expect unpleasant results. But you never know — sooner or later you may find a victim who likes the frights.

See also To the Pain, Amputative Sentencing, Electric Torture, Mind Rape, Room 101, Cruel and Unusual Death, and We Have Ways of Making You Talk. If the player is allowed to do this in a video game, see Video Game Cruelty Potential.

No Real Life Examples, Please! As this is way too common and it's also illegal and disgusting. noreallife


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Angel Cop has the anti-terrorist police group doing this to Tachihara, the leader of the Red May terrorist group, for information. They go shockingly and graphically overboard with this to the point that by the time they finally get something out of him, one of his forearms is gangrenous and infested with maggots.
  • In Attack on Titan, Minister Nick is tortured to try to get him to reveal Eren's location (he doesn't break). Later, Hanji and Levi do the same to the people who tortured him, partly for information, and partly as revenge. There's some Black Comedy in there too, when Hanji admits she doesn't really know how to torture, and the victim screams that she's supposed to ask questions before pulling the fingernails off.
  • Berserk's villains, being in a Dung Ages medievalesque Crapsack World, do this a lot, and it gets nasty.
    • Griffith in particular suffers a nasty year-long torture as punishment for having sex with the King's daughter, and Bishop Mozgus crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he has some refugees put through this. Let's not even get into what Emperor Ganishka gets up to.
    • Or what Griffith himself does to the Band of the Hawk, especially what he does to Casca. Not only does he rape her right in front of the man she loves (which is traumatic enough already), but because she has the Brand of Sacrifice and is as close as anyone can possibly get to a member of the Godhand (which is closer than Guts himself was able to get to him in the Guardians of Desire arc because of the pain his own Brand was causing him), she is in utterly excruciating agony all the while he's doing this to her. And it's made all the worse by the effect of this horrible act on Guts himself, who is pinned down and completely at his mercy, a situation that is all too familiar to his first traumatic experience, which he's only told Casca about — and the possibility that Griffith may have gleaned this from either or both of them with his newfound powers as a Godhand and is deliberately using this to torture them both. That's not even mentioning the sort of things that Griffith is doing to Casca as he is raping her... It can only be described as pure sexual sadism, no more, no less.
    • Guts himself. After being broken and turned into a near-soulless husk of pure rage by the horrible events of the Eclipse, he starts sending the pain right back. Knowing that what would definitely kill normal humans only hurts the Apostles, he pulls absolutely no punches. Particularly, the Baron, whom he riddles with crossbow bolts after rendering him crippled and helpless, and the Count, whom he stabs dozens of times in the face until his knife breaks off.
      Guts: Amazing! No wonder you're higher than us humans — you don't know how to fucking die!
  • Ashley does this to Shusei in episode 10 of Betrayal Knows My Name via sticking long thin needles in a Voodoo Doll of Shusei which makes Shusei bleed and scream in agony.
  • Blade of the Immortal has Hyakurin's torture which included being beaten, stabbed, poked with red-hot spikes, having her fingernails ripped off and her arm broken and being raped almost continuously for up to several days. She later learns that she is pregnant, and she doesn't even know which of her attackers was the father.
  • Bleach: In his released form, Szayel has the ability to create a small voodoo doll that has his enemy's likeness. Any damage done to the dolls' internal organs, accessed by taking the doll apart (which doesn't happen to the original) removing the organs and then crushing them, is done to the original, debilitating them from the inside. Though tearing apart the doll won't harm the victim, the doll's exterior has some effect on the victim as well, as seen when Ishida felt Szayel scratch and flick his doll's face. Szayel uses the voodoo dolls to sadistically torture Ishida and Renji. He tries to do the same to Mayuri who fakes that he's in pain, having replaced his organs with dummies before encountering Szayel.
  • Most of what Greg does to Jeremy in A Cruel God Reigns, mixed in with a lot of Mind Rape.
  • In Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, after Jimmy Kurosaki captures David, he subjects him to an unedited braindance of a cyberpsycho going on a wild killing spree before being put down by MaxTAC, purely For the Evulz. Since it wasn't edited, David gets the full sensation and nearly goes insane from the sheer stress, and even suffers flashbacks to it later on.
  • In Deadman Wonderland, Genkaku does this to Nagi to try to get him to revert back to being Ax-Crazy and so that he'll join the Undertakers. It's shown to have been done mostly in the form of drugs and Mind Rape.
  • L of Death Note occasionally employs this technique as part of his cold-blooded approach to investigation, though situations tend to be mostly ambiguous; the most blatant example, of course, is his treatment of Misa, which is far less than kind.
    Misa: [to Light] I won't tell them anything, even if they torture me.
    L: I can attest to that.
  • Digimon:
    • Any Malomyotismon joke you have becomes Harsher in Hindsight when you hear what he said when the dubbers weren't in control. He was not asking Arukenimon if she was afraid, he asked her if the torture hurt, and he pledged to give her a "million years of Hell." He then said very calmly how he would "evaporate that pitiful love Mummymon felt." Evaporation followed. He then declares he will crucify the Digidestined upon the same cross as his minions. Yikes. According to this version, the children were not yelling jobs, but expelling darkness from them. There was a reason this version has never been given to American kids.
    • Another even worse example occurs in Episode 48 of Digimon Ghost Game. The quartet of Chamblemon in that episode use their spores to gravely weaken people, usually women in bridal dresses, and grow mushrooms on their bodies which they eat. They gleefully rip these mushrooms off their victim's bodies and reduce them to screaming wrecks, even ripping out a bunch from Ruli and Hiro before they go fight Kiyoshiro, causing them immense amounts of pain. It's so heinously insane that it looks less like it's from Digimon or even a sunday morning anime, but more like it came from Made in Abyss.
  • In Dog Soldier, Muammar Gaddafi carves a grid on the main character's back and removes the skin.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta inflicts this on Goku after becoming a Great Ape, catching Goku in his hands and ruthlessly crushing every bone in his body.
    • Frieza's entire fighting style revolves around this. He impales Krillin on his horn, slowly crushes Gohan's skull, blasts Piccolo with a Beam Spam, savagely beats down Vegeta while he's helpless, and spends a really long time beating up Goku while at 50% power, at one point holding him underwater and nearly drowning him. There's a reason this guy is considered one of the worst sadists in the DBZ universe.
    • During the Piccolo Jr. Saga of the original series, Piccolo put Goku through a torture session so brutal and horrific it would make Frieza proud. First, he blasts a hole the size of a fist through Goku's shoulder with a Breath Weapon, aggravates the wound by stomping on it and ramming his elbow into it, and then breaks both of Goku's legs and takes out his other arm with an energy beam. It's easily one of the bloodiest and most horrifying moments in the series.
    • After ascending to Super Saiyan 2, Gohan of all people subjects Cell to this. Instead of killing him outright, Gohan is determined to make Cell pay for the atrocities he's committed and slowly takes his time picking the android apart and gives him a vicious "The Reason You Suck" Speech before causing Cell to have an epic Villainous Breakdown, both mentally and physically; he even goes so far as to let Cell regenerate on the grounds that Cell hadn't suffered enough. This, however, came back to bite Gohan in the rear since the resulting breakdown led Cell to attempt to self-destruct and take the Earth with him.
    • Super Buu is no slouch in this department either, being worse or equal to Frieza in nature. His methods of killing are extremely brutal; he even killed a man by liquifying his own body, forcibly going down a guy's throat, and making him explode him from the inside out.
    • Much like Frieza, Goku Black's fighting style is causing physical pain to his opponents. Among his most prominent techniques include traversing or cutting his opponents with his hand.
  • This trope occurs in Elfen Lied quite often, whether it's from the Ax-Crazy diclonius or the clearly more inhuman humans.
  • Near the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy Mustang subjects Envy to this once Envy reveals that he was the one who killed Maes Hughes, Mustang's best friend. Upon learning this, Mustang flies into an Unstoppable Rage and burns Envy alive again and again, going so far as to boil the fluid in his eyes and burn out his tongue. He even lets Envy regenerate himself each time before torching him again, outright stating that by the time he's done, Envy will have died a thousand deaths. Yikes.
  • In Future Diary, Minene gets tortured by Twelth for information who pulls her bad eye out of her head.
  • Rico from Gunslinger Girl is prone to this. Rico is a preteen girl who's also The Pollyanna of the group, which makes her mercilessly beating full-grown adults to a bloody pulp all the more eerie.
  • In the Lupin III: Part II episode "Goemon's Close Call", Goemon is abducted by a pair of assassins, who want to gain fame by killing Lupin. In order to learn about Lupin's weakness, they torture Goemon horribly.
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka:
    • Nozomi finds herself on the receiving end when she is kidnapped by Abigail and a pair of Russian magical mercenaries, one of whom burns her skin with heated tongs while the other uses hydrokinesis to waterboard her. The resulting trauma is so profound that the only way to help her return to a relatively normal life was to give her a magical drug that erased all of her memories from the past week.
    • Kurumi is a master of using torture, both in interrogations and just for fun. She is particularly fond of using magical drugs to heighten the senses of her victims before going to town on them. One illegal magical girl that the heroines apprehend ends up getting her mind broken as a result and reduced to a Human Pet.
  • Mnemosyne has this happening to the immortal detective Rin on a regular basis.
  • Naruto:
    • Uchiha Itachi has a power that serves as one of these. Tsukiyomi may appear to be a second-long Mind Rape to those outside, but those experiencing it they're suffering a near-eternity of endless physical and emotional torture. It's enough to leave them catatonic and Itachi doesn't even try to extract information with it; he just wants them out of the way. It's suffering from it at Itachi's hands, twice, that turned Sasuke into the revenge-obsessed Jerkass he is.
    • Jasshinism encourages its priests to drag out the suffering of their victims as long as possible before killing them. Experiencing the pain of his dying victim has an almost narcotic effect on Hidan; only when extremely angered or pressed for time will he make their deaths clean.
    • Ibiki Morino, the head interrogator in the Konoha Intelligence Corps was subjected to nightmarish torture when he was captured on a mission. The top of his head is just one massive scab with several old scars... from drills, screws, and other implements used on him. He didn't break and escaped.
  • In Nightmare Inspector, Chitose who is now the current Hiruko the Baku, was tortured for much of his backstory, for the entertainment of a mysterious group of people.
  • Now and Then, Here and There. Abelia doing so to Shu is notable in that she's an adult and he's a young boy. You don't see that in media everyday.
  • Vincent from PandoraHearts has been known to use this technique (scissors are usually involved) both as a way to get information and to get out of a bad mood. He is very good at it.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Okina tortures a low-level mook for information by nailing hot candles to his hands. Later, Enishi mentally tortures Kenshin by pretending to kill Kaoru as punishment for "killing" his sister, Tomoe.
  • Sakura Gari:
    • Katsuragi tortures Masataka because he's Yandere for Souma, who is in love with Masataka. He does so by drugging Masataka after inviting him to his house for tea, tying him up, and then raping him. He follows that by whipping him, beating him up, and sticking a household object up Masataka's anus right after raping him. He then orders Masataka to give up on Souma and submerges his hand in boiling hot tea, and Masataka retaliates by throwing the tea in Katsuragi's eyes, which allows him to escape.
    • Also, almost every lover of either sex Souma takes in the Saiki household has been through this at the hands of Sakurako, his Yandere sister, who not only tortures them, but also takes pictures of it for her amusement. The most notorious victims are Masataka (whom she ties up and feeds forcefully, while telling him to go away), Terashima (whose drawing hand she crushes, right before tossing him down a flight of stairs), and a young and pretty maid who she had Bound and Gagged and savagely beat up, causing her to lose Souma's baby that she was pregnant with.
  • Samurai Champloo:
    • In the first episode, Mugen and Jin are captured by a corrupt magistrate who has them tortured with various methods over a period of several hours for their (at best very indirect) responsibility for his equally nasty son's death.
    • A later episode has a government agent captured by criminals and tortured for an extended period, but essentially tells his captors nothing.
  • Tokyo Ghoul features several graphic scenes of torture throughout the series.
    • Torture Technician Yamori and Psychopathic Manchild Juuzou both became warped individuals as a result of extensive torture in their pasts, and are prime examples of how Being Tortured Makes You Evil. But torture becomes a key plot point when Yamori manages to catch gentle and idealistic protagonist Kaneki Ken, who happens to possess a very powerful Healing Factor. Several chapters of graphic torture later, Kaneki is forced to abandon his kindness and turn on Yamori to save his own life. He emerges from over a week of torture a changed person, and is shown to be suffering serious psychological problems as a direct result.
    • One of the first things Kaneki does after escaping from Yamori, is systematically break 103 of Ayato's bones in retaliation to Ayato hurting Touka. He does so despite having figured out that Ayato could easily have killed Touka but refrained from doing so because he was actually protecting her, only hurting Touka enough to keep her from fighting anyone else who might kill her.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Dark Marik prefers to make his enemies suffer as much possible before their deaths and rub it in while he's doing so. His Penalty Games also reflect this, trapping Mai in an hourglass full of scarabs that slowly devour her skin.

    Audio Plays 
  • Scratch from We're Alive locks Burt up for months, starves him half to death, and finally gets fed up and destroys Shirley in front of him and then cuts off his trigger finger.


    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Subverted. In the first tome, the Romans tie Getafix to a table and tickle his foot for hours, and Getafix doesn't even break a laugh. Later, they threaten to torture Asterix to force Getafix to prepare his magical potion: both Asterix and Getafix say that there is no way they are going to do it, but as soon as he starts to be tied to the table, Asterix starts to beg for mercy and Getafix decides to do what the Romans say. This is all a way for the Gauls to play the Romans like fools.
  • Back to Brooklyn: Churchill loves to do this.
    • When he tracks Bob to an old store Bob used to frequent, he tortures the elderly owner with a straight razor. After carving him to bits, Churchill has the place set on fire, informing the old man he can carry his bedridden wife out to save her after Churchill has left him in no shape to even walk.
    • Churchill later captures Bob's best friend Vinnie and tortures him, only cutting it short with a bullet to the head when he realizes Vinnie will never betray Bob.
  • Batman:
    • Roman Sionis, better known as Black Mask. It seems to be his hobby. Two infamous incidents involve torturing Stephanie Brown to the point that Leslie Thompkins could feasibly fake her death from the injuries, and torturing Maggie Kyle (Catwoman's sister) and her husband, which included forcing Maggie to eat her husband's eyeballs. Maggie's husband was killed and she was rendered catatonic from the ordeal.
    • Dick Grayson inflicts horrible torture and mutilation on Carrie in the finale of The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
    • In Death of the Family, Batman finds an audio tape that has Joker burning Alfred's eyes with ammonia. Batman is not pleased.
  • Batwoman: During her training, Kate Kane was tortured for a week straight, including with electricity and waterboarding.
  • Calico (2020): Calico does this to a rich family as punishment for murdering a lioness and orphaning her cubs while hunting in the Serengheti. After decapitating the teenage daughter and presenting her severed head to the parents, he chops off the husband's arms and ties him to a chair backwards. He also ties the wife to another chair and makes her watch as he tortures the husband by (presumably) hammering a pipe into his hands. The torture ends up killing them both.
  • Captain America: The Red Skull loves torturing people. His second-in-command Crossbones probably enjoys torturing people even more.
  • Clean Room: Wenuka uses his Dark Room to punish distributors who miss their sales quotas. Implements of torture hang on the walls, and the victims are stripped and chained.
  • Diabolik:
    • The title character started out using this for interrogation. He currently uses realistic Truth Serums, but if you're either immune or allergic to it he'll first threaten you with torture... and then do it if you're stupid enough to not talk. Torture may be unreliable, but if he has no choice and you're healthy enough to live and confess...
    • This is attempted on Ginko by some criminals. It fails miserably. After all, if the guy's Heroic Willpower makes him immune to Truth Serums, mere pain has no chance to break him.
    • Attempted once on Diabolik himself. Diabolik resists for a while, then 'breaks'... and lures most of his captors in a deadly trap before returning to their base and killing them all. That's what happens when you deal with someone nicknamed King of Terror...
  • Frank Miller's RoboCop: The comic sees Margaret Love, the proto-version of Juliette Faxx, frequently engage in this, twice to Murphy (once after he's just repaired after he shows no remorse for siding with people OCP screwed over, and again after forcing Murphy to say goodbye to his ex-wife and mocking him) and a third time to a regular cop (having him be awake during painful surgery under the pretext of "reality therapy").
  • A History of Violence: An unspeakably horrible example occurs in the comic. Tom, the main character, and a friend robbed and murdered a group of New York gangsters when they were teenagers, partly as payback for the murder of the friend's brother. The friend is found out later, though, and we see him in a room with a hitman holding a hatchet. Tom has to make a run for it and change his name. Twenty years later, they catch up to him... and he learns that his friend is still alive. When you see what he looks like (link possibly NSFW), you'll wish you hadn't; among other things his body, or what's left of it, is covered in scars, he has no arms or legs, he's missing an eye, and from the look of his mouth and how he talks, he's either missing teeth or probably had some drilled into, maybe both. In a subversion of standard hero practice, when the friend begs for a Mercy Kill from Tom, he complies.
  • Infinite Crisis: The Crime Doctor in The DCU miniseries Villains United.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: This becomes literal when Killer Frost exposes Catwoman to extreme low temperatures in an attempt to learn Batman's location.
  • Justice League of America: Ray Palmer (yes, The Atom) gets in on the action in Justice League: Cry for Justice:
    "Have you ever had a sinus headache? So torturous you thought your head would explode? What if I shrank to microscopic size, entered your skull, then began to grow. Imagine how that would feel."
  • Kick-Ass: Kick-Ass is tortured through testicular electrocution, with his balls hooked up to a car battery, mainly for Red Mist's pleasure, because he knows that Kick-Ass knows nothing.
  • Morbius: After monster hunter Robert Hellsgaard has taken out Morbius with a burst of pure sunlight, he tells his henchmen, "Bring the good doctor. I will like to torture him."
  • The Outsiders: In Outsiders (2003), Chang Tzu tortured Captain Boomerang to force him to move at superspeed and let him get a reading (leaving him unable to stand) and started to vivisect the Black Queen (without, needless to say, anesthesia).
  • Preacher: The Reaver Cleaver liked to chop off bits of his victims and send them to loved ones before killing them. His last victim survived, albeit without a scrotum and with his face removed and reattached upside down.
  • The Punisher:
    • Frank commonly uses this to extract information he needs, though he recognizes that it doesn't always take. He also tries not to drag it out, since he prefers his revenge cold.
    • One memorable storyline in The Punisher MAX has Frank fighting European sex slavers. The evil they deal in makes him snap, with one book beginning with him reading up on human anatomy and ending with one of the ringleaders being left to talk or die, as his intestines are hanging above looped around a tree.
  • Robin (1993): Johnny Warren was a Mafia enforcer who enjoyed torturing people while waiting for his actual target to show up. When Tim first "meets" him he's been beating, burning and otherwise torturing the girlfriend of a guy who stole from his boss all day while waiting for her boyfriend to show up.
  • Sin City: The Sociopathic Hero Marv is really fond of torture, but only towards bad guys. Examples include:
    • He amputates all of Kevin's limbs and sicks Kevin's own wolfdog on him to eat him alive. Okay, Kevin was a cannibalistic serial killer, but still... brrr. Becomes A Fate Worse Than Death, but it didn't seem to bother Kevin much. He never screamed, just stared at Marv the whole time.
    • Cardinal Roark might have gotten it worse than Kevin, we don't know for sure what happened, but judging from Marv's narration he had the most "fun" with him.
      Marv: Kevin was damn frustrating but Roark's a pure joy. [...] I stare the bastard in the face and I laugh as he screams to God for mercy and I laugh harder when he squeals like a stuck pig and when he whimpers like a baby I'm laughing so hard I cry. He spurts and gurgles and life is good.
    • Marv also tortures and dismembers a cop, partially for information but mainly to avenge Lucille.
  • Spider-Man: The majority of the Inheritors from Spider-Verse enjoy playing with their food, before killing and eating them. In Spider-Geddon, it's revealed that their vampirism was artificial, implanted by Solus. In addition to this, Spiderling describes their childhood as horrifying.
  • Star Wars: It seems that to be a practitioner of The Dark Side, you have to love torture. (Indeed, according to at least one RPG sourcebook, to become a Sith Lord you had to have endured unimaginable pains.) Palpatine, Count Dooku, Aleema and Satal Keto, and Asajj Ventress are some of the most sadistic examples. Sometimes it was done for information, sometimes for punishment, and often for pleasure.
  • Superman:
    • During The Hunt for Reactron, Supergirl captures her father's murderer Reactron and takes him to her planet so he can stand trial. However, her mother has him tortured for information. Supergirl, who wants justice rather than revenge, is furious when she found out. Several weeks later, in the Bizarrogirl story arc, she still feels guilty about it.
    • Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom: In order to punish her for stealing a Boom Tube device, Granny Goodness gets Maelstrom strapped to a table and put through neurological torture.
  • The Transformers (IDW): It is the purpose of the Decepticon Justice Division to locate and torture Decepticons who frustrate Megatron's goals, for the sole reason of making sure other hesitant 'cons fear repercussions from them enough to stay on the straight. And that's bad, but it's even worse when it's obvious that they care little for the Cause and mostly just get off on torturing people...or giant robots... whatever.
  • Ultimate Marvel: The Red Skull is very fond of this. Nick Fury managed to get him to join the Ultimate Avengers a second time by offering to grant him free reign to torture and kill prisoners in the prison he was contained in along with a shopping list of torture tools.
  • V for Vendetta: V starves and tortures his sidekick Evey for an indeterminate amount of time in order to "free" her, even if it meant driving her insane.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): Genocide abducts and tortures Etta Candy after the creature figures out that there are things worse than death to inflict on humans. Diana rescues her old friend, but she spends a long time stuck in the hospital recovering.
  • X-23:
    • X-23's treatment at the hands of the Facility falls into this. Among the highlights: Her Healing Factor was forcibly activated by exposing her to lethal radiation at age seven and her claws were removed one at a time to be coated in adamantium at the same age while she was wide awake, note  while the process of conditioning her to respond to the Trigger Scent involved electrocution and near-drowning. When Laura is later recaptured by her abusive ex-handler Kimura, she goes to work on her with a chainsaw for being a "bad girl." Good Thing You Can Heal...
    • As a trained assassin and spy, Laura herself isn't exactly squeamish about using the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique herself, and has been shown to torture Mooks for information, much to the shock of her teammates.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Flash Gordon, Aura starts to torture Flash for refusing her. Fortunately for him, she's enough in love to freak out at the actual pain.
  • Scary Gary: Torturing people purely for the fun of it is one of Leopold’s many questionable, sadistic hobbies.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): The inhumane experiments which Alan Jonah and his paramilitary perform on Monster X are both the Mad Scientist variety and intended by Jonah to be the Being Tortured Makes You Evil variety. Later, the regenerating Ghidorah and MaNi/Elder Brother subject Monster X to this.
  • Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles has Gilda, who, upon her first appearance in chapter 11 violently beats up Rainbow Dash to "punish her" and later tortures Medley, as Rainbow tries to save her, and, ultimately, breaks Medley's wings. Ealier, in chapter 6, Applejack is subjected to one of these, while being pinned against a wall made of ice. Despite two-hour long beatdown, she doesn't break.
  • The notorious Power Rangers fanfic Agony In Pink... and yes, its sequels.
  • This is revealed to be one of The Seraphim's specialties in Angel of the Bat, as his predecessor created a religious cult entirely by breaking the minds of a bunch of children. He inflicts this on Cassandra/Angel, but she manages to not give in.
  • In the beginning of the reboot of Being Human, Jaune is captured by the White Fang and tortured by OC Ember Rot by, among other things, getting impaled in the shoulder and waterboarded. She wanted to send a message to his friends that she would trade him for Blake. And then after she sends the message herself, she goes even further by using a buzzsaw to cut off his legs and one of his arms, and even rapes him. It gets so bad that he silently prays — no, begs — for any God that's listening to just let him die.
  • In Beneath The Sun's Surface, Princess Celestia is captured by a group of conspirators who are planning to use Celestia's mind and body to revive Nightmare Moon. Since they need her in a near-death state, both physically and mentally, to do this, Celestia is brutally tortured on a daily basis to the point that she starts begging her captors to kill her. She eventually breaks free, kills her captors and escapes.
  • In Blind Man's Bluff, Jerry attempts to do this to Ellis. Poor, poor Ellis...
  • BROKEN does this horribly to Syaoran, Fai, and an OC. Graphically. It isn't the author's only work in that vein, either.
  • The very first part of the first chapter of Cabin Fever (Southern Hearts) goes into detail about the inhumane conditions of the prison that the Fire Nation built for waterbenders. What makes it worse is that it's described from Katara's point of view, since she was captured and imprisoned with the other Southern waterbenders in this Alternate Universe.
  • In Cheerilee's Garden, Cheerilee seemingly takes every violent murder of her students it up a notch with each torture, and then going even further in Scarlet Harvest by luring the Mane Six into a torture dungeon and splitting them up before horribly mutilating them. Let's just say that Dark Fic for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic gets dark as shit.
  • The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum does this... to Spike, of all the characters. The poor bastard...
  • One of the loyal Mooks serving the Villain Protagonist in the Mass Effect fanfic The Council Era is subjected to this by the Manaban Emperor, a vicious religious zealot who seeks to kill the Villain Protagonist for his destroying of a site that is sacred to the manaba.
  • The whole plot of Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles) is Pinkie Pie torturing Rainbow Dash — and it shows all of it in graphic detail.
  • Date A Re:Live: One trait Isaac Westcott had retained from canon. While trying to figure out what caused Tohka(under the Mio moniker at the time) to inverse. He asked the Spirit AI, Marina to remind him of what he and his group did to Miku's late precursor in an attempt make her inverse. She listed off almost all the above-mentioned torture methods from canon as being done to her, including him trying to destroy her dignity as a woman as well as trying to find a loved one to kill in front of her.
  • Deliver Us from Evil Series: Smith does this to Holmes in Mortality while gloating over him for the heck of it. It's pretty terrifying. Good thing Watson is able to help out and get rid of Smith.
  • Do You :REmember?: Kaneki suffers this over the course of the first six chapters, with Aogiri Tree repeatedly cutting off his limbs, gouging out his eyes, and even ripping out his vocal cords.
  • In Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness, the Cruciatus Curse is used as routine punishment, to the point that the students get used to it, and that doesn't even begin to compare with what Doctor Belsen does to Mike Corner (his best friend tries to euthanize him half-way through the torture session).
  • In the RWBY fic Earning Forgiveness, Ilia Amitola gets absolutely brutalized over the course of three days.
  • In Encrypt within the Dark, to Save the Clockwork of a Heart, "Aniki" subjugated Aoi Zaizen in a mockery of the Lost Incident in a misguided attempt to format itself like an Ignis, preventing themselves from being overwhelmed by its programming again. Yusaku and the Knights of Hanoi, especially Ryoken, certainly didn't take it well once they found out.
  • In Experimenting Fear, the nameless scientist has no problem using Nando, a 10-year-old kid, for an experiment which involves forcing the test subject to face whatever their worst fear is. Nando is afraid of losing his hearing, so his ears are blasted with high-pitched sound frequencies, then his eardrums are shattered by the scientist firing a gun right next to his head.
  • In Ezra Lost, Ezra gets strapped to a table and electrocuted — you know, like you do in Star Wars. It's implied he was tortured a lot more times than shown, to the point of Being Tortured Makes You Evil.
  • Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle both get it in the CSI fic Face The Music, and it gets pretty dark at times. The same author also wrote Thirty Minutes And Counting, another Grissom torture story that crosses with Forced to Watch.
  • Forward (Peptuck) has this happening twice in the first "episode" — to River and Jayne when they are captured by Niska, and by Mal and Zoe to one of Niska's Mooks, in order to find where Niska took River and Jayne.
  • In the Firefly fic "Freedom to the Free", when Simon and a couple more of the crew are abducted and enslaved, Simon — known for his smart mouth and tendency to snark back, —gets put in a scold's bridle, a real-life device that encircles his face and prevents talking via metal plates pushed between the teeth. Kaylee is even more frightened when River says that the bridle can have barbs, but this one doesn't. Simon is forced to wear it at night for three nights and can't sleep because of it.
  • "Frostbite": Dalsh Ruul is very calm and conversational most of the time he's torturing Tess, except when Tess' flat refusal to cooperate and constant repetition of her name, rank, and serial number start to get on his nerves.
  • Karl from Frozen Fractals has Anna beat with a cat o' nine tails and burnt with an iron in order to force Elsa into siding with him. It's also mentioned he had planned on raping her.
  • In The Great Red Panda Rescue, Mei is kidnapped, and her captors engage in this.
  • Happy Families Are All Alike doesn't show the torture in the detail some of the other stories on this page do. Even so, we get a disturbing Nightmare Sequence ending with Naruto waking up covered in the blood from the dream-injuries the Kyuubi inflicted on him. Which apparently happens almost every time he falls asleep.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Desaad shows why he's an expert torturer when he gets his hands on Pariah. He can't force the information out of him physically? Doesn't matter; he has mind-breaking machines aplenty.
    That had led Desaad down the right track. For tortures of the mind can be even worse than tortures of the body, and Apokolips has mind-probers aplenty.
    Pariah could not rise from his chair, held as he was by a stasis beam that paralyzed his lower body. Whatever he faced, he could not get up and walk away from it. Perhaps it would not have helped.
    Desaad had clamped a helmet over his head. It transmitted images from his brain to a receiver, which the master torturer of Apokolips manipulated like an orchestra conductor. He picked and chose among the scenes of Pariah's life, helped along by a gauge which glowed more redly when it registered a pattern of fear in a certain remembrance.
    The images were recorded and stored in the device's memory bank. Then Desaad began to fiddle with them, for he was an artist, and artists always reshape reality to their best intent. Some of the images were made more subtly frightening. Others were enlarged so as to knock down the viewer's mind with fear coming at him like a diesel train.
  • Conducted by a supposedly heroic character in Heroes of the Desk: Repercussions; she tracks down a person responsible for mass killings (she hopes this person also has information about the mind-control serum used on her). Suffice to say expanding grappling hooks meant to pierce rock used inside the body don't end well, and in a sort of Gory Discretion Shot/Take Our Word for It readers only find out that those responsible for cleaning up what happened needed mandatory counseling.
  • Hivefled's prequel Reprise is Torture Porn, and there's enough detail in Hivefled proper to know exactly what was going on. The sidechapters are pretty brutal as well.
  • The Immortal Game shows that Terra enjoys doing this in her free time to Celestia, her own daughter. Late in the story, Titan does this as well, to Twilight Sparkle for information — of course, this has the side effect of causing Twilight's splintered mind to fuse back together.
  • Poor Han Solo gets just about every type there is in the Star Wars fic Important Information, in an attempt to force him to tell information about the rebels. He ends up getting beaten, whipped, burned, and way too many bones broken, including his arms and most of his fingers. Cerean blood parasites are released onto his skin to burrow around in his flesh. When it becomes obvious that he isn't going to talk, his captor lowers his chained body to the floor and repeatedly rapes him. There are also drugs, first to amplify the pain he's feeling, and then to amplify the sexual sensations of the rape. The only good thing is that the pain and terror he feels are like a homing beacon in the Force for Luke, Leia and Chewie to follow to find him. When they arrive, he's near death, and he actually does die for a few moments in Leia's arms before she manages to revive him. Averts the "all's well that ends well" thing, Han struggles greatly with the aftermath in the sequel.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail has Paul in a prison within the Fog Car — basically Infinity Train Silent Hill — for how he had let an Apex child drown in the lake and did not save him. Walter chains him, blindfolds him in darkness, keeps him in isolation not only for the sake of giving the boy karma for what he did but also to prepare Paul to be the embodiment of Despair for a ritual needed to end the Apex. By Chapter 18, Paul has utterly lost all hope and can only mutter "I am Despair", completely gone and without any way for his brother to know about this.
  • This occurs off-screen in Jack O'Lantern. Sarada is kidnapped, with the kidnapper's intentions being to take her Uchiha eyes for themself. They break her fingers and several of her ribs. They're unable to take her eyes out before Sarada is rescued. In retaliation, they slash Sarada's eyes and blind her.
  • At the climax of the first arc of Jewel of Darkness, Midnight captures Robin and attaches him to a harness that apparently injects chemicals of some sort into his body, causing intense pain. The point of this is to mentally break Robin, in order to dissolve the Titans.
  • Jimmy's Visit With Dr. Franklin: Johnny Osgood was subjected to this for hours until he died, it was so bad, in fact that Jimmy didn't want to tell Dr. Franklin what exactly Ebon did for fear that it might give her nightmares.
  • In the incredibly dark Joker's Wild Trilogy, the Joker puts Beast Boy through this. Joker's methods include skinning him with a scalpel, burning him, using drills, power tools, acid, and tazers on him, and nailing him to a cross with railroad spikes, with razor wire wrapped around his head. The worst part? Beast Boy's regenerative abilities keep him from dying, so the Joker can do anything he wants to him for however long he wants. Brrrrr.
  • Sora is beaten almost to death (with description suggesting he's crucified against a cliff) in Kingdom hearts 3: The Return so he won't resist when being turned into a vessel.
  • The Mad Doctor of Lightwaves, Ellis, with his serious tendency to have people Strapped to an Operating Table just for the sheer fun of it, exacts Cold-Blooded Torture on two of the protagonists (that we see).
  • The Lion King Adventures:
    • Hago is quite fond of this. In The Return of Hago, he kidnaps Nala, his daughter, and tortures her into becoming the perfect child. It backfires horribly, though.
    • The Royal Reaper, in the story of the same name, likes torture, too. He drowns Nala in the waterhole, only to pull her out before she dies.
  • In the Lost Girl fic Mad World, Thane first psychologically tortures Lauren; and then captures her to actually torture her. To make it worse, she has a Healing Factor. Meaning he can torture her, wait for the wounds to heal, and then just torture her again. She, understandably, begins to lose the will to live. It's suggested that while Thane and The Garuda are waiting to kill Lauren until they can do it in front of Bo, the torture is mainly for fun.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has this happen with Wily torturing Ice Man early on, and an innocent Metool in Episode 7. He later inflicts this on ProtoMan.
  • In Mega Man Recut, Ballade tortures an innocent woman with the Mad Grinder. Later, he himself is tortured by the Syndicate bosses.
  • Pretty much Once an Episode in The Lord of the Rings fanfic series The Mellon Chronicles, especially for Legolas, although Aragorn also gets more than his fair share.
  • A Minor Miscalculation has Nui tortured by Isshin after the Naturals Election, Satsuki brutalized by Ragyo for three days before the Grand Festival, and Isshin tortured almost to death by Ragyo and Nui in "Downfall".
  • MLP Next Generation: Know Fear!: Twilight Sparkle, after being lured into a trap in Maretonia and captured by Wing Commander Steel Wing, is sentenced to public flogging for the "crime" of opposing the griffon invasion of Equestria. Steel Wing has this broadcast live over the radio across the country both as a morale blow, and bait to lure out the Fear Lantern, which proves successful. Since the Lantern is Twilight's daughter Starburst, it also succeeds in pissing her off enough that she duels and kills him.
  • Mortal Kombat: Desperation has Kano torture Cassie Cage after he and a corrupted Raiden kidnap her in order to keep her parents and S-F in line.
  • In the Desperation Omake in Mortal Kombat vs Marvel Universe, it's Kano who is on the receiving end of the torture by that fic's version of Cassie Cage.
  • In Monster Chronicles, Cedric commonly tortures his victims to death, such as Alejandro.
  • In Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja, Kakashi and Naruto are captured by an Ax-Crazy ninja who's an old enemy of Kakashi's out for revenge. He tortures Naruto for days using a jutsu that forces his own muscles to strain against themselves until they begin to rip themselves apart. He tortures Kakashi by forcing him to watch.
  • New Reality: Inflicted by Kvar to Brittany for weeks in Asgard Human Ranch.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • The Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique is occasionally used by the good guys, like Kyril and Chloe.
    • The end of Chapter 27 reveals that Chloe has gone missing when following a lead into Mandeville's location. Turns out that he is her father, and by the time of her next appearance, she is missing an eye and severely wounded, meaning that she has tortured by Mandeville since her absence. If one puts her past as a Sex Slave under Mandeville into consideration, this is probably not her first time being subjected to this.
  • The Emergency! fic "The Numbers Game" (bottom two links here) has Mike Stoker kidnapped by a guy who was injured in a fire and blames the department for not rescuing him in time. By the time Mike is finally rescued, he's been beaten, burnt and cut up pretty badly.
  • Operation: There Is No Operation introduces Operative Numbuh V8, the Kids Next Door Organization's Interrogation and Vegeatology specialist, whose calm, scientific approach to force-feeding people with veggies utterly creeps out his fellow operatives.
    "Impatient this time, sir? Usually I get at least a couple days. We haven't even gotten through the steamed stage yet."
  • Pages of Harmony has Twilight murdering her closest friends and several others, in extremely graphic detail. As was said by someone on DeviantArt, it "makes Cupcakes look like Barney".
  • The plot of the Dragon's Lair fanfic "Princess Daphne's Ordeal".
  • In the dark My Hero Academia fanfic Pulse and Void, Yamada Hizashi a.k.a. Present Mic is captured by a villain with an energy siphoning quirk. The more Hizashi screams, the more power the villain gets, and it's not hard to guess how he's made to scream so much. It takes a week for Aizawa and some of class 1-A to defeat the villain and get to him, and by the time they do, it isn't pretty. He's been beaten, covered in deliberate slices, welts and bite and scratch marks, his back is flayed raw and covered with salt, he's been repeatedly raped, and to stop his Super-Scream when it isn't wanted, he was gagged with a muzzle and fitted with a Shock Collar that are both welded on and leave even more injuries on nis face and neck. (Warning: the fic has art that's not pretty either in places.) The sequel (ongoing as of Aug 2023) shows that he does not get an instant recovery, either. Healing quirks were used to help him physically, but he'll never get rid of the countless scars all over his body and has a difficult mental recovery ahead.
  • Queen of All Oni: Evil Sorcerer and Smug Snake Lung captures Jade's astral self and tortures her via bright lights, which burn away at the shadows composing her astral form (including making her eye lids dissolve at one point) with the promise that he'll stop if she submits and agrees to serve him... which she refuses to do. So, the torture continues, driving Jade to the brink of insanity, and probably would have killed her if Left and Right hadn't saved her.
  • The Queen of Hearts: Over twenty years ago, Queen Matilda was imprisoned during a war. She was tortured and raped, which resulted in Hans.
  • Re: My Hostage, Not Yours: At the story's climax, the Valkians hook Zim up to their main computer and start draining his PAK's data and energy, causing him excruciating pain. Dib barely manages to get him free of it before the process kills him.
  • In Revenge Road, Hikaru, after killing Madoka by shooting her in the head, is far less merciful with Kyosuke, stabbing him in the throat so that he can do nothing but feel pain, then slices him to pieces while telling him all her grievances with each slash.
  • The Firefly fic "A Safe Place in the Mind" has Mal brutally tortured and given muscle inhibitors so he can’t even fight. It drives him catatonic until Inara helps him come back.
  • In the Firefly fic "Salvage Mission", it's not explicitly described, but Jayne is left mentally broken by physical and drug-enabled torture.
  • In the Firefly fic "San Diego Serenade", Mal is sliced, beaten and has a tooth ripped out, and Simon is repeatedly poisoned and cured along with the beatings.
  • The Blinky Bill fanfic Scars Are Forever has an OC named Jeromy doing this to Shifty Dingo. It involves chains, matches, a switchblade and Shifty's tail. Do the math.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos:
    • A good portion of Episode 67 is Beelzebub torturing Cosmo after luring her into his base by shattering her eardrums with extremely loud rock music and drugging her with neurotoxins (and — in the rewrite — electrocuting her before stripping her naked and tying her to his chair with razor wire). Then when Chris goes in to save her, he is captured and suffers even worse torture, eventually ending in Black Comedy Rape via giant acid-covered stinger.
    • It's revealed that after her failed attempt at killing Tsali, Talia tried to unsuccessfully make peace with the Seedrians. Hertia replied by torturing her until she was rendered immobile, crippled, senseless, and permanently catatonic.
    • Episode 71 features an audio recording of Tsali giving a monologue on his personal philosophy to a young unnamed Seedrian girl he captured... as she's slowly being Eaten Alive by his Tsali Endoskeletons.
  • Revealed in the Twist Ending of the Spyro Madness Saga. At first, we were lead to believe that Ember died after laying the egg that Spyro fathered. The truth, however, is that Ember was kidnapped right after she gave birth. The kidnapper was her father, Terrador, who wanted her to suffer for the crime of being a descendent of Malefor from her mother. Terrador had her locked up for a year and beat her daily to within an inch of her life. When Ember is finally discovered, she's badly scarred with tattered wings and her entire left horn is gone.
  • Still Stand in the Sun: Waterbenders imprisoned by the Fire Nation are kept in a constant state of starvation and dehydration, while facing humiliation from being dressed in rags and forced to go barefoot during their imprisonment in cages. The story takes the time to describe Katara's fear when the soldiers leer at her young body, the aching of her ribcage jutting out against her gaunt skin, and the sheer effort it takes for her to stay awake during the day.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Chiron, Section-2 Chief, loves doing this. He abducted Prof. Hamilton and tortured him during months using pain, drugs, sleep deprivation, sensorial deprivation and psychological warfare to worm all secrets of Supergirl — including her Secret Identity (Asuka) — out of him.
  • In the Doctor Who fanfic Survival of a Monster, King Wurzin and Kowet-Horp do this to one of the Rutans so they can find out how its spaceship works. The torture includes cutting off its tendrils and eating them. When the Rutan finally escapes it knocks Wurzin into a pit, killing them both.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Dark Fic Sweet Apple Massacre amplifies the sheer horror of Cupcakes above, as Big Mac horribly rapes and mutilates the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Luckily, it's offset by a huge amount of Narm from the poor writing and transparent attempts at shock.
  • In Tales of a Reset Mind, Mania does this to Nico, and Joy does this to Panic.
  • Time and Again ends with Naruto being captured by Orochimaru, who is convinced Naruto deliberately went back in time and accidentally took Orochimaru. The sequel Here and Now picks up where Time and Again left off and starts by covering Naruto's two years of torture and starvation as Orochimaru tries to learn how Naruto did it, when it was a complete accident.
  • In Torque (Jak and Daxter), Vin gives Keira and Daxter a data chip that allows them to see the experiments and torture that Jak was put through and it makes them sick.
  • The Ultimate Evil:
    • Shendu inflicts this off-screen on Hak Foo for almost killing Valerie Payne while forcing the other Enforcers to watch in order to discourage them from following Hak Foo's example. When Valerie finds the badly bruised and barely alive Hak Foo afterwards, he's revealed to have been kept conscious for the entire ordeal to fully feel the pain and allowed to live only due to being the Token Competent Minion.
    • Shendu himself suffers this at the hands of his siblings when he fails to free them through his portal.
    • After Shendu rewrites history with the Book of Ages, it's revealed that Nataline Homato was subjected to months of torture by Shendu before being killed and hanged up as an example to the rest of humanity of what happens when you defy the Demon Sorcerers.
  • Heavily implied in the third part of Uplifted, though not shown. Joachim Hoch leaves his detainment in Kiel starved and beaten mercilessly, all for sins of others... Given that he is an SS officer who just found out about the Holocaust, he feels like he almost deserves it.
  • Jayne goes through this in the Firefly fic "The Way". Water and electricity are involved, and Simon never had to give anyone so many stitches in his life.
  • Weight of the World:
    • An ex-Atlas soldier tortures America and carves the word "Sacrifice" into his back in an attempt to make him activate Penny 2.0 through desperation. It doesn't work, but the soldier succeeds in making his "message" stick. Then he comes back and does it again. And again. And again...
    • Once America is at her mercy, Atlas slowly and maliciously impales him with a spear, repeatedly stabbing him clean through his stomach and out his back. She knows he'll survive whatever she does to him, so she does not hold back, causing him as much pain as possible. Why does she do this? Because he refuses to submit to her and say she was right.
  • The Fairy Tail fic What Chapter 372 of Fairy Tail should have been. At one point in the actual series, Kyouka of the Dark Guild Tartaros captures and tortures Erza Scarlet. Later, after Erza breaks out in Chapter 372, she has a perfect opportunity to do the same back to Kyouka, but doesn't. So, someone rewrote that chapter so that Erza does torture Kyouka, sometimes with crueler methods. How do you respond to being stripped naked, having your sensitivity to pain heightened, and then getting whipped like crazy and electrocuted? By chopping your torturer's arms off, smashing her face against a stone floor multiple times, ripping open her stomach and leaving her organs exposed, ripping out a few of her organs (including one of her lungs), squashing her shoulder bones like tin cans, and, of course, more electrocution. And when you're done, why not rip her eyes out too? Yikes. One can only imagine that the author was either sadistic or had a lot of pent-up rage for Kyouka. Of course, the author would like to state that it's actually the latter. In another of the writer's Fairy Tail fics, What Chapter 321 of Fairy Tail should have been, Erza's defeating of Minerva involved her torturing and mutilating her! She even rips her fingers off with her teeth and eats them!
  • Done in chilling fashion in You Obey. The story is a deconstruction of second person at how interrogation is actually done and what its effects are, from the point of the interrogator.
  • In Zelda's Honor, the main antagonist, Naar, tortures just about every captive he meets. The reader is treated to not one but two chapters of torture involving young, Kokiri prisoners — slicing up their fairy's wings to observe the mystical link between them, raping and abusing them cruelly for his own sadistic pleasure, and finally murdering them violently while mixing the act with arcane magic to ensure they revive as cannibalistic undead that will be trained as lethal assassins. This isn't even mentioning the type of trauma he puts Ruto through.

    Films — Animated 
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker has the Joker cross the Moral Event Horizon once and for all when he kidnaps Tim Drake, Mind Rapes him over a period of six weeks to break his mind and get him to reveal Batman's secrets, mutilates him in order to turn him into "Joker Junior", then lures Batman to his hideout in the old Arkham building just so that he can torment Batman by showing him what he's done (most heinously, by showing Batman video footage of one segment of Robin's Electric Torture) and try to make the Brainwashed and Crazy Robin deliver the final punchline by murdering his former mentor. To top it all off, Robin is only a teenager when all of this happens.
  • The Cat Piano: A human drives nails into cats' tails to make them scream.
  • Parodied in The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water. After the Secret Formula has literally vanished and Mr. Krabs doesn't believe Plankton about it, he tapes him to his desk and tells a knock-knock joke. ("Jimmy." "Jimmy who?" "Jimmy BACK MY FORMULA, PLANKTON!") SpongeBob's ensuing laughter after he gets the joke (with Krabs wearing ear protectors) is what gets Plankton screaming.
    [cut to silence with Krabs smiling smugly with his ear protectors on]
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie:
    • Parodied when Bowser first meets Luigi and interrogates him. In order to get information out of Luigi about Mario, Bowser forcefully tugs and pulls on Luigi's mustache hairs in order to get him to talk with each time that Luigi refuses to give information, Bowser forcefully rips his mustache hairs clean off. It gets to the point that Bowser grabs onto Luigi's entire mustache and once Luigi finally gives all the information about Mario that he wants, he still rips a huge chunk of his mustache hair anyways due to Luigi annoying him.
    • Played straight when Bowser confronts Princess Peach and Toad and attempts to "propose" to Peach. When Peach understandably rejects his proposal, Bowser orders Kamek to torture Toad by using an Agony Beam on him which slowly crushes the poor mushroom fellow nearly to death in order to force Peach to accept his proposal. Unlike the Luigi interrogation scene above which was still somewhat comedic, this scene is taken dead seriously.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Act of Valor: CIA agent Lisa Morales is severely tortured, culminating with holes being drilled through her hands and feet.
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.
    • Lord Whorfin hooks up Buckaroo to the Shock Tower and uses electricity to try to force him to tell Whorfin how to make his Overthruster work.
    • Lord Whorfin's henchmen uses the "smeared with honey and covered with ants" bit on Penny Priddy, then kill her with a poisonous slug.
  • The main characters in American Dreamer are captured by drug dealers, and when hung upside down, their captor explains just the kind of pain all the blood rushing to the head will do.
  • Avengers: Infinity War:
    • Thanos tortures Thor by slowly burning him with the Power Stone to make his brother Loki reveal the Tesseract.
    • Ebony Maw is tasked with grabbing the Time Stone, which is in the possession of Doctor Stephen Strange. After Strange casts a spell on it to prevent Maw from taking it, Maw chokes him into unconsciousness, takes him on board his ship and into space, then tries to torture him into releasing the spell by drilling a number of crystal needles into his flesh. One at a time. Slowly.
    • Thanos resorts to torture in order to get Gamora to reveal the location of Soul Stone. However, since he is unwilling to hurt his favorite adopted daughter, Thanos instead decides to torture his other adopted daughter Nebula by pulling apart her cybernetics and living tissue as Gamora is Forced to Watch.
  • Barbarian Queen:
    • In the first film the heroine Amathea (Lana Clarkson) is stripped topless and tortured on a rack. The torturer is a comically stunted man, which contrasts with the tall, buxom blonde heroine. He recites some cheesy evil dialogue while occasionally pulling a lever which stretches Amathea, causing her to cry out in anguish. While nominally attempting to get information out of her, it is obvious the torturer seems more interested in torturing her for his pleasure. Eventually he gives into his lust and rapes her.
    • In the 2nd film, the heroine Athalia (again played by Lana Clarkson) is stripped topless and tortured on the rack. The villain, gloating after having captured her, makes it clear he is torturing her for punishment (as revenge for an earlier humiliation at Athelia’s hands), and he doesn’t even ask any questions as he draws increasingly loud screams of pain from her with each crank of the rack. A secondary villain, the heroine's bratty niece, makes an appearance to observe the torture and can barely contain her excitement as she watches Athalia writhe and scream in agony. She cheerfully announces that she will enjoy likewise torturing her subjects when she is queen. Sometime later, Athalia somehow manages to free her hands and escape, but in a surprising twist is recaptured and sent sobbing back to the dungeon. When we next see her, she is again stretched out on the torture rack, this time completely naked. While in the earlier torture scene she appeared somewhat defiant, here she appears defeated and exhausted, implying that this torture session has been going on for quite a long time. As the barely-conscious Athalia moans in agony, the villain gleefully tells her that she is being slowly tortured to death, and she will die knowing that the rebels she leads will soon be destroyed by his hand. Seemingly resigned to a painful and humiliating end, Athalia gasps that someday someone will come and avenge her.
  • Blade II: After defeating a Reaper, Reinhard injures the poor thing over and over again before killing it in an agonizingly slow manner. By the time it's over, you feel sorry for the creature, and it becomes clear that he is completely evil.
  • In Blooded, the Animal Wrongs Group tortures Lucas, the public face of the hunting lobby, in an attempt to break his spirit and compel him to record a Hostage Video denouncing hunting.
  • Blood of the Tribades: Grando, the head of the vampire priests, has those who fail him or are supposed "sinners" tortured brutally (sometimes to death).
  • The Book of Revelation: Daniel's rapists torture him when he refuses to comply with their demands. They also rape and physically torment Daniel, saying it's just for pleasure after he asks why.
  • In Terry Gilliam's Brazil, the dark world of the future features white-collar Torture Technicians who have government offices, waiting rooms, and secretaries who transcribe their victims' screams. The major driving force of the plot is when a misidentified man is tortured to death by mistake. In the end, the hero is tortured into insanity by the government torture technician, who just so happened to be his best friend.
    "It's not my fault Buttle's heart condition didn't show up in Tuttle's file!"
  • The Card Counter: It is eventually revealed that Gordo taught William and Cirk's father "enhanced interrogation techniques" at Abu Ghraib, resulting in their dishonorable discharges from the army. In the denouement it is implied that William reenacted these torture methods on Gordo, emerging from the latter's room covered in blood after both of them are heard screaming.
  • Closet Land is one long torture session. The film was intended to dramatize the real-life fate of many Third-World dissidents.
  • This is the usual MO of the Convenience Store Killer in Cornered!.
  • Exam: Brown engages in this, believing Dark to be The Mole. The other characters lampshade how wrong this is.
  • The Expendables
    • In The Expendables, Sandra is water-boarded by Munroe to make her confess "what the Americans want". In the Director's Cut, Garza stops the water-boarding and saves Sandra.
    • This also happens in The Expendables 2, when Maggie does this on several Sang Mooks.
  • In Flash Gordon (1980), Klytus and Kala inflict this on Princess Aura — while her father watches, sipping a cocktail.
  • Flavia the Heretic: When Sister Livia is condemned, she is given to Flavia's father to be tortured to death.
  • A Good Woman I Hard To Find: Leo tortures Tito's flatmates in an attempt to find him.
  • The notorious Guinea Pig film series, released in Japan from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, are nothing but graphic depiction of hardcore torture, often without even the pretense of a story. The most (in)famous one, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood, depicts a woman being slowly dismembered by a psychopath. There's even an Urban Legend that Charlie Sheen watched it, thought it was a legitimate Snuff Film, and reported it to the FBI.
  • The Guns of Navarone:
    • The heroes meet a pair of locals, one of whom was held by the Nazis for a while and tortured. She was so traumatized that she refuses to show anyone the scars from the experience. But that's because there are no scars; she broke under just the threat of torture and has been acting as The Mole for the Nazis. After finding out, her close friend kills her with complete lack of emotion in a very disconcerting scene.
    • In the film, an SS officer tortures an injured Major Franklin to try to make the others talk.
  • In The Hanoi Hilton, the POWs are taken one by one to Room 18, where they're subjected to beatings, Unwilling Suspension, and Electric Torture. All of them eventually break and renounce America over the prison's loudspeaker.
  • Havenhurst: Any tenant who falls off the wagon is dropped into the apartment building's basement, where they're murdered in the most painful, sadistic way possible.
  • Hong Kong 1941 have one that overlaps with Ear Ache; the Les Collaborateurs leader serving the Japanese would torture prisoners and suspected resistance agents by shoving firecrackers, butt-first, into his captives' ears and light the fuse on the other side. This fate befalls the film's hero, as well as multiple civilains.
  • The Hostel series is about tourists in Eastern European countries being abducted to be brought to wealthy, paying torturers and gives plenty of examples of this trope, as expected.
  • James Bond:
    • In Casino Royale (1954),note  Le Chiffre takes a pair of pliers to Bond's feet to make him talk.
    • In the opening sequence of Die Another Day, we see Bond repeatedly getting his head shoved into a bucket of ice water, stung with scorpions, and beaten, all for the guards' amusement. When the sequence concludes and the movie begins, the caption tells us that Bond has endured this treatment for over a year. Once rescued, we overhear Q talking about what else James went through: he'd be injected with poison and then his torturers would watch the poison take affect for some indeterminate amount of time before injecting the antidote. Multiple times.
    • In Casino Royale (2006), the Big Bad uses a knotted rope, a bottomless chair, and some very strategic blows to persuade James Bond to reveal some very vital information — specifically, that he has an itchy scrotum.
    • In Spectre, Blofeld has Bond tied to a chair and has several needles drilled into his head, to make sure he doesn't recognize anyone.
  • Law Abiding Citizen has a nice discretion shot for the torture scene, but it's described in a... cringe-worthy way.
  • Dr. Szell, the twisted Nazi concentration-camp dentist, puts the protagonist of Marathon Man through one of the most nightmarish torture sessions ever filmed. "Is it safe?"
  • Matewan: What Kenehan describes the Hutterite conscientious objectors suffering while in Fort Leavenworth, and later what a company man does to a 14-year old boy caught stealing coal.
  • General Quoc does this to Braddock and his son Van in Braddock: Missing in Action III.
  • My Little Sister: The prologue shows the Little Sister partaking in some torture of his prisoners.
    • He cuts a man's face off and submerges it in water.
    • He then kills a woman in a painful fashion with a lawn edger to her abdomen.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): One of Freddy's nastier moments comes when he kills one of his victims... then informs him that the brain keeps running for several minutes after the heart stops, so he's not done yet.
  • In Only God Forgives, Chang tortures Crystal's henchmen by stabbing his legs and arms, removing his eyes, and killing him with ear mutilation.
  • Captain Vidal in Pan's Labyrinth seems a bit too fond of torturing rebels his soldiers capture, to the point at which he describes the "bond" developed between himself and the victim after various instruments (pliers, hammers, knives, etc) are used. He then orders the doctor to heal a captured rebel who was nearly tortured to death. Thankfully the doctor is kind enough to euthanize the poor guy. And pays for this kindness with his life.
  • In Perfume, the captured Villain Protagonist is tortured to extract a confession, and then sentenced to be publicly broken in the process of his execution.
  • In The Princess Bride, Westley is subjected to this at one point by Count Rugen, the six-fingered man of Inigo Montoya's past, who considers himself a "scholar of pain." He decided to test out a machine that can sap the life out of his victim, which of course is rather unpleasant to Westley. However, it's small potatoes compared to when Humperdinck gives the machine a spin, since he decides to take it up to fifty years, torturing Westley to near death.
  • The 2013 drama film Prisoners plays this painfully straight. Hugh Jackman hits, punches, threatens to stab, scalds, freezes and psychologically destroys the Paul Dano character who he thinks has kidnapped his and his best friend's daughters. What makes it even worse is that for most of the film, we don't know if he's a guilty kidnapper or an innocent mentally handicapped kid.
  • Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction promises to "get medieval" on Zed with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch in revenge for raping him.
  • Subverted in The Punisher (2004) when Castle hangs his victim upside down, threatens to torture him with a blowtorch, and runs a popsicle up and down his back.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
    • By the Nazi agent Toht on the captive heroine. Marion is willing to confess when she sees the instruments, but Toht, being a sadist, wants to torture her anyway.
    • Later subverted when Toht has Marion at his mercy again. He whips out an ominous-looking assemblage of rods and chains, she gasps in shock... and he snaps it together to form a coat-hanger, drapes his leather greatcoat on it, and asks her with a polite smile what she knows.
  • Rambo:
  • In The Recruit, there's a scene where Colin Farrell's character, who is training to be a CIA covert agent, is kidnapped along with his Love Interest fellow recruit (or so he believes), and after keeping and beating him for days the torturers approach him with this electric device that makes him completely shit himself — it's the fact that he's portrayed up to this point as a really tough, brave character who won't be broken that makes his reaction so scary. A Scream Discretion Shot follows. What kind of makes this whole scene a Tear Jerker too is that he only breaks when he's told that they have the Love Interest and she's been tortured — they prove this by throwing her pants at him to show she pissed herself in fear for God's sake — but it turns out that the whole thing is a set-up where the CIA kidnapped him for training purposes and the whole recruit class has been observing him while he's been captive, including the Love Interest.
    • Possibly made worse by the fact that the purpose of the torture was to show the recruits that when captured and tortured, it doesn't matter how strong your will is, or how smart you are, or even what you know: You. Will. Break. It wasn't designed to teach them how to resist torture, it was designed to show them what resistance would get them. And then they're told to resist anyway.
  • Gavin Hood's Rendition features a full complement of contemporary methods of "enhanced interrogation techniques" including water-boarding and electricity, performed on a suspected terrorist.
  • Vic Vega (Mr. Blonde) cutting off that cop's ear in Reservoir Dogs.
    Mr. Blonde: Listen kid, I'm not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I've heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain't gonna get.
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: Moriarty sticks a hook in Holmes' shoulder, hangs him by it and, after singing along with some Schubert, proceeds to swing Holmes around on it, tugging on him and twisting around the arm to which the violated shoulder is attached; his motivation for doing this seems to be half to get information and half just to prove that Holmes is his bitch.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah:
    • When slave girl Tamar is captured by Sodomite guards after her meeting with the Elamites to co-ordinate Astaroth's attempt to overthrow his sister, Queen Bera, the latter locks her in a cage with a blind slave wearing spiked upper body armour, the spikes on which protrude whenever he takes a breath, in the hopes of getting her to name her co-conspirator. But Tamar remains loyal to Astaroth... at the expense of her own life — and those of her younger sisters.
    • As if working slaves to death in the salt mines isn't bad enough, the Sodomites torture them to death for entertainment. When Ishmael's attempted slave revolt fails, the re-captured slaves are strapped to a wooden wheel over a fire pit, doused with oil, and slowly burned to death as the wheel turns, all while a raucous crowd of Sodomites watches and cheers.
  • Spider-Man: During Spider-Man's final fight against Green Goblin, when Goblin decides to take a moment to gloat in Spidey's face about how he was gonna finish off MJ nice and slow, he most likely meant he was gonna torture her to death. This is thankfully averted when this causes Spidey to gain his Heroic Second Wind and absolutely destroy Goblin.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: What Khan does to the scientists on Regula I in the Novelization. We only see the aftermath in the movie.
  • Star Wars:
  • Stonehearst Asylum: Salt's methods in curing his patients. Sadly, this is how many asylums were run back in those days. Even one of his staff criticizes it after the fact.
  • Bryan Mills in Taken tortures a particularly nasty guy who is part of the slave ring that has his daughter by hammering two long, blunt and rusty nails into his thighs, connecting them to a fusebox and then running current through them by turning on the light. And once he's gotten the info he's gotten from him, he leaves the guy in the room with the light still on.
  • Talon Falls: The maze in Talon Falls Scream Park is full of scenes of scare actors inflicting pain and suffering on people. What no one knows, however, is that the torture is real, and the people in the chair are abducted patrons. No one notices because they think it's All Part of the Show.
  • The speciality of the Projects Manager in Ten Dead Men. When Axel tries to call his friend, not realising that he had fallen into the Project Manager's hands, all he can hear is some inarticulate gurgles. The Projects Manager them speaks into the phone and apologises that his friend couldn't speak more clearly, but he had just had his jaw removed. He then sends Axel a picture to prove the point.
  • In The Terror of the Tongs, Chung King has Captain Sale subjected to a torture known as bone scraping, where fine needles are inserted into his flesh and dragged along his bones.
    Chung King: Have you ever had your bones scraped, Captain? It is painful in the extreme I can assure you.
  • In Tragedy Girls, Lowell is tazed, duct-taped to a chair, blindfolded, locked in a tiny, windowless cell, and forced to eat dog food for weeks on end. While he gets very little sympathy, being a Serial Killer and all, the fact that the girls chose to do this rather than call the police and tell them they captured a murderer is an early clue to what sort of people our heroes are.
  • Seen in the movie Transsiberian. Kolzak is a thug connected to a Russian drug-dealer, looking for information on one of their smugglers who stole a bunch of drugs and money from them. Near the climax of the film, he tortures the girlfriend of the drug-runner, but she legitimately doesn't know where her boyfriend is. The scene and the after effects are particularly gruesome.
  • Trench 11: Priest is subject to this by proto-Nazi Reiner in order to gain intelligence against the Allies.
  • Unthinkable features an interrogator called "H", played by Samuel L. Jackson, who specializes in this sort of "questioning."
  • V for Vendetta:
    • The source of V's resilience and strength was the gruesome medical experiments that were performed on him.
    • Evey gets her courage to go back to "regular" society after she is tortured.
  • At the start ofVigilante Diaries, the Vigilante is being tortured by the Cartel, seemingly just for the hell of it. Then Andreas, the boss of the Armenian Mob, sends his personal Torture Technician Raven to Mexico to do a more professional job. There is also a brief scene of Barrington and Swan very calmly and professionally torturing some poor soul in India about uranium.
  • In The Way of the Gun, Parker and Longbaugh torture Obecks the captured bodyguard on a makeshift rack.
  • In Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold, the Tulpani do this to the Comancheros they capture: driving a hot needle through the lips of one; cutting the eyelids of a second and leaving him staked out staring at the sun; and a third is dunked in molten gold.

  • Patrick Bateman from American Psycho is a master of this trope, creating some of the most sickening and gruesome tortures ever put to print. He even keeps his victims alive longer just so they can experience more pain.
  • In one Animorphs book, Tobias is captured by a sadistic human-controller named Taylor and tortured with an Agony Beam.
  • Aristillus: In book one, Powers of the Earth, Tudel uses pliers to break each of Captain Kear's fingers one by one, solely to hear the man scream and take revenge for earlier humiliations. He then proceeds to do something unspecified with his belt, and is shown to sadistically enjoy the whole process.
  • In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Stephen Maturin is tortured by French officers in Mahon. Details are sparse: his fingernails were pulled out among other things (the damage to his hands remains throughout the rest of the series, impacting his musical skill), but not only did he not break, even to revealing his nationality, he steals important papers while he is being rescued.
  • Baccano!: Poor, poor Czeslaw Meyer. No wonder the kid's a little paranoid; he's gone through probably the single worst example of Who Wants to Live Forever? this side of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.
  • In Battle Magic, Evvy, who is still a child, is stripped and tortured by the Yanjingyi invaders who want her to tell them where Briar and Rosethorn are. Her injuries are so great that when she uses her magic to flee her mind and the pain her tormentors take her for dead and toss her in a pile with the rest of the people from the fortress.
  • Bazil Broketail: Thrembode enjoys torturing people, be it for dark magic rituals or interrogation.
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood has Phury, who — owing to a fucked-up mental state — enjoys taking a hammer and chisels to his enemies' joints and carving interesting shapes on their faces.
  • In the Blood Angels novel Deus Encarmine, the Word Bearers use this to make a sacrifice. Then, when one of them is captured, Inquisitor Stele uses it on him, culminating in a Mind Rape.
  • Considering that Book of the New Sun is the story of a professional torturer, there is surprisingly little of this trope. (The narrator actually mentions that it isn't a book for people who enjoy reading about such things.) We do see a few torture-executions and one very horrible device, the Revolutionary: a Mind Rape device whose victims become their own worst enemy, to the point where they will tear off their own eyelids because they hate themselves so much.
  • In Brothers of the Snake, the Town with a Dark Secret had lured Space Marines to capture and sacrifice one of them. They are found after the Marine has nearly been tortured to death.
  • In the Dale Brown novels, David Luger was tortured by his Soviet captors as part of his brainwashing. Wings of Fire has some redshirts tortured to death by the Libyans. Executive Intent has Wayne Macomber being badly beaten by GRU agents.
  • In Micah E. F. Martin's short story "The Canticle", most of the cast are members of an inquisitorial sect. Naturally, this comes up often.
  • Cat Chaser: Andres specialized in this as head of Trujillo's secret police. Nolen and Rafi recall he frequently brutally mutilated anyone who found themselves in his custody and fed them to the sharks after he was done with them.
    Andres: The trick when you question someone is to never ask them a question.
    Jiggs: You don't ask 'em anything?
    Andrew: No, never. You take the person's clothes off. Always, you do this, strip the person naked, and sometimes that's enough. Or you subject the person to an unpleasant experience, increasing this gradually. The person wants to tell you something, but you still don't ask him. He pleas with you, he begins to say things, to also the questions himself, yes, and then answer them, he's so anxious to see you if you'll stop the unpleasantness.
  • In Catseye (1961), Dragur observes that only the unimaginative resort to this, since a man will say anything to stop the pain.
  • In The Cleric Quintet, it's the main character, Cadderly, who engages in this, first deliberately crushing and mangling the hands of a mage to keep her from casting spells who later has an internal monologue about how much she loves Cadderly and wants him to be happy, and then as a means of "killing" a demon to send it back to the Abyss (instead of simply making a quick, clean kill). And Cadderly's the good guy.
  • Torture of a rather Pavlovian nature makes up the backbone of A Clockwork Orange's second act, where Villain Protagonist Alex is "cured" of his criminal impulses by being forcibly drugged and brainwashed to become violently ill when he thinks of crime. Of course, this process is pretty nasty, and the resulting miserable helplessness is even worse, eventually leading him to attempt suicide.
    Alex: Stop it, stop it, stop it. Oh, I've had enough. It's not fair, you vonny sods!
    Dr. Brodsky: First class. You're doing really well. Just one more and then we're finished...
    Alex: Stop! Stop, you grahzny disgusting sods. It's a sin, that's what it is, a filthy unforgivable sin, you bratchnies!
  • Conan the Barbarian:
  • Corum: This happens to Corum at the hands of Glandyth.
  • The torture in later chapters of Count and Countess is calculated, methodical, and occasionally hard to read.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: This is seemingly a favorite pasttime of everyone in Hybern.
  • Daniel Faust:
    • Torture — and making suspected troublemakers watch, to teach them a lesson — is Nicky Agnelli's preferred way of dealing with traitors. Juliette and Justine, his torture technicians, refer to the act as "our favorite game: attitude adjustment!"
    • Caitlin grants Carl Holt a swift death, because he's mortally wounded, in shock, and torturing him "wouldn't have been any fun". His partner Alvin, on the other hand, isn't so lucky. Given some of Caitlin's remarks, she enjoys torture as a recreational pastime and according to Nicky, she tortured an angel she captured until its mind shattered.
    • When Daniel first meets Naavarasi, she's torturing a food critic who panned her restaurant. It reads like she's acting more out of petty spite than actual sadism.
    • Savannah Cross tortures Marie in order to make her call out to Nessa, in the hopes of understanding the source of their power.
  • Dark Future's Church Of Joseph engages in this in order to spill blood to hasten the coming of the Dark Ones. Seth deliberately pushes resettlers from their vehicles in Route 666, has Josephites flagellate themselves to death and Jesuit commandos crucified and kept alive with occasional doses of water in Krokodil Tears, in order that their deaths are prolonged to make them better food for the Dark Ones.
  • One of the fetishes of Isaac Westcott from Date A Live. He also goes on a long and detailed list on what he would do Tohka in order to push her to the brink, like electrocution, oxygen deprivation, peeling her nails, ripping out her teeth, and trample her dignity as woman. We get to see the results of his torture in full in volume 13, Nia re-experiences them with the Realizer implanted in her head.
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion: In the third novel, Oath of Gold, the paladin buys the freedom of the lost king by enduring days of torture at the hands of priests of Liart, the god of torment.
  • Deryni: Derry is tortured by Wencit and Rhydon in High Deryni. In The King's Justice, after Duncan is captured at Dorna, Loris, and Gorony keep him drugged with merasha (the side effects are themselves very unpleasant) and torture him for hours, including multiple whippings and pulling out all his nails.
  • Divergent:
    • Tris quickly learns that people are more willing to share information after they've been shot.
    • Also used by the Erudite on Tobias. Doesn't work until they force him to watch Tris undergo the torture instead.
  • Dragaera: Paarfi, the narrator of The Baron of Magister Valley, tells us that he's sparing the reader's sensibilities by not describing the torture that our hero endures. He goes on to note that, in these more enlightened times, such barbarity is no longer inflicted on anyone except the peasant Teckla, who does not feel pain as gentlemen do.
  • Dragon's Winter has more than one character tortured at the hands of the Evil Sorcerer and his Mooks.
    • After being held prisoner for three years and getting A Taste of the Lash, Azil returns with horrible scars and disfigured hands.
    • There is a vivid description of Hawk's eye being burned out with a hot poker.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Turn Coat, the skinwalker tortures Thomas by peeling strips of skin off and waiting for them to grow back. Once he's so low on vamp energy that he's about to die, it feeds him someone, who, given his current state, he's guaranteed to kill. Then it starts the process over. By the time Harry gets him back, Thomas is so completely broken that he's stopped caring about much of anything.
    • Harry undergoes a milder version of himself in Dead Beat at the hands of Cassius, who wanted revenge for Harry's Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique last time they met. It's mentioned three books later that he still has scars from having his abdominal wall cut into with a knife and his stomach beaten with a chain for who knows how long.
    • This trope barely covers what Mab did to the traitorous Winter Knight, from Summer Knight until Harry kills him in Changes, which is roughly 6 years later.
    • Harry himself does this in White Night to one of a group of ghouls who killed and partially ate two teenage Wardens-in-training. He blasts a hole in the desert sand, dumps the ghoul in, melts the sand around it, and then leaves a trail of orange juice from the ghoul to a nest of fire ants. He does Mercy Kill the ghoul eventually at the behest of Ramirez, but still, DAMN.
    • It's heavily implied that both Lily and Fix were tortured by Maeve and Lloyd for an unknown amount of time for the amusement of the Winter Court.
  • Eisenhorn:
    • In Xenos, Eisenhorn is captured and tortured by a Chaos cult. They demonstrate the techniques with their threats, including the promise he will never smile again — and the damage to his nerves is so extensive that he never will.
    • In Malleus, Eisenhorn is going to be "questioned" — he knows he will not survive. His friends stage a rescue.
  • The Elric Saga: Elric's torturer Doctor Jest gets his hands on some spies early in the series. It's a toss-up which is worse: the Doctor's gleeful professionalism, Elric's bored demeanor, or author Michael Moorcock's discreet yet horrifying references to the proceedings...
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: In Talking to Dragons, one fire-witch tortured people to power her magic.
  • In Susan Matthews's novel Exchange of Hostages, a doctor is drafted into service as an official torturer of the state. He is squicked to discover that he enjoys it — a lot.
  • The Executioner: Being turned into a "turkey" is the fate of several people who anger The Mafia, usually leaving the protagonist Mack Bolan to inflict the Mercy Kill. Such torture is inflicted by specialists such as Morally Ambiguous Doctorate "Fat Sal", who tortured undercover Federal agent Georgette Chebleu. While Bolan is not into torture himself, he does blow Sal's kneecaps off on this occasion before executing him.
  • The evil wizard Busirane from The Faerie Queene has locked up Amoret, driven an arrow into her heart, and uses the blood from the wound to write in his tome in hopes of crafting a spell to force her to love him. This goes on for at least two days before Amoret is rescued.
  • In the Farsala Trilogy, Garren orders this done to Kavi. What makes it particularly horrifying is that, as far as torture goes, it's relatively tame, but relentless.
  • Firebird Trilogy:
    • The dendric striker is used once on a mook who had failed his mission and once on a prisoner whom the Shuhr had no more need for and wanted to make a point with.
      "It causes all the central motor neurons to fire. Every muscle contracts and every synapse sparks as if it were insane. It will tear your muscles from the bones, and eventually stop your breathing... but it leaves sensory nerves intact to the very end."
    • The worst of the Netaian execution methods fall under this, too. There are the D-wave rifles, which disrupt and then destroy nerve cells, crazing the victim with pain. Firebird's sister intended to execute her using it under vigilante "justice". And then there's lustration, which is when super-heated plates are set at the end of the prisoner's extremities and very slowly moved inwards, vaporizing flesh and bone but leaving the victim alive until the plates reach the torso. Firebird was sentenced to die via this method.
  • In The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, two ressurective kalachakra characters get on the receiving end of this.
    • Harry, upon a CIA agent discovering his knowledge of future events, gets this in his fourth life and in a later life is given the full treatment by a Torture Technician hired by Vincent. The second torturer subjects Harry to a more nuanced method, involving car battery, sleep deprivation, extreme heat, nail-pulling, and a "creative" use of surround sounds, featuring violent noises, yelling in different languages, and techno beats. Harry even gets to compare the CIA's crew of five to the one professional. The crew breaks him first.
    • Victor Hoeness, a Kalachakra who, by speaking to others who would see the technologies of his future, brought advanced tech to the court of a 17th century French king. This began a cataclysm that changed history enough for many kalachakras to simply cease existing. Once the remaining Cronus Club (a group of surviving Kalachakra) got their hands on Hoeness in his next life, they began torturing him as punishment for his action and in order to discover his point of origin (date and place of birth). When he finally broke and told them, they cut off his tongue, ears, hands, and feet, gouged out his eyes, and bound him in a metal straitjacket. When he died, the Club simply abducted him and repeated the process until he died a second time. However, after two lives and about two decades of torture, baby Victor wasn't able to use his hands, eyes, tongue, or ears. The Club, upon discovering that they had essentially broken Victor, decided to kill him and abort his mother in the next life, thus removing Victor from existence.
  • The First Law features Deadpan Snarker Sand dan Glokta, an Inquisitor who does his job frequently and well. Since he was tortured horrifically for two years before taking up his current job and lives in constant pain, he really doesn't care about the agony he inflicts on others. He chops off, smashes, and burns sensitive body parts several times in each book. Generally, this is done for information, but at other times he gets innocents to confess to crimes they never committed after being ordered explicitly to do so. He also ends up torturing Arch Lector Sult for the amusement of both himself and Salem Rews, though the man certainly deserved it.
  • In Freckles, Black Jack agrees that Wessner can kill Freckles however he pleases but objects to watching.
    We agreed to take out these trees and leave him for you to dispose of in whatever way you please, provided you shut him up eternally on this deal. But I'll not see a tied man tormented by a fellow that he can lick up the ground with, loose, and that's flat. It raises my gorge to think what he'll get when we're gone, but you needn't think you're free to begin before.
  • The death penalty in Frostflower and Thorn is a form of this, and Frostflower herself experiences liberal amounts of torture when questioned about the identity of her "stolen" child's parents. While the priestly family stand singing hymns around the altar she is being tortured on.
  • In Galatea in 2-D, after the villain sends magically animated paintings after him to kill him, the hero tracks them down and tortures one in front of the other to get information. Produces ghastly guilt; after defeating the villain, the hero tells them they can leave safely if they don't bother him again.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts:
    • In First & Only, Heldane tortures Rawne. We see it exclusively from the eyes of the rescue team, who hear his screams.
    • In Necropolis, the Backstory between Gaunt and Kowle is that Gaunt had him transferred from the front after Kowle had a trooper flogged to death for improper uniform.
    • In Honour Guard, Pater Sin tortures Yael to death as a sacrifice to his Chaos cult.
    • In Only in Death, the discovered Blood Pact camp holds many prisoners who have been gruesomely tortured; Mkoll Mercy Kills them until he recognizes Gaunt from an old scar.
  • Happens a few times throughout the Gone books:
    • Sam is whipped by Drake at the power plant and would have died if he hadn't been healed by Lana.
    • Caine sentences Cigar to a day of being tortured by Penny, who has the power to cause hallucinations, as punishment for killing someone in a drunken fight. Penny makes him claw out his own eyes and bite through his own veins.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: Contact Harvest, there is a scene where UNSC forces torture and execute Insurrectionist prisoners.
    • In Halo: The Cole Protocol, Major Watanabe is heavily scarred from being tortured by Insurrectionists. Because of his experiences, he disapproves of using torture as an interrogation method.
    • In Halo: Broken Circle, the Prophet of Exquisite Devotion uses a gravity device to torture and kill captured Sangheili Councilors.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The Cruciatus Curse. Repeated attacks drove Neville's parents insane, as revealed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, then shown in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
    • The Cruciatus Curse has been used on about half of the main characters in the series, Harry and Hermione probably being the most notable (with thanks to Voldemort and Bellatrix, respectively). Also, during the peak of Voldemort's reign, Hogwarts students were actually being forced by the Carrows to perform this curse on one another. Yeeps.
    • Harry suffers this at the end of Book 4 when Voldemort ties him to a gravestone and tortures him repeatedly while the Death Eaters watch.
    • The Cruciatus Curse, a supreme form of torture such that no character has ever been shown withstanding it, seems to be definitively cold-blooded; it works best when the caster is in control, or who delights in the pain caused, whereas casting it out of spite or righteous anger is far less effective. This is demonstrated in Book 5 when Harry himself tries to use the curse against Bellatrix in revenge for killing Sirius. Although that said, it works just fine for Harry in Book 7 on Carrow because he "really means it".
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dolores Umbridge magically forces Harry to carve the words "I must not tell lies" onto the back of his hand through writing the line with a magic quill that cuts the line into his skin as he writes, pulling his blood out through the wounds and depositing it on the paper. By the end of the book, he's had to write "I must not tell lies" so many times that his hand is permanently scarred by it.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has Bellatrix torturing Hermione with a combination of the Cruciatus Curse and a knife for information. She seems rather fond of this—as Dumbledore says, she "plays with her food before she eats it". The film managed to make this even worse by having Bellatrix carve the word "Mudblood" into Hermione's arm with her knife.
  • In Heavy Object, Frolaytai needs information from an enemy officer and has no time to play games with him. When he refuses to answer, she shoots him dead and then has her staff revive him. Every time he fails to answer her question, she repeats this, each time requiring more equipment to keep him alive.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: Talia is tortured in Arrows Fall (spoilered for gory details). She is raped repeatedly, burned, branded by Hulda's magic, and has her feet crushed. She's portrayed with fairly realistic mental and emotional symptoms after she is finally rescued, and needs the help of another Mind Healer to block the emotional pain.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: Percy deals out the "sadistic pleasure" variant in The House of Hades, after having endured a fair amount of suffering himself.
    He didn't want to stop. He wanted to choke this goddess. He wanted to watch her drown in her own poison. He wanted to see how much misery Misery could take.
  • Parodied in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when a Vogon captain tortures Arthur and Ford with bad poetry.
  • In Hungover and Handcuffed, Mina Davis gets worked over with a cheese grater in pretty excruciating detail.
  • In the Hurog duology, there is a literal example, where the torturer is just doing his job, with no emotional involvement whatsoever. His grandson, who is a bit more sensitive about the whole thing, doesn't want to follow in his footsteps and leaves the room, which means he survives when the torture-victim kills the torturer and escapes.
  • In If This Goes On—, Johnny is captured and tortured by the authorities of the Corrupt Church. Later, when he is offered a position as assassin (to ensure he knows how serious his commitment must be), they point out that he has at least one useful qualification for it — they know that if the enemy catches him and puts him to the Question, he won't crack. Later in the novella, we learn that La Résistance has a ready source of suicide agents: men whose wives have been tortured by the secret police.
  • In Death: David Palmer from Midnight in Death has done this to his victims and so... clinically. "The Groom" from Creation does it to see how long his victims can last, while the duo from Devoted just does it for fun.
  • In Island of the Aunts, there's some torture when the villains capture the mermaids, such as holding a blowdryer to the fishtail of one of the mermaids, to make them talk.
  • Jackelian Series:
    • In The Court of the Air, Molly suffers this to control the Hexamachine through her.
    • In The Rise of the Iron Moon, Molly and Coppertracks are subjected to this for scientific purposes.
  • John Carter of Mars:
    • In A Princess of Mars, the Green Martians are fond of this. In Sola's Backstory, they tortured her mother in an attempt to learn who her father had been.
    • In A Fighting Man of Mars, Tan Hadron is threatened with this twice.
  • In The Journeyer, set in 12th-century China, torture is a trade. The royal torture artist is called "The Tickler" (due to the words for "torture" and "tickle" sounding very close in Chinese) and he has apprentices.
  • Kane Series: In the Backstory of Darkness Weaves, king Netisten Maril learns about a plot to kill him. He subjects conspirators to a long session of brutal torture, which includes cutting out their tongues, burning them with hot irons, killing their families before them and then roasting on spikes over slow fire.
  • Phedre, the protagonist of the Kushiel's Legacy series, is a true masochist and craves and enjoys pain, so normal BDSM torture occurs quite often. However, there is one scene in which Melisande tortures Phedre for sheer pleasure, and after a brief part of the scene is shown, we're treated to a literary Scream Discretion Shot.
  • Laughing Jack: Laughing Jack has a liking towards torturing and murdering children, which was inspired by his former playmate, Isaac.
    • James is nailed to the wall by the hands and feet, his teeth shattered, eyes missing and guts spilling from his torn torso, yet he's still alive. It's such a gruesome sight that his mother can't help but puke.
    • The origin story describes the torture as it happens. Firstly, there's Isaac's victims, most of whom are brutally tortured before they are killed. Finally, there's Laughing Jack's torturous mutilation of Isaac, which involves nailing him to his own torture bed, heavy damage to his eyelids (with hooks) and retina (with a needle) and cutting open his abdomen to disturb his intestines, amongst other nasty things.
  • The Legendsong Saga:
    • Coralyn encourages and makes extensive use of this practice. Her son Kalide particularly enjoys it and is infamous for his 'skill'. He tends to be less cold-blooded about it, frequently becoming frustrated and losing control; getting him in trouble with Coralyn for causing excessive damage.
    • Bleyd and Glynn are both on the receiving end from Kalide.
    • Myrmidons fall into a coma to avoid this, requiring the trigger word within three days to waken them, or they die.
  • The Machineries of Empire:
    • Invoked in Cheris' guide on how to handle Jedao, which mentions that in case he's uncooperative, the vessel should swallow wraith glass, which will, quote, "give the general a body so that he can be tortured".
    • Keeping the Hexarchate calendar working requires the Vidona to torture heretics on holidays.
    • The Vidona do this to the captured Mwennin, likely as part of their scheduled heretic torturing.
  • Invoked in The Man Who Was Thursday:
    Now listen to me. I like you. The consequence is that it would annoy me for just about two and a half minutes if I heard that you had died in torments. Well, if you ever tell the police or any human soul about us, I shall have that two and a half minutes of discomfort. On your discomfort I will not dwell. Good day. Mind the step.
  • MARZENA: Marian uses her bedlam skills to pull out MLK's earrings and to skin out his tattoos with a knife, all the while enjoying herself with a speech, and while the narrator is busy describing everything that is happening inside MLK's brain thanks to her neuroscience genius. This results in the Five Stages of Lövheim's Cube.
  • In Messiah by Boris Starling, the police are chasing a serial killer who believes himself to be Christ and is gathering apostles by murdering people by the names of James, Peter, Thomas, etc, based on how the apostle with the matching name is said to have died. One gruesome murder consists of the victim being flayed alive — while kept upside down in order to stay conscious for as long as possible.
  • In Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Catarina did this to Lucian, laming him.
  • Several characters are subjected to this in Mockingjay, including Johanna Mason, Annie Cresta and Peeta Mellark.
  • In The Name of the Wind, when Kvothe finds the massacre, he hears the killers talk; Lord Haliax rebukes Cinder for not killing cleanly.
  • Neverwhere has the Marquis de Carabas crucified and then tortured to death by Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, who make sure to "wring every last drop of life out of him" with various small, sharp medical implements (and a poker), pretty much For the Evulz. He gets better.
  • Nightfall (Series): After Prince Vladimir recaptures Bastien, he orders Yong to torture him to show his 'children' what happens when they disobey.
  • The Cable Street Particulars are... particular in this regard in Night Watch (Discworld). When a building full of their victims is found, Vimes goes to each cell to give what help he can. He also has a knife with him, for the same reason. Think about that.
  • In Nineteen Eighty-Four, prolonged torture of prisoners is standard practice at the Ministry of Love.
  • Oto × Maho features Kanata breaking Jou's arm, just to confiscate some pictures. Based on the class's reaction to the torture, Kanata performing this kind of torture is quite common.
  • In Outlander, Col. Jack Randall tortures Jamie Fraser, shattering his hand and raping him. Earlier in the story, Randall had whipped Jamie twice in a week, so that he almost died. (His manner is disturbingly professional throughout, and his attentions, even when they aren't explicitly violent, are creepy. Jamie never physically recovers complete use of his hand, and keeps the scars through the series.)
  • In People of the Book, Reuben a.k.a. Renato, a converted Jew, is tortured to death for "Judaizing", trying to convert a Christian woman into a Jew.
  • In Perry Rhodan, the Empire of Arkon has been known to combine this with capital punishment in the form of the so-called "infinite" death penalty, which involves the condemned being repeatedly executed and promptly revived again for another round until the reanimation attempts finally fail for good. During some of the Empire's more decadent periods, this has been used as a form of public entertainment.
  • The Radix: Adriana Borgia (a descendant of 'that' Borgias) tortures Edgar Wurm. The scene becomes creepier in hindsight when we find out that she was his daughter and knew it.
  • The Wither Curse is used as torture in The Reader And Protagonist Definitely Have To Be In True Love. It first appears as a tattoo of a few, small black lines. The tattoo grows bigger every hour and once the black lines have covered a large area of the body, black tattoo roses start to slowly grow. The roses wither and the black flower petals fall. The "falling petals" are actually the curse target's flesh. The curse continues until the caster cancels it or until all the cursed person's flesh falls off.
  • Realm of the Elderlings:
    • In Royal Assassin, Fitz is subjected to torture. There are also suggestions that the Fool may have been tortured earlier in the same book.
    • At the end of the second series starring Fitz, (the Fool is physically and psychologically broken by a particularly horrific and extended series of torture, which included being flayed alive. Poor Fool).
    • Fitz and the Fool return for a third trilogy, and we meet the Fool, who has been tortured again. This time they took the Silver from his fingers, and they took his eyesight. They also put him in a chair with screws in the back smeared with feces and slowly screwed them in. They wanted him to know he would die, and they wanted him to talk.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures, pirate turned bodyguard Alinadar is captured by her old pirate commander and has her entire pelt shaved off and left bound outside in the cold rain to die of hypothermia.
  • The Novelization of Return of the Jedi makes a passing reference to Leia's torture on the first Death Star. Evidently, it included "fire knives" and "electrojabbers".
  • The Reynard Cycle:
    • Duke Nobel threatens to subject Hermeline to this in order to get Reynard to comply with him in Reynard the Fox. Given the severity of the crime (harming a priestess is a crime punishable by death no matter who you are), it's unclear whether or not he would have gone through with it.
    • Ghul, a Glyconese Torture Technician, plans to make Reynard suffer very slowly before killing him.
  • Rogue Warrior: Richard Marcinko is funny about this. On the one hand, he sees torture as a necessary evil in obtaining information when lives are on the line. On the other hand, he despises those who go beyond the call of duty and enjoy it. In a post-9/11 novel, he has a female soldier absolutely butcher a terrorist to death — however, he tapes the orders to do whatever it takes from the President and uses it as blackmail.
  • Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures has General Tictoc, the love of his life — a pimped-out Iron Maiden — and Rala, the main character's love interest.
  • In Sandokan, this happens to unlucky prisoners who don't want to spill the beans. The one who got it worse is an alleged Meccan Pilgrim, who, captured by Yanez and the original (American) crew of the King of the Sea, was subjected to the water cure by the Americans and broke just as Yanez begged them to stop.
  • In Philip Kerr's The Second Angel, Prevezer is forced to do this to Gates and Dallas by Rimmer, under threat of death. Even though it doesn't go into explicit detail as to exactly what's happening to Dallas and Gates inside the Simworld, we're probably better off not knowing.
  • Shadows of the Apt:
    • In Blood of the Mantis, the Ants torture Sperra. Particularly cold-blooded in that they found her side innocent and show no remorse.
    • The Empire does it throughout the series.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Crooked Man", a soldier had been betrayed to the enemy by his rival in love and suffered horrific tortures.
  • The Ship Who...: During PartnerShip, Blaize is assigned to oversee the natives of Angalia, thought to be no more than dumb animals dependent on humans for food. The small band of Royal Brats he came into the system with have all agreed to abuse their positions for profit and Blaize has the least to work with, but he proudly shows them how he's put the "Loosies" to work serving him. Darnell gets really into the idea of "discipline" being a problem to be solved with beatings, Alpha starts speculating about using the Loosies to test Fantastic Drugs, and Polyon is just bored — so Blaize breaks out his demonstration with a Loosie who dropped a serving platter, having two others drag it to a boiling mud pit, push it in, and use long sticks to keep it there, screaming. This manages to impress the others. The twist is that the Loosies actually are people that Blaize has great mutual respect for and is helping, and while the mud is bubbly it's only about sauna-heat. But he had to keep the others from thinking he was soft or exploiting them, hence the demonstration.
  • Sisterhood Series: The Vigilantes have inflicted this on some villains, like John Chai from Vendetta and Karl Woodley from The Jury. It's okay, because those villains had it coming to them!
  • Happens a few times in Skulduggery Pleasant. Usually to Skulduggery (once for an entire year), but Valkyrie and Tanith get some as well.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • The Tickler, one of Gregor Clegane's merry band of psychopaths. He's first seen torturing civilians for information. Outside of this task, he appears to be a perfectly unexceptional soldier.
    • The Boltons are known for flaying their enemies alive. Roose Bolton's bastard Ramsay takes a particular interest in torturing various victims.
    • Qyburn uses his knowledge of anatomy and new position as the Master of Whispers to become Cersei's official torturer.
  • Space Academy: Captain Elgan and his inner circle subject the General to this via Electric Torture. Vance reacts with disgust and outrage. Interestingly, no one reacts as if this will do anything to get the General to cooperate; it's done purely to punish him for the crime of being Notha.
  • Space Wolf:
    • In Ragnar's Claw, the enslaved convicts are kept in line with the lash or inquisitors' interrogation machines.
    • In Wolfblade, Ragnor passes by where a prisoner is being questioned and feels rather queasy about it. When he realizes that the other Space Wolves, who have been on Terra longer, feel no misgivings at all about it, he is uneasy about the whole affair.
  • In The Spirit Thief, the Duke of Gaol is infamous in the spirit community for using creative torture to bend them to his will. He's not averse to doing the same to humans, as one of the protagonists learns the hard way.
  • Split Heirs: Gorgarians are fond of torturing people by having wolverines maul them, either for fun or as a prelude to death.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch novel Patterns of Interference, Maltuvis is genuinely bewildered by the idea of torturing someone for information, saying you can't rely on information you get from someone in pain... and you can't torture someone properly if you're trying to keep them coherent.
  • Gary Seven goes through hell in Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars — first being tied up and thrown into the back of a flatbed truck, driven across a good chunk of India during the middle of the day, taken into the Thar Desert, chained up with animals and injected with a truth serum that causes agony if you don't answer any questions your interrogator asks.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the New Jedi Order series, the Yuuzhan Vong torture all the time, but as they attach spiritual significance to pain in all its forms, they're generally not "Cold-blooded" about it. (In fact, it's implied that they see torturing someone to death as being more merciful than straight-up killing them, as it gives them the chance to connect with the gods before they die. Yes, this civilization is massively screwed up. However did you guess?)
    • The computer SIM, in Galaxy of Fear, can't use conventional tortures and has to get creative — but it is called torture, several times. This is done partially to get something equivalent to a Restraining Bolt removed, partly for fun — as soon as someone else undoes that, they start getting put through the same thing.
      SIM: Malik was a brilliant computer programmer, but not a very good soldier. Especially since I've kept him trapped in this room for hours, turning the lights on and off, raising the heat to the boiling point, then letting the room nearly freeze over. In between, I'd send crab droids in to hunt him.
    • In Star Wars: Kenobi, Faux Affably Evil accountant Mosep Binneed sends Orrin Gault for a session with a "nerve disruptor," not for any practical reason, but simply as a punishment for being behind on loan payments. Ben rescues Orrin before he gets there.
  • Sword Art Online pulls this off twice during the climax of the Fairy Dance arc:
  • In Sword of Truth, this is the function of the Mord-Sith. Virtually all villains in the series demonstrate a fondness for torture, although at one point, the "good guys" have an enemy soldier tortured to death after he gives them the information.
  • Takeshi Kovacs:
    • At one point in Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs is captured and loaded into a VR torture program. This allows his captors to torture him in the body of a woman, which is more vulnerable to their techniques, as well as torture him to death before starting again in a fresh virtual body. Also, the accelerated time in VR means that they can subject him to several days of torture in only a few minutes.
    • Torture of various forms crops up a several times in the sequel Broken Angels. The most notable are:
      • The company goon whose cortical stack Kovacs captures. He sets him up in a bare-bones VR to interrogate him, but doesn't have the time or inclination to bother with the normal torture. So he just threatens to leave the guy there. In the VR that's just an empty room on an endless gray plane, with nothing to do whatsoever. And the hardware for the VR is a low power unit in a random location running on a high time ratio. So by the time the guy would be found (if ever) he would have spent the equivalent of several hundred years in an empty room with nothing to do and no way to even kill himself. Kovacs is confident that the goon would be utterly insane before the end. Naturally the guy cracks and tells Kovaks what he wants to know.
      • One character is subjected to the Wedge punishment for traitors; a machine designed to slowly torture them to death over the course of a day. While the machine is busy flaying skin, breaking bones and cracking teeth for the enjoyment of the watching crowd, it's also carefully administering drugs and medical attention to ensure that the subject is alive and conscious for as much of the ordeal as possible.
  • Several times in the Temeraire books.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • When Pippin looks into the palantír in The Lord of the Rings, Sauron gives orders for him to be brought to Mordor rather than perform the on-the-spot Mind Probe that he could have done. Gandalf explains that Sauron wished to deal with Pippin himself — slowly. Brrrrrr...
    • Sauron also tortured Thráin (Thorin's father) while he had him prisoner in the Backstory to The Hobbit, and Gollum in the Backstory to The Lord of the Rings (the latter was how Sauron and his minions learned that the Ring was loose in Middle-Earth). And that's the named victims.
    • He also tortured Celebrimbor (the chief maker of the Rings of Power) to death in an attempt to get him to tell where the Rings were. Then he used Celebrimbor's body as a flag when he invaded Eregion.
    • Poor Frodo in the tower of Cirith Ungol. What exactly happened to him was never specified, but odds are it wasn't good.
    • In The Silmarillion, Maedhros is tortured when Morgoth captures him. Enough that he begs for death when Fingon tries to rescue him and looks like he won't succeed.
    • While Húrin Thalion isn't physically harmed, he's still horrifically tortured.
    • In the "Lay of Leithian", when Sauron captures Beren, Finrod, and their ten followers, he has them "chained in chains that eat the flesh" and then has a demonic wolf eat them, one by one...
  • If it wasn't already obvious that Colonel Williams from Tranquilium was an antihero, there is a brief, but graphic description of how he had his men torture a key Soviet spy to death over a long period of time, drawing out enough information out of him to take down a huge part of the Soviet intelligence network in Tranquilium. Ofcourse, the Soviets try this on Gleb too, but it's rather subtler as they were trying to break his spirit and recruit him.
  • Transition has a torturer's POV, in which he describes, among other things, his favorite methods, the importance of simply scaring people into talking, and the need to inflict a minimum amount of pain so that the agency he works for will remain feared. Don't worry; he gets his.
  • Ultramarines:
    • Practiced extensively by the Dark Eldar and by de Valtos in Nightbringer. When they raid de Valtos's estate, they find Solena Vergen's corpse and Taryn Honan, still alive and asking for death; they had outlived their usefulness.
    • In Dead Sky Black Sun, the captured Space Marines are handed over to torturers.
    • In The Killing Ground, the Grey Knight, Leodegarius, clearly disbelieves in Uriel's protests of innocence and burns him to secure his compliance with the ordeals to test him for Chaos taint. (Once they pass the first ordeal, a mind probe, Leodegarius is far more conciliatory.)
  • In Vampire Academy, Victor Dashkov has a Torture Technician subject Lissa to it in order to make her heal his disease. He calmly watches in the process. The Torture Technician is an air user who uses air to pressure her skull, smother her, and leave her gasping for air.
  • Alan from Very Bad Deaths is a wealthy hypersadist. His repertoire includes drugs to enhance pain, drugs to prevent his victims from passing out, and a perfect painkiller that lets him break every bone in someone's body then allows them to contemplate the excruciating pain they're about to experience. He boasts at one point that he kept someone dying horribly for 22 days.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • In Shards of Honor, Konstantin Bothari is a mentally ill soldier with a troubled past, and used as a torturer/rapist by a sadistic admiral. Cordelia (as a prisoner of war) observes that "there are two victims in this room".
    • In The Warrior's Apprentice, Miles orders Bothari (then his bodyguard) to interrogate a prisoner, inadvertently causing Bothari to lose control and torture the prisoner to death.
    • In The Vor Game, General Metzov's Backstory includes torturing a prisoner to death.
    • In Mirror Dance, Baron Ryoval tortures Mark in Revenge for what Miles did to him — not knowing, or caring, that it is Mark rather than Miles.
    • In The Borders of Infinity, the Cetagandan prison camp that Miles has infiltrated is full of subtle and not-so-subtle tortures designed to break the prisoners' will, and every one of these tortures abides by the letter to interplanetary treaties on how to treat prisoners of war.
      • Access to trained medical personnel? Some of the prisoners are med-techs. They have no equipment, but they're medtechs.
      • Sufficient lighting? It's on all the time.
      • No solitary confinement? No individual cells at all.
      • And so on.
  • Cree Bega, The Dragon in The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, is fond of doing this. He and his Mwellrets eagerly torture the seer Ryer Ord Star, stripping, beating, cutting, and (possibly) raping her. He later tells her friend Ahren all about it.
  • In the first book of the Warchild Series, Big Bad Falcone tortures Jos at the climax. Because he is also the man who raped and abused Jos as a child, this scene is undoubtedly a source of terror for both the protagonist and the reader.
  • Warlock Series: In Storm Over Warlock, the Throg threatens Shann with this to get him to make a broadcast and lure a ship in, so that it can be disposed of, preventing news from getting back. He does make the broadcast, and gives the warning cryptically, so it's only when the ship veers off that they drag him off for it. They strap him to a frame so that arrivals will see him and be warned. When a counter-attack comes, the leader appears to ponder whether to drag him with them so that The Promise to do this can be fulfilled. Thorvald, arriving to cut him loose, looks anxiously over him to see if he's hurt, and Shann assures him that they arrived soon enough.
  • We All Fall Down (2000) is set during the biblical tribulation, where the Antichrist forces everyone to have special ID tags implanted into their hands. Those who don't comply are brought to the One World Community Registration Center and into the White Room, where they're tortured and disfigured every day for weeks until they submit. (The torturers claim they're "healing" them.) Those who hold out long enough for execution have been hacked apart and stitched back together again, with limbs and eyes missing.
  • In the White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, this is how the Alpha Legion tries to secure Malya's compliance.
  • In "A World Called Maanerek", the Hegemony ship, having suffered too many discipline problems, had taken over part of a planet and let the men abuse the men and children there, and rape the women, freely to release their pent-up aggression.
  • In The Zero Stone, Jern arrived home to find his father dead, bound to his chair with ropes that are covered with blood — in a Ransacked Room.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24:
    • Jack Bauer. Over and over and over again. To the point where CTU torture innocent people, even having hired torturers on their pay roll.
    • In addition, Audrey Raines was tortured by the Chinese government for months until her mind completely broke down. This would be the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique had someone mentioned that Audrey went through this for some reason other than the Chinese believing this would be a trump card against Jack Bauer at some point due to having tortured him for nearly two years and failed to break him.
  • Andor: The Empire regularly tortures those suspected of being connected to the rebellion trying to pry useful information from them.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In "Ceremonies of Light and Dark", the Special-Operations-turned-Nightwatch guy recollects taking seven days to kill a Minbari. He cut his victim to pieces, starting from the digits and extremities and tying off the body part to be removed next, so as to avoid his victim dying from blood loss. He ends his story with "It was beautiful, you should have seen it." Then he starts singing Dem Bones in Creepy Monotone...
    • Emperor Cartagia of the Centauri tortures G'Kar to the brink of death several times, mostly as an amusing diversion.
    • Sheridan is imprisoned and tortured in "Intersections in Real Time". Made even more chilling by the fact that it uses a methodology based on real torture techniques.
  • Institutionalized by the Blake's 7 Federation. Most torture occurs offscreen, but it's implied to be common procedure, especially for suspected politicals.
    "I'm going to start by burning out your eyes..."
  • In Boardwalk Empire, Chalky White is effectively The Don of Atlantic City's black underworld. One night, a group of out of state gangsters attempt to kill him, but not being familiar with him, get his driver instead. To try to find out who was behind this, Chalky and some of the Dirty Cops he works with bring in one of the leaders of the local KKK group. Before he starts going to work, Chalky shows the man a group of large, vaguely menacing tools, and explains that they belonged to his father, a self-taught carpenter who was lynched after doing some work for a white man. Sometime later, Chalky exits the room and confidently says that the Klan wasn't involved in the murder. When asked why he's so sure, he responds "There comes a point when you know a man is telling you the truth. We passed that point ten minutes ago." To drive things home, he unwraps the bundle that holds the tools, revealing a severed finger with a Klan ring still on it. Chalky then absently wonders whether the man will want the ring back, or if it will be adding insult to injury.
  • Bones:
    • Mark Kovac used a medieval method involving pressing a cage of rats to the victim and heating one end of the cage. The rats tear into the living victim trying to escape the heat. The guy was Booth’s friend Aldo, and he did a Heroic Sacrifice to stop himself from talking. Kovac also tortures an old woman to get info from her regular delivery man, who served with Booth. He even uses his paramedic training to keep them alive longer.
    • Booth himself in an earlier episode gets tortured as well. They weren’t counting on Brennan and her fearsome dad pulling a Big Damn Heroes to save him.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Willow kills Warren in a very gruesome way in "Villains" following her transformation from meek geek to Big Bad of Season 6. She first impales him with the bullet that he shot Buffy with, then rips his skin off before burning him alive.
    • He gets even with her in the Season 8 comics, when he slowly lobotomizes her — but she is rescued and able to heal herself.
    • Angelus' entire M.O. revolves around this, both physically and psychologically. In "Becoming Part 2", when he's captured Giles for information, he freely admits that he hopes Giles won't willingly tell him what he wants to know because he doesn't want to be deprived of an opportunity to torture him.
    • Another example from Angelus was the psychological torture he inflicted on Drusilla before he turned her that drove her crazy. After this, Drusilla is quite a fan of inflicting torture on people as well.
    • In "In the Dark", Spike hired a vampiric Torture Technician to get the location of the Gem of Amara from Angel. It mostly involved red hot pokers.
    • In "Five by Five", Faith tortures Wesley while laying out the primary torture groups (she was using Sharp). Needless to say, this makes their later cooperation in defeating a Big Bad... a tad awkward.
    • In the spin-off, Wolfram and Hart has a special hell dimension where they keep people who have really ticked them off. The victim is brutally tortured by a giant demon before having their heart torn out before growing a new one. And the worst part? During all of this, their mind is purposefully programmed to believe they have a perfect suburban life so they have no ability to deal with the torture each time it occurs.
    • In "When She Was Bad", Buffy dangles a cross on a chain down a vampire's throat for information. Bad enough even if it wouldn't burn.
    • Spike references the fact that he is quite the Torture Technician himself in "Shells", mentioning that he got out of a servant of Illyria, "screams, various bodily fluids and a name".
  • Doctor Who:
    • Sutekh does to the Doctor in "Pyramids of Mars", using his psionic powers to mentally torture him when the Doctor messes up his initial plan of escape and then to get information out of him.
    • In "The Masque of Mandragora", Marco is tortured to get him to accuse the Duke.
    • The Others threat to burn the Doctor with a red-hot iron in "The Sun Makers".
    • In "Underworld", Herrick is tortured to get the truth out of him.
    • In "The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords", the immortal Captain Jack Harkness is captured by a very, very gleeful, homicidal and practical Master and spends the next year being tortured and killed in every possibly conceivable way. When Torchwood picks up in a new series chronologically after this, he tells Gwen, "I have many times."
    • In "Cold Blood", Ambrose ends up torturing captured Silurian Alaya with a taser while trying to get her to give her information on how to save her father from poisoning, which kills her as a result. It's also worth noting that Alaya deliberately goaded Ambrose into attacking her because she wanted to start a war between the humans and the Silurians.
    • "Heaven Sent" is entirely about the Doctor being subjected to this. Trapped in a lonely castle in the middle of nowhere, he is completely alone save for the Veil, a hooded creature with an agonizing Touch of Death in store if he can't outrun it or keep it at bay by confessing what he knows about the prophecy of the Hybrid. Worse, it takes him quite a while to figure out exactly what he's supposed to be doing. Even worse, the torturers are his people. Even worse, the Doctor is transported here in the wake of Clara Oswald's death, thus plenty anguished and enraged already without the whole "torture" thing to add to his woes, which leads him to willingly undergo this torment billions of times over so he can escape without confessing all, hoping that once he's free he can save Clara. Once he gets out, he's... really not himself.
  • The Expanse features Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala, who has zero compunction about letting a native-born Cerean, whose body structure is not adapted to Earth's gravity, hang from hooks under his shoulders for ten hours to "persuade" him to give up his information.
  • Farscape came up with some doozies!
    • Scorpius had lots of fun with the Aurora Chair — plus the mind-control probes he'd use to make his prisoners torture themselves, resulting in a charming scene where he made Grunchlk bite off two of his own fingers.
    • In the Shadow Depository storyline, Natira, the owner of the bank, was so good at this that part of her own body is dedicated exclusively to poking her victim's eyes out, making her even creepier than the Borg Queen.
    • The really nightmarish one one took place in "A Clockwork Nebari" and featured our hero getting his eyeballs pulled out. They even showed that one in the trailer. Jesus fuck.
    • Rygel slowly carving a Charrid soldier up with his own knife—not for answers, but for fun. True, he got answers, but still...
    • Under considerable stress and Sanity Slippage, Talyn starts torturing Crais via their neural link, resulting in hideous sores growing on Crais's body as he screams at Crichton to put him out of his misery.
    • Aeryn endures torture-by-Scarran-heat-probe in season 4. Given that she's Sebacean and therefore has a natural intolerance for heat (which is exacerbated by her pregnancy)... yikes.
  • Firefly:
    • Adelai Niska is shown to be a rather twisted individual early on when he shows Serenity's crew the tortured body of his nephew during "The Train Job", but in "War Stories", he gets his hands on Mal and Wash and puts them to the torture in revenge for what happened in that episode. He opens up with Electric Torture on them, but when Zoe gets Wash out of there, Niska gets extra nasty with Mal, first cutting off his ear to give to Zoe and then using a rather nasty little device on Mal that ends up killing him...and then Niska brings Mal back to life just so he can torture him some more. His reason for doing this is because he strongly believes in the works of Shan Yu, which hold that only when you put someone through hell will you finally meet the real man. Niska's other reason was in regards to reputation — brutally torturing Mal would let others in the 'Verse know the consequences of crossing him like Mal did. Meeting the real Malcolm Reynolds proves to be a very painful experience for him.
    • Jubal Early, from "Objects in Space". Tying up Kaylee in the engine room and threatening to rape her for interfering with his plans was bad enough, but then we hear from River during her Breaking Speech that he once tortured his neighbor's dog to death, which lays bare his true nature as a Psycho for Hire in general.
    • The Reavers (psychotic cannibalistic zombie-like barbarians) not only kill their victims in the most horrible and prolonged manner possible (remember, you are VERY lucky if you are already dead by the time they start their meal) but also apply torture as a recruiting solution — they force some of the prisoners witness the unthinkable sufferings their comrades are put to until they completely snap and embrace the Reavers' ways. The bastards then leave these mishaps as a surprise gift for the rescue team...
    • The cruel medical experimentation performed on River at the Academy, described partially in horrifying detail by Simon in "Ariel", could also qualify.
  • Forever (2014):
    • Used by Iona's stalker on Henry in "The Ecstasy of Agony" using strangulation and electricity.
    • Adam prefers to carve people up with a blade when he wants information, both in "Hitler on the Half-Shell" and "The Last Death of Henry Morgan," in search of the whereabouts of the pugio (Roman dagger) that caused his first death.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Gregor Clegane and his underlings employ it indiscriminately throughout the war, particularly at Harrenhal where Arya witnesses their work firsthand. Gregor is also commanded by Cersei to inflict it on Septa Unella and prolong it as long as he can.
    • Roose Bolton advocates using it on prisoners to gain information in "Garden of Bones", but Robb adamantly refuses.
    • Joffrey quickly turns a night with two prostitutes into this in "Garden of Bones".
    • Theon is confined to a medieval Room 101 throughout most of Season 3.
    • The Master Torturer's interrogation methods, such as peeling off the victim's fingernails (and likely flaying the fingers), and using the boot to slowly crush the victim's feet.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • One episode has the much loathed Stuckey taking out his frustrations on Elliot's chest with a knife... Ouchies. Any permanent damage isn't very likely.
    • This is also the subject of the episode "Harm", the main antagonist of which is a psychiatrist who helped develop "enhanced interrogation methods" for the US Army to use on suspected terrorists, resulting in the death of one suspect. Throughout the episode, she never wavers from her position that what she did was right and moral, and never shows a shred of sympathy for the victims. Unfortunately, she pretty much gets away with it.
  • Lost:
    • When Rich Bitch Shannon almost dies of asthma and Sawyer has her medicine, Sayid tortures him for information by jamming reeds under Sawyer's fingernails. He follows that by threatening to stab Sawyer in the eye before Jack stops him.
    • Torture as a whole is very important in Sayid's backstory. He was a Torture Technician for the Iraqi Republican Guard, after all.
  • NCIS:
    • An Islamic terrorist spends four months torturing main character Ziva for information. It doesn't work.
    • Gibbs and McGee are subjected to months of torture in Paraguay.
    • In the spin-off series NCIS: Los Angeles, the Russian arms dealer Sidorov captures Sam and Deeks. He proceeds to use Electric Torture on Sam, and then he uses a dentist drill on Deeks.
  • NUMB3RS:
    • In the Season 4 premiere, an enemy agent tortures Colby by injecting him with drugs after The Reveal that Colby is a Fake Defector. The first impairs his breathing, creating "the sensation of slowly drowning", and the second massively increases his sensitivity to pain, among other effects. The torturer then attempts to kill Colby with a third drug, but Dwayne Carter performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop him before Colby gets a lethal dose. While the torture isn't particularly graphic, what makes the scene truly horrifying is the extent to which the torturer is almost inhumanly calm and unbothered the entire time — he's not enjoying Colby's pain per se, but he's so completely indifferent to the suffering of another human being that it's almost worse.
    • A few episodes later, they get a killer who tortures his victims for days before killing them. The same episode reveals that Megan was forced to take part in "interrogations" of terrorism suspects, even though she was horrified by the idea. Allegedly this was a case of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, but Megan, who knows that Torture Is Ineffective, sees it as this trope.
  • Person of Interest: This happens to various characters multiple times. Standouts include the torture done to Fusco in "The Crossing", the torture done to Root in "Aletheia", and the torture done to Reese, Elias, and Fusco in "YHWH".
  • In the episode "The World Is Changing" from The Pretender, Jarod is recaptured by the Centre and subjected to electroshock torture by Mr. Lyle.
  • Prison Break:
    • Used by Mahone on Wyatt. Wyatt killed Mahone's son. Consider it payback time. Mahone shoves a needle into Wyatt's finger. Oh, and he's also connected to a defibrillator that will give him a wake-up call when he starts to fall unconcious due to the pain. The effects are spectacular, as the normally completely stoic Wyatt is screaming and wheezing from the crippling pain.
    • Wyatt himself is both a Professional Killer and a Torture Technician for the Company. He repeatedly invades people's homes to slowly torture them for information. He's most thorough with Gretchen Morgan, whom he ties up and locks up in a tiny cell with nothing but a bucket for days, occasionally coming back to explain what he's going to do to her next.
  • In the Roswell episode "The White Room", Agent Pierce tortures Max to get him to reveal the location of the second alien orb. He uses hallucinogenic drugs, electric torture, some lectures, and a shirtless dunk in ice water. Max withstands the torture, but gives in when Pierce threatens to kill his girlfriend Liz. He then threatens Max with live dissection to get Max to show him how the orbs work. Through all his threats, Pierce remains calm and professional.
  • In the Season 6 story arc of Spooks, Zafar Younis is captured by a group known as the Redbacks who torture him for information, and who have then passed him on to further clients to torture. His mutilated body is found dumped. At the end of the Season Jo Portman and Adam Carter also find themselves captured by the Redbacks, and face the same fate.
  • Most of the Big Bads in the Stargate-verse go with a patented Agony Beam and Mind Rape to get information and their jollies.
    • Ba'al, by far the greatest bastard of the series, wasn't satisfied with something so menial. While holding Jack O'Neil captive he tortured him to death dozens of times using everything from daggers to acid. And then, when Jack dies, he has him popped in a Sarcophagus so he can be revived to go through it all over again. The combination of torture and the mental decay from repeated resurrections drove him to demand death before he could give in.
    • The Goa'uld Marduk's own people killed him (or tried to) by locking him in a healing sarcophagus with a dangerous, flesh-eating predator. He was eaten alive while the sarcophagus continuously regenerated him...
    • Even worse is the Goa'uld Sokar. He basically takes the personage of the devil and even goes so far as to turn an entire planet into a literal hell just to invoke this trope, complete with people screaming in agony and gleefully listening to it.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • In "Paradise", Sisko is tortured by creepy cult leader Alixus, who subjects him to one of the oldest tortures in the book: the simple hot box. She hopes to break his spirit through using its heat, dehydration, hunger, and stress posture, to make him accept her cult and authority. It doesn't work, but the episode pulls no punches in showing just how effective and debilitating such a simple torture can be in causing pain.
    • Garak tortures Odo in "The Die is Cast". Since Odo, as a shapeshifter, needs to return to his natural form every few hours, all Garak has to do is simply force him to remain in his humanoid form. We see that this is very painful, and eventually causes Odo to start flaking apart.
    • When Romulans discover that Bashir cannot be mind-probed in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", they torture him for information.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: "In a Mirror, Darkly" shows that the agony booth in the Mirror Universe was developed by Dr. Phlox, who is a master of torture in his universe, as well as a doctor, in order to cause the subject continuous pain via nerve stimulation. It also continually switches nerve clusters in order to prevent the victim from getting accustomed to the pain. In one Expanded Universe novel, the mirror-Chekov is killed by being left in the agony booth by Tiberius (mirror-Kirk) set on high (right after the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror").
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command", Picard is captured by Cardassians. They use drugs to extract information, but later Madred tortures him just for the sake of it. And beyond that, Picard later reveals to Counselor Troi that, just for a moment, Madred had successfully broken his mind.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • In "Dagger of the Mind", the corrupt head of an insane asylum takes particular pleasure in using a very nasty device that simply activates the pain receivers in the brain, resulting in an increasing sensation of pain the longer it's kept on with no evidence afterward, and theoretically nothing to stop the pain until the victim dies from it. The fact that the Federation is shown to use such a device even in those early, ridiculously idealistic days of the franchise is quite chilling.
    • "The Empath" uses this trope as the entire plot. A race of aliens named the Vians subject both Kirk and McCoy to physical torture to see how an alien named Gem (who's race is able to cure the physical injuries by taking them on themselves) will react. It turns out the Vians have the power to save Gem's dying planet, but will not do so unless she is willing to sacrifice herself for victims, proving her race compassionate enough to save. No prizes for spotting the hypocrisy in this scenario.
  • Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood is unable to stay dead, always reviving after some time that varies depending on how injured he is, and this is repeatedly used against him. For example:
    • In the episode "Exit Wounds", his nemesis Captain John Hart takes him back to 27 A.D. in Cardiff where Jack's long-lost brother Gray buries him alive as punishment for not saving him from an attack when they were children. He is eventually dug up by Torchwood in 1901, having repeatedly suffocated and revived for 1874 years.
    • In the third series, Children of Earth, an attempt to kill Jack with a bomb in his stomach fails, so after his body reassembles itself and he revives, he is sealed in concrete until Ianto comes with a fork truck to break him out by dropping the concrete block off a cliff.
    • In "Countrycide", Jack claims that he himself has experience doing this.
    • In Torchwood: Miracle Day, we get a flashback of Jack being chained in a basement and killed repeatedly.
  • Used often enough in The Vampire Diaries to suspect at least some Author Appeal.
    • Damon tortures Mason to get information out of him and then kills him.
    • Brady does this with Caroline in "Daddy Issues".
    • Jules does with Damon in "Crying Wolf". Damon acknowledges the irony.
    • In the Season 3 premiere we see Stefan torturing a werewolf by chaining him to a wall over a dart board and throwing darts at him that have been dipped in wolfsbane.
    • As of Season 4, most of the main characters have tortured, been tortured, or both. There are never any lasting repercussions, though.
  • Towards the end of Season 2 in Vikings, Ragnar Lodbrok carves a Blood Eagle on Jarl Borg.
  • In The X-Files, alien abductees are tortured and "tested" by their alien abductors.
    • Duane Barry, a deranged former FBI encountered in Season 2 reports that he had his teeth drilled with lasers (while awake) and implants inserted into his nose and gums.
    • Women who get taken aboard get their ova removed — Scully is one, though she does not remember much.
    • The pinnacle comes when Mulder himself is abducted in Season 8. Shots of him show he has metal anchor rods drilled right through his wrists and ankles to a stone chair and forced to endure painful procedures, like open heart surgery while still awake and with no anesthesia. Like Duane Barry, he has his teeth drilled, and his mouth held open by hooks inserted into his cheeks.
    • The Monster of the Week "Beyond the Sea" episode has a pair of kidnapped teenagers tortured by a Serial Killer.
    • Mulder himself is tortured by having his fingers broken when a militia leader believes he is a mole in "The Pine Bluff Variant".

  • Dice Funk: This trope is the reason Episode 20 is called "Pimps Stole My Blood".

    Professional Wrestling 
  • After the large majority of Ring of Honor's roster was chased off by a weed whacker wielding Wife Beater after Arena Warfare, the CZW wrestlers tortured the one who did not get away, BJ Whitmer. Then CZW owner John Zandig threatened to break Whitmer's neck as his roster destroyed the ROH ring.
  • The infamous "Choppy-choppy your pee-pee!" segment in WWE where Val Venis was kidnapped by Japanese stable Kai En Tai for sleeping with Mr. Yamaguchi's wife and was strung up so they could "slice the cucumber" with a samurai sword.

  • Appears a couple of times in The Book of Mormon among especially wicked groups.
    • Near the end of their civilisation, the Nephites would rape captured Lamanites and then torture them to death.
    • Implied to have happened to some of the people of Ammon, when their fellow Lamanites (or more specifically, formerly Nephite dissenters) attempted to provoke them into fighting back and defending themselves. It didn't work.
      Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or cimeter to smite them.

  • One Flash Forward in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues shows a future where a group called the Dark Dragons have kidnapped some of the main characters and are torturing them to get information on their leader. Their methods include sensory deprivation (keeping them locked in pitch-black rooms), physical torture (breaking their bones if they attempt to fight back), and electric torture (putting shock collars around their necks).
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the Church of the Memory of Cardia and the Clergy of Mardük are fond of using cold-blooded torture on their captives.
  • Survival of the Fittest:
  • Haine inflicts this on both Marcus and Sylvestre in Yu-Gi-Oh! East Academy. Never mind the Shadow Game, the deck he uses is essentially made as a collection of his favorite torture devices.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Devils in Dungeons & Dragons harness their power by torturing the souls of the damned:
    To devils, these souls are all the same — clay to be sculpted...even as it screams.
    • Pain devils are specifically designed to function as torturers, but the worst by far is Alloces, the Butcher of Nessus. A unique devil who was a gruesome torturer even when he was an angel, Alloces' reasons for torture have shifted over the countless years he's been doing it. First it was simply inflicting pain and suffering for the enjoyment of it, which shifted into turning the infliction of pain into an art form, which changed into a study of the nature of life and the resiliance and malleability of flesh (he was experimenting on other angels at the time, mind), to experimenting on torturing souls and other devils to see what he could make out of them.
      • Kytons, or chain devils, are another type of devil that specializes in torture. They are the rulers of Jangling Hiter, a city in the Third Hell were torture is the biggest source of revenue. They and pain devils are hated rivals.
      • Devils even have a way of doing this to other devils. In the fourth level of Hell, Phlegethos, there's a place called the Pit of Flame. Devils who screw up but don't deserve to be demoted for whatever reason are brought there, locked into inescapable cages, and blasted with fire so hot it burns them (and bear in mind, devils are immune to fire). How long they have to put up with this depends on how badly they failed.
    • The Book of Vile Darkness supplement actually gives official rules for interrogation using torture. (Meaning how to determine how someone can successfully get a victim to talk by using it.) This is recommended for villains only, naturally, much like a lot of the stuff in the book.
    • Fourth Edition has a god devoted to this — Torog, God of Jailers, Torturers and the Underdark.
  • Subverted in the Paranoia adventure CLONES IN SPACE. The aliens' idea of torture is... alien, revolving mostly around things which offend their developed aesthetic sense, like listening to Waylon Jennings. After a while, the players should get into the spirit and start shouting "Do your worst, Commie alien scum! We'll NEVER betray The Computer!"
    • In Alpha Complex itself, Internal Security tortures people for information.
  • In the Ravenloft setting, Routine torture done solely for information counts as a Act of Ultimate Darkness that always gets the character attention from the Dark Powers when done to a good aligned character or a family member. Even when done to evil or neutral aligned characters, you have a relatively high chance of attracting attention from the Dark Powers. In the case of sadistic torture, done for pleasure, torturing anyone but an evil character is an Act Of Ultimate Darkness and even torturing an evil character has a very high chance of attracting the Dark Powers' attention.
  • The Drukhs have made torturing enemies and each other an integral part of their culture in Talislanta. The Rajans and the Aamanians are known for their use of torture as well.
  • The Dark Eldar, a faction in Warhammer 40,000 revolves its entire culture and survival around extreme torture. And they enjoy it, too.
    • As mentioned in other Warhammer 40,000 examples on this page, this is also standard procedure for both Inquisitors and their many enemies.
      • In fact, inquisitors usually operate using a nine step procedure when it comes to interrogation with increasing levels of brutality, and the ninth step even lampshades how at that point the inquisitor has usually given up trying to gain any useful information from the subject and is just doing it for the hell of it. Although it should be noted that anything that lasts until step 9 without breaking is a terrible danger to the Imperium of Man in and of itself. Most people don't get past step 1, which is an Inquisitor personally doing a verbal interrogation and anyone ignorant of the Inquisition (not likely) and can still be described as sane break at step 2, which is simply a description of steps 3 through 9.
    • The Night Lords legion of Chaos Space Marines make this their hat, along with being The Dreaded.

  • In the second chapter of The Kansas Collection, you're led to a room where the Anti Heroic Glinda is torturing the Tin Woodsman to try and get news on Dorothy's whereabouts. Glinda used to be a gentle rule-abider but has since changed viewpoints because her pacifism led to nothing as Oz goes downhill quickly. This is subverted when the Tin Woodsman reveals that he wasn't being tortured and was working with Glinda to get information from you.
  • In The Lady's Not for Burning, Thomas is taken offstage and tortured in an attempt to make him change his testimony. Most of the details are glossed over, but thumbscrews are involved.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • The Penguin from Batman: Arkham City, in more ways than one.
  • Bayonetta can use her magic to summon horrible and deadly torture devices like spike-filled iron maidens, giant twisting winches, guillotines, and even giant chainsaws in order to brutally finish off angelic enemies. The devices are also the same ones that were used on the other Umbran Witches after the angels tricked humanity into turning on them, so their use falls under 'revenge' (case in point, when Bayonetta uses a Torture Attack on a demon she doesn't use these devices, instead just using her summoned demons to brutalize them). Although with how she taunts and dances, it seems Bayonetta genuinely enjoys using these devices on her angelic foes as well, so their use probably also falls under 'pleasure'.
  • BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea has a particularly horrifying example in Episode 2 when Atlas tries to get Elizabeth to tell him where the "ace in the hole" is. His method? Sliding an ice pick just above her eye and tapping it with a hammer over and over, all the while describing how a transorbital lobotomy can wreak havoc on the pre-frontal lobe of the brain. Through a first-person point of view! When Elizabeth refuses to talk, and even invites him to go ahead and give her the kind of brain damage that will make her stop caring about what's going on around her, he wheels in Sally, the little girl Elizabeth came back to Rapture to save, and threatens to do it to her instead.
  • In Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Jack is tortured with jumper cables by a doctor working for the FBI. It says a lot about the horrors he's seen that it takes several high-powered shocks and threatening to send him back to the asylum for him to agree to return to Innsmouth.
  • The Darkness:
    • Jackie is captured by police captain Eddie Shrote and tortured for information on who helped him raid a crooked cop's stash (unfortunately for everyone involved, the answer is: no one). He uses a drill to do things the viewer can't quite see thanks to the game's first-person perspective. We can hear Jackie scream though, and afterward his mouth is bloody and his speech is slurred.
    • Then, in the sequel, it gets kicked up a few notches when Jackie gets captured and tortured twice, this time by the Brotherhood of the Darkness who are trying to get Jackie to give the Darkness up. First they crucify him bloodily and try to siphon the power out of him; then later, they shove him into an iron maiden, actually siphon the power out of him, and then hang the iron maiden over a fire just to make his death as painful as possible. Nice guys.
    • Jackie's Darkness execution moves probably qualify as well, ranging from "Wishbone" to "Throat Plunge" to tearing out a dude's spinal cord, while the poor Mooks scream bloody murder.
  • The bad guys of the Diablo universe are quite fond of this.
    • Act I of Diablo II has you going through the Rogue Monastery, which has been taken over by the evil forces of Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. Those Rogues who didn't become demons can be seen dead on various torture devices throughout the monastery, and judging by the state of their bodies, what happened to them was not pleasant.
    • What Baal did to Marius was pretty cold-blooded too. Instead of simply seizing the soulstone from Marius and killing him quickly, Baal used an illusion to disguise himself as Tyrael, forced Marius to relive his horrific adventure with Diablo, and convinced Marius to give up the soulstone willingly... and then revealed his true colors before finally killing Marius.
    • The Halls of Agony from Diablo III were the old torture chambers of King Leoric, back when he was still alive and going mad. In addition to having many people (up to and including his own queen) executed out of paranoia brought on by Diablo's attempts to take over his mind and the evil whisperings of Archbishop Lazarus, he had quite a lot of people put to the torture. The Darkening was not a fun time to live through.
    • Maghda's Dark Coven (and by extension, the minions of Belial) are quite fond of torturing others. In particular, the Coven's use of torture is used to power their magic, including illusions.
    • Throughout hell and in the Arreat Crater's demon outpost, giant demons are chained up, boiled alive, and flayed / chopped until all their skin falls off. Repeatedly. The primary reason not being revenge or for intel, but because the skin is used to create the roads that demons march on. It says something about the sheer level of their torture that the Demon Hunter will spare them.
    • This is basically what Kormac's "initiation" into the Templar Order amounted to. He was chained to a wall and beaten for three days till he was half-mad from pain and hunger, at which point the whipping began. According to the inquisitors who did this, this was meant to make the initiate relive his transgressions and everything that brought him tainted joy, and to cleanse the joy and the sin from him, leaving him pure. Needless to say, your character doesn't see it that way — the Wizard in particular is outraged, telling him that the inquisitors treated him worse than an animal. As it turns out, Kormac did not commit any crimes, but that the order wanted him for his fighting prowess, so they piled false sins upon him and brainwashed him to take away his memory — and that they did the same thing to his fellow Templar Jondar, who you helped him to kill.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Kaptain K. Rool is seen beating Donkey Kong before you fight him aboard the Flying Krock.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, is a major fan of inflicting this. He loves taking good and noble mortals, then seeing them break. For those who prove resistant to his tortures, he has the ability to fragment their souls, essentially a form of Mind Rape which causes them to lose or forget about that which gives them strength. Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion, Coldharbour, is designed to torment a person as horribly and efficiently as possible. The ground is sludge, the sky is on fire, and the air is freezing. It resembles a ruined and desecrated copy of Nirn that is filled with suffering and "spattered" with blood and excrement. It contains charnel houses full of the dead and slave pens beyond count. The very smell of the place is enough to break most mortals. It is said that no mortals willingly visit this place except in error.
    • Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of Nightmares, has this within her sphere. She can cause Mind Rapes by afflicting mortals with ceaseless, horrific nightmares. For a mortal, simply being in her realm, Quagmire, can be this. Quagmire changes for the viewer every few moments in a flash of lightning to something even more horrific than before.
    • Xivilai are a massive and powerful form of lesser Daedra. Xivilai are noted to be skilled torturers who revel in the act, particularly when torturing mortals.
    • Skyrim:
      • The Thalmor are exceptionally fond of this trope. In addition to grisly blood spatters and skeletons chained to the walls, their dungeons usually contain racks, embalming tools, and axes. In one quest you even interrupt an in-progress interrogation, which is about as unpleasant as you'd expect.
      • A dedicated torture chamber is one of the things you can buy for the new Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. Torturing victims within reveals the location of hidden treasure, and are also useful for training up your skills (but be careful not to kill them, as they won't respawn).
  • There's a good deal of this in EVE Chronicles. This, for example.
  • Far Cry 3 features this in spades, performed by both heroes and villains throughout the game. One particularly notable and darkly hilarious example occurs in the live-action promo videos, in which Vaas has Christopher Mintz-Plasse buried up to his neck on the beach and periodically tortures him over the course of several days: he pulls out some of his teeth with pliers, zaps him with car batteries, covers his head with a fishbowl full of spiders, pisses in his face, and lets off a firecracker in his face. Even in the rare moments in which Vaas pretends to be friendly take a turn for the sadistic: at one point, he serves Chris a barbecue, complete with Argentinian wine... only for Chris to learn that that the meat is actually the remains of Barry the cameraman.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, two guards are gleefully beating Celes and jeering over the treatment she's to receive the following day when Locke shows in to rescue her in South Figaro.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Seifer does this to Squall in D-District Prison.
    • Poor Basch from Final Fantasy XII was held in solitary confinement and frequently subjected to this for two years, partly for information and partly for revenge. He's visibly in pretty bad shape when the rest of the Player Party rescues him.
    • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII have Bhunivelze to Hope. In order to make Hope an acceptable vessel, he reverts him to his childhood form and tortures him for 169 years.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Happens to Miguel in Grand Theft Auto III, though like everything else in the game, it's played for (very dark) laughs: "Shall we tighten it some more or just wait for it to turn black and fall off?"
    • Most certainly not played for laughs when it comes up in Grand Theft Auto V. Trevor, under the control of the player, has to use several instruments of torture to beat the information out of a prisoner. These methods include pulling a tooth out with some pliers, electrocuting him with a car battery, smashing his testicles with a wrench and waterboarding him with gasoline. Trevor, himself, admits to enjoying torture, even though it's a lousy way to extract useful information.
  • Halo 2: Thel 'Vadamee (better known as the Arbiter) is put through this as punishment for his "failure" to prevent the Chief from destroying Halo in the previous game.
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days:
    • The game opens with the duo being sliced like deli meat by a Chinese gangster with a box-cutter. A later level shows the results of this and has them running a naked and bloody marathon through Shanghai.
    • Xiu, Lynch's Chinese girlfriend, is disemboweled and highly implied to have been raped.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith use Force Lightning or just common electricity, at different times, to extract information, convert Jedi to the Dark Side, punish apprentices for faults and as a part of a question-and-answer game.
  • In The Last of Us, Joel has to find out where David is keeping Ellie. He interrogates two members of David's group, and while it's absolutely disgusting and brutal and Joel does it while feeling no emotion besides rage, it seems to just be for information. But once he gets the location and kills the one who told him, the other one says that he got what he wanted, but Joel kills him nonetheless.
  • Like a Dragon:
    • Kazuma Kiryu suffered torture at the hands of the Snake Flower Triad some time before the events of the first game. Fortunately, Kazama rescued him before the Chinese could inflict lasting damage.
    • Goro Majima suffered this as fallout from the Ueno Seiwa hit in Yakuza 4, detailed in Yakuza 0; after enduring an entire year of torture (starting with getting his eye carved out), his punishment was switched to excommunication under probation.
    • Also from 0, Tachibana is left to the tender mercies of Kuze and his goons after he is captured, with Yoneda smashing Tachibana's toes with a sledgehammer when he refuses to give up Makoto's location. Kiryu and Nishiki rescue him, but not before Yoneda inflicts a fatal blow and cracks Tachibana's head with the hammer when he starts mouthing off.
  • Nifilhema of Lusternia spends her time birthing new and exciting torture techniques: she favours cutting and piercing tools, as she relishes blood. Though she generally practises on angel, she'll consent to torture her followers and herself. Incidentally, any angels tortured by her are so traumatized that they become demons themselves.
  • Mass Effect 2: While we can only speculate on the specifics, it can be assumed that one Kron Harga, slaver, was loathsome enough to not warrant a swift and efficient (or ironic) execution via Omega's resident badass vigilante, Archangel. Injuries include, but were most likely not limited to: bullets in every extremity and major organ, massive head trauma possibly delivered through the butt-end of a rifle, before finally being in very close proximity to a container filled with explosives when it suddenly detonated.
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo, no torture is ever actually shown, but one of the Merovingian's former Mooks is chained and stretched across a table in a dungeon, while the loyal Mooks are ready to do this, until you help her free herself.
  • Used in the first game of the Mega Man Battle Network series.
    ColorMan: Now, now, I'll delete you soon enough... Heheh! But first I'll watch you squirm a little!
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Colonel Volgin dispenses with elaborate, drawn-out methods of causing pain, preferring instead to beat on prisoners with his own two fists (that happen to be charged with 10 million volts of electricity). He doesn't really care if this produces information or not, as long as he gets his kicks.
    • Snake personally undergoes some of Volgin's torture when he gets captured. There's no minigame or way to heal yourself here; you just watch as Snake is left to hang from his wrists and beaten to a bloody pulp. The pain is so excruciating that tough-as-nails Snake pisses himself from the pain, and worse, Volgin is aroused by it. And so is Ocelot; by this point he's become such a Stalker with a Crush that not only does watching Snake being tortured turn out to be a sexual experience but it actually provided him the epiphany that led him to become the world's leading expert on torture. Then Snake gets his right eye shot out. Apart from maybe the near-death experience boss battle against the Sorrow, this is the biggest Nightmare Fuel segment in the game; it starts brutal and then gets worse from there.
    • Vamp from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty qualifies as well. You must save Otacon's step-sister from the flooded base. You must take her back to the Control Center in the first part of the Big Shell. However, the normal bridge was destroyed earlier, so you must take a floating path, complete with mines and guards. This trope comes out when she's grabbed by Vamp. You shoot the bad guy and rush to Emma, only to discover that while she was grabbed, Vamp knifed her in the back repeatedly. And that bastard's not even dead yet!
    • Solidus Snake is a great bastard, too. He captures Raiden, who is naked , and strangles him with an electrified metallic tentacle . He repeats that later in the game.
    • Raiden doesn't catch a break later on in the series, either. The Make it Right trailers for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance imply heavily that the procedure that turned him into a cyborg was long, excruciating, and undertaken without sedatives.
    • Skull Face from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, however, outdoes them all. The interrogation cassette tapes that the player can find in the game are considered by fans to be arguably the most horrific things in the entire series.
  • There are many examples of this in Outlast, although the most nightmare-worthy example is when Miles is captured by Doctor Trager. He is strapped to a wheelchair, taunted with an exit, then has two of his fingers crudely chopped off with bone shears. What Eddie Gluskin does to his victims in the DLC, on the other hand, is a different type of terrifying.
  • Persona 5 starts with the Protagonist getting captured by the police. In the next scene he’s being beaten by the police (visibly much worse for wear), drugged with truth serum, and is forced to sign a confession under his name under threat of his leg being crippled.
  • The Punisher (THQ) lets you punch out, choke, threaten with guns and smash faces, and that's the boring stuff. Angle grinders, drills, car crushers, eels and rhinos, open fires, wood chippers, furnaces, sharks, table saws and electric chairs are just a sampling of what to expect.
  • Spec Ops: The Line:
    • The Damned 33rd torture civilians and CIA agents, often killing them afterwards. Their favored method of torture is to pin them on the ground, and fire their guns into the sand next to their face, causing the sand to shoot up and rip up the victim's skin. One victim you find appears to have been dosed with gasoline and set alight.
    • Walker begins to inflict what amounts to torture in his execution moves — early on in the game, they are Mercy Kills, though later on they become increasingly violent, such as blasting out the enemy's knee caps before shooting them repeatedly in the chest, or bashing their head into the ground repeatedly to kill them.
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory:
    • In the first mission you find the person your supposed to be rescuing being tortured. With his legs in a shallow bathtub and a car battery with jumper cables being pressed onto his chest. Apparently they had already gotten everything they wanted out of him, and was just torturing him out of spite (so much so that one comments on seeing smoke coming from his head).
    • In the final level, guards in a certain area carry LTL ammo and, if hit, Fisher will black out, only to wake up mid-interrogation. After blacking out again, Fisher awakens to one of the guards preparing to torture him whilst expressing joy at the concept; after escaping, however, Lambert tells Fisher he's only been gone a few minutes, which suggests it wasn't exactly a last resort.
  • In Spycraft: The Great Game, the player is given the option of using Electric Torture on a female spy to extract information from her.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: The fondness for lightning is still alive and well in the Sith Empire three hundred years after the first game, though the game treats some uses (particularly by the Sith Inquisitor's hands) as Comedic Sociopathy.
  • In Still Life 2, the killer releases video of himself torturing victims to death. For some reason they are prominently played on mass media.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • It's implied that Heavy Weapons Guy has done this in the past. A file on record with his employers explains that he was sent to The Gulag with his mother and sisters (after the death of his father, a counter-revolutionary), and that only by torturing the guards to death and setting the gulag ablaze were the prisoners able to escape. When the KGB agents ran after Heavy and his family, he taught his sisters to "butcher them like hogs" until "their screams died on their lips". Heavy is very proud when he discovers that his sisters, now all grown women, are more than capable of taking care of themselves without his help.
    • In Heavy's appearance in Poker Night at the Inventory, he goes into extreme detail of the time he tortured an enemy engineer to death, describing in loving, cheerful detail how he tore off each finger, one at a time, and shoved the engineer's wrench down his throat, while the engineer sobbed and cried out for his mother. The other players at the table can react only with stunned silence.
    • Also, Classic Pyro really likes to torture people for fun, even after they give away all the important information first. Soldier accidentally blabbed that Miss Pauling was the only one who could answer anything. Then they literally drilled his teeth like Swiss cheese for shits and giggles.
  • The protagonist of Welcome to the Game is on the quest to find a Red Room. What a Red Room is a livestream found on the Deep Web of a kidnapped person being tortured to death. Which you get the pleasure of watching at the end.
  • World of Warcraft
    • "Beat this filth until it speaks..."
    • A torture chamber can be found in the Scarlet Monastery; their head interrogator really seems to enjoy his job.
    • Arthas uses this to some degree to break particularly strong individuals to heel. He seems to transcend purely physical torture, though, even going so far as tearing at the enemy's very soul. Something his minions learned: one Death Knight tortured an enemy by threatening to destroy the man's soul, beginning the process until he broke... and then finishing it out of spite.
    • The Pit of Saron seems only explainable as a form of this. Captured warriors forced to work endlessly in a quarry, stripped down to only their tabards despite the bone-freezing chill of Northrend? The only likely explanation is that Arthas simply wants to make them suffer before turning them.
    • It's not just the bad guys who do it; the Kirin Tor have you torture a Well-Intentioned Extremist they have captured until he talks. Naturally, he knows all the details and blurts them out after repeated applications of excruciating pain, because Torture Always Works. You can also continue torturing him even after he gives you information, he calls you sick through an exhausted from screaming whimper.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Unlimited Blade Works route, Caster capture Shirou's Servant, Saber by force, then tortured her. And knowing Caster from Fate route, you know she is not a nice person.
    • The background of Avenger reveals that in life he was a completely ordinary human who was made The Scapegoat for all the evils in the world by his village. They tortured him endlessly for years, carving curses into his skin, cutting off parts, and committing every sin imaginable on his flesh. They continued this until his death, and he only died because of old age. Made even worse by the fact that the people torturing him included his friends and family, who had all agreed he was the source of evil.
  • Used in Higurashi: When They Cry. It isn't pretty. Ironically, the arc that actually shows the torture makes the character performing it far more sympathetic, with a well-done Start of Darkness showing how the universe hates her. Shinji Ikari has nothing on Shion Sonozaki. Speaking of Miyo, there's also what happens to the people at the orphanage. The anime censors it — the manga does not.

  • Yadmon from Aisopos tortures Adult!Aesop mainly for sadistic purposes.
  • Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater is of the "for pleasure" variety. While he mostly just enjoys killing, he sometimes takes his time, like with his blind brother, who wasn't blind at first.
  • Bob and George: Here and here.
  • Exterminatus Now: First, the team will have Lothar cut your balls off. Then, you'll talk. And no, they didn't get that the wrong way around.
  • In Goblins: Dellyn Goblinslayer does "experiments" on monsters. It becomes clear however, that he does it mostly for pleasure, with the majority of information learned being new methods of causing pain in each race. But seeing as they're "evil monsters", all the "good" races think it's just.
    • Perhaps the most chilling example was Kin, the Yuan-ti that Goblinslayer kept as a "pet". Not only did Dellyn torture her, but he also spent his nights raping her. This was enough to turn Minmax, who was Dellyn's biggest fan, against him.
    • Knight Templar Kore is an exceptionally brutal torturer. After capturing Chief, he began to torture him so that his screams of pain would draw the other goblins back, first using holy magic to heal him from the near fatal injury he'd caused capturing him, and then brutally mauling the goblin's body with his axe, including severing an ear and a hand. And the injuries he caused killed him soon after the torture stopped.
  • In Minion Comics, Spencer and Dingus are allowed to pick their torture, with options ranging from "The Spiky Thing" to "The Shocker" to a George Lopez comedy special.
  • Mistress in Oglaf is fond of creative magical tortures—often delivered rectally.
  • Though we don't see it on-screen in The Order of the Stick, Redcloak tortures O-Chul for months in order to get information that he knows the paladin does not have, leading to massive scarring. He continues merely as a pretense to convince his boss Xykon that they should stay in the city. It doesn't work out for him.
    • And now it has been shown on-screen that Tarquin (Elan's father and General-in-chief of the Empire of Blood) is definitely not above torturing women until they agree to marry him...*shudder*
  • When a particularly vile character in Pibgorn learns that the title character can talk and feel pain, obviously this is the method used to explore that topic further.
  • Remus's Ryan Davidson has been on the receiving end of this from Williams.
  • In Sluggy Freelance villains have tried this on Torg a couple times. They just never seem to get it quite right.
    • Bun-Bun tries it after a fashion in this strip.
  • The Asperpedia Four are put through this as their death sentence in Sonichu. Alec, the creator of Asperchu, gets the ten-button electric chair for not portraying Chris-Chan's characters "correctly", Sean, the creator of Moon-Pals, gets shot to death by three characters presumably for portraying them as stoners. Mao, the host of Asperpedia, gets ripped apart using psychic powers. Evan, the creator of Simonchu and whom Chris-Chan had shamelessly and imfamously stolen a character from, gets brutally drilled apart by a small child and then finished by the child and her father. This is from a webcomic that is supposedly meant for children.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Nessie suffered it. Perhaps a less severe form that most, but she's only a little girl.
  • In Trevor (2020), Enid admits that the experiments done on Trevor eventually became nothing but torture in practice.
  • Unsounded: Window Agents tortured Vienne to death, and relished in throwing it in her face that it was her husband who sold her out to them before killing her. Of course, Mathis did so out of fear, frustration, thought they'd leave her alive, and that it was inevitable they would be coming for her.
  • The startling regularity with which the Cruciatus (Torture) Curse is thrown around in Voldemort's Children definitely invokes this trope, especially given the nature of the Curse's targets.
  • Wapsi Square: The golem girls are victims of this in the backstory
  • Zebra Girl: Sandra engages in it when she gets the upper hand against Gregory during their fight.

    Web Originals 
  • Pretty Pink Ponytails in Angel of Death has a special room in which she does this. So far, she's been seen preparing to press an electric sander against someone's hand with the intent of grinding it off (though something came up before she could get around to it). She also tortured a woman in an alley in order to attract the Angel of Death.
  • In the Board James episode "Nightmare and Beyond", James tortures Mike and Bootsy in the graveyard scene by hacking off Booty's limbs one by one with a chainsaw to play Hangman and inserts random objects in Mike. He then cuts open Mike with garden shears and uses a live battery wire to remove the objects in order to play a sick version of Operation.
  • Criticized: Arthur puts Darian through this, gouging out his left eye with a paperclip and pouring salt in it.
  • DEATH BATTLE!: The whole fight in "Omni-Man VS Homelander" comes off as this. Homelander never stood even a remote chance, and it's hinted that the only reason why Homelander lasts as long as he does in the animation is because Nolan takes his time in breaking Homelander physically and mentally as punishment for Homelander killing Debbie. When Homelander threatens to kill Mark in the same way, Nolan stops playing around and immediately and ends the fight, making good on the threat with which he started the fight: he feeds Homelander his own heart, then forces him to swallow by crushing his head.
    Omni-Man: Remember what I promised you...? Now swallow.
  • Freshy Kanal Rap Battles: By his second verse against Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes has been captured by the royal guards and King James I gets two lines to describe what will happen to him. Fawkes spends the rest of his verse rapping while enduring the torture.
    For the torture, you'll have horses tied to every corner
    And lamb and forced to ride, pulling your torso, hung, drawn, and quartered
  • The Ant Family from Happy Tree Friends always inflict this upon Sniffles whenever he tries to eat them. They're at their worst in "Tongue in Cheek".
  • In I Love Bees, there is a torture device known as Cupid's Knife. It makes the victim feel pain whenever they think any negative thoughts about the user, forcing them to love their torturer, hence the name.
    "The Knife is gonna hurt you. A lot. Only way to stop the pain is to surrender, to break, to love..."
  • Kherishdar: Kor is tortured by the Emperor in The Admonishments of Kherishdar as part of his training to become Shame. His role is to provide Correction to deviants in Kherishdar's society, and he is only permitted to use tortures that have been inflicted on himself. Suffice it to say he's one of the most effective Shames in history.
  • In Nightwing: The Series, the mercenary Deathstroke employs electric torture and knife-wounds on one of his targets, who's bound and helpless in a chair.
    Deathstroke: Let's take it up a notch higher... [increases the voltage]
  • In Pokémon Apokélypse, Brock is tied up, beaten, and tortured with a Magnemite.
  • In Season 12 of Red vs. Blue, the heroes need to get important information out of a captured Space Pirate, but he isn't talking. Doctor Grey asks of she could have a few minutes alone with the man, before explaining to him all the wonderful features that the facility they are in has (mainly, an incinerator and state-of-the-art medical equipment) and then asking him if he'd like to see him. Cut to outside the base, where the Reds and Blues hear the man screaming in pain over the sound of various electrical saws and Doctor Grey singing. After they get the information, Carolina asks if the prisoner is still in any condition to answer more questions, and Grey asks for a moment to put him back together.
  • Thorolf from The Saints has a knife that keeps its victims alive for as long as it remains in their heart. He uses it to keep victims alive while he eats them. He doesn't have to eat them, he just wants to.
  • In serial 2 of Spectral Shadows, there's Omega, the Final Boss of the Aslander role-playing game. According to the Character Index he doesn't kill characters who fail to complete his stage. He likes to torture them by forcing them to listen to obnoxiously avant-garde Progressive Rock.
  • The Torture Game, a delightful little web game that lets you brutally torture some poor guy with: Ropes, guns, a flesh-stripping razorblade, a chainsaw, huge spikes that shoot out of the walls, and paint. It could either be seen as a great stress-reliever. Or perhaps both.
  • The aptly-named Creepypasta "Torture".
  • In the Whateley Universe, mutant Phase is tortured by Mad Scientist Emil Hammond, who is working for Phase's family to learn about what makes mutants manifest. His family actually comes in at one point to see how things are going; when Phase calls for them to help, they ignore him at first and then quickly leave. What's scary is how Emil Hammond always refers to Phase as 'it', and clearly is just doing this to learn more about Phase. The height would be 'what happens if Phase is in the middle of an object when he goes from light to solid'.
  • This gets inflicted upon Alador in Wolf Song: The Movie in order to try and get him to cooperate with the Death Alpha. Instead of breaking, Alador ends up succumbing to the torture, right in front of his would-be rescuers.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: The episode "The Last Resort" features a therapy ranch for troubled teens run by Dr. David Wheeler, whose brainwashing of the students sent to him would be bad enough if Wheeler did not also send those who didn't get with the program to ISO, which amounts to total sensory deprivation used as punishment. We don't see anyone undergoing ISO, but we are shown the harmful effects it has on those who are sent there.
  • In the Justice League episode "Question Authority", this is what happens to the Question after he attempts to assassinate Luthor. After receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Lex, Question is handed over to Cadmus and subjected to Electric Torture and something which causes him to hallucinate about the Alternate Universe Bad Future. The Torture Technician demands to know what Question found out about Cadmus and only gets nonsense comments in return.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina: The Briarwoods' coup in Whitestone ends with the brutal murder of the de Rolo family, save for Percy and his younger sister Cassandra, who are instead imprisoned in the dungeons. There, Dr. Ripley brutally tortures both of them for information about the ziggurat under Whitestone, with a flashback showing her tear Percy's skin open with hooks, before calling Cassandra in to torture her while Percy is Forced to Watch. They escape after several weeks, but Cassandra is killed during the attempt (or so Percy thinks), and Percy throws himself into a frozen river to get away. Ironically enough, neither of them had ever even heard of the ziggurat, meaning Ripley tortured two teenagers for information they didn't even have.
  • Parodied in Megas XLR. Coop gets captured by the Glorft. Gorath's torture techniques? Eating a Philly Cheese Steak slowly in front of Coop. And smashing Mega Slushes. This would be considered Cool and Unusual Punishment, but since it's Coop... Humorously, it's just as much torture for Gorath, who can barely stomach the Philly Cheese Steak.
  • ReBoot: Megabyte tears off Phong's head, sticks it in a jar, and tortures that for information, using painful electroshock to rip the portal command codes right out of Phong's memory. When this takes too long, Megabtye tells Herr Doctor to use other methods, involving saws. Thankfully, Matrix interrupts Herr Doctor before he gets started with that. Despite all the pain, Phong is defiant throughout all of the torture, never giving in to Megabyte.
  • Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon": In "Ren Seeks Help", Ren does this to several innocent animals including a helpless frog. When the frog demands to be put of its misery, Ren refuses so it can continue suffering.
  • Appears in South Park. Kanye West really, really wants to know why Carlos Mencia is calling him a gay fish.
  • A G-rated version appears in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Krabby Land". For revenge against lying to the children of Bikini Bottom that Mr. Krabs' park will be fun and a clown will be there, Mr. Krabs is tied up to a post... and fed lima beans.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "Rebel Resolve": Kanan gets the full package from Kallus, Tarkin, and the Inquisitor — torture droid, electric shocks, and a forceful Jedi Mind Trick.
    • "Stealth Strike": Admiral Titus makes it clear he intends to torture Rex to death and discard him like trash, but Kanan's premonition of the torture enables the Jedi to interrupt before it starts.
  • TRON: Uprising: Oh, Users. Where to begin? First we see the end results of the stuff on the title character in the form of horrible scarring. Then we get a flashback to how they came to be (Courtesy of Dyson). We get Beck almost being boiled alive in one episode, another where Beck's friends are going to be drawn and quartered via light-cycle. We also get Torture Technician Gorn, who totally lives down to her name, strapping Programs down and forcing code worms into her victims through their eyes. The series only gets away with the violence because Programs shatter into cubes or leak energy instead of bleed out.
  • This seems to be the reason why Hater from Wander over Yonder has a torture room. He never seems to need any information. The few times he sends someone to the torture room, it's because he's imprisoning them. On one occasion, he even sends a bunch of tourists in there after they're accidentally teleported onto the skullship.


Finnegrin's Punishment

The pirate lord, Finnegrin, literally uses Cold Blooded Torture to assert control over others.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ColdBloodedTorture

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