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Abduction Is Love

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The phrase 'picking up women'
has an interesting etymology.

"And though they may be sobbin' for a while
We gonna make them sobbin' women smile!"

Are you and your buddies looking for female companionship, but are denied the chance to interact with women in a normal manner because of your location, your occupation, or the fact that you all have No Social Skills?

Well, no matter. The problem's easy enough to fix. Just get your buddies together, form a raiding party, swoop down upon the nearest village and carry away all of its prettiest women. Of course, you can expect the pretty women to not be so keen on the idea, at least at first. Expect to see a lot of passive-aggressive behavior coming from their general direction... as well as the odd rock or frying pan... and you may want to wear a groin protector when you're walking around in their approximate vicinity... at least for a while...

Don't worry, though. They'll eventually come around and become willing mates for you all. You can speed up this process if you act sheepish and apologetic around them. Let them think you're just as sorry about the situation as they are angry. Do nice things for them. Smile when they jam their heels into your foot or dump freezing cold water down your pants or slam your fingers into windowsills. And know that one day, if you can endure this abuse long enough, they'll grow tired of beating on you and start to find you strangely attractive.

Hopefully, this will happen before the girls' fathers, brothers or friends find out where you live and turn you and your buddies into tomato paste. If you've behaved yourself and acted properly towards the women, you may get lucky and find yourself wed to your new sweethearts in a Shotgun Wedding. If not, then... it's best not to think about what will happen to you...

In some cases, the trope is subverted, with the woman a willing participant in the abduction; the stock excuse here is that she wants to escape an Arranged Marriage she finds unpleasant, but there may be other reasons. Her family will probably still want her back, though — or at least have a satisfactory explanation for what happened.

The extreme end of this idea of this includes And Now You Must Marry Me. See A Match Made in Stockholm when the kidnapping is done for other reasons than obtaining a mating partner while the end result is the same. See also Stockholm Syndrome, I'm Taking Her Home with Me!, and Captive Date.

This should go without saying, but... Don't Try This at Home. Or anywhere else. Seriously, just don't.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Air Gear has a fairly benevolent example when Yayoi kidnaps her Love Interest Agito. It's all rather pleasant due to the fact that despite her feelings for him, she doesn't have any actual romantic designs on him and the "abduction" is largely an attempt to force Agito to stop running himself ragged. Given he's fairly calm about the whole deal, it's implied he agrees.
  • Durarara!!: Somehow, averted. This is oddly enough, one of the things that doesn't happen for love, despite people in the cast believing slashing, manipulating, getting plastic surgery, and lying are good ways to express one's feelings. The only times kidnapping does happen is not for romantic reasons, not even in Kasane's case, since she kidnapped Shinra for business purposes and not out of love.
  • Food Wars!: In the final arc, Asahi Saiba tries to invoke this on Erina Nakiri when his attempts to court her don't work. Not that it does him any good anyway because it only makes her hate him even more, and they're none the wiser that they're actually half-siblings.
  • Future Diary goes in every realistic direction but straight when Yuno drugs and kidnaps Yuki for a week halfway through the story to protect him until Yuno's Happy End. Understandably, once he's rescued Yuki immediately dumps Yuno for a while.
  • The premise behind Happy Sugar Life. Satou finds Shio outside in the rain one day and becomes convinced that she was in love with the young girl. While later chapters explain that Satou technically didn't kidnap Shio in the fashion one might expect, she still keeps her locked away in her apartment room, claiming that the world outside was dangerous. She is fully aware that others are searching for her, but she doesn't care.
    • Satou's manager when she worked at the Princess Imperial is revealed to have kidnapped her coworker Mitsuboshi, molesting him as an attempt to get him to love her.
  • At the beginning of Hayate the Combat Butler, Hayate kidnaps Nagi aiming for ransom money to pay off his parents' debts, only for Nagi to think that he loved her.
  • Inuyasha: In his Arc debut, Wolf Demon Kouga kidnaps Kagome with the intention of making her his mate. After she escapes, he becomes an on-and-off ally who flirts with her while Kagome plays along if only to rile up Inuyasha.
  • Karakuri Circus: Bai Jin kidnapped Francine to become his wife.
  • Inverted in the h-manga Mating with Oni. A young man named Sochiro moves back to the village his grandparents, who raised him, live in and while playing outside with Momiji, a young red-oni, she takes him back to her house while Kaede, her mother and another red-oni, takes care of some business. When Kaede returns home, she finds Soichiro asking Momiji to untie him and to play another game, and Kaede asumes Momiji lured Soichiro into their house to kill him and eat him, but Momiji clarifies that she took him home because she likes him. When Soichiro innocently says he likes her too, Kaede explains to him that oni tradition states that if an oni falls in love with a human then that human will be abducted and forced into marriage. Soichiro at first tried to resist, but eventually accepted his marriage, and even takes Kaede as a bride as well. Later, when Socihiro is gathering plants in the forest, Ruri and Hari, two onis from the rival blue clan, kidnap him with the intent of making him their husband, but he's not interested and when he tries to walk away and go home, he's hypnotized and they seduce him, but he's soon rescued and reunited with his real wives. Months later, a pregnant Momiji is still trying to prevent Ruri and Hari from kidnapping him again.
  • The whole plot of two Ranma ½ theatrical features features a foreign (and formidable) prince kidnapping Akane to make her his bride. The second goes whole hog and Prince Toma's entourage kidnaps all the other girls in the cast for the same purpose. The antagonist in the third PC-Engine video game, Toraware no Hanayome, turns the tables and kidnaps female Ranma instead.
  • In Red River (1995), Yuri's small stature makes it unfortunately easy for lustful men to pick her up and run off with her. Ramses in particular makes multiple attempts to forcibly take her to Egypt to be his bride.
  • Played with in Sekirei. The bond between a Sekirei and their Ashikabi is normally the result of destiny bringing them together, but it is entirely possible to create a bond by force. Two of the major villains built armies this way, capturing and winging Sekirei against their will — one Mook describes the process as "taming" them. Once the bond is formed they seem to develop a strong loyalty and affection for their Ashikabi, whether the bond was consensual or not. Interestingly, the two villains have completely different relationships with their harems — Higa's Sekirei are treated as disposable servants, while Mikogami's are Pretty Freeloaders that treat him affectionately. In the finale, Higa loses the majority of his Sekirei while all of Mikogami's Sekirei choose him as their Ashikabi again.
  • Subverted in Tokyo Ghoul with Torso. He is utterly obsessed with Mutsuki, to a terrifying degree. His diary from the 4th volume reveals that he believes they share a mysterious connection, and this "spark" of desire will be his salvation. They just need to have a long, private talk... then Mutsuki will understand their destined bond, and return his love. He then proceeds to kidnap Mutsuki, cut off his arms and legs, and declare they will be getting married. He even dressed Mutsuki in a white dress and put a wedding ring on his cut off a hand. Over the next month, Mutsuki plays along with him and even begins to feel some sympathy after learning about his Freudian Excuse... but ends up snapping and killing Torso in a blind rage.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Kisshu kisses Ichigo the second he sees her. Later on, he attempts to kidnap her and escalates from there.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the PangPond episode "PangPond in Love 2", a Chinese girl named Mei visits Mahasanook Village and develops such an intense crush on PangPond that she goes as far as to drag him back to her country so he can be with her. Unsurprisingly, the boy isn't pleased and would rather stay in Mahasanook Village.

    Comic Books 
  • In Adventure Time: The Flip Side, the plot is driven by Princess Portrait's desire to be kidnapped by Monkey Wizard, who is indifferent to her.
  • The Avengers: Issue #200, where Carol Danvers learns she was kidnapped, brainwashed, and raped... and nobody sees this as a bad thing. A year later her creator Chris Claremont wrote the Annual #10, where it turns out she'd stayed out of contact with the Avengers due to their betraying her by letting her go off with her rapist, not realizing she was still brainwashed when she said she wanted to.
  • The Eagles of Rome: When chieftain Segestes refuses to marry off his daughter Thusnelda to Arminius, Arminius and his men sneak into Segestes' town and kidnap Thusnelda so they can elope together. Since they're already head over heels in love with each other prior to this incident, she's very happy with this state of affairs. Segestes later resigns himself to the reality that Arminius is now his son-in-law.
  • In ElfQuest, Cutter originally abducts Leetah under the influence of the elf mating urge called Recognition. Fortunately, cooler heads prevail, he lets her go, apologizes, and agrees to fight the urge, trying to undo the bad first impression by courting her in a civilized fashion. They get things straightened out and end up Happily Married, which is less creepy than usual because Cutter wasn't in his right mind at the time of the abduction.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Andrew Lang's "The Bird Grip", (link), the princess's feelings are not touched on until his brothers kill the prince who abducted her, but then she weeps bitterly.
  • In "The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa", the princess dislikes the tsar she has been abducted for because he is old but falls in love with the archer who abducted her.
  • In "Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf", the Wolf carries off Helena the Beautiful, but dries her tears when she sees the handsome Ivan, and soon they love each other. Given that he had kidnapped her because another king had demanded her — it's a good thing they have the wolf on their side.
    Helena the Beautiful had been greatly frightened, but dried her tears quickly when she saw the handsome youth.
  • In "Mac Iain Direach" (link), MacIain Direach must kidnap the princess to break a spell, so he lures her on shipboard and sails off before she realizes, but she reacts quickly.
    I am," said MacIain Direach, "going with thee to Eirinn, to give thee as a wife to the King of Eirinn, so that I may get from him his Yellow (Bay) Filly, to give her to the Big Women of Dhiurradh, that I may get from them their White Glave of Light, to give it to the Great Giant of the Five Heads, and Five Humps, and Five Throttles, that I may get from him his Blue Falcon, to take her home to my muime, that I may be free from my crosses, and from my spells, and from the bad diseases of the year."
    And the King of France's daughter said, "I had rather be as a wife to thyself."

    Fan Works 
  • A Brief History of Equestria: This is how the relationship between Clover the Clever and Commander Hurricane really got started; Hurricane had been flirting with Clover for some time without much success, but one night snuck into her room and carried her off for a romantic evening around the fledgling Equestria arranged by Clover's boss Princess Platinum, who picked up on their interest right away. Afterward, Clover was much more receptive to Hurricane's flirting.
  • Our Eternity Together: The Cursed God’s main goal is to kidnap Mystic to get her to fall in love with him. He’s often accompanied by or sends minions of sorts to do the job for him.
  • The Palaververse: Parodied with the mammoth tribes, where it's custom for brides to kidnap their husbands. This has over time developed into a very formalized process, where after proper approval and vetting by the respective clan chieftains, as well as consulting with the groom-to-be and his family, the mammoth cow in question beans the subject of her affections upside the head with a suitably decorated sap, throws him over her withers and rushes back home. This is usually followed by an equally scripted counter-raid and is generally treated in the same manner as more sedate wedding customs are among other societies. This all leads to some... confusion... when a mammoth character tries to give relationship advice to an ibex doe based on her own romantic experiences.
  • In they'll name a city after us, the sun god Apollo falls in love with the Gender Flip Percy Jackson and abducts her once the events of the first five books are over.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 28 Days Later, the few surviving soldiers seem to at least understand that 'borrowing' the last two uninfected women in England and keeping them against their will as breeding stock and female company is quite possibly immoral. They just don't care anymore. They seem to think treating them with a thin veneer of decency will eventually make them warm to the concept, but it's just about enough to get them all slaughtered horribly anyway. (As if they were vile enough, one of the "women" is actually a fourteen-year-old girl whose father they'd earlier gunned down in front of her.)
  • An alternate title for 365 Days (based on the novel of the same name) could be "Abduction Is Love: The Movie". Massimo's entire motivation for kidnapping Laura is so they can fall in love; she's initially resistant to the idea, but she gradually warms up to him and by the end they've decided to get married.
  • Set in 18th century Ireland, The Abduction Club is about an infamous gang of men who woo, abduct, and marry wealthy heiresses. Garrett Byrne and James Strang are both younger sons and therefore unable to inherit titles or estates. To improve their situation they set their sights on the Kennedy sisters, but are unprepared both for the young women's reaction and the trouble that follows them..
  • In Bus Stop, loosely based on the play of the same name by William Inge, Manchild Bo (Don Murray) falls head over heels for Cheri (Marilyn Monroe) when he sees her singing in a saloon, and when she resists his immediate impulse to get married, literally lassoes her onto his bus going back to Montana. She continues trying to get away from him, but gradually her feelings toward him soften.
  • Conan the Destroyer: Referenced for laughs when The Ingenue asks for dating tips from a no-nonsense warrior woman:
    Jehnna: Suppose you set your heart on somebody. What would you do to get him?
    Zula: Grrrab him! And take him!
  • Gender Flipped in the 1926 Eves Leaves. The titular character is a pirate who abducts a guy named Bill Stanley, partly out of infatuation, and partly to gather more crewmen to serve on her father's ship when Chinese bandits attack.
  • The plot of the Soviet comedy Kidnapping, Caucasian Style involves a young anthropology student named Shurik going to the Caucasus to learn local customs. He ends up falling for a Caucasian girl named Nina. Unfortunately, a local political leader named Saakhov has also taken a liking to the girl. He makes a deal with Nina's uncle, who sells her for some sheep and a fridge. The uncle hires a trio of thugs to abduct the girl while on a hiking trip. When that fails, he convinces Shurik that Nina knows all about it and just wants to re-enact the traditional local custom of bride kidnapping. Shurik helps the trio perform the kidnapping, only to realize that he was tricked. He tries to free her. Meanwhile, Nina finds out about her uncle's deal and threatens to go on a hunger strike if they don't let her go.
  • In Marketa Lazarová, where Mikolas takes Marketa to be his concubine/slave. She eventually falls in love and marries him.
  • In Red Eye, Jackson Ripener holds Lisa "hostage" on their flight to get her to assist him in an assassination plot. It's implied that he developed feelings for her in the eight weeks he had to watch her prior to this and even ambiguously tells her that when they get out of this, he may have to "steal" her. Of course, she's not cool with any of this at any point in the film.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: The page quote comes from the song "Sobbin' Women". The movie features a brood of socially awkward men who kidnap some townswomen they take a shining to during a town dance. They draw the inspiration for their act from a book that detailed the history of the Sabine women. Of course, the brothers, being ignorant hicks, misinterpret the word Sabine as "Sobbin'"'. They also make a few other ignorant presumptions about how things would turn out. Fortunately for them, the girls they kidnapped do eventually fall in love with them (after putting them all through the wringer for what they did...)
  • Zaida from Shes A Sheikh kidnaps Captain Colton of the French Foreign Legion in an effort to woo him.
  • The plot of Tie Me Up Tie Me Down (or Átame! in Spanish) revolves around a former psychiatric inmate trying to make a woman love him by abducting her and tying her to her bed. And he succeeds, too. Well, sort of.
  • In The Wild World of Batwoman, one of Batwoman's nameless go-go dancing sidekick Batgirls (it's an odd movie) is abducted by two henchmen to hold hostage, but rescued by Batwoman. Later on when a mad scientist's Happy Pills makes all the good guys dance uncontrollably (ahem), one of the henchmen, Tiger, takes to opportunity to snatch her again, having apparently developed a little crush on her. He treats her nicely, though, and eventually pulls a Heel–Face Turn for her, so they wind up Happily Ever After.

  • 365 Days may as well be "Abduction Is Love: The Novel". Massimo thinks the best way to win Laura's heart is to kidnap her and hold her captive for a year, in the hopes she'll fall in love with him. He promises to let her go after a year if she doesn't feel the same way, but he still sees no flaws in this plan. Of course, Laura does end up developing feelings for Massimo in less than a year (about three to four months, to be exact).
  • The Abandon Trilogy: Subverted in that Pierce started falling for John before he took her to the Underworld the second time, and she's less than happy about the situation. He starts regretting the decision when he realizes that he's causing her parents anguish, and lets her return to Isla de los Huesos in Underworld to stop Alex from dying.
  • Referenced to in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer when Tom tells Huck that as robbers all they have to do to win women is to take away their belongings but not harm them and talk nicely and politely to them until they won't let go of them even when given the chance.
  • Ai no Kusabi has Iason kidnapping Riki so they can be together.
  • In the Piers Anthony series Bio of a Space Tyrant, during his time in the Space Navy, the protagonist, Hope Hubris, has to make a truce with the local pirate fleet. To do so requires him to form a Pirate Marriage with Rue, the daughter of the pirate leader. While most of the abduction/rape scenarios in the pirate fleet are merely for show, this time Hope must actually perform, otherwise she is set to kill him, for real.
  • In the world of A Brother's Price, men are very rare and valuable. Years ago the Whistler women abducted the fifteen-year-old prince Alannon. He was not happy about this, but because that entire branch of his family was soon executed for treason for their part in the War of the False Eldest, he decided to be philosophical about it. His grandchildren describe their grandmothers as being run ragged trying to make him happy, from building a bathhouse despite not knowing what they were doing to teaching their sons to be Spirited Young Gentlemen rather than Proper Gentlemen. The practice of "husband raids" has been made socially unacceptable since that time; there are laws against it, and every member of a family which contains men is aware of the possibility and willing to fight furiously to prevent it. However, these laws were enacted not out of empathy for the men who would be kidnapped, but for the sake of cohesion within the country. It's hard to trust your neighbors if they kidnapped your brother before you could sell him.
  • Beware of Chicken has stealing your intended wife as an accepted and expected tradition among the northern tribe where Yun Ren and Gou Ren's mother hails from. While it's a bit more than a staged ritual abduction, both examples encountered are completely consensual and take place after the couple has courted the normal way and are ready to finalize their engagement, making it more like their equivalent of getting down on one knee with a ring than a true abduction.
  • Circleverse: The Will of the Empress reveals the Namornese empire has a tradition of kidnapping women before marriage, which Sandry is horrified to learn. Generally, the "kidnapping" used to be a mutual agreement between a young couple trying to bypass a family's disapproval or a way to "spice up" marriage vows. It has now turned into something quite ugly. A lot of men are sure their new wives will come around eventually. As one could expect, though, many do not. And when Shan and Fin attempt this on Sandry... well, it ends badly.
  • John Fowles' The Collector is a deconstruction. The novel is the classically creepy tale of a young man who first stalks the girl of his dreams, then abducts her and keeps her in his basement. The rest of the book relates the dream-girl's increasingly desperate ploys to escape.
  • In the third Colossus book (Colossus and the Crab) the super-computer that rules the world starts running people through experiments to understand people (i.e. takes a guy up on his word that he would "die for his people's independence"). Colossus then kidnaps the wife of the main character (and designer of the US half of Colossus) and hands her over to an unwashed peasant who slaps her down if she asserts herself and rapes her when she doesn't cooperate. Eventually, she begins to warm to him because he's just a big old (raping) baby who doesn't know any better. When he's killed for refusing to give her up when the "experiment" is over, she's devastated and, when put back in contact with her husband, sneers at him because he's obviously a weakling who couldn't take her from her more elemental captor.
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia:
    • Han kidnaps Leia to prevent her from marrying Isolder. Though she's outraged at him initially, over the course of the book she chooses him instead of Isolder and they get married at the end. It helps that they had been lovers before.
    • Isolder on the other hand is captured by Teneniel and thus made her slave by her people's custom. The two of them fall in love, she sets him free, and they marry.
  • Edenborn has Penny and Deuce, both of whom have been raised more on literary tropes than human interaction. He expresses his affection by leaving mysterious gifts before making contact to plan abducting her from her family; she sees his actions as romantic and enthusiastically agrees.
  • The Faraway Paladin: Justified in volume 5 when Will and his friends arrange a bridenapping of Anna so she can get married to Reystov. It's a love match and they were just helping her adoptive father Bishop Bagley save face with the nobles of Whitesails, who wouldn't have approved of his daughter marrying a common sellsword.
  • Part of Darko Kerim's backstory in the original James Bond novel From Russia with Love. Specifically, his treatment of a captured woman falls just short of rape (not that he has any objection to that) and is about two steps away from "It rubs the lotion on its skin." But hey, by the time someone called him on it, she had gone from wanting to kill him to not wanting to leave, so he's cool.
  • Heart of Steel plays with this, in that Julia is captured incidentally while scuba diving with her boyfriend off the coast of Shark Reef Isle, but once the Island's master, Alistair Mechanus, sees her (injured but cleaned up), he falls instantly in love and doesn't want to let her go.
  • The linchpin of the goblins and the elves in the Hollow Kingdom Trilogy. The kings of both must marry outside their species in order to carry their magic forward (humans for elves, any sentient species for goblins).
    • The goblin kings have certainly tried to make this work: it's explained that the goal of every king is to produce a son stronger than him, but the feelings of both parents must be in accord. The more a king's wife cares for her new subjects, the better a son she will have. The goblins also steal elf women in order to shore up magic, as goblin women tend to be sterile.
    • The elf kings, before they died out, started to care less and less about this. Once they'd stolen a bride, they would give them a drink to induce amnesia in them, so there wouldn't be any pesky yearning for human family or comforts. This backfired on them massively with the wife of Aganir Melim-bar. Once she got pregnant, he would have no more to do with her, and she took revenge by switching her baby, Ash, with an ordinary elf baby. Only the elf king is cross-fertile with human women, so the false king produced no heir before getting killed by something the real elf king would have shrugged off. Centuries passed before Ash's magicless descendant married a human woman and produced a new elf king.
  • Attempted by Maurice de Bracy and Brian de Bois-Guilbert when they abduct Rowena and Rebecca in Ivanhoe, with a garbled reference to the Tribe of Benjamin. Rowena and Rebecca are both in love with Ivanhoe, who loves only Rowena, and the former is eventually rescued during the Battle of Torquilstone, which occurs the same day. Bois-Guilbert and Rebecca's plot continues for the rest of the novel following the former fleeing with the latter from Torquilstone to Templestowe and eventually Bois-Guilbert's plot spirals down from there.
  • In London, Orlando Barnikel kidnaps the girlfriend of a playwright whose inept and racist work made him a laughingstock, and she winds up bearing her captor's children. Unusual in that he'd originally invoked this trope as payback against his detractor, and while neither actually fell in love with the other, he came to care enough to leave her a fortune in his will.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: In Percy's retelling of the stories of the Gods, he has Hades actually going to Zeus for advice on how to court Persephone. Hades has the idea to talk to Demeter and ask permission or declare his feelings to Persephone, but Zeus goes for one of his favored methods, "I suggest kidnapping." And the rest is history.
  • The Phantom of the Opera: The Phantom brings the opera singer Christine Daae down to his home in the basement of the opera house. Here he tells her that they are going to live their lives together as husband and wife. After some time, he decides that she can come and go when she wants to, and she comes back multiple times without him forcing her to because of her Sympathy for the Devil. It is only at the end of the book, where The Phantom has kidnapped her in the middle of a performance and threatens to blow up the opera house if she doesn't marry him, that it gets really serious.
  • The Riftwar Cycle: Mara of the Acoma is taken aback to discover that the women of the Thuril Confederation don't mind the men coming wife-raiding. Though they can have their fathers and brothers chase the raids off if they choose.
  • In the bodice-ripper novel Rolling Thunder, a white woman is kidnapped by the local Comanche tribe after going out to search for her brother, who was himself abducted by the tribe some time before. When she finds him, he tells her he was taken because the tribe's princess had fallen in love with him and demanded that he be brought to her. By now, he's blissfully happy and madly in love with her and they're expecting a baby. She herself plays this trope straight, falling in love with the Comanche prince.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Many cultures practice this, including the wildlings and the Ironborn. Bride capture is ingrained in wildling society; a wildling woman won't even respect a potential mate unless he kidnaps her, something Jon Snow finds out by accident only after he performs what he thought was standard captive-taking and the wildlings considered a proposal. The differences in marital traditions north and south of the Wall become particularly evident when Stannis' southron knights become convinced that they can simply wed the wildling Princess Val and expect her to settle down as a respectable courtly wife, no matter how many times they're told she would never have an ounce of respect for someone who didn't best her first.
      • For the wildlings, this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that their women are not socialized to be submissive to men like in the Seven Kingdoms, and won't put up with a husband mistreating them. They have a saying that a man can have an unhappy wife or he can have a knife, but he cannot have both.
    • It is disputed by characters and fans alike what exactly the relationship was between Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen before they both died. It is unclear whether they were in love and eloped, whether he kidnapped her, and then they fell in love, or whether he kidnapped and raped her. Robert Baratheon firmly believes the latter (which is unsurprising since Lyanna is his lost love), but virtually everyone else, including Lyanna's brother, think this is very unlikely, given Rhaegar's reputation for being a good man.
  • In Stara Baśń by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Doman tries to carry Dziwa away during Kupala Night after his marriage offer is refused. Unfortunately for him, she actually puts up a fight and ends up wounding him badly with his own sword. He tries again, at the very end, and this time actually succeeds.
  • The Thinking Machine: In "The Mystery of a Studio", a Mad Artist abducts the woman who was his muse when he learns she does not return his love.
  • In the Travis Shorts episode, "Jealousy", Kasey captures Travis once he finds out he has a girlfriend in an attempt to force him to fall in love with him.
  • Edward's breaking of Bella's truck so she cannot escape him in The Twilight Saga book Eclipse is portrayed as an act of love. Come to that, Bella and Edward's entire relationship is based on Edward doing manipulative, controlling, or just plain creepy things with Bella (and the narrator) deciding that this is somehow endearing and romantic.
  • Played with in The Virgin Widow Anne Neville is kidnapped and utterly terrified until she realizes the man who kidnapped her is her old friend Francis Lovell, who is the best friend of Richard of Gloucester, at which time she becomes extremely annoyed. Richard appears and explains had been trying to see her but his Smug Snake brother George, who is Anne's guardian, would not permit it. Richard arranged the abduction so he could see her and convince her to marry him.
  • In The Wheel of Time, part of the Aiel wedding ritual is for the bridegroom to "capture" his fiancée in a melee with friends from both sides getting involved. Although the whole affair is arranged in advance with mutual consent and no lethal force is used, the Aiel are a Proud Warrior Race who expect the wedding party to be very enthusiastic in proving their intentions — one bride leaves her beloved quite concussed for the wedding.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 has Lincoln abducting Octavia. And Octavia falling for him because he only caught her to heal her and because he is totally into her.
  • Criminal Minds has an episode called "Bloodline" which dealt with a family that fancied themselves modern-day gypsies kidnapping girls to get a bride for their adolescent son. It was revealed that the mother was similarly kidnapped as a child.
  • Dusty's Trail: In "Here Come the Brides, There Go the Grooms", two hillbillies kidnap Dusty and Callahan to become husbands for their ugly sisters in a double-barreled shotgun wedding.
  • FBI: Most Wanted: "Lovesick": After discovering the identity and location of his biological daughter—now 35 years old—Cecil Ward abducts her and chains her to a bed in a remote summer house in an insane attempt to construct a loving family relationship.
  • Frontier Circus: In a rare male example, Ben and Tony are kidnapped by a clan patriarch who drags them away to marry two of his daughters in "The Clan MacDuff". It is implied that this is not the first time he has done this.
  • Game of Thrones: Rhaegar Targaryen allegedly abducted Lyanna Stark, stealing her from her family and fiance. Whether he did it out of lust or love has yet to be discovered. The Reveal that Lyanna died giving birth to his son and begging her brother to protect the child despite having fought a war against Rhaegar heavily implies a love affair was involved. Turns out it was consensual, and that Lyanna loved him over Robert.
  • General Hospital's Emily and Zander got started when he kidnapped her after being falsely accused of killing a cop. While on the run, they bonded, probably simultaneously developing Stockholm Syndrome and Lima Syndrome and began dating once he was cleared of charges.
  • Grilka to Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, with Grilka as the abductor. To explain, Quark killed Grilka's husband in self-defense (actually, the drunk Klingon fell on his own knife). Since her House would lose its position without a male to lead it, Grilka forces Quark to marry her. Her goal is to convince Gowron to grant the House special dispensation to allow a female to rule it and be on the Council. Eventually, Gowron does so, and Quark asks for a divorce. Apparently, the latter involves Grilka spitting out a few Klingon curses, punching him in the face, and physically spitting on him. There is a later episode, where Grilka returns to the station, and Quark tries to start a romance with her by asking Worf to teach him how to woo a Klingon female.
  • Whiplash: In "Love Story in Gold", Cobb is paid handsomely to undertake the transport of brandy, a trousseau and two coffins, into the heart of New South Wales. At the agreed meeting place, Cobb is overpowered and taken to meet the female leader of a group of escaped convicts. She tells Cobb that he is to marry her daughter and he will be given more gold than he can imagine. If he refuses, he will fill one of the coffins.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Beti-Pahuin Mythology: All over the place. Brides could be very expensive in Fang-Beti culture, so many men chose to just grab a girl, run away, and hope her family didn't kill him. Women performed the bulk of food production, so more wives meant more workers and more food and by extension more influence. A insignificant portion of wars real and mythical were fought for the purpose of kidnapping and/or rescuing women. The family drama of Ekang Nna all began with his abduction of Aloume Ndong Minko.
  • In the Roman story, Romulus realized that the band of settlers on the hills of Rome was awful short on women, so he took it upon himself to invite the Sabines of Cures and three other tribes (either Sabines or Latins depending on the source) to a big festival (according to most myths, a footrace). At his signal, each Roman picked a guest woman and ran off with her. In general, they turned out to be OK with it eventually. By the time the war with the Sabines of Cures (who had waited for the other tribes to be defeated and weaken the Romans in the process) had reached the Capitoline, the warring fathers were now grandfathers. The fighting finally ended in the marsh between the Capitoline and Palatine Hills, where the daughters rushed out with children and begged for them to stop. This is usually referred to as "the rape of the Sabine women", but the original meaning of "rape" was just "to seize or carry off" (from Latin rapere) and doesn't necessarily mean anything other than that (though it often did imply sexual violence, which is how the word acquired its current meaning). Livy, who wrote Rome's history under Augustus, claimed that the Roman men won the Sabine women's hearts with blandishments and Puppy-Dog Eyes before laying a hand on them.
  • The Bible:
    • Book of Judges: In Judges 21:10-24, men from the tribe of Benjamin find themselves with no women to marry, so they abduct women from Shiloh to be their wives. When the fathers and brothers of the kidnapped women come to retrieve the women, the Israelites ask for permission to keep them, "...for we didn't find enough wives for them [the Benjaminites] when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead." No word though on whether the captive women ever warmed up to their captors at all.
    • Shechem kidnaps, rapes, and decides to marry Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. Her brothers agreed to the marriage only if Shechem and all his countrymen agreed to be circumcised.
  • Various versions of the Amazon myth invert this, with the isolated community of female warriors ensuring that they maintain a sizeable population and do not run out of soldiers by kidnapping males from the outside world. Not all of those kidnapped survive the experience. Herodotus records that the Amazons eventually met their match in a band of Scythians, removing the need for this custom.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • When Hades fell in love with Persephone, he kidnapped her and took her to his underground kingdom. Persephone’s own feelings on the whole matter and whether or not she was later tricked into eating the pomegranate seeds vary between different versions of the myth. Partialy subverted in that Zeus told Hades to do it. However, the fact remains that these two ended up as one of the most stable marriages in Greek mythology.
    • Before Persephone, there was Leuce. Hades fell in love with her and abducted her like he later did with his second wife. When Leuce died, she was transformed by Hades into the first white poplar tree.
    • Zeus carried away several of his lovers. He turned into a bull to kidnap Europa and into an eagle to take away Ganymedes.
    • The god of the north wind, Boreas, kidnapped Orithyia, daughter of King Erekhtheus of Athens after she rejected his advances out of fear.
    • Zephyrus abducted the nymph Chloris to become his wife. Later, he also helped Eros carry Psyche away to his palace.
    • Apollo saw the nymph Cyrene wrestling with a lion that had attacked her father's sheep. Impressed by her strength, he fell in love with her and kidnapped her to Libia. There he founded a city in her name and made her its queen. Together they had two sons - Aristaeus and Idmon.
    • Theseus did it twice. He carried away one of the Amazons - Antiope or Hippolyte. Some versions of this story claim that the woman in question fell in love with him and came willingly. Either way, the other Amazons saw this as kidnapping and attacked Athens to get their sister back. Much later in his life, Theseus abducted Helen of Troy when she was just a little girl and left her with his mother, hoping to marry her when she came of age. She was rescued by her brothers while Theseus and his friend Pirithous were away, trying to kidnap Persephone from Hades.
    • The myths are unclear, even contradictory, regarding whether Helen was kidnapped by Paris or willingly eloped with him; either way, it kicked off The Trojan War.
    • Hippothoe, daughter of Mestor, was abducted by Poseidon, who took her to the Echinades Islands. She later gave birth to his son, Taphius.
    • Eos was cursed by Aphrodite with an unsatisfiable sexual desire for sleeping with Ares, Aphrodite's favourite lover. Because of this, she carried away many handsome young men to be her lovers, including Tithonus, Cephalus, and Orion. Like other gods in the Greek pantheon, she didn't particularly care that the objects of her affection may have been unwilling or already married.
    • Asopides, the daughters of river-god Asopus, were frequent targets of this trope: Aegina, Thebe, and Plataea were kidnapped by Zeus; Corcyra, Salamis, and Euboea were abducted by Poseidon; Sinope and Thespia were carried away by Apollo; and Tanagra was kidnapped by Hermes. Asopus actually tried to prevent the abduction of Aegina but was shot with one of Zeus’ thunderbolts.
  • Old legends about selkies sometimes featured this. A selkie, in mythology, is a seal that can remove its seal skin revealing itself to be a beautiful woman underneath. In the old legends, men would find a selkie woman sunbathing without her skin. By stealing the skin and hiding it, they can get the selkie woman to marry them, have kids, and live happily for years. However, if the woman finds the skin, she'll take it and go off into the sea, never to return again. This myth is surprisingly prevalent among cultures. Swan-women and celestial maidens could also be wooed by stealing their magical garments, and would likewise flee if they recovered them.
  • And in a gender-inverted version, there is one story of a clever girl tricking a kelpie out of the bridle that gave him his shapeshifting powers and putting him to work as a draft horse for ten years, at the end of which the kelpie marries her and is baptized as a Christian, turning him human forever.
  • This shows up in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata and has both the unwanted and wanted varieties. The only way elopement was accepted was if the potential groom kidnapped the bride-to-be and was able to get back to his kingdom with her without her other suitors catching up to them and killing him. This leads to situations in which the young women write to the men that they love something akin to "I'll be leaving the temple at this time without bodyguards, come kidnap me then". Unfortunately, there are also many situations in which they get kidnapped and made to marry someone they didn't particularly care for either. Interestingly, what is painted in the worst light is not kidnapping someone who doesn't like you, it's kidnapping them and then trying to return them without marrying them. This happens to Bhishma in the Mahabharata, where he kidnaps three girls for his brother to marry. His brother marries two of them, but the other one is left Defiled Forever because Bhishma won't do the honorable thing and marry them (he's a Celibate Hero who's taken a vow).
  • Nart Sagas: Justified. Bride abduction was a marriage ritual in the North Caucasus. That said, it was often pre-arranged with the woman's family, and a non-consensual abduction would be seen as a serious breach of social norms. In some of the tales themselves, it's can be difficult to tell just how consensual some of these encounters are.
  • The Book of Mormon: The wicked priests of King Noah were hiding in the wilderness, having abandoned their people as the Lamanites conquered their land, when they stumbled across a group of daughters of the Lamanites dancing in the woods. They captured these daughters and made them their wives. Presumably, love followed because the next we hear of these daughters is their (and their children) pleading with an army of Lamanites not to kill their husbands.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Neathar, a culture of Neolithic Noble Savage tribes folk in Mystara's Hollow World, routinely abduct brides from neighboring Neathar tribes.

  • In Fangirls, Loony Fan Edna decides that she best way she can prove her love to Harry is abduct him and hold him prisoner in her bedroom.
  • L'Orfeo has Persephone be so moved when Hades gives Orpheus a chance to go that she praises her own abduction and the love that came from it.
  • The Pirates of Penzance operetta (as well as the modernized adaptation The Pirate Movie, based on it) features a band of matrimonially minded pirates who try to woo/capture the daughters of a Major-General. (It's a good thing the number of pirates and the number of daughters matched up and that, in the movie, the ugly daughter was willing to be matched with the ugly pirate.)
  • In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio kidnaps Kate after their wedding ceremony. It's really more for show than anything else since she was going to go with him anyway, but she still doesn't enjoy it.
  • U.S.L.E.S. villains often believe this or try to exploit it. Abanazar in Aladdin in particular; he keeps Princess Amira in chains to try to force her to marry him. Leonardo in Beauty and the Beast also seems to like this trope, as he handcuffs Belle to his kitchen sink. Naturally, these villains are proved wrong.

    Video Games 
  • Bahamut Lagoon: Palpaleos kidnaps Princess Yoyo, and then they fall in love.
  • In Final Fantasy IX Zidane kidnaps Garnet, only for him to start to like her. Garnet/Dagger, meanwhile, doesn't like him back until he personally helps her with her problems. Also played with in the sense that Garnet specifically requests Zidane to kidnap her in order to get her away from her megalomaniac mother. Granted, the plan was already set in motion to kidnap her anyway, but her willingly going along with it makes things less coercive.
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Trevor kidnaps a 50-something housewife from GTA's most psychotic mob boss yet. Trevor is indeed GTA's most psychotic protagonist yet. And then they hit it off anyway. Explanation:
    Michael: Yeah, thirty years of marriage to the world's craziest mob boss would make ANYONE insane!
  • In the Super Mario Bros. games, Bowser's reasons for kidnapping Peach usually boil down to him having a crush on her.

    Visual Novels 
  • This happens on Kenshin's route in Ikemen Sengoku, with him locking up the female main character in his dungeon as "spoils of war". Made complicated by how Kenshin is so emotionally repressed and resistant to falling in love again because of a past tragedy that he initially refuses to admit to even himself that he imprisoned her not because he was angry at her for not telling him she worked for his enemy or because he wanted her as a prisoner of war, but because he wanted to keep her close to him and away from everyone else.
  • In a hidden plotline in Under the Moon, the heroine, Ashe, gets carried off by an allegedly emotionless boy who is trying to prevent her from falling in love. Ashe is not exactly his captive but he is the only person she has to interact with. One thing leads to another, Ashe defrosts the ice prince, and discovers that he's a bit kinky.

  • Girl Genius: Gender-flipped, when Old Man Death tells his granddaughter about the time he was sacking a castle, only to be kidnapped and ravished by a wild princess. She really didn't want to hear any of it.
    Old Man Death: Even today, your grandmother is a remarkable woman.
  • Trying Human: Quazky's advice to Hue on how to romance a human? Abduct her and make her his "Space Bride."

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, this is usually the Ice King's modus operandi in the early episodes, but strangely enough, the later seasons have seen much less of this.
  • Yo from Fanboy and Chum Chum is obsessed with the latter protagonist. In the first season, there were 3 episodes in which her attempting to kidnap Chum Chum were a major plot point. note  She sees Fanboy as the greatest hurdle between her and Chum Chum and most of her plans start with distracting him. So far, the creepiest example of getting rid of Fanboy was stealing his brain and hiding it in her backpack. As for abducting Chum Chum, she once trapped him in a giant virtual pet case. In later episodes, he is noticeably less friendly and more frightened of her.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Society of the Blind Eye", the gang runs past a display on "Romance in Settlers' Times", which involves a man carrying an angrily-struggling woman over his shoulder.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Heloise has chained Jimmy up, froze him solid, and swept him away with a Humongous Mecha, all to keep him close to her. And she's still the most likely candidate for his heart.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: In Season 5's "Pretension", Félix/Argos develops romantic feelings for Kagami and wants to save her from her overcontrolling Tiger Mom. His method of doing so involves kidnapping her in broad daylight. Bonus points in that he admits to have followed her everywhere before their first meeting. Kagami ultimately deduces his poor behavior is the result of having No Social Skills, which is something she also struggles with. After learning how much they have in common, they become a couple at the end of the episode.

    Real Life 
  • In the early nineteenth-century, long after Real Life abduction was growing "less fashionable" in the American backcountry, it was common for a ritualized abduction to happen at weddings. This custom was descended from the Scottish border country. Similar customs are known in various parts of the world.
  • This was a popular way for nomads of the Eurasian steppe to get a wife. This was especially the case since, in order to get a wife, you generally had to work for her family for a year, so the poor and unconnected couldn't do so. This was the case of the Mongols, as Genghis Khan's mother was taken this way by his father. However, he outlawed it once he became Great Khan as he recognized the damage it did to the tribal society he was trying to unite. It should also be noted that his wife Borte had been kidnapped by a rival tribe and the fact that she came back pregnant and the paternity of the son she bore was in doubt had long term consequences for the empire. In Sparta, this actually became ritualized; after formalizing an engagement, men would break into their brides' houses and "kidnap" them from their (willing) families as part of the wedding ceremony.
  • Still a tradition in many parts of the world today, including the above-mentioned Eurasian steppe, though today it tends to be practiced with the consent of the bride to be.
  • Some sources claim the original female population of Iceland was mostly kidnapped from Ireland and/or Scotland. While it is known from genetic research that 60-70% of the female ancestors of Icelanders were Gaelic, it is unclear whether they were mostly abducted or willing brides from the Norse-Gael settlements in Scotland and Ireland. According to contemporary - and indignant - clerical chroniclers, Vikings were considered seriously hot by Christian women who appreciated their habits of bathing regularly and combing their hair. According to the Sagas of the Norsemen themselves kidnapping foreign women on a raid was no different from looting a conquered enemy.
  • Truth in Television. The word "best" in "best man" refers to his skill with a sword, as the original reason a groom needed one was to help protect the bride from being kidnapped, or possibly being stolen back by her family or escaping on her own.
  • In modern military weddings where the groom wears his sword (traditionally on the left side), he will stand on the left so that the sword doesn't literally come between them.
  • This is, in fact, the origin of the "honeymoon" — in the days when marriages were often less-than-consensual and the bride's extended family might well try to take her back (regardless of the bride's feelings on the matter either way), it made sense for the newly-married groom to carry his bride off to some remote place and wait until people at least stopped caring enough to seek revenge or until she got pregnant (this was back in the day when being a single mother was very taboo).
  • The marriage ceremony of the Himba people in Namibia and Angola includes a ritualized version of this where the husband and his family "kidnap" the bride and take her home with them.
  • In the Amazon Basin, people originally lived in small tribes that were basically family groups. Because everyone was related in some way, the men's only real option was to raid one of the other tribes that they were always at war with. This was important for them not only because women carried on the family line, but they were the only ones who knew how to make the sacred cheecha beer.
  • Marjorie, Countess of Carrick, was so infatuated with Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale (who had visited to inform her of the death of her first husband, Adam of Kilconquhar, in the Eighth Crusade) that she held him captive in her castle until he agreed to marry her - at least that was Robert's story and eventually, the King who had the right to choose Marjorie's next husband, accepted it. Their son became the famed Scottish King Robert the Bruce.
  • Eukonkanto: the Finnish sport of "wife-carrying", in which a man has to physically carry a female teammate (not necessarily a wife) over an obstacle course, is believed to be an echo of older times in which a man either had to abduct a bride by force from other people who would seek to pursue or else to get her out of the way of unmarried men seeking to abduct.note 
  • This was essentially the core of ritual abduction, a practice of ancient Greece and Crete, which citizens felt was justified by the myth of Zeus abducting Ganymede. Since the myth is homosexual, this was the traditional custom among pederasts who would, with the help of their target's friends, snatch the younger male away and shower him with gifts and attention. It was never to keep him away altogether, as he was always returned safe and sound by the end of the ritual, but that always took two months and the only one who really had a choice in this situation was the older guy who attempted to buy his love.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sobbin Women


Sobbin' Women

Adam Pontipee tells his brothers the story of the Sabine women, which he mispronounces as "sobbin' women"

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Main / AbductionIsLove

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