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 Take a good look at your story. Why do you think a rape is what you need for it to progress? Is there something else that could fill the same function? Unless you have a damn good reason to include rape in a story, you probably shouldn't.
— --Rachael Edidin, Inside Out

Gratuitous Rape is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a pointless rape scene usually happening for little to no reason. Did the Big Bad defeat The Hero? Rape. Did a whole bunch of Mooks gang up on The Hero at once? Rape. Does the angsty Lancer have childhood issues? It was because he was raped. Is The Hero going up against a foe that has Mind Manipulation powers? Mind Rape THEN rape. Did The Hero defeat the Big Bad? Rape - Wait, WHAT?!

There are many guesses as to why Gratuitous Rape is used so much. To name a few, rape makes for good drama, it can show a villain as very, very, evil, or it can be used for just plain ol' Fan Service. What some creators forget, however, is that rape is a sensitive subject and therefore rape scenes should be handled with care. When unskilled hands insist on shoehorning rape somewhere into their work, THIS happens. This is a common cliche in Fan Works, but professional works are no stranger to it, either.

A good indicator as to whether or not rape is gratuitous is if:

Note that this trope is NOT complaining about the use of rape in a work, just the unnecessary rape scenes (and we're not always complaining either in the case of parodies). Before posting an example, ask yourself if the scene was at all relevant to the plot, Fridge Logic would be fixed if it was replaced, or if it only exists due to lazy writing. As usual, Your Mileage May Vary.

Contrast Coitus Ensues, a pointless but consensual sex scene.

No Real Life Examples, Please

Examples of Gratuitous Rape include:

Anime and Manga

  • Generally a common staple in Hentai, particularly of the "tentacle porn" variety.
  • Berserk has been accused of this. Rape happens a lot in the Crapsack World of this series, and many of the major characters (particularly if they're female) have had to deal with at least one attempted -- or successful -- rape during their lives. It doesn't really help that the nastier villains, particularly many Apostles, are fond of the crime in general.
  • Like Berserk, Fushigi Yuugi is often accused of this, especially when three of the Seiryuu Celestial Warriors in a row try to rape Miaka. The justification in-story is that the Celestial Maiden needs to be a virgin, and the men are simply trying to cripple Konan and the Suzaku warriors by removing Miaka's ability to summon Suzaku. (Except in Suboshi's case. He just wanted to get revenge for Yui.)
  • Okane ga Nai has Ayase frequently subjected to this.
  • Hen has a rape subplot that's so gratuitous it falls into Big Lipped Alligator Moment territory. It comes out of nowhere, has no plot relevance, is never mentioned again, and the victim just blows it off and doesn't seem at all affected by the experience.
  • In the Zeorymer manga Masaki could have explained his sinister plan to Miku without raping her, but he rapes her anyway. With an icicle.
  • Sanctuary tries to play with Tokai's habit of raping random women as Fan Service or Black Comedy Rape, but it's always so pointless that it makes you dislike the character, even if you liked him before.


  • Sleez forcing a mind-controlled Big Barda to star in porn movies in Action Comics #593. He almost did it to Superman, too. (How creepy was Sleeze and this story? Sleeze was kicked out of Apokalips by Darkseid for being too creepy.)
  • Infamously, Identity Crisis created the Retcon of Dr. Light raping Sue Dibny in the Watchtower, and worse, we only found out about it after Sue had been murdered, and its only purpose was to motivate the heroes into crossing into very questionable territory. And worse, the entire rape plot turns out to be a Red Herring when it comes to the central murder mystery.



  • As one might expect, this is a common staple in porn and Exploitation Films
  • The alien parasite showing a drill/tentacle-like appendage up the heroine's vagina in the theatrical version of Meatball Machine. This scene was not in the original independent film.
  • In Showgirls, Molly is beaten and raped by her client...just before she was about to have consensual sex with him! One could guess that raping was his kink, but it still came right out of nowhere.
  • The infamous "snowman rape scene" from the Slasher Movie Jack Frost 1997. Jack brutally kills everybody else but stops to rape the teenage girl taking a bath.
    • With a likely dose of Old Shame for Shannon Elizabeth, the actress who played the girl in question.
  • The rape scenes in The Hills Have Eyes, though the sequel to the remake tries to justify it by explaining the mutant numbers are low, and they needed normal people for breeding purposes.
  • The random attempted rape in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan... fortunately, Jason shows up to dispatch the would-be attacker.
  • The random Attempted Rape in the Sarah Michelle Gellar film The Return.
  • In Evil Dead, the infamous "tree rape" scene was so completely unneeded in the movie, and added so much to its controversy, that director Sam Raimi has said he deeply regrets including it. In Evil Dead 2, which recreates many of the same situations as the first movie, the evil trees simply kill their victim instead.
  • A triple rape occurs in Naked Weapon, with only the weakest of excuses that the perpetrators are teaching the girls an "important" life lesson.
  • The Condemned contains a scene where one of the characters is Forced to Watch as his wife gets raped and then murdered. This adds nothing to the plot whatsoever, and is just needless ugliness.


  • One especially grotesque example can be found in the third book of Gloria Tesch's Maradonia Saga. Quote: "The false monk Larivier had drugged Krimhilda. He now used his manhood and took advantage of her as darkness fell over Notali, the city of evil." (page 349)
  • Frequently seen in the books of Danielle Steel, mostly done in the style of Break the Cutie or Kick the Dog. However, at least one example was a perfect demonstration of the first scenario--the heroine was already grappling with her daughter's near-fatal car accident, her husband's infidelity, and her overbearing mother. So of course, it turns out that she was sexually abused by her father.
  • Sidney Sheldon liked to throw this in too.
  • Many people think that A Song of Ice and Fire suffers from this. It's definitely part of what makes Westeros such a Crapsack World.
  • The Last-Herald Mage trilogy has a lengthy sequence near the finale where the hero is captured and gang-raped by some mooks. It affects the plot not at all.
  • Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series contains colossal amounts of rape and Attempted Rape, very little of it necessary to the plot. At one point, one of the female characters is even thrown to a pit full of rapists, where the expected happens.
  • Catherine Anderson's Comanche series borders on this, with female characters being raped or sexually assaulted or almost raped left and right. Possibly justified given the time period they're set in, but it's still a flimsy excuse.

Live Action TV

  • Game of Thrones has a scene where Khal Drogo rapes Danaerys on their wedding night, in a completely different turn from what happened in the book (where the sex was consensual).
  • David Morse's saintly doctor on St Elsewhere was a victim of Gratuitous Gay Rape.
  • The Titanic miniseries includes a scene where a third-class girl is raped in the shower by an evil steward.
  • Within one calendar year (2005), so many characters on the soap opera Passions were raped that it was known as "The Year of the Rapes". Adding insult to injury, only one of these stories was handled even remotely seriously or realistically (the victim dressed shabbily and could not bear to be touched). All other victims went on with their lives as though nothing had happened.

Tabletop Games

  • FATAL gives players plenty of opportunities to engage in this, since rape is usually not even considered a crime in its universe.
  • A common criticism of Cthulhu Tech is that there's just a teeeeensy bit too much rape in the fluff. At least one of the writers appeared on rpgnet and spent quite some time explaining that there really wasn't that much rape in it given its reputation, but fans will be fans.

Web Comics

  • Discussed in Something Positive. Davan sends a rejection letter to the writer of a bad play which reads "A better title for your play would be Rape-Rape: A Tale of Rapening. Also, your next play should have a little less rape in it."

Video Games

  • Obviously a staple of H-Games.
    • Often, visual novel creators turn their works into H-Games to increase sales. This tacking on of sex scenes is invariably unnecessary and sometimes takes away from the story.
  • Custer's Revenge is one big #3 with Custer attempting to rape a woman while arrows are raining down on him!
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