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Restored My Faith In Humanity
Bob long ago learned the painful lesson that Humans Are Bastards. They kill each other over the most trivial of reasons and treat anyone who is different as an outcast. And so Bob has given up on them, perhaps to the point of becoming the villain or even the Big Bad.

And then along comes Alice, a shining example of why humans aren't that bad after all. She'll listen to Bob's rhetoric about how humans are unworthy to live, smile, and retort with an impassioned speech about everything good about humanity or she'll just show him how wrong he is through her actions.

Bob will come to see that maybe he was wrong about humanity all along (it's very rare for Bob to accept simply that Alice in particular isn't so bad, or, if he does, he's missing the whole point), perhaps performing a Heel-Face Turn or sacrificing himself to save humanity.

See All-Loving Hero, Messianic Archetype and Purity Sue for three character types Alice is likely to fall under.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Aoyama Masaya in Tokyo Mew Mew acts like the nicest person on the planet as a defense mechanism, and secretly hates humans while being unaware that he himself isn't human at all. He starts to see Ichigo as "different" when she steps out of her comfort zone to understand him more — something she really doesn't want to do at first — and, by the end of the series, he sacrifices himself (and gets better) to save the entire world.
  • In Gankutsuou, when it seems to Albert that everyone is lying and good people are helpless to do anything, a letter from his dead friend Franz restores his faith in humanity, and he in turn restores The Count's humanity.
  • Ceres from Ayashi no Ceres starts out despising humanity (especially men) for what had been done to her in the past. As the series progresses, Ceres learns that humans aren't evil, just flawed, and her faith in the human soul was restored from watching Aya and her friends and loved ones.

Comic Books
  • Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen, though for him it's Humans Are Boring and Predictable. When the Silk Spectre finally breaks down upon realizing the Comedian is her father, he realizes that Humans, against all improbability, managed to live - and that's more than enough to realize that Earth needs him.
  • The High Evolutionary's plans to wipe out humanity were once waylaid by the Hulk's determination to survive in spite of everything.
  • In Grimm Fairy Tales, the Wicked Witch Belinda shows her friend Sela around a beach and explains that Humans Are Bastards by pointing out Jerk Jocks who bully others, a shallow girl who Really Gets Around, etc. When a building collapses, everyone Belinda pointed out immediately rushes over to help. The jocks use their strength to clear rubble and pull people to safety, and the shallow girl turns out to be a highly qualified doctor. Belinda gets disgusted and leaves, but Sela is amazed and is so touched that she decides to help too.

Film

Literature
  • Jean Valjean, in Les Misérables, after being put in prison for almost twenty years for a minor infraction, is wandering the streets of a small town looking for somewhere to spend the night after a day in which nobody will pay him full wages or rent a room to him because he is a convict. Nobody will let him even stay on their stoop, but one person points out the door of the local bishop. He is given pride of place at the bishop's table, a room for the night, and respect as a fellow human being. However, this trope doesn't take effect until he steals the bishop's silver and makes a run for it, and instead of denouncing him to the police, the bishop actually gives him the rest of the silver as a gift. Cue Heel Realization, My God, What Have I Done?, and redemption. Valjean goes on to become one of the most benevolent and just characters in fiction.
  • Bartimaeus, the demon of The Bartimaeus Trilogy is given faith in humanity when he meets Ptolemy, the only human who ever treats him with respect, turning him into both The Woobie and a Noble Demon.

Live-Action TV
  • In Smallville, Clark usually regards himself as human, but when something makes him doubt it, Chloe is always there to pull him back.
  • Inverted and then subverted in House. House has a deep faith in the negative attributes of humanity. His favorite phrases are "everybody lies" and "people don't change." Cameron, and later Thirteen, try to prove him wrong whenever possible. However, just about every patient House has lied to him and usually also the patient's family.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor is an...interesting case. He'll occasionally go on a very vehement Humans Are the Real Monsters phase, calling them violent, selfish and stupid, and then, something will happen (usually sparked by his companion) that restores his faith in them. After all, there's got to be a reason he hangs out on Earth so much.
    • It's actually discussed in one of Eleven's early episodes with a British soldier, why the Doctor isn't around in times when humanity needs him the most (ie, times when humanity is busy killing itself), the soldier concludes that its during those times that the Doctor loses his faith and pretty much looks away in shame. Still, he does bounce back into the 'humans are awesome!' category shortly thereafter.
  • In the Mork and Mindy episode, "Mork the Gullible," Mork is talked into freeing an escaped criminal who claims that he just needs to visit his sick mother and will return to turn himself back in afterward. Sure enough, Mork is arrested for freeing him and Mindy tells him that it is obvious that the crook took advantage of him and won't be back. In a genuinely moving moment, Mork tearfully agrees that he can't trust anyone again, until the crook suddenly returns as promised to turn himself in and get Mork released. With that, Mork's innocence is restored.

Newspaper Comics
  • One Bloom County strip had Opus wallowing in gloom, thinking he's lost the Christmas spirit forever. Portnoy appears and gives him a gift which turns out to be plastic dog-vomit. Opus hugs him, saying in total sincerity: "Thank you. You've pulled me back from the brink. I'll cherish it forever." Cue Portnoy wallowing in gloom.

Video Games
  • Gotoh in Fire Emblem 1, 3 and 11. The third game is the only one to directly explain why he didn't like humanity in the first place. He gave them magic, and they used magic for war.
    • Word of God for the 10th game notes that Nolan (who suffers from the 10th games lack of character expansion) has this as part of his backstory.
      • Ike can restore Sephiran's faith in humanity as well, though the requirements for it are a bit... obscure.
  • Ideon does this in the Normal and Good endings of Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, deeming that humanity has a possible future after talking it over with the loli manifestation of a powerful goddess.
  • In Megaman Battle Network 4, Duo is a sentient asteroid that intends to wipe out earth because its people are wicked. After his fight with Megaman EXE, he seems to rethink it.
  • The World Ends with You: The Conductor, Kitaniji, was trying to achieve Instrumentality so that the Composer, Joshua, wouldn't destroy Shibuya. After all, people in Shibuya are self-centered and uncreative. But Neku, former poster child for cutting himself off from society, has learned about The Power of Friendship, so...
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Richter's plan, and every evil scheme leading up to it, was to find a way to seal off Niflheim without Ratatosk's help, so he could kill Ratatosk without dooming the world. Because Ratatosk wanted to Kill All Humans (and elves and mixes) because they've been causing problems for mana. But Ratatosk has been posing as Emil the entire time, and he's met Marta and the others, and decided that they're not so bad...
  • Duke in Tales of Vesperia initially intends to sacrifice the lives of every single human being in the world (Himself included) to destroy the Eldritch Abomination that's threatening its existence, feeling the world would be better off without them. After the party shows him their firm resolve by defeating him, though, he ultimately decides to help them with their plan to destroy it instead, which while still requiring sacrifice, doesn't involve any loss of life.
  • In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Reality 2.0", the internet has lost faith with all living things as Sam and Max infect the whole net with a computer virus, and the final puzzle in the game involves finding something called "respect for all living things" before the internet erases itself.
  • Mocked, naturally, in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle when you complete the "Stings So Good" minigame.
    "Amazing! You've restored my faith in mankind! Actually, no, I still hate mankind. But at least you're okay."
  • The Silvite Elders in Skies of Arcadia.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, resurrected Commander Gore has received the power of supernatural insight, or "brilliance," from the Schwarzwelt. Upon briefly returning to the Red Sprite in the Neutral Path, he assures the crew that he has seen into humanity's future, and —despite having been revived and manipulated by the forces behind the Schwarzwelt— he implies that humanity can improve itself and prevent its self-destruction if given a chance to survive.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne's "Resurrection" Ending, Miss Takao, who started the game thinking humanity could no longer advance and needed to be wiped out for the world to advance, has come to realize the foolishness of this line of thinking. Whether humanity continues to stagnate, or whether it actually improves itself after the old world's resurrection, your example has given her faith in the possibility of the latter, and she'll never wish for humanity's destruction again.
  • The storyline conclusion of Pokémon X and Y comes after facing the Elite 4 and the Champion, when the player character is confronted by the immortal warrior-king of ancient Kalos, an embittered, nihilistic Death Seeker who wants to know what it is you fight for so passionately. Naturally, the correct answer to this question is to sicc your Pokemon on him, and the aftermath of that battle not only restores his faith in humanity, but also that of his runaway Floette, who decides it's finally time to forgive and return to her master.

Visual Novels
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, the Bad Boys Love route reveals that this was why the heroine was attending a boys' school for birds in the first place, to prove to the sapient birds that humans could coexist peacefully with them.
  • In the Tokimeki Memorial series, this is the storylines of Kaori Yae (in 2) and Taku Komori (in Girl's Side 2) in a nutshell. Thanks to their relationship with their respective games' protagonist, they get to realize that there are trustworthy people out there, and as a result they gradually open themselves to others. Takafumi Wakaouji in GS2 also claims in his ending that the heroine has restored his faith in humanity, although this seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.

Western Animation

Real Life


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