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"The hypnotizer! It mesmerizes unsuspecting victim to become helpless puppet that must obey the first order or suggestion they hear!
Is big fun at parties."
Jumba Jookiba describing Experiment 383, Lilo & Stitch: The Series

After an experience with hypnosis, be it a stage performer or a friend trying out his "skills", a character finds himself the puppet of accidental or intentional post-hypnotic commands. The results can range from simple embarrassment to outright danger. Often the character has to be rescued from the brink of disaster before a reputable professional can rid him of his compulsions.

Almost invariably, the character originally bragged that he or she couldn't be hypnotized, which only compounds their later embarrassment at being Weak-Willed against hypnotism.

A variation of this trope is the unintended trance. This is where an innocent victim is hypnotized unintentionally, usually when someone else is hypnotized. The suggestions given to the intended subject are also accepted by the accidental subject, with the added complication that the suggestions are not removed from the unintended subject as they were from the intended subject.

Too bad (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) this doesn't work in real life, according to MythBusters. Both hypnotherapists and stage hypnotists generally agree that in order for someone to fall for a hypnotic suggestion, they must want to do it, and will automatically reject any suggestion that goes against their "moral fiber". That threshold varies from person to person, which is why during stage hypnotism some people are only comfortable with, say, quacking like a duck on cue, but will reject a suggestion to pretend to have sex with a chair.

Although the person must want to do it, they still will, during a stage show or other non-threatening situation, follow instructions, even embarrassing ones. The key is for the hypnotist to encourage everyone to "play along" and have fun. As long as someone feels secure, they will "bark like a dog" or do other actions. However, one should still make sure that they only allow themselves to be hypnotized by someone they can trust, or in the presence of someone they can trust (someone to knock the victim out of trance if the hypnotist tries anything funny). Hypnotist performers can tell who is more likely to follow instructions for certain things, which is why you may see people dismissed even if they appear to have fallen into a trance, or certain participants will be given more "extreme" things to do than others.

A related plot is Sleep Learning. See also Brainwashed and Crazy for a more dangerous form of hypnosis. If the hypnosis backfires, then see Bungled Hypnotism.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ranma ½:
    • Shampoo feeds Ranma hypnotic dim sum that, thanks to an accident, leaves him with the uncontrollable urge to hug anyone who sneezes. This, of course, occurs just as there's a cold going around the Tendō household.
    • Much later in the manga, Ranma uses hypnotic incense on Ryōga to make him confess his love to Akari (showing that Ranma doesn't learn from his own experiences). To this end, since Akari adores pigs, he conditions Ryōga to give a hug whenever he hears the word "pig". Of course, shortly thereafter Akari swears to never talk about pigs again, and Ryōga keeps stumbling on people saying "pig" in more and more ludicrous circumstances.
    • It should be noted that the traditional method does not actually work on Ranma in the manga (Happosai's friend tried it and Ranma mentions that mind tricks like that do not work on him), only those done by magical means work.
  • One Piece:
    • Jango the hypnotist often hypnotised himself, as well as his target(s); he eventually gets better at leaving himself out of it. Later in the same Story Arc, Jango hypnotizes the rest of his crew to be incredibly strong; unfortunately, he also hypnotizes Luffy... who goes on a rampage and beats the living shit out of ninety percent of Jango's pirate crew. If you look, you'll see that Jango doesn't actually figure out how to not hypnotize himself, but rather learns to pull his hat down at the last moment so he's no longer watching the swinging disc. Occasionally, he forgets to do this.
    • Miss Goldenweek's special paint allows her to apply various emotions to her targets, such as making them betray their friends, laugh uncontrollably, or be completely tranquil even as your friends are suffering a slow, agonizing death.
  • In the first episode of the comedic hentai anime Nageki no Kenkô Yûryôji (distributed in North America under the title F3 (Frantic, Frustrated and Female)), main character Hiroe is given a poorly-phrased post-hypnotic command by her sister Mayaka — and as a result has an orgasm each time Mayaka touches her.
  • In Kimagure Orange Road, sometimes Kyosuke would try to use his psychic powers to hypnotize either himself (by looking into a mirror and use his skill) or others. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The main character Ren from Lost+Brain has a classmate sit in at a hypnosis demonstration and try to resist its effects. The classmate is hypnotised anyway, and Ren manages to learn how to control people even when they aren't in a trance.
  • Nanapon from Seven of Seven can hypnotize people with her crystal. In one episode, she tries to teach Nana how to do this, but ends up hypnotizing herself.
  • When Isidro of Berserk trips and accidentally grabs Schierke's breast, which he calls small, she responds by using magic to make him act like a monkey.
  • In Code Geass, this happens to Princess Euphemia, who Lelouch offhandedly tells to "kill all the Japanese" when explaining the nature of his Geass to her. She is forced to do so, despite her resistance because of her moral fiber, and is remembered as the Massacre Princess.
  • In The Hating Girl, Ryouji accidentally does a child regression hypnosis on Asumi, causing her to start acting like a mischievous toddler.
  • In the H-manga Bullied Hypnosis Revenge a trio of girls have been terrorizing their classmates for years, and, in the case of their leader, teachers as well. Their latest victim, they Blackmail into doing their biding when they catch him in the girls' locker room. However, he tricks them into getting hypnotized, and they become his personal harem. When the leader's will causes the hypnosis to momentarily wear off, he tells her that their reign of terror has ended, and he is now their overlord. They do mellow out considerably, ending their bullying ways, and each one happily carrying one of his children.
  • Gundam Build Fighters has an episode where Nils Nielsen hypnotizes Sei Iori to see if he has any information about Plavsky Particles buried in his subconscious. Instead it makes him act like Amuro Ray, protagonist of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series...and he doesn't stop until he's recited all of Amuro's dialog from all 42 episodes of the original series, from memory, making them extremely late for the next part of the tournamentnote .
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Wakamatsu managed to hypnotize himself when reading a book about hypnosis out loud, and started acting like a dog. Although according to Sakura and Nozaki he didn't act much differently than before.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one early Dilbert, Dilbert sees a notice for "Free Hypnotism Lessons" and decides to try it. The last panel shows him in his underwear walking zombie-style:
    Dilbert: A wonderful class. I must tell my friends.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Office Space uses this trope cleverly: Peter is put into a relaxation trance, and then the hypnotist dies of a heart attack before he can bring Peter out of it. As a result, Peter remains free of stress even as his boss is frantically calling him to come in to work and stops caring about his job, which ironically leads to a promotion. Peter never receives the command to exit the trance, but it fades on its own over time.
  • In the film The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, a hypnotist uses this to control the people behind various security systems. At the end of the film, one of the secondary characters lampshades it by pointing out that said people must have a little larceny in them — otherwise, the hypnotism wouldn't have worked.
  • Used at the beginning of the Barbra Streisand musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, which had been in its turn based on a Broadway musical. Not only does Daisy Gamble completely submit to the hypnotist's commands (issued to the on-stage volunteer), she even continues to obey his suggestions when the hypnosis has been lifted (she takes off her shoe when she hears the word "Wednesday.") As hypnosis is the main source of Phlebotinum in the film, which includes unconscious regressions into past lives, this is handwaved by the explanation that the main character is particularly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion.
  • In The Court Jester, the protagonist becomes the world's best fencer this way.
  • The Ginger Rogers / Fred Astaire film Carefree has Fred, as a psychiatrist, hypnotize Ginger and cause all sorts of crazy antics, as he keeps leaving her on her own. Eventually, when he finds out that she has fallen for him, he hypnotizes her not to be in love with him, and tells her that "men like him should be shot down like dogs!" which leads to further crazy antics involving her chasing after him with a gun.
  • This was performed in a short from The Three Stooges.
    Shemp: [to Moe] You are now... in SING SING!
    Moe: [picks up a chair by the rungs, like jail bars] I am now in Sing Sing.
  • In the The Woman in Green, Watson is hypnotized after declaring the whole thing to be fraud. He comes out of it wondering why he's no longer wearing shoes or socks. Later on the trope is subverted by Sherlock Holmes after the same hypnosis fails to do anything to him.
  • Merritt specializes in creating these in Now You See Me.
    • Now You See Me 2 has Merritt continuing this...only to be a victim himself of his own twin brother Chase. Also, this is how the Horsemen are "teleported" from New York to Macau as they're tricked into entering an escape tunnel gimmicked to bombard them with strobes and subliminal messages to put them under, flown across the world, and woken up at the end of another tunnel. It's then flipped back on Chase put under to set up the final con.
  • In the thriller Stir of Echoes, the hero is being hypnotizes as a joke, planting a post-hypnotic suggestion that he be more "open" to everything, which causes his latent psychic powers stop being latent.
  • In Unconscious, Salvador tries to hypnotize Alma but accidentally ends up hypnotizing himself instead, with catastrophic (and hilarious) results.
  • As a film involving hypnosis, this does come up in Trance, although it is taken very seriously. For one thing, you'd have to want to be hypnotized first, but when it's performed by the film's hypnotherapist it's outright stated to be a very serious breach of ethics in her profession as is her relationship with her patient Simon. Also, doing so was considered a desperate move on her part, and there were unforeseen side effects such as Simon mistaking a random woman for his ex-girlfriend and murdering her in a fit of rage.
  • In King of the Zombies, Jeff is hypnotised into believing he is a zombie, and that he no longer knows his own name. He keeps talking, despite the fact others keep telling him that zombies can't talk.
  • In Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt, Professor Phillips demonstrates the efficacy of his hypnosis by hypnotizing the skeptical prosecutor into crying uncontrollably in front of the court.
  • Hanussen: Hanussen the skilled hypnotist does this to people as part of his act. He makes a Nazi stormtrooper cluck like a chicken. At another show he mind-controls a woman into setting fire to the curtains.
  • A very dark example in a film titled, appropriately enough, The Hypnotized. Seok-won the psychiatrist becomes so obsessed by his gorgeous patient Ji-soo that he eventually rapes her while she's in hypnotic trance. Later, he implants a post-hypnotic suggestion, with a trigger phrase that will send her into trance and make her go back to his office to have sex with him.
  • The Manchurian Candidate: Done them few times to the character in the 1950 movie due to the fact it happens any time the character when he sees the cards by playing solitaire even if not by the hypnotises. this leads him to be in a lake in Central Park. (see literature folder for more.)
  • In the Judy Garland/Gene Kelley vehicle The Pirate, Kelley plays a traveling carnival hypnotist named Serafin who so enthralled by Manuela (Garland) and her beauty he hypnotizes her hoping to coax a love confession out of her. Instead while under hypnosis Manuela goes on to declare her love for the pirate Macoco, and proceeds to perform a raucous showstopper "Mack the Black" all while still remaining in a trance.
  • In Up the Front, the Great Vincento hypnotises Lurk into thinking he is Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake before making him want to defend England, which causes him to be susceptible to Auntie Cora getting him to enlist in the war.

  • Literary (1959), and then movie (1962), example: The Manchurian Candidate. Shaw, not quite the eponymous candidate, but the Manchurian Agent, promptly and unquestioningly obeys the suggestion (not meant for him) of a bar patron after he accidentally triggers a hypnotic suggestion: "Why don't you go and take yourself a cab and go up to Central Park and go jump in the lake?"
  • Richard also literally jumps in a lake — well, a canal — in response to a trigger planted by the titular Dirk in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Dirk was demonstrating to Richard why exactly one must Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts, particularly when there's an Absent-Minded Professor about in the bad habit of leaving his time machine unlocked...
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star, the hero claims he's immune to hypnosis, goes out like a light, and wakes up while STILL disbelieving that he was hypnotized until the results are convincingly demonstrated.
    • Likewise, in Starship Troopers Johnny Rico is put to sleep by a post-hypnotic suggestion command phrase without even realizing it.
    • And again in Time for the Stars, Tom and Pat Bartlett are hypnotized (while falsely thinking that they're under the effect of drugs) in order to bring out their telepathic abilities.
    • And yet again in Citizen of the Galaxy, where Baslim hypnotizes Thorby into remembering long speeches in foreign languages so he can later identify himself to Baslim's friends.
    • And yet again again in Space Cadet (Heinlein); the hero is subjected to a hypnotic lesson in the Venerian language. He emerges from it feeling unchanged, and is convinced that he was never hypnotized at all until he returns to his quarters and starts amiably cursing his Venus-born roommate — in fluent Venerian.
  • The Wayside School books featured a hypnotist who loved to play pranks on his customers. For example, he hypnotized a woman to quit smoking, but added the suggestion that she slap her husband whenever he said "potato". Later there's a Brick Joke where one of his pranks bears fruit after the reader has stopped looking for it.
  • Harry Potter: In the fourth book, the students are put under the Imperius Curse in order to learn how to fight it; as a result, the instructor has everyone do some random, silly thing. It's briefly mentioned that after class, Ron is still skipping every other step because it hasn't fully worn off yet.
  • This is the whole point of Captain Underpants: two kids hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a superhero they made up, but their method of ending the trance created a trigger that causes a relapse. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Peter Straub's story "Blue Rose", the young Harry Beever hypnotizes his younger brother to swallow his own tongue. It is implied that soon afterwards, he does the same to a simple-minded man in the neighborhood.
  • The Joseph Payne Brennan short story "Levitation" has this end very badly. The hypnotist dies while he commands the levitating, hypnotized man to rise... and nobody can bring him back down.
  • Clue: In book 1, chapter 11, Mrs. White is hypnotized so that when she hears the word "Candlestick", she'll follow any order she hears afterward, until she hears another trigger word. Unfortunately, the hypnotist forgot to specify that she should only fall into a trance when the hypnotist said it. As a result, the effect is unwittingly triggered twice, leading to her jumping into Boddy Pond in response to someone saying "Go jump in the lake", and later trying to drag Colonel Mustard out of his seat when she hears someone say "Please pass me the mustard".
  • The Berenstain Bears: In the chapter book The Berenstain Bears at the Teen Rock Café, Ralph Ripoff offers to do a hypnotist's act as part of the opening of the titular café. While practicing with willing volunteers, he accidentally puts Lizzie Bruin into a trance as well, allowing her to remember events from earlier. These recovered memories allow the other cubs to, with the help of the police, take down a shoplifting ring that's been causing a lot of trouble at the mall.
  • Planet of Adventure. In Servants of the Wankh, Helsse gets hypnotised to find out what happened to him after he was abducted. Later the protagonists are captured by the Wankh, and Helsse is translating their replies but changing the answers to present them in the worse possible light so they will be executed. So they activate his conditioning again and order him to translate accurately.
  • In The Mouse Watch, Big Bad Dr. Thornpaw invents a mind control gas as part of his Evil Plan for rats to take over New York City from humans. People infected by the gas will do anything they're told, including sticking their hand in a fire and standing in the path of an oncoming subway train.
  • Angela Nicely: Attempted in “Talent!”, when Angela tries to hypnotise Laura for the talent show, but it doesn’t work, so Laura just pretends. Then, Tiffany asks to be hypnotised, which also doesn’t work, so Angela tricks the audience by claiming she’s hypnotising Tiffany into being Miss Boot (which works because they’re both grumpy).

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of Monk, Adrian Monk gets hypnotized into thinking he's a child again. He still retains some of his detective skills, but becomes a lot more unfocused.
  • On Family Matters, Steve Urkel claims he's so smart he can't be hypnotized. The hypnotist claims that smarter people are actually easier to hypnotize. Urkel scoffs... and is entranced the instant the watch drops. (Comedic aspects aside, and disregarding the "instant" aspects of the gag, this is actually a rare case of Truth in Television being applied to hypnotism).
  • Frasier on Cheers hypnotizes Woody to like the vegetable drink he endorsed in a commercial, so he wouldn't have been lying. Unfortunately, the product is discontinued, but Woody is now an addict.
    • In that same episode, Frasier mentions the time he hypnotized Lilith as part of a prank, which Lilith denies. She then spends the rest of the episode doing increasingly ridiculous things (like taking off her shoes and breaking into song) every time someone says certain keywords. Naturally this is never mentioned again.
      • Specifically: "brie cheese" = take a shoe off, "tambourine" = begin unbuttoning shirt and "tractor" = sing "Tomorrow" from Annie.
    • Woody gets hypnotized on two other occasions — when Carla's husband Nick Tortelli tries to use it on Diane, who is immune, the end of the scene shows it did work on Woody, and when he tries to hypnotize Rebecca into kissing him, only managing to hypnotize himself.
  • Wings: Brian is able to make the skeptical Joe cluck like a chicken whenever he hears the word "tortilla." However, later Roy admits under hypnosis that he stole the life-savings of an old man and buried it in his back yard. The gang conducts a dig to locate the stash before realizing he was faking it and just wanted someone to dig the hole for his new hot-tub. Turns out, as he had insisted earlier, he really couldn't be hypnotized.
  • Neatly subverted in an episode of Perfect Strangers in which Larry claimed to be immune to hypnosis, proceeds to go under with consummate ease — then reveals about a minute later that he's only pretending, and he actually can't be hypnotised. Meanwhile, Balki was accidentally hypnotised just by half-listening from the next room.
  • The episode "My Husband Is Not a Drunk" from The Dick Van Dyke Show, where van Dyke's character acts as though he was drunk every time a telephone rings. Established earlier as an easy hypnosis mark, he was hypnotised from another room as he overheard the hypnotist try to hypnotize Buddy, who genuinely couldn't be hypnotized.
  • The Brittas Empire: The episode "Mr. Brittas Changes Trains" starts sometime after a stage hypnotist has hypnotised the majority of the staff, leading to them exhibiting strange behaviour for 24 hours (Patrick gets a Potty Emergency when he hears a bell, Colin says “I love you” when someone mentions ‘need’, etc). Later, Brittas sends in the hypnotist to try to cure Helen’s stress related paralysis. It winds up hypnotising him instead into a (temporarily) better person.
  • Happened on Gilligan's Island. Mary Ann thought she was Ginger, and hypnosis was tried to cure her and make her think she's Mary Ann again. The hypnosis failed, but worked on Gilligan, who was listening.
  • In an episode of The Greatest American Hero, Bill is accidentally hypnotized while watching a hypnotism performance and falls asleep (or instantly wakes up) whenever he hears the word "Scenario".
  • In a particularly silly episode of Murder, She Wrote, a hypnotist is killed in front of several eyewitnesses, all of whom he's just commanded to forget everything they've experienced. And also showed why you have to want to be hypnotised...
  • An episode of Kate & Allie had Allie visiting a hypnotist to handle stage fright, as she was to appear on television later. The hypnotist is interrupted by a phone call from his daughter. The hypnotist takes the call in the other room, but Allie can still hear him. His daughter is disappointed because she tried out for the cheerleading squad and got picked as the mascot: a chicken. The hypnotist's advice to his daughter, overheard by his client, is to "cluck like a chicken for all you're worth!" On stage later, she did exactly that.
  • On NewsRadio Joe hypnotizes Jimmy to cure him of his fear of hippies. Matthew gets hypnotized too and messes things up until Joe makes him think he's a chicken. Eventually, Jimmy is cured but Matthew remains a chicken. Dave feels Matthew likes being that way — or at least Dave likes him better that way.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had an episode where Will was hypnotized into acting like a child whenever he heard a bell. The episode ended with a gag where Uncle Phil chastised Will for falling under the hypnosis... and then barking like a dog when he hears a bell.
  • Friends: When Rachel wants Chandler to quit smoking, she gives him a tape to play while he sleeps. The tape tells him he is a strong, confident woman who doesn't need to smoke. Over the course of the episode, Chandler is seen exhibiting certain feminine traits such as coming out of the shower with a towel wrapped around his hair and torso.
    • Joey then alters the tape so it says "Joey is your best friend. You want to buy him a sandwich every day." The first time Chandler plays the new version, he wakes up in bewilderment.
    • When Ross dismisses hypnotism Rachel brings up the time a hypnotist in Atlantic City was able to make him drop his pants and play "Wipeout" on his own butt.
  • Night Court. Bull Shannon is due to appear on a game show but is nervous, so his friends hypnotise him so he will remain calm when he hears a Trigger Phrase which is... unfortunately, the lecherous DA Dan Fielding choses that moment to say "I want to be your love slave!" to an attractive prison officer. Ironically Bull handles the game show quite well but Dan, not realising this, rushes onto the stage and shouts "Bull, I want to be your love slave!" on live television. At a press conference Dan excuses his actions by saying he was kidnapped and brainwashed by Soviet agents.
  • Though not quite an example, one episode of Boogie's Diner had the boss listen to a tape of "Tibetan Monk's Omming" to calm down. It worked remarkably well. Then the staff realizes they have an excellent severage package and tries to tape over the Oms so he'll fire them. Except they have to do it so it's hard to tell from the actual tape, which means matching the monks' tone of voice. What follows is basically a very serene musical number.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, Clyde is victim to hypnosis, and Sarah Jane to scarily accurate predictions, during a visit to a show. Later, Clyde gets hypnotized again, as is the rest of the world, except for Luke and anyone born under the sign of Taurus. Naturally, this being a Doctor Who Spin-Off, it's down to aliens.
    • Another Sufficiently Advanced Technology in Doctor Who, blood control, has this effect on anyone of the chosen blood type. But the Doctor explains that it is more like real-world hypnosis, in that the victims retain enough of their instincts to avoid doing anything outright suicidal.
  • Big Kids: The entire concept of the show. The Parents start frequently acting like young children after a hypnotist's show. In the end, their kids work out that the word which "switches" them is the hypnotist's name, Ming, whether on its own or as a part of longer words. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The A-Team, Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus has a fear of flying. In "In Plane Sight", he is tricked into being hypnotized so that he will fall asleep when someone says "eclipse", allowing him to sleep through an important flight. Later, in combat, Face runs out of ammo and yells "give me clips!" and he falls asleep.
  • The plot of one Kenan & Kel episode centred around a bet that Kel couldn't survive one week without drinking orange soda. In an attempt to cure his addiction, Kel goes to a hypotherapist... except Kenan (by this point on the verge of losing the bet) switches the charts and the highly trained hypnotherapist doesn't think twice about hypnotising Kel into becoming a vicious guard dog when he hears the chime of a bell. Hilarity Ensues.
  • One episode of Laverne & Shirley had the duo acting like chickens every time they heard a bell ring.
  • Round the Twist had a hypnosis episode which resulted in Pete acting like a chicken whenever the word 'now' was mentioned. It also featured a counting chicken which was made to regress (or ascend) to a past life of being a mathematician.
  • My Hero (2000) combined this with The "Fun" in "Funeral". One episode's A-plot has George Sunday (secretly the superhero Thermoman) being taken for dead as a result of his Bizarre Alien Biology acting up, while the B-plot has Mrs. Raven, the closest thing to a Token Evil Teammate on the show, taking up the kind of hypnosis program which features "You will quit smoking. Then you will start drinking. Then you will come to me with your drinking problem." When the minister is listing George's three traits, we get events such as Pierce clucking like a chicken and Stanley claiming to be Spider-Man. When "These are the things we will remember him for" comes around, we're treated to a rendition of the YMCA by these three; "ten", incidentally, is the chicken dance.
  • The Suite Life on Deck: The episode "Shipnotized" had London being hypnotized to act more like Bailey. Naturally, it got annoying, but when the hypnotist tried to change her back, it accidentally affects the daughter of the dean from Yale University.
  • In the House episode House's Head, Chase is hypnotizing House to help him remember what happened during a bus crash. House saw Wilson and Amber in the room, so Chase told him to ignore Amber and Wilson. This resulted in the rest of the episode spent trying increasingly dangerous ways of dredging through House's mind. He was finally forced to realize that Amber was the person he was searching for.
  • A dramatic example occurs in an episode of CSI. A hypnotherapist manages to convince one of her clients, a bank teller, to give her change for a twenty; however, while she thinks she's counting it out in ones, she's actually giving the hypnotherapist hundred dollar bills. When another client figures this out, the hypnotherapist triggers a command that makes her think she's on a beach vacation... causing her to walk off her balcony.
    • Which leads to a conversation when the hypnotherapist tells the officer that she can't make people do what they don't want to. The latter retorts with "I can. Go to jail."
  • A rather low-key version appears in the Leverage episode, "The Scheherezade Job". In order for their heist to work, they have Hardison infiltrate an orchestra since he had been a violin prodigy when he was young. He was nervous about not having touched a violin in years, but when his solo comes he plays his part beautifully. The Reveal at the end is that Nate had hypnotized him to return to his childhood level of skill, 'shaking the cobwebs out' as he put it. It still earned Nate a big What the Hell, Hero? from the rest of the team, with callbacks to it in future episodes.
  • An episode of The Flying Nun has a dentist cross this one with a bizarre "Freaky Friday" Flip: He uses hypnosis to make Sister Bertrille and the Mother Superior think they're each other. Hilarity, of course, ensues.
  • In Stark Raving Mad, to research ideas for a book, Tony Shaloub's character and Neil Patrick Harris' character hypnotize two of their friends into believing they're Romeo and Juliet. Y'know, those two lovers that ended up killing themselves!
  • The That's So Raven episode "Wake Up Victor", has Cory and his friend Miles learn hypnosis techniques. When they try it out on Raven and Chelsea, they accidentally hypnotize Victor as well.
  • The New WKRP in Cincinnati: Mr. Carlson is hypnotized with a post-hypnotic suggestion that he's a chicken, cued by the word "Colonel," and is snapped out when he hears "Sanders." Then he has a meeting with a Russian interested in the US radio market, who is a Colonel in the Russian army. His translator is named Buck Sanders. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Whose Line Is It Anyway?, one session of the game "Let's Make a Date" has Ryan as someone who's "still hypnotised from last night's show". Among the completely random responses he strings together are chicken noises, standing at attention with his pants around his ankles and saluting.
    • There was a Running Gag between Colin and Ryan on the show where one of the two would say something embarrassing and then say, "Sleep", causing the other's head to slump. Example: when Colin makes an awkward statement about how much he likes women, he then tells Ryan, "Sleep. You will forget everything I said. Wake." Later, when Ryan stumbles over what he's trying to say, Colin says, "Sleep. When you awake you will have perfect diction. Wake."
  • Top Gear's Richard Hammond was once hypnotised into not recalling how to drive. He was then filmed in a car looking completely baffled as to how anything worked. Later, in the studio, while discussing the experience, an earlier hypnotic suggestion was envoked which made him think a child's pedal car was his own, beloved car and that he would get unreasonably enraged when anyone damaged it. As he pedaled around the studio, Jeremy Clarkson got into another pedal car and ran into him. Hilariously, Hammond's road rage over the 'damage' amounted to little more than blustering "You ran into me!" in disbelief.
  • An episode of Taggart opens with Detective Constable Fraser at a hypnotist's show, getting hypnotised into threatening the entire audience with arrest. Subsequently Played for Drama when a woman hypnotised into believed she could swim the Channel is found drowned.
  • In the second season of The Joe Schmo Show, Bryce tried to make Piper into this using the hypnotic command "mockingbird," but his hypnosis was totally washed up.
  • The Night Gallery episode "Finnegan's Flight" has a prisoner who is hypnotized into thinking he is flying a plane. When he thinks he's too high up, he suffers the effects of hypoxia, and when he tries to bring the plane back down and goes into an uncontrolled dive, he "crashes" and burns.
  • An episode of Xena: Warrior Princess has Joxer fall under a spell where he turns into a badass at the sound of a bell, and snaps back to his bungling self when another bell rings. The closing credits acknowledged The Court Jester (See Film above) as the source for this plot.
  • An episode of The Mentalist deals with hypnosis. Rigsby ends up assaulting a suspect during interrogation and then not remembering the act. Jane determines that he's been hypnotized. When it's pointed out that people can't be made to do things that go against their nature, Jane agrees that this applies to normal people. However, Rigsby is hardly a pacifist, so he can be hypnotized to do violent things. In another episode, Jane offers to hypnotize Lisbon in order to remember something. She agrees, but he tells her he's not going to hypnotize her. She's too nervous, so he's most definitely not hypnotizing her... three... two... one... sleep.
  • One Dave Allen at Large sketch shows a nightclub hypnotist summoning an attractive young woman to the stage. She slowly puts her into a trance, and then tells her to take off her clothes. She snaps out her trance, calls him "fresh", slaps his face, and walks back to join the rest of the audience... who are all stark naked.
  • Derren Brown, as part of his The Experiments series, tested the old legend of hypnotically trained assassins who were conditioned to performed murders without the assassin's knowledge, with a series of tasks being performed to slowly condition a man to become a better marksman, react to visual stimuli to enter trances and to respond to assassination requests made by people who play a ringtone. The assassin successfully assassinated Stephen Fry!
  • In the Adventures in Wonderland episode "Hippity Hoppity Hypnotist," the Red Queen is hypnotized to cluck like a chicken whenever someone says the word "red."
  • An episode of Bull involves a man accused of killing his father after getting involved with a Church of Happyology type cult that wanted more and more of the family’s money; it turned out he was hypnotized by the cult leader’s daughter to attack her father, but left the cult premises at the time she thought he’d be with the leader and attacked the wrong person when she flipped the switch.
  • New Tricks: We don't know exactly Gerry what was hypnotized into doing any time he heard the music of Gerry Rafferty, but it is apparently something pretty shocking to judge from the reactions of the rest of the team.
  • The Gotham version of Jervis Tetch, the Mad Hatter, is intially introduced as a stage hypnotist, who says someone can't be hypnotised into doing something they don't want to do, but it's amazing what people secretly want to do. The fact he then gets one of his victims — who showed no signs of any instability — to cheerfully kill first his wife and then himself is pushing it, and in the next episode Tetch's sister Alice basically says it's not hypnotism, it's Mind Control (which is plausible since his eyes go black when he's doing it and she herself has a mutation of some sort, making anyone exposed to her blood lose their sanity), and that in the past he would put incestuous thoughts in her head against her will. He continues to successfully give people suicidal instructions throughout the series.
  • The Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation episode "Sewer Crash" had Silver use a computer to hypnotize Donatello into committing robberies for him whenever he heard the word "banana". Saying "banana" again undoes the trance.
  • On the The Bold and the Beautiful, a colleague of Taylor's (she's a psychiatrist) falls in love with her and without her consent or knowledge, begins using his hypnosis techniques on her. First, by making her repulsed by her husband's affectionate gestures, then by enticing her to respond to him. (Which frankly borders on Mind Rape, though it mercifully never went as far as him seducing her).
  • The Big Comfy Couch: There is an episode where Loonette tries to hypnotize Molly into taking a nap, but ends up hypnotizing herself by accident.
  • The Cape: Ruvi the hypnotist is capable of making people do silly things when hypnotized.
  • In an early episode of In Living Color!, Jim Carrey gets hypnotized into the classic "cluck like a chicken" routine...then the hypnotist has a heart attack and dies before he can bring him out of it, and he's stuck in chicken mode forever.
  • One Life to Live. Gangster Carlo Hesser forces Viki Carpenter's therapist to hypnotize her into killing her oldest son Kevin as revenge for Viki killing his son several years ago. Luckily, it doesn't work.
  • El Chapulín Colorado: There was an episode where a guy who claims to be the "Raja of Kalambur" attempts to hypnotize the people in a home to steal a crystal ball from them. He fails, but instead makes El Chapulín act like a monkey whenever someone snaps their fingers.
  • Birds of a Feather: Dorien puts Sharon under hypnosis in "Mind Over Matter" in an attempt to cure her phobia of dentists. This doesn't work and makes Sharon think she's working at a McDonald's.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In GLOW, there was a woman called The Princess Of Darkness, who would hypnotize her opponents during matches, then have them beat themselves up. The hypnotized opponent would eventually snap out of it later in the match.
  • CHIKARA's The Osirian Portal would hypnotize their opponents to get them to dance, with the opponents having no memory of what had happened once the hypnosis was broken.

  • The radio version of Little Britain had Kenny Craig, who could hypnotise anyone in under a second and get them to agree to whatever he wanted. "Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don't look around the eyes, look into my eyes," [click!] "You're under."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu adventure Pursuit to Kadath. During a party, Nils Lindstrom is hypnotized as part of a game. He is subjected to all of the normal pranks that hypnotized people are subjected to, such as being ordered to act like an animal, demonstrate alternate personality traits and undergo age regression.

  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever begins with Dr. Bruckner accidentally hypnotizing Daisy while trying to put someone else in a trance. When she runs out on him, he commands her remotely to come back.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Subverted when Belkar is hypnotized (well, charm person, but the rules are the same) and told to murder his friends, take their magical items and bring them to the hypnotist: he refuses. The hypnotist realizes that people will not do anything against their nature, and commands Belkar to kill his friends, steal their magical items and keep them for himself. While singing the entire score to Meet me in St. Louis. Naturally, something ensues
    • Also subverted again later; Haley breaks a paladin out of a hypnotic trance by fooling him into thinking he's attacking his lord. Of course, both these examples are part of the actual D&D rules.
  • In the non-canon El Goonish Shive parody of Pokémon, "Grace-a-Monsters", HypnoGrace is first introduced having accidentally(?) hypnotised herself. In the next strip, her trainer having failed to supervise her properly, she's got Justin clucking like a chicken.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of The Flintstones, Fred, thinking there's nothing to hypnotism, tries to hypnotize Wilma into thinking she was a dog. After Wilma plays along, she reveals she was faking. However, Fred soon discovers that Barney (who had been standing behind him) had gotten hypnotized instead and thought he was a dog. After a bunch of hijinks topped off with Barney ending up in the dog pound, Fred turned to a professional hypnotist to get Barney back to normal. It works, but due to the wording the hypnotist used, all the dogs in the pound thought they were human.
  • Ickis in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters accidentally gets hypnotized when attempting to scare a magician performing a trick on someone. Until the hypnosis is reversed, Ickis begins thinking that he's a backwards redneck human everytime someone snaps their fingers.
  • In the animated version of The Mask, one episode had Stanley Ipkiss hypnotized so that the sound of popping sent him into a hypnotic suggestion based on the last thing he heard. It was bad enough when he was himself, but then the suggestion carries over when he puts on the Mask...
  • In a Recess episode, Principal Prickly was accidentally hypnotised into thinking he is six years old again, whereas the intended target (Miss Finster) is unaffected. Justified in that it's later revealed that the hypnotism simply triggered an already mounting mental breakdown and envy towards the kids' carefree existence.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a Freak Lab Accident leaves Shredder thinking he's Michaelangelo just as Michaelangelo himself goes on a 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Slight twist in Ben 10 episode "Midnight Madness": The tropes is played fairly close to straight, except that the combination of evil hypnotist and Voluntary Shapeshifting means it's everyone else who's in danger.
  • The Simpsons:
    Bart: Dad, remember those self-hypnosis courses we took to help us ignore Grampa?
    Homer: Do I ever! It's five years later and I still think I'm a chicken. I'm a chicken Marge!
    Marge: [tiredly] I know, I know.
  • In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life Rocko is hypnotized into thinking he's a dog by Heffer and he runs away, the thing is at the time Heffer needed to buy the second volume to reverse it.
  • In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Edd gets a book on hypnotism that comes with a hypno-wheel. Eddy decides to use it to his advantage, turning the neighborhood kids into animals for his amusement before using it to bilk them out of their money. However, when the Kankers show up, Lee's bangs keep her from being affected, so she steals the wheel and the episode ends with the Eds outside the Kankers' mobile home, chained up and acting like dogs.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar had one episode where Private tried to help a petting zoo sheep (who hated being petted because the people petting him never washed their hands which made his coat dirty and sticky) by hypnotizing him into not minding the petting. Cue the next shot of them all acting and clucking like chickens.
  • Wade Duck was the target of this twice in the U.S. Acres segments of Garfield and Friends: once on purpose to remove his fears, another by accident for humor.
    • One, "Wade, You're Afraid," had him hypnotized to be fearless, but this turns him into a Jerkass and ready to take on the farm's bull by making insults to it. It was adapted from one of the weekly strip arcs.
    • Another one, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Wade," had Wade Duck also do the listening-in accidental-hypnosis thing: Orson, Booker and Sheldon were outside the barn having a casual discussion of hypnosis and somehow accidentally hypnotize a listening-in Wade who was on the other side of the barn wall. Whenever he heard a bell he would become a vicious monster. Later the hypnosis helps him save his friends (who never witnessed the event, mind you, because the random noise of any bell would turn him back to normal) by beating up Orson's bully brothers when they ring the dinner bell to turn him into that monster.
  • Likewise, in The Garfield Show, in order to get Garfield to work at Doc's farm, Jon gets Dr. Whipple to hypnotize him into becoming an enthusiastic hard-working cat every time he hears a horn, and back to his lazy self when he hears another one. When Garfield realizes what happened, he gets furious and proceeds to hypnotize Jon, Doc, Odie, and Dr. Whipple into doing what the TV suggests.
  • An episode of Time Squad had the trio travel back in time and encounter famous psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, who used hypnosis to help his patients deal with their problems but instead made them act like animals. Sigmund tries to cure Buck Tuddrussel of his big ego but only ends up hypnotizing him into acting like a chicken.
  • Back at the Barnyard: Otis somehow hypnotizes himself with his new hypno kit into attacking the farmer whenever he hears the sound of a bell. The rest of the episode consists of his friends trying to prevent him from killing the farmer until they resort to making a farmer-shaped model out of hay and tricking him into destroying it, which finally releases him from the hypnosis.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series:
    • An activated hypnosis experiment named Swirly causes trouble on the island by putting Lilo in a trance who upon hearing an accidental suggestion from Pleakley started to act like her jerkass rival, Mertle, and who hypnotized Stitch into loving a certain television show at the suggestion of the hypnotized Lilo. Much trouble ensues until Jumba puts them out of their trance by simply snapping his fingers and Swirly it put into the place he truly belongs where he hypnotizes guests to act silly at parties, including Mertle into acting like a chicken. Also, Gantu is hypnotized by Experiment 625 into doing anything he's told to do, resulting in 625 and Hamsterviel making him do embarrassing things by making him say he's an idiot with a stupid grin on his face, twirl like a ballerina, and juggle various objects while balancing on a rolling pin.
    • Another instance occurred where Lilo finds an experiment named Checkers that grants her the power of command over all living things. She decides to make herself queen and have fun around the house by making Nani and Pleakley grovel and serve her every whim. When Mad Scientist Jumba walks in and finds out that they are using experiment 029, he gets as far as saying "Only the weak min-", when suddenly he is on one knee, asking to do Lilo's bidding.
  • In an episode of Jungle Cubs, Kaa tries to hypnotize himself by looking at his reflection in the water. He ends up hypnotizing 2 vultures that are watching, also looking at his reflection.
  • The Mike, Lu & Og episode "Margery the Duck" has Og using a machine to make a duck think he's a travel agent, but Margery accidentally looks into the machine and makes her think she's a duck. At the end, she's brought back to normal, but now everyone else thinks they're ducks.
  • In "The Mermaid's Song" on Jake And The Neverland Pirates, Marina's sister uses mersong to turn Captain Hook, Smee and Cubby into this so that they will do work for her. At the end of the story, Bones and Sharky successfully emulate the mersong to get Hook to swab the deck of the Jolly Roger.
  • In the Inspector Gadget episode "Quiz Master", the winners of the quiz show are hypnotized in a "cone of seclusion" and commanded to rob armored cars. Gadget falls victim to this as well, but Penny reverses the process and hypnotizes the show's MAD agent host into returning the stolen money and turning himself in.
  • In the Victor & Hugo Victor tries to hypnotize himself into becoming a master criminal by aid of looking at himself in a hand-mirror. Unfortunately for him, Hugo is sitting right behind him looking at his own reflection in the mirror, so he is the one who gets hypnotised. To cap it all off, Victor has a cold, so whenever he sneezes, Hugo turns into a tough-talking, hyper-competent gangster but changes back to his usual useless crook self whenever Victor sneezes again — always at the worst possible moment.
  • In the "Mad Mod" episode of Teen Titans (2003), Mad Mod uses hypnoscreens to try and hypnotize the Titans which works best on Beast Boy. He drools a lot and becomes rather mindless when this happens.
  • This has been a fairly common plot on Arthur.
    • In one episode, Arthur is afraid of losing his pants. Buster tries to hypnotize him into not being afraid of losing his pants. It works, but now Arthur's afraid his pants are going to eat him.
    • The episode "Buenas Noches, Vicita" involves Vicita, who has lost her favorite bedtime storybook and now can't fall asleep. Buster tries to hypnotize her to fall asleep, but ends up hypnotizing himself instead.
    • In "D.W.'s Name Game," D.W. has a fantasy sequence about making Arthur into this.
      Arthur: [spinning hypnotic eyes, droning voice, as he dusts one of her troll dolls] I enjoy doing your chores. I enjoy doing your chores.
      D.W.: [relaxing] Of course you do.
    • In "Buster's New Friend," Arthur has an Imagine Spot of Buster's supposed new friend Mike hypnotizing Buster with a pocket watch into never visiting or hanging out with Arthur again.
    • In "Arthur's New Year's Eve," one way D.W. attempts to stay awake to ring in the new year at midnight is by hypnotizing herself with her alarm clock, chanting "I will not fall asleep." But it ends up making her more drowsy...
    • D.W. is misled by the Tibbles into thinking a swear word will make adults "zombies for a day" who are forced to do what she says in "Bleep". She later finds this not to be true when she says it to her mom.
  • In one Yogi Bear cartoon, Ranger Smith studies hypnotism and decides to try it out on Yogi. Yogi, however, notices the book and doesn't fall for it, instead tricking Ranger Smith into thinking it worked. Then, for a laugh, Yogi tries it on Boo Boo, telling him he's a bird. Boo Boo then ends up flying away with Yogi and Ranger Smith chasing after him.
  • The Rupert episode "Rupert and the Great Mephisto" had a stage magician hypnotizing everyone in Nutwood into delivering him their valuables while sleepwalking. There are also some antics involving the hypnotized thinking they are an animal, such as Bill Badger being hypnotized into thinking he's a chicken and Rupert Bear defeating the Great Mephisto by using a mirror to trick the villain into hypnotizing himself into thinking he's a cat.
  • One episode of Scooby-Doo featured a Monster Clown who hypnotized people into thinking they were circus performers—for example Daphne thought she was a unicyclist, while Shaggy thought he was a lion tamer. In each case the unaffected members of the gang had to get their friends out of dangerous situations before the clown broke the trance.
  • Touché Turtle and Dum Dum: Evil hypnotist Hypno-Harry puts Touché and Dum Dum in a trance and forces them to be his partners in crime in "Save the Last Trance for Me." They target the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building for theft!
  • Bobby becomes this in The Casagrandes episode "What's Love Gato Do With It?" During a magic act at a friend's birthday party, the magician hypnotizes Bobby into thinking he's a cat whenever he hears a bell and he turns back to normal when he hears the word "papaya."
  • Total Drama World Tour: Alejandro reveals he can perform hypnosis, which would be a Story-Breaker Power if he used it more liberally. As it is, he only uses it to make Owen dance like a fool, since Owen kept on unintentionally pressing his Berserk Button.
  • Jimmy Timmy Power Hour: After getting hypnotized by Timmy, Judy Neutron is told to think that she's Mighty Mom. Judy proceeds to spend the entire special believing she's a dirt-fighting heroine with "vacuum powered flying abilities", dramatically spraying dust bunnies and battling her arch-enemy "Dr. Mildew". Judy is so distracted by her superhero fantasy that she doesn't notice the Decimator Goddard terrorizing Retroville. In the epilogue, Judy crashes head first into a cabinet of pots and pans after escaping the green leftovers.

    Real Life 
  • News report about a man who hypnotized himself too well using a mirror.
  • There are many cases where people have received false memories from out-of-line hypnotists.
  • Self-hypnosis can be dangerous if you let fantasies/fetishes distract you when making your script.
  • As noted above, Truth in Television often does not apply here, as many of the effects of being hypnotized depicted in fiction (being unable to lie, being forced to do things against your will, being trapped in a hypnotic state until released, etc.) simply do not apply in real life. If you see someone during a stage show having been hypnotized and then proceeding to act the fool in front of hundreds of people, they had to be willing to do so to begin with. And people will generally come out of any hypnotic trance on their own if left to their own devices.
  • This can happen if a post-hypnotic trigger is set up improperly, as in "Whenever you hear X you will do Y". This is unsafe because the subject will do the action regardless of context even if it is inapropriate, embarrassing or even dangerous to do so. They can resist of course, but the struggle between subconscious mind wanting to obey the command and the conscious mind knowing that they shouldn't can still be disterssing to the subject. More experienced hypnotists avert this by wording the trigger in a way that limits it to a specific context or person, such as the hypnostist who set it up ("Whenever I, and only I, say X you do Y. When other people say it you will ignore it") or that it would only work when the subject is comfortable doing the action ("When you hear X and it is safe and appropriate for you to do so, you will do Y")

Alternative Title(s): Hypnosis Is Mind Control