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"30. I will refuse all gifts from the Evil Overlord. They probably contain mind-control devices that would make me giddily happy to marry him. It's demeaning enough to be head-over-heels for the Hero, let alone a creep like the EO."
The Distressed Damsel is in the clutches of the villain, but the villain decides that chains, cages, cells, and other ways of containment are too unreliable. The hardest chain for The Hero to break while freeing this prisoner is in the damsel's own mind. Thus the villain Hypnotizes the damsel. As with Save the Princess, this need not be a princess or even a lady.
The motives can be varied, but the two most common are (1) the villain wants the captive for a lover (this is easier than coercion), and (2) to make the captive betray the hero once "rescued". How the damsel is controlled can be done by straight-up hypnosis, possession or a Love Potion (for either motive).
Note that this rarely works well, save for cynical enough stories. The Evil Overlord List would likely recommend this be done just to get her to cooperate in that quiet civil ceremony so you can marry her with as little fuss if possible. Anything else is just asking for trouble.
Anime & Manga
- This is a rather common trope in Sailor Moon.
- Tuxedo Mask is the number one victim throughout the series. Queen Beryl brainwashes and corrupts him in every adaptation of the storyline, with his rescue being a pivotal element of the climax of that story arc. He's a victim again in the Black Moon arc of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal (this time by his corrupted future daughter Black Lady), and yet again in the Sailor Stars arc of the manga (by Galaxia). He's also brainwashed in the Nehellenia arc of the first anime.
- Chibi-Usa famously becomes Black Lady when taken by the Black Moon Clan in both the manga and the two animes.
- In the first anime, Prince Diamond attempts this on Sailor Moon, but fails.
- Sailor Mercury is turned into Dark Mercury in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and serves the Dark Kingdom.
- Happens frequently to characters of the day in the first anime.
- This is attempted in the Dead Moon Circus arc of the manga on Makoto, Ami, and Rei. Each time fails.
- And in the Sailor Stars arc of the manga, after Galaxia succeeds in eventually killing all of the Sailor Team and Mamoru, she revives all of them as members of Shadow Galactica and forces them to fight Usagi.
- Done to Ayeka in the Tenchi Muyo!! Manga. And almost done to her in the OAV, but it didn't work.
- And to Ryoko, in the original OAV.
- An early example of the trope appears in Toei Doga's Majokko Megu-Chan (1974). Recurring
villainpervert Chou-san designs a magic clock rigged to hypnotize peopleteenaged girls into removing all their clothing. Falling under its spell, Megu gets down as far as her her bra and panties before Non nukes the device.
- It is worth noting that Megu is a potential heir to the throne of the Witch Kingdom, making her a literal hypnotized princess in this case.
- Mewtwo did this to Nurse Joy in the first ~Pokémon~ movie.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Saiou tries this with Asuka Tenjouin in a last-ditch attempt to get the keys to the SORA Satellite from him. Saiou (or more precisely, the Light of Ruin) didn't care about Juudai anymore at that point.
- The original Yu-Gi-Oh!! has that happen with Anzu Mazaki durring the Battle City arc.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Aki fell victim to this as well.
- Also happened at least once with Mokuba. And with Jounochi in the same incident that got Anzu hypnotized. Then his Brainwashed and Crazy self duels Yugi. Curiously, Mokuba was not hypnotized that time... because he was caught alongside Anzu and she actually got him free. Kaiba frees the captured Anzu at the end of the duel to repay her for it.
- Happened to all four "bracelet girls" (Yuzu, Serena, Ruri, Rin) in Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: Lady Bat's Kiss of the Vampire, anyone?
- It seemed that was attempted in Mahou Sensei Negima! with Princess Asuna, as Fate attempted to control her by undoing her Laser-Guided Amnesia and reverting her to a more pliable state. It worked briefly, but she ultimately pulled through.
- Nia in Gurren Lagann becomes subject to this after the Time Skip.
- In Pokémon Special, Anabelle gets hynotized by Guile Hideout into activating the Battle Tower to prevent the heroes from reaching them at the top, then beats the crap out of Emerald when he does. Unfortunately, her body is unable to handle to stress of being hypnotized and she blacks out, quickly turning the situation into a hostage one when Guile demands the Jirachi report for her life.
- Used in Sensual Phrase, when Aine is brainwashed by Tomoyuki into believing that she's his Dead Little Sister Yumi and forgetting about her Bastard Boyfriend Sakuya. He manages to defuse the brainwashing, but almost dies while trying.
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn this happens to Chrome Dokuro at the hands of Daemon Spade after a failed attempt at getting her to Face Heel Turn.
- Used more than once in Ranma ½, on different characters. Most memorably, Shampoo once wipes Akane's memories of Ranma to get him to fight her, and later uses a literal Red String of Fate to brainwash him into marrying her.
- In the PC Engine game Toraware no Hanayome (The Captive Bride), Ranma herself is subjected to hypnosis and dressed in royal regalia in order for her to marry the Bear Prince. Akane and the others have to race to rescue her before she imbibes a drop from a flower that would permanently and irrevocably make her fall in love with this prince.
- Gender flipped in Marchen Awakens Romance anime where the Big Bad Phantom in a last ditch effort to get back at Team MAR after defeating him officially in his tournament, he kidnaps Alviss. However, Alviss lets him get captured so he can finish him off once and for all...but Phantom predicted this and easily beats him before hypnotizing him thus does the Rescue Arc begin...
- Either this or drugging was what made Rose Thomas from the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist act as...off as she did in the last arc of the series. She's released at the very end, though.
- In Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics this happens to the Prince from The Iron Stove, the Princesses from The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes and to Elizabeth from Donkey Cabbages / The Magic Heart (who seems to have been a princess kidnapped by the Wicked Witch)
- A sorcerer does this offscreen to Tira Misu in the Sorcerer Hunters manga, then sends her out to attack the rest of the party. Only an accidental kiss from Carrot can snap her out of it.
- Fittingly happens to Karin from Street Fighter in the Back To School Special as she is the most princessy female in the series. It happens temporarily during her battle against Yurika from Rival Schools
- Done with Princess Clarisse in The Castle of Cagliostro, but only as a last resort after she ran away from the titular count on their wedding day and kept fighting him at every turn. Then Lupin himself broke her free by interrupting the wedding ceremony.
- In Nintendo Power's Super Mario Bros.. comic, Bowser has Magikoopa do this to Peach so she would marry him — though in this case, it was a last resort after he tried everything else and the willful Peach was too much.
- And in one issue of the Nintendo Comics System, Peach is once again mind zapped, this time by a Pidgit. This notably actually ends up being a hindrance to Bowser - while in her hypnotized state, Peach wrecks this blimp that he's driving.
- The Mockingbird / Phantom Rider storyline in West Coast Avengers.
- Happened to Ms. Marvel at the hands of Marcus, who actually got her pregnant, and made her give birth to... himself? Fridge Logic (and a little perspective from a different writer) made this story a little unbelievable.
- In the Spider-Man comic strip, he was helping heiress Muffy Ainsworth with what she thought was a vampire. She gets kidnapped and then hypnotized so that she would agree to be one of his brides. It was all staged. The vampire was really a washed-up actor trying a really weird plan for a comeback. Muffy being hypnotized was the only part not faked.
- "Three Old Men of Aran" did this to Aaricia in Thorgal.
- Sanjak does this to April Kane in Terry and the Pirates.
- Pictured above: Hypnota the Great aka the Hypnotic Woman, a female Stage Magician with hypnotic powers (and who almost always was dressed up a a man, fake Beard of Evil included), was a villainess in Golden Age Wonder Woman stories. She'd use her powers to brainwash people and then sell them into slavery with the help of her twin sister and (brainwashed) henchwoman Serva. She once even brainwashed Diana's boyfriend Steve Trevor, trying to use him as a pawn to cause a war between the US and her clients from Planet Saturn, but logically Diana released him.
- Ironically, Wondie herself was immune to Hypnota's powers.
- The Cyborg 009 fic "Sunset Dance into Darkness" has Scarl kidnap Francoise/003 and brainwash her into helping him kill the cyborgs. She's snapped out of it by an impassioned speech of love from Joe/009.
- Happens to Anne Chan in the now-deleted Chan Clan/Winx Club crossover fic series "A Bluecoat Family". In the second installment, she's captured by Professor Avalon the same way Bloom was and brainwashed into attacking her family. The plot point is dragged throughout the whole fic until the very last chapter, in which she snaps out of it and helps beat Darkar in a rather anti-climactic final battle.
- The Brides of Fu Manchu might be more accurately titled: Hypnotize the Princess: The Movie. Although Fu displays no apparent interest in the women as literal "brides"; they are kidnapped to force cooperation with their scientist fathers.
- Happens to poor Dale Arden at least twice in the classic Flash Gordon movie serials: Ming the Merciless plans to marry her with the help of his hypnosis machine, and later she's drugged by a tribe of religious fanatics and literally backstabs Flash.
Ming: Did you ever see such response?
- The Avengers 1998. Sir August tries to hypnotize Mrs. Peel into submitting to his lecherous desires. When it doesn't work, he resorts to hallucinogenic drugs.
- Jaffar does this to the princess in The Thief of Bagdad, with the Blue Rose of Forgetfulness.
- Our Man Flint. The Galaxy organization does this to Gila after they conclude that she's done a High Heel Face Turn for Flint.
- A disturbing sequence in Mirror Mask follows this very closely, except for the demonic puppets and goth clothing.
- The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T: Batholomew's mother is turned into Dr. Terwilliker's hypnotized assistant.
- A mild example in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, where Gideon Graves has implanted a mind-control chip in Ramona's neck, making her go back to him and sit placidly beside his throne while he fights Scott. The film even gives a Shout-Out to the 1980 Flash Gordon mind-control ring by using its sound effect when Gideon kisses Ramona's ringed hand during the Katayanagi Twins battle.
- Lazar's "mothers" put a spell on Belladonna in Your Highness to make her "submit" to him so that he can impregnate her with a dragon. Hilariously, all the spell does is make her horny, which freaks Lazar out to the point where he has difficultly performing. Fortunately, this gives the heroes plenty of time to kill Lazar's minions.
- Jafar attempts to do this to Jasmine in Aladdin, but when the Genie tries to explain he can't, she fakes it to distract Jafar.
- Jafar never attempts to use the Mind Control Device he already has to Hypnotize the Princess, but it's vaguely implied that said snake staff only works on weak-willed people (e.g. the Sultan) and Rebellious Princess Jasmine is too strong-minded. It also only seems to affect the victim while he's actually holding it in their face, making it impractical for long term work. So basically, it's a Sith Mind Trick.
- Sleeping Beauty: When the glowing green orb appears in Aurora's bedroom as she cries, the light makes her suddenly stiffen and look up. Her eyes are glazed, and she stands up very fluidly, following the orb single-mindedly. When the fairies call out to her to not touch anything, it momentarily breaks the spell, before Maleficent's voice lulls her back in, and she touches the spinning wheel's spindle.
- Darkseid does this to Kara/Supergirl after capturing her in 'Superman/Batman: Apocalypse' to make her his dragon, leading to a climatic battle between her and Superman in Darkseid's throne room. Of course, Evil Kara, instead of the normal street clothes she wore previously, is now clad as a hot teenage dominatrix.
- The 1962 version of Jack the Giant Killer featured the villain hypnotizing and turning the princess into a witch, thus ensuring that even if Jack managed to save her, it wouldn't be nearly as hard to get her back the second time.
- This happens to Eilonwy in The Castle of Llyr. Somewhat unusually for this trope, her captor is female and kidnapped her for entirely pragmatic reasons.
- Was used by one of the good guys (technically an Anti-Hero, but still) in one of the Dragonlance novels. In order to unite a country against the forces of evil, he forced a witch to use her magic and make a princess fall in love with him. It works and the kingdom is saved, but the Anti-Hero is called on it later.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Thuvia, Maid of Mars, Tario uses this on Thuvia, convincing her in moments that he is friendly, and that she is in love with him. However, it doesn't last long — either his smug expression reminds, or she gets a more powerful counter-suggestion from Carthoris.
- In The Wheel of Time, Rahvin does this to Queen Morgase.
- Rather unconventional example, but Moghedien does this to Elayne. (And Nynaeve, but she's not a princess.)
- Graendal does this as a rule - she likes her pets to be compliant.
- To be fair to the princesses of the Wheel of Time-verse, the Forsaken use Compulsion on just about everyone ... the princesses listed here just happened to be the ones in their way at that point in time.
- In The Silver Crown, the black metal stuff is being used to brainwash just about everyone, but it only applies so long as you're near the stuff. The heroine's apparently immune. She breaks into the fortress to free her friend, and manages to get free with both her friend and a new girl who's also apparently immune. But when they get back to the place where they hid the silver crown, her friend turns traitor! Turns out he was wearing a belt made of the black metal... he calls in the enemies to capture them all.
- In The Silver Chair, the Big Bad had Hypnotized Prince Rillian into becoming a sort of Empty Shell without any memories of his past life as the Crown Prince of Narnia. The spell wears off temporally every night, thus Rillian ends tied up to the eponymous Silver Chair when that happens so he won't escape. The Power Trio frees him, though.
- The effect Eros gas has on its victims in Stationery Voyagers is that they're reduced to having almost the minds of animals in heat, with attempts to fight the gas' effects capable of driving someone insane. Because of this, those infected with large enough doses can be persuaded to have sex with almost anyone, even in defiance of flight-or-fight instinct. Lamdock tries to gas the Bindaf 3000 crew this way so they'd be too busy having sex with each other to defend themselves from his killer robots. But he forgot that Liquidon is trained to operate even while intoxicated; and that Liquidon's crush was over 5,000 miles away at the time.
Live Action TV
- This happens to Morgana quite a lot in Merlin.
- Lord Zedd tried this in an episode of Power Rangers when he decided he wanted to marry Kimberly. In a subversion, the spell was a bust and Kimberly simply pretended to be Rita Repulsa until her friends showed up to rescue her.
- In a gender-flipped version, Maxima does this to Clark Kent in the Smallville episode "Instinct". They nearly have sex, but Lois Lane walks in, snapping him out of it.
- In The Avengers episode "Return Of the Cybernauts", Beresford gives Mrs. Peel a wristwatch, which is actually a Mind Control Device.
- A variant in the Expert Dungeons and Dragons module The Curse of Xanathon: an evil spellcaster can't take over the duchy by marrying the ruler (because they're both guys and it's not the Netherlands), so he ensorcels the duke into making insane proclamations which will destabilize the kingdom and facilitate a more conventional Invade-the-Kingdom plot. The brainwashed duke doesn't actually fight the heroes, but some of his proclamations may get the guards to do it for him.
- Mortal Kombat
- In Mortal Kombat 3, Sindel is brought back from the dead and brainwashed by Shao Kahn into being his queen again. She pulls a Heel Face Turn after her daughter Kitana gets to her. In the reboot, however, she stays brainwashed AND kills near everyone among the heroes (Kitana included), until Nightwolf pulls a Taking You with Me.
- Happens to the aforementioned Princess Kitana in Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks, since she's brainwashed by Shao Kahn and sent as an enemy with Jade and Mileena. The best way to deal with her is to immobilize and keep her in a specific trap, where two chained dragons will focus their powers in debrainwashing her. Mileena and Jade won't make it easy, however.
- In a Super Smash Bros. Melee Event Match, Mewtwo hypnotizes Princess Zelda to fight you until he shows up.
- Zelda is also possessed by Ganondorf and forced to fight you in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- And not only does something similar happen to her in Spirit Tracks as well, there's also the second-to-last boss battle, where Ghost Mice repeatedly possess Zelda, while she is possessing a Phantom.
- Same goes for Peach in Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door. Well, it's less "hypnotize" than use as the new host of a Sealed Evil in a Can.
- In Xenogears, Miang uses a particularly dangerous mental conditioning on Elly to get her to sabotage the party. After Elly betrays her team, Citan reveals that he was aware of the brainwashing but let her carry out the orders... because to prevent her from doing so could kill her.
- A bit of a theme in Fire Emblem:
- Fire Emblem Akaneia: After awakening from a long slumber, the young Manakete Princess known as Tiki is mind-controlled by the villain Gharnef into attacking Marth and his group. Her Parental Substitute Bantu snaps her out of it and she joins the cast from then on.
- Later, three Princesses (Nyna, Maria and Elice) and one noblewoman (Lena) are abducted and brainwashed so their Life Energy can be used in the ritual to resurrect the evil dragon Medeus. They can be snapped out of their trances by Sirius, Minerva, Merric and Julian, respectively.
- In Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake, Echoes, the Child Mage Delthea is kidnapped and brainwashed; her older brother Luthier joins Alm's group to rescue her. Jedah tries to do this to Celica via convincing her to give up her soul, and when she questions him he brainwashes her - though she still struggles as much as possible, so it's more like him using her People Puppets style.
- Fire Emblem: Genealogy of Holy War: Archbishop Manfloy's evil plot was to brainwash Sigurd's Hot Consort and the local Shaman Deirdre into marrying her half-brother Alvis to produce a vessel for a dark god. And unlike most examples on this page, it works perfectly! It's also attempted with Princess Julia, Deirdre's White Mage daughter and sister of said vessel, Prince Julius. It fails this time, though.
- In Thracia 776, Mareeta is a variation. She's actually not hypnotized, but forced to use an Evil Weapon that takes over her mind. She gets better, and ultimately said Evil Weapon becomes her personalised sword.
- Ninian in Blazing Blade, while in a brief but intense Ophelia state, is brainwashed and forced to open the Dragon's Gate and call a Fire Dragon by Nergal. Good thing her younger brother Nils showed up before it got very far and debrainwashed her! Later, Nils himself almost goes through the same thing, but fortunately it fails.
- In Fire Emblem: Heroes, an annual banner includes heroes and antagonists who are either under Demonic Possession, suffering of Power Incontinence that resembles this state, under More Than Mind Control, or straight-up like this. Some of the characters in the last status are the aforementioned Controlled!Celica (2018), the also aforementioned Brainwashed!Delthea, Brainwashed!Tiki, and Weapon-Controlled!Mareeta (2019); and then the aforementioned Brainwashed Julia (2020).
- Fire Emblem Akaneia: After awakening from a long slumber, the young Manakete Princess known as Tiki is mind-controlled by the villain Gharnef into attacking Marth and his group. Her Parental Substitute Bantu snaps her out of it and she joins the cast from then on.
- In Tales of Vesperia, there is a part where Estelle is controlled by Alexei and forced to fight the party and then Yuri one-on-one, but Estelle still seems to be well enough to beg Yuri to kill her and to respond when Yuri actually chastizes her...
- A little-known example from Final Fantasy IX: During the fight with the second Black Waltz (when the party attempts to leave the Village of Dali), the Waltz will not attack Garnet/Dagger. This might sound as though it makes the fight a Foregone Victory, but no. Should the other characters be defeated, the Blazk Waltz will use "Hypnotise" on Garnet, and the battle ends.
- Prince of Persia: The beginning of the second game. (The vizier takes this a step further by impersonating the player character!) The Princess does break through, but the Vizier puts her in a magical coma. She wakes up at the end.
- The NES version of Double Dragon III has the player face off Queen Noiram, a possessed Marion at the end. The game never really explains who kidnapped her and how she ended up being possessed (due to the fact that in the Japanese version, the final boss was actually Cleopatra, not Marion).
- World of Warcraft had this. Princess Moira Bronzebeard, daughter of the Dwarf King, marries an evil Dark Iron Dwarf Emperor. Her father says it is because he put a spell on her. Nevertheless, once you kill the Emperor and rescue the princess, she remains loving to his memory. The game notes that she "may still be suffering from the residual effect of the Emperor's spell." Nearly five years later, it would turn out she truly did love the emperor (He treated her well, and she was estranged to her father because he wanted a boy), and still mourns him.
- In the Elven campaign of Heroes of Might and Magic IV, the hero's girl has been kidnapped by his evil rival, who puts her under a mind control spell. The only way to free her from it (even killing the Big Bad won't do it), is to construct the Mirror of True Love. All she has to do is look into it to see her true love's face, and the spell will be broken. However, the Big Bad mentions in a not-so-subtle manner that they have already consummated their "relationship."
- Blade Master has Princess Emina, the local Barrier Maiden, kidapped and forced to release the Big Bad, and then subjected to this and transformed into a Naga, then sent alongisde another to attack the protagonists Roy and Arnold when they go rescue her. Defeating one of the Nagas will release her from the spell.
- The Big Bad of Exiern, Faden, loves doing this to people, even from captivity.
- Musaran in the Ciem Webcomic Series is essentially the AI Is a Crapshoot version of this, as Jeraime has little or no control of his actions with the Musaran backvisor on his head. Allowing Arfaas to control Jeraime however he pleases. Mostly just as a hitman, because even Arfaas has standards.
- In the Dinosaucers episode "Trick or Cheat" (part 1 and part 2), Quackpot wants to throw a magic show. He captures all the heroes, with Sarah early on, who he gets to be his Lovely Assistant by zapping her with his joy buzzer.
- One episode of The Legend of Zelda has Ganon plotting to marry Zelda by hypnotizing her with a magic necklace.
- In Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Goldie is kidnapped and hypnotized as part of a scheme to get a treasure.
- In an episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, this happens to Firestar/Angelica at the hands of Dracula.
- Lydia, the villain of Barbie and the Diamond Castle, uses a mind control spell to manipulate one of the heroines and later uses her to get the other heroine to hand over the only thing standing between her and World Domination.
- Code Lyoko: It is a common tactic for XANA to mind-control Aelita into doing his binding. Once in Season 2 through a Mind Control Device, several times in Season 3 (and once in Season 4) with the Scyphozoa. And sure, her nickname is "Princess".
- The Fairly Odd Parents. Timmy Turner wished: "I wish Trixie Tang loved Timmy Turner." as his second Norm the Genie wish. Norm the Genie made lots of Timmy Turners appear, listed where they were from, what their exact name was and made Trixie Tang kiss them all. Give Norm a TV Tropes Made of Win Archive.
- Strangely, he phrased the wish that way to be more specific to minimize Norm's meddling, but just saying "I wish she loved me." (while indicating Trixie) probably would have worked far better.
- Dr. Wily does this in the Mega Man cartoon: he gets another robot (Dr. Petto) to make Megaman doubt his humanity, then allow him to work on him. Wily places a chip in Mega, then toys with his mind for a while before outright taking control of him.
- Ming the Merciless pulls this on Dale in The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, despite never having displayed mind control powers before or since. Then he actually "marries" her before Flash and company come to her rescue, although it doesn't have any lasting effects. (This was likely a deliberate homage to a similar sequence the first Flash Gordon movie serial.)
- In Wakfu episode 6, Evangelyne is hypnotized before being captured by Vampyro, who plans to use her body as a host for the demon Ombrage.
- In an early episode of the X-Men cartoon, Scott and Jean are kidnapped by the Morlocks. When the other X-Men come to rescue them, they run across a hypnotized Jean. She breaks off after a while, however.
- Happens to her in X-Men: Evolution too, thanks to Mesmero. She's not the only one, either: Kurt, Kitty and Evan were under the same treatment.
- On Adventure Time, it once seemed like the Ice King had finally found a princess willing to marry him. Finn and Jake were all for this... until they realized the princess' engagement ring was really a Hypno Trinket.
- The bad guy did this with Melody in an episode of Josie and the Pussycats, only for her to end up being incredibly useless as a minion due to her being The Ditz even when under his control. She even called him "mustard" instead of "master!"