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Love Overrides the Law

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Jake Peralta: I'm telling my friend how you killed that guy.
Nate Dexter: It was for love!
Jake Peralta: Cool motive, still murder.

In Real Life, breaking the law and being caught doing so would label you a criminal and if you are caught and arrested, force you to probably go to court depending on where you live. However, in Fictionland, either the law doesn't work like that, or no one cares because this character is in love.

The character can safely bypass the law without being made to face it. Those enforcing the law might even completely forget their jobs and give them a helping hand! Delays be damned.

Compare with Well-Intentioned Extremist, For Happiness and Nepotism (I'm screwing the rules because I'm helping my relative/friend). Typically overlaps with Race for Your Love. Contrast Love Makes You Evil. See also Death by Woman Scorned.


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    Fan Works 
  • This trope is downplayed in My Immortal: After getting chewed out for having sex in the Forbidden Forest, Draco suddenly shouts that he loves Ebony — which somehow gets them off the hook and only sent to their rooms, rather than punished.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Desert Nights: Diana participates in armed robbery; she is part of a gang pretending to be a safari expedition which instead robs a diamond mine. She also participates in kidnapping as she and the gang kidnap mine superintendent Steve and force him to guide them across the desert. But she falls in love with Steve on the way, so instead of spending a good long time in a South African prison, she's released into Steve's custody at the end.
  • In the climactic chase of Not Another Teen Movie, drivers let the Love Interest run through traffic but do their utmost to stall the Romantic False Lead doing the same thing. For bonus points, they're yelling stuff like "Give up!" and "She doesn't love you!" at the latter.
  • In the second Yolki film, two characters cause a deputy's Mercedes to collide with a bath and block an entire street. One of them explains that his girlfriend is waiting for them (they were bringing the bath to her grandmother), and everyone involved (including the deputy) convinces the police to let them go scot-free.
  • In the American version of Fever Pitch, Drew Barrymore's character runs across Fenway Park in the midst of the 2004 ALCS' Game 4 to prevent Jimmy Fallon's character Ben from signing away lifelong season tickets to his team. Although she is carted off at the end, field security allow a few moments for them.
  • Subverted in Legend (1985). Jack takes Lili to see the unicorns. Lili's purity lures one of them to her and makes it vulnerable to attack, which leads to one of them being killed and one captured and the sudden onset of winter. Later on, a fairy named Honeythorn Gump confronts Jack and demands to know if he had anything to do with it. Jack admits everything but says that he did it for love. Instead of forgiving Jack, the Gump tells him that he must answer a riddle first. If he can't, the Gump will kill him.

  • Agatha Christie occasionally had the minor criminals Let Off by the Detective if they were in a loving romantic relationship. It's spelled out in Death on the Nile, where Tim Allerton is never brought to justice for stealing Linnet's pearls, because Poirot sees Tim and Rosalie are in love and wants them (especially the poor girl who has suffered enough) to find happiness.
  • In the Warrior Cats book Long Shadows, Ashfur threatens to kill Squirrelflight's kits, and also reveals that he'd already attempted to kill her father, as revenge for her breaking up with him. Several books later, he shows up in the cats' heaven, StarClan, and when the POV character (one of his intended victims) questions this, it's handwaved by another character as "His only fault was to love too much". Especially egregious when compared to a later book, as Squirrelflight herself is nearly denied admittance to StarClan because of her "crime" of raising her sister's forbidden kits. A potential meta reason for him not being punished for his crimes is that one of the authors said she empathizes with him because she too has done crazy things for love.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
  • Subverted in the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Rebecca Bunch is arrested for burning down her ex-boyfriend's apartment. In court, her mother argues that "she is just a girl in love, your honor. She can't be held responsible for her actions," mirroring the lyrics from season two's opening number. Obviously this does not hold up in court. If anything, the entire season drives home the idea that love is never an excuse to harm or punish others.
  • Subverted in Gavin & Stacey when Gavin bursts through the guard barrier to get on to the platform at the railway station so he can propose to Stacey before her train pulls out. He thinks it will play out like a romantic movie, but instead he gets crash-tackled by armed police who mistake him for a terrorist. Although Gavin is pinned to the ground, the police do pass the ring on to Stacey after first checking that the box contains only a ring. They then drag him down to the police station.
  • The defendants in an episode of Law & Order, a high school couple, invoke the trope when accused of killing their newborn baby. The baby would have gotten in the way of their going to the prom. When charged, the girl actually says "But we're in love!" as a defense and can't understand why that doesn't excuse everything.
  • In an episode of Castle there's a wealth of evidence pointing to a nurse as the murderer. He isn't but the evidence gathered related to a complicated plan to fake his falsely imprisoned girlfriend's death to get her out of prison. This works but the two are quickly arrested. At the end of the episode Castle and Beckett are not only going to somehow avoid him getting prosecuted for the prison break (and the various crimes he committed to manage it) but are going to reopen his girlfriend's case to get her out legally. Granted, there were apparently a lot of mistakes made in her conviction but still...

  • In Hello, Dolly! Cornelius gets out of having tried to order dinner that he couldn't pay for and then trying to pay for it with someone else's money because he sings a song about how he's in love with Irene.

    Visual Novels 
  • Daughter for Dessert gives an example of both romantic (from the protagonist's perspective) and not (from Mortelli‚Äôs). Mortelli sabotages the protagonist's criminal trial because, in his view, the protagonist only did what any loving father would do.
  • Monster Prom: One of the secret endings for Liam has the player parody this exact trope.
    • "You tell Miranda not to worry. You've seen plenty of teen rom-coms. You know how this part goes:"
      Narrator: You need a grand romantic gesture. Race to the airport to confess your feelings before Liam boards his plane!

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied relentlessly in The Amazing World of Gumball: Rocky mentions he imagined meeting his love after racing to get to her before she leaves on a plane. After accidentally turning down the girl he saw at the mall, Gumball and Darwin convince him to make an extremely hasty search for her, during which they do a number of immoral or illegal things, like reading her medical records and stealing a car, to speed up the process (or for no reason at all), despite nothing indicating they were short for time at all. Everyone permits these things because they're being done "in the name of love" — except the girl being chased after, who thinks they're terrible and insane.
  • Parodied in Family Guy: In a Cutaway Gag, Chris proposes that he could get a job as "the guy racing through an airport at the end of a Romantic Comedy." Chris never even pays for the drive because the driver said he was free of charge.
    Chris: [runs out of an apartment building and stands in front of a taxi, stopping it] Taxi!! Taxi!!!
    Taxi Driver: Hey!! Are you crazy!?
    Chris: Crazy for love! The most amazing girl I've ever met leaves on a plane in 5 minutes!
    Taxi Driver: Get in!
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Downplayed. Anarka Couffaine in "Captain Hardrock", who shows no concern about the damage caused by her speakers (likely adding up to thousands of euros considering how many cars were blown over), pays no respect to Roger when he tries to call her out on violating noise restrictions, and then gets herself into further trouble by revealing she has none of the relevant permits for her houseboat. She ultimately faces no consequences for this, with Roger even pointing out that the speakers are still over the legal limit but choosing to let it slide for no reason beyond "it's the music festival."
  • Big City Greens has an example in Officer Keys, who decides to ignore all the damage and chaos that Cricket and Tilly caused by freeing the animals at the zoo after learning that Nancy was willing to confess to the crime and be sent back to jail all over again. When the other characters protest, he makes it clear that the only thing he sees is a family that loves each other very much.


Video Example(s):


That's Obstruction of justice

Harvey forces a company to commit obstruction of justice and let's them get away with murder, all to save Donna.

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Main / LoveOverridesTheLaw

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