The villain is antagonizing someone, he might be talking trash and fighting with the hero or his friends, or maybe bullying someone who's incapable of retaliating, business as usual.
But something tragic happens to the character, to the point that now, even the villain from before sympathizes with him and may show him a kind gesture, if not make a Heel-Face Turn
may be considered a subtrope of Pet the Dog
and Even Evil Has Standards
, compare to Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas
where the villain shows his kind side more naturally, or Villainous BSOD
where the hero is Talking the Monster to Death
and helping him grow a conscience.
- In Scrubs, the janitor decides not to torment JD for the one day his father passes away.
- in the flash game But That Was Yesterday, the three bullies stop when the main character's friend passes away.