Save me, my hero!
~ A damsel in distress' de facto catchphrase.
When rescuing a damsel, always handle with care!
~ Philoctetes teaching Hercules how to rescue a damsel in distress.
When rescuing a damsel, always handle with care! (
Please... Save me...
~ Pauline kidnapped by Cranky Kong, then known as Donkey Kong
Please! Save me! Pauline Mini-Land Mayhem
~ Princess Peach kidnapped by Bowser.
Kidnapped or Enslaved?
~ Belle and Rapunzel wondering if Vanellope is a princess.
Kidnapped or enslaved (

Damsel in distress (also known as Distressed Damsel) is the classical beautiful and helpless maiden waiting for her hero to come and save her from the villain.

While it is a very old and still actively occurring character type, in modern times, the stereotype of damsel in distress is highly attacked by the feminists. However, the most recent damsels don't merely wait for their heroes and do try to fight for themselves, earning a more positive light. Also, many damsel in distress grow tired of being always saved by their men, and would work themselves out to become stronger. 

Not all of these girls are beautiful, however. Note that putting independent and "feminist" girls in this category will make them seem "passive" due to the radical feminists who hate the trope.

Being a Damsel in Distress usually involves these occurrences:

  • The heroine lands in a perilous situation or circumstance that the hero or another character has to help her out of that raises the stakes. (Rosy from Balto, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Soo-Yung from Rush Hour, Marian from Robin Hood, Romy from Around the World with Willy Fog)
  • The heroine constantly finds herself in certain situations where she needs rescuing. (Gosalyn Mallard from Darkwing Duck, Ann Darrow from King Kong, Amy Rose and Sally Acorn from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Lois Lane from the Superman franchise, Mary Jane Watson from Spider-Man, Daphne Blake from the Scooby-Doo franchise, Princess Peach from the Super Mario franchise)
  • The heroine gets caught up in danger and must save herself. (Rey from Star Wars, La Petite Ballerina from Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, Kayley from Quest for Camelot, Moana)
  • Being being under spells, locked or trapped and often not even being in danger count as "damsel moments". (Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Annie)

Other examples are:

  • The heroine intentionally puts herself in danger, often during a war, or in any situation where she could die. (Mulan, Pocahontas, Sage from Star Darlings, Alex, Clover and Sam from Totally Spies, Moana)
  • If a country, city or world is in danger of being destroyed, the people (including the females) are in danger of dying (Sage from Star Darlings)
  • The heroine is cursed to die, and is in danger until the spell can be either broken, tweaked or the female is in luck and survives. (Snow White, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Anna from Frozen
  • The heroine is being attacked by a villain or animal. (Belle from Beauty and the Beast)
  • The heroine is kidnapped.
  • The heroine is put in bondage by the villain or the villain's lackey at some point.
  • Being threatened also, apparently (Glinda from The Wizard of Oz)

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