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Easy Evangelism

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"Jesus is the only way to heaven."
"I never knew that!"

Any story where a character is converted unnaturally easily to whatever the writer is trying to teach.

Somehow, they just haven't heard of the author's point of view until then. For example, this tends to manifest itself in Christian tracts with phrases such as "Who's Jesus?" If the unbeliever has heard of Jesus, they somehow haven't heard about the "died on a cross for everyone's sins, came back to life three days later" thing. However, this is not exclusive to Christians—any Aesop or ideology, be it political, religious, or otherwise, is just as susceptible. What matters is that the author depicts others who are easily convinced to agree with the message.

Easy Evangelism is related to Strawman Political and Confirmation Bias, but common in a wide enough range of sources to be worth its own trope. This trope is the idea that the opposition isn't bad; they merely picked up their philosophy without thinking of the obviously superior alternative. This may be a misguided attempt to make the opposing viewpoint more likable. After all, if they'd heard of Christianity, it means one of two things: either they'd already be a Christian, or they rejected it - which makes them irredeemably evil. Therefore the only good excuse is to somehow have never heard of it in the first place.

Ironic in that while it may be an attempt to "soften the blow" of an attack on the opposition, members of the actual opposition may see it as even worse than just calling them "bad". At the very least, it's extremely patronizing. It's also worth noting that even if you think your alternative is superior and the people in question hadn't thought of it, they are very unlikely to just fall in line right away, or fall in at all for that matter; people very rarely change deeply held beliefs on a whim. Bad usage of this trope can fall into False Dichotomy territory by citing only few (usually two) possible views on the matter while ignoring/dismissing every remaining one.

Anyone who doesn't immediately convert or fall to their knees in thanks instantly reveals themselves as evil and worthy of being Hoist by His Own Petard. Of course, Sue will forgive them once they realize the error of their defiance, but if not, Karmic Death time! The alternative is for the evil character to instantly change their ways and show that faith has made them good: a Heel–Faith Turn.

Very common in an Author Tract, and often manifested by an Author Filibuster. Despite the title it can refer to any belief system, religious or otherwise. If the convert bases their faith on miracles rather than actual faith, then one is all it takes for the Easy Evangelism to work. May also result from a Suspiciously Specific Sermon.

Attempting Easy Evangelism in a story that isn't an Author Tract (or is one, but not for the character's faith) is likely to devolve into Activist-Fundamentalist Antics instead.

See also Armor-Piercing Question when Easy Evangelism is accomplished by a single question.

This trope is Older Than Feudalism, but Don't Try This at Home. Jesus Himself deconstructed this trope in the Parable of the Sower; there are those who accept the Word with joy right away, but fold when the going gets tough.

Contrast Turn to Religion, when a character has a more realistic conversion: a sudden crisis may be the turning point, but it also generally takes a lot of time for reflection.

Has nothing to do with Neon Genesis Evangelion.


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  • Commercials use this all the time.
    1. Person A never uses a particular product or service.
    2. Person B gives a pitch about how awesome it is.
    3. Person A proclaims that they will never use anything else for the rest of their lives.
  • Insert "political candidate" for the product or service, and you get roughly half of the political ads out there:
    Gullible voter: I really like this one guy running for governor. The one we have now isn't doing a very good job.
    Party Line spouter: But he voted in favor of something unpopular, just like another disliked public figure!
    Gullible voter: Oh no! That latter guy has a low approval rating too, so this guy must be a horrible person who wants us to eat babies!

    Anime & Manga 
  • Scar's conversion to the side of pacifism in the manga and second anime of Fullmetal Alchemist. It is a little hard to believe that when Major Miles tells him about how he chose to change the government by joining it, and encourages peaceful resistance, that Scar had never considered that. Also, joining the government is only an option for Miles because he's not a full-blooded Ishvalan, like Scar is.
  • Naruto can convert anybody to his way of thinking with minimal argument, provided he has had the chance to beat them first. This even extends to homicidal maniacs who have been driven insane by having monsters sealed inside of them and remorseless sociopaths who have killed hundreds of people as children. Helped along in some cases by their realization that he and they aren't so different... and he didn't end up evil or more than mildly insane. Many of them also used to be idealistic, so often, it's a matter of undoing the processes that made them who they were when Naruto first met them, or forcing them to see them in a new light. The major exception being Sasuke, at least for the time being. Parodied by fanart everywhere.

    Comic Books 
  • In Chick Tracts, the Christian protagonist will explain to a bunch of people about "the truth" — and, very soon, everyone will be quick to convert. The ease of a Chick Tract conversion is made even more baffling considering most of the converted have never heard of Jesus before, yet instantly comprehend evangelical terms like "washed in the blood" or "filled with the holy spirit" the moment they're spoken instead of thinking they mean "bathing in human blood," or "getting drunk on sacred distilled liquor."
    • The most well-known offender is probably "Big Daddy," in which after citing scientific evidence of questionable strength against evolution,note  everyone immediately agrees it's wrong. Even the biology teacher gives up teaching evolution. In the version for younger children, Li'l Susy accuses her teacher of lying. Even if her teacher was wrong about evolution, she wouldn't be lying. She would simply be mistaken. Apparently, in Jack Chick's world, teachers who teach evolution are intentionally misleading children. Even Christians who believe that science is completely wrong about evolution acknowledge this is really not the case.
    • Witness this dialogue from "The Little Princess":
    Believer: Mr. Spencer, I'm sure the thought of your daughter dying breaks your heart, right?
    Unbeliever: Of course!
    Believer: Well, God was even more heartbroken when He sent His Son from heaven to die on Earth.
    Unbeliever: Why did God have to do THAT?
    Believer: Because all people are sinners, and God would never allow sin to enter heaven. Because of our sin, we ALL deserve hell. The only way man could ever get into heaven was for someone sinless to die in his place and pay the penalty for his sin.
    Unbeliever: Who could that be?
    Believer: That someone was God the Son, Jesus Christ.
    Unbeliever: You mean Jesus died for US!
    • There's also "Allah Had No Son," in which a Muslim goes within minutes from threatening to kill the evangelist who calls Allah a Moon God to vowing to preach the Good News to other Muslims even at the cost of his own life.
    • Vampire Jesus is even easier to convince, when he was ready to drink blood a frame earlier.
    • In a tract about Christian Rock being actually controlled by "Lew Siffer", one guy is converted in one panel by reading a Chick tract.
    • Another tract involves two people talking about the creation story in Genesis. One argues that the "days" could have been any length of time to God. The other responds that the days had to have been twenty-four hour long days, because plants were made before the sun, and without sunlight, they would die ... easily convincing his friend with this argument. This is especially baffling if you've actually read the Bible. God creates day and night in Genesis 1:3-5 on the first day, then creates plant life in Genesis 1:11, on the third day (and created light before there even were days, for that matter).
    • In one tract a guy who just converted somehow manages (off panel) to convert 28 people at his first Bible study meeting. Why so many non-believers were attending a Bible study is left unexplained.
    • The Bull is a particularly impressive example. The titular prisoner, who rules over his prison with an iron fist, is put into solitary after killing three prisoners in a single night (and at least one two weeks beforehand; it's implied he may have killed more in the meantime). In the solitary room there is a tract reading "Somebody Loves Me". He immediately dismisses it, but within two hours he is so convinced that he requests a Bible and a chaplain visit. By the time the chaplain shows up two days later, "The Bull" is not only more knowledgeable about it than this man who has dedicated his life to it (or at least the parts about Jesus' love and Hell; he only "just found out that God hates sodomy") but he also devoutly believes every word of it. Then, he proceeds to easily evangelize the chaplain, the entire population of prisoners, the guards, and the warden. The only character who isn't easily evangelized is the state governor, whose only role in the comic is to be a jerk to everybody for no reason. All this is particularly strange given that 1) since Bull found the tract in solitary it must have been put there by one of the prison staff, yet none of them are Christians, and 2) “Somebody Loves Me” doesn’t even discuss Christian doctrine.
    • This is surprisingly often averted in tracts in which the listener refuses or is hesitant to commit to converting, and then dies and goes to hell. Then again, not only are most of the successful conversions fairly easy, but it's typically implied that nothing the Christian said could have converted the listener, making them lost causes from the start.note 
  • Used in Creature Tech, but not in the expected way. Sure, one of the main subplots involves an atheist converting to Christianity, but that plays out about as realistically as allowed by a story with a literal alien Jesus. However, late in the story, an invasion of cat-monsters and a one-liner is all it takes to convert Pastor Ong from Actual Pacifist to a more pragmatic stance.
    Hillbilly: (giving Ong a handgun) Here.
    Pastor Ong: But I'm a pacifist.
    Hillbilly: So am I. Here's how I'm pacified. (shoots a cat monster with a shotgun)
    Pastor Ong: Works for me.
  • A Rius comic features this: a journalist arrives to the town asking to interview God. He asks several people, including devout believers, but their answers confuse him even more. Then he asks the priest, who redirects him to church doctrine and The Bible. He answers that he has read all those and what he wants is to directly interview God and ask him questions, like when He was born, what are His favorite activities, and so on. Finally he asks the town atheist, who easily converts him to atheism.
  • In the first arc of the Ultimate X-Men comic by Mark Millar, Wolverine joins the X-Men under false pretenses, actually intending to infiltrate and kill Xavier per Magneto's instructions. After meeting Jean Grey and sleeping with her a few times, he tells her that he had intended to kill Xavier but that Xavier had turned him around to the X-Men's way of thinking. This is not another ruse — apparently, with absolutely no event to give Wolverine such an epiphany, he's suddenly playing for the home team. Given the fact that Charles Xavier, the world's most powerful telepath, is involved, Easy Evangelism seems a lot more plausible. Or he just decided that Jean's personality was worth it.
  • René Goscinny sometimes used this trope to bring a quick resolution to a messy situation. Two examples from Lucky Luke and Asterix respectively:
    • In L'Héritage de Rantanplan, Lucky Luke tells local tycoon Oggie Swenson, in a very condescending tone, to improve the social conditions in Virginia City. Swenson instantly agrees with him, and in no time, the conflict between Chinatown and the rest of the city's population, has been brought to an end.
    • In Asterix in Corsica, Asterix brings an end to a long-running family feud just by telling the Corsicans to forget about the old quarrels and stand together against the Romans.
    • On the other hand, both also have minor and humorous examples of Aesop Amnesia as in L'Héritage de Rantanplan Oggie becomes obsessed with a cat this time and in Asterix in Corsica one of the feuding families gets into another vendetta.

    Fan Works 
  • This is a common Fan Fic type, usually referred to as "conversion fics", where a fictional character is talked into converting to Christianity (possibly other religions, but usually Christianity). Targets include Harry Potter (who is also convinced to give up his "witchcraft") and, perhaps least believably, The X-Files's Fox Mulder.

  • Despite its premise being about religious conversion, Angelofthe Bat goes pretty far out of its way to avert this. Though Cassandra is always seeking to learn more, it takes a lot to actually convince her God exists, and that doesn't keep her newfound faith from being threatened later.
  • Forbiden Fruit: The Tempation of Edward Cullen: So, Jasper, you're sensitive about being gay? Well, Snoofles the Panda is gay. See? It's normal. Now why don't you, Snoofles, and Vince go have a threesome in my backseat? Aw...
  • A M*A*S*H fanfic titled The Grand Rapids O'Reillys, read aloud by Bennett the Sage at That Guy with the Glasses, sees Father Mulcahy convert from Catholic to Pentecostal just because he had a dream, and the Pope is okay with this.
  • Several instances in Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles. Within two minutes of meeting Hagrid, Harry has devoted his entire life to Christianity despite never even having heard of God or Jesus beforehand. Later, Harry instantly converts Draco from a Ravenclaw Hat to a Gryffindor Hat by outpraying him.
  • One of the most egregious examples lies in the infamous Harry Potter Fan Fic, My Immortal.
    • The mere presence of Ebony Darkness Dementia Raven Way somehow turns all of the author's favorite characters into Satan worshiping "Goths"... hu... "goffs".
    • Another moment in My Immortal has one where Ebony and Draco are about to be punished for having sex in the forbidden forest. They got away because Draco shouted "because I love her!".
  • Many of the gym leaders in Pokémon: Gospel Version are converted after a quick prayer battle, especially the early ones.
  • There is a Sailor Moon fanfic where Chibi-Usa, after being impressed by a group of bitchy girls, converted to Wicca. (Well, the author's more mystical version of it anyway.) Naturally, every character that wasn't a Wiccan was either completely ignorant or an evil Christian who wanted to burn the sues on a cross.
  • There are two Warhammer 40,000 Fan Fics where a Jerkass God-Mode Sue Ork, after killing the Emperor (who apparently caused all the racism in the galaxy, because all the other races just "wanted to be friends with humans") and banishing the Chaos Gods, converts all the factions to Christianity, including the Orks, the Necrons and the Traitor Marines. It's not a Troll Fic and the author claims to be a Warhammer 40000 fan.
  • As a parody of Chick Tracts, "Why We're Here" naturally plays this trope; the preacher is a Cthulhu cultist.
  • Here's another great Chick Cthulhu Tract: "Who Will Be Eaten First?"
  • Averted for the Colonial faith in Worldwar: Discovering the Balance - since the main method for the Colonial faith to induce conversion is a gun, their priests founder in theological debates and there are very few willing conversions. One of the priests sent to proselytize on Earth quickly realizes that for all their bluster of unity in their faith, their own youth is far more likely to be interested in the abundance of exotic religions from Earth than the ossified dogma of the Lords of Kobol.

    Films — Animation 
  • Averted in The Secret of Kells, even though the film is all about the sublime beauty of an illuminated gospel, the book is mostly portrayed as a breathtaking piece of medieval art. One of the main characters, Aisling, is a forest spirit who becomes dedicated to helping Brendan illustrate the book, but remains completely Pagan. Later, Brendan and Aidan flee the Viking attack on Kells, only to run straight into the Viking leader, who grabs the book, opens it, and... rips out the pages, since he's only interested in the shiny cover.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 100 Girls has a particularly odd scene where the main character, Matt, gives a 30 second speech where he manages to show he isn't familiar with the first thing about feminist theory, at the same time as convincing a Women's Studies class that Straw Feminist-like feminism is pointless without any objection from the teacher or fellow stuents.

  • It doesn't seem to take a lot for the McManus brothers in The Boondock Saints to convince people that their vigilantism is just and should be enabled. By that same token, however, the "on the street interviews" shown over the credits are also incredibly critical of the brothers, responses ranging from with What the Hell, Hero? moments to flat out calls for their arrest, and only one guy really takes their side (they also are wanted fugitives by that point for this, so obviously the government hasn't been persuaded). It's really only Rocco and Agent Smecker that they easily convince, but both were already fed up with society's evils by that point.
  • Averted in The Case for Christ; Lee Strobel spends most of the film trying to disprove Christianity. The experts he interviews don't try to preach at him; they simply present him with the evidence, and he is gradually convinced by it. Also, he seems rather reluctant and uncertain about his choice, at first.
  • Surprisingly averted in the last place you'd ever expect to see it: the educational short A Case of Spring Fever. After our lumpy hero Gilbert is shown all the wonderful everyday uses for springs, he spends the remainder of the short explaining said uses to his golfing buddies. Rather than enthusiastically clucking along with Gilbert about their newfound love of elasticity and spring-related trivia, his friends obviously couldn't give 3/10ths of a shit about springs, constantly expressing their annoyance with Gilbert and falling asleep on the ride home as he drones on (which they can only do thanks to those springs in the car's suspension).
  • In Die Hard with a Vengeance where the person who regularly drives the taxi cab McClane and Carver commandeered for their drive through Central Park decided to place a Islam is the Solution bumper sticker on the rear of the vehicle.
  • God's Not Dead:
    • Radisson converts as he's dying, mostly to push the "There are no atheists in foxholes" message that, deep down, atheists will believe in God when death is staring them in the face. Although it is a little downplayed in this case, as he'd been intending to reconcile with his Christian former girlfriend beforehand, and he appears to have already been reconsidering his view after he found the letter his mother wrote to him begging him not to lose his faith while she was dying. In fact, earlier he admits to hating God, implying he'd just been a pissed-off theist to begin with.
    • The same goes for the atheist blogger Amy, who converts when she discovers that she has cancer.
    • Martin,note  and by extension the entire class, as the film portrays them all being nonbelievers, or at least implies they're lax enough believers to not care about signing the statement that "God is dead", while this is America, converts to Christianity simply because of Josh's speeches.
    • Ayisha, who has most likely been raised Muslim her whole life, is suddenly a Christian with no clear motivation as to why.
  • Gold Through the Fire: Peter manages to easily bring his foster brother back into the fold. It's somewhat justified as he'd been raised as a Christian, while being pretty impressed by Peter's courage and steadfast faith. On the other hand, even the KGB assassin sent to murder Peter refrains after just hearing them talking, lowering his sniper rifle with a smile.
  • The ending scene of Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator has the lead good guy, who is posing as Hitler Hynkel, give a speech that we are to suppose makes everything okay. It appears to some people that the speech at the end of The Great Dictator was clearly by Chaplin, more than by the character. It probably wasn't made to be realistic so much as to get the speech across, and it was a pretty brilliant speech, if mostly or entirely rhetorical. Slavoj Zizek points out to the fact that the public is cheering in the same way they would have cheered Hitler Hynkel. The point is that the audience isn't listening; they're just hearing their leader. Indeed, Chaplin is speaking to the film audience, not the audience IN the film. Footage was shot for an extended ending, where you see the soldiers cheer the speech, throw down their guns and start dancing with each other. The Great Dictator was shot in 1940-41, in a period when Allied suspicions about the extent of the Holocaust were growing. The heartfelt appeal of the final speech has more to do with the way Chaplin felt as the film was wrapping up than how he felt starting the project off.

  • Hilariously implied, but inverted in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
    • When Hedwig listens to the radio together with their mother and the presenter talks about Jesus the mother turns it off. Little Hedwig says very serious (like a strong believer in Christianity would sound like): "But Jesus died for our sins!" The mother replied: "So did Hitler."
    • Later on Hedwig talks to later to be Tommy Gnosis. He said to Hedwig (in a similar way of absolute seriousness) something like "Did you accept Jesus Christ as your savior?" - just to explain immediately that Jesus died to protect the people from God - who was so cruel that he expelled Adam and Eve from paradise for wanting knowledge about what was wrong and what was right.

  • In a World…...: None of the minor female characters whose "sexy baby" vocal inflection Lake Bell mocks ever take offense, and it's apparently a very successful sales tactic for her vocal training service. It is presumably meant to show that they are not uneducated or dumb but just need to be taught how to speak so that others will take them seriously, but it has the unintended effect of making them look like easily-led sheep.

  • Let There Be Light (2017): You'd think that after having the vision of his son, Harkens would spend quite some time then wrestling with his beliefs, but after what seems like just one chat with his family and one chat with a pastor, that is enough to get baptized into Christianity again.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road:
    • God-Emperor Immortan Joe is worshiped by his fanatical War Boys and the people who live near his Citadel. However, when the protagonists kill him and dump his body before his people, they immediately cheer his death and declare Furiosa their new ruler. Joe was an oppressive and greedy ruler, but all previous indications were that his peoples' adherence to his Cult of Personality was genuine.
    • Nux goes from a die-hard adherent of Immortan Joe's cult, sent into a fervor of religious ecstasy when Joe so much as made eye contact with him, to being willing to die to oppose his tyranny after a short pep talk from a pretty girl.

  • The Sinister Urge: The businessman who comes to complain about the vice squad going after porn instead of "real crimes" is convinced quickly of the evils of pornography with no real evidence and little more than the argument "How would you like it if YOUR daughters were porn stars?"
  • In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke immediately becomes an enthusiastic believer in Obi-Wan's teachings about the Jedi and the Force, even though he only just met the guy that same day and Obi-Wan has a reputation as being a "crazy old wizard". Obviously this is necessary to move the story along at a fast pace. Luke's "conversion" is arguably justified by the fact that he witnesses Kenobi using the Force, and then is able to feel it himself. It is notable that Han is depicted as being something of a Flat-Earth Atheist simply because he does not immediately buy into all of this based solely on Obi-Wan's pedantic ramblings and Luke being able to deflect a few stun shots after hours of practice. Although he comes across as rather less reasonable when the prequels revealed that the rise of the Empire was a much shorter time ago than was apparent in the original trilogy, and Han would have seen the golden age of the Jedi during his childhood. On the other hand, the ratio of non-Force sensitives to Jedi in the Old Republic was apparently billions-to-one! An average person in the galaxy would likely never meet a Jedi during their lifetime or personally witness actual usage of Force powers. This was especially true since the Jedi largely limited their socialization to within their own Order and had little or no contact with their families. Thus it would be very easy for someone to believe that the Jedi were over-hyped and that the Force was just a lot of "simple tricks and nonsense".
  • In The Trump Prophecy, Taylor shares his dream journal to his doctor and his wife and they instantly believe that he is having prophetic visions.
  • The religious characters in the Woody Allen film Whatever Works are all convinced to become atheists with astonishing ease, with the implication that even the briefest exposure to the cosmopolitan nature of New York will turn even the staunchest conservative Christian into a liberal secular humanist.
  • Young & Wild:
    • Daniela's parents apparently converted from Catholicism to Evangelicalism after getting just one talk with her Evangelical pastor uncle (who also destroyed the icon of Virgin Mary which they had in the back yard, because in his view it's an idol the Bible prohibits). She still resents this, as it's meant she's lived a very restrictive life ever since.
    • One of the conversion stories she watches too in the Evangelical TV station is from a woman who'd converted just due to someone saying God loved her, seemingly. This is perhaps more justified as she lived an empty hedonistic life before that she'd been very unhappy with.

  • In the French gamebook series La Saga du Prêtre Jean, this is an actual power of the protagonist (a 12th century Christian crusader). Once a book, Prester John can convert one intelligent creature that would otherwise be hostile through his high charisma, avoiding the fight. The one time the option to use it outside combat is given, it brings a Chaos-worshiping prophet back to sanity.

  • Arabian Nights: People, Jinn and animals are constantly being converted to Islam without demur.
  • In Carmen Marcoux's Arms of Love, devout Catholic Joanie is able to immediately convert virtually anyone she meets into abiding by very conservative Catholic dogma,note  often after only a single conversation and despite there having been no indication of them being dissatisfied with their previous life. Any characters who do not immediately accept Joanie's teachings are clearly also framed as being 'in the wrong' and eventually both apologize and convert.
  • The Canterbury Tales' sweet and virtuous (late-) Roman princess Constance seems to have the effect of converting every non-Christian she encounters simply by meeting them (though she was aided by a Divine Intervention in one of her many difficulties, which probably helped.) Probably Fair for Its Day in the fourteenth century.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in Cain's Last Stand, where the villain Varan the Undefeatable has the power to instantly (and permanently) convert people to Chaos as soon as they see and hear him. However, it doesn't extend to his followers, who seem genuinely surprised that people who read his (less-than-well-written) book and have his extremist views explained don't convert on the spot (it's a psychic effect, they undergo My God, What Have I Done? when Dispel Magic is used). Oh, and in case you didn't get it yet, Varan is short, hammy, and has a ridiculous mustache.
  • Character in The Chronicles of Amber do this by cheating. When they need large bodies of soldiers they just find a parallel world where the local religion has prophesies about beings very like them and events similar to the current political situation, then enlist them by the hundreds of thousands.
  • In The Coral Island, the natives of the South Sea islands are much more eager to adopt European religious and cultural practices than they usually were in real life. One example comes near the end of the book, when Ralph, Jack, and Peterkin have been captured by angry cannibals and are held prisoner in a cave for a week while they wait to be eaten. Then they're suddenly freed. A missionary arrived while they were imprisoned and converted the whole tribe in days. The boys leave the cave to find the old idols being thrown into a bonfire while thousands of natives cheer. By the time they leave the island, the natives have marked out plots to build European-style houses.
  • An amusing variant in The Dresden Files: In Death Masks the Knight of the Cross Shiro tells Harry that while a young man he attended an Elvis Presley concert. Due to a misunderstanding, he thought he was going to meet "the King" in person while he was actually being baptized. After figuring out what happened, he devoted his life to being a good Baptist, leading to his becoming a Knight.

  • Played with in The Fountains of Paradise, where scientists discover that the most fanatical believers in a religion — or atheists — can be converted to another religion entirely by application of a small dose of a chemical and a few words. The discovery shatters the foundations of almost all major religions, resulting in humanity having largely Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions. The only religion shown to still be going strong is Buddhism.

  • Scott Adams of Dilbert fame wrote a book called God's Debris: A Thought Experiment in which the protagonist (the Avatar) advocates a flavor of Pandeism (in which God blew himself up to become the universe). Easy Evangelism comes into play with the sequel to this book, The Religion Wars, in which a very simplified world war between Christians and Muslims takes place in contemporary times. The Avatar ends the war with a simple phrase: "If God is so smart, why do you fart?" Everyone on Earth practically Contemplates Their Navels and Outgrows Their Silly Superstitions overnight.

  • Averted in Knowledge of Angels, where the character Beneditx's main aim is to convert the atheist Palinor to Christianity (or at least agnosticism), and yet, after half a book of arguments over the matter, it is Beneditx that suffers a Crisis of Faith. Palinor outright states he cannot be convinced anyway, making Beneditx's job impossible to begin with.

  • Left Behind:
    • Used and not used rather bizarrely throughout the series. An obvious miracle protects Israel from attack by the entire Russian and Ethiopian(?) air and nuclear military capabilities? People barely react. The Rapture whisking away babies and the right kind of Christian across the world? It's probably because of... uh... technobabble. But some guy telling you that God is coming back and this is all according to some divine plan? Sure, I'm convinced.
    • There's a blogger critiquing the series, and this is one of the things he's repeatedly pointed out (along with utter failures in worldbuilding, completely unlikable protagonists that barely act human, and the writing in general, to say nothing of the theology). As the blogger, Fred Clark, points out, not only do they never make use of the incredibly obvious miracles that have already happened, they also never make use of the ability to predict future events their particular biblical exegesis grants them. Nobody ever says "Looks like you're not ready to believe yet. Here, take my card, and if after the unscheduled solar eclipse next Tuesday you find yourself a bit more open minded, give me a call".
    • In Kingdom Come, it's pretty easy for the believers in the Millennial Kingdom to evangelize the message of Jesus Christ being the only way to salvation, given that (1) God and Jesus Christ are real, and (2) any "natural" who remains an unbeliever by the time they reach 100 years of age will instantly die and go to Hell. It's the Other Light faction that has to work hard to convince people of their beliefs.
  • One of Stanisław Lem's short stories has a priest who can easily convert any sentient being by some special unnamed argument. He refuses to use this ability, because it would devalue the faith.
  • In Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, the Bishop of Digne, whose whole family was wiped out by the original French Revolution, gets into a debate with a poor zealot of that same revolution on his deathbed. The Bishop, there to administer a final blessing, is at first cold towards the man, and at the end of the debate asks for the revolutionary's blessing. The Bishop might be excused on account of "not having heard the other side of the story", but he clearly loves his poor parishioners and has turned down a life of wealth on their account. Also, a traditional 19th-century Catholic coming to like the French Revolution is roughly equivalent to a patriotic American supporting monarchism; it's just not done. Slightly different in that the revolutionary was not involved in the worst of the excesses, and it's more a case of the bishop learning not to judge people on hearsay and realizing the other side at least had a point.

  • Invoked for laughs in Murderess. Apparently, the people of the Land of the Sea worship gingers, believing them to grant good fortune. Lu comments in jest about how the fun rhythm of the narrative poem at the Dark Ones’ banquet makes her toy with the idea of worshiping gingers herself.

  • The Marquis de Sade actually managed a hedonistic version of this in his tract Philosophy in the Bedroom. It follows a teenage girl whose father has sent her to be "re-educated" by sexually depraved adults whose goal is to make her abandon her obedient, submissive upbringing to become a ruthless libertine who will stop at nothing to experience pleasure. Surely such deeply engrained traditional values would take at least years to undo, right? Wrong. It takes her two days to decide her old way of life was completely hokey. Sade kind of admits her conversion process was rather quick in his introduction, but points out that it's because he wants others to do as she did, and as quickly. He hated religion and anything else he saw as impeding humanity's goal of experiencing pleasure, and so wrote the book to motivate people to revolt against traditional values as quickly as possible.

  • The Saga of the Faroe Islanders: Sigmund is immediately persuaded by King Olaf's speech in favour of Christianity and acknowledges that the new religion "is in all respects brighter and more blessed than the other heathen men hold to". This is handwaved in-story with Sigmund's disclosure that he did not really believe in the heathen gods even before.
    "And this was why I would not sacrifice to the carved gods: I long ago saw that that religion was worthless, though I did not know a better."
  • Sword of Truth:
    • Used in Faith of the Fallen. People are shown the light by a pretty statue, of two people standing tall, because no subject in The Empire seems to do that, along with the inscription "Your life is your own...", because no one in the empire seemed to have even thought of that. An alternative reading is that everyone had thought of it, or wanted to think of it, but they were so beaten down by the dystopia that they'd never dare say such things aloud before (the blacksmith and others admit as much in private earlier in the book). And seeing it displayed so openly and proudly finally convinced them to act on it. An ability to convince people is often stated to be a common trait to people who have the gift. Richard Rahl-Sue is the most gifted wizard ever. And the statue was implied to be at least in part a creation of magic.
    • Again in Naked Empire, where Richard easily manages to show a bunch of pacifists that their view is wrong. Not only that, but he can get them to take up arms with no compunctions, despite it going against what they were told all of their lives. It can't be explained by magic here, since Richard's gift was explicitly not working at the time. It helps that they had already been wavering about their pacifism when faced with the Imperial Order ravaging them, but even so.
  • Victoria: The Christian Marines/Maine First Party/Victorians never have any issues getting people to join or aid them in their struggle to resist the corrupt culture of post-1960s America. Partially justified, since there seems to be a great wave of discontent against the status quo. Still, it is curious that Retroculture is so quickly and easily adopted, nor does anyone balk at the idea of seceding from and making war against the United States, instead of simply trying to reform it.
  • Happens partially in A Wolf in the Soul. Greg abandons atheism surprisingly quickly, but it takes him a very long time to embrace Judaism in its entirety. Even at the end of the book he has a long way to go.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the 2nd half of the two-part opener to Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Capt. Dylan Hunt (flung into a future that doesn't follow his Star Trek-ian ideals) asks the crew to join him later for a discussion. The characters say they don't want to come if he's going to try to get them to join his cause. He promises them that he won't do that, but as soon as they show up, that's exactly what he does. None of the other characters call him on this lie, and in fact they all do agree to help him change the entire universe to his way of thinking by the time he's done with his mealy-mouthed speech. It helps that this is such a crapsack universe that living on the Andromeda, even piloted by an idealist on a hopeless suicidal quest, makes for a serious quality-of-life improvement for these people. Most are more convinced the captain's beliefs won't get in the way of their own interests than of the rightness of those beliefs.
  • Arrowverse: Spoofed in the The Flash (2014)/Supergirl (2015) crossover episode "Duet," where Barry and Kara are trapped in a musical. They need to reunite two feuding families by convincing the star-crossed children of gang bosses to go public with their relationship. It doesn't take much more than a firm suggestion to get the kids to agree, and immediately run off to tell their parents.
    Barry: Wow, convincing people in musicals is really easy.
  • In Being Human, all of the neighbors become convinced that George and Mitchel are pedophiles, based solely on the fact that one woman saw her son watching a DVD that looked more like an experiment for movie special effects than something to corrupt a child. And apparently all it takes to call it all off is for the woman to tell everyone off camera that it was all a mistake.
  • Bull: Bull convinces Jordan and Susan to break up within minutes, despite what previously seemed to be a very intense relationship between them.
  • In an episode of Dark Angel, an escaped super soldier takes to Christianity very quickly. Justified in that he had spent most of his life as a prisoner of Manticore where he wasn't exposed to religion, and while inside he kept a statue of Mary as a symbol of hope without knowing its religious context. His interpretation of Christianity also involves bringing the statue the teeth of people he's killed, too.
  • Family Matters had the episode "Choir Trouble" where the previously non-religious Steve Urkel joins the Winslows' church, reveals he had simply never known about religion, and converts to Christianity, all in a single day. This is particularly unbelievable because before and after this, Steve generally knew everything there is to know. To make things even worse, despite being a science geek, Steve proceeded to explain his newfound faith with an analogy so scientifically inaccurate that Richard Feynman must have been turning in his grave. Thankfully, after the initial preachiness, this is mainly used just to set up a plot where Steve tries to get on the church choir with the Winslows despite his nasal voice and lack of singing ability; afterward, Steve's religion was generally only brought up during Christmas Episodes.
  • Spoofed in the Flight of the Conchords Show Within a Show "Albi The Racist Dragon." The Badly Burned Albanian Boy observes to Albi that sometimes people don't like those who are different from them. And with that, Albi cries a single tear (which turns into a jelly bean all the colors of the rainbow) and isn't racist anymore!
  • Gossip Girl has Blair Waldorf, who has never been shown to be religious of any kind, suddenly turn to God and believing strong enough to marry someone she doesn't want to because she thinks God does not approve of her true love.
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One:
    • Gai Amatsu is a Corrupt Corporate Executive and greedy sociopath who caused dozens of deaths just to sabotage a rival company's product out of his own anti-AI beliefs, attempted to throw his own customers under the bus just to promote the sale of his new product, Mind Controlled people into Blind Obedience and once tortured somebody with electricity for kicks. All it takes turn him good is for him to get a new model of the Robot Dog toy he owned as a child, and his "redemption" happens within the span of five minutes.
    • An inversion of sorts happens with Aruto after Is gets murdered. Even though he was well aware of the dangers associated with the Ark, had plenty of people he could turn to in his time of grief and his Zero-Two Driver was already stronger than the Ark Driver, he still chooses to accept the Ark Driver from As and use it get revenge on Horobi. Made worse by the fact that the following episodes make it clear he knows As is manipulating him, yet he still keeps using the Ark Driver even though he had no reason to.
  • M*A*S*H did this a lot. Anyone who beheld speeches of the mighty Hawkeye immediately became anti-war or else was obviously "crazy".
    • Subverted in some episodes, notably in "Guerilla My Dreams", where Hawkeye and co. try their hardest to save a captured woman from the South Korean agent who suspects her of being a communist guerrilla and is bringing her in to be tortured and executed after she is healed. At the end, the agent stands there and translates what the woman says at the surgeons.
      South Korean agent: She says: You save lives of those who kill my people and rape my land. I would kill you as I tried to kill my enemy in your hospital. As I would kill this murderer, I would gladly die if I could kill but one of you.
    • Hawkeye and co. still don't take it well, even after what the guerrilla says, but it definitely shows that his view isn't necessarily the correct one. Given his reactions, it is also entirely possible that Hawkeye didn't care whether or not the woman was a guerilla, but rather that he was just disgusted at the whole situation, i.e. being asked to patch someone up just to have them be executed later. That didn't go over well with him previously, when Colonel Flagg did something similar.
  • Miracle Workers: Benny goes from comically racist toward the Blackfeet (plus all Indigenous people) to coming around by a single talk with Sheila into championing their cause (but ends up taking a "white savior" role as a result, greatly annoying them). It's Played for Laughs, likely parodying Dances with Wolves, among other depictions.
  • A regular feature of Samurai Gourmet is that when Kasumi faces a social dilemma, he daydreams how a Sengoku samurai would approach the same problem. The samurai's solution is sometimes Easy Evangelism, but it's justified because these were always meant as Indulgent Fantasy Segues to begin with. When Kasumi tries to apply the lesson, it's much more realistic. Sometimes he concludes that the lesson doesn't apply after all and takes no action.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Played with in an episode: Bra'tak, feeling a little depressed, takes an unusually keen interest in the quasi-Buddhist philosophy of a group of beings who turn out to be ascended Ancients, even though with his infant Goa'uld symbiote he cannot progress beyond a basic lesson- possibly because his keen mind figures out the double meaning of "You cannot progress along this path until you are prepared to die." He comes out feeling "young again-a man of eighty". While Bra'tak's change of heart was rather abrupt and underdeveloped — possibly for time and pacing reasons — it had been established that the temple of Kheb was a Jaffa legend he held dear:
      Bra'tak: I have dreamed of finding this place twice as long as you have been alive.
    • In the last two seasons, many people are converted to the Origin extremely quickly. Although considering the power of the Ori is very real and those who do doubt are given the choice "worship us or die", it's fairly easy to understand why they convert so readily — after all, a lot of those cultures had already been worshiping the Goa'uld as gods for millennia.
  • Atticus Murphy Jr., the head of a Satanic cult in Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, has an incredibly easy time recruiting followers among the students at the high school where he serves as the guidance counselor. Then again, the town they live in was founded by Satanists and most of the students likely had parents or grandparents who were Satanists. Almost entirely Played for Laughs, as almost everyone in the town is either a mindless sheep or Too Dumb to Live, and he is the villain (and vaguely implied to be the Anti-Christ, no matter how ineffectual he is. In addition, one of the ways in which Atticus 'converts' people so easily is through pamphlets with drawings in them.... drawings, which look suspiciously similar to Chick Tracts. Except Satanist.
  • In True Blood, Jason Stackhouse undergoes religious conversion at the end of Season 1. Even though he spent all season getting over his dislike towards vampires, he converts to the Fellowship of the Sun (an anti-vampire church) after one of its members comes to visit him in prison and gives him a tract shortly before he's let out of jail. It helped that Jason was in a lot of emotional turmoil following the death of his girlfriend and gran, and was at a very low point (he even tells Sookie he was considering suicide because he didn't think he had anything to be proud of). He doesn't immediately convert though. He's still haunted by the death of Eddie, and he goes to a meeting and expresses his doubts that all vampires are evil. However, when Sarah Newlin (Steve Newlin's wife) tells him a sob story about her sister being killed by vampires, and plays on his guilt over failing to protect his Grandmother and girlfriend to keep him with them. He eventually snaps out of this though when he finds out the church kidnapped Sookie, and goes to rescue her.
  • This can occur on The West Wing, where political opponents may find themselves cowed into impressed submission on the strength of an off-the-cuff filibuster that completely demolishes all counter-arguments. A variant also can occur, where after the filibuster the character who has been arguing may smile knowingly and say "Okay," suggesting that they agreed with the character all along but kept the argument going for some reason of their own (however obscure at times). The show actually has very few instances of this actually working on someone though. Most politicians subjected to the main characters' logic came back with the argument that although they understood the merit of the main characters' argument, they still disagreed about its importance and/or thought the cons outweighed the pros (e.g. Ainsley telling Sam, after he makes fun of her for being against the Equal Rights Amendment, that all her rights are enumerated in the 14th Amendment and she doesn't need a bunch of "old white men" to hand down redundant laws reaffirming her equality.)

  • The song "End Of The Beginning" by David Phelps plays this one painfully straight. The protagonist is reading The Bible on a long flight when his cynical seatmate asks him about it- he claims he has "heard it all before" about religion, but it's revealed that he doesn't know Jesus doesn't stay dead.
  • Inverted in the Music Hall song "Two Lovely Black Eyes" where it is the narrator who enthusiastically endorses opposite political views over the space of two verses. All it takes to change his mind is receiving the eponymous black eyes.
  • Michael Jackson examples:
    • The original video for "Heal the World" has soldiers occupying a town toss their weapons away as soon as angel-faced children visit them with gifts of flowers.
    • Performances of "Earth Song" on the HIStory Tour inevitably ended with a tank rumbling on stage and a soldier with a rifle emerging and threatening Michael and a group of frightened villagers. When the soldier points the rifle at Michael, he took its tip and stood it down...immediately reducing the soldier to tears and taking off his helmet, presumably forsaking his old cause, whatever that may have been.
  • Origami Angel: Subverted in the GAMI GANG song "Noah Fence". The singer is visited by a door-to-door evangelist. Rather than converting, he tells him off: "Hey now, it's a little too late for me to change now. And even if you showed me the way how, I don't have time tonight."

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • Inverted in the Old Testament, of all places—more specifically, in the Book of Exodus. In spite of being the chosen people of God, and receiving multiple proofs of divine support (such as the Red Sea parting and later swallowing a hostile army, food falling from the sky, and rocks in the middle of the desert spouting water), the people of Israel cannot be content with worshiping God, and in the end try to make their own. Aaron claimed it was meant to be an idol to the Lord, but considering their flagrant disregard for morality (they "sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play") and the fact that at least three thousand men refused to come to Moses to stand for the Lord (since three thousand were subsequently killed), this seems like a flimsy justification.
    • After King David, the Israelites repeatedly "did evil in the eyes of the Lord." Kings and Chronicles both mention idolatry as a particular vice of Israel. God was pretty swift in kicking the Israelites in the butt for this, but apparently they were only easily evangelized in one direction. All through the Old Testament, the Israelites would be wandering around the desert for a little while, conquering people, and just lapse out of nowhere into worshiping Baal or the rest of the Canaanite religion. That is, they only worshiped God in times of distress as is common with most people, but during times of ease and comfort lapsed into idolatry. Some historians believe this was due to the Hebrews originally worshiping many gods, and slowly transforming to followers of just Yahweh over time. This has been hypothesized as an explanation for the First Commandment, which says they should have no other gods before Yahweh, implying (according to the theory, anyway) not only that they believed the other gods existed, but that it was okay to worship them if He were considered first.
    • The Book of Jonah highlights Israel's unfaithfulness by contrasting it with the Gentiles' quick conversion. The sailors headed for Tarshish immediately show respect for Jonah's God when they see how powerful He is, and the Ninehvites don't even need to see a miracle: they rush to repent the moment they hear Jonah's warning. Jonah himself is actually disappointed with how easily they convert; he apparently was hoping to see Nineveh nuked by divine wrath. The story ends with a What the Hell, Hero? lecture from God Himself.
    • Jesus himself also averted this in the New Testament. Even though performing miracles is hard to argue with, the general public often didn't agree with him. True, there were huge crowds who listened to him, but there were also a lot of skeptics too. This included the Pharisees and some crowd members who doubted him or believed he was demon-possessed. By the end, most of them left him to be crucified. Although, there were apparently a lot of "miracle workers" in those days, and many of them probably were demon-possessed, insane and/or outright frauds.
    • What drove people away was that Jesus kept telling people that he wasn't going to be the Rebel Leader they were looking for. Even most of his disciples left (except the original Twelve) when he talked about believers "eating [his] flesh and drinking [his] blood"; not just because they were Squicked out by the idea, but because it was a clear statement that he was going to die, which the Messiah wasn't supposed to do. Deconstructed specifically by Jesus in the parable of the sower. In the story, some people simply refuse to hear the message, while others happily respond right away only to give up just as quickly when the going gets tough. The moral of the story is that real faith requires a solid foundation and genuine understanding, and will truly endure the trials to come.
    • A straight example would be the Ethiopian Eunuch in The Acts of the Apostles who asks Philip who a passage in the Bible referred to, is told about Jesus, asks "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" and becomes a Christian on the spot. Probably justified in that the fact that the Ethiopian had enough of an education and interest to be seriously studying Scripture before he met Philip indicates that he already had an interest in the faith.
    • There's also Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, which, thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, results in several thousand people converting then and there.
    • Paul had more mixed results in his preaching to the Gentiles. After his sermon to the philosophers in Athens, much of the crowd is divided on the idea of the Resurrection. Some jeer at it, others are interested in hearing more about it some other time, and some believe in the message. Then there was the time he and Barnabas performed a miracle in a Greek city, only for the locals to conclude that they were incarnations of Zeus and Hermes.
    • Averted when Paul speaks in his own defense before King Agrippa and concludes by asking the King if he is ready to believe, to which Agrippa mockingly responds, "In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?"
  • Because of the many precedents, Mohammed outright refused to ask God for any miracles to prove to the crowds that he was a true prophet. Other prophets had done it before, and the people never believed them. However, easy evangelism does show up in at least one hadith. Mohammed makes an easy convert of someone who came and asked him three questions he felt only a prophet would know the answers to; upon merely hearing Mohammed's response to each of them, the man converts to Islam. This is justified at least, as he clearly had criteria laid out for what would convince him, and then accepted the answer which in his view fulfilled them. However, the Jews who heard of his conversion flatly rejected this, despite him formerly being the most respected and wisest among them.
  • There is a Jewish legend about some relative of the Roman Emperor who converted to Judaism and decided to live in Israel. The Emperor sent three battalions to bring him back. All three chose to stay.
  • In The Talmud, tractate Shabbat, a gentile comes to Hillel and says that he will convert to Judaism if Hillel can teach him the entire Torah while he is standing on one foot. Hillel replies, "That which is hateful to yourself do not do to another, that is the whole of Torah and the rest is but commentary." The man converted.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock has Convincing John, who can convince anyone of anything, just by mounting a huge musical number.

  • You might expect this from Adventures in Odyssey, being a heavily Christian-themed show. Many, many characters convert over the course of the series, but the only truly straight example of the trope in the show's history was Katrina, who discovered Christianity at the beginning of one episode and was a convert before that same episode's halfway point. The show generally takes a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome approach, and most conversions come at the end of a lengthy soul-searching story arc, with the longest being those of Connie and Eugene, two of the show's three main characters, who spent a good portion of the series as agnostics but were never depicted unsympathetically for it. To top it off, one episode was about how evangelism isn't easy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Diplomacy skill is this in a nutshell. As long as the DM doesn't impose significantnote  penalties, achieving a roll of 50 can transform a hostile person to a willing assistant in a minute of conversation. If you accept a small penalty, the same can be accomplished in 6 seconds. In epic levels, they add the fanatic state of mind, allowing a skillful enough speaker to cause a hostile army into a band of fanatic followers willing to die for you in one combat round.
    • There is a known character build that eventually results in being able to substitute any other skill for a Diplomacy check. Combine this with the Jumplomancer build which raises your Jump skill to obscene levels and you can instantly turn an army of enemies in frothing fanatics by jumping really high. Easy Evangelism indeed.
    • The spell Enthrall, in its 1st and 2nd Edition versions, allowed priests to invoke this trope on NPCs by preaching to crowds. Listeners who failed their save enough times could be converted to the speaker's faith, even if they'd been devout followers of other deities.
    • Similarly, in 3rd edition, the result of a failing to resist the "bluff" skill was that the target actually believed the claim. This wouldn't have been a huge problem, since the penalties and bonuses make truly ridiculous claims almost impossible to pull off, save for a potion called "glibness" which made it impossible to fail a bluff check against the vast majority of targets. This meant that you could tell people that they'd been a life-long follower of whatever and, following a six-second one-liner, they'd automatically believe you. The rules for the skill, however, do specify that this belief only persists for "at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less)."
    • The Book of Exalted Deeds gives rules by which you can convert an enemy from their starting alignment towards Good — and they avert the trope, because it takes a great deal of effort. There are ways in which you can skew the process in your favor, but expect a lot of frustration before making any headway if you capture and try to convert the campaign's Big Bad. (And forget it if it's a fiend — evil outsiders are made of evil, so they aren't going to bend.)
  • Deconstructed in Exalted. Socially-focused characters can sway their enemies to their side with relative ease — a devout member of the Immaculate Faith with average Conviction takes only two scenes of argument to convert from "kill the Anathema" to "yay Solars" — and Presence 5 is spelled out as being skilled enough to convert a member of the Wyld Hunt to the worship of the Unconquered Sun. But. Most characters who can do this are in fact using Charms that produce unnatural mental influence, or in plain English, Mind Control. Hence the Wyld Hunt's claim that the Solars are a case of Light Is Not Good.

    This subject is considered important enough, both in example and exception, that the rulebook lays out a set of rules for "social combat" (which includes debate and evangelism) which almost entirely mirror the extent and depth of the rules for physical combat. Because a target's Conviction stat determines how easily they're swayed to a new cause, those weak-willed NPCs (Conviction 1) that you talked into joining you with one amazing speech can just as easily be talked out of it by anyone else's speech. The reliable converts are the ones you can't win easily.
  • Double Subversion in Warhammer 40,000; Horus has fought alongside the Emperor for 200 years, and is the most favored of his sons, having been made Warmaster — although he's annoyed that his fellow Primarchs and the Imperium at large don't respect him like they do the Emperor. A campaign on a World of Chaos almost shatters his worldview despite knowing about the Forces of Chaos — and despite being nearly invincible he's almost killed off by Chaos-tainted weaponry. None of that is enough to turn Horus — instead, it takes a single vision of a possible future from the Chaos Gods (posing as one of his closest friends), and he instantly sets off to murder his father and destroy the Imperium.

    Granted, that vision also exploited a great deal of his personal resentment of the Emperor for stealing credit for his victories and the incredible stress from coordinating and leading dozens of military campaigns. And to make it worse, that vision was of the 40K universe after his heresy (it was the world if the emperor lived, no-one said anything about moving around and to be fair, it was of a Crapsack World the like of which is rarely matched, where men die in the billions and everyone worships the guy he's convinced he needs to kill.

  • Some religious plays have this trope. Say perhaps (in the play), there is a man at an inn. Another character comes by holding any sort of religious text, and finds the man does not subscribe to their religion. The second character eagerly lends their religious text to the man, and one scene later, the man has suddenly become the same religion as the latter character. This could be excused by how media compress long periods time into small bits, however. But when it's explicitly stated that the time lapse is quite short, it is definitely this trope.

  • Villain example: in the Atlantis musical, Jabbadoor manages to convert practically all of Atlantis to the worship of his god, Ba'al-zebub, in the span of a song of less than two minutes. Somewhat justified given that time is always fuzzy in musicals, but still....
  • The Book of Mormon: Elder Kevin Price believes in this trope, at least as far as his own preaching abilities are concerned, but this is decidedly not the case. Played straight with Elder Cunningham, but only because he outright fabricated his own set of stories in order to relate to the Ugandan people (and because he had never actually read the Book of Mormon). While one of the villagers is horribly disillusioned after finding out that she was convinced to join the church based upon lies, her faith is restored when she learns that the rest of her villagers had known all along that the stories were made-up; they had interpreted them as metaphors and parables that could inspire them to better their own lives.
  • In Godspell, right after many different philosophers have just finished singing their creeds (including Sarte, who claims to represent "atheistic existentialism"), John the Baptist appears to sing "Prepare Ye". Within the next minute and a half, all of these angry philosophers are transformed into disciples of Jesus. Audiences may find it justified, however, in that it's explicitly non-literal, and since it's a prologue, dragging it out longer would really derail the pacing of the whole show.
  • Used in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: the conspirators have just killed Caesar, and convinced the public that they did what they did for the good of Rome. The public buys into this. They leave Mark Antony to give a speech to the people of Rome. He pretends to be praising the conspirators, but subtly turns around the people's opinions in a 180 to the point they start mobbing the city in search of the conspirators.

    Caesar was already a popular guy, so the crowd may have been ripe to be converted before Marc Antony even started. Also justified as Mark Antony was known to have been a very skilled orator and takes his time winning over the crowd, including reading parts of Caesar's will where Caesar left a whole bunch of money and land to the people of Rome. Bribes can be very helpful when persuading people.

    It should also be added that they are both very good speeches used as examples of rhetoric even today. We are talking about Shakespeare at his very best after all. Explained a bit better in the historical case which this was based off: Brutus spoke to the Senate, who generally feared the dictator for life, while Mark Antony spoke at Caesar's funeral, mostly to Caesar's veteran soldiers who held a personal loyalty to him. A riot ensued, with some conspirators killed and the others chased out of Rome.
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre, also by Shakespeare, has the pure and virtuous Marina convert men visiting a brothel simply by presenting the shocking event of a woman preaching divinity in one.

    Video Games 
  • Subverted in ActRaiser, in which you play The Master, whose mission is to nurture his faithful and (re)build their civilization, descending to fight monsters himself when necessary. In the end, the people have everything they need—and all the temples are empty of followers.
  • Monks in Age of Empires and subsequent games have a pretty easy time converting soldiers about to kill them to their side. In the first Babylonian mission in the original game, "Holy Man," you must use one to convert some enemy villagers in order to establish your own village.
  • Used to creepy effect in BioShock. The intercom system randomly blares out propaganda which takes the form of a man convincing a woman that her fears and doubts about Rapture (not the Rapture, but the Psycho Serum-addled undersea Dystopia sharing that name in which the game takes place) are unfounded. Fears and doubts such as "There's too much capital punishment." and "I've been suffering headaches and strange hallucinations ever since I started splicing."
  • Civilization often has religion work out to "Whoever sent a missionary to a city last wins". The fifth game makes things a little more reasonable: proximity to a city following a certain religion will cause a city's population to slowly convert over time, a process that can be sped up by sending missionaries, but unless you send inquisitors, believers in other faiths don't just disappear (a city's "religion" is whichever one is believed by more than half the population). Still played straight with Great Prophets, which can automatically convert a city's entire population with no other faiths allowed.
  • The Qunari in Dragon Age II are shockingly successful at acquiring converts. Even the Qunari are surprised. The group in Kirkwall is composed of soldiers, and they aren't actively evangelizing at all since there is a separate caste dedicated to that. Most converts are elves, usually treated like second class citizens even by the religious authorities. It's understandable that they would see idea of joining the Qun, which promises everyone complete equality, as compelling. To put it in context, city-dwelling elves in the Dragon Age setting are treated similar to the way Jewish people were treated in Medieval Europe, except that they follow the same religion as everyone else.
  • A Zig-Zagging Trope in Europa Universalis:
    • Played straight if the province you want to convert is of the Animist, Totemist and Shamanist faiths, who have a natural +2% conversion power to those converting them. There are also events where a nation which holds Animist, Totemist or Shamanist beliefs can be made into another religion entirely, where a nation westernizing comes to identify more strongly with their western neighbours, and following their religion too.
    • Some modifiers also allow for a much easier conversion, such as being a pious Muslim, being an Orthodox nation with a high patriarchal authority, having the right national ideas, having an inquisitor court adviser, or by being a Muslim nation and trying to convert another branch of Islam to your own. Because of this, a pious Najd with the Religious ideas group and an inquisitor in court has a very easy time of converting others, with an 13% bonus from those four modifiers, and 15% against Animist, Totemist, Shamanist, Shiite and Ibadi provinces.
    • This can be Exaggerated by nations who convert to Protestantism or Reformed/Calvinism theology, who have a very strong national modifier which aids their peoples' conversion from Catholicism to their new religion, and with the Church Power mechanic a Protestant nation can be made even stronger. Both Reformed and Protestant nations can also spawn a 'Centre of Reformation' which causes one province to spread its new religion to others, without any input from the nation itself. This can soon make quick work of a once catholic nation, turning them entirely protestant within a matter of a few short years.
    • But Inverted if the province you want to convert is Muslim, Shinto, Coptic or Orthodox as you get a negative modifier to conversion power, and the higher the base tax rate of the province, the harder it is to convert.
    • Some modifiers for each province will also make converting a province very hard, if not impossible. Having a non-accepted culturenote , having had a recent religious revolt, being sieged by religious rebels or having already recently converted will add a large negative modifier to a province, adding quite some difficulty.
    • Rome, Mecca and where Sikhism first appears also have a very strong negative modifier to conversion power, making a well developed Mecca or Rome nearly if not entirely impossible to convert. This particularly hits Byzantium hard, as restoring the Pentarchy requires Rome to be Orthodox, which will only be made harder if Rome revolts with religious rebels.
  • Populous: The Beginning: the Preacher can easily stop enemies in their tracks and make them listen to his preaching, eventually transforming them to your side. There's also the Shaman's "Convert" spell, which quickly turns wild men into followers.
  • Played for laughs in Sengoku Basara with the resident Parody Religion Xavism. In certain stages that deal with said religion, characters such as Yoshihiro and Motonari will show up as "Chester Shimazu" and "Sunday Mori" respectively and fight in the name of Pontiff Xavi.
  • Propaganda works this way in Sins of a Solar Empire. A planet being hit with enemy propaganda may revolt, which somehow results in it becoming uninhabited again. The same thing happens when the Advent fire their Deliverance Engine at a planet. Slightly justified in the latter case that they're using Psychic Powers to induce a More than Mind Control effect.
  • The backstory of Warcraft III mentions Kel'Thuzad had found it surprisingly easy to gain a following when recruiting his fellow Humans from their former faith of the Holy Light into the Cult of the Damnednote , particularly by promising eternal life and social equality for all (he wasn't exactly lying, but in the worst possible way). His actions proved to be critical to the Scourge's early invasion of the nation of Lordaeron and establishing a presence outside of Northrend, and many years later in 'verse and in the franchise, the cult he established, and it's talent for infiltration and subversive tactics, is still an important piece of the Scourge's war apparatus.

    Web Animation 
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, it takes the Custodian all two minutes to convince Dominica that following Vandire (whom she admired greatly) was not the wisest choice and that she should act against him. It doesn't help that she barely listens to him. The whole scene might be justified, though, as Custodian's flashback and shorthand to the real story. It's also all but stated that she gets off out of religious ecstasy on being in the Emperor's presence, and so just accepts whatever His spokesman tells her afterwards without question (both the Custodian and the Emperor are creeped out by this even centuries later).

    Web Comics 
  • In The Bare Pit the only ones not easily converted to nudism are stubbornly ignorant tyrants. In particular, the character of Tex serves no purpose except to be the bad guy.
  • Played straight and inverted for laughs in one Penny Arcade strip. It takes just two good games to convince Gabe to become a priest and spend his life worshiping the Lord, but only one mention from Tycho about a potentially good game getting canceled to convince him it's all meaningless.

    Web Original 
  • There actually a exists PETA-released game called Pokémon Black and Blue. In the game, humans constantly exploit Pokémon for research, entertainment, or just plain out of cruelty. The player has the abused Pokémon fight the people who hurt them (yes, the trainers, not their Pokémon). When you win a battle, the Pokémon talk to the person, giving a rather trite lecture on the error of their ways. The trainer always realizes how they've wrong they are and agrees to change before "fainting". The fact that the trainers are all fairly stereotyped does not help.
  • The r/atheism subreddit has become widely reviled for the large number of images with smug, anti-Christian quotes. The mods tried to change this by banning image posts. The users were not pleased. A number of users protested the move by posting messages claiming that they were former Christians who became atheists after seeing one of these images. Since this is the Internet, it's hard to tell if they're serious or not.
  • Tea's legendary friendship-speeches in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series pokes fun at this, with Tea being able to beat bad guys just by friendship-speeching them into oblivion until they agree with her in a Creepy Monotone: "Yes. Friendship is great. Must go get friends."

    Web Videos 
  • On YouTube, a common "type" of video is one claiming to DESTROY (insert ideology here) in (short period of time, usually 2-5 minutes). When a video is titled as such, it's almost guaranteed the "destroying argument" is an incredibly common one. For example, "destroying" Christianity by bringing up the Problem of Evil ("If God is good, why do bad things happen?"), which is something every Christian will have to deal with on their own before adulthood (or very shortly after conversion, for those not born into the religion).

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! subverts this constantly. In one episode, Stan tries to convert his friend to Christianity and accidentally kills him. He sees God, but is sent to hell, who lets him come back to life as a Satanist. In another episode, Terry's homophobic father comes to visit and Stan outs him. When Terry's dad shuns him, Stan gives a perfect argument for homosexual rights. Terry's dad reveals he knows exactly why homosexuals are the way they are, he knows it's not a choice, and he knows they aren't harmful... he simply doesn't like it. Then the episode ends. The Aesop being sometimes prejudice isn't fixable, and you should ignore it and move on.
  • Subverted in Animaniacs, when the show is in the running for the coveted and lucrative "Humanitarian Animation Award". The siblings effortlessly convert everyone they meet to their newfound politically-correct lifestyle — until they hear they're out of the running for the award, at which point they immediately revert to their old ways.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers. There are several minor examples, but one of the most ridiculous is when a character manages to convince a mercenary army of the error of their ways with one speech. And in the infamous AIDS episode. Hundreds of people are (easily) turned against a star basketball player because he has HIV. One speech from a big blue man in little red pants later, they all love him again. Perhaps justified in-universe because Heart Is an Awesome Power.
  • Family Guy, however, plays this straight for Christianity and atheism: Meg is easily converted to Christianity, then Brian just as easily convinces her that there is no God, just by pointing out how crappy her life is, and that she's an awkward teenager who's ugly even though her mom is hot and that "[her] parents didn't even care enough to give [her] a damn mumps shot!" A lot of that rant focused around how the rest of the cast mistreated Meg. Which makes the later episode where she decides that being mistreated and abused by the family is her purpose in life the king of the Broken Aesop. It's also subverted as Brian has personally met Jesus (he was their guest for over a week) yet is still an atheist (though that's a different trope).
  • Bobby Hill becomes one in King of the Hill, leading to a street war between his street and another when he destroys a statue of Uncle Sam that Hank had worked hard to create because he saw it as a false idol. A running gag for the show is how impressionable Bobby is, to the point that essentially anybody can influence him into changing his opinions, interests, and world outlook in the span of about five minutes.
  • In a Phineas and Ferb episode, rock band The Bettys are three Jerkasses who treat Candace and Stacy like dirt through most of the tour, but Candace is able to convince them to do a Heel–Face Turn with one little "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • South Park does this (mockingly) with atheism in "Go God Go": Mrs. Garrison is accused of not giving proper lessons on evolution because of her beliefs. Richard Dawkins is hired to teach evolution. Using the Flying Spaghetti Monster to discredit religion, he promptly converts her-and eventually the whole world-to militant atheism.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Mostly Played for Laughs, but in "The Joy of Sect" nearly the entire town of Springfield is convinced to join a cult extremely easily. Groundskeeper Willie simply needs to be told that their leader "knows all and sees all" in order to become convinced.
    • In "Faith Off" Bart also lampshades this (he was already going to church, but was a pretty terrible Christian), telling a faith healer that he's just going to live a life of sin and then "presto chango, deathbed repentance." The preacher manages to convince him to convert by telling him he'll be covered against sudden death.
  • Parodied in Xavier: Renegade Angel when that episode's villain is about to get killed.
    "IacceptJesusChristasmypersonalLordandsavior YES MADE IT!"

    Real Life 
  • Supposedly, one tribe in Southeast Asia had a legend of brothers from across the sea who would someday bring them a book that showed everyone the way to happiness. Missionaries were pleasantly surprised.
  • If you aren't specific enough when you say you want a new study Bible, you may end up with one that includes flow-chart instructions on how to convert people next to the concordance. Just go down the list, reading your target the verses given in each step, and the final box is where your target begs Jesus to become his Lord and Savior. It doesn't seem to have occurred to whoever wrote this that not everyone accepts the Bible as absolute truth.
  • Richard Gage, one of the most prominent members of the 9/11 Truth movement, says he became a Truther in March 2006 when he heard a radio interview with prominent Truther David Ray Griffin, and within days he was telling other people that 9/11 was an inside job. He says he was a longtime staunch Republican and enthusiastic Bush supporter before hearing this one interview four and a half years after 9/11 converted him to full-blown Trutherdom.
  • There are cases of this in other religions as well; for example, one common evangelical Christian rebuttal to claims that their religion can't be universally appealing if people left from it is that those people must not have been truly saved.
  • It's very hard to gauge how true these sorts of things are, but most major religions with missionary traditions have stories of whole nations being converted practically overnight, usually due to their leader's righteous conversion.
    • In the words of a Russian historian, after the Prince of Kyiv converted to Christianity (paraphrasing), "All the people celebrated the wonderful decision of their prince for they said unto themselves, 'why would our leaders choose for themselves something that was not good for us also.' And they all came to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
    • Buddhism claims in some stories that various gods, demons, and monsters were also converted to Buddhism upon hearing the Four Noble Truths. This occurs mostly in fable, obviously. Take into account that one of the tenets of Buddhism is that said gods, monsters, and demons are also trapped in the cycle of reincarnation and Buddhism is a means to achieve Nirvana.
    • A Catholic example exists in the Story of Our Lady of Guadelupe. Long story short, after all was said and done a nation of natives converted to Catholicism. This is less impressive given that it was a population in a Catholic-dominated nation at the time and the natives weren't exactly unfamiliar with Catholicism to begin with. Not sure if this lends it more credence or not.
  • This video involves interviewers asking people if they think being gay is a choice. When someone says yes, the interviewer asks, "When did you choose to be straight?" This causes them to change or moderate their opinions.
  • Steve Drain visited the Westboro Baptist Church to study them and make an anti-WBC documentary, but somehow they managed to convert him. He and his family ended up joining the church.note  He did make the documentary, but it was changed to be pro-WBC.
  • This tends to happen with a lot of cults, as the leaders are often extremely charismatic. The real-life Church of Happyology is another good example; there isn't a flood of how bad their deeds are, just the ones brought forth by word of mouth, because infiltrators either get brainwashed and converted, or sued into silence.
  • In Marxist theory, when the working classes attain "class consciousness," in other words, realize how they're being exploited by the Bourgeoisie, they'll rise up and overthrow the capitalists. Those who don't have "false consciousness." They may still rise up, but not against the material conditions which created their misery in the first place, like in the Protestant Reformation, where the people "liberated" themselves from the Catholic Church, but not their feudal lords (a peasants' revolt in Germany occurred, but was suppressed).
  • EWTN, a Catholic TV/radio network, averts this trope. When they have guest speakers talk about their conversion to Catholicism, there's usually at least a 3-5 year span from the first inkling of curiosity to baptism, with that time being taken up in Bible reading, prayer, and discussing their numerous objections and questions with other people. Reverts (people who leave the Church, then come back), often take decades of questioning and exploring before coming back.
  • While most missionaries don't see success come as easily as the ones who went to the tribe that was waiting for brothers to bring them a book with the secret to eternal happiness, Christianity has been known to grow rapidly in places where people genuinely are hearing about Jesus for the first time. Christianity had been in China since before it came into Europe (no kidding - look up the Nestorian Christians) but Christian teachings were largely wiped out from Central Asia and China after the coming of Islam, and Christianity had to be reintroduced in the form of Roman Catholicism with the coming of the Portuguese in the 17th century. It was repressed a couple of times after that, but there are still more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party.
  • Averted by Judaism. While it is possible to convert to Judaism and many people have done so, it requires at the very least being told "no" by a Rabbi several times (testing your sincerity, seeing if you will return multiple times before the Rabbi accepts your seriousness in wanting to become a Jew; though there are some Rabbis who will turn you away no matter what because of their personal beliefs towards converts and/or the act of conversion to Judaism itself), before the "fun" part begins-learning Hebrew and reading the Torah, as well as learning how to practice the religious rituals and learning what religious obligations and restrictions you will be bound to after converting to fully understand Judaism; and only then can you convert after being put before a Beit Din (Jewish religious court of three Jewish men) to test your knowledge and religious faith, and once the Beit Din gives its okay, you will (if male) get circumcised then finally immerse in the Mikvah (ritual bath) to complete your conversion. Fast learners are said to have done the whole thing in a year, but that does not count the time they spent curious and wishing to convert.
    • Played somewhat straight with born Jews (especially those who were born from a Jewish mother, but grew up without a Jewish upbringing; e.g. whether that person was adopted into a non-Jewish family, or their mother converted to a non-Jewish religion/belief and raised her children without knowledge/practice of their birth religion, or other reasons) in that while there are no Jewish missionaries to convert non-Jews to Judaism, there is a movement called Kiruv (Hebrew: "bringing close") that puts together resources to convince secular and/or non-Orthodox Jews to become practicing Orthodox Jews. These efforts may involve funding of college campus Jewish organizations, trips to Israel, Shabbatons, or something as simple as a Hasid manning a table (or Chabad Lubavitch's "Mitzvah Tanks", RVs set up as mobile synagogues) trying to convince a passerby (after the Jewish "evangelist" asks, "Are you Jewish?", and getting an affirmative answer) Jewish man to perform the ritual of laying tefillin at the table or giving candles to a Jewish woman and asking her to light them just before sundown Shabbat and pray the Shabbat blessing, in the hopes that the Jewish person is impressed by this gesture and starts their path towards practicing and acting as an Orthodox Jew (however if you say you aren't Jewish, they will wish you well and then continue asking subsequent people who pass by until they find a Jewish person). Interestingly there is a lot more effort and resources in present day Orthodox Judaism put towards trying to convince non-practicing/non-Orthodox born Jews to practice Judaism fully, than to assist non-Jews (or Jews-by-choice who converted into non-Orthodox sects) who are openly wanting to convert into Orthodox Judaism!
  • In Mormon missionary culture, this is known as finding the "Golden Investigator", usually somebody who is excited to learn from the missionaries, loves reading The Book of Mormon, enjoys going to church, and who can't wait to get baptized.

Wololo. Wololo.


Video Example(s):


Suck and Swallow

When they met Bobby Worst, they were two closeted Christian missionaries put in a cell due to being Mistaken for Pedophiles. Within one minute and a Villain Song after meeting him, they kill the guard and violate his corpse just like he taught them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / EasyEvangelism

Media sources: