Raoh: Come, let me see the face of the man who has defeated Raoh... You are magnificent, my little brother.
Kenshiro: Big brother...
Not a series-ending example, but during Shannon and Chris' confrontation in episode 4 of Scrapped Princess, Chris gracefully surrenders after Shannon Flash Steps behind him and holds a sword to his throat. He agrees to return Winia to the heroes, and to no longer attack them directly. This also marks the beginning of Winia and Chris' Odd Friendship.
Many character in Hajime No Ippo are not mad that they lost to Ippo, but instead gain new hope. The best example of a Graceful Loser is Takeshi Sendoh. He is also the one that said how Ippo has a "blade of life", made to bring the best out of people, contrasted with his "killer blade", made to take someone down so he'll never get up again. Another example is Arnie Gregory, who, after losing against Miyata, talks friendly with him, gives him his cowboy hat and leaves with the words "Goodbye, Champ."
The big exception of this trope is Sociopathic Hero Ryo Mashiba, who complains and yells after losing against Ippo.
Charlotte and Edorad in Bleach. Their last words are either a compliment to the rival's strength (Charlotte, towards Yumichika) or being glad to know who defeated them (Edorad, to Ikkaku.)
Subverted in Trinidad's past, in Gunnm. The bad guy leaves a recording of something that matches this trope. While the REAL him is busy pleading for his life, and begging, in utter terror. The recording of the villain, while leaving Trinidad instructions for a My Death Is Just the Beginning plan, admits that he wouldn't have the courage to go through with the plan in the clutch.
Kagato in Tenchi Muyo! becomes this after Tenchi delivers the final blow. The Mad Scientist villain calmly, dispassionately and respectfully delivers the page quote as he disintegrates.
Kagato in the TV series, while more of a overlord type than a mad scientist, calls back to the OAV somewhat. After his defeat, he simply looks back at Tenchi, seeing his old rival in the younger prince, and says "Yosho... looks like I've lost again... doesn't it?" His delivery in the dub was more resigned and borderline amused than anything.
In One Piece after Zoro defeated Kaku, he hands him the key to Robin's cuffs and even shares a joke with Zoro before passing out.
It's especially telling that he simply shuts his eyes and slips unconscious with a serene smile on his face. A jarring contrast to all the others of CP9 which tend to flip out, or try a cheap shot, or just be a poor loser all around and end up lying in a heap with a look of painful shock beaten into their faces.
In Pokémon Best Wishes Trip/Shooti takes a loss against a crowd of people in the Don Tournament very well in contrast to Ash's previous rival Paul who Rage Quit when he was losing in the double battle match. However, he states that he is annoyed with losing, but decides that he'll get better to prevent losing again. Then again, this is toward Cilan. He seems disturbed having a draw with Ash though.
Played straight with Thor of Ragnarok. After being defeated fairly by Kenichi according to the rules of sumo, he acknowledges his defeat, prevents his subordinates from attacking the weakened Kenichi, and upholds his end of the bargain. He soon pulls a Heel Face Turn on top of all that.
The Elder stresses that a real martial artist is graceful in defeat: "A true martial artist will thank any opponent who is able to defeat him, for it means he has learned something new."
Also that is pretty much the only rule Yami has is to follow any order given to them if they are defeated.
In the second Space Battleship Yamato movie, Dessler is this trope after he is seriously injured in combat and faces down Worthy Opponent Kodai. He tells Kodai the secret to defeating Comet's and commits suicide.
Kay gracefully accepts her loss, since she sees tankery as a game and sportsmanship as of paramount importance.
Darjeeling, taken out of the tournament by Black Forest in the semifinals, doesn't seem to mind, since she can watch Miho and Oarai's progress in the tournament.
Katyusha of Pravda accepts her defeat and gets off Nonna's shoulders to shake hands with Miho.
Maho and, surprisingly enough, Erika of all people from Black Forest. The former seems to welcome her defeat, since it means her younger sister Miho has found a style of tankery different from the Nishizumi School but valid on its own merits. The latter comes off as fairly surprising, especially since she had grown upset over Oarai's pulling unpredictable moves on them and getting out of seemingly hopeless situations, but she promises with a smile that Black Forest won't lose the next tournament.
Miho herself, at two separate points. After losing to St. Gloriana in a practice battle in the anime, and after losing to her sister and a few of their mother's students in Little Army
Would often happen to Batman, especially with The Penguin.
Some minor characters in the comics also go down this way:
Dr. Destiny after he botches it up all by himself.
Lucifer (though he wasn't entirely happy about it, he let Dream walk out)
Brute and Glob (ultimately they knew their efforts were futile anyways)
A surprising number of the people Death picks up.
Caesar is a graceful loser in most Astérix stories, often admitting his defeat the acknowledging the Gauls' worth. In "Asterix the Gladiator", and "Asterix the Legionary" he provides Asterix and his friends passage back to Gaul and in "Asterix and Son" he even rebuilds the burned down Gaulish village as thanks for the Gauls rescuing Caesar's son.
In one of the movies, he admits defeat, surrenders his empire and retires in the countryside with Cleopatra.
"You are gods, and one cannot fight gods."
In Ace Combat The Equestrian War, Night Raven, a battle-obsessed griffin soldier uses his last breath to congratulate Fluttershy on defeating him. Since Night Raven had come across as borderline Ax Crazy for most of the fic, (even boasting to Fluttershy that he fights and kills not out of hatred for his enemies, but for fun,) this is a surprising display of honor.
In the climax of Enemy at the Gates, Zaytsev ends up ambushing Major Konig and aiming at him from about 40 feet away. Konig turns around and calmly holds his hat to his chest while Zaytsev shoots him.
The Big Bad of Kill Bill warmly tells his murderer, who has proven to be the Greater Warrior, that she is still the love of his life. Then, he walks with gentlemanly dignity to his death.
Also O-Ren Ishii, who first apologizes to her killer for not taking her seriously, and when given the last blow she muses with admiration about how the weapon that scalps her is truly a Hattori Hanzou katana.
The Baroness of The Sound Of Music warmheartedly wishes Maria, her rival for the hand of Captain Von Trapp, happiness with the Captain when it becomes clear where his affection lies.
Well, after refusing to admit defeat and trying to fight on for a while. But after he was saved from the spikes he composed himself and acted more graciously.
Also, (and potentially a better example) Japanese swordsman and Karate expert Nakamura. He recognizes that Huo could have killed him with Huo's final blow but deliberately held back rather than do so. Between that and Nakamura's suspicions that foul play had occurred, he stops the referee from proclaiming him the victor over Huo, forfeits, and leads the audience in cheering on Huo.
Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray, but not her mother, alas.
Amber von Tussle: I lost, Mom. Let's just deal with it!
Amber then proceeds to walk away from her mother, then strike a conversation and dance with a black dancer.
In the stage show, both Von Tussles actually become this. After some sulking, they have a verse in that song where they finally just accept it and basically just go with the flow
Tony Wendice in Dial M For Murder. After a brief moment of shock when his Batman Gambit is undone, he calmly congratulates everyone and pours them some wine.
Teddy KGB at the end of Rounders. Mike Mc Dermott just won a huge poker hand against him. After a brief angry rant, he calls his goons off and grudgingly admits that he was defeated fair and square.
When the Operative in Serenity realizes he's been beat, he calmly orders the Alliance troops to stand down. He even makes arrangements for the surviving protagonists to receive medical attention, and for their ship to be repaired.
He does say that his superiors are less than pleased with this outcome and that he may just be their next target. Mal just shrugs and says he doesn't care. After all, the Operative has killed many of his friends (including children) just to smoke him out.
Wadsworth, in Clue, congratulates his killer on their shooting skills.
Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid shows some previously unseen class after losing to Daniel at the end of the film, personally handing the trophy to LaRusso and telling him, "You're all right."
The Remake takes this up a notch. Not only does the rival bring the hero the trophy, but he, and his entire class bow to him, much to the chagrin of their jerkass teacher.
In A Beautiful Mind, Martin Hansen has been acting as a Jerk Assrival to John Nash for most of the film's first act; however, when Nash is selected for the position at Wheeler labs instead of him, he shows up at the local bar where Nash is celebrating, and- though his ego has obviously taken a bruising- he gracefully toasts Nash's success. For the remainder of the scene, the two of them are chatting amiably.
The Joker in The Dark Knight oddly enough, though it depends on who he loses to. He becomes visibly angry when his passengers prove his beliefs about human nature wrong and tries to blow them up, but after Batman stops him, he's seems actually glad to finally meet someone who he considers his equal. And of course, in typical Joker fashion just laughs himself silly.
As in the book, Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers very calmly accepts that he's been beaten (even if it is only a minor inconvenience rather than a disaster for him,) and invites the musketeers to work for him instead.
Loki in The Avengers. Conclusively defeated, surrounded by all of the Avengers, and Hawkeye's got an arrow aimed point-blank at him. His response?
Subverted in Diggstown, where the hero and the villain are both con-men who have done everything in their power to rig a series of boxing matches in their favor. When the hero's fighter finally wins under blatantly shady circumstances, the villain stands up and says, "You beat me fair and square!" However, soon afterwards he begins ranting and threatening while his son tries to get him to admit defeat.
Sejanus looked up at last. Then, with a little effort, he shrugged, like a man who has lost a bet on a footrace or dice roll. Accepting a shattering defeat with some dignity intact he was more likable than he ever had been in the past. [...] He saluted the king. "Basileus" he said, using the archaic term for the fabled princes of the ancient world.
In the Warrior trilogy set in the Battle Tech universe, Duke Frederick Steiner certainly qualifies. Confronted with the evidence of his involvement in a plot to topple his cousin Katrina and establish himself as Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth (involving an assassination attempt that he did not know about and would not have condoned), he acknowledges his defeat, accepts a suicide mission on the condition that the troops he takes along not be thrown away merely for their association with him, and indeed does not return. He does survive, but effectively vanishes for over twenty years before appearing again in a somewhat more heroic role...in the Blood of Kerensky trilogy, and under a different name.
Also, the Clans will, at the point of a defeat, withdraw, even if they have the strength to stay.
The vampire Faethor Ferenczy of the Necroscope series had two such moments: first, when suffering amidst the ruins of his burning house, he decided to accept a quick death at the hands of a rescuer- even paying him with a gold medallion- rather than fighting desperately to escape. The second moment was after his death, when he was excluded from the other souls of the dead for being a vampire, and this time, he got to explain himself:
Believe me if you like, or disbelieve, but I am at peace- with myself, anyway. I have had my day, and I am satisfied... if you had lived for thirteen-hundred years, perhaps you would understand...
... up until Sequelitis made him an enemy again in Necroscope: Deadspawn when he manages to vampirise hero Harry Keogh and tries a Grand Theft Me on him before being cast into oblivion.
Supreme Commander Pellaeon, the head of the tiny Imperial Remnant, came to the conclusion that the Empire would only survive to rise again if he made peace with the New Republic, so he sends a trusted underling as an envoy to meet with the general he respects most. A Moff's consternation at this and someone finding a corrupt version of the Caamaas Document kick off the events of the Hand of Thrawn duology.
While his scheme is defeated, at best it is a minor inconvenience to the Cardinal who is far too powerful for anything that the Musketeers do to actually harm or seriously affect him and his position. That he offers D'Artagnan a job still counts as this trope, however, as if he wished he could crush the young Musketeer without effort.
In Animorphs Visser One (the former Visser Three) responds in this fashion after their defeat in book 53. Which is kind of odd considering his psychopathic behavior during his lesser defeats.
Martel, in The Elenium, takes being beaten (and killed) by Sparhawk with dignity. Sparhawk acknowledges this by bringing Sephrenia over so Martel can die in the presence of those he loved most.
Live Action TV
When revealed for the scheming, murdering snakes they are, a very significant number of Lieutenant Columbo's enemies smile graciously, congratulate the lovable old buffoon, and cheerfully walk to the police station with him.
Columbo's often really nice to them as well. When the fairly sympathetic man who'd murdered his stepbrother because he was going to sell his beloved vineyard was caught, Columbo listened as the guy explained that the vineyard was the only place he ever felt truly happy and shared a glass of wine with him before taking him away.
One of them even gave Columbo a portrait of himself after being caught (although he was working on it before he was arrested).
Averted in Alias. In the middle of season 2, after the Alliance was destroyed, Arvin Sloane was revealed to have helped in the whole thing, and apparently retired to a life of luxury and anonymity with his wife. Then it turned out it was just the next step of his plan.
A world-class example of this is seen in the Grand Finale of Power Rangers Time Force. Ransik (probably the single toughest Big Bad ever seen in the franchise) tells the Rangers 'I don't need anyone to fight for me! I'll destroy you myself!' - and then, goes ahead and darn well nearly does it. He only relents when he nearly kills his daughter accidentally, who then uses The Power of Love to get him to lay down his arms and surrender.
He even comes back during the next season's Crossover episode to help the Rangers take out some Orgs that he had business dealings with in the "past".
In the Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice", after our heroes have worked their way through his dream trap, the Dream Lord gracefully admits defeat and accepts his end of the bargain, saving their lives and fading away. It's a subversion; when he leaves them, they're still trapped in his dream trap, and this is just his way of trying to fool them.
In the 1980s The Twilight Zone, a group of neighborhood men play poker against the devil, who keeps winning with triple 6's. So for a final hand, double or nothing to get back the souls lost, they play lowball, where the devil's typical hands, of course, lose. The Devil smiles and gives them back everything they've lost. Further, charmed by their pluck, he fills the fridge with beer and snacks they were too poor to afford for their game.
The Smallville episode "Combat" has Clark being forced to fight against an escaped prisoner from the Phantom Zone named Titan (played by Kane). The fight is brutal, forcing Clark to actually use his full strength. After being tossed rather forcefully to the ground, Titan rises and turns to reveal that he has been fatally impaled by his own arm-spike. Evidently aware of his mortal wound, he simply smiles, says "Good fight!", and drops dead.
In the Fantasy Island remake, one episode involved a man who wants to become the best business man by any means. Roarke slowly turns him into a remorseless demon. At the final moments, his dog returns to him and he shed a single tear, which Roarke takes and hands to his assistant, happy to lose the bet once more.
On The Amazing Race it's actually rare for a losing team not to be graceful in defeat, and many teams in the Final 3 are just happy having gotten to run the whole race. Though notably averted with the teams that originally appeared on another CBS Reality Show.
In Exalted, Ligier, the fetich soul of the Yozi Malfeas sort of invokes this concept. He refuses to fight anyone not worthy of fighting him (either tens of thousands of Dragonblooded or a full circle of experienced Solars) and if a party can best him enough to deal 25 health levels of damage or so to him - the book mentions this is merely a scratch to him, by the way - he will flourish, then withdraw from the fight and refuse to fight the group for 25 hours. He can be pressed into combat if his opponents keep attacking him. A word of advice: DON'T.
In the sample adventure for Spirit Of The CenturyThe book suggests that should the characters convince the council running the scientific awards that Dr. Methusala is a threat, or is otherwise a liability, he will leave at their behest. Of course, he'll also be rather miffed, and when Dr. Methusala gets miffed, people cease to ever have been.
Zulkir Szass Tam is said to be genuinely respectful and even admiring of any heroic adventurers who thwart his plans, in no small part because they'd probably have to be Worthy Opponents to beat someone with his level of power and cunning.
In the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the demon lord Pazuzu is said to genuinely not hold any grudge against any mortal heroes who ruin his plans, particularly if they showed great cunning in doing so, and is in fact quite Affably Evil overall.
Jade Empire. Sir Roderick Ponce Von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard accepts defeat quite gracefully, and honors your demands, even giving up his prized blunderbuss Mirabelle if the player wants it.
The hero and villain of the first Shadow Hearts both admit at the end that they understand each other's motives, and that they will decide the fate of the world with a Might Makes Right smackdown with no ill feelings towards the victor. The villain lives up to his promise, returning in the second game as a Spirit Advisor.
A similar case happens in the second game, furthered by the case that the hero and the villain there have pretty much zero animosity towards each other the whole game. The villain even provides the hero with both the means to say goodbye to his dead girlfriend and the key to figuring out exactly what he's planning. They also part amicably at the end.
Admiral Gregorio, the Worthy Opponent of Skies Of Arcadia. He takes his loss to the heroes (which only cripples his ship and makes him unable to chase you) by giving Enrique, the party's Defector from Decadence and basically his nephew, his well-wishes for the future. Enrique responds in kind, expressing regret at having had to fight him. Handsome Lech Vigoro also bows out gracefully after getting his backside kicked by Vyse for the third time, admitting that Vyse is the bigger man and giving up his obsessive chase after Aika in the process since, in his own words, "the strongest man has the right to be with the prettiest woman".
A particularly odd example occurs in BioShock: Once you finally confront Andrew Ryan, he exploits your sleeper agent code words to take control of you, then makes you kill him anyway, just because he'd rather die on his own terms. It is also possible that he did so because he realized that you are actually his own mind-controlled son.
The Turks from Final Fantasy VII ignore their orders to confront the party again if you refuse to fight them during the Midgar raid. Rude concludes, "We've completed our job" and they go back to awaiting the end of the world.
...But only if you completed the Wutai sidequest. If you didn't, you don't get the choice to fight them.
The final boss of the second game accepts his defeat calmly, even giving the heroes an antidote for Mika's seed infection before he dies.
Izanami complements Persona 4's Investigation Team after they unmask and defeat her.
Also, Tohru Adachi accepts his fate of imprisonment and agrees to play by society's rules.
Subverted somewhat in Persona2: Eternal Punishment, where during the final battle against Nyarlathotep, when beating his first form and moving onto his second and final one, compliments that no one has ever seen his second form, then tells them to die with "his highest praise" before bring defeated.
In The King Of Fighters 2003, if you reach Adelheid (Rugal Bernstein's son) and beat him. He actually praises you for winning. His sister, Rose, on the other hand is quite the Sore Loser. So much so that Adelheid has to force her to let the winners go as they won fair and square.
Mass Effect 3: The Catalyst, the Bigger Bad of the series, admits its own defeat when Shepard interacts with him. Seeing that Shepard and his/her allies finally completed the Crucible, the Catalyst admits that the Reapers have failed in their purpose, which the Catalyst admits to be disgusting. Then, the Catalyst leaves the new solution on Shepard's hands, even if it had a clear favourite option it would prefer you take.It only really becomes upset if Shepard refuses to use the Crucible.
In Dishonored, Daud accepts defeat with admirable grace and composure, and tells Corvo that his fate is now Corvo's to decide. The player can choose whether to slit his throat or grant him mercy.
In Breath of Fire I, the Dark Dragon Zog congratulates Ryu after he is defeated, and his last request is that Ryu create a future for Dragons.
The only thing that James Moriarty says to his killer Sherlock Holmes in Shikkoku No Sharnoth is "aren't you supposed to do this at a waterfall?" He is, in fact, completely satisfied with what he managed to accomplish.
Assassin in Fate/stay night. After losing a fight to Saber only because his sword is slightly bent despite having no superhuman abilities, he just tells her to go, sits down and talks to himself for a few minutes before vanishing. It helps that he didn't really care if he won or even lived, he just wanted one good fight against another master swordsman. He was even rather graceful about True Assassin eating him from the inside.He's just that kind of guy.
In case 1-3 (Turnabout Samurai) of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the murderer Dee Vasquez, upon being discovered in full in court by Phoenix, chooses not to go into a grand Freak Out (like so many other murderers do, though she does snap her pipe in half in anger first), but to simply thank Phoenix and quietly admit their guilt. Lampshaded by Phoenix. Partially-Justified: The victim, Jack Hammer, was planning to kill Dee Vasquez and blame the murder on the guy you're defending, due to blackmailing Hammer over the death of a close friend on set five years ago. She killed him in accidental self-defense - the same way her friend was accidentally killed five years ago.
Damon Gant counts as well. When he's finally taken down for the shit he's pulled, he bursts into almost childish laughter and extremely fast clapping out of madness. Afterward though he calms down, apologizes to the Judge for being unable to make their later appointment and even admits that the justice system is in good hands with Wright, Udgey and Edgeworth at the helm.
Manfred von Karma could also be considered one. When found out as the ultimate perpetrator for the current case and the DL-6 incident that led to the death of Edgeworth's father Gregory, he doesn't take it so lightly, screaming Edgeworth's name out and smashing his head on the crowd bench behind him. However, afterward he calms down, he snaps at the judge for not delivering the verdict fast enough.
Acro would qualify. When you finally present irrefutable evidence that he was the (accidental) murderer of ringmaster Russel Berry, he simply congratulates you for seeing through him, figuring it out and calmly explains why he did what he did. He even congratulates Franziska for her part in exposing him. The last bit, though, sells it:
Acro: No. I'm not a victim (tears start flowing down his face, all while he keeps genuinely smiling). I'm a murderer.
How about Godot, aka Diego Armando? When he finally gets nailed by Phoenix at the end of the last case of Trials and Tribulations, he freely admits his guilt in the death of Elise Deauxnim, aka Misty Fey, and even shares his last cup of coffee with Phoenix, the guy he'd been constantly disparaging since case 3-2. It's hinted, though, that on some level he wanted to be caught: he drops little hints throughout that eventually help Phoenix reach the correct conclusion. It's also hinted that he's not long for the world anyway.
Completely averted, however, by the Big Bad of Ace Attorney Investigations, Quercus Alba. He constantly denies your claims unless you've completely proven them. This, however, makes finally taking him down all the more satisfying as you've ensured that he no longer has any wriggle room and must face punishment for his crimes.
The mad scientists in A Miracle of Science surrender in this fashion, once the memetic track for Science-Related Memetic Disorder runs out. At least one sentient robot displays this behavior as well. Pinder number one has the means to defeat his enemy, but doing so will certainly destroy himself and a great number of the robots with him. Rather than taking the fight to its conclusion, he acknowledges defeat and surrenders.
Tsutsumu from Angel Moxie, to the point of leaving his vast economic empire to the girls when they kill him.
Played with, really. He fights right up to the end, fully intending to kill the girls if he can... but he's left a pleasant surprise for the heroes if they do manage to beat him.
In El Goonish Shive, Principal Verrückt pushes in all the wrong directions, but doesn't mind when he's repelled. At least if it's not about murals.
Akinator is this when he failed to guess your character. ("Bravo! You have defeated me." And he applauds you too, even if it feels somewhat half-hearted.)
In The Simpsons episode "C.E.D'oh", Homer hatches an ingenious plan to get put in charge of the nuclear power plant as a "patsy", then immediately fires Mr. Burns once he's given power. Burns compliments his cleverness and acknowledges his defeat like a man.
Caesar in the Twelve Tasks of Astérix, who gets to 'retire' to a lovely Italian villa with Cleopatra.
In Gargoyles, David Xanatos may be a Big Bad for some time, but he's a preeminent good loser who also thinks revenge is beneath him. When the gargoyles start becoming a genuine nuisance in his plans, he doesn't go into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, vowing We Will Meet Again, but simply states their interference has become "irritating."
In the last episode of The Transformers season 3 (The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2), Galvatron's madness is cured and he becomes this. Of course, in the next (truncated) season, he comes back crazier than ever.
"There will be no war today, Prime. You have earned Galvatron's respect."
In Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, Kalus takes the Vandal's final defeat fairly well. They may have lost all their Sentient technology, but he's reunited his planet under his rule, defeated the Red Sentients attacking his world, and finally gets his hands on Grimian and seems content with that.
When Fluttershy tells motivational worker Iron Will that she refuses to pay up for his seminar due to him saying that he guarantees 100% satisfaction or else "You don't pay", he keeps his word (though not before asking if she's even mildly satisfied) and continues his way, even considering his experience with her worth using in his next seminar.
Subverted with Discord in the season 2 premiere. He admits defeat and gives the ponies a free shot at him twice, but only because he believed the Elements of Harmony would have no effect after he used a Hate Plague on the heroes. He's only right the first time.
In an episode of American Dad, Francine goes to her 20th anniversary high school reunion, where they get the ballot box from Homecoming out of a time capsule. Inside they discover two uncounted votes which show Francine's rival should have been Homecoming queen. Francine handles it admirably, simply saying "How about that?" and giving her tiara to the other girl. Stan however has a Freak Out, since he wanted to date the Homecoming queen to make up for his being a total loser in high school.
In the Hey Arnold episode "Tour de Pond", Rex Smythe-Higgins III takes his defeat much better than his grandfather.
Total Drama World Tour: Noah's graceful acceptance of being voted off is rewarded by being the only person to parachute out in safety and dignity.