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Shock Collar

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"Note the Deadlock collar securely fastened around your neck. This collar cannot be broken or removed. Should you stray into any restricted area, the collar will administer an extremely painful shock."
Gleeman Vox to Ratchet, Ratchet: Deadlocked

The concept of a Shock Collar is simple: A character is forced to wear a Slave Collar or torc and when they do something undesirable, as designated by whomever put the collar on them, they are administered a shock. Such things exist in real life for dogs, but it is more likely that the trope is in use as a way to replicate the iron slave collar with a Speculative Fiction twist.

How it actually works is nearly always undefined. It's a metal ring, it hurts, end of statement. Sometimes it is electricity for some Electric Torture, sometimes it's a generic Agony Beam generated by some alien technobabble. It makes a good Restraining Bolt for the plot, you can even spin some plot lines out of how to get it off (especially if it's designed to go off automatically if tampered with), and sometimes it'll have the added feature of being able to be pumped up to deadly levels so that it can also be, effectively, an Explosive Leash. On other occasions, expect some fun with Pavlovian conditioning.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Captain Earth, Daichi, Teppei, and Hana are briefly forced to wear "lead gear", a headset-like device that causes them pain if they try to venture too far from the military base where they're quartered, or at the press of a switch. Daichi braves his way out of the perimeter, summons his Livlaster, and blows the broadcast antenna away.
  • In the "Queen of the Adriatic Sea Arc" in A Certain Magical Index, several of Biagio Busoni's enslaved nuns are forced to wear enchanted clothing that causes them incredible pain if they try to escape or use magic. Sisters Lucia and Angeline manage to modify their clothes to power up their magic instead, but they still experience pain when they get out. Touma's Imagine Breaker is used to destroy them.
  • In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Paragus uses one as a Restraining Bolt to Broly, shocking him if he acts out of line. Cheelai sees this as unfair treatment and manages to steal the remote for the collar. When Broly is forced to act without threat of being shocked, that's when he really cuts loose.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Island of Miracles ~Animal Adventure~ have it's villains, a group of Evil Poachers, enslaving animals from the titular Extinct Animal Park using these collars, one of their ranks being a vicious giant moa.
  • Inuyasha has a collar of enchanted prayer beads (or rosary) designed to make him hit the ground whenever Kagome says "Osuwari" or "Sit" / "Sit, boy". Kagome is an easily pissed off Tsundere Type B. Bad day for InuYasha.
  • The Caged Bird Seal of the Hyuga clan in Naruto works this way, in addition to sealing off the Byakugan after the wearer's death. With a single gesture, a main branch member can cause agonizing pain to a branch member who even seems to be acting out of line.
  • This happened in Negima! Magister Negi Magi to the girls under slavery in the magical world.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero, slaves are marked on the chest with a magical brand that binds them to the will of their master. If they try to disobey orders or even lie when they're asked a question, it shocks them. In the anime and manga, this is weaponized during the trial against notorious Compulsive Liar Malty S. Melromarc, whose False Rape Accusation against Naofumi kicked off the plot and led to much grief for him, leading to his exoneration.
  • In Slayers, captured Lina Inverse was restrained by a circlet that zapped her when she tried to use magic. They really haven't a slightest idea what her big sister used to put her through, however...

    Comic Books 
  • 1980's British Starblazer.
    • The Slave Collar had variable pain settings to punish wearers who disobeyed their owner.
    • Issue 157 "Warworld", The Valk put headbands on their prisoners that can inflict any level of pain on their victims, up to and including death.
  • The more villainous members of DC's Suicide Squad were fitted with these on missions. If they got too out of line, the collar could also be commanded to blow off their heads.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The Sangtee Empire's slave collars can deliver a painful potentially fatal shock over extended or brief periods.

    Comic Strips 
  • There was a series of Dilbert strips where the employees all had to wear headbands that the boss could use to shock them at will. Dilbert reprogrammed his to redirect its signal to Wally.
  • In one Zits comic, Jeremy's mother forces him to wear a shock collar to stay at home after he breaks curfew one time too many.

    Fan Works 
  • Blood and Honor: Vette is fitted with one when she's turned over to the authorities on Korriban. Her jailer makes use of it when she gets mouthy, which is all the time, so she ends up in a fair amount of pain. Sanguis, on the other hand, though given the controller, never uses it or even threatens to. When they leave Korriban, the collar is removed.
  • In the Turning Red fanfic The Great Red Panda Rescue, Mei is kidnapped and fitted with one of these.
  • In Star Wars: The Sith, Zero Louise is outfitted with one during her time as a Slave to the Sith Empire.
  • Qui-Gon and Obi Wan are taken prisoner and given them in another Star Wars fic, Marionettes Dance.
  • Used in Son of the Sannin as a preventive measure to keep some prisoners under control, along with chakra-dampening bracelets. These can be activated with a hand seal.
  • This fanfic shows Eridan being put in a shock collar to stop him swearing. Unfortunately, said collar was made by Equius, and so it sets off at "darn". Eridan eventually resorts to "Goodness, you've cracked my skull!"
  • Vow of Nudity: In one story, Haara and three other slaves are kidnapped by an unscrupulous platoon of soldiers to use as bartering chips while negotiating an enemy fortress' surrender. She and the others are locked in these to ensure they don't try to escape while performing their 'duties' within the foreign camp.

    Films Animated 
  • Cartman has a V-chip implanted in his skull by Sheila Broflovski in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. It sends out an electric jolt when he swears, in an effort to make him stop swearing. It, for the most part, doesn't work; towards the end of the movie, it even turns into a Deus ex Machina when the chip shorts out and Cartman gains cuss-powered lightning powers as a result.
  • An early draft of Zootopia was set in a society in which the predators had to wear collars that would administer an electric shock if they got too excited, which was supposedly necessary to keep them from eating the prey animals. The creators found this to be too dark, and ended up dropping it as part of a massive overhaul of the entire concept and plot.

    Films Live-Action 
  • The prisoners in Breathing Room are all wearing Shock Collars which are rigged to deliver a deadly voltage if they try to leave the room.
  • In Coneheads, the two humans are carted off to the Conehead homeworld and kept in check by a collar with glowy red lights.
  • In Crank: High Voltage, Chev Chelios encounters two assholes that are torturing a dog with a shock collar even though it was obeying their commands. Chev tells them off, takes the collar, and puts it on. He then makes them shock him to power up his artificial heart.
  • Future World (2018): Big Daddy Love Lord's sex slaves all wear collars like this which can be triggered if they do something he doesn't like (or to amuse a customer).
  • At the end of the film Garfield, the main character steals a shock collar from the dog catcher. The collar is later strapped onto the dog catcher and used by Garfield for some good old Laser-Guided Karma.
  • The eponymous hero wears one in Hell Comes to Frogtown.
  • In The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), all of the beast-folk have an implant that causes them excruciating pain when a remote control is triggered. This system of keeping them in check backfires when the Hyena-Swine figures this out and removes his own implant, then steals the control device to use it to dominate the others.
  • Saving Silverman used this as a form of aversion therapy - if Darren mentioned his late-girlfriend on a date, he'd get zapped by the stickers on his nipples.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Slaves—"prisoners with jobs" on Sakaar have small obedience discs attached to their necks that release a powerful neurotoxin causing convulsions if they get out of line.
  • Virtual Combat: A Corrupt Corporate Executive whose company sells virtual reality sex programs discovers a way to download the virtual girls into artificial clone bodies. He also forces them to wear electric collars to better control them.


  • Yaoi series Ai no Kusabi's plot revolves around how Badass Biker Riki was made into a Sex Slave by Iason Mink. Each "Pet" gets an identity ring in the standard form of jewelry like earrings, necklaces and such. Iason uniquely makes Riki's a cock ring which doubles as a Restraining Bolt Shock Collar whenever Riki rebels. Which is often.
  • Jim Butcher's Codex Alera has slave collars that will hurt the slave if they disobey or go against the master's will (to the extent that calling the person "bad" for no reason will hurt them) and send signals of pleasure when the person obeys. They often drive the victim completely insane, and it's played for every possible drop of horror.
  • Voluntary example: In the Dream Park series, Gamers wear remote-control amulets that deliver a mild electrical stimulus to inform them that they've been killed out of a scenario. The initial shock is merely uncomfortable, but if a player stubbornly refuses to lie down and "die" when the simulation demands it, the voltage can be increased to inflict actual pain. (Presumably they're required to sign a release to allow this.)
  • Han Solo's Revenge: The Lurrian slaves captured by Magg and Zlarb are chained together, the collars acting as Shock Collars: the slavers can hit the whole string at once in an emergency.
  • The Michael Vey series introduces Dr. Hatch (leader of the Elgen company) who enslaves what he terms "the scum of society" (drug addicts, hardcore criminals, etc) by making them a tempting offer. Once they accept, a shock collar is placed around their necks and Hatch jolts them with electricity if they disobey.
  • A similar device is used in Parable of the Sower and its sequel, by slavers to keep their slaves in line. Lauren and her community also have these put on them when they are attacked and captured in the second book.
  • in The Red Vixen Adventures when captured Rolas is given one that triggers if he goes through his cell's door (but not the vents) without the Red Vixen's permission, or if he gets more than five meters away from her when she takes him for a "walk." Ali is fitted with an ankle bracelet that does something similar when she's arrested.
  • In Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge note  the Grey Men attach one to James ("Slippery Jim") diGriz, connected by a cable to a control box. It inflicts searing pain by stimulating neurons in the brain.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Human slaves in Pylea wear these on Angel.
  • Babylon 5:
    • When the captain of Babylon Five, John Sheridan, found himself captured by the Earth government, who had recently given themselves a little 1984 Shout-Out by setting up the Ministry of Peace, he had a Shock Collar put in place as a Restraining Bolt to explain why he didn't just attack the torturer who was trying to make him see four lights sign a confession.
    • A torturer/assassin makes G'Kar wear one. One of his political enemies on the Kah'Ree had just died, and wished to exact revenge.
  • These collars are worn by the imprisoned women in the "Gladiatrix" episode of Birds of Prey (2002). It also drugged them to the point of insanity.
  • In an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Princess Ardala tells Buck that, when he marries her (due to her holding Earth hostage with an invincible Kill Sat), she will have him fitted with a lovely, decorative choke collar. If he displeases her, the collar will gradually constrict until he dies.
  • Doctor Who: In "Boom Town", Jack Harkness loans the Doctor a pair of bracelets designed to shock one of the wearers if they get too far from the person wearing the other one so he can take their evil alien prisoner out for a last meal.
  • Chiana is wearing one of these when she first appears on Farscape, activated by a button on her handler's forehead. In another episode, the entire crew is fitted with collars- even Pilot.
  • The prison where Polaris and other mutants are held in The Gifted (2017) uses shock collars to inhibit the mutants' ability to use their powers.
  • In the mini-series House of Frankenstein (1997) a vampire tries to control the title character with one of these. The next thing the audience sees is Frankenstein's monster ripping off the collar after impaling said vampire.
    "They were fools to think they could control me with electricity."
  • Lily gets the idea of Barney having to wear one (or rather, a cock shock ring) to get him to behave in How I Met Your Mother.
  • The shock collar comes up from time to time on the dog-training show It's Me or the Dog with owners who use these to try to correct their dog's behavior. These are unnaceptable for host Victoria Stillwell, who feels that they are basically akin to torture and not a genuine way of properly training a dog. Anytime she encounters somebody using one, she will immediately call them out for it and put an end to it.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Joe Gibken was forced to wear one that doubled as a tracker when he escaped from the Zangyack empire, but only activated if he tried to remove it. When he meets Captain Marvelous, after fighting alongside each other for a bit, Marvelous rips the collar out of him by sheer force, freeing Joe of it.
  • In an episode of Married... with Children, Al Bundy had to wear one.
  • David Cross has to wear one of these at the beginning of the second episode of Mr. Show, as part of a government program monitoring artists. He gets a constant electric shock if he stands on a stage.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • The aliens in the episode "Rite of Passage" put shock wristbands on the humans they were raising to prevent them from trying to leave their enclosure. It wasn't due to malice; the woods were full of dangerous creatures.
    • "The Grell" from the episode of the same name are a race of Rubber-Forehead Aliens who were enslaved by humans. They all wear shock collars that electrocute them if they disobey their masters.
    • In "Stranded", Tyr'Nar is wearing a security anklet which was placed on him when he was captured by a bounty hunter from his planet. It prevents him from leaving the confines of the bounty hunter's ship, giving him an electric shock if he gets too close to the exit. When the ship crashlands on Earth (having been sabotaged by Tyr'Nar), he enlists the help of Kevin Buchanan in his attempts to remove it. He is eventually able to do so using a hacksaw and a blowtorch belonging to Kevin's father Alex.
  • Person of Interest:
  • The beginning of the Sliders episode "In Dino Veritas" is set in a world where all people wear shock collars that prevent them from lying.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series had two episodes with collars that inflicted pain:
  • Both Twin Peaks and Cheers used the gag in which the wearer of the collar gets hold of its control box and uses it in the mistaken belief that it will shock the other person instead of himself.
  • One clip on World's Dumbest... has a couple guys taking turns wearing a shock collar that's meant to curtail a dog's barking and shocking themselves. Naturally, Danny Bonaduce has to try it himself with a collar that's meant for a Rottweiler.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II has one trippy level where you follow a band of kidnapped actors into a Pocket Dimension where the slaves are kept in line by a magical version of these collars. If you're schmuck enough to fall for the bait, you can pick them up and try them on.
  • In a case of Shock Collars being used for good, in Batman: Arkham Asylum the inmates have shock collars (dubbed "Suicide Collars") that double as life sign monitors. We see them demonstrated at the beginning as the only thing that can help keep Killer Croc under control in a Chekhov's Gun moment.
    • A bit more of a straight use of this trope occurs in the game as well, since The Joker uses them to keep tabs on his goons (and as an alert system to where Batman is or has been) and presumably also uses them when they get too out of line. Batman can also overload the collars with a specialized batarang so that they shock the goon wearing it into unconsciousness.
  • In DC Universe Online, your character is outfitted with one of these in instances where you form an Enemy Mine with players of the opposite faction.
  • Dungeon Siege II had your character wearing one near the start, after being captured by dryads.
  • In Enslaved: Odyssey to the West a slavers' headband is the (initial) reason Monkey goes along with Trip in the plot; in the gameplay it also provides a reason to keep the player character close to Trip at times with the headband programmed to deliver painful shocks that eventually kill you if you wander too far from her.
  • In contrast to the exploding slave collars in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 (specifically, the Nuka-World DLC expansion) features shock collars, used by the Nuka-World raiders on the hapless traders and settlers they've enslaved. If you side with the raiders, one of the radiant quests is to find randomly selected NPCs and place a shock collar on them. You can equip one yourself, but it doesn't do anything, considering that by the time you can get one, you've been designated the Overboss of the raider gangs.
  • The Kingdom of Loathing Web Game has the Stab Bat, a familiar with the unfortunate habit of stabbing the player rather than the enemy every now and then. The familiar-specific equipment is, appropriately enough, a Shock Collar.
  • In Mother 3, Salsa the monkey has a Shock Collar that is used by Fassad to punish him. Fassad also activates it after Salsa finishes jobs for him, because he's that much of a Bad Boss.
  • The page quote comes from Ratchet: Deadlocked — all participants in the Dreadzone reality show are forced to wear Deadlock collars in order to make them comply. If a contestant becomes uncooperative or goes somewhere they aren't meant to be, the collar can be activated to electrocute them. And in more extreme cases, they can also be detonated.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, slave girl Vette has one that the Sith Warrior can choose to abuse. However, you can also remove it for Video Game Caring Potential.
  • In World of Warcraft, Thok the Bloodthirsty, a devilsaur (a T-rex) that's a boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, has a shock collar by the orcs that are trying to tame him as a beast of war. Unfortunately, the shock collar ends up causing damage to the players during the fight by zapping them with electricity.


    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the Grey Cult uses magical shock collars donated by the Totenkopfs to force captured demons to work in the cult's army as foot soldiers against the cult's enemies...but once a spell ends up disabling the collars, the once enslaved demons lash out horribly and turn against their "masters". It later turns out that the Totenkopfs only used the cult for their own ends to help further test the collars' effectiveness. Once they make some adjustments, they force a few captured higher demons to wear the new, modified collars which will force the demons to work as their more or less loyal minions and use these new lackeys to infiltrate demon hordes so that the Totenkopfs can learn the demons' weaknesses.
  • RWBY: Cinder was forced to wear one as a child by their "step-mother", which they were quite liberal in the use of. To make it even more twisted, it's disguised to look like an ornate necklace, but closer inspection reveals the "jewel" in the center is actually a Lightning Dust crystal. Eventually, Cinder developed a resistance to the pain after having endured it so many times. You can guess what happened next.

    Western Animation 
  • Lemongrab has his subjects wear them in the Adventure Time episode "Too Old", until they are deactivated by Lemongrab 2.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Move", one scene absent from U.S. airings has Gumball, Darwin, and Clayton wearing these in an attempt to curb Clayton's lying habit.
  • In one episode of The Angry Beavers, the beavers are mistaken for dogs by a suburban family that gives them shock collars to housebreak them. "Bad puppies! We love you!"
  • Danny Phantom: In his first appearance, Wulf is outfitted with a shock collar to keep him docile when he is sent into the human world to capture Danny. Tucker and Sam are able to disable it, which leads to Wulf befriending them.
  • The Drawn Together episode "Clum Babies" has a gag where Foxxy shocks Clara with a collar when she makes a racist remark.
    Foxxy: Well I'll be a monkey's uncle.
    Clara: Oh, so it's okay when you say it. (gets shocked)
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "Wish Fixers", the Pixies make Timmy sign a contract that would supposedly help him get rid of any "bad" wishes and put collars on Cosmo and Wanda that release an electric shock every time they grant a wish that is considered "bad". In fact, the only good wish on the contract is handing Fairy World over to the Pixies. However, thanks to a loophole in the contract (making an irresponsible wish that is at the same time responsible will cause the contract to be null and void), Timmy wishes for both his godparents to be made of rubber, making them immune to the shocks and nullifying the contract as a result.
  • In Futurama's third movie, Bender's Game, Leela gets a shock collar to condition her to give up violence and profanity and all that other fun stuff. She learns to associate the shocks with pleasure.
  • Worn by Shego's subjects in her future dystopia in Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Brother's Little Helper", Nelson Muntz had one on himself when he, Bart, Milhouse, and Martin complained about all the medicinal treatments they had to go through to control their respective behaviors.
    • In "The Great Louse Detective", Sideshow Bob had something similar, a Shock Bracelet Restraining Bolt, so the Simpsons can keep him under control as he was recruited by the police to uncover who is trying to kill Homer Simpson.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "The Academy" provides the page image, when corrupt Mandalorian Prime Minister Almec gets stuck in the shock collar he'd threatened to put on Duchess Satine's nephew.
    • "Escape from Kadavo": The slaves at the Zygerrian facility wear these.
  • Total Drama:
    • In "Eat, Puke and Be Wary", Chef hunts down the Final Four as the second part of the day's challenge. Everyone but Scott, who won the first part, gets a tracking collar to make things easier for Chef. As an anti-removal feature, the tracking collars send out a strong shock whenever they're pulled on, although Zoey gets shocked either for having negative emotions or because hers malfunctions. Cameron manages to use his wristwatch to hack his collar open and also helps out Lightning in return for his help getting to the finish. Zoey finishes the challenge with the collar on.
    • For the Truth-or-Scare contest in "I Love You, I Love You Knots", the campers get outfitted with shock collars. Any time someone fails their assigned truth or scare, they and their entire team incur a strong shock. Rodney gets a lot of truths and fails all of them, causing the Pimâpotew Kinosewak to resent him for the pain he puts them through. On top of that, he loses the tie-breaker and because he insulted Clucky earlier, the chicken goes ape on the controller to the Pimâpotew Kinosewak' collars. Rodney gets voted off that evening.
  • The inhibitor collars in Young Justice (2010), designed primarily to nullify superpowers, also contain this feature as they are used primarily on dangerous convicts and slaves.


Video Example(s):


Shock Collar Torture

Dr. Brenner tortures Two with a shock collar in order to get him to admit to having hurt Eleven.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / ShockCollar

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