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"Some lives aren't worth saving."

The Hero has been trying to make the villain see the light for a while now. Perhaps the hero's said that Good Feels Good, but the villain has thrown it back in his face and said that Evil Feels Good. Maybe the hero has appealed to what they hope is the villain's true self inside, only to find they were acting of their own free will. Perhaps the villain has Kicked the Dog and rejected any chance at changing his wicked ways one too many times. Maybe the villain has done something so bad, there's no going back now.

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At that point, the hero comes to a sad realization: the villain is Beyond Redemption.

This is when a hero has been making a consistent effort to have a villain turn away from evil and become The Atoner, but eventually stops trying. This is often a bad sign for the villain; whereas the hero might have not gone into a fight at full power before, now The Gloves Come Off and they stop holding back. Often occurs towards the climax of a story (especially before the Final Battle, so the hero can really cut loose). Note it's still possible for the villain to pull a Heel–Face Turn for some other reason after a hero decides they're Beyond Redemption. What matters for this trope is that a hero had been trying to turn the villain good, but gave up.

Usually seen in media aimed at young adults and older, or on the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. Long-running series often go about this as a way of raising the stakes; if the audience knows that the hero won't go the peaceful route anymore, there's sure to be some escalation of tension involved. If the villain himself thinks he's not worth redeeming, he might say "I've Come Too Far."

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This is In-Universe Examples Only, i.e when an in-universe character has the opinion that someone is beyond redemption. The Out-of-Universe variant is Moral Event Horizon.

See also This Is Unforgivable!. Contrast Even Evil Can Be Loved. Not to be confused with It Is Beyond Saving, which is about a place that can't be rebuilt.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: Despite Cell being a monster who drank 600,000 innocent people, murdered thousands of others on his quest for perfection, killed an alternative version of Future Trunks, and nearly killed Piccolo, Gohan is still unwilling to kill him and begs Cell to repent for his crimes. It's not until Cell crushes 16's head underfoot that he finally crosses the line with Gohan; reaching his Rage Breaking Point, Gohan goes Super Saiyan 2 and does everything he can to make Cell suffer as much as possible for what he's done.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Zamasu is initially a well-meaning Supreme Kai, but soon ends up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, becoming an Ax-Crazy Knight Templar who's willing to commit genocide and mass murder in the name of his idea of justice. Gowasu still tries to reach out to him, even after finding out about the atrocities Zamasu has committed in Future Trunks' timeline and seeing the results with his own eyes, pleading with him to use the Super Dragon Balls to fix the damage he's done. In response, Zamasu smugly reveals that he and Goku Black destroyed the Super Dragon Balls to prevent anyone from using them against them and tries to kill Gowasu on the spot; it's this that finally forces Gowasu to acknowledge that Zamasu is beyond reason and has to be stopped.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Toki uses his humanity to save quite a few people, and the few people he does kill are presented with painless deaths. It is said that Toki is The Heart, and the only reason he wasn't the successor to Hokuto Shinken was coming down with radiation poisoning. However Raoh's ambitions caused his Start of Darkness to the point that Raoh himself told Toki if he went the wrong path, Toki would be the one to seal his fists. Indeed, Toki eventually descides that Raoh has to be stopped one way or the other after seeing his path of devastation as Ken-Oh, using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to battle against Raoh. Even then, Toki tries talking Raoh down a few times first, and when it's clear that Raoh won't listen, Toki goes all out.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has the Elric Brothers try to convince a few people experimenting with alchemy to turn over a new leaf. Sometimes, it works. But there are some targets that are so vile, rotten, or detestable that they only make a token effort at this before going in, guns blazing.
    • Edward Elric finds out that Shou Tucker had used his daughter Nina and his dog Alexander to create a chimera that can understand human speech. Ed beats the crap out of Shou Tucker in disgust, and declares that he has no right to call himself an alchemist.
    • This almost happens to Roy Mustang once he finds out that Envy was responsible for the death of Maes Hughes. Roy roasts Envy to hell and back, until its reduced to its true form. Edward stops Roy before he can kill Envy, and warns him that he has the face of a man who would not be worthy to lead Amestris. With the help of Hawkeye, and Scar of all people, Roy is able to come to his senses and stops himself from killing Envy. Envy cannot understand why they stopped Roy from killing them, and when Edward tells them that he pities them, Envy kills themselves as they couldn’t bear the fact that their enemy pitied them, and Ed doesn’t bother to stop them because he felt that Envy didn’t deserve to live for causing the Ishvalen War of Extermination.
  • In InuYasha, Naraku was created when Onigumo, a human, had merged with a swarm of yokai. Because of this, Kikyo believed that there was a possibility that Naraku could be redeemed. When he nearly kills her at Mt. Hakurei and Kagome saves her, Kikyo realizes she was wrong and Naraku is beyond any hope of redemption.
  • In Monster Rancher, The Searchers are looking for the Phoenix so that he may turn all the evil monsters into good monsters. Some of the Searchers firmly believe even Big Bad Moo will be redeemed by the Phoenix and state this multiple times, while the others aren't convinced. Later on, when the Searchers first encounter Moo, they find out through a Curb-Stomp Battle that Moo is legitimately pure evil. After this, those who thought Moo could be redeemed now agree he's beyond any sort of redemption.
  • The titular character of Naruto seeks to defy this with his Rival Turned Evil, Sasuke. However, Naruto faces quite a bit of resistance from his allies on the matter, who truly believe that Sasuke is beyond redemption. Eventually, it was Sasuke who chose to redeem himself through a combination of Itachi's will and Naruto defeating him in their final fight at the Valley of the End, deciding to let go of all of his anger.
    • In the past, Jiraiya tried to convince Orochimaru not to leave the Hidden Leaf Village behind for more power, but Orochimaru rejected Jiraiya's pleas. Since then, Jiraiya has given up on trying to redeem Orochimaru since he chose to defect of his own free will. Jiraiya even tries to convince Naruto not to chase after Sasuke when he followed a similar path, but Naruto has none of it.
      Naruto: If abandoning a friend is what it means to be smarter, I'd rather be a fool for my entire life!
    • After Sasuke turned to the dark side, Naruto kept trying his best to change him. But Sasuke repeatedly rejects the offer. While Naruto remained optimistic that Sasuke would eventually turned back to the light, everyone in the Hidden Leaf Village thinks Sasuke is no longer worth redeeming when his vendetta for his clan's massacre is focused on the village itself. Even Sakura and Kakashi think it's impossible after Sakura was almost killed by Sasuke during his rampage, and Kakashi was appalled by Sasuke showing no hesitation in attacking Sakura.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman Vampire: In Crimson Mist, Batman has fully succumbed to his vampire nature and feeds on his Rogues Gallery before beheading them; he's fully aware of what a monster he's become, but is no longer capable of fighting it and is convinced he's taken in too much evil from his victims to be redeemed, reflecting he may very well destroy the world if he isn't stopped. Commissioner Gordon even insists to Alfred that they have to put him down, making the point that Batman killing anyone is proof that the good man he was no longer exists.
    Batman: I have lost all life, so I steal it. I am death, so I bring it. I am damned, and the world may be doomed, its sheep without shepherd, ready for its slaughter. And worst of all, the lost shepherd was me.
  • A variation in The Killing Joke. Batman tries to extend a last chance at redemption to The Joker. For a moment, Joker actually thinks about it, but decides that it's much too late for him, a conclusion Batman appears to accept.
  • In My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights, Luna tries to convince an alternate version of Celestia who is permanently stuck as Daybreaker to turn good. But due to the events of Daybreaker's timeline — her and Luna being corrupted by the Pony of Shadows and killing Nightmare Moon when she tried to rebel — Daybreaker ultimately refuses redemption. The only caveat Luna can solemnly take from the experience is that Daybreaker was willing to let Luna and her allies leave the realm as a favor for helping Daybreaker regain her memories and freeing her from Eris's control. However, it's a small caveat, as Luna admits that this world's version of her sister won't be helped.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage): In the short story "Swan Song," taking place in the future, Radical, who had become Leonardo's Love Interest by that time, is attacked by her Arch-Enemy Complete Carnage, who snaps her neck right in front of Leo. Many years later, Leo, having become a Buddhist monk, tracks Carnage down to Hong Kong, where he has kidnapped several people, intending to forgive him for Radical's murder and free the hostages. During the ensuing fight, Leo tries to persuade Carnage to give up his evil ways and learn to understand the true value of life... but when Carnage gleefully kills one of his hostages and mocks Radical's death to Leo's face, Leo snaps, declares that Carnage is irredeemable, and slices him clean in two; that being said, Leo's killing Carnage in a rage is depicted as a Moment of Weakness on his part.
    Leo:You killed her... Like it was nothing... Like you did Radical. I really did come here to forgive you. But you... you're not worthy of forgiveness!
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Aphrodite may be behind the Amazon culture of love and redemption of their criminals, but she's still an Olympian. On a couple of occasions, most notably with Atomia, she decides people are beyond redemption and traps them in And I Must Scream situations.
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    Fan Works 
  • A Diplomatic Visit:
    • In the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, chapter 7 has Starswirl reveal that he firmly believes in this after finding out Aria and Sonata have been welcomed back to Equestria, much to Twilight's annoyance. While she admits that it's true for some villains (like Tirek, the Storm King and Sombra), she and her friends point out that they've already redeemed Luna, Discord, Trixie, Tempest and Starlight (and the aforementioned siren pair), and she isn't willing to believe that the Pony of Shadows can't be saved. Starswirl reluctantly admits she may have a point, but still thinks he's right in this case.
    • The epilogue reveals that of the two villains who remained alive and not mentally broken, one of them was confirmed as this - Cozy Glow, even after her body was aged up, remained a sociopath and was ultimately sentenced to permanent petrification.
  • Down And Out: Simon defines himself as this. Part of the reason he wants to die is because he knows no matter how hard he works, his number is so impossibly high that he'll never get off the train. Amelia later reveals that the train itself has come to the same conclusion, which is why the Ghom lurking outside the Mall Car. It's there solely to kill Simon.
    Simon: "Look at me, Grace. Even if this 'self-help train' decided I was worth helping, I'd be dead before my number cleared my forehead! What life is there for me beyond this!?"
  • In The Flash Sentry Chronicles, Grand Hoof had spent years trying to get his son, Doom Raizer, to accept responsibility for his actions. However, due to his neglect after Live Wire, Grand’s wife, and Doom’s mother, had passed away, Doom refuses to take responsibility for his actions, and blames it all on Grand. Not helping matters was that Grand didn’t try to comfort him after his wife Daisy had died, which lead Doom to try and built a weapon of mass destruction that he insisted could have been used to protect Equestria. When Grand took Flash Sentry as his apprentice instead of his grandson, Lightning Blitz, and gave the celestic gear Lightbringer to him, Doom saw this as the final straw, and sought out an artifact that would grant him extraordinary power to get revenge. During their battle in season three, Grand tried to reason with Doom, but Doom refused to hear him out, saying that it was too late to make amends now. After Flash, along with Lightning Blitz defeat him, Grand tells Doom he’s done trying to reach out to him, and that he’s proud to have his friends and his grandson, even if he has to leave him behind.
  • In the Pony POV Series, a nameless pegasus filly who is implied by Word of God to be Cozy Glow, had created the Concept Killing Spear, a weapon that can kill the Alicorns and the Dragonequase, and used this Spear to kill Cupid. However, it not only killed Cupid, it erased him from history, including millions of people whom he was responsible for their births. When the filly was put on trial, the Father of the Alicorns showed her what would have happened if she used it on any other Alicorn or Dragonequause, but no matter what she was showed, the filly refused to see the error of her ways, and threatened to use it again once she was freed. This made the Father of the Alicorns to tell Cupid’s mother, Venus, to Do with Him as You Will, and as she banished the filly to Tartarus, the filly didn’t even bother to try to feign remorse or regret for her actions.
  • Spectacular Seven features this a few times with the Co-Dragons to the Big Bad. The opportunities are presented for a Heel–Face Turn for a few of them, which lead to a few Heel Realizations. Some of them take the turn, and some don't.
    • During the fight scene at prom in Volume II, Twilight ultimately concedes this about The Dragon she's most familiar with after what's happened. As a result, Twilight says that she hopes The Dragon will turn over a new leaf, but admits that such a thing is a long shot at best. Moondancer not only pulls a Face–Heel Turn, but tries to kill the Spectacular Seven. This is due to Moondancer's jealousy of Sunset Shimmer and the desire to be special. Even then, Moondancer is special, since she has powers over moonlight. But she Can't Catch Up to Sunset, and has become a yandere who is willing to kill for Twilight's affection. Moondancer even admits she's Driven by Envy during a Villainous Breakdown. On top of that, Big Bad Tempest Shadow shows up after Moondancer has been defeated to put all doubt to rest that Moondancer is working for the bad guys. While Artemis hopes that Moondancer will see the light, Twilight tacitly admits that she's not holding her breath on it.
    • During the fight scene at the wedding in Volume III, some of the Co-Dragons feel this way about the others. Sonata Dusk and Aria Blaze both turn their backs on Tempest Shadow's plan. Sonata turns because she likes how things have been progressing with Pinkie Pie, and Aria turns because Adagio orders Aria to attack Sonata, which Aria refuses to do, since while she may be a bad girl, she's not going to attack her sister. Then, Tempest says "Screw This, I'm Outta Here!" and leaves Adagio to take the fall for the villains. Even though Adagio lapses into Stunned Silence for a moment, she flees rather than turn good. Both Aria and Sonata then admit that Adagio has always been like this, adding that they don't believe that Adagio will ever see the light. This lack of a Heel–Face Turn for Adagio was set up before, with Sonata and Aria finding things to like about the Spectacular Seven, but Adagio refused to see things eye-to-eye with Applejack.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Belle repeatedly makes it clear she's not interested in Gaston, with everything from gentle rebukes to throwing him out of her house, all while hoping Gaston gets the hint and backs off. When Gaston rallies the villagers and prepares for an assault on the Beast's castle, Belle tells Gaston that he's the real monster, not the Beast. During the Final Battle, when Beast has Gaston at his mercy, Beast tells Gaston to Get Out!. Unfortunately, Gaston doesn’t take the hint and still tries to kill the Beast, leading Belle to only try and save the Beast, not even bothered by Gaston falling to his death.
  • Subverted in Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show. When the Eds’ latest scam forces them to go seek shelter at Eddy’s Brother’s place, Double D tries to get Eddy and Ed to take the situation that they’re in seriously. When Ed and Eddy pretend to sink in some quicksand, Double D begins walking away, but Eddy catches up to him, and the two get into an argument where Double D says that its Eddy’s fault that they were on the run, while Eddy called Double D out about how his complacency in Eddy’s scams was to blame. After they get into a fight that Double D wins, he declares his intention to return home, and when Ed tries to stop him because of what the kids will do to him, Double D says that he’d rather face his consequences than wander aimlessly with a so-called friend. This causes Eddy to drop his Never My Fault attitude, and admit that he was to blame for their predicament. This convinces Double D that Eddy is not irredeemable, and he rejoins their journey to seek out Eddy’s Brother.
  • Mentioned briefly in Frozen II. Elsa calls Hans an unredeemable monster during the charades game. She later shatters a snow memory of him out of spite.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2, when Hiccup learns about Drago, he searches him out to try to talk to him. Hiccup’s father, Stoic, repeatedly tells him that Drago is beyond all reason, but Hiccup doesn’t listen. When Hiccup does finally meet Drago, he proves Stoic’s point, by having his own Alpha Dragon kill Velka’s Alpha, then has him Mind Rape Toothless into attacking Hiccup, forcing Stoic into Taking the Bullet, killing him. This makes Hiccup realize that Drago truly is beyond reason, and sets out to stop him for good.
  • Throughout The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo tells Quasimodo that there are people in the world who cannot be granted salvation. After Frollo tries to wipe out the gypsies who Quasimodo had become friends with, Quasimodo agrees with Frollo, but tells him that he is the one who cannot be granted salvation, not the gypsies. Quasimodo was initially hesitant about this thanks to Frollo raising him, but changed his mind.
    Quasimodo: All my life, you've told me that the world is a dark, cruel place. But now I see that the only thing dark and cruel about it is people like you!
  • Kung Fu Panda
    • In the first movie, when Tai Lung defeats Master Shifu, he tries to tell that he’s sorry for failing him as a father. But Tai rejects his apology, as he’s not interested in his forgiveness and only wants the Dragon Scroll. When Po arrives and sees Shifu near death, he decides that Tai Lung has to go, and uses the Wuxi Finger Hold on him during their battle.
    • In the second movie, when Shen’s fleet has been destroyed, Po tries to convince him to give up his evil ways. Shen responds by trying to kill Po, and Po dodges out of the way of a piece of debris, which falls on Shen, killing him, with Po showing a look of resignation on his face as he does.
    • In the third film, Po never offers Kai the Conqueror a Last-Second Chance. Considering the atrocities he carried out after escaping the Spirit Realm (destroying the Jade Palace, draining the chi of half the Kung Fu masters, including Shifu and three of the Furious Five), it makes sense. Instead, Po flat-out destroys him by overloading him with chi.
  • In The Prince of Egypt, after Egypt has been ravaged by nine plagues, Moses tries one last time to plead for his brother Rameses to let the Hebrews go. Rameses refuses and declares that he will finish what his father started, and wipe out the Hebrews. Moses can only walk away in anguish, deciding that, as horrible as what's about to come is, Rameses simply isn't going to listen to reason. Only after all of the firstborn sons of Egypt, including Rameses' own son, have been taken by the Angel of Death does he let Moses and the Hebrews leave Egypt. However, the grieving Rameses then decides that the final plague will not be stood for and leads his army after the Hebrews determined to slaughter the lot of them, fully cementing that there will be no redemption for the Pharaoh. The Hebrew God Himself, in regards to how Rameses treated His people in order to benefit his own, gives a non-verbal scathing to the man when He spares him alone as if to say, "You ignored my warnings and ignored my command. You want your kingdom so bad, it's yours."
  • In Toy Story 3 when Woody and his gang ended up in the dump, Woody and Buzz save Lotso from being shredded, even though he had previously ruled Sunnyside Daycare with an iron fist and subjected Woody’s friends to torture at the hands of toddlers, but then Lotso leaves them all to die in the incinerator. That’s when Woody realizes that Lotso was just too far gone. After the toys are saved by the toy aliens with "The Claw", Hamm and Slinky want to get back at Losto for almost getting them killed, but Woody talks them out of it, telling them he’s not worth the trouble. Sure enough, karma bites Lotso hard when he is found by a garbage truck driver and strapped to the grill of the truck with decaying toys.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Aquaman (2018), when Arthur Curry defeats David Kane and his father, Jesse Kane, while rescuing Russian Submariners, he at first decides to just let them go. But when Jesse fires a grenade launcher at Arthur, which causes a leak and traps him under some debris, David begs Arthur to help him, but Arthur tells him to ‘ask the sea for mercy’. Arthur later comes to regret this, as his decision to abandon Jesse leads David to become Black Manta, when Orm/Ocean Master gives him atlantean technology to even the odds against him.
  • In Brightburn, Tori watches as her son gets superpowers and does all kinds of horrible things with them. Eventually, she decides to exploit his Kryptonite Factor and kill her own son after all of her honest attempts to show him The Power of Love don't work. Too bad for Tori that Brandon catches her before she can do it, and drops her from the upper atmosphere.
  • GoldenEye: James Bond once considered fellow 00-agent Alec Trevelyan his best friend and comrade-in-arms, and even mourned his death. But when Trevelyan reveals that he not only survived the Arkhangelsk explosion, but is also the true villain, Bond's reaction changes to one of shock, and even tries reasoning with him. Trevelyan even laces his Breaking Speech to 007 with derision, mocking his outdated loyalties to England and whether he has any qualms killing people. Near the end, Bond makes it clear It's Personal and pays Trevelyan's treachery back by deliberately dumping him down to his death.
  • In the climax of The Good Son, Susan is holding her son and veritable Creepy Child Henry as well as her nephew Mark over a cliff, after Henry tackles Mark over it. Despite trying to reform her son, this attempt at murder-suicide by Henry is enough to convince Susan that Henry won't be helped. As a result, Susan lets go of Henry, letting him fall down the cliff to his death while she pulls Mark to safety.
  • In the backstory of Halloween (1978), Dr. Samuel Loomis had tried to reach Michael Myers through psychotherapy and reform him. After more than fifteen years of attempts to reach Michael, Loomis decides that Michael simply has to be stopped, one way or another. In the eyes of the good doctor, Michael's caused way too much harm to be allowed to keep his killing spree going.
    Dr. Loomis: I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil.
  • In the climax of The Long Kiss Goodnight, Charly attempted to reason with Timothy not to hurt her daughter, Caitlin by revealing to him that she is not only her daughter but also his daughter. Despite easily accepting the revelation, he still considers locking both women in a freezer. At that point, Charly realized trying to get through Timothy that they're family is out of the question, so she threatens him that he'll die screaming when she and Caitlin got out of the freezer.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Loki's friends and family initially try to reason with him in Thor, but his tactics in trying to take over the Earth in The Avengers make him a hopeless case in their eyes. In Thor: The Dark World, Odin has him doing porridge for life (and would've had him executed if Frigga hadn't intervened); Thor, Sif, and Volstagg threaten to kill him if he betrays them as he's broken out; and Jane slaps him in the face. Ironically, after they've given up on him, Loki turns a new leaf in Thor: Ragnarok.
    Thor: You should know that when we fought each other in the past, I did so with a glimmer of hope that my brother was still in there somewhere. That hope no longer exists to protect you.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Philip Swift is a Good Shepherd who believes that everyone has some good in them and can be saved by God's grace, even the likes of Blackbeard himself. Over the course of the film, Blackbeard commits several atrocities that ultimately convince Philip he was wrong and Blackheard can't be saved.
  • Star Wars:
    • Obi-Wan witnessed Anakin's fall to the Dark Side and becoming Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith, and has completely given up on turning Vader back to the Light Side. It's to the extent that in A New Hope, Obi-Wan tells Luke that Vader killed Anakin Skywalker. Luke disagrees, however, and come Return of the Jedi, it's he who ultimately proves to be right.
    • In A New Hope, after Leia gives Tarkin false information on where to find the Rebel Base, he destroys Alderaan, despite telling her that he would spare it if she gave him information. In the radio drama, Leia tells him that if he had a shred of humanity left in him, then it's dead now, and he is at war with life itself.
    • In The Last Jedi, Rey spends the movie learning that Kylo Ren had his Face–Heel Turn because it appeared that Luke was going to put him down. After chewing out Luke for it, Rey tries to reach out to Kylo Ren and they even kill Snoke and his guards together. But when he makes a "We Can Rule Together" offer to her, Rey rejects it and realizes he's too far gone. They go back to being enemies. In The Rise of Skywalker, it took his mother's death to finally make him turn away from the darkside.

    Literature 
  • Discussed in Book 3 of The Expanse. The book poses the question of redemption throughout, and in particular the question of if a line can be drawn to define when someone is beyond redemption and if so, where to draw that line. Multiple characters have different stances on the matter, ranging from “every human life has value, no matter how tainted or corrupted” to “it is entirely possible for someone to go so far into the red that they can never balance the books.“ Melba Koh/Clarissa Mao in particular seems to constantly zig-zag where she draws that line with respect to herself and others, depending on her mental state and self-awareness.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, the Daybreak Massacre is seen as Dayless the Conqueror proving himself irredeemable by most of the world. The city had rebelled against the Dawn Empire, disrupting the supply chain and causing a serious defeat. Dayless responded by flying to the city with his annihilators and reducing it to a smoking ruin, killing over a million innocent people in one stroke. This was the action that prompted the Archknights to finally set aside their political neutrality and enter the fray against the Dawn Empire.
    • This trope is one of the main focuses of the novel; after the fall of his Empire (the establishment of which he considered at the time to be an act of good), Dayless spent many decades in hiding as a harmless civilian and came to regret his actions, and during the book performs a great many heroic actions (albeit frequently in a ruthless and bloodthirsty manner). It is left as an open question for both characters and readers as to whether the new Dayless should be considered a completely different person from the old one, or still an impulsive and violent fighter who has gained a different perspective on morality, or whether he should still be punished for his crimes and what form that punishment should take. The solution they settle on putting him in service to the Archknights under strict supervision is taken as much out of pragmatism as out of anyone honestly believing there is a truly "right" answer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Season 2, when Angel loses his soul and becomes Angelus, Buffy and the Scoobies are initially focused on finding a way to restore said soul. Then comes "Passion", when Angelus kills Jenny Calendar; Xander cites this as evidence that Angelus is a monster who needs to be staked, and Buffy agrees, remarking that she's finally ready to slay him after the fact.
      Buffy: I can't hold onto the past anymore. Angel is gone. Nothing's ever gonna bring him back.
    • In Buffy Season 3, when Faith begins to go rogue after accidentally killing the Deputy Mayor, Willow of all people outright asks the other Scoobies why they should help her, stating that since Faith had taken a human life and tried to pin it on Buffy and had also tried to strangle Xander to death, she believed that the smartest thing to do would be to simply turn her over to the police or the Watchers' Council and be done with it. In "Choices," when Faith and Willow confront one another, Faith expects Willow to give her a speech about how it wasn't too late for her to turn back, only to be caught off-guard when Willow gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and declares it is too late. Willow changes her tune in Season 7, but that's only because Faith has redeemed herself by that point and Willow is fresh off a Face–Heel Turn stint herself.
    • Angel: As of Season 5, Angel and his crew believe this of Lindsey McDonald, considering his ambitions and constant trips through the Heel–Face Revolving Door. It's to the extent that in "Not Fade Away", when they team up against the Circle of the Black Thorn, Lorne shoots him dead on Angel's orders; having previously heard Lindsey sing and read his future, Lorne states outright that Lindsey isn't part of "the solution" and never will be.
      Lindsey: There's always time for redemption. Isn't that your whole bit?
      Angel: You had your chance. I guess some people, they just never change.
  • The Flash (2014)
    • A driving question throughout the first five seasons is whether or not Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, is really capable of turning over a new leaf and caring about others. Season Five concludes that while he can build emotional bonds with others, it'll never be enough to get him to change; as shown when he readily plans to sacrifice his pupil XS to save himself from being executed for his crimes. It's at this point that XS and her mother Iris finally give up on him along with the rest of Team Flash.
    • Clifford DeVoe becomes increasingly violent and coldblooded over the course of Season 4, but his wife Marlize still banks her final plan to save the world on Barry going into his mind and appealing to his good side. When he reports that DeVoe has no good side to appeal to, she finally realizes that he has to be stopped by any means and ends up literally pulling the plug on him herself.
  • Power Rangers: Though a children's action show, there are a few notable villains in the show's decades of airtime that show themselves incapable of turning good in any way.
    • Master Org from Power Rangers Wild Force. Formerly a friend to Cole's birth parents, he fell in love with Cole's mother, but got the wrong idea she loved him and learned she had proposed to him on the day he was going to propose to her without her knowing. Becoming increasingly hateful to them for thinking Cole's father stole his life's work and chance at a family, he swallowed the seeds of the original Master Org and sought their deaths, then decided to destroy nature and humanity out of spite. When Cole chooses to forgive him in hopes of changing his ways, and Princess Shayla later trying to convince him, he rejects them wholehearedly. Thus Cole and Shayla, both valuing life, realize he has no good in him and he must be destroyed.
    • Lothor, formerly known as Kiya Watanabe, from Power Rangers Ninja Storm is banished from the Ninja Academy for trying to use dark magic to unlock the green amulet. Years later in the first episode, he has returned from outer space (where he was sent after his banishment) to get revenge on his twin brother, Kanoi for his part in the banishment. Kanoi (now Sensei Watanabe) tries to reason with him in his plans, but Lothor refuses to hear his pleas even going so far as turning him into a guinea pig during their fight. Since then, Kanoi is convinced that Lothor is not worth redeeming going so far as to disown their family relationship whenever it's being talked about.
  • Star Trek
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Benjamin Sisko believed that the universe was all different shades of gray, and assumed that Gul Dukat was not as evil as the Bajorans said that he was. However, in the season 6 episode, Waltz, Sisko and Dukat get trapped on a desolated planet while en route to Dukat’s trial, and when Dukat goes completely insane from the hallucinations that he had been seeing throughout the episode, it causes Sisko to realize that there really are people like Dukat who are completely evil. After that, Sisko vows to eliminate Dukat the next time he sees him.
    • In Star Trek: Nemesis, when Picard learns that Shinzon is a clone of himself, he tries to invert Not So Different on him to prevent Shinzon from carrying out his plan to destroy the Federation. Shinzon refuses to hear it, and tries to acquire Picard’s blood to save his own life because his body is degrading. While en route to Star Fleet reinforcements, Shinzon has his ship, the Scimitar, ambush the Enterprise, and when the two ships are heavily damaged, Shinzon decides to just kill everyone on the Enterprise and then do the same to Earth with the Scimitar’s Thaleron Weapon. This causes Picard to realize that they are not Not So Different, and he personally teleports to the Scimitar to stop Shinzon.
    • In Star Trek Beyond, when Kirk found out that Krall is Captain Balthazar Edison, he tries to tell him that the Federation views him as a hero for his actions in the Xindi War. Edison however, rejects his words, because of how he perceives that the Federation abandoned him and his crew when they crash landed on an uncharted planet. During their final duel, as Kirk works to prevent Edison’s weapon from killing everyone on Starbase Yortown, a piece of glass flies in front of Edison’s face showing his human face in its reflection. However, Edison ignores his former humanity, and uses the glass shard to try to kill Kirk, forcing him to kick Edison into the airlock, along with his weapon, killing Edison.
  • The finale of Ultraman Geed ends with a battle between Father and Son, Ultraman Belial and Ultraman Geed. During which, Geed peers into Belial's past realize just how much insane his thirst for power has corrupted him: Having Frozen over the Land of Light and stealing its Sun to power himself and his army, invaded another universe and blown up countless worlds to harvest extremely powerful emeralds to destroy the Land of Light and conquer all universes, possessed Ultraman Zero himself and murdered his friends out of spite and to control Zero's own body as his own, blown up Riku's universe (which had to be rebuilt by Ultraman King sacrificing his body in order to rebuild it, and even creating Riku only so that he could harness King's power so Belial could use it as his own without any regard for Riku/Geed's own life. Even after all this, Geed still attempts to reach out to his father to try and persuade him to let go of his quest for vengeance and power, and surprisingly comes closer than anyone has (not for a lack of trying) when Belial briefly regains his original form prior to being possessed by Alien Reiblood (something that has never been attempted in the 8 years Belial has been a part of the franchise). However, his efforts are fruitless and Belial brushes him off, forcing Geed to go through with the task of killing him to save his universe.

    Religion 
  • Some sects of Christianity believe that there are some sins that are so severe, that God will not accept them into Heaven even if they repent their sins. Other sects of Christianity defy this, as they believe that as long as one repents their sins, no matter how severe it is, then God will forgive them and welcome them into Heaven.
    • The Puritans in particular believed that if one were to sin just once, than not only was the person doomed to eternal damnation, but it would also spell doom for the entire community.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat
    • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
      • In the UPEO-Neucom route, when Cynthia learns about the Ouroboros organization, and their ideals of Brain Uploading, she defects to them because she hopes to use it For Science!. Fiona, Cynthia’s younger sister, tried to convince her not to go because Ouroboros was a terrorist organization. When Cynthia ignores her sister and joins Ouroboros, the next time they meet, Fiona is all too eager to dogfight against her sister.
      • If Nemo defects with Cynthia to Ouroboros, she learns that Abyssal Dision, the leader of Ouroboros, and a Brain Upload himself, hates what he has become, is only out for revenge. Cynthia tries to convince Dision of the possibilities for human evolution through Brain Uploading, but Dision refuses to hear her out, causing Cynthia to realize too late that she should have listened to her sister, and defects from Ouroboros with Nemo to stop Dision.
    • In the Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown SP Mission ‘Ten Million Relief Plan’, when Matias Torres gets backed into a corner he fakes a surrender so that he could line up a shot towards the Osean capital of Oured to try to end the war. However, David North, the intelligence analyst who had been assisting the LRSSG hunt down Torres, sees through his ruse, and tries and fails to stop Torres from going through with his plan, forcing Trigger to disobey orders, and fire on the Alicorn right before it can shoot, throwing off its trajectory. After that, the LRSSG decide that they’re done trying to negotiate with Torres, and sink him along with the Alicorn to the bottom of the ocean.
  • In the backstory of Destiny, a Guardian, whose name had been lost to history, had been corrupted by the forces of darkness and went by the name of Dresden Yor. His Ghost had tried to get him to come back by calling him his original name, but when he threatened to kill her for calling him by that name, it made her realize that the Guardian she once knew was gone. After that, she sought a new Guardian, Shin Malphur, who eventually hunted down Dresden Yor, and killed him.
  • In the final mission of the Crimson Flower route in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Edelgard tries to get Rhea to surrender when she retreats to Fhirdiad with the remaining Knights of Seiros and Kingdom of Faerghus soldiers. But when Rhea orders for her forces to set fire to the city, Edelgard calls for the Black Eagle Strike Force to assault the city and finish off Rhea, as she has gone completely insane at this point.
  • By the time Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator begins, Cassette Man has come to firmly believe that his old business partner, the inventor William Afton and the child-murdering Purple Man, has to be stopped by any means necessary. After making sure the two of them are trapped in a burning building with no way out, Cassette Man firmly says that the only place the Purple Man is going to is Hell.
  • God of War (PS4):
    • After soundly defeating him, Kratos opts to spare Baldur's life, warning him to not lay a hand on him, his son, or his mother Freya. Immediately afterwards, Baldur turns on Freya, refusing to forgive her for placing the curse on him that robbed him of his senses and attempting to choke her to death. Realizing he's too far gone to be reasoned with, Kratos steps in and snaps Baldur's neck.
    Kratos: The cycle ends here. We must be better than this.
    • Kratos is convinced that this also applies to himself for most of the game, after all the chaos and atrocities he committed in the original series. At one point, he's confronted by the spirit of Athena, who tells him point-blank that no matter how much he tries to be a better person, he can't change and will always be a monster, to which Kratos concurs. However, while Kratos is convinced he can't be redeemed, he still makes an effort to ensure Atreus doesn't walk down the same path as he did, and by the end of the game, he seems to have realized that he can at least keep trying.
  • Played With in Halo. In Halo 2, Thel’Vadam is put on trial for his failure to protect Halo, and the Covenant Council declares him a heretic, with the Prophet of Truth telling him that he will be left behind for his heresy when the "Great Journey" begins. After being branded with the Mark of Shame, and brought before the prophets in the Mausoleum of the Arbiter, the Prophet of Truth tells Thel’Vadam that the prophets don’t see him as a heretic, as he rightfully bore the blame for Halo’s destruction, and name him the Arbiter so that he can repent for his failure. However, near the end of the game, Tartarus reveals to Thel’Vadam that the prophets only saw him as a means to an end, and they order Tartarus to kill him as they no longer had any use for him. In a twist of irony, come Halo 3, Thel’Vadam would declare the Prophet of Truth to be beyond redemption, personally killing him before he can activate the Halo Array.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, when Esmerelda tells Riku about Frollo and his prejudice against gypsies, Riku asks her if Frollo was always like this, implying that Riku wants to speak with Frollo so he can try to win him over to the light. However, after seeing Frollo attempt to burn down someone's house because he suspected they were holding gypsies, Riku declares that Frollo is beyond saving and will ultimately have to be subdued with force.
    Riku: He won't listen. Once you've fallen that far, there's almost no turning back.
  • Mortal Kombat 11: The Aftermath DLC shows Sindel joining forces with Shao Kahn into launching an assault against the heroes in Kronika's keep under Shang Tsung's orders. Kitana believes that her mother has fallen into Shao Kahn's brainwashing as an explanation for her actions. However, Sindel reveals that she committed the actions on her own free will, not from being brainwashed by Shao Kahn. Also, she is truly responsible for the murder of her first husband and Kitana's father, Jerrod for being perceived as a weak ruler. With this, she found true love with Shao Kahn. From this revelation, Kitana angrily lamented to Sindel that she should have stayed dead.
  • Octopath Traveler:
    • Wide-Eyed Idealist Alfyn saves the life of a man named Miguel by healing an infected wound. Through his travels, Alfyn learns that Miguel is a noted thief and murderer. Alfyn is warned about this by Ogen, another apothecary, saying "some lives aren't worth saving". Alfyn insists on healing Miguel anyway, especially once Miguel swears that he'll give up the criminal life. Later, Miguel goes back on his word. He kidnaps a young child, flees into the forest, and reveals that he'd been lying the whole time about turning over a new leaf. Enraged, Alfyn defeats Miguel in a fight (re-opening Miguel's wound in the process), rescues Miguel's hostage, and leaves Miguel to die in the forest.
    • Speaking of Ogen (see the quote at the top), he holds this attitude towards not only Miguel (about whom he turns out to be right), but himself as well. This is due to Ogen murdering the man who killed Ogen's wife after receiving life-saving medical treatment from him, which caused him to become a cynic and intentionally not treat his own sicknesses. Late in Alfyn's story arc, Alfyn has to save Ogen from dying of the disease while giving Ogen a "World of Cardboard" Speech.
  • In Persona 5, the Phantom Thieves steal the hearts of corrupt adults who are actively causing harm to others and are too far gone to be reasoned with. The first two targets look like there's a path to redemption for them, but when it's actively refused, the Thieves force the issue with Heel–Face Brainwashing.
    • The first target, Suguru Kamoshida, had a variation of this. Kamoshida is meant to be as unlikable as possible; he leaks Joker's criminal record to make him an instant social pariah, abuses his students, and openly lusts for teenagers half his age. Kamoshida gets away with all of it thanks the the school protecting him because he coaches the school's star volleyball team. Several characters openly hate Kamoshida's guts, especially Ryuji and Ann, who are both victims of his abuse. When Ryuji learns that stealing Kamoshida's twisted desires may kill him if done incorrectly, Ryuji and Joker are both hesitant to go through with it. However, Kamoshida then makes Ann's best friend Shiho attempt suicide by jumping off of the school's roof to escape the physical and sexual abuse that Kamoshida was putting Shiho through. The game also heavily implies that Kamoshida raped Shiho after she was told to come to his office (with the anime version making this more explicit). After that, Joker, Ryuji and Ann decide they don't care if Kamoshida dies anymore; they just want him gone.
      Morgana: Can I assume that you've made up your minds about this—about how [Kamoshida] might suffer a mental shutdown?
      Ryuji: … I have. Someone almost died because of him! I don't give a rat's ass what happens to him anymore!
    • Yusuke was long in denial about his teacher Madarame exploiting his students by stealing the credit for their work, despite having seen some evidence of it. Yusuke repeatedly insists that Madarame is innocent of the accusations, though it eventually becomes clear that Yusuke is desperately denying the man who saved his life and took him in could possibly be that bad. After facing Madarame's Shadow and seeing Madarame's true character, Yusuke summons his Persona for the first time and resolves to change his now-former mentor by force. Then, after learning that Madarame let Yusuke's mother die when she had a seizure by not calling for help, all so he could exploit her most personal work for the sake of profit, Yusuke declares that he has no more reason to forgive Madarame.
    • Haru reaches this conclusion about her father when his Shadow makes it clear that he sees her as a bargaining chip for him to achieve political power, that he knowingly exploits his workers and he ultimately sees his company as a stepping stone. She then fully commits to the plan to steal her father's heart but grieves his death.
    • Averted by a late-game antagonist. While the Thieves don't necessarily forgive one particular criminal for their actions, the Thieves believe redemption is still possible for them. As Black Mask, Goro Akechi reveals that he's got big-time Bastard Angst over his father, Masayoshi Shido, not acknowledging him. When the Thieves unintentionally throw a wrench into this plan, Akechi has a Villainous Breakdown, goes psychotic, and reveals that he's The Dragon for Shido who caused the mental shutdown epidemic throughout Tokyo. However, after defeating him, Akechi believes the Thieves are going to kill him, but is baffled when the Thieves try to accept him back into their ranks anyway. Even then, the Thieves admit that while they don't really forgive him for his actions, they understand why he did what he did, and want him to help them take down Shido. However, Akechi ends up holding the line for the Phantom Thieves when a cognitive version of himself shows up, and his ultimate fate is left up in the air.
  • Ratchet & Clank (2002)
    • In the original game, during the final battle with Chairmen Drek, Clank tries to talk him out of destroying Veldan, Ratchet’s homeworld, to make room for the Blarg’s new homeworld. But Drek then reveals that he was the one who polluted the Blarg hormworld, and that he only built a new planet because it would nab him a lot of money. Realizing that Drek was never a Well-Intentioned Extremist, Clank carries on with Ratchet to stop Drek, even blowing up the very planet that he had built.
    • Subverted with Captain Qwark, in Up Your Arsenal. In the first game, Qwark was revealed to have been working with Drek for money. In the second game, Going Commando, he tried to frame Ratchet and Clank for the Protopet. In Up Your Arsenal, he goes missing after the second game, and Ratchet and Clank need to find him in order to stop his old nemesis Doctor Nefarious. But two thirds of the way through the game, Qwark fakes his death and goes into hiding again. When Ratchet and Clank find him again, he refuses to help them, and Ratchet can only walk away in disgust, saying that he had hoped that he could be a hero again. Then during the final battle with Doctor Nefarious, Qwark pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment, and helps Ratchet and Clank stop Nefarious, proving that he wasn’t irredeemable.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, Enrique is an Anti-Villain who tries to convince his mother, Empress Teodora of Valua, that her desire for conquest is misguided. However, she not only won't be swayed, but the atrocities that Valua commits keep ramping up. Eventually, Enrique sees he can't talk his mother out of her madness, and becomes a Defector from Decadence (pulling a Heel–Face Turn at the same time) by joining Vyse's crew and helping him steal the Delphinus. Upon going back to Valua after Teodora plans to summon each Gigas, Enrique tries one last time to talk Teodora into not following through with it, but she still refuses to listen. Finally fed up, Enrique draws his sword and prepares to kill his own mother to stop Valua's madness. Too bad for Enrique that Alfonso knocks him out before he can, but the intent was still there.
  • In Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, after Bentley discovers that Penelope is working for Le Paradox out of greed and jealousy, he confronts her in the remnants of her Moat Monster with the intent of reasoning with her. He at first asks why she betrayed himnote , before telling her he won't be a villainnote  and asking if she loves money more than himnote . When Penelope refuses to listen to Bentley and babbles on of her evil plans, he has enough and calls her an idiot, before making one more plead to her by stating Le Paradox will dispose of her when she outlives her usefulness. This triggers Penelope's Villainous Breakdown and she attacks him. As a result, Bentley is convinced that Penelope is an unredeemable sociopath, and he abandons her, looking away in shame and regret.
  • Spider-Man (PS4): Initially, Peter is determined to save Otto from himself and repeatedly reminds him of the good man he once was... but then Otto reveals that he knew Peter was Spider-Man all along, meaning he had planned the Sinister Six formation and release of Devil's Breath (which is killing Aunt May and countless other citizens as they speak) behind Peter's back and exploited the knowledge of their borderline father-son-esque relationship to best lure him into traps and danger. Hearing this, Peter stops holding back and beats Otto down, sadly acknowledging his hero is beyond saving.
  • Tales Series
    • At the end of Tales of Symphonia, when Mithos has been reduced to his soul residing in his Cruxis Crystal, he tells the party that he has no regrets for what he’s done for the past four thousand years; splitting the world in two, having the two worlds compete for mana, have the Desians terrorize the world losing mana, and having young humans make a Senseless Sacrifice to bring back mana, all so that he could find/create a vessel for his sister’s soul, and says that he would do it all again just to see his sister again. This causes Lloyd to decide to destroy Mithos’ Cruxis Crystal, as it shows that Mithos will never move on from his sister’s death, and will never let go of his hatred for humans.
    • In Tales of the Abyss, when Van is revealed to be a traitor, Luke and Tear are in denial at first, the former because Van is his teacher and the latter because Van is her brother. After the events of Akzeriuth, both Luke and Tear come to accept that Van has to be stopped, one way or another. Near the end, when Van is in the final stages of carrying out his plan to replace the world with replicas, the party tries to present Van with an alternative and show how his plan to Screw Destiny is ultimately flawed. Van rejects the party, because he's come too far to back down now. With all other options now gone, the party is forced to kill Van to stop him from going through with it.
    • Tales of Vesperia
      • When Commandant Alexei is revealed to be a traitor, Flynn tries multiple times to get him to stop. Even after he Mind Rapes Estelle and floods Zaphias with tainted aer, Flynn still tries to get Alexei to go back to his old ways. Its not until Zaude, when Alexei tries to kill Yuri, that Flynn gives up on Alexei.
      • Yuri inverts this on himself, believing that he'll never be a good guy anymore. He flat out tells Flynn that he's already dirtied his hands, and later tells Sodia that he admits that he's a criminal, and that he's willing to do whatever it takes to bring about justice. Estelle disagrees, as she insists that he would only turn his blade on someone who deserved it, and that as long as Yuri has her and his friends, than he's not truly beyond redemption.
  • World of Warcraft
    • With the exception of Jaina Proudmoore, this is everyone’s opinion on Arthas. A quest in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion has the Player Character discover that Arthas had removed his heart and discarded it into the depths below the Icecrown Citadel. When Tirion Fordring is informed of this, he and the Player Character infiltrate the Icecrown Citadel to find the heart and see if there is a chance that Arthas could be redeemed. When Arthas sees through their disguise, he dares Fordring to look into his heart to see if he truly is redeemable. When Fordring does, he destroys the heart with the Ash Bringer, and escapes the Citadel with the Player Character before Arthas can kill them. Fordring informs the Player Character that he destroyed the heart because when he looked into it, he saw that there was nothing left of Arthas to save.
    • This is most of the Red Dragonflight's opinion on the Black Dragonflight, as expressed by Lirastraza in the "Blackout" quest description, in which she says "We are past all hope of peace. Past hope for their redemption." The only exception is Rheastraza, who manages to purify a black dragon egg, the hatchling of which grows up to be Wrathion.
    • Ever since Sylvannas Windrunner's Came Back Wrong, she has become a Card-Carrying Villain, but one who was sympathized for being persecuted as an undead and generally assisting the Horde. It's not until the burning of Teldarassil, an act which killed thousands of elven families and was less productive than simply enslaving the city, that most of Azeroth agree that Sylvanas has gone from revenge to outright megalomania, and that she needs to be stopped at all costs.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night, Heaven's Feel route: Sparing Saber Alter because Shirou can't bring himself to kill his friend results in a Bad End. Shirou has to kill Saber in order to progress the story, regardless of what this means for Saber (other than that she's okay with it).

    Web Animation 
  • Hazbin Hotel stars the heiress of Hell, Charlie, who seeks to defy this trope. Charlie desires to rehabilitate demons and sinners so they can reach Heaven with her hotel project. She's ridiculed by the other denizens of Hell who believe that no damned soul has any interest in bettering themselves. As Alastor the Radio Demon puts it, everyone had their chance to be a good person in the life they lived before, but failed and are beyond redemption. Alastor backs the hotel project anyway because he thinks the guests' futile attempts to redeem themselves will be amusing.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Crossroads of Destiny, Katara and Zuko (who has been unjustly hunting her for months) bond over their shared grief, and Katara offers to heal his scar. Then they're interrupted by their respective factions, and in the ensuing battle Zuko attacks her. After that, Katara became the most adamant of any on her side that Zuko will never change. He does eventually, but not because of anything done or not done by the heroes. The decision is one Zuko had to make for himself.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Near the end of season 1, Kevin, in desperation, absorbs energy from the Ultimatrix to get the power to defeat Aggregor. The result: Kevin is remutated and becomes an Ax-Crazy Power Parasite who goes on a rampage absorbing the powers of everyone he comes across. After trying to reason with him and failing, Ben eventually becomes convinced that Kevin's too far gone and they have to put him down. When Gwen approaches Grandpa Max for help on the subject, she's shocked when Max agrees with Ben's approach, despite admitting that he never thought Ben would go that far.
    Ben: He's never gonna stop- unless I stop him. For good.
  • In Castlevania (2017), after Lisa was burned at the stake, Alucard tried to talk his father Dracula out of the plan to wipe out humanity. In Alucard's own words, "I grieve with you, but I won't let you commit genocide." By the time Alucard is found by Trevor and Sypha at the end of Season 1, Alucard has decided that Dracula has to die after learning about the extent of his vengeance was not only to wipe humanity out, but to sentence humans to be subjected to unrelenting hunts by vampires.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Subverted in the episode Operation: F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N.. When the Kids Next Door save Leaky Leona from the Delightful Children From Down The Lane, she tells them about how she discovered the Fountain of Youth three hundred years ago. After that, she tries to kill them because of how they also now know of the Fountain. After the Delightful Children accidentally save the Kids Next Door, as Leona is hanging from a piece of stone, Numbah Five decides to just leave her behind despite Leona begging her to save her. Numbah Four convinces Numbah Five to change her mind when he reminds her about how she told him that ‘We save kids. That’s our job’, and together they save Leona from the Fountain collapsing.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Phantom Planet", Jack finds out that his college friend Vlad has become a half-ghost bent on killing him and stealing Jack's wife Maddie. Despite all that Vlad had done, including the numerous previous attempts at murder, Jack attempted to reason with Vlad not to go through with his world domination plot, even apologizing to Vlad for being responsible for his bitterness that started from the moment he inadvertently activated the prototype ghost portal in front of his face and that he voted for him to become mayor in the first place. Vlad refuses to hear Jack's pleas. Thanks to that, Jack finally concludes that Vlad is not worth redeeming, so when Vlad asked him for help, Jack leaves him behind in outer space.
  • In Elena of Avalor Season 3, Esteban is kicked out of his family and Avalor, stripped of his title as Chancellor, and charged with treason after they learn he is partly responsible for the deaths of King Raul and Queen Lucia as well as the terrible regime that ruled over Avalor for several decades. Though his grandfather forgives him after hearing why he did it, nobody else does (especially his grandmother and Elena) and they vote to exile him to a faroff remote island for the rest of his days (which was considered more merciful than letting him rot in the castle dungeons). He then digs himself deeper by escaping his jail cell before he can be shipped off and frees the Delgados so that they can defend him, which leads to a whole set of problems as the season goes on. Despite his good actions throughout the show, everyone focuses more on the fact that he's directly responsible for at least three murders and probably a lot more crimes, a reality that he refuses to properly own up to. It's only when Esteban takes the initiative to accept blame and do something unselfishly good that Elena is willing to accept him again.
    • Word of God personally believes that everyone including the character in question is capable of redemption... except for Shuriki, who can't do anything about it anyways because she's dead.
  • Kaeloo: After over a season of trying to convince Pretty, the local Alpha Bitch, to become a better person, Kaeloo finally gives up in Episode 118, stating that Pretty will never change.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug Marinette still tried to reach out to Chloe despite her massive and repeated Aesop Amnesia, but the events of the Season 3 finale convince her that Chloe isn't worth it. Chloe willingly allies herself with Hawk Moth to keep being Queen Bee, which results in basically every supporting hero so far having their identities revealed, and almost gives Hawk Moth exactly what he wants. Once the ruckus is over, Marinette decides that she won't be trusted with the Bee Miraculous any more, ever.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, most of the villains of the show had been redeemed by the end of the series, and only four stayed evil to the end.note  Sombra, who is literally Made of Evil, died in both episodes he was featured in and showed no sign of being good. The other three are Queen Chrysalis, Lord Tirek, and Cozy Glow, who are defeated in the Grand Finale of the series after forming a Legion of Doom to take over Equestria. When they're stopped, the villains are deemed this for all their crimes against Equestria and its allies. In spite of how many times they've lost — including having as good a shot as they were ever going to have in the final episodes, to the point that they came dangerously close to winning — Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow refuse to ever give up or change their wicked ways. Celestia initially states no punishment can fit what they have done, but she and Luna quickly agree with Discord's suggestion to have them turned to stone together, with Discord saying "I can't think of anything they'd like less".
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Adora has tried numerous times to convince Catra to leave the Horde, all of which Catra has thrown back in Adora's face. At the end of season three, Catra has thrown a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, tried to destroy Etheria, and made Queen Angella perform a Heroic Sacrifice to stop it. (Unbeknownst to Adora, Catra also sent Entrapta to Beast Island to die, threatened Scorpia if she told anyone, and lied to Hordak about Entrapta's absence, further cementing her moral decline in the eyes of the audience.) After all of that, Adora gives Catra a Death Glare, with Catra's face showing an appropriate reaction. It didn't help that Catra put the blame for all of her problems and actions on Adora, only for Adora to snap back and call Catra out on refusing to own up to her own mistakes. This was the last straw in their escalating feud, starting the end of what was once their friendship. Adora even says as much to Catra when they next see each other again. It's only when Catra takes the initiative to accept blame and do something unselfishly good that Adora is willing to help her again.
    Adora: Can we skip the speech? I'm done playing your games, Catra. Too many people got hurt when you set off that portal. I hope it was worth it. Because I won't let you hurt my friends, or anyone else, ever again!
  • Star Wars Resistance: After Tam joins at the First Order at the end of Season 1, everyone except Kaz accepts that there's nothing more they can do for Tam, because as far as they know, they'll never see her again. Kaz attempts to reach out to Tam and apologize for his actions, but it proves impractical as doing so allows the First Order to track the Colossus, and also distracts him from helping keep the Colossus together, soon leading to Kaz giving up on Tam. Synara makes it clear she will never accept Tam back, and Neeku, while seemingly neutral about the effects of Tam's betrayal, has disowned her as one of his friends. In the meantime, Tam's perspective shows that there's still hope for her, from her various heroic/decent acts to what Magnetic Hero Venisa has to say about redemption.
    • In the Grand Finale, Tam did get her redemption and she tries to convince Rucklin to defect from the First Order with her. With his jerkassery and caring only about himself, he rebuffs her offer. If that wasn't enough, he still supports the First Order despite being declared a traitor alongside her. As a result, Tam gives up on Rucklin that she punches him in the face and left him to die at the explosion of Star Destroyer.
  • Steven Universe: The Crystal Gems come to believe Peridot can't be changed, despite their efforts throughout the Barn arc, when she says in "It Could Have Been Great" that Rose's rebellion screwed over Homeworld's plans to turn their beloved Earth into a wasteland (which, in all honesty, does hold some water). They then spend the entire next episode believing she's going to report them to Yellow Diamond, but Peridot was actually trying to persuade her into sparing the Earth.
  • In the Teen Titans season 2 finale Aftershocks Part 1, the Titans try to get Terra to stop working for Slade, but she refuses. After she defeats them and goes on to wreak untold destruction and death upon the entire city off-screen, in the next episode Aftershocks Part 2, the Titans decide that they’re done trying to talk to her and effortlessly wipe the floor with her, forcing Terra to retreat back to Slade. However, they try one last time to get her to turn against Slade, as he’s controlling her body to kill Beast Boy, and their pleads allow Terra successfully break free from Slade’s control, but her thrashing of Slade accidentally triggers a volcano that threatened to destroy the city. Terra performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the volcano, which grants her a Taken for Granite Redemption Equals Death... At least until the Grand Finale, where she, through unknown means (though its speculated due to Trigon's defeat), came back to life, with seemingly no memory of her time with the Titans.
  • In Transformers: Prime, Optimus had hoped that he could find a way to end the war with the Decepticons through diplomacy. But when Megatron, souped up with Dark Energon, attacks Bumblebee while he was taking Raf home, and nearly killing them both, Optimus realizes that there can be no diplomatic solution towards the Autobots and Decepticon’s perpetual conflict, and declares that Megatron must be destroyed.
  • Wander over Yonder: The titular Wander is an All-Loving Hero who believes the best of people, and tries to befriend every villain he meets. However, Lord Dominator proves herself to be utterly incapable of being a good person, even having a Villain Song called "I'm the Bad Guy" in which she revels in being a Card-Carrying Villain who does evil things because it's evil. Towards the end of the series, Wander has a Heroic BSoD when he finally admits that Lord Dominator is a truly awful person who doesn't want to improve and will never accept his help. Though even after this, Wander still decides to Save the Villain.

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