->'''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 his or her feelings to the boss/princess/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 him- or herself 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/princess/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. This is especially common if the boss is female, since it lets her moon over someone who is non-threatening when she wants but can dismiss as [[{{Tsundere}} not really liking him]] publicly.

An alternate version of the Lackey side of things is when someone chooses to be a subordinate to hang out with the ''other'' subordinates, not the superior. See {{Minionshipping}}.

See also BodyguardCrush. Contrast NoHeroToHisValet. Contrast also 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.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Any'' romanticized (but obviously not random) [[SempaiKohai Sempai/Kohai]] relationship banks on this helping to kick-start relationships between two shy parties.
* ''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.
* ''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.
* A manga series recently out in America, ''DanceInTheVampireBund''. Mina Tepes, descendant of Dracula and ruler of all vampires, apparently enlists 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. The only one who doesn't seem to realize this is Akira. [[spoiler: It turns out that even he knows but thinks he is unworthy and monsterous (never mind his crush is an ancient vampire queen). He was technically claimed as her personal servant before birth; her finding him to be an ''adorable'' infant and a nice little boy probably influenced just where he ended up.]]
* Tidal Wave of ''TransformersEnergon'' started out being passionately loyal to Megatron. After his reformatting into Mirage, he became...well, just passionate.
** As well as '''[[FlamboyantGay FABULOUS]]'''. The Transformers fandom doesn't [[FanNickname call him]] [[Franchise/SailorMoon Pretty Soldier Sailor Mirage]] for nothing!
* ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima''
** 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.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Ikkaku Madarame hides his abilities to avoid being considered for the position of captain so he can stay in the 11th division and serve under Kenpachi Zaraki. Later evidence of his power, his own admission that Yachiru is stronger than he is and the fact that at least two captains and lieutenants know are a pretty strong indication he has nothing to fear anyway.
** Yumichika is [[WordOfGod equal in strength to Ikkaku]]. He wants to stay under Ikkaku, which means pretending to be even weaker than how weak Ikkaku pretends to be and hiding that his shikai is supposed to have an energy draining ability.
** 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 rumourmill 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. (In a recent chapter, Kyoraku would've openly admitted to this if Nanao hadn't cut 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. Watch the last few episodes if you don't believe.
*** 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.
** Also Squalo. When he first met Xanxus, he could 'feel' his power and anger, and decided to follow him for it. Pfft for his strength [[LoveAtFirstSight yeah right...]]
* In ''{{Gundam 00}}'', [[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 ''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 ''GurrenLagann''. 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.
* At the very start of ''ShakuganNoShana'', [[{{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 {{bodyguard crush}}, 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 {{not quite human}}.
** [[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.
* BattleButler Haku of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' 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.
** Also, [[StalkerWithACrush Karin]]. The only reason she's working for Sasuke ''at all'' is to be closer to him. [[BlackComedyRape There was even attempted rape involved]].
* Riley in ''DigimonTamers'' seems to be this to Yamaki. Although is it the same if they're apparently dating?
* In ''HanasakeruSeishounen'', Toranosuke seems to be using this to stick close to Kajika. Li Ren doesn't seem opposed to being her guard either.
* ''[[GhostInTheShellStandaloneComplex Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd Gig]]''. Gohda suggests this is the reason Bateau 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 Bateau.
* 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, who while he would certainly serve under whoever was Maou (unless they were so evil he fled the country like Adalbert, theoretically possible) 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.
** Mind you, he ''probably'' doesn't see Yuri in an even vaguely romantic light. He's just obsessed in the sense that he has to have someone at the center of his world to do everything for.
*** 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. So now he does.
** As the man who named Yuri, he has a certain proprietary position he never actually claims, although Yuri often invokes it to try to get Conrad to call him by name instead of 'Your Majesty.' He seemed normal to everybody at home in the ~fourteen years he spent waiting for Yuri to come back, because he was waiting. Once Yuri enters the picture his excessive-even-for-Shin-Makoku devotion becomes very obvious. But since it's technically correct, no one except his best friend Yozak tries to call him on it.
*** And since he threatens to kill Yozak in his first appearance for endangering Yuuri...
* Perhaps 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.
* Kallen from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is this for [[MyHeroZero Zero]].
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', it seems that [[spoiler: post-TimeSkip, a large number of Marines serve under Tashigi just because she is [[BadassAdorable an adorable young woman.]]]]
** [[spoiler:While that is part of it, they are also incredibly loyal as marines to their superior, as [[TearJerker Chapter 679]] showed.]]
* M'Quve of ''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 ''[[{{Eyeshield21}} 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/MadanNoOuToVanadis'', 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.
* ''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...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* 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.
* [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic At the gala!]] [[RenownedSelectiveMentor With the Princess!]] [[EarWorm Is where I'm going to be!]] [[LoonyFan We'll talk all about magic, and what I've learned and seen!]] [[HoYay It is going to be so special!]] [[StalkerWithACrush As she takes time just for meeeee!]] Needless to say, [[TheHero Twilight Sparkle]]'s behavior around Princess Celestia falls under this interpretation. ''Composure'' and ''Eternal'' are prime examples.
* ''{{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).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the beginning of ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', Wesley is in this type of relationship with Buttercup, but this status quickly changes.
* ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'': David is Dianne's subordinated boyfriend just to hang around Dianne's best friend Liz, whom he has had a crush on for years.
* An exceptionally dark example is ''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.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the 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.
* Sancho Panza from ''Literature/DonQuixote'', especially TheMusical adaptation, where he gets his own song about it.
* Brienne from ''ASongOfIceAndFire''. [[spoiler:Too bad he was gay...]]
* In LordOfTheRings Eorl the Young, first king of the Rohirrim had a CoolHorse that would not let anyone ride except him.
* Jessica Atreides in {{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 (name, author and character names when I find where I put the book) 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]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/Orange is the new black'': silent Norma serves Red quite personal, like dying her hair or shaving her legs. Since Norma does not need anything from Red and is in later episodes shown as quit tough, fans do wonder if Norma 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.)
** The same can be said of Brienne of Tarth, who is the sole surviving child of Lord Selwyn Tarth (and therefore his heiress), although 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 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]].
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': No matter how Badass she is, River still takes orders from her dear big brother. Even before when she was in her right mind and she "made him look like an idiot". And after. Even when he was making mistakes. Partly perhaps because it was thought a big brother's traditional job and partly because she seemed happier that way anyway. And partly because after being "treated" she was normally in no condition for independence. She was kind of like a headstrong horse that always likes her jockey.
** Simon was actually rather comfortable giving orders despite his inoffensive appearance and could shift from being a DotingParent to a PapaWolf and back without missing a beat. He even could be TheStrategist and once a self-appointed DrillSergeantNasty to foolish doctors.[[note]] As seen in "Ariel"[[/note]]
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Commander Riker [[LimitedAdvancementOpportunities refuses promotion and command of a ship of his own several times]] during the series run. In any other military force, turning down a command is a career killer. Yet he stayed as Captain Picard's flunky for all those years ... (cough){{HoYay}}(Cough)
** However, the TNG-era Federation is [[MildlyMilitary not entirely organized along military lines]]. Witness the children carried aboard its largest and most advanced ships, its luxurious crew quarters, and, well... you get the picture. The fact that turning down a command doesn't cause people to assume that you must be inherently unfit for ''anything'', let alone command, would not be surprising in context.
*** He also did take command of the Titan at the end of ''Nemesis''. Apparently no-one thought 15 years of dedicated service onboard the flagship of the Federation was a problem.
*** Given the [[ColonelMakepeace two]] [[RedshirtArmy categories]] of non-Enterprise ships on said show, maybe he was just GenreSavvy.
*** The trope may also be inverted, as Riker - to his surprise - wound up serving alongside his ex (Troi), who was his subordinate and who he still had feelings for. In a BadFuture, Riker admits regret that they didn't get back together. Of course, in the proper timeline, they actually did - and coinciding with their marriage was his promotion to captain of the ''Titan''.
** 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...
* And let's not forget Josh and Donna on ''TheWestWing''...
* On ''{{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.
* In ''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 does this too, having fallen in love with Daido, who was the last person Izumi saw before his death.
* In ''{{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.
** Also, Roz has turned down an offer for a higher-level job more than once because Frasier's her best friend.
* In ''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 ''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 ''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]].
[[/folder]]

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

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Rennac from ''FireEmblem: The Sacred Stones'', who complained 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.
** Also Lyre in ''Radiant Dawn'', who never really liked fighting and only joined the Laguz Army because she had a crush on Captain Ranulf.
* In the visual novel {{Songs of Araiah}}, 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.
* 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]].
* This is suspected to be the reason for a lot of the relationships in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', both subordinate towards superior and vice versa. The only one that is almost certainly canon though is [[MadDoctor Eirin]], who exiled herself from her position and her home and ''killed her allies'' just so she could be with [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses 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.
* ''{{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]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* {{Noblesse}} Frankenstein initially joked about being Raizel's butler when they first met in order to shake off a couple of clan leaders. While the story hasn't gotten far into their backstory, 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.
* ''TheFourth'' has [[TheBigGuy Derk]], who 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'''."
* [[{{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 have since 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.]]
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the WhateleyUniverse, Greasy is Peeper's sidekick, no matter how abusive Peeper gets. There's a lot of one-sided HoYay subtext there.
** And some of that subtext is actual text.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Pinky from ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' never had much interest in conquering the world. He just did it as something to do with his pal, Brain.
* Lugnut's loud devotion to Megatron from ''TransformersAnimated'' strays into this sometimes. Megatron is not amused.
** ''Sometimes?'' It's his most defining character trait for Primus' sake! He could give [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Inferno]] a run for his money in this department.
*** Speaking of which, for context's sake, 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 ''KimPossible''. The creators applied AscendedFanon for the GrandFinale.
** That, and being a DeadpanSnarker presented with the equivalent of an all-you-can eat buffet.
* 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 from ''TheSimpsons''.

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