[[quoteright:312:[[Webcomic/{{Freefall}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/freefall_promsie_1518.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:312:He seems like a trustworthy guy.]]

->'''Tifa''': Hey, let's make a promise. Umm...if you get really famous...and if I'm ever in a bind...you'll come save me, all right?\\
'''Cloud''': What?\\
'''Tifa''': If I'm ever in trouble, my hero will come and rescue me. I want to experience that at least once.\\
'''Cloud''': What?\\
'''Tifa''': Come on! Promise me!\\
'''Cloud''': All right...I promise. [[note]]He [[DoomedHometown eventually makes good]] [[TookALevelInBadass on his promise]], but being Cloud, he shows up a bit late...[[/note]]
-->-- ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''

A dramatically-made promise that serves as {{foreshadowing}}. The promise will eventually be called in and action will be [[BeCarefulWhatYouSay required.]]

Whether they [[IGaveMyWord succeed]], [[FailureKnight fail]] or [[TheOathBreaker refuse]] to keep their promise depends almost entirely on the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism idealism-level]] of the story. Other factors, such as whether they were told what they had to do, or if it was a LeonineContract, may come into play. Even ReleasingFromThePromise is usually a scene of high drama.

Compare: HeroicVow, ChildhoodMarriagePromise, PinkySwear, IfWeSurviveThis. See also EmptyPromise and FrequentlyBrokenUnbreakableVow.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* This is basically the trope that sets in motion Mashiro's persistence to become a mangaka in ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}''. A promise made in Chapter 1 between him and Azuki,that when he and Takagi get an anime from their manga and Azuki voice-acts the heroine, she and Mashiro will get married.
* Utena invokes ThePromise in her vow to save Anthy in ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena''. [[spoiler: Even when she ultimately fails, her valiant attempt leads to Anthy freeing herself to go in search of her fallen hero(ine).]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** In the Soul Society arc, Ichigo ''will'' save Rukia... whether she likes it or not.
** During the Arrancar Arc, Ichigo vows to Orihime that "next time... I'll definitely protect you!" Later, he tells her "Don't worry. I'm definitely going to win." This promise is so strong that when Ulquiorra brings him to the verge of death, he is resurrected as an insanely powerful hollow obsessed with protecting Orihime - and ''only'' Orihime.
* Keitaro holds strongly to his 15-year-old promise to get into Tokyo University for/with a nearly-forgotten girl in ''Manga/LoveHina''. He also made a similar promise to forever be with his adoptive sister, which she does indeed dramatically call him on in the {{OVA}} sequel, ''Love Hina Again''. The concept of promises also is the main theme of the episode about the RobotGirl Moe.
* Both Lottie and Sara in ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry'' promised to become Reasoners and see their brothers again. [[spoiler:One brother kills the other before either can reunite.]]
* In ''Anime/PokemonLucarioAndTheMysteryOfMew'', when Ash tries to console Lucario after it believes it was abandoned and asks if he can help, it only wants him to do one thing: Promise he will ''never'' abandon Pikachu. Ash swears he will not.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', these promises cropping up out of nowhere are common plot elements - Ukyo has at least two with Ranma, Kodachi has one with her rival Asuka, and Ranma has several that he doesn't even know about until they're called.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' is full of "promises of a lifetime"... some more successfully fulfilled than others. The most notable case is Naruto's promise to Sakura in Part I, to return Sasuke for her. The episode after the mission to do this was actually called "The Promise That Could Not Be Kept." Although, after Sakura's [[NeverLiveItDown infamous]] [[FalseConfession fake love confession]]--which Naruto easily sees right through, [[WhatTheHellHero calls her out on for her dishonesty]], and [[ShipSinking rejects outright]]--he renews his promise not for her anymore, but for [[TrueCompanions his own reasons]]. It's still his most important reason to fight, alongside protecting his friends.
** Another plot relevant promise is Sasuke promising to avenge his family by killing his brother. [[spoiler: Once he succeeds he instantly makes a new one: Destroying Konoha. Obviously that guy needs someone to kill]].
** Kakashi promised Obito that he would look after Rin. It would seem he failed. [[spoiler: The NotQuiteDead Obito witnesses Kakashi actually killing Rin, contributing to his change into Tobi]].
* ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'''s Hibiki made the casual promise to come to Dita's room. Though hardly a big thing to promise, this haunts him throughout the entire second season.
** They way they talk about it makes it seem like something else...
* In the Battle City arc of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Jounouchi's/Joey's major motivation is his promise to duel with Yugi and get back his Red-Eyes Black Dragon card.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'' plays around with this in the scene where the villainous Bando, rescued by Mayu earlier in the series and feeling indebted, promises to save her once if she winds in trouble. Mayu is forced to cash in this promise not even a minute later, when ''Bando himself attacks her.''
** But when she calls for his help again, he shows up in minutes and knocks the stuffing out of the man [[spoiler:sexually assaulting her.]]
** A second example is [[spoiler: Kouta promising to meet Lucy back at the stone on the last day of the festival.]]
* In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', Ken promises to Wormmon that he won't betray his essential nature -- in essence, that he'll stay kind and gentle -- when he first meets him as a child. Flash-forward to a few years, MoreThanMindControl, and some heavy psychological trauma later, however, and he's the Digimon Kaiser. [[spoiler:He does eventually keep his promise, though. Kinda.]]
** In the previous season, Takeru promises to Sora that he'd protect Hikari. A promise which he still takes rather seriously in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', as he is seen putting himself protectively in front of Hikari (episode 3), seemed angry at himself for accidentally leaving her stranded in the Digital World (episode 7), and doggedly searched for her when she was taken by the Dark Ocean (episode 13).
* A much darker version appears in ''Manga/TokyoBabylon''.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' has this: Kyosuke made a promise to Lamia that he'd kill her if she ever loses her mind ("If you ever lose your mind, don't worry. I'll destroy you myself"). He did get his time to try and fulfill it when he rescued her from the Bartoll. He succeeded in the OAV, but horribly failed in OG Gaiden, and later has to leave it to [[spoiler:Axel]] to actually rescue her and restore her mind.
* And also included in ''[[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS]]'', though it may be a bit unimportant, considering it came in the last episode of the last season. After Signum beats Zest and gives him an honorable death, Agito prompts Signum to watch over her and see if Signum can really follow up Zest's last wishes and his ideals. Signum's response? "If you ever see me straying from that direction, kill me." More proof that Signum is a magnificent {{Expy}} of Lamia.
* ''Manga/GetBackers:'' Ban promised Yamato that he would protect Himiko from her curse, and Juubei promised to stop Kazuki if he ever strayed "from the path of righteousness."
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn:'' Squalo promised 8 years ago to Xanxus that he will never cut his hair until Xanxus becomes the boss of Vongola. And he did, [[spoiler:for eighteen years into the alternate future from the Ten Years Bazooka]]. Obviously because [[spoiler:Xanxus doesn't have the blood of Vongola, thus it's impossible for him to become Boss]].
* ''Manga/PeacemakerKurogane:'' Tetsunosuke promised to his friend Saya that he would not kill.
* ''Anime/BloodPlus:'' Saya makes Haji promise [[spoiler:to kill her after she defeats Diva, a promise which he is unable to keep, instead encouraging her to live]].
* ''Manga/NabariNoOu:'' Miharu's promise to Yoite, made under duress, to [[spoiler:erase Yoite's existence once Miharu can use the Sinrabanshou]] becomes the main tension and plotline of the series, as well as a source of a lot of its angst.
* In ''Anime/{{Noir}}'', much drama is derived from Mireille's ill-considered promise to kill Kirika once she learns the nature of their past connection--by the time that occurs, the emotional bond between the two of them is so strong, Mireille finds herself unable to pull the trigger, even though [[spoiler:Kirika turns to have been single-handedly responsible for everything bad that has ever happened in Mireille's life and actually ''begs'' Mireille to kill her, unable to live with the guilt]].
* ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'' has Madlax and Vanessa promising each other to survive. [[spoiler:It looks like Vanessa fails, but along comes [[RealityWarper Margaret]] ex machina...]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'': At the last second in season three, it is revealed that in their past life together, Juudai promised that he would love only Yubel forever. This became the driving force of her motivation when she returned in season three. While Yubel ''can'' alter people's memories, it's impossible that she was doing so here, as she had nothing to do with Juudai regaining his memories, and wasn't even aware that he had. Him fusing their souls together has the double purpose of confirming that their past was true (as he would have learned about a lie) and reaffirming that he loved her.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Negi promises Ako that he will win the tournament. At about the ten second count, he recalls the promise and gets up to face Rakan once more. [[spoiler:It's actually at tie and Rakan ''could'' have beaten him if he really wanted to. But considering the shape Negi was in? Badass.]]
* ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' has several promises that the main characters take very seriously. The first is that [[spoiler:[[PosthumousCharacter Mary Magdalene]]]] made Chrono promise to "live", which is implied to be the only reason he [[spoiler:didn't commit suicide after her death]]. Also, the manga version shows Joshua and Rosette promise as children to [[spoiler:"grow-up together"--remembering his promise is what gives Joshua the strength to reject Chrono's horns]]. Also, when Rosette made [[DealWithTheDevil her contract with Chrono]], Chrono seems to have promised ''himself'' that he would protect her, even going to the point of saying he promised to "never make her cry" in the manga. When he's forced to break this promise at one point, he becomes [[UnstoppableRage really pissed]].
* In ''Manga/TheSecretAgreement'', Iori tells Yuuichi that he loves him more than anything and [[ExactWords would sacrifice anything for him]]. This is perfectly romantic until Kyuusai reveals to Yuuichi that he is born to steal life-energy and that his destined prey, under the delusion of love, will naturally [[HarsherInHindsight offer his life]] for him to take.
* In ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'', Kotetsu made a promise to his wife on her deathbed to continue to be a [[{{superhero}} Hero]] after she was gone. [[spoiler:This promise starts getting harder and harder to keep once Kotetsu starts losing his powers.]]
* ''Manga/YourLieInApril'': Kaori makes a promise to Kousei to perform together once again, which drives her determination to undergo a high-risk surgery. [[spoiler:[[Tearjerker/YourLieInApril She fails to keep it, because later it's revealed that either the surgery failed or she died during it]].]]
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has several. A couple of them are found on the PinkySwear page and are explained in more detail there. A non-pinky promise comes during arguably the biggest CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming in the series; when [[MagnificentBastard Lelouch]] realizes how much his friends care about him, he [[ManlyTears tearfully]] promises them that he'll set off fireworks with them again someday. [[spoiler: He doesn't, and when he realises he won't be able to keep this promise, he calls them to apologize and say goodbye.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Gate 7}}'', Hana is [[IWillWaitForYou waiting for someone who has not been revealed yet]] and once they are reunited, they will keep their promise.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', a band of pirates left a baby whale they adopted named Laboon at the beginning of the Grand Line, promising to return after they've made the round-world voyage. Unfortunately, those pirates were wiped out, half becoming ill and having to leave the ship to save the rest, and those that remained were wiped out in a battle. Of those pirates, only Brook remains, having been brought [[CameBackWrong back to life as a skeleton]] by his Devil Fruit. And now he has promised to his dead crewmates to deliver the final message of the Rumbar Pirates to Laboon, even after fifty years.
** When the Straw Hat crew first met Laboon, the whale was battering himself to death on the Red Line out of despair of the unfulfilled promise, prompting Luffy to make a new one. He gets into a fight with Laboon which he declares a draw, stating they will have to have a rematch when he returns. Further, he paints his logo on Laboon's head as a mark of the promise, which would be earesed if Laboon returned to hammering at the Red Line.
** During their childhood, Luffy and Ace made one promise to each other [[spoiler:after the (supposed) death of their third brother Sabo]]: they would live their lives free of regrets. [[spoiler:As Ace laid dying in Luffy's arms, he stated that the only regret he had was that he wouldn't be able to see Luffy become the Pirate King. This promise is one of the major reasons why Luffy was able to move on from Ace's death and continue following his dream.]]
** Ace also made another promise to Luffy after the above event: that he would never die and leave Luffy alone. [[spoiler:While Ace ultimately couldn't fulfill the first part of his promise, unbeknownst to both of them at the time, he ''didn't'' leave Luffy alone. Sabo still lived, and made his own promise on Ace's grave: to succeed Ace as the user of the Mera Mera no Mi and Luffy's protector -- both of which he manages splendidly]].
** Luffy and Zoro's goals can be seen as promises to Shanks and Kuina respectively.
* ''{{Manga/Noragami}}'': [[SupportingProtagonist Hiyori]] vows to stray god [[TheHero Yato]] that she will never forget him.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': When he was a child, Sting Eucliffe promised his Exceed companion Lector that he would defeat the "Salamander" ([[TheHero Natsu Dragneel]]), because Lector was being bullied by others for saying Sting killed a dragon. When he finally meets Natsu years later and faces off against him in the Grand Magic Games, [[spoiler:he and Rogue find themselves on the wrong end of a CurbStompBattle, and he mentally apologizes to Lector as he falls in defeat, as Natsu is too strong for him]].
* ''Anime/ThePlacePromisedInOurEarlyDays'' has such a promise as the entire backbone of its plot.
* In ''Anime/PonyoOnTheCliffByTheSea'',
** Sosuke's father doesn't make it home as he promised.
** Sosuke promised Ponyo to keep her safe, and she's swept away by the sea.
** Sosuke's mother promises she will come back; Sosuke and Ponyo set out in search of her when she doesn't.
* In ''Manga/HousekiNoKuni'', Phosphylite resolves to find a job for Cinnabar that is entertaining and exclusive only to the latter Lustrous. The promise comes back once every arc, barely remembered and more muddy the more Phos grows.

* In the Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} "Literature/TheLordOfLornAndTheFalseSteward":
** The steward promises to protect the young lord on his journeys, and promptly becomes TheOathBreaker.
-->''"If I be not true to my master," he said,\\
"Christ himselfe be not trew to mee!\\
If I be not true to my lord and master,\\
An ill death that I may die!"''
** The young lord saves his life by promising to never tell anyone about the steward's having attacked and robbed him. (He gets around this through ExactWords.)
** The duke's daughter the steward was wooing pretending to be the young lord, on learning the truth, promises to marry no one but the true lord.
-->''"If you doe not my councell keepe,\\
That I haue told you with good intent,\\
And if you doe it not well keepe,\\
Ffarwell! my life is at an ende."\\
"I wilbe true to thee, Lord of Learne,\\
Or else Christ be not soe vnto me;\\
And as I am a trew ladye,\\
I'le neuer marry none but thee."''

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' storyline [[ComicBook/Supergirl2005 "Way of the World,"]] Supergirl promises a boy who is dying from cancer that he will not die. She will not allow it. She moves Heaven and Earth to find a cure in time [[spoiler:but at the end, she fails]].
* ''Comicbook/UsagiYojimbo'' has the story ''A Promise In the Snow'' where the titular character promises a young girl her gravely wounded father won't die. After they're all nearly buried by an avalanche and Usagi has been battered unconscious, the girl invokes Usagi's promise to get him back on his feet.
** Another short story has Usagi apologize for taking so long to return a masterful origami to the man who made it for him. He'd intended to hand it back immediately, but they were quickly embroiled in a battle. [[spoiler: The other person didn't survive it. Usagi is returning it to his grave.]]
* The {{Grendel}} oath acts as this. Virtually every character to recite it is doomed to die a horrible death, often at the cost to all he loves and cherishes. Sometimes, this is due to failing the Grendel ideals. Other times, this is the culmination of following it...

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In "Literature/{{Bearskin}}", the hero, appalling shaggy, filthy and ragged, but rich, rescues a man from financial distress, the man [[ThePromise promises]] that he may marry one of his daughters. Only [[YoungestChildWins the youngest]] is willing. However, his appearance stemmed from a DealWithTheDevil, and that being over, [[SheCleansUpNicely he cleans up nicely]] and formally arrives at their house as a wooer -- or, in some variants, at his own wedding. The older sisters are impressed, but the youngest, being the sort who would marry a hideous man to redeem her father's promise, ignores him until he proves that handsome as he is, he is still the same man whom she promised to marry.
* In "Literature/TheFrogPrince", the king insists the princess must keep her promise to the frog who helped her.
** Similarly in [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/frogking/stories/wellworld.html "The Well of the World's End,"]] although it is her WickedStepmother who insists out of spite (and indeed, she had to give the promise to fulfill the ImpossibleTask her stepmother imposed).
* In "Literature/TheGooseGirl", the princess swears to never tell anyone that the servant girl usurped her place. (She gets around this through ExactWords.)
* In "Literature/EastOfTheSunWestOfTheMoon", the bear lets the heroine go home as long as she promises not to speak with her mother alone. When she breaks this, her mother incites her to [[ForbiddenFruit look at him at night]], which [[JamesBondage means that magic snatches him away]], and she [[TheQuest must search all over the world for him]].
* In "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/pentamerone/10parsley1911.html Parsley]]", when the ogress catches the mother in her garden, she makes her promise to give up her child. When the girl is about seven, the ogress tells her, repeatedly, to remind her mother of the promise.
-->''Every time she went along the street and met the ogress the old woman said to her, "Tell your mother to remember her promise." And she went on repeating this message so often that the poor mother, having no longer patience to listen to the refrain, said one day to Parsley, "If you meet the old woman as usual, and she reminds you of the hateful promise, answer her, 'Take it.'"''
* In "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/stories/rashin.html Rashin-Coatie]]", The prince knows that the henwife's daughter (who cut her foot to fit in the shoe) is not the woman he fell in love with, but is bound by his promise to marry the woman whose foot it fit.
* In "Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin", a piper saves a town from rats by playing a magic tune that makes the rats drown themselves. When the citizens of Hamelin deny the piper the payment formerly agreed on, the piper in retribution uses his music to lure the children of Hamelin into a cave which closes forever with them inside.
* The legendary mermaid [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent Melusine]], is found near a woodland spring. She falls in love with the human who finds her, and agrees to marry him, on the condition that he not [[PeepingTom peek at her while she bathes]]. They are HappilyMarried for awhile, raising several children (all of whom are more like demons or demigods, depending on whom you ask), and settling into a nice chateau. Buut, one day, her hubby's curiosity and/or lust gets the better of him, and [[WhatAnIdiot he peeks in on her bathtime]], and finds out that she's actually a mermaid. (He sees her tail fin.) [[DoNotTauntCthulhu Melusine]] is ''not'' happy, to say the least.
** Notably, [[GenerationXerox her own father]] broke a similar promise made to her mother, Pressyne. She, however, was satisfied with taking her three daughters and [[ToiletSeatDivorce walking out on him]].
* In ''Literature/{{Tattercoats}}'', her grandfather had sworn an oath never to look on his granddaughter's face.
* In ''Literature/TheWhiteDove'', two princes promise a WickedWitch their brother if she will save them. Years later, after the brother had been born and grew up, the witch claims him.
** Later, the witch must carry out her promise to let the prince have the kidnapped princess.
* In some variants of ''Literature/TheLoveOfThreeOranges'', the prince search for his wife because of a vow.
-->''Sir, unless I have a wife as white and red as this cheese, it is all over with me; so now resolve, if you wish to see me alive and well, to give me all I require to go through the world in search of a beauty exactly like this cheese, or else I shall end my life and die by inches''
* In ''Literature/TheBlackThiefAndTheKnightOfTheGlen'', the king kept his three sons in a tower to protect them from a stepmother, according to his wife's LastRequest.
* In ''Literature/TsarevichPetrAndTheWizard'', Petr promises each of the princesses to remember her after he saves his mother.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Shinji makes two promises to Asuka:
** Shinji promises Asuka that he will NEVER abandon her when she needs his help, not matter what.
--->'''Shinji''':''“I... even if it had been futile, I should have tried. I can’t abandon you like that again, Asuka. So I won’t. Ever.”''\\
'''Asuka''':''“Do you swear, Third? […] You’ve got my back, no matter what?”''\\
'''Shinji''':''“Y-yes. I swear. No matter what.”''
** And several chapters later she asked him to make her another promise: Never leave her.
--->'''Asuka''':''“Can you promise me you’ll always be there, Shinji? Promise me you’ll never leave me again?”''
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'':
** After [[RelationshipUpgrade getting together]] Shinji promises Asuka:
--->''"As long as you'll have me, I promise, [...] Together, forever and always."''
** And in return Asuka promised:
--->''"Until the end of the world, you and me, against Angels and anything else that tries to hurt us."''
* ''FanFic/APikachuInLove'': Pikachu makes several of these over the course of the fic. One is to meet Pichi again the next night, [[spoiler: another one is to Misty, to never leave her or his friends behind, and to always come back to them no matter what, and one final one to Pichi as they say their goodbyes...]]
--> [[spoiler:''""'']]
---> [[spoiler: ''""'']]
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'':
** After getting together Shinji promises never leaving Asuka and their child if Asuka promises will not give up her life anymore.
--->'''Asuka''' (softly, in Shinji's ear):''"Shinji?"''\\
'''Shinji''' (softly, in Asuka's ear):''"What is it?"''\\
'''Asuka''':''"You'd never leave us, would you?"''\\
''Short pause.''\\
'''Shinji''':''"I promise you, right here and now, that I'll NEVER leave you two...on one condition."''\\
'''Asuka''':''"Which is?"''\\
'''Shinji''':''"You must promise me you won't give up your life anymore like you tried to a few days ago. You're the two most precious things I have on this earth. I can't afford to lose either one of you. You or Teri. So, please, don't ever do that again. I'm sorry if I was rude to you after that, but I really didn't know how to handle it. I mean..."''\\
'''Asuka''' (smiling):''"Don't worry. For Teri's sake, I won't do that again! Deal?"''\\
'''Shinji''' (now smiling, too):''"Deal."''
** In chapter 6 she asks Shinji making an additional promise:
--->'''Asuka''':''"Well, then, how about another promise?"''\\
'''Shinji''':''"Hey! I'll have to write these all down on a piece of paper or I'll forget them all!"''\\
''The two burst out laughing.''\\
'''Asuka''' (giggling):''"May God protect us on the battlefield! Neither one of us is gonna die in battle, okay? For each other's sake! And for Teri's!"''\\
'''Shinji''' (cheerfully):''"Yeah! And I swear that I'll protect you if anything happens!"''\\
'''Asuka''' (giggling):''"And I'll do the same for you, too, I swear!"''\\
'''Asuka''':''"Deal! Let's celebrate that with a drink!"''
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': [[http://eva303.smackjeeves.com/archive/#ch_72877 In chapter 14]] Shinji [[spoiler:pops the question, and Asuka answers she will only accept that engagement ring]] if he can promise he'll love her and be faithful to her for as long as he lives:
-->'''Asuka''':''IF you REALLY want to tie yourself down to that for the rest of your life... IF you can really PROMISE to be true to that-- true to ME-- for as long as you live... Then I will... accept this.''\\
'''Shinji''':''I promise. Asuka.''\\
'''Asuka''':''Think about it-- That's a long time! Can you imagine keeping a promise for sixty or seventy more years!''\\
'''Shinji''':''YES, I promise!''\\
'''Asuka''':''And if you should waiver in the slightest...''\\
'''Shinji''':''I know! I know! I really do promise, Asuka!''\\
'''Asuka'''(blushing):''... You're either a fool... or a liar. And I don't think you are a liar.''
* In ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'' Shinji makes Asuka two promises: he'll take care of her and he will not abandon their daughter.
* In ''Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy'', ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} promises her evil duplicate Satan Girl to help her find her baby if she stops fighting. Satan Girl tells her to shove it.
-->But my child is still alive... I can sense that. I just do not know where he is.\\
'''Supergirl:''' You won't believe this, but I'm sorry. On my honor, I am. And if you will swear to stop this battle, I will help you search for your child. That is my promise.\\
'''Satan Girl:''' Ohhhhh, don't you wish, Lightsister. I can find my child. After our war, I will find him. Or her. There is nothing left to us now, except the fight.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': In the final chapter Rei vows [[spoiler:she will not allow the Evangelion technology is used to harm people again, and she seals herself together with the Evas, Adam, Lilith and the Lance to guarantee that.]]
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': When Touji got designated as the newest pilot, Hikari asked Asuka protecting him. Asuka promised her best friend she would do so, and when Touji's giant robot got hijacked by a {{Robeast}} she fought to save him. When [[spoiler:she managed to get him out of the cockpit alive, Asuka was relieved that she had fulfilled her promise.]]
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': Shinji promises Asuka that she will never lose him because he will always return to her:
-->''“I… I’m afraid that if I become attached to you, I’ll lose you,” Asuka admits, her voice trembling at it.\\
“I would not fear that Asuka, for I promise you I shall always return to you,” Shinji reassures her.\\
“You can’t promise that. No one can promise that,” she says morosely.\\
“Remember that one of the selling points of ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Chaos]]'' is no angst and crap. I can promise you this Asuka that I will return from anything if it is to be back with you. If you should find my body broken and dead, then to whatever hell my soul travels I will find my way back to you,” Shinji tells her.''
* Several important promises are made in ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'':
** Having processed Shinji's AnguishedDeclarationOfLove, Asuka responds by demanding that he promises never to hurt her. Shinji ruminates on how he doesn't know if he can keep this promise, but he promises it all the shame.
** Later on, Shinji promises Asuka that he will be always with her.
** And at the end, Asuka promises Shinji that she will try to be happy. He later uses it to bring her back from the brink of despair.
* In the FilmNoir-esque fanfic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3560875/1/Nights_in_the_Big_City Nights In the Big City]], Kim Possible makes a promise to Ron to sleep with him after he takes a flamethrower to the chest for her to motivate him to hang on during surgery. Afterwards he tells her that he knows why she made the promise and won't hold her to it. She does anyway.
* From ''[[Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX Gensokyo 20XXV]]'', we have this occur twice with Reimu and the others. The first time is where its implied Reimu makes those close her to promise they'll "wake up" (Read: "Not Die") but, as time goes on, she apparently realizes that this is a promise that cannot be kept, so she tells everyone that, should she die, that they'll promise to meet her again when their time comes but, up until then, to continue living their lives, instead of spending it grieving. In chapter 103, she asks a sick Ran to promise that she'll wait for her in the afterlife.
* ''FanFic/ThisBites'':
** Cross makes the promise to keep Merry sailing with them when he first meets her Klabautermann. [[spoiler: It's a rollercoaster of emotions and trials and many seemingly hopeless moments, but in the end, he '''[[EarnYourHappyEnding does]]'''.]]
** When Cross and Laki denies Aisa the chance to stowaway with the Straw Hats, she makes this vow as the crew is sailing away.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'': As kids, Ellie makes Carl promise to help her get to Paradise Falls. She never gets there, but Carl's desire to fulfill his obligation drives the plot of the movie. Later, Russell has Carl promise to keep the bird he befriended safe, and Carl's conflict between the two promises drives the second act.
* Rapunzel from ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' takes promises very seriously and says that she never breaks them. This comes into play later when [[spoiler: she promises Mother Gothel that she will be her prisoner forever if she lets her heal the fatally injured Flynn]].
* The plot of ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' only really happens because, after a barracuda eats Marlin's wife and most of his eggs, he finds one sole survivor (Nemo), and promises he "will never let anything happen to [him]". This results in him being overprotected, venturing out alone, and getting kidnapped for captivity in a fish tank.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE'', during the evacuation of Earth, Cale's father puts him into the care of an alien friend, and promises his son that he'll see him again. [[spoiler: He doesn't, but leaves a message for Cale begging his forgiveness for breaking his promise.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The German film ''Literature/ThePledge'' is about a teenage couple in which the girl escapes from East Germany, and her boyfriend promises "Ich komme nach" (roughly: I will come after you). The movie's plot is basically how difficult that is for him to accomplish.
* In ''Film/MuchAdoAboutNothing1993'', Beatrice asks Benedick to prove his love for her by killing Claudio. At first he refuses (saying, "Not for the wide world") because Claudio is his friend and companion. When she continually insists that he do this to avenge the wronging of Hero, Benedick eventually agrees. Benedick [[ThrowingDownTheGauntlet confronts Claudio]], but everything is resolved before the duel can happen.
* In ''Film/ThePledge'' a police detective, on the day of his retirement, promises a grieving mother that he will find her daughter's killer. This promise grows to become an obsession with him.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** ''Film/XMen1'': Wolverine keeps his vow to Rogue by [[spoiler:nearly dying trying to save her life in the climax]]:
--->'''Logan''': I'll take care of you.\\
'''Rogue''': You promise?\\
'''Logan''': Yeah, I promise.
** ''Film/XMenFirstClass'': Charles managed to uphold his promise not to use his telepathy on Raven for 18 years until [[spoiler:the shock and pain of a bullet in his spine]] became too much for him to bear, compromising his concentration.
--->'''Raven''': You promised me you would never read my mind.\\
'''Charles''': I know. I promised you a great many things, I'm afraid. I'm sorry.
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'':
*** Wolverine requests that the younger Xavier form the X-Men regardless of the outcome of their mission.
--->'''Logan''': Whatever happens today, I need you to promise me something. [...] The X-Men, promise me you'll find us. Use your power, bring us together. Guide us, lead us. [...]\\
'''1973 Charles''': I'll... do my best.
*** And later:
--->'''Logan''': It's good to see you, [[spoiler:Charles. It's good to see everyone.]]\\
[[spoiler:'''Professor X''': ''(smiles warmly)'' Well, I had a promise to keep.]]

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', when Jerin is kidnapped, he gives his kidnappers his word of honour that he will be an obedient husband, pleasure them in bed and raise their children, and never attempt to run away, if only they let his friend live. It later turns out that [[spoiler: [[ILied he lied]], which he cheerfully admits. He doesn't feel bound to a promise given to ''rapists'', and continues his efforts to escape.]]
* A plot point in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's eponymous ''Das Versprechen'' (''The Pledge''), where a Swiss Police Commissar promises a couple to track down the murderer of their young daughter. [[spoiler:This promise subsequently [[DrivenToMadness drives him to madness]] [[DownerEnding when he can't find him]]]].
* The poems of Robert Service occasionally feature these, such as "The Cremation of Sam [=McGee=]" or "The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill". In the former, a man must carry Sam's dead body around with in the Arctic him until he finds a place to cremate him, and in the latter, an undertaker has to journey out to find Bill's dead body and give him a proper burial. Except that his ''rigor mortis'' prevents him from fitting into the coffin. [[BlackComedy Why, look. A hacksaw.]]
* At the end of ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'' Ida makes and immortal oath (magical promise that you ''must'' fulfill) to Katarzyna that [[spoiler:she'll bring Mikołaj's soul to the Land of the Dead]], consequently leading her to cross paths with demon king Tempter and the entire plot of ''The Mirror Demon''.
* As of ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'', [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Sam Vimes]] reads the same book to his son at six o'clock, every day, no excuses (because when you have a good excuse, you open the door to bad excuses). As for [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming the one]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome moment]] he can't make it in time...
* In the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, it's mentioned several times that "A Wizard always keeps his promises." At one point, a secondary character tells the main character that the reason this happens is, as a wizard, he's subconsciously using his magic to make sure the promise is kept.
* In the novel ''[[Literature/AWizardInRhyme The Oathbound Wizard]]'' by Christopher Stasheff the wizard Matt Mantrell makes a careless hyperbolic vow to overthrow a nearby BigBad. Since he lives in a magical world with similar laws to Medieval legend, he is honor bound to do so. He later convinces God that the vow was made in error and he shouldn't be held to it, but by then he has seen how horrible the BigBad is and wants to overthrow him anyway.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfChaos'', having someone make and break a promise is a potent source of magical power over them.
* In Creator/GeorgeMacDonald's ''Literature/ThePrincessAndTheGoblin'', when Curdie helped her and the nurse get home safely despite the goblins, Princess Irene promised to kiss him.
* In the ChivalricRomance ''Sir Orfeo'', the King of Fairy must give up Orfeo's wife because he gave a promise to Orfeo, [[KingIncognito disguised as a ministrel]].
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''False Gods'', Loken explains to Karkasy "the promise of moment" a promise to do one specific thing, and extracts from him a promise to keep their conversation secret.
** In Creator/DanAbnett's ''Legion'', Alpharius is reluctant to leave an undertaking because he has promised to do it. [[WithDueRespect Soneka objects that they always act with relentless pragmatism.]]
** In James Swallow's ''The Flight of the Eisenstein'', Garro reveals Horus's treacherous attack to his men, and demands that they swear an oath of moment on [[CoolSword his sword Libertas]]. An intercepted order [[DebateAndSwitch reveals to all of them that he tells the truth]], and they all swear.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} novel ''Literature/BrothersOfTheSnake'', Priad pledges to the farmers that he will protect them. [[spoiler:Since it is from a cult, and they turn out to be the {{Cult}}, he ends up "revoking the pledge" and slaughtering them.]]
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/{{Ultramarines}} novel ''The Killing Ground'', Uriel promises the Unfleshed that he will not let anyone hurt them. [[spoiler:In the end, he can only MercyKill the last survivor.]]
* In Creator/RobinMcKinley's ''[[Literature/BeautyARetellingOfBeautyAndTheBeast Beauty]]'', Beauty is told not to go into the forest. When she thinks this means ''far'' in and goes in around the edges, her brother-in-law makes her promise not to. She dislikes giving her word on principle -- then she has to [[IGaveMyWord keep it]] -- and so insists that he give his word too.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Deus Encarmine]]'', Rafen complains of the [[RedemptionEqualsDeath killings]] because they have promised [[WouldNotShootACivilian to protect such people]]. At the end, he is forced to swear allegiance to Arkio as the reincarnation of Sanguinius -- which is the point at which he realizes the extent of Arkio's transformation and that one of them would die.
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Coraline}}'', Coraline goes to pry a promise out the Other Mother, who first tries to swear on her mother's grave. When Coraline asks if her mother has a grave, the Other Mother says she put her there herself, and put her back when she crawled out. Coraline insists on something else, and the Other Mother swears by her strong right hand. [[spoiler:When she breaks it, she sends her hand after Coraline.]]
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** ''Literature/OutboundFlight'': Jedi Knight Lorana Jinzler, aware of her impending HeroicSacrifice, gets Jorj Car'das to promise to find her estranged brother, still working at the Jedi Temple, and tell him something.
--> "Just tell him that his sister was thinking of him, hoping that someday he'll be able to let go of his anger. His anger at me, at our parents, and at himself."
--> "All right. I'll do my best."
--> "You'd better go then. Please don't forget."
--> "I won't."
** Then Car'das neglects the promise for ''fifty years'', until Literature/SurvivorsQuest.
* In Creator/LewisCarroll's ''Literature/SylvieAndBruno'', a subject of discussion between Lady Muriel and the narrator.
-->''"Do you think," she began again, after a minute's silence, and with a visible embarrassment of manner most unusual in her, "that a promise, deliberately and solemnly given, is ''always'' binding--except, of course, where its fulfillment would involve some actual ''sin''?"''
* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Fëanor and his sons swore a terrible oath to recover the Silmarils at any cost. These Silmarils were three hallowed jewels which Fëanor made, and which [[BigBad Morgoth]] stole. Centuries later the oath destroyed them thoroughly, and resulted in them slaughtering many innocents. Even after the last two surviving sons [[TragicVillain thoroughly hated the oath and wished to stop killing people]] over the jewels, they felt (or thought they were) somehow compelled to continue.
** In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Aragorn can summon the Dead to fulfill the oath of assistance that they did not respect centuries before.
** In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' this is the reason Sam remains with Frodo even with the rest of the Fellowship is scattered. He made a promise to Gandalf that he would not leave Frodo, and Sam is a hobbit of his word. He chases after Frodo's boat even though he can't swim, and nearly drowns rather than break the promise. Frodo helps Sam aboard and they continue to Mordor together.
* ''Literature/TheGodfather'': Don Vito Corleone basically operates by getting these from a great number of people. (The novel says that ''[[LampshadeHanging he piled up good deeds like a banker piles up securities.]]'') Interestingly, we never see him extort any ''criminal'' acts from the recipients of his "favors"; instead, he gets completely innocuous freebies from whatever their normal business is. (Wedding cakes from the baker, performances at his casino from the singer, and a funeral from the undertaker when [[spoiler: Sonny]] gets whacked.)
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "Literature/TheValeOfLostWomen" Livia promises herself to Literature/ConanTheBarbarian if he will free her from her captor. Then she bolts in panic. When he rescues her again, she admits to breaking it and deserving punishment; he returns her home instead because it would have been no better than rape.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/{{Kull}} story "The Shadow Kingdom", after Kull and Brule learn that the ghosts of those the Snakemen kill are [[MadeASlave their slaves]].
-->''A shudder shook Kull's gigantic frame. "Valka! But what a fate! Hark ye"—his fingers closed upon Brule's sinewy arm like steel—"hark ye! If I am wounded unto death by these foul monsters, swear that [[MercyKill ye will smite your sword through my breast lest my soul be enslaved]]."\\
"I swear," answered Brule, his fierce eyes lighting. "And do ye the same by me, Kull." Their strong right hands met in a silent sealing of their bloody bargain.''
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/{{Kull}} / Literature/BranMakMorn story "Kings of the Night", Bran's problem is that one tribe is willing to break its promise if it does not follow a man of its own blood.
* In Creator/LJagiLamplighter's ''Literature/ProsperosDaughter'' trilogy -- too many to shake a stick at. From the promise of the aerial spirits to obey the Prosperos, to Theo's promise to himself to give up magic, to Logstilla's promise not to become attached to her children any more, to Miranda's to Mephisto's {{familiar}} not to reveal their conversation to Mephisto. And many more!
* In Creator/JulietMarillier's ''Literature/SonOfTheShadows'', the heroine refuses to give her promise to stay in Sevenwaters to the Fair Folk, knowing that it will come back to haunt her if she does - The Fair Folk always get what is promised to them.
* In ''Between the Rivers'' by Creator/HarryTurtledove, the protagonist in a grandstanding moment vows that he won't marry his sweetheart until the completion of the trading expedition he's about to embark on. It seems like a safe thing to do since it's a routine expedition and he wasn't planning to marry her until after he got back anyway. But then the nation they were going to trade with unexpectedly puts a trading embargo on the protagonist's city. And the god he swore by is real, interventionist, and quite willing to make the vow stick.
* The ''Literature/WarriorCats'' novel ''Crookedstar's Promise''. A mysterious spirit cat asks the main character, as a kit, to promise to be loyal to his Clan above all else, even his own desires. Naturally, he promises, since he can't imagine ''not'' being loyal. Turns out that she meant that he can't take a mate or anything of the sort, and she definitely didn't have his or the Clan's best intentions at heart.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/TheMonsterMen'', Professor Maxon promises that von Horn can marry Virginia if he rescues her, in the heat of the moment. Afterward, he realizes that this was a problem since he had not gotten [[ChildMarriageVeto Virginia's consent]].
* In Teresa Frohock's ''Literature/MiserereAnAutumnTale'', Lucian promised to look after Catarina.
* In Creator/GeneStrattonPorter's ''Literature/{{Freckles}}'', when he realizes he could cure his ignorance, Freckles promises he will.
-->''"Before God, I will!" He uttered the oath so impressively that the recording angel never winced as he posted it in the prayer column.''
* In ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', Lyra promises a friend that she'd come and save him if he ever got kidnapped. In the process of trying to keep this promise, she travels to Svalbard, burns down a military-protected research station and [[DidYouJustScamCthulhu tricks the king of the]] [[BearsAreBadNews Armored Bears]]. [[spoiler: When she does find him again, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero she ultimately ends up accidentally getting him killed anyway]] [[{{Determinator}} and travels to the World of the Dead to apologize to him for it]].]]
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/CountToATrillion'', Menelaus's mother explained her cruel punishment on the grounds that Darwin required it. The young Menelaus concluded that Darwin was a villain, and promised that he would stop him.
* In Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/LoveAndFreindship'', when Laura meets Sophia.
-->''We flew into each other's arms and after having exchanged vows of mutual Friendship for the rest of our Lives, instantly unfolded to each other the most inward secrets of our Hearts.''
** In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', Elizabeth stalwartly refuses to give one to Lady Catherine.
* In the backstory of ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', Luke promises Annabeth that the two of them and Thalia would be a family, and wouldn't fail each other like their birth families had. [[spoiler: First, he is TheOathbreaker: [[TheMole he goes over]] to [[BigBad Kronos]]. Then, at the very end of the final book, he becomes TheAtoner: [[HeroicSacrifice he stabs himself]] to prevent Kronos's rise. "Promise."]]
* In Creator/GeorgeMacDonald's "[[http://www.online-literature.com/donne/3643/ Port In A Storm]]", the narrator got his uncle to not interfere with his wooing the uncle's wealthy niece, despite the appearance of trying to get at her money, by bringing him port to drink during a storm and collecting this as his reward.
* In Creator/SeananMcGuire's ''Literature/VelveteenVs'', Velma, warned by Scaredy Cat, demands a promise that she can go home before she hands over the pumpkins.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' Eddard Stark promised something ''very'' important to his dying sister Lyanna. The contents of the promise are still [[WildMassGuessing unknown]]...in the books anyway. See the Live Action TV folder for more.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/{{Catseye|1961}}'', Tikil's culture turns heavily on the given word.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/StormOverWarlock'', the Throg tells Shann he will be tortured to death slowly if he does not send the message they want. He doesn't, though he does it cryptically. Shann is strapped to a frame for it, and the Throg tells him they will leave him as a warning. Then, they come under attack. The Throg hesitates; Shann thinks it is thinking about whether to bring him with them, which will be necessary to carry out its promise.
** Later, in ''Literature/ForerunnerForay'', Ziantha gives her word to Ris Lantee and later does not escape because of it.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/TheZeroStone'', Jern strikes a deal with Hory. When Eet reveals that he carries another zero stone, one Eet slipped in, Eet is careful to point that that he kept his promise, exactly.
* In Creator/RuthFrancesLong's ''Literature/TheTreacheryOfBeautifulThings'', Jack had promised to help those on a quest. This means he can't just shoo Jenny out.
* In Creator/JulieKagawa's ''Literature/TheIronKing'', this is one way to end up in a MagicallyBindingContract. Meghan knows enough to get one from Shard -- before she reveals the ExactWords interpretation she's going by.
* In Creator/StephanieBurgis's ''[[Literature/KatIncorrigible A Tangle of Magicks]]'', Kat's mother's MagicMirror loses its powers. Kat vows to restore it.
* In ''Hunter's Death'', when Stephen is about to set out on a very dangerous quest, Cynthia makes Stephen promise that he will come back to her before she's married so they have some time together. In the end, he [[spoiler: dies on the quest, but he manages to keep his promise ''anyway'' by getting the Hunter God to let him borrow the God's body for one interlude.]]
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Alex promises the Junior Rangers that they can [[spoiler:bring back the Rangers from the Gloom.]]
* In an early ''Literature/{{Relativity}}'' story, the heroes stop an assassination that was to have taken place at a wedding, unaware that the intended victim was the nephew of a [[TheDon Mafia kingpin]] known as "The Goose". The Goose tells the heroes that he now owes them a favor. [[spoiler:Which they do eventually cash in.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'': "Tommy, you're my big handsome hero, and I need you." (Interesting Western example with English and Japanese characters as the promiser/-ee.)
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':
** John promises to give Scorpius all of the wormhole knowledge in exchange for help rescuing Aeryn. This debt is later wiped out when John comes up with a way of hurting the Scarrans, which makes Scorpius VERY happy.
** John promises to Aeryn that he wouldn't hurt Scorpius, since Scorpy saved her life. Aeryn releases him from the promise. They never intended to kill him, anyway.
* [[Series/LifeOnMars2006 Sam Tyler]] promised Annie he wouldn't leave her at the end of the finale, and mentioned that promise to his mum afterwards. [[spoiler: And he kept his promise.]]
* Several promises have been made on ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}''. Freya promises that one day she will repay Merlin for his help, and does so by delivering Excalibur into his keeping. Arthur promises Guinevere that when he is King, they'll be together. Whilst held hostage by a warlord, Lancelot promises Guinevere that he'll rescue her - this thus far is the only promise that hasn't been kept - whilst Lancelot does his best, it is Arthur and not Lancelot that rescues them.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'', based on ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', due to [[OvertookTheManga overtaking the books]], ''has'' revealed what the promise Ned Stark made to his dying sister Lyanna was: [[spoiler: to never reveal that Jon Snow is the trueborn son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen (and thus, the rightful king of Westeros) in order to protect Jon from the Baratheon regime. This is a promise Ned keeps until his last breath as he spends the rest of his life protecting Jon, raising and loving him as his own son at Winterfell, and passes his nephew off as his own illegitimate child to keep Jon safe from their family's enemies and Robert Baratheon, who would pose a fatal threat to Jon if Jon's biological parentage ever came to light.]]


* In "TheCowardOfTheCounty" by Music/KennyRogers, Tommy promises his father, who is dying in prison, not to follow in his footsteps, and to avoid trouble whenever possible. Everyone called him the coward of the county due to his promise and his avoidance of conflict, but after his lover was raped, Tommy attacked her rapists and beat them soundly.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/BraveHeroYuusha'': Edward makes a promise to protect Ashlyn that drives him from that point onward.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** When Chief is forced to leave behind Cortana near the end of ''VideoGame/Halo2'', this exchange occurs:
-->'''[[TheHero Master Chief]]''': After I'm through with [[BigBad Truth]]...
-->'''Cortana''': Don't make a girl a promise... if you know you can't keep it...
** Which leads to a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming in the [[VideoGame/{{Halo3}} third game]]:
-->'''Cortana''': You found me. But [[BreakTheCutie so much of me is wrong]]... [[MindRape out of place]]... you might be too late...
-->'''Master Chief''': You know me. When I make a promise...
-->'''Cortana''': ...You... keep it. ...I ''do'' know how to pick 'em...
-->'''Master Chief''': Lucky me.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'', as Cortana is dying from rampancy, Chief reminds her of his promise to keep her safe. Cortana simply asks Chief what will happen to ''him'' if he can't keep his promise. [[spoiler:As it turns out, Cortana ends up sacrificing herself to save Chief, which absolutely devastates him; he's still reeling from her death even when we see him again in ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians''.]]
* One of the story paths in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' had Bang Shishigami who was at first being seen as an annoying StalkerWithACrush by [[MsFanservice Litchi Faye-Ling]], until he jumped in and saved both her and Arakune from Hakumen. Bang opts to do a HeroicSacrifice while Litchi escapes; and asks to meet her in a bar when it's all over, and Litchi promised to do so. Unfortunately, it's a HeroicSacrifice [[YankTheDogsChain for real; Bang presumably dies and we don't know if Litchi even remembered him and]] ThePromise. The Kaka clan, however, made him a posthumous hero.
** ''Continuum Shift'', however, uses a variation. Litchi still made the promise and Bang actually survived. While they didn't exactly meet in a bar, it is clear that from that point on, Litchi grew to respect Bang tremendously and treats him with kindness and compassion.
** Litchi herself has a very dramatic version that influences her actions. She made a promise that she will save her colleague Lotte Carmine, who is now Arakune, no matter what happens to her. Unfortunately, fulfilling this promise is a hard thing to do since it involves corrupting herself to the Boundary to the point she's getting very near to become another Arakune, she had to take the offer of someone ObviouslyEvil like Hazama to join NOL and becoming a 'bad guy' in general and eventually [[spoiler:helping Relius Clover in his plan to exterminate all life and create a new world where Lotte can be prevented from becoming Arakune]], all of these fill her with a huge dose of remorse, but she feels obliged to follow through to the end, even if she could be happy enough by leaving him alone, and especially even if other people consider her stupid for trying to save someone they think is 'beyond saving' and wouldn't bother.
** Perhaps hilariously, even [[spoiler:Relius Clover]] joins in the act in ''Chronophantasma''. [[spoiler:He goaded his son Carl to his side by first having Litchi on his clutches 'on her own will' (see above) and the promise that he will restore Ada, Carl's biggest goal in life for the moment. Considering Relius didn't break a sweat in putting him down, when Carl actually did on his own will, we all know that Relius would make it an EmptyPromise. But... then he saw Bang Shishigami thwart his magnum opus of a plot despite having both Litchi and Carl, who Bang liked very much, as his pawns, and then he's dumped by the Imperator (revealed by Izanami) to 'die' and with him being ThePerfectionist, Relius fell into a VillainousBSOD and is railroaded to commit himself to Carl's previous promise to restore Ada before he could die, which he accepts because he got nothing else to look forward into.]]
* In VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment, your character can actually do this as a dialogue option. Sometimes, dialogue choices (in some specific, important and dramatic scenes) will have a declaration of intent hidden, such as "Truth", "Lie", and, most importantly, "Make Vow". Those dialogue choices affect your CharacterAlignment: you become more Lawful if you tell the truth, and more Chaotic if you lie.
* A promise is the driving force behind the plot of ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 4|A Promise Unforgotten}}'', hence the title. The main character, Valvatorez made a promise to give his Prinny trainees a sardine once they finish their training. However, the Netherworld's government decides that all of the Prinnies need to be exterminated to cut back on expenses, which would keep him from fulfilling his promise. So naturally, he decides to overthrow the government.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** At the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'', Sora makes a promise with Kairi that he'll return to her and the island with Riku someday.
** In a deliberate echo in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', Roxas makes a promise that he'll meet up again with his friends in Twilight Town. [[spoiler:Sora fulfills it vicariously for him, and gets the Oathkeeper keyblade for doing so.]]
** Most of Sora's story in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' is based on the promise that he and Riku both supposedly made to Naminé on a shooting star to protect her. [[spoiler: But the promise is fake and so is Riku: Naminé herself implanted the promise both of their memories and the Riku is actually a replica of the real Riku. Even after they both know the truth, though, they still vow to protect her.]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has Cloud's childhood promise to Tifa that he would protect her if she ever got into trouble (see page quote).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'':
*** The game has the iconic promise between Squall and Rinoa.
----> '''Squall:''' "How about this... I'll be here..."
----> '''Rinoa:''' "...Why?"
----> '''Squall:''' "The reason why you couldn't find me was because we haven't promised yet."
----> '''Rinoa:''' "Promised...?"
----> '''Squall:''' "I'll be waiting for you. If you come here, you'll find me. I promise."
----> '''Rinoa:''' "I'll be here, too. It's a promise! Thanks Squall! Next time, we'll meet for sure!"
*** In the ending FMV when Squall is lost in Time Compression, Rinoa manages to find him and bring him back to the location of the promise.
** The main musical theme of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' is actually called "Final Fantasy XIII - The Promise." The talk page for the song on the ''Final Fantasy'' Wiki lists at least five different promises within the game: Snow promised to protect and save Serah, Snow and Vanille both promised to protect and save Cocoon, Vanille claimed that she promised Hope they would visit Gran Pulse together, Fang promised to protect Vanille and not let her turn into a C'ieth and Hope promised to watch out for Lightning.
---> '''Vanille''': Wishes aren't enough. Prayers either. This time, I'm making a promise. I will keep Cocoon safe. I promise, no matter what.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'': Trodain promised Argonia that their kingdoms would be united by an ArrangedMarriage. Unfortunately, Argonia's Prince is [[PrinceCharmless Prince Charmles]], which causes King Trode no small amount of grief after meeting him and seeing what an utter boor he'd promised his daughter's hand to. In [[MultipleEndings both endings]], he decides [[spoiler: [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight Screw The Promise, I'm Doing What's Best For Medea]] and fights to stop the ceremony]] -- the GoldenEnding also lets him [[spoiler: TakeAThirdOption and let her marry Charmles' just-discovered cousin]]. Plus, [[spoiler:it's implied that 'The Hero' had the right of succession anyway.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow]]'', Soma Cruz asks [[spoiler:Julius Belmont]] to promise to kill him if he turns evil. Thankfully, the person making the promise is reliable and more than strong enough to fulfil said promise if it comes to that. [[spoiler:In Aria's bad ending, Julius turns up in the throne room to kill Soma, and in Julius Mode in ''Dawn'', Julius gets Yoko and Alucard's help to take down Soma.]]
--> '''Soma:''' ... I've got a favour to ask of you.
--> '''[[spoiler:Julius:]]''' What is it?
--> '''Soma:''' From here. I will set off to fight against my own fate. If I lose the battle... And I become reincarnation of evil, I want you to kill me.
--> '''[[spoiler:Julius:]]''' ... I will... I promise.
--> '''Soma:''' Thanks. Now I can go into this battle without reservations.
--> '''[[spoiler:Julius:]]''' Farewell, my friend. Don't let me use that whip again.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} [[UpdatedRerelease Portable]]'', a romantic vow to stay together is apart of the [[LevelUpAtIntimacy5 last rank of the Justice Social Link]] for the female protagonist. What makes it so important is that it's with Ken Amada who's very insecure about their [[MayDecemberRomance relationship]].
** A bigger promise is for [[TrueCompanions SEES]] to meet up again on Graduation Day, [[spoiler:if they manage to beat Nyx]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'', Elh promises Red a billion rings if he helps to complete the Rite of Forfeit. [[spoiler:Of course, Elh actually doesn't ''have'' a billion rings and, if the Rite had gone [[HumanSacrifice as it usually did]], Red wouldn't have needed them anyway. Red survived, however, and instead of being angry, he just [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming invited Elh to join his team]] - [[IWasJustPassingThrough ostensibly to work off that debt]], of course, but [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther nobody was fooled]].]]
* In ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'', the entire Bad Boys Love route and storyline hinges on the fulfillment of a promise from long ago. Given [[DatingSim the premise of the game]], you might think that it's going to be along the lines of a ChildhoodMarriagePromise, but it...really, ''really'' isn't.
* If Shepard enters into a romantic relationship with Liara in ''Franchise/MassEffect'', at the conclusion of ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'' in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Liara asks Shepard to promise her that s/he's always coming back. S/he does. Both she and Tali beg you to come back after the final battle in VideoGame/MassEffect3. Since it's currently assumed that [=ME3=] is the end of the series (for Shepard), in one out of three endings, with a high enough EMS score, you can assume he keeps his promise. Who knows what'll happen now that Bioware has broadly hinted that Mass Effect 4 might be worth keeping your saves for though.
* Defied in [[VideoGame/NintendoWars Advance Wars: Dual Strike.]] If Eagle and Sami are selected for the final Campaign Mission, Eagle will attempt to make a promise of survival with Sami who cuts him off telling him that if they make that promise, one of them will die.
* In ''VideoGame/AtelierEschaAndLogyAlchemistsOfTheDuskSky'', the final boss, [[spoiler:Flameu]], once made a promise with [[spoiler:Clone, a very important promise. While Clone planted trees, she would find out why the earth was withering and would return. Then, once she knew, she would come back and they would enjoy apples together. But things went wrong and she ended up being in the Unexplored Ruins for hundreds of years.]]

* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=287 Coyote promises Antimony she will not be harmed to lure her]] to the [[LostWoods forest]]. Antimony points out that he's a {{Trickster}} and he finds it hilarous.
* ''Webcomic/TheDreamlandChronicles'': [[http://tinyurl.com/2dqrcbe Alex, growing up.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Roy's father, Eugene, swore a Blood Oath of Vengeance to seek out and destroy Xykon, the BigBad. His failure to do so, plus his decision to abandon his quest, keep him in limbo even after his natural death and transfers the obligation to his heirs.
** He's incensed when his son, Roy, gets to go on to the afterlife proper, since Roy didn't fulfill the terms of the Oath either. It's pointed out by a Being of Pure Law and Good that Roy gets to move on because he died in direct pursuit of the quest his worthless flake of a father dumped on him by consciously abandoning it.
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'': [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1185 Promise to never ever tell my friends that I'm a]] MagicalGirl.
* ''Webcomic/{{Memoria}}'': [[http://memoria.valice.net/?p=404 We'll get him back. . . I promise]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Roza}}'' [[http://www.junglestudio.com/roza/index.php?date=2007-06-07 Wait, you promised!]]
* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'', [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Issue4PAGES/ib080.html Err... well, we had sworn to. . .]] -- while threatening to arrest Roan after he saved them. ({{Ungrateful Bastard}}s. Good thing the question of WhoWillBellTheCat arises.)
** Earlier, Dara [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Chapter001/ib005.html extracts one from Roan,]] in a LeonineContract.
** After that, [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Issue3/ib056.html she promises him that those of Ancient blood will not always be looked at with fear and disgust.]]
* In ''Webcomic/BlueYonder'', [[http://www.blueyondercomic.net/comics/1080254/blue-yonder-prologue-page-14/ as the badly wounded Jared is brought in, he asks for a promise they will find his sister, and gets it.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3555 the laptop made a vow under Buddha's influence.]]
* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', [[http://danielscreations.com/ola/comics/ep0132.html Angelika tries to get one from Lenny, who responds by asking for one in return.]]
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'',
** [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/02-35.html the promise to return in a week particularly enrages the Beast]] -- she could have admitted to never coming back.
** [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/03-74.html Claire had promised that she would survive, regardless. She had forgotten that.]]
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000508c Dr. Light promises that the Author is needed only temporarily.]]
* Promises are everywhere in ''Webcomic/{{MYth}}: A Promise'' and the willing of keeping them is a mayor character tract. Keeping their promises is what makes difference between Cronus and Zeus, the two men choosen by Gaia, as Cronus promised that he would free the cyclops but doesn't keep it while Zeus does. Also, Zeus' determination in keeping his promises and Hades' promise to Rhea of protecting Zeus is PlayedForDrama when [[spoiler:Zeus swears to hate Hades forever for him killing Metis, and Hades willingly accepts Zeus' hatred in order to make him a stronger man.]]
* In ''Webcomic/MysteryBabylon'', Kick Girl wanted to break the seal of the Pit in order to free Kill Boy, but as J.J. was dying he asked her to promise never to open it. Kick Girl promised, and spent the next thousand years protecting the seal on the Pit.
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'': As far as Reynir's great-grandfather was concerned in the prologue, the world outside of Iceland was falling apart due to the Rash. On top of this, he was quitting his job in the coast guard because it had turned into enforcing QuarantineWithExtremePrejudice on any refugee boat that showed up from the rest of the world. Because of this, he promised himself to never tell any future children he may have about what's outside of Iceland and make them understand that they should never try leaving the country. Over the following ninety years, some people were discovered to be TheImmune to the Rash and Iceland developped a program to enable parents who are not TheImmune to have children who are. In addition, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland turned out to be still around as nations, albeit beaten up by TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. This resulted in Reynir being sheltered into staying in the family farm due to being both the youngest child and the only non-immune one, while his four older siblings each showed up at home twice a year with stories about being abroad. It's from one of them that he found out that the ban on non-immune people travelling outside of Iceland was actually no longer in place, when his parents had told him otherwise. It's safe to assume that the sheltering to which Reynir was subject has something to do with his great-grandfather's promise.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': Jaune promises [[CanNotSpitItOut Pyrrha]] that if she can't get a date to the dance, he'll wear a dress and go with her. Guess what happens.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': Princess Bubblegum makes Finn "royal promise" not to tell anyone about the zombies. He has a hard time keeping it, but eventually he defeats the zombies without telling anyone. When Jake discovers the hacked bodies around him, Finn feels it's alright to tell him. Only it's not: turns out the consequences of breaking a royal promise are [[spoiler: having to face trial by fire at the hands of giant gumball dispensers.]] Luckily, it gets negotiated down to 'trial by math.'
* In the after-series comic in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' [[spoiler:Zuko makes Aang promise him to kill him if Zuko starts to turn into his father.]]
* Roger was a talking dog who appeared in an Al Brodax ''WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}}'' cartoon, where his ability to talk to only Popeye causes a bit of a mess. When he returns in a later cartoon, he makes a promise to not speak to anyone except Popeye and Olive. Running an errand, Roger overhears a gang of thugs planning a robbery. He tells Popeye, who tells the police. When the police asks where Popeye got his information, he says Roger told him. But all Roger will do is bark to the police because he made a promise to not speak to anyone except Popeye and Olive.