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The Power of Love

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One Empathic Weapon, coming up!

"Love is a very powerful force. Even more so when it's focused into a coherent beam of destruction."
Black Mage, 8-Bit Theater

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The Power of Love is a curious thing. It makes one man weep, and another man sing. It can change a hawk to a little white dove. Bring inanimate objects to life. It might just save your life. It makes people want to give up personal freedom to belong to each other. Don't you dare mock it, it's more than a feeling, that's the Power of Love.

Even more than The Power of Friendship and The Power of Family, the Power of Love can be applied in dire situations to make things better. In fact, in many Disney movies it's the solution to everything. It's also an occasionally useful Deus ex Machina.

Common applications of the Power of Love include activating an Empathic Weapon, freeing a loved one from mind control, strengthening a loved one, and converting a Real Death into a Disney Death. Even when the power of love is not literally and directly responsible, the scene is often set such that the audience is left with the impression that it was "really responsible". Although, Love is more powerful than magic as it usually helps break spells.

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Don't You Dare Pity Me! can sometimes be overcome by the Power Of Love; however, it may take time, and the love itself must be purified of any pity it does contain.

The Green-Eyed Monster may come into play. In more idealistic shows, it is a sign of an immature love, where trust and faith is insufficient. However, more cynical shows may treat it as normal, and even let it overcome Cannot Spit It Out.

In cynical times, this can feel like a rip-off. It depends on where you, and the scene in question, fall on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.

Love Redeems evil but it can also turn you evil. Combining the two, it can support said baddies.

Sometimes, love for someone who's threatened can give someone a Heroic Second Wind, especially a Mama Bear/Papa Wolf.

A more passive but no less impressive display of the Power of Love is its ability to use the Red String of Fate to reunite the reincarnated lovers.

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A Super-Trope to Heart Beat-Down, True Love's Kiss, The Love Slap of Epiphany. A Sister Trope to Light 'em Up (light based powers) and Holy Hand Grenade (holy powers) which are generally good. Compare Care-Bear Stare which includes all positive feelings (happiness, peace, love etc).

Compare and contrast with The Power of Lust. Contrast with The Power of Apathy and The Power of Hate. Occasionally classified as one of the Elemental Powers.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The finale of Abnett & Lanning's run on The Authority depends on this. To go with the Class 2 Apocalypse, there's a horrific and intelligent virus floating around that ends up infecting Apollo, prompting Midnighter to look desperately for a cure. He's called north, eventually finding an island, which turns out to be a giant, Swamp Thing-like Century Baby named Gaia. In return for his help, she gives him an apple, and tells him to remember Avalon, the isle of apples: "The fruit of immortality... of love..." Two pages later, Apollo's fine.

  • In the OGN Avengers: Rage of Ultron Starfox uses his psionic ability to make people experience love to defeat Ultron (who had been merged with his creator Hank Pym), resulting in Ultron realizing what he had become and fleeing.
    Starfox: There is a solution. It's so simple. Love yourself.
  • In one Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic, a spell that keeps Buffy asleep can only be broken by the kiss of someone who is in love with her. One of her Slayers, Satsu, does it.
  • Dark Avengers: it's heavily implied that The Power Of Love is all that's keeping The Sentry from unleashing the Void and raining Biblical plagues down on humanity. Unfortunately his wife, Lindy, is terrified of him, and when she tries to kill him in the hope of preventing a mad rampage, that's exactly what she gets. Norman Osborn recognizes that Lindy could set the Sentry off again at any time; unfortunately his solution is to kill her and make it look like a suicide. Initially that seems to work, but the next time we see the Sentry he ramps up to a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum very quickly and eventually provokes Thor into killing him. The last we see of the Sentry and Lindy is two empty graves, side by side...
  • Elfquest has this as a recurring theme. It shows itself through all dealings with Big Bad Winnowill, who tries to avoid this at all costs, and stated almost verbatim by all-loving High One Timmain, who almost states that this central trope keeps the Palace in balance. In a Rogue's Curse story arc, Winnowill can't even enter a shard of the Palace -her hate and the love of the spirits within keep her out.
  • Referenced in a classic Stan Lee / Jack Kirby Fantastic Four story line, when Reed Richards, alerted by the Watcher, takes on the Silver Surfer. When Sue Richards asks the Watcher how Reed can take on the "all-powerful Silver Surfer", the Watcher answers, "All-powerful? There is only one who deserves that name. And his only weapon — is love!"
  • The Power Of Love allows The Flash to come back from an other-dimensional speedster heaven that no one had ever returned from. Several times.
    • It lets Barry Allen break the Anti-Life Equation's hold over Iris Allen in Final Crisis.
    • Flash-type speedsters rely on this trope to keep them from being absorbed by the Speed Force (the aforementioned speedster heaven). It doesn't necessarily need to be romantic — the paternal bond between Max Mercury and Bart Allen is a beautiful example of such — but yes, the three main Flashes rely on their wives for it. Another case of paternal bond getting used is in DC Rebirth. Wally thought he is permanently trapped in the Speed Force when his "lightning rod", Linda Park, doesn't even remember him; it was Barry Allen, Wally's father figure/mentor, that allowed him to escape.
  • Veteran Green Lantern enemy Star Sapphire and the Star Sapphire Corps that succeed her are fueled by love. If uncontrolled (as can happen when all the power is consolidated into a single person), it is of the insane, possessive, destructive sort, which is why the entity that provides their power is called The Predator, but they run on all kinds of love (be it between a man and woman or a mother and her child or so on and so forth) and the Predator is actually the one that is corrupted by its hosts, not the other way around.
    • One Star Sapphire uses Soranik Natu's love for Kyle Rayner and channeled it to bring him back to life.
    • The Star Sapphire's Badass Creed:
    For hearts long lost and full of fright,
    For those alone in Blackest Night
    Accept our ring and join our fight.
    Love conquers all-with violet light.
  • Subverted in Harbinger. After Torque develops feelings for Faith he becomes weaker because his power comes from his own insecurity.
  • For a split second, it looks as if this trope is going to be averted in the Justice Society of America arc "Princes of Darkness" — Jade's the Power of Love speech to Obsidian fails to halt his evil rampage — but it's really only a set up for their father, the Golden Age Green Lantern, to come in and deliver it successfully.
  • Ultra Boy is saved from The Blight by The Power Of Love in the Legion of Super-Heroes issues right before Legion Lost.
  • From Ninja High School Jeremy uses this to bring back his friend, Cute Witch turned dark, Mimi. (The story's also a bit of a homage to Dark Phoenix so take that as you will).
  • Speaking of Osborn, The Power Of Love (for his son Harry) once turned Norman sane after he relapsed as the Green Goblin. Both the sanity and the love failed to stick.
  • Alan Moore's Providence has Dr. Alvarez, of all people, citing Love as the force that defines life.
    Dr. Alvarez: Love is the only substantial thing. It is noble in its noises and odours, I think. From where I look at this, to not love is to waste the existence. Even life is a small matter beside it. You see, it is not interrupted by death. Without it, this world cannot be endured.
  • Scott Pilgrim:
    • In Volume 4, the "Power of Love" manifests In the form of a flaming sword... but the trope is Subverted because loving Romona isn't enough to surmount the last Evil Ex-Boyfriend. That requires the far more important Power of Understanding, which allows Scott to see how similar he is to Gideon, and how that is a very bad thing.
    • In Volume 1, this protects Wallace, Jimmy, and those in the immediate vicinity from the effects of "Last Song Kills Audience", although they weren't in as much danger as the name implies.
  • In Superman Reborn Lois and Clark's love (for the partner and for their son Jon) is so strong that it has repaired what was broken. More specifically, the pre-Flashpoint and New-52 versions of Clark and Lois are merged back together.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The power of love allows Steve Trevor to cheat death, three times. At least one of those times he was aided by Aphrodite herself.
  • X-23: Despite everything the Facility did to break her and forge her into an emotionless killing machine, it was Sarah Kinney's love for her as a daughter, defying orders to not treat her as a child whenever she could by reading to her and offering an emotional connection that saved her humanity and helped her break free of the Facility's control.
  • Defied in X-Campus. Magnus claims he will show them the greatest power of the world. "Love?" asks Storm. "Magnetism".
  • Played absolutely straight in Young Avengers, where Billy is unable to fully access his Demiurge powers. His fiancé, Teddy, who had previously left to try to figure out whether he actually loves Billy after Loki insinuated that Teddy may have been accidentally wished into existence in the first place by Billy's powers, returns and decides that it doesn't matter to him whether or not he's alive because Billy subconsciously wanted someone like him to be. After True Love's Kiss, Billy immediately and effortlessly becomes the Demiurge and nonchalantly rearranges the universe the same way most people organize things in the fridge. It's lampshaded in-story.
    Loki: Oh, ugh. Is love really going to save us all?
    America: Of course it is. Anyone who thinks otherwise gets stomped into paste.
  • In Zombies Christmas Carol Fan and Fred both embody this, and Scrooge's love following his reformation is so strong he heals all of the zombies.

    Comic Strips 
  • The New Zealand comic Footrot Flats features a scene where the main character, the Dog, finds himself able to walk on water due to his love for Jess, the neighbour's dog note . After this initial success, he demonstrates that there is no such thing as The Power Of Lust, by sinking as soon as he moves from "Love can work miracles!" to "I'm coming baby!"

    Films — Animation 
  • Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus: The Wand of Light can only unleash its power for good and good alone; if used with negative emotions such as anger, it refuses to work. Annika had to figure that out the hard way.
  • The Book of Life:
    • A major theme of the film.
      Del Toro: It’s the story of two lovers who refuse to be separated by anything... it's about love not giving up.
    • Manolo Sanchez. His voice actor states that his true power is love.
  • The trope frequently pops up in the Disney Animated Canon (and in Disney in general).
    • Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch has perhaps the best designed example: Near the end of the movie, Stitch sucumbs to the glitch and finally shuts down. Lilo and the others mourn him so deeply that their Love and Sorrow seemingly overturn Death itself. Jumba even admits that there is no scientific explanation, declares it a miracle, and celebrates.
    • Sleeping Beauty: Chillingly, Maleficent is one of the few villains who knows how powerful love is. Rather than trying to undo the True Love's Kiss Curse Escape Clause, she decides to build it into the Ironic Hell she's arranged for Prince Philip. She gives him a terrifying Hannibal Lecture about how she'll release him once the full hundred years have passed, so that Aurora (who has slept in Narnia Time) will awaken to a broken, decrepit old man. If it weren't for the fairies' meddling, love would've kept Phillip going before destroying him.
    • The Sword in the Stone: Merlin tells Wart that love is a powerful force after a lovelorn female squirrel becomes heartbroken when Wart is transformed back into a human.
      Merlin: You know, lad, that love business is a powerful thing.
      Wart: Greater than gravity?
      Merlin: Well yes, boy, in its way... yes, I'd say it's the greatest force on earth.
    • Disney's Beauty and the Beast where the Beast, seemingly dead, is revived and turns into a Prince when Belle tells him she loves him.
    • While love doesn't actually accomplish anything supernatural in the Aladdin films, the fact that genies can't cause people to fall in love puts Love on the same level of greater-than-phenomenal-cosmic-power as Life or Death.
    • In Frozen (2013), an act of true love is the only thing that can save Anna from turning into solid ice. And in a surprising twist for a Disney movie, the act of love is not True Love's Kiss, or even romantic love, but Anna sacrificing herself for her sister Elsa - an act of true familial love on Anna's part. Love also turns out to be the trigger that allows Elsa to control her ice powers.
  • In Kubo and the Two Strings, Kubo defeats his grandfather the Moon King by applying a weaponized version of this!
  • Averted, in the DVD version of the Disney film Pocahontas. She invokes this in the song "If I Never Knew You," singing that with their love she thought "Somehow we'd make the whole world bright", but as she notes in the following line, that didn't exactly work out. Much of the hostilities in the film are an unintended result of their relationship, though she regrets nothing.
  • In Rio, the power of love is what gives Blu the power to fly.
  • The Secret of NIMH: Only when her children are in mortal danger does Mrs. Brisby's love and courage become a tangible force, with the Stone as a foci. Even more explicit is the Stone's inscription: You can unlock any door, if you only have the key. According to the Theme Song "Flying Dreams," Love is the key.
  • In Strange Magic, the only thing that can break the power of a love potion is true love.
  • In The Swan Princess, the only way to break Odette's curse is to make a vow of everlasting love and prove it to the world. Prince Derek does this by defeating Rothbart so that she could live as well as asking for her forgiveness and telling her the reasons that he loves her.
  • Yellow Submarine: To defeat the glove, All You Need Is Love.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The trope takes its name and first sentence from the Huey Lewis and the News song of the same name, which was written for and featured in Back to the Future. The film provides many examples of The Power of Love. Sometimes The Power of Creepy Probably-Incestuous Love. This is also apparent in Back to the Future 3, when Clara Clayton transforms herself from a quiet schoolteacher to a full-on superwoman, who can scale trains in motion, in order to catch up with Doc before he goes back to 1985.
  • The tagline for the film Breaking the Waves is "Love is a mighty power", though the film employs this trope in just about the most horrific manner imaginable, leaving you to ponder the mental state of the filmmaker.
  • The Christmas Toy uses this near the end. Mew is seen out of place and as a result is frozen. This causes Rugby to realize how much of a jerk he'd been to Mew, who'd been nothing but helpful to him throughout the film. Rugby glumly sings a song about how much he loves Mew, and this thankfully brings Mew back to life. Then we see the other toys in the playroom singing the same song and bringing the other toys who'd been frozen back to life as well (how they knew about the magic song that brings frozen toys back to life before Rugby came back in and told them about it is never explained).
  • Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man uses this trope in conjunction with The Four Loves as The Everyman protagonist/narrator goes on his metaphorical journey through life. The story postulates that a person's fulfillment comes when they hold three metaphorical keys within them: "Dreams, faith, and love." Love turns out to be the most important of them. As a child, he has all three with Affection/Family (represented by his guides, the Flounes) as the source of love, but adolescent rebellion and a desire for Romantic Love as a young adult leads him to pursue the latter via a Deal with the Devil for material gain. Because The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, he loses his dreams and faith along with any kind of love, becoming an aloof middle-aged man alone in the world — then a Vagabond Girl and her companions reach out to him with Friendship. This moves him enough that in accepting their love he not only regains all three keys but also becomes an embodiment of Unconditional Love and a completely fulfilled person who can guide others towards similar enlightenment.
  • Averted in Dance of the Dead, after the students (well, MOST of them anyway) manage to escape the school and the zombie infestation, Jimmy and Lindsey share a passionate kiss in front of the school, at the exact same time as the building explodes. The timing would indicate that it's the passion between the two rekindled young lovers that is causing the explosion, but it's really just the metric ton of C4 Coach Keel set up around the perimeter.
  • This is the whole Aesop of Disney's Enchanted, right down to True Love's Kiss.
  • In Ernest Scared Stupid, trolls can be killed by milk (which represents "a mother's care"). When Trantor becomes more powerful, milk can't stop him. The only thing Ernest can do is to defeat him with "the heart of a child" — unconditional love — and hugging and dancing with him does the trick.
  • At the end of the 1926 film adaptation of Faust, Faust flings himself onto Gretchen's pyre as she is being burned at the stake, and they are Together in Death. Mephisto believes that he has won The Bet with the archangel and now has dominion over the earth. The archangel holds otherwise, saying that one word has broken Faust's contract with Mephisto, won the bet for the angel, and saved humanity from Mephisto's rule. The film ends with a zoom in on the single word: "LIEBE."
  • The Fifth Element, where the five central elements in the universe are earth, fire, wind, water ... and love. Could also be a subversion as, according to Luc Besson, the titular element is actually sex.
  • The original HBO synopsis of The Fly (1986) described it as the story of "a scientist who is transformed by love — literally and metaphorically": It begins when he awkwardly approaches a beautiful journalist at a party, their romance inverts Love Makes You Uncreative and allows him to perfect his work, his Tragic Mistake is born of Alcohol-Induced Idiocy when he thinks he's being cuckolded, and as he undergoes a Slow Transformation her willingness to be a Living Emotional Crutch is the one thing that keeps his Split-Personality Takeover from progressing faster; when he realizes he will eventually hurt her without meaning to, he convinces her to leave him. When she seeks to abort the child he's sired, though, his heart and mind break together and render him crazed and wicked... She's saved from Romantic Fusion with him by her ex-lover managing to get a second wind after Seth maims him with corrosive vomit, while Seth ends up a Clipped-Wing Angel who puts his faith in this trope to end his suffering (and, perhaps, atone for his crimes) by communicating that he wants to die by her hand. She obliges him. The song playing in the background during the bar scene, Bryan Ferry's "Help Me", even has the repeated lyrics "There's a power in love/There's a danger in love/But I need love to help me find a way..."
  • Freaky Friday (2003) has a non-romantic example, in which Tess and Anna must demonstrate familial "selfless love" in order to return to each other's bodies.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, during the film's climax the Baroness is able to subdue the nanites that are controlling her because her love for Duke is stronger than the nanites' influence over her mind. Looks like love > technology!
  • In the first Harry Potter film (see its main mention under Literature), the sacrificial love protection that protected Harry from Voldemort's curse is taken a step further from the book when it enables Harry to reduce Quirrell to a pile of dust by touching him.
  • In Hook, the grown up Peter regains his ability to fly when he remembers the love and joy he felt when his son was born.
  • The Hugga Bunch's hugs are a symbol of love, and Bridget wants to keep her grandma healthy so she can keep receiving hugs. After Queen Admira freezes her, Bridget's friends from the Hugga Bunch are able to restore her to normal through hugs.
  • In Interstellar, Cooper's love for his daughter enables him to literally transcend time and space to give her younger self the information required to save humanity.
  • In Krull, the Power of Love manifests itself at the climax as the ability to throw fireballs.
  • In Manborg, love is what gives #1 Man the strength and hope to fight for humanity again. To quote an exchange between him and the Baron:
    The Baron: What pathetic human desire made you throw it all away? It wasn't love, was it?
    #1 Man: Yes.
    The Baron: [looks down somewhat dejectedly] Oh.
  • In the denouement to A Matter of Life and Death, the protagonist wins a second chance at life by virtue of love being the most powerful force in the world of the living, and therefore triumphing over the power of the celestial jury.
  • In The Matrix, it appears that Neo's transformation into The One is sparked by Trinity telling his mostly-dead body that she loves him. However, the Power of Logic is also implicated: She loves Neo. She was told by the oracle that the man she loved would be the One; therefore, Neo is the One. The One would not be dead; therefore, Neo cannot be dead.
    • And the fact that the sensation of Trinity kissing him makes Neo realize that despite the Matrix input, he isn't actually dead, so it makes sense.
  • In The Naked Gun, Frank's power of love breaks Jane's Mind Control.
  • In Next, the precognitive abilities of Nicolas Cage's character only allow him to see up to 2 minutes into his own future, except, for no apparent reason, for one recurring vision that presages the arrival of his eventual love interest. Once he's finally met and slept with her, he can see further ahead than ever before.
  • Believe it or not, this is how Freddy Krueger is defeated in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge. When Freddy possesses the hero of the film, Jesse, and chases his girlfriend Lisa, Lisa states that she still loves him and kisses Jesse/Freddy. Jesse gains the strength to fight Freddy from within and destroy him, regaining control of his body.
  • One Way Passage is a tragic romance between two doomed lovers — Dan is an escaped convict being taken back to San Francisco by boat to be executed, while fellow passenger Joan has a terminal illness. Throughout the film, Dan and Joan have been making toasts, breaking the glasses, and lying the stems of the shattered glasses on top of each other, as a symbol of their love. Dan and Joan pledge to meet each other at the Agua Caliente restaurant on New Year's Eve. When they land, Dan is taken away to Death Row, and Joan faints, presumably dying. The last scene is at a bar on New Year's. A melancholy Skippy is drinking at the Agua Caliente bar, with neither Dan nor Joan in attendance. Suddenly a sound of breaking glass is heard. The last shot shows the stems of two shattered glasses, one lying on top of the other one.
  • Pacific Rim: Because Synchronization requires two people, they have to get along really well with no secrets.
  • In Peter Pan, Wendy asks if she can give him a "thimble" and kisses him. This actually makes the guy BURST INTO FLIGHT WITH A HUGE SMILE ON HIS FACE, and his feelings for Wendy allows him to come back and beat Hook (with the help of the Darling siblings and the Lost boys chanting "Old! Alone! Done for!" towards Hook).
    Wendy: This belongs to you, and always will.
  • In Poltergeist II: The Other Side, it's the "light of the family" shed by the Freelings' love for one another that repels the Big Bad on the Other Side.
  • The Princess Bride references the power of "true love" several times. In the very beginning, Westley asserts that he will be reunited with Buttercup because of the power of their love. Later in the film, he resists deadly torture by becoming only "mostly dead." When his comatose body is asked why he's still "slightly alive," Westley moans, "Truuuuee loooove." Buttercup also asserts that her love cannot be denied, but it's mostly for show. She's ready to kill herself when Westley suddenly appears and scolds her for her lack of faith.
  • Santo vs. la hija de Frankestein: Santo's girlfriend is hypnotized and ordered to cut out his eyes and deliver them to Dr Frankenstein. She gets as far as holding the knife over the helpless luchador's face before this trope snaps her out of it.
  • Parodied in Scary Movie 3. Upon hearing Cindy and George express their love for each other, the corpse of Tabitha turns into a beautiful little girl and says that their love has broken the curse and she won't ever have to kill again. "Really?" asks Cindy and Tabitha turns back into a corpse and admits "Nah, I was just screwing with you."
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World subverts the trope. Scott gains a weapon called The Power of Love from proclaiming his love to Ramona in the climax. The weapon isn't strong enough, so he dies. On his second attempt, he instead proclaims that he's fighting for himself and gets The Power of Self-Respect, which is vastly superior.
  • In the film version of Stardust, Yvaine's love for Tristan allows her to go supernova and incinerate Lamia. Because of her love, Tristan now "possessed the heart a star" and got bonus immortality too.
  • A theme throughout the Star Wars saga. In Return of the Jedi, it's how Luke helps his father Darth Vader get out of the Dark Side and become Anakin Skywalker again.
  • There are few places where TRON shows off its Disney origins, but this and The Power of Friendship overrides even the nastiest brainwashing. In the first, the title character pulls his "counterpart" (equivalent of "wife") Yori out of a repurposed state. In the second... a good, solid look from Flynn pulls him back from twenty years of enslavement.
  • A more cynical and indirect usage: In the film Ultraviolet, the heroine weeps over a dead boy, causing him to come back to life — because her tears infected him with vampirism.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), Lawrence's feelings for Gwen bring out what's left of his humanity, but only right before Gwen "sets him free."
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: First Class: When Charles is helping all of the mutants train, the most effective memory to focus Erik's powers is Channukah with his mother, before the Holocaust.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: If Charles has a secondary mutation, it would be this — he has the ability to "transform" the people around him into better versions of themselves. His unwavering love and support for his daughter figure Jean allows her to overcome her fears about her Phoenix power, and she fries Apocalypse with deadly efficiency, saving the world and the Professor's life in the process. Magneto pulls a Heel–Face Turn when he realizes that his love for Xavier is stronger than his hate towards human society, which has murdered his family twice over. Peter could've easily returned to his mother's basement and continued wasting his potential after the Final Battle (especially considering that he had decided to withhold from Erik that he's his son), but it's implied that Maximoff was touched by Charles' worry for his well-being when Xavier had created a telepathic link between them while Quicksilver was fighting Apocalypse. It should be noted that Charles hadn't spoken to Peter in a decade, but the former's capacity for love is so great that he had opened his mind to a young mutant whom he barely knows, and he sincerely cared about whether Maximoff got hurt or not. The self-described "total loser" Quicksilver is now a member of the X-Men who can make a positive difference in the world.

    Music 
  • The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love":'And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make'
  • Much of what Céline Dion has sung, including one song with the Trope Name. A running theme is that love grants the (figurative) power of flight. "Because You Loved Me" has "you gave me wings and made me fly / you touched my hand, I could touch the sky". The French track "En Amour" is all about love and flight. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" has the line "Two hearts that need one another / Give me wings to fly." Other examples include the obscure "Love Lights the World", and of course "The Power of Love" with its bridge "The sound of your heart beating made it clear suddenly / The feeling that I can't go on is light years away."
  • Harry and the Potters' third album is titled "Harry and the Potters and the Power of Love" which is entirely based upon Half-Blood Prince.
  • In the Ayreon album "The Human Equation", one of the main 'characters' is the human emotion of love (It Makes Sense in Context). There is a Track called "Day 11: Love." and Love is one of the major themes of the album.
    "You'll find me here, when ever they oppose you, I am the strongest of them all."
  • Hayden Panettiere sings about it in the song "I Still Believe" from Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. In the music video, Hayden's love for her boyfriend adds color to a black and white world like Pleasantville. The bridges note this
    Love can make miracles, change everything
    Lift you from the darkness and make your heart sing
    Love is forever, when you fall
    It's the greatest power of all
  • Aaron Lines' "Love Changes Everything" is a series of vignettes in how the power of love changes people who are feeling down.
  • Carrie Underwood, "So Small": "And when you figure out love is all that matters after all / It sure makes everything else seem so small".
  • "If You've Got Love" by John Michael Montgomery:
    If you've got love, you can move a mountain
    A little further down the line
    You can move it all at once or one rock at a time
    You can turn an ordinary picture into a priceless work of art
    That's what you can do if you've got love in your heart
  • One of Blue Öyster Cult's most well-known songs, Don't Fear the Reaper, is about how true love can transcend even death.
  • This shows up in the song "Ten Pound Hammer", written by Dennis Linde and recorded by both Aaron Tippin and Barbara Mandrell:
    If somebody would've told me
    One woman could hold me
    And leave me weak as a baby
    I'd have told 'em they were crazy
    You see, love hit me like a ten pound hammer
    A ten pound hammer with a five foot swing...
  • Also from the pen of Dennis Linde is Don Williams' "Then It's Love":
    Well, if it knocks you off your feet, then it's love, then it's love
    If it makes your life complete, then it's love, then it's love
    If it turns you upside down, then it's love, then it's love
    If it makes your world go 'round, then it's love
  • "Immortal" by Marina Diamandis says that love is the only thing that transcends death and the end of the world.
  • "From the Ground Up" by Dan + Shay is about a relationship that the narrator hopes will still be around 65 years from the present.
  • "Levitate" by Imelda May is another song that uses metaphors of physical power to describe the intensity of romantic love. "I levitate towards you/And the way that you move..."
  • Tears for Fears: The message of "Sowing the Seeds of Love" is that love can solve the world's problems.
    Sowing the seeds of love
    Seeds of love
    Sowing the seeds

    High time we made a stand
    And shook up the views of the common man
    And the lovetrain rides from coast to coast
    Every minute of every hour
    I love a sunflower
    And I believe in love power
    Love power

    An end to need
    And the politics of greed
    With love

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In The Four Gospels, John stated that God is love, and whoever does not love does not know God.
    • Book of Corinthians has a verse that talks about the divine love, or Agape that is God's love towards His children, and the love of His children between each other. You'll probably recognize it; the verse is now a stock reading at weddings.
      "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
  • The Hone-onna or Bone-Woman of Japan are ghosts driven by love to remain in the world of the living, rather than hate and revenge like other onryo ("vengeful ghosts"). The problem is that while their spirit remains so does the disgusting, rotting corpse they once had. The create a sort of Glamour to the object of her love and drains him of his life so they can be together in death. The disguise doesn't work if she's not after you, so it can be disconcerting at the least to see one's master flirting with a walking corpse. Her problem is her love comes off as a selfish sort of love; when she is found out she becomes desperate and the more desperate she becomes the more her "lover" drains away until he dies or is nearly-dead.

    Podcasts 
  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: Taako lampshades this by asking up front if the seventh Grand Relic was love the whole time. As it turns out, the power of strong emotions (including love) does exist. Certain inexplicable magical phenomena that the party has witnessed like Hurley healing Sloane of an incurable poison are because strong emotion is an energy unto itself like light, heat, and magic that can affect the physical and arcane worlds. The lich elves that run Wonderland are using this to sustain themselves and keep from descending into insanity by siphoning off the misery and suffering of those around them. Barry and Lup's love for each other and the rest of the IPRE sustains their lich forms. And the Starblaster's bond engine allows Tres Horny Boys to summon loved ones to help defeat The Final John in their final battle against the Hunger.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Brother Love: Parodied, inverted, subverted and averted with Bruce Pritchard's gimmick of a smarmy, rosy-cheeked faux preacher. Many times, he claimed to preach "The Book of Love," but it was more a "love" of the WWF's top villians of the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Ted DiBiase and André the Giant, and showing the "power of love" by setting up good guys such as Hulk Hogan for beatings by the heels.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Ars Magica, true love cannot be affected by magic, due to being an integral part of the person. The same goes for other passions that run just as deep.
  • The ANIMa from Bliss Stage create a Humongous Mecha and its weapons entirely out of, as Word of God has it, "weaponized love." Most stats revolve around relationships with the other PCs.
  • In the Classic and New World of Darkness:
    • Fetches in Changeling: The Lost are Artificial Humans created by The Fair Folk out of trash and shadow-stuff to replace the humans they kidnap. Consequently they are almost always sterile and their offspring tend to be soulless monsters; the only exception is when a fetch who believes itself to be human has a child with someone they sincerely love.
    • Most Classic World of Darkness systems have a merit called True Love for strong romantic, familial or platonic ties. Its effect usually translates to some more Heroic Willpower when fighting for said love. True Loves in Wraith: The Oblivion can serve as a fetter for the Wraith to enter the physical world, provide emotional sustenance, and inspire Heroic Willpower for possibly the most powerful asset the Wraith has.
    • Vampire: The Requiem suggests that regular contact with a mortal who sincerely loves the vampire should stabilize the vampire emotionally, helping them resist the Sanity Slippage and Frenzy to which the undead are vulnerable.
    • Princess: The Hopeful: The Court Of Swords is all about this trope. Princesses of Swords can use their magic more cheaply when either blessing or defending those they love, several of their Charms create flames whose heat is proportionate to the love they feel, and other Sword Charms can detect, renew, or even create True Love. Note that it doesn't have to be romantic love, any of The Four Loves will work.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 4th-Edition deities associated with love can grant this power, which focuses on protecting and healing allies.
    • The infamous third-party 3.5 sourcebook The Book of Erotic Fantasy has a more easily-accessible version of the Resurrection spell. The somatic component is kissing the recently deceased, and it only works on someone who you love.
  • The Virtue of Compassion in Exalted.
    • Subverted, however, with Black Claw Style, which is based around the premise that love is a lie. The capstone Charm allows you to rip people's hearts out, and becomes much more powerful if your target happens to be in love with you.
    • Also subverted with Sidereal Charm Shun the Smiling Lady, a charm whose sole utility is to make the target unlovable and make anyone who once loved them fall out of it. This is an entry level power, so many Sidereals just pick it up as a prerequisite to other charms. Then it's just sitting in your panoply, ready to be used at any time...
    • One of the most powerful examples: if an Abyssal Exalted finds and truly cares for their Lunar Mate, almost all of the drawbacks of their state are blown away.
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • The game compares The Power Of Love to the power of rhinos.
      Love is like a rhino, short-sighted and hasty; if it cannot find a way, it will make a way.
    • While Red is the color of all manner of passions and feelings, for practical reasons, the main ones displayed on cards are variants on Unstoppable Rage and The Power of Hate. So it was considered a wonderful step forward in increasing the depth of the color when a card was successfully made about undoing a painful knot of sorrow and pain with rekindled familial love.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Imperium of Man, the biggest faction in the crapsack universe, and it runs on the Power of Love for the God-Emperor of All Mankind, who never wanted to be a god in the first place, but in his own words "wanted the best for his people". It's also his massive willpower born from love for Mankind that has allowed him to keep the Chaos rift at Terra closed and the Astronomican galactic beacon lit despite getting reduced to an undying corpse. That, and the sacrifice of a thousand souls every day so he can endure such a hellish state.
    • You can see how much he actually cared about Mankind as a whole on the quote attributed to him on the creation of the Grey Knights, his ultimate weapon against the forces of Chaos:
      The Emperor: One unbreakable shield against the coming darkness, One last blade forged in defiance of fate, Let them be my legacy to the galaxy I conquered, And my final gift to the species I failed.
    • Imperial Saints' dedication to the Emperor and acts of Faith in his name actually have managed to save the day for the Imperium on more than a few occasions when all seemed lost. This is actually a game mechanic for some factions, which allow the player to pull the imperial equivalent to some warp powers.
    • Disturbingly, Nurgle the Chaos god of disease runs on a different kind of love: stuff like a mother desperate to save her child from sickness and Friend to All Living Things (someone has to be a friend to plague rats, bacteria and the like) powers him. He's the nicest of Chaos gods, often referred to without irony as Grandfather Nurgle, and is always happy to shower his children with gifts of pestilence and decay.

    Theatre 
  • In Brigadoon, Tommy asks if "a stranger like... well... me" could choose to stay in Brigadoon. Mr. Lundie replies: "A stranger can stay if he loves someone here — not jus' Brigadoon, mind ye — but someone in Brigadoon enough to want to give up everythin' an' stay with that person. Which is how it should be. 'Cause after all, lad, if ye love someone deeply, anythin' is possible." Fiona comments, "I think I like that part best," clearly anticipating the show's happy ending.
  • Richard Wagner's version of the Flying Dutchman trope allows the character — traditionally cursed to sail forever, to be saved by the power of love.
  • In Damn Yankees, Joe manages to thwart the devil partly because of his unswerving fidelity to his wife. He spends the final scene cuddling up to her while she sings to him and ignoring Applegate's increasingly desperate pleas for him to renew their deal.
  • One way of looking at the end of Hamlet is that Gertrude has cottoned on to Claudius's plan and drinks the poison to reveal his plan and save Hamlet. If so, this is the only time in the play she puts her son before anyone, including Claudius.
  • Possibly the grandest and most edifying theme of Les Misérables is that this trope is indeed the answer to the evils and suffering of the world. Fantine and Éponine's final words as they escort Valjean to the afterlife:
    "Take my hand, I'll lead you to salvation.
    Take my love, for love is everlasting.
    And remember the truth that once was spoken:
    To love another person is to see the face of God."
  • Surprising, given the style of the play, but in the final scene of RENT, death is converted to Disney Death by a love song.
  • In Jasper In Deadland, half-lives are so filled with the love of others that being in the Underworld gives them the power to grant their own wishes.
  • In L'Orfeo, Orpheus's song of love moves Persephone to tears and she begs Hades to let Eurydice go. Hades, while wary of what fate has in store, agrees due to his love for his wife.
  • In Orfeo ed Euridice, as a reward for Orpheus and Eurydice's undying love, Cupid brings Eurydice back to life even after Orpheus fails and the couple departs happily.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the DLC case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Phoenix argues that a witness was able to arrive at the scene of the crime far sooner than should be possible due to the power of love. Specifically, he saw his bride being attacked and hurried to the crime scene. The normal route would take too long so he took a much shorter and much more dangerous route in spite of a serious injury. Edgeworth mocks the idea, but is shut down by the (happily married) judge, and when the final witness confirms that this actually happened, he's more than a little bewildered.

    Web Animation 
  • This is, ultimately, what the web animated series Broken Saints is all about, and what drives its Earn Your Happy Ending.
    Mama Tui: All things must die, Shandala. We cannot change this. But you can bring the heavens to your heart in life. Give yourself to those that need. If you do this, then the world is truly blessed... for it has known your love.
  • In Draw with Me, this is what compels the boy to break through the glass, and later the girl to cut off her hand.

    Webcomics 
  • Hilariously mentioned and subverted in And Shine Heaven Now after Marian, a Parody Sue, attacks the I-Jin of Jeeves and musses up his hair, which he points out is unlikely:
    Marian: It's not unlikely at all. You're an enemy of Integra. So there's no way you can beat me. Because I have the most powerful thing in the universe on my side — the power of true love!
    iJeeves: Indeed. [slices Marian in to pieces] As a tactic, it leaves something to be desired.
  • In this Beaver and Steve story arc, love comes from another dimension populated with evil hearts that want to take over the earth.
  • Cucumber Quest: Love plays an important role in the climax of Chapter 3. Sir Carrot starts seeing himself as The Load for being a total coward, thinking that he's useless to his friends and Princess Parfait. But when he finally reads the Love Letter that he lost to the Guardener, he learns that he's the reason why Parfait continues to endure her captivity, which causes him to gain his courage and level up. Parfait powering Carrot with her love and faith through their lockets takes it further and transforms Carrot's hodgepodge knight uniform into a shiny suit of heart-themed armor that grants him the ability to use magic weapons. All this is what allowed him to stand a chance against a Hocus Crocus-powered Rosemaster.
  • Used and nicely summed up in the final part of Demonology 101, when Isaac Jenner and Madeline get married. Two Witnesses attend the wedding and one comments on the Power Of Love.
    Aaron: What do you think it means?
    Banai: It probably means the same thing it meant when you married Lily. That love is one of those annoying things that somehow manages to transcend destiny, Nature, and whether or not you were born with horns on your head.
  • Chloe in Eerie Cuties, being a succubus and all that can enjoy it... very much... to Glowing Eyes and Dramatic Wind.
  • 8-Bit Theater: Subverted in this strip, where Black Mage explains that his Hadoken spell isn't so much powered by love as with love, in that it siphons some love out of the universe every time it is cast. Black Mage himself isn't sure how much, but he's given to understand the divorce rate ticks upwards with each blast. Also, he got the spell by sacrificing nine orphans to a god of evil.
  • Ennui GO!: As Darcy lies bleeding out after getting harpooned in the gut, she flashes back to the time she met Izzy in college. She then sees how their relationship grew, fell apart, then meeting again and begrudgingly working together and meeting Tanya before stopping to the time their polyamorous relationship began. Soon enough, upon looking back, Darcy manages to rise up and goes to fight Captain Orca again, driven by the love she has for her girlfriends.
  • Girl Genius: Apparently it's enough to make Agatha wrest control of her body away from the soul of her evil and (literally) possessive mother. Well, that's what it looks like anyway.
  • Girly has loads of this throughout the series, but especially in the final arc, where all the artificial sidekicks explode when exposed to love (except for the sidekick cops, who are armored against love). Half the enemies are taken out by a sex god and his ex-wife, while the other half (including the sidekick cops) are dealt with by a pair of real cops through a combination of Clothing Damage and dirty dancing. The protagonists defeat the Final Boss by having hot, steamy lesbian sex next to her.
  • The Gunnerkrigg Court interlude comic City Face is described by its author as "a story of how love can save the world." It turns out pigeon love and the resulting pigeon babies prevent humanity from bringing about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • In Homestuck, Noble Wolf Bec's love for Jade is so strong that when he sacrifices his body to save her and inadvertently imbues the Big Bad with his own strength and form, said Big Bad is tormented by the feelings of loyalty that were transferred, and can not bring himself to kill Jade when he finds her. As of the End of Act 5 flash, he killed the Courtyard Droll in an act of vengeance, and then laid Jade on her Quest Bed after CD managed to kill her in an explosion.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, love defuses the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds Galatea, here and here.
  • MegaTokyo:
    • As with many things, the exact nature and significance of love in the comic is ambiguous, but magical girls appear to draw their power from it, and it's widely known to be a force to be reckoned with:
      Largo: Dude, I'm battlin' zombies and all I got is luv pow3r from a n3wb magical grrl. Help me out here.
      Clerk: All ya got? That's enough, mate.
    • The power of obsessive adoration, meanwhile, is a separate matter altogether, albeit possibly connected.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Haley becomes able to pick a lock when Elan encourages her.
      Vaarsuvius: Love makes the world go round. And has been known to provide a +2 circumstance bonus to certain skill checks.
    • The time when Haley had started speaking gibberish and breaks out of it when she tells Elan she loves him. She had been honestly trying to tell the truth and overcome her mental problem for some time, but finally managed it when her cynicism told her that Elan was going to leave her "just like everyone else" if she didn't recover right now.
  • In YU+ME: dream , Fiona's decision to attempt to go back into the Dream World to find Lia, especially considering Sadako had banned Fiona from the Dream Land, as well as the possibility that Fiona may never return to the real world if she finds Lia.
  • In Yumi's Cells, the Love Cell has a special pink costume and is the most powerful of all Yumi's brain cells. Unfortunately, it was De Powered and put into a coma after a break-up a few years before the story begins. It starts recovering as Yumi finds (potential) new romance.

    Web Original 
  • JLA Watchtower/DC Nation — the Titans, led by Arsenal and Nightwing, challenge Hades, God of Death, to retrieve Omen and Troia. Hades plays dirty including killing off both Dick and Roy, and finishes it off by sending out a zombie horde against the heroes. Clan Arrow's response was to grab Eros's love arrows and start shooting. When things really started to go badly, out comes an army of the heroes' fallen friends, relatives, and loved ones — including the fallen Nightwing and Arsenal — to start kicking undead butt.
  • In the Colour My Series, it's implied that the protagonist's coloring powers are based off of love. Or, rather, the two go hand in hand.
  • In Critical Role, apparently even the Random Number God bends to the power of love. In this universe, by the Dungeon Master's homebrew rules, the resurrection of dead characters can fail based on dice rolls, and anyone attempting a resurrection ritual can make up to three offerings (with associated skill checks) to increase the chance of success. When Percy is killed, Vex admits she's in love with him and kisses him. She rolls a Natural 20 on her skill check, and the ritual ultimately succeeds.
  • In Mall Fight, Eric brings Connor back to life with this trope.
  • Frank and Sadie Doyle of the The Thrilling Adventure Hour have conquered a fair share of supernatural baddies through the power of their love. A Valentine's Day special dedicated to them featured the Doyles blowing up a succubus after it tried to devour their love, attracting the attention of Freya and Bacchus because an oracle declared their love the strongest of all, and thwarting a Will o' the Wisp from stealing their souls before it even started by the simple fact that their souls belong to each other.
  • In one of the possible endings of Today I Die, love gives the protagonist strength to survive.
  • Supervillainess Sahar, in the Whateley Universe. She has a psychic ability to — once she's seduced a Psi — get so close that she can learn to copy that Psi's best 'knacks'. This makes her a ruthless femme fatale, until she falls in love with a mark, Zenith. She doesn't know how to handle that. So it takes a different kind of love — friendship — to get her to finish her Heel–Face Turn. And she gets Zenith back.

    Real Life 
  • The Sacred Band of Thebes.
  • Mary Ann Patten the wife of the Captain of the Clipper Neptune's Car, got the ship around the Horn propelled by this.
  • An underweight failing newborn was saved by a hug from her tiny twin sister in this unspeakably adorable story from 1995.
  • Similar to the above, there's the concept of "Kangaroo Care", where a baby is held closely to the mother's chest. Babies born prematurely or with low birth weight that are given this treatment tend to become healthy faster than those kept in incubators.
  • The Castle of the Faithful Wives, thought this one crosses strongly with Guile Hero. To sum it up: A group of woman are allowed safe passage during a war out of enemy territory with whatever they could carry, they chose to leave with their families doing a piggie ride.
  • Love, romantic or otherwise, is often considered one of the most powerful motivational forces in the human psyche. There are even claims that it can cause the brain to release chemicals that allows a person to accomplish things that he/she could not or would not have been able to normally do. These factors are the basis for the "Power of Love" in fiction.

Alternative Title(s): Power Of Love, Powered By Love

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Blu Learns How To Fly

Jewel kissing Blu is what gives him the power to fly.

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