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The Doll Episode

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May and her closest friend. She'll make more.

"You are welcome to use whatever you find, even the doll, should it please you."
Gehrman, Bloodborne

Dolls. Everyone has played with at least one in their lifetime, and many enjoy collecting them well into adulthood. However, there's something a bit... upsetting about a large collection of dolls. Maybe they're a bit too human, or how they lay so deathly still in their pretty dresses, with their glassy unblinking eyes... Brrr!

Which is why just about every horror, suspense and mystery series that runs for long enough will have a doll-themed episode. This episode will inevitably be incredibly creepy and unusually upsetting. If the show is already terrifying, then this episode will inevitably one-up itself. This may have to do with the perversion of childhood innocence, though many people think dolls are just inherently creepy.

This trope tends to manifest in a number of common ways, many of which can combine with each other:

  1. The dolls are being made to replicate/replace a lost loved one, such as a child, a spouse or a sibling.
  2. The dolls are made from human components, dead or otherwise.
  3. The dollmaker is obsessed with dolls for some reason, and has taken to preferring them over humans. Maybe even wishing humans were more like dolls.
  4. The dolls are possessed by an evil spirit, are Ridiculously Human Robots, or have otherwise become animated/alive and actively malevolent.
  5. The dolls were once humans before they were forcefully transformed into them.

The dollmaker or collector will usually be a madman or woman who has taken a shine to the protagonists either as "something" to add to their collection, potential parts for their latest creation, or threats to themselves and their beloved collection, making them try to capture or kill them.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Hell Girl is already a damned depressing show, considering it's a series of case studies in vengeance, malice and pretty much all of the evil in the world. Therefore, one must appreciate how utterly disturbing the doll-themed episode must be to stand out.
  • One Sailor Moon episode had a doll-themed Monster of the Week and the episode was all about dolls. It was centered on Shingo's friend Mika, a girl from a family of famous dollmakers. One of her creations gets enchanted by Nephrite and turns into a Creepy Doll; under its influence, Mika becomes obsessed with her work on other dolls to the point when she generates enough energy for Nephrite to collect.
    • More than one Monster of the Week has a doll-theme, and either they're pretty creepy or very goofy.
  • Witch Hunter Robin has a witch with MPD, whose other personalities manifest themselves through her collection of dolls. She holds conversations with them, and telekinetically controls them to kill people whom she believes have wronged her. She's killed, but one of the dolls is unaccounted for. So, killer doll on the loose in Japan.
  • The first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series has Ridley Sheldon, a Duel Monsters player with a doll-themed deck, who has a bunch of life-sized dolls standing outside his home as if at a party, and also uses a puppet to impersonate the school nurse.
  • In season 2 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai also dueled a doll possessed by the spirit of a ripped-up card, using a doll-themed deck.
  • Count Cain has one, featuring an Evil Cripple Living Doll Collector who wanted to add Merryweather to her collection.
  • Episode 11 of Ghost Stories focuses on a Creepy Doll named Mary who stalks and tries to kill the main character Satsuki.
  • Episodes 11 and 12 of the Black Butler anime. The manga has a circus troupe with ball-jointed orthopedic limbs, so they look somewhat like steampunk dollish cyborgs.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has this in one of the interlude episodes, related to Asuka's backstory. Her mother Kyoko went crazy and recognized a doll resembling Asuka as her daughter. Later on, Kyoko hung herself and the doll - with five-year old Asuka finding the body first. No wonder the poor girl is so screwed up...
    • It gets even better: the main reason Asuka hates Rei so much is that she reminds her of a doll. Asuka also regards Unit 02 as her doll which is ironic, considering whose soul is in the core. (And this may explain why she has a harder and harder time controlling Unit 02 as the series goes on... until she makes the realization at the very end.)
    • Rebuild 2.0 has a scene on Asuka playing with a hand puppet resembling herself. While essentially a re-do which may not neccessarily reflect the original doll's creepy history, it's fueling one of the new series's many Epileptic Trees.
  • In the Sabrina arc in the first season of Pokémon, there was an episode where she used her psychic powers to turn the protagonists into small, living dolls. Also, the green-haired doll she has isn't a doll; it's the childlike spirit her mind and body rejected as she grew older and become more obsessed with exercising her psychic abilities.
    • In another episode, Misty became obsessed about winning a series of collectible dolls.
  • Ghost Hunt has a case called "The Doll House". It's suitably creepy.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has an episode about a man who makes dolls of his "dead" lover and sacrifices girls to try and put his lover's soul into the doll.
  • In one chapter of Ghost Sweeper Mikami (both, manga and anime), a possessed doll starts attacking a little girl whose doll had gone missing. It turns out it was all the doing of Mikami's old doll (which got animated thanks to Mikami's spiritual powers) and had started to fell alone. Somehow subverted, with the fact that at the end, the little girl's doll is the one that helps everyone to defeat Mikami's doll, animated by the evil doll's energy and full of love for her gentle owner. Mikami's doll is then sealed away and kept in a safe vault.
  • One story in Ranma ½ involves a cursed doll that Ranma knocks over while the Tendos and Saotomes stay at an inn. The doll swaps bodies with Akane and tries to take vengeance on Ranma, while Akane accidentally scares other guests with living doll antics. ("The Doll is doing calenstetics!!")
  • One episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was actually about King Dedede ordering thousands of dolls shaped like him, and move whenever he moves so he can torture his subjects. At the end of the episode, Kirby swallows up one of said dolls, and as a result King Dedede is literally flung high up into outer space, and is last seen orbiting a planet shaped like him!
  • Actually played for laughs in an episode of Slayers Next. Lina and the gang search for the Claire Bible in a tower filled with magically animated dolls. Hilarity Ensues even as the party is slowly transformed into dolls. It turns out that the villain is a demon who takes the form of a doll, and uses another doll to pose as the supposed opponent.
  • Squid Girl, usually rather light and fluffy, featured an episode about an old doll recovered from a storage shed, toward which it seemed to mysteriously move by itself, overnight. It's revealed that that's a feature of the doll: it and its counterpart, still in the shed, automatically rotate to face each other via magnets. Probably.
  • Played for laughs in a chapter of Sgt. Frog, where Keroro and Giroro try to exploit Natsumi's childhood fears of her Hinamatsuri dolls by bringing them to life. Then one of the dolls starts moving by itself... fortunately, it turns out to be possessed by the Hinata household's friendly Cute Ghost Girl.
  • In episode 29 of Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Dewey, the Sixth Ranger Lancer, becomes the subject of a little girl's Precocious Crush. She even remodels her favorite doll to resemble him. Inevitably, the doll comes to life and starts attacking people.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends episode "Unchanging Form" Natsume is seen by a youkai that stole a doll from a little girl years ago (it was initially planning on keeping her) and is mistaken him for his grandmother Reiko who defeated the youkai and took the doll to return it to its owner. It declares it will take something precious from him as recompense, implying that this will be a person, without informing him of what he supposedly stole and needs to return in order to prevent it from taking its revenge. When he finds the doll it has been sitting in the forest for decades and looks it and he needs to restore its appearance in order to convince the youkai it's the same doll.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders has two very different versions of this:
    • The Stand User of the week for the Ebony Devil arc, Devo the Cursed, has a stand that can possess inanimate objects and gets more powerful the more its user hates its target. He plants a small doll with African-inspired designs and a tiny spear on-site beforehand so it has a suitable vessel to inhabit while it hops around tying Polnareff to the underside of a bed and stabbing at him. Apparently, the arc was inspired by Child's Play.
    • Much later, during the 'D'arby the Gamer' arc, the titular stand user keeps his victims' souls in handmade dolls. The dolls are capable of limited motion and speech, but not much else. He prepares dolls for new victims beforehand, and delights in showing future victims his existing collection.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics did it, in a story where Veronica inherited a doll from her misanthropic great aunt; it was called Lucifera, and caused mischief around the house, and was only destroyed when Jughead's dog Hot Dog ate it.
  • In an issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics, Dawn is transformed into a porcelain doll by a curse from her ex-boyfriend (whom she cheated on) and found by a well-meaning but absolutely loco dollmaker.
  • Zatanna had a Demonic Dummy issue, where she was revealed to have a crippling phobia of puppets.
  • The Charlton Comics version of The Six Million Dollar Man featured an issue "guest starring" the then-popular Kenner Steve Austin action figure, which is featured in the story as a bionic voodoo doll; anything done to the doll inexplicably happens to Steve.

    Fan Works 

  • One of the most famous films about this trope: Child's Play, where doll possessing a soul of a Serial Killer tries to become a human again.
  • May. She decides to make friends rather literally.
  • Poltergeist. A large clown doll figures prominently in one scare scene.
  • Dead Silence. Contains just about every scary doll trope.
  • Air Doll is about an inflatable sex doll who becomes sentient.
  • Naturally there's a horror flick called simply Dolls, which has an entire mansion filled by murderous dolls.
  • The "puppets" in the Puppet Master horror series are really more examples of this trope.
  • In Coraline, the Beldame sends dolls into the house to spy on the children.
  • The Ur example is the third segment of the 1975 made-for-TV movie Trilogy of Terror. Entitled "Amelia", it's better known as "the one with the doll" by anyone mentally scarred by it. There's worse fare on TV now, but at the time (when most homes didn't even have movie channels on their TV) it was joltingly more intense than anything normally found flipping around the TV dial, plus it had the whole "animated doll chasing Karen Black around with a butcher knife and razor sharp teeth" angle. * shudder* Can be watched here:
  • Magic features a very young Anthony Hopkins as Corky, a ventriloquist who slowly manifests his psychosis through his dummy.
  • Tales from the Hood includes a segment in which a white supremacist is tormented by dolls possessed by the ghosts of slaves.

  • In the first Tales To Give You Goosebumps collection, the short story "Broken Dolls" features an old woman who turns people into dolls with "dolly jelly".
    • Any Goosebumps title that features Slappy, Night of the Living Dummy onwards.
  • In Ghost Radio, one of the show's callers speaks of a dollhouse that a child she babysat was always playing with. When she got close, she saw that the dolls and their dismembered pieces were alive and moving. Some were even screaming in agony.
  • Willie Connolly in J.R. Lowell's 1972 novel Daughter of Darkness collects dolls from all over the world, which everyone assumes are connected with her interest in anthropology. They're partly right. Then Uncle Jonathan manages to connect her interest with the bizarre illnesses and tragedies that befall anyone who crosses her.
  • In Demon Road, Dacre Shanks is a serial killer who shrinks humans that look alike and places them in a dollhouse to look like a happy family.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965 aired one of the all-time creepiest Doll Episodes, "Where the Woodbine Twineth", from the short story by Davis Grubb (of Night of the Hunter fame). Little Eva's mean aunt refuses to believe that her favorite doll can come to life, until she interrupts a game of "now you be the little girl and I'll be the doll" at a spectacularly bad time.
  • Amazing Stories, "The Doll" (without much of the creepiness usual for this trope). A man buys a doll for his niece in a little shop. It turns out later that the shopkeeper uses the doll to help the man finding his true love, and it works.
  • Angel:
    • The evil puppets on "Smile Time".
    • "Hell Bound" featured a necromancer who used to buy bodies from Wolfram & Hart's grave robbing department and use them to create a scene of an old-fashioned tea party.
    • And the spinoff comic Spike: Shadow Puppets, featuring the return of the Smile Time puppets.
  • Barney Miller had a 1981 episode simply titled "The Doll". It's a valuable antique that was stolen from a shop window and later recovered. The proprietor is a middle-aged Lonely Doll Girl — she knows her dolls are not real but it's difficult not to speak of them as people. The thief confesses that the stolen doll seemed to be watching him. Harris quips "You won't have to see her again — not until she testifies at the trial."
  • Bar Rescue featured Royal Oaks, an 81-year-old bar whose owners had littered the place with disturbingly creepy giant mutilated dolls on nooses. The rest of the décor was equally as unsettling and offensive.
  • The Brady Bunch: Played straight for the most part, particularly when Bobby is annoyed at Cindy over her being overly mothering to her beloved doll, Kitty Carry-All, and wished that it would go away forever... which it does shortly after Cindy leaves the room and leaves the doll on the couch (for Tiger to swipe). Throughout the duration of the episode, while Kitty is missing, Cindy worries with sickness what has happened to/is happening to her, particularly when she isn't immediately found.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "The Puppet Show" featured a Ventriloquist's Dummy that is really alive. Subverted in that he's a good guy.
    • There's also Drusilla's dolls, though they're creepy mostly by virtue of the fact that they're owned and (apparently) loved by a creature like Drusilla.
  • In one episode of Charmed, the villain is a man who shrinks people and turns them into porcelain figurines.
  • Criminal Minds Inverts this, one episode is about a cracked unsub who abducts women, chemically paralyzes them, and dresses them up as living dolls, to replace the dolls her evil doctor father took from her. It's even called "The Uncanny Valley".
  • CSI: NY:
    • "City of the Dolls" was about the owner of a doll hospital being murdered. The opening featured a creepy scene of the hospital filled with broken dolls, various doll limbs and eyeballs, and actual blood from the murder. It was enough to make the person who found the body run screaming.
    • Another episode had life-size dolls made from silicone. One was mistaken for a witness because it was "looking" out of a window above the crime scene.
  • "The Doll" in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry cuts a girl's doll's hair, only to find it's a rare collector's item and is made to replace the head, swapping one from Jeff's daughter's collection for the one he cut. At the end, the girl thanks him for fixing it and hugs him, but feels the water bottle he put in his pants to sneak into the theatre and runs out screaming "Mommy! Mommy! That bald man's in the bathroom and there's something hard in his pants!"
  • In season 7 of Desperate Housewives Gaby grows attached to a doll who bears a close resemblance to Grace, her long lost daughter who was switched at birth with Juanita.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Dollhouse: The show's name and the fact that the concept revolves around Blank Slate humans referred to as dolls aside, there was the episode where a serial killer collected women who look like his relatives, drugged them with paralytics, dressed them up and 'played pretend'.
  • Ghost Whisperer has an episode involving a haunted dollhouse.
  • The Haunting Hour featured Lilly D, a doll who tries to become Lilly, the girl she was given to. Lilly D gets Lilly into more and more trouble, while Lilly's mother starts to treat Lilly D as her daughter. Lilly D is in the pilot two-parter "Really You" and returns in "The Return of Lilly D".
    • Not to mention the Worry Dolls, who appear whenever Jordana worries about something or makes a wish.
  • Inspector Rex had "Der Puppenmörder", featuring Christoph Waltz as the doll-obsessed villain of the week.
  • Kamen Rider Double has the two-parter "The P's Game", which is Played for Laughs (and tears) rather than screams. Akiko encounters a doll that she sees as a real girl, but when the doll starts killing people Akiko is the one implicated. Eventually the Monster of the Week is revealed to be a children's book author who is killing the critics who panned his latest book, which was dedicated to his deceased daughter. The doll, which belonged to the girl, "tells" Akiko that she doesn't want her father to cry anymore, and she relates this to the man after Double defeats him.
  • Referenced in an episode for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, where John Oliver claims that the only thing making an old, racist woman's statements bearable is the fact that she will be taken away into the night by her shelf full of creepy clown dolls.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a criminal who kidnapped children to play with his doll collection. Unfortunately, while he didn't plan to hurt them, he suffered from some degree of (maternal abuse induced) psychosis and having them damaged was a Berserk Button...
  • Medium has an episode where Alison dreams she and her family are dolls.
  • The Middleman had one episode featuring Vlad Tepes' very own ventriloquist dummy Little Vladdie, who naturally comes to life and obsesses some of the cast.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Murdoch in Toyland", Detective Murdoch is the target of devilish Criminal Mind Games. He's taunted by receiving dolls with recorded messages that give him just enough clues to find the next one, and also to make him overanalyse things and miss more blatant clues.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
    • A Halloween Episode where an evil Molly Dolly torments Sabrina and her mortal friends. It was sent by her Aunt Beulah, who thought that the doll would make a great Halloween party, ignorant of the fact that the mortal world would be helpless against it.
    • Another episode has Amanda turn Sabrina into a doll. When Amanda puts Sabrina in her toybox, Sabrina finds out that she's not the first person who mildly annoyed Amanda and got turned into a toy as a result.
  • Seinfeld had a rare comedic Doll Episode (though, still kinda creepy). In one episode George Costanza finds out Susan has a rather large doll collection, and her favorite doll happens to look exactly like his mother. Susan is the only one who can't see the resemblance and dismisses all of George's claims, telling him he's being ridiculous. Hilarity Ensues as for the rest of the episode whenever the doll is around George hears the nagging voice of his mother in his head and starts to believe the doll is speaking to him.
    • At the end of the episode, his father sees the doll and also imagines it speaking to him. He briefly argues with it as if it were his actual wife, then he pulls its head off.
      George: [to Susan] I told you it looked like her.
    • Mr. Marbles, too.
  • Stargate SG-1 had the "200" episode which included the pilot redone with Team America marionettes.
  • Suits had an episode with a client who made custom dolls in Season One. She made Mike one that looked like him at the end, and it was brought back for at least one Continuity Nod later.
  • Supernatural:
    • The episode "Playthings" had a little girl who lived in a hotel and had a large antique doll collection. Individual dolls were being positioned to mimic someone hanging themselves or breaking their neck... after which, of course, someone would hang themselves or break their neck. Sam and Dean pretended to be antique dealers, and needed to get access to the dolls. Dean got a lot of fun by telling the girl's mother that Sam just loved dolls and had a huge collection of his own, so could she please let Sam take a look?
    • In the episode "I Believe the Children Are Our Future" Castiel got turned into an action figure.
    • The episode "Provenance" featured a doll whose hair was made from the hair of a dead girl. (That's Truth in Television. In Victorian times that was considered a beautiful token of remembrance of lost loved ones. Or simply another way of making dolls; human hair wigs were quite common, especially on luxury dolls. The hair came from women who sold it—or had it cut in prisons or asylums, which is arguably still disturbing.)
  • The old Chilean Soap Opera Los Titeres ("the Puppets") has a very creepy OP featuring marionettes that are modeled after some of the characters. In-story, these dolls also exist... but they're not creepy or enchanted: they're normal marionettes used by a schoolteacher (an old friend of the series's bigBad) to tell stories to the kids she teaches to. The theme is justified as people are seen in-story as dolls and puppets controlled by destiny.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The Dummy", Jerry Etherson is haunted by his dummy Willie, whom he is convinced is alive and is trying to take over the act.
    • In "Living Doll", Erich Streator is tormented by his stepdaughter Christie's doll Talky Tina, who continually tells him that she is going to kill him.
    • In "Caesar and Me", Jonathan West's ventriloquist's dummy Caesar manipulates him into performing several robberies instead of finding honest work while they are waiting for their big break. He later abandons him, leading everyone to believe that Jonathan is insane, and teams up with an evil little girl named Susan.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had "The Deadly Dolls", where puppets come alive and try to replace all crewmembers.
  • This is obscure and perhaps not belonging here, but one of the early The Waltons episodes—or maybe the pilot—has a bit where Elizabeth gets a doll from a church gift giveaway, and it is used and cracked in the face and freaks her out.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place:
    • An episode where action figures come to life.
    • An episode where Alex shrinks herself and a little girl thinks she's an actual doll and plays with her.
  • The The X-Files episode "Chinga". Noted for being co-written by Stephen King (and set in Maine, of course), but not being as scary as most of the other episodes!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Curse of Strahd module from Ravenloft, Izek Strazni is the sociopathic henchman to the Baron of Vallaki and has an entire room full of creepy dolls resembling Ireena Kolyana, the MacGuffin Girl of the story the party is trying to keep away from Strahd. This turns out to be because Ireena is actually his biological sister, and the two were separated when they were both quite young, with Ireena eventually ending up in the village of Barovia and adopted by the town's Burgomaster with no memory of who she really is. Izek however remembers her and is obsessed with finding and taking her so he can keep her "safe".

    Video Games 
  • In Bloodborne, Gehrman owns a beautiful, ridiculously humanlike doll wearing delicate clothing. You happen to be able to interact with the doll while Gehrman, the owner himself cannot. If you investigated the original workshop and found the spare clothing and comb of the doll, one can tell the doll really meant so much to Gehrman. It turns out the said doll is a Replacement Goldfish of Lady Maria, whom Gehrman has a curious mania on. And who made the said doll being able to move in the first place? Moon Presence.
    • Though it's also subverted in that the Doll is by far the most benevolent character in the game.
  • Played terrifyingly straight in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica. Alfred and Alexia's private residence is full creepy dolls from the darkest pit of the Uncanny Valley. The worst part is when you're walking up the stairs for the first time. There is a massive doll that is disturbingly lifelike despite being in terrible condition. The camera angles only show its feet but as you keep moving up, you see more and more of it until it's staring you in the face. And then there's the "lovely" musical number that accompanies this monster.
    • The mansion of the Beneviento familiy in Resident Evil Village is full of creepy dolls, and the lady of the house herself appears to be a horrifying skeleton-like doll. The boss fight against her consists of a Timed Mission where you must find her and stab her before all the dolls in the house come to life and gang up on you. Upon killing her you find out she's a human who controlled dolls by placing pieces of her Cadou parasite in them.
  • At one point in Final Fantasy IV, you have to stop a group of dolls, separated into Calco and Brina, who also later combine into a giant one, Calcobrina, from taking a Plot Coupon. Many people see it as Nightmare Fuel and it also counts as That One Boss.
    • However, Calcobrina can be avoided entirely if you kill the Calco and Brina dolls quickly enough.
  • In the each of the Shadow Hearts games, there is always an optional "Doll House" dungeon. While not necessarily difficult (though they can be), they are pretty much guaranteed to make you feel depressed or give you nightmares. The only somewhat-exception is in the second game, when Gepetto gets to learn that Cornelia was with him all along. Still completely screwed up, though.
  • Fatal Frame:
    • In Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, you meet the ghost of a girl whose sister was killed as part of the Crimson Butterfly ritual. Her father, a skilled dollmaker, made her a doll that looks exactly like her deceased sister. At first the girl is overjoyed at "getting her sister back." However, things quickly start going downhill when the doll starts getting a little too realistic...
    • Fatal Frame V: Maiden of Black Water also has dolls. An entire shrine of dolls. Creepy enough thanks to the ridiculous amount of them, but then the symbolism behind them kicks in, and there's that entire area where they are set to look like they hanged themselves. Oh, and some attack you and you can only dodge...
  • Blood Omen has a section of gameplay wherein Kain must journey to the mansion of a dollmaker named Elzevir, who has stolen the soul of the king's daughter and trapped it in a doll. Needless to say, the whole place is full of creep-tastic enemies like vicious attack dolls and murderous teddy bears.
  • Robotrek features a chapter whose principal antagonist is a possessed doll.
  • In a homage to the aforementioned Child's Play, Zombies Ate My Neighbors features evil dolls as enemies.
  • The Tails Doll from Sonic R. A series of joke urban legends even formed around it, it was so creepy to the fan base. The urban legends and creepiness are actually canon to one non-game Sonic continuity.
  • The quest All That Remains in Dragon Age II, in which a mad blood mage kidnaps women and grafts parts of them together to recreate his deceased wife. His latest victim is Hawke's mother.
  • In Silent Hill: Homecoming Dr. Fitch's daughter Scarlet loved dolls. She was sacrificed to the "Gods" by her father. When Alex visits Dr. Fitch he finds that Scarlet is missing and only her doll is left. Suddenly the doll becomes a giant creepy spider-like monster, with long limbs and a fragile exoskeleton seeming to be made of porcelain.
  • The plot of The 7th Guest centers around this trope since children's souls are turned into dolls by an evil toymaker.
  • The Puppetshow casual game series is based on this trope.
  • In Ib, the violet area becomes a doll episode after Garry gets separated from his companions. The room full of rabbits turns out to actually be full of dolls, one doll becomes infatuated with Garry and stalks him for quite a while, a giant doll starts spying on him from behind windows and bookcases, and then he encounters another room full of them and promptly gets locked in. If he's unable to escape before the giant doll catches him, he gets driven insane.
  • The Dollhouse from Alice: Madness Returns, which despite its bright, colorful motifs manages to be the most disturbing stage in the game especially after you've beaten it and realized how much rape symbolism was all through it, foreshadowing the big plot twist.
  • One of the booses in the world of the Toy Box in Kingdom Hearts III is Angelic Amber, who is, naturally, an excessivly creepy Heartless-possessed doll.

  • Drowtales's Kharla'ggen has the ability to turn any person she wants into dolls. Their skin, bones and joints are all twisted and transformed, turning the person into a living, breathing, fully conscious dolls, who can never die unless they are allowed to starve and they never are.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! had a variant of this, without the horror tropes. Steve meets a loose girl who is interested in him, but needs him to bring another boy along for her "friend." He brings Snot, only to discover that this "friend" is a doll which the girl treats like a real person. Things only get weirder when (in the girl's mind) Snot gets the doll pregnant and has to bring her for an abortion.
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Puppetmaster", Sokka finds several puppets in their innkeeper's cupboard. This foreshadows the puppet-like waterbending skill that Katara learns from the innkeeper by the end of the episode.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: The episode "A Present for Jez", where a reprogrammed mechanical doll tries to take over Miseryville.
  • Type Four in the Phineas and Ferb Halloween Episode "Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror". Candace unintentionally invokes a spell that brings her Ducky Momo to life, and the stuffed animal spends the rest of the story stalking her around the house, to this delightfully creepy number. In the end, it turns out Ducky Momo only wants a hug, but then the spell kicks in and her teddy bear Mister Miggins turns evil.
  • The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror III", where Homer gets Bart a cursed Krusty doll from a Chinese man's curio shop filled with cursed and weird objects from around the world. The doll wasn't even cursed, despite coming from an occult curio shop run by a strange Chinese man. The doll had a "good/evil" switch on its back that someone flipped on "evil".
  • Wakfu: Noximilian the Clockmaker has a clockwork replica of his long lost family, significant in that his whole life goal revolves around getting his family back. It's simultaneously heartbreaking and downright terrifying.
  • One episode of WordGirl was actually about Mr. Big forcing everyone to buy thousands of WordGirl dolls that can control their minds.
  • Miraculous Ladybug plays this trope Lighter and Softer in "Puppeteer". Marinette has made several cloth dolls that resemble Ladybug, Chat Noir, and a few of the villains they had defeated in prior episodes. The titular villain has the power to use these dolls to control their real-life counterparts, and most of the fight revolves around the heroes' efforts to keep the otherwise harmless dolls out of her hands. Once Puppeteer takes control of each doll, it animates and acts out her commands in a miniature mimicry of its living counterpart.


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