Follow TV Tropes


Heel–Face Revolving Door
aka: Face Heel Revolving Door

Go To
...and back and forth and back and forth...
"I, Baron Von Beaver, once bad, then good, then bad again, and now something that's neither."
Norbert as Baron Von Beaver, The Angry Beavers

A revolving door moves in a circle and so does this character in terms of morality. A villain decides to give heroism a try (for whatever reason) and switches sides but then goes back to being a villain and back again. This phenomenon works the other way, as well. A hero loses perspective and becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and then comes back from the edge again. He's done it before — why not do it again?

The long-term result is the same either way — the character in question will switch sides often enough that, in the long run, he doesn't have a side. This is what makes a Heel Face Revolving Door (or Face Heel Revolving Door, depending on which side the character starts out on).

If it happens to a popular or well-developed character, the fans will stick with them; but this will, by necessity, drag the morality of the series to one of the gray-scales. If heroes and villains are switching sides so casually and frequently then it's impossible for true Black-and-White Morality to exist.

This is common in Comic Books, media using the Fleeting Demographic Rule, and collaborative media written by fans Running the Asylum. It's easier with characters who have what is initially a Never Live It Down moment or a Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? in their past. Beware; if an Ensemble Dark Horse ex-villain has had a long and well-developed redemption arc, turning them evil again may anger a significant portion of the fanbase, especially if it's done suddenly or for little reason.

Enemy Mine can facilitate this. It's often understood that switching sides through Enemy Mine won't create a permanent change of allegiance but if a sufficiently high percentage of a character's appearances are Enemy Mine, this is one of the possible implications.

Someone who has been through the revolving door too many times will turn into the Wild Card. If mostly on the side of good, despite having decidedly nonheroic intentions, may be a Nominal Hero.

Compare Chronic Backstabbing Disorder (which is more about switching between grey groups than white-to-black or visa versa), Wild Card (where the character isn't strongly on anybody's side ever), Unscrupulous Hero (a character who is unambiguously on the heroic side), the Double Reverse Quadruple Agent (he never changes sides, but no one is sure what side he's really on), and "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome (when a character changes only to revert back). See Fake Defector for when a villain fakes a Heel–Face Turn, only to return to being evil after his goal is achieved. See Moral Pragmatist for a character who switches sides to whoever is best suited to help their plans. Contrast Allegiance Affirmation (where a character confirms where their loyalties lie).

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The wolves will sometimes team up with the goats only to become villainous towards them again afterwards. It's particularly common in the movies.

    Card Games 

    Fan Works 
  • Prodigal Son: Astrid's opinion of her tribe comes across as this point.
    Gods above… more than anything else, Astrid just craved stability. Protect village during a dragon raid? Reputation up. Help Stoick conduct a raid on the nest? Reputation down. Get shipwrecked and miraculously find one's way home? Reputation up. Get accused of theft? Reputation down. Reason for theft: long lost love? Reputation up, and the chief's favor. Try for another attempt at the nest? Reputation down. Actually make it? Reputation up. Can't fight the monster? Reputation down. Found someone who could? Reputation up… until everyone realizes that his method is unorthodox… then down again.

    Films — Animation 
  • Bartok from Bartok the Magnificent and Anastasia goes from good to bad to good again. Then again he's a Minion with an F in Evil so it's not like it makes a difference.
  • In Despicable Me 2, Dr. Nefario joins up with El Macho so he can do evil deeds once again, but when he learns that El Macho is holding Lucy hostage as well as of the evil minion El Macho had sicced on the girls, he returns to Gru.
  • In Happily N'Ever After, Rumpelstiltskin starts out evil and later turns good. In the sequel, he's back to being evil. Though this may be more a case of Negative Continuity since they don't give an explanation for why he's gone back to being evil.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Tiffany from the last two Child's Play films. She does a Death Equals Redemption at the end of Bride of Chucky, only to come back in Seed of Chucky back in love with the equally, if not more, psychotic Chucky. However, upon learning that they have a child, Glen, Tiffany tries to give up killing to set a better example. Only she has a number of slip-ups and murders twice (and possibly more due to a Time Skip). She justifies these as "Rome wasn't built in a day", and that one of the people she killed had it coming.
  • Godzilla goes through this pretty much every other movie. He was undoubtedly an unstoppable menace in the first few installments, but as the original series continued to drag on, it slowly turned him from Villain to Anti-Hero to outright Hero. This was reset in Godzilla 1985, where he was a villainous monster once again, and ever since he has been more consistent as either a Villain or Anti-Hero.note  Even apart from the Monster King himself, his supporting cast is known for pinballing back and forth over the line, usually depending on the era they appear in. Probably the biggest victim of this is Rodannote  but Mechagodzilla note  isn't far behind. This trope's prominence in the series is likely due to its star characters' status as walking metaphors.
  • Eternals: Ikaris is initially a benevolent protector of humans, alongside the other Eternals. At some point after leaving Babylon, Ajak reveals to him their true purpose of preparing Earth for destruction. Ikaris wholeheartedly accepts this role, even murdering Ajak when she decides to betray Arishem. While fighting the other Eternals to ensure Tiamut's rise, however, he finds he can't bring himself to kill Sersi, and joins with the Uni-Mind to kill the Celestial.
  • Sharpay Evans in High School Musical. She seemed to have turned "good" at the end of the first film, but in the second, she is even worse than before. In the third, she is "in it to win it". While she was scheming some more in her spinoff, she turned out to have been played herself.
  • Indy's partner Mac in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Fairly early in the movie, he's with Indy. Then, we discover he's working for the bad guys, then about halfway through the movie, he is still concerned about Indy's health, but is still working for the villains. A little more than halfway through the movie, he says he's a double agent, then at the end, he reveals he was lying about being a double agent, but he seems repentant of his actions when he chooses to stay in the collapsing temple while Indy's friend and family escape. In all likelihood, he was just continually picking the paths that would lead to his one true goal: knowledge and treasure. His "repentance" was just the realization that the alien ship contained all he ever sought, and he no longer had any need or desire to battle that stubborn old adventurer.
  • Wanda Maximoff over the course of multiple projects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: She starts out as a villain along her twin brother Pietro in Avengers: Age of Ultron, willingly working for both HYDRA and Ultron before both join forces with the Avengers to stop Ultron's attempt to destroy humankind. After her brother's death she joins the Avengers and remains a member of the team for Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Post-Endgame, she becomes a de facto Villain Protagonist in the Disney+-series WandaVision, holding a whole town hostage before regretting her choice and freeing the people. Her next appearance in a movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sees her as the main antagonist, being corrupted by the dark magical book Darkhold. She takes another Heel-Face in the end, seemingly giving her life destroying the Darkhold.
  • Sir Lancelot in the third Night at the Museum film. He starts off on the heroes' side, then pulls a Face–Heel Turn when he mistakes the tablet of Akmenrah for the Holy Grail and steals it endangering the lives of the exhibits including his own. However, when he learns that he is just a wax statue and watches the exhibits dying out, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn and returns the tablet to Larry.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Jack Sparrow is constantly switching sides and allegiances in order to further his own ends. Jack suggests that this trait should be expected of pirates in general. Summarized quite succinctly near the end of the first movie:
      Elizabeth: Whose side is Jack on?
      Will: At the moment?
    • Almost all the characters in the second and third movies do this because by then, everyone is either a pirate or an evil merchant (another sort of pirate). In the third movie, a group of merchants say that they simply ally with the highest bidder.
  • Salim in Slumdog Millionaire. A good majority of the movie is him either helping out or screwing over Jamal and/or Latika depending on the situation.
  • Spider-Man 3: Harry Osborn changes sides three times. The first time, he lost his memory in an accident. Once he regained it, he became a bad guy once more. When he finds out how his father actually died, he redeemed himself.
  • Super Cop 2 has the main villain being David, the Love Interest of the heroine Jessica who appears to be a fellow member of the police force with Jessica, but turns out to be an informant for the international crime lord Roger. But he is still dedicated to Jessica with intentions to betray Roger, only to have Roger betray him first. All this eventually results in his Redemption Equals Death.
  • Loki seems to have this problem as of Thor: Ragnarok. He spent the first part of his adult life fighting for Asgard, which, at that time, at least, played the role of peacekeeper and protector of the nine realms. However, since going mad after learning he is a Frost Giant, he has mostly played the role of antagonist. In Thor: The Dark World, however, he helped Thor save the universe and avenged Frigga's death, and during Thor: Ragnarok, the damage he helped causeto the nine realms was mostly due to inaction as the ruler of Asgard and the actions he took to get back at his father rather than the deliberate malice that characterized his past appearances. However, during the course of the third film, he does betray Thor again to no one's surprise, but in the end decides to come back last minute to help save the citizens of Asgard. At one point, when Bruce Banner asks him if he still wants to kill everyone like he did the last time they met, he even admits that it changes from moment to moment. He also seems very confused about whether he still wants Thor dead while he is watching the gladiator match between Thor and the Hulk, alternately cheering when the Hulk hurts his brother, jumping up in concern when he hurts him too much, pretending he isn't concerned, and then cheering the Hulk some more, all in the ridiculously short time span of a few minutes. The constant side-switching appears to be due to the fact that the character himself is very confused, in this case.
    • The final two Avengers movies add even more to it. In Avengers: Infinity War, he continues the heroic streak he started from the end of Ragnarok and takes it all the way until the end of his life. He is ultimately Defiant to the End and dies heroically against Thanos in his effort to save Thor. While this means that Loki died a hero because he was Killed Off for Real there, Avengers: Endgame has the heroes go back in time to the end of the first Avengers, where they run into Loki when he was at his most evil. Past Loki escapes with the Tesseract and is never caught, meaning that past Loki could return as a villain later even though present Loki died a hero.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Magneto, as usual, especially given his Friendly Enemy relationship with Charles. In the Bad Future, he makes a final peace with Charles. In the past, he plays both sides.
      • Furthermore, we see Past Magneto fully ascend to the Big Bad even as Future Magneto and Charles share the Big Good role among the future X-Men. As such, this movie shows him at his most good and his most evil.
    • In X-Men: Apocalypse, Magneto temporarily sides with Apocalypse, but in the end, Professor X persuades him and Storm to turn on Apocalypse.
    • Once again in Dark Phoenix (the last film in the series), though to a lesser extent. Magneto and several other mutants conspire to kill Jean when they think she is out of control, but at the end, he and Charles apparently reconcile.

  • In DBSK's music video for "BeforeU Go" had a friend of Yunho and Changmin do this. First, he joined the police force with Yunho and Changmin. Then for an unknown reason, he was The Mole for the mafia. After he accidentally shot Yunho and was caught by Changmin, he decided to quit. A year later, he was forced to kill Changmin when the mafia held his sick sister hostage. By the time things were over and after Yunho and Changmin found out the truth, they could never fully trust him again.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • King Nebuchadnezzar, the best-known ruler of the Babylonian empire in the Old Testament. When first chronologically introduced, he was orchestrating the destruction of Jerusalem and taking many of the Jewish people captive. Later, through the efforts of the prophet Daniel in interpreting one of his dreams, Nebuchadnezzar turned to worshiping the true God and became a more noble ruler...only to later have Aesop Amnesia and attempt to burn Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego in his fiery furnace for not bowing to his statue of gold (they got better). Following that, he turned to worshiping the true God again...then sometime afterward allowed pride to get to his head and exalted himself, for which God punished him with seven years' madness. After THAT, Nebuchadnezzar had yet another change of heart, this time staying good for the rest of his life.
    • The entire Israelite people switch between following God with the utmost loyalty and ignoring His words completely near-constantly, typically depending on their leader at the time.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This can be literal if a wrestler or tag team is employed by more than one company at a time, leaving one building as heel tonight and tomorrow coming into another building a face. Especially common among those trying to make money at the independent level.
    • It's also not unheard of for a lesser star in WWE to play a different role on a live event to what they are on TV. For example, someone might work a live event as a heel when they're a face on TV - which is sometimes an indicator that they might be heading for the turn on TV. For example in 2011 R-Truth turned heel while in the UK but still appeared as a face for the rest of the European tour. Also if a heel is wrestling a live event in their hometown, they might appear as a face exclusively for one night. Sheamus was heel during his first US Championship reign and wrestled Daniel Bryan on the European tour - but worked as a face just for the Dublin show. Ditto for Wade Barrett working against Justin Gabriel in the UK.
    • Ditto for NXT Live Events. People without a set character will appear as a face or heel at random, only to debut on TV in the opposite role. Case in point: Divas Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch worked live events as heels but debuted on NXT as faces.
  • Pat Patterson pre-"corporate stooge" days: A face-leaning official and commentator in the United States and most of Canada ... except in the WWF's French-Canadian markets (primarily, Montreal), where he was a full-fledged heel who teamed with the New Dream Team (fellow French-Canadian Dino Bravo and Washington native Greg "the Hammer" Valentine) to feud with Brutus Beefcake and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers.
  • Since "Heel" and "Face" are wrestling terms, there are of course many examples in Professional Wrestling: The Undertaker, his "brother" Kane and Ric Flair.
  • Back in the old days, before the bookers lost their focus, Lex Luger was the absolute king of this, occasionally doing multiple rounds in the revolving door during the same title reign.
    • At one point, he was mostly a heel and opposed Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, etc., but was still genuinely best friends and tag team partner with Sting.
    • "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff and Jake "The Snake" Roberts had histories of this as well.
  • Kurt Angle is also notorious for turning about once a year. The problem with him is that he is most effective playing a heel, but his immense wrestling talent, the gold medal, and all-around Badass qualities sometimes result in Face reactions even when playing a heel, thus resulting in the bookers turning him face. Then he does his bland face routine until his crowd reactions wane, and then he turns heel again. This effect was lampshaded during an interview where he stated he was uncomfortable around "the black people" and that he could make Jesus tap out to prove that he would still get cheered (he was right).
  • In Mexico, where the major promotions don't demand nearly as much exclusivity as their North of the boarder counterparts, El Hijo Del Santo's Face–Heel Turn was so hard for some fans to believe that outside of CMLL events he was still met with wild cheers, causing him to effectively do a Heel–Face Turn whenever he took an independent booking.
  • And then there was the even more disjointed era of 1999-2000, due to the nonsensical, incoherent booking techniques of Kevin Nash and, later Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara. Anyone was fair game for a turn one way or the other, even the most popular of fan favorites such as Goldberg and Sting, with little or no warning, and, in the case of lesser stars, sometimes little or no explanation. And that's not even getting into the countless fakeouts.
  • In fact it's pretty rare, especially in the last few decades, for any notable wrestler to not go through at least a couple of Heel Face Turns and Face Heel Turns over the course of his career. The main exceptions in modern professional wrestling are people whose careers simply didn't last long enough to turn from heel to face or vice versa.
    • Averted by Ricky Steamboat, who never once turned heel during his career, due to being such a natural face. To give an idea of how good of a face he was (or how horrible of a heel he would have been), Steamboat's real name is Richard Blood, and yet he had to use a different name because that was a heel's name.
      • The name was used by Tito Santana early in his career, and he is also someone who was a Face his entire career.
      • Supposedly during his run in the WWF in the very early '90s he wanted to do a heel turn. He was told that even if he went out to the ring and cut Hulk Hogan's arms off with a chainsaw the fans wouldn't buy it.
    • Also averted by Rey Mysterio Jr.. Has never been a heel. He may have been sort of considered a heel, sort of, in the WCW faction "The Filthy Animals" but even then the stable was more of a tweener thing, and he was not at it that long before becoming a full-fledged face again.
  • Kane is probably unique in that the booking team tries to make him a major-league wrestling monster heel every couple of years but as soon as they stop paying attention to him (i.e. as soon as he's not running around setting announcers on fire or suchlike), the fans start cheering for him again. May have something to do with his Woobie backstory.
    • It's gotten to the point that Kane will go through the revolving door two or three times a year, if not more. When asked Kane's alignment, the best answer is simply "Kane."
  • Happens often with wrestlers who are too likeable or dislikeable for any turn to take. No matter how heroic he acts, a lot of fans can't bring themselves to cheer Randy Orton. Eddie Guerrero had to virtually murder Rey Mysterio for the fans to buy him as a heel and even then, as soon as he wasn't acting like a complete maniac, they started cheering for him again. Ditto "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's attempted heel turns after he became "Stone Cold".
    • Ended up getting a variation in Orton's case; he's recently become cheered as a face-by-default, thanks to feuding with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr., despite still showing heeling tendencies. Turns out he didn't need heroics to be a face, he just needed opponents nobody liked.
  • If you're a TNA wrestler prepare to flip-flop more than a goldfish surrounded by water and a broken fishbowl.
    • See: Mr. Anderson.
    • Not even Jeff Hardy was immune. And at the time he could have been second-in-line for being the Ricky Steamboat of his generation, having only been heel once.
  • Scott Steiner. Starting at the second half of his WCW run, the only way to know whether he was a face or heel was the opponent he was going to face next. He's not a traditional Tweener though, because he was supposed to go through Face Heel Turns and Heel Face Turns, it's just that nothing changed between them, so nobody really noticed.
  • The Big Show is notable for turning about once a year. He's even done it twice in one night, in 2008. Being the largest guy on the roster means that he can play the role of The Brute against guys like Kane and The Undertaker, and just demolish the plucky babyfaces like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Kofi Kingston. However, the guy has great comedic timing and plays the role of the Gentle Giant so well that bookers will eventually turn him. He will then proceed to be great friends with the Rey Mysterio's of the world.
    • In a shoot interview with Steve Austin, airing after a Raw where he competed, he even joked that he "had more turns than NASCAR".
    • Someone made a video of all his turns between his debut in 1995 and the end of 2014. There's 22 in total.
  • One infamous occasion happened in early 2003. Vince McMahon appeared on Raw to override the heel GM Eric Bischoff but then a few weeks later was involved in an angle with Hulk Hogan as a heel leading into WrestleMania XIX. So he was effectively a face on Raw and a heel on Smackdown.
    • Another odd case with Vince occurred in 1999, where he was a heel going up against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and the Ministry of Darkness, led by an also-heel Undertaker, heading into WrestleMania XV. He soon turned face when Undertaker started threatening his family, but again turned heel when he was revealed to be the Higher Power behind the Ministry, and remained there until he was forced to "leave" after Fully Loaded. Again, Vince turned face when he returned a few weeks later to oppose main event heel Triple H and stayed face until WrestleMania 2000 when he aligned himself with The Game.
    • During the infamous Invasion storyline, Vince was initially a heel and gloated about taking over WCW, only to have the rug pulled out from under him by his son Shane. Shane was cheered for buying WCW. However, during the Invasion proper, Vince and WWE were the faces and the WCW/ECW alliance headed by his children were heels. It all ended with Vince and his team led by Kurt Angle defeating the Alliance headed by Shane, Stephanie, and Steve Austin (who'd defected halfway through). The very next night after the Invasion ended, Vince and Angle turned heel and Austin turned face.
  • In late 2010, Nikki Bella turned heel in an angle on WWE NXT but was a face whenever she appeared on Raw and Smackdown. When that season of NXT was over she went back to being a face for a couple of months before she and her sister turned heel properly.
  • This is a staple of the booking style of Vince Russo. Russo really wanted to embrace Grey-and-Gray Morality in the business, feeling like there should be more levels than simply pure good or pure evil since life in general is complex that way. Unfortunately, either due to Russo's weak writing skills or pro wrestling being a business that simply cannot do subtlety that well, creating complex characters with those shades of gray was nearly impossible and it simply turned into characters pinballing between 100% Face and 100% Heel on a nearly weekly basis.
    • The Attitude Era in general, with or without Russo. In large part due to the Grey-and-Gray Morality.
      • Chyna had this particularly bad during this time. When she was on her own she stood up for women's rights. When she was with DX she would punch guys in the groin to score a cheap win for Triple H. Sometimes she would switch from one role to the other multiple times on the same show. Once she won the Intercontinental title, however, she was quietly phased away from Triple H and stayed face. Notably at the 1999 Rebellion PPVnote  she was a face in her match against Jeff Jarrett but was still Triple H's heel manager later in the night.
  • Chris Jericho doesn't really do this all that often, but he's so good at playing heel and face, it's no wonder he's been both multiple times. Including his January 2012 comeback, where he came back to face pops and managed to draw out heel heat by doing next to nothing.
  • Four the first four years of Ring Warrior's Battling Bombshells division, La Rosa Negra was basically The Face and pretty much always a face on dedicated women's shows and other special events. However, she was frequently used as a heel on Ring Warriors' main television show. It was the opposite in the World Wrestling League, where she was mainly used as a heel by their affiliates in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and the 50 states. Footage of her misdeeds was aired in order to hype a purely WWL show running in Puerto Rico, which did nothing to stop the fans from giving her a warm welcome.
  • Alicia Fox turned face in 2012 but roughly a year later started appearing as both a face and a heel depending on the whims of the writers. A fan actually asked her on Twitter which one she was and she responded "both". She settled on heel midway through 2013.
  • Eva Marie got hit with this rather a lot. Her debut was as a face manager for Natalya. When Total Divas aired, she was portrayed as a heel on TV. Then when AJ Lee's promo turned the rest of the cast face, Eva was sort of a Wild Card. Although she was on face teams, she got booed anyway. Around early 2014 when more heels were in the Total Divas cast, she appeared exclusively as a heel from then on.
  • Daniel Bryan / Bryan Danielson is this in later years. He underwent a ridiculously short two-week heel run in January of 2014 by joining The Wyatt Family. He joined up, served Bray for two weeks, then betrayed him in a cage match amidst a thunderous "YES!" chant.note  After being cleared to be in the ring and turn heel with his "New Daniel Brian" Planet's Champion gimmick, he turned face after a few months after Rowan betrayed him. When joining AEW as Bryan Danielson, he started out as a face but became heel when facing Adam Page. Then, turned face again after losing to Jon Moxley, become a part of the Blackpool Combat Club, and feud with the recently heel-turned Chris Jericho.
  • Jerry Lawler: "The King" was a face in USWA at the same time he was a hated heel in the WWF. Also, when the WWF (and later WWE) had shows in the Memphis area, he always wrestled … as a face, with a one-night storyline contrived against a top heel in the company. The next show, he'd be friends with the heel again. Despite his current face-leaning commentary style on WWE Raw and live pay-per-view events, Lawler always reverts to his classic heel-style commentary for the WWE's video game releases, playing the antagonizer to whomever is the face commentator (usually Jim Ross or Michael Cole). He also has played the "heel" role in re-creating classic commentary for some of the video game releases, including WWE 2K14, where, for instance, he read Jesse Ventura's lines in providing color commentary for the Hulk Hogan-King Kong Bundy steel cage match at WrestleMania 2 (while Jim Ross was Lord Alfred Hayes).
    • One humorous thing to note about Lawler; regardless of his status as a Face or Heel commentator, if there was a Hart in the ring (also regardless of their Face/Heel status) The King would take shots at Stu Hart (father of Bret Hart, along with others).
  • In 1997, when Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation turned heel, they were only heels in the United States with their anti-American gimmick. They were, however, still booked as babyfaces outside of the U.S., especially in the Hart family's home country of Canada.
  • The Bella Twins went through a Heel Face Revolving Door after Brie inexplicably made up with Nikki in their ill-fated twin-vs-twin feud. But despite the Divas Revolution storyline going down poorly with fans, at least it has established the Bellas as heels after months where no one could figure out their exact alignment.
  • Bobby Heenan was this in WCW during the nWo era. He abhorred the nWo and would be a face on commentary whenever they showed up, but he still tended to side with non-nWo heels.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the 1994 Sesame Street special, "Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!", Benny Rabbit is the only citizen of Sesame Street who supports Ronald Grump's plan to turn the neighborhood into the Grump Tower, as he wants to work as the tower's doorman. However, when Grump reveals that he was planning to build a robotic doorman for the project, Benny quickly joins the rest of Sesame Street to stop Grump's plan.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: 1st Edition Druids are supposed to be so dedicated to the Balance Between Good and Evil (and Order Versus Chaos) that they'll support a weaker faction against a stronger one, then change sides if it gains the upper hand. The developers dropped this when they realized it was less True Neutralinvoked than Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Planescape gave a similar philosophy to the petitioners of the Outlands, the planar manifestation of True Neutralinvoked, but it was dropped in later editions.
  • The apocryphal Robotech RPG from Palladium has the Zentraedi as this trope. They were enemies during the First Robotech War but had some who defected to the Earth forces and helped destroy Dolza's fleet. In between the First and Second Robotech War, the Zentraedi on Earth return to their belligerent ways, leading to the Malcontent Uprisings where many of them are hunted down and killed. The RPG states that some of the renegade Zentraedi did survive the Malcontent Uprisings contrary to what was stated in the also apocryphal Robotech novels. Those surviving Zentraedi then again aided human resistance during the Invid invasion as they were created to fight the Invid.
  • In Shōgi, when a player's piece is captured by the opponent, the opponent can release it back onto the board, except now the piece is on their side. The original owner can then capture it back and make it their piece to put on the field once again. There is no limit to the number of times this can be done per piece, except for the King, the capture or checkmate of whom triggers victory for the attacker.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Characteristic of human/Eldar relations. The Eldar will often jump in and aid humans if they have a mutual enemy, especially seeing as they usually lack the firepower and numbers (though not necessarily the technology and skill) to adequately deal with things like Orks, Necrons and Tyranids, but being the sneaky bastards they are, they view their human "allies" as little more than pawns to be used, and see nothing wrong with betraying them the moment it becomes convenient. After all, they would rather allow thousands of humans to die than one of their own kind; but then again, humanity isn't a Dying Race condemned to having their souls eaten and played with by a God of excess debauchery after death.

    Web Animation 
  • Anon: Evan has gone through the revolving door many times, going from being in love with Chelsea one minute to plotting how to destroy her life the next.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: Epic Robot Guy begins as a good guy in “The Most Epic Superhero Origin Story”, turns evil before returning in “The Most Epic Crime-Stopping Mission”, stays evil for a few episodes, and then turns good again in “The Most Epic Introspective Journey on a Nautical Voyage”, which continues into the next episode, “The Most Epic Mystical Quest” as well.
  • Red vs. Blue: Agent Washington has had a few trips through the revolving door. He starts off firmly on the side of the Director of Project Freelancer, defending and trusting him more than just about anybody else. When he learns the truth about the origins of the A.I.s the agents use, he secretly begins working against Project Freelancer. Then, after getting sent to prison due to the mysterious disappearance of critical evidence that would prove he was on the side of good (thanks to a certain Blue's idiocy), he agrees to work with the Meta (the villain of season 6) to get the evidence back. Although he expected the Meta to betray him, he didn't expect the Reds and Blues to help and forgive him after what he'd done; he realizes his mistake and remains with them ever after.

  • Eerie Cuties/Magick Chicks: Melissa regularly makes appearances in both comics, so which side of "the door" she's on depends entirely on which comic she's in at the time:
  • In Evil, Inc., Elastic Man keeps switching sides, largely out of desire for a girlfriend.
  • Nicolae of Gaia Online tends to do whatever gives him the most benefit at the moment, be it con artistry, theft, assisting players in zOMG! or accepting a hit job on Gino Gambino, which he then takes every opportunity to sabotage.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Tarvek Sturmvoraus alternates between helpful, heroic, not-entirely-trusted sidekick and toadying, evil, certainly-not-trusted minion when heroine Agatha Heterodyne and the evil Other start grappling for control of Agatha's body. He makes the switch every few pages, eventually caught red-handed by the Other. Even this doesn't stop him from serving his own purposes, eventually betraying his treacherous sister. And it appeared that his goal is to use Agatha, his claim to a royal ancestor, and a story out of mythology and opera to not only rule Europe but do it to cheering crowds. Now it appears it may be a more sincere Heel–Face Turn and he genuinely wants to help Agatha, who served as his Morality Chain.
    • Gil's manservant Wooster may have changed allegiances from his British spymasters to Gil and then possibly from Gil to Agatha — or he never abandoned his first loyalties. Given the way Sparks influence non-Sparks, it's not entirely clear.
  • Homestuck:
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Galatea is an emotional basket case that will switch sides with very little provocation. It's probably safe to describe her as Chaotic Neutral.
  • In Irregular Webcomic!, there's Dr. Ginny. She pretty much works with whoever she feels like.
  • It's hard to keep track of anybody's moral alignment in Narbonic, probably because nearly everyone is either insane (and varies the degree of evil and their motives beyond the speed of logic) or just there for the paycheck.
  • Sabine in The Order of the Stick. Her "side" is Nale, and she does whatever is in Nale's best interests, even post-mortem.
  • In Sinfest, Fuchsia bounced back and forth between crushing on Criminy and actively helping Blue and the Devil antagonize Slick and Monique until her character development led her to pretty much stop being evil.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Oasis. At first she was an (admittedly sympathetic) Yandere villain who was obsessed with Torg and would kill anyone or anything to be with him. After Torg promised to marry her, though, she shifted into a (admittedly anti-heroic) good guy, helping to take down Hereti Corp and protect the town of Podunkton. However, after her Mentor is killed in front of her and Zoe rekindles her jealous streak, she's off on another Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • Prior to Dr. Schlock's takeover of Hertit-Corp, he tended to change sides quite often, although it was almost always based entirely on who was pointing a gun at his head at the time.

    Web Original 
  • Carmilla the Series: During Season 2, Carmilla switches orientation no fewer than four times, as does her sister, Mattie, due to their vampiric nature testing the strength of their alliance with (and in Carmilla's case, love for) Laura. In Season 3, they both settle down into, respectively, Byronic Hero and Anti-Hero roles.
  • C0DA, written by former The Elder Scrolls series writer/designer Michael Kirkbride, takes place in the far distant future of TES universe. Several major characters from the series make appearances, including Almalexia. After originally being a "face" for most of the series' backstory, she underwent a Face–Heel Turn in Morrowind's Tribunal expansion, where she served as the unstable Big Bad. In C0DA, she is not only Back from the Dead, but she is once again on the "face" side of things — working for the "Pseudo=6th-House", a super team of god-powered heroes protecting the reality of the work from outside threats.
  • Vadiir started on the side of the Communes, then he went to the Rebellion, and now he's back with the Commune, though he says he's a free agent.
  • Cale from Darwin's Soldiers switches sides no less than four times, playing for almost every faction (experiments, terrorists, scientists, Dragnostorm) at some point. This is lampshaded by Dr. Shelton.
    • In Pavlov's Checkmate, Cale finally gets over this, refusing to switch sides when the antagonist gives him the offer.
  • Tyce from Deagle Nation often switches between being Jace's friend and being his Arch-Enemy.
  • lonelygirl15:
    • How many times did Gemma either change sides or turn out not to have changed sides after all? In a relatively small amount of appearances, at that? Granted, this doesn't seem to have been a result of lazy or inconsistent writing — the woman just couldn't commit.
    • There's Sarah. In her first appearance, she appeared to be a villain when she held the heroes at gunpoint; but then she sided with the heroes; but then she got brainwashed by the villains; but then the heroes rescued her from the brainwashing; but then it turned out she'd actually been working for the villains all along; but no, wait, she was actually being blackmailed that time, she's really on the heroes' side; and now, the sequel series lg15: the Resistance has her once more turning out to really, actually, honest to God, this time we mean it, have been on the villains' side all along.
      • Making it worse is that a video was actually put up solely to explain how various actions we'd seen Sarah taking over the past weeks were signs of her villainy. It couldn't be more obvious that all the footage in it is from the spinoff, for the simple reason that there's no freaking way to incorporate the majority of her scenes in the original show into the new story.
  • Sprockett and Hubbs from Moshi Monsters. They've swapped so many times that no one knows what side they're truly on...not even themselves know if they're good or bad!
  • Noob is set in an MMORPG with established factions and changing an avatar's faction is possible.
    • The guild of Gaea Amirers, made of Coalition players, is convinced that Gaea, an Empire player, is actually a Double Agent for the Coalition and want to assist her. However, any action on their part favoring Gaea also favors the Empire. This makes its members basically switch sides each time they run into Gaea.
    • Starting Season 4 / the fourth novel, the player behind Gaea herself is technically constantly switching sides: she performed a Face Heel Turn from her guildmates' point of view with her main avatar, but kept her secondary one in the same faction as said guildmates. The guildmates in question happen to be understaffed enough to let her tag along. She however tends to work only for her own advancement, which has led to one of her avatars to be working against its own side at least once.
  • Benny from The Nostalgia Critic switches between being on Critic's side and leaving him tied up by Hyper Boner.
  • Definitely occurs, to pretty much everybody, in the Prolecto series. Starts with the standard virus-induced Face–Heel Turn, then most of the Succubi switch to Faces, then a few switch to Well-Intentioned Extremist, then they switch back, then one of the Faces goes Heel...Then some people who stayed Heel go face. A couple actually qualify as Hazy Feel Turns, actually.
  • A few examples in The Questport Chronicles, but most noticeably the Lord of Angels and Demons, who switches sides at the drop of a hat. He's never truly evil, but he oscillates between being mildly useful and incredibly annoying.
  • Resident Evil Abridged: Justified, since Barry's being blackmailed to betray his team. So he alternates between saving Jill's life one moment, to setting her up the next. But he ultimately ends up siding with Chris and Jill, once Wesker is defeated.
  • Smash King does this with Zelda and Mewtwo. It's not too clear on what side Zelda's on, as they appear to be involved in a lot of dirty business, but seem to want to help everyone. Mewtwo starts off working with Ganondorf, then begins warming up to Bowser and wants to see his life improve, having doubts on whether Ganon's plan is right and if he should help him go through with achieving it. Then he's killed by Ganondorf, yet wrongfully believes it was Bowser who killed him: his soul possesses Lucario, and he rejoins Ganon (although he has his own ulterior motives), only to betray Ganon again and forgive Bowser.
  • Happens with Julie Mikan in Survival of the Fittest. She undergoes a Face–Heel Turn at the very start whilst deciding to play, killing Owen Fontaine gives her a Heel–Face Turn and a Heroic BSoD, before a few days later, she once again decides to play, becoming a 'heel' for the second time.
  • Everyone in the YWC (Youtube Wrestling Community) seems to switch sides so much that they seem to live inside thessentially door.

Alternative Title(s): Face Heel Revolving Door, Heel Face Pirouette