Mistress and Servant Boy

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Oh, yeah. Real subtle.


Delenn: You can look up, Lennier of the Third Fane of Chudomo.
Lennier: It is forbidden.

Deleen: I can't have an aide who won't look up. You'll forever walk into things.

The archetype of a young man kept under the heel of his often older female employer. Usually she takes a certain amount of pleasure from teasing him, asking him to get coffee, and generally watching him squirm. The fact that she's often a Bunny Ears Lawyer means that he usually rolls his eyes at her exploits, but nonetheless follows her diligently, so there's often overlap with Beleaguered Assistant.

However, it should be noted that the woman usually does genuinely care about the guy, she just shows it in a very strange way. She's often a grown-up Tsundere or a Defrosting Ice Queen, and may act the way she does because she has trouble showing affection.

Note that this relationship doesn't have to be romantic or sexual in nature, and may simply be a mentor/student relationship meant to help the young man develop. There are often elements of UST, but more often than not it goes unresolved.

Compare Lady and Knight.

Examples of Mistress and Servant Boy include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Yuuko and Watanuki in xxxHolic (see page image). From making him get her expensive and rare types of alcohol to having him follow her around carrying her stuff while she slices a woman's computer clean in half without scratching the table. Yes, with a baseball bat. As employers go, Yuuko is pretty... unique. Watanuki considers himself to be her slave, but she cares far more about his well-being than is initially obvious.
    • CLAMP also have a male example in Legal Drug with Kakei and his store workers Rikuo and Kazahaya, whom he loves to make squirm and whom he sends on shady missions to retrieve supernatural objects that he intentionally withholds important information on (in one case: that Kazahaya is going to drown). The mirroring of dynamic in xxxHolic is very apparent.
  • Ryoko and Izumida in The Case Files of Yakushiji Ryoko.
  • Ekaterina and Kukrachyov, the pilots of Valspinner from Shinkon Gattai Godannar, which actually used the combination command "Slave On". It even became a plot point of how submissive and "unmanly" Kukrachyov is when the male pilots one after the other flip out from the virus. Just to drive the point home, Shadow, one of America's lesbian pilots, is the only girl affected by it because she's the "manly" one of the two girls
  • Louise from Zero no Tsukaima takes the "Mistress" bit just a bit farther than most, treating Saito more like a slave (to the point of having a whip) but over time she becomes less Tsun and more Dere towards him.
  • Rin does this to Maeno a few times in Mnemosyne, comparing finding him to finding a lost puppy, when she first meets him. She also intentionally plays up the Les Yay with her assistant Mimi in order to make him squirm. As time goes by she respects him more and more, to the point that he turns into an angel to save her.
  • Tohko and Mikiya in Kara no Kyoukai: are a more subtle example (plus Touko flirts with Shiki too, so her orientation is anyone's guess), but Shiki and Mikiya also have aspects of this at times, especially considering how much he follows her around (to the point that when she's in a coma the nurses at the hospital call him "Puppy-kun" since he visits so regularly).
  • Revy and Rock's relationship in Black Lagoon. In a conversation with Eda; Revy does reveal that she hasn't been able to make Rock sleep with her yet. Of course, Revy has a funny definition of "trying"...
  • To an extent, Haruhi and Kyon in Suzumiya Haruhi qualify, as Haruhi is the brigade leader and Kyon basically has the lowest rank. They even employ the Necktie Leash trope on occasion but they are generally more peaceful than others as Haruhi doesn't do harm to him for emotional reasons. In the later novels, Kyon seems to acknowledge her as the leader.
    • This is definitely how the rest of the school views them. "Right, Kyon, you're normal. Sure. You're Suzumiya's minion and you're trying to pull that?"
    • Haruhi seems to think of them this way. In the movie after a long list of outrageous titles for Haruhi the credits say "Menial Labor: Kyon".
  • Benika and Shinkurou of Kure-nai. Mostly a mentor/protégé relationship, as Shinkurou earnestly admires Benika and constantly seeks her approval.
  • Katina and Russel's relationship in the Super Robot Wars Original Generation games occasionally carries undertones of this.
    • It's actually a recurring element with some individuals. Viletta's pretty stoic, but she is a pretty harsh teacher especially when it comes to Ryusei. They spend a good deal of time relatively alone in Alpha Gaiden (it makes sense in context), and she works him to the bone. However, she has never acted in a way that contradicts her role of a mentor.
  • Eva from Monster has an episode of this.
  • Opposite of this exists in Hayate the Combat Butler. Hayate is the servant to Nagi, Nagi is the younger and also the one Hayate's attempting to teach. She also clearly has a crush on him.
    • It's also possible that it's again opposites in Wataru and Saki's case.
    • The dynamic is probably strongest with Hayate and Athena, however.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Fanon often portrays Adiane and Viral as an example of this trope, mostly based on Viral's stoic acceptance of Adiane's abuse for letting her lover be killed by Team Gurren.
  • While not a direct master/servant relationship, Ichigo and Yoruichi of Bleach fulfill this trope when training together, She seems to enjoy teasing him by going naked every once in a while.
  • In an early episode of the Trigun anime, badass gunslinger Vash the Stampede (who really doesn't know how to deal with women) falls immediately into such a relationship, Played for Laughs, with a beautiful female engineer who arrives to fix the town's power plant.
  • In Seto no Hanayome, Lunar attempts to force Nagasumi into one of these relationships despite (or rather, because of) his engagement to Sun.
  • The relationship between Haji and Saya began this way in Blood Plus, with Haji as a surly Cute Shotaro Boy and Saya as a well intentioned but tyrannical teenager. After finding out the reason for Haji's antipathy--he was sold as a slave to her guardian, Joel--Saya becomes friendlier and their relationship improves.
  • In hindsight, Battler and Beatrice had something like this relationship going on for the first four games or so of Umineko no Naku Koro ni. The aesthetics in particular of that couple tended to be very similar to xxxHOLiC. Fitting, considering both Beatrice's and Yuuko's seiyuu.
  • Age-flipped in Angel Links, where the teenage yet well-endowed Meifon Li has a twenty-something Boy Friday named Kosei Hida.
  • Sumire and Momo's relationship is like this in Tramps Like Us, although unusually, Momo is quite enthusiastic about being Sumire's pet.
  • Liang Qi and Cummings of Canaan are a particularly dark example of this trope. Liang Qi couldn't care less about Cummings and mostly vents her frustrations on him using an airsoft gun, and Cummings harbors a one-sided affection for her to the point that he eventually starts to like her abuse, while Liang Qi harbors her own one-sided love for Alphard to a truly obsessive extent. Cummings' loyalty to Liang Qi is so great, in fact, that he's the one who gives her a Mercy Kill after she tries to give herself synethesia and it backfires horribly, and at the end of the series he's shown to have become a monk and still thinks of Liang Qi fondly.
  • Now, while Ren has three separate masters in They Are My Noble Masters, it’s invoked by both Shinra & Miyu. Both are older than he is. Both tease him mercilessly. Neither one have any issue invoking an Accidental Pervert scenario upon him. And for the icing, he has UST with both sisters, involving his wandering hands with Miyu and Shinra’s various come-ons that lead nowhere. Well, that is until the Grand Finale where Shinra rams her tongue down Ren’s throat.
  • This trope is explored with Ririchiyo and Miketsukami from Inu x Boku SS, though it's not enough to be called a Deconstruction. Both of them are trying to become more humane[1] to each others, and it's an awkward process.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Masters of Barley: As CEO of her late father's beer brewing company, Adrienne Steenfort has a younger male assistant who obviously has a crush on her.

Film[edit | hide]

Farmboy!
As you wish.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • On Battlestar Galactica (the reboot), Laura Roslin's relationship with her aide Billy had elements of this.
  • While he's not really her assistant, Defrosting Ice Queen / Magnificent Bastard Adelle DeWitt and Geeky Mad Scientist Topher Brink have this kind of relationship on Dollhouse. Their relationship winds up seeming somewhat like a mother and son, though at first many fans thought it would turn romantic.
    • Also, if you reverse the gender roles, Topher and Ivy interact about this way.
  • Delenn and Lennier in Babylon 5.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Shadows of Mexico setting for Vampire: The Requiem shows a deconstruction of this trope in the relationship between the Harpy Mariposa and her poor PR agent/childe Colibri. Mariposa often humiliates Colibri in front of Mexico's other vampires, treating her as little more than a punching bag, but she actually does care about her in private. This just makes Colibri even crazier!
    • ...actually, this pretty much sums up the relationship of most of the female and a few male vampires in this game with anyone with lower Status than them.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • A literal (but not precisely fulfilling the trope) and very tragic example comes from August Strindberg's play Miss Julie. It's about class and lust and power and people end up dead.
  • Candi and Buck in the musical Zanna, Don't!.

Video Games[edit | hide]

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Mistress and Apprentice Ivan from the NSFW Oglaf very much have this dynamic, and she more than enjoys sexually teasing him.
  • Sette and Duane from Unsounded have this dynamic, with the twist that Sette is prepubescent.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • While the "boy" in question is a robot and there's no caring involved, The Nostalgia Chick and her new Sex Bot fit into this. She uses it strictly for her own pleasure and it even calls her "mistress".

Real Life[edit | hide]

  1. They are technically not human, but that's besides the point.