->''"It's already happening. You've reverted back to what you were. You've gotten soft. You're like one of those police dogs who's released into the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something."''
-->--''Series/NewsRadio'', "Airport"

A {{Jerkass}} softens over time, and becomes either a JerkWithAHeartOfGold or not a jerk at all. Usually this can be due to CharacterDevelopment. HeelFaceTurn may be involved as well. In some cases this may be a case of CharacterizationMarchesOn; as the series progresses, the writers realized that a nicer character fit the changing tone better than the original idea.

If done over the course of one episode or short-story, this may have been to set up an Aesop.

Naturally, the CounterTrope of TookALevelInJerkass. Compare to DefrostingIceQueen, which focuses on a specific Love Interest bringing a character out of their shell.

!!Example subpages:

* TookALevelInKindness/AnimeAndManga
* TookALevelInKindness/{{Literature}}
* TookALevelInKindness/LiveActionTV
* TookALevelInKindness/VideoGames
* TookALevelInKindness/WesternAnimation



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'': In the original, comic book continuity (''different'' of the animated series adaptation continuity), Vathek, one of the main villains of the first arc, is a cruel, aggressive and arrogant bastard. At the half of the arc, [[TheMole he's sent to spy on the good guys]] [[BecomingTheMask but ends up genuinely sympathizing with them]] and pulls a HeelFaceTurn. CharacterDevelopment and HiddenDepths show their faces, and at the end of the arc, he's a real GentleGiant.
* King Max Acorn in ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', post-''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehogMegaManWorldsCollide''. A real jerk who is a massive DiscoDan, when the CosmicRetcon Button is hit by accident, he's completely mellowed out to the point where Sonic, whose been looked down on by the now-formerly senile ruler, sees this as a reason ''not'' to set things back to normal.
* It has been noted by many that, in the New 52, ''Batman'' of all people has taken a major level in kindness, while others have become bigger jerks. Bruce is actively rebuilding Gotham, trying to move on from his parents' death and even seems to be one of the nicer members of the Justice League. While some of this can be seen as the result of ''The Return of Bruce Wayne'', where he came full circle from his previous epic Jerkass characterisation, even stories set before that happened have him as one of the nicer guys.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''’ iteration of Calvin is much more likely to do the right thing than [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes his comic counterpart.]]
* In ''FanFic/TheBestNightEver'', a core focus of the story is Prince Blueblood [[CharacterDevelopment taking several levels in kindness]].
* ''Fanfic/SoulChess'' has Soifon of all people take a few levels in kindness. The reason? [[spoiler: Yoruichi took Soifon with her when she left Soul Society.]]
* ''Fanfic/TheWizardInTheShadows'' has Denethor take one after a HeelRealisation.
* Precia in ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic''. At the very least, she makes an effort to act pleasant instead of abusing Fate, so she's already miles ahead of her canon counterpart, and she does seem to get somewhat genuinely nicer as the story progresses.
* In ''Fanfic/AddressUnknown'', Rainbow Dash grudgingly agrees to take care of a temporarily blinded Derpy, who has recently started a relationship with Twilight. While trying to get to sleep on Derpy's couch, she is forced to confront her responsibility for contributing to Derpy's lifelong misery, and makes a tearful apology the following morning. Derpy forgives her and the two agree to start over.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' story, ''[[Fanfic/LegacyTotalDrama Legacy]]'', both Heather and Duncan have grown up, figuratively as well as literally, in the ten years since they were on the show. Duncan has even learned basic precepts of chivalry.
* Bolt and Moondancer, two of Sylvia's brothers, in the story ''Fanfic/SylviaTheSylveon''.
* In ''Fanfic/FateZeroSanity'', [[{{Jerkass}} Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi]] starts off very similar to canon, but ultimately develops into a sympathetic character, culminating in feeling genuine sorrow when his Servant dies. His last act is to give Waver Velvet his Mystic Code and make some amends towards him. [[spoiler: This makes his death all the more impactful.]]
* Faith and Cordelia both accomplish this in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2052846/1/Faith-The-Series Faith: The Series]]'' much faster than in [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer canon]]. The former due to being HappilyAdopted by Giles. The latter due to being saved by Jesse, [[RescueRomance who she then started dating]].
* [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4991314/1/Escape-from-the-Hokage-s-Hat Escape From The Hokage's Hat:]] Played with in that while Sakura wasn't a complete {{Jerkass}}, she still wasn't a nice person either. Suffice to say after a few BreakTheHaughty moments and several reality checks, she reevaluates herself and [[CharacterDevelopment tries to be both a better person and ninja]] even going as far as asking [[AbhorrentAdmirer Lee]] out on a date and having a much needed SorkinRelationshipMoment with Naruto where she practically begs him to find someone who'll reciprocate his feelings rather than be her HopelessSuitor.
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/17890/fallout-equestria-starlight Fallout: Equestria: Starlight]]: Not that she was a jerk before, but Homage comes off as much nicer then she is in FanFic/FalloutEquestria, often ending [[spoiler: her broadcasts]] with saying how one can best help others.


[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The whole point of everything Lightning [=McQueen=] goes through in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'' is to persuade him to do this.
* Anastasia does this in the sequels ''Disney/CinderellaIIDreamsComeTrue'' and ''Disney/CinderellaIIIATwistInTime'', to the point where she eventually pulls a HeelFaceTurn.
** [[{{JerkWithAHeartOfJerk}} Aver]][[{{TookALevelInJerkass}} ted]] in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep''.
* ''WesternAnimation/MrPeabodyAndSherman'': In this film adaptation of the "Mr. Peabody's Improbable History" segments on ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'', Mr. Peabody is changed from treating Sherman from being merely his pet and assistant to considering Sherman his adopted son whom he loves dearly.
** In the movie itself, Penny starts as an extremely abusive AlphaBitch who tries to humiliate Sherman into acting like a dog; through her experiences with Sherman in the WABAC, she grows to see him in a new light and becomes a softer and kinder person as a result.
* 'Baby' Brent in ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'', who starts being TheBully towards Flint, having also a SmallNameBigEgo personality. [[BreakTheHaughty After his popularity fades away]] thanks to the FLDSMDFR, he decides to help the main characters in the most critical moment and eventually befriends them.
** And in the second film, the [[spoiler: FLDSMDFR itself has a HeelFaceTurn,starting to make life rather than trying to destroy it.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/RuthlessPeople''. Barbara. Even granting the understandable stresses she's put under she's a pretty horrible person at the beginning of the movie, and it's heavily suggested that her unpleasant personality was a factor long before she was kidnapped. Spending time with the Kesslers, however, and losing weight has an improving effect on her personality and she gradually becomes a much nicer person.
* Onkel Sofus in most incarnations of the Father of Four movies, as his CharacterDevelopment.
* In ''Film/BadSanta'', the main character starts being a complete JerkAss, but eventually becames a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* Had Phil Connors of ''Film/GroundhogDay'' not done so, he probably would never have [[spoiler:broken out of [[GroundhogDayLoop his temporal prison]].]]
* The film ''Film/SonOfGodzilla'' is the start of showing the King Of The Monster's more loving fatherly side. Especially towards the end where he [[spoiler:embraces his new son to keep him from freezing to death.]]
* The whole point of the Film ''Film/{{Thor}}'', which is an ''inversion'' of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger.'' Whereas Captain Rogers was granted power because of his kindness and decency, Thor had to ''learn'' kindness and decency first to be worthy of his power.
* ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'': Downplayed with Loki. He is still evil, but is less evil than in ''Film/TheAvengers'' [[spoiler:but he risks his life to save Jane Foster.]]

* This happens to the protagonist in the Music/OzzyOsbourne song "No More Tears." In the first two verses, he happily murders a prostitute. However, during the bridge and third verse, he finds himself feeling very guilty about what he did. By the end of the song, he actually falls in love with her (even though she's already dead).

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/ShawnMichaels TookALevelInJerkass after kicking Marty Jannetty through a window and became an even bigger jerkass after the screw job against Wrestling/BretHart. Then he retired. Then he came out of retirement to fight the seemingly never ending reign of Wrestling/TripleH, gradually becoming a nice guy who would try to help younger wrestlers.
* Annie Social changed much in the four five years between her WEW debut and the rise of new all women's promotions Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}} and Wrestling/{{WSU}}. She started out as a petty criminal out to cause as much ruin as possible, to finding a like minded friend in pro wrestling, then another, then before you know it she's best known for managing hot prospects and her {{tag team}} runs.[[/folder]]

* William Winsbury in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' is introduced as an [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=18 abrasive]], [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=34 bullying]] [[KidsAreCruel twelve-year-old brat]]. As he gets older and [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=447 spends]] [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=610 more]] [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=935 time]] with his classmates, he loses his antagonistic streak, and is on friendly terms with them by the [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1393 cruise]] at the end of Annie's third year.
* Karkat in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' becomes less of a {{Troll}} and more interested in the success of his prior antagonists. And if he's not a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, at least he's a shrewd enough leader to know when to play TeamMom for the other trolls.
** John, too. As he becomes more of an AllLovingHero -- especially when contrasted with the other kids' CharacterDevelopment, which often took them in darker directions -- it can be hard to remember that this is the same guy that who, in his first pesterlog, responded to Dave's gleeful discovery of a bottle of apple juice by joking that it might actually be full of pee.
-->[[color:#0715cd:EB: all im saying is don't you think monster howie mandel has the power to do something as simple as reseal a bottle?]]
-->[[color:#0715cd:EB: try using your brain numbnuts.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'', [[TheAce Fantöm]] started out with an attitude about his high-level player status that bordered on InsufferableGenius. The franchise's WhamEpisode enventually led him to let go of the insufferable part in the webseries and novels, while the comic is currently doing an AdaptationExpansion of the arc that led to the change.