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Captive Date

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Ironically, they're watching The Escapist.

Ah, a romantic evening! Lighted candles, soft music, one person (usually the woman, though the proliferation of the Yandere trope has resulted in increased chances of a male character being subjected to it) tied up and possibly gagged...

This trope normally follows these conventions:

  1. The forced date is an entirely innocent attempt by one party (with terrible social skills) to relate to someone he loves. In this case, the offending party (and it is usually a guy doing the tying up) probably won't be able to put together what's wrong with that situation.
  2. The abductor turns violent if confronted, though may not harm his victim even if she attacks him.
  3. Conversely, the date may presage bad things for the tied-up partner, either death or rape (maybe repeatedly).
  4. The date is simply a chance to toy with a mortal enemy.
  5. The victim's friends are racing to find her, and will teach the guy a violent lesson... even if the abductor genuinely means no harm, and a good sit down and chat (preferably with a good psychologist) would be far more effective in the long run.

Compare No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine for when a captor treats his victim in a more platonic manner. Contrast Dinner and a Breakup, where one partner doesn't want to be there for other reasons. Not to be confused with Shotgun Wedding. Compare Sexual Extortion, where a character demands Sex for Services. Since the victim is being held captive, it is likely, but not mandatory, that this could result in a Bad Date between them and their captor.

Note: The victim doesn't need to be tied up, but must be held captive.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Inu × Boku SS: Kagerou pulls this off with Ririchiyo twice in the anime, though both are Played for Laughs.
  • Love of Kill: Song spends the first episode (or first few manga chapters) badgering Chateau for a date after running into her on a job. He finally extorts one from her in exchange for information her boss has ordered her to obtain. It doesn't go well and she leaves the hotel room he takes her to at the end of it. He still manages to force a hug on her before she gets on the train to go home.
  • Naruto: In an anime-only arc, the villain Fūka plays with this towards Naruto at the end of their first fight. Fūka is a Femme Fatale that has flirted heavily with Naruto during their fight, all in an attempt to plant her Kiss of Death on him. After she finally defeats him by using a paralysis jutsu to turn his legs to stone, therefore trapping him and making him unable to resist her advances, she resumes her flirting and says that now that they are done fighting they can finally share a "nice hot kiss" like she wanted from the start, acting as if they are lovers and the whole encounter they just had together was one big romantic date. Ignoring Naruto's pleas to stay away from him, she grabs him by the shoulders to stop him from struggling and takes the time to act out a mock romantic moment with Naruto, knowing he is helpless against her now and can't resist. She cuddles with him, forces a Held Gaze between them by holding him by his cheeks and chin, giggles over how "cute" he looks as he glares at her in defiance even as he starts sweating in fear, and leaves their faces lingering only inches apart for several minutes. Once she is done having "fun" with him, she finally decides to bring their "romantic moment" together to an end, softly whispering her jutsu to Naruto before puckering up and leaning forward, ending their "date" with a "goodnight kiss".

    Comic Books 
  • In Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen #5, Major Strasser, the commandant of Devil's Island, lays on a candlelit dinner for Laurie, accompamied by a thinly veiled threat that things will go very badly for her if the evening does not go the way he envisions. He even provides a dress for her to wear, which is fairly creepy.
  • Golden Eyes' "dinner date" with German officer Hugo Von Schwatzenburg in the World War I serial "Golden Eyes" and Her Hero "Bill" - after the Germans shell Golden Eyes' ambulance, Von Schwatzenburg captures her, takes her back to the German field camp, and has her dolled up in looted French evening wear. He's convinced she'll fall in love and throw herself at him if he plies her with enough champagne and jewelry: in reality, Golden Eyes is playing coy while trying to come up with a plan to escape both Von Schwatzenburg and the German trenches.
  • Robin (1993): After her return from the dead Darla Aquista shows up at Tim Drake's new house and decides that his girlfriend's death means they're dating. Tim then has to leave the house with her for an untold period of time (at least a day, at most three) to protect his "uncle" from the superpowered delusional threat and she never realizes what she's doing, even thinking Tim is going to willingly have sex with her after she killed someone right in front of him. She lets him "have some space" to recover from the shock of what she's done but makes it clear she considers it an eventuality that he will come crawling back to her and is only dealt with by Shadowpact's intervention.
  • Kate Beaton plays this for laughs in Strange Tales II #1: "A Distraction" (aka Kraven Goes to the Prom).
  • Spider-Man: In The Spectacular Spider Man (Vol. 2) #16, after being defeated by The Queen in the previous issue, Spidey wakes up to find himself restrained to the wall in some webs, inside the building that The Queen took over. Shortly after he wakes up, he is visited by The Queen, who flirts with him, explaining she has chosen him to be her mate and will father her children in the new world. She continues to invade his personal space, eventually rolling up his mask halfway, telling him to relax since this is "nature's way" and after whispering for him to simply enjoy it forces a deep passionate kiss on him, in an attempt to gain control of him and make him love her. She nearly succeeds, and with Spider-Man slowly falling under her control, he starts to kiss her back. But as the two are making out, Spidey regains control of himself and manages to push The Queen off him while spitting out her kiss in disgust. This act of disrespect and rejection of her love angers The Queen, who drops her romantic approach, and grabs Spider-Man, snarling that nobody does that to her, calling him a "little worm", and slaps him across the face twice before declaring he'll love her whether he wants to or not, and then leaving him bleeding and alone in the dark.
  • Superman: Deconstructed in the story "Breaking the Chain". Powerboy knocks Supergirl out and takes her away. When Kara comes around, she finds she has been shackled and dragged to Powerboy's Stalker Shrine of a home, and now Powerboy intends to be her boyfriend whether she likes or not. Kara breaks her chains, calls Powerboy out on being a delusional domestic abuser as fighting him, and tells him to stay away from her from now on.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Subverted when Mole Man threatens to destroy various buildings until Squirrel Girl goes on a date with him. This just makes her decide to beat him up instead of trying to talk things out.

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot had a series of comics where Jason reluctantly agreed to be Eileen Jacobson's buddy during a field trip to the science museum in exchange for a foil Charizard card. Throughout the trip Jason keeps trying to escape, but is thwarted by Eileen and their teacher. Played the straightest in the planetarium, where Eileen has him handcuffed to his seat so he doesn't try to bolt the moment the lights go down.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Downplayed in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. On Belle's first night in the castle, the servants convince the Beast to try charming her, and he "invites" her to dinner. When she indignantly refuses, he becomes angry and declares "If she doesn't eat with me, she doesn't eat at all!" Even after they start warming up to each other, she's still technically a prisoner until he realizes he loves her enough to let her go.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Joker and Vicki Vale, in Batman (1989).
  • Dr. Lecter does this with Clarice Starling in Hannibal. Clarice is free, but drugged. It doesn't help when Lecter starts cutting open the skull of his other guest and eating his brain.
  • Happens in the Spanish film The Last Circus.
  • Darkness has a coerced dinner with Lili in the 1985 film Legend (1985).
  • The Aussie horror film The Loved Ones is about a teenage girl, with help from her dad, kidnapping her high school crush so that she can have the perfect prom with him.
  • The premise of the film P2 revolves around this idea. After refusing to join a security guard named Thomas for a small Christmas dinner, Angela is kidnapped by him, chained to a chair, and forced to dine with him. She escapes shortly afterwards, and the action moves to the underground parking lot she's trapped in. It is later revealed that Thomas had been watching and stalking Angela for some time and seems to have developed affections for her. He even goes so far as recording himself dressing her.
  • After Marion is kidnapped in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Belloq tries to be civil, bringing her a nice dress and then talking to her over wine; unfortunately, the far less civil Toht comes in and breaks this up.
  • Tie Me Up Tie Me Down: A recently released psychiatric patient kidnaps an actress in order to make her fall in love with him. He believes his destiny is to marry her and father her children.
  • Type 4 in Van Helsing, in which Dracula takes Anna to his masquerade ball and forces her to dance with him while waiting for Van Helsing to arrive. No ropes used, but it's clear he's using some kind of mind control or muscle control.

  • In The Mahabharata, the naga princess Ulupi kidnaps Arjuna and drags him to her den at the bottom of the river, where she then propositions him. Even though she's a total stranger, Arjuna finds this sexy for some reason and acquiesces.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Starbuck is held captive by Leobin during New Caprica's occupation. It's a nice house and all, and she does kill her captor, but he's a Cylon and just comes back the next day (or earlier), but it doesn't really help her escape since it's still essentially a military prison on the other side of the door. He eventually convinces her to stop even violently murdering him by bringing in a child that she can't risk hurting or getting hurt in further violence.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • One episode focuses on a killer who treats his victims to a romantic evening complete with rose petals, though they're not tied down. He means no harm until they turn him down once they reach the bathtub part of the date. The rest fits to a T, though.
    • In another episode, a guy was stalking a woman and ended up kidnapping her. One scene shows them sitting at a table and talking, until the woman raises her hands and it's revealed that she's tied up.
  • Frontier Circus: Don Diego does this to Naomi in "Naomi Champagne": staging a romantic dinner for her that she has no choice but to attend.
  • Heroes has an incredibly creepy example between Eric (who can move other people like puppets) and Meredith.
  • Sos Mi Vida provides a male example. Incapable to get the love of Martín Quesada, and on the run from the law for attempting to kill Esperanza, Barbara kidnapped Martín and tied him to a bed... and attempted to begin a romantic setting. Martín resists until Esperanza comes to the rescue.

  • Jonathan Coulton's "Skullcrusher Mountain": a Mad Scientist, having kidnapped the Damsel in Distress and brought her back to his secret lair, is trying to have a civilized dinner with her while wooing her with his mad science. For some unexplicablenote  reason it doesn't seem to be working.
  • A variation, the narrator of "Collector" by YAPOOS kidnaps someone, shuts them in the trunk of her car and eventually brings them to her basement as "punishment" for rejecting her love. She says she'll give them anything they want except their freedom.

  • A creepy take on this can be found in Terrence McNally's Sweet Eros. The typical staging features soft candlelight, fine music ... and a young woman who's been bound to a chair and gagged, by a young man obsessively searching for his perfect lover. His bizarre efforts to win her affection, even as he's cutting her clothes off and preparing to rape her, create a surreal and uncomfortable atmosphere. It's made even stranger as she appears to return the "affection" in the end, though it may be up to the director and audience to decide how free her choice was.

    Video Games 

  • In Threading, it's not clear yet if Nina is one of the Good Goys or the Bad Guys, but she's got Deirdre handcuffed during their Reunion Kiss.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: The Ice King does this on occasion with a princess since he's trying to woo them, but always fails.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Mad as a Hatter", Jervis Tetch tries to win his co-worker Alice's heart after her recent breakup. She is charmed by Jarvis but mistakes his romantic overtures as attempts to cheer her up and she later reconciles with her boyfriend. Jarvis then uses his Mind Control technology on her and takes her on a "date" at a Wonderland-themed amusement park.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: when Timmy's parents ignored his birthday for Chip Skylark, he wishes for the worst nonlethal thing to happen to him, which is: he is trapped by Vicky. But Timmy soon gets to know Chip, and realizes he's really an ok guy, and decided to free him from Vicky's clutches.
  • Family Guy: Meg does this to Brian when she falls for him.
  • In the Futurama episode "Bend Her," Bender implies that he's done this before, though not (necessarily) in a romantic context:
    Bender: ...Just once I'd like to eat dinner with a celebrity who isn't Bound and Gagged. Is that so much to ask?
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Beezy is under the influence of a Love Sweater meant for Jimmy, he drags Heloise on a date, and ends up wrapping her in a straitjacket to enjoy a candlelight dinner.
  • Justice League: At the end of the first part of "Injustice For All", Batman is captured by the Injustice Gang and locked in a restraining device. As Luthor has various members guard him in shifts, it is eventually Cheetah's turn, and in a unique twist of the trope, Batman ends up turning the guarding session into a date between them with himself as the captive. He somehow gets Cheetah to open up to him about her origins, offering her a sympathetic ear and praising her for what she was willing to sacrifice for her cause instead of condemning her as a freak like she expected. Batman's kind words quickly cause Cheetah to become attracted to him, and she slides up next to him as he's restrained, cuddling with him and lifting his chin up with a finger, as the two begin to openly flirt with each other. After a quick exchange between them, with Batman whispering seductively to Cheetah, practically daring her to make a move on him, she gives him a touched smile before wrapping an arm around his head and leaning in, planting a deep kiss on him. This might have counted as a Forceful Kiss due to him being restrained, if not for the fact he was kissing her back. It later turns out that Batman had seduced Cheetah to frame her as the traitor of the Injsutice Gang, since when Luthor and the others see the video of her and Batman kissing they instantly believe she's the traitor.
  • Looney Tunes: One Pepé Le Pew cartoon ends with Penelope shackled to him, desperately trying to saw herself free. All Played for Laughs, of course.
  • The Owl House features a variation where Hooty captures Amity and then forces her and Luz into a Tunnel of Love to help them get past their insecurities and ask each other out. It works, but only due to sheer dumb luck.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Patty and Selma have been known to engage in this (for example, a tech guy who was lured over to "fix" their television).
      Patty: We have a gentleman caller.
      Tech Guy: Hey, this TV ain't broke. It's just been unplugged. What th-
      [Patty slams the door shut.]
    • The same thing when they kidnapped Richard Dean Anderson.
  • Poor Lois got this twice in: Superman: The Animated Series
    • In the episode where Bizarro first appears, he asks Lois out before his body starts to suffer from clone degeneration (and thus still resembles Superman). When his body and mental capacities start badly degenerating, he remembers asking her out, so he decides to simply grab her, then break into a restaurant to keep the date. This technically makes it the type 1 example, as he honestly believes he's holding up a promise, even though Lois likely objects.
    • She was also kidnapped and "invited" for dinner by Toyman, although this was neither Type 1 nor 2; her written hypothesis of his motivations in the Daily Planet was completely wrong, and he wanted to explain his actual motivations, possibly so she could print them later.
  • In Teen Titans, Killer Moth threatens the city with destruction unless Robin takes Killer Moth's Bratty Teenage Daughter, Kitten, to the prom. Robin complies, much to his chagrin. (In truth, Kitten is doing this to make her true boyfriend, Fang, jealous; while it partially works — he comes crawling back to her apologizing for whatever fight they had — both of them and her dad still wind up in jail.)
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Jean Grey is held captive by the Blob, who thinks she's his girlfriend. He falls into type 1, though ends up violent.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Shotgun Date


Nostalgia Critic

In the Princess Diaries 2 review, Hyper-Fan Girl has Nostalgia Critic go on a date with her at gun-point.

How well does it match the trope?

3.4 (5 votes)

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Main / CaptiveDate

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