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Motivational Kiss

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Link: How about a kiss, for luck?
Zelda: You've got to be kidding.

The Hero is just about to take on a herculean and possibly life-threatening task, be it facing down the Big Bad, barging into a burning building, or even trying to clear a massive Bottomless Pit. All his friends are depending on him, and time is running out, but he still may be a little nervous and apprehensive. He needs some sort of Heroism Incentive.

All he needs is a little peck and he'll be ready to go.

A Motivational Kiss happens when someone, almost Always Female, gives the main protagonist a kiss that gives him an extra boost in confidence. The kisser will often, but not always, be the protagonist's Love Interest, or at least someone with whom he's been Ship Teased in the past.

May sometimes overlap with Last Kiss, Now or Never Kiss, or a (successful) Comically Small Bribe. Inverted by the Smooch of Victory.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Sometimes the hero is the one who steals a kiss to give himself motivation: In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, both Kamina and Kittan choose to kiss Yoko shortly before dying heroically in battle.
  • Inverted in Baccano!, when Jacuzzi kisses Nice just before running off to confront an Ax-Crazy Mook with a Flamethrower. She admits that's the first time they kissed.
  • Sera gives one to Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. Misato's infamous Last Kiss to Shinji in The End of Evangelion. Although she'd tried being a Cool Big Sis to Shinji, she kisses Shinji in an attempt to bring him out of his depression, saying, "That was a grown-up kiss. We'll do the rest when you get back." Misato then shoves him into the elevator and collapses onto the floor, having been shot in the back moments earlier. Exactly how motivated Shinji was by the kiss is open to question, as he tastes blood on his mouth afterwards and realises Misato is dying.
  • Inverted in Gunslinger Girl when cyborg Triela gives her handler Hilshire a peck on the cheek before going to take on some terrorists.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • At the climax of Monster House, protagonist DJ is faced with the task of climbing up a tower crane and dropping a stick of dynamite down Constance's chimney, destroying her once and for all. When he says that he doesn't think he can do it, his Love Interest Jenny loudly proclaims, "Yes, you can!" before kissing him on the mouth.
  • In Hey Arnold! The Movie, before she sends them on their quest to save Arnold’s neighborhood from being demolished, Bridget gives Arnold and Gerald a kiss for luck, after she kisses Gerald his hair springs out and he faints.
  • Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars. Johnny Rico is dying of thirst in a Martian desert when a Helpful Hallucination of his deceased lover Dizzy Flores wakes him up with a kiss and gets him moving again. There's Homoerotic Subtext to this as 'she' is actually a psychic vision sent by Carl Jenkins.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers receives a kiss from Peggy Carter just before he boards the Red Skull's plane.
  • In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Princess Leia gives Luke a peck on the cheek "for luck" before he tries to swing over a precarious gap.
  • Played more-or-less straight in Mystery Team... except that Jason doesn't actually know how to kiss, and just blows into the love interest's mouth.
  • Happens in Van Helsing when Van Helsing and Anna split up before the climactic battle, he to face down Dracula using his werewolf power to defeat the vampire and she to retrieve the werewolf cure serum.
  • In the live-action film version of Peter Pan, Peter is nearly defeated by Hook until he gets one from Wendy.
  • Subverted radically by the villainess, Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin. Late in the film, Robin is lured into the villainess' lair under the pretense of her love for him. When Ivy reveals Freeze's plan to destroy Gotham City, Robin turns to leave in order to stop him, only to be pulled back by the villainess.
    Poison Ivy: One kiss, my love. For luck. ...... (Robin and she lean in, with Robin unaware of her evil smirk, and share a passionate kiss). Bad luck, I'm afraid.
    • Though in truth it's Double Subverted by Robin as he came prepared and thus didn't die.

  • Gender Flipped in Stephen King's The Stand, where Stu Redman gives Dayna Jurgens two kisses for luck when she's about to go away on a dangerous mission.
  • The Battle Of The Labyrinth: Right before Percy heads into a volcano for a very dangerous mission, Annabeth gives him a kiss and tells him to be careful. Then disappears under her hat.
  • The Dresden Files book Cold Days has a Shout-Out to the Star Wars example between Harry and Murphy, and later they get a The Big Damn Now or Never Kiss right before another probable Suicide Mission.
  • Another Gender Flipped example in A Wrinkle in Time in which Calvin kisses Meg right before she goes off to face It and save her brother. In front of her own father, no less. Actually subverted in the film version, in which he whispers, "I'd kiss you, but your father's here."
  • In The Martian when Dr. Beck, the mission EVA specialist is suiting up to save Whatney at the end of the story Johannsen gives him a kiss on the outside of his helmet.
    Johannsen: That was stupid. Don't tell anyone I did that.
    Beck: Don't tell anyone I liked it.
  • A Darker Shade of Magic: Lila kisses Kell before they cross worlds the first time, telling him it's for luck - not that she needs it. At the end of the book Kell echoes the kiss and her words.
    Lila: What was that for?
    Kell: For luck. Not that you need it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: One time when Data was on an away mission a local girl gave him such a kiss. He was perplexed.
  • The Suite Life on Deck episode Maddie On Deck: Maddie's kiss to Zack allowed him to do an overkill of noodle-whacking towards the prince, enough for the prince to surrender and run home crying for his mommy!
  • Done by Captain OPower to his female crewmate Pilot before the big trench run against the Icarus Platform.
    Power: For luck.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Riley Finn gives Buffy a good luck kiss on her forehead. Buffy says she needs more luck than that, so he smooches her on the lips as well.
  • Daredevil (2015): In "Dogs to a Gunfight", Grotto tries to ask Karen to give him one prior to participating in a sting as part of his plea deal (actually a police operation to ambush the Punisher). Karen steps close...and gives him a middle finger.
    Grotto: [chuckles] I'll take it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Gail Kim to Eric Young at TNA Slammiversary 2007 as a way for him to get his mind off of Ms. (Traci) Brooks seducing him once again and focus on defeating Robert Roode to free himself from his service.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend Of Zelda C Di Games:
    • Actively defied by Zelda in Link: The Faces of Evil - see the page quote.
    • In Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. Link gave his canteen to Lady Alma in exchange for a kiss.
  • In Mass Effect 3, when EDI describes the Normandy's readiness before the final battle, she states she even kissed Joker for luck.

    Web Comics 
  • In Girl Genius:
    • Gil gets one here (continued to the next page). Unusual in that it's prompted by his romantic rival — it's not that Tarvek wants him to end up with Agatha, but he knows that everyone's depending on Gil to do well, so it's in his best interests.
      Gil: Right. I... I'm off.
      Tarvek: [whispering to Agatha] Oh, for pity's sake. Go give him something to fight for.
      Agatha: [launches herself at Gil and kisses him]
    • A lesser version from Pix and Abner, serving as the start of their relationship.

    Western Animation 
  • Towards the end of Frisky Dingo, at one point Stan and Taqu'il are dangling from a ledge, and Ta'quille uses a grappling hook concealed in his belt to lift them to safety. Before he does, Stan (referencing the Star Wars example above) gives him a quick kiss and says "For luck." Taqu'il is not amused, and activates the grappling hook with nothing more than a cold look.
  • In an episode of Mushmouse & Punkinpuss, Mushmouse's girlfriend kisses him as incentive to face up to Punkinpuss. It gives Mushmouse plenty of courage, but the matter of size weighs against him.
  • In Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Taffy often asks Captain Caveman to do something for her which he doesn't want to do. Once she kisses him, he's ready for anything.
  • In the Captain Planet episode "You Bet Your Planet," before Wheeler participates in the foot race for the fate of Earth, Linka gives him a kiss for luck.
  • In the ThunderCats (2011) episode "Into The Astral Plane'' before Lion-O begins his quest in the plane Cheetara gives him a kiss for luck. Tygra becomes jealous of this, thinking she has feelings for Lion-O, and volunteers to go with him.
  • In the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Fame" after Ben fears the entire school will hate him after finding out his secret that he can change into different aliens, Julie gives him a kiss to assure him that not everyone hates him.

    Real Life 
  • "Morgana the Kissing Bandit" was a woman who'd sneak onto the baseball field and try to kiss a player. By 1990 she'd kissed over 40 professional athletes. She continued despite being beaten by security once.

Alternative Title(s): A Kiss For Luck


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