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A Match Made in Stockholm

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He really swept her off her feet.

Ben Rogers: Say, do we kill the women, too?
Tom Sawyer: Kill the women? No; nobody ever saw anything in the books like that. You fetch them to the cave, and you're always as polite as pie to them; and by and by they fall in love with you, and never want to go home any more.

A form of Meet Cute, where two characters who inevitably end up becoming friends/comrades/lovers first meet in this very uncordial way. One of the characters, normally through a misunderstanding, ends up taking the other character hostage/kidnapping them. Their interactions are normally played for comedy, with plenty of snarking and arguing. If they're together for a while, it's expected that somewhere along the line, the hostage ends up developing feelings for and grows attached to their kidnapper, seeing signs that the kidnapper is not all bad. Whether or not initially they are on opposing sides depends, but it normally ends with either one of them defecting to the "correct" side.

If it's more on the side of romance instead of plain friendship, expect a point where the kidnapper lets the captive go, only for the captive to often decide to stay with the kidnapper. This can occasionally seem forced, since people often forget the most important factor in a Stockholm relationship — the act interpreted by the captive as kindness.

The implications of this frequently make it an Unequal Pairing, frequently overlapping with Power Dynamics Kink.

Compare Abduction Is Love when the kidnapping is done for the purpose of mating and romance ensues nonetheless. Contrast Rescue Romance and Bodyguard Crush.

Not about matches made in the capital of Sweden, though this trope can still apply over there.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: Guts and Farnese first meet in this sort of fashion, and their interactions are highly amusing. When they first meet, Farnese was a section leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, and she was assigned to capture and kill the Black Swordsman (Guts). Guts ends up temporarily taking her hostage (only to get shot and then captured by Farnese's group). Later, in order to escape, he ends up kidnapping and holding her hostage again, this time with more funny and amusing interactions between the two of them than the previous time (including a moment where he threatens to "burn her ass" if the soldiers don't make way). During this time period, her future infatuation and admiration of him is foreshadowed and hinted at. Of course, it wouldn't be Berserk if that foreshadowing didn't take the form of Farnese being possessed by an evil spirit, straddling Guts' BFS naked, and urging him in a very Squickily sexual manner to slice her in half with it… slowly.
  • Black Lagoon: How Rock joined the Lagoon Delivery Company. His ship is raided by the Company, and their gunwoman Revy impulsively kidnapped him since he looked important enough to be a ransomable hostage. The fact that his former employers quickly decide that he knew information that might be inconvenient if it got out and hire mercenaries to kill him really helps with Rock's decision to fall in with the Company.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Al first meets with Greed and his chimera underlings by being kidnapped by them. Granted, he never really becomes friends with Greed, but… Greed (and especially his underlings) are portrayed as being pretty sympathetic and not actually all that evil. And their interactions were hilarious. All in all, they actually treated Al pretty decent for a hostage captive. And in the end, Al definitely bonded with and liked the two underlings Dorochet and Martel.
  • In Gankutsuou, the series is pretty much jump-started by Albert getting kidnapped by Peppo and the gang she's a part of and held hostage for ransom. They later develop a mutual crush on each other while he's in captivity, although Albert's crush ceases when he finds out that "she" is a he. They still stay friends, though.
  • The main romance in Haou Airen is this, except it's played for Fanservice and melodrama instead of humor, with naive high-schooler Kurumi getting kidnapped (among other things) by Triad boss Fetishized Abuser Hakuron after she saved him from bleeding to death in the streets of Tokyo.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: At least kidnapping was Hayate's original plan. Having always been a Messiah-esque, wonderful little boy, he ends up getting taken advantage of to the point where he gets fed up with optimistic ideas. He decides to finally "become a devil" and do something evil to get money. So he sets his sights on kidnapping Nagi, the rich little Ojou. Only… at every opportunity to do something evil, he ends up going back to his selfless, old habits, and treats her very nicely. To the point where his declaration that he wants to "run away with her (by kidnapping her)" causes her to misunderstand that he's confessing that he wants to elope with her. And she liked it…
  • This is how Italy and Germany meet in one of the first episodes of Hetalia: Axis Powers set during World War I. Germany captures Italy, and Italy, who is shown as a Pasta Eating Surrender Monkey, is perfectly fine with that. Italy gets Stockholm Syndrome. Then, in World War II, he comes back and wants to be on Germany's side this time…
    • A WMG subverted example is of Sweden and Norway. Historically, Sweden even before losing Finland was adamant of gaining Norway and many times tried to attack as a means of assimilation. He indirectly succeeded too when Denmark was forced to give up Norway and Sweden refusing to comply to Norway's Loophole Abuse. Their relationship got better only to eventually become an averted case of This Means War! nearing the end of the union.
    • Another interesting case is Sweden (again, how appropriate) and Finland, in a strange inversion as Sweden is trying to be kind but Finland keeps interpreting his actions as malice. Ends up played somewhat straight since despite being (accidentally?) kidnapped as Sweden's "wife" Finland seems to end up liking him anyway.
  • In Kichikujima, this happens to Ami Murata after she meets Kaoru. Believing her to be related to Zanta Maria somehow, Kaoru had her face stitched to a pig mask and play house with her growing more fond of her. After Kaoru kills her dad twice first as a human and as a zombie Ami eventually starts to have feelings for him as of the end of part 1 accepting Kaoru as her husband.
  • In the manhwa The Kidnapping of Minja Jo's Boyfriend, Park Jun-Sook is the rival female gang leader of Minja Jo. To get even with her, Park Jun-Sook decides to kidnap Minja Jo's boyfriend. However, due to a misunderstanding, she accidentally ends up kidnapping a beautiful delinquent from school, Junghoon Son (who has absolutely nothing to do with the entire thing). Of course, they end up having a bunch of interactions and misunderstandings, but end up falling in love (even before the misunderstanding is cleared up).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), being made Midna's Human Pet through a Leonine Contract doesn't stop Link from developing feelings for her.
  • Inverted with a match made in Lima in Log Horizon: Demikas abducted a Lander noblewoman, and not only he fell for her post-kidnapping, they even got married and now he's a Henpecked Husband. The rest of the cast thinks that's hilarious.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Natsumi and Chizuru take in a stray puppy they found on the road. The puppy is actually Kotarou who turns back to human form and takes Natsumi hostage due to being scared after passing out and waking in a strange room. Natsumi later gets a crush on Kotarou, he forms a Pactio with her, and they're the only couple to be explicitly married in the epilogue.
  • Zig-zagged in Ōoku: The Inner Chambers. Abbot Arikoto is held prisoner, forced to violate his priestly vows via Scarpia Ultimatum, and presented to the half-mad Shogun Iemetsu as a bedtoy... only to find out that said Shogun is a teenage girl who is as much a prisoner and in many ways even more of a victim than he is.
  • Sachiiro No One Room follows the story of a man who kidnaps a 14 year old middle school girl. There's no bad blood in her though; she considers it a major trade up from her life with her Abusive Parents and her being on the receiving end of All the Other Reindeer from her peers on top of one of her teachers taking advantage of her trust when she confided to him about the abuse and sexually assault her, and thus she had always been planning to run away so she took the chance to leave when the man tells her that he is going to kidnap her. It's later revealed that the girl was in the verge of actually trying to kill herself due to her life and the man announced his intention to her to stop it and eventually succeeded in the manga... Except unlike most of the examples here, the man died at the finale to save her from being shot by her abusive mother and the girl instead moves on and was able to properly recover on her own accord, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue showing her to become an accomplished photographer and is Happily Adopted by Detective Matsubase, who was the first adult since her Abusive Parents and pedophilic teacher to believe in the abuse she experienced and genuinely wished to help her.
  • Samurai Champloo: Fuu is taken hostage by a thief named Shinsuke. Since he was injured by a gang, Fuu binds the cut and gets him to talk about his problems, resulting in them becoming friends.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: At the start of the Alternate Timeline Marie Route Side Story, Leon catches Marie in the act of trying to pull a Hijacked Destiny by stealing Olivia’s Love Interests from the game Leon and Marie transmigrated into. Leon grabs Marie, covers her mouth, runs her away from the scene, and interrogates her while giving a Wall Pin of Love. Thus begins their romance.

  • The putti in The Rape of Proserpina are meant to evoke imagery of Cupid, implying that Minerva, Venus and Diana are trying to prevent the two from getting in the way of a real relationship. Considering the painting is still called The Rape of Proserpina, this trope still applies.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tales 
  • "Beauty and the Beast" has Beauty agree to stay with the Beast because he threatened to kill her father for stealing one of his roses if she didn't take his place and she, of course, falls in love with him — which was the Beast's secret intention all along, as he needed a woman to love him to break his curse. Whether or not this could qualify as Stockholm Syndrome varies from telling to telling, though it should be noted that almost all tellings have the Beast willingly let Beauty go back to her family at some point and she doesn't come back to him (and in some cases, even forgets her promise to return within a set time) until she learns his life is in danger. It should be noted that the original audience of "Beauty and the Beast" and related tales would likely understand the story as an allegory about arranged marriages rather than anything we would recognize as Stockholm Syndrome. The moral would likely be interpreted as a physically undesirable husband (as he was likely to be older than the bride) could still be kind and gentle.

    Fan Works 
  • Eustass Kid ends up falling in love and being loved back by the lady marine officer he kidnaps in Abyss Cronica Captive.
  • In Blue Moon, Eleazar's description makes it clear that the relationship between Francesca and Antonius was an example of this, as Francesca was a vampire slayer and Antonius was the Volturi guard who captured her. However, after Aro had Francesca turned, Antonius was the only other person who regularly visited the apparently insane Francesca in captivity, with Eleazar recalling that Antonius cared for Francesca far more than he should have done given their history. When Aro finally decided to have her killed, Antonius helped Francesca fake her death and escape, sacrificing his position in the Volturi and drinking animal blood rather than human blood to help Francesca adjust to her new state.
  • Buffalo '66 depicts a man kidnapping Christina Ricci in order to fool his parents into thinking he has a girlfriend. She warms up to him quickly, which may invoke this trope. Then again, he proves to be mostly harmless almost immediately and she is more or less free to go once his parents meet her so she may just have genuinely liked him.
  • Captive (AbyssCronica): Kid and Birdie fall in love with each other fairly quickly.
  • In The Hobbit fic Heart of Fire, Smaug kidnaps Kathryn the Seer when he first hears her lovely singing voice outside Erebor and wants it all to himself. They gradually become companionable during the following year and realize their feelings for each other when Smaug allows Kathryn to leave and enjoy her freedom until she inevitably returns to him.
  • A Mauderating Influence features a "heroic" variant of this trope: Princess Cadence made Maud Pie Sombra's jailor and they quickly fell in love with one another. Pinkie Pie suspects Cadence was trying invoke this trope, setting up warden/jailer situation that would allow Maud to cool Sombra's wicked ways.
  • Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chapter 4 of the Stardust fanfic "Endings". Yvaine has been forced into a marriage with Prince Septimus, who orders her around and emotionally abuses her every single day (He even takes the time to abuse her on the last day of his life). He tells her she is allowed to leave if she can get down the steps of the castle, but when she finally does, he comes after her. She has literally nowhere else she can go, so she returns with him, starts falling in love with him, and eventually bears his children. At the end it's even implied that his son will repeat the process with another star that has just fallen to Earth.
  • In The Translation in Blood, Hannah Shepard (Commander Shepard's mother, assuming the Spacer background) and Councilor Sparatus met when he captured her during the Occupation of Shanxi. The two gradually grow friendlier and fall in love.
  • Unchained revolves around a female Uchiha Izuna abducting Senju Tobirama in order to force his clan to submit to hers. She keeps him compliant and manageable by lavishing gifts and attention on him, while he goes along to prevent her from focusing on the Senju's destruction. The arrangement started as blatantly mercenary, but the more time goes by, the more they start to feel genuine respect and attraction for each other.
  • For a Comedy AU, White Sheep bluntly acknowledges this is how Salem and Nicholas Arc met — people are constantly reminding Jaune that his mom abducted his dad, locked him up in her dungeon and sexed him into submission. They are quite Happily Married, nonetheless.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 68 Kill, Chip falls for Violet, the girl he and Liza abduct from Ken's house. Violet starts to return his affection after he rescues her from the psycho Liza.
  • The Big Hit: Melvin develops protective feelings and then a romantic attraction to Keiko, the girl he helped kidnap. Keiko eventually returns the feelings, and they ride off into the sunset together by the end.
  • In the Hitman movie, 47 initially kidnaps Nika, stuffs her in the trunk with a dead body, drives across Russia with her in there, pulls her out of a restaurant by her hair, and threatens to torture and kill her. She seems strangely attracted to him. It blends with Rescue Romance and Bodyguard Crush as the body was of the man sent to kill her, and the final scene shows how he killed another Agent sent to kill her. Despite her interest, 47 rejects her advances. It should be noted that he is typically believed to be Asexual.
  • Kate kidnaps Ani, the teenage niece of a Yakuza boss, to draw him out of hiding. She's understandably bratty about this until a rival Yakuza faction decides it's more convenient if Ani doesn't survive the experience. Kate saves her life instead and she becomes rather enamored of this badass Mysterious Protector, imagining her as the mother she never had and helping her track down the rest of her clan. Unfortunately, Kate had shot dead Ani's father a few days before, so she doesn't react well on finding out the truth.
  • The Legend of Frenchie King: Louise and her sisters kidnap the Sarrazin brothers to get the secret of Little P. ranch out of them, but the sisters and the brothers spend the whole time flirting and making out instead, much to Louise's annoyance. The siblings all get married in the end.
  • Out of Sight: Jennifer Lopez is a cop who gets abducted trying to prevent the escape of a jail inmate played by George Clooney. They get to spend quality time stuck together in the trunk of a car, and mutual attraction ensues.
  • Non-romantic example: in A Perfect World, Kevin Costner plays a jail inmate who escapes and takes a little boy hostage. Gradually they develop a father-child relationship, to the point where the boy voluntarily stays with him.
  • The Princess Bride: Westley's ship was taken by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who famously leaves no survivors. Yet Roberts spared Westley and put him to work, threatening death all the while, until they eventually became friends.
    Westley: He said, "All right Westley, I've never had a valet, you can try if you'd like. I'll most likely kill you in the morning." Three years he said that. "Good night Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning." It was a fine time for me. I was learning to fence, fight, anything anyone would teach me. And Roberts and I eventually became friends.
  • In the movie Red (2010), Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) has developed a relationship over the phone with a young insurance agent. Unfortunately he's a retired CIA agent and when he's put on a wet team's hit list, has to kidnap her in order to save her life. As she points out, it wasn't the first date she had in mind. And she thought he'd have hair. Notably, the kidnapping doesn't improve their relationship, it nearly destroys it. It's only when she realizes that Frank is right and there really are people trying to kill them that it starts to improve.
  • In the movie The Running Man (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), right in the beginning, while Richard is a fugitive who escaped from labor camp, he goes to his brother's apartment. There, he finds Amber Mendez, who is the current tenant there. Richard ends up kidnapping her, and was planning to go to Hawaii. Their interactions are played for laughs, though she ends up managing to alert airport security before his plan works. Later, however, she ends up getting captured and forced to participate in the "Running Man" show, where she ends up realizing that Richard isn't a bad guy, and becomes his official love interest.
  • A friendship version of this is found in Ruthless People, where the poor, young couple Sandy and Ken kidnap millionaire Danny DeVito's wife (Bette Midler), hoping to hold her hostage for ransom (since DeVito had conned them out of their savings and stole Sandy's fashion ideas). Of course, it turns out that DeVito wants his wife dead, since he has a new flame that he's having an affair with. It turns out that Sandy and Ken are actually insanely nice people, and have the hardest time pretending to be villainous kidnappers. Bette Midler, being the loud-mouthed, violent and bossy woman, ends up being more aggressive and scarier than them. Later, she ends up seeing what gentle and kind people they are, and they end up becoming friends, joining together to bring down her evil husband.
  • A rather complex example happens in Split and Glass (2019). From an outsider's perspective, Casey showing concern for the health of the person who kidnaps her and eats her classmates would be a textbook example. However, the kidnapper Kevin has 24 personalities, with the original personality so far from the dominant personality that his last memory is two years ago. At least half the personalities at any time are innocent, being dragged into the schemes of the Horde. Kevin himself is shocked by the deaths that his alters have caused and begs Casey to kill him in the middle of her kidnapping. It also helps that the Beast spares Casey when he sees that she was clearly also abused, meaning that not even the most violent of Kevin's personalities wants to hurt her in Glass (2019).
  • Stardust: Tristan initially chains up Yvaine, a fallen star, against her will and forces her to come with him back to the Wall so he can present her as a gift to Victoria. But they gradually fall in love on the journey back instead.
    • Although the hostage part does seem to be intended as temporary at the start — he offers her the last of a magical candle so she can go back to the sky, after he shows her to Victoria.
  • It's not a romantic example, but this kind of situation going horribly wrong is the basic plot of the Korean movie Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Deaf guy and his communist girlfriend tries to kidnap boss' daughter to get money to buy his sister a new kidney. The kid is extremely cute and everything seems to go fine… until the kid drowns accidentally, which sets the boss off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. In the end, it's an "Everybody Dies" Ending.
  • A serious example in Three Days of the Condor. The protagonist takes a random woman hostage so he can have a place to hole up that isn't connected to him. She ends up sleeping with him. Though the movie does try to explain her psychological reasons for doing so, one can't help thinking it's more a case of Stockholm Syndrome than anything else. Unlike other examples however, she leaves him before the end of the movie, implying it was more in the nature of a dangerous fling with a stranger than anything else.
  • Pedro Almodóvar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! could be described as being MADE of this trope. Antonio Banderas kidnaps a depressed and 'uptight' actress and refuses to let her go until she 'loosens up' and 'joyfully' falls in love with him. It's all for her own good, of course. The disturbing thinking behind this concept is what differentiates this trope from the psychological phenomenon of Stockholm Syndrome.
  • In the example pictured, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) and Lai Kwai (Shu Qi) in The Transporter. Frank has been paid to deliver the 'package', which turns out to be a Bound and Gagged Lai. Frank discovers who's in the bag he's transporting, but delivers her to the villains anyway. They try to kill him for looking inside the bag, so he goes back for revenge and takes Lai with him (while she's bound) after she snuck into his getaway car. She gives him Rescue Sex in compensation, but it's also suggested that she's manipulating Frank into helping her dismantle her father's Human Trafficking operation.
  • Troy: Briseis and Achilles, in a more serious version of this trope.
  • Elektra and Renard in The World Is Not Enough are a villainous version of this. He kidnapped her, and she seduced him when her father wouldn't pay the ransom. It is strongly implied that Elektra is ultimately just using Renard to fulfil her own evil agenda, meaning she was a Poisonous Captive and he a Jerkass Woobie; Renard may even realize this, but since he is dying anyway, he'll take what he can get. She quite openly intends to find another man (possibly just as another lovestruck pawn) once Renard has sacrificed himself to carry out her scheme, and she teases Renard (and James Bond himself) that it might even be Bond.

  • In 365 Days, Laura falls in love with not one, but two men who kidnap her; first Massimo (who intended to invoke this), then Nacho (who had non-romantic reasons for kidnapping her but ended up catching feelings anyway). By the second book, she's in a love triangle with both her kidnappers.
  • Alexis Carew: Mutineer: Imprisoned by culturally French Hanoverese naval forces after HMS Hermione's mutineers sail her to the Berry March (Alsace-Lorraine Recycled In Space), Alexis befriends Lieutenant Delaine Thiebaud while arranging better treatment for the crew (who, not being officers, cannot give parole and be housed in the town), and falls in love with him. He later provides evidence exonerating her of the mutiny at Court Martial and showing the extenuating circumstances, and in The Little Ships she seeks him out to gain the Berry March fleet's help against Hanover and loses her virginity with him.
  • Artemis Fowl: Artemis meets his eventual closest friend Holly Short when he kidnaps her to ransom her for gold.
  • Non-romantic example from the Belisarius Series. When Kungas met Shakuntala for the first time he was her jailor. Of course, this was helped a lot by the fact that the first thing he did before taking her into custody was to carve into tidbits some fellow soldiers who were acting in a somewhat undisciplined manner toward her.
  • The Bourne Series: This is how Bourne and Marie meet in The Bourne Identity. She then attempts to escape to the custody of the men after him, which... doesn't go as she'd planned, and Bourne has to rescue her.
  • Part of the backstory to A Brother's Price involves the Whistlers, a band of soldier-spy True Companions calling themselves sisters, kidnapping a prince and taking him home with them, much to his dismay. Since the entire side of the prince's family was executed for treason not long after that, he decided that there wasn't much point to going back. He did grow fond of his initially involuntary wives, who did their best to treat him well and keep him as happy as they could. Later, such 'husband raids' became illegal.
  • Kinda-sorta in Stephanie Laurens' The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae. The titular earl does kidnap Angelica Cynster, but she had already set her sights on him as her future husband, and he only truly keeps her captive long enough to explain why he kidnapped her in the first place (long story short: trying to save his clan from his insane mother's Evil Plan). She quickly agrees to help him, and the rest of the novel is the two of them working together to thwart his mother's scheme, falling in love all the while.
  • In Dark Shores, Teriana is basically kidnapped and forced to help Marcus and his legions conquer her homeland. Because Marcus worries about her safety, he also forces her to share a cabin on a ship and then a tent with him — and they gradually fall in love. Non-romantically, Teriana also becomes friends with other legionnaires, especially her bodyguards Quintus and Miki.
  • Candayce thinks that this is what's going on in Dinoverse when her Leptoceratops admirers abduct her away from the company of the other kids-in-dinosaur-bodies. She soon finds that it's closer to an attempt at a Rescue Romance — they admire her and thought that she was addled or being kept as food for Mike (who got the body of a Tyrannosaurus).
  • Subverted in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Merope Gaunt spent a year hopping Tom Riddle Sr. up on Love Potion but stopped giving it to him when she became pregnant with his son. Merope was banking on Tom either falling in love with her for real or staying for the sake of his unborn child; she was wrong on both counts, and Tom fled and never bothered to learn what would become of his son. The child would grow up to be Voldemort, who ultimately killed him and his parents.
  • In Heart of Steel, Cyborg Mad Scientist Alistair captures Julia when she and her boyfriend are scuba divign off the coast of Shark Reef Isle where Alistair lives. Alistair is instantly smitten with her and wants to keep her, showering her with gifts and other luxuries. However, it takes a while for Julia to see the man under the metal, a process sped up when one of Alistair's creations (Julia's boyfriend-turned cyborg) goes rampant and tries to kill them both, spurring Alistair to protect her.
  • Opal and Devlen in Ixia and Sitia. The guy possessed the body of her boyfriend and slept with her, kidnapped her, and tortured her. But it's okay, he was an addict at the time!
  • John Rain: In The Detachment, Dox and Rain are betrayed by their employer Colonel Horton, so they kidnap his daughter for ransom. Dox releases her early because he's worried a Token Evil Teammate will kill her, and they have a discussion over Stockholm Syndrome, pointing out that "it works both ways". The woman denies she would throw herself in front of a SWAT Team to save Dox, but ends up hugging him goodbye (which Dox finds himself enjoying more than he should) and asking Dox to call her. Dox knows better than to do so, but persuades Rain not to take vengeance on Horton like they planned, saying his daughter has suffered enough from their acts.
  • This must be what Cohen's relationship with Bethan in The Light Fantastic looks like from her perspective; he thinks that it's a Rescue Romance, and the fact that it was an Unwanted Rescue is entirely irrelevant.
  • In MARZENA, Marian puts MLK through Cold-Blooded Torture to artificially induce S. Syndrome using Lövheim Psychology and turn him into her little pet slave.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures, it's notable that when the Red Vixen kidnaps Rolas, she's more attracted to him than vice-versa until he starts dating her true identity.
  • In The Sacred Art of Stealing, a suave criminal mastermind kidnaps cool cop Angelique De Xavia, and when she accidentally says "I wish you'd been there to tell me that when I got up this morning", he politely responds that he wishes the same thing.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Kevan Lannister first met his future wife Dorna Swyft when she was a noble hostage at the court of Kevan's brother Tywin. Given that noble hostages could get killed if their families got uppity this presumably put a strain on their initial relationship, though at the current stage their marriage is described as nothing but loving.
    • Jon Snow initially meets Ygritte this way by capturing her during an attack on her scouting party, though due to Values Dissonance Ygritte starts off thinking Jon taking her captive means he's interested while Jon simply wasn't able to kill a woman who wasn't actively trying to kill him. By the time they do get together their power dynamic is essentially reversed by Ygritte being Jon's Secret-Keeper and basically blackmailing him into sex.
    • Most wildling marriages begin this way. If a suitor is incapable of barging into a family hut and dragging the girl out the door, and fighting off all her male relatives as well as the girl herself in the process, he's not considered husband material by any of the above parties, most of all his would-be bride.
  • The Sorcerer's Daughter is a retelling of Swan Lake with a romantic relationship between Rothbart and Odette. It is shown budding when Odette's still under his curse and unable to leave his lake. Justified, since he is revealed to be a Driven to Villainy Gentleman and a Scholar and she is an Adaptational Jerkass compared to the ballet version, most notably taunting him into cursing her, and after the curse is lifted it takes almost an entire book for them to come to terms with their feelings and get together.
  • As noted in the film version, this is much of the plot of Stardust: the hero sees a falling star with the girl he loves, and vows to bring it back for her. However, the star turns out to be a real person...
  • Kinda weird version in the Star Trek novel Final Frontier (not The Final Frontier, but rather the one by Diane Carey): Jim Kirk's father, George, meets and befriends Romulan field-primus t'Cael Zaniidor Kilyle this way. First, the Federation knows nothing about the Romulans at this time and assumes them to be reptilian. George arranges to meet with the Romulan's commander on a little planet/moon. When he gets there, he sees a "Vulcan" sitting between two helmeted guards and assumes a hostage situation, so he grabs t'Cael, fends the guards off with his phaser, gets them to cover, and then hands t'Cael a second phaser in case he needs it, ignoring any possible threat from t'Cael (turning his back to watch for the guards) and leaving t'Cael utterly flabbergasted. They become teammates and eventually friends after an officer back on the ship disobeys orders and fires on the planet in an attempted assassination.
    Kidnapped, protected, and now given a weapon?
  • In Tide Lords, the heroine is kidnapped by the prisoner she's escorting. She'd decided to let him loose in order to prove that he was delusional and not the all-powerful god he thought he was. Turned out she was wrong.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Aral and Cordelia in Shards of Honor, though it's a borderline case as the actual violence was perpetuated by a third party without Aral's knowledge or approval and the two of them were forced to team up and Die Hard on an alien planet.
  • Whateley Universe: Benjamin Keeling meets his eventual possible love interest (his friends are still working on it) when he abducts Peter from the Smithsonian Institute for a bounty. The next time he abducts Peter, he dresses him up as a Special Constable to help investigate his own disappearance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The backstory of the Jim Henson sitcom Aliens in the Family is that Doug Brody and his alien scientist wife Cookie met when she abducted him to experiment on.
  • In Community episode S4E03 Conventions Of Space And Time the guest star Toby tries this on Abed. He doesn't really get it right.
    Abed: You have to let me out!
    Toby: No, not until Stockholm syndrome sets in.
  • Doctor Who begins with the Doctor basically kidnapping Barbara and Ian.
    • Most of his companions start as being accidentally whisked away, particularly the ones who accidentally wandered in the TARDIS.
    • The First Doctor is also a victim of Lima Syndrome, as he eventually warms up to the idea of having his companions around, and recruit new ones when the first ones leave.
  • Flashpoint has this in "The Planets Aligned", where a young girl was kidnapped for eight years and suffers Stockholm Syndrome, and behaves in an affectionate manner to her capturer. It's also played seriously, in that the relationship has warped her terribly.
  • On General Hospital, Emily and Zander's relationship began with him kidnapping her—he was desperate to escape capture for a murder he'd been falsely accused of. They began to bond during the ordeal when she learned why he had taken her and she ended up losing her virginity to him.
  • In the Leverage episode "The D.B. Cooper Job," it's revealed that D.B. Cooper eventually married the stewardess he used as a mouthpiece when he hijacked her plane.
  • New Tricks: In "Trust Me", UCOS investigates a missing person case originally believed to be a kidnapping that probably ended in murder. However, when they discover the missing woman, she turns out to be married to her 'kidnapper' and the two have a child together. It turns out that the kidnapper had originally snatched the woman as part of an ill-thought-out plan of revenge against the woman's mother. However, the woman hated her mother and had been thinking about running away, so just went along with him. The two of them fell in love and got married.
  • Ziggzagged in Once Upon a Time: This universe has a version of Beauty and the Beast where Rumplestiltskin is the beast. He lets her go and she wasn't going to come back, but does so to see if True Love's Kiss does revert him to human. It turns out that they do have true love, but the spell doesn't work due to Rumple's cowardice. Their budding relationship goes south very quickly when Belle mentions that she heard of the rumor from a woman on the road… who happens to be Regina. Regina herself actually lampshades this trope while manipulating Belle into attempting to depower Rumple. However, this trope is averted by season two when Belle has more equal footing in the relationship.
  • Roswell: Maria and Michael's Belligerent Sexual Tension started up when he stole her car, with her in it. Lampshaded in the series finale:
    Michael: The moment I kidnapped you and stole your car I knew you were the girl for me.
  • You (2018): Joe kidnaps Will and steals his identity. He keeps Will in a cage for a while, not sure what to do with him. Will genuinely likes Joe as the episodes go on. When Joe lets Will go, Will does not inform the cops even though he had every opportunity to do so. He goes to Manila to live with his long-distance internet girlfriend, and sends Joe postcards. They even video-chat once, with Will giving Joe advice.
    Joe's inner monologue: Oh! See that? Living proof. I have let people out of the cage — made friends, even, from the experience.

  • The two characters sung about in The Eagles song Life in the Fast Lane have an interesting way of meeting:
    He was a hard-headed man
    He was brutally handsome, and she was terminally pretty
    She held him up, and he held her for ransom
    In the heart of the cold, cold city
  • The music video for Amber Run's song I Found is about a kidnapper gradually falling for the woman he's holding captive.

  • Aida (John/Rice). The story starts with the eponymous heroine being taken as a slave by her eventual lover.
  • "The Desert Song". The heroine Margot falls in love with the hero this way.
  • The Taming of the Shrew is pretty much this trope personified; he makes her his prisoner and torments her until she falls in love with him. Though some would say that he makes her his prisoner and uses several techniques that are still used today for "interrogation" (read: torture) and brainwashing until he breaks her spirit.

    Video Games 
  • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: No one intended to summon Rozalin, but once they had she was bound to help them find Zenon. Not doing so, or stopping searching for Zenon altogether would kill either Rozalin or Adell respectively. Forced cooperation -> mutual understanding and goal -> love.
  • Inverted in Drakengard 2, where Nowe's first real experience with Manah is taking and holding her captive. In the brief conversation that follows, she turns his entire worldview upside down, and he defects the army to join her rebellion and eventually become her Love Interest immediately after her escape. Deconstructed in the supplemental material; they eventually broke up because they couldn't come to terms with all the traumatizing stuff that gave them Lima Syndrome (inverted Stockholm Syndrome) in the first place.
  • In Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, the plot revolves around Monkey, who has been fitted with a Slave Collar by hacker girl Trip so they can communicate, and to force him to help her cause. Before the final battle, when Trip takes the Slave Collar off so he can be free, Monkey tells her to put it back on.
  • Subverted by Zidane and Garnet in Final Fantasy IX. While Zidane and his fellow thieves planned to abduct Garnet to get her away from her increasingly unhinged mother Queen Brahne, Garnet stowed away on the thieves' airship and wants them to abduct her. Their journey to Lindblum takes a lot longer due to Brahne wrecking the thieves' airship, but it starts out with them bonding as friends. They bond romantically near the end of the game, when Zidane tells Garnet, now frequently calling herself Dagger, that "the abduction is over"
  • This is a way to see General Camus and Princess Nyna's Star-Crossed Lovers bond in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light. From Nyna's part, she admits that she first hated him because he was part of the group that killed her family (although not directly responsible) and then during their small time together when she was his country's captive as a political prisoner, she develops very strong romantic feelings for him. From Camus' part, he reciprocates her feelings and puts his knighthood on the line to take her to an allied kingdom before she can be executed; this causes him to lose a lot of influence in his kingdom, but he stubbornly refuses to abandon his king, even when Nyna begs him to side with the League.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (and the movie) starts out with the Prince's army taking Farah prisoner, but with their ending up in love.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • In the Backstory, Darth Malgus obtained a Twi'lek slave named Eleena Daru. He used her as a Sex Slave and for various other tasks, but Malgus became as fond of her as a Sith could be, to the point of considering her his common law wife. Eleena loved Malgus, even though he was a Sith, her owner, and he used her a a punching bag when he got angry. The two of them even fought side by side at the sack of the Courscant Jedi Temple. But Eleena was injured and one of Malgus's fellow Sith pointed out she was a weak point for Malgus. Malgus killed his "wife" in her sickbed without any repercussions. He was a high ranking Sith, after all, and she was just a Twi'lek Sex Slave.
    • The male Sith Warrior can invoke this with both romantic options. Vette is similar to Eleena, down to being a Twi'lek slave assigned to the Warrior. The Warrior, like Malgus, can treat her nicely, win her affection, and make her his common-law wife - though she's still his slave as far as Imperial law is concerned. (Considering the position of Twi'leks in the Empire, it's dubiously better to be a high-ranking Sith's property than a citizen. A Sith could kill either one for any reason with no consequence.) The other method is to Corrupt the Cutie and turn Jaesa into an Ax-Crazy lunatic who worships you after you break her sanity and take her as an apprentice.
    • The male Sith Inquisitor can also invoke this with Ashara. The Inquisitor needs her help to contact the Force Ghost of her ancestor, so he engineers her fall from the Jedi (like Jaesa), though the player doesn't really turn her into a crazed lunatic like Dark Side Jaesa. Having nowhere else to go, he takes her as an informal apprentice and she develops a crush on the Inquisitor from there.


    Web Videos 
  • "HOSTAGE: A love story"
  • In Noob, this happens between two characters whose mere acquaintance is a spoiler for the webseries and novel versions of the story: Master Zen and Nazetrîme. The player behind Master Zen is an escaped prisoner and ends up hiding in a house that belonged to Nazetrîme's player. When the player behind Nazetrîme comes home, Master Zen's tied her up to keep from being discovered. Stockholm syndrome hit Nazetrîme's player at some point and she turns out to be a regular player of the MMORPG in which the story is set. Meanwhile, Master Zen is trying to start a new guild with his ex-cellmate and a woman he befriended while in jail, and is a player short for this to be possible. The two become the franchise's first Official Couple (or at least one-way crush) barring a The Not-Love Interest situation involving one of the protagonists and one of the top players.

    Western Animation 
  • On Archer, Cheryl rapidly becomes sexually attracted to Pam after the latter takes her hostage during a coke-fueled rampage, though she just as rapidly loses interest after said rampage finally comes to an end. It's worth noting that this is entirely in character for Cheryl, who has admitted that she is sexually aroused by violence and abuse, particularly when it's directed at her.