History Main / BadassDamsel

14th Oct '13 5:57:16 PM Sackett
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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/LoisLane http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheManOfSteel04-14_copy_2_8937.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Lois Lane: Rescuing herself before Franchise/{{Superman}} arrives since 1938.]]

->''" Harkye, miscreant, you have secured me, and I am your poor prisoner; but if you think I cannot take care of myself, you are very much mistaken. Now then, it's one to one, and let the best man win!"''
-->--'''Dame Hannah''', ''{{Theatre/Ruddigore}}''

Rejecting the traditional DamselInDistress routine, this damsel doesn't wait for a hero to rescue her. She can take care of herself, thank you very much. Basically this trope occurs when the damsel escapes on her own, or at least makes significant progress towards it before the hero can find her.

Almost AlwaysFemale, and usually a PluckyGirl.

Compare with BadassPrincess, LadyOfWar for a skillful and graceful fighter, SilkHidingSteel this trope prime and proper relative, {{Xenafication}} for inexplicable [[TookALevelInBadass badass leveling up]], DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel who enjoys the damsel aspect, and DecoyDamsel for an ActionGirl who pretends to be a DamselInDistress for her own benefit.

Contrast DamselScrappy and TooDumbToLive. Should not be confused with BadassInDistress, but can overlap with it.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* As of chapter 57 of ''Manga/BlackButler'', [[DistressedDamsel Elizabeth]] [[DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel Middleford]] turned out to be a [[BadassAdorable quintessential example]] of this trope, proving just how much she deserves the [[BadassFamily Middleford title]] [[spoiler:by initially trying to hide her badass side and doing a very good job of it due to the fact that she didn't want Ciel to see her [[CuteBruiser "uncute"]] side, and then finally when Ciel despite his best efforts ends up [[DistressedDude injured and unable to save her]] Elizabeth [[WaifFu leaps into the air]] and [[LittleMissBadass stabs down]] the zombies with [[DualWielding swords in both hands]]. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome "This time, I will protect you!"]] [[KnightInShiningArmor Indeed]].]] [[spoiler:[[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/28/ Oh]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/31/ so]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/33/ much]].]]
* Nia Teppelin of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' will tell you she's not going to die. To your face. While you're shoving a pistol into her forehead. Or about to snap her in half with your claws. Or about to dematerialize her. She may not be able to fight you, but she ''will'' tell you to fuck off ([[{{Keigo}} only very]] [[IFeelAngry politely]]), because Simon's on his way, and that's a wave of pain you don't want to happen.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Rukia Kuchiki, even when she is in captivity, would smack talk back with [[TheHero Ichigo]], resulting in a hilarious LampshadeHanging of the trope.
--->'''Ichigo:''' The one being rescued doesn't get to complain! You just act the part and stand around trembling and say "Oh, save me!"
** When at her boldest, Orihime Inoue would also try her hand at this ([[DeconstructedTrope with various results, not all of them being positive]]). Some examples are: reasoning with her Hollowfied older brother Sora, standing up for herself an Tatsuki in front of Numb Chandelier, biting a Shinigami whe he tries carrying her away for her own safety and later joining the fight with her BarrierWarrior abilities, de-brainwashing Rukia via a CooldownHug in the anime fillers, slapping [[spoiler: Ulquiorra]] when he insults her friends (though this is also a subversion [[GenreSavvy since he was likely counting on it]]), and [[spoiler: reviving Loly and Menoly after they tried to kill her]]. Considering how she handled [[spoiler:Shishigawara and Tsukishima]], later [[spoiler: Riruka and Ginjou]], ''and'' how the latest arc has her fully graduating to CombatMedic status, she may have graduated into PluckyGirl status while playing this trope straighter.
* Kagome Higurashi from ''Manga/InuYasha'' would find herself in captivity rather often in the earlier arcs, having not been trained in martial arts before she got TrappedInAnotherWorld. Nonetheless, she still managed to help Inu-Yasha out a lot and even talked back at her captors frequently. Then she TookALevelInBadass.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'': Relena, oh Relena Peacecraft. Sure, she can't fight as well as other girls, but she can talk her way out wonderfully and pulls more than one GoThroughMe to defend her friends, her Kingdom, or her beliefs. Again in TheMovie where she steals the villain's communications in order to encourage the {{Muggles}} to stop HoldingOutForAHero and do something themselves.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh''
** Kisara, the girl that Kaiba's preincarnation has evident feelings for, is a good example of this trope. Seto may have saved her first, but MAN, does she [[NowLetMeCarryYou repay the favor in spades]]. It doesn't hurt either that her soul is the ''Blue Eyes White Dragon''.
*** Note this trope only applies to her anime persona, in the manga she doesn't [[spoiler: take the blast for priest Seto]], instead she is just hit by it in attempting to escape. Spoilers! [[http://www.kivmanga.com/mangas/Yu-Gi-Oh%20-%20Req%20by%20Lorenzo/330/Yu-Gi-Oh-Manga-009.jpg]] & [[http://www.kivmanga.com/mangas/Yu-Gi-Oh%20-%20Req%20by%20Lorenzo/330/Yu-Gi-Oh-Manga-010.jpg]]
** Anzu Mazaki from ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' also pulled this more than once, specially when [[spoiler: she frees Mokuba from Malik's henchmen at the cost of her own safety. In return, Kaiba himself saves her later]]. She is not that bad of a duelist either; beating Mai and Otaki from the Big 5, and at the start of the series beat Joey five times in a row.
*** Although, [[spoiler:Mai let her win, because she was impressed with her tenacity and loyalty to Yugi (who suspected at first that her set card was Harpie's Feather Duster - and it was - which she could have used to win the duel, but did not.]]
* [[spoiler:Asuna and Anya]] from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' aren't halfway bad at this, but '''the''' example is actually [[spoiler:Ako Izumi]]. She's the very proof that you don't ''have'' to be an invincible, smartass and emotionless ActionGirl to be {{badass}}.
* Hitomi Kanzaki from ''Manga/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' bounces between this and ActionSurvivor.
* Gentoku Ryuubi, and later Sonken Chuubou in ''Manga/IkkiTousen''. They can't exactly fight (if we don't count Ryuubi's SuperpoweredEvilSide), but Hell if they're gonna abandon their friends because of that.
* ''Manga/BarajouNoKiss'': Yamamoto Anis will not take any of these dimension warping shenanigans sitting down, thank you very much! She may have just been informed that her [[ArchnemesisDad father]] intends to sacrifice her to a seal of unknown demonic origin and otherwise make her life hell, but she is not going to just sit around and mope. No. She is going to kick her Knights' collective asses into gear. And you ''will'' obey or you will get the rose thorns of doom.
* Lady Ribi from ''Anime/TheTwelveKingdoms'' is not an ActionGirl, and she knows it clearly. She's just TheOjou in a very dangerous time, which is marked by the intrigues of [[spoiler:Atsuyu and his disciple Kouya]] against the King that she works for and strongly believes in. Will that stop her? '''Nope.''' Ribi handles all of this very calmly and cleverly, protects [[spoiler:the depowered Enki]] as much as she can, and in the end [[spoiler: she unlocks Enki's powers despite clearly knowing that taking his PowerLimiter off will produce a backlash that will kill her. She dies, yes, but she [[SpannerInTheWorks also manages to derail]] Atsuyu's EvilPlan, and helps to cause his fall.]]
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''
** [[spoiler: After the horrors she suffered from the Eclipse [[GoMadFromTheRevelation that robbed her of her sanity]]]] poor Casca's mind was regressed to that of a small child, making her very vulnerable to predation from monsters and humans alike and is in constant need of care and supervision. However, sometimes she finds herself on her own, but in such dire moments we see that Casca's former [[ActionGirl badass self]] isn't ''completely'' gone. The most prominent example to date was when [[spoiler: she ran away from Guts out of fear and ran into some bandits, who then tried to gang rape her... but by the time Guts found her, Casca was naked and covered in her would-be rapists' blood after she slashed all of their throats.]] She also shows glimpses of her pre-Eclipse [[FragileSpeedster agility and acrobatics]].
** Charlotte gets one in the manga when she completely pulverizes her father's face with her feet after he tries to rape her. Pretty impressive for someone who's a distressed damsel most of the time.
* At the climax of ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'''s second cour, the BigBad decides it's a good idea to take Kotetsu's daughter, Kaede, hostage. [[spoiler:She doesn't just rescue herself -- she ends up rescuing ''every other hero''. SuperpowerfulGenetics sure come in handy.]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'''s Eve Genoard. A sweet and polite young lady living in America, [[spoiler: who escapes her kidnappers and doesn't hesitate to grab someone else's gun and avenge her father. She may not know about the family bussiness, but she has the same iron will.]]
* [[spoiler: Sonohara Anri]] of ''Literature/{{Durarara}}'' seems very distressed all the time, what with perverts hitting on her, ganguro girls bullying her, and the Slasher coming after her. Up until she [[spoiler: stops a knife with her arm, [[ShutUpHannibal tells Niekawa Haruna that her knife is nothing but a child]], pulls out the real Saika, and takes over the army of Slashers.]] Of course, she sometimes seems to need saving afterwards, but this is just because [[spoiler: she doesn't want people to know she's the owner of Saika.]] And not to mention, there's [[BreakTheCutie the horrible emotional baggage that the poor girl has in such regards]], due to [[BrokenBird her terrible past]] as [[spoiler: a survivor of DomesticAbuse who saw her also abused mother, Sayaka, completely snap and use Saika ''to kill Anri's abusive father and then herself'']]... no wonder she's reluctant to take action until there's truly no other option.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''
** Ranma, the resident GenderBender of the series, gets kidnapped a lot in the manga by men who want to marry his girl side. (Even though {{Fanon}} would swear that [[OvershadowedByAwesome Akane]] is the only one who gets captured.) This guy punched out a man with the power of a demigod and has destroyed mountains. Damn straight he'll [[CurbStompBattle kick your weakling ass]] if he's unhappy about you kidnapping him.
** Whenever she ''does'' get captured, Akane tends to play the damsel until she either sees her advantage or someone (usually Ranma) ''really'' pisses her off. Then it's clobberin' time, and often even her would-be rescuers don't survive unscathed.
* Nami in ''Anime/OnePieceFilmStrongWorld''. When kidnapped by Shiki, she defiantly turns down Shiki's offers to join him and when his guard was down, she managed to escape. She would also later [[spoiler: work to sabotage Shiki's plans by destroying the plant Daft Green despite exposure to the plant poisons her. And after that, she feeds his men false information so his floating base gets caught in a giant storm, destabilizing things further.]]
* Melfina of ''Anime/OutlawStar'' gets this when she stomps on and kills the evil mind-control cactus, force-feedbacking Harry's hacking attempt so damn hard that it blows out his arm, fights back and escapes him when he tries to kidnap her and rejects his advances.
* Akiko Aoshika of ''Manga/WolfGuyWolfenCrest'' evolves into this. It was already astounding that after all of the brutality that was dished out to her, poor Aoshika-sensei was able to pick herself up again. It was even more remarkable when [[spoiler:Aoshika is holding an unconscious Inugami when Haguro's men come in only to find him dead, demanding an explanation. When Aoshika tries to persuade her way through, they threaten to ''rape her to death'' in front of Inugami. But instead of being frightened, Aoshika gets '''pissed'''.]] [[PluckyGirl Wow lady.]]
* Little [[PrinceOfTennis Miyuki Chitose]] gets caught and is used as a hostage to force a [[BadassInDistress recovering Tezuka]] into a hopeless [[SeriousBusiness tennis match]] with some arrogant Jerkasses. So she decides to yell at her captors and challenge ''them'' to a match, despite suffering from the yips herself.
-->'''Miyuki''': Let go of me, you gorilla!
* Yukari Sahashi, from ''{{Sekirei}}''. While most Ashikabi are {{Non-Action Guy}}s, she regularly [[GroinAttack kicks guys in the balls]] and beats them up so badly they end up in the hospital. She spends a few chapters holding the DistressBall after [[spoiler: Higa kidnaps her as part of a AndNowYouMustMarryMe plot and forces Shiina to work for him]]. However, she eventually [[spoiler: realizes that she's been holding the DistressBall and decides to drop it ''hard''.]] With a SlasherSmile, she [[spoiler: sets fire to his penthouse, tells his secretary to pass on a very insulting message, and then jumps out a 50 story window because she knows Shiina will catch her]]. This proves to be the cherry on top of his HumiliationConga.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Ballads]]
* In the ChildBallad ''Literature/FauseFoodrage'', the queen knows her baby will be killed if a son. So she escapes in advanced pregnancy.
* The unnamed "maiden fair" in the ballad ''The Outlandish Knight''. [[spoiler:The knight convinces her to run away with him, then tells her he's going to drown her in the ocean, as he's done to six other maidens. Then, she convinces him to turn his back on her. "Six pretty maidens have you drowned here/And the seventh has drowned thee."]]
* The Dutch ballad of 'Heer Halewijn' is about a girl that asks her whole family to go to Heer (Sir) Halewijn, a man who lures women (and men probably as well) by singing. Her whole family refuses; no one returns from Halewijn. Untill she asks her brother who says something akin to 'as long as you are virtuous, you can go'. So she goes, ends up killing Halewijn, rides back with his (still bleeding!) head in her lap, which is coloured red by his blood and puts his head on the table when her father organises a feast because she has returned.
* The title character of "Eppie Morrie" spends an entire night fighting off her would-be rapist before being rescued in the morning.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''. ComicBook/LoisLane, the PostCrisis (1987) incarnation anyway. This is a woman who gets caught by villains all the frickin' time, but only because she's GenreSavvy enough to know that if she does so, she'll not only get the scoop on the front page story, but also somehow survive to write it. And not just by getting rescued -- if Superman doesn't know/is depowered/is busy, she'll pretend to fall in love with the drug lord who captured her, then blast herself out of their wedding, veil, gown, and all, with a {{Mook}}'s stolen machine gun.
** Furthermore, this is OlderThanYouThink concerning her, Lois had quite the nerve. In some of the earliest Fleischer cartoons (now public domain) she pulls such stunts as trying to sabotage a getaway vehicle, climbing onto the back of a mechanical monster to see where it was going, blasting away with a submachine gun at would-be train robbers, and disguised herself as a Nazi to warn the American fleet of a U-boat threat (well, it ''was'' the early forties). It's been said that Lois Lane's only weakness is [[CatchAFallingStar Gravity.]] She just had a DorkAge during the SilverAge where she divided her time between falling off of things, suffering SuperDickery, or ''committing'' SuperDickery. However, by the late 1970s, she was running rings around the bad guy before whipping their butts in her solo stories without Clark being around in ''Superman Family''.
* Mary Jane Watson. She has beaten villains and would be rapists with baseball bats, took fighting lessons from ''CaptainAmerica'', and became the most Badass of any Spidey love interest. There's a reason so many people hate JoeQuesada for ''OneMoreDay''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi features this, hooo boy... Ami might not be invincible- she needs her minions to break her out of the Dark God's realm, twice. But the second time, it was because ''three'' had teamed up on her. She regularly leads her troops from the front, and fights on par with the worst deamons of the DungeonKeeper world. And hero GuileHero approach to problemsolveing means even things she can't handle head-on can be overcome.... even if it means she needs a little help from her [[EliteArmy hordes of minions]].
* ''Roleplay/HonorableHogwarts''
** Anya Warbeck has been kidnapped twice, had her child threatened, been generally threatened/taunted in several threads by the site's first BigBad, and was recently raped. But through it all, she's managed to very quietly but [[{{Determinator}} determinedly]] ''kick ass'', and has only needed her husband to rescue her twice (the second kidnapping and the rape).
** A case could be made for Madeline Frost as well, although she's only successfully been kidnapped once, and never raped. One of her kidnappers suffered a compound fracture of the leg before she was finally subdued, and then she told off the BigBad who had orchestrated the kidnapping without showing any fear.
* ''Roleplay/DCNation'': Fauna was captured by some thugs employed by Lex Luthor (the guy who experimented on her in the first place). Once she is able to undo the collar, she's in mid-escape when Black Canary (her boss) shows up to spring her. Thinking Canary is in trouble, Fauna's [[SuperpoweredEvilSide bestial side]] kicks in....
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' had BadassPrincess Jasmine. She and Aladdin save each other's skins more than once throughout the course of the movie, making them a BattleCouple.
* Belle, from Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' would definitely count.
* Again, Barbara Gordon: in ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanAndMisterFreezeSubZero Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero]]'' is the most badass damsel ever. She talks back to Mr. Freeze when he kidnaps her, attacks him with the same chains she's shackled with, tries to reason with him once she learns about his IllGirl wife Nora (so she'll be able to help him save her ''without losing her organs'' [[spoiler: and later it turns out her blood is enough]]), saves his KidSidekick, tries to save ''him'' too...
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' has Princess Fiona. She seems to be every cliché about a Princess in need of rescue, until she meets somebody REALLY ANNOYING. She goes downright [[Film/TheMatrix Trinity]] when she's in a situation that's at all reasonable to handle herself.
-->'''Fiona:''' Hold the phone!
** She didn't stay because she was an unarmoured woman, she stayed because she wanted to. She could only find true love by being rescued.
** ''ShrekForeverAfter'' gives us an AlternateTimeline where Shrek never came. ''Fiona saved herself and became a resistance fighter.''
* Rapunzel from ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''.
* [[MsFanservice Princess Teegra]] from ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce''. Don't let the thong bikini fool you... With her getting captured isn't a matter of waiting for the hero, but a matter of seeing what clever scheme she concocts to escape ''this time''.
* Angel from ''RockAndRule''
* Esmeralda from ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''. When she is tied to a pyre, [[DirtyOldMan Claude Frollo]], who has {{lust}}ed for her since meeting her, offers to release her in exchange for becoming "his". She [[DefiantToTheEnd metaphorically]] - [[SpitefulSpit and literally]] - [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome spits on his offer]].
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'' has their depiction of Gwen Stacy, even when Oscorp is evacuated to deal with The Lizard, she stays behind despite Peter's insistence to leave to synthesize an antidote. She even makes a makeshift flamethrower out of an alcohol burner and a [[AerosolFlamethrower spray can]] to defend herself when The Lizard breaks into the building.
* ''Film/BatmanForever'' gave audiences Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), who could be seen as an AuthorsSavingThrow for the female leads in the two previous ''Batman'' films: a straight-up DistressedDamsel (Vicki Vale) and an ActionGirl who was nonetheless psychotic, emotionally weak, and pitiable (Selina Kyle/Catwoman). This becomes clear when Bruce Wayne pays her a visit and becomes concerned when he hears feminine gasps and grunts coming from her office. Thinking she's being attacked and finding the door locked, he kicks it in - only to find that Dr. Meridian was just practicing her boxing skills with a punching bag. (To compound Bruce's embarrassment, Chase then makes a sarcastic comment about how he'll now have to buy her a new door.) Later on, when she and Bruce are being attacked by Two-Face's gang, Chase punches out one of the {{Mooks}} when he tries to grab her - although she is then taken hostage mere moments later.
* In TheMovie of ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' (1992), we have Oliver Pike (Luke Perry) as a SpearCounterpart. While hardly a pacifist, Pike isn't much of a fighter or very athletic, so he has to be rescued more often than not. He's not completely useless, though: he eventually becomes competent enough to take care of himself when Buffy's not around to protect him, kills two vampires along the way (although, in true BadassBystander fashion, one of them is InTheBack), and even saves Buffy's life at one point [[SpannerInTheWorks (albeit unintentionally)]]. And he's eventually given his due when, on the night of Buffy's final confrontation with the BigBad, when Buffy has been [[AchillesInHisTent shirking her duties as the Slayer]] out of frustration after [[spoiler: the death of her mentor]], he uses his knife to [[CrazyPrepared whittle an entire sackful of stakes for her so she'll be ready to take on the vampires]] - and she grudgingly remarks that she's glad ''somebody'' has come prepared.
* A non-physical version in the fourth ''Film/DieHard'' movie. John has been running around killing bad guys, but they have his daughter, and put her on the radio to beg her father to give up. Instead she says "Now there are only four of them" before they can yank the radio away, giving him some much-needed intel.
* Lois Lane makes a return to this trope in ''ManOfSteel'', given her ActionSurvivor status. She gets into danger a lot, but usually she at least tries to fight her way out of it, and does rather well considering the people she's up against are nigh-invulnerable superpowered aliens. She's even able to [[spoiler: fight her way out of Zod's spacecraft using a Kryptonian gun, with some help from the [=AI=] Jor-El]].
* In the 1940 film ''My Little Chickadee'', MaeWest's gorgeous, [[CostumePorn fancily-dressed]] character, Flower Belle, is on a train when Indians attack. An arrow lands two feet from her, and she nonchalantly pulls it out of the wall, goes back to filing her nails... and when a second arrow hits, she responds by mowing them down with [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]] [[GunsAkimbo akimbo]] taken from a passenger [[KilledOffForReal who wasn't so lucky]] and a shotgun borrowed from the only other person defending the train... all while uttering one-liners in her signature alluring, devil-may-care voice.
-->'''Flower Belle:''' There he goes, [[LudicrousGibs in a shower of feathers!]]\\
'''Gunman:''' Nice shootin'!\\
'''Flower Belle:''' [[IBrokeANail I almost broke one of my fingernails.]]
:: Though it '''is''' a comedy film (starring W.C. Fields, no less), so ValuesDissonance may apply here -- the scene was probably meant to seem unrealistic.
* Diana Palmer, the main female character in the 1996 [[TheMovie film version]] of ''Film/ThePhantom''. She's not ''quite'' what we'd think of as an ActionGirl (she's not the main character, and does get kidnapped twice in the course of the story), but she is ''anything but'' weak and frightened. A wealthy treasure hunter with a taste for adventure in the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' mold (and, in fact, she's living in the late 1930s, just like Indiana), she also shares Indy's penchant for getting into sticky situations and then coolly working her way out of them, or at least playing more than a fleeting role in her own rescues. Even when the chips are down, it seems, Diana never gives her foes any satisfaction. When she's kidnapped for the first time, for instance, she is not scared but very angry: assuming she's being held for ransom, she declares that "you'll not get a red cent" from her family.
* Elizabeth Swann from ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' is like this in the first movie. In the second and third, she graduates to ActionGirl.
* There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'': If you look closely as they disembark from the submarine you'll notice that the Nazi soldier guarding Marian is heavily bandaged ''and'' he has an arm in a sling.
** Another Indiana Jones example in ''Film/TempleOfDoom''. While on the mine cart chase, a mook manages to down Indiana for a few seconds. Sick to death of being chased, Willie promptly slugs him so hard he goes flying off the cart.
*** Subverted in another portion, where Willie grabs a large constrictor snake and flings it away into the brush, thinking it's the trunk of the elephant that's been irritating her all evening.
* In the Live-Action version of ''Film/ScoobyDoo'', Daphne has a moment where she's being held and fights her way out by beating up the [[TooDumbToLive one guard that's supposed to guard her.]]
-->'''Daphnie:''' Who's the damsel in distress now?\\
'''Guard:''' ''(whimper)'' Me.\\
'''Daphne:''' [[PreAssKickingOneLiner Straight up.]] ''(knocks guard through a vent)''
* Sidney Prescott from the ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' series.
* ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'': What happens when Princess Vespa's hair is caught in enemy crossfire? She grabs a laser gun and mows those suckers down!
-->'''Barf:''' Not bad...for a ''girl''.\\
'''Dot:''' Hey, that was pretty good for {{Rambo}}!
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** Princess Leia in ''Film/ANewHope''. Luke and Han come to rescue her, the rescue doesn't quite work out, so she blasts a hole in the wall, proclaiming "''Somebody'' has to save our skins!" Not to mention, she did what she could to keep the secret of the rebel hideout and had lots of guts when facing Darth Vader. [[spoiler:Too bad Alderaan still got blown up despite her efforts.]]
*** And in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', [[PsychopathicManChild Jabba the Hutt]] takes Leia as a slave. Goodbye, Jabba.
** This trope is also in full force in any of Creator/BarbaraHambly's [[StarWarsExpandedUniverse expanded universe novels]]. Two things you can absolutely be sure of: 1. Leia will be kidnapped by the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villains of the Book]], and 2. She will make their lives ''[[PityTheKidnapper pure hell]]'' before skewering them with a lightsaber near the climax.
** Her own mother, Padme, was also like this in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones''. As she faces execution alongside Anakin and Obi-Wan, she gets out of her handcuffs ''before'' the two Jedi and begins fighting back!
* Dana in ''Film/TrueLies'' is in the end saved by her father, but before that, she steals the key that the terrorists need to detonate their nuclear bomb. Not bad for a fourteen-year-old.
* Mariko in ''Film/TheWolverine'', who got in a few hits on [[spoiler: her kidnappers and even one of Hanada's assassins in a chokehold.]]
** Not to mention she [[spoiler:saves Logan from Silver Samurai]].
* Elektra King in ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'' [[spoiler:escapes her kidnapper by shooting three men and then proceeds to manipulate her kidnapper into suffering reverse Stockholm syndrome going so far as to even die for her scheme.]]
* Modern versions of ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}'' often turn the heroine into this, subverting her original Princess Classic / Purity Sue characterization.
** Danielle of ''Film/EverAfter'' averts the "alas, I am but a pitiful female" personality pretty well throughout the movie, but TookALevelInBadass near the end when [[spoiler:Monsieur Le Pieu has essentially kidnapped her, and is getting rather creepy. She threatens him with a sword, and has quite successfully rescued herself by the time Henry arrives]]. That whole spiel she delivers during said scene was just a MomentOfAwesome. Also when she punched her wicked stepsister in the face.
** Ella, from ''Literature/EllaEnchanted''. Despite her [[BlessedWithSuck gift of obedience]], she manages to escape her [[BoardingSchoolOfHorrors Finishing School Of Horrors]] and then again from [[CharmPerson ogres]] who plan to eat her. Finally, she has to break her curse on the sheer strength of her love for Char, so she doesn't destroy his life by marrying him.
** Ella Brown from ''Just Ella'', who realizes being engaged to PrinceCharming isn't all it's cracked up to be, and ends up breaking herself out of a dungeon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Calynn, and possibly Aurora in ''LightNovel/GatheringTheEnchanted''. Sure, they look and act like damsels. But they both nearly kill someone in both of their first appearances.
* Escalla in Paul Kidd's trilogy ''White Plume Mountain'', ''Descent into the Depths of the Earth'', and ''Queen of the Demonweb Pits''. Sure, she gets captured a couple of times in the first book (once by the HERO, even), and gets her ass handed to her at one point in the last book, but mostly she's somebody you don't want to mess with. She's the one who [[spoiler:actually kills Lolth, the goddess of the Drow, permanently. That's right kiddies, she's a GODSLAYER.]] She finishes the last book by running an insane IndyPloy against a GOD to get her best girlfriend back from the afterlife.
--> Just because something's short doesn't mean it can't splay your lungs all over the grass.
* Aliena in ''Pillars of the Earth''. Plenty of distress for this damsel, but girl fights back. And even builds her own successful business from nothing.
* Zula in ''Literature/{{Reamde}}''.
* Any High Lady in the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is there at least in part on account of how unbelievably badass she is with Furycraft. Kitai keeps having to remind Tavi of this. [[spoiler:Even when she's pregnant. Bad. Ass.]]
* Murphy of the ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. She's five-nothing, petite, has earned her way to the head of a sub-department of cops known for its turnover rate, and works with Harry on a regular basis. She's chainsawed a demon, led more assaults than is entirely fair, it's implied that she's [[spoiler: a suitable candidate for being a Knight of the Cross]], has instagibbed a living god, has served as the mouthpiece of an Archangel, raided Arctis Tor with Harry... in fact, when she subverts this trope ''at all in any way'', it's because she's sending Harry a message that she's playing the part, and not actually cowed. Harry has a chivalrous rush-to-women's defense impulse. It nearly gets him killed a number of times. He does get a bit genre savvy, eventually.
* ''The SwordOfTruth''. Despite the latent mysogeny of, well, pretty much everyone in that world, the Confessors, Sister of the Light, Sisters of the Dark, Mord-Sith, various other magic-imbued women... lampshading this, Richard has to lose his protect-women impulse, because they're just as much a threat to his life as men.
* Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's heroines often have their moments, being brave and able to endure hardship, and sometimes even wading into the fray.
** Tara in ''[[JohnCarterOfMars The Chessmen of Mars]]'' fights off a rapist.
** Virginia in ''Literature/TheMonsterMen'' turns the machine on the attacking pirates; she and the elderly Chinese cook fight them off alone.
* Towards the end of ''[[Literature/BelisariusSeries In the Heart of Darkness]]'', Belisarius' wife Antonia realizes the Malwa spies she has been feeding (false) information to had decided to kill her and even works out how they would do so with maximum discretion, but what could a diminutive thirty-something ex-courtesan do with such knowledge? Try setting up a counter-ambush that leaves seven street thugs dead, one maimed, and one frightened soul keeping her at bay with a club as he screamed for backup.
* From Tolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Lúthien Tinúviel, an Elven princess who falls in love with the mortal Beren. When her father finds out, he sends Beren on an impossible quest and imprisons her. Time for her lover to rescue her? Not quite! She escapes by her own means (twice), then rescues Beren, who has also been imprisoned in the meantime... by none other than [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]], whom Lúthien defeats almost single-handedly. Then she helps Beren fulfill his quest (and does most of the work, really). It's interesting to note that Lúthien was a homage to Tolkien's wife, Edith Tolkien, while Beren was basically an AuthorAvatar.
* Ekaterin Vorsoisson of the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga''. She's a demure, ladylike young mom kidnapped by terrorists, who [[spoiler: hijacks a crane and smashes their superweapon to bits with it.]]
* Literature/TrappedOnDraconica: Princess Erowin looks and acts like TheIngenue, and she is, but she's no slouch at defending herself.
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Cira is kidnapped along with [[NonActionGuy Jerin]], and while he does the lockpicking necessary for their escape, she's the fighter.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', Menelaus explains that despite her hyperbolically feminine appearance and her profuse declarations of love and harmony, Oenoe is a member of the Nymph security forces. Though she would drink potions of forgetfulness after the fight -- to keep it from disturbing the hedonistic life -- she is unquestionably a veteran.
* In PoulAnderson's "Literature/TimeLag", Elva's position as prisoner does not prevent her weaseling concessions out of Bors, and at the end, she [[spoiler:casually orders them to take Bors into the corridors and shoot him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ComicBook/LoisLane in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[CaptainObvious obviously]], although it is more like something between GodModeSue and MemeticBadass due to being portrayed as a little ''too'' competent (though being the daughter of an army general could explain this to a degree). Also Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang to varying degrees.
** [[BadassNormal Tess Mercer]] could also qualify, though she usually gets herself out of trouble simply by being frequently alone without a team to back her up whenever she gets into trouble.
* Uhura of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' can be quite intimidating when she chooses -- one notable moment being when MirrorUniverse Sulu is [[HilariousInHindsight making advances]], and she pulls a dagger on him.
* Sam Carter, Vala Mal Doran, and Teyla Emmagan are some of the more obvious examples from the ''{{Franchise/Stargate|Verse}}'' franchise. However, let us not forget the other ladies. Such as Doc Langford, Doc Fraiser, and Elizabeth Weir; sure they're not trained in combat, but they can be just as {{Badass}}.
* Elena from ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''. She started off as a DamselInDistress most of the time, but now she is highly competent, tough and capable of defending herself, especially against the supernatural beings around her.
* ''WhiteCollar'': Elizabeth Burke, as of the season three midseason premiere. [[spoiler: She concocts a brilliant escape plan with nothing but a dog bite, thermostat, diamond ring, and some crazy chair swinging skills.]]
* In ''Series/DaiSentaiGoggleFive'', for some reason the enemy seems to love targeting [[TheChick Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink]] [[MonsterMisogyny to be attacked or sorts]], causing her allies to knock the attacker for her, and even worse, she isn't exactly one with the highest constitution as she was fatally wounded in earlier episode and got her capabilities as a warrior questioned. But on the other hand, she usually can take care of herself and even proves her smarts in outwitting the enemies (in the mentioned episode, despite being wounded, she still insisted on fighting anyway), culminating in a [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]] where she got off from a DeathTrap of a burning book... ''alone''.
* Guinevere from ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' probably has the highest amount of kidnappings and captures on the show, but (as actress Angel Coulby has said in interviews) is also the strongest emotionally. The writers have also admitted that [[OnlySaneMan she's got the most]] [[WomenAreWiser common sense.]] Her ability to keep her wits around her, whether by bluffing her captors or keeping track of what's happening on a battlefield, has kept her and others alive more than once.
** She's also the only person who notices [[spoiler:Morgana's]] PsychoticSmirk. And she doesn't stop there. The episodes were aired OutOfOrder, but if they had been aired in the original order, Gwen would have gone on to pursue the lead and uncover Morgana's magic. As it is, noticing the smirk is the last nail in the coffin.
* Djaq and Marian from ''Series/RobinHood''. Everyone on this show gets captured at least once; in their case they are rescued by friends and/or love interests, but ''not'' before making several nearly-successful attempts to escape on their own.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': River Tam spends a significant amount of time in [[DamselInDistress serious danger]], between the villagers threatening to burn her alive, Feds putting guns to her head, and the [[ThoseTwobadGuys Hands of Blue]]. But then [[TookALevelInBadass remembers]] [[WaifFu she]] [[SuperSoldier can]] [[PsychicPowers fight]] [[OneManArmy back.]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', quite a few companions fit this to varying degrees due to the fact that juggling the DistressBall is in the job description. Jo Grant is essentially this, lying in the middle between Damsel-in-Distress and Action Girl.
* Lily Bell from ''Series/HellOnWheels'' kills the Cheyenne warrior who killed her husband by stabbing him with the arrow that was stuck in her shoulder, then is able to trek over several mile and sew up her wound before getting rescued by Joseph Black Moon and Cullen Bohannon .
* [[PerkyGoth Abby]] the LabRat, from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', once she's at the bad guys' lair.
* If you are a villain in ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', ''do not kidnap Olivia Dunham''. The ''best'' case scenario is that she'll merely escape. Worst-case, she'll kill everyone involved on her way out the door. Specifically, do not attempt to use:
** Restraints. They don't work. Ever. Even her {{Alternate Universe}} version was able to escape while tied to a gurney. [[spoiler: Also while having her [[PregnantBadass pregnancy accelerated]].]]
** [[IHaveYourWife Captured family and friends]]. That will only [[spoiler: activate her [[PsychicPowers superpowers]].]] Then people die.
** [[spoiler: Locking her in an alternate universe and rewrite her brain to believe that she's her alternate universe self]]. No, she'll just [[spoiler: reconstruct her true mind, then teleport ''herself'' back to her universe, thus leaving herself with ''both'' Olivia's abilities.]]
* Laurel Lance from Series/{{Arrow}} would've avoided being kidnapped - she fought off two goons - if Cyrus Vance hadn't had a taser. Later in the series she pulls a shotgun on the assassin who comes after her and little boy she's protecting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Lampshaded in ''FraggleRock''. When Mokey is putting on a play with Red in the DistressedDamsel role and Gobo, who's supposed to rescue her, doesn't show up Red proposes a rewrite:
-->'''Red:''' Ha! I'll rescue myself!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Elaine Marley of the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series. She frequently needs rescuing from [=LeChuck=], but most other times, she can perfectly take care of herself. In fact, in the first game, Guybrush manages to inadvertently mess up her plan to destroy [=LeChuck=] by attempting to rescue her.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** Yuna from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the sweet, shy, innocent YamatoNadeshiko who gets kidnapped a couple of times... and is also a {{Guile Hero}}ine like no other. Heck, both times she gets captured lead to a [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]] on her part. Not to mention she TookALevelInBadass in the sequel.
** Tifa Lockhart from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is a shy TeamMom who CannotSpitItOut. She's also a brutally effective martial artist and BadassNormal who's arguably TheBigGuy of Cloud's group. One could argue that Aeris/Aerith Gainsborough is one as well. She gets kidnapped a few times, but she can smack talk with the best of them, and is ultimately the only real threat to Sephiroth's lunatic EvilPlan.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', Rinoa spends a significant part of the game in danger in one form or another. When she's ''not'' being kidnapped, captured, or hanging for dear life from a cliff, she's actually a quite powerful party member with some strong {{Limit Break}}s. Then, late in the game, she [[spoiler: becomes a Sorceress]] and pretty much transforms into a walking GameBreaker.
* Colette Brunel from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' is also sweet, ditzy, frail, and gets whacked with a DistressBall more than once. She's also a GlassCannon who can pull off some lovely combos in battle, and even fights back against DarkActionGirl Pronyma when she tries to kidnap her.
* Estelle from ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''. A [[FriendToAllLivingThings gentle]], noble personality and [[SpoiledSweet sweet but sheltered]] disposition, light pink hair AND the party healer? You'd never expect her to ''also'' be an ActionGirl, and with such [[PluckyGirl willpower]] she's willing to [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething abandon her comfy life in the castle just to travel the world and help anyone in danger]].
* GenderFlipped in ''VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice'' with Almaz and Princess Sapphire. He might be able to hold his own as a swordsman, but he's still been made Mao's slave, is slowly turning into a demon and is generally in over his head. The Princess is, however, [[ChainsawGood rather]] [[AnAxeToGrind protective]] [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend of him]].
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Princess Peach. Despite being the most famous DistressedDamsel in video games, she's been proving herself capable in combat since ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2''.
* Princess Zelda is probably second only to Peach in the "getting kidnapped by the BigBad" department, but she's proved herself more than capable of kicking ass in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks''. She even has one ass-kicking moment in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', and in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' she manages to do quite a journey all by herself. Although the latter happens off-screen. Not to mention that she's been doing this since the original ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda''! She was able to elude Ganon and shatter the Triforce of Wisdom and secure each piece all across Hyrule in dungeons that are difficult to traverse even with an arsenal of weapons and tools. She does this without any help from you and only ''after'' she finishes does she get captured by Ganon. Badass Damsel indeed.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem''
** Princess Lilina of Ostia from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem 6]]'' starts as this, as you find her locked in a room of her own castle. As soon as Roy meets up with her, though, he hands Lilina a Thunder tome and tells her to fight with him... and she does so without any hesitation. It gets even better when she's promoted into Sage, then she can potentially become the most powerful magic user of the whole game.
** Princess Tana of Frelia serves a similar role in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' (although she only starts out captured in Ephraim's route), and like Lilina, she's the best in her class (in this case, Falconknight/Wyvern Knight, although on the latter she might have competition from Cormag for that title).
** Nanna of Nodion from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'' also keeps her cool when she and her friend Mareeta are kidnapped, to the point of openly telling Leaf to not give himself up to the Empire when in a HostageSituation. When freed, she joins the group to be their mounted WhiteMagicianGirl, and can upgrade to a LadyOfWar.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** When Commander Shepard first meets [[HotScientist Liara T'Soni]], she's completely immobilized and pleading for help. Then you recruit her, and she starts crushing huge robots [[MindOverMatter with her mind]]. Then in the sequel, [[spoiler:she fights through a WretchedHive to save you, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome EVEN AFTER YOU'RE DEAD]].]]
** Shepard also finds the other female squadmates in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', Ashley and Tali, in conditions of substantial distress, but they're still entirely badass. Ashley is possibly the most combat capable squadmate you have, and you rescue her after the rest of her squad has been wiped out by alien robots. Tali can do some serious damage in combat with her tech abilities, after you rescue her from being betrayed by the galaxy's most powerful information broker. In fact, when you rescue Tali, the first thing she does upon realizing she's in trouble is to [[NotSoHarmless chuck a hand grenade]] at the bad guys and dive for cover.
*** Tali and Ashley (if she survived the first game) both have to be rescued ''again'' in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' (Tali from the geth again, and Ashley from the Collector raid on Horizon).
** From ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Eve full stop. The mission she's introduced in, she spends the entire time in containment with you escorting her and Mordin/Padok through numerous Cerberus assaults. When Wrex/Wreav gets her out of containment, the first thing she sees is two Cerberus troopers running at them. Without even hesitating she pulls the shotgun out of Wrex/Wreav's hands and blows them both away, [[FiringOneHanded with one hand]].
-->'''Eve:''' I can handle myself, Wrex.\\
'''Wrex:''' ''({{beat}})'' Women.
*** That scene's even better if you're playing as [=FemShep=], who looks suspiciously like she's trying not to laugh.
** Liara's introduction in the third game sets her up for needing another rescue, [[AirVentEscape scrambling through air vents]] being persued by two Cerberus troopers. Then she exits the vents, traps the troopers [[MindOverMatter with a Singularity]], and [[CoupDeGrace double-taps both of them.]]
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': There's also Bastila, who takes a while to lose the DistressBall, but when she does? Overrides a neural disruptor, kills her guard, uses telekenesis to break her way out of the cage and helps mop up whatever Vulkars are dumb enough to hang around after that using the dead mook's double-bladed sword.
* Siskier of ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion'' is extremely devoted to Garlot, has a terrible fear of heights, and is generally cute and perky with a bleeding heart. She's also a scarily competent shot with her crossbow, has an uncanny ability to sense the presence of enemies, and gets hit with the DistressBall exactly once in the whole of the game.
* In ''EscapeFromHorrorland'', Lizzie gets captured twice, but is still one of the bravest of the characters and is the one devising and setting all the traps and leading the way in the game.
* [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle]] pulls this trope off again in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' when Xaldin kidnaps her and the rose, and forces Beast to [[SadisticChoice choose]]. [[spoiler: She elbows [[ThatOneBoss Xaldin]] in the gut and [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome grabs the rose before running back.]]]]
** Kairi as well, as she [[DamselInDistress sees herself in danger often]], but [[TookALevelInBadass is perfectly willing to fight it with or without a weapon]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}''
** Rise Kujikawa from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', TheChick of the FiveManBand, is the one who needs less time to rest and recover after the battle against her Shadow, and [[spoiler: immediately takes Teddie's MissionControl spot with her Persona, Himiko.]]
** In a similar case, Fuuka Yamagishi from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', pre-getting her Persona, manages to survive several days being stuck in Tartarus avoiding Shadows, and then awakens to her Persona (Lucia) and like Rise, [[spoiler: she and Lucia immediately take over as MissionControl.]]
* Callo Merlose from ''VagrantStory''. She's kidnapped just before the first boss, and remains captive for the entire game; since she's there to investigate the antagonists anyway, she takes advantage of this situation to learn as much as she can. On one occasion she almost entirely reverses the power balance between herself and her captor. Heck, when she's first kidnapped, she straight up ''tells'' Ashley to stay on task and not bother about rescuing her!
* Cassima from ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVI'' spends most of the game [[GirlInTheTower locked up in the tower]], but [[KnifeNut give her a dagger...]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the ''player'' will be one if they choose the female city-elf origin. Seriously, those corpses weren't there last night were they? [[spoiler:And any ''other'' female character gets a chance to play at the trope if they get captured near the end. Sure, you can get rescued, but it's totally plausible to just rescue yourself.]]
* Elena and Chloe from ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}''.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', a dwarf named Fanny Thundermar is captured by ogres during an Alliance-side quest chain in the Twilight Highlands. When you go to rescue her, you find her [[PintSizedPowerhouse surrounded by dead ogres]] who had [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty tried to cop a feel]]. And her prospective husband is [[AmazonChaser very impressed.]]
** Jaina Proudmoore has one of these moments in the Fall of Theramore scenario. Your objective is to rescue her in the crater made by the mana bomb dropped by the Horde. When you find her she's surrounded by the dead, frozen corpses of numerous Horde soldiers and attempting to disarm the bomb so it can't be used again.
* Hiyoko Tousaka, who is capable of throwing two {{Love Interest}}s out of a window at once, becomes the "PluckyGirl catches a DistressBall" version in the "Bad Boys Love" route of ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend''. How distressed? [[spoiler: The route is triggered by [[DecoyProtagonist her dying horribly]].]] Does this stop her from saving the day? ''Nah.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/ThistilMistilKistil'', Hedda is less brash than the usual version. Nevertheless, after being drugged, [[http://tmkcomic.depleti.com/comic/ch05-pg16/ she overpowers two grown men]] to escape HumanSacrifice.
* One of the most well-known strips of ''Webcomic/SuperStupor'' shows a supervillain trying to [[StuffedIntoTheFridge stuff a hero's non-powered girlfriend into the fridge]]. He winds up begging for mercy, and she ''still'' stuffs his hand down a garbage disposal.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erstwhile}}'', [[http://www.erstwhiletales.com/maidmaleen-07/#.T290zNm6SuI when Maid Maleen realizes that they will not be let out, she determines that they must get out on their own.]]
* [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100319 Lampshaded]] in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' - nobody else was stupid enough to try and kidnap a professional hero's angry sister.
** Agatha herself, particularly earlier in the comics before she TookALevelInBadass. While she wasn't too capable in a fight, given some time and parts to work with, she could cobble together all sorts of contraptions to help herself escape with.
** Agatha still runs into problems after TookALevelInBadass. It just results in a lot of pain and misery for anyone stupid enough to try and turn her into a DistressedDamsel. Case in Point: [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130503 Tweedle]]. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130515 Poor Tweedle]]. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130605 Oh God, Tweedle]]. He thought kidnapping and subduing the Heterodyne Girl for his plot would be easy, apparently. He thought wrong.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' there is one episode where Superman is being beaten by {{Lobo}}, Lois Lane shows up, grabs a metal rod and joins in the attack. True this does nothing and the guy even eats the pipe, but it's the thought that counts.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short ''TheDoverBoys'', Dora Standpipe beats up the villainous Dan Backslide ''as'' she calls for help. By the end it's Backslide who calls for help.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Rarity is one of the [[GirlyGirl girliest]] ponies on the show, a prissy fashion designer with an extreme dislike for physical work, dirt or getting her mane even slightly mussed. Put her in a fight however and she doesn't [[GuileHero handle herself too badly]]. This is best shown in the episode [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW9PSHRfe1M "A Dog and Pony Show"]], where she gets captured by a group of dogs who want her to dig up gems for them by hoof. She spends the rest of the episode driving her [[PityTheKidnapper ponynappers insane]] in a calculated manner with constant nit-picking, complaining, and the [[MostAnnoyingSound worst whining sound you will ever hear.]] When our heroes finally reach the ponynappers, they are more than happy to let her go. In the second episode of the series, Rarity is the first one to be attacked when the group is confronted by an angry manticore; she dodges in a flash and leaps back to kick it in the face. Later episodes show that she's willing to stand up to and threaten teenage ''dragons'', and do a fine job against changelings in the season 2 finale.
** Fluttershy also counts here, another girly pony (in fact, Rarity's best friend), a FriendToAllLivingThings, [[HiddenDepths has some fashion knowledge herself]], [[ApologisesALot apologetic]], very polite, and recognized in-universe as graceful. She has tamed monsters like the aforementioned manticore, a cockatrice, a dragon, and Cerberus himself, and the list only keeps getting more impressive even after that.
* Princess Zelda from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda'' animated series actually preceded all the above-mentioned game installments in this department. There were more episodes featuring her battling alongside Link wielding [[ArcherArchetype a bow and arrow]] than there were of Link rescuing her -- and she actually had to save him in one.
* One appears in the obscure {{Disney}} feature ''Mars & Beyond'' as part of an outline of how Mars is depicted in pop culture. After being kidnapped because MarsNeedsWomen, her reaction upon meeting the martian behind her abduction is to kick him in the mouth. After enduring a series of nightmarish tests, she escapes on her own, hijacks a saucer and flies back home -- all without her egghead boss noticing she was missing in the first place!
* MinnieMouse is sometimes portrayed like this, particularly in the 1933 short ''Building a Building''" and the 1995 short ''RunawayBrain''.
* Roll from the ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon gets captured a couple times, but usually manages to make trouble for her captors—and she's an ActionGirl in combat.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' has [[LoveInterest Dana]] [[SpoiledSweet Tan]]; the few times she ends up as the DamselInDistress for more than a minute, she fights back. When kidnapped by a StalkerWithACrush, she tricks him into leaving her alone and tries to escape through the sewers. When Batman is overcome by giant rats while rescuing her, she [[ImprovisedWeapon creates a torch out of flotsam lying around]] and successfully drives the rats off of him. In TheMovie, she almost gets away from the Joker who grabs her; unfortunately, she gives him so much trouble [[spoiler:that instead of kidnapping her, nearly kills her by throwing off the balcony]].
[[/folder]]

----

to:

[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/LoisLane http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheManOfSteel04-14_copy_2_8937.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Lois Lane: Rescuing herself before Franchise/{{Superman}} arrives since 1938.]]

->''" Harkye, miscreant, you have secured me, and I am your poor prisoner; but if you think I cannot take care of myself, you are very much mistaken. Now then, it's one to one, and let the best man win!"''
-->--'''Dame Hannah''', ''{{Theatre/Ruddigore}}''

Rejecting the traditional DamselInDistress routine, this damsel doesn't wait for a hero to rescue her. She can take care of herself, thank you very much. Basically this trope occurs when the damsel escapes on her own, or at least makes significant progress towards it before the hero can find her.

Almost AlwaysFemale, and usually a PluckyGirl.

Compare with BadassPrincess, LadyOfWar for a skillful and graceful fighter, SilkHidingSteel this trope prime and proper relative, {{Xenafication}} for inexplicable [[TookALevelInBadass badass leveling up]], DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel who enjoys the damsel aspect, and DecoyDamsel for an ActionGirl who pretends to be a DamselInDistress for her own benefit.

Contrast DamselScrappy and TooDumbToLive. Should not be confused with BadassInDistress, but can overlap with it.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* As of chapter 57 of ''Manga/BlackButler'', [[DistressedDamsel Elizabeth]] [[DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel Middleford]] turned out to be a [[BadassAdorable quintessential example]] of this trope, proving just how much she deserves the [[BadassFamily Middleford title]] [[spoiler:by initially trying to hide her badass side and doing a very good job of it due to the fact that she didn't want Ciel to see her [[CuteBruiser "uncute"]] side, and then finally when Ciel despite his best efforts ends up [[DistressedDude injured and unable to save her]] Elizabeth [[WaifFu leaps into the air]] and [[LittleMissBadass stabs down]] the zombies with [[DualWielding swords in both hands]]. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome "This time, I will protect you!"]] [[KnightInShiningArmor Indeed]].]] [[spoiler:[[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/28/ Oh]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/31/ so]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/33/ much]].]]
* Nia Teppelin of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' will tell you she's not going to die. To your face. While you're shoving a pistol into her forehead. Or about to snap her in half with your claws. Or about to dematerialize her. She may not be able to fight you, but she ''will'' tell you to fuck off ([[{{Keigo}} only very]] [[IFeelAngry politely]]), because Simon's on his way, and that's a wave of pain you don't want to happen.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Rukia Kuchiki, even when she is in captivity, would smack talk back with [[TheHero Ichigo]], resulting in a hilarious LampshadeHanging of the trope.
--->'''Ichigo:''' The one being rescued doesn't get to complain! You just act the part and stand around trembling and say "Oh, save me!"
** When at her boldest, Orihime Inoue would also try her hand at this ([[DeconstructedTrope with various results, not all of them being positive]]). Some examples are: reasoning with her Hollowfied older brother Sora, standing up for herself an Tatsuki in front of Numb Chandelier, biting a Shinigami whe he tries carrying her away for her own safety and later joining the fight with her BarrierWarrior abilities, de-brainwashing Rukia via a CooldownHug in the anime fillers, slapping [[spoiler: Ulquiorra]] when he insults her friends (though this is also a subversion [[GenreSavvy since he was likely counting on it]]), and [[spoiler: reviving Loly and Menoly after they tried to kill her]]. Considering how she handled [[spoiler:Shishigawara and Tsukishima]], later [[spoiler: Riruka and Ginjou]], ''and'' how the latest arc has her fully graduating to CombatMedic status, she may have graduated into PluckyGirl status while playing this trope straighter.
* Kagome Higurashi from ''Manga/InuYasha'' would find herself in captivity rather often in the earlier arcs, having not been trained in martial arts before she got TrappedInAnotherWorld. Nonetheless, she still managed to help Inu-Yasha out a lot and even talked back at her captors frequently. Then she TookALevelInBadass.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'': Relena, oh Relena Peacecraft. Sure, she can't fight as well as other girls, but she can talk her way out wonderfully and pulls more than one GoThroughMe to defend her friends, her Kingdom, or her beliefs. Again in TheMovie where she steals the villain's communications in order to encourage the {{Muggles}} to stop HoldingOutForAHero and do something themselves.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh''
** Kisara, the girl that Kaiba's preincarnation has evident feelings for, is a good example of this trope. Seto may have saved her first, but MAN, does she [[NowLetMeCarryYou repay the favor in spades]]. It doesn't hurt either that her soul is the ''Blue Eyes White Dragon''.
*** Note this trope only applies to her anime persona, in the manga she doesn't [[spoiler: take the blast for priest Seto]], instead she is just hit by it in attempting to escape. Spoilers! [[http://www.kivmanga.com/mangas/Yu-Gi-Oh%20-%20Req%20by%20Lorenzo/330/Yu-Gi-Oh-Manga-009.jpg]] & [[http://www.kivmanga.com/mangas/Yu-Gi-Oh%20-%20Req%20by%20Lorenzo/330/Yu-Gi-Oh-Manga-010.jpg]]
** Anzu Mazaki from ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' also pulled this more than once, specially when [[spoiler: she frees Mokuba from Malik's henchmen at the cost of her own safety. In return, Kaiba himself saves her later]]. She is not that bad of a duelist either; beating Mai and Otaki from the Big 5, and at the start of the series beat Joey five times in a row.
*** Although, [[spoiler:Mai let her win, because she was impressed with her tenacity and loyalty to Yugi (who suspected at first that her set card was Harpie's Feather Duster - and it was - which she could have used to win the duel, but did not.]]
* [[spoiler:Asuna and Anya]] from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' aren't halfway bad at this, but '''the''' example is actually [[spoiler:Ako Izumi]]. She's the very proof that you don't ''have'' to be an invincible, smartass and emotionless ActionGirl to be {{badass}}.
* Hitomi Kanzaki from ''Manga/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' bounces between this and ActionSurvivor.
* Gentoku Ryuubi, and later Sonken Chuubou in ''Manga/IkkiTousen''. They can't exactly fight (if we don't count Ryuubi's SuperpoweredEvilSide), but Hell if they're gonna abandon their friends because of that.
* ''Manga/BarajouNoKiss'': Yamamoto Anis will not take any of these dimension warping shenanigans sitting down, thank you very much! She may have just been informed that her [[ArchnemesisDad father]] intends to sacrifice her to a seal of unknown demonic origin and otherwise make her life hell, but she is not going to just sit around and mope. No. She is going to kick her Knights' collective asses into gear. And you ''will'' obey or you will get the rose thorns of doom.
* Lady Ribi from ''Anime/TheTwelveKingdoms'' is not an ActionGirl, and she knows it clearly. She's just TheOjou in a very dangerous time, which is marked by the intrigues of [[spoiler:Atsuyu and his disciple Kouya]] against the King that she works for and strongly believes in. Will that stop her? '''Nope.''' Ribi handles all of this very calmly and cleverly, protects [[spoiler:the depowered Enki]] as much as she can, and in the end [[spoiler: she unlocks Enki's powers despite clearly knowing that taking his PowerLimiter off will produce a backlash that will kill her. She dies, yes, but she [[SpannerInTheWorks also manages to derail]] Atsuyu's EvilPlan, and helps to cause his fall.]]
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''
** [[spoiler: After the horrors she suffered from the Eclipse [[GoMadFromTheRevelation that robbed her of her sanity]]]] poor Casca's mind was regressed to that of a small child, making her very vulnerable to predation from monsters and humans alike and is in constant need of care and supervision. However, sometimes she finds herself on her own, but in such dire moments we see that Casca's former [[ActionGirl badass self]] isn't ''completely'' gone. The most prominent example to date was when [[spoiler: she ran away from Guts out of fear and ran into some bandits, who then tried to gang rape her... but by the time Guts found her, Casca was naked and covered in her would-be rapists' blood after she slashed all of their throats.]] She also shows glimpses of her pre-Eclipse [[FragileSpeedster agility and acrobatics]].
** Charlotte gets one in the manga when she completely pulverizes her father's face with her feet after he tries to rape her. Pretty impressive for someone who's a distressed damsel most of the time.
* At the climax of ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'''s second cour, the BigBad decides it's a good idea to take Kotetsu's daughter, Kaede, hostage. [[spoiler:She doesn't just rescue herself -- she ends up rescuing ''every other hero''. SuperpowerfulGenetics sure come in handy.]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'''s Eve Genoard. A sweet and polite young lady living in America, [[spoiler: who escapes her kidnappers and doesn't hesitate to grab someone else's gun and avenge her father. She may not know about the family bussiness, but she has the same iron will.]]
* [[spoiler: Sonohara Anri]] of ''Literature/{{Durarara}}'' seems very distressed all the time, what with perverts hitting on her, ganguro girls bullying her, and the Slasher coming after her. Up until she [[spoiler: stops a knife with her arm, [[ShutUpHannibal tells Niekawa Haruna that her knife is nothing but a child]], pulls out the real Saika, and takes over the army of Slashers.]] Of course, she sometimes seems to need saving afterwards, but this is just because [[spoiler: she doesn't want people to know she's the owner of Saika.]] And not to mention, there's [[BreakTheCutie the horrible emotional baggage that the poor girl has in such regards]], due to [[BrokenBird her terrible past]] as [[spoiler: a survivor of DomesticAbuse who saw her also abused mother, Sayaka, completely snap and use Saika ''to kill Anri's abusive father and then herself'']]... no wonder she's reluctant to take action until there's truly no other option.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''
** Ranma, the resident GenderBender of the series, gets kidnapped a lot in the manga by men who want to marry his girl side. (Even though {{Fanon}} would swear that [[OvershadowedByAwesome Akane]] is the only one who gets captured.) This guy punched out a man with the power of a demigod and has destroyed mountains. Damn straight he'll [[CurbStompBattle kick your weakling ass]] if he's unhappy about you kidnapping him.
** Whenever she ''does'' get captured, Akane tends to play the damsel until she either sees her advantage or someone (usually Ranma) ''really'' pisses her off. Then it's clobberin' time, and often even her would-be rescuers don't survive unscathed.
* Nami in ''Anime/OnePieceFilmStrongWorld''. When kidnapped by Shiki, she defiantly turns down Shiki's offers to join him and when his guard was down, she managed to escape. She would also later [[spoiler: work to sabotage Shiki's plans by destroying the plant Daft Green despite exposure to the plant poisons her. And after that, she feeds his men false information so his floating base gets caught in a giant storm, destabilizing things further.]]
* Melfina of ''Anime/OutlawStar'' gets this when she stomps on and kills the evil mind-control cactus, force-feedbacking Harry's hacking attempt so damn hard that it blows out his arm, fights back and escapes him when he tries to kidnap her and rejects his advances.
* Akiko Aoshika of ''Manga/WolfGuyWolfenCrest'' evolves into this. It was already astounding that after all of the brutality that was dished out to her, poor Aoshika-sensei was able to pick herself up again. It was even more remarkable when [[spoiler:Aoshika is holding an unconscious Inugami when Haguro's men come in only to find him dead, demanding an explanation. When Aoshika tries to persuade her way through, they threaten to ''rape her to death'' in front of Inugami. But instead of being frightened, Aoshika gets '''pissed'''.]] [[PluckyGirl Wow lady.]]
* Little [[PrinceOfTennis Miyuki Chitose]] gets caught and is used as a hostage to force a [[BadassInDistress recovering Tezuka]] into a hopeless [[SeriousBusiness tennis match]] with some arrogant Jerkasses. So she decides to yell at her captors and challenge ''them'' to a match, despite suffering from the yips herself.
-->'''Miyuki''': Let go of me, you gorilla!
* Yukari Sahashi, from ''{{Sekirei}}''. While most Ashikabi are {{Non-Action Guy}}s, she regularly [[GroinAttack kicks guys in the balls]] and beats them up so badly they end up in the hospital. She spends a few chapters holding the DistressBall after [[spoiler: Higa kidnaps her as part of a AndNowYouMustMarryMe plot and forces Shiina to work for him]]. However, she eventually [[spoiler: realizes that she's been holding the DistressBall and decides to drop it ''hard''.]] With a SlasherSmile, she [[spoiler: sets fire to his penthouse, tells his secretary to pass on a very insulting message, and then jumps out a 50 story window because she knows Shiina will catch her]]. This proves to be the cherry on top of his HumiliationConga.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Ballads]]
* In the ChildBallad ''Literature/FauseFoodrage'', the queen knows her baby will be killed if a son. So she escapes in advanced pregnancy.
* The unnamed "maiden fair" in the ballad ''The Outlandish Knight''. [[spoiler:The knight convinces her to run away with him, then tells her he's going to drown her in the ocean, as he's done to six other maidens. Then, she convinces him to turn his back on her. "Six pretty maidens have you drowned here/And the seventh has drowned thee."]]
* The Dutch ballad of 'Heer Halewijn' is about a girl that asks her whole family to go to Heer (Sir) Halewijn, a man who lures women (and men probably as well) by singing. Her whole family refuses; no one returns from Halewijn. Untill she asks her brother who says something akin to 'as long as you are virtuous, you can go'. So she goes, ends up killing Halewijn, rides back with his (still bleeding!) head in her lap, which is coloured red by his blood and puts his head on the table when her father organises a feast because she has returned.
* The title character of "Eppie Morrie" spends an entire night fighting off her would-be rapist before being rescued in the morning.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''. ComicBook/LoisLane, the PostCrisis (1987) incarnation anyway. This is a woman who gets caught by villains all the frickin' time, but only because she's GenreSavvy enough to know that if she does so, she'll not only get the scoop on the front page story, but also somehow survive to write it. And not just by getting rescued -- if Superman doesn't know/is depowered/is busy, she'll pretend to fall in love with the drug lord who captured her, then blast herself out of their wedding, veil, gown, and all, with a {{Mook}}'s stolen machine gun.
** Furthermore, this is OlderThanYouThink concerning her, Lois had quite the nerve. In some of the earliest Fleischer cartoons (now public domain) she pulls such stunts as trying to sabotage a getaway vehicle, climbing onto the back of a mechanical monster to see where it was going, blasting away with a submachine gun at would-be train robbers, and disguised herself as a Nazi to warn the American fleet of a U-boat threat (well, it ''was'' the early forties). It's been said that Lois Lane's only weakness is [[CatchAFallingStar Gravity.]] She just had a DorkAge during the SilverAge where she divided her time between falling off of things, suffering SuperDickery, or ''committing'' SuperDickery. However, by the late 1970s, she was running rings around the bad guy before whipping their butts in her solo stories without Clark being around in ''Superman Family''.
* Mary Jane Watson. She has beaten villains and would be rapists with baseball bats, took fighting lessons from ''CaptainAmerica'', and became the most Badass of any Spidey love interest. There's a reason so many people hate JoeQuesada for ''OneMoreDay''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi features this, hooo boy... Ami might not be invincible- she needs her minions to break her out of the Dark God's realm, twice. But the second time, it was because ''three'' had teamed up on her. She regularly leads her troops from the front, and fights on par with the worst deamons of the DungeonKeeper world. And hero GuileHero approach to problemsolveing means even things she can't handle head-on can be overcome.... even if it means she needs a little help from her [[EliteArmy hordes of minions]].
* ''Roleplay/HonorableHogwarts''
** Anya Warbeck has been kidnapped twice, had her child threatened, been generally threatened/taunted in several threads by the site's first BigBad, and was recently raped. But through it all, she's managed to very quietly but [[{{Determinator}} determinedly]] ''kick ass'', and has only needed her husband to rescue her twice (the second kidnapping and the rape).
** A case could be made for Madeline Frost as well, although she's only successfully been kidnapped once, and never raped. One of her kidnappers suffered a compound fracture of the leg before she was finally subdued, and then she told off the BigBad who had orchestrated the kidnapping without showing any fear.
* ''Roleplay/DCNation'': Fauna was captured by some thugs employed by Lex Luthor (the guy who experimented on her in the first place). Once she is able to undo the collar, she's in mid-escape when Black Canary (her boss) shows up to spring her. Thinking Canary is in trouble, Fauna's [[SuperpoweredEvilSide bestial side]] kicks in....
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' had BadassPrincess Jasmine. She and Aladdin save each other's skins more than once throughout the course of the movie, making them a BattleCouple.
* Belle, from Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' would definitely count.
* Again, Barbara Gordon: in ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanAndMisterFreezeSubZero Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero]]'' is the most badass damsel ever. She talks back to Mr. Freeze when he kidnaps her, attacks him with the same chains she's shackled with, tries to reason with him once she learns about his IllGirl wife Nora (so she'll be able to help him save her ''without losing her organs'' [[spoiler: and later it turns out her blood is enough]]), saves his KidSidekick, tries to save ''him'' too...
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' has Princess Fiona. She seems to be every cliché about a Princess in need of rescue, until she meets somebody REALLY ANNOYING. She goes downright [[Film/TheMatrix Trinity]] when she's in a situation that's at all reasonable to handle herself.
-->'''Fiona:''' Hold the phone!
** She didn't stay because she was an unarmoured woman, she stayed because she wanted to. She could only find true love by being rescued.
** ''ShrekForeverAfter'' gives us an AlternateTimeline where Shrek never came. ''Fiona saved herself and became a resistance fighter.''
* Rapunzel from ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''.
* [[MsFanservice Princess Teegra]] from ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce''. Don't let the thong bikini fool you... With her getting captured isn't a matter of waiting for the hero, but a matter of seeing what clever scheme she concocts to escape ''this time''.
* Angel from ''RockAndRule''
* Esmeralda from ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''. When she is tied to a pyre, [[DirtyOldMan Claude Frollo]], who has {{lust}}ed for her since meeting her, offers to release her in exchange for becoming "his". She [[DefiantToTheEnd metaphorically]] - [[SpitefulSpit and literally]] - [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome spits on his offer]].
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'' has their depiction of Gwen Stacy, even when Oscorp is evacuated to deal with The Lizard, she stays behind despite Peter's insistence to leave to synthesize an antidote. She even makes a makeshift flamethrower out of an alcohol burner and a [[AerosolFlamethrower spray can]] to defend herself when The Lizard breaks into the building.
* ''Film/BatmanForever'' gave audiences Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), who could be seen as an AuthorsSavingThrow for the female leads in the two previous ''Batman'' films: a straight-up DistressedDamsel (Vicki Vale) and an ActionGirl who was nonetheless psychotic, emotionally weak, and pitiable (Selina Kyle/Catwoman). This becomes clear when Bruce Wayne pays her a visit and becomes concerned when he hears feminine gasps and grunts coming from her office. Thinking she's being attacked and finding the door locked, he kicks it in - only to find that Dr. Meridian was just practicing her boxing skills with a punching bag. (To compound Bruce's embarrassment, Chase then makes a sarcastic comment about how he'll now have to buy her a new door.) Later on, when she and Bruce are being attacked by Two-Face's gang, Chase punches out one of the {{Mooks}} when he tries to grab her - although she is then taken hostage mere moments later.
* In TheMovie of ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' (1992), we have Oliver Pike (Luke Perry) as a SpearCounterpart. While hardly a pacifist, Pike isn't much of a fighter or very athletic, so he has to be rescued more often than not. He's not completely useless, though: he eventually becomes competent enough to take care of himself when Buffy's not around to protect him, kills two vampires along the way (although, in true BadassBystander fashion, one of them is InTheBack), and even saves Buffy's life at one point [[SpannerInTheWorks (albeit unintentionally)]]. And he's eventually given his due when, on the night of Buffy's final confrontation with the BigBad, when Buffy has been [[AchillesInHisTent shirking her duties as the Slayer]] out of frustration after [[spoiler: the death of her mentor]], he uses his knife to [[CrazyPrepared whittle an entire sackful of stakes for her so she'll be ready to take on the vampires]] - and she grudgingly remarks that she's glad ''somebody'' has come prepared.
* A non-physical version in the fourth ''Film/DieHard'' movie. John has been running around killing bad guys, but they have his daughter, and put her on the radio to beg her father to give up. Instead she says "Now there are only four of them" before they can yank the radio away, giving him some much-needed intel.
* Lois Lane makes a return to this trope in ''ManOfSteel'', given her ActionSurvivor status. She gets into danger a lot, but usually she at least tries to fight her way out of it, and does rather well considering the people she's up against are nigh-invulnerable superpowered aliens. She's even able to [[spoiler: fight her way out of Zod's spacecraft using a Kryptonian gun, with some help from the [=AI=] Jor-El]].
* In the 1940 film ''My Little Chickadee'', MaeWest's gorgeous, [[CostumePorn fancily-dressed]] character, Flower Belle, is on a train when Indians attack. An arrow lands two feet from her, and she nonchalantly pulls it out of the wall, goes back to filing her nails... and when a second arrow hits, she responds by mowing them down with [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]] [[GunsAkimbo akimbo]] taken from a passenger [[KilledOffForReal who wasn't so lucky]] and a shotgun borrowed from the only other person defending the train... all while uttering one-liners in her signature alluring, devil-may-care voice.
-->'''Flower Belle:''' There he goes, [[LudicrousGibs in a shower of feathers!]]\\
'''Gunman:''' Nice shootin'!\\
'''Flower Belle:''' [[IBrokeANail I almost broke one of my fingernails.]]
:: Though it '''is''' a comedy film (starring W.C. Fields, no less), so ValuesDissonance may apply here -- the scene was probably meant to seem unrealistic.
* Diana Palmer, the main female character in the 1996 [[TheMovie film version]] of ''Film/ThePhantom''. She's not ''quite'' what we'd think of as an ActionGirl (she's not the main character, and does get kidnapped twice in the course of the story), but she is ''anything but'' weak and frightened. A wealthy treasure hunter with a taste for adventure in the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' mold (and, in fact, she's living in the late 1930s, just like Indiana), she also shares Indy's penchant for getting into sticky situations and then coolly working her way out of them, or at least playing more than a fleeting role in her own rescues. Even when the chips are down, it seems, Diana never gives her foes any satisfaction. When she's kidnapped for the first time, for instance, she is not scared but very angry: assuming she's being held for ransom, she declares that "you'll not get a red cent" from her family.
* Elizabeth Swann from ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' is like this in the first movie. In the second and third, she graduates to ActionGirl.
* There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'': If you look closely as they disembark from the submarine you'll notice that the Nazi soldier guarding Marian is heavily bandaged ''and'' he has an arm in a sling.
** Another Indiana Jones example in ''Film/TempleOfDoom''. While on the mine cart chase, a mook manages to down Indiana for a few seconds. Sick to death of being chased, Willie promptly slugs him so hard he goes flying off the cart.
*** Subverted in another portion, where Willie grabs a large constrictor snake and flings it away into the brush, thinking it's the trunk of the elephant that's been irritating her all evening.
* In the Live-Action version of ''Film/ScoobyDoo'', Daphne has a moment where she's being held and fights her way out by beating up the [[TooDumbToLive one guard that's supposed to guard her.]]
-->'''Daphnie:''' Who's the damsel in distress now?\\
'''Guard:''' ''(whimper)'' Me.\\
'''Daphne:''' [[PreAssKickingOneLiner Straight up.]] ''(knocks guard through a vent)''
* Sidney Prescott from the ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' series.
* ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'': What happens when Princess Vespa's hair is caught in enemy crossfire? She grabs a laser gun and mows those suckers down!
-->'''Barf:''' Not bad...for a ''girl''.\\
'''Dot:''' Hey, that was pretty good for {{Rambo}}!
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** Princess Leia in ''Film/ANewHope''. Luke and Han come to rescue her, the rescue doesn't quite work out, so she blasts a hole in the wall, proclaiming "''Somebody'' has to save our skins!" Not to mention, she did what she could to keep the secret of the rebel hideout and had lots of guts when facing Darth Vader. [[spoiler:Too bad Alderaan still got blown up despite her efforts.]]
*** And in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', [[PsychopathicManChild Jabba the Hutt]] takes Leia as a slave. Goodbye, Jabba.
** This trope is also in full force in any of Creator/BarbaraHambly's [[StarWarsExpandedUniverse expanded universe novels]]. Two things you can absolutely be sure of: 1. Leia will be kidnapped by the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villains of the Book]], and 2. She will make their lives ''[[PityTheKidnapper pure hell]]'' before skewering them with a lightsaber near the climax.
** Her own mother, Padme, was also like this in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones''. As she faces execution alongside Anakin and Obi-Wan, she gets out of her handcuffs ''before'' the two Jedi and begins fighting back!
* Dana in ''Film/TrueLies'' is in the end saved by her father, but before that, she steals the key that the terrorists need to detonate their nuclear bomb. Not bad for a fourteen-year-old.
* Mariko in ''Film/TheWolverine'', who got in a few hits on [[spoiler: her kidnappers and even one of Hanada's assassins in a chokehold.]]
** Not to mention she [[spoiler:saves Logan from Silver Samurai]].
* Elektra King in ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'' [[spoiler:escapes her kidnapper by shooting three men and then proceeds to manipulate her kidnapper into suffering reverse Stockholm syndrome going so far as to even die for her scheme.]]
* Modern versions of ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}'' often turn the heroine into this, subverting her original Princess Classic / Purity Sue characterization.
** Danielle of ''Film/EverAfter'' averts the "alas, I am but a pitiful female" personality pretty well throughout the movie, but TookALevelInBadass near the end when [[spoiler:Monsieur Le Pieu has essentially kidnapped her, and is getting rather creepy. She threatens him with a sword, and has quite successfully rescued herself by the time Henry arrives]]. That whole spiel she delivers during said scene was just a MomentOfAwesome. Also when she punched her wicked stepsister in the face.
** Ella, from ''Literature/EllaEnchanted''. Despite her [[BlessedWithSuck gift of obedience]], she manages to escape her [[BoardingSchoolOfHorrors Finishing School Of Horrors]] and then again from [[CharmPerson ogres]] who plan to eat her. Finally, she has to break her curse on the sheer strength of her love for Char, so she doesn't destroy his life by marrying him.
** Ella Brown from ''Just Ella'', who realizes being engaged to PrinceCharming isn't all it's cracked up to be, and ends up breaking herself out of a dungeon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Calynn, and possibly Aurora in ''LightNovel/GatheringTheEnchanted''. Sure, they look and act like damsels. But they both nearly kill someone in both of their first appearances.
* Escalla in Paul Kidd's trilogy ''White Plume Mountain'', ''Descent into the Depths of the Earth'', and ''Queen of the Demonweb Pits''. Sure, she gets captured a couple of times in the first book (once by the HERO, even), and gets her ass handed to her at one point in the last book, but mostly she's somebody you don't want to mess with. She's the one who [[spoiler:actually kills Lolth, the goddess of the Drow, permanently. That's right kiddies, she's a GODSLAYER.]] She finishes the last book by running an insane IndyPloy against a GOD to get her best girlfriend back from the afterlife.
--> Just because something's short doesn't mean it can't splay your lungs all over the grass.
* Aliena in ''Pillars of the Earth''. Plenty of distress for this damsel, but girl fights back. And even builds her own successful business from nothing.
* Zula in ''Literature/{{Reamde}}''.
* Any High Lady in the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is there at least in part on account of how unbelievably badass she is with Furycraft. Kitai keeps having to remind Tavi of this. [[spoiler:Even when she's pregnant. Bad. Ass.]]
* Murphy of the ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. She's five-nothing, petite, has earned her way to the head of a sub-department of cops known for its turnover rate, and works with Harry on a regular basis. She's chainsawed a demon, led more assaults than is entirely fair, it's implied that she's [[spoiler: a suitable candidate for being a Knight of the Cross]], has instagibbed a living god, has served as the mouthpiece of an Archangel, raided Arctis Tor with Harry... in fact, when she subverts this trope ''at all in any way'', it's because she's sending Harry a message that she's playing the part, and not actually cowed. Harry has a chivalrous rush-to-women's defense impulse. It nearly gets him killed a number of times. He does get a bit genre savvy, eventually.
* ''The SwordOfTruth''. Despite the latent mysogeny of, well, pretty much everyone in that world, the Confessors, Sister of the Light, Sisters of the Dark, Mord-Sith, various other magic-imbued women... lampshading this, Richard has to lose his protect-women impulse, because they're just as much a threat to his life as men.
* Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's heroines often have their moments, being brave and able to endure hardship, and sometimes even wading into the fray.
** Tara in ''[[JohnCarterOfMars The Chessmen of Mars]]'' fights off a rapist.
** Virginia in ''Literature/TheMonsterMen'' turns the machine on the attacking pirates; she and the elderly Chinese cook fight them off alone.
* Towards the end of ''[[Literature/BelisariusSeries In the Heart of Darkness]]'', Belisarius' wife Antonia realizes the Malwa spies she has been feeding (false) information to had decided to kill her and even works out how they would do so with maximum discretion, but what could a diminutive thirty-something ex-courtesan do with such knowledge? Try setting up a counter-ambush that leaves seven street thugs dead, one maimed, and one frightened soul keeping her at bay with a club as he screamed for backup.
* From Tolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Lúthien Tinúviel, an Elven princess who falls in love with the mortal Beren. When her father finds out, he sends Beren on an impossible quest and imprisons her. Time for her lover to rescue her? Not quite! She escapes by her own means (twice), then rescues Beren, who has also been imprisoned in the meantime... by none other than [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]], whom Lúthien defeats almost single-handedly. Then she helps Beren fulfill his quest (and does most of the work, really). It's interesting to note that Lúthien was a homage to Tolkien's wife, Edith Tolkien, while Beren was basically an AuthorAvatar.
* Ekaterin Vorsoisson of the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga''. She's a demure, ladylike young mom kidnapped by terrorists, who [[spoiler: hijacks a crane and smashes their superweapon to bits with it.]]
* Literature/TrappedOnDraconica: Princess Erowin looks and acts like TheIngenue, and she is, but she's no slouch at defending herself.
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Cira is kidnapped along with [[NonActionGuy Jerin]], and while he does the lockpicking necessary for their escape, she's the fighter.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', Menelaus explains that despite her hyperbolically feminine appearance and her profuse declarations of love and harmony, Oenoe is a member of the Nymph security forces. Though she would drink potions of forgetfulness after the fight -- to keep it from disturbing the hedonistic life -- she is unquestionably a veteran.
* In PoulAnderson's "Literature/TimeLag", Elva's position as prisoner does not prevent her weaseling concessions out of Bors, and at the end, she [[spoiler:casually orders them to take Bors into the corridors and shoot him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ComicBook/LoisLane in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[CaptainObvious obviously]], although it is more like something between GodModeSue and MemeticBadass due to being portrayed as a little ''too'' competent (though being the daughter of an army general could explain this to a degree). Also Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang to varying degrees.
** [[BadassNormal Tess Mercer]] could also qualify, though she usually gets herself out of trouble simply by being frequently alone without a team to back her up whenever she gets into trouble.
* Uhura of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' can be quite intimidating when she chooses -- one notable moment being when MirrorUniverse Sulu is [[HilariousInHindsight making advances]], and she pulls a dagger on him.
* Sam Carter, Vala Mal Doran, and Teyla Emmagan are some of the more obvious examples from the ''{{Franchise/Stargate|Verse}}'' franchise. However, let us not forget the other ladies. Such as Doc Langford, Doc Fraiser, and Elizabeth Weir; sure they're not trained in combat, but they can be just as {{Badass}}.
* Elena from ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''. She started off as a DamselInDistress most of the time, but now she is highly competent, tough and capable of defending herself, especially against the supernatural beings around her.
* ''WhiteCollar'': Elizabeth Burke, as of the season three midseason premiere. [[spoiler: She concocts a brilliant escape plan with nothing but a dog bite, thermostat, diamond ring, and some crazy chair swinging skills.]]
* In ''Series/DaiSentaiGoggleFive'', for some reason the enemy seems to love targeting [[TheChick Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink]] [[MonsterMisogyny to be attacked or sorts]], causing her allies to knock the attacker for her, and even worse, she isn't exactly one with the highest constitution as she was fatally wounded in earlier episode and got her capabilities as a warrior questioned. But on the other hand, she usually can take care of herself and even proves her smarts in outwitting the enemies (in the mentioned episode, despite being wounded, she still insisted on fighting anyway), culminating in a [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]] where she got off from a DeathTrap of a burning book... ''alone''.
* Guinevere from ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' probably has the highest amount of kidnappings and captures on the show, but (as actress Angel Coulby has said in interviews) is also the strongest emotionally. The writers have also admitted that [[OnlySaneMan she's got the most]] [[WomenAreWiser common sense.]] Her ability to keep her wits around her, whether by bluffing her captors or keeping track of what's happening on a battlefield, has kept her and others alive more than once.
** She's also the only person who notices [[spoiler:Morgana's]] PsychoticSmirk. And she doesn't stop there. The episodes were aired OutOfOrder, but if they had been aired in the original order, Gwen would have gone on to pursue the lead and uncover Morgana's magic. As it is, noticing the smirk is the last nail in the coffin.
* Djaq and Marian from ''Series/RobinHood''. Everyone on this show gets captured at least once; in their case they are rescued by friends and/or love interests, but ''not'' before making several nearly-successful attempts to escape on their own.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': River Tam spends a significant amount of time in [[DamselInDistress serious danger]], between the villagers threatening to burn her alive, Feds putting guns to her head, and the [[ThoseTwobadGuys Hands of Blue]]. But then [[TookALevelInBadass remembers]] [[WaifFu she]] [[SuperSoldier can]] [[PsychicPowers fight]] [[OneManArmy back.]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', quite a few companions fit this to varying degrees due to the fact that juggling the DistressBall is in the job description. Jo Grant is essentially this, lying in the middle between Damsel-in-Distress and Action Girl.
* Lily Bell from ''Series/HellOnWheels'' kills the Cheyenne warrior who killed her husband by stabbing him with the arrow that was stuck in her shoulder, then is able to trek over several mile and sew up her wound before getting rescued by Joseph Black Moon and Cullen Bohannon .
* [[PerkyGoth Abby]] the LabRat, from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', once she's at the bad guys' lair.
* If you are a villain in ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', ''do not kidnap Olivia Dunham''. The ''best'' case scenario is that she'll merely escape. Worst-case, she'll kill everyone involved on her way out the door. Specifically, do not attempt to use:
** Restraints. They don't work. Ever. Even her {{Alternate Universe}} version was able to escape while tied to a gurney. [[spoiler: Also while having her [[PregnantBadass pregnancy accelerated]].]]
** [[IHaveYourWife Captured family and friends]]. That will only [[spoiler: activate her [[PsychicPowers superpowers]].]] Then people die.
** [[spoiler: Locking her in an alternate universe and rewrite her brain to believe that she's her alternate universe self]]. No, she'll just [[spoiler: reconstruct her true mind, then teleport ''herself'' back to her universe, thus leaving herself with ''both'' Olivia's abilities.]]
* Laurel Lance from Series/{{Arrow}} would've avoided being kidnapped - she fought off two goons - if Cyrus Vance hadn't had a taser. Later in the series she pulls a shotgun on the assassin who comes after her and little boy she's protecting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Lampshaded in ''FraggleRock''. When Mokey is putting on a play with Red in the DistressedDamsel role and Gobo, who's supposed to rescue her, doesn't show up Red proposes a rewrite:
-->'''Red:''' Ha! I'll rescue myself!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Elaine Marley of the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series. She frequently needs rescuing from [=LeChuck=], but most other times, she can perfectly take care of herself. In fact, in the first game, Guybrush manages to inadvertently mess up her plan to destroy [=LeChuck=] by attempting to rescue her.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** Yuna from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the sweet, shy, innocent YamatoNadeshiko who gets kidnapped a couple of times... and is also a {{Guile Hero}}ine like no other. Heck, both times she gets captured lead to a [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]] on her part. Not to mention she TookALevelInBadass in the sequel.
** Tifa Lockhart from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is a shy TeamMom who CannotSpitItOut. She's also a brutally effective martial artist and BadassNormal who's arguably TheBigGuy of Cloud's group. One could argue that Aeris/Aerith Gainsborough is one as well. She gets kidnapped a few times, but she can smack talk with the best of them, and is ultimately the only real threat to Sephiroth's lunatic EvilPlan.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', Rinoa spends a significant part of the game in danger in one form or another. When she's ''not'' being kidnapped, captured, or hanging for dear life from a cliff, she's actually a quite powerful party member with some strong {{Limit Break}}s. Then, late in the game, she [[spoiler: becomes a Sorceress]] and pretty much transforms into a walking GameBreaker.
* Colette Brunel from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' is also sweet, ditzy, frail, and gets whacked with a DistressBall more than once. She's also a GlassCannon who can pull off some lovely combos in battle, and even fights back against DarkActionGirl Pronyma when she tries to kidnap her.
* Estelle from ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''. A [[FriendToAllLivingThings gentle]], noble personality and [[SpoiledSweet sweet but sheltered]] disposition, light pink hair AND the party healer? You'd never expect her to ''also'' be an ActionGirl, and with such [[PluckyGirl willpower]] she's willing to [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething abandon her comfy life in the castle just to travel the world and help anyone in danger]].
* GenderFlipped in ''VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice'' with Almaz and Princess Sapphire. He might be able to hold his own as a swordsman, but he's still been made Mao's slave, is slowly turning into a demon and is generally in over his head. The Princess is, however, [[ChainsawGood rather]] [[AnAxeToGrind protective]] [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend of him]].
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Princess Peach. Despite being the most famous DistressedDamsel in video games, she's been proving herself capable in combat since ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2''.
* Princess Zelda is probably second only to Peach in the "getting kidnapped by the BigBad" department, but she's proved herself more than capable of kicking ass in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks''. She even has one ass-kicking moment in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', and in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' she manages to do quite a journey all by herself. Although the latter happens off-screen. Not to mention that she's been doing this since the original ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda''! She was able to elude Ganon and shatter the Triforce of Wisdom and secure each piece all across Hyrule in dungeons that are difficult to traverse even with an arsenal of weapons and tools. She does this without any help from you and only ''after'' she finishes does she get captured by Ganon. Badass Damsel indeed.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem''
** Princess Lilina of Ostia from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem 6]]'' starts as this, as you find her locked in a room of her own castle. As soon as Roy meets up with her, though, he hands Lilina a Thunder tome and tells her to fight with him... and she does so without any hesitation. It gets even better when she's promoted into Sage, then she can potentially become the most powerful magic user of the whole game.
** Princess Tana of Frelia serves a similar role in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' (although she only starts out captured in Ephraim's route), and like Lilina, she's the best in her class (in this case, Falconknight/Wyvern Knight, although on the latter she might have competition from Cormag for that title).
** Nanna of Nodion from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'' also keeps her cool when she and her friend Mareeta are kidnapped, to the point of openly telling Leaf to not give himself up to the Empire when in a HostageSituation. When freed, she joins the group to be their mounted WhiteMagicianGirl, and can upgrade to a LadyOfWar.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** When Commander Shepard first meets [[HotScientist Liara T'Soni]], she's completely immobilized and pleading for help. Then you recruit her, and she starts crushing huge robots [[MindOverMatter with her mind]]. Then in the sequel, [[spoiler:she fights through a WretchedHive to save you, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome EVEN AFTER YOU'RE DEAD]].]]
** Shepard also finds the other female squadmates in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', Ashley and Tali, in conditions of substantial distress, but they're still entirely badass. Ashley is possibly the most combat capable squadmate you have, and you rescue her after the rest of her squad has been wiped out by alien robots. Tali can do some serious damage in combat with her tech abilities, after you rescue her from being betrayed by the galaxy's most powerful information broker. In fact, when you rescue Tali, the first thing she does upon realizing she's in trouble is to [[NotSoHarmless chuck a hand grenade]] at the bad guys and dive for cover.
*** Tali and Ashley (if she survived the first game) both have to be rescued ''again'' in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' (Tali from the geth again, and Ashley from the Collector raid on Horizon).
** From ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Eve full stop. The mission she's introduced in, she spends the entire time in containment with you escorting her and Mordin/Padok through numerous Cerberus assaults. When Wrex/Wreav gets her out of containment, the first thing she sees is two Cerberus troopers running at them. Without even hesitating she pulls the shotgun out of Wrex/Wreav's hands and blows them both away, [[FiringOneHanded with one hand]].
-->'''Eve:''' I can handle myself, Wrex.\\
'''Wrex:''' ''({{beat}})'' Women.
*** That scene's even better if you're playing as [=FemShep=], who looks suspiciously like she's trying not to laugh.
** Liara's introduction in the third game sets her up for needing another rescue, [[AirVentEscape scrambling through air vents]] being persued by two Cerberus troopers. Then she exits the vents, traps the troopers [[MindOverMatter with a Singularity]], and [[CoupDeGrace double-taps both of them.]]
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': There's also Bastila, who takes a while to lose the DistressBall, but when she does? Overrides a neural disruptor, kills her guard, uses telekenesis to break her way out of the cage and helps mop up whatever Vulkars are dumb enough to hang around after that using the dead mook's double-bladed sword.
* Siskier of ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion'' is extremely devoted to Garlot, has a terrible fear of heights, and is generally cute and perky with a bleeding heart. She's also a scarily competent shot with her crossbow, has an uncanny ability to sense the presence of enemies, and gets hit with the DistressBall exactly once in the whole of the game.
* In ''EscapeFromHorrorland'', Lizzie gets captured twice, but is still one of the bravest of the characters and is the one devising and setting all the traps and leading the way in the game.
* [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle]] pulls this trope off again in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' when Xaldin kidnaps her and the rose, and forces Beast to [[SadisticChoice choose]]. [[spoiler: She elbows [[ThatOneBoss Xaldin]] in the gut and [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome grabs the rose before running back.]]]]
** Kairi as well, as she [[DamselInDistress sees herself in danger often]], but [[TookALevelInBadass is perfectly willing to fight it with or without a weapon]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}''
** Rise Kujikawa from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', TheChick of the FiveManBand, is the one who needs less time to rest and recover after the battle against her Shadow, and [[spoiler: immediately takes Teddie's MissionControl spot with her Persona, Himiko.]]
** In a similar case, Fuuka Yamagishi from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', pre-getting her Persona, manages to survive several days being stuck in Tartarus avoiding Shadows, and then awakens to her Persona (Lucia) and like Rise, [[spoiler: she and Lucia immediately take over as MissionControl.]]
* Callo Merlose from ''VagrantStory''. She's kidnapped just before the first boss, and remains captive for the entire game; since she's there to investigate the antagonists anyway, she takes advantage of this situation to learn as much as she can. On one occasion she almost entirely reverses the power balance between herself and her captor. Heck, when she's first kidnapped, she straight up ''tells'' Ashley to stay on task and not bother about rescuing her!
* Cassima from ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVI'' spends most of the game [[GirlInTheTower locked up in the tower]], but [[KnifeNut give her a dagger...]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the ''player'' will be one if they choose the female city-elf origin. Seriously, those corpses weren't there last night were they? [[spoiler:And any ''other'' female character gets a chance to play at the trope if they get captured near the end. Sure, you can get rescued, but it's totally plausible to just rescue yourself.]]
* Elena and Chloe from ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}''.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', a dwarf named Fanny Thundermar is captured by ogres during an Alliance-side quest chain in the Twilight Highlands. When you go to rescue her, you find her [[PintSizedPowerhouse surrounded by dead ogres]] who had [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty tried to cop a feel]]. And her prospective husband is [[AmazonChaser very impressed.]]
** Jaina Proudmoore has one of these moments in the Fall of Theramore scenario. Your objective is to rescue her in the crater made by the mana bomb dropped by the Horde. When you find her she's surrounded by the dead, frozen corpses of numerous Horde soldiers and attempting to disarm the bomb so it can't be used again.
* Hiyoko Tousaka, who is capable of throwing two {{Love Interest}}s out of a window at once, becomes the "PluckyGirl catches a DistressBall" version in the "Bad Boys Love" route of ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend''. How distressed? [[spoiler: The route is triggered by [[DecoyProtagonist her dying horribly]].]] Does this stop her from saving the day? ''Nah.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/ThistilMistilKistil'', Hedda is less brash than the usual version. Nevertheless, after being drugged, [[http://tmkcomic.depleti.com/comic/ch05-pg16/ she overpowers two grown men]] to escape HumanSacrifice.
* One of the most well-known strips of ''Webcomic/SuperStupor'' shows a supervillain trying to [[StuffedIntoTheFridge stuff a hero's non-powered girlfriend into the fridge]]. He winds up begging for mercy, and she ''still'' stuffs his hand down a garbage disposal.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erstwhile}}'', [[http://www.erstwhiletales.com/maidmaleen-07/#.T290zNm6SuI when Maid Maleen realizes that they will not be let out, she determines that they must get out on their own.]]
* [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100319 Lampshaded]] in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' - nobody else was stupid enough to try and kidnap a professional hero's angry sister.
** Agatha herself, particularly earlier in the comics before she TookALevelInBadass. While she wasn't too capable in a fight, given some time and parts to work with, she could cobble together all sorts of contraptions to help herself escape with.
** Agatha still runs into problems after TookALevelInBadass. It just results in a lot of pain and misery for anyone stupid enough to try and turn her into a DistressedDamsel. Case in Point: [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130503 Tweedle]]. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130515 Poor Tweedle]]. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130605 Oh God, Tweedle]]. He thought kidnapping and subduing the Heterodyne Girl for his plot would be easy, apparently. He thought wrong.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' there is one episode where Superman is being beaten by {{Lobo}}, Lois Lane shows up, grabs a metal rod and joins in the attack. True this does nothing and the guy even eats the pipe, but it's the thought that counts.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short ''TheDoverBoys'', Dora Standpipe beats up the villainous Dan Backslide ''as'' she calls for help. By the end it's Backslide who calls for help.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Rarity is one of the [[GirlyGirl girliest]] ponies on the show, a prissy fashion designer with an extreme dislike for physical work, dirt or getting her mane even slightly mussed. Put her in a fight however and she doesn't [[GuileHero handle herself too badly]]. This is best shown in the episode [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW9PSHRfe1M "A Dog and Pony Show"]], where she gets captured by a group of dogs who want her to dig up gems for them by hoof. She spends the rest of the episode driving her [[PityTheKidnapper ponynappers insane]] in a calculated manner with constant nit-picking, complaining, and the [[MostAnnoyingSound worst whining sound you will ever hear.]] When our heroes finally reach the ponynappers, they are more than happy to let her go. In the second episode of the series, Rarity is the first one to be attacked when the group is confronted by an angry manticore; she dodges in a flash and leaps back to kick it in the face. Later episodes show that she's willing to stand up to and threaten teenage ''dragons'', and do a fine job against changelings in the season 2 finale.
** Fluttershy also counts here, another girly pony (in fact, Rarity's best friend), a FriendToAllLivingThings, [[HiddenDepths has some fashion knowledge herself]], [[ApologisesALot apologetic]], very polite, and recognized in-universe as graceful. She has tamed monsters like the aforementioned manticore, a cockatrice, a dragon, and Cerberus himself, and the list only keeps getting more impressive even after that.
* Princess Zelda from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda'' animated series actually preceded all the above-mentioned game installments in this department. There were more episodes featuring her battling alongside Link wielding [[ArcherArchetype a bow and arrow]] than there were of Link rescuing her -- and she actually had to save him in one.
* One appears in the obscure {{Disney}} feature ''Mars & Beyond'' as part of an outline of how Mars is depicted in pop culture. After being kidnapped because MarsNeedsWomen, her reaction upon meeting the martian behind her abduction is to kick him in the mouth. After enduring a series of nightmarish tests, she escapes on her own, hijacks a saucer and flies back home -- all without her egghead boss noticing she was missing in the first place!
* MinnieMouse is sometimes portrayed like this, particularly in the 1933 short ''Building a Building''" and the 1995 short ''RunawayBrain''.
* Roll from the ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon gets captured a couple times, but usually manages to make trouble for her captors—and she's an ActionGirl in combat.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' has [[LoveInterest Dana]] [[SpoiledSweet Tan]]; the few times she ends up as the DamselInDistress for more than a minute, she fights back. When kidnapped by a StalkerWithACrush, she tricks him into leaving her alone and tries to escape through the sewers. When Batman is overcome by giant rats while rescuing her, she [[ImprovisedWeapon creates a torch out of flotsam lying around]] and successfully drives the rats off of him. In TheMovie, she almost gets away from the Joker who grabs her; unfortunately, she gives him so much trouble [[spoiler:that instead of kidnapping her, nearly kills her by throwing off the balcony]].
[[/folder]]

----
[[redirect:DamselOutOfDistress]]
14th Oct '13 5:51:37 PM Sackett
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->''"Um... um... Die!"''
-->-- '''[[ThePollyanna Colette Brunel]]''', ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''
14th Oct '13 5:51:04 PM Sackett
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->''" Harkye, miscreant, you have secured me, and I am your poor prisoner; but if you think I cannot take care of myself, youu are very much mistaken. Now then, it's one to one, and let the best man win!"''

to:

->''" Harkye, miscreant, you have secured me, and I am your poor prisoner; but if you think I cannot take care of myself, youu you are very much mistaken. Now then, it's one to one, and let the best man win!"''



You know the DamselInDistress. She's [[TheIngenue sweet, innocent, demure, beautiful, submissive, virginal]], and serves as TheHero's DesignatedLoveInterest, destined to [[DistressBall get kidnapped to create drama.]] And usually [[NeutralFemale do nothing else but to stand around mindlessly]] waiting for the big, strong macho-man to pull a BigDamnHeroes and rescue her from this vile realm of torment.

[[DefiedTrope NAAAAHHHH]].

A female character who seems like a damsel in distress, and might even ''be'' one, but is still {{Badass}} enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]]. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of TheIngenue yet also has a {{BFG}} on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a PluckyGirl of epic proportions who gets handed a DistressBall. Or, alternatively, she may ''never'' get kidnapped, and could be a genuine ActionGirl, but simply doesn't have the tomboyish, athletic appearance and attitude that most people picture when they think of an ActionGirl. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get whacked with a DistressBall [[BadassInDistress every now and again]], but blast it all, she's got backbone.

Can overlap with RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap, if the girl in question was disliked by the fandom before her CMOA. Can also be a cross between ActionGirl and ProperLady or TheIngenue. Almost AlwaysFemale, and pretty much always a PluckyGirl. Be careful, however: this trope may be stretched to the point of dictating that [[UnfortunateImplications a non-fighting woman has to]] ''[[UnfortunateImplications apologize and make up to others for not being an Action Girl]]''; being kidnapped and possibly subjected to torture/coercion/rape/etc. is already bad enough, so there's no need to mock or devalue someone else's trauma via having them "make up" and "compensate" for what happened.

Compare (as said above) PluckyGirl who as the same spunk but different personality, BadassPrincess which tosses aside the DD requirement for AssKickingEqualsAuthority, LadyOfWar for a skillful and graceful fighter, SilkHidingSteel this trope prime and proper relative, {{Xenafication}} for inexplicable [[TookALevelInBadass badass leveling up]], DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel who enjoys the damsel aspect, and DecoyDamsel for an ActionGirl who pretends to be a DamselInDistress for her own benefit.

to:

You know Rejecting the DamselInDistress. She's [[TheIngenue sweet, innocent, demure, beautiful, submissive, virginal]], and serves as TheHero's DesignatedLoveInterest, destined to [[DistressBall get kidnapped to create drama.]] And usually [[NeutralFemale do nothing else but to stand around mindlessly]] waiting for the big, strong macho-man to pull a BigDamnHeroes and rescue her from traditional DamselInDistress routine, this vile realm of torment.

[[DefiedTrope NAAAAHHHH]].

A female character who seems like a
damsel in distress, and might even ''be'' one, but is still {{Badass}} enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]]. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of TheIngenue yet also has a {{BFG}} on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a PluckyGirl of epic proportions who gets handed a DistressBall. Or, alternatively, she may ''never'' get kidnapped, and could be a genuine ActionGirl, but simply doesn't have the tomboyish, athletic appearance and attitude that most people picture wait for a hero to rescue her. She can take care of herself, thank you very much. Basically this trope occurs when they think of an ActionGirl. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get whacked with a DistressBall [[BadassInDistress every now and again]], but blast it all, she's got backbone.

Can overlap with RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap, if
the girl in question was disliked by the fandom damsel escapes on her own, or at least makes significant progress towards it before her CMOA. Can also be a cross between ActionGirl and ProperLady or TheIngenue. the hero can find her.

Almost AlwaysFemale, and pretty much always usually a PluckyGirl. Be careful, however: this trope may be stretched to the point of dictating that [[UnfortunateImplications a non-fighting woman has to]] ''[[UnfortunateImplications apologize and make up to others for not being an Action Girl]]''; being kidnapped and possibly subjected to torture/coercion/rape/etc. is already bad enough, so there's no need to mock or devalue someone else's trauma via having them "make up" and "compensate" for what happened.

PluckyGirl.

Compare (as said above) PluckyGirl who as the same spunk but different personality, BadassPrincess which tosses aside the DD requirement for AssKickingEqualsAuthority, with BadassPrincess, LadyOfWar for a skillful and graceful fighter, SilkHidingSteel this trope prime and proper relative, {{Xenafication}} for inexplicable [[TookALevelInBadass badass leveling up]], DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel who enjoys the damsel aspect, and DecoyDamsel for an ActionGirl who pretends to be a DamselInDistress for her own benefit.
10th Oct '13 9:09:40 AM Greenygal
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** This trope is also in full force in any of [[StarWarsExpandedUniverse Barbara Hambly's novels]]. Two things you can absolutely be sure of: 1. Leia will be kidnapped by the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villains of the Book]], and 2. She will make their lives ''[[PityTheKidnapper pure hell]]'' before skewering them with a lightsaber near the climax.

to:

** This trope is also in full force in any of Creator/BarbaraHambly's [[StarWarsExpandedUniverse Barbara Hambly's expanded universe novels]]. Two things you can absolutely be sure of: 1. Leia will be kidnapped by the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villains of the Book]], and 2. She will make their lives ''[[PityTheKidnapper pure hell]]'' before skewering them with a lightsaber near the climax.
5th Oct '13 3:02:48 PM VampiricPotato
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* Calynn, and possibly Aurora in ''GatheringTheEnchanted''. Sure, they look and act like damsels. But they both nearly kill someone in both of their first appearances.

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* Calynn, and possibly Aurora in ''GatheringTheEnchanted''.''LightNovel/GatheringTheEnchanted''. Sure, they look and act like damsels. But they both nearly kill someone in both of their first appearances.
5th Oct '13 3:01:58 PM VampiricPotato
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Added DiffLines:

* Calynn, and possibly Aurora in ''GatheringTheEnchanted''. Sure, they look and act like damsels. But they both nearly kill someone in both of their first appearances.
19th Sep '13 6:51:17 AM ChaoticNovelist
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[[SubvertedTrope NAAAAHHHH]].

This trope subverts the DamselInDistress routine so hard it's not even funny. A female character who seems like a damsel in distress, and might even ''be'' one, but is still {{Badass}} enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]]. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of TheIngenue yet also has a {{BFG}} on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a PluckyGirl of epic proportions who gets handed a DistressBall. Or, alternatively, she may ''never'' get kidnapped, and could be a genuine ActionGirl, but simply doesn't have the tomboyish, athletic appearance and attitude that most people picture when they think of an ActionGirl. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get whacked with a DistressBall [[BadassInDistress every now and again]], but blast it all, she's got backbone.

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[[SubvertedTrope [[DefiedTrope NAAAAHHHH]].

This trope subverts the DamselInDistress routine so hard it's not even funny. A female character who seems like a damsel in distress, and might even ''be'' one, but is still {{Badass}} enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]]. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of TheIngenue yet also has a {{BFG}} on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a PluckyGirl of epic proportions who gets handed a DistressBall. Or, alternatively, she may ''never'' get kidnapped, and could be a genuine ActionGirl, but simply doesn't have the tomboyish, athletic appearance and attitude that most people picture when they think of an ActionGirl. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get whacked with a DistressBall [[BadassInDistress every now and again]], but blast it all, she's got backbone.
3rd Sep '13 10:00:09 AM maedar
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** Anzu Mazaki from ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' also pulled this more than once, specially when [[spoiler: she frees Mokuba from Malik's henchmen at the cost of her own safety. In return, Kaiba himself saves her later]]. She is not that bad of a duelist either; beating Mai and the Penguin dude from the Big 5, and at the start of the series beat Joey 5 times in a row.

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** Anzu Mazaki from ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' also pulled this more than once, specially when [[spoiler: she frees Mokuba from Malik's henchmen at the cost of her own safety. In return, Kaiba himself saves her later]]. She is not that bad of a duelist either; beating Mai and the Penguin dude Otaki from the Big 5, and at the start of the series beat Joey 5 five times in a row.row.
*** Although, [[spoiler:Mai let her win, because she was impressed with her tenacity and loyalty to Yugi (who suspected at first that her set card was Harpie's Feather Duster - and it was - which she could have used to win the duel, but did not.]]
2nd Sep '13 6:11:16 AM JIKTV
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[[quoteright:350:[[LoisLane http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheManOfSteel04-14_copy_2_8937.jpg]]]]

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[[quoteright:350:[[LoisLane [[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/LoisLane http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheManOfSteel04-14_copy_2_8937.jpg]]]]



This trope subverts the DamselInDistress routine so hard it's not even funny. A female character who seems like a damsel in distress, and might even ''be'' one, but is still {{Badass}} enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic CrowningMomentOfAwesome. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of TheIngenue yet also has a {{BFG}} on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a PluckyGirl of epic proportions who gets handed a DistressBall. Or, alternatively, she may ''never'' get kidnapped, and could be a genuine ActionGirl, but simply doesn't have the tomboyish, athletic appearance and attitude that most people picture when they think of an ActionGirl. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get whacked with a DistressBall [[BadassInDistress every now and again]], but blast it all, she's got backbone.

to:

This trope subverts the DamselInDistress routine so hard it's not even funny. A female character who seems like a damsel in distress, and might even ''be'' one, but is still {{Badass}} enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic CrowningMomentOfAwesome.[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]]. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of TheIngenue yet also has a {{BFG}} on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a PluckyGirl of epic proportions who gets handed a DistressBall. Or, alternatively, she may ''never'' get kidnapped, and could be a genuine ActionGirl, but simply doesn't have the tomboyish, athletic appearance and attitude that most people picture when they think of an ActionGirl. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get whacked with a DistressBall [[BadassInDistress every now and again]], but blast it all, she's got backbone.



* As of chapter 57 of ''Manga/BlackButler'', [[DistressedDamsel Elizabeth]] [[DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel Middleford]] turned out to be a [[BadassAdorable quintessential example]] of this trope, proving just how much she deserves the [[BadassFamily Middleford title]] [[spoiler:by initially trying to hide her badass side and doing a very good job of it due to the fact that she didn't want Ciel to see her [[CuteBruiser "uncute"]] side, and then finally when Ciel despite his best efforts ends up [[DistressedDude injured and unable to save her]] Elizabeth [[WaifFu leaps into the air]] and [[LittleMissBadass stabs down]] the zombies with [[DualWielding swords in both hands]]. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "This time, I will protect you!"]] [[KnightInShiningArmor Indeed]].]] [[spoiler:[[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/28/ Oh]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/31/ so]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/33/ much]].]]

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* As of chapter 57 of ''Manga/BlackButler'', [[DistressedDamsel Elizabeth]] [[DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel Middleford]] turned out to be a [[BadassAdorable quintessential example]] of this trope, proving just how much she deserves the [[BadassFamily Middleford title]] [[spoiler:by initially trying to hide her badass side and doing a very good job of it due to the fact that she didn't want Ciel to see her [[CuteBruiser "uncute"]] side, and then finally when Ciel despite his best efforts ends up [[DistressedDude injured and unable to save her]] Elizabeth [[WaifFu leaps into the air]] and [[LittleMissBadass stabs down]] the zombies with [[DualWielding swords in both hands]]. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome "This time, I will protect you!"]] [[KnightInShiningArmor Indeed]].]] [[spoiler:[[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/28/ Oh]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/31/ so]]. [[http://www.kuroshitsujimanga.com/57/33/ much]].]]



* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''. LoisLane, the PostCrisis (1987) incarnation anyway. This is a woman who gets caught by villains all the frickin' time, but only because she's GenreSavvy enough to know that if she does so, she'll not only get the scoop on the front page story, but also somehow survive to write it. And not just by getting rescued -- if Superman doesn't know/is depowered/is busy, she'll pretend to fall in love with the drug lord who captured her, then blast herself out of their wedding, veil, gown, and all, with a {{Mook}}'s stolen machine gun.

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* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''. LoisLane, ComicBook/LoisLane, the PostCrisis (1987) incarnation anyway. This is a woman who gets caught by villains all the frickin' time, but only because she's GenreSavvy enough to know that if she does so, she'll not only get the scoop on the front page story, but also somehow survive to write it. And not just by getting rescued -- if Superman doesn't know/is depowered/is busy, she'll pretend to fall in love with the drug lord who captured her, then blast herself out of their wedding, veil, gown, and all, with a {{Mook}}'s stolen machine gun.



* Esmeralda from ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''. When she is tied to a pyre, [[DirtyOldMan Claude Frollo]], who has {{lust}}ed for her since meeting her, offers to release her in exchange for becoming "his". She [[DefiantToTheEnd metaphorically]] - [[SpitefulSpit and literally]] - [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome spits on his offer]].

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* Esmeralda from ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''. When she is tied to a pyre, [[DirtyOldMan Claude Frollo]], who has {{lust}}ed for her since meeting her, offers to release her in exchange for becoming "his". She [[DefiantToTheEnd metaphorically]] - [[SpitefulSpit and literally]] - [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome spits on his offer]].



* LoisLane in ''{{Smallville}}'', [[CaptainObvious obviously]], although it is more like something between GodModeSue and MemeticBadass due to being portrayed as a little ''too'' competent (though being the daughter of an army general could explain this to a degree). Also Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang to varying degrees.

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* LoisLane ComicBook/LoisLane in ''{{Smallville}}'', ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[CaptainObvious obviously]], although it is more like something between GodModeSue and MemeticBadass due to being portrayed as a little ''too'' competent (though being the daughter of an army general could explain this to a degree). Also Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang to varying degrees.



* In ''Series/DaiSentaiGoggleFive'', for some reason the enemy seems to love targeting [[TheChick Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink]] [[MonsterMisogyny to be attacked or sorts]], causing her allies to knock the attacker for her, and even worse, she isn't exactly one with the highest constitution as she was fatally wounded in earlier episode and got her capabilities as a warrior questioned. But on the other hand, she usually can take care of herself and even proves her smarts in outwitting the enemies (in the mentioned episode, despite being wounded, she still insisted on fighting anyway), culminating in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome where she got off from a DeathTrap of a burning book... ''alone''.

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* In ''Series/DaiSentaiGoggleFive'', for some reason the enemy seems to love targeting [[TheChick Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink]] [[MonsterMisogyny to be attacked or sorts]], causing her allies to knock the attacker for her, and even worse, she isn't exactly one with the highest constitution as she was fatally wounded in earlier episode and got her capabilities as a warrior questioned. But on the other hand, she usually can take care of herself and even proves her smarts in outwitting the enemies (in the mentioned episode, despite being wounded, she still insisted on fighting anyway), culminating in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]] where she got off from a DeathTrap of a burning book... ''alone''.



** Yuna from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the sweet, shy, innocent YamatoNadeshiko who gets kidnapped a couple of times... and is also a {{Guile Hero}}ine like no other. Heck, both times she gets captured lead to a CrowningMomentOfAwesome on her part. Not to mention she TookALevelInBadass in the sequel.

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** Yuna from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the sweet, shy, innocent YamatoNadeshiko who gets kidnapped a couple of times... and is also a {{Guile Hero}}ine like no other. Heck, both times she gets captured lead to a CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment Of Awesome]] on her part. Not to mention she TookALevelInBadass in the sequel.



** When Commander Shepard first meets [[HotScientist Liara T'Soni]], she's completely immobilized and pleading for help. Then you recruit her, and she starts crushing huge robots [[MindOverMatter with her mind]]. Then in the sequel, [[spoiler:she fights through a WretchedHive to save you, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome EVEN AFTER YOU'RE DEAD]].]]

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** When Commander Shepard first meets [[HotScientist Liara T'Soni]], she's completely immobilized and pleading for help. Then you recruit her, and she starts crushing huge robots [[MindOverMatter with her mind]]. Then in the sequel, [[spoiler:she fights through a WretchedHive to save you, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome EVEN AFTER YOU'RE DEAD]].]]



* [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle]] pulls this trope off again in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' when Xaldin kidnaps her and the rose, and forces Beast to [[SadisticChoice choose]]. [[spoiler: She elbows [[ThatOneBoss Xaldin]] in the gut and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome grabs the rose before running back.]]]]

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* [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle]] pulls this trope off again in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' when Xaldin kidnaps her and the rose, and forces Beast to [[SadisticChoice choose]]. [[spoiler: She elbows [[ThatOneBoss Xaldin]] in the gut and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome grabs the rose before running back.]]]]
2nd Sep '13 6:07:18 AM JIKTV
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* Nia Teppelin of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' will tell you she's not going to die. To your face. [[BadassDamsel While you're shoving a pistol into her forehead. Or about to snap her in half with your claws. Or about to dematerialize her.]] She may not be able to fight you, but she ''will'' tell you to fuck off ([[{{Keigo}} only very]] [[IFeelAngry politely]]), because Simon's on his way, and that's a wave of pain you don't want to happen.

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* Nia Teppelin of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' will tell you she's not going to die. To your face. [[BadassDamsel While you're shoving a pistol into her forehead. Or about to snap her in half with your claws. Or about to dematerialize her.]] She may not be able to fight you, but she ''will'' tell you to fuck off ([[{{Keigo}} only very]] [[IFeelAngry politely]]), because Simon's on his way, and that's a wave of pain you don't want to happen.



* From Tolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Lúthien Tinúviel, an Elven princess who falls in love with the mortal Beren. When her father finds out, he sends Beren on an impossible quest and imprisons her. Time for her lover to rescue her? Not quite! She escapes by her own means (twice), then rescues Beren, who has also been imprisoned in the meantime... by none other than [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]], whom Lúthien defeats almost single-handedly. Then she helps Beren fulfill his quest (and does most of the work, really). It's interesting to note that Lúthien was a homage to Tolkien's wife, Edith Tolkien, while Beren was basically an Author Avatar.

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* From Tolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Lúthien Tinúviel, an Elven princess who falls in love with the mortal Beren. When her father finds out, he sends Beren on an impossible quest and imprisons her. Time for her lover to rescue her? Not quite! She escapes by her own means (twice), then rescues Beren, who has also been imprisoned in the meantime... by none other than [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]], whom Lúthien defeats almost single-handedly. Then she helps Beren fulfill his quest (and does most of the work, really). It's interesting to note that Lúthien was a homage to Tolkien's wife, Edith Tolkien, while Beren was basically an Author Avatar.AuthorAvatar.
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