Because when your ultimate intentions are good, even kidnapping can be overlooked!In Real Life, kidnapping is recognized as a criminal act and it is not considered nice at all to abduct someone. However, there will be that person who does just that and sees the act as a kindness to the victim. The modus operandi of the Kindnapper will vary according to the work and intended audience, but he invariably fulfills these requirements:
- He has kidnapped one or more people and
- The kidnapper's reason for having abducted said person, or people, involves a belief that it is a benevolent act toward his victim(s).
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society this is one interpritation of The Puppetmaster's MO (since it hacks the cyberbrains of parents and forces them to hand over their children). Of course it got this idea from being built from part of The Major's psyche and she certainly doesn't approve...
- In the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney manga, Dreama Love kidnapped her young daughter Diana from Diana's abusive father and stepmother, hoping to run away with her so they could live in peace. Unfortunately, the stepmother tracked them down before they could do so and forcibly took Diana back.
- One chapter of Franken Fran revolves around a young man who, long story short, ends up in the body of an amusement park mascot named "Nezura-san". He runs away, and befriends a little girl. Though uncomfortable about the whole thing, he at least offers to escort her home... only to realize her stepfather is abusive, sexually abuses his stepdaughter, and is an overall asshole. So in order to protect the girl, "Nezura-san" kidnaps her and takes her away.
- Happens to Serara in Log Horizon. After being stuck in the city of Sususkino with no way to get home to Akihabara quickly due to the teleporters no longer functioning, Serara is pursued mercilessly by a local thug named Demikas, guild master of the guild Brigandia. She is then kidnapped by Nyanta, who keeps her safe until his friend Shiroe makes his way to the city to rescue her.
- The titular V of V for Vendetta by Alan Moore kidnaps Evey twice, and each time is meant to be for her own good. The first time is of the second type, in which he saves her from being raped and murdered by Fingermen (members of the government secret police) and takes her to his Shadow Gallery. The most notable is the second time, which is of the first kind, in which V puts her through an ordeal very much like the one he suffered, complete with torture, a Traumatic Haircut, and a threat of execution as a Secret Test of Character, which she passes. However, this is obviously meant to be horrifying to readers.
- Silver Dagger, one of Doctor Strange's foes, is essentially a Type 1 imagining himself to be a Type 2. He once mortally injured Strange and abducted his lover Clea with the intent to "save her soul" from corruption by Strange's dark magic. (Silver Dagger is a darker sorcerer than Strange himself, but the irony is lost on him).
- "Kind" may be a stretch, but the DCU has Kryb, a Sinestro Corps member who kidnaps the children of Green Lanterns (and murders the parents). She/He/It seems to care for the children though, carrying them around on her back and claiming to have "saved" them from their parents. Notably, a Star Sapphire who captured her claimed to detect genuine love for the children in Kryb's heart. Or nearest equivalent.
- Some Harry Potter fanfics feature Sirius Black becoming this to save Harry from the Dursleys. There's even one where Harry is kindnapped by Peter Pettigrew, whom Harry even forgives for the betrayal.
- The Dangerverse has a textbook example of this. Although once the perpetrators appraise Sirius, who was Harry's intended legal guardian according to the last will and testament of his parents, of the circumstances he heartily endorses their actions.
- In the Rise of the Guardians fic Guardian of Light, Pitch kidnaps the main character, Helen, because she's his daughter and he believes she's better off with him than with the Guardians.
- In the Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name fanfic Dead of Night, the Detective and Hanna are forced to kidnap rock idol Toni Ipres, after she's bitten by a werewolf and runs the risk of transforming and killing innocents if she's not locked up. Everyone, including those two, know it's a bad idea and apologize for it, but explain that things would have ended very badly if they hadn't.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic Reluctant Hero, the Northern Water Tribe successfully rescues the new Avatar from the Fire Nation boat on which he was imprisoned and are eager to start his training and help him to bring balance back to the world. There is just a itty-bitty little problem: the new Avatar is Zuko, who's certainly not happy to be ripped away from his crew and uncle and forced into a role making him the enemy of his birth nation.
- The Lion's Den begins with Komaeda kidnapping Naegi in order to take care of him and "help" him become a better Hope.
Films — Animated
- In Home, while the Boov do forcibly relocate the humans, they do so without harming them. They offer them ice cream during the trip to their new settlement (which already has plenty of houses for them), and even provide them with an "Ask a Boov" station for inquiries. However, this is mostly due to Captain Smek telling the Boov that humans are a backward species that need their "help."
- The trope is notably deconstructed in the film; while the Boov don't harm anyone, the humans are understandably angry about being taken from their homes and forcibly relocated.
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington comes to love everything about Christmas so much that he wants to run the show himself! Of course, the one who already does run it hasn't shown signs of wanting to step down... So Jack decides to ask Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap "Sandy Claws" from Christmas Town so that he's out of the way. But he clearly intends it to be a break for Santa, as evidenced by his telling Santa to consider it a vacation and a reward and sternly telling Lock, Shock, and Barrel to "see that he's comfortable" while Jack delivers the presents. However, Lock, Shock and Barrel have their own plans in mind for Santa...
Films — Live-Action
- John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer of the Saw film series, says that he kidnaps people and puts them in lethal deathtraps to teach them to appreciate their lives and help them overcome some "flaw" that he considers them to have. They don't see it the same way.
- Black Snake Moan. A man takes a woman prisoner because he believes it is his spiritual duty to heal her of her sinful ways and refuses to release her until he does so.
- As noted below in Literature, Annie Wilkes from Misery. She finds Paul Sheldon, the main character and her favorite author, severely injured in the aftermath of a car accident, and decides to take him home with her and tend to his injuries herself since she's a trained nurse. However, the movie makes it look less like kidnapping and more like good old Annie Wilkes has called his agent and is just having him stay in the guest room until the help she called arrives... until Annie walks in and tells him that she never did tell anyone where he was and from that point on, it's clear that Paul is Alone with the Psycho.
- The six of the titular brothers of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers who are bachelors at the beginning of the show are inspired to kidnap wives for themselves by the rape of the Sabine women, which they misinterpret as "sobbin' women." However, they do want to "make them sobbin' women smile" as well as end up marrying them.
- In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, King Brian manipulates Darby's horse into knocking Darby down a well so that he'll go down into the leprechaun kingdom. Once Darby arrives there, King Brian doesn't intend to let him leave. The whole reason King Brian did this is because Darby has been kicked out of his house, and he wants to provide Darby with a place to stay in the leprechaun kingdom instead. Note that he didn't ask Darby himself what he thought of this and the fact that Darby isn't willing, either.
- The film version of V for Vendetta has V kidnap Evey twice just as in the original comics by Alan Moore, except with an Abduction Is Love angle to it as Evey falls in love with V over the course of the plot.
- A Brainwashing for the Greater Good example in Drop Squad. A group of black Americans kidnaps and deprograms (brainwashes) blacks who are considered to have betrayed their race. The intent is to restore their pride in their own race (DROP stands for Deprogramming and Restoration of Pride). The movie justifies this by having the black man who's kidnapped working for a company that acts in an blatantly racist manner which would never be accepted in Real Life. Other kidnap victims include a corrupt politician and a drug dealer.
- The protector of the Terminator Twosome in any film of the Terminator film franchise always ends up doing the second variant of kindnapping as part of protecting their assigned charge(s) from whatever Terminator has been sent back in time to kill them.
- In The Terminator, Kyle Reese kidnaps Sarah Connor to save her from the eponymous killing machine.
- In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The T-800 kidnaps John Connor in the second film in order to save him from the T-1000.
- In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the T-850 kidnaps Kate Brewster to save her from the T-X.
- Tie Me Up!Tie Me Down! (Spanish: ¡Átame!) - a 1990 Spanish dark romantic comedy written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Antonio Banderas is a recently released psychiatric patient who kidnaps Victoria Abril - a porn star with an on/off heroin habit - in the belief that he alone can make her happy and loved and that his destiny is to marry her and father her children.
- The 1967 Soviet comedy Kidnapping, Caucasian Style deals with the old tradition of bride kidnapping that used to exist in the North Caucasus. The protagonist is a Russian student named Shurik who comes to collect local folklore in a particular region, where he meets his Love Interest Nina. A corrupt official also has the hots for Nina and makes a deal with her uncle to get the girl kidnapped, invoking the ancient tradition, so she would be forced to marry him, in exchange for some cattle and appliances. After the bumbling trio the uncle initially hires fails to do the job, he convinces Shurik that Nina wants to be kidnapped to uphold the tradition, as she's madly in love with the official. Wanting to make her happy, Shurik helps the trio kidnap her, only later realizing he's been tricked and rushing to her rescue. Naturally, the whole thing ends with a Slap-Slap-Kiss.
- In the backstory of A Brother's Price, Jerin's grandmothers kindnapped his grandfather, Alannon, and did everything to make him feel at home on their farm. Stockholm Syndrome ensued, apparently. That his family was killed in a civil war, and he might have been sold as a Sex Slave or killed, too, if he hadn't been kidnapped, might have had something to do with it. Him being Silk Hiding Steel and his new wives driving themselves dizzy to make sure he's happy and comfortable is another factor.
- Erik, The Phantom of the Opera, intends to make Christine his wife by any means necessary. He periodically kidnaps her and keeps her in a luxurious bedroom where she is comfortable and he gets pretty things for her. He is so nice to her that Christine shows obvious signs of Stockholm Syndrome.
- Misery provides us with Annie Wilkes. Upon finding Paul Sheldon, the protagonist and her favorite author, at the scene of a car accident, she decides to take him home with her rather than at least attempt to call the hospital or for other emergency help. She figures that since she's a trained nurse, she can take care of Paul herself! And she loves him, so surely he'll love her, too, once he gets to know her...
- In the Donald E. Westlake novel Good Behavior, a millionaire hires a deprogrammer to "rescue" his daughter from the Catholic Church! (She had just taken her vows as a nun.)
- This is the entire plot of Stolen by Lucy Christopher, with a kidnapper of the 'Obviously Misguided' variety.
- In Mercedes Lackey's Magic's Price, Bard Stefen recalls how he ended up enrolled at the Valdemaran Bardic Collegium at the age of ten - Bard Lynnell kindnapped him to get him off the streets before anything horrible could happen to him, pausing only to verify that the young singer was in fact orphaned and homeless before she showed up with two uniformed guardsmen to shanghai him off to the Collegium for enrollment. As an adult, Stefen is grateful for Lynnell's intervention, although at first he was convinced he'd been sold into slavery thanks to Lynnell's near complete failure to explain what was going on at the time.
- Lackey uses the idea again in her urban fantasy series, where the angelic seelie elves have their reputation for stealing children because of this.
- In Alice in Wonderland, Alice kidnaps the Duchess' baby, sure that leaving a baby with a madwoman would be akin to murder. The baby soon turns into a pig, absolving her of responsibility.
- In Eclipse, Edward bribes Alice to confine Bella to their house and monitor her at all times while he's out hunting, because he feels she'd be "unsafe" and surely go off with Jacob (whom he feels is far too dangerous, as a werewolf). It's contested just how justified this reasoning is.
- At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka lands the Great Glass Elevator in the Bucket family's shack to round up Charlie's family so they can be taken to the titular factory to begin their new lives. The family (Charlie's parents and other grandparents besides Joe) are terrified by the crash landing. Even after Charlie and Grandpa Joe explain what's going on, and even though the shack is pretty much destroyed and they really will have a better life in the factory, none of them want to go with Charlie, Grandpa Joe, and Mr. Wonka. The threesome wind up herding them into the Elevator despite their protestations and taking off. In the Immediate Sequel, the grandparents' understandable panic over all of this becomes the start of a variety of further adventures for the group. (Incidentally, this trope is absent in most, if not all, adaptations.)
- In The Testament Of Jessie Lamb, Jessie wants to make a heroic sacrifice. Her father kidnaps her and keeps her imprisoned in her grandmother's empty house to avoid that. She doesn't see it as kind, but most parents would likely agree that it is for her own good. (She is not the only one who can make the sacrifice, it is possible that science will find a solution that requires no sacrifices, and the thing she wants to avoid isn't "everyone dies" but just "no new babies are born".)
- In A World Less Visible Magda and Stephan technically kidnap Ash instead of turning him over, even going so far as to fake Magda's death in the process. They do it for his protection, as he's now aware that werewolves exist and in a very fragile state of mind.
- On an episode of Law & Order, a mentally-unbalanced woman kidnaps a young girl from a neglectful mother and keeps her in a secret room in her basement. At the end of the episode the woman is acquitted of kidnapping and is planning on suing for custody of the girl.
- Soap: Jodie's daughter Wendy is kidnapped by her mother Carol. Whether for Rule of Drama or Hollywood Law, apparently the authorities can't do anything about it "because she's her mother" despite the fact that Carol sued for custody and lost prior to the kidnapping.
- Bones: One case of the week involves a kidnapped child, who it turns out has been kidnapped by his father, who thinks his ex-wife is an unfit mother. The father changes the child's name and hair color to hide him at his cousin's house.
- The kidnapper in The X-Files episode "Unruhe" kidnapped and lobotomized his victims to free them from the eponymous "Disquiet" (in German).
- Criminal Minds has multiple examples of these.
- The unsub in the episode "Today I Do". She even says to one of her victims, "I want to help you fix yourself."
- Another episode focused on a guy who kidnapped multiple women. He treated each one of them to a romantic evening that would go well until she rejected him when they got to the bathtub part. Then things got ugly...
- A later episode of House has House kidnapping his Jerkass amputee neighbor who suffers from chronic phantom limb pain. He straps him down, sticks his missing arm in a mirror box that creates the illusion that he has two arms again and orders him to "open" his missing hand to release the tension. It works, and the neighbor breaks down in tears thanking him.
- Sherlock has Mycroft, who always kidnaps John Watson whenever he needs to meet with him. The most significant example is in "A Study in Pink", where he's forced get into a suspicious car with no knowledge of where he's being taken, in order to meet Mycroft in an abandoned building so the latter could offer John money to spy on Sherlock, citing the reason as: "I worry about him... Constantly."
- In an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the Connors kidnap a little boy in order to protect him from the Terminator that is hunting for him. Sarah ends up getting quite attached to him, and vice versa.
- Shark: One of the defendants prosecuted by Sebastian Stark claims to be one. It was a lie he tricked the child into believing.
- The Legend Of William Tell: Will and the others take Vara from the Citadel against her will in the first episode. They're protecting her from Xax, who's one step away from arranging an accident and taking her crown, but she considers it kidnapping for at least another episode and makes several attempts to escape from them.
- The Equalizer. A woman abducts the child of a Mafia boss out of revenge. When McCall tracks down the room where the child is being held, the kidnapper tries using the child as a Human Shield but McCall calls her bluff, pointing out from the way the room has been decorated that she loves children and Would Not Hurt A Child.
- Person of Interest. Team Machine isn't above forcibly abducting the Number in order to protect them. Sometimes this is Played for Laughs, at other times for drama. In "Death Benefit", a Decima squad is stalking a congressman, so when his cover is blown Reese resorts to abducting him. Turns out the congressman was on the Decima payroll, and the squad had been sent to protect him from Team Machine. Reese's actions just help Decima to portray them as terrorists.
- Firefly. As River is implied to be a minor, Simon taking her out of the academy without permission is technically classed as kidnapping even though it is done to save her.
- Jonathan Coulton's "Skullcrusher Mountain" involves a Mad Scientist who kidnaps his lady love for a date after unsuccessfully attempting to woo her with his scientific talents.
- "Hocus Pocus" by Gumi and Miku is about a woman who abducts a young girl to save her from her Abusive Parents, having recognized the signs from her own abused childhood. Even though the police eventually find and arrest Gumi for what she's done, she's okay with it since the investigation brings Miku's abuse to light and ensures that she'll be able to have a happy life now.
- Taro Namatame from Persona 4 kidnapped people who appear in the Midnight Channel and threw them into the TV world, having the misguided belief that it will "save" them from being killed, when in reality it was what caused it.
- One of the most popular interpretations of the goblin babysnatchers in Dwarf Fortress. Depending on the player's treatment of dwarven children, this belief may not be unfounded.
- The Al Bhed in Final Fantasy X were kidnapping summoners and their guardians. While the church of Yevon takes this as justification to attack them, the Al Bhed are only trying to save the summoners' lives by preventing them from completing their pilgrimages, since the Final Summoning which is the goal of the pilgrimage comes at the cost of the summoner's life (if they don't die during the pilgrimage itself). The Al Bhed instead seek to find a way to permanently defeat Sin without relying on the Final Summoning, and kidnap summoners to keep them safe until that happens.
- Code:Realize begins when Arsène Lupin shows up to "steal" the player character, Cardia, allowing her to finally experience human kindness, friendship, and love after living mostly in isolation up to that point. Though he initially set out to kidnap her for his own purposes, when Lupin realizes that the "monster" he was expecting is a doll-like, sad-eyed young woman, he makes up his mind to find a way to make her happy and offers to grant her any wish in return for going along with him.
- Mystic Messenger has Jumin Han locking the player character up in his penthouse for several days, so that she will be protected from the hacker that is targeting the RFA. Depending on the ending, he either lets you go or you end up tied up and locked away for good in his house. Several other characters even make comments in chat about you being unable to leave the building, and try to get him to let you go.
- Shall We Date?: Can't Say No has the security guard Subaru who decides to kidnap you and restrain you in his house for your own protection, and to stop you from getting back together with your asshole fiancee'
- One of the theories about the Slender Man is that he kidnaps children who are going to die in an accident
- Amical of morphE acquired a group of potential students and after their initiation exam, told them that they would have to live with him and learn magic or try to leave and see their slave collars explode around their neck. It is clear that this is not the first group of captives he has acquired and he acts very confident in believing that they will warm to him in time.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird In The Hoof", Fluttershy kidnaps Princess Celestia's pet phoenix, thinking it to be sick and planning to nurse it back to health. It's just getting ready to regenerate.
- X-Men: Evolution:
- Gambit kidnaps Rogue with her happiness or so he says in mind.
- In an earlier episode, Blob kidnaps Jean to force her to have a date with him. He sets up a nice dinner and some music...in an abandoned warehouse where she's tied to the chair with metal bars.
- Josef Fritzl infamously lured his 18-year-old daughter Elisabeth into the house cellar, where he locked her up in the bunker he had been building for several years beforehand, and raped her enough times that she gave birth to seven children and had one miscarriage. He says that he kept Elisabeth down there to keep her away from the outside world and considers himself to have been a good father to the incestuous, ill-gotten family he kept down there. His descriptions of his relationship with Elisabeth and the three of their children he kept in the bunker make it seem like they were a second nuclear family for him, with Elisabeth as the wife to whom he brought flowers and with whom he had consensual sex.
- There are several examples of parents hiring "deprogrammers" to kidnap their children from cults and religious sects with the intent to un-brainwash them. Unsurprisingly, this practice has been used as a source of drama in multiple works.
- In January 2010, a group of American Baptists were caught attempting to take 33 Haitian children across the border into the Dominican republic, despite their protests and requests to be taken to their parents and relatives.
- This was the modus operandi of Escuela Caribe, a conservative Christian school in the Dominican Republic. Parents had "troubled" kids sent there for offenses such as listening to the wrong music and being gay, whether the kids wanted to go or not. Due to being in another country without access to passports, with different laws about age, the kidnapped kids couldn't easily leave unless the school let them. Officially, the company that owned it closed down, though the new company running the school continues to employ some of the same workers there.
- In March 2011, Teresa McGee kidnapped two boys she had babysat with the intention of protecting them from their father.
- Many Native Americans had to teach their children how to hide so they wouldn't be abducted by white people and taken to boarding schools with the intention of assimilating them into white culture by way of separating them from their tribes and families and subjecting them to abuse for failing to adopt white ways.
- There are also several accounts of the reverse, in which colonial children were taken as Replacement Goldfish for Native American family members killed in the war with the whites and forced to adopt Native American culture. However, some of the later apparently became happy with the situation and unwilling to return.
- Edgardo Montara was forcibly removed from his Jewish family by police after he was baptized by a Catholic servant. This was in the Papal States, which did not allow non-Christians to raise a Christian child (as he was considered after baptism)-even if it was their own child.