Some characters find out that their idols were not the people they thought they were
, or see them do things that goes against their previous respect for them, such as a mentor who joined their enemies
. Other times, they resent a person they would otherwise have admired, such as a parent who abandoned them
But there is often more to the story than that, especially when the formerly admired character is mentioned to be a Broken Pedestal
early on in the story. The characters typically learn more about the event or decision that caused them to lose faith in the person they once admired, sometimes circumstances that explain or justify the action
, and sometimes that they were completely mistaken
. This leads them to decide to reconcile with the mentor, and sometimes, learn a significant personal lesson in the process
Rebuilt Pedestals are typically broken by the time they are first introduced, unless both the revelation that caused them to break and the revelation that restores their admirer's faith are tied in to the main story.
Compare Warts and All
, in which the admirers accept the person for their flaws, and the pedestal may not have been broken in the first place. This is sometimes hand-in-hand with Good All Along
when it involves an apparent Face-Heel Turn
There will be some unmarked spoilers ahead, for the rebuilding and sometimes for the breaking.
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Anime and Manga
- In Code Geass, Kallen initially hated her mother for staying as a maid, seemingly out of love for her father, but learned that it was out of love for her that she did so. Happens to her several times with Lelouch.
- In the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, the older of two Ishvalan brothers is quite bitter toward his mother, who ran out into the foyer of the home where the two boys were, then when soldiers arrived, ran into the bedroom seemingly out of cowardice, being killed when a shell hit. He eventually finds out that her eyesight had deteriorated, and she was running back to check on her children, not knowing where they were, when he opens the locket and finds eye medicine inside.
- A few cases from Naruto.
- Itachi Uchiha. Sasuke looked up to him before he massacred his clan, but after realizing he was forced into it, avenging what happened to him becomes his motive for revenge.
- Quite a few filler characters also count; the princess in the Land of Vegetables arc realizes that her father regretted having her sent away as a hostage so his nation could survive, and Utakata realizes that his master wanted to extract the Six Tails for his sake.
- Kakashi goes from being ashamed of his father breaking the rules to save his comrades to believing he did the right thing in Kakashi Gaiden. Unfortunately, his best friend, who rebuilt said pedestal, went the opposite direction.
- While Naruto never showed any outward resentment for the Fourth Hokage, he finally expressed his anger when he met the man after nearly releasing Kurama during Pein's attack on Konoha. Learning that Minato was his father helped towards rebuilding the pedestal, and now the respect he has for him is possibly even greater than it was before.
- In One Piece, Laboon desperately tried to break through the Red Line to reach his crew, believing that they sailed back to West Blue rather than circumnavigating the globe on the Grand Line, also forgetting their promise to return to him. Itís eventually revealed that they had been killed on the Grand Line. One of their crew, Brook, came back to life with his Devil Fruit power, and is determined to return to Laboon to fulfill his promise.
- Yoruichi for Soifon in Bleach, as Soifon initially hated her for leaving her behind after fleeing Soul Society, but apparently came to forgive her, as in fillers and manga extras, addresses her with the same respect and shows the same admiration she had when she was younger.
- In Muhyo And Roji, Biko is initially shocked at her teacher Rioís betrayal of the Magical Law Association, but comes to forgive her after she rejoins the heroes.
- In Mai-HiME, Natsuki temporarily enters a Heroic BSOD after learning that her mother was supposedly planning to sell her, but later decides to believe in the mother inside her heart.
- Mai (Konami's daughter) from Popotan has a severe grudge against her namesake (one of the main characters), because she never came back to her mother before she died, despite the two of them being best friends who had promised to see each other again. In the last episode, once she's back in the same time period as Konami, Mai has her promise not to resent her for not being able to come back, since her time travel is out of her control. Judging from her daughter's attitude towards Mai in the same episode, it worked on her as well.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam. At the beginning, on learning that Master Asia tried to destroy humanity, Domon considers him a Broken Pedestal. But after the final battle and learning Master Asia's true purpose and the fact that he never resorted to infecting himself with Devil Gundam Cells, Domon re-earns the respect he had for his master, and cried for his death shortly after together reciting the motto of School of The Undefeated Of The East one last time.
- Flame of Recca. After Mikagami fought against Kai, he's told that the one who killed his sister was his master Meguri Kyouza. Although utterly shocked, Mikagami already spotted some irregularities from that statement, and during the eventual fight with Meguri Kyouza, it was revealed that Meguri Kyouza didn't actually kill his sister, but failed to prevent her death by Mori's men, thus blames himself for it and becomes a Death Seeker. Mikagami forgave him and once again respects him.
- In the Pokťmon series, Trip loses his respect for Alder after seeing him act lazy and foolish. He later regains his respect for him after Alder curbstomps him.
- Misty idolized the Water-specialist Nurse Joy who works at Lake Lucid. However, upon meeting her, Misty is distraught when she learns that Joy is actually so frightened of water pokemon that she refuses to touch them, wearing a special suit so she doesn't have to. However, once Joy manages to calm down an angry Gyarados with her bare hands after her suit was washed away, Misty realizes that Joy prioritizes her duty above her fear, and respects Joy again.
- In Fruits Basket, back when Arisa Uotani was in junior high, she greatly admired the legendary gang leader Red Butterfly. When she finds out that she lives nearby, Arisa waits on her chance to meet her. When she finally does, she finds out that Kyoko Honda, the Red Butterfly, has turned into a Doting Parent. At first, she isn't happy about it, but then she slowly warms up to her and when Kyoko helped Arisa quit her gang, she regains her deep respect for Kyoko.
- In Ratman, Shuuto is initially disillusioned with the Hero Organization when he discovers that some members like Ankaiser care more about fame and fortune than about helping people. As the series progresses, the heroes reveal their more redeeming qualities, even Ankaiser.
- In the fanfic, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry slowly goes through this with Quirrelmort.
- The Immortal Game: Celestia had become a Broken Pedestal for Twilight Sparkle when Twilight found out that Celestia had been manipulating her for years. However, at the climax of the story, Twilight also discovers that it was Celestia, not Luna (who she was disguised as) that comforted her the night before the Final Battle; this gets it through her head that despite everything else, Celestia did love her. This allows Twilight to forgive her.
- Tony Starkís father in Iron Man 2. Tony had initially thought of his father as highly distant and was upset to learn about Stark Corporationís dealings, but after learning of how much his father had done for his sake and his commitment for a better world in the sequel, began to respect him more.
- A variation of this was done in Inception, as Cobb and his teamís mission is to plant the idea in Fisher Jr.ís head that his father wanted him to find his own path in life by causing him to once again respect his father.
- Ready To Rumble has the two protagonists, who are diehard WCW fans watch as their idol Jimmy King is cheated out of his title by a corrupt promoter. They find King and find out he's a drunken deadbeat who left his wife and son and stole his parents' mobile home. They find King a trainer and help him win the title. Jimmy King finally becomes what they always saw him. Not only that, but they become Ascended Fanboys: one of them becomes Jimmy King's tag partner, while the other one becomes his manager.
- In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John Connor learns and reflects that his institutionalized mother was right about the end of the world and the Robot War.
- In The World's End, Andy eventually forgives Gary for years of Toxic Friend Influence, although the two part ways afterward, seemingly for good. As Andy says in the closing narration, "Wherever he is, I hope he's happy. That's all he ever wanted really - to have a good time. I just hope he found it not at the bottom of a glass".
- In The Dresden Files, Harry has a major falling-out with his mentor Ebenezer in the sixth book, upon finding out that he is the Blackstaff, a member of the White Council of Wizards with special carte blanche to break the Law of Magic in which Harry strongly believes. Notably, Ebenezer reacts with complete understanding for Harry's feelings—and they ultimately reconcile (for the most part) after Harry learns from experience that sometimes, you need someone among the good guys who can break the Laws.
- Harry Potter goes through this with Dumbledore of all people in the final book. Possibly the 5th to a lesser extent after Dumbledore explains why he's been ignoring him.
- Danny Saunders and his friend Reuven forgive Rebbe Saunders for his harsh treatment of his son Danny when he explains why he thought it necessary and how much pain it cost him as well in The Chosen.
Live Action TV
- The Highlander tv series went through this in a major story arc. Duncan finds out that his Cynical/Big Brother Mentor Methos is a Retired Monster that was a member of four Immortal marauders who went on an epic Rape, Pillage, and Burn spree across multiple continents back in the Bronze Age. This also included Methos turning Duncan's Sexy Mentor Cassandra into his Sex Slave. Duncan angrily declares their friendship over, but after Methos prevents the reunited Horseman from taking over the world, helps Duncan bring them down from the inside and expresses regret for his past actions, they patch their relationship up.
- In the finale to 24 Season 8, Jack has some trust in Allison Taylor regained after discovering that she ultimately broke off her alliance with Charles Logan and has gone on to expose Russia's involvement in the attacks on New York earlier on as well as Logan's and her own involvement in covering it up.
- In, of all things, The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon's admiration for Wil Wheaton returns when Wheaton gives the autographed action figure he missed out on when he was young
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this applies to the Arc Villain of all people. Raina is upset to discover that The Clairvoyant isn't really psychic and lied to her about it, but when he later gets legitimate abilities she starts warming back up to him.
- Played straight and subverted in Heroes. One of Hiro's favorite childhood stories is that of Takezo Kensei, a brave samurai who protected the weak and gave his life for his beliefs. Using his abilities, Hiro accidentally travels to Medieval Japan, and meets the real Takezo Kensei, or rather Adam Monroe, a Brit who cares only about easy money. After Hiro's interference results in Adam discovering his Healing Factor, Hiro convinces Adam to be the hero he remembers from those childhood stories. Unfortunately, Hiro then messes it up by getting Adam's Love Interest to fall for him. When Adam witnesses this betrayal, he makes a Face-Heel Turn and becomes a villain who nearly destroys the world centuries later.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: Naked Snake/Big Boss' mentor/mother figure, The Boss, apparently defects to the Soviet Union, leading to Big Boss being sent to assassinate her and succeeding. Big Boss immediately regains his respect for her when he discovers that The Boss' defection was faked and that the whole mission was in fact a Government Conspiracy to get rid of her, spending the rest of his life mourning for her and fighting in her name.
- Garrosh Hellscream in World of Warcraft, grew up thinking of his father, Grom Hellscream, as a villain for leading the orcs to drink demonic blood and be corrupted, but realizes that his father also gave his life to kill the demon responsible for their curse.
- Raine in Tales of Symphonia despises her mother for abandoning her and Genis, but in a side quest, eventually learns that the Imperial Research Academy had sought her for her intellect, and she did what she had to in order to protect them. To an extent, this applies with Kratos, as Lloyd starts out disliking him, then realizes that he can benefit from his experience, then is outraged by his betrayal, then questions his motivations before concluding heís still his enemy, then is shaken by the revelation that heís his father, then finally accepts him.
- In Final Fantasy VII, RedXIII thinks that his father, Seto, abandoned the tribe during an invasion. When the party visits Cosmo Canyon, he learns that Seto figured out that the brunt of the invasion would be coming from a secret cave, fought them all off, and was permanently petrified in the process. Why Bugenhagen waited this long to explain, however, is never revealed.
- In Final Fantasy X, Tidus hates his father for abandoning him and his mother, as well as for the way he treated him while he was around. Over the course of the game, he learns about his father being taken unwillingly to Spira, and going from wanting to get back to being willing to help Braska with his pilgrimage, and toward the end, finally admits that heís glad to have him as a father. The emotional abuse is a case of Warts and All. Jecht just wanted to make sure Tidus could take care of himself, but recognizes that he did more harm than good.
- John Morris for his son Jonathan in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Jonathan resents his father for only teaching him the basics of fighting before dying, and that he canít use the Vampire Killer whip as a result, but after realizing that using the whip shortens the life of the wielder, he comes to realize why his father did what he did.
- Mr. Hanekoma, also known as CAT, in The World Ends with You. Neku is amazed to find out that heís CAT, the one person he admired, but is gradually shaken as signs seem to point to him also being the Composer, Neku's main adversary. It ultimately turns out that he isnít.
- Subverted in Jade Empire. After realizing that Sun Li masterminded the plan to steal the Water Dragonís power, Princess Sun Lian wonders if this reduces her fatherís culpability, but realizes he was still to blame. This is played straight in one quest in the Necropolis, in which the Open Palm solution is to convince the ghost of Mister Ren that his wife didnít mean to poison him and feels terrible about it.
- In Mass Effect 3, due to Commander Shepard having worked with a known terrorist organisation and being responsible for destroying an entire solar system in the previous game, there is a running subplot that Kaidan/Ashley no longer fully trust their former leader. Depending on Shepard's actions, the friendship can be repaired or destroyed entirely, which in the latter case ends with Kaidan/Ashley's death.
- This also applies to much of the rest of the galaxy, many of whom felt betrayed by Shepard's actions in 2, not realizing the full context and reason behind them, thus branding him/her a Rogue Agent. When the reason for his/her actions finally become apparent, s/he essentially becomes the Big Good for the entire galaxy.
- In the Heroes Rise trilogy, you can pick Rebellion as your superhero idol at the very beginning. However, at the end of the second game, he turns out to be in league with President-Elect Victon and sets the Player Character up to get the people to give in to paranoia and support Victon's anti-Powered policies. However, during the final battle at the end of the third game, you are once again confronted by Rebellion. You have the option of trying to convince him to once again become the hero you remember and help you defeat Victon.
- In Little Busters!, Riki pretty much adores Big Brother Mentor Kyousuke, following his every word like a chick after its mother and thinking of him as, if not perfect, then certainly incredible. So when he organises for Rin to be sent to a place where she's miserable and refuses to let her return, he's utterly heartbroken. But when he sees how much the whole thing is affecting him and gets the full story, his faith is restored. In this case, though, things don't go right back to the way they were - Riki still loves him dearly, but now he's able to see him in a more objective way, as an equal rather than a better.
- Mike Matei from Cine Massacre reacted poorly when he discovered the Joueur du Grenier, a French game reviewer heavily influenced by the AVGN, but with key differences, note calling him a plagiarizer nonetheless. The two had a talk about this and Matei later admitted that JdG is, in fact, not the copycat he thought he was.
- In Noob, FantŲm is working to acheive this step by step. His teammates were the first to get heir esteem back after it turned out that he was Locked Out of the Loop about what had broken the pedestal in the first place, but the general public is taking a little longer.
- In Generator Rex, Rex comes to resent his brother Cesar in season 3 for seemingly betraying him by siding with Providence under Black Knight. The brothers make up in the Grand Finale after Cesar reveals the reasons behind his actions.
- In Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, Chiro idolizes TV superheroes called the Sun Riders... until they make a Deal with the Devil and attack him and the team. He gets so mad after that battle, he immediately starts smashing his Sun Riders merchandise. Fifteen episodes later, the Monkey Team goes to a nearby planet where they meet the Sun Riders and an endagered colony of miners, and guess what happens?
- Hey Arnold! features Eugene's idol, a parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Eugene gets to meet him, but sees him being a spoiled, entitled, nitpicky manchild who treats Eugene with apathy. Upset, Eugene trashes everything and starts acting up. Eugene's idol, however, realizes he let someone who liked him down, and manages to regain Eugene's liking in the end.
- Another example is when Arnold met his favorite author who became bitter and angry after years of writer's block, but Arnold's faith to her despite her cruel treatment of her brought her back to writing.
- The titular heroine from The Legend of Korra had lost respect for her father after learning it was he who had her locked in the South Pole for her Avatar training instead of Aang, and for withholding that he was next in line for chief of the Northern water tribe until banishment. In the episodes that followed, she learned her uncle had manipulated her father so that he could become Chief of the North and her father admitting he was always proud of her, Korra reconciles with him. Same with Tenzin, who had a hand in keeping her in the compound.
- And further strengthened in the third season, which reveals why they kept her in a compound in the first place: the Crimson Lotus, a Splinter Faction of the White Lotus wanted to kidnap and raise her for their own ends.
- On Steven Universe, Steven and Amethyst become masked wrestlers and gain the admiration of Lars. Later, Steven accidentally overdoes his heel behavior enough for Lars to hate him, leading to his own Heel Realization. He manages to fix things later by making an impassioned speech and defeating the League of Wrestling Haters (actually just Garnet and Pearl playing along), winning back him and the rest of the crowd.