I mentioned earlier that a cat being hit in the head with a paper airplane was the hardest shot anyone's taken in the history of the Superfriends. I wasn't kidding. Kids today are spoiled with punches to the face and flying kicks but in the '80s cartoon action heroes weren't allowed to commit any direct violence. So how did they fight? Well, the two most common forms of combat were mind rays and passionate embraces.
Kenzou Tenma of Monster tries doing this to Johan early on to stop him from killing one of his patients. It didn't work.
Amelia, Gourry and Zelgadis of Slayers tried this once on a member of the Mazoku race, which feeds on negative emotions. It was so effective that they had him writhing on the ground in pain.
Double-Subverted in the Suzumiya Haruhi anime. After Kyon laments that he'd like to have even a bit of Haruhi's super-confidence, she gives him a Death Glare and then supposes she has sent "warm energy" into Kyon's body. Kyon, in his usual snarky attitude replies "I felt like my life was in danger.." Nothing else more completely illustrates how out-of-touch Haruhi is with her own nigh-omnipotence. Interestingly, once the battle started, he got into the game to the point that he was shouting his attack orders at the computer. Wouldn't Haruhi think it a bit strange if Kyon had immediately burst into full hot-blooded confidence as soon as she stared him down? A delayed reaction?
Itsuki: It sounds like someone's getting serious about this game.
Sailor Moon has a few attacks that simply "heal" or "purify" monsters or transformed humans. These are spliced in with all the lethal attacks she uses.
Sailor Chibi Moon attacks with "Pink Sugar Heart Attack". In the anime, it rarely works - and when it does, it tends to be more of a nuisance used for humor. She eventually joins Sailor Moon in a lethal attack during SuperS. In the manga, her attacks are all lethal despite still having names like "Pink Sugar Heart Attack".
Expoilted by a villain in YuYu Hakusho, by Mukuro's father, who had used her as a sex toy since birth, and threw her out after she had thrown acid on herself to make herself less appealing. The mind hug was implanted into her at a very young age, giving her conflicting feelings of joy and happiness with her father whenever there were thoughts of death and revenge. This left him safe from her but unprepared for Hiei's attack, who took this situation and made her a "sweet" birthday present, if we read "sweet" to mean "thoughtful, but still some pretty damn creepy." They're youkai, so it works.
Manga example : In Majuutsukai no Shojo, the heroine Kashe gets a mental link to a demon that experiences positive emotions as negative and negative as positive and is eating her soul. When she figures this out, she inverts the process and gleefully tortures it into submission by focusing on her good feelings.
In the early episodes of Ah! My Goddess (episode 2 to be exact), Belldandy does this a lot to Keiichi.
Fans joke about Nanoha's attacks being this, to the point that "befriend" has become a synonym for "utterly defeat". Multiverse Crisis MUSH has turned it into an actual ability:
Friendship Beamspam: Despite her total obliviousness to it, Nanoha has the strange and unexplainable ability to befriend anyone she causes physical harm to, ever since an incident wherein she slapped someone in first grade and they became her best friend. Studies and tests have confirmed this ability, though even Multiversal technology is at a loss to explain how or why it works. Is it radiation from the lasers? Some sort of Aura? No one knows, but it can generally be assumed that physical harm dealt by Nanoha will result in her making a new friend, with the degree of physical damage directly proportional to the level of friendship. How this translates to Aurics in the Multiverse has yet to be tested. (Consent Required where applicable.)
The various Forte/Fortissimo attacks from Heartcatch Precure are like this, as the attacks end up purifying the Heart Flowers of an affected human, freeing them from their problems. Erika Kurumi/Cure Marine has the dubious honor of being hit with it twice, the second time showing that it does bring about a calming effect on them and when a Giant Snackie is hit with one, he just turns his suit white, but he still works for the bad guys.
While Heartcatch elaborated on them the most, similar attacks are common throughout the Pretty Cure franchise, starting almost from the very beginning with Rainbow Therapy.
The manga version of Trigun features an incredibly long climax whose final resolution involves Vash giving every plant on the planet, in the form of Knives'Body Horror collective thing, a Care Bear Stare via bullet. He reminds all of them about the humans they always wanted to protect, so they detach from the Kill All Humans party, and then it rains angels.
It affects Knives, too. He apologizes, and apparently dies. But later-apparently he had just enough energy left to pull together a human form, and get a Nice Hat to spend his final years wearing. He doesn't tell Vash.
In Soul Eater, Maka matches soul wavelengths with Crona to confront hirleading to them appearing to each other as children, with Maka erasing the border in the sand Crona put around hirself. When we go back to the real world it seems to just make Crona crazier, but then Maka finishes the job with a regular Cooldown Hug.
The DC character Faith has been described as a psychic "warm and fuzzy generator". Her mere presence makes people feel good and get along better.
The Avengers have a former member, Starfox, who has the power to project good feelings. He mostly uses this to get laid. This is only to be expected, given his real name is Eros.
She-Hulk tries to bring him up on charges of rape, since Starfox is essentially Roofieman. The resolution of that arc is that he never knowingly used his powers to that extent on anyone who wasn't already up for casual sex, but that Thanos had injured him so that he temporarily lost conscious control of them.
In the first arc of his old solo series, Deadpool has to save the world from a creature that would make everyone perfectly happy... so joyous in fact, that they wouldn't have free will. 'Pool is pretty mad that his big heroic act involves killing the bringer of pure bliss. His method is KICKING CAPTAIN AMERICA IN THE BALLS which turns out to be an effective methodfor Deadpool.
In the Maximum Carnage crossover, Spider-Man and his friends built a Care Bear Stare raygun and used it to mellow out most of the villains that had teamed up with Carnage. But since Carnage had never experienced such positive emotions before, the effect on him was more akin to Mind Rape.
Depending on your interpretation she either had slightly more success or much greater failure when she attempted the same thing in the pages of The Flash. Barry Allen asked her to try to make The Top, a recurring villain of his, an actual hero. It worked, at first. But Top now had a conscience and couldn't deal with the horrible things he had done. He went nuts and started trying to do the same to other Flash villains. It didn't end well.
In Lucifer, fallen cherub Gaudium, backed into a corner by a mind-raping people-eating monster, defeats it by radiating "joy and love and peace. Just like it says on the label"
Used by name on Illyria in Angel: After the Fall when the psychic floating fish Betta George flooded Illyria's original form with Wesley and Spike's memories of Fred.
In X-Men Professor X has used his psychic powers to deliver a super mind hug, built of all the positive thoughts he could find to drive off Scary Dogmatic Aliens.
In a Manga version of Star Trek: The Original Series, Kirk met up with an entity called the Bandi Bear, which was a living teddy bear with empathic capabilities. Kirk found the only way to "conquer" it was to approach it with love.
Marvel's Mephisto gets this very often. In a What If? he traps the Silver Surfer in his hellplane, only to burn because of the purity of his soul. Likewise when Doctor Doom's mother Cynthia redeemed her soul, she ascended to heaven and burned him.
In Green Lantern, the Indigo Tribe is made up of reformed villains whose rings provide them with a compassionate outlook... in many cases, not entirely willingly. When the rings come off... hoo, boy.
Blue Lanterns have a similar ability, their blue rings able to cool down the rage of Red Lanterns.
One storyline deals with AbinSur's relationship with the tribe (and the antagonism he had with Indigo-1).
In the "Black Ring" storyline in Action Comics, Lex Luthor releases the Zone Child (a creature that intended to purge all negative emotion from the universe) from the Phantom Zone and defeats it. He gains its full power and proceeds to use it as the Zone Child would. We then get a montage of The DCU (the entirety of it) experiencing eternal bliss. Luthor learns that he can only keep his newfound power as long as he doesn't do anything negative, soof course the first thing he does is try to kill Superman. This led to the Joker, of all people, commenting about how Luthor, with his pettiness, squandered the ultimate power to do good.
In Amazing Spider-Man #700, Peter (trapped in Doctor Octopus' dying body after a "Freaky Friday" Flip) uses a Care Bear Stare consisting of his own memories to convince Doc Ock to be a true hero. The result is The Superior Spider-Man.
In the Discworld/GoodOmens crossover Doppelgangers, Carmine Zuigiber, the malevolent persona of War, is neutralised by making her a prisoner of the Happiness Fairy. It is truly Hell for Red.
In Ghostbusters 2, The Team are able to channel the positive emotions of New Yorkers to weaken Vigo the Carpathian's hate-slime by coating the interior of the Statue of Liberty with positively-charged slime and getting her to walk by playing "Higher and Higher". Once inside the museum they're able to release Janosz from Vigo's power by spraying him with mood slime.
In Star Wars, Sith are said to have a skill called Dun Möch, used to commit psychological warfare against their opponents. Mockery is part of it, but apparently not all. It has an inverse side which Luke used on Anakin in Return of the Jedi, reminding him that he still had good in him. The novelization makes it clearer that this is actually a power, and Luke is trying to use it to call out the Jedi he's sure is somewhere in the Dark Lord of the Sith. Vader resists on the surface of Endor, but it still has an effect.
The Sith who most favors it (apart from perhaps Palpatine) is, who else, Count Dooku.
This is how Inheritance ends. Eragon and the old dragons join together to defeat Galbatorix. It starts as a reminder of the pain he caused, then turns into a full-blown Care Bear Stare.
At the end of Madeline L'Engle's novel A Wrinkle in Time, Meg Murray's brother Charles Wallace has been converted to evil by the being called IT. She frees him by concentrating on and expressing her love for him.
She PONDERED doing it to 'IT'... but she found that impossible; she could never have any love for the Eldritch Abomination.
Something like this happens to Wendy Nogard in Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger when she tries to use her evil telepathic powers on Mrs. Jewls' baby: "Babies don't think in words. Miss Nogard heard pure love. And trust. And faith. With no words to get in the way. It was a love so strong that it dissolved away all the bitterness that had been caked around her heart."
Happened in the conclusion of The Witch Returns. The villain is finally defeated when the entire family of the protagonists gathers in a circle around her and assaults her — with acceptance and general goodness. All her evil power fades away, leaving only a kitten, which apparently symbolizes the bit of goodness that was left in her heart.
Something similar is used in The Wish List, also by Eoin Colfer. Apparently, whenever an act of perfect good is performed, it sets off an explosion in the spiritual plane that leaves ghosts unaffected, but has the same effect as a nuclear bomb on demons, and it leaves a nice scent around them when they end up splattered back in Hell.
In Lynne Reid Banks' Angela and Diabola, the appropriately-named Angela telepathically sends her twin sister Diabola warm thoughts while the obviously devilish one is being soaked by the rain outside, because she's just that selfless. This act of goodness enrages Diabola so much that she sends in return the wettest, most wicked thoughts she can muster up, which are enough to make Angela convulse in shivers.
Dameon in The Obernewtyn Chronicles and other Empaths are able to bathe people in feelings of calm, love, comfort etc. This just as well for the emotionally repressed protagonist.
In Sword of Truth, magical healing works by sharing the pain of the healed. When someone is affected by an ailment of the soul, the healer has to link his own soul with theirs. This is described as being much more intimate than sex, though not erotic in any way.
At the climax of the Sword of the Stars novel, The Deacon's Tale, The Deacon has Cai Rui's love for his mentor and Iishi's love for his mate telepathically forced into his mind, awakening the atrophied parts of his mind that deal with love and kindness. This is made all the more jarring by the recipient's nature as member of a species who consider mind rape as a healthy form of social interaction, and the Care Bear Stare thus ends up turning him into a self-flagellating, neurotic and suicidal wreck.
In the Animorphs series, Jake morphs into a Howler, a member of the foottrooper race of the Crayak built to do nothing but have fun destroying and murdering. When Jake learns that all Howlers ever created share a hivemind, he begins pushing all of his memories of love and kindness into it. The end result is that the next time the Howlers are sent to destroy a planet, they try kissing everyone instead.
And in Traitor Jacen Solo wins back the trust of a Yuuzhan Vong dhuryam (an organic computer that looks like an Eldritch Abomination) with "perfect empathy".
During Galaxy of Fear, Tash Arranda makes friends with Ultimate Life FormEppon before his creator the Big Bad shows up and takes him away. Later he uses it, much more monstrous now, against them, and Tash finds herself calling on The Force to remind it who she is and that they were friends.
Jasper in Twilight. He is The Empath of the Cullens, and is often called on in the first book to calm Bella down with feelings of peace and happiness. Inverted in the fourth book, where Jasper follows Bella around for a while because she is emitting such positive emotions.
In Harry Potter, boggarts are creatures that transform into your worst fear. The spell to counter them is "riddikulus," which turns them into something hilarious, and laughter drives boggarts away. Patronuses (Patroni?) do a more solemn, protective version of the same thing to dementors.
This is also how Harry gets Voldemort to stay out of his mind, or to keep his mind out of Voldemort's.
Riddle's diary exploited Ginny in a manner similar to the "love bombing" mentioned below. She told him about her everyday troubles and he expressed sympathy, causing her to feel loved and understood. It was all a ruse to make her susceptible to his Mind Rape.
Not exactly a mind hug, but in Star Trek: Voyager, Tuvok initiates a mind-meld with Lon Suder, a mentally disturbed killer. The meld, along with Tuvok's teaching him Vulcan self-discipline, allows Suder to gain some peace. After some time and training, he begins to feel that he might be able to control his homicidal tendencies.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Sarek (Spock's dad) has Bendii's syndrome, a Vulcan disease that leaves them unable to control their emotions. A mindmeld with Picard alleviates his symptoms enough for him to finish a mission. Unfortunately, it turned Picard into a raving lunatic for the duration.
Inverted in Star Trek when Kirk fills his mind with racist hatred to infect an android duplicate that is being made of him via a mind-scan: Spock realises it's not the real Kirk when the android starts insulting him.
Although later developments suggest it might have been something a little more sinister. After all, it's not like Connor's demeanor towards anyone else improved as a result.
The cult variant (see Real Life below) featured in the Strangers with Candy two-parter "Blank Stare". It works on Jerri - and when they try it on Chuck, who has supposedly come to rescue her, all it takes is the words "Do you need someone to love you?" before he breaks down crying and gives in.
One episode of Bewitched involved aliens visiting Earth and threatening the neighbors with their terrifying N-guns — which turns out to stand for "niceness."
The Doctor pulls this one with a deranged Elizabethan mental patient in the Doctor Who episode "The Shakespeare Code".
The Doctor also frequently uses positive emotions (or any emotions) against the Cybermen.
Stark from Farscape can psychically transmit memories, making him ideal for calming down those in pain or distress. He's also very good at helping the dying to cross over.
The Eidolons are legendary for their Care Bare Stare: quite simply, it's a calming aura used to make individuals "see reason," powerful enough to have Scorpius, Crichton, and Emperor Staleek cheerfully sitting around a table discussing the terms of a Peace Treaty.
Annie from Community has a will bending stare that the she uses to gain sympathy.
Jeff: This won't work. The last time you did this, I saved a vial of your tears and I've been slowly building up an immunity.
Compel Emotion in GURPS: Magic can be used to compel happiness or peace. Ecstasy is a more malicious variant used to incapacitate the target.
In Dungeons & Dragons Emotion spell in "Happiness" mode makes victims unwilling to attack without an extreme provocation.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse gives the Children of Gaia (the most pacifistic of the various Tribes) the Gifts Calm (which allows them to slowly prune away an opponent's Rage, or possibly bring them out of frenzy) and Dazzle (which freezes an opponent in place by giving them a vision of the true beauty of Gaia).
At the end of Pokémon Live!, Mewtwo uses his Psychic Powers to use Ash's memories and pure heart to do this to "Mechamewtwo", the robot super-Pokémon that Giovanni created as his new superweapon after creating Mewtwo backfired on him. This teaches it right from wrong, and it selfdestructs to take down Team Rocket.
All three Mother games seem to have the characters using this to beat the final boss.
Lenneth Valkyrie, of Valkyrie Profile, can use the experience gained by her Einherjar to increase their virtues and reduce their vices to increase their individual "Hero" rating.
Disgaea: Laharl is subjected to one of these in the form of sexually attractive women spouting optimistic phrases. Given his aversion and (literal) allergy to the aforementioned, his stats are cut in half for the next fight. Flonne spouting "eternal love!" didn't help at all.
Were Flonne a buxom succubus like the aforementioned attractive women rather than a flat-chested angel, Laharl would likely have been slain outright.
In Halo Wars, one of the skulls players can collect will make any Scarabs on the map fire, instead of the normal blue plasma, a rainbow beam which covers the target in hearts and bubbles.
In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, if someone gets possessed, you have to hit them with positively charged slime to free them. This same slime also closes ruptures to the ghost world, renders evil black slime inert, and does more damage to certain targets.
In the Demonflame adventure pack for Champions Online, you force a demon into temporary servitude. After you rescue some children, it uses the happy thoughts of those children to destroy a magical barrier. Before doing this, the demon informs you that "Regrettably, it will not harm the children."
King Of Dragon Pass has what players have nicknamed the Chalana Arroy Peace Bomb. An inaccurate summary is that a clan pools its magical power to send one of its members back to the world's creation, where she (re)performs one of the great deeds of that age. By affecting the creation, she Rewrites Reality in the present. One deed consists of healing everything in sight, so a good enough healer can spam it until everything is sunshine and puppies.
Paint in Epic Mickey has this effect. It restores damages from thinner and redeems enemies into friends.
Pyrovision in Team Fortress 2. Essentially the Pyro character sees him/herself wielding a magical tuba (flamethrower) that sprays rainbows and bubbles (blazing napalm) at the various cartoon creatures (opponents) found in his/her personal candyland (battlefield).
After you beat Red Faction: Armageddon, you get access to a new gun, a unicorn that shoots a rainbow beam out of its ass, complete with farting noises. I shit you not.
Or an intentional parody? Given that it comes from the Virtue Bear's butts in the form of a fart, probably the latter.
Inverted in an xkcdstrip; this "Care Bear Stare" is an energy blast that knocks the target down, and the black hat is a long-established identifier of the strip's "Jerkass" character. Word of God says that he got this power from eating Care Bears.
The effects of Agatha Heterodyne's "perfect" coffee in Girl Genius. Except on other Sparks who are more overall resistant than normal people, and Jaegermonsters, for whom it's just Verra Gud Coffee, Vit A Nize Kick.
Admittedly, the Jaeger giving that review was being violently beaten with a wrench while drinking it. (Don't worry, he deserved it)
She did say she could "fix that" after seeing the initial euphoria, so while the Spark could be resistant, she could also have toned it down....
In the Superhero arc of Dragon Tails, Lemuel becomes a villain named Sparkles with the superpower of "Happiness Sparkles", in an attempt to pacify his enemies. It doesn't work particularly well - all it does is make them feel rather happy about beating the snot out of him.
Something Positive, in one of their many RPG storylines, has Davan playing in a game based on statting up kids' toys. Thinking the others would leave their toys unmodded (clearly not knowing how girls play with dolls), he is left with a "stock" Care Bear. His Care Bear Stare proves useful, though... as a distraction, so the rest of them can rip him apart.
Another literal example of a Care Bear Stare being parodied in thisTwilight comic.
A literal Care Bear Stare is apparently used as a weapon, similarly to the XKCD example, during the original Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. It hits Abraham Lincoln and Jackie Chan, knocking them out of sight - Lincoln is later seen dead on the ground, but Chan isn't seen again, and the Care Bear itself also vanishes. Since "only one will survive", it can be presumed that all three are dead.
The trope namer is the Care Bears. Originally conceived as a powerful weapon against the bad guys, Adventures in Care-A-Lot introduced the notion that it could also be used to heal and cheer up sad Care Bears and kids. It isn't used nearly as often in Welcome to Care-a-Lot. Through the first fifteen or so episodes, it was only seen once and was used by the bears to simmer down a bully, forcing her to stop bullying another girl and actually talk about the feelings of jealousy she had which led to the bullying in the first place.
Maguro from Sushi Pack frequently uses her telepathic powers to share zen thoughts when an antagonist needs to calm down. In one instance, she used this on her own team mates to make them follow a course of action that they did not agree with.
In The Fairly Oddparents there exists a race of self-proclaimed evil aliens whose weaknesses include chocolate, flowers, and hugs. In fact, there was an episode where a Care Bear-eque army of creatures invades their planet through the use of cereal boxes and the evil aliens are unable to do anything because the power of Cute exhibited by these creatures is too strong.
Until they learn they taste like manure, said aliens' most loved delicacy, at which point they proceed to eat them.
A greater example is shown in "Wishology" as the Darkness is defeated by blasting it with a celestial smile, turning it into the Kindness.
In the Teen Titans cartoon, the mechanical Fixit attempts to turn Cyborg into a pure robot, but in linking his brain to Cyborg's, Fixit's mind is flooded with all the simple pleasures of life that he had forgotten after removing his own humanity. He releases Cyborg and decides to try to relearn some of what he had lost.
In "The Return of Harmony: Part 2", in the climax, after Twilight shakes off Discord's influence when she's reminded of how much her friendship with the other five means to her, she goes around using a spell to snap her other five friends out of Discord's control. It consists of her playing back memories of who they really are, and what they mean to each other, and the happy thoughts override the Hate Plague that Discord put each of them through, bringing them back to normal.
Downplayed in "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2": Cadence and Shining Armor's combination spell that blasts Queen Chrysalis and her changelings out of Canterlot. The downplayed comes from the fact that, from what we know, the wave itself is a physical force, Cadence's love only serves to give Shining the power to perform it.
Played straight in "The Crystal Empire", wherein Cadence's magical barrier of love and happiness is impossible for the evil KingSombra to enter without getting disintegrated. It is the positive emotions of every pony in the Crystal Empire, amplified via Crystal Heart, that ultimately destroy him. Not seal him or purify him or anything. Destroy him.
Used once again in "Equestria Girls" to undo the magic of Sunset Shimmer. Also appear to have a brainwash effect as Sunset immediately starts crying and apologizing.
Believix powers in the universe of Winx Club fill the target with positive feelings. They can end arguments and lift spirits.
Love bombing. This practice is frequently used by cult members on potential recruits. The cult focuses on showing up as affable, joyful, giving, and attentive, with the intent to convince the "bombed" one into joining the cult. (See http://www.rationalrevelation.com/tr/lovebomb.html )
Studies have shown that humans who have animals in their lives have lower stress levels.
It's debatable how Real Life it actually is, but if you take the author of The Men Who Stare at Goats at his word, a number of U.S. military personnel were involved in trying to create a military unit too cute and cuddly for enemies to shoot. Standard field issue would include cute animals and flowers, and soldiers would learn how to project positive thoughts at the enemy. The theory was (as far as we know) never put into practice in actual combat situations.
And would almost certainly not have been effective, since most modern warfare is done with neither side seeing the other without electronic aid, and what is cute and cuddly in one culture will almost certainly squick or just confuse those from another.