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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 him 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 diabetes, much to his horror and disgust.


And it's always fun when one character has such offbeat tastes that he or she enjoys 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 for 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.


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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 played straight much later, with Dabura, king of Hell. When he ends up in the afterlife, King Yemma sends him to Heaven instead. He breaks almost instantly, and all following cameos feature him espousing a love of peace, friendship, and flowers.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, 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.
  • 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.
  • In Naka No Hito Genome Jikkyouchuu, 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!
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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.
  • In Asterix, 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. The most hilarious (and devastating, at least in his intentions) was 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.

    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 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".
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crooked Man: In stark contrast to the original story, Johann dish out ironic punishments to the villains:
    • Bullseye cannot kill anyone as whatever objects he uses as a weapon are turn into harmless objects such as a rubber duck or a condom.
    • Johann turns Norman Osborn into an actual goblin, making his condition based on anyone or anything with the capacity of thought who looks at him will instinctively know who and what he is.
    • Johann gives Moonstone a conscience, making her to feel guilty over all the people she had ruined while as a psychologist. This sudden empathy sends her into a catatonic state.
    • Johann gives Magneto the chance to start his life over as Erik Lehnsherr and reunited with a resurrected Magda and Anya at the cost of losing his memories as Magneto.
  • In The Beacon Civil War, Jaune captures Ruby as part of the aforementioned mock war (it's a long story). He needs to get information out of her without breaking the rules of the game or enraging Yang, so he threatens her with health food. Ruby is horrified that she will get no cookies, and Yang won't be mad because she's been trying to get Ruby to eat healthy for a while. Ruby caves very quickly.
  • In The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, to discipline Lucius Malfoy, Hermione forces him to donate large amounts of money to Muggle charities.
  • A Crown of Stars:
    • Gendo wants to earn the pilots and his wife’s forgiveness for his actions. Asuka suggests that he goes through everything what they endured.
      Asuka: Ooh, there’s an evil idea… ne, Shinji, how about we forgive your dad after he gets to go through everything we had to?
      Shinji: What do you mean?
      Asuka: I mean, all the stuff we had to suffer because of him, he gets too. First he gets abandoned by everyone for ten years, then gets his arm broken and an energy spike through his right eye and out the back of his head, blown up, stabbed through the chest with two electric tentacles, shot in the chest with a terawatt laser, chewed on by a giant fish, pile-drivered headfirst into the dirt twice, blown up again, dunked into a volcano, splashed with acid, smashed from orbit, stuffed into a sensory deprivation tank for a night, choked, gets his arms and head ripped off, dissolved into LCL for a month, mind-raped, stabbed in the neck and chest, and then disemboweled by nine winged monsters with spears! Oh, and a spear through the head, too.
      Shinji: Sounds like a good start! […] Should we make him wear a leotard and learn a synchronized dance routine with Vice-Commander Fuyutsuki, too?
    • Asuka tells Shinji at one point: “Third, you had better start making sense, or I’m going to lock you in a room with geek-Stooge and have him jabber about his mecha at you until your ears bleed.”
    • When an Avaloni Princess was arrested and brought to a judge for “'borrowing' the lander, leaving the Empire underage without permission, and ditching school”, the judge punished her by throwing a book at her:
      “The police brought the casualties here, and the judge threw the book at her. She protested that it hurt, hitting her in the head like that. ‘Crime and Punishment’ isn’t a small book. The judge told her ‘Exactly. Now maybe you’ll learn not to skip class when they’re covering literary metaphors.’”
  • In The Lion King Adventures, as opposed to execution or imprisonment, tickling is used as a punishment in the Pride Lands. Zazu falls foul of this in The Royal Challenge.
    Nala: How come the Pride Lands don't kill people as a punishment? Why do they tickle you instead?
    Mufasa: Do you know how unpleasant it would be to kill people every time they broke a rule? Tickling is a far more suitable punishment. It takes a lot longer, for a start. And it lasts for however long you want it to. Unless, of course, I sentence someone to death by tickling.
  • Flaming Frost: Contains a nod to the COVID-19 Pandemic. After causing a Chain of Cats while trying to fish up a Pike to prove his challenge to Mistyfoot is safe, Hawkfrost's punishment is that he must stay within 6 Fox-lengths of Mistyfoot, Leopardstar, or Mothwing. He is also forbidden from going to gatherings and talking to Brambleclaw.
  • The Meaning of One: After their confrontation with Professor Quirrell, Molly Weasley punishes Harry, Ron and Ginny by making them trim the grass in their meadow. With scissors.
    Molly: Cut it to three inches tall. The width of your palm should be close enough. You’ll do this on weekdays between breakfast and lunch.
  • "An Unusual Punishment" featured the cast of Digimon being forced to read very bad Digimon fanfiction....
    • There are probably a lot of "characters-MST3K-fanfic-of-themselves" fics you could apply this to, depending on which of them actually explain why the characters are sitting around mocking fanfic.
  • "It's For A Good Cause, I Swear!" Sasuke's torture of choice when using Tsukyomi on Orochimaru in the Forest of Death? Seventy-two hours of being dragged around to go shopping by Sakura and Ino.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Those Lacking Spines, Vexen is tortured with the LazyTown cake song, and his cake phobia afterward becomes a Running Gag. His torturers first try "It's a Small World After All", but he's half-Disney, so the song has no effect.
  • In One Thing Leads to Another, Beast Boy offers Raven a back massage after their first date and she says that if his hands stray, she will send him to "another dimension — one where there are no females to give back massages to and no video games, and the only thing on TV is constant reruns of Barney the Dinosaur". He acts properly scared.
  • In Chapter 18 of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic fanfic Yet Another Kotor Parody, Saul Karath tortures RGN, Carth, and Bastila by reading them awful poetry.
  • In chapter 10 of Friends In High Places Dennis Sterling, a retired Imperial Navy intelligence officer, recommends the use of an old Yoko Ono recording as an aid to interrogation. "I must confess," Dennis continued, "that I've found a roll of duct tape, a high quality audio headset, and one of her early recordings to be quite useful when questioning a prisoner."
  • From An Entry with a Bang:
    "Repeating what I am about to tell you will result in sanctions including but not limited to removal of rank, discharge from the Global Defense Initiative, and a very, very, very long time in a very, very, very dark hole. Understood?"
    Dansel nodded. Yes. It must be Tuesday then. On Wednesdays they threaten me with reading bad fanfiction about my life.
  • In the FusionFall fic Haywire Ben Tennyson's evil genetic double Albedo (who hates humanity and is a misogynist to boot) is the only one that can save Ben's life; naturally, he won't cooperate unless they capitulate to his ridiculous demands despite being offered generous payment and not being turned over to the Space Police. To make him compliant, Professor Utonium gets... creative by hosting an insanely cutesy tea party in Albedo's cell with Bubbles, Dee Dee and Sarah while the girls play movies of an annoying My Little Pony Expy as they shove sugary foods down Albedo's throat and paint his fingernails. It's almost too much for Albedo to take, but he resists... until Utonium brings in Number Three. Dexter even calls it "cruel and unusual punishment" as he compliments his adoptive father on raising the bar for said punishment.
    Kevin Levin: Dude, that is harsh.
    Utonium: He had his chance.
  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth, one punishment involved having to write lines in "Urple" ink, Urple being a colour described as a combination of pink and purple in the worst possible way. It's very hard to write when looking at the ink is painful. Or listening to Bombadil poetry for a whole day.
  • An absolutely hilarious example in the Tamers Forever Series:
    Chaos: What? What will you do?
    Chaos: You wouldn't dare!
    Takato: OH, YES I WOULD!
    Chaos' silence was enough of an answer, he had won that one.
    Ruki: 'ut at what price...Prozac, Takato? That's just sick...
    Takato: Shut up and let me enjoy this victory...
    Chaos: while it lasts...
    Takato: I thought SOMEONE was supposed to shut up!
    • Even funnier if you know that Prozac is an ANTIDEPRESSANT.
  • This scene, from the Bleach fic Uninvited Guests:
    Gin: Hmmmm... what's that? Looks like a pimple.
    Yumichika: NOOOOOOOO!
    Gin: Oh, geez, are those split ends? Man, your hair is so dry and stringy. It looks awful.
    Gin: No, I'm serious. It's like straw or something, it's so dry and desiccated. Although i suppose it helps to take attention away from how bulbous and huge your nose is.
    Yumichika: You... you monster...
    Gin: I'm surprised you can see that I'm a monster, what with how puffy your eyes are.
    Yumichika: No... please... please stop...
  • Referenced in the Neon Genesis Evangelion/Ghost Rider crossover Burning Vengeance with this exchange:
    Yui Ikari: Not that I'm complaining, but how did you convince a literal sex demon to get me a wardrobe this tasteful?
    Mephisto II: As I keep saying, I'm the King of Hell, damnit! When I give someone a direct order which isn't all that often, really they obey it or risk a brutal punishment.
    Yui: But how the hell do you punish a sex demon who's into every single fetish at once?
    Mephisto II: Two words: Enforced. Abstinence.
  • In Avenger Goddess, once Nick Fury learns that Natasha has been lying to him for years and maintained a joint loyalty to Fury and Diana, AKA Wonder Woman (who is basically Natasha's adopted mother), he 'punishes' Natasha by assigning her the role of Tony Stark's PA as an undercover assignment.
  • In My Brother, when Harry and his sister Emma confirm the Dursleys' abusive treatment of them but decide to stay in Privet Drive for the blood wards' protection, Dumbledore modifies the wards so that, if any of the Dursleys try to harm Harry, Emma, or their pets (Hedwig and Emma's kneazle Mopsus) in any sense, such as Dudley trying to take Emma's food, the Dursleys will turn into animals for up to two hours, Vernon and Dudley becoming pigs while Petunia would turn into a goose.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Quirrell, during a brief stay in Azkaban, manages to break the Auror watching him by humming.
    And this horrible, horrible humming is impossible to ignore. It is similar to a known lullaby, but it departs from that pattern unpredictably. It sets up expectations and then violates them, never in any constant pattern that would permit the humming to fade into the background. The listener's brain cannot prevent itself from expecting the anti-musical phrases to complete, nor prevent itself from noticing the surprises.
    The only possible explanation for how this mode of humming came to exist is that it was deliberately designed by some unspeakably cruel genius who woke up one day, feeling bored with ordinary torture, who decided to handicap himself and find out whether he could break someone's sanity just by humming at them.
  • In A Bad Week at the Wizengamot Fudge is kicked out of office by the EMU and Sirius becomes Interim Minister. One of his proclamations introduces a "Truth in Government and Media Initiative." Part of the punishment for second offenders among the media is being forced to spend three months writing an "advice to the lovelorn" column called "Dear Hecate," while third offenders' punishment includes a hundred hours of enforced viewing of the Jerry Springer Show.
  • This MLP:FIM comic has Diamond Tiara being tortured by Nightmare Moon. By being forced to eat mashed alfalfa.
  • In Escape the Hokage's Hat, Jiraiya makes Homura and Koharu perform 100 D rank missions, and if anyone interferes they have to start all over again. Aside from the fact the two are really old and these missions include digging for potatoes and retrieving a very aggressive cat nearly daily, they don't get paid.
  • In Broken Bow 3, Apollo gets back at Armani by making him read Twilight. Armani averts this by tricking Artemis into reading it... all while evilly cackling internally.
  • In Rocking the Boat Voldemort notices Bellatrix Lestrange looking expectant during a punishment session and promptly announces that her punishment will be to not torture or kill anybody outside of missions for a month, cause no collateral damage during missions and heal and release the prisoners every morning.
  • In Shadow Snark, the titular character's small harmless stick.
    Pinky: My one weakness!
  • In the Once Upon a Time fanfic Siren, Emma successfully makes Hook stop pressuring her to sing a song with the threat: "Hook, if you don't back off and get moving right the hell now, the only song you're gonna get from me is '99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.' And I will sing it off key, and so help me, I will deliberately miscount."
  • Earth and Sky: In the penultimate chapter, Celestia finally has the Flim-Flam Brothers brought into custody for all the chaos they've caused, and proceeds to break down crying, sincerely ashamed of what subjects of hers have done. Compared to seeing their beloved ruler in tears, Flim and Flam gladly accept a sentence of twenty years' hard labor.
  • In Empire James and Lily Potter's magical self-updating will bequeaths Dumbledore a bag of "Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans But Lemon Drop."
  • In Hand Delivered Letter Peeves is caught throwing rocks at the first years and the Bloody Baron announces his punishment is to spend the next month with Moaning Myrtle.
  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
  • Several examples in Diaries of a Madman, though Celestia awarding Nav a garish suit of armour and dressing it up as a reward is probably the largest example.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door Redux, Vladimir, who is being held hostage by Count Bleck, questions why he's telling his minions to simply "restrain" Stan, Francesca and Andy:
    Vladimir: Restrain them? Seriously, Bleck, that's the first time I've ever heard a dark wizard tell his goons to do anything to the good guys other than 'kill them'. Maybe you're just not cut out for this.
    Bleck: Think I'm not being evil enough? Maybe I want to take them alive and then torture them. Maybe sting them with scorpions? Shock them with electricity? Force them to watch game shows?
    • Actually, he's being sarcastic, and the real reason is far more complicated: he wants them as witnesses when he puts his true plan in motion.
  • In Naruto: life is a Game, Itachi traps Hidan's mind in a world full of loudly singing Nyan cats for seventy-two hours.
  • Rig the Game: Royal: In retaliation for how much Akira inadvertently expanded Kamoshida's confession and the amount of extra work it put onto Akechi, him a pair of tickets to Madarame's exhibit so that he can 'enjoy' a couple of hours looking at paintings and take Sumire with him so that he'll have someone who can make sure he takes it easy. Lampshaded:
    Akira: …this is a weird and unusual punishment from you.
    Goro: It’s the best I could come up within about ten minutes…
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: After the ruse is busted, Sirius amuses himself by imposing arbitrary rules on Archie as punishment — such as spending twenty four hours without using any form of the verb "to be".
  • The Twilight Child reveals what Pinkie did to her friends after they tried to eat the MMMM (which in this fic also includes Applejack). She takes them to one of the nicer restaurants in Ponyville and buys them a cake. A very large cake, one for each of them. Every time one of them starts feeling like they're full, Pinkie smiles at them.
  • In Weres Harry?, McGonagall punishes Harry for sneaking off to visit the basilisk without telling anyone where he's going or what he's doing by turning him over to his step-godmother and mother-figure, Kalina, who proceeds to use him as a combination pack mule and living dress-up doll all weekend.
  • Naruto is quite fond of these in The (Questionable) Burdens of Leadership of a Troll Emperor, mostly because of how effective they are. Jaffa who disobey his orders have to run laps around the palace to "Fan the Flames of Youth". A priestess of Baset who goes on and on about how great Baset was and how she'll smite Naruto is made to oversee the freeing of Baset's slaves (who like all Goa'uld slaves are basically worked to death). People who greatly irritate him with their insistence on defending horrible practices such as slavery are "made to see". That is, Naruto forces them to psychically feel the suffering of the people their actions hurt.
    • Xanna punishes one of the Ascended for "daring to attack what's hers" (that is, trying to forcibly descend Oma) by removing all of their powers, leaving them a powerless ghost and, in Xanna's words, leaving them in the perfect position to adhere to their own non-interference laws.
  • A common running gag in fanfic MSTings involves, whenever a Fate Worse than Death is mentioned in the narrative, the riffers making a comment about reading whatever story they're currently reading. Happens regularly in the classic riffing of The Eye of Argon.
    "The prince would surely have subjected them to the most ghastly of tortures..."
    "Insert joke about having to read The Eye of Argon here."
  • In Is it Too Late? once he becomes a professor, Harry Potter has to deal with a lot of fangirls in his classes, especially since he's only 16. After he gets tired of girls wearing Stripperific versions of their uniforms (including at least a few who deliberately flash him), he starts forcing them to wear full platemail armor during his class if they're not properly attired.
  • In Rites of Ascension, the punishment for the neglectful, shallow, elitist, racist, and borderline abusive social-climber mother of the new Grand Mage for what amounts to blatant lèse-majesté (Princess Celestia regarding herself as much "Mud Pony" as anything)? Twilight Sparkle giving Twilight Velvet her old job as Ponyville Librarian... and her old assignment of weekly friendship reports.
  • In The Infinite Loops, the most common punishment for crashing a loop is being sent to a 'punishment loop'- a boring and unpleasant setting where the loopers' powers are sealed and they are railroaded onto the canon plot. The best-known punishment loop is Eiken (a bland Fanservice-filled wish-fulfillment-but-not-for-you high school), but there are others. Teletubbies has been used as a punishment loop, and Twilight Sparkle has had My Little Pony G3 punishment loops.
  • In the Invader Zim fanfic Gaz Dreams of Genie, an impulsive offhand comment while making her first wish results in Gaz accidentally making it so Dib was never born. As a result, she finds herself as a worker drone slave in an Alternate Timeline where Zim has conquered the Earth. When she refuses to go along with her new role, she's sentenced to the Chamber of Torment... but since it's full, she instead gets put in the Chamber of Moderate Annoyance, where she's sprayed with itching powder, mustard, and skunk stink, gets pelted by live squirrels, and gets wedgied by a robotic arm. And as the cherry on top, while she's dangling in midair from the wedgie, speakers start playing a recording of Zim's autobiography.
  • In This Bites! in order for her to apologize properly for harming her father, Vivi requests that Robin write him a 20-page-long apology... with her real hands.
  • After the Wolkenritter are captured in Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, they are sentenced to fill out all the paperwork connected to the various crimes they committed. In triplicate.
  • In The Lovers Left Broken Laurel encounters a drunken Thea, surrounded by a bunch of "friends" also drunk and high. In order to talk to Thea, she scares them away by threatening to call their parents, and makes it a legitimate threat:
    Laurel: My name is Laurel Lance. I'm an attorney. My father is a detective with SCPD. Kids, it is not your lucky night. I make one call and you're all spending the night in the drunk tank. Or worse. I could call your parents. Tell me, what else would the cops find in your system? More importantly, what happens to your trust funds if your parents have to crawl out of their 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and leave their vast mansions to come down to the precinct in the middle of the night to bail out their kid?...I am giving you one chance, one chance to go outside, get in the cabs I've called for you, sneak into your beds, and keep pretending you're perfect, angelic children in the morning. You have five seconds to make your choice. In five seconds, I call my father. In ten seconds, I call yours.
    Thea's Friends (flee before she gets to 3).
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers Troll Fic "Canada Goes Bonkers" Canada's horrible tortures include forcing Austria and Hungary to listen to Nickelback on headphones and threatening to make Germany watch "shitty reality TV like Jersey Shore."
  • In Batman: Melody for a Mockingbird Bruce and his bride-to-be Selina punish Damian for fighting in school by making him go wedding dress shopping with the girls where he's slowly bored to death. It's so effective that he's tempted to drink complementary champagne just to make the trip less painful.
  • X-Men: The Early Years: In "Hit Women, Goats, and Other Vacation Blunders", Jean Grey catches a thief who had the temerity to snatch her purse, but she reveals her powers in the process. She doesn't want to mind-wipe him or let him go, so Warren finds a way to keep him around as they go shopping until he's willing to confess his crimes to the police without ratting them out.
    "You're kidding right?" Jean Grey glared at Warren rather coldly. "There is no way I'm wearing that outfit."
    "Trust me on this one Jean," Warren looked at her earnestly. "Wearing this outfit, no one is even going to blink at you leading around a tied and gagged man by a dog collar."
    "Did you bring a whip, too?" Jean asked coldly.
    "I hope so," Hank said, trying very hard to keep a straight face. "It would be the only accessory to complement that outfit... or maybe a handcuff belt. But that defiantly shouts 'cat-o-nine tails' to me. Warren's right, though; no one is going to think twice."
  • In Starscream - The Predacon Whisperer, Megatron punishes Starscream for losing the Apex Armor by making him wash Predaking, while secretly hoping that Predaking will kill Starscream in the process. It ultimately fails when Starscream ends up befriending the Predacon, and they fall asleep together.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): After Blake sneaks out to infiltrate a terrorist rally without telling her team, they decide to make her wear a bell as punishment. Worse, they figured she'd just wear it on her wrist, but when she put it on as a collar they decided to make that part of the punishment; everyone who sees it assumes it's some weird sex thing. Eventually her punishment expires, but Blake forgets to take the bell off, and all her friends think it's too hilarious to remind her. She wears it for the rest of the story.
  • The Moon's Flash Princess: Asuna's punishment for people who disobey and/or annoy her, turn them into her dress-up dolls and parade them around to the others.
  • I Saw Grayson Kissing Santa Claus: For not just causing the events of the story but also escalating them, Alfred forces Jason to spend Christmas with the family. For Jason, who did all that for the sake of trolling said family, it's the worst punishment he could ever receive.
  • In Professor Arc: Student of Vacuo, Glynda gives a twofer threat to Nora and Yang. First, if they ever "obscene and unskilled display" as their last spar again, they'll have to spar against her. Second, if they don't start learning how to dodge rather than tanking every attack, they'll only be allowed to spar against Jaune and Neo, and yes, their losses will count against their official rankings.
  • A Diplomatic Visit:
    • In the last chapter of the sequel Diplomat at Large, in response to the Diamond Dogs of Dimondia essentially enslaving Trixie, Twilight threatens to call Rarity down on them. They give in almost immediately.
    • In chapter 6 of the second sequel, Diplomacy Through Schooling, when discussing what'll happen when they find Sunburst, Twilight says that if he doesn't have a good reason for breaking off contact with Starlight, she'll... "give him the nose-honking of a lifetime". And then she'll call her mom in to have words with him. Spike actually finds this second part a reasonable and threatening punishment when she says it, shuddering in response.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: During "The Platinum Kingdom", Trixie and Lyra speculate the Element Bearer's diplomatic tour is one of these, courtesy of Princess Luna, for their actions during the Grand Galloping Gala.
  • What Ami claims to do in Dungeon Keeper Ami. When an enemy Keeper gathers tens of thousands of innocents for a mass human sacrifice, gouging out their eyes, Ami rescues them all and heals their eyes out of genuine sympathy. Since she has to keep up the appearance of evil to prevent her minions from deserting, she claims she's rubbing her victory in the face of that enemy Keeper; she's so powerful that she can undo everything he did, out of spite.
  • Cobra Commander in The Cobra Commander Dialogues is disgusted with an Objectivist doctor who made a cure for strokes and didn't share his research. Not only does Cobra Commander steal the cure, he tells the doctor that he would have sold it at an exorbitant price (he is a cartoon villain, after all), but the doctor's sheer apathy and Lack of Empathy disgusted him so much that he'll distribute the cure for free worldwide, just to spite him. Since the doctor believes that the unwashed masses are unworthy of his work, he is horrified.
  • An ambiguously canon omake of Son of the Sannin has Itachi capture an Amegakure shinobi and prepares to torture him for information using Tsukuyomi... by forcing him to watch the whole filler season of a show named Haruto, which he describes as "72 hours of mediocre writing, forgettable characters, cheap animation and nonsensical yet predictable plots".
  • Dominoes (Star Wars: The Clone Wars): Captain Rex punishes Fives for disobeying orders during the Blue Shadow Virus crisis by making him give Jar Jar Binks firearm safety training. Fives bails after Jar Jar nearly kills everyone at the firing range in an explosion caused by his Reckless Gun Usage.
  • Forever And A Mile gives some Adaptational Explanation as to what happened to Orbot when he told Oprah about O'Brian's tube-blocking — he got sent to the moon and hasn't come back due to the tubes being broken. Taken into consideration, it's clear to see why Octavia, one of O'Brian's latest bullying victims, doesn't want to incur his wrath.

    Films – Animation 
  • 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...)
  • 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 Disney's The Wild the antagonists are a herd of wildebeests... with near-flawless dance moves.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water, Mr. Krabs tortures Plankton by... getting SpongeBob to laugh at a knock-knock joke. Hard.

    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.
    • 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 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...

  • 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."

  • According to 1066 and All That, the Order of the Bath "was an extreme form of torture in the Middle Ages," and the most sickening practice in Oliver Cromwell's Crommonwealth was the Serjeant-Majors' viva-voce examinations of little boys:
    "For this purpose the unfortunate children were dressed in their most uncomfortable satins and placed on a stool. The Serjeant-Major would then ask such difficult questions as 'How's your Father?' or 'Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?' and those who could not answer were given a cruel medicine called Pride's Purge."
  • 1634: The Baltic War: during a discussion, Colonel Wood says that he'd rather have a colonoscopy than participate in another argument over machine guns. The down-timer Torstensson asks for an explanation. After he gets one, he ponders using it as a punishment in the army.
  • In a The Addams Family tie-in novel by Jack Sharkey, Gomez has a rather interesting punishment for Pugsley and Wednesday's apparent misdeed — forced attendance of a fifteen-cartoon Kiddie Matinee with ice cream and "golden cake with pink icing" to follow, along with a stack of comic books on their bedside tables. Morticia considers that last part overly cruel punishment.
    "Oh, Gomez!" Morticia cried, clutching his arm. "Isn't that going a little too far...? You wouldn't make them —" she gave a shudder of revulsion "— read the comic books?"
    Some of the sternness went out of his face. "Well," he said in a softer tone, "perhaps that is a bit excessive." Then he stiffened his expression and said, "But if you don't eat every last bite of that cake and ice cream, you will be made to listen to...the Bonnie Baker recording of 'The Good Ship Lollipop'!"
  • In Neal Stephenson's Anathem, one of the Avout's nastier punishments is being forced to learn a certain number of chapters of "The Book" and pass a quiz on it prior to being allowed back into society. Each chapter is designed to be steadily less rational - Chapter 1 for instance is a set of nursery rhymes and nonsense poetry that doesn't quite rhyme. Chapter 4 is four pages of the digits of Pi. Chapter 6 is designed to take several months. There are 12 chapters in total. Only three people have learned the whole thing, and all of them wound up rather insane.
  • Artemis Fowl
    • In The Opal Deception, Opal decides to punish Holly and Artemis by handcuffing them and locking them in an exhibit of an abandoned fairy themepark. Which has been overrun by bloodthirsty trolls. Opal being a fan of irony, she chooses the Temple of Artemis exhibit.
    • Again from The Opal Deception:
    Opal: Peace be within me, tolerance all around me, forgiveness in my path. Now, Mervall, tell me where the filthy human is so that I may feed him his organs.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: After realizing that the temple's standard "one day in the repentance chamber" punishment doesn't mix well with Myne's Ill Girl constitution, Ferdinand discovers a punishment that is both much more effective and more considerate of her health: Myne is a huge Bookworm and doesn't have any books at home, so all he needs to do is forbid her from accessing the temple's book room.
  • A Babylon 5 novel reveals that a standard punishment at the Psi Corps academy is for a miscreant to have to stand still in the courtyard all day and remain silent except for giving a detailed description of their infraction if anyone asks.
  • In The Butterfly Kid, the protagonist is hooked up to an alien torture machine. The "torture" begins with "a deep perverted urge to refrain from sexual intercourse with three of the most improbable creatures I'd ever been forced to imagine", followed by a Donald Duck marathon, and gets "worse" from there.
  • The Canterbury Tales:
    • In The Wife of Bath's Tale, a knight is to be executed for raping a woman, but the queen decides to spice things up a little bit. If he wants to live, he has a year and a day the one thing women really want more than anything else. ... ... On Second Thought... (In case you're wondering, the answer is "power over their husbands". This was the Middle Ages.)
    • In "The Summoner's Tale", a cruel friar is extracting money from a poor man and his family. As revenge, the poor man promises to give him what he has hidden underneath him to divide among the friars. He ends up farting into the friar's hand...and then, because the deal had been made, he has to fart in the faces of all the friars, proving that tasteless humor is Older Than They Think.
  • The SERRAted Edge novel Chrome Circle by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon has racer-mage Tannim captured by unseelie fey, and in order to keep their mind readers from learning anything, he concentrates on the music and lyrics of They Might Be Giants. He drives several mind readers insane, and theorizes he may have started a rash of accordion thefts by convincing them of the magical nature of the instrument. Part of the reason they go insane is because they think Tannim is thinking about alchemical terms (and they can't figure out what the terms mean because he really isn't).
  • In A Clockwork Orange, the lead character is forced to sit with his eyes peeled open while watching films about Nazis and violence to pay for his crimes of murder, rape, torture, statutory rape, and drug-taking via milk. Aversion therapy is used to make him sick at the sight of violence— and as a side-effect, the doctors administering the punishment used his beloved classical music to enhance the emotional effect, making him unable to enjoy the music either.
  • The newspaper columnist Dave Barry used this trope in a number of columns. Typical example:
    Judge: I hereby sentence you to admire four hours of federally subsidized modern dance.
    Defendant: No! Not modern dance!
    Judge: One more outburst like that and I'm going to order you to also watch the performance artist who protests apartheid using a bathtub full of rigatoni.
    • In another column he suggested using some of the "overly affectionate turtles" on them.
    • Another has him suggest what would be the most effective punishment of unruly juvenile delinquents: listening to their parents sing. Hey, it worked with Billy Joel's kids.
  • Discworld
    • At one point in Men at Arms, Sergeant Colon is afraid to report to Lord Vetinari, fearing that Lord Vetinari will be sarcastic about Colon's performance on the job. He might even be satirical.
      • Elsewhere in the same book, when talking dog Gaspode was reluctant to help Carrot locate Angua, Carrot threatened to "turn the matter over to Corporal Nobbs," a fellow officer with little in the way of moral objections whose own humanity has been repeatedly questioned. Gaspode's bitter reply: "That's what I like—incentive."
    • Gaspode himself has been known to use his unique talents to get back at annoying humans. Since everyone knows dogs can't talk, when he does so, people assume that since the words they heard could not possibly have come from the dog, they must have thought them. So when he announces, "Captain Quirk, you have an itchy bottom" and periodically adds, "Prickle, prickle, prickle..."
    • A strange Running Gag is that Vetinari's mood can be determined by his tone: Friendly, curious, amused, condescending, sarcastic, and if he is ironic...if Vetinari is being ironic then you probably died days ago, you just haven't noticed yet. And woe betide you if he ever gives anyone a choice. Never let him give you a choice!
      Vetinari: If you don't want to take my offer, you have only to walk through that door and you will never hear from me again.
      Moist: Excuse me, I'd just like to check something.
      ...There was nothing beyond, and that included a floor.
    • In Faust Eric, we find that under new management, the demons of Hell have switched from their largely unsuccessful physical tortures of the damned to psychological the form of boring people's souls out of their minds (with vacation pictures and readings from dry, dull textbooks). Under Astfgl's kingship of Hell, a very specific boredom has been perfected—the expensive boredom that goes on during vacations when you should be having fun. Which turned out to be so tortuous that the demons basically went "Screw This!" and overthrew him. Sure, the Good Old Ways weren't really tortuous anymore, but the demons don't care; they are sticklers for tradition.
    • And then there's Moist von Lipwig's cry of cruel and unusual punishment in Going Postal: being given a job. Subverted when Vetinari quite reasonably points out to him that while the job offer is certainly unusual, it is not very cruel. On the other hand in the dungeon there are a whole range of punishments which are very unusual and extremely cruel if Moist would like to try them for purposes of comparison...
    • In the Raising Steam, Lord Vetinari's latest form of physical persuasion is described graphically. It's called The Kitten Torture. Yes, it involves kittens. And yes, it is the cunning, devious, and wholly persuasive, product of a completely unwarped mind. (And there's a reason why it goes on this trope rather than one involving animal cruelty and unbelievable sadism.) For the curious: The Kitten Torture is presided over by Cedric; not the smartest, but dutiful and very fond of kittens, with which the streets of Ankh-Morpork were overflowing. The victim is locked in an iron maiden, just large enough to sit in, along with a large number of kittens. Every time one of the kittens was distressed and made its distress known, Cedric would open the maiden and give the victim a good cudgeling, in proportion to the distress of the kitten. It's absurd, but it works; visitors are amazed by the atmosphere of happiness, where purring resonated through the dungeon.
    • Mention is made of an Eldritch Abomination of the Dungeon Dimensions, known as "Tshup Aklathep, the Infernal Star Toad with a Million Young". It kills its victims by forcing them to look at pictures of its children until their brains implode. "I suppose after you've said 'Yes, he's got your eyes' for the thousandth time you're about ready to commit suicide in any case."
    • Witches are good at this, banking on their reputation as The Dreaded. Wyrd Sisters describes how one witch was robbed, and decided to do nothing about it but smile in a slightly puzzled manner whenever she saw the thief. He eventually fled across the continent. And according to Witches Abroad Granny Weatherwax won't actually turn you into a frog, but she'll make you THINK you are a frog, which is almost as bad but a lot easier (and more entertaining) for her.
  • The Divine Comedy — particularly the Inferno, but to a lesser extent also the Purgatorio — was filled with punishments specially tailored to the sins of the sufferer. In the case of Purgatorio the repentant sinners are often practicing the virtue opposed to their sin (thus, the Envious have their eyes sewn up so they can't see and covet, while the Gluttons have to starve themselves and run around a lot, in much the same way that repentant gluttons do in Real Life).
  • At the end of Emily The Strange The Lost Days, after Raven successfully completes a physical feat, thus winning a complex card game, Raven calls upon birds to poop on Attikol, Umlaut, and many others of the traveling show employees.
  • In Mark Leyner's Et Tu, Babe the protagonist gets high on Abraham Lincoln's morning breath, and is arrested for 'Theft of a Federally Protected Biospecimen'. Some of the sentences for this crime are execution by underwater speargunning, nasal septumectomy, and punitive confiscation. The protagonist makes a plea to get the latter, and while the sentence is carried out, he is restrained in a van and forced to watch the wooden narrative scenes from porn movies. This last is stated as having later been ruled cruel and unusual.
  • In the book that Full Metal Jacket was based off of, the drill sergeant's punishments were much worse. At one point, he had a squad pee in the same toilet, and then shoved Private Pyle's head in there while standing on his back until he passed out. Also he would quiz people privately and if they answered a question "wrong", they got a beating. If they reversed their answer, it would be much worse.
  • In Good Omens, Crowley the demon describes a hamster cage as "Like something the Spanish Inquistion would use if they had access to plastics and a moulding press."
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: For being caught out of bed, Harry, Hermione, Neville (Ron in the movie) and Draco are sentenced to searching for a dead unicorn in the Forbidden Forest.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: For flying the Weasleys' enchanted car to Hogwarts and breaking the International Statute of Secrecy, Ron and Harry are sentenced to detentions. Ron's is cleaning the trophy room without magic, while Harry's is responding to Gilderoy Lockhart's fanmail. This involves Harry having to listen to Lockhart's self-important advice on being a celebrity, which makes it even more tedious.
      • Ron's wouldn't be SO bad if...1. Filch weren't an evil, evil man, and 2. Ron wasn't recovering from a backfired attempt to curse Draco Malfoy making him vomit up slugs, and having an attack while cleaning. Harry even tells Ron he'd rather trade punishments with him, given the amount of practice cleaning by hand he'd been given by the Dursleys.
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Draco Malfoy is caught trying to hex Harry from behind, at which point Moody / Barty Crouch Jr. transfigures him into a white ferret and proceeds to bounce him around the room while lecturing him, with his anger also being partially directed at Draco's father, who had the means to avoid Azkaban that Crouch Jr. did not. When Professor McGonagall catches him, Crouch Jr. begrudgingly admits that he was told something by Dumbledore about not using Transfiguration as punishment, but he "forgot."
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: When Hermione finds the Weasley Twins testing out their home-made joke candies on younger students, this exchange follows, with the result that she scares the Twins so badly that they immediately comply, an action that has never been seen before or since:
      Hermione: If you don't stop doing it, I'm going to...
      Fred: (in an I'd-like-to-see-you-try-it-voice) Put us in detention?
      George: (smirking) Make us write lines?
      Hermione: No, but I will write to your mother.
      • Fred and George themselves use their pranking prowess to make Umbridge suffer.
    • And Harry finds out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (through Pensieve Flashback) that the teenage Snape threatens to sleep outside the Gryffindor common room unless the teenage Lily agrees to talk to him after he calls her a "Mudblood" in a moment of severe humiliation. Though she does talk to him as a result, the conversation ends with her telling him "it's over between us", which is NOT what he hoped for at all.
  • The Horse and His Boy:
    • From Lasaraleen: "Here. All of you. And you, doorkeeper. No one is to be let out of the house today. And anyone I catch talking about this young lady will be first beaten to death and then buried alive and after that be kept on bread and water for six weeks. There."
    • Aslan's punishment to Prince Rabadash. First, he's turned into a donkey, and then told that he has one chance to become human again, and that's to show up at the Temple of Tash during his country's largest festival, letting the entire country know that their ruler was an ass. Then, if he ever strays too far from the palace ever again, he'll turn into a donkey forever. This prevents him from ever taking military action against other countries, and makes it so that he'll never be able to escape the ridicule that he gets from having been a donkey.
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities: In Flashback, Leto warns Keefe — who is currently skipping his elvin history session — that he can become very creative with his punishments. When Keefe expresses curiosity, Ro shuts him down, since as his bodyguard, she has to be there for them, too. Leto, knowing her dislike of elvin history lectures, agrees and tells her, "And I found an entire room filled with recordings of speeches from the Ancient Councillors that I think you'll find particularly enjoyable." Ro promptly starts dragging Keefe back to his session.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: The eccentric magician Coriakin, who governs over the Duffers (a race of foolish dwarves), transforms them into funny one-legged creatures called Monopods as a Prank Punishment for disobedience. Everyone else agrees that they look better in their new form, and they find advantages in it, but at first they are horrified by their new look, thinking that they have become "ugly".
  • In the In Death series, Dallas' idea of ultimate torment is... a hair and body treatment from Mavis' friend Trina. This from a woman who regularly works herself to exhaustion, gets shot at, beaten up, blown up, etc.
  • For altering the ending of Jane Eyre, Thursday Next is sentenced to wear gingham for twenty years and must read the ten most boring books ever written before she dies.
  • In Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Norse god Odin punishes Thor by making him count all the stones in Wales.
  • The short story "The Man Without a Country" by Edward Everett Hale was about an officer who, while on trial for treason, renounced the United States, declaring that he wished to never hear of it again. As his sentence, he is given exactly what he asked for: He is effectively exiled to international waters, and his shipmates are ordered to never speak of the United States in his presence.
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl gives us the Trunchbull. One of her punishments for a misbehaving child is to force him to eat a (very large) chocolate cake. In front of the whole school. In both the book and the film he finishes it all to immense applause (in the book, the applause is spontaneous; in the film, Matilda starts it). Then Trunchbull smashes the platter over his head. Which, in the book, is described as having no effect on the boy, as he's too stuffed from the cake to feel it. In the film, he just stands there and belches, making the kids laugh and angering Trunchbull even more.
    • Eating a whole cake would make most people sick, so Trunchbull was probably hoping he'd vomit in front of the entire school so she could make him walk around in vomit-covered clothes all day.
    • This is practically Trunchbull's M.O., since the more out-there her punishments of students are, the less likely parents are going to believe the children trying to tell them.
    • Matilda herself inflicts cool and unusual punishments on her Abusive Parents and the Trunchbull. Like causing Mr. Wormwood to accidentally bleach his hair, then superglue his hat to his head, or spilling a glass of water with a newt in it onto the Trunchbull's dress. And the punishment on the Trunchbull at the end of the book is to make the "ghost" of her murdered brother write on the blackboard.
  • The Institute in The Mysterious Benedict Society has a room called "The Waiting Room" that children who misbehave are sent to while they wait to talk with Mr. Curtain. Most kids are clueless to what it is, higher ranking students refuse to discuss what it is, and people who were sent to it are usually too shell-shocked to describe what it's like. Not much is known about what it is but Sticky describes it as sitting in a dark, quiet room full of extremely horrid smelling mud and being surrounded by bugs.
  • In one of the Night Watch (Series) books, Anton describes how Geser, head of the Night Watch (the "good guys"), punishes members for slacking off by having them do something they would think is enjoyable, but ends up being boring. For instance, one Watch member punished is a teenage girl, and her punishment is having to be a normal teenager and be around other teenagers, which she quickly finds annoying. This punishment has a bit of a darker edge, in that Others are frequently mentioned to no longer identify with Muggles.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons novel "Descent Into the Depths of the Earth" has the relatively benign action of being tied back-to-back with another person... well, benign if that character isn't Polk the Teamster, a loudmouth who is described as not having stopped talking for the entire two hours they were sitting there; most of the speech was admonishing the hero about how badly he mishandled the previous fight: not because they were captured, but because he wasn't fighting awesomely enough.
  • In Tom Holt's Paint Your Dragon, one joke mentions that while Hell does have televised snooker, it's used for a certain group of very select clients.
  • In the Percy Jackson interpretation of the Greek underworld, torments in the Fields of Punishment range from classic forms of torture to being forced to listen to opera music. To be fair, Greek Mythology had some pretty weird punishments, too; see the "Mythology" folder below.
    • Also, at one point the Apollo (god of poet) campers curse at least one Ares (god of war) camper to speak in nothing but rhyme.
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: How does Catherine punish the ghost of one of her most ruthless and hated foes? She invites her to a pleasant, friendly get-together with Catherine's other friends. It's much crueler than it sounds, as it forces Akua to confront the fact that genuine companionship was what she truly needed and the only person she ever really cared about was sacrificed by her to attain power she now knows would not have truly made her happy. She now has to live with the knowledge that she could have had all of this years ago and it is entirely her own fault that she didn't.
    “The closest I have to match to last night is a girl I sent to die. You’ve devised a poison so sweet I will crave the taste of it.”
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe features the Total Perspective Vortex, which shows you how large the universe truly is, and how very very small you are. People's minds cannot handle it, and are generally driven completely insane if not catatonic from even a second's exposure.
    • Subverted by Zaphod's vision that yeah, he really IS the most important and cool guy in the universe. And then reverted when it's revealed that he was in an artificial reality, built just for him, so naturally he was the most important person in it.
    • And, as indicated by the page quote, Vogons use their own poetry as torture. Vogon poetry is sufficiently awful to elicit screams of pain, and could legitimately be regarded as torture. However, Arthur Dent doesn't seem to be particularly bothered by listening to it, which perhaps has to do with the fact that his own planet had the worst poet in the universe (at least until the Vogons demolished it).
  • A Russell Baker column suggested what he really considered painful and condign punishments for the Watergate conspirators — such as sentencing them to ten years of high school. ("You can't do this to me, Sirica!")
  • A Scanner Darkly has Charles Freck's punishment in the afterlife, after his suicide attempt: a creature with a thousand eyes pulls out a List of Transgressions, which he will be made to listen to for all eternity. In shifts. (In the film, this is a Bungled Suicide, and he's later seen in rehab; in the book, the suicide attempt is the last time he appears, raising the possibility that this is his afterlife.)
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Prufrock Preparatory School revels in this trope. Punishments for breaking the school's rules include removing your rights to forks, spoons, glasses and knives at the cafeteria. And if you miss one of the vice-principal's violin concerts, you are required to buy him a bag of candy and sit in his office watching him eat it all. It's hinted at being more depressing than it sounds, since the vice-principal is such a jerk.
  • In Daniel Pinkwater's book ''The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death'', the villain tortures people by forcing them to watch German comedy. Naturally, the character he kidnaps actually likes German comedy. It is also mentioned that the same villain once tortured another character by suspending them in a vat of egg foo yung.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch: At one point, T'Pol and Hoshi confront an uncooperative Orion criminal. Every time their perp refuses to give an answer, they "donate" large amounts of her money to various charities until she gives in.
  • Strega Nona: While Strega Nona goes out, she warns Big Anthony not to touch her magic pasta pot. He disobeys her, having learned the spell to activate it and serves enough for the whole town. When trying to chant the counterspell however, Big Anthony didn't know that he had to blow three kisses to finish the spell, and instead a humongous amount of pasta spews from the pot to flood the entire village. Strega Nona finds out and reverses the spell properly, then forces Big Anthony to eat all the pasta as punishment for disobeying her, leaving him sick and bloated that evening.
  • The Stories Julian Tells: One of the stories involves Julian and little brother, Huey, being told by their dad not to eat the pudding he's made until their mom gets home. Naturally, they can't resist, thinking one more bite won't hurt, and it's almost entirely gone before they stop. When their dad finds out, he tells them there's going to be some beating and whipping... Before he makes them beat the eggs and whip the cream he needs to make more pudding.
  • The Stormlight Archive: In the novella Edgedancer When Lift initially claims to be a friend of the Prime Aqasix, the local bureaucrats are understandably skeptical, and try to throw her out. When confirmation comes and they are ordered to obey her, she immediately makes them start calling her "Your Pancakefulness".
  • Terra Ignota:
    • The Utopians have a special punishment for killing one of their own: Modo mundo. They cut the perpetrator off from any sort of entertainment, from movies to books. The idea is that every Utopian has a thousand stories inside them even if they never publish, and by killing them you killed all those stories. So, you are cut off from stories in turn.
    • When the cook at one of J.E.D.D. Mason's safehouses accidentally destroyed a priceless book, J.E.D.D. told her that the protagonist of every work of fiction is Humanity, and the antagonist is God. Since then Chagatai's found herself unable to enjoy any entertainment without agonizing over the struggle between humanity and God, so she placed herself under an unofficial modo mundo, forgoing any entertainment and collecting knowledge of movie trivia instead.
  • Trapped on Draconica: How Gothon rewards Zarracka for failing twice over. throwing her, tied up, into a pit with a giant monster. The monster in question was a herbivore and thus harmless. All it did was scare her shitless, make her beg for her life, and ruin her dress with its slobber. It works beautiful because Zarracka's ego is bigger than his empire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it turns out that S.H.I.E.L.D. is fond of passive-aggressively dealing with their less dangerous prisoners.
    Quinn: I've been locked in a cell smaller than my shoe closet! I was forbidden from eating with a fork, which would be okay if I was fed anything other than meatloaf!
  • In The Alienist, the protagonist Laszlo Kreizler has to be aided by his housekeeper Mary even in simplest everyday tasks like tying his shoelaces due to his crippled arm. Laszlo has a bad temper, and when he misbehaves towards Mary, she is not above "punishing" him by leaving him to do these tasks on his own (which would not be a big deal for a person with two functioning arms, but renders Kreizler basically helpless). There are also romantic feelings between Kreizler and Mary, so the trope overlaps with Power Dynamics Kink.
  • This occurred at the end of every "Judge Trudy" skit on The Amanda Show, when Trudy would rule in favor of the child plaintiff and sentence the hapless adult defendant to something odd, which the bailiff would immediately carry out.
  • Arrow: When Diggle needs information from a captured mook, he has Felicity hack the man's finances and start donating his money to charity.
    Felicity: Oh, look at this, you have a bank account in the Cayman Islands. Wow, two million dollars, quite the little nest egg. But it looks like you just approved a wire transfer of $1 million to a charity here in Starling City. Very generous. What should I do with the rest?
    Diggle: Greenpeace!
    Felicity: Great cause! And they really appreciate the support.
    Clinton: Bitch!
    Felicity: Bitch with wifi. Hey Clinton, looks like your mom and dad have a really nice retirement portfolio too, but they, oh no, are just about to make some really bad investments.
    Clinton: Okay, just wait, just wait, stop. What do you want to know?
  • In Auction Kings, Cindy has done this to Jon via Using a toe-pulling device on Jon's fingers to find out if he left a case unlocked. Don't mess with Cindy.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In the very first episode Commander Sinclair tells G'Kar that G'Kar has ingested a micro-tracker which will keep a complete record of his movements for the next five years because of G'Kar's involvement in the events of the episode. After G'Kar leaves Sinclair tells Michael Garibaldi that there is no tracker but just think of all the unspeakable procedures G'Kar will be subjected to in search of the tracker.
    • Londo learned the hard way not to cross a Technomage. They respond by planting a Holodemon in his quarters, subjecting him and Vir to Narn opera as well as draining his account in such investments as a spoo ranch and Fireflies, Inc. before finally killing the power to his quarters. It was the last bit that convinced Londo to give the Technomages an apology.
  • The 60s Batman (1966) show had one of these every other episode when the Dynamic Dunderheads would be captured and put in a Rube Goldbergesque deathtrap.
  • One of the earliest sketches from A Bit of Fry and Laurie was one that featured Hugh Laurie enthusiastically showing the most boring holiday pictures you can think of and describing each one while Stephen Fry made sarcastic comments that appeared to be falling on deaf ears.
    Laurie: And this is one of me on the toilet half an hour later. I used a self-timer for that one. Because the whole new Minolta range have got self-timers.
    Fry: Self-timers? Oh, well, then I must leave at once.
    Laurie: I discovered this marvelous little man in Hadia who developed film the traditional Cretan way. Nikos his name was, or Costas. Could have been Andreas.
    Fry: Oh, but I must find out. Which? Which was his name?
    Laurie: This is him on the toilet.
    Fry: GO AWAY! (hugs himself and cries)
    Laurie: Right. Well, you touch my daughter again and it'll be a slide show. You understand?
    (Fry nods weakly)
  • In Blackadder Goes Forth, Edmund and Baldrick are at one point captured by the Germans and sentenced to a "fate worse than death". Since said fate apparently consists of spending the rest of the war at a German convent school teaching home economics, Blackadder is pretty miffed when he gets rescued and promptly sent back to the front.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In the Cold Open for "The Bimbo," Jake comes in late. As punishment, Captain Holt invented a unique high-five for everyone in the precinct, including the guy who was just there to install the copier, because he knows Jake loves high-fives.
    Jake: But you hate high-fives!
    Holt: Yes, every minute of it was hell, but it'll be worse for you.
  • Castle.
    Rick Castle: There has to be a way to get it out of him. We could force him to watch Paris Hilton videos.
    Kate Beckett: You want to be brought up on charges?
  • Cheers: When Doctor Simon Finch-Royce deliberately overcharges Frasier, despite his heavy hint dropping, Frasier points Diane back in his direction, knowing her refusal to admit defeat or that she's wrong will drive Simon nuts. And he's right, as Diane is in full-on I Reject Your Reality mode.
  • The Cosby Show: After Vanessa comes home drunk, her parents make her participate in the same drinking game again, even watching her younger sister have to take a shot. (What they don't tell her is that they're using tea.)
  • Danger 5. Tucker is captured by Italian sailors and forced to drink endless cups of coffee (though they might just have been having a good time). In Season 2, Hitler torments our heroes by imprisoning them in a sitcom starring himself: Hitler's Haus.
  • Daybreak (2019): After an Assassination Attempt on Turbo, he and Mona Lisa interrogate the captured assassins for the name of the traitor who helped them, by means of making them watch disturbingly graphic Educational Shorts.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the beginning of the Key to Time arc, the White Guardian gives us this gem:
      Doctor: Ah! You want me to volunteer, isn't that it?
      White Guardian: Precisely.
      Doctor: And if I don't?
      White Guardian: Nothing.
      Doctor: Nothing? You mean nothing will happen to me?
      White Guardian: Nothing at all. Ever.
      Doctor: Ah.
    • In the episode "A Good Man Goes to War", a Sontaran was forced to restore his honor by serving duties as a nurse, prolonging life, rather than allowing them to die in the glory of battle. In the same episode the losing commander Manton is explicitly told by The Doctor to order his troops not to retreat, but "run away". He will be known as Colonel Runaway from that day on.
    • In "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" Lucy Fletcher tortures a SQUEEZE TOY to get information from the Doctor. And IT WORKS. This is especially hilarious since the Doctor had just endured over four billion years of being horrifically and painfully murdered over and over again at the hands of the Time Lords without giving up anything, but squeezing poor Mr. Huffle was too much for him to bear.
      Lucy Fletcher: This is Mr. Huffle. Mr. Huffle feels pain.
  • The Drew Carey Show
    • You know what happened to the last guy who played a game of "I'm not touching the Devil"? He wound up wiping a fly's mouth for all eternity.
    • In another episode, Mimi blasted the Van Halen song "Panama" over and over for several days to attempt to drive Drew out of his house.note 
    • When Mimi pulls a prank by putting Drew's obituary in the paper, it activates his "Doomsday Prank" on her. Mimi is handcuffed to a chair and forced to watch four Drew lookalikes in only their underwear dance to "I'm Too Sexy."
  • ER: In the season six premiere episode "Leave it to Weaver", the ER is busy because of a car accident that injured severa bystanders, and a man with a migraine is upset because everyone is too busy to attend to him. He ends up pulling a fire alarm so he can get someone to help, and Randi responds by decking him. When the man protests, Kerry warns him if he complains any more, she'll let Randi hit him again.
  • In Friends, there was one episode in which Joey forces Chandler to wear blue lipstick as punishment for lying to him. There was also an earlier episode where Joey makes Chandler stay in a wooden box for six hours as punishment for kissing Joey's girlfriend (his reasons were threefold). In another episode, Rachel tells Ross to drink a glass of fat to make up for him insulting her (although she stops him when she sees that he was actually going to do it). Ross was harsh to Phoebe, who thought her dead mother's spirit was inside of a cat, so Rachel made Ross apologize to the cat. And yep, all of those make sense in context.
  • Glee:
    • Sue is upset with Will:
    Sue: I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And on some dark, cold night I will steal away into your home, and punch you in the face.
    • Sue also punished her moles' failures by revoking their tanning privileges. It causes Santana to burst into tears.
    • Everything Sue does, really...
    • When Will has finally had enough of Sue, he gets her to fall in love with him, mends all the damaged caused by their rivalry, and then dumps her just because he can.
  • Alton Brown tries this on his overreaching torture technician, Ygor J. Dungeonmaster. It backfires.
    Alton: "BAD DUNGEONMASTER, BAD! Now... go skim the moat!"
    Dungeonmaster (gleefully): "Oh, goody!" (takes out bendy straw) "Lucky straw, lucky straw!"
  • In The Good Place, this turns out to be Michael's plan to torture the main four human characters: make them think they're in Heaven but subtly manipulate things behind the scenes so that they constantly get on each other's nerves, are continually reminded of their insecurities and life's failures, and end up being utterly miserable and stressed in what should be a paradise for them.
    • Later on in the series, it turns out that among the legitimately horrific tortures of the Bad Place (penis flatteners, acid pits filled with spikes, flesh-eating lightning, spastic dentistry) there also exist departments such as children's dance recitals and weekend holiday shopping at IKEA.
    • The almighty judge of all reality threatens to torment Shawn, a head demon, by taping his eyes open and make him watch videos of soldiers returning home and being reunited with their dogs.
  • Hank Zipzer: In "Hank's New School", Mr. Rock forces Mr. Joy to give in to his demands by handcuffing him to a chair and singing protest songs at him.
  • In the Hannah Montana episode "Ready, Set, Don't Drive", Miley gets arrested for driving with an invalid license. She got her license as Hannah Montana because she didn't want to wait two weeks for a retest. Why, you ask? She couldn't handle the embarrassment of showing up to Amber's big party when Amber had her license and she didn't. Does Robbie Ray ground her? Passe! Take away her allowance? Old hat! Instead, he drives her to the big party, and announces over a bullhorn that Miley didn't get her license.
  • In Happy!, after the reality TV producer insults Mr. Blue's gangster profession, Blue breaks a Christmas tree ornament across the producer's face, complete with broken shards lodging themselves into the skin.
  • On Heroes, Mohinder knows his mortal nemesis Sylar has absorbed the power of super-hearing. His hearing is so keen he can hear other people's breathing and heartbeats, and in fact suffered terrible headaches from the noise. So when Mohinder goes to torture Sylar, what does he do? He strikes a tuning fork and holds it up next to Sylar's ear in all of its shrill, discordant glory and lets Sylar scream for mercy.
  • During an episode of Home Improvement, Tim gets himself and his wife lost while driving but stubbornly refuses to ask for directions. To make Tim change his mind, his wife threatens to get up each morning and cut out the sports section of the newspapers they get if he continues to refuse to stop and ask for directions. It works.
  • House:
    • When a girl comes in with neck pain in "Kids", instead of firing Chase for being Vogler's Mole, House decides to be creative:
      House: You, sir, will research all the causes in the universe of neck pain.
      Chase: The list is, like, two miles long!
      House: Start with the letter A.
    • When Ron Livingston's global altruist character in "TB or not TB" orders a press conference on the unfairness of Africa's lack of Western medical care, House breaks into his hospital room and increases the heat, turns off the TV, knocks his supplies on the floor and flushes his cell phone down the toilet to simulate the third world environment he "obviously wants".
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Barney is a frequent victim of this trope:
    • When Barney loses a slap bet against Marshall, he continuously gets slapped Marshall over and over in several episodes.
    • And after losing yet another bet, Barney was forced to wear Marshall's duckie tie for most of the seventh season.
    • In "Woo", Ted nearly loses his dream job of building the new GNB building when Barney hires a band called the Sven Brothers instead before reconsidering Marshall's preposition that Ted is better fit for the job. After Marshall tells Ted that Barney is the reason why he didn't get the job at first, Ted punishes Barney by strapping him to a mechanical bull and deliberately leaves it on making Barney spin uncontrollably. And to add insult to injury, when Barney finally breaks free he is so dizzy he misses out on a chance of having a threeway with two of the "Woo Girls".
    • In "Magician's Code Part 2", Quinn redecorates everything in Barney's apartment pink as punishment for Barney sneaking off to Atlantic City with Marshall.
    • Combined with a You Are What You Hate situation; Barney who has been making fun of Canada for years, finds out he himself is one-quarter Canadian. Robin spends an entire episode teasing him about it as punishment and even tries to make him wear a Canadian costume for a Holloween in exchange for her stopping (although Barney doesn't follow through).
  • JAG: After Harm and Mic get into a fight that inadvertently breaks Bud's jaw (he stepped in between their simultaneous punches), Admiral Chegwidden offers them "non-judicial punishment". He takes them to an empty building, opens the door, and tells them they are not to leave until they inflict damage and pain on each other equal to what they inflicted on Bud. The next day in court, they both look like they went 10 rounds with the heavyweight champ.
  • In Kamen Rider Decade, Natsumi will respond to anything Tsukasa does to annoy her - and I mean anything - by hitting him with the Laughing Pressure Point, a thumb-jab to the neck that causes him to laugh uncontrollably for the next several minutes. She even hit Tetsuya with it in one episode where she couldn't use it on Tsukasa.
  • On episode of Lizzie McGuire, Matt pretends to have an Imaginary Friend so his parents would buy him whatever he wanted. They punish him by making him wash a number of imaginary animals while the rest of the family watches.
  • Reese in Malcolm in the Middle discovered that he was a natural chef. When he sabotages a cooking contest he would've won easily with his natural skill, his parents punish him by banning him from the kitchen for a month, and it works!
  • "Damn Bundys" from Married... with Children: When Al goes to hell because of a Deal with the Devil, the latter condemns Al to eat "Weenie Tots" (Which Al loves) for the rest of forever because they will force Al to spend eternity in the bathroom (and we all know how bad this is for Al). When The Devil notices that this has not had the effect he wanted, he proclaims, "For the rest of eternity you'll never see your family again", causing Al to fall on his knees saying "This is heaven." However, the Devil finally manages to come up with a Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Forcing Al to continue his normal life forever.
    • He also inflicts some Cool and Unusual Punishments on the rest of his family and neighbors as well. Bud ends up with claws, which results in him constantly popping his blow-up sex dolls. Kelly is turned into a gargoyle, which scares off would-be dates. Peggy's hands are turned into hooves, which means she can't operate the TV Remote or the Phone. And Marcy and Jefferson are forced to come over every day and be subjected to Al's insults.
    • The season 7 episode "Peggy and the Pirates" showcased Peggy telling their (temporary) house guest Seven a bedtime story, with her as the heroine who is kidnapped by "Rubio The Cruel" (played by David Garrison), the most feared pirate on the Seven Seas. Why is he so feared? because his awful, awful singing of showtunes brings searing pain to the ears of whomever hears it. Half of the crew of the ship he captures jumps overboard to escape it.
    Captain Courage (played by Ed O'Neil): Now we know why he's called "Rubio The Cruel"!
  • Some of the bad guys in Medium ended up being punished this way, especially Jeremy and his girlfriend from An Everlasting Love, stuck together as ghosts for all eternity, the lone thing that bound them together (kidnapping and killing young women) gone and the Gold Digger wife from Will The Real Fred Rovick Please Stand Up? who ends up being conned out of her inheritance - for which she had murdered her 91-year-old husband - by the guy she used to corrupt one of the jurors.
  • Mel during one episode of Melissa & Joey tells her niece and nephew under her care: "Stay out of trouble, or I'll come to your school and kiss you at lunch."
  • Modern Family: Fail to accomplish what you're tasked to do, and Luke will punish you with his water gun. Better have some spare clothes with you if he's supervising your work.
  • During the second to last episode of Season 2 of The Mole, three of the four contestants have to spend one night in a creepy room. One room is a glass box filled with cockroaches and harsh light, the second is a completely dark room with a python slithering around, and the last(and worst) is a completely normal room where the song "Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho plays over and over in different iterations(sometimes very slowly, sometimes speeded up, sometimes backwards, etc.)
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Confess, or the Spanish Inquisition will poke you with soft cushions. And if that fails... "Cardinal Fang! Fetch... the comfy chair!" This might be considered a subversion, since the people tortured in this way are just confused, and do not react as if being tortured. Unlike...
    • Doug Piranha from the Piranha brothers sketch was so scary that grown men would pull their own heads off rather than endure this:
      Vercotti: He used... Sarcasm. He knew all the tricks; dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes and... Satire. He was vicious.
  • Used in an episode of Mork & Mindy, where Mork gets captured by Amazon-esque aliens who torture him with massages and the dreaded bubble bath!.
    • Were these the ones commanded by Raquel Welch? Whose character complained about her skimpy silver toned costume, 'Who could look good in this?'
  • Parodied on the VHS cover synopsis for A Muppet Family Christmas: "Don't miss it or they'll send you a fruitcake!"
  • A Cool and Unusual Punishment was used as the final punchline for a Season Four episode of The Muppet Show (the episode guest-starring Liza Minnelli). When Statler and Waldorf are caught trying to "bump off" the Muppets, they're taken away. It's only after the credits, during their traditional "last laugh", that we see their fate: they're locked in the theater box (complete with bars) and forced to watch the Muppet Show.
    Statler: How long are we here for?
    Waldorf: 20 years.
    Statler: If I'd known that judge was giving us the Box, I'd have asked for the Chair!
  • Murdoch Mysteries: The B-plot in "Murdoch Ahoy" starts with a mention of Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to take a trip down Niagara Falls, who is touring with the barrel she rode down the falls in. When her barrel is stolen during an appearance in Toronto, she enlists Crabtree's help. Crabtree discovers that the thieves are a group of university students who stole the barrel as a prank, along with Dr. Grace's mounted skeleton Shelley and Constable Jackson's helmet. The boys plead with Crabtree not to arrest them, since the scandal would lead to their being disowned by their families. In lieu of arresting them, Crabtree punishes the boys by forcing them to clean the entire stationhouse from top to bottom, and he insists they write a letter of apology to Ms. Taylor.
  • My Wife and Kids:
    • This is how Michael Kyle would usually punish his kids every time they get out of line.
    • Michael himself gets threatened with this trope in one occasion — it involves his wife, ill with flu at the time, threatening to kiss him unless he agrees to the task she sets for him (taking their youngest daughter, who's also sick with flu, to their physician). Not wishing to risk being infected, Michael obliges at once.
  • The entire premise of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The main characters are forced to watch crappy movies as part of an experiment; the villain is hoping to discover a film so bad it drives them insane, at which point he will turn it into a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
    • Pearl Forrester gives the crew the especially hellishly god-awful film Hobgoblins as a punishment for jumping on her rent-to-own sofas.
    • Pearl came oh-so-close to succeeding with Invasion of the Neptune Men, which nearly drove Mike and the bots insane. Their spirits were lifted by a visit from Krankor.
    • The original baddest of the bad, "Manos" The Hands of Fate, a film so terrible that Dr. Forrester apologized for showing it to them.
    • Pearl at one point threatens Mike Nelson with "a John Agar film festival" as punishment for one of Mike and the 'bots transgressions, though the threat is not carried out.
  • Parodied by the MythBusters. One of the selected myths for the third viewer special was whether bamboo could grow through a person's body. The setup sequence in the blueprint room featured Adam pretending to be tied to a chair while Jamie said "I can keep singing all day".
  • On The Nanny, Maxwell grounds Brighton for trying to sneak past Fran to go to the mall in New Jersey. He then says that Brighton isn't allowed to go to his play premiere, which Brighton didn't want to go to anyway. Brighton is okay with that, until Fran convinces Maxwell to be "lenient" and let him go to the play.
    • This showed up fairly early in the series, when he tried smoking. After consulting her mother, Fran brought him to visit Grandma Yetta in her nursing home and watch her cough incessantly while puffing. To rub it in, Yetta then took him to visit another resident, described as "phlegm in a hairnet".
    • In "The Two Mrs. Sheffields", Maxwell's mother visits him, but takes an immediate dislike for Fran, demanding that he fire her. So, Maxwell decides to get back at her by proposing to Fran. Eventually, Fran realizes that Maxwell's only going through this out of spite, so she starts playing along, soon making him feel guilty about this insincere proposal.
    Maxwell: There must be something I can do to make it up to you.
    Fran: No, there's really not.
    Maxwell: No, please, I insist. Anything.
    Fran: Come on, you're insulting me.
    Maxwell: Are you sure?
    Fran: Well, maybe three things. Don't tell Miss Babcock for 48 hours. I promised Niles. Oh, and someone's gonna have to tell Ma. I figured you'd wanna do that personally. And then the third thing is, well, you can return this. (hands him a bag) It's what I was gonna wear on our honeymoon night.
    Maxwell: There's nothing in here but lip gloss.
    Fran: (smirks) Suffer.
    (Fran winks at Maxwell)
  • Night Gallery: a hippie finds he's gone to Hell. He's cool with it and can't wait to see the groovy fire and brimstone and demons...then is horrified to find his custom-made Hell is spending eternity with an old couple, watching their nonstop vacation slide show and listening to a mile-high stack of Lawrence Welk records. This set-up is also the old couple's custom-made Heaven.
  • Police, Camera, Action! is not averse to this trope in the Retool series presented by Gethin Jones since December 2008. All participants in the show learn the consequences of their driving misdemeanors in some shocking way. But Values Dissonance comes into play here.
  • In Power Rangers in Space, Elgar once fouled up and let the Rangers get an important diskette; Astronema punished him by making him "play with Scrudley". (Exactly who "Scrudley" is isn't clear; presumably its a monster of some sort that's very rough with anyone who plays with it.)
  • In Power Rangers S.P.D., a villain who wouldn't give up any information under threats, promises of a reduced sentence or even The Chick's hit single "Me" crumbled under the Cloudcuckoolander's stream-of-consciousness rambling.
    • Their was also a subversion in a different episode with Piggy. Gruumm had left Piggy in a disgusting filthy pit for half an hour to convince him to help him defeat the rangers. The subversion isn't that it was a punishment, both of them saw it as a taste of a reward.
  • Reba:
    • Jake once gripes to Cheyenne about having Kyra as babysitter because Kyra makes him watch "The Wiggles" with his niece. Kyra, standing right behind Jake, replies: "Keep complaining. I got Barney tapes here."
    • Kyra spends much of the episode "Go Far" making snarky remarks while strumming her guitar. At the end of the selfsame episode, when she does it once too many for Reba to tolerate any further, Reba threatens to sell Kyra's guitar. Kyra, not wishing to run that risk, puts her guitar away.
    • After Reba wrecks Rhonda, Van gets back at her by calling Barbra Jean to tell her of Reba's temporary blind condition, knowing full well that she would rush to Reba's aid despite Reba's dislike of having Barbra Jean around.
  • On an episode of ''Roseanne", Darlene wants D.J. punished for messing up her room. Roseanne and Dan decide to let Darlene name the punishment, and she decides to make D.J. wear a suit and tie to school the next day, which he hates.
    Roseanne: Of course, I would have made him wear a dress. (Darlene gapes) Too late!
    • D.J.'s punishment for grand theft auto was equally bad, if not worse. Roseanne would bring him to school, except she would wear the embarrassing apparel, namely a hillbilly outfit and very messy lipstick.
    • Becky and Darlene were hit with this too when they gave Roseanne a particularly generous Mother's Day gift as a way to suck up to attend a concert out of town. They got their trip out of town, all visit their grandparents. They got to meet Bev's garden club, watch an endless vacation slide show, and sing showtunes.
  • Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a warlock who was turned into a cat by the Witch's Council as punishment for trying to Take Over the World.
  • One Saturday Night Live sketch was a History Channel-style documentary about an Allied attack on the Germans in World War II. Eventually, a former POW talks about how his friend went insane in prison, after being taken into a round room and told to go sit in the corner.
  • Scrubs
    • Dr. Cox and Jordan punish the doctor responsible for Dr. Cox's failed vasectomy by strapping him to a chair while an a cappella group continuously sings the baritone part to the "Chili's Baby Back Ribs" Jingle over and over. The torture is so horrendous that ten minutes into the singing, the doctor starts eating his own face.
      Doctor: When do they say "ribs?"
      Dr. Cox: Never. They never say "ribs."
    • It seems Dr. Cox is the distributor of cool and unusual punishments; at one point he made Keith check the countertop's heartbeat for two hours. JD then relates the story of Dr. Cox making him give every air conditioning duct in the hospital a papsmear. Dr. Cox also once made all his interns stand in a corner for saying "let's rock and roll." JD says it a few moments later, with predictable results (despite him being an Attending at the time.)
    • A bizarre one: To get back at Elliot for dating Keith, JD in one of his yandere moments demands to be part of their sexual fantasies.
    • The Janitor also gets a few of these because he hates JD. One episode has the Janitor paint stars and stripes on JD and hang him from a flagpole, telling him to "act like a flag" for a while. Another episode has him punishing JD for his pride by recruiting everyone in the hospital, including JD's friends, to pelt JD with balls. This one gets bonus Laser-Guided Karma points because if JD had just swallowed his pride and asked someone what was going on, nothing would have happened to him.
  • On Seinfeld, this was one of the ideas Jerry and George pitched to NBC for Jerry's sitcom pilot. After hitting Jerry's car, a man has no insurance or ability to pay for the damages, so a judge sentences him to be Jerry's butler. The network executives like this ridiculous premise much more than "a show about nothing."
  • This was part of a running gag on an episode of Sesame Street where Oscar's mother comes to visit and every time she heard him say "please" (a word that grouches never say) she would wash his mouth out with ice cream.
  • A few episodes of 'Stargate Atlantis have Major Sheppard threaten Dr. McKay with, of all things, a lemon.
    • This is a credible threat, considering McKay is highly allergic to lemons.
  • While not technically a punishment, a second season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had a 21st century astronaut that got accidentally abducted by aliens and when they couldn't return him home, made him a small reality where he could live out the rest of his days in the company of pseudo-humans based around a book as an attempt at apologizing for screwing him. Unfortunately, they based the reality off such a godawful book that the astronaut writes in his logbook "I hold no malice toward my benefactors. They could not possibly know the hell they have put me through, for it was such a badly written book, filled with endless cliché and shallow characters. I shall welcome death when it comes."
    • Of course, this leads to the minor logical problem of why the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens never noticed that the technology level described in the 1930's novel clearly wasn't the same as the 21st century spacecraft they were dealing with, not to mention that if they could understand the language written down in the paperback novel, why didn't they simply ask the astronaut what his home planet was like?
  • In the Suite Life On Deck episode "Model Behavior", Moseby punishes Zack, Marcus, and Woody for throwing a party without his authorization and encouraging a group of teen models to stay out past curfew by making them don snorkeling gear and fish the floaties they threw overboard out of the ocean.
    • Also in another episode, Zack Marcus and Woody set up a fake beauty pageant to meet girls and then announce that the pageant is canceled leading to many complaints from disappointed girls. When Mr. Moseby finds out, he punishes Zack Woody and Marcus by hosting a real beauty pageant, appoints them as judges, puts them in charge of the preparations and cleaning up afterwards, and even forbids them from flirting with any of the contestants.
  • Supernatural: In "The Man Who Would Be King", it is shown that after Crowley took over Hell, he got rid of the agonizing torture and turned it from Fire and Brimstone Hell into a Celestial Bureaucracy consisting of nothing but one long line that everyone is forced to wait in for eternity. According to Crowley, a lot of people sent to Hell are masochists who are Too Kinky to Torture, but everybody hates waiting in line.
    Castiel: And what happens when they reach the front?
    Crowley: Nothing. They go right back to the end again. That's efficiency.
  • In one episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah threatens to have Cameron shipped off to boarding school when she gets a bit too carried away.
  • In the The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "A Nice Place To Visit," a prideful, greedy burglar named Rocky Valentine is shot dead and wakes up in what he believes to be Heaven. He meets a man in a white suit named Pip, who promises to grant him anything he wants. Rocky gets it all: beautiful women, delicious food, fancy clothes, success at gambling, and millions of dollars. He gets all of that and more...and then he finds that, no matter what he does, he'll always get what he wants. Always. The boredom drives him out of his mind and he decides he doesn't want to stay and begs to go to The Other Place. That's when Pip reveals where he's been all along.
    Pip: Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea you were in Heaven, Mr. Valentine? This is the Other Place!
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Fire takes it literally with the "cool" part. Whenever the villainous underlings fail one of their plans, Big Bad Donkaen punishes them with an ice-related punishment, which makes sense, as they are fiery demons.
  • On Top Gear, when the presenters are making a long journey in second-hand cars (bought under a narrow budget according to certain criteria; e.g. two-wheel drive and not modified for off-roading), the producers send along an emergency backup car which is either 1. hateful to all three of them, 2. entirely inappropriate for the setting, or both. If a car breaks down and the presenter cannot get it going again, his punishment is to use the backup car for the rest of the journey.
    • In the Botswana special, the backup was an old-model VW Beetle.
    • In the Vietnam special, it was a motorbike painted in a bright and gaudy American flag livery and blasting Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA", with the radio controls disabled.
      • Ironically if you listen to the lyrics, "Born in the USA" is a protest song about a man who gets sent to Vietnam, loses his best friend, and can't find work after coming back home as a disgruntled veteran. If the Vietnamese understood the song, they might even like it. Unfortunately, most of them don't speak English.
      • Due to copyright laws, on US streaming services and video sales it has been replace with The Star Spangaled Banner. This is arguably less of a perceived offense (and ruins the joke that comes a few seconds later).
    • In a Season 13 episode involving a long drive in France and a race on Val Thorens's ice-driving track, it was a Morris Marina—a car which, inexplicably, usually winds up crushed under a piano whenever it appears on the show. The presenters blame a nearby piano moving service, Careless Airways.
      • Adding insult to injury, this was a rare instance where the backup car was required (as James's selection died.) Heaping a metric ton of insult to injury, it proved to be the car that won the challenge. (One guess what happened after they walked away from it at the ice-track finish line. They blamed Careless Airways' French affiliate.)
    • The one where they went to America, although they had no idea it was going to be punishment. As a joke on the stereotypes of USA Southerners (which aren't true... right?) they paint some joke things on each other's car. Hammond's (painted by May) says "Man-love rules OK", Clarkson's (painted by Hammond) says "Country and western is rubbish", and May's (painted by Clarkson) says "Hillary for President". They laugh at how idiotic they feel, and stop at a petrol station to fill up. The owner is like 'Are you serious?' and they're like 'It's just a joke, we're sorry if you're offended'... and she subsequently calls her friends and they have a mob of people chasing after the 3 guys and the camera crew. The rest we see of that is a mobile phone recording of them absolutely shitting themselves and trying to rub the words off their cars. Completely unexpected but a cool and unusual punishment for thinking that Southerners aren't like their stereotype.
    • Subverted in the hunt for the "source of the Nile" when the backup car, a Ford Scorpio, failed to make it to the destination because the men in white coats dropped it in a river the presenters had crossed in their self-made car ferry.
    • Series 13's "Cars For Teenagers" challenge, parking quietly at night. Hammond and Jeremy elected to push their cars into position. James, on the other hand, was doomed before he started...
    Jeremy: Ahem. *holds up the remote for James May's superglued (max volume, adjustment knob removed) stereo*
    Richard: Is that the control..?! *corpses as he realises what Jeremy's holding*
    Jeremy: *aims the remote squarely at James' car* Ready... steady... aaaand... *LOUD MUSIC*
  • In one episode of The Weird Al Show, a sadistic kid's show host threatens his sidekick with a "Pauly Shore marathon" if he doesn't win a coveted award. He doesn't win (but nor does the other guy he's aiming to beat). The last shot of the episode is his sidekick, bound and gagged to a chair, as the host snarls, "Which do you want to see first? Encino Man or Jury Duty?"
  • On The West Wing, C.J. once accidentally arranged for a photo op wherein the president would pose with a goat. Leo was not happy.
    Leo: If he's wearing a hat, or that thing's wearing a Bartlet button — I'm hiding snakes in your car.
    C.J.: Come on, don't say that, not even to joke!
    Leo: You're never gonna know where they are...
    C.J.: Leo!
    Leo: ...or if you got 'em all out. Gonna lay their eggs right in your glove compartment.
  • Will & Grace
    • Karen throws a wild party and trashes Will's apartment. Her punishment? Will denies Karen her afternoon martini (a.k.a. "lunch") and makes her look at Grace's endless honeymoon photos.
      Karen: (to Will) I HATE YOU!
      Grace: Roll one: my luggage!
    • In another episode, Karen and Jack are coming up with some type of revenge against the English Lorraine Finster for stealing Karen's husband. Jack's idea? Make her watch the American version of anything British.
    • Another time, Grace forces Karen (who has just gone on a several-thousand-dollar shopping spree) to cut back on her spending habits by threatening to cut up part of the sweater set she just bought.
      Karan: No! You kill one piece and the whole ensemble dies!
      Grace: Maybe I'll just start with...the label.
      Karen: No! Honey that's the BEST PART! (covers mouth in abject horror) No....
      Grace: (moving scissors in a cutting motion) Dah dah! Dah dah! Dah nah dah nah dah nah...
  • Wizards of Waverly Place:
    • In response for Alex always taking things from his room, Justin creates a female Frankenstine's monster named "Franken Girl" to guard his room, makes Franken Girl befriend Alex, and eventually forces Alex to join the cheerleading squad.
    • During the episode "Dancing With Angels" Max (who has been turned into a little girl) refuses to tell his parents where Alex, Harper and Justin have sneaked off to. His punishment? Being entered into a beauty pageant for 7-12 year-old girls.
  • A lot of Whose Line Is It Anyway? sketches feature some form of this, particularly "World's Worst". For example, in one "Hoedown", Colin claims he hates the Backstreet Boys so much that he punished them by making them wear copies of his loud Hawaiian shirt.
  • During one episode of Yes, Dear, Greg got threatened with one of these by his boss: "Warner, if you keep talking, you're going to come to work in a thong and a beefeater hat." That got Greg quiet.
  • In Yes, Prime Minister, Prime Minister Hacker manages to get a slimy Foreign Office Mole, who has been meddling with his attempts to work with Israel in accordance with the Foreign Office's pro-Palestinian leanings, a cushy promotion as ambassador to an important friendly nation. Unfortunately, the embassy is in Tel Aviv...
  • On Dexter, a character was shown torturing someone for information by shaking up bottles of Coke and opening them so they would spray straight up the guy's nose.
  • In I Am Frankie, Tammy frames Robbie for vandalizing the school lockers. When she confesses to framing him, her punishment is to be his "genie" and grant him three "wishes".
  • In The Noddy Shop, whenever Warloworth is caught playing a trick on the toys, he has to take care of Whiny and Whimper, Noah's two baby dolls.

  • 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 1984, 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 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 
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • 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'.

  • 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 consists of spending eternity listening to badly thought-out arguments for Satan's existence.
    • Regular Hell, on the other hand, looks exactly like Heaven, with one very important difference — you stube your toe every forty-two seconds, regular. 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 lounge 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • A number of reviews on That Guy with the Glasses 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 (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."
  • 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 of Cool and Unusual Punishment.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • The Snorch on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters deals these out to students who break the rules or otherwise get on the bad side of The Gromble, including being forced to walk through a field of flowers or listen to opera.
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Toadwart warns Tummi that if he doesn't do what he says, he'll resort to the deluxe torture plan.
    Toadwart: You'll be forced to listen to a medley of popular folk tunes sung by Gad and Zook.
  • American Dad!: in the episode "In Country... Club", Roger wants the code to the Pay-per-view channel. When Stan won't give it to him, Roger kidnaps Stan during a Vietnam War reenactment and tortures him by reading the first draft of the Sex and the City film. This was after he had already subjected him to a genuinely brutal beatdown.
  • In the Animaniacs feature-length Wakko's Wish, the Warner kids are sent through The Cave of Your Worst Nightmares, which contains horrors they endured in episodes of the TV show: "Baloney" the Dinosaur, a filthy gas station bathroom, and Jerry Lewis look-alike Mr. Director.
    • In the episode where they end up in Hades, the Devil prepares to throw them in a room containing "unspeakable torment": listening to "whiny protest songs from The '60s" for all eternity. The Warners scream in terror and throw the Devil in the room.
    • The Warners themselves tend to be this on people.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Mother Daughter Laser Razor", Logan and Louise are punished for disrupting the mother-daughter seminar. Their punishment is to be locked in a closet called the "Ute-room" and forced to watch a loop of Freaky Friday (1976) until they promise to get along and behave.
  • One torture session on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: While Buzz is going through a Faked Rip Van Winkle, Zurg has his three comrades captive. Booster, The Big Guy, is in a cell with bouncy walls that all his strength can't break. X-R, the versatile robot, has his extendable limbs in shackles, extending them out as far as they will go, so he can't really do anything. And Mira, who can phase through solid matter simply by concentrating, is in a cell rigged to burst into a cacaphony of light and sound whenever she tries to use her powers. The perfect torture... except, well, Booster is having a ball bouncing around in his cage, and the shackles work better for X-R than any chiropractor could have. As for Mira? Well, okay, maybe it's a little annoying, but it's hardly torture. Zurg starts yelling at the underlings who cooked up this cockamamie scheme.
    • Mira's torture was supposed to be that she was Forced to Watch as her teammates were tortured powerless to do anything, but since they're having great time she was just bored.
  • In one rather memorable episode of Super Friends, the Legion of Doom stole a powerful matter transmuting device, but in the process, most of them abandoned Cheetah, Sinestro, and Black Manta in order to escape with it, leaving them to be captured by the heroes. As can be expected, those three were very angry at their teammates when they escaped, and decided to teach them a lesson by commandeering the device and using it to play billiards, with them as the balls.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door
    • In "Operation U.N.C.O.O.L." had a part where Numbuh 2 asks one of the nerds what he's done with the other operatives- we then see those operatives strapped to a chair forced to watch a Doctor Who-like show called "Dr. Spacetime and The Continuums" with the nerds.
      Numbuh 5: Turn it off! In the name of all that's pure TURN IT OFF!
    • This, along with the opening credits of the episode "Operation: A.M.I.S.H.", seems to imply that the creators don't really like the show.
    • In "Operation: B.R.E.A.K.-U.P.", Numbuh Four's mother tells him that if he breaks one more vase, she will send him to a place even worse than military school: ballroom dancing school.
  • In one episode of The Dating Guy, Woody tries to get information out of VJ by tying him to a chair and telling him the entire plot to Gilmore Girls. VJ automatically cracks.
  • A bit from an episode of Count Duckula, where the punishment is the only one available, may well be a Homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    Captain: "Men! Tie 'em to the yardarm!"
    Mister Mate: "We ain't got a yardarm, cap'n, I ate it last week."
    Captain: "Well what 'ave we got?"
    Mister Mate: "We've got a comfy sofa..."
    Captain: "I can't say, 'tie 'em to the comfy sofa!'"
    Mister Mate: "It's all that's left, cap'n."
    Captain: "Oh, all right. Tie 'em to the... comfy sofa!"
    • In one episode, Duckula threatens Nanny and Igor to accompany him on a carnival ride by threatening to start singing.
  • Darkwing Duck
    • In one episode, Megavolt tried to think up some way to torture his prisoners, one of them was "Make them watch Game Shows".
    • One of Quackerjack's sinister toys is the Mr. History doll, who just sprouts random historic facts with the intention of boring you to death.
      Quackerjack: Get ready for the Industrial Revolution!
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode "The Old Switcharooms" Dexter's father makes him and Dee Dee stay in each other's rooms as punishment for running into him (causing his bowling trophy to break). Later Dad confines Dexter to the doghouse, leaving him to worry about the fate of his lab.
  • In Disenchantment the dungeon in Dreamland's castle is equipped with conventional torture equipment such as thumb screws and racks, but also a particularly dreaded book of golf jokes.
  • In Dragon Hunters episode 32, an old man is interrogated by threatening him with book spoilers.
  • Drawn Together,
    • When Captain Hero and Spanky Ham are caught cheating in an Indian casino, the owners, after torturing them (spoofing the film "Casino") threaten that if the two ever return, they will "show them just how bad an Indian burn can be". They then perform a simple Indian burn in the air while laughing maniacally, while Hero and Spanky scream in fright.
    • In another episode, when Pikachu knock-off/Japanese stereotype Ling-Ling refuses to give into an extortionist's demands, he threatens to send his accomplice over to Ling-Ling's house and have him walk around without taking off his shoes.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • In "Duckman of Aquatraz", when Glomgold gets caught framing Scrooge, the judge orders him to always keep a portrait of the world's richest duck in his house. Thus, Glomgold has to put up with Scrooge grinning down at him constantly.
    • Scrooge once recounted how a police officer was sentenced to 30 days wearing skirts for arresting him for wearing a skirt simply because he was wearing a kilt. (Scrooge lucked out: the judge was also a guy who wore a kilt; he wasn't amused.)
    • In the episode where Magica and the Beagle Boys infiltrate Scrooge's mansion, a tied up Burger Beagle (shape-shifted as Huey) gets his glamour spell undone. Scrooge demands where Huey is, and Burger refuses to talk, so Scrooge threatens him with no supper, making him crack.
  • An episode of Duckman features the titular detective strapping his partner Cornfed into A Clockwork Orange-type forced-viewing setup, and airing a slide show.
  • The Fairly OddParents,
    • Related: In one episode, Timmy comes into contact with the Yugopotamians, "sadistic" aliens who become recurring characters; at one point, he must brave their "horrifying trials" to save the Earth. These include skipping through a field of flowers, hugging a teddy bear, and "eating the dreaded chocolate".
    • Later in the episode, when they start to forget his "impressive feats" and renege on what he blackmailed them into doing, he leans around a doorway and menacingly eats a flower, immediately terrifying them back into compliance.
    • Subverted when Timmy blithely accepts a challenge from a Yugopotamian, expecting more chocolate-eating and suchlike. He's unpleasantly surprised to find he accepted a gladiatorial death match. He wins by firing pillows at his opponent and choosing an unnaturally cheerful day-care center as his combat arena.
    • Another episode had Timmy freeing the town mascot, Chompy the Goat, from captivity and Vicky getting blamed for it. She is locked in a stockade and given 'an extremely bad hair day until she talks' in the form of a balloon being rubbed against her hair to make it puffy.
    • In Channel Chasers, Timmy's mom mentioned that she punished him by making him eat chocolate. Then she says that, in hindsight, it wasn't a good punishment.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "The Former Life of Brian," Dylan, Brian's human son who is older than Brian, makes Meg watch the 178 hours of Monty Python that weren't funny or memorable. To which Meg shouts, "I'm a girl! I don't even like the good Monty Python jokes!"
    • Another episode ends with Cleveland and Quagmire tied up in the basement of a building, forced to watch the DirectTV Help Channel on a continuous loop.
  • In Fantomcat, whenever Vile screwed up, Marmagora would feed him to her pet Man-Eating Plant, Gloria.
  • In Filmation's Ghostbusters, the Big Bad Prime Evil seemed to be very good at thinking up creative ways to punish his minions when they messed up. For example, in the Five-Episode Pilot, he sent the mummy Airhead and Apparatia on one of the missions, but the heroes beat them after filling Airhead with air until he exploded. So Prime Evil simply made Apparatia sew him back together. (Neither an easy or pleasant job, definitely.)
  • Freakazoid!:
    • In the origin episode, the villain (voiced by Ricardo Montalban in a spoof of his role as Khan in Star Trek) tries to coerce Dexter and Roddy McStew by revealing that he has kidnapped Dexter's family and is threatening to show them a videotape of "The Best of Marty Ingels", to which a horrified Roddy responds, "What kind of sadistic creature are you!?"
    • And the episode "Hotrods from Heck", one of the titular hot rods blows himself up rather then endure 7 hours of Tony Danza.
    • In another ep, Freakazoid gives a speeder a The Jerry Springer Show. After seeing the speeder's horrified reaction, he decides to just give him a warning.
  • Futurama:
    • In "Space Pilot 3000", Fry learns that anyone who refuses the job assignment programmed into their career chip gets fired. From a cannon. Into the sun.
    • The episode "Amazon Women in the Mood" brings us "Death By Snu Snu".
      Fry: (sombre expression) I never thought I'd die this way...(suddenly smiles)...but I'd always really hoped.
    • In "Hell is Other Robots", Bender is subject to many such punishments for his sins in Robot Hell. These include his hard drive being used as a turn table by the Beastie Boys for illegally copying their music or being turned into a giant cigar for his smoking habit. But the worst part for Bender is the up-tempo singing and dancing.
    • Still, "Calculon 2.0" shows that the Robot Devil has standards. Even the damned don't deserve to listen to Calculon Chewing the Scenery.
    • "The Late Phillip. J Fry" states that in the year 1,000,000 & 1/2, mankind's ultimate punishment will be enslavement by giraffes.
      Song: Man will pay, for all his misdeeds
      When the treetops are stripped of their leaves! Whoa-oh-oh!
  • This precious gem from the first Aloysius Pig episode of Garfield and Friends:
    "You clean your room first, then maybe you can be in charge. Bossing people around. I don't know where you'd get that!"
  • Prior to the formation of Gorillaz, Murdoc and 2D had a horribly twisted Meet Cute when Murdoc ram-raided the keyboard shop 2D worked at, hit 2D with the car, and put him into a coma. Instead of jail, Murdoc was sentenced to thirty thousand hours (a total of about three years) of community service, plus ten hours a week of watching the unconscious 2D. Semi-logical, but if you needed proof that theirs is a Crapsack World, remember this is Murdoc Niccals we're talking about.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Codename: Kids Next Door crossover has Mandy inflicting one of the most horrifying tortures known to man on Numbuh 1...making him watch Fred Fredburger act weird and spout non sequiturs. For hours. He's screaming "MAKE IT STOP!" by the end.
  • In mainstream The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Grim's punishment for abandoning senior citizens in the woods is fifty hours of dancing.
    • Also, in the half-hour special, "Keeper of the Reaper," the judge orders Billy and Mandy to stop acting out in the courtroom, "or so help me, I'll make you sit in the chocolate pudding chair! The stains will never come out of your clothes!"
  • Harley Quinn (2019): When the Joker captures Harley's crew at the end of Season 1, he tortures the notoriously misogynistic Dr Psycho by strapping him to a chair and forcing him to watch videos of feminist rallies.
  • In Inspector Gadget (2015), most episodes typically end with Dr. Claw punishing his nephew/Number Two henchman Talon in a way tailored to whatever plan MAD was enacting. Some of these punishments are hilariously non-threatening (e.g. selling Dr. Claw's polish lotion door-to-door).
  • Invader Zim,
    • In "A Room With a Moose." Zim cackles over his latest diabolical plan, which will force Dib and his classmates into a pocket dimension consisting of only a room... a room... with a moose! When Dib doesn't see what's so horrible about that, the camera focuses on the moose, chewing on some walnuts... and Dib screams in terror. We never see why. Though it's implied that the walnuts are a placeholder for the school bus, meaning that when the bus containing Dib and his classmates arrive in the moose's pocket dimension, they'll suffer the same fate as the walnuts... As in, they'll be eaten alive!
    • The episode "FBI Warning of Doom" features this blink-and-you'll-miss-it explanation of what happens to those who perform copyright infringement: "They will hunt you down like the dirty monkey you are and force you to wear a moose skin and ride a greased piggy while singing folk tunes. They're forcing me to ride the piggy as I write this. The Piggy is Smelly!!"
  • In the Kim Possible movie So the Drama we get a look at one of Drakken's proposed master plans. Which has one of his mooks subjected to a set that looks an awful lot like the "It's a Small World" ride. He decides it's too much.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill, when a thief is arrested for trying to steal Hank's truck, the very creative judge sentences him to live in a truck, reasoning that if he goes to jail, he'll just learn how to be a better thief. Hank actually admires the judge for having some common sense.
  • Looney Tunes,
    • In "Early To Bet". The gamble-holic cat is subjected to a Wheel o' Punishment chock full of these sorts of things whenever he loses to the dog. "No! Not that! Not the Geshundteit!" Eventually, the dog refuses to play with him, because he's afraid the cat will get hurt.
    • Before "Early To Bet" was "It's Hummer Time", where the punishments are just randomly meted out to the cat when it upsets the dog while trying to pursue a hummingbird. "No! NOT HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
    • In "From Hare to Heir", Sam applies the "nose in the book" punishment to his accountant for failing to keep the books balanced.
  • Mega Man: "Electric Nightmare" had Roll strapped to a chair, where she received... a bad facial.
  • Mickey Mouse Works: In one cartoon, Mickey and Minnie find themselves in a place called Topsy Turvy Town where everyone does the opposite. They are arrested (long story) and put in prison, where they find that their "punishment" is rest and relaxation on a beach.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In My Little Pony: The Movie (1986), the evil witch Hydia tortures her daughters Reeka and Draggle into confessing why the Smooze was stopped by forcing them to eat ice cream. Under normal circumstances, the witches ate sandwiches made with live bats and other disgusting things. In "The End of Flutter Valley", she punishes them for another failure by making them eat doughnuts.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • When a batshit crazy Alicorn-Amulet-Powered Trixie shows up for revenge, she does everything from manipulating age to removing Pinkie Pie's mouth. Then she puts Rarity in a horrible dress, which literally reduces her to tears.
    • Another earlier example in "The Last Roundup": When Applejack started working at a cherry farm and won't tell the others why she won't return, they decide to send Pinkie Pie in to ramble on and on about random topics until Applejack finally caves in.
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark Part 2", for nearly destroying the world with a time travel revenge plot, Starlight Glimmer's ultimate sentence... is becoming Twilight Sparkle's student and being friends with the Mane Six.
    • In "Gauntlet of Fire", Spike sentences Garble to return home... and to hug every dragon he meets on the way back, without explaining why.
  • In the The Powerpuff Girls episode "Gettin' Twiggy With It", Mitch is allowed to take Twiggy, the class pet hamster, home, only to cruelly torture her; later, after an accident involving radioactive waste (after Mitch flushes her) causes Twiggy to grow to giant size, Mitch is punished at school by having to run in a giant hamster wheel with Twiggy chasing him. (A lenient punishment, seeing as the Girls were originally going to let Twiggy eat him.)
    • Princess Morbucks receives one of the most harshest, yet well-deserved versions of this trope in "The Fight before Christmas" when her plan to change the Naughty and Nice lists is revealed to Santa Claus after she has a Villainous Breakdown in front of him and the girls, leading Santa to angrily place her on the "Permanent Naughty Plaque", before taking away the superpowers he gave her for Christmas earlier.
  • In an episode of Recess entitled "The Box", the character T.J. is forced to stand in a box painted on the ground. Everyone else is told to ignore him or be punished likewise. He goes Partially insane by the end of recess until he realizes it's just a line painted on the ground.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • In the season one finale, the Bloopers host is chained up in a dungeon and his captor tells him that he will soon be watch their movies on demand service. The host is okay with that, until the captor reveals that the only movie they have on demand is Christmas with the Kranks. Cue Big "NO!".
    • One sketch shows Rambo captured by two Asian soldiers who do a number of odd forms of torture on him, including reading Twilight to him, making him play "ET The Video Game", and making him watch "Two Girls, One Cup."
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle:
    • In a "Bullwinkle's Corner" segment, Bullwinkle does the "Queen of Hearts" poem, where he's the king, Rocky is the queen, and Boris is the knave who steals the tarts Rocky made. They were turnip tarts, so when Boris promises he'll steal no more, Bullwinkle says, "You don't get off that easy. You stole them, friend, you eat 'em!" With that, he shoves a turnip tart into Boris' mouth, and Boris looks sick.
    • Boris and Natasha did this a lot too. In one episode, Natasha made Bullwinkle talk by having Boris tie him up and then eating a huge sundae in front of him. (It was torture for Boris too, given his reaction.)
  • In Rocko's Modern Life, Spunky is sent to the pound for not having his collar (after another, tougher dog took it off him). Rocko goes to rescue Spunky, and is mistaken for a dog. The other dogs in the pound tell Rocko about the conditions they are forced to endure, one of which is being subjected to repeats of a syrupy cartoon called "Mervin the Happy Cat". (one of the dogs even pleads, "Somebody neuter me!" as the show starts up again). This inspires Rocko to run for the position of dog catcher of O-town. He loses the election but wins the war; the plight of the dogs gets noticed and an ordinance is passed to treat them much better, leaving the position of dog catcher nothing more than a "glorified pooper-scooper".
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series,
    • Not only is Salem turned into a cat like usual in this version, but also Sabrina's aunts are de-aged into teenagers, and (because they aren't legal adults in the mortal world) are forced to attend high school and share a house with their "legal guardian" Uncle Quigley — despite actually being hundreds of years old. Somehow this is a dreadful punishment for witches.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Treehouse of Horror IV", when Homer sells his soul for a donut, the Devil (Flanders) agrees to Marge's insistence of a trial to determine who owns his soul, but he must remain in Hell until the trial begins. Homer's punishment while he waits is to be forced to eat donuts without rest. He promptly eats and eats and his torturer remarks that nobody has ever lasted so long.
    • In "Homer's Odyssey", Ms. Krabapple punished Bart for acting out on the bus by making him sing in front of everyone. (Bart asked if he could choose the song, but she refused, saying it would be "John Henry Was a Steel Drivin' Man".) This turns out to be an Unishment, because Bart can actually sing it pretty well.
    • In "The Springfield Files", Bart finishes a campfire horror story with the line "...and that's how much college is going to cost for Maggie." Homer's rightfully horrified.
    • From "Marge Be Not Proud", it shows that Homer's not very good at coming up with punishments himself:
      "I've figured out the boy's punishment. First, he's grounded. No leaving the house, not even for school. Second, no egg nog. In fact, no nog, period. And third, absolutely no stealing for three months."
    • Most of Principal Skinner's Vietnam memories are legitimately horrifying, but one of them actually does fit this trope:
      Skinner: I spent the next three years in a POW camp, forced to subsist on a thin stew of fish, vegetables, prawns, coconut milk, and four kinds of rice. I came close to madness trying to find it here in the States, but they just can't get the spices right.
    • In "Take My Wife, Sleaze", the Hell's Satans take offense at Homer using their name; so they barge into his house, and make him eat his biker jacket.
  • In the Jetlag Productions version of Snow White, the Queen has a temper tantrum upon learning Snow White is still alive after a third attempt to kill her. She shatters all her mirrors, but when she throws a hand mirror towards her Magic Mirror, she's horrified when the hand mirror simply goes into it and disappears. The voice in the mirror starts mocking her for her petty jealousy and then sucks her in, stating she will never again see her own face. The Queen is last seen banging on the other side of the glass before disappearing.
  • Kaos punishes Glumshanks in Skylanders Academy by making him wait in line at the DMV with him.
  • In one episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), "Spyhog", Snively tortures Antoine by offending his refined tastes in food: using too much batter for a crepe suzette, and using margarine for escargot.
  • South Park:
    • When the Feds workers are trying to force information out of the boys in "Starvin Marvin in Space" they do so by... Having one worker rub his hand against a balloon to make a noise that is apparently hard on the ears. Cartman eventually cracks.
    • In "Mecha Streisand", Barbara Streisand's singing is so torturous to the boys, it causes one of them to tell her where he hid a small artifact note  he took from Kyle.
    • In "Cartman's Incredible Gift", Cartman is captured by the "left-hand killer" and forced to watch slides of vacation photos.
    • Saddam Hussein actually likes Hell. So how does Satan get rid of him? He asks God to let him into Heaven. The Mormon residents are so nice it's a Fate Worse than Death for him.
  • In SpacePOP, Tibbitt tortures the girls' parents with audio of Geela's awful singing.
  • Spongebob Square Pants:
    • One episode, SpongeBob is dragged through a field of giant clams, cheese graters, and finally, Educational Television!
    • In another episode, Spongebob and Patrick have only one means of escaping the Flying Dutchman's dastardly clutches... they must run through the dreaded perfume department! Though admittedly they did get sprayed in the eyes a time or two. That's gotta sting.
    • In the episode Krabby Land, Mr. Krabs being forcefully fed lima beans as a result of the trouble he gave to the children, letting out a Big "NO!" in the process.
    • And in the episode Patty Caper, Mr. Krabs is made to watch Krabby Patties get sold for free for stealing his own secret ingredient all because he wanted to save $1.99.
    • Sandy threatens SpongeBob with a drop of Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce to the tongue. That talks.
      "By the powers of naughtiness, I command this particular drop of hot sauce to be really, really hot!"
    • When Spongebob and Squidward think Mr. Krabs is a robot, they read a book called "How to Torture" and then gather some rope, tools and comedy records.
  • In an episode of Sushi Pack, the leader of the Legion of Low Tide threatens one of his minions to break off a friendship with a member of the Pack under penalty of the worst punishment there is — ridicule. The other members procede to tease her until she begs them to stop.
  • TaleSpin,
    • Don Carnage's favorite tool for torturing people was a clawed glove... which he would use to scratch a chalkboard. This, in turn, is a reference to a scene in The Pink Panther Strikes Again. The former Chief Inspector Dreyfuss straps his victim to a chair in... the schoolroom... stuffs cotton in his ears, and utilizes the aforementioned clawed gauntlet. In what is obviously an intentional audio gaffe, the victim of the torture is heard screaming but the sound of the claw on the chalkboard is not.
  • The 1964 Tom and Jerry cartoon "Much Ado About Mousing" had Jerry under the protection of an unnamed bulldog. Rather than beating up Tom (as Spike did in the Golden Age cartoons), this dog would roll Tom up into a bowling ball and send him hurtling through garbage cans into water. This happens to Tom at least three times in the cartoon.
  • Total Drama
    • One episode featured the contestants being tortured in various off-kilter ways, including eating ice cream until you get brain freeze.
    • Not to mention the punishments Mal gave to Mike's alternate personalities...
  • In Transformers: Prime Starscream punishes Knockout for his failure, by putting a huge scratch in his finish. It seems like this trope at first... until you realize that Starscream has effectively mutilated Knockout's skin!
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, the Trapster attacks a school play of Spider-Man, traps Flash Thompson who he thought was Spider-Man, then is subdued by the real Spider-Man and forced to listen to Flash's horrible singing till the police arrive.
  • The VeggieTales version of the story of Esther replaces capital punishment with something more suitable for the target audience: banishment to the Island of Perpetual Tickling.
  • In Winx Club, the inmates of Light Rock are subjected to cute animals, happy music and nice environment non-stop until they reform. Only the Trix resisted more than a couple months (instead becoming more evil as revenge), but when the guards recaptured them they were terrified of returning there.
  • Woody Woodpecker has an example: In the end of the short Ace in the Hole after Woody ejects himself and the general who is chasing him a plane, all but completely crippling the general of the military airport Woody was working for at the time from the fall, he is forced to tediously shave all of the hair off of a very, very long line of horses, one by one.
  • The World of David the Gnome: In the wedding episode, the trolls try to crash said wedding, but the gnomes escape. One of the more dim-witted trolls, Pat, then falls into a pit trap and refuses to tell the gnomes who was behind the party-crashing. David then declares that Pat has decided to stay behind and get an education, to which the other gnomes agree and start listing off the subjects he'll learn, good manners included. Pat starts pleading for mercy and that he'd "rather die" after Lisa mentions he'll graduate with flying colors. After she says she'll teach him to wash with rose-scented soap, he's ready to talk.

    Real Life 
  • The Russians' execution of the first Impersonator of Dmitriy. They shot and burned him, put the ashes in a canister, put the canister in a cannon, and shot the canister towards Poland.
  • After Napoléon Bonaparte had been defeated in the Battle of Laon, the victors exiled him to the island of Elba. They gave him sovereignty of the island and its inhabitants. They couldn't match Napoleon's cool, though, given that he escaped while they were distracted. It was a meaningless island with barely working infrastructure. A few months under Napoleon's governorship, and the island was running like clockwork. It was at this point he got bored again and thought about taking back France.
  • There was a judge known for his unusual sentencing, among the examples:
    • Forcing a man to stand on a street corner with a pig, holding a sign that says "This is not a police officer" after evading arrest and calling a cop a pig.
      • Michael Cicconetti from Painsville, OH. Other highlights: sentencing a woman who abandoned kittens in a forest to spend a night in the woods alone with no food and only the clothes on her back, sentencing a man who stole from a Salvation Army kettle to spend 24 hours homeless, and man who stole pornography was sentenced to standing outside the shop blindfolded and holding a sign saying "See no evil".
    • Similarly, a Denver man who got caught using a dummy to sneak into the high occupancy vehicle lane on the highway was sentenced to stand by the road with a sign saying "The HOV Lane Is Not For Dummies."
    • Another set of youths had to read classic lit., and write book reports.
    • Sounds like Ted Poe, who now represents TX-2 in Congress. He loved doing that kind of thing.
  • According to this article, police officers in Bangkok may be punished for minor infractions by being forced to wear a Hello Kitty armband.
  • Rumors have circulated that when Saddam Hussein was detained by the US military, he was forced to watch the scenes from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut showing him as Satan's gay lover. Over and over again.
  • Antanas Mockus, mayor of Bogota, Colombia, hired 420 mimes to curb traffic violations by ridiculing jaywalkers and reckless drivers, and encouraging other pedestrians to do the same. And it worked.
  • Legal humour blog Lowering the Bar categorises these incidents as "Creative Sentencing". For instance:
  • Courts in Singapore are big on punishing criminals by embarrassing them. For example, they often sentence someone to community service, picking up trash while wearing a sign on his chest describing the crime he comitted. Considering Singapore's draconian laws against littering, picking up enough trash to fill the quote might...take a while. Not to mention that corporal punishment for some crimes is legal there (and the subject of controversy).
  • Ever been to (or heard of) Arlington National Cemetery? That's one huge example of this trope. Union Quartermaster-General Montgomery C. Meigs was asked to find a new place to bury the Civil War dead. What did he do? He chose the house and property of the man he felt was responsible, Confederate General and Virginian Robert E. Lee. (We should note there was no shortage of bad blood between Meigs and Lee, as each regarded the other as a traitor: Meigs, a Georgian who remained loyal to the Union, saw Lee as a traitor for rebelling against his homeland, the United States, while Lee, a Virginian first and foremost, saw Meigs as a traitor for abandoning his homeland, the State of Georgia.) It gets even better though, when Meigs' son was killed in battle he buried him in Mrs. Lee's flower bed. Oh the delicious irony.
  • The small town of Mason, Texas had a problem with the influx of prisoners to its tiny jail. The sheriff's solution? Deter re-offenders by painting the inside of the jail pink and forcing the prisoners to wear pink jumpsuits and making them eat bologna sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Apparently, it worked.)
  • In Ohio, if one is convicted of a DUI, they're required to place bright yellow license plates with red lettering, known as "party plates", on their vehicle in order to drive. Not only is it embarrassing—and a reminder every time the offender looks at their car—but it's a proverbial red flag to other drivers: they know to be more cautious around that vehicle.
    • Gallagher used to have a joke like that, saying that drivers should carry toy guns that shoot suction cup darts for when they see another driver being a jerk; and that when a car gets four darts, the other drivers can pull him over and each take a tire.
  • In Valley Falls, NY, a vandal who tore down and burned an American flag belonging to the local VFW post for refusing to serve him beer at their bar without ID was given a choice: either the VFW could call the cops and press vandalism charges (probably worth a couple weeks jail, since such a politically charged crime is guaranteed to earn its maximum allowable sentence), or he could accept being duct-taped to the flagpole for six hours while wearing a humiliating sign, or fight a veteran in a one-on-one battle. Needless to say, he picked Door #2.
  • You also have some of the more minor ones that drive people insane. One shown by the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats is a flickering light. Lock someone in a room with it and most people will go insane, especially if it is at a slow random pace, like Chinese water torture. The playing of a kiddy song over and over was just plain cruel. An especially interesting one as well is not allowing someone to go into deep sleep, so even though they slip out of consciousness, when you wake them up to interrupt them they don't feel like they've slept at all. Although after a few days they start hallucinating and go batshit insane but it's better than some of the other ways.
    • The No Sleep one was used on Cersei Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire to make them confess their sins. It worked.
  • Two old men in Britain were convicted of making the lives of everyone nearby a misery with their endless feuding. The judge ordered them to be handcuffed together for 12 hours per day. They became fast friends, since the alternative was unthinkable.
  • The above example may have been inspired by the two-man version of the shrew's fiddle called a "double fiddle", a torture device used in medieval Germany and Austria. If two people were arguing excessively over something trivial, a judge could order them both put in this device facing each other, forcing them to talk to each other (and likely be laughed at by everyone in the town) until the argument was resolved.
  • Punishments involving music:
    • Hear a story once, where people were playing loud rap music in a dorm. It was keeping people in the next room awake, so what did they do? If you guessed blasted classical music through the walls back to them, then you're today's winner!
    • An episode of Nickelodeon Magazine had an article about a judge whose punishment for teens blasting rap music in public places was to put them in a room and force them to listen to Beethoven for several hours. (Maybe he was a fan of A Clockwork Orange.)
    • In a similar vein, there was a story about two students in a dorm who got into a loudness war with their sound systems. Every night, one would turn up his rock, the other would turn up his rap, until it was impossible to hear anything on the floor. It stopped when one student down the hall, sick of the noise, woke them up at 8AM with a 2-stroke chainsaw revving at full volume outside their doors.
    • The Monty Python song I Like Traffic Lights note  has been used, on a repeating loop, for exactly the same reasons. as has Pink Floyd's Interstellar Overdrivenote .
    • In 1989, a United States Delta Force team cornered Panama dictator Manuel Noriega in the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See, the diplomatic quarters of Vatican City. Since they couldn't go in and get him, they instead enacted a campaign of psychological warfare known as Operation Nifty Package, which including blaring loud rock music until the Papal ambassador convinced Noriega to surrender himself.
    • In the Ottoman-Saudi War, Abdullah bin Saud was forced to hear his victorious enemies play a flute before being beheaded. This is because he belonged to a fundamentalist Islamic sect that explicitly forbid listening to music, with such sentence being essentially torture for him.
  • Military punishments:
    • There was a instructor in ROTC, a Captain, who would have a cadet stand at attention in the back of the room if he caught him nodding off. If the cadet STILL managed to nod off while at attention, the instructor would have them hold a chair over their head. (This is akin to proper military behavior. If someone is nodding off during a briefing it was perfectly understandable to get up from your seat and stand in the back.)
    • It only ever gets more creative when you get into the real military, where they're allowed to humiliate you on a grand scale in front of dozens if not hundreds of your peers. Picture things on the level of fraternity hazing, only it's not hazing because it's punishment rather than a membership requirement. Take for example, "The Dying Cockroach," in which the soldier being punished was forced to lie on their back while kicking and flailing their arms and yelling "I'm a dying cockroach!" until the punisher saw fit to let it end.
    • Another example: Leave your weapon unattended? Do a series of Iron Mikes to 'buy' it back. Fall asleep in a class session? Stand at the back of the room, holding a canteen, looking through the loop that holds the lid on (playing sniper it's called.) Get caught watching the TV in the mess-hall? You get put on your elbows and toes to 'watch TV', and occasionally change channels. Caught doing something in the chow line you aren't supposed to? Stand outside the line reciting EXACTLY what you did so that other recruits don't repeat the mistake. It's safe to say that since the days of a Drill Sergeant beating the snot out of you ended, it just encouraged them to get creative in the HOW they punish you and your whole unit.
    • There is also MASH, which stands for Make A Sailor Hurt. They're not allowed to beat you, but they are allowed to make you exercise until you wish they were beating you. (Called "Beasting" in the British Army, and every bit as horrible as the word implies.)
    • An Air Force drill sergeant was once extremely pissed because his men failed an inspection. After spending a half hour loudly dressing them down, he announced that all that yelling had made him thirsty, and he wanted a refreshing beverage from the soda machine on the first floor. No, he was tired and didn't want to walk all the way down there. No, he didn't want someone to go get him a soda because he didn't know what he wanted and needed to look at all the choices. His solution? Ordering his men to go get the soda machine and bring it to him. An eight hundred pound soda machine. Up three flights of stairs. Once they did so, he bought his beverage, popped the tab, took a long drink, then ordered his men to put the soda machine back where they'd found it, and reminded them that there'd be another inspection tomorrow.
    • The royal Military Academy at Sandhurst has a punishment called "Show-clean". this involves cleaning and polishing every issue item in your locker, arranging every item within the locker on the correct shelf or hook as per regulation, and then taking the whole thing to the guardhouse on a hand-truck for inspection. If a single item is out of place or showing even a speck of dirt, everything gets tipped out on the ground regardless of weather, and the hapless cadet officer is instructed to truck it all back to his quarters and do it all over again. And again. And again. Until the duty NCO is satisfied. As NCO instructors at Sandhurst are largely drawn from the Brigade of Guards, who have VERY high standards of presentation, this process may take some time.
    • Russian cadets are forced, if they're caught doing something forbidden or violate army rules, to carry around big wooden objects reminding of their misdeed. Here's a few examples.
  • In Britain, a deathwish driver from Lincolnshire was forced to see the consequences of his driving by going to the accident and emergency department at the local hospital. Needless to say, this was An Aesop in itself on how not to drive.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone on record as threatening his political opponents with having them watch his Red Sonja movie.
  • On the last season of Celebrity Big Brother UK after he failed a task, Jonas Erik Altberg (Basshunter) and Lady Sovereign were forced to be stuck in a room listening to Jonas' song All I Ever Wanted on repeat for hours.
  • Famous case from the 1980s: a notorious slumlord was sentenced to live in one of his own buildings. Yup, Joe Pesci's The Super was based on a true story.
  • A Malaysian political aide tweeted defamatory comments about his friend's employer. They responded by suing him, and he was forced to apologize 100 times on Twitter.
  • Man prefers jail over arguing with wife. Long story short, dude was sentenced to house arrest, pleaded to be put in jail. They denied the request, and sent him back to house arrest, thinking that arguing with the wife was more than enough punishment.
  • A small example, but as punishment for stealing soap in the Mohave county the thief is forced to wash themselves with said soap until it is completely used up.
  • The German author Hans Fallada remembers in his biographical work Damals bei uns daheim how he and his brother sneaked into the storage room and ate part of a Baumkuchen intended for a family celebration. The punishment: for quite a long while, they got (pieces of) the rest of the cake as school meals, until they couldn't stand the confectionary any more.
  • The procedures for electing a new pope essentially come down to locking the cardinals into a room until they make a decision, and if that doesn't work, start restricting their food supply. Historically, this has included such things as removing the roof.
  • A few instances of men having sex with goats in rural areas have been punished by forcing the suitor to pay a bride-price to the owner and formally get married to the subject of their affections.
  • A documentary said that detainees in Guantanamo Bay were tortured by forcing them to listen to Sesame Street songs.
    • Listening to anything at the duration and volumes reported would cause sleep deprivation and other problems, though; the Sesame Street songs may have been good choices (they were certainly good choices if making people take the technique less seriously was the intention) but even a song you want to listen to isn't one you want forcibly played to you all night at unreasonable decibel levels.
  • Davao City, Philippines vice mayor Rodrigo Duterte, — who was infamous for Flipping the Bird while defending his daughter, the mayor of same city, who punched a sheriff in 2011 — had a swindler eat the fake land titles the latter presented to informal settlers he duped.
    • Duterte is now the 2016 president-elect of the Philippines, running on a platform of being "tough on crime, lenient only to surrendering criminals." Judging by the type of punishments he inflicts, minor offenders are likely to do what he wants.
  • It has been repeatedly suggested that the US government should interrogate terrorists by forcing them to watch/listen to Barney the Dinosaur.
  • One kid in the Netherlands thought it would be funny to hack his older brother's Facebook profile. The brother did think about doing the same to him in retaliation, but decided to take a somewhat more creative tack. He turned his brother's room into a little girl's room, complete with My Little Pony light switch, Justin Bieber posters, a set of girl's rollerblades, Twilight novels and a vibrator. He even replaced the carpet and the furniture! When Disproportionate Retribution meets Cool and Unusual Punishment the results can be simply epic. Then, a year later, he tilted his brother's room 90 degrees, while admitting that the brother hadn't even done anything bad this time.
  • In the beginning of the Vietnam War, they used to run through the muddy creek beds at Parris Island. That is, until an instructor left seven recruits there until after the tide came in.
  • After the warship Cheonan was sunk, South Korea blamed the North and counter-attacked... with Pop Music. It pissed off the "Dear Leader" enough that he vowed to destroy any speakers set up along the border.
  • One of your mangaka missed a deadline? Confuse her readers by flipping a page of her story in retaliation!
  • According to the AA, Thames Valley police have allowed primary schools to borrow their radar guns for use in classes. Children are allowed to stand at the school gate and point the gun at passing cars to measure their speed. Drivers caught speeding in this manner have been given two choices, either face prosecution as normal, since the gun records enough evidence, or attend the primary school to explain to a group of preteens why they were speeding. Most prefer to be prosecuted, even though it costs an average of £600 (US$1,000) in fines and insurance premiums.
    • Because of the effectiveness, more and more regions are setting up similar schemes.
  • A family court in Argentina sentenced two divorcees who were using their children to put one over on each other to read The Little Prince to their children 'so that [the parents] learn to treat their children like persons'.
  • The Ancient Greeks were in on this as well. During the Olympic Games, everyone hates cheaters, okay? The Ancient Greeks had only one punishment for cheaters. They were given a statue of their own in a specific hall that everyone went to and they all had to carve on the accompanying tablet what they had done to deserve it: "My name is XX and I cheated by..." In other words, cheaters were immortalized for everyone to come see and point and laugh at for the rest of eternity. Some people just had style, you know?
  • Most companies who run MMORPGs have a simple solution to deal with players who cheat or exploit glitches, like botting, hacking, sharking, illegal downloading, exploiting glitches, or spamming - banning their accounts. However, some have thought up unique ways to punish cheaters:
    • As of August 2015, Everquest II unveiled a unique solution: the "prison server" of Drundar. as explained here, characters transferred to Drundar are isolated from characters belonging to rule-abiding players, and customer support is inaccessible there; players can use those characters to cheat all they want, because they're only cheating against other cheaters. (This doesn't ban the account, however; Daybreak Games maintains that, for now, this is an experiment.)
    • Titanfall has taken inspiration from Daybreak Games by creating a prison server of their own. Cheaters banished there can still use whatever hacked or sharked downloads they used, as their only opponents are other cheaters.
    • Marvel vs Capcom 3 also does something similar. In this game, if you disconnect before your fight is over, then you can avoid having a loss on your record. However, the devs thought of that too, and if your in-fight disconnect numbers got suspicious, you were sent to a special server that was entirely populated with people who did the same thing. If you try to weasel out of a loss, then they send you to a place where everyone else weasels you out of your wins.
    • One famous example in Guild Wars 2 happened when a player was not just cheating, he was blatantly cheating. (As in, respawning all over the place where most players couldn’t and attacking with weapons he clearly wouldn’t have access to.) The devs shanghaied control of his character, unequipped all of his gear, then made the character climb to the top of the highest point of the game’s Hub Level and had him leap off in a very public suicide. (And they taped it for the whole game community to see.) Then they perma-banned the player and deleted his characters.
    • Grand Theft Auto online:
      • One time, some wise guys found a glitch that let them import overpowered cars into the game. When Rockstar Games found out, they put in a program that made these ill-gotten cars self-destruct when the player got in automatically killing him. For one day, the game world was lit up like the Fourth of July.
      • Grand Theft Auto also has a "prison server" like the ones mentioned above for bad sports. What makes them notable is that they also put everyone in said server in a dunce cap.
    • When Gears of War 2 started, some players found a way to unlock every Achievement at once. Didn’t last long. When the devs found out, every player who exploited the glitch found they had lost those achievements and had gained a new one – worth no Gs at all – called Cheater For Life.
    • Similarly, in both versions of Drakensang there were several Gotchas for people using a cracked version. In the first one, one city guard would not show up at her appointed place, trying to rescue a group member from jail landed the whole group in there (without a way out), and later in the game the characters would slow down more and more if a crack was detected. In the second one, instead of the group's healer being able to heal a group member who had been disabled in a fight, for someone using a crack, only a paid healer would be able to heal those characters. Unfortunately, occasionally, people who needed to use a virtual machine professionally were also detected as running a crack...
    • H1Z1 had something novel. After issuing over 24,000 bans to players who were exploiting purchased hacks and cheats, Daybreak's CEO made a statement saying banned players would be unbanned if they apologized publicly via YouTube and emailed him a link of it. While that seems like getting off easy (especially seeing as Daybreak had lost 500K in revenue) one could say that going on YouTube and admitting you were a thief is punishment enough.
    • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a glitch lets a player make a lot of in-game currency by selling hides and pearls. An update didn't remove the glitch, but it did ensure that anyone who exploited it would eventually encounter a special NPC, a rather unfriendly tax man demanding it be paid back. That's right, CDPR forced cheaters to deal with the IRS.
    • In Fallout 76, cheaters were banned from their account, and would only be given their account back if they wrote a 500 word essay on "Why the use of third-party cheat software is detrimental to an online game community".
  • Also, some video game companies thought up creative ways to punish players who pirated copies of their hottest games (this is sometimes preferable to simply making the game not work if its copy protection is broken, as making it harder to tell when the game's been successfully cracked means it takes longer the break the copy protectionnote ):
    • In Crysis, if you try to play a pirated copy, your gun shoots chickens that do no damage at all, and also slow the game down, making the game unwinnable unless you can somehow use your fists through the entire game.
    • The developers of Batman: Arkham Asylum realized the game would be a prime target, so they fixed it so that pirated copies had a serious Nerf on Batman's gliding ability, making it impossible to reach some key areas and frustrating the owners to no end. This caught at least one player who had posted a thread on the developers' official message board asking how to get past this exact problem, outing themselves as using a pirated copy; the developers simply replied that "it's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code."
    • Pirated copies of Serious Sam 3 included a extra enemy that was literally invincible, an undead red scorpion man. Players on the forums pleading for tips on how to beat this thing (proving they had a pirated copy) sure made fools of themselves.
    • Know those scenes in The Sims 4 where your toon goes to the shower or toilet and his/her nudity is blurred out? Do it in an illegal version, and the blur never goes away. Ever.
    • Mirror's Edge may be all about fighting "the system", but the developers did not want players to do it. Anyone with a pirated copy would never make the first jump; trying would make Faith hesitate from fear, and if the player persisted, fall to her death.
    • Spyro: Year of the Dragon gives the owner of the pirated copy fair warning first; a fairy tells Spyro that the game may be pirated, and warns him not to proceed. If the player does anyway, if he reaches the Final Boss, the game shuts down right before the battle, deleting the save file.
    • Banjo-Kazooie had something similar. If you have an illegal copy, Grunty (who tends to troll the player a lot as it is) will eventually pop up and cackle, "Now I will erase your game pack, because you had the need to hack!" And this is a warning, because she doesn't do it until you actually try save the game. (Cruel, maybe, but she is evil.)
    • Game Dev Tycoon has one of the best ways to punish pirates, bar none. This game is all about designing and marketing video games. Play an illegal version of the game, and you'll go bankrupt when the game you design is pirated too much!
    • Five Nights at Freddy's has a feature that, if you use a pirated copy, upon opening it Golden Freddy pops up out of nowhere to startle you.
    • Michael Jackson: The Experience on the Nintendo DS assaults the player with vuvuzelas, drowning out the music. And to make matters worse, all the game controls become invisible, forcing the player to frantically search for the exit button to escape the incessant Sensory Abuse.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 will let you start the game and play as normal...for about 3 minutes, after that everything explodes. Command and Conquer: Generals will do the same thing, but after only 30 seconds.
    • Perhaps the cruelest punishment though came from EarthBound; if your SNES detects you're playing a pirated copy, the amount of enemies dramatically increases, making the game much more difficult to get through. Let's say though you power through it and get to the final boss; if you get to that point, the game locks up and forces you to reset the system. When you boot it back up, your entire save file will have been erased.
  • Have a teacher that also happens to be a sports coach, especially a particularly rough sport like American Football? Expect punishments to involve push-ups. Bonus points if the teacher tells the class to count and they decide to be uncooperative. ("1, 3, 2, 8, 5...")
  • Michael Grade is the only controller of the BBC to not be knighted by Queen Elizabeth.It's rumored that the reason is that he hated and cancelled Doctor Who, of which Her Majesty is a huge fan.
  • In December 2018, a poacher by the name of David Berry Jr. was sentenced to watch the movie Bambi at least once a month for poaching deer over the course of nine years.
  • One Belgian teacher's solution to students talking in class? Write spoilers from the as-yet unadapted Game of Thrones books on the blackboard.
  • William Burke of the Burke and Hare Murders was on the receiving end of a brutally poetic example. After being convicted and sentenced to hang for murdering 14 individuals to sell to anatomy lecturer Robert Knox as anatomy specimens, the presiding judge made an additional stipulation regarding Burke's fate. His residency at the Edinburgh Medical School continues as of 2020.
    "Your body should be publicly dissected and anatomized. And I trust, that if it is ever customary to preserve skeletons, yours will be preserved, in order that posterity may keep in remembrance your atrocious crimes."
  • Leicester judge Timothy Spencer sentenced a Neo-Nazi sympathiser convicted of planning to build bombs to read classic novels like Pride and Prejudice rather than extremist literature and come to court to be tested on them every four months, with the threat of being sent to jail if he didn't.


Video Example(s):


The Peaoni Brothers Get Banished

After the Peaoni brothers are seized by Haman and Mordecai, King Xerxes tries to think of a punishment. But Haman has an idea: banishment to the Island of Perpetual Tickling!

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolAndUnusualPunishment

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