So, the heroes have finally captured [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Duke Diabolico]], yay! ... [[AndThenWhat so now what?]] He's repeatedly proven he not only [[CardCarryingVillain doesn't want to reform]], but will turn any such attempts into another [[EvilPlan dastardly scheme]] by [[FalselyReformedVillain masquerading as reformed]], and the CardboardPrison is looking especially porous right now. Plus, he's proven smart enough to defy being a {{Self Disposing Villain}}. The heroes [[ThouShallNotKill couldn't just kill him]], and even if they [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim weren't too principled against killing]], he's also avoided [[IDidWhatIHadToDo giving the heroes]] (and [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork other villains]]) reasons to kill him.

There's more option: to do a [[{{Brainwash}} Brainwashing]] ... [[TitleDrop for the greater good]]! The way it is done can have varying degrees of squick. Heroes might go the "soft" route and administer {{Care Bear Stare}}s, use ThePowerOfLove and [[ThePowerOfFriendship Friendship]], and in conjunction with [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath "motivational" speeches]] trigger a [[MoreThanMindControl quasi-voluntary]] HeelFaceTurn. However, a more extreme villain might require a more extreme method, and perhaps a shot of LaserGuidedAmnesia, a RestrainingBolt, or even a [[LossOfIdentity new personality]] may be in order, or even a MindRape to screw him thoroughly. And Voilà! Duke Diabolico, the [[ForTheEvulz most evil]] and [[LargeHam theatrical]] supervillain to grace [[MonsterOfTheWeek the Saturday weekend]] is now a good-hearted codger. Who cares about MindOverManners, right?

Naturally, this trope involves [[GreyAndGreyMorality Grey And Grey]] or BlackAndGreyMorality at best, because like any brainwashing, it involves compromising the free will of the brainwashee. If done by [[TheFace the heroes]], they are probably also running on BlackAndGreyMorality or GreyAndGreyMorality, otherwise there is probably some serious ValuesDissonance going on in the work. If TheAntagonist is doing the brainwashing, then it is treated as any regular ol'e {{Brainwashing}}, and expect them to be a LawfulEvil character of the WellIntentionedExtremist or KnightTemplar variety justifying it through TheEvilsOfFreeWill. If brainwashing is policy, there is also the danger of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope until [[FelonyMisdemeanor litterers are brainwashed]] into [[UpToEleven creepy all-loving paragons]] because UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans.

The brainwashing has a tendency to be flimsy though, and when it slips the results are often pretty messy. Duke Diabolico may have been helping an old lady cross a street when he just spontaneously relapses and throws her under a semi. His minions or allies may come by and [[{{Deprogram}} break the brainwashing]] for him. He still might find himself [[BecomingTheMask liking good]] [[GoodFeelsGood more than evil]] and do a HeelFaceTurn on his own accord. He might face a HeroicBSOD as he [[AmnesiacDissonance grapples with]] a hidden [[HeelFaceMindScrew lifetime of evil]]. but if he doesn't, OhCrap.

The brainwashing doesn't have to specifically be done to change one's moral inclinations; upholding TheMasquerade is an example of this. If {{Muggles}} were to stumble on the existence of TheMasquerade and [[TheMasquerade The Masqueraders]] have the ethical sense to [[ThouShaltNotKillMuggles not erase them from existence]], then some LaserGuidedAmnesia is in order to keep them oblivious. Of course, being {{Muggles}}, the ethics of this isn't discussed much. This applies especially when it is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] that TheWorldIsNotReady for the [[BrokenMasquerade masquerade to be broken]], or that it is [[ForYourOwnGood for their own good]].

Compare with HeelFaceBrainwashing when it is applied to turn the {{Heel}} from TheDarkSide.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** This is Tobi's and [[spoiler:Madara's]] main goal entitled "The Moon's Eye Plan". They plan to cast a permanent genjutsu on the moon in order to сapture all people in eternal genjutsu and collect all the chakra in all people in order to reach peace in the world, since they believes mankind cannot live peacefully of their own free will.
** This is [[spoiler:Itachi's backup plan for Sasuke]]. To make a long story short, [[spoiler:he acquired a specialized Sharingan capable of rewriting Sasuke's mind to be loyal to Konoha in the event he completely betrayed the village. He stored it with Naruto, where it was eventually used to break Kabuto's control over the resurrected Itachi]].
** The other Sharingan belonging to the original owner was [[spoiler:used by Danzo in an attempt to make himself leader of the Shinobi Alliance, in the belief that only Danzo could use that position to bring about a lasting peace]].
** ''Again'' the original owner of the above Sharingan tried to do this, presumably to [[spoiler: Fugaku and the other leading Uchiha]] in order to stop the looming [[spoiler: coup de' etat plotted by the Uchiha clan.]] Unfortunately for him, Danzo snatched his eye before he could even begin to put the plan into effect.
* In the world of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', it is possible to brainwash EVA pilots into fighting, but this is never actually used (presumably the results would not be pretty).
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Marik's spell to brainwash Anzu was clearly ''not'' for a good purpose. However, after his SuperPoweredEvilSide dominated him, it quickly became this, as Anzu was now the only way he could communicate with anyone. For as long as he was able to, he controlled her in an attempt to seek help from others, first to tell his sister to keep Rashid hidden, and eventually to plead with the Pharoh not to hesitate to strike his dark side down (which was an issue due to the SadisticChoice that the villain had forced the Pharaoh into).
* In ''President Dad'', to help Ami combat her stage fright when joining her dad (newly elected as president of South Korea) in addressing the people, Fahrenheit hypnotizes her into seeing the people outside as pumpkins. This is PlayedForLaughs.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}}'s {{Elseworlds}} counterpart in ''ComicBook/SupermanRedSon'' did this, to disturbing effect. The Batman imitators mopping the floor still in their costumes were particularly creepy; of course, [[spoiler:President]] Superman has a lot of reason to hate Batman in this story. Unfortunately, the comic {{Time Skip}}s over the stage at which Superman decided to start cyberlobotomizing his enemies so as to maintain control without having to kill anybody. We never see the decision making that developed into this, and by the time we see it it's treated as normal--a good drama call, but frustrating.
* Franchise/DocSavage used to use psychosurgery on his enemies to remove criminal tendencies.
* In the ''Comicbook/{{Exiles}}'' comic, at the end of the "World Tour" story arc, Proteus (who had taken over the body of Morph) was brainwashed into thinking he really was Morph.
* ''ComicBook/IdentityCrisis'':
** Used on Dr. Light in Franchise/TheDCU. It opened a floodgate of crap.
** Used on ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' in the same arc. The floodgates weren't big enough.
* Also used on the Hyperclan (White Martians) after the Justice League stop their invasion of Earth all of them are brainwashed into thinking they're regular humans, this later causes more problems, for example when one of them thinks he's Bruce Wayne.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'':
** Attempted on ComicBook/{{Magneto}} in his many Franchise/MarvelUniverse incarnations. However, due to PersonalityPowers and JokerImmunity, he reverts to his original mindset. It is also revealed that it had failed ''very'' soon after its first use: all the [[AntiHero anti-heroic]] and ''just plain good'' things he's done since leaving the BigBad role behind in TheSeventies truly was him. (It also means he's as dangerous to piss off now as he was then. He was ''not'' happy when he found out what had been done to him, and to this day, Moira remains a sore subject.)
** In TheSixties, erasing the dangerous data from the minds of those who learned too much about the X-Men (or even just of people who rejected his attempts to recruit them to the X-Men!) was a common tactic of Professor X's. Sometimes the memory wipes didn't last, and the victims were understandably pissed.
** In the ''second issue'' Professor X brainwashed the Vanisher into a DirtyCoward because his power set (teleportation) was "too dangerous". Vanisher never recovered.
* ''World's Finest'' #148, ''Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/{{Batman}}—Outlaws!'' Our heroes suggest to the good AlternateUniverse ComicBook/LexLuthor that he should brainwash their evil counterparts into becoming good guys. This apparently works, but the brainwashed people are seen only from behind, so one could imagine that their faces told a different story.
* In ''Franchise/GreenLantern'', the Star Sapphires will brainwash members of other Corps that they capture to turn them into servants of Love. While not exactly good-guys, the Sapphires are far from evil and this is easily the most questionable thing they've ever done. [[spoiler:Also, the Indigo Tribe is made up of "born again" villains and evildoers whose [[CareBearStare exposure to coalesced compassion]] turns them into beings dedicated to helping others. Unfortunately, they all seem a'ok with brainwashing... and it turns out they aren't fun to be around when the brainwashing drops.]]
* In the original run of Marvel's ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme'', brainwashing villains and other criminals into becoming law-abiding citizens became part of their Utopian project. Unfortunately, this caused a rift in the group, and some of the rebelling heroes joined with villains, one of whom discovered how to reverse the process.
* ComicBook/DoctorStrange on occasion has used LaserGuidedAmnesia to make villains forget the evil magic they have learned -- mostly for those who stumbled into it by accident and had no idea what they were doing.
* The Institutes of ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' serve this purpose in pre-war Cybertronian society, rearranging the personality and outlook of anyone who opposes the senate or the alt mode based caste system. It should be noted that the Senate is completely corrupt during this time. [[spoiler:With one exception, whom they pull this on along with the Empurata ritual: ''Shockwave''.]]
* Mindf*** of ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'' habitually uses her psychic powers to do this to [[spoiler:''herself''.]]
* Nico Minoru of the ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' is alarmingly fond of this type of thinking, using her magic to wipe the young Geoffrey Wilder's memory of his trip to the modern day, forcing the Yorkes to live out the rest of their lives knowing they'd be betrayed by their own offspring, and casually transforming the Yorkes' ally Maneater into a vegan. While the first two cases were probably justified, as Wilder and the Yorkes might have otherwise been able to change history for the worse, the vegan spell was just petty. She finally earned a WhatTheHellHero speech from Molly after [[spoiler:using a minor version ("Settle Down") to force Klara to stop crying, for no other reason than because her crying was irritating Chase]]. Molly compared it to the way her evil parents used to use their mutant mind-control abilities to force her to sleep.
* One of the Fourth Doctor ''Magazine Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' strips involved the Doctor being faced with a dystopic civilisation where people are implanted with a brain chip at birth that prevents natural emotions from developing and submits them to a master control. In order to save them, he manipulates the master control to make people feel anger and hate to pump their bodies full of adrenaline, a substance poisonous to the MonsterOfTheWeek. Before leaving, he gives the citizens a new emotional profile based on his own - we see later the citizens have covered their dystopia in smiley-face graffiti, are all growing their hair out into curly mops and are running around playing music, eating jelly babies and having a very good time. (The Doctor says the civilisation will 'grow out of it', presumably as unchipped children are born... probably for the best, too.)
* The end of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFiendshipIsMagic #4'' [[spoiler:mentions that Princess Celestia erased both the nightmares inflicted upon her subjects by Nightmare Moon, but also the illusions that painted herself negatively.]]
* ''ComicBook/BillyBatsonAndTheMagicOfShazam,'':
** After [[EvilCounterpart Theo Adam/Black Adam]]'s first arc, [[BigGood the Wizard]] uses his magic to erase his memory of anything except for his name and age, then has him put in an OrphanageOfLove. It didn't stick for too long, though.
** A rare villain-to-hero version: [[AffablyEvil Axe]] wants to get [[KidHero Billy]] out of his hair, but to do him a favor based on his own FreudianExcuse, orders Billy to go and overcome his worst fear (which, at the time, was the fact that [[spoiler:some unknown evil was possessing [[OlderAlterEgo Captain Marvel]]]]). PlayedWith also because it doesn't totally work, though in the process [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Billy breaks out of the spell]] so that he can go back and defeat Axe.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* One ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'' story centered on a tank-sized ray that could turn entire crowds into happy, good-hearted pacifists. Ming the Merciless takes control of it and use it to subjugate the opposition, until the protagonists manage to turn it on him. Flash even remarks what a swell guy Ming is when he's not evil. Justified since the ray's effect is temporary, and the rebound causes a lot of trouble later on.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Snarfquest}}'': It's evil on evil, but Suthaze magically brainwashes an evil dragon into [[RuleOfFunny thinking he is a friendly duck named Willie]]. Snarf breaks the spell temporarily to distract Suthaze, but it is rendered permanent by massive head trauma.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[ This]] ''Literature/GoodOmens'' hurt/comfort fic is a quick deconstruction of this .
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' different kinds of brainwashing do exist, so many fics explore the idea.
** Many [[RecursiveFanfiction derivative works]] of ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureau'' explore the concept, both from a positive and negative point of view.
** There is [[spoiler: a world-wide plan]] of it in ''Fanfic/LinesAndWebs''
** Played with in ''Fanfic/TheRiseOfDarthVulcan'', where the protagonist believes this is used regularly and mind-altering spells do exist and are used on occasion. The protagonist... does not approve. [[spoiler:Though he still maintains a {{geas}} on the Changelings, and hasn't devoted much time to figuring out a way to safely remove it.]]
* In the second work of the {{Fanfic/Ouroboros}} series, ''Queen's Gambit'', this is proposed by [[spoiler: the Gambit!Jedi to use on Gambit!Obi-Wan Kenobi, even after he proved that he wasn't a Dark Jedi. This causes major controversy, and several Jedi -- including Quinlan Vos and Ahsoka Tano -- end up leaving the Order due to it, after breaking Obi-Wan out of prison.]]
* In the fanfiction ''[[Fanfic/ImHereToHelp I'm Here to Help]]'', Emerald believes Neo-Queen Serenity used the Silver Crystal to do this to the entire population of Earth. Given his own mental state and the lack of pagetime the supposedly brainwashed people have, whether or not it's the case is open to interpretation.
* In ''Fanfic/WaterAreobicsForTheAquaphobic'', [[JerkAss Lucius Malfoy]] gets immersed in [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Jusenkyo's Spring of the Drowned Good Samaritan]], and becomes an IncorruptiblePurePureness [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin good samaritan]] who is ridiculously nice and gracious and coddles ''everyone''. Because the curse is triggered by cold water and deactivated by hot water, Dumbledore places a compulsion on Lucius that makes him avoid hot water, and [[PutOnABus sends him off]] to China to research the Jusenkyo curse and keep him out of his hair and [[BigBad Voldermort's]] hands.
* Popular among the [[VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars Liir]] in ''FanFic/ShepherdOfTheStars'', as in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' canon. The other races, especially [[Franchise/MassEffect the Council]], are much less okay with it. When the Turians ask them to stop doing this to captured Batarian terrorists, they switch from [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul erasing pain]] to sharing it, inflicting the memories of former Batarian slaves onto the criminals to [[HeelFaceBrainwashing force them to change their ways.]] [[BlueAndOrangeMorality They see nothing wrong with this]], and are somewhat surprised that everyone else does.
* ''Fanfic/ReluctantHero'' has Long Feng suggesting to wipe the new Avatar's memory clean from everything about the Fire Nation except for his training in firebending. Some amongst the boy's teachers find the idea quite appealing since their pupil is very much struggling with his role, but the youth himself does not agree. Explosively so.
* ''Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy'' has ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} and her adoptive parents attending [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark and Lois']] wedding. When Fred Danvers makes a joke about him figuring out the Leaguers' civilian identities, his daughter warns that the Justice Leaguers protect their secret identities by having Franchise/GreenLantern to mind-wipe busybodies.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* At the climax of ''WesternAnimation/KuboAndTheTwoStrings'', [[spoiler:the villainous Moon King is struck by Kubo's musical magic, causing him to lose his powers and have his mind wiped. It's not clear if Kubo intentionally intended this or not (since he openly declared earlier that he would kill the Moon King), but regardless "Grandfather" is left with a blank memory and the villagers tell him that he's a great and generous man.]]

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Pretty much any Jedi who uses the "Jedi Mind Trick" (used frequently in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' continuity) to get someone to cooperate is doing this.
* The use of the eponymous ark in the ''Series/StargateSG1'' movie ''Film/TheArkOfTruth'' to convince the Ori's followers of the error of their ways could be viewed this way. While it is justified in that A) the Ori are dead anyway, and B) the Ori's followers are on the verge of overrunning the Milky Way, it's still brainwashing. Even Daniel, who found the Ark and figure out how to activate it in the first place, isn't happy that they had to use it since it does mess with free will in a disturbing way.
* If you count "removing all human emotions, positive and negative" as brainwashing, the dystopian government within the movie ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'' uses this. Their justification is that HumansAreBastards and uncontrolled passions caused all wars, so all citizens must take an emotion-neutralizing drug called Librium.
* ''Film/DocSavage: The Man of Bronze''. At the end Doc performs one of his personality-altering operations on Captain Seas, who ends up as a member of the Salvation Army.
* Deconstructed in [[Film/AClockworkOrange the film]] and book ''Literature/AClockworkOrange''.
* ''Drop Squad''. A group of black Americans kidnaps and deprograms (brainwashes) blacks who act like white people. The intent is to restore their pride in their own race (DROP stands for Deprogramming and Restoration of Pride). The movie justifies this by having the black man who's kidnapped working for a company that acts in an outrageously racist manner that would never be accepted in RealLife. Other kidnap victims include a corrupt politician and a drug dealer.
%%* ''Film/TotalRecall1990'': "My name isss nawt QUAID!"
* In ''Franchise/MenInBlack'', the organization uses a device called a neuralyzer on people to cause LaserGuidedAmnesia and purge any memories of aliens (which is truly for the best, something that we are repeatedly reminded of). They even use it on their own members who retire.
* Used in ''Film/DemolitionMan'' by the San Angeles correctional system. Criminals are reprogrammed to be unable to perform the crimes they committed, and have useful skills or hobbies implanted. It's hit-and-miss, though; John Spartan can't stop himself from knitting despite being at best indifferent about it, and while Simon Phoenix can't kill Cocteau, he still really, really wants to, [[spoiler:and eventually gets around it by asking one of his {{mook}}s to do it]].
* Comes up in ''Film/{{Serenity}}:'' the Alliance experiments with a bacteriological weapon that makes people placid. It [[GoneHorriblyRight works too well]] on 99.9% of the population of the test colony, Miranda. It [[GoneHorriblyWrong causes a... reaction]] for the remainder. Somehow, the Alliance then [[OrwellianRetcon alters all computer records to show that Miranda is - and always has been - uninhabitable.]]

* ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat'' - and it ''works'', largely successfully. Angelina turned from a murderous psychopath into a loving wife and mother... with occasional psychopathic tendencies, especially if you so much as [[MamaBear look at her twins wrong]].
* In ''The Emerald City of Oz'', Ozma decides this is a morally acceptable way to subdue invaders.
* The wizard Mizzamir invented a spell to do this in ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity''. The protagonists are utterly horrified at the implications.
* Done in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheSpaceBeagle'' - Grosvenor can't convince the rest of the crew to sign onto his (superior) scientific philosophy, so he hypnotizes them through the ship's PA system. This is seen as a heroic action.
* The Obliviators of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' verse perform a LaserGuidedAmnesia wipe on {{Muggles}} who stumble on the existence of magic to preserve TheMasquerade.
** Hermione does a thorough brainwashing on her parents to make them forget about her existence and then sends them to Australia in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'' for their protection when The Golden Trio go hunting down Voldermort's [[spoiler:Hocruxes]]. She reverts the brainwashing at the end of the story.
* In a noncanon ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' side story, Percy battles the Titan Iapetus near Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness. Percy dunks himself and Iapetus in the river. Percy, being a son of Poseidon stayed dry, and Iapetus is soaked so he forgets everything. He gets renamed Bob and even helps cure some nasty wounds.
** It ''is'' canon, or close enough. The stories have already influenced the canon books. Percy mentions in 5th book that he's seen Persephone in winter (which happened in the same story with Iapetus/Bob), and in ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'', the kids use the bronze dragon from one of the other stories as transportation for their quest.
** And with the second to last book of the same series, the "House of Hades", [[spoiler: "Bob" helps Percy and Anabeth through Tartarus, along with the giant Damasen, fulfilling the line of the new prophecy "Foes bear arms to the doors of death" making him essential to the story.]]
* In the fifth ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' book, the kids do this to [[spoiler:teacher SadistTeacher Ms. Ribble/Wedgie Woman]]. Note that the first time it went [[GoneHorriblyWrong horribly wrong]], so the second time they had to be very careful about their wording. When Harold wonders at the end if it was right to hypnotize her into becoming nice, George responds, "Why not? She's happier now. She'll probably live longer!"
* In the original ''Franchise/DocSavage'' magazine stories, Doc performed "a delicate brain operation" on criminals to cure their criminal tendencies. It also removed all memories of their criminal past. This is a prime example of ValuesDissonance. Back in the 1930s, it was believed that ongoing criminal behavior was a result of malformation of the brain, essentially a medical problem.
* The "demolishing" process in ''Literature/TheDemolishedMan'' might well qualify. [[spoiler:The VillainProtagonist's personality is broken down to a primal level with the idea of building him back up so that he retains his intelligence and ambition without the self-serving and criminal aspects.]]
* [[spoiler: Molly Carpenter]] in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' does this in an attempt to stop her friends from using drugs while one of them is pregnant (without consent from either of them.) It does not end well, and she is nearly executed for practicing textbook black magic.
* Confessors from the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series work like this. Unfortunately, the recharge time is anywhere from hours to weeks, and there's usually a lot of angry soldiers between a Confessor and a big bad. This is part of why they usually had a wizard bodyguard. The Confessors were mostly used to get the confession of condemned criminals who were part of conspiracies, but refused to cooperate.
** The GoneHorriblyWrong is built right in, since their power doesn't actually compel truth but causes the victim to fall hopelessly in love with the confessor, abandoning essentially everything else in their lives and committing suicide immediately (or wasting away if ordered otherwise) upon her leaving them. Even the protagonists, who are high-functioning sociopaths on their least villainous days, get really uncomfortable about the fact that most people who actually request confession are essentially committing personality suicide to prove their innocence.
* Averted -- in fact, treated with revulsion and contempt -- in Creator/RobertAHeinlein's "Literature/IfThisGoesOn". The [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeVillified revolutionaries]], after overthrowing the CorruptChurch, vote to reject their psych experts' proposal to use SubliminalSeduction to "condition" the people to accept the restoration of democracy (after an old man who "looked like Mark Twain" made an impassioned speech on how "free men aren't 'conditioned'.") Though interestingly, in the first published version of the story it wasn't averted: the revolutionaries agreed to the conditioning program with minimal discussion. Presumably Heinlein later decided this was morally very dubious and inserted the "Mark Twain" Expy as a kind of TakeThat against his younger self.
** Further subverted in Creator/RobertAHeinlein's "Coventry". The society created by those revolutionaries develops a legal system where a criminal is examined by psychiatrists to determine his motivations. If the motivations are such that the person is deemed a danger to society, they are given a choice. They can either have the psychiatrists treat them to correct their anti-social tendencies, an effective form of mental conditioning, or they can chose exile to Coventry, a section of the country walled-off behind a force field. Anybody is allowed to leave Coventry so long as they are willing to have the psychiatrists treat them.
* Averted in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. [[spoiler: Rand, in his confrontation with the Dark One, projects a future without a Dark One. Without his influence, though, everyone in the world was effectively Brainwashed For The Greater Good. The idea sickened Rand so much that he abandoned his plan to kill the Dark One, opting instead to reseal the prison.]]
* In the sci-fi short "Between Two Dragons" by Yoon Ha Lee, a brilliant admiral arranges for his own brainwashing, knowing that he's fallen foul of jealous factions in his own government who will order him mind-wiped. By arranging it himself, he hopes to retain his strategic acumen for when his world needs him again. This is exactly what happens, but as the admiral returns to his world in triumph with his fleet, the doctor who did the brainwashing thinks that the old admiral was too loyal to act against those who caused his downfall; the admiral's new personality however...
* In the end of ''Eon'', [[spoiler:when Eona is finally able to fully call on the Mirror Dragon, she counters Ido's MindControl attempt by reversing it and probing into ''his'' mind whilst using her new abilities. This results in awakening compassion in his heart enough for him to stop.]] He still knows full well what's been done to him, but [[spoiler:his newfound guilt for everything he's done -- and he's done a lot of things over the book -- makes him double over in agony and then decide to cover the heroes' escape]].
* ''Literature/TowerAndTheHive'': This is how the Hiver threat is ultimately ended. The Human/Mrdini alliance discovers a pheromone cocktail that switched the Hivers' temperament from TheSwarm to SpaceAmish. One spate of dusting every Hiver colony they could find with the stuff, no more invading hordes of alien bugs. To be fair, it was the only plan they could think of that didn't involve committing genocide on the Hivers (and every Human and Mrdini attempt at communication failed, even when human telepaths attempted).
* At the end of Creator/AgathaChristie's PassengerToFrankfurt, this has become the case. In order to counteract the mass uprising of indoctrinated young people actually working for a neo-Nazi group, a chemical that basically removes any trace of aggression or ill-intent towards another human being is massively released. This is treated as an unadulterated happy ending.
* Used in one of the endings of the Choose Your Own Adventure story, ''You Are A Monster''. In the best possible ending, [[spoiler:the wealthy family who takes the narrator in after he's genetically transformed into a monster by a MadScientist hires a private detective to track down said scientist bring him in, and force him to change the narrator back. After this is done and everyone is trying to decide how best to punish the scientist, the narrator suggests using his research to forcibly alter his personality so that he's normal. [[VillainHasAPoint The scientist very much protests the loss of his brilliant mind]] but it's done anyway. The story ends with the narrator saying that the scientist ended being a salesman]].
* In the ''Literature/JacobsLadderTrilogy'', the planet Grail employs a "rightminding" procedure to eliminate all irrational thoughts and urges. The crew of ''Jacob's Ladder'' are somewhat amused to learn that despite this, there is still violent crime on Grail -- just by criminals acting for for unimpeachably rational reasons. None are actually keen on undergoing the procedure themselves, with the exception of Cynric, who cheerfully admits that her personality could probably benefit from a bit of amending.
* In the ''Literature/LordDarcy'' story "A Case Of Identity", one suspect is exonerated specifically ''because'' he's a homicidal psychopath, but one whose inborn tendency to ruthlessness has been rigidly suppressed via a ''{{geas}}'' imposed for his own and others' safety. The ''{{geas}}'' restricts him from using force against others [[spoiler:unless ordered to do so by his handler in espionage]], and also bars him from ever knowingly giving offense to others who might attack ''him'', since he can't fight back. As the ''{{geas}}'' was applied by a skilled Healer from a SaintlyChurch whose expertise is respected, and its subject doesn't comprehend right or wrong enough to raise a moral objection himself, everyone takes the ethics of this in stride.
* In the 7th Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant novel ''Kingdom of the Wicked'' [[spoiler: the heroes do this to Walden D'Essai, aka Argeddion, removing his memories of magic and his former life (which will also make him unable to use magic) because he is totally unwilling to admit that he is wrong in his desire to give magic to everybody; including psychopaths and the evil, and because he is simply too powerful to be allowed to roam free.]]
* In ''Literature/TheGapCycle'', there is a condition called "gap sickness" that afflicts certain people when they are exposed to the rigors of deep-space travel, causing them to go AxeCrazy. Because ship crews can't afford to kill off violently-insane members, the government has long authorized forcibly implanting gap-sick people with a device that gives the user complete control over the implanted person's nervous system. In the first book, Angus Thermopyle exploits this in order to give Morn Hyland a zone implant so that he can force her to be his sex slave.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In "The Keys of Marinus", the characters are on TheQuest to collect the [[PlotCoupon Keys]] to turn on a device called the Conscience Machine, which apparently will cause all the Marinusians to live in peace and harmony by 'deciding for them' what is wrong and right. It had been turned off before the story started because the Voord, Marinusians immune to its effects, were attacking the other Marinusians who were unable to defend themselves as a result of its effects. This is virtually never addressed apart from a couple of lines from the Doctor in the final episode, and arguably Barbara smashing a bunch of monsters for [[DesignatedHero doing virtually the same thing the humans are trying to do]] in the second episode.
** In "The Savages", a villain does this to himself by accident, although the First Doctor [[BatmanGambit anticipated it and let it happen]]. He transfers 'vitality' from the Doctor in the hope of gaining his intellect, but [[SoulFragment ends up gaining the Doctor's morality in the process]], as well as some of his mannerisms and personality quirks.
** "The Mind of Evil". The Keller Machine removed the impulse to commit evil acts by subjecting its victims to their worst fears. Sometimes those fears would kill the people the machine's inventors intended to cure, which anticipates ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' as well as echoing ''Film/AClockworkOrange''.
** In "Underworld", the Minyan "humane" weapon is essentially a (temporary) lobotomy gun. The Doctor, [[spoiler: probably thanks to brain-fogging species guilt because the Time Lords uplifted them before they were ready]], actually praises them for this.
** The Doctor does this to the entire human race in "The Day of the Moon" to free them from [[BigBad the Silence]], who have been using post-hypnotic suggestion to secretly manipulate humanity for millennia. The Doctor responds by tricking one into uttering the phrase "[[HoistByHisOwnPetard You should kill us all on sight]]" whilst being recorded, which he splices into the Moon Landing broadcast, turning every single human being for the rest of time into their ([[ManchurianAgent unknowing]]) assassins.
* ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'', when Mr. Smith is rebooted.
* Sylar in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' had his mind replaced by that of [[spoiler: Nathan Petrelli]], the man he had just killed. Because he had a shapeshifting ability, Sylar actually became [[spoiler: Nathan]]. It lasted about six episodes.
* On ''Series/BabylonFive'', instead of the death sentence murderers are punished with "the death of personality", undergoing a process that wipes away their memories and gives them a new personality that will encourage them to help the community they harmed, in essence "killing" them mentally but not physically. In the episode "Passing Through Gethsemane", a character discovers that he is actually a murderer who had this done to him, and his current personality is artificial.
** In a rather nuanced take on this trope, the character has a mental breakdown, but does NOT immediately revert to being a murderer. His new identity is that of a devout Christian monk and he is horrified not only by his crimes, but also that the state has interfered with his duty to atone for his sins as he had all memory of them removed (this raises an interesting theological question: would he be punished for sins he didn't recall committing?).
*** But then [[spoiler: when the brainwashed murderer is killed for revenge over one of his crimes, the killer is given the same treatment and goes on with his life, untroubled by any guilt. Much to the horror of the station commander. The head monk comments how hard forgiveness is.]]
** [[spoiler: The Vorlons]] were revealed to have done this on a genetic level to most of the younger races, albeit indirectly: [[spoiler: they didn't implant specific moral rules, but they ''did'' program them to see Vorlons as angelic beings that should be revered and trusted implicitly. As Vorlons' moral code turns out to consist largely of "Do as your elders/betters say", this qualifies as a "greater good" from their Vorlons-know-better perspective.]]
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', the Nebari ruling body "The Establishment" could subtly modify a person's mind until they no longer had any negative impulses. Unfortunately, along with things like sadism, they considered having any individual desires to be negative qualities, and would happily modify anyone they deemed necessary (aka. most of the known galaxy).
** It also backfires horribly with Durka in "A Clockwork Nebari." And, of course, the Nebari themselves are unwilling to consider the possibility that the "mind cleansing" could be overcome and cause even greater problems.
** It's worse. The Nebari are very advanced and very powerful. They deny having any dedicated warships. Instead, one of their "host" ships is fully capable of obliterating a Peacekeeper command carrier. It's heavily implied that they foresee a war between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans (which does eventually happen) and plan to pick up the pieces by brainwashing ''everybody''.
* In an episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', a ruthless amoral criminal was found to have a faulty brain connection in the part that creates guilt, which was easily repaired. After that, he felt total remorse for everything, but it wasn't enough to convince his planet's justice system to let him go scot-free.
** May be justified, as his personality isn't changed, he just felt guilty about his actions, essentially curing him of sociopathy. The question of the episode is if he should still be held accountable for the crimes he performed prior to the procedure, or if having his sociopathy cured meant he should be released and no longer treated as a threat to society.
** Another episode has a planet of psychics where having a violent thought is a crime, because it can spread and make other people act violently. The punishment is "mental surgery" of sorts that removes the offending thoughts from the person. When the local policewoman finds out the Federation puts criminals in "cages", she is horrified. Then B'Elanna Torres (a half-Klingon with a ''nasty'' temper) is arrested for having a violent thought and sentenced to the "surgery". Naturally, the crew is worried that there may not be a B'Elanna left after all her violent thoughts are removed.
** A third episode involves the crew having to do this to one of their own, the Doctor[[note]]who is a holographic AI entity[[/note]], after he ends up developing a severely impeding obsession with a past decision over treatment of two critically wounded crewmembers who had an equal chance of survival with his care, but he only had time to treat one. In essence, his decision processing could handle greater-than/less-than, but not equal-to values. He repeatedly demands the blocked memories be restored when he figures out there's blocked memories, and then repeatedly has a nervous breakdown, and the crew repeatedly has to re-block the memory. [[FridgeLogic Just don't ask why they never thought about the limits of having only ONE doctor for the whole ship (especially in combat situations) when they could have set up MULTIPLE holographic bodies for the Doctor to control simultaneously in such situations. Well, maybe the multitasking would have slowed him down.]]
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDecade,'' there's a world where everyone is super-polite, super-helpful, and perfectly happy. [[spoiler: That's because half have been basically lobotomized into it by having [[Series/KamenRiderBlade Jashin 14]]'s cells injected into their brains, and the other half is pretending because they're ''terrified'' of having it happen to them as well.]]
* A web series tie-in to ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' shows that one of the scientists who worked on the precursor to Active technology used it to fix her emotionally unstable daughter.
** In the show itself, it is stated that some of the earliest Actives were exceptionally violent criminals (such as the serial killer serving a life sentence who was Alpha's original personality) who were taken against their will with the intention of forcibly turning them into reformed citizens who could then be released back into society to help with prison overcrowding. Judging by Alpha's case, this plan doesn't seem to have worked very well.
** It is also hinted that the technology could be used in this way for some positive applications, such as curing mental illnesses. For example, Sierra was taken against her will as a "charity case" because she had schizophrenia (the Dollhouse staff not knowing/believing that she had schizophrenia because a man she rejected was drugging her). Unfortunately, these are vastly overshadowed by the much more dangerous negative applications, most of which fall under some variation of BrainwashedAndCrazy.
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'', Angel becomes the CEO of evil law firm Wolfram & Hart's L.A. branch in exchange for them altering reality to give his son Connor a well-adjusted past with a normal family, and wipe everyone else's memories. Eventually Connor gets his old memories restored...but from his perspective the implanted memories remain and they're the ones that feel "real" to him. The real memories are more like a strange dream from Connor's perspective. Wesley also gets his memories restored and suddenly remember the role he played in Connor's abduction as an infant and the subsequent fallout.
* Happens to the Slayers, the Branaghs and Renfield in the final episode of season 2 of ''Series/YoungDracula'' courtesy of Vlad (though the latter two were accidents; it was the Slayers that were the target). The WhatTheHellHero occurs four years later in season 3's The Return when Vlad finds out that the hypnosis he did [[spoiler: ended up killing Eric Van Helsing]].
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': The protagonists figure out a way to turn Wraith (AlwaysChaoticEvil aliens who suck the life force out of humans) into amnesiac humans. Once they try this with their first subject, Michael, they convince him that he's always been a member of their expedition to see if they really can make good people out of Wraiths. Michael gets suspicious, finds out what happened, escapes, isn't accepted among other Wraith, tries to team up with Atlantis, gets turned human and brainwashed AGAIN, and completely snaps and decides to wipe out both Wraith and Humans.
* ''{{Series/Misfits}}'': What Virtue Girl apparently believes she's doing with her power. It turns drug-using, sexually promiscuous young people into upstanding, straight-laced Christians.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** It is implied that Ethereal caste of Tau empire is using mind-controlling pheromones to control the rest of the tau species. Pheromones have limited range, so Ethereals also spend a lot of effort to teach their subjects to genuinely believe in Greater Good. Founding religio-philosophical principle of modern Tau society holds that all sentient beings should strive to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of beings in the galaxy under guidance of the Ethereal caste.
** There was also an instance where the leaders of a new-found sentient species were issued portable translation devices by the Tau. It was implied that said devices also provided mind control. Implied, as in, Imperial scribes say they do. And TheEmpire is notoriously xenophobic. So there's no way to tell whether it's true or not. The only way to know for sure is to ask an Eldar farseer (who are rumored to have genetically engineered the Tau Ethereal caste) but [[ManipulativeBastard Eldar being Eldar, they have no reason to tell the truth]].
** The Imperium is also known to do this. Since the galaxy is full of things that can permanently corrupt a man's soul just for looking at them, it occasionally occurs that someone you'd rather not "save" (that is to say, summarily execute) ends up a wee bit mad. The Imperium sorts this out by brainwashing the subject and either putting in fake memories or leaving the person blank. This allows them to continue service without being a risk of heresy. The Inquisition uses this tactic more than other factions.
** Space Marines, especially Grey Knights are notorious for using mind wipes, hypnosis and brainwashing as part of their training. It results in incredible mental fortitude, loyalty and resistance to Chaos influence, but makes them far less human. The brainwashing of Space Marine recruits is rather necessary, to allow both subliminal training and to indoctrinate the recruits into loyally serving the chapter and [[TheEmpire the Imperium]]. This is as much as to make them loyal servants as well as to behave; while recruiting from [[{{Arcology}} a Hive]], they prefer "recruiting" gangs members since most recruits are chosen ''because'' they have psychotic killing instincts and experience with weapons. If Marines decide they would rather strike out on their own, they would either [[DangerousDeserter go renegade]], or, much worse and ''more common'', [[TheCorruption fell to temptation]] and became terrifying [[EvilCounterpart Chaos Space Marines]]. Space Marines' predecessors, the Thunder Warriors, were ''not'' brainwashed, and proved to be so physically and mentally unstable that The Emperor had them purged once the conquest of Terra was complete.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'': The 3.5 Edition "Book of Exalted Deeds" contains the Sanctify the Wicked spell, which has this effect, not only changing an Evil character to Good, but also changing the victim's alignment to Law or Chaos to match the caster's.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', this is the modus operandi of the [[LightIsNotGood Selesnya]]. The Song of the Conclave, for instance, was a plane-wide spell to keep the population docile (keep in mind that it was done with [[WellIntentionedExtremist "good" intentions]] in mind). Predictably, when the guildless found out, they weren't very happy...

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[spoiler: Revan a.k.a. the protagonist]] in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''
** It is suggested in the sequel that [[spoiler: Revan was never really brainwashed by the Jedi]]. He just lost his memories and changed methods, but his motivations and goals never really changed. All he really did in the first game was clean up the mess he made by his backstabbing apprentice, then before the start of the second, he left to continue where he left off [[spoiler: to find and destroy the true Sith]].
*** Seeing as [[spoiler:you have every opportunity to turn to the dark side again if you choose]], they only wiped the slate clean and hoped to carry out the overarching plan properly [[spoiler: i.e. finding the star maps]].
*** In the novel ''Revan'', it's a plot point that [[spoiler:Revan]] doesn't actually remember being a Sith lord or meeting TheEmperor on Dromund Kaas. After the Exile gives [[spoiler:Revan]] back the Sith mask, it triggers a flood that returns all the memories. Additionally, it increases [[spoiler:Revan]]'s power UpToEleven, allowing him to easily beat a powerful Sith lord. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:even that is not enough to beat the Emperor]].
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'': Much of the Terran military is made up of "resocialized" criminals. The training process of Ghosts involves this as well, though they aren't necessarily criminals; the program will take anyone with enough [[PsychicPowers potential]]. One would hope this statistic doesn't apply to the higher command. Interestingly, Nova (one of the most powerful, if not THE most powerful, Terran psychics ever) actually ''chose'' to have her memory wiped, unable to cope with the memory of [[spoiler:her parents being murdered in front of her and living a year as a slave to a psychopath]].
* In ''VideoGame/MegamanBattleNetwork 5'', [[spoiler: the antagonist Dr. Regal gets his memory erased and becomes a nice guy. No repercussions. Less of a WhatTheHellHero since it was done by Wily not the heroes]].
* In [[spoiler:Legion]]'s loyalty mission in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', the heroes find out a way to turn the [[spoiler: Heretic]] [[CyberCyclops geth]] against the Reapers by introducing a computer virus into their network, essentially overwriting their thoughts. Given that the 'verse features several villains (including the Reapers) and {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s trying or succeeding in [[NotSoDifferent doing the same]] for their less-than-noble purposes, the parallels are made quite clear. Interestingly, this [[GreyAndGrayMorality isn't treated like the obvious good option]], with several characters pointing out that if you alter the geths' thoughts, you're still "killing" who they used to be. The alternative is to [[GenocideDilemma kill all those geth outright]], but... it's still a strange moral issue. [[spoiler:Legion]] further makes the point that the geth are not a race of individuals like most other races, but a HiveMind collective of inter-networked AIs. To equate their concept of morality- and attitude to the "brainwashing" option- to that of humanity's could even be considered racist. Their minds work so differently that the human concept of "brainwashing" doesn't really cover exactly what the virus will do to the geth.
** In ''Mass Effect 3'', the Illusive Man is vocally of the opinion that he a) can and b) should take control of ''the Reapers'', the BigBad EldritchAbomination robot capital ships, for the "good of humanity" (or his own good, as Shepard can remark on several occasions). This puts him in conflict with Shepard and the Systems Alliance, who want to KillEmAll. [[spoiler: As the game progresses, it becomes clear that he only thinks this because he's indoctrinated, and the Reapers [[LetsYouAndHimFight want to pit him against Shepard]], fracturing the organic defense in the process. However, this turns out to be possible after all -- Shepard can choose to take control of the Reapers and end the war by fiat, although his/her corporeal form is destroyed in the process. In fact, if the player's War Assets are low, and they preserved the Collector base in ''Mass Effect 2'', this is their ''only'' option. However, it's explained that the Illusive Man, being indoctrinated, could never have taken control for himself.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'', criminal justice involves multiple levels "personality reconditioning." Cherenkov was sentenced to and underwent high level "personality reconditioning" thrice--one that saw him stripped of human status and permanently assigned the status of a Realian--for three separate murders.
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' universe, mages can be made 'Tranquil', robbing them of the chaotic influence of ''emotions'' and thus rendering them [[ExtremeDoormat slavish]], [[TheSpock robotic]], [[CreepyMonotone atonal]] and [[EmptyShell altogether compliant]] to The Greater Good.
** Or for... [[HeKnowsTooMuch less]] [[AndYourLittleDogToo savory]] [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty purposes]]. Really, how much the Rite of Tranquility falls under this trope depends on the morality of [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure the people]] [[KnightTemplar using it]], and whether the mage in question was willing (or at least [[ShootTheDog beyond saving]]) [[AFateWorseThanDeath or]] [[MindRape not]]. The morality issue is brought up frequently, and the ritual remains ''extremely'' controversial, both in-universe and out.
* [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney''. When the ChaoticEvil members of [[EvilCounterpart Jack's Crew]] leave the Red Sprite with little choice outside of [[GenocideDilemma kill or be killed]], [[BrokenBird Zelenin]] tries to TakeAThirdOption by appealing to [[LightIsNotGood the angel Mastema]] for help. He offers to [[OneWingedAngel turn her into an angel]] so her hymn can turn their hearts back to God. [[TheExtremistWasRight It worked]] [[MindRape extremely]] [[GoneHorriblyRight well.]]
** Later, a demon refuses to let you anywhere near Mother Maya unless you slaughter Jack's Crew. Zelenin offers to use her song to brainwash the demons as well. The problem here is that if you accept the demon's terms, you're killing people who can't really fight back... but the demons are survivors of Jack's Crew's [[PlayingWithSyringes vicious experiments]], so they're kind of in the right. [[spoiler:The third option? Kill the demon who's sealed off the gateway, and ''only'' that demon.]]
** [[OrderVersusChaos Depending on your definition of good]], if you choose the Chaos Route [[spoiler: Jiminez uses the Delphinus Parasite to make the crew who haven't already taken a side choose Chaos]].
** In the end, the fate of Jack Squad is only foreshadowing [[spoiler:the Law faction's true plans: should they have their way, they will end the EternalRecurrence of the Schwarzwelt once and for all by having ''you'' kill its creator, Mother Mem Aleph, while ''they'' take over the Schwarzwelt to "eliminate" all unworthy humans and have the survivors brainwashed into the eternal, mindless, God-praising thrall of Zelenin's song. But hey, all the damage mankind has done to Mother Earth will heal, and nature will flourish once again, so that's a good thing, right?]]
** The MK Guns are an earlier version of this. It's implied they were designed to force altered states of consciousness. [[spoiler: While they are excellent against DemonicPossession, that's not to say there are not repercussions for the higher-ups when they are confronted over the possibilities of what amounts to portable brainwashing equipment and the extent of what they expected the crewmen to do.]]
* ''VideoGame/Persona5'' uses this as the modus operandi for the Phantom Thieves. They induce HeelFaceBrainwashing on adults whose crimes can't be traced by the police, or otherwise will simply be left alone as "ItCantBeHelped". Deconstructed in that the protagonists themselves, even after changing the hearts of some [[HateSink truly terrible people]], wonder if what they're doing is the right thing.
* This is how criminal rehabilitation functions in ''VideoGame/{{Startopia}}''. Apart from removing all current criminal impulses from the subject it appears to have no other side-effects and allows the ex-criminal to fully re-enter society (and re-offending is possible if the peep gets enough of a soul hit later), making it one of the less problematic instances of this trope. Besides, you get paid 1000e per rehabilitated subject.
* In ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'', this is a central theme in [[NoNameGiven Grieving Mother]]'s past and arc. She's a midwife and powerful [[PsychicPowers cipher]] who used her powers in various ways to protect and aid the children she helped bring into the world. She accepts it as DirtyBusiness and can be convinced it should never be done, but argues it well and with full acceptance of the darker aspects, making it a case of GrayAndGreyMorality. [[spoiler:She even asks [[PlayerCharacter the Watcher]] to do it ''to her'' -- removing certain extremely traumatic memories from her mind so she can have peace. The Watcher can accept or refuse.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', it's stated that this is how the Railroad rehabilitate escaped synths. A doctor they sponsor gives them new memories to help them acclimate to the Wasteland and live normal lives as humans. Though the process is entirely voluntary, it can occasionally backfire spectacularly as the converted synth has no idea of their past lives and why they should care about synth rights. [[spoiler:Isn't that right, Paladin Danse?]]
* ''VideoGame/TheTuringTest'': [[spoiler:TOM claims it's doing this when Ava complains about TOM mind-controlling her to influence her behaviour.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''TOM:''' Manipulate is not a dirty word. You manipulate clay to make art. If people are manipulated to make better decisions then that is a good thing.]]
* ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'' revealed that the entire game takes place in a Virtual World that stripped the 16 characters of their memories while they were acting as villains, and would have replaced them with good memories and ethics, if Monokuma had not hijacked the program.
** Once the main event was dealt with in ''Anime/DanganRonpa3'', Ryota Mitarai, the Ultimate Animator, decided to broadcast a brainwashing video to every person on the world to wipe out sources of despair such as pain, suffering, jealousy, etc.-- but as others point out, people that were stripped of these negative emotions may not even be called human. Note the difference is that in ''Super Danganronpa 2'', the Neo World Program merely removed existing brainwashing and memories, but requires its participants to actively pursue their idea of hope, while Mitarai's video remove human natures, and is done forcefully.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/MSFHigh'':
** The Legion used to do this. A lot. Or, at least they saw it like that. Most people saw them as the "Heels", at times, and Legion transformations can have this effect, if done unwillingly. One of the reasons people don't like them very much. Generally, they don't do it now, though.
** Threatened in the forums, to this one guy, Dracon, by a Legion NPC. He HATES said NPC now, with a passion.
* ''Webcomic/PerfectionEngine'':
** The Eidolon King Animamundi completely transforms his kingdom and his people to strive for perfect morality and society as a form of penance for their Maker. The Eidolons and their King strive for their Maker to return to them, believing she was repulsed by their flaws and imperfections. Society is now peaceful, kind, beautiful, and perfect, one would think...

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Maven tries to hypnotize WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick into never thinking about WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows again, but it doesn't even come close to working.
* In ''[[Roleplay/{{Glowfic}} Effulgence]]'', Aelise believed her world was in danger of being "nuked to a population of one." So she enlisted the help of [[LoveHungry Chelsa]] to brainwash everyone into loving each other, figuring that was better then everyone dying.
* In ''The WebOriginal/SCPFoundation'', there's an SCP, SCP-2000. [[spoiler: It's a ResetButton that can recreate humanity in the event of an ApocalypseHow.]] Behavioral and cultural modifications are noted to be possible with this SCP, and there's a suggestion it could be used to tone down the sociopathic and violent tendencies in humanity. [[spoiler: They've toned it down as far as they could: to do any more would actually ''hinder'' humanity's progress. [[HumansAreBastards Think about that]].]]
* ''Podcast/WithinTheWires''' FalseUtopia ensures the nonviolence of its citizens in the aftermath of devastating war through a combination of {{cybernetic|seatyoursoul}}ally-enhanced repression of memories at age ten, and batteries of psychological programming. Season 1's protagonist is a patient, who, after illustrating deviant behavior, is supposedly undergoing a rehabilitative version of the latter during their stay at as an inpatient at a research hospital called the Institute.
* In ''Literature/APracticalGuideToEvil'' if an Angel of Contrition is summoned into Creation, every mortal within forty-nine miles is made contrite - forced to witness every Evil in their life, accept they cannot be forgiven, and made to repent. Those people will then attempt to purge Evil from the world, usually by forming into a crusading army. [[spoiler:The Lone Swordsman attempted this during the Battle of Liesse]].
* In a ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' story, "Razzle Dazzle", Mephisto comments on Doc Wilde's claimed "surgical process that ‘excised’ a part of the brain that could work evil" and points out that it was basically a lobotomy.
--> Townsend’s eyes glittered, and his grin turned hard. “Simple. You CAN’T. It was brainwashing, plain and simple, accompanied by burning out certain bits of the brain with electric probes inserted directly into the cerebrum. Yeah, they were okay afterwards… mostly… but they got worse, mostly after people stopped paying attention. Now, while I didn’t know all of the guys that he did that to, I DID know a fair number of them. And they were drooling wrecks, who could barely eat off a plate! .... Y’know, before, they’d been pretty sharp guys. Not NICE guys, but…” Townsend tapped his temple, “…sharp enough to be a challenge to Doc Wilde. Then? One of ‘em had to work hard for an hour to tie his shoes!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'', the alternate universe KnightTemplar Justice League, the Justice Lords, brainwashed dangerous villains like ComicBook/TheJoker. Or rather, Superman ''[[FateWorseThanDeath lobotomized]]'' them with his heat vision. (When Doomsday - freaking ''Doomsday'' shows up, this makes for a CurbStompBattle with the Justice Lord Superman. Instead of [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman fistfighting to their mutual destruction]], brain-fry ensues and it's a done deal. Of course, [[spoiler: He got better a couple seasons later, and when the prime Superman is desperate enough to use his darker version's tactic, Doomsday, via his AdaptiveAbility, is now immune]].) Amusingly, when we get to see the alternate Arkham Asylum and the various lobotomized supervillains, The Ventriloquist has no lobotomy scars, but [[DemonicDummy Mr. Scarface]] ''does''. [[note]] It makes perfect sense in the context of Batman's rogues gallery, since the ventriloquist has Multiple Personality Disorder and believed Mr. Scarface was alive. So he just needed to ''believe'' Mr. Scarface was lobotomized.[[/note]]
* Subverted in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', where this strategy is used via Jedi Mind Tricks, but tortures the villain so much that he agrees to tell what he knows before the brainwashing actually does its work.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SherlockHolmesInTheTwentySecondCentury'', criminals who are captured are all put in a machine that removes their desire to commit crimes. The series kicks off when a MadScientist finds a way to protect himself from this and starts committing crimes again, including cloning Professor Moriarty.
* In one ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode, Spongebob and Patrick brainwash Man-Ray into not doing evil stuff anymore, by tickling him when he does. [[spoiler: And it works, too.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' once somehow managed to get Shredder thinking he was Michaelangelo. Cue wrath when the spell is broken.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StreetSharks'', after the police capture Repteel, [[MadScientist Dr. Paradigm]] says that if they hand him over, he'll brainwash him into being harmless. Of course, given that Repteel's one of his henchmen, this is just an excuse to get the mutant out of prison.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'', Coop and the gang land on a planet to ask directions, only to discover that all the worker robots inhabiting it are in fact prisoners of a facility that seemingly removes their free will to make them their slaves. Like usual, Coop demolishes everything, and after getting the directions from the newly awaken robots and leaves, we see the robots he just "freed" destroying all traces of life on this planet very violently, with the "evil overlord" being in fact the prison warden who had transformed killer robots into docile sheep to rehabilitate them, the episode ending with one robot saying he'll repay Coop by destroying Earth.
* Miss Martian starts too get a little too fond of this technique in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', and Superboy breaks up with her over it. It comes back to bite her in the butt again when [[spoiler: she puts Aqualad into a permanent coma, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone mistaking his]] [[FakeDefector Fake Defection]] for a real one.]]
* Though not seen, in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' Twilight mentions "reformation spells". If they couldn't convince a character to turn good the old fashioned way, Twilight had every intent of using it. [[spoiler:As the character in question is an unrepentant, [[RealityWarper Reality-Warping]] MadGod, her extreme attitude [[GodzillaThreshold is understandable]].]]
** This is the series that gave us the Want-It-Need-It spell and the love poison. Brainwashing effects canonically exist and even seem rather easy to create, yet at the same time aren't ever taken lightly; that Twilight was ready to use a "reformation spell" as a fallback plan in [[spoiler:Discord]]'s case only underscores his potential threat level.
* The very first ''[[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow Ren & Stimpy]]'' cartoon, "Stimpy's Invention" had this with the Happy Helmet. Stimpy genuinely believed that Ren ''needed'' to be happy and created the helmet to do just that. Once Ren is freed of the helmet, all bets are off.
* In ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall,'' Auntie Whispers claims to be doing this to Lorna, using a magic bell to make her [[CinderellaCircumstances work constantly]] so she doesn't "fall into wickedness." [[spoiler:It's a legitimate case of this trope--Lorna suffers from DemonicPossession and tries to eat our protagonists when they free her]].
* In one episode of the ''WesternAnimation/TheDaltons'' the director of the penitentiary wants to make the inmates drink a "vaccine against the virus of criminality" concocted by a very obvious [[Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde]] {{Expy}}: when one of the inmates drank it, he became very uncharacteristically kind.
** This trope is used in another episode in which the Daltons are subjected to days of being strapped to a machine and seeing a video of a pink rabbit trying to convince them that crime is wrong. The machine also looks like an ECT machine.
* Used frequently in ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'', where the heroes could turn the villains docile and friendly with magic or pleasant dreams. In most cases this was a temporary effect so they would be docile enough to hand them back the dreamstone, though in at least one case it was intended to be permanent, with the entire Urpney army and the Argorribles remaining subordinate to them until Sgt. Blob and Urpgor broke them out of it.
* Bob from ''WesternAnimation/{{ReBoot}}'' believes that because viruses are programmed to do harm, one can reprogram them into sprites and benign viruses. When presented with the possibility, Megabyte describes this as "a [[FateWorseThanDeath fate worse than deletion]]."

[[folder:Real Life]]
* "Moral enhancement", or also called moral bioenhancement, that is, modifying the behavior and temperament of people through neuroscience to [[HeelFaceBrainwashing make bad people good]] and [[HumansAreFlawed normal people]] morally better, is a growing topic of moral, ethical and philosophical discussion in light of [[ScienceMarchesOn science's ever-growing capabilities]] to [[TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody alter the mind and soul]]. Most envisionings of moral enhancement have it as a voluntary procedure or do not specify, but it invokes this trope when mandatory application is discussed.
** The issues around moral enhancement can greatly vary depending on the type and way the moral enhancement is carried out. A method that [[RestrainingBolt represses the ability to do bad]], for example, will have some different ethical and philosophical issues compared to a method that produces genuine goodwill (how authentic is an artificially induced goodwill compared to a "natural" one if they are otherwise subjectively identical is another point of debate). There are many differing approaches suggested: increasing self-control, enhancing prosocial emotions such as empathy and sympathy, applying a RestrainingBolt, or simple cognitive enhancement are among them. Whether it is a voluntary or obligatory procedure definitely also affects the issues to be discussed.
** The scale of a moral enhancement procedure also affects the issues that surround it. Moral enhancement has been discussed in scales and pervasiveness of application ranging from limited scope therapies for treating criminals with with disorders characterized by moral deficits (TheSociopath for example), to a global application to solve issues caused by [[HumansAreBastards Humans Being Bastards]] that is promoted by [[{{Transhumanism}} Transhumanists]].
** One area of moral enhancement that particularly fits this trope is crime and justice, in particular because this is the area of moral enhancement where involuntary treatment is commonly debated, and because the benefits here are clear-cut. Issues specific to this area include the ethics of involuntary and voluntary treatment on convicts and whether consent to the procedure in exchange for reduced sentences is coercive.
** Surprisingly, voluntary moral enhancement is also an issue of debate, as in whether moral enhancement procedures should be available at all for people to choose to morally enhance themselves. While involuntary treatment has the ethical qualms that Brainwashing has, voluntary treatment is also opposed on the grounds of AppealToNature, effectiveness, differing moral standards, and the [[TheNeedsOfTheMany greater social impacts]] of it.
** Complicating matters is that there is no one moral standard on which to improve. This moral pluralism means that an action that is morally sound in one moral system can be immoral in another, as demonstrated by the thought experiment the Trolley Problem, in which one has to decide between killing one to save 5 or letting 5 die through inaction. [[ForHappiness Utilitarian philosophy]] holds the most moral action is the one that [[TheNeedsOfTheMany saves the most people]], but [[ForJustice Deontological philosophy]] contradicts it by regarding the [[ThouShaltNotKill act of killing itself to be immoral]], despite being the route that saves more people. There is also the issue that moral enhancement can have side effects. Enhancing empathy, for example, could lead to [[RuleOfEmpathy increased partiality for those we care about]] at the expense of strangers, while enhancing generosity could allow [[TakingAdvantageOfGenerosity less scrupulous people to more easily exploit them]].
* Chemical castration, which takes the form injecting hormones to lower androgen levels in the body, is sometimes performed as a voluntary or mandated procedure on convicted pedophiles and rapists to lower their sexual desire and reduce the likelihood that they will commit another sexual offense.
** When homosexuality was still a crime in most Western nations many gay men were chemically castrated, including UsefulNotes/AlanTuring. It's commonly believed to have been a factor in his suicide.
* Education is generally not regarded as brainwashing (except in places like UsefulNotes/NorthKorea), but like parents, the school environment, its conduct and policies, and what is taught there has a really significant impact on the moral development of children, and many teachers consider it [[{{Mentor}} their responsibility]] to make sure for the [[ForYourOwnGood children's]] and society's sake that the children they look after grow up into decent people.