- Stories like "Sleeping Beauty", "Bluebeard", "Rapunzel", "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Snow White" are often this, because the heroines are actually not in a position to do anything when their rescuers arrive... other than stay in their comatose state. Even though the POV is theirs and not the Prince Charming's, the role is the same.
- "Rapunzel" is actually an inversion - the prince does not rescue Rapunzel, he just gets her pregnant, and later on it is her tears that cure his blindness. Also in "Little Red Riding Hood" the eponymous character is too young and the grandmother too old to be really considered a damsel in distress and that the story originally ended unhappily, getting two endings tacked on later (first the wolf being killed by the passing huntsman, later the cutting-open and revelation that the Little Red Riding Hood and granny had survived).
- In "The Goose Girl", the princess is under the power of the servant who took her place and turned her into a goose-girl until the king figures out a way to get her tell her story without breaking her promise not to. (Gender Flip version in the Child Ballad "The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward", Child #271)
- In "The Maiden from whose Head Pearls fell on combing herself", the heroine is thrown into the sea and is rescued by a fisherman.
- In "Biancabella and the Snake", Biancabella has her hands cut off and her eyes gouged out, and is driven into exile from her husband. The snake, being her friend, restores her eyes, hands, and ultimately her place.
- In "The Death of Koshchei the Deathless", Marya Morevna is carried off by Koshchei the Deathless, and Prince Ivan must rescue her.
- In "The Frog-Tsarevna", after Prince Ivan stupidly burns his wife's frog skin, she is in the power of Baba Yaga and he must go on The Quest to rescue her.
- In "The Two Brothers", collected by The Brothers Grimm, and "The Three Princes and their Beasts", collected by Andrew Lang, the hero saves the princess from the dragon.
- In "Jorinde and Joringel", Jorinde is turned into a nightingale by a Wicked Witch and held captive by her.
- In "The Blue Mountains", the hero must suffer a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for three nights to free the heroine.
- Also in "The Three Princesses of Whiteland".
- In "Soria Moria Castle", the three princesses are held prisoner by three trolls and the hero must kill the trolls to rescue them.
- In "The Golden Apple Tree and the Nine Peahens", a dragon carries off the queen and her husband must rescue her.
- In "The Young Slave", the heroine is the illegitimate niece of a lord, whose wife finds her in enchanted sleep and, in a fit of jealousy, beats her, knocking loose the comb that had kept her asleep, and turns her into a slave, abusing her so severely she thinks of killing herself. One day, her uncle hears her lamenting her woes and saves her.
- Similarly in "The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead", where the uncle's wife also burns the poor girl all over with a red-hot iron to make her ugly.
- In "Prunella", Prunella is a Wicked Witch's prisoner and she assigns Impossible Tasks; only with the help of the witch's son does she survive.
- In "The Grateful Prince", the king promises his baby to an ogre, and so takes a peasant girl and leaves his son with peasants. The ogre takes the girl and leaves, but the boy, on growing up, decides he can't possibly live on such a sacrifice and goes to rescue her.
- In The Love of Three Oranges, the heroine is transformed into a bird.
- In Soria Moria Castle, the princesses are captives of trolls.
- In Tsarevich Petr and the Wizard, the hero's Missing Mom. Also the three princesses he meets while searching for her.
- In The Buried Moon, the Moon Goddess finds herself trapped on earth and buried alive by monsters.
- In Jorinde and Joringel, Jorinde is turned into a bird by a Wicked Witch and locked away in the witchs castle. Jorindes fiancé Joringel goes on a quest to rescue her, and in the process, the many other bird/maidens that the witch keeps.
- "The Yellow Dwarf" has Princess Toutebelle, who gets kidnapped by the titular dwarf on the day she was to marry the King of the Gold Mines. The King tries to rescue her, but the dwarf kills him, and she dies of a broken heart.
Damsel In Distress / Fairy Tales