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Ah, a romantic evening! Lighted candles, soft music, one person (usually the woman) tied up and possibly gagged...

This trope normally follows these conventions:

  1. The forced date is an entirely innocent attempt by one party (with terrible social skills) to relate to someone he loves. In this case, the guy (and it is usually a guy doing the tying up) probably won't be able to put together what's wrong with that situation.
  2. The abductor turns violent if confronted, though may not harm his victim even if she attacks him.
  3. Conversely, the date may presage bad things for the tied-up partner, either death or rape.
  4. The date is simply a chance to toy with a mortal enemy.
  5. The victim's friends are racing to find her, and will teach the guy a violent lesson... even if the abductor genuinely means no harm, and a good sit down and chat (preferably with a good psychologist) would be far more effective in the long run.

Compare No Mister Bond I Expect You to Dine for when a captor treats his victim in a more platonic manner. Not to be confused with Shotgun Wedding.

Note: The victim doesn't need to be tied up, but must be held captive.

Examples of Captive Date include:



  • The Joker and Vicki Vale, in Batman.
  • Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!: A recently released psychiatric patient kidnaps an actress in order to make her fall in love with him. He believes his destiny is to marry her and father her children.
  • Type 4 in Van Helsing, in which Dracula takes Anna to his masquerade ball and forces her to dance with him while waiting for Van Helsing to arrive. No ropes used, but it's clear he's using some kind of mind control or muscle control.
  • The premise of the film P2 revolves around this idea. After refusing to join the security guard, Thomas, for a small Christmas dinner, Angela is kidnapped by him, chained to a chair, and forced to share the meal. It is later revealed that Thomas had been watching and stalking Angela for some time and seems to have developed affections for her. He even goes so far as recording himself dressing her.
  • Happens in the Spanish film The Last Circus.
  • The Aussie horror film The Loved Ones is about a teenage girl, with help from her dad, kidnapping her high school crush so that she can have the perfect prom with him.

Live Action TV

  • Criminal Minds:
    • One episode focuses on a killer who treats his victims to a romantic evening complete with rose petals, though they're not tied down. He means no harm until they turn him down once they reach the bathtub part of the date. The rest fits to a T though.
    • In another episode, a guy was stalking a woman and ended up kidnapping her. One scene shows them sitting at a table and talking, until the woman raises her hands and it's revealed that she's tied up.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: Starbuck is held captive by Leobin during New Caprica's occupation. It's a nice house and all and she does kill her captor but he's a Cylon and just comes back the next day (or earlier). She can't escape though because he has her daughter, from when she was captured on Old Caprica and forced into a "medical" facility and possibly impregnated.
    • It's not really her daughter but she doesn't know that.


Video Games

Western Animation


Patty: We have a gentleman caller.
Tech Guy: Hey, this TV ain't broke. It's just been unplugged.
[Patty closes the door.]

  • Family Guy: Meg does this to Brian when she falls for him.
  • In Teen Titans, Killer Moth threatens the city with destruction unless Robin takes Killer Moth's Bratty Teenage Daughter, Kitten, to the prom. Robin complies, much to his chagrin.
  • Poor Lois got this twice in Superman: The Animated Series
    • In the episode where Bizarro first appears, he asks Lois out before his body starts to suffer from clone degeneration (and thus still resembles Superman). When his body and mental capacities start badly degenerating, he remembers asking her out, so he decides to simply grab her, then break into a restaurant to keep the date. This technically makes it the type 1 example, as he honestly believes he's holding up a promise, even though Lois likely objects.
    • She was also kidnapped and "invited" for dinner by Toyman, although this was none of the above types; her written hypothesis of his motivations in the Daily Planet was completely wrong, and he wanted to explain his actual motivations, possibly so she could print them later.
  • One Pepe Le Pew cartoon ends with Penelope shackled to him, desperately trying to saw herself free. All Played for Laughs, of course.
  • In the Batman the Animated Series episode "Mad as a Hatter", Jarvis Tetch tries to win his co-worker Alice's heart after her recent breakup. She is charmed by Jarvis but mistakes his romantic overtures as attempts to cheer her up and she later reconciles with her boyfriend. Jarvis then uses his Mind Control technology on her and takes her on a "date" at a Wonderland-themed amusement park.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Beezy is under the influence of a Love Sweater meant for Jimmy, he drags Heloise on a date, and ends up wrapping her in a straitjacket to enjoy a candlelight dinner.
  • The Ice King does this on occasion with a princess since he's trying to woo them, but always fails.