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High-Heel–Face Turn

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"If I find my beautiful consort with access to my fortress has been associating with the hero, I'll have her executed. It's regrettable, but new consorts are easier to get than new fortresses and maybe the next one will pay attention at the orientation meeting."

When the Heel–Face Turn meets The Smurfette Principle, if there is a lone female among the cast of villains, she is overwhelmingly likely to be the one who betrays them and turns good, usually because Females Are More Innocent.


It isn't always because she falls in love with The Hero, although this is the most frequent version. Wouldn't Hit a Girl may come into play as well; the simple fact that she isn't mown down like all the other Mooks may help her make up her mind that the side of good isn't so terrible after all. In other cases she's Good All Along but was initially attracted by the villain's charms before she realized she was getting in over her head and/or her male superiors decided it would be a great idea to abuse her in some way.

The most common reason as to why this trope exists is a combination of Beauty Equals Goodness plus the Double Standard that women cannot be truly evil. For the same reason, a female villain typically has to go above and beyond her male counterparts before the audience will accept her as irredeemable. The flipside to this is the Unfortunate Implications of the male sex being more evil than that of the female, or viewed as stronger in mind or body, since the woman is too weak to be evil or easily swayed by a handsome hero. Either way, it's very sexist.


Another possible reason is the audience discomfort in seeing a male hero fight a woman to the death. Even if—like May Day from A View to a Kill—she physically outclasses him by a great deal, a heroic character committing violence against a woman is something of a taboo no matter how powerful she is, especially in older works. Having her turn good is one of many options for dealing with a female antagonist without the hero directly harming her.

Being unattractive is another surefire way to keep a female baddie on the side of evil, as is being overly sexual; The Vamp is an unlikely candidate for redemption because she's usually the one attracting the men, not vice versa.

Compare Women Are Wiser. See also Sorting Algorithm of Face-Heel Turning, Dating Catwoman, Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter, Dark Magical Girl, the Dark Chick, the Femme Fatale, Defecting for Love, Sex–Face Turn (the hero's usual technique), In Love with the Mark (a gender-neutral trope that can overlap with this one), Deliver Us from Evil, and Men Are the Expendable Gender. Contrast Daddy's Little Villain, who's usually too evil to be redeemed.


Note: This trope is not just for any Heel–Face Turn that happens to involve a female. The female villain HAS to be amongst male villains (not necessarily a Smurfette Principle) in order to count. (Ex: a Harry Potter fic where Bellatrix Lestrange decides to stop being a Death Eater and becomes a member of the Order of the Phoenix.)


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Oh, Gundam. Where do we even start.
    • Alright, the original series has Miharu Ratokie, rookie spy, sell out our heroes before falling in love with Kai. She dies while helping defend White Base, though.
    • Lalah has the misfortune of falling in love with the main protagonist AND antagonist. She dies taking a beam sword for Char, which proves a running theme in Gundam.
    • Zeta has Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam fall in love with Kamille, Reccoa falling in love with the villain, and Sarah falling in love with Katz AND the villain. Note, none of them actually switch sides but Reccoa. Everyone just mentioned dies, except Kamille, who ends up mind raped into almost catatonia and turned into The Ophelia until the end of ZZ. Unless you count The Movie.
    • The 08th MS Team has Aina Sahalin, who fell in love with protagonist Shiro Amada, pretty much flips off her brother and joins Shiro's side at the end. Unlike the others, she doesn't die.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has a... strange variation of this. Lacus Clyne starts off on the side of ZAFT, but is more neutral than actually evil (mostly due to her naivéte regarding the actual nature of the conflict). She comes to realize that not only is ZAFT bad, but also the Earth Alliance. So she decides to start her own heroic faction.
  • Chane Laforet of the Lemures, in Baccano!. Of course, her comrades were planning to kill her in the end, and it could be argued that she remained true to the groups original purpose (protecting her father)...
    • Heck, she was three quarters of the way through turning before the show even started, and her whole team knew it.
  • Perona in One Piece was the only one of Gecko Moria's minions who was female and fighting for him by her own free will. After some initial difficulties, Perona ended up helping Zoro during the timeskip, and post time skip she helped fight off Marines that were trying to capture the Straw Hats.
    • Boa Hancock is the only female member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, a group that has been solely antagonistic to Luffy up to the point of meeting her. She becomes one of Luffy's greatest allies after falling in love with him.
    • Of the five female members of the Donquixote Pirates, the only one who had a Heel–Face Turn (barring the one who was The Mole) defected because she fell in love with her opponent.
  • In Get Backers, a lot of the female villainesses are this.
  • Guren, one of the few major female filler antagonists in Naruto, does a High-Heel–Face Turn after coming to love Yukimaru, and cooperates with Naruto to ensure his safety. Unfortunately, she apparently dies protecting him. Or not.
    • So did Konan, the only female member of the Akatsuki, who admits that her morality and motivation completely depend on her childhood friend Nagato. So when he goes the route of Redemption Equals Death, she follows the new goals which he strove for, becoming the unofficial leader of their village. Until Obito kills her, anyway..
      • Konan averts this, actually. It was Pein who was convinced to pull a Heel–Face Turn, not her. Konan was only ever loyal to Pein, so she never actually switched sides.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • In the Utawarerumono anime, Touka of the Evenkuruga tribe is the only woman fighting on the side of Kucca Kecca, and the only one to later join the protagonist.
  • Renee in Innocent Venus when she rediscovers her feelings for an old flame.
  • Pixie of the Big Bad Four in Monster Rancher.
  • Inverted in the original manga of the Hentai manga series Bondage Fairies, where the three villains are women, and their male slave is won over by and assists the heroine, Pfil. This gets him killed by Marcia, his master and the cruelest of the sisters.
  • Gatomon in Digimon Adventure, rare non-romantic version.
  • In Kikaider during the four part OVA series, Bijinder decides to join up with the good guys after seeing how she actually cares about them.
  • Viro in Elemental Gelade has lived her entire life as a worthless Sting Raid, and is willing to do anything to become a real Edel Raid. She's sent undercover to spy on Coud, earn his trust, and if possible, separate him from his partner, Ren. Of course, Coud is the first person to treat her kindly, and she ends up falling in love. Unfortunately, Redemption Equals Death.
  • Subverted in Bleach, with Riruka. While she was the most reluctant member of her group and had somewhat of a crush on Ichigo, she ends up bonding more with Orihime than with Ichigo, and what made her realize that she truly was in the wrong were not her feelings for him, but realizing that Ichigo was the only one truly capable of saving the X-Cution group, since their leader Ginjou was actually the Dark Messiah.
  • Fairy Tail loves this trope:
    • Juvia from Phantom Lord joins Fairy Tail after her defeat because she falls head over heels for Gray during their fight. She was never actually a bad person—just gloomy and a bit anti-social—but she did belong to a villainous guild.
    • Coco from Edolas counts, even though she is the only one of her group who doesn't have a bad bone in her body. On top of that, none of the Edolas villains can really be called such because all they want is to ensure the survival of their realm, even if it means killing much of the residents of Magnolia; Coco defects because their plan also entails the sacrifice of Lily, her closest friend.
      • Erza Nightwalker similarly has a change of heart, but it happens too late to make any difference to the story.
    • Ultear and Merudy from Grimoire Heart; it's played especially straight for Ultear, who committed evil deeds without remorse because she thought her mother abandoned and replaced her as a child.
    • Saber Tooth features an inversion: Minerva, the only (villainous) female of her guild, is the only one who doesn't pull a Heel–Face Turn. Until halfway through the Tartaros arc.
      • She just has been revealed to have a Freudian Excuse and thus seems pretty close to making the turn. She even completes the turn at the end of the Tartaros arc.
    • Flare from Raven Tail also turns. She is cruel and creepy when her guildmates are around, but is subject to quite a bit of physical abuse when she fails to meet their expectations. Once her guild is liquidated, her true personality is shown to be quite timid and apologetic (but still creepy).
  • In Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry, the supposed Big Bad, Vivian Medlock, joins up with the heroines after getting betrayed by Ralph Werec.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Green Lantern/Green Arrow teamup "Hard-Traveling Heroes II", Crackshot does this with barely a thought. Her boss is kind of weirding her out, Green Arrow's really hot, what's to consider?
  • In Batman #4, Queenie, a member of The Joker's gang, became the first criminal to deduce that Bruce Wayne was Batman and ended up falling for him. She later took a bullet intended for the crime fighter. Likewise, it's often implied that Harley Quinn is only such a psycho due to Joker's toxic influence on her, as she's had her share of Pet the Dog moments and even tried reforming at least once.
  • Talia Al-Ghul, daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul, frequently betrayed her father out of her love for his enemy, Batman. Though in her case, it's more of a Heel–Face Revolving Door/Depending on the Writer, as she was always torn between her attraction to Batman and her loyalty to her father. During the "Death and the Maiden" arc, she turned against both men, having been betrayed by her father and sick of being used as a pawn by Batman to take Ra's down. By the time Grant Morrison started using her in his Batman Inc. storylines, she has become as evil as her father ever was.
  • Detective Comics #526, "All My Enemies Against Me", was the first mass team up by all the Gotham City villains to kill Batman. They were instantly betrayed by Talia and Catwoman (the only two women in the room) who both joined the caped crusader and attempted not only to help him defeat everyone else but also to get his attention.
  • Diamondback (Rachel Leighton) was sent by the Serpent Society to help capture Captain America. Though she did not immediately abandon her mercenary ways, she fell in love with Cap and helped him escape. They later formed a romantic relationship.
  • In a feminist variation, Golden Age Wonder Woman stories often had her make extra effort to redeem female opponents, far more effort than she would extend to a male baddie. And she often succeeded. Even Paula Von Gunther, a Nazi and one of Diana's main archnemeses at the time, saw the light and eventually became one of Diana's most loyal allies.
  • Very few female X-Men villains stay villains. The Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Marrow, Emma Frost, Sage, Danger, Frenzy, and Callisto were all X-Men or X-Factor villains who became good guys. Mystique and Lady Mastermind were also X-Men villains who became X-Men, but it didn't take (though Mystique is usually portrayed as redeemable and willing to do what she thinks is the right thing). The X-Men have had male villains change sides - Quicksilver turned hero when his twin sister the Scarlet Witch did, though she's always portrayed as the more heroic of the two (unless she's having mental problems, in which case it's portrayed as not her fault) - but not as many. And when you consider that they have more male villains but fewer male villains-turned-hero, you can see this trope in full effect.

    Fan Works 
  • The only two denizens of Karlix that converted to the good side in Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy were female: Lapinyuu and Ashley.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Konan is a straighter example than in canon. After Nagato/Pain performs his Redemption Equals Death, she turns herself in to Konoha, and later joins the Shinobi Allied Forces against Akatsuki during the Fourth Ninja War.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Happens in many of the James Bond films:
    • Goldfinger: Pussy Galore. Bond's Epic Goods turn her straight (or at least bi), apparently!
    • Lampshaded and subverted in Thunderball with SPECTRE's "Black Widow" Fiona Volpe, who warns Bond not to expect that from her. Bond, probably because he's a bed-hopping bastard, actually shrugs this off with "Well, you can't win them all". Volpe is actually the first Bond girl this doesn't work on, but it turned out he wasn't actually trying it on her in the first place.
    • Live and Let Die:
      • Inverted when Bond sleeps with inept CIA agent Rosie Carver....then pulls a gun on her, revealing he knows she's actually The Mole for Big Bad Kananga. He threatens to kill her if she doesn't spill what she knows; when she says he wouldn't do that, they've just made love, he replies "I certainly wouldn't have killed you before."
      • While Kananga's men are loyal to the death, his female Fortune Teller Solitaire is won over by Bond's charms, even going so far as to lose her virginity - and with it her ability to predict the future! - to him.
    • May Day from A View to a Kill. She arguably has a Heel–Face Turn late in the movie, but it's not because of Bond - it's because Zorin betrayed her and killed her friends. Critics pointed out that having May Day turn good conveniently allowed Bond to avoid having to fight her.
    • Inverted in Die Another Day when Miranda Frost tries to kill 007 after they spend the night together.
    • Subverted in You Only Live Twice. Bond is captured by SPECTRE agent Number Eleven, who then frees him, apparently having decided to defect. They spend the night together, Bond quipping "The things I do for England..." as he uses the scalpel she was threatening him with to cut the straps of her evening gown. Next morning, they get into a light aircraft together to fly to safety, but it's a trap and she bails out, leaving Bond restrained in the rear seat while the now-pilotless aircraft dives towards the ground. However, Bond survives, and her actions are enough for Blofeld to decide to feed her to his Shark Pool.
  • In Spies, a silent film that plays like a James Bond flick 30 years before the first James Bond flick, the lady spy from the Nebulous Evil Organisation falls in love with the good guy spy that she was supposed to be a Honey Pot for. She refuses to betray him to her evil boss, and eventually helps to bring the evil boss down.
  • The Fast and the Furious:
    • Gisele in the fourth movie.
    • Zig-zagged in the fifth movie with Officer Neves. It seems like she'll end up in this role throughout most of the film, but both her and Hobbs end up joining forces with Toretto. She doesn't assist them in actually stealing the money, but does meet up with Dom again after the fact.
  • Our Man Flint. After having sex with Derek Flint, Galaxy agent Gila eventually succumbs to his charms and joins him.
  • Eve Teschmacher in the 1978 Superman movie and Kitty Kowalski in Superman Returns. Miss Teschmacher's betrayal was really Lex's own fault — he's so horrible to both of his henchpeople throughout the movie that the only reason Otis didn't betray him too was because he was too stupid to realize just how much Lex hated him. The last straw for Miss Teschmacher involved siccing a missile on her mother's hometown. That led her to save Superman's life in exchange for his stopping that missile which was headed for Hackensack, NJ.
  • Lyranna from The Beastmaster 2.
  • Subverted in Creature from Haunted Sea: the main character repeatedly tries to get the girl to turn good, but she's not interested.
  • Sala in The Phantom. Little explanation is given, it seems to happen purely because the Laws of Trope demand it. Though she does seem awfully protective of her female companion.
  • Eve Kendall in North By Northwest. Although it turns out that she was The Mole all along.
  • The Baroness in the 2009 live action G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, fighting her way free of the nanomites to help Duke. Stays good until the end, though the nanomites are still there, and could be subverted if her brother had a second control device to drag her back.
  • In the last of The Naked Gun films, Tanya Peters (Anna Nicole Smith) is the moll for a gang of terrorist assassins. After spending some time with the film's hero, Lieutenant Frank Drebin (who has gone undercover as an extra member of the gang), she apparently has a change of heart. She reveals where the gang leader has planted a bomb to Frank... but things go badly for her afterwards when Frank discovers she's transgender and reacts as though this is massively disgusting ("Unfortunate Implications" seems much too generous a term for this scene).
  • In Disney's Condorman, KGB spy Natalia is a Defector from Commie Land, but she insists on doing so only to the titular "top secret agent", who is actually a bumbling comic book writer. Hilarity Ensues when he's forced to actually do all the spy stuff he dreams of in order to rescue her, but it's his naive charm that won Natalia's heart in the first place and helped prompt her defection.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Kayla from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. One thing for sure is that she's not evil to begin with.
    • Inverted in X-Men: First Class: both female mutants working with Xavier have turned to the dark side by the time the movie is over, and, aside from Magneto, are the only ones to do so.
  • Inverted in Spy Kids. The only female villain in the series (Teri Hatcher's character in the first movie) is one of the few to not be redeemed.
  • Trudy Chacon in Avatar is the only one of the soldiers who does a Heel–Face Turn: the other characters who turn are either scientists or Jake Sully who (very literally) Go Native, but Trudy is simply one grunt amongst hundreds. While she does spend more time with the main cast getting Aesops and stuff, it certainly comes off as this.
  • Yelena in xXx, though its later played with as the villain knew the whole time. (But didn't do anything about it.) Of course, it turns out that she was undercover for the FSB the whole time.
  • Kapò: Nicole is a Jewish teenaged girl who is sent to Auschwitz during The Holocaust. She manages to assume the identity of a deceased Gentile prisoner, and thus is sent to a different Nazi slave labor camp instead of being gassed. She throws her lot in with the Germans, becoming a cruel, vicious "kapo" (a trusty charged with guarding the other slaves). But when she falls in love with Sasha, a handsome Russian soldier interned in the camp, she undergoes a high-heel face turn and helps the prisoners in staging a mass breakout.

  • Nicci in the Sword of Truth series, though this is more about Richard changing her view on life than his sheer manliness, though that did help a little. Denna is a less extreme example, as are the rest of the surviving Mord Sith.
  • Michael Stackpole of the X-Wing Series books and comics is good at subverting this. All of his villains are more or less equally evil, including Ysanne Isard, Leona Tavira, and The Mole, Erisi Dlart. Isard is the Big Bad, but she's not insane in the main series, just ruthless and calculating. Several people pull Heel Face Turns, but while there's a couple women among them they turn because Defeat Means Friendship and because they were helped, like the men.
    • The Star Wars EU also had a minor case in the Witches of Dathomir, it's shown that the form of the dark side used by the witches leaves them disfigured. It overloads their bodies and causes blood vessels near the skin to burst, so any of the witches that are less disfigured, and prettier, would theoretically be easier to return from the dark side.
    • Also Mara Jade (at least her falling for Luke seems to have happened a few years after her turn).
  • Happens rather frequently in Leslie Charteris' The Saint novels.
  • Played with In the Fablehaven series, Vanessa is one of the only villains to do a Heel–Face Turn, but only out of necessity, and they distrust her repeatedly throughout the books. The Sphinx who was the Big Bad also turns good in the end, with the (Female) demon he controlled taking a position in a Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Zig-Zagged with Diana from Gone. Throughout the series, she's probably the least outwardly loyal Coates kid, sometimes to the point of sabotaging their plans, but is the only one that actually cares about Caine. She stays even after Drake's and Jack's Heel Face Turns but is still openly critical of how things are being done. Finally, in Plague, she leaves for good. But she remains on her own side the whole time, so there's no technical change, and she left more because Caine used her for sex and lied to her than an attack of conscience, although there's a little bit of that, too.
  • In John Carter of Mars, Phaidor is the only named female Thern, and also the only named Thern to do a Heel–Face Turn. Notably, of the four main villains in the third book- the other three being Matai Shang (her dad), Thurid, and Salensus Oll- while all four die, she's the only girl and the only one to die repentant.
  • In Oliver Twist, Nancy is the only female in the group of villains, and the only one to do a Heel–Face Turn. Although she turns, she cannot abandon her criminal friends because All Girls Want Bad Boys.
  • Keela from Chanters of Tremaris betrays her half-brother to join the heroes, due to some handy magical rehardwiring of her personality.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith joins the good guys again after Angel shows her The Power of Friendship.
  • This happens nearly Once per Episode in The Wild Wild West... Including in one version of the Animated Credits Opening! Utterly averted in The Film of the Series, though.
  • The writers of Star Trek: The Original Series seemed incapable of thinking women could be evil. Even villainesses tended to get the soft-focused-cheesy-musiced-hey-it's-a-hot-girl treatment. Women who did do bad things were typically portrayed as naive and/or misguided and therefore more deserving of pity than blame. Prime examples of this are Lt. Marla McGivers and Dr. Janice Lester. Due to Values Dissonance, modern-day viewers tend to take rather less kindly to these characters than was intended.
    • An exception is Sylvia in "Catspaw". Not only is she an unmitigated villainess, she dies — along with her more sympathetic male partner. It probably helps that "her" undisguised form looked like it was made out of pipe cleaners.
    • Notably, the episode "Friday's Child" was originally scripted with Eleen handing her own newborn child over to the bad guys in an effort to save herself and then getting killed anyway as they only wanted the baby in the first place. Roddenberry vetoed this because he believed all women would be maternal. Note the writer of this episode was a woman, so apparently he thought he knew her own sex better than she did.
  • Female villains in Power Rangers due to usually being humans in supervillain outfits as opposed to Rubber suit monsters generally need to take a One-Winged Angel form in order to be destroyed.
  • In Robin Hood the Sheriff sends a spy into Bonchurch in order to get information on Robin from the newly appointed Earl: Much. Tellingly called Eve, she ends up falling for Much and admitting everything.
  • This often (but not always) happens in Batman, usually with the various villains' molls.
    • Sometimes it would occur at the very end of an episode (just after the final commercial break) as a seeming sort of Aesop, as in "See, not all of these criminals are really bad people." This is exactly how the redemption of "Zelda the Great" came out (doubly notable since she was the villain of the show, not just a moll).
    • Ultimately subverted in the "Minstrel's Shakedown" episode: The Minstrel's moll initially surrenders to Batman and Robin, but they admire her courage and seemingly let her go. However, it was all a ruse to bug the girl's purse so that the Dynamic Duo can listen in on Minstrel's plot. After she learns this, the girl turns evil again.
  • Veronica Palmer in Better Off Ted, described in one episode as being the only female in upper management at the evil organization Veridian Dynamics, uses her position in several episodes to subvert company plans, either directly or by manipulating one of her underlings. And, although clearly sociopathic if not a bit insane, Veronica is consistently depicted as the far lesser of the evils in the rare occasion that upper management is seen.
  • Ros Myers was in the inner circle of the Collingwood Cabal from the two-part premiere of Spooks series five, alongside her MI6 boss Collingwood, her father Sir Jocelyn (the financier of the group's attempted coup d'etat), and newspaper mogul Paul Millington, who's been skewing his headlines to ensure maximum panic (and by extension, support for the "antiterrorism" measures upon which their planned police state will be built). She's quite appalled after Collingwood decides to pull the trigger on an assassination of the Home Minister and a staged airplane collision over London despite a presumed negotiation with Harry Pearce and his supporters, where he promised a short truce. Ros promptly texts Adam Carter to warn him of the assassination attempt, and spends the second part of the premiere passing intel of the Cabal's actions to Section D, before quitting Six and joining MI 5 at the end of the episode.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Every named villain in the serial "The Daleks' Master Plan" is either clearly male, or a genderless alien played by a male actor, with the exception of The Ace Sara Kingdom. Guess which character ends up becoming a temporary companion.
    • Exaggerated in "The Hand of Fear", where Eldrad (the only woman in the story other than Sarah Jane) is portrayed sympathetically and is willing to help the Doctor, until regenerating into a male body, who is a ranting megalomaniac.
    • Missy winds up being the first, and thus far only, incarnation of The Master to successfully pull a Face–Heel Turn, though she winds up shot in the back by her own past self for her trouble.
  • MacGyver (1985): Karen in "Deathlock", Sara in "The Escape" and Holly in "Twenty Questions".
  • Daredevil (2015): In season 1, Foggy's ex-girlfriend Marci Stahl is introduced working for Landman & Zack, the law firm where Matt and Foggy interned at prior to starting Nelson & Murdock. Once Matt and Foggy come into evidence that Landman & Zack's attorneys are in the pocket of Wilson Fisk, Foggy presents the evidence to Marci and reminds her that she "used to have a soul". Sure enough, by turning on her partners and producing evidence for Nelson & Murdock, Marci is left in the clear when the FBI arrests the majority of Fisk's accomplices. Marci later takes on a job with Hogarth Chao & Benowitz, at which Foggy later joins her by the end of season 2 following Nelson & Murdock's closure.
  • Iron Fist (2017): Colleen Wing is revealed partway through the first season to have been raised by the Hand, Danny's sworn enemies, and mentored by Bakuto, one of the Hand's founders. Bakuto has tasked her with convincing Danny to join them while being convinced herself that the organization is a benevolent charity that gives troubled kids in New York City a new purpose in life. Despite Danny being furious by the betrayal, Colleen discreetly helps him and Davos escape from Bakuto's compound. Her aiding Danny in escaping causes Bakuto to try to have her killed, at which point she finally learns that the Hand really is as evil as Danny and Claire have been telling her, and becomes deadset on destroying the Hand.
  • The Defenders (2017): Subverted by Elektra, who, after being killed at the end of Daredevil season 2, got resurrected by Alexandra and turned into her personal attack dog. When Elektra regains her memories thanks to being jogged by repeat encounters with Matt, she doesn't turn good; quite the opposite, she kills Alexandra and explicitly takes command of the Hand to harvest their resurrection substance for herself, and refuses to go along with Matt's attempts to turn her good.
  • Bodyguard (UK 2018): Julia starts off as an antagonistic Corrupt Politician especially to her bodyguard, David. When they sleep together, she falls quickly in love with him and becomes much softer and less corrupt, seemingly overnight. Also doubles as Sex–Face Turn.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor: Rebecca changed her mind about possessing Flora at the last minute so that she could go on to have a long and happy life. Peter didn't change his mind about possessing Miles, however, until Dani intervened to release them.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Simply Luscious...sort of. She abandons The Prophecy bent on destroying Ring of Honor in an effort to win back the heart of Steve Corino, who dumped her for the whole 'remaking the promotion he works for in the image of Christopher Daniels' thing being bad for business.
  • Invoked at EVOLVE when Rich Swann tried to talk Premier Athlete Brand secretary Su Yung out of the group when she started interfering in his matches. While Swann had some fun at the other members' expense because of this "relationship" the only turn it caused was Johnny Gargano's, who was a face by default at that point anyway. Yung's was faked.

  • In Camus' L'État de siège (The State of Siege), Death (a female) betrays her master, Plague, to aid the male protagonist.

    Video Games 
  • As found out in Assassin's Creed II, Maria Thorpe.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins has Milly, although she changes sides before anyone finds out she'd been working for an antagonist in the first place. By the time it comes up, she's already been firmly established as heroic, so all the other two really ask of her is an honest explanation.
  • Amongst the villains of BlazBlue, all the ones who commit to this trope have a vagina. That is not to say all the villains with a vagina commit to this trope.
    • Litchi Faye-Ling: Goaded into joining the NOL by Hazama with promises of aid in curing Arakune. She didn't get the villains' end of the bargain, but thanks to Bang, Ragna, Noel, Tsubaki, Makoto and Valkenhayn, Relius was left a broken man, and she and Carl now pull his strings, so he may be beholden to his colleague's deal. Things got reset afterwards, and afterwards, she just disassociated herself with the bad guys anymore.
    • Tsubaki Yayoi: Forcibly brainwashed by Hazama and Phantom. Escaped with aid from Jin, Noel and Makoto, with Kagura and Kokonoe on technical support.
    • Nine/Phantom: Reanimated; details unknown. Still evil, possibly due to brainwashing. Injured Jubei on first contact, and tries to kill him in round two; no known contact with Celica since reanimation, but the possibility of her return appear slim; her survival less so. Eventually double-subverted because she masterminded the events of Central Fiction, for a legitimate reason of trying to save the world from the depressing loops dictated by one being that only cared about themselves, not the lives of others, manages to see reason and gets a Redemption Equals Death
    • Imperator Librarius/Saya: Abducted and forcibly brainwashed by Terumi in Ragna's backstory. Revealed to be the host of the entity "Hades of Izanami", remains evil through Chronophantasma, forcibly conscripts Ragna and leaves Relius and Terumi to their fates. Whether Saya lingers in her remains unanswered, but her chances of redemption or survival appear slim to none. In the end averted, she still continues to antagonize the world until she gets her end thanks to the heroes, and to rub the salt to the wounds, both Terumi and Relius came back, the former gets a last hurrah, the latter escapes karma, annulling her previous attempt.
  • Cerl in Breath of Fire. Unfortunately, Redemption Equals Death. She recovered somehow with time travel, though.
  • Averted in the Dark Forces Saga; in Jedi Knight, the Dark Jedi who gets a Heel–Face Turn is the teenage boy. The female Dark Jedi is The Dragon and is killed just before you face the Big Bad. Desann's apprentice Tavion is spared by Kyle in Jedi Outcast, but she just comes back even more pissed off as the new Big Bad in Jedi Academy.
  • Isabela Keyes in Dead Rising.
  • Trish in the first Devil May Cry.
  • Averted in Dragon Age: Origins by Ser Cauthien. She serves Loghain out of loyalty and honour, but questions several of his decisions. It's possible outside of the Landsmeet chamber for a Warden PC with high Coercion and Persuasion to talk her into walking away, but otherwise you're forced to kill her for her loyalty to a misguided tyrant. Seduction is not an option either way.
    • Morrigan is basically a walking subversion. A romance will cause her to soften considerably, but her plan to use the warden to create a superpowered baby for her own (dubious?) purposes and leave the warden goes on as planned, regardless.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy II, Leila does a Heel–Face Turn after the party defeats her crew, and joins them.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Celes is the first of the Empire's generals to turn against the war. While it mainly had to do with her personal morality, her crush on Locke certainly helped.
      • Actually, the two Empire soldiers who were beating her unconscious when Locke first meets her probably had a larger influence on her decision to defect.
    • In the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, all of the Turks eventually turn to Zack's side, but Cissnei is the first to do so.
    • Final Fantasy IX:
      • General Beatrix starts out as a loyal servant of the villainous Queen Brahne, but turns against her ruler once the party force her to realize her queen has gone mad. She briefly joins the party herself, despite having been a difficult boss fight earlier.
      • Queen Brahne herself has somewhat of a heel-face turn herself at the moment of her death, though this is more along the lines of Villain's Dying Grace due to a Heel Realization.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Subverted in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. The bad guys consist of the Big Bad, two Anti-Villain brothers who only serve their organisation out of the loyalty they had before it was corrupted, a male assassin who kills Matthew's love interest, Leila, a Manipulative Bitch, said woman's loyal female underling, and a powerful female Morph who believes her only purpose is to serve the Big Bad. Who gets redemption? The male assassin. Via the Manipulative Bitch's Dark Magical Girl daughter, who pulls a Heel–Face Turn first and brings him along. (Genderflipped example, then?).
    • Possibly played straight in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade with Idoun, but only In the best ending. She was under Mind Control, anyway.
    • Played straight in Fire Emblem Awakening where Aversa is the only female member depicted in the Grimleal, and is a manipulative Bad Boss. Yet the DLC content reveals Aversa to have survived and to have been magically brainwashed by a male Villain against her will all along. She then joins the party as a playable character, and can be romanced by the Male custom character. The other members of the Grimleal, all of whom are ugly males, are just said to be evil with no explanation on why.
    • Surprisingly, gender flipped in the second half of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War The brothers Iuchar and Iucharba are both in love with Larcei (or her expy Creidne, if you screwed up badly enough in part 1 to prevent Larcei from being born) and one of them can be persuaded to pull this by her and join the heroes. The other will go man scorned and she'll have to kill him.
    • And in the first generation there's Prince Jamke, who has feelings for Edain the Priestess and she can convince him to join sides... and later he can marry either her or her twin sister Brigid.
    • Also, it's more often than not averted in its original form. More than once you'll have an Anti-Villain with an Undying Loyalty to an enemy, but she won't be likely to switch sides for the heroes' love or friendship. Selena Fluorspar from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is an especially tragic case; she is shown as a sympathetic My Country, Right or Wrong type, but still dies by your hand, and the two generals who actually Heel–Face Turn are male. And one gets killed before he could join your group anyway.
  • Gitaroo Man is too weird to play very many tropes straight besides this one. There's only one female Gravillian, and naturally, she's been brought up to fight Gitaroo-Man as the planet's greatest champion, only to fall for him at the last minute.
  • X'tabay from Guacamelee! eventually turns to Juan's side after Calaca ignores her completely once he gets El Presidente's daughter. (That the man's beloved pet monster died while X'tabay was supposed to be taking care of it doesn't really help much.)
  • An interesting case in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories where Larxene, member of Organization XIII, aids Marluxia in his plan to defy Organization XIII. She's still evil, but now she's just against both the heroes and the other group of villains.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Yuthura Ban, second-in-command of the Sith Academy, can flip, although it requires you to run through her dialogue line (eventually making friends with her and causing her to question the Sith philosophy) and then, after your trial, team up with her to kill Uthar. At this point she turns on you; defeating her and then sparing her brings her to the light.
  • And in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Visas Marr, apprentice of Darth Nihilus, who is sent to assassinate you, but then ends up joining your party.
  • Erim the Goddess of Death from Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is a lone female in a group of four mad Sinistrals. She falls for the local Maxim. After Maxim defeats the Sinistrals (including her), she decides to reincanate into a straight up heroine in the sequels and Screw Destiny.
    • She also ends up falling in love with every main character in the series, yet always is defeated by the protagonist party. And the worse part? She truly is good and every game her fight is just her defending herself from her sad and confused friends...
  • In Mega Man X: Command Mission, although it's more of a Enemy Mine scenario, Ferham, one of the last members of the Rebellion, helps her enemies (X and his allies) defeat the Big Bad Redips/Spider by removing the Applied Phlebotinum that made him nearly invincible, allowing the heroes to ultimately defeat him. In the end, Ferham, like most other examples involving both this trope and Applied Phlebotinum, pulls off a Redemption Equals Death to destroy the Applied Phlebotinum so that it will not fall into the wrong hands ever again.
    • It can be difficult to actually characterize the rebels in that game as outright evil, especially the ones at the top of the ladder; all of them seem to be genuinely dedicated to their ideals, which her "turn" affirmed if nothing else, and given the depiction of the federation government in that game and particularly the head honcho the hunters answer to it's hard to condemn them.
  • In Mortal Kombat, this seems the only way a villain can find redemption. The only ones who seem to have successfully done so are Kitana, Jade, and Sindel. (Not that there aren't plenty of female villains in the franchise that are clearly incapable of redemption; Mileena is a good example.)
  • In Need for Speed: Underground 2, Nikki leaves Caleb and the Wraiths after Caleb chastises her for losing to the player one too many times. She ends up helping the player take Caleb down and is seen celebrating with Rachel in the ending cutscene.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Identical to the above example, there's one hot female elf, one insane bald male human, and one ancient and really ugly lizardwoman. Guess which you can redeem?
    • The Shadows of Undrentide-Hordes of the Underdark campaign arc mostly averts this. No Heel Face Turns of any type occur in the entire series (unless you count the end of Aribeth's Heel–Face Revolving Door and Nathyrra's backstory), despite having at least two female villains who might have made a good story to have redeemed them.
  • Vivian in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door decides to join Mario and leave her sisters after figuring that her sister Beldam is just too damn mean. It should be noted that she is the only one of her sisters who is even remotely attractive.
  • In Persona 3, Chidori, the sole female member of Strega, ends up falling in love with one of the heroes, Junpei. She struggles with her feelings, and when one of her teammates shoots Junpei dead, she gives her life to revive him.
  • In Persona 5, Sae Nijima, one of the Phantom Thieves' targets, is the only person on whom they do not use Heel–Face Brainwashing. Instead, with the help of the protagonist and her younger sister Makoto, she consciously makes the decision to become a better person.
  • Kurow Kirishima of Project Justice sets himself up with two henchwomen - his sister Yurika, and admirer Momo. By the end of the game they've both betrayed him for the friends they've gained... although Kurow probably brought it on himself by treating Yurika like crap and sending her to Seijyun, where she'd find Akira and bond with her in a rare prospect Les Yay example of this and considering Momo as nothing more than a pawn so Shouma rescues and then recruits her.
  • Averted wholesale in RosenkreuzStilette. Granted, that game's cast is mostly female to begin with, but normally, Iris would seem like the kind of villain who would redeem herself at some point, being pretty and all (and not in a sexual way either). She doesn't. To begin with, everything she does is simply for her own amusement, so such a possibility is already ruled out.
  • Saints Row: The Third: The only two major female members of the Syndicate are twins Viola and Kiki, but after Killbane kills Kiki for pushing his Berserk Button, Viola deflects and joins the Saints. Though, unlike most examples of this trope, this is a complete act of revenge instead of heroism, seeing as the Saints are a group of sociopathic criminals fighting another criminal group.
  • Belleza of Skies of Arcadia pulls this because Galcian betrayed her along with the rest of Valua when he sent her back to the Empress and then promptly called down the Rains of Destruction, slaughtering most of Valua's populace. Helps that she was never all that evil to begin with. Her goal was to unite the world under one nation so that there would be no more wars. Once she realizes that Galcian just wants the world to suffer, she decides to sacrifice herself to kill him, by ramming her airship into his escape pod, when he tries to run away after Vyse and the others defeat him.
  • In the PSP remake of Tactics Ogre, you can go ahead and make the only female Templar Commando Ozma defect from the Roslolians and join Denim's forces. Not available on all routes, though. Her nigh identical twin brother and partner dies in all routes. Oh, and in the same time, she's upgraded into a possible Love Interest for Haborym/Hobyrim.
    • The same way could apply to Ravness Loxaerion, the new girl. When Duke Ronwey turned Heel, Denam/Catiua/Vyce's turn of Face/Heel depends on the player's actions. Leonar always turns Heel, Ravness ALWAYS TURNS FACE. Though depending on your decision, she might not enjoy that Face status soon.
  • TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. The time traveling hero helps out a seventies super-agent stop a world threatening conspiracy. Many of the female mooks can be overheard desiring the super-agent in many sexy ways. Gamewise, here is no choice but to shoot the mooks. The super-agent? More interested in dressing up like a lady and flirting with the men in the game.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the TV movie Operation: Jet Fusion for The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Jet Fusion tries to invoke this trope on Beautiful Gorgeous, Prof. Calamitous' daughter. It fails though. Later, it seems that it's worked and the two are set to get married. But then it turns out that it's actually an evil plot to control Jet's mind, and Beautiful Gorgeous is still unwilling to change.
  • Jinx from Teen Titans, the sole female of the HIVE Five group, ends up joining the Titans in the end.
  • X-Men: Evolution
    • Rogue - although given that she was only on the bad guys' side because she thought the X-Men wanted her dead, this is pretty justified.
    • Zigzagged with Tabitha/Boom-Boom who leaves the Xavier Institute and moves in with the Brotherhood. She then leaves them when Mystique returns and works with the X-Men a few times after that. From then onwards she just seems to go with whichever groups suits her at the time: in one episode, she's staying with the Brotherhood while fighting crime with the female X-Men.
  • Averted in Kim Possible with Shego, who massively subverts the trope at the end of at least two episodes which look like they're heading in this direction. However, that doesn't stop her from taking part in numerous Enemy Mines, particularly in the finale. Not to mention it's revealed she had done a Face–Heel Turn in her background, inverting this trope, since she was the only female in her heroic Sibling Team.
  • Gender Inverted in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Fire Lord Ozai has a son, Zuko and a daughter, Azula. Azula supports him to the end, but his son eventually betrays him to Avatar Aang.
    • It's heavily hinted, especially by Aang, that Azula will make a Heel–Face Turn in the future at the end of The Search, which has her abandoning her evil goals completely and running away to seek a new purpose in life.
  • Subverted in The Dragon Prince. Claudia initially seems to be more sympathetic, but in season 3, she starts Slowly Slipping Into Evil, and her brother, Soren takes a Heel–Face Turn instead.
  • In Wolverine and the X-Men, Emma Frost betrays the Inner Circle out of a combination of her love for Cyclops and the fact that hanging around with the X-Men has caused her to grow a conscience, and, of course, the practical reason that the Inner Circle kept switching up their plans without telling her, making her feel like a betrayal was coming. This trope is averted by the Inner Circle's other female member, Selene, however; she's portrayed as an entirely unrepentant sadist and schemer throughout.
  • Parodied in American Dad! when one of Stan's partner of the week invokes this to get them out of imprisonment with nothing more than a short song. He apparently sexed his way through 200 miles of jungles. Though to be fair... he did have an enticing voice.
  • Zhalia in Huntik: Secrets & Seekers.
  • Generator Rex:
    • BOTH female members of the Pack, Circe and Breach, end up changing sides thanks to Rex's influence on them.
    • Played with as Biowulf leads the rest of the Pack, sans Van Kleiss into more neutral territory, because by that point Providence was the enemy, and the female Black Knight has become the Big Bad
  • In the Justice League episode "Injustice for All (part 2)", Batman convinces Cheetah to sell out the Injustice Gang to the Justice League, which earns her a Redemption Equals Death (though she gets better). Subverted when it turns out she didn't, and the real traitor was Ultra Humanite, who didn't want to be there in the first place. And because Batman made a huge donation to National Public Radio in his name.
  • Zarana, one of the Dreadknocks from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, ends up helping the Joes a lot due to her mutual crush on the Joe communications officer Mainframe. The series doesn't last long enough to see if she officially turns, though.
  • In the Defenders of the Earth episode "The League of Flesh and Blood", the villains are three andoids - two male, one female - who despise what they are and long to be human. Ming eventually offers them humanity, but this requires stealing the bodies of Rick, Jedda Walker, and Kshin. Eventually, the female android is the only one who realizes what this means - they're about to become accessories to murder - and pulls a Heroic Sacrifice - killing her two partners - to save the teens.
  • Action Man (2000): Asazi, at the end of the series, is the only member of the Council of Doom to defect to the good guys, while all of her male colleagues are either depowered or permanently dispatched in some other way. Although it's questionable if she will really quit being evil, since her only motivation for helping Alex was that Dr. X's plan to destroy all of humanity would be bad for her business.
  • Blinky Bill: Daisy is considered by fans to be the first of the Dingo family to redeem themselves.


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