Damsel in distress
The damsel in distress is an extremely common trope in fiction where a female character is in danger and needs to be saved, almost always by a male character. This trope exists in some of humanity's oldest stories and continues to be a very frequent plot device in modern fiction. Often times, when the damsel is rescued, she becomes a reward for the hero who rescued her.
When I was younger I had a mild appreciation with this trope and found it to be romantic. However, after seeing it played out thousands of times, I'm completely sick of it. I don't have a problem with the damsel in distress trope in principle, but I find it troubling how it has become ubiquitous in fiction. When it comes to media, I much prefer strong female characters who can solve their own problems, however, I have to admit there are plenty of books, films, and video games I like which use this trope. However, in most cases, I think the art could be made better by finding a more creative trope to use.
These are works which feature a damsel in distress that are important to me. For the complete list, see the damsel in distress category.
|Aladdin||1992-11-25||Film||Princess Jasmine needs to be rescued by Aladdin multiple times in the film.|
|Final Fantasy VI||1994-04-02||Video Game||Through the course of the story, every playable female character is kidnapped and needs rescuing, some multiple times.|
|The Goonies series||1985-06-07||Film||Nearly every form of media produced in the series requires Andy to be rescued.|
|Harry Potter series||1997-06-26||Fiction||Despite being by-far the most capable of the bunch, Hermione finds herself needing to be rescued in nearly all of the books. Ginny does as well in Chamber of Secrets.|
|King's Quest series||1985-??-??||Video Game||Since the series borrows heavily from mythology and fairy tales, most of the titles include at least one damsel in distress.|
|The Legend of Zelda series||1987-08-22||Video Game||Most of games in the series require Link to rescue a woman, usually the Princess Zelda, usually because she's been kidnapped.|
|Mario series||1981-07-09||Video Game||Most games which feature Mario also feature a woman for him to save. Usually it's Princess Peach, but Princess Daisy, Pauline, and Rosalina are also used.|
|The Princess Bride||1973-??-??||Fiction||Princess Buttercup is the damsel in distress archetype with no useful attributes other than her beauty.|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series||1984-05-??||Comics||Nearly every form of media from this franchise has April O'Neil needing rescue at some point.|
- youtube.com/watch?v=X6p5AZp7r_Q - Tropes vs Women in Video Games - Damsel In Distress (1/3).
- youtube.com/watch?v=toa_vH6xGqs - Tropes vs Women in Video Games - Damsel In Distress (2/3).
- youtube.com/watch?v=LjImnqH_KwM - Tropes vs Women in Video Games - Damsel In Distress (3/3).