Green Arrow: I still don't think I belong [with the Justice League].This personality aspect 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. If 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. Where Elemental Powers come into play, other characters may be in for a Heart Beatdown. Due to their usual relative introversion, and tendencies towards pacifism (whether technical or actual) 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 (and peacekeepers), 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.
Batman: That's the point, someone like you will keep us honest.
Batman: That's the point, someone like you will keep us honest.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Francoise/003 from Cyborg 009.
- In the 2001 version, Professor Koizumi.
- Fuu from Samurai Champloo.
- Towards the end of Mobile Suit 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 B.S.O.D.. 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.
- Its sequel series played with this trope through various characters:
- This role is filled by Sho Marufuji / Syrus Truesdale in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, who is Juudai's best friend and sidekick. Unusual for this trope, he is very competent and still kept this role even after the humongous Character Development and Take a Level in Badass in later seasons, though not as prevalent.
- The role of keeping everyone together is now strangely held by The Hero Yusei Fudo in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's as he is the person that lead a team consist of Jack, Aki, the twins and Crow.
- In Yu Gi Oh Zexal, this role is held by Kotori / Tori in Yuma's group. The fact that she is also really useless, irritating and is Ms. Fanservice despite being only 13 is understandable why she is hated even more than Anzu.
- This trope is downplayed by Hiragi Yuzu in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V due to the fact that she is the Deuteragonist whose plotline and Character Development doesn't revolve around this trope but she is still the one who was forced to control the You Show Duel School more manic personalities. Probably why her disappearance in episode 50 hits them so hard, especially The Hero Yuya Sakaki.
- 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.
- It's unclear what exactly was said when they sat down to discuss what the Wolkenritter were doing (having put it off until after the final battle), but she mainly reminds them to take responsibility for their actions as well as the potential for problems for all of them down the line◊, and in the Sound Stages, she seems more concerned about depriving them of their immortality (which they don't seem to mind).
- 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, thanks to his nigh-undying innocent and cheerful attitude as well as him being an absolute Determinator. Despite not being that strong of a fighter, his existence attracts, enlights, and gives hope to many people, even the most cynical and the most hopeless ones.
- 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).
- Madoka, who spends most of Puella Magi Madoka Magica trying to keep Mitakihara's magical girls from killing each other (and/or themselves). Upon failing at this, she sacrifices her human identity to become the goddess of hope, whose job is to comfort the dying. This is why Homura remembers her more fondly than the other girls: no matter what timeline she fought in, Madoka was always kind and always willing to listen to her.
- Fruits Basket both deconstructs and reconstructs the trope: Tohru's unceasing desire to help others stems from a Guilt Complex and leads her to ignore her own pain. She eventually realizes this and achieves catharsis, becoming a positive example who nurtures happiness in herself and everyone around her. Notably, the Sohmas realize that she is this trope and cherish her fiercely.
- In Dragon Ball Z when the Earth warriors make their final stand against Cell each of them muse about how they were change into better people because of Goku and Gohan's good hearts and kindness.
- Pretty Cure since Yes! Pretty Cure 5 has the recurring "Pink Cure" - usually representing love or willpower - acting as this trope as well as the central protagonists due to the common traits of being Genki Girl and/or Friend to All Living Things.
- Bubuki Buranki has Azuma Kazuki filling this position among the protagonists, as well as being The Hero within the series (so far). This is also an unusually literal case of the trope, since his Bubuki is explicitly Oubu's heart - they can't summon/form Oubu to fight other Buranki without working in unison, and it's Azuma who has to unite and coordinate them in combat.
- 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.
- Especially in modern times, it's (one of) the Flash(es) 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 keeping 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.
- Wally West is an interesting case. After receiving a lot of Character Development he was certainly up to role but it wasn't until his erasure that it was understood just how vital he was to overall tone of DCU. His return in DC Universe Rebirth is cited as the return of "love, hope and legacy" and the creator Geoff Johns admits Wally is the embodiement of all those factors in DCU itself.
- There's also Dick Grayson, aka the first Robin and later Nightwing, who is sometimes believed to be The Heart of the DCU. Of course its normal for someone who is best friends with Wally West.
- 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 military institute (which is somewhat Fridge Logic, considering that 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 mitigate all their issues, she was the one who kept the team honest, which might explain why they became so much Darker and Edgier after her death.
- Oddly enough, Deadpool served this role in Uncanny X-Force. It says a lot about a team when the person who has to remind everyone of the moral implications of their actions is a notoriously amoral degenerate mercenary.
- 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.
- In Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim is more or less this in his group of friends. While he isn't perfect, prone to making dumb decisions and being insensitive, he still means well and is learning to be a better person. Furthermore, from an initial glance, the most open and friendly out of his group of friends, especially when compared to the stoic Stephen Stills, the moody Kim Pine and the quiet Neil Young among others. He's also the glue that holds the circle of friends together (since they all met each other through Scott).
- Deconstructed/subverted in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye. Getaway seems like this at first, being a voice of reason who helps direct the others and gives them encouragement. However it's eventually revealed that he's actually a Manipulative Bastard who's exploiting this trope to seemingly sabotage the crew, starting with demolishing Cyclonus and Tailgate's friendship.
- Dreaming Of Sunshine: Shikako is the emotional and moral center of Team Seven, and on a larger scale, of the Konoha Twelve. Hinata and Ino are as well, in different ways. Hinata because she is a rallying point for the others, someone they gather around to support. Ino, because she is someone who supports everyone else.
- 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 Ghostbusters (1984), 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.
- In the sequel Clint (Hawkeye) fulfills this role as the only emotionally stable member of the group. He even admits to his wife that the others may be the most powerful collection of beings in the world and he was just a guy with a bow and arrow but they still need him.
- Professor X is this in X-Men: First Class and in all the other team films to a lesser extent. The X-Men obey him because his warmheartedness is the glue that keeps the team unified even when there are internal disagreements, such as between Beast and Havok or Cyclops and Wolverine.
- 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 Charles Xavier into action.
- In Metropolis (1927) this was Freder's role. The trope was even referenced by name with the film's classic tag line, "The mediator between head and hands must be the heart."
- Juice: It's clear that Raheem is the level-headed leader who holds the group together. After his death, the tensions between the group escalate.
- Heihachi of Seven Samurai was hired to be the moral support of the samurai. However, over the course of the film, Kikuchiyo upstages this role more and more.
- Amazing from Amazing Grace and Chuck. Normally in a story like this, you'd expect the kid (Chuck) to fill this role and the adult (Amazing) to act as the real leader. But in this case, its reversed, with Amazing serving to remind people why the fight is worth fighting and inspiring them to keep going, and Chuck making the actual decisions and leading the protest movement. The dynamic becomes clear when Amazing dies and the movement takes on a notably more somber tone but nobody questions whether Chuck is still the one to decide whether it continues and what they will do next
- This bit of dialogue from Red 2 (2013).
Marvin: Frank, c'mon. A little trust. She has talents you and I will never have.
—>Frank: What talents?
—>Marvin: People like her.
- Cassie from the Animorphs doubles as this and The Smart Guy.
- Dameon from The Obernewtyn Chronicles.
- Wraith Squadron has several characters who will say "Screw it, we're having a party" to raise morale when it's low. Wedge himself starts the "Rebellion of Anonymity"note to get General Han Solo's spirits back up during the pursuit of Warlord Zsinj.
- Sephrenia, in The Elenium trilogy by David Eddings, serves this role for literally hundreds of Pandion Knights—and has done so for generations. They don't call her "little mother" for nothing.
- Mary Palmer from Caleb Carr's The Alienist.
- The Tin Man from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels. In fact, he greets old friends with no less than a "tender, loving embrace" every single time.
- The Heroes of Olympus: Percy the hero from the previous series becomes this. Although he's a capable fighter and one of the most powerful demigods in existence, he's picked because of his ability to hold the team of heroes together rather than his physical powers. His girlfriend Annabeth is actually The Leader.
Hazel: "Percy had been their backbone. He'd given them confidence."
- Trapped on Draconica: This is Ben's functional role in the group; emotional support.
- The Hunger Games: Peeta Mellark. Later used as a weapon against Katniss. The night before the 74th Hunger Games Peeta tells Katniss he doesn't want the games, or by extension anything the Capitol puts him through, to change him. In the third book of the series President Snow, who probably overheard the conversation thanks to the Orvellian nature of Panem's rule, tortures Peeta and hijacks him, brainwashing him into hating Katniss. It's implied that one of the things that pains Katniss the most about seeing him that way is that the sweet boy who once took a beating to give her bread has been completely changed by the Capitol.
- Liz from The Last Dragon Chronicles.
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.
- Jam And Jerusalem: Kate frequently tries to be this, much to the chagrin of her less emotionally open guildmates.
- 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.
- Sherlock: John definitely, in comparison to Sherlock since John is kind, patient and caring but you really don't want to piss him off by messing with his friend. It'll end badly if you do. He can (and will) kill you if you do it. Oh, and show no remorse about it. Mess with his friend-and you're going to wind up lying in a pool of your own blood.
- He's also getting Sherlock to question his sociopathic tendencies. But you still don't want to mess with that guy-or anyone he happens to like.
- He's also The Lancer since he's the one of the few people Sherlock can trust to help him solve a case. Also, it's implied if Sherlock's incapable to solve one or whatever, he'll put his "best man" to it. Still, don't mess with him or anyone he happens to like. This adorable guy will end your life if you mess with his friend's AND not regret it.
- The Secret Circle: Cassie. She brings everyone together within the Circle.
- Sliders: Wade is this trope to a T, right down to being Put on a Bus to Hell because execs wanted someone with more sex appeal.
- 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 Farscape. 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.
- Pete Lattimer is pretty much a gender-flipped version of The Chick: whereas his female teammates are all professional, rational, and supremely competent, he is intuitive, emotional, and highly protective of the relationships between them all.
- Leena is practically the Team Mom, serving as the spiritual and emotional center of the group. Her death is the catalyst for a major change in everyone's relationships.
- 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.
- 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 Kingdom Hearts: 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.
- Overwatch: Reinhardt was the original strike team's most optimistic and idealistic member, upholding the organization's values of peace and justice. After being forced into retirement, Overwatch began to collapse under the weight of its internal corruption.
- 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 Assassin's 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?"
Gerome: Please don't misunderstand me. I don't dislike you. Your good humor raises people's spirits and dispels the horrors of war. You are a shining beacon of hope, reminding us there can be a better future. You light the fires of optimism and inspire us to keep striving.
- The second generation gives us Cynthia, who cranks the genki up to eleven. While her endless Heroic Wannabe antics "impacted the world of comedy more than the world of legend" as the game itself puts it, everyone from your army to random NPCs love her for the sheer happiness she radiates. Even Gerome, whose goal in life seems to be emulating Batman as much as possible, can't help but smile when thinking about her.
- Fire Emblem Fates has the younger sisters of the Hoshidan and Nohrian royal familes, Sakura and Elise (respectively). While their brothers and sisters are itching to go to war and lay low the Player Character out of duty or vengeance, they steadfastly believe the PC is doing the right thing and hope against hope that their families can be made whole once more. In the case of Elise in Birthright, she even takes a mortal blow from her brother Xander to save the PC in the hopes that it will snap him out of his desire to kill her beloved sibling.
- 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.
- Aisha Blanchette from Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy. She's extremely friendly and caring, especially to Leon and especially to Mina.
- Would you believe a pompous egotist can be this? In the world of Mortal Kombat, it turns out that Johnny Cage of all people has an unusually strong sense of morals, especially by the time of Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. He dislikes killing (at least in the storyline canon) to the point that he has to stop Sonya from nearly strangling Kano to death, because he knows that it's not the right thing to do, and that he knew she would regret it once she wasn't blinded by her Mama Bear tendencies.
- The Heavy from Team Fortress 2 is the core of his team. He's certainly big and boisterious enough to be the natural center of attention, and he brings along a strong sense of being "credit to team" as well as a freshly-made Sandvich for teammates who demonstrate the same.
- Oddly enough in Umineko: When They Cry, 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.
- Any, from M9 Girls! is setting herself to be the heart of the group, trying to get Professor T.X. to come out of his isolation, even after sensing he has a darker nature.
- Elan, from The Order of the Stick. Clueless, but concerned for the rest of the group, and skilled in
Social-FuTrope-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.
- Haley sums it up very well in a recent comic.
Haley: ...But he's...I don't know. Pure. Honest. Better than I am, that's for sure. He makes me a better person just by being around, and I like feeling that way.
- Haley sums it up very well in a recent comic.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Homestuck, Dirk characterizes Roxy as the heart of the alpha kid team, saying that her efforts to keep the group together despite the teen relationship drama that threatened to tear them apart made her the true leader of the alpha session.
- Ultra-Man is the moral compass of the Global Guardians, and Bungie is its enthusiasm and hope. Together, they form The Heart of the team.
- Kotashi, the Non-Action Guy and love interest of the (female) Smart Guy in Sailor Nothing.
- Generator, the Crazy Awesome and least powerful member of Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe. Has been known to use Big Sad Puppy-Dog eyes to get her way.
- She is this trope so much that she is Team Kimba's Plan A to deal with Tennyo if she goes world-endingly evil.
- Doodlecute from Dusk's Dawn. She seems to be the most emotional and fragile of the group.
- In his analysis of Homestuck and Steven Universe. the blogger Bladekind explores this trope:
Many carve their wills into reality by helping others find strength, and in the process finding strength through others. There was an entire episode, "Coach Steven", devoted to the concept of being "strong in the real way", showing that Steven’s true strength wasn’t the muscle he hoped to earn, but his skill at motivating and strengthening others. He works to help others live up to what he believes they can be as well, working to help the alien gems act more human and relate to humanity because that’s what he personally sees in them.
- Ma-Ti from Captain Planet, obviously.
- Parodied in VGCats.
- 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. The episode "How Long is Forever?" is dedicated to this: upon being flung through time 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.
- Green Arrow in Justice League Unlimited was forcefully recruited to the League 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.
- Additionally, there's The Flash, where in an Alternate Universe his death pushes Superman over the edge and the League became a Knight Templar group. In the main universe his presence is implied to be the major factor keeping the rest of the original seven from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope (the creators admitted Flash's death in the Alternate Universe was, in part, due to not seeing the character become a Well-Intentioned Extremist). After a fair bit of foreshadowing in the fourth series, many fans got the gist and were pretty much expecting him to be killed.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!: 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 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.
- 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.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Fluttershy is Friend to All Living Things and represents the Element of Kindness.
- 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.
- When Twilight becomes the Princess of Friendship, she and the Mane Six become the Heart for all of Equestria.
- 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.
- In Steven Universe, Steven himself plays this role. While Garnet can keep Amethyst and Pearl away from each other's throats, it takes Steven to make them actually get along. It appears that he inherited this from his mother. Fittingly, his unique powers are all defensive in nature - healing spit, force bubbles, and a summoned shield.
- The now-departed President Maria Corazon "Cory" Aquino of the Philippines is claimed by many to have been a real-life The Heart. Even the critics shed genuine tears to her passing. Her very name Corazon is in fact, the Spanish word for "heart".
- Let's tell the whole story! Mrs. Aquino was originally the spouse of high-ranked politician Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, who was messily and very publically murdered via Boom, Headshot in 1983. Three years after losing her husband, she rose to power through one of the best remembered non-violent revolutions: the People Power Revolution, an uprising that included iconic images of nuns kneeling in front of tanks clutching rosaries and people walking up to soldiers to hand them flowers, all to depose the reignant tyrant Ferdinand Marcos (who may have been the one to order the assassination of Benigno in the first place, as Ninoy was the most popular opposition leader). Her presidency ended a regime of authoritarian rule and reinstated democracy in the Philippines.
- George VI and Elizabeth shared this role for The British Empire during World War II both in Real Life and in the film Bertie and Elizabeth .
- Ringo Starr was considered the least talented/helpful member of The Beatles by many. The band itself recognized him as a guy who helped them stick together even at the worst moments. They even put more focus on Ringo in the movies!
- Gandhi became this during the short period between Indian independence and his assasination, with Nehru taking up the role of The Hero.