'''Basic Trope''': An ActionGirl or other competent, active female character becomes a DistressedDamsel with little or no justification beyond the needs of the plot.
* '''Straight''': Alice and Bob are secret agents in ''Bob: the Movie''.For much of the film, Alice is just as kickass as Bob, but two-thirds of the way in, a {{Mook}} manages to [[StandardFemaleGrabArea catch her arm]] and Alice is quickly subdued. She spends the rest of the movie trapped in a cell in the BigBad's lair, waiting for Bob to rescue her.
* '''Exaggerated''': Alice, [[LadyOfWar Warrior Queen]] of the Amazons, cuts a bloody swath through her people's enemies and is a [[OneManArmy One Woman Army]] until she meets up with Bob the Barbarian. She immediately stops wearing armor, seems to forget how to use a sword, and her most commonly used line for the rest of the series is "Save me, Bob!"
* '''Downplayed''': [[StandardFemaleGrabArea After being grabbed by the arm]], Alice is noticeably less effective, but still useful.
* '''Justified''': Not applicable. (The lack of an InUniverse reason is key to this trope. If the ActionGirl is changed to a DistressedDamsel as the result of physical and/or emotional trauma, that's just CharacterDevelopment.)
* '''Inverted''':
** {{Xenafication}}.
** Alice is a DistressedDamsel, but partway through the story she [[TookALevelInBadass takes several levels in badass]] and becomes the hero.
* '''Gender Inverted''': Bob's ''male'' sidekick, Charles, goes from TheLancer to TheLoad after his capture.
* '''Subverted''':
** Alice is just playing DistressedDamsel to stroke Bob's ego. If she's in any real danger, she'll drop the pose.
** Or, Alice turns out to be a BadassInDistress.
** Alternatively, Alice's sudden [[BadassDecay loss of ability]] turns out to be a result of a ''horrible'' BreakTheCutie, and she's still getting over the HeroicBSOD.
* '''Double Subverted''': The BigBad guessed Alice's game and put in extra security precautions to make sure she ''stays'' distressed.
* '''Parodied''':
** Bob the macho action hero is [[GenderBender turned into a woman]], and immediately starts acting out the role of DistressedDamsel, even though several people (including the BigBad) point out that this particular AppliedPhlebotinum doesn't affect the victim's personality. The other characters begin to wonder if maybe Bob isn't a bit too into this distress thing.
** As part of the heroes' BatmanGambit, Alice is forced to play the role of the DamselInDistress. Because she's such a kickass action girl, however, she does so ''dreadfully''.
* '''Zig Zagged''':
** Whether Alice becomes a DistressedDamsel or retains her normal ActionGirl prowess and escape capabilities depends on the needs of the plot, so varies from episode to episode.
** Alice is a MagicalGirlWarrior that transforms into an Amazon but the transformation has a PowerLimiter, so she can go from a strong and trained assassin to a helpless waif who can't lift a finger to save herself, and everything in between.
* '''Averted''': No capable female characters are chickified; Any DistressedDamsel is that way from the beginning.
* '''Enforced''': "Bob's the title character, so he should be the focus of the climax. How about we have Alice get captured so Bob can rescue her?"
* '''Lampshaded''': "So this is the famous Warrior Queen Alice. How the mighty have fallen, eh?"
* '''Invoked''':
** The BigBad aims an enfeebling ray at Alice so that she can be captured more easily.
** Alice lets herself be captured, since she's wearing a tracking device.
* '''Exploited''': Knowing that no one will recognize her due to her personality shift, Alice assumes a new identity after Bob saves her.
* '''Defied''': Alice refuses to go down that easily, and if captured, escapes at the earliest opportunity.
* '''Discussed''': "I hope Alice is all right. It's not like her to be so easily captured".
* '''Conversed''': "We're about two-thirds of the way into the movie and...yep, there goes Alice's competence. It's all damsel in distress from this point on".
* '''Implied''': Alice still uses her sword, but is noticeably less skilled.
* '''Deconstructed''':
** Secret agent Alice is devastated by how easily she was overcome and kept captive. She's plagued by recurring nightmares, and her fitness for field missions is questioned....
** Alice is deliberately feigning weakness when necessary as part of a larger strategy to train and boost Bob's confidence and public profile.
* '''Reconstructed''': Alice was a bitch and the experience humbles her. Bob rescues her and they fight their way out together, falling in love in the process. Alice becomes a RetiredBadass who can ''still'' kick ass but prefers being a HouseWife at HomeSweetHome).
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IHaveYouNowMyPretty! It's back to {{Chickification}} for you!
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%% Optional items, added after Conversed, at your discretion:
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%%* '''Plotted A Good Waste''': ???
%%* '''Played For Laughs''': ???
%%* '''Played For Drama''': ???