Created By: kevatuw on January 29, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on August 7, 2014

Nice People Always Win

A loser demonstrates an act of kindness that allows him/her to be the winner

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I'm sure this is something I've seen crop up in children's cartoons a ton of times, but I can't think of any examples.

The hero of the story has just lost a bet or a competition or something. Since it's the hero, they're kind and humble about it, and they graciously accept defeat. They offer whatever to the winner, and it turns out that this act of kindness actually helps the hero be the real winner in the long run.

Unfortunately, the only children's cartoon that's clear in my memory right now is MLP. Did this show up in some Disney movie or fairy tale or something? The closest example I can think of right now is how Charlie "wins" in the film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971). Thanks for any help.


Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • January 29, 2012
    This was used constantly in the first season of Pokemon. The number of Gym Badges that Ash actually earned was dwarfed by the number he'd been awarded just for being a Good Samaritan. Of special note is the episode where he faced against Sabrina and her Abra. Ash and Pikachu are completely outclassed in that battle, until Ash goes on a journey to find a Ghost Pokemon to fight Sabrina. Ash returns with a Haunter, who instead of battling Sabrina defrosts her cold demeanor, and causes both her and her Abra (who are psychically connected) to become paralyzed with laughter, prompting Sabrina's father to just hand Ash a badge.
  • January 29, 2012
    In Cars, Lightning practically gives up first place in the Piston Cup to help an injured competitor finish the race. Despite losing, he is still offered the sponsorship he's been coveting for the whole movie, although he turns that down too.

    The Runner Up Takes It All and Second Place Is For Winners might be related.

    Could you perhaps elaborate on the MLP example? I, and I'm sure several others, are unfamiliar with this show.
  • January 30, 2012
    I actually can't think of any specific examples from MLP. I don't even know why I mentioned it. King Zeal's example is closer to what I'm thinking of than Wacky Meets Practical, sorry. The Runner Up Takes It All and Second Place is for Winners are conceptually similar to what I'm looking for, but only loosely connected.

    Okay, I'll admit that I've been using this to get help with schoolwork. I'm writing a paper about a short story and am looking for examples from fiction to support my point. Sorry for not saying that earlier. What I did was kind of dishonest, and I do apologize. It's this story:

    SUMMARY: Basically, there is a beautiful young woman in this story named Le Fresne. Her mother wanted to kill her at birth, but she was abandoned, found, and adopted. She grows up and wants to marry a knight named Gurun. But Gurun must marry someone with noble blood, so he meets another beautiful young woman named La Codre and plans to marry her instead. Despite the hostility from La Codre's mother, Le Fresne is kind and helpful and means no harm. She even helps prepare the wedding bed for Gurun and La Codre, and adds her brocade to it to make it more beautiful. Because of Le Fresne's kindness, Gurun ends up marrying Le Fresne instead of La Codre as they had planned, and everyone is happy.

    In my initial post, I was trying to hide the fact that I was actually referencing this obscure story. I'm really sorry for not bringing it up earlier.
  • January 30, 2012
    ...Why didn't you just go to the forums and ask? There's an entire thread for homework help (although it's usually math and science, but still).

    Regardless, this is actually a legitimate trope, despite the reason behind its proposal being a little on the bizarre side. May I recommend something along the lines of Nice Guy Finishes First for the title? As, like, a play on the saying "the nice guy always finishes last".
  • January 30, 2012
  • January 30, 2012
    @King Zeal: Actually he got the Marsh Badge because Sabrina's pokemon was also paralysed with laughter because of their connection, thus it was unable to battle and she was defeated.
  • January 30, 2012
    ^ Noted. Still fits the trope, though.
  • January 30, 2012
    Specifically, Harry Potter getting second place at the lake task in HP 4 "for outstanding moral fiber": he insisted on ensuriing all four people held underwater were saved, including Fleur's little sister, in the process sacrificing his lead to Cedric.
  • January 30, 2012
    Secret Test of Character is close, but doesn't quite fit because it implies that a powerful being is overlooking the person being tested. What I'm talking about is just the hero winning coincidentally as a result of their kindness, not because they did what the person watching them wanted them to do.
  • February 1, 2012
    Sorry for the double post, but if this is actually a legitimate trope, is it safe to launch, or should we get some more? I'm no expert on tropes, so that's why I like to leave it to the more experienced to do it.
  • February 1, 2012
  • February 1, 2012
    ^ It'll eventually be misused as a trope about guys who score with girls because they were nice.

    That's not what this trope is.
  • February 1, 2012
    On The Penguins Of Madagascar, Private is in a driving test when he stops before the finish line to avoid running over a cricket, which Skipper calls him out on. Later, said cricket helps Private win at a game of mini-golf, where the fate of the entire zoo is at stake.
  • February 4, 2012
    I'm afraid to click the launch button...
  • February 5, 2012
    Not enough hats.

    I say, is this the opposite of Dick Dastardly Stops To Cheat and Evil Will Fail?
  • February 5, 2012
    Hats? Is that TV Tropes slang for votes? Sorry, I created this account really quickly and barely understand the rules of this site.

    I think it is the opposite of Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat. In that trope, the [bad] guy would have [won] normally, but did something [bad] to [lose].

    In the trope I'm talking about, the [good] guy would have [lost] normally, but did something [good] to [win].

    It looks like the exact opposite! Because if you switch the words in brackets, you have a match!
  • February 5, 2012
    ^See Needs Launching Votes. When someone votes that it's ready to launch you get a "hat." ATM you have one hat out of a possible five. Your hats can be seen below the last comment in the thread, and/or in the upper left corner of the ykttw. But only when it's on ykttw; if you look at it via Permalink the hats don't show up for some reason I don't know.
  • August 5, 2014
  • August 5, 2014
    See, we can't be sure what this is.

    At any rate, this should be restarted.
  • August 6, 2014
    Senselessness. They have just had a bet. He lost, didn't win, gave win to his opponent. He does something nice and he gets this win back some other time? (rewin some bet he's lost) So says the original post. Later examples trivia/ymmv-ishly tip-toe around ideas of "he didn't win now, but he gets good thing later". But then the ^^^^ sponsor comment contradicts all attempts at logical isolation of anything specific. It's more or less downplayed The Good Guys Always Win. I don't like such hollow propositions. Without giving several examples, go figure to what degree their pattern-vision lacks.

    Perhaps original post could have evolved into a neutral Off-Purse Reward.

  • August 6, 2014
    If I'm understanding this correctly:
    • In the Discworld novel Lords And Ladies, Granny Weatherwax and Diamanda Tockley are both staring at the sun, as a contest of who's the better witch. What happens next is recorded in the Fictional Document Legends & Antiquities of the Ramtops:
      "The duel beinge ninety minutes advanced, a small boy child upon a sudden ran across the square and stept within the magic circle, whereup he fell down with a terrible scream also a flash. The olde witche looked around, got out of her chair, picked him up, and carried him to his grandmother, then went back to her seat, whilom the young witch never averted her eyes from the Sunne. But the other young witches stopped the duel averring, Look, Diamanda has wonne, the reason being, Weatherwax looked away. Whereupon the child's grandmother said in a loude voice, Oh yes? Pulle the other onne, it have got bells on. This is not a conteft about power, you stupid girls, it is a conteft about witchcraft, do you not even begin to know what being a witch IS?
      "Is a witch someone who would look round when she heard a child scream?
      "And the townspeople said, Yess!"
    It later transpires that Nanny Ogg set this up, but insists that since Granny didn't know that, and everyone reacted the way they would have anyway, it wasn't cheating. (Although it still later transpires that Granny did know that. "Gytha meant well, I expect. Daft old biddy.")
  • August 7, 2014
    • Capitalized the title.
    • Created Examples section.