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Lucy: You know, there's this classic film called The Defiant Ones, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. It's about two prisoners – one black, the other white – and they escape handcuffed together...

Brad: And while they don't like each other at first, they come to respect and care for one another by the end.

Lucy: You've seen it.

Brad: No, but I know what you're getting at. And I don't want a moral lesson in tolerance and cooperation. I just want to get through the next couple of hours without committing murder.

Two, usually diametrically opposed, characters are chained or handcuffed together for the duration. An Aesop occurs. In the right genre, may result in a forced Enemy Mine. May be employed in a symbolic manner and progress into Chains of Love. In other genres, it will be played for laughs as both characters will then try to carry on with their (often conflicting) activities despite the handicap. Also odds are good they'll want to hide what happened, letting them make up a wild story as to why they are holding one another's hand. Hilarity Ensues.

Can overlap with Working on the Chain Gang when this trope occurs between escaping prisoners. If it's an adhesive that locks them together, it's a Sticky Situation.

See also Locked in a Room, With My Hands Tied.

Unusually, the Trope Namer - the Girls Behind Bars film Chained Heat - is unrelated to this trope.

Examples of Chained Heat include:


Anime & Manga

  • Sailor Moon: An attack by a Daimon handcuffs Sailor Moon and Sailor Uranus together for an episode. This serves as a plot device since they'd been at odds since they ran into each other and have avoided contact. Being stuck together helps each to understand how the other thinks.
  • Anime variation: In Death Note, L decides to keep Light under supervision by handcuffing himself to Light. Although L still suspects Light of being Kira, they become friends over this time, mainly because a type of Laser-Guided Amnesia has erased Light's memories of being Kira. Once the memories return and the handcuffs are off, however, Light continues to act as L's friend while plotting his death.
  • Done in the Pokémon anime, in which Ash's Pikachu and Team Rocket's Meowth are tied together for an episode.
    • Also in the Pokémon Special manga with Blue's Ditto and Sabrina during a battle. Hilariously, Sabrina was furious to find out that they weren't even chained together at all.
  • Has happened a couple of time in Lupin III, when Zenigata actually manages to cuff Lupin. And quickly learns that the downside to cuffing yourself to Lupin, is that you are now cuffed to Lupin.
  • In Seo Kouji's oneshot manga Half And Half, the male and female protagonists are both involved in an accident and die together. Then a rather generic Kami-Sama gives them a chance to live again, for 7 more days; the catch is that after the time limit, one of them must die again. They're forced to stay together until they decide, else they both die.
  • In the manga Train Plus Train, average everynerd Reiichi Sakasuka ends up handcuffed to fugitive Arena Pendleton. The cuffs are indestructible, but time-released. They just had to wait 99 hours, which meant that Reiichi had to cancel all his plans and go on the run with her. This was just the beginning of the tension between them.
  • Having two characters chained together actually happens fairly often in Ranma ½. Somewhat subverted in that they very seldom get along and generally find some way of using the other as the weighted end of a chained weapon.
    • Such as Ranma using P-chan as both a shield and blunt object in a Martial Arts Gymnastics match with Kodachi.
      • "Pig is a valid weapon."
  • Happens accidentally to Usopp and Zoro in One Piece. It culminates in Zoro using Usopp as a sword.
  • In the Gintama anime, Hijikata and Okita are chained together at the neck with exploding collars as a parody of the Saw franchise. They spend the next few days foiling each others attempts at escape.
    • Also recently Hijikata got handcuffed to Gintoki and had to request his help in taking down some bad guys. Hilarity Ensues.
  • There are no literal chains in Double Arts--just the simple awareness that if Kiri lets go of her hand for more than a few seconds, Ellie will go into a horrific seizure and die. Needless to say, they are, for all practical purposes, just as good as chained together.
    • Although they were able to take advantage of it not being exactly the same in the first chapter to win a fight by switching hands to get an advantage.
  • In a side story of Kamichama Karin, Karin messes around with the magic rings and ends up getting her hand stuck to Kazune's. Instead of having to make excuses for cuffs, they have to avoid being seen with their hands stuck together or face the wrath of Kazune's Fangirls. This leads to some rather funny moments where Kazune has to go to the bathroom and where they have to change for gym. The latter leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny where their enemy walks in on them in a... compromising position.
  • In the manga as well as an episode of Princess Resurrection. Reiri and Riza, a vampire and a half-werewolf respectively, end up getting handcuffed together by Hime as she needs them for a rescue mission knowing full well they would object to it if they had to work together.
    • this troper thought it was riza handcuffing herself to reiri to make the vampire take her to a vampire that kidnapped hiro. reiri only agreed because riza didn't have the keys, the vampire she was looking for did. at least, that was how it went in the manga.
  • Happened to Tsukune and Ruby in Rosario to Vampire, with the twist that every time Tsukune used his powers, Ruby would get electrocuted. She didn't mind.
  • A recent Naruto filler episode recounts an instance where the original Team Kakashi faced a gang of thieves lead by Ninja Spiderman(the guy even webswings in one scene). Naruto and Sasuke wind up with their hands webbed together for the remainder of the flashback. During the Hilarity Ensues scene of trying to seperate themselves, they accidentally kiss... again.

  Sasuke: "Why is it always you?"


Comic Books

  • Piper and Trickster, a pair of semi-reformed DC Comics supervillains, were handcuffed together after being arrested for complicity in the death of Flash. They escaped, but were unable to remove the handcuffs. The twist is that Piper is gay, and Trickster is, well, slightly homophobic.
    • Slightly? Constantly making gay jokes is more like it. Near the end of the storyline, it seems like it's going to become Canon Ho Yay just before Trickster does a Heroic Sacrifice and jumps in front of a bullet aimed for Piper.
    • Word of God claims that the storyline was intentionally based off of The Defiant Ones.
  • Hammer and Anvil are two villains in Marvel Comics, one black and one white, connected with an alien device that gives them superpowers. Clearly inspired by the source material.
  • The Nintendo Comics System story The Buddy System.
  • Spencer Smythe was a Spider-Man villain, who was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to create robots to catch Spider-Man. When he got fatal radiaton poisoning because of his work, he blamed both Jameson and Spider-Man, and handcuffed the two of them together with a bomb scheduled to detonate in 24 hours.


Film

  • The Trope Codifier: The Defiant Ones.
  • Alfred Hitchcock used this in The Thirty-Nine Steps.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Roger handcuffs himself to Eddie Valiant to get him to help clear his name. When Eddie tries to cut them off, he discovers that Roger can slip off them, but "only when it was funny."
  • James Bond and Chinese agent Wai Lin are handcuffed and forced to work together to escape from Corrupt Corporate Executive Elliot Carver's HQ in Tomorrow Never Dies. This isn't just a matter of running and hiding – they end up riding a motorcycle at high speed through crowded streets while the bad guys chase them, still handcuffed together.
    • The director used Enforced Method Acting there by telling each actor independently that they would be driving the motorcycle, causing quite the scuffle over who actually drives.
  • The movie Fled used this in part, right down to the one black and one white prisoner although Lawrence Fishburne's character is actually an undercover officer.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? starts out this way--with three prisoners--but they get unchained fairly early in the movie. They do stick together afterwards, though. (Mostly.)
  • The Specialists: Happens at the beginning of this French movie, in which two prisoners end up chained together during a routine prison transfer and one of them decides to escape. At first they can't stand each other, then they become best friends. Later revealed to be a subversion: the prisoner who decided to escape was actually an undercover cop, chained to the other man on purpose so he'd gain his trust and convince him to work on a robbery. They end up BFF anyway.
  • Banlieue 13: two prisoners, routine prison transfer, one decides to escape, hate each other, become best friends, one's actually a cop. It's subverted in District 13 though – it turns out the prisoner made the other guy as a cop before they even left the police station, but was playing along until the first opportunity to cut himself loose. He then leaves the cop handcuffed to the steering wheel of the police van. It takes a good chunk of screen time for the cop to track him down again, although they then do wind up working together despite their differences.
  • Black Mama White Mama, The Defiant Ones with women!
  • While not a straight example of this trope, Stuck On You features conjoined twins; they separate later on in the movie, and neither brother can function nearly as well, as they are used to compensating for the other's weight/movements.
  • This forms the basic plot device in the HBO Original Movie Deadlock. This film features a futuristic prison with no fences and no guards, the only form of security being explosive collars fitted around the necks of prisoners. Each prisoner has a "wedlock partner," and both partners will have their heads blown off if they place more than 100 yards (approx 100 meters) of distance between them. Since no one knows who their partner is, the prisoners act as their own guards. The story revolves around two prisoners being allowed to escape by revealing to one of them who her partner is, in order that the other partner might lead the warden and his associates to a stash of ill-gotten booty.
  • Played for slapstick laughs in Condorman, with Woody and Natalia handcuffed together after Harry breaks them out of jail.
  • In one Jackie Chan movie, he plays a detective in the early 1900's. At one stage Chan is arrested by his Jerkass superior, who handcuffs him to his own wrist in the procedure of the time. Unfortunately they're attacked by thugs on the way to the police station, and the two have to co-operate to escape and/or fight them.
  • Through most of the film Midnight Run the Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) is hand-cuffed to Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin).
  • Wrong Turn 3 Left for Dead; the prisoners spend most of the film shackled together.
  • Hannibal-A very brief but deadly serious example: Agent Starling handcuffs herself to Lecter to prevent him from escaping (she is too drugged to fight him otherwise). Lecter grabs a nearby butcher knife... and chops off his own hand.
  • In The Mask, Stanley briefly cuffs himself to Lt. Kellaway in his prison escape.
    • The animated series has Kellaway cuffing himself to Stanley so he'll reveal himself as The Mask. Two villains show up, and Stanley has to find various ways into becoming the hero (KO'ing the cop, bagging his head, standing inside an elevator while Kellaway is outside).
  • Rio. This trope holds together not just Blu and Jewel, but also 90% of the plot.
  • In the remake of D.O.A. the protagonist super-glues his hand to the girl to force her to accompany him. There's one scene where she has to go to the toilet (she ends up going in a darkened alley) and later they get seperated when her skin tears free while she's suspended from a lift.


Literature

  • An extreme example in book three of The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Bartimaeus and Nathaniel trying to take on The Legions of Hell while Sharing a Body. And mind-linked.
  • In the book Judge Benjamin: Superdog, Judge and his dachsund antagonist Henry manage to get their collars caught together. This was after Henry semi-accidentally flooded the garage and took refuge on Judge's head. They were rescued by their owners and taken to the local hardware shop to get the collars disconnected. Later that night they learned to work together when the owner of the hardware shop tried to rob the garage.


Live Action TV

  • Supernatural had this happen to Sam and Dean when they were arrested. It was both played straight (they work together to prove their innocence) and for laughs (trying to sit down on opposite ends of a bench, the brothers trip and almost fall flat on their ass.)
  • The Nickelodeon show Hey, Dude! used this in the appropriately-titled episode "Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed". Brad and Lucy pretty much sum up the entire trope, as seen in the page quote.
  • In Lizzie McGuire, Lizzie and Matt get handcuffed together.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch is forced to stay within three paces of her rival Alpha Bitch for trying to distance herself from her problems
  • Lost subverted this, with Kate and Juliet waking up in the jungle handcuffed together, Juliet claiming that she was knocked out by the rest of the Others and left behind. While at first it seems that they are starting to get along, it turns out that Juliet dragged Kate out into the jungle and handcuffed them together in order to gain her trust. Her deception is unmasked when the two are menaced by the Smoke Monster, and Juliet unlocks the handcuffs in panic so that she can turn on the security barrier.
  • An episode of Quantum Leap followed the premise (or the whole plot ?) of The Defiant Ones, with Sam escaping a prison while handcuffed with a black man...
  • Family Matters did a surprisingly decent (for them) version of the trope, where Lieutenant Murtagh and Carl are on a stakeout. Murtagh, incompetent as always, is playing with trick cuffs... only to find that once he has them on the two of them he can't remember the spot that will release them.
  • The episode "Attached" of Star Trek: The Next Generation had an interesting variation on this trope. Picard and Crusher, who each had feelings for the other, wound up together on a hostile alien planet. They weren't physically chained together, but for some reason they had each been implanted with a strange electronic gizmo that allowed them to read each other's thoughts, and also caused them both great pain when they went more than about ten feet from each other, so the effect was the same. Hijinks ensue. What their captors hoped to gain from this is baffling.
    • To be clear, said devices were intended to eventually sync fully to their brain chemistry, at which point their captors would simply download their memories. The telepathy was a side effect.
  • In an episode of Hannah Montana, Oliver handcuffs Miley and Lily together while they are fighting and then discovers he doesn't have the key.
    • Happens a second time with Lily and Oliver being glued to each other via chairs.
  • An episode of Mash has Hawkeye and a visiting surgeon barely able to tolerate one another. A convenient freak accident leaves them each with one working hand, and in order to save the life of their patient, they must stand side by side and work in complete harmony.
    • Upping the drama factor, the guest character was played by Alan Alda's real-life father.
      • By the way, Alan Alda's stepbrother also had a minor role in the episode.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. In "Shadows of P'Jem" Archer and his sexy Vulcan science officer T'Pol are tied up together by hostage takers. While struggling to free themselves from their bonds, Archer ends up with his face buried in T'Pol's impressive cleavage, learning the important Aesop that while Vulcans can be highly annoying, they can also have great tits.
  • Threes Company. Jack handcuffs himself to Chrissy, not realizing she doesn't have the keys. Since he has a hot date, he decides to make Chrissy tag along (sitting at the next table). Hilarity Ensues.
  • Tuvix in Star Trek: Voyager.
    • Probably doesn't really count, since the two characters in question effectively ceased to exist and instead merged into a separate 3rd entity in that case. A straighter example would be Tom Paris and Neelix getting trapped on a planet surface where the atmosphere was quite dangerous, forcing them to spend a lot of time together in a cave. Neelix was jealous of how close Tom was getting to his girl Kes, which provided the tension for them to work through. Oh, and they were also taking care of reptilian alien eggs while this was going on.
  • Vala in Stargate SG-1 pulls this on Daniel with a pair of linked Goa'uld bracelets that cause the wearers to fall into a coma if separated for too long, though her motive was to ensure that she didn't get left out of a share of the treasure at the end of SG-1's current quest.
  • In Even Stevens, the school guidance counselor attempted to enforce this trope on Ren and her rival Larry Beale together. They end up pretending to get along just to get her to unlink them, but as they have to work together to pull this off, in the end they're worried that it might have actually worked.
  • MacGyver once ended up chained to a very eighties Manic Pixie Dream Girl who also turned out to be a brilliant classical violinist.
  • In the Mission Impossible episode "Nerves", the IMF stage one of these. Casey poses as a prisoner and is handcuffed to the villain's girlfriend. The IMF stage a breakout so that the girlfriend takes Casey to the villains hideout.
    • Before that, in a first-season episode the IMF stages a prison break for a potential assassin while handcuffed to Rollin.
  • An episode of Tales from the Crypt has a variation in which an escaped convict is handcuffed to the cop who is chasing him, then shoots the cop – who manages to swallow the cuff key before dying. The convict then spends the rest of the episode dragging a dead cop around by the wrist.
  • Prison Break had an interesting take on this setup when they finally got out of the prison (Season 2). T-Bag, who wasn't on the escape plans and forced himself in was afraid, with reason, that they would try to get rid of him as soon as he could no longer tell the guards of the plan. So, he handcuffs himself to Michael, and now they have to take him along, because they cannot be separated and Michael is just too important to Abruzzi (the guy with the escape jet). Then they reach a kind of barn, where Abruzzi picks up a saw and tries to cut the handcuffs, to no avail. Then he chops off T-Bag's arm.
    • Something similar was the reason behind a murder in Inspector Morse. Two security guards had conspired to rob a payroll in a suitcase attached by a chain to the wrist, only one had left the key behind when he changed his jacket.
  • NCIS ("Chained"). An undercover DiNozzo is handcuffed to a convict; they escape together and go find a stache of stolen Iraqi antiques that NCIS is searching for.
  • The X Files. In "Piper Maru" Agent Mulder handcuffs himself to a female secrets broker, so as to force her to take him to her contact. It turns out to be Krycek, who shoves the woman through a door and slams it shut on the chain, trapping Mulder. Moments later the woman is shot dead by French Secret Service mooks, and Krycek flees leaving Mulder to his fate. Fortunately he's able to find the handcuff key before they kick down the door.
  • In The Suite Life On Deck, Mr. Blanket, the school's insane Guidance Counselor, handcuffs Moseby and Zack together, and swallows the key. It helps them understand one another better, but also increases their contempt for Blanket.
  • Faye handcuffs herself to Mr Gribble, shortly before going into labour, in the last episode of Round the Twist.
  • An episode of Wizards and Warriors has good prince Eric Greystone and evil prince Dirk Blackpool trying to escape a dungeon of deathtraps while chained together.
  • In the "Chain of Death Raid" episode of The Rat Patrol, American Sgt. Troy and German Captain Dietrich were captured by Arabs and chained together, forcing them to cooperate in order to escape. [Just one of several Enemy Mine episodes in this series!]
  • One episode of I Love Lucy did this when Lucy handcuffs Ricky as a joke. But finds out she grabbed the wrong handcuffs (She thought they were Fred's trick ones) and the two end up having to go through the whole episode with them on.
  • Fred and Esther were cuffed together by Grady and his trick handcuffs in an episode of Sanford and Son. Grady eventually freed them, but ended up stupidly chaining himself to Lamont!
  • In Psychoville, Mr Jelly performs at a retirement home and accidentally handcuffs himself to one of the elderly residents, leaving them stuck together while on the run from Mr Jolly's killer – or so they think.
  • On Eureka, Action Girl Jo and town Jerkass Zane are accidentally locked together at the ankle by a quick acting cement-like substance. Right after they had broken up.
  • One episode of Green Acres had Oliver show Lisa how handcuffs work, only to find he had lost the keys.
  • In the Kamen Rider Accel direct-to-video movie, protagonist Ryuu (a policeman) spends about half the movie handcuffed to an attractive pickpocket, which produces even more Not What It Looks Like than he's already in and almost causes his wife to divorce him.
  • In the Charlie's Angels episode "Angels in Chains", Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina are chained together when they try to escape from the prison warden.
  • Castle has Beckett and Castle waking up handcuffed together in the appropriately named episode "Cuffed". This trope is lampshaded by Esposito and Ryan when discussing how a relationship can have a make-or-break moment when two people are stuck together in close proximity.
  • Leverage features this with Hardison and Eliot as they are fleeing from a militia group in "The Gone Fishin' Job". They eventually get out of their restraints, but are first able to defeat several members of the group and improvise a bomb with a cigarette.
  • Happens to Sherlock and John in The Reichenbach Fall.


Music

  • The video for Michael Jackson's "Beat It" has two rival gang leaders tie their hands to each other for the world's most stylized knife fight.


Newspaper Comics

  • One FoxTrot storyline had Jason and Paige stuck together by bubblegum (made with industrial polymers) when their bubbles touch -- which has the added awkwardness of connecting them by the faces rather than their arms. When the realization sinks in that they're going to have to sleep and shower together, they scream so loudly that it blows the gum right off.
  • Garfield, alongside first Jon, then Odie, spent several weeks stuck in a window blind together. Somehow, this gets parsed as something freaky by the woman Jon asks to try and help them get out of this...
    • They are later joined by a man, an old lady, and eventually a street light.


Professional Wrestling

  • "Strap Match" refers to Gimmick Match that sees two wrestlers tied to opposite ends of a belt, rope, steel chain, or anything similar in order to keep them in close proximity to each other. This can also be referred to as a "Dog Collar Match," when the competitors are shackled at the neck.
    • Differs from most other depictions in that the two wrestlers are not forced to cooperate. In fact, the whole point of the strap match is to force the two wrestlers to fight each other while tied together. This naturally is a great disadvantage for some wrestlers, as it takes their signature moves out of play.


Theater

  • In The 39 Steps, the main character is handcuffed to a woman who thinks he is a murderer. He must drag her with him as he tries to escape the villain's henchmen.


Video Games

  • Whiplash, where the protagonists are animals escaping from a Mega Corp Testing Facility. The two characters, Spanx (a brain-fried weasel) and Redmond (a Deadpan Snarker rabbit who also happens to be Nigh Invulnerable due to chemical tests) are chained together, with Spanx using Redmond as a flail.
  • A similar game mechanic was used in Crash Twinsanity, where Crash and Cortex can latch on to a crystal and Crash can drag Cortex around the level, using him as a mallet and occasionally flinging him across gaps to trigger switches and whatnot.
  • Divine Divinity's sequel Beyond Divinity uses the trope as its premise – the protagonist becomes forced into Synchronization with a stereotypically villainous Black Knight by a demon, and they work together with the shared goal of not only separating themselves from their rather disliked counterparts, but to get back at the demon who did it to them.
  • In Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Spyro spends the entire game chained to former nemesis Cynder. From a gameplay perspective, the main purpose of the chain is to allow co-op play without splitting the screen. However, the chain is also used to solve certain puzzles (for example, one dragon grabs onto a wall and the other dragon swings on the chain to get higher; or one dragon grabs onto a raft while the other dragon flies ahead, pulling the raft forward).
  • Though the 'chains' in this case are not physical, Bastila treats being forced to go off on a mission that would require spending time with the player character like this in Knights of the Old Republic.
  • Not so much chained but part of a gameplay mechanic of Knuckles Chaotix revolves around something like this.
  • In The World Ends With You, Neku becomes spiritually chained to different partners throughout the game. While there is nothing physically forcing them to stay together, the Noise they encounter along the way can only be defeated by two people working together.


Web Animation

  • On Homestar Runner, Strong Bad says (and shows via a Flash Back) that he once glued Homsar to Marzipan and "left them for dead".

 Marzipan: Ooh, I hear wolves coming.

Homsar: Aaaah'm the human wedgie!

  • In an episode of Happy Tree Friends Handy and Mole are chained together by Lumpy who's acting as a highway patrol officer, eventually Mole dies and Handy has to drag his corpse around with him before he's hit by a train.


Web Comic


Western Animation

  • Spoofed in The Simpsons episode "The Parent Rap".
    • In the episode "The Wandering Juvie" we see an entire line of unlikely pairs such as a nun chained to a hooker and Captain McAllister handcuffed to an octopus. They are all waiting for a blacksmith to break them apart.
  • Used/spoofed in the third-season Family Guy episode "Stuck Together, Torn Apart", in which Stewie and Brian have their hands glued together for a week.
  • In Kim Possible, they do two in an episode. Kim gets glued to her cheerleading arch-rival Bonnie, Ron to overbearing militaristic teacher Mr. Barkin.
    • Ron and Barkin get a better understanding of each other, whilst the Bonnie and Kim relationship appears to do the same.. next episode Bonnie is reset back to mega-ultra-superspecial bitch attitude towards Kim.
  • An animated episode of Spider-Man had Spidey and his detractor J. Jonah Jameson both handcuffed to a Time Bomb, which was based on a comic story. Naturally, Jameson just adds it to his list of reasons why Spidey is a menace.
  • In the Tale Spin episode "Stuck on You", Baloo and his Pirate nemesis Don Karnage spend most of the story glued together by industrial adhesive. No Aesop here, they go back to hating each other properly.
  • Ben 10, episode "Grudge Match", shackles Ben to recurring nemesis Kevin. Unusual in that there doesn't seem to be An Aesop here, unless it's "go with the lesser of two evils." They still hate each other after they separate.
  • In Samurai Jack, during their first encounter, Jack and the Scottsman wind up like this thanks to bounty hunters after spending a good day or two clashing swords.
  • In Duckman, Duckman himself is handcuffed to Agnes Delrooney, the hardened criminal who looks exactly like Grandma-ma by a sinister tobacco baron and the two are forced to make their escape. As Agnes has about 200 lbs on Duckman, it makes for an interesting scene, especially when she gets injured and can't go on.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers did an episode forthrightly titled "Chained", with ranger Shane Gooseman and alien outlaw McCross handcuffed together on a frontier planet after their ship crashes (which also makes it an Enemy Mine).
    • Subverted in that it was only for the first part of the episode, and the two characters only managed to piss each other off worse. McCross's fellow gang members showed up, McCross freed himself, and the rest of the ep is the gang terrorizing Ozark and trying to find a cache of stolen loot. Shane's allies consist of his robot horse and a friendly local.
  • Happens in the Danny Phantom episode "Life Lessons" when Danny and Valerie are chained together by Skulker as part of his game of hunt when he couldn't decide who was worthy of his skills, so he opted to kill both of them at the same time.
    • That situation was somewhat subverted, as they only became more friendly with each other in their human forms (Valerie didn't even know that Danny had a Secret Identity, nor did she know that he knew hers), while the next time they met as ghost and ghost hunter, their relationship didn't seem to have changed much.
  • Rugrats: Angelica and Chuckie accidentally get handcuffed together and lose the key; They eventually find the key and get free, but then Angelica gets handcuffed to her own bed.
  • An episode of Static Shock has black superhero Static handcuffed to white super thug Hot Streak and the two of them tossed on an island where the Corrupt Corporate Executive is trying to get his son (petrified several seasons ago) brought back to life. They play it straight, wind up as slightly more respectful enemies by the end, and manage to save the kid, although it's more machismo than anything that gets Hot Streak to jump in ("If he can take it, so can I!"). It did show that Hotstreak wasn't all that bad.
    • Machismo and the fact that he seemed genuinely worried about Static when he couldn't put off enough power to save Edwin.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh One and Chad are chained together as part of a subplot of "Op: TREATY". Notably, the usual way this plays out is subverted. It worsens their already tenuous relationship and ends with the two of them fighting to the death in a way that's not played for laughs.
  • Childrens' show The Tweenies once featured all four of the titular toddlers tying themselves together in a row by attempting to help each other with shoelaces, coat toggles, etc. And then Fizz suddenly decided she needed the bathroom.
  • Transformers Animated did a variant – Bulkhead's wrecking ball got stuck in Mixmaster's cylinder, sticking them together for a chunk of the episode.
  • Transformers Prime had Bulkhead and Arcee magnetized so that their backs stuck together for most of an episode.
  • In one episode of Liberty's Kids, James gets captured by the British and chained with a Hessian deserter. The two of them manage to escape, and the Hessian takes the opportunity to tell James (and the audience) why the Hessians joined the war.
  • The Pirates of Dark Water: "The Gameplayers of Undaar." Frog people hijack the ships of both the protagonist Ren and Big Bad Bloth, then force them to complete puzzles while being handcuffed together. Why? "Makes the game more interesting!"
  • Doug handcuffs himself to his Oblivious to Love dream girl Patti Mayonnaise while trying to impress her with a magic trick.
  • In Storm Hawks, Stork tries to keep the Raptors from getting their hands on a Graviton Crystal by swallowing it, which then causes him and Leugey to be stuck together.
  • In The Angry Beavers, Daggett handcuffs himself to Truckee during an Arbour Day party because he's paranoid of Truckee stealing his stuff. Later the two are stuck in the dam when it gets flipped upside down. Daggett is in no real danger (Beavers can hold their breath for 15 minutes), but he decides he doesn't want to be handcuffed to a dead shrew and tries to get them both out safely.
  • Brandy and Mr. Whiskers spent an episode glued together back to back; on the night when Brandy had a hot date, of course.
  • An episode of The Batman has Penguin handcuff Batman and Catwoman together. When the two of them stop Penguin and get the key to the cuffs, Batman handcuffs Penguin and Catwoman together for the police to collect.
  • One episode of Lilo and Stitch: The Series featured an experiment that binds incompatible individuals together with sticky blue goo. Among those who get stuck together are: Lilo and Mertle, Stitch and Nani, Jumba and Pleakley and Gantu and 625.
  • Variation in the episode of South Park entitled "Super Fun Time". Cartman and Butters are paired up on a field trip and are told not to let go of the other's hand until they get back on the bus. Despite the many MANY hijinks that the pair get into (which include dangling on either side of a traffic light), Butters will not let go of Cartman's hand because Mr. Garrison said not to. It's like handcuffs, only without the handcuffs.

  Butters: (at the very end of the episode, after dragging Cartman's unconscious body past everyone) Teacher...MY PARTNER IS BACK ON THE BUS.

  • Looney Tunes, "D'Fightin' Ones" Sylvester the cat and a bulldog are chained together and on the run from the dog catcher in a direct parody of the above-mentioned The Defiant Ones.
  • Darkwing Duck spends an episode attached to his bumbling neighbor Herb Mudlefoot when contact with an electric fence causes their wristbands to weld together.
  • Happened in the Jackie Chan Adventures episode "The Chan Who Knows Too Much" between Jackie and Jade thanks to a corrupt cop.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes has Heloise fusing Beezy and Jimmy together in hopes that they will get sick of each other. The episode ends with Heloise stuck to them as well, who enjoys being so close to Jimmy.
  • Word of God says that there was going to be an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender where Sokka and Aang were handcuffed to each other. The decided not to because they had to make more important episodes.
  • The Flintstones did an episode where Fred and Barney become stuck to a bowling ball together.
  • There was an episode of Dexter's Laboratory where Dee Dee and Dexter got stuck together with a seemingly invincible Chinese finger trap.
  • On The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs and Daffy escape from prison shackled to each other.
  • In the Warners classic era, Sylvester and a bulldog were shackled to another in a dogcatcher's paddywagon ("D'Fightin' Ones", Freleng, 1961).
  • On Rocko's Modern Life, Filburt and Heffer wanted to enter a radio contest where contestants would show up at the station handcuffed to their best friend to win tickets to a wrestling match. Rather than do the blindingly obvious and cuff themselves to each other, they both cuff themselves to Rocko and argue over who's his best friend.
  • In Kung Fu Panda Legends of Awesomeness's "Chain Reaction", the Croc Bandits manage to surprise Tigress and Po and slap a chain on them.


Real Life

  • A recent news clip showed two prisoners who escaped handcuffed together. Obviously they weren't very bright, while fleeing one tried to go on one side of a lightpole and the other tried the other side. No points for guessing what happened next.
    • This may be to do with an urban legend that doing so will break the handcuffs. If so this is not the first time it has been debunked, two British prisoners in the 1990s even admitted that was how they broke their arms.
  • The exact same thing happened to a trio in Ontario. It's been shown in both Police Videos and Most Shocking (the latter under the "Dumbest Criminals" episode, no less). The trio were being unloaded from a paddy wagon when they decided to bolt. Two went to the left, one to the right. They hit the pole; Hilarity Ensues.

 Cop #1: "You guys are idiots."

Cop #2: "You also have the right to be stupid."

  • Truth in Television. In the late 90s a British judge was faced with two pensioners whose feud had made nearby neighbors' lives miserable. He gave them a choice between jail or a number of hours per day handcuffed together for a month. They were smart enough to realise that settling their feud would be the least unpleasant choice.
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