troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesLaconic
Main
PlayingWith

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Took a Level in Kindness
"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say, that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."

A Jerkass softens over time, and becomes either a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or not a jerk at all. Usually this can be due to Character Development. Heel-Face Turn may be involved as well. In some cases this may be a case of Characterization Marches On; as the series progresses, the writers realized that a nicer character fit the changing tone better than the original idea.

If done over the course of one episode or short-story, this may have been to set up an Aesop.

Naturally, the Counter Trope of Took a Level in Jerkass. Compare to Defrosting Ice Queen, which focuses on a specific Love Interest bringing a character out of their shell.


Example subpages:


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • W.I.T.C.H.: In the original, comic book continuity (different of the animated series adaptation continuity), Vathek, one of the main villains of the first arc, is a cruel, aggressive and arrogant bastard. At the half of the arc, he's sent to spy on the good guys but ends up genuinely sympathizing with them and pulls a Heel-Face Turn. Character Development and Hidden Depths show their faces, and at the end of the arc, he's a real Gentle Giant.
  • King Max Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog, post-Sonic The Hedgehog Mega Man Worlds Collide. A real jerk who is a massive Disco Dan, when the Cosmic Retcon Button is hit by accident, he's completely mellowed out to the point where Sonic, whose been looked down on by the now-formerly senile ruler, sees this as a reason not to set things back to normal.
  • It has been noted by many that, in the New 52, Batman of all people has taken a major level in kindness, while others have become bigger jerks. Bruce is actively rebuilding Gotham, trying to move on from his parents' death and even seems to be one of the nicer members of the Justice League. While some of this can be seen as the result of The Return of Bruce Wayne, where he came full circle from his previous epic Jerkass characterisation, even stories set before that happened have him as one of the nicer guys.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series iteration of Calvin is much more likely to do the right thing than his comic counterpart.
  • In The Best Night Ever, a core focus of the story is Prince Blueblood taking several levels in kindness.
  • Soul Chess has Soifon of all people take a few levels in kindness. The reason? Yoruichi took Soifon with her when she left Soul Society.
  • The Wizard In The Shadows has Denethor take one after a Heel Realisation.
  • Precia in Game Theory. At the very least, she makes an effort to act pleasant instead of abusing Fate, so she's already miles ahead of her canon counterpart, and she does seem to get somewhat genuinely nicer as the story progresses.
  • In Address Unknown, Rainbow Dash grudgingly agrees to take care of a temporarily blinded Derpy, who has recently started a relationship with Twilight. While trying to get to sleep on Derpy's couch, she is forced to confront her responsibility for contributing to Derpy's lifelong misery, and makes a tearful apology the following morning. Derpy forgives her and the two agree to start over.
  • In the Total Drama story, Legacy, both Heather and Duncan have grown up, figuratively as well as literally, in the ten years since they were on the show. Duncan has even learned basic precepts of chivalry.
  • Bolt and Moondancer, two of Sylvia's brothers, in the story Sylvia The Sylveon.

    Films — Animation 
  • The whole point of everything Lightning McQueen goes through in Cars is to persuade him to do this.
  • Anastasia does this in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, to the point where she eventually pulls a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman: In this film adaptation of the "Mr. Peabody's Improbable History" segments on Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody is changed from treating Sherman from being merely his pet and assistant to considering Sherman his adopted son whom he loves dearly.
    • In the movie itself, Penny starts as an extremely abusive bully who tries to humiliate Sherman into acting like a dog; through her experiences with Sherman in the WABAC, she grows to see him in a new light and becomes a softer and kinder person as a result.
  • 'Baby' Brent in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, who starts being The Bully towards Flint, having also a Small Name, Big Ego personality. After his popularity fades away thanks to the FLDSMDFR, he decides to help the main characters in the most critical moment and eventually befriends them.
    • And in the second film, the FLDSMDFR itself has a Heel-Face Turn,starting to make life rather than trying to destroy it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Onkel Sofus in most incarnations of the Father of Four movies, as his Character Development.
  • In Bad Santa, the main character starts being a complete Jerk Ass, but eventually becames a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Had Phil Connors of Groundhog Day not done so, he probably would never have broken out of his temporal prison.
  • The film Son Of Godzilla is the start of showing the King Of The Monster's more loving fatherly side. Especially towards the end where he embraces his new son to keep him from freezing to death.
  • The whole point of the Film Thor, which is an inversion of Captain America: The First Avenger. Whereas Captain Rogers was granted power because of his kindness and decency, Thor had to learn kindness and decency first to be worthy of his power.
  • Thor: The Dark World: Downplayed with Loki. He is still evil, but is less evil than in The Avengers but he risks his life to save Jane Foster.

    Webcomics 
  • Karkat in Homestuck becomes less of a Troll and more interested in the success of his prior antagonists. And if he's not a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, at least he's a shrewd enough leader to know when to play Team Mom for the other trolls.
    • John, too. As he becomes more of an All-Loving Hero — especially when contrasted with the other kids' Character Development, which often took them in darker directions — it can be hard to remember that this is the same guy that who, in his first pesterlog, responded to Dave's gleeful discovery of a bottle of apple juice by joking that it might actually be full of pee.
    EB: all im saying is don't you think monster howie mandel has the power to do something as simple as reseal a bottle?
    EB: try using your brain numbnuts.


Stupid GoodA Polite IndexVideo Game Caring Potential
Took a Level in JerkassCharacterization TropesToo Much Alike
Tears of RemorseHeel Face IndexVillainous BSOD

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
19929
23