->'''Valvatorez:''' You're going to dedicate your life to me...? I just saved your life. Why would you want to do that? My efforts to save you will only be made worthwhile if you use your life to fulfill your ''own'' desire.
->'''Fenrich:''' And that is why I'd like to dedicate the rest of my life to you! That ''is'' my desire!
-->-- ''VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten''

Sometimes, the real reason a character is a lackey is because it's an excuse to hang around someone they like. Maybe the character is too shy (or proud) to confess their feelings to the boss/liege/general. Maybe the brass, the parents, or society in general would disapprove of anything other than a purely business-like relationship between the two of them. Maybe the superior themselves would be resistant to the idea. But as an employee, the lackey gets to stay close to their object of affection without arousing suspicions or needing to make any confessions.

There are other factors as well:
* The superior's job is to watch and take care of the lackey, and this feeds nicely into a sense of being protected and cared for.
* Being a valued minion feeds nicely into a sense of being needed.

This also works the other way around, where being the boss/liege/general is just an easy way to keep people you like around you without having to actually ''tell'' them that, and to inconspicuously provide for their needs. To make this more fair, this usually requires that the lackeys be ambivalent or oblivious to the real reason for their employment.

Compare BodyguardCrush. Contrast NoHeroToHisValet, and IgnoredEnamoredUnderling, where the underling isn't afraid of rejection and their boss isn't resistant; the boss just doesn't care for them romantically. Not to be confused with JustFollowingOrders. See also {{Minionshipping}}, where the two characters are at a similar level in the hierarchy.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/CrossAnge'', After [[BigBad Embryo]] [[spoiler:saves Salia from drowning, she [[RescueRomance falls in love]] with him, performs a FaceHeelTurn, and becomes his [[TheDragon Dragon]]]]. There's also some implication that Salia was in love with her Commander, Jill.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** Riza Hawkeye and Roy Mustang. Officially, she's his personal assistant and bodyguard, but their relationship extends back to long before the story began. The manga is more explicit on the "protection" angle, along with the romantic subtext between the two, but there's a law against military fraternization. [[spoiler:The author's comments in the third art book confirm that this law is a reason they aren't married.]]
** In a non-romantic sense, this also rather appropriately describes Roy's relationship to his TrueCompanions[=/=]underlings. Riza and the four male subordinates are devoted to Roy and his goals and would do most anything he asked of them. The BigBad is also aware of this as well and [[spoiler:scatters them across Amestris to weaken Roy's power base and demoralize him. It doesn't work as well as expected.]]
* This is how Hayate in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' is initially employed, although the lead girl usually moons over him in private.
* ''Manga/RozenMaiden'': Shinku and Jun's ambiguous relationship largely works on the fact that Shinku, who is [[{{DefrostingIceQueen}} not particularly cuddly]], can treat Jun as her servant. And he's supposed to be her master!
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', both BridgeBunnies Makoto Hyuga and Maya Ibuki are doing their jobs to stay close to Misato and Ritsuko, respectively, not that either Misato or Ritsuko are interested. Misato, however, is not above taking advantage of Hyuga's crush to get him to do things not covered by regulations -- spying, picking up her laundry, the usual. She does feel pretty guilty about it.
* In ''Manga/MagiLabyrinthOfMagic'' it's hinted that the real reason Morgiana sticks with Alibaba, even though she's not necessarily obligated to do so, it's because of her feelings for him.
* ''Manga/DanceInTheVampireBund'' has Mina Tepes, descendant of Dracula and ruler of all vampires, apparently enlisting Akira Regendorf of the Earth Clan (a family of werewolves) as her personal bodyguard because she loves him and the rest of the vampire covenant wouldn't approve of such a relationship. [[spoiler:It turns out that even he knows but thinks he is unworthy and monstrous (never mind his crush is an ancient vampire queen).]]
* Tidal Wave of ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' started out being passionately loyal to Megatron. After his reformatting into Mirage, he became... well, just passionate.
* ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'':
** The anime has both Louise and Saito ineffectually use this excuse because of the 'familiar/master' thing.
** When Saito is knighted early in the second season and Siesta is assigned to be his personal maid, she uses it too.
** Towards the end of the third season Tabitha tries to become [[LadyAndKnight Saito's new Bright Lady]], complete with a contract kiss.
* In ''LightNovel/FateZero'', Kayneth Archibald's fiancee Sola-Ui falls in love with his Servant, Lancer, and she becomes [[{{Yandere}} increasingly desperate]] to become [[spoiler:(and later remain)]] his Master instead.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Momo Hinamori becomes vice-captain of the Fifth Division because she's in love with the captain, Sosuke Aizen. Unfortunately, after TheReveal, it turns out this was ''[[MemeticMutation exactly as he planned]]''.
** Kiyone Kotetsu's enthusiastic crush on Ukitake can easily be seen as her reason for wanting to be his third seat.
** The [[AllThereInTheManual manga companion books]] state this is the situation between Kyouraku and his vice-captain Nanao, with the excuses apparently going both ways. The reason Nanao is never seen on the front lines? Well, no-one knows for certain, but the in-universe rumour mill believes it's because Kyouraku simply can't bear to have her there. And when the readers learn what happened to his previous vice-captain, this begins to make sense. When Nanao's kido barriers are all that stands between Kyouraku and Haschwalth, Kyouraku very nearly admits it, but Nanao hastily cuts him off.
** Kanae Katagiri is the servant and bodyguard to Uryuu's father, Ryuuken. She's also been [[UndyingLoyalty devoted]] to him from the moment they [[LoveAtFirstSight first met]] as [[ChildhoodFriendRomance young children]]. When he suffers from an HeroicBSOD due to his hopes for the future of the Quincies being shattered [[spoiler: by Aizen]], she pulls a YouAreNotAlone speech on him to make it absolutely clear that if he tries to slink off into the GreyRainOfDepression alone, she'll abandon everything to go with him. [[spoiler: It's confirmed that she is Uryuu's MissingMom.]]
* ''Manga/ExcelSaga'': Excel wants to conquer the world, or so she claims. It's really more of an excuse to be with Il Palazzo. In her words, she "writes 'love' and reads 'loyalty'". On the other hand, Hyatt only really follows Il Palazzo because Excel believes in him. Not quite so in the manga, where Il Palazzo seems to have subjected all his underlings to some idiosyncratic form of brainwashing, with funky side-effects on their personalities.
* Nakai, a supporting character from ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'' is passionate about drawing manga for Aoki, the script-writer he has a crush on. [[spoiler:He eventually tells her that he'll draw for her only if she becomes his girlfriend, leading her to slap him and work solo]].
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'':
** Gokudera. One wonders how far exactly his "loyalty" for Tsuna goes before it starts getting into the realm of making him a StalkerWithACrush.
** When Squalo first met Xanxus, he could 'feel' his power and anger, and decided to follow him for it.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'', [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain semi-competent antagonist ace]] Patrick Colasour's motivation quickly shifts from being an arrogant fighter jock to being with his beloved [[DefrostingIceQueen taskmaster]] of a CO, [[strike:Colonel]] '''[[BodyguardCrush TAISAA!!!]]''' Kati Mannequin. This is explicitly his reason for [[spoiler:joining and later defecting from A-Laws]] in the second season, even though he's really not up to it - wherever his [[strike:Colonel]]'''TAISAA!!!''' goes, he will follow. [[spoiler:They end up married.]]
* Bjorn and Askeladd in ''Manga/VinlandSaga''. Bjorn fights in Askeladd's crew because he considers Askeladd a friend and wants to look out for him more than anything else, while Askeladd in turn considers Bjorn his only true friend amongst the Vikings.
* Perfectly describes the relationship between {{Meganekko}} Kinon and her boss Rossiu in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. Kinon wanted to be around him, so as Rossiu ([[TheSpock to no one's suprise]]) gained power and responsibilities in the new earth government, she followed behind him and learned to be just as organized and disciplined, eventually becoming his secretary of sorts post TimeSkip.
* ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'':
** At the very start, [[{{Tsundere}} Shana]] was only planning to protect Yuji until he [[RetGone disappeared]]. Then she found out he wasn't going to. She's not exactly his subordinate, so this might be more of a BodyguardCrush, but still, she listens to his advice and instructions, and trusts him completely. And she is using his MacGuffin as an excuse; it would normally be easy for her to just cut him down, since he's technically NotQuiteHuman.
** [[LonelyRichKid Keisaku Satou]] uses this to stay close to [[CoolBigSis Margerie Daw]].
* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'' Commander Amaro towards Lieutenant Kitsurubami. [[spoiler: Subverted when he tries to make a pass at her, and she makes it very clear that she can't stand him romantically.]]
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''. [[NobleDemon Evangeline]] claims that she's only training Negi, Asuna, and the rest of their group so that she can shape them into her "sub-bosses", although from the way she acts (training them, letting them use her resort for vacation, [[BigDamnHeroes saving their butts from a demon]] and ''going sightseeing'' with them afterwards, etc.) it's fairly evident that she enjoys their company more that she wants to admit.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** BattleButler Haku is loyal to Zabuza and does whatever he asks, up to and including murder, even though it pains Haku to kill. Despite this, he sticks around because he wants to be near Zabuza and please the so-called [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Demon of the Hidden Mist]] by helping to further his goals.
** The only reason [[StalkerWithACrush Karin]] is working for Sasuke ''at all'' is to be closer to him. [[BlackComedyRape There was even attempted rape involved]].
* Riley in ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' seems to be this to Yamaki. Although is it the same if they're apparently dating?
* In ''Manga/HanasakeruSeishounen'', Toranosuke seems to be using this to stick close to Kajika. Li Ren doesn't seem opposed to being her guard either.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandaloneComplex: 2nd Gig''. Gohda suggests this is the reason Batou followed his former military superior, Major Kusanagi, into Section 9. As he's saying this in front of Bateau's colleagues (with the Major listening in) this leads to a NotSoStoic moment on the part of Batou.
* In ''Manga/{{Mouse}}'' the main cast uses it in a way convoluted and straightforward at once: officially Sorata Muon is regularly berated by three hottest ladies in his art school. Secretly, Mouse's female sidekicks play submissive games with their boss when they're in mood for this (when they weren't, he got simply tackle-glomped instead).
* ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh'' has Conrad Weller, while he would certainly serve under whoever was Maou (unless they were so evil he fled the country like Adalbert), assigns himself away from all his normal duties to more or less babysit the new king 24/7. Because he is, not to put too fine a point on it, obsessed. When he was a kid this seems to have been [[BigBrotherInstinct Wolfram]], but Wolfram wounded him deeply by repudiating him for his human ancestry. So he was bitter for a while until Gunter straightened him out about arrogance, and then he attached himself to Julia. They didn't ''allow'' that to be romantic, because she was engaged, but then she died, and Shinou set Conrad up to fixate on Yuri instead.
* Kinkan from ''Anime/DotHackSign'' with regard to Subaru.
* In the Yaoi manga series (and OVA) ''Manga/TheTyrantFallsInLove'' the relationship between the protagonists uses a lot of this.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', it seems that post-TimeSkip a large number of [[spoiler:Marines]] serve under [[spoiler:Tashigi]] partially because she is [[BadassAdorable an adorable young woman]], partially because they are also incredibly loyal to their superior, as [[TearJerker Chapter 679]] showed.
** The major example from the series now comes at the end of Dressroas, where [[spoiler:a bunch of pirate captains dedicate themselves to Luffy and become the sub-captains of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet. Luffy is all about freedom, and doesn't want to have an armada of pirates under his control, telling them to do whatever they want. They decide they want to serve under him, and so pledge their loyalty to him whether he likes it or not.]]
* M'Quve of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' may well have had a crush on his commanding officer, Kycilia Zabi, to whom he was ''very'' devoted (his last words as he dies are to order a subordinate to send her his priceless Ming vase). They definitely have the [[LadyAndKnight Dark Lady/Black Knight vibe]] going for them.
* In the beginning of ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'', Mamori became the manager of the Devilbats solely to relieve Sena's workload and stop [[JerkAssWithAHeartOfGold Hiruma]] from bullying him. Then the epilogue has her as [[spoiler: the manager of the Saikyoudai Wizards, whose captain is Hiruma. Considering the two have had varying amounts of ShipTease throughout the series, and that they're sharing a car...]]
* In ''Manga/SekaiichiHatsukoi'', Masamune Takano as the boss uses this as an excuse for his subordinate Ritsu Onodera. Takano is [[{{Determinator}} persistently]] pursuing [[{{Tsundere}} Onodera]] who was his ex-boyfriend from 10 years ago and looks for any excuse to spend time with him at work or outside work.
* In ''LightNovel/LordMarksmanAndVanadis'', this is the reason that Teita continues to serve as Tigre's maid.
* In ''{{Manga/Saki}}'', this is the reason Hajime is serving as Touka's maid/Mahjong teammate/husband[[note]]Touka and Hajime are, for all purpose, raising Koromo together[[/note]]. Touka "bought" Hajime from her father to serve as a maid and mahjong teammate, despite Hajime having quit the game as a result of feeling guilty over using sleight of hand to cheat. Touka then had Hajime wear chains in order to make it more difficult for her to use sleight of hand, but Hajime came to see the chains as symbolic of her bond with Touka, and thus refuses to give them up.
* In the RS arc of ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', it turns out that Wallace stepped down from being the Hoenn Champion to become a Gym Leader so that he'd be able to spend more time with his girlfriend Winona, who'd just be appointed Leader supervisor. Unfortunately, having her boyfriend champion officially ranking underneath her made her feel insecure of her own abilities, leading the two to break up.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' has [[BodyguardCrush Gilbert]] [[BattleButler Nightray]] who, despite the fact that he was adopted into [[FeudingFamilies a rival noble family,]] still calls himself the loyal servant of [[GuileHero Oz Vessalius.]] Gilbert himself admits that he just wants an excuse to stay by Oz's side. [[HoYay Not that Oz seems to mind...]]
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', the mangaka notes in one of her {{doujinshi}} that Rokuro is way too old to be Yukimura's page at 26. Given how the characters usually interact LikeAnOldMarriedCouple, it's easiest to take this as the explanation behind it. In the doujin chapter "Inseparable," Rokuro attempts to resign [[spoiler:feeling he has [[MyGreatestFailure failed]] after his MagicalEye is [[EyeScream stabbed out]] by TheMole]] and prepares a bunch of documents as recompense, but Yukimura "accidentally" sets them on fire with his pipe then douses them in water, completely ruining them, before telling Rokuro it's easier if he just stays where Yukimura can hear his voice instead.
* Hak from ''Manga/YonaOfTheDawn'' will simply state that it's his job to stick by and protect Princess Yona when questioned about his loyalty for her. That being said, [[EveryoneCanSeeIt nobody besides Yona herself seems to actually believe that justification]].
* ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}'' provides us with a rather interesting and vague example. Kanzaki's underling Natsume is one of the least active members of the supporting cast, usually keeping his hands out of fights and schemes, but has been subtly demonstrated to be extremely clever and and intelligent, with strength and fighting skills possibly comprable to Tojo's. Why he plays second fiddle to a defeated boss in a delinquent school that values power over all else is never clarified, but Natsume simply states that he finds Kanzaki amusing and enjoys their adventures. Whether he's genuinely comfortable where he is or has some ulterior motive has yet to be explored, but for now he seems content just tagging along.

* Al-Cid's assistant is revealed to have a crush on him in ''FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire''.
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'': It's suggested by some historians that the only reason [[GeneralFailure Sullamander]] got the job of Commander Mareinus' Second-In-Command was because they were lovers. [[RunningGag But obviously]], [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial this is just Hurricane-era propaganda]].
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fanfiction, this is common in both Roy/Riza (as described above) and [[HoYay Roy/Ed]] fics. Hell, it comes up in pretty much any pairing involving the various members of Team Mustang, but those are the two most popular. Olivier/Miles is another frequent one.
* Innumerable ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fics have the relationship between [[TheHero Twilight Sparkle]] and [[BigGood Celestia]] as this, from one or both directions, with ''FanFic/{{Eternal}}'' and ''Fanfic/{{Composure}}'' probably being the most popular.
* ''{{Manga/Bleach}}'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8222340/1/Chasing-the-Moon Chasing the Moon]]'' has Byakuya and Yuzu playing both sides of this trope towards each other for ''years''. Things really start to get interesting when Yuzu becomes his vice-captain, and people start noticing the "excuse" part of the Subordinate Excuse. (In the [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6902577/1/Phases-of-the-Moon prequel]], set ten years before the story, this trope is the reason she joined the Sixth in the first place).
* Many ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'' fanfics emphasize this in the relationship between Maleficent and her raven-shapeshifter servant Diaval. It is often a plot point that something happens that makes them lose their excuse, and forces them to be open about their feelings, or be separated.
* Whenever ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' introduces another superior/subordinate pair of characters there are inevitably at least a few fics that depict them as this trope, helped along by one of them being canon (Eirin/Kaguya, see below). By far the most popular is [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Remilia]]/[[NinjaMaid Sakuya]], which might have it's origins with ''[[UniverseCompendium Perfect Memento]]'' mentioning an in-universe theory about Sakuya being a former vampire hunter who was defeated by Remilia and then decided to serve her.

* In ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'', Maleficent and Diaval start out as real mistress and servant, but at least Diaval comes to care about Maleficent; the other way round is not so easy to tell, because she's an IceQueen. [[spoiler: In the end, Diaval decides to follow her into certain death, despite her telling him that he doesn't have to.]]
* ''{{Film/Monte Carlo|1930}}:'' After having no success wooing Countess Helene in more conventional ways, Count Rudolph poses as her new hairdresser in order to get close to her.
* In the beginning of ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', Wesley is in this type of relationship with Buttercup, but this status quickly changes.
* An exceptionally dark example is ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'': Norma's butler [[spoiler: is her first husband and original director, who is still so devoted to her that he helps encourage her warped fantasies, even about a relationship with another man.]]

* In the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' Kamigawa novels, Toshi at one point asks for payment for helping Michiko even though he wanted to. He says this was for the sake of professionalism.
* ''[[Literature/TheDresdenFiles]]'': In the short story ''Bombshells'', Molly comments that getting to learn magic from [[spoiler:Harry]] soothes the pain of being rejected by him.
-->''I could wait. And in the meantime...''
* Sancho Panza from ''Literature/DonQuixote'', especially TheMusical adaptation, where he gets his own song about it.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Brienne of Tarth joins King Renly Baratheon's personal bodyguard in order to stay close to him; besides being married, after crowning himself he's above her station and inconveniently gay.
* Jessica Atreides in ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' points out to Hawat as evidence for her loyalty, that she actually has the power to suborn Duke Leto's power but refuses as that would not only violate the [[WomensMysteries Bene Geserit Code]] but would reduce Leto to a cypher and she has no desire to be "married" to a cypher. She is rather content to be TheConsigliere.
* One unnamed novel has a young, honorable hero who has no idea he's noble, but a "native" young man he meets on his journey recognises the hero's nobility and voluntarily becomes the hero's "slave", shocking the hero when he realises the situation.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'': silent Norma serves Red quite devotedly, like dying her hair or shaving her legs. Since Norma does not need anything from Red and is shown to be as tough as she is in later episodes, fans have to wonder if Norma just likes to serve Red.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Ser Loras Tyrell is the sole male heir of the second-richest family in Westeros, and presumably he has duties in Highgarden and the Reach, yet in Season 2 he chooses to devote his ''entire'' life to protecting Renly. Being the Lord Commander of his brother-in-law's Kingsguard is a very convenient way for Loras to be able to spend a lot of time with his beloved, as his frequent visits can be explained away as being job-related. (It doesn't stop the rumours about them from spreading among Renly's followers, however.)
** Brienne of Tarth is the sole surviving child of Lord Selwyn Tarth (and therefore his heiress), but she neglects whatever duties she presumably has in her home city in favour of dedicating her whole life to protecting King Renly, whom she has feelings for. However, in her case, she has to be content with loving Renly from a distance while she serves as his Kingsguard. What makes her dedication quite remarkable is that, as a woman, Brienne herself isn't obligated--or even expected--to physically fight for Renly when he summons his Stormlands bannermen (which House Tarth is a part of) to his cause.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. [[AscendedExtra Braca]]. [[MagnificentBastard Scorpius]]. A relationship founded on hard work, loyalty, and [[FetishFuel occasional licking]].
* In the latter ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' movies, this may be an explanation for why Spock continues to serve as Kirk's first officer even after he is promoted to Captain himself.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. When Captain Janeway tells her NumberTwo Chakotay that they need to "define some parameters" about their relationship, he responds with an "ancient legend" about a warrior who could not find peace, until the day he met a beautiful woman warrior whom he swore to serve for the rest of his days.
-->'''Janeway:''' Is that really an ancient legend?\\
'''Chakotay:''' No. But that made it easier to say.
* ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' fans theorize that this is why Arthur keeps Merlin around, despite claiming that he's the "worst servant ever". Combined with their copious HoYay...
* Josh and his assistant Donna on ''Series/TheWestWing''. A few seasons on, Donna has acquired sufficient political savvy that she gets multiple job offers from the outside. She claims it's the White House she's attached to, but truthfully it's Josh. After a conversation in which CJ says that Donna has outgrown her job and she's allowing Josh to take advantage of her (after several seasons of {{UST}} that doesn't look like it'll be resolved anytime soon), Donna decides to leave and pursue a career away from him.
* On ''Series/{{CSI}}'', Sara is heavily implied to have been in love with Grissom since before the start of the show, and took the job in Las Vegas deliberately to be with him.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'':
** This is Kazu's reason for trying to help Saeko overthrow her father. He's upfront about his motives from the start, but she doesn't take him seriously until [[spoiler:he becomes the Utopia Dopant]], resulting in [[spoiler:him killing her when she defies him to help Wakana escape.]]
** Kyosui Izumi/Luna Dopant, having fallen in love with Daido who was the last person Izumi saw before his death.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'':
** It's been noted that Martin doesn't need a ''live-in'' physical therapist or housekeeper, being quite spry enough to take care of himself as long as Frasier's around, but he liked Daphne so much when he met her that he offered her a live-in position, and she became so attached to the Crane family that she never moved out or switched to a client who didn't treat her like a servant. In one episode where she did miserably prepare to leave after realizing that Martin was doing so well physically she wasn't needed, she [[RiddleForTheAges may or may not]] have unconsciously tripped Martin up, which injured him and gave her an excuse to stay.
** Roz has turned down an offer for a higher-level job more than once because Frasier's her best friend.
* In ''Series/QueerAsFolk'', Vince follows Stuart around from club to club like a loyal puppy because he's had a crush on him for years. A few characters accuse [[ReallyGetsAround Stuart]] of purposely ''not'' sleeping with Vince because he wants to keep him in this "sidekick" role indefinitely.
* On ''Series/TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'', the eponymous Inspector Lynley uses this to call his partner Sergeant Havers in on every case he can possibly manage after [[spoiler:she is demoted]] in series 3. Oh, she's a brilliant officer and works very well with him, but that [[TrueCompanions has nothing to do]] [[TheNotLoveInterest with why]] [[UnresolvedSexualTension he wants her around]].
* On ''Series/{{House}}'', Cameron left House's department twice, and both times he tried to get her to come back. [[MentorShip For]] [[MindGameShip purely]] [[BeastAndBeauty professional]] [[UnresolvedSexualTension reasons]], [[BlatantLies of course]].

* [[HeterosexualLifePartners Don Giovanni and Leporello]] from the Mozart & [=daPonte=] opera; there has to be a [[HoYay reason]] for Leporello's [[LoveMartyr dogged devotion]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemThracia776'', Fred is in love with his commander Olwen, and the ending reveals that they eventually marry (though Fred is consistently teased for being [[MayDecemberRomance quite a bit older than Olwen]]).
** The mercenary Thea from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'' is deeply in love with General Klein and insists on staying with him despite his inability to pay her well, even becoming visibly upset whenever Klein tells her that she has his full permission to leave his service at any time.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''
*** Rennac complains about Princess L'Arachel constantly but "never really tried very hard" to escape her service, according to his ending. L'Arachel/Rennac is second only to Sain/Priscilla in the department of "not" paired endings.
*** Vanessa the pegasus knight will attach herself to Prince Innes as his bodyguard in their supports. Since she seems to be one of the few people in Magvel he openly respects, he's happy to have her around, though he insists that as prince he's responsible for ''her'' life.
*** General Selena's undying loyalty towards Emperor Vigarde possibly goes far beyond mere gratitude.
** Lyre in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn'' never really liked fighting and only joined the Laguz Army because of her crush on Captain Ranulf (and wanting to be with her twin sister Lethe again). There's also Kyza, another subordinate of Ranulf who is implied to have a [[HoYay crush on him]], although in the Japanese version it's not so much implied as it is outright spelled out. Though Lyre and Kyza are friends, the two often compete for Ranulf's attention.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', the CuteBruiser Oboro is specifically said to have a crush on her boss, Prince Takumi. Doesn't necessarily count as BodyguardCrush [[note]](unlike Jakob, Felicia, Kaze and the Avatars)[[/note]] because despite her fighting skills, she isn't ''specifically'' tasked with Takumi's safety. [[spoiler: If the player pursues their whole support chain, they will get married and Oboro will be the mother of Takumi's kid, Kisaragi.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SongsOfAraiah'', this is one of the reasons Jason decides to remain as Melissa's servant, especially after it becomes clear that he can leave whenever he wants.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', many fans attribute such feelings to Pronyma (toward [[BigBad Yggdrasill]]) and/or Botta (toward [[LaResistance Yuan]]).
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', it's made clear the Legretta the Quick has feelings for Van Grants, which is mostly the reason she stays by his side and helps his cause.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' had an unintentional example in the original Japanese version. Creator/MaayaSakamoto admitted to voicing Lightning during her scenes with Lieutenant Amodar as though there were affections being harboured. However, Amodar's design hadn't been finalized at this point, and his beta design was a MrFanservice in trunks. His ''final'' design is... [[StoutStrength bigger]]. ''[[{{Gonk}} Way]]'' [[BigFun bigger]]. Creator/AliHillis understandably made no effort to repeat the vocal implications for the English version, but Lightning is still wearing a [[WhenSheSmiles somewhat uncharacteristic smile]] during the cutscene where she speaks with him.
* Tali, the resident WrenchWench from ''Franchise/MassEffect'', uses an impending apocalypse as an excuse to follow Commander Shepard, for as much reason as being around them as wanting to save the Galaxy. It might also have something to do with the fact she's been in love with Male Shepard(the option for Fem Shep got edited out) since the moment they met, as the second game reveals.
* In ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'' the only reason that Sarah is involved in Luc's plot is to be near him. [[spoiler:They're even TogetherInDeath]].
* In the backstory of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', [[MadDoctor Eirin Yagokoro]] made the Hourai Elixir, a potion for CompleteImmortality forbidden by [[SpaceElves Lunarian]] law and punishable by exile, solely because her mistress, [[WorldsMostBeautifulWoman Kaguya Houraisan]], asked her to. When Kaguya's exile was deemed over Eirin joined the entourage that was sent to retrieve her... and she ''murdered'' the rest of them, abandoning her home and position just so she could be with Kaguya and serve her. She even hides most of her abilities from Kaguya, not wanting to embarrass her by having a subordinate more powerful than her.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' has this with both the [[{{Meido}} maids]]. Hisui, who is [[TheHero Shiki's]] maid, is very fond of him [[EmotionlessGirl despite her appearance]], and while very straight laced, often helps him more than is strictly necessary and even bends the rules to assist him sometimes. Kohaku, Hisui's sister, and in most story paths [[TheOjou Akiha's]] maid, switches places so that she attends to Shiki due to their growing relationship in the path where Kohaku is the LoveInterest, in the most blatant example of this trope in-game. Less blatantly, [[spoiler:Akiha made Kohaku her maid in the first place in an attempt to show her kindness and friendship so as to atone for her father's horrible abuse to Kohaku.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', this is kinda... sorta... maybe... the case with [[TheGenericGuy Russel Bagman]] in his "relationship" as subordinate to [[HotBlooded Katina Tarask]].
* This is the main reason why Laharl promoted Etna to be his right-hand demon in ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness''. Having been raised alongside each other, he looks up to her as an older sister and [[WellDoneSonGuy craves recognition from her]] above all else ([[NobleDemon not that he'd ever admit it]]).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'': Frankenstein initially joked about being Raizel's butler when they first met in order to shake off a couple of clan leaders. Something happened that made Frankenstein passionately dedicated to Raizel, spending over 800 years looking for him when he went missing & immediately returning to his service upon finding him.
* ''Webcomic/TheFourth'':
** [[TheBigGuy Derk]] never really shows much inclination towards Lord Skarva's ideals, but nonetheless wants to protect him.
** Much of [[BigBad Skarva's]] [[EvilMinions team of]] [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons,]] [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghosts,]] lurkins, and [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial flish]] shows at least mild signs of this.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Nioi apparently serves [[EvilTwin Lord Tedd]] because she likes him a lot and thinks he needs watching over. Lavender (the Uryuom secretary of Mr. Edward Verres) was hinted to be another case and now [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2011-01-12 confirmed]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Romantically Apocalyptic}}'', [[CloudCuckooLander Pilot]] seems to have a crush on {{The Captain}}. Case in point: when [[OnlySaneMan Sniper]] gets [[spoiler:swallowed by a whale]], Pilot sends him a note saying "Ha ha ha, now Captain and me can finally be together '''forever'''."
* ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'': Shala Val'Sharen has an obvious crush on her squad's officer [[TheStoic Sarnel Tions Sarghress]]. She [[TheTease teases]] him, constantly seeks his attention and generally annoys him. [[spoiler:The two entered into a relationship as of Chapter 38, though how deep it goes is unknown, given the way drow society works in regards to relationships.]]
* ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'' has Sir Tomato, leader of [[GoldfishPoopGang the BLT Trio]] and Dame Lettuce. Lettuce not only defects because Tomato did, she [[ObfuscatingStupidity pretends to be as dumb as he is]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, Greasy is Peeper's sidekick, no matter how abusive Peeper gets.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Pinky from ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' never had much interest in conquering the world. He just did it as something to do with his pal, Brain.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** Lugnut's loud devotion to Megatron from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. Megatron is not amused.
** In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', Inferno views himself as a loyal drone completely devoted to his - well - queen. The fact that his CatchPhrase is "For the Royalty!" says it all. Megatron is well-aware of this and is frequently irritated by it, though having a devoted minion (that's actually useful) makes up for it.
* A popular fan reason for why Shego stayed with Drakken in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' (that, and being a DeadpanSnarker presented with [[SarcasticDevotee the equivalent of an all-you-can eat buffet]]). The creators applied AscendedFanon for the GrandFinale.
* At times in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', it seems like The Monarch's henchman #21 stays around because of his attraction to The Monarch's girlfriend/fiancee/wife, Dr. Girlfriend/Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. As of the Season 4 finale [[spoiler:he decides that's not a good enough reason and defects to S.P.H.I.N.X.]]
* Smithers towards Mr. Burns in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Zhu Li turns out to be this for Varrick.
* Harley Quinn to ComicBook/TheJoker in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. The comics and the to this date only live action movie featuring her upgrade her relationship as to be the Joker's lover, but in the series she was basically a mook with a crush.
* The ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Rose's Scabbard" reveals, in the most {{Tear Jerk|er}}ing way possible, that this was the reason Pearl stayed with Rose on Earth to fight against [[spoiler:the Homeworld Gems.]]
-->'''Rose''': Pearl...
-->'''Pearl''': Yes?
-->'''Rose''': I'm going to stay and fight for this planet. You don't have to do this with me...
-->'''Pearl''': But I want to!
-->'''Rose''': I know you do. Please, please understand: if we lose, we'll be killed. And if we win, we can never go home.
-->'''Pearl''': [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Why would I ever want]] [[TearJerker to go home if you're here?]]\\