"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
aka: I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight
"I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That was why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you won't bring me to your Emperor now."
Egad!! Your best friend, loyal comrade
, or long standing love interest has been taken over
by The Virus
, mind controlled
or subjected to Red Kryptonite
, Green Rocks
, some sort of MacGuffin
or mind-bending Applied Phlebotinum
You're the hero and your friend is now evil - a fight has to happen. But the obviously weaker opponent is winning! The hero can't bring himself to fight at full power against someone he loves. They know that the loved one is still there somewhere. The hero will win this fight by talking the friend out of the evil influence, usually because of The Power of Friendship
or The Power of Love
Often accompanied by the phrase "I know you are in there somewhere." The hero stalls the fight, trying to snap the friend out of it. Sometimes the effect is less than total salvation, only giving the friend the willpower to off themself
or let the hero off them
. This can be especially tragic
if they've been Fighting from the Inside
just to give them the opportunity.
Only the Ideal Hero
can pull this baby off. It's usually saved as an Awesome Moment
for them, to show just how amazingly, totally, completely awesome
they are. It's also a pretty big deal for whoever manages to snap them out of it.
Heroes beware, for it does not always work. They could discover, to their horror, that the friend was Not Brainwashed
or they could be Wrong Genre Savvy
, use the line, and then discover that it really is
too late to save them. In some of the more tragic cases, something remains of their friend, but it is only a faint echo, who can barely muster to come through long enough to beg the hero to either run away and save themselves, or kill them and put them out of their misery
. An inversion of this trope is Heroic Willpower
, reversing the hero and sidekick's roles.
See also Battle in the Center of the Mind
, Fighting Your Friend
, and Defusing The Tykebomb
. Contrast Sheathe Your Sword
, where the hero wins without fighting, but usually there isn't a relationship between the protagonist and antagonist. See "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture
for the villain version. Compare Deprogramming
, a far more drawn out process. See also Resist The Beast
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Anime & Manga
- In the Marvel universe, even the characters know this. And they know not to bother trying it with victims of the Puppet Master because they're not being mind controlled, they're being body controlled and that's different.
- Spider-Man repeatedly tries this with various opponents he faces, such as Venom. It never works, although his Alternate Universe daughter, Spider-Girl, has a considerably better track record when it comes to such things.
- X-Men: Rogue and Gambit have at least two of them during the period in which Gambit has been turned into Apocalypse's Horseman of Death.
- Happens quite a lot during Blackest Night. Sometimes, the fallen hero's friends are actually "in there somewhere", but most of the time words are useless and the possessed Black Lanterns are nothing more than mindless shells with super powers.
- Bonus points if the possessed mindless shell convinces the more gullible hero that s/he is actually in there somewhere.
- Danielle Moonstar has a link with Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane) also of the New mutants. When Wolfsbane was mind-controlled by Amahl Farouk (via Karma's possession power) it took a direct mind to mind appeal to break through.
- Early in Ben Dunn's Ninja High School, Ordinary High-School Student Jeremy was brainwashed into being a sort of combination Mad Scientist and Evil Overlord (in a rather Nazi-looking uniform). On at least one later occasion, he relapsed. ("Using what I could salvage from your school's workshop, I was able to take control of every civilian satellite...." He'd also built a bunch of robot soldiers. All this in less than a day.) Ichi dragged him back to sanity by hugging him while tearfully saying, "Please. You're not this person. You're not this person."
- Inverted in Ultimate Marvel, in a team-up between the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. One of the Sentinels from the future, patterned on Wolverine, insists that (paraphrased) "I didn't do it, I'm still you inside". So far it's unknown if it was telling the truth.
- After Wolverine gets brainwashed by Apocalypse, the X-Men try this strategy... combined with beating the living hell out of him, blowing him through walls, and having Psylocke use her Psychic Powers to try to break the conditioning. Eventually his normal personality is restored by the power of Jubilee's love and Archangel's magic sparkly wings.
- Fun fact: Wolverine only got that way because Apocalypse was either going to choose him... or Sabretooth. Realizing that Sabretooth would never want to be snapped out of being "Death" (and would be unstoppable), the Dangerously Genre Savvy Wolvie subjected himself to Apocalypse on purpose, with the hope that the X-Men would be able to pull him out of it. And they did.
- In the DCU, brainwashed Teen Titan Kid Devil gets talked out of an Unstoppable Rage by Miss Martian before he can kill a similarly brainwashed Hardrock.
M'gann: Eddie. No. Eddie, Please Listen... This isn't you. You're not a killer. What they did to you — what Clock King said to you... None of it's true. You're not a monster. You're not alone. You're not unloved. You're a sweet boy who had a dream to be a superhero sidekick and got to live that dream. You're thoughtful, funny and earnest. You're a Teen Titan, Eddie. You're a good guy.
- A vicious subversion in Teen Titans' The Judas Contract. Turned out Terra wasn't the confused-but-good type she became in the animated series...
- To cap it off, when Gar desperately asks Was It All a Lie?. She not only cruelly laughs at him, but digs the knife in further by sneering that kissing him made her "want to puke."
- In Ms. Marvel's own series her fellow Avenger Wonder Man gets mind controlled by M.O.D.O.K.. For a variation she manages to break it by planting a passionate kiss on him.
- In Mega Man, Mega Man tries this on the first Robot Masters. It works on half of them, but the other half are determined to follow their new programming to destroy Mega Man. This leads to the two sides fighting it out, allowing Mega to slip away. The two sides eventually comprimise by destroying the Copy Robot.
- Done by the original Robot Masters to Mega Man after he has falling under Wily's control in the third story arc. It doesn't work at all.
- Attempted over and over again in World War Hulk — only for those who try it to discover that Bruce Banner is as angry as the Hulk, agrees with the Hulk, and is working with him.
- In All Fall Down, members of the Pantheon try to reach out to Pronto this way. They don't quite succeed.
- Danael tries this on Saryn after she was stung by a Darkhellion and turned into a Chaos Shade in Les Légendaires: Origines. It's horribly subverted, as turns out it's too late, and Jadina has to kill her to save Danael.
- This is attempted with Nightmare Rarity in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) #7. Nightmare Moon II insists she's in control, though Spike seems to momentarily get through.
- Occurs in an old DC Universe comic book. Superboy has somehow been given the personality of Adolf Hitler by the Psycho Changer, Alaktor. A fellow superhero tries to talk him out of it. Read it here◊.
Mon-El: Superboy, you can't be Hitler in personality! You've got to remember who you are...fight this off...
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise: In a flashback, Orion Pax meets with his friend Senator Shockwave. He's had his body disfigured and his head messed with so much, he's lost all emotions and empathy. He no longer sees any reason to have scruples and feels free from the experience. Orion tries to appeal to who he once was, a noble bot who fought for equality for all. It is a doomed effort.
Pax: "I know the real you - you can overcome what they did! I believe in you!
Shockwave (narrating): "One day Orion Pax would stop believing..."
- Zig-Zagged in Ridyr's TRON: Legacy fanfic "Survivor's Tale." Yori was captured and Clu decided to have Rinzler execute her, as much for dramatic irony as to get her out of the way. Yori figured out who was under that mask and started trying to talk him out of it, more for his sake than hers. With Clu shouting orders from one end and Yori arguing from the other, he becomes paralyzed by confusion. Later, after Yori's been rectified, Rinzler was still too confused by her presence to dismiss her as just another drone, and inverts the trope by freeing her, despite being unable to either free himself or completely understand his reasons for doing so.
- Winter War When it is revealed that Ichigo has lost control of his Hollow side, Ikkaku envisages pulling off something like this, during/followed by a massive fight which would end in Ichigo regaining control and running off to kill Aizen. Much later on, Ikkaku's angry speech has no effect on Hollow!Ichigo.
- Inner Demons: Several characters try this on Twilight Sparkle after she's consumed by her Queen of Darkness persona, with the biggest Tear Jerker of them all being Spike's attempt during the Battle of Fillydelphia. None of them work.
- Attempted and failed in Naruto:Asunder. Hinata makes it clear that unless she and Naruto talk about WHY he kissed her and what's up with their relationship... HEADS. WILL. ROLL.
- In The Prayer Warriors The Threat Of Satanic Commonism, Jerry is forced to fight against a "demon processed" Grover. Unlike most cases of this, Jerry is entirely willing to kill Grover if necessary, and ends up doing so (not that this is the first or last time Grover dies).
- Happens towards the end of the Star Trek fic Written in the Stars; Spock, suffering from the effects of Pon Farr, becomes crazed and violent, and can't even remember the rest of the crew...except for Fem!Kirk. She takes it upon herself to try and pull this trope on him. It doesn't work, so she brings him back to himself by...relieving him of his pain.
- In The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum, Marcus tried this on Stalwart Heart to bring his pre-ponified human self, Jacob (Marcus' little brother) back. Sadly, it doesn't work.
- In the Slender Man fic By the Fire's Light, Mira Grolinsky tries to get Jared Holloway to turn on the Slender Man and join her and Detective Carl Rourke in their quest against it. Jared ends up killing himself instead.
- in Moonlight, Scootaloo (and later the other two Crusaders) must do this for those stuck in their worst nightmares, either by making them face their fears or realize their true selves aren't who they're portrayed as in the nightmare.
- In the Facing The Future Series, Sam does this whenever Danny goes berserk in his dangerous Super Mode.
Films — Animation
- In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, the end of the movie has Ryu fighting Ken who is under Bison's mind control. Ken is eventually snapped out of it and they defeat Bison.
- The Movie of Batman Beyond, Return of the Joker, condenses this down to having the badly beat-up Batman merely mutter "... Tim." as his previous Sidekick turned Brainwashed and Crazy is about to murder him. It's just about enough to make Tim kill someone else instead of Batman, but it takes a year of intensive therapy to render poor Tim even partially sane. He's still suffering from after-effects of the brainwashing 40 years later.
- The Iron Giant: "You don't have to be a gun".
- In the straight to DVD movie The Invincible Iron Man, Iron Man defeats the Mandarin who takes the form of a ghost that possesses the romantic interest this way. This is a bit anti-climatic as a follow up to the the Fin Fang Foom fight.
- Used in the climax of How to Train Your Dragon 2 when Hiccup breaks the Big Bad's Alpha dragon's control over Toothless.
- Downplayed in Penguins of Madagascar, as it only takes Private to make Mutant!Skipper remember the memories they had together to snap him out of it.
Films — Live Action
- Alice and Nemesis in Resident Evil: Apocalypse
- Terminator 3 has a variation of this overlap with Fighting From The Inside, as John under threat from the reprogrammed T-850,, knowing full well that reasoning won't work, starts speaking the Terminator's language, and start to take hold of his mantle at the same time in this exchange:
John Connor: "WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?!?"
Terminator: "To ensure the survival of John Connor and Katherine Brewster."
John Connor: "You are about to FAIL... that mission..."
- Subverted in From Dusk Till Dawn. When Seth's brother rises as a vampire, Seth threatens to kill the others if they try staking him. Instead, he has the others hold him still so he can do it himself.
- The Nutty Professor Dr. Klump's assistant tries to "call him back" from inside the body of his violent alter-ego, Buddy Love. Eventually, Sherman DOES fight back, in a very physical way.
- MirrorMask. After Helena has been brainwashed by the Dark Queen (the brainwashing process involves turning her, oddly, into a Goth), Valentine The Fool appears and insists that she's still in there. It doesn't work, but juggling does.
- At the end of the film Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker removes his mask and gives one of these speeches to Otto Octavius/Dr. Octopus, encouraging him to overcome the influence of his tentacles. This is eventually followed by Octavius exclaiming to the appendages, "Listen to me now!"
- Briefly invoked in The Amazing Spider-Man as Peter battles the Lizard, who is actually his mentor, Dr. Curt Connors, suffering a Jekyll & Hyde transformation.
- Sort of in Serenity, with Mal talking to River: "I've risked my ship and crew on the theory you're an actual person, real and whole, and if that's ain't true, you best shoot me now. [River cocks the pistol she has trained on Mal] ...Or we could keep talking." Sort of in that there's no actual fighting, since Mal wouldn't last five seconds. That theme recurs through the whole series and movie, but this is one of the best examples.
- Luke Skywalker uses this in Return of the Jedi, towards his father Darth Vader. See the quote at the top of this page. Vader actually told him that it was too late for him and did take him to the Emperor, but in the end it worked.
- Oddly enough, in Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan doesn't try as hard as you'd think he might, given that he's known Anakin for about thirteen years. Maybe he's a Presbyterian Jedi. Or maybe he'd been drinking.
- Obi-Wan was being consistent with what we saw in the original trilogy: He never thought Darth Vader could be saved, and advised Luke away from trying. Luke simply had more faith.
- Also at the time their his first dual with Obi-Wan, Vader hadn't had over two decades to regret causing his wife's death, and couldn't consider a the possibility of a future with his son. Both of these factors had weakened his grip on the dark side by the time he fought Luke.
- Halfway through The Cell, when Catherine ends up trapped inside Carl Stargher's mind and transformed into one of his mindless dolls, Novak awakens her by reminding her of the time when her baby brother died in a car crash. Impressively enough, he managed this while Stargher was tearing his intestines out and threading them onto a spit.
- Much of RoboCop (1987) centres on this trope, culminating in the final line:
The Old Man: Nice shooting, son. What's your name?
Robocop: ... Murphy.
- In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Alice has a moment like this with the Mad Hatter, though slightly inverted. When the Mad Hatter is making hats for the Red Queen, he seems almost... normal and productive and happy. She then has to remind him that he's making hats for the Red Queen, in which he snaps back to (his) normal and freaks out, and asks Alice if he's gone mad. She tells him yes, he has. And he's satisfied.
- In The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick and Kyra have one. It works, but she gets killed by the Big Bad afterwards.
- Played straight in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, where our protagonist Jesse, possessed by our dear friend Mr. Kruger, is saved by his girlfriend Lisa using a combination of this trope and The Power of Love
- Briefly and stupidly invoked in the film version of Prisoner Of Azkaban, when Sirius tries to prevent his old friend Remus Lupin from transforming into a werewolf. It doesn't work.
- SIRIUS: Remus! This is not you! This is not your heart! I’LL MAKE OUT WITH YOU IF I HAVE TO!
- An especially stupid choice for the film adaptation since the two characters are childhood friends, Sirius witnessed countless transformations by Remus when they were students together, and learned to become an animagus specifically because Lupin's transformed state was senselessly vicious toward humans but was relatively docile around animals. The character knew that the werewolf transformation was a full overtaking and that there was no possible way for Remus to fight it, so it's completely ridiculous that they had him try this in the movie.
- Happens in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End when Will has to fight his father Bootstrap Bill, who has been driven mad. Bill snaps out of his insanity after Davy Jones fatally stabs Will.
- In The Two Towers, Sam talks Frodo out of his Ring-induced madness while the other hobbit has a sword at his throat.
It's me. It's your Sam. Don't you know your Sam?
- A standoff of this trope appears at the climax of From Paris with Love, in which Reese posits, Was It All a Lie?? (It wasn't). Finally The Mole comes to. Reese defuses the situation and foils a terrorist plot. Except, so not. Subverted. She can't help herself. Love be damned, he plugs her.
- Happens twice in Undercover Brother. When Sista Girl is trying to get the title character to stop acting white, and when UB is trying to get General Boutwell to throw off the effect of the drug he's under the control of and not shoot him.
- A brief moment in The Avengers, after Bruce Banner transforms into The Hulk. Thor fights with him to keep him from destroying the Helicarrier (and also to save Natasha). He gives up on trying to reason with Hulk pretty quickly, though.
- In the same scene Natasha unwillingly goes head to head with Hawkeye, who is under Loki's control. Eventually a crack to head from Widow brings Clint back around.
- Rhodes and Tony Stark's rematch in Iron Man 2 was a variation. It was clear that Rhodes was sane throughout the fight. However, the suit was reprogrammed remotely by Vanko, alongside the Hammeroids to cause havok, meaning they literally had no other choice but to fight.
- Alex confronts a transformed David this way in An American Werewolf in London. It seems to work, briefly, as he stops growling. Then he leaps for her and the police shoot him dead.
- Young Sherlock Holmes. After Chester Cragwitch is affected by a hallucinogenic drug that causes violent and self-destructive actions, Holmes tries to talk him down by reminding him of his name and that he's a banker. It works temporarily, but later he succumbs to the drug again and Watson has to talk him down while he's choking Holmes.
- Captain America takes an "I Know You're Somewhere In There Beatdown" in Captain America: The Winter Soldier from the Winter Soldier/"Bucky" Barnes, explicitly refusing to fight him in the climax because he will not hurt the Winter Soldier and wants him to realize the truth before he goes too far.
Live Action TV
- Attempted in an episode of Babylon 5, and subverted with particular cruelty. The reply is simply for the Manchurian Agent to take particular glee in twisting the knife and taunting the hero about how their friend is gone, and how every nice thing they had said to them, the agent had whispered in their mind to tell them in order to get closer. A sequel-hook of sorts had been set up a season earlier that would have allowed them to bring the character back,note but it was never used.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Xander manages to talk the real Willow out of her black magic-induced big badness. Subverted earlier when Buffy tries it, only for her to remind Buffy that 'real Willow' was a Shrinking Violet nerd that everyone used to mock before she gained her powers.
- Subverted when Angelus first emerges in Season 2: he taunts Buffy with it, insinuating that Angel is still a part of him, and she denies it and attacks. She can't bring herself to kill him yet, though.
- Also subverted by Vamp Jesse. Indeed, Giles had earlier warned the characters against trying this tactic against a vampire, but Jesse's former best friend Xander still gives it a try.
- In a more varied subversion, this exchange between Faith and Willow in the episode "Choices":
Faith: Give me the speech again, please. "Faith, we're still your friends. We can help you. It's not too late."
Willow: It's way too late. You know, it didn't have to be this way. But you made your choice. I know you had a tough life. I know that some people think you had a lot of bad breaks. Well, boo hoo! Poor you! You know, you had a lot more in your life than some people. I mean, you had friends in your life like Buffy. Now you have no-one. You were a slayer and now you're nothing. You're just a big, selfish, worthless waste.
- It's particularly interesting since Faith's expression and reaction suggests that she wanted to be told that it wasn't too late. (Even if she did deck Willow immediately after this exchange.) It is Faith, though, so it's not that surprising.
- Lampshaded and subverted in "Enemies." Angelus has (seemingly) re-emerged, and this exchange takes place between him and Buffy:
Angelus: Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Maybe there's still some good deep down inside of me that remembers and loves you. If only you could reach me. Then again, we have reality.
Buffy: I will kill you before I let you touch me.
- Completely fails in the Dollhouse episode "A Love Supreme" when the Dollhouse staff tries to get the psychopathic rogue doll Alpha to not blow up one of Echo's romantic clients:
Boyd: Alpha, do not do this. There's a part of you that knows this is wrong.
Alpha: There are many parts of me that know this is wrong... none that care... and six (chuckles) that just find it funny!
- Given that Alpha's original self was a serial killer-in-training anyway, there was no chance that negotiation would work.
- Played straight and subverted again in the episode "The Hollow Men". When Echo and Whiskey imprinted with an evil version of Rossum co-founder Clyde Randolph fight, it doesn't work; however, when Paul and sleeper-activated Mellie fight, Mellie is able to hold onto "herself" long enough to blow her brains out rather than shoot at her boyfriend.
- An early television example of this trope, at the climax of the 1953 six-part British sci-fi series The Quatermass Experiment, has Professor Quatermass defeat the menace, an alien plant which has absorbed three astronauts, by use of this technique. It's a pity we can't actually watch it.
- Subverted in Quatermass II, where the apparent success of this trope on an alien-controlled human is actually the aliens changing his orders, and instructing him to go along with Quatermass' plan (to launch a nuclear-armed rocket at their asteroid base) because they intend seizing the rocket so as to bring the rest of their race to Earth.
- But marvellously re-affirmed in Quatermass And The Pit, wherein Quatermass himself (along with most of the human race) falls prey to possession by ancient Martian psychic energy, and his friend Doctor Roney (one of the comparatively few people immune) has to shake and talk him desperately (Quatermass is at the same time doing his best to kill Roney) - but ultimately successfully - out of it. Unfortunately that scene got cut from The Movie adaptation.
- Subverted in The X-Files episode Schizogeny when Mulder tries to talk down the villain. It doesn't work and the Orchard Man fixes it.
- Played straight in "Pusher," when Mulder is being mind controlled and plays Russian Roullette with the killer. When he puts the gun to his own head, Scully tries to convince him that he's stronger than this. She's right, since Mulder begs her to run as soon as the killer makes him turn the gun on her...
- Also done in "Wetwired" when Scully is suffering the effects of mass brainwashing. She is convinced Mulder was one of the men who abducted her and holds him at gunpoint while hiding out at her mother's. In that case, however, it isn't Mulder who talks her down—it's Maggie Scully who steps between Mulder and her daughter and convinces her to put the gun down.
- There have been several such appeals to hosts of the Goa'uld in Stargate SG-1 (e.g.: Skaara) and Stargate Atlantis (e.g.: Colonel Caldwell). This almost never works completely, but a non-fatal attack (tasers or zats) is sufficient to buy time or to retrieve an important code. Occasionally, someone has to Shoot the Dog when such an appeal doesn't work, such as Teal'c having to kill Daniel's wife to prevent her Goa'uld Amonet from killing him.
- Locutus of Borg is the appellation Jean-Luc Picard takes after being (temporarily) assimilated by the Borg on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Subverted in that Picard doesn't willpower his way out. Instead it requires surgery and technobabble to free him. He does, however, manage to force out a hint on how to defeat the Borg.
- Subverted again in the TNG episode "Schizoid Man". Picard, realising that Data is "possessed" by the soul of Ira Graves, doesn't try to communicate with Data — he gives Ira an earful instead.
- In Season 5 of Hercules The Legendary Journeys, Iolaus is possessed by the evil god Dahak and Hercules pretty much tells him the aforementioned quote.
- Supernatural might have subverted it in "Devil's Trap". Possessed!John is making Dean bleed from the inside and Dean is begging for his life. When he says "Dad, please…", John manages to come back up for a few seconds and tries to hold the Demon in his body so that Sam can shoot him. The Demon escapes, of course.
- Dean also ends up giving Sam this speech twice, once when he is possessed and once when he gets addicted to demon blood.
- And again, when Sam is possessed by Lucifer in the Season 5 Finale, except Dean doesn't fight back.
- Played straight when Possessed!Bobby manages to fight the demon and not kill Dean.
- Dean does it again with Castiel, who is being controlled by Naomi in season 8, and it works.
- An episode of The Equalizer had Robert McCall's trusty sidekick Mickey Kostmayer kidnapped by the KGB in order to test their evil brainwashing technology. They make Kostmayer think that his long-time friend has accused him of murder and treason, making Kostmayer kill an image of McCall in blind rage. When the Real McCall is sent into the room as a test, he gets through to Kostmayer by saying he forgives him, and that he hopes Kostmayer does the same.
- UFO ("The Man Who Came Back"). Commander Straker tries this when his friend Collins turns out to be a Manchurian Agent sent by the aliens, but to no avail.
- In Smallville, possession and other influence causing a main character to temporary become an opponent is very common; the phrase is often spoken but it is usually not much of a fight.
- For example, in "Legion", there isn't much of a fight between Clark and Chloe (possessed by Brainiac) because Brainiac knows Clark can't bring himself to hit Chloe. He even taunts Clark about it.
- Subverted in "Bloodline" when Faora has possessed Lois and is attacking Clark:
Clark: Lois, stop!
Faora: Lois can't hear you.
- In "Booster", Booster Gold successfully talks down Jaime Reyes when he is taken over by the Blue Beetle scarab, proving to Clark that he is a true hero after all.
- Played straight in the series finale when Oliver attacks Clark at his wedding while being controlled by Darkseid and Clark successfully talks him down.
- A variation occurs in Misfits, where most of the main characters - who are notably dysfunctional, self-destructive and rebellious - get brainwashed into becoming eerie, do-gooding Stepford Smilers with no hint of their former personalities. Horrified by what is happening, Nathan tries to get through to his brainwashed tsundere love interest Kelly by swallowing his pride and confessing how much he liked her old personality (a big step for the guy as he's usually a snarky, sarcastic brat who refuses to appear vulnerable in any way). Unfortunately, the attempt fails miserably - even though Kelly does actually return his feelings, in her brainwashed state she's forced to turn against him. It's quite sad actually. Particularly considering Nathan's imminent "death", which totally devastates Kelly when she is returned to her natural state. And the fact that she can't even remember their final conversation.
- In Primeval, Connor's best friend Tom is infected by a parasite that makes him want to attack other people. Connor talks him into controlling it for just long enough to allow him to die a hero...* sniff*
- In the Lexx universe, this never works.
- Angela and Peter Petrelli (Heroes) successfully use this on Nathlar. Arguably an inversion, since they're trying to convince the brainwashed personality to take control back from the real one.
- Subverted in Jekyll, when Claire tries to resurrect the "dead" personality of her husband by pleading with Hyde for help and calling him "Tom." Hyde replies by giving her a long explanation of how Klein & Utterson "killed" Tom Jackman in the first place, making it very clear that the dead personality isn't coming back. But just to make sure, he asks the K&U executives to switch off their security cameras for half an hour while he makes sure that Tom wouldn't want to come back even if he could. Once they do, Hyde remarks "Suckers," and reveals that he isn't interested in hurting Claire or her children- in fact he wants to help them.
- More to the point, when Tom Jackman's personality does return, it's because Hyde brought him back.
- Doctor Who:
- Subverted in "Pyramids of Mars" where Laurence Scarman tries to get through to his brother Marcus, who is under the control of Sutekh. Despite being told point blank that his real brother was dead, Lawrence refuses to believe the Doctor and ends up paying the ultimate price for it.
- Lots of new Doctor Who series episodes have this. The only one who manages to play it straight is the Doctor himself in "42" when a friggin sun possesses him. All those who come in contact with it though don't end too good, despite the ship's captain hoping her lover is still in there somewhere. Oh and that Pig Man in "Daleks in Manhattan".
- Double subverted in "Silence in the Library", where the Sexy Secretary isn't expected to fight or "survive", well, death, but in the next episode, she did exactly that, turning into a Cyber Ghost.
- Played almost straight in the episode "The Pandorica Opens": when Rory begins to be taken over by the Autons, Amy remembers who he is and insists that he will not go under their control. He doesn't, but the mental battle's only won after he fatally shoots her.
- The Doctor tries this with Melody Pond in "Let's Kill Hitler", only she doesn't understand why he's calling her River.
- In "The Time of the Doctor", he does this to a Dalek-converted Tasha Lem. Though rather than an emotional appeal, he does it by insulting her and the cause she's devoted her life to until she seizes control partially so that she can slap him in the face.
- Also used in the Big Finish Doctor Who drama called "The Skull of Sobek", wherein Lucie and the Eighth Doctor are chosen as the champions of the two big bads, who have been feuding for centuries. The Doctor won't have anything to do with it, but Lucie falls prey to her big bad's mind control and becomes hell-bent on killing him. During the ensuing fight (though it's probably more accurately described as a chase because the Doctor won't hurt Lucie and in the end she didn't land any blows anyway), he never actually uses the phrase "I know you're in there somewhere," but he says just about everything else you might expect.
- A rare non-magical version pops up in Criminal Minds. Reid begs the kinder personality to take control of the UnSub with multiple personalities who's about to kill Reid. This fails, and he ends up killing the UnSub. Then, as the guy lies dying...
Tobias: [after Reid shot him, regarding his evil personality] You killed him.
Reid: [sorrowfully] Tobias.
Tobias: Do you think I'll get to see my mom again?
Reid: I'm sorry.
- In 3x01 of Merlin, Merlin tries this on resident Heel Face Mole and Broken Bird Morgana when she allies herself with the villainous Morgause and Cenred in an attempt to conquer Camelot out of her resentment towards Uther. She seems to listen to Merlin for a brief second, but it doesn't work. In the end, Merlin defeats Morgana and Morgause's plot fails, but Morgana takes the credit — cue them giving each other Death Glares and fueling the Foe Yay. Subverted in that Morgana isn't brainwashed and is well aware of the evil deeds she seeks to accomplish.
- Actually works later when Gwen is brainwashed and Arthur has to convince her to willingly go along with the magic that will break the enchantment. He does so by reminding her what she said when he proposed.
- This setup happens repeatedly between Helen and her brainwashed daughter Ashley as they keep facing each other in battle but Helen can't bring herself to fight back. The appeals do work, eventually, leading to a heartbreaking Dying as Yourself moment.
- Will tries this on Helen after she's possessed by a parasite in "Requiem." She responds by beating him up.
- Will also tries this on a Brainwashed and Crazy, transformed Henry. It doesn't work, and eventually it's up to another HAP to beat him out of it.
- In Chuck, this is exactly what Chuck has to do in order to restore Sarah back to normal in "Chuck Versus Sarah". However, Chuck himself doesn't do any fighting, instead, trying his darndest to convince Sarah that she loves him. It doesn't quite work in the end, but Sarah does resolve to go after the Big Bad for revenge.
- Warehouse 13 play this trope in the Season 2 finale when Myka delivers the below speech to HG when she is trying to destroy the world.
Myka: You are so filled with grief and anger but there is a part of you, I know it, there is some small part of your soul that knows that this is wrong. And that part is still alive and it’s just pushing to get through. Yes…that’s the part that refuses to kill the very people who can stop you.
Helena: No! Stay away from me!
Myka: Alright. If I am wrong, then kill me. Do it! Kill me now! I mean, we’re all gonna die anyway right, so what’s the difference? So shoot me! Shoot me now. Kill me. But not like that. Not like a coward. I want you to look me in the eyes and take my life.
- In "Children of Dune", Ghanima tries to convince Alia to fight, and also tells Alia's possession to give her a chance.
- In the second part of the Power Rangers Zeo story "King For A Day", The Zeo Rangers confront Tommy, who's been brainwashed (again) and made into the Machine Empire's king. When talking to him doesn't work and they refuse to fight him, Kat ends up demorphing and throwing her arms around him, it being enough to help Tommy snap out of it.
- Happens between Eddie and Patricia in House of Anubis when Patricia is turned into a sinner. He begs her to try and remember how she felt about him, because she still had all of her memories, but none of the feelings. They ended up kissing, but it was unknown if the real Patricia actually slipped out, or if it was all part of the plan to get Eddie and KT to accidentally unleash Ammit.
- Mega Man tries to pull this off with his brother in The Protomen's Act I. To say it doesn't work is putting it lightly.
- Magic: The Gathering: Kamahl somehow manages to get into these fights regularly. First, in Chainers Torment, he has one with Chainer. He's briefly on the receiving end in Judgment when his sister Jeska tries to snap him out of his Mirari obsession, and then later has one against his newly-zombified friend Balthor. Then in Onslaught, he is once again pitted against Jeska after she's transformed into Phage the Untouchable.
- On One Life to Live, having finally realized that ex-wife Viki isn't Viki at all, but one of her many personalities (she suffers from DID), Clint proceeds to do and say everything he can to get Viki to come back. And when she finally does, he says and does everything he can to prevent the other personalities from taking over again—when she mentions that her vision is going blurry and that she can't focus, he realizes that Jean (who needs glasses to see) is trying to resurface and basically shakes her to keep her from passing out.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, "Marauding Captain", recalling his and the past cooperation of "Gogiga Gagagigo", appears to be trying to reason with "Gogiga Gagagigo" in Memory of an Adversary. The circumstances could have been the cause of the transformation of "Gogiga Gagagigo" into "Gagagigo the Risen", through the purification of his soul.
- Happened not once, but TWICE with Lewa in BIONICLE. First his mask got replaced with an infected, mind-controlling one. Onua had to knock it off his face. Later, a Bohrok (which are machines controlled by an organic face-brain) places its Krana (face-brain) at Lewa, making him more than willing to join "the swarm" and "cleanse the island". Onua showed up again, but this time it was a I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight, as he refused to hit his friend. (Never mind that he gave Lewa a pretty good beating last time...) Lewa ripped the Krana of his face himself this time.
- In Neverwinter Nights, a good-aligned character can pull this off with Aribeth, a supporting character from the first part of the game driven to madness by her lover's execution and turned Dragon to the Big Bad.
- Note that you can't do this unless you either did a sidequest earlier in the game and still have the reward from that quest, which has no other real value, or you have an insanely high Persuade check.
- Same goes in Knights of the Old Republic, which largely recycled the plot of NWN in this aspect. The same character you save this way will be completely disbelieving of your naivety when she finds out you tried it on the Big Bad.
- This is also invoked on your Player Character if you're playing female, have done the Carth romance, and chose a Dark Side ending. Carth comes up and offers a Last-Second Chance to reject the Dark Side. Rather too bad you have to mod the game to get the full effect, because Sbarge earns the paycheck.
- The Brotherhood of Shadow Game Mod for KOTOR has an epic one. After Shadow/Channa Mae/Matilda/Sera Degana is put into an Angst Coma by her now-insane former Jedi master, smuggler Kobayasi plays this card by shouting that they're Not So Different - turns out he was a failed Padawan who had to give up his own identity after his master was killed, letting her know how hard the fight will be because he's done it himself and expressing faith that she can win like he did. He comes just short of admitting he is head over heels in love with her, too.
- Subverted in Mega Man Star Force. Fighting the first human-merged-with-alien, Mega Man is reluctant to attack because a human is in there and defeating the enemy would mean killing the human as well. Omega-Xis, the alien who gives Mega Man his powers, promptly corrects this misconception, assuring Mega Man that defeating the enemy is the only way to get rid of the alien and restore the human.
- Played straight with Acid Ace, however. Joker, being Ace's "dark half", can corrupt Acid and drive Acid Ace into a berserk state, and he does near game's end. The first time around, you need to stall for time until Acid Ace's safety kicks in and forces him to revert; the second time you have to thoroughly beat the sense back into him, and just in time for a Heroic Sacrifice to boot.
- Also subverted in Metal Gear Solid 4, where Solid Snake apparently beats Liquid Ocelotnote so hard that he knocks Liquid's ghost right out of him, and Ocelot enjoys the last few moments of his life as himself.
- In Romancing SaGa 3, the two destined children who actually have created the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere from their energies, are tried to be convinced to use the energies that they have manifested for the powers of creation instead of destruction.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, your friend Issachar starts the game as a perky teen whose greatest dream is to pass the Gauntlet Rite and become a Samurai. He fails and you, his best friend, pass. He becomes bitter and angry; soon after, he becomes a demon. You can invoke this, but Issachar's so furious and crazy it won't work at all. You can even try all speech commands with him. He'll respond to each with unique dialogue, still clearly fighting the demon from the inside. And losing.
- Depending on the ending you get, Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories provides both a straight example and a subversion when Rozalin accidentally unlocks her Superpowered Evil Side in an effort to defeat the Big Bad of the game. Of course, being a Superpowered Evil Side bordering on the verge of a cosmic entity, its not going to let Adell and the rest of the group walk away from the fight alive either. Depending on the amount of felonies and ally kills you rack up, this can go two ways:
- Good Ending: Rozalin declares Adell her enemy, Adell refuses to attack, and Rozalin hesitates in blasting him long enough for him to snap her back to reality with a kiss.
- Bad Ending: Rozalin doesn't hesitate and zaps Adell into oblivion. And if you've got really many felonies and ally kills, this further devolves into the...
- Worst Ending: Adell fails to hold back during the ensuing fight and accidentally kills Rozalin during the fight. It only gets worse when the thing takes ahold of his body in Rozalin's place while he's BSOD-ing...
- Then, at the end of a Task Force in City of Heroes, the player characters fight The Honoree, who those familiar with the backstory will quickly recognize as Hero-1 ("The Honoree." Get it? Get it?), who is being turned into one of the Scary Dogmatic Aliens by a bizarre biochemical transformation . This being a memorpuger, of course Status Quo Is God, and the opponent winds up fleeing, still Not Himself.
- The final boss of Mother 3, in which Lucas must fight the Masked Man who is actually his brother Claus, is won entirely by simply defending and healing while trying to talk Claus into remembering who he really is. He eventually comes back to his senses, but then he fries himself with his own attack and dies in his brother's arms.
- Another fight against the same guy happens a few minutes before, though you don't get to see it, as Flint tries to fight the "Porky" that's in Claus. That is, fight off Porky's influence
- "I'm going to where Mom is now." (suppresses a sob)
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Arado and Seolla, a set of partners from The School, are separated when Arado is shot down by the good guys. After he decides to join up with the team once he figures out that his old allies were merely brainwashing him, he gets into not one but three such fights with Seolla before finally breaking through her brainwashing.
- Then in SRW OG Gaiden, this gets repeated when a Brainwashed and Crazy Lamia threatened to self destruct immediately to plunge the team into eternal despair for not being able to save her forever. Except she didn't do it immediately, which prompts Axel, who just performed a Heel-Face Turn, to scold and point out why she didn't do it immediately, which means he knows her real self has yet to be deleted by the brainwasher, which prompts Lamia to finally revert to her own self temporarily, but enough for Axel to reaffirm that the chance for her salvation is not lost and proceeds to activate Code DTD which reverses her brainwashing and plugs her out of her machine.
- In Fire Emblem 7, this is Nils the Bard's Crowning Moment of Awesome. He actually does it on his sister Ninian the Dancer, who may not be attacking people but has been brainwashed into summoning a dragon through the Dragon's Gate. Nils, however, gets through her and Ninian stops the ritual in the nick of time.
- The same also occurs for Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, but also tries to avert it at the same time. Lyon summons the big bad demon that promptly possesses him, slowly and surely trying to kill Lyon's own soul at the same time as making him (on the outside) even more sickly than he already was as the process goes on. Throughout the game, he is fighting between being Lyon and being the Demon King possessing him and shows that Lyon may still be him to Eirika, but a lost cause to Ephraim. Eventually Eirika has many moments of invoking this trope for him once the twins are reunited and she tries to get Lyon to fight the Demon King for his body back, which works... Until it doesn't. The Demon King averted it by screwing with Eirika and destroying one of the last two sacred stones left on earth when she fell for it. He also pretty much confirms Eirika's fears that this is a wasted trope... Until it isn't. Lyon is, in fact, still alive but barely so and certainly wasn't strong enough to take back his body. Until he does... Right after Eirika, Ephraim and the others kill him, which lets him pull a Dying as Yourself.
- Don't forget Monsho no Nazo, where you have to get Merric, Minerva, Julian and Camu... er, Sirius to talk fast to Elice, Maria, Lena and Nyna respectively, who have been brainwashed into becoming sacrificial maidens for Medeus's resurrection. If you don't, they will be eaten by Medeus so he'll recover strength.
- And certainly don't forget Genealogy of the Holy War! Where upon hitting the final part of the final chapter, Manfroy sends a Brainwashed and Crazy Princess Julia at you. Seliph tries this on her.... it doesn't work outright- instead you have to kill Manfroy first. Easier said than done, due to how powerful Julia is (and you have to deal with her attacking you) and the fact that on top of being a semi-powerful boss, armed with Fenrir, Manfroy is surrounded by Dark Mages with Hel tomes. Upon completing this ordeal, and having Seliph then talk to Julia and you're given a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming along with Narga, which pretty much is the means to the end.
- Played with in Radiant Dawn where, in part 3 chapter 7, Haar can recruit Jill away from the Daein forces by appealing to the same sense of justice that got Jill to defect from Daein in the previous game. A little nonstandard in that Daein is *also* heroic, so it's halfway between this and a "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture.
- This is done in an interesting way to the Avatar in Awakening. When the fell dragon absorbed the Avatar, everyone within your party calls you back, telling you to fight. And, it actually works. What makes this situation different from others on this page is that the entire sequence is shown from the Avatar's point-of-view.
- Reversing what happened in the Street Fighter animated movie, in the Alpha games Ken is the one who pulls this on Ryu in Alpha 3, with the help of Sakura and even Sagat. More exactly, Ryu has been kidnapped and forcibly infused with Bison's power, which makes him go Brainwashed and Crazy. Sagat (who has just had his Heel Realization upon finding the brainwashed Ryu and being mocked by Bison himself) talks/fights to Ryu to make him return to his senses, while Ken and Sakura take on Bison. It only fully works when Sakura pulls a Go Through Me to protect a fallen Ryu and is hit point-blank by the fully Psycho Drive-empowered Bison, which triggers an Unstoppable Rage in Ryu that breaks through his brainwashing.
- Played straighter in Ryu's path, where Ken is the one brainwashed and Ryu has to snap him out of it before taking on Bison himself. And then he gets infused with the Psycho Drive energy as it explodes, but manages to resist it this time.
- If you play as Juli, the mid-boss fight with T. Hawk has him recognizing her as his childhood friend Julia and begging her to come back home with him. Since you are the one controlling Juli, it obviously fails. (She does return to his side, but much later and in different circumstances.)
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2 uses this trope as well near the endgame. After ditching your clan, Adelle has a run-in with Illua. The mission you pick up at the bar is actually an encounter with a buttload of monsters and a controlled Adelle, who Luso has to talk back to her senses. Of course, to make things easier, feel free to kill the vanguard Illua entrusted to her.
- Kingdom Hearts has, well, several instances of the trope:
- It happens in Kingdom Hearts II, specifically in the fight against Beast, who goes stark raving mad out of paranoia and needs a lot of shouting from Cogsworth to calm back down.
- Also happens a lot in Birth by Sleep. Every time a character is possessed by something/someone not quite well intentioned, the proper response is to fight them and "free their heart" or something like that. In the final chapter, this culminates in a fight between Aqua and a Xehanort-possessed Terra where the former actually says "I know you're in there". Sadly, it doesn't work.
- A special version happens in "358/Days", where Riku taunts the bits of Sora inside Roxas, to make sure he's really in there before he gives himself up to the darkness.
- Finally in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Sora attempts to reach out to a reprogrammed Tron, who was under the control of CLU.note Despite his success, Tron falls down into an abyss, and is seemingly derezzed (The "seemingly" part comes from CLU mentioning how he needs to "retrieve" Rinzler, which wouldn't be possible if he had been derezzed).
- The Final Boss of 3D is Sora trapped inside of Ven's armor that has been overtaken by darkness. The player plays as Riku during it.
- Sora at one point fighting Riku in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The catch? It's not really Riku at all, but a clone created by Vexen, and the memories they're fighting over are fake too.
Riku: I remembered it, Sora. I now know the one thing that is most important to me. Protecting Naminé. Nothing else matters—-not a thing.
Sora: Hey... Riku... I think I'll jog your memory.
- The fight between Barret and Dyne in Final Fantasy VII isn't a typical example as both combatants are using full strength, but close enough to count. The real tragedy is that Dyne is so far gone that as soon as Barret non-fatally defeats him and tells him they can go back and see his daughter together, clearly assuming the trope worked, Dyne tells Barret he can't come back anymore and commits suicide.
- In Final Fantasy X while fighting against Braska's Final Aeon, Tidus gains a "talk" command that attempts to reach Jecht, resetting the monster's Overdrive gauge. It stops working the third time...
- Done to death in Mega Man Battle Network. First in 4 Blue Moon with Proto Man, in 5 (both versions) with Mega Man and either Colonel or Proto Man again depending on your version, and Mega Man in both versions of 6.
- The fight against Maverick Zero in Mega Man X 5, except X decides the best course of action is beating the crap out of Zero to bring back his true self, and does so (the fight ends more or less in a tie). Also Zero vs Iris in X4. In both cases, unfortunately, they die after becoming normal again, but for different reasons.
- Played straight twice in Mass Effect. Benezia breaks Saren's indoctrination briefly during the fight on Noveria at Shepard and Liara's urging, and if you have sufficient Charm or Intimidate points, you can make Saren break Sovereign's control in the final fight. It's not much of a breakage in either case, though, as both kill themselves — Benezia goes for suicide by Spectre, Saren shoots himself in the head — rather than continue as evil pawns. This is because Reaper indoctrination is permanent. Any break is only temporary.
- Except for Shiala, who had to become controlled by the Thorian and become subsequently freed.
- Happens to two characters in Final Fantasy IV: Kain and Yang. Yang gets a good old beatdown, while Kain breaks the control, then loses himself again, then breaks the control a final time. Golbez is also Brainwashed and Crazy, but no one knows that except FuSoYa, so they never bother trying it.
- In Rival Schools, if you choose to play with the teachers Hideo and Kyouko, at some point they're brainwashed. Later, one of them (the first one you picked) will snap out of it but not the other, so you'll have to team up with Batsu Ichimonji (whom you have just defeated beforehand) fight your companion.
- Variation: In any other team up with charas of the same school, one of the characters will be kidnapped, get Brainwashed and Crazy and join The Dragon Raizo. Your characters will try to talk to him or her, but will have to defeat him and Raizo in battle to get their companion back. It turns out Raizo also was Brainwashed and Crazy... by the true Big Bad, his nephew Hyo. You have to defeat the old guy to de-brainwash him too.
- Another variation happens in the second game, when Hyo himself is Brainwashed and Crazy... by the spirit of his evil Disappeared Dad, Mugen. We see the whole deal in the Taiyo team's route, when Batsu and Co. confront him right before the final battle: Hyo manages to push Mugen aside for a second and talk to his younger brother Kyousuke, explaining what happened and begging the group to Mercy Kill him so Mugen won't use him as a Soul Jar. And sadly, this is what happens: Hyo is dispossessed, but dies in Kyosuke's arms.
- If you play a death knight in World of Warcraft, you are ultimately given a quest to execute a helpless NPC of your death knight's own race. This NPC — who, it can be inferred from the dialogue, knew you somehow before you became a death knight — pulls this on you. Seeing as this leads to your death knight's inevitable Heel-Face Turn, one can only conclude that it works, but there's a twist: Your superiors wonder why you're taking so long, which causes your old friend to tell you to kill them to keep up the Masquerade.
- Both lampshaded and subverted in a memorable World of Warcraft quest in which Big Bad Arthas openly accuses Knight in Shining Armor Tirion Fordring of falling victim to this trope. Tirion, however, displays a notable lack of Genre Blindness when he tells Arthas that he just wanted to see for himself if he had lost his humanity completely and proceeds to attempt to kill him. Unfortunately, he fails.
- It was not a complete failure, as Tirion in this encounter destroys Arthas's heart, effectively wiping out the last bit of humanity in the Lich King. So now Tirion knows that Arthas is no longer "in there".
- Links to confirm it or it's just a Wild Mass Guess.
- Here is the text to the event that plays along with the quest. Most specifically, the quest completion text you get from Tirion.
I do not view what we just went through as a failure, <name>... quite the opposite. By allowing me to peer into his heart, you allowed me to confirm what I needed to know. There is no Arthas Menethil anymore — there is only the Lich King.
- In a quest given by Tirion in Eastern Plaguelands, your character delivers a bundle of childhood memories to his son Taelan, a member of the Scarlet Crusade. It causes Taelan to realize the corruption of the Scarlet Crusade and go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge through Hearthglen until he is killed by Grand Inquisitor Isilien on his path to reunite with his father.
- In Resident Evil 5, Chris ends up subduing Jill during the fight by talking to her, trotting out the most cliché lines he can manage. "Jill, what are you doing? It's me, Chris! Don't you recognize me? Snap out of it!" The whole thing is just to get her to stop leaping around so your partner can yank The Virus off of her chest. Alternatively, you can just shoot it off.
- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance features this, requiring you to find specific quest items, go for the optional harder boss, and having a specific pendant equipped before it happens though.
- Played with in Breath of Fire IV, where, if you choose to get the Bad Ending, you join up with your Evil Half Fou-Lu to become the Infini Dragon, and must kill your former teammates in an unwinnable (for them) boss fight. If during the fight you heal them with an item, Nina will say "that was you Ryu, right?". In the end, though, it's a fake hope, there's nothing you can do, you have to end the battle sooner or latter.
- In Tales of Vesperia, Yuri has to fight a Brainwashed and Crazy Estelle, the most innocent person in the game solo. You can go all out, even to the point of using your Limit Break on her, and even so, Yuri will be able to bring her back to her senses.
- Baten Kaitos has one of these for a Climax Boss fight. Notably, it's the main character they're trying to save. By beating the crap out of him.
- The same goes for Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis, using the main character (just like above) as the Final Boss.
- In BlazBlue, any encounter between Litchi and Arakune. The fights themselves include heartbreaking pleas by Litchi for Arakune to "Wake up!"
- Ragna's dialogue before fighting Mu-12 (a Brainwashed and Crazy Noel) seems to suggest the fight between the two at the end of Continuum Shift's story mode is this as well. The conversation between Ragna and Rachel in the previous scene regarding whether Noel's personality can be brought back reinforce the notion.
- At the end of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Peach is possessed by the Shadow Queen, but overcomes her to help Mario.
- Robo's fight with Atropos in Chrono Trigger, though she doesn't throw off the reprogramming until after she's already damaged beyond repair, and dying.
- In the DS version, Magus's fight with the Dream Devourer. Schala only comes to her senses for a moment.
- Sadly subverted in Phantasmagoria. Adrienne, almost totally strapped into the Death Trap, briefly breaks through to her possessed husband Don with a little help from an old snowman ornament. Unfortunately, if you don't do anything, the demon takes over and kills her. The only way to escape is to activate the trap while Don's distracted, killing him instead of Adrienne.
- The Lufia series danced all around this trope before finally embracing it:
- X-Men Legends 2 has Sabretooth trying this to Beast after he is put under Apocalypse's control. Sadly, it fails when he arrives to stop it.
- Mentioned by the villain in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising. If the traitor is Jonah Orion, he turns out possessed by a demon, who promptly tells the protagonists:
Demon: Jonah is right here, infant. I can hear him screaming.
- He still fights. While he can't stop the demon from attacking you or drive it out, he does prevent it from using it's powers to regenerate itself once its been mortally wounded.
- In Magical Cannon Wars this is the ending fight between Akira and Zero, trying to release the latter from the grip of "mechanical magic".
- The final boss of Ōkamiden' when you battle Akuro in the form of Chibierasu with a possessed Kuni on his back. After the fight, Kuni becomes your partner again... too bad Kurow doesn't make it.
- Implied in the final level of Mark of the Ninja Master Azai does not fight the main character, but informs him to take the clan's ancestral sword and bring it to the garden. When you get there, you are given a choice to either kill Azai or Ora, the woman from whom you have been taking advice the entire game. Killing Azai implies that the ninja fails this fight, whereas killing Ora — who is revealed to be a hallucination — implies that the ninja wins out and does the right thing.
- In The King of Fighters 95, the mid-boss before Rugal is Kyo's father Saisyu Kusanagi, who was believed to be dead... but is actually Brainwashed and Crazy. If you fight as Team Japan (Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon), Kyo is shocked to see his father like this (and for worse Saisyu tries to pull a We Can Rule Together) but after a rather Narm-filled talk due to "Blind Idiot" Translation, he decides to set that aside since Saisyu simply won't listen. It works in the end: the defeated Saisyu apologizes to Kyo and asks him to keep fighting before passing out, and then the Team focuses on Rugal.
- It's done differently in the KOF: KYO manga: the manga starts after Saisyu has aleady defeated Benimaru and Daimon off-screen so Kyo fights Saisyu on his own, first screaming at his dad to recognize him ("Father, wake up! Don't you remember your own son?!") and then curb-stomping him with a single Orochinagi, de-brainwashing and disabling Saisyu but not knocking him out so he can explain to Benimaru and Daimon the deal with Rugal and the Orochi power he absorbed, as Kyo fights Rugal alone.
- And later in KOF::KYO Saisyu returns the favor when Kyo falls in a state similar to the Yagami's Riot of the Blood., reminding him that the Kyo doesn't fight purely for the thrill of the battle but also to protect others.
- Near the end of the final route of Duel Savior Destiny Super Mia and Selbium attempt to get through to their brother/friend Taiga due to his mind being blanked out by the Messiah Armor while he rampages. After the fight, they're briefly interrupted when the Big Bad shows up, leading to a Duel Boss Fight that results in a mutual KO and the former person is left to try to get through. Naturally, she manages to break through and with the help of his other love interests they manage to snap him out of it.
- In the intro of Jak II: Renegade, Jak shifts into Dark mode and starts advancing on Daxter. "Easy now. Easy, buddy. It's, it's your old pal Daxter remember?" The claws stop about an inch from his face.
- Dust: An Elysian Tail plays this straight with the final battle. There is however a twist, It's the villain trying to draw out his friend out of the main character, who is an amalgamation of two souls.
- In Puyo Puyo 7, when Ringo and the gang confront Dark Arle in the depths of the forest, Satan was the very first one to notice that Arle was possessed. This might be because he knew something was off, since he had a series-long affection towards Arle.
- In Shovel Knight, The Enchantress/Shield Knight.
- Fei attempted this on Elly. This is because the latter used the Psycho Serum known as the Drive to fight the former since she is too much of a coward to do it. He eventually snapped her out of this by using The Power of Love.
- Subverted in the Ciel Story Arc in Tsukihime where the protagonist is the reincarnation of the Big Bad and is only a matter of time before he would be completely possessed. Before that Ciel his friend, sempai and current Love Interest who is secretly an immortal exorcist sent by the Church asks him to get to the school by night to help him. But her true intention is to fight him and kill him because she knows there is no cure and bears personal hatred against the Big Bad. It is only because the protagonist refuses to fight her to the death and to hate her for being deceived that she realizes she cannot do it.
- In Stupid Mario Brothers, Mario tries this out on a brainwashed Luigi (as Mr. L) before they fight. By the end of the fight it works.
- In To Boldly Flee, Lupa tries this on a roboticized Todd in the Shadows to get him to break his brainwashing. It works. Sure, she had to agree to a date, but it worked. When Todd tried this on The Nostalgia Chick, though, he failed and had to resort to making her Go Mad from the Revelation by showing her his face.
- In Marble Hornets Entry #62, it is implied that this was Jay's plan when he rushed to confront Masky aka the Brainwashed and Crazy Tim in Rosswood Park. However, he gets his ass kicked and dragged deep into the woods before he has the chance to try this.
- During the final battle of Journey of the Cartoon Man, Roy manages to snap Valerie out of Oswald Sherzikien's mind control by means of salsa dancing.
- In X Ray and Vav this is successfuly pulled off, then lampshaded.
- The Tick manages to do this to his arms in Armless But Not Harmless. No, really.
- When Marge Simpson ends up in a roid rage, Homer talks her down in this manner. But not before she cripples all of Moe's regulars. And Disco Stu.
- In the episode "Dog of Death", Burns takes in a runaway Santa's Little Helper and, through A Clockwork Orange-type conditioning, transforms him into a vicious attack dog. When Bart comes by looking for Santa's Little Helper, Burns releases the hounds on him. Bart recognizes his dog but not vice versa until, on the verge of being attacked, Bart calls out "I love you, boy!" This triggers in the dog a series of flashbacks to him having fun with Bart, and he reverts back to his old affectionate self.
- Most of those memories are of Bart secretly feeding Santa's Little Helper.
- In Transformers Animated Prowl jacks himself into Omega Supreme when Megatron takes control of his body, while Ratchet gives him the trope's talk from the outside. It works and Prowl helps Omega throw off Megatron's control... only for Starscream to take over instead. Oops.
- Code Lyoko: Despite numerous fights with William since he is possessed by XANA, this approach never comes up until the episode "The Lake"; Yumi's speech actually does bring him back for a few seconds... or so it seems: it's left unclear if she actually succeeded for a short amont of time, or if it was merely a Hyde Plays Jekyll moment (something William is known to have done twice before).
- Rather beautifully subverted in Beast Machines. Blackarachnia has reason to believe the spark of her lover, Silverbolt, is being used to power the villain Thrust. She traps Thrust, breaks through the "shell program", demands Silverbolt come forth... and is told "Doggie-bot not home!" The spark inside Thrust is actually Waspinator. Silverbolt is inside
someone else the Jerk Ass.
- Subverted in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series. In one episode, the Parasite has absorbed the personality of a particularly cunning and devious villain, and the two personalities team up... for a while. Eventually it becomes clear that the clever guy is perfectly willing to let the Parasite die, since, after all, his real body and mind are miles away, and they start battling it out inside the Parasite's head. Meanwhile, Superman, on the sidelines, shouts encouragement to the Parasite personality. It's a subversion because both personalities are bad guys; Superman is just rooting for the lesser of two evils.
- And he does it again in Justice League Unlimited, this time rooting for Lex Luthor after Brainiac hijacked his body and fused with him. Too bad for Supes that Lex was all in favor of the deal, and had even been the one to suggest complete fusion to begin with.
- Also from Justice League, in "For the Man Who Has Everything", Superman is trapped by the Black Mercy, dreaming of a world where he is married, has a son and Kypton still exists. As Wonder Woman fights Mogul, Batman does everything he can to snap Superman out of it. When none of his gadgets work, he frantically tugs at the Black Mercy attached to Superman, telling him to snap out of it. And in his dream world, Superman continually hears Batman's voice.
- In Ben 10: Race Against Time, Gwen does it to Ben who is turned into a young version of the villain Eon. After a while, it works.
- Later subverted in a Ben 10: Alien Force episode, where the Plumber's kids goes on a space station to save Max from Ben, who apparently went Axe Crazy. While fighting him, Pierce assumes Ben must have been Brainwashed and Crazy, and attempt this trope on him. It apparently works, as Ben seems to come partially to his mind and beg for help... only to use the opportunity to catch him off guard and mock him for falling to the trick. It's later revealed Ben was actually faking being evil as part of an act organized by Max to test the Plumbers' kid performances.
- Parodied in Dexter's Laboratory. He tries to fix a damaged DynoMutt (a dog robot with boatloads of hyperactivity). He comes up with a supercool and super-dangerous version that is ten times more badass than the leading brand. When it goes rogue, The Blue Falcon tries to use his friendship with DynoMutt to draw out his old personality. Dexter eventually reveals that DynoMutt was such an annoying buffoon that he decided to just start over with a new version. Blue Falcon is appalled, shocked, and stunned! But then he realises that he can now simply kill the evil robot with a clear conscience — after all, What Measure Is a Non-Human??
- This happened in the Kim Possible episode "Emotion Sickness", where Kim had an emotion-manipulating device on her neck stuck on uncontrollable rage. In the end, she finally caught up with Ron, and began to beat him up (with uncharacteristic slowness) while he tried to get through to her, without success — until Shego picked up the slack and put him in real danger.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Happened with Jet after he was Brainwashed in "Lake Laogai". Aang manage to snap him out of it by reminding him of his past as a freedom fighter, causing him to throw his sword at the brainwashing bad guy. Who dodges it and kills him without a second thought.
- Also happens a few times non-verbally with Aang in the Avatar State. It's generally Katara either talking to him desperately or hugging him at great danger to herself.
- Subverted on My Life as a Teenage Robot when Jenny's absorbed into a giant Cluster-bot. Her prototype sisters attempts to call out to her fail, but her youngest sister, a robot baby, pukes oil on her (seriously) manages to wake her up.
- Winx Club has one of those as the end of Season 2. With Bloom turned into a Dark Magical Girl by the Big Bad, after her friends attempt to fight her yet cannot (half because it's their friend after all, half because Evil Bloom is VERY powerful), and after Riven almost gets killed to shield an injured Musa, it's up to Prince Sky to try talking Bloom out of it. It takes a while, but it finally works. It's also a mild subversion since this time the heroine is the one brainwashed and saved by her love interest.
- Danny Phantom in "What You Want" and "Control Freaks". In WYW, Danny tries to get through to a ghost-powered Tucker and fails. Danny winds up tricking Tucker in order to free Tucker from his evil ghost version. In CF, Sam attempts to get through to a brainwashed Danny, succeeding once, only to have Danny put under Freakshow's control again. She attempts later in the ending and only gets to Danny after getting tossed off a train over a bridge crossing in a valley. Danny comes to his senses and saves her before she falls to her doom.
- Invader Zim:
- Zim tries this on his robot henchman GIR after the latter is overtaken by his "duty mode". True to the Failure Is the Only Option nature of the series, it doesn't work.
- In "Dibship Rising", when Zim puts the Dibship under mind control and orders it to do away with Dib, Dib tries to persuade the ship otherwise by reminding it that it and himself are essentially the same person.
- In a episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) (Masters of the Universe vs. the Snake Men), Man-at-Arms and Teela are turned into snakepeople.
He-Man: Man-at-arms, fight it!
Man-at-Arms: I can't... nor do I want to!
- He then proceeds to smack He-Man around a bit.
- Subverted in The Powerpuff Girls. Professor Utonium's latest invention, a pet named Beebo, goes on a destructive eating rampage throughout Townsville, even going as far as to eat both Blossom and Buttercup. He chases Bubbles around a bit until she's cornered in an alley, at which point she says "No, Beebo! No! I love you!" and stares at him with her giant glassy Powerpuff eyes. Beebo pauses, then smiles at her — then eats her anyway.
- Also subverted when Him mind controls everyone in Townsville and makes them attack the Powerpuff Girls. When the girls cannot talk the townspeople out of Him's mind control they beat them up.
- In one of the Lilo & Stitch movies, Lilo pulls one of these on Stitch, when his programming is reversed back to "destructive little monster". A finishing "Because I love you" finally made it work.
- Done by Sonic the Hedgehog in the SatAM cartoon to keep his robotizised uncle from doing the same to Tails and Antoine. It worked.
- This is played with in the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, of all shows. Mario gets brainwashed by an invention of
Ludwig Von Kooky Koopa, and it's up to Luigi to save him. However, reminding Mario of the good times they had together doesn't work, so he plays a trick on Mario as he had done earlier while they were arguing. This apparently works.
- Subverted in X-Men: Evolution, when Jean and Wanda try to snap Professor Xavier and Magneto respectively out of Apocalypse's mind control. Only defeating Apocalypse can free them.
- Played straight twice before, by Kitty Pryde (against a Brainwashed and Crazy Wolverine) and Evan Daniels (towards a possessed Storm.)
- And toyed with in regards to a Jean who experiences a serious Power Incontinence. While Scott does try to talk her down, what truly works is to have Rogue touch Jean, copy her powers, and contain her psychically.
- Also played straight and subverted with Rogue. When all the personalities and powers she's absorbed start forcing their way to the surface, she's talked down at least twice. Each time, however, the one doing the talking makes some sort of slip that triggers one personality or another, causing her to go wild again. It takes Professor X's Psychic Powers and a pep talk from Wolverine to straighten her out completely.
- Subverted twice in Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
- In a season 2 episode padawan Barriss Offee is taken over by a parasitic brain worm. When her friend Ashoka Tano tries this trope on her it has zero effect. In the end she has to rely on SCIENCE and lightsabers, followed up by some snuggly cuddling.
- Later in Season 3, Ahsoka gets kidnapped and brainwashed by the Son, the embodiment of The Dark Side of the Force, and made fight against Anakin. During their duel, Anakin repeatedly tried to talk sense into her, but to no avail. She got better eventually thanks to the combined efforts of Anakin and the Daughter, the embodiment of the Light Side.
- Another subversion in Galaxy Rangers episode "Psychocrypt" - By the time his team find him, Zach has already had his Life Energy ripped out and turned into a Slaverlord. Doc tries this, only to start dodging bullets. The Slaverlord-Zach also fires several direct shots at Goose, whose abilities allow him to shrug it off long enough to grab the crystal.
- Played straight in an elegant way by Zozo in "Showtime." The normally prim and rational Andorians have been reduced to slavering brutes by captivity (captivity being so repulsive to them their mind snaps). Zozo doesn't plead with the crazed Waldo - he simply asks his friend to solve a mathematical equation, which gets Waldo to stop long enough to shake off the crazy.
- In "One of Us", Jimmy Neutron tries this trope on his friends and parents, who have been brainwashed by an alien disguised as a kindly old grandma throught the use of televized mass hypnotism, but it doesn't work:
Jimmy: Mom! Dad! You can't do this to me!
Mom: Oh, we're happy to do it.
Dad: Positively ecstatic!
Jimmy: But you're not supposed to be happy all the time. You have to be sad sometimes!
Dad: Happily that's no longer true.
Jimmy: Can't you see, Grandma Tater's show has stolen your emotions and caused you to lose your humanity! Soon the whole world will be a pack of soulless, mindless zombies!
Sheen: Wondering if I care... still wondering... NO!
- Averted in The Venture Bros. "The Incredible Mr. Brisby". A group called the Orange County Liberation Front try to overthrow obvious Walt Disney parody, Roy Brisby and his empire using Bizzy Bee beanies taken from Brisby's laboratories intended for mind control and using them on the Venture brothers, Hank and Dean, as test subjects. As the battle erupts between the soldiers and the bee-suit workers, the hypnotized boys prepare to attack Brock. Instead of appealing to them, Brock threatens them: "You don't want to shoot me, boys. You know me. You know what I'll do to you if you do." It works, as the boys' mind control is momentarily overridden by pure terror, long enough for Brock to lightly bash their heads together and remove the caps.
- Subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man. The son of Dr. Connors aka The Lizard tries to get through to his rampagin mutated father. There's a flicker of recognition and hesitation in Lizard's eyes, and then it attempts to bite the kid's head off.
- The series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series has an example, although Spidey really had to work for it. It involves Spider-Carnage, an insane alternate-dimension version of himself, and a not-dead Uncle Ben from another alternate universe getting through to him. Even then, it was only enough for him to break free for a moment and kill himself before he could relapse.
- In the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "The Sinister Six" Peter tries this on the Lizard. It actually works and the Lizard reverts back to Connors. Unfortunately Doc Ock steps in to turn him into the Lizard again, and it doesn't work a second time. This trope appears again in "The Man-Wolf" with...well, the Man-Wolf. It happens twice in the episode.
- Subverted in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Thor tries doing this when the other Avengers are mutated into Gamma monsters by the Leader. Sadly, it has no effect.
- In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jade tries doing this to her dog, Scruffy, after if has been possessed by the mask of an evil Oni warrior, to the point of tears. It doesn't work, but Jackie and her team of animals (who were given powers by the defeated dragon demon Shendu's talismans) and a stuffed animal (also given life by the talismans) save her before Scruffy kills her.
- Played straight when Jade's same age friend, Paco, puts on another Oni warrior mask so that he can be scary for Halloween. The mask's evil slowly takes over him until he was willing to beat up his own wrestling idol, El Toro. On the edge of defeat, El Toro convinces him to remove his mask after he removes his own (which he and Paco agreed he would never do out of pride) and brings him back to his senses enough to fight off the demon's influence (in a rather comical, Jim Carrey like fashion) and use Uncle's potion to remove it.
- Subverted in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command when a villain uses a stolen, personality-swapping helmet on Booster. During the fight, Booster reveals that the helmet did not work on him, due to Bizarre Alien Biology: he has two brains, and his personality is stored in his "bottom brain." Booster is a comic relief character, after all.
- Comically subverted in Tiny Toon Adventures, where Babs tries to convince a mind-controlled chimera-ish monster, who's obeyed into lowering her and her friends into a vat of goop that will mutate them into a monster like him, into remembering the good times together, which prompts a look of anger as she had spent the entire episode beating him up despite his Anguished Declarations of Love. It's finally played straight when she admits that she loves him and releases him from his mind-control.
- Splinter tries this twice on mutant Donatello in one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door Numbuh 5 tries this on Numbuh 1 when he is turned into a Spanky-Happy Vampire. Sadly, it fails.
- In the Futurama movie "Bender's Big Score", Bender is subject to this while under the power of the mind-control virus, under an order to kill his best friend Fry. He is only partly successful - still, at least it shows how much he cares about Fry.
Bender: Must obey orders. Ohhhhh. Mustn't kill friend!! Ohhhhhh! Badly want to urinate!!!!! [monotone] Entering auto destruct sequence. [normal] Awww crap, I hate auto destruct sequence! [monotone] Explosion in 7, 6-
(Fry duplicate kicks Bender duplicate back into a cryotube. Fry duplicate turns the dial to one million years)
Bender: (much later) [monotone] -4, 3, 2, 1, [normal] BOOM! (Nothing happens. Bender starts to laugh) Woah! (he explodes)
- In the G.I. Joe: Renegades episode "Prodigal", Duke has one with Ripcord, who is being overtaken by his Cobra controlled bio-viper form. Duke is ultimately successful when he flat out orders Ripcord to break free from Cobra's mind control.
- Dragon Booster has a rather interesting example in The Wraith Booster for two reasons. One, the speech is given by Anti-Villain Moordryd Payyn, to Artha, who is The Hero. Second, he gives it when Artha is the Dragon Booster, and Moordryd doesn't actually know who the Dragon Booster is.
- When Johnny Test is posessed by the Super Smarty Pants, the twins convince Dukey to try one of these in order to get to the one part of Johnny's brain that hasn't been controlled. Dukey gives a speech laden with Continuity Nods to achieve this.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!:
- Chiro does this in the first episode, "Chiro's Girl" when his girlfriend who turns out to be a robot, Jinmay, is going on a rampage under the control of both Sakko and Skeleton King. As he shows her the pictures of their date and swearing not to keep secrets anymore, it worked. Cue to Sakko controlling her arm to grab Chiro while her mind is intact in giant form.
- Jinmay does the same for Chiro after he's turned into a Wraith later in the series.
- In the final episode, after Sprx is turned evil by the Object of Hate, Nova refuses to give up on him and tries to reason with him even while he's electrocuting her. She finally reaches him by confessing her love for him.
- In Mega Man Roll tries a version of this when she was trying to get through to Mega Man, who was under the influence of Wily's mind-control chip. Mega Man doesn't really listen to her until Dr. Light interferes and interrupts Wily's control, allowing Roll's words to free Mega Man.