Love Redeems

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"Love doesn't lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled, but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love, that's what they should teach you to beware, but love itself will save you, not condemn you."

Love is as (or more!) addictive than The Dark Side. These two forces interact very curiously, Love can just as easily lead a Knight in Shining Armor into the Dark Side, as it can drag the most committed, bloodthirsty, puppy-kicking villain kicking and screaming into being redeemed. Whether they're a Fallen Hero who starts Dating Catwoman, a Professional Killer who fell In Love with the Mark, or the Necessarily Evil who gains a Morality Pet that gives him something to live for, love tends to corrode evil like lemon on popcorn (and it tastes so good!) even if it frightens at first. By and large, Love tends to subvert rather than aid evil, Unholy Matrimony not withstanding. If it isn't Heroic Resolve it's Heroic Willpower, making even the most soul corrupting evil as weak as a sickeningly sweet kitten.

Some characters consciously invoke it in order to try to invoke Single Woman Seeks Good Man — or its Gender Flip.

Beware Redemption Equals Death but they may decide it's worth the price and Go Out with a Smile. Alternately, a spurned evil genius is that much more likely of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and Nuke 'em. If the villain manages to hold on to enough of their evil (or love), they become an Anti-Villain. Sometimes, this comes about when the villain ends up Becoming the Mask, the love she gets so freely sorely tempting her to change sides and do a Heel–Face Turn.

It's worth mentioning that this is what the Love Martyr wants to happen, as does the Monster Fangirl and many shippers who put Draco in Leather Pants. In Real Life, this attitude often leads people to The Jerry Springer Show; "But he really loves me! Those bruises will heal!" On the other hand, it may very well be the hero who bruises the baddie, channeling the power of love through violence and thus bringing redemption.

If the redeemer dies, it's possible their memory and lessons they taught their beloved will stick. On the other hand, the deceased could have been simply holding back the person's evil and they now revert with a vengeance. There's also the possibility that instead of curing them, love may very well never change or addict the intended beneficiary.

It should be noted that romantic love isn't the only type of love that can redeem someone. Familial and Platonic Love are both capable of this.

Naturally, Love Makes You Evil is the counterpart to this trope, where love leads you into evil instead of out of it.

Examples

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    Comic Books 
  • In Aquaman, the post-Brightest Day origins of Mera, Aquaman's wife. Once the princess of Xebel, an ancient penal colony of outcasts and rebels from Atlantis, she was born, bred an raised as a tool to find, infiltrate and destroy Atlantis from within, starting with the then current king. While feigning closeness to Orin, however, she started to get real feelings for him, eventually defecting from Xebel and becoming a powerful heroine on her own.
  • In Invincible, the love of his family ultimately changes Omni-man for the better, though he spends a long time in denial. Other Viltrumites start falling for this too when they become emotionally attached to the humans with whom they are siring a new generation of Viltrumite hybrids.
  • In Nexus Sundra Peale was sent to Ylum to spy on Nexus. She fell in love with him almost immediately and left the spy game behind her—putting her at odds with her ex-boss (and, it's implied, ex-lover) Ursula for the rest of the series.
  • In Crystar, Crystal Warrior, Lavour had spent the whole series hanging off of Moltar's arm because she saw him as a ticket to power; but in the last issue, when Moltar finally finds his conscience and stands up to the evil Zardeth, Lavour realizes that she has come to actually love him and stands by him. With his dying breath, Zardeth punishes them by transforming Moltar from a magma man back into a normal human being, but still leaving Lavour as a burning hot magma woman. The two will never be able to touch again.
  • Sarah Kinney entered the project to clone Wolverine with as little conscience over what they would be creating as her superiors, Sutter and Rice, and was mainly drawn by the challenge. It all began to change when she was forced by Rice to act as the surrogate for the newly-conceived X-23, and effectively became her mother. She found it increasingly difficult to blindly accept the torture and abuse inflicted upon the girl, and her subtle resistance to the Facility's efforts to dehumanize her ultimately saved X from becoming the heartless Living Weapon they desired. Sarah's resulting Heel Realization led her to write a letter of confession for her part in the project, and to help X-23 escape. Redemption Equals Death soon followed, and with her dying breath gave Laura her real name and told her she loved her.
  • This almost happened to Darkseid when he fell in love with Suli. His mother Heggra had Desaad poison her to put an end to that. Darkseid would later return the favor with Desaad's aid. The only remnant of this past love is Darkseid's relative leniency with his and Suli's son Kalibak. Yeah, Darkseid will brutalize and vaporize Kalibak just like any other minion, but he'll also always bring him back to give him another chance — eventually.
  • A sort of in Harley Quinn solo-series (pre New-52). Harley, being a lover of love, decides to help it grow wherever she can - being in love is the easiest way to get her to spare you. Early on she fights Two-Face to save a hostage he was taking as his own because she felt the story was romantic, and later on she plays matchmaker to a pair of bounty hunters trying to bring her in.
  • The reason why the Star Sapphire Corps use Conversion crystals on female criminals. Though as of yet, they've only succeeded on one Sinestro Corps member (Fatality).

    Fan Works 
  • In The Sun Soul, Misty's fight against Team Rocket goes from a quest for revenge against the former teammates that tried to kill her to an outright Heel–Face Turn because of love for/from Ash.
  • In the Oneiroi Series, Redcloak's love for Vaarsuvius and Tiasal makes him Heel–Face Turn where even the death of his brother couldn't. To a lesser extent, Vaarsuvius's love for him smoothed out the edges and made her considerably less on the evil side of neutrality. With any luck, love for her family will redeem Tiasal before she goes too far down a dark road...
  • At the end of The Public Life of Sweetie Belle, Silver Spoon has one of these when Sweetie Belle is arrested for the murder of Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara's foals (though it was actually Blossom, Sweetie's own Foal. Diamond Tiara is yelling at Sweetie Belle, only for Silver Spoon to fly into a rage and blame DT for teaching their children to hate Rarity's family, which she believes is what caused their deaths. In the sequel, Broken Blossom she stops Diamond Tiara from attempting to murder Blossom, and when Diamond Tiara tortures Blossom, only for Blossom to break free and kill her, Silver Spoon reveals to Sweetie Belle that she regrets the way she and Diamond Tiara treated her as fillies, and blames her self for her foal's death.
  • The MLP fanfiction series from 'MasterofNintendo' seems to like this trope. Particularly where the OC Rick is concerned. At first, he was FAR from willing to change his insane and chaotic ways, but after a whole season living with Twilight Sparkle, he began to warm up to the place. It's when Discord corrupts Twi does Rick make a heel face turn and decides to use his powers for the greater good. Later, a top ranking demon falls for Pinkie, and rebels against the devil just to be with her.
  • In The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn every major villain who makes a Heel–Face Turn does so due to love for someone else. Cyros' love for her Parental Substitute Kage snaps her out of her being Drunk on the Dark Side and her love for her brother Pyrus finishes the job. She then takes an attack meant for Spyro and Cynder, causing Deadlock to have a My God, What Have I Done? reaction and snap out of her own insanity out of love for her children. Finally, the Nagas' love and loyalty towards Deadlock triggers their mass Heel–Face Turn as well. The Big Bad General Grendel subverts this trope by murdering his lover in cold blood as a intentional Foil for Deadlock and Cyros.
  • Fluttercruel in the Pony POV Series, of the Parental Love variety. She is technically Fluttershy's and Discord's daughter, or at least considered such by herself and Fluttershy, despite that they're Sharing a Body. At first she behaved like Discorded!Fluttershy, but Fluttershy's maternal love ultimately turns her into a much better pony.
    • Subverted with Discord. Neither Celestia's romantic love for him nor Shady's maternal love were capable of redeeming him.
  • Nictis, the Changeling Infiltrator in Without A Hive. At first, Spark Wheel is just a convenient source of affection for Nictis' cover identity of "Meadow Song" to harvest. As the years pass, Nictis increasingly ''becomes'' Meadow Song, to the point of falling in love with Spark Wheel. Meadow Song's friendship and love for Spark Wheel causes Nictis to adopt Pony values, becoming by Pony standards basically "good" (and by Changeling standards essentially an insane traitor).
  • The author of the Facing the Future Series seemed to feel that the reason Desiree went bad because she was spurned. She eventually finds redeeeming love in Sidney Poindexter.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Tron and Robert's love prompts Tron to turn good.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, ProtoMan is forced to kill Mega Man via the Mad Grinder, and seems helpless to do so due to Wily's override command. But memories of his brother, Nomad, and Mega Man never doubting that he loves ProtoMan enable him to turn his back on Wily, saving his brother's life and the world.
  • In Those Gilded Chains We Wear, due to a complicated series of events involving an Unbreakable Vow, Hermione is put in charge of Bellatrix Lestrange's house arrest. Hermione's compassion and eventual romantic love gradually breaks down Bellatrix's preconceived notions about Muggleborns and causes her Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage: During Season 2, Ahuizotl realizes that he's in love with Daring Do. When she's captured and tortured by the Church of Majora, his feelings — plus his disgust at the Church's actions — cause him to pull a Heel–Face Turn and rescue her.
  • A Crown of Stars: In the past, Gendo committed all kind of crimes to get his wife back. Now she is back, and she's told him that if he wants her to forgive him, he must earn their son's forgiveness. So he's now giving his all to be a decent person and make amends to his son for abandoning him and abusing him.
  • My Immortal has Enoby travel back in time to seduce Voldemort in order to invoke this trope. Subverted when she gets Satan and Hedwig back together.
  • Second Chances: His love for L allows Light Yagami (as Rae) to pass his hell test and move on to the third world. As of the sequel, it seems to have stuck — Light specifically refrains from evil acts as he knows L would be disappointed in him.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast is cursed to look horrible by an enchantress. He doesn't earn Belle's respect or compassion until he starts acting kinder to her and the others, and ultimately their love is what breaks the curse on him.
  • The villain in Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation is turned from being an entity of pure evil into a human after he realized what he felt for a human girl.
  • In Hercules, Broken Bird Megara worked for the villain for two-thirds of the movie and only changed her ways out of love for Hercules, eventually even sacrificing her life for him (don't worry, she comes Back from the Dead).
    • Interestingly, the movie has that this was subverted in her backstory - she sold herself to Hades and her former lover promptly ran off with another girl.
  • In addition to Becoming the Mask, in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Kovu is redeemed by his love for Kiara.
  • The title character in Megamind makes a Heel–Face Turn after falling in love with his former rival's love interest, Roxanne. She falls for him because he makes the turn.
  • In Tangled, Flynn's attraction to Rapunzel leads him to abandon his Greed, try to make things right with his old partners he betrayed, and face imprisonment and execution because of his desperate fears of what Gothel is doing to Rapunzel. And finally to die rather than let Gothel get Rapunzel's promise to stay prisoner if she can save him. Fortunately, he gets better.
  • Ken in Toy Story 3 pulls a Heel–Face Turn after falling in love with Barbie.
  • In Frozen, Queen Elsa's familial love for her sister, Anna, helps her make her Heel–Face Turn and end the Endless Winter that she started.
  • Averted in Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, where the protagonist's loyalty to his pack proves stronger than his love for the girl. In the end he shoots her under orders from his superior.
  • The basic moral of Despicable Me.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Street Angel: Love makes Gino recover from what he became after Angela disappeared. It also makes Angela literally a saint.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • In a slightly roundabout way; it's pretty much a given that Will's love for Elizabeth is what leads him to accept his new duties of ferrying the souls of the dead on the Flying Dutchman at the end of the third film. This frees the crew from the corruption that Jones had caused with his actions, and they also seem to lose their mindless bloodlust.
    • Angelica from the fourth film attempts to do this for Blackbeard. But he's a bad man.
  • Mandatory Star Wars examples:
    "I don't want to get too sentimental here, uncle Luke, but don't underestimate The Power of Love. It's pulled two family members back from the Dark Side already. Ben's sixteen, but he's not a fool."
  • In the classic Beatles animated film, Yellow Submarine, the group is able to free Pepperland from the Blue Meanies. However, they immediately offer to forgive the Meanies if they join together in peace. True to the spirit of the times, the Meanies sincerely accept the offer and everyone celebrates with the music of the band.
  • Played straight but ultimately subverted in Unforgiven, where William Munny (Clint Eastwood), known in his youth as an infamous gunfighter, murderer, and bandit, has since retired and gone straight, having forsworn his criminal ways through the influence of his late wife: "She cured me of that, cured me of drink and wickedness." Except by the end he reverts to type as "a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition. "
  • In Salt, thanks to her husband's genuine love, Evelyn Salt had no intention of carrying out Orlov's orders. In fact, all her actions, including faking the Russian Prime Minister's death, was to save her husband.
  • If The Deaths of Ian Stone is any indication, love can even redeem Eldritch Abominations—or love for a human can, at least.
  • The way Bill Murray gets out of the time loop in Groundhog Day.
  • In the original, silent The Thief of Bagdad (1924), the thief magically gets into the palace and falls in love with the princess, leaving without taking more than a token. Then he disguises himself as a prince and tries to win her, and gives that up because it's lying. He is in despair until receiving the advice to become a prince to win her. He then sets out to win her properly.
  • In the James Bond movie Moonraker, the giant mook Jaws is redeemed after falling in love: the realization that Drax's plan to exterminate anyone not fitting the image of his "master race" would include tiny, glasses-wearing Dolly is what prompts him into his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hades in Wrath of the Titans, finally putting Everybody Hates Hades to rest.
  • Played with in Looper. Old Joe thinks this is what happened to him. While this is true to a certain extent, he's nowhere near as good as he'd like to think: love didn't redeem him so much as it turned him from an amoral thug into a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Magneto finally turns his life around after starting his own family. Unfortunately, both his wife and daughter are killed by accident, which results in his re-Start of Darkness. This gets Double Subverted in the end when his friendship with Charles Xavier redeems him again.
  • In Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man, The Everyman hero desires romantic love so much that he makes a Deal with the Devil for material gain, believing that he can use it to possess love. He gets the material goods, becoming rich and well-read — but the poor soul forgets why he wanted them to begin with and sees them as an end in itself, not a means to an end. Thus, he becomes chilly and aloof, and his life becomes completely devoid of love until a Vagabond Girl and her friends reach out to him with an offer of friendship. This expression of selfless, platonic love moves him so much that he remembers his youthful ideals... becoming a human embodiment of unconditional love, and a guide to others, in the process.
  • A major plot point in The Handmaiden. The two protagonists each turn out to be working on cons to have the other one committed to a mental institution, but after genuinely falling in love with each other, decide to abandon their respective schemes and run away together.
  • DEBS. Lucy Diamond is a supervillain criminal who once tried to destroy Australia. After she meets and falls in love with her arch nemesis Amy Bradshaw, she realizes that "being bad doesn't feel good anymore" and gives up her life of crime to be with Amy.

    Live Action TV 
  • Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's a reason he's the Trope Namer for Friendly Neighborhood Vampire.
  • In a Real Life example from Survivor, Jonny Fairplay was recently invited back onto the show for its latest season, Fans vs. Favorites. Fans who remember Fairplay from the season he previously appeared on, Pearl Islands, remember him as a deplorable bastard who went so far as to lie about his grandmother's death to win an immunity challenge. During Fans vs. Favorites, however, he was noticeably subdued, mentioning his girlfriend and his unborn child several times, and then getting himself voted off the island so that he could return and be with them.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, Athena was supposed to seduce Helo into impregnating her so her race could get their hands on a human/cylon hybrid. However, she switches allegiances when she realizes that she had fallen in love with him. Caprica-Six starts a movement to change the Cylon plan because she's in love with Dr. Baltar.
    • In The Plan, we see that the titular plan of the Cylons unraveled because so many of them fell in love with humans and switched sides.
  • Doctor Who:
    • This trope is supposedly what caused the Ninth Doctor to not be totally depressed/suicidal/batshit insane after the Time War because he met Rose.
    • It is because of how strong Amy and Rory love each other that Rory is able to come back to life with his soul and overcomes his impulses to kill. A bit too late for Amy, but she too gets better.
      • It runs in the family. River Song is redeemed from being a purely heartless and brainwashed killer by love.
  • Damon Salvatore becomes less of a villain around the time he begins to fall in love with Elena.
  • Kamen Rider has a few examples:
    • In Kamen Rider Double, Ryu Terui loses his craze for vengeance partly because of his love for Akiko.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki's Ren/Knight claims that his fiancée is the reason he gave up his previous life of delinquency and petty crime. He ultimately enters the Rider War to save her.
    • In Kamen Rider Decade, Natsumi's influence over Tsukasa is a major reason why he ultimately stops being the Destroyer of Worlds.
    • In Kamen Rider OOO Ankh is ultimately redeemed through his friendships with Eiji (who appears to love him in a True Companions way) and Hina (who has grown to love him as much as her brother, whose body Ankh was possessing.) This allows him to sacrifice himself by giving his last Medal for Eiji to defeat Maki.
  • Psych has one in Season 2, Episode 11: "There's Something About Mira", though it's a major part of the plot: Mira's fiancée, Jann, was a con man whose job was to romance Mira and have her marry him on a beach, then leave her at the altar while he and his partner robbed her family's winery. Unfortunately, Jann actually fell in love with Mira and couldn't go through with the plan, and doubly unfortunately, that leads to a Heel–Face Door-Slam... or something close to it.
  • Subverted on American Horror Story: Murder House. Tate is a total sociopath who has done terrible things. Then he falls in love with Violet and begins to turn around. However, when Violet finds out about the terrible things he's done she dumps him and the finally remorseful Tate is left alone. That ends up being his punishment for his behavior.
  • On Orphan Black, Delphine's love for Cosima leads her to betray the Neolutionists.
  • Rosie from Wizards of Waverly Place.
  • Charmed:
    • In the conclusion of Season 3's "Wrestling With Demons", a human recruited to be a demon keeps his humanity by being reminded of his love for his mother.
    • For the most part, this series shows that demons' efforts to become good will be rejected by both sides. The most glaring example is Cole, though he's a double-subverted case. Initially his love for Phoebe leads him to do good, but the evil side never stopped trying to drag him back, and eventually that ends with Phoebe ending their relationship, in spite of still loving him. Cole goes mad, eventually resulting in his death; only in the tie-in comics is their relationship mended, Cole understanding that he was never right for Phoebe. So, in the end, love did redeem him...but ultimately, not long after that, a Heroic Sacrifice for Phoebe's sake leaves him Deader Than Dead.
    • Subversion 1: A Darklighter named Alex was assigned to kill a human named Daisy who was a future Whitelighter. Instead, he fell in love with her…but she rejected him when she found out what he was, and Leo also intervened, refusing to believe that any Darklighter was capable of love.
    • Subversion 2: Drazi, a demon of hatred, fell in love with a human. Cupid redirected that human to love someone else, and Drazi retaliated by stealing Cupid's magic ring and using it to spread hatred instead of love.
  • Once Upon a Time Tying into the overall theme of true love is the most powerful magic of all, this applies to both Regina and Rumpelstiltskin. Both of them have a certain amount of Love Makes You Evil as well.
    • Regina's love for her son Henry, and desire to be loved by him, is what lead to her redeeming herself.
    • Killian Jones, A.K.A. Captain Hook, came into the show as an Anti-Villain obsessed with revenge against Rumplestiltskin, but repeated encounters with Emma Swan eventually led to his falling in love with her, and joining with the heroes to try and win her heart.
    • Played with in regards to Rumplestiltskin, as while he does genuinely love both Belle and his son Baelfire, and has tried to be a better man for them, he also loves the power being The Dark One grants him, and his unwillingness to choose one over the other has resulted in an unending Heel–Face Revolving Door.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Simply Luscious ultimately abandoned The Prophecy and its plot to destroy Ring of Honor in an attempt to win back her boyfriend, Steve Corino. A cheap example though, as Corino's group weren't exactly good.
  • Subverted in the same company for Jimmy Jacobs, leading to The Age of the Fall angle. Jimmy fell madly in love with his manager, Lacey; after she eventually came around and told him that she loved him too, he crossed the Despair Event Horizon when he realized that her love didn't redeem him, or make him feel any less hollow, or magically turn him into a better person. Quite dark and heavy stuff, if you think about it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted gives us the Abyssals, the result of what happens when Solar Exaltations are corrupted to serve the cause of death by the Neverborn. There's just one small problem — those Solar shards still have bonded Lunar mates. And where an Abyssal usually picks up Resonance from engaging in "lively" activities (e.g., siring children, having sex with the living), they accrue none of it if they're with their Lunar mate. Oh, and since the Neverborn stripped out the Great Curse to make way for Resonance, if the Lunar manages to actually redeem the Abyssal back into being a Solar... they now have no psychological limitations that would directly drive them towards being nanners. Good show, dead gods.
    • Return of the Scarlet Empress also suggests that the Yozis will run into a similar problem with their corrupted Solars, the Infernals. Once their work gets underway, odds are likely that quite a few of them are going to rediscover their bond with the Lunars and turn their back on the Reclamation.
    • Gervesin started out as a malevolent blight-spreading demon-spear, but he fell in love with a warrior named Kinnojo... at the exact moment he was thrust through Kinnojo's heart. Now, while Gervesin is still a blight-spreading demon-spear, he's also deeply invested in protecting Kinnojo's home.
  • Two Pathfinder adventure paths exist, so far, that include romanceable, redeemable monster NPCS.
  • Magic: The Gathering: During the "Nemesis" storyline, Belbe - a Phyrexian built to resemble a murdered elf - turns from them and becomes heroic due to her relationship with Ertai, a recurring character and former Weatherlight crew member, leading to Redemption Equals Death when the father of the elf in question kills her. And how does Ertai react to his girlfriend moving to the side of the angels? He defects to Phyrexia pretty much immediately after her death.

    Visual Novels 
  • Inverted and then played straight in Fate/stay night. Sakura, the heroine of Heaven's Feel, is possessed by the Bigger Bad when her confusion over Shirou returning her feelings makes her vulnerable to its influence. Played straight in that she gets better because Shirou and even her sister don't abandon her.
  • Kohaku in Tsukihime when you finally find out how messed up she is and then get the chance at her path. She almost lampshades it at the end of Hisui's route where she notes rather calmly that if Shiki hadn't confused the behavior of her in the past for Hisui now and given her back the ribbon she would have called off her plan.
  • In Yo-Jin-Bo, Ittosai is slowly redeemed by your love for him if you choose his path.
  • The (unknown) kidnapper is one of the potential love interests in Nicole, and if you end up taking his route, he'll be wracked with guilt over his actions and one step away from being Driven to Suicide. Nicole convinces him to turn himself in order to atone for what he's done. In all other endings, he's a Smug Snake when he reveals himself.
  • Tyrna can try this one on Loric in Sword Daughter, believing that he's not too far gone to be turned onto the right path. It ends badly.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Supervillainess Sahar in the Whateley Universe. She has a psychic ability to - once she's seduced a Psi - get so close that she can learn to copy that Psi's best 'knacks'. This makes her a ruthless femme fatale, until she falls in love with a mark, Zenith. She doesn't know how to handle that. So it takes a different kind of love - friendship - to get her to finish her Heel–Face Turn. And she gets Zenith back.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, John Rizzolo pulls a Heel–Face Turn when the lover he's been after the whole time, Emma Babineux, kisses him. Cruelly subverted when Rizzolo reveals he was just using that as a way to get Emma in a vulnerable position, and proceeds to stab her and then shoot her in the head.
  • Played rather straight in A Very Potter Musical with Voldemort and Quirrell, but when it comes to Draco, it may qualify as a Zig-Zagging Trope.
  • Follow That Bird was the review that changed The Nostalgia Critic from a bigoted Straw Critic who hated everything to a Man Child who would like nothing more than for movies to give him pleasure for once.

    Western Animation 
  • One of the two big bads of The Delta State begins to develop feelings for Philip early in the series. It evolves from that to her intentionally not spotting him when she and Sven are looking for them, to her full on taking a shot for him and joining their side. Unfortunately it's pretty short-lived.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Mai, out of love for Zuko, aids his and Sokka's escape from the Boiling Rock. She even tells Azula that she loves Zuko more than she fears her. When Azula tries to kill her for that defiance, Ty Lee blocks Azula's chi out of love for Mai. Both end up prisoners, but their platonic and romantic love outweighing their fear of her spelled the beginning of the end for Azula. Oh dear God(s), was it ever.
  • To a lesser extent, Kevin Levin from Ben 10: Alien Force. According to his character profile on Cartoon Network's new MMO, Fusionfall, his fondness for Gwen is keeping him in check.
  • Gargoyles' David Xanatos starts his lengthy path to redemption (or at least relative neutrality) after admitting his love for Fox.
    • His love of his and Fox's son Alexander also plays a part; after Goliath saves his son from Oberon, he becomes determined to repay the gargoyles for their help. While Goliath isn't willing to fully forgive or forget everything Xanatos has done up to that point, he is willing to give Xanatos the benefit of the doubt, because knows first-hand that having a child can change a person for the better.
  • The Venture Bros.: Word of God has stated that The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend are meant to be a subversion - they are still irredeemably evil even if they do have a loving, functional relationship. The fandom, however, tends to ignore their Moral Event Horizon moments and assume that this trope is in effect. It helps that said moments are usually absolutely hilarious.
  • ReBoot. Matrix's love for AndrAIa is really the only thing that kept him from becoming a complete psychopath during the Time Skip in the games. Shes also the only person that can reliably get him to calm down when his short temper gets the better of him.
  • In the series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the Omnicidal Maniac Spider-Carnage regains his sanity for a brief moment when he meets the Uncle Ben of another alternate universe (all of the alternate universes have critical differences in Peter's life, in this one the big difference is that Ben didn't die). Sadly, the Carnage symbiote's grip on his mind is too strong, so he throws himself into another dimension separate from all others to keep his bomb from destroying all reality.
  • Although not "evil", Kimmy The Cheerleader in Sym-Bionic Titan was at first an Alpha Bitch and quite mean to Ilana. She was trying to persuade Newton to do her homework for her, but when he convinced her she's not as shallow or dumb as she thinks she is, she falls in love with him and ends up becoming his girlfriend. She starts to get along with Lance and Ilana after that as well.
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • Minos and Fatima, a pair of villains from Aladdin's past wind up being redeemed and cured of their Baleful Polymorphs through The Power of Love..
    • Mirage despite being one of the most dangerous villains in the series and committed rather nasty acts, is believed to be this could happen to her by the Blind Seer Fasir in the episode, The Eye of The Beholder. Because the two used to be a couple in the past, and Fasir still believes there's good in Mirage.
  • The Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Angel" features Stitch falling in love with the titular experiment, except that she's using him to get to the other reformed experiments to turn them evil again. In the end, however, she's touched by Stitch's kindness and devotion, and goes against Gantu. Though she's taken away at the end of the episode, she's rescued in the Grand Finale of the series, "Snafu", along with the other experiments that were captured by Gantu.

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