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The Kindnapper

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"Because when your ultimate intentions are good, even kidnapping can be overlooked!"
CinemaSins, "Everything Wrong with Hook"

In Real Life, kidnapping is recognized as a criminal act and it is not considered nice at all to abduct someone. However, there will be that person who does just that and sees the act as a kindness to the victim. The modus operandi of the Kindnapper will vary according to the work and intended audience, but he invariably fulfills these requirements:

  1. He has kidnapped one or more people and
  2. The kidnapper's reason for having abducted said person, or people, involves a belief that it is a benevolent act toward his victim(s).

Male pronouns will be used throughout this trope because the Kindnapper is traditionally a male role due to its usual associations with Abduction Is Love and Captive Date, though there are also female examples.

Expect the Kindnapper's victim(s) to be in a Gilded Cage to highlight his good intentions. The Kindnapper usually intends to woo his victim, make them a better person, make them happy, take them on a date, or even just to keep them in the Gilded Cage "for their own protection"! Scenarios where the victim(s) come to think of their kidnapper as a benefactor go under Stockholm Syndrome. Sometimes the Kindnapper's victim(s) develop Stockholm Syndrome, but not always. The Kindnapper thinks of himself as kind and that's all that counts in order for him to count as one. The most sympathetic portrayals of this kind of kindnapping will highlight the Kindnapper's good intentions, but also make it clear that abducting people is no way to actually be kind. This type is otherwise known as The Obviously Misguided Kindnapper due to the dearth of portrayals of this type of kindnapping being portrayed as actually benevolent. Sometimes the kindnapper is a Mad Scientist who believes that their experiments are for the good of humanity and that their kidnapped test subjects will be better for it, even if the results are far from pleasant and the test subjects never gave consent.

Another flavor of the Kindnapper is usually seen kidnapping someone to protect them from an immediate threat of being maimed, raped, tortured, or killed. Yes, in these cases, it actually was benevolent of him to save them from certain danger, even if it involved capturing them or transporting them against their will. However, these situations that somehow require for the endangered person to be abducted in order to successfully rescue them are highly implausible and are unlikely to occur in real life. Additionally, the fact that the kidnapping was done for the purposes of a rescue does not change the fact that the rescuee was taken away by surprise or force. This flavor of the Kindnapper is more likely to have a sympathetic portrayal. In some cases, it will be made clear that the rescuee was also a kidnap victim and he may even be called out on his actions, but you can reasonably expect this type's actions to be glossed over. Also known as The Heroic Kindnapper due to the fact that his particular brand of kindnapping is part of an act of undeniable heroism.

Compare the Well-Intentioned Extremist, who similarly uses a wide variety of questionable means in an attempt to do good on a large scale. In fact, part of his well-intentioned extremism may be kindnapping! See also Kidnapped by an Ally; in this trope, the kindnapper is typically not an ally (when the kidnapping happens, at least) to the kidnapped. See also Come with Me If You Want to Live. Also see also I'm Taking Her Home with Me!, where the kind-napper abducts the kidnapped because they think they're just so cute.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Treasure Island have the pirates led by Vivi and Gaga attacking Doraemon's ship, and before they're beaten off, abducting Shizuka along the way. But after bringing Shizuka to the titular island, they gave Shizuka her own bedroom, supplies, plenty of food, and allows her to roam around Treasure Island unsupervised and unguarded - the reason being that they mistook Shizuka to be their boss' runaway daughter, Sarah (an Identical Stranger to Shizuka). And that the pirates are Punch-Clock Villains anyways.
  • In the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney manga, Dreama Love kidnapped her young daughter Diana from Diana's abusive father and stepmother, hoping to run away with her so they could live in peace. Unfortunately, the stepmother tracked them down before they could do so and forcibly took Diana back.
  • One chapter of Franken Fran revolves around a young man who, long story short, ends up in the body of an amusement park mascot named "Nezura-san". He runs away, and befriends a little girl. Though uncomfortable about the whole thing, he at least offers to escort her home... only to realize her stepfather sexually abuses her and is an overall asshole. So in order to protect the girl, "Nezura-san" kidnaps her and takes her away.
  • Happens to Serara in Log Horizon. After being stuck in the city of Sususkino with no way to get home to Akihabara quickly due to the teleporters no longer functioning, Serara is pursued mercilessly by a local thug named Demikas, guild master of the guild Brigandia. She is then kidnapped by Nyanta, who keeps her safe until his friend Shiroe makes his way to the city to rescue her.
  • In GTO: The Early Years Ryuji knocks out Yasha and takes her back to his sister's apartment. "Yasha" is the evil split personality of Nagisa, who he's trying to rescue from her abusive boyfriend Akutsu.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair the "pretty boy" Kazuki brings along one of his allies and attacks Obi in order to drug and kidnap Shirayuki to "save her" from nobles after his own experience of being made a slave due to his appearance. He also intends to reunite her with her father, he however goes about it without making a single attempt to talk to Shirayuki.

    Comic Books 
  • The titular V of V for Vendetta by Alan Moore kidnaps Evey twice, and each time is meant to be for her own good. The first time is of the second type, in which he saves her from being raped and murdered by Fingermen (members of the government secret police) and takes her to his Shadow Gallery. The most notable is the second time, which is of the first kind, in which V puts her through an ordeal very much like the one he suffered, complete with torture, a Traumatic Haircut, and a threat of execution as a Secret Test of Character, which she passes. However, this is obviously meant to be horrifying to readers.
  • In one of the earlier Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Carol Danvers kidnapped Spider-Man, unmasked him, and locked him in a cell with little to no explanation. She eventually revealed that she had two reasons for doing this: 1) the Goblin had just broken out of prison and she needed Spider-Man as bait to lure him back, and 2) because Spider-Man is the most likely target of the Goblin, she needed to lock him up for his safety.
  • Silver Dagger, one of Doctor Strange's foes, is essentially a Type 1 imagining himself to be a Type 2. He once mortally injured Strange and abducted his lover Clea with the intent to "save her soul" from corruption by Strange's dark magic. (Silver Dagger is a darker sorcerer than Strange himself, but the irony is lost on him).
  • "Kind" may be a stretch, but the DCU has Kryb, a Sinestro Corps member who kidnaps the children of Green Lanterns (and murders the parents). She/He/It seems to care for the children though, carrying them around on her back and claiming to have "saved" them from their parents. Notably, a Star Sapphire who captured her claimed to detect genuine love for the children in Kryb's heart. Or nearest equivalent.

    Fan Works 
  • Some Harry Potter fanfics feature Sirius Black becoming this to save Harry from the Dursleys. There's even one where Harry is kindnapped by Peter Pettigrew, whom Harry even forgives for the betrayal.
    • In the crossover fanfic Harry Tano, Ahsoka Tano (after being zapped from her galaxy by a strange artifact and landing in the Dursley house) takes the four-year-old Harry from the Dursleys. It's ultimately a subversion as he goes with her willingly (as she's the first adult he can remember giving him genuine care and affection), and he would have been in much more danger if she'd simply left him there. The Muggle and Wizarding newspapers even praise her as a hero for getting Harry away from the Dursleys.
    • Harry Potter and the Boiling Isles: Eda desires to take Harry to the Boiling Isles, but Luz tells her that what she's doing is technically child abduction. When Luz finds out how abusive the Dursleys actually are, she drops her complaints.
  • The Blood of the Covenant: When he sees Kallik of the Southern Water Tribe, Iroh realizes that he looks exactly like Ozai did at that age, and believes him to be the long-lost Prince Zuko. So he has his men kidnap him and imprison him on his warship to take him back to the Fire Nation. While Iroh and Lu Ten treat him well, Kallik is trapped there for a few weeks, is scared to the point that he doesn't eat or sleep for three days, believes his cousins and surrogate little brother are dead, and has no idea what his captors have in store for him. Lu Ten eventually points out that, even if his father is right about Kallik being the long-lost Zuko, kidnapping is an immoral offense, no matter how well they treat Kallik.
  • The Boys: Real Justice: After Homelander and Stormfront realize that the Justice League and Young Justice are causing Ryan to see Earth-7's "heroes" in a new light, the two Seven members isolate him in Vought Tower. While they were fighting (*cough* getting beaten up by *cough*) the Legion of Doom, Superboy and Robin broke into Vought Tower, got Ryan, and took him back to the Watchtower. A heroic and justified version, as getting Ryan away from his abusive father and back to his mother was the best thing they could've done for him, and it's implied that Ryan (while surprised) came willingly.
  • The Dangerverse has a textbook example of this. Although once the perpetrators apprise Sirius, who was Harry's intended legal guardian according to the last will and testament of his parents, of the circumstances he heartily endorses their actions.
  • In the Rise of the Guardians fic Guardian of Light, Pitch kidnaps the main character, Helen, because she's his daughter and he believes she's better off with him than with the Guardians.
  • In the Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name fanfic Dead of Night, the Detective and Hanna are forced to kidnap rock idol Toni Ipres, after she's bitten by a werewolf and runs the risk of transforming and killing innocents if she's not locked up. Everyone, including those two, know it's a bad idea and apologize for it, but explain that things would have ended very badly if they hadn't.
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic Reluctant Hero, the Northern Water Tribe successfully rescues the new Avatar from the Fire Nation boat on which he was imprisoned and is eager to start his training and help him to bring balance back to the world. There is just a itty-bitty little problem: the new Avatar is Zuko, who's certainly not happy to be ripped away from his crew and uncle and forced into a role making him the enemy of his birth nation.
  • During the Knighthood Ball in If Wishes Were Ponies, Dumbledore reveals to Castor that there were those in the Wizengamot (including himself) discussing the creation of a law allowing Aurors to locate muggle-born wizarding children at an early age, then taking them to be raised by wizarding families. He assures the inspector that the children would be safe if this happened, and that they would Obliviate the baby's birth parents so they wouldn't complain. Inspector Searle, a father himself, states that this is kidnapping, and that erasing the memories of the parents is almost as bad as taking their children in the first place. He goes as far as to tell Dumbledore that the U.K. government has located Hogwarts, the Ministry for Magic, Diagon Alley, etc, and that they are capable of crippling the Wizarding World should any wizards even think of taking a muggle-born child. Dumbledore quickly backs down. Considering what happened to Harry thanks to Dumbles, Castor has a lot of reasons for doubting the wizard when it comes to child safety.
    • In the sequel, a group of Equestrian Hogwarts students (upon learning that Wizarding world unicorns can't do magic like Equestrians) kidnap a unicorn foal from the Forbidden Forest to try and teach it magic. By the time a teacher found them, they'd taught the foal to shoot colorful sparks from it's horn. The unicorns were cool with it, as they all quickly learned from the foal how to shoot sparks themselves.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Lost in Gotham: After Spider-Man passes out from exhaustion/pain from stopping the monorail, Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Signal basically kidnap him and take him to the Bat Cave for medical treatment (and so Batman can figure out who/what the heck he is).
  • Three Days: While she was involved in the kidnapping of Lightning and the King, Deborah truly thought that she was doing the right thing, as she believes that racing is a deadly sport that should be outlawed note 
  • The Lion's Den begins with Komaeda kidnapping Naegi in order to take care of him and "help" him become a better Hope.
  • In the Trollhunters fanfic Becoming the Mask (Trollhunters), Jim genuinely believes he is doing Claire a favour by having her little brother Enrique replaced by a Changeling, with the original baby sent to a pocket dimension and protected by goblins. Jim wishes he could have had his best friend Toby 'sent to safety' the same way.
    • Nomura knocks Barbara out, and she and Draal bring her to Trollmarket to keep Barbara from being used as leverage against Jim after Jim is exposed as a triple agent.
  • Light of the Moon: Gothel says that this trope is why she kidnapped Rapunzel and Varian; both were born with the powers of the Sundrop and the Moonstone, respectively, and Gothel tells them that the world would use their gifts for evil if they ever learned about them. She may have a point, as (before he was taken), Varian had been feared in his village for making rocks appear whenever he got angry. However, Varian notes that, of all the actions she could have taken to prevent the world from abusing their gifts, kidnapping was neither the best nor the only option.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire fic Red Ruins, Jon Snow, real name Aemon Targaryen, is kidnapped on the way to the Wall by his older sister, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, who survived the Sack of King's Landing. Rhaenys dearly loves her brother despite never having met him before and has his best interests in mind. She strongly disagrees with Aemon wasting his live on the Wall, and has a tremendous grudge against Ned Stark for encouraging it.
  • An Omake in Team Tobi reveals that Hashirama kidnapped a team of Genin from Kumo because their Jounin instructor was mistreating them.
  • This was the intention in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) fanfic Raphael's Big Mistake. When April doesn't come to meet the turtles, Raph decides to go to her apartment and get her whether she likes it or not, figuring it's better to be scared than killed by the Foot. Unfortunately, he has no idea there are two people living in the flat and kidnaps her friend Taylor by mistake. The situation is not Played for Laughs.
  • After a young Callum shows potential for using Primal Magic in Primal Source, Sol Regem believes it's best to kidnap the prince and take him away to Xadia because he fears humanity will either destroy or corrupt his power.
  • Temari hoped to be this to Naruto in Sage of the Leaf after growing attached to him during her time in Konoha, and had hoped to invoke an old law from Suna that would allow her to take Naruto back to her village and protect him should Suna's invasion of Konoha succeed. Subverted when the invasion fails and it's now Naruto who has to protect Temari when she needs to stay in Konoha longer as part of a peace treaty.
  • In the crossover fic The Dragon and the Butterfly, Stoick and Gobber travel to the Encanto with the intention of finding Hiccup and bringing him home, believing that it's for his own good. They have no idea that Hiccup and Toothless have been Happily Adopted by the Madrigals, and that going back to Berk is the last thing they want to do. Once Gobber realizes that Hiccup is in the Encanto of his own accord and is happier there than he ever was on Berk, he abandons the plan and tries to talk sense into Stoick.
  • Surprisingly enough, protective custody is attempted by Chloe, for Marinette, who has come into The Fair Folk's crosshairs in Spellbound (Lilafly). Despite good intentions, it's still a horrible experience and gets interrupted since it looked like a straightforward kidnapping.
  • An unusual variant happens in Training Billy in that Billy Batson came to Olympus of his own free will after receiving a summons from Zeus since all parties involved thought it would just be a simple meeting and Billy/Shazam would be back home by the next day. However, that idea gets thrown out the window when the gods find out that their new champion is a 12-year-old boy and refuse to let him leave Olympus before he's properly trained in his mortal form, which is done out of concern for Billy, since they don't want an untrained child fighting evil.
  • In Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron, Lelouch ends up kidnapping Euphemia during Island of the Gods when the Thought Elevator activates. His reasoning is very simple - he sees Haggar right outside the Thought Elevator and rather obviously does not want to leave his beloved half-sister in the same room as Zarkon's right hand.
  • In Danny Phantom: Fire And Ice, Ember decides to make sure Danny gets some sleep after finding out how long he's been awake. She does this by going to his school, knocking him out, bringing him back to her realm, and forcing him to take care of himself.
  • The Disney Loops: One Loop features Belle as a monster and employee of Monsters, Inc., who discovers that young Boo has an abusive father and chooses to take her back to Monstropolis to keep her safe.
  • When in Doubt, Obliviate begins with Gilderoy Lockhart coming across Sirius Black on that fateful night, whereupon he decides it'd do his reputation a lot of good to be the foster father of The-Boy-Who-Lived rather than some dull Muggles. He promptly Obliviates Black and takes the boy, and the con is on. Of course, Lockhart also reasons that Harry would benefit more from a proper wizard upbringing rather than a Muggle one, and raises him with surprising love and care since it'll make him look good when it's time for the big reveal. Of course, readers aren't too surprised to see that the experience changes Lockhart for the better as well.
  • The premise of Martyshka centers around the Psychonauts sending Milla Vodello to kidnap an infant Raz from his family to keep him safe from Delugionists that wish to use his inherent hydrokinetic powers to create a new Maligula.
  • In the TMNT fanfic Snow Blind, a wounded and temporarily blinded Donatello is kidnapped by a mysterious vigilante who is reluctant to leave him out in the cold. The vigilante in question is the one known as the Nightwatchernote .
  • Your Alicorn Is in Another Castle: Bowser is able to make a business out of professional princess kidnapping by invoking this trope — for far too many princesses and other authority figures, a brief kidnapping (something supposedly "beyond their control", but which he and they have secretly set up in advance) is the only way their subjects will let them lay aside their responsibilities and be a person rather than a princess or a queen or an avatar or a whatever for a few days and truly relax until a hero comes to rescue them.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Home (2015), while the Boov do forcibly relocate the humans, they do so without harming them. They offer them ice cream during the trip to their new settlement (which already has plenty of houses for them), and even provide them with an "Ask a Boov" station for inquiries. However, this is mostly due to Captain Smek telling the Boov that humans are a backward species that need their "help."
    • The trope is notably deconstructed in the film; while the Boov don't harm anyone, the humans are understandably angry about being taken from their homes and forcibly relocated.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Valka and her nest of dragons do this to Hiccup and Toothless, mostly because Valka wanted to meet her son.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington comes to love everything about Christmas so much that he wants to run the show himself! Of course, the one who already does run it hasn't shown signs of wanting to step down... So Jack decides to ask Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap "Sandy Claws" from Christmas Town so that he's out of the way. But he clearly intends it to be a break for Santa, as evidenced by his telling Santa to consider it a vacation and a reward and sternly telling Lock, Shock, and Barrel to "see that he's comfortable" while Jack delivers the presents. However, Lock, Shock and Barrel have their own plans in mind for Santa....
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Man in Moon chooses Jack Frost to be a new Guardian. Nicholas North thinks that the best way of recruiting Jack Frost is having the yetis put him into a Bag of Kidnapping and bring him to the North Pole without his consent. True that the Guardians (except Bunnymund) gave Jack a great reception and they didn't think he would accept a formal invitation to come, but they could have tried.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Black Snake Moan: A man takes a woman prisoner because he believes it is his spiritual duty to heal her of her sinful ways and refuses to release her until he does so.
  • In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, King Brian manipulates Darby's horse into knocking Darby down a well so that he'll go down into the leprechaun kingdom. Once Darby arrives there, King Brian doesn't intend to let him leave. The whole reason King Brian did this is because Darby has been kicked out of his house, and he wants to provide Darby with a place to stay in the leprechaun kingdom instead. Note that he didn't ask Darby himself what he thought of this and the fact that Darby isn't willing, either.
  • A Brainwashing for the Greater Good example in Drop Squad. A group of black Americans kidnaps and deprograms (brainwashes) blacks who are considered to have betrayed their race. The intent is to restore their pride in their own race (DROP stands for Deprogramming and Restoration of Pride). The movie justifies this by having the black man who's kidnapped working for a company that acts in an blatantly racist manner which would never be accepted in Real Life. Other kidnap victims include a corrupt politician and a drug dealer.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 it is revealed that this is the real reason Yondu kidnapped Peter Quill as a child and raised him as a Ravager. Yondu had broken the Ravager code by kidnapping and delivering Ego's offspring to him in exchange for a hefty payoff. When Yondu realized what had happened to all of those children (Ego killed them because they did not inherit his power making them useless to him), he took Peter to keep him out of Ego's reach.
  • In The Guilty, Michael abducts his ex-wife Iben in order to take her to the psychiatric ward where she was treated before, knowing that she would not go there willingly.
  • The 1967 Soviet comedy Kidnapping, Caucasian Style deals with the old tradition of bride kidnapping that used to exist in the North Caucasus. The protagonist is a Russian student named Shurik who comes to collect local folklore in a particular region, where he meets his Love Interest Nina. A corrupt official also has the hots for Nina and makes a deal with her uncle to get the girl kidnapped, invoking the ancient tradition, so she would be forced to marry him, in exchange for some cattle and appliances. After the bumbling trio the uncle initially hires fails to do the job, he convinces Shurik that Nina wants to be kidnapped to uphold the tradition, as she's madly in love with the official. Wanting to make her happy, Shurik helps the trio kidnap her, only later realizing he's been tricked and rushing to her rescue. Naturally, the whole thing ends with a Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Valentine kidnaps various people he admires and respects out of hopes of convincing them to join him in his scheme to save the world by killing off most of humanity. The movie opens up with one such kidnapping victim being treated relatively hospitably by Valentine's henchmen. The henchman gently removes the tape on the man's mouth, explaining he gave strict instructions not to hurt him and even offers him a drink.
  • As noted below in Literature, Annie Wilkes from Misery. She finds Paul Sheldon, the main character and her favorite author, severely injured in the aftermath of a car accident, and decides to take him home with her and tend to his injuries herself since she's a trained nurse. However, the movie makes it look less like kidnapping and more like good old Annie Wilkes has called his agent and is just having him stay in the guest room until the help she called arrives... until Annie walks in and tells him that she never did tell anyone where he was and from that point on, it's clear that Paul is Alone with the Psycho.
  • John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer of the Saw film series, says that he kidnaps people and puts them in lethal deathtraps to teach them to appreciate their lives and help them overcome some "flaw" that he considers them to have. They don't see it the same way.
  • The six of the titular brothers of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers who are bachelors at the beginning of the show are inspired to kidnap wives for themselves by the rape of the Sabine women, which they misinterpret as "sobbin' women." However, they do want to "make them sobbin' women smile" as well as end up marrying them.
  • The protector of the Terminator Twosome in any film of the Terminator film franchise always ends up doing the second variant of kindnapping as part of protecting their assigned charge(s) from whatever Terminator has been sent back in time to kill them.
  • In Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Spanish: ¡Átame!), a 1990 Spanish dark romantic comedy written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Antonio Banderas is a recently released psychiatric patient who kidnaps Victoria Abril — a porn star with an on/off heroin habit — in the belief that he alone can make her happy and loved and that his destiny is to marry her and father her children.
  • The film version of V for Vendetta has V kidnap Evey twice just as in the original comics by Alan Moore, except with an Abduction Is Love angle to it as Evey falls in love with V over the course of the plot.
  • The Old Guard: When Nile Freeman dies of a slashed throat while serving with the US Marines in Afghanistan only to come back to life, the rest of the immortal soldiers dream about it and realise they have to bring her into the fold. So Andy travels to Afghanistan, breaks into a Coalition base, pistolwhips Nile into unconsciousness and drives off with her in a stolen Hummer. When Nile wakes up and tries jumping out of the Hummer, Andy shoots her in the head as well. While this helps convince Nile she is immortal, she has trouble believing that Andy has her best interests at heart.
  • Dominick and Eugene: After Mikey Chernak is killed by his father, Nicky worries that the same fate will befall his baby brother Joey. He runs into the Chernak house, grabs Joey, threatens the family with a gun, runs off, and holes up in an abandoned warehouse. A SWAT team is sent after him, and Gino has to talk him down.
  • In The Abduction of Saint Anne, Dave participates in Bishop Logan's plan to kidnap Anne and transport her to a convent in Argentina, despite being deeply suspicious of Logan's motives, because he wants to get Anne away from her mob boss father, who is holding her prisoner in her own home.
  • In The Innocent (1994), the autistic boy Gregory witnesses a mass shooting. Once he recovers from his injuries, he's placed back in the institute, which refuses to implement more than a few safety measures even though the killers know where Gregory lives. Barlow abducts Gregory just in time to prevent him from getting murdered and takes him to his cabin in the woods, where he'll be safe for a time.
  • In Meadowland, Sarah steals Adam's abusive foster father's car so she can pick him up from school, then decides on a whim to take him to the airport instead so they can visit a wildlife preserve in Africa, without the knowledge of his foster parents or anyone in her life. She decides to pick a different destination when she sees police officers questioning people on the way to the airport, and gives up entirely when she gets the news that her missing son's body has been found.

  • In Animorphs, the Animorphs combine this with Come with Me If You Want to Live in the case of David, whose parents have just been captured and infested by Yeerks, and who's a target for Visser Three. They decide to make him one of them, but he turns out to be a Sixth Ranger Traitor, in part due to percieved Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal (used to luxury, he objected to spending two nights in a barn during a crisis), though he was already a Jerkass Entitled Bastard.
  • In the backstory of A Brother's Price, Jerin's grandmothers kindnapped his grandfather, Alannon, and did everything to make him feel at home on their farm. Stockholm Syndrome ensued, apparently. That his family was killed in a civil war, and he might have been sold as a Sex Slave or killed, too, if he hadn't been kidnapped, might have had something to do with it. Him being Silk Hiding Steel and his new wives driving themselves dizzy to make sure he was happy and comfortable were other factors.
  • The Collector (John Fowles): The titular collector truly believes that kidnapping Miranda and keeping her a prisoner in his basement is in the best interest of both of them, as he wants someone to love and protect and wants to keep her safe from the world. Miranda, for obvious reasons, doesn't feel the same way.
  • Erik, The Phantom of the Opera, intends to make Christine his wife by any means necessary. He periodically kidnaps her and keeps her in a luxurious bedroom where she is comfortable and he gets pretty things for her. He is so nice to her that Christine shows obvious signs of Stockholm Syndrome.
  • Misery provides us with Annie Wilkes. Upon finding Paul Sheldon, the protagonist and her favorite author, at the scene of a car accident, she decides to take him home with her rather than at least attempt to call the hospital or for other emergency help. She figures that since she's a trained nurse, she can take care of Paul herself! And she loves him, so surely he'll love her, too, once he gets to know her...
  • In the Donald E. Westlake novel Good Behavior, a millionaire hires a deprogrammer to "rescue" his daughter from the Catholic Church! (She had just taken her vows as a nun.)
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Magic's Price, Bard Stefen recalls how he ended up enrolled at the Valdemaran Bardic Collegium at the age of ten - Bard Lynnell kindnapped him to get him off the streets before anything horrible could happen to him, pausing only to verify that the young singer was in fact orphaned and homeless before she showed up with two uniformed guardsmen to shanghai him off to the Collegium for enrollment. As an adult, Stefen is grateful for Lynnell's intervention, although at first he was convinced he'd been sold into slavery thanks to Lynnell's near complete failure to explain what was going on at the time.
    • Just in general in that setting, Heralds of Valdemar, Companions often carry off people they've Chosen to become Heralds without asking their leave. Many of them were in rather dire circumstances to start with.
    • Lackey uses the idea again in her urban fantasy series, where the angelic seelie elves have their reputation for stealing children because of this.
  • In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice kidnaps the Duchess's baby, sure that leaving a baby with a madwoman would be akin to murder. The baby soon turns into a pig, absolving her of responsibility.
  • In The Twilight Saga novel Eclipse, Edward bribes Alice to confine Bella to their house and monitor her at all times while he's out hunting, because he feels she'd be "unsafe" and surely go off with Jacob (whom he feels is far too dangerous, as a werewolf). It's contested just how justified this reasoning is.
  • At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka lands the Great Glass Elevator in the Bucket family's shack to round up Charlie's family so they can be taken to the titular factory to begin their new lives. The family (Charlie's parents and other grandparents besides Joe) are terrified by the crash landing. Even after Charlie and Grandpa Joe explain what's going on, and even though the shack is pretty much destroyed and they really will have a better life in the factory, none of them want to go with Charlie, Grandpa Joe, and Mr. Wonka. The threesome wind up herding them into the Elevator despite their protestations and taking off. In the Immediate Sequel, the grandparents' understandable panic over all of this becomes the start of a variety of further adventures for the group. (Incidentally, this trope is absent in most, if not all, adaptations.)
  • In The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Jessie wants to make a heroic sacrifice. Her father kidnaps her and keeps her imprisoned in her grandmother's empty house to avoid that. She doesn't see it as kind, but most parents would likely agree that it is for her own good. (She is not the only one who can make the sacrifice, it is possible that science will find a solution that requires no sacrifices, and the thing she wants to avoid isn't "everyone dies" but just "no new babies are born".)
  • In A World Less Visible Magda and Stephan technically kidnap Ash instead of turning him over, even going so far as to fake Magda's death in the process. They do it for his protection, as he's now aware that werewolves exist and in a very fragile state of mind.
  • Journey to Chaos: Elves practice something they call "changeling duty", where they kidnap human infants and replace them with substitutes so the parents don't notice the switch until the elves are long gone. Some of it was just because It Amused Me but by the time of the main narrative it is exclusively used in areas dominated by ordercraft. They see it as rescuing the kids from a life of slavery-via-mind-control.
  • Warrior Cats: Tawnypelt kidnaps her grandson Shadowkit because his powers can help them save some cats from the Tribe of Rushing Water, and his father Tigerstar refuses to let him go. She gets caught by Tigerstar and they make an agreement for Tawnypelt, Shadowkit, and Shadowkit's mother Dovewing to leave together legitimately instead.
  • Tuck Everlasting: The Tuck family are somewhere between the two types when they kidnap Winnie. They're desperately apologizing the whole time, and make it clear they mean her no harm and fully intend to bring her back home first thing in the morning. But she found out their secret, so for their own safety, they have to take her someplace private where they can explain and make sure she doesn't tell anybody—and, more importantly, make sure she doesn't ever drink from the spring to become immortal herself, since they've learned it's not all it's cracked up to be, and it'd be a horrible mistake, especially since Winnie's only a child. While Winnie's freaked out at first, she's never truly afraid for her life, and quickly concludes that even if they are crazy, they're not a danger to her. When she's returned home, she claims she went willingly, because she's grown to see them as friends and doesn't want to see them jailed.
  • Chocoholic Mysteries: Clown Corpse has Lee in this role when she "kidnaps" Emma Davidson, currently a patient at the hospital, at the woman's request in order to protect her — someone's already tried to kill her once, and she doesn't feel safe there.
  • 1-800-Where-R-U: In book 1, it comes out that when Sean Patrick O'Hanahan was six, his mother abducted him and ran away from his abusive father after said father broke his arm because he hadn't put away all his toys one night; Sean also says his dad only had custody because he had friends who "put the squeeze" on the judge. The government agents who've been charged with recovering him claim that none of this is true, saying Sean's mother brainwashed him into believing his dad was a bad man, but Jess is convinced that Sean's version is the right one, and arranges to reunite him with his mom.
  • The Silmarillion has an example of the Heroic Kidnapper type albeit where the narrative expressly calls out the kidnapping as not particularly well justified. Maglor is in fact being kind by suggesting that Elrond and Elros be taken for ransom rather than just outright murdered (as his brother Maedhros is attempting to do). However, they wouldn't have been vulnerable at all, except for the actions of Maglor and Maedhros. It is only "heroic" in the end, because Maedhros and Maglor ended up being excellent parents. Like...they raised two children with magical powers they barely understood while the world was literally falling apart around them: and not only did those kids turn out to be functional adults, but capable and wise and beloved leaders.
  • Epithet Erased: Prison of Plastic ends with Giovanni taking Molly away from her home, claiming he's kidnapping her. The true reason for this is that he's sickened by how her father and sister treat her, shoving all of their responsibilities onto her despite Molly being 12. During the abduction, Giovanni even asks her if she's okay, and she agrees to it.
  • Grounded for All Eternity: Cassandra the seraphim attempts to drag Malachi and his friends to Heaven against their wishes, both to save them from Salem's destruction and out of a misguided belief that they would be happier there. She doesn't grasp that Hell is their actual home and that she'd be separating them from their loved ones until it's pointed out to her.
  • The Syrena Legacy: In Of Triton, the Syrena princess Nalia has spent the last seventy years living on land and thinking Grom, the Syrena she loved, was dead. When Galen blows Nalia's cover and then leaves her with Rayna while he fetches Grom, Nalia thinks that Grom is actually an imposter who means her and her daughter Emma harm. She chloroforms Emma and Rayna and leaves Rayna Bound and Gagged while she takes Emma on an involuntary road trip. When Emma tries to contact Galen, Nalia thinks Galen has manipulated her and supervises her more strictly so she can't do it again. The two of them spend several days driving from one dumpy motel to another before Rachel tracks them down.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On an episode of Law & Order, a mentally unbalanced woman kidnaps a young girl from a neglectful foster mother (the girl's biological mother was equally bad) and keeps her in a secret room in her basement. At the end of the episode the woman is acquitted of kidnapping and is filing for custody of the girl.
  • Soap: Jodie's daughter Wendy is kidnapped by her mother Carol. Whether for Rule of Drama or Hollywood Law, apparently the authorities can't do anything about it "because she's her mother" despite the fact that Carol sued for custody and lost prior to the kidnapping.
  • Bones: One case of the week involves a kidnapped child, who it turns out has been kidnapped by his father, who thinks his ex-wife is an unfit mother. The father changes the child's name and hair color to hide him at his cousin's house.
  • The kidnapper in The X-Files episode "Unruhe" kidnapped and lobotomized his victims to free them from the eponymous "Disquiet" (in German).
  • Travelers: When Trevor (aka Traveler 115) finds out that his school guidance counselor, Grace is planned to serve as a host for an important programmer from the future, he tries to save her by kidnapping her and bringing her out into the middle of the woods, where the Director won't be able to calculate her location with enough accuracy to overwrite her mind. However, Grace is terrified, especially when Trevor starts talking nonsense (from her perspective) about assassins from the future. She manages to escape and get ahold of a cell phone to call the police, at which point her location is broadcast and she is immediately overwritten. Zigzagged in that Trevor's intentions were definitely noble, but pulling that stunt could have potentially put the safety of the world in danger, and he is appropriately in big trouble for taking that risk.
  • Criminal Minds has multiple examples of these.
    • The unsub in the episode "Today I Do". She even says to one of her victims, "I want to help you fix yourself."
    • Another episode focused on a guy who kidnapped multiple women. He treated each one of them to a romantic evening that would go well until she rejected him when they got to the bathtub part. Then things got ugly...
  • A later episode of House has House kidnapping his Jerkass amputee neighbor who suffers from chronic phantom limb pain. He straps him down, sticks his missing arm in a mirror box that creates the illusion that he has two arms again and orders him to "open" his missing hand to release the tension. It works, and the neighbor breaks down in tears thanking him.
  • Murder, She Wrote: Due to Jessica's reputation for solving seemingly impossible homicide cases, there have been numerous occasions in the series where she's kidnapped or coerced into a strange vehicle by someone who wants her to learn who the real killer was. Those who do this rarely do anything to hurt Jessica (although they sometimes threaten violence), and are often fairly polite/courteous to her when telling her why they want her to solve the case. She always handles the situation calmly and professionally, sometimes going as far as to call out her kidnapper for abducting her.
  • Sherlock has Mycroft, who always kidnaps John Watson whenever he needs to meet with him. The most significant example is in "A Study in Pink", where he's forced to get into a suspicious car with no knowledge of where he's being taken, in order to meet Mycroft in an abandoned building so the latter could offer John money to spy on Sherlock, citing the reason as: "I worry about him... Constantly."
  • In an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the Connors kidnap a little boy in order to protect him from the Terminator that is hunting for him. Sarah ends up getting quite attached to him, and vice versa.
  • Shark: One of the defendants prosecuted by Sebastian Stark claims to be one. It was a lie he tricked the child into believing.
  • The Legend of William Tell: Will and the others take Vara from the Citadel against her will in the first episode. They're protecting her from Xax, who's one step away from arranging an accident and taking her crown, but she considers it kidnapping for at least another episode and makes several attempts to escape from them.
  • The Equalizer. A woman abducts the child of a Mafia boss out of revenge. When McCall tracks down the room where the child is being held, the kidnapper tries using the child as a Human Shield but McCall calls her bluff, pointing out from the way the room has been decorated that she loves children and Would Not Hurt A Child.
  • Person of Interest. Team Machine isn't above forcibly abducting the Number in order to protect them. Sometimes this is Played for Laughs, at other times for drama. In "Death Benefit", a Decima squad is stalking a congressman, so when his cover is blown Reese resorts to abducting him. Turns out the congressman was on the Decima payroll, and the squad had been sent to protect him from Team Machine. Reese's actions just help Decima to portray them as terrorists.
  • In My Name Is Earl, Earl once kidnaps an old lady in order to help cure her of her smoking habit while trying to cure his own as well. What convinces her to go along with it is the fact that she can't even cry for help without coughing from exertion when he ungags her.
    Catalina: This is the sweetest, most justified kidnapping I've ever seen.
    Randy: How many have you seen?
    Catalina: Five or so.
  • The Barrier: Alma, the leader of a scientific institute secretly experimenting on children, has a general Blue-and-Orange Morality towards the children. Since the children where all taken away from families from outside the enclave for the elites, she considers that the living conditions they have in the institute is an upgrade from whatever they had back home and that those who end up dying from the experiments are getting a Mercy Kill. To complete the picture, Alma always turns on her "kind" persona when she interacts with the children.
  • Joe Goldberg from You (2018) is a very dark version of the "obviously misguided" subtype. Joe truly believes he's doing Beck a favor by locking her in the cage, suggesting that it's an opportunity for growth for her or a chance for her to focus on her writing, all in the face of her screaming and crying for him to let her out and begging him not to hurt her. Even aside from that, he has kidnapped at least three people to protect himself or his relationships. Flashbacks into his backstory show how Mr. Mooney taught him this philosophy by repeatedly locking him in the cage under the bookshop for even the flimsiest of reasons, all to "help" Joe straighten his life out.
  • CSI: NY: In "Right Next Door," a hypocritical single, mother running a flower shop kidnaps the daughter of her employee after the woman gets divorced. During interrogation, her argument for not revealing the child's location is that the woman is now a single, working mother so she can't take good care of her little girl. As it turns out, the boy she's raising is not her own... she'd kidnapped him years earlier, too, from yet another single, working mother.
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo: The episode "The Pied Piper" concerns Bang Gu-ppong, a young man who is the self-declared leader of the Children's Liberation Army. He's facing charges for kidnapping twelve kids on their way to school (having drugged and knocked out the bus driver), and he doesn't even try to deny having done so. However, he is a true Friend to All Children, and kidnapped them because he sees the Korean education system, especially elite academies like the one the kids were going to, as placing inhumane amounts of pressure on students, doing great harm to their mental health, and robbing them of their chance to be children—and he clearly has a point. He took the students to a mountain for a few hours where they had a great time playing games and sharing a nice meal, before taking them back to the bus, where he was immediately arrested. He's somewhere between the Obviously Misguided and Heroic types; he's clearly not entirely right in the head, and the show doesn't gloss over the fact that he very much did commit a crime, but his intentions are downright noble, and the kids were in no real danger. (Though you can't fault their parents for not being sure about that.)

  • Jonathan Coulton's "Skullcrusher Mountain" involves a Mad Scientist who kidnaps his lady love for a date after unsuccessfully attempting to woo her with his scientific talents.
  • "Hocus Pocus" by Gumi and Miku is about a woman who abducts a young girl to save her from her Abusive Parents, having recognized the signs from her own abused childhood. Even though the police eventually find and arrest Gumi for what she's done, she's okay with it since the investigation brings Miku's abuse to light and ensures that she'll be able to have a happy life now.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Black Lotus was kidnapped by Prince Puma on Lucha Underground and given to Dragon Azteca. Dragon Azteca explained that if Lotus was insistent on fighting Wrestling Monster Mantaza, she was going to need a lot more training. After seeing what Dragon Azteca, and Mantaza for that matter, were capable of, Lotus agreed to be taught in the ways of Lucha Libre, though she didn't have the patience train long enough to be truly ready...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: The Order of Hermes endorses kidnapping children with the Gift of magic if it's the only way to gain them as apprentices. Because people instinctively dislike and distrust the Gifted, many of those children are in untenable living situations and might genuinely benefit from being taken — though the Order as a whole cares more about producing new magi than philanthropy.

    Video Games 
  • Taro Namatame from Persona 4 kidnapped people who appear in the Midnight Channel and threw them into the TV world, having the misguided belief that it will "save" them from being killed, when in reality it was what caused it.
  • One of the most popular interpretations of the goblin babysnatchers in Dwarf Fortress. Depending on the player's treatment of dwarven children, this belief may not be unfounded.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, the Tantalus theatre troupe (who are all professional thieves, treasure hunters, and mercenaries) stage a kidnapping of Princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII while performing the famous play "I Wanna Be Your Canary". They were hired by Regent Cid of Lindblum, in order to get her out of the clutches of her warmongering mother and into his safe hands. The plan goes south when it turns out she wants to be kidnapped.
  • The Al Bhed in Final Fantasy X were kidnapping summoners and their guardians. While the church of Yevon takes this as justification to attack them, the Al Bhed are only trying to save the summoners' lives by preventing them from completing their pilgrimages, since the Final Summoning which is the goal of the pilgrimage comes at the cost of the summoner's life (if they don't die during the pilgrimage itself). The Al Bhed instead seek to find a way to permanently defeat Sin without relying on the Final Summoning, and kidnap summoners to keep them safe until that happens.
  • In Rule of Rose, the grief-stricken, hallucinating Gregory mistook a lost girl for his deceased son and caged her in his house. He didn't mean to abuse her, but being called by the name of a dead person and forced to dress as a boy really messed with poor Jennifer's mind. To say nothing of the bars on her room window...
  • This turns out to be only one of the secrets in Yaghoub's backstory in Dead In Vinland; he kidnapped Parvaneh and kept her in a Gilded Cage aboard his ship for years to save her from marriage to a Bluebeard-like king or being assassinated by said king's goons.
  • In Chapter Two of Deltarune, Queen kidnaps Noelle (and makes multiple attempts to re-kidnap her after she escapes) to have her help open up a second Dark Fountain, and is thoroughly convinced that this is the best for everyone. After all, she only wants her subjects to be happy, and the Fountain will help her achieve that by becoming the world's benevolent ruler — and in the meantime, she's glad to give Noelle everything she could ever want. Noelle eventually grows enough of a backbone to call her out, pointing out that controlling everyone and forcing them to help her is not how to make someone happy. When Queen realizes how miserable she's been making her, she's genuinely contrite and lets her go.
  • The Final Boss of Pikmin 3 is the Plasm Wraith, an odd Blob Monster who has abducted Captain Olimar because it wants to keep him safe in its lair in the Formidable Oak. Exactly why it's so fascinated with Olimar is a matter of speculation, but it's made clear that the beast doesn't want any harm to come to the captain. Unfortunately for the protagonists, since Olimar has the only way for them to get off the planet, they end up coming into conflict with the creature.

    Visual Novels 
  • Amnesia: Memories plays this out on Toma's route. The heroine gets locked into a large cage at his home, so that he can keep his eye on her and 'protect' her. The cage gets filled with plush toys, she's given books and games to entertain herself with, really good home-cooking, and he lets her out to go to the toilet and bathroom.
  • Code:Realize begins when Arsène Lupin shows up to "steal" the player character, Cardia, allowing her to finally experience human kindness, friendship, and love after living mostly in isolation up to that point. Though he initially set out to kidnap her for his own purposes, when Lupin realizes that the "monster" he was expecting is a doll-like, sad-eyed young woman, he makes up his mind to find a way to make her happy and offers to grant her any wish in return for going along with him.
  • Mystic Messenger has Jumin Han locking the player character up in his penthouse for several days, so that she will be protected from the hacker that is targeting the RFA. Depending on the ending, he either lets you go or you end up tied up and locked away for good in his house. Several other characters even make comments in chat about you being unable to leave the building, and try to get him to let you go.
  • Shall We Date?: Can't Say No has the security guard Subaru who decides to kidnap Kana and restrain her in his house for her own protection, and to stop her from getting back together with her asshole fiancé.

    Web Original 
  • One of the theories about the Slender Man is that he kidnaps children who are going to die in an accident.

    Western Animation 
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird In The Hoof", Fluttershy kidnaps Princess Celestia's pet bird, thinking it to be sick and planning to nurse it back to health. It's actually a phoenix getting ready to regenerate.
  • Towards the end of season two of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, Scarlemagne pulls this by complete accident when he has his minions kidnap Kipo and bring her to his palace. While he didn't know it, the human resistance was planning on attacking his "coronation day" with Kipo as their WMD. Once Emilia was done with her she was going to kill the thirteen-year-old simply out of her hatred for mutes. It should also be noted that he treated her very well while she was his captive, as they share a love of games and music (not to mention the fact that she's basically his little sister).
  • Darkwing Duck: At the start of the series, Darkwing realizes that Taurus Bulba's goons are likely going to try and kidnap the granddaughter of the late Dr. Waddlemeyer. Said granddaughter, Gosalynn, had been placed in an orphanage after her grandfather's passing, and Darkwing is right in that Bulba's Mooks were trying to kidnap her... so Darkwing kidnaps her before they get a chance. Justified in the show in that Darkwing is genuinely trying to keep Gosalynn safe from Bulba, risking his life several times to protect her and (by the end of the episode) adopting her as his daughter.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • In "Cajun Spice", Gambit kidnaps Rogue with her happiness or so he says in mind.
    • In earlier episode "Mutant Crush", Blob kidnaps Jean to force her to have a date with him. He sets up a nice dinner and some an abandoned warehouse where she's tied to the chair with metal bars.
  • American Dad!: In "Surro-Gate", Stan kidnaps Greg and Terry's newborn daughter with the intention of taking her to Nebraska (where gay people "have no rights") to be raised by a heterosexual couple, because he thinks that a same-sex couple can't healthily raise a child (and that gays having children will result in horses eating each other). On the way he meets a pair of well-adjusted children whose parents are a lesbian couple and realises that he's wrong (and also notices that none of the horses are eating each other). Notably, this is one of the few lessons Stan learns that actually sticks.
  • Infinity Train: The train's purpose is to help people work through their problems and help them grow as people. However, the people with those problems are coerced note  into boarding. They are then knocked unconscious, have their memories harvested and made into tapes, are magically tattooed (every passenger gets a number indicating how much progress they still have to make), and then left somewhere on the train to fend for themselves. It actually used to be worse, with the passengers' clothes and personal belongings being taken from them and being dressed in gray uniforms. After One-One became the Conductor again, more changes followed (including an explanation of the purpose of the train and how to get off). Still, even if many of the passengers can appreciate that they've grown as people thanks to the train, they were still trapped for several days (or years in the case of Grace and Simon) on a train full of numerous dangerous scenarios that's driving through a desert full of life-sucking Gholms.
  • Amphibia: The end of Season Two reveals that Marcy got herself, Sasha, and Anne stranded in Amphibia on purpose, but didn't tell the other two or seek their consent before doing so, which makes her a kidnapper for all intents and purposes. While she was primarily motivated by her fear of being separated from them, she thought it was for the best in the end. What could be better than having an epic adventure in a fantasy world with her two dearest friends? When Sasha and Anne find out, she desperately pleads with them to think of all the good that has come from their journey and how happy they've been. While she's right about the benefits of this whole mess, they're still horrified and angry.
  • Justice League: The Justice Lords seem to think they're doing the right thing by taking the Justice League prisoner and taking over their world. Lord Batman even tells the Flash "[he]'ll appreciate this someday". This leads to Batman theorizing that the Justice Lords turned evil after the Flash was killed (ostensibly by Luthor), which is likely why they haven't tried to kill the Justice League to replace them.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Livin' on a Prayer", Peter and Lois find out that Stewie's new friend Scotty has Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is fortunately at a treatable stage. Unfortunately for Scotty, his parents are Christian Scientists, who believe in healing ailments with prayer and not medicine. Peter and Lois decide to kidnap Scotty so he can get the medical treatment he needs.