Reasonable Authority Figure
aka: Reasonable Authority Figures
The Governor: Parasitic aliens are invading Earth. And my husband is controlled by one.Heroes like the Ignored Expert have a hard enough time dealing with idiotic peasants, but their deepest problems invariably come from the antagonistic local authorities, who are dead set on ignoring their warnings and running them out of town because it's politically expedient. This makes the existence of the Reasonable Authority Figure all the rarer. Fully aware that Machiavelli Was Wrong, he'll listen to those "crazy kids" when they say there's a fugitive nearby, and logically consider their arguments instead discarding them out of hand. However, their openness to the heroes' ideas doesn't mean they'll follow Agent Mulder's crazy ideas blindly. Often, they'll ask for proof and facts rather than follow baseless accusations, but even then, they'll usually humor the heroes and go check out their theories; whether it pans out or turns into a dead end depends on how far along the story is. Usually Lawful Good and the person characters must Bring News Back to. They are the chain of command that goes past the basic Command Roster. The Rebellious Rebel is motivated by loyalty to him. Noteworthy because, if the hero does manage to convince them, they can help in the fight but they may have to Shoot the Dog as part of their position. Being in a position where you are responsible for millions and do not think that A Million Is a Statistic can be hard. May present The Hero and his companions with valuable gifts before The Quest or as a reward afterward. This position means that they can end the story quickly unless other obstacles intervene. Which means they usually do intervene.
Marco: Yeah. Basically, that's the story.
The Governor: Thank God. I was beginning to think something much, much worse was happening. Aliens we can fight.
Marco: Yeah. Basically, that's the story.
The Governor: Thank God. I was beginning to think something much, much worse was happening. Aliens we can fight.
— Animorphs #51: "The Absolute"
- They're made inaccessible by the Obstructive Bureaucrat and Evil Chancellor who has it in for the heroes, trying to stop them getting an audience or outright lying to destroy their arguments and reputation. Barring this, the Reasonable Authority Figure might just be busy, overworked, or under-funded and might not have the time or resources to adequately solve the hero's problem as quickly as he or she would like.
- A young ruler (usually hereditary) may have difficulty either getting to the heroes to listen, or asserting his theoretical authority. Usually they are surrounded by manipulative "guardians" out to start pointless wars.
- The Reasonable Authority Figure will inevitably be displaced when a Tyrant Takes the Helm, leading to a 10-Minute Retirement.
- If he is not the absolute ruler, Interservice Rivalry and Divided We Fall can be a problem even after you persuade him. Indeed, that you speak with this character may induce his rivals to regard you as an enemy or to undercut you in hopes of ensuring that their favorites succeed in your place.
- If he needs approval from the Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering to take action, the chances that he can convince them to agree about anything are less than favorable.
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Anime & Manga
- Prime Minister Wong in Mobile Fighter G Gundam is portrayed this way in his first appearances. Cheerful, friendly, applauding the hero's victories and inviting him to his penthouse for a drink, he's a stark counterpart to Master Asia. And then it's revealed he's a villain and he rapidly stops applauding Domon and starts rigging the matches to get him killed.
- Detective Ooishi from Higurashi: When They Cry borderlines between this and Agent Mulder. He's always searching for clues as to the cause of the string of murders and takes any useful information, but is considered too obsessive over the topic and has been urged to step off the case a few times.
- Dr. Irie might be a straighter example from the same series. Except for the whole, you know, Lolicon thing, and even that might be a joke. The problem is, once he figures out what's going on it's not always to the benefit of the person telling him what's going on.
- Keiichi's father, Ichiro Maebara (who only really consistently appears in the manga) is this, to a much lesser extent than the above. He fully supports Keiichi's efforts in Satoko, regardless the fallout his family faces; on the other hand, he also makes sure to let Keiichi know that he should not resort to violence to save his friend and instead handle it the right way.
- Dr. Irie might be a straighter example from the same series. Except for the whole, you know, Lolicon thing, and even that might be a joke. The problem is, once he figures out what's going on it's not always to the benefit of the person telling him what's going on.
- Minamo Kurosawa, the P.E. teacher, from Azumanga Daioh.
- The Time-Space Administration Bureau at the start of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a surprisingly understanding and helpful instance of The Federation. They're perfectly willing to cooperate with the heroine even though she's Just a Kid (it helps that Midchilda apparently lacks age of majority or child labor laws) and are quite understanding of the franchise's numerous Anti Villains. Lindy Harlaown is by far the most representative of this...some of the higher-ups, less so. Nanoha's Muggle parents are also quite understanding and helpful, for a Magical Girl's parents.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has Konoemon Konoe, the principal of Mahora. All he needs is his granddaughter, a lesbian half demon Samurai, and a talking ermine to show up with a message from a ten-year-old that said ten-year-old's supergenius Chinese descendant from the future is going to use an army of robots to break The Masquerade, and he sends out for a huge shipment of weapons from the Magic World, and helps organize the student body into a Redshirt Army.
- Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist seems to be one of these, but like Palpatine, he's really a bad guy.
- Maes Hughes is a better example.
- Ling Yao appears to become this. To begin with he was already a Prince with the belief that the duty of a King is to serve his people and that a King is nothing without his subjects, but when he actually obtains what he needed to success to the throne, his first promise is to accept and protect each and every one of the rival clans within the Xing empire, which every generation up to then would war with each other over who will be next to inherit the throne.
- Basque Grand is without a doubt one of these, doing his best to limit his men's casualties (often by leading the charge himself) and not only accepting the surrender of Ishval's head cleric (despite his own superior's orders to the contrary) but making sure that he gets to see Fuhrer Bradley, no matter what. It doesn't do a lot of good in the long-run, but given the circumstances Grand is being as reasonable as he can be.
- In Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar, Koutarou Taiga, Yaginuma, and Rose Approval all count.
- Mr. Colbert from The Familiar of Zero, eager to commit treason in order to help his students.
- Yuri Koigakubo from Toradora!, oh so much.
- One Piece has former Fleet Admiral Sengoku. You'd think that, being in charge of the Navy, he would be one of the most evil characters in the series - but he genuinely puts the safety of the world first. His superiors in the World Government, as well as his successor, on the other hand...
- Former Admiral Aokiji and Vice Admiral Garp are also examples. They're harsh on pirates but will go out of their way to protect civilians. Likewise for Vice-Admiral Smoker and Captain Tashigi, Captain Coby, and even more so with the brief character Commander Ripper from the Captain Morgan arc…really, despite the fact that many marines are Lawful Evil, there are some Lawful Good ones as well.
- We are now introduced to Prince Fukaboshi of the Neptune Army. Most people would have freaked out if they heard that their father was being held hostage inside the palace and the kidnappers started making demands (especially since said kidnappers are prophesized to destroy Fishmen Island). Fukaboshi was very calm, agreed to the demands in return of the hostages and then passed on Jimbei's message for Luffy to Zoro as part of his duty to Jimbei, whereas most people would have been "screw that" to the kidnappers.
- In Dairugger XV, Teles was the Reasonable Authority Figure in the Galbeston Empire who wanted to end the war with The Alliance, but he didn't have the authority to do it.
- In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, the Student Council President. How reasonable is he? Well, he thinks Sōsuke's way of disposing of an unknown item in his shoelocker (i.e. detonating the entrance hall with a high-yield plastic explosive) to be perfectly reasonable. After all, anything could have been in there.
- Though exactly how "reasonable" it is to automatically believe and trust in all of Sousuke's actions is debatable, especially among the other students.
- In the light novels, it turns out he's actually figured out that Sousuke is a soldier for Mithril, so that could potentially have something to do with it.
- Though exactly how "reasonable" it is to automatically believe and trust in all of Sousuke's actions is debatable, especially among the other students.
- In Freezing, among all the Axe Crazy of a Blood Knight third years, only the strongest among them, Chiffon Fairchild, is the one who isn't interested in beating Sattelizer into a messy pulp.
- Both the Third Hokage, Sarutobi and the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade from Naruto, have fulfilled this role over the course of the story.
- Another example is post-timeskip Gaara. Notably, he's the only one of the Five Kages apart from Tsunade, below, who pushes for cooperation between the ninja villages in response to the threat of Akatsuki.
- Tsunade appears to be this because of the way she's always generous to Naruto... but that's just it, she's always generous to Naruto. She sends him up against the people who are after him, consistently allows him to go after Sasuke (as well as not actually seek to eliminate Sasuke, which would be standard procedure) and refuses to place restrictions on him that would better protect him (and the Eldritch Abomination inside him) from his enemies. She chooses to do these things entirely based on her personal feelings and opinions of Naruto, which is realistically an unreasonable thing to do. There is the fact that Naruto is The Hero of the story, is marked by a prophecy to become a Messianic Archetype, and has defeated powerful enemies that nobody else could and ruined some of the plans of the major antagonists (even if admittedly he has been in mortal peril and requiring help many times), so Tsunade's trust in him is not entirely unfounded.
- The Third Hokage is later on shown to be a deconstruction or subversion; He was too reasonable. A lot of problems in Naruto's world are the result of Orochimaru and Danzo being allowed to do as they pleased, and they all could have been stopped had the Third learned to put his foot down.
- In Pokémon Adventures, despite the fact that White did forcibly draft Black into her talent agency by footing the enormous bill for the movie equipment he destroyed, she doesn't actually expect him to be able to pay off the entire thing. She acknowledges that he does have his own life and dreams to follow. That said, she still tries to get him to understand the world of showbiz and business a little better, and is quick to call him out whenever he ruins a potential job opportunity.
- In the undersea horror manga 6000, Wein, the director, is initially set up as a Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrat who ignores his engineers' warnings that the instillation isn't ready for prime time; once he's convinced there's a real danger, though, he shows himself to be remarkably Genre Savvy, immediately arranging to evacuate the entire instillation at the first possible opportunity — going so far as to avoid informing any higher-ups until everyone is safe (because they wouldn't recognize the danger fast enough and wouldn't approve an expensive complete evacuation), declaring his intention to personally take full responsibility for any objections they have to this course of action.
- The Roman Emperor from Sound of the Sky is never shown in the anime and is only mentioned as the guy Rio's older sister, Iliya refused to marry even if it would end the war. When episode twelve roles around Rio appears right before the final confrontation and claims that due to her recent marriage to him, the war is now over and during the ending credits she returns to the Bastion and tells them that the emperor is a pretty reasonable guy and granted her any one wish because she ended the war.
- Captains Kyoraku and Ukitake from Bleach are this. Unlike the Head Captain Yamamoto, (who follows Central 46 orders to the letter, and embodies blind obedience to tradition above all else), these two will take the time to listen to progressive mindsets from their subordinates and non-combatants give a fair audience to the accused, and even defy tradition and law when the situation calls for it. Byakuya also becomes a variation of this after Ichigo helps him resolve an issue he had with two conflicting vows that was the reason he had been compelled to support Rukia's execution despite not wanting her to die. Captain Hitsugaya counts as well, since he realizes that something is amiss, and eventually sets out to find the Central 46 and stop the execution rather than see the Seireitei fall into chaos.
- Center-sensei from His Coool Seha Girls is a fair teacher who tries to help the Sega Hard Girls whenever he can, but is not above withholding medals if he thinks the girls did not earn them (although Sega Saturn seems to get the worst of it, in this regard). For example: in the Virtua Fighter lesson, Dreamcast and Mega Drive were given no medals because they each attacked an opponent before the round actually began; then in the Space Channel 5 lesson, he awarded no medals to Sega Saturn because of complaints lodged by the Space PTA concerning her flagrant use of sex appeal to drive up ratings.
- Senzaemon Nakiri from Shokugeki no Soma. As the headmaster of the prestigious cooking school where the series takes place, he is revered and dreaded as the "Gastric Godfather" and "Food Demon". However when looking at his actions it's kind of difficult to see how he got that reputation. For example, he overrode his granddaughter's rejection of the protagonist's entrance application after having a single bite of his food and realising his granddaughter rejected the protagonist out of spite, and will always give a reasoned, well-balanced critique of any food he is asked to judge. He also has a track record of not playing favorites, not hesitating to call out even members of his own family when they don't perform well enough.
- Pretty much everyone in Judgment and Antiskill are this in the anime of A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun. In Railgun it's not so surprising that Kuroko and Uiharu from Judgment (and by extension, their mentor) are reasonable authority figures since they're in the main cast, but Aiho and Tsuzuri from Antiskill count even for Railgun. They're not major characters, and they'll stop the characters from doing things they shouldn't be, but when push comes to shove, they'll even ignore orders from the conspiracy in order to act as The Cavalry. Antiskill in general, while often incapable of doing their job without the heroes, are savvy enough to help keep things clear for them, trusting that the middle and high schoolers will take care of things.
- This is one way to describe the relationship between Batman and Commissioner James Gordon, who, let's face it, is really sticking his neck out as a policeman and a city official by consistently trusting in a shadowy, anonymous vigilante who dresses up as a giant bat to beat up criminals. In Frank Miller's run, and The Dark Knight Saga, this is justified as the rest of Gotham's police force are corrupt cops.
- Although less famous than Gordon, Spider-Man has had a few cops that see past J. Jonah Jameson's rants and recognize Spidey for the hero he is, and give him whatever help they can. Notable examples include George Stacy, Jean DeWolff, Lou Snider, and William Lamont. (In terms of "obstacles intervene", two of them are dead, though one may have returned as a demonic monster.)
- Usagi Yojimbo: Katsuichi is the biggest example, being a respected swordsman and fair, if stern, teacher. Inspector Ishida is a kind and pleasant old policeman, and Usagi's firm friend, never once falling under Inspector Javert. This trope is usually played with in the many towns Usagi visits, often meeting the magistrate or other headman. Sometimes the result is friendly, where one magistrate and the police force sided behind Usagi against a team of bandits. Sometimes they're corrupt, like Magistrate Oda, who taxed people heavily and killed several who oppose him. Sometimes they just don't like the main character, but are otherwise not villainous.
- Hank Pym is this towards the Runaways. After Nico Minoru casts a spell that enables him and Tigra to see things from the kids' perspectives, he finally ends the Avengers' longstanding policy of trying to forcibly disband the Runaways, in exchange for the Runaways reporting to Avengers Academy once a month so that he can be assured that they're all still alive, and rather than ask them to bring Molly and Klara to teach them actual school classes, he created a robot to do that for them. Admittedly, he had some selfish motivations for this change in policy: one of the Runaways is technically his grandson.
- When the X-Men were based out of Utopia (an artificial island off the coast of San Francisco) the mayor of San Francisco practically went beyond "reasonable" and into "pushover" territory. She basically deputized them and declared the city a safe haven for mutants.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Friendship Is Magical Girls: When the Neighpon government starts to get an inkling of the Secret War between the mahoushoujo and the Changelings, the Chrysanthium Empress advises her ministers to not take any drastic measures against the girls until such time as they know what's actually happening, so as to avoid complicating matters or harming innocents.
- The Stars Ascendant is about Celestia questioning whether she truly remains one after seemingly destorying Twilight Sparkle's confidence.
- Mirror's Image: Celestia, as in cannon. However, as flashbacks and the Princesses' own testimony prove, she wasn't this when she was younger, punishing and banishing ponies for minor slights, or even just irritating her. And by punishing, she usually just turned ponies to stone. And that's before the Fantastic Racism, the violence, or how she treated her old student, Chrysalis.
- In the Uplifted series Erwin Rommel qualifies. As does Gerald Langer. Rommel is self explanatory, especially in regards to his real life actions, while Langer quite successfully manages the quarians and the first contact.
- Enemy Of My Enemy gives us two: Administrator Amanda Jennings and Shipmaster Vtan 'Arume. Helped by the fact that the latter saved the life of the former's young daughter.
- The Dragon Emperor Prometheus in The Chronicles of Utopia Volume II can always be counted on by the people around him to have a cool head on his shoulders and consider their words carefully before making a decision. Even when a major faction in his Empire seeks to stage a coup, he still considers things carefully and checks everything out before taking them on rather than flying off the handle in a rage.
- In Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover we get the usual inversion of the Citadel Council alongside extra-galactic newcomers like Admiral Adam Grayson. The Local Cluster Council and Federated Cluster Union appear to be this compared to aforementioned Council because they recognize the Reapers as a legitimate threat as well. In the sequel, Admiral Allison Nimitz replaces Grayson in the military version of the trope, while Grayson becomes a Big Good bureaucrat who tries to push the Council in a less Head-in-the-Sand Management direction. Urnot Wrex remains one for his entire species—continually urging them away from pure Blood Knight tendencies. Wolf Schmidt offers plenty of assistance through advanced technology but considering he works for the Republic Intelligence Service he may have an ulterior motive.
- What About Witch Queen? has one for each nation: queen Elsa of Arendelle tries to use diplomacy instead of trying to freeze the entire conflict and plunge her nation into very cold war, queen Lisa of Southern Isles is Genre Savvy enough to recognize Evil Prince when she sees one, and scout captain appears to be the Only Sane Man among Weselton officers.
- In The Tainted Grimoire, Judgemaster Cid waits for proof of Vaticus' crimes before taking action against him.
- Queen Of All Oni: When Nameless realizes that Jackie and the rest of the J-Team aren't evil, he quickly allies with them to stop the evils sealed in the Vault of Endless Night from escaping. Jackie lampshades that unlike the last MacGuffin Guardians (the Three Sages), he's actually willing to listen to them and work together.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade, like Queen Of All Oni above), Himerish is willing to give Jade the benefit of the doubt rather than assume the prophecy he saw involving her was inevitable.
- In the Mai-Otome fanfic, Oneesama, Miss Maria comes off as one. When Shizuru kicks off the plot by giving a Skinship Grope to her prospective room attendant Natsuki, Miss Maria tells Shizuru that she could expel her if she felt it necessary, but she won't because she believes Shizuru is a better person than that. Her alternative punishment- not allowing Shizuru to select a room attendant until she gains Natsuki's forgiveness- is meant to humble Shizuru, teach her a lesson, and get her to approach Natsuki as herself, not under the persona she's adopted as top student of her grade.
- Surprisingly, in Soulless Shell, Leif is one. When a girl is accused of trying to kill one of his advisors, Councilman Arnold, whom she says raped her, he hears her out, tricks Arnold into confessing his guilt, and sentences him to death while exonerating her.
- Most of the Angel leaders in Sonic X: Dark Chaos, except for Metatron. They don't want the Metarex war to escalate, and immediately realize that Dark Tails is the biggest threat to the galaxy.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Governor Cochran and Governor Deacon, as well as President Henry, have helped and are helped by Mega Man at times.
- In the Saki doujin, So Hold My Hand One More Time, Masae Atago, coach of the Senriyama mahjong team, is this. In a flashback, she's understanding of Toki's decision to withdraw from the individuals because of her health, saying that it's common for school aces to not go on to the individuals. Masae then tells Toki that she's mistaken if she thinks herself weak, advising her to believe in her strength, a lesson Toki comes to realize over the course the doujin.
- In Origin Story, after Alex and Louise Harris are asked to leave a diner for picking a fight with a homophobic customer, the Sheriff's Deputy outside walks them to their car and advises them to get a hotel at the next exit so they won't have to deal with more bigots.
- Because Good Feels Good, Anko comes off as this instead of her usual Blood Knight portrayal in A Teachers Glory. As she says, she's charged with not just teaching her students ninja skills, but proper behavior as well.
- Ths US and Canadian governments get this portrayal in Emergence. After learning about the existence of four superhuman teenage girls from another world, they aren't eager to dissect them, and are willing to help them find new identities and learn from them, even if one of them butchered several NAVY Seals.
- In The King Nobody Wanted, King Stannis tries to be this. How successful he is varies greatly depending on who you ask.
- The mayor of Luffy's village in A Different First Crewmember holds off on calling Garp when the Red Hair Pirates first show up and instead offer them all the village's money if they'll leave peacefully. Luckily, Shanks and the rest just want to unwind for a while and are even willing to pay for all the food and alcohol they consume.
- In Crystal Gem Academy, Rose does not blame Steven's handler when the boy gets into a nearly fatal accident, and reassures her that she won't be punished.
Film - Animated
- The Emperor in Mulan, who is clearly the wisest and most level headed person in the movie, especially when contrasted with Chi Fu, his obnoxious, opinionated advisor.
- Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame had an Archdeacon to clean up the church's name after Judge Frollo's Kick the Dog moment where he contemplates killing the deformed baby Quasimodo.
- The general in The Iron Giant attempts to understand the situation and not assume the worst when confronted with a giant alien robot. Unfortunately, the FBI agent on the scene happens to be a complete bigot, and goes out of his way just to provoke the Iron Giant into retaliation.
- The Grand Councilwoman from Lilo & Stitch is rather reasonable for being the head of the Galactic Federation, although like most aliens, she believes Pleakly when he tells her to spare Earth from destructions because mosquitos are endangered.
- She's also willing to give Stitch a chance to speak for himself when he's initially introduced at Jumba's trial, rather than outright condemning him. Then at the end of the film she expresses regret at having to take Stitch in after he's shown to have calmed down and matured somewhat, and seems rather satisfied when Lilo provides a loophole as to why the Grand Councilwoman can't take Stitch.
- Cobra Bubbles is this as well; rather than remove Lilo from Nani's custody right away, he listens carefully to the evidence and ultimately tries to do what he feels is best for Lilo's wellbeing. The ending reveals he was also a CIA member. The thing about mosquitoes being endangered was something he made up to deter an alien invasion.
- Monsters University Dean Hardscrabble, though some of her decisions are a tad personal. She holds an understandable grudge against Mike and Sulley for breaking her scream canister and she's often unpleasant to Mike about his endeavors. Still, she enforces fair punishment and still permits them a chance of redemption at the Scare Games and does not let Oozma Kappa suffer for the actions of Mike and Sulley.
- La Muerte from The Book of Life, is the Only Sane Woman among the Gods and said it was fair to return Manolo back to life since Xibalba cheated.
Film - Live Action
- Two films from director Roland Emmerich show such characters.
- The president in the The Day After Tomorrow became convinced of the meteorologists' prediction of impending doom and ordered the evacuation of the southern United States. Unfortunately, he is killed in the storm, allowing his disagreeable Vice President to come to power. But the Vice President seems to have been humbled by what he witnessed.
- In Independence Day, General Grey trusts his friend, the President, but is all too aware of his Technical Pacifist nature that slows his decision making and almost dooms his command staff in the White House when the aliens attack. He is quick to defend the President and advise him, and attacks the inept security adviser that made a bad situation worse. When the President decides to join the other pilots at the climax of the film, Grey realized that his friend couldn't be talked down from the idea, and settles into leading the command center himself for the final battle.
- Colonel Wayne from Gargantua apparently didn't read the manual on how to be the head military figure in a monster movie. Not only does he unfailingly listen to the experts on hand and follow their advice, but after hearing that the titular creatures could be the last of their kind; he immediately agrees that they shouldn't be killed, solely because he doesn't want to wipe out a species. He only orders his forces to fire upon one of the monsters after it had killed several of his men and was putting the rest at risk.
- The doctor from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, while bearing in mind that he's dealing with a load of crazy people, is very kind and agreeable with them.
- Professor Kirk from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an interesting variation. Peter and Susan, since they disbelieve in Lucy's stories about visiting the world of Narnia, are beginning to worry about her sanity. They bring their concerns to the Professor, and he surprises them by taking the Agent Mulder position and arguing that the story may be true. The more usual dynamic is for The Protagonist to be playing Mulder and the authority figure to be Scully, but this dynamic is Inverted here. It's because the Professor once visited Narnia himself (The Magician's Nephew).
- One clever thing the movie adds, that wasn't in the book, is that for the early part of the conversation, Kirk takes a indulgent, kids-will-be-kids attitude. It's only when he hears that Lucy's magical world is in the wardrobe that he begins to suggest she's telling the truth.
- The general in Good Morning Vietnam, as opposed to the Obstructive Bureaucrat Sergeant Major Dickerson.
Gen. Taylor: Dick, I've covered for you a lot of times 'cause I thought you were a little crazy. But you're not crazy, you're mean. And this is just radio.
- Every authority figure in Night of the Lepus accepts that monsters are rampaging without question, and all immediately spring into action. Which is rather unreasonable in and of itself - not a single person ever stops and says "Giant Man Eating Rabbits? You can't be serious!?"
- In Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, the mayor is willing to listen to the characters about the bizarre events in his city. In the first one, Venkman gets his cooperation by appealing to his political ambition ("If we can stop this thing, you will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters"). In the sequel, when he realizes the eponymous characters have been thrown into the loony bin by his Evil Chancellor he immediately has them released and him fired respectively.
- Senator Palpatine of Star Wars is a villainous subversion of an eminently Reasonable Authority Figure. He's on the ball in terms of Senate politics in Episode I and advises Queen Amidala on how to shake up the Senate to help Naboo. In Episode II he's clued in enough to send Senator Amidala to safety, and in III he's very supportive of Anakin's ambitions, all while helping lead the Republic in a war against the clearly evil Confederacy. It's thanks to his timely wisdom that the treacherous Jedi rebellion was put down so easily, and in reward the Senate made him the first emperor of the Galactic Empire.
- This is largely undercut when you remember that we're not even that far into Episode III before Anakin figures out that Palpatine is most definitely a Sith Lord and clearly no stranger to the Dark Side. He even sees Palpatine openly firing bolts of Force lightning at Mace Windu, an unambiguous Sith characteristic (though it could be argued that this was self-defense). For Anakin this could all be a case of At Least I Admit It.
- The web comic Darths & Droids seem to be playing this trope straighter (or at least more Neutral Good) than Star Wars did. He's actually shocked and a little horrified by Jar-Jar's suggestion for him to assume emergency powers. Even Palpatine's killing of Mace Windu and order to wipe out the Jedi are due to him trying to protect the Republic while being manipulated by Anakin.
- Although he had very little screen time, Captain Needa appears unusually reasonable for an Imperial officer, even willing to accept the blame for losing the Falcon after Han carries out a desperate attack on the Star Destroyer Avenger, and chooses to apologize to Vader personally for the Falcon's escape. Not that it helped his case...
- The detective in Bunny Lake Is Missing embodies this trope. Despite the fact that every piece of evidence suggests that Ann Lake never really had a daughter, he continues to investigate zealously because after all, if she's not crazy then a four-year-old girl is missing. And thanks to this behavior he gets possibly the most understated, British Big Damn Heroes moment in cinematic history.
- In The Monster Squad, when most local authority figures don't take them seriously, one of the cast sends a note written in crayon to the army asking for help against the monster invasion. The army responds by sending in tanks and infantry at the end of the film, in an extended Brick Joke.
- Judi Dench's portrayal of M in the James Bond films, especially with the Daniel Craig reboot. She might have problems with his methods, but once he proves himself she'll back him up.
- Eight Legged Freaks. Nobody quite believed the stories of rampaging man-eating spiders in the far-off, isolated town. But the authorities sent in backup to investigate the screaming that resulted when a giant spider attacked the crowded radio station.
- The CEO of the Mega Corp. OCP in RoboCop (1987) seems a kindly and reasonable man, if a bit "out of it" (think Ronald Reagan). However, one of his assistants is a treacherous villain. Once the CEO realizes the evil of what's going on, he does what he can to stop it (to great effect in medio).
- And kept up in the series, where he has both intent and capability to fix a lot of bad situations... as long as he finds out about it in the first place, something his cadre of corrupt execs prevents as much as possible. Diane even convinces him at one point to sneak out and see the city for himself. On the other hand, just about anyone in a position immediately below him seems to have their basic human morality surgically removed.
- Frank Butterman, Chief of Police in Hot Fuzz. Whenever Sergent Angel suggests that an accident might have been a murder, the rest of the squad mocks the notion, however Butterman calmly listens to Angel's suspicions, and then orders the squad to treat the situation according to Angel's theory. Subverted in that Butterman is actually behind the rash of murders, with the backing of most of the town elders and leaders, and he merely goes along with Angel in order to try to make him seem irrational and less credible.
- Transformers Film Series:
- In Transformers, the Secretary of Defense, when he's informed of what is happening, quite reasonably backs up the soldiers who have actually fought (and beat, let alone survived) a Decepticon attack and the teenage kid who obviously has a handle on what is happening. Earlier in the movie, he demonstrates how such a figure can be authoritative while still being reasonable: when a young civilian contractor intrudes on his emergency meeting with some high-ranking officers, all the while making wild conjectures about extraterrestrial computer viruses, he ushers her out quickly and with no undue fuss, saying that he'd be glad to listen if she finds any proof, but that she needs to learn some manners if she wants to work at this level. Later, when proof is presented, he not only listens but appoints her as his advisor.
- In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Morshower, is presented as being 100 percent supportive of his combined team of Autobots and military operatives. That doesn't stop the Obstructive Bureaucrat from messing things up, though.
- In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the new head of NEST points out, correctly, that Sam is a civilian, and bars him from entering the base all willy-nilly like he used to. Then when he investigates what's going on and is proven right, she calmly admits she was wrong about him, without any sort of coercion or request. In fact, it's the very first thing she says to him when they meet.
- Every layer of the US government in the classic mutant-ant movie Them.
- Evenlyn Salt's superior Ted Winter in Salt was at least trying to understand why Salt was acting the way she was and acted more calmly, in contast to the more rash, frantic Peabody. Winter was in fact a Russian spy, so he took Salt's side because he wanted her succeed. And in the end, when Salt was arrested, Peabody, after receiving certain information to get him to trust Salt, he lets her escape.
- The prosecutor in My Cousin Vinny is a good-natured, by-the-book, down-home country lawyer. He's dead set on getting the kids convicted and executed, but the evidence does look pretty damning. When Vinny succeeds in knocking a big hole in the case, he immediately moves to have the case dismissed and congratulates Vinny on doing such a good job. To be fair, there was no way for him to win the case at that point (the evidence exonerated the defendants). Having the case dismissed was his best move.
- He does skirt the rules at one point, by refusing to let Vinny know ahead of time that he's bringing in an expert witness (the prosecution must disclose all witnesses and evidence to the defense). Vinny comes up with a convincing and proper objection (the judge praises him for that), but it get overruled.
- Judge Haller. It is very frustrated with Vinny's ignorance of basic courtroom procedure, but when Vinny shapes up, he proves to be very impartial.
- Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight fits the trope by leading the crusade against corruption in Gotham. He styles himself as the 'white knight' to contrast the viligantee 'Dark Knight' Batman. This changes as soon as he becomes Two Face.
- James Gordon plays this as straight as it gets. John Blake in Rises could also qualify, though he starts at a low rank.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Odin and (in a rare villainous example) Laufey in Thor. Odin wants to avoid war with the Frost Giants and preserve their peace. Laufey was prepared to let Thor and his friends go for violating the truce and invading their nation.
- Nick Fury throughout the entire series, but especially in The Avengers (2012), shows a good instinct of when to reign in his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, and when to stand back and let them do their jobs.
- Colonel Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger is a pragmatic man who sticks to the reality that a scrawny, asthmatic man isn't a good soldier until he sees the scientist's transformation of Steve Rogers. But Phillips doesn't believe a single Super Soldier like Steve Rogers is enough to win the war until Steve rescues 400 men single-handedly. When Steve presents himself for disciplinary action, Phillips is convinced of Steve's place and brings him into the military fold, with his full trust.
- Rhomann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy is a Nova Corps officer who has had a few antagonistic run-ins with protagonist (and petty thief) Peter Quill. Nonetheless, he is never an outright jerk to Quill and before the climax affirms, without reservation, his belief in the sincerity of Quill's message warning of an impending invasion by the Big Bad, resulting in the Nova Corps giving Quill's team much-needed backup.
- The police chief in Edward Scissorhands who, after arresting Edward, seems genuinely concerned for his wellbeing and later tries to protect him from the mob.
- The Attorney-General in Shooter. He agrees to talk to the guy who everybody "knows" tried to kill the President on the request of a junior FBI agent, releases him instantly when confronted with evidence exonerating him, and then basically tells him to go murder the rogue intelligence operative who set the whole thing up.
- General Berringer in WarGames, who not only turned out to be right on every significant point, but was one of the very few people in the movie who had a rational, well-thought out reason for every decision he made (even the incorrect ones).
- McKittrick isn't too far off this trope either. He doesn't seem to buy the FBI profiler's assertion that David was turned by the Soviets, and tries chatting with David to find out what's going on. His only problem is that he can't buy David's story that WOPR is running a game of its own. He's willing to go a ways down the path with David... until David tries to contact the WOPR while he's alone to find out if it's really playing the game so he can avert the catastrophe if possible —- this "suspicious" behavior is what pushes McKittrick over the edge as far as trusting David.
- In Sucker Punch, Mrs. Gorski really does want to help the girls at the asylum recover, and even in the brothel fantasies tries to protect and care for them. Exactly how authoritative she is is difficult to pinpoint. In the brothel fantasy, she is the dance instructor, but Blue makes it clear that she doesn't have the power to challenge him. In the final scenes, after Babydoll was lobotomized, Mrs. Gorski is clearly much higher in authority than the orderly Blue, bringing in the police to arrest him when she learns about his crimes.
- Captain Gordon Stacy is a borderline example in The Amazing Spider-Man. He is antagonistic toward the hero, contrary to most examples, but he has good reason (Spider-Man screwed up a police investigation of an auto theft ring). He is established as an actual example when Peter rushes into the police department with wild and unsubstantiated accusations that Dr. Curt Connors is a giant lizard monster who is responsible for recent violence in the city. Stacy is dismissive but, as soon as Parker leaves, he orders his men to check on Dr. Connors just to be sure.
- The King from Jack the Giant Slayer he's a good leader who handles himself well, deals with his subjects fairly, and isn't above hard labor right alongside the common soldiers when necessary. He also shows remarkable restraint when dealing with Jack, refraining from trying to intimidate him once it's clear there's some chemistry between him and the Princess. Not to mention he insists on fighting alongside the guards when the Giants attack, and gives Elmont a "Hell no!" when asked to leave.
- Also Elmont, the captain of the Guardians. He'll put a good scare in Jack for not kneeling when he's supposed to—but when the Princess goes missing, Elmont remembers that Jack was the peasant who'd stand up to bullies to protect a strange girl whom he didn't even know was the princess. He vouches for Jack with the King when it counts.
- General Hawk from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Also Sergeant Stone who surprisingly seems much more pleasant than most iterations of the Joe's Drill Sergeant.
- Rebel Without a Cause - the police officer played by Ed Platt. He lets Jim know that he's there to talk to when things are driving him crazy (and things are driving him crazy).
- Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness:
- Captain Pike of the 2009 Star Trek reboot is surprisingly reasonable and willing to listen. It helps that he has a soft spot for Kirk.
- Admiral Marcus, Carol's father and the chief of Starfleet Command, in Into Darkness. He's really evil, and attempts to destroy the Enterprise to cover up Section 31's actions and start a war with the Klingons. As a few of the crew try to convince Kirk, even the "reasonable" parts are major crimes and massively immoral.
- Elysium: President Patel is considerably less reactionary than Delacourt.
- The Ten Commandments gives us Pharaoh Seti, who, when presented with a dilemma, always listens to both sides of the argument, gives praise to Moses when his unconventional tactics conquer Ethiopia near bloodlessly, welcomes the Ethiopian King with open arms, and build a city in record time. Even when Moses is revealed to be a Hebrew, he remarks that he will believe Moses if he promises not to raise the slaves in revolt. He also is unafraid to verbally smack down priests and his own son.
Seti: The one best suited to rule Egypt shall follow me. I owe that to my fathers. Not to my sons.
- Godzilla (2014):
- While Admiral Stenz treats Godzilla as a threat for a good reason, he doesn't go out of his way like many military characters in these type of movies would and is always open to suggestions from civilian experts. Also, related to the above plan of using a nuke, he points out that they are pretty much out of other options and have to do all they can to protect the civilians on the coast, and despite that genuinely empathizes with Serizawa's perspective on the matter.
- Serizawa himself is one. When he first sees Joe Brody being interrogated, at first he thinks the guy's a loony. But then he looks at the papers Joe had on him, and notices the patterns perfectly match the ones they're seeing now. When the US Navy picks him up, he also has them bring both Brody's along. He realizes too late that Joe had indeed predicted that something wasn't right about those readings he was examining for the last 15 years. And though his son Ford didn't have the same knowledge, he did provide enough of a clue for Serizawa to figure out that Godzilla may not be quite the bad guy as he's seen as.
- The Man in Black in X-Men: First Class. For a G-Man, quite a Nice Guy.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past:
The head Congressman who's against Trask's Sentinel project. The incident from ten years ago notwithstanding, mutants are a very small portion of the population and haven't been causing trouble.
Richard Nixon himself gets this treatment, unlike most examples. While he does go along with the Sentinel Program, it's out of a desire to protect the nation from super powered beings than any genuine malice. When Mystique saves his life from Magneto, it's implied he gave her a pardon and jailed Trask for trying to sell secrets to America's enemies.
- Lock Up: The Captain of the Guard is a much more reasonable figure than the sadistic Warden. He'll follow his orders and treat the prisoners as roughly as he thinks is necessary, but he does not believe in punishing someone beyond their sentence. When Frank ultimately takes Drumgoole hostage and exposes his corruption, he orders his men to arrest the Warden and makes sure Frank will be able to sit out the rest of his sentence in peace.
- Chief Martin Brody in Jaws. As soon as he learns the likely cause of death for a swimmer was a shark attack, he drops everything and tries to close the beaches. Even as the town business owners and especially the Mayor try to keep the beaches open, Brody's the only one who continues to take the threat seriously. In fact, Mr. Quint addresses Brody directly when giving his price to kill the shark because he's this.
- O-Ren from Kill Bill has no problem with her subordinates questioning her logic or pointing out flaws in her plan, so long as they're respectful about it. Hell, she actively encourages it! Just don't insult her heritage. Seriously, don't.
- Dr. Paul Dreyfus in Dantes Peak. He's skeptical of Dr. Dalton's claims that the volcano is going to erupt, not because he's a Suit with Vested Interests or because he thinks there's a Million-to-One Chance, but because he wants absolute proof as a scientist and he's seen how premature warnings can cause unnecessary panic and cause people to disregard real warnings. But as soon as Dr. Dalton has real proof, he agrees to issue a warning and helps plan an evacuation. Of course he still ends up being a Doomed Contrarian.
- Lord Humungus from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is a villainous example. Unlike every other villain up to that point, he is only after the oil rig and is perfectly willing to let the tribe leave peacefully instead of massacring them.
- Michelle Bradley from Chappie. Not only does she treat her employees decently, she also has legitimate reasons for cutting funding for Moore's Moose project (the police aren't willing to pay for such an overpowered and unweildly mech, and adding more features isn't going to help), and not allowing Dion to experiment with Scout 22 (there's an incredible amount of red tape involved, plus Tetravaal is, y'know, a weapons manufacturer, so a smart AI that can for example, paint, isn't really useful to their interests).
- President Tom Beck in Deep Impact. When MSNBC reporter Jenny Lerner stumbles onto the story about the impending comet impact, which she actually thinks is an extramarital affair, he moves forward with informing the public, as it could only be a matter of time before other networks report on it. He also freezes all wages and prices, to prevent a sudden rise in profiteering, once news of the comet has been released, and is very open and honest with the public even when he has to do reluctant things like declare martial law as society begins to break down.
- A Brother's Price Jerin's mothers and eldest sister are this. Naturally, they are away, selling horses in a neighbouring city and visiting relatives, respectively, when the plot needs to get going. Also, Ren, who despite her reasonableness thinks that she can finish her important business in peace before talking to Jerin as he requested per messenger. Well, she is wrong, and later has a lot of guilt about this.
- Discworld's Lord Vetinari is one deep down, though for his own reasons he hides it well. Vimes also fits the trope; his incorruptibility is so famous that suggestions to bribe him are taken as jokes.
- Most of the Watch are personally loyal to Vimes. A fair number follow him when he turns in his badge in Jingo. As one officer says, when your back's against the wall, Mister Vimes is right behind you.
- The Assassin's Guild refuses to take contracts on either Vetinari or Vimes, as eliminating either of them would be too disruptive to the social order. Sometimes Guild assassins are sent after Vimes, but these are usually the cocky students who need to be taken down a peg or two rather than serious attempts.
- The governor from Animorphs #51 is incredibly level-headed and good at rolling with the punches - see the page quote.
- In Dragon Bones, Ward's uncle Duraugh, who is to rule Hurog in Ward's place until Ward is of age, is quite reasonable, sometimes too much so. He would, for example, put the fierce stallion Ward inherited to death. (Ward sees that the horse is only frightened, and trains it to become a Cool Horse, eventually). When, after some adventures, the young generation returns to castle Hurog and tells Duraugh to evacuate the place, he listens and decides that explanations can wait until later.
- Sam, Astrid and Edilio from Gone as the Mayors of Perdido Beach.
- Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame is perhaps too easygoing when it comes to Harry, but considering the trouble he tends to attract, it pays to listen when Harry says basilisks/death eaters/trolls/whatever are mucking about. He's one of the few authority figures in the Harry Potter universe who is consistently not evil and on the ball as far as what's going on, and therefore knows well enough to trust the heroes (and occasionally bail them out of school trouble when it's convenient).
- Professor McGonagall qualifies too (appropriately, since she's Dumbledore's replacement). By the end of Book 7, all she needs from Harry is a vague assurance that he's doing something important before she's entirely willing to stage a massive battle just to give Harry the time he needs. On the flip side, if she's chewing you out over something it's usually a pretty safe bet you've done something to earn it.
- Kingsley Shacklebolt, head of the Auror department at the Ministry and the de facto leader of the Order of the Phoenix, is so reasonable he even gets along with the Dursleys. Too bad the less reasonable Ministers (Fudge, later Scrimgeour) outrank him.
- It's been hinted that Amelia Bones, the Director of Magical Law Enforcement, fell into this category which was a major reason for her possibly becoming Minister... and why Voldemort had her killed.
- Professors Slughorn, Flitwick, and Sprout all also seem like this.
- Professor Lupin is the first Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a level head. This is exemplified when he rescues Harry from Snape's wrath and covers for him with regards to the Marauder's Map. He then chewed Harry out himself when out of Snape's earshot because he had genuinely been stupid and careless.
- Snape is this... but only if you're a Slytherin. It seems to be a trend among Heads of House.
- Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. It depends on the adaptation.
- He doesn't take the feud as seriously, and when Romeo crashes a party, his response is to just shrug because Romeo has a good reputation. When his younger relatives are raving about how Romeo's crashing the party, Capulet tells them to just leave Romeo alone because he's not done anything wrong. Some play it like him trying to avoid trouble, seeing as the Prince's relatives are also at the party and the Prince made it clear that he wouldn't put up with any more feuding nonsense.
- The Prince is just about the only consistently reasonable figure across any adaptation. He doesn't want the feud to tear the city apart and is doing everything he can to keep the two sides from going too far.
- Watership Down. 'The Threarah', the Chief Rabbit of the Sandleford warren, who appears to be the Obstructive Bureaucrat-type when he dismisses Fiver's warning out of hand. Holly (himself a reasonable authority figure) later reveals that his reasoning was actually quite logical — most prophets are frauds, and even if they're genuine the warren would have lost more rabbits from a mass evacuation than a flood or from hunters. Tragically, the oncoming disaster is more massive than The Threarah could imagine or Fiver could explain coherently, which leaves the Threarah as an Obstructive Bureaucrat who tries to be this trope.
- Hazel gradually becomes a pretty exemplary one of these once he becomes Chief Rabbit of the Watership Down warren. His particular skill is in recognizing and helping to develop the specific talents of the other rabbits around him, and with everyone feeling valued, they all prove unswervingly loyal. By this point, he's also grown to appreciate Fiver's prophetic abilities, and developed more-or-less absolute faith in the little guy.
- Efrafra, despite being a horribly oppressive police state, has one of these in Captain Campion, and even their cruel Chief Rabbit, General Woundwort, has moments of reason, despite ultimately being a pretty bad guy. Captain Mallow was implied to have been one of these, too.
- Chief Wyatt Porter in the Odd Thomas novels knows quite well about Odd's psychic gifts, and consults him whenever he can (i.e. as long as he eventually has enough evidence to back him up in courts and whatnot).
- From the Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- The X-Wing Series gives us an example in Wedge Antilles. When Myn Donos had a Heroic BSOD, he helped cover it up. Later, when Myn fired on Lara for the destruction of Talon Squadron, and shot a torpedo at another pilot, he was taken off duty, but not actually written up, though there was a testing period while Wedge decided whether or not to do so. And when Myn realized that the fighters were going into a trap, Wedge called them off, even though he couldn't see how and they lost two in doing so.
- Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the bad guys (although not strictly evil) and executed a tractor beam operator for failing to catch Luke's ship, and then lying to Thrawn about not having performed training that could have kept the tractor beam emitter from eating a torpedo, and attempted to shift the blame to another — but in a later book he promoted a new tractor beam operator who had failed to catch another ship Luke was on because although the guy had failed, he'd tried a new method and accepted responsibility when the tactic didn't work. He also treated his second-in-command and occasional Commander Contrarian with respect.
- Pellaeon surely counts by the Hand of Thrawn duology, when he's basically got Thrawn's old rank, albeit commanding the forces of a much smaller Empire. He happens to Know When to Fold 'Em, is protective of his people, and treats his own Commander Contrarian the way Thrawn treated him. Oh, and he's trying to make peace with the New Republic, and sees efforts by various Imperial elements to make it look like the New Republic has refused as what they are: a trick. ...Really, by that point he's not remotely one of the bad guys.
- In Galaxy of Fear: The Doomsday Ship, the captain of a luxury cruise starship knows it's a surly employee's fault when the systems go down, rather than Zak's, and lets Zak have access to some records he wants to see. When things start going wrong he proves to feel great responsibility for his men and the crew.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Nightbringer, the governor. Although things have gone badly under her, Barzano preempts a vote of no confidence because she seems to be the best. And she faces the troubles with equanimity and an effort to fix things.
- The Governor of Tarsis Ultra in the second Ultramarines book is also one of these - initially more concerned with pomp and ceremony than defences, he is immediately put in his place by the Astartes and Imperial Guard commanders. Rather than (some might say predictably) becoming a sulking villian, he swallows his pride and does what he can to help, becoming a vital administrator of the supply lines, and dies, bravely fighting in a battle he wasn't trained for to set an example to the people.
- The Ultramarines themselves are this, ruling a mini Empire, Ultramar its one of the best places to live in the Imperium, minus the whole Tyranid invasion a few hundred years ago.
- In Dead Sky Black Sun, the Lord of the Unfleshed. True, he's a cannibalistic monster with the mind of a little child who strongly considers eating Uriel and his companions, but he's leading the Unfleshed in horrible circumstances, and has no experience with good people who are not the Unfleshed. Once Uriel persuades him, he throws all his forces into a desperate attack.
- In The Killing Grounds, the Grey Knight Leodegarius. Despite his suspicion and insistence on the ordeals to test Uriel and Pasanius, he is willing to clear them — even acting in a more conciliatory manner after he knows if they are tainted, it was not with their knowledge — and deals with the planet in a straightforward and just manner.
- Ciaphas Cain falls under this trope. Despite Commissars technically being outside of the chain of command, he has the authority to execute Colonels and Generals who would otherwise outrank him, if he has good reason to do so. Unlike many of his breed, however, Cain instead prefers to foster friendships and inspire his troops via camaraderie rather than instilling them with fear of his retribution, to the extent that some of them perceive him to be their inspirational father figure.
- Oddly enough most Governors end up as this trope, all but one named Governor in the Cain books wasn't this because that one was a genestealer. Guess the bad ones tend to be killed off.
- One of the Cain books actually had a short blurb that implied incompetent Governors are quickly dealt with by the Officio Assassinorum.
- Chris Roberson's Dawn of War II has a wonderfully incompetent governor.
- Oddly enough most Governors end up as this trope, all but one named Governor in the Cain books wasn't this because that one was a genestealer. Guess the bad ones tend to be killed off.
- In the second book of Hilari Bell's Knight And Rogue series, Michael and Fisk are surprised to find the local sheriff is willing to get their side of the story before summarily running them out of town on the say-so of an important official. Though he still makes them leave once the book's over.
- In Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess, Ketterman comes off as cold, severe and off-putting at first, but he is the only one to listen to Samantha and investigate the fraud perpetrated by Arnold Saville.
- Each book in A Series of Unfortunate Events tends to have exactly one character in this position. They usually don't last very long.
- A definite example would be Montgomery Montgomery from "The Reptile Room". The later books tend to lack this character, or have one offscreen.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Thuvia, Maid of Mars, Thuvia refuses to have a prince who laid hands on her arrested, despite the gravity of the crime, because it would mean war.
- Later, the Great Jed, U-Thor. He gives Tara advice on defending herself against charges, valiantly defends his stepson A-Kor against A-Kor's own father, the jeddak, and in the end is instrumental in replacing the jeddak with A-Kor.
- In Annals of the Black Company, the Lady may be evil, but she also fits this trope nicely. Admittedly, she does get somewhat cross with underlings who work against her, but she'll forgive (what's left of) them if she learns that the accusations were false.
- In Charles Stross's The Atrocity Archives and sequels, Angleton may count, despite being the scariest person in the Laundry. Exercising his authority frequently falls afoul of obstacle #4, above. Oh so much.
- Bluestar from Warrior Cats, but only sometimes. Given the information she had, she almost always made the best decision, once asking an apprentice to track down a friendly fugitive that General Ripper was definitely going to execute. Unfortunately the general was also the Evil Chancellor, so she was quite blind to his motives, despite repeat warnings from the hero.
- Firestar too after he becomes the leader.
- In fact, plenty of leaders can be this on a good day at least. Several examples include Blackstar, but the ultimate one would have to be Tallstar, who's very friendly to Firestar and his Clan (this is explained in Tallstar's Revenge). But after he dies, Onestar (who takes over WindClan after him) averts this trope when he's in a foul mood.
- Supreme Affluent Greene Reid of A Touch of Poison, who deals with a tricky situation with remarkable calm, given the circumstances (mainly, that the Widow Baker nearly poisoned him, but chooses not to, comes to him with proof of the poisoning and a full confession as to how and why she attempted such a thing in the first place).
- King-Emperor John IV, from S. M. Stirling's novel, The Peshawar Lancers. The cannibalistic Satanist Russian Empire has bred a lineage of seeresses who can see the consequences of any possible action? Your evidence is pretty convincing. Maybe you hero-types should go do something about it.
- The Belisarius Series features Malwa noble Damodara, who starts off reasonable in actually listening to Rana Sanga's concern that they're being played by Belisarius, and then covers up the Rajput king's failure in capturing Belisarius because he accepts that anyone would have fallen for the Batman Gambit which was used.
- King Arthur.
- In Josepha Sherman's The Shining Falcon, Finist. So frustrating to Ljuba.
- Faramir counts in The Lord of the Rings. He provides assistance to Frodo and Sam once he learns of their quest (after making them sweat a bit) and shows mercy to Gollum when Frodo vouches for him (though Gollum doesn't realize it).
- Tortall Universe
- Duke Gareth in Song of the Lioness was one, being strict and authoritative but at the same time, understanding and kind. Despite giving Alanna a stern lecture for beating up a boy who had ruthlessly bullied her (even breaking her arm at one point), he had supported her (even telling her privately that Ralon deserved to be thrashed) and was secretly pleased that she managed to do it on her own.
- In that same universe, Jonathan, as king, is considered a fair and benevolent ruler. He (technically) lifts the ban on female knights. His queen, Thayet, is an Action Girl that starts her own band of "Riders" to serve the country.
- It's the same way with his father, for the most part. He's known as Roald the Peacemaker, but he takes it a bit far when he allows a resurrected Duke Roger back into court. Conté's king and queen are generally examples of this trope.
- Lord Gershom of Haryse in Provost's Dog, who is also Da Chief of Tortall's police force. He can't investigate every case because there are just too many, but he gives Beka all the support he can when he can. It's only because of his political enemies that he has to employ Torture Technicians in the jails rather than actual truth spells.
- The His Fair Assassin trilogy has Duchess Anne, the young but extraordinarily level-headed royal served by the protagonist leads.
- Sheriff Pangborn from Stephen King's The Dark Half. After the villain George Stark leaves a bloody fingerprint at a crime scene that perfectly matches local writer Thad Beaumont, Pangborn arrives to arrest Thad. But when Thad produces an ironclad alibi, Pangborn believes him and does all he can to help catch Stark. Pangborn later gets to be The Hero in Needful Things.
- Special Agent Tilly from The Dresden Files: Changes. He turns off the recording tape during his interrogation of Harry, at Harry's request, and is willing to listen to and calmly evaluate what Harry says to him about the supernatural. He also handles himself very well during the Red Court attack.
- Warden Captain Anastasia Luccio is perfectly willing to listen to Harry when he reports a threat that the White Council has otherwise missed.
- Leonard Stecyk in The Pale King.
- Artemis Butler of the web-novel Domina, despite being a gang lord.
Butler: I swear that all I want is to safeguard everyone. But this city is all I can control.
- Marcia Overstrand, ExtraOrdinary Wizard, in Septimus Heap zig-zags this trope, varying from a Reasonable Authority Figure in e.g Darke where she immediately comes to the Palace with the other Wizards when alerted to the presence of a Darke Domaine to Not Now, Kiddo in Flyte, when she refuses to believe that Jenna has been kidnapped by her elder brother Simon Heap.
- Bishop Peregrino in Speaker for the Dead first seems like a Bible-thumping fanatic dead-set on kicking the "infidel" Speaker out of Lusitania as soon as possible, including declaring Ender to be The Devil himself. He still has plenty of reservations, but the events of the book have Peregrino mellowing and developing a level of respect for Ender, even if he doesn't agree with his methods (such as revealing embarassing personal information to everyone instead of just to the bishop and God in confession). Additionally, Ender revealing that he was baptised as a child helps the bishop accept him into their Catholic community. He also agrees to rebel against the Starways Congress in order to save Miro.
- He does slip up in the following book Xenocide, even though he is older and wiser (the book takes place 30 years later). After Quim's death at the "hands" of Warmaker, Valentine warns the bishop and the mayor of the impending riot the likes of which they've never seen, only for both of them to dismiss her advice. Bishop claims that his people are all good Catholics who'd never do something like that. The events of that night make him realize how wrong he'd been, and he makes all of his churchgoers build a new chapel to commemorate all those who died.
- In The Long Earth, Jansson becomes a renowned authority on "stepping" and generally does a good job preventing negative repercussions of the sudden discovery of parallel Earths.
- In the Conan story "The God in the Bowl", the Inspector, Demetrius, comes across as one. Despite advocating the more brutal methods that the guards have, he gives Conan a fair chance to explain himself, easily seeing past Conan's lies, and investigates instead of arresting him on the spot (partly because they couldn't take Conan, but also because he suspected it wasn't Conan). Near the end, when the nobleman who hired Conan to steal something in the citadel is found, Demetrius easily deduces that he hired Conan, and sincerely said that, if given the word, he would let Conan go, and cover this whole incident up to protect the nobleman's reputation, explaining that debt (the motive) is nothing to be ashamed of. The Aristocrats Are Evil trope is in effect, and the man denies all the allegations, causing Conan to fly into a murderous rage, Demetrius still makes it out with a wounded leg, and when the real murder culprit is revealed, the titular god, the narration makes it clear that Demetrius would have stayed to investigate it, but wounded and bleeding badly, he opts to run with the rest of the guards.
- In Bisclavret, the king. When Bisclavret, in wolf form, paws at his stirrup as a petitioner, the king grants him his life, since he petitioned for it.
- Legacy of the Dragokin: Jago does an admirable job managing his city. To demonstrate: he refuses to let the civilians of others cities die or mutate but can't take in too many or they'll all starve. Also, he insists on protocol when letting anyone in or out of Final Shield.
- The Exile's Violin:
- King Shaun II of Kenesta doesn't squash civil unrest with a heavy hand. Instead, he asks them to select a spokesman to send to an audience with him the next day so he can address their concerns. In the audience itself it crossses into Only Sane Man because he is the only one that recognizes the stupidity in declaring war against a country that they just lost against to reclaim land that never wanted to be part of them.
- General Colborough is calm, rational and Jacquie notes that when he initates his coup that he is not doing it out of ego or warmongering but because he believes it is the best course of action. When one of his subordinates claims that Jacquie and Clay are spies from another country simply because of a family squable, he says the idea is ridiculous but still wants them questioned because they shouldn'nt have been in a meeting that was arranged solely for locals.
- Admiral LeBlanc isn't keen on listing to a strange detective saying treanous and unlikely things, but, given to the strange circumstances and other things that Jacquie points out, she is willing to listen.
- In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, Princess Ludorica conceeds that her grandfather is right to use her as a tool for their kingdom's safety.
- In Dealing with Dragons, Kazul becomes one of these. She knows that Cimorene is a level-headed person, so when Cimorene goes to Kazul - newly crowned as King of Dragons - saying that wizards tried to sabotage the coronation trials and the dragon Warog was behind it, Kazul is more than happy to listen. When Warog repeatedly tries to discredit Cimorene by insisting that her story is preposterous, Kazul calmly points out that he hasn't pointed out a single thing to back up that statement.
- Dalinar Kholin from The Stormlight Archive is one of the few generals in charge of the Vengeance Pact that will actually listen to his troops. It's one of the things that made him so formidable as The Blackthorn, because he works very well with any of his subordinates.
- Kaladin is this to a lesser extent, only because he takes charge of Bridge Four. Unlike his commanding officers, who often neglect the bridgemen as arrow fodder, Kaladin considers each and every person's strength. He even makes the man who disagrees with him most his second-in-command to keep himself in line.
- Vikus from The Underland Chronicles, though he's such a Nice Guy Gregor and others don't feel they can always confide in him.
- Alberta Petrov, Captain of the St. Vladimir's Academy's Guardians from Vampire Academy. She works well with Rose and convinces to resume her studies and graduate.
Live Action TV
- Agent Cabe Gallows on Scorpion, despite being an archetypal, tough-nose government agent, is quick to trust his socially awkward genius subordinates, often following up on their theories with little to no arguing, and often even brings his own brand of crime-fighting to back them up. The fact that he's also played by Robert Patrick is just a plus.
- In Auction Kings, Paul is very level-headed and tends to take Jon's screw-ups in stride. Cindy tends to be more hot-headed.
- Jack McCoy from Law & Order is the very definition of tough but fair; while he usually dishes out harsh punishments, they are proportional to the crime. It is only after the opposition attempts some shifty defense that he goes all gung ho. For example McCoy once prosecuted a an unrepented drunk driver for killing three pedestrians. McCoy went Knight Templar to convict this driver, hiding witnesses, hide evidence; it is only when McCoy sees that the driver truly regrets his actions that McCoy changes his mind and submits the flight attendant's statement at trial, prompting a plea bargain. Furthermore his underlying motivation is a sincere desire to see justice done. To that end he looks at the fact meticulously, there have been a number of innocent defendants who only had their word to back up their claim. If it wasn’t for McCoy they would be in Jail.
- This came back to bite McCoy in the butt later on in the series once his name got into the text books. Genre Savvy defense attorneys knew something was up if a plea was too lenient.
- M*A*S*H: Col. Potter's decisions are always the right ones, and he's not afraid to yell at the Designated Hero when he happens to be in the wrong.
- Assistant Director Skinner from The X-Files really does listen to Mulder & Scully if they can back it up.
- Pope in Prison Break treats the inmates with a degree of respect. He doesn't talk about them in a demeaning way, as the guards tend to; seems genuinely sorry whenever he has to deliver bad news; and takes abuses of authority seriously. An interesting example because even though viewers are expected to have some sympathy for the protagonists, Pope—understandably—never supports their goal of escape. At least in the first season, since he doesn't have much authority outside the prison.
- President Henry Hayes in Stargate SG-1, with a prejudiced/misguided Evil Vice President (Kinsey).
- Generals Hammond, O'Neill and Landry too.
[Dr. Jackson has just finished giving intel about the Jaffa to SG-1 and Gen. Hammond, based on a dream]Dr. Jackson: [surprised] So, you believe me, too?Gen. Hammond: The things I've heard sitting in this chair…
- The episode "Sight Unseen" has a great example where Jonas Quinn (still sort of the new guy) claims to see something no one else can (a large bug crawling around). Hammond immediately orders a lockdown and investigation into the matter.
- It's especially evident once the President finds out about everything Kinsey has done, he shuts him up in order to listen to Dr. Weir and fires him in the same breath. In fact, the President tells him that with so much compromising evidence against him, Kinsey's lucky he's not getting shot for treason.
- Colonel Caldwell from Stargate Atlantis also fits this trope.
- Richard Woolsey was introduced to the franchise as an Obstructive Bureaucrat, and everyone was worried when he took command of Atlantis in the final season. While he remains an unapologetic bureaucrat, Woolsey does prove himself to be fairly reasonable, and he's willing to bend the rules here and there in exceptional circumstances.
- Generals Hammond, O'Neill and Landry too.
- Sheriff Andy Taylor of The Andy Griffith Show is both a subversion where the hero IS the authority figure, and one of the most thoroughly detailed depictions of this trope. Over the seasons, there have been a vast number of events, ranging from minor Narrative Filigree to entire episode A-plots, depicting Andy's dedication to adapting his approach to crime based on the particular case and person at hand, and his goal of defusing tensions and trouble to prevent crime and strife from arising in the first place rather than being focused on punishing violators.
- President Bartlet of The West Wing is a mild version of one of these, in that he actually listens to practical and moral reasons for his actions, rather than scheming and ignoring the facts for political gain.
- Ultimately played for laughs (just like everything else) in iCarly. Principal Franklin, the principal of Carly's school, is not strict at all, once getting Carly and her friends out of detention, and even giving Carly a reprieve when her friend hacked into the school's computer to change her grades. In the end however, this is at least partially explained by the fact that the principal is a big fan of Carly's webshow, and she wouldn't be able to do the show if she were spending all her time in detention.
- It seems that he is more than aware of how sadistic the teachers are at his school, which sets him up as the one ray of hope in an otherwise miserable environment.
- Admiral Forrest, Starfleet's CINC on Star Trek: Enterprise is just about the only instance of a consistently supportive admiral in the franchise; the standard is more like Admiral Nechayev from TNG.
- It should be noted that Admiral Ross from Deep Space 9 also had a tendency to be fairly reasonable... In fact, he tended to be the voice of reason when Sisko began to chew scenery.
- Speaking of DS9, Martok is among a handful of reasonable Klingon leaders seen on screen. Though this becomes a problem when Chancellor Gowron (a thoroughly political Glory Hound) thinks that Martok's victories will eventually allow him to challenge Gowron's position (something Martok, a career soldier of the Empire, has no intention of doing). Indeed, Gowron's paranoia ends up becoming a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy; Worf, furious over Gowron's treatment of Martok, challenges him in combat and wins, then passes the mantle to Martok.
- Admiral Paris from Star Trek: Voyager is also fairly reasonable, being willing to try out Reg Barclay's highly theoretical way to contact Voyager from across the galaxy and then congratulating him when it works. Then again, to tolerate Barclay for any length of time, he'd have to be patient.
- Chief Karen Vick in Psych, as well as being Da Chief, also demonstrates these traits; she puts up with Shawn's antics with a remarkable amount of restraint, considering, and treats him and his "psychic" abilities reasonably and respectfully, although certainly not blindly.
- In later seasons, Head Detective Carlton Lassiter also applies. While still outwardly rude and disbelieving of Shawn, he sees that Shawn gets results and lets more and more of his childishness by.
- Camille Saroyan from Bones, also Da Chief, is very reasonable (albeit exasperated) with her team of squints. While she feels like the Only Sane Woman, she respects the work her colleagues do and assists them accordingly.
- From earlier seasons, Dr. Goodman is an example as well. While he was often tired of his team's antics, he treated them well.
- Captain Stottlemeyer of Monk qualifies: he is Adrian Monk's closest friend, he rarely doubts Monk's intuition ("He's the guy."), and he even orders his officers to accommodate Monk's obsessions (one time he has officers pop all the bubbles on a piece of bubble wrap, so Monk can get on with solving the case).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: While Principal Snyder skirted on the edge of being The Dragon to the season three Big Bad (despite having shown up two seasons earlier), Sunnydale High's other two principals were both Reasonable Authority Figures. Principal Flutie meant well and tried to reach out to the students (and was eaten for his pains), and Principal Wood comes close to joining Buffy's Band of Brothers.
- In the end he does
- There's also Giles who was reasonable as a Watcher when compared to Wesley (and the rest of the Watchers' Council).
- Believe it or not Faith and Kennedy become this in the comics. The former was leading a squad of slayers in England until they left her over Angel, while the latter formed an agency of former slayers turned Bodyguard Babes and showed how reasonable she had become when Buffy worked for her, royally screws up, plans to skip, and attacked her. The ending to Angel & Faith suggests the two will be working together.
- Principal Larritate in Wizards of Waverly Place. Yes, he comes down hard on Alex but only because he feels she needs it more. Harper on the other hand gets off with a wrist slap because she's not really a problem, or another trouble maker he let's off lightly because he knows he won't get though to him. He also offers Alex an alternate to being suspended even though she may find the cure worse than the disease.
- Jerry usually qualifies.
- Bill Buchanan in 24, a rare boss who understands that Jack does what he has to do.
- President David Palmer was all over this trope long before Buchanan.
- President Allison Taylor was this as well, excluding a few episodes near the end of the series.
- Visitors from the corporate headquarters in New York tend to be this in the US version of The Office. David Wallace in particular is willing to take both business and human considerations into his decisions (e.g. his willingness to not go through with Jim's plan in "The Meeting").
- As reasonable as they are, they also managed to run the company into the ground.
- Principal Lasseter of Life With Derek is a disciplinarian, but is willing to consider more important things, such as the effect expelling Derek would have on school morale.
- Death on Supernatural. Not that he's there to in any way help the Winchesters, or anyone for that matter, but he values order, and is in charge of keeping the cycle of life and death continuing so the chaos doesn't destroy the universe. He is incredibly fair-handed in doing this, allows completely for the events of free will to be followed to their natural conclusion, and doesn't use "destiny" as an excuse to fuck people around. This means that all the Angels and Demons out there who play havoc with the natural order, arrogantly declaring that they can do whatever they want REALLY pisses him off (particularly considering how insignificant they are in comparison to him). As a result, if the Winchesters' aims coincide with his own, he will help them out. He is also the only entity in the whole of existence who Dean actually respects. And considering his exposure to both God and the Devil, that is saying something.
- Principal Figgins of Glee qualifies. Although irrational at times (seriously, vampires?) and a occasionally a coward under Sue, He often gives rational statements over the feud between Sue and Will.
- Cedric Daniels from The Wire. Although McNulty sometimes sees him as an Obstructive Bureaucrat, he is a very competent and reasonable officer dedicated to quality police work.
- Captain Roy Montgomery in Castle is incredibly tolerant of Richard Castle's presence in the unit and remarkably willing to accommodate his theories and viewpoints on the cases he and Detective Kate Beckett investigate; this is partially because of pressure from higher-ups regarding the positive press that comes from having a bestselling mystery writer base a character on one of his police detectives, but he also appears to genuinely respect Castle's abilities and like the man personally. He also acts as a father figure to his detectives, particularly Beckett.
- District Attorney Devalos on Medium is a Reasonable Authority Figure. He always listens to Allison and thinks about what she says. Though frequently he doesn't immediately do anything with the information, it's not because he doesn't trust her. It's because he knows that there are only certain things he can use in court, and her visions aren't among them.
- The Mexican police chief in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. A couple of American kids get in a fight in a bar, he's ready to let them off with a warning provided they call their parents. Too bad one of the kids is a wanted fugitive.
- The last episode of Titus, "The Protector", has Christopher and the gang confront the man who molested Erin's niece in the high school washroom with intentions of "discussing" the issue with him. Principal Wells, upon hearing the evidence, proclaims he'll call the police himself...but he'll give them 15 minutes first. Admittedly, more of a Sympathetic Authority Figure than a strictly Reasonable one.
- When the governor in the new Hawaii Five-0 is informed by McGarrett that one of her old friends, campaign supporter, and well-respected local business tycoon is the head of the local yakuza, she, upon hearing the (fairly scanty and mostly circumstantial) evidence, immediately believes him despite initially having entered the office to rip him a new one for harassing her old friend.
- In the Doctor Who episode The Deadly Assassin, Goth insists on trying the Doctor quickly, rather than posing the next President with the choice being forgoing the usual pardon that accompanies his installment, or releasing the murderer of a beloved President — he would, no doubt, find it hard. Subverted, as Goth is actually trying to get the Doctor executed for the Master.
- In The Masque Of Mandragora, the late duke.
- In Frontier in Space, both the emperor and the president.
- In Vengeance on Varos the Governor, who is ruling a Bread and Circuses society and trying to get the best prices for his people from a Corrupt Corporate Executive despite the risk to his life.
- The Doctor himself counts as one of these, though if he IS tearing the crap out of you, then you definitely deserve it *cough*Adam, General Cobb*cough* and only a few people - River being one and Susan being another - can possibly calm him down.
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (as well as his daughter Kate) is a supportive and trusting ally of the Doctor, but he's also a Pragmatic Hero and a bit of an Agent Scully who needs the facts before he can act. These traits occasionally have him at odds with the Doctor.
- Roswell has Sheriff Jim Valenti, once he evolves from Secret Chaser. He's willing to give Max and company the benefit of the doubt when they can't fully explain something, and actively protects them from less well meaning public servants.
- Peter from White Collar is this, giving a nice contrast to the other main character Neal's rather looser morals.
- On Leverage Lieutenant (promoted to Captain) Patrick Bonano often fills this role. Despite the fact that he knows what Nate and his crew are really doing, he is willing to help them and let them get away with it as much as he can, often using their assistance to solve his own cases.
- Admiral AJ Chegwidden qualifies with honors. He almost always backs up his subordinates, unless they’ve committed some Egregious act. Sometimes when he's hit his limit over his people's eccentricities he'll go into a tirade.
- His successor, General Cresswell, would also qualify but to a much lesser extent.
- The SecNavs do also, at various points throughout the series come across like this, albait on very rare occasions.
- Scandal: President Fitzgerald Grant.
- The Flipside Of Dominick Hide: Caleb, Dominick's boss in both installments, despite seeming a bit sinister, is secretly helping Dominick due to the Stable Time Loop and arranges for Dominick to be Kicked Upstairs rather than fired for his transgressions.
- Senator Hidoshi from Season One of Babylon 5 is willing to run interference against an increasingly corrupt Earth government on behalf of Sinclair and the station, but not without telling the commander his Rules Lawyer games are making things more difficult. Once President Clark takes power in Season Two Hidoshi and any other voice of reasonableness on the part of EarthGov disappears completely.
- The title character of "Good King Wenceslas" represents the Christian ideals of charity and caring for the meek.
- Though the real Wenceslas seems to have been more pious than competent and might have been better as a cleric than a king.
- It was common in the past for all authority figures in the pro wrestling business to be depicted this way when they showed up on television, acting as a Foil for the antics of the heels and the zanier faces. Jack Tunney is a good example. It wasn't until the nineties that the Corrupt Corporate Executive version of the authority figure rose to popularity (in the form of Vince McMahon in the then-WWF and Eric Bischoff in the WCW).
- After years and years of the WWF being run by Lawful Evil heels like Vince McMahon and Triple H who screwed the faces at any chance, a bit of fresh air surfaced when Mick Foley became Commissioner in 2000 and actually treated everybody equally. It was a nice if brief chance of pace to watch a heel like Triple H finally get his just deserts at the hands of the man he forcefully retired no less. Still, Mick's reasonableness didn't save him from getting booed when backed into a corner by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
- Theodore Long, long-suffering general manager of WWE's Smackdown brand, is apparently a little too reasonable for Corrupt Corporate Executive Vince McMahon's tastes; his current storyline has him being put on probation, ostensibly for being too bland and not having any major accomplishments, but implied to be more because he doesn't give special consideration to Vince's favorite wrestlers (Heels one and all).
- Case in point; Drew McIntyre ignored repeated warnings by Teddy to stop attacking an injured Matt Hardy, so Teddy stripped him of the IC title and fired him. The next week, McMahon reversed the decision, much to the dismay of Long and Kofi Kingston, who won the IC belt while McIntyre was gone.
- Booker T was this during his time as the Smackdown general manager.
- Examples from the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting, Forgotten Realms: Alustriel of Silverymoon; Khelben Blackstaff, leader of the heroic breakoff organization from the Harpers; Piergeiron the Paladinson, one of the Lords of Waterdeep; and both the late King Azoun IV of Cormyr and his son, Azoun V. Given the scale of the setting, many, many others exist.
- There are a few officials in Warhammer 40,000 who fit this trope, such as Ciaphas Cain, Ibram Gaunt, and a handful of their fellow officers. Unfortunately, they are very much in the minority.
- Paragons (people who have a high Obligation in Genius The Transgression) radiate a sense of trustworthiness and knowledge. As a result, they get a nice bonus to social rolls when they act like this.
- In In Nomine, the player characters are often angels reporting to Archangels. The books give directions for the GM to play these Archangels as anything from Knight Templar fanatics to Reasonable Authority Figures. Their counterparts, the Demon Princes, not so much.
- Pretty much every authority figure in Ptolus has a reason they're in the position in the first place, are well-respected, and haven't been enveloped by the city by the spire's, ah, "intense" politics. DMs are given advice to not trot the players to these people for no reason, and to treat the encounters with gravity.
- John Hancock as president of Congress in 1776. He's an independence man like John Adams, although he doesn't actively participate in debate or voting (except in case of deadlock, which Adams is quick to remind him of). He breaks one of those ties in favor of Dickonson's motion that a vote on independence must be unanimous and explains that not doing so would tear the country apart right from the get-go. Later, he offers to go beyond his authority to help the cause of independence when it looks sunk, but Adams tells him he needs to stay as this trope.
- Brian Midcrid from Super Robot Wars Original Generation series, sees how important the good guys are even though they are a bunch of Bunny Ears Lawyers, and usually tries to be helpful. Since that would be boring he is secretly overthrown by a bunch of jerkasses who hate your characters.
- Tales of Symphonia has Mizuho's Vice-Chief Tiga. Sheena returns to the village having failed to assassinate the Chosen, gets sent to watch the party's movements, then brings them all to Mizuho, against all their customs, after the party has been declared traitors. Tiga hears her out in private, questions the party on what they intend to do, then formally allies Mizuho with them.
- Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars' General Granger, who still actually takes Nod seriously in the beginning, tries to prevent Boyle from annihilating an entire Yellow Zone by Ion-Cannoning Temple and tries (it could or could not be successfully, depending on player choice) to convince the player to not use the liquid T bomb of the same variety that caused the aforemention yellow zone cessation of existance.
- In Warcraft III, while everyone else is busy dying horribly, Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore and Malfurion Stormrage save their respective factions and team up in order to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
- Mass Effect has Captain Anderson (who might not really count since he only slightly outranks the main character, though in the sequel he is either an admiral or the human Citadel Councilor, and, in either case, by far the biggest help you will get on that front), who always supports Shepard in his/her quest, even at the risk of his own reputation or career. Admiral Hackett is also one of these.
- In Mass Effect 2, Wrex arguably becomes one, if he survives the events of the first game, as he is now the leader of Clan Urdnot, one of the most powerful krogan clans, with his goal being the eventual unity and reformation of all of the krogan clans. He's not soft, planning to drag them to this goal whether they like it or not, but he is fair and restrains himself as much as possible.
- In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC it's revealed that Admiral Hackett is the only person keeping Alliance intelligence (among others) from arresting Shepard following his/her reappearance. He's also the one who gave Commander Shepard's dogtags to Liara for her to return to the Commander, although she only reveals this if you haven't romanced her.
Liara: "Do you remember Admiral Hackett? He gave them to me, so I could return them to you. He sends his best, and hopes you're okay."
- Arrival pretty much solidifies Hackett as this. (Note: This is in response to Shepard blowing up an entire star system by wrecking a Mass Relay.)
- In the third game, Hackett allows Shepard to take the lead in assembling the forces necessary to retake Earth, and supports the decisions s/he makes along the way, even if it costs resources that might be needed.
- Also in the third game, the quarian Admiralty Board members aside from Tali include one who is supportive of Shepard's attempts to broker peace with the geth, one is who is hesitant but willing to listen, one who is strongly opposed, and one who is batshit insane.
- Garrus' father, apparently. Speaking to Garrus in Mass Effect 3 reveals that in between games, Garrus got really desperate to find anyone in the Turian Hierarchy to listen to him about the Reapers' imminent arrival, so he went to his father, with whom he has... never seen eye-to-eye, to put it mildly. Still, his father is a logical person and, after hearing Garrus' testimony, uses his own not-insignificant clout in the Hierarchy to force some of the other leaders to pay attention.
- Commander Shepard him/herself if Paragon who will listen to everything his/her crew has to say and make sure everyone is treated fairly.
- Sheriff Sarah Breaker from Alan Wake, an ordinary, level-headed, small-town sheriff who is not only explicitly against the FBI Agent Nightingale's hot-headed "shoot first, ask questions later" approach, but reasons that Alan Wake could not be (technically) behind everything weird happening with the town.
Nightingale: Sheriff Breaker, this is Agent Nightingale. I've lost contact with most of the men you assigned me. It's Wake's doing!
Breaker: Wait, are you seriously telling me that geek writer just took out my deputies?! Are you kidding? I mean, have you seen this guy? He wears a tweed jacket! Over.
Nightingale: He's the guy we're chasing! If it's not him, who, then? Bigfoot? Over.
Breaker: I don't know yet, but I'm not in the habit of jumping to conclusions. That tends to come back and bite you in the ass. Out.
- Several Fire Emblem examples: Lord Uther in Blazing Sword, King Hayden and Pontifex Mansel in Sacred Stones, Empress Sanaki and King Caineghis in Path of Radiance… in any given game, there’s a good bet that there’ll be a reasonable monarch somewhere willing to listen to the heroes and lend them a few troops.
- In Freedom Planet, the Royal Magister of Shang Tu is portrayed as wise and cautious, and far more reasonable than the other kingdom leaders, Prince Dail of Shuigang (who's Brainwashed and Crazy and hell-bent on Revenge) and Mayor Zao of Shang Mu (a Greed-driven Napoleon).
- In the original Assassins Creed, King Richard turns out to be one of these when Altaïr meets him at the end of the game and confronts him with Robert de Sable's plot to take over the Holy Land. Rather than having the Assassin killed out of hand, he listens to Altaïr's words (including his commentary that all of Richard's "best men" were working against him, to which he concedes) considers Robert's response evenly (hey, the Assassins are killing Crusader soldiers), and, confronted with two men who obviously hate each other and don't have enough proof of either of their claims, decides to let them hash out their differences with the sword. Once Altaïr wins, King Richard has an amiable chat with the Assassin, offers him a bit of advice, talks kindly of Saladin (who is busy fighting his army at that very moment) and then lets Altaïr go.
- In the second game, both of Ezio Auditore's parents are pretty cool, and it's obvious they love each other, as well as their children. After Ezio gets involved in a street brawl and then goes to his girlfriend's house, only to get caught in her bed by her dad, the morning after, Giovanni (Ezio's father) starts off telling his son to stop being so immature and get it together... only to find himself chuckling at the fact that Ezio reminds him of himself at that age, and brushes it off. As for Ezio's mother, she's a patron of Leonardo da Vinci and goes out of her way to be kind to the lower classes. She also isn't fooled by Ezio's supposed denials of his troublemaking the night before, leading to an amusing conversation about Ezio needing to rethink his outlets.
- Lorenzo de' Medici as well. Ezio's father has always been his friend, and Lorenzo is determined to help in any way he can to stop his city (and all of Italy) from falling into Templar hands.
- General Leo from Final Fantasy VI, who is a good guy at heart, working for the wrong people. He stands out for being able to make decisions on his own: refusing genetic experimentation on his body, refusing to poison Doma, and fighting Kefka without hesitation. He never quite gets a chance to really talk with the heroes, though, essentially skipping the Reasonable Authority Figure phase because he's one step ahead of them when it matters.
- Lord Harrowmont from Dragon Age: Origins. This is part of what contributes to Gray and Grey Morality, considering that as the dwarf noble, he asks you say, to his face, that you did not kill your brother. If you say "yes", then he says, "I believe you." It's also likely that He actually wouldn't have had Bhelen arrested if he was crowned; he does kill Bhelen if he's crowned but Bhelen attacks first. Even if Bhelen's crowned, he kneels before him and accepts defeat.
- Subverted when he becomes king, where he proves to be a poor and ineffectual ruler bogged down by his bigotry of the Casteless and his adherence to the crippling traditions of the dwarves. Bhelen becomes a mix of this and Well-Intentioned Extremist dragging the dwarves into the future kicking and screaming once he's king though.
- Dragon Age II:
- Viscount Marlowe Dumar is a rare stabilizing figure in the otherwise unstable political climate of Kirkwall focused on making sure things don't go to hell. While his authority is severely limited by the influence of Meredith, he does try to get Hawke to stem the tide. Eventually, he's killed by the Arishok in his takeover of the city.
- Grand Cleric Elthina tries to present herself as this, arguing for peace whenever tensions in Kirkwall escalate. Problem is, that's as far as it goes - she does nothing to address the actual causes of those tensions, whether it's Templars abusing mages or one of her own priests backing anti-Qunari zealots. In both cases, her lack of action leads to open war.
- Ser Thrask leads the moderate Templars in a secret opposition to Meredith and actively protects runaway mages from his overzealous colleagues' mistreatment. Which is why he has to be killed by a mage who requests his protection and abuses his trust to get back at Hawke.
- First Enchanter Orsino also, at least in comparison to the zealous Meredith and until the player learns that he dabbled in dark magic and protected a Serial Killer necromancer for the sake of research. His main concern is protecting his students and subordinates, and he'll allow Hawke to take the lead or speak their piece much more readily than Meredith will.
- Infinite Space has a few, but Kendrick Coyle of Lugovalos stands out the most for not approving Desmond's poor treatment toward non-Lugovalian-born citizens. His appearance arguably gives more positive light for Lugovalos, since before he appears in the story, Lugovalos is introduced as nothing but a tyrannical enemy.
- Dr. Crabblesnitch from Bully can be this when he's not a Dean Bitterman.
- Ryotaro Dojima from Persona 4, the protagonist's detective uncle, probably counts. He's able to figure out a lot of details behind the murders and kidnappings around the same time the Investigation Team does, and the only reason he isn't able to help is because A) he's Locked Out of the Loop on all of the supernatural aspects of the case, B) Even if he knew, he can't enter the TV world, so he still wouldn't be able to help much, and C) his partner is the culprit.
- Officer Kurosawa from Persona 3 could count. As a humble police officer, he realizes something bad is happening he can't control, but where did he get all those weapons? And why was a match of the swimsuits the gang wore at Yakushima in the armor section?
- #1 From his "allies" (most likely the military or mercenaries meaning he must be a very trusted person for them). #2 Fetish Fuel.
- Heavy Rain's Norman Jayden acts as this to Ethan Mars as he is the only one who thinks he's not the Origami Killer. Even though the evidence matches, he finds his psychological profile and geolocalization doesn't match up.
- If Ethan is arrested in "Under Arrest", Norman would free him.
- Commander Thomas Laskey, the first officer of the Infinity, from Halo4. He sees first-hand how much of an incompetent Jerkass his boss, Captain Del Rio is, to the point of allowing Master Chief to escape arrest for not surrendering Cortona's chip to Del Rio, and even giving him a fully-loaded Pelican to carry on his mission. He's later rewarded when Del Rio is relieved/stripped of his command by FLEETCOM, taking over Infinity himself.
- Tales of the Abyss has Emperor Peony IX of Malkuth, a nice guy who genuinely wants peace between the two major nations and is willing to make concessions to get there, although his power is sometimes restricted by an offscreen Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering. It seems to help that he was raised outside the royal court - due to political intrigues, he was sent away from the capital as a child to live incognito, and there he managed to frequently sneak away from his guards and play with the commoner children, including one of your party members.
- There's also Ion, the leader of the Order of Lorelei, who, like His Imperial Majesty, wants peace between Kimlasca and Malkuth, and actively seeks to reform the Order back to being a religion of life. He acts as a mediator between the two countries.
- The King of Fallout: New Vegas serves as this, being totally devoted to helping out Freeside and willing to cooperate with the NCR if certain choices are made, though his friend Pacer is secretly sabotaging any effort at peace.
- Each faction in-game (excepting the Legion) has at least one member in a position of authority who is not a complete dick. Colonel James Hsu and Ambassador Croaker for the NCR, Mother Pearl for the Boomers, McNamara for the Brotherhood of Steel, Regis for the Khans, Marcus for the Super Mutants, Jason Bright of the Bright Brotherhood, and the list goes on.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 has Lord Nasher, the ruler of Neverwinter. He saves you from Luskan "justice" even if you initially chose to undermine law enforcement in the city, later gives you a keep of your own to command, and eventually admits you into knighthood.
- Ace Attorney is lacking in these, but there are a few. The Judge is easily swayed, intimidated and distracted by prosecutors and witnesses but never ignores a possibility or discrepancy that's presented, no matter how minor and occasionally has moments of incredible wisdom and courage.
- Edgeworth becomes one after his Heel-Face Turn. He takes it upon himself to play devil's advocate with Phoenix specifically to get him riled up and working at his best.
- Klavier doesn't care about winning, only the truth. He's willing to share information and indirectly help Apollo from the get-go.
- Ambassador Colias Paleano never once lies to, hinders, insults, annoys or ignores Edgeworth. He always gives all the help and information he can to the best of his ability. It was refreshing for both players and Edgeworth to have a genuinely helpful witness for once.
- The judge gets an upgrade in Dual Destinies, such as when he's confronted with a choice over whether to allow Athena to use analytical psychology on Detective Fulbright. The argument is made that emotions are not evidence, and cannot be used in court. The judge declares this is exactly right, but also says that the process has, in the past, helped uncover the truth, and allows it to go forward regardless, as court cases should be less about legal technicalities and more about the truth.
- The Baldur's Gate series has a few, but Duke Eltan, and his right-hand man Scar, of the Flaming Fist - the de facto police force of the eponymous city - stand out, as much of the second half of the game consists of fleshing out their initial suspicions about the Iron Throne and trying to find them the evidence they need to justify bringing the law down on them. The leadership of the Order of the Radiant Heart are this in the second game, offering support to good-aligned or very persuasive player characters at several points of the game and notably responding to the party being tricked into murdering several of their knights by demanding that they hunt down those responsible for the deception. Inspector Brega clearly has a trace of this, but his role, while expanded by third party mods, is undermined by the over-the-top corruptness of the Amnish government (Magistrate Bylanna, by contrast, clearly considers herself this but flirts with the Lawful Stupid and Obstructive Bureaucrat tropes far too much to qualify). Melissan presents herself as this, and the game forces the player to go along with it even though they're unlikely to have been fooled.
- Quaestor Verus from Baten Kaitos Origins, who serves as the Big Good of the story and works to help Sagi stop Baelheit's plans for promachination. Subverted; Verus is actually an unrepentantly evil chessmaster who reveals himself as soon as Baelheit is dead.
- One of the first tasks in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is to go to Balgruuf, the local Jarl (leader of the region), to warn him about the rampaging dragon. Now, dragons have seemingly been extinct for hundreds of years. Most people don't think they exist any more. But upon hearing the firsthand account of the dragon attack (on top of multiple other reports), Balgruuf immediately accepts it, sends soldiers to reinforce undefended towns, and puts his guards on alert. And when it's revealed that the player is Dovahkiin, he instantly recognizes their importance and endeavors to help you in any way possible. Late in the primary storyline, if you backed him up during the civil war and protected Whiterun, he will only be slightly reluctant to agree to risk his castle and city by deliberately luring Odahviing into his castle to trap it.
- Speaking of The Elder Scrolls, both Emperor Uriel Septim VII and High Chancellor Ocato are this. It's especially notable for Ocato, given that his predecessor, Jagar Tharn, was the exact opposite. When the emperor dies in the intro of Oblivion, Ocato does his very best to hold the Empire together. One of the first acts of the Thalmor is to assassinate him.
- Also from The Elder Scrolls Series, Sheogorath, The Prince of Madness, of all people. In Oblivion he gets you to try and stop The End of His Realm as He Knows It. And in Skyrim He has you do therapy on the series' equivalent of Caligula. Though strict and utterly insane, he has a twisted but clear love of his people and will reward any mortal that does what he says to the letter. Which for a Daedric Prince, means quite a lot.
- Sheogorath is somewhat like another Daedric Prince, Azura, in that they seem like Reasonable Authority Figures, to the player and to the Dunmer — when they get their way. But sweet and nurturing Azura can be every bit as mercilessly vindictive as Sheogorath if she's defied.
- Emperor Titus Mede II is surprisingly reasonable when you meet him at the conclusion of the Dark Brotherhood assassination quest. He even noted to his own captain of the guard that to dissuade the Dark Brotherhood from an assassination, no matter how unlikely, is pointless, and accepts his death with the grace and dignity befitting his station. Everyone else in the quest appears like squabbling children by comparison.
- In Pokémon Black and White, Gym Leaders frequently assist with taking down Team Plasma's criminal activities throughout the plot, culminating in them helping you Storming the Castle, and keeping the Sages at bay while you hunt down N.
- Ghetsis presents himself as the face of Team Plasma and seems to take a more moderate stance on the issue than the Team's more extreme members. He asks only for a moment of your time to listen to his speech in Accumula Town, and even helps Bianca recover her Munna when Plasma agents steal it in Castelia City. He turns out to be The Man Behind the Man, N's Treacherous Advisor, and not above abusing (or possibly even murdering) his own son in his pursuit of power.
- President Dylan Paradine of Strahta in Tales of Graces. He travels his country in plainclothes to gather information personally, takes the party's word over one of the more influential members of Strahta's society, and does whatever he can to help out (as long as it's within reason).
- As far as Golden Sun community leaders go, it would be easier to count those that don't cooperate unhesitatingly with the heroes or demonstrate good reasons for doing otherwise.
- Guild Wars has several leaders who are willing to listen and aid the heroes without first seeing drastic evidence there's a problem beyond the average monster infestation.
- Prophecies has King Jalis Ironhammer, who is happy to aid the Ascalonian exodus even in the middle of a civil war.
- Factions has Emperor Kizu, though his support is somewhat undermined by the squabbling of the Luxons and Kurzicks.
- Nightfall has the Istani Elders, who accept the evidence and act on it within reason, and Prince Ahmtur, the only Vabbian noble who doesn't immediately run and hide.
- Eye of the North sees the return of King Jalis Ironhammer, who brings an army just on Ogden's word. Captain Langmar also shows this to a degree, aiding against the Destroyers and accepting Gwen despite initial mistrust.
- Princess Zelda tends to be this in The Legend of Zelda games, at least when her personality is fleshed out. Usually she's blocked from actually doing much, either by her Evil Chancellor or her unsuspecting father, so she asks whichever generation of Link that just stumbled into the castle to help her out.
- Every authority figure in Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan is one, having nothing except the best interests at heart for their land and its residents, as well as its neighbors. However, Prince Baldur lost it in the face of the threat of his empire being completely destroyed, resorting to more extreme measures. After the party foils his plan and he is rescued by the Medium, even he settles back into this role, aiding you in fighting the Great Dragon when it threatens his people.
- Visil is one in Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl, though it's not obvious until after you're forced to kill him.
- The Council of Nations in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The financial backers of the XCOM project, consisting of representatives from 16 member nations, they absolutely recognise you as mankind's only hope against the extraterrestrial invaders, and are generally supportive of you even if you don't always do put forward an amazing monthly report. However, they're also relying on XCOM to protect them: if XCOM shows that it is unable or unwilling to protect a particular nation, then the nation erupts into full scale panic riots. If XCOM doesn't assist in reducing the panic levels, the nation will withdraw from the project in order to focus their limited resources on keeping their country from tearing itself apart. And if 8 or more leave, XCOM is shut down and then it's Game Over, for both you, and the human race.
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine features Inquisitor Drogan who, despite eventually turning out to be The Mole, acts with rationality and respect towards the player and his allies even though his authority pretty much allows him to ignore the opinions and orders of anyone else in the solar system.
- Captain Titus, the player avatar, is similarly respectful and considerate of the human troops that he encounters. As a Space Marine he is only required to complete his mission by any means, but he goes out of his way to save Guardsman and protect the resources of the Forgeworld and orders his men to do the same.
- The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za from Star Control 2, while out to enslave every other races, is shown to be this, especially in comparison to their genocidal brothers, the Kohr-Ah. While their punishment is more often than not death, they are willing to take into account of not knowing of an order. In the case of the Syreens who lost their homeworld, they gave them a new, even better homeworld before imprisoning them there. And when you tell them of the Dnyarri threat, they commended you for a service well done, promised to abolish all punishment, and will speed up their war efforts agains the Kohr-Ah. Pity it's not that simple...
- Alex Cyprin in Labyrinths Of Astoria, the protagonist's boss, has immense faith in her and backs her up as much as they can even when she's acting well outside the auspices of the organization they both work for. Higher up the chain of command, Hades is an even better example: in the best ending of Hydra's route, once Hades hears what Hydra and the protagonist have to say about what's going on he puts an end to Hercules's plans immediately, and one gets the impression that the whole trouble could have been avoided by simply going to Hades about it from the beginning.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja's Mayor Chuck Goodrich will listen to you if you have some kind of World of Weirdness related problem. This is because as a time traveler who has to solve the problems of every parallel universe, he's probably heard it before.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent:
- Mikkel tries to be this in , slowly shaping up to be Rare Male Example of Team Mom, but Sigrun just keeps on overruling him.
- While Sigrun seems like an inversion in the beginning (Absolutely Unreasonable Authority Figure), she proves surprisingly fitting to this trope after the team crosses Oresund Bridge.
- Mr. Verres of El Goonish Shive is far more reasonable than one would expect from the head of an organization that essentially acts as The Men in Black. He has a reputation for resolving situations in a manner that tends to favor the well-being of those involved over preserving secrets, and he has earned so much respect from those serving under him, that they still often secretly report to him even when he is no longer their boss. Most dangerous plotlines occur when he is impossible to reach.
- The mayor in Freefall is not initially an example, but her intern is. Up to and including risking his employment to protect sapient robots from the Gardener in the Dark program, going directly against the mayor's decisions to do so.
- Both Mr. Raibert and the Police chief also count.
- The Mayor eventually sees Character Development and becomes more sympathetic to artificial intelligences... albeit because Florence pissed her off so badly that she had to acknowledge Florence as a person to justify her rage.
Mayor: People think a politician is weak if they change their position. Myself, I think a politician is an idiot if they don't rethink their position when new information becomes available.
- An abbot early in Get Medieval establishes the comic's lack of Medieval Morons. He shelters, clothes and feeds two marooned Human Aliens because they're in need. When a paranoid monk points out that one of them has slept in for morning mass, the abbot notes that the one who attended paid more attention than half the brothers.
- Baron Wulfenbach of Girl Genius runs a ruthless dictatorship. He allows his subjects to parody or even mock him in the press, and generally he only uses lethal force when the need for it becomes blatantly obvious - even a full-fledged French Revolution-style uprising is put down with Stun Guns. A very reasonable dictator.
He has two rules: The (apocalyptic) devices of the Other must immediately be turned over to him for study, and nations/city-states are not allowed to go to war with each other (in fact, the motto for his Pax Transylvania is "Don't make me come over there"). Also, aside of keeping crack troops to uphold the peace; he builds and maintain roads, schools, and hospitals; provides support to cities and even has firefighting and emergency communication forces. On top of that, his tax policies are so reasonable that the only time they're mentioned is when Gil defends the Wulfenreich - people have so little problem with being taxed they simply don't consider it worth mentioning.
When he took hostages from the royal families to ensure that they didn't go to war with their neighbors, he didn't ignore them or abuse them. Instead he got the best nanny he could and proceeded to educate them out of being potential Royal Brats and into Royals Who Actually Do Something, his own son being among them. Tarvek mentions that being released from his hostage status was "the worst punishment ever" Also the novelization mentions that he passed an equivalent of a Civil Rights act, forbidding discrimination against constructs.
Klaus managed to keep power in most of Europe (mainly excluding England and the city state of Paris) in a world ruled by mad scientists. He accepts aid from Ax-Crazy ex-pirate queen Bangladesh Dupree and former servants of his enemies — having them under his control is more effective and helps keep the peace, so he not only assimilated armies as casually as Genghis Khan, but made it a standard procedure. He made sure it's well-known that he also offers surrendering soldiers the opportunity to join his army or take generous severance packages. He also keeps a reasonable base of young sparks and royals loyal to him (or at least completely awed and understanding it's the best place they could find), many becoming good friends with his heir, so that war won't break out once he's gone. It still did the moment he landed in a hospital, but at least with a few clear-cut factions and even possibility to salvage his empire, instead of the open-for-all war he stopped.
- Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is viceroy of Earth's solar system, and (apparently unlike a lot of Nemesite aristocrats) takes her job seriously and responsibly. Even Zippobic, who hates the Nemesites in general, has conceded that he respects and trusts her. When Bob reported that Earth was being attacked by lobster aliens, she promptly sent help because it was a "legitimate police call." However, when he needed her help to find a home for a baby giant, she again helped, but this time with the warning that he shouldn't count on her to help him out of messes that she and her government have nothing to do with.
- Last Res0rt plays with this slightly with White Noise, Captain of the Executioners... which makes him in charge of a band of criminals.
- The Order of the Stick
- General Tarquin, despite being, you know, a Lawful Evil man behind the man who by genre conventions should be holding at least one of them hostage and assuming they're trying to manipulate him. He recognizes that the heroic party is probably fighting a global scale threat that is as much a danger to him as to anybody else, and aids them unconditionally regardless of the philosophical differences... Until the trope is subverted when he double-cross the protagonists later on.
- Lord Shojo, who was quite a capable ruler of Azure City, even when he needed to fake senility to stave off assassination by ambitious rivals, and recruited the Order of the Stick behind the backs of his paladins because he realized that with their hidebound code, they could not both keep their oath and save the other gates.
- For that matter, Shojo's nephew Hinjo, who is quite reasonable for a paladin, often taking the advice of our heroes and accepting the fact that he cannot do everything himself. Then again, no paladin is bad compared to Miko...
- A PvP arc had Brent being stalked and bullied by a bike cop after he got on the latter's wrong side. When Brent and Francis go complain to the cop's supervisor, we see that he's a nice, down-to-earth and reasonable person, who promises to look into the matter. Problem solved, right? Well...not quite. Unfortunately for Brent, Francis finds the fact that said supervisor is a midget very (and offensively) amusing...
- Schlock Mercenary has Thurl, whom even Tagon recognize as the prime source of advice. Elf was promoted after leading the rescue mission, after which designed a communication device that impressed the local Mad Scientist without being taught such things (or much of anything), but it goes like this:
Elf: Thurl, why did she give you a "yessir?" She won't even listen to me but she outranks you!
Thurl: That's the difference between personal authority and position authority.
Elf: I don't get it.
Thurl: I know. That's why you're in charge, buy you're taking orders from me at the moment.
- The U.S. military from the alternate wraith universe in Sluggy Freelance. Torg, who's somewhat Genre Savvy, is surprised to discover that a post-apocalyptic world can have a very friendly and helpful military-industrial complex.
- The Prime counterpart of their Secretary of Defense also qualifies.
- In Cheer, Mr. Madison is considered nice and well-liked by his students. He's the one the girls go to for help when they find that the class president was chained up in the Student Council room, and when we see him teaching, he tries to make obscure math formulas interesting before admitting that the students can forget them after the test.
- Darths & Droids has Palpatine as one of these. Instead of him corrupting Anakin (like in the films), it's the other way around.
Jar Jar: Dis meaning war, wesa needs to have a stronger leader! Mesa suggests Chancellor Palpatine gets emergency powers!
Palpatine: What?!Palpatine: In the wrong hands, such a thingnote could be... disastrous.
Anakin: But in the right hands?
Palpatine: There are no right hands!
- However it does remain somewhat ambiguous just how much is truly Anakin's influence. Palpatine does very promptly put a Restraining Bolt on Anakin once he's forced to don the armor, so at least everything from the end of Episode III on may indeed be Palpatine's doing. Of course, it turns out he actually put it on Padme.
- Lero-Ro, a Ranker from Tower of God.
- The "Denazra" plot line produced by ''Nat One Productions' invokes this trope frequently. While there's a fair amount of inefficiency and dithering, the Coalition generally seems to be a benevolent organization trying to get a bunch of different species to join together and fight against a common foe. Unfortunately, they're still losing.
- Both the headmistress and the head of Security at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. The headmistress turns out to be one of the great superheroines of the 20th century, and the head of security turns out to be a highly trained ex-special Forces military expert. So maybe the people who hired these guys count too.
- Explored in the short story "The Big Bitch" http://strangestoriesaboutsadpeople.blogspot.com/2010/08/big-bitch.html
- The Lord of the Supreme Council in The Questport Chronicles.
- In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor himself. Bitter and caustic as he may be, he's genuinely upset at what has become of the Imperium and is slowly trying to put it back the way it was before the Horus Heresy, even considering letting the aliens join his nation.
- The Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard tries to be this to a very minor extent among his fellow High Lords. He tries to impede them from weakening the Imperial Guard, by keeping laxatives and air legal.
- Ecclesiarch Descius, despite his organization being disbanded by Imperial order, still tries to fulfill this role and stop Karamazov from killing the Custodes.
- A large part of the reason that Skitter became a Villain Protagonist in Worm was because none of the authority figures she ever encountered were reasonable. That said, Miss Militia, a superhero in Brockton Bay promoted to lead the local superhero team after her predecessor's retirement, is unquestionably evenhanded and responsible.
- His Honor, Edward Dyer, Mayor of a fictionalized Orlando in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe setting. Are you a superior coming to him to report an alien invasion? He'll listen and even take your advice on how to defend the city. Zombies? He'll listen. Supervillains infiltrating the mayor's office. He'll even listen to you if he's your prime suspect. Of course, if you're wrong, he'll read you the riot act for wasting his time.
- RWBY: The Beacon staff all seem to be very tolerant of extra-curricular activities and approachable mentor figures. Professor Ozpin in particular is very perceptive about things the heroes want to keep hidden, such as Team RWBY investigating the White Fang and Torchwick, as well as Blake being a faunus. He is mostly willing to overlook rule breaking and even borderline-criminal activities if the student in question truly has good reason for doing so. He is also very kindly and is always prepared to offer advice to his students, even in personal matters a teacher need not necessarily pay attention to.
- Arthéon from Noob seems to be this. Notably, he and his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits guild ended up involved in the second novel's plot because he was willing to follow a lead given by a random player nobody else was believing.
- Commander Joseph Walsh, Da Chief from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. He's a Benevolent Boss who does his best to protect the Rangers from the political pressure inflicted by Obstructive Bureaucrat Senator Whiner.
- The Earth King in Avatar: The Last Airbender. He even had an Evil Chancellor, Long Feng, who tried to discredit Aang and co. (among other unpleasantness). He listens to Aang and co. even though they fight their way into his throne room, and is eminently reasonable and rational when deciding their case. He eventually agrees to help plan an invasion of the Fire Nation and arrest Long Feng.
- It's kind of subverted in the Promise comics: the Earth King refuses to have an audience with Zuko after the latter withdraws his support of the Harmony Restoration Movement, instead choosing to go to war with the Fire Nation over the colonies.
- Chief Hakoda probably qualifies also.
- General Iroh could qualify as well especially after he lost his son and had no more lust for conquest. He spent the remainder of his life trying to be the voice of reason for Zuko and aimed to influence his nephew from the path of darkness Iroh's evil brother and niece were on.
- Monk Gyatso is another canidate as he was looking out for Aang's well-being as a boy while the other elder monks, fearful of a coming war, saw Aang as a small Avatar and wanted to force him to train rather then let Aang mature to be able to handle the responsibility.
- Katara herself becomes this in Sequel Series The Legend of Korra. The prime example that unlike the other White Lotus members, who would stop Korra from going to Republic City, she gave her her blessing to go there, remembering how she went on her journey in the original series. That, and she decides to let her son Tenzin train Korra in Airbending.
- Tenzin as well.
- Lin Beifong may look like a hardhearted lady who continually sticks to the law, but once you get to know her, she's a good ally and will listen well if you have a crime to tell her about.
- Fire Lord Izumi firmly establishes herself as one. She readily agrees to lend resources to defend and retaliate against Kuvira, but she is under no illusions about the Fire Nation's reputation and the political fallout of being party to a preemptive strike.
- Principal Geraldine Waxelplax from The Fairly Oddparents. Sometimes played for laughs, sometimes not
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Princess Celestia, who in addition to being a kind, gentle pony (willing to forgive her formerly insanely evil sister after Luna tearfully apologized), is also a ruler that isn't as stuffy and proper as one would think, as she once pulled a light-hearted prank on the Cakes to get them to loosen up during a visit from her.
- Two episodes in particular highlight this trait for the Princess:
- "A Bird in the Hoof", in which her reaction to Fluttershy's well-intentioned bird-napping of her pet to nurse it back to health is primarily to chide Fluttershy for not asking about the bird, a phoenix on the tail end of its rebirth/death cycle, in a Could Have Avoided This Plot, in addition to having said phoenix apologize to Fluttershy for intentionally making her life difficult when the pegasus was only trying to care for it.
- "Lesson Zero" has Twilight Sparkle having a monumental Freak Out because she hadn't written her weekly aesop report to Celestia. The princess shows up after Twilight's attempts to rectify the situation have wreaked chaos upon Ponyville, and is implied to given Twilight a well-earned, offscreen lecture before starting to reassure her. When her friends burst in begging Celestia to forgive Twilight, citing their not taking her feelings seriously as the cause of the problems, she takes the chance to drive the lesson home and lighten Twilight's (perceived) workload by having the others join in the reporting only when there's something to report.
- Rarity is this for Sweetie Belle in "Ponyville Confidential." Rarity confronts Sweetie Belle upon learning that her little sister is one-third of the new local gossip columnist. Despite her anger (since a recent story had been excerpts from Rarity's diary), Rarity scolds her, uses her own going through Sweetie Belle's stuff for proof to drive home the point about personal privacy, and finish it up by questioning whether Sweetie Belle wants writing hurtful gossip to be her destiny-declaring Cutie Mark. Everypony else was either so angry they sent the fillies away rather than risk an out of line outburst or just shunned them outright.
- In the episode "Sweet and Elite" we have Fancypants, a wealthy and influential unicorn that befriends Rarity. Unlike many other high society ponies, he's humble, kind, and by the end of the episode establishes himself as both a Nice Guy and Uncle Pennybags when he stands up for Rarity and her friends in front of what is basically the cream of Canterlot high society.
- Twilight herself is this for Spike, being the main adult figure in his life. She pulls him back when he starts to go out of line.
- Two episodes in particular highlight this trait for the Princess:
- The head of the monastery from Jonny Quest The Real Adventures episode "Expedition to Khumbu". When the villains try to frame the boys for stealing an artifact from the monastery, he is ready to give them the benefit of doubt, despite the evidence against them. He then immediately turns the table on the bad guys by asking them one sensible question which they fail to answer.
- From the children's TV series Recess, we have Principal Prickly, who, although tough on disobedience and often somewhat at odds with the main characters, has joined many an Enemy Mine or cut them a very generous amount of slack when he felt their hearts were in the right place.
- Not to mention King Bob, the "ruler of the playground".
- Don't forget the kids' teacher, Mrs. Grotke. Probably the antithesis of the Sadist Teacher trope.
- Although playground monitor Ms. Finster is generally shown as a stern authority figure, she is usually portrayed as unfailingly fair and given several humanizing episodes.
- Really, most of the adults in Recess are portrayed this way, with the exception of Smug Snake Mayor Fitzhugh. Substitute teacher Mr. E is another textbook example.
- Cortes in Skyland, though he often wonders why he listens to kids.
- South Park had Chef (until they killed him off). It wasn't so much that nobody else would believe the kids, so much as he was often the only vaguely competent and intelligent adult in the entire town. It tends to be a town full of Mulders, with the kids usually playing Scully. Also, Principal Victoria and President Bush, as he was the only one in "Cartoon Wars Part 2" who defended the Family Guy writers rights to free speech instead of having them arrested like many people were recommending.
- Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs from SWAT Kats. Unlike the Lovable Coward Mayor and Inspector Javert-ish police chief, she realizes that Megakat City needs the titular vigilantes and serves as The Commissioner Gordon.
- Transformers Animated has Ultra Magnus from Cybertron (who unfortunately has Sentinel Prime as his primary advisor), and Captain Fanzone from Earth. Later in the series, when Ultra Magnus is out of action and Sentinel Prime takes over, Alpha Trion fills this role.
- Transformers Prime has Special Agent William Fowler. While he does get frustrated with the Autobots from time to time, he lets them do their thing as long as no one gets injured (besides Decepticons and MECH). And when the Autobots need something only a human can provide, Fowler will cooperate if he's available.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has Mrs. Twombly, the littlest pet shop owner, helping out Blythe Baxter on certain situationsnote .
- Fisher Biskit is this to his daughters most of the time.
- Dan Vs.. Normally, the universe hates Dan, and Dan reciprocates, but sometimes the universe throws Dan a bone in the form of this trope.
- In "Dan Vs. Traffic", Dan is having a Potty Emergency while stuck in traffic, and breaks several laws in his haste to get home. A cop pulls him over as he's driving on the sidewalk. Dan explains how badly he has to use the bathroom, and the cop simply lets him leave.
- In "Dan Vs. Baseball", Dan and Chris go to ludicrous lengths to kidnap the Commissioner of Baseball. However, when Dan actually stops to explain his grievances against baseball (namely that it broke his car's mirror, and it pre-empted his favorite show), the Commissioner immediately gives Dan the money to fix the mirror and promises to make sure the show never gets pre-empted again. (Turns out the Commissioner is also a fan of that show.) So the kidnapping was completely unnecessary.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Splinter is this. It's highlit in the season one episode "It Came From The Depths", where he professes that Michelangelo is right when he says that the Turtles owe it to Leatherhead to give him a chance, but also agrees that Leatherhead must be reasonably restrained, since he is a super-strong giant gator-man prone to sporadic bursts of violent fury.
- The Simpsons has plenty of unreasonable authority figures (strangulation is a running gag), but some are this, including of all things the Commandant of the military school in The Secret War of Lisa Simpson. When the Simpson family observes a group of cadets standing at attention, Homer mocks them by throwing stones and the Commandant seems to be genuine shocked: "They're just children, Mr. Simpson!"
- Judge Roy Snyder is also this. Although he has his quirks (the clown on his desk) he is actually one of the few authority figures in Springfield who can't be bribed and is pretty lenient in his punishments.
- Seymour Skinner. Depending on the Writer, he can either be an Obstructive Bureaucrat, but he is usually a well-meaning (if nerdy) principal constrained by excessive budget cuts and apathetic teachers.
- Of the four rulers in Shadow Raiders, King Cryos of Ice is far and away the most sensible. It's a lucky thing that he's the first one Graveheart and Tekla have to deal with.
- Daria's mother Helen is more or less this, at least compared to the other adults.
- In TRON: Uprising there's Able, the boss of Able's Garage. He stands up to the Occupation whenever they harass his employees, and lets Beck get away with having so many breaks and being absent so often due to Able knowing that Beck is The Renegade.
- King Kenric is the only authority figure in Super 4 who actually plays the trope straight, while Dr X has too much of an ego to listen opinions, the Fairy Queen exiled Twinkle due to mistakenly turning her into a frog, and Captain Sharkbeard is outright antagonistic.
- King Hammurabi of Babylon, the author of one of the oldest known set of laws, the Code of Hammurabi. It was a pretty draconian code by the modern standards, that didn't recognise exceptions even in the most reasonable circumstances, or the fact that sometimes the one punished wasn't really guilty of anything - a doctor could get his hands cut off for performing an operation where the patient dies, even if the operation was the only thing giving the patient a chance, for example; or if Man A killed Man B's pregnant daughter by accident, the penalty was death for Man A's daughter. But it had two big advantages over everything that had ever come before it, neither of which can be counted on even today - it was written plainly in stone for all to see with with zero Loopholes, and it applied to everyone in the country, including Hammurabi himself.
- Hammurabi's Code and Draconian law were actually regressions. Ur-Nammu, who came before Hammurabi, had an incredibly progressive legal code (for its time) - rather than an eye for an eye, it called for fines etc. It even had (some, scanty) protection for women and slaves.
- On the other hand, where the wealthy could buy their way out of whatever crimes they committed under Ur-Nammu, the consequences of Hammurabi's Code applied to rich and poor equally.
- Hammurabi's Code and Draconian law were actually regressions. Ur-Nammu, who came before Hammurabi, had an incredibly progressive legal code (for its time) - rather than an eye for an eye, it called for fines etc. It even had (some, scanty) protection for women and slaves.
- The authors of many modern liberal democratic constitutions could be thought of as this. They were often dealing with turbulent societies and were attempting to write a set of rules that could respect individual freedoms while maintaining order. The framers of the US Constitution, the transition of Spain from fascism, and the reestablishment of an independent Japan after World War II particularly stand out, as they all required careful balance to have any hope of succeeding.
- Akbar The Great, the 3rd Mughal Emperor. Notable for establishing an organized system of government and treating conquered territories as equal partners in his empire, rather than imposing unjust taxes on them or treating the conquered populace as second-class citizens as his predecessors had done. He also made a slew of governmental, religious and taxation reforms in order to ensure fair treatment of all of his subjects. In fact, he was vieved so much of a Reasonable Authority Figure that several neighbouring regions voluntarily joined his empire.
- Following the Humberto Vidal explosion, Pedro Toledo, Chief Superintendent of Puerto Rico Police Department, was forced to suspend the rescue effort due to fears about the remaining parts of the building collapsing during the attempt. Toledo’s decision was controversial, but he explained after a serious discussion: he had to weigh The Needs of the Many rescue workers, who could be killed in the collapse, against the few survivors—or possibly nonexistent survivors—and felt he could not in good conscience continue the search.
- American World War II General Omar Bradley's popular reputation was as the "GI's General" — gentle, polite and respectful to his subordinates — in contrast to his peers, George Patton and Bernard Montgomery, who were widely regarded as prima donnas and Glory Seekers.
- Bradley's superior, Eisenhower, was also an example of this. He was able to get all of the aforementioned generals to work together and prevented national agendas from getting in the way of winning the war.
- German Erwin Rommel during WW2 was pretty good, both to his own troops and to the civilians in the areas he was occupying, up to and including asking Hitler's permission to execute a bunch of SS troopers who carried out a retaliatory killing.