Follow TV Tropes


For Happiness

Go To

"Cause I love to make you smile, smile, smile
Yes I do
It fills my heart with sunshine all the while
Yes it does
'Cause all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
From these happy friends of mine."

Bob really likes happiness. Not only for himself or for his loved ones, but for everybody. Since it's often impossible to let everyone be happy, he'll settle for as much happiness as possible to as many as possible. Hence, an entire system of morality based on the pursuit and spread of happiness.

While Bob might be any average guy, his desire to make happiness possible - and especially the fight against needless suffering that comes with it - might drive him to become a hero. In some interpretations of Order vs Chaos, Bob is a Chaotic Good kind of character who might clash with a Lawful Good hero who disregards For Happiness in favor of having For Great Justice as his only driving principle. A hero who in such a setting embraces BOTH For Happiness and For Great Justice, keeping a balance between them when they clash, is usually Neutral Good, although one can find both Utilitarian-type consequentialists and some fairly strict deontologists among the Neutral Good; and in general the matching of philosophy in this regard with one's position on with Order vs. Chaos is true most of the time, but not in every situation.

If the character is also promiscuous or such, it's in an Ethical Slut kind of way. One way of maximizing happiness while keeping the risks of suffering minimal is to make sure that your play (sexually and otherwise) is Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

Compare The Needs of the Many, Good Feels Good, and The Pollyanna. For more on the philosophy behind For Happiness actions see Ethical Hedonism. Compare and contrast Totalitarian Utilitarian and Happiness Is Mandatory, as well as Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, for when this goes horribly, horribly wrong. Contrast also It Amused Me or The Hedonist for the utterly selfish variant of this, i.e caring only about their own happiness, often in expense of others.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Medaka from Medaka Box, who is more or less a God.
  • Yuya of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, as an entertainer, makes sure his duels are all about making his audience (and his opponent) happy. It becomes a point of contention with Crow, who believes that a full stomach is more important.
    • A darker example is his original, Zarc, who started being ruthless after the audience applauded him when he accidentally injured his opponent and drove him in madness.
  • Baccano!:
    • Elmer has this as his raison d'etre: he just wants everyone (particularly his more melancholy immortal brethren) to smile.
    • One of said immortal brethren, Begg Garoto, is developing the perfect drug in the hopes of providing easy, instant happiness to everyone in the world.
  • BanG Dream!: One of the bands, "Hello, Happy World!" aims to spread happiness and smiles all over the world.
  • Black Lagoon: Rock has this as his hobby. The rest of the cast thinks he's out of his mind, but they also think it's enough reason to let him live.
  • Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Nessa from Fractale, who "loves love and hates hate."
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Love Momozono from Fresh Pretty Cure!. She's born with her Multi-Ethnic Name from her parents (but mainly her grandpa) so she's able to spread love and happiness to everyone, and she took that thing at heart. She's extremely friendly, her Catchphrase is "Get your happiness!", attempts to make her friend happy going south (at first) is enough to make her bawl, and if able, she's also reaching out for some of her enemies to reach their own happiness. It works on Eas, culminating her Heel–Face Turn into Setsuna/Cure Passion, and she even attempts that on the Big Bad Moebius to reach his happiness, which backfires when Moebius declared that his happiness is the destruction of the Pretty Cure, even at cost of his destruction. The Cures survive the attempt, though.
    • Miyuki Hoshizora from Smile PreCure!. It's even in her Cure name: Cure Happy.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Domon and Rain modify the attack call for the God Finger in the Grand Finale to reflect this attitude.
    These hands of ours are burning red! Domon: Their loud cry tells us- Rain: -to grasp HAPPINESS! Both: Erupting God Finger! Sekiha Love! Love! Tenkyoken!
  • Although he initially seems little more than a self-absorbed Upper-Class Twit, Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club actually subscribes to this philosophy. He wants to have fun, but he wants everyone else to have fun too.
  • Trigun: Vash The Stampede fights with all his heart for LOVE AND PEACE!
  • Rentaro from Black Bullet falls into this. This is a deconstructed trope, as he wants everyone he loves and cares about to be happy, at the expense of his own happiness. The reason he withholds the crucial information about the sad eventual fate of cursed children becoming Gastrea monsters to Enju Aihara, a cursed child and Initiator who happens to have 500 days to live as a human (or the fact that Enju is slowly dying), is because he wants Enju to live a happy life in her remaining time as a human. It bites him in the ass during volumes 5 and 6 where he was arrested for a crime he didn't commit. Rentaro told Kisara that he is willing to sacrifice his own happiness and freedom for the sake of Kisara being happy. Needless to say, Kisara broke down in tears simply because Rentaro isn't happy.
  • The titular character from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Her selfless dedication to make other happy causes her to pull a Heroic Sacrifice at the end involving removing all despair from witches across time at the expense of erasing her own existence.
  • This is deconstructed in Fruits Basket, teaches that a person should strive to make others happy but accept that it's fine to occasionally be selfish in certain regards. Tohru has difficulty with this initially and tries to be so utterly selfless that she does things that are detrimental to her health (avoids discussing her problems with others because she doesn't want to upset them, living in a tent in the woods and getting sick because her grandfather's house was being remodeled and she didn't want to inconvenience her friends, etc).
  • In Red River (1995), Kail wants to become the next king so he can ensure the welfare and happiness of his subjects. The fact that Yuri always worries about wellbeing of the people she meets, no matter what their social status or situation, leads to him realizing that she might just have the qualities necessary to be the most powerful woman in the entire empire. This inevitably leads to both of them being favored as the new rulers, over the evil queen Nakia.
  • In To Love Ru Darkness, Momo's Harem Plan is pretty much this. There's definitely some selfishness in there since she seems to feel this is the best way to receive some of Rito's love, but she's also well aware of just how many girls have fallen for him and wants every last one of them to be happy.
  • In Little Witch Academia (2017), this is the motivation for both main character Akko Kagari and her idol Shiny Chariot. Chariot's desire became a Tragic Dream, discarding her performance career to become a shy, meek teacher.
  • Gabriel the protagonist of Gabriel DropOut was originally a sweet angel, who wanted nothing else but to help the human race... until she discovered Video Games. Turning her into a Jerkass Gamer Chick, who couldn't care less about making humans happy.
  • In Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, Akira is completely and utterly fixated on making the rest of his life as happy as it can be after enduring a Soulcrushing Desk Job for three years. Not even the Zombie Apocalypse can stop him from chasing his dreams so long as his actions don't come at the expense of anyone else. This also means that if he can help someone else feel happy, he'll help them too (though more often than not it aligns with his bucket list anyways). This goal of his quickly becomes the most recurring theme of the story, as Akira's efforts to find joy even in the worst of times inspires others to do the same.
  • In the Tamagotchi anime films and shows, Hapihapitchi, who was created by Mametchi in the second movie, was made specifically for the purpose of making others happy and will do anything in her power to cheer up anyone whom she senses is sad.
  • In Osamu Tezuka's children's manga Unico, the titular protagonist is an innocent, pure-hearted, and cute baby unicorn who encourages kindness and empathy. Due to his compassionate nature, Unico is strongly motivated to make others feel happy. He also dislikes seeing others feeling lonely, sad, or unhappy and goes to great lengths just to make them feel better, depending on the situation.

    Comic Books 
  • In Prime Baby, the sluglike aliens turn out to be "missionaries of smiles and happy feelings". They hold sing-alongs and knit socks for the homeless.
  • Superman is a rare The Cape example of this trope, at least with regards to his treasured home city of Metropolis. For the rest of the world, he usually takes a more low-profile For Great Justice route, and even then these can swap around. It's all Depending on the Writer.
  • Supergirl has this as her motto: "Hope, Compassion and Help for all". She's more liable to use her powers to make people happy than beating criminals up.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Zeltron hat is this... mostly. Justified as they're a race of empaths. If someone's unhappy, the whole block knows it and can feel it. The sociopaths of their species usually travel off-world to get away from the good cheer.
  • The Wicked + The Divine: This is Dionysus's philosophy when it comes to his divinity; he'll be dead in under two years, but everyone at his parties will have lasting memories of experiencing joy and release long after he's gone.

    Fan Fiction 
  • A Clash Of Neets: Aqua is the Goddess of Joy; her portion of the Seven's religion basically amounts to ethical hedonism: life is short and hard, so do whatever makes you happy now (as long as you aren't hurting anyone by doing it). This makes her very popular with the Smallfolk, who lead hard and difficult lives, so any reprieve or relief is welcome.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Harry Potter-Evans-Verres follows this. Rather than settling for less than making everyone become happy, he decided to try to become God.
  • Passionate Pragmatism: Erwin and Hange even have this as their stated goal: they want to maximize happiness for humanity.
  • Lucina Reacts: Reflet follows this too. She wants everyone to be happy; in her case, she pursues it by playing pranks on people to make them laugh and pairs people up who are both interested in the other to maximise their happiness.

    Film — Animated 
  • Deconstructed in Inside Out with Joy, a Control Freak whose goal is to make sure Riley's life is as happy as possible by letting Riley feel only the bare minimum of every other emotion, especially Sadness, whom she tries to keep contained at all times. This blows up in her face when Joy gets Sadness and herself whisked out of the control room, leaving the rest — Anger, Disgust, and Fear — to try and pick up the slack. Ultimately, Joy comes to the realization that Sadness has been integral to some of the happiest moments of Riley's life, namely as a way to reach out and connect with the people she loves most, thereby allowing not just Sadness, but also the other emotions their turns.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Amélie, who decides her destiny is to bring happiness and beauty to the lives of others—although she's not above cheating, fabricating, or deceiving to do so.
  • Giselle in Enchanted pretty much acts on this as her life philosophy, up to and including impromptu (delightful) musical numbers.
  • In Happy-Go-Lucky, Poppy just wants to share the joy and that everyone is happy. That goes so far as trying to cheer up even the grumpiest of people she meets.
  • X-Men Film Series: Professor Xavier's modus operandi is to alleviate the suffering of his mutant students and to guide them to become happy, healthy, confident individuals who can achieve whatever goals they set their mind to. In X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse, Charles is positively beaming with sunshine and rainbows, and he hopes that with enough education and the tender loving care he offers, everyone he takes under his wing will eventually bask in that merriment as well.

    Folk Hero 
  • Johnny Appleseed was famous for this. Although he spent most of his life a simple hermit, he made it his mission to cover the United States territories with apple trees so that everyone could enjoy their flowers and fruit... and get drunk. (Apples at the time were fairly small and sour, so they were usually converted to hard cider rather than eaten.)

  • In Animorphs, the Pemalites fit this trope to a T. Created by The Ellimist to spread life, love, and freedom, they did exactly that... until Crayak's pet creation, the Howlers, straight-up slaughtered their asses. It's worth noting that the Howlers are also like this, Crayak just gave them a warped sense of what people find fun.
  • Brave New World is a merciless deconstruction: the government makes sure people are basically enslaved to happiness.
    "Happiness is a hard master—particularly other people's happiness."
  • Vianne from the novel Chocolat doesn't believe in God or sin or forgiveness. She believes that "The only important thing is to be happy" — and does her best to make it happen with amazing gourmet and possibly magical chocolates. Solid strategy.
  • Many saints in The Great Divorce choose to delay their own ascensions so they can try to rescue as many from their Self-Inflicted Hell as possible. They do this because they feel the radiance and splendor of the Heaven's sunrise will be better if experienced by as many people as possible.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: Bertie Wooster is an Upper-Class Twit rolling in the right stuff, unashamed of his useless lifestyle, and spends all his time either going to clubs and golf courses or shopping for clothes. He'll let his exuberant way of life get interrupted for one reason only— if he has to help a pal in distress. As far as that goes, he's willing to survive anything.
  • Kushiel's Legacy: Kushiel's Mercy has Ptolmey Solon, the world's probably smartest man, who holds that happiness is the highest form of wisdom.
  • The title character of Pollyanna's reaction to life—so much so that her name has become a synonymous with the concept.
  • Roadside Picnic: With the very last line of the novel, Red the Stalker has finally reached an alien artifact that supposedly grants wishes. He staggers towards it, shouting "HAPPINESS FOR EVERYBODY, FREE, AND NO ONE WILL GO AWAY UNSATISFIED!"
  • Stranger in a Strange Land had Patricia Paiwonski, who "wanted to sacrifice herself on an altar of happiness for the world."
  • Utopia: The general Utopian political philosophy. Everyone works, everyone lives in the same sort of houses and wears the same clothes, eats the same food, etc. because it makes a comparatively high standard of living for everyone.
  • Wicked Lovely has the Summer court, who are described as 'happy by nature' and 'frivolous and passionate'. They oftentimes tell others to 'choose happiness'. However, due to their nature as part of The Fair Folk, they often put happiness before things like morality and loyalty, on one occasion telling Seth to leave Aislinn because he'll be happier that way.
    "Sometimes it's not about being happy, but courting happiness." —Siobhan.

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek: Voyager: As the self-appointed "Morale Officer", the character Neelix is constantly trying to live up to this trope. The rest of the crew mostly just found it annoying, and Tuvok in particular once used a holodeck simulation to check if he was losing his ability to suppress his urge to kill him (he had).
  • The Kamen Rider franchise:
    • Yuusuke Godai, the hero of Kamen Rider Kuuga fights to protect people's smiles; likewise, his Alternate Universe Expy Yuusuke Onodera from Kamen Rider Decade.
    • In Kamen Rider Double, Shotaro Hidari makes it his mission to make sure no one in Futo cries. The fastest way to set him off is to make somebody cry in his presence.
    • Gentaro Kisaragi, aka Kamen Rider Fourze, also strives to protect the smiles of his friends. And his goal is to befriend everyone he meets.
      • Lampshaded when Shotaro and Gentaro meet in Movie War Megamax. Shotaro is unimpressed that the new Rider is a loudmouth teenager with a pompadour...until Gentaro says he won't forgive the people who made his friends cry. Shotaro responds "'re alright, kid", and the two are friends from then on.
    • Deconstructed in Kamen Rider Gaim. Mitsuzane Kureshima just wants to make his friends happy. The problem is that he's arrogant enough in his own intelligence to think that he and he alone knows what will bring them happiness, ignoring their own opinions on the matter; and will keep unpleasant information from them even if it's something that's very important for them to know. He eventually gets to the point where he wants to kill his (former) best friend Kouta and crush their mutual friends' hopes in order to keep them safe and "happy". By that point, it's clear that "for their happiness" is the lie he tells himself to justify the actions he's taking for his happiness; he's desperate to be seen as the hero that saves everyone, and is intensely jealous of Kouta for receiving that admiration instead (which he gets by actually being heroic).
    • Kamen Rider Build protagonist Sento Kiryu says that he fights for the sake of "Love and Peace", which he admits may be unrealistic but still gives him purpose. The phrase ends up becoming Arc Words for the series, with the villains trying to dismiss it as feel-good nonsense and Sento converting quite a few characters to his way of thinking, including almost all the non-villainous Kamen Riders. For that matter, Build's movie-exclusive power-up even has a Finishing Move called "Love and Peace Finish".
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One has a new protagonist named Aruto Hiden, a young comedian who dreams of making people laugh and smile. He enjoys everyone's happiness and it's what inspired him to become a comedian. Unfortunately, most of his jokes fall flat, but he won't give up. And being a Kamen Rider can also achieve his dream too by helping and protecting people.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The War Machines, the bartender asks Polly to help cheer up Ben. Polly comments on how reliably she is called on for such measures.
  • Bones; Brennan found herself bemused at Angela's efforts to raise money to save a baby pig from the slaughterhouse, but finally donated to her cause. Sweets commented at one point, "Sometimes you don't save the world, Dr. Brennan. Sometimes you just make your friend happy."
  • Kasumi of Samurai Gourmet is dedicating his retirement to doing things (generally eating foods) that make him happy. When someone is impinging on the enjoyment of his fellow diners, that's usually when the samurai will step in to inspire Kasumi to take a stand.
  • Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones. He always has a funny story or a dick joke or whatever to lighten up the mood whenever something horrible is going on. Which is all the time, of course. He's also one of the few characters who genuinely cares about people. He ends up kind of playing Court Jester to Jon Snow.
  • Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga: This is protagonist Kengo Manaka's main motivation for becoming a member of GUTS Select and protecting Earth as Ultraman Trigger, he wants to make everyone smile and make the world a happier place, especially with the ongoing threat of the Dark Giants and Kaiju.
  • In The Good Place, this is deconstructed with Doug Forcett. Having figured out the workings of the afterlife during a magic mushroom trip when he was younger, he dedicates his life to acts of kindness in order to get into the titular Good Place. Michael and Janet of the Celestial Bureaucracy pose as journalists and interview him in the hope that he'll be the ideal role model to other humans. However, he's so devoted to others' wellbeing that he's an Extreme Doormat Stepford Smiler who lives on homegrown radishes, drinks his own pee to save water, torments himself for the local problem kid's amusement, and donates so much blood he once ended up needing a transfusion himself from the resulting anemia. Janet describes him as a "happiness pump", someone who takes Utilitarianism to its self-destructive logical conclusion, and she and Michael decide it'd be flat-out unreasonable to expect everyone to live like him.
    • Deconstructed again at the end, when we see the real Good Place. If everyone is completely happy all the time, that happiness eventually becomes mind-numbing and meaningless.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the Scarred Lands setting , the titan Gulaben held the powers of granting happiness. The mortal peoples believed her to be For Happiness, and her popularity made her a threat to the Gods' reign over the world. Claiming that her power was merely a sinister kind of Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, the Gods captured her and destroyed all memories of her so that no one would try to set her free. The official truth is that she was a fickle and cruel titan, who might kill you even as she induces pleasure beyond imagination. The gods simply did what they had to do. And since we no longer remember the real truth about Gulaben, we'll just have to take their word for it.
    • Elysian dragons are from the plane of pure Good, and also believe that goodness and happiness are inextricably entwined. So, rather than leading righteous crusades against evil, Elysian dragons host bacchanalian revels to promote physical pleasures, ensuring that they and everyone around them have as many enjoyable days as possible. As a result, they're the only dragons who, despite their supernatural metabolisms, routinely get drunk and develop pot bellies — one of their breath weapons is even a belch of inebriating gas. Elysian dragons also reproduce at a rate that other dragons find irresponsible, and sire more half-dragon offspring than all the other dragons of the Outer Planes combined (despite the fact that they cannot naturally shapeshift into forms more compatible with their paramours).
    • Basically the MO of 5e's Oath of the Ancients Paladin; their Oath even obligates them to "Delight in song and laughter, in beauty and art."
  • Warhammer 40,000: Nurgle, despite being a god of Chaos, is technically this. As the god of contentment, he wants everyone to be happy - especially if it means turning them into mindless plague thralls.
    • Slannesh is a subversion; shi is the god of hedonism - but shi is also the goddess of suffering. So hir ultimate goal is For Happiness and For Sadness at the same time.
    • The Tau are a subversion; yes, the majority do believe in For the Greater Good, but they're still stuck in a Crapsack World and it has turned them into space communists.

  • This, hand-in-hand with Doing It for the Art, is what motivates Willy Wonka in the 2013 stage musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Impossibly Delicious Food his factory produces, as well as the strange, beautiful factory itself, all stem from his desire to make the world a happier, more colorful place by making all the things his wild imagination dreams up manifest. Beware, though — he is not immune to the darker side of this trope. While he encourages the Golden Ticket tour group visiting the factory to enjoy, explore, and consume its wonders, there are rules that must be obeyed and things that must not be touched, and the four bratty kids learn that his world has a way of dealing with those who would put their own selfish happiness above all else...
  • In No, No, Nanette, Jimmy is a rich Bible salesman who loves nothing more than to use his wealth to make people happy. He's a bit frustrated that his practical-minded wife doesn't let him give her money for spending (she sees no point in wasting money on frivolous things) and takes his adopted daughter Nanette to the family's summer cottage when he sees how depressed and stifled she feels (he even prefaces this decision by asking her what will make her happier than anything in the world, giving her money to have some fun, and singing a song, "I want to be happy, but I won't be happy, 'til I make you happy too!") This tendency of his actually leads to the main conflict of the play, as he loaned three greedy young women lots of money to help with their personal woes and then found himself being blackmailed and needing them paid off.

    Video Games 
  • Darkstalkers: This is pretty much Felicia's outlook on life — pursue happiness, and try to make as many other people happy as possible along the way.
  • The child who is the basis for Labrys's personality from Persona 4: Arena.
    • Before that, Maya Amano from Persona 2 is a Cool Big Sis that can always infect her cheerfulness toward the party all way through the duology. "Let's think positive!", indeed.
  • Borderlands 2: Claptrap tries to use this to talk some bandits out of beating him up... and ends up convincing himself that the bandits actually have the moral high ground.
    Claptrap: Guys, you don't have to beat me up — we can talk this through, right? Here, I'll do it for you! "Hey Claptrap, how are you?" Oh, I'm fine — I kinda wish you wouldn't beat me up, though. "Why?" Cause it really hurts! "You make a good point, Claptrap, but beating you up makes us feel really good!" I know, I know, guys, but it makes me feel really bad! "But Claptrap, you're a robot — are you even capable of feeling pain?" Well, uh, no, I guess I'm not. "So, pummelling you makes us feel good, and doesn't hurt you, there's no harm in us continuing to do it, right?" ...Actually, now that I've talked it all out, I think you guys have the moral high ground, here. Pummel away!
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, the Picori/Minish adore humans and delight in making them happy, for it gives them energy to help make their lives even more happier. Many have moved from their native home-world to Hyrule to be closer to them, and those from the Minish Village also moved to Hyrule Town to help them in their daily lives due to their love for humans. It's also revealed that all the hearts, rupees, and other things you find upon cutting down grass in other Zelda games were put there by the Minish to help people out.
  • This is the motive behind every little thing Tyalie does in BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm. No matter the situation, she’s always trying her best to make someone smile - whether it’s herself, her fellow teammates, or especially you, the player, since she’s Medium Aware, and desperately wants you to remember her fondly when the game is over and she’s gone.
  • The remake of Persona 5 offers a deconstruction of this idea through the Third Semester's Arc Villain, Takuto Maruki. While he genuinely wants everyone to be happy and creates a world where they are happy by granting them their hearts' desires with no strings attached, he does so by ridding everyone of their ability to desire at all, thus creating a world where personal ties with people are strained and empty, since it was because of the strings that people were able to make such ties to begin with.
  • Queen from Deltarune is motivated only by the happiness and wellbeing of her subjects. Unfortunately, she's motived to brainwash people and try to Take Over the World, all for the good of others. Even when she kidnaps Noelle, she doggedly tries to cheer the girl up, giving her a beautiful room to live in and baking her a pie. Ultimately, it's the realization that she's making Noelle (and others) deeply unhappy, and the revelation that her actions could destroy the world she wants to help, that triggers her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Soma Spirits:
    • Heart, one of the two protagonists and the Guardian Spirit of Joy, believes in prioritizing personal happiness regardless of the consequences on society at large, and whenever he and Soul face a dilemma invoking The Needs of the Many, he will instead favor the solution that allows for personal fulfillment. If too many Sorrow Orbs are collected, he can become a zealot in this belief.
    • Like her creation Heart, Form, the Great Being of Joy, believes that everyone in the world should be joyful and live their lives to the fullest, with no room for pessimism. Because of this, she sends Heart and Soul to stop her brother Dissonance from creating a world without happiness. She also believes the World of Sorrow should be destroyed so that only the happiness of the World of Joy remains, making her a much darker example than usual, and the sequel reveals that her real desire is to make everyone dependent on her out of spite for her brother's ideology.
  • Empires of the Bard philosophy in Spore run on this trope, as they desire to make the galaxy as a whole happier. However, this is explained by their Blocks of Chance artifacts, 1-7 being their results in the search for the meaning of life, summarizing their findings as "Life is just a big joke, and we're the punchline," with the Bards fully embracing their role as the punchline, and acting as the social entertainers of the galaxy.
    • A much more downplayed version of this trope applies to the Traders, as described in Tablets of Prosperity 1-6, which state that the universe has all that is needed to make everyone in it happy, and that it simply needs to circulate to those who lack it. They also state that trade makes all parties involved happier, both by the buying party gaining the product and the selling party giving it, and that while the rest of the universe can look for the meaning of life or how to achieve perfection, the Traders will just focus on happiness. This is barely ever brought up anywhere else.

    Visual Novels 
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: The game's download page describes Sayori as "the youthful bundle of sunshine who values happiness the most." We see this in the game proper when she encourages the protagonist to join the Literature Club partly because she's concerned he'd end up a NEET if he didn't join any clubs in high school. Sayori is also The Heart of the group and is easily capable of defusing arguments between Yuri and Natsuki. It's later revealed that this mindset is a major coping mechanism for her depression, as she feels that if she made everyone else happy, she has no reason to be unhappy. This is key to getting the Golden Ending: You get it by Save Scumming so that you do each of the girls' routes in Act 1. Once Sayori returns in Act 4 she'll be genuinely thankful the player spent as much time with the girls as possible, noting that it's all she wanted. Sayori can also show this in one Non-Standard Game Over. If you delete Monika early, Sayori becomes the Club President. After her freak-out, she crashes the game. Upon reopening the game, you will be greeted by a black-and-white screen of Sayori hanging herself with everyone—including Sayori herself—deleted. Wait ten minutes, and you will be greeted with a special message.
    Now everyone can be happy.
  • This is the rallying cry of Hayama Mizuki from ef - a fairy tale of the two..
  • Hatoful Boyfriends The King believes this is his motive - it's just that his idea of happiness is too far away from the other characters', so he has to destroy their free will, either by throwing their fears at them until they give up on life or by attacking them. Once they're part of him they'll be so very happy.
  • SOON: Robot overl—, er, friends want people to be happy and productive. They'll resort to constant surveillance, reeducation programs and superior firepower to make sure it gets done.

  • In Bob the Angry Flower, Bob realizes that he owes a lot of karma. Since being nicer to people would be too much work, he decides to just dump fifty pounds of Ecstasy in the water supply.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Elan and his mother both always try their best to live up to this trope.
  • One Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip starts out by featuring a Straw Character version of For Happiness. He soon becomes a Totalitarian Utilitarian, however.
    • It's not entirely straw. The strip is based on a concept called a utility monster. Normally, it's more cost-effective to help poor people, so utilitarianism leads to a generally egalitarian society. However, if some being existed where its happiness went up linearly with money, it would be more cost-effect to just focus on making that one being absurdly happy.

    Web Original 
  • The aptly named Maximum Fun-Fun Ultra Super Happy People from Three Worlds Collide.
  • This is a simplified explanation for the mission of the Knights of Fandom: they just want people to be able to enjoy themselves online without having to worry about being harassed through cruel anonymous messages.

    Western Animation 
  • Care Bears more or less revolves around this trope.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang told Iroh how he'd been told to let go of his love for Katara in order to use his full power, and had refused to do so. Iroh immediately tells him he did the right thing, and that "Power and perfection are overrated".
    • Aang himself has something of this, as even though he does understand it is his destiny to beat the Fire Lord and restore balance to the world, he frequently puts that mission on hold in order to let himself and others have fun.
  • Finn from Adventure Time wants to solve everyone's problems. In another show, the way this was set up would lead to him realizing he can't, and making most people happy, or giving up but finding that making himself happy makes everyone else happier. But this is Adventure Time, after all. So he does it. He does eventually learn that he can't make everybody like him for or by doing so though.
  • This is pretty much what drives Wander from Wander over Yonder. His goal in life is to help others and spread joy. This even extends to the villains of the galaxy, and he often tries to help them by converting them over to the side of good. The only villains he's failed to do this to are Lord Hater (repeatedly) and Lord Dominator.
    • This is also the goal of his Arch-Enemy Dr. Screwball Jones...only he tries to FORCE others to be happy by tickling them against their will with a tickle ray.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Pinkie Pie's talent is making ponies happy, often via parties. Her song "Smile Smile Smile" (from the episode "A Friend In Deed") could be the anthem of this trope.
    • In My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Pinkie gets another song like this, "One Small Thing" that once again emphasizes how she sees doing even little deeds to brighten others' lives to always be worthwhile since sometimes small things will lead to big things in their own way, and they'll be important to the person you help. In fact, if Twilight hadn't gone behind everyone's backs, Pinkie's song would have actually solved the conflict of the movie. Not too shabby for one small thing.
    • Princess Celestia seems this way, acting like a light-hearted pony who doesn't take herself too seriously and enjoys a good laugh at her own expense. Over time, we've seen her get more serious until it's apparent that keeping everyone safe is her main concern, and spreading cheer is what she does in her rare moments of down-time.
  • Uncle Grandpa is all about this trope, showing up to help kids out, or just take them on a fun adventure. It went horribly wrong once: a girl he took on a random trip to Mars long ago ended up getting second place at a science fair because he chipped her exhibit and resulted in her becoming his more serious archrival, Aunt Grandma.
    • Her introduction did serve as an examination. While Uncle Grandpa offers fantastical adventures, Aunt Grandma offers immediate practical solutions. However, Uncle Grandpa's adventures also lead to the kids learning lessons that will benefit in the long run, which is more valuable than the immediate help Aunt Grandma presented. Furthermore, his whole trip with her was for her to learn how to unwind and not take things so seriously because of how intensely and unhealthily focused she was on winning.
  • Mabel Pines from Gravity Falls loves romance and having fun, and she wants these things for the people around her as well.
  • Phineas and Ferb do pretty much everything to make every day the best ever, both for themselves and their friends. Sometimes for all of Danville.

    Real Life 
  • This ethical position is an important form of utilitarian philosophy and has been consistently popular among moral philosophers since the Enlightenment. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill were both major developers of the theory, although "happiness" may sometimes be replaced with a more generally defined "good" or "well-being", or something else altogether like "freedom" or "beauty".
    • Note that there are multiple types of utilitarianism. For instance, while Bentham indicated that one should always do what increases happiness in a sort of general kind of way (called "act utilitarianism"), Mill's definition is rather more complex; most notably, he said that one should always follow the rule that, if consistently applied by everyone, would lead to maximum happiness/the greater good (called "rule utilitarianism").
    • Bentham also believed in "pleasure" as the ultimate good, while Mill said that it is "happiness". Modern utilitarians tend to agree on happiness rather than pleasure as the ultimate end, including most of those who agree with Bentham in being act utilitarians rather than rule utilitarians (act utilitarianism is probably at least somewhat more common than rule utilitarianism).
    • This is Older Than They Think since it was part of Epicurean philosophy in Ancient Greece. Notably, Epicurus believed that happiness came not from simple carnal gratification, but things like friendship and learning. His school, The Garden, was also known as the only place in Athens (or anywhere else in Greece) which welcomed women and slaves in as equals.
  • The United States' Declaration of Independence includes "the pursuit of Happiness" as one of man's inalienable rights.
  • The King of Bhutan measures the prosperity and success of his nation (and, hence, his rule) in terms of Gross Domestic Happiness. While one of the world's poorest countries when measured in dollars, there are more important things in life than luxuries and the Bhutanese people are considered among the most happy ones with the life they have.
    • Note: He is so dedicated to this that he actually gave up power and changed the Government from an Absolute Monarchy to a Constitutional Monarchy
  • The people who give out "Free Hugs" on the street, at least ostensibly.
  • Random acts of kindness.
  • The Breslover Jewish sect believes in this. One of their tenets is that "it is a great religious commandment to always be happy".
  • The Wiccan Rede translates to "If it harms none, do what you will." Of course, that means stopping to think about the potential harm of one's actions before undertaking something and taking the route that will cause the least harm and the most happiness when harm cannot be prevented.
  • This is really the soul of entertainment. Given, a large portion of it is made for monetary purposes, but the first person to transcribe a story couldn't have done it out of greed, and still those writing for money are outnumbered greatly by those who just hope for somebody to enjoy their tale. And even with the monetary slant, much of that ends up being cost of living. When it comes down to it, any entertainment/creative industry from music to video games has such high levels of risk/reward and employment that if you really wanted to be rich, you're better off being something like a doctor or lawyer.
  • Article 4 of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen: "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law."

Alternative Title(s): Hedonist, Ethical Hedonist, Ethical Hedonism