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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.

Sub-Trope 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 
  • Buso Renkin: Dr. Butterfly spent the hundred years prior to the start 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 revitalize himself.

    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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • Such tanks are used in Starship Troopers to heal wounded soldiers, such as when Rico gets his thigh bitten through by a bug.
  • 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.
  • Wanted features vats filled with paraffin wax. It's said to "stimulate white blood cells and speed up the process". Wounds that normally takes days to heal do so in hours.

  • Iliff from Agent of Vega delivers his final report from a healing vat, after his near-fatal confrontation with the Big Bad of the story.
  • Somewhere during her Slow Transformation in Dr. Franklin's Island Semi is taken into the lab and has a vague recollection later of being taken out of an intensive care bed and transferred to a saltwater tank to continue care, but then again she was transforming into a fish monster.
  • 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).
  • The Worthing Saga: Used in the novel Hot Sleep (it's an inversion of the cold sleep trope, not a sexual reference) when the protagonist is being healed/reconstructed after "proving he's a survivor".
  • The X-Wing Series makes heavy use of bacta tanks. In one book, after a character who was heavily injured is "decanted" (leaves the tank fully healed) he's met with his zany squadmates all jockeying to make jokes, like that 'this batch' went off or that they come bearing gifts of bacta-flavored food.

    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 (these scenes usually bookend flashbacks of his past when he got these injuries). 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 (who, ironically, once tried to attack Boba while he was vulnerable in the same tank).
    • 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.
  • GURPS, the Ultratech sourcebook has the Chrysalis which is a machine that cocoons the injured and sick, then reformats them on a DNA level eventually restoring all health including missing body parts. Later editions has the Regeneration Tank which is a tank of full healing liquid that can eventually restore all body parts and restore health plus there's the Rejuventation Tank where the liquid use will return the user to young adulthood.
  • 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 


    Western Animation 
  • In the Amphibia episode "True Colors", Marcy Wu is impaled when King Andrias stabs her with his sword. In "The New Normal", Marcy is shown recuperating inside a liquid-filled healing chamber back in Newtopia to prepare her to become the Core's new host.
  • 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.
  • 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 Danny Phantom, Danny is 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Vilgax nearly dead

Vilgax was blown up by Xylene, needing to be in a healing tank recover his missing limbs and organs.

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Main / HealingVat

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