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Cool and Unusual Punishment

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Ford: If we're lucky, it's just the Vogons come to throw us in to space.
Arthur: And if we're unlucky?
Ford: The captain might want to read us some of his poetry first...

There comes a time in every adventure show when the hero must face torture. But beating and whipping is really dull for any self-respecting criminal mastermind. And more importantly, really dull for the audience, unless it's done so gruesomely that the Media Watchdogs complain.

Besides, why beat the hero when you can torture them with the most horrible thing in the universe... six hours of opera (Scare Chord)! Or six hours of laxative commercials, or six hours of Céline Dion. Basically anything so bad that the Suckiness Is Painful. It would make anyone confess.

A variant is for the villain to do torture that is so ridiculous and/or Faux Horrific that it would never work, but everyone acts as if it would. When on the receiving end of the punishment, though, it's common for the villain to be showered by a neverending stream of rainbows, sugar, and Glurge, much to their horror and disgust.

And it's always fun when one character has such offbeat tastes that they enjoy the experience.

Typically, the form of punishment may be introduced as being harmless, only to be quickly revealed to be the opposite.

Though not an unusual tactic for the Martial Pacifist, this is used most often in shows for kids, where showing the application of real torture methods would get the parents up in arms — especially when they find that they can't sleep afterward. Better to employ something ridiculous.

The Punishment is when this happens to give the sufferer super powers. ...Why do people do this?

When the Cool And Unusual Punishment is loud music or annoying sounds, the trope is Loud of War. See also Tickle Torture.

The Maximum Fun Chamber and Room 101 often involve this, played for laughs and for drama, respectively.

May serve as a Take That!. For when someone merely threatens to do something like this, see Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon. Compare Cruel Mercy, Ironic Hell, Mundane Afterlife, and The Punishment Is the Crime. Compare and contrast Prank Punishment where something like this is indended as a playful punishment from a mentor or a loved one, rather than a type of torture. Also contrast Poke the Poodle. Not to be confused with Unishment, when it's the character who wants the punishment rather than the audience. When this involves sending somebody to a city that they may or may not hate, see Place Worse Than Death; when it involves just sending them anywhere that's dull and/or unpleasant, see Reassigned to Antarctica. Frequently follows the stock phrase "We Have Ways of Making You Talk!". Likely to be present in an Ironic Hell.

Not the same as Cruel and Unusual Death.

Examples Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Ah! My Goddess:
    • Gadgeteer Genius Skuld accidentally botches one of Urd's potions, but she's too afraid to admit it because of Urd's "terrible punishment". Even when Skuld's beloved big sister Belldandy suffers hilarious side-effects from the potion, she still can't come forward. The cruel, horrible punishment?
      Urd: Good, good! Now make a robot that does nothing but go around in circles!
      Skuld: Noooo! Don't make me create robots that don't do anything useful! Pleeeeeease!
    • A later episode has Urd go further by forcing Skuld to look at a whole table full of useless machines just moving around after the latter committed a graver offense. Needless to say, Skuld was wailing at the whole "spectacle".
    • In one episode, Sayoko tries to extract Belldandy's secret from Keiichi by letting snails crawl on his chest and smashing toy cars with a hammer. These are obviously ineffective, but her line of reasoning had some sense: snails tend to be general Squick in anime (it's used in other anime too, usually with negative connotations), and she probably figured a car lover like Keiichi would react at the destruction of even their likenesses.
  • In Angelic Layer, this is the method of Icchan's punishments towards Ogata, whenever the latter gives the wrong answer to a question (things like, say, eating spaghetti through his nose, or shoving a live octopus down his pants).
  • In Aquarion Evol, because Personality Powers are in full effect, recalcitrant students are given detention where they have to do the opposite of whatever their power enables them to do, at the most boring and petty level possible. For example, the girl whose ability is patching holes in matter has to use a hole puncher on miscellaneous papers for hours...
  • City Hunter:
    • In one story arc Ryo had been made impotent by the antidote to the poison of a killer bee. At the end of said story arc (and after a successive version of the antidote restored Ryo's Gag Penis), Ryo punished the ones who had the killer bees created by having them stung with the killer bees and giving them the initial version of the antidote, with obvious results. Doubles as Fate Worse than Death, as they were as perverted as Ryo.
    • One hospital in Tokyo has a rather unusual punishment for troublesome patients: isolate them from other patients, forbid visits and entrust them to the incredibly goofy nurse Yoshimi Iwai, whose botched cares have already killed at least eleven people and injured the rest.
  • Dirty Pair Flash: After one of their accidental atrocities (Yuri didn't mean to blow up that space station), the Lovely Angels are ordered to send each one of the 300,000 survivors a handwritten apology.
  • Subverted in Dragon Ball: When Emperor Pilaf captures the heroes, he tries to force Bulma to turn over the Dragon Balls by bringing her before him in shackles and...blowing her a kiss, in the assumption that she'll be utterly disgraced. Instead, Bulma is just confused and tells him that she expected other kinds of treatment... and Pilaf reacts with shock and disgust.
    • Also subverted much later, with Dabura, king of Hell. When he ends up in the afterlife, King Yemma sends him to Heaven instead. Rather than finding it torture however, Dabura enjoys his time in Heaven, and all following cameos feature him espousing a love of peace, friendship, and flowers.
    • Played straight in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', where Frieza's punishment for his sins was to spend eternity in Hell... stuck in a cocoon and strung from a tree in a happy field of flowers as angels, fairies, and living stuffed animals happily sing, dance, and play around him. He hated every second of it, and when he confronts the Z-Fighters after his revival, describes it as if it were the most horrible torture ever devised.
      Frieza: Instead of ruling the universe with an iron fist, I was serenaded by teddy bears!
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Played straight by Jinnai with a feather duster on Ifurita.
  • In the second episode of the 1995 Final Fantasy OAV (Legend of the Crystals, based on the 5th game), Rouge captures Linaly, Valkus, and Prettz. She decides to subject them to "most horrible" tortures; they turn out to be pretty silly. While a Tickle Torture machine did give Prettz fits for a while, he breaks free (he'd met Rouge before and lacked any respect for her) and makes his way to rescue Linaly. Her torture? Eating prunes.
  • Taizo Kotoboki of Gals! punishes his misbehaving children by spinning them by their legs.
  • Girls und Panzer has the Anglerfish Dance; as part of their punishment for losing to St. Gloriana during a training match, Miho and her crew dress up in skin-tight onesies and goofy anglerfish hats and are forced to dance in front of the town. Its considered so embarrassing that Saori cries that she and her fellows will never get boyfriends after performing the dance. The Student Council (who put Miho's crew up to it in the first place) joins in as part of their "mutual responsibility", but seem rather unfazed by the dance.
  • In Heat Guy J there is a city-state called Magnagalia. Unlike Judoh, where the main plot takes place, Magnagalia has no capital punishment. Instead, criminals (usually murderers) convicted and sentenced to 100 years or more are genetically and surgically altered such that their head becomes that of an animal, so that when they look in the mirror they see this beast staring back at them. It's played seriously, but it's kind of hard to see it that way when so many of them get heads of really cool animals like big cats and wolves. Some of them even have superpowers.
    • Another example done seriously occurs between Clair and a patron of his casino who can't pay off his gambling debt. Clair seems to have worked out a deal with this man that if he can write suitably impressive poetry, he'll let the man go—but the man's poetry is terrible. Could be considered a deconstruction of this trope given how much the show lingers on the victim's terror and the implication that to Clair this kind of thing is normal.
  • Hell Girl is built around inflicting these to people. Forcing a Jerkass math teacher sent to Hell to recount Pi for all eternity is one of the milder examples.
    • After season 1 was over, there was a strange increase in cool-yet-lethal jokes Enma would play on her victims. You practically could get chocked on carbon dioxide because "whoops, wrong ingredients; I synthesized CO2 instead of oxygen for you. Well, sucks to be you".
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • The nation-tans try to punish France's April Fools' Day antics, but find that he's Too Kinky to Torture and would actually like a lot of the stuff they were coming up with. In the end, they successfully make him positively miserable by forcing him to praise everything English (yes, even England's food). The funniest thing? The one who suggested said punishment was Sweden, of all people.
    • Russia gets a chain letter, courtesy of Poland. And if he doesn't send it, his capital will become Warsaw.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders after Kakyoin defeats Mannish Boy in a Dream World, after they wake up, Kakyoin mixes Mannish Boy’s poop in with his baby food for almost killing him and his friends.
  • Melty Blood: In the manga, Akiha's punishment for Kohaku attempting to take over the Tohno mansion (and wiping out the Tohno family's fortune in the process of mass-producing her Mech-Hisui army) is to invite everyone to a beach party - and Kohaku isn't allowed to change out of her heavy kimono and apron. She collapses approximately halfway through the day.
  • In My Hero Academia, Sir Nighteye tortures his sidekick Bubble Girl with a tickling machine for not being lighthearted and perky enough. She normally is, but was delivering some particularly sober news and felt like being serious was in order. He disagreed.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Evangeline punished her Robot Girl servant by "winding her up" as a Running Gag.
    • The punishment inflicted by Nagi to Evangeline herself: "damning" her to school.
    • The punishment for mages who break The Masquerade — being turned into an ermine for anywhere from six months to a few years.
  • In The Ones Within, Kudo's punishment for constant violence is... having all of his meals covered in bell peppers. Lampshaded by other characters, who note that that's an awfully lenient punishment for a Deadly Game!
  • Umehito Nekozawa of Ouran High School Host Club is subjected to "evil beam" torture when he fails to act princely enough and returns to his old ways. The "evil beam" is but a wee flashlight, but it's torture to him. He has extreme photophobia (or better said, light sensitivity), thus the full-body hoods. It's played for laughs.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • One of the banned (outside of Japan) episodes featured Team Rocket torturing the Safari Warden, which quickly turned into an example of this. They made him listen to Meowth's singing, and the ultimate torture was a tickling machine. (During this, they had a gun!)
    • Butch and Cassidy tortured Professor Oak in one episode by scratching a pane of glass with a nail. It worked.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, Inui's Gargle Blaster juice is used as a punishment of sorts when his teammates screw up with training — it's too gross for anyone to stomach, except Fuji. And not even Fuji is immune to every single one of his concoctions.
  • Happens in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei when Abiru's father is (falsely) suspected of abusing his daughter. Nozomu follows him around as he goes shopping, and has an Imagine Spot (along with the store clerks that are warned about him) about every single thing he tries to buy used as a method of abuse (including bicycle pumps, erasers and manga.) Even the most straight-forward one (a frying pan) gets an unusual use in the anime, showing his father sliding across the floor and bonking her in the back of the knees with it.
  • Seen a few times in Sgt. Frog. In one chapter of the manga, Keroro's penalty for submitting a late invasion progress report is being ordered to eat a bowl of shaved ice with his ears.
  • Slayers
    • Xellos. Near-omnipotent in magical power due to being blessed by his master beyond any other mazoku (or demon), Xellos has proved himself capable of wiping out a flight of dragons by merely waving his finger. However, as a mazoku who feeds on negative emotions, he has a slight vulnerability to the positive ones. This was used at one point by Amelia, who together with Gourry and Zelgadis, led a joint "life is wonderful!" speech which left the powerful mazoku twitching in a corner, complaining about psychological warfare.
    • Much earlier, the sorcerer Zolf started hurling insults at a bound, gagged, and helpless Lina. All things considered, it was a lot more effective than real torture would be. And she still managed to burn him back pretty good.
  • When Death the Kid in Soul Eater is captured, physical torture proves to be worthless and he instead amuses himself by seeing the frustration of his captors. Their response? starting doodling on his face asymmetrically or poking just one side of his body. The extreme OCD neat freak Kid can't take it.
  • 'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess: The premise of the series is the minions of the Hell-Horde inflicting these upon the captured Princess. Such "tortures" consist of things like offering her foods she's never had or always wanted to try in exchange for secrets, making cute animals sad in front of her, or threatening not to remove the lid from cup ramen noodles after 3 minutes and rendering the noodles inedible. The "tortures" almost always work, too.
  • Toradora!: As punishment for being a hypocrite, flirting shamelessly with Ryuuji and calling her out on her height, Taiga makes Ami impersonate 150 people and films everything.
  • In the original manga of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Pharaoh would challenge do-badders to a Shadow Game (which were more like Saw-style life-or-death games) which often came with an unusual consequence for losing: a "Penalty Game", which would involve a tailor-made eternal torture, ranging from a greedy person having hallucinations of nothing but money, to a television network director getting his eyes mosaic censored. Technically, though, those penalty games were only inflicted upon those who cheated during the game — and they always did.
    • Yugi winds up on the receiving end of one of these when a punk rocker in an early manga chapter forces him to sell tickets to one of his concerts. When Yugi can't bring himself to do it, he's punished by having to listen to the guy's horrible singing voice.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, a mightily pissed off Kurama subjects Elder Toguro to the horror of Janenju ("Tree of Depravity", "the Sinning Tree" in the English dub). The Janenju is a predatory demon plant that lures in its prey with hallucinations and then feeds on them until they die. But because Elder Toguro has endless regenerative abilities, he cannot die, and will thus spend eternity in a nightmare from which he will never awake. And the hallucination the tree used to lure him in? A battle with Kurama that he will never win. Ever.
    • In the manga-only finale, it seems Hiei found a way to please his "girlfriend" (Mokuro). He found the man who used to be her slaver and had Kurama put him in a Janenju or similar. Hiei then explains said slaver would be in for a long and agonizing death. The gift turned out to be much appreciated.

    Comic Books 
  • Be Prepared: The camp for Russian children that Vera and her brother attend holds regular Capture the Flag games between the boys and the girls. Whichever side wins gets to come up with one of these for the losers.
    • The boys side won the first time, and made the girls eat their dinner with their hands tied behind their backs.
    • The second time the boys beat the girls, the girls had to serve the boys their dinner like maids.
    • The third time the boys won, the girls had to wash the boys' dirty laundry at the creek.
    • The girls won the final game, and Vera makes all of the boys check the depth of every Hollywood (latrine) with a stick and record the measurement.
  • Preacher: A rare hero-on-villain example occurs; Jesse uses his Compelling Voice to force Hoover to count three million grains of sand on a beach. (He originally told him to count every grain, although Hoover pointed out that was implausible.) The trope ends up being a subversion, however — Hoover takes the better part of a year to finish because the sand keeps blowing away, he grows emaciated and utterly insane from being unable to stop. Because he's a real hero, though, Jesse sets things right when he realizes how horrible the idea was in practice — in the Voice of God, he says, "Well, hell. If it was that bad, just forget it." The incident wiped from his memory, Hoover happily leaves, restored to full mental health and beyond...
    Hoover: Hello, birds! Hello, sky! Hello, people passing by!
  • The comic The Tick and its various spin-offs used this one repeatedly, but most notably so when Heather, girlfriend of "Crime Cannibal" (a.k.a. Keith), was kidnapped and tortured.
    Heather: Keith. Thank god. They made me watch Beastmaster II over and over. And Dolph Lundgren was next.
    Keith: You monster! (tosses criminal through the TV set)
  • In the Star Trek: New Frontier miniseries Turnaround, Zak Kebron spends the course of two issues showing Romulan Centurion Lucius his family's vacation slides. Lucius takes it for an interrogation technique (and breaks rather quickly), but Kebron claims that he's just "being sociable." By the time Captain Calhoun comes for him, Lucius wishes he'd simply let Kebron crush his head earlier.
    Lucius: Is torture an option here?
  • In Deadpool #9, not only is Deathtrap intending to kill Deadpool by crushing him with a giant teddy bear that will fall on him at a rate determined by how much Deadpool talks, but also Deadpool fears this when Deathtrap presses play on a tape player and Deadpool says, "If you have a Raffi tape in there, someone's gonna bleed."
    "Interesting. Teddy's approaching ramming speed."
  • The title character in Léonard le Génie is a master of this, often punishing his assistant in painful but hilarious ways for such slights as sleeping late, being clumsy, or insulting his master. Yes, Leonardo is a Mean Boss, what clued you in?
  • In Tank Vixens, Üdda von Schteppenslammer tortures some of the vixens by forcing them to watch Barney. That one is a Truth in Television... the US military has used the Barney theme tune on an endless loop to interrogate insurgents.
  • In Marvel Adventures: Superheroes, Iron Man finds out why "Kree Karaoke" is considered an extreme sport: if the judges don't like you, they hit a gong and drop you into the "Kitten Cacophony" pit, deafening you for some time.
  • From Marvel Comics, the D-List villain Mathemaniac can neutralize opponents by causing them to accurately perceive how vast space really is.
    • Probably inspired by the Total Perspective Vortex described below.
    • The Phoenix did it too. To Mastermind.
  • In one issue of Captain America, the enormously obese Miami drug lord Ulysses X. Lugman, aka the Slug, punished an underling who had messed up at a yacht party by dunking him in a Jacuzzi that his other henchmen had filled with actual slugs. (The guy got off easy; when Lugman gets really angry at someone, he's been known to asphyxiate him in the folds of his flesh.)
  • In Astonishing X-Men, we have the telepath Emma Frost:
    Emma Frost: You feel no pain. You will go straight to a hospital. Remember nothing of this place. And every time you hear the words "parsley", "intractable", and "longitude", you will vomit uncontrollably for 48 hours.
    Cyclops: Nice work, X-Men... My girlfriend is very weird.
  • Those who read Mortadelo y Filemón (a Spanish comic book that parodies spy films such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) will see this trope being done at least once per story, either to make them accept to be guinea pigs to Bacterio's inventions, to make them do things that they would not do save under duress or due to botching up their mission. Examples include: being forced to watch ALL of Chuck Norris' TV films; being forced to see a whole season of a TV series that has been written by their boss; being forced to eat something that is not normally eaten (books, bowling balls...); being forced to hear a particularly horrible song so many times that they go mad; being forced to see the State of the Country Address several hundreds of times (hilariously played with in the El ordenador... ¡Qué horror!)... and so many more that makes you laugh with how inventive Ibáñez gets in each comic book.
  • An issue of Incredible Hercules had Phobos showing Pluto his worst fear: Care Bears and My Little Ponies... then he threatened to bring on the children's rock band. Pluto cracked.
  • In Empowered volume 1: When the Caged Demonwolf mocks Thugboy for being pussy-whipped, Thugboy gets revenge by making the Demonwolf watch Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood all night long.
  • Dori Seda wrote a story about hell. John Belushi has to make Adolf Hitler, Marquis de Sade and Albert Fisk laugh. John Wayne is married to Oscar Wilde. And Moe Howard is forced to watch My Dinner with Andre forever.
  • Judge Dredd: During the reign of the mad Chief Judge Cal, two Judges ordered to keep Dredd captive let him get away, and fear that Cal will do something horrible and possibly lethal to them as punishment. When Cal shows up, though, the two Judges have donned baggy women's dresses, and claim that they were ordered to do it as punishment by Judge Fish, Cal's most trusted Judge and friend, as well as an actual goldfish whose sapience and capacity for authority and law doesn't exist outside of Cal's insane mind. Cal decides that it would look bad for command integrity if he were to gainsay Fish's decisions, so he lets them off the hook.
  • The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers had a story arc with them moving to the country with three women. When Fat Freddy takes the female side in a square-off, his two friends grab him and 'persuade' him to change his position. The women can only hear his cries of anguish until they capitulate — and we see Freddy has been tied up while his friends eat all their food just out of reach.
  • In the German Lindenstrasse comic, when the character (apparently in the comic, the series is more like reality TV) gets forced to make an election ad praising Helmut Kohl, she imagines binding him to a chair and not giving him any food for at least 3.5 hours or so.
  • Superlópez: In Los Alienígenas, captured alien spy Xonxa boasts that her shape-shifting species is virtually unkillable:
    Xonxa: Our bodies are like rubber! My people only die of old age or boredom.
    Superlópez: Funny you should mention that: we happen to have this big collection of Manolo Escobar films...
  • MAD artist "Duck" Edwing did this several times for his "Tales from the Duck Side" one-page comics. For instance, in one of them, a condemned prisoner was executed by gas chamber, the "gas" provided by a basketball team - who had just finished a game - putting their feet into the chamber. (One correction officer complains, "I still say this is cruel and unusual punishment".)
  • At one point in PS238, Zodon is disciplined by being forced to watch a non-stop marathon of The Facts of Life.
  • Big Trouble in Little China shows us a few of the many Hells, and basically all those that aren't horrific torture forever are this. A few examples...
    • The Hell of the Oily Dragon, where people are forced to dress in lingerie and spread stinky oil over a dragon's back for eternity.
    • The Hell of People Who Were Killed by Idiots, where Lo Pan went after being killed by Jack Burton; their punishment is being forced to admit the embarrassing way that they died, before getting whacked in the back of the head by a derpy-faced oni holding a stick, then to repeat this process forever.
  • In a Super Goof story, the Beagle Boys tricked the hero into taking a hunger amplifying formula so he'd be too busy eating to come after them. He eventually stopped eating long enough to catch them, and the Police Chief arranged for a gym membership to help the hero work off the extra weight. Super Goof replied by saying he knew some other guys who could use it too. In the last scene, Goofy is working out with weights, while the Beagles are in steam cabinets - under guard - dreading how they'll look skinny and groaning how they'll never be the same.
  • The whole point of Stardust the Super Wizard was to inflict particularly deranged and horrifying punishments on a bunch of Asshole Victims. The results must be seen to be believed.
  • In an early Hellblazer issue, John Constantine is hung upside-down by demons in front of a TV screen with an election broadcast. The torture element is the fact that Margaret Thatcher wins the election – and even having triumphed over demon stock brokers (yes, this is a subtle comic) Constantine still remains suspended, doomed to watch Iron Lady gloat until morning. "Like I said, more than one road to Hell."
  • Spider-Man once coerced someone into helping him by threatening to sing YMCA in German until they helped him.
  • G.I. Joe (Devil's Due) has Beach Head as their Drill Sergeant Nasty. At one point, a Joe greenshirt recruit screws up and Beach Head puts him on Punishment Detail, saying that if he were a cruel man he'd sentence the guy to Toothbrush Floor Scrubbing. Beach Head is being perfectly honest with the recruit: he's not a cruel person...because he's a mean person who orders the guy to scrub the barracks with a potato instead. It gets the desired result—the barracks was clean (sorta), the recruit learned his lesson, and he ends up more motivated than ever to show Beach Head up by becoming a Joe.
  • Combined with a Hell that's not so much 'ironic' as 'surreal' in Nextwave. The punishment you face in Hell for telling your kids to get a proper job is to be used as a bucket by giant weasels dressed as cheerleaders.
  • The Simpsons: One Treehouse of Horror comic has Comic Book Guy wind up in Hell (he'd accidentally killed himself earlier in the issue). He's tied up in front of a TV showing an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer filled with continuity errors, with a computer juuuust out of reach, preventing him from going online to complain.
    Comic Book Guy: Worst. Hell. Ever.
  • Asterix
    • Asterix in Switzerland: There is an orgy centered around a fondue. Lose your bread in the cheese cauldron, get beaten with a stick. Lose it again, get whipped. Lose a third time, get thrown in the nearby lake with weights on the feet. The orgygoer who keeps losing his piece of bread, Malodorus Caseus, seems almost as delighted as his fellow revellers when he incurs these punishments.
    • Caesar can come up with fairly interesting punishments for minions who promised to finally defeat the irreducible Gauls but failed or have otherwise angered him:
      • In Asterix the Gaul he discovers that Crismus Bonus was trying to discover the secret of the Gauls' strength to overthrow him, so [[Uriah Gambit he assigns him to quell a rebellion... In Outer Mongolia. It's unknown if the Han Dynasty appreciated the help.
      • In Asterix and the Black Gold, Doubleosix and Surreptitius tried to plot against Caesar, resulting in him not knowing Getafix couldn't make the magic potion until after he managed to replace an ingredient... So, as a joke on them using a trained fly to deliver messages, he has them smeared in honey and sicks on them an entire swarm of flies.
      • In Asterix and Obelix All at Sea he had promised admiral Crustacius, "The silliest sausage in Rome", to throw him to the lions if he failed to recover his personal galley. The ship ends up sunk, but Crustacius has been turned to stone... So Caesar, having promised, has him put in the arena as a statue "In memory of the silliest Sausage in Rome", hoping he will one day spontaneously turn back while the lions are about.
      • Asterix and Caesar's Gift features the most hilarious (and devastating, at least in his intentions), given to a legionaire due for discharge who spent his entire service drunk and passed his last night as a soldier in a jail for being drunk and disorderly and insulting Caesar on top of it: rather than have him thrown to the lions or discharge him without the traditional gift of a plot of land, he gifts him the village of the irreducible Gauls. He can be seen trying not to laugh, knowing exactly how the Gauls would react to a Roman soldier claiming he owns their village.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert:
    • The pointy-haired boss punished Wally's lack of performance, by forcing Wally to watch him eat!
    • There have been several times in which Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light has "darned" someone to "Heck", sentencing them to no change in their situation whatsoever. But then for most Dilbert characters, that's certainly a horrible thing to do.
    • In an infamous strip, Wally suggests wearing an "uncomfortable hat" as compensation for working from home one day a week. The pointy-haired boss approves, but adds that it "has to be really uncomfortable". The last panel shows a purple-faced Wally with out-of-place glasses sporting a C-CLAMP as a hat.
      Wally: The joke's on him! It isn't that uncomfortable.
  • The Far Side: many and varied, from variations on Hell ("this is your room, Maestro" [room filled with thirty banjo players]) to the mysterious object known only as "Mr. Thingy".
    • Apparently Charlie Parker's private hell involves listening to nothing but New Age music.
    • One father's dreaded punishment is to subject his young wayward son to a droning lecture complete with an overhead projector displaying helpful diagrams.
  • In The Boondocks, this is combined with a Take That! when Granddad punishes Riley in one strip by making him go see Catwoman (2004).
  • Garfield: Jon is ticketed in one strip for singing in his car at a stoplight with the windows down; he's required to pay a fine and carry a pitch pipe in his car at all times. ("I've heard you sing," says Garfield, "you got off easy.")
  • Grand Avenue: Video rental store policy: "WARNING: Stiff penalty if video not rewound!" That penalty being that upon your next visit, they make you watch twenty minutes of an "Ernest" movie. On your second offense, it's an Adam Sandler film.
  • Non Sequitur: "Dog heaven is where the bad squirrels go." A similar joke was once made about the "paradise" for suicide bombers being a form of hell for young women.
  • Pops up a lot in Beetle Bailey:
    • In one strip, there was this exchange:
    Sarge: Your fingernails are dirty.
    Beetle: Oh dear, I must have forgot my manicure appointment.
    Sarge: (annoyed) I have a cure for wise guys...
    • He then made Beetle give free manicures to the whole camp.
    • In another strip, Beetle, who is on KP, accidentally squirts whipped cream in Cookie's face, and then laughs at him. Cookie, who isn't amused, orders him to stand at attention, then sprays the whipped cream all over him. (Of course, Captain Scabbard and Lieutenant Flapp walk in on the last panel, the latter quickly deciding he's eating at the PX tonight.)
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • In one strip, Calvin is imagining himself in his Spaceman Spiff persona where he's abducted by a tribe of enemy aliens, who decided to put him through the "torture" of having his hair washed.
    • Another Sunday Strip has Spiff's alien captor (revealed in the last panel to be Calvin's dad) putting him through the wringer... by taking him to a mundane living room and talking about wholesome principles (including that Misery Builds Character).
  • Frequently invoked by the Snorklewhacker in charge of Binkley's Closet of Anxieties from Bloom County:
    Snorklewhacker: We have a choice of anxieties for you tonight, Binkley; a convention of PM Magazine hosts, Jesse Helms explaining at length why Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist, or a huge Binkley-eating python.
    Binkley: I'll take the python. (turns to the reader) Heck, I'm no glutton for punishment.
  • In his regular strip They'll Do It Every Time, Jimmy Hatlo created a supplemental pannel called The Hatlo Inferno, that portraited jerks being punished according to their wrongdoings in life. The guy who never dimed the high-lights is forced to drive on a small road full of curves with a blinding spotlight on his face. The ice-cream hawker who played his bell when people were trying to sleep is locked in a cell full of monkeys shaking bells, and guys who passed with open umbrellas under marquees are barred from taking shelter under one by devils carrying umbrellas while it's raining lava rocks.

    Films – Animation 
  • In The Amazing Maurice, Malicia is punished by her father by being locked out of her room (which is where she keeps her enormous personal library).
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Sweet threatens the dirt-loving geologist Mole with soap if he doesn't leave Milo alone. Mole hisses and recoils like a vampire confronted with a crucifix, fleeing for his bunk.
  • In Casper's Haunted Christmas, Casper's failure to scare anyone results in Kibosh, the King of Ghosts revoking the Ghostly Trio's Scare Licenses and banishing them and Casper to Kriss, Massachusetts, the "most Christmassy place on Earth". Why? Because the Trio hates Christmas! (Casper doesn't get off scot free, however. If he can't scare someone by Christmas Day, the punishment will be far worse...)
  • A Monster in Paris uses this for the ultimate fate of the villain, Maynott, for trying to murder Francœr - locked in a cell with a pair of bad singers. That he had jailed, at that.
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Mr. Krabs tortures Plankton by... getting SpongeBob to laugh at a knock-knock joke. Hard.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, for all the grief he wrought both in the Mushroom Kingdom and Brooklyn, Bowser is force-fed a Mini Mushroom, bottled up and locked away in an empty room in a literal gilded cage... with only a piano for entertainment. For extra "cool and unusual" points, the room said cage is in is within Peach's castle, meaning he got to be with her... just not in the way he wanted.
  • At the end of Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete the Prospector ends up being stuffed into a child's backpack full of damaged Barbie dolls (freaking out because he'd valued his mint-in-box condition). It's revealed sometime after that film's events (in an extra that was on the web site but sadly is gone and not on the DVD), Pete comes to enjoy his new life because it means he's being played with— the true purpose of toys.
  • In Toy Story 3, Barbie gets Ken to spill the beans about how to reverse Buzz's Brainwashed and Crazy status by...tying him up and tearing his clothes apart in front of him. Destroying a pair of Hawaiian swim trunks and then a glitter tux doesn't faze him, but when Barbie threatens Ken's Nehru jacket, he cracks.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph wants some information from Sour Bill, a jawbreaker. But when he won't talk, Ralph licks him. After he still refuses to talk, Ralph puts him in his mouth and sucks on him for a bit. That gets Sour Bill to tell Ralph what he knows. Granted the threat is basically being slowly eaten alive, so we'll excuse him for being terrified.

    Films – Live-Action 
  • In Full Metal Jacket, the gunnery Sgt. finds a jelly donut in "Private Pyle's" footlocker. One would think he'd sentence him to extra PE, but instead he forces "Pyle" to eat the donut and watch his teammates be subjected to grueling exercises. They weren't very happy with him. Later (after many such group punishments, though) he gets tied down to his bunk and beaten with bars of soap in socks by the entire platoon.
  • In The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Adam threatens to sing after being locked out of the bus. He carries through with the threat but is unsuccessful and spends the night outside.
  • In The Pink Panther Strikes Again, the method Dreyfus used to torture the professor's daughter was by scratching a chalkboard with a huge metal gauntlet.
    • This also happens, likely as a parody, in one episode of TaleSpin
    • And in a "Marvel What-The" parody, with Wolverine putting his claws to good use against the Punisher.
  • When the titular character of Ace Ventura attempts to interrogate the bad guy who's not really the bad guy, he pulls out a sharp knife and a fork, rubs them together menacingly... and promptly proceeds to scratch them together on an empty plate in an extremely annoying way which, almost understandably, causes the victim to grimace in pain. When that fails to break his will, Ventura proceeds to lean over the victim, and pushes his own eye in its socket in a rather disgusting way, making the bad guy shout out "Uggh, stop it! My brother used to do it to me!" This finally gets him to spill the beans on the Evil Plan, which he's not part of.
  • The "Fistful of Yen" sequence in The Kentucky Fried Movie includes a CIA agent who responds defiantly to the villain's every threat- but turns yellow when he learns what'll happen to him. "Take him to Detroit!" In the Spanish dub, he's taken to Madrid instead.
    • The line is translated in the German dub as "Wir schicken dich zur strafe nach Zürich!"English translation 
  • In the incredibly bizarre Mexican Santa Claus (1959), Satan threatens to force Pitch to eat ice cream should he fail in his mission against Santa.
  • Addams Family Values.
    • The Harmony Hut, a small cabin full of posters of babies with inspirational messages, stuffed animals, and complete video library of happy, cheery feel-good children's movies (mostly animated Disney movies cute flicks like The Sound of Music). The camp counselors forced Wednesday, Pugsley, and their friend Joel to spend time there watching the movies for not participating in camp activities.
    • Earlier in the film, when forced to tell a ghost story with the girls in her cabin, Wednesday ends the story in the most terrifying fashion: the ghost in the story punishes the girls who doubted its power by making their old noses grow back overnight.
  • Played With in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. The dudes misinterpret the concept of the "iron maiden".
  • In Spaceballs, Dark Helmet uses Princess Vespa to force her father to give the combination to his planet's air shield. He threatens to use a plastic surgeon to restore her old nose. It leans back into regular cruelty when you realize there's no anesthetic in the shot anywhere.
    • A downplayed example; Dark Helmet is fond of carrying out a Groin Attack on any poor Mook that fails him. With an Agony Beam from his Dark Schwartz ring. Hilarity Ensues, along with a Running Gag of the Spaceballs covering their groins when they think Helmet's about to use it on them.
  • Top Secret!. Nick Rivers is being interrogated.
    Colonel: He won't break. We've tried everything! ...Do you want me to bring out the Leroy Neiman paintings?
    General: No. We cannot risk violating the Geneva Convention.
  • In Dogma, in punishment for defying God, Bartleby and Loki are forced to live for all eternity in Wisconsin. It was going to be New Jersey, but God wasn't going to be that horrible.
    • Additionally, in one of the deleted scenes, Azrael mentions that one of Hell's punishments is watching Mrs. Doubtfire several times in a row.
  • Woody Allen used this trope, a lot. Examples include:
    • Take the Money and Run: Being locked inside "The Box" with an insurance salesman.
    • Bananas: Being forced to listen to Naughty Marietta.
    • Zelig: Leonard's parents often locked him in a closet as punishment. When they were really angry, they got in the closet with him.
    • Sleeper: Apparently, the worst criminals were forced to watch Howard Cosell as an extreme form of punishment.
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, in addition to sending him to London Tower, King Richard punishes the treacherous Prince John by naming all of the toilets in England after him.
    • As part of being taken to the Tower of London, John was made part of the tour there. Yeesh.
  • In the John Candy movie Delirious, Candy's character uses Reality Warper powers to remove Robert Wagner from his immediate vicinity (rather than killing him)... by sending him to Cleveland. He later returns:
    Candy: But I sent you to Cleveland!
    Wagner: I know. I should kill you for that alone.
  • In Dude, Where's My Car?, the Jesse and Chester are arrested and brought to the police station for interrogation. Once in the interrogation room, in order to coerce them into talking, the detectives bring in a mannequin and begin beating it. This proves unbearable to Jesse and Chester.
    "Leave him alone, he doesn't know anything!"
    • Near the end of the movie, the alien protectors of the Continuum Transfunctioner plan to punish the (other alien) thieves by banishing them to Hoboken, NJ (though they never get the chance).
    • Actually, only one of them is upset by the mannequin beating. The other one thinks the cops are nuts. He's right.
  • This is how the plot gets rolling in the first The Mighty Ducks movie. Jerkass lawyer Gordon Bombay is arrested for drunk driving - but because he's been such a jerk to so many in the legal profession, including the judge that hands him his sentence, he's forced to coach the titular peewee hockey team as his community service.
  • J-Men Forever (1979). A Nazi torturer threatens American agent Spy Swatter (a Gag Dubbed Spy Smasher) with music and a Hurricane of Puns. "If we can't spring some info from you, we'll make you listen to Donna Summer all winter, until you fall."
  • In One, Two, Three, the communist who married the daughter of Coca Cola's CEO is being tortured in East Germany... by being forced to listen to "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polkadot Bikini" on repeat for hours on end. He writhes in pain. (He's finally driven over the edge when they start playing the record on an off-center hole.)
  • From The Last Boy Scout:
    Milo: Just once, I would like to hear you scream in pain.
    Joe Hallenbeck: Play some rap music.
  • At the beginning of Super Troopers, Ramathorn and Rabbit pull over a car of young stoners high on marijuana and 'shrooms. As punishment, Ramathorn wants to watch them while they smoke a whole plastic bag of reefer. We are never shown if they end up doing that, as Mac chooses this moment to drive by at high speed on an impounded car. After they catch up with Mac, they come up with a different punishment: Mac pretends to shoot the other cops (he's dressed in civvies) then takes their cruiser for a ride, along with the scared trio of stoners.
  • The Knights Who Say "Ni" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would torment people with their catchphrase ("Ni!") until they caved in to their demands.
    • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life has a criminal executed by being chased through town and off a cliff by naked women, although it's mentioned he was allowed to choose his demise.
  • Mouth to Mouth: The punishment for stealing wine is chewing and swallowing six chillies. It's more painful than it sounds.
  • In Men of Honor when Carl Brashear arrives at the Diving and Salvage School he sees a soldier standing on a pedestal with his pants around his ankles, banging a cooking pot with a wooden spoon and shouting "I! Stole! A Pot! I! Stole! A Pot! I! Stole! A Pot!" over and over.
  • Saving Mr. Banks - P.L. Travers acts punished in this way through most of the movie.
    "What horrors do you have in store for my beautiful characters today?"
  • One word: Barbarella. Excessive Machine. Hey, Durand Durand wants to kill Barbarella that way, so it is a punishment. Now stop insisting "I want to change places with her!" Unfortunately for Durand, Barbarella is too intense for the machine and overloads it.
    • If there is something like a "spy porn" genre, torturing the heroine (or the villainess (or both)) with multiple orgasms until she dies (or blows the secret (or both)) must be a staple thereof. Example: A softcore James Bond parody where the Big Bad tortures his Mookess who had a High-Heel–Face Turn using a giant python. (Of course nothing is actually shown.)
  • In Idiocracy, Joe is sentenced to a single night of rehabilitation for failing to save the world. This seems to be a fairly mild punishment, until he finds out that 'rehabilitation' is essentially a public execution by means of insanely oversized monster trucks sporting flamethrowers, giant drills and other nasty weaponry.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), the Turtles dread the ha-shi, where they have to perform balancing acts while simultaneously doing another task for hours on end.
    • Leonardo: doing the splits on cinderblocks while balancing eggs on single chopsticks and on his head.
    • Raphael: maintaining a crane stance on a tricycle while knitting.
    • Donatello: standing on a balance board while keeping ping-pong balls in the air. He's starting to get nauseous.
    • Michelangelo: doing a handstand on a swivel chair. He's actually starting to enjoy himself until Splinter brings out a pizza and starts listing off the impossible list of ingredients.
      Michelangelo: Guys! I'm in the zone! There is literally nothing that can break me right now!
      Splinter: throws a box of pizza onto a table in front of Mikey
      Michelangelo: Starting to break.
  • At the end of Paddington (2014) antagonist Millicent is sentenced to community service in a petting zoo, which considering her attempted murder throughout the film, is a pretty light punishment, but her horrified reaction drives the trope through in a hilarious way.
  • In The Football Factory, Billy discovers that Zeberdee and Raff robbed his house, so he kidnaps them and tortures them to admit it, by making his children throw darts at their stomachs until they confessed.
  • Deadpool (2016) threatens one mook with death by zamboni.
    "TELL ME WHERE YOUR FUCKING BOSS IS, OR YOU'RE GONNA DIE!" (inches slowly down the ice) "...IN FIVE MINUTES!"
  • In Mental, Trout submits Trevor not the the threatened shock rod, but rather a series of acoustic guitar songs. It looks like Trevor would have preferred the Electric Torture...
  • In Beetlejuice, the titular character, after being summoned, punishes Otho (a yuppie snob) by magically tearing off his stylish black and red suit (with a Finger Gun) to reveal a tacky, powder-blue leisure suit. Otho screams and runs away in horror.
    • People who commit suicide are punished in the afterlife by having to work as civil servants, doing menial office tasks in the afterlife processing center for all eternity.
  • The Goblin King in Labyrinth sends disobedient underlings to the Bog of Eternal Stench.
  • Inglorious Basterds: Aldo Raine expresses a desire to force Nazis to wear their uniform for the rest of their life, so everyone will know that they were a Nazi. However, he admits that simply isn't practical, as sooner or later they will simply have to take it off. So he gives them a little something they can't take off...
  • Prom Wars:
    • Jen B. gets caught going down on Geoffrey in his car when none of the girls are supposed to date or make out with the boys from either of the neighboring schools until after the prom competition. As punishment, Jen B. has to be the peer counselor for the Motor Mouth freshmen girls.
    • When Jen L's friends overhear her breaking the contest rules by giving the Selby students inside information, she gets punished by being forced to spend some time cheerleading, which she is very unenthusiastic about.

  • A writer dies and St. Peter gives him his choice between heaven and hell. He's shown hell and all the writers are chained to desks and being whipped to write faster. He says no, and asks to see heaven. In heaven all the writers are, again, chained to desks and being whipped to write faster. Frustrated, he asks St. Peter what the difference is. "Oh, in heaven you get published!"
  • Two friends - a handsome, rich young businessman and his scruffy, jobless childhood companion - are in an accident and go to Heaven. When they get there, the place is overrun with ducks. Saint Peter explains, "Though the Lord made us in his image, he is quite fond of ducks. Should you harm one, you will be punished for your negligence but still within the glory of His Kingdom." They meet up later, and the rich man is chained to a loud, rude, and domineering battle-axe. "I stepped on a duck, and I'm on probation. She's my warden," he explained. Much later, they meet again. As they approach each other, the rich man sees the bum chatting happily at length with a tall, beautiful woman. The rich man exclaims, "Wow! What did you do to deserve this?!" The woman then holds up their shackled wrists and says "I don't know about him, but I stepped on a duck."

  • Nautilus Pompilius: The curse in the song "Juliet" ("Let no one ever love him. Let he never die.") can be considered as such.
  • Happens in "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Everything You Know Is Wrong". Violate Heaven's dress code? Enjoy your eternity being subjected to some of the greatest annoyances the big guy upstairs can think of (case in point: the protagonist is placed in the room next to the noisy ice machine and subjected to St. Peter's constant screaming of the song's refrain).

    Myths and Religion 
  • Older Than Feudalism: Classical Mythology was rife with brutal physical torture, but also featured several bizarre and less obviously torturous punishments. A few potent examples include...:
    • Tantalus, whose punishment for killing his son and serving him as a meal to the gods was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any. Thus was born the word tantalize.
    • Sisyphus was a sly and crafty king who was cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.
    • Atlas, who Zeus condemned to hold the sky on his shoulders. (This is usually misinterpreted as the Earth.)
    • Medusa was already a little too pretty for Athena's liking, but the last straw was when she had the sheer gall of getting raped inside one of Athena's temples, and by a God at that (Poseidon, if you're curious). Most wise Athena must have been in a blaming-the-victim mood that day because she turned her into, well, the Medusa (or, it could be that she had no authority to punish her uncle). (That was the version given by Ovid in The Metamorphoses. Most earlier versions aren't clear on the "rape" part, a term that has an ambiguous meaning in Greek myths, and in this case would have more to do with Athena's consent, not Medusa's.) Some scholars think that Medusa was deliberately Cursed with Awesome so that she'd Never Be Hurt Again, citing that the Emblem of Medusa was often used to denote a women's shelter.
      • In another version, Aphrodite turned Medusa into a monster for the crime of being prettier than the Goddess of Love and Beauty.
    • Athena is also on record for turning Arachne into a spider. There are various versions of just exactly why:
      • Arachne was punished for hubris. She proclaimed that she was a better weaver than Athena. When you're dealing with the Greek pantheon, it's really not wise to make those kinds of boasts.
      • In another version, Arachne challenged Athena to a weaving contest, and while Athena admitted that Arachne's weaving was technically flawless, the image that Arachne wove was one of the gods and goddesses acting like idiots and making fools of themselves. So the punishment was for, on top of everything else, not showing proper respect to the gods. Athena was generally one of the more level-headed deities in the myths, but apparently one can push even her too far.
      • Still a third version has Arachne hanging herself after seeing how much better Athena was. Athena saw her bloated, hanging body, and took pity on her, restoring her to life as a spider (arachne in Greek), a creature with a bloated body that hangs from a thread and weaves it to live.
    • Echo, a nymph with a bad habit of gossiping, was stripped of her voice by Hera when the goddess realized that Echo was distracting her from searching for her wayward husband, Zeus. Later, after seeing how utterly miserable Echo had become, Hera had a slight change of heart, and returned Echo's voice to her, changing it so that she could only repeat whatever she heard. Things got worse when she fell in love with Narcissus, and Eros tried and failed to make him fall in love with her: Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection, and broke Echo's heart when he proclaimed his love for his own reflection in stereo. Heartbroken, Echo pined away until all that was left of her was her voice, while Narcissus stared at his own reflection until he starved to death, whereupon the first of the eponymous flowers sprang up at the site of his death.
      • Some versions of the story have his ashes being scattered at the spot where the first such flowers shortly started growing.
  • In the tale of William Tell, Albrecht Gessler punishes Tell for not bowing to his hat by forcing him to shoot an apple off his son's head with a crossbow, knowing that if he failed he would have a very high chance of maiming or killing his own son. Give Gessler some villain points for creativity, but take them away again for failing to realize that Tell's Improbable Aiming Skills would make him a Folk Hero on the spot.

  • Our Miss Brooks: When Miss Brooks accidentally derails Mr. Conklin's promotion in "Rumors", Mr. Conklin punishes Miss Brooks by forcing her to do his family's laundry.
  • In The Goon Show version of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Neddy Seagoon is taken to Room 101 to face the worst thing in the world. The theme tune to the Soap Opera Mrs Dale's Diary starts to play. Seagoon's collapse is immediate.
  • In Old Harry's Game, while many punishments of the damned are quite gruesome and sadistic, a couple are like this. In one instance, the protagonists are tortured by having demons act out dialogue from Jeffrey Archer novels. Another instance involved Thomas, the Butt-Monkey and a reprehensible person in life being stripped and painted like a zebra and sentenced to be eaten by crocodiles. However, the actual punishment was that the crocodiles would come up to him and open their jaws, but do nothing- thereby torturing him with the anxiety of waiting for the punishment to begin.
    • Mention should also be made of "The Pit of Eternally Pregnant Popes"
    • "This is Satan at his most cruel, I think. Except for that time he made you strip naked and fry that extremely fatty baby."
  • The radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978) first introduced Vogon poetry being used by Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz to torture Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect after he caught them hitchhiking. For the audience's sake only short bits of it are heard between the screaming and the Guide's explanation.
  • Bleak Expectations: The villain Mr Benevolent has his nemesis Pip Bin at his mercy, and rather than kill him, decides to do this. It starts off low-key (serving him red wine with overdone fish, flicking him with a wet towel) then moves on to more insidious acts (giving him the latest novels, then spoiling the endings)
    Mr Benevolent: By the way, the first Mrs Rochester still lives in the attic.
    • Then we see the cruellest punishment imaginable. Cheeseboarding. This involves force-feeding Pip truly ridiculous amounts of cheese without so much as a cracker, or even some chutney, until he begins to go mad.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Paranoia adventure "Clones in Space," an alien race with a highly developed aesthetic sense uses torture methods based on poor taste (Waylon Jennings records, Three Stooges videos, etc.) The Game Master is advised to actually procure the media and subject the players to it, all the while groaning and feigning agony at his/her own exposure to it.
  • Played with in Warhammer 40,000. There's a tale told about a group of Orks that ventured into the Eye of Terror and landed on a Khorne-Controlled world. Every day they are forced to fight to the death against enemies they can never beat, only to be raised the next day to repeat the cycle. What would be living hell for anyone else is basically an Orky Valhalla.

  • In Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, the Mikado (the Emperor of Japan) sings a song about clever ways to "let the punishment fit the crime".
    • In Princess Ida King Hildenbrand "tortures" King Gama by ensuring that everything is exactly the way he likes it and everyone is extremely polite to him. Therefore King Gama has absolutely nothing to complain about—to a misanthropist like him, a horrible torture.
  • No Exit is famous for this. In it, Hell is a normal-looking hotel where three sinners, chosen specifically to get on each other's nerves, are locked in a room together... forever. And it's not even really locked- the door pops open at the end. Nobody leaves, since they all have some flaw that prevents them from leaving the others (Garcin wants Inez to validate him, Inez is in love with Estelle, who in turn wants to get together with Garcin).

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: When you are arrested in the Shivering Isles, the realm in which the eponymous expansion takes place, you get the usual options of paying a fine or going to jail. Going to jail, however, places you in a dungeon, along with a box of weapons. While you could simply serve your sentence, you are encouraged to go on a dangerous Dungeon Crawl without your standard inventory in order to earn your freedom.
  • In Sam and Max: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball, our heroes interrogate card shark Leonard Steakcharmer by torturing him with... "Yo mama" jokes. Seems Steakcharmer is rather sentimental about his late mother. Each of the personal hells in "What's New, Beelzebub?" qualifies as this trope too.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice introduces the religion of Khura'inism, whose version of Hell seems to consist mostly of this. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi threatens characters with damnation to "The Hell of Tickling" (where the damned experience Tickle Torture for 500 million years, and is considered the worst punishment possible) and "The Hell of Hangnails", (where the damned have hangnails ripped out of their fingers for 800 million years).
      • When discovering that Ema had failed to do a blood analysis on a potential alternate crime scene, he decides to punish her by forcing her to listen to one of his sermons for eight hours straight.
  • In Disgaea, Laharl is physically injured by both optimism and women with sexy bodies. One of his enemies takes advantage of this, attacking with Succubi who constantly spout phrases like "world peace" and "eternal love". His attack power is cut in half in that level.
    • Sinful human souls in Disgaea must atone for their sins either by doing good deeds for free in Celestia, or through torturous, unending labor (which typically involves, among other things, being used as a living hand-grenade by your assigned boss) for minimum wage in the Netherworld. The cool and unusual part? For either job, you have to do it in the body of an explosive demon penguin, dood. Furthermore, since Netherworld Prinnies absolutely need the money to earn reincarnation, the one thing a Prinny fears more than anything: Getting their salary cut. This actually becomes a plot point in Disgaea Infinite.
  • In Animal Crossing, you get chewed out by Resetti the mole if you reset the game without saving. His rants are quite amusing, and some players keep resetting just to see everything he says.
    • Sadly (Or thankfuly) You could not do this on the DS Lite. But thanks to the DSi's power button functioning as a soft reset, players can do this over and over and over and over and over and over and over
  • In Chibi-Robo!, when Chibi plugs in to recharge, if the player mashes buttons in an effort to rush through Telly's save dialog (and on a heavy "15 minute" day this can be as many as 3-5 recharges), then when Chibi goes to unplug he gets harmlessly whacked with a pan or can top dropped from above, further delaying the game. Telly (a FLYING television) denies it, of course, stating he has no idea where it came from, but counts the number of times it has happened.
  • In Retro Game Challenge, you the player have been sent back in time to the 1980's. Your only way back? Beat the Game Master's classic gaming challenges, facing the horror of being forced to play mockups of old NES games, now with less Guide Dang It!, Fake Difficulty and overall better game quality than on average!
  • In Evil Genius, one of the possible tortures your minions can inflict on your enemies is forcing them to watch as the minion does Michael Jackson dance moves.
  • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Empress Sanaki threatens to punish Sephiran/Lehran by drowning him in a pool of rancid butter.
  • In Persona 3, during the hot springs scene. If you don't succeed in the stealth minigame, Mitsuru will "execute" the male cast members. It is never explained what this means (as everyone agrees to never speak of it again).
    • It's implied that "execution" is being frozen alive by her Persona's (Ice) power, and if you ask Mitsuru about it the following week, she says that she does indeed remember the "execution" and asks if you would like another.
    • There's also this bit much earlier in the game, when Junpei is tormenting Yukari with her fear of ghosts.
      Yukari: Oh my god, Stupei! I can't sleep like this!
      Junpei: I'd be happy to sleep with you, if it helps…
      Yukari: *sigh* Maybe I should call the police, or better yet, Mitsuru-senpai.
      Junpei: Please… Anything but that!
    • Tanaka threatens the protagonist with these during his Social Link conversations to keep him from revealing his secrets. Punishments include ringing his doorbell every night at midnight and putting his picture on a dating site for former convicts.
  • Zelda CDI: "After you've scrubbed all the floors in Hyrule, then we can talk about mercy!" Although likely unintentional, this particular punishment could be far more severe than it sounds, as Hyrule has several monster-infested dungeons, trying to scrub the floors of which would be an assured death to anyone who is not a legendary hero.
    • Prime example of Memetic Mutation: taken to hilarious lengths by YouTube user FriendlyWarlord in his video The King Tries To Watch Rock TV as the king doles out a string of inane punishments to his subjects for disturbing his TV watching.
      King Harkinian: "Link, go into the pit! If you don't hear from me in a month, you will DIE. Zelda, Duke Onkled is under attack by the evil forces of Ganon. If you don't scrub Duke Onkled in a month, send Link."
      Zelda: "But father, wha..."
      Gwonam: "Your majesty!"
      King Harkinian: "Enough! Squadalah, after you've scrubbed all the floors in Hyrule, scrub all the floors in the pit! Then we can scrub your face."
      Gwonam: "Your majesty, there is no time! All the floors in Hyrule is enough."
      King Harkinian: "If you don't scrub all the floors in a month, scrub Zelda."
      Gwonam: "Your majesty..."
      King Harkinian: "If you squadalah in a month, you will DIE!"
      Mayor Kravindish: "This is illegal, you know."
      King Harkinian: "Take him away! If you don't hear from me in the pit, you must DIE."
      Zelda: "You've got to be kidding..."
      King Harkinian: "If you don't die in a month, you will DIE."
      Zelda: "But father, wh-"
      King Harkinian: "Link, take the instructions into the pit! If you don't squadalah in a month, you will DIE!"
      Link: "Huh??"
  • Higurashi Daybreak: The tickling machine.
  • Runescape: Traditional methods of torture aren't working on the zombie pirate decapitated head in "A Clockwork Syringe". It's time to bust out the dreaded "Twiblik Night Special". After much ceremony, you open the box and reveal...wigs, make-up, and women's clothing. O...kay? After being mercilessly dressed up in wigs, eye shadow, and lipstick, the distressed zombie finally tells you the location of the villains' secret island hideout.
    • A previous sequence of torturing the same zombie pirate head in the same quest involves you wiggling the zombie's nose, sticking your fingers in its ears, and telling Your Mom jokes. The pirate quests aren't exactly serious business.
  • In Portal 2, GLaDOS plans to kill Wheatley after burning him for a year, freezing him for a year, and then subjecting him to screaming robots for a decade.
  • Stay Tooned! plays this trope for laughs in a torture chamber with a suspended TV (actually being the start of a minigame).
    • "Electrocution?" "No, even worse, GAME SHOWS!"
  • In the Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance sidestory "External Gazer", Solidus enacts the sinister plan of harnessing VR missions to affect reality, and subjects Snake to torture... by forcing him to play as Raiden.
  • In Street Fighter IV, El Fuerte loves cooking for whoever loses against him... Of course, El Fuerte doesn't think this is a punishment. His rivals certianly do, however.
  • Most of the things one can do to a prisoner in Crusader Kings II are simply brutal forms of execution and torture. However, characters with the Poet trait can, in a nod to the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy example above, have intentionally bad poetry read to their prisoners. This has a 5% chance of driving the victim completely insane.
  • Frederic: Resurrection of Music:
    • Sheriff is forced to dance to Swan Lake after losing.
    • In the ending, Mastermind X is forced to listen to the "music substitute" he created. According to him, this can cause poisoning.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Old World Blues has the Courier speaking to his own brain as a separate entity (long story), who is quite flippant and sarcastic with them. Threaten to smash the brain's tank, and it calls your bluff; you'd be truly lobotomized then. Threaten to force it back into your skull and watch lots and lots of TV, however, will genuinely scare it and get it to cooperate a little more, and it'll call you a monster if you follow that threat up with chasing the dose of television with a Gargle Blaster every night. You don't get to do any of these, but you at least get its attention.
  • In Lost Horizon a Nazi interrogator tortures Thomas with three days of nonstop German marching music records.
  • In Dink Smallwood mod Cast Awakening: Initiation Harold the Mad Scientist complains that after Dink killed Seth in the original game, the Cast blamed him and his creations for their failure and made him... take a bath.
  • Played for Laughs on Resident Evil 4 with its joke anti-piracy warning at the end that threatens you with "criminal prosecution from a S.T.A.R.S. member and then some" if you violate their copyright.
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn, each of the tribes have their own kind of punishment for criminals, which plays a part in showing that none of the tribes are quite as "civilized" as they believe themselves to be:
    • The Nora is the mildest, but also the one Aloy is most familiar with, having suffered it for 18 years; Criminals, ranging from thieves to murderers, are deemed Outcast. They are banned from interracting with the tribe, and tribesmen are instructed to ignore them completely. Still, they may remain in the Sacred Land, and it's usually only for a set period. Lifelong outcasts are rare.
    • The Carja have what they refer to as a "fair trial". Specifically, the trial of the sun. Murderers have their mouths filled with salt and left in the burning sun for a few days. If the sun is merciful, they may only lose their eyesight. Or mind.
    • Banuk murderers are banished from the warmth. Their equipment is taken from them, they are stripped of their clothes, and left on a glacier, unable to return to the tribe.
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom: In the Kingdom of Goldpaw, anyone who aquires a gambling debt that they can't pay gets stuck with a magical black bird called a "Duebill". It follows them around yelling "U O ME!" at random intervals until they pay off their debt. It's likely that you can be driven mad from this.
  • In LEGO City Undercover, Chase McCain punishes one of Rex Fury's henchmen, Jimmy, by forcibly feeding him ice cream until he gets genuine Brain Freeze.

    Web Animation 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: In this chapter, Junpei takes his wife Saki to Shingeki Pass as punishment for cheating on him and to scare her into signing the divorce papers. Said pass was a spot for street racers, and Junpei was one of them in the past. That said, he proceeds to drift through the road until she signs the divorce papers. After Saki gets off the car to take a break, Junpei leaves her behind, forcing her to walk home.
  • In one episode of TF2 Analysis, Keyframe and Lightning Bliss went on a rampage after having their Berserk Buttons pressed a few too many times. After everything has calmed down, Dr. Wolf decides to punish them by... sending them on a beach vacation. Without any kind of artistic supplies whatsoever. Key and Bliss are left on the beach, unable to really enjoy themselves at all without being allowed their passion for drawing.
    • A later episode has Silver Quill force Eliyora to wear the Pyro Goggles as payback for selling him out for cinnamon. After Thespio and Jasper Pie manage to get them off, Eliyora is not kind: she ties him up and forces him to binge-watch the entire run of My Little Pony Tales, leaving the luckless hippogriff screaming his head off at the 'nonsensical-ness'.
  • One of the gags of asdfmovie11:
    Judge: I sentence you... to jazz!
    Woman: Nooooo- (gets a trumpet shoved in her mouth)

  • Arcee and Bumblebee chasing Tracks with a Sharpie in Challengeofthe Kreons
  • Ozy and Millie: Millie's mom implies she might suspend her daughter by the toes over a vat of hot cranberry sauce if she doesn't take out the trash.
  • As punishment for stealing his $3 million, Engima of Dragon Tails traps Norman in a cave, auctions his collection of gun magazines on E-Bay, and reads the results out to him (with great enjoyment).
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan threatens to cry in front of the target's family and friends.
      Goblin Teenager: ...what?
      Elan: You heard me. I'll start bawling like a toddler who dropped their ice cream on the sidewalk. In front of your friends, your teachers, any girls you like. And I'll tell them it's because you won't be my friend.
      Goblin Teenager: You wouldn't.
      Elan: I think I'm misting up already.
    • Another earlier episode has Roy forcing two bandits (father and daughter) with some seriously messed up familial issues to spend time together and resolve them. Belkar approves.
    • Nale is far too civilized to torture his brother with a Celine Dion album.
  • Bruno the Bandit has featured novel and definitely annoying forms of torture, from nose-hair plucking to passive-aggressive pirates.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Convicted criminals in the Nemesite Empire may be sentenced to the Lint Mines of Dustworld. "The dust bunnies! Shudder...!"
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • Atheist Hell is spending eternity listening to poorly reasoned arguments for Satan's existence.
    • Regular Hell, on the other hand, looks exactly like Heaven, with one very important difference — you stub your toe every forty-two seconds. Realization takes a few hours to set in.
    • Another hellish punishment: forced to watch a guy using software you know well, but he doesn't know any hotkeys.
    • The dad in this strip, in order to find out which of his kids stole his pie, declares that he will subject them to Trial by Ordeal... by reciting dad-jokes at them.
      Dad: If God knows you to be guiltless, he will spare your ears!
      Daughter: (clearly terrified) But I'm innocent!
      Dad: (leaning in menacingly) Hi, Innocent. I'm Dad.
  • xkcd has a librarian tortured by the sound of a hardback book's spine breaking. Also, Cueball's ex's "creative" restraining order, which requires him to remain more than 500 yards away from her but also less than 600.
  • In a Checkerboard Nightmare strip, Lyle's bosses at the law firm decide to punish him for not winning Chex's latest Frivolous Lawsuit by putting him in a room with the temperature being gradually lowered until he... puts his hands in his pockets. His own pockets. Lyle is utterly unfazed and makes fun of his captors for the "punishment" being nothing more than a bad Evil Lawyer Joke.
  • According to a Penny Arcade strip, Hell has at one point replaced all its elements of torture with perpetual showings of the Tomb Raider movie.
  • In the original run of Tragic Deaths, one of Petalklunk's attempts to kill Mr. Bignose was to give him a bowl of "Death by Chocolate" ice cream.
  • Roomies! had aliens whose idea of torture was forcing people they abducted to watch The Sound of Music. When Joyce turned out to enjoy the movie, the aliens started freaking out instead. They later showed her porn, which, due to her puritanical upbringing, turned out to be a very traumatic experience for her.
    • The punishment turned up again after the comic made the transition to It's Walky! and, once again, Joyce was the only one immune to the torture. This time, she went on a rampage.
  • In El Goonish Shive NP (Newspaper), one of the Canon Discontinuity strips involves several of these between Susan and the deity creator of the game.
  • In Girl Genius, Castle Heterodyne attempts to torture Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer!, by sticking him in a torture chamber. The walls are pink, people have to take a number and wait to see the torturer (and the machine is out of numbers), and the room appears to play Elevator Music. It seems to be specifically designed to torment heroes accustomed to more regular kinds of torture as they go mad 'waiting in line', as none of the non-Othar people thrown into it seem affected.
  • Fruit Incest has the Nethwerrealm, where the victim experiences punishments that provide minor inconveniences at best. Minor inconveniences that quickly stack up until the victim snaps at the realization that they're in a perpetual state of slight dicomfort for all eternity.
  • In Beyond the Canopy, Snopes has a living backpack which he wakes up by threatening, "Git up 'fore I stuff y fulla th' Baron's poems."
  • Bandit from The Whiteboard is forced, via being duct taped to a couch, to watch a Martha Stewart show marathon after pulling a prank on Doc and Roger.
  • Minion Comics features a torturer offering a series of these, including "The Spiky Thing," "The Shocker," and a George Lopez comedy special.
  • Neilen from Dominic Deegan gets on the recieving end of one here. He deserved it, and his reaction is justified.
  • Unwinder's Tall Comics. In "Unwinder Hates Spawn", Unwinder brainstorms a superhero who weilds the powers of Hell: humidity. Incidentally, Unwinder comes up with this idea during the most humid day of summer—a few days later, after the humidity drops, Unwinder looks back over his sketch and wonders how this superhero ever seemed like a good idea.
    Unwinder: But instead of just being really hot and flaming and stuff, it turns out that hell is just really humid.
    Amy Sauce: That is the most agonizing hell imaginable.
  • In Homestuck, the Author Avatar threatens the Big Bad with elevator music each time he tries to gun down another character that's trying to help him. It works.
  • Critical Miss offers one up for gamer parents: load the child's saved games up, severely screw up their playthroughs, and save. In the strip which features it, the child's Skyrim character returns to find their wife murdered and all other saves deleted. It results in a Heroic BSoD.
  • In Savestate, Kade makes Nicole play Superman 64 in hard mode for posting an embarrassing video of him on YouTube.
    Nicole: Doesn't that go against the Geneva Conventions?
  • In Shortpacked!, to avoid being fired, the characters lock their boss Galasso up in a video game cage and run the store themselves for several months. He is eventually freed when the store itself is destroyed, and promptly fires them. A while later, Leslie convinces Galasso to rebuild the store bigger and better than before, and hire them all back. Why would he do the latter? Because it's far more satisfying to have his enemies subjugated than merely defeated. Also, they have to work with Faz.
  • The Patoodines from Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger launch criminals out of a catapult, to a distance determined by the number and severity of their crimes, and allow them to go free if they live through it. For the crime of stealing and Brain Uploading the memories of the Patoodine Pilgrim-King, a Corrupt Corporate Executive was launched out of a railgun and into a moon.
  • In Nodwick, the Evil Sorcerer Ildomir went to a school for wizards called the Heractium Dark Arts Academy, where teachers punished students with a song called "I Write the Spells" (a Song Parody of the pop classic "I Write the Songs") which also made them more evil. Unfortunately, this punishment was too much for Ildomir, and ever since, simply hearing the song would drive him to the brink of madness.
  • Foreshadowed early on in this Mind Screw-y Polandball comic, when Hungary thinks of German scat porn and feels sick. Later, he ends up being pissed on by Germany, Poland and the Baltics as punishment for inviting Russia into the EU. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Grrl Power:
    • Since the heroes (who work for the US government) have a PR department and their enemies don't, Sydney has occasionally threatened to give villains stupid names.
    • When villains blow up a restaurant to get at the heroes, a waitress asks if she can sue the supervillains for lost wages. Arianna, the team lawyer, thinks that's a great idea.
    • When his superpowered mercenaries step out of line, Deus can't give them jail time or even kill them (since they're too valuable), so he has to find more creative ways to punish them.
      Cthillia: Did he really make you watch a ten hour "this was their life" presentation about the last "innocent" you killed?
      Vale: ...he made me cry.
  • In Freefall, Corrupt Corporate Executive Mr. Kornada tries to have the robot workforce of Planet Jean lobotomized by a virus so he can steal money from them. As punishment, the robots propose one minute of community service... each. For some four hundred and fifty million robots threatened by the virus. (this would add up to over 800 years of community service)
    • Kornada's actual sentence is confiscation of all his wealth and influence, forcing him to live like an average citizen, until he completes 1000 workdays at Cricket Burger with a performance rating above Average.
    • When he gets to Cricket Burger, Kornada refused to work the register, so they put him on cleaning toilets. When he tried to refuse to do that as well, they offered an alternative job at a chlorine trifluoride plant, which would probably have led to a quick death.
    • After getting repeatedly hit with pies and blasted with an exploding cigar, one of the Mayor's proposed punishments for Sam is forcing him to attend budget meetings.
  • Weiss insults tabletop roleplaying in the second strip of Record Wisdom Bonus Yield, prompting Yang and Ruby to stuff her feet into what they call the 'roller boots'—hideous boots that will not come off until the wearer rolls a natural twenty. Weiss consistently refers to them as hellboots.
  • Schlock Mercenary: When Schlock shows up uninvited to a meeting for the millionth time, Tagon decides to punish him by making him stay for the meeting. Especially for the boring parts.
  • The Whiteboard: Doc gets back at Bandit for spiking his shower gel with Nair in this fashion. The last panel of the last strip in the storyline shows the culprit duct-taped very securely to a couch in front of a TV:
    Continuity announcer: "Next up on Martha Stewart..."
  • Elf & Warrior: The Pugglies, being dogs, mostly punish crimes by calling criminals "bad dog!" Some of the worst crimes get them whacked with a rolled-up newspaper, which they consider horrifying and disproportionate.
    Basri: Didn't you try to execute Stump?
    Pugleen: He burned down three orphanages.
  • In Nineteen-Ninety-Something, when Katy hogs the bathroom to herself Joel, inspired by what happened to Manuel Noriega (see below in Real Life), starts blasting "Debaser" right outside the door.
  • In Exterminatus Now, a captured assassin lampshades this trope as he expects the Inquisition's 'interrogation' to involve watching bad films or going over tax returns. It's subverted when Virus specifies they intend to castarate him with a circular saw, and then ask some questions. And no, that's not the wrong order.

    Web Original 
  • When The Agony Booth's Mr. Mendo forwards a bunch of his hate mail to The Film Renegado's site, Renegado forces him to watch Atletico San Pancho. And, when that doesn't work, he starts playing Menudo!
  • In one of the Arfenhouse installments, Satan says that all they do in Hell is play DDR.
  • Big O Abridged:
    Priest: (to Norman) My son, you have murdered your fellow man out of lust and envy. For this, you must recite three Hail Marys. But you have also broken numbers 1, 78, and 116 of the Bro Code. For this, you must suffer the grieves of all punishments... Loss of Permanent Shotgun Status!
    Norman: May God have mercy on my soul, for no bro will.
  • A number of reviews on Channel Awesome have been portrayed as horrific punishments:
    • When The Nostalgia Critic wants to punish The Nostalgia Chick for reviewing non-girly stuff like The Transformers: The Movie and Armageddon (1998) (and also for chloroforming him), he forces her to review the Bratz movie.
      • Subverted when he explains he only did it so she could be proud of sitting though the worst girly movie ever. They hug then mutually chloroform each other at the end.
    • Film Brain (acting under orders from Dr Linksano) forces Linkara to review The Spirit. Despite it ostensibly being torture, he joins in himself.
      • Linkara was also forced to endure some of his own fan-fiction being read by Bennett the Sage.
    • Spoony goes through a lot of this. After reviewing the board game "Nightmare", the Gatecleaner banished him to the "Blagole" to play Pumpkinhead's video game. Later on he criticises Captain America and is sentenced by the GateKeither to undergo a Gender Bender and review "Party Mania".
      • And now that he has failed in his task to review all of Nightmare's sequels in a year, the Gatecleaner seems to be setting up some more of this sort of thing for him.
    • In Kickassia, Paw suggests playing really loud Michael Bolton music to flush The Nostalgia Critic out of the government house. Everyone else agrees that no one should be submitted to that kind of torture (except JewWario).
      • Also from Kickassia is the final threat which causes the president to flee: "Don't make us review you."
  • During KSI's first visit to the Dream SMP, he punished the students who did "badly" in his sex-ed class using very strange methods, including being teleported into space or turned into a chicken to give a practical demonstration of "sexual education". By the end of the class, four of the students had gotten killed as a result of KSI's punishments.
  • This Five-Second Film, "Sentencing", features a judge sentencing a criminal to smoke a massive pack for killing his wife.
  • In the Bonus Stage episode "Morbid", Joel goes to hell (for the first of many times), and may choose from one of three punishments: watching Time Squad for 24/7, watching Shrek 2 for 24/7, or eating Satan's mom's spaghetti which is so bad that "even Hitler couldn't handle it."
  • Homestar Runner: The Halloween 'toon "Doomy Tales of the Macabre" consists of Strong Sad's imagined revenge on all the people who didn't invite him to their Halloween party, in increasingly odd ways. For example, the King of Town is dunked into a vat of boiling-hot mutton stew, Bubs has his Concession Stand brought to life and bite his head off, and Homestar is turned into a macrame owl.
  • From Naruto: The Abridged Series episode 23, Itachi uses his Mangekyo Sharingan to make Kakashi go through 72 hours of Caramelldansen.
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum: agents who break the rules are forced to watch the dreaded No-Drool Videos. The exact content is unknown, but it has been said to involve the Librarian of Discworld, who is a 300-pound orangutan, and Yaoi Fangirls are shown the adventures of a lesbian Parody Sue (the lesbian sex in itself isn't the problem so much as the Sue being there). Also, agents are not allowed to physically harm canon characters, so revenge upon a canon character for attacking an agent has on at least one occasion consisted of forcing him to participate in MSTing a Bad Slash Fic starring himself. The PPC also has a department dedicated to this, appropriately called the Department of Cool and Unusual Punishment.
  • Youtube personalities Neil Cicierega, Ryan Murphy and Kevin James have a video called "The Questioning", in which two cops sweat out a young thug by explaining the entire plot of the Animorphs series at great length.
  • Abusive administrators and faculty are on the receiving end of psychological warfare in The Saga of Tuck.
  • Smosh's "A Very Hairy Situation with Billy Mays" has the villains torturing Anthony with watching The Hills.
  • In numerous Sonic Shorts on Newgrounds, Doctor Robotnik's favoured method of torturing Sonic the Hedgehog has been with music, dance and getting naked.
    Robot: His eyes have melted.
    (Robotnik grins at camera)
  • Whateley Universe: the headmistress of the Academy does this for many forms of student misbehavior.
    • One of the most common Punishment Details on campus is cleaning and similar menial tasks in Hawthorne Cottage, the dorm for students with severe Power Incontinence problems. These range from removing snot balls from Fubar's tank, to putting on hazmat equipment in order to help Puppet clean her room, to cleaning the demon-infested third floor bathroom.
    • When it became clear that Team Kimba were no longer fazed by Hawthorne, Headmistress Carson instead gives them personalized assignments which were meant to be as humiliating as possible: nature-loving Fey was sent to work in the sewers, ultra-foodie Phase was given scut work in the school cafeteria, Lancer was assigned to be the Home Ec teacher's TA, etc.
    • Some rule-breaking devisors (read: teenaged Mad Scientist geeks) were sentenced to... fresh air. They had to do clean-up outside. Given that the Academy has numerous miles of pathways, the way some of the several hundred superpowered students regularly tear the grounds up, and that much of this work is done in the dead of a New Hampshire winter, it is seen by some as worse than Hawthorne.
    • Anvil, who made a few rather careless errors: A. He decided to roll the fat kid for laughs, and B. he broke the cardinal rule that 'What happens in the sims stays in the sims'. Revenge, while largely a Noodle Incident, included a pie toss with Anvil as the target - and several of those pies had a Mad Scientist's concoctions in them...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    Mai Valentine: Marik, you bastard, what have you done?
    Melvin: I have doomed you to exist in your own worst nightmare: A world where everybody's breasts are bigger than yours!
    Mai Valentine: Even Tristan's?
    Melvin: Especially Tristan's!
    Tristan Taylor: (With an impossibly huge rack) My brizzeasts are off the hizzle fo' shizzle!

  • On the intro segment of the 29th episode of the EVE Online-based podcast Warp Drive Active, one of the hosts (Urban Mongral) and the owner of the site where the podcasts are stored are 'convicted' (in a mock-court scene) of 'Aggravated Negligence in Uploading a Podcast' (the 28th episode cut out at 58 minutes of "over two hours" in the first release). The sentence for "this most heinous crime"? "I sentence you to playing two weeks Hello Kitty Online Beta." Cue the Big "NO!".
  • A porn series has two guys fighting each other MMA-style. The winner has sex with a hot porn star. The loser gets "punished" with sex by a lesser alternative (mostly a less cute actress, but sometimes downright Fan Disservice) - but it becomes a real punishment if he can't... "get his due", leading the winner to go for another round instead.
  • In Ultra Fast Pony, "To Kill a Firebird", Princess Celestia gets annoyed when Fluttershy is late for a tea party. She punishes all the other guests by describing, in excruciating detail, every prior tea party she's ever attended. All "ten... hundred... thousand... million" of them.
  • A story on Not Always Learning has a librarian shooting rubber bands at students who use cell phones in the library.
  • In The Legend Of Neil, Ganon either will punish Wizzrobe by hitting him, or by turning the fog machines on. Guess which one he hates more:
    Ganon: Wizzrobe, I'm beginning to sense some insolence from you. Don't make me turn the fog machines on again.
    Wizzrobe: No, no, please, sir! I can't find anything when the fog machines are—
    Ganon: FOG MACHINES! (Room starts filling up with fog much to Wizzrobe's chagrin) Yes... fog equals POWER!
  • From Play 4 Real: "US Government Leak Reveals CIA Uses Yoshi’s New Island Music to Torture Prisoners". The (satirical) story claims prisoners were being forced to play the game by being promised increased food rations, but they figured out that they could turn the volume down, so the CIA started blaring the music through the complex, which caused prisoners to reveal information that they weren't even trying to get. Mention is also made of the Wii U being meant to be sold by Nintendo as a torture device, although they cancelled the plans after they found out that the Ouya did the same thing for cheaper.
  • Growing Around has some examples. Justified, as it is set in a universe where kids rule adults:
    • In the Pilot Episode, as a punishment for leaving her roller-skate lying around, Sally forces Linda to sniff the roller-skate, but the teacher arrives before the latter can do it. Sally also reveals that she has punished Linda for scheduling during dinner by forcing her to run around the street in a monkey costume, while Timmy threatens to feed Linda a mud pie for the roller-skate.
    • In ''Movie Mayhem'', Robert fears the punishment for sneaking into a film intended just for children. In a Shout-Out to Toy Story, he imagines this:
    [We enter Robert's thoughts. Robert is forced into one of Sally's tea parties, with Robert completely dressed for the part.]
    Sally: [To Robert] And would you like some crumpets, Mrs. Nesbitt?
  • GEOWeasel has a Hell that looks like a red-tinged beach ruled by a Satan in swimming trunks. However…
    Satan: All the websites we have are porn sites!
    Weas: How is that bad?
    Satan: We only have dialup!
    Weas: NOOOOOOOO!
  • brewstew: The narrator still has his working NES. He plans to give it to his kids and force them to play through Old School Nintendo the minute they decide to start stirring trouble.
  • French humor website The Daily Béret, a website running fake funny stories (and admitting they are fake) had this gem here: . The story is about a young woman who received her stepfather's visit. The dude was a huge racist, prejudiced against African people, and after one too many racist comments against her African neighbours, she had enough. So, to teach him a lesson, she locked him into a tanning machine, with the radio station "Africa Number One" for sole company, until his skin had the same color as an African man's. While the story is an admitted fake, it's still a pretty good example.
  • Kakos Industries:
    • The weekly Ruin-A-Life Drawing is used to really milk this trope. In short, it is a system that allows shareholders to destroy the lives of someone they despise and is determined by spinning the Wheel of Misery that lands on a punishment custom designed to make that target's life terrible. These punishments include, but aren't limited to, changing nipple colors, having problems at retail, and never properly being clean. And since the whole drawing is a double-edged sword from the start, the "winner" is also given some sort of reversal of the punishment.
    • The Wheel's pronouncements are carried out by the Damnation and Ruination Squad. When carrying out one of its pronouncements causes an out of control Zombie Apocalypse, the Wheel of Misery punishes them with "Ridiculous Costumes". For the rest of its existence as part of Kakos Industries, the Damnation and Ruination Squad will have to wear an ever changing array of ridiculous, uncomfortable, and humiliating costumes.
    • To punish Creepy Child Dark Mother Belladonnica for smoking a cigarette, her wardrobe is replaced with brightly colored, normal childrens' clothing. The end result from Belladonnica are the most sour facial expressions Corin Deeth has ever seen. He even suggests the Division of Special Spatial Facial Muscles should take notes.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In Part 3 of "Mario and Bowser's Stupid and Crazy Adventure", to get Sonic (who’s apparently British) to talk about the whereabouts of Princess Peach, Bowser and Mario do such things as pour tea down the sink and crumple up a picture of the Queen of England. They also think about brushing his teeth, but they decide that’s too far, so they just waterboard him instead.
    • In "Cody's Revenge!", when Bowser threatens to send Junior to Military School, some of the punishments the Brooklyn Guy says he's going to give to Junior are making him listen to Justin Bieber non-stop and watch Big Hero 6, the latter of which Junior describes as "the worst animated movie since Cars 2". Later in the same episode, Cody blackmails Junior as revenge for being treated as a Butt-Monkey, making Junior do such tasks as watching Big Hero 6 on blu-ray with him twice, spanking his Ken doll in the ass, forcing him to say that the Sun is a star, and calling him "the Hunky God".
  • YouTube Poop: In DinnerWarrior's "Link Discovers Ganon's Least Favorite Color", Link assumes he's going to be fired for headbutting King Harkinian, and he is fired... into space.
  • Castle Super Beast had a segment where Pat and Woolie were talking about people who tamper with food as a prank - noting how dangerous that is by potentially spreading allergens to someone who could suffer anaphylaxis, or someone with a compromised immune system dying from their germs. While this is punishable (quite severely in fact), Woolie further suggests anyone caught doing this should be forced by law to only be allowed to eat food that someone has visibly spat in for a year, monitored the entire time and given replacements if they try to dispose of it. This suggestion drives the OCD germaphobic Pat into a laughing - then wheezing - fit as he desperately tries not to suffer a panic attack from the visualization.
  • The Shovel: Rolf Harris Forced to Listen to His Own Music for Eternity
    Human rights activists have described the plan as ‘torture’ and ‘unusually cruel’. “We think it’s perfect,” one activist said.


Video Example(s):


Naboo Turns His Back

Naboo is so upset with Howard and Vince messing with his book of spells that he turns his back on them, the worst punishment a shaman doles out, which involves him slowly rotating backwards to a jaunty bassline.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolAndUnusualPunishment

Media sources: