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I still don't think I belong up here. Batman:
That's the point. Someone like you will keep us honest.
A personality aspect that comes up in just about any ensemble. Their personality is based on getting the others to recognize that there are more things at stake than their personal vendettas. Especially if The Team
is starting to become Knight Templar
or if any individual becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist
, this is the person who will argue and fight against the justification of "I Did What I Had to Do
." Quite often The Heart character will also be an All-Loving Hero
, where they go out of their way to help all of the little people.
Within the ensemble this character will most often be merged with the role of The Chick
. Like The Hero
and The Leader
they aren't one and the same but they often overlap since they are a good fit. The Chick is usually a non-action character, having personality traits of The Heart will give them more to do. Especially if the team is always at each other's throats. For the same reason, The Heart can also be The Hero
(in the case of the Magnetic Hero
) or The Leader
as their leadership keeps them from falling apart. May be part of the Command Roster
The character whose death or loss is most likely to trigger Losing the Team Spirit
(and sometimes for whom everyone on The Team
moves heaven and earth). Hey, Heart Is an Awesome Power
Due to their usual relative introversion, and tendencies towards pacifism (whether technical
) this character is sadly often C-List Fodder
and a prime target for a single-character (rather than the entire show) version of The Firefly Effect
. Many series will start out with a Heart character, but the writers will begin to view them as boring and impossible to write for, so they end up being either Put on a Bus
/kept Out of Focus
at best, or Character Death
at worst. This also tends to happen when studio executives want to replace the character with a more talented
or physically attractive
character, in an attempt to boost ratings.
Given that said characters are usually sweet types, this also tends to seriously anger a certain portion of the fanbase, but because the studio executives
care more about ratings than they do about upsetting what is normally a minority, the character will stay dead
. If fan outrage is sufficiently vocal, and the executives haven't managed to completely alienate the actor, then the character may come back periodically as a ghost
or a clone
Compare The Face
who does the talking on The Team
. See also Restored My Faith in Humanity
and Morality Chain
. Compare The Conscience
, Token Good Teammate
. Not to be confused with What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?
or Heart Is an Awesome Power
though this trope often overlaps with them. Contrast with Lack of Empathy
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Anime and Manga
- Francoise/003 from Cyborg 009.
- In the 2001 version, Professor Koizumi.
- Fuu from Samurai Champloo.
- Towards the end of Gundam Wing the Romefeller Foundation, as perplexed as ever by these strange things people call morals, instate Relena Peacecraft as their leader on the basis of this trope.
- Tower of God provides us with Baam, the Wide-Eyed Idealist and Rak, Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Rock from Black Lagoon. He isn't much for violence like Revy and Dutch are, but he makes up for it by being the Lagoon Company's negotiator and "Villain in Training". He's also the most idealistic of the crew, which occasionally puts him at odds with the more cynical Revy.
- Surprisingly, this is the role that is played by Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. After his death, he is replaced by Nia.
- Anzu/Téa in Yu-Gi-Oh!. She used to be better than Jounouchi/Joey at everyone's favorite children's card game, and this point is made when she duels Mai for Yugi during his Heroic BSOD. Must've traded that in for her skill in making the Circle of Friendship.
- Her constant "friendship speeches" are an object of humor in the Affectionate Parody, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
- Regular Yugi can also be considered The Heart, as his gentle kindness is what changes Yami Yugi from a dangerous psychopath to a noble hero and Jououchi from a bully to a Nice Guy.
- In the manga, Anzu never played competitively, thus the above mentioned duel against Mai was pure Filler.
- Hayate Yagami of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha in regards to her Wolkenritter group, particularly in the second season, being the reason that said group even have hearts in the first place. Unsurprisingly, she chastised them quite a bit in the supplementary manga when she found out what they were doing behind her back.
- Naruto is an expert at Defeat Means Friendship and tends to be so idealistic, honest, straightforward and caring that it causes people around him to catch on to it. Also odd, considering that he's also a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. After defeating Pain, he becomes something of a Messianic Archetype.
- In Rozen Maiden, despite being a Screwy Squirrel at times, Suiseiseki fits this role best amongst the main cast.
- Bamboo Blade has Kirino, who is often thought of as this by her teammate Saya and Coach Toraji.
- Nao is this in Liar Game. It is often because of her honest nature and her genuine desire that she would save everyone in the game and pay off their debts that helps turn the enemy/competitors towards her cause. A few of the dealers watching the games have commented that she is the key component to winning the games
- Wendy Garret plays this role in GUN×SWORD.
- As a part of her Character Development, Ringo Oginome becomes this for the Takakura siblings (and specially Shouma) in Mawaru-Penguindrum.
- Remy Shimada in Go Shogun. In Go Shogun: The Time Étranger she becomes also The Heroine.
- Post-eclipse Casca from Berserk. Guts' new True Companions might squabble and even physically brawl out in some situations, all them are willing to protect Casca, since she's not capable of protecting herself (most of the time, anyway) and the whole group was put together by Guts in the first place in order to do so.
- In Saint Beast, Rey tends to be the one who is either encouraging or worrying over the others.
- Son Goku from Saiyuki. He's the reason Sanzo, Gojyo, and Hakkai's past lives befriend each other at all, linking the affiliation of their current-day counterparts.
- In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu tends to act like this for all the Heroes, being an overly-idealistic Hero in a world of Corporate Sponsored Heroes who believes that saving lives and stopping bad guys is more important than earning points for heroism. He also tends to lend a sympathetic ear to his fellow Heroes' problems and help them with their own emotional difficulties. His role is somewhat Deconstructed however since he tends to prioritize his work as a Hero and his relationship with his fellow Heroes, particularly his partner Barnaby, over his own family. Also, the fact that despite his willingness to help others, he has trouble being open about his own issues and ultimately hurts those close to him because of it.
- In the first Sailor Moon movie, when it looks like Usagi is dying, each one of the Sailor Scouts remembers the different ways that Usagi helped them. The English dub actually has one of them say that she's the glue that keeps them all together.
- In Kuroko no Basuke, Kuroko tried to be this for the Generation of Miracles. He failed when they were teammates, but is slowly getting to them now.
- Gon Freecs from Hunter × Hunter.
- Nanami from Kamisama Kiss is a Plucky Girl who is probably the most idealistic and optimistic person in the entire series. She also works hard to keep Tomoe on the path of heroism instead of jerk-ism.
- Shiranui in Kagerou-Nostalgia ends up in this role despite his poor interpersonal skills. As the reincarnation of Kagerou, who was an absolutely key player in the team that originally fought King Haku, he immediately grabs the attention of the other reincarnations, who find themselves drawn to him in one way or another.
- Rento of Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C 3 Bu is the one keeping everyone spirits up in the club. She plays a large part in making it possible for Yura to return to the club once she's abandoned them, and been kicked from Rin's team.
- In Rosario + Vampire, Kurumu's character arc is how she transitions from a Clingy Jealous Girl into a genuinely selfless friend who protects and supports her teammates/romantic rivals. Given that she's a succubus (and therefore biologically monogamous) who starts off spouting racist insults at the other monsters, this is suitably difficult for her.
- Komatsu from Toriko is one of a select few who can be said to have a friendly relationship with all Four Heavenly Kings. All four are willing to go out of their way to protect Komatsu from danger generally, and he's become something of a Morality Chain for Zebra in particular, thanks to his cooking skills and honest nature (Zebra hates liars).
- Spider-Man: Marvel's flagship hero is also the core personification of what it means to be truly kind and honest. The height of idealism and great responsibility for heroes and occasionally anti-heroes everywhere.
- Beak during his time with The Exiles
- Stargirl is the heart for the Justice Society of America (it helps that she's the youngest hero with continuous membership on the team).
- Martian Manhunter in the Justice League of America. He was a full-time member of every incarnation of the League since its founding. One of the possible reasons that the JLA comics have not been received as well since 2006 is because he hasn't been on the team since then.
- When not J'onn, its (one of) the Flash(s) that do this. As seen in the Justice League TV series, but prior to that, it was the Flash, due to being a poster boy for Nice Guy and kept a smile on his face. in the Justice League Year One series, it was Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, who suggested forming the group, who arranged for everything to be set up, who went out of his way to approach potential candidates such as Superman, and when trust issues began to tear them apart, he was the one to pull them back together by revealing his identity to the group. In Crisis On Infinite Earths, it was his death that signified that the DCU was on the cusp of changing. His successor, Wally West, eventually grew into this, but had to deal with some issues first.
- There's also Dick Grayson, aka the first Robin and later Nightwing, who is sometimes believed to be The Heart of the DCU.
- Captain America is not only The Leader of The Avengers, he's also The Heart seeing as the Mighty Avengers without him seemed more like a millitary institute (Which is somewhat Fridge Logic, considering Captain America is a Military Superhero.) and he's the one that most people rally behind when someone cries Avengers Assemble!
- Nightcrawler often ended up in the position of being the one to call the other X-Men on it when the team was going too far. Shadowcat and the Beast also fit the role when Kurt isn't around.
- As well as them, there's Jean Grey. Having been the only one who could call both Wolverine and Cyclops into line and migate all their issues, she was the one who kept the team honest, which might explain why they became so Darker and Edgier after her death.
- Karolina in Runaways. After her return from a brief bus trip, Chase makes it clear he doesn't think things would have gone quite as bad as they did if she'd still been there.
- Rocket Raccoon and Groot often serve this role for the Guardians Of The Galaxy. They're the ones who usually call out the other members for doing morally ambiguous things. Groot arguably fits this better though since he's a Gentle Giant who only fights when necessary, whereas Rocket is a Boisterous Bruiser.
- Nala in The Lion King Adventures. She is kind, beautiful, and holds the trio together.
- The Dark Chick of the Decepticons' team in Transformers Meta, Slipstream fulfills this role within the the Five-Bad Band.
- Simon is this to Supetastic 6 Unlimited in Super Milestone Wars 2
- Kyon in Kyon Big Damn Hero. His name also served as the one thing stopping Haruhi from killing several people for shooting him.
- Discussed in World of Ponycraft, when Pinky Pie describes her role as a shaman in relation to the elements... and makes a brief Captain Planet spoof.
- Horseshoes and Hand Grenades has Jun Shigeno. In A Month of Sundays, she's the one comforting others. Her role is crucial in stopping the conflict between Damballa and Quetzie and making them allies against Ophiuchus.
- In Fallen King, Tea is still this, but the group also realizes Yugi was this.
- Lots of characters fill this role in Twilight Pretty Cure on occasion, but the one who fills this role the most is Anzu, who is the most down to earth and understanding of the cures, trying to make sure nobody gets into any fights before or after a battle.
- According to Power Chick, Amok is the heart of The Specials. He "keeps them from resting on their laurels".
- The Bowler could be seen as this in Mystery Men. Spleen or Invisible Boy might fit this too.
- Cambridge from The Hurt Locker attempts to be this. He fails.
- Silent Bob is the heart of the View Askewniverse.
- Sheriff Woody in Toy Story is definitely The Heart and soul of Andy's toys.
- The Muppets establish Kermit as the Heart of the Muppets. So much that, when he went depressed, everything just fell apart.
- Towards the end of the first Ghostbusters, Venkman proudly declares Ray to be "The Heart of the Ghostbusters".
- The Echidna from Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole calls Mrs. Plithiver The Heart of the band.
- Ori in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and presumably the next two films. Bilbo is initially set up to be this before he takes a level in badass.
- Star Wars: Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy and his mother Padme in the prequel trilogy are the only ones who still believe in Anakin's inner goodness even after his turn to the Dark Side.
- Agent Coulson in The Avengers, and to a lesser extent in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He helps to bring the team together, and eventually performs a Heroic Sacrifice that is used by Nick Fury to make the team overcome their differences and work together for the final battle.
- Storm and Iceman.
- Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Ironically, it's his major role in the film, with very few fight scenes. He's more there to galvanise the young Professor into action.
- Professor X is this in X-Men: First Class and in all the non-Wolverine other films to a lesser extent.
Live Action TV
- As mentioned above in the film folder, Agent Coulson continues to be the Heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as being the Heart of his own team (a role partially shared with Skye). In fact, this is even explicitly stated by Nick Fury in the last episode of the first season, where he tells Phil that he was always the heart of SHIELD, that he considers him a true Avenger and that he's the only man Fury trusts to rebuild SHIELD after the events of ''The Winter Soldier''.
- Cordelia. A supreme example of Character Development, in that she was the Alpha Bitch on Buffy and thought that hitting a cyclist with her car was all about her own pain. This change was addressed when she received a demonic curse that amplified her regular visions to see all the suffering of the human race, rendering her catatonic. When she was brought out of it, she became the glue that kept the team together and focused on their mission.
- Fred has this role as well, especially after Cordelia was no longer around. In a later episode Angel and Spike were having an intense argument, to the point that Spike was ready to travel the world and leave everyone behind. When she became infected with an ancient evil, the argument between the two dissipated instantly as the only thing they could agree upon was her.
- Babylon 5: Delenn.
- Bones: Hodgins describes Angela as such in a season 2 episode.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Xander, which the other Scoobies readily acknowledge. In one episode his position in the gang as 'The Heart' was a key component of a spell - the others were 'The Mind' (Giles), 'The Spirit' (Willow), and 'The Hands' (Buffy).
- Of course, Willow qualifies for this position too - she feels things deeply, and sees the best in everyone, although she doesn't really have the strong sense of morality common to this trope though, especially past the first few seasons.
- Which is probably why she's 'The Spirit' and not 'The Heart'
- None of the members of the study group is a flawless human being, but Britta, with her numerous causes, tries to act this trope more than the others (who may actually have more claim to it than her).
- A case could also be made that this is Troy's role. He's less actively aggressive than Britta, but still caring in a ditzy sort of way. As evidence, notice his timeline from "Remedial Chaos Theory"- when he leaves the group, everything goes to Hell, leaving everyone either dead, injured or traumatised.
- In Doctor Who, the Doctor's usually human companions often play this role, regularly keeping him from going too far or losing his grip on right and wrong. This is most evident in "The Waters of Mars" where his lack of a companion means that there is nothing to stop him from changing the course of history.
- In Firefly, this is Kaylee's role on Serenity. As a result, everyone on the ship is fiercely protective towards her, even Jayne, who harbours a secret crush on her according to Word of God.
- Hey Dad..!: Betty, since the family lacks a mother.
- iCarly: Carly Shay.
- Kamen Rider Decade: Yuusuke/Kuuga plays this role, since Tsukasa/Decade is a bit of a Jerk Ass. Unfortunately, it means he hasn't become Kuuga since leaving his homeworld, to the annoyance of the fans.
- LOST: Hurley grows into this role, after initially being a self-doubting comic relief character. In the end, he arguably becomes the Heart for the entire human race.
- Merlin: Gwen and Merlin share this role. Merlin also acts as The Mentor to Arthur but since Arthur thinks he's just a servant, it comes across as this.
- The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: Princess Deirdre.
- Gives us Abby. Mascot, cheerleader, Morality Pet. Which makes her the target of choice for many an antagonist, even those who know she's not a pushover. When she's in trouble, the rest of the team drops absolutely everything.
- For this reason, she is also their Berserk Button. While Gibbs functions as Papa Wolf for his entire team, the entire team will turn into Papa Wolves (and Mama Bear, in Ziva's case) with regard to Abby. It's mutual, too.
- Noah's Arc: This is Noah's role, as he's often the "peacekeeper" of the group and reminds everyone else how much they care about each other.
- One Tree Hill: Mouth basically all the time, and Brooke after she Took a Level in Kindness.
- Only Fools and Horses: Rodney Trotter.
- Revolution: Charlie Matheson. Despite her flaws, she was the one who brought Team Matheson together in the first place, inspired Miles Matheson to become The Atoner, and helped a number of helpless people. "The Children's Crusade", "The Love Boat", and "The Dark Tower" are episodes that have her arguing for the moral decision
- Robin Hood: Much: The character identifies himself as the "one who deals with little things". Djaq could also be considered this, since she's the resident healer and occasionally counsels the guys on their problems (especially Allan).
- Scandal: Quinn Perkins and Huck share the role. Abby Whelan acts as this at times.
- The Secret Circle: Cassie. She brings everyone together within the Circle.
- Smallville: Lois Lane and Chloe Sullivan share this role. The two cousins often act as voices of reason and compassion, and both become an essential part of the JLA family by the end.
- Stargate SG-1: Daniel Jackson, one of television's best male "heart"-examples.
- Though he could be tied with John Chrichton of Far Scape. John is instrumental in keeping the group of strange aliens together, his strange human perspective uniting them in a way none of them alone could have. Zhaan also gets a lot of credit in the Heart department.
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Leonard "Bones" McCoy. He's a doctor (not a lumberjack), and he provides the emotional side of the show's Power Trio.
- Dean Winchester, when he is in danger every single major and recurring character on the show goes off the rails, despite the fact that he's the best fighter by far of all of them. When he's out of the picture? Sam Winchester becomes a inhuman killing machine, Bobby Singer falls into a epic depression and Castiel decides to try and become God in order to keep him safe.
- Sam fulfills the same function on occasion; it can be argued that the two of them switch around this role in the team dynamic.
- Torchwood: Gwen.
- The Vampire Diaries: Elena.
- The Walking Dead: Dale Horvath. He's one of two out of a group of about a dozen that doesn't want to kill a prisoner.
- Later, Herschel fills this role as well, arguably far better than Dale ever did.
- Quite a few characters in Dino Attack RPG. Zenna filled this role rather nicely in the RPG's early days, as did Rex at first. The former of whom was a genuinely kind and compassionate agent who did everything she could for those around her, the latter a Wide-Eyed Idealist (though granted this changed quite a bit near the end).
- Also nearly every medic in the RPG (the exception being the Morally Ambiguous Doctorate Deitrich "Medic" Luzweit) would qualify on some level. Pierce and Shaw do somewhat stand out, both being genuinely kind people that put their patients above all else.
- Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: Rinley, who is basically the entire group's goofy younger sister, is explicitly intended to serve this role in the Glass-Maker's Dragon campaign. When she's not breaking into everyone's house at the crack of dawn or meddling with the horror under the Titov shrine, anyway.
- Princess Peach from the Super Mario Bros. and Super Smash Bros. games. In The Subspace Emissary she makes herself useful by breaking up fights and turning potential enemies into friends.
- Case in point: She stopped Fox and Sheik from attacking each other by offering them tea!
- Tidus and Rikku share this role in Final Fantasy X. Tidus acts as Yuna's Manic Pixie Dream Guy and emotional support as well as having this effect on the rest of the group. The cynical Lulu eventually softens up through consistent meaningful talks to him. Rikku is the youngest of the team and the most innocent, keeping the team grounded. Tidus and Rikku both believe that Summoners killing themselves to destroy Sin has to be stopped.
- Terra for the Warriors of Cosmos in Dissidia: Final Fantasy
- Laguna takes on this role for the newcomer heroes in Dissidia 012.
- Kairi in the Kingdom Hearts series fits the bill. Aside from the personality, she is a Princess of Heart with ties to the heart of all worlds, Kingdom Hearts, and spends much of the first game as a heart, inside of Sora's heart. Yeah, this trope is taken quite literally here.
- Ventus in Birth by Sleep as well. Unlike Aqua and Eraqus, he's willing to give Terra the benefit of a doubt with regards to him potentially falling into darkness. And like Kairi, he has no darkness in his heart (since it was forcibly extracted to make Vanitas). Further, by the end of the game, he also ends up as a heart, inside of Sora's heart. There's more than a few reasons to think that Ven's role more closely resembles Kairi's than Sora's.
- Aino Heart from Arcana Heart. Powered with love at that.
- Rather than any of the girls in the party, Irvine Kinneas occupies this role for Squall's team in in Final Fantasy VIII, serving as the group's emotional center from the last stages of Disc 2 onward.
- Aerith Gainsborough is this in Final Fantasy VII. Amazingly, she continues that role post mortem.
- In the spinoffs, anyway. Her personality in the original game is much more blunt, direct, and feisty. She is also quite clever, having grown up in the slums. Tifa Lockheart much better fits this role, what with her stabilising effect on the party (otherwise, Cloud and Barret would probably have killed each other already) and her being the single tether that prevents Cloud from completely losing himself when he goes off the deep end (...several times).
- Shingo Yabuki has this role in The King of Fighters XI, keeping Kyo and Iori from pretty much killing each other when Chizuru, the original Heart of the Power Trio, is gravely injured by Ash Crimson.
- Amy Rose from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. In Sonic Adventure, she almost single-handedly convinces Gamma to undergo a Heel-Face Turn. In Sonic Adventure 2, her conversation with Shadow is what convinces him to help stop the ARK from plummeting into the Earth. In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), her companionship with Silver, and her subsequent What the Hell, Hero? speech upon discovering that he was trying to kill Sonic, causes Silver to start rethinking that strategy.
- Mission from the first Knights of the Old Republic. She's higher on the Karma Meter than the party's Jedi, is first to defend your PC after The Reveal, and quick to point out Good Feels Good or call What the Hell, Hero? if you're exploiting Videogame Cruelty Potential. It's no surprise that you have to kill her in the Dark Side ending, symbolically killing the last bit of good in yourself.
- Leliana fulfills this role best in Dragon Age: Origins, if the Grey Warden isn't doing the job him/herself.
- Hawke and Aveline Vallen share this role in Dragon Age II, with Aveline trying to keep the party on the (more or less) right side of the law and Hawke being the Magnetic Hero responsible for keeping them all together across all seven years. Sebastian Vael often takes a tertiary role as this, espousing this philosophy due to being a member of the priesthood. However, if Hawke doesn't execute Anders for destroying the Chantry during the endgame, Sebastian ends up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and turns into a Church Militant.
- In the Mass Effect series, this is the job of Shepard, resident hero(ine). Unsurprising, given the Dysfunction Junction nature of the crew and Shepard's status as an extreme Magnetic Hero. Shepard's status as this is lampshaded heavily in the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, highlighting the sheer amount of True Companions they've gained and turned into Fire-Forged Friends across the entire series.
- Stocke, the protagonist of Radiant Historia starts off as The Stoic, but also starts off with a growing circle of friends who he cares about dearly. He helps his party members through a variety of internal and external conflicts, and is always sensitive to their issues. And at one point, he helps his best friend Roche and an NPC with relationship advice.
- Emil from NieR does what he can to keep an upbeat attitude and help his friends get along.
- In the first three games of the Assassin's Creed series, Lucy Stillman plays this role. In Assassin's Creed I, she works to keep Desmond's morale up against the hopelessness of the situation he finds himself in and helps to protect his sanity (and eventually his life) from Vidic's demands. In Assassins Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, she acts as both the leader of the Assassin cell that she takes Desmond to and their moral/emotional compass, helping to keep the team's doubts and fears from overwhelming them. It even seems as if she and Desmond might be developing a romantic relationship. This makes the Wham Episode of her death at the end of Brotherhood and the subsequent revelation in the Assassin's Creed: Revelations "Lost Archive" DLC that she was a Templar mole all along doubly shocking.
- Clementine is easily this in The Walking Dead, with the highlight being her insistence that, when a vote on leaving him behind comes up, she argues that Ben is a nice guy and her friend, and friends don't leave each other behind. This gets another group member to change their vote against him to instead abstain.
- Lissa from Fire Emblem Awakening, whose Genki Girl and White Mage traits keep the morale of the Badass Crew up. Lampshaded openly by her brother Chrom and her bodyguard/possible love interest Lon'qu:
Chrom: "You make people happy, Lissa. You motivate and inspire them just by your presence. I might instill confidence, but I don't make them happy. And neither would Emmeryn."
Lon'qu: "Do you truly not see how your presence energizes the others? How your smile and demeanor put everyone at ease?"
- There's two layers in Tears to Tiara 2. Hamil and Tart are The Heart to their people, the Canaanites, while Charis is The Heart of The Team.
- Oddly enough in Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Battler actually plays this role for the people trapped on the island, at least in the early arcs. Although he's relentlessly anti-fantasy (again, in the early arcs), he also wants to think the best of everyone (a trait that's shown more in the original novel and manga than in the anime) and so constantly winds up jumping up in the middle of fights to explain a scenario in which person X might not be the culprit.
- In Grisaia No Kajitsu Michiru quietly made herself into the heart of the group without anyone noticing by supporting Sachi so she wouldn't collapse from exhaustion and acting as a mediator between Yumiko and Makina. Without her assistance, the group tends to fall apart into bickering. However, in Grisaia No Rakuen she's demoted to comic relief and Amane takes her position by acting more as an anchor of stability while the rest of the girls all run around.
- Elan, from The Order of the Stick. Clueless, but concerned for the rest of the group, and skilled in
Social-Fu Trope-Fu. Idealistic to a fault, occasionally The Load and a Spoony Bard to top it off, but he's a genuinely nice guy. Heck, you could make a case that he's the one person that everyone else on the team likes.
- Dave, in College Roomies From Hell. Lampshaded when the others vote Dave out of NOES. Marsha says "I can't believe how MEAN you guys are being. Dave is our moral compass. We NEED him." To turn him into The Zeppo, The author, Maritza Campos, decided to Nerf his power but leave him as the most earnest, conscience-stricken and foolishly brave character. It's somewhat self-referential, as she killed off Dave but brought him back because her readers said that for all his flaws he was the "heart" of the series.
- Nathan Hale from The Dreamer. Also Beatrice.
- Julie, the protagonist from Our Little Adventure...up to the end of book 2. The role of The Heart seems to have been passed to Jordie, the group's Cleric.
- Bina from Monster Pulse keeps her group together. Her drive is so strong that when one of them is dragged into a flashbacky dreamscape, she subconsciously joins him and drags the rest of the group with her. Also, her monster is her heart, now a rhinoceros-sized quadruped.
- Ma-Ti from Captain Planet, obviously.
- Katara of Avatar The Last Airbender, a medic with Healing Hands and Love Interest of The Hero. begins as this. Her natural tendency is to help people ("Imprisoned", "The Painted Lady", "Crossroads Of Destiny"), but just like her role as an All-Loving Hero, the role is debatably given to Aang by the end of the series. In one of the final episodes, "The Southern Raiders", Katara is hellbent on finding her mother's killer and killing him in revenge, and Aang is the one who tells her it's not worth it. Katara only spares the man because she sees that letting the man live was a better punishment than killing him. He was literally Not Worth Killing, and given the importance of honor in the Fire Nation, letting him live in his dishonor was a Fate Worse Than Death.
- Toki Wartooth from Metalocalypse. When he's not going psycho and painting the walls with blood, anyway. The rest of the band is so brutal that he's almost The Heart by default. It's made more clear twice, however:
- When Toki and Murderface are kicked out thanks to Murderface not doing anything, the others realize the band is made of their talent, Murderface's negativity, And Toki.
- In "Church of the Black Klok", when Toki gets abducted, his contribution to the overall story is realized as being essential.
- Starfire from Teen Titans, when she's not kicking ass. A whole episode is dedicated to this: upon being swallowed in a back hole and disappearing, she ends up in a Bad Future where the Titans have split specifically because she wasn't there to keep their spirits high enough.
- Quoted above: Green Arrow in Justice League Unlimited was brought in to the team against his will because Batman wanted someone who could look at the League critically. In his own words, someone to "Keep us honest." This pays off later when the League tried to disband after current events demoralized everyone. He got in their faces and forced them to remain dedicated to the ideal.
- Wasp and Captain America tend to share this role. This is most apparent when they are the only two team members who go to save Hulk during the Red-Hulk-joining-the-Avengers incident.
- Private is explicitly this for The Penguins of Madagascar. Being the newest member of the team he also stands Closer to Earth and is less prone to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope due to paranoia, often serving as a voice of reason.
- Dukey from Johnny Test is an odd mix of this and a Deadpan Snarker.
- Graveheart from Shadow Raiders (or War Planets) is The Hero but also acts as a stabiliser for the many cultural, personality and agenda clashes within his shaky team.
- Sheila the Thief, who doubles as this and Team Mom for the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon.
- Nutsy from Blinky Bill. Also, Shifty Dingo in season 2 at times.
- Gus and Mikey from Recess
- Ed Otter and Lola Boa from Brandy & Mr. Whiskers usually act as the moral center for the show.
- Bumblebee from Transformers Prime fills this role when Optimus Prime is absent.
- Optimus Prime generally fills this role, though, in fact, at the start of season 2, it's painfully clear that the Autobots are barely managing to keep it together without him.
- Goomo from Jelly Jamm is a Big Guy example.
- Fluttershy from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Pinkie Pie is this too, arguably even moreso than Fluttershy - as "A Friend in Deed" and especially "Magical Mystery Cure" show, Pinkie isn't just one to the Mane Six, but to the whole town.
- The fun loving Crazy Stunts from Skysurfer Strike Force.
- Believe it or not, Superboy from Young Justice. He may try to cover it up, but he's easily the most empathetic of the team. In the past, he's tried to reason with an insane clone trying to kill him, called What the Hell, Hero? on M'gann leaving an enemy in a catatonic state, even if the information was necessary, adopted both an alien sphere and a genetically enhanced wolf, and even talked a rampaging alien golem out of suicide in one episode.
- In a slightly more conventional example, Virgil is this to the runaways. Unlike the his more Heroic Neutral companions, he genuinely wants to be a hero, enjoys having his powers, and is the first to go into danger to protect someone else.
- Max from Capitol Critters.