[[quoteright:275:[[WesternAnimation/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heel-face-turn_htgsc2_3933.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:275:The Grinch [[{{Jerkass}} before]] and [[TookALevelInKindness after]] a wondrous change of heart.]]

->''"And what happened then?\\
Well, in Whoville, they say,\\
The Grinch's small heart\\
Grew three sizes that day."''
-->-- '''''WesternAnimation/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'''''
%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the Quotes tab.

When a bad guy turns good. This usually makes for a good plot, for three reasons:
# It lets them reintroduce the villain as a [[DarkerAndEdgier "darker, edgier"]] [[{{AntiHero}} hero]].
# It reinforces a desired notion of the [[RousseauWasRight inherent goodness within people]].
# It prevents the WorthyOpponent from falling victim to WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife.

There are even more reasons for the turning:
# An encounter with an AllLovingHero or gaining a MoralityPet.
# Discovering that BeingEvilSucks or possibly that GoodFeelsGood.
# An EnemyMine situation leading to {{Fire Forged Friends}}hip or ThePowerOfLove in the form of DeliverUsFromEvil or LoveRedeems changing their priorities. Conversely MistreatmentInducedBetrayal makes them rethink their loyalities.
#Realizing that they are a NobleDemon.
# A HeelRealization, if he had never considered his actions evil or wrong in the first place.
# [[DefeatMeansFriendship He becomes friends with a hero after fighting him]]

Sadly, it sometimes leads to RedemptionEqualsDeath, and when it doesn't, someone still needs to draw their GetOutOfJailFreeCard. Otherwise they may find the good guys unwilling to believe them; their conversion met with a HeelFaceDoorSlam (or they may "merely" find themselves ReformedButRejected). On the other hand, the bad guy may reject their chance at turning over a new leaf altogether, in which case it's RedemptionRejection.

The many reasons and the probability for a turn are listed in the SortingAlgorithmOfFaceHeelTurning. A very common [[HighHeelFaceTurn fate]] for the lone female character in any evil group. Beware, some authors know the stereotypes of Heel Face Turning and will play with it accordingly.

The term "Heel Face Turn" comes from ProfessionalWrestling, in which an evil wrestler (a "{{heel}}") sometimes has [[GoodFeelsGood a change of heart]] and becomes good, thereby becoming a "[[{{Face}} babyface]]". Magazines and other promotional material from the various wrestling leagues comment on various wrestlers' changes in alignment nearly as frequently as they cover events in the ring themselves.

Compare the ReverseMole, who is secretly working for the good guys ''all along''. May be the result of a person that was GoodAllAlong. When someone who doesn't care one way or the other is forced to fight they become NeutralNoLonger.

This is the opposite of a FaceHeelTurn and is generally found in stories with BlackAndWhiteMorality. It has two subtropes: HeelFaceBrainwashing, more or less the opposite of BrainwashedAndCrazy, and HighHeelFaceTurn. See also MookFaceTurn when the bad guy doing it is a {{Mook}}, and HeelRaceTurn when an entire faction does it. If a character keeps switching from one side to the other and back, he's in a HeelFaceRevolvingDoor. If he turns face, but still acts like a heel, it's ReformedButNotTamed.

In real-life the nature of HeelFaceTurn and FaceHeelTurn is subjective (one person's "[[HeelFaceTurn seeing the light]]" is another person's "[[FaceHeelTurn heartless betrayal]]" depending on what group the individual is going to or leaving). Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease

!!Example subpages:

* HeelFaceTurn/AnimeAndManga
* HeelFaceTurn/ComicBooks
* HeelFaceTurn/FanWorks
* HeelFaceTurn/AnimatedFilms
* HeelFaceTurn/LiveActionFilms
* HeelFaceTurn/{{Literature}}
* HeelFaceTurn/LiveActionTV
* HeelFaceTurn/ProfessionalWrestling
* HeelFaceTurn/VideoGames
* HeelFaceTurn/WebComics
* HeelFaceTurn/WebOriginal
* HeelFaceTurn/WesternAnimation



[[folder: Advertising]]
* A meta example: the apple mascot from Apple Jacks commercials, once the "Bad Apple" who tried to prevent Cinna-Mon from reaching the bowl, now merely racing him there in a FriendlyRivalry. This was apparently caused by ExecutiveMeddling from the self-regulating arm of the advertising industry, who objected to the negative portrayal of a "healthy" food.

[[folder: Card Games]]
* In the artwork of "Advance Zone" in the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh OCG'', it is suggested that "Steelswarm Roach" was purified by the Vylons. This can be further proven by his idle and laid-back appearance in "Breath of the Valient"'s artwork as the "Divine Serpent" passes by. Later on, "Steelswarm Roach" becomes "Evilswarm Exciton Knight"

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* It would almost be easier to list how many of ComicStrip/FlashGordon's friends ''didn't'' start out as his enemies. Even Zarkov was pretty scary in the very beginning. To his considerable credit, Thun is one of the few people on Mongo who treated Flash decently from the word go. Thun's a cool dude.
* ComicStrip/DickTracy's allies B.O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie used to be crooks. (Who later married and had a gorgeous daughter named Sparkle.)

* Christianity features a few canonical examples, possibly the most significant being Matthew the Apostle who used to be a tax collector before his conversion. Also, Saul, before he was renamed Paul the Apostle, was a Pharisee, a member of a very zealous Jewish sect, and he was on his way to Damascus to murder members of the early church when the Lord Jesus Christ came to him in a vision. (Acts ch. 9)
** The German version of ThisVeryWiki has Saul as the TropeNamer: VomSaulusZumPaulus, or "From Saul to Paul."
** Orthodox Christianity states before we die, we are not Face, as we sin for entire life, either by though, word, or deed. Everything can change, and only death solidifies HeelFaceTurn or damnation... and in the latter case, not completely until the Last Judgement.

* Edmund in ''Theatre/KingLear'' goes from helping to plot the death of the play's most sympathetic characters to (ineffectually) attempting to save them: "I pant for life; some good I mean to do/Despite of mine own nature."
* In ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'', Shylock, partly because he wants to get out of his predicament alive and partly because Antonio suggested the order to convert to Christianity out of a desire to redeem his soul, agrees to become a Christian, departs from the court in poor physical health from what he had just gone through in his unsuccessful attempt to get the pound of flesh from Antonio, and signs the deed offscreen when the court delivers it to him.

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', Ilya is the main threat for the first half of the series, but she becomes an ally when her monstrous Servant Berserker is killed in Fate scenario (she couldn't keep fighting at that point, but that didn't mean she had to join the TrueCompanions). In the Heaven's Feel scenario, she goes so far as to [[spoiler:sacrifice herself for Shirou in the Good End]].
* In the [[ScienceFictionVisualNovels science fiction visual novel]] ''VisualNovel/BionicHeart'', the CorruptCorporateExecutive's brand new android henchwoman turns on him when the psychic human brain he placed in her head allows her to have visions showing the destruction that will result from his future plans.
* In VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi [[GrandFinale Episode 8]], [[spoiler: Lambdadelta]] manages to do an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome awesome]] one, going up against [[spoiler: [[GoodPowersBadPeople Bernk]][[RealityWarper astel]] ]].

%% No 'real life', please.