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The Lady's Favour

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The Knight in Shining Armor receives The Lady's Favour
God Speed!, Edmund Blair-Leighton (1900)

The male lead is about to go off to fight and there is a very real possibility that he'll be coming back in pieces. Knowing this, his female love interest decides it would be a good idea to hand him an object — some piece of jewelry, a trinket, a piece of clothing, a token of some sort — that she claims is of great personal importance to her. She makes him promise that he will give it back to her, thereby creating a small bit of assurance that he will return from the battle alive. He invariably will, if for no other reason than he promised he would return her "most prized possession."

There are plenty of variations to this scenario. The guy could be facing off against the Big Bad, the Monster of the Week or just in The Tourney, perhaps even with her watching. The token could be something the lady made herself, a family heirloom, something worth a good deal of money, etc. Also, how important it really is is arguable. It may simply be an excuse to make her guy promise to come back.

If the couple is still in Will They or Won't They? limbo, this is a sure sign that the scales are leaning more toward Official Couple. This is also a frequent possession of someone under The Dulcinea Effect.

Tales taking place during Medieval times, particularly those involving Courtly Love contain a literal favour from the lady. It's generally an article of clothing made specifically for that purpose.

Sub-Trope of It Was a Gift. Compare Memento MacGuffin, Her Boyfriend's Jacket, Favors for the Sexy, and Motivational Kiss. May overlap with Hair Memento.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bastard!! (1988): Dark Schneider borrows 500 yen from Yoko. Even though he gets himself killed, he comes back from the dead, because Lucien always returns borrowed money.
  • Berserk:
    • Princess Charlotte gives Griffith a token with explicitly romantic symbolism. He articulates his acceptance with the kind of courtly romance that makes a gentle princess' heart flutter.
    • Symbolically invoked by Casca, who cuts a strip of cloth from her shirt sleeve to bandage Guts' left arm exactly where a knight would traditionally display his lady's colors. Unfortunately he cuts that arm off during the Eclipse in a failed last-ditch attempt to stop Casca being raped by a demon.
  • Blood+: Genderflipped; Okamura leaves his camera with Mao while he, David, Kai, and Lewis go out on a dangerous mission to stop the Big Bad's Evil Plan. She, in return, asks if she can sell it if he dies (then remarks that she probably couldn't, since it's a useless piece of junk).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Winry gives Ed some earrings to look after. It's actually for a practical reason (she's going to a place where metal in her ears would be a health hazard), but it's clearly intended to hint at this trope.
  • Gundam
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The novel by Yoshiyuki Tomino has a very... messed up version of this. Kai tells Amuro that it's an old military tradition for a soldier to get a "talisman", a good-luck charm from the woman he loves, to ensure his survival. The talisman contains some of her pubic hair. When Amuro asks Sayla, she initially refuses but relents just before he launches for the final battle. It doesn't work. The novel provides subtle hints that Kai's being an asshole and making the whole thing up so he can trick Amuro into saying "Hey Sayla, can I have some of your pubes as a good luck charm?" then laugh at the inevitable response.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ has a villainous example with Mashmyre Cello, who treats a rose given to him by Haman Karn this way. However, it's decidedly one-sided since she sees him as just another expendable underling whereas he's totally obsessed with Haman (to the point where he had the rose coated so it'd last forever). After he's Brainwashed and Cyber-Enhanced, the fact that he doesn't seem to care about the rose anymore is the first sure sign that he's not the same person anymore.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: Karla Mitchem places her scrunchy on one of Daryl Lorenz's prosthetic arms before he sorties in the Psycho Zaku. Becomes a Tragic Keepsake when the stresses of the ensuing battle cause her to suffer a mental breakdown and regress to a childlike mental state.
  • KanColle: In one episode, Atago gives Fubuki an omamori (protective charm) for luck. Her sister Takao whispers "It contains some of her...", only for a flustered Atago to quickly interrupt.
  • Macross Frontier: Invoked twice by Sheryl Nome. The first time in episode 6 where she lends him one of her earrings for good luck (unfortunately, he loses it during the ensuing battle). The second time happens before the desperate Final Battle against the ultimate Big Bad, where she gives him her remaining earring, going so far as to puts it in his ear herself.
    • In the Non-Serial Movie version, Alto notably doesn't lose the first earring, but this time Sheryl lets him keep it for good as reward for saving everyone and as a symbol of their emotional connection (the romance between Sheryl and Alto got played up a good lot in The False Diva).
  • Ranma ½: There's a flashback where Happosai remembers Cologne giving him her bracelet to remember her by when he leaves to train. The way Cologne tells it, he stole it from her. The reader is more inclined to believe Cologne.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Kaoru gives Kenshin her favorite hair ribbon before he sets off to find Jin'e. Then, when he goes to return it, she gets angry at him because he got blood on it. The fact that it's his blood doesn't seem to bother her in the slightest.

    This story was still early enough in the series that Kenshin had a strong tendency toward mild snarking; it also codified the Kaoru-lambasting-Kenshin thing. Although the 'chase of rage' scenario seemed to be about 2/5ths Kaoru being nutty and 3/5ths their attempting to make it clear that everything was still normal between them after he went into a killing rage on her behalf, she nearly died because of her connection to him and she cared enough about him to break a powerful hypnosis...
  • Short-Tempered Melancholic: Kajika gives Yuga Kureha, just before he leaves to duel Fujisaki. She still thinks the duel is about Fujisaki's sister, not her.
  • Simoun: Amuria gives Neviril one of her hair clips when the two become a pair.
  • Slayers: Played with in the third season's "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. During Zelgadis' montage, it's shown that he keeps one of Amelia's bracelets around a canteen he owns. Earlier in the episode, Amelia asks him to return to her kingdom with her, and he probably refused, so there's a lot of speculation about what happened in between.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What?: Female goblins give pressed flowers to hunters when they leave the village, with hope they will return it to them. This tradition started when Ariel gave a pressed flower bookmark to the first goblin, Gob Gob, which he was never able to return.
  • Windaria: Marie gives Alan a precious heirloom she inherited from her father before he leaves. It's a dagger and meant for practical use but the sentiment is definitely there.

    Comic Book 
  • Sleepless: Newly crowned King Surno of Harbeny hosts a tournament to celebrate his coronation, and requests that his niece Lady Poppy do the honors of granting the lady's favor to one of the competitors. Poppy is the illegitimate but widely popular daughter of Surno's brother, the deceased King Verato; her appearance at the tournament is important to appeasing Verato's loyalists who are less than pleased that the crown has passed to Surno (who has been living in Edtland for many years, and whose ascension following his brother's long illness is cause for much upset at court). Although Poppy would prefer to bestow favor on her loyal bodyguard Cyrenic, she instead grants it to Surno's nephew (on his wife's side) Lord Helder to curry goodwill with Surno's family. The favor itself takes the form of a scarf embroidered with a poppy flower.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In the Impossible Tales Wonder Girl story in #107 Diana leaves Ronno with her hair ribbon as a promise to meet again and thanks for his "help", though she does not return his romantic affection for her she does see him as a friend.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Played with in The Seer when Doumeki requests a token before he duels on Watanuki's, his employer's, behalf (which is a tradition in his own country, and not considered a romantic gesture). Watanuki gives him his hair tie to his great embarrassment (since where he's from the gesture would be considered romantic). That the story is yaoi only reinforces the trope.
  • Played straight and gender-flipped in the same moment in the Elemental Chess Trilogy. It's revealed in the second story that Roy and Riza each wear their own two dog tags, but also one belonging to the other; they exchanged them after the war. The official explanation is a practical one - they are each other's next of kin - but the real reason is this trope.
  • Played with in the Code Geass fic The Japanese Are Already Dead where Cornelia gives her knight of honor Guilford her kerchief but only because she spit out the water she was drinking onto him after Zero requests for the Japanese joining Euphie's S.A.Z. to call themselves Japanians, though Guilford does keep the handkerchief in his wallet. Chapter 3 shows this backfires on him when Lelouch takes it from the wallet and finds his half-sister's initial one it. He does not take it the implications well. At all.
  • In a Kung Fu Panda fic The Vow, Lord Shen leaves days before his wedding for an unspecified affair (a mass murder of pandas as the means to quell the prophecy of him being defeated by a "Warrior of Black and White"). His bride Lady Lianne gives him a wedding gift in the form of an ornamental dagger that has red pictures of a phoenix and a dragon etched into it. Touched that his pacifistic beloved has gone against her values that much for him, Shen vows to keep the blade till his last breath and promises to return for their wedding day. During his thirty years in exile, he preserves the blade even though his wedding with Lianne wasn't completed and he wrongly believes her to have moved past him. Near the ending, when Shen is defeated as per canon, he loses the blade, which is retrieved by the Soothsayer and delivered to Lianne. The sight of the wedding gift from which Shen vowed never to part functions as the ultimate proof to the heartbroken Lianne that her newlywed husband and the father of her unborn child is dead, but fortunately Shen returns to her the same night and remains in her life afterwards.
  • Invoked by Root in the Catalyst Verse during a jousting tournament, tying a piece of cloth around Shaw's wrist. Said cloth turns out to be Root's underwear. Shaw appreciates the ramifications of this gesture more than the gesture itself.
  • Appears very subtly in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird. At the ball in Halamshiral, Victoria has a blue ribbon tied in her hair. A few chapters later, Dorian catches sight of it again, this time tied around Cullen's wrist. A second example occurs later in the story, although nobody seems to be entirely sure if the trope is being played straight or not.
  • Chiaki gives her iconic hairpin to Izuru in Extra Life when he leaves for Towa City, to work as a "protection charm" for his safe return. He tries to return it after confessing his plans for a dangerous Memory Gambit, expecting she wants to withdraw it, only for her to refuse and say she won't take it back until all danger is passed.
  • Sansa gives Joffrey a favor when he leaves to destroy Renly's rebellion in Purple Days, telling him to run and destroy the South's chivalry. They sort of forget about it after the mess of Stannis' own invasion of King's Landing.
  • In The Hunger Games fanfic When The Moon Fell In Love With The Sun, Katniss gives Peeta a home-made red handkerchief so he can dry his tears. Peeta uses it as his District Token, and never takes it off, except to bathe. Somehow, Katniss doesn't even recognize it.
  • In Our Blades Are Sharp: Domeric has a green scarf from Sansa tied around his armor. Roose scoffs at it, saying silk is not a shield and such superstitions should be beneath him. Domeric says how he feels for Sansa will never be beneath him. Besides, the other lady's favor is the direwolf Lady.
    "As you can see, Father, there should be no shame in keeping my lady's favor.
    • Before leaving King's Landing, Myrcella gives Kevan a red scarf with gold trim and lion's head.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug fanfic Favor of a Princess, Marinette makes Chat Noir a kerchief and asks him to bring it back to her after every akuma fight. While he's careful not to publicly reveal who gave it to him, it isn't long before word gets out that a "Princess" has given Chat a favor. Lila makes the mistake of trying to claim the kerchief as hers and is promptly humiliated when Chat arranges for Alya to see who his "Princess" really is.
  • In True Grit (Persona), Akihiko's refusal to accept a trinket (an incredibly cheesy keychain shaped like a boxing glove) from Mitsuru caused and/or symbolizes the rift in their relationship. Despite that, when he comes back several months later he is not happy to see she's given it to another guy. The latter was actually a completely platonic show of support, but it's a while before Akihiko learns that.

    Film — Animated 
  • Princess Mononoke: Ashitaka's sister Kaya gives him her crystal dagger when he is banished, so he won't forget her. This is slightly different, as it was his sister and it was made explicit that he could never come home.
  • Shrek: Princess Fiona offers her handkerchief to Shrek after he frees her from a tower. He thanks her, uses it to wipe the dirt and sweat off his face, and hands it back.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 300: Leonidas is given a trinket before he goes off to battle. He dies before he can return. Dilios brings the trinket in question back to Gorgo at the end.
  • Aliens: another gender-flipped example when Hicks gives Ripley a communicator. After they exchange looks both sardonic and bashful, he quips "It doesn't mean we're engaged," and she puts it on herself.
  • Downplayed in The Apple Dumpling Gang: Clovis asks the gambler, Donovan, about a jeweled pin he carries around with him, but Donovan doesn't tell the boy the name of the woman who gave it to him. Later, Clovis sees the local banker exiting the saloon with the pin.
    Clovis; Hey, Mr. Donovan, why does he got your "cherished token of a lady's affection"?
    Donovan: Because three deuces beats aces over eights, that's why.
  • Asterix at the Olympic Games: Irina claims to be have been bestowing her favour on Brutus when she uses he her scarf to blind him during the chariot race.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: When Jen's family's caravan is raided by bandits in the desert, one of them, Lo, steals her comb. She chases him down to get it back, but the two end up falling in love. When she leaves him to return to her family, she gives him the comb and tells him to return it to her when they're together again.
  • El Cid: Jimena gives her favour, a black scarf, to the Champion of Aragon to encourage him to kill Rodrigo Diaz, her love and the killer of her father. It is an understatement to say this girl is seriously conflicted.
  • The Goodbye Girl, gender-flipped, with the man leaving something behind. Elliot is leaving the apartment to go off to the West Coast and make a movie, and Paula is terrified that he'll never come back, like Tony left her for a movie and never came back at the start of the film. But when she sees that he left his cherished guitar in the apartment, she knows for sure that he'll come back to her.
  • Grease: Before the Thunder Road race, Cha-Cha gives Leo a trinket extracted from her cleavage.
  • Hacksaw Ridge: Before heading off to Basic Training for his assignment in WWII, Dorothy gives Desmond a compact Bible with a picture of her inside. He loses it after he gets hit by a grenade, but his comrades manage to recover it from the battlefield and give it to him before he is shipped to a hospital.
  • A Knight's Tale: William's beloved sends her maidservant to give him a handkerchief to wear in the games as a token along with a message that her name, that he so desperately wanted to know, is Jocelyn. He loses that particular round to the Big Bad, who picks up the favour and returns it to Jocelyn. She takes the scarf back but coldly walks away from Adhemar without speaking to him.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Arwen gives Aragorn her necklace, and Galadriel gives Gimli three hairs from her head.
  • The Phantom Menace: Anakin gives Padme a necklace he carved as a kind of inversion.
  • Gender flipped in the film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility; Edward, when he finds Elinor weeping as her sister plays their late father's favorite song, gives her a monogrammed handkerchief to wipe her eyes and tells her to keep it. It shows up later after she finds out he's engaged to someone else.
  • Rogues of Sherwood Forest: Before his joust against the Flemish knight, Robin asks for, and receives, the favour of Lady Marianne; the ward of King John. she ties her scarf around his lance.
  • In the 1979 Disney comedy A Spaceman In King Arthurs Court, Sir Mordred has challenged NASA astronaut Tom Trimble to a joust. Mordred gets a scarf tied around his lance by a lady-in-waiting, while Tom has to settle for a feather plucked from a goose by the peasant girl who's sweet on him.
  • Stargate: The old lady, Catherine, gives Daniel a trinket she found at the dig site, getting from him the promise that he'll bring it back to her. We all know this means he's not gonna die... but there's a slight twist at the end when he stays behind, but gives the trinket to O'Neil to return - and since O'Neil pretended that Daniel had died, it's sorta like this trope was averted, at least from the point of view of the characters on Earth. In Stargate SG-1, Daniel gets the trinket back when Catherine dies at the end of season 8.
  • Gender-switched in X-Men. Wolverine gives his dog tags to Rogue as he's leaving to learn about his past, promising that he'll come back for them. It's not intended to be romantic, since his feelings for her are brotherly.

  • An inversion inThe Accursed Kings; King Philip VI sees his Rich Bitch queen about to "recommend" Villain Protagonist Robert d'Artois' helm (meaning marking him so he can't fight in the tourney and thus be mocked by everyone else) and forbids her from doing so.
  • In The Nutcracker, the doll Clarette offers a ribbon to the Nutcracker as a favor before he goes into battle, but he shows her that Marie has already given him her ribbon.
  • L. M. Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside (a sequel to Anne of Green Gables) has some form of this. The title character's old childhood friend is about to go fight in World War I, so he asks her to marry him. She's in love with somebody else, so she can't. Then he asks her to give him one last kiss, at least. Sorry, she promised her lips to the other guy as well. Bummer...
    • In one of the earlier books, a girl gives her new hair ribbon to a boy who's about to fight another boy for insulting her.
  • In the fantasy novel The Spirit Stone by Katharine Kerr, Lord Gerran refuses to propose marriage to Lady Solla despite their being in love because if they're formally betrothed and he then dies in the war he's about to ride out to, by the customs of their homeland she'd for all intents and purposes be considered a widow, which means she'd be stuck living with her family (as Gerran has none) for the rest of her life. Accepting this, she asks him if he'd carry 'just a token' into war for her, and he accepts... and they both know without saying that this is their real marriage promise, and they're simply delaying the public announcement of it until the war is over.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • In the Backstory, Ser Jorah Mormont once won a tournament while wearing Lynesse Hightower's favour, crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty and proposed to her, which she impulsively accepted despite being from a far more upscale Southern house while he was lord of grim Bear Island in the North. After their marriage, he went broke supporting his new wife's extravagant tastes and losing armour and horses in every tourney he entered afterwards; he later resorted to selling poachers to slavers, which led to his exile when Ned Stark found out.
    • Another example from the Backstory. Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish begged Catelyn Tully for her favour (a scarf with the sigil of her house embroidered onto it) before setting off to duel for her hand in marriage, but she gave it to his opponent, Brandon Stark, instead because she regarded it as her duty to support the man to whom she was promised. Naturally, Littlefinger lost...
  • Miriamel gives Simon her shawl in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. He is going on a mission and though he doesn't know it, she is planning to run away.
  • In James Thurber's The 13 Clocks, Princess Saralinda throws Prince Zorn a rose as he is about to go on a quest for a thousand jewels.
  • Elf princess Alhana Starbreeze gives Sturm Brightblade a jeweled token in Dragons of Winter Night. The book later reveals that the token is a Starjewel, pairs of which are traditionally exchanged by elven lovers upon parting, creating something of a psychic bond between them. Sturm, however, remains ignorant of its significance.
  • Done with Leigh and Dennis in Stephen King's novel, Christine.
  • Mything Persons: Skeeve asks Luanna for a scarf to remember her by. He uses the scarf to pass her scent on to a werewolf/tracker, so they can follow her later and apprehend her con-artist accomplices.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story Black Colossus, the Khorajan knights carry them to war. (Each knight wore a lady's token, a glove, scarf or rose, bound to his helmet or fastened to his sword-belt.) When Count Thespides refuses to serve under Conan, Princess Yasmela makes him back down by demanding back her glove which he keeps under his baldric.
  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's historical novel The White Company Sir Nigel wears his lady wife's leather glove on his hat as a favor. Lady Loring is several inches taller than her husband, much heftier and harsh featured but as far as her loving hubby is concerned she is the most delicate and delectable creature on Earth. Joke about the size of her glove at your peril.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain:
    • In the second book, Adaon, son of the chief bard Taliesin, wears a magic brooch that was given to him by his betrothed, Arianllyn, before he set out to accompany the companions on their quest. He bequeaths it to Taran when he dies about halfway through the book.
    • In the third book, Princess Eilonwy finds a slightly battered horn on the beach, which had once belonged to her family (of which she is the last surviving member). As she is about to spend a lengthy period of time being fostered in a foreign court, she gives the horn to Taran as a symbol of their mutual promise not to forget each other.
  • Older Than Print: This goes back to medieval Chivalric Romance stories, in which a lady would give a favored knight a token (such as a scarf) to tie around his lance as a pennon when he jousted.
  • In Gene Stratton Potter's Freckles, a bit of blue ribbon from Angel.
    He had gone to the tree ahead of the gang to remove the blue ribbon. Carefully folded, it now lay over his heart. He was promising himself much comfort with that ribbon, when he would leave for the city next month to begin his studies and dream the summer over again. It would help to make things tangible. When he was dressed as other men, and at his work, he knew where he meant to home that precious bit of blue. It should be his good-luck token, and he would wear it always to keep bright in memory the day on which the Angel had called him her knight.
  • Don Quixote: Even when all it’s only part of a scam, maid Altisidora gave Don Quixote three kerchiefs that later are stolen by bandits:
    Roque on coming up asked Sancho if his men had returned and restored to him the treasures and jewels they had stripped off Dapple. Sancho said they had, but that three kerchiefs that were worth three cities were missing.
    "What are you talking about, man?" said one of the bystanders; "I have got them, and they are not worth three reals."
    "That is true," said Don Quixote; "but my squire values them at the rate he says, as having been given me by the person who gave them."
  • In The Stone Prince, Demnor carries a strip of cloth from the tunic of his gay lover — while on his way to an event where his future bride will be present. Suffice to say, he is very stubborn.
  • In Alethea Kontis's Enchanted, the prince asks for a ribbon that Sunday had let fall, as this trope.
  • Invoked in The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin: Sigfried, who has extensively read Arthurian legends, asks Valerie to give him her handkerchief, but she doesn't have one. Later, Valerie formally gives him a Bowie knife instead.
  • In the old 1950's novel The Queens Cross by William Schoonover (a fictional biography of Queen Isabella of Spain), a Castilian queen who is having an affair with a nobleman takes the garter off her own leg and slips it onto her lover's arm before he enters the list, causing a minor uproar.
  • "The Devils of Langenhagen," a short story by Australian sci-fi author Sean McMullen. In the last days of the Third Reich, an Me262 interceptor squadron is visited by some strange and elegant guests — a couple of high-ranking pilots, and their wives, with unusually clean clothes and flying advanced fighter aircraft. One of the women sleeps with the protagonist, a teenage fighter pilot, and when he shamefacedly admits to never having had sex before, she leaves the "virgin killer" her handkerchief in an evocation of this trope. Years later having kept the handkerchief (he's a bit embarrassed about this, as he's now a priest) an analysis of the handkerchief reveals embedded future technology that proves the strangers were time travelers.
  • Journey to Chaos: It's tradition for jousters of either gender to receive something like this from their lovers/spouses etc. During A Mage's Power, the fact that Culmus is given one by Kasile is a Chekhov's Gun that enables a Rescue Arc later on. It ultimately ends up in Eric's possession, but he's solidly in a Like Brother and Sister relationship with the princess.
  • In John C. Wright's Green Knight's Squire, Ruff asks Nerea to give one for Gil. With some cross-talk when he's saying a favor, not a favor, until he manages to explain. Later it serves as a talisman that wards off magical attempts to seduce him.
  • In The Virgin Widow the widowed Anne Neville is captured by Yorkist forces and sees that her former betrothed, Richard of Gloucester, still wears her ring.
  • In The Sword of the South Gwynna asks Kenhodan to carry her favor. Since she considers a handkerchief to be somewhat useless for an adventure she gives him a dagger as her favor instead. She's only ten so this is more Precocious Crush than a serious romance although given her Rapid Aging once her mage powers awaken there are hints that it may become more than that.
  • In the first Redwall book, Cornflower gives Matthias her kerchief.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • It initially appears to be a gender inversion of this trope when Ser Loras Tyrell gives Sansa Stark a red rose before his joust, but it turns out to be an empty gesture. Lord Renly Baratheon is his true sweetheart, but Loras obviously cannot offer his favour to another man in a homophobic society, so he simply hands the rose to the young lady who happens to be seated the closest to Renly in the stands.
    • Gender-flipped when Samwell Tarly gives Gilly his mother's thimble, his sole keepsake from his former life before he joined the Night's Watch.
  • House of the Dragon: A few knights ask for this during The Tourney in the pilot. The ladies brought them and are prepared.
    • Rhaenys gives hers to her cousin Borros Baratheon.
    • Daemon asks for one from Alicent. To add insult to injury, he asks this immediately after viciously injuring her brother with a cheap shot.
    • Criston Cole gets one from Rhaenyra after besting Daemon in a duel.
      Criston: I was hoping to ask for the Princess's favor.
      Rhaenyra: I wish you luck, Ser Criston.
  • Subverted in an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. A woman is seen giving a handkerchief to a man who must go slay some mythological beast. It turns out the beast is being controlled by the lady's lover and she is deliberately sending these men to their deaths. This is revealed by a shot of the cave littered with identical handkerchiefs, all given by the same woman to the slain men.
  • In Power Rangers Mystic Force, this happens when Nick leaves to go introduce his biological parents to his adopted ones. It's Nick who gives his baby blanket to Madison, asking her to keep it safe until he returns. She's less worried that he won't be coming back in one piece than she is that his season-starting "go where the wind takes me" tendencies means he won't come back at all. Some portions of the fandom prefer to believe this never happened.
  • Gender-flipped in an episode of thirtysomething where a man going away on a business trip leaves his wristwatch with his wife, who wears it the whole time he's gone.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In one episode, Riley's about to be taken away by the Initiative, and he has Buffy's scarf (given more as a bandage than a favour). He romantically, or deliriously, tells her "It's like I have part of you with me." "It's just the scarf part of me. Really."
    • Gender-flipped when Xander proposes to Anya to convince her that they are not going to die.
  • Merlin:
    • In the episode "The Once And Future Queen", Gwen (Guinevere, for those who haven't seen the programme), gives Prince Arthur a handkerchief before he goes off to fight in a jousting tournament.
    • In the first series episode "Excalibur", one of the knights, Owain, is about to face the Black Knight in a fight to the death. Morgana gives him a token for luck. Owain ends up losing the fight.
    • Arthur wears a sash around his arm in the melee in "The Shadow of the Sorcerer". A deleted scene reveals it was not from Gwen, as you'd assume, but Morgana.
  • In the Have Gun – Will Travel episode "Return of the Lady", Diana ties a handkerchief around Paladin's arm before he goes to fight B.G. in a saber duel..
  • Highlander: As Duncan is about to head out for his final showdown with Kalasnote , Amanda mentions this precise custom (she's old enough to have been around when it was common practice). She gives Duncan the crystal Rebecca gave her. Doubly meaningful, as both Duncan and Amanda had great respect for Rebecca, the crystal is a tangible part of Amanda's bond with Rebecca as student and teacher, and it's the last thing Amanda has to remember her departed mentor by. And true to the rest of the trope, this set of episodes marks the start of Duncan and Amanda admitting to each other that they're more than each other's "bad habits."
  • An episode of The Muppet Show had Floyd and Gonzo re-enact the jousting scene from Camelot, with different music and other changes. (Pearl Bailey was Guenivere.) Floyd got a scarf from Janice and Gonzo got a scarf from Camilla.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Rivals", a friendly racquetball rivalry between Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashir results in a charity match between the two, with Bashir as the heavy favorite. As O'Brien prepares for the match, his wife Keiko, who had previously been mildly amused by her husband's obsessing over beating Bashir, stands behind him, assuming the attitude of a samurai's wife preparing her husband for battle. She then presents him with a silk scarf scented with her perfume, wraps the scarf around his head, kisses him, and whispers, "Kick his butt."
  • In The Tudors, Charles Brandon seeks the favor of the Duke of Buckingham's beautiful daughter before taking part in a joust.
  • An ambiguous example in Downton Abbey when Mary gives Matthew her toy dog and 'good luck charm' as he leaves to fight in World War I... despite the fact he is engaged to Lavinia at the time. A later scene shows him laying out a photo of Lavinia in the trenches but pocketing the charm to take wherever he goes. Later, after he gets paralyzed, his mother finds the toy and offers to give it to charity, but he insists it would be bad luck to give it away. His fiancee is listening.
  • In Poldark, Elizabeth gave Ross her ring to wear and promised to wait for him when he went off to fight in the American War of Independence. When he comes back, he is heartbroken to find that she believed him dead and is now engaged to his cousin Francis.
  • Smallville: In the pilot, Lana gives Whitney her necklace, which is made of meteor rock, as a good luck charm for the upcoming game. Whitney later forces Clark to wear the necklace, not realizing it's harmful to him, and strings him up in the middle of a cornfield. When Lana finds out what Whitney did with her necklace, she's none too pleased.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand:
    • The first episode of Blood and Sand has an inversion of sorts; before he leaves to go to war, Spartacus gives his wife Sura a purple ribbon, as a promise he will come back to her. It later becomes a Tragic Keepsake for him after Sura is forcibly separated from him and later killed after they’re both Made a Slave.
    • In the final episode of War of the Damned, Sibyl gives Gannicus her lucky idol before he fights Crassus and he wears it on his belt during the battle. He is never able to return it to her, as he's captured and executed along with most of the other rebels.
  • The Musketeers: Queen Anne gives Aramis a crucifix necklace after he saves her from an escaping prisoner. Aramis wears it constantly for the rest of the series. In the second season it plays a minor part in exposing Anne and Aramis' affair when the Comte de Rochefort recognises it, as he was the one who gave it to Anne in the first place.

  • The Heather Dale song Inspiration is about a knight entering a tournament being inspired by his love and one of the verses mentions that he proudly bears her token.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Footrot Flats: While competing against the Murphys in an athletics meet, Wal asks Cheeky for a handkerchief to tie on the end of his pole vaulting pole. Not having a hanky, Cheeky sticks a box of tissues on the end of the pole.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mentioned in the Pendragon Tabletop RPG.
  • The Warhammer jousting mini-game had a table that could be rolled on to determine what favor a knight was granted, the more intimate the garment the luckier it was.
    • It also noted that modest young ladies attending jousts would often come prepared with several spare veils to pass out as favors without having to risk their modesty (or catching a cold).
    • One item Bretonnian knights can take with them is a token from a Damsel. The game notes that numerous knights carry one of these, which says more about the Damsel than the knights.
  • In the GURPS Fantasy setting of Yrth, the kingdom of Caithness allows women to become knights. As a result, there is an evolving custom for female knights to carry a favor from the Significant Male in their lives.
  • The Dragon article "For Glory, Love and All the Right Reasons" had a list of enchanted favours that a lady or gentleman might grant a knight (the enchantment needing to be cast on an item of sentimental value to the gifter). Most of them simply granted an advantage (the Favour of Courage gave a bonus against fear checks, the Favour of Luck gave a reroll, etc.), but more mixed blessings were the Favor of Remembrance (which caused the knight to always consider the gifter before making a decision, resulting in a Wisdom bonus, but an initiative penalty) and the Favour of Safehome (which teleported the bearer back to the gifter if they were in mortal danger, regardless of whether they wanted to, whether the gifter's location was any safer, or even if the "bearer" was actually the knight rather than whatever had killed them).

  • In Orpheus: A Poetic Drama Eurydice lends Orpheus her scarf when she leaves for a time. He isn't able to return it before she dies.
  • In William Shakespeare's Richard II, Prince Hal makes a mockery of this trope. He shows contempt for the celebration of his father's accession to the throne by jousting with a token from a common prostitute:
    His answer was — he would unto the stews;
    And from the commonest creature pluck a glove.
    And wear it as a favor

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: In a rare moment of displaying a sense of humor, Anomen asks Edwina for a lady's favour so he can 'champion her'. The subject responds in a predictable manner.
  • Invoked in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, where Arikado gives Soma a talisman from Mina. Not wearing it at a certain point in the game will result in a Downer Ending - it actually helps slow the dark flow of Dracula's power long enough for Arikado to intervene (considering Soma is Dracula's reincarnation and is trying to avoid becoming him).
  • A platonic variant occurs in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. When Dante bests Lady after they argue over who's going to kill Arkham, Lady gives Dante her rocket launcher "Kalina Ann" to help him.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Morrigan's ring in Dragon Age: Origins, though she insists it is merely practical as it permits her to find the Warden if they are separated.
    • Gender flipped with the rose Alistair gives to the female Warden he romances, and also Zevran's earring (which can be presented to a lover of either gender). Unlike Morrigan's gift, neither has a practical purpose of any sort; they're just tokens of affection.
    • In Dragon Age II, if Fenris or Isabela is Hawke's love interest, they start wearing a red band on their wrist/forearm. Word of God has confirmed this is Hawke's favor.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, if neither is romanced by the Inquisitor, Josephine and Blackwall have a Courtly Love thing going on for a while, and she takes to leaving handkerchiefs where he can find them.
  • Dragon Quest: After rescuing Princess Gwaelin (Lora in the GBC version) from the dragon, she gives the Hero a token of her love, which tells you how far you are from Tantegel Castle and how much experience you need for the next level.
  • Emerald City Confidential: Nimee Amee gives her locket to Nick Chopper. Due to their rocky past history and recent breakup, Nick refuses it and tells the messenger to give this message to Nimee: Stick it "where the sun don't shine."
  • Played with in Final Fantasy XII. Balthier the sky pirate demands payment from Ashe and takes her engagement ring - the one she received from her now-dead husband. He tells her he'll give it back to her when he finds something more valuable. At the end of the game, Balthier is believed dead in the wreck of the Bahamut, but Vaan and Penelo discover his airship gone and an envelope containing the ring and a letter which explains he's found something more valuable (an allusion to the sequel, Revenant Wings). The ring was important to an entirely different person, and was never meant to act as The Ladys Favour, but ends up doing so anyway.
    • He also inverts the trope near the beginning of the game, giving Penelo his handkerchief as a promise to bring Vaan back. (This leads directly to Penelo getting kidnapped by bounty hunters who are after Balthier's head, so... way to go there, leading man.)
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In the first game, Kairi gives Sora her "lucky charm" before he goes off to fight Ansem, with the promise that he'll bring it back one day. Implying, of course, a promise to live through the final battle. Thanks to the way Keyblades work, it also gives him a pretty decent weapon. He does finally return it at the end of the second game.
    • In the secret ending of Birth by Sleep, Kairi gives her lucky charm to Sora again when he decides to leave Destiny Island after reading Mickey's letter.
  • In The King of Fighters supplementary materials, Kyo Kusanagi carries a good-luck charm given to him by his girlfriend Yuki.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Subverted. Ilia personally made the Horse Call and had intended to give it to Link, before he set off to deliver the Ordon Sword and Shield to Hyrule Castle, to ensure his safe return. But King Bulbin and his army attacked the village and abducted her before she had the chance.
  • One Neverwinter Nights Japanese-themed module has this with your Love Interest, though the gifts are actually quite useful (Midori's is a sword that is more powerful than any other magic weapon found in the module).
  • Appears in, of all things, the Rambo game for the NES, in which Co, Rambo's female companion, gives him a pendant to which she ascribes great personal value.

    Visual Novels 
  • A version of this appears in Daughter for Dessert. When the protagonist gets his cell phone back after being released from jail, he finds a sexy picture sent by a girl (Kathy, Heidi, or Lily depending on player choice) as encouragement for his situation.
  • Tsukihime: A white ribbon is given to a young Shiki in a flashback by one of the girls. This is a throwaway line with Shiki rambling about his memories in three of the game's five routes - and critically important in the other two.

    Web Animation 
  • The Cult of Personality series has a platonic example. After surviving the robot invasion in FYI I am a Robot, the RED Turbine Fem!Scout gave the Turbine BLU Medic a thorny rose as a sign of truce despite them being on opposite teams. After he's fired, he leaves the rose behind, making it a Tragic Keepsake to remember her long-lost friend.

    Western Animation  
  • Adventure Time: In "To Cut a Woman's Hair", Finn is blackmailed into getting some beautiful hair for a balding witch who's holding Jake hostage, and has been made to swear not to tell anyone why he needs the hair. As a result, when he starts asking all the ladies he knows for some hair, they think he's asking for a Hair Memento and start getting flirty with him, especially Lumpy Space Princess ("If you want these lumps, you gotta put a ring on it!").
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The little crown that Sozin gave to Roku, right before Roku had to leave to start his Avatar training. Roku wore it for the rest of his life, even though he and Sozin stopped being friends long before that.
  • Blue Eye Samurai
    • Princess Akemi gives Taigen a gold comb as a gift, to the latter's embarrassment as he can't afford a return gift of that value. Nevertheless he places the comb in his samurai topknot before dueling Mizu. After Mizu cuts off his topknot to humiliate him, she takes the gold comb as a Battle Trophy and gives it to a poor family she had seemingly ignored earlier.
    • Mizu is shown wearing Tiegen's scarf after she first starts feeling attracted to him. Akemi later recognises the scarf and assumes Mizu has done something nasty to her love interest. It's not a strict example as she knocked him unconscious and apparently helped herself to it.
  • Danny Phantom: In "Phantom Planet", Sam gives Danny a ring that was used in an earlier episode "Flirting With Disaster".
  • In one episode of Fox's Peter Pan & the Pirates, Peter, Wendy, and the boys have been reading the Arthurian legends and are pretending to be Arthur, Guinivere, and the Knights of the Round Table. Wendy, studying the book, ties a strip of cloth around Peter's arm and explains that since she's his queen, the fabric is her favor, and he must wear it in her honor when going into battle. Notably, he's not especially impressed by this, in part because he hasn't actually been allowed to do any fighting as yet and he's getting itchy for it.
  • In the Animated Adaptation of Redwall, Cornflower gives Matthias her favorite headband - a yellow one with the flowers she's named after - to wear as an armband.

Alternative Title(s): The Ladys Favor