Hypno Ray

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Paul: "She looks hypnotized! He must have used that joy buzzer on her!"

A standard gadget in the Mad Scientist grab bag. The Hypno Ray allows the user to instantly hypnotize an unsuspecting target and make that person do their evil bidding.

Often a Ray Gun, but the magical version usually takes the form of Eye Beams.

The sequence follows a standard progression:

  • The Mad Scientist flashes the Hypno Ray, instantly stunning the victim.
  • The victim displays Mind Control Eyes and usually starts repeating anything the attacker says, often to his annoyance.
  • The victim hears a suggestion that he must follow (often not what the attacker intended).
  • The Hypno Ray shuts off and the victim wonders what just happened.
  • The Mad Scientist realises a mistake in what he has said and has to flash them again.

The victim later hears the trigger and takes the action, no matter how inappropriate it may be at the time.

This can often be combined with a mass media event to Take Over the World.

These days, this type of device is usually limited to comedic settings.

A Sub-Trope of Mind Control Device.

See Also: Hypno Fool, Charm Person, Jedi Mind Trick, Weak-Willed, Hypno Trinket.

Not to be confused with Hypnotic Eyes.

Examples of Hypno Ray include:

Comic Books

  • The first "super-villains" to appear in the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe were a trinity of Mad Scientist apes named Professors Ecks, Doublex (or Duplex), and Triplex who wanted to use one of these to Take Over the World. They appeared in the "Blaggard Castle" storyline of daily strips, published in 1933.
    • A more modern story had the Phantom Blot pretend to be one of the Professors come back to try and rebuild & reuse the hypno-ray, after the castle had been rebuilt as an honor for Mickey.
  • In the story "The Town That Went Crazy", in issue #92 of Tales of the Unexpected, these two Nazi scientists with stereotypical accents had a hypno-ray mounted in the side of a large truck and were testing it on an entire town. The main character discovered that its effects were blocked by steel while trying on his old WWII army helmet during a fit of wishful nostalgia.


  • In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Grey Aliens blast Roy Neary at close range and sunburn half of his face. Sanity Slippage ensues.
  • The Neuralizer from Men in Black.
  • Jafar's cobra headed staff in Aladdin, which he uses on the Sultan repeatedly until Aladdin breaks it.
  • In the second Fantomas movie the titular villain abducted a number of scientists and had them construct a Hypno Ray gun. After the heroes thwarted his plans and freed the scientists, they used the gun to placate a pair of mooks he threw at them, but Fantomas himself escaped before they had a chance to subdue him.
  • Used in The Return of Captain Invincible. Mr Midnight (Christopher Lee) steals it and uses it on ethnic minorities in America to force them to move to a particular town so that he can kill them off in one move.


Live Action Television

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer season six episode "Dead Things" features a dramatic subversion, at least as far as the comedic setting goes. Nerd supervillain Warren invents a mind control device and uses it on his ex-girlfriend, allowing the geek trio to dress her up as a French maid and generally be laughably adolescent about the whole thing. Then the story makes a swift plunge into darkness when Warren commands his ex to give him oral sex; she comes out of the trance and accuses the trio of attempted rape, and is brutally killed by Warren when she tries to escape.
  • The Mad Hatter from Batman had one in his top hat, customized to look like a pair of eyes.

Video Games

  • Much used in Telltale Games's Sam and Max Freelance Police Season 1. After all, the story is about Mass Hypnosis.
  • De Blob 2 features the Hypno Ray, a planetary-sized hypnotic device under the control of Comrade Black powered by the color energy gathered by De Blob throughout the game. It's used once to take control of the residents of Prisma City. Apparently it also bleaches buildings.
  • Ratchet and Clank Going Commando has one that works on robots only. Don't even think about using it on Clank.
  • Pokémon has the move Hypnosis,which is a hypnotic suggestion that tells the opponent to go to sleep.

Web Comics

  • Used in Concession where the sub-plot villains use mind control for villainy, although they state the possible real-life applications, to the chagrin of the mind control wielder.

Western Animation

Fry: He must've used a sleep ray on me! Sleep rays exist in the future, right?
Leela: No.
Fry: Oh. Then I must've fallen asleep.

  • Used for laughs in Meet the Robinsons, when Bowler Hat Guy attempts radio control of a frog. And later, a T-Rex. Bowler Hat Guy has trouble picking useful thralls.
  • On Word Girl, Mr. Big has a mind control ray which is used for farcical reasons - one of which was making everyone in town use huge words in order to occupy the heroine. Even the title character is not immune to this trope, but usually snaps out of it within seconds.
  • In Dinosaucers, Quackpot's "Joy Buzzer" is actually a ray gun with many uses. One of them is this, like when he hypnotized Sarah.
  • Parodied in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, in the "Turner Classic Birdman" episode.

Mentok: You're no longer in control of your mind, and your wings are missing too.
Harvey: I am no longer in control of my mind, and my wings are missing too.
Mentok: Uh, you don't have to repeat what I'm saying.
Harvey: I don't have to repeat what you're saying.

    • Come to think of it, Mentok (and Francis X. Shado) both do this several times over the course of the series.

Potamus: Must... give... wallet... to... evil leprechaun...

  • Happened once in Thundercats. The cast was saved by Snarf. Snarf.
  • In the Birdman episode "Empress of Evil", the title character's serpent shaped head piece gives off one of these.
  • Parodied in the South Park episode "The Return of Chef" where Chef is brainwashed by the Super Adventure Club to want to molest children. While the club leader explains the purpose of their group, they ask if the boys want to accompany them on their next trip. When they say no, he says maybe he should ask again and points a hypnotizer at them. When that attempt fails, he admits it doesn't work on everyone. They later explain to a psychiatrist that the Super Adventure Club convinced Chef that having sex with children was okay with a little thing that goes whrrrrrr.