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Because You Were Nice to Me

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Wendy: But why you? Why are you willing to go up against Roark for someone you barely know?
Marv: She was nice to me.
Wendy: She was desperate. She needed protection and knew how to keep you around. It didn't work out. You don't owe her anything.
Marv: She was nice to me. She gave me something I didn't know existed. I wasn't never even able to buy a woman, the way I look.
Sin City: The Hard Goodbye.

A character, sometimes the Butt-Monkey of a given work, is treated for the first time in their lives with genuine kindness and friendship. It may extend to the character's life being saved, and as such, they now may feel I Owe You My Life. As is such, they will be exceptionally loyal to their benefactor, even if the benefactor admits that it was all a lie.

If the benefactor is a villain, this character could either be their Morality Pet, or someone they cared about before the benefactor turned evil.

The nature of this character type is such that their loyalty to their benefactor will extend to generally absurd lengths. Not even the benefactor will be able to persuade them that they had cruel ulterior motives — this can be problematic if the Butt-Monkey in question ends up turning Ax-Crazy. Can be part of a Heel–Face Turn. Normally one of the defining aspects of the Harem Genre, as with so many girls all vying after one boy, usually the most amount of time the series can devote to explaining why they all like him is that he simply treats them as human beings. Though this trope is often portrayed sympathetically, it is also what often creates the Stalker with a Crush and the Yandere.


A character who follows this may be one that Desperately Craves Affection as well.

Will be immune to Twisting the Words. Often is also The Woobie. Related to It Meant Something to Me. See also Disproportionate Reward. Compare Character Witness and its animal version, Androcles' Lion. Contrast with its polar opposite, Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal, and with The Farmer and the Viper. May lead to Defusing the Tyke Bomb.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • 7 Seeds has Natsu quickly falling in love with Arashi, because of this. He was the first guy, especially one around her own age, who was kind and gentle to her. Semimaru later points this out, wondering if Natsu would love him, had he been nice first.
  • Absolute Duo: Miyabi fell for Tor because he was the first guy she ever met (once she entered puberty) who treats her Gag Boobs as merely part of the package known as Miyabi Hotaka and actually cares for her thoughts and feelings as a person. When she collapses on the track and field, he stands by her and helps her recover. When she sprains her ankle, he carries her to the infirmary. When she's feeling down, he offers words of encouragement. All without ulterior motives. For someone with Miyabi's life experiences, this means a lot.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi: Mayu ended up falling in love with Kaoru because he cheered her up when her own parents couldn't make it to her birthday party.
  • This is why Jun develops a crush on Takumi in The Anthem of the Heart. Having been friendless because of her elective muteness, he's the first person to stand up for her and befriend her, no matter how unwilling he was at first.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Ymir cites this as the reason for her devotion to Krista, claiming that Krista could smile at her even while knowing what a horrible person she really is. This devotion leads her to make a Face–Heel Turn and side with the villains since they need Krista alive and are the ones best suited to ensure her survival in the long-run. That they will probably end up killing Ymir either way is fine with her, as long as Krista survives.
    • This is why the Female Titan/Annie decided to spare Armin during their ambush on the Survey Corps. Annie is not a very approachable person, but Armin is the only person who makes an effort. Because of this, Armin is the only person she's actually relatively close to, and this is presumably why when she has him unhorsed and caught as the Female Titan, she lets him go rather than squishing him. This ends up biting Annie in the ass later: Armin uses this encounter as a clue to connect her to the Female Titan.
    • Mikasa's unwavering loyalty and devotion towards Eren stems from the day that he rescued her by ruthlessly murdering a group of human traffickers who killed her parents at great risk to himself.
    • After learning of Ymir Fritz's tragic past, Eren pulls the little girl in a comforting hug, and tells her that she is free. It is the first time anyone had shown kindness to her instead of ordering her as a slave. This is a crucial point of the story because it enables Eren to access the Founding Titan, and activate the Rumbling to destroy the world, as punishment for abusing Ymir's powers and legacy.
  • Ennis of Baccano!, an Artificial Human whose creator treats her like garbage, tries to sacrifice her own life to protect the first people who were ever nice to her. A third party jumps in and saves her.
  • Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts:
    • Minami likes Akihisa because he asked her to be his friend when she couldn't make any because of the language barrier; of course, this being Aki, he asked her in French instead of German. Likewise, her little sister Hazuki likes him because he saved up 25,000 yen just to buy her a doll.
    • A large part of the reason Shouko loves Yuuji is that he was the first person to ever treat her like a normal person while everyone else was fearful of her status as a rich girl.
  • In Bakemonogatari, one of the reasons why Hitagi Senjougahara asks Koyomi Araragi out. Koyomi was the only one who genuinely wanted to help her with her problem (though it doesn't help that Hitagi threatened everyone else who tried).
  • A villainous example in Berserk: the torturers under Bishop Mozgus reveal to Farnese that they are all deformed, ugly outcasts of society until Mozgus took them under his wing and made them his torturers. While they admit that they personally have no great liking for the job, it's the one time in their lives that they've been treated with respect of any kind, and Mozgus was the only person who ever reached out to them without looking upon them in disgust and horror.
  • Snake in Black Butler. He was close to the circus crew because they befriended them despite his appearance, to the point he would attempt to kill Ciel when all his friends disappeared, thinking that Ciel was the cause of their disappearance. He wasn't entirely wrong as Ciel's staff killed the circus crew for ambushing Ciel's mansion. He would eventually become loyal to Ciel after Ciel takes him in and like the circus crew, didn't care about his snake-like appearance.
    • Finnian admits his admiration and Undying Loyalty towards Ciel came from the latter welcoming him in his home and giving him a job as a gardener when he previously led a wretched life where he was a test subject in human experimentation.
  • In Black Clover, most of the Black Bulls' loyalty to the squad comes from their comrades' unconditional acceptance and love for each other in spite of being social outcasts. This is especially true for Noelle, Gordon, Grey, Henry, and Nero.
  • Possibly the case with Creepy Child Gretel of Black Lagoon. Since, by the end of her arc, it seemed that the only other human beings she actually liked were her brother and Rock. This is because Rock, the only truly decent human being in the Crapsack World of Roanapur, listens with sadness and horror rather than disgust at the coldly delivered Breaking Speech of Gretel, a little girl so traumatized by rape and torture with her twin brother Hansel back in Romania that murder has become the sole source of joy for them. He holds her in a tight embrace and weeps, begging her to accept the possibility that there is hope, and still a possibility of a new and happy life for a little girl like her. This act of sincere kindness, so alien to Gretel, was enough to move even a mass murderer like her to blush like a real little girl for the briefest of moments... leading to one of the saddest moments of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good ever. Her version of thanks was to offer herself sexually to Rock, thinking that is the only way an adult will appreciate her in return. Before she left Rock she stated happily "I hope we can meet against someday mister! We can have a picnic!" Sadly, she was shot in the back of the head by a guy with a revolver immediately afterward, as karma catches up with her for having pissed off Balalaika for torturing two of her men to death alongside Hansel.
  • Bleach: This is the reason why Nel follows Ichigo, protects him from Dordonii, shows concern over his injuries, and, ultimately, transforms back into her super badass adult form to fight Nnoitra. It is also part of the simple yet complex reason Sado/Chad and Ichigo fight for each other.
  • Blue Submarine No. 6: Hayami saves a wounded Mutio during the battle in Tokyo, even though they were fighting each other just moments before. When Hayami is later separated from Blue Fleet during an attack by Zorndyke's navy, Mutio recognizes him and saves him from drowning.
  • One of the reasons why Sato of Castle Town Dandelion falls for Shu is because he was one of her few Childhood Friends that remembered her after she moved back.
  • Meiko of Cat God was lonely and friendless as a child until Mayu reached out to her. This makes Meiko care deeply for Mayu and even consider herself a rival for Mayu's hand in marriage with her fiancee (even though all parties involved are female).
  • In A Certain Magical Index:
    • Shiage Hamazura was forced to become a lackey to the esper team ITEM despite his hatred of espers. While most of ITEM treated him poorly, Rikou Takitsubo showed him compassion. This leads him to save her life and they eventually fall in love.
    • Accelerator was once rescued from a horrible experiment by Dr. Kikyou Yoshikawa, and she's one of the few scientists who treats Accelerator like a person rather than a test subject or a Person of Mass Destruction. As a result, even before his Heel–Face Turn, Accelerator respected her and she is one of the only people he would actually seek advice from and listen to.
  • Code Geass has a big one late in the second season. Rollo continues to be loyal to Lelouch even after the latter has a nervous breakdown and tells Rollo in no uncertain terms that the affections he showed to Rollo were fake and all part of his machinations. Lelouch is naturally astonished when Rollo comes out of nowhere to save him from execution by the Black Knights. Lelouch, resigned to his death, begs Rollo to stop, insisting that Lelouch's life is not worth Rollo killing himself through overexerting his Geass. Rollo explains in spasms while freezing time that even if Lelouch's affections were fake, they were still meaningful to him- and that being with Lelouch was the only time in his whole life where he genuinely felt happy.
  • A Darkstalkers manga had Felicia push Jon Talbain to help the police catch a murderer simply because the victim was kind enough to pet Felicia in her final moments.
  • In Detective Conan, this is why Sharon Vineyard/Vermouth goes out her way to protect Shinichi/Conan and Ran, as they once saved her life while in New York during the Golden Apple case, even when after she was going to kill them. And on several occasions, she risks her life when defying orders from the Black Organization to protect them and Kogoro.
  • In Dorothy of Oz, Abee is so devoted to Mara because she was the only person to treat him like a human being and not beat the crap out of him for being unable to answer a question. He even states this in the second volume when they first meet.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Piccolo said this to Gohan when he took the hit for him.
      Piccolo: You were the first person to not be afraid of me.
    • Later, in the Buu Saga, Hercule befriends Majin Buu. When the latter is absorbed into Evil Buu to become Super Buu, memories of the kindness Hercule showed him ultimately spare him from the monster's wrath, even when Super Buu launched an attack that practically rendered humanity extinct.
  • In Durarara!!, this turns out to be the reason for why Tom is one of the only people that can keep Shizuo's temper in check: Tom was one of the first and only people outside of his immediate family to treat him like a normal person instead of a freak.
    • Interestingly, this also turns out to be the reason that Izaya cares so much about Shinra, who took a knife for him in middle school, which is probably the only nice thing anyone's ever done for him.
  • Elfen Lied: Lucy fell in love with Kouta because he was the first person to ever treat her kindly and not like a freak; she even explicitly states that the time they spent together is her only happy memories. Because of this, he's the only human she refuses to harm or try to harm.
  • In Endride, both Felix and Mischa have Undying Loyalty toward Demetrio because he was the only one to offer them kindness or hope for the future.
  • Fairy Tail had an example of Because You Were Nice to My Kind in the Oración Seis arc: Gemini came to help a severely weakened Lucy destroy Nirvana after seeing the compassion that she treated her Celestial Spirits with, unlike Gemini's master Angel who treated them as slaves, and later joins Lucy's team when Angel is imprisoned.
  • Fairy Tail Zero: This is the main reason why Zeref agreed to teach Mavis and her friends (the other founders of Fairy Tail) magic — Mavis, with her illusions, allowed Zeref to interact with the living by conjuring up forest animals for him to pet. Even to this day, he considers it his most precious memory. In turn, Mavis grew fond of him because of his kind eyes and willingness to teach her and her friends magic, making her his Only Friend. Years later, after they meet again and Mavis learns she bears the same curse as him, this friendship evolved into love. Unfortunately, outside forces made sure that their relationship was doomed to end tragically.
  • In Volume 10 of The Familiar of Zero, there is a particular exchange between a dragon and the protagonist of the epic tale "The Hero of Ivaldi", in which the protagonist is preparing to rescue a girl who had betrayed him from the dragon:
    Dragon: What a small being. Get lost. This is not a place you should come.
    Ivaldi: Return Roux!
    Dragon: That girl is your wife?
    Ivaldi: No.
    Dragon: What kind of relationship do you have with her?
    Ivaldi: Nothing. I had only stopped by at the village to have some bread.
    Dragon: You are throwing your life away just for that?
    Ivaldi: For that, I have gambled my life!
    • Josette's unwavering loyalty to Julio contains elements of this trope as well.
  • In the manga version of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, this is the reason why Sylvia is in love with Prince Levin. She explains to Fury that everyone treated her horribly just because she was a Dancer, and Levin was the first one to offer her kindness and partnership.
  • Food Wars!: Former Academic Alpha Bitch Erina willingly gives up her seat on the Elite Ten and stands up to the father that abused and controlled her throughout most of her childhood to fight and save the Polaris Dorm students and their Honorary True Companions (which include her cousin Alice and best friend Hisako). Why? To repay the kindness they showed her when taking her in after she ran away from home.
  • A romantic example in Fruits Basket. The reason Rin struggles to find a cure to the Zodiac curse is that her boyfriend Haru was the first person to ever want her. As a result, she's determined to thank him by breaking the curse and giving him a chance to escape the confinement the Zodiac are all under.
  • Hotohori's crush on Miaka in Fushigi Yuugi is a mix of this and Loving a Shadow. She is one of the few people (and the first in the series) to treat him as a normal human being rather than as an emperor, something he had hoped for even before meeting her.
  • Future Diary: Yuno's devotion to Yukiteru stems from him jokingly making a marriage proposal to her right after her Darkest Hour in which she killed her Abusive Parents, spurring her into devoting her future to him.
  • In Gantz, as The End of the World as We Know It approaches, Nishi goes on a rampage and kills his entire class after they pushed him out of a window. The only classmate he spares is the girl who gave him a love letter earlier in the day.
  • Girls Bravo:
    • It's pretty obvious that Yukinari was going to fall for Miharu considering that she's the only girl who treats him with genuine kindness and doesn't bully him or beat him up. Needless to say, he doesn't really hold feelings of love for Kirie who has a crush on him but brutally beats him up constantly or for Lisa who's insane and constantly tries to abduct him.
      • Made ridiculously Anvilicious by the fact that Yukinari has an allergy to women: every woman in both worlds the show takes place in, except for Miharu, causes him to break out in hives.
    • Yukina the Big Bad falls for Yukinari for similar reasons. She is also in a similar situation: Yukinari is the only guy that does not trigger her allergy to men. By the end of the series, she takes every opportunity to cling to him to make up for a lifetime of being starved of physical intimacy.
  • Nothing would've happened in Haou Airen, had Kurumi not decided to treat Hakuron's wounds.
  • Possibly the reason Yuki Nagato acts like Kyon befriended her in Haruhi Suzumiya; because he got a library card. (Ironic in that Kyon seems to have done this just to avoid an argument with Haruhi, giving him little clue as to Yuki's true feelings. Also, she's an Emotionless Girl.) As we found out in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, she's only three years old, and basically spent the first three years of her life being bored out of her skull, so Kyon getting her a card was probably literally the nicest thing anyone had done for her up to that point. One of her few memories of earlier time when she rewrote the world was Kyon getting her a library card. It was partially false, but still enough to give her a crush on him. Given the nature of the series though, any number of other explanations could apply.
    • This may be the case for Haruhi, too. Her bizarre and antisocial behavior prevented her from talking to people much or making any real friends until Kyon simply tried to have a conversation with her without treating her like a freak; Taniguchi and Asakura's comments imply that no one had ever done this before. She fixates on him pretty quickly, but the niceness part doesn't last long.
  • Hayate × Blade: This is why Isuzu Inugami became Momoka Kibi's sword-fighting partner; all the other students avoided Isuzu because she looked like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.
  • Hekikai No Aion:
    • Sheila, one of the evil mermaids, fell for Tatsuya because he was the only aside Ariel to show her kindness. Also, because she was afraid to lose him, she stopped thinking about avenging herself against Seine, the one who let her without voice and "killed" her.
    • Our protagonist Seine as well. She decided to go with Shimon, a man she knew absolutely nothing about, just because he was nicer to her than her abusive foster father.
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan: Ebina has feelings for Taihei largely because he was the first person when she arrived in Tokyo to look her in the eyes, rather than focus on her large breasts. His politeness and friendliness also helped.
  • Innocents Shounen Juujigun:
    • Guy decided to give up his bandit life and follow Etienne after the latter saved him from execution and offered what was most likely the first unselfish kindness Guy had ever experienced.
    • Isabelle's feelings towards Etienne are some degree of this, considering that the whole reason she fell in love was because of his kindness and purity.
  • Robert E.O. Speedwagon of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was just a common street thug with a Nice Hat before he attacked Jonathan Joestar. Rather than just beat him down, Jonathan showed him sympathy and kindness despite the situation. This had a big impact on Speedwagon, making him Jonathan's loyal friend. When he goes on to hit it rich in the U.S., the Speedwagon Foundation he creates is a constant source of support to the Joestar bloodline until the Continuity Reboot.
  • Ishigami from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is hated by most of his peers, so those who do show him genuine kindness easily earn his loyalty. It forms the basis for his friendship with Shirogane, his Senpai Kohai relationship with Kaguya, and his crush on Tsubame.
  • There's a recursive example in Kanojo Ni Naru Hi Another: Everybody wonders shy cool, kind, unflappable Class Representative Aya Kurakawa looks out for class delinquent Rinichi Sagara, unaware that she's repaying him for the inadvertent kindness he showed her by protecting her from bullies back in grade school. He wasn't trying to be kind, he did it primarily because fighting was his way of addressing his own feelings of inadequacy, but she's determined to stick up for him in the present because he stuck up for her in the past.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Kazuma goes to extreme lengths to protect and help one of the women of the Kannagi household, even while she's desperately (and fruitlessly, considering their respective Power Levels), trying to kill him. Both she and others are downright shocked by this since it's heavily out of character for the otherwise-cold Kazuma — heck, he even charged the family head an outrageous fee for rescuing his own kid brother. Ayano is halfway to eating her own liver out of jealousy, convinced that Kazuma must have fallen in love with the girl, but in the end, the truth is revealed... When Kazuma was a kid in the Kannagi household, he was constantly bullied by the other kids, since they're all Playing with Fire to a greater or lesser degree, while he was powerless. She was the only one who ever stood up for him, stopping the other kids from hurting him, more out of pity than anything else, but he still remembered it — and sought to repay her for it, no matter what.
  • In the first episode of Kill la Kill, the loner Ryuko Matoi isn't sure what to make of Mako Makanshoku calling herself her best friend despite not knowing each other for even a minute. Once Mako's family lets Ryuko live with them in the next episode, however, Ryuko stays by Mako's side to repay the favor.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako towards Kazehaya simply because he's the first classmate to return her morning greeting.
  • Koharu No Hibi: The reason Koharu gears her deep affection towards Akira, and the reason he decides to reciprocate. (It's Deconstructed later on).
  • Kotoura-san: Let's say, young people with superpowers or having a member of her family having it especially needs this.
    • In Episode 7, Yuriko reveals part of her past to Haruka. Shortly after her mother was Driven to Suicide due to accusations of faking her powers, some kids mock her. But then Dai'chi shows up and tells her that he still believed her mother was a real psychic. She starts to cry after hearing it, and Haruka later turns on the waterworks as well.
    • This is also true for Haruka herself as well, and that's why she's close with Manabe—he's the first person of her age that understands her problems, i.e. enduring more than a decade of social stigma and emotional trauma for being a telepath.
  • Laughing Under the Clouds:
    • Shirasu's very protective of the Kumo brothers due to having been saved by Tenka from bleeding to death and being taken in by the brothers in the past when everyone else wished him dead because he's a ninja of the Fuma clan. He goes as far as threatening Botan with a knife just to make his point about not harming any of the brothers. Subverted when it's revealed that it was all an act on Shirasu's part. Perhaps.
    • Hirari fell for Botan as a child because she treated him nicely and like a human being, unlike others did at the time. It does become stalkerish, and Hirari refuses to accept Botan's "no" on the matter and follows her so loyally that he is even reborn again and again until they meet once more and Botan finally admits she's also got feelings for him.
  • In Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Third Prince Kouha believes that he would never amount to anything due to his low ranking and his eccentric, violent personality. But his older brothers Kouen and Koumei treated him with respect and believed in him, causing him to be fanatically loyal to them.
    • It goes the other way, too — Kouha's entourage are all made up of outcasts who are fiercely loyal to him for taking them in.
  • Played with in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. The Wolkenritter would have been loyal to Hayate regardless of how she treated them due to her being the Master of the Book of Darkness, but since Hayate showed them kindness (and viewed them as her family), they were willing to go against her wishes in order to save her life rather than follow her request to leave the Book of Darkness alone and leave her to die.
  • In Mamotte Shugogetten, Kaori Aihara towards Tasuke after he saves her from tripping and offers his umbrella to her.
  • In Mayoi Neko Overrun!, Chise, the local rich girl, tries really hard to make friends with Takumi and his group of friends. In a flashback, it turns out that the reason why was because she felt isolated since no one wanted to associate with her due to her status, and when she tripped and fell, Takumi was the only person who offered to help her back up. Eventually, she does become a part of their group.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
    • Tohru used to be a Chaotic Evil dragon with an intense hatred of humans (and largely still is), until one fateful night, when she was mortally wounded in a battle with the gods, Kobayashi (while too drunk to realize how serious things were) saved her life, offered her a drink, and a place to live after finding out she had nowhere else to go, causing Tohru to break down crying and to fall in love with her.
    • When they first are properly introduced to one another, Kanna disliked Kobayashi because she thought Kobayashi "stole" Tohru away. After Kobayashi was able to see that Kanna couldn't go home because she was exiled and needed Tohru, Kobayashi offers Kanna a place in her home to stay. This gesture of kindness caused Kanna to view Kobayashi as a mother figure.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Banagher's main motivation when it concerns Audrey is that she made him feel like he belonged for the first time.
    • This also seems to be the reason why Marida Cruz is loyal to Captain Zinnerman: he's the first person who's ever treated her like a person rather than a possession.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, the flashback of the anime version of their first meeting shows that Sakura fell for Nozaki because he helped her over the gate and cheered her up when she was late for her first day of school and stressed over it. The manga version is less straightforward; Sakura was still grateful for Nozaki trying to help her out, but the events that unfolded were more bizarre (at one point Nozaki carried Sakura over his back as he wandered around thinking about Mamiko's design).
  • Why are the girls of Monster Musume and Deadline Summoner so loyal and affectionate to their "masters"? They were genuinely concerned for their well-being in a world where their kind is not looked too highly upon.
  • In Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, Jin is shown to have a very deep loyalty to the young prince Chagum. A flashback shows that the reason is Chagum was kind to him after he had been badly beaten for an unexplained transgression.
  • My Hero Academia; La Brava is absolutely devoted to Gentle Criminal because of this. After a love confession gone wrong, she was shunned by her peers and considering suicide when she stumbled on Gentle's videos. When she went to meet him in person, Gentle accepted her without another word, allowing her to use her computer skills to improve his videos and even drawing dark circles around his eyes in an effort to match her own and cheer her up. Gentle's own narration shows the feeling is mutual, as he was also a depressed shut-in until La Brava introduced herself and befriended him.
  • Most of Katarina's love interests in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! fall for her because they were all bullied or troubled in some way... and then Katarina was there to show them kindness and friendship. An incomplete list include:
    • Mary falls for her because she was the first to compliment her gardening skills.
    • Catarina thinks Sophia's white hair and red eyes are pretty. Since other people badmouthed Sophia for the way she looks, Catarina immediately endears herself to Sophia and her older brother Nicol as a result.
  • Naruto:
    • Haku was fiercely loyal to Zabuza because the older man said he had use of Haku's abilities.
    • Kimimaro was perhaps even more fanatic in his loyalty to Orochimaru, willing to sacrifice his soul and body as the man's next vessel or, failing that, dying to secure the one who would become his vessel. And all because Orochimaru was the first person to ever show him kindness.
    • Karin spends about a quarter of the series following Sasuke's every order and lusting after him, even after he tried to kill her and called her useless. Later on, we found out that sometime during the Chunin Exams, Sasuke saved Karin from a bear. The anime expans by noting that she was just used for her healing abilities (like her mother before her) by her village and Sasuke saving her was one of the first acts of kindness she got (also a surprising example of just how far Sasuke fell.)
    • A variation also appears with Neji Hyuga, who, during the Fourth Shinobi World War Arc, sacrifices himself to protect Naruto and Hinata. When Naruto tearfully asks why, he claims it's because Naruto called him a genius when Naruto beat him in the Chunin Exams finals. In reality, it's because Naruto was too important to the world, and Hinata was too important to both Neji and Naruto to lose on a personal level — Neji because she is his cousin, and Naruto because she is one of the most important people in his circle of friends.
    • Speaking of Naruto and Hinata, this is a key part of their strong friendship and eventual romance, as they always treat each other with respect and kindness, since they each were treated harshly by the people around them in their childhood—for Naruto, it was nearly the entire village; for Hinata, it was her own family, until Naruto beat Neji for her at the Chunin Exams finals.
  • It's basically how some of Negi's students end up falling for him in Negima! Magister Negi Magi. For instance, Chachamaru is a mix of that and the fact Negi cares about her as a person, not a robot and, most probably, gave her a soul.
  • This is the basis of the relationship between the two characters in Okane ga Nai — the Uke feels like the Seme is being nicer to him than anyone ever has been. This, despite the repeated rape.
    • And likewise the driving motivation of Kanou's obsession with Ayase is because of one occasion where Ayase showed him kindness when he was feeling down.
  • In No. 6 because Sion saved and took care of Nezumi when he was injured one night Nezumi became devoted to him.
    • Nezumi's devotion is actually even simpler than Shion taking care of him when injured. Nezumi is attached to Shion because when he was cold, injured, and lost all hope, Shion opened a window. According to Nezumi, at the time that simple action was like "a miracle" to him.
  • One Piece:
    • During the Baratie arc, Gin of Don Krieg's crew fights with Sanji, the only person who gave him food when he was starving and begging for food. When having the opportunity to finish off Sanji, he is unable to because Sanji offering him food was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him, and instead he tries to plead with Don Krieg to get Sanji spared.
    • One of the main reasons why Robin turned herself in to The Government she had been running away from her entire life was to protect the Straw Hats (which would kickstart the Enies Lobby arc). Her time with them was happiest she had been in her entire life — and she outright admits she cares about them more than the entire world. Yet she still convinced herself that in spite of their kindness, they would still eventually abandon her simply for the fact that the entire world itself was her enemy. When they proved her wrong by declaring war on the entire world just for her sake, it was only then that Robin realized that, after twenty long years, she had finally found her place.
    • Sanji manages to do this again later, with Clarlotte Pudding. As Big Mom's favorite child, she was supposed to be a Honey Trap and trick him into falling for her, then kill him as part of Big Mom's plan... but when Sanji told her that her Third Eye was beautiful, she fell to her knees crying. It turns out that Third Eye was the source of much bullying and heartbreak for Pudding, who is now in the process of pulling a Heel–Face Turn and actually fall for him.
    • This is part of the Straw Hat Pirates general philosophy, as they don't have to go around helping people, but when someone simply does something nice for them (no matter how small the act) in a world where pirates are generally feared, scorned, or hunted, they will stop at nothing to help them no matter the risk.
  • Following her first battle in the manga Online, Mai wins the service of the creature she defeated, the Slit-Mouthed Woman, as a familiar. Despite being warned, by the Slit-Mouthed Woman herself no less, that familiars could easily turn on their masters, the Woman (named Amelie by Mai) appears to be extremely loyal to her master for no other reason than the fact that Mai worries about her and treats her like a living person and not just a pile of data.
  • In Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, Hana ultimately decides to stay at the zoo because Shiina is the first person to ever tell her she's done a good job and that he needs her there.
  • Most spellcasters in Overlord (2012) regard their summons as disposable cannon fodder and nothing else. So when Ainz treats an army of goblins, downtrodden but intelligent begins, with dignity and genuinely values their skills, it makes quite an impact. When he summons them again later he finds that they Took a Level in Badass and are more than willing to help him again.
  • In PandoraHearts, Jack's obsession with Lacie stems from this.
  • In Pet Shop of Horrors, one story centers around a girl named Maggie, who abuses her dog, Daisy. Count D takes the dog and lets Maggie pick a "little sister" (human girl) from his shop in exchange. Maggie chooses the girl who is the most scared and weak and names her Daisy as well, only for the girl to quickly become far more loved than Maggie is. At the end of the story, D tries to take Maggie to keep in his shop as a pet, however Daisy stops him. It's revealed that Daisy the dog and Daisy the girl were one and the same, and had loved Maggie after she found and adopted the puppy. After Maggie chose her again, in the pet shop, Daisy was determined to return the favor.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this is part of the reason Homura wants to protect Madoka.
  • Ranma ½:
    • The "genius kunoichi" Konatsu becomes slavishly devoted to Ukyo because she treats him better than the abusive family that raised him.
    • And Tsubasa does this when Akane and Female Ranma express kindness to him.
    • This is the entire reason that Maomolin tries to "help" Ryoga win Akane's heart in the anime-only story "Ryoga's Proposal".
  • In Reborn! (2004) it's shown that the main reason Tsuna likes Kyoko is because she was the only girl in 12 months who bothered talking to him.
  • A consistent running theme in Sailor Moon. Usagi cares. This is shown in two flashbacks concerning her and the Inner Senshi: as the All Loving Heroine, she approached each of the girls (who were lonely for different reasons in their lives) without any fear or second thoughts, rescuing them from their withdrawn behavior patterns:
    • Fiore in the R movie tried to kill Usagi both because she was Sailor Moon and out of jealousy over Mamoru, whom he was in love with apparently because of how kind he was to him when they were kids. Turns out that both Usagi and Mamoru were kind to Fiore. Young Mamoru gave him his friendship and a red rose - and it was young Usagi who gave the rose to Mamoru in the first place..
      Rei: [to Fiore] You don't get it, do you?! If not for Usagi, we... WE WOULD'VE BEEN ALL ALONE!
  • Seraph of the End: Yuu states his reason for being so attached to Mika in the manga and being determined to save him is because Mika extended a hand to Yuu in friendship when Yuu arrived at the orphanage and because he "needed" Yuu. These pictures of Yuu and Mika from fanbook 108 feature the following text:
    Orange pentagon:
    The burdened one
    The carrying one
    Orange bolded lines:
    Alternating over time!?
    Yuu and Mika's relationship!!
    Top lines: At 8 years old, Yuu was taken into the Hyakuya orphanage where Mika extended his hand. Yuu whose heart had been opened came to call Mika and the orphanage children "family".
    Bottom lines: Mika once had the habit of hugging Yuu. But after a period of 4 years, the two's relationship changes!? Yuu was held in his (Mika's) arms when he aimed to run away.
  • Diane of The Seven Deadly Sins fell in love with Meliodas because he treated her like a regular girl and not like a Giant.
  • In Spirited Away, No-Face follows Chihiro around and attempts to shower her with gifts, becoming practically obsessed with her, simply because she speaks kindly to him and leaves a door open so he can come out of the rain.
    • In that case, it's a direct example. Because of his lack of face (identity), No-Face takes on the personality of whoever he's around. Chihiro's kind nature literally inspires him to be kind and repay her favors.
  • In Talentless Nana, the sweet and innocent Michiru Inukai is unfailingly loyal and kind to Nana Hiiragi as she was the first person to save her from her school bullies and continued being friendly and generous to her. It was initially a self-serving act of manipulation for Nana's benefit but eventually becomes a genuine friendship.
  • In Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, this is why Aya ignored KZ and even her mother's warning against Sunahara; he shielded her from verbal abuses from the local Alpha Bitch at least once.
  • Tiger & Bunny:
    • Barnaby Brooks Jr. has a rather absolutist perception of trust — he either trusts someone entirely or not at all. Thus, when Kotetsu takes one of Lunatic's flamebolts for him, his Ice King persona starts to melt — and it melts fast.
    • Kriem first met villain Jake Martinez when he kidnapped her and tried to ransom her. However, when her parents (hating and fearing her status as a NEXT) didn't pay up, Jake let her go and told her there was nothing wrong with being a NEXT. She became his most loyal follower from then on.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • Saeki aka Torso reveals that he developed an attachment to a girl he met in his youth because she was the only one in a life where he lived alone with an abusive father who treated him with kindness and taught him things about life. When his father killed her he responded by killing his father.
    • Kaneki's entire reason for his friendship with Hide is because Hide doesn't hate Kaneki for being a ghoul and happily accepts him. He thinks everything will be okay as long as Hide is around. When Hide supposedly dies Kaneki has a hallucination where Hide is talking to him. While crying Kaneki states "I've been so lonely without you."
    • Kanae aka Karen desires affection from Tsukiyama and even sacrifices herself at the cost of her own life to save him after he acknowledges her feelings, for Tsukiyama's kind treatment.
    • Mutsuki admits he loves Kaneki/Sasaki and gives Kaneki the benefit of the doubt that he doesn't give to others because Sasaki was genuinely kind and cared about him. This attachment to Sasaki turns out to be dangerously codependent and obsessive however.
  • Horribly, Legato Bluesummers, People Puppets maestro of Trigun. Perfectly well aware that his master, Knives, despises him for being human, bit of a poster child for Mad Love after Knives breaks his back for trying to kill Vash, and his loyalty doesn't waver even though he's crippled for life. (Or, in the anime, when Knives sends him to force Vash to shoot him dead and suffer forever.) It's all because of this trope (and some Boomerang Bigot misanthropy).
    • In the manga we got his absurdly complicated backstory. Knives stepped in coincidentally while, as a kid, Legato was being raped to death in punishment for a plot to kill everyone he hated (which was a lot of people). His exact status at the time is not spelled out but is generally understood as a research specimen, sex slave, or some hellish combination of the two.note  Knives cut the building apart, killed everyone except Legato because Legato's psychic powers kicked in just in time to steer the feather-blades away from his body. Then he more or less swore his allegiance on the spot and gave Knives permission to kill him now if he wanted. And Knives asked him his name, which was the most anyone had ever treated him like a person because he didn't have one to give. And then Knives let him tag along after he killed everyone at the facility. And eventually gave him responsibilities and a budget and things.
  • In episode 2 of Unlimited Fafnir, Iris says this to Yuu, stating he's nicer to her than the other girls have been so far, hence why she trusts him.
  • In the Vampire Knight light novel Vampire Knight: Ice Blue no Tsumi, Fuuka grows to believe in Aidou because he was her only ally — having rescued her so several times and was the only person who was honest with her. So, naturally, this is why Fuuka asks Aidou to be the one who kills her before she turns into a Level E vampire, rather wanting to die by Aidou's hand than hunted down when she loses control.
  • A strange variation happens in Wasteful Days of High School Girls in that Utako is very grateful for Tanaka for being a jerk, but to her own benefit. Meeting Tanaka changed her life by being rude and annoying not only to her but also to her father. Tanaka's biting criticism and insensitivity molded both Hime and her father into becoming the best versions of themselves they could be. The fact that Tanaka benefited her so much by being sincere and blunt made Hime be unbendingly grateful towards her.
  • In Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai, the reason New Transfer Student Chihiro still ends up talking to deliberate loner Yugami even after being advised by classmates to not associate with him is that he helped her find an open slot for her to park her bike the morning she transferred into the school.note 


    Comic Books 
  • In 52, when Doc Magnus single-handedly takes down the Mad Scientist thinktank he lets T.O. Morrow escape. When Morrow asks why, Magnus says that it's because Morrow was one of the only people who actually took his theories seriously when he was first starting out.
  • Huntress' devotion to the Black Canary in Birds of Prey definitely has shades of this.
  • In B.P.R.D.: 1947, agent Jacob Stegner gives a coin to a homeless beggar woman. The woman later appears to him to tell him that one of his missing comrades is still alive. Before she mysteriously disappears, she says, "I tell you this... because you were kind."
  • Invoked and subverted with Evil Ernie and Lady Death in Chaos! Comics. Having been emotionally and physically abused by his parents, Ernie falls in love with and becomes fiercely loyal to Lady Death, allowing her to recruit him into her mission to wipe out humanity. However, while he's imprisoned in a mental hospital, there is a nurse who is kind to him and is the only person who wants to see him "cured" for non-selfish reasons and, when he "dies", she's the only one who mourns him. The first thing Ernie does once Lady Death turns him undead is rip her head off.
  • During Forever Evil, all of the world's supervillains are broken out of prison, a guard who is badly injured asks Orm, the Ocean Master, for help. Orm gladly complies, since he was the only guard to give Orm water, something all Atlanteans need on a regular basis and didn't think the reason Orm was imprisoned was black and white... Orm's version of kindness is killing the guy.
  • Horrifically inverted by the sociopathic Nazi master criminal Otto Netz, better known as Doctor Dedalus, in Batman Incorporated. Taken care of for years into his old age by a number of doctors in the hopes his remaining secrets could eventually be pried from his mind, only one of them was ever kind to him. His reward is death.
    Doctor Dedalus: Of them all... only you were ever kind... a kind heart deserves the cruelest end. Digitalis. I adapted my insulin pen to inject the poison into your lunchtime apple.(...) why would I tell you anything unless it was far too late, my friend?
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Green / Savage Hulk usually has the mentality of a small child, so this means if someone's nice to him, or even just acts nice to him, they've got his undying friendship.
    Joe Fixit: It's like with ma — you were nice to Salad Brain once, and he'll never forget it.
  • Subverted horribly in Miracleman. Upon his escape from the hospital, Kid Miracleman invokes this trope to the only nurse who was kind to him during his stay. Then returns and punches her head into pieces while she was smiling at being spared. Then it's Double Subverted, the reason he killed her was to maintain his monstrous reputation. Despite that, he not only felt no enjoyment from it, he even apologized to her corpse.
  • Villainous example. In some continuities, Red Skull was a bellboy who'd been beaten down his whole life until Adolf Hitler decided to turn him into a Nazi. This act of kindness inspired him to become a Nazi, fanatically dedicated to Adolf Hitler, and later his memory.
  • In Seconds, Lis only gives Katie the first mushroom because Hazel, the only one caring for her, burns her arms.
  • In Secret Wars (2015), Miles Morales gives Molecule Man a hamburger. Even in context, it's pretty weird, but it's also the first act of kindness that anybody has shown Molecule Man in eight years, as he's been tucked away to be used as a Living Battery. At the end of the storyline, Owen repays the debt by cosmically retconning Miles and his loved ones to the new Marvel Universe, and while he's at it, bringing Miles' mother back to life.
  • Quoted above: Marv's attitude toward Goldie in the first issue of Sin City. He's not an idiot — he realizes that Goldie almost certainly got close to him because she needed protection from whoever it was that killed her in the opening pages. But as he explains to Goldie's Angsty Surviving Twin Wendy, be that as it may — she's the only stranger that's ever shown Marv any genuine kindness, and it's also implied that she's the only woman who wasn't too terrified of his appearance to sleep with him. So he searches relentlessly to find her killer.
  • Tintin gets several allies this way: in Prisoners of the Sun, for instance, he defends a boy from some bullies, and the boy later offers to guide him to a secret Inca temple, even though he could be killed for doing so.
  • In Uncanny X-Men, former supervillain Rogue was made to feel distinctly unwelcome when she first joined the X-Men. In UXM #172 she accompanies her new teammates to Tokyo to attend Wolverine's wedding. On seeing her, Wolverine comments that if it were up to him, he'd cut out her heart, but his fiancee, the aristocratic Mariko Yashida, says that Rogue as a guest is entitled to all due courtesy and respect and welcomes her. Effectively Mariko was merely acting in accordance with the ethic and social rules of her class, but it still was the first time Rogue was unreservedly welcomed by anyone since she left the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and so in the following issue Rogue shows no hesitation to lay down her life to prevent her death ("Lady Mariko was kind t'me — she accepted me, right off — ah won't let her come to any harm!"). The fire from Viper's blaster actually hurts her badly, but Rogue accepts her likely death philosophically. However, Logan now feels indebted to her for saving the woman he loves and makes Rogue absorb his healing factor.
  • In New X-Men: Academy X, X-23 goes to considerable lengths to protect Dust from the Purifiers when they attack the academy, because Dust was one of the only people at the academy who was nice to her when she arrived. And on the other end, Dust was nice to Laura because she was a refreshing change from her old roommate Surge, who didn't agree with her beliefs.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dick Tracy, this was the reason for the Mole's Heel–Face Turn. After he was thrown in jail, Tracy gave the Mole a Christmas present, a care package with some simple gifts. The Mole had lived such a lonely, miserable life that the simple gesture meant the world to him. He went straight and these days is a good friend of Tracy and his family.
  • In a 1925 Little Orphan Annie comic, Annie rescues a puppy being abused by a group of boys. She shelters the pup and gives him away to a good home. A few months later, when Annie is kidnapped, the fully grown dog, which she had named Sandy, ends up coming to her rescue. He has been her longstanding companion ever since.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: A huge part of the reason Germany and Japan fell madly in love with Italy is because he was kind to them even as they were aloof and cold to him. His warmth melted their cold hearts.
  • One of the main reasons Bill Cipher changes in A Triangle in the Stars. Steven was the only one who stuck by his side and was genuinely kind and understanding to him through and through. Everyone else either hated him, suspected him and wanted him dead at one point, saw him as a boss, or perhaps merely took pity upon him. No wonder Bill came to care for the boy so much.
    • It's also the reason Kryptos and Hectorgon were spared all those years ago. They were the only ones who were and remained nice to Bill.
  • In chapter 89 of The NaruHina Chronicles, Naruto reveals to Hinata the reasons behind his love/pathological obsession with ramen: he was beaten very badly once as a little child (before entering the Ninja Academy), and he was discovered by Ichiraku, who took him to his restaurant, fed him, and got him cleaned up. He was the first person who was ever nice to Naruto. It's one of the main reasons—alongside his Supreme Chef reputation—that he tries to convince Hinata to let him cater their upcoming wedding.
  • Rainbooms and Royalty: Fluttershy proves herself worthy of bearing the Element of Kindness by treating the gargoyles, who had sworn loyalty to Nightmare Moon a thousand years ago, with compassion rather than reviling them. So touched were they that they swore loyalty to her, rather than serve Nightmare Moon. This comes into play during the Final Battle, as they show up to help the Mane Six (and Zecora and Ditzy) against Nightmare Moon's Shadowbolt army.
    • Similarly, Rarity proved herself worthy of being the Element of Generosity when she gave the necklace she inherited from her grandmother to the Diamond Dogs as payment to let them pass. The Dogs are so stunned by such selflessness that they also show up during the Final Battle to help fight Nightmare Moon to repay the kindness.
  • This is the reason why Emiri joins the Anti-SOS Brigade in You Got HaruhiRolled!. They too know what it's like to be neglected.
  • Several Death Note Alternate Universe Fics feature this trope.
  • In Ace of Spades this is part of the reason why Harry Potter becomes obsessed with Jim Gordon-because he was nice to Harry when he visited Arkham.
  • Weightless: Seraph/Shepard was in love with Nihlus because he was the first person who showed her kindness.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic A Future of Friendship, a History of Hate: Because Twilight saved Craggle from falling to his death, he protects her from a pack of shalehounds and lets her pass his bridge.
  • In If Them's the Rules, because Harry was nice to Tom (and is the first person to ever show him kindness), Harry becomes Tom's Morality Chain and Tom tries to reign in his sociopathic tendencies for Harry's sake. Tom's loyalty to Harry almost gets him put in Hufflepuff.
  • In the Blood+ fic Waking Dream, this is the entire reason Diva fell in love with Reeve Roswell: he was the first human who ever treated her with any genuine kindness.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- fic Shatterheart Syaoran is drawn to Kurogane and later initiates a relationship with him because he was only one to show any concern for him and is the only one to show him any kindness and realize that Syaoran is a different person from his clone.
  • In A Teacher's Glory Anko ends up on both sides of this tropes. She feels this way toward the Third Hokage, who took her into his trust when everyone else suspected her of helping Orochimaru, and she earns this from Ino for giving her a frank analysis of her skills and actions, encouraging reassurance, and advice.
  • In Chapter 138 of Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Zabuza gives this as the reason he's going to cooperate with Naruto's group when they come to interrogate him—specifically because Hinata, who's with them, had been the first to intervene and plead for his life when Naruto was going to kill him during the fight with the Blood Mist Gang back in Chapter 41.
  • Lucina Reacts: Tharja gives this as the reason she pursues Robin constantly after Libra shuts down her other excuses. Vivi and Velvet also figure out that Tharja has other reasons for it apart from their own.
  • The Clockwork Consequence: Why is Rainbow Dash so loyal to Nightmare Moon? Because she never got her cutie mark and was mocked and never taken seriously for it. Nightmare Moon, on the other hand, didn't care about this because she felt her actions spoke louder than her words.
  • The protagonists of Dating a Team Magma Grunt started dating because Brendan tried to cheer the Magma Grunt up after he beat her team and caused her to cry.
  • A large part of why Harry Potter hired Penny as his personal assistant in For Love of Magic is because he remembers her as the nice older girl who made a point of helping him despite his prickly attitude.
  • Hild had been toying with Ranma for her own amusement in Hell Is a Martial Artist with the intention of one day breaking him and remolding her into a succubus. But all of that changed and she started genuinely caring for Ranma after he made her a mother's day card.
  • In This Bites!, Cross gives a News Coo he meets a 900 Berry tip when he buys a 100 Berry newspaper from him. Then after the Alubarna battle, said News Coo, named Coo, gives Cross an edition of tomorrow's paper due to the very raw deal that the Straw Hats and Vivi are getting.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, the four succeeded on Tipaan where many others failed because they were the only people to treat the Svenjaya decently and to defend them when others gave them hell. They were designated Svenjaya Friends, so that not only did the Svenjaya patriarch offer to help them get the otherwise inaccessible Cloud Horn but when George and Ringo were accosted onstage by a trio of drunken punk cowboys, the Svenjaya band they were jamming with beat the crap out of the attackers and helped the two get away later.
  • The premise of He Can't See It is Xander accidentally running into Marcie in a dark room and befriending her, resulting in the invisible girl devoting herself to helping him (by pretending to be his telekinetic powers). Unfortunately, new friend or not, she's still highly unstable and goes too far with her attempts to help him by crippling a couple bullies.
  • Steven Universe gets this response from various characters in Gift of A Diamond.
    • Blue Diamond takes a liking to Steven because he listened to her and empathized with her, even developing maternal love to the half-gem because he wasn't intimidated by her status and size.
    • Blue Pearl takes a liking to him because teaching and looking after him gave her something to do, as well as the affection and respect he gave her (something seldom displayed to a pearl).
    • The quartzes at the Human Zoo look to him as a little brother and respected leader because he sees their worth and trusts them, unlike the harsh and caring Holly Blue Agate.
    • Lapis Lazuli takes a liking to Steven for releasing her from the mirror and healing her gem.
    • Various gems from Blue and Yellow's court (like Aquamarine) grew to like him for his magnetic personality and his creative (yet still effective) ideas.
  • Ichigo insists Ukitake be sparred by Ulquiorra in The Defeated because she was the one of the only Soul Reapers to show him any kindness. He tries to avoid fighting Kenpachi for the same reason, but the latter insists on their rematch, forcing Ichigo to kill him.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Misty is given a much sadder backstory due to additional Fantastic Racism, being mistreated by her family and having no friends except for her Pokémon. It's not until she meets Ash — who befriends her right after meeting her because he remembers her from the canon timeline despite the eponymous "Reset" — that she begins to have a more positive outlook on life and even humanity at large, and all because he's one of the first real friends she's had in her entire life. Later, when Iris asks her about their relationship, Misty admits to feeling attracted to his kind and caring nature.
  • Basically the reason Elle and Bella end up bonding in the Resurgence Series, as they helped each other during their time trapped in Pinehearst.
  • In Walking in Circles, Solas cares for and befriends Evelyn in the first place because she constantly goes out of her way to help or rescue him, even when she must suffer for it while he didn't think much of her in the beginning.
    • Solas also often notes that no matter how many things about himself that he's ashamed of are revealed to Evelyn, she always accepts him without any hesitation.
  • In Hurricane Trinity, this is why Grubber stuck with the Storm King even after the events of the movie. The Storm King could've taken any of his siblings under his wing, but he chose Grubber -who never thought he'd amount to anything- causing him to be forever grateful.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Elizabeth Bathory befriends Ruby Rose and helps her shop for new clothes because Ruby called her cool. No one had ever called her cool before.
    • Jack the Ripper becomes attached to Mercury Black because he helped open a food container for her while she had a broken arm.
    • In the sequel, Lost to Dust, Miyamoto Musashi visited Adam Taurus in prison and gave him food. She is the only human he likes.
  • Heirverse: Aizen/Gin, Aizen/Orihime and Ulq/Orihime all count.
  • In A Thing of Vikings, Heather defects from the control of her king and spymaster to the Hooligans because she'd fallen in love with Fishlegs due to his kindness.
  • In Assassin's Keeper, Rock saves a pair of children from some thugs who got the drop on them. After Hansel and Gretel kill the thugs in question, Rock buys them pizza and ice cream, winning their loyalty. In the end, Rock adopts them both, and Balalaika agrees to spare them so long as they stay the hell away from her and her men.
  • In Faded Blue, Lapis chooses to stay even after discovering that Steven is not her Diamond because he released her from the mirror.
  • In Total Drama fanfic A TDA Love Triangle with Betty, Cody, and Gwenny Gwen and Bridgette both are warming up to Cody because of the kindness he shows them when they are in a vulnerable position.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton, a Danny Phantom fanfic:
    • The girls who have issues begin to have an interest in Danny because he's not giving them trouble and acts considerate to them.
    • A platonic example would be Buttons. After Danny stands up for him against the typical ungratefulness of his owners, the large dog becomes friends with Danny and later tries to help him against Katie at the carnival.
    • The mime from Animaniacs is so used to bad things happening to him that, because Danny pushed him out of the way of a falling anvil, he helps keep Danny safe from Katie.
  • In The New Adventures of Invader Zim, Ying serves Nyx of his own free will because she's the one who gave him free will in the first place — when she reprogrammed him, she could have left him as a basic SIR unit drone but now dedicated to her, but instead she gave him an actual personality and the ability to make his own choices. His gratitude for that is why he chooses to stay by her side.
  • It is revealed late into the Dishonored 2 fan novel, Echoes in the Deep, that Emily and Tarick's relationship is built on this: When Emily is transported back in time to Tarick's childhood, she stops a vendor from beating the Street Urchin, gives him food, and, as he's taken away by cultists, assures young Tarick she will help him if he finds her in the future. For the first gift of kindness received in his miserable life, Tarick pined for Emily as the Outsider for 4000 years until she was born.
    Tarick: I have been curious for the longest time, how does it feel to have obtained a God's favor?
    Emily: Everything...because I was kind to a boy?
    Tarick: To a boy who suspected there was no kindness to be received from his fellow man. You may as well have made the Sun rise on a world of endless night.
  • In Missing Linc, Leni's kindness towards Ginny is what inspires Ginny to turn on her father and help the Loud sisters.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Really dark version with Puissance and her Vault Ponies. They're all ponies who have unique conditions that make them outsiders to Equestria, and since she's given them somewhere to live free of persecution, they're all grateful to her. Shame Puissance is a selfish, greedy, Manipulative Bastard who couldn't care less about them as individuals, but only sees them as things to have, and to give her adoration. The worst is Solar Flare, who is completely out of touch with reality but madly protective of her employer, believing all those ponies who say bad things about her are simply jealous of her wealth.
  • In Pokemon: Festival of Champions, kindness is how Karen got her Murkrow, Umbreon, and Houndoom; she was the first person to accept them all for what they were rather than reacting to them with fear or disgust.
  • In Semper Ad Meliora, this seems to be a running theme with Lelouch and his followers.
    • He elevated Jeanne to his personal aide despite her gender (Euro-Britannia being more conservative in that regard than the mainland) and is generally very nice to her overall.
    • He not only allowed Kallen to serve under him, he also helped her sort out a delicate situation involving her father which earned him her heart.
    • Lelouch took in the Shinozaki Clan and later all of the Shinobi still in existence when they were exiled due to ideological differences with the Japanese government, earning their undying loyalty.
    • As for Jaeger and Hashima, he permitted the former to serve under him despite being utterly mad, and so far, Jaeger has been nothing but help to his cause, with Hashima sticking around due to loyalty to Jaeger.
  • Pokemon: Shadow of Time: This is Ash’s relationship with Misty, as she latches on to Ash due to being the first person to be truly kind to her since she left Cerulean City.
  • Lady Lucks Favor:
    • During Danny's first encounter with Desiree, he learns she has to grant any wish she hears and wishes that she could choose which ones to grant. Though initially Desiree merely befriends him, she later admits to Spectra that she's fallen in love with Danny as a result.
    • Similarly, because Danny catches Spectra before she can do much damage, he's willing to help her and uses Desiree's powers to wish Spectra could feed off both positive and negative emotions (previously, she could only feed on negative ones), earning her friendship as well.
  • The reason why Ryuko genuinely starts falling in love with Mako in Natural Selection is because she treats her like an actual person and values how she feels.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series loves pointing out holes in canon, such as how Seto Kaiba gained majority shares in KaibaCorp. In the original, Kaiba came up short, but Mokuba saved him by giving Seto his shares. The Abridged series points out that since Mokuba is only five years old, nobody gave him shares. So how did Kaiba take over? Hobson the butler pitched in, because Mokuba was the only person who didn't treat him like dirt.
  • A New Hope (Danganronpa): This is hinted to be the reason that Mikan falls for Hajime and Chiaki. After a lifetime of getting bullied and abused by everyone, Mikan is touched that the two of them are nothing but kind and supportive to her.

    Film — Animation 
  • Iago in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar regrets helping Jafar after Aladdin sticks up for him and Aladdin and his friends treating Iago better than Jafar ever did. This causes his Heel–Face Turn and he ultimately helps them defeat Jafar.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) pretty much runs on this. Every new friend the protagonists make comes about because one of them was willing to befriend them:
    • Capper was planning to sell them before they escaped. Because Rarity had given him a selfless gift and expected nothing in return, he does his best to mislead Tempest as to where they're going.
    • Captain Celaeno and her pirates are persuaded to abandon the Storm King's forces after Rainbow Dash sings them a rousing song, encouraging them to live their lives to the full.
    • Princess Skystar joins them in the final battle against the Storm King's forces even after Twilight tried to rob her because Pinkie Pie sincerely entertained her with the "One Small Thing" number.
    • And of course Tempest Shadow reforms and pulls a Heel–Face Turn because Twilight chose to save her life.
  • A proxy example in Pocahontas. The titular heroine doesn't demonise John Smith and the settlers like the rest of her tribe because her first impression of him is putting his knife away when he sees Meeko — and playing with him, showing that he is a decent person. She then becomes dedicated to protecting him and advocating peace.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The ABCs of Death: In the "R" segment, the patient lets the nurse live when he escapes from the facility because she was the only one of the staff who was kind to him.
  • In the classic Abbott and Costello film Africa Screams, after Costello rescues a gorilla from a trapper's pit, the gorilla follows him around, repeatedly saving him from other animals and cannibal natives and recovering a bag of diamonds Abbot had stolen from the natives. Later, after Costello makes it back to America (presumably with the Gorilla's help) he uses the diamonds to become head of the department store where he worked and appoints the Gorilla as his vice-president while Abbot (who used and abused Costello throughout the entire film before abandoning him after losing the diamonds) is reduced to working beneath them as an elevator operator.
  • Karathan in Aquaman (2018) is implied to have been friends with King Atlan because the former won the latter's friendship by talking with them rather than fight. Thousands of years later, Arthur does the same.
  • In Elizabeth, when Elizabeth is taken to the Tower of London one of her inquisitors gives her his cloak because it is cold. Elizabeth replies "I will not forget this kindness". Years later when the man is one of many who has plotted against her, she has an audience with him and says "all your many kindnesses are remembered".
  • In Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, the title character lends his services as an assassin to Louie, a mobster who saved his life from a gang beating when he was younger. As Ghost Dog considers himself a modern Samurai, he considers himself Louie's loyal retainer. Louie's loyalty to Ghost Dog is nowhere near as strong (he barely even remembers the incident back when he chased off some disrespectful punks who happened to be beating up some black kid).
  • In both the novel and film of Gone with the Wind, Belle helps out Ashley Wilkes because Ashley's wife, Melanie, was nice to her early on, accepting her wartime donation instead of treating her like dirt, as most of the rest of the town does.
  • In the film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, James finds a spider in his room and helps it escape the house when his aunts try to kill it. Later on, Miss Spider in the peach convinces the others to let James stay and looks after him during the journey. She reveals that she was the spider in question and is thankful for James' help.
  • Near the end of Joker (2019), Arthur spares Gary because he was nice to him earlier in the film, unlike their other coworkers who either insulted him or got him into trouble.
  • In Kingdom of Heaven, Balian is forced to kill a Saracen knight in a fight over a horse, but he spares the life of the man's servant, sets him free once they reach Jerusalem, and even gives him the horse that had been the subject of the fight. Some time later, it's revealed that the "servant" is actually Saracen leader Saladin's right-hand man (presumably traveling incognito to avoid becoming a target), and he repays Balian's mercy several times over the course of the movie.
  • In A Knight's Tale, William twice jousts against a Sir Thomas Colville. The first time Colville is injured on the second lance, and William agrees to have them both tilt and then not strike each other to maintain Colville's honor. The second time, William learns right before the bout that Colville is really Prince Edward incognito, and before the others can withdraw for him William tilts at him. Edward is both impressed by William's willingness to face him as a Worthy Opponent, as well as grateful for the earlier honorable draw; and repays the kindness after William is revealed as a commoner by knighting him. Moreover, he declares that William is descended from an Impoverished Patrician and warns anyone that to question him is treason.
  • The Last Jedi: Because she showed him sympathy in spite of his crimes in The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren has developed feelings for Rey, to the point where he isn't annoyed that she uses his real name. However, he's still unwilling to reform, instead offering her to rule the galaxy at his side. Despite his warnings that he will have to kill her, he appears extremely reluctant to fulfill this promise.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Immortan treated Furiosa like his property. The rest of the Citadel probably had to be cowed into respecting her as she climbed the ranks, and they obviously dislike her. Max is the first guy who showed her proper respect and didn't try to kill her at the first sign of weakness. As a result, he and Furiosa become as close to a Battle Couple as possible without actually being a couple.
  • In Man on Fire, Creasy is aloof and embittered until Lupita, the young girl he's assigned to protect, brings him out of his shell by being nice to him. This is why, when she's kidnapped, he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    Rayburn: She showed him it was okay to live again.
    • Nux's Mook–Face Turn comes when Capable, one of the Wives, shows him actual compassion for the first time since his induction into the War Boys death-cult.
  • In Pokémon Detective Pikachu, this is implied to be Mewtwo's motivation to helping Detective Pikachu and Harry and later on, Tim as well. Despite being the cause that led to Mewtwo's capture, Harry and Pikachu risked their lives to rescue Mewtwo and did so, at the cost of Harry being critically injured.
  • A minor example occurs in The Princess Diaries. When Michael asks Mia, newly crowned as princess, why she picked him, she tells him, "Because you saw me when I was invisible," referring to the fact that Michael was one of the few people who cared about Mia from the start, even when most of her peers looked down on her, rather than just becoming interested after she was revealed to be a princess.
  • Sleepaway Camp: This is the reason Angela spares Ricky, Ronnie, and Susie.
  • In Star Trek: Nemesis, young Shinzon was thrown into a Romulan slave mine on Remus, where one of the Reman laborers took pity on him and helped him survive. This would drive him to lead the fight to end Reman slavery.
  • In Tell No One, Bruno, a gangster, has a hemophiliac son he would do anything for. When Bruno first brought his son to the hospital, the doctors and then police thought he abused his son, but Alexandre, a doctor turned pediatrician, figured out the truth and convinced everyone of it. Therefore, when Alexandre is falsely accused of murder, Bruno gladly steps in to help.
  • Valentine: Kate was the only one of the girls in the opening scene who let Jeremy Melton down nicely (Shelley, Lily, and Paige harshly rejected him) and didn't corroborate Dorothy when she framed him for sexual assault. This is why Adam/Jeremy leaves her alive at the end of the film.

  • There is an old fairy tale where a young man who wants to woo a princess heads off to do so. On his way there, he meets an old man with whom he shares his meal. When the young man makes it to the castle, the girl's overprotective father sets an impossible condition for him to do so; he must produce a man who can eat a mountain of bread. When the young man is wandering through a forest bemoaning this task, he meets an old man who says he is incredibly hungry; the young man tells him of the mountain of bread and the old man then offers to help and eats the entire thing. The king then declares that the boy must produce a man that can drink an entire warehouse full of ale; he goes back to the forest and meets the man again, who this time claims to be incredibly thirsty and drinks all the ale. As a final task, the king demands that the boy produce a ship that can sail on both water and land, and when the distraught young man returns to the forest one final time, his mystical friend invokes this trope.
    Old man: I have eaten for you, and I have drunk for you, and I will also give you the ship; and all because you were kind to me at the first.
  • Sgt. Bothari to Cordelia in Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold, though it is a little more complicated than that. As Aral later explains to Cordelia, the mentally unstable Bothari doesn't have a strong sense of self, and unconsciously becomes whatever those around him expect out of him: a good soldier, a loyal retainer, a monster.
    "You..." his voice softened, "you are the only person I know who looks at Bothari and sees a hero. So he becomes one for you. He clings to you because you create him a better man than he ever dreamed of being."
  • Underplayed in Black Legion, but the Governess cuts Khayon much more slack and tolerates his actions way more than if it was anyone else because he's one of the very few people to treat her and her neutrality with respect.
  • In Carrie, this is why Sue and Miss Collins survive the Prom Massacre.
  • In Peter Moore's Caught In The Act Lydia is an outcast, no one will associate with her except for Ethan. Because of this, Lydia seems to fall in love with him and becomes devoted to him to a Yandere degree.
  • Alot of characters in Chronicles of Nick are surprisingly nice to those who are nice to them. Just about every character has been through horrifying moments of loneliness and despair and are very loyal to people who genuinely mean them well.
  • In The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Tana's relationship with Gavriel springs from this (combined with Rescue Romance) since she's the only person who ever saved him, or put his needs before her own. We learn from his Tragic Backstory that everyone he ever knew in his long life bullied, mistreated, rejected, or used and scapegoated him.
  • There's a Bruce Coville edited short story about a tormented and ostracized elf child whose school assignment is to interview a troll. Trolls' favorite food is elf children, but the troll doesn't eat the boy because he sees how lonely and kind the poor thing is. At the end of the story, the elf child gets revenge on his schoolmates and teachers by freeing the troll and letting him eat them all, but tells the only other elf child who was kind to him that he won't feed her to the troll because "You're the sweetest girl I know"... before eating her himself, thus subverting the trope.
  • In the Daughters of the Moon books, the Atrox has several rules binding the behavior of those who have given themselves over to them — one rule is, no Atrox agent can ever harm someone who has done them a genuine kindness.
  • "Down To A Sunless Sea": In the first quarter or so of the novel (before the nuclear war breaks out) Joe Marcovitch, the commander of the soldiers guarding JFK airport, providing security for the planes evacuating the Fallen States of America and gunning down any unauthorized people who try to get into the airport. When he catches the narrator and his crew sneaking a few friends of there's onto their plane, he lets them get away with it due to the crew having shared a steak dinner (something practically unheard of in America anymore) with him the previous day.
  • In Dragon Bones, the hero Ward has the kind of personality that causes this reaction. He acquires a Cool Horse by treating the stallion his father mistreated with kindness, and the local Friendly Ghost and Genius Loci Oreg (who is his slave, A Wizard Did It), tells him more secrets than he usually would. While Oreg is bound to obey any given order, he can keep a secret if not asked about it, and the narrative strongly implies that Ward's abusive father didn't know how powerful, exactly, Oreg is. After Ward kills Oreg's body, thereby freeing him from slavery, the not-quite-dead Oreg is very loyal to him and stays with him, and teaches him magic, even though he could just spread his wings and fly away. The queen herself, when asked to use her influence to get Ward out of a problematic situation, remembers his kindness fondly, and is sorry that she can't do much, as her jerkish husband doesn't listen to her.
  • When Raistlin is nice to a gully dwarf, she becomes quite loyal to him. (He did cast a Charm spell on her, but that's supposed to wear off ... eventually. Based on Intelligence, so in her case, it lasted a long time.)
    • It's reciprocated, however, and Raistlin drops everything to try to protect her, even when his friends abandon the gully dwarves. It also leads to his Heel Realization in a sequel series, as his lust for power led to her death. He willingly condemns himself to an eternity of torment to avoid this.
  • Dark example in The Dresden Files' Skin Game: Hannah Ascher was friends with the Brotherhood of St. Giles, who were also her economic support and gave her a home. When Harry got most of them indirectly killed at the end of Changes, she was left on the streets and killed (maybe in self-defense) three men with magic, prompting the White Council to go after her. When Nicodemus Archleone helped her and brought her into the Order of the Blackened Denarius, she accepted his offer and became Lasciel's host.
  • Fate/strange fake: Alcides/True Archer reveals that when he was alive, everybody treated him like a freak because of his strength, size, and for being the Son of Zeus. Jason treated him like a human being and said all would be treated equally in his kingdom. For this reason, Alcides willingly served him on the Argo. When his Master calls Jason a fool, Alcides says it's true he was foolish, but he will not tolerate anyone insulting one of the only people who was kind to him. It's all the more potent because Alcides is actually Heracles after a brutal Mind Rape session capped with a Grail Mud bath, which led him to lose all of his honorable traits.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 2 (Blood and Honor), after Jordan is kind to him, the ghost boy "Wee Geordie" helps put Jordan into position to save the castle.
  • Johnn Conrad of Four Faultless Felons gives this as the reason for his refusal to betray the revolutionaries who are threatening to plunge the country into anarchy.
    John Conrad: ... I did get food at Peacock Crescent. Those horrible revolutionists, who you say are destroying the whole city, at least prevented me from being destroyed. Suppose, if you like, that they treated me like a dog; still, I was a stray dog and a starving dog; and they fed and sheltered me like a dog. You know what a dog would feel about turning on them or deserting them. Is thy servant less than a dog, that he should do this thing?
  • In the picture book Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf by Frank Asch, when The Big Bad Wolf comes to the Pigs' house, the family tells Little Pig that they have to all hide. Remembering a Surprise Party that was held for his grandfather, Little Pig thinks it must be the Big Bad Wolf's birthday and so when the Big Bad Wolf opens the door, he jumps out and yells "Surprise!" The parents figure they have no choice but to go along with the idea at this point and the Big Bad Wolf decides to go along with it too, figuring it's an opportunity to top off a dinner of pork with some cake for dessert. However, he ends up being so touched by their kindness, and particularly Little Pig's, in the end that he decides that there's no way he can eat them.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The house elves take on this attitude to anyone who is nice to them — this starts with Dobby in Chamber of Secrets and Kreacher in Deathly Hallows. It's also implied that this trope is how Voldemort was able to garner support from non-human magical creatures like the giants — they were so used to being treated with rank condescension or outright persecution by the Ministry of Magic that Voldemort had little trouble convincing them he'd do a better job.
    • Also implied to be part of Snape's reason for turning to The Dark Side — Lucius Malfoy, one of the wizarding aristocracy, welcomes the no-name working-class half-blood as soon as he's sorted into Slytherin, and their friendship seems to have continued even when Snape became a Double Agent, and remained strong enough that Narcissa asked him to protect Draco from the consequences of a mission assigned by Voldemort primarily to get him killed. Ultimately this is what made him turn back as well. Lily Potter was his first friend, and given his troubled home life, the first person who cared about him.
    • Luna, and to a lesser extent Neville, have this sort of relationship to the Trio and Ginny. As a result, they were the only members of the D.A. to help defend the castle in Book Six. Luna is especially blunt about her general loneliness.
      "I miss the D.A. It was almost like having friends."
      ".... I am your friend, Luna."
      ".... Oh."
    • Also Luna's room in Deathly Hallows: hand-painted portraits linked with chains made of the repeating word "Friends".
    • Harry is also always quick to remember the kindness and support of his friends, and one of the things that makes him genuinely angry is seeing them insulted. On the train to Hogwarts after the battle at the Ministry of Magic, he's sitting with Neville and Luna when another student invites him to another car to hang out with the kids there, saying he doesn't have to sit with Neville and Luna. Harry coldly rebuffs the offer and it's clear that he's seriously pissed. Luna observes that people expect him to have cooler friends than them.
      Harry: You are cool. I didn't see any of them fighting beside me in the Ministry of Magic.
    • Played with in Chamber of Secrets. Because of Rubeus Hagrid's kindness in caring for him and his family, Aragog the Acromantula commands all of his many, many offspring to never harm Hagrid. Unfortunately, as Harry and Ron nearly find out firsthand, this courtesy extends only to Hagrid.
    • This is definitely one of the series' recurring motifs. Imagine how different Harry would have turned out if Hagrid hadn't been the first person in his life to show him any kindness. It was Malfoy's contempt for Hagrid in Madame Malkins that really kicked off their animosity. The same goes for when he taunts Ron, Harry's first-ever friend, on the train. If it weren't for Harry's loyalty, would he have accepted Malfoy's offer of friendship and been put in Slytherin instead? The entire series would veer off course....
  • This is the sum of Quasimodo's attitude toward Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame — when the Hunchback is put on the rack and pelted with fruits, she takes pity on him and brings him water. This is especially noteworthy as the reason he's being punished was for trying to kidnap her.
  • A variant: Thresh spares Katniss on one occasion because she helped his surrogate little sister Rue before she died in The Hunger Games.
  • A Defusing The Tykebomb moment in Galaxy of Fear works because of this - the Arrandas were kind to Eppon, laughing and playing with the normal-looking baby, and planning to adopt. When the Big Bad showed up it reverted to its programming and was loyal to him, but later Tash reminded it of their brief time together.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Zarracka spares Benji, helps his father fight off a monster, and later wants to adopt him because he said he wished she were his mother instead of Daniar. This is the first nice/loving thing anyone has said to her since her mother died.
  • The theme of "The Legend of the Latchstring", depicted in both a short story and a mural at the Pennsylvania Legislature. Amid rumours of a raid by local natives, a Quaker family pulled in their latchstring (a rope used to lift the latch inside their farmhouse door from the outside). Quaker custom was that it would never be pulled in, the equivalent of always leaving your door unlocked. Initially, they did, on the advice of non-Quaker neighbours, but the guilt over betraying their beliefs led them to let the string back out. Sure enough, later that night, native raiders burst through their door...then exited almost as quickly. Years later, when in a peace circle with one of the raiders from that night, they learned why: leaving the door unlocked demonstrated that they were Quakers, known to the local natives to be the only white people to welcome them with open arms.
  • In Les Misérables, after being jailed for decades for stealing a loaf of bread, and forced into poverty and starvation due to the difficulty of finding jobs as an ex-con, Jean Valjean comes upon the Bishop of Digne, who shows him kindness and houses him. At first, it seems like a subversion, with Jean Valjean taking advantage of the Bishop and stealing his stuff. Then, when he's caught running from the Bishop's home with the good silver, the Bishop decides not to press charges and gives Valjean the stuff, plus a bit more, on the condition that it "buys his soul for God". Jean Valjean is converted from a bitter convict to The Paragon of integrity and virtue for the rest of his life, despite all the crap he endures, out of loyalty to the Bishop's one kind act.
  • Gollum/Sméagol is like this to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. Right until Sam accuses him of "sneaking".
  • The Lost Fleet happens upon a few hundred civilians on a Syndicate Worlds system abandoned with the development of hypernet gates, their Domed Hometown's life support slowly failing and with little or no hope of rescue. Over the protests of some of the crew, Captain Geary refuses to leave them to their fate and gives them passage to the next inhabited system... Where it turns out that one of the rescuees is the brother of the planetary governor, who covertly provides them with much-needed supplies and intelligence. To really drive home the significance of Geary's act, the two sides have been at war for the last century, and it had become a routine matter for both sides to attack even civilian populations on sight.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, drones are helping Cheris because she treats them like friends rather than pieces of equipment.
  • In Mahabharata, Karna was in prime position to end the worst war ever by becoming king... but it would have meant spurning Duryodhana, the one prince who agreed a mere charioteer's son could be as talented as more noble castes and always treated him as his brother.
  • In The Mayor of Casterbridge, after Michael Henchard's downfall, he is taken in by a former employee of his, Abel Whittle, in spite of his cruel treatment at Henchard's hands as punishment for chronically oversleeping. He explains to Henchard's stepdaughter Elizabeth-Jane and her husband (and Henchard's former business manager) Donald Farfrae that Henchard took a personal interest in sending financial support to Whittle's ailing mother, and he felt obligated to repay that kindness when he saw Henchard in such dire straits.
  • The character Charlie Walter in The Mental State is a celibate paedophile who is frequently the target of persistent bullying, humiliation, and exploitation by both the other inmates and the staff. Zack is the only person Charlie regards as a true friend, on account of him being not only the first person to try to understand him but also the only one who is able to distinguish between a 'paedophile' and a 'child molester'. Being the sort of person Zack is, he predicted exactly how Charlie would react and gladly utilises his unwavering devotion to him. So great is his commitment to Zack, that he is completely impervious to the manipulations of the resident psychopath.
  • In One Of Us Is Lying, Addy befriends Janae, Simon's only friend, after finding her crying in the bathroom. This makes Janae unwilling to plant the stolen epi-pens on Addy, so not knowing what else to do she frames Nate for Simon's murder instead. When Jake comes over to confront her about this, Addy gets their conversation on tape.
  • Keladry of Mindelan, titular protagonist of Protector of the Small, has this happen frequently. There's a reason she's called that.
    • Her war-horse Peachblossom whose last owner was abusive agrees to work on his behavior when she promises not to yank of the reins or ever use spurs, but only for her: do not imply you are interested in stealing or buying him. Or in buying Kel.
    • Her lady's maid Lalasa admits in a stressful moment that she was so skittish at the beginning because she kept waiting for Kel to show she was like all the other nobles she'd met; realizing it wasn't going to happen led to Taking a Level in Badass, teaching other servant class women the self-defense tactics Kel had taught her and becoming one of Kel's staunchest supporters.
    • Tobe, the 10-year-old indentured servant she rescued from an abusive situation, rides into an enemy country in the middle of a war because she might need him and he doesn't like to let her out of his sight for fear she might forget about him like a couple of other seemingly-nice people did.
  • In Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy, Leonis is warned by his fellow cadets of the Arkanis Academy that Zarang can't stay off of academic watch and isn't someone he should be around if he wants to advance. Leonis does want to advance because it's the only way to get into the Commandant's Cadets, which he thinks will help him with his goal of finding his sister. Nevertheless, he accepts Zarang's invitation for the two of them to spend time in Scarparus Port, the only place in the area to go for fun because Zarang is one of the few people at the academy who had been kind to him.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Subverted with Mirri Maz Duur, a Blood Mage who is Made a Slave by the Dothraki; Daenerys stops several men from raping her, so Mirri offers to serve Daenerys and the Dothraki leader personally. After Mirri betrays them to get Revenge, she explains in no uncertain terms that no amount of personal kindness could balance the Dothraki's massacre of her village.
  • In the Sweet Valley High series, hospital volunteer Elizabeth Wakefield is kidnapped by a mentally disturbed orderly. When she asks why he did it, he explains that he loves her and invokes this trope as the reason. She once helped him with his tray and it was apparently the only time anyone showed him kindness.
  • In Uncle Tom's Cabin, a Kentuckian slave owner relates a story about a native African slave, brutalized by another owner, that had pledged undying loyalty to him when treated like a human being.
  • In Wander, Wander spends years travelling the ruins of the United States, avoiding people wherever possible. Although she initially rescues Dagger against her better instincts, the fact that he goes out of her way to befriend her results in her becoming extremely loyal to him and his group.
    • The fact that Dagger inspires Wander to spare Monica's life results in Monica and Rocky deciding to join her when she decides to abandon Darwin.
  • In the Warrior Cats graphic novel Shattered Peace, Minty stops her mate from killing Ravenpaw because Ravenpaw was nice to her kits.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Being Human (UK), the only reason Herrick has any compunctions about killing Nina is that she was the only one who was kind to him and protected him when he lost his memory. He still stabs her.
  • On The Big Bang Theory, Raj becomes infatuated with Bernadette because, since she is nice to him, he thinks maybe she likes him. He goes so far as to write silly, suggestive poems about her. After his "Did they/Didn't they night" with Penny, Leonard calls him out about it. When she finds out, she is not happy about it (but still nice to him.)
    Raj: You were always so nice to me, I thought, maybe you liked me.
    Bernadette: I'M NICE TO EVERYONE.
    Raj: Do you think I have a shot with Penny?
    • Similarly, Howard's endless one-way flirtations with Penny stemmed from her being nice to him, which he took as a sign of attraction. After one too many crass come-ons, she delivers an epic The Reason You Suck speech that puts him in a Heroic BSoD. When they finally talk it out, he admits that justifiably not many women are nice to him, which is why he was so infatuated with her. She apologizes for her actions and their friendship looks repaired... until he again thinks it's a sign of attraction and tries to kiss her; she punches him square in the face.
  • In one episode of Bones, a female suspect who had previously stalked the victim-of-the-week becomes smitten with Booth after he briefly comforts her. She later tries to kill Brennan, whom she saw as competition. Bonus points for Sweets recognizing what was happening a moment too late to stop Booth.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Happens four times, all with Faith. First, it happens with her and the Mayor and then again with her and Angel. She was willing to die to save him, all because he helped her come back from being evil while everyone else hated her (mainly because he understood her, seeing as he was in the same situation about 100 years previously). In season 4 of Angel, this is the reason why she refused to even try to kill Angelus and in Angel and Faith she is still very loyal to him. Faith also does this with Gwendolyn Post. (Faith loves this trope.) Also, another reason why she helps Angel in Season 9, is because she really wants Giles back, since he was nice to her, too.
    • Also seen with Spike who likes Buffy's mother and sister for this reason, and shows his best side when Buffy treats him with respect; his demonic aspect comes out when she forgets this trope.
    • A particularly heartbreaking example: Lorne's speech about Fred in "A Hole in the World".
      Lorne: And here's one more thing. Winifred Burkle once told me, after a sinful amount of Chinese food and in lieu of absolutely nothing, "I think a lot of people would choose to be green, your shade, if they had the choice."
  • Doctor Who: In "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead", Donna ends up trapped in a virtual reality. She finds herself assisted by the virtual avatar of Miss Evangelista, the Brainless Beauty who died in the previous episode and became a genius upon being uploaded. Evangelista wants to repay Donna for being kind to her when she was alive.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Brienne of Tarth is in love with King Renly Baratheon because he's the only man who recognizes her worth as a human being and a warrior, and does not judge her based on her appearance or gender. He himself understands how painful it is to be frequently mocked for not adhering to rigid gender roles (his older brothers Robert and Stannis have bullied him for his lack of combat experience, not to mention his obvious sexuality), so his empathy towards Brienne's situation allows him to be accepting of her masculinity.
      Brienne: He didn't love me, he didn't want me. He danced with me because he didn't want to see me hurt. He saved me from being a joke.
    • Jon and Ygritte's relationship kicks off when he spares her life. Also because Ygritte, as a Wildling, treats being defeated and spared as interest in her.
    • Sandor Clegane turns up in Season 6, having been saved and brought back to health by Septon Ray and his people. Though Clegane is gruff and grouchy as ever, it's clear that he cares about them. He is truly horrified later when he finds them butchered by Lem Lemoncloak and the other rogue Brotherhood men. When Sandor retrieves his axe, it's clear that Lem and his buddies done fucked up.
  • In Glee, the event that sparks Kurt's crush on Finn is when Finn once berated one of his friends for slamming Kurt into a locker. Even though Finn's seen taking part in this sort of bullying in the first episode, this one instance of kindness made Kurt like him. And once Finn joins the Glee club and they become friends, he starts to like Finn almost too much...
    • And later this happens again between Kurt and Blaine, and Blaine and Jeremiah.
  • During an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm and brothers are babysat by a hot blonde baby sitter. It turns out she has a crush on Francis due to him once sort-of complimenting her when she was younger (and fat). Francis, being away at military school, has no idea she's changed so much, and narrowly misses a chance to date a girl who would have been genuinely devoted to him. You want to punch him the whole time.
    Francis: Leave her alone guys, she's not that fat.
    *Girl falls in love*
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Taiga Hanaya's answer to why he tolerated Nico Saiba despite her presence seriously grating on his nerves? She called him her doctor and that made him happy. He is so devoted to protecting her he would rather die than fail, has very little consideration for his own life anyway and Nico really cares about him even though it's a chore sometimes (probably more often than that).
  • In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Lab Rat Stuckey is happy to kill his boss and Elliot to cover up his own crimes, but is genuinely upset when Olivia walks in on the scene because she was generally decent to him and he doesn't want to have to hurt her. Olivia is able to use this against him in order to save Elliot.
  • A villainous example: In the 1998 miniseries Merlin, Morgan le Fay becomes an ally of Queen Mab because "the Old Ways have been good to me."
  • In Person of Interest, Lionel Fusco manipulated crime scenes for Stills and Azarello because Stills was a friend to him when his wife left him and took custody of his kid.
    • Later in the series, Reese admits that he was once on the verge of committing suicide (Lethal Weapon style — he had a special bullet and everything) until the events of the pilot, when Carter showed him kindness and empathy.
  • Raising Hope: In one Christmas Special, Jimmy gets to see what his life would be like if he never had his baby Hope. After seeing how awful things are, Jimmy set things right by recreating the night where he conceived Hope. He ask his love interest Sabrina for help, who has now become a prostitute and extremely jaded in this timeline, and tells her he knows she's still a good person underneath her bitter exterior. She claims that was the nicest thing anyone has every told her and agrees to help him.
  • In Sherlock, much of the reason why Sherlock allows John into his life and befriends him comes from John praising his deductive skills as "incredible" and "fantastic" while everyone else just calls him "freak." As the show progresses, it's clear that they would both die for one another.
  • In Star Trek: Discovery episode "The Wolf Inside", Burnham treats Mirror!Saru kindly, presumably unlike her Evil Doppelgänger, even giving him a name instead of just calling him "Slave". So, when Tyler/Voq assaults her, Mirror!Saru saves her and informs security about it.
  • In the third season of Tyrant, Bassam wins over Ahmed by giving Nusrat a proper burial, which Leila had denied for political reasons.
  • In the third season finale of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, this turns up in the form of Kimmy's classmate Zack. Despite only knowing him peripherally from a huge lecture class they shared, Kimmy not only remembered who he was and greeted him by name when they bumped into each other, but she takes the time to listen to him when he's obviously freaked out about something. When he explains that he just dropped out of college and is wondering if it was the right thing to do or not, she gives him a pep talk, telling him that he should trust his instincts, even if his instincts tell him to do something other people don't understand — and even if it does turn out to be the wrong choice in the end, at least the choice was truly his. Later in the episode, after Kimmy's hit rock-bottom, Zack shows up and tells her he's starting his own business, and that that speech had been exactly what he needed to hear — and that he could really use someone with Kimmy's social skills and emotional intelligence working for him. Because Kimmy showed him some genuine kindness and empathy when he needed it most, Zack offers Kimmy a job and pulls her out of her slump.
  • On The Watch (2021), Cheery is kind to a goblin named Spike who is part of the group working for Carcer and Wonse, that have been treated as a Fantastic Underclass. As a result, Spike flips to the Watch's side and later takes an arrow in the back for them.
  • In the season 1 finale of Young Dracula, Ingrid saves the Branaughs from a pack of hungry vampires because Mrs. B gave her a present.

  • Georges Brassen's "Chanson pour l'Auvergnat" tells the story of a man who has been thoroughly hated and condemned by society but fondly recalls three persons: the titular "Auvergnat" (a person from the Auvergne region) who gave him firewood in winter, a hostess who fed him bread when he was starving, and a traveler who kindly smiled at him when he was about to be taken to jail. Each memory finishes with the narrator hoping that they will go to Heaven for their kindness.
  • The song People Are Crazy is about a guy (the singer) hanging out with a lonely old man, he didn't even know and having a general good time, before the mysterious old man left, never to see the singer again. Turns out the old man was a millionaire and left his fortune to the man he barely knew, that showed him a genuinely good time, before his death.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ken Shamrock promised to instruct the kickboxer Maurice Smith in grappling, which was fulfilled by proxy of his brother Frank, who he in turn instructed in striking and put together an "Alliance" for (with Tsuyoshi Kohsaka) in Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • Mountain Fiji was responsible for getting Little Egypt a job in GLOW. Even though it did not end well, Egypt being forced out with an ACL break, she still organized GLOW reunion shows for the purpose of helping Fiji pay for her own injuries and diabetes treatment.
  • The formation of Paul London's tag team with Brian Kendrick came about when the latter tried to save Paul from a Brock Lesnar mauling. Kendrick was, of course, no help at all, Lesnar still being in his "squash everything, lose nothing" phase, but Paul was forever grateful regardless.
  • The unlikely "friendship" between Tara and long-standing nemesis Mickie James came about in TNA when Tara wasn't actually for Madison Rayne running over James with Tara's motorcycle. Despite not being able to stop the heinous act, James not only beat Rayne for the Knockout's Title belt but wagered it on the grounds Tara would be free from contract Rayne was dangling over her head should Rayne lose her rematch. While Tara still fought James on the independent circuit, she was never quite as hostile to Mickie as before, taking Mickie's side against Amber Rodriguez and Melina and the MCW Ladies Night and joining her and Jazz for Chikara's King Of Trios.
  • Liv Morgan stopped Billie Kay from getting a dirty win over Aliyah simply because she was sick of being bullied by Billie and Peyton Royce. When the Iconic Duo double-teamed Liv, Aliyah made a Heel–Face Turn to help her and return the favour. They became fast friends and teamed together many times.
  • TARU became the lifelong manager of Crazy MAX, a bunch of punks he barely knew, because they spared him from a beatdown they gave to TARU's partner and opponents during a match.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Genius: The Transgression: Neid-type Geniuses tend to have... issues with the whole "They Called Me Mad!" thing, and are extremely resentful over being misunderstood, and even mocked, by their formerly fellow scientists, and by Muggles in general. Naturally, if they find someone who actually does believe them, or at the very least understand them, someone who manages to gain their trust, then that someone just found themselves a powerful ally.
  • During the Siege On Tolkeen in Rifts, the forces of Tolkeen liberated the Daemonix, a race of sub-demons, from enslavement in another dimension. They then asked the Daemonix to help them fight the Coalition. they instantly agreed, because Tolkeen asked them. As far back as the despised Daemonix could remember, no one has ever asked them anything. No previous master had ever given them a choice or the freedom to say no. Overwhelmed with gratitude, the Daemonix fought side by side with Tolkeen.

  • Turandot has Liu, who follows Calaf like a dog, looks after his elderly father, suffers torture, and kills herself so that he can marry the unattainable title character... because he smiled at her once.
  • Wicked: Not so much "because you were nice to me" as "because you were nice to my sister", but when Galinda tells Boq to ask out the Inspirationally Disabled Nessarose, Elphaba goes to Madame Morrible and insists on bringing Galinda into her magic class or else Elphaba's leaving. Rather than let her star pupil leave, Morrible reluctantly takes on Galinda as a student. It then ends up becoming this in the opposite direction, where Elphaba's genuine kindness in response to Galinda's self-serving actions (she only did it to get Boq out of her hair) lead Galinda to befriend Elphaba for real.

    Video Games 
  • In the M.M.O., City of Heroes we have a rarer villainous example of this as signature Mad Scientist Doctor Aeon is working for Big Bad, Lord Recluse, and turns down numerous attempts from several rival villains to bribe/poach him because back when he was a no-name mad theorist with next to no money or prestige to his name and everyone else called him “mad”, Lord Recluse believed in him and his experiments, gave him a paycheck, a company and his own city to rule. Dr. Aeon refuses to ever betray his beloved evil overlord.
  • Several characters in Dark Souls have this. Lady of the Darkling is fervently loyal to Gwyndolin because he accepted her as a follower despite her hideous appearance, providing her purpose in life. Eingyi is similarly devoted to Quelaag's sister because she sucked the deadly Blightpuss from his body, saving his life but becoming deathly sick in the process. Also, it's possible for Maiden Rhea to become friendly towards the player should the player save her from the Tomb of the Giants after her escorts all either hollowed or abandoned her.
  • This is part of the reason Princess Sapphire Rhodonite falls for Almaz in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice: Sapphire faced a lot of derision as a heartless sociopath because she didn't cry at the Queen's funeral. Almaz was the only one to realize she was mourning her mother's death and stand up for her.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry: Kat is loyal to Vergil to the point of near-worship because he once saved her from abuse and gave her a purpose. The loyalty lasts until the revelation that he was using her and wants to rule over the humans, at which point she chooses Dante, who has by then also earned her loyalty and regards her as an equal.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can be played as demonstrating genuine kindness toward everyone he/she meets, including the members of the party. Since many of the party members have a history of being friendless, the Warden's consideration toward them can inspire them to Undying Loyalty.
  • In the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim expansion Dawnguard, you can have this sort of relationship with Serana. She (being a vampire) will walk into a vampire-hunter stronghold to give you useful information because you helped free her and escorted her home. This is also the reason she gives for trusting you to find her mother.
  • Fallout
    • In Fallout 3, Gob will give the player a discount if they treat him nicely since everyone else in the town (especially his boss Colin Moriarty) treat him like crap for being a ghoul.
    • This is also most likely the only reason that, when you're in Raven Rock and have the option to free a Deathclaw from its cage, that it doesn't attack you on sight. Granted, the base was going to go up in flames soon and it either wanted out or wanted its revenge, but it could have attacked you at that moment but didn't.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has a super mutant called Mean-son-of-a bitch who used to be a slave who was brutally abused by the people watching him, until a man from Westside took pity on him and bought his freedom. Afterwards, Mean followed him back to Westside, where he repaid his debt by becoming the town's principal defender; apparently, once he even drove off the dreaded Fiends by himself.
    • In the Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, if you manage to befriend or help out four of the Think Tanks, they'll stand up to Dr. Klein when he tries to do away with you, meaning you won't have to kill them.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2: This trope is the reason Mog swore fealty to Lightning. Ever since Mog fell into Valhalla, he's been going with the "weak obey the strong" rule there but he's been rejected and abandoned multiple times by many powerful opponents, who didn't want such a weak creature. When he ran into Lightning, and lost his game, he expected to be abandoned again... but she told him to come with her. Lightning was the first person to accept him as he was and not just ditch him.
    • An interesting version of this occurs in the Final Fantasy XIV mission "Every Little Thing She Does is Magitek". After repairing a captured Garlean Empire Magitek Armor, Biggs, Wedge, and Cid realize that a repaired part still isn't working right and Wedge suggests being nice to it to show it appreciation. However, after you and Cid defend it from a group of Imperial Soldiers, it snaps to life and fixes the problem, accepting them. Cid, however, says that he hopes they don't have to do that with the Enterprise.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Leads to two Heel Face Turns in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Jaffar encountered Nino while too wounded to move. Instead of killing him, as per Black Fang custom, she bandages him up. Later, he saves her from being sacrificed as a scapegoat, and, if the player is willing, kills her tormentor.
    • Soren in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn feels this toward Ike. When Soren had been abused, abandoned, and left for dead, Ike found him and gave him food and respect. Soren was so incredibly touched by this simple random act of kindness that he literally devoted the entire rest of his life to him, even after they were separated for years and Ike didn't remember meeting him. However, Ike does continue to show Soren kindness repeatedly throughout the games, which he appreciates. Their paired ending even describes Ike as the only person Soren ever trusted.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Maribelle reveals this as her reason for being completely devoted to Lissa; due to her being so difficult the other children instantly hated her and mocked her, leaving her without any friends until Lissa reached out to her.
      • Similarly, Panne joins Chrom's Shepherds in an attempt to repay the kindness given to her Chrom and Lissa's older sister, Queen/Exalt Emmeryn, despite how she's a member of the very persecuted Taguel race.
      • Henry's support with Ricken has a bittersweet double dose. Henry says Mustafa, the first noble Plegian commander the Avatar meets, treated him like family—and other Plegians (disparagingly) imply Henry felt genuine loyalty in return. He seems as cavalier about Mustafa's death as any other person he'd known before, but when Ricken asks what Henry would do if he were slain, Henry immediately swears he'd seek (literally) bloody vengeance. He's almost surprised to find that he truly considers the Shepherds his friends. Henry's emotions are always difficult to read, but he seems to have forgiven the Shepherds for Mustafa's death, knowing that true responsibility lay with Gangrel, whom they defeated.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, the Team Pet Lilith says that she follows the Avatar because he/she nursed her back to health when younger, thinking she was an injured bird.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses brings us Dedue, who is unfalteringly loyal to Dimitri because the latter was the only person who treated him with respect and dignity after the Tragedy of Duscur.
  • In Ghost 1.0, Jacker and Boogan are the first clients to treat Ghost like a person rather than an asset. They communicate with her throughout her mission, show concern for her wellbeing, and generally make her feel like part of their team. As such, when Ghost's boss Viktor kidnaps Jacker toward the end of the game, Ghost immediately enacts a plan to rescue him.
  • In Hakuouki, Saito Hajime is wholly, almost obsessively loyal to the Shinsengumi in general and Hijikata in particular because Hijikata and Shinsengumi co-founder Kondou were the first people to understand and accept without question his left-handed sword-fighting stance and refusal to stop wearing his swords on his right side (nearly a taboo in samurai culture) instead of accusing him of cheating.
  • Downplayed in I Miss the Sunrise, where it only leads to one favor. If you attempt to rescue the Black One in Episode 3, he'll cite this as his motivation when he returns to help you later on.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Sora's party were the first only people ever to be nice to Naminé, even despite everything she'd done to them, which is why she spends the next year straight working on their behalf.
  • Listening to Jack in Mass Effect 2, only one other person besides Paragon!Shepard has ever been nice to her, and he got killed saving her life, even after they'd both agreed not to do something like that. Afterwards, she found a message saying he wanted to settle down with her, the whole picket-fence fantasy. The whole thing fucked her head up even more — what she took from the whole experience was that there were good people in the galaxy... and they're all doomed to die because only assholes survive. Like she did.
    • Ironically, Miranda goes through the same thing. It's implied that part of the reason she turned from Cerberus (or at least started to see them for what they were) is because Paragon Shepard went out of his/her way to help her with no ulterior motives. It also explains why she joined Cerberus in the first place: In exchange for Miranda's services, Cerberus offered to hide and protect her twin sister from their abusive, controlling father, a deal they had faithfully followed through on until Miranda quit.
    • This is one of the reasons Tali'Zorah has such Undying Loyalty to Shepard. Quarians are normally treated with contempt and subject to a great deal of Fantastic Racism by the rest of the galaxy. But Shepard treats her like an equal. When being tried for treason, her people stick "vas Normandy" to her name, thinking that being associated with a human ship and captain will not do her any favors. If Shepard gets her cleared, Tali decides to keep the name, thinking that Shepard has been a greater friend to her than any quarian.
    • Shepard becomes the Hope Bringer for the geth if Legion is accepted into the team in 2. Shepard's handshake with Legion was considered so significant that it was preserved in the geth consensus, as it was the first time that an organic had ever treated a geth as an equal, giving hope for a peaceful resolution with organics.
    • Subverted if Shepard sabotages the genophage cure when Wrex is leader of Clan Urdnot: Wrex claims he will honor their friendship by giving Shepard a quick death for his/her betrayal. Played completely straight, however, if Shepard successfully cures the genophage. Wrex, Eve and the entire Krogan population become incredibly loyal to Shepard, providing the largest assets after Shepard's own crew and the Alliance, with Wrex basically declaring that he and Shepard are Blood Brothers.
    • Long story short, a lot of the Undying Loyalty that Paragon Shepard inspires comes down to this trope. Being an All-Loving Hero for people and races that have never known kindness tends to have that effect.
  • Metal Gear's Big Boss uses this trope to play the benefactor role a LOT. This has essentially become his MO for converting enemies to his side and inspiring unwavering loyalty in his men, and he has become frighteningly efficient at this.
    • This trope, combined with Stockholm Syndrome, are the reasons why Otacon fell for Sniper Wolf.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2's built-in campaign, Neeshka mentions this about the PC if Relationship Values are stable before fighting the final boss, allowing her to resist The Dragon's mind control. It's a big part of the reason why the "romance" path with her, even though mostly cut, comes off as better written than most of the ones seen in video games. Inversely, Neeshka won't even need to be mind-controlled into betraying the PC if their relationship values are low enough.
    Neeshka: I... I can't do it. I won't do it! By the hells, I'm not going to turn on the one person who showed me kindness! And if it costs me my life, so be it.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian joins Mario's party simply because he was the first to be nice to her.
  • In Persona 5, this is mutually done for both Joker and Ryuji. Ryuji had become a pariah at Shujin Academy due to Kamoshida's treatment towards him and his old track team hating him but he becomes fast friends with Joker after their trip to the Metaverse and Joker is the first person in a long time to treat Ryuji kindly. For Joker, Ryuji was the first one to befriend him despite the wrongful accusations and rumors that Joker has a criminal record. This is actually how Joker interacts with all the Confidantes- they're almost all social outcasts for one reason or another, whether it's Ann, who's looks make most people in the school think she's a slut, Tae Takemi, who's a disgraced doctor with a checkered past, Shinya Oda, who's a video game ace who has no friends due to his mom's obsessive behavior, or Munehisa Iwai, who's a former member of the yakuza. Joker listens to all of them and treats them with respect, and in return they all develop serious loyalty to him.
  • Puyo Puyo: Due to the setting's rules on spacetime travel, Ecolo was never able to forge a genuine connection with anyone before the events of Puyo Puyo 7, as everyone he met would immediately forget about him at his next dimension jump. Because of this Ringo's Ripple Effect-Proof Memory and her surprisingly jovial treatment of him have caused him to develop a downright unhealthy attachment to her.
  • The Resident Evil series has a few:
    • Ada Wong is this way towards Leon ever since he took a bullet for her in Resident Evil 2. Ada will sometimes go out of her way to give Leon some support when she can, even if it's against her orders.
    • If Leon rescues a dog whose leg is caught in a bear trap in Resident Evil 4, the dog will later come back to assist him against a Boss Battle.
  • Star Trek Online: Gaius Selan, the security officer of the Romulan Republic flagship RRW Lleiset, is a liberated Borg who used to be in the Tal Shiar. He fights for the Republic because they rescued him from the Collective (where the Tal Shiar didn't even try) and because they treat him like a person.
  • Stellaris:
    • Coming to the aid of another Empire in war will boost your relations considerably, which can lead to trade and research agreements and possibly even an alliance. Even Fanatical Purifiers have the potential to be befriended this way if you save them from their own annihilation.
    • An enslaved synthetic population has a chance of causing a Robot War in the form of an endgame crisis. If you were kind to your own synths and gave them equal rights by signing the AI Accord, not only will they refuse to rebel, they will fight all the harder to protect their creators.
    • If you save a pre-spaceflight civilization from an asteroid there is a chance that they will return the favor much later in the game. Destroying an asteroid approaching one of your own colonies in their own less advanced space ship.
  • Tales of the Abyss has Sheltered Aristocrat Luke fon Fabre, who has Undying Loyalty towards his mentor and Parental Substitute straight up because of this trope. Unfortunately said mentor is the Big Bad and invoked this to use and then discard Luke. He also is like that to anyone nice to him; as Tsundere as he is before his development, he's there for Guy and Ion just because they are nice to him. Even after, if anyone does anything that he considers "nice" to him, he develops Undying Loyalty to them.
  • Until Dawn: There's no indication that the wolf Mike meets in the sanitorium is abused by the Stranger, but if you don't kick it, or give it a bone to chew on if you did, it'll immediately warm up to Mike's affection and repay his kindness later by guiding him through the sanitorium on his second visit, growling and barking if any wendigos are nearby.
  • In Warframe the Tenno were the only ones to express empathy and compassion towards the titular warframes, who were driven mad with rage and anguish from having been turned into human weapons by the Orokin, allowing them to finally feel at peace. The warframes repaid this kindness with their Undying Loyalty.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Basically the reason why Phoenix becomes a lawyer — he remembers this one incident when he was nine years old, where Edgeworth was in his class, and stood up for him in a class trial after Edgeworth's pocket money was stolen, and it was thought Phoenix had been the culprit. It later turned out that Larry had been the culprit all along, but the event is ultimately no less important to Phoenix for that.
    • Maya Fey first meets Phoenix when he defends her in court despite Maya A) being framed for the murder of Phoenix's beloved mentor, and, B) being caught at the scene of the crime, in circumstances so suspicious that no attorney would willingly take her case. Although Redd's blackmailing also influenced that. This act of kindness understandably seeds a pretty strong friendship, which Maya is later willing to get tasered and briefly jailed over.
  • Crimson Gray: The reason for Lizzie's attachment to John is because he stood up for her when a couple of classmates were badmouthing her.
  • In side story Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc IF, Junko accuses Mukuro this is the reason why she is so intent on saving Makoto. During the two years spent at Hope's Peak, Makoto was the first person to smile at her despite her title as the Ultimate Soldier. In fact, Mukuro is always looking at Makoto in some form in the class photos. According to Word of God, if she is looking straight at the camera, it means Makoto is the photographer.
  • In VA-11 HALL-A, Sei works as a Valkyrie (first responder and paramedic, essentially) for the White Knights, Glitch City's corrupt authorities. About halfway through the story, a massive data breach exposes the true depths of their corruption, not only forcing them to disband but also inciting the city to lynch them en masse - but no one goes after Sei. She guesses that this is because everyone who recognized her did so through her having saved their life (or someone close to them) at some point, and pretended not to notice her to save hers in return.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Eunice the elephant goes with Asia after she helped free him from captivity.
  • Red vs. Blue: This treatment by the Reds and Blues blows Washington out of the water, and helps bring out his good side again. Fitting, because the total lack of this trope got him to go evil in the first place.
  • RWBY:
    • How the relationship between Jaune and Pyrrha starts. Unaware of Pyrrha's formidable reputation, Jaune innocently treats her just like he would any other person. Suffering from a bad case of Lonely at the Top, Pyrrha is immediately charmed by his unassuming nature and goes out of her way to keep an eye on him during the team's upcoming combat trials. Their friendship gave Pyrrha the chance to make even more friends, but it's with Jaune that she likes to pass her time with more. They become best friends and partners in no time and Pyrrha finds herself in love with him.
    • Villainous example: the only reason Emerald sides with the villains is because Cinder took her in off the streets to be her "apprentice", which earned her Emerald's Undying Loyalty. The tragic part is this is almost certainly one-sided; Cinder only wanted her for her Semblance.
    • The Maidens of the Seasons usually pass on their powers to whomever they're thinking of when they die (provided that the person in question is female and under 30), so a simple act of kindness in their final moments can be enough for someone to inherit the role, which is exactly how Penny ends up becoming the new Winter Maiden after Fria dies.


    Web Original 
  • Twig:
    • The friendship and genuine emotion offered by the Lambsbridge Gang is enough to overcome Laser Guided Tyke Bomb Mary's villainous loyalties and convince her to become the Sixth Ranger for their team, as all the affection she's ever received has been rote and her creator has never treated her as more than a tool.
    • Subsequently, this is inverted with Sylvester's tendency to attack, humiliate, belittle, and otherwise drive away anyone outside the Lambsbridge Gang who shows signs of being nice to him or being sympathetic to his situation. He explains this is a basic Pavlovian response; the doctors who raised him were always kind and soothing right before they injected his brain with neurotoxins to force it to rapidly generate new connections, an incredibly painful process.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode Alvin and the Chipmunks when Alvin was left behind by the others because he didn't do his chores, Alvin did them for once, only for a Contrived Coincidence to occur when an alien being chased by an agent and a scientist begged Alvin to hide him. Despite Alvin's attempts to dissuade the hunters, they ransacked the house in search of the alien before offering to Alvin they'd fix it up and by the one next door for him (which had a cool dirt bike Alvin wanted) in exchange for him telling them where the alien was. Despite this, Alvin continued to feign ignorance, resulting in the agent and scientist leaving the house in its messed-up state with one minute before the others came home. Fortunately for Alvin, before departing, the grateful alien zapped the house with a ray that restored the house to the way it was before he arrived.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh is imprisoned by the Fire Nation. He's treated very poorly by the guards, except for a woman who brings his meals. When he planned to escape, he told her to take the rest of the day off because she always treated him kindly, and he didn't want her around for what was about to happen.
  • Castlevania: When Dracula finds out his wife, Lisa, was arrested on trumped-up charges of witchcraft and is already dead, he warns her elderly neighbor to take her family and run before he unleashes hell on Wallachia. He doesn't tell her this because she was nice to Dracula himself, but because she was the only person to pay respect to Lisa's memory.
    • One of Dracula's human servants, Isaac, serves him because of this trope; Isaac was a former slave who was abused and treated like a waste of oxygen by everyone, and Dracula was the first person to show him any sort of respect and kindness.
  • Foxglove the bat from the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Good Times, Bat Times" claims that she works for Winnifred because before she met the Rescue Rangers, Winnifred had been her only friend. Based on how we actually see Winnifred treat her, either Foxglove was lonely to a degree not accounted for by human language, or the writers couldn't come up with anything that would actually work.
    • It is also possible Winnifred was a nicer person once and grew more and more bitter as her pursuit of magic failed.
  • In DuckTales (2017), Launchpad helps the Rescue Rangers in getting their Ranger Plane to initially fly. They return by the end of the episode and save Launchpad from Steelbeak.
  • Family Guy: Deconstructed with Meg. Since everyone treats her like complete garbage all of the time she will fall in love with any guy that shows her any amount of kindness, sometimes to an obsessive degree.
  • In Futurama, Kif to Leela in "Brannigan, Begin Again".
  • In Garfield and Friends, in the U.S.Acres segments. This trope is the reason Lanolin's at times the nicest (or at least compared to how she treats the other characters, normally) to Orson. Then when Bo said that he and the others like her too, pleasantly surprised, Lanolin said she'll try to be nicer to them then.
  • Xanatos' Heel–Face Turn in Gargoyles is because of this. At times when the normally always in control Xanatos is in serious trouble, it was his main enemy Goliath and his companions who helped him. The first time when his fiance and future wife, Fox, is turned into a Werewolf after a gift Xanatos gave her causes a cursed effect. And later when the two are married and have a son, only for it to be revealed that he is a special baby and an Elemental God named Oberon wants that baby for himself. While Goliath makes clear both times they helped was mainly to save New York City, Xanatos is still grateful and comes to his aid when he is needed the most at the end of Season 2, making it clear to Eliza Maza afterwards that his beef with Goliath is over.
  • Because Max on Goof Troop showed compassion for his mistreated and miserable neighbor, PJ, and went out of his way to provide him with opportunities he'd never had and friendship, including coming up with two separate elaborate plans to maintain it, he ended up with one of the sweetest, most loyal friends he could ever ask for, who stuck with him through middle school, high school, and college.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Helga On The Couch," it's shown that Helga fell for Arnold when she was in preschool because he was the only person in her life that noticed her and treated her kindly, by complimenting her and giving her his crackers at snack time.
  • In Hoops, Matty has adamantly refused to join the basketball team. Ben spends most of "The Pilot" trying to convince him to do so, even going so far as to hire a hooker to try to get him laid. The plan doesn't work out and both Hopkins and the hooker get arrested before the hooker even makes it through Matty's door. At the end of the episode, however, when Ben is about to throw in the towel, he finds that Matty has joined the team. Matty says that he did so because what Ben did is the first time anyone has ever done anything like this for him.
  • Invader Zim: Although Zim was pretty mean to Keef for the most part, because he called them "friends" and pretended to enjoy his company (for appearance's sake) Keef became obsessed with Zim even after Zim made it clear he wanted nothing to do with him.
  • In Jimmy Two-Shoes Chuck, a bus driver, becomes an obsessed stalker of a friend to an unwilling Jimmy after Jimmy called him "pal" and apologized for accidentally wrecking his bus. Chuck is shown to try to become a persistent friend to anyone who's even remotely nice to him.
  • Kaeloo:
    • It's heavily implied that the main reason Stumpy loves Ursula more than anyone else is that she accepts him despite all his flaws, while his other friends constantly make fun of and bully him.
    • It's also suggested that one of the main reasons Mr. Cat is relatively nicer to Kaeloo than anyone else and spares her from some of the more vicious things he does is that she shows him a lot of kindness.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Keep Calm And Flutter On", Discord is redeemed (mostly) when he realizes that Fluttershy actually is trying to be his friend, that Friendship really is Magic, and that if he continues his chaotic rampage he'll lose the only friend he's ever had. Fluttershy purposely invoked this trope, and Discord knew she was doing it... but it still worked.
    • And in "Twilight's Kingdom", he is reformed once and for all (though still remaining untamed) after Twilight saves him from Tirek even though Discord had earlier done a Face–Heel Turn and helped Tirek drain all the ponies' powers.
    • In "School Raze", the racist Chancellor Neighsay is truly touched when the non-pony students he'd locked up freed him in an Enemy Mine scenario, and his gratitude helps him turn over a new leaf.
  • In the Christmas Special Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Kris is able to win over stern schoolteacher Jessica and the demonic Winter Warlock simply by giving them gifts. (It's obvious nobody had ever been nice to either of them before.) It almost works on Burgomeister Meisterberger himself, the gift causing him to be happy for a few brief minutes, but he quickly composes himself and resumes his previous ways.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Adora begins to rethink the Horde's teachings when she's captured by two members of the Rebellion, and they not only choose to take her back to Bright Moon nonviolently, but make conversation with her and, in Bow's case, are downright friendly. She's genuinely taken aback when she sees that the "savage" rebels she's been raised to hate and fear are are actually good people.
    • Catra's love for Adora stems from the fact that Adora's the only person that ever gave a damn about her. When Adora defects to the Rebellion, Catra... fails to get over this. Unfortunately, as Catra's Sanity Slippage ensues, she averts the trope more and more, treating both Adora and Scorpia extremely badly.
    • Hordak warms up to Entrapta because she's friendly and cheerful, and isn't afraid of him. When he confesses to her that he's a defective clone and has spent his whole life trying to prove he has worth in spite of that, she says she sort of knows how he feels — she's pretty weird, too, and is sometimes isolated because of it. She then surprises him by saying she's genuinely okay with that, because "defections" and uniqueness aren't just okay, but something to be cherished. Hordak is genuinely touched, and assures Entrapta that, in his opinion, anyone who dismisses her for her weirdness is an idiot, anyway.
  • The Simpsons did an episode where Homer and Marge entered a Wife Swap-style reality show. The Henpecked Husband ends up falling for Marge, while his frigid, controlling wife falls for Patty.
    • While more a Puppy Love example, there's the infamous crush Ralph Wiggum developed on Lisa when she was the only one to give him a Valentine.
    • In one episode, Bart wins a $500 cash settlement from Krusty after a jagged metal O in his box of Krusty-O's gave him appendicitis. He spends the money to buy an album made by Lisa's jazz mentor "Bleeding Gums" Murphy (who died earlier that episode); she asks why, and he says it's because she was the only person who believed him when he said he was sick.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Zeb showing compassion to his archenemy Agent Kallus when they were stranded on an icy, inhospitable moon together winds up triggering a Heel–Face Turn for Kallus. Since no one would at first believe he's changed, he'd use this trope as an excuse.
  • Static Shock: Deconstruction. Eddie Felson met Daisy Watkins at science summer camp. He developed a crush on her because she was the only person at the camp that was kind to him. However, his crush on her becomes an unhealthy obsession, with him stalking her and stealing luxury items to give to her. What made it worse was it was implied from Daisy's reaction to seeing him again and from the way she talked about him is that she did not like him even as a friend and whatever kindness she ever showed him was out of pity.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Lapis Lazuli has this attitude towards Steven. He befriended her while she was still trapped in a mirror for thousands of years before Steven who set her free. Afterwards, she actually tried to kill him after she stole the Earth's ocean to try to get back to Homeworld, but their friendship was confirmed when he healed her cracked gem. Ever since then, she's made several efforts to protect him or at least warn him of danger, and eventually, she held Jasper in a fusion at the bottom of the ocean to prevent her from harming Steven. While she's still shown to be hostile, or at least ambivalent towards the other Crystal Gems, it's very clear that she wants to do whatever she can for Steven, the only being in thousands of years who was nice to her and treated her kindly. It ultimately results in her deciding to officially join the Crystal Gems when the Diamonds invade Earth in "Reunited".
    • Peridot also begins to develop these feelings due to Steven showing her compassion and trust and the rest of the Gems showing her varying degrees of compassion. It ultimately results in her turning on Yellow Diamond and becoming a Crystal Gem to help protect Earth.
    • The Pebbles who live in the walls of the Diamond Palace. They appear to be made entirely by accident, and their purpose seems to be "stay out of sight and perform various chores". Pink Diamond actively sought them out and thanked them for their work, which led many of them being her playmates. They befriend Steven for similar reasons.
  • A platonic and villainous example occurs midway through the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Karai has become the Dragon Ascendant and part of the package includes the service of the Foot Mystics. The Mystics grow to really hate Karai because she treats them like crap, and while they refer to the previous Shredder as an "Utrom abomination", they appreciated that he had a lot of respect for them.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Little Guy", Wander is kind and friendly to mistreated Watchdog Westley, eventually inducing a Heel–Face Turn. It's implied Wander is intentionally invoking this trope, but also that he's not faking his friendship and kindness — he's just naturally kind and friendly to virtually everyone, even his enemies.
  • Subverted twice in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", First, Patrick made friends with Squidward after performing CPR to get the fork out of his throat just until he fell asleep while Squidward was playing his clarinet in which he tries dragging him out of his house, throwing out his back on the process. This causes SpongeBob to ram his head on Squidward's back, putting him back to normal. The two are friends until SpongeBob breaks his double bass which prompts Squidward to literally kick him out of his house. Of course, this didn't stop SpongeBob and Patrick from fighting over Squidward.

    Real Life 
  • Stockholm Syndrome generally comes about due to the hostage-taker being nice to the hostages. This often includes an extremely broad definition of 'nice', like 'hasn't hit me for a while'.
  • The 19th century Zulu leader Shaka grew up in a village where he and his single mother both suffered continual bullying from the locals. As leader, Shaka returned to the village and had all the bullies put to death by impalement, as slowly and painfully as possible - with one particularly awful woman getting shut in a hut with starving dogs before the hut was put to flame. Those who had not actively bullied them, but had allowed it to happen, were put to death more quickly and less painfully. Only one man was spared because Shaka remembered him being nice to his mother.
  • John Tharpe owned a slave plantation in Jamaica. He was noted in both Europe and the island itself for his respectful and dignified treatment of the slaves he owned. When a slave rebellion broke out, many plantations were put to the torch; guess whose plantation was completely spared.
  • Judy Garland mentored newcomer Gene Kelly on the set of For Me and My Gal, his first movie; Kelly would later claim she taught him basically everything he knew about show business. Years later, when Garland came out of rehab and not many people would work with her, Gene requested her for Summer Stock.
  • Criminals like kidnappers or planned shooters are inspired to turn their lives around on occasion because their victim or would-be victim treated them with respect.
  • The Roman Emperor Caligula exploited this trope; he would set some of his slaves free and give them important positions within his Empire. The reason he trusted them with these positions was that they owed him everything they had, even their own freedom.
  • The Ottoman Sultans used a similar strategy, ordering European boys kidnapped and raised to become his chief administrators and generals. This ensured total loyalty since they were wholly dependent on his patronage for their positions, and prevented aristocratic rivals from building up their own power base.
  • During World War II, an Allied spy named Virginia Hall was arrested by Spanish police for being in the country with improper documentation (she'd crossed the Pyrenees in a hurry to escape infamous SS officer Klaus Barbie). While in jail, she nursed a young prostitute named Elena back to health. When Elena was released, she told the American consulate about Hall's predicament, and they got her out of jail.


Video Example(s):


Cedric's Apprentice

Cedric is so driven by Sofia's kindness toward him that he puts off his schemes until another day.

How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / BecauseYouWereNiceToMe

Media sources:

Main / BecauseYouWereNiceToMe