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Healing Vat

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In many science fiction works, people can recover from practically any injury after being immersed in a tank full of some kind of liquid Applied Phlebotinum that makes them heal with shocking speed. People in them tend to be naked or barely clothed, to show how badly they're wounded and to absorb all the healing juices.

Subtrope of both Auto Doc and People Jars. Related to Panacea, Healing Spring, Healing Potion, and Heal It with Water. May involve Nanomachines. Compare Saved by the Phlebotinum.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • These are used in Dragon Ball Z by Frieza's minions. They're apparently mondo cool!
  • These kinds of devices appear in the Birdy the Mighty franchise (and considering that the titular protagonist is prone to get into fights as befits her Superhero status, she ends up using them rather often).
  • Buso Renkin: Dr. Butterfly spent the hundred years prior to the tart of the series developing a large restoration tank that would allow him to heal the seriously wounded Victor through the power of alchemy and tested it by bringing his great-grandson Papillon back to life after his destruction. After Dr. Butterfly's defeat, Papillon inherits the designs, often using them to heal and revitalise himself.
  • These are located in Fairy Tail used by Tartarus to revive and create new demons.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: After fighting Zeruel, Rei spent an entire week in a transparent tank full of LCL, healing her body. Ritsuko spent that time observing her and resenting that she was forced to resort to old-fashioned bandages and band-aids whereas Rei had preferential treatment.

  • Dune (2021): After Dr. Yeuh's poison tooth fails to kill Baron Harkonnen but instead only seriously injures him, the Baron spends time healing in a vat containing a thick, black, viscous liquid. When his nephew Rabban comes in to inform Harkonnen that Jessica and Paul are surely dead, Harkonnen comes up just long enough to issue his marching orders to Rabban before sinking back into the healing liquid.
  • Star Wars has bacta tanks, using a universal regenerative fluid containing some sort of microbe. Most famously used with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, and crucial to the plot of the third and fourth novels in the X-Wing Series. Rogue One shows that Darth Vader uses one in order to recuperate from his injuries and give himself a break from his heavy, painful life-support suit.
  • Such tanks are used in Starship Troopers to heal wounded soldiers, such as when Rico gets his thigh bitten through by a bug.
  • In Wanted they use vats filled with paraffin wax. It's said to "stimulate white blood cells and speeds up the process". Wounds that normally takes days to heal do so in hours.

  • In the Paradox series, the Chatcaava use a sort of gel to recover from wounds sustained in duels. Alliance ambassador Lisinthir spends a few days in a tank full of it after one fight with the emperor (who had to have his digestive tract re-inserted and was back on his feet that evening).

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Wars:
    • In The Book of Boba Fett Boba spends time healing in a bacta tank due to the injuries he sustained from spending time in the Sarlacc's stomach as well as what Tatooine's suns and heat did to his body. When Boba is not using the bacta tank he allows allies needing treatment for injuries to use the tank, including one of his two Gamorrean guards, Cobb Vanth and the Wookie Krrsantan.
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi shows both Darth Vader and Obi-Wan having to spend time in bacta tanks due to injuries they sustained at the other's hands.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Eclipse Phase has healing vats, one of the first uses of nanotechnology. Given a few days they can regenerate limbs, and given a few weeks can grant a severed head a new body.
  • Subverted in Warhammer 40,000, where the vats can keep the person alive, but because the victim's injuries are simply too serious (and serious injuries on a Space Marine would kill normal people several times over) they are instead armored, given legs and heavy weapons, and sent off to vanquish the Emperor's enemies as Dreadnoughts.

    Video Games 

  • Played with in Sluggy Freelance, a strip after Torg gets hit with a load of "sleep chaff" shows him in what looks like a bacta tank, then Riff states that it's actually a "bactine" tank and the only reason they can't hear him screaming is the breath mask.
  • When Spinnerette's powers are going critical, she wakes up in one of these in Dr. Universe's lab and smashes it open in a panic, which causes Universe to wonder about the practicality of such things.
  • Most cloning rigs in Schlock Mercenary are giant tanks of water with Nanomachines that rebuild the patient's missing parts, which tend to be everything but the head.
  • In the alien-related continuities of the Walkyverse, Martian resurrection technology consists of a tank in which a corpse is kept, which when plugged into the device causes it to regenerate fully and then return to life.
  • Ballerina Mafia shows Joel making frequent use of a nanobot healing tube.
  • Such vats tend to be part of resurrection apparati in Girl Genius.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Amphibia season 2 finale "True Colors", Marcy Wu is impaled when King Andrias stabs her with his sword. In the Season 3 premiere episode "The New Normal", Marcy is recuperating inside a liquid-filled healing chamber back in Newtopia to prepare her to become the Core's new host.
  • Danny Phantom was put in one after crash-landing on the yeti world. Since Butch Hartman is a known Star Wars fan, it's entirely possible that the tank and the icy environment itself is a Shout-Out.
  • In Beast Wars, both Maximals and Predacons have their own type of healing vat. The Maximals possess a small, airtight, one-person chamber, while the Predacons use a vat that resembles a hot tub. In fact, Megatron is seen bathing in one on multiple occasions, complete with a rubber ducky.
  • Vilgax of Ben 10 spends most of the first season inside one after the vessel carrying the Omnitrix causes his ship's bridge to explode with its counterattack. After coming out, his body is augmented with muscle enhancing implants to make him even stronger.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Batman has one in the Batcave. He uses it as a "hot chemical bath" (!) in "Heart of Ice" to treat a low-level thug who'd just been on the receiving end of Mr. Freeze's Freeze Ray.
  • TRON: Uprising: The title character has to rely on one stored in his hideout due to injuries and malware, staving off Critical Existence Failure from the damage.