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Harmless Freezing

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"CHRIST! I was frozen today!"
Charlie Wilcox, Suburban Commando

A character is frozen solid by superpowers or some sort of futuristic weapon. This can be in the form of encasing the character in a giant ice cube or simply freezing the person. Then shortly after, they thaw out, and they are mostly unharmed. Sure, they might shiver a bit, but they have absolutely no problems with hypothermia, frostbite, shock, or, with the covered in ice version, suffocation. After all, microwaving frozen food works! And there's all this buzz about "cryogenics,"note  which must mean that you can freeze and thaw people out with no problem.

If the character's body itself is frozen, the situation is even more unrealistic. Unless you take special precautions when you freeze organic tissue (which can be assumed to be the case when making human popsicles, especially if Applied Phlebotinum is involved), the water in each cell will freeze and expand — bursting the cells and dealing them mortal wounds (frostbite). When it thaws out, they die and the body's soft tissue turns into mush. There are ways of minimizing ice damage to frozen organic tissue (usually by making sure the water in most cells includes special chemicals that prevent the water from expanding so much when it freezes), though whether it will be of any help to future scientists that try to revive the person is a matter of debate (one of the primary problems with this method is that all known suitable chemicals are extremely toxic).

Even if you avoid the ice crystals, there's the matter of having parts of your body at different states. Freezing is usually portrayed as instantaneous, but thawing is generally done more slowly. This would kill you. Imagine having your extremities full of oxygen-starved blood while your heart is still frozen. Not pretty.

And, of course — anyone who has spent a long time outside during the winter, or even a short time outside during a very cold winter snap knows that below-freezing cold is hardly harmless or painless in Real Life.

Many Video Games have freeze attacks that trap the player. Usually the player just has to do some Button Mashing to break free and move at full speed/strength. The greater risk is from not being able to dodge instead of hypothermia or suffocation, which is a bit more justified since the character is typically only encased in ice rather than frozen solid and breaks out in a matter of seconds anyway.

Movies may also portray characters as awake while frozen, often by having their eyes open and moving around.

This is commonly employed when a Monster in the Ice appears. More often than not, if the ice is broken or melted away, the trapped monstrosity will prove to be awake, healthy, and fully aware despite having spent ages frozen in a glacier.

This trope is closely related to Exposed to the Elements and Frigid Water Is Harmless. For the lethal inversion of this trope, see Ice Breaker and/or Kill It with Ice; for combining the two, see Literally Shattered Lives. Could lead to Harmless Liquefaction if the frozen character is melted along with the ice. For this trope's electrical counterpart, see Harmless Electrocution. For breathing without problems in other hostile environments, see Batman Can Breathe in Space and Super Not-Drowning Skills.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach: The ice-snow type Zanpakutou have the power to use ice-based attacks. Hitsugaya and Rukia have the most famous examples. Hitsugaya can freeze all moisture in the atmosphere, including entire people, and is partially encased in ice himself when in Bankai. Rukia reduces the temperature of anything she comes into contact with below sub-zero, starting with herself. They have both faced opponents who were able to break free of their ice powers without ill-effect, such as Harribel (Hitsugaya) and Grimmjow and Äs Nödt (Rukia's Shikai).
    Grimmjow: "Did you really think merely freezing the top layer of my skin would be enough to kill me!?"
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Used to some extent, though Leon and Gray don't usually freeze people directly (opting to make ice weapons/containers instead).
    • Definitely subverted, however, in the Galuna Island arc, where Leon's attempt to revive Deliora completely fails when Deliora shatters because he was frozen in Ul's Iced Shell for too long.
    • Silver zigzags this, as sometimes his Ice Devil Slayer magic freezing his targets will kill them, sometimes it just leaves them imprisoned. Given The Reveal he's actually not evil and has to keep up appearances to his genocidal, human-hating comrades, it seems to be meant to speak of the level of control he has over his magic.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: This is how the soldiers of Fort Briggs defeated Sloth when he broke into the base. Of course, they were hoping for Kill It with Ice, but given that Sloth was a homunculus, they were forced to settle for immobilizing him.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: In one episode, the spirits of two Genbu Seishi encase Miaka in a block of ice as a test to see if she's really the Priestess of Suzaku. Not only is she the Priestess but she also is saved by what they claim is "Suzaku's Flames". Could be considered justified as both the freezing and 'thawing' were magic.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Zig-zagged.
    • In Part 1, Dio has the vampiric ability to instantly freeze anything he touches. Usually the victim doesn't last long enough before Dio smashes them for it to be clear how harmful/harmless being frozen was.
    • Heavily averted in the fight against Ghiaccio in Jojos Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind. His Stand, White Album, greatly reduces the temperature around him... and it has all the effects severe cold should have. Mista at one point accidentally rips a finger off because it froze to a window he was trying to clean the fog off of, and his hand was so cold he doesn't even notice until he sees his hand again. Just breathing is nearly impossible. White Album protects Ghiaccio from all this, but anyone he's fighting has to deal with it.
  • Kemono Jihen thoroughly averts this. When Akira, a yuki-onoko, is terrified enough to unleash his full powers, he freezes an entire drainage system solid along with the kappa within it, killing them instantly. The only reason why Kabane survived it too is because of his Healing Factor. This is also specifically noted beforehand, as Akira declines to freeze the surface of the water because it would kill everything in it. His brother, Yui, is even more destructive. The only reason why Shiki and Inugami survive is that the latter transmuted a layer of warm air just before Yui's ice hit, keeping their cells from being frozen too.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!:
    • In the episode "Something to Sneeze At," King Dedede attempts to get himself sick by getting cold. One of these attempts is having the Waddle Dees open some doors to reveal Dedede frozen in a block of ice that falls over. However, this fails to get him sick, and by the time the ice breaks:
      King Dedede: I turned myself into an ice cube and I still ain't sick! What am I doin' wrong?!
    • "The Chill Factor," a later episode, has the Pengi with the ability to do this. Master Pengi even proceeds to freeze everyone in Cappy Town (Kirby, Tiff, and Tuff included) and hold them prisoners.
    • Ice Kirby is also capable of doing this.
    • In "Kirby 3D," the 101st episode, Lobzilla's first form also freezes people as well. The only time where the actual victims are in blocks of ice are shown is when Lobzilla uses it on Dedede and Escargoon. The other times that Lobzilla uses his ice breath instantly cut to the next scene.
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service: One issue deals with a man whose freakish anatomy allows him to survive being frozen solid and thawed out again, allowing him to enter suspended animation by freezing himself down. He used his ability to run a cryogenics scam back in the eighties and froze himself down until the statute of limitations for scamming runs out — the end of the issue sees him frozen down in a glacier, which he's still stuck in 400 years later.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: Played straight when Rein encases Lutecia and Agito in a giant hunk of ice. They wind up escaping by blasting a hole through the ground, which is a bit head-scratching.
  • Megaman NT Warrior: Played straight in an episode where a group of evil, robotic, air-conditioning penguins (no context needed) freeze almost everyone in the city inside perfectly contoured blocks of ice. They're immobile but otherwise completely fine.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: Maria freezing Hanon and her being fine fifteen minutes later is a bit of a glaring example. Maybe mermaids can survive freezing...
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: In "Frozen Teardrops," Heero and Relena were both put into cryo-sleep, and Relena has been subject to experiments involving nano-bots. They are thawed out some 20 years after the series proper ended; Duo and the other Gundam pilots are well into their 40's, while Heero and Relena retain the appearance of teenagers.
  • In Moomin (1990), Little My gets frozen by the Lady of the Cold, but is quickly revived by being placed next to a hot stove. This is in contrast to the original story, where the Lady of the Cold is treated as having a Deadly Gaze.
  • My Hero Academia: Zig-Zagged with Todoroki's ice abilities. He can seriously injure or even kill people with his ice and actually froze off two of the original Nomu's limbs. He also states this is the reason why he can't restrain the captured Stain. However, in the Sports Festival arc, his strategy to beat his opponents in the tournament finals is to immediately encase them in a wall of ice to end the match, though that only lasts for about a minute at the very most each time before he either thaws them out or they break free. In the movie My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising, Shoto defeats Chimera by freezing him solid from the inside, and in the end, he is shown to not be severely injured when being taken away by the authorities.
  • My-HiME: Haruka is defeated by being frozen by Natsuki's Duran, but after being thawed out, is largely fine except for having a cold.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Asuna is frozen solid by Evangeline, who did so because Asuna managed to strike her, and breaks out within ten minutes of her own struggles and her friends hitting the twelve-foot crystal she'd become. Chisame pointed out how above-human their fights had become, wondering if Asuna was actually alive. Eva later commented on how the spell that should have lasted for ten years, and congratulates Asuna on surviving it and scoring a hit. To be fair though, this might just be because of her anti-magic abilities.
  • Subverted at first in One Piece. Initially freezing is treated as a very serious condition and Chopper made sure that the thawing would have to be a slow, gentle process with cold water so as to not to warm up the victims too quickly and crack the frozen tissue. Even after thawing, Chopper still has to resuscitate them, and then it still takes a few days for Luffy and Robin to recover.
    • Later gets played straight during the battle at Marine Headquarters, as Buggy and the former Impel Down prisoners get frozen whole and then thawed from the equally deadly heat of hot magma, and only look a little beat up from the whole ordeal.
    • The trope appears to be pretty much straight in play at this point, with the implication that anyone who is 'strong enough' can avoid being frozen completely and shake off the effects. Whitebeard and Doflamingo are both frozen solid by Aokiji and simply shatter the ice due to their strength, although this likely doesn't apply unless the affected person has an immense amount of Haki to exert against Aokiji's own. And this is likely also why Doflamingo backed down and didn't try to pick a fight with an already pissed off Aokiji.
  • This seems to be the case in Pokémon: The Series (and it can't entirely be explained by the special abilities of the Mons, since it also happens to humans on occasion).
    • In the episode in which Ice Beam was first used, Ash's Charizard nearly died from it, and it took Ash a long time and a lot of rubbing to get it well again. But this was the only time; after that, being frozen is pretty much instantly cured.
    • In a later episode, Charizard fights Articuno, an ice bird Pokémon. Charizard takes several direct hits from Ice Beam that apparently do nothing, until its wing is frozen, slightly reducing its ability to fly. Charizard didn't seem too bothered.
    • Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles episode "Hold the Phione!". Jessie is frozen by a Phione's Ice Beam and all of the Team Rocket trio is frozen by the combined Ice Beams of a Buneary and a Phione without any ill effect.
    • In the anime episode "Bulbasaur, the Ambassador", Jessie, James, and Meowth stow away on an airship, accidentally get locked in a freezer, and end up frozen into blocks of ice. After they thaw out, they're fine.
    • Lorelei from Pokémon Adventures has this ability. Her Jynx's Ice Beam can make dolls of people. Simply by marking a limb of the ice doll she can create a cuff of ice on the actual person, which can then gradually spread across the body, encasing it completely. Red was completely trapped and should have died, but at least it wasn't completely played straight as he suffered from painful frostbite for a year. Sabrina, luckily, only got off with frostbite on her wrist. Somehow, in the FireRed/LeafGreen arc, Sird managed to free herself before she was completely encased; but as it turns out, her leg is still suffering from the effects and she doesn't know the cure for it.
  • During the Final Battle with Phoenix King Saffron, Ranma from Ranma ½ turned the freezing power of the Gekkaja on himself. The weapon froze him solid, allowing him to survive through Saffron's mountain-vaporizing heat beam — which thawed him almost instantly afterwards. The art isn't very clear on how complete the freezing was, but consider this: the Gekkaja can turn multi-ton chunks of rock into solid ice just by touching the ground, and Ranma's clothes and hair were still covered in ice despite being hit head-on by the Imperial Annihilation.
  • Played nearly completely straight in Saint Seiya with warriors using frost-based attacks such as Cygnus Hyoga. He gets turned into a Human Popsicle, frozen in an ice coffin at temperatures extremely close to absolute zero, and gets progressive thawing via first being broken out by Shiryu and then given Intimate Healing by Shun.
    • While the freezing at absolute zero could arguably prevent the water expansion in his body, it should be noted that the freezing is notably not completely harmless, and he requires immediate assistance once freed of the ice. However, the progressive thawing should probably have killed him, but once warmed up in less than one hour, he doesn't even have a cold or frostbite to show, and he's already ready to kick ass. To be fair, Shun "thawed" Hyoga's near-frozen body with his Battle Aura rather than body heat (and nearly killed himself by overusing it).
    • However, notably averted when enemies get turned in ice statues and Literally Shattered Lives. Also averted during the Aurora Execution showdown between Hyoga and Camus, which very nearly ends in a double kill.
  • In the first episode of Seven Mortal Sins, Lucifer's body freezes when she lands in Cocytus. Later in the series, Astaroth and Leviathan suffer a similar fate. None of them is bothered in the slightest by it, and once they are thawed out they act as if nothing happened. Justified since they are supernatural Demon Lords.
  • SHUFFLE! plays this straight and averts it on different occasions, depending on if it's a gag or not.
  • Episode 25 of Space Adventure Cobra has Cobra frozen by falling into liquid nitrogen; a doctor manages to revive him to full health. Not even frostbite — though Cobra has demonstrated several times a solid Healing Factor.
  • Time Stop Hero:
    • A witch instantly freezes Kuzuno Sekai in ice. He breaks free, but is in a lot of pain and says if he didn't have a Healing Factor, that would have killed him.
    • Elves can quickly break out after being hit with ice spells, explained as them having high magic resistance.
  • Subverted in Vampire Princess Miyu, where The Rival is a ghostly girl with ice-based powers — her freezing attacks leave the target frozen inside a shell of ice, in a classic non-lethal fashion, but despite leaving them apparently intact and clearly visible, it does kill any ordinary mortal subjected to it. Certain powerful demonic beings can shrug it off, and require 'breaking' afterwards, but not even many of those.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 10 Episode 8, Penguin Monster freezes Headmaster Tele. The heroes spend the rest of the episode trying to thaw the ice trapping him; when they finally do free him, Headmaster Tele turns out perfectly fine.
  • Larva: Red and Yellow are frozen in "Ice Road" and aren't hurt after they're unfrozen.
  • Motu Patlu: In "Ice Factory", Motu and Patlu decide to take a nap break in the water tubs that are frozen into blocks of ice. Dr. Jhatka accidentally starts up the conveyor belt, causing Motu and Patlu to be frozen into blocks of ice. Dr. Jhatka, Ghasitaram, and the manager of the ice factory notice them snoring while they are in the ice blocks, and the two are perfectly fine upon being unfrozen.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • In Joys of Seasons Episode 44, Sparky, in an attempt to save the goats, gets himself frozen in an icy lake along with Wolffy and Wolnie. Only Sparky is shown after having been unfrozen by the other goats, though presumably they unfroze the wolves as well since the goats have been known to save the villains from time to time; at any rate, they're completely fine upon being unfrozen.
    • It happens again in Episode 46 of the same season, with Wolffy and Wolnie freezing solid while hibernating. Weslie hits them over a frog they had deprived of its hibernation, and Wolffy hits an edge of the mountain they are on and winds up being unfrozen from the ice breaking.
  • The entire climax of Tinkerbelle Secret of the Wings is based on how a layer of frost can protect plants from dying from cold.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: In "Asterix and the Picts", the plot is kicked off when the heroes find a pict named Macaroon frozen in a block of ice. Other than a temporal loss of his voice, he suffered no ill effects.
  • The DCU:
    • Batman:
      • Mr. Freeze will often avert this trope. Many of the people who survive his freezing beam (which is quite a lot, given his Anti-Villain status) only do so if they're thawed out immediately and receive medical attention. The comics do stay sketchy about how serious it can be, though. During Batman: No Man's Land, Freeze is able to encase Batman in ice and gloats that he'll die in a moment once his soft tissues crystallize. However, remember that Mr. Freeze's freezing technology was originally designed specifically to preserve human tissue (like his wife's). As for how? Hush once compared one of his non-freezing pieces of tech to the levels of Kryptonian technology or even that of Apokolips. The man is just that good.
      • In Batman and the Outsiders, the title superteam is frozen by a villain inside a mass of ice. After one of the team members uses her powers to thaw them out, they're all fine.
      • Batgirl (2009): Played for Laughs when Stephanie accidentally freezes Damian with an ill-thrown ice Batarang. We don't see how he's thawed, but he's fine afterwards.
      • In Blackest Night, Batman (Dick Grayson) freezes himself and Robin (Tim Drake) in order to get away from the Black Lanterns (since the zombies are attracted to beating hearts). To thaw out, Deadman possesses them and uses his increased strength to break out. However, he has barely ten seconds to do this before they die.
    • The Flash:
      • Captain Cold claims that he only kills on "special occasions"... despite his completely indiscriminate freezing-to-absolute-zero of anyone who gets in his way, which should have resulted in him having a Joker-sized death tally. When he kills the Top at the end of the Rogue War, he does so by freezing him first and then smashing the ice.
      • In one issue, Wally West is invited to the reading of a will for a former foe of Barry Allen, The Icicle. Predictably, the heirs start getting bumped off, and one girl being encased in a block of ice. It ends up Harmless Freezing only because Wally was there to thaw her out quickly. He strongly suggests that if he didn't use his super-speed to melt the ice, she'd have frozen to death and/or suffocated quickly. In this case, it helps that Wally found her mere moments after she was hit with the ice gun.
    • Subverted in Catwoman: When in Rome. Catwoman gets frozen by Mr. Freeze's SubZero gun and later freed from the block of ice. Selina isn't hurt, but she sleeps for days afterwards.
    • In a scene of Supergirl (1972) #7, Supergirl is exploring a mountain in the Himalayas when she comes upon two cavemen trapped in a large block of ice. Suddenly both cavemen come back to life and burst out of their icy prison with no ill effects. Justified since there was magic involved.
    • Teen Titans: In the '90s run, Tempest freezes Dr. Light's eyeballs during a fight, which should logically blind him — but he's fine.
    • Wonder Woman:
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • Donald Duck: In "The Secret of the Dragon's Den", an adventure story by Ron Fernandez and Patrick Block, a warrior, his beloved, and his dog are all thawed from a block of ice centuries after having been frozen there. They immediately come back to life with no ill effects.
    • DuckTales: In "Rightful Owners", while trying to return the Lost Crown of Genghis Khan, Scrooge and company are met by a large white figure making mostly incomprehensible noises. They think it's a yeti, causing a mass panic. However, when the "yeti" shakes itself off, it turns out to be Launchpad, covered in ice from a rough landing...and utterly unharmed by it.
  • Garfield: His 9 Lives has the story of that life of Garfield and his Viking pals begin with the melting of an iceberg and release of the characters. After centuries had passed.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Captain America: Twenty years after being frozen into the Arctic ice, Steve Rogers is easily and conveniently defrosted by the Avengers. The only reason that Cap survived is because of the Super Serum in his blood.
    • Iron Man: The villain Blizzard confuses things even more in his first appearance (at the time calling himself Jack Frost) by saying that the people he froze had enough oxygen within the ice to survive. What?
    • Spider-Man: One story has Spidey teaming up with Iceman and Firestar and, noting how both of them are on the rebound from failed romantic endeavors, decides to play matchmaker and hook them up. It works, but once they get to the talk about cats, it quickly turns sour. Once they realize that this is all Spidey's fault, Iceman freezes him and Firestar quickly thaws him out, leaving him freezing cold and wet, net effect being a nasty cold.
    • X-Men: During the Legion storyline, Iceman finally decides to end the fight by freezing every cell in Legion's body. It barely holds him for half a page, though this had more to do with Legion's powers having been amped up to "wrathful god" levels. The comic also notes that Iceman has never dared use his powers this way before, and always used to stop people with a "constrictive ice sheath". So while covered in a shell of ice, they're not actually frozen, but rather immobilized, presumably due to the thick ice, the constrictive shape, and the coldness.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Two examples from the DC run:
    • In "The Bride of Mojo Jojo" (Issue #24) Blossom uses her ice breath to encase Mojo's bride (whom he named Zsa Zsa) when she is about to go postal after the girls rescue Mojo from being squeezed to death by her. It is subverted when the ice causes Zsa Zsa to short circuit and explode.
    • "No Business Like Snow Business" (Issue #39) had Blossom again using her ice breath, this time to capture Mojo, who had used a snow-making machine to cover Townsville in snow in the summer. His motive was to corner the market on winter goods.
  • Tintin: In "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets", Tintin freezes stuck in the ice after he falls into icy water. When Snowy manages to unfreeze him, he is totally unaffected by the effects of being frozen for so long, even able to find the energy to fight with the Russian cossack who carried him along.
  • Transmetropolitan: Both used and averted, as people from the 20th century had their heads frozen for later revival. The defrosted remains are not salvageable, but the brain patterns can be extracted and used to create a clone of the revivalist.
  • Yellow Submarine: In the Gold Key comic book adaptation, the boys rescue Ringo from being chased by a dinosaur in the Sea of Monsters by thinking cold, causing Ringo and the dinosaur to be frozen in blocks of ice. They then think warm to thaw Ringo out.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey: In one strip, Beetle is asked to get hot coffee for Sarge, who had fallen into freezing water. It turns out it's not for drinking but for melting the giant block of ice he's encased in.
  • FoxTrot: Happens occasionally. On one occasion Andy scolds Roger for giving Jason a squirt gun for Christmas while both of them, whom he sprayed with the gun, are encased in ice.
  • Li'l Abner: One story features Sandra Deepfreeze, an uncharacteristically beautiful Slobbovian girl who wants to go to Hollywood. Since she can't afford the fare she allows herself to be frozen solid by the local climate so she can be sold as a statue to a rich American collector. Once she arrives in the USA her new owner puts her on display at an outdoor art show, having first made arrangements to keep the temperature below minus 20. The local art critics sneer at the realistic "statue", expressing their pretentious preferences for abstract pieces. Sandra can evidently hear while she's frozen because their jibes make her so angry she thaws out. Fortunately the rich guy agrees to take her to Hollywood as her "protector".

    Fan Works 
  • The Calvinverse:
  • Discovery (Marvelouswrites): Averted. The doctor at the New Jedi Temple is very concerned about the effects of long-term carbon freezing on Ahsoka and the clones. And one of the clones perishes right after being unfrozen.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku manages to use his Super-Breath to encase Mirio in a block of ice during their spar. Mirio simply slides into the ground thanks to his Quirk, Permeation, with no lasting effects.
  • In Olive's Last Partner, Olive and Oscar get frozen in the orange juice flood by Otto, who saved them from drowning by freezing the orange juice using his Freeze-ray-inator. They don't suffer any ill effects aside from growing chilly after a little while and are freed shortly after.
  • Origin Story: Subverted. When she uses her "super-breath" to freeze him in place, Reed Richards assumes Alex Harris made sure that he wouldn't suffer any long-term damage from frostbite. She responds that she simply froze him and doesn't actually care if he suffers permanent damage from it or not.
  • Raindancer: Downplayed. Izuku can freeze his opponents in place by covering them with water and rapidly lowering the temperature of that water. But he has to carefully thaw them afterward to prevent them from suffering severe frostbite or shock. The screams of his opponents indicate that the freezing process is anything but comfortable. He can also inflict Literally Shattered Lives but has only done so against weapons.
  • This Bites!: Zigzagged. Everyone takes freezing about as well as they do in canon, but there are scenes that show them requiring at least some medical treatment afterwards. Averted in the case of Hiou Hiruno. She ate the Cold-Cold Fruit, which lets her lower the temperature of anything around her, which she uses to almost make Vivi's arm fall off due to frostbite.

    Films — Animated 
  • Despicable Me: People who are frozen by Gru's Freeze Ray always walk away unharmed.
  • Frozen (2013):
    • Subverted when Princess Anna is accidentally frozen from the inside out by Elsa. This is incredibly painful for her and will leave her as a lifeless ice statue unless an act of true love stops it.
    • Played straight with the magical winter. When summer resumes, we can see that all the flowers and greenery that had been abruptly covered in snow and ice are perfectly fine when that snow and ice magically vanishes. After all, it is magic.
  • The Hellboy Animated film Sword of Storms features this as a gag early on. When the BPRD confirms that they cannot locate Hellboy, Corrigan casually announces, "He's not on the planet." A surprised new BPRD member asks, "This has happened before?" The rest of the veteran control room team rattle off several previous times this has apparently happened, with the final one having Hellboy show back up frozen in a block of ice, complete with picture. Hellboy wasn't too happy when he thawed out.
  • Ice Age:
  • The Incredibles: Frozone freezes cops, yet they are implied to be okay, just locked into position. Sometimes, someone can be frozen, but their eyeballs will dart back and forth frantically. This seems to bring to mind the "ice sheath" technique Iceman uses in the X-Men comics, as mentioned above.
  • When the Peach loses course and gets lost in the Arctic in James and the Giant Peach, the seagulls who keep the Peach airborne suffer from a small case of freezing. While not completely frozen, icicles are seen on their wings, and their movement is heavily slowed. Later on, when they resume course to New York, Centipede just shakes the lines each are attached to, the ice breaks off, and it's business as usual.
  • Patlabor: The Movie: After rescuing the pilot of the berserk construction Labor by ripping his cockpit out of the machine with Noa's help, Ohta puts the Labor down with gunshots to its coolant tank, and is promptly enveloped in ice. He suffers no long-term health consequences other than chief mechanic Sakaki carving him a new one for dumping his Labor in the river.
  • Justified in Superman: Doomsday — Superman briefly freezes Doomsday into a block of ice with his super-breath, but since this is Doomsday we're talking about, he shrugs it off with no lasting effects.
  • Superman Theatrical Cartoons: In "The Arctic Giant", a Tyrannosaurus rex frozen in a block of ice for millions of years is accidentally thawed out and goes on a rampage. Of course, this being the 1940s, it looks more like Godzilla than an actual T. rex.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Abyss has an interesting variation of this trope. Two characters find themselves trapped in a sinking submarine with only one diving suit, so one character lets herself drown thinking that the very cold water will make her go into hypothermic shock and slow her body functions enough that she can be carried back to the underwater rig and be revived (see "Real Life" below). It works.
  • Batman & Robin: Mr. Freeze's victims can be thawed out with no lasting effects, as long as they don't stay frozen for more than eleven minutes.
  • In Black Panther (2018), after nearly losing his challenge from Erik Killmonger and getting tossed over a waterfall, T'Challa is found in cold, wintry Jabari territory, with the ice he's kept under keeping him alive. He wakes up after consuming some Heart-Shaped Herb no worse for wear.
  • Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger.
    • Possibly justified due to him having superhuman capabilities. It certainly isn't portrayed as being normal for someone to survive his experience.
    • In the 1990 film, Captain America was frozen in a block of ice in Alaska. When they dug him out, he breaks free from it on his own.
  • Dark Star includes the dead-but-frozen captain among its crew, who is at least partially conscious some of the time. It's also implied that Talby ends up this way following the destruction of the ship.
  • Demolition Man
    • This is the very basis for the movie: convicts are cryogenically frozen instead of incarcerated. Although the vital functions are suspended, apparently the victim is still fully aware of every waking moment.
    • At the end the freezing is treated fairly realistically, as the villain gets hit by the freezing crystal thingy without any of the normal preparations, freezes in a manner that looks extremely painful, and almost certainly fatal, and finally gets his frosty head kicked off his shoulders.
    • It's established in the movie that the government re-educates the prisoners while they are frozen. That's how Spartan learns to knit and how Phoenix learns to super-hack, and also to be programmed not to harm his new boss.
  • Similarly, in Die Another Day, Jinx drowns in a melting ice palace. James Bond revives her by getting her into a hot spring. He specifically says that the hypothermia "kept her alive" (delayed death by suffocation). This is almost Truth in Television, though she should've also needed rescue breathing.
  • Encino Man was about a caveman who had been frozen solid at the onset of the Ice Age until he was discovered in the early '90s by two friends in California. This would be an example of Human Popsicle, except that no explanation is given as to how he didn't freeze to death (or how his icy coffin never thawed in the Mojave Desert before the two boys stumbled across it).
  • In The Fifth Element, General Munro and two of his men were stuffed in the freezer by Korben Dallas to hide them from the cops. He freed them after a couple of minutes when they were already frozen still. But later on, the General seems to be OK again.
    • Given that they can re-create someone from a burned-out hand, a little freezing would probably be easy to fix for those doctors.
  • In the action-drama film Heart of Dragon, Dodo, an autistic man, accidentally got himself locked in a restaurant's meat locker and is unable to get out until a couple hours later. When Dodo's brother, Ted, finally broke him out (via Air-Vent Passageway) Dodo is all pale and frozen, but completely unscathed.
  • Home Alone 3 has two of the villainous spies, Unger and Jernigan, being defeated by falling into a pool with cold water in the middle of the winter. When the cops find and arrest them, the two are covered in frost, but otherwise fine and even perfectly able to walk afterwards.
  • Iceman (1984): The titular character is a primitive man who is frozen for many thousands of years in a glacier. He is revived without much in the way of complications, thanks to his diet of plants which kept his tissues from crystallizing.
  • In Like Flint: Flint's girlfriends are put in cryogenic freezers with no preparation. After he defrosts them, they're completely O.K.
  • Jason X:
    • In the prologue, Jason Voorhees and another character are cryogenically frozen for a few hundred years, and found later by a salvage team. She needs some medical attention afterwards, but he's just fine because he's, you know, Jason Goddamn Voorhees.
    • After waking up, the first thing Jason does is to put a hot student's face into a freezing liquid and then smashes her frozen face on the counter. Not so harmless.
  • In The Mask, the title character literally freezes (after being ordered to "Freeze!" by Lt. Kellaway) and thaws himself out seconds later with no ill effect. Justified in that he's basically a cartoon character.
  • Averted in, of all things, Mortal Kombat: The Movie, where the only shown use of Sub-Zero's classic ice blast attack immediately freezes his opponent, who then falls to the floor and shatters into frozen chunks. When he resorts to using them against Liu Kang in their fight, Liu Kang shouts in pain just from lightly touching the frosty Sphere of Destruction Sub-Zero creates, and he quickly has to figure out the cryptic advice Kitana gave him earlier to turn the tables before he's frozen and killed by the expanding frost waves.
  • Predator 2: Peter Keyes' plan was to capture the Predator alive by freezing him solid with liquid nitrogen. Apparently, Agent Keyes' Ph.D. in "Physical Sciences" didn't include any training in biology. Keyes might not have cared about a living specimen, though; he wanted the Predator's tech, and the idea was to freeze him before he used his Suicide Attack.
  • Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger: The Guardian of the Shrine, a giant sabre tooth tiger, has been frozen in ice for thousands of years. After the witch Zenobia possesses it, it re-animates and breaks out of the ice, alive and unharmed.
  • In Sky High (2005), a family-friendly superhero film made by Disney, several characters are frozen in various ways. It's treated lightly — the science teacher decides to test the freeze gun one of the students built on another student, then tells another student to thaw out the one he froze. Also, at one point, we see two guys who were frozen quite a while earlier still stuck in place and still entombed in the ice.
  • Horribly, horribly toyed with in Andrey Tarkovsky's version of Solaris. Don't go drinking liquid oxygen kiddies, especially if you can't be killed that easily.
  • Suburban Commando: Happened to Charlie Wilcox. "I WAS FROZEN TODAYYY!" Doesn't happen to Shep when the thugs turn his own freezer against him. Why? Because he drinks antifreeze. It's not made explicit if he drink actual antifreeze or some special drink to counter the effects of freezing. Then again, he's a Human Alien.
  • The Super Inframan: The Demon Princess' lair has booby-traps that shoot sub-zero blasts that freeze their targets in an instant, but preserve their bodies without any visible damage. She usually uses this method to have victims frozen alive to be brainwashed, and in the climax of the film managed to capture the titular hero by blasting him with an ice trap. However, Inframan managed to unfreeze himself before the brainwashing can be carried out, just in time for the finale.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: When the T-1000 is frozen by liquid nitrogen flowing from a ruptured tanker truck, the T-800 shoots him, causing him to shatter into thousands of pieces. However, the heat from a nearby smelting tank allows the shards to melt back into liquid metal, enabling the T-1000 to reform and resume chasing the protagonists and remain a threat. However, a few deleted scenes reveal that he is "glitching." Justified in that the character is a terminator and not a human being.
  • The Thing (1982): The original Thing was frozen for around 100,000 years. When it's thawed out, it's completely fine. It's acknowledged that this should have killed it and it only survived due to its Bizarre Alien Biology.
  • Justified in Peter Watts' short story The Things. After its initial crash-landing, the Thing has just enough time to create anti-freeze to stop its cells from bursting before falling unconscious.
  • Also approached in Thor with Heimdall, who is frozen completely in ice near the film's finale. Shortly afterwards, he hears the frantic calling of the hero and breaks himself out through sheer force of will, kills the nearby baddies, and opens the wormhole to bring the heroes back. Not entirely harmless, however, since he collapses shortly afterwards. Though, being an Asgardian, he's made of much tougher stuff than humans are.
  • 12 to the Moon (1960): The unseen Moon aliens freeze North America, but after a few atomic bombs are dropped on them, they make peace and inform the astronauts that everyone flash-frozen on Earth has just been placed in suspended animation and thus has not been harmed.
  • Averted in Whiteout. While running away from the killer and losing her gloves, the heroine falls and touches the Antarctic ice with her hand. After returning back to her base, she shows a frostbitten hand to the doctor, who is then forced to amputate two fingers.
  • In Zathura, Lisa gets instantly frozen solid when one of her brothers draws the "Shipmate goes into cryogenic sleep for five turns" card. Of course, she's fine as soon as five turns pass.

  • Played with in the case of the frozen colonists on Godspeed in Across the Universe (Beth Revis). While they are able to survive for hundreds of years in a frozen chamber, the overall process isn't very comfortable or pleasant. Furthermore, unplugging someone without following the proper thawing procedure can kill them, freezing them without following the proper freezing procedure will kill them messily, and re-freezing a person after they thaw means almost certain death. Amy has to come to grips with that last part since she was thawed early.
  • Hinzelman of American Gods tells one of his tall tales about how, when it got cold enough, his great-grandfather would dig a trench and give his wife, children, and hired help a drink of herbs, then freeze them and bury them in the trench and dig them up in spring.
  • Averted in the third Artemis Fowl book. When Butler is shot in the heart, Artemis freezes him in order to keep his brain preserved long enough for him to be magically healed. The overall damage is still severe enough that the process causes him to be severely aged, as his life force is apparently used up to assist the healing process. The possibility that he may be permanently brain-damaged is also brought up. They also address the problem of ice crystals in the blood vessels and take steps to avert it.
  • In Bad Mermaids, the sea witch Gronnyupple catches the villainous human Susan Silkensocks using a spell that harmlessly freezes her in a block of ice for several minutes. She can even talk through the ice. Unfortunately, Gronnyupple catches the Expendable Clone who will disappear in a few minutes anyway. The real Susan is still at large.
  • Provides a key plot element in the novel Blood And Ice by Robert Masello; vampires Eleanor Ames and Sinclair Copley are thrown off a ship in 1816 while it travels through the Antarctic seas, but although they are frozen in an iceberg for around two hundred years, their vampiric constitutions allow them to survive the experience. When they are discovered in the present day and brought to an Antarctic research base, after they are gradually defrosted, they are able to think, move, and take action as though nothing had ever happened to them.
  • Bloodsucking Fiends: Justified when Tommy shoves Jody into a deep freeze — since Jody's a vampire, the freezing merely prolongs her daytime sleep until she thaws out. It is, however, very awkward for Tommy when the police drop in and find the body.
  • In Castle Hangnail, the evil sorceress Eudaimonia is fond of encasing minions in ice blocks when they incur her displeasure. None of the characters this happens to in the story take any lasting harm from it.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos novella "At the Mountains of Madness". The Elder Things were frozen for a long period of time. When they're thawed out, they go on a murderous rampage (though the narrator argues it's self-defense on their part). Since the Elder Things aren't remotely human, this is a case that can be chalked up to Bizarre Alien Biology.
  • The Last Ditch involves Cain and the rest of the Valhallan 597th running across a horde of Tyranids (Including an entire hive ship) frozen beneath a planets tundra for the last 7,000 years or so. They are of course no worse for wear when the regiment accidently thaws some of them by crashing onto the planet.
  • Everworld has the Asgard gods frozen in the underworld. Justified, as almost nothing in Everworld works the way it's supposed to.
  • Both averted and Played Straight in Robert A. Heinlein's novel Have Space Suit – Will Travel, when the alien Mother Thing exposes herself to Pluto's harsh environment unprotected, trying to set up an emergency homing beacon. After she fails and her body is frozen solid, the human protagonist Kip suits up to complete the task. He succeeds but suffers severe frostbite that nearly kills him. The Mother Thing's Bizarre Alien Biology allows her to bounce back almost immediately, but it takes Kip weeks to recover, even with the help of advanced alien medical technology that regenerates his damaged tissues. If he had been treated in the best hospitals on Earth, his arms and legs would have to be amputated.
  • Icerigger by Alan Dean Foster.
    • Tran religious fanatics try to encase some captured humans in ice for heresy. Justified in that the freezing process is gradual, with water poured over them and allowed to solidify layer by layer, and it's only their high-tech arctic survival suits that let them survive even partial encasement.
    • Elsewhere in the same trilogy, we see Tran metalworkers douse themselves with water so it'll freeze into a coating of ice on their fur. This grants these cold-adapted aliens a few moments' protection against the ambient heat in their foundry.
  • In the first book of the Leven Thumps series, Winter and the villain freeze the entire planet during their ice duel. Afterward, Winter unfreezes the planet and no one seems to realize they had just been frozen. Heck, they were not even a little chilly!
  • Mermaid Moon: Bjarl is frozen solid for a few minutes, but after Sanna kills the witch responsible, he unfreezes with no ill effects.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, the girls and fairies are sometimes frozen solid, but are always fine once thawed.
  • In Renegades, after Frotbite freezes half of Ingrid's body in a block of ice, the latter doesn't seem to feel any adverse effects. Justified somewhat, as Sentinel melts the ice pretty quickly.
  • Septimus Heap: The books admit that re-freezing someone who is thawing isn't a good look, but nevertheless use Freeze spells extensively to disable opponents.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's The Snow Queen, the eponymous fairy godmother is surprised to find the frozen heroes still alive. She realizes that the attack by the Icehart was explicitly magical. Other deaths were simply caused by subzero temperatures and were irreversible.
  • Short story "The Temple of Life" by Lawrence Watt-Evans in The Space Gamer magazine #29. The wizard Garl casts a spell on the ship Broken Stone that freezes it and everyone aboard into a giant ice cube. When the spell is later broken, the ice melts and everyone aboard is perfectly fine.
  • Becomes a big plot point in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. Cryonics have developed to the point where if you have the proper tools available, dead people can be frozen, then brought back to life later (assuming you're able to fix whatever killed them in the first place, such as a grenade to the chest.) The not-so 'harmless' part: it requires a special cryo-fluid to be infused in the body in place of blood. If this isn't done properly, the victim's brain becomes frozen mush.
  • Played with in Larry Niven's short story "Wait It Out". The first manned mission to Pluto goes horribly wrong. Rather than wait for a nonexistent rescue attempt, the survivors walk outside and have just enough time to strip off their environmental suits before freezing solid. During the long Plutonian night, the temperatures get low enough that at least the narrator's brain turns into a superconductor, leaving him conscious, although still completely frozen solid.
  • A short story titled "Whatever Gods May Be" (author unknown) subverted this: the main character volunteered to be left behind on Mars after an accident meant their ship didn't have the fuel to take off with the full crew. He told the other astronauts he'd freeze himself to wait for rescue, but in fact he knew there was no chance of survival — claiming to expect rescue was just his way of making sure this disaster wouldn't end space exploration.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Adventures in Wonderland episode "The Clan of the Cavebunny," the Hatter, Hare, and Tweedles find what they think is a prehistoric rabbit frozen in a block of ice. It turns out to be the White Rabbit's Uncle Hasenpfeffer, who's been frozen in the ice for a year, but is still alive and well. Alice lampshades this as impossible, but the Hare reminds her that in Wonderland things are different.
  • Batman (1966):
    • Mostly averted in this series. In the episode "Instant Freeze", after an innocent bystander was frozen he fell over and hit the floor (offscreen) with a horrible crunching sound, indicating that his frozen body shattered. We never saw what happened to him afterward. In the next episode, Batman and Robin are defrosted after being hit by it, but it's shown as a tricky operation with no guarantee of success.
    • In another episode, Freeze encased Miss Iceland in a block of ice, hoping that lowering her body temperature would make her fall in love with him... somehow. Batman frees her by bashing the block with an ice pick. When she steps out, she doesn't even appear to be cold. After she is liberated from her ice coffin by Batman, he ironically uses it on Mr. Freeze to preserve his life until they can move him to a better installation, making him an example played straight.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century:
    • In the pilot episode Buck Rogers is frozen while piloting a spaceship. 500 years later, when he's thawed out he's completely fine.
    • The people who find him make a big fuss about how improbable it is that he was frozen under the exact conditions necessary for him to survive, and eventually conclude that he's a spy.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Warren shoots a security guard with a Freeze Ray. The guard is frozen solid, but Warren says that he'll be fine in a couple of days, and he's later mentioned to be in critical but stable condition.
  • In an episode of Castle, Beckett and Castle get locked in a refrigerated container. While they are not encased in ice, they do estimate the temperature as 'below freezing'. They do not become all cold and stiff, instead they sit on the ground, shiver dramatically, get frosted eyebrows and slowly lose consciousness. Some time later (we don't know how long), they are rescued, diagnosed with mild hypothermia, and just rush back to the case. No, you know, frostbite or any damage to their toes or fingers...
    • They estimate the temperature as below freezing; a lot of the symptoms discussed above could actually be a case of mind over the body. There was a case in the UK in the late '90s where a railway yard worker was locked into a refrigerator car overnight, and the autopsy showed all the symptoms of death by hypothermia... thing is, the refrigerator car wasn't turned on! They ran tests with the very same railway car in the exact same circumstances, and the car never got below room temperature.
  • Doctor Who: Fully justified in "The Girl in the Fireplace", as the freeze-ees are robots.
  • Averted in The Flash (1990), where Captain Cold's freeze ray kills its victims. Only the Flash barely survives, thanks to his high metabolism and his scientist friend's medical assistance.
  • Averted in Gotham where Mr. Freeze's problem is getting people to survive the process, as he plans to use this on his wife to buy him more time to cure her illness. By the time the series has begun, he's managed to get them to survive being frozen, but they don't survive the thawing process. He eventually manages to freeze someone who survives the thawing, only for Nora to commit suicide after finding that his experiments have involved people dying. It was probably for the best, as at the end of the third season, he freezes Nygma, at Penguin's request, and when he's thawed out in the fourth season, he's suffered enough brain damage to no longer understand the riddles he once told. He gets better eventually.
    • Later, this is turned around on Penguin, based on Riddler's backup plan to get him close enough to try and kill Sofia Falcone. Freeze himself seemed to have improved on his methods since the previous attempt, providing his subject with a device that enabled him to break out of the ice when placed in position.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Downplayed in an episode where Emma accidentally freezes Miriam, Cleo and Rikki spend the rest of the episode very carefully thawing her out. And even then, Lewis acknowledges that she's probably only alive because she was frozen and thawed using magic and normally she'd be very dead.
    • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure: A similar thing happens to Cam when all four mermaids catch a cold and start sneeze-freezing whatever's in front of them, including him. Unlike Miriam, who awoke in full health, Cam spends the rest of the day shivering and covered in heavy blankets after being thawed.
  • The final episodes of Henry Danger had two examples:
    • Drex was rendered invulnerable just like Captain Man as Drex managed to get himself frozen in ice and survived there for 100 million years with no problems when he was unfrozen (not even aging was a problem) as seen in "The Beginning of the End". How the cavemen survived the same freezing isn't explained.
    • Captain Man, in "Captain Drex", is sent back 101 million years and in the next episode, Henry helps to free him from the amber Captain Man "froze" himself into. Again, aging was not a problem.
  • A mild and realistic version occurs in House. After discovering that Amber is the mystery patient and in serious condition, Wilson and House drop her body temperature in order to prolong the time they have to make a diagnosis. It works but they explicitly mention the risks of doing so as well as that it means they can't revive her until they're absolutely sure they know what's wrong with her.
  • In iZombie, Zombies can be frozen indefinitely without suffering any harm, so this is often used in conjunction with Cryo-Prison.
  • Lost in Space
    • In the pilot episode "The Reluctant Stowaway", the Robinson family are in suspended animation "freezing tubes" for their journey to Alpha Centauri. The tubes are used in several other episodes, as well as the first act of The Film of the Series. If the mission had gone as planned the Robinsons would have been Human Popsicles when they reached Alpha Centauri.
    • Episode "The Condemned Of Space". The Robinsons encounter an abandoned prison filled with inmates who served out their sentences while frozen. When their sentences were up, they were unfrozen and released.
  • Love and Destiny: When Ling Xi first meets him Jiu Chen has been covered in ice, in the middle of an ice cavern, for millennia. Although he defrosts and is seemingly normal, he has long-term "cold damage" to his body and powers.
  • In Season 0 (the original KTMA Minneapolis show) of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Joel froze Crow to use him as a Christmas tree. He thawed out three weeks later. Of course, Crow is a robot.
  • In Once Upon a Time, it's averted when Emma is trapped in Elsa's cave and she is slowly freezing to death.
  • Played straight in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, where four of the Rangers end up spending what is probably hours in a cold-powered monster's sub-zero stomach without dying or passing out and are completely fine once regurgitated. Another Ranger is frozen solid directly and gets right back up to fight after thawing.
  • Part of the premise of the Saturday Night Live "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" skits.
  • The premise of the series Second Hundred Years is that a man frozen during the Alaskan gold rush of 1900 is revived in 1967. He has a square Identical Grandson.
  • In Smallville, Clark Kent and Metallo were both able to break free from being frozen solid with no ill effects. However, normal humans who get frozen realistically either die or go into critical condition.
  • In the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint", Q freezes two people who annoy him. The first time, the guy is okay after being rushed to sick bay (advanced medical attention straight away). The second time, they're in Q's fantasy court and express distress that they won't be able to get the frozen crew member to sick bay. Q, being omnipotent, reverses the freezing.
  • In The Thundermans, Phoebe and Max have this power, with the ability to breathe cold breath to freeze someone else. No one is permanently harmed, in fact, they've done it to family and friends who annoyed them.
  • A subversion: at the end of Ben Bova's Voyagers, astronaut Keith Stoner turns off his EVA suit heater because the alien ship is colder than outer space and will preserve him (and his presence aboard it will spur NASA to recover it before it leaves the Solar System). He's revived some years later and discovers everyone else in cryonics experiments conducted to make sure it could be done has died. He survived because alien nanotechnology was repairing his cells.

  • Downplayed in Wolf 359. While Eiffel survives freezing himself over and over again for about 300 days, it takes a heavy toll on his body.
    Eiffel: Look at me, Zoidberg. I've lost half my body weight, I don't have hair, I don't have nails! Does it look like I'm up for calculus right now?!

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "The Birthday Moose", the Birthday Bird gets frozen in a block of ice while visiting the arctic, which is why he's unable to take Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Morton the Elephant Bird, Fox in Socks, Mr. Knox, and Fiona Phish to Katroo for a huge party. He is soon found by an admiral and calls for her help from inside the ice block. She uses an ice pick to break open the ice, eventually freeing him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Generic RPG supplement Booty and the Beasts. The Cryogenic Jellyfish can freeze other creatures solid. If the frozen creature makes its constitution roll, it can be thawed out and be completely unharmed.
  • Champions supplement Gadgets!. The Ice Sprayer weapon fires a compressed liquid gas at the target, freezing it. The damage is defined as No Normal Defense, which means it does only Stun damage, not Body damage. When the target defrosts, they're still alive and unharmed.
  • Iron Crown Enterprises Cyberspace main rules. Cryo Units are devices that can freeze a creature solid and thaw them out at a later time unharmed. The freezing and thawing routines are controlled by a built-in computer.
  • DC Heroes RPG (and the remake The Blood of Heroes RPG). The Ice Production power can be used to encase an opponent in ice. The victim takes no damage or side effects from being frozen, and when they break free, they're completely fine.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 1st edition adventure I6 Pharaoh. One trap in the Sunken City of Pazar is a wall of absolute cold. Anyone touching it is frozen solid but can be revived by either a slow thawing or being instantly defrosted by a Fireball or Flame Strike spell.
    • Dungeon magazine, Issue #9 adventure "The Crypt of Istaris". The Player Characters will find 4 ogres that have been frozen inside blocks of ice. If the PCs free them, the ogres will revive and try to kill them.
    • Adventure WG7 Castle Greyhawk, chapter "It's My Party And I'll Die If I Want To". One of the features of the big party is a ceratosaurus (large carnivorous dinosaur) frozen solid inside a large block of ice. When the ice melts, the ceratosaurus will thaw out and come back to life.
    • 3rd Edition supplement Relics & Rituals. The Freezing Curse spell freezes the target creature solid and encases it in ice. When the ice melts the creature is returned to normal.
    • In Edition 3.5, the Nonlethal Substitution metamagic feat can turn elemental damage into non-lethal damage. When applied to Cold spells, this trope is the result.
    • Optional 3.5 Edition rules for The Undead suggest that cold weather could eventually freeze them solid, making them slower-moving but more resistant to blows. Justified since they don't have any biology to interfere with.
  • Judges Guild's Universal Format system, setting Witches Court Marshes. The witch spell Freezing Doom freezes all of the water in the target's body. Casting a magic-dispelliog or major healing spell on the victim brings them back to life.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Ice-related cards tend to paralyze creatures without harming them, and the effect is usually temporary. Ice Cage and Frost Breath are prime examples.
  • Paranoia 1E adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. In Mission 4 the Troubleshooters are given experimental equipment, including a Constant-Wear Prophylactic Biostasis Garment. If the Troubleshooter wearing it is Incapacitated or Killed, the Garment will freeze the body solid. If someone successfully uses medical skill on the victim, they will be thawed out in Wounded state.
  • Space 1889. Any living creature hit by the Freeze Ray (a possible invention in the main rules) is frozen solid but thaws out an hour later with no ill effects.
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Since they're not alive anymore, vampires only get a bit creaky in the cold and recover harmlessly from being frozen solid. In the latter case, the greater danger comes from being unable to feed or find cover from the sun.

    • All recorded cases of freezing have been harmless unless the victim gets smashed to pieces while they are frozen. Handwaved in that most of the characters are cyborgs with only a small amount of organic tissue.
    • A particularly notable example is when Matoro has enough of Makuta and freezes him so thoroughly the robot armor he's possessing starts to break open due to the sheer coldness and freezing his very energy solid. Makuta still has enough strength to telepathically contact Matoro and tell him he's proud of how far Matoro's willing to go to stop him, unnerving the Toa, and he breaks free once Jaller sets off a massive fire and heat wave nearby during his own unrelated battle, unbothered despite the damage to his armor and commenting that could he could have freed himself if he wished but was curious about how far Matoro's conviction would take him.

    Video Games 
  • Arknights: Chapter 6 introduces enemies and stage hazards that can freeze your operators, leaving them unable to attack until they thaw out. The same stages also feature enemies that inflict hefty amounts of extra damage against frozen operators.
  • If you use the freeze powerup in Backyard Hockey, the enemy will thaw out unharmed a few minutes later.
  • Banjo-Tooie featured ice eggs, which had this effect.
  • Inconsistently used in Batman: Arkham City. Mr. Freeze's gun results in levels of frostbite that require several characters to take steps towards warming themselves back up. However, Batman later acquires a subweapon that can inflict this on opponents, and the Iceberg Lounge features a shark tank that's mostly iced over with a fairly active shark inhabiting it (which should've been seriously sickened, if not killed, by water cold enough to support a layer of ice that could hold up the 210-pound Batman).
  • The player and enemies BioShock can apparently take cold damage, but mostly they are just frozen with no side effects.
  • BlazBlue's Jin freezes people with a variety of ice powers that hurt no more than a normal hit (and considering the attacks involve giant wolf heads, swords, and some kind of weird flying surfboard...). Semi-subverted due to the fact that while it's possible to break out of the ice, the ice has the power to erode life.
  • Numerous weapons in Bloody Battle will temporarily put a freeze effect on players, making them unable to do anything while coated in a transparent teal. When they are unfrozen shortly after, they suffer little problem besides their temperature going down a little bit.
  • Played with in Borderlands 3. Cryo weapons freeze enemies on multiple hits, and while they can survive the process, they take damage over time while frozen. In addition, they take bonus damage when hit by melee weapons while frozen.
  • Bug Fables: Leif can freeze enemies, encasing them in blocks of ice. This prevents them from moving, which allows the team to use them as platforms, but they eventually thaw out. In battle, frozen entities thaw out several turns after freezing, but take one point of extra damage from attacks. In the end of Chapter 6, Leif also freezes General Ultimax after noticing that his brainwashment is so strong it forces him to suicidally follow orders no matter the cost, removing his sense of self-preservation.
  • Castlevania plays this straight in many games (whether with freezing or petrification) with Button Mashing setting you free. Certain enemies are vulnerable to both.
  • Ice Control powers in City of Heroes can freeze a foe in a block of ice to hold them, and it does deal damage to the target as well. There are also the odd Ice Armor powers and Cold Domination, which is the opposite of Thermal Radiation in that you make your team better by freezing them rather than lighting them on fire (plus the thermal and cold buffs stack). Ice Armor users can become briefly invulnerable and recover by freezing themselves solid in a block of ice.
  • Clockwords: Lazurite letters freeze enemies, stopping all their movement for 4 seconds.
  • The cryocopters from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. The unit's profile on the official website lampshades this:
    Frozen targets are effectively thrust into a state of suspended animation. The effects of the freezing gradually wear off and the target snaps out of the effect all at once, with no recollection of the passage of time, as though waking from slumber. In fact, a majority of test subjects reported feeling unusually relaxed after this fugue state. Although research findings concerning the long-term effects of the freezing are inconclusive as of yet, the cryobeam has provisionally been deemed "perfectly safe" by manufacturer FutureTech Corporation.
    • Though shooting frozen enemies and buildings causes them to explode with a single shot.
    • The Allies also have Cryoshot abilities, which does the same thing in a small area. Both effects deal no damage on their own but make the frozen targets more vulnerable to attacks (even buildings).
  • The first Commander Keen game had this, and exploiting Harmless Freezing was necessary to access the secret level.
  • Played straight and averted in Crysis. The player character and anyone else in nanosuits can survive being frozen. Everyone else is out of luck. Mildly justified in how Crazy-Prepared the suit appears to be by that point in the game.
  • Used in Dead Space. How do you get rid of the Hunter?. You lure it into a cryogenic chamber and start the freezing sequence. However, it pops out again after a few levels, completely fine. This is likely because the subject is a Necromorph and it was just frozen into the block, not frozen inside.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Played relatively straight for the dwarves, who usually find themselves frozen solid due to misadventures in the Glacial Strata; while immobilized and utterly vulnerable while frozen until they break themselves out, freezing deals no damage of its own. Less straightforward with the enemies, however, frozen as they may get from Cryo-grenades and the Cryo Cannon. Both methods deal noticeable damage, and while actually being frozen does no additional damage, it keeps the usual explosive bugs from going off and it tremendously boosts any damage taken, especially from pickaxes; a Cryo Cannon-equipped Driller can freeze an entire horde and happily smash them to pieces one after the other with his pick.
  • In Densetsu no Stafy, Boerun freezes the Jellato Sisters in blocks of ice, requiring Starfy to melt the ice in a hot spring. Naturally, they're just fine once they're thawed out.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Frozen Status Effect prevents a creature from acting but causes no damage and usually wears off within a few turns. This is usually caused by magic, but one Sidequest involves defrosting a family who were frozen to the spot by a surge of icy water by lighting torches nearby.
  • The puzzle game Dweep includes Harmless Freezing as part of its gameplay. It results from stepping on a "freeze plate". Dweep can be unfrozen with a torch or the ice broken with a hammer, and once unfrozen, he is wet, which can be used to bypass different kinds of obstacles.
  • Many of Shiori Misaka's attacks in Eternal Fighter Zero freeze her opponent into a block of ice, but no lasting effects ever linger. This is especially odd when she proceeds to shatter her frozen opponent for her Final Memory move, which is powerful, but by no means an instant kill.
  • In Exit Fate, the status ailment "Freeze" freezes the target solid but does no harm, nor does it incapacitate them in any way you'd normally expect. It does however turn them into a One Hitpoint Wonder since taking any damage will cause them to shatter (temporarily).
  • In the Fallout 3 DLC "Mothership Zeta", you can craft cryogenic grenades from the supercold fluid The Greys use to preserve specimens for transit. They freeze enemies for about 30 seconds, but said enemies thaw out none the worse for wear.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI has a Frozen status, which stops the character until a long time has passed, battle ends, or the character is affected by a fire-elemental attack. When thawed, the character will attempt to complete the command given before being frozen.
    • Final Fantasy IX has the Frozen status effect which results in a One-Hit Kill if the frozen character then receives a physical attack. They can be thawed out with a fire-based attack too.
    • In Final Fantasy XVI, The Cold Snap ability is a dodge that can also freeze enemies, but this does no damage.
    • Toyed with in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles the sub-series. The blizzard spells temporarily encase a character with ice, doing minor additional damage until it shatters.
  • Freedom Force has Freezing as a status effect. It inflicts no harm (though the attack that inflicts it may cause damage), and can be dispelled by attacking the frozen hero. It's annoying for you because it puts a hero out of action for a decent length of time unless you break them out, but at least the breakout attack inflicts no damage.
    • Story-wise, the Soviet villain Sukhov ends up accidentally frozen when Minuteman tries to stop him and hits liquid nitrogen canisters. They explode and encase Sukhov in a block of ice. However, he is also exposed to Energy X that turns him into the ice-controlling supervillain Nuclear Winter.
  • In Freedom Planet, if the player loses to Neera Li, she freezes them solid before the police takes their frozen body back to jail.
  • In Halo Wars, Dr. Anders' "Cryo Bomb" Support Power harmlessly freezes enemies, with the sole exception of air units, which drop and smash on the ground.
  • Averted in Hexen, via Critical Existence Failure. Enemies hit by the mage's ice magic (or the wendigo's attacks) will only freeze solid when the attack is enough to kill them. Rather than thawing out, they'll shatter if hit again, or if left untouched for a while.
  • Inverted in InFAMOUS 2 where freezing enemies or civilians is an insta-kill. It's actually one of the more destructive attacks in the game (Yes, even more than explosions or lightning). This is played straight, however, with Cole himself, who can survive most freezing attacks with no lasting consequences. Given his Healing Factor, though, it's possibly justified.
  • In the Hunt had freeze rays attached to the bottom of icebergs in the first stage. They couldn't destroy the player's submarine, but they could immobilize it for a period of time, allowing enemies to kill you as soon as it defrosted. Interestingly, the freeze rays could also harmlessly freeze enemy submarines too.
  • Player and enemy units in Into the Breach can be frozen, which predictably turns them immobile but causes no harm otherwise. In fact, freezing serves as an extra Hit Point since attacking a frozen unit will only shatter the ice without hurting the unit inside; this means you can potentially freeze civilian buildings to protect them against kaiju attacks.
  • In Ittle Dew, being frozen by the Ice Wand causes no damage, the target thaws after a few seconds no worse for wear (if not shattered first by a melee attack). For the purposes of the Achievement of not hurting any one type of enemy, freezing does not count as hurting them.
  • While Kingdom Hearts usually uses this trope, Ventus is the exception. He survived, but the danger of him dying when his frozen body was dropped off a cliff was very real.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: An exception occurs if Link gets frozen; he'll thaw out eventually, but as long as he's frozen he loses hearts, possibly because of suffocation. It also becomes a case of Smashing Survival, where the player must button mash and/or rotate the analog stick in order to break Link free sooner, thus lessening the ice damage. It's played straight with the Zora King, who is found frozen in the future era but goes back to normal just fine when his ice is melted.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Getting frozen with the Zora mask has the same effect as falling into a pit; it makes Link respawn to the current area's entrance, but without taking damage. The Gorons who are frozen are still alive, and thawing their ice will return them to normal without any side effects.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Link's ice arrows will freeze enemies solid, but they break out a few seconds later unless the damage was enough to kill them... or unless you smash them with a hammer. Also, enemies that have been frozen due to prolonged exposure to the cold are still alive, just going through suspended animation.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: The boss of the Temple of Droplets (a comparatively giant) Octorok) is frozen when you first enter, but your efforts to thaw out the Water Element thaw it as well, and it apparently feels well enough to snatch the Water Element and fight you right away.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: When Link reaches Zora's Domain while it's frozen, he and Midna can see an absolute plethora of Zoras frozen beneath the water; and none are notably harmed by the freezing itself, being instead popsicles who'll return to normal when the waters' temperature lower via dropping a hot rock from Death Mountain into it, and at worst they're all shown splayed around on the ground or holding each other in the immediate aftermath of getting out. This does not apply to Link himself when using the Zora armor: If he falls under cold water or is hit by a Freezard's ice breath, it'll be a One-Hit Kill for him.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Ice Arrows make a return to Link's repertoire in the game, though he's also able to acquire a variety of other weapons that can freeze enemies solid, such as Ice/Blizzard Rods, Frostspears and (Great) Frostblades.
  • In Lego Marvel Superheroes, Frost Giants (including Loki), Iceman, and some mutants have Harmless Freezing as one of their attacks. Mr. Freeze can also cause it in LEGO Batman. So long as the character doesn't immediately suffer Literally Shattered Lives, they'll get out of the ice in a few seconds, easily enough time to switch characters and keep them from dying, or at least from dying as the active character, which loses you Lego studs.
  • Lorwolf: Ice-associated enemies encountered in campaign can freeze your wolves. This prevents them from attacking for a short period of time.
  • Lost Odyssey has the villainous Gongora horrifically avert the hell out of this trope by freezing the nation of Gohtza. The people who freeze, die.
  • Lina's Van Rehl/Van Rail and Hayate's Atem des Eis in Magical Battle Arena, which does damage when the spell hits, but none while their target is frozen. There's also the Freeze Arrow spell of the Slayers characters, which they use to encase their target in ice for their Desperation Attacks but deals no damage on its own.
  • If you fall in the water in ice-themed Mario Kart tracks, your driver gets brought back to the stage in a block of ice that shatters when you touch the ground.
  • In Mario Plus Rabbids Kingdom Battle, one of the status effects that weapons can inflict is Freeze, which freezes the character's head in a block of ice and prevents them from using their techniques for one turn - however, like all status effects, it can be cured with a Team Jump if the hero who jumps has the Cleansing Jump skill unlocked.
  • In Mass Effect, cryo ammo mods don't add any extra damage to the target and the Cryo Blast power deals no damage whatsoever. In both cases, a frozen target takes extra damage from all attacks until they thaw. In Mass Effect 2, this was a Useless Useful Spell, since you could only freeze enemies not protected by Armor, Shields, or Barriers, and at that point, you could quickly kill them without the damage boost.
  • This is done in Mega Man Battle Network/Rockman.EXE 6. The player and enemies can be frozen when hit by an Aqua-based attack while standing on an ice panel. If not struck with a follow-up attack, everything tends to thaw out with no adverse effects a few seconds later (although this could be explained by the fact that everything doing the fighting are actually (very) personal computer programs rather than humans). On the other hand, the frozen victim takes double damage if struck by a breaking-based attack while frozen.
  • Yetis from the Metal Slug games attacks by freezing characters with their ice breath, turning NPCs like random soldiers or prisoners into human popsicles, and player characters into a snowman, before attempting to kill their victims with a bone club. However, players can break out of their snowmen form by repeatedly moving left and right and resume kicking ass without any ill effects, while thawed out victims (by players shooting or slashing the ice on them) can simply run off upon being released.
  • Most of the Metroid games have had an Ice Beam (or sometimes missiles) for freezing enemies, who usually just unfreeze a while later and keep on doing what they were doing. Even flying enemies will just stop and hang in the air (a fact which is usually used for a tricky jumping section). It became a minor plot point in Metroid Fusion — the Metroid-based vaccine that allows Samus to fight off the X Parasite also leaves her extremely vulnerable to cold, meaning that she can't use the Ice Beam.
    • Freeze a non-invulnerable enemy enough times, however, and it will burst into kibble as if hit with any other weapon.
    • Also, in Metroid Prime, a few creatures (baby and adult Sheegoths, Thardus, as well as the first form of the titular Metroid Prime that you encounter) have attacks capable of freezing Samus; the remedy is of the "mash B until the ice breaks" type. She is wearing a Power Suit that lets her survive lava, acid, and space, so as long as her suit isn't breached, she'll be fine.
    • Averted in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Upon reaching Bryyo, Samus finds several creatures frozen solid, the handiwork of Rundas, who arrived earlier. Samus can break them free of the ice, but they're quite dead.
    • Also averted in Metroid: Other M. The Deleter executes two members of the 07th platoon by shooting them with a freeze gun.
  • Subverted in Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City: While first contact with a Freeze Basketball won't hurt an enemy when it freezes them, hitting them with a second one will shatter them.
  • The Yeti and the Ice Queen can freeze the Miis solid in Miitopia with the sole bothersome effect being the loss of some turn. When they return to normal, the Miis are as good as new.
  • Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat goes both ways; most of his moves hurt but don't cause lasting harm, but when it comes time to "Finish Him"... well, you can guess where that goes. It's implied he is weaponizing this trope to permanently incapacitate Geras, based on one of their intro dialogues.
    Geras: The coldest death cannot stop me.
    Kuai Liang: Six meters of solid ice will.
    Geras: Do your worst, Sub-Zero.
  • Creepily done in Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove. Even more creepily combined with Eyes Open and Madness Mantra.
  • Another Mario example: New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Most enemies will de-thaw and be perfectly fine after being frozen into ice-cubes with either one of the two ice-themed power-ups. Being frozen does damage Mario, though.
  • In Odium, freezing paralyzes the frozen party and makes them more vulnerable to attacks. No aftereffects though.
  • In Ōkamiden, you find Shiranui trapped in a block of ice attached to the ceiling. It could be seen as just another part of her Rasputinian Death, but Ishaku was frozen with her, and is perfectly fine.
  • Overlord II has both the yeti and the young overlord frozen into blocks of ice. The former is hacked out with an axe while the latter is thawed by a dragon.
  • Pirates of the Carribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow: When the Interceptor is trapped by a glacier, everyone are frozen except for Jack and Will who were inside the ship. After they manage to free the ship and everyone from their frozen state, Gibbs is more annoyed than anything and comments that he needs a hot stew to warm himself up.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: The Hunter Zombie will throw snowballs at your plants, causing them to be slowly encased in ice until they're frozen solid. Cold winds have the same effect. Many stages in Frostbite Caves also have zombies encased in ice, and there's Troglobite, a type of zombie based on the tactic of pushing frozen Imps across the battlefield, crushing plants with the iceblocks.
  • In Pokémon, Pokémon can be frozen by being hit by an Ice-type attack, Tri Attack or Freezing Glare (which is a Psychic-type attack, and only learned by Galarian Articuno). They can't attack during it, but they can thaw out quickly (but that doesn't have to be). They also thaw out whenever they use or get hit by a Fire-type attack or Scald (and its stronger counterpart, Steam Eruption). Shaymin can't change forms when it's frozen, however. Could have been explained as the Pokèmon simply getting paralyzed or dazed by frostbite, but from Gen IV onwards the battle animation shows them encased in a hunk of ice.
    • Made extra harmless in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, where frozen Pokemon are actually immune to damage until they thaw.
  • Your Freeze Ray in Purple can't do anything to mooks other than making them your temporal stepping stone. Inverted with special blocks and bosses, who take mere damage instead of freezing.
  • In Putty, the earlier levels have Bots frozen into ice blocks, which makes them easier to get at since they're not moving around.
  • Ragnarok Online has the Frozen status effect which can be invoked by a variety of player skills, enemy attacks, card effects, eating ice cream, etc. While utterly harmless beyond keeping the subject from doing anything until they break free, it does make them far more conductive to wind-elemental attacks such as Jupitel Thunder.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando the inventor of the Thermanator gadget is harmlessly encased in a block of ice by his own invention until broken free by Ratchet.
    • In Ratchet: Deadlocked, this is played straight with the enemies: If an enemy frozen with the Freeze Mod isn't shattered, it breaks out no worse for the experience, even if it was frozen completely solid.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has Freeze Rounds for the grenade launcher. These rounds will freeze regular enemies solid and allow you to shatter them with any conventional weapon, killing them instantly. They also deal high damage to Nemesis, although he can dodge them as he can with all grenade rounds.
    • Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 feature Nitrogen Rounds, which function identically.
  • Subverted in RuneScape — encasing ice magic is among the most devastating attacks.
  • In Scribblenauts, when you are explicitly required to not kill a specific threat, you're free to open fire with a freeze ray to keep them out of your way; they'll thaw out, unharmed, a short time later.
  • Shin Megami Tensei games often have a "Freeze" status ailment, which can be inflicted with any ice attack in most of the games. While it will cause damage inflicted to increase and increases the chance of critical hits, the freezing itself causes no problems and will wear off by the next turn.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Subverted in Sonic The Hedgehog 3. Getting hit by the jets of freezing gas on the Ice Cap levels encases you in ice for a few seconds, causing you to lose all your rings. Get hit without any rings, and it's a kill. But if a second player jumps on the frozen character quickly enough, they'll break free of the ice with no damage.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic can get frozen in a block of ice in Wacky Workbench. Unlike with the S3&K example above, you can easily break Sonic free without damage by pressing jump just as he hits the ground. Also subverted, as you'll take damage if you stay frozen for too long.
    • In Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, Sonic can get frozen by the ice blowers in Diamond Dust Zone, but he can easily break free by button mashing. Sometimes, it's actually required to progress through the level.
    • Certain enemies in Sonic Adventure's Ice Cap can freeze Sonic solid, but this doesn't hurt him.
    • In Sonic Advance 3, the ice vents that catapult players in Twinkle Snow will freeze the player's characters. They'll break free unharmed once they reach solid ground.
    • In Sonic Mania, there are some hazards in Press Garden Act 2 that will freeze the player, but unlike the previous examples, this is completely harmless unless something else damages the hero. The player is actually required to be frozen to slam through ice barriers spread around the level.
  • Spelunky HD features a Freeze Ray that turns targets into blocks of ice which will melt harmlessly after a while, but if they are subjected to any outside force...
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, Spyro gains a freezing breath attack in a particular level (and ONLY for that level). It encases NPCs in the classic cartoon ice cube, which thaws after a few seconds. Anyone frozen is, of course, completely fine. This ability comes in handy during a minigame, where you play a version of ice hockey that involves using frozen pink cats as gigantic cuboid pucks. (link. Skip ahead to about 1:00, and try to ignore the narrator).
    • Somewhat justified. Anybody who you're not specifically meant to kill is invulnerable to anything. Fry them? They'll jump comedically. Headbutt them? They'll fly a short distance, land, shake their heads, and get up. In rare cases, you may even be able to supercharge them. Of course, then there are those times that you'd supercharge an NPC and bounce off harmlessly. Clearly "Harmless" is a relative term in the Spyroverse.
    • Spyro 2: Season of Flame has the Rhynocs take away the firefly magic and cause dragons to breathe ice. This has impacted Spyro as well when he tries to use his flame on Hunter when Hunter tells Spyro to do so, freezing him solid and causing Hunter to break out of the ice. Spyro's ice breath, however, is not at all bad, as he can use it to freeze his enemies solid and ram into them to destroy them. Spyro also gets his fire breath back later on in the game, as well as learning a new type of breath, the lightning breath.
  • In one level of Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, Flash Freeze storms periodically freeze Protoss units and buildings as well as Zerg before you upgrade your troops. Despite being frozen for days or possibly weeks, the feral Zerg units and hive cluster Kerrigan finds are no worse for wear. The first part of the mission involves finding a local creature immune to the cold whose genes are retroactively distributed to the swarm so they can move around while the Protoss stay frozen.
  • In Subnautica: Below Zero, the Brinewing can spit a jet of supercooled saltwater, which it uses to freeze prey in a solid block of ice. As noted in the in-game encyclopedia, this surprisingly doesn't actually harm the victim, but instead it prevents them from moving so the Brinewing can take a bite. If this happens to the player, it puts them at risk of being bitten by the Brinewing, attacked by another carnivore, or drowning.
  • Nintendo seems to love this one. Super Smash Bros. Melee has the Freezie item, which does just that: encase the target in a block of ice. They do take damage, but have no lasting effects afterwards. Some fighters also have moves that momentarily freeze opponents, such as Mr. Game & Watch's Judge (if you get an 8), Lucas' PK Freeze, and the Ice Climbers' Blizzard (when used on opponents with high percent damage). Some of the Pokémon such as Articuno, Suicune, and Togepi can freeze fighters, as well.
    • Keeping in mind that the characters in the series are animated statues, this is less surprising.
  • In The Swords of Ditto, Ether-elemental damage works this way. Being exposed to a lot of Ether in a very short time will encase the target in a miniature Crystal Prison for a second or two, but they will otherwise come out of it unharmed once they break free.
  • Team Fortress 2 inverts this with the Spy-cicle - killing another player via Back Stab will cause their corpse to freeze solid.
  • Played straight in Touhou Project, where Cirno, an ice fairy, enjoys freezing frogs as a hobby and a test of power. The frogs defrost harmlessly most of the time, though one in every three will shatter (which is why Suwako the frog goddess is often seen in fandom looming behind her, eyes aglow).
    • As seen below in "Real Life", justified, as some frogs are capable of living through being frozen.
  • Subverted in the Trails Series. Freeze is a recurring status ailment, and like in most RPGs it prevents those affected from taking turns, but it also causes damage every turn much like typical Poison.
  • You can find a Martian freezeray in Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams, which incapacitates but does not harm its targets.
  • The treatment centre in Virtue's Last Reward contain cryogenic treatment pods that were used to put Clover, Alice, and Phi in cold sleep for four and a half decades without aging.
  • In Wildfrost, the standard way to gain a companion is to find a group of travellers frozen in ice and break them out.
  • In World of Warcraft mages can freeze themselves by using the Ice Block ability. While frozen, the player is unable to act but nearly invulnerable (except to certain boss attacks). Ice Block is widely considered to be the best "panic button" available to any class in the game.
    • It does, however, give the mage a debuff called "hypothermia", during which he cannot use Ice Block again.
    • Mages specializing in Frost can also freeze enemies, but only if they are already affected by Frost Nova or similar spells.
    • Hunters can freeze enemies in a similar fashion with a trap.
    • Death Knights get yet another variation of this in the form of a spell called Hungering Cold.
    • In the battle with Hodir, players can free NPC allies from being frozen in ice; they have seemingly been frozen for a while, and appear to suffer no ill effects. The same happens with a Brainwashed and Crazy Keristraza in The Nexus. Tirion Fordring gets frozen for virtually all of the Lich King battle and also suffers no after-effects.
    • Numerous bosses avert it, however, such as Sindragosa, whose freezing will eventually cause death by asphyxiation if afflicted players aren't broken out in time.
  • Played straight against most enemies in Zombies Ate My Neighbors when frozen by the fire extinguisher (although they take extra damage while frozen).

  • On 8-Bit Theater, Red Mage encases himself, Thief and Fighter in an ice block to turn away an ice dragon ("Huh, lousy jerks froze themselves. Takes all the fun of it"). It's undone in a groan-inducing way.
  • The harmless version of this trope is used in Bitmap World whenever the supervillain Coldfusion shows up.
  • From Dominic Deegan, Luna usually uses fireballs, but one time she decided to freeze the bandit duo Stunt and Bumper.
  • Though played straight in the chibi pages of the prologue of Drowtales, it was subverted in Sillice's battle with Vy'chriel/Yaeminira. Not only did the poor girl freeze to death, her fingers actually snapped apart right before the end!
  • Everyday Heroes:
  • In Gifts of Wandering Ice some ice gifts are living creatures, as was the case with the raptor that nearly killed Rikter, Nikt, and Rita. Being frozen for hundreds of years & thawing in the sun doesn't seem to have damaged the creature.
  • In a two-panel sequence by Hugo-nominated artist Taral Wayne, (slightly NSFW for furry nudity) a furry alien girl gets frozen when her more advanced (and practically indestructible) alien friend forgets to warn her about a planet's cryogenic environment until it's too late. The second panel demonstrates the sophistication of their thawing techniques. It's probably just as well they didn't visit a volcanic planet.
  • In Men in Hats, Beriah gets frozen into an ice cube. He's typically optimistic about being trapped in this situation; while it's probably not as harmless as he thinks, Negative Continuity means we never find out.
  • Vaarsuvius do this in The Order of the Stick in this strip. Including Elan by, hum, accident. Elan gets no other problem in the next strip than being cold. But of course, it's based on Dungeons & Dragons, where you are perfectly fine as long as you still have 1 HP, so that makes sense.
  • Averted in Sleepless Domain: In a flashback, Mingxing's arm gets frozen by a monster. It breaks off.
  • Kieri of Slightly Damned has ice powers along with her water magic, though mostly all she's done with them is pretty harmless. The demon Lazuli, on the other hand...

    Web Original 
  • In the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes, Tami oftentimes encases her enemies in solid blocks of ice, though the attacks prove to be little more than minor distractions.
  • In the illustrated story Ice Gift Elie and Rikter find a man in a melting iceberg. He wakes up after defrosting.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Cro-Marmot is a caveman encased in a block of ice who has no trouble moving around and having interactions with the other characters.
  • One Minute Fly: The first video ends with the fly being preserved in a chunk of amber after a glob of tree sap falls on it. The fact that its timer remains frozen the entire time, allowing it to complete its bucket list in the process, implies that the fly is alive and conscious in this state with no ill results.
  • RWBY:
    • During their tournament battle, Neon's glowstick-nunchucks use Frost Dust to freeze Yang's extremities. Yang smashes the ice and continues fighting as if nothing had happened. Justified thanks to Aura protecting her body, as she would only really be in danger if it happened after it was depleted.
    • Downplayed in Season 6, with Cinder, after having her Aura broken and turned into a Human Popsicle at the end of Season 5, is shown to still be alive. In her case, however, she shows noticeable difficulty in actually moving her body despite the ice having melted off of her before she draws on her Maiden powers to escape drowning and she still struggles to move around even after getting out of the water.
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-326 ("A Chinese Peasant"). SCP-326 was a Human Popsicle for more than fifty years. She not only survived but revived on her own without assistance.
  • Solid jj: Subverted. In "Mr. Freeze Chills Out", Mr. Freeze encases Robin in a block of ice, and Batman starts panicking and begging Freeze to thaw him out, reasoning that people's cells explode when frozen, causing instant death. Mr. Freeze is horrified by the realization, stating that he only wanted to trap people in ice and didn't mean to kill them. Double subverted when it turns out that Batman was just bluffing and distracting Freeze long enough for Robin to thaw out of the ice and for the duo to start beating Freeze up.
  • In the Whateley Universe at the beginning of the first Boston Brawl. This one's probably justified, though; Tennyo doesn't need to breathe and isn't terribly bothered by temperature extremes (she described being frozen in a block of ice as "a bit chilly"). Lancer might've suffocated if Tennyo hadn't been able to bust them out in time, but his PK field probably helped shield him from the cold.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series:
    • Occurs in the episode "Close but Not Cigar" when the main puppies and Spot get frozen inside an ice truck.
    • Also happens in "Jurassic Bark" when Lucky finds a "cave pup" frozen underground.
  • In one episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Ickis, Oblina, and Krumm all got sent to Antarctica on a scaring assignment. Being monsters, they seem to be able to survive at greater temperature extremes than humans would, but they aren't really comfortable. Ickis ends up temporarily encased in a block of ice. When the others break him out, he's shivering and upset. Later, they meet an adult monster who is even more suited to a cold environment than they are and helps them get home.
  • Adventure Time:
    • An early episode has frozen businessmen. At the very least, they're suffering memory problems from being encased in ice for who knows how long.
    • Subverted and deconstructed in the Season 2 finale where Princess Bubblegum, while possessed by the Lich King is frozen and accidentally shattered. Thanks to being a candy person, she makes it, but not after a trip to the emergency and undergoing some severe operations which even then ends up not entirely restoring her.
  • The Amazing Spiez!: In the episode "Operation: Twins of Trouble", the Spiez' parents are frozen by the Twins but thaw out just fine.
  • Turns out to be a part of frog biology in Amphibia. Due to being cold-blooded, the entire population freezes into ice blocks on Hiber Day, leaving warm-blooded Anne as the only remaining citizen in the town to watch them.
  • Zig-zagged in the Around the World with Willy Fog episode "Below Zero". While Fog and his companions are crossing the frozen Great Lakes in an ice boat, Romy notices that "something's wrong with Tico", who is seen to have frost forming on his fur and whiskers. Fog says Tico "won't last the journey" if they don't get him out of the cold. Indeed, by the time the travellers find shelter, Tico is frozen solid and could already be dead. However, he's still alive when he's thawed out, though he collapses with a fever seconds later. At first, it looks as though Tico's illness could be fatal, or at least that it could cause the travellers to be delayed for so long that it will be impossible for Fog to win his wager, but it only takes Tico a single day to recover sufficiently to travel again and he's completely healthy by the end of the episode.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Katara has encased a couple of people in ice who seemed unharmed by it. Possibly justified for the Firebenders, not so much for the civilians and Jet (though she at least didn't cover his face, unlike with Zuko and some firebenders). She even froze herself once, in mid-battle to prevent Azula from striking her with lightning. Katara simply thawed herself out when it was safe to do so.
    • Much like the wood frogs below, in one episode Sokka and Katara catch some manner of bizarre illness that leaves them extremely loopy. The most effective medicine? Some frogs which survive the winter by being frozen, and should be frozen right about this time of year. But they lose their medical properties if they thaw.
    • Initially played straight by Aang himself, having survived inside an iceberg for a full century, but the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra eventually established this as the reason for his relatively short lifetime.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • This happens to several people in the episode "The Casket of Ancient Winters".
    • Just like the comics, Captain America froze in the Arctic Ocean and is reawakened in modern times. Cap later uses the Cosmic Cube to make the same happen to Bucky Barnes, who would otherwise have died prematurely in an explosion caused by the Red Skull.
  • The Babaloos: In “Big Chill For Baby Towel”, the titular character is frozen after he climbs into the freezer, but, due to being an Animate Inanimate Object, is perfectly fine once thawed out.
  • Zig-zagged in Batman Beyond. One of the superpowered trio in "Heroes" freezes multiple people to no apparent ill effect. Averted with Mr. Freeze in "Meltdown", who actually kills several people by freezing them, and only fails to kill Derek Powers because he's living radiation. His cold gun from Batman: The Animated Series also shows up when it is used against Inque. Even though she survives, being a Blob Monster, it still significantly damages her form, and it only takes the one shot to put her out for the count. A later attempt to freeze her fails when she compresses herself into a ball, keeping the majority of her body mass safe from harm.
  • In the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Perplexahedron", Gwen is encased in ice by simply being in an extremely cold room. She is thawed out by Swampfire with no problems.
  • Birdman (1967)
    • "Versus Cumulus, the Storm King":
      • Two soldiers are frozen in ice by Cumulus, the Storm King. When Birdman thaws them out seconds later with his "sun rays", they're fine.
      • The title character is frozen into a block of ice by Cumulus. A few seconds later he uses his solar power to melt himself out, none the worse for wear.
    • "Versus Dr. Freezoids": Birdman, Avenger, Falcon 7, and the occupants of an entire city are all frozen and then safely defrosted by Birdman's solar rays.
    • "Train Trek": A villain uses "Ice Fumes" to freeze Birdman in a block of ice. After it's shattered against a metal beam he's fine.
    • "The Empress of Evil": Birdman uses his "Solar Desensitizer" beam to freeze some giant Amazon women without harming them.
    • "Skon of Space": Skon freezes Birdman, but he immediately uses his solar power to melt himself out.
    • "The Pirate Plot":
      • In the Backstory, when Captain Kidd's pirate ship was sunk in ice-filled seas the intense cold preserved not only the ship but him and his first mate as well. In modern times they were unfrozen and took up pirating again.
      • When the pirates fire their Freeze Ray at Birdman it deflects off his solar shield and hits his eagle companion Avenger, freezing him solid. A few seconds later Avenger is unfrozen and perfectly fine.
  • In one episode of Darkwing Duck, this happens to Darkwing and Morgana. While Darkwing is thawed out, Negaduck shatters Morgana's encasing, and yet there is no harm done.
  • Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines: "Vacation Trip Trap" has Dick Dastardly on a two-week furlough, but while he's off skiing, the rest of Vulture Squadron is left to chase Yankee Doodle Pigeon themselves. They accidentally clobber Dastardly in mid-air, and he plummets into a frozen lake, emerging as a block of ice. Talking to the General at that.
    Dastardly: No, General, I am on vacation and I'm not interfering with the boys. I'm having a real cool time.
  • The Dick Tracy Show has two examples. "Cooked Crooks" has Joe Jitsu encasing Stooge Viller and Mumbles in blocks of ice in a restaurant freezer ("These are crooksicles. Ask for by name at your neighborhood store"), while Go-Go Gomez captures Prunceface and Itchy in blocks of ice after driving their snowmobile into a frozen lake in "Snow Job".
  • The Fairly OddParents!: A flashback in "Christmas Every Day!" shows Vicky freezing Timmy, Chester, and AJ and selling them as ice sculptures. Despite her being the main villain, Timmy suffers no repercussions when he is shown to break free of the ice.
  • 1960s Filmation:
    • In the Batman/Superman Hour episode "Freeze's Frozen Vikings", a number of Mr. Freeze's henchmen are frozen inside an iceberg. When he thaws them out they're perfectly fine.
    • The New Adventures of Superman episode "Prehistoric Pterodactyls". After millions of years frozen in Arctic ice, two pterodactyls are freed and immediately go on a rampage.
    • Superboy cartoon "The Neanderthal Caveman Caper". After being frozen in a block of ice for tens of thousands of years, a Neanderthal man is thawed out and is perfectly fine.
  • Happens all the time in Futurama. The only problem people experience after being cryonically preserved is needing to go to the bathroom, and then only as a one-time gag. Fry, in particular, has been frozen for 1000 years. It happens not only as the premise of the series but also happens again in one of the movies. The actual cryonics laboratory could be the least realistic of all since everyone working there is kind of a goofball and the freezers can basically be used for anything at all, no questions asked.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, one episode had them unfreeze Fred Flintstone (who Billy named "Jake Steele"). Later, he (and Billy) get refrozen (in orange sherbert no less) and unfrozen again thousands of years later. No ill effects at all.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), this trope is utilized frequently. Not only are there "freeze-ray" weapons that can freeze a person (and they'll be perfectly fine when they thaw), but there's freeze magic and some monsters have a freeze ability with their breath or eye-beams.
  • The Herculoids: In the episode "Mekkor", Igoo is frozen into a giant ice cube by some robots. After Zok melts him out with his laser beams he's fine. Of course, being a giant ape made of rock might have something to do with it as well.
  • Jellystone!: Cavey Jr. and a sabertooth tiger are originally found frozen in ice blocks.
  • All the time on Jimmy Two-Shoes. The entire Heinous family line are Human Popsicles, frozen and unfrozen whenever Lucius decides to. However, their limbs and noses do fall off from time to time, but it's Played for Laughs instead.
  • In Justice League, this happens several times to victims of Killer Frost.
    • In "Secret Society", both Martian Manhunter and Clayface survive getting frozen by her (although Flash's crappy quip about antifreeze nearly finishes J'onn off), but that could be justified by their biology. Otherwise, as her name implies, it seems to be fatal (although that makes her "you're a beautiful man, I think I'll keep you" to one of her victims even more improbably squicky...).
    • In "To Another Shore", Green Arrow manages to use a buzzsaw arrow to break out of an ice block from her.
  • Kaeloo: Olaf does this to Kaeloo and Mr. Cat in Episode 104, and puts them in People Jars. They can even talk while they're still frozen. All it takes to unfreeze them is to blow a hairdryer over them, with no ill effects whatsoever.
  • The Loud House: The happens twice to Lincoln in the episode "Schooled".
  • The Magic School Bus: In the episode "The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space", Arnold takes off his helmet on Pluto and frezes. When they get him back to Earth, he has a cold. The ludicrous nature of this is actually pointed out in the And Knowing Is Half the Battle-type ending that usually gets cut out in syndication. The writers knew he should have ended up with a lot worse than a cold, but killing off a main character isn't very kid-friendly.
  • Mighty Mouse: "Law and Order" has some sinister cats with the modus operandi of making "mousesicles" — capturing mice and encasing them in cubes of flavored ice. The mice manage to escape, break out of their cubes and call the police.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Froggy of Denali," Grandpa Nat explains that wood frogs are able to freeze themselves to survive the winter.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the pageant in "Hearth's Warming Eve", the bickering of the three pony tribe leaders causes the winter to worsen until the three of them are frozen solid. They're perfectly fine after being thawed out with The Power of Friendship. The freezing cold is actually caused by Windigos, spirits of hatred and winter. It is possible to infer from the show that the freezing is a way of keeping ponies locked in a state of continual hatred, upon which the spirits feed.
  • Happens at least twice on Phineas and Ferb:
    • In "S'Winter", Candace ends up falling in ice-cold water and is fished out encased in a block of ice. When she overhears Jeremy complimenting Dee Dee's skiing skills, she gets so angry that she heats up and melts the ice block she's trapped in.
    • In "Boyfriend From 27,000 BC", Phineas and Ferb thaw out a caveman from the conveniently local glacier.
  • This happens twice in Regular Show:
    • In "The Night Owl", a greedy radio host freezes Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man, and High Five Ghost in liquid nitrogen. A few thousand years later, they unfreeze and find themselves in a futuristic museum, though fortunately they escape by using a time machine.
    • In "Caveman", Mordecai and Rigby unfreeze a prehistoric man, who later unfreezes his girlfriend, and she in turn unfreezes the rest of their tribe. However, they riot in the park, so they all have to be refrozen in the meat freezer room.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • Inverted in the pilot with the school bully, Frank Palicky, who's encased in ice by Rick and shattered. He is confirmed to be dead later in the episode by Summer and the school's principal.
    • Mostly averted in Season 6's "Solaricks" when it's revealed that, when the original Smiths of Main Morty's home dimensions, the Cronenburg World, were frozen by the Citadel Ricks, while Hermit Jerry was thawed out by a Cronenburg licking him free and is not shown to suffer any ill effects, Beth died from contracting a fatal disease, though whether that was from the freezing or the monster licking at her was not made clear, whereas Summer simply "didn't thaw right" according to Jerry. But both ended up dead and leaving him the last unmutated human on his world, though even that was finished by Rick Prime killing Hermit Jerry by the episode's end.
  • This is how Rocky and Bullwinkle capture Baby Face Braunschweiger (a.k.a. Boris Badenov) in the "Picayune Pot" story arc. Rocky blocks a door from baby Face, who pushes him aside and enters. The door leads to an ice house. On the other side, Rocky deposits two coins — the first deposits Baby Face's stolen money in a block of ice (Bullwinkle: "Well, whaddaya know? Frozen assets!"), the second Baby Face himself, also in a block of ice.
  • Rocky Kwaterner: The protagonist, Rocky, spend 35000 years as a Human Popsicle, but is completely fine when he finally is found and thawed out in the present day. And a Running Gag in the show involves professor Torpedo getting frozen by his own Freeze Ray at least once (but usually multiple times) per episode, but he too never suffers any consequences and only has to wait for the ice to melt again.
  • This happens in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "That's Snow Ghost" after Shaggy and Scooby flee from the Snow Ghost on snowmobiles, and end up briefly falling into a frozen river. Upon emerging, their bodies are encased up to their necks in ice (aside from their arms... try figuring that one out). The rest of the gang chisel them out of the ice upon finding them, with everyone in high spirits, and no worries to be found.
  • The Simpsons: In "Lisa the Simpson", Jasper, a senior citizen, gets stuck in a freezer at Apu's Kwik-E-Mart. Apu becomes more successful by promoting the Incredible Frozen Man as a tourist attraction. He defrosts a couple of days or so later, rather than several years when robot wives are "cheap and efficient" like he hoped.
  • A baby triceratops is unfrozen by The Smurfs (1981) in the episode "The Smurfs That Time Forgot", which then kicks off the plot of Season 9.
  • South Park:
    • In "Prehistoric Ice Man", a human male is discovered frozen in a block of ice, dating from... a few years ago. He's totally fine once he's thawed, but he has some trouble returning to his former life after his unexplained absence.
    • Double-subverted in "Go God Go"/"Go God Go XII". When Cartman wants to freeze himself in the snow outside of the town so that he doesn't have to wait for the Nintendo Wii to come out, Kyle sensibly points out that this will kill him. Nevertheless, when he does get frozen (and an avalanche renders it impossible for his body to be found) he actually is unfrozen several centuries later, with no apparent ill effects (which could be due to 26th-century medicine).
  • Space Ghost episode "The Iceman". Space Ghost is frozen into an ice block by the Iceman's Ice Ray Projector Freeze Ray. After using his Force Field to break out of the ice, he's perfectly fine.
  • The Spider-Man (1967) episode "Cold Comfort" has Spidey frozen for 24 hours in a nuclear freezer, and, save for a really trippy hallucination of waking up in a dystopian world populated by caveman hippies, is pretty much fine when the Iceman comes to save him.
  • In Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, the heroine Firestar, because of her particular vulnerability to cold, is frozen by villains on more than one occasion.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "SB-129", Squidward gets trapped in the Krusty Krab freezer for a few thousand years. After he unfreezes and sees the shiny new future, he has to take a time machine to try and return to his own time.
    • Among the extreme sports Sandy makes SpongeBob take part in during "Prehibernation Week" is diving into a frigid lake, from which both SpongeBob and Sandy emerge from frozen in ice blocks. SpongeBob merely shivers while Sandy seems perfectly happy.
    • This happens to Man Ray, a supervillain from Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. He was frozen in a solid block of tartar sauce until Spongebob and Patrick freed him in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III".
    • Squidward also later spends half of "Frozen Face-Off" being frozen.
    • Hieronymus Glove from "Escape from Beneath Glove World", the founder of the glove-themed amusement park. Despite being frozen in a block of ice, he's completely lucid and can still run the park, and thanks to a speaker on the edge of the ice, can still speak.
  • All freezing will do to The Transformers is put them in stasis lock, as Skyfire can attest.
  • The Venture Brothers: In the episode "The Trial of the Monarch", a Guild team freezes everyone in a courtroom for a matter of minutes, and when they thaw, they're not even aware anything happened.
  • The Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner short "Freeze Frame" (a feature on Bugs Bunny's Christmas special) had the Coyote tricking the Road Runner into venturing into a frozen land (which, as a book notes, Road Runners hate) and onto a frozen lake surface. The Coyote puts on ice skates and tries to cut a circle around the Road Runner. Guess who gets frozen in a block of ice.
  • Happens to a lot of mooks in W.I.T.C.H.. Special mention to Cedric, who gets this treatment repeatedly yet suffers no ill effects despite being a presumably cold-blooded giant snake monster.
  • Iceman does this a few times on Wolverine and the X-Men (2009). In fact, Iceman does it more than a few times in everything he's in, but he usually makes sure to leave heads uncovered.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, there's a water Shen Gong Wu that can also freeze. Omi — more than once — travels to the future by setting up a recording device to play back his voice (saying the Wu's name, thus turning it off) to deactivate it after thousands of years pass.
  • The AC in Phil's spy taxi in Yam Roll does this to Minamiko shortly before Yam Roll accidentally ejects her from the cab.
  • Justified in Young Justice (2010). The one getting frozen is Miss Martian, whose homeworld is extremely cold. Even so, Icicle Jr. tells Superboy he could shatter her if he hits the ice cube she's in.
  • Yvon of the Yukon has this in its Backstory — the eponymous Yvon is supposedly a French mariner from the 18th century preserved this way. Why he spends most of his new life in his underpants is less clear.

    Real Life 
  • Various simpler forms of life can survive being frozen solid:
    • The Wood Frog, a common sight in most of North America, can freeze solid, every winter, with no ill effects. When it gets cold, they convert all of the water in their bodies to sucrose. Since sucrose doesn't expand when freezing (unlike water), there's no damage to the frog itself, and it's therefore free to thaw and get back to being watery.
      • In fact, nearly all aquatic and amphibious life in colder climates is capable of being frozen solid and then thawing out unharmed (though some species may be unable to do this as adults). This means that, yes, some people really do mine for fish.
    • Bacteria can also easily recover after freezing. Food that is already contaminated by bacteria won't become any better in a freezer.
    • A Banded Woolly Bear caterpillar can do this.
    • The New Zealand alpine weta (an insect looking like a mutant grasshopper) freezes solid (the NZ mountains are COLD) every winter and thaws in the summer.
    • The tardigrade can survive this and so many other things.
    • Whenever there's a risk of a cold snap in Florida, growers cover their oranges with ice. The logic is that the temperature ice freezes at is higher than the temperature at which the oranges are ruined. The ice keeps the oranges from getting any colder.
  • Harmless Freezing is beyond humans but we have the next best thing, Cold That Kills You Slower Than Some Alternatives! Low temperatures are brutal to biological processes. Bleeding out and burning through one's oxygen supplies count as biological processes. Cold is used medically as therapeutic hypothermia, which is a bit of a Desperation Attack, and there are documented cases which show that if you freeze before you drown, you can make it back, even if you went under an hour ago. The general rule in emergency medicine is "They're not dead until they're warm and dead."
    • In fact, a new procedure being tested in an American hospital involves extracting a person's blood, rapid cooling it, then pumping it back in thus rapidly cooling the body. It's for patients who come in as emergencies with damage to their hearts for example in a situation where doctors would normally only have minutes to try and do something. The cooling gives doctors up to 2 hours instead to attempt to repair the damage. The patient can then be warmed in a similar way.
    • Hypothermia also tends to slow bleeding in wounds that would otherwise hemorrhage. There have been countless cases of wounded, hypothermic soldiers who survived when in warmer temperatures they would have bled out.
    • Cryonics is the freezing of aging and/or ill people in the hope that they can be harmlessly thawed and treated in the future.
    • The ice bath, and its more extreme cousin, cryotherapy, are used in sports medicine to help heal sore muscles after intense exercise. While some swear by them, their effectiveness and safety have been debated by medical professionals.
  • Then there are rare instances that have come close:
    • David Blaine attempted this as a magic trick. It nearly kicked his ass.
    • Certain humans have proven able to adapt to cold that would kill normal people, through extremely difficult training. An episode of The Real Superhumans covered one such man, who can be buried in ice without trouble and easily withstood cold that would have killed a normal human in under an hour with no ill effects.
    • Two Words: Jean Hillard. Worth a google, folks.
  • North American painted turtles are actually capable of this, throughout several months! See here.
  • Andean flamingo chicks, though they don't actually freeze solid, sometimes become trapped from the belly down in ice when the montane lakes where they reside freeze overnight. Fortunately, they can minimize blood flow to their legs to avoid hypothermia until the sun rises and the ice melts.
  • During a weather based series, Angry Planet, George Kourounis does show it’s possible to survive being completely encased in ice with the right winter gear on… Though the next problem arises that oxygen gets cut off once enough ice is covering your head, rather than the cold freezing itself.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): I Was Frozen Today


Funderland Freeze-Up

Dolly's 'Winter Funderland' party stops being fun when the cold temperatures start taking its toll on everyone.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / HarmlessFreezing

Media sources: