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Happiness in Slavery

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Slave labor looks quite Safe, Sane, and Consensual when explained by Dilbert's Pointy-Haired Boss.
Pa Grape: This time, I really mean it! We should go back to Egypt.
All: Huh?
Pa Grape: Don't you remember? Snorkeling in the Nile, three square meals a day, plenty of exercise; oh, it was paradise!
Tom: We were in slavery!
Pa Grape: Nothing is perfect.

Bob is in servitude to Alice, but doesn't want freedom, and is not brainwashed. There are four types of this:

Compare Subordinate Excuse, which is similar, but without the slavery. If the masters are vampires, the willing subordinates are often Vampire Vannabes.

This may also occur if a couple takes Property of Love to its logical extreme. For some people in BDSM relationships, "enslavement" can be a Casual Kink, which presumably makes them happy to participate in or at least fantasize about. Hopefully it's the Safe, Sane, and Consensual kind, though; see also Power Dynamics Kink and Romanticized Abuse.

See also Happiness in Mind Control. Compare Freedom from Choice and Not Used to Freedom. Contrast Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil and I Just Want to Be Free. May lead to Unfulfilled Purpose Misery, or may be Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life.

This may create very Unfortunate Implications, as similar beliefs have been used to argue in favor of slavery in Real Life.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Angel Sanctuary the cherubim Katan is honored to serve inorganic angel Rosiel. Bonus points for the copious Ho Yay between them (this is Kaori Yuki after all). There's likely more than honor involved...
  • Bakugan, in some respects. Sure, they fight to save their homeworld, but at the end of the day, Drago would rather live in crampy, tiny little ball form with Dan than on his homeworld. To their credit, a few of the Bakugan decide to stay back on New Vestroia instead.
  • The Bleach character Soi Fon grew up in a sort of feudal system where people were indocrinated into serving the ruling clan, and the weakest slaves did all the drudge work. The only way she could improve her lot was by being promoted into the heiress' Praetorian Guard (who were still slaves, but at least got decent lodging and weren't kicked around by their peers), so she trained relentlessly for years to be strong enough. And it worked! But then the heiress, who it turns out had dreams of her own, just up and left the clan one day. Like everything Soi Fon had done was for nothing. She kind of...collapsed after that, until she found a new purpose: growing strong enough to hunt down her once-mistress and stab her through the throat. Even decades later, when Soi Fon has a real paid job and her own subordinates, she still believes that freedom made her aimless, not happy. note 
  • Haji from Blood+ does weird things with this trope. For at least the first 2/3 of the show, he embodies this perfectly: a servant that is completely and utterly loyal to his master, because as a chevalier he's biologically hardwired that way. Then it turns out that chevaliers can betray their masters and abandon them without remorse; Haji is simply that devoted to Saya.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura Yue and Cerberus straddle instances A and C of this trope. On the one hand, it is revealed that neither one of them can live for very long without a master to supply them with at least some power to support their existence; but on the other hand, their transition into genuinely caring about Sakura and developing true loyalty to her of their own choice is a major plot point —especially where Yue is concerned.
  • Chained Soldier has Yuuki face all four aspects simultaneously. Men are second-class citizens already, so his fate as Kyouka's slave is actually better in certain respects. He's clearly the beloved servant of the Amazon Brigade he winds up serving. He's Kyouka's cringing boot-licker, literally on occasion. For the last, his fate as a slave is the lesser evil because he gets the protection of the vanguard against super-powered mindless monsters out to kill all life on Earth, for no explained reason.
  • Cross Ange: Ange is eventually forced to purchase her childhood friend and maid Momoka as a slave to save her from getting killed by her peers. Since Ange continues to be her friend and simply has her resume her maid duties, Momoka is perfectly okay with this.
  • DearS, perhaps a little further than usual with this trope. The hat that all the DearS wear is exactly this — they're a slave race, content to do whatever their master tells them. In this case it has to do with the fact that they have to be loved and trusted or at the least appreciated by another race in order to survive. If that doesn't work and they stop being trusted and loved they kill off the master race and find a new one.
  • Sort of played straight by Wormmon in Digimon Adventure 02. He serves Ken out of a feeling of obligation as Ken's Digimon partner and a hope that he can make Ken good somehow. This is despite some truly terrible treatment he had to endure. When Wormmon eventually sacrifices himself to protect Ken, it's enough to set him on the course for a Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Dorei Shouni Shika Sentakushi Ga Nai Desu Yo, slavery is the lesser evil because All Crimes Are Equal, and slaves who fail to be purchased after a certain number of attempts at an auction get sent to the mines, to work there until they die. There is no mention of what happens to the sick or infirm who can't work...
  • Nana in Elfen Lied. While she's treated as horribly as any other Diclonius, Chief Kurama, one of the scientists in charge of her, sees her as something of a surrogate daughter and treats her at least slightly more humanely than the other subjects. In return, Nana genuinely loves him and seems to just accept her treatment as "the way things are".
  • In Fantasista Doll, the dolls apparently need masters to even leave their cellphones. They cannot walk too far from their masters without vanishing back into them (though the distance can be increased with cards.) There is a verbal contract with mutual master/doll obligations, though the actual relationships between them vary.
  • In Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, the Creepy Twins Xia Yu Fan and Xia Yu Lan are this towards Gauron. Because they feel so indebted to him for taking them in, they are shown to be willing to undertake a suicide mission that he orders. Of course, it's possible that it's not just gratitude, and there are hints that they have feelings of love that contribute to them being so loyal to him.
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet plays this straight as an arrow—or rather happily bent the gay way with the Pirate Queen Lukkage and her two "slave girls." In their very first appearance, they appear to be merely unfortunate slave girls sitting at her feet with chains around their necks, whimpering when appropriate. By their next appearance they're piloting one of the ships in her armada, still decked out in their slave collars and rags, and enthusiastically helping their queen. It's never 100% explained what the relationship is there but it's clear that the girls love every part of their jobs.
  • We don't see much of Ekaterina and Kukrachyov's relationship in Godannar, but from what we do see it seems to be a nice enough arrangement. It helps that despite looking like a Dominatrix, Ekaterina is actually quite nice.
  • The Angeloids of Heaven's Lost Property are artificial beings made with this trope in mind, but they're not truly happy serving their master, which Ikaros observes when she and Nymph talk about smiling. Tomoki becomes Ikaros' master, although he and his friends are trying to dissuade her from this behavior (unless he plans to peep, in which case she helps him), and Nymph laments how she is without a master, but later finds that she likes having her own desires and stops thinking about it. Astraea didn't have this problem, in part due to her lack of intelligence. That is, until she was ordered to kill Nymph. Then she broke free.
  • Hellsing:
    • Seras Victoria is offered her freedom by Alucard, but refuses to leave her vampire master.
    • Alucard himself doesn't seem terribly bothered calling Integra "master" either, in fact, he greatly enjoy his servitude to Integra, in the manga he even says that he has a beloved master [Integra] just for him and servant [Seras] that only loves him.
  • Mizuki from Kamisama Kiss is just a little too glad to be made a familiar to Nanami. In fact, after the magic contract is made we get this little exchange:
    Mizuki: ...the wonderful feeling of being dominated by a god... so irresistible! Please, say it again, Nanami-chan! Bind me with the invisible chain!
  • The Law of Ueki: Due to her love for Robert Haydn, Rinko is almost slavishly devoted to him. However, soon after meeting the protagonist of the series and realizing how little Robert actually cares for her, she decides to join said protagonist's True Companions.
  • Maken-ki!: It's the end result for any girl who falls for Love Espada.
  • Discussed in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid when Tohru met a bandit who dreamed of being a maid. Being a dragon, Tohru had a hard time understanding why anyone would willingly submit themselves to another, especially someone who had just gained their freedom. Downplayed since it only seems like slavery from Tohru's perspective.
    Tohru: You are enslaving yourself, are you not?
    Bandit: But, it's by my own choice.
    • Tohru herself is a straight example. She serves as Kobayashi's live in maid because Kobayashi saved her life.
  • Played seriously in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Marida (aka Ple 12) was conditioned from birth to serve a master. Even the ordeal of prostitution was seen to her as another order by master. It gets to the point where after Suboera Zinnerman of the Sleeves rescues her and gives her something vaguely resembling a normal life, she can only think of him as another 'master'. Needless to say, he's a bit put out by this. Near the end he 'orders' her to take control of her free will, after seeing her in pain. She finally calls him 'Father' after she dies, during one of those trippy Newtype sequences.
  • The eponymous protagonist's servants in the ero-comedy Mouse. One of them, who always stays by his side (and helps him out during his "night life", along with two other girls, and assisted by his harem/ninja maid army), when asked about what she thinks of her life as a slave, tells him that she considers herself as happy and safe as she could be, and wonders how many "free" people can't say the same. To be fair, Mouse is a pretty nice and meek master (at least until alcohol is served to him by accident), so he's in constant danger of being assaulted, not them. It helps that he saved them from their respective Dark and Troubled Pasts, and generally treats them as True Companions.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: Teresa, demon shop owner Alice's shop girl, was purchased by Alice when she was twelve with the proceeds of a smuggling job. Alice treats Teresa more like an employee than a slave, however, utilizing Teresa's natural talents and making her the face of the store she opens, where Teresa is quite popular, as well as making sure Teresa takes days off to relax. Teresa, for her part, is loyal to Alice and her life with Alice is a significant step up from where she had been; Teresa's parents were abusive due to her not having a special ability like most demons and the whole reason she had been available for purchase in the first place was humans kidnapped and sold her to the person Alice bought her from. This is best demonstrated when Teresa's younger sister, Dolores, tracks Teresa down intending to rescue her and is dismayed to find her big sister doesn't really need rescuing.
  • Omamori Himari: Himari was technically born in slavery to the Amakawa family, but she doesn't mind. In fact, given how many times she's tried to seduce her master, she'd probably be thrilled if Yuuto ordered her to his bed. Lizlet also wants Yuuto to own her.
  • Back when she was a slave to the World Nobles, Koala from One Piece had to fake this trope and put on a smile at all times so as to not get killed. Crying was also forbidden. This scarred the poor little girl enough to make her remain a Stepford Smiler even after being freed, until Fisher Tiger changed her slave mark into a sun mark, and told her it was OK to cry.
  • In Otome Youkai Zakuro, initially subverted with Byakuroku who hates the fact that she's treated as just a tool of Big Bad Omodaka, but eventually played straight when Byakuroku realizes that having lost her purpose in life after her sister (who she devoted her life to protecting) already died, her freedom ultimately has no point, and so she offers herself as his Property of Love, which he accepts, allowing her to survive with him in the end after he avails of a Last-Second Chance.
  • Gilbert's devotion to Oz in PandoraHearts verges on this. Also, Echo. Subverted, once you get her talking about her "beloved master"...
  • Branwen the Dragon-Blooded in Queen's Blade Rebellion seems to be content being enslaved to a crude little goblin, despite the fact that it is shown that she has the power to break free whenever she pleases. She gets off on masochism, for one, but there is some other reason for her wanting to stay enslaved that has not yet been explained.
  • Satan's Secretary is of the "better than freedom would be" type. The eponymous secretary grew up in a bad orphanage where she was bullied often, and even after working her way out has no fondness for the human race. To her, living in Hell alongside predatory demons is just more of the same. Although she does like the possibility of being given an actual name someday.
  • Averted, subverted, and deconstructed in Shitsurakuen. The female students who are enslaved as per school policy are hopeless and miserable. The only reason they don't resist is that the past situation was even worse. Played straight and averted with Sora's personal harem who are quite happy to escape the abuse and work to fight against it. Averted in that the only girls who remain part of her harem chose to do so and she gives them complete control over their own lives, seeing them as protectorates rather than slaves. One girl rejects Sora's protection, so Sora sets her free. The real kicker? The boys themselves HATED this trope yet they can do little to change it and are forced to play their roles.
  • Steel Angel Kurumi: Eponymous character Kurumi is devoted to her 'Master' Nakahito ever since she was first awakened, even telling him that he's her Master and she'll happily do anything he wants.
  • In Trigun, Legato Bluesummers is this way towards Knives. Despite Knives essentially crippling him, beating him up, and calling him "trash," Legato remains in complete bliss as long as he serves under Knives. Most definitely the "cringing bootlicker" kind. Knives does treat Legato (at least in the manga where he has a backstory) better than anyone else Legato ever knew—that is, he turned up and killed all the people Legato hated most while they were engaged in raping him to death, and then decided not to kill the kid and let him come with him, and even asks him his name. (The kid doesn't have one yet.) And then evidently gives him some clothes and eventually puts him in charge of minions, and at least implicitly approves of and values his creepy superpowers, and trusts him to run things while he, Knives, is in the Gunsmoke version of a bacta tank.... The bar is low, but Knives clears it by a mile. Which is in itself horrible.
  • Vermeil in Gold: Alto Goldfield ends up summoning the devil Vermeil as his Familiar. She points out she could easily kill him, but she will serve him out of gratitude because summoning her broke her out of a seal she had been trapped in for over 500 years.

    Comic Books 
  • All over the damn place in Golden Age Wonder Woman comics, where the Amazons had some... interesting ideas about criminal reform. Wonder Woman brought a great number of her (usually female) villains to an islet called Transformation Island, where other Amazons would subject them to "Venus girdles" (which magically dissipated any evil/violent thoughts) and some thinly-veiled BDSM play to "cure" them of criminal tendencies. Several Amazons note that their "prisoners" often grow to like being chained and spanked for minor infractions.
  • Adam Susan of V for Vendetta proudly declares himself a slave to the Fate computer.
  • Despite all he does to them, the people of Apokolips fanatically worship Darkseid. From his lowest of Lowlies to his highest Elites, all would gladly lay down their lives for the Lord of Apokolips. Darkseid's goal is to make everyone in existence follow suit by harnessing the Anti-Life Equation. When Orion deposed Darkseid in Kingdom Come, he was forced to become a tyrant much like his father because the Lowlies simply couldn't handle freedom. Even the ultimate agent of freedom, Mr Miracle, was having a hard time getting them to grasp the concept. At least once Superman has defeated Darkseid and proclaimed that the Lowlies were now free. The first thing they did was start begging Darkseid to rule them again. Darkseid's comment on this is "you may have defeated me, but I am still a god."
  • The Nerbs in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). According to the Encyclopedia, they actually preferred the rigidity of Eggman's rule, and willingly joined the Dark Egg Legion.
  • Flavius of Dragon Age: Magekiller is quite content with his position as a slave to Archon Radonis. Of course, he doesn't exactly live as a miserable field hand; being the personal attendant to The Emperor affords him considerable status and respect, and he probably has a more comfortable life than most free people.
    Flavius: "To some, a life of service is neither insult nor shame."
  • Superman:
    • Subverted in Superman Vol. 1 #176: Superman's Day of Truth!, where it's revealed ancient Krypton was conquered by an alien race known as Vrangs, who forced their Kryptonian slaves to pretend they were delighted to serve the Vrangs with smiles on their faces. The people of Krypton endured this situation until a slave called Val-Lor refused to pretend he was happy and openly defied their torturers. He was gunned down right away, but his courage sparked the rebellion which drove the Vrangs from Krypton.
    • Deconstructed in The Krypton Chronicles, which expanded on that story. The Vrangs forced their Kryptonian slaves to pretend happiness because it fed their egos and kept their slaves subdued. And the only reason Kryptonians smiled and declared they were privileged to serve their masters when asked is because they were being forced at gunpoint, and knew what would happen if they spoke their minds.
      Vrang Soldier: "Smile, all of you— Show us how happy you are to be ruled by the Vrangs!"
      Kryptonian Woman: (through her teeth) "We are privileged to serve you, Masters!"
      Vrang Soldier: "Who are you, stripling? Why do you not smile like the others?"
      Val-Lor: "Because I'm no hypocrite! My name is Val-Lor— and I despise you Vrangs! I wish you were all dead!"
      Vrang Soldier: (gunning him down) "How dare that slave defy us? Ray-death is the penalty for such a crime!"
  • Played with in Asterix, and especially the book Asterix and the Laurel Wreath, though Justified in that the slaves are mostly treated as normal workers by most masters... As they were actually treated in Ancient Rome at that time (after the near-disaster of the Third Servile War, in which Spartacus' army of rebel slaves had posed an existential threat to Rome itself, the Romans passed laws that forced the owners to treat their slaves well, up to include the chance for them to eventually buy their freedom, something that happens to a largish group of slaves in one of the books). The only exceptions are four slaves forced to carry a jerkish master's palanquin and throughly enjoying the repeated beatings he gets from Asterix and Obelix, and a group of Corsican slaves owned by the Roman Army that spend all their time lazying around as the legionaires know better than treat them as slaves at all.

    Fan Works 
  • Ashes of the Past: Since word spreads among the various Legendary Pokémon that Ash is The Chosen One to save the world, many of them choose to be caught by him, if only to protect them from being caught by someone less scrupulous, and to ensure that he can summon them quickly when facing a crisis. Many of them, such as the Beasts of Johto, embrace a more active role on his team, regularly participating in gym battles or ferrying him around, and appreciate his creativity in training them to overcome their weaknesses.
    Ho-Oh: You are a good man, and we will be safe in this way from those who would seek to chain us. And who knows. We might pitch in from time to time. Imagine the spectacle at a contest!
  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K: Rei trusts her life to "pilot Ikari" (Shinji). Literally... her whole life: she identifies him, directly, as the definition of the word "happiness". To his utter horror, more and more of Shinji's followers have taken this ideology regarding him, that anything he desires is good to seek, period, because of who is desiring it.
  • In Danny Phantom fic "Behind the Eyes", Danny is this for Vlad. Poor Woobie.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Ami herself is a fairly Benevolent Boss, but she theoretically holds near-absolute power over her minions. She can instantly transport them anywhere in her Dungeon (including a prison, torture chamber, or for that matter her bedchamber), vary their salary at a whim or cut it off altogether if she thinks she can control them by force, slap them, watch anything they do...oh, and that ability to move them around also means she has the power to snap their necks as easily as snapping her fingers (and when she learns about the horrors that Keeper Malleus has committed, she does just that). Nonetheless, many of her most powerful employees are there by choice, knowing that she's a good person and that her service offers great opportunities.
    • Snyder initially joined up because he didn't have many options, but he later has the opportunity to leave and redeem his reputation among the surface nations. He instead chooses to stay with her and continue providing her with his magical expertise, believing that serving her is a noble thing to do.
    • Cathy was not happy about being backed into a corner and having to sign up, and tries to conceal her identity so that her family won't be tainted by association. Nonetheless, she is firmly loyal to Ami, even fighting the Avatar face to face to protect her.
      Cathy: Look, Mercury is a nice girl who hasn't hurt anyone! This is a misunderstanding! Just give her a chance!
    • Jadeite is initially perturbed to find that he's unknowingly entered the service of a Sailor Senshi. Nonetheless, he quickly realises that it's a tremendous opportunity; she appreciates his skills, she represents an opportunity for revenge on Queen Beryl, and she's quite attractive (and finds herself attracted to him). Ironically, a group of fairies becomes utterly convinced that he's being magically compelled to serve her, and must be freed, but he just finds them irritating.
  • In Those Who Fight Monsters, Vanitas, with a mixture of Break the Cutie tactics and Break Them by Talking, is able to convince Aqua that she is best off being his slave.
  • It is very common in Touhou Project doujinshi for Miyako Yoshika to be very happy in her servitude to Kaku Seiga who, in return, treats her "cute underling" well. This being Touhou, their relationship has been portrayed in all manner of ways, but most commonly romantic... which lends to this trope a fair amount of squick, given that Yoshika is dead and Seiga was the necromancer who raised her... That said, they are still portrayed as a rather cute couple, in a morbid kinda way, and there's typically a lot of rigid hugs, cuddling and reattaching lost limbs. It should be noted that, within the fandom, a question that sometimes comes up is whether Seiga might have commanded Yoshika to be happy in slavery/love Seiga or not (and also whether this would be considered merciful, given the alternative, or her crossing the Moral Event Horizon). Given that she is a cheerful, friendly, Affably Evil person, it is not entirely unlikely that she would've done something like that but it seldom makes it into fan made material anyway.
  • In Opening Dangerous Gates, any Bleach character who is summoned is filled with an urge to protect and serve Lucy. While most are not happy with this, Rangiku embraces it and calls her "Master", though she does briefly question why she is feeling this way. Harribel later privately muses that she would prefer to serve Lucy over Aizen.
  • As many The Familiar of Zero stories have this played straight as they avert it, depending on how Darker and Edgier they are. In Jus Primae Noctis we get this from Siesta, who says she's fine being property as long as she's Saito's property. Since she chose to enter his service it seems genuine, but it still squicks Saito a bit. It goes From Bad to Worse when Henrietta expresses her desire to marry him, and Tabitha and Louise both express willingness to surrender their names and serve him like commoners.
  • This trope is the reason the Demon Empire was able to stop slave rebellions in Sonic X: Dark Chaos; they take pains to treat their slaves well in most cases and many of said slaves worship Maledict as their god anyway. Unless they fall into the hands of Beelzebub, that is. In Episode 69, Momo faithfully serves her master Aamon as her pseudo-grandfather figure, and Aamon in turn allowed her to marry his grandson Lou and legally gain her freedom. Episode 68 reveals that Astorath and his Nephilim treat their legal "slaves" as equals on their warships because the idea of owning another sentient being is utterly alien to them.
  • In Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles, all women except aunt Petunia are this. Hermione even talks about cleaning the kitchen, although God literally puts the food on the table and provides lots of other miracles on request. It must be assumed the women like tidying up, as no reason is given as to why they can't pray for removal of the dirty dishes.
  • In Maleficent fanfics, this trope is sometimes played for drama, as Maleficent of course wants to set Diaval free after her problems are resolved and his life-debt repaid, and he takes this as her sending him away and is deeply hurt that she would discard him.
  • In Sekirei? Is that some new species of little sister? and its sequel, Akitsu is overjoyed to be Naruto's and Xanna's slave. Initially it's because she was well beyond the Despair Event Horizon (due to being a scrapped number and unable to get an Ashikabi) and was simply happy that someone wanted her; later, it's due to how well Naruto and Xanna treat her. Notably, when the two conquer a backwater planet to set up their empire, everyone else coming with them is kept in suspended animation until technology reaches a certain level; Akitsu on the other hand begs to be let out the moment they secure their rule, despite knowing that no time would pass at all to her. When she starts growing old, Akitsu isn't worried about someday dying since she'll die by their side. Still, she's ecstatic that Xanna both restores her youth and accepts her request to be killed in her sleep should Naruto and Xanna ever tire of her.
  • In Off the Line, Vincent becomes Cloud's pet because being a pet would protect him from the countless players out to kill him and finally give him some sort of safety. Cloud and his friends otherwise treat him as a regular person otherwise. Cloud is very respectful of Vincent's boundaries and is trying to find a way to free Vincent. Vincent doesn't like being a pet and wants to eventually be free but is otherwise grateful to Cloud.
  • In Guyver Naruto, former Sound-nin Tsuchi Kin is captured, interrogated and given a choice between slavery or death. She chooses to become a slave and finds herself in the role of chief maid as well as finding romance, something denied to her in Sound.
  • An interesting variation occurs in For Love of Magic with a process known as The Joining, which eventually turns one's sexual partner into their slave but by that point they're perfectly fine with it anyway. Notably, the spouse of any Veela is technically their slave but the relationship is still largely of two loving spouses rather than master and servant. Harry eventually uses The Joining to brainwash Narcissa so he won't have to kill her and Draco.
  • Invoked and Deconstructed in this Dragon Ball Z fanfic. It's shown and stated that Gohan has Stockholm Syndrome for his master, to the point of spending years begging and scheming to become his Sex Slave on top of his weapon. Gohan takes great pride in serving and has become a Yandere for his master, but Trunks theorizes that all of this behavior stems from a deep-rooted fear that being anything less than a perfect, irreplaceable slave will get him hurt. Turns out Gohan gave Piccolo some ideas, because not only does he repeat the process with Videl (who thankfully doesn't become a Yandere), but he designs his entire slave-trade empire to invoke this trope in as much of humanity as he can.
  • Parodied in this fan art which shows the aftermath of the changeling invasion of Canterlot if they actually succeeded, where they quickly "enslave" the ponies by shape shifting into attractive ponies and catering to their every whim... in numbers.
  • In Anything Goes Game Changer. Akitsu has to sit down and explain to Ranma that she wants to serve him not simply because of her indoctrination, but because it's both her fetish and her way of repaying him for saving her from the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Blake eventually falls into this in Stockholm Syndrome. Contrary to the title, it is not an actual case of Stockholm Syndrome on her part, since her "captors" do genuinely care about her and offer her better living conditions than what she could realistically attain by running away.
  • A Twi'lek prostitute in Screw the Rebellion, I want Cookies becomes exceedingly territorial with her new master/employer once she realizes that serving a single, reasonably nice master is a better fate than going back to the brothel she worked at previously, though the story does make clear that a large part of it is her rather damaged psyche from "spending years as a receptacle for others' lusts".
  • The Pokémon AU fic Ash's Adventures: Girls' Hunter Edition:
    • May is a particular example of this; in a world where girls can be captured in human balls to become PokeGirls, where they gain a Pokemon type and must fight for their trainers, May deliberately wanted to be caught, both so that she could gain Fire powers and because she enjoys being dominated. Not only does May initially appear with her arms bound, a ball-gag in her mouth and naked apart from her shoes and bandana/hat, but she later reflects warmly on a past instance where she and Misty went swimming and May let Misty take advantage of her new weakness after exposure to water.
    • A flashforward suggests that Dawn and Serena will have a similar attitude towards their relationship with Ash; it's observed that Dawn has been calling Ash 'Master' since they met while Serena refers to him as her 'King' (although it's noted that Serena's term is used occasionally and is intended as a jest whereas Dawn meant it from the start even if she has become more independently minded since joining them).
  • Basically defied in "Boston Bound Fae"; when Jane Rizzoli- here a fae (Lost Girl) although still a homicide detective (Rizzoli & Isles)- is forced to swiftly "claim" Maura Isles as hers in order to protect her from the Ash or other Fae. While Jane and Maura are close friends, Maura is immediately uncomfortable at the notion that she could basically be considered Jane's "property", even as she accepts Jane's explanation that this approach is necessary to protect her.
  • In the Lucifer (2016) fic "City of Sin", Chloe is soon established as Lucifer's future Queen where other characters, including Eve, Charlotte, Ella, Maze and Beatrice (here Chloe's childhood friend rather than her daughter), are just Chloe's handmaidens and members of her harem. At one point Chloe asks Beatrice if she's jealous of Chloe becoming Lucifer's Queen, but Beatrice assures Chloe that she can't think of anyone better suited for the role of Queen than Chloe, whereas Beatrice would "much rather just hang around in silky lingerie in a room covered in pillows and hot tubs while eating grapes out of a bowl" than deal with that responsibility.
  • The Power of Seven features a variation of this as Harry's sexual relationship with Demelza Robbins places emphasis on Demelza enjoying a submissive role where the woman is commanded by the stronger male, to the extent that she explicitly calls Harry 'Master' during their first true sexual encounter (their prior liaisons basically amounting to mutual masturbation or heavy petting), and later reflects that she's had fantasies about being given a collar or a tattoo to mark her as Harry's. These fantasies are reinforced in Chapter 58, when a ritual that creates a soul bond between Harry and Demelza starts with Demelza wearing a collar (and nothing else) and serving Harry and his other six bonding partners with drinks and food as they discuss their next move, before Harry actually completes the bonding ritual.
  • A complicated case with Blue Pearl in Faded Blue. She clearly was not happy in Blue Diamond's service, just numb. She's in a much better state with Steven and Greg, but is still struggling under that weight, and it's unclear how much they truly understand the situation. Once Steven and Greg make it clear that she is not their slave, Pearl has trouble figuring out what to do with herself. A major subplot is the three of them trying to work out exactly how to deal with this information, eventually deciding on letting her help out (but not doing all the work herself or doing all the work for her) and trying to foster her individuality.
  • In The World, My Oyster, Donquixote Homing's wife, having suffered a year as a Sex Slave to the self-insert's parents, finds herself almost immediately falling in love with him after learning he'd killed his parents so she wouldn't die before becoming his slave. While she's still a slave, so far all he's done is made her bathe with him and act as a teddy bear while he sleeps; a far cry from his parents who beat and raped her nightly.
  • Barty Crouch Jr from Black Sky has no greatest ambition than cater to the whims of Voldemort and later Dorea, with whom he's bonded as a thrall.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Darkseid succeeds in speaking the Anti-Life Equation, turning literally everyone into his brainwashed slaves, eager to serve their beloved master, until the Equation's effects are thankfully cancelled.
    Dev-Em: Okay, here's what I remember. We all smashed in there, into Darkseid's bedroom or whatever it was, El, Kara Two, Kid El, the two Action chaps, and the Flash Trio. You'd have thought that among the batch of us, there would have been somebody fast enough to have dropped him before he said the word. But we weren't."
    It must've just been one word. Or he must've been talking very fast. Whatever he said, I don't remember it... I don't think I'm supposed to remember it. All I know is that every one of us froze in our tracks. In our souls. Scared the hell out of me, and I'm not ashamed to say it. For a second there, I felt like I'd been damned. Literally. Then I was looking at that grey-faced geezer, and I swear, it felt like..."
    " felt like I was in love with him. That I'd do everything for him. That I didn't have to do any thinking anymore, that he'd do it all for me. That nothing had to be done but what he said, what he wanted. That his will was like the Great Mainspring of the Universe."
  • In Your Own Personal Shampoo, Shampoo is perfectly happy being a slave to both Ranma and Akane. It probably helps that they've entered into a Polyamorus relationship.
  • Downplayed in Metagaming? in regards to Colette Blaumeux. While she certainly didn't enjoy serving the Scourge, she found being raised as undead oddly liberating as she was freed from the stress of her position as High Priestess of the Order of the Silver Hand. She also enjoyed the comraderie she found with the other three horsemen.
  • In Blessed with a Hero's Heart, Izuku comes into possession of two demihuman girls, a harpy and a gator-girl, who he later gives the names Chika and Liza respectively. Even after he sets them free by removing their slave seals, they continue to serve him because he treats them with kindness and is always looking out for their wellbeing.
  • Played with in Tantabus Mark II and its sequels. Luna creates an updated version of the Tantabus to spread good dreams with the expectation that it would be a mindless automaton. After it develops sapience, Luna decides that forcing it to spread good dreams would be equivalent to slavery, and so sets it free... at which point it continues spreading good dreams of its own free will. As the Tantabus puts it, it has a clear purpose in life, a purpose it likes fulfilling, so what's the harm?

    Film — Animation 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, the transformed servants in the Beast's castle are absolutely stoked to serve Belle when she arrives:
    Life is so unnerving
    For a servant who's not serving
    He's not whole without a soul to wait upon
    Ah, those good old days when we were useful...
    Suddenly those good old days are gone
    Ten years we've been rusting
    Needing so much more than dusting
    Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills!
    Most days we just lay around the castle
    Flabby, fat and lazy
    You walked in and oops-a-daisy!
    • Later versions of the story, including the Broadway musical and 2017 film, deliberately subvert this trope. The servants aren't serving Belle because they enjoy it (although they do come to genuinely like her as a person)—they're making her comfortable because she's the only chance they have at finally breaking the curse that's trapped them as furniture and knickknacks. The live-action movie goes further, revealing that the servants genuinely didn't like working for pre-transformation Prince Adam (or his nasty father), but were too afraid for their jobs and livelihoods to speak up. Mrs. Potts even says that the staff being transformed is a proper punishment: they had the opportunity to both prevent Adam from being twisted into a hateful, spoiled man by his father and defend the disguised Enchantress when she arrived at the castle, but failed to do so and are now paying the price.
  • Subverted in The Prince of Egypt. Aaron repeatedly claims that he and Miriam love the work they do, and even thanks Moses for giving it to them...but it's clear he's only saying it to keep his sister and himself out of trouble, as he knows that complaints will get them physically punished (or far worse).
  • At the start of The Steam Engines of Oz, Victoria lives in the dungeons and spends her days maintaining the engines that keep Oz running. She is completely happy with this because she believes that the Tin Man is a kind and benevolent leader who is never wrong, so if her part in his grand design requires her to live in a dungeon and toil underground then so be it. She even thinks that part of the reason for her being kept in the dungeon is so that the dungeon guards will have employment.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The slaves in Jezebel are awfully cheerful. Of course, this is pretty much the only way Hollywood dared depict slavery in 1938 — even though, by that point, slavery had been illegal for over 70 years.
  • Jodie Foster's underage prostitute character Iris in Taxi Driver. Travis murdering her pimp and sending her back to her (possible negligent or abusive) parents is part of the film's Ambiguous Ending.
  • The major twist in Manderlay is that, after abolition, the plantation slaves held to Mam's Law on their own, even after her death (i.e. the length of the movie and obviously after), rather than take their chances in the outside world. The other twist is that Mam didn't write Mam's Law; her head slave did.
  • Cypher from The Matrix is perfectly willing to accept slavery, so long as he's not aware of it. It helps that in this case, the "slavery" is just living a normal life in what is indistinguishable from the real world, and that part of his conditions for handing over his team are to be plugged back in as "someone important, like a movie star".
  • Star Wars:
    • The new canon already has a kind of I Owe You My Life arrangement in place with many cultures through the concept of a "life debt", but it's amped up further in the expanded universe; saving one such individual's life and thus imposing a life debt is grounds for Undying Loyalty. Ironically, this is most apparent among the Trandoshans and the Wookiees, whose species are Arch-Enemies to one another: Zayne Carrick and Marn Hierogryph extract a life debt from the Trandoshan Slyssk by way of the latter saving him from a lamppost brought down with the force by the latter, and the Undying Loyalty that Han Solo received for freeing Chewbacca from slavery is literally undying; after getting crushed by a moon of the planet Sernpidal; his son Lumpawaroo then took on the debt.
    • The expanded universe shows an unexpected amount of alien races really WERE happier with the Empire than the Republic. And the remnants of the Empire, Ysanne Isard especially, use this to their advantage quite a bit.
    • The droids: "We don't serve any of their kind around here." The novelization takes this scene a bit further. The bartender says "I only stock for organics, not (very distastefully) mechanicals." C-3P0 assures Luke "That's all right, master. I don't require lubrication at the moment anyway." Of course, even the droids have their limits. Restraining bolts force the issue of loyalty, and memory wipes are at most a step away from Mind Rape. There have been droid revolts at times in the past.
    • The two native races of Utapau are a "cultural" example — the short, humble Utai willingly submit themselves to the rule of the tall, long-lived, near human Pau'ans. There is no animosity between them, and the arrangement suits both species pretty well; the Utai are naturally hardy and well-suited for a work-heavy lifestyle, while the Pau'ans are highly intelligent and have great leadership skills. In all likelihood, they'd probably be much worse off without each other, and they trust each other so much that the Utai even allow themselves to be represented in government by a Pau'an. note 
    • The Twi'Leks are a "lesser of all evils" example. Most of the ones seen off of their homeworld either sold themselves into slavery or are descendants of those that did. Working as a dancing girl for a Hutt is still better than being on their home planet.
  • Blade Trilogy: A variation. Vampire familiars are happy to be the property of their evil masters, either for protection, power or in the hopes of being turned themselves. For example, a hidden Mole in Blade II is actually working for the enemy the entire time, stating that their victory is inevitable, and when the time comes, "I'd rather be a pet than cattle."
  • In the relatively pro-slavery 1940 movie Santa Fe Trail, slaves are freed by a gang of evil abolitionists, and when the troops arrive to take them back to their owners, they thank them, saying that if this is freedom they don't want any of it.
  • Heavily subverted in Gods and Generals; a female house slave is shown to be loyal to the family that own her, and they in return treat her very well (for a slave). By the end of the film, she decides she wants to be free anyway, and not because of any mistreatment by her masters... the basic point being that even the best possible scenario for a slave's life still pretty much sucks. Though this movie also plays the trope straight in a few instances.
  • In C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, Confederate propaganda attempts to paint the slaves in this light. For example, a commercial plays advertising "Contrari", a drug that more or less dopes slaves into compliance. It's pretty obvious that the trope isn't applying in their reality, however.
  • Lukey in The Horse Soldiers was completely loyal and faithful to her owner Miss Hannah.
  • Django Unchained:
  • Diaval the raven-manservant to Maleficent in a "beloved servant" case. Sixteen years together has a way of turning servitude into a bickering friendship, and while he repays his debt to her by saving her life, he appears to have no plans on leaving.
  • Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok. After the events of Age of Ultron, he accidentally warps to Sakaar, where he is forced to be the Grandmaster's champion gladiator for two years, killing just about any person who goes up against him. However, unlike his time as an Avenger, the Hulk genuinely enjoys himself under the Grandmaster's control, as he is capable of letting loose against people in the ring while also getting time to himself in some rather luxurious personal quarters. The only reason he leaves it all behind is because he genuinely didn't want Thor to leave Sakaar, and ends up losing control to Banner, who wants to get back home at all costs.
  • Programs in the TRON universe are a Servant Race to their human creators, but most are very happy to serve their Users and consider their service as central to their existence. It's the villains who chafe under this and seek liberation from human rule.
  • In To Kill a Dragon, most Townspeople in the town that the Dragon controls are quite content with the situation, being convinced that being protected from Gypsies and other dragons is worth supplying the Dragon with livestock (and one girl per year) and enduring his rule. Even after the Dragon is dead they just passively wait to Meet the New Boss.
  • In the Spanish film Stico a broke Roman Law professor offers himself as a slave to an old student in exchange for house and food. His motivation is not his financial situation however, but that he is not happy with his life choices and hopes that giving away his freedom will solve that.
  • Cloud Atlas: The main theme of the novel and film. Slavery appears in some form or another in every story:
    • Adam Ewing slowly comes to realize that social darwinism is wrong. Explicitly referenced in the film, when Reverend Horrox, to prove a point, asks the slave serving them at the time if he is happier here working on the plantation than being free amongst his people. The slave says yes.
    • Ayrs tries to blackmail Frobisher into remaining his assistant and supplying him with music to steal.
    • Luisa and Joe stumble on a sweatshop.
    • The retirement home that Cavendish is sent to is essentially a prison. Residents are expected to pretend to be happy with their "new life."
    • Sonmi and her fabricant sisters are engineered to be happy in slavery.
  • In The Mummy, the traitorous Beni ends up as Imhotep's servant when, in an effort to protect himself, he rattles off a prayer in Hebrew, which the newly-revived pharaoh recognizes as "the language of the slaves." Despite not being crazy about Imhotep's plans, Beni still goes along with them, largely because he believes "it is better to be at the devil's right hand than in his path." (being offered a ton of treasure may have also been a factor)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: Ildith is Queen Bera's favorite Beautiful Slave Girl. As someone who values comfort over freedom, she would rather be a high-class slave than a free laborer.
  • Kaamelott: Premier Volet: King Arthur seems to have made no effort to escape during his time as a slave somewhere on the Red Sea coast after abdicating the throne in the series, fleeing only once people looking for him come by. His owner doesn't try to stop him either, only saying that if he decides to free one of his slaves, that's his business.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Many low-level telepaths seem to feel this way about Psi-Corps. Yes, they have to obey the dictates of their superiors, but given that the other options are death, a life on the run from both the Corps and anti-telepath mundanes, or a cocktail of drugs whose side effects may be enough to drive you to suicide, the Corps offer of protection, steady employment and a measure of respectability doesn't sound so bad, especially if you aren't powerful enough to be gain the attention of the truly unsavory parts of Psi-Corps. Of course, that many telepaths are raised by Psi-Corps compounds the issue.
  • "Number Seven" in series 3 of Being Human left his job and family to become a live-in blood donor for vampires, complete with leather bondage suit. He even does this knowing full well he will eventually die from it.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The TARDIS. It's a self-aware, sentient, intelligent being, and yet the Doctor has the power to make it go away to die a slow, lonely death ("The Parting of the Ways"). And apparently the other TARDISes were allowed even less self-determination, considering the Doctor's TARDIS's occasional habit of going where and when it thinks the Doctor should be instead of where and when he programmed it to go is seen as a malfunction due to its old age, even by the Doctor. Of course, the TARDIS' submission to this treatment might be seen as a very subtle, very long-ranging chessmaster plan where the ship only lets the pilot do whatever suits it anyway, but that still doesn't change that the Doctor didn't know this until his Eleventh incarnation and that he never seemed to see anything inherently wrong with the system. The Hypocrite. And yet, the TARDIS loves him.
      • Expanded on in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel "The Taking of Planet 5"; most Time Lords take direct control of their TARDISes through a telepathic link, but the Doctor avoided forming such a link with his ship as it would have made it easier for the Time Lords to track him, instead relying on his own controls and leaving the ship with a greater degree of freedom than it would have possessed otherwise.
    • Chip, Cassandra's lackey in "New Earth", is a perfect example of this though.
    • The Ood seem a race of these at first. Then it turns out it's due to alien lobotomy in a factory, and when some of the Ood get their consciousness back, they are very angry. And that was only written because RTD noticed the Unfortunate Implications in the Doctor just accepting a race of slaves at face value so quickly...
    • Tivolians, a humanoid race with rodent-like features, claim to prefer to be enslaved by alien invaders. Famously cowardly, they'd rather be oppressed by tyrannical overlords than deal with responsibility for their own welfare; in "Before the Flood", Prentiss claims that the alien race who ousted the Fisher King from power initially freed his people, so the Tivolians proceeded to annoy their rescuers enough to convince them to re-subjugate their planet. Prentiss spends the whole episode trying to encourage the Doctor to "opress" him in an extremely suggestive way.
  • Farscape has Pilot, an alien who is physically bonded to the living ship Moya. Pilot literally cannot be separated from Moya for very long without dying and he was initially treated as little better than a slave by the crew. Still, he considers himself fortunate and is happy to live that way, with his relationship with the crew improving after they learn more about the circumstances under which he was bonded to Moya. Although Pilot and Moya were basically forced together at first to facilitate a Peacekeeper plan, Moya's current crew help him form a more natural link with her, explicitly choosing a situation where they will have more limited control of Moya while the bond is re-established in favour of Pilot having a more genuine bond with her that they all feel he deserves.
    Pilot: When one of my species is bonded to a Leviathan, we give our lives to the service of others. Ship first - then those who travel aboard her.
    John: No matter what those aboard do to you?
    Pilot: My species is incapable of spaceflight on our own. If we wish to journey beyond our home planet, this is the trade-off we make for the chance to see the galaxy. I consider it a perfectly equitable arrangement.
  • Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, despite often being treated little better than a slave by the other characters, has said several times he likes his job and is proud of doing it well.
    Geoffrey: I have known freedom. Didn't like the health plan.
  • In Game of Thrones:
    • Although they enjoy their new-found personal autonomy, the Unsullied seem to struggle with the idea of not serving anyone and continue to serve Daenerys in exactly the same capacity they would have if she hadn't freed them. Likewise, many freed slaves from Yunkai immediately hail her as their savior and enter her service.
    • Danaerys abolishes slavery in Mereen, and a man comes to her asking to be allowed to sell himself back to his old master. He explains that he was a tutor to the man's children and was treated very well, while he's begging and living on the streets now, and was abused by younger men when he went to one of the houses she created for freed slaves. He also comments that his is far from a unique case. Disturbed, she grants him the right to make a contract with his old master for a year. Selmy warns the masters will take advantage of this, but no one even brings up employment, rather than slavery (even temporarily).
  • In a Season 3 episode of Gilligan's Island, Gilligan rescues a native girl from drowning and she becomes his slave out of gratitude and she is way too happy about it. For example, when Mr. Howell wins her services from Gilligan she immediately drops to her knees and bows to him without a second thought. Throw in the fact that the native girl is played by a very attractive actress and you start to wonder...
  • The Handmaid's Tale:
    • Plenty of the Handmaids play this part, not daring to speak explicitly of their plight in public or be punished.
    • In particular the second Ofglen says she's happy with her lot, because she was a drug-addicted prostitute before. Now at least she has somewhere to stay every night, plenty of food, and people she insists do care about her, though it's still open to interpretation if that's a rationalization and coping mechanism. She still balks at stoning Janine. Later this trope is averted when her tongue is removed and she suicide bombs a meeting of Commanders in a new Red Center.
    • June's new partner in season three, Ofmatthew, is seemingly very pious and happy with her status, although hints that she may be less than so in the season where she reveals that she is now pregnant again with her Commander's child.
  • An episode of History Bites set in the Roman Empire had a "channel" where a stand-up comedian (Ron Pardo) mentioned in his set that he was a recently-freed slave and sarcastically thanked his former master.
  • I Dream of Jeannie features a willing slave entity to whom liberation means the freedom not to be a literal genie, but to serve of her master as she sees fit. (Jeannie is, in fact an exteme case, as she falls in love with her master. He tries to set her free shortly after meeting her, but she won't allow it, returning to her bottle simply so he can find it and open it again.)
  • Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire: Though not actually a slave (Kröd notes he's actually freed him multiple times) Loquasto acts like he's Kröd's, loyally serving him and following him while addressing him as master, despite Kröd not liking him to.
  • The Longest Day in Chang'an: Tan Qi is Li Bi's slave, and at first she's perfectly happy with this. Early in the series she outright refuses his offer to set her free. Subverted later, when she finally realises he has never seen her as a person. And then double subverted when she goes back to working for/with him at the end.
  • Lauren in Lost Girl is never actually called a slave, although she does refer to herself as the Ash's "property." She generally seems quite happy with her lot in life, although she is sometimes commanded to do things she doesn't want to. It should be noted that, because of her medical expertise, and the fact that she is the slave to the leader of the light fae, she actually enjoys a great deal of prestige and influence within the fae community. Nevertheless, she clearly is a slave, and clearly is reasonably happy with that fact. Although it seems that she is likely to be substantially less happy under the new Ash. The Ash in season 1 also never openly referred to Lauren as a slave, the one in season 2 however refers to Lauren as "chattel" and his property, both of which infuriate Bo. Possibly being deconstructed in late season 2 when we find out that she actually joined the Ash to keep her girlfriend alive and to have a chance at curing the girlfriend's mysterious ailment, and it's later revealed that the Ash ordered her cursed to obtain Lauren as his slave in the first place. She also later admits to Bo that the five years she spent as slave have been rather bleak for her; and considering how reserved she is, that probably means horrible. Most Fae think that Kenzi also falls into this category since they consider her to be Bo's property. It does not cross their minds that Bo considers Kenzi to be an equal.
  • In an early episode of M*A*S*H Hawkeye obtains a young Korean girl (by winning her in a rigged poker game) who was sold to an Army officer who was passing through the 4077th. Hawkeye intended to free her to go back home. However, she felt this would bring shame to her family and that she was Hawkeye's property now.
    • At the end of the episode, when Hawkeye does give her back to her brother (who announces his intention to sell her again), she goes with him ... for about five minutes, whereupon she tells her brother to get stuffed, and decides to stay at the camp doing basically the same kinds of things she'd been doing as a "moose" but getting paid for it.
  • Observer, in the later seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Despite his omnipotence and his ability to do practically anything with his mind, he remains Pearl's subservient and browbeaten lackey. (His fear of her and total lack of self-esteem apparently keeps him from seeking his own fortune elsewhere.)
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The Grell", the Grell rebel leader Shak-El accuses Jesha of enjoying being a slave because he won't turn against his human owners and join the rebels. In fact, Jesha longs to be free as much as the rebels do but he genuinely loves the Kohler children, Kenny and Sara, and refuses to abandon Sara when she is in danger.
  • Kryten from Red Dwarf. Although Lister helps him "Break his programming" to some extent, by the sixth series, he still shows love for housework.
  • Several slave characters on Rome. Many of the central characters have a body slave who is completely loyal to them in every way, and would probably stick around even if given their freedom. Servilia's body slave kills herself when her mistress does, Atia is constantly crying in Merula's arms, and Posca never seems to long for freedom while he's Caesar's slave. He is also seen weeping bitterly when his master dies. Even after being freed, he stays around, serving Antony for as long as he can. One could also argue that Eirene fits the trope, since even after Pullo frees her and kills her fiancé she agrees to marry him, presumably because she feels she has little other choice. She does however grow to love him later. Another slave who doesn't seem too bothered by her place in life is Gaia, although she gets to boss the other slaves around, so she functions more as a slave overseer than a slave.
  • On The Shield, the relationships Vic Mackey has with his subordinates within the Strike Team often ventures into this trope's territory. Shane, Ronnie, and Lem are shown to be weak-willed individuals with low self-esteem at best and crippling need for a fatherly figure to tell them what to do at worst, allowing them to better serve Vic as his minions.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Nasir is upset when he is freed by Spartacus's men, saying that as a house slave he had position and respect over his fellow slaves. Spartacus and Agron convince him that freedom is better than material comfort, and it is made explicitly clear that his "happiness" is the result of being thoroughly Conditioned to Accept Horror.
  • Star Trek:
    • An episode of Star Trek: Voyager had Janeway's recreation of Leonardo da Vinci removed from the holodeck and "employed" by an alien tyrant who gave him the freedom to work on whatever he desired, on the understanding that his creations would be turned over to the tyrant. When Janeway arrives to rescue Leonardo, he responds that "If this is a cage, it is a cage of gold!" Justified: to an artist of the Italian Renaissance, employment with a patron who gives you unlimited resources and freedom to create would have been hitting the jackpot.
      • In another Voyager episode, the crew is abducted by aliens whose planet is experiencing a labor shortage and implanted with false memories to make them believe they want to be there. They do get paid rather than being forced to labor for free, but they're not free to leave (even if they don't realize it); anyone who wants to leave is promptly brought in for further memory modification.
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Vic Fontaine was a self-aware hologram who was programmed to enjoy his life, sing and make people's life better. Unlike The Doctor and many other self-aware holograms, he doesn't give a crap about any rights he might have because he's fine with the way things are, "living" the high-life in 1960's Las Vegas that's as real as he is. (They also leave his program running 26 hours a day, unless he wants to turn off, which can't be overridden.) Whether this is morally right or not isn't commented in on the show itself, but it's a hot topic among fans. (The ones who don't hate Vic's guts, anyway.)
    • Played With re Orion slave girls. They typically come across as willing to do anything to please their masters, who are typically men; Star Trek: Enterprise, however, reveals that because of the pheromones they give off, it's actually the men who are held in thrall.


    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Bible contains instructions for freeing some slaves after seven years. Naturally, there is the case where the slave wants to remain (the Bible says when their master gives them a wife and children), while the procedure for this is also described — if the slave wishes, just pierce the ear, and he remains with you for life (given the ambiguous nature of ancient slavery, this may occasionally have happened, though the Bible doesn't record any specific examples).
    • Jacob gave himself to his relative Laban to work for him for seven years, his payment being marrying his daughter Rachel at the end of those years. To Jacob though, they only felt like a few days because of his love for her. Unfortunately, Laban invokes some Exact Words for the wedding, and gets Jacob married to his older daughter Leah instead. Thus Jacob ends up having to work another seven years for Rachel.
    • Joseph, while in Egypt, was still technically a slave, but did excellent enough that his master Potiphar put him in charge of nearly everything in his house. Unfortunately, there then was a little issue with his wife...
  • Some religions preach that submission and obedience to God is good and leads to happiness. Islam is perhaps most well-known for this. The common Arabic name Abdallah/Abdullah means "servant of God" or "slave of God"; many other Arabic names beginning with Abd mean "slave of [one of God's many titles]", e.g. Abd-al-Jabbar "slave of the Omnipotent".
    • Christianity also has these themes, with Jesus described as coming to Earth as a servant, and new testament verses such as "Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you." In James 1:1 Christians are spoken of as "bondservants of the Lord" approvingly.
  • Greek Mythology:
    • Bellerophon tamed the pathologically wild Pegasus by forcing a magic bridle on him. The bridle made Pegasus obedient, but Bellerophon felt guilty for stealing Pegasus's freedom and took it off.note  He was surprised to find that Pegasus still followed him and still accepted him as a rider.
    • Because of divine command, Psyche was married to a total stranger (Cupid). Psyche was understandably sad at first, but once she realized she wasn't a Human Sacrifice (and Cupid granted her request for family visits) she warmed up to her husband. The myth ends with her travelling into Hades itself so she can see him again.

  • In WHO dunnit (1995), Butler is unfailingly loyal to his employer, Victoria. Justified, as he is secretly her father, and treasures her as his only surviving link to her late mother.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The "Slave Mentality" disadvantage in GURPS involves this mentality. The character needs to make a self-control roll to do anything of their own initiative, up to and including eating.
  • Warhammer 40,000 actually has one straight "beloved servant" example among the brutal aversions: the Chapter Serfs of the Space Marine chapters. Chapter Serfs are an integral part of a Chapter, filling all roles that aren't impossible for anyone other than a Space Marine to fill, and they do so far better than their counterparts outside the Space Marines. They are treated accordingly by their masters, considered full members of the Chapter Cult, and their lifestyle is superior to that of all but the richest people in the Imperium. Chapter Serfs are often made up of those who aspired to become Astartes, but failed along the way before even joining the Neophyte rank (scouts in most chapters, Blood Claws in Space Wolves), so they're likely chosen as a sort of consolation prize, as well as to ensure that only those who would dedicate a lifetime to the Chapter would serve it.Of course, the details are highly dependend on the chapter in question and can go all the way: From the Salamanders considering their serfs nearly as equals, over the space wolves, that may let the younger ones ignore or belittle the serfs, but have highly respected traditions that may see serfs in highly respected roles like story teller or brewer getting respect similar or even more than the wolves themself at times, towards the Ultramarines, that respect the serfs due to the necessity and importance of them therefore having professional respect for them, even if on a personal level the serf is clearly inferior, right on to extremes like the Marines Malevolent, who despise their serfs (and most others) and oppress everyone below them with passion therby averting the trope.
    • Some Ruinous Powers servants are type two. Highly visible with low ranking Slaaneshi cultists and pretty much every follower of Nurgle. Servants of Khorne also look eager to spill blood and collect skulls for their god, but this might go to type one, since Khorne often generously rewards successful warriors.
  • The "Submission" Derangement in Promethean: The Created causes the Promethean, whenever circumstances overwhelm him, to obey the commands of whoever happens to have the strongest will in the area. This can include anything up to killing his own allies (the only exception is suicidal orders; this derangement doesn't override self-preservation). And if nobody is giving orders, he'll just stand there.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In many editions, dryads are depicted as lonely woodland fey resembling beautiful women, who sometimes enspell handsome men into becoming their companions. Such a victim becomes a Sex Slave, but... they rarely ever complain about it.
    • Forgotten Realms: The yuan-ti were originally created as a Servant Race by the sarrukh and genuinely embraced and accepted this position, as they viewed the sarrukh as their natural superiors and their subservience to them as their ideal and natural place. Even in the modern day, they still respect the remaining sarrukh despite also viewing their creators' civilization has having become decadent and past its prime. This was bred into them at a fundamental level, and modern-day yuan-ti find the eagerness to serve their old masters that arises on personally meeting sarrukh profoundly unsettling.
  • On Rocket Age's Mars this can be the case in some city states and in some situations, although, given the number of rebellions, definitely not all. Julandri Courtesans are usually highly valued by their masters and are sometimes even the power behind the thrown, making their slavery a moot point.
  • A fluff text in The Dark Eye has a small peasant dreaming about being slave to a rich master as this means guaranteed meals and shelter.

  • In the theatrical piece Waiting for Godot there is a scene in which the 2 main characters Vladimir and Estragon meet the 2 characters Pozzo and Lucky. You can clearly see that Pozzo, who is blind and lashes on Lucky with a whip, is guided by Lucky, who is mute and wears bags of sand for him. At a certain moment Pozzo and Lucky fell and split apart. while Pozzo was still awake Lucky was knocked out. Pozzo recommends Estragon to hit him in order to awake him again and recommends that it is done on the head or the private parts. After Estragon hits Lucky on the private parts he has pain on his feet but still managed to awake Lucky. Estragon then orders him to search for his whip and bands that tie them together and Lucky obeys. It is however not noted why Lucky does that in the theater piece, which leads to lots of speculation.
  • Firs, the old footman and former serf of the Ranevskaya family in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, continues to work for the family after the abolition of serfdom and even denounces the emancipation as the worst evil that could have possibly befallen Russia's serfs. More generally, it is itself practically a trope of late nineteenth century Russian literature to depict the serfs as having been better off before emancipation. Chekhov again features wonderful examples in his short story "Peasants."

    Video Games 
  • Princess Yoyo's relationship with Palpaleos in Bahamut Lagoon is an example of the first type, to the degree that after Yoyo is rescued from his captivity, he defects to the rebellion to be with her.
  • Taro, Adell's little brother from Disgaea 2 has no objections when the demon princess Rozalin labels him her "slave," and is stuck with the title of "Rozy's Slave" for the entirety of the game. Then again, she is pretty cute.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura:
    • Gar, a mostly human man who looks like an orc sold himself into slavery, so he would no longer be a burden to his parents. He was bought by H.T. Parnell (a P.T. Barnum type) and lives at his sideshow as "Gar, the World's Smartest Orc." Gar is resigned to his lot in life, though, as due to the world's prejudice against orcs, he doesn't really see any chance for improvement.
    • If you go through the quest to obtain his freedom, and then release him from your own command (either immediately, or by removing him from the group), he returns to Parnell's. Admittedly this is part of the game's programming (every party member will eventually return to where you found them, if removed from the group), but it's interesting nonetheless.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Summoning Dremora games involves dragging sapient creatures across reality and binding them to serve your will. They're also a race of Blood Knights who you're summoning to kill mortals, which they despise, so they're generally happy with the arrangement.
  • The Shapers in Geneforge think the serviles are like this as a species. Small rebellions are dismissed as "acting out." Large rebellions are countered by mass slaughter.
    • To be fair, most individual serviles are perfectly content to be slaves, given that they were engineered to be a Servant Race. As are many servant minds and some of the more fanatic humans the Shapers employ.
      • In the first game, the three main factions of Serviles are the ones that want to take their freedom through revolution (and you don't really blame them). The sect that wants to be free but more or less 'earn' it. The last sect worships your people as gods and in bad endings end up as cannon fodder willingly for their worship.
  • Clover, a potential slave you can purchase in Fallout 3. It's explicitly lampshaded, when her former owner notes that she 'loves whoever is holding her leash.'
    • Played with during the Pitt expansion. You encounter a slave who isn't miserable like everyone else in the Pitt. He states that he isn't happy he's a slave and wishes he was free, but since that probably won't happen he's decided to just be obedient and try to be as happy as possible.
  • Played with in Girls' Frontline. Lore indicates that AI rights advocate groups frequently protest and fight for the freedom of the game's various Artifical Intelligences, who are for the most part indeed slaves in human service. However, it also notes that most of them are perfectly happy with their lot in life; the T-Dolls that the player controls are in particular treated very well and quite loyal. It's further complicated by the implication that most of them are specifically programmed to be content with their roles in life, however, and the game does not take a stance on whether that is moral or not.
  • Glottis of Grim Fandango is a Spirit of the Land, who has "one purpose" - to drive, or be a mechanic, and will die if he does not fulfill it. He's perfectly fine with his induced obsession, though.
  • The Doog of Star Control 3, who, once bought away from the Ploxis at an inflated price, will continue to work for nothing and give you all their resources (evidenced by the 'higher production' and their statements of you being a good master). As their name implies, they are uplifted canines and predisposed towards a pack-like mentality, seeing their owners as the alphas. From the same game, the K'tang Kattori may also qualify, simply because though they believe themselves leaders of the Hegemonic Crux, they're too dumb to realise every other race in the Crux knows how to push their buttons to get them to do exactly what they want.The player character can do this as well, but pushing the buttons to make them angry and attack you leads to much funnier rants.
  • In the Mass Effect 2, you have a minor sidequest to convince a corporation to purchase an indentured servant's "contract." The slave and her "agent" both agree that, while not preferable to freedom, her tenure of slavery would grant an end to her debt and provide a sterling reference on her resume. In fairness, the "indentured servitude" is not necessarily slavery - she still has rights under the terms of the contract (such as sufficient food, accommodation, sapient rights etc), and Illium, the anarcho-capitalist paradise, will break its "no rules" rule to enforce them.
    • Thane mentions how his species, the lizard-like drell, were rescued from extinction via overpopulation by the jellyfish-like hanar. As thanks, the drell willingly serve the needs of any hanar out of gratitude. Comparing this to slavery is a great way to annoy the drell; Thane even gets offended when Commander Shepard says that sounds unfair, explaining that it is entirely voluntary and anyone can choose not to serve, it's just that few actually do.
  • It's implied in Dragon Age II that this is what elven slaves are like in the Tevinter Imperium via brainwashing. Fenris explains that a slave would not generally think to run simply because they do not know any better; his first escape was an accidental separation during a battle. If you choose to give him back to Danarius, his memories of Hawke and everyone else are erased, returning him to this obediant state.
    • One girl who you liberate from slavers asks you if you're her master now. If you take her on, she'll become a housekeeper at your estate. Fenris will blow up at you, asking if you want a slave that badly, but immediately backpedal when you point out that she's getting paid and is free to leave, making her an employee and not a slave.
    • Fenris' sister also plays this straight going so far as to betray Fenris in exchange for an apprenticeship under Danarius. If she is allowed to live, she tells Fenris that freedom without power was no blessing at all and that Fenris got the better end of the deal with the power his lyrium tattoos gave him.
    • Also applies with the Qunari and their Saarebas mages, who if they believe in the Qunari religion would rather die than be free.
  • In the first Knights of the Old Republic, Zaalbar pledges life-debt to you. If you're a REAL bastard you can kill his dad, and force him to kill his best friend - only the latter will send him into a suicidal rage. HK-47 also doesn't mind being your property - you keep him properly maintained, and your penchant for attracting trouble lets him indulge his Ax-Crazy programming and he is utterly delighted to find out you're the one who built him in the first place!
    • The second game takes this to Squicktastic levels, especially with Visas Marr, whose greeting line is "My life for yours." Most of the party has been blackmailed, bullied, broken, or conned into coming along. The only thing holding the mess together is the low-level Mind Rape that Exile (and/or Kreia) has on them. Still, even after finding this out, none of them really minds it. Whether this is because they come to follow Exile on their own accord and their own reasons (as Disciple suggests), or their minds and wills are too ensnared by the Exile's Force Bonds for them to be able to leave is entirely up to interpretation.
      • This was further Lampshaded in the magnificent Brotherhood of Shadow mod for the first game. Channa Mae was so enthralled with Revan that she turned her back on everything, even her own concept of self, to become Revan's aide/assassin/secret apprentice. Even after discovering all this, she does not regret her time as Shadow. A parallel is Solomon who gave up his identity and sense of self to avenge to loss of his Padawan, Channa Mae. The Brotherhood itself also took its pride in destroying all sense of self, acting only as an extension of the will of the Sith King, of which their grandmaster was the last.
  • World of Warcraft, perhaps unsurprisingly.
    • In the Monster Guide, the entry for the succubus stated how its not uncommon for a warlock's succubus to fall madly in love with their master. This however, can also be disadvantageous, as they subsequently become insanely jealous when their master deals with other females (nevermind that succubi spend their time seducing everything that moves). Presumably this could also lead to trouble if the master is male and gay. Also Squick if the master is undead. Basically, there's a lot of ways this could go sideways (though to be fair, that's generally true of any interracial romance on Azeroth: for instance, human-elf relationships generally prefer not to talk about the fact that elves live several dozens of times longer than humans).
    • The Bastion in Shadowlands has a huge Values Dissonance. They forcibly erase memories of all new recruits (the technically voluntary part omits that without the consent they will be stuck in limbo forever without a body), and own a race of owl-like Stewards that fit this trope perfectly. Stewards were engineered in a way that servicing Kyrians gives them pleasure, and going around for long without doing so causes them physical pain: if given an order to rest by their masters, Stewards will service ''each other'' until further notice. In real life and in-universe, there is a discussion on whether it counts as real slavery if Stewards actively want to be subservient.
    • A possible instance of this trope is Dar'khan Drathir. The way he speaks of the Lich King is...weirdly erotic. Though it might be less the Lich King and more the magical power that turns him on. Dar'khan betrayed his people, the High Elves, leading to an invasion and genocide. When your character shows up to kill him, he still apparently thinks the Scourge are going to help him: even though that prospect would not sound likely to any reasonable person at this point. Though again, he might just be extremely arrogant, it's a bit hard to say.
    • Many races that practice slavery (Ogres, demons, Naga etc.) will often mind control their slaves so those believe sincerely in doing the right thing. This can take many forms, often the slaves will be living in an illusion of their perfect life, like imagining that they are fighting the enemy while in reality killing off their former comrades.
  • Danced around with the Night Elf campaign in Warcraft III. Though Illidan is not a slave, he's also not free: he was imprisoned for life for attempting to make a second Well of Eternity (which could, any any moment, become a new gateway for the next demonic invasion). Basically, Tyrande takes advantage of the fact that he's a Love Martyr, and forces him to do a bunch of stuff. Though to be completely fair, she's not actually aware of how much the things she's doing align with his real goals because she is very cynical. Illidan is only half doing this stuff because she is telling him to. Also, he uses the opportunity to escape his imprisonment.
  • Planescape: Torment has a few interesting takes on this. At least three of the joinable party members: Ignus, Dak'kon and Morte are revealed to effectively be 'slaves' of The Nameless One and are unwilling to leave: Ignus is Ax-Crazy and can only remember him as 'his old master' despite how much the two have changed over time. Dak'kon is bound by a sworn life-debt he cannot repay because The Nameless One is immortal, and the fact that the latter does not know of it does nothing to alleviate said debt. Dak'kon literally cannot disobey any order given to him, no matter how unspeakably full of Video Game Cruelty Potential. Finally, there's Morte: No matter how badly he has been treated by some of The Nameless One's prior incarnations — and he's been treated pretty badly — it's nothing compared to the alternative, namely, the massive guilt he'd incur were he ever to leave: The Nameless One's condition is implied to be his fault because he gave him false information while he was still alive. Even more screwed up when you consider that Avellone himself has said that "there is no evidence for this other than Morte's suspicion." Planescape canon is that petitioners can never remember anything from life; it's very possible that Morte is completely wrong. He was in Hell for a horrible crime he could not remember committing and would never feel closure for and then met a psychologically abusive man with the Mark of Torment mentioned below. Now that's an epic guilt-trap.
    • This, of course, comes in addition to the fact that the Mark of Torment essentially forces slavery on the tormented souls that get attracted to The Nameless One.
  • Played with in Loved. You play as a small, catlike creature that is given commands by your 'master'. Disobeying the commands makes the environment more colorful, but makes the landscape and enemies harder to understand and have less detail, making a metaphor that doing what you want provides happiness, but sacrifices the well-defined borders of your cage. Your master also becomes upset, asking why you disobeyed them, when they loved you. On the other hand, obeying their commands gives better detail and understanding to your environment, but your environment has absolutely no color, and your master still treats you like a pet, but treats you well.
  • The Minions of Overlord will gladly sacrifice themselves for you as long as you lead their race to world domination.
  • It could be argued that the Pikmin have this kind of relationship with Captain Olimar and Louie. While it was more of a case of mutual co-operation for survival in the first game, the two Hocotatians are using the little plant people solely for capitalistic recovery (and, later, gain) in the second. In spite of that, there's never any sort of dissension within the Pikmin ranks, and, if 'Ai no Uta' is anything to go by, they're perfectly willing give their lives for their master(s). Of course, being on the bottom of the food chain of their planet's ecosystem gives reason to believe that they're likely happy for any help they can get...
  • In Destroy All Humans!, you get the ability to brainwash people into being your loyal and loving servants.
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has Monkey eventually developing this sort of relationship with Trip, going as far as to request that she keep his slave headband active even when she offers to turn it off.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Ghirahim, whose entire goal is to revive his master and resume acting literally as his weapon, even at the cost of his physical form.
  • This is a central concept to Pokémon — though the anime often has abusive trainers that the Pokémon serve because they've been caught and have no choice, for the most part in the games Trainer and Pokémon always get along well. Even among the villainous teams some of them get along fine with their Pokémon, either because they treat them well or because the Pokémon adapts to enjoy the villainy they're used to commit. Black and White explores this in depth, some members of Team Plasma who are Well Intentioned Extremists unaware their leader is evil release their Pokémon as ordered near the end of the game, and are confused when the Pokémon don't want to leave them because they've grown attached to their trainer. This can also be subverted, however — in many games traded Pokémon will not obey your commands without proper Gym Badges, implying you have to earn their loyalty and respect.
  • In Dragon's Dogma, the Pawns are definitely this trope. They have extrmely limited emotion and free will and are only fulfilled when they're serving under an Arisen. Pawns who have lost their Arisen will either hang around where their Arisen was last seen, like lost puppies, or worse turn homicidal out of grief. Notably, hanging around their Arisen will eventually lead the pawn to gain emotions and free will, but even these "liberated" pawns still retain traces of their master/servant relationship with their Arisen.
  • Subtly averted in Shin Megami Tensei. Demons can be controlled, depending on the technique, to People Puppet degrees. They won't ever leave you, but that doesn't mean they like you. The National Defense Divinities in IV outright hate their summoners and are relieved beyond measure at their own destruction.
  • Daphnis in Tears to Tiara 2 is quite happy being and growing up as a slave. He is quite well treated and gets to protect the person he loves.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, your first companion as a Sith Warrior is Vette, a young Twi'lek woman who is also a slave, complete with shock collar, having been captured tomb raiding on the Sith homeworld. You can, if you want, immediately remove the collar as soon as she asks, but your character actually says "It is not freedom, though." If you then treat her well, she's quite happy to tag along with you, even as she remains your slave (apparently for legal reasons). If you're male and have removed the collar, you can romance her, and towards the end she notes she kept the collar and has some ideas for its use—though in fairness this doesn't mean she'll be the one wearing it.
  • At the end of 6 Days a Sacrifice, it is hinted that this has happened to Theo after being physically and mentally warped into Chzo's new second-in-command. Examining Chzo gives the message: "my king. protect him always."
  • The backstory of StarCraft mentions that a sentient, space-travelling species once approached the Zerg Swarm to be willingly assimilated. They are now known as the zerg Overlords.
  • In Stellaris, Collectivist (now Authoritarian) empires can enslave pops of their own species. If said pops are collectivist too, they happily accept it for the greater good of their empire. Under the right government, a fanatic collectivist pop may even be happier enslaved than free!
    • Averted with the Utopia DLC. All enslaved pops now receive a 10-20% happiness penalty regardless of their ethos, and are far more likely to cause unrest that needs to be suppressed.
    • Those taking the Biological Ascension path with the Utopia DLC can freely alter their own and other species' genetic traits. Among other traits, one is called Nerve Stapled. Adding this trait to your slave races (or your own dissident pops for that matter) lets them produce more minerals and food (and greatly reduces their ability to produce any other resource) and makes sure they're never unhappy, only because the trait removes their ability to feel any emotions whatsoever. The above mentioned happiness penalties would no longer apply.
  • Tales of the Abyss plays with this. Team Pet Mieu officially belongs to The Hero and Spoiled Brat Luke fon Fabre for a year as part of his exile from his people as punishment for endangering them. At first, Luke sees him as incredibly annoying, dubbing him "Thing"note , and generally kicking him around. Mieu is still perfectly cheerful, but why is up for grabs; is he oblivious, seeing through to Luke's Hidden Heart of Gold, or taking his status as The Atoner to include how Luke treats him? Either way, past Luke's Important Haircut and taking a level in kindness Mieu isn't as tormented anymore and his attachment to Luke becomes more understandable.
  • The Oddworld series:
    • Abe, the protagonist, was originally just fine being a slave working in Rupture Farms 1029, the biggest meat-packing factory on the planet. It's him discovering that the Glukkons plan on exterminating his species to sell as food and witnessing Oddworld in its natural splendor before the Magog Cartel ravaged the land is what inspired Abe to revolt.
    • The Sligs as a species love their "jobs", in spite of being mere slaves to the Glukkons as well, because of their innate cruelty and the opportunities to beat the Mudokon slaves. It's also implied they're addicted to the power and authority given to them: even though they're still slaves to the Glukkons without them they don't have their rifles... or legs.
  • Imps in Dungeon Keeper will happily toil away to keep your dungeon maintained without ever needing luxuries like food, sleep or wages that your other creatures demand, and will not get unhappy if slapped. The only disloyal thing they will ever do is pledge allegiance to another keeper if captured alive and sent to the torture chamber.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kirumi Tojo from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony and the Danganronpa franchise. Kirumi is the Ultimate Maid, and is quite happy serving people to the best of her ability. She's also The Ace, good at just about everything she tries. The only caveat being that whatever Kirumi does, she has to be ordered to do it by someone else. Also, she rarely emotes or shows any kind of annoyance, saying that her master's wants are her wants, and that she's perfectly happy to serve everyone. Her "Love Suite" sidequest also shows that being in a loving master-servant relationship is Kirumi's idea of an ideal love fantasy. However, Kirumi does have some moments of being Not So Stoic, such as when she's outed as the murderer in the second case of V3. Kirumi suddenly starts screaming her head off, becoming the only Blackened in the series to try and escape her execution.
  • The furniture in Umineko: When They Cry's greatest pleasure is to serve. Possibly the clearest example of this is when Ange smashes the Stakes to pieces by denying their existence, angry at their inability to kill the classmates that are bullying her. Whilst all of them are clearly terrified, it's also stated that 'Getting slammed against the floor when someone is pissed off is also a chair's important duty!! If that alone can absorb their master's bad mood even for an instant, there can be no greater honor for furniture.'. Of course, they got better.

  • In Blindsprings Tamaura seems quite happy serving the fairies. It seems her status is something like indentured servitude in exchange for protection. She's very annoyed when someone "frees" her against her will. Justified as her duties seem to mainly consist of living in a magical forest and taking care of the creatures there.
  • When Jillian in Erfworld is confronted about being under Wanda's control, she responds, "You don't understand. How could you?" When pressed for an explanation of what there is to "understand," she blurts out, "I... like it."
    • This appears to be the default attutide of anyone who isn't a ruler, caster, or warlord in Erfworld. In the text updates, Parson gets Squicked by the flirting of the cute Archons when he realizes they don't even understand the concept of a 'volunteer'. Every unit under his command would do anything he asks, including have sex with him (which a female caster seems to consider SOP for male warlords with archons). Justified since the world is governed by the rules of a Tabletop Game, where units always obey your orders. But here Parson walks among those 'units', who have feelings and personality, but still blindly follow orders and like it...
    • The whole thing is unclear. The archons confronting Jullian definitely don't think it's normal to like being mind controlled, and the caster Parson was talking to about the whole rape thing seemed to be witholding her disapproval—good thing too, since it turned out the idea squicked Parson out. And while Parson comments that the archons seem to have no will of their own, this is only a paragraph after the archons mention that Charlie usually left them to their own discretion when dealing with clients. Note Jaclyn, who had a habit of telling her clients about active spells, despite the fact that "they haven't paid for spell security."
  • In Amazoness!, the Amazons' female slaves seem to enjoy their captivity and Belandi is even outright rebellious against Pantariste. Then again, this is set during a time where they wouldn't be treated much better in a non-Amazonian free area. In fact, the patriarchal tribes would likely subject them to forced pregnancy on top of treating them like slaves, regardless of official status.
  • DDG has Zip heading down the Stockholm Syndrome route at breakneck speed. Compare Netta's declaration of slave ownership with Zip's reaction in this strip.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The Jägerkin would certainly seem to qualify in their adoration of and devotion to their Heterodyne masters. So much so that they refer to one who has forsworn his loyalty to the House of Heterodyne as "no longer a Jäger." They will also obey someone who has married into the family, if only for the fact that they respect that one of the family is in love.
    • The generals have a different view, however. While the Jägers were created by the Heterodynes (from volunteers, or so they claim), they continue serving the Heterodynes out of love and loyalty. They also state that the true reason the Jägers hate the Other's creations so much is that they force people to obey, which the Jägers consider abhorrent.
    • The people of Mechanicsburg likely count too. Being minions is in the bloodline, and as Carson says, "People here are desperate for a new Heterodyne. Any new Heterodyne."
    • The Geisterdamen also qualify; they're hardwired to obey the Other's voice, and spent twenty years in her absence tirelessly working to bring her back.
  • In Freefall, Florence and Helix enter into a discussion while Florence repairs some part of the ship before it first takes off. Florence relates a story of a feudal Japanese servant whose master beat him and treated him severely, and another feudal lord saw how dedicated the servant was, offering him a place in his manor, where he would be treated fairly. The servant declined, stating that he found his life harsh, but it was necessary, and proved how strong a person he was.
    • Also Florence herself, to some extent. She gets angry when Sam calls her a slave, but admits that she can't own property, vote, or travel without her owner's consent. Since her owner essentially treats her as a kid sister, and is lightyears away for the duration of the comic, it's not a huge deal for her. She does try to get the Ecosystems Unlimited corporation to realize the full extent of the sentience of their creations though, but has had little success.
      • It does bear mentioning that this is the same Sam who insists that, whatever logic Ecosystems Unlimited and its employees can come up with, Florence is a person and deserves to be treated as such. He's been known to use his power of authority as her captain to order her to have more freedom and independence, or teach her to circumvent bad orders that curtail said freedom.
      Sam: Never ask for permission. Always arrange things so that you automatically have permission unless someone actively takes steps to stop you.
    • And of course the robots. Many would argue vigorously against anyone who would claim that they're anything but property.
    • Gets an interesting application when the governor inadvertently gives Florence an order she wants to obey. She gets the normal reward-response from her system for obeying the order, plus an additional rush because she just really, really wanted to do that anyway. She mentions that in uplifted chimps (a previous iteration of the same project that produced Florence), the same phenomenon resulted in addiction problems.
    • Clippy is quite happy, as long the orders get carried out. Then, Mr. Kornada is very careful to shelter Clippy from the outside world.
    • While some robots are happy in slavery others are not. Florence is a mix and match of the options. She is likely designed to be this trope. Her master sees and treats her like a little sister. Having a sympathetic master makes it easier to work within the system than having no master would. She actually wants her children to be free but does not believe freedom would be good for her species yet.
  • Sarilho: Well kinda. Despite being sold to the empire as children and having no choice in what he does with his life, Nikita violently denies being a slave when the subject is ever brought up. He does say that Mikhail's totally fine with his situation though.
  • Terinu eventually finds out that his race, the Ferin, were uplifted to be the servants cum power sources for the Varn Dominion, and as such were designed to find service pleasurable.
    • To a lesser extent this trope is also found among the Vulpine, where the "Commoner" class have no say in government and are not permitted to own land. Subverted slightly in that Commoners aren't bound to a Farm Lord, and have the option of gaining social status by joining the military and/or marrying up.
  • TwoKinds has a few examples:
    • Kathrin has a wonderful life by slave standards and is happy with her lot in life (until recent plot lines have caused her to question this).
    • Main Heroine Flora used to be a slave as well. However, she was lucky enough to be purchased by a friendly human family who treated her more like a daughter then a slave, and they actually let her return back to her people after a few years. Thus, Flora recalls her days of slavery with an unusual fondness.
    • Mike, on the other hand, falls squarely into the 4th category; he was born into slavery and wouldn't survive out among the Keidran tribes.
  • Liriel from Drowtales after entering Ariel's service. As Ariel is not nearly authoritarian enough to keep her in line, she's more of a freeloader than a slave. Not to mention that she's really the result of a Fusion Dance between the Val'Sharess and her slave, and once Diva'ratrika gains control she seems to stopped being considered a slave at all.
    • There's also Vaelia. Ariel released her when she saved her life, but this didn't prevent her from continuing to protect Ariel and follow her orders, and calling her "Lady-child." Since Ariel saved her from the gladiator pit, she considers her life to be Ariel's property, no matter what, large due to wanting to atone for the mistakes of her past.
  • Domain Tnemrot - Two of the main characters are gladiator slaves, who fight in an arena to the death on a daily basis. Both of them are only okay with this because they love their owner, a small girl who views both of them as the closest thing to parents she has. The two slaves are planning to escape from slavery, but they plan to take their owner with them when they go. Their current plan for escape involves murdering the girl's father to ensure no one comes after her
  • The golem-robots in Gunnerkrigg Court consider activity the best thing in life, so working for humans is its own reward to them.
  • In Dragon Mango, the goblins, forced to work until they pay off their debt, don't want to return home. People are pleased to see them, here; the clothing is more comfortable; and their king will be cruel to them.
  • In Jack Central's boytoy Plato was a slave most of his life, and his last two owners treated him fairly well but by that point he knew no other life. On his deathbed he asked God if any angels needed a slave and he ended up with Central.
  • In Questionable Content, some robots don't petition for more freedom and rights since they realize that freedom comes with responsibility. However any AI can become a citizen and be granted full civil rights.
  • Due to the prevalence of BDSM in Collar 6, slave contracts have similar connotations to marriage licenses.
  • Voldemort's Children, as a Harry Potter Deconstruction Fic, subverts this with House Elves: the species is happy to be enslaved in service to wizards because the Hogwarts founders bred them to be through magical Brainwashing and torture.

    Web Original 
  • In Tales of MU, Two, the liberated golem girl, has to be protected from this trope by her friends.
  • A recurring theme in internet hypnofetish art. (While this may seem like a breach of the "Not Brainwashed" clause, most of the actual brainwashing is simply to get them into this trope). One example in particular (which will not be linked to) had Character A attempt to hypnotise Character B, not into becoming a slave, but into hypnotising and enslaving Character A.
  • Chakona Space gives us Leanna, a very unhappy ex-sex slave commenting how wonderful it might have been to have lived on one of the worlds filled with honored servants. Interestingly, after being freed, shi is still stuck in "cultural Values Dissonance" territory, thanks to slave conditioning. Fortunately she found a "master" who hates slavery.
  • Cracked has speculated that if the Internet ever reached sentience and took over the world, people would view it as a Benevolent AI Invasion and actively turn on anyone who tried to destroy it. The reason is because the human race has become so overly-reliant on the Internet for information, entertainment and communication, how would it be any different from how it was before?
  • In Thrilling Intent the paladins of Varyndir had slaves who chose not to complete the quest that would grant them their freedom in exchange for partying forever. Averted with Ashe, Gregor and Markus who complete the quest to get out of slavery as soon as possible.
  • Spike from Friendship is Witchcraft is The Friend Nobody Likes who is constantly being abused, mostly by Twilight (who also doubles as the closest thing he has to a mother). He hates being separated from her and bounces off any insults or Amusing Injuries.
  • In the Dragon Ball Z Abridged take on Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, the Shamoshians enslaved by the Saiyans building the new and fake planet Vegeta not only have no problems being enslaved, but they beg to be whipped and abused by their masters, which kinda weirds out the Z Warriors when they show up to "rescue" them. They seem to consider it to be a form of BDSM. This is temporarily subverted when Broly destroys their home planet and they have long forgotten the safe word "Brocoli" to stop him.
  • Well, "slavery" might not be the right word for "abducted and made into a baby", but by the time Twitter Story Earth 5 AR starts, the nameless protagonist and the other visiting human have grown used to their infantilized state, heavily addicted to THE MILK they subsist on and enjoying the otherworldly toys they can play with.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • Young, proud Starscream corrects a tactical mistake Megatron makes. He gets punched in the wing. He insists that he can't possibly be to blame for some other seeker's screw-up on the last scouting trip. He gets locked in the brig. He disobeys direct orders to fall back so that he can complete a mission successfully. Doesn't matter, Megatron hates insubordination. He nearly scratches out his optics when Megatron compliments precious, perfect Soundwave. Take this pattern and repeat it for 9 million years and what you get is a vindictive, backstabbing soldier who says that only fools fall for Megatron's Evil Overlord brainwashing, yet admits with a straight face that he wouldn't see the point in living if he wasn't Megatron's Dragon.
      Skyfire: Are you... happier being a warrior than a scientist, Starscream?
      Starscream: Oh, yes. It's far more exciting...
    • Lugnut from Transformers: Animated, though it's less slavery and more willing servitude. He has no ambitions or goals outside of SERVING THE GRAND AND GLORIOUS MEGATRON!.
    • One weird take on this occurred in the The Transformers episode "Changing Gears". Megatron used something called the Solar Needle on Gears, making him "nice" and unable to refuse any command given to him by the Decepticons. Not that it changed his opinion of them:
      Gears: I should be very angry at you Megatron. [chuckles] You are an evil son of a retro-rat, but for some reason, I can't get too upset. note 
  • The main cast of Thomas & Friends would find much common ground with the golems of the Discworld in their devotion to being "Really Useful"; they were created with a clearly defined purpose in life and wouldn't really know what to do with free will if they had any. Being consistently treated with respect and kindness and only being reproved when they are genuinely at fault probably helps.
  • Sort of... if you count "wage slavery." In the first episode of Futurama, Fry spends almost the whole episode fleeing from Leela who is trying to force him to be a delivery boy. At the end of the episode, when Leela finally gives up and removes her own career chip, he is happy to get a job as a delivery boy! Also in the same episode, Leela's own boss likes the job he has to do, whether he likes it or not! (Being a space package delivery boy is a bit up from delivering pizza...)
  • The Simpsons has Waylon Smithers, who for most of the show has been berated and humiliated by his boss, Mr. Burns, and yet will partake in whatever morally questionable scheme, or come to his defense when he gets called out on whatever evil he's conjuring, out of some twisted fantasy that Mr. Burns will fall in love with him one day.
  • Parodied in The Boondocks with Uncle Ruckus's warped re-telling of "The Story of Catcher Freeman", who was a slave in the American South. According to Ruckus, slavery was a time when black people had a high standard of living and didn't even have to work, and they just spent their time goofing around and having fun on their masters' plantations. Their owner, Colonel Lynchwater, is depicted as a nice guy who only gives time-outs instead of floggings to (ineffectually) punish his slaves.
  • On ReBoot, Megabyte infected many of Mainframe's citizens to serve as his soldiers in his attempts to take over Mainframe and invade the Super Computer. When Megabyte was defeated and his slaves freed, it turns out that some of the binomes enjoyed being under Megabyte's control since they relished causing havoc and terrorizing other Mainframers. These "Neo Virals" are very bitter because of Megabyte's defeat, and when their boss returns to Mainframe they eagerly surrender themselves to his control.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • During an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Supes tosses a beaten and broken Darkseid at the mercy of the oppressed residents of Apokolips. Expecting them to be happy to be free, they instead pick Darkseid up, carrying him off to recover. Darkseid's response?
      Darkseid: I am many things, Kal-El, but here, I am God.
    • Of course, in the Justice League episode "Twilight" when Darkseid appeals to the League to help save Apokolips from Braniac, Superman is willing to let Darkseid AND those who didn't finish him off when they could ALL perish at Braniac's hands (because he knew Darkseid was playing the others in the League with the plea for help). Darkseid also wanted to get close enough to Brainiac so his intelligence could be used to solve the Anti-Life Equation and assimilate New Genesis.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Show Within a Show Lil' Butler is about a family who find a baby on their doorstep and raise him as their butler. He seems pretty content.
    • Implied to have once been the case with Pearl. Pearls are little more than servants on Homeworld and it seems to be par for the course for other gems to treat them as lesser beings. The Crystal Gem Pearl was the personal servant of Pink Diamond, who ultimately took up the identity of Rose Quartz, who treated her as an equal and who Pearl was happy to serve, willingly giving up her chance to return home to stay in Rose's services. After Rose's death, Pearl remains devoted to her and her cause, and is a primary maternal figure to her son, who also loves her. However, this also ends up Deconstructed to an extent, as she always cared more about Rose than humanity and remains the most dismissive of the Crystal Gems towards Earth and humanity as a whole even to the present.
  • In the Teen Titans (2003) episode "Every Dog Has His Day", Soto agrees to become the pet as while his dog becomes the owner — all because Soto couldn't fathom life without his dog. It also makes perfect sense because Soto is a dumb, destructive baby while his dog is intelligent.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has the episode "Squid on Strike," in it Squidward goes on strike to protest Mr. Krab's policy of charging his employees instead of paying them. SpongeBob on the other hand is more than happy to forfeit his paycheck and give Mr. Krabs all the money he has without question. Other episodes heavily imply that Mr. Krabs takes advantage of SpongeBob's love of fry cooking to pay him either a rate that is well below minimum wage, or nothing at all. And SpongeBob will rarely question the morality of the current Zany Scheme Mr. Krab's talked him into.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven", Meg invokes Brian's canine instincts against his will:
    Meg: Hey, Brian. In hopes that you'll open your heart to God, I wanted to give you this cross.
    Brian: No, I don't want a cross.
    Meg: Would you want it if I threw it over there?
    Brian: No. Please don't do that.
    Meg: You gonna get it, boy?
    Brian: No. [desperately] Please, no.
    Meg: Go get it, boy! [she throws the cross; Brian runs off to fetch it, barking enthusiastically]
  • In the "Pax Romana" episode of Il était une fois..., Pierre and Jumbo are depicted as Gallic POWs. After saving a rich man's family from a house fire, the rich man takes them in as his own servants. The narrator mentions that they're "having a pleasant time of it" in his villa, and they are.
  • Played for Black Comedy in an episode of American Dad! when the Smiths get trapped in a parody of Disneyland. Francine discovers a ride called "Simpler Times Mountain" and vaguely remembers riding it once many years ago and that it was shut down for some reason. Francine discovers the ride's an unabashed love letter to the pre-Civil War Southern United States with funny animals standing in for Black people, with at least one animatronic proclaiming "-and that's how I knew I liked being a slave!" By the end of the ride, Francine's not impressed (though Klaus, who is both German and implied to be a Neo-Nazi, is a big fan).