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Rescue Romance

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"Oh, and stay away from your friend, the Captain. You save his life, he saves yours, this leads to that..."

One of the methods writers use to jumpstart relationships. A variety of Samaritan Relationship Starter.

Alice is in a fix. She has tried everything. She doesn't know what to do. When all hope seems lost, Bob comes in at the last minute and rescues Alice, causing Alice to fall in love with him.

If done humorously, this is done at the beginning of a series, adding to the Harem. A staged rescue is a common simple plan to get a couple together.

Done seriously, this is one of the ways writers get a relationship hampered by Cannot Spit It Out started, as opposed to communication, or heck; they might not have even met or talked to each other previously.

A typical setup goes something like this (adjust the details to fit your setting): An agile male character, often the Hero, meeting a female character (Love Interests, etc) by saving them from being hit on by thugs, or older (college) men who seem lecherous. The thugs grab the female by the hand and pull her away to have a "cup of tea" with them, or become violent as she stubbornly rejects their advances (may involve knives). Enter the hero, either hitting the offenders in the arm, or entering the scene by kicking the guy (head, solar plexus, etc), and saving her from forceful romantic advances. (And possibly incurring some injuries, enabling the After Action Patch Up.)

Oddly enough some medieval romancers, despite being the reason Damsel in Distress is called that ("damsel" being the diminutive of medieval French for "lady"), actually sometimes didn't like this trope. Basically some of them thought that, since the girl now owed the guy, the resulting romance wasn't pure enough, aesthetically speaking. The various aristocrats who paid their bills mostly told 'em to shut up; part of the ideal of knighthood was being a protector, and who doesn't want to hear about a good deed they could actually do being rewarded with some sweet lovin'?

Expect a negative response from some if this chickifies an Action Girl (though this can be almost completely negated by having the couple take turns with the Distress Ball). Nevertheless, the Knight in Shining Armor saving the Damsel in Distress who he then weds and the two living Happily Ever After is at least Older Than Feudalism, going back at least as far as the myth of Perseus and Andromeda.

It is a subset of Meet Cute and thus a common subject of fanfic in regards to Shipping. If Rescue Romance is a manly man's reward for being a valiant protector, the Florence Nightingale Effect is a womanly woman's reward for being a caring nurturer. If the rescuee is saved from sexual assault and immediately offers this to their rescuer then they Got Over Rape Instantly.

Compare Smooch of Victory, Rescue Sex, Standard Hero Reward, Relationship-Salvaging Disaster, Bodyguard Crush. Contrast A Match Made in Stockholm. See also The Dulcinea Effect.

Example subpages

Other examples:

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  • In the Child Ballad "The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward", the young lord saves his life by promising never to tell that his servant robbed him; the servant turns him into a servant until the daughter of a local lord figures out how to get the story out of him. Whereupon they promptly marry.
    • The gender-swapped counterpart, the Goose Girl, plays out with a similar setup. Eventually, the prince realizes something's up with the new "goose girl" and tricks her into confessing to an iron stove (which he's standing behind) and gets everything solved. In this version, he was supposed to marry the princess anyway and the maid had posed as his fiance, but the rescue element makes it a romance instead of merely a political marriage.
  • In "The Ballad of the Bog" by Mark Lewis, a young man rescues a girl possessed by a ghost/an Eldritch Abomination, and gets her in his arms.
  • "Tam Lin" features a woman, Janet, who is mysteriously impregnated by an elven knight who claims the virginity of any maiden who wanders his fields. She refuses to forsake him and discovers he was once a mortal man rescued and captured by the faeries and is soon to be tithed to hell for the Queen. Janet rescues him from this fate by clinging to him as he is transformed into any number of beasts. When he turns into a burning coal, she throws him into a well, which turns him back into a man, and she must hide him. For all of this effort, she wins his freedom from the faerie queen.

    Comic Books 
  • In Blacksad, this is the nature of Blacksad's past relationship with the deceased Natalia Wilford, as he helped her get rid of a stalker. They started a relationship afterwards but it wore off after some time, and they broke up before her untimely death.
  • A very twisted villainous version from the pages of Captain America. Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter was captured by SHIELD and held in a facility where she was subjected to Heel–Face Brainwashing to turn her into a normal, well-adjusted All American girl. Skull’s Dragon Crossbones fought his way into the facility, abducted her and fought his way back out (killing dozens of Red Shirts in the process), then imprisoned and tortured her until her true memories and personality were restored. Then they fell in love. To an outside observer, this was all horrifying but from their perspective, he had rescued her from enemy captivity and freed her from nefarious mind control.
  • In the Dungeon Universe, princess Isis exploits this trope, getting into the dungeon with her boyfriend, hoping she could pretend he rescued her, so the king will allow them to marry. Unluckily, said boyfriend dies less than a page after he appears.
  • The comic continuations of Gargoyles featured Lexington and Staghart rescuing each other. The Bad Guys series also featured Dingo rescuing Hunter and her him. Word of God says Hunter and Dingo will be together. Jury's still out on Staghart and Lexington. (But Slash Fic writers can dream....)
  • In Justice League Elite, Kasumi grows infatuated with Coldcast after he keeps saving her when their missions keep going horribly wrong.
  • The Marvel Universe also has a Les Yay/Friendship variation of this. After Rogue drained her powers, Carol Danvers was rescued by the first Spider-Woman and was counseled to get over her trauma/pain of power-loss, which is the beginning of their friendship... or Les Yay. Speaking of Jessica Drew, her close friendship with Lindsey McCabe began after Lindsey stood up for her during a humiliating group therapy session.
  • Sin City: Hartigan and Nancy are a one-way example. When Nancy was 11, Hartigan rescued her from rape and death at the hands of the sadistic paedophile Roark Jr., nearly giving his own life in the process. 8 years later he tracks her down when he thinks that she's been targeted by his enemies. Nancy declares that Hartigan is the only man she's ever loved and tries to make a move on him. He rejects her, both because of their huge age difference and their history.
  • Steve Trevor fell in love with Wonder Woman when she rescued him after he crashed his plane in the ocean off Paradise Island. Diana found him attractive while nursing him back to health, but doesn't reciprocate until they started fighting Nazis together after she returned him to the US.
  • Superman's first encounter with Lois Lane Post-Crisis was the rescue of a space shuttle she was on. It sorta became a Running Gag / In-Joke between the two. In their original Golden Age meeting (at least when he was in costume), Superman saves Lois from some gangsters who aren't happy about Lois', erm, professional dedication.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
Balto Code Geass



For Better or for Worse

  • The New Retcons: This is how John viewed his marriage to Elly, saving her from life as a poor destitute woman and a single mother. It didn't end well. He repeats this reasoning, minus the spoilered part, with Kortney, viewing himself as her savior from a life of prostitution
    • In a more horrifying example, Elly tried to invoke this on Elizabeth and Anthony by arranging the Attempted Rape of Elizabeth just so Anthony can rescue her and they could rekindle their romance.

How to Train Your Dragon

Kingdom Hearts

  • Runaway Wind: Ventus wakes up alone in Castle Oblivion and runs into Naminé, quickly agreeing to help her escape from the Organization. Downplayed in that it takes a few weeks for the two of them to even realize they're falling for each other.

Mega Man

  • Mega Man Reawakened: Hints at this when Bass saves Roll from a mugging, but it's soured when he learns she's Robert's sister.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • heartstrings: The relationship between Marinette and Chat Noir is kicked off when he intervenes to save her from a mugger, though she ends up having to help him when he drops his baton in the process.

My Little Pony

  • Pony POV Series: Hinted at in Shining Armor's side story — Sunset, one of Cadence's hoofmaidens, is mistaken for a Hooviet spy and harassed by some overeager Royal troops, only to be saved by Private Ranger, one of Shining's Royal Guards. While they haven't hooked up yet, she seems to have developed a thing for him. As of Part 11, they're an Official Couple.
  • Seeing the Pattern: Inverted. Although Lickity Split was already attracted to Pinkie Pie, Pinkamina doesn't begin returning his feelings until after she saves his life a couple of times.
  • Sophistication and Betrayal plays with this a little. While Rarity and the protagonist do end up in a relationship after she saves his life - which does get lampshaded - it takes significant time for their relationship to develop and initially only leads to friendship.
  • Spectacular Seven: Defied. Moondancer tries to win the heart of Twilight Sparkle by battling against Scarlet Inferno, the Enemy Without of Sunset Shimmer. However, Twilight is steeped in nerdy culture and sci-fi novels, recognizes what Moondancer is doing, and tries to let her down gently. It's later revealed that the whole thing was set up by Moondancer (since she's The Dragon to the Big Bad) in an attempt to convince Twilight to break up with Sunset, meaning Moondancer invoked the trope before Twilight defied it.


  • I Am NOT Going Through Puberty Again!: Just like in canon, Karin falls in love with the boy who rescues her in the Forest of Death. Although it wasn't Sasuke this time around... it was Lee.
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles:
    • In the first chapter, Hinata is knocked off a cliff by one of the bad guys. Naruto tries to grab her hand, but it's too late as they both fall into a body of water down below. Fortunately, they both survive and, with one thing leading to another, Naruto starts to develop feelings towards Hinata.
    • Tenten falls in love with Neji after he defends her from her abusive ex-boyfriend Yori.
  • In addition to the canon example of Naruto and Hinata above, Son of the Sannin has Natsu Hyuga develop an attraction for Itachi Uchiha after he comes to help her and several other Hyugas during the Akatsuki invasion. In the aftermath, she visits him at his home to give him a gift as thanks for saving her before.


  • A gender-inverted version of this in the Pokémon: The Series fic Ash's Adventure: Girls' Hunter Edition, when Misty notes that Ash seems to be attracted to girls who save his life (granted, under the conditions of their rescue, those girls are technically Ash's 'slaves' even if he'd never enforce such a rule on them).

Ranma ½

  • The Silent Horse: Ranma and Akane's relationship starts when she rescues him (in his female form) from a gang that wants to gang-rape him.


  • May I Have This Dance? is a twoshot Alternate Universe Fic (in that neither went to Beacon) that revolves around Pyrrha saving Weiss from some boys at a party her parents are hosting. The two girls quickly get close.
  • Relic Of The Future: Deconstructed. In the original timeline, Jaune and Weiss apparently got together shortly after the Battle of Haven because of Jaune saving her life with his healing Semblance after Cinder impaled her. Unfortunately, as a result, the entire foundation of that relationship was that Weiss believed she owed it to Jaune out of gratitude for saving her, and such a terrible foundation meant that it didn't last long for them. They broke up amicably with the agreement that they'd give the relationship a second shot after Salem was defeated — they never did get that chance.

The Smurfs

  • Hero: The Guardian Smurf: Hero had a relationship with first love Smurfette before his Opposite-Sex Clone Wonder Smurfette came into the picture and the two married each other, eventually giving birth to Hero's first child Saviour. Years later, sometime after Wonder died, Hero came to feel suicidal and was going to end his life when the Smurfs intervened and stopped him from doing so, with Smurfette passionately pleading with Hero to embrace life instead of death. It was from this that Hero rekindled his relationship with Smurfette, and from that, they married and Smurfette became the mother of Hero's second child Miracle.

Warrior Cats

  • Fire and Shadow: Nightpaw fell for Firefang after he saved her from a snake. He remained Oblivious to Love until he's told of her crush. The two eventually ended up mates.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • Lost Causes: Jessica met Roger when he saved her from a man who was attacking her. Roger later got Jessica bought by his copyright owners and took her off the streets.


  • Cullen and Victoria are already in a fledgling relationship when they attend the ball at Halamshiral in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, but the mutual application of this trope helps to move things along for them. First she 'rescues' him from the Orlesian courtiers who have him cornered (which, due to his Dark and Troubled Past, is a bigger favor than it might seem); later, he saves her more literally when she's almost murdered by a Harlequin.
  • In Aftermath of a Fallen Star, Sunset Shimmer tried to commit suicide after experiencing both of the pain she caused and the bullying she got after trying to turn the school into a zombie army to crush Equestria. The Equestria Girls world version of Twilight stopped her and helped her get her life in order, leading to a friendship and later romance.
  • In Ace Attorney fanfic Dirty Sympathy, Apollo starts to return Klavier's feelings for him and decides to turn Klavier's rescue into a mutual "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder when Klavier successfully frames his cruel and abusive Bad Boss Kristoph and gets him sent to jail.
  • Earth and Sky: Apparently, the unlikely couple of Silver Spoon and Snails first fell in love when he saved her from drowning herself on prom night (a result of Diamond Tiara's cruel prank).
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles: Soarin develops a crush on Rainbow Dash after she saves him and two of his teammates during The Best Young Flyers competition. Rainbow later develops her own crush on Soarin after hanging out with him.
  • Averted in the Firefly fanfic Forward, where Jayne and River end up saving each other while they are being held prisoner by Niska. While the aftermath of those events resulted in the two of them developing into a more platonic relationship, it didn't directly result in romance. There are hints that there might be a River/Jayne romance developing later on, however.
  • The Horseshoes and Hand Grenades sidestory SplitxEnd has Yayoi saved by Haruto at the hands of Foundation Xnote  Yayoi notes that she shouldn't mistake his act as chivalry as a sign of love. Later in Month of Sundays, when confronted with a doll transformed Haruto, she uses this as a basis of their blooming relationship.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Paradise Calling, Link and Malon are reunited when she is ambushed by bandits in her milk cart and almost raped before he intervenes.
  • The Night Unfurls: After being saved by Kyril, her co-worker, from Michelle's clutches, Maia developed feelings for him, to the point where she is in desperate need of his presence and comfort from her trauma she faced beforehand. The affection is one-sided due to Kyril's celibacy (though Maia initially suspects that he is hooked up with Grace), but he did have Lily help her recover.
  • A Possible Encounter for a Phantom: Kim Possible politely turns down Danny Phantom's crush on her because he's 14 and she's 16. However, after he saves her life from the Fright Knight, in human form, she begins to grow interested in him.
  • Discussed in Fire Emblem: Awakening fanfic Pretender, when Lissa tells Chrom she believes that Frederick and Robin are a couple. Chrom tries to be happy for them but he knows that they got closer because Frederick rescued Robin from committing suicide. He is squicked by the possibility that Frederick may have pressured Robin into a relationship while the latter was emotionally vulnerable. To Frederick's credit, he freaks out when Chrom brings it up, showing that he is aware of the implications. Nevertheless, Frederick and Robin do become romantically involved for a while.
  • In Saintly Phantom, Danny first meets Luz when he rescues her from Human Traffickers, upon which she immediately sticks her tongue down his throat out of gratitude. While the relationship initially starts out purely sexual due to Luz wanting to fulfill her pent-up libido, she does eventually fall for Danny due to Single Woman Seeks Good Man.
  • Averted in A Thing of Vikings; after Tuffnut saves Marte from her abusive husband, he turns down the offer to sleep with her because he feels that it would be taking advantage.
  • Unexpected Sisters:
    • Ruby saved Blake from her abusive ex-boyfriend. One month later, Ruby asked Blake out and was declined. However, a few days afterwards Blake asked Ruby out and they've been girlfriends since.
    • Wives Yang and Weiss met in kindergarten. Yang beat up a boy who was bullying Weiss for her white hair.
  • The Thor fanfic Wanted, and AU set during the second film, plays with this. Loki ends up saving Darcy with the car instead of Ian, which makes Darcy realize that there's a good person inside him. On top of the earlier attraction she felt towards him, this gets her to kiss him. To which he doesn't protest.
  • In Your servant, Mistress, Diaval falls in love with Maleficent after she protects him from sexual harassment. (It helps that he was already looking for a relationship.)
  • Maybe Sprout Wings: In this Supernatural fic, Castiel rescues Dean from slavery and they gradually fall in love.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney loves this trope:
    • Lady and the Tramp: Tramp saves Lady from nasty dogs and the annoying muzzle. Then she and the other dogs save him from the dog catcher.
    • Beauty and the Beast: Back to back, as Belle finally gets fed up enough with the Beast that she escapes the castle... only to get attacked by wolves that the Beast saves her from. Belle drags his unconscious, wounded body back to the castle and patches him up, leading to the first conversation they have in the film that isn't openly hostile. Cue Relationship Upgrade since now the Beast is more conscious of being nice to her and Belle is finally able to let go of her conceptions of him.
    • The Little Mermaid: Ariel saves Eric from drowning, and he falls in love with her voice. Then he saves her from being disintegrated by Ursula.
    • Hercules: Hercules tries to save Meg when she's being harassed by a centaur, but she's less than impressed. Then, she saves him after a big blowup. He finally saves her from the afterlife, and their romance is sealed.
    • In Aladdin, the titular hero meets Jasmine by saving her from having her hand chopped off. He then goes on to save all of Agrabah, leading the Sultan to decide that he's worthy of marrying her.
    • In The Aristocats, Duchess falls in love with O'Malley as he helps her and her kittens find their way home.
    • In Sleeping Beauty, Prince Phillip fights his way through one hell of a magical obstacle course and slays a dragon (with a lot of help from three fairies) to break the curse on Princess Aurora and save her and the kingdom. They then fall in love.
    • Tarzan: Tarzan saves Jane from an angry horde of baboons who chase after her for making their young baby cry.
    • Strange World: Discussed. When Jaegar Clade meets his teenage grandson for the first time, he suggests that Ethan win over his crush by arranging a dangerous situation so he can swoop in as the rescuer. Ethan thinks that sounds like a really toxic way to start a relationship.
  • A humorous take in Despicable Me 2. At first, Gru is annoyed with Lucy for being very cheerful and enthusiastic when they're partnered together. Not helping him is Agnes asking Lucy if she's single in front of Gru. However, when Gru is forced on a date with a superficial woman who tries to humiliate him for being bald, Lucy uses a tranquilizer dart on her and the two carry her home while bond over failed dates and Lucy complimenting Gru's baldness. By morning, Gru has fallen in love with Lucy. Although he has to rescue her from the Big Bad in the climax, Lucy at that point had already fallen in love with Gru.
  • Used (and lampshaded, see the quote above) in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within to restart the romance between the lead girl and her old love, the military captain. First he hauls her out of an alien-infected city, then she performs life-saving surgery on him... Works better than a Red String of Fate.
  • Subverted in Leafie, a Hen into the Wild. Leafie falls for Wanderer after he helps her escape the one-eyed weasel. He, however, doesn't feel the same and has a mate already. Leafie adopts their hatchling after they are both killed by the weasel.
  • Megamind: As a parody of the Superhero genre, Roxanne Richie gets hit with zig-zagging flavors of this.
    • Metro Man is always saving Roxanne, but they never had any romantic relationship at all; he was just "not her type".
    • Megamind is always kidnapping her and trying to impress her, but dates her the old-fashioned way, the two fall in love, and then he ends up saving her at the end.
    • Tighten tries this at Megamind's suggestion, but he's too clueless to realize that dropping Roxanne to her near-death (repeatedly) does not count as a "rescue". Of course, Megamind's advice to invoke the trope was pretty clueless in the first place.
  • Every single couple in Ride Your Wave starts with this. Minato fell for Hinako after she saved him from drowning as a child, Hinako fell for Minato after he saved her from a burning building, and Yoko fell for Wasabi after his encouraging words gave her the motivation to start attending school again.
  • Shrek, being an Affectionate Parody of fairy tales, goes to town with this one: Princess Fiona and Shrek meet when he rescues her from a tower and a dragon. She thinks he's supposed to be her Knight in Shining Armor with whom she will share True Love's Kiss until he explains that he's actually an ogre who was just sent there to do the rescuing so Lord Farquaad wouldn't have to. Of course, "Rescue By Proxy Romance" isn't nearly as romantic, and ultimately Fiona and Shrek end up falling in love anyway.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Against All Flags, Princess Patma falls in love with Brian Hawke after he rescues her from a burning, sinking ship.
  • Aquaman (2018): Thomas Curry is shown to have found Queen Atlanna washed up on the shore unconscious and carried her back to the lighthouse. After that, they had a relationship and conceived a son together.
  • The Babysitter (2017): At the start of the film, Cole and his 12-year old neighbor, Melanie, are only friends. That changes after Cole goes from being everyone's victim to almost single-handedly taking down a cult of homicidal maniacs to protect himself and Melanie from harm. She even gives him a kiss for luck before his showdown with Bee and tells him they should makeout "next time".
  • Back to the Future:
    • In Back to the Future, Marty tries to set his parents up by engineering a situation where George saves Lorraine from sexual assault (namely, by Marty himself). It goes off the rails when Lorraine is more eager than Marty is, only to be set right when Biff intervenes, genuinely tries to assault Lorraine, and George ends up genuinely saving her by punching Biff out.
    • In Back to the Future Part III, Doc saves Clara from going over a cliff in an out-of-control wagon, belatedly learning that she died in the original timeline and that the ravine would have been named after her.
  • In Beast (2017), Moll and Pascal first meet when he saves her from a man who was trying to kiss her against her will. They're instantly attracted to each other and begin a relationship shortly afterward.
  • Beyond the Lights is about the romance between pop star Noni and good cop Kaz after he stops her from jumping off her balcony and committing suicide.
  • The Charge at Feather River: After rescuing her from the Cheyenne, Miles Archer falls in love with Anne McKeever, even though she believes she has been Defiled Forever. During their Last Stand, he finally manages to convince her that he doesn't care and, as The Cavalry arrives, he tells her that those are the men who will dance at her wedding.
  • In Closer, Dan spots Alice from afar and it's Love at First Sight. They continue walking towards each other until Alice crosses the street and a car hits her. Dan rushes to her side and takes her to the hospital.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011): Conan rescues Tamara from Khalar Zym multiple times, and they become lovers.
  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander saves Tina Goldstein from being executed. She has since been friendlier to him, and canon establishes that they will get married.
  • Feeding Frenzy: Discussed. Dogged Nice Guy Jesse has a huge crush on Christine, and they have an adventure together fighting monsters. In the final act, Jesse again expresses his feelings for Christine, saying that he expects their trials and tribulations must have drawn her closer to him. She again bluntly rejects him, saying there's absolutely no way she'd date a loser like him. However, when he rescues her one last time, she consents to at least have sex with him.
  • In Filibus, romance blossoms after the Classy Cat-Burglar Filibus "saves" Leonora from a staged abduction. (It's left ambiguous whether this was a goal of the rescue or an unexpected side effect.)
  • George of the Jungle: George and Ursula begin to fall in love after he saves her from a lion attack.
  • Highwaymen: It's implied in the ending that Cray and Molly ultimately get together after he rescued her from the serial killer Fargo a second time. Fargo had already murdered Molly's best friend and her male suitor previously in the film, so it's not surprising that she'd look to Cray for comfort.
  • Gender-flipped in Jurassic World. Owen falls for Claire after she saves him from a rampaging pterosaur.
  • A main plot device in all three movie versions of King Kong, although the sexuality of the relationship between Anne and Kong was toned down to platonic love in the 2005 version.
  • Invoked Trope in Mechanic Resurrection. When Jason Statham's character saves Jessica Alba from an abusive boyfriend, he quickly realises the Big Bad is trying to set up this trope in preparation for an I Have Your Love Interest scenario. They fall for each other anyway.
  • Alice thinks this is what's happening in Mermaid after she saves Aleksandr, but he remains clueless.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service. James Bond saves Tracy from drowning herself, then bails her out when she loses her money at the casino. At first the trope is subverted; Tracy sleeps with Bond, but presents this as a case of (literally) paying her debts to him even though Bond hasn't asked for Rescue Sex. She does fall in love with Bond, but it's not clear if Bond feels the same until after Tracy turns up to save Bond's life in Switzerland. Just to seal the matter, Tracy is captured and Bond goes rogue to rescue her with the help of her father. Tracy then becomes the only woman that Bond is willing to marry, but we all know what happens next...
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a child Will was rescued from a wrecked ship by the crew of a nearby boat that a just-as-young Elizabeth and her dad were travelling in. In fact, little Elizabeth was the one who saw Will lying unconscious between what was left of the other ship and alerted the sailors. They go on to spend the rest of the series rescuing each other from various dangerous circumstances.
  • In the German film The Princess and the Warrior psychiatric nurse Sissi is knocked down by a truck and has her life saved with a tracheotomy done by ex-soldier turned criminal Bobo Reimer. She becomes obsessed with tracking him down, convinced that they are destined to be together.
  • Becomes Troubling Unchildlike Behavior in the International Cut of The Professional. Leon saves 12-year-old Mathilda from the middle of DEA headquarters after she fails to kill the Dirty Cops who murdered her family. Mathilda then decides she is in love and offers to lose her virginity with him, so Leon has to gently refuse her. They compromise on agreeing to share the bed.
  • In Rosita, Diego and Rosita fall in love after Diego attempts to save Rosita from being jailed. He fails and they both get arrested, but the attempt was still noble.
  • In San Andreas, Ben rescues Blake when she gets trapped in a car, then they fall in love. Blake would also end up helping Ben afterwards.
  • Woody Allen's Scoop has the heroine deliberately attract the attention of a guy she wants to investigate for possible murder by pretending to drown so he can rescue her, and striking up a romance afterwards. Later he tries to drown her for real. Good thing she was actually captain of her high school swim team.
  • In Showdown in Little Tokyo, after Kenner saves Minako from captivity and sexual abuse by the villain, she becomes attracted to him and cuddles up to him in his home for safety before they have sex.
  • Having The Protagonist in Small Soldiers rescue Christy is a convenient way of forging a relationship with someone who already had a boyfriend. This probably has something to do with said boyfriend fleeing to save himself, while the protagonist sticks around to help her from being held hostage.
  • Snow White & the Huntsman: The evil Ravenna uses this trope to her advantage to seduce Snow White's father, when he finds her chained up in a carriage, apparently held prisoner by the mysterious dark army he's just defeated.
  • Spaceballs, which somehow is played straight with no Lampshade Hanging.
  • Discussed, and later lampshaded, in Speed. Annie tells Jack, "Relationships based on extreme circumstances rarely work." It also features one of the best bond one-liners when the line is echoed back later by Jack, and she responds, "Then we'll have to base it on sex." Judging by her new beau in the sequel, though, it seems the sex must not have been all that great. Wah-wah-wah-waaaaaaaaahhhhhh...
  • The Star Wars Original Trilogy goes all over the board with this trope. In A New Hope, Han & Luke rescue Leia. Shortly thereafter, Leia saves Han & Luke (and Chewie). Luke and Leia then seem to be playing the trope as straight as an arrow (the "for luck" kiss, the scene before Luke boards his X-wing, Leia's clear distress at Luke's communications, etc) Then Han returns and saves Luke, and by extension everybody on Yavin 4. In The Empire Strikes Back, Han and Leia are constantly helping each other during their Relationship Upgrade. Finally in Return of the Jedi, it's Leia who saves Han twice.
  • The Terminator: Kyle saves Sarah from being killed by the Terminator, and while it doesn't last due to Sex Equals Death they do develop a relationship over the course of the film.
  • In Thor: The Dark World, Ian earns two make-out sessions with Darcy after he saves her from some attacking Dark Elves by crushing them with a car. Something of a Moment Killer occurs when they're teleported to their friends in the middle of their Smooch of Victory, causing Darcy to drop Ian to the ground in embarrassment.
  • Titanic (1997): Jack rescues Rose when she attempts suicide. She falls for him, and upon telling her story 84 years later, says that he saved her in every way a person could be saved.
  • Train Man (2004) is the apparently true story of a shy nerd who scares off a chikan from harassing a young woman on a train. When she unexpectedly sends him a note and an expensive present, he has to draw on the collective wisdom of an otaku message board to navigate the greatest crisis of his life.
  • Untamed Heart: Caroline, a waitress at a diner, is walking home from work one night when she's followed by two customers who eventually attack her. As one of them is about to rape her, Adam, a busboy at the diner who, as it turns out, follows Caroline home because he's in love with her, attacks the two of them. He then takes Caroline home, and stays with her until she wakes up. Though she had always treated him nicely when they were working together, this incident leads Caroline to fall in love with Adam.
  • In The Wedding Planner, the protagonist Mary gets her shoe stuck in the road while crossing it. A runaway dumpster rolls away from the top of the hill and begins racing down. Just as she is about to be hit, the handsome pediatrician Steve swoops in and saves her. He holds her in his arms, and she is starstruck.
  • Wild Wild West. This appears to be happening after Artemus and Jim West rescue Rita Escobar (Rita flirts with both of them and Jim West thinks they'll "end up in the saddle"). It turns out to be a subversion: Rita is actually playing both men to get them to take her along so she can help rescue Professor Escobar...her husband.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): It did not happen immediately, but Steve and Diana gradually become close after she rescues him from a plane crash.

  • In some versions of the Arthurian Legend, Lancelot's and Guinevere's affair starts with him rescuing her. More commonly Lancelot rescues her because of his love for her, but their love isn't consummated till after the rescue.
  • Japanese Mythology: Susano'o saved his first wife Kushinadahime from being eaten by the eight-headed dragon Yamata-no-Orochi, who had already eaten her seven sisters.

  • Black Jack Justice:
    • Played in both directions in the relationship between Jack Justice and Dorothy Evans. Dorothy is introduced in "Journey's End", where she finds Jack injured, treats him, and unknowingly endangers him all over again when the help she calls for him is a crooked police precinct whose watch commander is the one who wounded Jack in the first place. Jack tries to protect her from the danger he's brought to her door despite being so concussed he can't move under his power, but by the end of the episode it's Dorothy who saves the day by taking out three dirty cops one by one when they go into the basement Jack had her hide in. Jack's Private Eye Monologue describes her coming out of said basement with fire in her eyes, still armed with the weapons she used, and kissing him.
      Jack's Monologue: I have failed you in the role of narrator to this chronicle, my friends, for there are no words that can describe my elation as Dorothy Evans née Maxwell née Evans emerged from the basement with fire in her eyes. And if I thought that was good, it was nothing to when she strode across the room, coal scuttle and pistol still in hand, and kissed me hard and with a desperate longing born of having feared one would never feel like this again. A night terror I know all too well.
      Jack (out loud): Thought I wasn't your type.
      Dorothy: I'm a dirty liar.
      Jack: Hello, nurse!
    • In "The Empty Desk", Jack has been nowhere to be seen in the two weeks since the previous episode, "The Late Mr. Justice". In that episode, Jack rescued Dorothy from an old enemy who had kidnapped her to force Jack to surrender himself to be killed. He's absent for much of "The Empty Desk" itself, appearing only at the end to reveal that, during those two weeks, he and Dorothy married and had been enjoying a honeymoon in the Poconos.
      Trixie: Her response to being kidnapped was to marry you?
      Jack: Her response to being rescued in cinematic fashion was to marry me.
      Trixie: Baffling. I am officially baffled.

    Pro Wrestling 

  • Zigzagged in Jasper in Deadland. When Jasper risks losing his life and his memories in order to save his "friend" Agnes from Deadland, it seems like the obvious prelude to a Relationship Upgrade, only for something to halt the rescue or the relationship before it begins:
    • When Jasper and Agnes reunite for the first time, and Agnes regains the memories she lost, she excitedly proclaims that she knew Jasper loved her.. but the first words out of his mouth are "I'm sorry, I don't love you". It turns out his last memories have been erased, so he no longer remembers that he loves her.
    • Later, when Agnes rescues Jasper from Mister Lethe, and regain more of their memories, the two finally kiss. However, once more memories start to flood in, Agnes remembers how traumatic both of their lives were, and tells Jasper that they should stay in Deadland and give up their memories again, even if it means forgetting each other.

    Visual Novels 
  • Code:Realize:
    • This is how Cardia meets Lupin in the prologue where he rescues her from the Royal Guard.
    • Similarly, this is also how she meets Victor who jumps in when a group of thugs were intending to hurt her.
    • In Van Helsing's route, when Jack the Ripper captures Cardia and was intending to torture and kill her, Van Helsing manages to find her in a nick of time. The CG shows Cardia looking up at him rather adoringly as he holds her.
  • In the Death Room, you can rescue Ambrosia and, if you're a male, earn a kiss from her.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • In the Fate route and anime Saber saves Shirou from Lancer, Shirou saves Saber from Berserker, Saber saves Shirou from Rider twice, Saber attempts to save Shirou from Illya, Shirou saves Saber from Berserker again, Shirou saves Saber from Gilgamesh, Lancer saves the both of them(!?), and by that point, Shirou and Saber are hopelessly infatuated with each other. Apparently, winning the affections of Saber will only cost you about 18 gallons of blood.
    • A villainous example would be Caster (Medea) and Kuzuki Souichirou. She was suffering from lacking access to a mana source and was about to die when she met the former; he took her in, agreed to form a contract with her, and even introduced her to others as his fiancée. As a result, Caster becomes hopelessly devoted to and starts a strange romance with him.
    • This is also how Shirou first met Sakura. He saved her from bullies when they were children and then were properly introduced to each other later by Shinji. Kid Sakura had actually fallen for Shirou before this point watching him from afar perform a seemingly impossible task until he succeeded. Humorously, the same event similarly caught a young Rin's attention.
  • In Ikemen Sengoku, Nobunaga Oda becomes quite taken with the female protagonist after she saves him from an assassination attempt. Yukimura, Ieyasu, and Kenshin's routes also have their first major interaction with the female protagonist be them saving her from bandits or assassins, and Sasuke's route has Sasuke become completely devoted to the protagonist after she saved him from getting struck by lightning just before they got sent back in time.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations:
    • According to Desiree, she fell in love with Ron Delite when he saved her from a pair of thugs. And then he passed out.
    • Played with in case of Phoenix and Iris. She started dating him to save him (it's complicated), and then she fell in love with him.
  • In Piofiore: Fated Memories, this happens in certain routes.
    • In Dante's route, he stops Orlok from taking Lili away in the prologue, prevents Yang from kidnapping her and later on, bargains with Gilbert to return her to him. By the third rescue, Lili was already in love with Dante.
    • In the beginning of Nicola's route, Lili and Elena were about to be kidnapped by some Lao Shu members when Nicola and Orlok stop them.
    • In Yang's route, when Lee, as an act of rebellion against Yang, kidnaps Lili, Yang manages to arrive in a nick of time to stop Lee from doing anything to Lili. This act starts to endear Lili to Yang as it shows he does care for her even if he wouldn't admit it.
  • In Sunrider Mask of Arcadius, Asaga develops feelings for Kayto after he rescues her from her wedding ceremony to Veniczar Arcadius. Unfortunately for her, Kayto is oblivious to her feelings and ends up in a relationship with her best friend Chigara instead.
  • Tokimeki Memorial 1, very surprisingly, has a case of this, but it's a really bizarre one: if you repeatedly phone to Rei Ijuin, the game's Bifauxnen, it will activate various events revolving around her, and in one of them, she'll be kidnapped. You can decide to go to her rescue (and is required if you want to get her Ending), but in a subversion, when you'll arrive at the supposed place where's she captive, the Ijuin Family Army will already have saved her. As usual, she'll give the protagonist some badmouthing for his stupid recklessness, but will still thank him, and apparently starts to like him from this point. Oh, did I forgot to mention that the protagonist, at this point, doesn't know that she's actually a girl, and won't discover this until the end of the game when she'll confess to him on Graduation Day under the Legendary Tree?
  • Kind of a theme in True Love Junai Monogatari, where The Protagonist has to rescue several of the girls he can romance from one or another danger. I.e. he meets Arisa when he saves her from drowning, then can either save Remi from her Stalker with a Crush or rescue Mayumi from a Near-Rape Experience (the last one leads to him also winning affection points with his and Mayumi's Hot Teacher Yumi-sensei. And then it's inverted if you make him romance either Chiemi or Yumi: the first saves him from drowning during their swimming competition, the second saves him from a thug... and one that he was trying to protect her from.
  • Arsenik and Ambrosia's romance in War: 13th Day. He rescues her on more than one occasion, giving rise to many beautiful feelings...if you decide to embark on his route, that is. This is central to the Genre Deconstruction that takes place in the True End.

    Web Animation 
  • Shishihara: A girl named Reika ends up liking Sota because he saved her from drowning. Her ex-boyfriend ends up saving her from committing suicide after she was rejected by Sota, they later become together again.
  • Used in the Touhou fan video Monster Tree by after Cirno saves Daiyousei from a couple of bullies (Rumia and Mystia).

  • Implied to have happened with Trevols and Dymond in Alice and the Nightmare. Trevols is rumoured to have retired after a Diamond saved him from Nightmares, and Dymond is his wife now.
  • In Ava's Demon, Odin's plan for Maggie. Turns out to be an invoked subversion, Odin was only interested in her demon's power and attempted to play to Maggie's Serial Romeo tendencies by saving her from the Silent Scavengers.
  • Cursed Princess Club has a variant with a boy and a girl who already know each other on rather unamiable terrms when the rescue happens. Frederick is intimidated by Gwendolyn (with whom he has an unwanted Arranged Marriage) both due to her freaky, witchlike appearance and because of a misunderstood conversation that made him think she plans to vengefully haunt him. But an incident with a hurtling baton leads to him nearly falling off a cliff, only for an unseen Gwen to run up and grab his arm. Frederick starts thanking his rescuer, but upon realizing who it is (not helped by the strain of holding onto him giving Gwen an accidental Death Glare), he frightfully yells and frantically draws his hand back so quickly that he scratches her palm with his fingernails. She simply grabs him again (this time with one hand now dripping blood) and helps him back onto solid ground. The fact that she saved his life despite him injuring her in the process (as well as the sad look on her face because she knows he did that out of fear of her) convinces Frederick that Gwendolyn, contrary to his initial impressions of her, is a Nice Girl with no hostile intentions toward him. This is the exact point where he stops being afraid of her and starts looking forward to seeing her again.
    Frederick: She's hurt because of me. I pulled my hand away from her...and yet she didn't hesitate to keep grabbing on to save me...
  • In Dumbing of Age, Danny meets campus vigilante Amazi-Girl when she saves him from getting beaten up by jocks.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Justin falls in love with Elliot after being saved from bullies (slightly late, but that's beside the point). Unfortunately for Justin, who is pretty much a Woobie, Elliot doesn't swing that way.
    • Later, Catalina rescues Rhoda from a wild boar by scaring it away with a camera flash. Needless to say, they end up together almost immediately.
  • In Faux Pas, when Penny recounts meeting the cutest boy, that he helped her hide from the fox adds to her parents' anxiety about the romantic possibility.
  • In Freefall, Florence and the veterinarian, Winston, develop an attraction to each other ...awkward, since they're different species. Anyway, Florence acknowledges to herself that having been rescued by Winston plays no small part in her attraction to him.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Jack Hyland develops a crush on Antimony Carver after she helps free his mind from the grip of an ethereal spider.
    • Which is later subverted. He doesn't love Antimony - he loves Zimmy, the girl whose mind the ethereal spider came from.
      • Which is still played straight: Zimmy was the one who directly confronted the spider, before killing it.
  • In Homestuck, this is what Dirk plans on trying to attempt a seduction of Jake. Also occurs in both directions between Sollux and Feferi: He rescues her from the Vast Glub, dying in the process, and she rescues him by kissing him back to life. Eridan tries to invoke this trope by rescuing Nepeta in a similar manner, but as usual, he's unsuccessful.
  • Kevin & Kell goes the distaff route, with hero Leona saving Distressed Dude Carl three times in a matter of six months (from drowning, choking, and poachers). It definitely crossed over with Chronic Hero Syndrome. But all's well that ends well, as they eventually got engaged.
  • Magick Chicks: Faith was already infatuated with Tiffany to begin with. But her lust turned into genuine affection after Tiffany saved her from Layla and after coming to her rescue again, when Hecate tried to have them killed. Now she thinks of Tiffany as "her heroine".
  • In Mayonaka Densha Hatsune and Tom first meet when he saves her from Jack the Ripper. If Hatsune's Anguished Declaration of Love later on is to be believed, this was also the point when she fell in love with him.
  • In Scarlet Lady, Marinette falls for Chat Noir after he saves her by catching her in a Bridal Carry as she falls from the Eiffel Tower.
  • In Spina Cage, Adrian doesn't start warming up to Joven until the latter saves him from being eaten by the thorn faerie.
  • Subverted in Sword Princess Amaltea. Amaltea thought this was the norm, and of course this being a gender flip of a fairytale, the reader thought too, so she went, slays the dragon, and goes to "rescue" the prince in the tower; but unfortunately for her, Ossian straight out refuses to marry her (she's a stranger after all) and there are subtle hints that Ossian may not have been in distress at all.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Nessie is convinced she can marry Quentyn, her rescuer, after she grows up.

    Web Original 
  • Played with in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Captain Hammer "saves" Penny from a runaway van and they become an item. Even though he saved her by throwing her into a pile of trash. And it was really Dr. Horrible who stopped the van.
  • In Receiver of Many Demeter fell in love with Zeus when he freed her and the rest of their siblings from Cronus. His face was the first one she saw after many years in darkness.
  • Subverted in RWBY which essentially used the two elements without combining them. Pyrrha and Jaune meet for the second time when she saves him from falling to his death, but Jaune correctly assumes that Pyrrha's a nice enough girl that she would have done that for anybody- something the writers confirmed. Pyrrha still falls in love with Jaune anyway, for unrelated reasons.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Dogged Nice Guy Stalwart pursued Fey until she got angry enough to throw him across the Quad with magic. But when he saved her from mutant ninja assassin Nex she decided she owed him at least a date. And then she decided he really was a nice guy. They are still dating.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Subverted when Suki rescues Toph from drowning. Toph thanks Sokka for saving her, plants a kiss on Suki's cheek, then when Suki corrects her...
    Toph: You can go ahead and let me drown now.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Invoked in an episode where a Fangirl of Sonic's falls off a tall building. Sonic, being the hero that he is, zooms over and saves her. When Tails asks her about how she fell off the roof, she says, "Oh, that? I jumped. I wanted you to save me! How else was I going to meet you, silly?"
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Kevin and Gwen are constantly saving each other from evil aliens and the Forever Knights. This is taken to extraordinary lenghts in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • The first time Paulina is rescued, she acknowledges that Danny is a good ghost (in a town then on Untrusting Community levels), but it was his second rescue that Paulina had fallen madly in love with Danny Phantom. Although, this turns into a case of Loves My Alter Ego. They actually never get together.
    • Deconstructed in "Masters of All Time"; In the alternate timeline, Vlad saved Maddie from the malfunctioning portal, earning her affection, eventually marrying. However, Vlad is overly controlling and possessive of Maddie, even having forbidden her from pursuing ghost hunting, and had lied to her, saying that Jack (who had suffered the ecto-acne accident in this timeline), didn't want anything to do with her. Maddie, unwilling to give up her life's work, resorted to ghost-hunting behind his back, clearly resenting him for it. Whether she felt obligated to marry him out of gratitude or simply overestimated his character based on that one seemingly noble act, rescue was clearly not good enough grounds for a lasting romance.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • In "Lost Crown of Genghis Khan", Launchpad saves "Snowy" from falling off a cliff. When he finally manages to haul her up the cliff, she begins making goo-goo eyes at him, much to his dismay (and Webby's amusement).
      Webby [giggling]: You're her hero, Launchpad!
    • In "Double-O-Duck", Feathers begins showing genuine attraction to Launchpad after he saves her from a Death Trap, saying even Bruno hadn't saved her life.
  • Gravity Falls: The romance part is downplayed to Ship Tease, but after Dipper saves her from a ghost in "Northwest Mansion Mystery", Pacifica becomes much nicer to him, enjoying his company more than before and valuing his opinion of her.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: In "Attack of the 5 1/2 Foot Geek", Sheldon meets (and falls hard for) Jenny after she saves him from some bullies in shop class.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Zig-zagged, but largely subverted, in "Flight to Cloud Castle, Part 2". Ariel is thankful enough to Garth for waking her up from her enchanted sleep and from the fall of the flying castle but has no interest in getting into a romantic relationship. At the end, she's still not really interested but doesn't discount it as an option for the future.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
  • Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?: The title character wins the heart of exotic dancer Neefa Feefa by saving her from spending the rest of her days dancing for the king.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • A sketch features a nerd winning a date with Scarlett Johansson in a contest. When she arrives, she hardly masks her frustration with the situation. Suddenly, a bunch of goons hired by the nerd "attack" the two during the date, allowing the nerd to "chase" them off. She instantly falls in love with him, and we get a Happily Ever After montage of them marrying, having kids, etc. Then we see the nerd at his death bed confessing the ruse to Scarlett who, instead of being outraged, suddenly starts speaking in a man's voice and claiming she's not the real Scarlett Johansson but a (male) impersonator. The revelation causes the nerd to flatline right then and there and "Scarlett" to break down in tears. How did they have kids, you ask? Probably conceived by the Rule of Funny.
    • The show later subverts the trope when Link rescues Princess Zelda. He expects a kiss, but the princess rejects him because they only just met; apparently she gets kidnapped and saved all the time, and after sexing up the first hero to save her she stopped.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Hordak saves Entrapta from an explosion (it's hinted she was already in love with him, before that). Minutes later, she nurses him when he collapses of exhaustion and pain, then builds him a new armor/exoskeleton. Hordak falls so deeply in love with her that his feelings remain even after Horde Prime wipes his mind out TWICE. He eventually shoots Prime to save Entrapta's life.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks features a downplayed example with Jennifer the Andorian and Mariner. The romance itself only starts because the rescue leads to the two of them having an actual conversation, after Jennifer saves Mariner from floating off into space.
  • Steven Universe has a mutual case in "The Answer". Ruby saves Sapphire from an ambush (one that Sapphire herself predicted, before Ruby opted to Screw Destiny), but accidentally violates a major Gem taboo in the process (fusion between different types of Gem). Sapphire then returns the favor by helping her escape to Earth, where the two end up falling for one another.
  • Total Drama:
    • Season four has Mike and Zoey, who save each other quite a bit throughout their time on the show.
    • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race: Noah had a crush on Emma, but after he saves her from falling to her death, the feelings become mutual.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Panda's Date", Panda develops a crush on Lucy the grocer when she manages to use an Epipen to save Panda from a nasty allergic reaction.
  • X-Men: Evolution: In the season two premiere "Growing Pains", Lance saves Kitty from a burning statue that was about to fall on her, getting crushed instead. She then drags him out of it. The act results in her gradually returning the feelings he has for her after wanting nothing to do with him.

    Real Life 
  • A standard trick by private investigators or spies to gain someone's trust is to stage a fake barfight or street mugging, with the investigator as the Good Samaritan coming in to "save" them.
  • Called the "Florence Nightingale Effect" when it happens in hospitals. The reverse, when a caretaker develops feelings for their patient, is called countertransference and it is a serious concern for any psychiatric professionals.
  • In southern Alberta, there was a long-time bachelor who, upon hearing of a recently-widowed woman with several little mouths to feed, offered to marry her so that she'd have someone to help support her and her children. His actions were seen as hugely honourable by the community.
  • Roseann Sdoia, who lost her right leg in the Boston Marathon Bombing, was escorted by Firefighter Michael Materia as she was rushed to the hospital. Without the tourniquet he was holding to stop the bleeding, she wouldn't have survived. They starting dating shortly afterwards, and four years after the attack, they decided to get married.
  • The famous samurai Ryoma Sakamoto escaped from an assassination attempt in the Teradaya inn from Kyoto after one of the maids, "Oryuu" Narasaki, overheard the would-be assassins' talks when she was taking a bath and then rushed naked through the inn to tell him and his allies. Few later, Sakamoto and Oryuu got married.
  • German army officer Heinz Drossel ended up saving the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War II, despite the fact that doing so could've led to him being court-martialed and executed (It is important to note that Drossel was not a Nazi). After the war, he ended up marrying Marianne Hirschfeld, who was the first Jew he rescued. Drossel and Hirschfield met when he found her about to jump off a bridge in despair, he took her home to his apartment and gave her money to look for a safer place to find refuge.
  • This was the preferred seduction technique of Giacomo Casanova, of whom The Casanova trope is named.
    "There is no honest woman with an uncorrupted heart whom a man is not sure of conquering by dint of gratitude. It is one of the surest and shortest means."
  • British explorer Samuel Baker married his wife Florence when he rescued her from an Ottoman harem. She was Hungarian by birth and was groomed to be a slave destined to a Turkish general. Baker came across her while visiting the slave market and tried to buy her freedom, but when her master out-bid him, he simply stole her away to freedom.
  • This happened to a couple during the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting.
  • A popular legend says that the notorious Richard III's courtship with his wife, Anne Neville was one of these. They were childhood companions and possibly betrothed by their families before her father switched sides in the Wars of the Roses and married Anne to the Lancastrian heir to the throne. Her father's plan didn't go well, and he and the Lancastrian prince were killed in battles where Richard was key to the Yorkist victory. As the disgraced daughter of a traitor and widow of a Pretender to the Throne, Anne was given into the care of her sister, who was married to Richard's brother, George the Duke of Clarence. George wanted Anne's fortune for himself so to prevent Richard's Romancing the Widow, he dressed her as a servant and forced her to work as a kitchen maid. The story says Richard searched for weeks before finding her and rescuing her. What is definitely true is that he took her into sanctuary, and after a bitter fight with his brother over her fortune, the two married.


Video Example(s):


D.W.'s merry-go-round mishap

To get her classmate James to kiss her (long story), D.W. sets up a Rescue Romance scenario where she spins herself around on the merry-go-round and calls for James to "save" her. However, when James stops the merry-go-round, the sudden stop causes her to fall off and drop her handkerchief, after which James returns it to her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReturningTheHandkerchief

Media sources: