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You Are Grounded!

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"That does it, buster. No Radio Tropes for a week."
Eddy: What happened to the stairs?!
Ed: My parents took 'em down 'cuz I am grounded.
Edd: That's disturbing.
Ed, Edd n Eddy, "3 Squares and an Ed"

Teen (or younger) character is grounded at an inopportune time (usually near the end of Act 2). Often, the person doing the punishing does not have an exceptional reason, or just has a sense that the teen is out of control and needs to calm down (or that the younger character has misbehaved or otherwise did something wrong). So they restrict the youngster's social life for a time (which is usually left unsaid in most instances in media) by banning them from leaving the house and/or having friends over. Of course, if the character is of school age and the grounding takes place during term time, chances are they will be allowed out to go to school - unless they have also been suspended or expelled. In addition, for teenagers, if the grounding takes place when they have a job, they will be allowed to go to work - unless they have been fired or they quit. But in either case, said parent may also tell said kid "I don't want to hear a peep out of you", meaning that they must be absolutely quiet until they have been released, mostly to prevent any temper tantrums they may throw due to their perceived unfairness of the sentence.

The punished character usually sneaks out the window or similarly blows off the punishment to finish off the story. After the story is completed, the grounding or suspension is never mentioned again. Similarly, if a character is grounded at the end of an episode, you can expect that in the next episode, said grounding will no longer be in effect, or mentioned at all.

The grounding is the one common absolute that links every television show (especialy sitcoms), cartoon, network, production company, and franchise in history and beyond together. It is the Iron-clad law of film, television and print. It is the snake biting its own tail, as the groundings of real-life are influenced by the groundings of media, and vice versa.

The kiddie version of Turn in Your Badge. A possible consequence of being Caught Coming Home Late. If the punishment is blatantly excessive, it's Grounded Forever.

Truth in Television as parents do ground children and teenagers for bad behavior or conduct. Stricter parents, especially in older time periods, are also liable to say Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!.

Note: There is one situation where an adult will be told this with a straight face: Pilots who, either due to misconduct or more mundane circumstances (such as bad weather), are restricted from flying. In the punitive variations, this is actually either Turn in Your Badge or being made to be a Desk Jockey.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • This happens to Nobita all the time in the American adaptation of Doraemon. He always gets grounded, unlike in the Japanese version where he gets sent out of the house by his mom (a typical Japanese household punishment used by parents). Doraemon is occasionally grounded along with him.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, in a filler episode in the Frieza Saga, Chi-Chi tries to invoke this to Gohan when she was speaking to him through the monitor when he was in Namek when the planet was going to explode, after the latter ignored her and Master Roshi's questions when they were talking to him (it was justified, as he had no time to answer their questions). Chi-Chi does apologize for yelling at him and ungrounds him in the next episode though. This however only exists in the original English Dub of the series; as trying to Americanize anime - even when trying to be faithful to the original story - was commonplace around that time; even when it comes to localizing dialogue.
  • Yotsuba&!: Yotsuba is "dirted", as she puts it, for riding her bicycle to Fuuka's school, across town alone, without permission (to deliver milk). She's un-grounded at the end of the next chapter after helping her father and Jumbo build a bookshelf.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Girl: This Cassie Sandsmark's weakness. Since her father Zeus wouldn't help raise her, yet knew a super powered demigoddess might be too much for her mother to handle, he gave Cassie's mom the right to deny Cassie use of her powers.
  • Level Up: After Dennis told the angels that he's quitting medical school, the one with the red hair tells him that he is grounded. The red haired angel tells Dennis to study in his room. He didn't took this well, so he ran away.
  • Ms. Marvel (2014): Kamala Khan gets grounded for the rest of the month for being late in her first appearance (All-New Marvel Now! Point One) and is grounded till an undisclosed time at the end of the 2nd issue of her own book for sneaking out to a party, then in issue 6 she is sent to counseling to the Mosque when she repeatedly climbed out of the window to do who knows what (Superheroing).
  • Magic Trixie: Magic Trixie gets grounded by her parents in the first book for taking her baby sister to school as her Show And Tell.
  • In one of the comic adaptations to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Kimberly ends up screwing up and gets herself grounded. Preferring her to listen to her father and not get in trouble by teleporting away, the Rangers come up with an idea to get Kimberly out with a promise to make up for everything.
  • Professor Utonium grounds The Powerpuff Girls until they clean their room in "Bless This Mess" (issue #27, DC run). Everytime the girls do clean their room, Him shows up secretly and messes it up again.
  • Robin (1993): After Ariana dressed in lingerie and propositioned Tim Drake, who turned her down, and her uncle saw her thus dressed and tried to kill Tim while chasing him out of the house Tim arrives home only to have his father yell at him about what a disappointment he is and ground him, angrily cutting off any attempts on Tim's part to explain what actually happened.
  • In the Runaways, Nico once grounded Molly for apparently wandering off after a battle and supposedly making up a story about being kidnapped (she actually had been kidnapped after her powers caused her to fall asleep, but her adventure was so bizarre that Nico didn't believe it.)
  • In Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Poe is told this with a straight face by General Organa. As he's a pilot, it's meant in the literal sense. It's not a punitive version, however—she's forcing him to take some time off to deal with his grief after the loss of a member of his squadron.
  • Stray: This was what convinced Rodney to quit being the Rottweiler for five years. After one mission, The Doberman and Rodney got into a fight over a decision Rodney made to let a perp go because he was trying to feed his family. Rodney felt he made the right call, but the Doberman felt otherwise, and tried to ground him for his insubordination. Rodney hung up the Rottweiler costume in resignation... and apparently walked out of his dad's life.

    Comic Strips 
  • Crabgrass: Kevin has this happen to him several times due to his antics.
  • Inverted in Foxtrot; since the youngest brother is such a major nerd that he voluntarily stays indoors all day, his punishment is being (threatened with being) banned from the house, rather than grounded in it.
  • In one comic strip of Garfield, Jon berates Garfield for not chasing any mice, threatening to ground him if he does not start to catch mice. The gag ends with Jon realizing this would actually do Garfield a favor, since the cat is enormously lazy.

    Fan Works 
  • Anger Management: Lincoln is grounded for beating up Lynn, and she is later grounded for trying to anger him.
  • The Boy Who Cried Idiot: Lincoln's parents ground him for biting his textbook and blaming Martin for throwing it, not realising that it was a raccoon who bit the textbook and that Lincoln was telling the truth when he blamed Martin. Later, he extends the grounding to two weeks after Lincoln (accidentally) hits Leni and then to three weeks after Lincoln gets into a fight with Martin and Chandler.
  • Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME! has Calvin grounded in the middle of Chapter 4.
  • Calvin has been grounded at the end of several episodes in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series, usually after whatever wacky escapades he and Hobbes have been having end up destroying something of note.
  • In Continuance, when Souji Setanote  returns to visit Inaba for Golden Week under the pretext of gathering information on the town's businesses. When Yuuma, his father, doesn't like what Souji brings back, Yuuma grounds him and forbids him from visiting Inaba for the foreseeable future. Later on, after Souji ends up on the cover of a magazine after a chance encounter with Rise, he gets into a heated argument with his father, during which Yuuma starts to threaten him. Souji, however, isn't fazed, saying "And what are the repercussions this time? You can't ground me any more than you already have, Father."
  • In the Death Note fic A Cure for Love L is amused when this happens to Kira.
  • In Kidnapping of a Cryptid Izuku is on medical leave from Yuuei due to his kidnapping but in spirit, he's grounded. Izuku is forbidden to do any hero work due to his impending surgery and his parents fully intend him a long recovery due to Izuku's previous neglect of his health.
  • Kyon has been grounded twice in Kyon: Big Damn Hero. He still managed to stay a night at Tsuruya's without his parents noticing in that time.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: Archie and Harry are both restricted to half an hour per day outside the house after they are revealed to have been lying about their schooling; Archie was in America and Harry claims to have been homeschooling herself rather than admit to being illegally at Hogwarts.
  • In Stars From Home, Charles grounds Scott when he claims to have broken the laundry room door. (He didn't and Charles knows that, turns out he's grounded for lying.) Scott sneaks out anyway and leaves a really vague note.
    Charles: If you ever do anything like that again...
    Scott: Grounded for the rest of my natural life?
    Charles: No, no. I'll have you resurrected and re-ground you.
  • In The One to Make It Stay, Alya gets grounded for forgetting that she was supposed to babysit her younger sisters. This forces her to put the Ladyblog on hiatus for a time, and naturally does not help her mood, as she already felt she was being unfairly punished by Ladybug and Marinette had just put her foot down and declared they needed a break from each other.
  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence: After attacking Marinette and Cole with deliberately sharpened fingernails and ripping open several of Cole's stitches, Alya's parents ground her. This specifically includes being banned from working on the Ladyblog, and they post a notice on the blog itself explaining the reason for the hiatus. This is noted to cause several akumatizations.
  • In Spider-Ninja, after Petra and the turtles are Caught Coming Home Late by Splinter, this trope happens. To be fair, he had a good reason to punish them because they snuck out, and listened to their reasons for sneaking out before he grounded them.
  • In The Loud House fanfic Mall Rats, Lincoln mentions that his parents would ground him for a week if he tried reciting the edgy slogans on some hoodies he sees in front of him.
  • Scarlet Lady's take on "The Collector" sees Adrien get grounded for 'losing' his father's secret book about the Miraculous. Notably, Gabriel originally threatened to pull him out of school entirely, only for Adrien to make clear that if he did that, he'd ensure that it blew up into a PR scandal. Being grounded for a month is considerably less awful... though that doesn't stop Chloé from reacting as though this is the worst possible thing that could have ever happened to her.
  • Not long before Manehattan's Lone Guardian begins, Ebony is grounded by Gray for stealing some cake from one of her friends, leaving her unable to go with the rest of the family on a trip outside the city. While the grounding ends on its own terms eventually, this still puts the pediophobic Ebony in the unfavorable position of being the first to interact with Leviathan directly.

  • This was a minor threat in early Animorphs books, before the war became more and more divorced from normal life. The only time a grounding ends up affecting the plot is The Andalite's Gift, and even then, Jake is able to get out of it by cleaning the garage. Because his mom's been after his dad to do that forever, and he's more than happy to dump it off on his son. This is phased out with the introduction of the Chee, androids who had been impersonating and living among humans since the days of the pyramids, and were more than happy to cover for the Animorphs if needed. And by the very end of the series, it was completely moot because things had become so bad that the Animorphs were basically on the run and could no longer even live in a regular family structure.
  • In Deep Wizardry, Nita and Kit are grounded for staying out incredibly late (on wizardly business, but Nita's parents don't know that). They sneak out after that, get caught when they come back in, and ultimately wind up explaining exactly what they were doing, why they have to keep doing it, and that they're going to have to do it whether they get permission or not.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down: Greg's punishment for "goofing off" instead of playing at a school concert is being grounded with no video games. Greg says that the only thing he can do is practice his instrument, which he thinks is the point.
  • Eve and Adam: Terra tries pretty hilariously to keep Eve in the hospital.
  • This actually benefits Finn in the first Kingdom Keepers book, since being grounded allows him to go to bed earlier without attracting suspicion, which allows him to cross over.
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs: Main character Joe is grounded by his guardians after dropping a rock on the meal of one sailor.
  • In Ratburger, Sheila grounds her stepdaughter Zoe who has to break out of her room to save her pet rat.
  • Roys Bedoys:
    • In the aptly-named “You’re Grounded, Roys Bedoys!”, Mrs. Bedoys grounds Roys for stealing an eraser.
    • In “Don’t Watch Grown-Up Movies, Roys Bedoys!”, Maker’s mother grounds him for watching a “grown-up movie”.
    • At the end of “Where Are You, Roys Bedoys?”, Mr. Bedoys grounds Roys for not asking permission to go to Maker’s house.
  • The Siren Song, by Anne Ursu has this. Charlotte is grounded because she went to go save all the children in London and her hometown from certain death. Her parents do not believe her, despite her note:
    " Zee and I know whats making everyone sick. we had to go save the world. Love, Charlotte. PS, Don't Worry"
  • In Skippy Dies, after Lori and Skippy kiss, Skippy stops seeing her and freaks out, thinking something happened to him. As it turns out, Lori wasn't avoiding him, she was merely grounded by her Dad as punishment for skipping out of the Halloween Hop.
  • Until We Meet Again: Cassandra gets grounded at the start of the book for sneaking into a neighbour's swimming pool. It happens again when her mother meets Lawrence.
  • In The Evolution of Emily, Emily's overprotective mom walks in on her kissing August and responds by grounding her. She considers pulling Emily out of school, but Dad talks her out of it.
  • In The Mermaid's Mirror, Lena tells her parents that she's seeing a movie with her friends when she's actually surfing, which her father has banned her from doing. When she gets home, her parents order her to her room and ground her for the next few days. Her dad picks her up after school because he doesn't trust her not to get into trouble while walking home.

  • Schlendrian tries this on his daughter Lieschen in Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht to get her to stop drinking coffee and quickly gets desperate; perhaps the apex (or nadir) is when he forbids her from standing by windows. Lieschen isn't fazed by any of it until Schlendrian forbids her from marrying, which changes her mind very quickly (or not).
  • In the Aaron Carter song, "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)", ends with Aaron getting grounded when his parents find out about the Wild Teen Party he threw.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Benedict's absence from home one night, so he could try and figure out his newfound superpower, leads to him getting grounded until the finals come around.

    Video Games 
  • In Gone Home, Sam gets grounded after getting into trouble at school.
  • In The Journeyman Project Pegasus Prime, Temporal Security commissioner Jack Baldwin says this to you, word for word for being late to work four times, which is serious, what with you being a time cop and all. He then orders you to do data cleanup for a solid week, including reviewing TSA agent procedures.
  • One of the 90s CD-ROM games, McKenzie & Co., released by Her Interactive had this as Disc 5 was inserted to continue the dating sim, either Kim or Carly are grounded for skipping school and going to a party, thus giving either girl a Non Standard Game Over, causing one of their boyfriends to get the heartbreaking ending.
  • In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode The Tomb of Sammun-Mak, we meet a pair of tomb-guardian father and daughter:
    Nefertiti's father: Nefertiti! You are grounded for life!!
    Nefertiti: I've been grounded for life my whole life!!
  • In South Park: The Fractured but Whole, this is used by and weaponized by Butters' dad. He targets areas of the battlefield, and then grounds the kids in said areas, dealing damage while afflicting the targeted kids with the Grounded status (basically similar to Petrify in that they can't do anything and it doesn't wear off over time). Conveniently this attack is a No-Sell on the Player Character, the New Kid, who also have the power to unground their peers, thereby curing them of the status effect. Butters' dad is completely baffled by these powers.
    Stephen You... have some kind of ability to UNGROUND people?! ...Whoever you touch become ungrounded, is that it? Your evil magic is not welcome here, darkling!
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, when the Hall Monitor's health drops enough he does a desperation attack of calling the New Kid's parents. If you fail to stun or defeat him before two turns, the call succeeds and the New Kid gets a phone call from his dad telling him he's grounded. This is considered a Non Standard Game Over.
  • In World of Warcraft, one quest in Drustvar involves you searching for an old man's grandson and some of his friends, who had the brilliant idea of going on an archaeological expedition into an area full of troggs. After you save all the kids, the old man notes that the children could have the makings of being good architects when they're adults... which will be around the time they're no longer grounded for that stunt. The actual length of the grounding(two months) is lenient by comparison.
  • In Don't Starve: Hamlet, Wilba the Pig Princess is grounded for losing the Queen's crown. Finding and returning it as another character satisfies the Queen, who allows Wilba to go adventuring again.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Princess Asalia will sneak out to go to a wedding early in the game, and King Eryk will prevent her from leaving the castle for a while after that as punishment. The end of the grounding period isn't explicitly stated, but it seems to be done by the time Maya is forbidden to enter the castle, as Asalia is still regularly seeing her after this and has to leave the castle to do so.

    Visual Novels 
  • At the end of the Kubitarou case in Spirit Hunter: NG, one of Akira's companions will be comatose. The other one will be temporarily grounded (Seiji by his father, Kaoru by her agency) to justify the inclusion of two new companion characters, though they do make a return in the Tsukuyomi case.

  • In General Protection Fault, Yoshi's father grounds him after Yoshi's briefly brought in for questioning regarding his association with Trudy, as well as his other hacking activities, but Yoshi sneaks out and meets with her in the middle of the night.
  • During the Cinderella play in Girl Genius, Cinderagatha gets grounded after Mamma Gkika (who has been smashing Agatha's projects to keep her from going to the science fair) has a close encounter with a hive of specially-bred quilting bees.
  • In Bleedman's Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Buttercup fears the prospect of being grounded. Mostly because as a flying superheroine, she interprets it in aeronautical terms (that is, not being allowed to fly).
  • This happens to the Cake Twins in Slice of Life after they sneak into a haunted house on Nightmare Night.

    Web Original 
  • Death Note Abridged (Team Dattebayo):
    Souichiro: Light! For being Kira, and squandering our family's reputation, you are GROUNDED, mister!
  • GoAnimate:
    • Users in the site seem to take a certain joy in making characters, sometimes original, sometimes a character from a kid's show, get grounded. Actually, not just grounded, usually "Grounded grounded grounded grounded grounded grounded grounded grounded grounded grounded". Very often for exceedingly long periods of time, sometimes for extremely minor things (even getting grounded for literally nothing), and sometimes for doing rather bizarrely cruel things (such as causing an earthquake at school, breaking teachers' legs, getting school faculty arrested...).
    • Deconstructed in Caillou has had enough!, in which Caillou is grounded by his dad simply for watching Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. This time, his mom finally takes action, and calls Boris out. Boris initially tries to defend himself by saying Caillou needs to behave better and that his groundings work, but Doris says otherwise. Eventually, though, Boris calls Caillou an "out-of-control brat" and paints himself as the Only Sane Man, even going as far as to ground Doris. This results in a slapfight, and Doris grounds Boris, condemning him to the closet as Caillou and Rosie (who heard everything) rush to call the police. The next video, "Caillou's Terrible Fire Drill!", sees Caillou freaking out during a fire drill, and Boris, of course, grounding him. However, Doris tells Caillou to disregard him, as the events of the previous video have stuck, and Boris is still being held hostage in the closet.
  • An episode of Phailhaus from the LoadingReadyRun crew pulls this when the Word of the Day was 'condign' (and the timeout lasted a year).
    Matt: Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty! For tonight, we condign in Hell!
    Graham: That's it, mister. You are on a one Phailhaus timeout.
  • In The Saga of Tuck when Tuck's family find out about his female alter ego Valerie, they not only ground him for six weeks, they fine him $500 and — worst of all to him — cut off his phone and network privileges. To be fair, he had feared it would be even worse than this, and they did later reduce it to two weeks' grounding. Subverted in that Hilarity Ensues and the two weeks expire without much notice. He is, however, grounded the entire time. Also subverted similarly during Valentine's Day. The occasion of the grounding being removed (what else do you call it? "expired"?) is cause for a celebration, which probably ought to get him grounded a second time.
  • In the Strong Bad Email episode Techno Strong Bad grounds The Cheat for abusing his own light switch to throw a rave. As punishment, he is forced to break open his glowstick and pour it into Homestar Runner's Mountain Dew.
    Strong Bad: I heard they have to pump your stomach if you drink that stuff...


The Martins get GROUNDED!!!

After a series of incidents gets ugly at school, the Martins are grounded by their mother in the single worst grounding ever recorded in the history of history!

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Main / YouAreGrounded

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