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The Power Of Love / Live-Action TV

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The Power of Love in live-action TV.

  • On Alphas, one villain actually uses a version of this as a weapon. She manipulates the body chemistry of her victims, increasing their feelings of affection, effectively addicting them to her. She then kills them by withdrawing her love.
  • In Babylon 5, the power of love was critical to Sheridan's return from the dead at Z'ha'dum. When John Sheridan says, "I'll never leave you, Delenn, not even if the whole universe stood between us," he damn well means it.
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  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): For some reason, Cylons can only reproduce if they're in love. They have all the equipment, but it just doesn't work otherwise.
  • Subverted in the finale of the first series of Being Human. George THINKS the reason he was pacified when Nina saw him transform is true love but, as he muses about their 'connection' the next day, it cuts to her rubbing huge scratches on her arm, implying that it's not so much love as that she's now a werewolf and he's fixated on her the same way Tully was fixated on him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Grave" Xander saves the world from Dark Willow by standing in front of her and telling her repeatedly that she is his Best Friend Forever and he will never not love her (albeit non-romantically) no matter what she does. An alternate reading is that Xander is reminding Willow of who she really is by presenting her with the most powerful (surviving) figure in her "real" life and her connection with him. He was sort of "bringing her back to herself".
      Xander: Guess what, I still love you.
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    • Season 5's Arc Words: Death is [Buffy's] gift, but love is [her] power.
    • Quinten Travers from the Watcher's Council has Giles fired as Buffy's watcher in Season 3. The Reason? "You have a father's love for The Slayer, and that's useless to the cause". Giles has no official duty as a Watcher for almost two years of the show; for that time, his entire motive for supporting Buffy is out of loyalty and patriarchal affection.
    • The Power of Love could easily fit into the character Angel in the Buffyverse. He had fallen in love with Buffy at first sight, given a reason to live and a purpose. He had also still loved Buffy for over 100s of years while in a Acathla dimension after she had to kill him and displayed extreme selflessness and loyalty when he broke up with her, wanting her to have a normal life.
  • Whitelighters' powers in Charmed (1998) are triggered by love. It is also expressly stated to be the greatest of all powers, stronger than the power of three.
    • The Power of Love is specifically used twice to trigger Whitelighter healing abilities: First when Piper (via a power switching spell) has Leo's healing abilities in order to save him, but they don't work until she admits her love for him; Second when Paige (who is half-Whitelighter but has never before been able to heal without channeling the power through Leo) gains the ability to heal on her own power only when she is faced with her boyfriend Henry dying of a bullet wound.
  • Chuck:
    • Chuck Bartowski's competence level in a crisis follows his character arc, increasing as the series progresses. But no matter how competent (or not) he is, he gets a power/ determination boost when someone he loves is on the line.
      • Early in the series, Chuck is not used to defying either Casey or Sarah. He flatly defies both — and seemingly courts certain death- when there's only one dose of an antidote. Only a threat to Elle could inspire Chuck to stand up to Casey.
      • Much later, when Sarah is near death, he's blowing the doors off of trucks, freeing useful prisoners from CIA custody, sending Russian soldiers after the CIA, and generally tearing stuff up to save her.
    • Sarah. Now to be sure, it had never been a good idea to try to kill/kidnap/torture or threaten Chuck if Sarah was nearby, even in the beginning when their relationship was that of asset/bodyguard. When she started to actually fall in love with him (pretty early in the series), she became even more dangerous... and that's saying quite a lot.
      • She killed (murdered?) an unarmed Fulcrum agent in relatively cold blood when he foolishly boasted that he'd eventually be released and reveal Chuck's status to his bosses.
      • Sarah later tears apart half of Thailand looking for a kidnapped Chuck — on a rogue mission that is not CIA sanctioned. At this point Chuck doesn't have the intersect, and is not considered high priority by the CIA... but he's very high priority to Sarah.
      • In the same episode as above, only Sarah could bring Chuck back from the brink of insanity with a heartfelt speech about how much she loved him.
    • Sarah has been captured by the show's final Big Bad, Quinn, and he has her memory erased by forcing her to flash repeatedly while in possession of a faulty Intersect. He then takes advantage of the mind-wiped Sarah by using her to attack Chuck and the team and steal the last copy of the rebuilt Intersect. When Sarah's Face–Heel Turn is revealed, Chuck refuses to accept that Sarah is gone for good. Taking her to the house they intended to buy together provides the first hints that some of her memories may be intact when she sees the "Sarah + Chuck" she carved into the frame of one of the doorways, and puts the first crack in Quinn's control and forces him to reveal to her that he is the bad guy. Later, Casey provides Sarah with her own mission logs, and watching herself fall in love with Chuck convinces her of the truth, though Sarah herself no longer feels it. Morgan suggests invoking this by kissing her. In the final scene they do kiss, and though the ending of the series is left ambiguous, it's implied that even if the kiss didn't magically fix everything, Sarah will eventually recover with Chuck's help.
  • In Days of Our Lives an unfortunate accident, triggered by an aggression attempt, puts Kayla in front of a strong explosion that, somehow, manages to shatter her inner ears and her voice box while leaving the rest of her body mostly intact. While she later gets her hearing back thanks to an expensive, experimental surgery, her seemingly crushed voice box gets in perfect working order on its own accord, when Kayla is exchanging her wedding vows with her husband-to-be.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Fear Her", we meet an alien quite literally powered by a combination of love and heat — such that the Olympic Torch serves as the perfect agent for restoring its strength.
    • "Victory of the Daleks": A Dalek sleeper agent android overcomes his Dalek programming by thinking of a woman he fancied.
    • In "The Lodger", the reason that the Pilot Program can't use Craig as a pilot is because he doesn't want to leave England... because he loves Sophie. Prompting the Doctor and Amy to shout at him to kiss her.
      The Doctor: The planet's about to burn! For God's sake, KISS THE GIRL!!!
    • In "The Big Bang", Rory's love for Amy keeps him sane through nearly two thousand years of nothing but standing next to a box and protecting it.
    • Appears in the sequel episode to "The Lodger", Series 6's "Closing Time", after Craig is able to overcome the Cybermen process of turning him into their leader by hearing his son crying and in need of him. It is so strong it feeds back into the rest of their circuits and undoes their emotional inhibitors, which makes their heads explode. Doubles as Papa Wolf moment as well.
      Craig: I blew them up with love...
      The Doctor: No, that's impossible, and also grossly over-sentimental and over-simplistic. You destroyed them because of the deeply ingrained hereditary trait to protect one's own genes, which in turn triggered a... a... [everyone is staring at him] Yeah. Love. You blew them up with love.
    • River Song takes the cake in "The Wedding of River Song" — she collapses history itself simply to tell the Doctor how much she loves him. What's more, to tell the Doctor how much he is loved. By her more than anyone, but also by the millions and millions of people he's helped all throughout the universe.
      River: You have decided that the universe is better off without you, but the universe doesn't agree.
    • Subverted in "Asylum of the Daleks", where the Doctor fools Amy into thinking that holding onto and remembering love will prevent her from becoming a Dalek puppet after she's infected with Dalek nanogenes. In reality, it's a plot to get Amy and Rory to discuss Amy's infertility and their recent divorce so that they'll get back together.
    • Comes into play twice over in "Death in Heaven": First, Earth is saved from Missy's army of Cybermen when the converted Danny Pink's love for Clara Oswald is enough to override his programming, whereupon he commands and leads the army into the clouds of Cyberpollen to self-destruct and destroy them. Second, when the Doctor is faced with the sad prospect of killing Missy in cold blood, it's another uncontrollable Cyberman who shoots her instead: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, whose love of his daughter Kate (whom he saved from the crashing UNIT plane) and his country overrode his programming.
    • Played with in the three-part finale stretch of Series 9. In "Heaven Sent", the Doctor's platonic love for Clara Oswald gives him the strength to endure an ordeal in a torture chamber for billions of years. There's a problem, though: She was Killed Off for Real in the previous episode, "Face the Raven". In the Season Finale "Hell Bent", it turns out that enduring the ordeal was the only way he could return to his homeworld and acquire the means to pull her out of time right before her death, which might destroy the entire universe. Thus, Love Makes You Evil. In the end, Love Redeems: When Clara objects to his plans to mind wipe her, he realizes he's been selfish and their friendship/love is too strong for him to be his best self. He endures a mind wipe and forgets her. He reconstructs his memories of the time he spent with her, but not her face, voice, etc.; they go separate ways, and all is well.
  • Firefly:
    • For most of the series, and a good portion of the film, Simon's love for River is practically the only thing holding her fractured psyche together. As a result, this is the force that allows her to pull herself together at the end of the film and save everyone.
      River: My turn.
    • Mal also references this.
      Mal: You know what the first rule of flying is? ... Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but take a boat in the air that you don't love... she'll shake you off, just as sure as the turnin' of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tell you she's hurting before she keels... makes her a home.
  • The Flash (2014): Iris is frequently able to break Barry out of mind control or another plane of existence through the power of her love for him and his love for her.
    • When Barry is mind-controlled by Grodd and a freight train is racing towards him, Iris speaks to him over the monitor. Her voice breaks him out of Grodd's mind-control, and he is able to race away from the train's path.
    • When he is losing his memories in Flashpoint and thus cannot stop two twisters which are gaining speed, because he is forgetting how to use his abilities, Iris speaks to him over the monitor, telling him she believes in him, and the sound of her voice and her belief in him sparks his memories so that he can save Central City.
    • Similarly, when he loses his memory completely due to a miscalculation on Cisco and Julian's part, Iris is able to spark his memories once again by speaking to him over the monitor and recounting a visceral memory they both share about the night Barry came to live with her and Joe, where she comforted him. Prior to this, her kiss sparks his speed.
    • When Barry comes out of the speedforce, his mind is jumbled, and Iris gives herself up to the Samuroid terrorizing Central City to restore his mind. When Joe yells to Barry that Iris is going to die, Barry takes off faster than ever, breaking the containment cell in the process and saves Iris, which restores his mind as well.
    • In the Elseworlds crossover, Barry draws upon the power of his love for Iris and her love for him, in order to get her to realize that he is her husband. He recounts to Iris the memory of when he told Iris that his dad didn't kill his mom, and she unequivocally believed him. This memory results in Iris realizing that Barry is in fact Barry Allen and not Oliver Queen, and is her husband and the love of her life.
  • Forever Knight. In "The Human Factor", Nick's vampire friend Janette returns to Toronto as a mortal. Turns out she fell in love with a human, and after revealing that she was a vampire he allowed her to feed on him. Janette says the love she felt calmed her bloodlust and she was able to take less and less. Then when he was murdered she tried to vamp out to save his life with an Emergency Transformation, only to find that she had become human. Dr Natalie Lambert is understandably skeptical; in a Daydream Surprise she pins the cause on the surge of hormones caused by the shock of her lover's death. However in "Last Knight", Natalie gets tired of trying the scientific method to no avail, and is willing to risk it. Unfortunately Nick (probably because unlike Janette he hadn't drunk human blood for a long time) loses control and drains Natalie completely. Rather than bring Natalie across, Nick chooses to die so they'll be Together in Death.
  • Galavant: Love is a force strong enough to resurrect Galavant after Sid accidentally kills him. Galavant also realizes his Zombie Army also came back to life for love too, and is able to motivate them by saying their quest is "For Love".
  • Game of Thrones: Averted horribly when Daenerys tries to use this to bring Khal Drogo out of a coma. Of course, it doesn't work, which is on par with the theme of the series.
  • In the Haven episode "Roots", the key to pacifying the homicidal hate-powered plants is rekindling the love between members of a pair of Troubled families who'd been feuding for generations.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: The court scene in the episode "Right Ho, Jeeves" was interrupted by the arrival of Madeline Basset, who used the Power of Love to keep Bertie out of jail. Going into a story about how he broke into a house and "stole" a picture of her because he was "so madly in love with her," she has the whole courtroom moved to tears in about ten seconds. They weren't actually in love at the time, which makes this an interesting subversion of sorts, although Madeline spends the entire series convinced Bertie loves her; He spends it trying not to get engaged to her again.
  • A very strange and freaky example: in Jekyll, Claire is told that the Hyde personality first emerges when the original personality falls in love — pure, unrestrained love, the type you are likely to kill over. And, thanks to the Hyde personality, likely are going to.
  • Kingdom Adventure: The Emperor's long-term plan to save the magical land of Lumia is to harness the power of his son and his soon-to-be daughter-in-law's love.
  • Legends of Tomorrow relies on some version of this a lot - it's arguably the underlying theme of the entire show - although it's usually the version in which the power of love is used to save the entire world/universe rather than a single loved one. Key examples include the season 3 finale "The Good, The Bad, And The Cuddly" in which the team must all come together and channel their (platonic) love in order to create a giant avatar of the fluffy blue children's toy Beebo to defeat the demon Mallus; and the season 6 finale, "The Fungus Amongus", in which the team's determination to get their co-captains, Sara and Ava, married before the end of the world is what convinces the extremely powerful alien mushroom network to return to protecting humanity, and thus what saves the world - also an example of True Love's Kiss being used to save the world, since it's at the moment of the 'you may kiss the bride' kiss that it happens. No-one ever accused this show of being normal.
  • Loki (2021): Loki falling in love with Sylvie manages to cause a Nexus event in an apocalypse, despite that supposed to be impossible. Mobius points how insane it is for Loki to fall in love with themself.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Merlin's endless devotion to Arthur, Guinevere and Gaius has led him to practically move mountains in their name, achieving everything from calling lightning down from the sky to destroy an enemy, to mastering a difficult spell that allows him to take the form of an old man, to offering himself up as a sacrifice in order to spare their lives. A line from the Great Dragon all but states that his power is rooted in love, when discussing his relationship with Morgana:
      Great Dragon:She is the darkness to your light, the hate to your love.
    • Also the plot of "Sweet Dreams" with Arthur being freed from a spell by True Love's Kiss.
    • To prevent Guinevere from becoming Queen of Camelot, Morgana instigates the famous Arthurian Love Triangle by enchanting Lancelot and Guinevere to kiss on the eve of Gwen's wedding to Arthur, planning for Arthur to catch them at it and banish Gwen from Camelot. What she didn't count on was Arthur loving Guinevere so deeply and completely that he would forgive her and marry her anyway.
  • In The Monkees episode, "The Devil and Peter Tork", Mike gives a speech to save Peter's soul, and the speech ends with, "cause, baby, in the final analysis, love is power!"
  • In Once Upon a Time, this is quite literal; the power of True Love is stronger than any magic and can break any curse.
    • Also can act as protection. When Cora tries to steal Snow's heart, Emma pushes her aside, and Cora says "Oh, you foolish girl! Don't you know? Love is weakness!" and tries to rip out Emma's heart, but is blocked when the heart does a No-Sell. Emma replies, "'s strength." and Cora is pushed away from Emma. Mr Gold later tells her power comes from being a product of true love.
  • Saves the day in at least two episodes of The Outer Limits (1995).
    • In "Caught In The Act", Hannah's love for her boyfriend gives her the strength to disobey and eventually expel the alien possessing her.
    • In "Paradise", four women volunteered to be surrogate mothers for a dying alien. Only one succeeds, because she was in love with the man she had sex with in order to get the sperm.
  • Phil of the Future: Phil and Keely. They are from two different centuries. Yet they end up together.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode Best Man for the Job, Tommy and Kimberly were put under a spell that made them competitive with each other. After Billy realized what happen to Tommy and Kimberly, Zordon had them smell roses as a symbol of love and friendship to counter the spell as it help break the spell.
    • In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Stop the Hate Master episodes part one and two, Aisha's grandmother reminded her that love conquers all, after being rejected by a club. Also, after her friends were put under a spell to make them hate everything, Aisha didn't fall under the spell because of the love the necklace her grandmother gave her had and was even able to resist through sheer willpower when the Hate Master monster tried to put her under the same situation the rest of Rangers were in.
    • In Wild Force, after learning that his crush, Kendall, likes him back, Danny the Black Bison Ranger goes on an love-powered rampage, clobbering all the Mooks by himself.
  • Sherlock: In "His Last Vow", Sherlock seems to be dead in a scene. He hears John's in danger, and climbs up in his mind palace so he can make sure nothing bad happens.
  • On Smallville:
    • Season 4 premiere, "Crusade". "The only challenge to a father's will is a mother's love."
    • In Season 8, it is basically one inch from being said aloud that The Power Of Love from Chloe is the only thing that could keep Davis from transforming into Doomsday. She also once halted and reversed the transformation with just a hand on his shoulder. Gets Squicky when Davis says Doomsday starts to slowly emerge whenever she leaves and that he has tried looking at her photos and holding strands of her hair, but nothing works. It would have sounded silly if the whole deal isn't so horrifying.
      Davis: I won't kill Clark if I'm with you.
      Chloe: But you said so yourself, it's your true nature.
      Davis: But maybe there's something stronger out there than my need to kill.
    • In "Beast", Chloe decides to go into hiding with Davis out of love for Clark because her presence is the only thing that keeps him from transforming and Clark would battle him to the death or throw both of them into the Phantom Zone otherwise.
    • In "Doomsday", Chloe says she does it out of love of Clark and Jimmy. Davis goes berserk and kills Jimmy.
    • Clark unconsciously floats under his own power, completely in-character, awake, without any ambiguity, for the first time in his entire life while dancing with Lois, telling her that he loves her.
  • Soap: Jessica Tate invokes this in a successful Hollywood Exorcism on Corrine's baby.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Teyla gets kidnapped by Michael, who also kidnapped her fellow Athosians (including Kanaan, her baby-daddy) and has been turning them into genetic hybrids under his control. More than once during her captivity, it looks like Kanaan is breaking through Michael's mind control and wants to help Teyla escape, but he never quite succeeds. However, in the Season 5 premiere, Teyla shows Kanaan their newborn son; he is then able to overcome the brainwashing and help them all escape.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. As stated in the Klingon marriage ceremony in "You Are Cordially Invited", the Gods created the first Klingon heart, but it was lonely. They created a female heart that beat stronger, but the male heart was jealous of its power and fought it. Fortunately the second heart was tempered by wisdom. "If we join together, no force can stop us." The two hearts joined become so powerful they overthrew the Gods.
  • Starsky & Hutch: it's a recurring theme between Starsky and Hutch, ranging from mild - in A Coffin For Starsky, despite blurred vision and barely being able to lift his gun thanks to the effects of a slow-acting poison, Starsky still manages to accurately shoot and kill a guy at night, on an unlit rooftop, in order to save Hutch (incidentally, a guy who Hutch was unwilling to shoot because he probably held the only key to the antidote to save Starsky's life); to moderate - in The Plague Part 2, Hutch, sick from the eponymous plague, suffers spasming chest pains - Starsky asks what he can do, and Hutch tells him, "Just take care of the little sucker that's twisting my chest into knots." Starsky grips his hands, and a few moments later the spasms ease and Hutch tells Starsky, "You did it."; to extreme - in the finale, Sweet Revenge, Starsky's heart is literally restarted from a flatline by Hutch running into the hospital - the power of love brings him back to life.
  • Supernatural:
    • Made fun of in "Point of No Return": when a character asks how the Winchesters propose to stop the End of the World, a suicidal Dean snarks back "Well, we're working on the Power of Love." "How's that going?" "Mmm. Not good."
    • Despite Dean losing faith in his little brother, Sam's faith in him was enough to make Dean change his mind after agreeing to let Michael possess him to kill Lucifer.
    • Played straight at the end of Season 5. In Sam's plan to prevent both Lucifer's Apocalypse and Michael's battle with Lucifer that will destroy half the world, the power of love does save the day. Dean's presence gives Sam the strength to beat Lucifer and throw himself (with Lucifer inside) into Hell's solitary confinement.
    • Played straight when John fights off Azazel's control in "Devil's Trap", refusing to attack Dean, then once more when Bobby overcomes demonic possession in a similar situation, out of his affection for Dean.
    • Played straight in the crypt scene at the end of "Goodbye Stranger", where Castiel snaps out of Naomi's mind control upon Dean reminding him that he is family.
  • Super Sentai: Villain example: In Juuken Sentai Gekiranger, Mele is driven by and draws strength from the love she holds for Rio, the main villain. And with all the Character Development and Pet the Dog moments they get, it hardly comes as a surprise to anyone when, in the end, Rio discovers that he also loved Mele all along, and both do a Heel–Face Turn to defeat Treacherous Advisor-turned-Big Bad Long. In the second round of said fight they sacrifice themselves as a Redemption Equals Death, after Long turned out to be immortal. It didn't take the second time either; Love may conquer all (twice), but some people just won't stay dead...
  • Tragi-hilariously played straight and simultaneously averted in the Talking Heads monologue Bed Among the Lentils — too complicated an example to explain here, though it does give the nice line: "We met it with Love! he'll cry, as if love is some all-purpose antiseptic... which to Jeremy, I suppose it is..."
  • After days/weeks of sitting around Jack Harkness' corpse in the Torchwood Season 1 finale "End of Days", Gwen finally breaks his Disney Death... by kissing him.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • Parodied in "A Day in Beaumont". Dr. Kevin Carlson makes two over the top declarations of love to his girlfriend Faith, assuring her that the aliens can never take that away from them and that it can defeat them.
    • In "Appointment on Route 17", Jamie Adler promised his girlfriend Mary Jo that he would always be with her no matter what. After he is killed in a car accident, his heart is transplanted into Tom Bennett, who is attracted to Mary Jo the moment that he lays eyes on her.
  • Seems to have been making an appearance in V (2009) with, of all people, Lisa, who has been slowly turned away from her nature and the control of her mother and set onto the road of becoming human.
  • On The Vampire Diaries, in Season 3, due to the strength of Stefan's love for Elena, he fights the power of Original vampire Klaus' compulsion three times in order to stop or prevent himself from biting or hurting Elena and shutting off his emotions.
    • Played straight in Season 5 when Elena is compelled by the most powerful immortal being Silas to kill Damon at all costs. Elena's strong and powerful love, bond and connection with Stefan and her thinking about Stefan is powerful enough to calm Elena down and break Silas' compulsion, preventing Elena from killing herself and Damon.
    • Played straight again in Season 6 when Kai plans on torturing and killing Damon, Bonnie ends up getting her magic back through her deep bond and love (although she doesn't want to admit it to herself) for Damon. Because Damon's life was in danger from Kai, Bonnie's bond with Damon was strong enough to bring back her magic, magic that Bonnie has not been able to get after four months of trying absolutely everything. Even Kai noted that it was Bonnie's love and bond with Damon that was strong enough for Bonnie to get her magic back.
  • WandaVision: The entire sitcom façade is essentially created and powered by Wanda's crushing grief. But as Vision says, "What is grief, if not love perservering?". Wanda herself tells the Vision she unconsciously created that while he is composed of the fraction of the Mind Stone in her, her grief and her hope, mostly he's made of her love.
  • In The Wanderer the mere presence of the Knight's ladylove, even though she's unconscious, gives him the power to defeat his Big Bad brother.