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Damsel in Distress

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The damsel in distress can fall into dangerous situations in many ways. Usually she is held prisoner by the villain, mostly bound and/or gagged, locked in a cage, etc. A damsel in distress can also get swept away by a river, possessed/brainwashed by an evil entity, chased and attacked by a monster or dangerous animal, or caught up in a natural disaster. Usually, the hero comes to her rescue, but she can also get out of these situations herself, using her own wits and skills. When the heroine gets into trouble and needs help, this can raise the stakes and/or set the plot in motion.

Examples

Animated Movies

  • Jewel: She gets kidnapped by Nigel two times and locked in a cage until Blu arrives and sets her free.
  • Shanti
  • Merida: Although not a damsel in distress per se, Merida lands in this kind of situation in the final climax when Mor'du catches her and prepares to eat her until Elinor breaks free and charges to the rescue.
  • Vanellope Von Shweetz
  • Ariel: In the first film, Ariel gets kidnapped by Ursula and used as a bargaining tool for King Triton.
  • Wendy Darling
  • Belle: Attacked by wolves until the Beast saves her.
  • Cinderella
  • Anastasia
  • Esmeralda
  • Peaches: held hostage by Captain Gutt to lure her father Manny
  • Lilo Pelekai
  • Rapunzel: She gets kidnapped by Mother Gothel as a baby. In the climax, however, Gothel chains her to the wall and gags her to keep her from running away and warning Flynn Rider when comes to her rescue.
  • Megara
  • Kayley: She gets captured by Ruber two times in the film but manages to free herself.
  • Queen Elsa
  • Robyn Starling: held hostage by Aunt Figg and Lickboot
  • Maid Marian
  • Le Petite Ballerina: In the movie, Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, she is kidnapped by Tom and his gang of alley cats; later held prisoner by the King of Cats
  • Penny (Bolt)
  • Tiana: She gets captured by Reggie and his sons and Prince Naveen comes to her rescue.
  • Miss Red
  • Jasmine: She gets captured by Jafar after Jafar makes his first two wishes and banishes Aladdin and Abu to the ends of Earth. Then trapped in a giant hourglass.
  • Princess Fiona
  • Jenny Foxworth: kidnapped by Bill Sykes who knows she's from a weathy family
  • Ducky
  • Anna: She gets locked up in a cold room by Hans after she discovers Hans' betrayal.
  • Penny
  • Angie: Arranged by Lola to be held hostage by Don Lino and his mob in demand of Oscar's obedience.
  • Anne-Marie
  • Marina kidnapped by Drake to force her to marry him.
  • Thumbelina
  • Lucy Wilde: captured by El Macho and strapped to a shark on dynamite
  • Megara
  • Winnie Portley-Rind: She gets captured by Archibald Snatcher two times.

Video Games

  • Amy Rose: she gets abducted by Metal-Sonic in her first game Sonic CD, and later kidnapped by Zero in Sonic Adventures, held hostage by Dr. Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2 and then abducted by Lyric the Last Ancient in Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
  • Princess Elise
  • Princess Peach: she gets kidnapped by the evil King Bowser multiple times and the Mario Bros. must come to her rescue
  • Kairi
  • Princess Daisy
  • Namine
  • Pauline
  • Princess Zelda
  • Cream the Rabbit

Live Action Movies

  • Patsey: She gets tied to a post and whipped by Edwin Epps.
  • Ann Darrow
  • Marion Ravenwood: Marion gets kidnapped by Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark. First, she is threatened by the Gestapo agent Toht; second, she gets abducted by Rene Belloq and a band of robbers.
  • Madison Bowen
  • Carol Anne Freeling: Carol-Anne is abducted by the poltergeists
  • Elizabeth Swann
  • Mary Jane Watson: MJ gets captured many times and Spider-Man needs to come to her rescue. She gets kidnapped by the Green Goblin in the first film, then by Dr. Octopus in the second film and Venom in the third film.
  • Gwen Stacy
  • Christy Fimple: Christy gets captured by a group of Gwendy dolls and Major Chip Hazard
  • Penny (Inspector Gadget)
  • Laurel Weaver: Laurel gets kidnapped by Edgar the Bug while Edgar tries to get to the ship tower at an abandoned world's fair.
  • Ursula Stanhope: She was kidnapped by Lyle Van de Groot to force her to marry him
  • Susie & Jessica
  • Dorothy Gale: She was kidnapped by the Flying Monkeys and being held captive in the Wicked Witch of the West's castle.
  • Penny Pingleton
  • Ofelia: She gets chased by the Pale Man and then gets imprisoned by Captain Vidal.
  • Carol Anne Freeling: She was kidnapped by the ghosts and was sent to the closet
  • Tara Roland: She was kidnapped by the ghost, Phears and is held captive by the evil ghosts

Live action TV

  • Happens quite a few times in Supernatural. Charlie Bradbury started off as a damsel in distress because she was enslaved by the Leviathans yet she broke out of their possession. Also Osborne's Daughter qualifies as one yet no one can save her.
  • Kimberly Ann Hart
  • In Doctor Who, Rose Tyler falls in this category several times. Most notably in the episode when Lady Cassandra possesses her and the Doctor has to save her. Also Donna Noble qualifies as a damsel in distress when the Doctor has erased her memories of him but she begins to remember everything when the Master is back.
    • In Lost Tapes, there are tonnes of examples:
  • Despite her bravery, Rachel Glenn may qualify as a damsel in distress yet she survives her encounter with little outside help.
  • Sharon Novak is the most notable damsel in distress, yet she is a cowardly, corrupt, greedy defenseless damsel who only relies on her beauty and outside help. Because of these qualities, she fails and gets eaten

Anime Series

  • Yukina: she is kidnapped by the Gonzo Tarukane
  • Mai Valentine
  • Keiko Yukimura: she lands herself in dangerous situations, requiring Yusake Urameshi to come to her rescue
  • Marina: she is kidnapped by Atilla and Hun from Team Rocket
  • Gatomon
  • Téa Gardner: she gets kidnapped by the Rare Hunters, along with Joey Wheeler
  • Rini aka Sailor Mini-Moon
  • Delia Ketchum: she gets kidnapped by an Entei
  • Amy Anderson aka Sailor Mercury
  • Mimi Tachikawa
  • Serenity Wheeler: In Battle City, she and Tristan are ambushed by the Rare Hunters and then in the Virtual World, she is chased by a Mad Sword Beast
  • Kamiya Kaoru
  • Hilary Tachibana: she is abducted by two Men in Black along with Kenny
  • Sango
  • Kari Kamiya: she is kidnapped by Divermon
  • Cosmo the Seedrian
  • Kagome Higarashi: she is kidnapped by the Thunder Bros., and then by Koga the Wolf Demon
  • Raye Hino aka Sailor Mars
  • Sora Takenouchi: she gets kidnapped by Bakemon, along with Joe Kido, then gets kidnapped by Datamon
  • Lita aka Sailor Jupiter
  • May: she gets kidnapped by a wild Skarmory, then gets kidnapped by a giant Slaking
  • Misty
  • Dawn
  • Serena
  • Iris
  • Bonnie
  • Bulma: she gets kidnapped by a pterodactyl, then possessed by Baby
  • Molly Baker
  • Pan: she gets turned into a doll by Dolltaki
  • Mina aka Sailor Venus
  • Chi-Chi: Young Chi-Chi gets chased by a giant T-rex, adult self possessed by Baby
  • Serena aka Sailor Moon
  • Rika Nonaka: She gets kidnapped by IceDevimon.

Western Animation

  • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer-Mallard: She gets kidnapped by a criminal kingpin named Taurus Bulba
  • Dr. Rhoda Dendron
  • Morgana Macawber: she gets kidnapped by Negaduck and captured by the Fearsome Five along with the other Justice Ducks
  • Marge Simpson
  • Cleocatra: Cleocatra, or Cleo for short, ends up getting kidnapped on occasions and relies on her love interest, Riff-Raff to come to her rescue
  • Princess Calla
  • Daphne Blake: has earned her nickname "Danger-Prone Daphne" due to her being abducted by villains or other situations
  • Eliza Thornberry
  • April O'Neil: she gets kidnapped by the Foot Soldiers and/or The Shredder
  • Lisa Simpson
  • Sam Manson: she gets possessed by Undergrowth to make her his queen
  • Maggie Simpson
  • Catwoman: she gets kidnapped by the Joker in the Season 3 episode, "The Laughing Cats" of The Batman.

Visual Novels

  • Annabeth Chase: In The Lightning Thief, Annabeth gets attacked by spiders. In The Sea of Monsters, she gets captured by Polyphemus and is about to get eaten. In The Titan's Curse, Annabeth gets kidnapped by Luke Castellan and Atlas. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, she is taken hostage by Geryon. Of course, Percy Jackson saves her life in each scene.
  • Wendy Darling
  • Helen Grace: She gets captured by Mulgarath and the goblins.
  • Princess Tiger Lily
  • Eva Nine: In The Search for WondLa, she gets captured by Besteel and frees herself with the aid of Rovender Kitt.
  • Madeline: she slips and falls in the River
  • Little Red Riding Hood

Quotes

"Don't listen Herc-" - Megara before Hades ties her up and gags her with smoke before she can warn Hercules

"Get your hands off me! Oh, help! Help!" - Miss Kitty held captive by Chula

"Stanley!" - Tina Carlyle held captive by Dorian Tyrell

"Get it away from me! Leave me alone! Mommy! Help me, Mommy!" - Carol Anne Freeling held captive in the dimension by the ghosts

"Dragonfly!" -Jill Johnson screaming while falling off a building

"Somebody help! Somebody!" - Eva kidnapped by Shorty

"Uncle Gadget, help!" - Penny (Inspector Gadget) captured by Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget 2

"Hey let go of me! - Hallie kidnapped by Putties

"AAH, hey! Let go of me, let me go! Darkwing Duck is gonna crunch you like a stale corn chip!" - Gosalyn Mallard kidnapped by Taurus Bulba's pet condor, Tantalus

"Don't listen to him, Dad! - Marva Cooper captured by the Penguin

"Ahhhhh! Bubbles, help!" - Blossom and Buttercup, caught in the pincers by the giant ant

("Muffled shouting; sees Oscar and growls at him")
~ Angie arranged by Lola to be held hostage by Don Lino in demand of Oscar's obedience

"Au Secours! Help! Help! - Madeline

Let GO OF ME!
~ Peaches held hostage by Captain Gutt

"Please, just stay away from me! Stay away!"- Queen Elsa to the Duke of Weselton

"it's freezing...my legs are so numb!" - Tea Gardner

"Aladdin!" - Jasmine trapped in the sand timer by Jafar.

"Riff-Raff, help!" - Cleo, being kidnapped by a gang of biker cats

"Mario! Luigi! Help me!" - Peach

"Mr. Fagin! Mr. Fagin, help me!
~ Jenny Foxworth being grabbed by Bill Sykes

"Oh, but I don't want to be a plant." - Dr. Rhoda Dendron, held captive by Bushroot

"Stitch!" - Lilo held hostage by Captain Gantu

"Help! Someone please help me!" - Mary Jane Watson about to fall to her death

"Oh no! You can't do this! Let me out! Let me out! You can't leave me in here! Oh, Please!"
~ Cinderella locked in her bedroom by Lady Tremaine

"Simba!" - Nala about to be eaten by hyenas

"Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." - Princess Leia, in her message to Obi-Wan

"Anakin, Help Me!" - Padme Amidala, as she is dying in childbirth in Anakin's vision

"DAD, HE'S GOT ME!" - Gosalyn Mallard, getting dragged into Paddywhack's evil Jack-in-the-box

"Dimitri!" - Anastasia about to be killed by Rasputin

"Help! Somebody help!" - Vanellope von Schweetz about to die in her game

"Daddy help, help Daddy! Daddy!!!!" - Susie & Jessica Being kidnapped

"Biyomon!" - Sora Takenouchi

"Somebody help me! I'm too young and pretty to die!" - Bulma

"Ahhh! Somebody help me!" - Mimi Tachikawa

"Hey get your hands off me you creeps! I SAID LET GO!!!!!" - Maria kidnapped by Putties

"Help!" - Gosalyn Waddlemeyer, snatched up by Taurus Bulba's pet condor, Tantalus

"Help! Help, Hero! Let me out of here! Oh, oh, Hero! Hero, help! Help me!" - Thumbelina kidnapped by Mama Toad

"Get your filthy paws off me!" - Beans being grabbed by Bad Bill and his gang

"Let me go, You ugly old thing!!" - Olivia captured by Fidget

"Darkwing Duck, help!" - Gosalyn Mallard

"Let me go! No, Falcon! No!" - Margalo taken hostage by Falcon

"Toto! Toto, help! Toto!" - Dorothy chased by flying monkeys

"Ahh!!! Let me go! Big Bird!!" - Kimberly Ann Hart

"Help!" - Tea Gardner

"Stay away from us!" - Elsa Van Helsing attacked by Mr. Whiskers

"Help!!!!" - Eliza Thornberry kidnapped by poachers

"Lyle, let go of me!!!" - Ursula Stanhope kidnapped by Lyle van de Groot

"Aaahhh!!! Raven, help!" - Starfire (in Raven's body while saving Beast Boy, Robin and Cyborg from the Puppet King)

"Honker, help us!" - Gosalyn Mallard trapped in a painting by Splatter Phoenix

"I don't know any 'The Party'! Let me go at once! Why are you treating me like a criminal?" - Dot (in Dot in Space). (Papa Drop's answer is, "Because you are a criminal! You are guilty of the awful, horrible crime of being... square!")

"Let me go! (Adonis: 'purrs' You're fiesty.)" - Raven

"Help! The ghosts have got me!" - Misty

"HELP! Anybody!" - Serenity Wheeler, being chased by a Mad Sword Beast

"Let me go! Help me!" -May

"Help me, Ash!" - Dawn

"AAH! Help me! I'm being kidnapped by a fictional character!" - Gosalyn Mallard being carried to the top of a building by a giant gorilla in Darkwing Duck episode, "Film Flam"

Let me go! I am not a flier! Help! Help! HELP!!
~ Ducky kidnapped by Pterano and his goons

"Help me, Ash!" -Iris

"Oh no, I'm stuck! I can't move! I'm frozen! Somebody help me!" - Bulma

"Grandpa, help me! (Goku: Pan!) I can't see anything! You have to help me! Please!" - Pan

"Goku, help me!" - Chi-Chi

"Shaggy, help!" - Crystal (Scooby-Doo) about to be beheaded by Steve with a bulldozer

"Z, help me!"
~ Princess Bala about to be crushed under a sneaker

"Help, Po!" - Tigress

"Let me go! Let me go!" - Kimber Benton

"Ahhhhh!!!!!" - Kay Lawrence

"I trusted you and you lied to me!"- Kari

"Kermit, help me!" - Baby Piggy, captured by Animal Kong

"Let go of me! Let go!!! - Kairi

"LET ME OUT!!!! LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!! LET ME OUT!!!!" - Eloise

"HEEELLLLPPPP!" - Bubbles (PowerPuff Girls)

"Help! Punjab, help me!" - Annie in danger of falling to her death while being chased by Rooster Hannigan.

"Alan, please! You gotta help me!" - Christy Fimple held hostage by the Commando Elite

"Don't fire-spin me! Help, help, help, help!" - Misty

"FLIK!" - Dot chased by a bird

"You have to tell them to let me go." - Elsa locked in The Arendelle dungeon by Hans


"Blossom! Help!" - Bubbles (PowerPuff Girls)

"Ripley! Ripley!!" - Rebecca "Newt" Jordan

"Slimy pig, you let me go! Stop it!" - Marion Ravenwood held prisoner by Toht and about to be dropped into the Pit of Souls.

"How dare you touch me!" - Princess Mei captured by bandits.

"Please somebody help! Ohh... (shivers) Please! Please!"
~ Princess Anna as she is being locked up in her room by Hans and dying from her freezing heart.

" "Eric, help!" - Kitty Ko captured by Grunk

"Save me, save me...(Roger Rabbit: What?!) SAVE ME!!!!" - Jessica Rabbit tied to the roller coaster tracks

"Help! Get me out of here!" - Jessie as she is trapped in a tool box.

"Hey let me go!!!! STOP!!!!!!" Serenity being kidnapped by Rare Hunters.

"Help! Sofia!" - Oona getting kidnapped by Cedric/Sea Monnster

"Let me GO!" - Marina captured by Drake

"Jamal!" - Latika captured by Salim and Javed's henchmen

"Megamind, please come save me." Roxanne Ritchi after being tied up and filmed by Tighten.

"[to Nicky] You! It was you! Kermit was right! You're a phony. You're a phony! Yes, you are! And you know what, you can't even sing! Your voice was dubbed! Kermit." Miss Piggy after being wrongly accused as a thief and taken away to the police station.

"Help! Help!" - Kessie being blown away in a snowstorm.

"Blossom! Buttercup! Help me!" - Bubbles (PowerPuff Girls)

"No! No, let me go!" Elphaba after being captured by the wizard guards.

"INDY!!! FOR GOD'S SAKES! HELP ME! WHAT WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!!!" - Willie Scott who is being sacrificed to Kali by being lowered into the lava.

"Father please, don't do this". - Vexy after being locked up in a cage by Gargamel.

"Mr. Peabody! Sherman! Please do something!" Penny Peterson after be taking away by King Tut's guards.

"Aahhhh!" Alise getting kidnapped by the scullions

"Someone please help us" - Delphine in deshydratation with the others aquitians rangers.

"Somebody, please, please help me!" - Nurse Joy

"Help! Robin, help!" - Maid Marian

"(Shrieks) Tom, Jerry! Help!" - Robyn Starling

"Never, i will never marry you." - The princess in Jack and Beanstalk pantomime when she force to married the giant after being captured by Fleeshcreep.

"Help! This is unacceptable! Now, get it off of me! Rudy, help!" - Penny Sanchez attacked by a Wiggie

"Mickey!" - Minnie Mouse

"Come see it Darwin, I am worried about the fairy dust" - Periwinkle when she wants to show Darwin the fairy dust.

"Periwinkle!" - Tinker Bell when she go to ask Periwinkle and other winter's fairies help for save the great tree before breaking her wings in the blizzard.

"Bambi!" - Faline at the mercy of Ronno.

"Help! Kermie!" - Miss Piggie kidnapped by Doc Hopper.

"Help me, Slappy Wanna-Nappy, please!" - Dot Warner

"Help! Somebody help me!" - Blackberry

"Raymond, Raymond!" - Aquamarine prisoner in her father whirl.

"Don't you dare hurt Sandy! - Annie while being kidnapped by Lady Hogbottom

"WAKE ME UP PRINCESS LUNA WAKE ME UP WAKE ME UP!!!!!!" - Sweetie Belle suffering mental distress during her nightmare

"You're gonna be in big trouble when Justforkix gets back!" - Abba at the mercy of Cryptograf.

"Oh no! Not the jump rope!" - Penny Pingleton when her mother dragged her to her room and tied her down to her bed with the jump rope.

"The Zoni said Talwyn is in trouble." -Clank discover Talwyn's Damsel in Distress in Zordoom.

"Please, don't let him kill me" -Pink Yoshi held in hostage by a Drug Dealer Gangster.

"Scarlett! Help, help! Scarlet, save me!" - Melissa Duck

"Help, help! Save me!" - Daisy Duck

"(screams) Help me!!!" - Serena being attacked by Swirlix.

"(Screams) Nooo!!!" - Stephanie McMahon Forced to married the undertaker after being kidnapped by him and Paul Bearer

"Help me! booger!" - Rebecca Dawson held hostage by the tarantula people.

"Pazu!" - Sheeta being captured by Muska

"I can't swim with my hands tied. Brand!" - Andrea Carmichael being forced to walk the plank by Mama Fratelli and screaming while falling into the water.

"T-Ray that's Me Lilly, Daddy" - Lilly Owen When her father Ray grabbed her by the hair.

"Please, I don't even know what Warp Trek is!" -Store Clerk (Teen Titans) at the mercy of Control Freak

"Louie" - Frankie Hathaway taking prisoner by Officer Goosebumps

"No! Leave Me Alone!" - Jennifer attacked by Karlsville citizens in her pig form.

"Kermit!!! Heeelp!!!" - Miss Piggy Kidnapped by Constantine.

"Oh yes they will. They know we're missing and they have tracking dragons. If you so much as touch us, Hiccup is gonna kick- (Drago: Hiccup?)" - Astrid Hofferson talking to Drago Bludvist.

"Help! Please, help! Help! (Filmmaker: Hold on!) Please! Help!" - Penny

"I don't wanna do this stupid dance! I look like an idiot! " - Pan dancing the Para Para Boogie.

"Kelly!!! Kelly!!!" - Lauren calling for Kelly because she didn't win in the buried alive challenge in 13: Fear is Real.

"Adam please don't leave me !! Adam!!! Adam!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAh!!!" - Laura who was left behind by Nasser and Adam in 13: Fear is Real.

"Erica!!! Erica!!!"- Melyssa held prisoner in the rat cage by The Mastermind in 13: Fear is Real

"(Evilene : You're future hot dog) No! I dare you to hurt Toto!!!" - Dorothy when Evilene threatened to kill Toto if she don't give her the silver shoes.

"Dexter, help me! I'm trapped in the sewer beyond!" - Dee Dee

"What are you doing? Let me go!" - Cinderella held hostage by Zaral and his henchmen.

Gallery

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