Spoofed in a Capital One credit card commercial, where a princess kisses a frog... and he turns into a ferret, who starts rattling off legalese and provisos as the princess keeps trying to kiss him, turning him into different creatures. At the end, she leaves in disgust, leaving him as a portly centaur who protests that she's "just one kiss away" from a rich, handsome prince.
Also spoofed in a beer commercial, the (Australian) girl sees a frog and hopes that if she kisses it it will turn into a handsome sheep shearer. The frog does change, but then when he kisses her, she turns into a pint of beer.
Yet another spoof: a pretty girl kisses the Sci-Fi channel logo for no apparent reason and is turned into a giant frog.
Anime & Manga
The ending to Prétear where Hayate kisses Himeno to revive her after she wins the final fight at the cost of her life. It is no surprise considering that it's explicitly based on "Snow White". It only happens in the anime version, though, not in the original manga.
Seen numerous times in Sailor Moon. Near the end of the first manga story, Mamoru brings back to life a seemingly dead Usagi by kissing her (Luna comments on this, saying that the princess has been woken up by the prince's kiss). The anime version uses this at least two times: in the Tear JerkerSailor Moon R episode 69 (which actually contains a "Sleeping Beauty" reference), and later near the end of Sailor Moon SuperS (this time with Chibi-Usa and Helios). The ending of the Sailor Moon R movie may or may not count — it was technically more of Intimate Healing, with Mamoru giving Usagi the life-saving nectar that way; but to the rest of the team it definitely looked like another instance of the Power of Love in work.
In the last airing-order episode of the first season of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon saved the universe with one of these. Confused? Watch the series. He notably refuses to "try the same method" when faced with the world ending again, though, and the series continues for quite a while after the kiss with no romantic resolution due to one of the people involved thinking it was all a dream and the other being in denial.
The finale to Martian Successor Nadesico. Need a really large Boson Jump field in a hurry? Just get the leads to get over themselves and "initiate membrane-to-membrane contact" (thank you Ms. Fressange) already, saving themselves and the rest of the crew from explodey death.
However, at the end of The Movie, Akito pointedly ignores people suggesting the obvious Sleeping Beauty homage because he has been turned into a standoffish Stoic asshole by that time, and just wanders off.
In Gankutsuou's finale, apparently Albert kissing The Count (on the cheek, but the whole mood of it under the moonlight still making it very Ho Yay-ish) manages to save The Count and make him overpower Gankutsuou, reverting back to being human and thus saving the day.
The somewhat obscure Sabans Adventures Of The Little Mermaid had the villain Hedwig turn the title character's boyfriend (who was, of course, a handsome prince) into a vicious monster. Guess how Marina finally broke the curse?
Nakago: But how? How did you manage to break the spell? There's no method known in the world for curing Kodoku poisoning once it has entered a person's body and affected them!
Tamahome: You'll spend your whole life trying to figure that out!
In To Love-Ru, when Oshizu accidentally possessed Haruna's body, she thought one of these from Rito might wake Haruna's consciousness and free Oshizu. A couple of fighting dogs scared her out before the kiss actually took place; Rito wasn't sure if he was relieved or disappointed.
Tora Dora- Last episode, between Taiga and Ryuuji. Can be a tearjerker and a CMOH all at the same time.
In the second InuYasha movie, Inuyasha had has human half sealed, causing him to turn him to turn into a full demon and go completely insane.
Kagome: "Inuyasha, I love you. I love you as a half demon." (Kisses him)
Inuyasha: (Snaps out of it) Kagome... (Kisses her back)
In the movie version of Howl's Moving Castle, Sophie breaks the curse on Turniphead by giving him a True Love's Kiss. However, Sophie is already in love with Howl, so how can she be his True Love as well? Then, Prince Turniphead cheerfully notes that there's no reason someone can't have more than one True Love. So he's fine with Sophie being with her other True Love, Howl, while he goes to look for his own and he ends the war.
Final Episode of Eureka Seven whereby Renton and Eureka kissed for the very first time and resulted in not only saving their planet from destruction, but they were also given a chance to go back to their planet to live together.
Parodied in a Pokémon episode. Ash and the gang along with Team Rocket, are trying to wake a Snorlax up and Jesse suggests that a kiss from a "noble" Pokemon should wake it up. Well, Psyduck tries, it doesn't work (and Misty gets angry at it). So Meowth is forced to kiss it. However, instead of waking up, poor Snorlax is poisoned!
In Brigadoon: Marin and Melan, kissing is powerful stuff indeed. Marin uses a kiss to break through Melan's brainwashing and remind him of who she is to him.
Kosumo restores a mindwiped and brainwashed Hitsuji's memories via this in Towa Kamo Shirenai. Sort of a justified trope in this case: she deduces that she can use her powers to unbrainwash Hitsuji, but to do so she needs to have close skin contact with him. What would be better than a kiss on the mouth, huh?
Played for Laughs in Beelzebub. This is supposedly the cure to Hilda's magic-induced memory-loss, and everyone at Ishiyama have reason to believe that the Prince Charming with the magic lips is her "husband", Oga; he doesn't want anything to do with it. Hilarity Ensues. Especially when it turns out that Baby Beelzebub was Hilda's Prince Charming!
Done in the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! movie. Coco is put under a spell by the movie's Big Bad and all of his attacks is slowly turning Nozomi/Cure Dream into chocolate. Her calling out his name weakens his hold, but it's her kissing Coco that finally breaks the spell. It's also notable that this is the only on-screen kiss seen in the currently nine-years-running Pretty Cure franchise.
Done in the end of the first Steel Angel Kurumi series with Nakahito using this to purify Kurumi's heart AND causing the Steel Angels who sacrificed themselves to power the weapon meant to kill her.
Parodied in A Certain Scientific Railgun. Mikoto Misaka is taking a nap on a bench when Kuroko Shirai walks up and declares she will wake her with True Love's Kiss. Mikoto wakes up at the last second and beats up Kuroko for being a pervert.
Parodied in Fables: Frau Totenkinder had a major problem with princes, and went around cursing them and their loved ones left, right and centre. Over the years, she became particularly fond of transforming them in a manner where they needed to persuade a human to fall in love with and kiss them to cure them. But they were all temporary cures, and the prince would find themselves transforming back when their wives became mad at them. Over the course of the story she takes responsibility for almost all of the situations where "True Love's Kiss" was needed to cure a curse. Just because she liked it.
Parodied again with a porcupine who goes around telling human girls he was cursed by a witch and must be kissed to transform into a handsome prince... he's lying. He was cursed, all right, but he was always a porcupine and the curse was a perverted attraction to human girls. He learned the kiss-me-I'm-a-prince "scam" from a frog he met once.
Parodied yet again — Fables enjoys playing with this trope — by a talking snail who meets young Prince Charming and tells him that she is a transformed princess. When Charming offers to kiss her, she replies that her curse is much more proper and will require a wedding first. Charming brings the snail back to meet his parents, who respond by ordering her cooked for dinner and bemoan the talking animals currently flooding their kingdom.
Fables also inverts this with a rabbit cursed by a rabbit witch to become human — unable to transform back, unless he can make another rabbit fall in love with him and receive True Love's Kiss.
To neutralize an apartment building, Bigby Wolf has Sleeping Beauty prick her finger within, causing herself and all within to fall asleep. Only, when they try to use Prince Charming to wake her, it becomes apparent that he no longer qualifies... but when Flycatcher, the former Frog Prince tries, it works. Another time, she was woken from the spell by an affectionate police dog who happened to be named 'Prince'.
Flycatcher, the Frog Prince, occasionally reverts to frog form when excited, nervous, or scared. Only his wife died, badly, back in the Homelands, while he was trapped in frog form, unable to help, no less. When he reverts to a frog in modern-day New York, there's no possible fix until Christmas, when Santa Claus brings his wife back to life, just long enough for one kiss.
In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics, Buffy needs one of these to awaken from a magically induced nightmare. Assuming that at least one person in the group must be in love with Buffy, Willow instructs everyone to close their eyes so that whoever that person is can cure Buffy while maintaining their privacy. Buffy eventually figures out who kissed her, but she doesn't reciprocate the feeling. She makes up for it, however, by reciprocating something else.
In the 50th issue of Sonic the Hedgehog comic, Sonic's kiss wakes Princess Sally from a coma.
In one Justice League of America run, the Queen of Fables has made all the fairy tales come to life and warped them so she can rule the world. This includes making Wonder Woman into Snow White. The heroes know they need a Prince Charming to wake her up with a kiss, so Aquaman (King of the Seas) volunteers to do it. It works.
Aquaman: You're of no use here anyway... not for this. As Superman has just informed me, this is a job for a handsome prince.
Green Lantern: I thought you were the king of Atlantis.
Aquaman: Which means I was once a prince. Close enough.
In Brightest Day, The Predator possesses Abraham Pointe. Eventually, it/they sadly say it/they wanted to know what it is like to be loved. Carol Ferris kisses him to separate them. Hal Jordan (her boyfriend) irritably asks, "Was that really necessary?" Carol says it was.
As mentioned above, this trope is far rarer in traditional fairy tales than Common Knowledge would have it. Examples where it does occur are the following:
The Brothers Grimm's "The True Bride" has the heroine breaks the spell over her prince (after an evil princess bewitched him to forget her) with a kiss. This little tidbit was retained when the story was adapted for The Storyteller.
A borderline case is the Grimms' version of "Sleeping Beauty" (a.k.a. "Briar Rose"): Briar Rose is indeed wakened by a kiss. However, the fated 100 years of sleep were up, which implies that Briar Rose would have eventually woken up anyway, and the kiss was never the condition to lift the curse.
The trope does not occur in the originals of the following tales, and was only introduced by retellings:
"Snow White": In the Brothers Grimm tale, the dwarfs dropped the coffin and the piece of poison apple fell out of Snow White's mouth, which revived her. The revival-by-kiss has been popularized especially by Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
"Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault. Sleeping Beauty simply wakes up after 100 years, and the prince just happens to be there at the right time. Like with Snow White, Disney's Sleeping Beauty has almost superseded the original version. (And of course, in Giambattista Basile's "Sun, Moon, and Talia", a forerunner to Perrault's "Sleeping Beauty", there is no kiss either.note The prince raped her and she gave birth to twins. One of the babies crawled up to her body and suckled the flax out of her finger, reviving her.)
"The Frog Prince": In the Brothers Grimm original, the prince turns back to normal after the princess throws him against a wall. They still get married even after the attempted murder. The principle is the same in virtually all tales of the "Frog Prince" type; for example, in the Scottish "The Queen Who Sought a Drink from a Certain Well" and Joseph Jacobs "The Well of the World's End", the frog demands that the girl marry (not just kiss) him, and the girl eventually breaks the Baleful Polymorph by decapitating the frog on his own wish.
Disney's The Little Mermaid zig-zags this, as Ariel needs the "Kiss of True Love" to become human permanently, though it does not work out that way. The original story by Hans Christian Andersen required that the Mermaid actually marry the prince to become human forever, on the condition that if he betrayed her, she would die. It also does not work out either, but in a different way.
The film Shrek used it straight as part of a larger subversion. The female lead had a curse that turned her into an ogre by night, which could only be broken by True Love's Kiss. However, when said love, the ogre Shrek, kissed her, she became an ogre permanently — which she preferred. Of course, there is the opening monologue, which mocks this trope lightly; you can see how seriously Shrek takes it.
In the sequel this is mentioned twice. Once as the only thing that can seal a "Happily Ever After" potion, and again in relation to Fiona's father, the Frog Prince.
When Shrek first meets Fiona. Fiona is faking a "Sleeping Beauty" post, and expects Shrek to wake her up by kissing her. Instead, he violently shakes her.
And then in the fourth movie, the only way to undo the Bad Future was a True Love's Kiss. Shrek spends a great deal of the movie trying to get Fiona to fall in love with him all over again and kiss him. She does (angrily and only to get him to stop asking her to do it) in the middle of the film, but it doesn't work because now she doesn't love him. It works the second time though.
The first film states this all word for word:
By night one way, by day another,
This shall be the norm
Till you receive true love's first kiss
Then stay in love's true form.
Enchanted: Giselle has an "I Want" Songcalled "True Love's Kiss", and expresses her belief that "it's the most powerful thing in the world."
It's also played straight near the end of the movie, when, like a good Disney princess, she's hexed to sleep. She needs a Troperriffic True Love's Kiss before midnight (of course) in order to wake up. Robert, of course, manages to rouse her in the nick of time with a True Love's Kiss.
The conclusion of the film The Brothers Grimm (based as it is around the Beethoven Was an Alien Spy trope) has Jacob rescuing twelve girls trapped in an enchanted sleep by giving this to the oldest one of them, Angelika, the woman he spent the film pining for. At first this seems to be the only thing that can save his brother Will as well, but discovers as he's about to do it that Will is alive and well and he'd rather have Angelika do the honors here (she obliges).
At the end of Legend, Lily awakens after Jack kisses her.
At the end of WALL-Ea "kiss" from EVE restores WALL-E's apparently lost memory. Note that this is one of the few straight examples that can be explained beyond The Power of Love: EVE's "kisses" are literally electric.
Possibly justified (although non-canon) as the electric jolt from the "kiss" may have caused WALL-E to reload his "personality" from a backup. Maybe.
Buckaroo Banzai. Buckaroo uses this (with a little help from the Black Lectroids) to resurrect Penny Priddy.
Parodied in Amanda Bynes' Sydney White, where Sydney was simply exhausted from staying up all night for her paper and fell asleep in the library, causing her to be late for the presidential debate. The Love Interest finds her and treats it as if she would never wake up, culminating with the kiss to "break the spell".
In Snow White and the Huntsman, the most recent film adaptation of "Snow White", it's subverted and played straight. Snow gets into a coma caused by a poisoned apple, and the Prince's kiss fails to revive her. Then the titular Huntsman kisses her, and she gets better. It's nowhere explained about the meaning of this, though. Supposedly the filmmakers thought the audience would recognize this trope on their own.
Referenced humorously in The Avengers. After Iron Man wakes up from unconsciousness/near-deadness, his first words are: "What just happened? Please tell me nobody kissed me."
In Patricia C. Wrede's Talking to Dragons, a book in a series famous for modernizing fairy tales without subverting them, Daystar uses this to transform Shiara back from being turned into stone.
In Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, this get subverted all to hell (since the 'hook' of the series is that there is an ambient magic in the land trying to make events turn out like fairy tales). One unfortunate prince was a frog for decades and was restored to human form when an infant princess picked him up and kissed him. Not that there was any love — she just liked animals and liked to kiss things. Close enough, apparently.
Shusterman also did this is the second book of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Everwild. Allie brings Mikey Mc Gill, who reverted to his monstrous state out of jealousy, back to human form by kissing him even when he looks his most indescribably hideous.
In Beastly, the terms of Kyle's curse are that he must genuinely love a girl, she must genuinely love him back, and both must prove it by kissing. He tries to end the curse early by having his Satellite Love Interest of a girlfriend show up and kiss him in the dark. Since neither love each other, it doesn't work. Of course, it's played straight at the end of the book.
Deconstructed in Greg Costikyan's short story "And Still She Sleeps". No one can wake up the maiden who's been asleep for centuries, because no one can truly love her when they can't get to know her. In the end, they put her in a museum until some future wizard can figure out how to wake her.
In Esther Friesner's Majyk By Design, the magician-protagonist's estranged wife asks him to turn himself into a frog, so she can use this to prove her point that she still loves him.
Subverted in Slay and Rescue, when Prince Charming (yes, that's his name) finds a Sleeping Beauty and rescues her with a kiss, but then it turns out that he's not her true love.
Subverted again in The Unhandsome Prince, when Caroline's kiss frees Prince Hal from being a frog. She takes one look and demands a better prince.
In Alethea Kontis's Enchanted, this is the condition on the frog's spell. He says this after Sunday has kissed him twice.
Live Action TV
In the series finale of Chuck, It's implied by Morgan that this kind of kiss will help restore an amnesiac Sarah*
who had lost her memories thanks to some mind manipulation and a faulty Intersect.
back to normal. Chuck decides to put this to the test after Sarah invites him to kiss her, and it's left to the viewer to decide if the kiss truly did work.
Subverted in EUReKA, when Carter's hippie sister suggests that he kiss Allison as a way to stop a time loop. Since they live in Eureka, Land of Science, this doesn't work the way it does in the movies (or at all).
Justified with Technobabble in another episode, "Primal". Rampaging Nanomachines who are trying to take over the world, as they are being controlled by Stark's subconscious. The only way to defeat them is to piss Stark off, so Carter needs to kiss Allison to achieve this. It works.
In Haven Audrey's cheek kiss to Nathan awakens his ability to feel touch, though only hers.
Subverted in My Hero: George, attempting to break through a villain's mind control over Janet, announces that he's giving her a True Love's Kiss, but later confesses that what actually broke the mind control was him using the kiss to covertly slip her the antidote to the Phlebotinum the villain had been using on her.
Subverted often, and usually in a nasty fashion, in Once Upon a Time. In the pilot, Snow White kissing her mortally wounded husband doesn't do a thing. In the third episode, Mary Margaret (the brainwashed Snow White) tries it to revive "John Doe" (said husband again), and while it brings him back, he immediately goes back to his estranged wife (who isn't her). Lastly, Sheriff Graham kissed Emma, remembered everything about his past life in the fairy tale world...right before Regina decides to kill him.
And when Belle tries to invoke this, the fact that it works actually ruins her budding relationship with Rumpelstiltskin. Ouch.
Subverted for them again when he tries to invoke it to return her memories after she crosses the town line. It not only doesn't work, but also scares the poor girl senseless, and seriously hampers his attempts to get her to trust him afterwards.
Played straight in the Season 1 finale, when Emma kissing a comatose Henry on the forehead breaks the curse on Storybrooke, waking Henry up and restoring the townsfolk's memories.
Played straight with Phillip and Aurora.
On an episode of Terra Nova, Jim kisses Elisabeth to infect her with a virus that will help cure her memory loss.
Played with in Grimm when Juliette falls into a magical coma and she needs a kiss from someone pure of heart to wake her up. Unfortunately, her longtime boyfriend Nick, one of the nicest, most genuinely decent people seen in the show, doesn't fit the other requirement of being royal blood. In the end, Renard, a virtual stranger to her, is able to wake her, since he is a prince and has taken a potion to make himself pure of heart to do it.
The third-party D&D supplement The Book of Erotic Fantasy has a lesser version of the Resurrection spell that requires the caster to kiss the target. Unlike most examples here, it doesn't require the two to be in love, however.
Subverted in the first game of the Dark Parables series, which is based on the story of "Sleeping Beauty". The prince did kiss the sleeping Princess Briar Rose to break her enchantment, successfully waking every person in the entire castle - except her. A thousand years later, at the time of the game, she's still asleep. Not only that, he soon fell ill as a side effect of the curse and died, with his crypt built near her room.
Subverted in Devil May Cry 4. The Big Bad has been defeated, Dante and Nero have made their peace, and Kyrie is safe. Nero and Kyrie lean in, sunset in the background, for the big moment... and suddenly Nero pulls out his gun (no, seriously, the revolver) and blasts a demon. He looks up to find a horde of the game's weakest enemy coming at himself and his love, asks her to wait, and then spends the credits kicking their asses. You never actually see the kiss happen.
Played with in Final Fantasy VIII when Squall finds the rest of the party waiting for him after carrying a comatose Rinoa across Horizon Bridge to find the person who can help her. Quistis teases that all Rinoa might need is a kiss from "the prince". Squall is not amused.
Subverted again in the Fan Remake of King's Quest II. Kissing Valanice won't break the spell, leaving Graham to resort to another method to break the enchantment.
Played with in Odin Sphere when Odin places his daughter Gwendolyn in an enchanted sleep and promises her to Oswald in return for Oswald slaying a dragon. Oswald ends up refusing to kiss Gwendolyn in order to wake her until he's sure that the spell on her won't force her to love him.
Subverted at the end of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: Darth Vader has apparently killed Juno Eclipse. Starkiller leans down tearfully as if to kiss her—and before he does, she wakes up and kisses him instead.
Turns out that true love's kiss is the way to awaken Nanashi's receptivity to physical stimuli and getting her memories back in Duel Savior Destiny. It's a little more complex than just a kiss, but that's an essential step. The idea is that a kiss from someone she trusts utterly lets her know that the situation makes it safe to come out.
At the end of Shining Force II, the team defeating Zeon only makes him more powerful, as he puts Princess Elis into a poisoned sleep before being sealed up forever by the Jewels of Light and Evil. Bowie and his friends try in vain to wake her up before the Goddess Mitula takes the two jewels, then tells the team that the poison in Elis' body will last a year before vanishing. After a year has passed, if she is still sleeping, she will need "a kiss from her true love" to awaken. Mitula's prophecy is coming into frution as Bowie kneels down to kiss Elis, and then, after the end credits, she wakes up, fulfilling the prophecy.
In Questfor Glory IV, a kiss is the only way to free the Rusalka, the beautiful, revenge-seeking spirit of a murdered maiden. However, the hero has to kiss her decaying corpse, which is not for the faint-hearted.
Avatar The Last Airbender: Aang and Katara are lost in a maze and a folk tale says they have to "let love lead the way" to get back out. One of them suggests a True Love's Kiss, but they don't decide to go for it until their torches are almost gone. They lean in, the light goes out... and crystals in the ceiling begin glowing, marking a path. Katara guesses that the lovers from the folk tale just put their torches out to see the crystals and find their way, and love had nothing to do with it. (We weren't shown if they actually kissed or not - can you say Ship Tease?)
Katara's voice actor claims they kissed, but whether this really qualifies as Word Of God is debatable.
The Animated Adaptation of The Legend Of Zelda satires the Frog Prince example. Ganon turns Link into a frog, and a witch informs him that the only cure is the kiss of a princess (Ganon apparently "knows the classics well"). When Link points out that he tries to get Zelda to kiss him Once per Episode and never succeeds, the witch gripes "I said it was simple! I didn't say it'd be easy!"
In The Flight of Dragons, Princess Melisande wakes from the semi-coma which occupies her for about a third of the movie. Her foster father, the wizard Carolinus, thinks it was a magic relic which awakened her, but she corrects him with the information that it was a kiss from Designated Hero Peter. (Unlike many of the examples on this page, it was not their first kiss.)
Spoofed in a Garfield and Friends U.S. Acres two-part episode, 'Snow Wade and the Seven Dwarfs' near the end between Roy Rooster (as the prince) and Wade Duck (as Snow Wade). Though, Orson Pig tried kissing Snow Wade before this.
The Little Mermaid plays around with the trope: Ursula informs Ariel that she must receive True Love's Kiss from Prince Eric in order to remain human. Thanks to Ursula's meddling, Eric fails to do this before Ariel's three days are up. Things work out in the end, though, no thanks to any kissing.
And of course The Princess and the Frog. Naveen can kiss any princess, even the Princess of Mardi Gras or his wife. No masquerade princesses for him!
In one Aladdin episode, Dark Magical Girl Sadira tries to take Aladdin away from Jasmine by altering everyone's memories so that she would seem like the princess engaged to Aladdin, while Jasmine would become a street rat. However, Aladdin and Jasmine still experience Love at First Sight. After Aladdin realizes Jasmine might make a better true love for him than Sadira, he and Jasmine kiss, restoring everything to the state preceding Sadira's spell.
In The Smurfs episode "The Prince And The Hopper", Prince Theodore has been turned into a frog and must receive a kiss from the one who truly loves him within a few days or else he will become a frog forever. The prince thinks that his bride-to-be Lady Jasmine is the one who truly loves him, but Smurfette finds out that she's only interested in his money. Just as Prince Theodore is about turn permanently into a frog, Smurfette confesses her love for the prince and kisses him, restoring him to his true human form.
In the Frosty the Snowman sequel Frosty's Winter Wonderland, Frosty acquires a snow-bride in his Distaff Counterpart Crystal (who's brought to life with a gift of frost flowers he gives her out of love). When jealous Jack Frost blows away the magic hat that initially brought him to life, Crystal brings Frosty back around with a kiss.