Jack: I have to warn you, I've heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.The Damsel in Distress has just been rescued from the Big Bad by the hero. How can she show her gratitude? Have sex with him, that's how. If she's ended up in a Go-Go Enslavement outfit, so much the better for all parties. Could be considered an "express" form of Rescue Romance, and a step up from Smooch of Victory.
Annie: OK. We'll have to base it on sex, then.
Jack: Whatever you say, ma'am.
Annie: OK. We'll have to base it on sex, then.
Jack: Whatever you say, ma'am.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Kaze no Stigma, Kazuma actually suggests this to a girl once. Admittedly, at that point, he's shrugged off several assassination-attempts from her, convinced her family not to have her killed due to the dishonor she's brought on them, forgiven her for killing several hundred innocent people in an attempt to kill him, and finally managed to find a way to knock her out of her One-Winged Angel state without having to kill her in the process. She joins a convent with remarkable speed at that point.
- He suggests it to her all through that story arc, actually, though it's debatable how serious he is since he thinks highly of the girl for protecting him from being bullied by their family members when they were younger. It's also possible he was doing it to annoy Ayano.
- Haagse Harry suggested it once after defending a woman's honor from some unruly Morroccans. She accepts, on the condition that he goes shopping for clothes with her and takes her out for dinner first.
Harry: All women are hookers. Those who do it for money are the cheapest.
- James Bond. Specifically The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me and Tomorrow Never Dies (those are just some of the plainest examples).
- Natalya's reaction when Bond saves her from the exploding train in Goldeneye probably qualifies, though Bond does have to kiss her after her "it's what keeps you alone" speech.
- In Van Helsing, Friar Carl rescues a townswoman from getting seriously injured by making a diving catch as she falls. She is grateful, but seems disappointed that her damn lucky rescuer is a man of the cloth. He is happy to assure her that he's not a real friar. She smiles. NEXT SCENE!
- In Desert Heat, Eddie Lomax receives this form of gratitude from the two sexy blondes he saves. Concurrently.
- Subverted in the opening scene of Machete. The title character rescues a female kidnap victim who turns out to be jaw-droppingly attractive, totally naked, and eager to reward her rescuer, while Machete is only interested in saving her. For his trouble she stabs him with his own machete as it's all a trap by the Big Bad.
- Barbarella does this three times over the course of a single movie. The third time around the guy in question rescues her purely because he wants to boink her.
- Becomes Troubling Unchildhood Behavior in the International Cut of The Professional. Leon rescues 12 year-old Mathilda from the middle of DEA headquarters after she fails to kill the Dirty Cops who murdered her family. Mathilda then decides she is in love and offers to lose her virginity with him, so Leon has to gently refuse her. They compromise on agreeing to share the bed.
- The Transporter. Frank reluctantly rescues Lai, then mooks come to his house with a rocket launcher and blow it up, only for Frank to take her out by swimming through a tunnel to the sea. Frank is ranting over how he should never have become involved in the first place when Lai strips off her wet clothes.
Frank: What are you doing?Lai: Making up for the trouble.
- Sin City. Cowboy Cop John Hartigan saves eleven year-old Nancy Callahan from a pedophile rapist, and finds She Is All Grown Up as a beautiful 19 year-old erotic dancer by the time he gets out of prison. Nancy tells Hartigan that though she's tried to love other men, she's always been in love with him, and earnestly encourages Hartigan to sleep with her after she saves her yet again. Hartigan, who's spent his entire imprisonment thinking of her as a surrogate daughter, turns down her offer. And then takes a cold shower.
- In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eggsy is rewarded with rescue anal sex by a captured Swedish princess after stopping Valentine. The funniest part is that he only asked for a ''kiss'' the princess was the one to offer anal sex.
- Subverted in A Brother's Price: Jerin refuses to reward his rescuer with sex, as he's a married man. He reminds her that she promised to rescue him with his virtue intact when she tries to seduce him. Turns out his rescuer is actually one of his wives, so it would have been okay.
- Subverted in Freedom's Landing by Anne McCaffrey: when Kris rescues Zainal, he attempts to show his gratitude by having sex with her and is surprised when she refuses. The do end up together, though.
- It should be noted, the entire Freedom series grew out of a short story McCaffrey written as a ... profit-seeking experiment with fantasy softcore. In that story's version of their Meet Cute, they did.
- Brave New World recounts that the "feely" thriller Three Weeks in a Helicopter "ended happily and decorously, with the Beta blonde becoming the mistress of all her three rescuers." (This is to show the audience that she's properly promiscuous.)
- In Larry Niven's A Gift From Earth, Matthew Keller rescues Polly, who grabs him to drag him off to have sex. However, it is pointed out that she was just desperate for feelings after being tortured by sensory deprivation.
- In The Mists of Avalon, Gwenhwyfar has sex with Lancelet after he rescues her. It isn't the first time, but it's the first time without her husband's explicit approval.
- A two-villains example in President's Vampire, when Helen, upon Konrad rescuing her by giving her the Elixir of Life, proceeds to strip herself and have oral sex with him, to his bemusement.
Konrad: It would be enough to say thanks.
- Name checked in "Chaotic" in Dates From Hell. Hope and Karl know the bad guys are watching them, but they're pretending everything's normal. Karl suggests they go up to the bedroom, to Hope's confusion. He asks Hope what she thinks would naturally happen if he had defeated the bad guys, rescued the fair maiden, brought her home safe and sound...Hope says, "Oh! Rescue sex! But for proper rescue sex we wouldn't even make it up to the bedroom. We'd just stop right here in the hall..." They do go on to lure the bad guys into a trap, and no rescue sex is had.
- Parodied (of course) in The Tough Guide To Fantasy Land, which describes how the hero will nobly refuse the offer of no-holds-barred, consequence-free sex with the slave girl, release her from her captors, and then - having proven himself to be The Good Guy - will have no-holds-barred, consequence-free sex with her before leaving her to make her own way home.
- In Robert E. Howard's "The Devil in Iron," Conan the Barbarian is taken aback when Octavia doesn't take this for granted — and resorts to a kiss to seduce her.
- In "Black Colossus", on the other hand, Yasmela throws herself at him and insists, immediately in the wake of the rescue.
- Happens in The Demon Princes series in The Face. Kirth Gersen rescues Jerdian Chanseth, the girl he has a crush on from Attempted Rape, and they spend the night together. Their relationship, however, does not go much farther than that.
Live Action TV
- Referenced in CSI: Miami (the episode mentioned in Rescue Romance), where it is stated "rescue sex is the best sex."
- In the first episode of Angel, the eponymous protagonist saves a woman who then tells him the following: "I guess this is the part where you comfort me? Not like you didn't earn it." Needless to say, he doesn't go through with it.
Spike as Rachel: How can I thank you, you mysterious black-clad hunk of a night thing?Spike as Angel: No need, little lady, your tears of gratitude are enough for me. You see, I was once a badass vampire, but love and a pesky curse defanged me. Now I'm just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth.(Rachel tries to hug Angel, but he backs away)Spike as Angel: No, don't touch the hair! Never the hair!Spike as Rachel: But there must be some way I can show my appreciation?Spike as Angel: No, helping those in need is my job, and working up a load of sexual tension and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough.Spike as Rachel: I understand. I have a nephew who is gay, so...
- Another episode features Connor—who grew up in Hell and can thus perhaps be excused for his poor social skills—getting upset when he rescues an apparent prostitute who won't offer him free sex afterwards and instead intends to charge him for it. But then later, when a conveniently immature Cordelia needs rescuing, she sort of implies...
- This trope is hinted at in a season 5 episode, when somebody recounts a story of a certain ensouled vampire saving damsels in alleys, and then asking if they'd like to "have a few drinks and listen to some Sex Pistols?"
- Lampshaded and spoofed by Spike in the third episode. Spike is standing on a rooftop, watching Angel rescue Rachel and supplying his own dialogue.
- Also spoofed in the Buffy episode "Once More With Feeling" during Buffy's "Going Through The Motions" song.
Buffy: Will I stay this way forever. Sleep walk through my life's endeavour... (Frees a hot guy who was tied up by demons)Sexy Open Shirt Bystander: How can I repay—Buffy: (walks away uninterested) Whatever...
- Red Dwarf: Ace Rimmer, as he parachutes in and rescues a woman from a base full of Nazis:
Ace: Princess Bonjella? Ace Rimmer, there will be time for explanations later... and hopefully, some sex.
Bonjella: What a guy!
- On Game of Thrones, Tyrion describes how he met his first wife: he and his brother saved her from rapists. Later subverted when it is revealed that she was a prostitute paid to simulate the rape so Tyrion could lose his virginity. Tyrion's current consort, Shae, immediately lampshades the ridiculousness of this trope, when she points out that no woman who was nearly raped would immediately jump in bed with anybody, and Tyrion was an idiot for assuming it was real.
- In the season one finale of Farscape, Chiana, the resident Lovable Sex Maniac, propositions John to thank him for risking his life to save the rest of the crew. He gently turns her down and tells her to "pass it on" (ie, help someone else who needs it.)
- On Person of Interest, Mr. Dillinger has sex with the POI, a sexy female, whom he saves from hitmen. Finch is not amused.
Mr. Dillinger: You've had a very traumatic experience. You probably shouldn't be on your own right now. I don't know about you, Haley, but I could use a drink.(the next morning)Finch: The next time an attractive woman wants to thank you for saving her life, a simple "You're welcome" should suffice.
- This is a bit of an Establishing Character Moment for Mr. Dillinger since seducing a POI is something that the audience knows Reese would never do.
- Supernatural. Lampshaded at the end of "Wendigo".
Hailey: So really, I don't know how to thank you. [Dean grins] Must you cheapen the moment?Dean: Yeah!
- Used for Ship Tease when Castle (for once) gets to tease Beckett in "Always Buy Retail".
Beckett: You probably saved my life.Castle: Probably? I definitely saved your life. And you know what that means, don't you? It means you owe me.Beckett: Owe you what?Castle: Whatever... I... want. [starts slowly approaching Beckett, who has a dazed, slack-jawed expression on her face] And you know... exactly... what I want, don't you? You know what I really... really want you to do...?[He leans in to whisper in her ear]Castle: Never... ever... call me "kitten."[Castle backs off and walks away, looking incredibly smug and self-satisfied, leaving Beckett stunned for a few seconds... then she recovers, grins, and bites her lip]
- Night Court. Ever-lecherous Dan Fielding saves the life of prudish Christine Sullivan. He naturally demands sex according to this tradition. Christine reluctantly agrees, but things get interrupted before they do it when someone tries to jump off the balcony. Our heroes succeed in Talking Down the Suicidal, which as someone points out, means he now has to sleep with Dan.
- Played Straight in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. The lead romantic pair, Desiree and Fredrik, have a passionate love connection after twenty years apart, and Desiree posits that Fredrik "might be in need of rescue", only for Fredrik to bitterly reply that he cannot "flirt with rescue when one has no intention of being saved" during Desiree's equally bitter number, "Send in the Clowns".
- Strongly hinted at in the song "Fie on Goodness" from Camelot, when a knight recounts the time he "beheaded a man who was beating his naked wife".
- Strongly implied in Metal Wolf Chaos after rescuing Jody. ("Oh, Mr. President. How can I ever repay you?")
- Knights of the Old Republic 1: If you play as a female, a man will offer "earthly pleasures" as a reward for rescuing him, you can't accept though.
- In the classic video game Defender Of The Crown, successfully rescuing a kidnapped maiden would result in a cutscene of her disrobing, then kissing the player's character before the camera fades to black.
- Subverted in Resident Evil 4, where Ashley Graham's offer for Leon to do some "overtime" is met with stoic rejection.
- Most of the Damsels in Distress Geralt rescues in The Witcher are more than willing to sleep with him out of gratitude.
- Played for Drama in A Dance with Rogues, where the Princess is raped by the man who rescues her by chance and justifies the rape with her supposed gratitude.
- If you persuade Dream Weaver Feynriel to confront and master his powers in Dragon Age II, you end up coming across a woman he saved from would-be rapists despite his body being on a different continent. She asks if you know where he is, as she wants to "thank him properly".
- Invoked in Mark of the Assassin DLC if Anders is your love interest. As you escape a dungeon, he mentions he has detailed fantasies of you rescuing him from Templars about to perform the Rite of Tranquility. "And then it would be all about the best way to show my gratitude..." When Tallis points out that she's the one who unlocked the cell, one of his responses is that he could be grateful to her as well.
- In Ride to Hell: Retribution, the player can rescue women from abusive men, and they immediately reward him with sex.
- In Legend Of The Red Dragon, the player can rescue kidnapped damsels: "'You've come for me!' shouts an overjoyed (and darn good looking) girl. You breathe a sigh of relief. This was the right place. The girl eyes you dreamily. 'I can never repay you, and I..' 'Oh but you can. Is that your bed?' you interrupt."
- Robot Chicken had a Zelda-themed parody of this. Link killed Ganondorf and starts talking to a rescued Zelda about all the dangers he faced, hinting that he wanted sex. Zelda tells him that she's been rescued a few times in the past, and the first guy, she fucked his brains out. She actually gets further turned off when Link reveals that it took him 50 hours to get to the end of the game, and gives him 8 rupees for his trouble.
- After Zelda hops out the window, Link offers to save another princess.
- Pam says to Cyril that Lana will have no choice but to sleep with Archer after the latter saves the former's life. This never actually happens, and it's likely that Pam was trying to tease Cyril, Lana's boyfriend.
- A YouTube video lampshaded the implications of this trope when Mario asked Peach for a bit more than a kiss.