Created By: LORdAugust 1, 2010
Troped

Single Good Act

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So there's this boy, and this girl who's largely dismissive towards him. But then, the girl witnesses him committing some single good act (rescuing someone from bullies, stopping to help someone with errands, etc.) that makes her think "maybe he's not so bad after all" and inevitably shoehorns the two towards a relationship. Alternatively, witnessing this act may have been what first piqued interest in one party in the other.

Essentially, a specific form of Relationship Upgrade that tends to happen very early on in the Romance Arc, if not start it entirely. It's a pretty common way in which fiction simplifies romance, so I thought that maybe we could have this?

Examples:

  • When Junichi defends Ai from an aggressive dog in Amagami - Love Goes On!
  • When Shinji defeats the Angel in his first fight together with Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion (the details escape me here, any help?)
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • August 2, 2010
    LORd
    Bah-da-bump? I thought this was a pretty good proposition.
  • August 2, 2010
    SomeGuy
    It's an interesting idea- Pet The Dog being used as foreshadowing that the Jerk With A Heart Of Gold is worthy romantic relationship material. I must admit, it's difficult to come up with examples, as common as it sounds. Could probably use a better name, maybe Petting The Dog Is Sexy.

    I believe that in Code Geass, this is the trope used to explain how Shirley fell in love with Lelouch, but I can't recall what it was specifically that he did.
  • August 2, 2010
    SKJAM
    • In Ratman, the Tomboy character already kind of likes the hero, though she thinks of him as a wimpy kid who needs protection. Then she sees him rescue a kitten from being run over (without the benefit of superpowers) and she immediately upgrades her opinion to "has a hero's heart"--especially significant as the "real" professional heroes ignored the situation.
  • August 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    I second "Petting The Dog Is Sexy" as being a better title, as Single Good Act is too broad and doesn't really have romantic overtones to it.

    I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, other than the one that's in my story (which combines this with Rescue Romance, as the resident Jerkass saves the life of his arch-nemesis, and she in turn begins to see through his Jerkass Facade).
  • August 2, 2010
    Irrelevant402
    I like Petting the Dog is Sexy too.

    I think Spectacular Spider-Man has an example of this in season 2.
    • Jerk-jock Flash Thompson tries to hook up with quiet and artsy Sha Shan, at first he tries being his usually annoying and pushy self who relies on his sports rep to get her attention. She turns him down each time but only starts giving him a chance when he *spoilers* lets it be known that the team won a state championship because one character was using semi-steroids (long story) and he didn't think it was right win something even that big like that.
  • August 2, 2010
    DracMonster
    Compare But You Screw One Goat

    Or just shorten it to Sexing The Dog?

    (Yes, I'm joking...)
  • August 2, 2010
    fzzr_miller
    Hayate of Hayate The Combat Butler saves Nagi from kidnappers, which kickstarts their relationship.
  • August 3, 2010
    LORd
    Single Good Act isn't a very good name, I admit, but then again this trope isn't solely about a girl catching a glimmer of the gold in a Jerk With A Heart Of Gold -- it's equally applicable to wimpy, pushover types who suddenly demonstrate to the tsundere that they do indeed have a spine. Or really, any redeeming quality in an otherwise forgettable or downright loathsome person. Does Petting the Dog is Sexy work in those situations?

    Also, that's an interesting point about the Rescue Romance. What's the relationship between these two? Is this the supertrope, or are they sister tropes? Whbuh?
  • August 3, 2010
    DracMonster
    Instant Sexiness Just Add Crowner? Since its generally a CMOA or CMOH that triggers it?
  • August 4, 2010
    LORd
    Generally isn't good enough here, I think, and that's a pretty unwieldy title anyway.

    Ugh... I'm completely hang up on Single Good Act, since that's the way somebody on the forums described this trope when I realized that we don't exactly have it. Display Of Kindness? Show Of Goodwill?
  • August 4, 2010
    AlexThePrettyGood
    In Total Drama Island, Courtney finds out that Duncan is a Jerk With A Heart Of Gold when she sees him tricking DJ with a replacement Bunny so DJ wouldn't be sad.
  • August 4, 2010
    Sackett
    A major part of the attraction is the belief on the part of the girl that only she has seen this "hidden side" of the guy. This makes her feel special and connected with him.
  • August 5, 2010
    LORd
    Any more input on the name? Caught Petting The Dog? Single Act Of Virtue?
  • August 5, 2010
    Gerkuman
  • August 5, 2010
    randomsurfer
  • August 5, 2010
    LORd
    Samaritan Relationship Starter is pretty unwieldy, but I think it's the best one out of these.

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