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Forced to Watch

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Weasel: Shall I reposenote  of [Eddie Valiant] right now, Boss?
Doom: Let him watch his toon friends get Dipped. Then shoot him.

After capturing the hero, the villain will threaten him with Cold-Blooded Torture unless he reveals where he's hidden the MacGuffin, etc. Being a good hero, he dares him to do his worst. Not only can he take it, but will do so with a smile! The villain will then calmly rotate the chair they're strapped into and show them a friend or loved one in deep trouble instead. Uh-oh...

This "deep trouble" can be just about anything: a camera feed showing a hit squad offing allies or friends one by one, the Love Interest in a slowly moving Death Trap or being outright tortured. If the villain has the means, they might force the hero into Watching Troy Burn or the Red Shirt Army being massacred by the villain's Gas Mask Mooks.

The possibilities are nauseatingly endless, but the one constant is that they are Forced to Watch, often with the offer that they can make it stop if they just give in. Sometimes the act isn't meant to make someone talk, but to Kick the Dog in a truly heinous way, sadistically Mind Raping them by taking whatever they love and destroying it before their very eyes. If it does literally involve sex, expect it to be the darkest version of Sex in a Shared Room, with the villain raping someone right in front of the hero. More cynically, this is a way for the writers to make sure that the heroes remain absolutely sympathetic — caving under torture would make them "weak," but caving to a loved one's torture makes them heroic.


In family-friendly works it can be a way of softening a torture scene: rather than getting out the knives, simply threatening the hero's loved ones can carry the story without rousing the censors. It can even be a moment of comedy if the subject of the threat is absurd or the punishment is ridiculous.

In more adult works the hero's head may be strapped to prevent them from looking away. In more extreme works their eyes may be taped open, or their eyelids removed. An anesthetic or blow to the head may leave the hero too dazed to look away. Other times, like a car wreck, the hero just won't be able to look away. For bonus points, a hero trying to look away will have the villain grab them by the chin and force them to face forward while screaming that they look on.

The hero may find they Ain't Too Proud to Beg and might plead "Please, I Will Do Anything!"


We might discover this dark scene in fragments as a Troubled Backstory Flashback.

Morally dubious heroes may also force a victim to watch. It can mark where the Well-Intentioned Extremist just crossed the Moral Event Horizon.

The villain is Tempting Fate by attempting this form of torture with Determinators, Plucky Girls and antiheroes, as the consequences will not be pretty if they do not succeed in breaking them. Especially if the hero manages to bust loose from their imprisonment — in which case the villain is going to be facing torture and/or death of their own soon enough.

See also We Have Ways of Making You Talk. If circumstances prevent allies to team up in a fight and one has to helplessly watch the other being overpowered or killed by the enemy forces, it's Locked Out of the Fight. If it is an object being damaged/destroyed as opposed to a living thing, then it's Interrogation by Vandalism.

Not to be confused with The Ludovico Technique, when one is forced to watch propaganda or brainwashing material, rather than something eliciting fear for another.

And yes, if you bring any real-life examples, you'll be forced to watch them being promptly deleted from here, m'kay?


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • This happens to Guts in supremely heinous fashion during the end of the Eclipse when he is forced to watch his lover Casca be brutally raped to the point of insanity by his best friend turned Big Bad Griffith, who has become a demon god named Femto. He tries to reach her by chiseling off his own arm which was trapped in the jaws of a demon, only to have Femto hurl him in the air with a telekinetic counter. When Guts tries to get back up from that, he is then dogpiled by more demons before he can and is forced to watch the rape as one of the demons holding him down stabs its claw into his right eye. It's made even more heinous in that Casca was forced to look at Guts in the middle of her rape by Femto when he began to rape her from behind. Not only is Casca being degraded more and worse by the minute, but she has to look at Guts while it happens, and it's heartbreaking to see Casca beg Guts not to look at her during her last sane moments, even though he's just as forced to look on while he's still trying to get to her.
    • Earlier (but later chronologically), in volume two of the manga, Vargas, the kind but deformed and revenge-driven fugitive, recounts how he was forced to watch as the Count ate his wife and children. This alluded to Guts's own experience with Griffith.
    • And Guts forced Theresia, the Count's twelve-year-old daughter, to watch as he stabbed the mutilated but still living Count dozens of times. He actually dragged the Count over to her so she'd have a front-row seat. True to form, this was one of Guts's darker moments.
  • In Black Bird: Kyo's brother Sojo threatens Kyo with this (more exactly, with ravishing his girlfriend, Misao).
  • In Blazblue Alter Memory, after delivering a brutal thrashing to Noel and Makoto, Hazama tortures Makoto to enrage Noel and disable her Bolverk's limiter.
  • In Bleach:
    • Nnoitra orders Tesla to beat Ichigo to death while forcing Orihime to watch. The hold he uses to restrain her includes forcing his fingers down her throat, a known Japanese porn kink that in this scene alludes to Nnoitra's desire to rape her, something Ulquiorra has previously admonished him over. The anime revisualised this manga scene to a more innocent portrayal of Nnoitra simply clamping his hand over her mouth.
    • When Ulquiorra finally defeats Ichigo, Uryuu and Orihime arrive just in time to see Ulquiorra grab Ichigo by the neck. Ulquiorra insists Orihime watch as he blasts a huge hole in Ichigo's chest. As Orihime desperately tries to heal him, she has no choice but to watch her defensive shield be torn away from its attempt to protect Uryuu, who then has his hand severed (manga) or badly broken (anime) by Ulquiorra. Being unable to save either of them and having this as a corollary of the immense Break the Cutie process she's been subjected to through the whole arc sends the girl into a massive Heroic BSoD.
  • Happens more than once in Case Closed, being a mystery series and all. For example, Conan and his friends are given a tablet supposedly coming from Officer Takagi — and when Takagi's girlfriend Sato turns it on, they see it's connected to a camera that shows them a kidnapped Takagi who's Bound and Gagged inside a Death Trap. So either they find and free him soon, or they'll only be able to watch as he dies — either by hanging in a makeshift gallow, by being blown up by a time bomb, or simply by freezing to death. (He's rescued in the nick of time, though.)
  • Crimson Spell:
    • Inverted when Gile forces a Brainwashed and Crazy Havi to attend him while he tortures and sexually taunts Vald, Havi's lover and Protectorate. Havi barely has the faculties to stand, much less to absorb what's happening, but Vald responds immediately to the humiliation.
    • Later in the manga, Astador, takes advantage of this to intimidate his look-alike, Rimris. Astador threatens to rape Vald in front of Rimris just to make him watch Vald suffering at the hands of someone with his own face.
  • In Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, near the end of Side: Despair, a prequel to the events of the first game. Junko traps Chiaki in an unescapable Death Course and the rest of her classmates in a room surrounded by monitors showing Chiaki's situation. As Chiaki continues getting wounded through the maze, the others are incapable of rushing to save her as Junko modified the monitors to force the victims to stare at the screen and can't look away no matter what. After Chiaki is executed, her friends are driven into becoming Ultimate Despair as Junko leads them to devastate the whole world.
  • Happens in Deadman Wonderland to Ganta when he is strapped down and made to watch Senji lose an eye during a penalty game. There was no point to this; Tamaki was just being a dick.
  • In Detective School Q, while she and Ryu investigate a girl's vanishment in a Boarding School, Megumi is caught and kidnapped by a mysterious masked man. She finds herself Bound and Gagged and is forced to watch as said masked man kills the also kidnapped Student Council President by smashing a bottle in his head. Few later, Ryu and other kids find a video featuring this as well as how the masked man threateningly approaches poor Megu and the scene goes to black, implying he's killed her too. He has not, and Megu is released unharmed but very shaken by what she had to see.
  • In Digimon Tamers, the D-Reaper forces Sakuyamon and Gallantmon to watch Beelzemon fall to his death by sending a Zerg Rush of its Agents at the former and physically restraining the latter. Gallantmon can't break free, and by the time Sakuyamon is done with the Agents Beelzemon's too far away for her to help. Fortunately, he's not too far away for Grani to help.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • During the Saiyan Saga, Vegeta calls for a three-hour break in the fight to give Goku more time to get there — because, as a "traitor to the Saiyan race", he wants Goku to watch his friends die first. This doesn't work out for him.
    • After nearly being killed by the Spirit Bomb, Frieza goes out of his way to torture Goku. First by shooting Piccolo (in the anime Frieza tries to shoot Goku, but Piccolo pushed him out of the way) and murders Krillin by blowing him up from the inside out. He then threatened to do the same with Gohan. Needless to say, this was a very bad idea.
    • When Goku is having the life sucked out of him by Android 19, Android 20/Dr. Gero stands in the way of the other Z-Fighters and tells them they're going to stand there and watch Goku die unless they can get past him, emphasizing this by shooting Piccolo in the chest with his Eye Beams. Of course, he doesn't account for Vegeta showing up to save Goku.
    • In order to hit Gohan's Berserk Button and see his true power firsthand, Cell spawns seven Cell Jr.'s and then sics them on the other Z Fighters while Gohan watches helplessly, and finally pushes Gohan over the edge when he crushes Android 16's still-living head underfoot right in front of him. At this, Gohan goes Super Saiyan 2 and promptly annihilates the Cell Jr.'s before wiping the floor with Cell.
  • Elfen Lied:
  • In Goblin Slayer, such an event is what drives the protagonist. As a child, his rural village was attacked by a goblin horde and no Adventurers came to save them. His sister locked him in a storage area beneath the floorboards, saving him from the creatures at the cost of him having a front-row seat to the horrors she endured in her final hours. The experience broke him completely and drives him on his endless quest to exterminate goblins wherever he can find them.
  • In Haou Airen, this happens thrice. In two of these times, the person forced to watch is the same:
    • First, Kaafai is forced to witness how Hakuron rapes his girlfriend Kurumi, whom Kaafai himself has just befriended. This turns out to be VERY plot-important: it inspires the mentally broken Kaafai to join the police, learn how to handle guns... and to shoot Hakuron dead the next time their paths cross.
    • Also used when a rival Triad gang kidnaps Kurumi, and their leader has Hakuron watch via video as he strips and molests her.
  • In The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (the movie followup of Haruhi Suzumiya), Alt!Yuki is forced to watch when Ryoko Asakura stabs Kyon. Ryoko even spins around, waves the knife, and splatters blood on Yuki's face!
  • Played with in Hell Girl. A little girl named Tsugumi Shibata is somehow able to see through Ai Enma's eyes as the Hell Girl meets with her clients, and she uses this ability to help her Intrepid Reporter father Hajime track the clients down and attempt to tell them not to take Ai's deals. As an adult, she still has this skill.
  • Seras Victoria from Hellsing has a rather dark and disturbing backstory, which seems to have happened when she was very young. It consists of her father being murdered by burglars, her mother hiding her in a cupboard to protect her, and her mother's subsequent murder by the same burglars. Seras tries to exact revenge by stabbing one of the guys in the eye with a fork; she gets shot for her trouble and one of the perpetrators proceeds to rape her mother's corpse, due to it being "still warm". In full view of little Seras, who lies on the ground bleeding profusely.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • The maddened Shion decides to lock her twin Mion up and torture all of her friends where she can hear (but not see) it before finally killing her. Shion rubs salt in the wound by pretending to be Mion the entire time, so the real Mion is forced to hear her friends crying out begging Mion to stop torturing them.
    • Later on Takano kills all of the True Companions in front of each other.
    • On a much larger scale, Hanyuu has to watch each timeloop, forced to see her best friend and everyone else die, without being able to physically interact or help until the final world.
  • How to Build a Dungeon: Book of the Demon King: Villain Protagonist Aur against Alan, a Warrior that went against him and lost. Aur had already fully corrupted two of Alan's female companions, but makes Alan watch as he seduces/rapes the last companion, Wikia, who then declares her loyalty to Aur.
  • InuYasha: In Episode 51, Gatenmaru, after trapping Inuyasha and Miroku in an acidic cocoon, decides to show them just how helpless they are before they die by making them watch as he kills and eats innocent village women For the Evulz. He gets his just desserts when Inuyasha succumbs to his Superpowered Evil Side and rips him apart.
  • Played for Laughs in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, where the rival gang member Zucchero, having been defeated and reduced to a living disembodied head, is interrogated by Narancia, Mista, and Fugo on the whereabouts of his partner. When he refuses to speak, they hang him by an eyelid from a fish hook, burn his eyes with eyeglass lenses in the harsh sunlight, and to add insult to injury, they suddenly and inexplicably start dancing in sync while Zucchero dangles helplessly, unable to do anything but watch his tormentors break out some moves in a brief Disney Acid Sequence.
    • Played less for laughs is Diavolo's murder of Sorbet and Gelato: he had Sorbet sawed apart into over twenty pieces while he was still alive, while Gelato, supposedly his lover, was tied and gagged to a chair and forced to witness the violent death of his partner. Unable to bear the sight, Gelato proceeds to commit suicide by choking himself with his gag.
      • Made even worse in the anime with the addition that Sorbet's killer was Cioccolata, who was implied to be planning to make an example of Gelato to La Squadra as well.
  • Kagerou Project: Outer Science, which describes the story's possible bad end, is three and a half minutes of Mary being forced to watch all of her friends die horrible deaths at the hands of the Wide-Open Eyes Snake — possessing her newest friend, Konoha — as driving her to despair is the only way he can convince her to reset the timeloop.
  • Played for Laughs in Kamen no Maid Guy, when Kogarashi punishes a Psycho Lesbian who has installed a hidden camera in his (female) master's bathroom. Kogarashi paralyses her with a Brown Note and forces her to watch an overweight 40-year old man take a bath in the nude, with closeups as he starts washing his 'private parts'.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Hayate had to watch two people disguised as her friends slaughter her family and taunt her about it (on Christmas Eve no less). This caused her to snap and start The End of the World as We Know It, which was exactly what Liesearia and Lieselotte, along with their master, Admiral Graham wanted, since they intended to seal her and the Book of Darkness away to contain the threat of the Lost Logia forever.
  • Moo is fond of this in Monster Rancher:
    • When the rest of the Searchers come to rescue the kidnapped Holly, Moo taunts her about her inability to do anything to help her friends while he's throwing them around, goading them to hate him even more.
    • Near the climax of the second season, he captures and tortures Pixie, ripping off her wings in front of everyone else present, mocking the idea of them trying to resist him.
  • Naruto:
    • Itachi has twice used his Mind Rape abilities to make Sasuke watch as Itachi murders their entire family over and over and over again.
    • Also, in the Chuunin Exams arc, a trio of genin under the orders of Orochimaru captured Sakura when she was looking after the comatose Naruto and Sasuke. The girl of the team grabs Sakura by her hair and says her companions should kill the incapacitated boys in front of her before killing her — Sakura reacts via cutting her own hair to free herself and doing what she can to fend them off despite knowing she barely can handle this. This causes Ino, Shikamaru, and Chouji to step in, and later they're followed by the recovered sorta Sasuke.
  • Silvana "Intoccabile" Greone is introduced in Noir when she forces a traitor in The Mafia ranks to listen to his wife and baby being executed in the next room.
  • In RideBack, though it only gets to implying such before he gives in, the main character's brother is forced to give false confession by threatening to rape his sister in front of him.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero Tact's execution is delayed so he can watch as every one of his comrades, friends, and family members is executed before him. The fact that every one of them begs him to save them only makes it worse.
  • Averted in Rurouni Kenshin. Because Enishi did not force Kenshin to watch as he "killed" his love interest Kaoru even though he knew what effect it would have on Kenshin, this... set off Aoshi's suspicion that Kaoru was not dead at all. He was right.
  • In the 9th episode of the 90s anime version of Sailor Moon, the Monster of the Week freezes Sailor Mercury in place, insisting on forcing her to watch helplessly as she makes Sailor Moon suffer before killing her.
  • In Saint Seiya, it takes place once in a while. The biggest example is Cancer Deathmask using his Psychic Powers not only to restrain a girl named Shunrei and lift her up several meters over a waterfall located at the other side of the world... but to force her prospect boyfriend/adoptive brother Shiryu to watch as he tosses her into the waterfall and to her death. Though this massively backfires, via pressing Shiryu's biggest Berserk Button to the core and sending him into a huge and glorious Unstoppable Rage. (And it turns out Shunrei survived thanks to Old Master Dohko's efforts.)
  • In Shaman King, Faust VIII has Yoh forcibly restrained by skeletons and forces him to watch as he vivisects Manta.
  • Sword Art Online: During the climax of the Fairy Dance arc, after Sugou/Oberon stabs him through his back and spine, he goes out of his way to torture Kirito by chaining up Asuna, ripping her clothes off, and groping and licking her, all right in front of him. He gets his just desserts when Akihiko Kayaba overrides Sugou's control of the game and gives Kirito admin privileges, which Kirito takes full advantage of, turning off Sugou's pain inhibitor and killing his in-game avatar so brutally that Sugou is left permanently injured in real life.
    • Raios and Humbert do this to Eugeo (as well as Kirito, although he wasn't there at the start) in the Alicization arc. When Eugeo and Kirito's pages, Ronie and Teise, confront Raios and Humbert over Humbert's treatment of his page Frenica(who happens to be friends with Teise), Raios and Humbert use their authority as nobles to force Ronie and Teise to submit to their "punishment." Said punishment involves being tied up with ropes and being raped by Raios and Humbert, and it's implied that the perpetrators' goal is to force Eugeo and Kirito to violate the Taboo Index. They get more than they bargained for when Eugeo summons the Heroic Willpower to slice off Humbert's arms, and Kirito cuts off both of Raios' hands, thereby causing his death.
  • Happens more than once in Tokyo Ghoul.
    • After seriously injuring Kaneki, Nishiki forces him to watch while he abuses an unconscious Hide. It does not end well for Nishiki.
    • When several days of Cold-Blooded Torture fail to sufficiently break Kaneki, Yamori decides to change tactics. He brings in a mother and child, part of a group Kaneki had given himself up to protect, and offers a Sadistic Choice: he's going to kill one of them, and Kaneki has to choose. When he refuses to play along, Yamori gets angry and simply kills both prisoners while he watches helplessly. This leads to Kaneki having a mental breakdown and finding the strength to turn the tables on his captor.
    • During the finale, the One-Eyed Owl forces a wounded Juuzou to watch while it tortures his Parental Substitute, Shinohara.
  • In Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, Akira Inugami arrives at Haguro's house in search of hints about where he and his goons are keeping and continuously gang-raping his Morality Chain, Akiko Aoshika. He only finds a goon there and said goon forces him watch a video where she's yet again being raped... by Haguro himself. The horrifying discovery sends out the normally Tall, Dark, and Snarky werewolf into a MASSIVE sobbing breakdown.
  • The Yaoi manga Yondaime Ooyaato Tatsuyuki shows in a flashback that the main character as a young boy got forced by his father to look at his dead bodyguard who died protecting him to teach him not to show weakness as a future Yakuza gang leader. He can't do it and ends up running away while crying.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • At some point Marik not only brainwashed Joey to force him into a Duel to the Death with Yugi and the Spirit of the Puzzle, but holds Tea hostage in another Death Trap that will be activated if anyone else intervenes. So several characters (Kaiba, Mokuba, Mai, Tristen and Serenity [so to say, she has bandages over her eyes]) are forced to stand there and not be able to help Yugi (who did tell the Spirit to let him save Joey on his own) in any way.
    • Later, the anime states that the real Marik Ishtar's soul is dormant within Dark Marik, and now he's forced to see how his Superpowered Evil Side wrecks havoc. He has to borrow Tea's body for a short while to talk to his sister Ishizu and tell her what's going on.
  • In the climax of the 'Saint Beasts' arc in YuYu Hakusho, Suzaku has a giant screen showing the footage of Botan and Keiko being hunted down by his bug-zombies. At first, this serves mostly as a distraction, but as Yusuke increasingly gets the worse end of the fight and things get tighter and tighter for Keiko, it gets closer to torture, culminating in Yusuke on the ground, beaten past moving, while the zombies close in on Keiko. (Botan is not in real danger, as her real form is a spirit the zombies can't touch.)

    Comic Books 
  • The Walking Dead has had two examples (so far):
    • Volume 11 features a notable inversion of this trope in which the "good guys" inflict it upon villains. In this volume, Rick and his crew are pursued by a gang of vicious cannibals. After capturing and disarming the cannibal gang, Rick and his companions execute them one by one (using horrifically brutal methods) while others are forced to watch until it is their turn to die. At the end of the volume, Rick says he feels his actions were justified but realizes he has crossed a moral line from which there can be no return.
    • In Volume 17, Rick and his group are captured by Negan and his "Saviors". Negan then forces them to watch as he executes a member of Rick's crew chosen at random, hoping this will convince Rick to submit to the Saviors' dominance.
  • Sabretooth does this to Wild Child with Aurora after leading the two into a trap. Creed then attacks Aurora. Wild Child goes to attack, but Creed stops him. He forces Wild Child into a corner and has him watch while he brutalizes Aurora and threatens to kill her if he interferes. Wild Child watches as it happens, with Creed then telling him to cry and beg for her life if he cares about her so much.
  • Black Mask is fond of this technique as a torture tool; he drove Catwoman's sister insane by torturing her husband to death and forcing her to watch and eat the bits he cut off.
  • In X-Men, Mojo does this to Professor Xavier at one point, using metal wires that force his eyes open while making him grin in Mojo's image.
  • In the Elseworlds story JLA: The Nail, The Joker uses his newly bestowed energy powers to capture Robin and Batgirl, and then make Batman watch while he rips them apart. Batman gets free (too late) and promptly kills the Joker.
  • The most painful moment in the "Avengers Under Siege" storyline: Mr. Hyde forces a captive Captain America to watch as he brutally beats the Avengers' elderly butler, Jarvis.
  • In a story set after the end of Superman's The Death of Clark Kent, Superman finds a death trap surrounded by television screens, which Conduit had presumably set up so Supes would be able to see the captive (Jimmy Olsen) die in spite of everything he could do.
  • The Young Avengers/Runaways Civil War crossover has one: The Warden kidnaps Billy, Teddy, and Karolina (bringing Xavin's dead body along), and proceeds to perform a vivisection on Teddy, while his boyfriend is forced to watch, able to hear everything except his own voice. This leaves said boyfriend brokenly trying to use his powers to kill The Warden.
  • Barracuda in The Punisher MAX attempts to exact the ultimate revenge on The Punisher by torturing Frank's illegitimate baby daughter in front of him before torturing Frank himself to death and even gloats about his intent to a tied-up Punisher. It backfires spectacularly.
  • Typically a key part of the creation of a new revenant in any given episode in The Crow series. It's especially bad when fans of the first movie read the first comic, and realize just how loose an adaptation it was.
  • Done to the audience in Alan Moore opus From Hell. An entire issue is spent on the grisly details of one of the killings and subsequent mutilations.
  • A non-torture version in V for Vendetta when Helen's husband shoots his wife's lover but is mortally wounded, completely upsetting her plans. Seeing him about to die, she turns one of the ubiquitous security cameras towards him so he can watch himself die on his giant screen.
  • In one New Gods/Superman story, Darkseid forced Mr. Miracle to watch a porno that his wife and Superman did (while brainwashed by Darkseid's rejected underling, Sleez).
  • Ultimate X-Men
    • Magneto punished Pietro for making the Brotherhood a joke by knee-capping Pietro with a shotgun. Wanda's punishment? He made her watch.
    • Sabertooth took the SHIELD files about Wolverine, all that they know about his life before they erased his memory... and made a barbecue with it, with a chained Wolverine forced to watch.
  • Towards the end of an Outsiders arc in which Indigo is revealed to be the latest form of Brainiac, she briefly regains her normal personality long enough to beg Shift to kill her, claiming that once the Brainiac programming reasserts control, she'll be forced to watch as she kills all of her friends.
  • In Thorgal, Kriss de Valnor takes advantage of Thorgal's amnesia by claiming that he is Shaigan the Merciless, a fellow pirate and her lover. Kriss enslaves Thorgal's wife Aaricia using her and Thorgal's daughter as leverage. Kriss then forces Aaricia to be her personal attendant so that Aaricia has a front-row seat as her amnesiac husband makes love to Kriss night after night. It's not enough for Kriss that she finally has Thorgal to herself. No, Kriss has to rub it in Aaricia's face that she's stolen her husband.
  • In Convergence, Telos kept the New 52 Earth 2 heroes as his unwilling audience to watch him forcing the denizens of the domes to fight each other to the death. However, the Earth-2 heroes manage to break free when Telos was too occupied in pitting the heroes of Just Imagine against the cyborgs of the Futures End timeline.
  • In Superman (Rebirth), Manchester Black kidnaps Jon and forces him to watch his parents lose a battle, culminating with Lois losing her leg and Clark having to cauterize the wound with his heat vision, in order to convince him that Superman's no-kill rule was harmful, Superman himself was ineffective, and Superboy should join him. It was faked
    Manchester Black: (grabbing Jon's head and forcing it to look at the television screen) I'm afraid I can't have you turn away. It's necessary you witness this...
    Manchester Black: Ouch, sorry you had to see that, Jon boy...but desperate times call for desperate measures. Anything less and people are bound to suffer.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Paula von Gunther was forced to watch as Nazis murdered her husband for her refusal to cooperate with them. They then took her toddler-aged daughter Gerta and informed her Gerta was next if she didn't fall in line.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Medusa intends to force Diana to watch as she murders her way through the embassy after weakening Diana with venom. While Diana is able to save most of her friends she is horrified and enraged at the sight of Medusa gleefully attacking Peter Garibaldi's two young children and succeeding in murdering Martin.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Genocide forces Diana to kneel before her and look at her by threatening a hostage, then, once she's sure Diana is looking, she murders the woman right in front of her.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", the Yeerks kill or harm several people close to Tobias in an attempt to force him to demorph. He doesn't.

Avatar: The Last Airbender


  • Face The Music has Grissom tortured by Reggie Shelling and Ruben Denaglio. Grissom escapes, but near the end of the fic, he's recaptured after Shelling, who escaped the first time, uses Sara as bait. Shelling starts in on Sara, then Grissom convinces Shelling to focus on him so he'll stop hurting Sara, meaning they're both forced to watch at various points.


  • Code Prime (Code Geass & Transformers): The SAZ Massacre is made worse due to Megatron using a Pretender drone impersonating as Princess Euphemia to ignite the said massacre and having Soundwave, pretending to be Charles, ordering the Britannian soldiers and Knights of the Round to attack the Japanese. And poor Euphie (who was captured by Airachnid) was forced to watch the tragedy unfold.
    • The Decepticons make a deliberate effort to drag all the Britannian nobles outside and make them watch as the Nemesis obliterates Pendragon down to the bedrock.
  • The God Empress of Ponykind (My Little Pony & Warhammer): During the Siege of Manehattan, Dawn Sparkle defies Nightmare Moon's offer of mercy and challenges the Mad God to a duel. The scene cuts to the next days where she confesses to Celestia as she lies dying that she lost, but Nightmare Moon kept her alive long enough to watch the Traitors raze Manehattan and slaughter the civilians that failed to escape.
  • The Shattering of Oz (Return to Oz & Wicked): Annoyed at Fiyero's defiance, the Nome King decides to break his spirit by forcing him to watch the magically-accelerated forest growth crushing the cities of Oz.
  • Weight of the World (Hetalia: Axis Powers & RWBY):
    • During a flashback, the Atlas scientists hook Canada up to machines that track his vitals to test how his body reacts to stress. They then force Canada to watch as America is vivisected. America is cut open from ribcage to pelvis to test his Healing Factor. Canada freaks out, and one of the scientists claims he may pass out or suffer a heart attack as America falls unconscious.
    • Doctor Polendina makes a captured America watch a recording of Penny's death during the Tournament. He sets the footage to replay over and over and leaves.
  • Hunters of Justice (Justice League & RWBY): Brainiac utterly trounces teams RWBY and JNPR when they try to personally stop him. Afterwards, they are treated to front row seats as Braniac bottles the last city of Vale and immediately destroys the entire planet of Remnant afterwards while all they can do is look on in silent horror.
Fire Emblem

Fusion Fic

  • In the Fallout: Equestria universe, memory orbs — magical devices which allow unicorns to experience the collected memory within — cannot be exited until the memory has been played completely. No matter how horrific — or embarrassing — the memory is, once you've activated the orb, you're forced to watch (and feel, and smell, and taste) it all.
    • In a much more direct way, Cognitum forces Blackjack to watch her annihilating several peaceful settlements in order to wriggle some crucial information out of her. Despite a heavy death toll, Blackjack holds back, because she knows that with the information Cognitum will do much worse, but she breaks when her friends and loved ones are targeted next.



  • Subverted in Red vs Blue: Revenge of the Robots. Unless Sarge gives O'malley what he wants, he'll be forced to watch Wyoming not kill Grif. Which, considering how much Sarge hates Grif, is an unbearable torture.

Harry Potter

  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: The martial arts instructor who wouldn't teach Voldemort had to watch his students be tortured and killed.
  • In What if Snape Died, Voldemort didn't know the prophecy, but that just delayed (for a few years) the moment Harry Potter would become the Boy-Who-Lived. Some of his Death Eaters forced James to watch as he tried to kill Harry. Since Lily did sacrifice herself after all, the Killing Curse came back at him like in the book series.

Hetalia: Axis Powers

Kim Possible

  • Dead Man Switch, the Lorwardians forced the leaders and governments of Earth (and a few selected civilians) to watch 15 girls get beheaded and have the records replayed over Earth's media networks to put them in their place, as part of their annual tribute to the Lorwardian Empire. And they've been at it for 20 years until the start of the fanfic.

Lost Girl

  • A horrifying version happens in Faeral. Dyson has, for complicated but well-explained reasons, gone psychotic and previously tried to rape Lauren. When Bo is talking to him later, he is confused as to why she is angry over it. He then concludes that as a Succubus, she wants to watch him rape Lauren. Bo damn near kills him on the spot. He later breaks out of his cell, hell-bent on raping Lauren in front of Bo. Bo finally snaps, and gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to make him stop.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Mega Man

My Little Pony


  • Numb3rs Ties That Bind: Charlie and Alan are forced by An old acquittance torture Don for his perceived abandonment by the Eppes family.


  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines opens with Ash only able to watch as the entire universe is erased by Cyrus; he only escapes this fate because Arceus takes him outside of time and then sends him back into a new past to avert universal destruction.

Professor Layton

  • Beautiful Nightmare features a version of Anton who is actually a vampire doing this to the Professor, man-handling an increasingly more and more terrified Luke in front of him. Anton was originally planning on turning Luke while the Professor looked on and then sic Luke on his former mentor but when Layton's Papa Wolf instincts kicked in, making his blood smell delicious, Anton decided he'd much rather feed on him and used the stated scenario.


  • An Inverted example happens in Arc Superiority when Cardin Winchester is forced to watch his girlfriend and mother have sex with his frequent bully target Jaune Arc while also suffering from the indignity of them moaning about how much they prefer him to Cardin.

Star Trek

Star Wars

  • Writers seem to like playing with the idea of Leia being forced to watch Han being tortured on the scan grid in The Empire Strikes Back, though there's no canon evidence one way or the other. One Night On Bespin and Therapy are two examples.
  • Gladiatorial Jedi, has Luke submitting to fighting in a Gladiator Games ring because Mara and Ben were also captured, and he's shown Mara being tortured. Knowing they'll keep going until she dies if he doesn't give in, he reluctantly agrees to the demand.
  • The Imperials who capture Luke, Leia, and Han in the Star Wars fic "The Princess And The Pirate'' pull this after they beat up Han Solo, in an effort to further rattle the gang. Someone orders the video of Han's ordeal played on a loop in their cell. It also gets transmitted to where it can be seen by Wedge, the one they're actually trying to draw in using the others as bait.


  • In The Chong Sheng Trilogy's third installment, Chiang pulls this by torturing Katara with acupuncture and forcing Zuko to watch. Initially it's to make her tell him about the White Lotus' plans since she just succeeded Pakku as the Grand Master of Water, but evolves into the Kick the Dog variety once it's clear she no longer has the capacity to divulge any information. Bonus points in that Chiang makes it clear what he intends to do to her once she passes out. He doesn't succeed, as Hakoda and others still loyal to Zuko pull a Big Damn Heroes moment out of the proverbial fire.
  • One Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic involves Envy employing this method on Edward, as he and Sloth engage in some kinky and graphic 'bonding', which proves to be a fairly effective way of squicking out poor Ed, especially since this fic is set in the first anime continuity, where Sloth is actually a resurrected version of Ed's mom Trisha. And to add insult to injury, Envy transforms into his and Ed's father, Hohenheim!
  • The Galaxy Rangers fic Chrysalis has all four of the Rangers captured by Queen of the Crowns. She gladly sends Niko, Doc, and Shane to her torture chambers. But she puts Zachary in a well-appointed prison and trots him out to a balcony overlooking the chambers.
    Queen: You won't pay, Captain, but your subordinates will.
  • The villain of The Green Hornet fanfic Bad Medicine plans to take revenge on the Green Hornet by kidnapping one of his friends (the OC) and having her tortured to death while videotaping it for him. Fortunately, she's rescued.
  • When Medley rescues Rainbow Dash in chapter 11 of Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, Gilda puts Medley through excruciating pain, while Rainbow is forced to watch. Had she moved, Gilda would rip Medley's wings off. In the end, she ''only'' breaks them.
  • In Worlds Apart, Buffy spends a few months 'watching' Angel in her dreams while he's trapped in the Council's dungeon, although she assumes that she is picturing him in Hell and Angel assumes that the sense of Buffy is her coming to him from Heaven.
  • Inner Demons: after Queen!Twilight Sparkle performs her Face–Heel Turn, her canonical Clingy Jealous Girl attitude towards her brother is taken Up to Eleven, straight into Villainous Incest territory. She kidnaps Cadence, strips her power, and then locks her up, forcing her to watch remotely as Twilight makes herself appear like Cadence before making love to Shining Armor.
  • In Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja Kakashi and Naruto get captured by an old enemy of Kakashi who is out for revenge. He specifically invokes this trope by torturing Naruto in front of Kakashi, explaining that he's studied Kakashi for years and knows that hurting his comrades will make him suffer far more than anything you can do to him. Defied by Naruto when he tells the torturer to Bring It and tells Kakashi not to give in, no matter what.
  • Wisdom and Courage: In yet another Kick the Dog moment during the climax, Veran makes Link watch as she, in this order, stabs Zelda in the gut, chops her hair off, and strangles her in order to break his Heroic Spirit. It initially works, but as it turns out, Zelda is Only Mostly Dead, and Navi sacrifices herself to heal her and bring Link back to his senses.
  • Echoes of Eternity:
    • Gerald forces his seven-year-old granddaughter Maria to watch her friend Shadow execute her best friend Rei, who had saved her from an Attempted Rape by murdering the man. Gerald didn't believe Rei's claims until the autopsy showed the man had been infected with NIDS from Maria. Gerald's intentions with the execution was for Maria to fear Shadow. It worked, and Maria didn't speak to Shadow for five years.
    • As punishment for supposedly rebelling against him, the Commander of G.U.N. has Gerald watch as his soldiers kill Maria.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: In "The Apokolips Agenda", Darkseid drags his wife Tigra to the torture chamber where Orion is being held, and he forces her to watch as Desaad tortures the Anti-Life Equation out of her son.
  • An especially cruel example of this occurs in this fanmade execution for Rantaro Amami—before his death, Rantaro is forced to watch all twelve of his sisters die right in front of him. While he tries to break free to save the youngest, she dies before he can.

    Film — Animated 
  • In The Incredibles, Syndrome does a variation of this to Mr. Incredible; he's made to listen to a radio transmission from his wife and children as their plane is being targeted by missiles. Worst of all, Syndrome didn't know it was Bob's family but thought they were his back-up. The reveal that there were children on board didn't stop Syndrome in the slightest.
  • In The LEGO Movie, Lord Business would prefer to let Emmett and the Master Builders have a front-row seat to the destruction of Bricksburg (Emmett's home city) to really torture them before the Think Tank self-destructs. He imprisons the latter in his Think Tank and ties the former to the self-destruct mechanism's battery. Emmett, being the one forced, is closest to the computer screen where the apocalypse is effectively taking place.
  • In The Man Called Flintstone, the Green Goose tortures Barney Rubble on the rack to make Fred Flintstone talk. Subverted when Fred doesn't crack and tell the Green Goose what he wants to know, but ignores Barney's suffering.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, during the climax, the Cy-Bug King Candy/Turbo tries to force Ralph to watch as Vanellope is about to be eaten by the other Cy-Bugs. This only prompts Ralph to attempt his big Heroic Sacrifice. A few minutes later, the Turbo side can only watch as he is drawn towards incineration.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Casino: Nicky Santoro’s gang, on orders from his bosses, make him watch as they bludgeon his brother, Dominick, to within an inch of his life with aluminum bats before turning them on him and burying them both alive.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers (2012): Loki threatens to have Clint, who's under Loki's control, ambiguously rape, torture, and finally kill Natasha, and then release him from the mind control to allow him to see what he did before killing him. A bit of variation, however, as it's Natasha who he is threatening.
    • Avengers: Infinity War:
      • Both Loki and Gamora are forced to watch their siblings being tortured in front of them. Both cave in to Thanos's demands.
      • When Thor is captured by Thanos and the Black Order, he is Bound and Gagged and can only watch helplessly as Loki and Heimdall are murdered by Thanos in front of him.
  • The Banana Splits Movie: Fleegle forces Thadd into a wooden box and locks him inside, while he makes his fiancé Poppy witness him getting brutally sawed in half and then presents his gruesome remains to her. This causes Poppy to lose her sanity by the end of the film.
  • Berlin Syndrome: Clare gets the attention of a man who comes to the door and asks him for help. He doesn't know English though, and Andi comes back the same time. She's forced to watch in horror while Andi kills him with a crowbar.
  • Bird Box: Deranged survivors feel compelled to do this to others. Gary speaks of them physically forcing people's eyes open, and indeed, this is what he does to Cheryl at the window.
  • Blood Harvest: After stringing Scott up by his ankles, Gary lays Jill on the floor and prepares to rape her, even turning Scott to make sure he has a good view. He's scared into stopping by police sirens.
  • Cat's Eye: In "Quitters, Inc.", after smoking once, Dick is forced to watch Cindy in the electric cage.
  • In A Clockwork Orange, Alex does this to Mr. Alexander.
  • The Condemned: Paco was crippled and chained up, being unable to get away from hearing or seeing his wife Rosa being raped by McStarley, then murdered.
  • In The Dark Knight:
    • The Joker makes Harvey Dent listen to Rachel's last words as part of his Evil Plan to break him.
    • One of the Joker's own multiple choice pasts involves him as a child watching helplessly as his father stabbed his mother, then used the same knife to give the future Joker his Glasgow Grin.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane gives the imprisoned Bruce Wayne a satellite connection so he can watch as Bane rips Gotham apart. Bruce smashes the screen before escaping.
  • The killer does this to his first victim in Die Watching, setting a TV monitor next to the chair she is tied to so that she can watch him kill her.
  • In the Double Dragon movie, not only does Koga Shuko kill Satori Imada, the Lee brothers' guardian, by blowing up her place, but he also uses his Dragon Medallion, the one that grants power over the soul, to take her over just before things go boom, just to make her watch. It manages to be by far the cruelest thing Shuko does in the movie.
  • In Even Lambs Have Teeth, Katie and Sloan tie Jed's mother to a chair and force her to watch as they pretend to hang him. Then, just when she thinks he is safe, they shoot him on the head.
  • In The Final, the outcasts chain their victims to the floor and set up a torture chair in the front of the room, torturing and mutilating them one by one as their friends watch.
  • In For a Few Dollars More, El Indio, the Big Bad, in one of his first Kick the Dog moments of the movie, forces a guy who took money to place him behind bars to watch as the family that he started with that money (his wife and his little boy) are taken outside and shot to death, while also making him listen to the pocket watch that Indio always carries.
  • Forced Vengeance. Chuck Norris' character leaves his girlfriend Claire with his friend Leroy for protection. Unfortunately The Brute storms the building with his gangsters and breaks Leroy's back, leaving him paralyzed so he can watch helplessly as Claire is raped and killed.
  • Invoked in The Green Hornet. "He took my favorite toy, and he ripped the head off. Right in front of me."
  • A rare instance of a hero subjecting a villain to this happens in The Green Mile. Percy Wetmore, a sadistic asshole to the core, puts a dry sponge on Delacroix's head before his execution by electric chair, resulting in a truly horrifying sequence when the switch is thrown and Delacroix is burned alive. When Percy sees just how horrific it is to watch someone burn to death he has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and turns away. Paul Edgecombe, thoroughly pissed off at Percy, grabs him and forces him to watch the results of his act of cruelty.
  • In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Azog takes great delight in holding up Thorin's nephew Fíli and impaling him while Thorin and his companions are too far away to act.
    • His son Bolg noticeably pauses right before he kills Kíli in front of Tauriel, giving her just enough time to realize what he was about to do.
  • Hotel Rwanda: A heartbreaking example is discussed by a Red Cross worker who tells how she was forced to watch Hutu soldiers butcher Tutsi children, even one who begged her, "Please don't let them kill me. I promise I won't be Tutsi anymore."
  • In Hot Spur, the 11-year-old Carlo was forced to watch while O'Hare and two of his men raped his 17-year-old sister.
  • The Hunger Games: It's required by law that everyone in the Districts watch the Hunger Games in some capacity. It hammers home the message that the Capitol is sending: we can abduct your children and force them to fight to the death in a sensationalist bloodsport and there is nothing you can do about it.
  • In Lady Ninja Kaede, Kaede is forced to watch as her sister Koharu is raped.
  • Law Abiding Citizen: Clyde removes the eyelids of the man who killed his wife and daughter and puts a giant mirror above the operating table he's been strapped to, forcing him to watch as he is tortured and dismembered.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Freddy forces Alice to watch as he sucks the life out of Sheila, his first victim after the death of Kristen Parker.
  • The Big Bad's thing in Opera is forcing the main character to watch him brutally kill people. He does this by placing needles under her eyes, making her unable to blink.
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Professor Fassbender refuses to help Dreyfus create a Weapon of Mass Destruction, so Dreyfus "tortures" Fassbender's daughter by dragging his steel-clawed gauntlet on a chalkboard. Starting at 6:15.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: After Bootstrap Bill betrays him by helping Will escape the Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones makes him watch as he summons the Kraken to destroy the ship that Will is currently on. Though Bootstrap is initially unaware of it, Will gets out alive.
  • General Chance in Plunkett & Macleane, in a supreme Kick the Dog moment, forces Rebecca to watch as Macleane is hanged.
    Chance: Open your eyes!
  • The Quick and the Dead. As a child, Lady was forced to watch Herod hang her father, who asks the Big Bad not to let her watch. Instead, Herod says he'll let her father go if she's able to Shoot the Rope. Unused to the heavy revolver, she accidentally puts a bullet in her father's head.
  • In Razors: The Return of Jack the Ripper, Professor Wise seizes Sadie and holds her: forcing her to watch as Jack the Ripper murders Jane.
  • Red Eye: Inverted. When Rippner faces Lisa in their final confrontation, Rippner tells Lisa that he is going to make her father watch what he's going to do to her (instead of the hero/heroine watching a loved one get harmed). Whatever he was planning on doing, it is averted in the end.
  • RoboCop 2: Hob turns away as Cain mercilessly butchers a traitor to his cause. Cain, proving just how evil he is, forces the maybe-15-years-old-tops Hob to watch anyway.
  • In Salt, the heroine is forced to watch her husband getting drowned by Russian mobsters. The scene is particularly cruel as she is actually being asked if she wants to save her husband but doing so would have blown her cover.
  • Done, quite notoriously, to Tony in Scarface. After being captured in a drug deal gone bad, Tony is forced to watch as Angel is messily dismembered with a chainsaw. He's rescued just before facing the same fate.
  • Mal does this to the Operative in Serenity — torture in this case being watching a heartbroken Alliance researcher tell and show off the atrocity on Miranda — the Alliance's greatest crime — right before the speaker is attacked, raped, and ultimately eaten by Reavers. The feed goes on. It also tortures him in a different way. It destroys his entire view that the Alliance is truly making the universe a better place, which is the reason he was doing horrible things for them.
  • In Marv's short of Sin City, his friend and parole officer Lucille was kidnapped by the cannibal Kevin, who then cut off and ate her hand. When Marv finds her, the poor woman breaks down and cries "he made me watch!"
  • In Snatch., in retribution for refusing to throw a match, Mickey is forced to watch his mother's caravan burn down while she's asleep inside.
  • In Soldier, the Super Soldier squad is forced to watch a pack of dogs attacking a wild boar as children during their training.
  • Spaceballs parodies this; the bad guys' plan to have the King give the air-shield combination is to force him to watch them give his daughter back ... her old nose!
  • Spawn (1997): After Clown's plan is foiled in the climax, he prepares to rape Wanda in front of a beaten Spawn and forces him to watch. Cogliostro intervenes to prevent this, prompting Clown to retreat to Hell.
  • This happens in Spectre when Blofeld forces Madeleine to watch Mr. White commit suicide. When Bond tells Blofeld to shut off the video, one of the SPECTRE thugs hit him in the leg. Bond convinces Madeleine not to watch before the thug knocks him out. Blofeld later forces Madeleine to watch Bond being tortured.
  • Star Trek (2009): Nero makes Spock watch as he destroys his home planet.
  • Star Wars:
    • Princess Leia was forced to watch the destruction of Alderaan in A New Hope.
    • It's the core of the Emperor's plan in Return of the Jedi: park Luke in front of a window with a view of the slaughter of the Alliance fleet, and indulge in some good old-fashioned Evil Gloating until he's ready to cross the Moral Event Horizon.
    • It happens again in The Rise of Skywalker, where Palpatine shows Rey the resistance fleet getting curb-stomped, and tells her that she can stop it if she'll just take the Sith throne.
  • Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li: After capturing Chun-Li and letting her see her father again, Bison enters, declares that Chun-Li's dad had outlived his usefulness to him, and then proceeded to snap his neck right in front of her despite her pleas.
  • A rather chilling example in Strange Days: a rapist blindfolds his victim, then hooks her up to the memory-recording device he's using at that moment... forcing her to experience her own rape and subsequent murder as though she were in his body. So not only is it happening to her, she's forced to get off on it the way he is.
  • Bryan Mills threatens to invoke this in Taken when confronting a corrupt French agent about the whereabouts of his kidnapped daughter. After the agent attempts to intimidate him into dropping the case, Bryan shoots the agent's wife in the arm, assures him that he only winged her, and orders him to help, or "the last thing you'll see before I make your children orphans is the bullet I put between her eyes." The agent complies.
    • In the sequel, the tables are turned and it's Bryan who is told that he'll have to watch his ex-wife die when her throat is partially slit and she's suspended upside down to bleed out.
  • In Ten Dead Men, Hart's men hold Ryan down and force him to watch as his girlfriend Amy is shot and killed: close enough that her blood splatters over Ryan's face.
  • This backfires in Tenet when Sator sends his goons to rough up the Protagonist because he might be having an affair with his abused wife Kat. She tries to leave the scene, but the driver refuses to do so, so she can watch what happens. What Kat actually sees is the Protagonist kicking ass and walking off unharmed, convincing her to seek his help. Played straight later on when Sator forces the Protagonist to watch him shoot Kat with an inverted bullet.
  • In Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, after Sonja is tried and found guilty of high treason mainly due to her being impregnated by her lover, the werewolf Lucian, with a child who would be half vampire, half werewolf, her punishment consisted of having her chained to a pillar and Lucian chained to the floor face-to-face, where she was forced to watch Lucian get whipped. Then, it all gets worse when Lucian was then forced to watch her get burned to death by exposure to the sun.
  • In Warcraft (2016), when Medivh's shield accidentally separates Lothar and Callan, trapping the latter with an orc warband, Lothar can do nothing but watch as his son's entire unit is slaughtered and Callan himself is impaled by Blackhand. The orc even looks up to check if Lothar's watching.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Judge Doom does an offhand version of this when he has Eddie Valiant, Roger Rabbit, and Jessica Rabbit captive, providing the page quote.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, when the Wicked Witch of the West has Dorothy and her friends cornered at the climax of the movie, she gloats, "The last to go will see the first three go before her. And her mangy little dog, too!"

  • The Naturals: As a child, Dean was made to watch helplessly as his father tortured and murdered countless women.
  • Nightfall (Series): Myra is forced to watch Bastien’s torture, after Vladimir tells the Farm humans that she is the one responsible.
  • In Dragon Bones, the villains capture Ward and his younger brother, Tosten. They want information that Ward can give them, and torture Tosten, in the correct assumption that this will get Ward talking much faster than torturing Ward himself. When he hears his brother cry in pain, he talks. It is not clear whether he is really made to watch as the torture is not described in detail, only the inside of Ward's mind as he remembers several things from the past that are interesting for the villain. Magic may be involved.
  • In "The Quillan Games", Bobby is forced to watch as Mr. Pop, Quillan's last hope, is incinerated by BLOK, thus making Quillan the second territory lost to Saint Dane.
  • Alex Rider is tied down and forced to watch as Razim kills Jack in Scorpia Rising.
  • In an indirect example, Captain Red Wegener from a Coast Guard ship investigating the rape and murder of a family aboard a ship in the Tom Clancy book Clear and Present Danger realizes that the suspects they have for the crime forced the owner of the ship to watch as they raped his wife and daughter before they killed him.
  • Labyrinths of Echo by Max Frei. In one of the sequels, the hero happened to witness things too overwhelmingly weird, even for a Cosmic Plaything like him. He closes his eyes, but oops — he's still forced to see it all. Eyelids do nothing.
  • In The Silmarillion, Morgoth captures Húrin and forces him to watch his homeland overrun by the Easterlings and his son and daughter subjected to a terrible curse and eventually Driven to Suicide. All through Morgoth's chosen lens, which hid all that was good and showed Húrin only bad things. Húrin never asked for mercy, for himself or for any of his kin.
  • King Jacob of The Tennis Shoes Adventures tries to get Garth to reveal the location of a treasure by forcing him to watch as Garth's niece, Melody, is killed. Too bad he doesn't know. (While Garth has a Heroic BSoD, Mel gets better.)
  • Dexter's "yodeling potato," having your limbs removed and your tongue cut out. In front of a mirror. Starting at the fingers/hands/feet and working up slowly. Additionally, the eyelids and lips are removed.
  • The Stephen King short story "Quitters, Inc." (published in the collection Night Shift) about the ultimate anti-smoking program operated by The Mafia (adapted into a segment of the film Cat's Eye). Their method? They put their clients under constant surveillance, and if they smoke, they torture their loved ones and force them to watch it.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Bane kills a man's two sons and forces him to watch. Justified in that Bane then used the father's anguish to fuel his dark side powers.
  • In The Witcher saga, a Psycho for Hire Bounty Hunter makes Ciri watch as he cuts off the heads of her killed friends to collect the bounty on them. He later suggests to his master, a deranged Evil Sorcerer with delusions of attaining godhood, that they force Ciri's surrogate mother Yennefer to watch Ciri be raped, impregnated, and vivisected as part of their plan to get their hands on her unique powers.
  • In the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, things play out differently from the film. The witch does this because she can't physically harm Dorothy thanks to the protective charms of the slippers and the North Witch's protection spell. Didn't stop the Witch with a Capital "B" from trying to get Dorothy's cooperation by torturing the Lion, threatening Toto, and leaving Nick (the Tin Man) and the Scarecrow as ruined heaps at the bottom of a nearby ravine. Baum had his moments...
  • In Neverwhere, in order to get information out of Door, the bad guys decide that instead of torturing her, they'll torture Richard instead while she watches.
  • In the fifteenth Dresden Files book Skin Game, Nicodemus organizes a gambit around this and the fact that Karrin is a Violently Protective Girlfriend to Harry. He surrenders to her when she wields the Sword of Faith, but not before ordering the Genowska to kill Harry. The Genowska slowly starts crushing Harry's skull, while Karrin is helpless to stop it. In a rage, she strikes at Nicodemus with the Sword, breaking her word and unmaking the Sword. Nicodemus is a real bastard.
    • He does it again, later in the same book. He has Charity captured and intends to burn down her house with her children inside before killing her.
  • In Warrior Cats, Tigerstar, after taking control of ShadowClan and RiverClan, organizes an attack on WindClan. Once the Curb-Stomp Battle was over, he rounded up all the prisoners and forced them to watch as he brutally killed a young apprentice, as a "warning" as to what would happen if any of them tried to defy him again.
    • In the Warrior Cats: Power of Three series, Ashfur tries to burn Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf alive and force their adoptive mother to watch as "vengeance" for her choosing another mate instead of him two years ago. Her quick thinking gets them out of it, but at the cost of her adopted kits' love.
    • Zig-Zagged in A Vision of Shadows. Darktail initially forces Violetpaw to watch as her friend Needletail is slowly drowned in the lake, as punishment for the former's attempt to slip poppyseed into his prey. Violetpaw pleads with him, and he relents, allowing Needletail to live, but only if she was willing to kill Violetpaw herself. Needletail feigns an attack, before attempting to protect Violetpaw against multiple rogues at once. She goes out in a Heroic Sacrifice, while Violetpaw watches in horror. Violetpaw flees before Needletail actually dies, but it's made clear what happened.
  • In The Sword-Edged Blonde, this is part of Eddie's Back Story: when he was sixteen, he and his girlfriend were attacked by bandits, who held him down and made him watch as they raped and killed her. Even worse, it was kind of his fault the bandits attacked them in the first place.
  • Turned sideways in Neil Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan", where Susan is eaten first, but her (conscious) severed head is left behind so she can watch further horrors unfold regarding her siblings and what Aslan and the White Witch do. Mercifully, It Was All A Dream.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Bellatrix Lestrange, unable to torture Harry because he's carrying a delicate MacGuffin of the Death Eaters, tells her colleagues to torture his best friend's little sister and local Cute Witch Ginny Weasley in front of him instead. She later tortures Harry's good friend Neville Longbottom in front of Harry as well but is interrupted a moment before he gives in.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron Weasley listens from his basement prison as Hermione, his soon-to-be girlfriend is tortured by Bellatrix above.
  • In The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as the Cirque du Freak series, the second-to-last book gives us this between Steve and Darren. "I dare you to do this." Different in that Steve is essentially doing it For the Evulz at this point, and if Darren also does it, it'd keep Steve from actually realizing and becoming truly evil, and if Darren doesn't, Stevewould go absolutely batshit crazy. Ultimately it's Steve killing Darren's godson and son-of-best-friend Shancus, that is Steve's crossing the Moral Event Horizon and he dares Darren to do it as well. And Darren almost does kill the kid he's holding, Steve's son Darius. What keeps him from doing it? Steve telling his boy to tell Darren his mom's name. His mom's name? Annie Shan, Darren's sister. Woah.
  • In the Rizzoli & Isles novel The Apprentice, the cops are investigating the murder of a wealthy doctor and the disappearance of his wife. When they find the husband's body tied to a chair propped up in the middle of the bedroom, the cops are horrified to realize that the killer forced the helpless man to watch as he raped and murdered his wife before slashing his throat.
  • In The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, Cree Bega forces Woobie Ahren Elessedil to watch as The Morgawr devours the minds and Life Energy of an entire crew of men. He later threatens to make Ahren watch as they torture his friend, Ryer Ord Star as well.
  • According to Herodotus one Median prince was actually forced to eat his son by his king. Later he supposedly ended up commanding a large part of the same monarch's army at a critical battle with Cyrus the Great. Figure out what happened next.
  • In The Sword of Truth series it is mentioned that part of the Mord-Sith training involves them being forced to watch their mothers tortured to death. The protagonist is threatened in the first book that if he won't help the Big Bad, he'll be forced to see his love tortured for a very long time (not killed — the Big Bad wanted an heir from her). In another book, knowing that Zedd and Adie won't give in to torture, the Big Bad assures their cooperation by threatening to torture children in front of them instead. A few more examples are present throughout the series.
  • In Mistborn, an Inquisitor mentions casually to Vin that when he tortured her brother, he died before spilling the secret they were after. Thus, this time, he was going to use a different tactic: torturing her friend Sazed instead. (He doesn't get the chance.)
  • This turns out to be behind the plot of The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach: the previous Emperor puts a defeated rival king on life support and forces him to watch how all life on his home planet gets killed off, to be replaced by carpets.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Tyrion reveals that he'd been forced to watch his beloved new wife Tysha gang-raped. And then forced to participate himself. When he was thirteen. And the whole thing was orchestrated by his father. (With his older brother Jaime also in it.)
    • Theon Greyjoy is also forced to watch and participate as Ramsay rapes and abuses Jeyne Poole. It's implied that this doesn't happen just once either.
    • In the backstory (and detailed in Fire & Blood), the future King Aegon III Targaryen was forced to watch his mother be eaten alive by his uncle's pet dragon at the conclusion of the civil war between his mother and uncle over the Iron Throne.
    • Lord Humfrey Hewett is tied down, muzzled, and forced to watch his wife and trueborn daughters serve Euron Greyjoy and his captains as they celebrate their conquest of the Shield Islands in the former lord's castle. Euron eventually has the Hewett women stripped naked after his new lover, Falia (who is also Lord Hewett's bastard daughter), suggests it.
  • In Dune: House Harkonnen, a teenaged Guerney Halleck is forced to watch as his sister, who has just spent a year as a Sex Slave for Harkonnen soldiers, is brutally gang-raped before Rabban finally strangles her.
  • In A Brother's Price, one of the Porter sisters turned Cira's lover against her years ago. When she's kidnapped while trying to save Jerin, Jerin says he'll do anything they want forever if they don't kill her. So they don't. Instead, they tie them to a bed, Jerin on it, Cira at the foot and gag her so she's there while one of them "rapes his mouth".
  • In John C. Wright's Count to the Eschaton, Larz mentions modifications so illegal that they kill your entire family out to cousins, and first, making you watch.
  • Adventure Hunters: This is how Marcus secures Regina's cooperation chaining her to a wall so she has to watch him torture Golon.
  • In The Ask and the Answer, Mayor-turned-President Prentiss tortures Viola while a horrified Todd watches on behind a soundproof one-way mirror. Todd breaks first and gives Prentiss information about the upcoming invasion by the Answer.
  • In Mockingjay Peeta reveals that he was forced to watch the execution-by-torture of Darius and Lavinia.
    • The Hunger Games themselves are a nationwide version of this for the districts. Each one is made to watch, on television, as two of their adolescent citizens engage in a weeks-long fight to the death with 22 other kids, and only one survives. Katniss sums up their message herself:
    "Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there's nothing you can do."
    • In "Catching Fire" Katniss is forced to watch Cinna being severely beaten and dragged away to his implied execution.
    • In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel novel set in the time of the 10th Hunger Games, it's mentioned several times that most residents of the Districts don't watch the Hunger Games because they don't have televisions, and even most residents of the Capitol don't watch because they find them repulsive. Brainstorming ways to get more people to watch is one of the assignments of the students assigned to the new Mentor program and compulsory viewing is brought up as a possiblity.
  • The Crooked Man's favorite method of torture in The Book of Lost Things.
  • In Coda (2013), Ell makes Anthem watch Alpha and Omega track.
  • In Horus Heresy, this is one of the ways in which Curze tortures Vulkan — he ties him to a table with rich feast on top, along with twenty other people who have been blinded and deafened, and tied as well. Vulkan, superhuman, has to watch them all die slow, agonizing deaths of hunger.
  • In The Black Fleet Crisis, the Republic's opponents try to force the Republic's hand by sending them a video of Chief of State Leia's husband Han being beaten nearly to death. It doesn't work, though.
  • In Shogun, the Japanese are surprised to learn that Blackthorne isn't vulnerable to personal humiliation, and even more surprised to learn that he is vulnerable to this trope. Abusing and mistreating him to the limit won't break him down, but if one of his companions is abused and tortured instead... i.e., Blackthorne's famous attempt commit seppuku came from a group of samurai threatening to crucify everyone in the village he lived in.
  • In A World Less Visible, Zeke is forced to watch as Tobias is tortured by his own homophobic and white supremacist brother. Then in an additional Kick the Dog moment, Zeke is the one who ends up convicted of the assault.
  • The Algebraist, by Iain Banks. A Galactic Conqueror wants the cooperation of an alien species, so he summons their ambassadors and proceeds to space hundreds of men, women, and children from the human colony he's just conquered, immobilized yet fully conscious. Unfortunately, the aliens have Blue-and-Orange Morality so their response amounts to: "Yes, and what does this have to do with us?" So he then makes the mistake of threatening them directly — the ambassadors instantly teleport away and activate their military, destroying most of the invading fleet.
  • In one of the epilogues of Worm, two-bit villain Nero is attempting to establish his own small empire. Dealing with some people who were unable to get a meal-chit but ate anyway, one of them dares Nero to "Do your worst". Nero points out what a phenomenally bad idea that was and grabs the man's niece and nephew, ordering his minions to tattoo them with "Property of Nero" and inject them with enough drugs to get them hopelessly hooked. Fortunately for everyone but Nero, Imp was already there to investigate him for being connected to Teacher and for riffing off Skitter's style of management. And she brought Heartbreaker's kids along. Things go rapidly downhill for Nero from there.
  • Safehold:
    • One Inquisition tactic to get a confession is to make their primary target watch the torture of his wife and children.
    • In Through Fiery Trials, a minor Harchongese nobleman isn't able to flee the peasant uprising fast enough. When his family is captured by the rebels, he manages to Mercy Kill his wife but is forced to watch his daughter's gang-rape and murder before being tortured to death himself.
  • The Mental State is kick-started when Zachary State's girlfriend, Rose, is brutally raped by a gang of street thugs. To add to their cruelty, they make him watch the entire event against his will. This is ultimately what triggers his sociopathy, which drives most of the plot.
  • Done unintentionally in The Schoolmouse by Dick King-Smith since the headmistress of the school isn't aware that one of the local mice, Flora, has learned to read and therefore knows that the blue stuff left for the mice is poison. Flora survives and manages to convince her parents not to touch the poison, however, she is too late to do anything for her brother and is forced to listen to his horrible dying groans. She is plagued by the memory for a long while afterwards.
  • Talion: Revenant: Nolan had to watch (somehow-it isn't clear how he saw this) and listen while his family was murdered. His mother and sister, it's indicated, were raped first.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On 24, Jack Bauer orders Qurac soldiers to kill a terrorist's son on a webcam feed in order to break him. It was staged.
    • Jack threatens to do something similar to the villain of Season 3:
      Jack: When your daughter is infected, I'm going to make you watch her die.
  • Parodied in an episode of 'Allo 'Allo!. Michelle informs Rene that one way the Germans may try to get information out of him is to torture his wife in front of him until he breaks. When Edith panics, Rene reassures her "Don't worry, I will tell them nothing."
  • In American Horror Story: Coven, Delphine is sent to a personal hell where she is forced to watch her daughters be tortured over and over again in torture devices she herself devised.
  • Angel season 2 has a particularly brutal example. Just as Angel has finally saved Darla and convinced her to live out the remainder of her life as a human, Wolfram & Hart comes in with Drusilla; Lindsey McDonald himself tasers Angel and makes him watch as Drusilla turns Darla into a vampire again. This pushes Angel into He Who Fights Monsters territory for a good few episodes.
  • Babylon 5: Discussed but ultimately Averted. Two of President Clark's interrogaters are putting Captain Sheridan through 2 + Torture = 5 to get him to confess to treason. One of them suggests bringing in Sheridan's father (who they'd captured earlier) and putting a gun to his head to force his confession, but the other interrogator dismisses it as too much of a risk. If Sheridan still refuses and they kill his father, it only strengthens his resolve against them; but if he refuses and they don't carry out the threat, it only weakens their position and gives any further threats the possibility of being a bluff as well.
  • Battlestar Galactica has an unplanned bonus to Boomer impersonating identical humanoid robot Athena. Helo, Athena's husband, comes into the bathroom where Boomer has just Bound and Gagged Athena in a bathroom stall, and mentions that since "she" is going on a mission they should take the opportunity to say an intimate goodbye. Of course, Athena chooses that moment to become drowsily awake enough to watch.
  • Happens once each season in Black Mirror:
    • "Fifteen Million Merits": Advertisements are everywhere in this dystopian future, and unless you can skip them (which costs money, called "merits"), they're mandatory viewing to the point that if you try to look away or close your eyes, a piercing tone tells you to resume viewing. Especially heinous when after Bing gives 15 million merits to his Love Interest Abi so she could audition for her freedom, he is left with insufficient merits to skip any adverts and is forced to watch Abi be raped in an advert for a porn channel.
    • "White Bear": After the events of the episode were all revealed to be a lie, and that Victoria actually filmed the torture and murder of a child, she is strapped to a chair and made to watch the video she filmed of the child's murder while having her mind wiped.
    • "Men Against Fire": Soldiers are gifted with MASS implants that help them kill Roaches, which are regular people made to look inhuman thanks to the implants. When Stripe finds out the truth about killing Roaches, his implant falls apart and is Mind Raped into submission by seeing his true actions: butchering an innocent terrified young man to death.
    • "USS Callister": Robert Daly uses a personal mod of a game to reenact his favorite show Space Fleet and to torment his co-workers, who he feels have wronged him one way or another. Of all the digital clones who aren't very happy to be there, Walton is the most gung-ho about playing along, and for good reason. When Walton refused to play along with Daly's fantasies, Daly shot a digital clone of Walton's son and threw him out of the airlock, making Walton watch and threatening to torture his son in more sadistic ways if he didn't comply.
  • In the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, Jesse, who was captured and made to make his trademark blue meth for Jack and Todd, gets caught trying to escape their compound. Jack retaliates by forcing Jesse to watch his girlfriend Andrea get executed at her front porch by Todd and then threatening to do the same to her son Brock if he tries to escape again.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In season five, Glory, while confronting Buffy in her own home, invokes this when she openly threatens to kill Buffy's loved ones and friends and make Buffy watch her do so if she doesn't turn over the Key.
      Glory: I'll kill [your sister]. I'll kill your mom, I'll kill your friends ... and I'll make you watch when I do.
    • In the Alternate Universe in "The Wish", Vampire!Xander and Vampire!Willow kill Cordelia in front of Giles, who's trapped in the library bookcage.
      Vampire!Xander: So you're a Watcher, huh? Watch this.
  • Chicago P.D.: Inverted in the episode "8:30 PM". The criminal is a terrorist who likes to watch his bombs go off. Voight subdues him and then dangles him off a roof, and forces him to watch his bomb not go off.
  • Jerks like this are common on Criminal Minds:
    • In "True Night", the UnSub's backstory was that a street gang forced him to watch as they murdered (and implied gang-rape) his pregnant girlfriend, whom he'd just proposed to. No wonder he snapped.
    • It was part of Karl "The Fox" Arnold's modus operandi: he targeted dysfunctional families and forced the father to watch as he killed the other members before finally killing him.
    • Tim Curry's character in the two-parter "Our Darkest Hour"/"The Longest Night" would always leave behind a witness after raping, beating, and killing their loved ones. It turned out that his mother, a prostitute, used to make him watch while she worked. It's implied she also offered him up to her clients.
    • In "Revelations", the UnSub (Tobias Hankel) watches his potential victims through their webcams, then records and posts their murders online. He also kidnaps Reid and forces him to choose one of the victims to be murdered. When Reid instead chooses one to save, Tobias goes and kills a different one (and their spouse), leaving Reid tied up and forced to watch it happen on the laptop in front of him. Cue Reid's guilt. The next time we see him, he's staring catatonically. Garcia also had to watch all of the videos repeatedly, unable to track Tobias. Later in the same episode, when the team's efforts to track him down make him angry, Hankel punishes them by switching the video camera back on and making them watch while he beats Reid nearly to death.
    • In "100", The Reaper (using a stolen cell phone) forces Hotch to listen to his wife being shot dead. The entire team hears it, too. It does not end well for the Reaper.
    • The same thing happened to the team when Prentiss was being beaten up by a cult that had her and Reid. She used the fact that the team was listening to get a message to them.
    • The episode "Proof" when the UnSub kidnapped and tortured his niece, burning her hands off with acid. In the final scene of the episode, her father as some sort of self-punishment for not noticing that his brother was seriously screwed up, forced himself to watch the video of his daughter being tortured.
    • In the episode "Children of the Dark" the two UnSubs would force the kids to watch as the first UnSub beat the parents to death. Then the second UnSub would inject them with poison.
    • In "No Way Out", Frank Breitkopf vivisects his victims, using drugs to keep them conscious and cauterizes their arteries to keep them alive as long as possible. He does this on a table beneath a mirror, forcing the victim to watch this happen to themselves.
  • The Devil Judge: Sun-ah and Jae-hee force Yo-han to watch K's death.
  • The "Bonus Round" on Distraction: Get a question wrong, watch the brand new car that you've already won get vandalized or one of your prizes get destroyed.
  • Doctor Who has many examples. Most villains find that the most effective way to break the Doctor is to do this to him.
    • "Genesis of the Daleks": The Doctor has to tell Davros how every Dalek war was lost or Sarah Jane and Harry will be tortured.
    • "The Long Game": The Editor gets the Doctor to reveal who he really is by shocking Rose in front of him.
    • "The Sound of Drums": The Master forces the Doctor to watch Earth literally get decimated while helpless to stop him. Why? For the Evulz, of course!
    • "Last of the Time Lords": It's mentioned that the Master made Martha's captured family stand on the deck of the Valiant and watch him obliterate Japan, which is one reason why Francine wants to kill him at the end.
    • "Journey's End": Davros once again tried to break the Doctor, first by making him watch the TARDIS (with Donna in it) get destroyed, and then was seconds away from forcing the Doctor to watch as the Daleks destroyed reality itself with the Reality Bomb.
    • "The Magician's Apprentice": Davros forces the Doctor to watch helplessly as Missy and Clara are exterminated. Actually, they're faking it. Not that the Doctor knows this at the time, however.
    • Torchwood: Jack Harkness describes being subjected to this in his past: "I went to war when I was a boy. I was with my best friend. We got caught crossing the border over enemy lines. They tortured him, not me, because he was weaker. They made me watch him die. And they let me go." Icing on the cake: Jack convinced his friend to go to war. It would have been an adventure, he claimed.
  • In the TV movie Echo, Jack Wagner's twin brother character moves into his brother's life after abducting him and makes love to his fiancée, having it broadcast to his brother through a live camera so he can sit helplessly and watch.
  • In Firefly the crew stumbles upon a derelict ship plundered by vicious space cannibals called Reavers. All the passengers on the ship but one man were brutally tortured and murdered. As it turns out, the Reavers deliberately left him alive and made him watch as they did their work on the others, traumatizing the man so badly that the only way he could cope was by becoming a Reaver himself.
  • A French Village: Antoine and Suzanne can only watch helplessly from hiding while a resistance fighter is killed along with his family by the Milice (being heavily outgunned, there is nothing they can really do).
  • Galavant: Madalena's solution to a ridiculously minor dispute — two farmers arguing over who owns a chicken that hatched right on the boundary between their properties — is resolved by her eating the chicken for lunch and making the farmers watch. It confuses the hell out of them, and when they start arguing again Like an Old Married Couple, Madalena snaps, "This! This is why I'm making you watch!"
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ned believes it is important for his sons to watch him carry out executions with his own hand to instill them with a strong sense of justice. His children continue to be forced to watch terrible things for far less noble purposes throughout the series.
    • Olly sees both his parents killed when the wildlings raid his hamlet in the Gift. Styr then forces him to look at their bodies while gloating that he is going to eat them before sending Olly to Castle Black as a lure.
    • Metaphorically speaking, Forced to Watch can be seen as a choice for all the most dangerous criminals instead of losing a limb (or something else), as they are "forced to (Night's) Watch". Literal meaning can be the Night's Watch itself being forced to watch the realm of people.
    • When Ramsy forces Theon/Reek to watch him rape Sansa as psychological torture.
    • When Queen Cersei captures Ellaria Sand and her daughter Tyene, the women who poisoned her daughter, she gives Tyene a Kiss of Death with the same poisoned lipstick, then tells her mother that she'll be left chained to the wall (force-fed if necessary) so she can watch her daughter die, then decompose. Cersei then tells her guards to bring in fresh torches every few hours so Ellaria won't miss any of it.
    • King Aegon III Targaryen was forced to watch his mother get eaten by a dragon.
  • Suggested but thankfully not done in Guest from the Future. When Kolya is tortured by the pirates but still refuses to reveal the mielophone's location, Rat says they can capture Kolya's mother and torture her in front of him instead.
  • The Handmaid's Tale:
    • After Ofglen is found in a relationship with a Martha, the soldiers force Ofglen to watch as her lover is hanged. Because Ofglen is fertile, she's spared, though subject to a clitorectomy.
    • In the first episode of season 2, Offred is put through this by Aunt Lydia: she is spared torture for refusing to stone Janine because of her pregnancy but has to watch her fellow Handmaids go through it.
  • Sylar does this in Volume 4 of Heroes; he tortures one of the soldiers sent to kidnap him, then immobilizes him while torturing two innocent bystanders. Well, one innocent bystander and one villain wannabe, but he didn't know that yet...
  • Intergalactic: Candy's mother had to watch as her sons and husband were hanged by Commonworld officials for theft. Candy has to watch as she herself is shot later.
  • In Kurosagi, Kurosaki is unable to stop his father from murdering his sister and mother before coming for him as well.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    • In the episode "Father Dearest", the detectives discover that the culprit has been framing a former colleague for stealing his girlfriend 20-something years ago when they were in college. To that end, he has kidnapped their daughter and insists that he will only reveal her whereabouts to the wife. When she enters the interrogation room, he demands that she dance with him so that "He has to endure watching you with another man the way I've had to all these years." Indeed, we see the other man watching through the two-way mirror, incredibly distraught.
    • "Betrayal's Climax": A teenage girl is gang-raped in front of her boyfriend, who has a gun to his head, forcing him to see it but do nothing. Worse, the girl had more than one involuntary orgasm during it, leading to him temporarily thinking she enjoyed it. The fact that she hasn't had any with him just adds to the issue.
    • "Signature": The Serial Killer "The Woodsman" would sometimes hold two victims at a time, so that one was forced to watch (or at least listen) to the other being tortured. When the police find his Torture Cellar, a tape depicting one of the torture sessions is playing, forcing the remaining victim to listen to it, even while no one else is there.
  • On Lost, Pickett prepares to execute Sawyer for killing his wife Colleen and, knowing that Sawyer and Kate are involved, ordered a caged Kate to watch (in the rain, no less). Sawyer tells Kate not to look, though she ignores this and tries for a Please, I Will Do Anything! instead, but Pickett is interrupted Just in Time by a call from Jack, of all people, who arranges for Kate's escape.
  • Mouse (2021): Mu-chi is forced to watch as Mu-won is murdered on live TV.
  • The Outpost: Tobin relates that even after his father swore loyalty to the Prime Order, his sister was killed in front of them as a warning of what would happen if they betrayed them.
  • Person of Interest:
    "I watched her die 12,483 times in the seconds before she expired. I couldn't save her, but I kept trying. You can't conceive of my grief because you can't experience it like I do, but it's there."
  • In Power Rangers Super Megaforce, after Vrak has defeated the Rangers for a second time (the first time showing them Cruel Mercy), he tells them that he will leave them alive so they are forced to watch his drills destroy the planet.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Zhi Wei wakes up in time to see Chang Hai kill Zhu Yin. She can't do anything to stop him because he'll kill her too if he knows she's there.
  • Shades of Blue: A "forced to listen" variation and rare heroic example. Harlee gets back at her creepy FBI handler Stahl for forcing a wire on her by seducing and sleeping with DA Nava, forcing Stahl (who has a massive crush on her) to have to listen to her having sex with another man. It's implied in the next episode she brought her A-game to bed and made herself louder just to sink the knife deeper.
  • Space Cases: Spung do not question Andromedans. Humans are far more vulnerable to this trope.
    • The first season finale contained a textbook example, where Warlord Shank demands information about the Crysta from Harlan after some of the gang have been captured and tied up. When Shank brings out his Agony Beam, Harlan, of course, defiantly tells him that torture won't make him talk. Shank calmly asks, "Who said anything about torturing you?" before turning it in the direction of the unconscious Catalina. Good thing he also didn't say anything about giving him truthful information.
  • Recurring bastard Kolya on Stargate Atlantis pulled one of these on the entire city of Atlantis when he forced nearly every member of the command team to watch his torture of Lt. Colonel John Sheppard via live-telefeed.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • A Sunset Beach storyline involved an evil twin imprisoning his good brother... and forcing him to watch through a two-way mirror as he made love to the man's fiancée.
  • Wildly bizarre example in an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles — Derek breaks a man who he believes is a Machine collaborator sent back from the future by kidnapping his younger present-day self and torturing him in front of him.
  • A third Ozian example. In Tin Man, Cain was locked in a Steampunk stasis chamber for eight years while a holographic recording of his family's torture was set on repeat playback.
  • The entire point of the MTV Game Show Trashed. Don't get enough questions right, and you get to see your prized possessions go up in smoke (sometimes literally). The final round puts one of each team's players on the line.
    • Kidnapped, another MTV offering and somewhat of a Spiritual Successor to Trashed, based the whole game around saving one's teammate from torture.
    • Downfall (2010) is similar to Trashed; don't get the questions right, and the prizes up for grabs go off the side of a skyscraper via Conveyor Belt o' Doom. The show's two Lifelines play out the exact same way as Trashed and Kidnapped in that one requires you to put a personal possession on the belt, and the other a friend or relative you've brought along.
  • Happens thrice during The Walking Dead. Negan forces Rick's group to watch as he brutally beats Abraham to death. He specifically states that if anyone moves, he'll rip Carl's eye out and feed it to Rick. When Daryl angrily punches him, Negan proceeds to murder Glenn whilst everyone, including his pregnant wife watches helplessly. Finally, he forces the group to watch as he orders Rick to cut Carl's arm off. Thankfully he doesn't actually go through with this one.
  • Inverted and Subverted in an episode of Workaholics. High on acid, Alice is convinced a man has information on how to find a poaching fellow salesman, Psycho D. She threatens to melt her face with a clothes iron in front of the man's children if the man doesn't start talking. She then puts it to her face, screaming only to realize it wasn't on.
    • In another episode, the guys come to rely on Jillian after she saves them from a tough guy in the opening of the episode. At the end, she defends them from a man by threatening to beat his ass in front of his "ugly, funky-butt children."
  • Midnight Sun (2016): Sparan was tied up and made to watch as his son was drowned in front of him.

    Multiple Media 
  • In BIONICLE, Karzahni's Mask of Power has the effect of trapping the target in a vision where they're usually unable to move, and witness horrible alternate futures. In one instance, he made Jaller see what would have happened if he had frozen in place instead of saving his friend Takua, thus allowing the villain Makuta to win. In this alternate future, the terrorized islanders would have risen up against Makuta's rule, only to be brutally killed one by one by his henchmen. This also counts as Mind Rape, as it leaves the victim too shaken to try to escape Karzahni's realm.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Bad-guy wrestlers forcing their face opponents to watch beatings and other wicked actions has dates back a long time. Two examples come to mind:
    • Jim Cornette and The Midnight Express forced Dusty Rhodes to watch as Cornette hit Baby Doll in the stomach with a tennis racket. This nearly caused a riot, and Cornette received death threats after it was stated that Baby Doll might not be able to have children because of the attack.
    • In 1988, to help set up the first-ever SummerSlam main event (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage [the "Mega Powers"] against Ted DiBiase and André the Giant [the "Mega Bucks"]), Savage (with Miss Elizabeth in tow) delivered a promo throwing out an open challenge, to which Andre came out and taunted the "Macho Man." Savage accepted, only to have DiBiase sneak in and attack the champion, after which Andre and DiBiase double-teamed the champion; the trope-fitter here was Elizabeth being restrained by Virgil, forced to watch a brutal-for-the-time attack.
  • In 1991, Jake Roberts vs. Earthquake was set up in memorable style: Roberts was scheduled to take on Earthquake, who eventually got the better of "the Snake" and tied him in the ring ropes. Manager Jimmy Hart threw the snake bag (containing Roberts' snake, Damien) into the ring as 'Quake told Roberts, "You are going to see me ... (pause for dramatic effect) ... squash that snake!" Roberts was crying and trying to break free, but could only watch as Earthquake repeatedly performed his "Earthquake splash" to (Kayfabe) crush the snake to death.note  Roberts was disconsolate as he finally broke free of the ropes ... but by that time, 'Quake was being led from the ring. Commentators McMahon, Roddy Piper and Savage remarked that it reminded some of the cruel childhood memory of being forced to watch a bully kill a beloved pet.
  • A common trope used during the Attitude Era, particularly in the feud pitting "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. One example is Austin showing — via the TitanTron — that he had earlier poured tons of concrete in McMahon's new Chevrolet Corvette!!!!
    • Another time, as Austin and The Rock were trading verbal jabs, Austin revealed, via video footage, that he had dropped a steel beam on top of the Rock's brand new Lincoln Continental!
    • Yet another one occurred in 2000 when Austin came on the TitanTron and blew up D-Generation X's tour bus, the DX Express.
  • Colt Cabana tried to force Christopher Daniels to watch CM Punk's murder of Allison Danger, which he was to perform in retaliation for Daniels attacking CM Punk's girlfriend and Second City Saints manager Lucy. Danger was spared when it was revealed BJ Whitmer was the one who attacked Lucy.
  • When one of Serena Deeb's protege's, Davina Rose, showed up in SHIMMER, Portia Perez was delighted, boasting that she would force Deeb to watch Rose's destruction.
  • Better Than You forced Solo Darling to watch them break the leg of her Buddy System partner Heidi Lovelace. Daffney brought Crazy Mary Dobson into SHINE to deal with BTY, which lead to the rest of Valifornia forcing them to watch Solo be put through a table.
  • "El Rebelde" Noriega handcuffed Eddie Colon's wrist to the bottom ring rope and held him in place to watch The Precious One Gilbert strip and beat Eddie's cousin Orlando to a bloody mess with the help of El Gran Armando, Pedro Portillo III and some shards of glass. Noriega even punched Eddie in the chest a few times to make sure his eyes were open.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • In The Bible, a priest named Pash-Hur throws Jeremiah into jail for the night because of his prophesying about Judah's sins and the upcoming invasion by Babylon. The next morning Jeremiah declares that God has changed Pash-Hur's name to Magor-Missaviv, "terror all around," because he will watch all his friends die in the attack before being dragged off to Babylon for the rest of his life.
  • Happens in The Book of Mormon. Two prophets, Alma and Amulek, preach in a wicked city and have a handful of conversions, but they are imprisoned by the evil people in the city, who also cast all the men who converted out of the city and throw all their wives and children (and scriptures) into a bonfire, forcing Alma and Amulek to watch. Amulek wants to use the power of God to stop such a horrific scene, but Alma prevents any interference, reasoning that God now has a reason to send those responsible to hell, and besides, if these women and children are righteous anyway, they're now in heaven and happy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One Dungeons & Dragons monster is the Vaath, a horrible amalgam of insect and lizard from the Lower Planes. It hunts by injecting its victims with a paralyzing poison, then inserting a feeding tendril into its victim's body to consume choice organs. Not only is the Vaath sadistic enough to make sure its victims live just long to watch it consume their intestines, it's also telepathic, so everyone around it — including the person being eaten — gets to experience not just the Vaath's enjoyment of the meal, but the exact flavor and texture of the person's innards.

  • In many stagings of Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Sextus, held by Ptolemy's guards, has to watch his mother Cornelia being harassed by Achillas. Several productions (such as the 2013 one in Salzburg), however, proceed to subvert it when Achillas starts to have a gradual Heel Realization, has Sextus released, and lets him comfort Cornelia, and tentatively tries to make amends with both.
  • In Tosca, Tosca is forced to listen to Cavaradossi being tortured, and Scarpia also describes the torture method to her. She eventually breaks down and reveals the escaped prisoner Angelotti's hiding place.

    Video Games 
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Admiral Saul Karath eventually manages to capture the heroes and starts grilling the Player Character for information. He already expects that his Cold-Blooded Torture isn't going to work very well if he simply uses the painful electrocution on the PC themselves. However, he has both your potential love interests in similar torture chambers...
  • In Evil Genius, you defeat one of the superagents by mangling her teddy bear.
  • In The Darkness, the eponymous Eldritch Abomination does this to Jackie by using its Combat Tentacles to hold him back while Paulie Francetti executes his girlfriend Jenny. THEN it lets go and scares off the villains. And then it cruelly mocks Jackie.
  • One bit of Flavor Text in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri notes that the one man tough enough to endure The Punishment Sphere broke pretty quickly when they threatened to put his wife in.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry: Near the climax of the game, when Kat is arrested by the Feds, Dante, trapped in Limbo and unable to save her, can do nothing but watch helplessly as the SWAT team shoot her in the shoulder and beat the ever-loving shit out of her.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • While he doesn't get to see how it happened, Cormag from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is forced by Valter to have a long and good look at his murdered brother Glen's mangled corpse. What Valter didn't say, though, was that he was the one who killed Glen.
    • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Lucia is captured by the Crimean Rebels and about hanged in front of Queen Elincia, with the intention of forcing the Queen to surrender the throne. Lucia remains calm and keeps reaffirming her Undying Loyalty to Elincia, even as the rope is around her neck. And then... cue the Big Damn Heroes by the Greil Mercenaries.
    • Invoked in Fire Emblem Awakening, when Gangrel takes Emmeryn to be executed in a cliff near Plegia Castle so he can force Prince Chrom and his Badass Crew to watch how she will die if Chrom doesn't hand the Fire Emblem itself to Plegia. Emmeryn thwarts this via willingly throwing herself off to her own death. This actually ends up working against Gangrel, since seeing a leader willing to give up their own life to try and prevent further bloodshed shocks the Plegian people and soldiers into a revolt against him since he'd been The Caligula up until that point. (If the player has [SpotPass], it doesn't stick).
  • The Walking Dead
    • Inverted. When Kenny is preparing to kill Carver, Sarita and Luke try to usher her out. Clementine can choose to stay and watch, even asserting her position. When Kenny starts smashing Carver's face in with a crowbar, Clementine starts off wincing and averting her gaze, but quickly settles into a cold glare as Carver's face turns into mush.
    • A cut audio file from has one of the season one survivors, a high school student named Ben Paul, explaining that after the outbreak, he took refuge with his classmates inside their school for a period of time before he eventually found your group and that he was forced to watch as one of the girls was gang-raped to death by bandits.
  • One of the bad endings of Hijikata's route in Hakuouki has Kazama threatening to hurt Chizuru in front of Hijikata because, he declares, he's heard that humans suffer more watching someone they care about get hurt, and he wants Hijikata to suffer. When Hijikata responds by throwing down his sword in surrender, Kazama tortures him to death in front of Chizuru with the specific intention of teaching her not to defy him.
  • One was at the very end of Xenosaga 3, Wilhelm tortures Shion to try and get KOS-MOS to activate Zarathustra. It doesn't work of course because KOS-MOS decides she simply wants to be herself instead of someone else so she destroys the key to Zarathustra, making it spiral out of control. Woops. Everything gets better though.
  • A major driving force in Luca's rage-filled insanity in Suikoden II is that he was forced to watch his mother be gang-raped for an entire week by Jowston Alliance rebels when he was a child. And when he finds out the kidnapping and gang-rape was all orchestrated by the mayor of Muse and leader of the Jowston Alliance Council, Darrel, he resolved to wipe the City-State off the map and murder all its inhabitants.
  • Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny was one of the first to use this trope. If you are captured by Lord Blackthorn, you are asked one of the mantras to the Shrines of Virtue. If you refuse, Lord Blackthorn will drag a companion under a swinging blade and ask "are you sure you don't want to tell me?" If you continue to refuse, your companion will die and will never return. You can exploit this to get rid of Saduj, however.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, Orphan forces Fang to watch him torture Vanille in order to get her to transform into Ragnarok and kill him. Fang ends up transforming into an incomplete Ragnarok but turns back into a human before she can kill Orphan. Then Orphan proceeds to torture Fang while Vanille watches. Who knows what would've happened if Lightning and co didn't pull a Big Damn Hero moment.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics: Delita witnessed the death of his sister Tietra at hands of Argath.
  • At one point in Kingdom Hearts II, Donald and Goofy are captured by a bunch of Heartless while Sora is unconscious. When he comes to, he encounters a "Heartless Commander", who then tortures the two with electricity after Sora makes a snarky comment on his status. Sora instantly surrenders to save his friends, and all three of them are thrown in prison.
    • The scene is recreated in the manga adaptation, but Sora is the one who gets tortured, while his friends watch in complete horror.
  • Sonic Lost World: Eggman invokes this while ranting at the Deadly Six for their rebellion, vowing to "destroy everything they love and make them watch." Later happens to Sonic, who can do nothing but watch helplessly over the Miles Electric as the planet-draining machine sucks the life out of Knuckles and Amy.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes: Skull Face uses Chico's crush on Paz to his advantage by making him watch as he has her tortured and gang-raped.
    • On one hand, she's a mass murderer. On the other hand, Skull Face tortures Chico even FURTHER by forcing CHICO to rape Paz. Basically, Skull Face is teaching Chico about this horrible torture... and makes him prove what he learned by forcing him to do it.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins: During the climax of the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, Ferris Boyle, after freezing Batman and incapacitating Mr. Freeze, dismisses Freeze's pleas to restart the cryogenic machine and save Nora, stating that he'll keep Freeze alive just long enough to watch her die before he kills him. Fortunately, Batman breaks free from the ice and subdues Boyle before that happens.
  • In the Rival Schools sequel Project Justice, if the Taiyou team is chosen, midway through the route Kurow tells a captured Hinata that he will force her to see him and his group kill Kyosuke and Batsu, who have come to the rescue. It doesn't happen: the Hopeless Boss Fight finishes without any deaths, and Hinata is rescued by Tiffany and Roy before its end
  • In Yume miru kusuri, if Aeka is Kouichi's chosen girlfriend, a potential scene in her route includes Kyouka getting her minions to pin down Kouichi and force him to watch Kyoka's boyfriend rape Aeka. They get free and almost kill her.
  • In Baldur's Gate, the corrupt Flaming Fist leader, Angelo Dosan, isn't afraid to kill one of your companions if you insult him while you're being arrested.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has an unintentional and absolutely heart-rending example given that the Colossi are Ambiguously Evil at worst and a Designated Villain at best; From the top of Malus, the final Colossus', head, the player can see every beam of light created when a Colossus is slain, meaning that Malus had to watch as you systematically murdered every one of its kin. It's no wonder that they're so enraged at you by the time you arrive to fight them.
  • Castlevania:
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Agahnim waits until Link has arrived in his attempt to rescue Zelda before he banishes her, and does it while Link can only watch helplessly.
  • In Stellaris, if you choose to go down the Psionic path and link yourself to the Shroud, you may encounter an entity calling itself The End of the Cycle. Making a deal with it gives you MASSIVE bonuses for about 50 years... but when that time is up, your entire empire is wiped out in an instant. Your planets will become uninhabitable beyond all terraforming, your fleets will be destroyed, and all of your leaders will be killed, save for one, who manages to evacuate a handful of pops to a planet named Exile. In your former capital, an entity named The End will spawn, comprised of the souls of your entire population, with at the bare minimum, ONE MILLION fleet power. This entity will systematically make its way through the galaxy, wiping the floor with every single other empire, deliberately saving Exile for last. Oh, and if you wanted to ask for help with beating it, you won't get it. Every single other empire now has a PERMANENT -1000 diplomacy modifier against you, so on the off-chance that they do manage to beat The End, they'll be turning their fleets to Exile next.
  • In the runup to the World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth, Sylvanas Windrunner is leading an army to invade the great tree Teldrassil, where all the night elves live and the location of their only city. One of the defenders, mortally wounded, asks her why and tells her "You cannot kill hope." Sylvanas calmly says, "Can't I?", turns the dying woman's face towards the Tree - and snaps "Burn it!" at her underlings. Even her most loyal lieutenant Nathanos Blightcaller has to be ordered a second time because no one can believe what they're hearing.

    Web Animation 
  • This is how Alastor from Hazbin Hotel got his moniker as "the Radio Demon". After arriving in Hell as another mortal soul, Alastor began a rapid campaign of toppling, tormenting, and decimating some of the most powerful overlords Hell has ever known to establish his own claim to power. He also went so far as to broadcast his carnage over the radio waves so everyone in Hell would know his power.

  • This happened to The Blonde Marvel when she didn't want to pay for Madame de Sade's broken window.
  • Chapter 17 of Furry Fight Chronicles ends with Muko being forced to watch as Nyarai defeats Adelgund to the point of hospitalization with her Leg-Jet Burst. She wants to tag in to save her, but Adelgund refuses to prevent Muko from committing a Senseless Sacrifice against an opponent who outclassed Muko without using her real strength.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Hereti-Corp tries torturing Gwynn to make Torg give up information on Dr. Steve and Oasis, until Torg points out that they hadn't asked him any questions yet.
  • Parodied in Aoi House when Elle finds out two heterosexual men have joined their club. As they really can't lose two more members without getting closed by the university, she is determined to fix the minor problem with Alex and Sandy.
  • Redcloak of The Order of the Stick attempts this, threatening to throw groups of prisoners into a rift in front of O-Chul, unless O-Chul gives him information. O-Chul simply doesn't have the information Redcloak is after and tells him that if he's going to kill the prisoners, then do it quickly and be done with it. Redcloak is astounded at how vile humans are. Notably, Redcloak orders that the prisoners be informed of O-Chul's statement... and fails to realize they'll see it as a sign of resistance rather than one of cowardice.
  • In Unsounded, Matty Quigley is blind, yet he is able to see through the eyes of his pymaric doll, Chitz. When Starfish orders Matty's father killed, he holds up Chitz so that, even though Matty is crying and trying to close his eyes, he still sees everything. Luckily, Jivi performs a Big Damn Heroes and manages to save both Matty and his father.
  • The Greatest Gift has a disturbing example with Astra/Venus. Her father forced her to watch her Evil Twin Jupiter/Fake Venus strangle their mother to death. Did we mention they were fillies when this happened?
  • Any time Susan overpowers Anna in Sire she is forced to helplessly watch her "Sister" pilot the body that they share and commit impassioned crimes. This has included confirmed kills so far. One of which was their beloved uncle.

    Web Original 
  • This is how Marie feels in Pyrrhic, having been forced to watch Joshua Mercy Kill Chase.
  • In Receiver of Many in the nightmarish illusion weaved by Cronus for Persephone this happens in two ways: the illusionary Hades is forced to watch how Cronus rapes his wife and the real Persephone herself is forced to see this scene play out before her eyes.
  • Item 1683 on the list of Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG: "Killing the orc horde by drowning them all at once is heroic. Killing them by drowning them one at a time is an alignment check."
  • In an Achievement Hunter Let's Play of Dead by Daylight, Jeremy Dooley, playing the murderer for one round, drops Jack Patillo as he's trying to rescue Ryan Haywood from one of the spider traps and leaves him there to watch Ryan die.
  • In the second Camp Camp Halloween special, Daniel tells Max that he plans on livestreaming his death to a captive David. Cut to David, who notes that the camp's wi-fi isn't that good.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!:
    • In one episode Roger goes on a campaign to ruin the life of a man named Sidney who Roger believes stole from him. This vendetta includes destroying Sidney's garden and raping his favorite sycamore tree. Later, Roger sends Sidney a letter that says, "Your sycamore had saplings. I made them watch."
    • In an episode where Stan puts his mind in the body of a horse, he (in the horse body) keeps getting poked in the face by a little kid despite Roger warning him not to. To the kid's shock, horse-Stan threatens to go to the child's house and kick his mother to death while he watched.
  • Amphibia: Played for Laughs. Anne joins the tax collectors, only to discover that every single person in town supposedly skipped their taxes. When they get to Anne's legal guardian Hop Pop, Anne is absolutely sure he paid, because "He made me watch." Cut to Hop Pop cheerily showing Anne how to do taxes.
  • Archer: In "On the Carpet", Malory threatens to literally emasculate Krieger if he won't tell her what he's so contrite about. When he reveals he blew up all the cocaine they were supposed to sell out of grief...
    Malory: Wodehouse, be a dear and fetch me some more ice. Oh, and a bowl, a mirror, some needle and thread, and a straight razor.
    Krieger: W— what's the mirror for?
    Malory: So you can watch.
  • One episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender has an Earth Kingdom general try to force Aang into the Avatar State by making him watch as he slowly bends Katara underground, presumably to suffocate. It works.
  • Comically inverted in Batman: The Brave and the Bold's Lighter and Softer Animated Adaptation of Emperor Joker: after Bat-Mite becomes powerless by accidentally giving all his powers to the Joker and making him a Reality Warping god, the new Clown Emperor would use his newfangled cosmic powers to kill the Dark Knight and then bring him back from the dead. To make matters worse, he attempts to make Batman go insane. Despite Harley Quinn's pleas to spare the lives of Batman and Bat-Mite, the Joker complies of sparing Bat-Mite by turning him into a Jester!Harley version of him, then forcing him and Harley to watch (along with the newly-created Joker-Mite) while the Clown Emperor forces the Dark Knight through a comedic, torturous Death Montage in an attempt to make him go insane! Poor, powerless Bat-Mite... or is that Harley-Bat-Mite?
  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: Zurg manages to capture Booster, XR, and Mira and gloats about the tortures they are in store for. He's especially proud of Mira's, saying she can ghost right out of cell. Doing so however causes alarms to go, breaking her concentration, leaving her in her cell. The torture is that she has to watch her teammates be tortured, powerless to stop it. Except it's a kid's show. So XR finds being stretched enjoyable (it gets out the kinks); and while Booster's cell is supposed to turn his strength against him and throw him around the room, he sees it as a Bounce House and great fun. So Mira just smirks at him.
  • Code Lyoko:
  • DCAU:
    • In the first animated movie bridging the original Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, World's Finest, Joker decided to get revenge on Lex Luthor by destroying everything LexCorp built in Metropolis with one of Luthor's own weapons and making him watch.
    • In the final episode of Justice League Unlimited, Darkseid tells Superman that this is his plan. He talks about how he is going to destroy the planet and kill everyone on it, and only after Superman has seen it will he kill him.
  • Family Guy:
    • One episode has Peter doing the really old cartoon gag where the steam coming off a freshly baked pie forms beckoning fingers and tries to go up Peter's nose, which is supposed to draw Peter into eating the pie. When Peter refuses, the steam somehow starts ripping off Peter's clothes so it can rape him. We then see the steam is also holding Quagmire's eyes open, forcing him to watch.
    • In another episode Brian is sent to an obedience school and is forced to watch a movie depicting an old woman vacuuming, a dog catcher, and a live-action photo of Michael Vick.
  • Freakazoid! had a mild version of this played for laughs. The villain, Gutierrez, wants a code that will give him superpowers. When the hero and his mentor refuse to give it to him (the hero doesn't even know the code), he reveals he has the hero's family captured as well. The method of torture used on the family? The best of Marty Ingles.
    • "What kind of sadistic creature are you!?!"
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures has this example:
    Living Laser: New York is gonna burn. And I'm gonna make you watch.
  • Oddly averted by Megabyte of all characters in ReBoot. Before giving his henchmen the okay to dissect Frisket, he tells them to take Enzo away so he doesn't have to see it. He doesn't let him say good-bye either, though.
    Megabyte: The boy doesn't need to see this.
    Enzo: Can't I at least say good-bye?
    Megabyte: Well... ... ... no.
  • The premise behind Robot Chicken, the show opens as a dead chicken is brought back to life, then watches a bank of monitors with his head locked in place and eyes forced open. One of the monitors is blank as the show begins and zooms in upon it, supposedly this is what the chicken is going to be forced to see, and we will see it. In seasons 6 and 7, the tables are turned and the chicken puts the scientist in the same situation.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "To Heck and Back", Heffer is confronted with his gluttony in Heck, and forced to watch Rocko dying inside his guts (after Rocko fell in while trying to retrieve a chicken bone that had gotten caught in Heffer's throat.)
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, when Boris "tortures" Bullwinkle by...forcing him to watch Natasha eat a chocolate sundae. note 
  • Samurai Jack: This is a favored tactic of Aku when he goes about conquering.
    • When he first arose he defeated and chained up the Emperor, Jack's father, but left him alive so he could watch Aku destroy his kingdom and people.
    • During "Jack and the Lava Monster", he did a similar thing to a Viking leader; imprisoning him in crystal while he laid waste to the man's village and family. He was left trapped in that crystal for millennia unable to die a hero and ascend to Valhalla.
    • During "Jack and the Ultra-Robots" he has the scientist Extor build him a team of super-empowered robot soldiers to kill Jack with. Upon their completion, he has them destroy Extor's village and kill everyone.
    • When he tries to gain Jack's trust by shapeshifting into an ally, Ikra, he constructs a similar tale about her father being imprisoned in fire as his home was destroyed.
  • The Simpsons:
    • After Mr. Burns accidentally walks into a tree, he orders its acorns killed while the tree watches.
    • The trope is Played for Laughs in one "Treehouse of Horror" special, where Homer is carving pumpkins for Halloween. He doesn't realize that a giant, sentient, man-eating pumpkin is watching...
      Homer: I'm gonna give you crossed eyes, like you might see on an idiot, a stupid triangle nose, and a big mouth full of the ugliest-shaped teeth there are: square! And I'm going to make your friends watch!
    • The Clockwork Orange scene mentioned above is parodied when Mr. Burn uses a similar device to force Santa's Little Helper to watch scenes of terrible violence in an attempt to make him a vicious attack dog.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Krab-Borg", SpongeBob and Squidward think Mr. Krabs is a robot who can talk to electronics. They tie him up and force him to watch them interrogate his expensive appliances. Most of them end up destroyed, making the money-grubbing crab scream and cry.
    • In "Patty Caper", after Mr. Krabs gets caught for stealing the Krabby Patty secret ingredient (so he wouldn't have to pay the $1.99 delivery fee) and trying to frame SpongeBob, the judge sentences him to give away Krabby Patties for free for an entire day, to which he tearfully replies that he couldn't bear the sight of that. Cut to SpongeBob handing out free patties while Krabs is strapped to a chair and screaming in horror while laughing cops hold his eyes open.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Zero Hour", Kallus, The Mole, is unmasked and held captive on the bridge of the Chimaera to watch Thrawn's assault on the rebel base.
  • In Teen Titans Slade uses the threat of this to make Robin do a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Wander over Yonder
    • A family-friendly version occurs in "The Hole Lotta Nuthin'": Wander is extremely hungry, but he can't move too much because his finger is plugging a black hole that threatens to suck up the galaxy. He manages to use the suction of the black hole to bring a nearby apple close to him, but it's just out of reach. Hater shows up, picks up the apple and eats it in front of him, and even taunts him by asking if he's hungry.
    • A... less family-friendly version occurs in "The End Of The Galaxy". Lord Dominator freezes Wander in an ice block and attempts to impale Sylvia with her drill while forcing him to look.
  • The Yogi's Treasure Hunt episode "Yogi's Heroes" had Dick Dastardly and Muttley capturing Snooper and Blabber and forcing them to watch episodes of the villains' 1969 TV show until all they can do is march around in a stupor chiming "Stop that pigeon...stop that pigeon..." Even Blabber comments that their brains will turn to mush.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Make You Watch


Swallowed Strawhats

Baron Omatsuri pins Luffy to a rock and forces him to watch as Lily devours his crew.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ForcedToWatch

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