Follow TV Tropes


Kidnapped by an Ally

Go To

Catalina: This is the sweetest, most justified kidnapping I've ever seen.
Randy: How many have you seen?
Catalina: Five or so.

This is when a character is forcibly brought to meet someone who, as a plot twist, turns out to have no intentions beyond just having a chat, and who is often actually the kidnapped character's ally or employer. Say, for example, someone gets kidnapped at gunpoint in the middle of the night so that they can be bundled into a car and taken to a deserted warehouse to meet... their boss, who has details on their next mission.

Sometimes this has valid in-story reasons — if secrecy is paramount, for example, it may be deemed necessary for the sake of maintaining a cover. Other times, though, it just seems to be a plot twist for the sake of a plot twist — approaching the person peacefully would have worked just as well, but that way, we wouldn't have had all that lovely dramatic tension. Can come across as stupid if one of the defining traits of the character approached this way is an ability to cause massive losses and damages — see Stupid Surrender.

In some cases, it can be a case of Poor Communication Kills. A Scary Surprise Party is often a specific type of this. Not to be confused with The Kindnapper, though there is some overlap.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • A Certain Magical Index: Index gets "kidnapped" by Stiyl at one point to help with an official investigation. Stiyl wanted Touma to come along too, and knew he'd have an easier time of it if Touma thought Index was in trouble rather than simply asking him. Touma figures this out immediately (he knows Stiyl, of all people, would never harm Index), but still isn't too appreciative.
  • Mrs. Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist, who is kidnapped by Roy Mustang and his subordinates during the Promised Day. She doesn't know quite what's going on, but once her husband's own followers attempt to kill her and she realizes her kidnappers are actually protecting her, she only too gladly joins their cause.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: Avdol dognaps Iggy to get him to join his team. On the villains' side, Hol Horse kidnaps Boingo in his final chance to sabotage the heroes.
  • In the CLAMP manga Suki the main character is frequently used as a hostage to get money out of her rich father. Then, one of her best friends, whose family was apparently having monetary troubles, kidnapped her.
  • In the beginning of the Witchblade Masane got kidnapped with the help of a tranquilizing gun by an assistant of her would-be employer. Looks like a risk, given how much could go wrong note  and that they knew there's no way to stop a Witchblade user if she would as much as panicked from waking up in an unknown place later.

    Comic Books 
  • Mickey Mouse Frontier Chronicles: A Hidden Backup Prince is seemingly kidnapped by somebody who turns out to be one of his protectors. Unfortunately, Mickey and his friends were unaware of this, and their efforts to track down the pair wind up leading the actual assassins to them.
  • In Shutter, the General sends some animals to kidnap Kate.
  • Teen Titans (Rebirth) has Damian kidnap all of the other Titans, forcibly recruiting them so they can go take down Ra's al Ghul together.
  • Kind of in the Tintin book Destination: Moon. They're following an invitation that ends with them ending up in an armored car getting taken through checkpoints to what looks like a military base in what they expect is a sinister kidnapping. Actually, Professor Calculus just wants them to join him working on the Moon project. Calculus is their friend, but the supervisors who send the invitation aren't, so it might not count.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Spidey is kidnapped and held prisoner by Carol Danvers after Norman Osborn escapes prison. She later explains that it was partly to protect Spider-Man, who Osborn would surely go after (and partly to try to lure Osborn back to jail. Didn't work).
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Early on Di nabs Steve Trevor during one of his jobs when it looks like the Nazi agent is wise to him. While things all work out in the end for that mission and Steve takes it relatively well she notably never does so again even in situations where it's obvious Steve is in over his head, instead letting Steve mostly work things out for himself and sticking to her own job unless Steve has been properly captured and imperiled.

    Fan Works 
  • Cure to Evil: While meeting with a potential ally, Izuku realizes that a sniper is about to take them out, so he has them warped to safety. He then explains to them that they resorted to kidnapping so that they wouldn't be shot dead.
  • In Hawkmoth Defeated, Damian and Maya work together to kidnap Marinette and Adrien.
  • Lighting Candles: Averted, unlike in the film (see below). After Tadashi is chosen by the Moon to join the Guardians of Childhood, North considers sending his yetis to throw him in a sack and bring him to the North Pole. Jack shuts him down, saying that, in his experience, this is not the way to make a good first impression. Instead, they end up sending Bunny to politely ask Tadashi to visit the Pole.
  • Like a Hero out of myths:
    • Outside of Gensokyo, youkai require others to believe in them in order to exist. Thus, when Izuku's youkai nature started developing, Sumireko had to kidnap him and keep him in a special house for nearly two days while she worked on a way for him to survive.
    • Later on, Izuku is forced to kidnap an unconscious Ochako from the hospital and take them to Gensokyo before they finish transforming completely into a werewolf, so that they wouldn't wind up dying due to that same lack of belief.
  • Scarlet Lady: In one episode, Tikki gets seriously ill. Chloe (who, in this reality, became the holder of the Ladybug Miraculous) refuses to take the time to take Tikki to a healer (which she's practically begging for). Marinette (who holds the Bee Miraculous) and Pollen see Chloe talking to the visibly ill Tikki through their car window, with Marinette believing that Chloe stole Tikki while she was sick and vulnerable (Pollen knows the truth but says nothing). This results in Marigold kidnapping Tikki and taking her to Master Fu so she can be healed. Because Tikki was so sick, she had her consent.

    Films — Animation 
  • Rise of the Guardians has this happen to Jack Frost as a way of getting to the North Pole, thanks to Santa Claus's idea.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: After explaining the Canon Event, Miguel O'Hara and the rest of the Spider-People attempt to hold Miles hostage to prevent him from trying to save his father (who, according to the canon event, must die so that his universe won't be endangered). While the Spider-People view it as for the greater good, Miles is horrified and tries to escape.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Bad Company (2002) (the one with Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins), Rock's character is grabbed out of bed and kidnapped as part of a training exercise. Hopkins begins to tell him how, in that situation, his mental faculties shut down in a panic when Rock interrupts, saying he knew what was going on because he identified the agents, one through his breath, one because he could feel her breasts when she grabbed him, and one because he stole his wallet while they were grabbing him.
  • Happens to the protagonist in Dreamland. The agents in question are very amicable about the whole thing.
  • Early in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy finds himself surrounded by several tough-looking men... and is brought to the home of prominent historian Walter Donovan, who apologizes for taking such measures before asking for Indy's help. Ultimately subverted when Donovan turns out to be working for the Nazis.
  • James Bond encountered this more than once:
    • The first time he meets Felix Leiter and Quarrel in Dr. No.
    • In You Only Live Twice, the director of the Japanese intelligence service (already named as an ally, and who remains an ally throughout the film) feels a need to have Bond lured down a corridor so he can fall through a trapdoor and down a chute which dumps him in a chair in the director's office. One can't help feeling that giving Bond a quiet invitation and directions to the stairs would have been less of a bother for both parties.
    • On Her Majesty's Secret Service. After Bond saves Tracy's life, fighting off several gangsters in the process, those same gangsters "take him for a ride" at pistolpoint to see crime lord Draco. It turns out that Draco is Tracy's father and wants Bond to marry her.
      Draco: I was not sure you would accept a...formal invitation.
      Bond: There's always something formal about the point of a pistol.
    • Live and Let Die. After Bond knocks out two of Mr. Big's thugs, another black man approaches him with a gun...only to hand Bond an ID card that identifies him as CIA agent Harold Strutter.
    • In The Man with the Golden Gun, Lieutenant Hip doesn't seem to feel any need to inform Bond that the reason he's being arrested and taken out on a police launch to the middle of nowhere isn't so that they can dispose of him with no witnesses - it's so that he get a mission assignment from his boss, who is cleverly concealed in a shipwreck.
    • For Your Eyes Only: Bond is kidnapped by 'the dove' who is actually the Big Bad's old rival. This is also before The Reveal that Kristatos is the Big Bad; at this point we believe that it is 'the dove'. It's after Bond meets him that it is cleared out.
    • In The Living Daylights, Bond is brought to someone at gunpoint. A villain? No, it's his old friend Felix Leiter, who just wants to ask what's going on. Justified this time, as 007 had just shot and killed a senior KGB official in front of several dozen witnesses and Leiter had no way of knowing it was being staged.
  • Old School has a whole montage of the fraternity applicants being kidnapped as part of their initiation.
  • Wade in Ready Player One (2018) gets kidnapped by a Tattooed Crook and we are to believe it's for his worse. Turns out the kidnapper was part of La Résistance and captured Wade so he can join them in their fight against IOI.

  • Mel Beeby is a victim of this in the Agent Angel (aka Angels Unlimited) series of books. It has been speculated this was mainly for the benefit of older readers, considering who kidnapped her.
  • Discworld:
    • Rincewind is kidnapped by the Revolutionaries in Interesting Times.
    • The books also have the Running Gag of people being dragged to the palace, more or less literally, for "appointments with Vetinari" that they never actually made or agreed to in advance. While people usually have the pants scared off them after going to the palace, they're rarely actually harmed.
    • Night Watch Discworld: Throughout the book Sam Vimes winds up knocked out by people who want to talk to him. After a while he gets irritated, and says that if people want to talk to him so badly, they could bloody well ask.
  • Happens to Elric of Melnibone in The Sleeping Sorceress. He successfully fights off the attempt, then stumbles onto the person who arranged it anyway.
  • In the Star Trek novel Time For Yesterday, a local warlord captures an enemy priestess and proposes marriage.
  • In Exile's Honor, the propaganda and fake history taught to all Karsites makes it necessary for the foreigner Kantor to "kidnap" Alberich (who chose to leave with Kantor but not where Kantor took him) and take him over the border so the Karsite can see firsthand just how much he's been lied to. Kantor apologizes later, saying that if Alberich had not been in blatant immediate danger, he would have tried to explain things more diplomatically.
  • In Mr. Monk on the Road, Monk and Natalie, planning to take Monk's agoraphobic brother Ambrose on a motor home trip for his birthday, drug his birthday cake so they can get him into the motor home and get on the road without trouble. Ambrose explicitly calls it kidnapping when he wakes up, and even calls the police, but when the officers see the "victim" won't even leave the motor home, they decide it can't be that bad. Ambrose does eventually enjoy the trip somewhat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Being Human (US), Aidan is accosted by a group of vampires, has a bag thrown over his head, and is thrown into the back of the van to be transported to a secondary location. When they arrive, he is dragged out of the van and the bag is roughly snatched off his head. Aiden struggles the whole time until he sees who is in front of him: Kenny, the vampire Aidan sired. Kenny is confused by Aidan's trussed up state. He is exasperated at his henchmen, insisting that he only wanted them to escort Aidan safely to Kenny's headquarters not roughly kidnap him.
  • Dexter is also kidnapped for his bachelor party. This results in him accidentally punching his friend Masuka when he is released from the carboot, as he (and the audience) genuinely believed he had been taken by the season's Big Bad, the Skinner.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Death in Heaven": The Doctor is drugged and taken by armed men. Turns out it's UNIT, looking for his help. To be fair, the Earth is in danger at that point, and the Doctor is known to do whatever he wants.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": First Graham, and then Ryan and Yaz, find themselves teleported to an alien spaceship by the Doctor's old friend Captain Jack Harkness, who is trying to grab the Doctor but having difficulties due to his stolen, cheap equipment and interference from a Judoon enforcement field, along with not knowing what the current Doctor looks like. Jack is trying to warn the Doctor about a universal threat connected to a "lone Cyberman", but settles for having the companions pass on the message before the stolen ship's security systems force him to leave.
  • In the first season of Heroes Hiro ends up kidnapped by employees of his father, ostensibly wanting to bring him home and end his journey, but his berating is really a Secret Test of Character.
  • House:
    • Chase got kidnapped for his bachelor party and he sort of knew what was going on. That was so he had a handy excuse to use if his fiancée complained about it. Of course, she knew exactly what was going on.
    • In Season 4, House himself was basically abducted by the CIA for most of an episode, for an emergency diagnosis on a covert agent.
  • On How I Met Your Mother Barney is kidnapped for his own bachelor party by Ted and Marshall.
  • Jonathan Creek experiences an accidental example in one episode, in which his unique talents were called upon by a senior police officer. Apparently there was a bit of a breakdown in communications, because the two officers sent to bring him to the police station were under the impression that he was actually a suspect. The inspector was most apologetic about it.
  • Legend of the Seeker: In "Elixir", Zedd is captured by a group of mercenaries, and brought, bound, to their boss...who happens to be an old friend of Zedd's, who promptly sets him free and explains he grabbed him because he heard a wizard was in town, but thought it might be one working for Darken Rahl. Subverted when he explains his plans to fight Rahl, which involves, essentially, magic drug trafficking. When Zedd objects, his old friend binds him again, and tries to strip him of his magic.
  • Happens on Life (2007), when Crews tries to pull a Not My Driver on Mickey Raybourne, whose bodyguard then smashes through the window and kidnaps Crews. And then Raybourne lets him go at the beginning of the next episode with an apology and an invitation for drinks.
  • Page quote comes from an episode of My Name Is Earl, where Earl snatches his friend's mother so he can convince her to quit smoking cold turkey.
  • On Person of Interest Reese does not always have time to explain to the POIs what is going on so they often assume that the armed man who grabbed them and forced them to go with him is kidnapping them and intends to do them harm.
  • Probe's "Quit-It": At the start of the episode, Karen begs Mickey to drive her away from the neighborhood. When they arrive at Serendip, her parents aren't far behind and accuse Austin and Mickey of kidnapping their daughter. Later on, Austin has to actually kidnap Karen because she's been Brainwashed and he wants to figure out how.
  • In Sherlock, the man who's stalking John through CCTV and has him kidnapped and taken to a warehouse is actually Mycroft, rather than Moriarty, and his offer to pay John to spy on Sherlock is not the action of a criminal mastermind but of a loving, if creepy, older brother (who is also something of a criminal mastermind - at least, Sherlock seems to think so).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Pursuit to Kadath. While investigating the mysterious disappearance of Nils Lindstrom, the investigators are kidnapped by a group of armed men and taken to a railway car. There they meet U.S. Senator Harold Lindstrom, who wants to hire them to find his son Nils.

    Video Games 
  • The start of Final Fantasy IX has the main characters trying to kidnap Garnet for their employer Cid in Lindblum, while at the same time she's trying to escape her Alexandria to reach Cid.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has this near the beginning. Fayt is marooned on a planet, and has little hope of actually getting off of it. A few plot events later, when Fayt is facing the first boss of the game, who has a gun and can easily kill Fayt, Immune-to-phasers Cliff shows up to kidnap Fayt to take him to Maria, solving both the "stuck on a planet" and the first boss problems at the same time. Fayt had to be told repeatedly that Cliff was there to kidnap him.

    Web Animation 
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: In Episode 70, it turns out that Mackenzie and Brittnay turn out to have gotten taken away from the party by Trisha the episode before so that she could get them to make up.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Jimmy Neutron and his friends in the Rescue Jet Fusion special.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: in the first episode, Jackie is kidnapped by his friend Captain Black in order to keep his base Section 13's location a secret.
  • Kim Possible is introduced to Global Justice by being suddenly dropped down a trapdoor into a pneumatic tube and brought to the agency's headquarters.
  • ReBoot: Hexadecimal (post Heel–Face Turn) kidnaps Bob in the middle of an infected guardian invasion simply to chat. (She gets bored easily.)
  • The Simpsons has done this a few times. A specific example: Marge enlists Willy's help to kidnap Homer, Bart and Lisa when the latter were brainwashed by a cult.
  • Used by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. If Nick Fury wants to have a chat with you, expect your next taxi to be one of their disguised flying cars.
  • Totally Spies!: All that "whooping" qualifies as the speed variant. Once an Episode, and regularly lampshaded.

    Real Life 
  • After Martin Luther came under Imperial ban by the Imperial Diet, his supporter Prince-Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony (also "his" prince since Luther was Saxon, making him a Reasonable Authority Figure) had him kidnapped, reported dead and held in Wartburg Castle to keep him hidden from imperial authorities.