Happiness in Slavery

Slave labor looks quite Safe, Sane and Consensual when explained by Dilbert's Pointy-Haired Boss.

"I have found
You can find
Happiness in slavery"

Aaron is in servitude to Bob, but doesn't want freedom, and is Not Brainwashed. There are four types of this:

Compare Subordinate Excuse, which is similar, but without the slavery. If the masters are vampires, the willing subordinates are often Vampire Vannabes.

Compare Freedom from Choice. Contrast Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Nana in Elfen Lied. While she's treated as horribly as any other Diclonius, Chief Kurama, one of the scientists in charge of her, sees her as something of a surrogate daughter and treats her at least slightly more humanely than the other subjects. In return, Nana genuinely loves him and seems to just accept her treatment as "the way things are".
  • Ebichu in Oruchuban Ebichu.
  • A strange example is in Tramps Like Us: Takeshi agrees to become Sumire's "pet," but has mixed feelings about his status to her; while being her pet means free food and housing and allows him to be by her side, it also means that she won't be able to think of him as a man, much less a romantic possibility.
  • Sort of played straight by Wormmon in Digimon Adventure 02. He serves Ken out of a feeling of obligation as Ken's Digimon partner and a hope that he can make Ken good somehow. This is despite some truly terrible treatment he had to endure. When Wormmon eventually sacrifices himself to protect Ken, it's enough to set him on the course for a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Saito in The Familiar of Zero. Despite all the treatment he gets, he still loves Louise, and she loves him too. Not that she'll admit it. There are also moments where Saito has some control over her in the later seasons. It helps that his familiar runes make him forget the bonds he has with his family and old world and, over time, replace them with a desire to serve and protect his master.
    • When the mind control gets erased he has a major Heroic BSOD but eventually gets over it. The books end with the two married and going to Japan to introduce Louise to his parents.
  • Haji from Blood+ does weird things with this trope. For at least the first 2/3 of the show, he embodies this perfectly: a servant that is completely and utterly loyal to his master, because as a chevalier he's biologically hardwired that way. Then it turns out that chevaliers can betray their masters and abandon them without remorse; Haji is simply that devoted to Saya.
  • The Law of Ueki: Due to her love for Robert Haydn, Rinko is almost slavishly devoted to him. However, soon after meeting the protagonist of the series and realizing how little Robert actually cares for her, she decides to join said protagonist's True Companions.
  • DearS, perhaps a little further than usual with this trope. The hat that all the DearS wear is exactly this - they're a slave race, content to do whatever their master tells them.
    • In this case it has to do with the fact that they have to be loved and trusted or at the least appreciated by another race in order to survive If that doesn't work and they stop being trusted and loved they kill off the master race and find a new one.
  • In Trigun, Legato Bluesummers is this way towards Knives. Despite Knives essentially crippling him, beating him up, and calling him "trash," Legato remains in complete bliss as long as he serves under Knives. Most definitely the "cringing bootlicker" kind. Knives does treat Legato (at least in the manga where he has a backstory) better than anyone else Legato ever knew—that is, he turned up and killed all the people Legato hated most while they were engaged in raping him to death, and then decided not to kill the kid and let him come with him, and even asks him his name. (The kid doesn't have one yet.) And then evidently gives him some clothes and eventually puts him in charge of minions, and at least implicitly approves of and values his creepy superpowers, and trusts him to run things while he, Knives, is in the Gunsmoke version of a bacta tank.... The bar is low, but Knives clears it by a mile. Which is in itself horrible.
  • In Full Metal Panic!: TSR, the Creepy Twins Xia Yu Fan and Xia Yu Lan are this towards Gauron. Because they feel so indebted to him for taking them in, they are shown to be willing to undertake a suicide mission that he orders. Of course, it's possible that it's not just gratitude, and there are hints that they have feelings of love that contribute to them being so loyal to him.
  • In Hellsing, Seras Victoria is offered her freedom by Alucard, but refuses to leave her vampire master.
    • Alucard himself doesn't seem terribly bothered calling Integra "master" either, in fact, he greatly enjoy his servitude to Integra, in the manga he even says that he has a beloved master [Integra] just for him and servant [Seras] that only loves him.
  • In Angel Sanctuary the cherubim Katan is honored to serve inorganic angel Rosiel.
  • Averted, Subverted, and Deconstructed in Shitsurakuen. The female students who are enslaved as per school policy are hopeless and miserable. The only reason they don't resist is because the past situation was even worse. Played straight with Sora's personal harem who are quite happy to escape the abuse and work to fight against it.
  • Gilbert's devotion to Oz in Pandora Hearts verges on this. Also, Echo. Subverted, once you get her talking about her "beloved master"...
  • The Angeloids of Heaven's Lost Property are artificial beings made with this trope in mind, but they're not truly happy serving their master, which Ikaros observes when she and Nymph talk about smiling. Tomoki becomes Ikaros' master, although he and his friends are trying to dissuade her from this behavior (unless he plans to peep, in which case she helps him), and Nymph laments how she is without a master, but later finds that she likes having her own desires and stops thinking about it. Astraea didn't have this problem, in part due to her lack of intelligence. That is, until she was ordered to kill Nymph. Then she broke free.
  • The eponymous protagonist's servants in the ero-comedy Mouse. One of them, who always stays by his side (and helps him out during his "night life", along with two other girls, and assisted by his harem/ninja maid army), when asked about what she thinks of her life as a slave, tells him that she considers herself as happy and safe as she could be, and wonders how many "free" people can't say the same. To be fair, Mouse is a pretty nice and meek master (at least until alcohol is served to him by accident), so he's in constant danger of being assaulted, not them.
  • The furniture in Umineko no Naku Koro ni's greatest pleasure is to serve. Possibly the clearest example of this is when Ange smashes the Stakes to pieces by denying their existence, angry at their inability to kill the classmates that are bullying her. Whilst all of them are clearly terrified, it's also stated that 'Getting slammed against the floor when someone is pissed off is also a chair's important duty!! If that alone can absorb their master's bad mood even for an instant, there can be no greater honor for furniture.'. Of course, they got better.
  • Bakugan, in some respects. Sure, they fight to save their homeworld, but at the end of the day, Drago would rather live in crampy, tiny little ball form with Dan than on his homeworld. To their credit, a few of the Bakugan decide to stay back on New Vestroia instead.
  • Played seriously in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Marida (aka Puru 12) was conditioned from birth to serve a master. Even the ordeal of prostitution was seen to her as another order by master. It gets to the point where after Suboera Zinnerman of the Sleeves rescues her and gives her something vaguely resembling a normal life, she can only think of him as another 'master'. Needless to say, he's a bit put out by this. Near the end he 'orders' her to take control of her free will, after seeing her in pain. She finally calls him 'Father' after she dies, during one of those trippy Newtype sequences.
  • In Otome Youkai Zakuro, initially subverted with Byakuroku who hates the fact that she's treated as just a tool of Big Bad Omodaka, but eventually played straight when Byakuroku realizes that having lost her purpose in life after her sister (who she devoted her life to protecting) already died, her freedom ultimately has no point, and so she offers herself as his Property of Love, which he accepts, allowing her to survive with him in the end after he avails of a Last-Second Chance.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura Yue and Cerberus straddle instances A and C of this trope. On the one hand, it is revealed that neither one of them can live for very long without a master to supply them with at least some power to support their existence; but on the other hand, their transition into genuinely caring about Sakura and developing true loyalty to her of their own choice is a major plot point —especially where Yue is concerned.
  • Himari was technically born in slavery to the Amakawa family, but she doesn't mind. In fact, given how many times she's tried to seduce her master, she'd probably be thrilled if Yuuto ordered her to his bed. Lizlet also wants Yuuto to own her.
  • Back when she was a slave to the World Nobles, Koala from One Piece had to fake this trope and put on a smile at all times so as to not get killed. Crying was also forbidden. This scarred the poor little girl enough to make her remain a Stepford Smiler even after being freed, until Fisher Tiger changed her slave mark into a sun mark, and told her it was OK to cry.
  • Steel Angel Kurumi: Eponymous character Kurumi is devoted to her 'Master' Nakahito ever since she was first awakened, even telling him that he's her Master and she'll happily do anything he wants.
  • Branwen the Dragon-Blooded in Queen's Blade Rebellion seems to be content being enslaved to a crude little goblin, despite the fact that it is shown that she has the power to break free whenever she pleases. She gets off on masochism, for one, but there is some other reason for her wanting to stay enslaved that has not yet been explained.
  • Ai no Kusabi has The Beautiful Elite Iason Mink determined for this to happen and overlap with Property of Love to his stubborn and defiant Sex Slave Riki. He gets his wish via A Match Made in Stockholm but tragedy strikes.
  • Mizuki from Kamisama Kiss is just a little too glad to be made a familiar to Nanami. In fact, after the magic contract is made we get this little exchange:
    Mizuki: "...the wonderful feeling of being dominated by a god...so irresistible! Please, say it again, Nanami-chan! Bind me with the invisible chain!"
  • We don't see much of Ekaterina and Kukrachyov's relationship in Godannar!, but from what we DO see it seems to be a nice enough arrangement. It helps that despite looking like a Dominatrix, Ekaterina is actually quite nice.
  • In The Rising Of The Shield Hero Raphtalia was temporarily freed from her slave seal but insisted Naofumi replace it. She wants to remain by his side and knows that he can only trust a slave due to his emotional trauma.
    • The various slaves in Naofumi's village eventually came to be happy with their new Master. Some of the younger slaves even think of him as a mother, much to his annoyance.

  • Adam Susan of V for Vendetta proudly declares himself a slave to the Fate computer.
  • Despite all he does to them, the people of Apokolips fanatically worship Darkseid. From his lowest of Lowlies to his highest Elites, all would gladly lay down their lives for the Lord of Apokolips. Darkseid's goal is to make everyone in existence follow suit by harnessing the Anti-Life Equation.
    • When Orion deposed Darkseid in Kingdom Come, he was forced to become a tyrant much like his father because the lowlies simply couldn't handle freedom. Even the ultimate agent of freedom, Mr Miracle, was having a hard time getting them to grasp the concept.
  • The Nerbs in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. According to the Encyclopedia, they actually preferred the rigidity of Eggman's rule, and willingly joined the Dark Egg Legion.

  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K: Rei trusts her life to "pilot Ikari" (Shinji). Literally...her whole life: she identifies him, directly, as the definition of the word "happiness".
    • To his utter horror, more and more of Shinji's followers have taken this ideology regarding him, that anything he desires is good to seek, period, because of who is desiring it.
  • In a sadly deleted Danny Phantom fic 'Behind the Eyes' Danny was this for Vlad. Poor Woobie.
  • In Travels Through Azeroth And Outland, the peons are an example of this.
  • In Those Who Fight Monsters, Vanitas, with a mixture of Break the Cutie tactics and Break Them by Talking, is able to convince Aqua that she is best off being his slave.
  • It is very common in Touhou doujinshi for Miyako Yoshika to be very happy in her servitude to Kaku Seiga who, in return, treats her "cute underling" well. This being Touhou, their relationship has been portrayed in all manner of ways, but most commonly romantic... which lends to this trope a fair amount of squick, given that Yoshika is dead and Seiga was the necromancer who raised her... That said, they are still portrayed as a rather cute couple, in a morbid kinda way, and there's typically a lot of rigid hugs, cuddling and reattaching lost limbs.
    • It should be noted that, within the fandom, a question that sometimes comes up is whether Seiga might have commanded Yoshika to be happy in slavery/love Seiga or not (and also whether this would be considered merciful, given the alternative, or her crossing the Moral Event Horizon). Given that she is a cheerful, friendly, Affably Evil person, it is not entirely unlikely that she would've done something like that but it seldom makes it into fan made material anyway.
  • In Opening Dangerous Gates, any Bleach character who is summoned is filled with an urge to protect and serve Lucy. While most are not happy with this, Rangiku embraces it and calls her "Master", though she does briefly question why she is feeling this way. Harribel later privately muses that she would prefer to serve Lucy over Aizen.
  • As many The Familiar of Zero stories have this played straight as they avert it, depending on how Darker and Edgier they are. In Jus Primae Noctis we get this from Siesta, who says she's fine being property as long as she's Saito's property. Since she chose to enter his service it seems genuine, but it still squicks Saito a bit. It goes From Bad to Worse when Henrietta expresses her desire to marry him, and Tabitha and Louise both express willingness to surrender their names and serve him like commoners.
  • This trope is the reason the Demon Empire was able to stop slave rebellions in Sonic X: Dark Chaos; they take pains to treat their slaves well and many of them worship Maledict as their god anyway. Unless they fall into the hands of Beelzebub, that is.
  • In Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles, all women except aunt Petunia are this. Hermione even talks about cleaning the kitchen, although God literally puts the food on the table and provides lots of other miracles on request. It must be assumed the women like tidying up, as no reason is given as to why they can't pray for removal of the dirty dishes.
  • In Maleficent fanfics, this trope is sometimes played for drama, as Maleficent of course wants to set Diaval free after her problems are resolved and his life-debt repaid, and he takes this as her sending him away and is deeply hurt that she would discard him.
  • In Sekirei? Is that some new species of little sister? and it's sequel, Akitsu is overjoyed to be Naruto's and Xanna's slave. Initially it's because she was well beyond the Despair Event Horizon (due to being a scrapped number and unable to get an Ashikabi) and was simply happy that someone wanted her; later, it's due to how well Naruto and Xanna treat her. Notably, when the two conquer a backwater planet to set up their empire, everyone else coming with them is kept in suspended animation until technology reaches a certain level; Akitsu on the other hand begs to be let out the moment they secure their rule, despite knowing that no time would pass at all to her.
    • When she starts growing old, Akitsu isn't worried about someday dying since she'll die by their side. Still, she's ecstatic that Xanna both restores her youth and accepts her request to be killed in her sleep should Naruto and Xanna ever tire of her.
  • In Off The Line, Vincent becomes Cloud's pet because being a pet would protect him from the countless players out to kill him and finally give him some sort of safety. Cloud and his friends otherwise treat him as a regular person otherwise. Cloud is very respectful of Vincent's boundaries and is trying to find a way to free Vincent. Vincent doesn't like being a pet and wants to eventually be free but is otherwise grateful to Cloud.
  • In Guyver Naruto, former Sound-nin Tsuchi Kin is captured, interrogated and given a choice between slavery or death. She chooses to become a slave and finds herself in the role of chief maid as well as finding romance, something denied to her in Sound.

  • The slaves in Jezebel are awfully cheerful. Of course, this is pretty much the only way Hollywood dared depict slavery in 1938 - even though, by that point, slavery had been illegal for over 70 years.
  • Jodie Foster's underage prostitute character Iris in Taxi Driver.
  • The major twist in Manderlay is that, after abolition, the plantation slaves held to Mam's Law on their own, even after her death (i.e. the length of the movie and obviously after), rather than take their chances in the outside world. The other twist is that Mam didn't write Mam's Law; her head slave did.
  • Cypher from The Matrix is perfectly willing to accept slavery, so long as he's not aware of it.
  • Star Wars:
    • Chewbacca with his "life debt" to Han Solo. It helps that Han mostly treats him as a partner.
    • The expanded universe shows an unexpected amount of alien races really WERE happier with the Empire than the Republic. And the remnants of the Empire, Ysanne Isard especially, use this to their advantage quite a bit.
    • The Droids: "We don't serve any of their kind around here." The novelization takes this scene a bit further. The bartender says "I only stock for organics, not (very distastefully) mechanicals." C-3P0 assures Luke "That's okay Master. I don't require lubrication at the moment anyway." Of course, even the Droids have their limits. Restraining bolts force the issue of loyalty, and memory wipes are at most a step away from Mind Rape.
    • The two native races of Utapau are a "cultural" example— the short, humble Utai willingly submit themselves to the rule of the tall, long-lived, near human Pau'ans. There is no animosity between them, and the arrangement suits both species pretty well; the Utai are naturally hardy and well-suited for a work-heavy lifestyle, while the Pau'ans are highly intelligent and have great leadership skills. In all likelihood, they'd probably be much worse off without each other, and they trust each other so much that the Utai even allow themselves to be represented in government by a Pau'an.
    • The Twi'Leks are a "lesser of all evils" example. Most of the ones seen off of their homeworld either sold themselves into slavery or are descendants of those that did. Working as a dancing girl for a Hutt is still better than being on their home planet.
  • Blade Trilogy: A variation. Vampire familiars are happy to be the property of their evil masters, either for protection, power or in the hopes of being turned themselves. For example, a hidden Mole in Blade II is actually working for the enemy the entire time, stating that their victory is inevitable, and when the time comes, "I'd rather be a pet than cattle."
  • In the relatively pro-slavery 1940 movie Santa Fe Trail, slaves are freed by a gang of evil abolitionists, and when the troops arrive to take them back to their owners, they thank them, saying that if this is freedom they don't want any of it.
  • Heavily subverted in Gods and Generals; a female house slave is shown to be loyal to the family that own her, and they in return treat her very well (for a slave). By the end of the film, she decides she wants to be free anyway, and not because of any mistreatment by her masters... the basic point being that even the best possible scenario for a slave's life still pretty much sucks.
  • In CSA: The Confederate States of America, Confederate propaganda attempts to paint the slaves in this light. For example, a commercial plays advertising "Contrari", a drug that more or less dopes slaves into compliance. It's pretty obvious that the trope isn't applying in their reality, however.
  • Mammy in Gone with the Wind. There are a few other slaves who fit this trope as well.
  • Lukey in The Horse Soldiers was completely loyal and faithful to her owner Miss Hannah.
  • Django Unchained:
    • Stephen, Candie's head house slave, is fiercely devoted to serving him. This is partly due to loyalty to the Candie family, and partly because Stephen is in a very high position of power in Candie's service.
    • Candie's Dark Mistress Sheba also seems perfectly happy with essentially being a more distinguished sex slave.
  • Diaval the raven-man servant to Maleficent in a "beloved servant" case. Sixteen years together has a way of turning servitude into a bickering friendship, and while he repays his debt to her by saving her life, he appears to have no plans on leaving.
  • Programs in the TRON universe are a Servant Race to their human creators, but most are very happy to serve their Users and consider their service as central to their existence. It's the villains who chafe under this and seek liberation from human rule.
  • In To Kill A Dragon, most Townspeople in the town that the Dragon contols are quite content with the situation, being convinced that being protected from Gypsies and other dragons is worth supplying the Dragon with livestock (and one girl per year) and enduring his rule. Even after the Dragon is dead they just passively wait to Meet the New Boss.

    Live Action TV 
  • "Number Seven" in series 3 of Being Human left his job and family to become a live-in blood donor for vampires, complete with leather bondage suit. He even does this knowing full well he will eventually die from it.
  • The Ood in Doctor Who seem a race of these at first. Then it turns out it's due to alien lobotomy in a factory, and when some of the Ood get their consciousness back, they are very angry.
    • And that was only written because RTD noticed the Unfortunate Implications in the Doctor just accepting a race of slaves at face value so quickly...
    • Chip, Cassandra's lackey in "New Earth", is a perfect example of this though.
    • The TARDIS. It's a self-aware, sentient, intelligent being, and yet the Doctor has the power to make it go away to die a slow, lonely death. (The Parting of the Ways) And apparently the other TARDISes were allowed even less self-determination, considering the Doctor's TARDIS' occasional habit of going where and when it thinks the Doctor should be instead of where and when he programmed it to go is seen as a malfunction due to its old age, even by the Doctor. Of course, the TARDIS' submission to this treatment might be seen as a very subtle, very long-ranging chessmaster plan where the ship only lets the pilot do whatever suits it anyway, but that still doesn't change that the Doctor didn't know this until his Eleventh incarnation and that he never seemed to see anything inherently wrong with the system. The Hypocrite. And yet, the TARDIS loves him.
  • Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, despite often being treated little better than a slave by the other characters, has said several times he likes his job and is proud of doing it well.
    "I have known freedom. Didn't like the health plan."
  • In a Season 3 episode of Gilligan's Island Gilligan rescues a native girl from drowning and she becomes his slave out of gratitude and she is way too happy about it. For example, when Mr. Howell wins her services from Gilligan she immediately drops to her knees and bows to him without a second thought. Throw in the fact that the native girl is played by a very attractive actress and you start to wonder...
  • Dorota, Blair's nanny/maid/sidekick on Gossip Girl.
  • The slave in the second Hercules The Legendary Journeys episode (actually TV movie).
  • An episode of History Bites set in the Roman Empire had a "channel" where a stand-up comedian (Ron Pardo) mentioned in his set that he was a recently-freed slave and sarcastically thanked his former master.
  • I Dream of Jeannie features a willing slave entity to whom liberation means the freedom not to be a literal genie, but to serve of her master as she sees fit. (Jeannie is, in fact an exteme case, as she falls in love with her master. He tries to set her free shortly after meeting her, but she won't allow it, returning to her bottle simply so he can find it and open it again.)
  • Lauren in Lost Girl is never actually called a slave, although she does refer to herself as the Ash's "property." She generally seems quite happy with her lot in life, although she is sometimes commanded to do things she doesn't want to. It should be noted that, because of her medical expertise, and the fact that she is the slave to the leader of the light fae, she actually enjoys a great deal of prestige and influence within the fae community. Nevertheless, she clearly is a slave, and clearly is reasonably happy with that fact. Although it seems that she is likely to be substantially less happy under the new Ash. The Ash in season 1 also never openly referred to Lauren as a slave, the one in season 2 however refers to Lauren as "chattel" and his property, both of which infuriate Bo.
    • Possibly being deconstructed in late season 2 when we find out that she actually joined the Ash to keep her girlfriend alive and to have a chance at curing the girlfriend's mysterious ailment, and it's later revealed that the Ash ordered her cursed to obtain Lauren as his slave in the first place. She also later admits to Bo that the five years she spent as slave have been rather bleak for her; and considering how reserved she is, that probably means horrible.
    • Most Fae think that Kenzi also falls into this category since they consider her to be Bo's property. It does not cross their minds that Bo considers Kenzi to be an equal.
  • In an early episode of M*A*S*H Hawkeye frees a young Korean girl who was basically sold to an Army officer who was passing through the 4077th, with the intention of freeing her to go back home. However she felt this would bring shame to her family and that she was Hawkeye's property now.
  • Observer, in the later seasons of MST3K. Despite his omnipotence and his ability to do practically anything with his mind, he remains Pearl's subservient and browbeaten lackey. (His fear of her and total lack of self-esteem apparently keeps him from seeking his own fortune elsewhere.)
  • Kryten from Red Dwarf. Although Lister helps him "Break his programming" to some extent, by the sixth series, he still shows love for housework.
  • Several slave characters on Rome. Many of the central characters have a body slave who is completely loyal to them in every way, and would probably stick around even if given their freedom. Servilia's body slave kills herself when her mistress does, Atia is constantly crying in Merula's arms, and Posca never seems to long for freedom while he's Caesar's slave. He is also seen weeping bitterly when his master dies. Even after being freed, he stays around, serving Antony for as long as he can. One could also argue that Eirene fits the trope, since even after Pullo frees her and kills her fiancé she agrees to marry him, presumably because she feels she has little other choice. She does however grow to love him later. Another slave who doesn't seem too bothered by her place in life is Gaia, although she gets to boss the other slaves around, so she functions more as a slave overseer than a slave.
  • On The Shield, the relationships Vic Mackey has with his subordinates within the Strike Team often ventures into this trope's territory. Shane, Ronnie, and Lem are shown to be weak-willed individuals with low self-esteem at best and crippling need for a fatherly figure to tell them what to do at worst, allowing them to better serve Vic as his minions.
  • An episode of Star Trek: Voyager had Janeway's recreation of Leonardo da Vinci removed from the holodeck and "employed" by an alien tyrant who gave him the freedom to work on whatever he desired, on the understanding that his creations would be turned over to the tyrant. When Janeway arrives to rescue Leonardo, he responds that "if this is a cage, it is a cage of gold!" Justified: to an artist of the Italian Renaissance, employment with a patron who gives you unlimited resources and freedom to create would have been hitting the jackpot.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Vic Fontaine was a self-aware hologram who was programmed to enjoy his life, sing and make people's life better. Unlike The Doctor and many other self-aware holograms, he doesn't give a crap about any rights he might have because he's fine with the way things are, "living" the high-life in 1960's Las Vegas that's as real as he is (they also leave his program running 26 hours a day, unless he wants to turn off, which can't be overridden). Whether this is morally right or not isn't commented in on the show itself, but it's a hot topic among fans. (The ones who don't hate Vic's guts, anyway)
  • Farscape has Pilot, an alien who is physically bonded to the living ship Moya. Pilot literally cannot be separated from Moya for very long without dying and he is generally treated as little better than a slave by the crew. Still, he considers himself fortunate and is happy to live that way.
    Pilot: When one of my species is bonded to a Leviathan, we give our lives to the service of others. Ship first - then those who travel aboard her.
    John: No matter what those aboard do to you?
    Pilot: My species is incapable of spaceflight on our own. If we wish to journey beyond our home planet, this is the trade-off we make for the chance to see the galaxy. I consider it a perfectly equitable arrangement.
  • In Game of Thrones:
    • Although they enjoy their new-found personal autonomy, the Unsullied seem to struggle with the idea of not serving anyone and continue to serve Daenerys in exactly the same capacity they would have if she hadn't freed them. Likewise, many freed slaves from Yunkai immediately hail her as their savior and enter her service.
    • Danaerys abolishes slavery in Mereen, and a man comes to her asking to be allowed to sell himself back to his old master. He explains that he was a tutor to the man's children and was treated very well, while he's begging and living on the streets now, and was abused by younger men when he went to one of the houses she created for freed slaves. He also comments that his is far from a unique case. Disturbed, she grants him the right to make a contract with his old master for a year. Selmy warns the masters will take advantage of this, but no one even brings up employment, rather than slavery (even temporarily).
  • Legend of the Seeker: Everyone subject to Confession turns into a completely devoted slave of the Confessor.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Nasir is upset when he is freed by Spartacus's men, saying that as a house slave he had position and respect over his fellow slaves. Agron convinces him that freedom is better than material comfort.

  • In WHO dunnit, Butler has this for his employer, Victoria. Justified, as he is secretly her father, and treasures her as his only surviving link to her late mother.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Bible contains instructions for freeing some slaves after seven years. Naturally, there is the case where the slave wants to remain, and the procedure for this is also described — if the slave wishes, just pierce the ear, and he remains with you for life (given the ambiguous nature of ancient slavery, this may occasionally have happened, though the Bible doesn't record any specific examples).
    • Jacob gave himself to his relative Laban to work for him for seven years, his only payment being marrying his daughter Rachle at the end of those years. To Jacob though, they only felt like a few days because of his love for her. Unfortunately, Laban pulls a switcheroo on the wedding, and gets Jacob married to his older daughter Leah instead. Thus Jacob ends up having to work another seven years for Rachel.
    • Joseph, while in Egypt, was still technically a slave, but did excellent enough that his master Potiphar put him in charge of nearly everything in his house. Unfortunately, there then was a little issue with his wife...
    • The problem is that back in the day slaves had to be slaves because they had no other means to support themselves. Slaves for life generally didn’t get this status because they loved their masters so much, but because they didn’t really have a choice.
  • Some religions preach that submission and obedience to God is good and leads to happiness. Islam is perhaps most well-known for this. The word "Islam" comes from the root word "S-L-M", the word for peace, "salam" is derived from it. The common Arabic name Abdallah/Abdullah means "servant of God" or "slave of God".
    • Christianity also has these themes, with Jesus described as coming to Earth as a servant, and new testament verses such as "Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you." 1 Samuel 12:24 ESV Christians are spoken of as "bondservants of the Lord" approvingly.
  • Greek Mythology:
    • Bellerophon tamed the pathologically wild Pegasus by forcing a magic bridle on him. The bridle made Pegasus obedient, but Bellerophon felt guilty for stealing Pegasus' freedom and took it off note . He was surprised to find that Pegasus still followed him and still accepted him as a rider.
    • Because of divine command, Psyche was married to a total stranger (Cupid). Psyche was understandably sad at first, but once she realized she wasn't a Human Sacrifice (and Cupid granted her request for family visits) she warmed up to her husband. The myth ends with her travelling into Hades itself so she can see him again.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The "Slave Mentality" disadvantage in GURPS is this, to the point of the character needing to make a self-control roll to do anything of their own initiative, up to and including eating.
  • Warhammer 40,000 actually has one straight "beloved servant" example among the brutal aversions: the Chapter Serfs of the Space Marine chapters. Chapter Serfs are an integral part of a Chapter, filling all roles that aren't impossible for anyone other than a Space Marine to fill, and they do so far better than their counterparts outside the Space Marines. They are treated accordingly by their masters, considered full members of the Chapter Cult, and their lifestyle is superior to that of all but the richest people in the Imperium. Chapter Serfs are often made up of those who aspired to become Astartes, but failed along the way before even joining the Neophyte rank (scouts in most chapters, Blood Claws in Space Wolves), so they're likely chosen as a sort of consolation prize, as well as to ensure that only those who would dedicate a lifetime to the Chapter would serve it.
    • Some Ruinous Powers servants are type two. Highly visible with low ranking Slaaneshi cultists and pretty much every follower of Nurgle. Servants of Khorne also look eager to spill blood and collect skulls for their god, but this might go to type one, since Khorne often generously rewards successful warriors.
  • The "Submission" Derangement in Promethean: The Created causes the Promethean, whenever circumstances overwhelm him, to obey the commands of whoever happens to have the strongest will in the area. This can include anything up to killing his own allies (the only exception is suicidal orders; this derangement doesn't override self-preservation). And if nobody is giving orders, he'll just stand there.
  • In many editions of Dungeons & Dragons, dryads are depicted as lonely woodland fey resembling beautiful women, who sometimes enspell handsome men into becoming their companions. Such a victim becomes a Sex Slave, but... they rarely ever complain about it.

  • In the theatrical piece Waiting for Godot there is a scene in which the 2 main characters Vladimir and Estragon meet the 2 characters Pozzo and Lucky. You can clearly see that Pozzo, who is blind and lashes on Lucky with a whip, is guided by Lucky, who is mute and wears bags of sand for him. At a certain moment Pozzo and Lucky fell and split apart. while Pozzo was still awake Lucky was knocked out. Pozzo recommends Estragon to hit him in order to awake him again and recommends that it is done on the head or the private parts. After Estragon hits Lucky on the private parts he has pain on his feet but still managed to awake Lucky. Estragon then orders him to search for his whip and bands that tie them together and Lucky obeys. It is however not noted why Lucky does that in the theater piece, which leads to lots of speculation.

    Video Games 
  • Princess Yoyo's relationship with Palpaleos in Bahamut Lagoon is an example of the first type, to the degree that after Yoyo is rescued from his captivity, he defects to the rebellion to be with her.
  • Taro, Adell's little brother from Disgaea 2 has no objections when the demon princess Rozalin labels him her "slave," and is stuck with the title of "Rozy's Slave" for the entirety of the game. Then again, she is pretty cute.
  • In Arcanum, Gar, a mostly human man who looks like an orc sold himself into slavery, so he would no longer be a burden to his parents. He was bought by H.T. Parnell (a P.T. Barnum type) and lives at his sideshow as "Gar, the World's Smartest Orc." Gar is resigned to his lot in life, though, as due to the world's prejudice against orcs, he doesn't really see any chance for improvement.
    • And if you go through the quest to obtain his freedom, and then release him from your own command (either immediately, or by removing him from the group), he returns to Parnell's. Admittedly this is part of the game's programming (every party member will eventually return to where you found them, if removed from the group), but it's interesting nonetheless.
  • The Shapers in Geneforge think the serviles are like this as a species. Small rebellions are dismissed as "acting out." Large rebellions are countered by mass slaughter.
    • To be fair, most individual serviles are perfectly content to be slaves, given that they were engineered to be a Servant Race. As are many servant minds and some of the more fanatic humans the Shapers employ.
      • In the first game, the three main factions of Serviles are the ones that want to take their freedom through revolution (and you don't really blame them). The sect that wants to be free but more or less 'earn' it. The last sect worships your people as gods and in bad endings end up as cannon fodder willingly for their worship.
  • Clover, a potential slave you can purchase in Fallout 3. It's explicitly lampshaded, when her former owner notes that she 'loves whoever is holding her leash.'
    • Played with during the Pitt expansion. You encounter a slave who isn't miserable like everyone else in the Pitt. He states that he isn't happy he's a slave and wishes he was free, but since that probably won't happen he's decided to just be obedient and try to be as happy as possible.
  • Glottis of Grim Fandango is a Spirit of the Land, who has "one purpose" - to drive, or be a mechanic, and will die if he does not fulfill it. He's perfectly fine with his induced obsession, though.
  • The Doog of Star Control 3, who, once bought away from the Ploxis at an inflated price, will continue to work for nothing and give you all their resources (evidenced by the 'higher production' and their statements of you being a good master). As their name implies, they are uplifted canines and predisposed towards a pack-like mentality, seeing their owners as the alphas. From the same game, the K'tang Kattori may also qualify, simply because though they believe themselves leaders of the Hegemonic Crux, they're too dumb to realise every other race in the Crux knows how to push their buttons to get them to do exactly what they want.The player character can do this as well, but pushing the buttons to make them angry and attack you leads to much funnier rants.
  • In the Mass Effect 2, you have a minor sidequest to convince a corporation to purchase an indentured servant's "contract." The slave and her "agent" both agree that, while not preferable to freedom, her tenure of slavery would grant an end to her debt and provide a sterling reference on her resume. In fairness, the "indentured servitude" is not necessarily slavery - she still has rights under the terms of the contract (such as sufficient food, accommodation, sapient rights etc), and Illium, the anarcho-capitalist paradise, will break its "no rules" rule to enforce them.
    • The character of Thane mention how his species, the lizard-like Drell, were rescued from extinction via overpopulation by the jellyfish-like Hanar. As thanks, the Drell willingly serve the needs of any Hanar out of gratitude. Thane even gets offended when Commander Shepard says that sounds unfair, explaining that any Drell can choose not to serve, but few do, and those who do refuse are looked down on by their fellow Drell.
  • It's implied in Dragon Age II that this is what elven slaves are like in the Tevinter Imperium via brainwashing. Fenris explains that a slave would not generally think to run simply because they do not know any better; his first escape was an accidental separation during a battle. If you choose to give him back to Danarius, his memories of Hawke and everyone else are erased, returning him to this obediant state.
    • One girl who you liberate from slavers asks you if you're her master now. If you take her on, she'll become a housekeeper at your estate.
    • Fenris' sister also plays this straight going so far as to betray Fenris in exchange for an apprenticeship under Danarius. If she is allowed to live, she tells Fenris that freedom without power was no blessing at all and that Fenris got the better end of the deal with the power his lyrium tattoos gave him.
    • Also applies with the Qunari and their Saarebas mages, who if they believe in the Qunari religion would rather die than be free.
  • In the first Knights of the Old Republic, Zaalbar pledges life-debt to you. If you're a REAL bastard you can kill his dad, and force him to kill his best friend - only the latter will send him into a suicidal rage. HK-47 also doesn't mind being your property - you keep him properly maintained, and your penchant for attracting trouble lets him indulge his Ax-Crazy programming and he is utterly delighted to find out you're the one who built him in the first place!
    • The second game takes this to Squicktastic levels, especially with Visas Marr, whose greeting line is "My life for yours." Most of the party has been blackmailed, bullied, broken, or conned into coming along. The only thing holding the mess together is the low-level Mind Rape that Exile (and/or Kreia) has on them. Still, even after finding this out, none of them really minds it. Whether this is because they come to follow Exile on their own accord and their own reasons (as Disciple suggests), or their minds and wills are too ensnared by the Exile's Force Bonds for them to be able to leave is entirely up to interpretation.
      • This was further Lampshaded in the magnificent Brotherhood of Shadow mod for the first game. Channa Mae was so enthralled with Revan that she turned her back on everything, even her own concept of self, to become Revan's aide/assassin/secret apprentice. Even after discovering all this, she does not regret her time as Shadow. A parallel is Solomon who gave up his identity and sense of self to avenge to loss of his Padawan, Channa Mae. The Brotherhood itself also took its pride in destroying all sense of self, acting only as an extension of the will of the Sith King, of which their grandmaster was the last.
  • World of Warcraft, perhaps unsurprisingly. In the Monster Guide, the entry for the succubus stated how its not uncommon for a warlock's succubus to fall madly in love with their master. This however, can also be disadvantageous, as they subsequently become insanely jealous when their master deals with someone of the opposite gender.
  • Planescape: Torment has a few interesting takes on this. At least three of the joinable party members: Ignus, Dak'kon and Morte are revealed to effectively be 'slaves' of The Nameless One and are unwilling to leave: Ignus is Ax-Crazy and can only remember him as 'his old master' despite how much the two have changed over time. Dak'kon is bound by a sworn life-debt he cannot repay because The Nameless One is immortal, and the fact that the latter does not know of it does nothing to alleviate said debt. Dak'kon literally cannot disobey any order given to him, no matter how unspeakably full of Video Game Cruelty Potential. Finally, there's Morte: No matter how badly he has been treated by some of The Nameless One's prior incarnations — and he's been treated pretty badly — it's nothing compared to the alternative, namely, the massive guilt he'd incur were he ever to leave: The Nameless One's condition is implied to be his fault because he gave him false information while he was still alive. Even more screwed up when you consider that Avellone himself has said that "there is no evidence for this other than Morte's suspicion." Planescape canon is that petitioners can never remember anything from life; it's very possible that Morte is completely wrong. He was in Hell for a horrible crime he could not remember committing and would never feel closure for and then met a psychologically abusive man with the Mark of Torment mentioned below. Now that's an epic guilt-trap.
    • This, of course, comes in addition to the fact that the Mark of Torment essentially forces slavery on the tormented souls that get attracted to The Nameless One.
  • Played with in Loved. You play as a small, catlike creature that is given commands by your 'master'. Disobeying the commands makes the environment more colorful, but makes the landscape and enemies harder to understand and have less detail, making a metaphor that doing what you want provides happiness, but sacrifices the well-defined borders of your cage. Your master also becomes upset, asking why you disobeyed them, when they loved you. On the other hand, obeying their commands gives better detail and understanding to your environment, but your environment has absolutely no color, and your master still treats you like a pet, but treats you well.
  • The Minions of Overlord will gladly sacrifice themselves for you as long as you lead their race to world domination.
  • Togainu no Chi: Kau to Arbitro.
  • It could be argued that the Pikmin have this kind of relationship with Captain Olimar and Louie. While it was more of a case of mutual co-operation for survival in the first game, the two Hocotatians are using the little plant people solely for capitalistic recovery (and, later, gain) in the second. In spite of that, there's never any sort of dissension within the Pikmin ranks, and, if 'Ai no Uta' is anything to go by, they're perfectly willing give their lives for their master(s). Of course, being on the bottom of the food chain of their planet's ecosystem gives reason to believe that they're likely happy for any help they can get...
  • In Destroy All Humans!, you get the ability to brainwash people into being your loyal and loving servants.
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has Monkey eventually developing this sort of relationship with Trip, going as far as to request that she keep his slave headband active even when she offers to turn it off.
  • Ghirahim out of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword entire goal is to revive his master and resume acting literally as his weapon, even at the cost of his physical form.
  • This is a central concept to Pokémon — though the anime often has abusive trainers that the Pokémon serve because they've been caught and have no choice, for the most part in the games Trainer and Pokémon always get along well. Even among the villainous teams some of them get along fine with their Pokémon, either because they treat them well or because the Pokémon adapts to enjoy the villainy they're used to commit. Black and White explores this in depth, some members of Team Plasma who are Well Intentioned Extremists unaware their leader is evil release their Pokémon as ordered near the end of the game, and are confused when the Pokémon don't want to leave them because they've grown attached to their trainer. This can also be subverted, however — in many games traded Pokémon will not obey your commands without proper Gym Badges, implying you have to earn their loyalty and respect.
  • In Dragon's Dogma, the Pawns are definitely this trope. They have extrmely limited emotion and free will and are only fulfilled when they're serving under an Arisen. Pawns who have lost their Arisen will either hang around where their Arisen was last seen, like lost puppies, or worse turn homicidal out of grief. Notably, hanging around their Arisen will eventually lead the pawn to gain emotions and free will, but even these "liberated" pawns still retain traces of their master/servant relationship with their Arisen.
  • Subtly averted in Shin Megami Tensei. Demons can be controlled, depending on the technique, to People Puppet degrees. They won't ever leave you, but that doesn't mean they like you. The National Defense Divinities in IV outright hate their summoners and are relieved beyond measure at their own destruction.
  • Daphnis in Tears To Tiara 2 is quite happy being and growing up as a slave. He is quite well treated and gets to protect the person he loves.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, your first companion as a Sith Warrior is Vette, a young Twi'lek woman who is also a slave, complete with shock collar, having been captured tomb raiding on the Sith homeworld. You can, if you want, immediately remove the collar as soon as she asks, but your character actually says "It is not freedom, though." If you then treat her well, she's quite happy to tag along with you, even as she remains your slave (apparently for legal reasons). If you're male and have removed the collar, you can romance her, and towards the end she notes she kept the collar and has some ideas for its use—though in fairness this doesn't mean she'll be the one wearing it.

  • In Blindsprings Tamaura seems quite happy serving the fairies. It seems her status is something like indentured servitude in exchange for protection. She's very annoyed when someone "frees" her against her will. Justified as her duties seem to mainly consist of living in a magical forest and taking care of the creatures there.
  • When Jillian in Erfworld is confronted about being under Wanda's control, she responds, "You don't understand. How could you?" When pressed for an explanation of what there is to "understand," she blurts out, "I... like it."
    • This appears to be the default attutide of anyone who isn't a ruler, caster, or warlord in Erfworld. In the text updates, Parson gets Squicked by the flirting of the cute Archons when he realizes they don't even understand the concept of a 'volunteer'. Every unit under his command would do anything he asks, including have sex with him (which a female caster seems to consider SOP for male warlords with archons). Justified since the world is governed by the rules of a Table Top Game, where units always obey your orders. But here Parson walks among those 'units', who have feelings and personality, but still blindly follow orders and like it...
    • The whole thing is unclear. The archons confronting Jullian definitely don't think it's normal to like being mind controlled, and the caster Parson was talking to about the whole rape thing seemed to be witholding her disapproval—good thing too, since it turned out the idea squicked Parson out. And while Parson comments that the archons seem to have no will of their own, this is only a paragraph after the archons mention that Charlie usually left them to their own discretion when dealing with clients. Note Jaclyn, who had a habit of telling her clients about active spells, despite the fact that "they haven't paid for spell security."
  • In Amazoness!, the Amazons' female slaves seem to enjoy their captivity and Belandi is even outright rebellious against Pantariste. Then again, this is set during a time where they wouldn't be treated much better in a non-Amazonian free area. In fact, the patriarchal tribes would likely subject them to forced pregnancy on top of treating them like slaves, regardless of official status.
  • DDG has Zip heading down the Stockholm Syndrome route at breakneck speed. Compare Netta's declaration of slave ownership with Zip's reaction in this strip.
  • The Jägerkin from Girl Genius would certainly seem to qualify in their adoration of and devotion to their Heterodyne masters. So much so that they refer to one who has forsworn his loyalty to the House of Heterodyne as "no longer a Jäger." They will also obey someone who has married into the family, if only for the fact that they respect that one of the family is in love.
    • The generals have a different view, however. While the Jägers were created by the Heterodynes (from volunteers, or so they claim), they continue serving the Heterodynes out of love and loyalty. They also state that the true reason the Jägers hate the Other's creations so much is that they force people to obey, which the Jägers consider abhorrent.
    • The people of Mechanicsburg likely count too. Being minions is in the bloodline, and as Carson says, "People here are desperate for a new Heterodyne. Any new Heterodyne."
    • The Geisterdamen also qualify; they're hardwired to obey the Other's voice, and spent twenty years in her absence tirelessly working to bring her back.
  • In Freefall, Florence and Helix enter into a discussion while Florence repairs some part of the ship before it first takes off. Florence relates a story of a feudal Japanese servant whose master beat him and treated him severely, and another feudal lord saw how dedicated the servant was, offering him a place in his manor, where he would be treated fairly. The servant declined, stating that he found his life harsh, but it was necessary, and proved how strong a person he was.
    • Also Florence herself, to some extent. She gets angry when Sam calls her a slave, but admits that she can't own property, vote, or travel without her owner's consent. Since her owner essentially treats her as a kid sister, and is lightyears away for the duration of the comic, it's not a huge deal for her. She does try to get the Ecosystems Unlimited corporation to realize the full extent of the sentience of their creations though, but has had little success.
      • It does bear mentioning that this is the same Sam who insists that, whatever logic Ecosystems Unlimited and its employees can come up with, Florence is a person and deserves to be treated as such. He's been known to use his power of authority as her captain to order her to have more freedon and independence, or teach her to circumvent bad orders that curtail said freedom.
      Sam: Never ask for permission. Always arrange things so that you automatically have permission unless someone actively takes steps to stop you.
    • And of course the robots. Many would argue vigorously against anyone who would claim that they're anything but property.
    • Gets an interesting application when the governor inadvertently gives Florence an order she wants to obey. She gets the normal reward-response from her system for obeying the order, plus an additional rush because she just really, really wanted to do that anyway. She mentions that in uplifted chimps (a previous iteration of the same project that produced Florence), the same phenomenon resulted in addiction problems.
    • Clippy is quite happy, as long the orders get carried out. Then, Mr. Kornada is very careful to shelter Clippy from the outside world.
    • While some robots are happy in slavery others are not. Florance is a mix and match of the options. She is likely designed to be this trope. Her master sees and treats her like a little sister. Having a sympathetic master makes it easier to work within the system than having no master would. She actually wants her children to be free but does not believe freedom would be good for her species yet.
  • Terinu eventually finds out that his race, the Ferin, were uplifted to be the servants cum power sources for the Varn Dominion, and as such were designed to find service pleasurable.
    • To a lesser extent this trope is also found among the Vulpine, where the "Commoner" class have no say in government and are not permitted to own land. Subverted slightly in that Commoners aren't bound to a Farm Lord, and have the option of gaining social status by joining the military and/or marrying up.
  • TwoKinds: Kathrin has a wonderful life by slave standards and is happy with her lot in life (until recent plot lines have caused her to question this).
  • Liriel from Drowtales after entering Ariel's service. As Ariel is not nearly authoritarian enough to keep her in line, she's more of a freeloader than a slave. Not to mention that she's really the result of a Fusion Dance between the Val'Sharess and her slave, and once Diva'ratrika gains control she seems to stopped being considered a slave at all.
    • There's also Vaelia. Ariel released her when she saved her life, but this didn't prevent her from continuing to protect Ariel and follow her orders, and calling her "Lady-child." Since Ariel saved her from the gladiator pit, she considers her life to be Ariel's property, no matter what, large due to wanting to atone for the mistakes of her past.
  • Domain Tnemrot - Two of the main characters are gladiator slaves, who fight in an arena to the death on a daily basis. Both of them are only okay with this because they love their owner, a small girl who views both of them as the closest thing to parents she has. The two slaves are planning to escape from slavery, but they plan to take their owner with them when they go. Their current plan for escape involves murdering the girl's father to ensure no one comes after her
  • The golem-robots in Gunnerkrigg Court consider activity the best thing in life, so working for humans is its own reward to them.
  • In Dragon Mango, the goblins, forced to work until they pay off their debt, don't want to return home. People are pleased to see them, here; the clothing is more comfortable; and their king will be cruel to them.
  • In Jack Central's boytoy Plato was a slave most of his life, and his last two owners treated him fairly well but by that point he knew no other life. On his deathbed he asked God if any angels needed a slave and he ended up with Central.
  • In Questionable Content, some robots don't petition for more freedom and rights since they realize that freedom comes with responsibility. However any AI can become a citizen and be granted full civil rights.

    Web Original 
  • In Tales Of MU, Two, the liberated golem girl, has to be protected from this trope by her friends.
  • One of the nicer Family Unfriendly Aesops of internet hypnofetish art. (While this may seem like a breach of the "Not Brainwashed" clause, most of the actual brainwashing is simply to get them into this trope).
    • One example in particular (which will not be linked to) had Character A attempt to hypnotise Character B, not into becoming a slave, but into hypnotising and enslaving Character A.
  • Chakona Space gives us Leanna, a very unhappy ex-sex slave commenting how wonderful it might have been to have lived on one of the worlds filled with honored servants. Interestingly, after being freed, shi is still stuck in "cultural Values Dissonance" territory, thanks to slave conditioning. Fortunately she found a "master" who hates slavery.
  • Cracked has speculated that if the Internet ever reached sentience and took over the world, people would view it as a Benevolent AI Invasion and actively turn on anyone who tried to destroy it. The reason is because the human race has become so overly-reliant on the Internet for information, entertainment and communication, how would it be any different from how it was before?

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers: Young, proud Starscream corrects a tactical mistake Megatron makes. He gets punched in the wing. He insists that he can't possibly be to blame for some other seeker's screw-up on the last scouting trip. He gets locked in the brig. He disobeys direct orders to fall back so that he can complete a mission successfully. Doesn't matter, Megatron hates insubordination. He nearly scratches out his optics when Megatron compliments precious, perfect Soundwave. Take this pattern and repeat it for 9 million years and what you get is a vindictive, backstabbing soldier who says that only fools fall for Megatron's Evil Overlord brainwashing, yet admits with a straight face that he wouldn't see the point in living if he wasn't Megatron's Dragon.
    Skyfire: Are you... happier being a warrior than a scientist, Starscream?
    Starscream: Oh, yes. It's far more exciting...
    • There are numerous explanations as to this.
    • Lugnut, though it's less slavery and more willing servitude. He has no ambitions or goals outside of serving the grand and GLORIOUS Megatron.
  • Stimpy of The Ren & Stimpy Show.
  • The main cast of Thomas the Tank Engine would find much common ground with the golems of the Discworld in their devotion to being 'Really Useful'; they were created with a clearly defined purpose in life and wouldn't really know what to do with free will if they had any. Being consistently treated with respect and kindness and only being reproved when they are genuinely at fault probably helps.
  • Sort of... if you count "wage slavery." In the first episode of Futurama, Fry spends almost the whole episode fleeing from Leela who is trying to force him to be a delivery boy. At the end of the episode, when Leela finally gives up and removes her own career chip, he is happy to get a job as a delivery boy!. Also in the same episode, Leela's own boss likes the job he has to do, whether he likes it or not!
    • Being a space package delivery boy is a bit up from delivering pizza...
  • Parodied on The Boondocks with Uncle Ruckus' warped re-telling of the story of Catcher Freeman, who was a slave in the American South.
  • On ReBoot, Megabyte infected many of Mainframe's citizens to serve as his soldiers in his attempts to take over Mainframe and invade the Super Computer. When Megabyte was defeated and his slaves freed, it turns out that some of the binomes enjoyed being under Megabyte's control since they relished causing havoc and terrorizing other Mainframers. These "Neo Virals" are very bitter because of Megabyte's defeat, and when their boss returns to Mainframe they eagerly surrender themselves to his control.
  • During an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Supes tosses a beaten and broken Darkseid at the mercy of the oppressed residents of Apokolips. Expecting them to be happy to be free, they instead pick Darkseid up, carrying him off to recover. Darkseid's response?
    Darkseid: I am many things, Kal-El, but here, I am God.
    • Of course, in the Justice League episode "Twilight" when Darkseid appeals to the League to help save Apokolips from Braniac, Superman is willing to let Darkseid AND those who didn't finish him off when they could ALL perish at Braniac's hands (because he knew Darkseid was playing the others in the League with the plea for help). Darkseid also wanted to get close enough to Brainiac so his intelligence could be used to solve the Anti-Life Equation and assimilate New Genesis.