[[caption-width-right:350:[[Disney/{{Cinderella}} Before]] and [[Disney/CinderellaIIIATwistInTime after]] Anatasia's CharacterDevelopment from Cinderella's evil stepsister to a kind sister.]]

->''"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 sweet trope in which a {{Jerkass}} develops a nicer attitude over time and becomes a genuinely pleasant person (or, at worst, a JerkWithAHeartOfGold). Usually this can be due to CharacterDevelopment. A 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. This trope also covers situations where a character with a HiddenHeartOfGold or a JerkassFacade feels safe enough to show his gentler side (in the presence of the main characters, anyway).

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

Contrast TookALevelInJerkass. Compare to DefrostingIceQueen, which focuses on a specific Love Interest bringing an unfriendly character out of her shell. When a character becomes nicer in an adaptation, that's AdaptationalNiceGuy.

[[folder: 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''. Once a fairly amiable guy, one trauma after another left him a crusty curmudgeon. When the CosmicRetcon Button is hit by accident, he becomes completely mellowed out to the point where Sonic sees this change in attitude 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 characterization, even stories set before that happened have him as one of the nicer guys.
* After mostly being an antagonist or even borderline villain in the ''[[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Donald Duck]]'' comics he originated in, Scrooge [=McDuck=] had to be turned into a more heroic and sympathetic character when he began starring in his own spinoff title (though even in his own comics he always remained something of an antihero).
* In the ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}''/Franchise/GreenLantern crossover ''Comicbook/RedDaughterOfKrypton'', Red Lantern [[BrokenBird Bleez]] became somewhat kinder and nicer after joining Guy Gardner's group. Supergirl also matured in this storyline, getting over her anger and brattiness and becoming a better person.
* In ''ComicBook/MsMarvel2014'', Zoe Zimmer starts off as a mean and condescending bitch towards Kamala and Nakia, but over the course of the series, she slowly gets on better terms with them, culminating in [[spoiler:her realizing that she has feelings for Nakia]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''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/ACrownOfStars'': After arriving on Avalon, getting therapy and counselling, Asuka -who had previously been a mass of rage, cynicism and bitterness due to be psychologically broken- starts being nicer as she gradually gets over her worst issues and learns she can trust other people (specially Shinji).
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': After she and Shinji get together, Asuka starts being nicer and kinder to Shinji and Rei because she knows she is not alone anymore and she does not need to push people away. Unfortunately she can not display it openly out of fear to be separated from Shinji in the event that someone finds out that they have become a couple.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': Due to the changes she undergoes through her pregnancy, Asuka's behaviour becomes softer. After hooking up with Shinji she is way nicer to him, at the beginning privately but later openly. When Touji muses Asuka is nicer than she used to, Shinji replies that is the real Asuka and the mean girl was a façade.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': After losing her mother and being ditched by her father Asuka's temper got real bad. Fortunately she got a decent foster mother raised her properly, and her behaviour softened after a while.
* ''Fanfic/DoingItRightThisTime'':
** Ritsuko, upon discovering [[spoiler:Rei is actually a clone of her mother instead of one of Yui,]] starts being kinder to her, even going so far as to treat Rei like a little sister.
** Asuka, after returning to the past with full knowledge of how disastrous and self-defeating was her "drive everybody away in order to avoid pain" strategy, allows herself to be nicer.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': Getting together with Shinji worked wonders on Asuka's brittle temper. She calmed down -a bit- and started being nicer to people she previously declared she could not stand like Rei or Kaworu. Several characters note that she has changed and is kinder: after finding out Shinji and Asuka are iving together Misato mutters "Oh. So that is because she is nicer now". Shortly after Asuka praises Rei's performance during a volleybal match and Rei gets flustered and shocked.
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': Asuka becomes a bit nicer after undergoing therapy and being in a healthy relationship. This is made clear when she refers Rei as “Miss Ayanami”.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Downplayed. Due to a being older, married and a mother, Asuka is nicer, less harsh and less mean that she used to when she was thirteen... although she is still pretty hot-tempered.
* ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'': When Kaoru starts working in the pilots' school his lessons teach Asuka to be less angry and less confrontational, and help her to open up. Her temper gets nicer and less pushy progressively, to the point she is capable of confessing her feelings to Shinji (after a bottle of sake). From that point she becomes kinder.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': At the beginning Asuka was very angry and confrontational. However, exposure to Shinji -the nicest, kindest, less judgemental person that you will meet- helps her to improve her temper and let her nicer side out.
* ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'': After hooking up with Shinji, Asuka stops pushing everyone away. She even tries to be nicer to Rei for Shinji's sake.
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': After returning to the past, Shinji knows exactly why Asuka is rude and and confrontational and what ticks her off. So that he makes sure showing her that he is there for her and not behaving as a wimp who apologises for everything, never stands up and always backs off, to avoid pressing her berserk buttons. The result is she becomes more sympathetic and nicer. This is specially obvious in several scenes where she admits to Rei she screwed up during a battle or where she says it would be unfair going to Okinawa alone while Shinji and Rei stay in Tokyo-3.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': Rei and Asuka start fighting over Shinji, forcing the latter girl to acknowledge and display her feelings openly. Since she has to stop pushing him away, Asuka starts being nicer and less harsh. In chapter 6 Shinji notes she is really kinder now.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': This is in fact a plot point: When Asuka finds out about ''[[Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} her powers]]'' and realizes what they entail, she strives to become a better, kinder person and be worthy of them.
* ''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.
* The shinigami [[AntiVillain Umbra]] in ''Fanfic/AndTheStoryContinues'' is a strange case. He's become much warmer and more cooperative [[spoiler:since [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie his transformation from L]]]], especially towards [[ButtMonkey Sidoh]], [[MoralityPet Erin]] and [[FriendToAllChildren kids like Near]]. But he's also become much more amoral compared to [[spoiler:his human persona]]--for example, he doesn't hesitate to [[spoiler:offer to kill Kimiko for running over Erin's cat while driving drunk, although he does promptly back off when Erin refuses his offer.]]
* Bonnie in the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' fanfic ''Fanfic/VacationFromTheNorm'' is much kinder than she was in the series, largely due to her marriage to Senor Senior Jr. and the father/daughter bond that developed between her and her father-in-law Senor Senior Sr., who happily indulged her passion for refurbishing motorcycles. Bonnie, in turn, convinced SSS to do a HeelFaceTurn, and the Senior family formed their own hero team called the Upperclassmen to help Kim Possible out.
* In ''Fanfic/{{Wonderful}}'', Sophia is a jerkass, but she becomes gradually kinder and more tolerable after meeting Taylor.
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', Shinji goes from being a ManipulativeBastard and an unrepentant, selfish {{Jerkass}} to being a JerkWithAHeartOfGold and developing pity and empathy after getting a girlfriend, family and friends.
* In ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'', [[AfterTheEnd after Third Impact]], Asuka gradually gets over her issues, matures and [[spoiler:becomes a mother,]] and in the process she becomes nicer and less bratty.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8296097/6/Shinji-s-Nightmare Shinji's Nightmare]]'', some time after Shinji returns from his month in Unit 01 as an Alicorn, Nightmare Moon develops from a former BigBad into a [[PromotionToParent surrogate mother]] for the boy. It helps that she created his new body, built in her image and gifted with her power, so functionally she ''is'' his mother.
** Ritsuko warms up to Shinji considerably after he extends an open invitation to talk to him about anything or just to have a shoulder to cry on, even knowing that she's sleeping with his father.
* In ''FanFic/ThisBites'', due to the conveniently timed [[spoiler:SBS broadcast]], Boa Hancock spares Marguerite after the latter reasons that she has Devil Fruit powers and that it was due to a DarkAndTroubledPast. Thinking about the whole thing more, [[HeelRealization she realizes just how many of the World Nobles' habits she and her sisters had adopted]], and decides she should listen to Elder Nyon and seek therapy.
* In ''Machinima/SodortheEarlyYears'', this happens with a fair amount of characters, but Diesel is definitely the most notable. He's close to his ''Literature/TheRailwaySeries'' counterpart in the first few seasons, but as the seasons get more and more deep and complex, Diesel really becomes one of the family. He even apologises to Henry, Gordon and James in 'Bad Apple', much to their shock. He also apologises to Duck the following day on a maintenance of way train (swapping duties with Bear just to do so), only to find Duck had forgiven him, much to ''his'' shock.
* In ''DuelingTriggerFinger'' this trope befalls [[Anime/YuGiOh Kaiba]] of all people, likely to the absolute shock of [[{{Jerkass}} no one]]. After watching Sonia get savaged by the Winged Dragon of Ra and administering some failed tests on Obelisk, he has decided to lock the god cards away forever, rather than want them for his deck. This is especially noteworthy, because it's something his anime counterpart would never even ''think'' of doing. Inherently though, on top of that, Kaiba is also highly respectful of Chiaki and even seems to have a soft spot for Chihiro Fujisaki. Chiaki states that she believes it's because Yugi and his friends piss Kaiba off so he's [[PerpetualFrowner always in a sour mood when it comes to them]].
* ''Fanfic/AFantasticUpheavalOfPreviouslyHeldNotions'': In the case of Strickler and Angor Rot. When Barbara learns the full story behind Angor Rot and the Inferna Copula, she has Strickler begrudgingly return the ring to Angor in exchange for him leaving the Trollhunter, his friends and his family alone. While confused at first, Angor agrees, offering Barbra the option to sever the magical link between her and Strickler should she ever need it and the Kill Stone as a sign of solidarity to Jim.

[[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.
* ''WesternAnimation/MrPeabodyAndSherman'': 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.]]
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' has Gideon Gray, a fox bully who picked on Judy and other prey animals when they were kids. But when Judy sees him again when they're adults, Gideon now owns a bakery and is already working alongside Judy's parents. Much to her surprise, he even sincerely apologizes for bullying her.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'': Cera started out as a stubborn, rude, egotistical and prejudiced brat. She even had the nerve to call Littlefoot's mother "stupid", [[UngratefulBastard despite the fact that she sacrificed her life to save her and Littlefoot]]. She spends most of the first film bragging about how she can take care of herself...until she nearly gets everyone killed following her way. In the sequels, while still egotistical and hot-headed, she has mellowed out greatly.

[[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 becomes 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/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' [[spoiler:but he risks his life to save Jane Foster.]]
** Of course, [[ManipulativeBastard this]] being [[TricksterArchetype Loki]], it's anyone's guess how much of it was genuine. [[spoiler: Especially given the reveal of him impersonating Odin at the end...]]
* ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'': Max starts the film looking out only for #1. He only agrees to aid Furiosa in her quest to rescue [[BigBad Immortan Joe's]] [[SexSlave Wives]] out of a need for survival. Over the course of the story, he subtly becomes more protective of all of them, culminating in throwing everything has to keep them safe during the final chase and eventually giving some of his blood to save the life of a nearly mortally wounded Furiosa.
** Pretty much a recurring theme for the character, except in the original where he went in the opposite direction.
* Compared to [[Series/KnowingMeKnowingYouWithAlanPartridge his]] [[Series/ImAlanPartridge other]] [[Literature/IPartridgeWeNeedToTalkAboutAlan appearances]], the Series/AlanPartridge who appears in ''Film/AlanPartridgeAlphaPapa'' is just a little bit nicer. While he's still a large {{Jerkass}}, he's not quite the ''enormous'' {{Jerkass}} of his other appearances and seems more capable of empathy and kindness. [[spoiler: The ending, where he shows clear pity for Pat on learning of the death of his wife, is one of the few times we ever see him show sympathy for someone else.]]

* 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.
** More or less a case of RealLifeWritesThePlot. He quit drugs, got married, had kids, and found religion. He doesn't deny his past, but has grown up and moved on. It's highlighted in him being one of the few wrestlers of his stature to actually stay retired.
* 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.
** Over the course of Act 6 Dave gradually drops his obsession with cool-guy irony and starts trying to focus on being a decent person instead.
** Similarly, after Dirk recognizes that he's been a real asshole (especially to Jake), and also hears about [[EvilMeScaresMe how awful his alt-universe self was]], he resolves not to turn into that person and becomes much nicer.

[[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.
* Weiss Schnee of ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' started out as a bratty RichBitch who looked down on all of her classmates. She begins to show a softer side after losing the Team RWBY leadership race to [[TheHero Ruby]]. By Volume 2, she loses the more abhorrent aspects of her personality and becomes friendlier and more supportive to her teammates, most notably showing concern for Blake's moping. By Volume 3, she offers to treat her teammates to noodles, [[TakingYouWithMe willingly risks herself to shove Flynt into a flame vent]] to stop him taking out Yang, and is the first of team RWBY to stick up for Yang against Ironwood after the villains frame Yang for assault. The only time she is shown getting angry in that volume is when another person's (a Faunus at that, the very people she ranted about in "The Stray") hurt by a robot, and she rushes at it armed with only her sword, to see her [[spoiler:summoning abilities awaken for the first time]].
* Agent Carolina from ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' was originally a supportive leader for the other Freelancers, but constantly being overshadowed by Tex caused her to take a few levels in Jerkass, and almost getting killed by [[TheDreaded the Meta]] drove her straight towards AxCrazy. When she first encounters the Reds and Blues in the present, she is harsh, overbearing, and makes it perfectly clear she thinks they're expendable. Later, though, she gets a chance to open up to Church when he plays a few recordings of her old teammate Agent York, and it genuinely thankful to the Blood Gulch Crew when they help her with her encounter with the Director. By Season 12, she sees the teams as something of a second family, and while she is a bit blunt at times she is absolutely terrified of the possibility of losing them.
* Downplayed with Max in ''WebAnimation/CampCamp'', who starts out hating David and the camp, acting like a JerkAss to pretty much everyone, and showing little to no care about anyone. But by season two, while he still acts like a jerk a large amount of the time, he's shown to care about the other campers, at least somewhat and while he still hardly sees eye-to-eye with David, he doesn't seem to outright hate him anymore, and by the [[spoiler: second to last scene of season two, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartWarming he begrudgingly gives David a hug.]]]]