But all of it's going to burn
Back inside your tiny mind
You know you've rarely been so blind
Now's your time, burn your mind
You'll fall apart, you'll fall behind
You're gonna burn..."
Being Dragged Off to Hell (or if being clever, Descending to a Lower Plane of Existence) is a common villain fate, especially for those who previously made a Deal with the Devil. In an inversion of Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, they are dragged off screaming by some kind of eldritch force (generally in the form of a bunch of arms reaching out for them), leaving no body behind.
Since this is a death trope, it will include some spoilers.
- This is the fate of pretty much any Apostle that dies in Berserk. We see two examples in the course of the manga: the Count after he refuses to sacrifice his daughter to save his life and be reborn, and Wyald after Zodd rips him in half for trying to kill Griffith before the Eclipse.
- It's also the inevitable fate of everyone who gets branded for sacrifice (no exceptions), gets killed by an apostle or was unwittingly working for one (lots of people) or is filled with hatred at the moment of their death (life in Midland is cruel, so even more candidates available). As you can imagine, Hell is a really crowded place in this universe, and it's ridiculously easy to end up there...at least, if you get "lucky", you have a chance to "merely" become a restless spirit that haunts the area in which it died.
- This happens to one Hollow (or specifically, the soul of the serial killer that turned into said Hollow Shrieker) in Bleach. When most Hollows are killed they evaporate and go to the Soul Society, having been purified and allowed to continue in the cycle of reincarnation between the two worlds. In Shrieker's case, the gates of Hell appeared behind him and a giant arm impaled him on a sword and dragged him through. This is what happens to any human who committed grave sins of their own free will in life, as opposed to after transformation into a Hollow.
- In the fourth movie, this happens to Ichigo's younger sister Yuzu. Ichigo and some of his friends have to literally go to Hell to rescue her. At the end of the movie, the main villain gets dragged off even deeper to Hell when he already is.
- At the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Father, the Big Bad is dragged screaming into the Gate of Truth and receives an Ironic Hell. By extension, this is the fate of any alchemist who attempts to resurrect the dead, although after being taken, they are sent back alive (minus an organ or limb).
- If you consider the "In Memorium" omakes to be canon, then Shou Tucker's fate is ultimately this (since we see Nina and Alexander in Heaven, while he's being engulfed by flames below). Given that no other villain save Father receives such a fate, this says a lot about Tucker.
- This happens to Shiva in Saint Beast: Seijuu Kourin Hen.
- In GeGeGe No Kitaro (2018), an episode focuses on a man and his employee boarding a train heading towards an unknown location. During the trip, the man experiences several hallucinations of familar deceased people, including his employee. After the train reaches its stop, Kitaro appears and reveals that the man was Dead All Along and he was such a Mean Boss during his life, he drove a majority of his staff to suicide and was killed by their vengeful spirits. Immediately, they return and hold him down as he screams while the train heads towards its destination, straight to Hell.
- In Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, there is an alley in the town of Morioh inhabited by the ghost of Reimi Sugimoto, victim of serial killer Yoshikage Kira. The only way to proceed safely through the alley is to turn after walking twenty feet, and to not look back: otherwise, the hands of a hundred ghosts will drag you to the afterlife in pieces. Koichi was barely saved by Rohan wiping his memory of looking behind. Yoshikage Kira is not so lucky and this is how he's ultimately defeated.
- In a more literal sense, but using the same alleyway, Rohan Kishibe gets rid of Cheap Trick by tricking him into looking behind. To add insult to injury, he uses Heaven's Door (whose power forces victims to obey anything written on them) to write "I'm going to Hell" on him as he's dragged off (though Rohan notes he's not sure if Hell actually exists or not, if it does exist he wants to make sure that's where Cheap Trick ends up).
- This is essentially the premise of Hell Girl. By entering into a contract with Ai Enma, those who use Hell Correspondence can have those who have grievously wronged them (or as evidenced in later arcs, just pissed them off) sent to Hell, with the price being their own damnation upon death.
"This is vengeance, so I am to ferry you to Hell."
- Losing a Bakugan Brawl when a Doom Card is in play automatically results in being sucked into the Doom Dimension for the unlucky Bakugan that loses, which is pretty much the Bakugan Hell. Thankfully, the Brawlers win a bet that allows all the Bakugan sent there to be set free after being sent there themselves. According to Word of God, this happened to Naga when he was defeated, though we don't see it.
- The Gehenna Gate in Blue Exorcist contains a bunch of figures and resembles a ball pit. Should anyone go into the gate, the figures latch on and drag them down; a fate the protagonist narrowly avoids.
- This happened to all the Dark Signers in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's after losing to the Signers, even the ones who didn't deserve it, although it was a subversion in that there was no screaming or flashy display involved; they simply turned to dust.
- In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Yami Bakura does this to Bonz, Sid, and Zygor. After Bonz loses a Shadow Game, Bonz is dragged into the Shadow Realm by an unknown force, along with Sid and Zygor. This was Hell in the dub. The original scene from the manga had Yami Bakura simply kill Bonz, which was a bit more gruesome, although not as severe.
- Rare heroic example in Hell Teacher Nube: This is what happened to Minako-sensei after she pulled an Heroic Sacrifice for a young Nube. Years later, when Nube finds out about this, he's forced to fuse both her soul and the demon that killed her (Baki) inside one of his hands.
- In Inuyasha, whenever the eyes the Soul Piper spirit are fully open, it drags the spirits of children into hell. This was almost the fate of Mayu, the spirit of a little girl who died in a fire.
- In the third movie, Big Bad Sounga opens a gateway to hell intending to suck everyone on Earth into it. This is foiled when he is killed by Inuyasha and Sesshomaru, and his lifeless body falls into hell before the portal closes)
- In The Final Act, the technique Meido Zangetsuha can, when complete, suck an enemy straight into hell, condemning them to eternal damnation. The first significant use of this is when Sesshomaru uses it on the demon Shishinki.
- A less fatal instance happens when a Hell Hound swallows Rin and Kohaku and goes through a Meido into the underworld. Kohaku survives the trip due to the Jewel Shard in his back, while the trip kills Rin, who is saved from being sucked into the deepest depths of hell for damnation, and later revived. Sesshomaru gets Kohaku out as well.
- The attack is also quite notably used on Naraku, but his soul is able to escape damnation.
- In Muhyo and Roji, magical law involves charging the spirit with a sentence that is appropriate for the crimes it has committed, and summoning an entity to carry out the sentence. In most cases, the spirit is taken away to Hell, but some spirits with lesser crimes are sent to the River Styx instead (meaning they'll eventually go to heaven), and in one case, Muhyo sends a spirit who stayed around to help his friends complete a mural directly to heaven.
- Depending on your interpretation, this may be the final fate of the eponymous Cerebus the Aardvark, as he's dragged into "the light", screaming out to God to save him. Given Dave Sim's....peculiar...religious views and how they influenced the latter third of the comic, this certainly seems to fit the trope, but Sim threw a monkey wrench into things by saying in his notes for the last issue that Cerebus may have actually been going to Heaven and was just panicking needlessly at the last second.
- Anton Arcane's most despicable act in Swamp Thing is condemning his own niece Abby, who didn't even come close to deserving it, to this horrible fate. Swamp Thing manages to rescue her soon after though, and they escape from hell.
- The villains in the Tintin story The Broken Ear are dragged off to hell after drowning. Notable for being the only depiction of a bad afterlife in the entire series.
- The final fate of Palpatine in Dark Empire. Having cheated death by Body Surfing, he is finally defeated when the Force Ghost of a Jedi grabs his spirit and departs for the afterlife. A Jedi who survived the Purge, no less.
- A more mundane variant in B.P.R.D. in that there's no dimensional transfer, but after Katha-Hem is destroyed Pope is dragged off by the frogs, servants of the Ogdru-Hem. When he's next seen he no longer has any desire but to serve them, and may no longer be human.
- In the Stanley and His Monster revival mini-series, the Monster got dragged down to Hell... by an angel. Naturally, Stanley (an ordinary 5-year-old boy) goes to get his best friend back.
- Judge Dredd: At the end of "The Wilderness Days", arch-villain Judge Death is thrown into Hell by an ascended man who pursued him for weeks to get justice for his dead family. The angel opens a portal to Hell and Death is dragged off by the souls of the billions of people he had murdered.
- Gargamel gets dragged off to hell by Beelzebub to fulfill his end of the Deal with the Devil in The Smurfs comic book story "Sagratamabarb".
- In Hellboy: The Sound and the Fury, after being defeated by Hellboy, Nimue is dragged down to Hell by the ghosts of the five hundred witches who drowned themselves rather than witness her return.
- The Batman story Gothic by Grant Morrison has this happen to serial killer Mr Whisper, in reality the centuries-old corrupt monk Manfred of Austria. Having sold his soul to Satan in the 16th century, Manfred had been given 300 years of immortal life, which is about to run out. Batman foils his plan (which involves killing the population of Gotham with a super virus and harvest their souls to offer Satan in return for his own) at the last minute, but Manfred escapes... only to find someone waiting for him back in his hotel room.
Satan (in the guise of a young nun whom Manfred raped and murdered centuries before): You have sought to cheat me, and so, your last day is forfeit. Come with me, and die forever!!Manfred: NOOOOOOOO!!!!
- Batman Black and White: In "Devil's Trumpet", this is reputed to have been the fate of the trumpet's original owner. At the end of the story, two musicians discuss the trumpet's subsequent history, including a more recent owner who depending on who you ask suffered the same fate or else was captured by the Batman and ended up in Arkham Asylum. ("Like that's a difference," one of them adds.)
- The apparent fate of Kurylenko in Spook after he is forcibly conjoined with another ghost and loses his mind.
- Pony POV Series:
- Havoc, being the Anthropomorphic Personification of Hell/Tartarus, is capable of doing this by swallowing a condemned soul whole.
- When Havoc isn't the one to do it, there have been occasions when another deity has done this. In the case of the Nameless Filly who killed Cupid (dooming untold numbers of innocents to being erased from existence and felt no remorse at all for it), Venus personally threw her soul into Havoc at the end of her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Various versions of Fluttercruel have had some version of this trope attempted on them (either to Oblivion or Tartarus, depending on how evil they were), but none have actually succeeded.
- In the My Little Pony Meets Crossover series, Princess Luna saves Applebloom from The Elm Street Slasher Freddy Krueger, by impaling him with her horn and throwing him back into hell.
- Sadly Rainbow Dash is subjected to this fate, after Cuphead and Mugman incapacitate her, in "Cuphead Meets", thanks to a past Deal with the Devil she made. Though Cuphead and Mugman do plan on freeing her, after they're done with their own debt...
- Halloween Unspectacular has this happen at the end of the story "Come and See" from the eighth edition, with the Devil dragging Gaz down to Hell. Though this seems to have only been symbolic of the soul being taken, as the character in question is then shown physically in a hospital, albeit in an Empty Shell state.
- My Ridonculous Race: In Russia Dwayne is about to lower his son into the Kola Borehole when the hole erupts with fire and a demon pops up out of it to drag him down to the underworld. Thankfully it was only an Imagine Spot.
- Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: As it is a Bleach crossover, Sunset and friends witness this happen to a particular Hollow early on in the fic, and they get Hell's purpose explained to them. As it turns out, however, Hell is also the place the Zero Division has been imprisoning otherwise-innocent souls they believe are a threat to the new world they intend to create. One such soul was Sunburst, who wasn't even a Hollow and just a recently-killed innocent, right in front of Human Starlight Glimmer (who was the one who did the ritual that was supposed to just send him on to Soul Society). Her determination to find out why he was sent to Hell and stumbling onto the Zero Division's intentions is what prompted her severing ties with Soul Society, betraying Discord, and becoming one of the major antagonists in her goal to stop them.
- In Corpse Bride, this is the fate of Lord Barkis Bittern after the dead learn it was he who murdered Emily. It should be noted that they waited until he drank the poisoned wine meant for Victor before dragging him off to the land of the dead.
Miss Plumm (Ominously): New arrival...
- Dr. Facilier's fate in The Princess and the Frog is being dragged off by his "friends on the other side" after Tiana destroys the voodoo charm, triggering a You Have Failed Me scenario. note
- All Dogs Go to Heaven: Subverted. At the climax, as Charlie is saying his last goodbye, a huge demonic dragon (implied to be the Devil himself) comes to drag his soul to hell (since he gave up his place in heaven to return to Earth) but thankfully for him, Anabelle comes to take him back to heaven because he'd died in a Heroic Sacrifice.
- All Dogs Go to Heaven 2:
- Carface, the bulldog antagonist, made a pact with the demonic Big Bad Red (who is, of course, a cat). At the end, he gets dragged to hell with the revelation that he sold his soul - thinking that all he was selling was the soles of his shoes.
- This was also Red's fate, after Charlie defeats him and frees his captives. Charlie claims 'his boss yanked his chain', implying the Devil himself was responsible.
- Red's plan was this Up to Eleven. He was going to use the Horn of Gabriel to extract all dog souls from heaven and imprison them in hell, possibly damning EVERY dog in the world.
- Happens to Hades, the King of the Dead, at the end of Hercules, by his own subjects no less, when Hercules punches him into the Well of Souls.
- At the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo gets weighed down into a sea of molten lead at the bottom of the Notre Dame cathedral by a sinister-looking gargoyle (which seems to come alive), which is quite symbolic of this trope in a movie crammed full of religious symbolism. His last words (often mistaken for an actual quote from The Bible) add an extra level of Dramatic Irony to his fate.
Frollo: And he shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!
- In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Kenny initially rises toward Heaven when he dies, but is suddenly grabbed and dragged to Hell. When Satan and Saddam Hussein begin the breakout after Terrance and Phillip are killed, Kenny also escapes, and helps save the day. As a result, he earns the right to go to Heaven...at least, until the next season starts.
- The Logo Joke for Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpions Revenge has Scorpion doing this to Daffy Duck. "Get over here!"
- Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle: Immediately after being told to "Go to Hell", Madison Lee is kicked through a board on a stage and shoots an opened gas pipe as she falls, causing her to be engulfed in flames.
- Drag Me to Hell has it right there in the title. Those who piss off Sylvia Ganush get a Gypsy Curse placed upon them that involves being tormented for three days and nights by a demon known as the Lamia, after which they are forcibly dragged into the depths of Hell. This happens to a little kid in the opening of the movie, and the bulk of the movie has protagonist Christine getting the curse put on her and doing all she can to try and break it so that she doesn't suffer this fate. She fails, and is ultimately dragged to Hell in the final scene.
- Ghost: When both of Sam Wheat's murderers are killed (the hitman who carried out the crime and the "friend" who ordered the hit itself), a group of small shadowy creatures appear from the shadows themselves and drag their spirits to the underworld.
- As promised by the title, the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday shows Jason getting pulled down into Hell after he is stabbed with a certain magical dagger. This course of action leaves only his trademark hockey mask behind, which is then dragged down by Freddy Krueger.
- The fate of the two serial killers turned serial ghosts Patricia Bradley and Johnny Bartlett in The Frighteners, as they are carried off screaming to Hell from the gates of Heaven in the mouth of a horrific-looking demonic worm monstrosity. As Cyrus quips in the aftermath of this event:
Cyrus: Ah, the good ol' express bus to Hell. No lines, no wait!
- Happens to Adam West's chracter in Zombie Nightmare.
Crow: (thoroughly impressed) WOW! So Hell's right there!
Servo: Yeah. That's why you should call before you dig.
- The Mummy Trilogy:
- Partly done to Imhotep in The Mummy (1999). In this instance, the part dragged to the Underworld is the spirit that granted him his immortality, making his body mortal.
- Happens to Imhotep again in The Mummy Returns, after his Despair Event Horizon.
- The fate of the Emperor in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
- Satan shows up in person to drag John Constantine to Hell in Constantine for his two suicides. However, as his second suicide not only helped save the world, by calling Satan to collect his soul John gets him to deal with an usurper, John asked for the soul of the sister of a friend who was trapped in hell to be free. This selfless act redeems John and he ends up getting dragged off to Heaven; the best Satan can do is to heal Constantine's cancer, dragging him back to Earth. Only in order to give him another chance to screw up, but it's Satan, after all.
- This is the ultimate fate of Ramsley in The Haunted Mansion. Ironically, he's dragged to Hell after he tells everyone else that they can go to Hell. He also happens to be a ghost too, so its literal at that too.
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny does this twice with Satan: First in a flashback explaining the origins of the Pick of Destiny, and secondly at the climax of the movie when JB seals Satan back in Hell after breaking his horn. In both cases, though, there aren't really any hands - it's an invisible force which does the (very forceful) dragging - though there are pentagram-style portals to the underworld involved.
- Lady van Tassel's eventual fate with the Hessian whom she cursed to make her servant of revenge at the end of Sleepy Hollow (1999).
- Happens to the villains of the Supergirl movie.
- In the Syfy flick Rock Monster, the animated stone giant drops through a magma-filled crack in the earth, and it grabs its villainous conjurer and pulls him down with it. It's strongly implied that they wind up in Hell, not just underground.
- In Redhead behind the Looking Glass, the villan suffers this fate when the heroine's mother (whom he had previously used as Hostage for MacGuffin) tells him "Oh, go to hell!"... while holding the Wishing Nut in her hand.
- In Hobo with a Shotgun, the psycho Slick, after being shot by the Hobo, is spiritually carried away to Hell in the charred school bus that he previously incinerated a bunch of little kids in.
- At the end of Big Tits Zombie, Maria is dragged off to Hell by the Blue Ogre after she attempts to cast Rena down the Well of Souls.
- Left for Dead: When Clem shots Mobius with his own infernal six-shooter, his soul emerges from the hole in his chests and plunges straight into the ground; leaving his empty shell to collapse to the ground.
- In Tales from the Hood 3, this winds up being William's fate after the Devil gets the ghosts of his victims to kill him.
Satan: He gets the good ones, and me... I get you.
- Parodied in an older joke where a genie appears before a die-hard gamer and offers him three wishes, on condition that he'll be dragged off to Hell for all eternity once his three wishes are granted. His first wish is for "IDDQD" and his second wish is for "IDKFA". When the genie asks for his third wish, the gamer gleefully remarks "What third wish? Send me to Hell, I'm ready!"note
- In The Bible, specifically in the book of Numbers, God has two families dragged alive and screaming down into Sheol for disobeying him.
- In the Dragon Knight series, this happened to the evil magickian Malvinne after one of his deathtraps encroached on the Kingdom of the Dead (which in this setting is an actual place).
- In "The Friar's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales, an evil Summoner gets dragged off by a friendly demon.
- In Castle Hangnail, the evil sorceress is nearly dragged off to the Land of Shadows by a Living Shadow, but is saved by the heroine.
- The ultimate fate of the title character in H. P. Lovecraft's Herbert WestReanimator is to be carried off to an uncertain fate by the reanimated corpses he created.
- In The Eyes of Kid Midas, the protagonist Kevin casually tells Bertram, the school bully, to go to Hell. Since Kevin is wearing a pair of Reality Warping sunglasses, the ground opens up beneath Bertram and swallows him. Uh...whoops.
- In the second Black London book, Demon Bound, it's what's supposed to happen, but Jack Winter just sort of willingly goes along to hell after lots of having tried to get out of it already because his Deal with the Devil deadline is up.
- In The Hollows series, if a demon escapes from a summoning circle, it can do whatever it wants to you, up to and including taking you to the demonic underworld.
- In Wolfie by Theodore Cogswell, this is what Dr. Arsoldi's colleague will do to him if ever a murder goes awry.
- Sandman Slim deals with a sorcerer who had this happen to him when he was betrayed by his cabal. The first book opens just as he gets out.
- This is the fate The Hunter in the Coldfire Trilogy is trying to avoid. He actually started out as a Prophet, but since in this setting belief becomes reality, getting excommunicated from his own church and slandered as the Antichrist was very, very bad news for him. To avoid this fate he made a Deal with the Devil with "The Unnamed," which would grant him immortality so long as he served them with evil. Then in the second book he screwed up by performing a selfless act of good, and... well. Damien has to go and get him back.
- The fate of both Nicolae Carpathia and Leon Fortunato as they both are pushed by Michael the archangel into the Lake Of Fire in the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing.
- Galaxy of Fear: Army of Terror has the spectral Kivan wraiths haul off the one responsible for killing them all and turning their world into a Ghost Planet.
- In Apt Pupil, this is implied to happen to Dussander as he dies.
- The Voyage of St. Brendan: When St. Brendan and his monks sail past a volcano, a sinful monk is seized by invisible demons and dragged through the crater into Hell.
- In The Divine Comedy, the sinners in the next-to-last round of the last circle of Hell, who betrayed their guests, get sent there instantly, while a demon possesses the sinner's body on Earth.
- The Deal with the Devil story Enoch Soames has the title character dragged off after Satan grants his wish to see his standing among writers 100 years in the future (it turns out to be nonexistent). This makes for a case of Ironic Name, since the Biblical Enoch experienced the opposite trope.
- In The Golgotha Series, Biqa is unwilling to kill Raziel, but also knows that there is no prison in the world capable of holding him. He therefore hands custody of Raziel over to Lucifer, who drags him bodily to hell.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Theon Greyjoy's storyline seems based on these Hell morality plays. He betrays his foster-brother Robb Stark when the Ironborn, led by his father Balon Greyjoy, attack the North and takes Winterfell, capturing Robb's young brothers Bran and Rickon Stark. Theon takes advice from "Reek", a necrophiliac prisoner who helped the deceased Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton, murder Lady Hornwood, and performs more evil acts under their guidance, even murdering two boys and passing them of as his foster-brothers, then murdering some of his men to cover this up. He finally sends Reek to the Bolton seat, the Dreadfort, to gather additional forces, and a Bolton army destroys the Northmen sent to retake Winterfell. However, Reek then reveals himself to be Ramsay, betraying Theon, sacking Winterfell, and taking Theon back to the Dreadfort to be tortured, similar to morality plays ending with the lead being Dragged Off to Hell. Ironically as a result of his torture, which Theon feels he deserves, Theon comes closer to redeeming himself.
- In Starlight and Shadows, Shakti challenges Liriel to a priestess duel where they summon an avatar of Lolth, to see who truly has the goddess's favor. The avatar sides with Liriel and banishes Shakti to the Abyss. However, Liriel worries that Shakti could eventually return, as Lolth is well known for being capricious in her judgements. Indeed, impressed by the ruthless cunning Shakti uses to survive in the Abyss, and her continued loyalty to Lolth despite the goddess favoring Liriel over her, Lolth eventually praises Shakti's perseverance and sends her back home with additional power and blessings.
- The Night of Wishes: The fate the main villains are attempting to avoid. They fail and even get Property of Hell stickers courtesy of the archdemon's representative.
- Averted in Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme: the main villain sold his soul to a major devil in return for earthly power. At the end when he is defeated, the devil literally shows up to take his soul to hell. The afore-mentioned good wizard invokes a spell/prayer (in this world they are very close) and Saint Moncaire appears, banishes the devil and saves the villain's soul. (In the afterword, the author explicitly stated that he wanted to write a fantasy book which reflected the feeling of the people in the Middle Ages that God, Satan, devils and saints regularly interacted with ordinary people (albeit in subtle ways) and that prayers and curses were dangerous things to invoke.)
- In the Joseph Payne Brennan short story "Lottman's End," thief, swindler, murderer and all-around ne'r-do-well Charlie Lottman is on his deathbed, friendless and alone except for a priest. As he nears his end, a demon arrives with the intent of dragging him to hell. It turns out that Lottman had one redeeming quality, however; he couldn't stand to see animals suffer, and was always kind to dogs in particular. As the priest watches in awe, the ghosts of every single dog Lottman was ever kind to appear and surround his bed, protecting him from the demon, preventing him from being taken to hell when he dies.
- in The Grim Reaper's Apprentice, this is the fate of a family in the third chapter, giving Jax a chance to introduce himself the the Devil.
- At various points during the second series of Being Human, the forces of purgatory repeatedly try to drag Annie (not a villain) into the afterlife. They succeed in the finale.
- In the 1970s British Time Travel show Timeslip the villain is dragged screaming through a time portal at the end. Whatever's on the other side will probably be pretty hellish for him.
- Angel in the second season finale on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is sacrificed by Buffy and dragged to hell to prevent the ritual Angelus started to drag the entire world there, mere moments after regaining his soul. With tears in her eyes she kisses him, then stabs him with a sword, as he cries out to her, before being sucked into the portal. When he comes back in season 3, in a feral state, it is implied that a couple of months on Earth, could have been hundreds of years of torture for him.
- Almost happens to Spike on Angel, but avoided by turning Pavayne, the ghost trying to do so, into a human. Pavayne himself, of course, was a necromancer who was seeking to avoid being dragged off to hell by making other people suffer it instead of him; and when Angel trapped him in a box forever, this was a fate that was different from the hell he was evading but just as bad.
- The Haunting Hour: Jake Skinner was bad boy who screwed over his only friend to escape from Death by offering his friend's soul to take his place. However, Death never accepted the trade and demanded his soul instead. Skinner tries to get out of getting his punishment by killing his girlfriend and offering her as compensation. Fortunately, she survives and Death takes him away forever. The reaper even released Skinner's former friend after claiming the soul he wanted.
- House of Anubis: Two joined examples in Season 2 and two variations in Season 3.
- Season 2: After putting on the Mask of Anubis and not realizing that its powers will reject him (as he's not Nina the Paragon), Rufus Zeno is pulled into the air and thrown into the Egyptian underworld (which looks very much like Hell). Senkhara, who because of a weakened state caused by the Osirian (Eddie), has possessed Rufus' body and is thrown in with him at the same time.
- Season 3: Caroline Denby gets too close to the staff while trying to make sure Eddie and KT fail to lock Ammit back inside the underworld and at that moment, Ammit swoops down and consumes her. Eddie is able to get the key back into the staff though and lock Ammit back into the underworld.
- Once Upon a Time: This is almost the fate of a majority of the main cast at the end of the Camelot/Dark One Arc, as Nimue, Hook and the Dark Ones from the Underworld, curse them all to take their place on Charron's barge.
- One Life to Live: In the final days of the ABC run, long time villain Mitch Lawrence is finally killed off. He is then dragged off by two other, more recent villains, to a fitting punishment for all of his crimes.
- In Supernatural, this is the fate of all who make a Deal with the Devil. Hellhounds come for them, rip them apart and drag their souls to hell.
- Katherine Pierce, from The Vampire Diaries, after having evaded death countless times throughout the series, including when her real body died (after which she hitched a ride in Elena's and took over), Katherine is finally dead (which, despite her becoming something of an Ensemble Dark Horse early on in the show, is a relief at this point given how one-note her character had become), and after dropping a revelation on Bonnie, is actually ready to go to the other side. She touches Bonnie, and then... nothing happens. Until a great gust of wind comes from nowhere, and something grabs Katherine by the ankles and yanks her, screaming and clawing at the floor, into a nameless black abyss. The kicker? Her spirit was in a Church when this happens.
- In The Flash (2014), the second season ends with Barry deliberately creating a time remnant of himself to both stop Zoom's Doomsday Device and to cause Time Wraiths to appear. He rightly assumes that the Wraiths will be more pissed off with Zoom for repeatedly messing with the timeline than Barry, and the Time Wraiths partly drain Zoom's life force and then drag him off into wherever they exist. It's hinted that this happens to all speedsters who mess with the timeline and that the Time Wraiths are all former speedsters themselves.
- This happens to Queen Bansheera at the end of Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue; the Rangers and Diabolico trap her in the Shadow World, populated by the spirits of all the demons who appeared over the series.
- This is the fate of more than one protagonist in the horror anthology Tales from the Darkside.
- On Legends of Tomorrow, this happened to Astra as a young child, the Equivalent Exchange demanded by the demon who brought her mother Back from the Dead.
- In Season 4, Constantine uses this as his default method of dealing with magical fugitives, until the heroes decide that maybe condemning every single fugitive to Hell is Disproportionate Retribution.
- Allegedly Gorillaz guitarist Noodle was dragged to Hell when the devil couldn't get hold of Murdoc. It's unclear whether this is actually true, but she definitely went missing for a long time and now is back but injured and packing impressive firepower.
- "Fire" by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, with the God of Hellfire dragging some poor sap into Hell.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made the Villain Protagonist of Don Giovanni suffer this fate at the hands of the Commendatore in one of the most famous scenes in all of opera.
- A common plot device in any RPG with a fantastic bent. Some Dungeons & Dragons modules have this befalling the Big Bad of the story, half the time due to a botched attempt to summon something from the Lower Planes or the Far Realm or some other place of big bad nastiness.
- In 4E, several Warlock powers (such as the epic-level Hurl Through Hell) have this effect. It's (usually) not final for the unfortunate target. But even a drop-by to a local Cthulhu might be unhealthy to the mind. (In game terms, Hurl Through Hell does 10 to 70 points of damage to the victim - usually enough to kill him, but if it doesn't, he is returned to the mortal world, likely scared, but alive. The Warlock casting the spell can use a minor action to delay the victim's return for one combat round, but no more than three times, and using a minor action isn't always easy; it depends on a lot of factors.)
- An Epic Level Spell mentioned in the Epic Level Handbook called Damnation is far more powerful. This not only sends the victim to Hell, it prevents him from trying to leave for twenty hours (convincing him that he is dead and has been sent to Hell as punishment for a life of sin). Even if he survives by the time the twenty hours expire, he has to find a way to escape on his own. (Naturally, being an Epic Level Spell, this isn't easy to learn, much less cast. It has a Spellcraft DC of 97 which means, as far as Epic Spells go, seriously difficult to learn.)
- There is an incredibly rare and powerful magical item (considered a minor artifact in most editions) called a Talisman of Pure Good which can inflict this fate upon an evil divine spellcaster. However, only the purest and most faithful of good divine spellcasters can actually use it. There is also a Talisman of Ultimate Evil, a device that does the opposite. (Both these devices can only be used a limited number of times, and if one appears in a module, it usually has two charges - at most - remaining.)
- The 5th Edition adventure module Baldurs Gate: Descent Into Avernus features an entire city being...well, dragged off into Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells of Baator. The holy city of Elturel, and all of its inhabitants, were dragged there as part of Zariel's plan to gather many mortal souls for the Blood War. Depending on the players' choices during the adventure, it can be returned to Abeir-Toril or be trapped in Avernus forever.
- Exalted has this as the backstory of any and all Green Sun Princes. Writing the details will necessitate several gallons of Brain Bleach, but let's just say that it involves being eaten alive by demons and then having your body reconstituted with the essence of Hell.
- Warhammer has several spells that cause this effect - mostly Chaos (specifically Tzeentchian spells) but also some like the Lore of Life spell The Dwellers Below, which has the spirits of nature itself drag victims through the ground to an unknown, but definitely nasty, fate.
- The New World of Darkness book Inferno introduces Hell and its metaphysics to the setting. It's perfectly possible to open a gate to Hell... but when it pops open, everyone in the immediate vicinity has to fight not to get dragged in (and if they fail, there's no coming back). It also happens in a metaphysical sense, as everyone who looks on the mouth of Hell has to make a Morality check - not because they did anything wrong, but because they stared into the incarnation of all sin, and that can screw with even saints.
- In pretty much every version of the Don Juan story (including Molina's original, Molière's Dom Juan, and Mozart's Don Giovanni), Juan accepts an invitation from a statue of someone he murdered, the father of one of his conquests, and when the statue returns for him, a portal opens up into Hell and Juan enters.
- Drawing from the folklore about Faust, Marlowe's Doctor Faustus has this as Faustus' fate.
- Subverted in Goethe's Faust (Part Two): When Faust lies dying, Mephistopheles and his devils make ready to collect his soul. However, angels distract Mephistopheles so that Faust's soul can go to Heaven, claiming that Faust has never ceased to strive for good and thus has earned redemption.
- In Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, The Sorcerer the titular sorcerer must sacrifice himself to a demonic force to undo a mass love spell gone wrong.
- In the stage musical version of Mary Poppins, the evil Miss Andrew who replaces Mary and rules tyrannically over the children eventually gets locked into a giant birdcage by her predecessor and sent to hell. Mary got her job back.
- Not to hell per se, but rather death - some characters from Elisabeth are dragged offstage by Death Angels/Black Angels. Depending on the production, this may be the mother who pleaded with Franz Joseph for clemency for her son, and/or Sophie.
- In 35MM: A Musical Exhibition, the song "Leave, Luanne" focuses on a woman who is abused by her husband and is eventually murdered by him when she tries to run away. However, soon after her death, her spirit returns, and torments him just the way he tormented her before dragging him away. Even better? The ending implies she's now an avenging angel, doing this on behalf of abused women everywhere. And it's awesome.
Luanne, she cries her miserable wail
so the bastards will never sleep again.
No, no reprieve, Luanne!
She brings their souls down to Hell!
A caution to the cruelest of men...
God loves Luanne!
Praise be! Amen!
- The fate of the Witch in Into the Woods could be interpreted as this, when intentionally bringing about the wrath of her mother at the end of "Last Midnight". Particularly clear in the 2012 version starring Donna Murphy as a body reaches up from the ground, grabbing her, and dragging her down below.
- Eurydice ends up subject to this in Hadestown after Orpheus looks back, her soul is pulled back to the titular Hadestown where she will remain and the two will forever be parted.
- This actually happens in Assassin's Creed Origins. Bayek has just killed Kaliset, aka the Hyena. In her black room scene, she says she gathered silica for the Order, the same silica that powers Precursor artifacts around Egypt. She begs the god Osiris to be reunited with her daughter in the Field of Reeds, but hyenas instead drag her by her heels to the Duat as she screams for her daughter back.
- A few fatalities in Mortal Kombat feature this:
- Shinnok in Mortal Kombat 4 has a fatality where a giant skeleton hand emerges from a portal, grabs the victim, squeezes until their head pops off, and then goes back into the portal with the body, leaving the head.
- Scorpion in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has a fatality where he disappears into hell, and then drags his victim down through the floor. A few seconds later, their skeleton is thrown back out.
- Scorpion's fatality in Mortal Kombat Trilogy had a giant skeletal hand reach out of the ground to drag the opponent below.
- In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Scorpion and his opponent are teleported to hell, in which a bunch of Scorpion clones pop out of the lava to savage the opponent to death.
- In Mortal Kombat 9, Noob Saibot uses this as his basic throwing attack. One of his fatalities has his shadow begin to drag the victim into hell, but as soon as the shadow is below the portal, Noob Saibot closes it off, cutting the victim in half.
- In the Story Mode, Scorpion teleports himself and elder Sub-Zero to the Netherrealm where they fought and Scorpion incinerates Sub-Zero with his skull as the only thing left.
- It should be noted that Scorpion's ending in Deadly Alliance, which provides the page image, is actually not an example of this trope, as the "soulnado" he is tossed into is a path to heaven, not hell.
- Persona 4 has a nominal example: Izanami, the True Final Boss uses an attack called "Summons to Yomi," instantly killing any character who's at critical health, as well as Thousand Curses, which she uses on you at the very end of the battle, and which involves the very creepy image of lots of hands dragging the character it's hit by off to...somewhere.
- Persona 4: The Animation gave an explanation that the attacked dragged the the victims into a Lotus-Eater Machine where everything they saw was shaped by whatever they wanted to see the most. What we saw of it from Yu, however, makes it look like an Ironic Hell (especially since Izanami intended this to be an act of compassion feeling that was what humans wanted) since Yu's desire to not leave his friends in Inaba meant what he was experiencing was a Ground Hog Day Loop of the day before he left Inaba.
- In Bayonetta, whenever you finish off a boss, it gets dragged to hell by a bunch of clawing red arms. Also happens to Bayonetta on the game over screen if you choose not to continue.
Rodin: Dead witches get dragged to hell... It is what it is.
- The sequel reveals that all Umbra Witches get dragged off to hell when they die, not just Bayonetta. This is proven in full force when a trailer shows Jeanne getting this treatment.
- The actual game reveals that while this does happen to Jeanne, she's being taken as a hostage in this case, requiring Bayonetta to mount an Orphean Rescue.
- This fate is also addressed in her stint in Death Battle, fighting against Dante. On the results screen at the end, this is the last we see of her, fruitlessly trying to resist as she's dragged into the Inferno.
- As seen in Tag Climax, the inverse happens to Lumen Sages when they die; creepy heavenly hands appear out of a cloud and pull them up into Paradiso. Given that the series runs on Light Is Not Good, and the knowledge on how angels are made, their ultimate fate still fits this trope. Basically, if you read the lore, it's all part of the ancient deal. Witches serve Hell; Sages serve Heaven. When the time comes, they collect.
- Averted with Jubileus, who burns up in the sun instead.
- A variation is used in Planescape: Torment - there is a high level spell that does it, opening a portal to the Abyss under the target, resulting in him being pulled in by some demons while inflicting serious damage.
- Also happens to the protagonist himself at the end of the game, unless he imagines himself out of existence.
- Silent Hill - Happens to Dr. Kaufman if he survives to the end of the game.
- Doom 3 has this happen with you. No, seriously. You survive and proceed to chew up Hell, though.
- Happens to Nick Virago in Grim Fandango when he tries to ride the Number 9 train to heaven with a forged ticket. He's not dragged down personally, but the train he's riding is.
- In Theme Hospital, when a patient dies, they either float up to heaven as angels, or the ground opens up beneath them and they sink in a fiery pit.
- According to many fans, this is what Akuma/Gouki's Shun Goku Satsu move does: pulls both him and his victim to the underworld, where they're set upon by demons based on how evil their souls are. In fact, God Never Said That.
- In Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, many of the boss fights end with a defeated boss being dragged off by something. The Lich is probably closest to the literal trope.
- Kratos's death at the start of God of War II. He gets better.
- Expect a temporary visit to Tartarus to be a feature of every installment in the God of War series.
- At the end of The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor meets his demise when he's grabbed by a group of dragon spirits whom are heavily implied to be the souls of his elders, who drag him down screaming into the core of the planet to an unknown but likely horrific and well-deserved fate.
- This is what happens to Stauf at the end of The 7th Guest allowing the final guest, Tad, and his older self, Ego, to presumably pass on to the afterlife.
- In AMBER: Journeys Beyond Brice, a UFO-obsessed gardener with a crush on his employer's daughter, gets this once his ghostly self realizes that he killed her and her parents, and that Brice himself is dead. It's pretty damn scary how it happens, too.
- In Dark Souls, there is a pitch black void called the Abyss that requires a special ring to enter, presumably because of the several hundred foot drop required to enter it. However, if you unequip the ring before defeating the boss your character is horrifyingly dragged into the darkness. You even get a special death screen saying "You were consumed by the Abyss." This element of the Souls universe lore comes back in Dark Souls III, where High Lord Wolnir is graphically pulled into the Abyss he was desperately crawling out of once you destroy the holy bracelets that helped ward off the Abyss's clutch on him.
- The death animation of the Overlord series has the Overlord sink into a portal below his feet while his minions blow up all around him.
- The defeat animation in Pirate101 for the cursed monquistadors combines this with Winged Soul Flies Off at Death. A fissure appears below them and a large red flaming hand reaches up and grabs them dragging their body into the gap but leaves their soul which has angel wings and a halo and flies off into a patch of clouds that appear.
- The Situation Finish for the Morioh town stage in Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is the victim suffering this after looking back in the ghost alleyway.
- When Kusaregado uses his Seppuku in Samurai Shodown, he is pulled into Yomi by a group of bloody hands.
- This is the ultimate fate of Mr. Tayama in Shin Megami Tensei IV, at the hands of his beloved Yamato Perpetual Reactor, at that.
- Batman: Arkham Knight: In the most epic scene of the entire game, Batman brutally beats Hallucination! Joker inside of his mind while infected by fear gas. After finally giving the clown prince of crime a well-deserved beat down, Batman forcibly drags the Joker into a prison box (with Hell appropriately written on it) to take him away forever. The Joker becomes forgotten forever and Batman finally conquers his fear of him returning.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us: Scorpion does this to his opponent if he wins.
- Hisako's stage in Killer Instinct features shadowy hands that reach up and grab the opponent if the stage ultra is performed on it. They drag the victim underground... until the victim sprouts back up in an attempt to escape, prompting the victor to smack them back down.
- In Darkest Dungeon, it's implied that Come Unto Your Maker, the One-Hit Kill move of the Final Boss, does this to its victim.
- In The Elder Scrolls series' backstory, Wulfharth Ash-King, an ancient King of the Nords who has died and come back to life at least three times, possessed a powerful Thu'um. After defeating a troublesome tribe of Orcs, Wulfharth "shouted their chief into Hell". Later, following one of his deaths at the hands of Elves, Wulfharth himself ended up in Hell but was rescued by Kyne, the Old Nordic aspect of the Aedric Divine Kynareth.
- In the bad ending of the Hearts of Stone expansion of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Olgierd von Everec suffers this fate at the hands of Gaunter O'Dimm after Geralt helps Gaunter fulfill his end of Olgierd's Deal with the Devil. Geralt himself can suffer this fate as well if you fail attempting to get the Golden Ending. As his theme says, "He'll snare you in bonds, eyes glowing afire, to gore and torment you till the stars expire".
- Being a demon-heavy series with a focus on Heaven Versus Hell, Diablo actually features very little dragging of people off into the Burning Hells. Unless you count Nihlathak from Diablo II's "Lord of Destruction" expansion, the last Elder of Harrogath who made a deal with Baal to hand over the Relic of the Ancients to him in return for Harrogath's safety, which got him the full Dragged Off To Hell treatment when he was defeated by the player.
- Anubis' death animation in SMITE is him being pulled down to the underworld, presumably by the same Grasping Hands he uses as one of his attack abilities.
- In Fate/stay night, this happens to Gilgamesh at the end of the Unlimited Blade Works route. Since the Grail couldn't find a human vessel to use, it attempted to be born through Gil, as he gained a human body at the end of Fate/Zero. However, since he isn't technically living, he merely dies along with it.
- In Goblins this is the penalty for violating the terms of a Deal with the Devil- for either party, the bargainer or the demon. When the demoness guarding the Orb of Shadowlight offers "one soul for one orb" (and attempts to trick the heroes by giving them an orb of plain blue stone instead) she devours Dies Horribly only to discover that he has two souls thanks to the one in his Evil Hand and the deal is negated, Dies is resurrected and the demoness is dragged off to hell, screaming for mercy.
- Zebra Girl: Gregory's fate. His stay there changed him tremendously for the better, and he eventually left.
- Crosses with Your Soul Is Mine with Vaarsuvius in The Order of the Stick, as per the terms of their Deal with the Devil. Fortunately for them, it only lasted 20 minutes before they're let go back to their body. Unfortunately for them, it prevented them from interfering during a very crucial moment, and they still owe 2 more 'sessions'...
- In Ava's Demon Wrava uses the imagery of being dragged off to hell when she uses horned burning skeletons to drag Strategos Six beneath the ashy surface of the burning ruins they're fighting in and into the molten floor while surrounded by demonic statues she just fashioned out their surroundings. In a later chapter The Strategos escapes by breaking their way out of the ground with a Raised Hand of Survival.
- The Kindness of Devils:
- In the Castle of the Night has Count Nicolai Gabriel von Krolock, who is hauled into the "hungry dark," an unknown plane that is arguably worse than Hell itself.
- A Conspiracy of Serpents has Yamada, who is dragged off shrieking by Yig, an entity that Yamada angered after he slew many of its "children."
- During Super Bowl LIII in 2019, The Onion ran a side head reading "Giant Demonic Hand Bursts Out Of Ground, Drags Bill Belichick Back To Hell." Which interestingly implies that Hell is where he came from in the first place.
- Parodied with the "You're Going to Brazil" meme, which features people being dragged to, of course, Brazil.
- Parodied on Futurama when the Robot Devil drags Richard Nixon's head to Robot Hell...because they've got a poker game to get to.
- In his first appearance, the Robot Devil does this to Bender in a very literal way: He appears ominously at the door of the motel Bender was in and proceeds to knock him in the head with his trident. He then proceeds to physically drag the unconscious Bender all the way from the motel to Robot Hell (whose entrance is inside an old carnival ride in New Jersey).
- Happens to The Gentleman Ghost in one episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, after he loses control over the undead spirits he manipulated into serving him.
- In the final episode of The Legends of Treasure Island this happens to Long John Silver, as he'd failed to keep up his end of the bargain he made with the devil following his death by lava in the first season finale.
- Grim can do this to people in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, but he saves it for people who really piss him off, like The Boogeyman, proving that, unless you're a really smart little kid, messing with Death is a very, very bad idea. He's occasionally seen doing his job of reaping people, but he says there are a large number of afterlives so it's likely not all of them are taken to Hell.
- In the Rick and Morty episode "Morty's Mind Blowers", in a flashback we see a Death Seeker alien ask Rick to kill him in order for him to die a warrior's death and get to his race's Heaven, but when Morty asks if he has any proof of it he gets cold feet and winds up being hit by a car. They then see his spirit get dragged down by demons while Rick comments "They have a Hell and it does not look good."
- This is Jafar's fate at the end of the Hercules: The Animated Series / Aladdin: The Series crossover episode.
- While it seemed unlikely that this could ever happen in a cartoon like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) the ancient dragon Granamyr was able to do just that, if the "Realm of Demons", as he called it, was anything like Hell. He threatened to banish He-Man and Teela there in his first appearance, and in his second appearance, he proved this was not a bluff, as he actually did it to an evil dragon. (Long story short, Granamyr is not someone you mess with.)
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Its Sequel Series The Legend of Korra reveals this to be true for Avatar's Admiral Zhao. Contrary to fans' beliefs, the Water Spirit didn't kill Zhao when it dragged him down into the ocean. It sent him to the Fog of Lost Souls, an almost inescapable Psychological Torment Zone that traps whoever is in it and drives them insane. Zhao's spirit has been wandering the Fog for a good seventy years and has gone completely mad. This place is closest thing to hell ever shown in the Avatar 'verse.
- At the climax of Ninjago's season 4 finale, a G-rated version of this trope occurs. The spirits of Anacondrai generals return to Ninjago from the Cursed Realm (to which they were banished, and from which there's typically no return) and pick up the Big Bad, Master Chen, and his entire army, taking them into the Cursed Realm with them.
- In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., the Ghost Rider has a fate much worse than the Penance Stare in store for evildoers who don't repent. As the one who created the Abomination (and in this universe, guess whose gamma bomb it was that created the Hulk in the first place?) it was decided that General Ross (now the Red Hulk) was truly to blame for the Abomination's evil acts, as well as the loss of Bruce Banner's humanity and former life and all the damage he blamed the Hulk for back during his Inspector Javert days. His punishment, if the Ghost Rider had his way? Be bound with unbreakable chains and dragged into what Ross called "the bad place," which looks like your classic Fire and Brimstone Hell, and be fed to the Eldritch Abomination at its center. Quite the Nightmare Fuel episode for a show that's usually lighthearted (despite all the property damage).
- Steven Universe: Not literally, but Malachite's fate has definite elements of this, as she is chained and dragged down to the depths of the ocean while trying desperately to escape. Although it turns out that Jasper enjoyed being roughed up by Lapis.
- The Rocko's Modern Life episode "Who Gives a Buck" has a Nightmare Sequence where Rocko chops up his Conglom-O credit card only for it to multiply into thousands, which pull him from bed and toss him into Hell, or at least the show's equivalent of it.
- Kaeloo: This has happened to Stumpy more than once.
- It also happens to Quack Quack in " Let's Play Hopscotch", where Mr. Cat tricks him into thinking that a path to Hell is the way to Heaven.
- At the end of the Archie's Weird Mysteries episode "Mega-Mall of Horrors!", the bad guy and the entire mall are pulled underground after failing to acquire the souls needed to get out of having his own soul taken. Hell is not explicitly stated to be his destination, but he did distinctly state he sold his soul to the devil, so it's likely where he was headed for.
- Woody Woodpecker: In "His Better Elf", after his first two wishes from O'Toole the leprechaun have gotten him into (and out of) trouble, Woody uses his third wish to tell O'Toole to "Go to blazes!" Cue O'Toole falling into a hole and ending up in Fire and Brimstone Hell, where a woodpecker Devil taunts him for wearing out his welcome "up there".
- Animaniacs (2020): New character Nils Niedhart goes to Hell in both of his appearances, implying this will be a Running Gag.