Created By: DomaDoma on October 29, 2009

Jean Valjean Moment

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A character is on the run. Very likely, he's been part of a Stern Chase from the word go. The logical course of action would be to do whatever he has to do, while drawing the least amount of attention to himself he possibly can.

He won't consider it for a moment. That random stranger over there needs help, and he won't stand idly by for the sake of anonymity.

Often leads to detection by the people he's been evading all this time, but not as often as you'd think.

  • Jean Valjean from Les MisÚrables is, of course, the Trope Namer. More often than not, his Moments involved throwing himself directly in Inspector Javert's path, rather than merely risking the same.
  • Kenzou Tenma from Monster will never let an injury go uncared-for. Ever. At one point, an unscrupulous character wanted to recruit him as an underground physician, but really, that's a good part of what he was doing already.
  • In Firefly, Simon Tam, amid breaking into an Alliance hospital, stopped to save a man's life from his doctor's incometence.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Trio enacted an impromptu mass breakout of Muggle-borns on the way to pick up a MacGuffin from one of the densest centers of Death Eater activity.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • October 29, 2009
    Closely related to Honor Before Reason. This trope is why a Paladin Good Aligned character will always blow their cover when infiltrating a Wretched Hive.
  • October 29, 2009
    Happened semi-regularly to Dr Richard Kimble on The Fugitive. Despite being on the run for murder, he would go to the aid of anyone in medical need. (Of course, The Fugitive was inspired by Les Miserables.)
  • October 29, 2009
    Fahrenheit, AKA Indigo Prophecy. You're on the run from the police, accused of a murder that you... well, you totally committed it, but you were being controlled by a brazilian Voodoo priest, see? Though for some strange reason, the cops don't wanna hear about it. On the bright side, having been briefly possessed have unlocked hidden superpowers and limited precognition in you. While secretly meeting your brother in a park in the middle of the winter, you get a warning flash of danger - not to yourself, but to a kid playing on a frozen lake nearby. The ice is gonna break, and he'll either drown or die from hypothermia! With your superhuman speed and powers, you can save him... but a pair of beat cops are patrolling the park, and you're Public Enemy no. 1 - if you make a hero of yourself, they're bound to notice! Dilemma! be honest, I don't remember if it's even POSSIBLE to choose not to act. I certainly never did. Fortunately, after you pull the kid out of the ice, the cops rushing to the scene, despite recognizing you, decide to pretend not to notice, figuring that arresting a guy who've just saved a kid's life would be really impolite.
  • October 29, 2009
    You actually could, but it was possibly the single most Karma Meter/Sanity Meter damaging act you could do.

    Nitpick: he was a 1000 year old Mayan priest. ... Yeah.

    Edit: Name idea! How about Dudley Do Good Stops To Help, to pair with Dick Dastardly Stops To Cheat?
  • October 30, 2009
    • Another The Fugitive example in the 1993 film. While on the run, Dr. Richard Kimble is in a hospital as part of his search for the one-armed man. He notices that a child has been misdiagnosed and will die if not given immediate surgery. He changes the orders on the kid's chart and saves his life.
  • October 31, 2009
    All right - who's for Dudley Do Right Stops To Help, and who's for Jean Valjean Moment?
  • October 31, 2009
    Egregious Eric
  • October 31, 2009
    Sorry, I had a brainfart with the name, it's Dudley Do-Right, not Dudley Do-Good. So it should be Dudley Do-Right Stops To Help.
  • October 31, 2009
    This is a subtrope of Chronic Hero Syndrome; when it's launched, be sure to add it to that trope!
  • October 31, 2009
    random surfer
    Happened from time to time in The Incredible Hulk TV show (which was loosely based on The Fugitive which was in turn based partially on Les Miserables).