->''"To what a bad choice is many a worthy woman betrayed, by that false and inconsiderate notion, that a reformed rake makes the best husband!"''
-->-- '''Samuel Richardson'''

Reformed Rakes are what happens when the heroine of a romance story wants to [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys eat her cake]] and [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan matrimonially have it too]] -- [[BlatantLies because, of course, former bad boys make the best husbands]]. This is a common Regency Romance trope. When it applies, any man who didn't sleep around as a bachelor is ''supposedly'' going to be a boring wimp as a husband at best, if not an outright villain. Conversely, men famous for cutting a swathe through the wives and mistresses of the town not only knows how to please a woman and protect her from harm, he is only waiting for that one special woman who will cause him to reform and cleave to her with unwavering fidelity as the perfect family man.

Never is it mentioned that there's a risk of disease from his antics, nor does he ever have any bastard children that he has to pay attention to, nor does anyone ever point out that real reformed rakes had a tendency to turn into gigantic prudes. He never backslides even when he is revisited years later in other books. Compare to AllGirlsWantBadBoys, but here the trope is not just that the bad boy is attractive, but that [[LoveRedeems all he needs is love to fix everything wrong with him]], so you can have both that trope and SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan simultaneously.

May be the core of {{Fan Fiction}}s written by teenage girls, when they don't want their self-insert {{Relationship Sue}}s to become a LoveMartyr.

Compare LadykillerInLove, a more realistic take on this issue, and FemaleAngelMaleDemon for a metaphor of this trope when the two aforementioned characters are in love.

Related to DracoInLeatherPants.

Note this trope has nothing to do with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rake_%28character%29 restoration rakes,]] though they may overlap. It also has nothing to do with [[CreepyPasta The Rake]] making a HeelFaceTurn.


* Naveen from ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', after he marries. Considering he says that [[DidIJustSayThatOutLoud he's dated thousands of women]]...
* Tramp from ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp''. Falling in love, being adopted into a family, and becoming a father will do that to a dog.

* Ladies and gentlemen, a [[http://www.amazon.com/Reformed-Rakes-Make-Best-Husbands/lm/R1T0KA4HILMO1B book list.]]
* Then there's Siren Publishing, an outfit that publishes "spicy" romances, including a line of novels under the imprint Reformed Rakes.
* It all started [[OlderThanRadio in 1740]] with ''Pamela'', or ''Virtue Rewarded'' where the eponymous character overcomes Mr. B's rakishness with her MarySue-like perfection of virtue. Wildly popular to the point where it alarmed the author, Samuel Richardson: "To what a bad choice is many a worthy woman betrayed, by that false and inconsiderate notion, That a reformed rake makes the best husband!"
* Seth from ''Literature/WickedLovely''. He has piercings, lives in a train and has a reputation for getting around....yet he truly loves Aislinn to the point of [[spoiler: sacrificing his mortality to be with her for eternity.]]
* There's a romance novel titled ''Stranger In My Arms'' that actually [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructs]] this trope: The heroine's husband has been presumed dead for years, and she isn't too sad about it because he was unfaithful to her and never seemed to enjoy having sex with her. Then, out of the blue, he returns BackFromTheDead, says that he's a changed man, and proceeds to be passionate and devoted to her in a way he never was before. The heroine is pleasantly surprised, but can't shake off the feeling that rakes don't reform ''that'' thoroughly, and gets uneasy when her friend uses her husband's changed behavior to justify [[LoveMartyr her staying with her own physically abusive husband in the hope that he'll change eventually]]. It turns out that [[spoiler:the heroine's husband ''did'' die all these years ago, and her current "husband" is actually her husband's half-brother who [[LoveBeforeFirstSight learned about her through diaries her husband left behind]] and decided to [[DeadPersonImpersonation use his impersonation abilities to be the loving husband she never had]]]].
* ''Literature/YouthInSexualEcstasy'' arguably could be a reconstruction of this, the protagonist after being an [[TheCasanova expert womanizer]], ends up settling down with a more prudish and conservative girl; it is stated that his past sexual experiences still do some harm to the sex with his wife, however, despite this with ThePowerOfLove they are able to overcome them and become HappilyMarried.
* Deconstructed in ''A Dangerous Compromise'' by Shannon Donnelly, in which the heroine thoroughly believes this trope, and her (decidedly not a rake) love interest decides to pose as a reformed rake to win her over, while battling for her affections with an actual rake who has absolutely no intentions of reforming.
* Howl of ''Literature/HowlsMovingCastle'', sort of. His heart was [[spoiler:literally missing]] and Sophie had to reform him by [[spoiler:finding it]]. He's still a snarky, cowardly, overdramatic peacock of a wizard, he just doesn't chase every girl in Ingary anymore.
* Creator/JaneAusten, who inspires a lot of Regency Romance though she didn't exactly write it, liked to [[{{Deconstruction}} Deconstruct]] the idea that people could reform their spouses, and used the ReformedRake variant specifically in ''Literature/MansfieldPark''. Fanny Price's AbhorrentAdmirer Henry Crawford boasts that he will be the first person to ever treat her as well as she deserves, and the narrator agrees in the epilogue that he would have been successful, if he'd only had enough principle to stop trifling with other women's feelings to gratify his vanity. Instead he is forced to acknowledge that Fanny's harsh evaluation of his character - that he lacks 'constancy' - was completely accurate.
* Creator/GeorgetteHeyer, the [[TropeCodifier Genre Codifier]] of the Regency Romance, had a fondness for [[TheJerkIndex characters of questionable character]]. The anti-heroes of ''Literature/TheseOldShades'', ''Literature/DevilsCub'', ''Literature/{{Frederica}}'', and ''Literature/BlackSheep'', among others, are rakes and libertines (and jerks) until they meet their matches, while ''Literature/{{Cotillion}}'' and ''Literature/{{Venetia}}'' are subversions.
* Marcus Flutie from the Literature/JessicaDarling series is this, which Jessica [[GenreSavvy notes]] but [[{{Deconstruction}} isn't too happy about]] - being the first girl who he was willing to change for puts altogether too much pressure on her for her taste, and his extensive sexual history partly skeeves her out, partly makes her feel insecure about her own inexperience.
* So very averted in [[Creator/AnneBronte Anne Bronte's]] Literature/TheTenantOfWildfellHall.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* One episode of ''Series/{{Castle}}'', [[spoiler:"Food To Die For"]] has a victim that was trying to ''become'' this. [[spoiler:After he got his foster brother's girlfriend pregnant, she rejected him, telling him that she couldn't rely on a man that slept around. However, he was honestly in love with her, to the point where he planned to quit his promising career as a chef and spent two weeks going to a cafe near her job, trying to get up the nerve to propose to her. Unfortunately, the foster brother found out and killed him.]]
* According to WordOfGod, Patrick Maitland from ''Series/{{Coupling}}''. The final episode of the series showed him awkwardly proposing to his girlfriend Sally, but the scene ended with a stunned Sally babbling an incoherent string of F-Bombs. Some time later, creator Creator/StevenMoffat was asked what happened to the characters after the end of the show on a forum. To quote him:
** "Sally said yes to Patrick, they got married and are very happy... especially as Sally beat Susan to the altar, and finally did something first. Patrick is now a completely devoted husband, who lives in total denial that he was anything other an upstanding member of the community. Or possibly he's actually forgotten. He doesn't like remembering things because it's a bit like thinking."

* Deconstructed in "The Rake's Song" by Music/TheDecemberists. The Rake gets married, is ''apparently'' reformed, "no more a rake and no more a bachelor"...but then he realizes that sex leads to babies and discovers that the married life really isn't for him. Cue [[OffingTheOffspring infanticide]]!

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Rod of ''Webcomic/OutThere'' [[http://outthere.keenspot.com/d/20090326.html offers this.]]
** And Wally ''does'' it...[[http://outthere.keenspot.com/d/20070427.htmlafter being married a while.]]