Created By: Dragonmouth on August 9, 2011

Go And Sin No More

The hero allows the villain to work to repent for his crimes rather than punishing him.

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The villain has either been defeated or acknowledges the error of his ways. He surrenders to the hero, expecting to be killed or punished in some other way. Instead, the hero lets him go, telling him to work to make up for his crimes. This usually turns the villain into The Atoner.

Trope Namer is The Bible, in which Jesus releases an adulteress rather than stone her to death, as was common at the time.

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • August 9, 2011
    Ooh! Ooh! Does he get to kill about a jillion mooks first?
  • August 9, 2011
    In Dragon Age, after you defeat a blood mage and her cohorts in the Circle Tower, she surrenders to you and asks you to show mercy. you have the option to let her try to escape and join the Chantry to repent for her crimes.
  • August 9, 2011
    Double subverted on SpongeBob SquarePants when SpongeBob reforms Man-Ray. Immediately after being freed, Man-Ray takes some weapons and goes to rob a bank, but finds to his dismay that "the urge to do bad is gone!"
  • August 9, 2011
    Guile's original victory quote was this: "Go home and be a family man!"
  • August 9, 2011
    In Doctor Whoo, there is a Sontaran that the Doctor has made go out and be a nurse as a penance.
  • August 9, 2011
    Naturally, if the villain doesn't turn into The Atoner, this can be a demonstration of Good Is Dumb.
  • August 10, 2011
    In Gandhi a Hindu comes to Gandhi as he's partaking in a fast and says he (the Hindu) is going to Hell, because he killed a Muslim child in revenge for Muslims killing his son. Gandhi tells the man to to repent by finding a Muslim boy whose parents have been killed, and raise him. But here's the kicker: he's to raise the boy as a Muslim.
  • August 10, 2011
    Goku tried to invoke this on Frieza in Dragonball Z when he has him beat. Twice.
  • August 11, 2011
    Does this involve letting characters off the hook for their sins, or simply requiring work to make up for it as opposed to other punishments? An example of the latter would be from the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Boast Busters" where Snips and Snails wake a bear, angering it and driving it to cause lots of destruction in ponyville. Twilight Sparkle tells Snips and Snails to clean up the mess.
  • August 11, 2011
    Also overlaps with Cruel Mercy sometimes.
  • August 11, 2011
    Plenty of chances to do this in the Mass Effect games, when you can either kill someone for Renegade points or let them go for Paragon points.
  • March 22, 2012
    ^^ That too.
  • March 23, 2012
    • This happens in the Nuts Fujimori manga adaptation of Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu. In this adaptation, one of the early bad guys, Kinbois of Verdane, is portayed as deep down not being evil, just someone influencable who was following the wrong path. Sigurd notices this, and lets him live on the promise he will atone for his sins. Kinbois is genuinely moved by this mercy and promises. This turns out to be crucial, as Kinbois' brother Jamuka later fights Sigurd because he believes, in a misunderstanding, that Sigurd has killed his beloved brother in battle: after learning the truth and seeing Sigurd's generosity, Jamuka joins his party.
  • March 23, 2012
    Real Life
    • As part of the surrender at the end of World War II, the US allowed Hirohito to remain the emperor. Of course, he had little power both before and after the surrender, so YMMV as to whether he's a villain.
  • March 26, 2012
    Video Games.

    In the god-awful Zelda CD-i games, after Duke Onkled betrayed the King of Hyrule by siding with Ganon, he gets off by being told to "Scrub all the floors in Hyrule."
  • March 26, 2012
    Can also overlap with Restrained Revenge.