Fist of the North Star mythos establishes that anyone who can see the Star of Death is fated to die: no exceptions. When Mamiya is the next person to be doomed, Rei, who is already dying from his wounds after fighting Raoh, uses his remaining time to fight his rival Yuda, the cause of Mamiya's misfortune, out of desire to do right with her and make his last moments count. Not only does Rei defeat Yuda, but as he dies, Mamiya realizes she cannot see the Star of Death, her fate changed by Rei's Heroic Sacrifice. It's one of the most awesome, heartwarming and tear-breaking moments in a series stuffed to the gills with them.
A slightly cynical variant comes in the final battle of the first series: Big Bad Raoh is able to learn the ultimate Hokuto Shinken technique Musou Tensei by this trope through his love for Yuria and sorrow over her impending death. It's an improvement over his original idea for how to learn the technique to defeat Kenshiro: learn/know sadness by killing Yuria.
Played straight in Kenshiro's case: when love meets tragedy, it becomes sadness. When sadness meets injustice, it becomes righteous rage... and when righteous rage meets Hokuto Shinken..."You are already dead". Also summed up perfectly here.
Van from GUN×SWORD runs on this, and damn, is he a Badass as a result. William Wo claims this is his motivation, but he is a massive subversion of this.
Messing with Yukina is a wonderful way to get your ass handed to you by Kuwabara. He was about to do a Heroic Sacrifice to take down his foe with him when Yukina arrived and called his name, prompting Kuwabara to either one-shot his foe (manga) or instantly recover all his strength and issue a very quick Curb-Stomp Battle.
Kuwabara was on the other end of this (platonically speaking) during Yusuke's fight with Younger Toguro. He faked his death by Toguro to inspire Yusuke to reach his true potential.
In Suzumiya Haruhi, this is what saves the world from divine puberty. Kyon kisses Haruhi inside Closed Space and it convinces her not to rewrite reality.
In G Gundam, fighting alongside his girlfriend allows the main character to turn his ultimate attack, Sekiha Tenkyoken, into "Sekiha Love Love Tenkyoken," which is strong enough to obliterate the True Final Boss. It summoned the King of Hearts to blast a heart shaped hole. Watch it here.
They changed their chant to include it: "These hands of ours are burning red! Their loud roar tells us to grasp happiness. ERUPTING!!! BURNING!!! FINGER!!!!! SEKIHA 'LOVE LOVE' TENKYOKEN!"
Averted in Mewtwo's forgotten backstory. His tears did nothing to save his four best friends.
Also Meowth, while usually a pitiful battler who loses to even the weakest Pokemon, romance seems to bring out a greater strength in him. With "Fury Swipes of Love", he singlehandedly took down Ash's Infernape and Staraptor, Jessie's Seviper and Yanmega, and Dawn's Togekiss...because he was in love with Glameow. He also defeated a Persian with a one-hit swipe to help his childhood girlfriend (even if it was all in vain).
Pokémon Special: Ruby does this with Sapphire before the final confrontation with Kyogre and Groudon. He pushes Sapphire out of the way and traps her in a safe place just so she would be safe and prevent the risk of her being taken over by the Red and Blue Jewel used to control Kyogre and Groudon. Reason why: she's the girl of his dreams from so long ago.
Reversed and slightly subverted with Nova and Hikaru's relationship in the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth. Nova's hatred for Umi and Fuu is driven by the fact that Hikaru loves them so much, and her similar utter devotion and adoration of Hikaru is prompted by Hikaru's intense self-hatred that she's had since being forced to kill both Zagato and Princess Emeraude at the conclusion of the first season.
In Special 25, Natsuki says that she realized that people cannot live alone after seeing Shizuru's love for her and Mai and Yuuichi's love for each other.
One episode of Magical Project S has a group who gains their power from their devotion to their husbands note well, five husbands and one husband-to-be, since one of them was in an Arranged Marriage. In order for them to be defeated, Sasami has to invoke the Power of Love between herself and Ryo-Ohki to free herself from their binds.
Penguin Musume Heart contains one of the more unusual uses of love power. When Sakura is losing her one-on-one sumo match with her rival, Marie, her little sister takes the initiative to shoot her in the head with a tranquilizer called the Love Drive that absorbs the love of everyone in the arena into her. Somehow this makes Sakura giant and half-naked. For fairness, Marie is given a Love Drive too, but since she doesn't get much love, she only grows a little. Then her Quirky Miniboss Squad says that they do love her. Giant naked catfights ensue.
In the Sonic X anime, Chaos energy is defined as "the power enriched by the heart". So when Eggman or Chaos tried to use the power of the seven emeralds selfishly or cruelly, the effect was rather... disturbing. When Sonic used them, however, he used them out of the desire to help people (and his friends gave them to him specifically because they cared), which meant he was able to transform into Super Sonic.
Also possibly a contributing factor to Chris Thorndyke's ability to escape from Eggman and rip the Emeralds out of an active 'Badnik after witnessing Sonic attacked and hurt by aforementioned 'Badnik. (Okay, it's never explicitly stated, but how many twelve-year-olds do you know who can break out of solid metal restraints without some kind of powerful motivator being involved?)
According to the manga, and implicitly within the TV series, "love" is the control medium for Evangelion units; specifically, the pilots synchronize via the A10 nerve in the brain, the one that's active when experiencing feelings of love and affection. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto said it best:
"In other words, the power of love drives this weapon of mass destruction."
'Love' is slightly too general a description. The Ventral Tegmental Area (A10) of the brain is a dopamine receptor that provides the reward system for numerous things, among them the bond between a mother and child. It's not 'love' in general that allows the pilots to synchronize with the Evangelion series, but rather their longing for their mothers whose souls are trapped within the units themselves. It would be more accurate to say that the Evangelions are controlled by depression and loneliness, something the cast of Eva has plenty of.
Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 showed this spectacularly: usually, it's Yui's parental love of Shinji that drives Unit 01 berserk. This time, it's Shinji's love of Rei and we're not talking about simple berserking: he broke Unit 01's Restraining Bolt out of sheer willpower. Asskicking ensues.
In the movie Anthy evidently needs to be kissed to activate her sword drawing powers at all.
Used all over the place in Princess Tutu. From Fakir's "she changed me" epiphany to Rue's confession that frees Mytho's heart from the Raven's blood poisoning it, to the fact that the fate of the main character is supposed to be confessing her love and "turn into a speck of light and vanish" when she does.
Subtly but constantly used in Chrono Crusade. Early in the series, Rosette stops Chrono from losing himself in demonic rage when he thinks she's dead. Joshua stops Fiore from becoming a mindless doll by mistaking her for his sister and reminding her of her own. Later, Rosette saves Joshua in a similar way. Rosette comes Back from the Dead partially because of her love for Chrono and partially through simple stubbornness. To top it off, she's aided in it from Chrono's former love. These are only some of the examples.
This is how Daisuke of D.N.Angel transforms into his alter-ego, Dark. It's implied that Satoshi's transformation may be triggered similarly.
In the Hayate the Combat Butler manga, Church Militant Sonia requests a kiss from Wataru if she rescues Saki, who had just been kidnapped. Wataru pays in advance. Next page, Hayate (on bike) catches up to the flaming wreck of the kidnappers' car: a giant cross driven through the hood, the men tied up nearby, and Saki unhurt but confused.
In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Simon and Nia's love for each other is what allows Simon to follow her to the dimension of the Anti-Spirals—and that's only the most blatant of this series' many examples of love giving the characters strength and determination. In fact, considering how much Spiral Power Simon unleashes any time Nia's in danger, it can be argued that the power of their love is THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.
As Leeron once said, the Gunmen are literally powered by love, or rather humans' ability to reproduce if you wanna get technical. He's referring to the fact that sexual reproduction is one of the basis of human evolution and evolution is one of the biggest theme of the series. In Layman's Terms it's "Love makes the world go around."
In the finale it's controversially defied when Simon refuses to bring Nia back to life because it threaten the very integrity of the universe. He loves her so much that he won't bring her back. It's complicated.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Considering Seto's history with Kisara, Kaiba's power to Screw Destiny in his duel with Isis comes from the Power of Love, even if he is unconscious of it.
The Power of Love may also be what gathered the three Blue-Eyes White Dragons into his hand pre-series. Considering that Kisara's inner spirit was a White Dragon-God, a spirit stronger than the Pharaoh's three Egyptian Gods, and that the High Priest Seto had a relationship with Kisara, it wouldn't be surprising if she guided the cards to his descendent. However, while Priest Seto was noble, Seto Kaiba is only attached to it because it is one of the most powerful monsters in the game, and his only interest in the game is munchkin-calibre winning.
Much later, in Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL, Kaito (who's sort of an Expy of Kaiba) managed to create Neo-Galaxy Eyes Photon Dragon the same way, using power given to him by his brother Haruto. (Like Kaiba, Kaito's brother was likely the one thing he truly loved, at least initially.)
Zigzagged in Berserk. The lead character, Guts hacks off his own arm to free himself to try to save his lover Caska from his best-friend-turned-traitor-turned-demon-god Griffith. Then one of Griffith's minions tackles him, holds him down, and forces him to watch helplessly as Griffith rapes Caska. Then invoked by other characters since the end of the Retribution Arc where Caska becomes Guts's Morality Chain and also the one thing that prevents him from giving into his Enemy Within.
Subtly played in Skip Beat!: The president of LMA Productions, Lory Takarada, firmly believes that the main force who drives artistes to the spotlight is the need of love and being loved, and runs his company under this belief with apparently astounding results. This is mostly seen in some of his decisions, e.g. creating the Love Me division for talents who lack that drive, like Kyouko (who is fueled by a mix of desire of revenge and sheer stubbornness) and Kanae (whose need of individual recognition is so strong it buries any love feelings, even the non-romantic ones). Lory even consistently refused to cast his best male actor, Ren Tsuruga, as a romantic lead, because he knows that Ren had never been in true love, and because of that he couldn't express it convincingly on screen. When Ren manages to get such a role over the president's objections, and finds himself with difficulties to act for the first time in his career, Lory shamelessly points it out. Good luck Ren realizes he is in love just in time to get his character.
In the Angel Eater arc of Ah! My Goddess, Keiichi is revealed to be the only human capable of supporting (and fighting alongside) one of the goddesses' angel symbiotes because of the love (including familial-type love and friendship as well as romantic love) he receives from the goddesses he lives with.
Every other arc in the series involves the power of love playing a role, in a recent chapter of the Manga for example, Belldandy's is on the brink of death after having all of her power drained out of her by a demonic machine. Fortunately, the power of love stored within the ring Keiichi gave her protects and re-energizes her.
The goddesses' powers also stem from love. The moment a goddess's powers begin to grow is the moment they first fall in love.
Touch: For Minami, Katsuya and Tatsuya can and will do anything.
Daimos runs on this trope. The reason why Kazuya continues to fight on and win is derived from his love to Erika. Sometimes, when Humongous Mecha is not enough to win, there's always this thing to make him win.
Subverted in Naruto. Hinata finally, truly declares her love to Naruto, and charges Pain, winding up her best attack... only for Pain to knock down and stab her non-lethally. Double Subverted in the next scene. Naruto is so enraged by her apparent death that for the first time ever he transforms into his 8-tailed form (just one stage away from fully releasing the 9-Tailed Beast) and overpowers Pain's seemingly invincible attack before his father reverts him to normal.
Finally played absolutely straight, with Uzumaki Kushina's love for her son saving Naruto from his own darkness. "You belong here" never sounded so wonderful. Then it's played straight when after meeting his mom, Naruto gains the determination to overcome the Kyuubi's psychic attack and steal its chakra.
Deconstructed in Chapter 619 with The Reveal of the true nature of the Uchiha clan's "curse". The Uchiha as a whole are very sensitive and emotional people who feel love very intensely. When their loved ones are lost, the intense negative emotions they feel generate a special chakra that causes them to manifest the Sharingan. That special chakra in turn can warp their personality over time. The Power of Love and Love Makes You Evil makes for a very scary combination.
Played straight when Obito, whose psyche has been so destroyed by the Juubi he can't even remember his name, manages to defeat it and regain his mind simply through his love for Rin.
Played straight in the Ga-Rei manga, where Kensuke is flatly told that he needs the Power Of Love to draw out the true strength of his sword. Naturally, he only remembers this during the final battle of Kyubi arc, where his love gives the sword the power to cut dimensions, freeing the Love Interest Kagura.
It gets worse during the Naraku arc...This is what powers Kagura's abilities as the White Priestess, giving Byaukei and her "escorts" power. Kensuke once again uses the cutting dimensions power. Michael literally says, "Kagura! It's time to use the power of love!"
In Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl Hazumu would have died if it weren't for the power of love. His, or should I say her,heart had to link with someone she truly loves,or she would die..
Rozen Maiden subverts this trope TWICE, when Suiseiseki tries to convince Souseiseki to stop fighting but instead is forced to see her die because of ignoring these arguments and later when Suiseiseki tries to win her Rosa Mystica back, but ends up getting killed trying to do so.
One Piece: Luffy wouldn't do half the shit he does if it wasn't for the love of his crew. The strength of it is shown after Ace's death. Even when faced with such an overwhelming tragedy, when he had seemingly lost everything, it's the love that he has for his crew and the love that his crew has for him that gives him the strength to move on with his life.
It's also how Garp (and Nami) can hurt Luffy: out of sheer love. Word of God is that Garp's punches hurt Luffy despite his rubber body because they hit his soul.
Boa Hancock uses her beauty and the power of her Mero-Mero no Mi (Love Love Fruit) to make anyone turn to stone just for her. Luffy's obliviousness to her looks, and later her love for him, keep him from turning to stone.
In the Violinist of Hameln the only thing keeping Hamel from turning into a Mazoku and killing all is Flute.
Tsugumi from Aquarion is guilty of this over the top. She calls this out "There is no limit to the power of the love that I feel!" before shooting forth a new move, Infinite Light of Explosive Love.
In Monster, Franz Bonaparta falls in love, and decides to give up on his experimentations with eugenics and brainwashing for the sake of his interest's children. How noble.
Rave Master: Shiba has been preserving and fighting for 50 years for one girl. Haru's doing the same thing, and for the very same girl.
Also Sieg Hart, who dedicated his live to guarding that same girl for 50 years and continued to do so even long after death.
Kyouran Kazoku Nikki is relying on this to placate one of the potential World Destroying Children of Enka into not doing it by letting them experience loving family life.
Full Metal Panic! to a smaller extent. During his duel with Gauron in Khanka, Sousuke had trouble operating the Lambda Driver until Kaname told him exactly what will Gauron do to her if he loses (she was wrong about one thing: those are what Gauron would do to Sousuke, by the way). He won.
Kaname: "Just think of this! If you lose, the bad guys are gonna rip off all my clothes, play around with my body and KILL ME when they're done! Imagine those happening to me!... You'd hate it, right?"
Kaname: "Does it make you mad?"
Sousuke: "I guess so..."
Kaname: "He's trying to do these things to me! You can't let him do that, can you?"
Later, in The Second Raid, all it takes is Kaname's arrival (and her delivery of an epic Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!) to snap Sousuke out of his half-a-season-long Heroic BSOD, giving him the wherewithal to not only immediately curbstomp five enemy mechs including the Big Bad, but then confront his ultimate superiors in Mithril to demand reinstatement as Kaname's bodyguard... informing them that he never sold his soul to them and if they don't like how he works then they can just pay him less.
The 7th Diary Holders of Mirai Nikki are an Anti-Villain couple who fight with incredible teamwork thanks to their love for one another. The 2nd, Yuno Gasai, seems to run off of the power of creepystalkerlove; she gets even stronger when it's reciprocated!
In Blade of the Immortal, do NOT screw with Rin or Manji. Neither will hesitate to kill you for the other.
Played for Drama in Durarara!!, with the Saika (demon blades that have a zombie-like effect upon the people they stab). They constantly claim to be powered by the love that they have for humanity, but their actions are obsessive and violent.
Also Inverted by the fact that it's Anri's inability to feel love that allows her to keep control of Saika.
Lampshaded in Franken Fran, when Fran and Veronica go see a movie very, very, very loosely based on a previous chapter, where a girl who had been sick with leukemia tells her man-dog (long story) "My leukemia has magically been cured, somehow! The doctors said it was the power of love!" This, among other things, causes Veronica to throw a chair at the screen, yelling that the movie was crap.
In SHUFFLE!, Primula is saved via Lycoris/Nerine and Rin's love for her.
In the game, Primula's storyline includes her wiping Rin's mind so he won't miss her when she leaves. The next time he sees her, the memory is miraculously restored. The Devil King gives some elaborate theory as to why this could have happened, but in the end says they might just as well call it... That's right. Primula stays.
The World God Only Knows plays with this a little. Evil spirits take up residence in girls through "gaps in the heart" (emotional issues they're going through), and Keima exorcises them by getting the girls to fall in love with him. But love isn't the only way to capture the spirits, and is in fact the most dangerous method of drawing them out, since screwing it up can cause the girl to get even worse. However, love is still the most potent method, and is more beneficial to the girl in the long run.
Played even straighter in that the love their host feels for a person is what empowers The Jupiter Sisters
In Tenshi Ni Narumon, this is probably the reason why Yuusuke was able to catch Noelle's hand when she turned into a full angel in the final episode and stopped being able to touch him.
Also a reason why only Mikael can touch Raphael, who is an angel and is supposed to be untouchable to humans (well, Mikael isn't a human himself but he did lost his halo and yet still could see and touch him, while when Noelle lost hers she couldn't even see Raphael anymore). There's even an episode named like that - episode 19.
The Power of Love was defeated by the Giant Sakura Tree in Da Capo S.S. The tree actually successfully prevented two people from loving each other. Only Aisha's horror at the power she now wields convinces her to kill the tree again.
Meldy does a Heel-Face Turn when she feels Juvia's emotions and is overwhelmed by Juvia's love for Gray.
In the second season of Saiunkoku Monogatari, Shusui is mind-controlled by Hyou Ruka, and Ryuuki and Jyuusanhime encourage Ran Shuuei to break her out of it through the power of his unrequited love for her. Shuuei acts on their advice by invoking Shusui's love for Kou Shouka instead. It works, but he is subsequently called out for having no shame.
HeartCatch Pretty Cure! takes this into overdrive in its final episodes. The team is able to defeat Big Bad Dune by not fighting him for vengeance or anything like especially since the guy just murdered one of the four's father to the point where, when Dune takes up a massive size and attempts to destroy the world with his own fists, the team fuses into a singular giant being that runs of the idea of "Infinite Love, Infinite Power."
One of the major themes of Sekirei, with the suggestion this is the true source of their power. Musubi's faith is such that she once made a bet with the Omnicidal ManiacFinal Boss that she would triumph in the Final Battle using The Power Of Love. In one particular instance, she even invokes this trope as the reason for her victory in battle.
Toyotama: "We finished our training before them, so we should have the initiative. Yet why? Who is this girl? How is it that she's so strong?"
Musubi: "It's love! The thing that Musubi has and you don't...that is love!"
Played straight in The Vision of Escaflowne where the love between Van and Hitomi shatters Dornkirk's fate machine, thus ending the war in Gaia.
This is a common, recurring theme in Tanaka Yutaka's works. Love can help people overcome the worst things that life (or impendingdeath) can throw at you, and as long as you face it head-long and together, you will persevere.
In Campione!, Perseus has the power to control any woman who has magical lineage. During his fight with Godou, he controls Liliana and makes her attack Godou. Liliana, not wanting to harm the man she loves, manages to break free of the spell. Perseus comments that true love is one of the only ways to resist his ability.
In A Certain Magical Index, fresh off a Heel-Face Turn, Shizuri Mugino says that she's become more powerful now that she's running on her love for Shiage Hamazura instead of her hate, anger, and pride.
In High School Dx D, Issei is usually running on the Power of Lust, even during his big fights. Directly threaten someone just to get to him, though, and he starts to run into this trope. Notably, this is NOT a good thing. Issei is usually a Technical Pacifist, but at one point, the measures he takes to be able to rescue Asia result in a berserk Issei eating the guy alive.
Taken to a new level in Space Pirate Mito: When Mito and her half-human son Aoi are locked in conflict over Aoi's rejection of Mito's true form, Mito takes Aoi to the place where his father proposed to her and explains how the power of love overcame their differences. Since their love lives on through him, he's essentially the power of love personified.
Mito: "You're our future."
In Umi Monogatari, this is how Marin and Kanon save Urin from Sedna. Instead of defeating Sedna with a spear of light and killing Urin, her host, Marin and Kanon reach out to her. They hug her, and the power of Marin's love and Kanon's acceptance of darkness moves Sedna's heart and causes her to disappear peacefully.
The Power Of Love allowed The Flash to come back from an other-dimensional speedster heaven that no one had ever returned from. Several times.
It let Barry Allen break the Anti-Life Equation's hold over Iris Allen in Final Crisis.
Flash-type speedsters rely on this trope to keep them from being absorbed by the Speed Force (the aforementioned speedster heaven). It doesn't necessarily need to be romantic - the paternal bond between Max Mercury and Bart Allen is a beautifulexample of such - but yes, the three main Flashes rely on their wives for it.
For a split second, it looks as if this trope is going to be averted in the Justice Society of America arc "Princes of Darkness"—Jade's The Power Of Love speech to Obsidian fails to halt his evil rampage—but it's really only a set up for their father, the Golden AgeGreen Lantern, to come in and deliver it successfully.
In the fourth Scott Pilgrim book, The Power of Love is manifested as a giant flaming katana, which Scott yanks out of his chest after leveling up by confessing his love for Ramona. In the sixth book, Gideon steals it after learning Ramona has left Scott. What a dick! Ramona gets it back when she returns.
In the movie, it's subverted, as the love is tainted—Scott's double-timing Ramona and Knives. Gideon shatters the katana with one good swing from his Cane Sword. When Scott does a second run using his extra life, he instead gains "the Power of Self-Respect" (demonstrating that you can't have love if you don't have self-respect), which he uses to take out Gideon before resolving his romantic issues.
Veteran Green Lantern enemy Star Sapphire and the Star Sapphire Corps that recently succeeded her were fueled by love. If uncontrolled (as can happen when all the power is consolidated into a single person), it is of the insane, possessive, destructive sort, which is why the entity that provides their power is called The Predator, but they run on all kinds of love (be it between a man and woman or a mother and her child or so on and so forth) and the Predator is actually the one that is corrupted by its hosts, not the other way around.
One Star Sapphire used Soranik Natu's love for Kyle Rayner and channeled it to bring him back to life.
The New Zealand comic Footrot Flats features a scene where the main character, the Dog, finds himself able to walk on water due to his love for Jess, the neighbour's dog note this phrase used to avoid the perhaps-inevitable misunderstandings resulting from the phrase "neighbour's bitch". After this initial success, he demonstrates that there is no such thing as The Power Of Lust, by sinking as soon as he moves from "Love can work miracles!" to "I'm coming baby!"
Referenced in a classic Stan Lee / Jack KirbyFantastic Four story line, when Reed Richards, alerted by the Watcher, takes on the Silver Surfer. When Sue Richards asks the Watcher how Reed can take on the "all-powerful Silver Surfer", the Watcher answers, "All-powerful? There is only one who deserves that name. And his only weapon—is love!"
Defied in X-Campus. Magnus claims he will show them the greatest power of the world. "Love?" asks Storm. "Magnetism".
In one Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic, a spell that kept Buffy asleep could only be broken by the kiss of someone who was in love with her. One of her Slayers, Satsu, did it.
Deconstructed in Dark Avengers. It's heavily implied that The Power Of Love is all that's keeping The Sentry from unleashing the Void and raining Biblical plagues down on humanity. Unfortunately his wife, Lindy, is terrified of him, and when she tries to kill him in the hope of preventing a mad rampage, that's exactly what she gets. Norman Osborn is Genre Savvy enough to recognize that Lindy could set the Sentry off again at any time; unfortunately his solution is to kill her and make it look like a suicide. Initially that seems to work, but the next time we see the Sentry he ramps up to a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrumvery quickly and eventually provokes Thor into killing him. The last we see of the Sentry and Lindy is two empty graves, side by side...
Speaking of Osborn, The Power Of Love (for his son Harry) once turned Norman sane after he relapsed as the Green Goblin. Both the sanity and the love failed to stick.
X-23: Despite everything the Facility did to break her and forge her into an emotionless killing machine, it was Sarah Kinney's love for her as a daughter, defying orders to not treat her as a child whenever she could by reading to her and offering an emotional connection that saved her humanity and helped her break free of the Facility's control.
The Pokemon fanfic A Pikachu in Love both plays this straight and subverts it. Though it gave Pichi the courage to save Pikachu from nearly being mawled to death by an Ursaring, in the end it wasn't strong enough for Pikachu to choose to stay with her over Ash.
Screwed around with in With Strings Attached. When George confronts the mind-controlled Paul, he cautiously attempts to snap Paul out of it by mentioning his wife Linda. Paul's response: “Who's Linda?” However, Paul reveals later that he had thrown off the mind control within fifteen minutes and was faking it, so the trope never even got a chance to operate.
Ridyr's TRON: LegacyFan Fic''Survivor's Tale'' plays this card for everything it's worth. First, in the arena "Rinzler" and Yori recognize each other during an Involuntary Duel To The Death and it leaves enough of an opening for her to perform a move that knocks them both out. Second, Clu tries to have her executed, but she invokes "This isn't who you are" and stops Rinzler dead in his tracks. Thirdly, after she's been repurposed, Tronzler is able to set her free, even when he can't free himself. Lastly, Yori is asked by a cloaked figure in the back of the tavern if she could ever forgive Rinzler. She admits that while she would find it hard to forgive his actions, she will always love him, no matter what he calls himself. That's when the stranger reveals himself as Tron and the pair are finally reunited.
In the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades story, A Month of Sundays this is played straight and subverted. It's played straight with Mari who frees Miura from Gamou's mind control spell that forced him to become the Aries Zodiarts. Subverted with Yayoi with Haruto after being transformed into a Creepy Doll with a mentality of a five-year-old boy. He responds with What Is This Thing You Call Love? and she slices him up and leaves him to burn.
Invoked and subverted in the Ah! My Goddess fanfiction Haloes. Resident Fetish Fuel Station Attendant Urd has a nasty bout with aphasia that robs her of spoken and written language, forcing her to communicate by pantomime and gibberish utterance. She later develops the ability to use music to convey her emotions and utters her very first word and sentence ("Keichi" and "I love you"), apparently out of sheer love.
Subverted: By then, she has merely learned to, at first very akwardly, translate her Starfish Language in human words. But the fact she was in love acted as a strong motivation to do so.
In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Empath's Wedding", when Empath and Hefty find out that Smurfette's "heart" has been taken by Chlorhydris so that she could no longer feel love for anybody, including her husband-to-be Empath, Empath decides that he's going to give Smurfette his "heart" so she could feel love again when Hefty, willing to prove himself to be Smurfette's One True Love, decides to do it in Empath's place. Empath, wishing for Hefty to be a happy Smurf who would marry Smurfette instead of himself, returns the favor and gives Hefty his "heart".
In The End of Ends, Terra realizes who Count Logan really is and how her actions caused his rise to power. She then devotes herself to saving him because deep down, she loves him. This allows her to tap into the powers of the Light Prognosticus and over power Count Logan... It gets subverted though. All that she managed to do was roughen him up. Had it not been for The Starscream, Logan wouldn't have changed. It's only when he is mortally wounded that he began to redeem and not even the Power of Love was able to save him.
In episode 11, chapter 8, ProtoMan uses his love for Nomad to gather the courage to restore his old self. Two chapters later, he calms Nomad out of her destructive programming and pain. And in the finale of episode 11, memories of those he loves enable him to fight Wily's fear program and turn on him.
A straight example occurs in chapter two, in which the Prime Fem!Kirk tells the Alt Reality Fem!Kirk about the incident with the Medusan, Kollos. In this story, the only way to cure the insanity (brought about by looking upon Kollos) is if the victim's true love locks eyes with said victim. Fem!Kirk did this when Spock goes insane, curing him within seconds.
Another straight example, similar to the first, happens when Spock goes crazy due to Pon Farr. He doesn't recognize anyone and attacks anyone on sight...except for Fem!Kirk, who he even protects from anything he considers a threat to her. It is revealed that this happened because he recognized her as his bondmate.
As the title implies, this is the central premise of Romance and the Fate of Equestria. It begins shortly after the show's Season 2 finale, where the Power of Love was witnessed firsthand, and Twilight decides to pursue romance for the purpose of supplementing her studies on The Power of Friendship, thus kick-starting the entire story.
While love doesn't actually accomplish anything supernatural in the Aladdin films, the fact that genies can't cause people to fall in love puts Love on the same level of greater-than-phenomenal-cosmic-power as Life or Death.
The Secret of NIMH: Only when her children were in mortal danger did Mrs. Brisby's love and courage become a tangible force, with the Stone as a foci. Even more explicit is the Stone's inscription "You can unlock any door, if you only have the key." According to the Theme SongFlying Dreams, "Love is the key."
In Frozen, an act of true love is the only thing that can save Anna from turning into solid ice. And in a surprising twist for a Disney movie, the act of love is notTrue Love's Kiss, or even romantic love, but Anna sacrificing herself for her sister Elsa. An act of true familial love on Anna's part. Love also turns out to be the trigger that allows Elsa to control her ice powers.
Sleeping Beauty: Chillingly, Maleficent is one of the few villains who knows how powerful love is. Rather than trying to undo the True Love's KissCurse Escape Clause, she decides to build it into the Ironic Hell she's arranged for Prince Phillip. She gives him a terrifying Hannibal Lecture about how she'll release him once the full hundred years have past so that Aurora (who has slept in Narnia Time) will awaken to a broken, decrepit old man. If it weren't for the faries' meddling, love would've kept Phillip going before destroying him.
Film - Live Action
The trope takes its name and first sentence from the Huey Lewis and the News song of the same name, which was written for and featured in Back to the Future. The film provides many examples of The Power Of Love. Sometimes The Power of Creepy Probably-Incestuous Love.
This is also apparent in Back to the Future 3, when Clara Clayton transforms herself from a quiet schoolteacher to a full on superwoman, who can scale trains in motion, in order to catch up with Doc before he goes back to 1985.
There are few places where TRON shows off its Disney origins, but this and The Power of Friendship overrides even the nastiest brainwashing. In the first, the title character pulls his "counterpart" (equivalent of "wife") Yori out of a repurposed state. In the second... A good, solid look from Flynn pulls him back from twenty years of enslavement.
The Fifth Element, where the five central elements in the universe are earth, fire, wind, water ... and love.
Could also be a subversion as, according to Luc Beson, the titular element is actually sex.
In The Matrix, it appears that Neo's transformation into The One is sparked by Trinity telling his mostly-dead body that she loves him. However, the Power of Logic is also implicated: She loves Neo. She was told by the oracle that the man she loved would be the One; therefore, Neo is the One. The One would not be dead; therefore, Neo cannot be dead.
And the fact that the sensation of Trinity kissing him makes Neo realize that despite the Matrix input, he isn't actually dead, so it makes sense.
In Next, the precognitive abilities of Nicolas Cage's character only allow him to see up to 2 minutes into his own future, except, for no apparent reason, for one recurring vision that presages the arrival of his eventual love interest. Once he's finally met and slept with her, he can see further ahead than ever before.
In Pleasantville, it's The Power Of Love (or just plain old Auto Erotica) that changes the entire TV show from black and white to colour.
Technically, it's the Power of Change that causes people to, well, change color. The conversion happens when the one-dimensional citizens of Pleasantville do something unexpected or uncharacteristic. For the most of the supporting cast, this was when they had sex, which didn't exist in their world before. The two main characters, coming from the real world, had a harder time gaining color, but likewise changed when they did something they normally wouldn't do note "They" being David and Jennifer from the outside world, not Bud and Mary Sue, the Pleasantvillians whose identities they assumed. Jennifer's big change would probably have been in-character for Mary Sue.
The changes happen when a character does something that isn't just pleasant. For some it's love, but there are other causes, such as anger. So it's not the power of love, but the power of passion.
Averted, in the DVD version of the Disney film Pocahontas. She invokes this in the if I never knew you song, singing that with their love she thought "Somehow we'd make the whole world bright", but as she notes in the following line, that didn't exactly work out. Much of the hostilities in the film are an unintended result of their relationship, though she regrets nothing.
The Princess Bride references the power of "true love" several times. In the very beginning, Wesley asserts that he will be reunited with Buttercup because of the power of their love. Later in the film, he resists deadly torture by becoming only "mostly dead." When his comatose body is asked why he's still "slightly alive," Wesley moans, "Truuuuee loooove." Buttercup also asserts that her love cannot be denied, but it's mostly for show. She's ready to kill herself when Wesley suddenly appears and scolds her for her lack of faith.
In the film version of Stardust, Yvaine's love for Tristan allows her to go supernova and incinerate Lamia. Because of her love, Tristan now "possessed the heart a star" and got bonus immortality too.
A more cynical and indirect usage: In the film Ultraviolet, the heroine weeps over a dead boy, causing him to come back to life — because her tears infected him with vampirism.
Santo vs. la Hija de Frankestein: Santo's girlfriend is hypnotized and ordered to cut out his eyes and deliver them to Dr Frankenstein. She gets as far as holding the knife over the helpless luchador's face before this trope snaps her out of it.
In The Wolfman (2010), Lawrence's feelings for Gwen bring out what's left of his humanity, but only right before Gwen "sets him free."
In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, during the film's climax the Baroness is able to subdue the nanites that are controlling her because her love for Duke is stronger than the nanites' influence over her mind. Looks like love > technology!
In the denouement to A Matter of Life and Death, the protagonist wins a second chance at life by virtue of love being the most powerful force in the world of the living, and therefore triumphing over the power of the celestial jury.
Parodied in Scary Movie 3. Upon hearing Cindy and George express their love for each other, the corpse of Tabitha turns into a beautiful little girl and says that their love has broken the curse and she won't ever have to kill again. "Really?" asks Cindy and Tabitha turns back into a corpse and admits "Nah, I was just screwing with you."
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World subverts the trope. Scott gains a weapon called The Power of Love from proclaiming his love to Ramona in the climax. The weapon isn't strong enough, so he dies. On his second attempt, he instead proclaims that he's fighting for himself and gets The Power of Self-Respect, which is vastly superior.
Averted in Dance Of The Dead, after the students (well, MOST of them anyway) manage to escape the school and the zombie infestation, Jimmy and Lindsey share a passionate kiss in front of the school, at the exact same time as the building explodes. The timing would indicate that it's the passion between the two rekindled young lovers that is causing the explosion, but it's really just the metric ton of C4 Coach Keel set up around the perimeter.
And debate the nature of Kirk's love all you like, but the rest of the crew were definitely not in romantic love with Spock, yet all risked their careers and lives to save him, despite Kirk reminding them only he and McCoy really had to go.
In Ernest Scared Stupid, trolls can be killed by milk (which represents "a mother's care"). When Trantor becomes more powerful, milk can't stop him. The only thing Ernest can do is to defeat him with "the heart of a child" — unconditional love — and hugging and dancing with him does the trick.
In Peter Pan, Wendy asks if she can give him a "thimble" and then whispers to Peter:
"This belongs to you, and always will."
And kisses him. This actually makes the guy BURST INTO FLIGHT WITH A HUGE SMILE ON HIS FACE, and his feelings for Wendy allows him to come back and beat Hook (with the help of the Darling siblings and the Lost boys chanting "Old! Alone! Done for!" towards Hook).
In Hook, the grown up Peter regains his ability to fly when he remembers the love and joy he felt when his son was born.
In the first Harry Potter film (see its main mention under Literature), the sacrificial love protection that protected Harry from Voldemort's curse is taken a step further from the book when it enables Harry to reduce Quirrell to a pile of dust by touching him.
Believe it or not, this is how Freddy Krueger is defeated in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge. When Freddy possesses the hero of the film, Jesse, and chases his girlfriend Lisa, Lisa states that she still loves him and kisses Jesse/Freddy. Jesse gains the strength to fight Freddy from within and destroy him, regaining control of his body.
Cirque Du Soleil Journey Of Man uses this trope in conjunction with The Four Loves as The Everyman protagonist/narrator goes on his metaphorical journey through life. The story postulates that a person's fulfillment comes when they hold three metaphorical keys within them: "Dreams, faith, and love." Love turns out to be the most important of them. As a child, he has all three with Affection/Family (represented by his guides, the Flounes) as the source of love, but adolescent rebellion and a desire for Romantic Love as a young adult leads him to pursue the latter via a Deal with the Devil for material gain. Because The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, he loses his dreams and faith along with any kind of love, becoming an aloof middle-aged man alone in the world — then a Vagabond Girl and her companions reach out to him with Friendship. This moves him enough that in accepting their love he not only regains all three keys but also becomes an embodiment of Unconditional Love and a completely fulfilled person who can guide others towards similar enlightenment.
"I don't want to get too sentimental here, uncle Luke, but don't underestimate The Power Of Love. It's pulled two family members back from the Dark Side already. Ben's sixteen, but he's not a fool."
In the Expanded Universe, Qui-Gon Jinn explains that love, a connection to others, is a prerequisite for becoming a Force Ghost.
In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, The Power Of Love drives the magical rings that Oberon and Titania give Prince Rupert and Jennifer. Unfortunately, along comes The Vamp with a Love Potion and then they must soldier on without the magic.
In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files love is poison to the White Court, a species of vampires (specifically, the Raith family) who feed on human lust, fear, and/or despair.
On a more ambiguous note, Harry is only able to help Susan, who has been bitten and partially transformed into a Red Court vampire and is drugged and newly bloodthirsty break out of it when he tells her he loves her. It's beautiful and tragic.
There also exists Amoracchius, The Sword of Lovenote Once called Excalibur. Anyone who wields it in proper cause is a major power in that world. There also exist Swords of Hope and Faith, but it's slightly implied that Love is the greatest of them.
Another Book says it right out: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Uriel tells Harry, "Whatever you do, do it for love. If you keep to that, your path will never wander so far from the light that you can never return." Taking this advice, Harry departs so far from the light that very few people have ever returned. How these factors will interact in future books is anyone's guess.
"So many terrible things are done for love. For love will men mutilate themselves and murder rivals. For love will even a peaceful man go to war. For love, man will destroy himself, and that right willingly."
One character even equates Love with the Creation of Universe. Especially when one considers many are conceived during an act of unconditional love. Major Spoiler for Skin Game. And so when Lash, shadow of a Fallen Angel, willingly died to save the life of Harry Dresden, her host, she did so out of her genuine and unconditional love. What remained after that merged with the bit of Harry's soul he gave her and from it something new was created: A child. A spirit of Intellect carried inside Harry's head, though he didn't know this. She has all the knowledge of a Fallen Angel but nurtured on the feelings of love Harry has for his friends and family.
In the Harry Potter series, love is said to be the source of the force which saved Harry from Voldemort in his infancy, and is cited as the secret power he has over You-Know-Who.
On the other hand, love is the reason for Severus Snape's decision to betray Lord Voldemort, who could neither understand nor detect this decision because it was motivated by love. Voldemort's blindness to the emotion also leaves him vulnerable to the Malfoy family's betrayal. It's patently obvious to anyone watching (ie. Dumbledore, Harry) that any of those three would sell him down the river in a heartbeat to save the other two.
The ultimate example of how love is his power is near the finale of the story when Harry, to protect his friends, allows himself to be killed. His love for them was so great that he gave up his life, and in so doing destroyed the Horcrux embedded within his soul, leaving Voldemort vulnerable. Voldemort could not imagine somebody killing themselves for another and so didn't realize the significance of the sacrifice. More than that, his willingness to die for them provided everyone in the castle with the same type of protection his mother gave him.
Word of God states that the reason that Molly Weasley was made to kill Bellatrix Lestrange was to show that a mother's love is far more powerful than an obsessive, fanatic love.
Used subtly in Deathly Hallows. Harry's love for his girlfriend Ginny helps keep him together after Ron ditches them.
At it's basic core, The Power Of Love in Harry Potter means the ability to care about another person, even more than about yourself. This is what Harry has and Voldemort lacks, and this is why Harry is always surrounded by close friends and reliable allies, that would die to protect him, and why Voldemort only has groupies and vultures with him, held in line with fear.
In A Wrinkle in Time, Meg is able to save her little brother Charles Wallace from being possessed by IT through the power of her love for him. She suspects that if anyone ever offered love to IT, IT would shrivel up and die.
In The Fangs Of Kaath, the power of love in the heroes is able to repel the minions of the titular demon as if they are physically burned and cancel out a magic poison at the book's climax.
In The Elenium and The Tamuli, there is the goddess Aphrael. Her "real" form is an adult woman, but she always appears to everyone as an eight year old girl. This allows her to use The Power Of Love on everyone. When a cute young girl asks to sit in your lap, no one can refuse. Once she sits in your lap and gives you a kiss, she will get her way on everything she wants.
Arguably, while she does have feelings for Jason, it may not have had anything to do with that— she simply Charmspoke his soul to keep it from going to Hades. Still technically fits the trope, since only children of Aphrodite, goddess of love, can do this...
It was revealed in the second book that the Doors Of Death are open and heroes can escape death for the same reason that monsters reform almost instantly. The Power of Love probably helped, but Gwen got back by herself, so...
A Double Subversion in Wizard's First Rule. The subversion is in Kahlan's power which uses a person's love to make them a slave to her will. This completely destroys a person, with no possibility of reversal, and causes her to be hated and feared, despite being the de facto ruler of the land. The double subversion comes in the climax, where Richard's love for Kahlan protects him from her power, allowing them to get together.
Simon: "No... I will fear you, but I will not hate you."
Camaris: "Forgiven... yes, let all be forgiven..."
A central theme in The English Patient is the question of whether love can transcend national boundaries in wartime. The short answer? Yes. The long answer? Yes, but the results aren't always pretty, and don't necessarily last.
In The Portable Door, the only way to get the swords out of the stones to get a hold of the keys on the end is to have two people who are in love pulling them.
An even more bizarre version comes from You Don't Have to be Evil to Work Here. Screwing with True Love actually causes the entire Universe to go a bit out of whack, and maths stops working properly.
Subverted in the Georgina Kincaid series by Mead. The heroine is a succubus, feeding on lifeforce through sex. Everytime she has sex. It means that she cannot sleep with the one she loves, ever, because that would shorten his life.
The Power of Love was a particularly troubling notion to the Legalists during the Warring States Period, as it could inspire people to defy the government in favour of getting a better deal for their families. Hence, The Book of Lord Shang advises taking measures to keep peasants occupied with nothing more than farming, and to prevent them from having more than a subsistence living.
In Andre Norton's Year of the Unicorn, Gillian's love inspires Herrel to take on the rest of the Were-Riders.
In the book Once Upon a Marigold, Marigold's love for Crispin heals him of his arrow wound. The doctor on-scene even outright states this.
"I've heard of laughter being the best medicine, but it seems love is even stronger medicine!"
In the Chronicles of Prydain, this is used to make the Pelydryn illuminate the night sky so that it appears to be noon.
Why? Rand thought with wonder. Because each time we live, we get to love again. ... If I live again, then she might as well!
This is all over The Bible, with the most obvious being 1 John 4:8, which simply states "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." That's right, God, the omnipotent force behind the entire universe IS Love. The Power of God IS the Power of Love.
In Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, what Edward learns.
In L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, this is what saves Gilbert from dying of typhoid fever, though in a non-magical way. Heartbroken over Anne's rejection and sick as a dog, he gets a letter from Anne's friend informing him that Anne is not getting married to Roy Gardner (her beau of two years) and advises Gilbert to "try again". He remarks to Anne later that the doctors were amazed at the speed of his recovery after that.
In Space Beasts, The Power of Love is what drives the plot. The Prophecy that sets the plot in motion states, "If a virgin human male loves a humanimal female with all his heart and he loses his virginity to her, then the universe will be altered and all intelligent beings will become equal."
Charles Dickens tended to like this trope, but particularly in the case of Little Dorrit, when Love triumphs over parental abuse, economic swindles, psychological imprisonment, and hidden wrongs.
Emily Elizabeth's love is what caused Clifford the Big Red Dog to become so big, even though he was the runt of the litter. The Expository Theme Tune of the Scholastic animated version lays it out— "Clifford needed Emily, so she chose him for her own / And her love made Clifford grow so big that the Howards had to leave their home."
In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Lucian's deliberate attempt to keep from loving Lindsay, to protect her, weakened him; when he realized it, he let himself love her.
In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, LeFel has to kill Jeb because otherwise his and Mae's love would protect her.
Everything Peeta does in The Hunger Games is motivated by his love for Katniss. Until he is hijacked into hating her and wanting to kill her in Mockingjay.
In Galaxy of Fear: The Planet Plague, Tash gets infected with The Blob MonsterVirus and thanks to it becomes more irritable and driven by thoughts of Revenge for Alderaan. Negative emotions seem to speed the progression, and at the climax she's oozing slime and having blob goo tendrils waving out of her skin and has to stop and instead focus on what she's fighting for and her love for the dead. The tendrils drop off. She's not cured, but it handles the symptoms until she can be taken to be treated. Vaguely justified, in that she's Force Sensitive and a doctor earlier exposited about the illness.
"Your body has a certain temperature, and usually it creates certain kinds of chemicals in your blood, your brain, and all the different parts of your body. But when your body changes - as when you are angry, or sad, or when you are sick - your body temperature changes, and your brain sends signals to produce different chemicals. Somehow this virus affects those signals and feeds off of them."
In Warm Bodies, the power of love brings a zombie back to life.
In Ella Enchanted the main character (Cinderella) is cursed to always be obedient, no matter who gives her orders. When the prince she loves proposes to her she is horrified because she is certain that someone will use her to hurt him (and her wicked stepmother and stepsisters immediately order her to say "yes"). She promptly tells him that she is cursed (violating one of the oldest and strongest orders that her parents gave to her). Ella goes on confessing to him and explaining why she can't marry him for two pages before she realizes that her curse has been broken by The Power Of Love.
Legacy of the Dragokin: Kalak uses this to temporarily overturn Mordak's control and then to exorcise the monster from his own body in addition to Zarracka's.
Takes a dark twist in Dune. Doctor Yueh is Beneath Suspicion as The Mole due to his Sukh mental conditioning which prevents him from purposefully taking another life. While suborning Sukh conditioning is supposed to be impossible, the Harkonnens' Mentat Piter De Vries claims that with the right lever one can move a planet. Yueh's wife Wannah is that "lever". When Yueh eventually betrays the Duke, he tells him that some things have greater sway over his mind than his conditioning.
The Witcher: In The Last Wish Geralt notes that true love has magical power. In the book's various vignettes two curses are broken by it.
In Monster Hunter International, it is revealed that the dark ritual that destroys the universe and lets an Eldritch Abomination take over the wreckage must be powered by love. The creatures seeking this are far too evil to love, so they take to manipulating mortals.
Wind And Sparks cycle by Alexey Pehov is a rather cynical Dark Fantasy full of subversions, yet the trope is played surprisingly straight. The greatest magician in history wrote a lot about how powerful love is, but nothing about how to harness that power. Probably he never did. The heroes studying his papers discard that bit as useless. Yet they unwittingly manage to use it several times. Only in the end the Physical God explains everything to the narrator protagonist Ness. To properly teach all sides of magic "spark" the first teacher has to strongly and sincerely love somebody. Ginora loved her stepdaughter to the point of shortening her life to save her, Layen loved Ness and frequently risked her life for him, Shen started teaching Rona after they fell in love... This also applies to the Big Bads before their Start of Darkness. Later they grew too bitter, wallowing in their grievances too much, and the sparks they kindled were flawed, if not outright dark.
In the season 6 finale Xander saves the world from Dark Willow by standing in front of her and telling her repeatedly that she is his Best Friend Forever and he will never not love her (albeit non-romantically) no matter what she does. An alternate reading is that Xander is reminding Willow of who she really is by presenting her with the most powerful (surviving) figure in her "real" life and her connection with him. He was sort of "bringing her back to herself".
"Guess what, I still love you."
Season 5's Arc Words: Death is [Buffy's] gift, but love is [her] power.
Quinten Travers from the Watcher's Council has Giles fired as Buffy's watcher in Season 3. The Reason? "You have a father's love for The Slayer, and that's useless to the cause". Giles has no official duty as a Watcher for almost two years of the show; for that time, his entire motive for supporting Buffy is out of loyalty and patriarchal affection.
The Power of Love could easily fit into the character Angel in the Buffyverse. He had fallen in love with Buffy at first sight, given a reason to live and a purpose. He had also still loved Buffy for over 100s of years while in a Acathla dimension after she had to kill him and displayed extreme selflessness and loyalty when he broke up with her, wanting her to have a normal life.
Doctor Who: In "Fear Her", we meet an alien quite literally powered by a combination of love and heat—such that the Olympic Torch serves as the perfect agent for restoring its strength.
More recently, a Dalek sleeper agent android overcame his Dalek programming by thinking of a woman he fancied.
And then, in the series five finale, Rory's love for Amy keeps him sane through nearly two thousand years of nothing but standing next to a box and protecting it.
Something of a recurring theme in Season 5: In "The Lodger", the reason that the Pilot Program couldn't use Craig as a pilot was because he didn't want to leave England...because he loved Sophie. Prompting the Doctor and Amy to shout, "KISS HER!"
The Doctor:The planet's about to burn! For God's sake, KISS THE GIRL!!!
Appears in the sequel episode to "The Lodger", "Closing Time". After Craig is able to overcome the Cybermen process of turning him into their leader by hearing his son crying and in need of him. It is so strong it feeds back into the rest of their circuits and undoes their emotional inhibitors, which makes their heads explode. Doubles as Papa Wolf moment as well.
Craig: I blew them up with love... The Doctor: No, that's impossible, and also grossly over-sentimental and over-simplistic. You destroyed them because of the deeply ingrained hereditary trait to protect one's own genes, which in turn triggered a...a... [everyone is staring at him] Yeah. Love. You blew them up with love.
River Song takes the cake in the series 6 finale—she collapses history itself simply to tell the Doctor how much she loves him.
What's more, to tell the Doctor how much he is loved. By her more than anyone, but also by the millions and millions of people he's helped all throughout the universe.
River: You have decided that the universe is better off without you, but the universe doesn't agree.
Subverted in "Asylum of the Daleks", where The Doctor fools Amy into thinking that holding onto and remembering Love will prevent her from becoming a Dalek Puppet after she's infected with Dalek Nanogenes. In reality, it's a plot to get Amy and Rory to discuss Amy's infertility and their recent divorce so that they'll get back together.
A very strange and freaky example: in Jekyll, Claire is told that the Hyde personality first emerges when the original personality falls in love—pure, unrestrained love, the type you are likely to kill over. And, thanks to the Hyde personality, likely are going to.
For some reason, Cylons can only reproduce if they're in love. They have all the equipment, but it just doesn't work otherwise.
Phil of the Future: Phil and Keely. They are from two different centuries. Yet they end up together.
In Babylon 5, the power of love was critical to Sheridan's return from the dead at Za'ha'dum. When John Sheridan says, "I'll never leave you, Delenn, not even if the whole universe stood between us," he damn well means it.
Subverted in the finale of the first series of Being Human. George THINKS the reason he was pacified when Nina saw him transform is true love but, as he muses about their 'connection' the next day, it cuts to her rubbing huge scratches on her arm, implying that it's not so much love as that she's now a werewolf and he's fixated on her the same way Tully was fixated on him.
Jeeves and Wooster: The court scene in the episode "Right Ho, Jeeves" was interrupted by the arrival of Madeline Basset, who used the Power of Love to keep Bertie out of jail. Going into a story about how he broke into a house and "stole" a picture of her because he was "so madly in love with her," she has the whole courtroom moved to tears in about ten seconds. They weren't actually in love at the time, which makes this an interesting subversion of sorts, although Madeline spends the entire series convinced Bertie loves her; He spends it trying not to get engaged to her again.
Whitelighters' powers in Charmed are triggered by love. It is also expressly stated to be the greatest of all powers, stronger than the power of three.
The Power of Love is specifically used twice to trigger Whitelighter healing abilities: First when Piper (via a power switching spell) has Leo's healing abilities in order to save him, but they don't work until she admits her love for him; Second when Paige (who is half-Whitelighter but has never before been able to heal without channeling the power through Leo) gains the ability to heal on her own power only when she is faced with her boyfriend Henry dying of a bullet wound.
In The Wanderer the mere presence of the Knight's ladylove, even though she's unconscious, gives him the power to defeat his Big Bad brother.
Made fun of in "Point of No Return": when a character asks how the Winchesters propose to stop the End of the World, a suicidal Dean snarks back "Well, we're working on the Power of Love." "How's that going?" "Mmm. Not good."
Played straight when John fights off Azazel's control in "Devil's Trap", refusing to attack Dean, then once more when Bobby overcomes demonic possession in a similar situation, out of his affection for Dean.
Played straight in the crypt scene at the end of "Goodbye Stranger", where Castiel snaps out of Naomi's mind control upon Dean reminding him that he is family.
Saves the day in at least two episodes of The Outer Limits. In "Caught In The Act", Hannah's love for her boyfriend gives her the strength to disobey and eventually expel the alien possessing her. In "Paradise", four women volunteered to be surrogate mothers for a dying alien. Only one succeeds, because she was in love with the man she had sex with in order to get the sperm.
Season 4 premiere, "Crusade". "The only challenge to a father's will is a mother's love."
In season 8, it is basically one inch from being said aloud that The Power Of Love from Chloe is the only thing that could keep Davis from transforming into Doomsday. She also once halted and reversed the transformation with just a hand on his shoulder. Gets Squicky when Davis says Doomsday starts to slowly emerge whenever she leaves and that he has tried looking at her photos and holding strands of her hair, but nothing works. It would have sounded silly if the whole deal isn't so horrifying.
Davis: I won't kill Clark if I'm with you.
Chloe: But you said so yourself, it's your true nature.
Davis: But maybe there's something stronger out there than my need to kill.
In "Beast", Chloe decides to go into hiding with Davis out of love for Clark because her presence is the only thing that keeps him from transforming and Clark would battle him to the death or throw both of them into the Phantom Zone otherwise.
In "Doomsday", Chloe says she does it out of love of Clark and Jimmy. Davis goes berserk and kills Jimmy.
Clark unconsciously floats under his own power, completely in-character, awake, without any ambiguity, for the first time in his entire life while dancing with Lois, telling her that he loves her.
On The Vampire Diaries, in season three, due to the strength of Stefan's love for Elena, he fights the power of Original vampire Klaus' compulsion three times in order to stop or prevent himself from biting or hurting Elena and shutting off his emotions.
Played straight in season five when Elena is compelled by the most powerful immortal being Silas to kill Damon at all costs. Elena's strong cosmic connection to Stefan and her thinking about Stefan is powerful enough to break Silas' compulsion and prevent Elena from killing herself and Damon.
Tragi-hilarously played straight and simultaneously averted in the Talking Heads monologue Bed Among the Lentils—too complicated an example to explain here, though it does give the nice line: "We met it with Love! he'll cry, as if love is some all-purpose antiseptic...which to Jeremy, I suppose it is..."
Mal: You know what the first rule of flying is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but take a boat in the air that you don't love...she'll shake you off, just as sure as the turnin' of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tell you she's hurting before she keels...makes her a home.
On Alphas, one villain actually uses a version this as a weapon. She manipulates the body chemistry of her victims, increasing their feelings of affection, effectively addicting them to her. She then kills them by withdrawing her love.
In the Haven episode "Roots", the key to pacifying the homicidal hate-powered plants is rekindling the love between members of a pair of Troubled families who'd been feuding for generations.
In Days of Our Lives an unfortunate accident, triggered by an aggression attempt, puts Kayla in front of a strong explosion that, somehow, manages to shatter her inner ears and her voice box while leaving the rest of her body mostly intact. While she later gets her hearing back thanks to an expensive, experimental surgery, her seemingly crushed voice box gets in perfect working order on its own accord, when Kayla is exchanging her wedding vows with her husband-to-be.
Merlin's endless devotion to Arthur, Guinevere and Gaius has led him to practically move mountains in their name, achieving everything from calling lightning down from the sky to destroy an enemy, to mastering a difficult spell that allows him to take the form of an old man, to offering himself up as a sacrifice in order to spare their lives. A line from the Great Dragon all but states that his power is rooted in love, when discussing his relationship with Morgana:
"She is the darkness to your light, the hate to your love."
Also the plot of "Sweet Dreams" with Arthur being freed from a spell by True Love's Kiss.
To prevent Guinevere from becoming Queen of Camelot, Morgana instigates the famous Arthurian Love Triangle by enchanting Lancelot and Guinevere to kiss on the eve of Gwen's wedding to Arthur, planning for Arthur to catch them at it and banish Gwen from Camelot. What she didn't count on was Arthur loving Guinevere so deeply and completely that he would forgive her and marry her anyway.
Seen in Power Rangers Wild Force; On learning that his crush, Kendall, likes him back, Danny the Black Bison Ranger goes on an love-powered rampage, clobbering all the Mooks by himself.
In Once Upon a Time the power of True Love is stronger than anything and can break any curse.
Also can act as protection. When Cora, tries to steal Snow's heart, Emma pushes her aside, and Cora says "Oh you foolish girl Love Is a Weakness!" and tries to steal Emma's heart, but is blocked when the heart does a No Sell. Emma replies "Love Is a Weakness? No, it's strength." and Cora is pushed away from Emma. Mr Gold Later tells her power comes from being a product of true love.
After days/weeks of sitting around Jack Harkness' corpse in the Torchwood Season 1 finale "End of Days", Gwen finally breaks his Disney Death... by kissing him.
Klingon creation myth claims that the joined beating of the hearts of the first Klingon man and woman killed the Klingon gods.
Chuck Bartowski's competence level in a crisis follows his character arc, increasing as the series progresses. But no matter how competent (or not) he is, he gets a power/ determination boost when someone he loves is on the line.
Early in the series, Chuck is not used to defying either Casey or Sarah. He flatly defies both - and seemingly courts certain death- when there's only one dose of an antidote. Only a threat to Elle could inspire Chuck to stand up to Casey.
Much later, when Sarah is near death, he's blowing the doors off of trucks, freeing useful prisoners from CIA custody, sending Russian soldiers after the CIA, and generally tearing stuff up to save her.
Sarah. Now to be sure, it had never been a good idea to try to kill/kidnap/torture or threaten Chuck if Sarah was nearby, even in the beginning when their relationship was that of asset/bodyguard. When she started to actually fall in love with him (pretty early in the series), shebecame even more dangerous...and that's saying quite a lot.
Sarah later tears apart half of Thailand looking for a kidnapped Chuck - on a rogue mission that is not CIA sanctioned. At this point Chuck doesn't have the intersect, and is not considered high priority by the CIA ... but he's very high priority to Sarah.
In the same episode as above, only Sarah could bring Chuck back from the brink of insanity with a heartfelt speech about how much she loved him.
Sarah has been captured by the show's final Big Bad, Quinn, and he has her memory erased by forcing her to flash repeatedly while in possession of a faulty Intersect. He then takes advantage of the mind-wiped Sarah by using her to attack Chuck and the team and steel the last copy of the rebuilt Intersect. When Sarah's Face-Heel Turn is revealed, Chuck refuses to accept that Sarah is gone for good. Taking her to the house they intended to buy together provides the first hints that some of her memories may be intact when she sees the "Sarah + Chuck" she carved into the frame of one of the doorways, and puts the first crack in Quinn's control and forces him to reveal to her that he is the bad guy. Later, Casey provides Sarah with her own mission logs, and watching herself fall in love with Chuck convinces her of the truth, though Sarah herself no longer feels it. Morgan suggests invoking this by kissing her. In the final scene they do kiss, and though the ending of the series is left ambiguous, it's implied that even if the kiss didn't magically fix everything, Sarah will eventually recover with Chuck's help.
Stargate Atlantis: Teyla gets kidnapped by Michael, who also kidnapped her fellow Athosians (including Kanaan, her baby-daddy) and has been turning them into genetic hybrids under his control. More than once during her captivity, it looks like Kanaan is breaking through Michael's mind control and wants to help Teyla escape, but he never quite succeeds. However, in the season 5 premiere, Teyla shows Kanaan their newborn son; he is then able to overcome the brainwashing and help them all escape.
'And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make'
Every single thing Celine Dion has ever sung, including one song with the Trope Name.
While Celine Dion's repertoire does contain plenty of examples, it's not immediately obvious. A running theme is that love grants the (figurative) power of flight. "Because You Loved Me" has "you gave me wings and made me fly / you touched my hand, I could touch the sky". The French track "En Amour" is all about love and flight. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" has the line "Two hearts that need one another / Give me wings to fly." Other examples include the obscure "Love Lights the World", and of course "The Power of Love" with its bridge "The sound of your heart beating made it clear suddenly / The feeling that I can't go on is light years away."
"You'll find me here, when ever they oppose you, I am the strongest of them all."
Hayden Panettiere sings about it in the song "I Still Believe" from Cinderella III. In the music video, Hayden's love for her boyfriend adds color to a black and white world like Pleasantville. The bridges note this
Love can make miracles, change everything
Lift you from the darkness and make your heart sing
Love is forever, when you fall
It's the greatest power of all
Aaron Lines' "Love Changes Everything" is a series of vignettes in how the power of love changes people who are feeling down.
Carrie Underwood, "So Small": "And when you figure out love is all that matters after all / It sure makes everything else seem so small".
If you've got love, you can move a mountain A little further down the line You can move it all at once or one rock at a time You can turn an ordinary picture into a priceless work of art That's what you can do if you've got love in your heart
Brother Love: Parodied, inverted, subverted and averted with Bruce Pritchard's gimmick of a smarmy, rosy-cheeked faux preacher. Many times, he claimed to preach "The Book of Love," but it was more a "love" of the WWF's top villians of the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Ted DiBiase and André the Giant, and showing the "power of love" by setting up good guys such as Hulk Hogan for beatings by the heels.
In Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, this is actually a feat in the Divine Power supplement.
The infamous third-party 3.5 sourcebook The Book of Erotic Fantasy has a more easily-accessible version of the Resurrection spell. The somatic component is kissing the recently deceased, and it only works on someone who you love.
Subverted, however, with Black Claw Style, which is based around the premise that love is a lie. The capstone Charm allows you to rip people's hearts out, and becomes much more powerful if your target happens to be in love with you.
Also subverted with Sidereal Charm Shun the Smiling Lady, a charm whose sole utility is to make the target unloveable and make anyone who once loved them fall out of it. This is an entry level power, so many Sidereals just pick it up as a prerequisite to other charms. Then it's just sitting in your panoply, ready to be used at any time...
One of the most powerful examples: if an Abyssal Exalted finds and truly cares for their Lunar Mate, almost all of the drawbacks of their state are blown away.
Warhammer 40K has the Imperium of Man, the biggest faction in the crapsack universe, and it runs on the Power of Love for the God Emperor of All Mankind. Who never wanted to be a god in the first place.
Disturbingly, Nurgle the Chaos god of disease runs on a different kind of love: stuff like a mother desperate to save her child from sickness and Friend to All Living Things (someone has to be a friend to plague rats, bacteria and the like) powers him. He's the nicest of Chaos gods, often referred to without irony as Grandfather Nurgle, and is always happy to shower his children with gifts of pestilence and decay.
Surprising, given the style of the play, but in the final scene of Rent, death is converted to Disney Death by a love song.
Richard Wagner's version of the Flying Dutchman trope allows the character - traditionally cursed to sail forever, to be saved by the power of love. Pity the love interest is a total Mary Sue. Good music, though.
Inverted in Der Ring des Nibelungen, only the one who renounce love will be able to forge the ring that will let him rule the world.
In Damn Yankees, Joe manages to thwart the devil partly because of his unswerving fidelity to his wife. He spends the final scene cuddling up to her while she sings to him and ignoring Applegate's increasingly desperate pleas for him to renew their deal.
In Brigadoon, Tommy asks if "a stranger like...well...me" could choose to stay in Brigadoon. Mr. Lundie replies: "A stranger can stay if he loves someone here—not jus' Brigadoon, mind ye—but someone in Brigadoon enough to want to give up everythin' an' stay with that person. Which is how it should be. 'Cause after all, lad, if ye love someone deeply, anythin' is possible." Fiona comments, "I think I like that part best," clearly anticipating the show's happy ending.
One way of looking at the end of Hamlet is that Gertrude has cottoned on to Claudius's plan and drinks the poison to reveal his plan and save Hamlet. If so, this is the only time in the play she puts her son before anyone, including Claudius.
Knights of the Old Republic. You can turn Bastila Shan from the Dark Side with this. Also discussed by Jolee Bindo, who thinks that the current interpretation that the Jedi Code bans falling in love is wrong.
Jolee: Love doesn't lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled, but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love, that's what they should teach you to beware, but love itself will save you, not condemn you.
Lunar: The Silver Star has two very good examples: Alex restoring Luna's memory and personality by playing the game's theme on his Ocarina and Kyle breaking out of solid stone to save Jessica.
And in Lunar: Eternal Blue, the Power Of Love is what gives Hiro the strength to overcome the Star Dragon and travel to the Blue Star to be with Lucia.
The full name of Touhou's Marisa Kirisame's "signature" Kamehame Hadoken is "Love Sign: Master Spark". (The spell is actually power-copied from Yuuka Kazami.) In general, all her laser attacks get folded into "Love Sign". The description of Love Sign: Master Spark includes "Whisper tenderly into the magical reactor, point it at someone you don't like, and release the Annihilation of Love!" There are two major reasons why Marisa would declare herself powered by love: The first is that it's part of Marisa's desire to be a "Magical Girl", even though she is technically a witch of human blood. The second is the sheer subversiveness of declaring herself a heroine of love, even though her only motivations in any of the games seem to be to kick in the teeth of as many powerful people as she can, show up Reimu, and maybe steal even more magical powers (or anything else,for that matter,) from whatever victim she is currently harassing. It's worth noting, however, that Defeat Means Friendship in this game, and she has a lot of "friends" over years of adventuring, so there may actually be something to the name, after all.
With people like Remilia (power over fate), Kaguya (power over the eternity and the moment) and Suika (power to manipulate density), it's only a matter of time until a literal power of love incident breaks out.
It is possible to get Aribeth to turn back to the light side at the end of the original Neverwinter Nights campaign using the Power of Love.
But it's equally possible that a female Player Character can get this invoked on her. There was a cut ending from KOTOR that involved a heavy dose of it.
City of Heroes has one mission where the reward is a temporary power; a wedding ring, filled with the love of a woman for her dead husband, that can give you resistance to all kinds of damage for a limited time.
If you're on a New Game+, the Prinny commentary will lampshade this.
Note to Self: Love is not a battle stat.
Flonne isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Regardless, at the end of the game the Power Of Love does factor in: After Master Lamington turns Flonne into a flower, Laharl goes insane. depending on your actions, Laharl will not kill Lamington, and Flonne will be healed. It was all one big Batman Gambit to make Laharl into a good person and to unite the Netherworld and Celestia.
"Power of Love" is also the name of Flonne's technique that heals everyone in the eight adjacent cells.
Spoofed in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice. Mao is entirely aware of the trope and tries to exploit it, but quite frankly has no idea how. His servant Almaz spends a good deal of time politely informing him that love does not work that way.
Flonne finally gets to demonstrate the real Power Of Love in Disgaea 4. And by "The Power Of Love", we mean "giant, moon-stopping robot".
One of the arcana powersets in the fighting game Arcana Heart is Partineas, the Arcana of Love. It revolves primarily around projectile attacks (and defense). Naturally, it's the default Arcana of the resident Love FreakIdiot Hero, Heart Aino.
In fact, this arcana is statistically so balanced that any character can use it skillfully without any major stat dampeners. This will leave you out of a few perks like extra power, healing, speed- In fact, the Extend force is just a normal cancel without using up your super bar.
And then there's the fact that Excellen refuses to call it anything but "Love Love Attack".
Also present throughout the franchise is the Love (Ai) Seishin, which gives almost every useful Status Effect in the game all at once, for comparatively little SP cost. The only people to get it are one person per Official Couple, usually.
Then somewhat subverted with Ring Mao and Irm Kazahara, one of Banpresto's original official couples. Irm's Ace Bonus reduces the Love Seishin's cost down to the point it costs less to cast it than cast one of the Seishins that's just a part of it. Irm and Ring, however, have not gotten along very well for quite a while and really don't have any genuine shipping sequences in OG 2, where Ring becomes a recurring member of the group.
They still get a Love bonus, though. In fact, theirs is bigger than the bonus some of the more overt couples get.
In OG 2, each character that is in love with another character will receive a bonus from the character they are in love with, even if that character is not in love with them ;_;.
In Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 3, certain characters, who are Official Couples from their respective games would get the ability "Love Love" which doubled the effects of items.
Kingdom Hearts : After Sora comitted "suicide" to save Kairi, who was locked within him, his heart is changed into a heartless. Kairi, however, recognizes him and just by yelling his name and hugging him, she somehow manages to return him to normal. Sora later explains to Kairi: "I was lost in the darkness, couldn't find my way. As I stumbled through the dark, I started forgetting things: My friends, who I was... the darkness almost swallowed me. But then, I heard a voice. YOUR voice. The light of our hearts broke through the darkness. I saw this light. And I think, THAT'S what saved me!"
It's implied that The Power Of Love is what allows Beast to break reality, bring himself back from the dead, and go to Hollow Bastion to save Belle.
In Final Fantasy X-2 it's explicitly Yuna's love for Tidus which kicked of the quest and got her to that point that allows Bahamut to do his thing. Right before the climactic boss battle, Yuna convinces her Nakama to let her give the power of love a shot at stopping him. You still have to kick his ass though.
In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Penelope utilizes the power of love to gain mad sword fighting skills against Captain LeFwee to save Bentley.
The lyrics in one of MOTHER 1's songs are "Love is the power, love is the glory, love is the beauty and the joy of spring. Love is the magic, love is the story, love is the melody we all can sing!"
In Earthbound (SNES) and MOTHER 3 (GBA), one of the defaults for the name of the main character's signature move is "PK Love". It's an excellent general-use psychic attack when you get it, and the upgraded versions work well until the end-game (where the main character's MP is better spent on buffing and healing his party members).
In Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu, having a character attack an enemy with their lover standing beside them can activate a critical hit, going so far as to do a little spinning heart animation before the actual attack sequence.
A similar thing occurs between family members, though without the heart animation.
In some other games in the series (namely those with Support Conversations), lovers who stand next to each other get bonuses to certain stats, which vary from character to character. This also applies to anyone with support levels, not just lovers (ergo, friendships and rivalries are equally effective).
Welkin from Valkyria Chronicles has this as his hidden potential. That's for the gameplay side. On the plot side, his love for Alicia is what convinced her to not let the Valkyria power overtake herself and win the war in conventional means - a possible hidden anti-nuclear warfare message.
Rogue Galaxy's Fated Passion. In this attack, Jaster and Kisala's love for each other can cause the whole galaxy to explode. At 22 AP.
It's strongly implied by the many endings of Brass Restoration that the only way for Ryo to recover emotionally from losing his arm and being unable to fulfill his dream of being a drummer is to find a girlfriend.
In at least The Sims 2, pleading with the Grim Reaper appears to be a game of chance, but in reality it depends on the relationship values. If two sims love each other enough, there's no way to possibly fail at this. One can even keep a vampire sim through the day if he's married to a human, let him dust, have his love plead, rinse and repeat until nightfall.
The opening narration for Super Paper Mario introduces it as a story "of love", and the Void created by the Chaos Heart is finally destroyed at the end by Tippi/Lady Timpani and Count Bleck/Blumiere renewing their vows of love towards each other. This is an almost exact reversal of the forced wedding between Peach and Bowser from the beginning of the game which spawned the Chaos Heart in the first place.
The Pure Hearts are physical embodiments of love themselves.
Hagspawns usually always look like this◊. Gann, the female protagonist's love interest from Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer however, looks like this◊. Why? Hags normally reproduce by raping a suitable male, but his mother and father actually loved each other.
And completing the Romance Sidequest with either Gann or Safiya will give you a bonus feat.
In Final Fantasy VI, both Shadow and Relm can equip an accessory called the Memento Ring, an item which protects against instant death attacks due to a departed mother's love. Some hidden cutscenes reveal that Shadow is Relm's father.
In the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV, the augment system is introduced, allowing the player to grant varied abilities and buffs to their characters. One of the abilities on offer is the native-to-Palom-and-Porom Twincast, wherein two characters begin casting on the same turn and get a (near, in one case) exclusive spell cast depending on the combination of characters casting. Rosa and Rydia? Faith, which increases all allies' magical power. Kain and Cecil? Bubble, which doubles all allies' HP. Cecil and Rosa? Ultima, strongest attack magic in the game bar none, apparently pure weaponized Love Power.
The online game League of Angels has a potent game mechanic for this. If your character helps out another character of the opposite gender enough that their Affection Points between them become 1999 or more, they can "marry" in an official partnership that gives both players bonuses to their stats. From that point on, the married partners have access to several Power Ups that unmarried couples don't. It's even possible to use Voucher Points (in-game currency) or Diamonds (currency from the online store) to throw a wedding ceremony once per day (presided over by Amora, the Angel in the game who embodies love) and not only does this increase the abilities of the two partners, but it distributes gifts to any players who attend as guests.
In Final Fantasy VIII, The Power Of Love is what allows the heroes to travel through Time Compression, where only Ultimecia can technically exist, so that they can beat the crap out of her. While it's not specifically stated, it's probably also what enables Rinoa to find and save Squall after he gets lost in Time Compression after the final battle.
Canonically, in Pokémon, Gardevoir bears infinite devotion towards its trainer and would sacrifice itself for them rather than see them hurt. The happiness-detecting power it had before also became a full-fledged psychic bond. Seeing its trainer in danger is what causes a Gardevoir to unleash its full power.
An interesting take on this trope comes in the form of Attract, which has a 50% chance of immobilizing a Pokémon of the opposite gender each turn after affliction.
Then there's the move Return, which becomes more powerful based on how much the user likes its trainer.
In Pokémon X and Y a Pokémon with a high enough affection can avoid being hit, or avoid being knocked out.
In Silent Hill 3, the power of Harry Mason's paternal love for Heather aka Cheryl aka Alessa reborn kept the "god" of Silent Hill's Order dormant in her body, since it needs pain and hatred to grow. It's one of the major reasons why Claudia has Harry killed—to evoke Heather's hatred.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni has the recurring Arc Words "Without love, it cannot be seen." Multiple characters offer their take on what this really means, ranging from the romantic to the bloodcurdling to the outright metafictional.
Umineko also deconstructs it with the words "With love, you can see things that shouldn't exist". This is exemplified in EP7 with Kinzo who, because of love, believed his daughter was the reincarnation of his mistress, Beatrice Castiglioni, which lead to him raping her.
In Luminous Arc 2, it's the basis behind the Final Bond Roland can form with one of his love interests, depending on the player's dialogue choices throughout the game. With Althea, it saves her from her self-inflicted sword stab and sealed away her Beast Fiend side. With Fatima, it guides back her soul to her body after doing a realistic-looking suicide to calm down a crazy Althea. The strength of Roland's love for one of them saves them.
Yeto and Yeta from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess create the Snowpeak Ruins' Heart Container while they're all cuddly. An extraordinary amount of Recovery Hearts are generated from the sequence as well, but most of them won't be necessary. Also, Fanadi the fortuneteller seeks out Pieces of Heart when asked to find "love". This implies that Heart Containers, and probably Recovery Hearts, are formed from the very essence of love.
This is the only way to stop being a shinigami in Suika. And it can't be unrequited love, either.
Square Enix's iPhone RPG Chaos Rings uses this trope a lot. 4 couples are kidnapped to fight in the Arc Arena. All 4 couple's stories involve them inevitably falling in love or have them in love at the start. In the ending, it is revealed that the purpose of the battle arena was to pick the strongest couple, now with the best Power of Love has to propogate the human species and save the world against a Cosmic Horror. It also gets reflected in the battle mechanism, where a couple attacking together is inevitably stronger than a solo attack, and has less chance of missing.
In the game Mischief Makers, a major enemy attacks you with hurtful words; words like "sad," "fear," and "hate" are actually being shot at you. You beat the enemy by grabbing the words, shaking them until they become positive words like "happy," "courage," and "love," and then throwing them back.
In Ōkami, Amaterasu is able to defeat Yami, the God of Darkness due to a particularly awesome instance of this trope.
In The Force Unleashed II, Juno Eclipse comes back to life from being hit by a force pulse from Darth Vader for no other reason than it being The Power Of Love that brought her back.
The Power Of Love plays are very important role in the Galaxy Angel gameverse. The Angel's Emblem Frames performance is linked to the pilot's state of mind. In Dating Sim's terms: the more they like you, the better they fight.
Worldof Warcraft makes a pretty big deal out of this, at least in the novels (and some parts of the game itself). A perfect example is in the Ashbringer comic. Darion Mograine asks if there is any way at all to free his father's soul from a cursed item. The person he is talking to is a Magic Knight, Tirion Fordring, who also happens to have extreme knowledge of the power of love, tells Darion that only an act of love greater than the evil that cursed his father would be enough to save him. It works. Darion kills himself out of love rather than to see his father's soul suffer. Darion is, of course, later freed by Tirion from the curse.
Thrall is another example. He REFUSES to back down, even when insulted and belittled by Aggra, his trainer, because his love for Azeroth is so great that he will stop at nothing to protect it. He also succeeds, as does Aggra, who warms up to him and eventually marries and has his son.
A mad/obsessive love can be seen with Kel'thuzad and Arthas. Kel'thuzad is SO concerned with Arthas' well-being that he stole his corpse and his magic sword to try and revive him. BOTH of these people are irredeemably evil, but at least KT understands SOME parts of love.
Mr. Karoshi has a girlfriend and getting in contact with her, causes Mr. Karoshi to be happy, being able to jump higher. It's also averted as it turns all spikes into flowers, which could be a problem in a game where you have to kill yourself to win.
Alpha Centauri deliberately invokes this with the Children's Creche colony facility, with the description noting that aside from providing children with security and education, the fact that parents' children are close at hand will drive them to fight to the death to protect them (in-game, this means that all defending units in that colony will fight at Commando-level morale, giving them major defense bonuses).
In Devil May Cry 4, when Sanctus questions as to why he is unable to wield Sparda's power, even though he wields his weapon, Nero tells him it is because Sparda had the capacity to love another person, even a human, at this is what Sanctus lacks.
Parodied in Breath of Death VII, where late in the game Sara randomly decides that Dem loves her, with the two gaining the Unite technique "True Love". In contrast, when Lita brushes off Erik's advances, they gained the "Scorned Love" technique.
Lampshaded by one of Geralt's narrations in The Witcher where, as in the original novels (see Literature, above), love has potent magical power. The love between a prostitute and a Temerian guard captain suppresses the latter's lycanthropy.
Wonderfully subverted in Sin and Punishment the villain orders the hero to use the power of love to regain his human form but the hero refuses because although he knows he will love his girlfriend some day, they both still need time to open up to each other. The two of them then proceed to keep his monster form and use it to defeat the villain. Despite that the power of love is still what allows the protagonist to remain sane while in his monster form. This applies to the sequel too.
Partially applied in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors where the power of love allows the protagonist to transcend time in order to save his child hood friend from being burnt alive. However while it seems to be the power of love that allows him to do this, Word Of God reveals that he would have done it for anyone, even a stranger.
In thisBeaver and Steve story arc, love comes from another dimension populated with evil hearts that want to take over the earth.
Subverted in this8-Bit Theater strip, where Black Mage explains that his Hadoken spell is powered by love, in the same sense that a car is powered by petroleum (i.e. the spell consumes love, causing a net reduction in the amount of love in the universe). Every time he uses it the divorce rate goes up measurably. Black Mage has managed to use the Power of Love to cross the Moral Event Horizon. Also, he got the spell by sacrificing nine orphans to a god of evil.
Love makes the world go round. And has been known to provide a +2 circumstance bonus to certain skill checks.
The time when Haley had started speaking gibberish and breaks out of it when she tells Elan she loves him. She had been honestly trying to tell the truth and overcome her mental problem for some time, but finally managed it when her cynicism told her that Elan was going to leave her "just like everyone else" if she didn't recover right now.
In YU+ME: dream , Fiona's decision to attempt to go back into the Dream World to find Lia, especially considering Sadako had banned Fiona from the Dream Land, as well as the possibility that Fiona may never return to the real world if she finds Lia.
Girly has loads of this throughout the series, but especially in the final arc, where all the artificial sidekicks explode when exposed to love (except for the sidekick cops, who are armored against love). Half the enemies are taken out by a sex god and his ex-wife, while the other half (including the sidekick cops) are dealt with by a pair of real cops through a combination of Clothing Damage and dirty dancing. The protagonists defeat the Final Boss by having hot, steamy lesbian sex next to her.
As with many things, the exact nature and significance of love in MegaTokyo is ambiguous, but magical girls appear to draw their power from it, and it's widely known to be a force to be reckoned with:
Largo: Dude, I'm battlin' zombies and all I got is luv pow3r from a n3wb magical grrl. Help me out here.
Clerk: All ya got? That's enough, mate.
The power of obsessive adoration, meanwhile, is a separate matter altogether, albeit possibly connected.
Parodied in this series of Cerintha and the End of the World filler strips.
In Homestuck, Noble Wolf Bec's love for Jade is so strong that when he sacrifices his body to save her and inadvertently imbues the Big Bad with his own strength and form, said Big Bad is tormented by the feelings of loyalty that were transferred, and can not bring himself to kill Jade when he finds her.
As of the End of Act 5 flash, he killed the Courtyard Droll in an act of vengeance, and then laid Jade on her Quest Bed after CD managed to kill her in an explosion.
Hilariously mentioned and subverted in And Shine Heaven Now after Marian (a parody of the Mary Sue trope) attacks the I-Jin of Jeeves and musses up his hair, which he points out is unlikely:
Marian: It's not unlikely at all. You're an enemy of Integra. So there's no way you can beat me. Because I have the most powerful thing in the universe on my side - the power of true love!
iJeeves: Indeed. [slices Marian in to pieces] As a tactic, it leaves something to be desired.
Mama Tui: "All things must die, Shandala. We cannot change this. But you can bring the heavens to your heart in life. Give yourself to those that need. If you do this, then the world is truly blessed... for it has known your love."
In Draw With Me, this is what compels the boy to break through the glass, and later the girl to cut off her hand.
JLA Watchtower/DC Nation — the Titans, led by Arsenal and Nightwing, challenge Hades, God of Death, to retrieve Omen and Troia. Hades plays dirty including killing off both Dick and Roy, and finishes it off by sending out a zombie horde against the heroes. Clan Arrow's response was to grab Eros's love arrows and start shooting. When things REALLY started to go badly, out comes an army of the heroes' fallen friends, relatives, and loved ones - including the fallen Nightwing and Arsenal - to start kicking undead butt.
In the Colour My Series, it's implied that the protagonist's coloring powers are based off of love. Or, rather, the two go hand in hand.
Supervillainess Sahar, in the Whateley Universe. She has a psychic ability to - once she's seduced a Psi - get so close that she can learn to copy that Psi's best 'knacks'. This makes her a ruthless femme fatale, until she falls in love with a mark, Zenith. She doesn't know how to handle that. So it takes a different kind of love - friendship - to get her to finish her Heel-Face Turn. And she gets Zenith back.
In one of the possible endings of Today I Die, love gives the protagonist strength to survive.
In Mall Fight, Eric brings Connor back to life with this trope.
Ma-Ti of Captain Planet had "heart" as his element, considered to be a warped version of this, which garnered a lot of ridicule for how little and ineffectively it was used, as well as how ridiculously it was named. However, it is actually an awesome power, probably the best when you think about it. He has mind-control and the ability to summon potentially deadly animals as his powers, which he could use for very mischievous purposes if he wasn't so kind-hearted.
Jake and Rose from American Dragon Jake Long. Jake wished that Rose was never taken by the Huntsclan, but then she remembers everything when she sees the photo of her and Jake from a dance.
In Transformers: Beast Wars, Blackarachnia defected from the Predacons to save her own skidplate, but the power of hers and Silverbolt's love brought her to the Maximals and made her part of the team, despite her initial reluctance. Since Blackarachnia was the Dark Action Girl for most of the series, this is slow going, but eventually, it does bring her around.
Later, she's Mostly Dead until Silverbolt winds up facing the uber-powerful Rampage... At which point she's brought back to life in a new form and kicks Rampage to the curb, which is not an easy task.
Subverted in Avatar: The Last Airbender, when the power of love prevented the protagonist from getting powerful enough to defeat evil, temporarily got him killed, and had the greatest city of the world conquered by the bad guys. Then again, a wise old guy told Aang he made a good choice, and seeing as Aang won in the end, it probably paid off.
Parodied in the Futurama episode "Love and Rocket", which features a very literal power of love: when a whole load of chalky Valentines heart-shaped candies are dumped into a supernova, it causes a wave of "mystical love radiation" that is powerful enough to destroy "three gangster planets and a cowboy world", but causes (or at least enhances) a wave of Valentines-inspired romance on Earth (which is far enough to see the radiation without being destroyed by it).
Also parodied in the episode "T: The Terrestrial", featuring bicycles on Omicron Persei 8 that are powered by love. At one point, Lrr tells his guards to "love harder".
In the Evil Con Carne episode "H.C.C.B.D.D.", Major Doctor Ghastly reveals during Hector's birthday party that the most powerful force in the world is the power of love. When he objects that his organization was founded on hatred, she promptly cuts the party short and screams at everybody to get back to work with as much hate as possible... 'cause she just loves him like that.
Another example where she did this is in the Musical Episode "The Pie that Loved Me", as the Evil Plan involves pies that have love as the "secret ingredient". (The plan doesn't work, but Ghastly still tried.)
This is how Lilo & Stitch: The Series ends. After a suddenly-failed rescue mission lead by Lilo to save all of the experiments Gantu captured, Stitch confesses his feelings to Angel, who responds by breaking open her container with a headbutt and feeling the same way towards him. Together, they smash open the other experiments' containers with their heads and free them. All of the experiments, save for 625, are now free and are to be given new designations and names.
Clone High had a whole episode parodying this trope as well as the power of rock. During the climactic scene where they tried breaking down the wall with love, one of the characters said "But guys, love is just an abstract concept! It can't break down stuff!"
In the cartoon pilot, PJ Sparkles is transformed into a Magical Girl due to her strong desire to love someone, and can do almost anything, provided she phrases it "I'd love it if X."
In The Fairly Oddparents Wishology Trilogy, the Darkness is defeated because Timmy realizes it just wants to be loved, so he uses Poof's warmth and innocence to turn it into the Kindness.
Very frequently throughout the series, love seems to be the one thing that is more powerful than the fairies' magic. So much so, in one episode, Timmy wished to have parents that couldn't care less. The spell worked too well, and the only way Timmy was able to undo it was to put himself in danger, causing his parents' love for him to cancel out the magic.
When Link's spirit is severed from his body in an episode of the 80's The Legend of Zelda cartoon, Zelda is the only one who can see his spirit because of this.
In an episode of El Tigre, Zebra Donkey dies but is brought back as a zombie when Manny and Frida steal Sartana's mystic guitar. Sartana eventually takes it back and tries to destroy Manny for stealing it. Zebra Donkey manages to get his hooves on it and destroys it, knowing full well doing so will destroy him as well. Manny, Frida and the rest of the kids gather around Zebra Donkey's ashes and the pieces of the mystic guitar and tearfully sing his theme song as Manny plucks one of the guitar's strings. Zebra Donkey is returned to life... or, undeath, rather.
Inverted in an episode of Super Secret Secret Squirrel, where the titular protagonist overcomes Queen Bea's love potion with the power of hate.
In Adventure Time, Finn defeats the Lich King with a sweater imbued with the Power of L-L-Liking-Someone-A-Lot.
In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister!", the titular villain uses his voice to hypnotize people into submission. When AQUAMAN holds Black Canary (immune to the power of the Music Meister's voice thanks to earplugs) so Green Arrow can punch her, his feeling for her prove so strong that he's able to shake off the Mind Control for long enough to hit AQUAMAN instead.
The title characters in Robotman and Friends are robots powered by human love, requiring it to stay alive. Without love they lose power and become tired and physically weak.
This is played with in the season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic when it turns out that the villain has been powering herself up by siphoning The Power Of Love off of Shining Armor. Played straight at the end of the episode when Shining Armor and Princess Cadence use that same power to defeat her.
The titular character of Wander over Yonder heavily believes in this, as quoted in "The Egg." Creator Craig McCracken has stated that the dynamic between Wander is not so much a battle of Good Vs. Evil as it is Love Vs. Hate.
Love, romantic or otherwise, is often considered one of the most powerful motivational forces in the human psyche. There are even claims that it can cause the brain to release chemicals that allows a person to accomplish things that he/she could not or would not had been able to normally do. These factors are the basis for the "Power of Love" in fiction.
And it don't take money, don't take fame, Don't need no credit card to ride this train. It's strong and it's sudden, and it can be cruel sometimes, But it just might save your life- That's thepower of love!