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Hypno Pendulum

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Often, a pocket watch (or another object of that sort) is swung back and forth in front of a victim repeatedly to hypnotize them. This is almost always accompanied by the hypnotist saying "You are getting very sleepy..." or some variation.

Truth in Television: Since these kind of motions are rather hypnotic in Real Life, this trope somewhat makes sense.

See also More Hypnotizable Than He Thinks, Hypno Fool, Hypnotic Eyes, and Trigger Phrase. Not to be confused with Hypno Trinket, which is something the subject/victim wears, or Mind-Control Device, which is a device that has the sole purpose of hypnotizing someone/controlling someone's mind. Could be used to Hypnotize the Princess, or (very rarely) for Mass Hypnosis.



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  • A commercial for Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 has Wario attempting to hypnotize the viewers into becoming him. It's a variation on the famous "Obey Wario, destroy Mario!" ad for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
  • In this commercial for Trix, the Rabbit thinks being hypnotized will help him get over his obsession with Trix. The hypnotist uses a watch to put him under.

     Anime And Manga 
  • A brief bit in Nichijou features Mio trying this on Yuuko with a yen coin. Yuuko ends up trying to eat it.
  • A scene in Strawberry Marshmallow also features the girls trying hypnosis with a yen coin.
  • How Jango the hypnotist from One Piece hypnotizes his victims to make them sleep, or his allies to make them stronger. Problem is, he often hypnotizes himself as well as his targets.
  • Meg is hypnotized in this manner in one episode of Majokko Meg-chan. To elaborate, the pervert Chou fantasizes about using a pendulum to hypnotize Meg, and later uses a cuckoo clock.
  • An episode of the Nodame Cantabile anime involves Nodame hypnotizing Chiaki in order to cure his fear of flying. She uses a watch because that's how she had seen it done in movies.
  • Nanapon from Seven of Seven can use her crystal in this way. In one episode, she tries to teach Nana, but ends up hypnotizing herself instead.
  • In an episode of MegaMan NT Warrior Axess, Ms. Yuri hypnotizes Ms. Mari using a pair of Clackers.
  • In a chapter of Squid Girl, Sanae uses one to try hypnotizing the titular protagonist into loving her. It doesn't work, but since almost everyone around her is so annoyed that they decide to play along and fake being hypnotized (Even her pet dog was faking it), she buys it anyway. Only Squid Girl herself doesn't bother playing along.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Lamput episode "Hypnosis", Fat Doc sees a hypnotist use a swinging pocket watch to hypnotize someone in a TV show, and he and Slim Doc use this idea to hypnotize Lamput into doing their bidding.


  • In Carry On Matron, hypnotherapist Dr Goode is seen hypnotizing himself before being walked in on.
  • Our Man Flint. Flint hypnotizes Lloyd Cramden by using his watch, but not by swinging it: it generates a small light moving around on its face, and Cramden becomes hypnotized watching it.
  • Variation in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: In an early scene, E.T. lulls Elliott to sleep in this manner. In this case, E.T. sways his own body back and forth, causing Elliott to sway with him and fall into a trance.
  • Frankenstein 1970, Victor von Frankenstein does this with reflected light; playing it across the eyes of his victim while he talks in a low, hypnotic tone. He hypnotises Schutter with light reflected off a pair of forceps, and Mike with light reflected off a coin.

  • A stage magician holds up a watch and says that it's his grandfather's watch, and is priceless in and of itself outside of its utility in hypnotizing people. Hy hypnotizes the entire audience, using it as a pendulum and begins his first command. "Now, I want you to..." He drops the watch and it shatters on the ground. "Shit!" It took four weeks to clean that theatre's seats...

     Live Action TV 
  • Patrick from The Mentalist has used various objects to hypnotize people: a pen, a watch, a necklace...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: When Xander gets a Literal Split Personality, his meeker side thinks that his more confident side is an evil shapeshifter using a shiny coin to hypnotize people. Turns out Confident!Xander just found the coin at a construction site he was working at and thought it was cool.
    • Also in "Helpless", Giles uses a crystal to hypnotise Buffy.
    • Used as a Bilingual Bonus joke in "Touched". Willow uses a spell to hypnotize a Harbringer — a mook for the Big Bad whose eyes have been sewn shut. According to the shooting script Willow is saying in Turkish while casting the spell, "You are getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy. I do not have a pocket watch but then again, you do not have eyes."
  • In Vega$, a lady police hypnotist tries this, but Dan Tanna's assistant is already somewhat mesmerized by her breasts.
  • In one episode of The Addams Family, Morticia tries to use her necklace on Uncle Fester, to which he responds, "The only one who can hypnotize me is ME!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • This is how the First Doctor mesmerises Dodo in "The War Machines", only instead of using a pendulum he swings his hand with the ring on it back and forth in a similar motion.
    • The Sixth Doctor uses his fobwatch to calm a Technically Living Zombie trying to kill Peri in "Revelation of the Daleks".
    • Played for Laughs in "The Ultimate Foe," the last episode of "The Trial of a Time Lord." The Master has a criminal named Sabalom Glitz in his grasp and is trying to hypnotize him with a pocketwatch. Glitz appears to be in a trance, but says that he's only wondering how much it cost the Master.

  • In Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, Dr. Pickle uses a pickle-shaped pendulum to hypnotize his patients. Incidentally, his real name is Pickell.
  • Molly Moon buys one from an antique shop in Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism, but earlier she uses her own: a spoon (while she's stirring soup) and a piece of soap on a string.
  • Chester is implied to have been hypnotized by a clock pendulum in Bunnicula.
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants book "The Great Spongebobini", Spongebob tries to hypnotize Patrick into not being sick using a combination of this and Hypnotic Eyes. It doesn't work.
  • Inverted in Gordon Korman's "The Hypnotists". A stage hypnotists appears to use a pendulum to hypnotize his subject; however, it is later revealed that it was just for show, and true hypnosis works through eyes.

  • The video for Rainbow's song "Street Of Dreams" features a man being hypnotized with a pocket watch around the time the song kicks in.
  • Pointedly averted in the They Might Be Giants song "Hypnotist of Ladies":
    "He's a hypnotist, hypnotist of ladies
    Never had a pocket watch, never counted backwards."

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Kerry Drake features a rare example of one of these being used on a crowd of people. Shandar hypnotizes his followers with a clock pendulum (he calls it "The Pendulum of Existence").

     Other Sites 

     Video Games 
  • The Psychic-type Pokémon Hypno wields a pendulum, swinging it back and forth to perform its psychic attacks.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the ultra-rare monster Hypnotist of Hey Deze, who specifically averts this trope in a Shout-Out to the They Might Be Giants example above:
    He's never had a pocketwatch, and he's never counted backwards, but he looks like he has beaten up quite a few adventurers in his day, and it seems that you're next on his list.
  • There is an item in Tomodachi Life called the "Hypnotizer". It's a coin on a chain, and it can be used to see a dream again.
  • Duster from MOTHER 3 has one that can used to put enemies to sleep, though with a lower success rate then PSI.
  • At the end of Nightfall Mysteries 2: Curse of the Opera Vincent uses a pocket watch to put the player character into a trance.


     Web Video 
  • Referenced by Retsupurae at the beginning of episode 10 of Ambition:
    Courtroom official: She was seen leaving around 9:30pm.
    (A giant pocketwatch swings back and forth)
    slowbeef: I feel like I've been hypnotized watching this.
    (the watch disappears)
    Diabetus: "You want to play better game" - oh.

     Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Refund", Gumball and Darwin hypnotize a store manager into giving them a refund on a game. They use a watch in order to do this.
  • In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Madam Foster's bowling rival is able to hypnotize Bloo by swinging the ball from a paddle-ball in front of his face to coax him into bowling for her team.
  • In Arthur, one Imagine Spot of the titular character has a new friend of Buster hypnotizing him in this manner.
    • Buster himself has used this twice: once on Arthur and once on Arthur's neighbor Vicita.
    • In the episode "What Is That Thing?", Francine uses one of these on her cat, Nemo, in hope of curing his fear of water.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Dale tries to use one in the episode "The Pied Piper Power Play", but it rarely works.
  • There was a Donald Duck cartoon where Donald goes to Ludwig Von Drake for anger issues. Ludwig tries a watch, saying "Vatch de vatch!". It doesn't work, so he simply hits Donald over the head with a mallet.
  • One episode of The Flintstones has Fred trying to hypnotize Wilma using a rock on a string. He hypnotizes Barney instead.
  • The Garfield and Friends episode "Wade, You're Afraid" had Orson hypnotize Wade into not being afraid, by using a turnip on a string.
  • One episode of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi has Ami using a pocket watch as one of these to hypnotize a bull that they were forced to fight. It worked... until the bull broke out of its trance and ate the pocketwatch.
  • In Holly Hobbie and Friends: Secret Adventures, Holly tries to hypnotize Carrie with a locket to cure her fear of the dark. She ends up hypnotizing Amy instead.
  • Johnny Bravo: In the episode "Bearly Enough Time", Johnny tries this to hypnotize a bear into sleeping, but ends up following the swinging pendulum with his own eyes and falling asleep himself.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "Pirates from Below". Hadji hypnotizes a guard with a flashing ruby.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "A Real Boy" Candace has Stacy hypnotize her with a pocket watch into ignoring the need to bust her brothers so that she can spend the entire afternoon relaxing with Jeremy.
  • Strudel attempts to use a swinging walnut to hypnotize a squirrel into acting more like a squirrel in the episode "Call of the Squirreldog" in The Hub's Pound Puppies. It is effective... on the wrong target.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Abra-cadaver", the title villain hypnotizes Blossom with a watch. He doesn't really make her do anything; he just entrances her so he can get his revenge on her more easily.
  • In one episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the Ghost Clown used a golden coin on a string like this.
  • The Simpsons: To inspire the company softball team, Mr. Burns brings in a hypnotist who uses a swinging watch for his Mass Hypnosis.
    Hypnotist: You are all very good players.
    Team: (speaking in unison) We are all very good players.
    Hypnotist: You will beat Shelbyville.
    Team: We will beat Shelbyville.
    Hypnotist: You will give 110 percent.
    Team: That's impossible. No one can give more than 100 percent. By definition that's the most anyone can give.
  • There was an episode of Taz-Mania featuring that in an attempt by Bull to hypnotize Axle. When it backfires, Axle attempts to snap Bull out of it using the same watch hanging from a fishing rod.
  • In the Wacky Races episode "Real Gone Ape", Dick Dastardly does this to a circus ape.
  • One episode of Recess had the hypnotist using a pen, with the obligatory More Hypnotizable Than He Thinks Hypno Fool being Principal Prickly. Hilariously, this is implied to be why he fell for it.
    Prickly: What a goofball. Nice pen, though...
  • One rare deconstructed case occurs in Spongebob Squarepants, when Plankton (disguising himself as a Shrink) tries this on Spongebob to "help" him with his phobia of Krabby Patties (when in reality, he's trying to hypnotize Spongebob into divulging the secret formula). Surprisingly, Plankton's initial hypnotism cures Spongebob of his phobia and the Status Quo returns to normal (much to Plankton's protests and misfortune).

     Real Life 
  • It's very common to use this in stage hypnosis. It is often referred to as "eye-fixation" or "fixed-gaze", which can also refer to a completely different and unrelated induction technique in hypnotherapy.
  • It was once widely used in therapy too, but not anymore. Since one element of a successful induction is the expectation of entering trance, the familiarity of the trope can actually work to a hypnotist's advantage, but it's not really done since it's considered rather naff these days.