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Adaptational Nice Guy

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Scorpia: Killing you with hate in the 80s, killing you with kindness in the '10s.
This trope is when a character is made nicer (or at least a bit more sympathetic) in an adaptation than they were in the source material. For instance, a character who is a Jerkass in the source material becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or even a Nice Guy in the adaptation of said material.
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While there may be some overlap with Adaptational Heroism, the key difference is that the character doesn't necessarily become heroic if they were villainous or neutral in the source material, and doesn't make them more heroic if they were heroic in the first place. Characters affected by this trope will generally stay on their respective alignments (whether good, evil or neutral), but they will become a bit more approachable in the adaptation.

Adaptational Sympathy, in which a villainous or disliked character is given a sympathetic backstory, may also overlap with this trope. One key difference, however, is that the character in question may not necessarily act nicer or behave in a more friendly manner in the new adaptation. They simply have more of a sympathetic Freudian Excuse backstory for their acts, without any of their sharp edges necessarily being softened. In which case the audience will have more of an understanding of why they're so hardened or evil in the present day.

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Its inverse is Adaptational Jerkass.

A subtrope of Adaptation Personality Change. Compare Took a Level in Kindness (which is basically what this trope does to a character in an adaptation), and by extension contrast Took a Level in Jerkass.


Examples:

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    Multiple Media 
  • In Disney's Peter Pan movie, Tinker Bell is overly jealous about Peter and has a temper. To make her a more likable and more rounded protagonist, in the sequel series Disney Fairies she is a sweet Plucky Girl instead.
  • Spider-Man:
    • In most adaptations, Peter Parker is depicted as being more of a pure-hearted guy from the beginning. In the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko run, it was quite evident that Peter was more of a typical, irritable teenager. A good guy, yes, but not an ideally pure hero. This gave a lot more weight to Peter's decision to become a hero instead of using his powers to make money after his selfishness costs him his uncle. This trope has had such an impact on how audiences view Peter, that any adaptation that deviates even slightly from it will be met with considerable dislike. A good example would be The Amazing Spider-Man which features a scene in which Peter humiliates Flash Thompson in a basketball match and accidentally breaks the net in the process.
    • Mary Jane Watson didn't start out as a particularly detestable person in the comics but she was originally written as being carefree, sarcastic and dismissive of other people's worries (most infamously dumping Harry Osborn on a whim and exacerbating his mental breakdown/drug addiction). These traits are often downplayed or excised completely in adaptations.
    • Gwen Stacy's initial jerkassery in the comics is also often left out of adaptations. The Spectacular Spider-Man even turns her into a member of Peter's high school social circle and in The Amazing Spider-Man she is nice to Peter from the get-go.
    • While Eddie Brock is an Anti-Hero on his best days in the comics, he has regardless spent several decades trying to kill or eat Spider-Man. He’s also attacked and tormented Mary Jane and Black Cat, and lest we forget eats brains for nourishment. A lot of adaptations such as Spider-Man: The Animated Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man and especially the film Venom tone down Eddie and The Symbiote’s more monstrous moments and overall make him more sympathetic and even heroic.
    • In the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Aaron Davis, Miles Morales's uncle is introduced as a greedy bastard who only sees his nephew Miles Morales as a means to an end, and dies cursing Miles. With that said, it was a Comic Book Death, and in his second shot at life, Aaron has worked to be a better man, with varying degrees of success. Adaptations have changed this:
      • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, while still a criminal, Aaron genuinely love Miles and informs Peter of a meeting between the Vulture's gang and Mac Gargan because he didn't want Toomes's weapons on the street where they could hurt Miles.
      • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aaron similarly loves Miles and he becomes horrified when he realizes he's been trying to murder Miles, resulting in his boss Wilson Fisk fatally shooting him for refusing to kill Miles.
      • In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Aaron genuinely wants to reconnect with Miles and leave behind his criminal past. Every action he made from working with Krieger to locking Miles in a cell was done to prevent his nephew from potentially dying in the crossfires of Krieger and Tinkerer's turf war.
    • In the Ultimate comics, Jefferson Morales, Miles's dad, started off despising anyone with superpowers, only warming up to Miles's Spider-Man some time after learning that he is Miles. Like with Aaron, this has changed in adaptations:
      • In Marvel's Spider-Man, he's supportive of both Peter and Miles right out of the gate, though this later goes to the other side with Adaptational Villainy, as he does gain his counterparts distrust of heroes and even becomes a Composite Character, acting at the series' version of Swarm until he realizes that one of the heroes he's after is Miles — and even then, he's still arguably this as the original Swarm was literally a Nazi.
      • Spider-Man (PS4) not only sees Jeff supportive of Spidey, but gladly working with him. It's also worth mentioning that in the PS4 version of the story, Jefferson supplants Peter Parker as the heroic figure who dies tragically and motivates Miles towards heroism.
      • In Into the Spider-Verse, Jefferson's dislike of Spider-Man is only due to the latter being a vigilante who interferes with Jeff's work as a cop, rather than any Fantastic Racism; he clearly feels bad about the death of his universe's Peter; and ends up willing to work with Miles's Spidey at the end.
    • Like the Joker, many versions of Norman Osborn have downplayed his worst aspects. While Osborn only became a particularly evil bastard post-The Clone Saga, even before then, he's had some skeletons in the closest, including framing Mendel Stromm.
      • While an ally of the Kingpin, Spider-Man: The Animated Series depicted Norman as a deeply-regretful absentee father and his transformation into the Green Goblin as part of a victim of circumstance.
      • Likewise, the Spider-Man Trilogy version of Osborn is more sympathetic and is a put-upon man dealing with a general and board who clearly don't like him and at least makes attempts to be a good father. Spider-Man: No Way Home however goes some way to invert this for his return, having Norman be Truer to the Text and committing horrific actions, like killing Aunt May while Peter is Forced to Watch. Although it’s still stated his evil behaviour stems mainly from his unfettered Superpowered Evil Side, whereas in the comics especially modern ones Norman was just a horrible man from the start.
      • While still a Corrupt Corporate Executive (and in this case, a Corrupt Politician as he's mayor), the Osborn of Spider-Man (PS4) not only genuinely cares for Harry, many of his actions both in the backstory and in the present were done to save the lives of first his wife, and later Harry from a disease they suffered.
      • The Osborn of Ultimate Spider-Man starts off as this as he cares about Harry, though he later becomes a case of full-blown Adaptational Heroism as both times he's the Iron Patriot, they're genuine attempts at being The Atoner as opposed to an act as in the comics.
  • Both The Punisher (2004) and the Netflix Marvel Cinematic Universe versions of The Punisher have downplayed Frank Castle's more sociopathic elements. Both adaptations depict Frank as more heroic and amicable, and the latter sees Frank mostly limit the people he kills to the organization that killed his family with the only other kills being a pawn shop owner who sells child porn in Daredevil (2015), and a group of construction workers who wanted to murder a guy by burying him in cement and a group at a chop shop in his own series.
  • X-Men:
  • The protagonist of the book Logan's Run was a ruthless Consummate Professional who had no problems killing people in brutal ways, and was initially motivated to find the Runner Sanctuary in order to die a legend for destroying it. The film toned it down to being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold; Logan would use lethal force, but was drafted into the job of finding Sanctuary and turned against his society when he found out that life past thirty was possible. The TV series softens the character further to a soft-spoken Hitman with a Heart who had come to be disturbed by his profession and was questioning his society well before his decision to throw his lot in with Jess.
  • Batman:
    • While often depicted as a flawed Anti-Hero, Batman's abusive, controlling, manipulative personality is either severely downplayed or outright excised. This is particularly true in The Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Batman, Young Justice (2010) and The Batman (2022). Batman's parenting skills in particular are often much better in adaptations than in the comics where he has been shown to actually strike his kids in a fit of anger. The adaptations leave this out entirely. In the case of The Batman, Bruce was actually on-board with the formation of the Justice League from the second the Martian Manhunter informed him of it and was more willing to teaming up with his fellow Leaguers, as opposed to being the most reluctant about both ideas. That said, the Batman of YJ did slip more into the Manipulative Bastard of the comics in Outsiders.
    • Many versions of The Joker have had his worst attributes downplayed. Tellingly, out of these versions, the ones for The Batman and the Batman: Arkham Series are the only ones of the Jokers listed here that are currently among of the many Jokers listed under Complete Monster, whereas the others don't meet the qualifications to be listed there.
      • The Suicide Squad (2016) version of the Joker actually seems to genuinely care for Harley and even pushing her out of a helicopter to save her life when he goes crashing, though Joker being Joker, he survives. Note that this was a deliberate choice made to soften the film during reshoots, as the original cut of the movie apparently depicted the Joker's treatment of Harley in a much more negative and abusive light. Birds of Prey (2020) goes some way to correct this, affirming that Joker is abusive and throws Harley out of his house, though this is still nicer treatment than the comics where Mister J has hunted down and tortured Harley for leaving him. Zack Snyder's Justice League during the Bad Future sequence, portrays Joker as having taken a Heel–Face Turn and working with Batman's resistance against Darkseid as a Retired Monster and The Atoner.
      • While he'll still lash out at Harley and leave her to rot, the Joker in The Batman isn't physically abusive to Harley and he shows her more genuine affection such as stealing a diamond the size of a softball for a Valentine's Day gift, something his DCAU counterpart would consider a waste of time. Additionally, while he's still Faux Affably Evil, he's more affable than usual.
      • The Joker seen on Batman: The Brave and the Bold genuinely respected the Weeper and wanted to team-up with him; didn't seem to be abusive to Harley; and during an Enemy Mine with Batman, he (begrudgingly) saved a child.
      • While his treatment of Jason Todd in the Batman: Arkham Series was Adaptational Jerkass (he tortured Jason for months, instead of whaling on Jason with a crowbar for several minutes and blowing him up afterward), the Joker was merely content to shoot Barbara and take pictures of her. In The Killing Joke, he stripped her naked between shooting her and taking the pictures.
      • The Joker — or as he's currently known in season 1, John Doe — of all people gets this treatment in Batman: The Telltale Series. He seems to genuinely consider Bruce his friend, and has Swapped Roles with Harley Quinn in that he's the one in love with her while she just finds him annoying. At the end of the second episode of the second season, if Harley is left behind, John will be visibly distressed, and demand to go back to help her.
      • Joker (2019) sees its version of the titular Clown Prince of Crime, Arthur Fleck, nowhere near as monstrous as other Jokers, starting off as a well-meaning man in a Crapsack World so damaging, it forces him to retreat into his mental issues. Additionally, outside of the Arkham doctor at the end, all of the people he killed wronged him and he even spared former co-worker Gray because he was the only one at his old job who was nice to him and Word of Saint Paul is that Sophie also survived, whereas other Jokers would've killed them both just for the hell of it.
  • Dracula has gotten a numerous amount of Adaptational Nice Guy in the countless adaptations or horror films he’s appeared in. In Bram Stoker’s original novel while Dracula had Affably Evil moments (that were mainly feigned) and Tragic Monster elements, particularly his death where Mina spotted a look of relief of on the count’s face), but otherwise is still a diabolic Evil Overlord who’s cruel manipulation of Jonathan, prolonged blood sucking torture of Lucy and an attack on Mina by forcing her to drink his blood (with the rape allegory being overt as possible) painted Dracula as a detestable villain. In a lot of comedies, like Dracula Dead and Loving It and the Monster Mash and of course the Hotel Transylvania series, he’s often a goofy and lovable character. Even the more serious Hellsing and Castlevania franchises tend to play up his likable qualities, particularly the Netflix adaptation of the former. Bram Stoker's Dracula gives him Adaptational Sympathy with his relationship with Mina who is the reincarnation of his lost love (something that’s not present in the novel). Dracula Untold went the extra step of giving both Dracula and his Real Life inspiration Vlad the Impaler (a brutal war criminal) Adaptational Heroism.
  • The Phantom of the Opera generally gets this or Adaptational Villainy. In the original novel by Gaston Leroux Erik alias the Phantom/Opera Ghost, while he was a Tragic Villain who ultimately let his obsession with Haunted Heroine Christine go, he was still an Psychopathic Man Child who had little regard for human life and delighted in torture and blackmail. Adaptations generally override or soften the Phantom’s villainous role, the 1943 and 1962 film versions take away his Villainous Crush on Christine and in the latter he doesn’t even kill anyone and saves Christine’s life in a Heroic Sacrifice. The wildly popular 1986 Broadway Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber tones down the Phantom’s overtly abhorrent traits, including removing his attempt to blow up Paris if Christine rejects him, for the sake of making him a more sensual character (Webber seeing the Phantom as a Author Avatar was a factor too). The 1990 Miniseries has Charles Dance as gentle and kind version of the Phantom who doesn’t hurt anyone. The book Maskerade by Terry Pratchett even turns the Opera Ghost into The Cowl, whilst giving all the Phantom's psychotic murderer traits to another character.
  • In the original Lupin III manga from Monkey Punch, the title character was a coldblooded murderer with a penchant for raping beautiful women. Beginning with Hayao Miyazaki's run on the the original 70s TV show, Lupin has been softened to varying degrees. While he's still willing to use lethal force, it's almost always against other, WORSE criminals, and usually only in self-defense to begin with. He's also never depicted as a rapist in these adaptations, even the Darker and Edgier ones that otherwise veer a little closer to the original manga, like The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. The adaptations also have a habit of giving Lupin Pet the Dog moments where he goes out of his way to rescue innocent people who are being victimized (most famously in The Castle of Cagliostro), another trait that would’ve seemed utterly out of character in Monkey Punch's stories.
  • Lex Luthor much like Joker or Green Goblin is one of the most diabolically evil villains in comic books, in one comic Lex cured his sister’s Lena’s terminal illness and then immediately reinjected her, just to prove he could. A lot of adaptations tone down Luthor’s more detestable actions and even make him sympathetic to some extent.
    • In the DCAU while still a villain and leader of the Legion of Doom, Lex is still willingly to work with Superman and JLA against greater threats such as Darkseid. He even pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the ruler of Apokolips, a level of selflessness that non-existent to his comic counterpart.
    • In Smallville Lex is ironically a good friend to Clark and spends a lot of the show as a Nice Guy before eventual becoming a villain over the course of the series. It helps that most of Lex’s overt Corrupt Corporate Executive traits were given to his father Lionel Luthor instead.
    • In Injustice: Gods Among Us Lex like in Smallville is a good friend to Superman, funds the La Résistance for Batman and acts as The Mole on evil Supes’s team preventing them from taking over the planet.
    • In the DC Animated Movie Universe while Lex starts off as a villain, much like The New 52 Lex becomes a member of the Justice League and helps out against the larger threats like Doomsday and Cyborg Superman. In Justice League Dark: Apokolips War he pulls a heroic Last Stand protecting Lois and others from Parademons.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • Mister Fantastic often lacks his comic counterpart's arrogance and numerous morally questionable actions as seen in Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four (2015) and Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes. Doctor Strange In Multiverse Of Madness would seem like an exception with MCU Mr Fantastic being part of the The Illuminati but even in that film Reed doesn’t display any arrogance and For Science! behaviour from the comics, being a genuinely kind man who tries to non-violently halt Scarlet Witch’s rampage by beseeching her to let the version of Wanda she's possessing go.
    • Ben Grimm aka The Thing, in the early comics by Lee and Kirby Ben is easily the most antagonistic member of the Four constantly fighting and arguing with Reed, hitting on Sue and in general being a Conflict Ball. All this has gotten softened or exercised from the cartoons and films with Ben’s loveable cuddly Gentle Giant Boisterous Bruiser nature from later comics is his default personality and while the films particularly the 2005 and 2015 ones do highlight his initial antagonism towards Reed, it’s more justified than the comics where Ben usually had pettier reasons to squabble.
  • Similar to Reed, Iron Man gets softened across the media he appears in. In the comics, Tony, thanks to Demon in a Bottle, Civil War (2006), and being part of the The Illuminati has gotten an infamous reputation of being a Broken Ace and borderline fascist Anti-Hero who is still working to redeem himself. Adaptations such as Iron Man The Animated Series, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Marvel Anime, Marvel's Avengers and especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe downplay most of Tony’s antagonistic and flawed traits and make him genuinely good and often selfless.
  • Ant-Man (Henry Pym) has it even worse in the comics than his aforementioned scientific peers. While he started off as a Nice Guy, creating Ultron and accidentally hitting his wife Janet fuelled Hank’s mental problems and eventually turned him into a Fallen Hero, who’s even worse in The Ultimates. Thankfully most adaptations such as The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, Marvel's Avengers and the MCU Ant-Man films make Hank a much nicer character. The MCU and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes versions in particular drastically soften Hank’s relationship with Janet portraying it as loving rather than troubled and abusive on his part. Even the animated adaptation of the Ultimate universe Ultimate Avengers does this too, as Hank pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to protect Janet.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • Hulk himself has naturally been subject to this in many adaptations. In the comics while a Gentle Giant at his best, The Jolly Green Giant is still a violent monster who has caused immense destruction across the 616 universe and thanks various Conflict Balls to is often placed in an antagonistic role against the Avengers. In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, The Superhero Squad Show and the Marvel Cinematic Universe Hulk is a Lighter and Softer character who gets along better with his allies, particularly the Avengers whom he acts as The Big Guy for regularly, unlike the comics where Hulk (out of dislike) steers clear of them when possible. Additionally similar to Cyclops above, Hulk’s infidelity is also missing in adaptations, as he stays loyal to Betty and doesn’t cheat on her by sleeping with alien women (granted thanks to Betty being Put on a Bus, he does as Bruce have a brief relationship with Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it doesn’t go anywhere).
    • Hulk’s troubled alter ego Bruce Banner is generally a put upon Nice Guy in most adaptations like The Incredible Hulk (1977), The Incredible Hulk (1996), Hulk and the MCU. While Bruce was (and to some extent still is) a good man in the comics, modern stories have made him more an unhinged Darker and Edgier character whose mental problems, self-hatred and cynicism have often cost him his allies and loved ones, and in the 2011 Hulk run it’s outright shown without the Hulk to vent his impulses, Bruce would be a Mad Scientist. This darker side to Bruce is of course missing in all the cartoons and films, with only Marvel's Avengers touching upon it (although there Bruce still spends the rest of the game atoning for his mistakes).
    • Betty Ross and to a lesser extent her father General Thaddeus Ross also get this in the various adaptations. Betty started off the sweet Love Interest turned wife of Bruce, but by modern comics thanks to a Trauma Conga Line she’s an embittered Dark Action Girl who’s often at odds with her husband. Thaddeus Ross while still a Jerkass General Ripper was more of a J. Jonah Jameson figure originally, but later comics made Ross much more atrocious with him storming his daughter’s wedding with Bruce armed with a gun and even becomes Evil Counterpart to Bruce as Red Hulk. Adaptations have greatly softened them with Betty retaining her compassionate characterisation from earlier comics (even in the Ultimate Avengers) whilst her father Ross though still an antagonistic character, gets his genuine care for Betty played up in Hulk 2004 and The Incredible Hulk 2008 and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. even has Ross as Red Hulk be an ally to Bruce!
  • Carol Danvers, although she was nicer in the beginning frequently comes off as abrasive at best, especially in Civil War II where she essentially became a Villain Protagonist. In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! she’s a bold Deadpan Snarker but mostly The Cape whose worse traits are downplayed, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe she’s an arrogant Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and in The Super Hero Squad Show she acts as a belligerent Da Chief to the other Avengers. However, in Marvel Future Avengers she's a modest Nice Girl and Friend to All Children. The only adaptation that’s depicted her in a villainous light is X-Men: The Animated Series where she’s a Mental Monster tormenting Rogue, but given Rogue had stolen Carol’s power and put her in a coma while the other X-Men lock her away in Rogue’s mind she’s still incredibly sympathetic.
  • Both of the RoboCop cartoons, as well as RoboCop: The Series, took his approach to the titular Alex Murphy himself, being less willing to use Police Brutality (Mallardo's Police Brutality Gambit in the pilot of The Series would've been more likely to succeed given Murphy's treatment of the various criminal he dealt with on his first night as RoboCop and his interrogation of Officer Duffy) and practicing Thou Shall Not Kill (seeing as a crapton of villains, including the Vandals, "Pudface" Morgan, and the agents of D.A.R.C., lived to face Murphy again and again).
  • While still a monster, Trigon, the demonic father of Teen Titans member Raven, has undergone this himself:
    • Teen Titans Go!, in keeping with being a more comedic series, does show he loves Raven and is often a Friendly Enemy to the Titans, though he does hope Raven will turn around and join him.
    • DC Super Hero Girls presents Trigon in a similar light to Go, even allowing Raven to attend Super Hero High — though like the Trigon of Go, he also hopes Raven will join him.
    • The Trigon of the DC Animated Movie Universe is Truer to the Text compared to the other two (including the implication that, like in the comics, Raven is a Child by Rape), but in twisted way, he does seem to care about Raven, including not threatening to hurt her (friends and family are a different matter) and even wished her well in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
  • Due in part to Values Dissonance, adaptations of the Teen Titans (such as Teen Titans (2003), Young Justice (2010), Teen Titans Go!, the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and Titans) usually ditch the Lovable Sex Maniac tendencies that defined Beast Boy in the 80s New Teen Titans comics, particularly his habit of groping and kissing women without their consent.
  • Albert Wesker of Resident Evil, easily as diabolical Capcom villain as M. Bison, the trope image for Sinister Shades and so evil he gets away with working alongside goddamn Doctor Doom in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, gets a fair bit of this in the adaptations he appears in. In the Anderson films while still a villain, in Resident Evil: Retribution Wesker actually helps the heroes out against the larger threat of Red Queen and joins their side. In Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Wesker is a Regretful Traitor rather than the Mole in Charge Big Bad who genuinely loves Jill and sacrifices himself to save her, unlike the games namely RE5 where he only saw Jill as a fascinating puppet, and had no qualms using a torture device on her when she started to fight against his control. Even Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles tie-in manga has Wesker choosing not to kill Chris and Jill along with a little girl, a level of kindness he lacks in the games.
  • Shao Kahn is one of the most brutal and violent villains in Mortal Kombat canon, who's frequently depicted as a ruthless tyrant with no regard for the people under him and a Bad Boss, pulling "You Have Failed Me" on his minions with lethal results. However, even he hasn't escaped this on occasion.
    • The infamous Downer Ending of Mortal Kombat: Conquest sees Shao Kahn express some remorse over having Kitana killed, unlike the games, where (at best) he viewed her as a tool — and the other deaths in the finale (Reptile, Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, Vorpax, Siro, Taja, and the Great Kung Lao), where he rubbed Raiden's face in them.
    • The Mortal Kombat Legends duology sees some of his worst trait downplayed. Scorpion's Revenge sees his "You Have Failed Me" reaction to Shang Tsung merely involve having the sorcerer beaten, unlike the games where Shang Tsung had to propose another tournament to save himself from death at Shao Kahn's hands. While the sequel, Battle of the Realms, sees him decide to invade Earthrealm in spite of losing the tournament, anyway, like in other incarnations and at one point scoffed at the Elder Gods, he was willing to get permission to hold another tournament (where said scoffing took place) and go by-the-book this outing.

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Ace Attorney anime changes the character of Ini Miney, Turner Grey's murderer. In the original game, she was quite happy to kill Turner to keep her secret, that she's actually Mimi. In the anime, however, the plan is actually Morgan Fey's idea. When Ini refuses, Morgan blackmails her into helping.
  • Aggretsuko: In the original shorts, Haida, the hyena, is a playboy that coasts on his looks to make women around the office do his work for him. In the Netflix series, Haida is a kind-hearted guy who is close friends with the protagonist and never hits on anyone, having a devoted love for Retsuko.
  • In the anime adaptation of Another, while Akazawa does blame Misaki for causing the "calamity," which resulted in the deaths of their teacher and several of their classmates, because she didn't do her role as the "non-existent student" (someone no one can speak with or even acknowledge) well enough, Akazawa also takes responsibility for what happened. In the original novel and manga, she not only scapegoats Misaki, but also takes Sakakibara to task.
  • In the early parts of Ascendance of a Bookworm, the main character Maine was pretty contemptuous of her family because they lived a (dirty) medieval lifestyle fitting for commoners. She was also quite the leech, tending to get in the way of their work and showing no gratitude for how much they did for her. However, she gradually comes to understand her position and tries to be better. In the anime, they downplay her entitled behavior and almost completely eliminate her distaste for the poor hygiene, which makes her look less stuck up.
  • In the anime adaptation of Asteroid in Love, Misa's personality as Mira's supportive Cool Big Sis mostly stays intact, but with one change. Misa doesn't flick Mira in the forehead for falling asleep during the speech that Mira, as Student Council President, gives to Mira's incoming first-year class at their high school.
  • Gen from Barefoot Gen, in the manga he was more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he was very short tempered and violent and often picked fights with adults, but he did care a lot about his family and people who were suffering from the effects of the atomic bomb, the anime has him being much nicer and he only gets violent once when he's repeatedly mistreated by the painter he was taking care of who was badly burned.
  • Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey: While he is by no means a full-blown Jerkass, in the manga, Hachi acts more hostile to Nobita and the gang and even scolds Duc for nearly revealing their secret by pulling his tail, and only acknowledges Nobita as his friend after the drill incident. In the movie adaptation, he befriends Nobita after the chase scene, and even going as far to wish him luck in his quest to find Ichi right in that moment. He does retain his distrust at the gang at first regarding their secret in the movie though— however, the scene of him pulling Duc’s tail was cut from the movie.
    • For the movies in general, Takeshi “Gian” Gouda, the Fat Bastard bully of the series who steals people’s stuff, intimidates other kids into doing what he wants, and goes around looking for other kids to beat up, often gets this treatment, with his Boisterous Bruiser traits being played up more so he comes across as merely a lovable jock who, as the biggest and strongest member of the main cast, always looks out for his friends and has their back when the going gets rough. Granted, with each reboot and run of the series he has gotten less mean in general, but even then “Movie Gian” is memetic for how much of an utter bro he is in contrast to his usual self in the series, and in the original manga specials these movies are based on this was already the case.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Jiren's heroic traits are much more clearly shown in the manga version of Super, where he is first introduced into stopping a criminal riot and saves the other Pride Troopers from a monster they were struggling on, even postponing a talk with his leader until all the citizens are safe. He is also unwilling to join the Tournament of Power since that would mean the erasure of 7 other universes and only relents when Belmod offers him a wish from the Super Dragon Balls, but even then, he is fully willing to withdraw if there is any trouble that happens in the universe. This is in contrast to how is represented in the anime, where all we know of him is that he is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who does not hesitate to show them just how superior he is to everyone, doesn't seem to care for his comrades when they are defeated, insulting his leader for his less-than-stellar performance and even tries to murder all of Goku's friends and family just to spite him.
    • In the manga and the original Japanese version of the Dragon Ball Z anime, Vegeta is a bloodthirsty, amoral villain who slowly develops into a Nominal Hero, and then an Anti-Hero. In some English dubs of the anime, while he's still definitely a bad guy at first, Dub Text makes him more pragmatic and less sadistic, to the point where he even makes a We Can Rule Together offer to Goku. The dub of the Namek arc even gives him a Freudian Excuse (that he was raised by Freeza to be evil with no choice in the matter), which he didn't have in the original. From that point on in the dubbed version, he's more of a straight Anti-Hero.
    • Goku himself. The English dub tends to play-up his heroic side while somewhat downplaying his less noble aspects that are present in the Japanese version. A prominent example is after the fight with Vegeta during the Saiyan Saga, when Goku convinces Krillin to spare Vegeta's life; in most versions of the English dub, Goku invokes If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him! while also wanting to give Vegeta the same chance for a Heel–Face Turn that Piccolo got, whereas in the original Japanese, Goku does so only because he found the fight with Vegeta exciting and wanted to fight him again even at the risk of the Earth's safety, which he openly admits is a selfish desire.
    • According to Toriyama this holds true even for the original Japanese anime. He was dissatisfied by the “righteous hero”-type portrayal the anime gave him. In the manga, Goku is supposed to be depicted as someone who doesn't fight for others, but fights for himself to get stronger. He wanted to depict someone who isn't a classic hero and can even be seen as not being a good person because of his selfish desire (a little bit of poison that sneaks through his character as Toriyama puts it). However, even going purely off the manga, this depiction of Goku is lost in translation since most of Goku's motives still nonetheless pertain to protecting or avenging his family and friends, and he does help people he barely knows when it didn't completely relate to fighting, like storming Muscle Tower to repay Suno for saving him from freezing to death, and avenging Upa's father who was murdered by Tao before taking down the Red Ribbon Army and getting the Dragon Balls to revive him. He wanted to fight the Saiyans not because they were powerful, but because they were going to murder everyone he knew. He didn't want to help fight Buu, despite having the power to do so, because he didn't want his friends to depend on him to save them, which if he was completely selfish he wouldn't care and fight Buu for the sake of having a good battle. It could be said that Toriyama's original intentions for Goku ended up evolving into something slightly different as Character Development took over. Basically, Goku is a hero who at his core has a good, kind heart that cares for others and wants to protect them, but he also has selfish personal motives that can override his better judgement. Goku even sums this up to 17 by saying that he isn't fully aware that he's saving the world, he just wants to fight strong people. However, he can't stand by and watch others suffer.
    • Chi-Chi actually gets this too in the anime. In the manga, while she of course still loves her husband and sons, Toriyama still puts more focus on her Hair-Trigger Temper towards Goku, with even Master Roshi joking that Goku is refusing to come back to earth because he’s scared of his wife. In the anime, it's made very clear Chi-Chi adores Goku as seen when he recovers from the heart virus and she runs into his arms crying with joy before he spins her around. This scene does not exist in the manga. Unfortunately, Dragon Ball Super inverts this bringing Chi-Chi back to full angry housewife mode who’s more willing to painfully armlock her husband, but also ignores the Character Development she had in the Buu Saga like how she was the one who trained Goten in martial arts.
    • Downplayed with Bardock in Dragon Ball Minus and Dragon Ball Super: Broly, in his debut TV special. He is still a bloodthirsty Villain Protagonist who is dedicated to massacring populations, but shows a genuine concern for his son that was not demonstrated by the version of the special.
    • Broly himself undergoes this in Dragon Ball Super: Broly. In the non-serial movies that came before, Broly was a sadistic Blood Knight who proudly likens himself to a demon and is utterly obsessed with killing Goku. In the Super movie, however, Broly is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who lived in isolation and readily makes friends with the people that find him. By the movie's end, not only does he survive, but he also becomes a friendly rival for Goku.
  • Elfen Lied: While still a murderous Villain Protagonist, Lucy is considerably less sadistic and Ax-Crazy in the anime than in the manga, where she was prone to Evil Laughs and Slasher Smiles while literally tearing people to shreds.
  • Aquarius in Fairy Tail was a virtually through-and-through Jerkass who belittled, threatened, and sometimes even attacked Lucy whenever the two appeared together, with just a few Pet the Dog moments to show that she wasn't totally heartless. The anime adaptation sprinkled in a few more kind gestures towards Lucy and toned down her harsh attitude, particularly in the Filler arc leading up to her Heroic Sacrifice in the manga's next major arc, which helped make the scene more poignant.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA:
    • Illya is a total far cry from the Creepy Child Anti-Hero that she was in Fate/stay night. This version of Illya is a Born Lucky Magical Girl. Her attraction to Shiro also devolves from a creepy obsession to Big Brother Worship. Justified in that in this Alternate Timeline, so she doesn't go through the same events as the one in FS/N along with the fact the darker side of her personality was sealed away and eventually manifested in her clone Chloe.
    • Likewise, Kirei is just a ramen (read: mapo tofu) shop owner and he apparently satisfies his sadist urges by serving hellishly spicy mapo tofu. It turns out he's from Miyu's universe, not Illya's universe (where his counterpart implicitly died in the Fourth Holy Grail War, so he had about the same level of Character Development into a villain-to-be up to Fate Zero), and he's been helping Shirou protect Miyu from the Ainsworth.
  • The titular character of King of Bandit Jing is a lot more noble and gentlemanly in the Anime than in the Manga.
  • Little Witch Academia (2017): In the films, Diana is a fairly jerkish Academic Alpha Bitch who is prejudiced against Akko for not being from a magical family, never misses a chance to berate her for lack of skill when it comes to magic, and refuses to help her when there's nothing for her to gain. In the TV series, Diana is helpful to the other students and a very hard worker when it comes to learning magic, while her criticisms of Akko comes from a genuine but condescending desire that she be a better student.
  • Shioriko in Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club is significantly more mellow and tolerant than she was in Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS. In both versions she believes that pursuing something that she isn't suited for will only lead to hearbreak and regret, but in the game she applies this philosophy to everyone, and is a major antagonist for multiple chapters in her attempts to interfere with Nijigasaki's clubs and the Idol club particularly. She is also pretty ruthless in her ultimately successful campaign to become Student Council President over Setsuna, whereas in the anime she is highly supportive of Setsuna and says she has no problem with her being the president on top of being an idol because she's doing really well at both already. The ultimate result is that game Shioriko is a Spock-like Defrosting Ice Queen, whereas anime Shioriko merely seems shy and lacking in self-esteem.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Rebellion: Much like the video games, Bernard Monsha toned down from his original perverted asshole characterization from Stardust Memory. His sexual harassment of the crewmembers is dropped, and his attempt to crash Kou's fighter for petty reasons is done by Allen instead. He doesn't like Kou but doesn't hone in on him nearly as much as in the OVA and late in the series he saves Kou's life by finding a blood donor when he's injured.
  • One Piece:
    • Several characters such as Zoro, Nami, Sanji or Law occasionally have their rude and jerkass behaviour from the manga downplayed in the anime and their nicer attributes played up. Law for example, due to censorship, doesn't flip off Eustass Kid upon meeting him in Sabaody. A better example would be Sanji, who in the manga doesn't readily show compassion to his male crewmates, and even at the start of Wano arc, when the Sunny is being sucked in a whirlpool, Sanji says he only cares about carrying Nami and Carrot to safety, much to the despair of Chopper and Brook. In the anime version, Sanji makes it clear to a sobbing Chopper (who's clinging to his leg) he was just joking and he of course wouldn't abandon him.
      • More disturbingly, a throwaway line in the manga version of the Saobaody arc has Sanji grinning about beautiful slave-girls for sale. In the anime, he immediately expresses disgust at the slave auction (something that, depending on how far one views Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil, may well tip the scale into outright Adaptational Heroism). The anime version also better lines up with Sanji's past, where he himself was chained and imprisoned by his father.
    • Rob Lucci gets this in One Piece Stampede. In the manga Lucci is such a brutal Knight Templar and Psycho for Hire that he is willingly to kill innocent civilians in the name of "justice", mauls Luffy as a Leopard and by his post Time Skip appearance stands guard with a Psychotic Smirk as a Celestial Dragon attempts to make Shirahoshi a Sex Slave. In Stampede however Lucci willingly helps the heroes as an Aloof Ally againist Douglas Bullet and even saves Buggy's life.
  • Persona 5: The Animation:
    • Ryuji is already a good person, but unlike in the game, he doesn't threaten Ren out of fear of being ratted out to Kamoshida. Before going to Kamoshida's Palace for the third time, he doesn't yell at Ann to stay out, even if his intention was to make sure she didn't put herself in danger. Also, when Morgana left as a result of his insecurities, Ryuji is the most concerned and tries to genuinely apologize for calling him useless, whereas in the game, he was forced to do it, and the backhanded nature of his apology ended up protracting the conflict.
    • Sojiro is a lot less harsh with Ren in his first appearance and reprimands him far less harshly after his first day at school. He also doesn't need to be convinced to let Ren keep Morgana like he did in the game, despite the fact that as the owner of a café, he has a legitimate reason to not want a pet. Later, when he finds Futaba's calling card, he waits until they've both calmed down from the initial shock before discussing it with her and Ren in a very polite, civil manner, unlike the game where his Anger Born of Worry causes Futaba to break down in tears. That said, he does apparently drive her into a days-long Heroic BSoD by harshly confronting her about the calling card.
    • During the food buffet scene in Episode 5, Ann does not briefly lash out at Ren and Ryuji like in the game, since she's more hurt than angry as over the incident. Instead, the three reasonably talk things out concerning the adults' mistreatment of them. Ann is not as resentful towards Makoto as in the game, and more readily admits that she couldn't do anything for Shiho, either.
    • Yusuke doesn't blackmail the Phantom Thieves with trespassing charges in order to get Ann to pose nude for him. When Ann shows up to pose nude, Yusuke apologizes for losing his temper and telling them to Get Out! during their previous meeting.
    • Eiko in Makoto's Confidant. In the game, she gets angry with Makoto after Makoto tries to convince her to break up with Tsukasa, mistakenly believing that Makoto wants to steal Tsukasa from her, and is cold toward Makoto the next time they meet. In the anime, she simply asks Makoto for money and repeats her request when Makoto finds her in Shinjuku. While in the game, Eiko's last heard from when Makoto mentions that they made up at the start of the Rank 10 event, in the anime, she proceeds to post Tsukasa's misdeeds to the Phan-Site, turning Tsukasa into a Mementos target. Afterwards, she texts an apology to Makoto and invites her to come to her house and share her Buchimaru collection.
    • While Hifumi's mother is still an overbearing Stage Mom, since the confrontation with her Shadow isn't shown, she may not have actually taken extreme and illegal measures to build up her daughter's career.
    • Several of the Shadows end up being downplayed examples:
      • In the game, Shadow Kaneshiro's final warning about Black Mask sounds like he's taunting the Phantom Thieves; in the anime, it sounds more like a Villain's Dying Grace.
      • Shadow Kunikazu in particular is a much more sympathetic character. In the game, he merely mourns his utopia with his dying words, but in the anime, he dies with tears in his eyes, lamenting that he'll never get to rekindle his relationship with Haru. Additionally, in flashbacks, Kunikazu was shown to be at least happy during his father's time as a kind cafe owner, and when the happy customers came to offer flowers for the shop's closing, he was crying Tears of Joy from the compliments of the customer before he started going down a dark path. Most of these weren't heavily implied within the game. Finally, during the encounter, thanks to Morgana's angst problem being simplified, Shadow Kunikazu doesn't resort to the Crocodile Tears and an I Surrender, Suckers strategy, so when he's apologizing, he's not faking at all. It also helps that the game omits most of the scenes with the Phantom Thieves observing the cognitive versions of Okumura's workers as robots, along with Haru confirming that she knows about the abuses of the workers happening in real life.
      • While Shadow Sae still pulls her Moving the Goalposts trick at the Bridge of Judgement, and forces Ren to fight three Rangdas in the first round of the Battle Arenanote , the rest of her Palace isn't as blatantly rigged as it is in the game. Her boss battle is even fought fair and square, skipping the opening phase with the rigged roulette wheel. However, this does cause some of her speeches about how everything is rigged in her favor to ring somewhat hollow.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Generally speaking, any Pokémon species that's sinister, a jerkass, or insanely violent even by Pokémon standards in the games, can and will get those traits toned down or outright omitted in the anime. Dark-type Pokémon (which includes the likes of Tyranitar, Hydreigon, and Hoopa Unbound) get hit with this more often than not.
    • Clair's anime personality is far nicer than her Jerkass game one, complimenting Ash mid-battle and not showing any of her Sore Loser moments like in the game.
    • Ditto with Pike Queen Lucy, who is portrayed in the anime as an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, but overall rather nice and friendly. This could be attributed to her being attracted to Brock, though.
    • This happens with Gladion:
      • In the Pokémon Sun and Moon games, Gladion is an enforcer for Team Skull who is incredibly abrasive in conversation and a perfectionist in battle due to being disowned by Lusamine as a result of not wanting to follow her example. While his counterpart in the Sun and Moon series has shades of these traits, he is also shown to have a more noble attitude towards his relationships with people; such as treating Ash in a more friendly manner and fighting off Team Rocket and the recurring Team Skull grunts.
      • He also doesn't seem to have any relation to Team Skull and has a different reason for running away from home, which may imply the anime version of the character may be an even more morally-gray rival than his video game counterpart.
    • Both Charizard and Pikachu get this treatment in Pokémon: I Choose You!. In the main continuity, Charmander lost his respect and loyalty towards Ash when he evolved into Charmeleon and it takes a long time for Ash to earn his respect again. In I Choose You, he keeps his friendly personality even after evolving. On Pikachu's part, he kept his original personality from before the Spearow attack, however he lost most of his other bratty or jerkish moments from the Original Series. Ash's personality in the film also doesn't resemble his personality during the Kanto arc. He lacks Ash's brattier and more immature elements that disappeared after his Character Development. Instead he's more like his Hoenn or Sinnoh character.
  • This happens with Silver in Pokémon Adventures. His game counterpart from Pokémon Gold and Silver is the most Jerkass rival thus far, literally pushes you around, and is mean to his Pokemon prior to his Character Development. Silver in the manga is aloof but not as confrontational or aggressive.
  • In Queen's Blade, Elina Vance is one of the most jerkassy of all the jerkass characters in the series, being a Spoiled Brat and a Psycho Lesbian for her sister Leina and treats everyone else like dirt, especially those who are of lower class. In the Queen's Blade Unlimited OVA, she is much, much nicer, and it's easy to see it. She still holds a high opinion of Leina but it's much more subdued, and she is shown treating commoners more decently.
  • In the original manga version of Ranma ½, Ranma's other suitors are treated as fairly generic villain characters—if not from the start, then they rapidly devolve into it. In the anime version, Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi all receive a much softer touch and are presented in a more positive light—they still do many villainous things, but there is a much greater emphasis on the sincerity of their feelings for Ranma, and they also get to show off more benevolent, even heroic, sides to themselves. Shampoo is shown doing things like being willing to put her life on the line for Ranma's sake, and helping him train to overcome Happosai even without any stake in the matter, whilst Kodachi shows a genuine kindness and desire to help Ranma that would be unthinkable for the lunatic Self-Proclaimed Love Interest of the manga.
  • Naofumi Iwatani from The Rising of the Shield Hero is far less embittered and angry about everything in the manga, and more prone to acting light-hearted. The anime makes him come across as overall a better person due to not being able to truly adapt his internal thoughts and views on people like the original Light Novel did. Taking this full circle, instead of demanding for the King and Malty's execution when they were finally exposed, he has their names forcibly changed as an act of Cruel Mercy, mostly to spare the Queen from being forced to execute her husband and eldest daughter.
  • Inner Moka from Rosario + Vampire was a very prideful piece of work and it took a long time for anyone to get on her good side, especially Tsukune. In the anime, she warms up to everyone much quicker and her remembering all the good Tsukune did for her Outer Self motivates her to save him from being executed by Kuyou. She since puts on more of an effort to get along with everyone and also lacks the haphephobia of her manga counterpart, making her every bit as touchy-feely as her love rivals.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal:
    • Sailors Uranus and Neptune in Sailor Moon Crystal are nowhere near as antagonistic towards in the Inner Senshi like they were in the original anime despite remaining prideful overall. In the end of the Death Busters story arc, they outright attempt to kill Sailor Moon because they couldn't stand her idealism, forcing Sailor Moon to outsmart them before they admitted defeat. In Crystal, no such thing happens and they part ways from the Inners on peaceful terms.
    • Professor Tomoe was a full-on Mad Scientist in the manga, happily experimenting on his daughter Hotaru and serving Pharaoh 90 without any remorse. The classic anime instead gave him a tragic backstory of his wife being killed in a lab experiment and Tomoe trying to find a cure for Hotaru's condition, this being his only reason for working with Pharaoh 90.
    • Chibi-Usa, who was bratty in the original anime, is more civil, mature, level-headed and friendly in Crystal. She had some Character Development and Took a Level in Kindness afterwards, seeing as she and Usagi get along even better here.
    • Sailor Moon Eternal had Villain of the Week Hawk's Eye as a downplayed example. He's incredibly pleasant to Makoto, talks to her about her dreams. After he is defeated by her, he gracefully accepts his defeat and tells Makoto she has beautiful dreams and she should make them a reality. Compared to Fish's Eye and Tiger's Eye, who simply corrupt their targets, Makoto is actually sad that she killed him.
  • Saint Seiya: Saori Kido was often a cruel Jerkass to the Bronze Saints charged with protecting her during her younger years and was not above manipulating Seiya. In the movie Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary, all of her negative traits have been removed in favor of making her into a Plucky Girl. She is seen being far nicer even at a young age, as she used her power to heal Seiya after he protects her from a feral dog.
  • School-Live!: The anime changes The Reveal that Megu-nee has been Dead All Along and Yuki hallucinates her presence to happen much later than it did in the manga, and has Miki be a character from episode 1 instead of being rescued early on (thus adding her into certain scenes and having certain chapters become flashbacks). To avoid spoiling Megu-nee's death the anime removed all of Miki's confrontations with Yuki and Rii early on, making her a far more subdued character.
  • Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. Compared to how Knuckles of the games was usually portrayed back then, he's pretty much just close friends with Sonic and Tails, and there is no hinted animosity past or present.
  • In the Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee manga, Calibus Garrard is a cynical Jerkass from the get-go. He fires Largo Lloyd from his position as Bee Hive director and sends Lag to work in the Cold Letters division for daring to seek the Head Bee job. There's more to him than meets the eye, but he doesn't make the best first impression. His anime counterpart, who shows up earlier on, is still a cynical jerk, but he isn't quite as harsh with Lag, even as he pokes holes in Lag's more idealistic worldview. Subverted when it turns out that he's a Marauder who's even willing to murder Sylvette in order to achieve his goals.
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    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Donovan Baine of Darkstalkers is a Hunter of Monsters who views all Darkstalkers as banes of humanity, even the good ones, and never hesitates to go after them. This is toned down in the comic book adaption where he initially goes after Victor von Gerdenheim but pauses after realizing that he wasn't evil after hearing the pleas of Victor's "sister" Emily. After teaming up to stop a legion of demons from attacking a near by village, Donovan continues on his way and leaves Victor alone.
  • While still antagonists, Jem and the Holograms (IDW) toned down The Misfits compared to the original Jem. Their antics are a lot less outlandish and they no longer get away with obviously criminal or career ruining things, like destroying property every other episode. While they still can be mean, the comic puts much more emphasis on their friendship and Hidden Depths. Jetta in particular also changed fom the least sympathetic Misfit who barely cared for her band to a rather nice ladette.
  • Mister Miracle (2017): Funky Flashman goes from the con artist trying to use Scott for his own ends he was originally to a well-intentioned Cloudcuckoolander who genuinely wants to promote Scott and help his family.
  • Ultimate Marvel is infamously known for having nearly every character turned into the worst versions of themselves. However, there are a few who are much more likable than their mainstream counterparts:
    • Unlike a crapton of other characters in the universe (including Betty Brant), J. Jonah Jameson in Ultimate Spider-Man underwent this, as he was more reasonable, ultimately realizing that Spider-Man is trying to help, and starts trying to better Spidey's public image. And unlike when he learned it in Civil War, when this Jonah learned Peter is Spider-Man, he not only rehired Peter, he wanted to pay for Peter going to college and refused to act against Miles Morales.
    • In the comics, The Mighty Thor was banished to Earth because Odin decided to teach him humility after Thor got too big for his britches. In the reverse of the Avengers (and X-Men) getting the Adaptational Jerkass treatment as the Ultimates, here, Thor came to Earth to help it.
    • Emma Frost in stark contrast to the rest of the mutants, gets this in Ultimate X-Men. Her mainstream counterpart is extremely callous, manipulative and has very few redeeming traits even after her heel turn to good. Ultimate Universe Emma is much nicer being an Actual Pacifist, who never uses her telepathy in a harmful way. Unfortunately this did not spare her from getting needlessly killed in Ultimatum for the sake of shocking the readers.
  • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Barbara-Ann Minerva, aka Cheetah, goes from an amoral collector of historical artifacts who gladly gained horrific powers to a much kinder archeologist who was friends with Diana before being horrifically transformed into a Tragic Villain.
  • Wonder Woman: Black and Gold: In "The Acquaintance" Circe, who is usually fantastically amoral and cruel, gets on rather well with Diana when the heroine comes to her mansion looking for Superman.
  • While he's still a villain, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters's take of King Ghidorah isn't as antagonistic as other incarnations. Fittingly, he sports a sized-up version of Ghidorah's design from Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!.
  • Comic Book/Spider-Man Marvel Age: JJ Jameson, while still a grumpy boss is far more benign and friendly with Peter. For example, since from the start he has no trouble admithing multiple times that Parker is a very good photographer and tends to pay the right amount for Spidey's pictures. He also cares a bit more for Betty Brant: When he sees her sad, he asks Peter to go buy her a drink to cheer her up and he isn't as mean with her as in the 616 universe. His hatred for Spidey is even downplayed, since he isn't OK with Kraven the Hunter trying to kill him, since Spidey's still a human being, even if a criminal one.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In most versions of "The Swan Maiden", a man spies on the bathing maidens, and outright steals the most beautiful one's dress to force her into marriage. In The Brothers Grimm's "The Drummer", the male lead simply picks an apparently abandoned dress that he finds lying on the ground by the lakeside, he willingly hands it over when its owner appears to demand her property back, and he asks the woman if he can help her out.

    Films — Animation 
  • Alice in Wonderland: In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, when Alice is trapped as a giant in the White Rabbit's house, she deliberately kicks Bill the Lizard out of the chimney when he climbs down to try to pull her out. In Disney's version, she sneezes from the chimney soot, accidentally blasting Bill out, and afterwards says "Poor Bill."
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood has two examples:
    • Red Hood is shown to have a stronger moral code. While still a fierce killer, he only goes after criminals and not innocent civilians.
    • While Black Mask is still a terrible person, he's toned down from the comics. Here, while he often punches his mooks, he's shown being quite courteous with Ms. Li, never trying to physically hurt her. Also, instead of torture, he just has a fierce temper.
  • Damian Wayne in the comics is a sociopathic and arrogant brat who feels he's entitled to Bruce's favor just because he's blood, and even kills a few criminals. The Damian in Batman Unlimited: Mechs Vs. Mutants is a much nicer person, though he still has a chip on his shoulder due to being new to the role of Robin.
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie:
    • George and Harold are still pranksters, but are given more heroic moments compared to their borderline-Designated Hero counterparts. That being said, they're also still Anti-Heroes who do have their less-than kindhearted moments...
    • While Mr. Krupp is still a Dean Bitterman, he is given a Freudian Excuse of secretly being lonely rather than just plain cruel like the books. George and Harold secretly set him up on a date with the lunch lady that he has a crush on during the ending, which improves his mood dramatically and even causes him to give the kids the comics that he's confiscated while admitting that he found them funny.
  • Coraline:
    • In the book, the cat is extremely egotistical and aloof, only helping Coraline if he happened to be in the area anyway and if helping her didn't hinder him in any way. In the film, he's her Mysterious Protector and Servile Snarker, often going out of his way to watch over her, warn her against and save her from the Other Mother even when she's very rude to him.
    • The video game on the other hand, just splits the difference between the book and the movie. Coraline is considerably nicer and nowhere near as sarcastic and rude as her movie counterpart, but the cat on the other hand is much more aloof than the movie version, but still goes out its way to help her (and the player) in the end.
  • DC Animated Movie Universe:
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • The Fox and the Hound: In the novel, Tod intentionally lured Chief to the tracks to be killed. In this adaptation, it was a genuine accident on his part.
    • Hercules:
      • By modern standards, the Hercules of Greek Myth wasn't exactly a paragon of heroic virtue though Values Dissonance is in play here as well. He killed more than one innocent person simply for being too close when his temper got the better of him (although he was always remorseful when this happened), and he would go stage a HUGE war for a mere verbal insult one day, although he did go to great lengths to help his friends and his deeds did the world a lot of good. The fact that his volcanic temper was usually the result of Hera's doing is also a big factor. The Hercules in this movie is a wide-eyed boy scout who doesn't have many if any, vices. The worst thing he does is lash out at Phil for trying to warn him about Meg being in league with Hades, but he immediately comes to regret that.
      • As mentioned before, most of Hercules' original flaws came from his rage curse inflicted on him by Hera, who did this out of revenge against Zeus. This is all ignored on the account of Hera being the birth mother of Hercules in this movie, and thus all animosity towards him is non-existent, instead loving him like a mother would.
    • In the original The Jungle Book, while Baloo genuinely loved Mowgli, he was a Stern Teacher to the man-cub who did not shy away from Corporal Punishment to discipline him. In Disney's The Jungle Book (1967), he's a laid-back Big Fun character who would never hurt Mowgli.
    • Pinocchio:
      • Pinocchio lacks the mean traits of his literary counterpart.
      • Geppetto was clearly a loving father in the book, but rather mean and grumpy. Geppetto is far nicer and better tempered in the film.
      • The Talking Cricket (named Jiminy in the film) is more personable and cheerful than the stern, serious one of the book.
  • The Prince of Egypt:
    • The Pharaoh in the Book of Exodus, (named Rameses in adaptions after his possible Real Life counterpart) is a typical cruel tyrant in both the Bible and 1956 film. In the Dreamworks film, however, Rameses is a complex and sympathetic figure who acknowledges Moses as his adoptive brother and genuinely loves him, but out of pride and desire to live up his father’s legacy refuses to submit to his brother’s demand to let his people go. While the rift between the brothers widens as film goes on, even during the plagues Rameses still can’t help but care for Moses and despair at how their lives have turned out. In fact, earlier drafts of the story had to be rewritten, as Rameses came off as too nice. Ironically, later adaptions of the Bible story such as Exodus: Gods and Kings would crib this more sympathetic take on Rameses.
    • God actually gets this as well. Since it’s the Old Testament, God is a vengeful, booming and angry deity as seen when He speaks to Moses through the burning bush and terrifies the Hebrew. In a change of pace from the previous adaptations, while God is harsh at first, He then embraces the cowering Moses with gentle white flames and lifting him up, speaks in a soothing and comforting voice promising that Moses won’t be alone when he faces the Pharaoh. All in all, this God is much closer to the loving and benevolent Lighter and Softer God of the New Testament and other Gospels than the one seen in Exodus.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: While still a heroic character, book Quasimodo was much more asocial and inclined to violence, displaying a softer side only toward Frollo and Esmeralda due to them being the only human beings to treat him somewhat decently. This incarnation pretty much is a Nice Guy with no resentment​ or animosity toward anyone.
  • Eeyore in the original Winnie-the-Pooh books is a Deadpan Snarker and has the tendency to guilt-trip his friends into feeling sorry for him. The Disney cartoons omit this side of his personality, making him more of The Woobie.
  • Big Hero 6 has GoGo Tomago. Her comic counterpart was a criminal who was forced into the team to avoid imprisonment. In the film, she is a noble and kind Action Girl who willingly joined the team, if a bit aloof and snarky.
  • While still somewhat insensitive in How to Train Your Dragon, Gobber is nicer in comparison to his book counterpart, who was a great deal nastier.
  • Injustice (2021): While Superman still ends up falling to evil and commits his share of evil actions, but compared to his game counterpart, he is far less evil. His game counterpart, by the end, had fallen so far Beyond Redemption that he was willing to destroy Metropolis and Gotham and kill millions simply to set an example, and kill a teenager when he dared to question his plan and is stopped by force. Superman, in this adaptation, commits far fewer crimes and nothing on the level he did in the games and comics and is far less brutal and murderous and stays a Well-Intentioned Extremist while his game counterpart eventually devolved into a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist, and ultimately realizes the error of his ways and surrenders.
  • A behavioral example with Mr. Peabody in Mr. Peabody & Sherman. In the original cartoon, he was a strict and distant authority figure towards Sherman, and considered himself Sherman's master, not his father. He also treated Sherman like his pet and lowly assistant rather than his son. In the movie, while still aloof and insisting that he be reffered as "Mr. Peabody" instead of "Dad", he clearly shows he cares about Sherman, specially when we see the flashbacks set to "Beautiful Boy".
  • The Peanuts Movie: Snoopynote  and the kids are certainly nicer to Charlie Brown than they were in the strips or TV specials (with the exception of Lucy, who is (initially) as much of a jerk as always).note 
  • Disney Fairies: Vidia in the animated films is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who's rude at worst. In the books she's much, much meaner and is a Token Evil Teammate.
  • In LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters, Jason Todd, also known as Red Hood, is no murderer, but instead more of a slacker who just wanted to be loved by Bruce Wayne. He then became Red Hood when he thought otherwise, and pulls a heel face turn to help him save Gotham when he sees the truth.
  • Pinocchio (1992)
    • Pinocchio himself, since his bratty demeanor was edited out, pretty much like the Disney version.
    • The Cricket is more friendly than the stern, serious cricket of the book.
  • The film version of A Silent Voice had to remove a lot of scenes and elements in order to fit the story into such a short timespan. Kawai in the manga is an Academic Alpha Bitch and a narcissist, while Satoshi is a violent Bully Hunter. The film had to tone down or remove these elements.
  • The Ultimate Avengers movies have several examples:
    • Captain America is essentially a Composite Character, having the appearance and backstory of his Ultimate counterpart, but with a personality much closer to the classic, mainstream Cap. Thus, he's depicted as an optimistic Cape who believes in America's ideals, rather than a sexist, racist, homophobic bully like he was in The Ultimates.
    • While the Hulk is still a menace like in the Ultimate comics, he doesn't show signs of cannibalism.
    • Like Cap, Betty Ross takes after her classic counterpart in being a Nice Girl instead of someone whose Lack of Empathy would at times disturb Nick Fury.
  • White Fang (2018):
    • The titular wolf-dog from the novel endures a lot of abuse, becoming a twisted and angry animal before The Power of Love transforms him. The 2018 movie has him be more heroic, the abuse from Beauty Smith making him wary of kind humans at first before bonding quickly with Weedon Scott and his wife. He also learns from Kiche that helping the people in the Native American village brings positive reinforcement, so he works very hard to earn their trust.
    • Gray Beaver gets this too. In the novel, he's stern at best towards White Fang and beats him at worst for misbehaving. He even gives White Fang away to Beauty Smith due to being addicted to alcohol (as Beauty Smith had planned). In the 2018 movie, he's a kinder man who encourages White Fang to try his best, and he only gives White Fang to Beauty Smith (and gives away Kiche earlier) in exchange for money to save his tribe's land.
  • Superman: Man of Tomorrow:
    • Parasite is usually presented as a selfish, entitled thug. This version is a Tragic Monster and performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save people.
    • While still the rude degenerate he usually is, Lobo, after telling Superman and the Martian Manhunter that he wiped out his own people, claimed he was joking. If taken at face value, then Lobo didn't commit a Genocide from the Inside. In the comics and DC Animated Universe, he very much did wipe out his own people.
  • In addition to Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung also got hit with this in the Mortal Kombat Legends duology as at no point in either film does he pull The Starscream on Shao Kahn. Additionally, while stopping Quan Chi from freeing Shinnok would normally be Pragmatic Villainy, given Shinnok's an Omnicidal Maniac, Scorpion's Revenge also sees Shang Tsung chastise Quan Chi for betraying Shao Kahn while doing so, suggesting the idea that this version is loyal to Shao Kahn.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, Flash is a much nicer guy than in the comics and the previous films. When Uncle Ben dies, Peter goes sullen and violent in his grief, and when he gets violent at Flash, Flash just takes it and then asks, "Feels good, doesn't it?", implying that he has gone through something similar.
  • Bad Moon: Pre-werewolf bite Ted. In the book, he made his girlfriend Marjorie abandon her career as a photojournalist after they got together, but in the film, they both maintain careers throughout their relationship.
  • Catwoman gets this in The Batman (2022). In the comics and previous films Selina is more a self-orinated Femme Fatale, while she does love Bruce that often doesn't stop her putting her (often selfish) agenda above him and is frequently depicted as a neutral character. In the 2022 film, Selina is more selfless right off the bat, as she just wants to look after her best friend Canon Foreigner Annika whom is the prime reason she steals money in the first place. Unlike in other Batman media she doesn't emotionally manipulate or betray Bruce in this version, only wanting him to leave Gotham with her, for the sake of his own health and sanity.
  • Zigzagged with the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (2017). On one hand, his animated portrayal imprisoned Maurice as soon as he found the old inventor at the fireplace, while this version of the Beast leaves the man alone until he tries to steal a rose. On the other hand, in this version it's the servants who give Belle a room, rather than the master.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula: The titular Count receives a sympathetic backstory as a Fallen Hero that defended Christianity from Ottoman invaders and after his wife committed suicide following false news of his death, he became incensed that she was damned to Hell that he rose as a vampire to avenge her. Despite still being the Big Bad, he is given some positive qualities (like genuinely loving Mina Harker, his wife's reincarnation) whereas the original Dracula from the books never had any beyond his superficial polite veneer. In addition, his supposed plan to spread vampirism to England is completely omitted in the movie (though to be fair, this is never outright confirmed in the book).
  • Child's Play (2019): Instead of a serial killer who has his soul trapped in a doll and wanting a new human body, Chucky is an A.I. who genuinely wants to be friends with Andy. Unfortunately, a disgruntled factory worker shut off his safety protocol and Chucky becomes violently attached to the boy.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Suicide Squad (2016):
      • While he posed as an anti-hero early on, the comic book Deadshot's mostly motivated by nihilism and money. However, the film's Floyd Lawton, while still nihilistic, avoids hurting women and children, even going after other criminals.
      • While he enjoys conflict, Captain Boomerang isn't actively provoking people like he does in the comics. The film also downplays his racism, misogyny, and homophobia, which were frequent sources of tension in the original series — However, the racism and misogyny was meant to be included in the form of his Stalker with a Crush fixation on Katana, it just got cut from the movie.
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League:
      • Compared to the incarnation in Justice League (2017), Steppenwolf is doing what he's doing to be allowed to return home after going against Darkseid and doesn't go out of his way to kill people unlike the 2017 version, which seemed to be invading and killing people For the Evulz.
      • Aquaman is more sympathetic to Cyborg's suffering.
    • SHAZAM! (2019):
      • Though heavily inspired by the controversial Shazam! (2012) reboot of the character, this version of Billy Batson is far less of a jerk. He still has a chip on his shoulder and is quite sarcastic, but it's greatly toned down this time.
      • Likewise, Freddy isn't a lying con artist like he was in the New 52 comics.
    • Birds of Prey:
    • The Suicide Squad:
      • Bloodsport in the comics is an unapologetic Psycho for Hire who’d happily use an innocent woman as a Human Shield against Superman. In the film, he’s an Anti-Hero who becomes a lot nicer thanks to Morality Pet Ratcatcher II’s influence and is even capable of outright heroism by the end of the movie.
      • Ratcatcher in the comics is a craven lunatic who tries to plague Gotham with his rodent horde. In the film he’s a loving father who taught his daughter/successor Cleo that every creature has a purpose, even the lowest and filthiest form of life.
      • Polka-Dot Man is usually presented as a Boisterous Weakling or ridiculous Smug Snake in the comics, certainly not The Woobie and unsung hero he is in the film.
      • Peacemaker, while still a psychotic Knight Templar vigilante like he is in the comics, is given humanising traits in the film. Case in point, when forced as The Mole to try and kill Ratcatcher II after having just killed Rick Flag to prevent him from revealing America’s involvement in Project Starfish, Peacemaker shows visible regret, reluctance and internal conflict especially when he’s about to shoot Cleo. Comic Peacemaker, in contrast, does not regret any of the atrocities he commits, as in his warped mind it is always 100 percent justified.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: In the books the titular wimpy kid is a huge Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. In the movies, many of his Kick the Dog moments are removed and others are made more justified by the circumstances. Because of this, Greg's rivals (Patty, Chirag) act worse in order to make Greg's actions more understandable.
    • His older brother Rodrick was a Big Brother Bully in the books, in the movie, he still has shades of this, but after going through some Character Development in the later movies, their relationship became a lot more harmonic.
    • Holly Hills is a borderline example. In the books, she's only seen from afar, since Greg was never able to directly talk to her, but she generally seems like she preferred her own social circle, only seen interacting with Greg once and that backfired horribly. In the movies, she's a lot more social, bordering on All-Loving Hero, and actually returns Greg's affections.
  • In Elektra, Stick is a nicer, more caring person than the cynical hustler who put Matt through Hell while training him.
  • Forrest Gump changes the crass, outspoken and overall abrasive protagonist (for example, in the novel Forrest repeatedly refers to The Vietnam War as "a bunch of shit", farts in public, and uses racial epithets toward both blacks and Asians) to a Kindhearted Simpleton.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Due to the compressed nature of the film adaptations, several of the meaner moments of Severus Snape are cut, making him look more like a Stern Teacher, rather than a Sadist Teacher.
    • Oliver Wood's obsession with winning Quidditch matches, personal safety of his teammates in general and Harry in particular be damned, is also cut. In the films he's a simply a supportive and friendly Reasonable Authority Figure.
    • There are a few of these in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
      • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch Sr. has been described as a very stern and serious man, who, in his heyday as head of magical law enforcement, was known for his merciless approach towards Death Eaters and his ceaseless ambition. He would even sentence his own son to life imprisonment to further his career. In the film version, he comes over as a slightly socially awkward but amicable man, who even engages in a friendly conversation with Harry after the latter succeeds at the Second Triwizard Task. Film Barty is also shown to be emotionally devastated when his son is revealed to be a Death Eather, while his book counterpart shows nothing but contempt and hatred for him.
      • Amos Diggory, a boastful and impolite man in the books, portrayed as much more quiet and amicable; he does not boast about Cedric in any way and when he meets Harry, Amos is very pleased and shakes his hand happily, never once giving Harry a hard time.
      • A minor one for Draco and his Slytherin crew. In the book they talk disrespectfully throughout Dumbledore's eulogy for Cedric. In the filmnote , they're just as silent and solemn as everyone else.
    • Fleur's initial persona in the books is coming across as haughty and rude, before she Took a Level in Kindness when Harry tried to save her sister in the Second Task. And even when she stays at the Burrow before her wedding to Bill, she openly complains about how boring it is. In the film she just comes across as a bit aloof before thanking Harry, and the scenes at the Burrow are removed. Additionally the films cut out her being part Veela and using her powers to seduce a couple of the boys.
    • Similar to Snape, several of the more morally questionable acts of Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour aren't shown in the films. In the books, it is frequently said Scrimgeour acts ruthlessly to give the populace the illusion the Ministry is successful in the fight against the Death Eaters. He also butts heads with Harry on several occasions, desiring him to become the Ministry's poster child, which Harry disagrees with. In the films, the above is never brought up and the only time he's seen interacting with Harry is when he hands over Dumbledore's will. This conversation also doesn't almost escalate into a fight, as it does in the books.
    • Cornelius Fudge's role in the films hasn't exactly changed, but he doesn't appear to be as harsh as in the books due to many scenes involving him being altered or removed. His role in the Goblet of Fire film merely boils down to him not wanting to cancel the Triwizard Tournament so people won't see him as a coward, and his conflict with Harry and Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix is toned down due to several interactions with them not being shown.
    • Hermione's stubborn arrogance and ruthlessness are also greatly toned down in the movies.
    • Sirius Black counts as this in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix where he shows Harry concern and even comforts him after seeing Voldemort's snake Nagini attack Arthur Weasley, while in the book there are a few times where he doesn't show Harry concern.
  • Jurassic Park portrays John Hammond as a kind man who genuinely wants to create something amazing for the world, who tragically gets several people killed due to underestimating the danger posed by the dinosaurs and making some unwise decisions. Contrast this to the book, where he is portrayed in a much more negative light, being only in it for profit and willfully negligent to save money. Being so much nicer in the movie, he was also spared the grisly fate he had in the book.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Master Pakku is a sexist prick who initially refuses to teach Katara water bending and only warms up when it turns out Katara is his ex-fiancée's granddaughter. In The Last Airbender, Master Pakku immediately accepts both Aang and Katara as his students without any hesitation.
  • The film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen replaced the original Invisible Man — a serial rapist and murderer, which only differs from Wells' original novel character in that the first is confirmed rather than implied — with a burglar who'd stolen some of the first Invisible Man's potion, making this also a case of Decomposite Character.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In the films, Thanos is a Well-Intentioned Extremist, believing that if he doesn't do something, the universe will suffer from overpopulation, environmental damage, and wars for resources. He also leaves half of Gamora's species alive. In the comics, he worshipped Death the entity, was a nihilist, killed half the universe to as an offering to Death and actually enjoyed reliving his crimes when subjected to Ghost Rider's Penance Stare. In the films, Gamora’s people were decimated by Thanos who abducts her from her mother, whilst in the comics Thanos rescues Gamora from the genocide of her people at hands of zealots and adopts her. That said, his past self in Avengers: Endgame is a lot Truer to the Text, and when he hears that the Avengers have used Time Travel to undo his purge, he decides it's the universe's fault for "being ungrateful", and decides to just destroy everything and remake it in his own image, proving Thanos is ultimately a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist with a god complex.
    • While Robert Downey Jr.'s take on Tony Stark / Iron Man is still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold like in the comics, there's much more emphasis on the "heart of gold" than the "jerk" part (in particular, he's surprisingly good with kids). For one thing, while comics Tony still initially remained an arms dealer even after becoming Iron Man, this version began shutting down that part of the business the moment he got back to America. This difference particularly comes through in Captain America: Civil War; in the original Civil War comic, Tony willingly adopts ever more extreme (to the point of downright villainous) methods in order to enforce the Superhero Registration Act, while in the film, he's visibly bothered by the more extreme means used by the government to enforce the Sokovia Accords.
    • Similar to Tony, Hank Pym is much nicer in the Ant-Man movie than in the comics, where he's a deranged Fallen Hero who has hurt everyone close to him. In the movie, while grouchy, Hank is a Cool Old Guy who loves his wife Janet and daughter Hope and will do anything for them. In the comics, Hank has an infamously troubled relationship with Janet, which led to a divorce, and he's never even met his daughter Nadia.
      • Hope is also much nicer than her comic version, where she’s the psychotic Red Queen who tried to kill the Avengers.
    • Loki in the comics was evil and did his best to bring about Ragnarok and also caused mayhem on Earth as well. In the films, while he’s still villainous for most part, Loki genuinely loves his brother Thor, his mother Frigga and father Odin. In the comics he had no qualms trying to kill his Asgard family multiple times.
    • Nebula is an unapologetically evil Dark Chick in the comics who commits several atrocities such as destroying Xandar and in The Infinity Gauntlet she takes the gauntlet herself and tries to kill the rest of the survivors before Adam Warlock stops her. In the MCU, Nebula starts off as a nasty and tragic character in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), but by the time of the sequel she mellows out somewhat thanks to Gamora and the Guardians’ influence. In Avengers: Infinity War she’s more heroic and a bit nicer and in Avengers: Endgame she’s become almost unrecognizably compassionate and patient even to complete strangers like Tony.
    • invoked Miek in Thor: Ragnarok is Plucky Comic Relief, which is a complete 180 from the despicable insect bastard from Planet Hulk who got Hulk’s wife Caiera killed. Similarly, the hilariously goofy Affably Evil Grandmaster of the film is used as a stand-in for the Red King from the same comic storyline, who was a Complete Monster.
    • In Black Panther, T'Challa is a charming, friendly, and charismatic politician who gets along with most people he meets. This is in stark contrast with the comic book version, who is often smug, secretive, and standoffish towards non-Wakandans (especially Westerners).
    • Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture is a despicable old man in the comics who is always out for himself. In Spider-Man: Homecoming though he’s still a criminal Toomes only wants to support his family and actually has Villain Respect for Spider-Man to the extent where he doesn’t give Spidey’s identity away to the Scorpion when questioned.
    • Courtesy of Captain Marvel (2019):
      • Yon-Rogg is a sincere Affably Evil Kree nationalist who wants to protect his people and serve their interests, however ruthless and deceptive that requires him to be. His comic counterpart was a jealous backstabber who betrayed his subordinates for personal gain and was eventually outed as a traitor.
      • Talos is, in the comics like most Skrulls, a tyrannical Evil Colonist who later proves be a Smug Snake after he is branded a pathetic failure even by his own race. In the film, Talos, while ruthless when he needs to be, is conversely a compassionate Family Man who just wants his race to survive genocide at hands of the Kree. He's even willing to help SHIELD and Nick Fury against threats like Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home — something his comic counterpart would never do.
    • There's also some in Black Widow (2021), appropriately enough those that consist of the titular character's extended family:
      • Yelena Belova in the comics is a competitive, scheming asshole who was all business all the time outside of her very one-sided rivalry with Natasha. In the MCU, she's a polite Deadpan Snarker who loves her surrogate family (including her 'sister' Natasha) and wants a normaler life while possibly repenting for all the terrible things she's done under her mental conditioning. Even when she returns in a more antagonistic role in Hawkeye (2021), Yelena is at her worst an Affably Evil Tragic Villain.
      • Alexei Shostakov aka Red Guardian is a Bruiser with a Soft Center and Papa Wolf in the film, who regrets the choices he made working with the KGB and helps his surrogate daughter Natasha save the world to atone for his past actions. His comic counterpart is much less noble or nice, being a Evil Counterpart to Captain America who is ruthless and cruel especially to Nat whom is his ex-wife in the comics.
      • Melina Vostokoff is presented as The Atoner and Mama Bear to her pretend family of Alexei, Natasha and Yelena with whom she genuinely loves. In the comics Melina is the craven assassin Iron Maiden who despises Natasha out of petty jealousy for her legendary status as Black Widow.
    • While still a villain, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings depicts the Mandarin in a much more sympathetic and nuanced light, with him being more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely loves his family. This is in sharp contrast to the comics, where the Mandarin is usually a Card-Carrying Villain with very few redeeming qualities. Doubly so when the fact that he was made into a Composite Character with Shang-Chi's original comic book father, Fu Manchu, is taken into account, as Fu was usually portrayed as an outright Abusive Parent who had no problem with trying to murder his children to prolong his own life.
    • There's multiple cases regarding the titular characters of Eternals:
  • Matilda: Book Hortensia is a mean student who bullies Matilda and Lavender. Movie Hortensia is friendly and warns them not to anger the Trunchbull.
  • Of Mice and Men: The 1992 movie makes Curley's Wife more sympathetic by omitting scenes where she threatens and belittles Candy and Crooks. While she foolishly still flirts with the ranch workers (she's married to the boss's son), she's shown as lonely and pitiful compared to the conniving maneater of the book.
  • Punisher: War Zone:
    • The Bulats serve as normal Russian criminals types, and Cristu is also a smuggler in New York City, though Tiberiu is referred as being a Retired Monster. In the comics, they were former war criminals who became human traffickers. There's additionally the fact that Tiberiu goes after revenge on Jigsaw after he sets Cristu up to be arrested, whereas in the comics, Tiberiu and Cristu pissed each other off to the point they've tried to kill each other.
    • Pittsy and Ink are now father and son rather being those two henchmen and serve as Jigsaw's more sane teammates. In The Punisher MAX, they were equally as unhinged as their boss there, Nicolas Cavella.
    • Maginty is now the gang leader in a Urban Freeflow Gang who do their thing with Le Parkour. In the comics he was involved in a gang war where he kidnapped an elderly former "cleaner" for the Irish Mob and made him slowly slice up a living rival.
    • In the comics, Carlos Cruz and Castle were enemies due to Microchip turning on Castle and trying to have Cruz usurp the Punisher identity. Here, Cruz and Castle are reluctant allies due to Micro remaining loyal to Castle in the film.
  • Ready Player One: Alice, Wade's aunt, abuses her nephew in the book, pawns his stuff to pay for the apartment, and is a heavy drug addict. She is in all-out unpleasant person. All of her negative traits are instead passed down to her boyfriend in the movie and any jerkass moments she has are almost justifed. This was most likely done on purpose in order to add drama when she’s killed by Sorrento’s bomb.
  • Stargirl:
    • Leo and Stargirl’s fallout and breakup is lessened in the movie with Leo realizing the errors of his way and makes up with Stargirl at the winter dance. But this doesn’t stop her from leaving. Leo realizes his error too late and they never do make up but the book ends on an ambiguous, but hopeful note.
    • Hillari Kimble was just Mica High's Alpha Bitch in the book. The movie gave her an understandable reason to dislike Stargirl and, at the very least, acknowledges Stargirl's apology.
  • In the film adaptation of Starter for 10, Rebecca retains something of her Deadpan Snarker personality but loses the harsher Tsundere-esque tendencies of her book counterpart.
  • Venom (2018): In the comics, Eddie Brock's fall from grace was a result of his dealing in morally dubious journalism by writing about a fake serial killer. His previous appearance in Spider-Man 3 was not much better, writing a hit piece on Spidey using doctored photographs. In this movie, however, Eddie is a genuinely dutiful and diligent man whose stubborn pride and disregard for the rules costs him his job and his relationship. Driven home further later in the movie, when the Venom symbiote reveals that Eddie's good nature convinced it to forego its original plan to wipe out humanity with Riot.
  • What Maisie Knew:
    • The biological parents are a lot more considerate of Maisie's needs and do try to look after her, compared to the book version where they only had Maisie around with them for a few months out of spite towards the other. It's still Downplayed, given how Beale and Susanna are prone to arguing with each other whenever they are together.
    • Margo and Lincoln (who are originally named Miss Overmore and Sir Claude) are not only given a larger role than the book but are a lot more active towards Maisie, given that Margo is her nanny and Lincoln begins to progressively take more responsibility for her than her biological parents do.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: All three of the main characters (Roger, Jessica and Eddie) have been made much more heroic and genuinely likeable than their counterparts in the original book. Notably, the two sequels to the book softened them all up considerably to resemble their movie counterparts a lot more, particularly Jessica.
    • Roger in the book is very much a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing — he seems like a friendly, if somewhat overeager goof, but this persona is an act — in reality he's a bit of a Manipulative Bastard who thinks nothing of using people for his own gain. It even turns out that he actually is guilty of the crime he was being accused of, and was planning on framing Eddie for it all along. In the movie he's a genuinely Nice Guy who only wants to entertain people.
    • Jessica in the book is a true blue Femme Fatale and Gold Digger who never loved Roger and only married him because a genie made her. She dumps him for a richer man after the spell wears off. In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, she's a subversion of a Femme Fatale. She has all the surface characteristics but is a genuinely nice woman who loves her husband.
    • The Eddie Valiant of the book is probably the closest to his movie counterpart when it comes to morality, though even he's notably more of a jerk, as well as more casually racist against Toons. The movie gives him a past as a bit of a defender and champion of Toons, and provides him with a Freudian Excuse for why he doesn't like them anymore. The Eddie of the movie also undergoes some Character Development that his book counterpart does not.
  • Wonder (2012): In the book, Julian Albans remained the jerk he was at the beginning and changed schools. He didn’t redeem until the summer after the fifth grade thanks to his grandmother telling him a story But in the film adaptation, he's still a jerk at the beginning, but he becomes a nicer person at the end, attendance the graduation ceremony where he’s seen clapping for Auggie and (possibly) stayed at Beecher Prep.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Wolverine can often be a bloodthirsty anti-social jerk in the comics, the films keep the loner attitude but tone down his more unsavoury traits.
    • The movie version of Bobby Drake is much sweeter and more mature than his comic book counterpart's Jerk with a Heart of Gold/Manchild persona.
    • Emma Frost gets this in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in the comics, X-Men: First Class and in most media she’s a haughty Ice Queen who only begrudgingly cares for her teammates. In the movie she uses her diamond powers to stop bullets hitting her fellow prisoners, showing a great deal of self sacrifice.
    • In The Wolverine, Harada is far less of a Jerkass than his comic counterpart, who is a foreigner-hating bigot.
    • Mystique is a bitch queen femme fatale even when she’s on the good side in the comics. The Jennifer Lawrence version while somewhat mean at times, she’s still very compassionate to her loved ones and is Team Mom in X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
    • While Deadpool is still as crude and violent as ever, the movie version removes a lot of the selfish dickery comic Deadpool has in full. Movie Deadpool also doesn’t side with the villains like comic Deadpool often does.
    • Logan:
      • Its version of Zander Rice is nicer than his comics counterpart. They both see Laura as a weapon, but comics Rice also delighted in torturing her and went out of his way to make her life pure hell. (Now, movie Rice is utterly without mercy and a strong contender for the worst villain in the film franchise. However, comic Rice is known for a level of sadism-for-its-own-sake that isn't to be found in movie Rice's Pragmatic Villainy.)
      • Caliban in the comics and to greater extent X-Men: Apocalypse is a sketchy creep, in Logan he’s a Retired Monster who genuinely cares for Logan and Charles.
      • X-23 gets a bit of this like her dear o’l genetic template. In the comics being a Tyke Bomb she’s killed innocent people even as a little girl and remains stoic and aloof even with she’s with her loved ones as an adult. In the movie X-23 cares greatly for Charles, her fellow experiment children and her father Logan by the end and comes off as more innocent than her comic counterpart (several decapitated goons notwithstanding).
      • Donald Pierce is at willing to be civil to Wolverine and other mutants and even expressed respect for the former. The comics character is an egotistical Hate Sink who's hated even by other villains he works with.
    • Deadpool 2 does this with freaking The Juggernaut of all people. Sure he’s still a brutish unstoppable asshole, but this version of Juggs actually wants to help poor Rusty get revenge on those who abused him at the orphanage. Such compassion is usually non-existent for comic Juggernaut.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 13 Reasons Why:
    • While Clay does undergo Adaptational Jerkass, he also does more in getting justice for Hannah than he did in the book.
    • Jenny Kurtz's show counterpart Sheri Holland is shown to feel genuine remorse for her actions - accidentally knocking down a Stop sign with her car, resulting in an accident later - and is one of Clay's few allies.
  • Adventures in Wonderland tones down the Queen Of Hearts so that she's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold . She's still stubborn and short tempered, but she's more openly caring and willing to do the right thing.
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: While Holmes in the original stories is on the side of justice and has and a few people he really cares about, he's still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who tends be cold, moody, and high-handed. This series' version of Holmes is still very eccentric and has a mischievous sense of humor, but is warmer, friendlier, and less abrasive.
  • Ashes of Love: Both Xu Feng and Run Yu have their personality flaws downplayed in the series and become more likeable than in the novel, though this effectively changes Run Yu's moral alignment.
  • Babylon Berlin: While still a somewhat abrasive Cowboy Cop, Gereon is much less of a self-serving, ambitious and manipulative ladder-climber than in the novels. In particular, the early relationship between Charlotte and Gereon is flipped on its head - instead of Gereon seducing Charlotte to use her as a source of information on a murder investigation, Charlotte is blackmailed by Bruno to inform on Gereon's investigation.
  • The Boys (2019): The Supes are generally more personable than in the comic, where they're all deeply unpleasant.
  • Cowboy Bebop: In the anime, Spike famously hates "kids, animals, and women with attitude" and even suggests eating Ein at one point. In the live action Netflix adaptation, his first reaction to Ein is to go into Cuteness Proximity and starts gushing about how awesome dogs are. He's also generally nicer to other people and even empathizes with some of his bounties rather than simply trying to catch them and haul them in.
  • Daredevil (2015): In the comics, Bullseye is an absolute psychopath who can't go a single scene without showing off some misogyny, racism and/or casual violence. In the Netflix adaptation, Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter has severe psychological problems, but he's actually pleasant to all but the worst of people (Wilson Fisk), though this sociopathy begins to rear its head after he begins committing murders for Fisk.
  • Dear White People: Kurt in the film was a Jerkass who frequently expressed racist and homophobic statements with pride. In the series version, while still a huge dick and the originator behind the blackface party, his overt racism and and homophobia is absent and is just as horrified as everyone else by the campus police pulling a gun on Reggie at the party. He also tries to reach out to Sam to work together on a statement against the incident and in the Season 1 finale, delivers an Armor-Piercing Question to her about the effectiveness of her outrage-driven tactics. In Season 2, he's come around to understanding what the black students have gone through.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sansa Stark doesn't do things like calling Arya cruel names, such as "Horse-face", the way she did in the novels.
    • Septa Mordane is much less stern towards the Stark girls, and any time she reprimands them it's shown as justified. The show also gives her a Dying Moment of Awesome where she heads off four Lannister guards to get Sansa to safety when they start massacring Stark servants.
    • While Barristan Selmy was always a decent person, in the books he despised Jaime for being the Kingslayer and thought "he should switch that white cloak for a black one". In Season 1, he shares a mentor-student Friendship Moment with Jaime in which the younger knight hero-worships him and Selmy compliments him on being a Child Prodigy.
    • Tywin Lannister is a Chessmaster Pragmatic Villain Jerkass who mistreats his own children in both versions, but his scenes with Arya in Harrenhal in the show bring out a softer and paternal side that's not present in the books. Also, Book!Tywin is an all-out misogynist who locks Cersei out of the Small Council because she's a woman. In the show he's still dismissive of her, but when she accuses him of sexism, he says he distrusts her not because she's a woman, but because she's a fool.
    • Arya Stark has warmer relationships with Gendry, Hot Pie and even Sandor Clegane than she does in the books.
    • Loras Tyrell is much more mild-mannered and level-headed than the arrogant hothead of the books, as shown by his sympathy for Sansa and his intention to be a decent husband instead of simply treating her with empty chivalry as in the novels.
    • His sister, Margaery Tyrell, became nicer and friendlier to Sansa in the show where after her planned engagement to Loras was foiled by Tywin, who decided to have her wed to Tyrion. Margaery comforted her and reassures her that marrying Tyrion might not be bad. However, her book counterpart shuns Sansa after the plot to marry her to one of her brothers fell through out of political necessity (though still feeling bad for her), with only her Adapted Out middle brother, Garlan the Gallant, continuing to interact with her in a meaningful way.
    • Daenerys Targaryen never holds any grudges against the Starks in the show unlike in the books where she considers Ned Stark's as "the Usurper's dog". She also condemns what her father, Aerys the Mad King, did to Rickard and Brandon Stark and tells Jon Snow that she won't be like her father to the point of expressing sympathy to Jon for losing his two half-brothers (or cousins) much like how she felt for losing her own two brothers. In the books, she has a limited view about her father and when Barristan tries to tell her about him, she refuses to listen until she's in a better mood.
  • Gotham
    • Victor Zsasz as an Affably Evil merc for Carmine Falcone and the Penguin rather than the homicidal Ax-Crazy maniac of the comics.
    • The show's incarnation of Poison Ivy is a much nicer Genki Girl, if a bit dumb, instead of the human hating vamp that she is in most of her other incarnations. Then again this version of Ivy is still just a child. Her second self-induced age-up leaves her very similar to the comic book original.
    • Downplayed with Professor Pyg, who targets the corrupt cops of the GCPD, but mere as an excuse to indulge his twisted fantasies.
  • Guest from the Future, compared to One Hundred Years Ahead, on which it is based, has several examples:
    • Alice in the book is reserved, abrasive and hesitant to trust Yulia, often quarrels with the latter, and shows off at school (though the last part is due to Culture Clash rather than a genuine desire to boast – in Alice’s time, pupils are encouraged to be much more active during lessons than in 1976). Alice in the series is an angelic All-Loving Heroine who quickly becomes close friends with Yulia and never quarrels with anyone; though she still shocks everyone with her knowledge at the lessons, she only does it when asked directly by the teacher.
    • Maria Pavlovna is a no-nonsense Battleaxe Nurse in the book and a tender-hearted, friendly woman in the series.
    • Marta Skryl is a very persistent gym coach who sees Alice as a future sports champion rather than a person and refuses to listen to her when she says she doesn’t want a career in sports. In the series, she’s still all that, but she also gets to personally throw one of the villains out of the window, accept the fact that Alice isn’t going to stay in the past and win medals, and part with the girl on friendly terms.
  • In Kamen Rider Ryuki, Ren is one of the first cynical Secondary Riders to be introduced, and as such he refuses to be friendly with Shinji because they are both in a brutal There Can Be Only One tournament, meaning that they would eventually have to fight each other. In the American adaptation Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Len is much friendlier than his Japanese counterpart and becomes The Mentor to Kit.
  • Legion:
    • The titular character David Haller receives this treatment. In the comics, David is a highly unstable Person of Mass Destruction with a multiple personality disorder who has telepathically killed people on a whim. In the show, David is much calmer, more rational and more approachable, and when he's not being Mind Raped by the Shadow King, displays a benevolent attitude and compassion for his friends and loved ones. He's even capable of outright heroism, unlike his comic book counterpart.
    • Carrying on a tradition that started with the X-Men Film Series, Charles Xavier is a sympathetic Nice Guy who lacks the unpleasant Good Is Not Nice and Manipulative Bastard traits of the original comic character.
  • In The Mandalorian Season 2 Boba Fett who’s previously been portrayed as a ruthless Bounty Hunter, willingly aids the titular character against the larger threat of The Empire and promises to help retrieve his adoptive son Grogu out of gratitude. Although in Star Wars Legends Boba eventually Took A Level In Kindess as well so it isn’t exactly out of character.
  • In Once Upon a Time, when the character of Gaston is actually fleshed out, he's not a womanizing Egomaniac Hunter, but an adventurous nobleman who's much nicer to Belle and her father than he is in the original. His strife with Belle is caused by his being willing to kill an ogre youth without finding out if it actually has ill will, and after she leaves for Rumplestiltskin's castle and even after his death he clearly regrets it and wants to reconcile with her.
  • Preacher (2016):
    • Sheriff Root differs from his counterpart in the original comic book by lacking his racism and homophobia in addition to being less abusive towards his son.
    • While still a deranged Corrupt Corporate Executive, Odin Quincannon is more cordial to Jesse Custer than he was in the comics and isn't a racist.
  • The titular Raffles was a Villain Protagonist in the original stories, albeit of the sympathetic Lovable Rogue variety; in the (more light-hearted) TV show based on the books, he is a straight-up Anti-Hero who never flirts with the idea of more serious crimes and is much nicer and less manipulative towards his sidekick Bunny.
  • The 2017 series adaptation of the film She's Gotta Have It makes Jamie into a nicer guy simply by omitting the scene where he rapes Nola. In this series, his major flaw instead is being married while dating Nola.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): Played with in regards to Fernald the Hook-Handed Man; While he's not any less of a bad guy than his book self, he is shown to be considerably nicer to Sunny than in the source material, even being able to understand her baby language like her siblings can. Justified when you discover (or remember) that Fernald has a sister who he left behind when she was quite young.
  • Stargirl (2020):
    • In Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., Paul Deisinger was a Jerkass Evil Teacher who professed to hate children and had no problems whatsoever with using his powers to hurt his students. In the show, he's a Nice Guy who genuinely cares for his students and encourages them to reach their true potential, and his transformation into a supervillain occurs due to being corrupted by Eclipso against his will.
  • Super Sentai to Power Rangers
    • Several Monsters of the Week have much nastier and deadly schemes in Sentai compared to their adapted counterparts in Power Rangers. One example is Dora Sphinx, from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, who trapped four of the Zyurangers and several children inside trees that were about to be chopped down, endangering their lives. King Sphinx from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers simply wanted to separate Jason from the other rangers, using his wings to blow the others away.
    • Ecliptor from Power Rangers in Space shows enormous devotion to Astronema, acts as her father figure at times and even temporarily defects to the side of the Rangers when Astronema does so. His Denji Sentai Megaranger counterpart Yugande is shown to be devoted to his fellow villains, but not to this extent.
    • Sambash, from Seijuu Sentai Gingaman, is portrayed as a violent hotheaded biker without any redeemable qualities. Villamax from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy more or less resembles a chivalrous knight in terms of personality. He always keeps his end of the bargain and does not want to involve innocents in his battles against the Rangers. In fact, he performs a Heel–Face Turn when Big Bad Trakeena orders him to fire at innocent people.
    • Bucrates, also from Gingaman is shown to be a crafty schemer, to the point of managing to blackmail the Sixth Ranger by keeping his sentient mecha hostage. His counterpart Kegler from Lost Galaxy is nothing more than a bumbling sidekick to the aforementioned Villamax. He's never involved in schemes against the rangers.
    • Tommy Oliver is an overall better person than his first two Sentai counterparts, Burai, who was obsessed with revenge (and in this case, Tommy was an outright case of Adaptational Heroism as he was Brainwashed and Crazy during his time working for Rita, whereas Burai was a willing participant in Bandora's schemes) and Kou, who was a Dirty Kid who groped Rin and lifted up her and some schoolgirls' skirts.
  • Titans: Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke, is still an absolutely terrible human being and a remorseless killer, but this version of the character cares far more about his family than his comic counterpart usually does. This is best exemplified by the circumstances that led to his son Jericho being rendered mute. In the comics, Jericho lost his voice because Slade refused to divulge the name of his employer to a terrorist called the Jackal, which in turn caused the Jackal to have one of his goons slash Jericho's throat. The same set-up occurred in the TV show, but this time, Jericho's throat was cut when Slade tried to fight off the terrorists to rescue his wife and son.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019):
    • Five is an Anti-Hero rather than a Sociopathic Hero as he is in the comic. He also displays no love for wanton violence in the show and genuinely loves his siblings, unlike the comic where he has no qualms shooting Vanya in the back of the head.
    • Vanya willingly joins the Orchestra Verdammten after her siblings spurn her and gets turned into The White Violin and almost causes the apocalypse. In the show Vanya goes through an extensive Trauma Conga Line thanks to her father, siblings and evil boyfriend leading up to a Heel–Face Turn which makes her a bit more sympathetic than her comic counterpart. In the second season she becomes an outright hero and redeems herself.
    • Diego is a vicious and murderous vigilante in the comics who debases his Robot Maid mother at a funeral, as he doesn’t consider her a person. In the show, Diego is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and The Cowl and he even spares the assassin Cha-Cha despite wanting to kill her after she killed his Old Flame. Diego also loves his robot mother the most out of his siblings, unlike the comic.
    • Allison never uses her Compelling Voice on Luther to cope with her divorce, making her quite less rapey and her ill fated relationship with Luther more genuine and tragic. Then again, Allison does get some degree of Adaptational Jerkass being the one who made Vanya forget she had powers and never telling her, but even then she was just a kid when her father ordered her to do it and she deeply regrets it as an adult and blames herself for Vanya’s breakdown.
    • Sir Reginald Hargreeves is a dreadful and controling father in the comics who never shows the slightest bit of affection to his seven adopted children. In the show, he’s still cold and cruel, but he does have quite a few Pet the Dog moments such as watching his children sleep, and smiling while listening to Vanya play her violin implying a more compassionate side than the comic.

    Mythology 
  • Done with both Scylla and Medusa from Classical Mythology. Both were originally depicted as born monsters, but later writers added them being cursed, to make them more sympathetic.

    Podcasts 
  • The Film Reroll version of Frozen skips the entire subplot where Hans tricks Anna into falling in love with him, making him come off as less of an emotionally-manipulative jerkass, but he's still the main villain of the story and still tries to kill Elsa at one point.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Jane Kangaroo is still pretty conceited, but has a lot more redeeming qualities than in Horton Hears a Who!. Her treatment of Horton is also generally nicer, or at least more well meaning than that of her book counterpart.

    Theatre 
  • Heathers: JD and Veronica are a lot less villainous than in the 1988 movie. The former, while still a killer, is far more sympathetic and troubled than trouble. The latter is less of a willing accomplice to JD's evil schemes.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (and its subsequent 2004 film adaptation) does this to Viscount Raoul de Chagny, the heroine Christine’s Love Interest. In Gaston Leroux’s original novel, Raoul is more of a jerk for a good chunk of the book, being quite possessive of Christine, stalking her, entering her dressing room without her permission twice and jumping to jealous conclusions about her mysterious tutor. Raoul only calms down much later after Christine explains everything to him. In the Broadway adaptation and film, Raoul does none of the aforementioned things being a Nice Guy whose concerns about Christine and her Angel of Music are well founded. Ironically, unlike most examples, this has a negative effect as while Raoul is a flawed character in the book, he’s still compelling, whilst the Musical version comes off as a Flat Character. This is partly why a lot of the Broadway fans prefer Christine with the titular antagonist.
  • Les Misérables:
    • Inspector Javert is an utter Knight Templar in the book whose unjust pursuit of law and order is presented as unique kind of evil as he relishes the misery he brings to others. In the Broadway adaptation Javert barring his obsession with Valjean is presented as more fair and displays no spite or disgust towards Fantine when he arrests her. In the film version, he also has a massive Pet the Dog moment pinning his medal onto the dead body of little Gavroche after the barricade rebellion is brought down, something that did not happen in the book.
    • Éponine while still The Woobie in the book, is very much a unstable Clingy Jealous Girl who resents Cosette for winning Marius’s heart and having wealth and happiness. She even makes sure Marius signs up for the barricades so he can be Together in Death with her rather than married to Cosette. In the musical her Yandere behaviour is greatly toned down thus making her unrequited love for Marius even more upsetting. She also doesn’t interact with Cosette as a girl in the musical while she mistreated her along with the rest of her family in the book.
    • Marius spends many chapters stalking Cosette, keeping what he thinks is her handkerchief (which he sniffs – although it's really Valjean's handkerchief) and somewhat resents Valjean for keeping Cosette from him. Unsurprisingly this subplot was left out of the musical adaptation and Marius and Cosette meet again and fall in love soon after their first meeting. Marius also feels disgusted pity for Éponine in the book, while in the musical and especially 2012 film adaptation Marius doesn’t look down on Éponine at all and genuinely cares for her a good deal.
    • Likewise, Valjean resents Marius at first for threatening to take Cosette from him and wants him to die at the barricade. In the musical, he prays for Marius's life straight away, with no animosity beforehand.
  • In Jesus Christ Superstar:
    • Judas Iscariot while still a Jerkass, is presented in a far more sympathetic light than in The Four Gospels. It’s made clear in his songs he genuinely loves Jesus, cares for the disciples and just doesn’t want them all to be slaughtered by the Romans, and is manipulated by the High Priests into betraying Jesus. This is in contrast to the Gospel, where Judas cared more about money and only regretted his actions when it was too late. In the musical, he despairs as soon Jesus is subjected to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by the guards.
    • Pontius Pilate, while more just than the High Priests and does question the people of Nazareth over Jesus’s crucifixion, still throws him to the wolves to save face in the Gospel. In the musical he spends the latter part of the musical trying to spare Jesus’s life, is disgusted at the bloodthirsty crowd forcing him and breaks down at Jesus’s whipping pleading with Christ to let him help stop his “self-destruction”.
  • Wicked has Elphaba aka The Wicked Witch of West. In the original book and most adaptations (barring Oz the Great and Powerful) the Witch is a Card-Carrying Villain who shows no remorse for her villainy and was a bitter person long before her transformation. In the musical, she’s Not Evil, Just Misunderstood Well-Intentioned Extremist and the events of the original story are presented as propaganda. This does result in Glinda and the Tin Man getting a good deal of Adaptational Jerkass.
  • Lots of characters from Be More Chill were made a bit less douchey in the stage version. Jeremy goes from a weird and chauvinistic incel to an awkward and scared kid who turns down an opportunity to get what he wants because he knows that Christine wouldn't be able to consent. Michael goes from fetishizing Asian girls and buying a defuzzer for his TV so he can see censored nudity into someone who tells his friend to compliment his crush on her smarts to flirt. While Christine is slightly less extreme, she goes from sort of rude and self-centered to dedicated to making others happy and just wanting to share her interests.
  • While the typically arrogant Klug has generally mellowed out in more recent Puyo Puyo games, Puyo Puyo on Stage takes it to another level, by having Klug do absolutely nothing to incur anyone's wrath (other than rightfully pointing out when people are being silly or dishonest, that is), and yet still be at the receiving end of a large part of the play's Slapstick.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Series, in addition to the Joker's treatment of Barbara Gordon:
    • Black Mask is shown to have possibly loved his girlfriend and didn't exercise sadism against his own goons, whereas the comics version disfigured an ex-girlfriend and shown a love for torture.
    • Mr. Freeze is shown to be less confrontational, willing to engage in an Enemy Mine with Batman, and actually does takes Batman's advice about giving up crime.
  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle did this for Weiss Schnee. Weiss in the game retains the haughtiness and bossiness of her Volume 1 incarnation from the show, but she does seems to be fairly friendly with Ruby, whereas in the show she was for a lot of Volume 1 incredibly dismissive of her partner and didn't respect her abilities at all. She also seems to get along well with Blake, even though in the show their early relationship was... rocky. She also seems to hold a lot of respect for Yu by calling it an honor to fight alongside the leader of the Investigation Team, something which he reciprocates. She also shows appreciation to Hyde for helping her against Azrael and Carmine.
  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth: In the original story (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), Obed Marsh is implied to have been a Card-Carrying Villain who summoned the Deep Ones to Innsmouth purely out of Greed and who was willing to give them whatever they wanted in exchange for their gold. His journals in the game make him out to be more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist, who only summoned the Deep Ones in order to save his dying city and then had to keep working with them because breaking the deal meant they would slaughter his people. His descendants are still just as evil as they ever were, though.
  • In Disney Magical World, the Queen of Hearts. In the original Disney Alice in Wonderland movie, she's the film's main antagonist, and a tempestuous evil queen whose subjects all fear her and who threatens people with beheading for the mildest offenses. In the game, she's an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain at worst whose threats are Played for Laughs; it's implied she never goes through with them. At best, she's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who comes to truly respect the protagonist.
  • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat: In the original Gamecube release, the plot was given as Donkey Kong wanting to prove himself as the king of the jungle, so he sets off to beat the crap out of any other potential contenders to the title of strongest ape in the country. Apparently that was a bit too antiheroic for Nintendo, as the later Wii release rewrites the plot to say DK is actually helping the monkeys following him around reclaim their land from the various bosses. (In both cases, the story is All There in the Manual, so the games themselves are functionally identical.)
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia:
      • Faris Scherwiz is an unrepentent pirate in the original, has a Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Galuf, and is extremely reluctant to admit any kind of sentiment (except towards her sister). OO tones all of that down in favor of having her act Just Like Robin Hood. She is much more prone to openly expressing friendship and affection, when even after her Character Development she would inject some kind of teasing into it.
      • Onion Knight is characterized as a kid who acts like The Spock to cover his insecurities, and who gets really defensive the moment there is a hint that someone is patronizing him. Likely due to him being Demoted to Extra and only popping up now and then to analyze the situation, he behaves more like a straight example of The Spock (although other characters refer to his ill-temper in some cutscenes, so maybe he is still being cranky off-screen).
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake:
      • Barret Wallace: While the original game's Barret did genuinely care for his fellow Avalanche members, he also tended to be harsh with them, calling them "screw-ups" after their successful reactor bombing mission, reacting with anger when Wedge asked about his pay, and sending Biggs flying during an impromptu sparring session back at their hideout. Here, he is far more pleasant and openly affectionate with them. He also intended for them to simply sabotage Reactor 7's Mako pump, rather than blow up the whole reactor like in the original.
      • Cloud Strife: At start of the original game, Cloud was literally Only in It for the Money and, while still heroic, he often came off as a dismissive headstrong merc before getting better over the course of the story. Also, thanks to having Zack’s memories, he had to be reminded of the promise he made his childhood crush Tifa Lockhart. Here, Cloud, regardless of the player’s choices, cares deeply for Tifa (giving her one of Aerith's flowers automatically) and actually flashes back to their conversation on the watertower while on a mission inspiring him to keep his word to her. He's also more compassionate and easygoing to his companions in general compared to his initial attitude in the original. On the other hand, Cloud does get some Adaptational Jerkass with how he treats others. When Johnny rats Jessie out to Shinra, Cloud immediately wants to kill him, and after beating Reno, Cloud tries to decapitate him while he’s on the ground before being stopped by the Whispers. Both instances shock Tifa and Aerith and is something Cloud wouldn’t do in the original game.
      • Yuffie Kisaragi. She gets a huge amount of this in the DLC Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. In the original game, she’s the most antagonistic party member next to Barret, if not more so since she literally starts off as a random enemy encounter who fights AVALANCHE trying to steal Materia. Even after being defeated and becoming a party member, Yuffie is still incredibly aggressive and bratty, coming up with rude nicknames for Cloud (“spikey-headed jerk”), Tifa (“boobs”) and Cid (“bow-legged ol' man”) upon meeting them. While none of the heroes take her exploits seriously and she proves to be nicer later on, Yuffie still robs the team and flees to her homeland Wutai. Cloud and company have to save her from Don Corneo before she becomes a real team player. In Intergrade, Yuffie, while still brash, is also cheerful and friendly, wanting to talk to Barret and Tifa when she first sees them instead of robbing them blind. She also isn’t particularly rude or impatient to anyone (besides Sonon initially), and is generally more of a Genki Girl. There is some In-Universe justification since Yuffie’s role has been changed from a Rebellious Princess Thief to a Wutai Special Forces Operative, who is stealing Materia from Shinra Robin Hood-style.
      • Tseng: Marginally. He doesn't slap Aerith as he did in the original, tries to assuage Reno's guilty conscience, and offers him vacation time. It's also mentioned by Elmyra that the Turks knew Aerith had to come to them willingly, so they've not been constantly trying to kidnap her, more just constantly nagging and harassing her.
      • Reno: A marginal case. Compared to Reno's flippancy about dropping the Sector 7 plate in the original, he expresses disgust at having to go through with it here, but then shrugs off whatever guilt he may have felt by rationalizing that "it's too late to grow a conscience."
      • Rude: Aerith outright says that despite being a Turk, he's not a bad person. His first fight with Cloud and Aerith is not because he wants to kidnap her, but rather to avenge Reno who was just defeated by Cloud. However, he is the one that finishes dropping the plate in this version.
  • The material for The Great Giana Sisters makes Giana to be a rude, rebellious teenager. She also outright mocks Super Mario Bros., while also being an overt ripoff of the same. The Giana Sisters DS reboot mellows (and ages) her down. Giana is just a Cheerful Child with a Fiery Redhead alter-ego (Nintendo threatening the oringal game's creators with a bunker-buster of a lawsuit stopped her from picking any more fights with Mario, in or out of universe).
  • In comparison to both his comic and film counterparts, the version of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy (2021) is much nicer. To put it in perspective, in the comics, he's an antisocial jerk while in the film's he's a selfish criminal who had no heroic intentions prior to meeting the other Guardians. Here, Peter is genuinely heroic, left the Ravagers prior to meeting the Guardians for his own reasons and was at least respected for his smalll role in the War, according to background information. Also both he and his MCU counterpart chose to betray Yondu, but while the film version did it simply for money, this version of Peter helped the Nova Corps arrest Yondu when he chose to kidnap a kid, which Peter disagreed with.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The original Spyro isn't a bad guy, but he's rather arrogant and kind of a jerk to others at times. This Spyro is much more soft-spoken, compassionate, and humble in comparison.
  • Mega Man: In the original Mega Man (Classic), Big Bad Doctor Wily wants to Take Over the World with his robots because he wants to get back at Dr. Light for being Always Someone Better. In Mega Man Battle Network, Wily is still a resentful villain (perhaps even more so); however, he was close friends with Dr. Hikari Sr. (Dr. Light's counterpart), and he also took time to raise a child of his friend when said friend goes to war, and he also disapproves of his son's actions, as he's an even worse Big Bad than Wily.
  • Paper Chase: In the original BASIC version, the physical education instructor is somewhat rude, calling you a wimp and potentially telling you to get lost. In the later-released Inform version, he is more polite.
  • Pokémon:
  • Ratchet & Clank (2016) has several characters undergo this to correct the World of Jerkass present in the original game and abandoned afterward. Whether this was an improvement is a matter of debate:
  • Resident Evil 2 (Remake):
    • Hunk receives limited characterization and still works for the bad guys, but is nonetheless portrayed as much nicer than he was in the original game. While the original Hunk was coldly professional and never cared a bit about his fellow soldiers, Remake Hunk notably refuses to throw anyone under the bus for his own gain and appears to be regarded as The Ace rather than The Dreaded.
    • Ada gets a bit of this, especially when Leon Takes the Bullet for her when Annette shoots at her. In the original, Ada steps over the fallen Leon and chases after Annette, only patching up Leon when he wakes up later and catches up to her (through a sewer) still badly wounded. In the remake, she treats Leon’s wound straight away and even puts her coat over Leon to keep him warm. Although Ada does get some Adaptational Jerkass towards the end, where she manipulates Leon to grab the T-Virus for her by kissing him, and even pulls a gun on him when Annette reveals the truth to him, unlike the original where Ada just wanted Leon to leave her to do her job, and didn’t use his feelings and heroism for personal gain.
    • Annette was a deranged Mad Scientist in the original game whose villainous actions were born out of Undying Loyalty to her equally insane husband William. She was also dreadfully neglectful and uncaring to her only daughter Sherry. In the remake Annette is actually trying trying to destroy the T-Virus and her violent actions are born out of not wanting samples to fall into anybody’s hands. She also shows regret for her terrible parenting and dies curing Sherry from infection and telling her daughter that she loves her.
  • Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
    • Carlos the deuteragonist gets this a bit in the remake. In the original game, Carlos while still a good guy was openly sleazy to Jill, initially quite the braggart and was dismissive of Jill’s anger of him working for Umbrella saying he’s just a mercenary following orders. In the remake, Carlos while still a bit flirtatious to Jill is much more respectful and caring to her and upon discovering the true nature of his employers and what they’ve done to Jill, he’s disgusted with himself and is humbled that Jill found it in her to trust him anyway.
    • Brad is completely lacking the Dirty Coward behaviour he is known for and unlike the original game genuinely cares for Jill and sacrifices himself to save her in a You Shall Not Pass! against instead of abandoning her and becoming an Asshole Victim thanks to Nemesis.
    • Patrick Tyrell is a trusted partner to Carlos, who selflessly aids Jill during the finale. In the original game Tyrell in the one scene he appeared in before dying was a deranged and paranoid man who pointed a gun at Carlos before getting killed by a bomb in a wall safe (or, alternately, shot by Nicholai and then blowing himself up to try catching Nicholai in the explosion).
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, this happens with Cartman. In the cartoon, he's always been a racist asshole who only looks out for himself and uses others to get what he wants, but in the game, Cartman is the first one to befriend you and provides tutorials for your character to defend yourself from enemies.
    • Subverted in South Park: The Fractured but Whole, where Cartman (as The Coon) is your mentor figure for most of the game and is the one who unlocks classes. He's eventually revealed to be the true villain of the game (via his Mitch Conner persona) and leaves your party permanently in the final day after it's revealed he kidnapped your parents (and eventually forces you to kill one of them).
    • The Bank Clerk, a.k.a. the "...and it's GONE!" guy plays this straight. He normally robs people out of their money without any remorse at all, and while he does the same to the New Kid he acually helps to return all the lost money with no tricks.
  • Spider-Man (PS4), in addition to the aforementioned Norman Osborn and Miles's relatives:
    • Even before becoming Doctor Octopus, Otto Octavius was an egotistical blowhard in the comics. Here, he's nice and humble. Or at least at first, considering he's the Final Boss.
    • Harry Osborn lacks his mainstream counterpart's anger issues.
    • Aunt May is supportive of Spider-Man, as opposed to hating him.
    • In the comics, Mr. Negative was only out to take over the New York underworld. While he's still ruthless and taking advantage of the Kingpin's fall from grace, the game sees Negative have more sympathetic reasons for his actions, namely he gained his powers and accidentally killed his parents after being experimented on during Osborn's attempts to cure his family. Additionally, in the game, Martin Li himself is legitimately trying to do good for New York and came to the country as an immigrant with his parents. In the comics, "Martin Li" was actually a Triad member involved in human trafficking and stole the identity of one of the people the organization intended to sell as slaves, though by making him a Composite Character with the real Li, this also does subject the real Martin Li to Adaptational Villainy.
    • Danika Hart in the comics was a YouTuber who only cared about Miles being an Affirmative Action Legacy (much to his annoyance), and was willing to sell out his identity first chance she got only to change her mind when she realized she was in love with his best friend Ganke. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales she's a steadfast ally of Miles because of the content of his character rather than the color of his skin, and respects his privacy.
  • A minor example, but in their home series, Inklings tend to be sore losers who throw ridiculous tantrums when defeated. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, they seem to be better sports, happily clapping for the fighter that won the match.
  • Toy Story 3: Stinky Pete appears in the Toy Box mode with no hint of his Evil All Along tendencies from the second film. Ditto for Zurg and Lotso. Possibly justified if they're different figures from the same toy line.
  • Yakuza 4: Shun Akiyama has had several unsympathetic actions removed between the remastered version and the original, most notably some transphobic language and an ill-timed rape joke.

    Webcomics 
  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Jason Todd's characterization in the comics tends to vary from bitter/crazed villain to Token Evil Teammate to antiheroic jerk, and his relationship with the Batfamily is tense at the best of times. In this comic, his mean streak is very downplayed and Played for Laughs, and he's on good terms with Bruce and the other sidekick-vigilantes.
  • Lore Olympus
    • Hades in the original myths was not the villain many works make him out to be, but he was also nowhere as kind or awkward as the comic presents him as.
    • Hera of classic mythology was vindictive and spiteful to a murderous extent, and the victims of her fury were more often than not the demigod children Zeus sired or their mothers, with the former obviously having no agency in their conception and the latter sometimes having fought against Zeus for fear of her wrath, but never Zeus. Here this is not the case, and she stands up against her husband's selfish ways.
    • Poseidon is presented with a laidback and carefree attitude, a far cry from the greedy, bad tempered and easy to offend personality of the original myths.
  • Megan Kearney's Beauty And The Beast: In the original fairy tale, Beauty's sisters were practically copies of Cinderella's stepsisters: futile, selfish and took advantage of her kindness. In the webcomic, both Virtue and Temperance love Beauty and are truly miserable after she goes to live with the Beast. Even if Temperance resents Beauty a bit because her young sister is their father's favorite, she gives her support when Beauty confesses to her family that she loves Beast and wants to go back to him.

    Web Videos 
  • Freeza gets this in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. He's still a genocidal tyrant, but he shows much more care and concern for his higher-ranking minions than his canon counterpart ever did.
    • Vegeta has a small moment at the end of the Cell arc — while in the manga and anime he was beating himself up over Goku and Gohan surpassing him, the abridged series has him quietly mourning the death of Future Trunks.
    • Mr. Satan also has a moment during the end of the Cell arc. He was very much a Glory Hound first and a hero second in the manga and anime as he happily stole Gohan's credit for killing Cell. In the abridged series, he almost told the truth of everything that he had witnessed, but he only took the credit for Cell's defeat after he was convinced that doing so would calm down everyone in the world.
  • Cid's behaviour towards Shera in Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged might still be pretty abusive, but unlike in the original game it's a front for their BDSM relationship. He's also less abrasive towards the other members of the team, and quick to give them Rousing Speeches to lift their spirit.
  • In MrBeast's real-life recreation of Squid Game, the soldiers and guards are a lot more affable than they were in the show. They act more like referees than just executioners, and they don't wear face coverings. They laugh and joke along with contestants, whereas in the original show, they were pretty much silent. By extension, Mr. Beast himself, given that the original man who started the games doesn't have a high opinion of the people competing in the games or the people MrBeast normally helps out. Even the game itself is this trope. Aside from the obvious fact that no one dies in this version, the original Squid Games only give money to the losing players on the condition that the majority the players agree to stop playing whereas every eliminated player from the second game onwards walks away with $2,000+ regardless of player vote.
  • While Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series made Kaiba more of a jerk, the Season 0 adaptation goes the other way, making Kaiba a creepy-looking but otherwise friendly Nice Guy, to contrast Season 0 Yami. Naturally, Kaiba being a nice guy ends up being such a dramatic contrast from his usual characterizations that it winds up disturbing everybody.
  • Cell from DevilArtimis's video series is depicted as less evil than his original counterpart and has some Pet the Dog moments.

    Western Animation 
  • Since Baby Looney Tunes is a show meant for little kids, the Looneys are much sweeter and innocent than their adult counterparts.
  • The Batman, in addition to the aforementioned cases of Batman himself and the Joker, sees the Wrath took over Killer Moth's role as the protector of Gotham City's criminals. His original counterpart was a Cop Killer.
  • Ben and Gwen Tennyson from Ben 10 get this treatment in the 2016 reboot. In the original series, the cousins were constantly jerks to each other, always butting heads and trading insults. Gwen in particular seemed to have hardly any faith in Ben, in one episode even accusing him of being the villain and never apologizing when proven wrong. In the reboot, the duo are on much friendlier terms, with the two outright referring to the other as their best friend on numerous occasions. While Gwen still acts as the voice of reason to Ben's bullheaded antics, she's generally supportive of him no matter how bad things get. In return, he's supportive of her right back.
  • Beware the Batman sees its version of Doodlebug from Arkham Asylum: Living Hell be content at being a vandal. His comic counterpart was a demon-worshipping serial killer who sacrificed Junkyard Dog, his friend in the series, to unleash demons.
  • In Castlevania, Dracula of all people is far nicer especially compared to his deception in the games and most media for that matter. In the show, Dracula never directly kills any innocent women or children and unknowingly spares the old woman who got his wife Lisa burned at the stake. Also unlike the games where Drac has no qualms hurting his son Alucard, in the show Dracula purposely avoids fighting his son in the Final Battle and directs his aggression towards Trevor and Sypha, only retaliating when Alucard gives him no choice. Even then when beating the life out of Alucard, Dracula soon stops horrified that he's "killing his boy" and actually lets Alucard stake him through the heart.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Batman: The Animated Series:
      • Several villains whose comics incarnations were essentially doing things For the Evulz gained sympathetic motives or personalities. The Mad Hatter originally had no backstory in the comics, but was introduced in the series as a victim of Love Makes You Evil; minor gimmick crook Mister Freeze's reimagining as an Anti-Villain was so successful it was later imported into the comics, albeit with Darker and Edgier elements.
      • The Crime Doctor was introduced in Detective Comics #77 as an outright villainous character. The Batman: TAS episode "Paging the Crime Doctor" turns the character into a sympathetic figure through portraying him as a good-intentioned doctor who helped his brother (crime boss Rupert Thorne) in the hopes that the latter would use his influence to restore his medical license.
    • Justice League Unlimited:
      • Huntress is a more heroic figure after she resolves her issues with Mandragora.
      • The Cheetah, Wonder Woman's arch-enemy, is portrayed as a Tragic Villain who only desires to become normal again and desires no role in evil whatsoever.
      • Ultra-Humanite is an Affably Evil Anti-Villain who never hurts an innocent rather than the insane conqueror he's usually portrayed as.
      • Hawk and Dove (The original boy pair) get along far better in this series than in their original conception; their ideological differences are expressed more as a brotherly teasing.
    • Though Static Shock still portrays Hotstreak as a Jerkass supervillain and Static's Arch-Nemesis, the show omits his white supremacist leanings. In fact, he works with multiple non-white villains without issue.
    • Justice League vs. The Fatal Five portrays the Alex Trent Bloodsport, much like Hotstreak, without his comic counterpart's white supremacist leanings.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • The series' incarnation of Gladstone Gander isn't as self-centered and smug as the comics version. Instead of gloating about his luck to his relatives, his flaw is relying on his luck to solve all of his problems.
    • This show's version of Scrooge McDuck is also more sentimental and jovial than his comic book counterpart who, while not a Jerkass outright, is far more acerbic and has a history of unscrupulous moments.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • With the triplets getting revamped to be their own characters, Huey is the one to go through this the most. While he can cause trouble every now and then, Huey is by far the most straight-laced and least likely to actively look for trouble, unlike his two younger siblings, who can be about as chaotic as their comic and mainstream counterparts. Huey is normally at his most destructive not when craving attention or plotting schemes, but when that familiar Duck family fury is pushed to its limit.
    • Gladstone returns to his smug persona from the comics, but he still qualifies for this since he's less overt in showing it, and his behavior is implied to be Innocently Insensitive.
    • It also has an example in the Ghost of Christmas Future: while he still looks like The Grim Reaper, he's actually quite mellow, even dancing with Beakley in the past.
    • Thanks in part to the show going Decomposite Character with Darkwing Duck and grafting the original Drake Mallard's ego and self-absorption to Jim Starling, the show's actual version of Drake is more humble and modest (though he still retains his dislike for Gizmoduck) initially, though later appearances does show signs of becoming more like the original Drake.
    • Daisy Duck is much nicer in this series then her mainline counterpart. She still has a bit of a temper, but in this incarnation it comes more across as a Beware the Nice Ones situation. Where the classic Daisy could be shrewish and unreasonable, this one is on the whole rather sweet and understanding.
  • In the Fantastic Four comics, Frankie Raye agreed to become the new herald of Galactus so that he would spare the Earth, but also made it clear that she didn't care about the likelihood that she would one day have to find him an inhabited world to consume, explicitly saying that it was an acceptable tradeoff for getting to see the universe. In the 1994 Fantastic Four cartoon, the dialogue exchange where she freely admits to being fine with alien genocide so long as she gets to explore the cosmos is omitted, leaving her motives entirely altruistic. This also holds true for the Silver Surfer animated series, where Frankie deliberately tries to use her powers to find Galactus suitable planets to devour that don't hold any sentient life, saying that she could never live with herself otherwise.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • Garfield himself is still on the grumpy side, but is more amiable and considerate than he usually is in the comic strips. One notable example is a quickie segment based on a strip where Odie got himself locked inside the car and turned out to have planned it when he starts eating the picnic food while leaving Jon and Garfield stuck out in the rain. The original comic strip had Garfield encourage Odie to use up all his remaining oxygen, while the quickie instead had Garfield berate Odie for being stupid enough to get himself locked in the car.
    • Lanolin, while still very disagreeable and bossy, is much nicer compared to her U.S. Acres counterpart, who was extremely negative and at times, downright violent with little to no provocation.
  • Harley Quinn (2019) does this to, shockingly enough, Darkseid. He is still the same ruthless dictator who desires the eradication of free will throughout the known universe. Hell, he is introduced crushing the skull of Forager after declaring the conquest of his world. But previous versions of Darkseid would not even entertain the thought of giving an army to anyone unless it would benefit any of his plans, and yet he does just that for Harley with absolutely no signs of backstabbing. He also recognized that she was only doing it to fill a void in her heart, and he genuinely advises that it won't work. Also, he dares not use the dreaded C word.
  • Hilda: In the comic books, Hilda is confrontational, a bit of a brat and even more overconfident. In the series, Hilda is much nicer, kinder and friendly.
  • Justice League Action:
    • While she's still a villain, Killer Frost is nicer than her other incarnations, especially compared to Justice League, Young Justice, and Batman: Assault on Arkham.
    • John Constantine is portrayed differently from the usually smarmy, cynical, self-centered, chain-smoking, alcoholic con-man with a low opinion of superheroes and a habit of pushing people away in the comics. Here, he's much nicer, as he's depicted as a deadpan, wise-cracking sorcerer and paranormal investigator with a much friendlier but still smarmy personality, and he's also a member of the Justice League.
  • In Fun and Fancy Free, Willie the Giant was the childish but dangerous Big Bad of the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment. In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he's a literal Gentle Giant friend of The Sensational Six.
  • The Lion Guard: Zira has a tamer and less violent personality than in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Instead of being blood-thirsty, she instead tries to get Simba's son Kion to side with her on the supremacy of lions.
  • Muppet Babies (1984) gives Statler and Waldorf of all characters this treatment. They always crack jokes at the Muppets' expense, sometimes going as far as making fun of each other. Here, they're honorary uncles to the Muppets, teaching them about how railroads work and ordering pizza for them.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: In the original, every member of the Evil Horde was a ruthless, bloodthirsty monster. In the reboot, while the Horde itself is still terrible, all the soldiers are much more three-dimensional characters. Except Shadow Weaverinitially.
    • Scorpia, who provide's this trope's page image, fits this trope to a t. In the original she was a slaver who was constantly at odds with Catra. In the reboot, she is endlessly nice to everyone, has a very strong (though mostly one-sided) friendship with Catra, and is a near-literal Cuddle Bug.
      Scorpia: Just so you know, I'm a hugger.
      Catra: Wha— [gets scooped up in a giant hug]
    • Even Hordak has some elements of this. While he is still waging a war of conquest against an entire world (and doing it far more competently than in the original), he at least knows how to engender loyalty in his troops. Catra was about five minutes from defecting because of Shadow Weaver's incompetent brutality when Hordak managed to get her to stay with a few compliments and a promotion. He also develops a trusting and respectful relationship with Entrapta when the two collaborate on his portal project. Finally, unlike his 1980s cartoon counterpart, Hordak does not lash out at his minions at the first sign of failure.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • The series' incarnation of Eggman is still a villain who antagonizes Sonic and friends. However, rather than having the plan to Take Over the World, he is more of a Punch-Clock Villain, doing it to cause random mayhem for the lulz. He occasionally helps Sonic without any ulterior motives, gives Tails advice on girls, and even befriends Amy after they find a common interest.
    • Knuckles. In the main universe, he's single-minded, antisocial, and at best is a reluctant ally of Sonic and the gang. Here, he's good buddies not only with Sonic, but a whole group of friends, and is kind and outgoing.
  • In the X-Men comics, Sunfire's defining character trait is being a standoffish asshole. During his guest spot in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, he was instead depicted in a much kinder and friendlier light, and even got Ship Teased with Firestar.
  • Both The Superhero Squad Show and Spidey and His Amazing Friends portray the Hulk as a friendlier and more laid back character than other incarnations, a strong contrast from the mindlessly destructive and perpetually angry brute he's usually portrayed as.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • Terra in the comics was a pretty mean character even before revealing her association with Deathstroke. She calls everyone names and is always fighting with Beast Boy. He sees it as Slap-Slap-Kiss, but she just doesn't like him period. In the cartoon, she is toned down into a genuinely friendly but troubled girl who gets mixed up with Slade.
    • Starfire is still a nice person in the comics, but the cartoon softened her up even more. She's less abrasive and hot-blooded in the cartoon, showing more dorky behavior.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), this happens with this incarnation of the Shredder, where his love for his daughter, Karai, is very genuine. The problem is that he has rooted himself so deep in his hatred toward the Hamato Clan, even his love for his daughter doesn't seem to matter, culminating in her mutation, which he still blames on the Hamato Clan despite him being the one using her as bait for the trap that did it.
  • This was put on display in the Thomas & Friends special The Adventure Begins which was a readaptation of some of the earliest stories of the The Railway Series books and TV series:
    • Thomas is far more idealistic and innocent than he was in his debut novel in where he would play tricks on the other engines and is something of a Bratty Half-Pint.
    • Henry is far more meek and gentle, and his hatred of the rain is treated more as a phobia (in the books he was merely pompous about getting his paint spoiled, if you don't go by the theory that Henry was actually having mechanical issues that day and had stopped in the tunnel to cover them up).
  • Total DramaRama does this to a few characters. Duncan is still a bully and a troublemaker, but he is far less cruel towards the other kids and merely just a naughty mischief-maker; Courtney is still very bossy and a huge perfectionist, but she is far less of a major Control Freak and lacks her Hair-Trigger Temper and cutthroat competitive streak; and Chef Hatchet goes from cruel and sadistic Angry Black Man to a strict but fair and well-meaning preschool teacher.
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots portrays Blades as a friendly but somewhat timid rescue worker, while his G1 counterpart is generally portrayed as rather bloodthirsty.
  • In X-Men: The Animated Series, Proteus is very childlike and naive, and more confused and misguided than outright evil. This is in stark contrast to the comics, where Proteus is a violent sociopath who has no problem with killing multiple innocent people for his own gain. As an illustration of how different they are, TV!Proteus' goal was to reconnect with his estranged father, while Comic!Proteus' just killed him.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • Compared to his — shall we say, controversial comic book counterpart, Scott is kind to his friends, likable, and much more unambiguously heroic in this series.
    • This also applies to Scott's younger brother, Alex. In the comics, Alex is a Hot-Blooded and rebellious Jerkass who frequently clashes with Scott. In the show, Alex is a friendly and easy-going person and he and Scott get along great.
    • Due to the series' changes to certain characters' ages, Wolverine never falls in love with teenage Jean Grey, and therefore never has the heated rivalry with Cyclops that is the cause for much of his Jerkass behavior in the comics (though the two did briefly have a leadership struggle). Also, while he always was fond of young mutant daughter figures, it would take decades of Character Development for him to be anywhere close to willing to play father figure with Storm and Xavier for an entire group of mutant children before any school for gifted youngsters or superhero team was properly established.
    • Sabretooth is more reasonable and plays well with others, as opposed to being completely Ax-Crazy.
    • Avalanche is a much more sympathetic character, as well as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He acts as Kitty Pryde's major love interest and even has a brief stint as a member of the X-Men before returning to the Brotherhood of Mutants.
    • Apocalypse is a Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to help mutants.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • The Light, the show's version of the Secret Society of Super Villains, are still villains, but they're out to make Earth a universal superpower. Additionally, Vandal Savage and Black Manta aren't as monstrous as their comic counterparts. Lex Luthor started out this way, but much like Batman in Outsiders, the same season saw Luthor descend to the petty vindictiveness his comics counterpart is known for.
    • Jade Nguyen aka Cheshire is often depicted as an Ax-Crazy sociopath who would sell out anyone, including her own children for her own ends. Here, she is depicted as a Punch-Clock Villain with a Hidden Heart of Gold who cares for her family and is capable of being nice to her team mates.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Nice Girl

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My dad the Devil

Teen Titans GO!'s take on the otherwise most dreaded, malevolent, omnipotent villain in all of DC.

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