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Painful Adhesive Removal

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Painful, but once you're done, you're done!

Adhesives are everywhere in the world, from the natural to the manufactured. Tree sap, tar, duct tape, bandages, superglue...

They have one job. To stick to things. But sometimes they do the job a little too well. Especially when what they stick to is a person, and the adhesive has to be removed. This is typically painful.

Frequently shows up in modern Bound and Gagged situations. Especially using things like duct tape as a quick and efficient way of silencing someone (Silence is Golden. Duct Tape is silver).

Of course, adhesives can end up in places other than one's mouth, and if there's body hair involved, it can be just as, or even more painful to remove. Basically, if it's sticky and it hurts to peel it off of you, it goes here, unless it's the subtrope of Painful Body Waxing.

Sister Trope to Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists. Compare/Contrast Duct Tape for Everything.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Crayon Shin-chan:
    • One volume of the manga have Misae forgetting to keep a roll of duct tape after using it, and Shin Chan, being curious as usual, tries playing with it like sticking strands of tape on his skin and pulling it off. He finds the mildly painful sensation giddy and exciting, but goes a bit too far when he sticks and pulls off a wad of tape over his balls.
    • Shin sees Misae applying heat pads to her back and decides to try them on as well. Intrigued by the warm sensation, he gets carried away and sticks the patches all over his body, including his nipples and crotch. He soon comes to regret it, as the pads firmly adhere to his skin, leaving a painful bruise when he tries ripping them off.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin: In "Flight 714", Tintin, Captain Haddock are keeping Dr. Krospell and Rastapopolos as adhesive tape- muffled hostages as they hide from Rastapopoulos' henchmen (they also keep Carreidas muffled because the latter was drugged and can put them in danger). Rastapopoulos eventually manages to escape and be found. Moments later, Tintim and Haddock hear a string of bloodcurling shrieks in the woods, with Tintin commenting that "It's enough to make your hair stand on end." It's Rastapopoulos, having the tapes "carefully" peeled off by Alan, his incompetent right arm.

    Films — Animated 
  • Big Hero 6: To demonstrate his robot Baymax, Tadashi puts a bit of duct tape on his brother Hiro's arm then rips it off, causing Hiro to yelp in pain - which in turn activates/alerts Baymax, a robotic nurse, and leads to Baymax treating the injury.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Scrat gets stuck to the trunk of a tree and with the nut stuck to his chest, when Scratita shows up. She smiles seductively at him, then yanks the nut off his chest and his fur with it, like she was waxing him. He screams, of course.
  • The LEGO Movie: Lampshaded. One of Lord Business' keepsakes is a cloak apparently belonging to a great leader, which is actually a band-aid. He claims that it hurts a lot to take off.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Breakfast Club: Discussed as the reason Andrew is in detention with the others; he hazed one of his wrestling teammates by taping the poor bastard's ass shut. He thought it was a harmless prank but removing the tape took off some of the guy's skin and hair with it. All Andrew can think about is what it must have felt like to tell his parents about it.
  • Cats and Dogs: Calico delivers a message from Mr. Tinkles to the dogs and carries it by having it duct taped to his back. He tells them not to pull too hard on the tape, but they do, which causes him to scream in pain.
  • The Green Mile: Brutus Howell, as they go to untie Jerkass Percy Whetmore, advises that his mother said that if you remove the tape quickly it won't hurt as much. He notes that his Mother was wrong as Percy yelps in pain as they rip the duct tape off.
  • Gummo: exploited. Two sisters are shown applying duct tape to their breasts and stripping it off, apparently attempting to make their nipples look bigger by irritating them. It makes about as much sense in context as the rest of the movie.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Professor Arnold is introduced having a duct tape gag slowly removed from his mouth, cringing in discomfort as it goes. For good measure, Arnold can be heard irritably grumbling for the kidnappers to just rip the tape off as quickly as possible, but their employer doesn't want him hurt, so he has to suffer through having the tape slowly peeled off his face and beard.
  • Layer Cake: XXXX is kidnapped by Eddie Temple's men and gagged with tape. As soon as one of them pulls the tape off, he lets out a pained and angry "FUCK!"
  • The Transporter: An implied case. After spending a sizable portion of the early portions of the movie Bound and Gagged, the first thing Lai does once Frank finally cuts loose the ropes binding her while she's at his house is to rip off the duct tape that had been used to gag her. From there, she has just enough time to briefly ask Frank where he's going before she winces, makes a silent 'ow', and places her hand over her mouth to indicate that the removal of her tape gag was fairly painful.

  • The Corps: A Lieutenant has a wound on his leg, which in heavily bandaged. When he goes in to have the dressing changed, the Corpsman rips the bandage off without any warning, causing the Lieutenant to cuss him out. The Corpsman casually replies that it hurt him less doing it quickly.
  • Matilda: Matilda gets revenge on her father by putting super glue in his favorite porkpie hat, which he doesn't realize until he's already put it on his head. It ends up being too painful for his wife to remove right away, forcing him to sleep in his hat before they cut it off the next day (which leaves him with a horrible hair cut).

    Live Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory: Trying to increase their productivity and remove distractions, the guys put strips of duct tape on their arms, with painfully ripping them off being a penalty for distraction or going off topic. It quickly devolves into vindictive tape pulling by all parties involved.
  • Castle: Castle actually goes Bound and Gagged himself, with his daughter Alexis's help, because he's trying to figure out how a character in one of his books would escape. Alexis also rips off her Dad's wallet, justifying it by saying the he wouldn't respect her if she didn't, to which he nods agreement. After his mother and daughter leave, Castle works on getting himself unbound, which he's actually fairly good at, but the removal of the duct tape is clearly painful, though he is still triumphant about it.
  • CSI: Miami: Episode 3.23, "Vengence" does not play this for laughs. After a Jerk Jock is murdered at a 15 year high school reunion, it's learned he cocooned a boy in duct tape and left him overnight back when they were in school. Removing the tape left the victim with horrific, disfiguring scars over his whole body, causing him to drop out of school.
  • Drake & Josh: One episode has Walter, Drake and Josh's father, getting Bound and Gagged himself by the latter after they feared the criminals in the house would badly hurt Walter. Drake and Josh got caught in the middle of the criminal gang after the formed were "arrested" as part of a Scared Straight program after they had gotten in trouble. But one of the criminals attacked the cop, resulting in the boys being mixed in with the criminal gang. Drake and Josh drag Walter into the closet where they try to figure out how to run the criminals off. Walter demands to know what's going on through the duct tape on his mouth. Drake and Josh briefly rip the tape off Walter's mouth, making him scream and demanding answers before they put the tape back over his mouth.
  • Home Improvement: One episode has Tim getting his head stuck to a table via superglue during a segment on Tool Time. Later on, he returns back home, with the piece of the table still stuck on his head. Shortly after, he rips the piece of table right from his head. His wife said that had to hurt. But Tim says otherwise right before he starts screaming in pain as he walks away.
  • Kirby Buckets: In one episode, Kirby gets his face covered in Dawn's leg hair so it looks like a mustache. He uses tape to remove it and screams in pain during the process.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): After she and Babs are captured in "The Hostile Hospital: Part 2", Violet attempts to find a way for them both to escape. Since Babs was Bound and Gagged with duct tape, Violet takes the duct tape off, and Babs screams in response (although this was more likely because Babs is a Nervous Wreck rather than her being in any pain). To prevent either of them from being captured, Violet ends up reapplying the tape and asking Babs to stay quiet.

    Video Games 
  • AI: The Somnium Files: Mizuki is rescued by her father Date. She immediately begins Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like after he rips off the duct tape, which causes him to put it back. In the next scene, Mizuki complains that it still stings.
    Date: Are you okay?
    Mizuki: I'm not hurt... My mouth stings a little. Thanks to you ripping the tape off my face!
  • In the animated companion short Sly Cooper: Timing is Everything for Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Carmelita Fox is captured and restrained in a supply closet by Mugshot and his men. Sly Cooper finds her and pulls of piece of tape on her mouth. Cue in her loud scream followed by her growling at Cooper for being well Cooper.

    Web Animation 
  • SuctionCupMan: In the fourth episode, "Business or Pleasure", after being banned from using suction cups, he tries climbing Business Guy's tower through other methods, one being applying glue to his hands. The end result is him being forced to apply bandages to his hands after (very painfully) losing the skin from his hands.

    Web Comics 
  • El Goonish Shive: An EGS:NP storyline involved Sarah and Susan at a comic convention. At some point they meet a cosplayer who's bare-chested except for some tape on her nipples, prompting Sarah to ask:
    Sarah: Isn't removing this tape going to hurt?
    Cosplayer: Like a dickens!
  • Schlock Mercenary: Pronto was fond of using duct tape to restrain prisoners, prompting other characters to quip that they "hoped your species was hairless," or "you know sign language for 'I would like anesthetic'."

    Web Video 
  • Gill And Gilbert: In episode 10, "Super Meat Boy and Self Care" the boys find that peeling off adhesive pore strips can be somewhat unpleasant. The irony that what was supposed to be a self-care stream turned into yet another episode of making themselves uncomfortable note  was not lost.
  • During The Spoony Experiment's review of Tekken: The Motion Picture, Spoony mocks the ridiculously oversized eyebrows of Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima by wearing increasingly massive sets of cardboard eyebrows over his own... until he gets bored with Heihachi's overly-long climactic Motive Rant and simply removes the now antler-sized pair of eyebrows, yelping in pain as the taped-on cardboard peels away.

    Western Animation 
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: In "Crown Fools", when King Julien won't stop screaming after his crown falls into the sewer, Marlene shuts him up by sticking an adhesive leaf over his mouth. He rips it off and begins talking for a second before realizing how painful what he did was.
  • The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest: In "The Darkest Fathoms", Jonny finds his father and Jessie Bannon tied up and gagged with duct tape. He rips the tape off of them as he unties them.
    Jessie: YOW! I was going to say I was glad to see you!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Suds", Patrick attempts to "treat" SpongeBob of his suds by placing a bandage on his back and asking if he's feeling better, and once SpongeBob says no, Patrick painfully rips the bandage off of him. He does this three times before transitioning to the next scene.
    • In "Survival of the Idiots", SpongeBob and Patrick get trapped in Sandy's tree dome during winter, when she's hibernating and has grown larger, with even thicker fur. To survive, the two are forced to rip strips of Sandy's fur off with duct tape and stick it on themselves. She screams every time this happens, but doesn't wake up.
    • In "The Abrasive Side", SpongeBob gets an abrasive side to be able to say no. After he eventually decides to get it removed, Sandy rips it off for him, and the episode makes it clear the process isn't painless.
  • Teen Titans (2003): Red X defeats Raven by sealing her mouth shut with an adhesive tape, thus preventing her from speaking Magical Incantations. When the Titans reconvene at their base, Cyborg forcefully rips the tape off of Raven's face, and although she only lets out an emotionless "Ow", her inner self is seen squirming in pain.