%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1399569725087476000
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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/badassindistressbyseptimusheap_1470.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:A genuine badass looking genuinely distressed.]]

->''"This is my entire career in one scene: Look, she's helpless! No, she's kicking their asses!"''
-->-- '''Creator/JossWhedon'''

So, your ActionHero is becoming just a bit [[InvincibleHero too powerful and invincible]]. Sure, it's [[RuleOfCool really cool]], but nobody likes a GodModeSue. What can you do to make him seem more human?

Why not do an episode where your badass [[AllUpToYou finds himself in the role]] usually reserved for the DamselInDistress? Kidnap him, make him desperately ill or injured, or otherwise put him in a situation where he cannot single-handedly resolve the plot and your audience can enjoy watching him wait for the kind of rescue he usually provides for the rest of the cast. See? Your other characters can get ADayInTheLimelight and fans of your hero will recognize that he's NotSoInvincibleAfterAll...

There is one drawback in using this trope. When your badass looks... bad, the audience may worry that their hero is [[BadassDecay losing his touch]] or their ActionGirl is undergoing her long-dreaded [[{{Chickification}} descent from ass-kicking heroine]] to FauxActionGirl. Fortunately, most viewers will agree to forgive a brief lapse in badassery -- anyone can have an off-day, and no one wins all the time. Beyond that, a Badass in Distress isn't your average helpless victim. If he hasn't been quietly planting the seeds for his own escape this whole time, he is certainly waiting at the door, ready to leap out and kick some ass the instant it opens.

In most cases the badass really can't get out of the situation without help, but occasionally his allies fail to save him despite their best efforts. When that happens (especially if the badass sees his friends in trouble), expect him to call up an extraordinary amount of heroic resolve, break free on his own, and [[RescueReversal save his would-be saviors.]] If the badass is a villain or even debatable antihero, there's generally no rescue attempt at all; instead of escaping, the character simply survives the execution and immediately murders everyone.

In other words, TropesAreTools, and this is a good one for adding depth and humanity to a potential BoringInvincibleHero. Done well, it makes viewers appreciate the hero's customary badassery all the more. Done badly, it may leave the audience wondering if he just caught the DistressBall today. Done too often, the hero will start to lose the audience's sympathy, and his reputation as a mighty hero will seem exaggerated and undeserved. One way to avoid this is using the WorfHadTheFlu trope, in which the plot provides a specific valid reason for why the hero was captured. Perhaps he was injured, ill, emotionally traumatized, or was defeated as a result of taking on overwhelming odds in an attempt to protect others. Or he might even have [[ISurrenderSuckers let himself be captured]] '''''[[ISurrenderSuckers on purpose]]''''', either to protect his allies and give them time to escape, rescue a previously captured ally, try to persuade the more redeemable villains to do a HeelFaceTurn, or simply [[PlayAlongPrisoner get close enough to the villains for him to catch them off-guard]].

The IneffectualLoner is often subject to this as a way of teaching AnAesop about working as a team and trusting ThePowerOfFriendship. Having butted heads with their allies once too often and [[RageQuit stormed off to work on their own]], they usually fail spectacularly and have to be rescued, after which the Aesop has been taught and they can resume kicking ass. Compare DefiantCaptive, for captives that may or may not be badass but still have the spirit to fight back.

"Badass In Distress" is a major genre of FanFiction, even--or perhaps especially--when the Badass is so Bad that it requires a lot of AppliedPhlebotinum to keep him or her under wraps.



[[folder: Advertising]]
* Quaker Oats turned this into a sweepstakes called "Save the Cap'n" by putting Cap'n Crunch in trouble during a series of commercials, where he was captured by the Soggies. Over the course of the advertising campaign, viewers had to use clues provided by a hotline to identify which door and which key was needed, then send in an entry form with the correct answers to be eligible to win prizes. Meanwhile, the storyline was being shown in the commercials themselves, concluding with the Cap'n escaping in an epic battle. (Well, epic [[RuleOfFunny cartoonish battle.]])

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Casca of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is normally a pretty competent ActionGirl. However she's made to be this during the Eclipse when [[spoiler:she's captured and raped to insanity by Femto, AKA Griffith, her former commander]] while Guts is ForcedToWatch.
** Guts himself has already been in these situations more than once. But noticeably against the Baron of Koka and when [[KnightTemplar Farnese]] has him captured, jailed and standing helpless in front of him. Both times, he gets rescued by [[spoiler: Puck]]. Yes.
** And of course, the ultimate example would be [[spoiler: Griffith.]] He's rescued alright... just not by the right team at all.
* In ''Manga/BlackLagoon'', Revy spends the greater part of an episode knocked out (I think it took a large grenade) by the series' [[ImplacableMan Implacable]] NinjaMaid. When she regained consciousness, a MomentOfAwesome ensued.
* [[spoiler:Manji]] from ''Manga/BladeOfTheImmortal'' becomes one of these during the Prison Arc. It is up to [[PluckyGirl Rin]], probably the weakest character in the entire manga, to save [[spoiler:him]]. (Though she did get help from others.)
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': In the Fullbring Arc, the BadassInDistress was [[spoiler: Ichigo. Yamamoto even says it's time for Soul Society to repay its debt to Ichigo and band together to save him.]]
* Kallen Stadtfeld from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' was captured at one point in the second season and her time in captivity was used for some CharacterDevelopment. But once she got out of captivity... she killed [[PsychoForHire Luciano Bradley]] and made it clear who the motherfucking ActionGirl of the series is. Even when she was a prisoner she punched the fuck outta Suzaku while wearing a PimpedOutDress.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** Done three times to Goku. The first time, Gohan and Krillin had to saved him when he was being crushed to death by Great Ape Vegeta. The second time, Goku had falling ill to the heart virus and lost his Super Saiyan form. Android 19 pinned him and began to suck his energy, slowly killing him. All of Goku's friends rushed to save him, with Vegeta being the one to do it. Finally near the end of the Cell Games, Goku was getting his butt beat by a Cell Jr, he was exhausted from his battle with Cell and was doing worst than the human fighters. Yamcha and Tien had to protect him.
** Vegeta gets this a few times himself. He was saved by Krillin and Gohan when Recoome was ready to kill him with his Eraser Gun. [[UngratefulBastard He wasn't happy for the rescue]]. Later in the Cell Games, Gohan lost the used of his arm protecting Vegeta from a fatal blast from Cell. And at the tail end of the Kid Buu fight, he was pinned down by Buu to keep Goku from throwing the Spirit Bomb. It was the combine effects of Fat Buu and Mr. Satan that saved him.
** In the Buu Saga, Vegeta and Goku fought their way through Buu's body to rescue Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and Piccolo.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** Erza in the Tower of Heaven arc.
** The entire guild including such powerful guys as Makarov, Mirajane, and Gildarts, when they're sucked into Edolas and turned into an immobile magic source. Only the three Dragon Slayers (who were immune to the teleportation spell) and Lucy (who was protected by her spirits) managed to stay free. Gray and Erza were later freed halfway through the arc, but the rest of the guild spent the entire arc helpless.
** During the same arc, Natsu and Wendy were captured by the king of Edolas and drained of their magic; having been unable to use it in Edolas, they couldn't use their powers to escape and had to be rescued by Lucy, Erza and Gray.
** And now again during the Tartaros Arc. The entire guild minus Lucy is trapped [[spoiler: as the Cube transforms into some kind of creature and starts digesting them]]
* ''Manga/FlameOfRecca'''s Mikagami Tokiya is at first noted as not only the smartest of the Hokage, he's also the cruelest and most ruthless. However, he suffers two cases of being captured, first being defeated by Aoi and is used as a hostage to lower Recca's morale and stays unconscious until rescued, but he later makes it up by forcing Hiruko, who was on the same level of Aoi, into a draw. Then he gets hit AGAIN when BigBadWannabe Marie managed to drug him by luck and strap him into a contrapment, waiting for Domon and Recca to rescue him and rained with taunts and ridicule. Just so they make sure they didn't think of him [[BadassDecay decayed]], he is pitted against his master Meguri Kyouza, who [[BadassGrandpa even on deathbed instills fear on both Aoi and Hiruko and could've beaten Kurei if it wasn't for the deathbed tidbits]]... and Mikagami outsmarts and comes out victorious against him.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** Sesshoumaru is one of the most powerful characters in the series, but he has been in mortal situations a few times requiring to be saved by his sword's barrier a couple of times and by his younger brother Inuyasha in others. One of the worst happens towards the end when [[BigBad Naraku]] sends Magatsuhi, [[spoiler: the dark will of the [[UltimateEvil Shikon no Tama]]]], for the last shard of the [[DismantledMacGuffin Shikon Jewel]], that is being protected by Sesshoumaru, taking advantage of his "weaponless" state. [[TheChessmaster Magatsuhi]] immediately exploits Sesshoumaru's [[HandicappedBadass one-armed status]] and succeeds. Inuyasha rescues him but not before his remaining arm is ripped to [[HealingFactor shreds]]. That doesn't stop Magatsuhi, rendering Inuyasha's [[{{BFS}} sword]] useless, [[spoiler: stabbing Sesshoumaru through the chest, and capturing both. Not only does [[{{Determinator}} Sesshoumaru]] not die, but he comes back even stronger than before]].
** Inuyasha himself needs to rely on friends sometimes for help. It's part of his learning curve that, for him, he does need to have friends he can trust. It's also part of Sesshoumaru's learning curve [[spoiler: that he has to learn his father's plan for him all along was to understand that it doesn't matter how powerful Inuyasha is, he's still a halfbreed and therefore needs his big brother's help from time to time]]. This lesson culminates in a DieOrFly test of character where Sesshoumaru promises Inuyasha he'll abandon both Tessaiga and Tenseiga if Inuyasha proves once and for all that Tessaiga belongs to him. [[spoiler: Sesshoumaru finally gets the proof he needs causing Naraku to interfere and use his poison to ensure Inuyasha gets trapped unconscious in Sesshoumaru's meidou. Sesshoumaru dives into the meidou to save Inuyasha, voluntarily sacrifices his meidou power and entire sword so it can become Inuyasha's power, and then has to rely on Inuyasha to save them both in return.]]
** Also in the Inuyasha series, Sango, a professional demon slayer, is rescued by Miroku on a few occasions. The most notable involves a fight between the two of them in which Miroku is nearly killed by her while freeing her from demon control. Later in the series, she returns the favor by destroying her own weapon to rescue him from demon attackers, resulting in a story arc to get it fixed.
* Jotaro winds up in this position in Part 6 of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' after White Snake [[spoiler:steals both his Stand and memories]].
* This happens to Kyoya Hibari from ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''. He's pretty much one of the most badass characters in the entire series, and remained largely undefeated. Until the [[GenreShift first serious arc]] with Rokudo Mukuro began. He goes over to fight Mukuro, only to be defeated (due to his [[FlawExploitation weakness being exploited]]), and held captive. With some help from Tsuna and Gokudera, he manages to break out and wreak havoc. His badassness didn't decay ''any'' from it at all.
* Meow from ''Anime/KazemakaseTsukikageRan'' may be a skilled fighter but she does get hit with the DistressBall more than a few times, requiring Ran to come to her aid. Once Meow gets free, though, she joins Ran with beating up the bad guys.
* In ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', [[spoiler:Silcardo decides to take [[CuteBruiser Miu]] as HIS new Disciple and as a result she got hit with the DistressBall HARD. Not only that, but then she was BrainwashedAndCrazy and pit against fighting Kenichi: Silcardo hoped to have Miu mentally broken via killing Kenichi, and thus complete a FaceHeelTurn.]] How does this end? [[spoiler: In failure: Kenichi gets to Miu in the end, she returns to her senses, and they take on their enemies together. It wasn't a complete failure though as Silcardo brought up successful traces of a BloodKnight on her.]]
%%** Happen to Shigure in the last arc.
* ''Manga/KimbaTheWhiteLion'' had some cases where [[KillerRabbit Kimba]] needed to be rescued by either [[TheLancer Roger Ranger]] or [[KarmicJackpot one of his subjects that he helped before]].
%%* Asuna and Negi get hit more than once with this in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''.
* Kouji Kabuto from ''Anime/MazingerZ'' undoubtedly is a {{Hotblooded}} badass, an excellent HumongousMecha pilot, a great sharpshooter and a competent fighter can take care of himself even when he is outside of his giant robot. However he often needed being rescued either because he had fallen into a trap or because the odds were brutally against him. It happened several times in ''Anime/GreatMazinger'', ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' and ''Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}'', but it was specially glaring in ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'', where he was demoted from TheLeader to TheLancer, and instead of a HumongousMecha he piloted a support unit. However usually he was saved by a BigDamnHeroes moment from Sayaka, Boss, Tetsuya or Duke, so even when he was in danger, usually it ended up in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
** [[spoiler:His adoptive brother]], Tetsuya Tsurugi also found in that position at least once [[spoiler:and he had to be saved by his father's HeroicSacrifice]]. Duke Fleed also was captured sometimes.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** A couple times Naruto, while undeniably badass as the series wore on, would get himself in trouble and need the help of his friends to break him out and let him go Kyuubi.
** The very first arc of Part II features [[BadassLongrobe Gaara]], now [[AChildShallLeadThem the]] [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Kazekage]] in a spectacular fight against [[MadBomber Deidara]] which he arguably loses due to protecting Sunagakure. The rest of the arc, named the "Kazekage Rescue Arc" is about Naruto and his team [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rescuing him.]]
* Happens to all of the Children in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', with the most glaring example being [[spoiler: Rei in ''Rebuild'']].
* In ''Anime/NinjaScroll'', Jubei is pinned down by Benisato's legion of poisonous snakes and is rescued by Kagero.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Portgas D. Ace, during the Impel Down and Whitebeard War arcs. [[spoiler:It ends in tragedy, since he dies several minutes after being liberated by his brother Luffy. Can be seen as a DeconstructedTrope, as being a badass released from captivity is '''not''' a guarantee that you'll survive the experience in the end.]]
** Nico Robin during Enies Lobby also qualifies; having previously established her badass credentials several times over. Her inner darkness catches up with her, and becomes a DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel until she regains the will to live.
*** Lampshaded after Fukurou reveals that Robin has Sea Prism Stone handcuffs on and is thus unable to use her powers, despite having resolved the personal issues that led her to surrender to [=CP9=] for the Straw Hats' safety.
-->'''Chopper''': So that's why Robin has let you push her around, even though she's so strong! She must feel awful!
** Trafalgar Law goes through this during the Dressrosa arc where he gets forced into a fight with a Warlord and an Admiral, then captured, interrogated, and chained with sea prism stone. Luffy manages to rescue him...but doesn't get the key for the sea prism handcuffs, which coupled with exhaustion means Law essentially gets carried all over the island until they finally get the key and he can participate again.
** Following the events of Dressrosa, [[spoiler:Sanji]] was taken captive by [[spoiler:Capone Gang Bege, who is working for Big Mom. Who wants Sanji to [[ArrangedMarriage marry one of her daughters]] in order to unite the Big Mom Pirates with the assassins of Sanji's family.]]
* Mewtwo in ''Anime/PokemonMewtwoReturns.'' He spends the first movie being a total badass villain, and never being defeated. He has a few badass moments in the sequel, where he fends off Team Rocket. Even when he's captured [[spoiler: due to some Pokémon being held hostage]], he never gives in, [[spoiler: resisting the pain of the device being used at him nearly at the expense of his life]]. Naturally, Ash and co. are there to save him using the {{Phlebotinum}} of the week. What does he do after being rescued? [[spoiler: He wipes the memory of at least 50 people simultaneously and moves part of a ''mountain'', evacuates his Pokemon telekinetically to various places, and then produces hot air balloons to get the Rocket Trio and Ash and his friends to their destinations]]. He handles the whole thing with a fair amount of angst as per his character, but no pleading, no crying, and no caving in.
** In the series proper, Team Rocket tries to target badasses most of the time, and sometimes they succeed (for Act I, at least). Pikachu in particular, badass enough to hold his own against nearly any opponent, frequently gets locked up in electricity-proof balls so the rest of the team has to save him. The instant he's not inhibited, he sends Team Rocket flying.
* [[ActionGirl Moka]] got hit with this in ''Manga/RosarioToVampire''. That only applies to [[SplitPersonality Inner Moka]], whereas Outer Moka is a DistressedDamsel.
* Genjo Sanzo from ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}''. Being the counterpart of DistressedDude extraordinary from the [[Literature/JourneyToTheWest original source]], it is expected that he'll be kidnapped a lot. But instead of wailing for help or just being silent, he stays vigilant and badmouths his captors without even mentioning, "My followers will rescue me." When help does arrive, his response is... "I don't need your help anyway." And it's quite often that once he's freed, he'll either shoot or exorcise his captors dead, and his faith (as rude as it may be) unshaken.
* ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'': After Shana was defeated by [[spoiler:Yuuji/Snake of the Festival]], she has joined this trope too.
* ''Manga/SoulEater''
** [[spoiler:Death The Kid]] is this for a while, although now he is out of the Book of Eibon and is ready to start kicking ass again.
** Also [[spoiler:Maka Albarn]], during the Envy and Sloth chapters of the same book.
* ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' has both Ryoko and Ayeka in the [=OAVs=]. When Kagato arrived, his first action was to make Ryoko go BrainwashedAndCrazy and then take her hostage; Tenchi, Mihoshi, Ryo-ohki and Ayeka go to rescue her. Then, after [[spoiler: he almost kills Tenchi and Ryoko gets free as a result]], Kagato captures Ayeka and [[spoiler: tries to brainwash her into revealing the Jurai Family secrets]], but is refused at the last moment. Meanwhile, [[spoiler:Mihoshi finds and releases ''another'' BadassInDistress... Washu, whom Kagato has kept prisioner in a CrystalPrison hidden inside a PocketDimension.]]
** Happened to Ryoko again later, when she was captured by Dr. Clay and replaced by a doppleganger. [[BecomingTheMask Too bad that same doppleganger fell for Tenchi too]].
** Ayeka also gets put in this position in ''Anime/TenchiUniverse'', when [[spoiler: she's kidnapped by that continuity's Kagato]].
* Asuna from ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' is put in this role in the Fairy Dance arc. Her then-fiance Sugou intercepted her and 300 other SAO players after the game was cleared and trapped them within ALO, and kept her in particular locked in a giant bird at the top of the World Tree. However, she manages to figure out the code to the lock on her cage, times her escape so that Sugou wouldn't notice her escaping and managed to make it to a terminal where she could log out before she got caught, and even after she got locked back in her cage, she still managed to grab the admin keycard at the terminal.
* Kamina from ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' is TheAce, a big-ass {{Determinator}}, and LeeroyJenkins in a mech. Problem is he can never win a fight on his own, and is constantly getting saved by Simon.
** He'd have died in episode 1 if Simon hadn't dug up from below to save him. He's not TheAce at anything but talking big. Which ultimately makes him come off as MORE BADASS than TheAce ever does. He is, at least, competent in hand to hand fighting. [[spoiler: The one time he goes into battle solo against anything tougher than basic Mooks he dies. And he STILL manages to cure the HeroicBSOD that his death inflicts on Simon with a story he conveniently told Yoko mere hours before his death.]]
*** Actually, ''WordOfGod'' says he would have won that fight.
*** [[spoiler:He was also taken by surprise by [[BadassGeneral Thymilphof]] after snapping Simon out of his HeroicBSOD. Thymilphof burst out from under him and mortally wounded him. He still manages to be badass even when dying.]]
*** [[spoiler: Word of God also says that he actually did die there for a second and essentially WILLED himself back to life.]]
* This happens a fair number of times in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' and its [[Anime/YuGiOhGX sequel]] [[Anime/YuGiOh5Ds series]], usually as part of TheWorfEffect.
** If Kaiba counts (an AntiHero, probably, but still Badass) it happens to him in the first season of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' when his attempt to rescue Mokuba fails, requiring Yugi to bail him out.
** And ''again'' during Legendary Heroes Arc, and ''again'' during the Virtual Nightmare Arc. (Clearly, Kaiba's constant [[IWorkAlone refusal to accept help]] attributed to him getting in trouble each times. Fortunately, Mokuba had more sense in that regard.)
** In ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Kaiser Ryo, one of the few opponents Judai could ''never'' truly defeat, was held hostage by Camilla and hos soul trapped in a doll for two episodes; he only lost because [[BigBrotherInstinct he surrendered to save Sho]], but it still counts.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Happens in ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'' a few times. [[spoiler: for instance, to the entire Authority.]]
* The end of ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' vol. 3 puts Ninjette firmly in this category. [[spoiler:Six ninja ambush her in a park and tag her with a "sleeping poison"-laced blade. Four of them were dead or mortally wounded before she was blindsided with some InstantSedation, and the only reason the last two were on their feet was a secret clan technique rendering them immune to pain (she thought they were solidly out of the fight, or at least too hurt to sneak up on her).]]
* Any heroes in ''Creator/MarvelComics'' who got captured in the Skrull Invasion during the ''Secret Invasion'' storyline, including [[spoiler:Elektra, Spider-Woman, or even the highly-dangerous Black Bolt]]. After rescue, they resume their life as superheroes, some of them are also ''bitter'' against any remaining Skrulls and should they cross their path again, they ''will'' kick butt.
** During ''ComicBook/DarkReign'', Hawkeye (in costume as Ronin) did TheLancer's version of this, storming off on his own to assault the Dark Avengers and assassinate Norman Osborn. He failed and was held prisoner for a while until rescued.
* ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} and Jubilee's mentor-sidekick relationship started when ''she'' rescued him from the Reavers (a bunch of heavily armed killer cyborgs). He'd been tortured to within an inch of his life. (It was clearly BondVillainStupidity on the part of the Reavers, who were keeping him alive just to make him suffer.)
* Happens to ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} in his own title among other places. (Plus when he was [[SidekickGraduationsStick Robin]] it bordered on NeverLiveItDown) One time his girlfriend’s [[LesYay girlfriend]], ComicBook/BlackCanary came to his rescue. Though he then had to rescue her.
* In ''ComicBook/DeathOfTheFamily'', [[spoiler: Batman gets captured by Joker and tied up. He manages to free himself]].
* In ''ComicBook/ElseworldsFinestSupergirlAndBatgirl'', ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' was seized by the kryptonite-doped Joker when she was about to kill Luthor. The Joker nearly killed her due to the kryptonite pumped into his blood, but ''Comicbook/{{Batgirl}}'' showed up and diverted his attention. Then Supergirl wrenched herself from his grip and knocked him out.
* In ''Comicbook/KryptonNoMore'', Franchise/{{Superman}}, Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} and [[Comicbook/KryptoTheSuperdog Krypto]] are defeated and thrown in a cell by an alien army of genocidal, planet-conquering warriors called the J'ai [[spoiler:(though they managed to free themselves)]].
* Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}:
** ''Comicbook/ManyHappyReturns'', original Supergirl Kara Zor-El is trapped and chained to a wall by Xenon, and Post-Crisis Supergirl Linda has to free her before Xenon murders her.
** In ''ComicBook/SupergirlCosmicAdventuresInThe8thGrade'', Superman is captured and shackled by Comicbook/LexLuthor. Supergirl -an alternate universe Supergirl- tries to rescue him but she's captured, too. They were freed by Comet.
* In ''ComicBook/UnderworldUnleashed'', the collective heroes believe ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' had been captured by Neron so he could obtain his soul. [[spoiler:Turns out Supes wasn't even on the ''planet'' -- he was completely off-world in a different storyline. (Neron was, in fact, after Captain Marvel's soul - arguably the only superhero ''more'' pure and innocent than Supes.)]]
* ComicBook/{{Venom}} was held hostage by Carnage during the ''ComicBook/MaximumCarnage'' storyline, in what was likely the ''stupidest'' case of BondVillainStupidity exhibited for a ComicBook/SpiderMan villain; Carnage specifically expressed a desire to keep him alive for ''months'' if he had to, just to torture him; Venom actually managed to escape on his own, but he spent quite a lot of his energy to do so, and was recovering for the rest of the story... until the finale.
* ''ComicBook/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' has Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka and Captain Rex trying to infiltrate a slave ring and find a captured group of Togruta, Ahsoka's people. Anakin ends up forced into submission with five electro-whips and told by the queen that he'll be her servant. Obi-Wan and Rex are captured and sold to work in the mines. Ahsoka ends up in a cage in the palace, and the whole group is pretty banged up by the time they manage to escape.
* The very first issue of ''Comicbook/StreetFighter Unlimited'' ends with a splash page of a BoundAndGagged Chun-Li, who has been captured by Vega.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Crunch accidentally finds himself being chased by Dr. Neo Cortex in ''[[WebAnimation/OutcastBandicoot Outcast Bandicoot]]''. He and his friend [[ActionGirl Tani]] destroy numerous lab assistants and defeat the Potoroo Gang, but are eventually taken hostage. Tani escapes, but the lab assistants electrocute Crunch, knocking him out. He is then taken to Cortex's space station, where he remains for several years.
* Rin gets hit with this twice in the Fate/Stay Night fanfic Path of the King. It's subverted both times:
** The first is during an encounter with a pack of thugs in a dark alley. Rin isn't even vaguely intimidated by them but she's with several {{muggle}} friends who might get hurt unless she breaks TheMasquerade and uses her magecraft in front of them. Shirou makes a DynamicEntry before her hand is forced.
** The second time comes at the end of the first arc [[spoiler: when Rin is kidnapped by the original master of Caster for a brainwashing ritual.]] While the villain is distracted fighting Shirou, [[spoiler: Rin coughs up a handful of gems she swallowed earlier (having anticipated the trap that caught her) and blasts her way out on her own.]]
* Batman in the fan film ''The Death of Batman'' is kidnapped by a junkie who fakes an overdose and uses a stun gun on Batman's balls.
* [[BadassNormal Riza]] has to go through this in the ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' {{fanfic}} "[[FanFic/ElementalChessTrilogy Brilliancy]]," when she's kidnapped. She gives her abductors plenty of trouble; she breaks loose from her bonds at one point and later [[spoiler:kills the one who was supposed to shoot her]], but she's still kidnapped and stuck in the desert with no way to get home.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy'', Orion of the ComicBook/NewGods is kidnapped by Darkseid during the War between Apokolips and the rest of the universe.
* [[SociopathicHero Gaz]] is without a doubt the biggest badass in the ''FanFic/MyHostageNotYours'' trilogy, yet at least once in each story she ends up being held prisoner and needing to be saved:
** ''My Hostage Not Yours'': She lets the Valkians capture her, both in order to get rid of the [[ClingyMacguffin LEE]][[DeadlyUpgrade CHY]], and to protect Dib and Zim. It's shown that she was fully capable of escaping her cell on her own, but that still would have left her on her own on a ship full of dangerous warriors, and it seems highly unlikely she would have been able to fight them all. So it's probably for the best that Zim concocted a plan to save her.
** ''The Revenge of Player 2'': [[spoiler: Iggins]] captures her with [[spoiler: a MindControlDevice]], so Zim and Dib have to save her again. This time, though, she breaks free [[spoiler: through [[HeroicWillpower force of will]]]], save's ''Zim's'' life, and then proceeds to give [[spoiler: Iggins]] a FateWorseThanDeath.
*** This incident also changes Gaz from a BadassNormal to an EmpoweredBadassNormal.
** ''The Inevitable Takeover'': During the early days of Zim's conquest of the planet, she gets kidnapped by a group of hired thugs. However, this is a subversion, as [[spoiler: Zim himself had her kidnapped, to keep her away from the government officials who were going to use her as leverage against him]], so she was never really in any danger.
* In ''Fanfic/PrinceOfTheDarkKingdom'' Harry plays this part at least once a schoolyear. Most of the time it's either Snape or Voldemort that has to safe the day.
* [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten Valvatorez]] gets this in [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7947702/1/The-Curse-of-Blood The Curse of Blood]].
* In ''FanFic/TalesOfTheEmperasque'' [[UltimateBlacksmith Vulkan]], [[DeathFromAbove Corvus]] and [[BoisterousBruiser Leman]] all find themselves in various distresses before Emperor rescues them: Vulkan is stuck on a planet full of EverythingTryingToKillYou, Corvus is trapped in ever-changing, sanity-breaking maze and Leman is about to be overrun by Chaos armies.
* In the climax of ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', both Paul and John have been kidnapped and rendered helpless (Paul via mind control, John via sleep spell). George, himself depowered, figures out how to rescue John, who then proceeds to kick ass. However, with Paul, [[spoiler: the mind control didn't take; he was just faking it so he could both make sure the others were okay and delay the BigBad's plans.]]
-->“Wasn't much else I could do at that point, since I didn't know where you lads were, and I didn't wanna go off sort of half cocked.”
* In ''Fanfic/ThroughADiamondSky,'' The Baron is smart enough to realize that the only chance he had to strong-arm Flynn was to make sure both Tron and Clu were in no shape to fight. He [[SpannerInTheWorks just hadn't factored in]] the pair of Iso scouts and Jordan.
* During the climax of the first story arc of ''FanFic/JewelOfDarkness'', [[spoiler: Robin]] is captured by Midnight, who [[spoiler: intends to torture him into insanity]]. He's eventually rescued by the other Titans and, despite the pain, proceeds to join them in taking her down.
* In ''FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire'', there is Cid, who got captured by [[spoiler: Khamja]].
* ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni'': Viper gets kidnapped by the Shadow Hand in chapter 12 [[spoiler: and gets taken hostage again after being beaten by [[CoDragons Right]] in the fight that breaks out during the [[HostageForMacGuffin exchange]]]].
* The main story of book two of FanFic/AGrowingAffection is about how Naruto gets captured by the Akatsuki, and what happens to him and his friends as they try to rescue him.
* In ''FanFic/MegaManReawakened'', Mega Man has been captured twice so far. Once is by Glyde and his Birdbots, and he breaks free on his own after being locked up. The other is by the Neo Emerald Spears, and Rush and Bon Bonne save him.
* In ''FanFic/SkippersLog'', poor Kowalski gets trapped when a tunnel caves in while he's digging it in one chapter; Rico managed to save him only just in time.
* ''FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi'': Ami might not be invincible - she needs her minions to break her out of the Dark God's realm - 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 ''VideoGame/DungeonKeeper'' world. The 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]].
* ''FanFic/{{Nightingale}}'' is about a powerful elite ninja being captured and psychologically, mentally and emotionally tortured.
* Sesshoumaru is captured and [[DefiantToTheEnd helplessly imprisoned]] in the ''Manga/InuYasha'' fic ''Fanfic/DarknessAnkhAscendant'', only eventually rescued by Inuyasha.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': Misato is a very competent soldier and an excellent strategist and leader, but in chapter 21 she was captured by terrorists and had to be rescued by [[spoiler:Rei.]]
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': Even though he regards himself as a cowardly wimp, Shinji is a mecha pilot that has killed a bunch of alien monsters and may be pretty badass when he gets serious. Nonetheless, he was captured by a terrorist group in chapter 19 and Asuka had to rescue him.
* During the climax of ''Fanfic/TheElementsOfHarmonyAndTheSaviorOfWorlds'', Megan is taken captive by [[spoiler: [[BigBad Tirac]]]]'s forces. She immediately goes ''Film/DieHard'' on them, breaking free and proceeding to fight her way to an escape.
* The [[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition Lord Inquisitor]] is taken captive in the latter third of ''[[Fanfic/TwiceUponAnAge All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird]]'', mostly to use as live bait for the Lady Inquisitor.
* In ''ComicBook/PowerGirl'' fanfic ''Fanfic/AForceOfFour'' Franchise/WonderWoman and her daughter Fury are captured by [[TheDragon Badra]] and later freed by Power Girl.
* ''Fanfic/ForumOfThrones'': Leonard, who is a supreme swordsman, able to hold his own against [[MemeticBadass Samuel Harrington]], finds himself in distress in the early Chapter 5, when he is wounded and tied up by the corrupt city guard of Oldtown. [[spoiler: [[Main/BigDamnHeroes Luckily for him, Samantha and Sasha come to the rescue not long afterwards]].]]
* Bakuda ends up as this several times in ''Fanfic/HowToDrillYourWayThroughYourProblems'', despite being an inventive, clever, and somewhat egotistical MadBomber. Lagann first meets her rescuing her from a burning building, then after she's just been badly burned by Lung, and then a third time when Lung escalates enough to begin dismantling the Bakuda Bomber.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': Joseph Lynch, member of the Assassin's Brotherhood, is arrested in the film's prologue for the murder of his wife, and Abstergo presumably got their hands on him quickly after that.
* The hostage in the opening sequence of ''Film/TheExpendables2'' turns out to be [[spoiler:Trench]], who is embarrassed to have found himself in that situation.
* Gretel in ''Film/HanselAndGretelWitchHunters'', briefly, as part of Muriel's ceremony.
* ''Film/IronMan''. Tony Stark is ambushed by Obidiah Stane, which literally leaves him crawling around with a hole in his chest. Cue his [[BlackBestFriend buddy]] [[ColonelBadass Col. Rhodes]] coming to his aid (with a removed assist from Pepper). After he pops in a spare reactor, he promptly leaves to kick Stane's ass.
** Both Tony and Rhodes are captured at different parts of ''Film/IronMan3''.
* Film/JamesBond spends a good chunk of ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' as this, held prisoner by the title villain. He still manages to keep his wits and succeeds in [[spoiler: getting Pussy Galore to betray Goldfinger]].
* Happens to both of the leading men in ''Film/TheManFromUNCLE2015'' at different points. Illya [[spoiler: nearly drowns]] so Napoleon goes back to save him. Illya later returns the favor when Napoleon [[spoiler: is captured and saves him from ElectricTorture.]]
%%* Morpheus had one moment of this in the first [[Film/TheMatrix Matrix]] movie
* Basically the premise of ''Film/RamboIII''. Rambo gets Trautmann out of a Soviet prison in Afghanistan, and the two of them proceed to destroy half the Red Army.
* In the Creator/ClintEastwood film ''The Rookie'', Pulovski (Eastwood) is kidnapped and the titular rookie Ackerman (Creator/CharlieSheen) has to [[TookALevelInBadass take a level in badass]] to rescue him.
* In ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'', Holmes is captured and ''brutally'' tortured by Moriarty, and has to be rescued by Watson. Afterwards, it seems that a combination of adrenaline and sheer willpower are the only things keeping him standing and conscious, but he still manages to help fight their way out. [[spoiler: Later, it turns out that he allowed himself to be captured, knowing that he would probably be tortured, in order to get close enough to pickpocket the notebook containing all the financial details of Moriarty's criminal empire.]]
* In a German movie ''Stahlnetz: PSI'' there are two girls who are best friends: PluckyGirl Micha, who also has supernatural powers (titular "PSI") and sweet girl Sandra. Micha get kidnapped, and even though she does try, she just cannot escape on her own - even her psychic powers backfire at first. Then [[spoiler: Sandra, thanks to the connection they share, gets a clue on where Micha is held, and with this hint, police finds and rescues Micha.]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''. In [[Film/StarTrek the 2009 movie]], Captain Pike is captured by Romulans, heinously tortured, and, when rescued, ''still'' manages to kill a few of his tormentors -- one literally seconds after being rescued.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Leia in ''Film/ANewHope'' certainly qualifies. She's captured by the Empire in the opening and held prisoner until freed by Han and Luke.
** Luke Skywalker needs to be rescued at least once in every movie of the original trilogy. In ''Film/ANewHope'', he's saved from the sand people by Obi-Wan, and later by Han during the X-Wing attack on the Death Star. In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', Han finds him in the Hoth Tundra and manages to save him from freezing to death. In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', only Vader's intervention stops him from being killed by the Emperor.
** At the end of ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', [[TheLancer Han Solo]] is imprisoned/embedded in a chunk of carbonite. And, in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', what does he do mere hours after getting out? Kills Boba Fett. ''While he's still blind'' (Fett got better).
** In ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'', Count Dooku and the Trade Federation manage to hold Obi-Wan, Anakin, ''and'' Padmé hostage for a while; fortunately, Anakin is able to get a message to the Jedi Council first, and a strike team is able to pull a BigDamnHeroes [[GunshipRescue moment]] to save them from a PublicExecution on Geonosis. (But things only get worse from there, [[StartOfDarkness especially for Anakin.]])
** Happens twice in ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', first to Poe Dameron at the very beginning and then to [[spoiler:Rey, who actually becomes more badass ''while'' in distress as Kylo Ren [[NiceJobFixingItVillain keeps accidentally teaching her about the Force by example]]]].
* Raphael in the ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' movies, especially the [[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIITheSecretOfTheOoze second movie]] thanks to his stint working alone had him getting captured by Shredder, Tokka and Rahzar and had to be saved by his brothers before he can kick ass again. He's TheLancer, so that explains. ''WesternAnimation/{{TMNT}}'', however, reverses it; even though Raphael is still TheLancer, his stint caused [[TheLeader Leonardo]] to get caught instead.
** After spending most of the [[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1990 first film]] in captivity by Shredder, Splinter is able to eliminate him with a flick of the wrist.

* ''Literature/DragonBlood'' begins with a character who has been established as badass in ''Literature/DragonBones'' in severe distress. It doesn't last long.[[spoiler: After escaping the torturer, walking miles in ill-fitting shoes, and fighting some bandits while she's at it, Tisala breaks down and needs some healing. So it is badass->in distress-being badass->needing more help.]]
* Happens quite often in the Max Gladstone's ''Literature/CraftSequence''. In the first book ''Literature/ThreePartsDead'', Elayne Kevarian was robbed of her free will. In the second book ''Literature/TwoSerpentsRise'', it happens to the Lich King CEO.
* In Sarah Monette's ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'', particularly in the first book ''Melusine'', Mildmay is the resident badass, but at one point he gets locked in a farm cellar and [[spoiler: has to get rescued by the guy he's rescuing]]. His brother, Felix, is usually a pretty badass wizard himself, but when his skills are counteracted in ''Melusine'' and later in ''Corambis'', he variously gets {{mind rape}}d, really raped, magic-robbed, driven temporarily insane, half-drowned by vigilantes, dragged through a gauntlet, charged with treason, locked in prison and later a madhouse, threatened with death by burning, and, to top it all off, given a TraumaticHaircut. Some more than once.
* [=DuQuesne=] in Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/SkylarkSeries''. Twice he gets into serious trouble and calls on the hero, Dick Seaton, to team up to handle the situation.
* In ''Literature/{{Outlander}}'', Jamie] is taken prisoner by the villain, and his wife Claire has to rescue him from being tortured and hung. He does not suffer BadassDecay in this, mostly because Claire's first attempt to save him is botched, and he has to save HER by offering himself to the villain to torture and rape as he pleases without crying out.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Harry Dresden gets tied up/manacled/[[DistressedDude whatever]] on a regular basis and often needs to be rescued, but gets himself out of the situation just as often and kicks so much ass that no one really holds it against him.
** Likewise, woe betide anybody who tries to put Karrin Murphy in distress. [[ActionGirl You will]] [[BadassNormal suffer horribly.]] The few times that she is held in distress successfully, it's never a result of her being weak or feminine, just being a {{Muggle}} in a world where Muggles and even supernatural humans are MadeOfPlasticine.
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'': Percy in ''The Lost Hero''. Nico takes up the position from him by the end of ''Son of Neptune''. Flips back to Percy and adds Annabeth by the end of ''The Mark of Athena''.
* Beren in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is captured by Sauron; his [[ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl extraordinarily empowered lover]] frees him, and he resumes kicking ass with her help.
** Heck, that whole story mainly consists of a long series of "Beren gets himself in a mess and Lúthien gets him out of it."
** And then there is the story where Lúthien, who can be considered a badass at this point, gets into a mess and needs the help of a dog to escape.
* Inverted by the title character in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant''. He possesses magic that can literally break time itself, but can't consciously control it (and spends most of his travels being saved by the powerful characters he travels with until his moments of uber-distress when his Badass kicks in).
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Literature/TheHourOfTheDragon'' and ''Literature/ShadowsInTheMoonlight'', Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian needs to be rescued. Then he kicks butt.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series, almost [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters every major hero]] gets captured at some point by Seanchan, Shaido, Darkfriends, Forsaken, or even Rand by the Red Ajah.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' novel Dragons of Spring Dawning, [[FourStarBadass the Golden General, Laurana,]] is captured by her ArchEnemy, [[DarkActionGirl the Dragon Highlord Kitiara]], and [[ComeToGawk put on display at the Council of Highlords as Kitiara's gift to the]] [[BigBad evil goddess, Tahkisis.]] But even after being manhandled by Kitiara and with Takhisis, in her five headed dragon form, towering over her, Laurana stays defiant and, when the chance presents itself, breaks free, steals Kitiara's weapon, and single handedly fights her way out of the chamber, setting off an EnemyCivilWar in the process.
* Michael, who does most of the fighting in the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' is, as a result, the one who's most likely to get captured, leaving Fisk to try and rescue him.
* Toward the end of the ''Literature/TimeScout'' series, Malcolm Moore gets shot by a bad guy and sent on his way in a hansom cab. He barely survives.
* ''Literature/InDeath'' series: Eve Dallas has gotten into trouble a few times. Sometimes Roarke saves her life. Sometimes she just saves herself.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', ActionGirl Leafstar gets captured by a CrazyCatLady and has to be rescued by her Clanmates.
* ''Literature/{{Beachwalker}}'''s highly dangerous costar makes his debut tied up, half dead, and with his latest victim lifeless at his feet.
* ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' has Vin get captured twice: Once by Steel Inquisitors, and once by [[spoiler: Yomen, when he slams the door to what is more-or-less a bomb shelter behind her]]
* In Literature/SeptimusHeap it happens [[OnceAnEpisode once a book]].
** In ''Magyk'' Marcia is captured by [=DomDaniel=]'s supporters and rescued by Jenna, Nicko, and Septimus .
** In ''Flyte'' Jenna is taken to [=DomDaniel=]'s Observatory by Simon in order to kill her [[SubvertedTrope but escapes on her own before Septimus and Nicko can rescue her]]:
** In ''Physik'' Septimus is taken to Etheldredda's and Marcellus's [[TimeTravel time]] and rescued by Jenna, Nicko, and Snorri.
** In ''Queste'' Nicko and Snorri, who didn't make it back in the last book, have escaped to the House of Foryx and are rescued from there by Septimus, Jenna, and Beetle.
* Cira's captured along with [[NonActionGuy Jerin]] near the end of ''Literature/ABrothersPrice''. He, being a properly [[SpiritedYoungLady Spirited Young Gentleman]], picked locks and undid gags to free them, but the more violent parts of the escape [[BleedEmAndWeep mostly]] fell to her.
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': It happens to Daniar and Kalak occasionally but the true example is the former's father, Alister. He's captured early on defending his capital and spends a long time imprisoned. [[spoiler: Immediately after Daniar busts him out in the final act]] he goes back to kicking ass.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' book 33: The Illusion, Tobias, the team's resident reconnaissance man, eye in the sky, and bird of prey extraordinaire, gets CapturedOnPurpose as part of a plan to locate and destroy the Anti-Morphing Ray, unfortunately, [[spoiler: the plan goes awry when his captor turns out to be the sadistic and unhinged Sub-Visser 51, AKA Taylor, who brutally tortures Tobias to the edge of sanity after the Anti-Morphing Ray fails to demorph him back to Andalite.]]
* In Sukhinov's ''Emerald City'' decalogy, Corine, who was a powerful player in the first half, is depowerde and turned into a mouse , until she is rescued in the final book.
* ''Literature/AdventureHunters'': Regina is a veteran adventurer but, due to the plot, her badass moments are after [[spoiler: she is kidnapped and coerced into aiding the bad guys. After which point, she escapes on her own and kills her captor.]]
* Paul Kidd's trilogy ''White Plume Mountain'', ''Descent into the Depths of the Earth'', and ''Queen of the Demonweb Pits''. Sure, Escalla is captured a couple of times in the first book (once by the HERO), and gets her ass handed to her at one point in the last book, but she's still somebody you don't want to mess with. She's the one who [[spoiler:kills Lolth, the goddess of the Drow, permanently. That's right kiddies, she's a [[KillTheGod GODSLAYER]].]] She finishes the last book by running ThePlan 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.
* Happens a couple of times in Literature/TheStormlightArchive, usually as a result of a Shardbearer getting swamped by shear weight of numbers.
* Happens to Aileana a couple of times in ''Literature/TheFalconer''. In most cases she manages to save herself.
* ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'' [[spoiler: Morgon spends a year being subjected to MindRape in the darkness of Erlenstar Mountain before breaking out, and then is later driven back to the mountain and imprisoned there again.]]
* Happens to [[AntiHero Kane]] in "[[{{Literature/Kane}} Raven's Eyrie]]". He's badly wounded (even for his immense [[HealingFactor healing skills]]), carried by his few faithful men into an inn run by his victim bent on revenge, he is pursued by a ruthless bounty hunter, not to mention the Demon Lord himself. And the only person that seems to want to help him is [[spoiler: his [[ChildByRape daughter]] Klesst]].
* All four men in ''A Dollar To Die For'' over the course of the novella. First the [[MasterSwordsman Count de Cabronet]], who was badly hurt in a botched murder by Mexican soldiers, and is rescued by the ManWithNoName; then [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Tuco]] is abducted by Apaches, re-abducted by fellow outlaw Pinky Roebuck and eventually saves himself; and the Man With No Name is saved by the Count de Cabronet, who then goes and finds [[RedEyesTakeWarning Pinky Roebuck]], who had been tied to a tree by an escaping Tuco.
* In the ''Literature/DreambloodDuology'', [[TheAce Ehiru]] is the best Gatherer around and a very capable fighter with remarkable self-control, but because of his unwavering devotion to Hananja's law he is easily manipulated by the Prince and finds himself completely out of his waters outside the Hetawa, the temple district. While Ehiru is plagued by visions due to a lack of dreamblood it falls to his apprentice Nijiri to make sure his mentor keeps a grasp on reality, as well as to [[spoiler:free the two of them from the prison when Ehiru eventually gives in and becomes a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Reaper]]]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/{{The 100}}'', almost all the MainCharacters are taken prisoner or trapped in a dangerous situation at some point, no matter how badass they are, and they usually need at least a little outside help in order to escape.
* ''{{Series/Batman}}'' often had the titular hero and Robin get captured in the first part of episodes, just so in the next week we'd see how they escape at the beginning of the next part.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Willow toward the end of season 3, when she's starting to get her witchiness on. She's captured by [[BigBad the Mayor's]] people. She lures a vampire into attacking her so she can kill him. With a ''pencil''. She risks her life further when she goes after the Mayor's dark books and learns what the gang needs to know about [[OneWingedAngel the Ascension]]. She ''faces down Faith''. When she gets rescued, it turns out she has crucial pages about the Ascension hidden in her boot.
** Other lesser examples include "Helpless" and "Halloween," although the circumstances are extenuating: in "Helpless", Buffy is de-powered by the Watcher's Council and is forced to play the helpless victim; she's rescued from a vampire mook by Giles in the end. Of course Buffy is still Buffy and holds her own against the deadlier foe. In "Halloween", Buffy is transformed into an 18th century damsel and needs constant rescuing and reassurance, but it's not ''really'' Buffy who's helpless.
** There was also the time Faith and "Angelus" captured her. Had Angel actually been Angelus, she would have been five kinds of fucked. [[FoeYay Quite]] [[LesYay literally.]]
** In "Crush", Spike and Drusilla taser Buffy, who is then chained up along with Drusilla as part of Spike's plan to choose a love interest (and which one gets to live). It goes wrong and Buffy fights off Drusilla while in chains, until Spike helps.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'':
** At the end of "The Longest Night", Derek Morgan is blindsided by the [=UnSub=] and bound with duct tape, allowing the [=UnSub=] to kidnap Ellie Spicer. The team, thus, must rescue Morgan from the Spicer house before they can continue with the investigation.
** It may not be the conventional way to do it, but "Profiler, Profiled" saw Morgan being sent to jail on a tip by the episode's [=UnSub=], forcing the team to investigate in order to secure his release.
** Hotch was also beaten in a fight by Foyet in "Nameless, Faceless" and tortured with multiple non-fatal stabbings.
* Pops up frequently on ''{{Series/Chuck}}'':
** Chuck, Casey and Sarah all take turns in distress throughout the series, needing to be rescued by one or more or the others. In the season 3 finale, ''all three'' are taken by [[spoiler: Shaw]], leaving [[spoiler: Ellie, Morgan and Devon]] to save them.
** Frequently happens with guest stars as well, since many play other spies working with the team and manage to get in trouble either on their own, or with another member of the team.
* One of the latter episodes of ''Series/DaiSentaiGoggleFive'' puts [[TheChick Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink]] into this situation when she's trapped inside a book, tied up and the book containing her is about to be burned. She broke from her bonds on her own, then gets put into a cage, but finally destroyed the source of the book's illusion source, destroying the book and getting out on her own. To some, that episode became quite the fan favorite (for a show at the age) and her CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Doctor in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E13LastOfTheTimeLords "Last of the Time Lords"]]. Released from bondage and within five minutes has completely owned the Master and undone the events of the previous year.
** This happens again in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]]:
--->"Worst. Rescue. ''Ever.''"
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E12ThePandoricaOpens The Pandorica Opens"]], the Doctor is trapped in the ultimate prison -- the titular Pandorica. It takes Rory (with, admittedly, some help from a future Doctor) to break him out.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E8LetsKillHitler "Let's Kill Hitler"]], the Doctor is dying slowly and painfully after being poisoned by [[spoiler: River Song]]. She then has to rescue Amy and Rory, as the Doctor is too weak to do it himself. [[spoiler:After he dies, she brings him back by sacrificing all her remaining regenerations.]]
** The Doctor is again incapacitated in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E13TheNameOfTheDoctor "The Name of the Doctor"]] when the Great Intelligence enters his tomb and [[spoiler:scatters himself throughout the Doctor's timeline]]. It is now Clara's turn to save him by [[spoiler:jumping into the Doctor's timestream herself]].
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':
** Aeryn gets kidnapped in the last season. She's tied up, tortured, and almost has her baby forcibly transplanted into another woman ([[ItMakesSenseInContext Chiana, actually.]]) The team finally pulls a BigDamnHeroes rescue and next episode she's back to kicking butt and taking names.
** Happens to all of Moya's BadAssCrew at some point. Everyone gets a turn to be kidnapped and tortured, and everyone gets the chance to be BigDamnHeroes.
* ''{{Series/Firefly}}'':
** Mal, poster man of BigDamnHeroes, has to get rescued from Niska. He was cracking jokes while getting metal pushed under his skin (not to mention all the dying and resuscitation).
** Inverted with River, who started off as a DistressedDamsel being protected by the rest of the crew. [[WaifFu We]] [[AxeCrazy know]] [[BadassAdorable how]] [[OneManArmy that]] [[LadyOfWar turns]] [[YouShallNotPass out.]].
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Brienne when she's tossed into the bear pit in Season 3.
** At some point after Jon leaves him with the rest of the Watch for the fake defection, Ghost was captured by Karl and Rast and is caged. How he was moved from a trap to the cage is never explained.
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis''- when Patricia gets kidnapped by the villian, she still manages to keep being the strong character she is and does everything she can to escape, from leaving a clue behind when she was taken to trying to knockout the villian. Despite this, it is her friends who end up rescuing her. (After two of them have to be saved themselves after a first failed rescue attempt). Immediately following her rescue Patricia goes on to furiously blackmail one of the teachers into telling the secret about her missing friend.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Happens to Harm in the climax of "Déjà Vu" when he's attacked in his apartment.
* ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'':
** [[BadassNormal Arthur]] is constantly needing to be saved by Merlin, despite being one of the greatest swordsmen in the series and capable of holding off two lesser swordsmen blindfolded. It's pretty well justified by the fact that most of the threats are magical but the way Merlin got his job as Arthur's manservant was by saving his life, and after 52 episodes of this, Merlin's extremely jaded by it.
-->'''Merlin''': Oh, I saved Arthur's life, someone else got the credit, just the usual.
** As this show is a WorldOfBadass and everyone has been in distress and needed to be saved at least once, you could call it a WorldOfBadass [[BadassInDistress In Distress]]. Even Merlin had to be rescued in "Tears of Uther Pendragon" and "Servant of Two Masters".
* This tends to happen in the ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' franchise ''a lot''. Usually it's the SixthRanger who ends up saving the others when this happens, but ''not always''. Every Ranger gets ADayInTheLimelight (usually several) and this sort of situation is usually how it occurs.
** In the ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' episode "Foul Play in the Sky", Kimberly is going for a flight with her uncle Steve. Rita sees this as an opportunity to kill Kimberly, and has Squatt and Baboo spike Steve's soda with a delayed-effect sleeping potion. Kimberly spends several minutes stuck on the plane, but with Alpha's help makes a CrashCourseLanding and then saves her friends and ''single-handedly kills the MonsterOfTheWeek''. In "Power Ranger Punks" she and Billy are confined to cages for most of the episode after Baboo spiked their fruit juice with a personality-deforming potion. Eventually they're cured, but Billy gets swallowed by the Terror Toad just like the others. Kimberly proceeds to free them and then kill the monster.
* This is the only trope that can explain why Lady Emily Merchant of ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' can kick all kinds of dinosaur and terror bird ass yet can also get kidnapped/put in mortal danger about four times within seven episodes.
** Happens to Abby in 2x04, when she is taken by the mers. After Cutter gets her out of her "cell" she proceeds to kick a mer in the face.
* From ''Series/RobinHood'': the titular character has been captured and is dangling over a snake pit, getting beaten around the abdomen by Guy of Gisborne, who is alternatively mocking him and demanding to know who the mysterious Night Watchman is. Robin just smiles, knowing full well what's going to happen, and answers Guy's question by saying: "I don't know who the Night Watchman is. But when I see him, I'll give him a kiss." Two seconds later, the Night Watchman turns up to save his ass. And yeah, in case you haven't guessed the obvious, the Night Watchman is [[spoiler:Maid Marian]].
* It's a rare episode of ''Series/SirArthurConanDoylesTheLostWorld'' when one of the explorers isn't kidnapped or held hostage or horribly injured in some fashion.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', because KryptoniteIsEverywhere and it has an even stronger effect on young Clark (in the early seasons he couldn't even crawl away from it), he ends up needing to be rescued, by his parents, [[BlackBestFriend Pete]], Lana, [[ForegoneConclusion Lois]], but mostly [[PlatonicLifePartners Chloe]]. In a particularly heartwarming/tear jerking scene, Clark admits this to an unconscious Chloe.
-->'''Clark''': You're the best friend and ally I could have had, Chloe. The truth is, you saved me more than I could have ever saved you.
** He then proceeds to [[spoiler:[[TooDumbToLive wipe all her]] [[MoralDissonance memories of his secret]].]]
* Basically every character in ''Series/StargateSG1'' has this happen to them at some point or another:
** [[MajorlyAwesome Samantha Carter]] is kidnapped by a dying millionaire, who found out about her time as host to an alien symbiote and hopes to dissect her in order to learn how it affected her physiology. She spends much of the episode trying to rescue herself (with escalating badassery), but is eventually saved by the rest of the team. This, however, doesn't diminish her badassness one bit.
** [[ColonelBadass Jack O'Neill]] gets his turn at this when he's captured by Ba'al and repeatedly tortured to death over the course of the episode. He continues to wisecrack at Ba'al during the process, though he was clearly starting to run out of endurance near the end. The rest of the team manages to [[EnemyMine persuade a mutual enemy]] to assist in attacking Ba'al's base, allowing Jack to escape.
** [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Teal'c]] gets captured by Heru'ur's forces and is continuously tortured by one of his underlings. Despite this, Teal'c refuses to acknowledge the Goa'uld as gods. This causes the man who betrayed him in the first place to make a HeelFaceTurn and assist him in escape. (The same character shows up later as a determined LaResistance fighter, clearly inspired by Teal'c's defiance.)
** [[AdventurerArchaeologist Daniel Jackson]] is captured and tortured by Honduran rebels while on a mission to find an important alien device that, as it turns out, had been left on Earth. Because Daniel has gone through a lot and and TakenALevelInBadass by this time, he handles the treatment spectacularly and manages to make an escape, but not before his more sheltered colleague breaks down and tells everything. Fortunately Jack had already been sent to rescue them and gets there as they are running from the crazed rebels ([[ItMakesSenseInContext and a zombie]]).
** Moving on to ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', John Sheppard, as badass as O'Neill, seems to be the go-to guy for getting into distress. On one notable occassion he gets captured by his arch-nemesis Acastus Kolya and tortured by having a captive [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Wraith]] continuously drain his life force. Eventually, Sheppard makes a deal with the Wraith, and they break out. The Wraith shows himself to be honorable by returning Sheppard's life force (and more). Also, this Wraith? It's Todd, himself a badass, so this trope works for him too. Other episodes have John crippled by alien bugs, trapped in a time-locked planet, held prisoner by space travellers and held hostage and/or tortured by the Genii a few more times, while his co-leader Elizabeth makes several [[{{SadisticChoice}} sadistic choices]] with his life on the line. To his credit he suffers through all of them with snark and escape attempts aplenty.
* On ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', this happens too many times to even begin to document. Almost every main character gets knocked out, captured, detained, or restrained in some way by some faction or individual and ends up requiring outside intervention to escape. Season 4 actually ended with over 90% of the main cast being captured. Thankfully one exception was Carol, who managed to save them all at the start of season 5.
* The entire cast of ''Series/WhiteCollar'', really. Especially with their propensity for being kidnapped (as El and Peter thoughtfully lampshade in [[spoiler:"Shoot the Moon"]]).
** Really, they all take turns being in distress and being badass about it. [[spoiler: Neal and Peter both in too many episodes to count {Neal alone is kidnapped in Bottlenecked, Under the Radar, and Checkmate while Peter is kidnapped in Payback, Under the Radar, and Shoot the Moon. Then there's El being kidnapped in Checkmate and Shoot the Moon, Sara being taken hostage in Pulling Strings, Jones being taken hostage in On Guard...} And all of them play a large role in their own escape. Not to mention Diana, who doesn't even get to the point of distress in her hero shots.]]
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', Mulder and Scully tended to pass the DistressBall between them. They occasionally managed to get themselves out of it, but far more often had to save each other.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' Celes can be one of your team's most elite warriors if you put enough investment into her. But in order to get her to join your party, Locke first needs to bust her out of an Imperial prison. Later in the game, there is also an incident where you have to stop a bad guy from dropping a large weight on her head while she's performing at an opera.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'' and its remake ''Fire Emblem Echoes'' have the local LadyOfWar, Mathilda. Due to everyone in that game automatically having a weapon regardless of what's in their inventory, the battle starts off with her killing the archers who are supposed to execute her, as the player begins advancing towards the fort she's captured in. If she survives the stage, she will be one of the best Paladins in the whole game.
*** Zeke is a badass BlackKnight who is being ForcedIntoEvil by the GeneralRipper Jerome, who's holding Zeke's girlfriend and partner Tatiana hostage. The group must both defeat the VainSorceress Nuibaba and free Tatiana if the player wants to get Zeke on their side.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'', Eliwood's father Elbert is the most powerful Paladin in Pherae, but has been missing from before Eliwood and Hector entered the plot. It turns out to be this, as he's been captured by Nergal who has sacrificing him to get his LifeEnergy among his plans. [[spoiler: While Elbert ''is'' rescued by Eliwood and Co., he soon dies from his injuries - [[DyingMomentOfAwesome but not before almost killing Nergal]].]]
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', during Xander and Charlotte's supports, the WarriorPrince Xander can be caught off-guard by a Faceless when he doesn't hae his CoolSword handy. If this happens, the CuteBruiser Charlotte takes action and ''kills the Faceless with her bare hands'', [[AmazonChaser much to Xander's awe.]]
* ''VideoGame/BulletStorm'' : Trishka. In her first appearance, she viciously beats her much larger, monstrous captor to death, all while spouting venomous profanities.
* Franchise/DonkeyKong in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongJr'', ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry2DiddysKongQuest'', and ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble''. After defeating [[BigBad Kaptain K Rool]] in [=DKC2=], he stands up again, seemingly NighInvulnerable. Donkey Kong decides he's had enough, bursts from his ropes and [[{{Shoryuken}} uppercuts]] K Rool [[MegatonPunch out of the air ship,]] [[HumiliationConga bouncing him off of each stage of Crocodile Isle before getting chomped by a school of sharks.]]
* Gunther Hermann in ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', although this is closer to the whole Badass getting the DistressBall.
* Lamia Loveless in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' at first is well known for her serious and analytical personality. The fact that she has some of the better SuperRobot, has a high position and is the most senior of the new Aggressors (only [[BadassNormal Kai]] is more senior than her) all points out that she is one of the more badass characters. Yet, in OG Gaiden, she is captured by the ODE [[WorfHadTheFlu while having no way to enter her mech]], spurred the rest of the EFA to rescue her, ends up getting shot down near dead by an BigBadWannabe, CameBackWrong by another enemy and even spurring an ex-enemy of hers to rescue her, making it look like she got hit by {{Chickification}}. Fortunately for her, once she recovered, it doesn't take another game for her to be active in battlefield again and her skills did not deteriorate, she's still the same effective soldier she was in the previous titles.
** Touya Shiun in ''The Moon Dwellers'' gets kidnapped quite a bit in the game because the Fury want to recover his mech that badly. Though he does have an excuse as why to he gets kidnapped: the Fury resort to ''stopping time'' just to kidnap the guy and the Granteed can't stop time because it doesn't have any Larselium inside it.
* Richter Belmont from ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}: [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Rondo of Blood]]''/''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheDraculaXChronicles The Dracula X Chronicles]]'' was a KnightInShiningArmor in his debut, rescuing a grand total of 4 girls from Dracula's captivity. However, ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' had him being captured and {{Brainwashed}}, motivating Maria Renard (whom he rescued previously) and Alucard to rescue him. After rescued, even though he didn't come back into action again, he is later marked as the strongest Belmont, so much that even ''memories'' of him from the whip could give Jonathan Morris a good dose of schooling.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', while Zelda is typically the DamselInDistress, in this game she has been fighting Ganon non-stop for 100 years. She's finally beginning to lose the battle as the game begins, so she needs you for backup.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** The 8-bit version of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' involves Tails getting kidnapped by Dr. Eggman. The game's about Sonic trying to rescue him. Whether or not he succeeds depends on whether or not he managed to collect all of the Chaos Emeralds.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', Sonic escapes from GUN once, but is captured again partly due to Shadow. He gets rescued by Tails and Amy, and proceeds to kick ass. [[spoiler: The game culminates in Shadow calling him the Ultimate Lifeform, a title Shadow once claimed for himself, if you take long enough against the final boss. Guess which one of three characters survives that final battle with their memory intact? It sure isn't Shadow, and we know it wasn't the [=FinalHazard=].]]
** In ''[[VideoGame/SonicChronicles Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood]]'', the first part of the game revolves around the kidnapping of Knuckles. Subverted in that when the party reach where he was being held hostage, [[spoiler: he has just finished escaping by himself]].
** In ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'', Tails gets captured by the Deadly Six about halfway through the game. [[spoiler: Like Knuckles, he saved himself, but also managed to fool his captors into thinking they'd won]].
** In ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', Rouge was captured early on in Shadow's story. Subverted as she managed to get out before Shadow could rescue her, (though she sounds as if she wanted to be rescued when Shadow does find her.). In the same game, one of the trials for Silver involve him rescuing Blaze from some enemies within a time frame.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicForces'', [[spoiler:Sonic himself gets taken away into the Death Egg for six months, after being defeated at the hands of returning villains and new face Infinite. The [[LaResistance Resistance]] comes up with a plan to break Sonic out of custody with the help of the [[CharacterCustomization Avatar]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', the DLC mission featuring Selvaria puts her into this situation, though she's not captured, just on the very verge of being captured. Considering that she's pretty much the only one capable in her squad, she struck on an advance force... only to fall into Damon's trap whereas she's gassed and her body becomes numb. Rescuing her becomes the mission objective whereas the only one who can rescue her is the meeky engineer Johann. Once he got near her, Selvaria can resume kicking ass.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': The Link introduced in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' has a history of this. He may be very badass, but if he acts without thinking or gets hit by a surprise-attack, he's quite easy to take down. Ganondorf gets him almost killed twice in the game [[spoiler:and [[LittleMissBadass Tetra]] has to save him both times]]. Later, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'', he loses his sword and gets caught by [[spoiler:Bellum's tentacles]]. Surprisingly, [[spoiler:Linebeck]] saves him.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' examples:
** In ''VideoGame/MortalKombat2'', Sonya and Kano are chained up in Kahn's arena and ForcedToWatch as the tournament takes place, the biggest reason, in Sonya's case, Jax is there. (One comic book adaptation claims that Shao Kahn plans to brainwash Sonya into becoming his queen; in any case, she's rescued between this game and the next.
** Three important parts of the Story Mode of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' involve the hero who's the focus of the chapter rescuing one of the other heroes from Shao Kahn's forces. The first time is in Sonya's chapter, where she has to rescue Jax from Shang-Tsung's dungeons. Later, in Jax's chapter, the roles are reversed, and he has to rescue ''her'' after she is taken prisoner after the conclusion of the first tournament. The third occasion spans two chapters: After Kitana is sentenced to death after Mileena is "born", Jade's chapter involves Jade trying to rescue her; she is unable to so, resulting in the crisis continuing into Kung Lao's chapter, where the Earthrealm warriors interrupt her execution, and she is rescued by Liu Kang.
** In ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'', Johnny Cage is captured by D'Vora about halfway through the game and spends the rest of it wrapped up in a cocoon (with her grubs chewing on his face) before being rescued by his daughter at the climax.
* Played straight AND subverted in the storyline for ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'': Multiple times, characters are defeated and captured, ([[spoiler: including more than two dozen of them at one point]]) and proceed to kick ass after being freed. Subverted in that [[spoiler: the Master Hand was Tabuu's prisoner, but when it attacks Tabuu after being freed, Tabuu defeats and possibly kills the Master Hand effortlessly]].
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Saber in the [[RoadCone Unlimited Blade Works route]] got her contract removed by Caster and was caught, and [[GoGoEnslavement was given a sexy outfit]] while being restrained by magic and is being coaxed to be Caster's servant, with only her high magic resistance to avoid being completely dominated, and it takes Rin's {{plan}} and Lancer's sudden offer for help (stalling Archer who turned coat) for Shiro to eventually save Saber... and Rin formed a new contract on Saber, amping her skills UpToEleven, technically making her even ''more'' badass than she was in Shiro's contract.
* ''VideoGame/SuperPrincessPeach'' is this trope turned into a game. The premise is after all is for the local, daily DistressedDamsel Princess Peach to save the day, saving the local, daily hero Mario, now turned DistressedDude. It only lasts for one game.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' DS, Mario actually starts out kidnapped by Bowser (along with Luigi and Wario). You start off as Yoshi, who was LateToTheTragedy.
** In both ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'' and ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'', Mario is kidnapped by King Boo.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'', Joel, the game's main protagonist, is severely injured and must rely on his 14-year old companion Ellie to protect and take care of him until he recovers. Later on, Ellie is incapacitated at the Firefly hospital and Joel must rescue her.
* In ''VideoGame/UnchartedDrakesFortune'', Nathan Drake is captured by pirates and is only able to escape when his companion, Elena Fisher, breaks him out of prison by using a truck to rip out the bars on a cell window. In his defense, he was captured in the process of protecting Elena.
* Super Joe in the NES version of ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'' and its XBLA remake.
* Adam, one of the playable characters in ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'', is captured by Mr. X in ''Streets of Rage 2''. He's not playable in the third game, but shows up in a BigDamnHeroes cutscene near the beginning of the final stage. The fangame ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRageRemake'' puts him back into full throttle action.
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series:
** Can happen to the player character in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. You don't ''have'' to wait around to be rescued, but some of the funniest cutscenes in the game occur if you do. Of course, the more stubborn, proud, or simply skilled players will likely never go to that point unless they intentionally lose (or surrender) to ThatOneBoss.
*** It happens again in the DLC ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening'', when the Warden-Commander and their entire party are captured by the Architect. Although ''he'' means them no harm, his lackeys are another story, and the Commander has to run around to find the other three and help them escape from the silverite mines where they're all being held. Unlike the situation in the base game, this particular incident cannot be avoided.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', this happens to Hawke and Tallis, both powerful fighters in their own right, during one of the DLC missions. They get captured [[spoiler:by Duke Prosper]] and decide to wait for Hawke's companions to rescue them. [[spoiler:Tallis finally gets fed up with waiting and opens the doors herself.]]
** This ''doesn't'' happen to the Inquisitor in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', but it does happen to an entire unit of Inquisition soldiers. Word comes from a soggy location called the Fallow Mire that an Avvar chieftain's son has taken the soldiers hostage because he wants to fight the Inquisitor. One of the other Avvar, a friendly one who wants no quarrel with the Inquisition, observes that the soldiers put up an extremely skillful fight before they were taken.
* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCellConviction'', [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys Victor]] [[FireForgedFriends "Vic"]] [[BashBrothers Coste]] is captured by [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Black]] [[EvilArmy Arrow]] and is interrogated and he [[FramingDevice recounts the tale of]] [[BadassBoast how Sam kicked their asses.]] In the final cutscene he tells them that Sam is [[PapaWolf taking care of his family]] and that he said that he [[TrueCompanions loved him like a brother]] when the alarms [[OhCrap sound]] [[TheCavalry signaling Sam breaching the premises.]] And we have a cut of Vic trough a camera saying [[BondOneLiner "Thought so"]] in the most badass way possible.
* Zero from ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' is captured by Vile in the first of the fortress levels, and X has to fight the latter to set him free. [[spoiler:It's still a HopelessBossFight, and Zero had to break out of his electric cage to pull a HeroicSacrifice to save X again.]]
* Bastila starts off ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' captured by a street gang on Taris. She ends up saving the PlayerCharacter when he tries to rescue her. [[ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike The fact that said rescue goes badly is a major point of contention for her.]]
** [[BadassCrew You the PC, Carth ans Bastila]] are imprisoned in the Leviathan and have to be rescued by one of the other party members.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicII'' the player character at one point gets captured and put on Goto's yacht, requiring the rest of the team to go and save him/her.
* At the beginning of ''Franchise/MassEffect'', two of the teammates you have to recruit [[WrenchWench Tali,]] and Liara are in trouble and you have to save them from some attackers: In Tali's case, it's a few thugs, and in Liara's case it's a Krogan Battlemaster and several Geth troopers. After they get on your squad however, they start pulling their own weight and generally kicking ass. In the sequel, to recruit Garrus and Tali again, you have to save them again, this time from much bigger threats. With Tali, it's several hundred Geth Troopers and a Colossus (basically a giant sentient robotic [[SpiderTank spider tank]]), and with Garrus it's wave after wave of mercenaries from three different criminal groups. Similar to the last game, they go back to being badass after the rescue. Indeed, Garrus never ''stopped'' being badass, [[ColdSniper popping off headshot after headshot]], killing dozens of mercenaries over the course of three days. He was simply in danger of being overrun. While not anywhere near to the same extent as Garrus, Tali didn't appear to be going down without a fight either, as in the room you find her in, she's alone with several dead geth troopers on the floor and a shotgun on her desk.
** Applies to almost every squadmate actually. For example, Thane admits that he would've been killed by Nassana's guards had Shepard not been there, [[spoiler: Legion]] is taken down by husks and has to be physically carried back to the ship, and Jack is rescued from a Blue Suns prison ship, where she's in cryo-stasis. Garrus however is unique in that he's the only squadmate who will actively fight with you in gameplay during the mission itself.
** In The Arrival DLC for ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Shepard is incapacitated and captured by those under Reaper indoctrination, [[OneManArmy after potentially wiping out a few hundred of them first.]] They proceed to underestimate Shepard's {{Determinator}} status and the sedatives stop working eventually. With the Normandy unable to reach him/her, not knowing where s/he is, [[CurbStompBattle s/he proceeds to bust him/herself out and tear the entire facility apart without any backup, going through elite assault troops, heavy mechs, etc.]] before calling in the Normandy and then speaking to [[EldritchAbomination Harbinger]] himself, [[DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu giving him a final FU before leaving.]]
** Played with during Liara's reintroduction in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': We first see her being [[AirventEscape chased through the air vents]] by two Cerberus troopers, before she drops out of the vent, traps both bad guys with a Singularity and cooly finishes them off with her pistol.
* ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'':
** Meta Knight, twice, in ''VideoGame/KirbyAndTheAmazingMirror'' and [[spoiler: ''VideoGame/KirbysEpicYarn'']]. In the former he was trapped in a mirror world while his evil doppelganger ran around causing trouble, and in the latter he was [[spoiler: possessed by Yin-Yarn]].
*** He was also kidnapped in [[spoiler:''VideoGame/KirbyPlanetRobobot'']], making it the third time this happens. [[spoiler:He was apparently [[UnwillingRoboticisation converted into a robotic servant]] of the Haltmann Works Company(dubbed "Mecha Knight"), and Kirby has to fight him, ''twice''. The second time he is fought, Meta Knight was eventually restored to his former self(with his mask breaking as a result), fleeing the scene.]]
** Even Kirby's former arch-enemy, King Dedede, was kidnapped in ''VideoGame/KirbyTripleDeluxe''. In the intro, an [[BigCreepyCrawlies insect-like creature]] named Taranza wipes out all of King Dedede's soldiers and took the king high up into the [[FloatingContinent floating islands of Floralia]], prompting Kirby to rescue him from the clutches of the spider-like mage. [[spoiler:When the pink puffball caught up with him in Royal Road, Taranza [[BrainwashedAndCrazy possesses King Dedede with his magic]], turning him into Masked Dedede and forcing Kirby to snap him out of it. Later on, Kirby '''''himself''''' was caught up in the BigBad's vines, only to be rescued by [[BigDamnHeroes King Dedede and Taranza]] afterwards.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'', [[spoiler:Bayonetta]], who has proven '''''plenty of times''''' that she was a force to be reckoned with, [[spoiler:ends up unconscious and trapped into Jubileus' statue form, courtesy of Balder]]. [[spoiler:Hopefully, she is saved by Jeanne and manages to fight off the revived Jubileus and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punch her soul into the sun]] ]].
** Also, in ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta 2}}'', it is ''[[spoiler:Jeanne]]'' who fills this role: [[spoiler:she gets killed while protecting Bayonetta from a surprise attack from Gomorrah and her soul is dragged to Inferno. She stays there for a good portion of the game until Bayonetta beats the living daylights out of the demon that was holding her captive.]]
* Jin and Makoto of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' take turns in this trope - the badass doing the saving is the other one.
** In ''Slight Hope'', Jin is in far too bad a shape to fight back against Hazama, who had come along with the intention of killing him. Rather than sit back and watch it happen, Makoto parries the hit and fights Hazama in Jin's place. [[spoiler:Hazama "wins" (then again, [[InvincibleVillain Hazama]]), but Jin bails her out, having recovered enough strength to freeze Hazama in his tracks.]]
** In ''Decision'', Hazama catches Jin and Makoto chatting - oddly enough, he came down to deal with Jin personally (having commented that Phantom buggered up, as Jin "smells like cat"), but he changes his mind and tries to kill Makoto, only for Jin to block the hit instead. [[spoiler:Again, Hazama "wins", but Jin freezes him again and both bail shortly thereafter. Makoto was the "damsel" as she was playing under radar and knew Jin was not fond of Intel due to events in ''Slight Hope''; thus she had to lower her guard to prevent a reprisal.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'', [[spoiler:Nick Fury and Maria Hill]] go missing in Chapter 7, and rescuing Mockingbird was the plot of the first Special Operations mission.
* In ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes'', Thor, She Hulk, Nova, Drax, and the Scarlet Witch have all been turned to stone somehow by Thanos. (Or maybe Mephisto, or maybe both), and are present in the FinalBoss stage as statues. They are restored to life in the Heroes' endings after Thanos is defeated.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/SuikodenTierkreis''. [[LadyOfWar Chrodechild]] gets captured by [[spoiler:the Mage Lord]], and Asad rushes in to SaveThePrincess... only to discover that she knocked her captor out once he dismissed his guards, then ran for it.
* In the early parts of ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', Roland is captured by bandits. According to him, they knocked him out while he was taking a piss. Near the end of the game, [[spoiler:Lilith ends up captured by Jack and used to power the Vault Key]].
* Nero in ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry4'' ends up in distress along with Kyrie, prompting the switch to Dante as the playable protagonist until he is rescued.
* Sora of the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series may have slain a lot of Heartless and rescued a lot of women, but even he's been captured at some points: [[LockedInARoom once]] by [[Disney/PeterPan Hook]], [[BoundAndGagged once]] by [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Barbossa]], [[PrisonEpisode twi]][[DeathCourse ce]] by [[{{Film/Tron}} Sark]], [[TentacleRope once]] by [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Flotsam and Jetsam]], and [[GrandTheftMe once]] by [[spoiler: [[BigBad Master Xehanort]]]].
* [[ActionGirl Chun-Li]] has had to be rescued ''a lot'' in the history of the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' franchise, usually by Guile.
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowGatOutOfHell'': The Third Street Saints leader, now GodEmperor of the Universe, is kidnapped by {{Satan}}. Now it's up to Johnny Gat and Kinzie Kensington to save them.
* In ''VideoGame/YuGiOhReshefOfDestruction'', because the Millennium Puzzle is taken, Yami Yugi ends up captured, and the plot centers on getting it back to call him out. He drops the DistressBall fast when he's rescued.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}} and the Pirate's Curse'', [[spoiler:[[ArchEnemy Risky Boots]]]] gets captured by the Pirate Master and put in chains. [[spoiler:Although it's implied to have been part of her BatmanGambit to trick him into a situation where he's forced to fight a [[EleventhHourSuperpower Shantae that had regained her]] [[KryptoniteFactor Genie powers]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus'' Vincent spends much of the game grappling with his literal inner demon, Chaos, because the protomateria, the thing used to control Chaos, gets ripped out of him by Rosso. Several cutscenes depict him falling to his knees and clutching his chest in pain as he fights for control of his body. Twice he winds up being rescued as well, once when he accidentally turns into Chaos and collapses from the exertion and has to be rescued by Shalua, and another time when Rosso rips the protomateria out of his chest and he has to be rescued by Yuffie.
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'' the entire game revolves around this as Batman is injected with a sample of blood from a Titan-poisoned Joker in the beginning of the game and over time gets sicker and sicker, even coming close to death, and only surviving because of his determination.
* ''VideoGame/MinecraftStoryMode'': In the first episode, both [[spoiler:Petra]] and [[spoiler:Gabriel]] get caught in a {{tractor beam}} and you are given the option to save [[SadisticChoice one of them]]. [[spoiler:Whoever you saved will later rejoin the group with an IncurableCoughOfDeath.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'', one of the mission types is "rescue", where you have to rescue a captive from an enemy prison complex and escort them to the evac point. Sounds like your typical hair pulling EscortMission right? Nope! Give the captive your pistol, and they use it with very good accuracy on anything that comes close. Despite presumably getting tortured, they still are able to tank a few bullets, and if they lose all their HP? They still hang on for 20 seconds during which you can apply first aid to get them back to their feet.
* Caldarius from ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'' is a badass in a mech-like PoweredArmor. In "The Renegade" level however, you have to protect Caldarius from waves of enemy minions while he is recharging his power cells. During this time he is immobile and unable to defend himself.
* The first proper mission in ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 2'' involves coming to mobster Vladimir Lem's rescue when his mansion is invaded by rival Vinnie Gognitti and his mooks.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'': Olimar was able to take on several monsters and other things when he got stuck on PNF-404 in the first two games. In the third, he needs to be saved by the Koppi crew.
* In the Hearthfire DLC of VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim, your spouse might have been abducted when you were away. But potential spouses include an experienced archer with lycanthropy, a woman expelled by the companions for being "too hot-blooded" and a vampire lord so old she asked "Empire? What... what empire?".

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Agent Tex from ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', easily the most badass character in the series (especially in ''Revelation''), regularly gets captured and requires the assistance of the far less competent Reds and Blues.
* [[BadassAdorable Ruby]] from ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' got herself captured by White Fang near the end of vol.2. To her credit, she tried to fight off the attackers, and made a few attempts at escape, and when her kidnappers were distracted by her backup she used the opportunity to become [[DamselOutOfDistress badass out of distress]].

* Tarvek finds himself to be chronically kidnapped due to the political climate after the time skip in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''. He hasn't lost his guile or fighting abilities however, he's just often outnumbered or facing characters who outclass ''all'' of the protagonists and he manages to turn the situation around to his benefit in the end.
* The most badass character of ''Webcomic/{{Marooned}}'' is easily Lian. There is an entire story arc devoted to her captivity and rescue.
* ''Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces'': Small and temporary example when [[spoiler: Flash Man tries to kidnap Dr. Light. Being a squishy human, Dr. Light still needs help, but is still able to contribute to his escape.]]
* Deconstructed in ''Webcomic/RiverPassage'', as [[spoiler: Irish]] dies while in distress.
* In ''Webcomic/RoninGalaxy'', Leona Gallant is {{Arrested For Heroism}} and attempts to escape by using her sex appeal on Cecil.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/DeadWest'' The Porcelain Doctor was kidnapped once, by a Scottish ex-soldier, in ''Porcelain''. He lost his glasses in the process, and got hit several times. He was otherwise assaulted, too, and judging from a few words, the soldier molested him. So by the time [[BigDamnHeroes Gervas and the Merry Company]] arrives, the good doctor has already burned through his binds, ignited a few idiots with an offered brandy, scared off most of them, but not before he made one to hand him his cane, then put a sword through his kidnapper's stomach.
* In ''Literature/GirlsOnFilm'', Hardestadt Delac is kidnapped and held prisoner by [[BigBad Rich Jacobs]] for a large portion of the story. If it hadn't been for his partner Erin, it's unlikely he ever would've escaped.
* ''ARG/ILoveBees'' (a ''VideoGame/Halo2'' ARG): ActionGirl Jan James becomes one when gangster Thin Kinkle kidnaps her.
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' example: In "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy", the team is trapped in a LotusEaterMachine and every one of them has to be rescued, except the one generally regarded as the weakest member of the team. Since they take turns rescuing each other, there's a lot of Badassery to go around. The only one who doesn't get a turn is [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo]] (she was otherwise occupied having a HeroicBSOD).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'', Jake is [[GreenEyedMonster jealous]] of Haley getting an interview with a prominent magical TV show and so spikes her water with a powder that makes her powers go mildly haywire, meant to culminate with her powers failing completely. However during filming, she ends up attacked and because of the power failure, is unable to fight off her attacker, resulting in her kidnapping. A [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone guilt-stricken]] Jake goes after the kidnapper. [[spoiler:[[BrokenAce After she's rescued, Haley reveals that the prank powder wore off around the time of her kidnapping and it was her own fear that locked up her powers.]] She's sincerely grateful that Jake [[BigBrotherInstinct came after her]].]]
* From ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', the Boiling Rock rescue is a big example of this. It started off when Sokka wanted to rescue [[spoiler: Hakoda,]] who is indisputably a badass. He rescues not only [[spoiler: Hakoda]] but [[spoiler: Suki]] as well, who is also a badass. It takes the combined badassitude of Sokka, [[spoiler: Zuko, Hakoda, Suki, Chit Sang, and ''Mai and Ty Lee'']] for the rescue to be successful.
** Then there is the entire "The Blue Spirit" episode where Aang is being held hostage. Until he's rescued by [[spoiler: Zuko]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' has [[spoiler: Captain America]] get captured by Skrulls so they could replace him with a duplicate. [[spoiler: Cap]] refuses to let the Skrulls' treatment of him in prison break his spirit, and he eventually leads the other prisoners in a riot and escape.
* One Creator/CartoonNetwork promotional commercial has WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls break into the LegionOfDoom's headquarters to rescue Wonder Woman ''and'' Aquaman.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
** The episode "Image Problem", Yumi - likely the most badass of the heroes at the time - is held captive by a Guardian while XANA sends a duplicate of her to cause trouble. (Possible the first time he used what would later be called a polymophic clone.) Eventually, Aelita and the others managed to find her, at which point she went back to the real world to deal with the impostor. (As she herself said, "This is between me and myself.")
** Happens again in "Ultimatum", with Odd along for the ride this time. The two of them are kidnapped by their XANA-possessed principal, who is literally able to manhandle them into submission, and end up LockedInAFreezer long enough that they ''can't'' fight back.
* Franchise/{{DCAU}}:
** In one ''WesterAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode Harley Quinn had kidnapped Batman, with the intent to kill him in a vat of piranhas, to woo the Joker. Batman convinces Harley to show the Joker just how well she's done, because the piranhas would leave no evidence. She does so, but much to her surprise, he flies into a tizzy about [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou Batman being HIS to defeat]], and, after punishing Harley for her insubordination (by ''[[DestinationDefenestration tossing her out a window]]''), frees Batman to finish the job himself. Batman ''planned for this exact reaction'' - he explains on the page image for BatmanGambit.
** In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'', Static is sent forty years into the future, where he helps [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond Batman's successor]] rescue another superhero [[spoiler: his future self.]]
** ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''
*** Batman is captured by ComicBook/LexLuthor's Injustice Gang, and held captive for the majority of the episode while the rest of the league tries to find Luthor. He spends the whole time playing the gang's members against each other and undermining their trust. When the League does show up and everything's going to hell, Joker tries to take the opportunity to finally off Batman... who is no longer restrained, and reveals he could've gotten out whenever he wanted, but stuck around to keep an eye on things.
*** Brainiac's assault on Apokolips, in which Darkseid requests the League's help is revealed to be a trap for Superman, and he is captured at Brainiac's asteroid base. Brainiac intends to use Superman to become a living being...while Darkseid is revealed to have to his own designs for Brainiac in the search for the Anti-Life Equation. Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman and Batman in tow with Orion work to free Superman and escape the asteroid base.
*** It happens to the entire League in "Secret Society" - apparently - courtesy of Grodd's team of villains. Their escape (leading to the epic battle at the end) was the result of [[spoiler: J'onn J'onzz disguising himself as Clayface during the initial fight; the villains had actually grabbed the ''real'' Clayface, and didn't realize that the one they were dealing with was an imposter until it was too late.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Flash Gordon|1979}}'': This happens surprisingly often to Flash, although he always escapes before too much time has elapsed, usually inspiring a SlaveRevolt against the bad guys on the way out.
* Happens to Duke in ''both'' of the first two [[FiveEpisodePilot Five Episode Miniseries]] of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoe.'' The second time, Snake Eyes is captured along with him.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'', MemeticBadass Race Bannon does wind up captured or otherwise in trouble quite a few times. This is because the creative team meant to empower the kids a bit more [[TagalongKid than they were in]] classic ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** Korra [[spoiler: gets [[PeoplePuppets kidnapped]] by Tarrlok and locked up in a metal box. Long story short, Amon and his minions showed up, Amon [[CurbStompBattle took care]] of Tarrlok, and sent Lieutenant to electrocute the box to knock her out so they could take her with them. What did she do? Used her wrist wraps to hang on to the bars on the top of the box to avoid electrocution, pretended that he knocked her out, and utterly kicked their arses in the moment they opened the box, then escaped Amon himself. This is after she spent roughly a night and a day in that box, without anything to eat or drink.]]
** She also gets kidnapped by Zaheer and his gang in "The Terror Within" after she and Naga were tranqulized with shirshu darts. If it weren't for [[EvilDetectingDog Pabu]], they would have gotten away. And for the rest of the fight scene, Korra stays mostly unconscious until she gets rescued.
* [[spoiler:Mike Chilton]] in the two-part finale of ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}''. Particularly when he [[spoiler:beats up Red to free himself]].
%%* Ardeth Bay in ''WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "The Dark Medjai".
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Twilight Sparkle is the main cast's BadassBookworm who is also one of the most powerful magic users in the show, but in ''The Stare Master'', she was [[TakenForGranite turned to stone]] by a [[FeatheredFiend cockatrice]] which left [[ShrinkingViolet Fluttershy]] to protect the kids she was babysitting and save Twilight.
** Princess Celestia is this in both the series pilot and the Season 2 finale. She's generally acknowledged to be the BigGood of the series, but is missing during Nightmare Moon's attack and [[spoiler: defeated by the queen of the changelings]] (shown on screen), respectively, leaving it to Twilight and friends to deal with the threat. (Not counting Discord here as he's less a personal threat and more a global disaster with a sick sense of humor; everypony is ''equally'' helpless against him until the {{plot coupon}}s finally come together at the end of "The Return of Harmony".)
*** Also in the season 2 finale, inverted with Princess Cadance: she needed rescuing first, ''then'' establishes herself as badass.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'': TJ is prone to this. Notably in 'Prince Randall' when he is 'arrested' and beaten until he collapses. (Offscreen). The moment he's released, the guy is leading the gang and putting the rightful king on the throne...''while covered in bruises and unable to walk''. And this is a nine year old kid!
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'':
** Many of the more recent animated ''Scooby Doo'' features have upgraded Daphne from the standard DistressedDamsel of the original and earlier works, following the first live-action movie's portrayal by Creator/SarahMichelleGellar of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' fame.
** Believe it or not, in one of the ''original'' episodes of that show where Franchise/{{Batman}} and Robin guest stared, ''they'' had to be rescued, after being tricked into falling into a deep pit with glass-like smooth walls that were impossible to climb on their own. (Of course, given that two ''real'' villains, the Joker and the Penguin were the culprits this time, rather than some crook in a monster suit, it's understandable.)
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'':
** At the end of [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E11CallToAction "Call to Action"]], Kanan is captured by the Empire. He spends the [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E12RebelResolve next episode]] being tortured by Tarkin and the Inquisitor. In the season finale, [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E13FireAcrossTheGalaxy "Fire Across the Galaxy"]], the rest of the ''Ghost'' crew stage a rescue mission, and Kanan [[spoiler:winds up defeating the Inquisitor in a duel,]] resulting in the destruction of the Star Destroyer he was being held on.
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E01TheHolocronsOfFate "The Holocrons of Fate"]]: [[spoiler:Maul]] ends up capturing Hera, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper and holding them hostage to force Kanan and Ezra to give him [[spoiler:the Sith holocron]]. They attempt to escape, but are foiled. Ultimately, Kanan rescues them from being executed by the perpetrator's droids.
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E03HerasHeroes "Hera's Heroes"]]: Hera and Ezra are captured by Thrawn during an attempt to retrieve a family heirloom from the Syndulla house. They don't break out themselves, but Hera ''does'' arrange their escape -- by taking advantage of the Imperials ignoring [[RobotBuddy Chopper]].
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E04TheLastBattle "The Last Battle"]]: Zeb is forced to play the role of the hostage in a war game set up by the droid general Kalani, leader of a Separatist holdout. He spends the time snarking at him.
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E19ZeroHour "Zero]] [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E20ZeroHourPartII Hour"]]: [[spoiler:Kallus]] gets unmasked as the ReverseMole and held captive on the bridge of the ''Chimaera'', ForcedToWatch Thrawn's attack on the rebels. He manages to arrange his escape by [[IShallTauntYou taunting]] Governor Pryce until she orders him ThrownOutTheAirlock, giving him an opportunity to overpower his guards and make for an escape pod.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends''. Wonder Woman tended to be kidnapped, brainwashed etc. more frequently than the rest of the Super Friends.
** 1973/74 season.
*** In "The Baffles Puzzle" she was trapped at the bottom of a pit by a SurpriseSlideStaircase and had to be rescued by Superman.
*** In "The Menace of the White Dwarf" she was pursuing Raven in her invisible jet when he used the extreme gravity of the white dwarf fragment to render her unconscious. When she plummeted out of control, Superman caught her jet and saved her.
** In later seasons she was often subject to the Legion of Doom's machinations.
* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', all three of the main heroes at the time (Kid Flash, Aqualad and Robin) get captured by Cadmus; it takes Robin approximately two minutes to break them out, [[{{Determinator}} while getting shocked the entire time]].
--> ''"Luckily Batman isn't here - he'd have my head for taking so long."''