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Accidental Kidnapping

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When a character accidentally kidnaps someone else. This can have any number of causes behind it, ranging from honest mistakes and Contrived Coincidences to Alcohol-Induced Idiocy.

The accidental kidnapper may not be perfectly innocent either: they may have confused the kidnapped character with their intended target in a case of Mistaken Identity, they may have been trying to commit a different crime such as stealing a car without realizing someone was inside it, or the kidnapping may be the start of a Crime After Crime cycle where the kidnapper is forced to deal with their accidental victim one way or another.

Depending upon the personalities of the two characters, they might part quickly and relatively unscathed by the ordeal, but the situation can also end up as a nightmare for both of them.

One of the many possible answers to What Did I Do Last Night? and one way for a character to become the perpetrator of an Unintentionally Notorious Crime. Often caused by Stupid Crooks.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Cowboy Bebop episode "Mushroom Samba", Ed randomly crawls into a bounty hunter's car trunk without the driver knowing. The bounty hunter gets pulled over by the police, who are looking for the same person that she is, and check the trunk. When they find Ed, who fell asleep during the car ride, they assume the bounty hunter is a kidnapper. When both the bounty hunter and police look away, Ed wanders off none the wiser without providing any explanation.
  • Inverted in Hayate the Combat Butler. Hayate starts off trying to kidnap someone and ends up rescuing her instead.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, (North) Italy and Romano (South Italy) once kidnapped England, but only because he happened to fall into a hole that some kids dug in their yard. They weren't too happy about the situation, and even less happy when Germany dragged England back after he managed to escape.
  • In the Princess Minerva OVA, the villainess Dynastar sends her two henchwomen Orchid and Pyrocession to kidnap the titular princess, they end up nabbing her lady in waiting Blue Morris who was dressed as her so she can fight in a tournament, they gag her and stuff her into a sack, after opening the sack Dynastar realizes she’s not the princess and uses her as a hostage.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Bad Life Of Billy The Kid: Shark is technically guilty of abducting a child, but his conscience told him not to leave a baby that was left alone in a minivan.
  • OverGamer: When trying to escape from the police, Kirito accidentally abducts Silica(who he had been shielding from gunfire at the time) and takes her back to his lair.
  • White Sheep (RWBY):
    • After the Battle of Beacon, Emerald is on her own and stumbles on some Atlas soldiers. She uses her Semblance to make them think she is Weiss Schnee, the only person she knew they would not harm, and orders them to take her to safety. Unfortunately for her, they call Weiss' sister Winter, who orders them to take "Weiss" home to Atlas, thousands of miles from where Emerald wanted to go. The real Weiss (who was actually kidnapped, albeit by her own father) is rather confused when she returns home to find that all the servants are talking about how she returned a few days ago. When Weiss confronts Emerald, Emerald throws herself on Weiss' mercy. Weiss recruits her as a minion and the two of them are easily able to put Weiss in a much better position in the family than she was before.
    • Also after the Battle of Beacon, Ren collapses in exhaustion in a White Fang camp. He had been running full tilt from a dragon while wearing a White Fang mask to lead the dragon away from Beacon. When the White Fang members find him, they assume he's one of them despite him not being in uniform and not having any obvious Faunus traits. They take him to Menagerie, home of the Faunus, but are happy to let him go once they get there. His team of course doesn't realize he's unharmed, and Blake, Sun, and Ilia charge off to rescue him.
    • A fake example. Atlas sends an AI warship into the Grimmlands to attack Salem's tower, and they kidnap Yang Xiao Long in the process. They claim they had no idea there were any intelligent Grimm and the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Rather than pointing out that this makes no sense (why would they send a battleship if they thought no one was there, and why would they capture someone they found there?), Jaune pretends to believe them and says that this means they can just let their prisoner go, no harm no foul. The Atlas council is left between a rock and a hard place, as the myth of Atlas invincibility means they can't capitulate, but if they don't then Jaune will wipe Atlas off the map.
  • Played for Drama in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) fanfic Raphael's Big Mistake. When April doesn't come to meet the turtles, Raph decides to go to her apartment and get her whether she likes it or not, figuring it's better to be scared than killed by the Foot. Unfortunately, April's flatmate Taylor walks into the flat first and Raph doesn't realise he's got the wrong person until it's too late, meaning the turtles now have a terrified and traumatised young woman to look after.

    Film - Animated 
  • In Home (2015), Captain Smek took a rock from the Gorg, which turns out to contain the next generation of his race.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Randall, after bringing Boo's door to the Scare Floor for Sulley and Mike, traps Mike into a box and takes him away after Mike steps into the room and makes him think that he is actually Boo, whom Randall was baiting out. Randall doesn't realize this (even commenting the kid's put on a couple of pounds) until he tips the box over and Mike is the one who falls into the chair.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack’s minions, Lock, Stock and Barrel, kidnap the Easter Bunny instead of Santa Claus because they go into the wrong holiday door.
  • In Return To Neverland, Captain Hook kidnaps Wendy's daughter Jane thinking she was Wendy herself in an attempt to use her as bait for Peter Pan.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Not to mention the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy, where Sonny takes a little boy sent to HIS place, not his neighbor's.
  • In The 'Burbs, after the neighbors discover Walter is missing (and Rumsfield has broken one of Walter's windows to investigate his house), Ray takes Walter's dog home and starts to write a note: "Walter, your dog is my house, your window is broken because we all thought..." then he crumples up the note and writes "Walter: I have your dog." instead. near the end, "kidnapping a neighbor's dog" is added to the list of crimes he is temporarily charged with.
  • Played with in Clockwise. When the police arrive just after Brian has vandalised the phone box, Brian realises that Laura does not have a driving licence, and Laura refuses to let him drive; so on the spur of the moment, he asks Pat to drive them away. Pat's horrified mother believes that Brian has kidnapped her, and sends the police to follow them, and Pat is made to drive herself further and further away from home to try to escape the police.
  • This was combined with a Frame-Up in Dick Tracy, where No-Face kidnapped Tess and left her Bound and Gagged in Big Boy Caprice's headquarters without him knowing it, leading Tracy to believe, at first, that Big Boy had kidnapped her. Of course, the crime boss had done no such thing, and when he realized he had been set up with planted evidence of committing a capital offense, he panicked, and he kidnapped Tess for real, leading to a chase, which led to the climax of the movie.
  • Alicia Silverstone's character in Excess Baggage. She wants to make her father think she's been kidnapped, so she ties herself up and locks herself in the trunk of a car. Then a real car thief steals the car with her inside...
  • In The Hangover when the main characters get their car back, they discover that at some point in their "drunken" antics they locked a naked Asian man in their trunk.
  • In Akira Kurosawa's film High and Low, the kidnappers snatch not the son of the industrialist they were after, but the child of his chauffeur.
  • In A Life Less Ordinary, Ewan McGregor's character blunders into kidnapping Cameron Diaz's character. Turns out this was a stroke of luck, as she's a far better criminal than he is (and hated her dad).
  • In the film The Little Kidnappers, a pair of orphaned boys "rescue" an infant they find on a beach, believing the child is abandoned or has no family, but the baby had actually just been momentarily left there and his family was horrified to come back and find him missing. However, they know their grandfather won't approve of bringing in another child, so they hide the baby away to care for him themselves, which prevents anyone from making the connection to the high-profile missing baby case. The baby is eventually found and returned to his family, and the older boy is brought up on charges, but is ultimately acquitted as both the judge and the baby's family recognize that it really was a genuine misunderstanding.
  • In Lolly-Madonna XXX, the Gutshalls, a hillbilly family, create a postcard from a fictional girlfriend, Lolly-Madonna, as a ruse to get the Feathers out of the area so they can bust up their still. Innocent Bystander Roonie Gill happens to be waiting at the bus stop, so the Feathers kidnap her, thinking she's Lolly-Madonna and they can use her as a hostage.
  • In The Man with the Golden Gun, Goodnight really has nobody's fault but her own when she gets caught by Scaramanga; she actually hides in the trunk of his car while trying to plant a tracking device on it. (Fortunately, it still functions.)
  • In Memento, Leonard wakes up in a hotel room and finds a gun in the desk drawer and a man gagged and bound in the closet. He knew what he was doing when he kidnapped him but because of his condition, he's constantly wondering What Did I Do Last Night?.
  • Graeme and Clive in Paul realise they have to kidnap Ruth to prevent her telling anyone about Paul.
  • Ray, in Take Me, operates a business where he creates authentic kidnapping experiences for his clients. Anna, it seems, was a mistake, with the contract being arranged by someone else who wants her out of the way. It wasn't. She just was trying to make the experience more authentic than Ray had anticipated, and winds up a very satisfied customer.
  • Happens with a Traffic Warden in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.
  • Turkish film Varyemez has a rich industrialist getting car-bumped by a bunch of cash-strapped actors. The industrialist, already edgy from the death threats he's been receiving, believes the actors to be kidnappers. The actors just shrug and go with it, hoping they may get some ransom money.

  • A variant is seen in The Baby-Sitters Club. In Dawn and the Impossible Three, Dawn babysits for a very scatterbrained divorcee who constantly mixes up which dates her ex-husband is supposed to have their children. One day when Dawn is watching the three kids, the only boy, Buddy, suddenly goes missing. It turns out he's been picked up by his father, who is supposed to have visitation that day, and taken to an amusement park. When asked why he's not enjoying himself, Buddy explains that he's worried that Dawn doesn't know where he is - at which point the father realizes that his ex-wife isn't even home and that, from the babysitter's point of view, he's just kidnapped his own son.
  • Burglar Bill steals a useful-looking wooden box with little holes in the lid, and gets it home before he finds a baby asleep in it. He proves to be a surprisingly good accidental father, which leads to him and the baby's mother, Burglar Betty, getting married and going straight.
  • The Famous Five:
    • In Five Run Away Together: when the Sticks have invaded Kirrin Island, Edgar falls through the hole in the roof of the cave where the Five are hiding. The Five immediately make a prisoner of him; first with Hand Gagging by Julian, then threatening him with being bitten by Timmy if he yells for his parents.
    • In Five go to Smuggler's Top: Mr Barling intentionally kidnaps Uncle Quentin, but Sooty ends up kidnapped as well, because he happens to see what Mr Barling is doing.
    • This happens in Five have Plenty of Fun. The American girl Berta stays with the Five because she might be kidnapped, and she is disguised as a boy (and makes a more convincing boy than George). When George takes Berta's poodle down to the kennel at night, she is kidnapped, and the kidnappers are sure she is Berta, because she looks like a girl dressed as a boy, and happens to be carrying Berta's dog.
      Dick: The police don't seem to realise how complicated this is: the wrong girl kidnapped, the wrong father informed, the right one not at all inclined to give up powerful secrets - and poor old George not knowing what is happening!
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz: When the party are searching the Emerald City for Mombi, the Tin Woodman plucks a rose from a bush, and places it inside his buttonhole. The rose happens to be Mombi, who has transformed herself. The party leaves the City, unaware that they have succeeded in their quest.
  • Robin in Sherwood Forest doesn't intend to kidnap Shaima; he's essentially forced into it by his fellow soldiers, who want her summarily executed for sneaking into their camp. Shaima doesn't really care either way about his motivations, and just wants to go home.
  • Subverted in Michael Kardos's The Three Day Affair. The narrator believes he has accidentally kidnapped a convenience store clerk, but the kidnapping has been arranged as part of another character's more complicated plan.
  • In Timeless, Alexandria's vampire hive kidnaps Alexia's daughter Prudence. Well, they thought they kidnapped Prudence; they got Ivy's daughter by mistake. To be fair, it was two dark-haired toddlers, and Prudence hid under the bed when she heard them break in.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones' short story Warlock at the Wheel, the eponymous Warlock steals a car, not realizing there's a girl and her dog in the backseat.
  • In an interesting case, Cabot Searcy plans on kidnapping Cullen Witter in Where Things Come Back upon hearing that he had a date with Cabot's ex-wife, but ends up kidnapping his younger brother Gabriel. Upon realizing he got the wrong person, Cabot starts freaking out and saying he's a kidnapper now, so it's likely Cabot was just going to beat Cullen up and drop him back on his front porch or something along those lines.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, the secessionists abduct Matty under the mistaken assumption that he is Crowe's son, as they've seen him and Crowe together.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Almost happens in Angel: Gwen enlists Gunn's help to rescue a girl named Lisa. It turns out she meant to steal a piece of technology, with the acronym LISA, to use it to control her powers. Gunn only finds out after the little girl he tried to rescue told him that she was in her own home.
  • In season 1 of Arrested Development, Michael gives a Mexican woman a ride thinking that she's his mother's housekeeper, Lupe. She was not. This woman is then disturbed to see red splatter all over the front seat (actually nail polish spilled by Michael's sister), and shovels and a human skeleton in the back (actually taken from an excavation site by Michael's brother). Michael wants to prove that he's a good person by giving this woman a ride, refusing to let her out "too soon" when she becomes distressed by the shovels and "blood spray". She eventually runs away when he stops in the Wetlands, and the episode ends with Michael being arrested.
  • Beef: Danny accidentally knocks George out and jumps into his car and drives away. He realizes too late that George's daughter June and her dog have climbed into his backseat. George had already called the police, so Danny can't take her back without getting arrested.
  • Better Off Ted:
    • In one episode, Linda is inadvertently drugged and, in a misguided fit of appreciation, steals a baby so she can claim it as her own by writing her name on it.
    • In another episode, Ted regales the demographic he's unpopular with with a tale of how, in his youth, he once accidentally kidnapped a random pig rather than another school's mascot.
  • The Bill: A guy carjacked a car and didn't realise there was a baby in the back. The baby was found injured and It turned out that she'd been hit by her dad just beforehand.
  • Early in Burn Notice, Mike gets kidnapped during a bank heist. So a few seasons later when he calls to say he's involved in a hostage situation, everyone assumed he got kidnapped again.
    Mike: Actually...we're the hostage takers. It's a long story
  • Bones features a serial killer known as the Gravedigger, whose M.O. is to kidnap people, bury them alive, and demand a ransom in exchange for their location. They only intend to take one victim at a time, but if someone else happens to witness the kidnapping, the Gravedigger has to take them too. The first kidnapping is intentional, but the unplanned addition of a second person is not. This mistake happens not once, but twice, to the same killer and within the same episode.
  • Happens in a mid-2000s episode of CASUAL+Y, when a man being threatened over his debts steals an unlocked car from in front of a house in order to pay them off, not realising that there's a man hiding in the boot waiting to surprise his girlfriend who's just passed her driving test.
  • Community: One episode has Chang try to prove he could be a good father by picking up Shirley's kids from school. Except they weren't her kids; he just grabbed the first two black kids he saw and took them into his car.
  • In The Daily Show 2012 election special, Samantha Bee kidnapped the girlfriend of a focus group member she was interviewing, and threatened to kill her if the man didn't choose a candidate to vote for. The man then confusedly stated that the Bound and Gagged woman was not his girlfriend, leading Sam to realize she'd kidnapped some random person. Cue I Need to Go Iron My Dog remark...
  • Played straight in the finale of Dark Angel. Max and the gang are surrounded by their foes while at work, forcing them to take their colleagues hostage.
  • Flashpoint: In "Unconditional Love", a crook on the run from a gun deal gone bad hijacks a car from a woman, not realising her baby is in the back seat.
  • Happens in various fashions at multiple points in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
    • The straightest example of this trope would be, after a critic writes a bad review of Paddy's calling it "Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar In Philadelphia" (the episode's title), Charlie gets drunk and kidnaps him, leaving the rest of the episode as an exercise in how to release him without legal repercussions.
    • In "The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition", the gang kidnaps a family in a misguided attempt to remodel their house. After destroying their house instead, they have to give Dee's newly-acquired house to the family in compensation.
    • In "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis", Frank forces the kids of the family resident in the house he just bought to do work in the basement when their parents are at work. Same ending as the last one.
  • Two examples happen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • In the episode "Coerced", a mentally ill man takes a boy from his home after mistaking him for his own estranged son. He's eventually deemed not guilty by reason of mental disease and is sentenced to treatment in a mental hospital rather than jail.
    • In another episode, a young girl is kidnapped from her mother by a woman and bounty hunters who insist they are actually rescuing her, as they believe the girl is actually the woman's missing daughter who was kidnapped as a baby and the woman was lied to that her baby died. The girl's mother finds it absurd since she herself gave birth to her daughter. When the team investigate further, they discover the girl is the kidnapper's genetic daughter, but she isn't her missing child; the two mothers went to the same fertility clinic, and after the first woman completed a successful course of IVF, the dishonest doctor used that woman's leftover embryos to impregnate another woman whose embryos weren't viable. The "missing" daughter, meanwhile, was really Dead All Along, but the woman was in denial and convinced herself that her daughter was only missing in order to avoid facing the truth, and because of this, when she saw the other girl who looked so much like her daughter (due to being her genetic sibling), she became convinced that the girl was her "missing" daughter.
  • In the MacGyver (1985) episode "Hearts of Steel", kidnappers accidentally kidnap the housekeeper's daughter rather than the daughter of a business magnate because the two girls have swapped jackets.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle: In "Traffic Jam", Dewey is left in a van with the keys still in ignition, when a convenience store is robbed, and the robber runs out of the store and gets into the van. He starts speeding off and takes off his mask, only to look in the rearview mirror and see Dewey, who smiles and says "hello!".
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Rich Boy, Poor Boy", the kidnappers grab Bobby Brackenried after mistaking him for the boy he is playing with, who is also named Bobby.
  • In the My Name Is Earl episode Very Bad Things Joy steals a delivery truck without realizing that there was a delivery boy still inside. Earl and Joy then have to figure out how to release him without getting caught. In the end of season 2, Joy goes to trial and Earl ends up taking the rap for her and going to jail.
  • The Nanny: Happens in "The Nanny Napper", when Fran takes a baby from an ethnic woman who had her hands full on a subway and are accidentally separated. Fran and Maxwell considered caring for it until they see a criminal sketch for Fran on TV. The episode also drops a reference to a similar plot on The Young and the Restless.
  • Happens in The Office, when Michael holds the pizza boy hostage and demands a better deal, and his coworkers inform him he is committing a felony by holding a minor against his will.
  • Phoenix. A safecracker steals a car for his next job, not realising there's a baby asleep in the back. When he realises what happened he rings up Inspector Brennan to return the child. Brennan is furious, given that he's trying to convince the criminal to turn informant and now he's facing a child kidnapping charge, creating unwelcome attention.
  • Happens in Pushing Daisies during a flashback to Olive Snook's childhood. When a pair of men burglarize her home, she stows away in their getaway car to escape her neglectful parents, and she and her kidnappers have a wonderful time together. (Her parents are so neglectful that they don't notice her absence until the accidental kidnappers berate them for failing to look out for their daughter.)
  • In the Shoestring episode "Stamp Duty," Eddie is kidnapped by two henchmen who mistake him for a witness to one of their crimes. When they realize they have the wrong man, they force him to drink whiskey, then dump him onto a busy motorway, where he staggers around drunkenly dodging cars.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, the Enterprise, thanks to an unplanned Time Travel incident, ends up in the 60s. While trying to erase some photos that were taken of their ship, Kirk and Sulu are found by a military policeman who confiscates Kirk's communicator and proceeds to inadvertently trigger the emergency beam-out signal. The Enterprise responds accordingly, beaming up the communicator and the man holding it... the policeman.
  • In Titus (sit back, cause this is complicated), Tommy's ex-girlfriend came back to town and he wanted to talk with her, only he was limited by a past restraining order. He ran into her car and then in a note claimed that Titus would repair her car for free (owning his own car shop). When she came in Tommy tried to hide, but she ended up seeing him. Panicking, she barricaded herself in Titus' office and tried to call the police, but Dave yanked out the phone line. Titus does a Face Palm and declares that they now have a hostage.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dick Tracy: In the Crewy Lou storyline, Crewy steals Tess Tracy's car in order to make a getaway. However, she fails to notice Bonny Ann Braids napping in the backseat, turning it not merely into an unintentional kidnapping but making it personal for Tracy.

    Urban Legends 
  • There is an urban legend involving a bunch of teenagers who took some kind of hallucinogenic drug (usually LSD or 'shrooms), and mistake a child (usually a boy, though occasionally a girl, between the ages of 4 and 7, and sometimes described as a Down syndrome child, Depending on the Writer) for an elf, gnome, goblin, or other fantasy creature, or sometimes a statue thereof, which they keep overnight in a closet. When they wake up the next day and find out they have a frightened child on their hands, they turn the child in to the local police. Sometimes, they face criminal charges, other times they receive a cash reward for returning the missing child.

    Video Games 
  • Near the end of the second Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth game, Sebastian Debeste is kidnapped by two men working for his father, Blaise. They were actually trying to kidnap John Marsh, Justine Courtney's adopted son, in an attempt to get her to acquit Patricia Roland for murder. They kidnapped Sebastian instead because they didn't actually know what John looked like and their only method of checking if they got the right kid or not was to ask him if he knew Justine, which he does. To make things worse, the men told him that Blaise ordered the kidnapping, meaning all he could do until Edgeworth and Kay Faraday found him was sit there and wonder why his own father ordered him to be kidnapped, pushing him to the brink of a mental breakdown. Needless to say, when Edgeworth and Kay track down the location of the kidnapped "John", they're quite surprised to find Sebastian tied up instead.
  • In Ghost Trick, the Big Bad's allies Beauty and Dandy were supposed to kidnap the Justice Minister's daughter Amelie in order to force him to carry out Jowd's execution order. In a bizarre twist of fate, Dandy instead grabs Jowd's own daughter, Kamila (who is around the same age as Amelie but otherwise looks nothing like her). While it's argued that a child being held hostage is a big deal no matter what, this turns the situation into a Nice Job Fixing It, Villain scenario by (a) letting Sissel learn Kamila's story first-hand and use it to force Jowd to finally tell the truth about it, (b) giving Jowd a new helping of determination, and (c) easing the Justice Minister's worries James just enough for him to reveal another batch of related information.
  • The Legend of Zelda: This is what kicks off the plot for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The Helmaroc King, a minion of Ganon, was under the orders of finding Tetra the Pirate, who is revealed to be Princess Zelda later in the game, but it managed to kidnap several girls with long ears across the Great Sea by mistake. On Link's birthday, the bird mistakenly kidnaps his younger sister, Aryll, after nearly succeeding with Tetra, and his quest to give the bird and its master their much-deserved punishments begins.
  • In the Nancy Drew game “The Final Scene,” this is ultimately why Nancy’s friend, Maya Nguyen, is kidnapped. The kidnapper actually intended to kidnap actor Brady Armstrong and force Brady’s agent, Simone Mueller, to use her Hollywood connections to save an old theatre that was about to be torn down. Unfortunately for Maya, Brady was apparently late coming back from an appointment with his hairdresser, and when Maya walked into Brady’s dressing room, the kidnapper panicked and grabbed her instead. Oops.
  • Possible in the Super Smash Bros. event "Enough With The Kidnapping" where both Bowser and Jr. alongside a Boss Galaga that only affects Peach attempt to kidnap her. Nabbit is also a kidnapper and presumably works for Bowser and while he could also, in theory, kidnap Peach herself he could also accidentally kidnap Bowser and his son.
  • The entire plot of Tales of the Abyss kicks off when due to various reasons, a hyperresonance sends The Hero and the erstwhile "kidnapper" halfway across the world, setting in motion the first part of the game: getting one Sheltered Aristocrat and Chosen One back home before things go from bad to worse.
  • Tamriel Rebuilt: The quest "The Prince of Rats" concerns a khajiiti prince and ambassador who's gone missing, with his guards and brother worried that he might have been kidnapped by political opponents. It turns out that missing khajiit is actually of the alfiq furstock and thus physically indistinguishable from an ordinary house cat, which led to him being carried off by a pair of dunmer rat-catchers who wanted a ratter and didn't even realize that he was a khajiit.

  • In Yokoka's Quest, anyone who wanders through Betel's barrier ends up settling in the village and forgetting their previous lives. After leaving the barrier, Kalliv just wants to go home to his real family (but can't remember where it is), and Yfa's family are shocked when he shows us after having disappeared for years.

    Web Original 
  • When Andre the Black Nerd showed up for The Nostalgia Critic's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) review with The Angry Video Game Nerd, the Critic was distracted on the phone, and absentmindedly directed him to a closet and locked the door. When the Critic discovered him months later, Andre rather cheerfully demanded compensation by forcing the Critic to review The Smurfs with him.
  • Gossip City: Haruto's boss kidnapped his bride on the day of his wedding. It later turned out that the gang members he hired made a mistake and he actually kidnapped the Uwasa gang boss's daughter who was having a wedding on the same day. This got him into trouble with the yakuza.
  • Manga Soprano:
    • Miki attempts to coerce money out of her brother Kota by kidnapping his future wife Yuko in the middle of the wedding. However, when he and Baccarat come to her rescue, it turned out the "bride" wasn't Yuko, but Baccarat's girlfriend Erica, who is the daughter of the president of Soprano Corporation. Kota then throws her to Baccarat, who makes Miki work as a hostess as punishment.
    • Rina kidnapped Ram and Kairi's daughter Sara mistakenly thinking it was Ray, Alto and Kanade's child. When she carries out her plan of giving her milk to trigger Ray's allergy and spite Kanade, turns out that Kanade had Ray next to her all this time, and Sara told her that Ray is a boy. The families of both kids find out and Rina ends up in prison for attempted murder.
  • At the end of episode ten of Pokémon World Tour: United, Team Rocket tries to kidnap a Nurse Joy from the Pokémon Center in Pewter. Cobalt gets in the way and is summarily kidnapped by Team Rocket. This prompts Rose to call Cira for help to launch a rescue mission in the next episode.
  • Refreshing Stories: Misuo kidnapped Hiroshi's daughter Haru and demanded $5,000,000 as ransom. When he came to deliver the money to Misuo, he realized that the girl Misuo kidnapped wasn't Haru but Namiko, the daughter of mafia boss Ashura. When Ashura saw Namiko with Misuo, he was so enraged and had his men take away Misuo.
  • TomSka's video "Le Alien" has Tom realize that he accidentally kidnapped someone while drunk, and is desperately trying to deny it.
  • Trouble Busters: Sandra wanted Helen to lend her daughter Sarah so she can show her off instead of her own daughter Julia. Helen refused and Sandra decided to kidnap Sarah but unfortunately for her, she wound up kidnapping Mona, her cousin since the two were sleeping together and Sarah couldn't tell them apart.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: "Return to Omashu": The gang fakes an epidemic to get the citizens of Omashu to evacuate from the Fire Nation-occupied city, and accidentally get the governor's toddler son as well as he was following Momo after the latter flew into their house to get food.
  • The Flintstones:
    • Dino goes missing and Fred brings back what he thinks is Dino, but he was really taking someone else's snorkasaur (dog) from its own yard.
    • In another episode some criminals try to abduct a seal named Dripper that followed the Flintstones home, the guy assigned to the kidnapping can't see well without his glasses and can't tell the difference between the seal and Barney who was wearing scuba gear, he catches Barney by mistake.
  • The King of the Hill episode "Lupe's Revenge", where on a field trip to Mexico, Peggy accidentally brings along a local girl and is arrested for kidnapping when trying to bring her back (and the only way to get her out of it was to prove to the judge that she brought the girl to America by mistake because her Spanish comprehension is bad).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Gives us the episode "Over A Barrel" where, early in the show, a tribe of Buffaloes takes a train car containing an apple tree Applejack was delivering to Appleloosa.... only the Buffaloes didn't know until it was too late that the train car also contained a sleeping Spike.
  • In The Owl House, this turns out to be how Eda ended up with King. She found him as a baby in a deteriorating castle, alone with a speechless creature that immediately attacked her. Understandably assuming he was in danger as well, she took him with her when she fled. Years later, they return, and it's discovered that the creature will only listen to King, and was actually put inside the castle to protect him from intruders. Like Eda. Whoops.
  • Rugrats:
    • "Ruthless Tommy" revolves around Tommy being kidnapped by two goons who mistake the Pickles' house for the house of their actual target (due to confusion over the sixes and nines in the street address). They promptly return him to his very confused parents when he makes a mess out of their hideout doing what he usually does in an episode.
    • Another accidental kidnapping happened in "Case of the Missing Rugrat" when Grampa Lou puts Tommy in a luxury car while talking to a man standing next to it. Turns out the luxury car didn't belong to the man and actually belonged to two ugly spinsters.
  • Total Drama:
    • For the wrestling match in "Million Dollar Babies", Chris buys a ball pit from a local carnaval that has neither been screened nor cleaned. A dirty diaper and a full baby bottle aren't unexpected finds, but Duncan also digs up a genuine baby. Chef rushes in to get the kiddo out of the combat zone and presumably back to its parents.
    • To sabotage Team CIRRRRH in "Broadway, Baby!", Heather exchanges their baby carriage holding Noah with a baby carriage holding a baby while the team isn't looking, Noah is sleeping, and the child's mother is distracted by a phone call. Team CIRRRRH take the carriage with them to the finish line and only there realize they've got a baby with them and not Noah. Because they can't win without their full team, Alejandro rushes back and exchanges the baby for Noah just as the mother realizes something isn't right.
  • In one episode of Wally Gator two crooks come to the zoo to steal a platypus and wind up taking Wally instead because they read the name plate on his cage wrong.

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