Created By: Doubledome on June 27, 2011 Last Edited By: Tambov333 on November 19, 2011

Designated Distressed Damsel

A character that ends up in the captivity of the enemy a very large number of times.

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Trope
This is what happens when a character becomes the Distressed Damsel over and over and over again. A Poorly Secured Princess is basically a character that is captured time after time.

Likely, this is the cause of The Hero's Journey. The Poorly Secured Princess is most likely a Neutral Female, although it can be any type of character that is always being captured.

This might just be because Big Bad is constantly taking the captured character for manipulative purposes, but is frequently just because the character is Too Dumb to Live.

Examples:
  • The most obvious one is Princess Peach from the Super Mario Bros. games. You know it's bad when it's easier to count the number of games she hasn't been captured.
  • Mary Jane from the Spider-Man Movies gets captured by the Green Goblin, Dr Octopus, Harry, and Venom and is pretty much the whole reason the climax of the movies happen.
  • Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean for sure.
  • Robin is always getting caught somehow and even got killed once from it
  • In the Wheel of Time series, Rand is captured at least twice (Lord of Chaos and Winter's Heart). Though that is not as common as the examples listed above, it is quite common in comparison with the fact Rand is a strong channeler, a blademaster, a martial artist, and has tens of thousands of soldiers including a personal bodyguard of several thousand women, and by book nine even commands Aes Sedai and Asha'man.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • June 27, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Fixed your formatting for you.

    • Mokuba from Yu Gi Oh. It's even lampshaded in the abridged series with a Mokuba kidnap-count. Hell, the show even played off it by having a princess that looked exactly like Mokuba in the in-universe virtual video game everyone went into (whereupon Mokuba switched places with the princess and was kidnapped for like the third time!)
  • June 27, 2011
    MetaFour
    • Princess Elise only appears in a single game--Sonic The Hedgehog 2006--yet she managed to get captured, rescued, and recaptured three times. That's more than any of the series regulars did.
  • June 27, 2011
    Aielyn
    Poorly Protected Princess, for Alliterative purposes?
  • June 28, 2011
    Arivne
  • June 28, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Don't some of the female characters in The Wheel Of Time have a habit of being captured, or is it just that they all get captured only once but get captured at different times? I lost track.
  • June 28, 2011
    Aielyn
    Auxdarastrix - There's been a few cases where female characters have gotten captured in The Wheel Of Time, in different ways. Most of the time, though, they manage to get themselves out of any situation (on their own, or with help from minor nearby characters), with the few exceptions usually involving Mat rescuing Nynaeve and Elayne.

    In most of the cases, where characters are captured, it only lasts a short time. I don't think any of them are captured often enough to make it into an example of this trope.
  • June 28, 2011
    MiinU
    Video Games

    May as well add Zelda to the list as she's repeatedly Hijacked By Ganon.
  • June 28, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Name implies security sucks, when this trope involves characters with no personal security.

    Perpetual Kidnap Victim?
  • June 28, 2011
    deuxhero
  • June 29, 2011
    jcdietz03
    In Fat Princess for PS 3, the titular princesses.
  • June 29, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    Damsel Scrappy is when such a character is Too Dumb To Live, and is hated as such.
  • June 29, 2011
    Hadashi
  • June 29, 2011
    Bisected8
  • June 29, 2011
    Aielyn
    Hadashi - works better as Serial Damsel.
  • June 30, 2011
    MetaFour
    "May as well add Zelda to the list as she's repeatedly Hijacked By Ganon."

    First, it's not the same Zelda or Link between most of the games. They're set centuries apart and Generation Xerox is in effect.

    Second, that's not what Hijacked By Ganon means.
  • June 30, 2011
    MiinU
    ^^I'm aware. I was using Hijacked by Ganon as a pun.

    Also, it's been suggested that Link and Zelda reincatnate with each game, supported by the story in Wind Waker where Ganondorf outright states that the Link in that game was in fact the Hero of Time reborn. And prior to that, Tetra was revealed to Zelda. Ganondorf even goes into detail about how they're bound to each other due to the Triforce.

    So technically, it counts.
  • June 30, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    Helen of Troy. Before she was kidnapped by Paris, she had been abducted several times already. In some versions, Menelaus has gotten tired of bringing her back all the time.
  • July 1, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
    Technically, Zelda is something of a subversion. It's understandable for her to make the same mistakes repeatedly, because she's never the same person, she gets reincarnated a lot. But generally she only gets kidnapped once per life.
  • July 1, 2011
    MiinU
    ^@Embracing Shadows

    I hadn't thought of it that like that. Good point. Okay, withdrawn.
  • July 2, 2011
    Tambov333
  • July 2, 2011
    NetMonster
  • July 2, 2011
    Rolf
    even if list is short, I'd suggest to sort examples into media.
  • July 2, 2011
    StarryEyed
    While this character may become a Damsel Scrappy if their character fails to be compelling enough to make the audience want them to be rescued, it is entirely possible for this character to remain a likeable, well-rounded character.

    Designated Damsel
  • September 9, 2011
    Tambov333
  • November 19, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    I like Designated Damsel in general.
  • November 19, 2011
    TBeholder
    "Designated" tropes use it as "by the author's chice without a visible in-Verse reason", not as "repeated".

    Abducted Again And Again?

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