Pain and Panic are the secondary antagonists of Disney's 1997 animated feature film Hercules. They are minions, a demonic duo capable of morphing into any shape imaginable, carrying out Hades' dirty work.
Neither Pain nor Panic are especially loyal to Hades, and serve him only because they fear him and possibly because he owns their souls. They appear to be immortal and capable of regeneration, but due to being demonic rather than godly, both imps are capable of feeling pain.
Their shape-shifting abilities extend to being capable of shifting only part of their bodies, shifting into shapes both larger and smaller than they themselves are, and even more importantly, merging into a single form; however, this seems to be a more temporary and harder-to-control ability. Their shifting abilities do not seem to extend to voice-mimicking, and they have to do the best they can with their own voices.
Hades uses them as pawns in his schemes, including keeping an eye on Megara, shifting into bunnies, gophers, chipmunks, and birds to do so, and when he loses his temper, he occasionally uses them as punching bags.
Pain (voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait) is the fat purple-red imp with little horns and a bitten bat wing on the left side. True to his name, he is repeatedly injured through the film and animated series. When he shape-shifts, it is usually into something short or fat (or both), and generally colored in red tones. He is the more assertive of the duo, and while more cunning, less likely to think things through properly, which is what gets him into painful situations.Pain is much shorter and wider than his partner, with a large mouth filled with sharp teeth. His arms, though just as thin as Panic's, are spindly and end in four-fingered hands, as are his legs, which are much stockier and end in two-toed feet. His wings, which have purple membranes, seem too small to actually fly with. Pain's hair is maroon and styled into two horns, with his real, black horns sprouting out just behind, and his pointed tail is the same color as his hair. His nose is very small and a darker shade of pink than the rest of his skin. His yellow eyes are set very close together, with a thin, black uni-brow, and his upper eyelids having a darker shade of purple.
Panic (voiced by Matt Frewer) is the thin green-blue imp with long horns. While he is slightly less cunning than Pain, his paranoia means he is very much more cautious and rather cynical at times, so he might actually be the smarter one of the two. However, he is easily spooked, which causes accidents and messes up plans. When he shapeshifts, it is usually into something tall or thin (or both) and colored in blue tones.Panic is much thinner and taller than his partner, with very even and straight teeth, as opposed to Pain's jagged, pointed ones. His arms, though just as thin as Pain's, are much longer and end in four-fingered hands, as are his legs, which end in two-toed feet with navy toenails. His wings, which have teal-blue membranes, seem too small and seemingly useless as Pain. Panic does not have hair like his friend and instead has much larger horns that are the teal color as his skin, unlike Pain's black ones. His pointed tail is also teal blue. His nose is enormous and pointed, with prominent nostrils, sharply contrasting with Pain. His yellow eyes are much larger and set even closer together, and his lower eyelids having a darker shade of blue.
In Hercules, Pain and Panic's main role is as comic relief. They are ordered by Hades to kidnap the baby god Hercules. After they manage to do so, they then feed Hercules a potion, which would make him mortal and kill him. However, they are startled by Aclemene and Amphitrion before they can give the baby the very last drop of potion. Unaware of this, Pain and Panic attack him in the guise of snakes and discover that because he did not drink the last drop, he has retained his godly strength and they are beaten back. However, Pain decides it is better for them to not tell Hades of their failure than to admit it.
Some years later, Hades discovers that Hercules is still alive when his slave Megara mentions a man named Hercules interfered when she tried to recruit Nessus, the river guardian, into joining Hades' team. Meg mentioning Hercules' name initially puzzles Pain and Panic, as the name sounds familiar to them both, but they don't know why; Pain suggests that perhaps they owe Hercules money. When Meg mentions Hercules' name again, this helps Pain and Panic suddenly remember the person they failed to kill as a baby, making Hades furious with them. Pain and Panic, however, remind Hades that they at least made him mortal, meaning there is still a chance for Hades to kill Hercules.
Later on, Pain and Panic shift into two small, extremely cute children as bait to lure Hercules into the lair of the Hydra. When he defeats it, Hades uses them to vent his rage.
After Hercules becomes a celebrity, Pain and Panic were foolish enough to further enrage Hades by buying Hercules' merchandise, with Pain buying Air Herc sandals and Panic buying a Herculade thermos, causing Hades to explode in the place from which he was watching Hercules.
When Hercules and Meg go on a date, they come to a beautiful Grecian garden at night, where two cute birds are seen flying around together. The birds are Pain and Panic in disguise, having been sent by Hades to keep an eye on Hercules and Meg.
Later that night, the two imps transform into a female winged horse to divert Pegasus and bind him so that he cannot help or advise Hercules. Next, they show themselves as perfectly willing and happy to help Hades humiliate Hercules after stripping him of his strength.
When Hercules frees the gods from their chains, Hermes kicks Panic and repeatedly spanks Pain with his Caduceus. Pegasus also uses them as punching bags as revenge for deceiving him and tying him up.
In their last scene, they hold a brief discussion on Hades' predicament in the River Styx, watching him and smiling evilly once they finish their discussion:
Panic: "He's not gonna be happy when he gets out of there!"
Pain: "You mean, IF he gets out of there!"
Panic: "If...if is good."
Once again their main role in the TV series was as incompetent lackeys, comic relief, and Hades' punching bags.
In the episode "Hercules and the Gorgon", it is shown that Pain and Panic are tasked with interviewing potential lackeys to serve Hades. A joking reference to the Disney theme parks had Pain and Panic refer to themselves as "cast members".
In "Hercules and the Visit from Zeus", Hades notes that Cerberus was his gift to them, after they had been whining about wanting a dog. Despite this, Hades ends up with the bulk of the responsibilities.
In "Hercules and the Spring of Canathus", Pain and Panic are given one last chance to kill Hercules, and look to do so by using spring water to reverse his age. Though they succeed, Pain is accidentally given a dose, as well, forcing Panic to work together with Cassandra to save their allies.
In "Hercules and the Tiff on Olympus", Hades acquires a third imp, Neurosis, who resembles Pain and Panic, but has yellow skin and has the power to make people nervous (hence his name).
In "Hercules and the Arabian Night", Hades allies himself with Jafar to defeat their respective foes (Hercules and Aladdin). When Hades sends Pain and Panic to kill Aladdin to one-up Jafar, they are defeated by the combined power of Aladdin's cunning and Genie's strength. They later redeem themselves by manipulating the two heroes into battling one another.
Pain and Panic made various appearances on House of Mouse.
In the opening song "Rockin at the House of Mouse", Pain and Panic are seen at a table grilling hot dogs with Hades' flaming hair much to Hades anger.
In the episode Jiminy Cricket, they are the main antagonists and provide a bad influence on Pinocchio that causes Jiminy Cricket to quit being the puppet's conscience. At the end of the episode, the Blue Fairy zaps them into ashes.
In Clarabelle's Christmas List, they state that they are proud to be a part of the Naughty List.
In Halloween With Hades, they provide Hades information on who Maleficent (his newest crush) is. Later on, they watch in horror as Hades attempts to act "nice" to win her heart and later rejoice when they see Hades revert to his evil ways.
in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, they are two of the many Disney character guests to be trapped inside on Christmas Eve.
In Mickey's House of Villains, the two are seen during the Disney Villains' hostile takeover of the club and even sing a bit.
In House Ghosts after the screening of Hades' blooper reel, a humiliated Hades zaps them mercilessly for no particular reason.
The human counterparts of Pain and Panic appear in the special guarding Hades' lair.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Pain and Panic play extremely minor roles in their homeworld, Olympus Coliseum. More specifically the Underworld portion of the massive world. Here, they are seen in various cutscenes along with Hades and Pete, who's assisting The Lord of the Dead in defeating Hercules and turning him into a Heartless. In the scenes, they usually scatter around and cower alongside Pete whenever Hades' temper explodes. It should also be noted that the roles are non-speaking; the only dialog from them is in speech bubbles.
Aside from the primary storyline, Pain and Panic also have a cup named after them in the game, where Sora, Donald, and Goofy can compete whenever they please during their quest. They are also seen snoozing next to trophies won in the Underdrome, immediately before Sora claims them.
The duo play a significant role in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Here, they are assigned by Hades to steal a crystal that can defeat any evil from Merlin the Wizard so that he can take over the Magic Kingdom. In an attempt to follow orders, Merlin is awakened and zaps the creatures away, accidentally destroying the crystal in the process. Four of the crystal's pieces are scattered across the kingdom and a race is on with heroes and villains to retrieve it.
Pain and Panic are seen again to assist Governor Ratcliffe. They morph into an English soldier to battle the park guests but are defeated. They decide to keep their defeat, as well as Ratcliffe's, a secret from Hades.
After all the villains are defeated, Merlin decides that it's time to reassemble the crystal and foil Hades' plans once and for all. But no sooner does he try to look for the crystal when Pain and Panic (in their cute woodland animal forms) make off with the last piece of the crystal and deliver it to Hades in the Underworld. Eventually, the guests stop Pain and Panic from climbing up the Stairway of the Dead to reach Hades by zapping them with the Sorcerer's Crest.
They are last seen attacking Merlin after he finishes reassembling the crystal and then become trapped in it along with Hades and the other villains.
Pain and Panic played a large role in Villains Tonight. In the show, Hades' evil level has decreased, and the Fates are threatening to retire him as Lord of the Underworld unless his evil meter rises by midnight. Pain and Panic are then sent to find some Disney villains to help Hades retain his title.
- At the end of each main Underdrome Cup in Kingdom Hearts, Pain and Panic are seen napping on the tournament's respective trophies.
- Pain and Panic are based on the Greek gods, Deimos and Phobos, twin sons of Ares.
- Ironically enough, their snake transformations may actually be a reference to one of Hera's first attempts to kill Hercules in the original myth.
- In the forms of the children who were trapped under the "rockslide" in the gorge, they yelled for someone to call IX-I-I, which would be the Roman numeral equivalent of 911.
- The Isle of the Lost Barnes & Noble Special Edition contains a folding map which reveals that Pain has a place named after him: "Pain Lane".
- Although they do not appear in the show, they appear in merchandise for Fantasmic!.
- In July of 2018, Pain's voice actor, comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, demanded Disney remove his recorded dialogue for the character involved in an upcoming Disneyland atttraction, in protest of the recent firing of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. Disney did not comment on Goldthwait's statements, although Gunn was eventually rehired regardless.
- Panic’s voice actor, Matt Frewer, is the same actor who played Big Russ Thompson in Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
- In 2020, Susan Egan, the voice of Megara, mentioned Pain and Panic during a sing along, featured during the Coronavirus pandemic and called Panic and Pandemic.