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Borderers were not the kind to ask leave for anything, and especially not to go courting. They married across the line with a fine disregard for the laws
George Macdonald Fraser, The Steel Bonnets.

The last resort of a couple that wants to get around a troublesome Arranged Marriage or are Dating What Daddy Hates. Run away and get married!

Contrast Runaway Bride, although if the eloping occurs close enough to an Arranged Marriage, the two can overlap. Sister trope to My Own Private I Do, where a couple about to be married with fanfare runs off to be married quietly. Compare and contrast Shotgun Wedding, which takes place similarly on the fly, but almost always has one of the parties unwilling to go through with it.

Examples of Elopement include:

Anime and Manga

  • Chobits has Shinra and his cram school teacher eloping because her husband has rejected her for a computer android they purchased.
  • Mushishi has Hana and Zen, a pair of young lovers, who decided to escape, when Hana was to be forced into an Arranged Marriage. They probably would have succeeded, if Hana hadn’t hesitated and fallen from a bridge, changing in the process into a Mushi-possessed zombie.


  • In The King Killer Chronicles, Kvothe's mother is a noblewoman who ran away to marry his father, an itinerant performer.
  • Heathcliff and Isabella run away together in Wuthering Heights, likely to Gretna Green.
  • Subverted in Pride and Prejudice where everyone thinks, even hopes that Wickham and Lydia have eloped. It turns out they're in London, and very much not married.


  • Anne and Henrik elope near the end of A Little Night Music. Since Anne is already married to Henrik's father this is really the only option.
  • Romeo and Juliet run away to Friar Lawrence to get married.
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia and Lysander run off to do this, since Hermia is going to be forced into an Arranged Marriage to Demetrius (or put into a convent). However, events work out so that Demetrius cancels the wedding and the two are able to get married in Athens after all.

Video Games

  • This trope is the story of Lyndis' parentage in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. Her mother, Lady Madelyn, was the daughter of the Marquis of Caelin. Her father, Hassar, was the leader of the Lorca Tribe, one of the three tribes of Sacae, a group of nomadic people. In order to stay together, Madelyn left Caelin to live with her lover on the Sacaen plains.
  • Hawke's parents from the Dragon Age II Backstory: he was a runaway apostate mage, she was a noble with an Arranged Marriage looming.
  • One of the subplots of Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door involves the daughter of a Piyanta mafia don eloping with one of his underlings. The first time you meet, he agrees to secure you a ride to the place where the next Plot Coupon is if you bring them back. On finding them, they return of their own accord and he tells them to get lost but gives them his blessing in a roundabout way. They settle on a tropical island a few chapters later. In the next chapter you need a ride once again, so you return and find him sick (literally) with worry about them. One subquest later and you have your ticket, the couple and the Don reconcile and everyone's happy.

Web Original

Real Life

  • The Scottish village of Gretna Green is the place where English teenagers used to traditionally run to to get hitched when they wished to defy their parents (because Scottish law was more easy going about such things, and it was the first Scottish village on the main London-Edinburgh road). It's still possible to go there for a traditional "wedding of the anvil", although this is no longer recognised in law.
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