Easily Forgiven

"Oh look grandpa, it's that guy who kidnapped your soul and then tried to kill me. But now he's our friend."

They betrayed you, they tried to kill you, in some cases they really did kill you. But within the space of an episode or two, you find it in your heart to forgive them. After all, "To err is human, to forgive, divine."

This trope describes the tendency of characters or a narrative to have a remarkable ability to overlook transgressions or outright evil performed by other characters, especially if they're a fellow series regular, and afterwards they start or go back to treating them like a trusted friend. The actions may be viewed as not a big deal or ignored entirely, the forgiving character and/or the narrative may present the character who committed the deed/s to be sufficiently apologetic to warrant forgiveness, or the latter character learning An Aesop may be considered punishment enough, but at the end of the day it seems like they've gotten off lightly for what in a another setting would be considered heinous behavior.

On the other hand, following this trope can occasionally pay off in the cases of certain characters. Sometimes, showing a bit of trust to a former villain who doesn't seem to deserve it can lead to them becoming a reliable ally. Forgiving someone for their crime without their having earned it may inspire them to become The Atoner so that they can earn forgiveness. And like all tropes it can be used well, such as presenting this tendency to be a personality flaw of the forgiving character that comes back to bite them later on.

Usually an instance of Plug 'n' Play Friends. If the unmasked traitor was an active party member or contributing part of the team, and remains an active party member or contributing part of the team, it's Welcome Back, Traitor. If some sort of Hand Wave is given for this, then it's a case of "Get out of Jail Free" Card. Such easy forgiveness may be given after an insincere The Grovel. The kinds of people most likely to easily forgive are the All-Loving Hero, the Friend to All Living Things, and those who prefer to Turn the Other Cheek, although more cynical characters may take a Restrained Revenge. If no such excuse exists or "apology accepted" speech occurs, then it's a Karma Houdini. Compare Welcome Back, Traitor and All Is Well That Ends Well. Insane Forgiveness is this trope taken Up to Eleven.

See Forgiven, but Not Forgotten, where the hero is willing to forgive, but not if it happens a second time. Contrast Reformed, but Rejected, where a villain does want to be forgiven and works for it, but doesn't get accepted. Easily Condemned is the opposite trope.

Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the last episodes of Black Cat, surviving members of Chronos and the Apostles team up in spite of spending most of the series trying to kill each other. They are joined by several Sweepers (bounty hunters) who had been manipulated by or defected from Chronos and had just been battling against the apostles. For that matter, some members of the Apostles had previously defected from that group or tried to kill other members of that group. Even the orphan children had been abandoned by their one member to gain power. Yet all these people work togther in the final battle.
  • Bleach:
    • After their first encounter Ishida doesn't seem to have that many problems with Mayuri for killing off the last of his people and torturing their souls. Granted, the fact that he's injured and smack dab in the middle of enemy territory means that it wasn't the best time to call out Mayuri, but even so, at worst he seems comically annoyed at having to deal with him.
    • It's revealed that the entire reason the Soul Society arc happened is because Kisuke implanted the Hogyoku in Rukia's body for safe keeping, leading Aizen to try to get her killed so he can get it. Despite Ichigo's defining characteristic being his protectiveness towards his friends, he's not shown to be the slightest bit upset that Kisuke endangered Rukia's life, and is instead just mad that Kisuke thought he'd run away from the fight if he knew the whole truth. Neither Rukia nor any of the other characters have called him out on it since.
    • Even after Ginjou ruined Ichigo's life and turned his family and friends against him to gain his powers, Ichigo wanted to give the latter a proper burial despite owing nothing to them. Shinji lampshaded this.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • The second princess of England is easily forgiven despite committing treason in an attempted coup de tat, because her actions were those of a Well-Intentioned Extremist looking out for her homeland.
    • Last Order is pretty forgiving of Accelerator considering what he's done (especially considering that she remembers everything as though it happened to her, thanks to the Hive Mind). She's about the only one though; the rest of the Sisters are noted to have extremely mixed feelings toward Accelerator, and Misaka herself still hates him with a passion.
  • Code Geass:
    • Villetta is easily forgiven by Ohgi for shooting and incapacitating him during the Black Rebellion. And, of course, the whole racist Britannian agent thing.
    • Ohgi himself is easily forgiven for betraying Lelouch and siding with Schneizel by various people who were on Lelouch's side. They even actually attend his and Villetta's wedding!
  • In Death Note L arranges things so that Light and Misa are put through a mock execution, making Light believe his own father is going to shoot him in the head. Light forgives them on the very same page!
  • In Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z this defines Goku's relationship with almost all of his friends except Bulma. Most of them started as The Rival, Piccolo was an outright villain that kidnapped his son, and Vegeta tried to blow up the Earth, but once they stop actively fighting people he's perfectly fine with them hanging around. He's even forgiving towards Buu, the unrepentant omnicidal Eldritch Abomination, and uses one of the dragon's wishes so he can reincarnate. Everyone else does not feel the same way however, and consider Goku's habit of being kind to villains to be horrendously reckless and dangerous.
  • Played with in both Manga and Anime of Elfen Lied Kouta does not forgive Lucy for killing his little sister Kanae and their father. However, even though he never does forgive her, in the anime he openly declares that he will always love her; in the manga, while he is much more bitter and hateful, he offers her a Last-Second Chance to live peacefully with him and the rest of the cast, then takes a bullet fully intended for her because he refused to let another family member of his die ever again.
  • Any protagonist in Eureka Seven who meets Anti-Villain Dominic quickly sees him as a really nice guy even when knowing his ties to the world's corrupt military. Upon first meeting him in a particular scene in Episode 45, the Gekkostate crew are at first wary of him joining forces with them against a common enemy, but decide to trust him implicitly when he states his reasons for doing so are to protect the girl he loves, which immediately makes him openly comparable to main protagonist Renton.
  • Most of the villains in Fairy Tail. Tried to exterminate an entire village just for daring to oppose your plan to revive an ancient demon that ravaged the Earth? That's all right, just a misunderstanding. Tried to revive an even greater evil to turn the world upside-down, enslaving and killing countless innocents to do so? Fine, so long as you lost your memory of the deed and helped the heroes out against a smaller threat. Betrayed your guild, turned your former comrades against each other, and then tried to kill them all along with the town they resided in? You didn't really mean it even though you tried and almost succeeded, so don't worry. Unfortunately you'll have to leave the guild, but we'll be your friends forever! One of them asks why they have been forgiven so easily. They answer that they haven't, but not giving aid and acceptance to someone in need of it is something they can't forgive themselves about.
  • Akito from Fruits Basket. Her offenses include half-blinding Hattori and guilt-tripping his girlfriend for it, throwing Rin out of a two-story window, locking Yuki in a dark room to torture him, smacking Kisa until her cheek bled, psychologically damaging anyone that pisses her off, and attempting to murder Kyo and Tohru. There's only so much a Freudian Excuse can justify.
  • One strong theme in Fullmetal Alchemist is how to deal with sins, forgiveness, and cycle of hatred.
    • Subverted with the Ishvalan people after nearly getting wiped out in a genocide. Scar's master says that they should not forgive the Amestrians, because good people should be outraged at injustice, but they do need to endure it and not continue the cycle of hatred. The result is a rare middle ground between forgiveness and vengeance.
    • Subverted again when Izumi forgives Edward and Alphonse for disobeying her repeated warnings to not attempt human transmutation...but still expels them as her students. They now consider each other peers rather than master and student, though, especially since Izumi once made the same mistake. In the 2003 anime version, though, the two are forced to repeat the month-long island training, although they have a much easier time.
    • Hilariously played straight with Paninya in Rush Valley. Paninya stole Edward's silver watch, the proof that he's a state alchemist, which sparked off a chase sequence that caused a lot of damage. When they capture her, a furious Edward wants to have her arrested, while Winry berates him for being so horrible for not forgiving a 'minor' slight...mostly because she wants Paninya to introduce her to the man who made her incredibly well-designed automail legs. (Edward does forgive her after a punch or two). She does, however, give Paninya a What the Hell, Hero? speech after hearing that she steals to repay the man who made her legs, telling her that he wouldn't want it.
  • When Leonard Testarossa abruptly kissed Kanami in Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, she was rather offended. She was willing to forgive him if he let her new Guardian Entity from Mithril live. However, there could be a hint of subversion, considering that after Leonard left, she started "wiping away the kiss" so hard her lips looked like they would start bleeding.
  • One of the central themes in Gankutsuou is that forgiving someone doesn't necessarily mean writing off sins, but that it necessitates a deep understanding of the person who wronged you and their actions. Still, it's difficult to believe that Albert would be so okay with the Count for befriending him to use him for the sake of his twisted revenge, lying to him all along, betraying him, breaking apart his family, killing his best friend, and attempting repeatedly to kill him in a brutal way in front of one of his parents. Sure enough, Albert gets to understand that Edmond Dantes is truly a caring man who's been deeply wronged by Fernand and is trying to kill off his human feelings, but it goes overboard when he decides to save Dantes from himself.
  • Andrei Smirnov in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 committed patricide on his own father, and his adopted daughter Soma Peiries hunts him down with extreme vengeance. But thanks to a certain Deus ex Machina device... he is forgiven. Thankfully, said Deus ex Machina comes with him finally realising how much of an ass he was and getting rid of what makes him annoying. In The Movie, Andrei willingly takes what's left of karma on himself, performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Of all people, Goldie Musou, the main antagonist of Gunsmith Cats, gets Easily Forgiven by the protagonists after temporarily losing her memory, and entering to a relationship with Misty Brown. The same Misty Brown she once kidnapped and was implied to have raped.
  • The finale of Infinite Ryvius shows EVERYONE from the ship being invited back to crew it, all on excellent terms after apparently having escaped both legal consequences and personal grievances for their widely publicized behavior in earlier episodes. For the record, they include gangs, rebels, dictators, torturers, rapists, murderers, and utter lunatics (one of whom led her own secret death cult!) Oh, and kids from the ship aside, there's also the evil conspiracy that purposely caused the whole incident, hounded them nearly to death, and BLEW UP AN INHABITED WORLD.
  • InuYasha: Kouga started out by slaughtering multiple villages, including Rin's (even including Rin). He then kidnaps Kagome to force her to become his bride so he can use her shard-detection powers to make himself and his tribe the strongest demons in the area. By the time Inuyasha rescues Kagome, she's willing to protect Kouga against Inuyasha's wrath. Since Kouga falls for her, he becomes The Rival to Inuyasha and their disputes are treated like playground scraps. The issue of Kouga and his tribe destroying villages and eating humans isn't raised again by Inuyasha's group, even when they encounter others of Kouga's kind who continue to eat humans. It's very noticeable that Rin, whom he killed, and Sesshoumaru, her guardian, are never allowed to meet Kouga in the manga (a brief meeting between them in the anime is pure filler but still ends with Sesshoumaru not considering him worth fussing over).
  • Rokudo Mukuro from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. He manipulated Lancia into killing all of his friends, beat up Tsuna's friends and used them as hostages, beat Tsuna up quite a bit during their fight, revealed his plan was to possess Tsuna's body so he could destroy the Mafia and turn the world into a sea of blood, and generally fought dirty. He is shown to be entirely unapologetic about the whole thing the next time he meets Tsuna, even stating that he plans to take over Tsuna at the next opportunity. However, when he became Tsuna's guardian and showed Tsuna the vision of his body in prison, Tsuna quickly develops sympathy for him, and it becomes obvious that Tsuna has already forgiven him for the whole ordeal (much to Reborn's chagrin). Tsuna even goes so far as to excuse his unapologetic proclamation as him just being stubborn and shy.
  • Downplayed in Kotoura-san. Hiyori is forgiven by Kotoura, despite bullying her, and nearly getting Manabe killed. On the other hand, other people like Manabe and Kotoura's grandfather aren't quite so forgiving, but willing to at least accept her for Kotoura's sake.
  • By the third season, Shibuya Yuuri, the young king in Kyou Kara Maou, has a policy of unconditional forgiveness, much to the consternation of his fiancé and advisers. To the point that Saralegui only has to apologise to be forgiven for manipulating Yuuri into become a weapon of mass destruction and killing hundreds of people.
  • Lupin III's Fujiko Mine is constantly instantly forgiven by Lupin, no matter how severely she's tried to double-cross him and the gang. Jigen and Goemon call him out on this on occasion. On the rare occasion that he can't get out of, she doesn't. She usually stands by his side when there doesn't seem to be any hope. Even on such occasions where the other choice is death.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, when Ascot turns to the good side he is instantly forgiven for earlier having killed Presea in the anime and in turn instantly forgives the Magic Knights for killing his summons, whom he thought of as friends. The girls treat him as a victim of Manipulative Bastard Zagato after Umi delivers an Armor-Piercing Slap.
  • Mai-HiME:
    • Shizuru is Easily Forgiven by by Natsuki (a good number of the series' fans too) for the things she did as a Psycho Lesbian. Haruka and Yukino weren't quite as easily convinced, though.
    • Mikoto was directly responsible for killing two of Mai's Most Important People. Mai, however, realizes she was brainwashed the whole time (and it was actually Shiho who was responsible for Takumi's death), and decides not to hold it against Mikoto, even telling her up front that she loves her (though probably not in that way).
    • Everyone forgives everyone at the end, whatever terrible things they'd done. Given how much of a clusterfuck the Carnival was, though, it's fairly justified.
  • Mai-Otome:
  • Mars has two egregious instances. In a Cliff Hanger, Harumi escalates her bullying of Kira to an unthinkable level by threatening to smash Kira's fingers with a small barbell. She doesn't follow through, but it's jarring when Harumi become's Kira's closest and most supportive female friend not two volumes later. An even worse instance is when Kira's mother, stricken by Soap Opera Disease, takes back the stepfather who raped her daughter. Kira's mother may forgive, but Kira certainly doesn't.
  • Yuno Gasai of Mirai Nikki kidnaps the main character, and in order to keep him safe, keeps him tied up and drugged for a week. Later when his friends arrive to 'rescue him' she tries to kill. Two chapters later, all is forgiven between the two. To her credit, she has become much tamer since that incident.
  • In Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Jean constantly forgives Nadia for her (misdirected) outbursts of anger at him without hesitation. (She eventually changes her ways as a result.)
  • Naruto:
    • The Sand Village ninjas (particularly Gaara and company) start off as murderers conspiring with the current Big Bad to try and overthrow and destroy the Hidden Leaf Village. The plan fails, but the third Hokage still ends up dead in no small part thanks to the Sand Village's assistance and at least tacit approval. Later on, the Sand Village as a whole, and Gaara, Temari and Kankuro specifically, are close allies with the Hidden Leaf Village and friends of the protagonists, mostly just because Orochimaru became a common enemy when he killed the Kazekage. It's implied that Konoha, weakened after the conflict and shorthanded, decided not to hold the Sand Village responsible in order to get a chance to recover.
    • Naruto's willing to forgive Sasuke for all the chaos he's caused since he joined Akatsuki. Although, after being introduced to Cycle of Revenge and Not So Different in an earlier arc, he's realized that they easily could've been on opposite sides of the same conflict. At the end of the series Sasuke is forgiven for literally everything, Kakashi (Hokage at the time) gives him an official pardon, and he even marries Sakura.
    • Naruto is willing to forgive the village at large for treating him as an outcast, largely because of a few people (including Iruka and his classmates) who considered him a nuisance at first but didn't shun him outright and because he believes that more than anything, he must believe in himself. He does once become irritated at how easily the villagers turn from hating him to worshiping him, but as a flashback montage in the Pain invasion shows, the process was more gradual than he thought.
    • In a way, the Ninetails. While he was under Tobi's control for a while, even after it wore off he still continued to attack Konoha. Naruto doesn't seem to care and tells the Ninetails he's his friend.
    • In the Shippuden movie Blood Prison, Naruto is seemingly abandoned by the village and thrown into a Kusa prison where he is beaten and tortured. And it turns out that it was a plan by the village to get a MacGuffin from the prison. A plan he wasn't let in on, and none of his friends so much as apologize for the emotional and physical pain he was forced to endure. And he easily waves it off without so much as a What the Hell, Hero?.
    • Itachi mind rapes Sasuke, Kakashi and Naruto. Orders Kisame to kill Kakashi because He Knows Too Much. He also tries to kill Kurenai and does nothing when Kisame decides to cut Naruto's legs off. He later beats Sasuke into a bloody pulp before mind raping him again. Despite all this, he not only forgiven but he is treated as if he was the greatest shinobi ever.
    • Sai hangs a lampshade on this trope when Sasuke helps during the fight with the Juubi and says he wants to be Hokage. He inwardly questions this wondering why the two people he hurt most are more than happy to forgive him.
    • Obito Uchiha. Despite causing the most destructive War in ninja history, killing Minato and Kushina, killing the seven Jinchuriki around the world, making the Bloody Mist worst... Naruto forgives him. Even calling him 'The Greatest' after his death.
  • One Piece:
    • After a series of events that lead to Usopp leaving the crew and challenging Luffy for the ownership of their broken ship, the Going Merry, Usopp is planning to come back and act casual about it. Luffy learns about this and rushes off to find him, but he's stopped by Zoro. Zoro tells Luffy and the rest of the crew that they shouldn't easily forgive Usopp, because they can't trust someone who left the crew so easily, nor can the captain let himself be walked over. If he comes back on his knees, fine; but letting him back in full of pride is unacceptable. Later, the crew begins to depart without Usopp in order to escape from some marines. Usopp runs to the shore and begins shouting out his rehearsed excuses, but most of the Straw Hats ignore him. As the ship gets further away, Usopp panics and finally blurts out an apology, and begs to be let back in. Satisfied, Luffy uses his rubber powers to bring him aboard the ship.
    • Double Subverted during the Impel Down arc when Luffy comes across Crocodile. Crocodile offers to help in exchange for being let out of his cell, but Luffy turns him down cold because of all the things he did in Alabasta. Luffy is convinced to let him out anyway, though, because Ivankov assures him that he knows something about Crocodile to keep him in line.
    • Played straight with Bon Clay (a.k.a. Mr. 2) at the end of the Alabasta arc. Affable as he was, Mr. 2 did directly take part in framing the king to incite the rebels to full-blown warfare, but after an Heroic Sacrifice to distract the Marines away from the escaping Straw Hats, he's considered a friend of the crew ever since. He only briefly complains about Mr. 2 being with Baroque Works when Mr. 2 contacts him again.
    • Luffy is also relatively friendly toward Buggy and Mr. 3, despite the former trying to kill him (almost succeeding in Loguetown) and Nami and the latter almost turning Vivi, Nami and Zoro into wax figures.
    • Played straight with Boa Hancock. Despite how she turned several of her people to stone just for speaking up on Luffy's behalf and her sisters tried to smash those people just to hurt Luffy, after he defeats her sisters and she agrees to restore her petrified victimsnote  Luffy seems to forgive her within seconds.
    • Played with in regards to Nami and Jinbe after Jinbe apologizes for indirectly allowing Arlong to terrorize her hometown. Jinbe was even willing to accept any punishment as necessary but Nami explains that Arlong was the one who she will not easily forgive and she harbours no hate towards Jinbe or any other fishmen.
    • Played straight with Rebecca when she attempts to kill Luffy. He shrugs it off because 1) she didn't do it out of malice, 2) he easily beat her and 3) she brought him lunch using all her money.
  • Red easily forgives his former enemies in Pokémon Special, though admittedly, most situations fall into the Enemy Mine category. See that guy who tried to electrocute you to death (twice)? Say "Yo, what's up!" See the lady who stole your Eevee and tortured it? Take a bath with her! See the alien Pokemon that nearly killed you and your Pokemon? Oh, it was all a misunderstanding and I'm technically your ancestor! No prob!
  • In the Pokémon anime, the most egregious example would have to come from the sixteenth film: the Genesect Army destroy a city and threaten its power supply and inhabitants. By the end, no-one holds a grudge against them. Not even Red, who if anything is even guiltier than the other four as he routinely took control of them and made them do the bad things they did.
  • Done in Project ARMS with pretty much all of Ryo's allies, since virtually all of them met via being sent by the Egrigori to kill him (or were trying to kill him to rebel against the Egrigori...or just trying to kill him). Hayato even comments on it after a group of Egrigori mutants kidnap them and try to kill them, only to be perfectly friendly after the battle is over. One of the mutants points out that all of them are on the Egrigori's hit-list, so they'd best put aside differences if they want to survive. It helps that most of those easily forgiven were also tricked, or horribly brainwashed since childhood and quite happy to give up their dangerous lives.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • An unintentional example in the Expanded Universe manga Ravenpaw's Path. During Shattered Peace, Ravenpaw and Barley are chased off the farm they live on by the farmer because he is tricked into thinking they killed his chickens. The farmer says that if he sees them again, he'll shoot them. However, when they come back and defeat the rogues who took over their home in The Heart of a Warrior, the farmer doesn't care, despite still thinking they killed his chickens.
    • A rather odd example in Tigerclaw's Fury. In the Warriors universe, fleeing from battle until your leader tells you to do so would be considered treachery and cowardice. Fleeing from battle when Tigerclaw is your leader would be considered suicidal. But the cats who abandon him when it looks like he's losing don't get any sort of comeuppance.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena Utena has no hard feelings about being stabbed in the back (literally).
  • Rosario + Vampire: In their respective first appearances, Kurumu, Mizore, Ruby, and Yukari all caused all manner of trouble for Tsukune and Moka, with the latter three actually trying to kill them outright. By the end of all of their introductions, Tsukune has not only forgiven them for everything, but become close friends with them.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: The Juppongatana are a band of deadly killers who followed Shishio in his attempt to overthrow the government and rule in a very Social Darwinist manner. And then, after they are defeated, they all get very generous deals from the government with the explanation that they have talents that are very useful. Admittedly, Henya and Soujiro (who was never captured) were able do things that probably no one else on earth could, but the rest aren't unique. It is averted with Anji, who despite being probably the most sympathetic of the lot got sentenced to life imprisonment. It's worth noting that while Shishio was a nut, the series gives some credence to his accusation that the government was totally cynical and amoral, and the pardons could be considered supporting evidence.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In the anime Sailor Moon forgives Ail and En, the Akayashi Sisters, the Black Moon brothers, Professor Tomoe, the Amazon Trio, the Amazoness Quartet, Nehelenia, and Galaxia. Although it's not shown that any of these people (save Galaxia and Nehelenia) killed anyone, they all were trying to kill the senshi and destroy the world. In most of these examples, the characters in question were being either heavily manipulated by the Bigger Bad, literally fighting for their own survival the only way they knew (Ail and An) or in Tomoe and Galaxia's case, possessed and not in control of their own actions. Nehelenia is the only one that comes off as really questionable, as she was really motivated by her own vanity in SuperS and in Stars by envy and revenge. She gets a second chance anyway, as the Senshi recognize she's lonely... however, the reason she's lonely is because she killed everyone in her kingdom to stay young forever.
    • In the manga it's only the Four Kings of Heaven, the Quartet, and Galaxia. The Four Kings were heavily implied to be brainwashed and still died, though they maintained a small presence with Endymion in the rest of the series. The Quartet were previously good, but Nehelenia found their hiding place and corrupted them. Galaxia was stone cold evil though, and killed everyone Sailor Moon loved just to screw with her. Sailor Moon still forgave her, though her motivation was to try and find a way to end the cycle of killing that had allowed Galaxia to get so far in the first place. Galaxia still dies though. Several of the characters that were forgiven in the anime were also significantly less sympathetic in the manga, where they were murderers and were killed off by the Sailor Senshi.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Duke Devlin has most of his actions swept aside by Yugi and the others despite humiliating Joey by turning him into a dog and also threatens to expose Yugi as a cheater. The manga however gave him a Freudian Excuse and also began viewing Yugi as Worthy Opponent and perform a Heel-Face Turn when he realised he doesn't hate the Mutou family as much as his father, even trying to lend a helping hand to Yugi and his other friends.
    • Seto Kaiba repeatedly tried to kill the protagonists in the early manga, including Tristan's year old nephew who just happened to be with them at the time. One of the ways was locking them in a house with a child mass murderer. They do hold a bit of a grudge for a while, but still forgive him far too quickly.
    • Same goes for his little brother Mokuba. Because it happened before the second anime begins, it seems nobody even remembers Mokuba is an attempted murderer and serial cheater (which, in the Yu-Gi-Oh world, is practically worse). He's just Seto's Morality Pet.
    • Both Kaiba brother's Easy Forgiveness rests on a foundation of Mokuba's Easily Forgiving Seto for emotionally mistreating him and, shortly before Mind Crush II, torturing him with the Mind Crush I simulator he'd built to use on Yugi after beating him. Yugi&Yugi take pity on them both for their evil adoptive father and screwed-up relationship that used to be all Big Brother Instinct, and fix Seto. Violently. From then on, Yugi is focused on continuing to fix Seto during most of their interactions.
    • Pegasus and Marik, in a case of Defeat Means Friendship. Marik at least had the excuse that he believed the Pharaoh was responsible for killing his father and enslaving his family, and once he realizes his error (and sees his Super-Powered Evil Side) he helps Yugi win his duel against said Evil Side and resolves to atone for his actions.
    • Dartz, a Filler Villain, a 10,000 year old king of Atlantis, a Corrupt Corporate Executive and leader of his destroy-the-world-because-humanity-ruined-it cult. His goal involves taking millions of souls of both humans and Duel Monster, literally killing off two worlds, he treats his henchmen poorly and will throw them away if they're useless, when he's not taking advantage of their Dark and Troubled Past. He later reveals he's behind the events to why his henchmen are so screwed up, all so they would join him. He's worse than the rest of the antagonists, yet he is just let off the hook and ascend to heaven.
    • From Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, we had Aki. Though she does seem to genuinely repent, the rest of the world seems awfully quick to just forget about the stuff she was up to in the first season. Multiple counts of aggravated assault in front of thousands of spectators on live television would probably get most people in prison, but just six months later, she's not only in a school that she set fire to a few years ago before dropping out, but they consider her their model pupil.
  • Weed from Ginga Densetsu Weed had been criticized by several dogs and even some of his packmates for showing mercy and forgiveness on an enemy. Subverted harshly when Jerome kills Thunder and Lector, making Weed banish him from the pack.
  • Koe No Katachi's main character Ishida Shouya has been Driven to Suicide over the amount of shame and guilt he feels for his horrible bullying of a deaf girl in his class years before. He decides to meet the girl again, expecting and almost hoping she'll lie down some kind of abuse on him for his actions, in an attempt to suffer for his actions just abit more, planning to commit suicide afterwards. When he does meet her again, she forgives him and even wants to be his friend. The problem is the girl's mother, sister and Ishida himself aren't so forgiving of his actions.
  • Subverted in The Devil Is a Part-Timer! — Urushihara/Lucifer has a Heel-Face Turn after betraying Sadao/Satan and attacking Japan, but becomes The Chew Toy of the series afterwards. This is also a major conflict of Emi's concerning Sadao — as the Hero she's supposed to kill Satan, but his genuine Nice Guy attitude on Earth frustrates her.

    Comic Books 
  • While the Earth heroes more or less forgave Hal Jordan (even Batman) after he came back from the dead, the Green Lantern Corps which Hal decimated were far less forgiving, especially when a sizable group of them were left for dead in space by Hal and were captured by Manhunters for years. Even though he was possessed by a cosmic being that they all know is completely real. It's more of a "Why didn't you do better trying to stop that cosmic being, Mr. Willpower?" than anything.
  • After Brightest Day brought back Hawk, nobody at all seems inclined to mention the deaths he caused as Monarch and Extant — not even Atom Smasher, who arranged his death in retaliation after Extant killed his godfather.
  • A common problem in Jack Chick tracts, especially when applied to abusive parents or spouses. This is especially bad in "Lisa" when it's implied that the daughter forgives her father for sexually abusing her and allowing his friend to do the same, which causes her to get herpes. Her mother likewise forgives the man, and is herself forgiven for allowing it and also smacking the kid around. And of course, that damn doctor who thought converting the dad was better than calling the fucking police.
    • In "Happy Hour", after pushing his wife down and indirectly causing her death of a heart attack, and later spending the grocery money on liquor, Jerry, after briefly flying into a rage, tries to apologize to his children, but they will have none of it until she goes to church and learns the value of forgiveness, forgiving him two panels after declaring that she hates him.
    • In "Greed," Kelli essentially tricks an old man into making her his heiress by preventing him from hearing from his relatives, then not giving him medication until he dies. After she converts and dies of cancer, some of the relatives are set on not forgiving her (although one changes her mind after hearing she will get her share of the estate after all), and this is played as a bad thing, with it suggested that they will not be forgiven for their sins.
    • In "Baby Talk" Eric dumps his girlfriend when he learns that she is pregnant, but then accepts Christianity and, after preventing her from being forcibly taken to get an abortion, promises to help her raise the baby and gets back together with her. At no point is she shown to be angry with him.
    • Another one involves a death row inmate who got into heaven simply because the inmate converted at the last second, while a virtuous person was sent to hell for simply not accepting Jesus as their savior.
  • Played with regaring Loki and the Asgardians' forgiveness. A lot of the time they don't actually trust him, he's just a Manipulative Bastard who really is that good at what he does. Thanks to causing the destruction of Asgard (not what he was going for, either: he wanted them to win but underestimed The Void), only Thor forgives Loki and most find his Heroic Sacrifice in trying to save Asgard to be worthless.
  • A weird example - where an unrepentant villain forgives one of the good guys - was how Spider-Man villain Tombstone's feud with Daily Bugle editor Joe Robinson ended. After a storyline that spanned years, where the it had been revealed the two had been Vitriolic Best Buds (in the loosest sense of the word) even though Tombstone had bullied Joe as a child, followed by Joe turning him in for murder in the present, followed by many attempts on Joe's life by the villain, Joe finally confronted him at Norman Osborn's chemical plant during one such attempt, shot and wounded the assassin, causing him to fall into a room full of strange, chemical gas, which resulted in Tombstone turning from a Badass Normal to an Empowered Badass Normal. The next time they met, Joe expected his old "friend" to kill him; instead, Tombstone told him that he was actually glad that Joe had shot him, because now he was a new man, and that now, "all debts were paid". (And he clearly meant it, because while Tombstone has appeared several times since, he has not tried to strike at Robinson again.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Bombshell is allowed membership on the team, even after she betrayed them prior, had tried to kill them, and tried to frame two other (innocent) members of the group as the real traitor. Sure, Ravager was also allowed on the team, but she was Brainwashed and Crazy when she was their enemy... Bombshell has no such excuse.
    • Raven destroyed Starfire's entire home planet. Starfire's forgiveness of her for this came jarringly quickly.
  • Superman has gotten shafted plenty of times by his tendency to extend this too freely. In fact, in a 1960s imaginary story, Luthor dupes Supes into becoming his best friend after publicly renouncing evil, then promptly slaughters him with Kryptonite while laughing derisively at Superman's dying expressions of heartbreak and betrayal.
  • Surprisingly, a lot of the X-Men who fought the team during Avengers vs. X-Men are forgiven, even Namor, who flooded Black Panther's home country during the crisis. While the continued animosity between the two is a major subplot in volume 3 of New Avengers, Panther is really the only one who takes any issue with what Namor did.
  • Played with in regards to Sunstreaker in the Transformers Ongoing, while he is allowed back into the Autobots after his betrayal (which nearly led to the end of both the Autobots and humanity) and nonlethal Heroic Sacrifice, most of the characters either shun him or are quick to remind him of his crimes.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise plays with this. There are numerous Decepticons who've caused all sorts of trouble during the war, and the Autobots hesitate to try them for fear of looking too oppressive to the neutral majority, something which Metalhawk uses to his advantage. In addition, military trials would also worm the monsters out of their own ranks and expose their crimes to the war so it all has to have a lid kept on it. Though post Transformers Dark Cybertron, Megatron goes on trial for his war crimes and Sandstorm becomes a serial killer bent on killing all the Autobots and Decepticons who committed war crimes, as he refuses to let them go on living during the peace.
  • None of the X-Men ever seem to be bothered by the fact that Jean Grey occasionally turns into Dark Phoenix (a genocidal, sun-devouring Cosmic Entity of pure evil) even when the current writer hasn't retconned it into her being possessed by the Phoenix Force.
  • During Civil War, Maria Hill personally authorized the kidnapping and torture of Runaways Karolina Dean and Xavin and Young Avengers Teddy Altman and Billy Kaplan, and was complicit in the imprisonment and torture of Noh-Varr. To date, this has never had any effect on her continued career at S.H.I.E.L.D., even though she explicitly violated Dean and Altman's rights as US citizens.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Pick any fanfic where a hero and a villain hook up. Most likely, either the villain is going to suddenly turn to the side of good and be immediately forgiven for all their past crimes, or the hero is going to suddenly join up with the villain and immediately forgive them for all their past crimes.
  • Death Note fics:
  • The Naruto fic Escape From The Hokage's Hat zigzags with this trope.
    • Downplayed - Sakura comes to Hinata, in tears, over Naruto's injuries, and says Sasuke isn't worth Naruto getting hurt so badly. Hinata blames Sakura for what she did to Naruto- begging him to save Sasuke and having "hit him, yelled at him and used him,"- but gives her a hug because "If she cried for Naruto, she couldn't be all bad."
    • Subverted - Naruto looks like he'll do this with Sasuke but comments he still can't forgive Sasuke due in part to Sasuke trying to KILL him while Naruto just wanted to incapacitate Sasuke.
  • In The Gargoyles Saga Demona gives up trying to destroy humanity, and becomes one of the good guys all because Angela waves a finger in her face. Less than two months after attempting mass genocide of the human race, Demona is eating Christmas dinner with the heroes.
  • In the Professor Layton fanfic bleeding at the sped of sound, the main character, a cyborg vampire, wants to eat Layton and plans on killing Luke first. After luring him away and announcing her intention to kill him, Layton catches her, but she cries, causing him to forgive her and declare his love for her.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fics:
    • Ace Combat The Equestrian War: Fluttershy holds no grudges against Firefly when she initally berates the timid pegasus for not fighting the griffins. When Firefly apologizes for her behavior, Fluttershy gives her a hug; she is Fluttershy, after all.
      • By the end of the story, Rainbow Dash has no problem in forgiving Gilda for laying a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on her and breaking Medley's wings in chapter 11, stating that:
    Rainbow Dash: There is another face of pride; it's called forgiving.
    • Equestrias First Human: Subverted. While Connor does save Ponyville from Dragonfire, he does it to prove something to himself and help the few friends he's made. He doesn't forget that the town treated him like the plague and plans to skip town. Only when all of Ponyville decides to apologize and show their appreciation does he forgive them.
    • Princess Celestia Hates Tea: Despite Twilight's wild accusations of being a changeling queen that got Celestia attacked by her own staff, getting blasted by the Elements of Harmony, getting her room exploded, and nearly getting her banished to the moon for a thousand years, the old goddess is surprisingly cordial with Twilight in the upcoming mess she caused. And then Twilight Mind Rapes her in an attempt to make her like tea.
    • Post Nuptials: Deconstructed. Twilight's friends are wracked with guilt for giving Twilight the cold shoulder when she accused Princess Cadance of being evil before being proven technically right (the evil Cadance was actually an imposter), and only end up feeling even worse when Twilight calmly and insistently forgives them, since it makes them think she is too good to be their friend. Later subverted when Twilight confesses she is still mad at her friends for how they treated her, though getting her feelings off her chest helps her forgive them for real.
    • Rainbooms and Royalty: Played straight with Celestia and most of Ponyville forgiving Princess Luna for her actions as Nightmare Moon. Averted with Rainbow Dash, who finds it difficult to overlook that just a few hours ago she tried to take away her mentor, tried to conquer Equestria, brainwashed her friends, tried kill her new friends, and tried to kill her. An encounter and a bonding moment with Luna during the celebratory party that followed Equestria's salvation leads to Rainbow letting go of her anger and forgiving her partially, but withholds complete forgiveness until Luna fully proves her redemption.
    • Earth and Sky: At the end of the story, Silver Spoon forgives Diamond Tiara for her past actions pretty easily when seeing how upset and broken she's become. Likewise, Apple Bloom forgives her as soon as Silver Spoon vouches for her.
  • Harry Potter fics:
    • In Blood Matters Orion Malfoy (formerly Harry Potter) is so happy to have a non-abusive family that he's willing to give the people who have been trying to murder him since he was one year old and killed his friend last summer a fresh start.
    • Subverted in The Darkness Series. When Ron and Hermione finally realize they were jerks and try to apologize Harry pretends to accept but he isn't going to forgive them this time. He will pretend to go back to being their friend because it's easy but he swears they will never be friends again. Double Subverted later on as Harry comes to warm up to Hermione again and so begins trying to "save" her by making her turn dark too. Also Harry easily forgives Voldemort after turning to The Dark Side and seeing more of Voldemort's memories through their link he comes to see where he's coming from.
    • Inverted in Harry Potter & the Azkaban Parody where everyone demands that Harry forgive them for wrongfully sending him to Azkaban Prison for "one year, three months, two weeks, four days, seven hours, thirteen minutes, and twenty six seconds," killing his owl right in front of him, stealing from him, and destroying his property without actually asking him for their forgiveness. And instead of taking him to a doctor or allowing him to recover from the effects of starvation and the Dementors they immediately force him back into school "where you will be constantly bombarded with all the people you don't want to see until we break you down and force you to forgive us." Needless to say, Harry is less than impressed.
    • Played for Black Comedy in the Slash Fic Yew and Holly when Hermione and the Weasleys find that in order to get Harry to attend their party they also have to invite Voldemort over for the Christmas hols.
  • In the otherwise-great Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Mein Schutzengel Il Mio Protettore, one week after Gilbert leaves for his job Elizaveta has an affair with Roderich. Then she discovers that she is pregnant, meaning that the child could belong to either one, and she neglects to tell Gilbert about any of this until shortly before the baby is due. When Gilbert does find out, he isn't mad at her, he immediately accepts the child as his own (even blaming himself for leaving her alone), and she never has to take any kind of responsibility for any of this.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Samantha Shepard receives near-instant forgiveness for her actions while undergoing a Heroic BSOD (killing millions of civilians). Justified In-Universe due to the belief that she is one of the few that could lead the galaxy to victory, despite the fact that people notice this dissonance and comment on it. This even comes up in Jackie's subplots—Shepard's crimes are likely far worse but it's Jackie who everyone is suspicious of. The cast is also troubled by Sarah post-Heel-Face Turn because they wonder if they're engaging in this trope. Then somebody else points out who they're fighting against.
  • Parodied in the RWBY fic Table Top Adventures. The party fights a group of NPC bandits, and Nora asks if she can keep one of them as her companion. Ren- her heterosexual life partner and the BM- points out that there's no way she can command the bandit's loyalty now that they've killed his fellows. After some pleading from Nora, he allows it anyway.
    "Alright, Nora, he surrenders and becomes your best friend despite your party murdering his friends and comrades."
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fic Reconnected, Sora is willing to forgive Lightning and trust her to help defeat Hades, despite the fact that Lightning was just seconds away from murdering him, in part because Lightning had been tricked by Hades into doing so. Lightning even lampshades it:
    Lightning: Are you kidding me?! I tried to kill you not even five minutes ago and you already forgive me enough to go on this mission with you?! Are you always this trusting?
  • A key point of Touhou Ibunshu is Forgiveness and The Power of Love, with not forgiving people being treated as a terrible sin that corrupts the soul and loving the perpetrator treated as a better fix than any punishment. Actions that are Easily Forgiven range from assault to attempted murder to successful murder to schemes that would wipe out all life in Gensokyo, with no-one questioning the trend. Admittedly, the perpetrator has to show they're trying to make amends before they're forgiven (Mokou, who remains unrepentant, is never forgiven by anybody), with Yukari especially devoting huge amounts of time and effort to fixing the damage she caused.
  • During Code Geass: Cornelia of the Defection, Lelouch gets chewed out by both Euphie and Cornelia about him killing Clovis, but both wind up forgiving him for it afterwards.
  • In the The Legend of Korra fic Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades, Kuvira is given a considerable amount of liberty considering her crimes, mainly so she can be used by Raiko to aid in the control of spirit energy weapons and be used as bait for her loyalists.
  • In Final Fantasy VII fic The Fifth Act, Cloud doesn't hold a grudge against Angeal for kidnapping him and selling him out to be experimented on. At the same time, no one holds it against Cloud for attempting a Murder-Suicide with Sephiroth. They all learned to forgive and forget so they can start over and move on for the horrible mess.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic Prison Island Break justifies this trope, but also provides a much deeper meta-aversion of it to the readers themselves.
    • Good PR has turned Sonic into a celebrity for robbing three banks, despite killing three cops. While going to trial he is greeted by a crowd of fans. This is a reference to the Great Train Robbery, where good PR turned the robbers into celebrities and even resulted in lighter sentences.
    • On his way to trial, serial rapist and murderer Shadow the Hedgehog is jumped by his own fangirl and even he considers her stupid and insane. While it is a gag referencing how Shadow is often portrayed as a Draco in Leather Pants, Word of God is that there is a more serious message regarding how the writer feels rape is too easily forgiven in bad fanfiction.
    • But the story itself is better known for its meta-aversion. The readers don't need to forgive the protagonists for any of their crimes to enjoy the story, and are encouraged to remember. At first glance that's just the writer being inoffensive to Real Life victims. It's odd though; you find yourself feeling sorry for them a lot. Word of God is that this is exactly how you're supposed to feel, because the conditions in the prison are so horrific, so corrupt, so inhumane, that even these murderers and rapists are getting Disproportionate Retribution. That clash of emotions you're getting? That's intentional.
  • In the ambiguously canon additional ending of Angel Of The Bat the both Catholic and bisexual Cassandra Cain asks her girlfriend Sadie to marry her. When Sadie asks if it means she's abandoning her religion, Cassie says even ostrization can't break her faith in God, and even if she faces religious exile, she will forgive her detractors in a heartbeat.

    Films — Animated 
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Inverted at the end when Vanellope Von Schweetz takes her rightful place as princess of Sugar Rush, and all the other racers who teased, taunted and made fun of her grovel for forgiveness. Vanellope, in a voice that's equal parts sweetness and cynicism, has them ordered to be executed. She's just kidding though- she just wanted to see the others freak out in a panic.
    • Played straight in an earlier scene in which Ralph betrays Vanellope and pretty much sold her to King Candy. When he returns to save her, she's not even angry with him and immediately accepts him. (He did think he was doing it to save the game world, and, or especially, Vanellope herself who is unable to leave the game, and he did break her out of the dungeon and present her with the perfectly-restored car, but the scene where he destroys the car they built together in the first place is considered the biggest Tear Jerker in a movie with a decent list of 'em. She could have been angry for more than three seconds.)
  • Twitch and the rest of Lotso's minions in Toy Story 3 were pretty much friends again despite what they did to the rest of the toys.
  • Every "villain" in Horton Hears a Who! The directors bring this up a couple times on the DVD commentary, justifying it by saying it stays true to the spirit of Dr. Seuss' works, as Seuss "was not in the comeuppance business." There was originally a more clear comeuppance for the Kangaroo when everyone turns their back on her, but it was taken out for this reason.
  • Fungus in Monsters, Inc. had been Randall's henchman, aiding him in his evil plot, yet at the end he is seen cheerfully working alongside the others, as if there had never been any bad feelings between them. Sully DID put him in the Scream Extractor, and it is implied often that he was coerced into helping them.
  • In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Melody easily forgives the children who laughed at her at her birthday party.
  • Lord Business the Big Bad was forgiven with open arms in the The Lego Movie despite nearly causing the end of the world. Possibly because Lord Business is based on the boy's father, and the boy had just reconciled with him in the real world concerning the same issue that led him to cast him as a villain.
  • Penny from Dreamworks' Mr. Peabody & Sherman was forgiven with open arms by the two despite causing the whole mess and being cruel towards Sherman. It really helped that Sherman had taken a liking to her. It would take some time, however, before Mr. Peabody accepted her, since he thought such an fun-loving girl could put Sherman into more trouble.
  • In The Book of Life, Xibalba caused the whole mess, but La Muerte easily forgave him. Justified that he honored his deal this time.
  • Sheila Brokflovski from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut caused World War 3 over a movie, caused Canadian genocide, and gunning down Terrence and Phillip even after Kyle tried to reason with her. All her trouble for her crimes of humanity? She was instantaneously forgiven by everyone after apologizing to her son. Although she did shown remorse after nearly causing the end of the world.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In From Dusk Till Dawn, Seth Gecko's reaction to his brother having raped and murdered their hostage while he was gone quickly fades from disgusted to 'don't do that again' and then hugs him and forgives him... sort of justified because we're apparently supposed to be shocked at the mildness of his reaction. It is also used to show Seth's blind love for his brother, as well as the fact that Seth is likewise a psychopath, if not a rapist.
  • In Bad Lieutenant, the rape of a nun shocks even the hardened eponymous character. He is prevented from exacting brutal revenge on the perpetrators when the nun herself forgives them. In his only redeeming action of the film, he instead puts them on a bus out of town.
  • Alan in The Hangover series, especially in the second one. While he can claim ignorance the first time, he flat-out lied to them for most of the second movie regarding his actions. The guys, especially Stu, are pissed, but all it takes is a good wedding gift and his actions are completely forgiven.
  • In Top Gun while Iceman did apologize for what happened to Goose, Maverick seems awfully willing to forgive a guy whose Glory Hounding result in an accident that killed his best friend. Lampshaded in the How It Should Have Ended spoof, where Maverick punches out Iceman after the climatic battle because "My real best friend is dead because of you!"
  • Mouth to Mouth: Sherry and Nancy constantly screw each other other, yet never hold grudges.
  • 102 Dalmatians: In the end, Allonzo wasn't imprisoned, there was no sign of him being on probation and the heroes were friendly to him.
  • The Art of War III: over the course of the direct-to-video film, Neil Shaw (rapper Treach, stepping in for Wesley Snipes), a special operative working for the U.N., commits several massive screw-ups, including killing several North Korean rogue operatives he was supposed to be just watchingnote  and helping lead the Big Bad right to the U.N. Secretary General, resulting in more high-profile death. After this collection of cock-ups that should've gotten him instantly fired (if his bosses felt like being kind), the Sec. General (who knew the whole story) personally tells Shaw "We need you." That entire clusterf*ck doesn't happen without Shaw's actions and she acts like he saved the day!
  • Back to the Future: George hires Biff to polish his car outside the front door of the family home, despite Biff's Attempted Rape of Lorraine when they were at school.
  • In the 1982 film of Annie, why doesn't Miss Hannigan go to jail for her part in the kidnapping, if not for the way she runs the orphanage? It seems that trying to stop her brother from killing Annie is enough to make her welcome at the Warbucks festivities, even while drunk.
  • In Texas Chainsaw 3D Heather completely and instantly forgives Leatherface for killing all her friends and trying to murder her all because she finds out that they are cousins. The film ends with her performing a Face-Heel Turn and deciding to spend the rest of her life on the run from the law with him, and she never ONCE brings up the fact that he murdered her friends to him.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle steals Bruce Wayne's car and his mother's pearls, sells his fingerprints to John Daggett (who uses them to bankrupt him), and tricks him into fighting Bane, who breaks his back. Despite all this Bruce finds reason to trust her, even after Selina flat out tells him that he has no reason to whatsoever.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Sam forgives Frodo for first trying to stab him and then believing the treacherous Gollum over him. Justified somewhat in that Frodo is carrying The One Ring around his neck, but a lot of people still find it insufficient.
  • In Labyrinth, Hoggle confesses to Sarah that Jareth told him to give her the peach, and then tells her he doesn't deserve to be forgiven. She still does.
  • In High School Musical, Troy and Gabriella's 'friends' goad him into saying hurtful things about her to make them break up. The instant they explain their plot, Troy and Gabriella forgive them.
  • At the end of Youth in Revolt Sheeni forgives Nick and agrees to wait for him while he's in juvie. After he got her expelled from the school she had always wanted to attend by having a girl drug her so she'd fall asleep in class.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron Tony/Iron Man doesn't really face any consequences in the end for his part in Ultron's creation. Meanwhile, though Captain America is easy to forgive the Maximoff twins it isn't so for the other Avengers.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, Caine quickly forgives Stinger for handing him and Jupiter over to Titus. Justified, as Stinger also alerted the authorities about the situation and only did it to save his ailing daughter. Stinger is also one of the few people skilled enough to help Caine save Jupiter, and he also makes clear there are no other potential reasons he might turn on Caine a second time.

    Folklore 

    Literature 
  • In A Brother's Price, Keifer Porter managed to be easily forgiven for everything he did, including hitting the thirteen year old Trini over the head, chaining her to his bed, beating her bloody, and servicing her. It was only Trini's eldest sister who forgave him, though, Trini never forgot it.
  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg is easily forgiven for talking rat-like beings on a ship into spoiling the food, causing Ward's blankets to be wet all the time, and gnawing holes into Ward's clothes. Justified, as Oreg is Ward's slave (Ward doesn't want a slave, he doesn't even approve of slavery, but A Wizard Did It and he has to cope with it.), and Ward did make a decision that Oreg views as betrayal. Ward also easily forgives Oreg for putting him into the awkward situation of having to kill him. Oreg apologizes, and ... well, one just can't be angry at The Woobie. As the magic on Oreg prevented him from committing suicide, that was his only option.
  • Fingerprints: A major villain from the first six books suddenly joins the heroes in the seventh. The reason for the Heel-Face Turn makes sense; the speed with which the main character accepts it does not. The villain even admits to being baffled by the hero's easy forgiveness.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Particularly in media set during the early days of the Rebel Alliance, the Rebels are such a small presence that they're always eager for new recruits, even recruits who have defected from the Empire. Even when these former Imperials have killed Rebels. Some of their best people are ex-Imperials who quit for various reasons. By the time of the X-Wing Series, around three or four years after Endor, attitudes have changed and members of the New Republic are suspicious of new ex-Imperials; Wedge Antilles is very ready to forgive former enemies, even ones he's flown against personally, but he's the exception. He and other characters argue about whether it's ever too late to change.
    • A repeated theme throughout numerous works mention that while Luke Easily Forgave Darth Vader for years of death and destruction after ten minutes of good behaviour (admittedly good behaviour that was essential in toppling The Empire), the rest of the galaxy most certainly did not, and still generally consider him one the greatest evils in galactic history. Leia in particular was originally outraged that Luke would forgive the "monster" that tortured her, and decades later while she admitted that he was essentially a good man, he was also a good man that did horrible things.
  • Twilight:
    • In New Moon, when Edward breaks up with Bella he gives her a number of different excuses and pretty much blatantly lies to her and hurts her feelings as he leaves. She then spends most of the book in a stupor because of this. Not once does she bring this up when they are reunited at the end of the book.
    • In Eclipse Edward bribes Alice to essentially kidnap Bella while he's away and hold her hostage in their house. This includes spying on Bella while she's at school, not letting her out of the house, and almost not letting her use the phone. Bella is understandably angry with Edward because of this, but the instant he comes back, she forgets all about that and starts making out with him.
  • At the end of Shadows Fall, all of the characters who have died in the previous battles come trooping through a door, arm in arm and chatting like best buds, even though the Knight Templar villains among them had been attempting to exterminate all the non-villains for the crime of being magical mere minutes before.
  • Hothouse Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire:
    • Armand puts Lila through numerous meaningless, life-threatening tasks until she finds a certain plant. When he tells Lila about this, she just laughs it off.
    • After Lila poisons and almost kills Diego with mandrake root in an effort to use its aphrodisiac propertied to make him have sex with her, she risks her life to save him, and he forgives her instantly, accepts "responsibility" for seducing her without intending to follow through and even falls in love with her.
  • Jane of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre silently forgives her fiance Rochester when he begs it even though he didn't tell her that he was already married to the Mad Woman In The Attic Bertha who was hidden in the same mansion. Though it takes time for the relationship to repair.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Hoo, boy! This trope certainly pops up. For example, Charles sends presidential men with gold shields to scare Jack Emery, but the men misconstrue the orders and give Jack a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the book Payback. Jack Emery knows that Charles is responsible for this, but after the book Free Fall, in which Jack becomes an honourary member of the Vigilantes and is revealed as this to the entire group, it seems that Jack has pretty much forgotten about the whole affair. Also, Jack and Ted Robinson start out as friends, become enemies by the book Free Fall, but once Ted more or less becomes a member by the book Collateral Damage, it's all cool now. Although Jack did say that they are trying to take it one step at a time.
  • In Warrior Cats, during the fifth book of Omen Of The Stars, Hollyleaf returns to ThunderClan and nobody cares about her crimes, even when they find out that she killed Ashfur.
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, all the Whos down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not. So he stole all their Christmas accoutrements and all their food. But he gave it back after, which apparently justified making him the guest of honor at Christmas dinner.
    • This happens in the movie version too, but with more detail. The mayor was a little reluctant to forgive, but the chief of police is willing to accept his apology (and this was after they explained the whole message to him that the story was trying to convey).
    The Grinch: I am the Grinch that stole Christmas... and I'm sorry. *beat* Aren't you going to cuff me? Put me in a choke hold? Blind me with pepper spray?
    Mayor Augustus Maywho: You heard him, Officer. He admitted it. I'd go with the pepper spray.
    Officer Wholihan: Yes, I heard him all right. He said he was sorry.
  • The LEP Recons don't have any problems with working with Artemis Fowl, even though their first contact with him was Artemis kidnapping one of them and threatening to break The Masquerade.
  • The House of Night:
    • In Hunted, Zoey comes across Stark forcing a girl to have sex with him. She is outraged by this and intervenes. A scene later, Zoey lets him sleep in her bed, next to her, because Stark says that being with her 'makes [him] feel more human'.
    • In Lenobia's Vow, Martin forgives Lenobia for lying about her identity (and impersonating a dead girl) after they have a two-page conversation about it. This could be a Justified Trope, as the two have only known each other for a few weeks...except for the part where Lenobia confesses her love to him immediately after, Martin does the same, and they go on to be a lovey-dovey couple. The fact that she has been lying to him since they met apparently doesn't affect their relationship at all.
  • In Song of the Lioness, King Roald the Peacemaker quickly forgives Alanna for her Sweet Polly Oliver deception, which is understandable since she just unmasked and stopped Roger's plot to take the throne which involved (among other things) slowly killing the Queen. When Roger apparently comes back from the dead, though, Roald gives him his lands and position in court right back because he hates conflict. In fairness, everyone else thinks the latter instance is a terrible idea.
  • Lissa Dragomir and Mia Rinaldi used to be bitter enemies in Vampire Academy. They hurt each other deeply at every opportunity. After Mia's mother is killed, Lissa has a change of heart and befriends her.

    Live Action TV 
  • All My Children: After The Reveal that Greenlee wasn't actually responsible for her son Spike's deafness, Kendall is quick to patch things up with her, apparently forgetting that, even if Spike's hearing loss wasn't her fault, Greenlee still tried to kidnap him and landed him in the hospital after getting in a car crash. Several people, such as Annie and Erica, even point this out to Kendall.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Boss Hogg and Rosco have conspired to harass the Duke family and schemed repeatedly to illegally evict them from their farm. Several times, particularly Rosco, the two have sent vicious criminals after Bo, Luke, Uncle Jesse and Daisy. In the real world, Boss would have been sent to prison (and likely barred from holding political office), Rosco would also be in prison (along with being decertified) and the Dukes would have sued their antagonists for harassment and numerous other charges. Still, both adversarial factions have acted more like old friends by each episode's end and all is forgiven... until the next time.
  • Subverted in the 1986 The Hogan Family episode "Leave It To Willie". 13-year-old Willie steals his father's car to go for a joy ride, damages it and another car in a hit-and-run accident and allows older brother David to take the blame. Willie has an Imagine Spot where he envisions a "happy ending" to his predicament, akin to his favorite TV show where all the characters end on a "happy note". When his mother learns the truth she is pissed, to say the least. She tells him that the issues involved — theft, causing a hit-and-run accident that could easily have ended in serious injury or worse, damaging his father's car and allowing an innocent person to be blamed — are not easily fixed and may take weeks, if not longer. Most importantly, her trust in Willie may take far longer to fix.
  • Farscape: Played remarkably straight in "DNA Mad Scientist". D'Argo, Zhaan, and Rygel cut off Pilot's arm (against his protests) in order to get maps that will help them return to their home planets. When John visits Pilot afterwards, Pilot excuses their actions because it is his duty serve those aboard Moya, no matter what. Though Pilot forgives the others quickly, John and Aeryn remain pretty pissed off.
  • Angel:
    • When Wesley kills Knox, restores his and Connor's memories of the past two seasons and lies to Angel about his willingness to kill Illyria Angel lets it all slide. Not that he could really afford firing him at that point.
    • Played straight to near exaggeration with Angel's son and his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Willow, who got Drunk on the Dark Side and tried to destroy the Earth, is welcomed back to the gang with open arms after a vacation in England. At that point all the other Scoobies had been temporarily evil at one point or another, so they're probably used to it, and Willow hates that she was so easily forgiven.
    • And Tara, with the blindness thing. And Xander with the musical demon. And Buffy, with the psychological institution one. And Angel, with the whole second half of Season 2. And Spike for... everything. Y'know, it's safe to say that just about everybody got one of these, at least.
    • The Scoobies generally forgave those who were close to them more easily than those outside their inner circle. Faith had to work harder for forgiveness (getting it first from Angel, then from Willow, and ultimately from Buffy). Amy was particularly pissed that the gang took 3 years to transform her from a rat back to human, and then very quickly cast her out, which influenced her Face-Heel Turn.
    • Buffy flaunts this when she breaks off her relationship with Spike. She isn't worried about him ratting her out because she knows her friends won't care that she's been banging Spike, since they aren't particularly upset that she tried to kill them all in the previous episode (though she was under a mystical influence at the time). Subverted by the end when the gang finds out; while Willow and Dawn accept it relatively easily, Xander reacts exactly as Buffy feared he would: with shock and horror.
  • Amusingly subverted in an episode of Firefly, where Simon figures out that Jayne had sold out both River and himself in a previous episode. Simon doesn't forgive Jayne, but he does point out they have way too many mutual enemies as it stands, and that constantly being at each others' throats over this would be pointless and stupid. Then, as he leaves, River sticks her head in, looks directly at Jayne, and warns, "I can kill you with my brain."
  • Torchwood:
    • Captain Jack is shot dead by Owen. Despite how Owen was unaware that Jack would resurrect, Jack easily forgives him.
    • In that same episode, the team mutinies against Jack and unintentionally releases a giant monster that steals the life force of anyone its giant shadow falls upon. Jack manages to destroy it by letting it feed of him. However, the effort leaves him dead for three days, which is the longest to date that he's ever stayed dead. He still forgives the team, minutes after reviving.
    • In "Cyberwoman", we find out Ianto's been hiding a dangerous Cyberman in the basement. He endangers the whole planet, tells the main character he wants him dead and is forgiven by the end of the episode.
    • In "Exit Wounds", Captain Jack forgives his brother, Grey, for burying him alive for almost exactly 1900 years. By 'alive' we mean that he suffocated to death and then revived every couple of minutes for nineteen centuries as the city of Cardiff is established above him. Mind you, this is after Grey has John Hart systematically blow up Cardiff, in addition to stabbing Jack in the back (literally!) when they're first reunited. Jack blames his own failure to protect his brother for being the root cause of all this. And he didn't know what had happened to Owen and Tosh until after the forgiving.
  • Lord Edmund Blackadder has done plenty of heinous things to his pals Baldrick and Percy, however neither holds a grudge towards him, most probably because they would need brains first to hold one.
  • Doctor Who:
    • During his tenure as companion, The Brigadier can get away with anything, from general Jerkass attitude to being The Load or The Millstone to committing a genocide against defenceless Silurians when the Doctor ordered him twice not to do it, in his second story as a companion. No matter how abrasive, bureaucratic, misguided or borderline fascist he gets, the Doctor is straight back to working with him in the next story, with maybe a throwaway line about his reliance on Five Rounds Rapid gets helpless Red Shirts killed or a bit of eyerolling if he was exceptionally awful last week. Even when the Doctor eventually does have a change of hearts (and face) and finally dumps the Brigadier, it's out of boredom rather than judgement and they remain on good terms for life and even beyond.
    • Whenever the Doctor is in a Manipulative Bastard mood, particularly the Seventh and Eleventh, he'll use people as metaphorical pawns and put millions of lives at risk for some nebulous plan nobody but him is aware of. His companions will give some lip service about how he can't be trusted, then get back to unquestioningly trusting him by the next episode and acting like he can do no wrong.
    • In the finale of Series 3 of the reboot series, the Master's reign of terror over the earth is ended. Said reign of terror involved the murder of at least one tenth of the Earth's population, the enslavement of the remaining nine tenths, messing with the Doctor's physical aging process and rendering him wheelchair-bound for most of the year and birdcage-bound for the rest, the repeated killing of the aforementioned Captain Jack, and building weapons with which he planned to take over and/or destroy the rest of the universe. At the point of the Master's defeat, the Doctor finally says that "one thing" he had to say to the Master, which he'd hinted at several times in the episode. What did he say? I forgive you.
      • Those aren't even close to The Master's greatest crimes. He once was responsible for the destruction of a large portion of the Universe.
  • Degrassi The Next Generation does this to a ridiculous extent to justify the current Heel-Face Turn. Things which Degrassi villains
have done, all of which were forgiven promptly by the victim after the turn include stealing irreplaceable property, taking credit for a subordinate's work then firing the subordinate for complaining, posting topless photos of a classmate on the internet and broadcasting it on every computer in the school (which is by law a sex crime), helping a pedophile stalk a classmate purely for the fun of it(!), and being the leading cause of a student being shot and paralyzed from the waist down.
  • Happens a lot on Rome. Eirene goes from hating Pullo for having killed her fiancé in cold blood to agreeing to marry him within the course of an episode. Caesar forgives Brutus for siding with Pompey in the civil war. Vorenus forgives Pullo not once but twice, the first time when he watches Pullo fighting for his life in the gladiator arena and the second when Pullo has found out that Vorenus' daughters are not dead but have been sold to slavery. Antonius and Octavius quickly set aside their previous battle-to-the-death differences and join forces to fight against Brutus and Cassius. Many of these scenarios involving historical figures actually played out that way in real life. It could probably be best described in the words of Antonius:
    Atia: Why would Servilia want to see me, she hates me!
    Antonius: So do I. But that's no bar to friendship.
  • In Power Rangers in Space, Astronema is quickly pardoned by the Rangers when she surrenders to them and makes a first attempt at a Heel-Face Turn. Late in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy she even becomes a Power Ranger herself, and no one has any qualms with it.
  • A staple of Gossip Girl. Anything can be forgiven if you're one of the main characters, related to one of the main characters, or have feelings for one of the main characters. Examples include Serena's father giving her mother fake cancer, Chuck selling Blair for a hotel, one of Serena's boyfriends running a Ponzi scheme on everyone, Serena's mother getting Serena put in jail over a theft she didn't commit, and too many incidences of cheating and screwing over to list. They might not be smart or moral people, but holy crap they're forgiving.
  • Heroes season 3: Elle seems to forgive Sylar a bit too easily for killing her father. It's true, she did try her best to kill him at first, but subsequently it looks more like that was self loathing than hatred. This is remarked upon by Noah.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Zelena tried to remove Emma's magic by cursing Hook's lips. Hook was threatened that if he didn't kiss her, Zelena would start killing the people Emma loved. Hook's solution to this was to not tell anybody what had happened, despite the fact that Zelena threatened to go after Henry first. After being threatened with Henry's life, Hook tried to help Henry run away to New York without Emma's knowledge. Before they could get anywhere, they were attacked by Zelena. Henry would have died if Emma and the Charmings hadn't of shown up. Hook got called out for not telling the truth, with Emma and Charming saying that they didn't know how they could trust him after this. Ten minutes into the next episode, however, Charming has done a 180 and talks Emma into taking Hook with her, despite her reservations. Hook's dishonesty is never brought up again after that episode.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time", Spock tries to kill Kirk twice, yet by the end of the episode, they're best pals again. Justified in that Spock was under a once-every-seven-years madness and tried to fight it for as long as he could.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Enabran Tain, Garak's father, is responsible for exiling Garak before the start of the show and also tried to assassinate him in series 3. Garak forgives him for both these things.
    • Since having a half-Bajoran child by a Bajoran mistress will ruin Gul Dukat's career and marriage, Dukat tries to murder Ziyal in series 4. She forgives him.
    • Damar murders Ziyal in series 6. In series 7, Garak and Kira are sent to work with him to liberate Cardassia. Aside from one comment Kira makes to Sisko about Damar killing Ziyal, neither Garak nor Kira ever raise the subject with Damar, never seek to avenge her death and end up friends with Damar by the end of the show. This is despite Ziyal being Kira's ward and Garak's lover. Word of God states that Kira and Garak's actors wanted to address it but the show's producers were afraid Damar couldn't be redeemed if the actors got their way, so they ignored the subject entirely. This and the above represent a case of Deliberate Values Dissonance - killing is subject to different morals for Cardassians in general, and these characters in particular.
    • Quark commits numerous straight-up crimes over the course of the series and never seems to get in any permanent trouble for them. Possibly the most outrageous example is in "Invasive Procedures", where he allows an obsessed criminal and his band of mercenaries onto the station; they take the senior staff hostage while the leader jeopardizes Jadzia's life by surgically removing and kidnapping her symbiont. Kira tells him "You've crossed the line this time. You sold us out, and Dax may die because of it. Whatever happens next, one thing's certain... You're through here." Quark does come up with a ruse to help defeat the criminals, but still, the matter is never discussed again. Even actor Armin Shimerman (who plays Quark) said he thought the total lack of consequences for Quark's behavior, in general but in particular in this episode, was absurd, and made both his character and Odo (who is never able to prosecute him) look less serious.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Played with in "Forever in a Day". Teal'c shoots Amonet (in Sha're's body) to save Daniel's life and Daniel spends the episode very much in the This Is Unforgivable! camp... until he realizes that he is still being tortured by Amonet and everything else was a hallucination while Sha're tried to communicate with him. When Teal'c does shoot Amonet, Daniel's first words are "You did the right thing, Teal'c." In this case, he had already had a chance to work through his anger and come to terms with the situation, but to everyone else it must have seemed amazingly quick.
    • Teal'c is an example of the trope done right. Nobody in the SGC seems concerned that Teal'c has killed or enslaved thousands of people, many personally, as First Prime of Apophis. It gets brought up a couple times that Teal'c has never forgiven himself for the things he did while First Prime, and has become The Atoner and a bit of a Death Seeker as penance. A season one episode has Teal'c calmly ready to accept a Kangaroo Court execution, never shying away from the responsibility of the people he's killed. In said episode the people putting him on trial do forgive him, but only after saving them from other Jaffa. Much later in The Ark of Truth, when Tomin defects to SG-1 and feels majorly guilty over all of the things he's done, Teal'c explains to Tomin (from personal experience) that he will never forgive himself and he needs to accept that. Instead, he should commit his life to trying to help others, even though he can't actually make up for the mistakes of his past.
    Teal'c: One day others may try to convince you they have forgiven you. That is more about them than you. For them, imparting forgiveness is a blessing.
    Tomin: How do you go on?
    Teal'c: It is simple. You will never forgive yourself. Accept it. You hurt others, many others. That cannot be undone. You will never find personal retribution. But your life does not have to end. That which is right, just, and true can still prevail. If you do not fight for what you believe in, all may be lost for everyone else. But do not fight for yourself. Fight for others, others that may be saved through your effort. That is the least you can do.
  • After the whole Bosco/Faith/Cruz shooting incident at the end of Season 4 of Third Watch, and also after the Faith/Cruz/Donald Mann shooting incident at the end of Season 5, enemies Faith and Cruz are soon back to work alongside each other.
  • Cleverly subverted in Lost season 5 with Ben and Locke. You'd think Locke would be angrier, but since it turns out to be an evil entity impersonating Locke (who wanted Locke dead), it makes sense.
  • CSI: Miami: Ryan WITHHOLDS EVIDENCE from a crime scene because a friend's son has been kidnapped by the Russian mob, which he only tells Horatio, yet despite very realistic anger from the rest of his team when he finally produces the evidence, by next episode it seems to not only have been forgiven but forgotten too.
  • Robin Hood:
    • Ask yourself: would you go on a field-trip with the man who brutally slaughtered your wife? Robin does. Made even more idiotic considering Robin doesn't display any such altruism toward Isabella or Allan, whose crimes against him are barely a blip on the radar screen compared to Guy's.
    • In her first appearance Kate sells out Robin's whereabouts to Guy in order to secure the safety of her brother. You can't says that she's Easily Forgiven, as Robin and the outlaws don't even seem to think that there's anything wrong with it in the first place.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Damon. Over and over and over again. He murders people on a whim, uses his Mind Control powers to effectively rape people, torments his brother and murders his best friend, it's strongly implied he was about to force himself on Elena when her brother interrupted them, in response he murdered him and within a few episodes they're acting as he's just one of the team. When he does something that isn't reprehensible they act as though he's done something laudable, as opposed to adhering to minimum standards of acceptable behavior. Then he does something not-horrifying, and it makes everyone think "well, maybe he can change..." and then he kills someone just to prove that he's still evil. The only reason they haven't killed him is because he's Stefan's brother and he can't bring himself to kill him)
    • Played with when Esther (who was murdered centuries ago by her son Klaus) returns from the dead. Klaus fully expects her to take revenge against him, but instead she forgives him immediately and attempts to bring the entire family together. It later turns out that while she truly does love Klaus and has forgiven him, she regrets turning her children into vampires and wants to wipe out the whole race.
  • Smallville:
    • In the episode "Rage", Chloe doesn't seem to mind Lionel Luthor's presence at the dinner table, despite his earlier attempts to kill her.
    • Chloe is just amazing at forgiving people. Clark does all sorts of horrible things to her all the time, although he is usually on red kryptonite or something.
    • Chloe is also completely friendly to Oliver's presence in "Hex" when the last episode they met, he killed Lex Luthor, framed it on someone else and blackmailed her into keeping quiet. Though given she herself had killed to protect Clark.
    • Chloe herself tends to be forgiven quite easily for every immoral thing she does. Constantly stepping over her boundaries with people without a thought to their feelings, such as contacting someone she believed to be Clark's real mom, ripping Lana a new one for what, in comparison to her own serious violations of trust amounted to Lana's curiosity getting the best of her, that is looking at a couple pics of her dancing with Clark, stabbing Clark in the back and agreeing to spy on him for Lionel Luthor, having the gall to call her betrayal a "stupid decision in a moment of weakness" while throwing Clark's rightful anger in his face when he had just been struck blind, and in "Truth" outed a gay student in front of his friend and crush and mocked him about it, tried to force Clark to reveal his secret, tried to have his parents reveal the secret since her newfound power didn't work on him, humiliated Pete and Lex by making them reveal their own secrets. The rest of Smallville High seem surprisingly cool with her after the damage that was caused, and even nominate her as Prom Queen in Season 4.
    • Tess Mercer is a pretty glaring example. While some might point out she certainly did a lot to prove herself, it's quite jarring that the Justice League would sweep her multiple counts of attempted and successful murder under the rug. At least with Lionel, it was made clear they merely tolerate him, and it wouldn't do them any good to be rid of such a powerful ally, but all of them seem to treat Tess like family. It's especially disturbing with Clark, who had promised Bette that she'd pay for her crimes.
    • The most glaring of all would have to be Ultraman. Despite being such a murderous psychopath that he once mused that it "felt strange not to have blood on my hands before lunch", and killed countless innocent people, including (an alternate universe)Oliver Queen at the beginning of the episode he's forgiven. Instead of being locked away for his numerous counts of murder among a massive list of other, lesser crimes he gets a heart-to-heart talk and is last seen activating his own Fortress of Solitude.
  • iCarly: In iCan't Take It, Sam ruins Freddie's chances of getting into an exclusive science camp that would help him get into any college he wants. Because Freddie didn't know what time it was when Sam asked him. Freddie finds out and gets angry, then then forgives her about 2 minutes after and kisses her again to end the episode.
  • Babylon 5: Downplayed example when Delenn reveals to G'Kar that she deliberately concealed knowledge regarding the Shadows that could have saved G'Kar's homeworld... at the cost of starting the Shadow War before the younger races were ready. G'Kar understands, and decides she was almost certainly right... but he doesn't forgive her. At least, not that day.
  • Played with in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The characters tend to stay pissed for the duration of an episode, but are usually over it in the next. Bear in mind though that episodes tend to take place over a few days, and there is no telling how far apart episodes are. Stabler and Benson tend to forgive each other pretty quickly, but that makes sense considering how long they've known each other. Fin however was pissed at Stabler for awhile. It's implied that he forgives him, after a pedophile attempts to post a picture of Stabler's underage daughter on the internet and Stabler beats him half to death. Fin considers this to be a sign of extreme restraint, as he would have killed the man outright.
  • Sons of Anarchy:
    • The bikers are able to forgive each other a lot of crap. Extreme transgressions (like murdering another member's wife) will also be forgiven if they were done for the good of the club. However, betraying the club or failure to back up another member are seen as unforgivable offenses and treated with extreme prejudice.
    • This is played with in the feud between Tiggs and Kozik. Tiggs cannot forgive Kozik even years after the events and the audience is left to wonder for a long time what was that so bad that it caused such a rift between them. It turns out it was over the death of a dog.
  • Played straight then averted in Warehouse 13, mostly because the recipient blew it. Only Myka trusts HG at first and forgives her for her villainy, too easily, and goes over Artie's head to get her reinstated. Then HG goes and tries to destroy the world by waking up the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone because of her own angst. She's stopped, but Myka leaves after this, blaming herself. (It's a 10-Minute Retirement, of course.) HG seems to have learned her lesson, and she's far from trusted; she is initially kept in a Tailor-Made Prison and communicates via hologram, and that she can be seriously bad news comes up whenever she appears. Also, it takes an entire season for Pete to truly forgive her for making his best friend leave.
  • In the 2-part episode "Home" from early in the second season of Battlestar Galactica , President Laura Roslin is not only easily forgiven by Commander Adama for her dissent at the end of the first season that threatened to tear the Colonial Fleet apart, she's easily reinstated. A mere handful of episodes later, Adama begins to fall in love with her.
  • Justin and Alex in Wizards of Waverly Place cycle through this. Lampshaded and inverted a few times.
  • In Pretty Little Liars, Paige ambushes Emily at the pool and holds her head under water to get back at her for a perceived slight (she thought Emily had told their coach about a homophobic remark Paige made, and was jealous of Emily's faster times to begin with). She does apologize in the next episode, but it's a little perplexing that her just saying "sorry" was enough to make Emily totally comfortable swimming alone with her when it had only been a couple of days.
  • Jirou from Kamen Rider Kiva gets away with kidnapping and attempting to rape Yuri. Even Yuri is buddy-buddy with him the next time they meet.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Skye lies about her true reasons for joining S.H.I.E.L.D. and leaks classified information to her old boyfriend, who then sells it to Centipede, resulting in the deaths of several people. Coulson does make her wear a bracelet that keeps her from using her hacking skills for a few episodes, but otherwise doesn't seem to hold it against her, Fitz and Simmons forgive her instantly, and when Ward hasn't forgiven her in the very next episode it's treated as him being incredibly petty (and of course, he comes around by the end of it too). May never liked Skye much to begin with, but doesn't seem to hold any resentment over the betrayal.

    Music 
  • "A Quick One While He's Away" by The Who; the girl who is the subject of the song is forgiven by her long-absent boyfriend immediately after admitting her infidelity with Ivor the engine driver. Although, said boyfriend mentions he wasn't entirely faithful himself.
  • "Escape (The Pina Colada Song". There are apparently no repercussions between the couple who were both planning on cheating, but he just happened to answer her anonymous personal ad.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Subverted when Susie decides to forgive Calvin for some nasty things he said that made her cry. He's so overjoyed that she immediately rethinks this decision:
    "On second thought, let's see you grovel a little!"
    • Calvin causes the family car to roll out the driveway and fall down a ditch across the street. He and Hobbes hide in a tree, but is confused to find his parents are more concerned about whether he was safe than about the car (which, incidentally, wasn't damaged).
    • In one story arc Hobbes sends Calvin insulting messages through the mail. When Calvin finds out, he's furious, but as soon as he declares he and Hobbes are through, Hobbes suggests sending insulting messages to Susie. Calvin immediately forgives him.
  • Subverted and played straight in FoxTrot when Quincy eats Paige's signed boyband picture. Andy bends over backwards to appease Paige, and when Paige calls herself on this, Andy forgives her without a second thought.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Christopher Daniels, Chris Hero and Kevin Steen all got off pretty light in Ring of Honor, considering each one of them lead a movement to destroy it. For reference, Low Ki was banned for life when he allegedly broke the commissioner's tooth despite at least nominally being against the CZW invasion. For that matter, Bryan Danielson for betraying ROH to CZW just to screw over Samoa Joe also got off pretty easily. Roderick Strong called out the audience for cheering Steen while he was still in the process of burying the company. Despite the prevalence of this in the promotion, there was a major aversion in the cases of Jimmy Jacobs, Steve Corino and Matt Hardy's S.C.U.M. involvement at least.
  • In WWE, this seems characteristic of Paul Heyman's regime. Never mind what an asshole he was, how many times he betrayed, lied, extorted and so forth, The Dudley Boys, The Big Show and Brock Lesnar all ended up going back to Heyman.
  • According to Dave Milan, Mercedes Martinez agreed to be the tag team partner of her cousin Shelly even after Shelly planted false evidence that Mercedes was an illegal immigrant, not even one from a particularly familiar country to her, and then tried to steal her husband while she was dealing with the resulting mess. Still couldn't bring herself to beat Shelly's face in even after she by then predictably betrayed Mercedes again (though the latter was more an authors saving throw for a match that underwhelmed)
  • The reconciliation between Matt and Jeff Hardy. Essentially Matt said that he had made a mistake and Jeff forgave him. The "mistake" apparently involved Matt repeatedly trying to murder Jeff and/or end his career several times, burning Jeff's house to the ground, and killing his dog. The forgiveness came only a couple months after the end of their fighting over it.
  • Pretty common following the standard Heel-Face Turn: often the reformed heel doesn't even have to earn redemption, as it's enough that he's agreed not to be mean anymore. In extreme cases, he can even continue to be mean, as long as he's only mean to heels or if he's "funny" mean as opposed to being a jerk about it. Lampshaded histrionically by Christian who was outraged that Randy Orton is allowed to do whatever the hell he wants in WWE. He screamed at Triple H to do something about the situation in his capacity as Chief Operating Officer, demanding to know if the COO even cared that Orton once attacked his father-in-law and brother-in-law and terrorized his wife. Apparently Triple H didn't care.
  • This can be particularly egregious in cases of tag-team matches. Seeing a total monster, one who's undergone a Heel-Face Turn, teaming up with the same person whose life they destroyed a few months earlier is not that unusual in pro wrestling. Triple H even got to lampshade this trope at the 2007 Survivor Series when his partners (Kane, Jeff Hardy, and Rey Mysterio) all called him out on his actions against them over the years, even bringing up the Katie Vick angle. They still teamed up and won their match.
  • Apparently if you concuss Cody Rhodes, his father, and his best friend then he'll be perfectly happy to hang out with you after an argument or two, as he did with Randy Orton.
  • Played straight in TNA with The Beautiful People, at least when it comes to the two founding members, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky. Though "Velvet Love Entertainment" keep reuniting against all sense, third member Madison Rayne did end up washing her hands of the group after one slight too many.

    Theater 
  • William Shakespeare:
    • The title character of Richard III manages to seduce and marry Lady Anne after killing both her husband and her father-and-law. Earlier, she explicitly cursed any woman stupid enough to marry him.
    • In Two Gentlemen of Verona, Proteus tries to rape his best friend's girlfriend. His best friend and his own girlfriend both forgive him, after seeing him do it. By the end of the scene, his best friend is talking about how much fun it'll be for the four of them to live in a house together.
    • Claudio from Much Ado About Nothing reveals Hero's (untrue) unfaithfulness at their wedding. When Hero reappears after faking her death, the two are together in literally seconds. Though it should be noted that only Hero easily forgives him here; before this, the other characters make him go through a big repentance ceremony in order for him to earn their forgiveness.
  • In Aphra Behn's The Rover, at one point or another just about all of Belvile's friends try to rape his love interest Florinda, in some cases after mistaking her for a prostitute. But then they find out Florinda is Belvile's love interest and not a prostitute, and all is A-OK. Florinda's sister even marries one of them.
  • In The Golden Apple, Helen is immediately forgiven by her husband Menelaus when he wins her back from the Traveling Salesman she ran away with. The Boys are understandably upset about this, considering how much effort they went to.

    Video Games 
  • The Dead or Alive series of fighting games are so thoroughly removed from the terrible-but-somehow-great Xtreme spinoff. The best example is that Christie murdered Helena's mother, but buy her a couple of gifts and suddenly she'll pair up for volleyball matches and mutual sun-tan oil application. With the woman who murdered her mother. Covering her in her mother's blood. While they were both on stage in an opera. In an opera house that then caught fire.
  • Fallout 3:
    • A major sidequest ends when you get a man to return to his home town, days after he killed and ate a full 20% of its inhabitants. Although the group that took him in after he did so also took the fall for it and taught him how to avoid this from happening again.
    • Mezmerizing and enslaving a non-specific city resident of Megaton or Rivet City counts as "assault". It will make the whole city hostile, but if you can escape without killing anyone, they will accept you back 3 days later.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Sora sure is quick to forgive Riku after turning evil, working with the villains, kidnapping multiple princesses, including Kairi, stealing the Keyblade from him, stealing his friends, then outright trying to murder him. Keep in mind, none of these were done while he was possessed by Ansem; they were all of his own volition. And yet as soon as Sora beats Ansem, he's immediately best friends with Riku again. It's pretty bad when the only one mad at Riku for his heinous actions is himself.
  • Summoner:
    • Joseph (the protagonist) was being taught how to use his powers to summon creatures using a magical ring by Yago, but when bandits attacked his village, he decided to summon a mighty demon to help fight them. The demon went completely out of control, killing bandits and villagers alike (including his family), causing Joseph to be exiled by the refugees of his Doomed Hometown. Joseph threw the ring down a well and said he never wanted to see Yago again. In spite of this, Yago was the first person Joseph ran to when the Orenians went gunning for him, and he fell hook, line and sinker for Yago's advice again. Although, it turns out that Yago was possessed by the Demon of Darkness from within the ring (the demon Joseph summoned) at the time, and tricked Joseph into summoning him on purpose.
    • Jekhar swore that he would kill his childhood friend Joseph for destroying his village and slaughtering his family with the demon years ago. In spite of numerous opportunities to do so, he never does. He never even menaces him except for the first two times you bump into him.
    • Yago abandoned his wife and their unborn daughter, Rosalind, to seek ringlore. When you ask Rosalind (now, after her mother's death, a member of a cloistered society of monks who must never return if she leaves) to abandon her vows and come with you on Yago's behalf, she actually does so. While she is very confrontational with Yago, she never tries to bring him to task for his dastardly behavior.
    • Joseph forgives Flece pretty fast after she's been betraying him nearly since they met. Of course, she is so guilt-ridden that she goes to save him soon after, but still.
    • Flece forgives Aoqi (really her mother Quifeng) pretty easily for Tancred's murder. Although her reasons were rather compelling, it remains that she was basically a stranger who killed the only father Flece ever knew.
  • Professor Layton:
    • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: The main villain kidnapped the prime minister and a bunch of scientists, hired mafia, made life a living hell for multiple people, played people against each other, committed genocide, and destroyed most of London. He gets off with a few years in jail.
    • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask: The main villain tried to destroy the entire city and drown its inhabitants in sand out of petty revenge because he listened to some guy he didn't know instead of his friends. To a lesser extent he framed a couple of people and put Luke in danger. But because he's friends with everybody and was really sorry, he is not only welcomed back by everybody, but gets the entire city.
  • Super Robot Wars Original Generation (and indeed just about any installment in the series, licensed mecha or not) absolutely loves this trope. Major and minor villains alike often find their way into the protagonist's squadron, no matter how grievous the crimes they committed - up to and not including nearly killing the main character, being a pain in the ass for the majority of the game, nearly enslaving earth, or even being accomplice to the destruction of the entire dimension. Examples:
    • Ingram, who was revealed to be Brainwashed And Scheming all along.
    • Shu, who attempted to do an Earth-Shattering Kaboom in a plan to free himself from an evil God. The aftermath after his death is Masaki, his own rival that utterly hates him... sheds a tear for him. This happens in EVERY INSTALLMENT where they duke it out, not just OG.
    • Juergen 'killed' Lamia in OG Gaiden, then everyone else pitied him for 'not being himself and got consumed by his own creation'. Compared to the likes of Archibald, who has done lots of *** s to the Bransteins and condemned to death even when it faces him, they were pretty merciful towards Juergen.
    • Duminuss, who was stripped from every sympathy she had in R, got a special mention, even though mostly everyone else didn't show any sympathy. She messed Lamia up by turning her Brainwashed and Crazy. But after she was returned to her senses, she easily forgives Duminuss, never mind all those crimes to her, what matters the most was 'She brought her back to life'. In here 'forgive' as in she didn't hold a complete grudge on her, and defeats her because she's in the way not It's Personal.
    • Non-OG is not safe from this. In Super Robot Wars Destiny you can recruit Katejina Loos and instantly forgive every single act of sheer depravity that she has done. In the game's storyline, Katejina hasn't committed as many acts of sheer depravity as she did in the show, so this makes somewhat more sense.
  • Shadow Of Destiny: Eike is way too forgiving; he immediately accepts Mr. Eckhart's apology for trying to push Eike off a tower and he thinks Hugo's just a sweet kid despite him repeatedly trying to murder Eike.
  • In Tales of the Abyss the party instantly forgives Anise when they find out she'd been spying on them for the villain over the course of three quarters of the game, and directly helped to kill one of the most important people helping to stop both a world war and an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Sub-Zero holds no grudge at all against Frost for betraying him. Rather than killing her, he freezes her out of mercy, then laid her to rest in an ancient temple, all the while blaming himself for the whole thing. Sadly, when Frost recovered, she misunderstood the whole situation and thought he had left her to die. Some people never get any breaks.
  • Tales of Vesperia:
    • Raven kidnaps Estelle and willingly hands her over to Alexei. The consequences of this (apocalypse) are wholly known to Raven. And then when you meet Raven again, he makes a full on attempt to kill you. And how does the party react when he has a change of heart and decide to come back? They bop him over the head and conveniently forget about it for the rest of the game aside from around two minor references. And this party includes Yuri, a man who, throughout the game, has shown that he's more than willing to kill someone for a lot less.
    • Duke tries to kill every human in order to save the planet. After defeating him and saving the world, the gang casually wave to him as he walks away and is later seen playing with animals in the peaceful new world. Upon his defeat, he does lend his power to Yuri's plan, which could be seen as very redeeming.
    • No one seems to mind that Judith damaged the party's ship and abandoned them after she rejoins. She did have arguably two good reasons, but still.
  • Tales of Legendia is a prime example. Shirley ("So who cares if our only experience with you is the part where you tried to destroy the land and kill millions of people? You're part of the team now."), Chloe ("Guys, we have to save the chick who just ran me through with a sword!"), Jay ("Well, obviously he had a reason for kidnapping her."), Alcott ("Sure, you killed hundreds of people and served as general to an evil regime, but it was all for your sick daughter, so we forgive you."), and Maurits (...let's just not go there.) In the game itself this comes off more like an example of the party's endearing-if-stupid idealism than anything else.
  • Gaspard in Dark Chronicle. Yes, he's a Noble Demon with a tragic past, but the main heroine Monica forgave him surprisingly easily after this was made clear even though she spent most of the game prior hating him for killing her father.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • The transition of the Turks from villains (albeit quirky ones) to comic relief, Heel Face Turned semi-heroes in the Compilation feels a little odd given how they detonated the support tower for the Sector 7 plate (destroying the heroes' homes, killing the original AVALANCHE crew and countless innocent people in the process) in the original game. Cloud in Advent Children seems to be the only person who mistrusts them. There is also a "just doing our jobs" scene in Crisis Core, where Tseng (one of the Turks), lets a village be bombed to erase evidence and doesn't show remorse over it. Zack does not take that lightly, and spends the rest of the game remembering it.
    • Yuffie commits (literal) Wutai Theft and is welcomed back more or less unchanged.
  • Final Fantasy IV:
    • Rydia is an interesting case in that she, like Edge, rejoins the party after Kain returns the first time, but doesn't necessarily hold his betrayal or his role in the destruction of her village against him. Averted when she initially has difficulty forgiving Cecil for his role in destroying Mist, but becomes more willing to do so after he risks his life to save her from Baron soldiers. More to the point, she spends roughly a decade in the Land of Summoned Monsters, so she has all that time to mature and reflect on things; it doesn't fully explain trusting Kain since she last saw him betraying Cecil (who'd vouched for his trustworthiness and was hurt by the apparent betrayal), but it's likely she's smart enough (and informed enough) to realise his intent.
    • This one's an extreme spoiler, but in Final Fantasy IV The After Years the child Maenad who is adopted by Rydia in the ending. Despite implications of sharing a Hive Mind with the rest of her race, Leviathan and Asura (who, until recently, had been enslaved by the Maenad) do not show any traces of resenting the child.
  • Final Fantasy XII: It doesn't take long for Player Character Vaan to forgive Basch, the man who supposedly assassinated Dalmasca's king and killed Vaan's older brother Reks. There is very good reason for this; he was framed by his Evil Twin Gabranth and Vaan saw Gabranth interrogating him.
  • And then there's Final Fantasy II, which plays it straight in that Firion, Maria and Guy are all perfectly willing to forgive and forget Leon's betrayal, but also subverts it in that Leon isn't as willing to forgive himself and he departs on a Redemption Quest in the end, with the others promising to welcome him back whenever he chooses to return.
  • In Tekken, Craig Marduk killed Armor King in the 4th series; in turn, the second King beats the crap out of Marduk, only to refuse to kill him out of vengeance... well, that was forgiving, but not easy. Then, in the 5th series, Marduk goes on to disgrace Armor King by raiding some matches wearing his black jaguar mask and issuing a challenge to King. After the challenge is settled, they suddenly become best buds, as if Armor King's disgrace is easily forgotten...
  • Warcraft:
    • The Orcs, under demonic influence at the time, threatened to destroy the "human" world of Azeroth, twice. After their defeat, most are rounded up and put in internment camps, where they languish for a generation in withdrawal from the dark energy that gave them greater power, the humans understandably not trying to treat this near-suicidal depression. When a new warchief named Thrall frees his people, he has no grudge against them, having seen both the best and worst of humans, and departs to find a new land. He later finds himself working alongside Jaina Proudmoore, who can't even remember when the orcs were a threat, to unite against a greater threat. Aside from these two however, pretty much everyone, orc and human, does not easily forgive the other side.
    • Played with in The Shattering Prelude to Cataclysm. Baine Bloodhoof realizes that Garrosh Hellscream did not intentionally kill his father, but also acknowledges that he was partly responsible for his death by making the mak'gora to the death and not being vigilant enough in allowing his weapon to get poisoned. While his judgment of Garrosh remains unfavorable even in light of the new information, he decides not to challenge Garrosh, though, but work with him for the sake of the Horde.
    • Garrosh's own father, Grom Hellscream, could also be considered an example. In a Dying Moment of Awesome, he kills Mannoroth, ending the Pit Lord's control over the Orcs... And in doing so, is instantly forgiven for the rather large part he played in getting the Orcs corrupted in the first place. Grom is remembered by Thrall's Horde as being a great hero, rather than an Orc whose tragic flaw nearly doomed their race.
  • In Tony Hawk's Underground the player character (i.e. you) does this twice to his "best friend" Eric Sparrow: first when Eric purposefully didn't sign your name for the Tampa Am competition so you wouldn't go up against him and later when Eric stole the footage of your amazing "jumping over the helicopter" stunt and instead submitted footage of his own stunts in the spot you discovered, thus earning Eric a promotion to Pro status. It takes Eric getting drunk, stealing a Russian tank, crashing it into a building and framing you for it for your character to realize what a Jerkass he is.
  • Touhou does this (and Defeat Means Friendship) so often that it's part of the structure of the setting. Youkai need to antagonise humans on a regular basis, because their existence depends on humans fearing them, and humans regularly go on youkai "extermination" hunts (really a ritualised sort of Non-Lethal Warfare) to keep them from getting too rowdy. Everyone is aware of and most are happy with the system, so any sort of trouble-making is just treated as a mild nuisance and the perpetrators can go on their way after the whole thing is over; even, say, attempting to bathe the surface world in nuclear fire is fine after you have some sense beaten into you. The few exceptions are for the ones who don't abide by the system; Tenshi Hinanawi is shunned by everyone after causing an incident purely for the sake of an incident (even Reimu, who usually regards perpetrators with the same indifference, dislikes Tenshi because she destroyed her shrine), and Impossible Spell Card sees Seija Kijin made public enemy number one after she tried to perform an upheaval of the social order in Double Dealing Character (though in her case, being an amanojaku, she's so contrary that she loves being hated).
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Revan starts a bloody violent war against the Republic, all in the name of putting in place a stronger government to fight against the True Sith he has had a vision of. Then he kills the guy who picked up the mantle, gets a medal and is hailed as a hero. It's almost justified by how Revan's identity is kept a secret... but then Vandar declares him 'Revan, the Prodigal Knight' at the celebration following the Sith defeat in front of hundreds of Republic officers.
    • Bastila is pretty easily forgiven for going to the dark side (since she was tortured) and using her Battle Meditation to allow the Sith to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of Republic officers. And then she acts surprised and somewhat disgusted that Revan attempted to redeem and forgive Malak, despite her getting the same treatment not even an hour before.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, in the Sith Warrior storyline the most you can do to Malavai Quinn for his betrayal is to force-choke him before angrily inviting him back into your party. This is most likely due to the fact that as the healer companion to a melee-heavy character, he's probably the most useful companion gameplay-wise.
  • In The World Ends with You, Neku and Beat don't hold Rhyme's erasure against Kariya and Uzuki at any point. Granted, Kariya and Uzuki did risk their safety by giving them a keypin that is vital to their quest, but the incident in question made Beat quite angry with the Reapers at the time.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, Nathaniel Howe will express disbelief if you offer to conscript him into the Wardens instead of hanging him for scheming to kill you. You can respond by claiming that some of your best friends are people who tried to kill you in the past. (Likely referring to Zevran, who is recruited into your party during the quest where he failed to kill the player.)
  • In Rune Factory, Lynette is responsible for wiping Raguna's memory and throwing him into a monster infested village (which she is responsible for infesting) all for the purpose of using Raguna to help unleash a dragon god on the kingdom. After the plan fails, and she's banished from her kingdom for it, Raguna forgives her virtually instantly (she's even eligible for marriage at that point). Raguna never even asks Lynette to tell him about his past, even if he marries her.
  • This is played as one of Valvatorez's quirks in Disgaea 4. Being a very gullible and trusting Cloud Cuckoolander who is very insistent on The Power Of Camaraderie, he's very quick to forgive just about any betrayal. Fenrich finds this utterly baffling.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Paragon Shepard is unbelievably forgiving to terrorists, crime lords, Mad Scientists, and all sorts of assorted scum of the galaxy as long as they aren't actively shooting at someone. While sometimes they just leave them to be arrested by someone else, sometimes they let them off with a warning and forget all about them as soon as they leave Shepard's line of sight, usually with one of their squadmates calling them on it. (Contrast with Renegade Shepard, who regularly shoots or grievously wounds small time crooks and even innocent bystanders, and deals out summary executions like candy.)
    • Considering that they've wiped out all advanced civilisation in the galaxy for millions of years, everyone in the galaxy is surprisingly forgiving of the Reapers in the Synthesis ending of Mass Effect 3.
  • In the final route of Duel Savior Destiny Imnity pulls a Heel-Face Turn entirely without comment despite actively attempting to destroy the world not moments before. Gets a happy ending too.
  • In Borderlands 2, after getting nearly hanged by a Kangaroo Court, only to be saved by a Hyperion attack, Salvador tortures the man who killed the judge. His reason for caring about the man who nearly had him hanged?
    Salvador: Nobody's perfect.
  • Suikoden:
    • In multiple installments, the only way to get 100% Completion is to recruit all of the Stars of Destiny - even ones who may have committed terrible sins are forgiven by the player to obtain them as a party member.
    • This is a key component of Suikoden I. After each boss fight with one of Barbarossa's generals, you are given the option to either conscript them into your army or execute them. Despite Viktor and other characters telling you that the generals have no place in your army, the best course of action is to forgive them and allow them to join, partially because they are being influenced by a dark rune, and partially because they realized that they need to atone for their sins.
    • Likewise, Sanchez is revealed to be the mole feeding information to Barbarossa's army near the end of the game, and his machinations result in Mathiu Silverberg being critically injured. Despite that, Mathiu forgives him for the act and has him tell the hero that his "punishment" is being forced to act normally so as not to let the rebel army know he acted as a turncoat.
    • In Suikoden II, Jowy betrays his closest friends and the country that graciously took him in after his own country, Highland, tried to murder him. He assassinates it's leader, aids the invasion of it's capital, assists Luca Blight in an act of genocide, is an accomplice to the murder of King Agares Blight so that Luca can ascend to the throne and then conspires to allow the enemy side to kill Luca so *he* can ascend to the throne. All of these acts result in a costly war that causes the near destruction of one nation and the total destruction of his own when his idiotic plans collapse around him. And yet, in the "best ending" Jowy gets to be forgiven by the protagonist, the leader of the force opposing Jowy who he refused to reason with until it was too late and go back to being best friends travelling together as if he wasn't a genocidal, self-centred warmonger.
  • Subverted in Lemegeton. Sabio is surprised that Marax doesn't hate him for cutting down his friends (several fellow Ars Goetia demons). Marax, though, replies that demons don't have friends to begin with. In other words, Sabio never did anything that would draw Marax's ire in the first place!
  • Everyone in Phantom Brave. No matter how much you want to break Marona, no matter how much you want to torment her for her powers, and no matter how much of a douchebag for good reasons you are, Marona will always forgive you.
  • Deus Ex: JC Denton spends his first day on the job (potentially) killing NSF terrorists in order to achieve his objectives, with the only caution he gets for it coming from his brother (who stresses taking a by-the-book approach). Even if you were merciless in slaughtering every terrorist you across, it's surprising how quickly the remaining ones are willing to ignore this once he switches sides.
  • In Sleeping Dogs, if you date both Tiffany and "Not Ping", "Not Ping" will call you out for cheating on her...before cheerfully asking you to stay in touch.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, Abbot Hugo has been using the Samurai as his personal army, having them enter Tokyo to find relics (something that was considered unthinkable by Samurai code, only allowed because he's friends enough with the King to convince him), using the Black Samurai as an excuse to start massive witch hunts, and a rather long list of both silly and serious charges. In the Neutral ending, though, he's welcomed along with the other Mikado survivors in Cafe Florida for a drink before Tokyo is restored.
  • In Psychonauts, after attempting to conquer the world with tanks powered by the brains of psychic children, a public apology to the kids (albeit a sincere one) is enough for Morceau Oleander to not only be forgiven but to also remain a Psychonaut.
  • Naja from Sands of Destruction requests forgiveness for killing Kyrie and to join the team; he is allowed to do so and only Agan is even slightly suspicious of him (despite forgiveness not being her first instinct, Morte decides to do what Kyrie would do and forgive him). The only thing that keeps it from being Insane Forgiveness is that Kyrie asked him to kill him to save the world.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright is surprisingly determined to reach out to and "save" Miles Edgeworth, especially when Edgeworth is on trial as a murder suspect. What is amazing is that Phoenix is doing this even though Edgeworth ruthlessly and relentlessly used every tactic he could, including some very underhanded ones, to get Maya and then Phoenix himself convicted for the murder of Phoenix's beloved mentor. (Let's face it; Edgeworth is not stupid. He HAD to have realized who Mia Fey's REAL murderer was...)
    • Regina Berry in Justice For All is Easily Forgiven due to being incredibly cute and possessing child-like innocence. Unfortunately, this leads to her pulling little "pranks" like letting a growling tiger stalk after Phoenix and Maya in their first introduction and then telling them how lucky they are to get the rare chance to play with a tiger. Naturally, this trope is subverted because she was the murderer's intended target thanks to how she's too naive to realize that she's responsible for his brother's coma and his paralysis from a previous prank.
  • In Magical Diary, you can choose to continue Damien's path even after he tries to kill you by taking your soul and flees the school after failing. While he does appear to have genuinely reformed afterwards, you're still forgiving him for it mere weeks after the incident. You can even try to plead with Potsdam to let him back onto the school grounds for the May Ball...which she roundly refuses, and which causes your friends to find out that you're back with him and results in them kicking you out of the room and calling you out as a Love Martyr for taking him back.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has Beatrice, the main antagonist of the series. A supposedly all-powerful witch who the protagonist has seen kill his family repeatedly in grotesque and horrific ways, she plays up a Heel-Face Turn to specifically lead Battler into forgiving her, and even coming to like her... and then proceeds to troll the Hell out of him and reveal it was all an act just for the sake of toying with his emotions.

    Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Particularly in the early strips, the cast was surprisingly tolerant of Aylee's human eating tendencies and Bun-Bun's general sociopathic tendencies. They do eventually put their foot down on Aylee eating people and convince her to quit, but Bun-Bun still gets a mostly free pass for all the violent and manipulative things he's done, does, and will do. Of course, that might just be because he'd kill them all if they tried to get tough with him. Better to keep the switchblade-wielding bully on their side.
    • There is a brief part in the Cannibals Anonymous Storyline in which, after Aylee upset Zoe by serving a human for Thanksgiving, Torg fired her, but later accepted her back after she worked on improving herself, in which the seriousness of her activities is mentioned to a degree.
    Aylee: I suppose there are some things saying sorry can't fix.
    Riff: Like murder.
    A moment of silence follows as Aylee reflects on this.
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • In Mitadake Saga, no-one really holds much of a grudge against Kazu, despite him killing someone. Truth in Television for those who play Mitadake High; very rarely will anyone call you out for killing someone if you thought they were the killer (or were pretending to). Although when this is averted, it is averted violently.
  • Gamzee Makara in Homestuck is welcomed back with seemingly open arms after his his brief stint of semi-genocidal madness wherein he successfully murdered several people and seemed bent on getting rid of every other troll before being calmed down. He also directly and deliberately contributed to the creation of a being bent on destroying any universe it is allowed into. This quick forgiveness particularly comes out of character for Terezi who had just a few minutes prior (in-story) been ready to kill someone else over suspicion for the same exact murders. Kanaya is not so forgiving, and would be happy if she never saw him again.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things:
    • Granted, given the circumstances (he had had Light Yagami's head crudely grafted onto his body) it could technically qualify as a Mercy Kill, but much to Jonesy's surprise Simon Belmont easily forgave her for putting a crossbow arrow through his neck, reasoning that it wasn't even the first time someone shot him and Romania has good healthcare anyway.
    • When Jared accidentally dented Commander Badass's car, he just shrugged and said that it was easily fixed and finishing project cars take the fun out of them anyway, so might well hand them to a teen to damage.
  • Amical from morphE is exceptionally charming and relies on this trope a lot. It's is especially apparent with how Tyler went from growling out death threats to Amical after getting shot in the shoulder to being the most vocal supporter of him by the end of chapter 3.
  • Muh Phoenix: The Scarlet Witch has a much easier time being accepted as redeemed in this parody.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • Raimundo is on the receiving end after willingly turning evil and then back again. Omi does express suspicion about him from time to time.
    • To some extent, Jack Spicer. Ever since he assisted in the recapture of Wuya, Omi has held out hope that he will change sides. Needless to say, when Jack wants to join the monks in "The Apprentice", Omi is very quick to move past all the bad blood between the two, despite none of the other Dragons trusting him. Unfortunately, their distrust is proven right. The surprise is that Jack really did want to change; he was just scared of failing.
  • Justice League:
    • The team were willing to sweep Hawkgirl's assignment from the Thanagarian Empire under the rug at the end of the episode because she's one of the True Companions (with Superman, who's big on second chances, casting the deciding vote), but she resigns from the team. She spends a season mostly off-camera doing some soul-searching and still has to save the world a few more times before Wonder Woman's fine with having Hawkgirl in the Justice League again. It remains a sore spot for her and detractors of the Justice League still bring up that the League let Hawkgirl back on the team after what she did... a sore spot that Lex Luthor is notably willing to exploit.
    • Supes is like this too in the Batman Beyond episode "The Call". After Barda suggests killing the alien creatures that have Brainwashed Superman, possibly for years, Superman himself makes a case for mercy. (Leading Warhawk to sarcastically say that he's definitely back to normal.)
  • On The Fairly Oddparents, Mark Chang goes from Timmy's enemy to a good friend after his Heel-Face Turn. This is despite the fact that Mark has threatened to slurp out Timmy's brain through a bendy straw, kidnapped his babysitter (he liked that), tried to kill him in death combat, and launched a weapon that he thought would destroy the Earth.
  • Gargoyles:
    • Goliath readily forgives anyone who stops attacking and tries to undo whatever they've done. Even if two minutes before that they were roaring at each other and fighting tooth and nail. It's most apparent in that lengthy section in season two where he and a few others were being sent all over the world by Avalon. Of course, those few times when he wasn't attacked right off the bat and tried being friendly first didn't work that well...
    • It works the other way: Xanatos explicitly says that he considers revenge a sucker's game, and is happy to make trouble with even those who've betrayed him... of course, betray him once, and you'd better stay useful.
  • Kim Possible:
    • In "Ill-Suited" Ron is let off the hook despite lying to Kim, cheating at a major sporting event and stealing high tech weaponry that put lives in danger. Kim forgave him and Barkin let him stay on the team. Although he did have to do 20 crabwalk laps around the field. It is a stark reminder of how in Season 1 Kim was grounded just for lying.
    • On the villainous side of the fence, consider Drakken and Shego's Postscript Season appearances up through "Mad Dogs And Aliens". On two different occasions, Shego was busted out of prison by other villains, and gave no thought to Drakken (except to yell "Later, loser!" on her way out). In MDaA, Drakken orders Warmonga to throw Shego out, then holds her captive intending to make her watch Warmonga score the victory over Kimmie that she never could (and claims as her prerogative). Really, it's amazing that they were on speaking terms, much less working together, in later episodes.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang, being the All-Loving Hero, holds no grudge against the Fire Nation for the genocide of his people that was so complete it rendered him the Last of His Kind. Admittedly it was a hundred years ago and everyone involved is long dead, but from his perspective it only happened recently.
    • With Zuko, we have it initially played straight but then subverted: Katara was among the first to try and trust him, and had that trust broken when he sided with the Fire Nation at Season 2's end. Later in the series, when he returned, the other's forgave him after some initial hostility, but she was the one who stayed pissed at Zuko the longest. Even when she believed he wanted to change, she wasn't so sure he could.
    • "The Southern Raiders" plays with this magnificently. Katara embarks on a mission to confront the man who murdered her mother, with Aang repeatedly telling her that violence is not the answer and she should forgive him instead. After attacking him with the full intent to murder him, Katara realises that while she will never forgive him she also can't kill him. She does however forgive Zuko.
    • Uncle Iroh, who Zuko had stabbed in the back at the end of Season 2, forgives him instantly when Zuko tells him how sorry he is for what he did, Iroh saying he was never angry to begin with.
    Zuko: How can you forgive me so easily? I thought you would be furious with me!
    Iroh: I was never angry with you. I was sad, because I was afraid you'd lost your way.
    • Bumi in "The King Of Omashu" holds Katara and Sokka hostage to force Aang to participate in three grueling challenges, because if he doesn't his friends will be trapped in a crystal prison (and presumably suffocate). Then Aang realizes that the King is his old friend, they hug, and it is forgotten.
  • Ben 10:
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has Nigel staying in a relationship with Lizzie past her introduction, which involved her mind-controlling him to DESTROY his friends so that they could have time together. This is strictly played for laughs.
  • Everyone from Total Drama with the exception of Heather. Becomes a bit ridiculous by season three, when Leshawna openly brags about knocking her tooth out even after she should have realized it was totally unjustified (as Heather had been trying to help her at the time). Bridgette calls the others out on this toward the end of the show.
  • Buck Strickland from King of the Hill has done some pretty nasty things to Hank and he always sticks by his side, his worst act was framing Hank for the murder of his mistress Debbie. He plants a lot of evidence that made it seem like he was guilty of the crime, and yet Hank almost immediately forgives him after the murder is solved.
  • Regular Show has Skips being forgiven for killing Rigby over a game of arm wrestling. Rigby was really cool about the whole thing.
    Skips: Uh... Sorry for, you know, killing you back there... It was unprofessional.
    Rigby: Huh?...You know what? Water under the bridge.
  • Huntik: Secrets & Seekers has Zhalia easily forgiven after Lok, Dante, and Sophie discover she's The Mole for the Big Bad. See the quote.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Many antagonists are forgiven quickly. Justified, considering the series' main theme is The Power of Friendship.
    • Downplayed with Luna. She tried to create eternal night and is immediately forgiven by her sister, the mane cast, and Ponyville. However, "Luna Eclipsed" shows that they are still terrified of her, and it takes some work on her part to improve her reputation.
    • In "Mmmystery On The Friendship Express", the Cakes spent months working on a special cake for a deserts competition, hoping to win first place. Pinkie spent a whole night guarding the cake from the other chefs, who she feared wanted to destroy it to eliminate the competition. Rarity, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash eat roughly half the cake, and yet, Pinkie instantly forgives them when they apologize.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", after essentially disowned by everyone, Twilight Sparkle forgave everyone after one little apology from Applejack. To be fair, there are more important matters at hand like the Changeling Invasion and the fact Queen Chrysalis tricked them all.
    • Babs Seed from the episode "One Bad Apple" spends most of the episode bullying the Cutie Mark Crusaders, with the worst of it including kicking them out of their own clubhouse and forcing Apple Bloom to sleep on the floor in her own room, but when the CMC find out about how she herself was bullied, and turned to bullying herself because of this, they immediately forgive her, save her from a booby trapped second float they set up for her, and even end up befriending her by the end of the episode. The CMC even apologize for the booby trap first. In the later episode "Apple Family Reunion", Apple Bloom refers to Babs as "my favorite cousin".
    • In "Magic Duel" Trixie takes over Ponyville and rules it with an iron hoof. It takes roughly a second for Twilight Sparkle to accept her apology at the end. This might be at least partially justified due to the Alicorn Amulet.
    • The episode "Keep Calm And Flutter On" involves Fluttershy forgiving Discord, despite the fact that he caused the Mane Six to go Brainwashed and Crazy and causing the World Gone Mad. The others do not forgive him, and while they let him hang around they don't trust him in the slightest.
    • At the end of the episode "Rainbow Falls" Soarin quickly forgives Spitfire and Fleetfoot, despite the fact that they never visited him at the hospital when he hurt his wing and were planning on replacing him with Rainbow Dash, using his (not actually that severe) injury as an excuse to put the better flyer in his place.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, even after he sided with Tirek, putting the entire world in danger, Twilight still considered Discord a friend, much to his surprise. This trope also applies to Fluttershy, who Discord is still on good terms with despite hurting her earlier with his betrayal. That said, he does notice he doesn't get a throne along with the others and is told he'll have to earn it, and seemed to regret what he did even before Tirek stabbed him in the back.
    • Zigzagged with Sunset Shimmer. After being the Alpha Bitch in CHS for quite a while, breaking up the human counterparts mane five, and stealing Twilight's Element of Magic, becoming a demon and brainwashing the students to invade Equestria, Twilight and the Humane 5 quickly forgive her after she apologizes. However, Rainbow Rocks shows the rest of the school is far less forgiving of her actions in the previous movie, either being nervous around her or glaring angrily at her. Even Twilight is hesitant to take her hand when she returns to the human world, and she's still an outsider to her friends.
  • Adventure Time:
    • While Finn and Jake regularly beat up Ice King whenever he's doing something evil, if he isn't doing anything bad at the time they treat him like an acquaintance who's awkward but basically a good guy. Apparently they forget all about how he's a stalking, kidnapping, sexually harassing, brainwashing creep who should be avoided. Even Princess Bubblegum, who is regularly kidnapped by him, invited him to the princess potluck.
    • Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum seem pretty okay with Lemongrab, even though he previously tortured Finn and Jake and tried to do the same to the princess, and basically treats Princess Bubblegum like garbage on occassion. The reason he is forgiven for his crimes is because of his Ambiguous Disorder.
  • In season 3 of Winx Club, Diaspro brainwashes Sky with a love potion. She gets banished from Eraklyon for this. Come season 5 and she's back on Eraklyon working directly for King Erendor, Sky's father, with no mention of her previous banishment. It's implied that Erendor favors her, but the fact that not even Bloom mentions this at all raises a few eyebrows.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • Despite being supposedly best friends Patrick is easily one of the worst friends imaginable with a list of offenses including talking Spongebob into playing stupid to make himself look better and then mocking him for it, rubbing it in that Spongebob's pet snail loved him more (the snail was actually just interested in a cookie Patrick had), intentionally trying to destroy a trading card Spongebob wanted just to be a jerk... Despite all of this Spongebob always forgives him with nothing more than a lecture at the very most. It should be noted, however, that he generally is made to pay for things he does to other people besides Spongebob.
    • Spongebob is simply a very forgiving person (or rather a very forgiving sponge). He's always ready and willing to give anyone a second chance, including the series' Card-Carrying Villain, Plankton, and his own Bad Boss Mr. Krabs. Forgiving the latter easily was justified early on in the show when his antics topped out at harmless money-grubbing shenanigans that he usually tried to make right by the end of the episode, but as the show went on and Mr. Krabs started his plunge into full on villainy, his Easily Forgiven status became a lot harder to swallow.
    • Spongebob himself profits from this trope as well. He bothers, stalks and outright destroys Squidward's life on a frequent basis, but often just turning on the water works is enough to make Squidward feel bad for him. Patrick is also very easy going to Spongebob in "Porous Pockets" despite his snobbish and negligent attitude.
    • Squidward himself constantly tells Spongebob how much he hates him, complains about everything he does and yells at him for every little mistake, yet Spongebob still reveres him like a king and acts like he can do no wrong.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Inqueling", the villain Inque is betrayed by her Spoiled Brat daughter Deanna; Batman lets her go despite her crimes. However, at the end of the episode, it is clear that Inque is very much alive, and the ending suggests that Deanna's punishment for what she did will not be pleasant. However, this issue is resolved in the comic book adaptation of the series. The first part of the story gives an backstory for Inque herself, showing that her powers were given to her when she was a starving, homeless young woman, pregnant with Deanna; she allowed a Mad Scientist to experiment on her in exchange for food and shelter, which resulted in her gaining her powers, but he went back on his word. Deanna was born before the mutation had its full effect, but when it did, the disease was cured and her life was saved. In the present day, Deanna is now in the hospital with the same disease that her mother once had. Despite her daughter's betrayal, Inque desires nothing more than Deanna's well-being, pausing only to feed a small droplet of her own substance into Deanna's IV cord before she vanishes.
  • Danger Mouse: In "Public Enemy No. 1," DM gets amnesia and is cajoled by Baron Greenback into going on a crime spree. When he gets his memory back he is obviously told what he had done and apologizes to Colonel K (who had initially told Penfold to arrest him). "Injured in the line of duty," Colonel K explains away.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Mojo Jonesin'", four of the girls' classmates got addicted to Chemical X and beat them up, but they're forgiven in the end.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The Falcon helps Red Skull capture the Incredible Hulk. However, the fact he does so while Brainwashed and Crazy apparently still makes him eligible for helping The Avengers during "Code White" emergencies. To boot, the team doesn't forgive him onscreen. Consequently, the show makes no impication that they did so until he becomes one of many crimefighters to come Back for the Finale.
  • Family Guy:
    • Cleveland is still friends with Quagmire even after sleeping with Loretta, ruining his marriage, and ultimately leading him to leave Quahog.
    • Peter also forgives Quagmire, despite numerous sexual schemes with Lois (also Meg once), and that time he nearly beat Brian to death.
    • Meg always forgives her family for all the bullshit they dump on her.
  • American Dad! parodies and lampshades this trope plenty of times, mostly towards Stan and Roger. One particular example is the episode where Stan got addicted to crack and prevented Steve from getting sex from a hot girlfriend who's into nerds. While, by the end of the episode Steve was still bitter at him, Stan mentions he'll forgive him.
  • It seems that no matter what horrible thing Bender does on Futurama (put his friends lives at risk, work them as slaves, basically anything) they'll never hold a grudge for long. Flexo may be the biggest example; the second time he appeared, he very quickly accepts Bender's apology for framing him.
  • God, the Devil and Bob: No matter how much destruction he causes and despite his main goal being the destruction of humanity, the Devil is always on friendly terms with God by the end of the episode. And most of the time it's God who ends up apologizing to him.
  • Corey Riffin from Grojband is on friendly terms with Nick Mallory for influencing him to make Trina go into "Diary Mode".
  • Strange Magic: Even though the Imp steals the Love Potion and ends up love potioning half the forest, he's forgiven the moment after the elves manage to steal back the potion from him.

    Real Life 
  • Reputedly, Alexander the Great's relentless pursuit of ex-emperor Darius III of Persia was not because he wanted to kill him, but because Alexander recognized Darius' genius and wanted to recruit Darius to govern Persia in Alexander's name. This was pretty much Alexander's Modus Operandi, Curb Stomp the enemy on the battlefield and then make him his vassal. It is one of the reasons as of why his empire disintegrated once he wasn't around to keep them in line.
  • Very shortly after Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt, he paid a friendly visit to his would-be killer in jail to let him know he wasn't mad at him for shooting him in the chest. (Despite that the attempt on his life had led to a cardiac arrest, and later required a colostomy, which had to be undone later so he could still function.) It was the first thing he did after he got out of the hospital.
  • Julius Caesar made a point of forgiving pretty much everyone on the opposing side in the civil war between him and Pompey, whether they surrendered or had been taken captive. A rather smart strategy, as he came off in a much more positive light than Pompey in the eyes of the Roman people. Unfortunately for him, several of the people that he forgave conspired to assassinate him. His successor, Augustus, decided not to follow that same path and refused to grant clemency to Caesar's killers.
  • As depicted in Invictus: After spending 28 years as a political prisoner on Robbins Island, Nelson Mandela is released and within a few years becomes President of South Africa. Incredibly, one of the first things he does is hire for his cabinet some of the same men who had worked for the previous government that had imprisoned him. Those years on Robbins Island made him change and he came out wiser and older so his strategy became less "Black Power!" and became "I'll show you that we can live in peace as equals.". He didn't forget but he didn't want black people to become Not So Different when he changed the country. There's a reason he said this:
    "I have fought against white domination. And I have fought against black domination."
  • In places such as Rwanda that have undergone civil war or genocide, leaving hostile groups still living intertwined with each other, sometimes the only practical way forward is forgiveness - even if it means acknowledged murderers go unpunished.
  • Richard I the Lionheart was betrayed by his brother John Lackland countless times and forgave him again and again. The whole family was like that; the two of them and their other brothers, as well as their mother, launched several civil wars against their father Henry II and each other only to forgive each other and do it all again.
  • Burt Pugagh hired thugs to throw lye in the face of his ex-girlfriend after she got engaged to another man. After he got out of prison she married him.
  • At the end of World War II, Charles De Gaulle made a point of arranging reconciliation between France and Germany as fast as possible, and not blame Germany for the atrocities committed by the Nazi in France. Hitler had been able to seize power partially thanks to Germany's hatred of France after the humiliation from World War I, and he wanted to break the cycle of hatred between the two countries. Thanks to him, the two now get along pretty well. He also granted an amnesty to Marechal Petain, leader of the French Government of Vichy (who had collaborated with Nazi), arguing Petain's actions could be explained by his old age.
  • Extremely common with victims of abuse, who will forgive the person abusing them for almost anything, no matter how awful. This is usually during the "reconciliation" or "honeymoon" period of the cycle of abuse, where after an incident (which could be anything from an argument to outright physical assault) the abuser will do their best to convince their victim that they've changed and would never do that again (or just as commonly blaming the victim for their behavior) in an attempt to invoke this.