A character is trapped in an ArrangedMarriage with someone they don't love at all. Their parents are dead set on them marrying this person, so they can't talk their way out of it, and they certainly can't stand to go through with it, so what's left for them to do? Running away, of course.

This is a common pastime for the RebelliousPrincess. If a character waits until after the wedding ceremony has begun to do this, she's a RunawayBride. Contrast ParentalMarriageVeto.

!! Examples:


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In the anime ''Anime/PrincessComet'', the main character considers running away from a party where a prince will be betrothed either to her or her rival, only to find that the prince beat her to it by running away himself.
* In ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', it is eventually revealed that James of Team Rocket ran away from home to escape marriage to the insane and sadistic Jessiebelle. While he ''did'' have feelings for her at one point, he loved his Growlie (his only friend, a pet Growlithe) even more, and her attempt to get the dog out of the equation was the breaking point. (Ironically, not only is Jessiebelle's name similar to James' partner Jesse, the two [[IdenticalStranger look very much alike]], and have a similar bossy attitude. This is usually pointed out by fans [[ImpliedLoveInterest as "proof" of his feelings for Jesse]], but overlooked on the show.)
* In ''Anime/RuneSoldierLouie'', [[RebelliousPrincess Melissa]] ran away from an arranged marriage and even became a priestess to Mylee, the God of War, to make sure her parents couldn't force her back. Although Melissa found her calling in serving Mylee as a WhiteMagicianGirl[=/=]CombatMedic who's supposed to partner with a [[BecauseDestinySaysSo divinely chosen]] Adventurer Hero, her bad luck with men still screwed her over and she got stuck in an ArrangedMarriage-like situation with an IdiotHero she can neither stand nor walk away from. This is made worse by the fact that, while there's no rule that says a Priestess of Mylee must hook up with her Champion, it happens so often that she's afraid that people will assume she and Louie are an item just from that, a misconception that Melissa vocally denies at every turn to the point it becomes her CatchPhrase.
* In the very beginning (first episode/volume) of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', it initially looks like Ranma Saotome might become this to Akane Tendo, given that he's expressed no interest in her and openly stated that he considers finding a cure far more important than getting a girlfriend. Of course, his (currently her) plans to leave are curtailed when Akane knocks him/her out cold with a table for insulting Akane's (lack of) figure compared to his/her cursed form. When Ranma comes around, he first gets enrolled in school, then caught up in the chaos, so he forgets all about it.
** By the end of the manga, Ryoga Hibiki is something of an unwilling version of this trope- he wants to be around his newfound love interest and [[AccidentalMarriage accidental]] fiancee Akari Unryuu, but his lack of direction means he can rarely even find her.
* In ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' Romeo is arranged to marry Hermione, he falls for Juliet and they run away together. Unfortunately for them, they get caught.
* Clarice in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'' bailed when the guards left her room to allow her to change into her wedding dress (presumably to rehearse the ceremony). But in spite of Lupin's efforts, she was recaptured, and this time imprisoned in a tall tower. One that could only be entered via a retracting bridge or a hatch on the roof. Other features included grenade-proof glass.
* In the ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'' anime, the action is kickstarted when Pai Chan runs away from a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triad leader]] and martial artist named Li Kowloon, who wants to make her go through an ArrangedMarriage.
* Jenny Doolittle does this in ''LightNovel/BodaciousSpacePirates'', shooting her way out before stealing a brand-new stealth fighter, then hires the eponymous pirates as her escort. Her answer to family pressure seems to be MoreDakka. Too bad her family [[PrivateMilitaryContractor has their own fleet]].
* Freya Wion of ''Anime/MacrossDelta'' ran away from her arranged marriage so she could join the auditions for [[GirlGroup Walkure]]. To complicate things, she happens to be a Windermerian whose people end up declaring war against N.U.N.S. (which Walkure is technically part of).
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', it turns out that [[spoiler: Lola]] is actually this. [[spoiler: She's one of Big Mom's daughters and she ran away from an ArrangedMarriage to a Giant Prince, causing her to be estranged from her family save for her twin sister Chiffon.]]


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In the [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel comic]] ''ComicBook/{{Marvel 1602}}'', [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Susan Storm]] went aboard Captain Benjamin Grimm's ship, the Fantastick, to escape such a marriage.
* Happens to [[spoiler:Golden Archer]] in the ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme'' limited series, when his fiance proved to be ''far'' too clingy [[spoiler:after he brainwashed her to love him.]]


[[folder: Fairy Tales ]]

* In ''Literature/{{Catskin}}'', the main female character tries to make outrageous demands before she consents to the match but finally resorts to this.
** Similarly with ''Literature/{{Donkeyskin}}'', though she had [[ParentalIncest even more reason.]]


[[folder: Film - Animation ]]

* Jasmine in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', although she's not threatened with a specific groom, just an obligation to get married... until Jafar "finds" some tiny letters in the local laws.


[[folder: Film - Live Action ]]

* Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy's character) in ''Film/ComingToAmerica'' convinced his father to send him to America as a sort of extended bachelor party, when in reality, he was looking to escape his arranged marriage and find true love.
* Just before the ceremony is to start in the movie ''Film/{{Arthur}}'', the title character and his lover Linda go to his fiancee Susan to tell her the wedding's off. Susan's father tries to kill the lovers and is only stopped by Arthur's grandmother - but he does beat Arthur up enough that he's black and blue when he explains to the guests what's happened and then passes out on the altar.
* In the 1991 film version of ''Film/RobinHood1991'', Maid Marion (Uma Thurman) runs away to Sherwood Forest to escape her arranged marriage to Sir Miles Flaconet (Jürgen Prochnow).
* In ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' Rose [=DeWitt=] Bukater fakes her death in the Titanic disaster and changes her name to escape her engagement. Before the ship went down she told her intended that she's rather be Jack's whore than Cal's wife. Before that she wanted to kill herself so she didn't have to marry him.
* In the live-action Disney film ''Film/TheSwordAndTheRose'', Princess Mary Tudor (sister of Henry VIII) unsuccessfully attempts to run away with Charles Brandon rather than be married to the aging King of France. It should be noted that the film is historically inaccurate; the real Princess Mary did in fact elope with Brandon, but not until after she had married King Louis and nursed him through his final illness.
* ''Fanfan la Tulipe'' in the 2003 French movie of the same name. He is a 18th century libertine and doesn't want to be involved in a relationship of any kind. He is caught up ''teaching a lesson'' to a young woman inside a haystack and [[ShotgunWedding her father forces him]] to marry her. He escapes the wedding ceremony and engages in the French army.
* Inverted in the classic comedy ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight'', where the fiancée escapes her [[ParentalMarriageVeto father's custody]] in order to get to her soon-to-be husband.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Talia, the main character of the original ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' trilogy, does this, although she left before being assigned a specific bridegroom. She was thirteen at the time.
** [[ImpoverishedPatrician Kethry]] from the related ''Vows and Honor'' duology was a year or two younger when her [[OldRetainer old nurse]] smuggled her from the home of the new husband her brother found for her. Unfortunately it was after the marriage and [[RapeAsBackstory consummation of same]].
* Aravis in Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' does this to avoid becoming a child bride to a cruel, repulsive old man.
* Princess Cimorene in Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''[[Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles Dealing With Dragons]]''. Her parents try to con her into marrying the empty-headed prince of a neighbouring kingdom, so, on the advice of a talking frog (it happens in a fairy-tale universe, after all), she decides to run away.
* Creator/GeorgetteHeyer loves this trope.
** ''Literature/TheCorinthian'' has Pen running away from marriage to her cousin, and then helping another girl run away from a proposed marriage to ''[[AttractiveBentGender her]]''.
** ''Literature/BathTangle'' actually has a subversion, of sorts: the hero's unwanted fiancée runs away from ''him''...and then is persuaded to go back by the heroine, who argues that a loveless but comfortable marriage to the hero (who isn't nearly as horrible as he seems) is much better than a hasty elopement with the hero's poorer nephew.
** Kitty in ''Literature/{{Cotillion}}'' is a slight variation -- her guardian is forcing her to marry one of his many nephews (but it's her choice which), so she runs away. And then subverted, in that she meets one of the nephews in the local inn five minutes later and [[OperationJealousy comes up with a better plan]].
* In ''Literature/TheFrogPrincess'' by Creator/EDBaker, Emma runs to the swamp when she finds out she's to be engaged to an empty-headed and vain prince. She didn't intend to stay for long, but she ended up turning into a frog. Yeah, another fairy-tale universe.
* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Shabanu}}'', where the title character tries to run away from an arranged marriage to someone old enough to be her ''[[{{Squick}} grandfather]]''. [[spoiler: She gets ([[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown severely]]?) beaten up by her parents, and marries the guy anyway.]]
* Averted in ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', where the troll princess Jade says she'll refuse to wed the prince her parents have chosen for her, and that she'll run away if she has to. Susan persuades her to at least meet the potential groom first: he might turn out to be nice.
* Frederica Vernon of Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/LadySusan'' runs away from BoardingSchool when she finds out her mother, the titular Lady Susan, intends to force her to marry {{the ditz}}y Sir James Morton against her will. She gets caught on the road.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** No one's a hundred percent clear on the events surrounding Rhaegar and Lyanna, but one version - the nicest version - is that she abandoned her betrothal to Robert to be with him.
** Alys Karstark flees to the Wall to escape her arranged marriage to her Cregan Karstark, who is maybe three times her age, her cousin, and has had his last two wives die. She believes that she'll suffer a similar accident once they're married, allowing Cregan to become lord of Karhold. She not opposed to arranged marriage in principle though, [[spoiler: and marries Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn, the ruler of a wildling tribe she's never met, to foil Cregan's succession plans, give herself her own little army, and give the newly created House Thenn some legitimacy.]]
* A major part of ''[[Literature/SixteenthirtyTwo 1634:The Bavarian Crisis]]'' involves Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria trying to avoid marriage to the elderly Maximilian of Bavaria (also her uncle), which ends with her fleeing to the Netherlands.
* Deconstructed together with ArrangedMarriage in Creator/StevenErikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' prequel ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy''. Upon receiving the news that she is to marry a considerably older war hero in order to enable him to rise to nobility as thanks for his deeds in the past war, Faror Hend, daughter of a decimated noble house, bolts to a military posting as far away from the capital as possible, where she proceeds to oggle over her younger cousin. When she hears that her betrothed is [[OhCRap on his way to her]], she jumps to conclusions and bolts ''again'', never stopping to consider why he'd bother to travel that far. Turns out [[ShellShockedVeteran Kagamandra Tulas]] is about as happy to ruin a young woman's life over political matters as she is to be saddled with an unwanted marriage, but since neither can get out of the arrangement gracefully, he was just trying to tell her that he does not care what she does as long as she's happy and safe. [[TheSnarkKnight Sharenas Ankhadu]] points out that neither behaviour is going to help matters.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* An episode of the 1980s series ''Series/BeautyAndTheBeast1987'' (nothing to do with the Fairy Tale or Disney movie) has Catherine and Vincent helping a young Chinese woman escape an arranged marriage. Unfortunately, the man she was to marry was the son of a high-ranking member of a Triad which knew all about the World Below.
* The ''Series/FTroop'' episode "From Karate With Love", which focused on a runaway Japanese bride and the {{Samurai}} sent to fetch her.
* Used in ''The Holy Pearl'', a loose adaptation of ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}''. RebelliousPrincess Yu Die runs away from her ArrangedMarriage...much to the relief of the intended groom.


[[folder: Music ]]

* "The Big Bopper Wedding" by Music/TheBigBopper, in which he gets cold feet on his wedding day.
* "A Legal Matter" by Music/TheWho, from ''Music/MyGeneration'' where the protagonist doesn't want to get married, despite everything already being taken care of.
* The song "Sister Golden Hair" by America has a groom who doesn't show up for a wedding that day because he isn't "ready for the altar"


[[folder: Mythology ]]

* Some say [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Ariadne]] was already betrothed to Dionysus, when she ran away with Theseus. Dionysus either ordered Artemis to slay her while she was giving birth or forced Theseus to leave her on Naxos, where he took her as his wife anyway.


[[folder: New Media ]]

* [[http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm The Universal Mary-Sue Litmus Test]] gives female original characters MarySue points for doing this.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Nanki-Poo in Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/TheMikado'' takes on the guise of a travelling minstrel to escape an unwanted marriage.
* In the musical ''Theatre/{{Camelot}}'', both Arthur and Guinevere run away from their arranged marriage, then meet in the woods and fall in love without knowing one another's identities.
* In ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', Juliet tries this. It doesn't work so well.
* It works out much better for Hermia in ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream''.
* In the backstory of ''First Date'', Allison ran away from Aaron just before their scheduled wedding ceremony.
* The title character from ''Theatre/NaughtyMarietta''.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'': Elisabet Ramsey's backstory is that she became a pirate to escape from an arranged marriage and achieve freedom.
* Princess Seraphine in ''VideoGame/PuzzleQuest'', an optional party member. Kinda understandable since her calculating father wanted to marry her with a tribe of barbarians to stop them from raiding his kingdom. Also, his poor treatment of the player character just asks you to interfere. However, since she's optional, it's also perfectly possible that she gets married if the player doesn't help her.
* Millay of ''VideoGame/SuikodenIV'' fled Middleport when Schtoltenheim Reinbach II planned to make her marry his [[UpperClassTwit son]]. Her parents approved the marriage; ''she'' didn't, so she made a break for it. [[HeroicMime Your hero]] happens to meet her just as Reinbach II's goons track her down -- ironically enough, this is also the first time [[TheFightingNarcissist Schtoltenheim Reinbach]] ''[[TheFightingNarcissist III]]'' meets her, and he's blissfully unaware of the situation until ''after'' they've [[BigDamnHeroes helped her out]]. Then he's completely ''horrified'' at his father's terrible deeds, and apologizes profusely.
* PlayerCharacter Hawke's mother did this in the backstory of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. For maximum scandal, she was an aristocrat who fled her arranged marriage to run away with (and marry) a foreign peasant...who was also a fugitive mage in a world where [[FantasticRacism magic users are feared and considered inherently sinful]] [[MutantDraftBoard and locked up for the rest of their lives]] [[DemonicPossession to avoid the risk of DemonicPossession or otherwise endangering muggles]]. 25 years later, her surviving family's still not too pleased.
* When Elaena Glenmore in ''VideoGame/TelltalesGameOfThrones'' becomes engaged to Gryff Whitehill, she runs away to join his enemies, House Forrester. Ironically, before this, she was [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage happily engaged]] to Rodrik Forrester.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia'', Prince Michalis of Macedon tried to arrange a marriage between himself and the WhiteMagicianGirl Lena, a young woman whose foster father is of a ''very'' noble house. Lena greatly disliked the power-hungry EvilPrince, however; she turned Michalis' proposal down and ran the HELL away from him.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'', Astrid ran away from home rather than be forced into a marriage. Since the man her parents wanted her to marry is Senator Lekain, who is eventually revealed as a genocidal monster, this is entirely understandable on her part.


[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* This is part of Kyrie's back story in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''. She ran away from the ArrangedMarriage to marry the protagonist Battler's father, Rudolf. It should be noted that she'd been in a relationship with Rudolf for awhile, even when he was married to Battler's mother, Asumu ([[spoiler:Or not]]). Unfortunately, [[spoiler:this resulted in her younger sister Kasumi being forced to marry the fiance. Having already promised herself to someone else, she's pretty miffed about that. And considering how Kyrie dies on Rokkenjima, the grudge is transferred to Kyrie's daughter, Ange.]]


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/RedString'' starts off this way. Though Miharu isn't planning to permanently run away, she just needs to get out of her house.
* Both Inna and [[spoiler:Yori]] do this in ''Webcomic/NoNeedForBushido''. The funny thing is that [[spoiler:they're [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage engaged to each other]].]]
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', November left on TheQuest the day before [[StandardHeroReward her wedding]].
* Hilgya's backstory in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is one of these, though she's more of a runaway wife than fiancee. The catch? Her husband was kind, loving, and supportive, but Hilgya acted as though he was oppressing and belittling her.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Torg is more than a little freaked out when [[{{Brainwashed}} mind controlled]] assassin Oasis tries to [[ShotgunWedding force him to marry her]]. He tries running away, but Oasis is always one step ahead of him with [[JamesBondage chains]], [[{{Yandere}} threats of violence]], and [[NakedPeopleAreFunny "distracting nudity."]] Fortunately for him, despite her elite assassin skills, Oasis seems to die quite easily. Unfortunately, she [[BackFromTheDead keeps coming back]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' the very first story arc involves the [[StarfishAliens jellyfish alien Ahem]] fleeing his arranged marriage to [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Princess Voluptua.]] Fortunately, she doesn't want him, either.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': When Agatha is first acquainted with Sleipnir O'Hara, Sleipnir mentions that she has an arranged marriage waiting for her at home. In the next arc she shows up in, she's with Theo [=DuMedd=], but at first it's impossible to tell if they're in a relationship or just close friends. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100906 She's definitely run away with him.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Storm}}'', Eolill fled an arranged marriage and became a mercenary.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Part of Kanna's (Gran-Gran's) BackStory on ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. As a young woman, she ran away (literally to the other side of the Planet, from the North pole to the South), not because she hated her intended husband, but because she didn't want to marry ''anyone'' just because "tradition" said she had to. She actually held onto the necklace he made her and passed it down as a family heirloom to her granddaughter. Her former fiance recognizes it ''decades'' later and it turns out he was deeply in love with her. He never knew where she went and so had always considered her TheLostLenore. [[DecemberDecemberRomance When he finds out she's alive and well on the other side of the planet, he goes to find her, ASKS her to marry him, and she agrees!]]
* When the ArrangedMarriage between Nabu and Aisha was made in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', Nabu ran away from home in order to learn what Aisha was really like.