Wendy: But why you? Why are you willing to go up against Roark for someone you barely know?A character, sometimes the Butt Monkey of a given work, is treated for the first time in their lives with genuine kindness and friendship. As is such, they will be exceptionally loyal to their benefactor, even if the benefactor admits that it was all a lie. The nature of this character type is such that their loyalty to their benefactor will extend to generally absurd lengths. Not even the benefactor will be able to persuade them that they had cruel ulterior motives — this can be problematic if the Butt Monkey in question ends up turning Ax-Crazy. Can be part of a Heel–Face Turn. Though this trope is often portrayed sympathetically, it is also what often creates the Stalker with a Crush and the Yandere. A character who follows this may Desperately Craves Affection as well. Will be immune to Twisting the Words. Often is also The Woobie. Related to It Meant Something to Me. See also Disproportionate Reward and the animal version, Androcles' Lion. Contrast with its polar opposite, Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal, and with The Farmer and the Viper.
Marv: She was nice to me.
Wendy: She was desperate. She needed protection and knew how to keep you around. It didn't work out. You don't owe her anything.
Marv: She was nice to me. She gave me something I didn't know existed. I wasn't never even able to buy a woman, the way I look.
Marv: She was nice to me.
Wendy: She was desperate. She needed protection and knew how to keep you around. It didn't work out. You don't owe her anything.
Marv: She was nice to me. She gave me something I didn't know existed. I wasn't never even able to buy a woman, the way I look.
— Sin City: The Hard Goodbye.
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Anime & Manga
- 7 Seeds has Natsu quickly falling in love with Arashi, because of this. He was the first guy, especially one around her own age, who was kind and gentle to her. Semimaru later points this out, wondering if Natsu would love him, had he been nice first.
- Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts:
- Minami likes Akihisa because he asked her to be his friend when she couldn't make any because of the language barrier; of course, this being Aki, he asked her in French instead of German. Likewise, her little sister Hazuki likes him because he saved up 25,000 yen just to buy her a doll.
- A large part of the reason Shouko loves Yuuji is because he was the first person to ever treat her like a normal person while everyone else was fearful of her status as a rich girl.
- Nothing would've happened in Haou Airen, had Kurumi not decided to treat Hakuron's wounds.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Banagher's main motivation when it concerns Audrey is that she made him feel like he belonged for the first time.
- This also seems to be the reason why Marida Cruz is loyal to Captain Zinnerman: he's the first person who's ever treated her like a person rather than a possession.
- In Gantz, as The End of the World as We Know It approaches, Nishi goes on a rampage and kills his entire class after they pushed him out of a window. The only classmate he spares is the girl who gave him a love letter earlier in the day.
- Code Geass has a big one late in the second season. Rollo continues to be loyal to Lelouch even after the latter has a nervous breakdown and tells Rollo in no uncertain terms that the affections he showed to Rollo were fake and all part of his machinations. Lelouch is naturally astonished when Rollo comes out of nowhere to save him from execution by the Black Knights. Lelouch, resigned to his death, begs Rollo to stop, insisting that Lelouch's life is not worth Rollo killing himself through overexerting his Geass. Rollo explains in spasms while freezing time that even if Lelouch's affections were fake, they were still meaningful to him- and that being with Lelouch was the only time in his whole life where he genuinely felt happy.
- Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako towards Kazehaya simply because he's the first classmate to return her morning greeting.
- This is the basis of the relationship between the two characters in Okane Ga Nai — the Uke feels like the Seme is being nicer to him than anyone ever has been. This, despite the repeated rape.
- Kaze no Stigma. Kazuma goes to extreme lengths to protect and help one of the women of the Kannagi household, even while she's desperately (and fruitlessly, considering their respective Power Levels), trying to kill him. Both she and others are downright shocked by this, since it's heavily out of character for the otherwise-cold Kazuma — heck, he even charged the family head an outrageous fee for rescuing his own kid brother. Ayano is halfway to eating her own liver out of jealousy, convinced that Kazuma must have fallen in love with the girl, but in the end, the truth is revealed... When Kazuma was a kid in the Kannagi household, he was constantly bullied by the other kids, since they're all Playing with Fire to a greater or lesser degree, while he was powerless. She was the only one who ever stood up for him, stopping the other kids from hurting him, more out of pity than anything else, but he still remembered it — and sought to repay her for it, no matter what.
- Bleach: This is the reason why Nel follows Ichigo, protects him from Dordonii, shows concern over his injuries and, ultimately, transforms back into her super badass adult form to fight Nnoitra. It is also part of the simple yet complex reason Sado/Chad and Ichigo fight for each other.
- Possibly the case with Creepy Child Gretel of Black Lagoon. Since, by the end of her arc, it seemed that the only other human beings she actually liked were her brother and Rock. This is because Rock, the only truly decent human being in the Crapsack World of Roanapur, listens with sadness and horror rather than disgust at the coldly delivered Breaking Speech of Gretel, a little girl so traumatized by rape and torture with her twin brother Hansel back in Romania that murder has become the sole source of joy for them. He holds her in a tight embrace and weeps, begging her to accept the possibility that there is hope, and still a possibility of a new and happy life for a little girl like her. This act of sincere kindness, so alien to Gretel, was enough to move even a mass murderer like her to blush like a real little girl for the briefest of moments... leading to one of the saddest moments of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good ever. Her version of thanks was to offer herself sexually to Rock, thinking that is the only way an adult will appreciate her in return. Before she left Rock she stated happily "I hope we can meet against someday mister! We can have a picnic!" Sadly, she was shot in the back of the head by a guy with a revolver immediately afterward, as karma catches up with her for having pissed off Balalaika for torturing two of her men to death alongside Hansel.
- In Ranma ½, the "genius kunoichi" Konatsu becomes slavishly devoted to Ukyo because she treats him better than the abusive family that raised him.
- And Tsubasa does this when Akane and Female Ranma express kindness to him.
- This is the entire reason that Maomolin tries to "help" Ryoga win Akane's heart in the anime-only story "Ryoga's Proposal".
- Girls Bravo: It's pretty obvious that Yukinari was going to fall for Miharu considering that she's the only girl who treats him with genuine kindness and doesn't bully him or beat him up. Needless to say, he doesn't really hold feelings of love for Kirie who has a crush on him but brutally beats him up constantly or for Lisa who's insane and constantly tries to abduct him.
- Made ridiculously Anvilicious by the fact that Yukinari has an allergy to women: every woman in both worlds the show takes place in, except for Miharu, causes him to break out in hives.
- Yukina The Big Bad falls for Yukinari for similar reasons. She is also in a similar situation: Yukinari is the only guy that does not trigger her allergy to men. By the end of the series she takes every opportunity to cling to him to make up for a lifetime of being starved of physical intimacy.
- Elfen Lied: Lucy fell in love with Kouta because he was the first person to ever treat her kindly and not like a freak; she even explicitly states that the time they spent together are her only happy memories. Because of this, he's the only human she refuses to harm or try to harm.
- Ai Yori Aoshi: Mayu ended up falling in love with Kaoru because he cheered her up when her own parents couldn't make it to her birthday party.
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn! it's shown that the main reason Tsuna likes Kyoko is because she was the only girl in 12 months who bothered talking to him.
- Possibly the reason Yuki Nagato acts like Kyon befriended her in Haruhi Suzumiya; because he got a library card. (Ironic in that Kyon seems to have done this just to avoid an argument with Haruhi, giving him little clue as to Yuki's true feelings. Also, she's an Emotionless Girl.) As we found out in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, she's only three years old, and basically spent the first three years of her life being bored out of her skull, so Kyon getting her a card was probably literally the nicest thing anyone had done for her up to that point. One of her few memories of earlier time when she rewrote the world was Kyon getting her a library card. It was partially false, but still enough to give her a crush on him. Given the nature of the series though, any number of other explanations could apply.
- This may be the case for Haruhi, too. Her bizarre and antisocial behavior prevented her from talking to people much or making any real friends, until Kyon simply tried to have a conversation with her without treating her like a freak; Taniguchi and Asakura's comments imply that no one had ever done this before. She fixates on him pretty quickly, but the niceness part doesn't last long.
- Diane of The Seven Deadly Sins fell in love with Meliodas because he treated her like a regular girl and not like a Giant.
- Haku of Naruto was fiercely loyal to Zabuza because the older man said he had use of Haku's abilities.
- Kimimaro was perhaps even more fanatic in his loyalty to Orochimaru, willing to sacrifice his soul and body as the man's next vessel or, failing that, dying to secure the one who would become his vessel. And all because Orochimaru was the first person to ever show him kindness.
- Karin spends about a quarter of the series following Sasuke's every order and lusting after him, even after he tried to kill her and called her useless. One Retcon later, we find that in addition to "women just find Sasuke attractive", we find the better reason Karin ever gave a dang about Sasuke is because he saved her from a bear (offscreen) during the Chunin Exams, a full three years prior.
- A variation also appears with Neji Hyuga, who during the Fourth Shinobi War sacrifices himself to protect Naruto and Hinata. When Naruto asks why, he claims it's because Naruto called him a genius when Naruto beat him in the chunin exams. Instead, it's actually because Naruto was too important to the world, and Hinata was too important to Neji and Naruto personally, to lose.
- Speaking of Naruto and Hinata, this could also be a key part of their growing relationship, since they treated each other gently when they each more often than not have been treated harshly by those around them.
- In the Vampire Knight light novel Vampire Knight: Ice Blue no Tsumi, Fuuka grows to believe in Aidou because he was her only ally — having rescued her so several times and was the only person who was honest with her. So, naturally, this is why Fuuka asks Aidou to be the one who kills her before she turns into a Level E vampire, rather wanting to die by Aidou's hand than hunted down when she loses control.
- In Volume 10 of The Familiar of Zero, there is a particular exchange between a dragon and the protagonist of the epic tale "The Hero of Ivaldi", in which the protagonist is preparing to rescue a girl who had betrayed him from the dragon:
Dragon: What a small being. Get lost. This is not a place you should come.Ivaldi: Return Roux!Dragon: That girl is your wife?Ivaldi: No.Dragon: What kind of relationship do you have with her?Ivaldi: Nothing. I had only stopped by at the village to have some bread.Dragon: You are throwing your life away just for that?Ivaldi: For that I have gambled my life!
- Josette's unwavering loyalty to Julio contains elements of this trope as well.
- In Durarara!!, this turns out to be the reason for why Tom is one of the only people that can keep Shizuo's temper in check: Tom was one of the first and only people outside of his immediate family to treat him like a normal person instead of a freak.
- Interestingly, this also turns out to be the reason that Izaya cares so much about Shinra, who took a knife for him in middle school, which is probably the only nice thing anyone's ever done for him.
- Piccolo said this to Gohan when he took the hit for him in early Dragon Ball Z.
Piccolo:You were the first person to not be afraid of me.
- Later, in the Buu Saga, Hercule befriends Majin Buu. When the latter is absorbed into Evil Buu to become Super Buu, memories of the kindness Hercule showed him ultimately spare him from the monster's wrath, even when Super Buu launched an attack that practically rendered humanity extinct.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this is part of the reason Homura wants to protect Madoka.
- In Pet Shop of Horrors, one story centers around a girl named Maggie, who abuses her dog, Daisy. Count D takes the dog and lets Maggie pick a "little sister" (human girl) from his shop in exchange. Maggie chooses the girl who is the most scared and weak and names her Daisy as well, only for the girl to quickly become far more loved than Maggie is. At the end of the story, D tries to take Maggie to keep in his shop as a pet, however Daisy stops him. It's revealed that Daisy the dog and Daisy the girl were one and the same, and had loved Maggie after she found and adopted the puppy. After Maggie chose her again, in the pet shop, Daisy was determined to return the favor.
- In Dorothy of Oz, Abee is so devoted to Mara because she was the only person to treat him like a human being and not beat the crap out of him for being unable to answer a question. He even states this in the second volume when they first meet.
- In Spirited Away, No-Face follows Chihiro around and attempts to shower her with gifts, becoming practically obsessed with her, simply because she speaks kindly to him and leaves a door open so he can come out of the rain.
- In that case, it's a direct example. Because of his lack of face (identity), No-Face takes on the personality of whoever he's around. Chihiro's kind nature literally inspires him to be kind and repay her favors.
- Himouto! Umaru-chan Ebina has feelings for Taihei largely because he was the first person when she arrived in Tokyo to look her in the eyes, rather than focus on her large breasts. His politeness and friendliness also helped.
- A romantic example in Fruits Basket. The reason Rin struggles to find a cure to the Zodiac curse is because her boyfriend Haru was the first person to ever want her. As a result, she's determined to thank him by breaking the curse and giving him a chance to escape the confinement the Zodiac are all under.
- Koharu No Hibi: The reason Koharu gears her deep affection towards Akira, and the reason he decides to reciprocate. ( Deconstructed)
- Ennis of Baccano!, an Artificial Human whose creator treats her like garbage, tries to sacrifice her own life to protect the first people who were ever nice to her. A third party jumps in and saves her.
- Hayate × Blade: This is why Isuzu Inugami became Momoka Kibi's swordfighting partner; all the other students avoided Isuzu because she looked like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.
- Snake in Black Butler. He was close to the circus crew because they befriended them despite his appearance, to the point he would attempt to kill Ciel when all his friends disappeared, thinking that Ciel was the cause of their disappearance. He wasn't entirely wrong as Ciel's staff killed the circus crew for ambushing Ciel's mansion. He would eventually become loyal to Ciel after Ciel takes him in and like the circus crew, didn't care about his snake-like appearance.
- Finnian admits his admiration and Undying Loyalty towards Ciel came from the latter welcoming him in his home and giving him a job as a gardener when he previously led a wretched life where he was a test subject in human experimentation.
- Barnaby Brooks Jr. from Tiger & Bunny has a rather absolutist perception of trust — he either trusts someone entirely, or not at all. Thus, when Kotetsu takes one of Lunatic's flamebolts for him, his Ice King persona starts to melt — and it melts fast.
- Kriem first met villain Jake Martinez when he kidnapped her and tried to ransom her. However, when her parents (hating and fearing her status as a NEXT) didn't pay up, Jake let her go and told her there was nothing wrong with being a NEXT. She became his most loyal follower from then on.
- Future Diary: Yuno's devotion to Yukiteru stems from him jokingly making a marriage proposal to her right after she killed her Abusive Parents, spurring her into devoting her future to him.
- In One Piece, during the Baratie arc, Gin of Don Krieg's crew fights with Sanji, the only person who gave him food when he was starving and begging for food. When having the opportunity to finish off Sanji, he is unable to because Sanji offering him food was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him.
- One of the main reasons why Robin turned herself in to The Government she had been running away from her entire life was to protect the Straw Hats (which would kickstart the Enies Lobby arc). Her time with them was happiest she had been in her entire life — and she outright admits she cares about them more than the entire world. Yet she still convinced herself that in spite of their kindness, they would still eventually abandon her simply for the fact that the entire world itself was her enemy. When they proved her wrong by declaring war on the entire world just for her sake, it was only then that Robin realized that, after twenty long years, she had finally found her place.
- Fiore in the R movie tried to kill Usagi both because she was Sailor Moon and out of jealousy over Mamoru, whom he was in love with apparently because of how kind he was to him when they were kids. Turns out that both Usagi and Mamoru were kind to Fiore. Young Mamoru gave him his friendship and a red rose - and it was young Usagi who gave the rose to Mamoru in the first place..
Rei [to Fiore]: "You don't get it, do you?! If not for Usagi, we... WE WOULD'VE BEEN ALL ALONE!"
- A consistent running theme in Sailor Moon as a whole. Usagi cares. This is shown in two flashbacks concerning her and the Inner Senshi: as the All Loving Heroine, she approached each of the girls (who were lonely for different reasons in their lives) without any fear or second thoughts, rescuing them from their withdrawn behavior patterns:
- In No. 6 because Sion saved and took care of Nezumi when he was injured one night Nezumi became devoted to him.
- Nezumi's devotion is actually even simpler than Shion taking care of him when injured. Nezumi is attached Shion because when he was cold, injured and lost all hope, Shion opened a window. According to Nezumi, at the time that simple action was like "a miracle" to him.
- In Mamotte Shugogetten Kaori Aihara towards Tasuke after he saves her from tripping and offers his umbrella to her.
- In Hekikai No Aion, Sheila One of the evil mermaids fell for Tatsuya because he was the only aside Ariel to show her kindness. Also, because she was afraid to lose him, she stopped thinking about avenging herself against Seine, the one who let her without voice and "killed" her.
- Our protagonist Seine as well. She decided go with Shimon, a man she knew absolutely nothing about, just because he was nicer to her than her abusive foster father.
- In Mayoi Neko Overrun!, Chise, the local rich girl, tries really hard to make friends with Takumi and his group of friends. In a flashback, it turns out that the reason why was because she felt isolated since no one wanted to associate with her due to her status, and when she tripped and fell, Takumi was the only person who offered to help her back up. Eventually she does become a part of their group.
- Horribly, Legato Bluesummers, People Puppets maestro of Trigun. Perfectly well aware that his master, Knives, despises him for being human, bit of a poster child for Mad Love after Knives breaks his back for trying to kill Vash, and his loyalty doesn't waver even though he's crippled for life. (Or, in the anime, when Knives sends him to force Vash to shoot him dead and suffer forever.) It's all because of this trope (and some Boomerang Bigot misanthropy).
- In the manga we got his absurdly complicated backstory. Knives stepped in coincidentally while, as a kid, Legato was being raped to death in punishment for a plot to kill everyone he hated (which was a lot of people). His exact status at the time is not spelled out, but is generally understood as research specimen, sex slave, or some hellish combination of the two.note Knives cut the building apart, killed everyone except Legato because Legato's psychic powers kicked in just in time to steer the feather-blades away from his body. Then he more or less swore his allegiance on the spot and gave Knives permission to kill him now if he wanted. And Knives asked him his name, which was the most anyone had ever treated him like a person because he didn't have one to give. And then Knives let him tag along after he killed everyone at the facility. And eventually gave him responsibilities and a budget and things.
- In Pandora Hearts, Jack's obsession with Lacie stems from this.
- In the manga version of Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu, this is the reason why Sylvia is in love with Prince Levin. She explains to Fury that everyone treated her horribly just because she was a Dancer, and Levin was the first one to offer her kindness and partnership.
- Kotoura-san: Let's say, young people with superpowers or having a member of her family having it especially needs this.
- In episode 7, Yuriko reveals part of her past to Haruka. Shortly after her mother was Driven to Suicide due to accusations of faking her powers, some kids mock her. But then Dai'chi shows up, and tells her that he still believed her mother was a real psychic. She starts to cry after hearing it, and Haruka later turns on the waterworks as well.
- This is also true for Haruka herself as well, and that's why she's close with Manabe—he's the first person of her age that understands her problems, i.e. enduring more than a decade of social stigma and emotional trauma for being a telepath.
- In Bakemonogatari, one of the reasons why Hitagi Senjougahara asks Koyomi Araragi out. Koyomi was the only one who genuinely wanted to help her with her problem (though it doesn't help that Hitagi threatened everyone else who tried).
- Why are the girls of Daily Life with Monster Girl and Deadline Summonner so loyal and affectionate to their "masters"? They were genuinely concerned for their well-being in a world where their kind is not looked too highly upon.
- Hotohori's crush on Miaka in Fushigi Yuugi is a mix of this and Loving a Shadow. She is one of the few people (and the first in the series) to treat him as a normal human being rather than as an emperor, something he had hoped for even before meeting her.
- Ymir cites this as the reason for her devotion to Krista in Attack on Titan, claiming that Krista could smile at her even while knowing what a horrible person she really is. This devotion leads her to make a Face–Heel Turn and side with the villains, since they need Krista alive and are the ones best suited to ensuring her survival in the long-run. That they will probably end up killing Ymir either way is fine with her, as long as Krista survives.
- This is why the Female Titan/Annie decided to spare Armin during their ambush on the Survey Corps. Annie is not a very approachable person, but Armin is the only person who makes an effort. Because of this, Armin is the only person she's actually relatively close to, and this is presumably why when she has him unhorsed and caught as the Female Titan, she lets him go rather than squishing him. This ends up biting Annie in the ass later: Armin uses this encounter as a clue to connect her to the Female Titan.
- In Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, Hana ultimately decides to stay at the zoo because Shiina is the first person to ever tell her she's done a good job and that he needs her there.
- In the first episode of Kill la Kill, the loner Ryuko Matoi isn't sure what to make of Mako Makanshoku calling herself her best friend despite not knowing each other for even a minute. Once Mako's family lets Ryuko live with them in the next episode, however, Ryuko stays by Mako's side to repay the favor.
- In A Certain Magical Index:
- Shiage Hamazura was forced to become a lackey to the esper team ITEM despite his hatred of espers. While most of ITEM treated him poorly, Rikou Takitsubo showed him compassion. This leads him to save her life and they eventually fall in love.
- Accelerator was once rescued from a horrible experiment by Dr. Kikyou Yoshikawa, and she's one of the few scientists who treats Accelerator like a person rather than a test subject or a Person of Mass Destruction. As a result, even before his Heel–Face Turn, Accelerator respected her and she is one of the only people he would actually seek advice from and listen to.
- In Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, Jin is shown to have a very deep loyalty to the young prince Chagum. A flashback shows that the reason is Chagum was kind to him after he had been badly beaten for an unexplained transgression.
- In Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai, the reason New Transfer Student Chihiro still ends up talking to deliberate loner Yugami even after being advised by classmates to not associate with him is because he helped her find an open slot for her to park her bike the morning she transferred into the school.note
- In Magi – Labyrinth of Magic, third prince Kouha believes that he would never amount to anything due to his low ranking and his eccentric, violent personality. But his older brothers Kouen and Koumei treated him with respect and believed in him, causing him to be fanatically loyal to them.
- Robert E.O. Speedwagon of Jojos Bizarre Adventure was just a common street thug with a Nice Hat before he attacked Jonathan Joestar. Rather than just beat him down, Jonathan showed him sympathy and kindness despite the situation. This had a big impact on Speedwagon, making him Jonathan's loyal friend. When he goes on to hit it rich in the U.S., the Speedwagon Foundation he creates is a constant source of support to the Joestar bloodline until the Continuity Reboot.
- Following her first battle in the manga Online, Mai wins the service of the creature she defeated, the Slit-Mouthed Woman, as a familiar. Despite being warned, by the Slit-Mouthed Woman herself no less, that familiars could easily turn on their masters, the Woman (named Amelie by Mai) appears to be extremely loyal to her master for no other reason than the fact that Mai worries about her and treats her like a living person and not just a pile of data.
- In episode 2 of Unlimited Fafnir, Iris says this to Yuu, stating he's nicer to her than the other girls have been so far, hence why she trusts him.
- Meiko of Cat God was lonely and friendless as a child until Mayu reached out to her. This makes Meiko care deeply for Mayu and even consider herself a rival for Mayu's hand in marriage with her fiancee (even though all parties involved are female).
- One of the reasons why Sato of Castle Town Dandelion falls for Shu is because he was one of her few Childhood Friends that remembered her after she moved back.
- Played with in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. The Wolkenritter would have been loyal to Hayate regardless of how she treated them, but since Hayate showed them kindness (and treated them like her family), they were willing to go against her wishes in order to save her life rather than follow her request to leave the Book of Darkness alone and leave her to die.
- A villainous example in Berserk: the torturers under Bishop Mozgus reveal to Farnese that they are all deformed, ugly outcasts of society, until Mozgus took them under his wing and made them his torturers. While they admit that they personally have no great liking for the job, it's the one time in their lives that they've been treated with respect of any kind, and Mozgus was the only person who ever reached out to them without looking upon them in disgust and horror.
- In Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, this is why Aya ignored KZ and even her mother's warning against Sunahara; he shielded her from verbal abuses from the local Alpha Bitch at least once.
- Seraph of the End: Yuu states his reason for being so attached to Mika in the manga and being determined to save him is because Mika extended a hand to Yuu in friendship when Yuu arrived at the orphanage and because he "needed" Yuu. These pictures of Yuu and Mika from fanbook 108 feature the following text:
Orange pentagon:Verification!The burdened oneThe carrying oneOrange bolded lines:Alternating over time!?Yuu and Mika’s relationship!!Top lines: At 8 years old, Yuu was taken into the Hyakuya orphanage where Mika extended his hand. Yuu who’s heart had been opened came to call Mika and the orphanage children “family”.Bottom lines: Mika once had the habit of hugging Yuu. But after a period of 4 years the two’s relationship changes!? Yuu was held in his (Mika’s) arms when he aimed to run away.
- Torso's backstory in Tokyo Ghoul reveals that he developed an attachment to a girl he met in his youth because she was the only one in a life where he lived alone with an abusive father who treated him with kindness and taught him things about life. When his father killed her he responded by killing his father.
- Kaneki's entire reason for his friendship with Hide is because Hide doesn't hate Kaneki for being a ghoul and happily accepts him. He thinks everything will be okay as long as Hide is around. When Hide supposedly dies Kaneki has a hallucination where Hide is talking to him. While crying Kaneki states "I've been so lonely without you."
- Karren desires affection from Tsukiyama and even sacrifices herself at the cost of her own life to save him after he acknowledges her feelings.
- Fairy Tail Zero: This is the main reason why Zeref agreed to teach Mavis and her friends (the other founders of Fairy Tail) magic — Mavis, with her illusions, allowed Zeref to interact with the living by conjuring up forest animals for him to pet. Even to this day, he considers it his most precious memory. In turn, Mavis grew fond of him because of his kind eyes and willingness to teach her and her friends magic, making her his Only Friend. Years later, after they meet again and Mavis learns she bears the same curse as him, this friendship evolved into love. Unfortunately, outside forces made sure that their relationship was doomed to end tragically.
- In Detective Conan, this is why Sharon Vineyard/Vermouth goes out her way to protect Shinichi/Conan and Ran, as they once saved her life while in New York during the Golden Apple case, even when after she was going to kill them. And on several occasions, she risks her life when defying orders from the Black Organization to protect them and Kogoro.
- There's a recursive example in Kanojo Ni Naru Hi Another: Everybody wonders shy cool, kind, unflappable Class Representative Aya Kurakawa looks out for class delinquent Rinichi Sagara, unaware that she's repaying him for the inadvertent kindness he showed her by protecting her from bullies back in grade school. He wasn't trying to be kind, he did it primarily because fighting was his way of addressing his own feelings of inadequacy, but she's determined to stick up for him in the present because he stuck up for her in the past.
- In Endride, both Felix and Mischa have Undying Loyalty toward Demetrio because he was the only one to offer them kindness or hope for the future.
- Quoted above: Marv's attitude toward Goldie in the first issue of Sin City. He's not an idiot — he realizes that Goldie almost certainly got close to him because she needed protection from whoever it was that killed her in the opening pages. But as he explains to Goldie's Angsty Surviving Twin Wendy, be that as it may — she's the only stranger that's ever shown Marv any genuine kindness, and it's also implied that she's the only woman who wasn't too terrified of his appearance to sleep with him. So he searches relentlessly to find her killer.
- Subverted horribly in Miracleman. Upon his escape from the hospital, Kid Miracleman invokes this trope to the only nurse who was kind to him during his stay. Then returns and punches her head into pieces while she was smiling at being spared. Then it's Double Subverted: He did it more because he felt he needed to maintain his rep rather than real malice. He even apologized and didn't look happy to do it.
- Tintin gets several allies this way: in Prisoners of the Sun, for instance, he defends a boy from some bullies, and the boy later offers to guide him to a secret Inca temple, even though he could be killed for doing so.
- In B.P.R.D.: 1947, agent Jacob Stegner gives a coin to a homeless beggar woman. The woman later appears to him to tell him that one of his missing comrades is still alive. Before she mysteriously disappears, she says, "I tell you this... because you were kind."
- Huntress' devotion to the Black Canary in Birds of Prey definitely has shades of this.
- Invoked and subverted with Evil Ernie and Lady Death in Chaos Comics. Having been emotionally and physically abused by his parents, Ernie falls in love with and becomes fiercely loyal to Lady Death, allowing her to recruit him into her mission to wipe out humanity. However, while he's imprisoned in a mental hospital, there is a nurse who is kind to him and is the only person who wants to see him "cured" for non-selfish reasons and, when he "dies", she's the only one who mourns him. The first thing Ernie does once Lady Death turns him undead is rip her head off.
- In Uncanny X-Men, former supervillain Rogue was made to feel distinctly unwelcome when she first joined the X-Men. In UXM #172 she accompanies her new teammates to Tokyo to attend Wolverine's wedding. On seeing her, Wolverine comments that if it were up to him, he'd cut out her heart, but his fiancee, the aristocratic Mariko Yashida, says that Rogue as a guest is entitled to all due courtesy and respect and welcomes her. Effectively Mariko was merely acting in accordance with the ethic and social rules of her class, but it still was the first time Rogue was unreservedly welcomed by anyone since she left the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and so in the following issue Rogue shows no hesitation to lay down her life to prevent her death ("Lady Mariko was kind t'me — she accepted me, right off — ah won't let her come to any harm!"). The fire from Viper's blaster actually hurts her badly, but Rogue accepts her likely death philosophically. However, Logan now feels indebted to her for saving the woman he loves, and makes Rogue absorb his healing factor.
- In New X-Men: Academy X, X-23 goes to considerable lengths to protect Dust from the Purifiers when they attack the academy, because Dust was one of the only people at the academy who was nice to her when she arrived. And on the other end, Dust was nice to Laura because she was a refreshing change from her old roommate Surge, who didn't agree with her beliefs.
- During Forever Evil, all of the world's supervillains are broken out of prison, a guard who is badly injured asks Orm, the Ocean Master, for help. Orm gladly complies, since he was the only guard to give Orm water, something all Atlanteans need on a regular basis, and didn't think the reason Orm was imprisoned was black and white... Orm's version of kindness is killing the guy.
- In Seconds, Lis only gives Katie the first mushroom because Hazel, the only one caring for her, burns her arms.
- In 52, when Doc Magnus single-handedly takes down the Mad Scientist thinktank he lets T.O. Morrow escape. When Morrow asks why, Magnus says that it's because Morrow was one of the only people who actually took his theories seriously when he was first starting out.
- Horrifically inverted by the sociopathic Nazi master criminal Otto Netz, better known as Doctor Dedalus, in Batman Incorporated. Taken care of for years into his old age by a number of doctors in the hopes his remaining secrets could eventually be pried from his mind, only one of them was ever kind to him. His reward is death.
Doctor Dedalus: Of them all... only you were ever kind... a kind heart deserves the cruelest end. Digitalis. I adapted my insulin pen to inject the poison into your lunchtime apple.(...) why would I tell you anything unless it was far too late, my friend?
- In chapter 89 of The Naru Hina Chronicles, Naruto reveals to Hinata the reasons behind his love/pathological obsession with ramen: he was beaten very badly once as a little child (before entering the Ninja Academy), and he was discovered by Ichiraku, who took him to his restaurant, fed him, and got him cleaned up. He was the first person who was ever nice to Naruto. It's one of the main reasons—alongside his Supreme Chef reputation—that he tries to convince Hinata to let him cater their upcoming wedding.
- Rainbooms and Royalty: Fluttershy proves herself worthy of bearing the Element of Kindness by treating the gargoyles, who had sworn loyalty to Nightmare Moon a thousand years ago, with compassion rather than reviling them. So touched were they that they swore loyalty to her, rather than serve Nightmare Moon. This comes into play during the Final Battle, as they show up to help the Mane Six (and Zecora and Ditzy) against Nightmare Moon's Shadowbolt army.
- Similarly, Rarity proved herself worthy of being the Element of Generosity when she gave the necklace she inherited from her grandmother to the Diamond Dogs as payment to let them pass. The Dogs are so stunned by such selflessness that they also show up during the Final Battle to help fight Nightmare Moon to repay the kindness.
- This is the reason why Emiri joins the Anti-SOS Brigade in You Got HaruhiRolled!. They too know what it's like to be neglected.
- Several Death Note Alternate Universe Fics feature this trope.
- In A Charmed Life Light is genuinely grateful to Ryuk for dropping his notebook and just for being there. Also because Light is nice to Ryuk, Ryuk goes out of his way to make sure that Light is safe and happy.
- In Everyone Deserves A Christmas Gift because Light Yagami was nice to Ryuk and gets him a Christmas present Ryuk grants him Godhood.
- In Solitude, Light has always been alone and never had a peer he could relate to before he met L and because L was nice to Light Light ultimately gives up on Kira, the notebook, and his plan to kill L.
- In Story of the Century, many of its companion 'shots suggest that L becomes more tolerant and even affectionate towards Erin because in spite of their shaky relationship she's genuine when it comes to showing him kindness and caring, something he could never expect from his "first friend" Light no matter how well they're matched intellectually or morally. In fact in the main story he tells her that she's "a good person"...but still a nuisance.
- In Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything according to B because of L's poor relationship with his father "if you show [L] the slightest sign of affection, he's loyal to you for life."
- In Ace Of Spades this is part of the reason why Harry Potter becomes obsessed with Jim Gordon-because he was nice to Harry when he visited Arkham.
- Weightless: Seraph/Shepard was in love with Nihlus because he was the first person who showed her kindness.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic A Future of Friendship, a History of Hate: Because Twilight saved Craggle from falling to his death, he protects her from a pack of shalehounds and lets her pass his bridge.
- In If Them's the Rules, because Harry was nice to Tom (and is the first person to ever show him kindness), Harry becomes Tom's Morality Chain and Tom tries to reign in his sociopathic tendencies for Harry's sake. Tom's loyalty to Harry almost gets him put in Hufflepuff.
- In the Blood+ fic Waking Dream, this is the entire reason Diva fell in love with Reeve Roswell: he was the first human who ever treated her with any genuine kindness.
- In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle fic Shatterheart Syaoran is drawn to Kurogane and later initiates a relationship with him because he was only one to show any concern for him and is the only one to show him any kindness and realize that Syaoran is a different person from his clone.
- In A Teacher's Glory Anko ends up on both sides of this tropes. She feels this way toward the Third Hokage, who took her into his trust when everyone else suspected her of helping Orochimaru, and she earns this from Ino for giving her a frank analysis of her skills and actions, encouraging reassurance, and advice.
- In Chapter 138 of Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Zabuza gives this as the reason he's going to cooperate with Naruto's group when they come to interrogate him—specifically because Hinata, who's with them, had been the first to intervene and plead for his life when Naruto was going to kill him during the fight with the Blood Mist Gang back in Chapter 41.
- Lucina Reacts: Tharja gives this as the reason she pursues Robin constantly after Libra shuts down her other excuses. Vivi and Velvet also figure out that Tharja has other reasons for it apart from their own.
- The Clockwork Consequence: Why is Rainbow Dash so loyal to Nightmare Moon? Because she never got her cutie mark, and was mocked and never taken seriously for it. Nightmare Moon, on the other hand didn't care about this because she felt her actions spoke louder then her words.
- The protagonists of Dating A Team Magma Grunt started dating because Brendan tried to cheer the Magma Grunt up after he beat her team and caused her to cry.
- A large part of why Harry Potter hired Penny as his personal assistant in For Love of Magic is because he remembers her as the nice older girl who made a point of helping him despite his prickly attitude.
- In the classic Abbot and Costello film Africa Screams, after Costello rescues a gorilla from a trapper's pit, the gorilla follows him around, repeatedly saving him from other animals and cannibal natives and recovering a bag of diamonds Abbot had stolen from the natives. Later, after Costello makes it back to America (presumably with the Gorilla's help) he uses the diamonds to become head of the department store where he worked and appoints the Gorilla as his vice-president while Abbot (who used and abused Costello throughout the entire film before abandoning him after losing the diamonds) is reduced to working beneath them as an elevator operator.
- Sleepaway Camp: This is the reason Angela spares Ricky, Ronnie, and Susie.
- In Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, the title character lends his services as an assassin to Louie, a mobster who saved his life from a gang beating when he was younger. As Ghost Dog considers himself a modern Samurai, he considers himself Louie's loyal retainer. Louie's loyalty to Ghost Dog is nowhere near as strong (he barely even remembers the incident back when he chased off some disrepectful punks who happened to be beating up some black kid).
- In the film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, James finds a spider in his room and helps it escape the house when his aunts try to kill it. Later on, Miss Spider in the peach convinces the others to let James stay and looks after him during the journey. She reveals that she was the spider in question and is thankful for James's help.
- In Elizabeth, when Elizabeth is taken to the Tower of London one of her inquisitors gives her his cloak because it is cold. Elizabeth replies "I will not forget this kindness". Years later when the man is one of many who has plotted against her, she has an audience with him and says "all your many kindnesses are remembered".
- In A Knight's Tale, William twice jousts against a Sir Thomas Colville. The first time Colville is injured on the second lance, and William agrees to have them both tilt and then not strike each other to maintain Colville's honor. The second time, William learns right before the bout that Colville is really Prince Edward incognito, and before the others can withdraw for him William tilts at him. Edward is both impressed by William's willingness to face him as a Worthy Opponent, as well as grateful for the earlier honorable draw; and repays the kindness after William is revealed as a commoner by knighting him. Moreover, he fakes evidence that William is descended from an Impoverished Patrician and warns anyone that to question him is treason.
- In Star Trek: Nemesis, young Shinzon was thrown into a Romulan slave mine on Remus, where one of the Reman laborers took pity on him and helped him survive. This would drive him to lead the fight to end Reman slavery.
- In Mad Max: Fury Road, Immortan treated Furiosa like his property. The rest of the Citadel probably had to be cowed into respecting her as she climbed the ranks, and they obviously dislike her. Max is the first guy who showed her proper respect and didn't try to kill her at the first sign of weakness. As a result, he and Furiosa become as close to a Battle Couple as possible without actually being a couple.
- Nux's Mook–Face Turn comes when Capable, one of the Wives, shows him actual compassion for the first time since his induction into the War Boys death-cult.
- In Tell No One, Bruno, a gangster, has a hemophiliac son he would do anything for. When Bruno first brought his son to the hospital, the doctors and then police thought he abused his son, but Alexandre, a doctor turned pediatrician, figured out the truth and convinced everyone of it. Therefore, when Alexandre is falsely accused of murder, Bruno gladly steps in to help.
- In Man on Fire, Creasy is aloof and embittered until Lupita, the young girl he's assigned to protect, brings him out of his shell by being nice to him. This is why, when she's kidnapped, he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
Rayburn: She showed him it was okay to live again.
- In the Sweet Valley High series, hospital volunteer Elizabeth Wakefield is kidnapped by a mentally disturbed orderly. When she asks why he did it, he explains that he loves her and invokes this trope as the reason. She once helped him with his tray and it was apparently the only time anyone showed him kindness.
- In Dragon Bones, the hero Ward has the kind of personality that causes this reaction. He acquires a Cool Horse by treating the stallion his father mistreated with kindness, and the local Friendly Ghost and Genius Loci Oreg, (who is his slave, A Wizard Did It) tells him more secrets than he usually would. While Oreg is bound to obey any given order, he can keep a secret if not asked about it, and the narrative strongly implies that Ward's abusive father didn't know how powerful, exactly, Oreg is. After Ward kills Oreg's body, thereby freeing him from slavery, the not-quite dead Oreg is very loyal to him and stays with him, and teaches him magic, even though he could just spread his wings and fly away. The queen herself, when asked to use her influence to get Ward out of a problematic situation, remembers his kindness fondly, and is sorry that she can't do much, as her jerkish husband doesn't listen to her.
- When Raistlin is nice to a gully dwarf, she becomes quite loyal to him. (He did cast a Charm spell on her, but that's supposed to wear off ... eventually. Based on Intelligence, so in her case it lasted a long time.)
- It's reciprocated, however, and Raistlin's Crowning Moment of Heartwarming is when he drops everything to try to protect her, even when his friends abandon the gully dwarves. It also leads to his Heel Realization in a sequel series, as his lust for power led to her death. He willingly condemns himself to an eternity of torment to avoid this.
- Gollum/Sméagol is like this to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. Right until Sam accuses him of "sneaking".
- Alot of characters in Chronicles Of Nick are surprisingly nice to those who are nice to them. Just about every character has been through horrifying moments of loneliness and despair and are very loyal to people who genuinely mean them well.
- Harry Potter
"I miss the D.A. It was almost like having friends."".... I am your friend, Luna."".... Oh."
- The house elves take on this attitude to anyone who is nice to them — this starts with Dobby in Chamber of Secrets and Kreacher in Deathly Hallows. It's also implied that this trope is how Voldemort was able to garner support from non-human magical creatures like the giants — they were so used to being treated with rank condescension or outright persecution by the Ministry of Magic that Voldemort had little trouble convincing them he'd do a better job.
- Also implied to be part of Snape's reason for turning to The Dark Side — Lucius Malfoy, one of the wizarding aristocracy, welcomes the no-name working-class half-blood as soon as he's sorted into Slytherin, and their friendship seems to have continued even when Snape became a Double Agent, and remained strong enough that Narcissa asked him to protect Draco from the consequences of a mission assigned by Voldemort primarily to get him killed. Ultimately this is what made him turn back as well. Lily Potter was his first friend, and given his troubled home life, the first person who cared about him.
- Luna, and to a lesser extent Neville, have this sort of relationship to the Trio and Ginny. As a result, they were the only members of the D.A. to help defend the castle in Book Six. Luna is especially blunt about her general loneliness.
- Also the Tear Jerker / Heartwarming Moment that is Luna's room in Deathly Hallows: hand-painted portraits linked with chains that said "Friends".
- This is definitely one of the series' recurring motifs. Imagine how different Harry would have turned out if Hagrid hadn't been the first person in his life to show him any kindness. It was Malfoy's contempt for Hagrid in Madame Malkins that really kicked off their animosity. The same goes for when he taunts Ron, Harry's first ever friend, on the train. If it weren't for Harry's loyalty, would he have accepted Malfoy's offer of friendship and been put in Slytherin instead? The entire series would veer off course....
- This is the sum of Quasimodo's attitude toward Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame — when the Hunchback is put on the rack and pelted with fruits, she takes pity on him and brings him water. This is especially noteworthy as the reason he's being punished was for trying to kidnap her.
- In the Daughters of the Moon books, the Atrox has several rules binding the behavior of those who have given themselves over to them - one rule is, no Atrox agent can ever harm someone who has done them a genuine kindness.
- There's a Bruce Coville edited short-story about a tormented and ostracized elf child whose school assignment is to interview a troll. Trolls' favorite food is elf-children, but the troll doesn't eat the boy because he sees how lonely and kind the poor thing is. At the end of the story, the elf child gets revenge on his schoolmates and teachers by freeing the troll and letting him eat them all, but tells the one other elf child who was kind to him that he won't feed her to the troll because "You're the sweetest girl I know"...before eating her himself, thus subverting the trope.
- Keladry of Mindelan, titular protagonist of Protector of the Small, has this happen frequently. There's a reason she's called that.
- Her war-horse Peachblossom whose last owner was abusive agrees to work on his behavior when she promises not to yank of the reins or ever use spurs, but only for her: do not imply you are interested in stealing or buying him. Or in buying Kel.
- Her lady's maid Lalasa admits in a stressful moment that she was so skittish at the beginning because she kept waiting for Kel to show she was like all the other nobles she'd met; realizing it wasn't going to happen led to Taking a Level in Badass, teaching other servant class women the self defense tactics Kel had taught her and becoming one of Kel's staunchest supporters.
- Tobe, the 10 year old indentured servant she rescued from an abusive situation, rides into an enemy country in the middle of a war because she might need him and he doesn't like to let her out of his sight for fear she might forget about him like a couple of other seemingly-nice people did.
- In Uncle Tom's Cabin, a Kentuckian slave owner relates a story about a native African slave, brutalized by another owner, that had pledged undying loyalty to him when treated like a human being.
- In Les Misérables, after being jailed for decades for stealing a loaf of bread, and forced into poverty and starvation due to the difficulty of finding jobs as an ex-con, Jean Valjean comes upon the Bishop of Digne, who shows him kindness and houses him. At first, it seems like a subversion, with Jean Valjean taking advantage of the Bishop and stealing his stuff. Then, when he's caught running from the Bishop's home with the good silver, the Bishop decides not to press charges and gives Valjean the stuff, plus a bit more, on the condition that it "buys his soul for God". Jean Valjean is converted from a bitter convict to The Paragon of integrity and virtue for the rest of his life, through all the crap he's put through, out of loyalty to the Bishop's one kind act.
- Sgt. Bothari to Cordelia in Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold, though it is a little more complicated than that. As Aral later explains to Cordelia, the mentally unstable Bothari doesn't have a strong sense of self, and unconsciously becomes whatever those around him expect out of him: a good soldier, a loyal retainer, a monster.
"You..." his voice softened, "you are the only person I know who looks at Bothari and sees a hero. So he becomes one for you. He clings to you because you create him a better man than he ever dreamed of being."
- In Peter Moore's Caught In The Act Lydia is an outcast, no one will associate with her except for Ethan. Because of this, Lydia seems to fall in love with him and becomes devoted to him to a Yandere degree.
- In the Warrior Cats graphic novel Shattered Peace, Minty stops her mate from killing Ravenpaw because Ravenpaw was nice to her kits.
- A Defusing The Tykebomb moment in Galaxy of Fear works because of this - the Arrandas were kind to Eppon, laughing and playing with the normal-looking baby, and planning to adopt. When the Big Bad showed up it reverted to its programming and was loyal to him, but later Tash reminded it of their brief time together.
- Legacy of the Dragokin: Zarracka spares Benji, helps his father fight off a monster, and later wants to adopt him because he said he wished she were his mother instead of Daniar. This is the first nice/loving anyone has said to her since her mother died.
- There is an old fairy tale where a young man wants to woo a princess, but her father sets an impossible condition for him to do so; he must produce a man who can eat a mountain of bread. When the young man is wandering through a forest bemoaning this task, he meets an old man who says he is incredibly hungry; the young man tells him of the mountain of bread and the old man then offers to help, and eats the entire thing. The king then declares that the boy must produce a man that can drink an entire warehouse full of ale; he goes back to the forest and meets the man again, who this time claims to be incredibly thirsty and drinks all the ale. As a final task, the king demands that the boy produce a ship that can sail on both water and land, and when the distraught young man returns to the forest one final time, his mystical friend invokes this trope.
Old man: I have eaten for you, and I have drunk for you, and I will also give you the ship; and all because you were kind to me at the first.
- Dark example in The Dresden Files' Skin Game: Hannah Ascher was friends with the Brotherhood of St. Giles, who were also her economic support and gave her a home. When Harry got most of them indirectly killed at the end of Changes, she was left on the streets and killed (maybe in self-defense) three men with magic, prompting the White Council to go after her. When Nicodemus Archleone helped her and brought her into the Order of the Blackened Denarius, she accepted his offer and became Lasciel's host.
- In Carrie this is why Sue and Miss Collins survive the Prom Massacre.
- The Lost Fleet happens upon a few hundred civilians on a Syndicate Worlds system abandoned with the development of hypernet gates, their Domed Hometown's life support slowly failing and with little or no hope of rescue. Over the protests of some of the crew, Captain Geary refuses to leave them to their fate and gives them passage to the next inhabited system... Where it turns out that one of the rescuees is the brother of the planetary governor, who covertly provides them with much-needed supplies and intelligence.
- Underplayed in Black Legion, but the Governess cuts Khayon much more slack and tolerates his actions way more than if it was anyone else, because he's one of the very few people to treat her and her neutrality with respect.
- Thresh spares Katniss on one occasion because she helped Rue out before she died in The Hunger Games.
- Game of Thrones: Brienne of Tarth is in love with King Renly Baratheon because he's the only man who recognizes her worth as a human being and a warrior, and does not judge her based on her appearance or gender. He himself understands how painful it is to be frequently mocked for not adhering to rigid gender roles (his older brothers Robert and Stannis have bullied him for his lack of combat experience), so his empathy towards Brienne's situation allows him to be accepting of her masculinity.
- Happens four times, all with Faith. First, it happens with her and the Mayor and then again with her and Angel. She was willing to die to save him, all because he helped her come back from being evil while everyone else hated her (mainly because he understood her, seeing as he was in the same situation about 100 years previously). In season 4 of Angel, this is the reason why she refused to even try to kill Angelus and in Angel and Faith she is still very loyal to him. Faith also does this with Gwendolyn Post. (Faith loves this trope.) Also, another reason why she helps Angel in Season 9, is because she really wants Giles back, since he was nice to her, too.
- Also seen with Spike who likes Buffy's mother and sister for this reason, and shows his best side when Buffy treats him with respect; his demonic aspect comes out when she forgets this trope.
- During an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm and brothers are babysat by a hot blonde baby sitter. It turns out she has a crush on Francis due to him once sort-of complementing her when she was younger (and fat). Francis, being away at military school, has no idea she's changed so much, and narrowly misses a chance to date a girl who would have been genuinely devoted to him. You want to punch him the whole time.
Francis: Leave her alone guys, she's not that fat.*Girl falls in love*
- A villainous example: In the 1998 miniseries Merlin (1998), Morgan le Fay becomes an ally of Queen Mab because "the Old Ways have been good to me."
- In the season 1 finale of Young Dracula, Ingrid saves the Branaughs from a pack of hungry vampires because Mrs. B gave her a present.
- In Glee, the event that sparks Kurt's crush on Finn is when Finn once berated one of his friends for slamming Kurt into a locker. Even though Finn's seen taking part in this sort of bullying in the first episode, this one instance of kindness made Kurt like him. And once Finn joins the Glee club and they become friends, he starts to like Finn almost too much...
- And later this happens again between Kurt and Blaine, and Blaine and Jeremiah.
- In Being Human (UK), the only reason Herrick has any compunctions about killing Nina is because she was the only one who was kind to him and protected him when he lost his memory. He still stabs her.
- In one episode of Bones, a female suspect who had previously stalked the victim-of-the-week becomes smitten with Booth after he briefly comforts her. She later tries to kill Brennan, whom she saw as competition. Bonus points for Sweets recognizing what was happening a moment too late to stop Booth.
- In Sherlock, much of the reason why Sherlock allows John into his life and befriends him comes from John praising his deductive skills as "incredible" and "fantastic" while everyone else just calls him "freak." As the show progresses, it's clear that they would both die for one another.
- This has a lot to do with Merle's loyalty to the Governor in The Walking Dead.
- In Person of Interest, Lionel Fusco manipulated crime scenes for Stills and Azarello because Stills was a friend to him when his wife left him and took custody of his kid.
- Later in the series, Reese admits that he was once on the verge of committing suicide (Lethal Weapon style — he had a special bullet and everything) until the events of the pilot, when Carter showed him kindness and empathy.
- On 'The Big Bang Theory'', Raj becomes infatuated with Bernadette because, since she is nice to him, he thinks maybe she likes him. He goes so far as to write silly, suggestive poems about her. After his "Did they/Didn't they night" with Penny, Leonard calls him out about it. When she finds out, she is not happy about it (but still nice to him.)
Raj: You were always so nice to me, I thought, maybe you liked me.Bernadette: I'M NICE TO EVERYONE.Raj: Do you think I have a shot with Penny?Bernadette: OF COURSE YOU DO; YOU'RE A CUTEY-PIE. ANY GIRL WOULD BE LUCKY TO HAVE YOU.
- Similarly, Howard's endless one-way flirtations with Penny stemmed from her being nice to him, which he took as a sign of attraction. After one too many crass come-ons, she delivers an epic The Reason You Suck speech that puts him in a Heroic B.S.O.D.. When they finally talk it out, he admits that justifiably not many women are nice to him, which is why he was so infatuated with her. She apologizes for her actions and their friendship looks repaired...until he again thinks it's a sign of attraction and tries to kiss her; she punches him square in the face.
- In the third season of Tyrant, Bassam wins over Ahmed by giving Nusrat a proper burial, which Leila had denied for political reasons.
Stand Up Comedy
- Dane Cook has a routine exploiting this trope. The idea is that every workplace has one person in it who is creepy or awkward in some way, and thus shunned by all of their coworkers. Dane states his approach is to always befriend such persons, with spontaneous gifts of candy bars and a willingness to talk about the awkward person's strange hobby — because when that person inevitably snaps and starts killing everyone in the office, you'll be the one spared their wrath, with a comment of "...Thanks for the candy..." instead of a shotgun shell to the face that everyone else got.
- During the war on Tolkein of Rifts, the forces of Tolkeen liberated the Daemonix, a race of sub-demons from enslavement in another dimensions, and then asked them to help them fight the Coalition. Because the Tolkien asked them. As far back as the despised Daemonix could remember, no one has ever asked them anything. No previous master has ever given them a choice or the freedom to say no. Overwhelmed with gratitude, the Daemonix fought side by side with Tolkeen.
- Genius: The Transgression: Neid-type Geniuses tend to have... issues with the whole "They Called Me Mad!" thing, and are extremely resentful over being misunderstood, and even mocked, by their formerly fellow scientists, and by Muggles in general. Naturally, if they find someone who actually does believe them, or at the very least understand them, someone who manages to gain their trust, then that someone just found themselves a powerful ally.
- Turandot has Liu, who follows Calaf like a dog, looks after his elderly father, suffers torture, and kills herself so that he can marry the unattainable title character... because he smiled at her once.
- Wicked: Not so much "because you were nice to me" as "because you were nice to my sister", but when Galinda tells Boq to ask out the Inspirationally Disabled Nessarose, Elphaba goes to Madame Morrible and insists on bringing Galinda into her magic class or else Elphaba's leaving. Rather than let her star pupil leave, Morrible reluctantly takes on Galinda as a student. Galinda's attitude towards Elphaba changes immediately upon learning this, so it could also count in the other direction, with Elphaba being nice to Galinda in spite of her flaws.
- Dm C Devil May Cry: Kat is loyal to Vergil to the point of near-worship because he once saved her from abuse and gave her a purpose. That is until the revelation that he was using her and wants to rule over the humans, at which point she chooses Dante, who has by then also earned her loyalty and regards her as an equal.
- In the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim expansion Dawnguard you can have this sort of relationship with Serana. She (being a vampire) will walk into a vampire-hunter stronghold to give you useful information because you helped free her and escorted her home. This is also the reason she gives for trusting you to find her mother.
- Fire Emblem:
- Leads to two Heel Face Turns in Fire Emblem 7. Jaffar encountered Nino while too wounded to move. Instead of killing him, as per Black Fang custom, she bandages him up. Later, he saves her from being sacrificed as a scapegoat, and, if the player is willing, kills her tormentor in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Soren in the Fire Emblem Tellius series feels this toward Ike. When Soren had been abused, abandoned, and left for dead, Ike found him and gave him food and respect. Soren was so incredibly touched by this simple random act of kindness that he literally devoted the entire rest of his life to him, even after they were separated for years and Ike didn't remember meeting him. However, Ike does continue to show Soren kindness repeatedly throughout the games, which he appreciates. Their paired ending even describes Ike as the only person Soren ever trusted.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Maribelle reveals this as her reason for being completely devoted to Lissa; due to her being so difficult the other children instantly hated her and mocked her, leaving her without any friends until Lissa reached out to her.
- Similarly, Panne joins Chrom's Shepherds in an attempt to repay the kindness given to her Chrom and Lissa's older sister, Queen/Exalt Emmeryn, despite how she's a member of the very persecuted Taguel race.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, the Team Pet Lilith says that she follows the Avatar because he/she nursed her back to health when younger, thinking she was an injured bird.
- Jakob explains to Azura in their supports that he was practically sold-off by his Abusive Parents to the Nohrian royals, and since up until then he was a nobleman, he had no idea of how to perform even the most menial chores. The young Avatar insisted on keeping Jakob around as his/her companion despite his initial blunders, so he became their loyal Battle Butler to repay the favor.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2's built in campaign Neeshka mentions this about the PC if Relationship Values are stable before fighting the final boss, allowing her to resist The Dragon's mind control. It's a big part of the reason why the "romance" path with her, even though mostly cut, comes off as better written than most of the ones seen in video games. Inversely, Neeshka won't even need to be mind controlled into betraying the PC if their relationship values are low enough.
- Listening to Jack in Mass Effect 2, only one other person besides Paragon!Shepard has ever been nice to her, and he got killed saving her life, even after they'd both agreed not to do something like that. Afterwards, she found a message saying he wanted to settle down with her, the whole picket-fence fantasy. The whole thing fucked her head up even more - what she took from the whole experience was that there were good people in the galaxy... and they're all doomed to die because only assholes survive. Like she did.
- Ironically, Miranda goes through the same thing. It's implied that part of the reason she turned from Cerberus (or at least started to see them for what they were) is because Paragon Shepard went out of his/her way to help her with no ulterior motives. It also explains why she joined Cerberus in the first place: In exchange for Miranda's services, Cerberus offered to hide and protect her twin sister from their abusive, controlling father, a deal they had faithfully followed through on until Miranda quit.
- This is one of the reasons Tali'Zorah has such Undying Loyalty to Shepard. Quarians are normally treated with contempt and subject to a great deal of Fantastic Racism by the rest of the galaxy. But Shepard treats her like an equal. When being tried for treason, her people stick "vas Normandy" to her name, thinking that being associated with a human ship and captain will not do her any favors. If Shepard gets her cleared, Tali decides to keep the name, thinking that Shepard has been a greater friend to her than any quarian.
- Shepard becomes the Hope Bringer for the geth if Legion is accepted into the team in 2. Shepard's handshake with Legion was considered so significant that it was preserved in the geth consensus, as it was the first time that an organic had ever treated a geth as an equal, giving hope for a peaceful resolution with organics.
- Subverted if Shepard sabotages the genophage cure when Wrex is leader of Clan Urdnot: Wrex claims he will honor their friendship by giving Shepard a quick death for his/her betrayal. Played completely straight however, if Shepard successfully cures the genophage. Wrex, Eve and the entire Krogan population become incredibly loyal to Shepard, providing the largest assets after Shepard's own crew and the Alliance, with Wrex basically declaring that he and Shepard are Blood Brothers.
- Long story short, a lot of the Undying Loyalty that Paragon Shepard inspires comes down to this trope. Being a Messianic Archetype for people and races that have never known kindness tends to have that effect.
- Metal Gear's Big Boss uses this trope to play the benefactor role a LOT. This has essentially become his MO for converting enemies to his side and inspiring unwavering loyalty in his men, and he has become frighteningly efficient at this.
- This trope, combined with Stockholm Syndrome, are the reasons why Otacon fell for Sniper Wolf.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian joins Mario's party simply because he was the first to be nice to her.
- In Kingdom Hearts, Sora's party were the first only people ever to be nice to Naminé, even despite everything she'd done to them, which is why she spends the next year straight working on their behalf.
- This is part of the reason Princess Sapphire Rhodonite falls for Almaz in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice: Sapphire faced a lot of derision as a heartless sociopath because she didn't cry at the Queen's funeral. Almaz was the only one to realize she was mourning her mother's death and stand up for her.
- In Fallout 3, Gob will give the player a discount if they treat him nicely since everyone else in the town (especially his boss Colin Moriarty) treat him like crap for being a ghoul.
- This is also most likely the only reason that, when you're in Raven Rock and have the option to free a Deathclaw from its cage, that it doesn't attack you on sight. Granted, the base was going to go up in flames soon and it either wanted out or wanted its revenge, but it could have attacked you at that moment but didn't.
- In the Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, if you manage to befriend or help out four of the Think Tanks, they'll stand up to Dr. Klein when he tries to do away with you, meaning you won't have to kill them.
- Several characters in Dark Souls have this. Lady of the Darkling is fervently loyal to Gwyndolin because he accepted her as a follower despite her hideous appearance, providing her purpose in life. Eingyi is similarly devoted to Quelaag's sister because she sucked the deadly Blightpuss from his body, saving his life but becoming deathly sick in the process. Also, it's possible for Maiden Rhea to become friendly towards the player should the player save her from the Tomb of the Giants after her escorts all either hollowed or abandoned her.
- Basically the reason why Phoenix becomes a lawyer in Ace Attorney — he remembers this one incident when he was nine years old, where Edgeworth was in his class, and stood up for him in a class trial after Edgeworth's pocket money was stolen, and it was thought Phoenix had been the culprit. It later turned out that Larry had been the culprit all along, but the event is ultimately no less important to Phoenix for that.
- Maya Fey first meets Phoenix when he defends her in court despite Maya A) being framed for the murder of Phoenix's beloved mentor, and, B) being caught at the scene of the crime, in circumstances so suspicious that no attorney would willingly take her case. Although Redd's blackmailing also influenced that. This act of kindness understandably seeds a pretty strong friendship, which Maya is later willing to get tasered and briefly jailed over.
- In Hakuouki, Saito Hajime is wholly, almost obsessively loyal to the Shinsengumi in general and Hijikata in particular because Hijikata and Shinsengumi co-founder Kondou were the first people to understand and accept without question his left-handed swordfighting stance and refusal to stop wearing his swords on his right side (nearly a taboo in samurai culture) instead of accusing him of cheating.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can be played as demonstrating genuine kindness toward everyone he/she meets, including the members of the party. Since many of the party members have a history of being friendless, the Warden's consideration toward them can inspire them to Undying Loyalty.
- Ada Wong in the Resident Evil series is this way towards Leon ever since he took a bullet for her in Resident Evil 2. Ada will sometimes go out of her way to give Leon some support when she can, even if it's against her orders.
- Star Trek Online: Gaius Selan, the security officer of the Romulan Republic flagship RRW Lleiset, is a liberated Borg who used to be in the Tal Shiar. He fights for the Republic because they rescued him from the Collective (where the Tal Shiar didn't even try), and because they treat him like a person.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2: This trope is the reason Mog swore fealty to Lightning. Ever since Mog fell into Valhalla, he's been going with the "weak obey the strong" rule there but he's been rejected and abandoned multiple times by many powerful opponents, who didn't want such a weak creature. When he ran into Lightning, and lost his game, he expected to be abandoned again... but she told him to come with her. Lightning was the first person to accept him as he was and not just ditch him.
- Downplayed in I Miss the Sunrise, where it only leads to one favor. If you attempt to rescue the Black One in episode 3, he'll cite this as his motivation when he returns to help you later on.
- Ariel buys a cheap gladiator to help deal with a school bully. However, after the gladiator saves her life, Ariel grants her her freedom, but she refuses to leave. However, Vaelia's reasons for loyalty are not purely because Ariel did something for her.
- Mel'arnach and Lulianne seem to have this even though they're a jailer and prisoner respectively. This becomes especially apparent when Mel escapes and Lulianne follows.
- This is why the Monster In The Darkness in The Order of the Stick helps O-Chul. On the other hand, since he's got a rather hazy view of "nice", it's also why he helps Xykon:
O-Chul: Who do you know that treats you as a friend?MITD: Well ... Xykon, because he gives me toys to shut me up. And Redcloak, 'cause he feeds me to shut me up. And Right-Eye, although I haven't seen him around lately. And you, because you're nice and listen to what I have to say.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! this is why Galatea is so devoted to Bob, Jean, and Molly. They taught her what kindness is.
- Eerie Cuties: Cess & Laura are childhood friends, who began the series as a pair of minor antagonists to Layla. But their friendship was briefly severed by Tia's manipulations, during which, Nina befriended Laura to cheer her up. She and Cessily make up by the end of chapter 13 and Laura finally returned to normal. Laura was touched by Nina's kindness towards her, which caused her and Cessily to become friends with her... for real this time.
- Magick Chicks: It's no secret that Sandi is loyal to Faith and there's a reason for that: when she was younger, Sandi couldn't control her power, which alienated the other kids around her. Faith took Sandi under her wing and taught her how to properly channel her ability. Sandi further explained that, though it took time and effort on Faith's part, she never gave up on her. And for that, she's eternally grateful to her.
- This treatment by the Reds and Blues blows Washington out of the water, and helps bring out his good side again. Fitting, because the total lack of this trope got him to go evil in the first place.
- The friendship and genuine emotion offered by the Lambsbridge Gang is enough to overcome Laser Guided Tyke Bomb Mary's villainous loyalties and convince her to become the Sixth Ranger for their team, as all the affection she's ever received has been rote and her creator has never treated her as more than a tool.
- Subsequently, this is inverted with Sylvester's tendency to attack, humiliate, belittle, and otherwise drive away anyone outside the Lambsbridge Gang who shows signs of being nice to him or being sympathetic to his situation. He explains this is a basic Pavlovian response; the doctors who raised him were always kind and soothing right before they injected his brain with neurotoxins to force it to rapidly generate new connections, an incredibly painful process.
- In Futurama, Kif to Leela in Brannigan, Begin Again.
- In Jimmy Two-Shoes Chuck, a bus driver, becomes an obsessed stalker of a friend to an unwilling Jimmy after Jimmy called him "pal" and apologized for accidentally wrecking his bus. Chuck is shown to try to become a persistent friend to anyone who's even remotely nice to him.
- Invader Zim: Although Zim was pretty mean to Keef for the most part, because he called them "friends" and pretended to enjoy his company (for appearances sake) Keef became obsessed with Zim even after Zim made it clear he wanted nothing to do with him.
- Hey Arnold!: In "Helga On The Couch" it's shown that Helga fell for Arnold when she was in preschool because he was the only person in her life that noticed her and treated her kindly, by complimenting her and giving her his crackers at snack time.
- The Simpsons did an episode where Homer and Marge entered a Wife Swap-style reality show. The Henpecked Husband ends up falling for Marge, while his frigid, controlling wife falls for Patty.
"Marge, I love you! And I can tell from your basic level of courtesy that you love me too!"
- While more a Puppy Love example, there's the infamous crush Ralph Wiggum developed on Lisa when she was the only one to give him a Valentine.
- In one episode, Bart wins a $500 cash settlement from Krusty after a jagged metal O in his box of Krusty-O's gave him appendicitis. He spends the money to buy an album made by Lisa's jazz mentor "Bleeding Gums" Murphy (who died earlier that episode); she asks why, and he says it's because she was the only person who believed him when he said he was sick.
- Foxglove the bat from the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Good Times, Bat Times" claims that she works for Winnifred because before she met the Rescue Rangers, Winnifred had been her only friend. Based on how we actually see Winnifred treat her, either Foxglove was lonely to a degree not accounted for by human language, or the writers couldn't come up with anything that would actually work.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh is imprisoned by the Fire Nation. He's treated very poorly by the guards, except for a woman who brings his meals. When he planned to escape, he told her to take the rest of the day off because she always treated him kindly, and he didn't want her around for what was about to happen.
- Family Guy: In one episode, Meg accepts a pity date from Brian, her family's talking dog, and becomes obsessed with him after he insults another girl in her defense and kisses her while drunk.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Keep Calm And Flutter On, Discord himself is redeemed (mostly) when he realizes that Fluttershy actually is trying to be his friend, that Friendship really is Magic, and that if he continues his chaotic rampage he'll lose the only friend he's ever had. Fluttershy purposely invoked this trope, and Discord knew she was doing it... but it still worked.
- And in Twilight's Kingdom, he is reformed once and for all after Twilight saves him from Tirek even though Discord had earlier done a Face–Heel Turn and helped Tirek drain all the pony's powers.
- Because Max on Goof Troop showed compassion for his mistreated and miserable neighbor, PJ, and went out of his way to provide him with opportunities he'd never had and friendship, including coming up with two separate elaborate plans to maintain it, he ended up with one of the sweetest, most loyal friends he could ever ask for, who stuck with him through middle school, high school, and college.
- In Garfield and Friends, in the U.S.Acres segments. This trope is the reason Lanolin's at times the nicest (or at least compared to how she treats the other characters, normally) to Orson. Then when Bo said that he and the others like her too, pleasantly surprised, Lanolin said she'll try to be nicer to them then.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Little Guy", Wander is kind and friendly to mistreated Watchdog Westley eventually inducing a Heel–Face Turn. It's implied Wander is intentionally invoking this trope, but also that he's not faking his friendship and kindness — he's just naturally kind and friendly to virtually everyone, even his enemies.
- In Steven Universe:
- Lapis Lazuli has this attitude towards Steven. He befriended her while she was still trapped in a mirror and was the one who set her free. Afterwards she did try to kill him in her attempt to get home, but their friendship was apparently cemented when he healed her cracked gem. Since then she's made several efforts to protect him or at least warn him of danger, and has held Jasper in a fusion at the bottom of the ocean to prevent her from harming Steven. While she's still apparently hostile or at least ambivalent to the other Gems, it's very clear that she wants to do whatever she can for Steven, the one being in thousands of years who treated her kindly.
- Peridot also begins to develop these feelings due to Steven showing her compassion and trust and the rest of the Gems showing her varying degrees of compassion. It ultimately results in her turning on Yellow Diamond and trying to save Earth.
- In one episode Alvin and the Chipmunks when Alvin was left behind by the others because he didn't do his chores, Alvin did them for once, only for a Contrived Coincidence to occur when an alien being chased by an agent and a scientist begged Alvin to hide him. Despite Alvin's attempts to dissuade the hunters, they ransacked the house in search of the alien before offering to Alvin they'd fix it up and by the one next door for him (which had a cool dirt bike Alvin wanted) in exchange for him telling them where the alien was. Despite this, Alvin continued to feint ignorance, resulting in the agent and scientist leaving the house in its messed up state with one minute before the others came home. Fortunately for Alvin, before departing, the grateful alien zapped the house with a ray that restored the house to way it was before he arrived.
- A platonic and villainous example occurs midway through the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Karai has become the Dragon Ascendant and part of the package includes the service of the Foot Mystics. The Mystics grow to really hate Karai because she treats them like crap, and while they refer to the previous Shredder as an " Utrom abomination", they appreciated that he had a lot of respect for them.
- Stockholm Syndrome generally comes about due to the hostage taker being nice to the hostages. This often includes an extremely broad definition of 'nice', like 'hasn't hit me for a while'.
- People who have had suicidal thoughts have reported that often someone simply smiling at them is enough to stop them from going through with killing themselves.
- The nineteenth-century Zulu leader Shaka grew up in a village where he and his single mother both suffered continual bullying from the locals. As leader, Shaka returned to the village and had all the bullies put to death by impalement, as slowly and painfully as possible. Those who had not bullied them but just let it happen were put to death more quickly and less painfully. Only one man was spared because Shaka remembered him being nice to his mother.
- Judy Garland mentored newcomer Gene Kelly on the set of For Me and My Gal, his first movie; Kelly would later claim she taught him basically everything he knew about show business. Years later, when Garland came out of rehab and not many people would work with her, Gene requested her for Summer Stock.
- Criminals like kidnappers or planned shooters are inspired to turn their lives around on occasion because their victim or would-be victim treated them with respect.