Are you and your buddies looking for female companionship, but are denied the chance to interact with women in a normal manner because of your location, your occupation, or the fact that you all have No Social Skills?
Well, no matter. The problem's easy enough to fix. Just get your buddies together, form a raiding party, swoop down upon the nearest village and carry away all of its prettiest women. Of course, you can expect the pretty women to not be so keen on the idea, at least at first. Expect to see a lot of passive-aggressive behavior coming from their general direction... as well as the odd rock or frying pan... and you may want to wear a groin protector when you're walking around in their approximate vicinity... at least for awhile...
Don't worry, though. They'll eventually come around and become willing mates for you all. You can speed up this process if you act sheepish and apologetic around them. Let them think you're just as sorry about the situation as they are angry. Do nice things for them. Smile when they jam their heels into your foot, or dump freezing cold water down your pants or slam your fingers into windowsills. And know that one day, if you can endure this abuse long enough, they'll grow tired of beating on you and start to find you strangely attractive.
Hopefully this will happen before the girls' fathers, brothers or friends find out where you live and turn you and your buddies into tomato paste. If you've behaved yourself and acted properly towards the women, you may get lucky and find yourself wed to your new sweethearts in a Shotgun Wedding. If not, then... it's best not to think about what will happen to you...
The extreme end of this idea of this includes And Now You Must Marry Me. See also Stockholm Syndrome, I'm Taking Her Home with Me!, and Captive Date. Obviously, Don't Try This at Home.
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Anime and Manga
This is a common explanation for Russia's affectionate abuse of the Baltics, particularly Lithuania, in Axis Powers Hetalia.
Arima of Kare Kano has a dark side that once imagined tying his girlfriend Yukino in chains.
The whole plot of two Ranma ½theatrical features features a foreign (and formidable) prince kidnapping Akane to make her his bride. The second goes whole hog and Prince Toma's entourage kidnaps all the other girls in the cast for the same purpose. The antagonist in the third PC-Engine video game, Toraware no Hanayome, turns the tables and kidnaps female Ranma instead.
In Tokyo Mew Mew, Kisshu kisses Ichigo the second he sees her. Later on, he attempts to kidnap her and escalates from there.
Ai no Kusabi has Iason kidnapping Riki so they can be together.
Played with in Sekirei. The bond between a Sekirei and their Ashikabi is normally the result of destiny bringing them together, but it is entirely possible to create a bond by force. Two of the major villains built armies this way, capturing and winging Sekirei against their will — one Mook describes the process as "taming" them. Once the bond is formed they seem to develop a strong loyalty and affection for their Ashikabi, whether the bond was consensual or not. Interestingly, the two villains have completely different relationships with their harems — Higa's Sekirei are treated as disposable servants, while Mikogami's are Pretty Freeloaders that treat him affectionately.
Air Gear has a fairly benevolent example when Yayoi kidnaps her Love Interest Agito. It's all rather pleasant due to the fact that despite her feelings for him, she doesn't have any actual romantic designs on him and the "abduction" is largely an attempt to force Agito to stop running himself ragged. Given he'sfairly calm about the whole deal, it's implied he agrees.
In ElfQuest, Cutter originally abducts Leetah under the influence of the elf mating urge called Recognition. Fortunately, cooler heads prevail, he lets her go, apologizes and agrees to fight the urge, trying to undo the bad first impression by courting her in a civilized fashion. They get things straightened out and end up Happily Married, which is less creepy than usual because Cutter wasn't in his right mind at the time of the abduction.
The infamous issue #200 of The Avengers, where Ms. Marvel learns she was kidnapped, brainwashed, and raped...and we're supposed to see this as a good thing. A year later her creator Chris Claremont fought back in Avengers Annual #10, where it turns out she'd stayed out of contact with the Avengers due to their betraying her by letting her go off with her rapist, not realizing she was still brainwashed when she said she wanted to. She proceeds to epically chew them out and refuse to return to the team, opting to join the X-Men instead.
In Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf, the Wolf carries off Helena the Beautiful, but dries her tears when she sees the handsome Ivan, and soon they love each other. Given that he had kidnapped her because another king had demanded her — it's a good thing they have the wolf on their side.
Helen the Beautiful had been greatly frightened, but dried her tears quickly when she saw the handsome youth.
In MacIain Direach, MacIain Direach must kidnap the princess to break a spell, so he lures her on shipboard and sails off before she realizes, but she reacts quickly.
I am," said MacIain Direach, "going with thee to Eirinn, to give thee as a wife to the King of Eirinn, so that I may get from him his Yellow (Bay) Filly, to give her to the Big Women of Dhiurradh, that I may get from them their White Glave of Light, to give it to the Great Giant of the Five Heads, and Five Humps, and Five Throttles, that I may get from him his Blue Falcon, to take her home to my muime, that I may be free from my crosses, and from my spells, and from the bad diseases of the year." And the King of France's daughter said, "I had rather be as a wife to thyself."
In The Bird Grip, the princess's feelings are not touched on until his brothers kills the prince who abducted her, but then she weeps bitterly.
In The Golden Bird, the princess tricks the prince into letting her rouse the castle. The king, however, sets him an Engagement Challenge, and when he succeeds, gives him the princess. Later, when his brothers kill him, she weeps all the time.
The page quote comes from the song "Sobbin' Women", from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The movie features a brood of socially awkward men who kidnap some townswomen they took a shining to during a town dance. They drew the inspiration for their act from a book which detailed the history of the Sabine women (see Mythology and Religion, below). Of course, the brothers, being ignorant hicks, misinterpreted the word Sabine as "Sobbin'"'. They also made a few other ignorant presumptions about how things would turn out. Fortunately for them, the girls they kidnapped did eventually fall in love with them (after putting them all through the wringer for what they did...)
In Red Eye, Jackson Ripener holds Lisa "hostage" on their flight to get her to assist him in an assassination plot. It's implied that he developed feelings for her in the eight weeks he had to watch her prior to this and even ambiguously tells her that when they get out of this, he may have to "steal" her. Of course, she's not cool with any of this at any point in the film.
In 28 Days Later, the few surviving soldiers seem to at least understand that 'borrowing' the last two uninfected women in England and keeping them against their will as breeding stock and female company is quite possibly immoral. They just don't care any more. They seem to think treating them with a thin veneer of decency will eventually make them warm to the concept, but it's just about enough to get them all slaughtered horribly anyway.
The plot of Tie me up! Tie me down! (or Átame! in Spanish) revolves around a former psychiatric inmate trying to make a woman love him by abducting her and tying her to her bed. And he succeeds, too. Well, sort of.
The plot of the Soviet comedy Kidnapping Caucasian Style involves a young anthropology student named Shurik going to Caucasus learn local customs. He ends up falling for a Caucasian girl named Nina. Unfortunately, a local political leader named Saakhov has also taken a liking to the girl. He makes a deal with Nina's uncle, who sells her for some sheep and a fridge. The uncle hires a trio of thugs to abduct the girl while on a hiking trip. When that fails, he convinces Shurik that Nina knows all about it and just wants to re-enact the traditional local custom of bride kidnapping. Shurik helps the trio perform the kidnapping, only to realize that he was tricked. He tries to free her. Meanwhile, Nina finds out about her uncle's deal and threatens to go on a hunger strike if they don't let her go.
Used in Stardust when Tristan accidentally is teleported by Babylon candle to Yvaine instead of to his mother and realizes that Yvaine is the fallen star:
Tristan: Oh, I, may I just say in advance that I'm sorry.
Yvaine: Sorry for what?
Tristan: For this. [Tristan takes out the enchanted chain and ties it around Yvaine's wrist] Now, if I'm not mistaken this means you have to come with me. You're going to be a birthday gift for Victoria, my true love.
Yvaine:[sarcastically] But of course! Nothing says "romance" like the gift of a kidnapped injured woman! I'm not going anywhere with you!
In The Wild World of Batwoman, one of Batwoman's nameless go-go dancing sidekick Batgirls (it's an odd movie) is abducted by two henchmen to hold hostage, but rescued by Batwoman. Later on when a mad scientist's Happy Pills makes all the good guys dance uncontrollably (ahem), one of the henchmen, Tiger, takes to opportunity to snatch her again, having apparently developed a little crush on her. He treats her nicely, though, and eventually pulls a Heel-Face Turn for her, so they wind up Happily Ever After.
In Oyayubihime, Saiko goes out of her way to treat Yuichi with love and affection after shrinking him in the hopes that he'll reciprocate her feelings towards him.
A milder, comedic example forms the plot of Overboard.
Referenced to in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer when Tom tells Huck that as robbers, all they have to do to win women is to take away their belongings but not harm them and talk nicely and politely to them until they won't let go of them even when given the chance.
John Fowles' The Collector is the classically creepy tale of a young man who first stalks the girl of his dreams, then abducts her and keeps her in his basement. The rest of the book relates the dream-girl's increasingly desperate ploys to escape.
In The Will of the Empress, Sandry is horrified to learn that this is a Namornese custom; generally, the "kidnapping" is a mutual agreement between a young couple trying to bypass a family's disapproval. Sometimes, however, it's not. And when Shan and Fin attempt this on Sandry... well, it ends badly.
Part of Darko Kerim's backstory in the original James Bond novel From Russia with Love. Specifically, his treatment of a captured woman falls just short of rape (not that he has any objection to that) and is about two steps away from "It rubs the lotion on its skin." But hey, by the time someone called him on it, she had gone from wanting to kill him to not wanting to leave, so he's cool.
Attempted by a couple antagonists in Ivanhoe, with a garbled reference to the Tribe of Benjamin. It doesn't work for them.
In London, Orlando Barnikel kidnaps the girlfriend of a playwright whose inept and racist work made him a laughingstock, and she winds up bearing her captor's children. Unusual in that he'd originally invoked this trope as payback against his detractor, and while neither actually fell in love with the other, he came to care enough to leave her a fortune in his will.
Many cultures practice this, including the wildlings, the Ironborn, and probably the Dothraki as well. Bride capture is ingrained in wildling society; a wildling woman won't even respect a potential mate unless he kidnaps her. Jon Snow finds this out by accident.
It is disputed by characters and fans alike what exactly the relationship was between Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen before they both died. It is unclear whether they were in love and eloped, whether he kidnapped her and then they fell in love, or whether he kidnapped and raped her. Robert Baratheon firmly believes the latter (which is unsurprising since since Lyanna is his lost love), but virtually everyone else, including Lyanna's brother, think this is very unlikely, given Rhaegar's reputation for being a good man.
Used in Watership Down, of all things, when the buck rabbits of Hazel's new warren conspire to get does from other warrens. Subverted in that Hazel's looking for volunteers and the does of Efrafra are more than happy to emigrate, and also in that, unlike other uses of this trope, actual lust is not a motive: with no estrus females around, the bucks all preoccupy themselves with thoughts of food instead of sex, so it's up to forward-thinking Hazel to realize their warren needs breeders if it's to outlive its all-male founders.
The third book in the Wind on Fire series, Firesong, features the young women of the group being kidnapped by nomadic warriors. Fortunately, due to a mixture of mind-reading and very lucky coincidence, they manage to escape and seal the warriors in their crater home perpetually. Little given away, as it is very, very good.
In the third Colossus book (Colossus and the Crab) the super-computer that rules the world starts running people through experiments to understand people (i.e. takes a guy up on his word that he would "die for his people's independence"). Colossus then kidnaps the wife of the main character (and designer of the US half of Colossus) and hands her over to an unwashed peasant who slaps her down if she asserts herself and rapes her when she doesn't cooperate. Eventually she begins to warm to him because he's just a big old (raping) baby who doesn't know any better. When he's killed for refusing to give her up when the "experiment" is over, she's devastated and, when put back in contact with her husband, sneers at him because he's obviously a weakling who couldn't take her from her more elemental captor.
In the world of A Brother's Price, men are very rare and valuable. Years ago the Whistler women abducted the fifteen-year-old prince Alannon. He was not happy about this, but because that entire branch of his family was soon executed for treason for their part in the War of the False Eldest, he decided to be philosophical about it. His grandchildren describe their grandmothers as being run ragged trying to make him happy, from building a bathhouse despite not knowing what they were doing to teaching their sons to be Spirited Young Gentlemen rather than Proper Gentlemen. The practice of "husband raids" has been made socially unacceptable since that time; there are laws against it, and every member of a family which contains men is aware of the possibility and willing to fight furiously to prevent it. However, these laws were enacted not out of empathy for the men who would be kidnapped, but for the sake of cohesion within the country. It's hard to trust your neighbors if they kidnapped your brother before you could sell him.
In The Phantom of the Opera, Erik (the Phantom) becomes jealous when he sees the growing attraction between Raoul and Christine, so he kidnaps Christine and tries to force her to marry him by threatening to kill Raoul if she doesn't. To save Raoul's life, Christine agrees to marry Erik and gives him a kiss. Erik, who has never been kissed before (even his own mother wouldn't kiss him because of his deformed face), is so overcome with emotion that he lets Christine go and tells her to marry Raoul. All he asks in return is that when he dies she will come back and bury him.
In Edenborn, Deuce tries this on Penny. Lucky for him, she's really into it.
Grilka to Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with Grilka as abductor. To explain, Quark killed Grilka's husband in self-defense (actually, the drunk Klingon fell on his own knife). Since, without a male to lead it, her House would lose its position, Grilka forces Quark to marry her. Her goal is to convince Gowron to grant the House special dispensation to allow a female to rule it and be on the Council. Eventually, Gowron does so, and Quark asks for a divorce. Apparently, the latter involves Grilka spitting out a few Klingon curses, punching him in the face, and physically spitting on him. There is a later episode, where Grilka returns to the station, and Quark tries to start a romance with her, asking Worf to teach him how to woo a Klingon female.
Criminal Minds has an episode called "Bloodline" which dealt with a family that fancied themselves modern day gypsies kidnapping girls to get a bride for their adolescent son. It was revealed that the mother was similarly kidnapped as a child.
The reference to the Sabine women (and the ancient accepted practice of bride-kidnapping among conquering civilizations) makes this Older Than Feudalism. In the Roman story, Romulus realized that the band of settlers on the hills of Rome was awful short on women, so he took it upon himself to invite the nearby Sabine people to a big festival (according to most myths, a footrace). At his signal, each Roman picked a Sabine woman and ran off with her. In general, they turned out to be OK with it eventually. By the time the war with the Sabines ,and the other nations who had been defeated by this point, had reached the Capitoline, the warring fathers were now grandfathers. The fighting finally ended in the marsh between the Capitoline and Palatine Hills, where the daughters rushed out with children and begged for them to stop.
This is usually referred to as "the rape of the Sabine women", but the original meaning of "rape" was just "to seize or carry off" (from Latin rapere) and doesn't necessarily imply anything other than that.
In the Biblical Old Testament, Judges 21:10-24, men from the tribe of Benjamin find themselves with no women to marry, so they abduct women from Shiloh to be their wives. When the fathers and brothers of the kidnapped women come to retrieve the women, the Israelites ask for permission to keep them, "...for we didn't find enough wives for them [the Benjaminites] when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead." No word though on whether the captive women ever warmed up to their captors at all.
Earlier, the Bible had Shechem kidnap, rape, and decide to marry Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. Her brothers agreed to the marriage if Shechem and all his countrymen agreed to be circumcised. Three days after the countrymen comply, her brothers turn out not to like this trope very much.
Various versions of the Amazon myth invert this, with the isolated community of female warriors ensuring that they maintain a sizeable population and do not run out of soldiers by kidnapping males from the outside world. Not all of those kidnapped survive the experience. Herodotus records that the Amazons eventually met their match in a band of Scythians, removing the need for this custom.
When Hades fell in love with Persephone, he kidnapped her and took her to his underground kingdom. Persephone’s own feelings on the whole matter and whether or not she was later tricked into eating the pomegranate seeds vary between different versions of the myth. However, the fact remains that these two ended up as one of the most stable marriages in Greek mythology.
Before Persephone, there was Leuce. Hades fell in love with her and abducted her like he later did with his second wife. When Leuce died, she was transformed by Hades into the first white poplar tree.
Zeus carried away several of his lovers. He turned into a bull to kidnap Europa and into an eagle to take away Ganymede.
The god of the north wind, Boreas kidnapped Orithyia, daughter of King Erekhtheus of Athens, after she rejected his advances out of fear.
Zephyrus abducted nymph Chloris to become his wife. He also later helped Eros carry Psyche away to his palace.
Apollo saw nymph Cyrene wrestling with a lion that attacked her father's sheep. Impressed by her strength, he fell in love with her and kidnapped her to Libia. There he founded a city in her name and made her its queen. Together they had two sons - Aristaeus and Idmon.
Theseus did it twice. He carried away one of the Amazons - Antiope or Hippolyte. Some versions of this story claim that she fell in love with him and came willingly. Either way other Amazons saw this as a kidnapping and attacked Athens to get their sister back. Much later in his life Theseus abducted Helen of Troy, when she was just a little girl and left her with his mother, hoping to marry when she comes of age. She was rescued by her brothers, when Theseus and his friend Pirithous were away, trying to kidnap Persephone from Hades.
Hippothoe, daughter of Mestor, was abducted by Poseidon, who took her the Echinades islands. She later gave birth to his son, Taphius.
Asopides, daughters of river-god Asopus, were frequent targets of this trope: Aegina, Thebe and Plataea were kidnapped by Zeus; Corcyra, Salamis and Euboea were abducted by Poseidon; Sinope and Thespia were carried away by Apollo; and Tanagra was kidnapped by Hermes. Asopus actually tried to prevent the abduction of Aegina, but was shot with one of Zeus’ thunderbolts.
Old legends about selkies sometimes feature this. A selkie, in mythology, is a seal that can remove its seal skin revealing itself to be a beautiful woman underneath. In the old legends, men would find a selkie woman sunbathing without her skin. By stealing the skin and hiding it, they can get the selkie woman to marry them, have kids, and live happily for years. However, if the woman finds the skin, she'll take it and go off into the sea, never to return again.
This myth is surprisingly prevalent among cultures. Swan-women and celestial maidens could also be wooed by stealing their magical garments, and would likewise flee if they recovered them.
And in a gender-inverted version, there is one story of a clever girl tricking a kelpie out of the bridle that gave him his shapeshifting powers and putting him to work as a draft horse for ten years, at the end of which the kelpie marries her and is baptized as a Christian, turning him human forever.
This shows up in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata and has both the unwanted and wanted varieties. The only way elopement was accepted was if the potential groom kidnapped the bride-to-be and was able to get back to his kingdom with her without her other suitors catching up to them and killing him. This leads to situations in which the young women write to the men that they love something akin to "I'll be leaving the temple at this time without bodyguards, come kidnap me then". Unfortunately, there are also many situations in which they get kidnapped and made to marry someone they didn't particularly care for either. Interestingly, what is painted in the worst light is not kidnapping someone who doesn't like you, it's kidnapping them and then trying to return them without marrying them. This happens to Bhishma in the Mahabharata, where he kidnaps three girls for his brother to marry. His brother marries one of them, but the other two are left Defiled Forever because Bhishma won't do the honorable thing and marry them (he's a Celibate Hero who's taken a vow).
In the fall of 1999, Triple H was antagonizing Vince McMahon and his family. One way he did that was by secretly marrying his daughter Stephanie. At Armageddon that year Triple H faced Vince in a match with the stipulation that he would annul the marriage if he lost. Stephanie cost Vince the match, beginning the McMahon-Helmsley regime. They later got married inReal Life.
The Neathar, a culture of Neolithic Noble Savage tribesfolk in Mystara's Hollow World, routinely abduct brides from neighboring Neathar tribes.
The Pirates of Penzance operetta (as well as the modernized adaptationThe Pirate Movie, based on it) feature a band of matrimonially minded pirates who try to woo/capture the daughters of a Major-General. (It's a good thing the number of pirates and the number of daughters matched up and that, in the movie, the ugly daughter was willing to be matched with the ugly pirate.)
In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio kidnaps Kate after their wedding ceremony. It's really more for show than anything else, since she was going to go with him anyway, but she still doesn't enjoy it.
Platonic example - Big Boss's mass kidnap of soldiers in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. They start out his enemies, but after being knocked out, captured and intimidated into joining him, they become legendarily loyal and willing to die for him. In the latter game, 'hostility' (resistance to joining Big Boss) is labelled in the menu as a 'Sickness', although some soldiers will retain profile quotes about how they don't quite trust Big Boss yet.
In the Super Mario Bros. games, Bowser's reasons for kidnapping Peach usually boil down to his having a crush on her.
Bahamut Lagoon, Palpaleos kidnaps Princess Yoyo, and then they fall in love.
In the early nineteenth-century, long after Real Life abduction was growing, er "less fashionable" in the American backcountry, it was common for there to be a ritualized abduction at weddings. This custom was descended from the Scottish border country. Similar customs are known in various parts of the world.
This was a popular way for nomads of the Eurasian steppe to get a wife. This was especially the case since in order to get a wife, you generally had to work for her family for a year, so the poor and unconnected couldn't do so. This was the case of the Mongols, as Genghis Khan's mother was taken this way by his father. He however outlawed it once he became Great Khan, as he recognized the damage it did to a tribal society he was trying to unite, as well as the fact his wife Borte was kidnapped by a rival tribe, and the fact that she came back pregnant and the paternity of the son she bore was in doubt had long term consequences for the empire. In Sparta this actually became ritualized; after formalizing an engagement men would break into their brides' houses and "kidnap" them from their (willing) families as part of the wedding ceremony.
Some sources claim the original female population of Iceland was mostly kidnapped from Ireland and/or Scotland. While it is known from genetic research that 60-70% of the female ancestors of Icelanders were Gaelic, it is unclear whether they were mostly abducted or willing brides from the Norse-Gael settlements in Scotland and Ireland.
Truth in Television, as the original reason a groom needed a best man was to help protect the bride from being kidnapped (or possibly stolen back by her family.)
In modern military weddings where the groom wears his sword (traditionally on the left side) he will stand on the left so that the sword doesn't literally come between them.
This is, in fact, the origin of the "honeymoon" — in the days when marriages were often less-than-consensual and the bride's extended family might well try to take her back (regardless of the bride's feelings in the matter either way), it made sense for the newly-married groom to carry his bride off to some remote place and wait at least until people stopped caring enough to seek revenge. Or until she got pregnant, (this was back in the day when being a single mother was very taboo).
The marriage ceremony of the Himba people in Namibia and Angola includes a ritualized version of this where the husband and his family "kidnap" the bride and take her home with them.
Marjorie, Countess of Carrick was so infatuated with Adam of Kilconquhar, she held him captive in her castle until he agreed to marry her. Their son became the famed Scottish king Robert the Bruce.