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Elopement

Borderers were not the kind to ask leave for anything, and especially not to go courting. They married across the line with a fine disregard for the laws.

The last resort of a couple that wants to get around a troublesome Arranged Marriage or are Dating What Daddy Hates. Run away and get married!

Contrast Runaway Bride, although if the eloping occurs close enough to an Arranged Marriage, the two can overlap. Sister trope to My Own Private "I Do", where a couple about to be married with fanfare runs off to be married quietly. Compare and contrast Shotgun Wedding, which takes place similarly on the fly, but almost always has one of the parties unwilling to go through with it. Sometimes overlaps with Fourth Date Marriage, but this is not required, nor are all early-in-the-relationship-marriages elopements.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Chobits has Shinra and his cram school teacher eloping because her husband has rejected her for a computer android they purchased.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Nagi suggested to do this with Princess Arika when he realized she had developed feelings for him, getting a blast of magic in response. Ironically, they end up eloping after he rescues her from her execution.
  • Mushishi has Hana and Zen, a pair of young lovers, who decided to escape, when Hana was to be forced into an Arranged Marriage. They probably would have succeeded, if Hana hadnt hesitated and fallen from a bridge, changing in the process into a Mushi-possessed zombie.

Film
  • Niki and Marlene go to do this in Rush, in direct contrast to his rival James's very public and showy wedding that quickly ended in divorce. Niki regrets it, less because he's now married and more because now he has something to lose if he dies in a race. The very next race nearly kills him.

Literature
  • In The Kingkiller Chronicles, Kvothe's mother is a noblewoman who ran away to marry his father, an itinerant performer.
  • Heathcliff and Isabella run away together in Wuthering Heights, likely to Gretna Green.
  • Subverted in Pride and Prejudice where everyone thinks, even hopes that Wickham and Lydia have eloped. It turns out they're in London, and very much not married.
  • In Jane Austen's Love and Freindship, Janetta, at Sophia and Laura's persuasion.
  • Bear and Lena in Redoubt get married to keep Bear's family from forcing their preferred Arranged Marriage. However, they've been in love for the entire Collegium Chronicles. (Which is part of Bear's problem with an arranged marriage to someone he doesn't even know.)
  • Mentioned in one of the Letters to His Son by Lord Chesterfield: "Here is a report, but I believe a very groundless one, that your old acquaintance, the fair Madame Ce, is run away from her husband, with a jeweler, that 'etrennes' her, and is come over here; but I dare say it is some mistake, or perhaps a lie." (letter 238)
  • In Sir Walter Scott's poem Lochinvar, Lochinvar and Ellen elope from her wedding to someone else.

Live Action TV

Music
  • In the song Project "Ma", Adam Moonlit (played by KAITO) runs away with Eve (played by Hatsune Miku) to Eldoh Forest after said project failed.
  • Sara Evans's hit Suds in the Bucket.

Newspaper Comics
  • Jenny and Luis do this almost by accident in Safe Havens, when they accidentally pull into a drive thru chapel in Vegas instead of a fast food joint. They didn't get it annulled since they did love each other, but were too embarrassed to tell their friends until Jenny ended up pregnant. It does show how much Jenny loves Luis though: the normally greedy Jenny gave up thousands in wedding presents to elope with him.

Theater
  • Anne and Henrik elope near the end of A Little Night Music. Since Anne is already married to Henrik's father this is really the only option.
  • Romeo and Juliet run away to Friar Lawrence to get married.
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia and Lysander run off to do this, since Hermia is going to be forced into an Arranged Marriage to Demetrius (or put into a convent). However, events work out so that Demetrius cancels the wedding and the two are able to get married in Athens after all.
  • In The Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio wants to do this.

Video Games
  • This trope is the story of Lyndis' parentage in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. Her mother, Lady Madelyn, was the daughter of the Marquis of Caelin. Her father, Hassar, was the leader of the Lorca Tribe, one of the three tribes of Sacae, a group of nomadic people. In order to stay together, Madelyn left Caelin to live with her lover on the Sacaen plains.
  • Hawke's parents from the Dragon Age II Back Story: he was a runaway apostate mage, she was a noble with an Arranged Marriage looming.
  • One of the subplots of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door involves the daughter of a Pianta mafia don eloping with one of his underlings. The first time you meet, he agrees to secure you a ride to the place where the next Plot Coupon is if you bring them back. On finding them, they return of their own accord and he tells them to get lost but gives them his blessing in a roundabout way. They settle on a tropical island a few chapters later. In the next chapter you need a ride once again, so you return and find him sick (literally) with worry about them. One subquest later and you have your ticket, the couple and the Don reconcile and everyone's happy.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • At the end of Anastasia, Dimitri and Anastasia elope.
  • Attempted in Steven Universe episode "Fusion Cuisine" by Steven and Connie, when they thought they might never hang out again, got on a bus to live somewhere else, however an angry Alexandrite catches up with them.

Real Life
  • The Scottish village of Gretna Green is the place where English teenagers used to traditionally run to to get hitched when they wished to defy their parents (because Scottish law was more easy going about such things, and it was the first Scottish village on the main London-Edinburgh road). It's still possible to go there for a traditional "wedding of the anvil", although this is no longer recognised in law.
  • In the United States, Las Vegas is popular for this since the marriage offices are open until midnight every day, and in Nevada you don't have to wait between getting the marriage license and getting married. Convenient!