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Basic Trope: Heroic Wannabe tries invalidating the supposed victim's claims to the contrary by citing coercion, being misinformed or brainwashing by their "captor."

  • Straight:
    • "The Damsel in Distress thinks that the villain has not actually kidnapped her? She must be threatened into complacency. He probably has an assassin tailing to her family and will give the go ahead to kill them is she complains."
    • "The Damsel in Distress thinks that the villain has not actually kidnapped her? He must have lied to her and told her that he isn't evil! The fiend!"
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    • "The Damsel in Distress thinks that the villain has not actually kidnapped her? He must have put her under a spell so that she thinks she is in love with him!"
  • Justified:
    • The Villain has a criminal record and the Hero has fought against him many times, so of course he would think the worst and not understand why she would defend him.
    • The Villain has the power to brainwash people, so why would the Hero assume that the villain would make an exception this time?
    • The Hero has been trained to assume Stockholm Syndrome would be at play if the "hostage" resists a rescue.
  • Inverted: The Hero thinks that the Villain and the Damsel are a loving couple. When the Villain tries to tell the Hero that he is her hostage, the Hero shrugs this off as "being nervous for their date."
  • Subverted: The Hero thinks the Damsel is being forced to say nice things, only to eventually see that she and the Villain really are in love and that she isn't his hostage... anymore at least. Turns out the Damsel had Stockholm Syndrome in-spite of holding her family hostage and he eventually reciprocated her feelings.
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  • Double Subverted: The Hero assumes that the Damsel has been coerced by the Villain to pretend that she isn't his hostage, only for the Hero to realize that he had placed the Damsel under a love spell, so she only thinks that she loves him.
  • Parodied: The Hero takes out his copy of Rescuing Princesses for Dummies and it shows a list of criteria for an actual Damsel in Distress situation. It then goes onto say that "if the Damsel refuses all attempts at rescue and says that she is not a hostage, make sure to ignore all evidence to the contrary and rescue her anyway."
  • Deconstructed: The Hero, convinced by his role as "the Hero", believes that his judgement is correct regardless of all evidence or how his decisions effects other people and tries to rescue the Damsel anyway. The Damsel tries to reunite with the Villain after he "rescues" her and the Hero goes to great lengths to keep them apart, including locking her in a dungeon and even attempted rape, forcing the Villain to take up the role of hero and save her.
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  • Reconstructed: The Hero, convinced by his role as "the Hero", believes that his judgement is correct regardless of all evidence or how his decisions effects other people and tries to rescue the Damsel anyway. The Damsel tries to reunite with the Villain after he "rescues" her and the Hero goes to great lengths to keep them apart, but when the Damsel goes into a great detail about how much she and and the Villain mean to each other, the Hero eventually realizes how wrong he was and lets them be together.
  • Zig Zagged: The Damsel tries to defend the Villain's actions, but only because she has been kept in the dark about how evil the Villain really is. When the Hero slays the Villain and rescues the Damsel, it is revealed that the Damsel was actually an evil witch and the Villain was being controlled by her this whole time, only to then reveal that she was just an innocent girl possessed by a demon and her attempts to convince the Hero that the Villain isn't the bad guy was her fighting from the inside.
  • Averted: The Damsel tells the Hero that she is not the Villain's hostage and the Hero believes her.
  • Enforced: The Director is sick to death of the Damsel in Distress cliche and wanted to do a twist on it.
  • Implied: The Damsel roles her eyes when the Hero declares that he will save her from the Villain.
  • Logical Extreme: The Damsel in Distress trope has never been done in real life, every instance in real life is just an excuse the Heroic Wannabe makes to demonize the Designated Villain.
  • Played for Laughs: The Hero appears in an over-the-top Princely outfit, waxing poetic about his undying love for the Damsel while riding a white horse that could not care less about what is going on. The Damsel tells him that she does not need saving, only for the Hero to not hear her and go on about how awesome he is. The Damsel and the Villain give each other a look before going back to their date, the Hero not even noticing that they aren't listening to him.
  • Played for Drama: The Hero offers to save the Damsel from her "prison", only for the Damsel to reject his offer, perfectly content to be with the Villain. Rejected by the object of his affections, the Hero goes to the next town over and riles up an angry mob, telling everybody about how the Villain will kidnap their children, cook and eat their babies and rape their virgins if they do not stop her, convinced that the Villain will do this the same as he had "placed his true love under and evil spell." The Villain ends up being branded as the Kingdom's #1 Most Wanted criminal and a bounty is place for the Damsel to be "returned" to the Hero and the Damsel and Villain are forced to abandon their home on the run.
  • Played for Horror: An insane Heroic Wannabe, in his quest for glory, breaks into a house of a normal house of a happy couple and attempts to "rescue" the girl and take her to his "castle" and tries to kill the "evil villan".
  • Exaggerated: Every hero, adventurer and missionary in the land appears at the Villain's doorstep with the hopes of rescuing the Damsel, only for her to rebuff their attempts. Feeling rejected, all of the adventurers band together and create a guild with the express purpose of "rescuing" her and slaying the Villain, holding it as priority over all other quests, jobs and priorities.
  • Downplayed: The Hero sees the lack of abuse on the Damsel and starts having doubts of his assumptions, but tries bringing her back to her old home anyway, either so that she can assure her friends and family that she is alright or to test her with doctors and clerics to see if she has been brainwashed in any way.
  • Lampshaded:
    The Hero: How do I know the Villain isn't making you say that?
    The Damsel: Are you serious, right now? How do I know my father is making you do this? He is known to do that sort of thing all the time.
  • Invoked: The Hero read a psychology book to study all of the tell-tale signs of abuse, gaslighting, sociopathy and hypnosis so that he could look for all the tell-tale signs of all of them when he finds the Damsel.
  • Defied: "I brought my lie-detector with me on my way to the Villain's Castle. That way I'll know if she really is being held hostage or not.
  • Exploited: Since the Hero isn't going to believe her either way, she tricks him into leaving the castle without her by telling him not to do so in a Reverse Psychology gambit.
  • Discussed: "No he's not making me say that! Why can't you just trust me when I tell you that he is literally not holding me hostage? If he is as evil as you say he is, then why would he need to brainwash me into liking him when raping me kicking and screaming would be more evil? ...no he isn't raping me!"
  • Conversed:
    Alice: Why can't the Hero just let them be happy?
    Bob: Well, the Villain did destroy a village that one time. I wouldn't assume that he wasn't treating her right if I was in the Hero's shoes.
    Alice: I think it's just lazy writing to keep the plot going.
    Bob: Well, I never said it wasn't...
  • Untwisted: The Villain is shown to brainwash people and the Hero finds the Damsel - who claims to be the Villain's loving a dutiful wife - exhibits all of the symptoms of the Villain's mind-controlling abilities... but it turns out that she isn't under a spell and she's just like that.
  • Unparodied: The Hero takes out his copy of Rescuing Princesses for Dummies and it shows a list of criteria for an actual Damsel in Distress situation. The book itself is out-of-date, exhibiting signs of Values Dissonance from a pre-Genre Deconstruction and does not account for modern nuance, thus the Hero taking its information to heart turns him into a Politically Incorrect Hero that ignores everything the Damsel says that contradicts it as "feminine whiles."
  • Gender Inverted: ???
  • Intended Audience Reaction: ???
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