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"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight

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Pummelling the Body Snatcher also helps.

"I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That was why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you won't bring me to your Emperor now."
Luke Skywalker (to Darth Vader), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Egad!! Your best friend, loyal comrade, or long standing love interest has been taken over by The Virus, Brainwashed, mind controlled, possessed or subjected to Red Kryptonite, Green Rocks, some sort of MacGuffin or mind-bending Applied Phlebotinum or turned to the dark side willingly. This often follows The Reveal that the mysterious foe whose paths have crossed your own time and again is actually a former close friend or that certain relative who unaccountably disappeared many years ago.

You're the hero and your friend is now evil - a fight has to happen. But the obviously weaker opponent is winning! The hero can't bring himself to fight at full power against someone he loves. They know that the loved one is still there somewhere. The hero will win this fight by talking the friend out of the evil influence, usually because of The Power of Friendship or The Power of Love.


Often accompanied by the phrase "I know you are in there somewhere." The hero stalls the fight, trying to snap the friend out of it. Sometimes the effect is less than total salvation, only giving the friend the willpower to off themself or let the hero off them. This can be especially tragic if they've been Fighting from the Inside just to give them the opportunity.

Only the Ideal Hero can pull this baby off. It's usually saved as a Moment of Awesome for them, to show just how amazingly, totally, completely awesome they are. It's also a pretty big deal for whoever manages to snap them out of it.

Heroes beware, for it does not always work. They could discover, to their horror, that the friend was Not Brainwashed or they could be Wrong Genre Savvy, use the line, and then discover that it really is too late to save them. In some of the more tragic cases, something remains of their friend, but it is only a faint echo, who can barely muster to come through long enough to beg the hero to either run away and save themselves, or kill them and put them out of their misery. An inversion of this trope is Heroic Willpower, reversing the hero and sidekick's roles.


See also Battle in the Center of the Mind, Cooldown Hug, Fighting Your Friend, and Defusing The Tykebomb. Contrast Sheathe Your Sword, where the hero wins without fighting, but usually there isn't a relationship between the protagonist and antagonist. See "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture for the villain version. Compare Deprogramming, a far more drawn out process. See also Resist the Beast.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island : Inu-Yasha initially attempts this on Kikyo's clone, but he gives it up after discovering it isn't the real deal.
  • Violinist of Hameln has many, but there is one in special where Raiel tries to bring Hamel back after he transforms into a Mazoku. It's a Heartwarming Moment when you realize Raiel is still Hamel's best friend even after he KILLED RAIEL'S PARENTS, during his first inadvertent Mazoku transformation, and is constantly bullying him.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Laios tries this on chimera!Falin. He seems to be getting through to her...until Kabru attacks her and she goes berserk again.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Son Goku attempts this with Vegeta during the Buu Arc. Subverted, as Vegeta willingly let himself become possessed by Babidi in order to increase his power. He does not even follow any of the wizard's orders, and can snap out at any time. He eventually does so, before knocking Goku out and making a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Mr. Satan tries to get through to Super Buu by reminding him of his vow to never to kill again and shows him the puppy he saved. Buu laughs at him and Piccolo harshly tells him that the Buu he made friends with is gone. It later turns out that Fat Buu isn't gone, he just has no control of Super Buu since he's a different personality altogether.
    • Dragon Ball GT has a subversion of this as well with the Super 17 saga, when Android 18 joins the fight between Goku and Super 17. After 18's speech to 17 about being weak and cowardly for being the doctors' assassin rather than make his own decisions, Android 17 takes enough control of his Super self to turn around and kill Dr. Myu… then continues the fight, but lets Goku see his weakness and defeat him.
  • In the adaptation Devil Children, Setsuna does this to Zett who by that point has become Zebul. He succeeds.
  • Happens every so often in Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, usually during the Cult and The Virus arcs. To complicate things, since Defeat Means Friendship, the only guaranteed way to free the victim is to defeat them.
    • Except in the Battle City arc, where defeating Joey/Jounouchi would have resulted in his death by drowning. And trying to do something else would have resulted in Téa/Anzu being crushed to death. Happening way more often in the dubbed version, with Yugi reminding him of their friendship every other line. In the original version however, he resisted multiple times unaided and this trope was used once.
    • This happens in Joey's duel with Mai in the Doma arc as well, she doesn't hesitate until the last hit, however.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Joey is taken over by the Red-Eyes Black Dragon, who is being controlled by "the Blade of Chaos". Cue a battle with Yugi and Joey in their respective monsters' armor.
    • Notably subverted in the case of Ryou Marufuji aka Hell Kaiser; his friends' and younger brother Shou's inability to grasp he turned psycho and evil on his own and couldn't be brought back this way could be attributed to Genre Blindness or denial. More than a few fans seem unable to grasp it as well.
    • Jim's duel with Judai couldn't possibly take this more literally; he even actually goes "in there." It's also a subversion because while Judai is in there, he can't/won't fight. He's freed thanks to two heroic sacrifices, one of which only revealed ''why'' Judai was messed up. He never does fight from within.
    • Subverted in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's during the Dark Signer plot, as, even if the Dark Signers come to their senses or manage to avenge or get over the reasons they asked for another chance in the first place and snap back to normal, the Earthbound Gods pull a hostile takeover. Oh, and if they lose the duel, they die.
    • Defied twice in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL with Vector before finally succeeding.
    • IV also tries after Shark becomes Nasch. Nasch's response is to try to bring out IV's original personality as well - the callous, revenge-driven creature he was before the previous Duel the two had. Neither are actually successfully.
    • Done in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. After Yuya, Yuri, Yugo and Yuto become Zarc, it takes the combined efforts of Edo, Sora, Kaito, Kurosaki, Jack, Gongenzaka, Crow, Sawatari, Leo, Reiji and Reira (with Ray and her counterparts) to get the Yu-boys out from Zarc's control
  • Subverted in Gankutsuou, Albert convinces the Count to revert back into a human, but doing so makes the now-mortal Count vulnerable to a wound he received earlier, which kills him.
  • Played straight in Revolutionary Girl Utena multiple times, during the Black Rose arc, in which Utena both fought her rivals and tried to talk sense into them. Notable example is Wakaba: Utena didn't feel safe "using the sword (of Dios) against a friend," so despite Anthy's warnings she resorts to disarm Wakaba first, then use Wakaba's own sword (pulled from Saionji's body) to defeat her.
  • It's a common tactic when Magical Girls have to fight their Brainwashed and Crazy loved ones, and is often reserved for the Grand Finale.
    • Sailor Moon towards evil Endymion, evil Hotaru, evil Chibi-Usa a.k.a. Black Lady, and many a Monster of the Week. It appeared in nearly every episode during the Rainbow Crystal arc in Season 1, specifically with Urawa and Rei's grandfather. Hell, Sailor Moon is MADE of this trope.
      • In fact, during Rei's battle with her grandfather, she experiences a moment of Genre Savvy as she claims that her grandpa will snap out of it when his human consciousness realizes that he's fighting his granddaughter. Naturally, just because she says it, that's precisely what doesn't happen, and so Sailor Moon must take the regular Moon Healing Escalation route to revert him back to normal. note 
    • For that matter, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon's Grand Finale, as well a failed attempt on Dark Mercury. After the speech she promptly cuts Moon down anyway, and the shock of realizing she nearly killed a friend snaps her out of it.
  • The whole point of 75% of the Filler episodes of Wedding Peach, usually requiring The Power of Love. It happens a lot with Yousuke and Takurou.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch put a twist on this. Main character Lucia Nanami wasn't the one that talked down The Man Behind the Man each time he or she was revealed to be an important figure to their quest and relations. No, it was Hanon, the lovestruck schoolgirl whose teacher turned out to be in love with Sara. Hanon eventually convinced Sara that she was still a princess and a hero. Similarly, when the Great One in the second arc revealed his origin, it was his son, Rihito, that reached his original feelings.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura, during the Final Judgment; Sakura couldn't hurt Yue, the true form of her crush Yukito, and so she lost the first time around. Once Kaho uses her bell as a Reset Button, Sakura tries it again and succeeds.
  • In Kill la Kill, after Mako lets the power of running Ryuko's Fight Club get to her head, Satsuki gives her a Two-Star Goku Uniform and gets her to fight Ryuko, who's grown weary of being on her own while Mako and her family enjoy their new-found wealth and wants to disband the club. Ryuko doesn't bother fighting back, simply standing there and taking attack after attack...and when Mako realizes this, she gets so upset at the possibility of killing her friend that she calls off the fight and agrees to disband the club as Ryuko wanted. Shortly afterwards she punches a massive hole i the ground in frustration, revealing that she'd been holding back her true power throughout the fight...just as Ryuko knew she would.
    • Happens again to Ryuko in episodes 20 and 21. After Ragyo and Nui forcefully stitch Junketsu onto Ryuko's body, it rewrites her memories to give her a happy life with Ragyo, thereby making her completely loyal to her. Throughout the entirety of episode 21, Satsuki, Mako, the Elite Four, and the rest of Nudist Beach all fight Ryuko while attempting to snap her out of it. They eventually succeed after Senketsu and Mako enter Ryuko's mind, severing her mental connection to Junketsu.
  • In the second Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart movie, Cure Black tries this on the Brainwashed and Crazy White, but it doesn't work, and Black herself ends up in the same condition. Eventually they each snap out of it on their own.
    • Nozomi tries this on the other four in Yes! Pretty Cure 5, mid-season, with the same result as the Max Heart example.
    • Fresh Pretty Cure! had a villainous example of this trope. Setsuna (formerly Eas) had just recently defected from Labyrinth to the Cure's side and become the fourth Cure, Cure Passion. For the next couple of battles, Westar and Soular tries to bring Setsuna back to Labyrinth's side by invoking this trope, even going as far as forming a Monster of the Week based on Eas' likeness. Unfortunately for both of them (and fortunately for the Cures), by that stage Setsuna had firmly decided that she would stay on the Cure's side, and they soon realized that their attempts to bring Setsuna back to Labyrinth's side would be useless.
    • In the Heartcatch Pretty Cure movie, Cure Blossom tries to snap out Olivier of his brainwashed state by talking to him. However, Cure Marine's trying to protect her friend and fighting him. When Marine fires a shot meant for Olivier, Blossom takes it, saving Olivier, but destroying her hairbow, letting her hair fall loose. It's enough to snap Olivier out of his trance
    • In the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! movie, Cure Dream faces down a mind controlled Coco and, because of it, she's slowly turning into chocolate. Dream continues to call out his name and it slowly snaps him out of it, but it only takes hold once she ends up throwing her arms around him, murmuring "Remember me", then kissing him.
    • Makoto attempts on in an episode of Doki Doki Pretty Cure, singing a song to try to rattle Regina free of the brainwashing she had been put through. Even more so is that she pulls off an Unflinching Walk as both hero and villain fight around the two before Daabi initiates a henshin, allowing Makoto to grab Regina's weapon and keep singing. Too bad it's a very blatant Hope Spot moment.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers Plays with this in it's finale. Nanoha did this with her daughter, but even after she gets through to her, Vivio's body is still under direct control of the Saint's Cradle. So Nanoha has to use a more direct approach to free her.
    • Further used with the Dark Magical Girl of the Season, Lutecia, after she's mentally altered to see Erio and Caro as threats to her mother Megane being revived, resulting in the two splitting duties, with Caro working on Lutecia while Erio's stuck trying to talk Lutecia's bodyguard summon Garyuu into not killing them both in the meantime. Unique in that Lutecia has been an antagonist the entire time and this is the first time she's bothered talking with the heroes. It seems Nanoha's habits as a Messianic Archetype rubbed off on her trainees.
    • Nanoha did this earlier, in A's, when her friend Hayate snapped and was taken over by an evil magical artifact. It failed, but Hayate fortunately snapped out of it by herself.
  • Prétear: Himeno/Pretear v.s her stepsister Mawata, taken over Takako/Fenrir. And later, Himeno again, against Takako herself.
    • In the manga, Mawata and Himeno team up and deal one to Mawata's mother Natsue, possessed by Takako/Fenrir.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Seldomly works and almost every individual Story Arc has a Downer Ending. However, the actual I Know You Are In There Somewhere moment of Watanagashi-hen does kinda work. "I don't understand... Why am I hesitating?"
    • Also of note is the rooftop battle in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, when Keiichi succeeds in snapping Rena out of her Hate Plague-induced insanity.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Ling Yao's body is taken over by the homunculus Greed, but Ed knows Ling is "still in there" because he hesitates during a fight when Ed mentions the name of Ling's loyal bodyguard, Lan Fan. Indeed, Ling manages to convince Greed to make a Heel–Face Turn and the homunculus eventually performs a Heroic Sacrifice necessary for Ed to defeat Father.
    • One of the rare instances where the possessor and possessee eventually learn to share, largely due to this trope's invocation.
  • Subverted, so far, in Guyver. Sho has repeatedly tried to appeal to his brainwashed former ally Murakami, and has failed every time.
  • In Bleach, the Bount arc featured the enemy Mabashi who used his doll to possess Rukia. This was followed by a prolonged battle between Rukia and her ally Orihime, in which Orihime (a peace-loving girl who's rarely willing to hurt even the villains) refused to hurt her and resorted to talking her out of it. Even when Rukia's companions (and pre-possession Rukia) are urging her to just go attack. She succeeds with a Cooldown Hug mixed with her Barrier Warrior powers.
    • In the manga (chapter 352), it's tremendously subverted. Ishida attempts to prevent Ichigo (who has succumbed to his Superpowered Evil Side) from killing a seemingly defeated Ulquiorra. Ichigo, however, impales Ishida on his sword. Orihime, pulling herself out of her Heroic B.S.O.D., shrieks out Ichigo's name, but then Ulquiorra jumps in... and smashes Ichigo back to his real Shinigami form. Ichigo can't recall what happened.
  • From Far Away has a nice subversion: Izark is a hero with a Superpowered Evil Side who recently managed to change back intentionally. When he fights Swacka, an opponent who also shapeshifts involuntarily, Izark scrambles for the right phrase to describe what made him able to end his transformation. Nothing works. Then he reminds his opponent of the teachings of the Gray Bird tribe, which is the tribe Swacka belongs to. Miraculously Swacka changes back. Asked admiringly if he is a tribal master, Izark answers that he had no idea what he was talking about and made it all up as he went along.
  • The second InuYasha movie makes good use of this trope when InuYasha begins to be transformed into a full demon (for good this time!), but Kagome snaps him out of it with a kiss.
  • A very slight variation is used in the Get Backers manga: When Ginji tries to fight the Brainwashed and Crazy Kazuki, he's already pretty beaten up. He does try to appeal to "Kazu-chan's" true self, but doesn't get any results and focuses instead on appealing to Toshiki, the one currently in control of Kazuki and once a good friend of his. He finally resigns himself to death when Toshiki and Kazuki attack him together, as he can't bring himself to kill his friend. Cue Juubei's Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Berserk plays with this. When he first got his cursed armor, Schierke had to reach out and calm down Guts so he wouldn't kill himself and their True Companions. Later in the port city battle, Schierke pulled Guts out of the armor's influence just enough to let him think clearly.
  • The talk is inverted in Sonic X. Eggman, being who he is, obviously isn't going to try and talk Dark Sonic down nicely. No. Instead he mentally berates the guy and tells him to get the hell outta there before anyone else gets blown up. Amazingly, it works. This is probably Eggman's Moment of Awesome in the Sonic X series.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Trowa and Quatre pull these on each other. When one is brought mad by the Wing Zero's Zero System, the other snaps him out of it. Trowa pulls it first, then Quatre follows.
  • Saji Crossroads tries this on his ex-girlfriend, Dark Action Girl Louise Halevy in the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Doesn't really work since Louise's conditioning kicks in, but at least Saji manages to survive the encounter..
    • In episode 24, Saji tries again. It works this time (with help from Setsuna's Trans-Am and the sight of a certain promise ring) and he makes Louise come back to her senses. Aaaaaawwww.
    • Don't you remember Allelujah Haptism's situation in Season 2 which takes place before Saji/Louise's situation mentioned above (Well, before Saji found out that Louise is with the A-LAWS)? It's pretty much this. His foe/rival that he keeps fighting (throughout Season 1) is actually his childhood friend whom he hasn't seen ever since he was a child? Check. She's part of the enemy side? Check. She lost her memories of him because of personality implantation and only thinks of him as an enemy? Check. He's not fighting her properly and she's gaining the upper hand? Check. He's trying to get her to remember him rather than fight her? Check. He finally brought her memories/original personality back (by yelling her real name multiple times) and she's a couple with him now? Check.
      • The only difference is that it took him only 4-5 episodes to get Soma Peries/Marie Parfacy back while Saji took almost half of the season to get Louise back.
  • Cruel subversion in Naru Taru. Hiroko Kaizuka aka Hiro-chan has gone all batshit after being cruelly abused by her classmates and not having her parents' support, killing bullies and parents alike and threatening to kill Shiina's father, Shunji, to force her join her cause. Shiina attempts to talk Hiroko out of it, but Hiroko says she can't go back and that Shiina can't save everyone with kindness, while her Shadow Dragon Oni (which she used to commit the murders) breaking Shunji's arm and almost strangling him. Cue to Hoshimaru snapping Hiroko's neck to save Shunji, and to a traumatised Shiina screaming and going into an Heroic B.S.O.D. when she sees that her father is safe, but Hiroko is dead.
  • Satella tries this on her sister, Florette/Fiore in Chrono Crusade, but it fails. She's forced to disable her opponent instead, by freezing them in crystal in the manga and killing them outright in the anime.
    • There's also Rosette and Joshua's fight in the manga. In this case it does work, except Rosette has to shoot one of Joshua's horns to free him from their powers enough to bring him back.
  • In Princess Tutu, Fakir and Mytho have a sword duel that turns into one of these, including Fakir showing the other boy his reflection in his sword and shouting "Remember your true self!" It appears to have failed, and the now-evil prince raises his sword and brings it within an inch of Fakir's face, only to stop himself at the last second. Mytho then tells Fakir and Tutu "don't come near me!" and flees. This turns out being slightly subverted, however: the next time we see him, he's as evil as ever, if not worse.
  • Mega Man NT Warrior
    • Japanese Rockman.EXE with Dark Blues/Proto Man and Enzan/Chaud. Axess episode 49 is in fact widely considered one of the best episodes in the series due to how this was done.
    • Also done in the original season where Roll was turned into an evil dominatrix by a corrupted chip. This time Megaman's efforts to snap her out of it fail completely (Save for one moment that is actually Dominatrix!Roll pretending to be good again to get Megaman to drop his guard), and it is only by Mayl being told how to purge the chip from Roll's program in the physical world that Roll returns to normal.
  • In The Prince of Tennis OAV, Genius Bruiser Inui pulls this on his Tsundere partner, Kaidoh, when he falls into an Unstoppable Rage state during their doubles match against Renji and Kirihara. It works and Kaidoh calms down, but they lose anyway since Inui was too injured to continue.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: A subversion — or just very sinister straight example — would be first fight between Saitou Hajime and Kenshin early in the Shishio arc, where Saitou attempts to drag Kenshin's Battousai side to the surface. He succeeds... and then damn near strangles Kenshin to death. Kaoru attempts to stop them since she has brought Kenshin back from the Battousai state before, but it doesn't work; it takes the arrival of a high-ranked minister whom both Saitou and Kenshin knew from Restoration times to stop them.
    • During the Kyoto arc, it's played straight. Kenshin attempts to drag the more gentle persona of his Worthy Opponent Shinomori Aoshi to the surface. He's become a Blood Knight after the cruel deaths of his Quirky Miniboss Squad and Kenshin doesn't want to kill him in battle, having promised Misao that he'd bring him back. Mentioning Misao's Tender Tears and how Aoshi was running away from the truth works pretty well, and Aoshi comes back to his senses.
    • Also played with in Seijuro Hiko's fight with Fuji, who's under the effect of More Than Mind Control, and by Sanosuke towards his Evil Mentor Anji.
      • Poor Anji. Though Sano more trash talks him into repentance than calls out to him per this trope, since Anji'd been like this for about nine years since a Break the Cutie deal caused his Face–Heel Turn, and Sano first met him last week. Sano did have extremely good points, though... Like how his dead adoptive children would've never wanted him to take revenge for them, and how Anji had pretty much lost himself in his way to get revenge. "Don't you see them cry among the blood you've spilled!?"
      • And Hiko continues a colossal dick while doing his thing for Fuji. Again, It Makes Sense in Context: not only he was snapping Fuji out of his funk, but showing him what an asshole his "master" Saizuchi was. And considering that Saizuchi was an irritating Smug Snake and the one who and manipulated an innocent and desperate Gentle Giant like Fuji, well...
  • The ending of Overman King Gainer has Gain doing this to Gainer, but Gainer is too brainwashed so the minor character gives Gain the Planeta coat so that Cynthia, Gain, and Sara can hear the thoughts about friendship. Earlier, Adette tries to do this against Hughes Gouli, threatens to shoot him, tries to shoot him, before screwing the whole thing and just kissing him which works.
  • Zatch Bell!: Sherry Belmont struggles to wake Brainwashed and Crazy Koko, who insists that she turned evil out of her own free will. For a moment, Sherry starts to really believe that it's true, until she notices some earrings Koko is wearing that are a symbol of their friendship...
  • Played with in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Simon repeatedly tries to get his lover Nia, as the Anti-Spiral messenger, to snap out of it. At the critical moment of episode 22, he realized that the reason she kept appearing to him—and the reason she's still wearing their engagement ring—is that on some level she wanted him to save her. He then proceeds to drive straight for the core drill slot she's standing in front of, without bothering to ask her if she'll get out of the way. She does, and starts behaving like her normal self, just before she's summoned back to the Anti-Spiral homeworld.
  • Used in Naruto, when Sakura uses this and a Cooldown Hug to stop cursed-seal!Sasuke from pretty much murdering the Sound Genin who seriously beat her up. Subverted later: she attempts it on Naruto when he's under the effect of the Kyuubi, but fails.
    • A much more tragic example occurs sometime later, during Kakashi's duel with Tobi who is really Obito Uchiha. Kakashi tries to remind Tobi of the boy he used to be, but Obito's retorts make it painfully clear that the him Kakashi knew is no more. This conclusion is later disproven by Naruto, though, when Obito sees a montage of what his life would have been like if he'd stayed loyal to Konoha instead of joining Madara, proving that he deep down regrets his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Reversed in the final battle of X1999, where Kamui saves Fuma from his brainwashing, and simultaneously the entire world, by forgiving Fuma for killing him when Fuma takes advantage of Kamui's refusal to fight.
  • In Ayashi no Ceres, confrontations between the Mikagi-possessed Aki and Aya (who has rather more control over her possession by Ceres) go like this. Each time, Aya tries to keep Ceres from killing Aki, in hopes that he might get free from Mikagi. In the end, since Mikagi will not let Aki re-take control, Aki chooses to let Aya/Ceres kill him.
  • Also played with in Fruits Basket, where Tohru Honda resorts to gently speaking to Akito Sohma during the latter's enormous Villainous Breakdown, replying to her opponent's threats, slaps, screams and knife swinging with kindness and understanding. She finishes her speech with a friendship offer at the corner of a cliff... Then, the ground breaks and poor Tohru falls off, getting severely injured. That, however, makes Akito snap out, as she starts screaming for medical help for Tohru instead of indulging into Evil Gloating, marking the start of her Heel–Face Turn.
    • She actually used it before, against Kyo's cursed form. It looked like it'd fail, but worked like a charm after a while.
  • Used for intense drama in the Vampire Princess Miyu OAV. A young woman sacrificed herself to the Shinma Lemures to bring her husband Back from the Dead, but he Came Back Wrong as a servant of said Shinma and without any memories. Miyu noticed this and deduced that the now-Shinma wouldn't stop killing people unless he remembered his past, so while fighting him she showed him visions of his past and tried to make him remember his wife and his own passing. And he did... but since he was now a Shinma, he was shot to death by the police.
  • Garcia's ill-fated Mexican Standoff with Roberta in Black Lagoon.
  • Subverted in the second season of Sorcerer Stabber Orphen: Ellis tries it on the Brainwashed and Crazy Majic, but fails and is knocked out. Played straight immediately afterwards: Orphen tries it again, combining words and magic fighting, and he is successful.
  • Suou tries this on Tanya in the second season of Darker Than Black. This being the show it is, just when it seems like it might be having an effect, Tanya gets killed by a sniper.
  • Ox does this with Kim in the Soul Eater manga when she's enjoying being a "true" witch a bit too much (for the uninformed, this is not a conscious decision, but an effect of the Morality Manipulator). It works, in spite of his Combat Pragmatist of a partner deciding she was too much of a threat to his meister and stabbing the girl.
    • In chapter 76, Black Star tries this on a mad Death the Kid. "I'm bringing you back even if I have to drag you!", indeed. It works in the end.
    • In chapter 96, Maka tries this on Crona but it doesn't work. Soul attempts this as well, but he ain't much more succesful either. It still doesn't deter either of them. Though they do eventually achieve success...later on.
    • Tsugumi and Anya have this problem with Meme in the last episode of Soul Eater Not!, because Meme is under the control of Shaula Gorgon.
  • Variable Geo: In the final episode, Yuka is forced to confront her best friend, Satomi, who'd been possessed by Miranda Jahana's disembodied spirit. She uses Satomi as leverage by threatening to kill her from within, unless Yuka agreed to surrender her body to her. Just as Yuka is about to comply, Kaori prevents it from happening and tells Yuka how to free Satomi from Miranda's control. She does it by unleashing the full depth of her feelings and gets her bff back, unharmed.
  • Ikki Tousen Great Guardians:
  • Allen Walker tries this on Lavi in D.Gray-Man after Road mind raped him. In the middle of the fight, Allen hugs his friend close and asks, "Lavi, can't you hear my voice?" Doesn't quite work and Allen continues to get wailed on, but fortunately it turns out Lavi had been Fighting from the Inside the whole time and eventually manages to stop himself.
  • Suiseiseki in Rozen Maiden manages to pull this one off in the reboot of the manga, when Souseiseki's body has been possessed by Kirakishou. She manages to put a plan in motion that would ultimately remove Kirakishou from Souseiseki's body by getting Jun to sign a contract with Souseiseki's ring and inserting a rosa mystica into the body. She ultimately sacrifices her own rosa mystica after Suigintou, who has Souseiseki's, refuses to hand it over out of arrogance. Granted that despite her general attitude, this is very in-character for her.
  • Subverted in Fairy Tail in the fleshed out history of Lisana. Mirajane, the one who was supposed to be doing most of the work taking out The Beast, made a mistake. Elfman used his own version of the siblings' Take Over magic to grab control of it, but in doing so began to rampage. Lisana arrived and tried to calm him down, soothing him with talk about how much she and Mirajane loved him... only to get brutally killed in a single strike. Small wonder both survivors had severe personality flips after this.
  • An interesting subversion in One Piece. Ivankov is supposedly one of the few people Kuma fears, so Ivankov initially refuses to fight, instead trying to get him remember who he's attacking. When he learns that Kuma has been turned into a cyborg and no longer remembers his past life, Ivankov decides to beat the fear back into him.
  • When Kari in Digimon Adventure 02 winds up trapped in a city in the Digital World, she runs into an old friend named Andromon, an android Digimon under the Digimon Emperor's control. She pleads for him to remember her, and he slowly does just that. It was the success of this trope, in fact, that showed everyone that the Digimon Emperor's brainwashing dark rings had less control over Perfectnote /Ultimatenote  level Digimon.
  • Takato tries this on Rika in the second Digimon Tamers movie while she is being controlled by Parasimon. True to the darker tone of Tamers, it doesn't work and Guilmon just hacks the thing off her back.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The fight against Oktavia (Sayaka), in two different timelines. It turns out about how you'd expect — it fails. In the third storyline, Homura has to kill her with bombs; in the main one, Kyoko chooses a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Fans speculate, perhaps hopefully, that it didn't entirely fail during this timeline. Oktavia does seem to hesitate. The real roadblock is that there's nowhere else to go from there. As puella magi, their only real skill is killing witches; they have no means of healing them.
      • That's not entirely true. The laws of magic in-universe are based on the laws of thermodynamics, among which Equivalent Exchange is loosely based. There is one way they can likely turn a witch back into a magical girl (but it's not pretty), by giving up all their magical girl powers and thus becoming a witch themselves, the energy given to the witch might be enough to reverse the process. Words on the other hand, are pretty useless, since the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism rests pretty firmly on cynicism at this point.
      • Puella Magi Kazumi Magica showed an attempt that worked: take the corpse of a witch, use the energies of at least six other girls to transform it into a humanoid body, reconstruct the Grief Seed until it resembles a Soul Gem again, wipe the girl's memory so she doesn't go Ax-Crazy from having a witch's mind, and then use a wish to turn her body into a human one. For obvious reasons, this wasn't something Kyouko could do.
    • Played straighter in Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion: There's the girl's fight with Homulilly. They don't actually try to attack her; instead they hold off her familiars and attacks while they try to bust through her barrier and Kyubey's isolation field. It works. But whether it worked exactly as it was supposed to is up to debate. And earlier, the girls defeat Hitomi's Nightmare in the same manner, with Sayaka calming her down.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure! has Inori trying this on Lucky, who is turned into a monster. It worked, if it wasn't for Eas stopping it.
  • This was used on the comatose, completely-in-the-middle-of-the-rewriting-ritual Asuna in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Except that Negi isn't the one doing it, but the girls from 3 A. And by "the girls", we meant not just the Ala Alba ladies (Setsuna, Konoka, Kuu Fei, Haruna, Nodoka, Anya, Yue, etc.), but all the girls of the class - including these who were Muggles until few ago (Ayaka, the Narutaki twins, the cheerleaders, etc.) The only ones who weren't there were Eva (who was fighting with Ala Rubra) and Chao (still in the future). And the result? It worked. Asuna snapped out of her coma and returned to the action... and in the middle of this, she stopped a little to thank the girls for saving her.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu becoming Unpersoned and declared a killer means that he soon find himself being pursued by his own superhero friends, who have had all their memories of him altered courtesy of the show's Big Bad. The trope is subverted in that Kotetsu tries to make them remember him but has little luck (except maybe with Karina, who has a crush on him).
    • Played more or less straight when Kotetsu has the same fight with his partner Barnaby. At no point during the actual battle (or the relentless reminiscing Kotetsu does in-between) do Barnaby's memories show any sign of returning — but when Kotetsu addresses him using the Embarrassing Nickname he gave him in a previous episode, he regains his senses.
  • Naturally Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne had one of these moments. Her best friend, Miyako, is manipulated by Fin into attacking her. Jeanne would have succeeded but for Fin's hindrance; the bright side is that Miyako herself snapped out of it with Noin's help.
  • Ranma ½: Ranma tries this in one of his fights with a brainwashed Shampoo. It doesn't work.
    Ranma: We're your friends! Shampoo, try to remember!
    Shampoo: Shampoo have no friends!
  • In Street Fighter II V, Ken and Guile are forced to use this trope on the brainwashed Ryu and Chun-Li, who are in this state thanks to Bison.
  • Constantly attempted in Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato, since The Dragon Gai is The Hero Shurato's Rival Turned Evil and Childhood Friend, due to being Brainwashed and Crazy. It never works, either because the brainwashing is too strong or Gai is taken away when it looks like Shurato may be able to get through him. And it only works... when Gai is about to die, letting him pull a Dying as Yourself.
  • Taken to a rather bizarre extreme in the movie 009 Re:Cyborg. That's because after having discovered that some sort of anomaly is keeping Joe from remembering being a 00 Number Cyborg, Dr Gilmore realizes that the only way to get him to remember is to have Geronimo Junior try to beat the tar out of him to kickstart his memories.
  • In Trigun, one of the Gung-Ho Guns uses their powers to possess a child, and Vash thinks he can talk to the "kid inside" and get him to fight for control of his own mind. This doesn't work out, because Wolfwood shoots the kid, leading to a What the Hell, Hero? conflict with Vash.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth has two instances:
    • The fight against Caldina. She specializes in hypnotism and puppeteering, forcing Hikaru and Umi to attack Fuu. Fuu tries to snap them out of it and ends up binding them with a spell, but then she begs them to dodge because Caldina turns the magic on her. Eventually Fuu is able to attack Caldina herself, which breaks it.
    • The Final Battle against the fully awakened Princess Emeraude is like this. The girls are attacked by her Superpowered Evil Side that was born from the Knights killing her Bodyguard Crush Zagato thinking he was keeping her prisoner, while seeing flashes of the form that they already know. Emeraude is in there somewhere, but she implores them to kill her now —as she summoned them to do in the first place, this being the reason why Zagato fought them—before she's so lost in grief and rage that she begins openly praying for Cephiro's destruction. Massive emotional trauma ensues.
  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, when Baron gets turned into a monster, Rena begs her to remember her existence as a fairy and stop harming things. Electro is brought back in a similar way, but thanks instead to Harry, the human boy who befriended him.
  • Attack on Titan: In Episode 12, both Mikasa and Armin struggle to get through to Eren when he loses control of his Titan form and is stuck in a kind of Lotus-Eater Machine. Eventually, Armin manages to snap Eren back to his senses.
  • This is Atsushi's approach, at the climax of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! Attacked by his Evil Former Friend Kinshiro, he refuses to fight back, and keeps using the Affectionate Nickname of "Kin-chan" despite it being a Berserk Button.
  • Pokémon:
    • Happens when Ash is possessed by the spirit of an evil king and Brandon fights to save him. Ash temporarily breaks free before the evil king possesses him again, until Brandon wins their battle and seals away the evil king, freeing Ash.
    • In the Diamond & Pearl series, a recurring problem for Ash's Chimchar after it joined his team was its loss of self-control whenever its ability Blaze was activated. Due to the outright abusive training tactics it suffered through when it was on Paul's team, sometimes related to Paul's desire to force out the full extent of its power to the surface, now whenever Blaze was activated, Chimchar would snap and enter into a state of PTSD-esque psychosis and stop listening to Ash completely. Ash would then have to try to snap Chimchar out of it by getting through to it with words and a Cool Down Hug. However, after it evolved all the way to Infernape, during Ash's Sunyshore Gym battle, it was shown to have finally overcome this obstacle.
    • Bonnie manages to snap Squishy out of its mind control in XYZ's Team Flare arc by tearfully but determinedly singing the song she made for it.
    • In the Sun & Moon Ultra Adventures season, Lillie does this for Lusamine's Clefable, which has been possessed by the Nihelego fused with Lusamine. She tries it with Lusamine as well, but it doesn't work, forcing Ash to separate them forcefully with Pikachu's new 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel universe, even the characters know this. And they know not to bother trying it with victims of the Puppet Master because they're not being mind controlled, they're being body controlled and that's different.
  • Spider-Man repeatedly tries this with various opponents he faces, such as Venom. It never works, although his Alternate Universe daughter, Spider-Girl, has a considerably better track record when it comes to such things.
  • X-Men
    • Rogue and Gambit have at least two of them during the period in which Gambit has been turned into Apocalypse's Horseman of Death.
    • After Wolverine gets brainwashed by Apocalypse, the X-Men try this strategy... combined with beating the living hell out of him, blowing him through walls, and having Psylocke use her Psychic Powers to try to break the conditioning. Eventually his normal personality is restored by the power of Jubilee's love and Archangel's magic sparkly wings.
    • This seems to happen often with Apocalypse's servants. The first chronological example occurs in the 1996 one-shot Black Knight: Exodus, which focuses on Dane Whitman of the Avengers and X-villain Exodus's origin story. Turns out Exodus was best buddies with Dane's ancestor Eobar Garrington in the 12th century, and when Apocalypse abducted him and awakened his mutant powers, he decided it'd be a swell idea to pit Exodus against his closest friend. It was a close thing, but Garrington/Dane was able to get Exodus to snap out of it.
    • Danielle Moonstar has a link with Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane) also of the New Mutants. When Wolfsbane was mind-controlled by the Shadow King (via Karma's possession power) it took a direct mind-to-mind appeal to break through Farouk's control.
  • Happens with Rogue and Deadpool in Uncanny Avengers after the former gets mind-controlled by the Red Skull. Rogue attacks Deadpool, who dodges and screams for her to snap out of it. He avoids attacking her, and trying to shoot for Red Skull again, but Rogue jumps in the way of the attack. Luckily, Deadpool has Magneto's helmet in his backpack, which he manages to get on Rogues head, blocking Red Skull from her mind. Sadly, this wasn't done before he was beaten half to death by Rogue, who felt terrible afterwards.
  • Happens quite a lot during Blackest Night. Sometimes, the fallen hero's friends are actually "in there somewhere", but most of the time words are useless and the possessed Black Lanterns are nothing more than mindless shells with super powers.
    • Bonus points if the possessed mindless shell convinces the more gullible hero that s/he is actually in there somewhere.
  • Early in Ben Dunn's Ninja High School, Ordinary High-School Student Jeremy was brainwashed into being a sort of combination Mad Scientist and Evil Overlord (in a rather Nazi-looking uniform). On at least one later occasion, he relapsed. ("Using what I could salvage from your school's workshop, I was able to take control of every civilian satellite...." He'd also built a bunch of robot soldiers. All this in less than a day.) Ichi dragged him back to sanity by hugging him while tearfully saying, "Please. You're not this person. You're not this person."
  • Inverted in Ultimate Marvel, in a team-up between the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. One of the Sentinels from the future, patterned on Wolverine, insists that (paraphrased) "I didn't do it, I'm still you inside". So far it's unknown if it was telling the truth.
  • In The DCU, brainwashed Teen Titan Kid Devil gets talked out of an Unstoppable Rage by Miss Martian before he can kill a similarly brainwashed Hardrock.
    M'gann: Eddie. No. Eddie, Please Listen... This isn't you. You're not a killer. What they did to you — what Clock King said to you... None of it's true. You're not a monster. You're not alone. You're not unloved. You're a sweet boy who had a dream to be a superhero sidekick and got to live that dream. You're thoughtful, funny and earnest. You're a Teen Titan, Eddie. You're a good guy.
  • A vicious subversion in Teen Titans' The Judas Contract. Turned out Terra wasn't the confused-but-good type she became in the animated series...
    • To cap it off, when Gar desperately asks Was It All a Lie?. She not only cruelly laughs at him, but digs the knife in further by sneering that kissing him made her "want to puke."
  • In Ms. Marvel's own series her fellow Avenger Wonder Man gets mind controlled by M.O.D.O.K.. For a variation she manages to break it by planting a passionate kiss on him.
  • Mega Man
    • Mega Man tries this on the first Robot Masters. It works on half of them, but the other half are determined to follow their new programming to destroy Mega Man. This leads to the two sides fighting it out, allowing Mega to slip away. The two sides eventually compromise by destroying the Copy Robot.
    • Done by the original Robot Masters to Mega Man after he has falling under Wily's control in the third story arc. It doesn't work at all.
  • Attempted over and over again in World War Hulk — only for those who try it to discover that Bruce Banner is as angry as the Hulk, agrees with the Hulk, and is working with him.
  • In All Fall Down, members of the Pantheon try to reach out to Pronto this way. They don't quite succeed.
  • Danael tries this on Saryn after she was stung by a Darkhellion and turned into a Chaos Shade in Les Légendaires: Origines. It's horribly subverted, as turns out it's too late, and Jadina has to kill her to save Danael.
  • This is attempted with Nightmare Rarity in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) #7. Nightmare Moon II insists she's in control, though Spike seems to momentarily get through.
  • Occurs in an old DC Universe comic book. Superboy has somehow been given the personality of Adolf Hitler by the Psycho Changer, Alaktor. A fellow superhero tries to talk him out of it. Read it here.
    Mon-El: Superboy, you can't be Hitler in personality! You've got to remember who you are...fight this off...
  • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: In a flashback, Orion Pax meets with his friend Senator Shockwave. He's had his body disfigured and his head messed with so much, he's lost all emotions and empathy. He no longer sees any reason to have scruples and feels free from the experience. Orion tries to appeal to who he once was, a noble bot who fought for equality for all. It is a doomed effort.
    Pax: I know the real you — you can overcome what they did! I believe in you!
    Shockwave: (narrating) One day Orion Pax would stop believing...
  • In issue #2 of the DC run of The Powerpuff Girls, Him gives a boy whose affections to Buttercup were spurned a belt with a buckle that shoots out beams that make people hate. The beam hits Bubbles, but she's filled with so much love that the beam short-circuits her and knocks her unconscious. Blossom and Buttercup use The Power of Love to revive Bubbles.
  • Averted in Birds of Prey when Lady Blackhawk gets brainwashed. Huntress attempts this but pulls her punches since she doesn't want to hurt her friend, and gets beat up for it.
  • Power Girl:
    • Simultaneously played straight and lampshaded in "Power Girl" issue 10. When Terra was taken over by the Ultra-Humanite and fighting Power Girl she kept taunting PG.
      TerraUltra-Humanite: Let's have one of those totally cliched hero-slash-friend fights. You get to say things like, "I know you're stronger than this", or "You can fight it"... oh, and "This isn't you"! And I'll say things like... "I know your secret identity" and "All the people you care about are going to die!"
    • In Power Girl's crossover with Justice League: Generation Lost Power Girl has been brainwashed into believing that the members of the Justice League International are other heroes planning to conquer and rule humanity. The members of JLI, dreading the destruction and loss of life that would come from fighting Power Girl in earnest (Assuming they could survive such a fight), try to get through the brainwashing and have her recognize them.
  • Supergirl has done this or this has been done to her several times during her career:
    • In Supergirl Volume 2 #23, when Supergirl realizes the psychic mutant she is fighting is her professor Barry Metzner, she tries to reach him out:
      Barry: Metzner is dead! His pitiful consciousness submerged in my superior mind!
      Supergirl: No! I don't believe that! Barry Metzner... Whatever makes him the man he is... can't be lost!
    • In Supergirl vol. 5 #50, super-villain Insect Queen took over Supergirl's friend Lana Lang's body. While Kara beat her up, she tried to reach out to Lana.
      Supergirl: : Lana, if you can hear me— SAY something! Lana! I KNOW you're IN there! Let her body Go, you insect FREAK! Get OUT!
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton Shioban runs into Supergirl right after her transformation when Kara is overwhelmed with rage. Shioban wonders what turned her best friend into that rage monster (she suspects drugs or poison) and she tries to reach her out.
      Shioban: Kara...? I'm your friend, remember? Whatever's happened, you don't have to hurt anyone.
    • In Demon Spawn as Nightflame and her minions try to take over Supergirl's mind and body, Geoff cradles her lifeless body, trying to wake her up.
      Underlying: What... What's this? Her helper is far stronger than I thought! Attuned to her thoughts! He's locked into certain parts of her mind! I can't dispel him!
      Supergirl: Whoever you are, keep it up! I can feel your influence growing stronger and stronger! Breaking through all the pain and torment!
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton Superman tries to reach Kara out when she is brainwashed by Darkseid. It doesn't work and he has to knock her down.
      Superman: Kara. Darkseid has taken control of your mind. This isn't you.
  • Cay Qel-Droma tries this on his brother Ulic in Tales of the Jedi. He tries to reach Ulic verbally numerous times, but Ulic is too invested in his plan to "pretend" turning to the dark side, and then genuinely the ally of a Sith Lord. Cay finally confronts him on Ossus, first in a starfighter dogfight in which Ulic shoots him down, and then a lightsaber duel. Ulic kills him in a rage, but the sight of Cay dead at his feet does finally snap him out of it.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: In chapter 8 Rei gets doped to the gills due to Ritsuko's "medication" and is completely emotionless, unresponsive and unfeeling. Shinji and Asuka spend a good while trying to draw her out. When Rei finally -and laboriously- shows some emotion, Asuka asks her if she is still in there. When she says "yes", both teenagers feel relieved.
    Asuka: Wondergirl, are you still in there?
  • Evangelion 303: After a plane crash Asuka spends a long time in coma and when she wakes up she is completely changed, behaves like a different person and goes through a severe break-down as Shinji tries to help her. At one point she attempts to commit suicide but is unable to go through with it, and Shinji tells her that is because her old self is still somewhere in there, fighting.
  • Zig-Zagged in Ridyr's TRON: Legacy fanfic Survivor's Tale. Yori was captured and Clu decided to have Rinzler execute her, as much for dramatic irony as to get her out of the way. Yori figured out who was under that mask and started trying to talk him out of it, more for his sake than hers. With Clu shouting orders from one end and Yori arguing from the other, he becomes paralyzed by confusion. Later, after Yori's been rectified, Rinzler was still too confused by her presence to dismiss her as just another drone, and inverts the trope by freeing her, despite being unable to either free himself or completely understand his reasons for doing so.
  • Winter War When it is revealed that Ichigo has lost control of his Hollow side, Ikkaku envisages pulling off something like this, during/followed by a massive fight which would end in Ichigo regaining control and running off to kill Aizen. Much later on, Ikkaku's angry speech has no effect on Hollow!Ichigo.
  • Inner Demons: Several characters try this on Twilight Sparkle after she's consumed by her Queen of Darkness persona, with the biggest Tear Jerker of them all being Spike's attempt during the Battle of Fillydelphia. None of them work.
  • Attempted and failed in Naruto:Asunder. Hinata makes it clear that unless she and Naruto talk about WHY he kissed her and what's up with their relationship... HEADS. WILL. ROLL.
  • In The Prayer Warriors The Threat Of Satanic Commonism, Jerry is forced to fight against a "demon processed" Grover. Unlike most cases of this, Jerry is entirely willing to kill Grover if necessary, and ends up doing so (not that this is the first or last time Grover dies).
  • Happens towards the end of the Star Trek fic Writtenin The Stars; Spock, suffering from the effects of Pon Farr, becomes crazed and violent, and can't even remember the rest of the crew...except for Fem!Kirk. She takes it upon herself to try and pull this trope on him. It doesn't work, so she brings him back to himself by...relieving him of his pain.
  • In The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum, Marcus tried this on Stalwart Heart to bring his pre-ponified human self, Jacob (Marcus' little brother) back. Sadly, it doesn't work.
  • In the Slender Man fic By the Fire's Light, Mira Grolinsky tries to get Jared Holloway to turn on the Slender Man and join her and Detective Carl Rourke in their quest against it. Jared ends up killing himself instead.
  • in Moonlight, Scootaloo (and later the other two Crusaders) must do this for those stuck in their worst nightmares, either by making them face their fears or realize their true selves aren't who they're portrayed as in the nightmare.
  • In the Facing the Future Series, Sam does this whenever Danny goes berserk in his dangerous Super Mode.
  • In The Bridge, Monster X gets taken over by his Kaizer Ghidorah side and goes berserk. Gigan tries to calm him down by recounting the happy memories they shared with their teammates. It almost works, but then King Ghidorah, whom Monster X and Kaizer Ghidorah equally hate, attacks them, undoing all of Gigan's efforts.
  • In chapter 19 of Children of an Elder God, Rei involuntairly possesses Hikari, and Asuka and Touji try talk to her to free her.
    Touji approached Hikari slowly. "Um... Hikari?"
    Rei's voice replied to him, "I am not Hikari."
    The Children felt a chill run through them. "Let go of her!" screamed Asuka. "Get out!"
    Touji grabbed Hikari's shoulder. "Whadaya mean you ain't Hikari!" he said desperately. "Of course you're Hikari! Stop playin' around!"
  • The One I Love Is: In chapter 11 Shinji tried to help a brainwashed Rei to remember him. It didn't work.
  • In The Rise of Starborn Thor convinces Loki to fight the Goa'uld's mind control.
  • In Captain America: Ghosts of HYDRA, Steve Rogers/Captain America gets into one with James "Bucky" Barnes/The Winter Soldier after the latter is brainwashed by Brock Rumlow/Crossbones. Steve manages to snap Bucky out of it by reminding him of his life before becoming the Winter Soldier.
  • Ultimate Video Rumble: Thanks to Morrigan's brainwashing, we have Yuri Sakazaki vs. Mai Shiranui in the second Rumble, and Athena Asamiya vs. Sie Kensou in the third.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, the end of the movie has Ryu fighting Ken who is under Bison's mind control. Ken is eventually snapped out of it and they defeat Bison.
  • The Movie of Batman Beyond, Return of the Joker, condenses this down to having the badly beat-up Batman merely mutter "... Tim." as his previous Sidekick turned Brainwashed and Crazy is about to murder him. It's just about enough to make Tim kill someone else instead of Batman, but it takes a year of intensive therapy to render poor Tim even partially sane. He's still suffering from after-effects of the brainwashing 40 years later.
  • In The LEGO Movie, Bad Cop, the Split-Personality Good Cop/Bad Cop, pulls one on himself!
  • The Iron Giant: "You don't have to be a gun."
  • In the straight to DVD movie The Invincible Iron Man, Iron Man defeats the Mandarin who takes the form of a ghost that possesses the romantic interest this way. This is a bit anti-climatic as a follow up to the the Fin Fang Foom fight.
  • Used in the climax of How to Train Your Dragon 2 when Hiccup breaks the Big Bad's Alpha dragon's control over Toothless.
  • Downplayed in Penguins of Madagascar, as it only takes Private to make Mutant!Skipper remember the memories they had together to snap him out of it.
  • The Lazarus Effect Combined with a Cooldown Hug. It works momentarily, but Frank was inwardly doubting she was herself and could be saved. Zoe picks up on it with her telepathy and... it doesn't end well for Frank.
  • In Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, Lilo pulls one of these on Stitch, when his glitches cause his programming to reverse back to "destructive little monster". A finishing "I'll always love you" appeared to finally made it work.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alice to Nemesis during their fight in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. She does eventually get through to him, but only after nearly killing him.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines has a variation of this overlap with Fighting from the Inside, as John under threat from the reprogrammed T-850, knowing full well that reasoning won't work, starts speaking the Terminator's language, and start to take hold of his mantle at the same time in this exchange:
    John Connor: WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?!?
    Terminator: To ensure the survival of John Connor and Katherine Brewster.
    John Connor: You are about to FAIL... that mission...
  • Subverted in From Dusk Till Dawn. When Seth's brother rises as a vampire, Seth threatens to kill the others if they try staking him. Instead, he has the others hold him still so he can do it himself.
  • The Nutty Professor Dr. Klump's assistant tries to "call him back" from inside the body of his violent alter-ego, Buddy Love. Eventually, Sherman DOES fight back, in a very physical way.
  • MirrorMask. After Helena has been brainwashed by the Dark Queen (the brainwashing process involves turning her, oddly, into a Goth), Valentine The Fool appears and insists that she's still in there. It doesn't work, but juggling does.
  • At the end of the film Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker removes his mask and gives one of these speeches to Otto Octavius/Dr. Octopus, encouraging him to overcome the influence of his tentacles. This is eventually followed by Octavius exclaiming to the appendages, "Listen to me now!"
  • Briefly invoked in The Amazing Spider-Man as Peter battles the Lizard, who is actually his mentor, Dr. Curt Connors, suffering a Jekyll & Hyde transformation.
  • Sort of in Serenity, with Mal talking to River: "I've risked my ship and crew on the theory you're an actual person, real and whole, and if that's ain't true, you best shoot me now. [River cocks the pistol she has trained on Mal] ...Or we could talk more." Sort of in that there's no actual fighting, since Mal wouldn't last five seconds. That theme recurs through the whole series and movie, but this is one of the best examples.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan tries to reason with Anakin at first, before realizing he has no choice but to fight him on Mustafar.
    • Luke Skywalker uses this in Return of the Jedi towards his father Darth Vader. See the quote at the top of this page. Vader actually told him that it was too late for him and did take him to the Emperor, but in the end it worked.
    • The Force Awakens: Han attempts this with his son Ben/Kylo Ren and it looks like it's gonna work until Kylo impales him with his lightsaber while pretending to be giving it to him in surrender.
  • Halfway through The Cell, when Catherine ends up trapped inside Carl Stargher's mind and transformed into one of his mindless dolls, Novak awakens her by reminding her of the time when her baby brother died in a car crash. Impressively enough, he managed this while Stargher was tearing his intestines out and threading them onto a spit.
  • Much of RoboCop (1987) centres on this trope, culminating in the final line:
    The Old Man: Nice shooting, son. What's your name?
    RoboCop: ... Murphy.
  • In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010), Alice has a moment like this with the Mad Hatter, though slightly inverted. When the Mad Hatter is making hats for the Red Queen, he seems almost... normal and productive and happy. She then has to remind him that he's making hats for the Red Queen, in which he snaps back to (his) normal and freaks out, and asks Alice if he's gone mad. She tells him yes, he has. And he's satisfied.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick and Kyra have one. It works, but she gets killed by the Big Bad afterwards.
  • Played straight in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, where our protagonist Jesse, possessed by our dear friend Mr. Kruger, is saved by his girlfriend Lisa using a combination of this trope and The Power of Love
  • Briefly and stupidly invoked in the film version of Prisoner Of Azkaban, when Sirius tries to prevent his old friend Remus Lupin from transforming into a werewolf. It doesn't work.
    • SIRIUS: Remus! This is not you! This is not your heart! I’LL MAKE OUT WITH YOU IF I HAVE TO!
    • An especially stupid choice for the film adaptation since the two characters are childhood friends, Sirius witnessed countless transformations by Remus when they were students together, and learned to become an animagus specifically because Lupin's transformed state was senselessly vicious toward humans but was relatively docile around animals. The character knew that the werewolf transformation was a full overtaking and that there was no possible way for Remus to fight it, so it's completely ridiculous that they had him try this in the movie.
  • Happens in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End when Will has to fight his father Bootstrap Bill, who has been driven mad. Bill snaps out of his insanity after Davy Jones fatally stabs Will.
  • In The Two Towers, Sam talks Frodo out of his Ring-induced madness while the other hobbit has a sword at his throat.
    It's me. It's your Sam. Don't you know your Sam?
  • A standoff of this trope appears at the climax of From Paris with Love, in which Reese posits, Was It All a Lie?? (It wasn't). Finally The Mole comes to. Reese defuses the situation and foils a terrorist plot. Except, so not. Subverted. She can't help herself. Love be damned, he plugs her.
  • Happens twice in Undercover Brother. When Sista Girl is trying to get the title character to stop acting white, and when UB is trying to get General Boutwell to throw off the effect of the drug he's under the control of and not shoot him.
  • Optimus Prime after getting corrupted by Quintessa duels Bumblebee in Transformers: The Last Knight. Cade Yeager tries to talk Optimus out of doing so trying to remind Optimus, "This isn't you Prime!" Where Cade fails, Bumblebee succeeds and restores Optimus back to his kind, benevolent self.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Rhodes and Tony Stark's rematch in Iron Man 2 is a variation. It is clear that Rhodes is sane throughout the fight. However, the suit was reprogrammed remotely by Vanko, alongside the Hammeroids to cause havoc, meaning they literally have no other choice but to fight.
    • The Avengers:
      • A brief moment, after Bruce Banner transforms into The Hulk. Thor fights with him to keep him from destroying the Helicarrier (and also to save Natasha). He gives up on trying to reason with Hulk pretty quickly, though.
      • In the same scene, Natasha unwillingly goes head-to-head with Hawkeye, who is under Loki's control. Eventually a crack to the head from Widow brings Clint back around.
    • In Thor: The Dark World, when Thor makes it clear to Loki that he won't accept his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder anymore:
      Thor: You should know that when we fought each other in the past, I did so with a glimmer of hope that my brother was still in there somewhere. That hope no longer exists to protect you. You betray me, and I will kill you.
    • Captain America takes an "I Know You're Somewhere in There Beatdown" in Captain America: The Winter Soldier from the Winter Soldier/"Bucky" Barnes, explicitly refusing to fight him in the climax because he will not hurt the Winter Soldier and wants him to realize the truth before he goes too far.
    • Subverted in Avengers: Age of Ultron. After the Scarlet Witch sends the Hulk on a rampage, Tony Stark tries to calm him down. Unfortunately this trope only sets off the Hulk's Berserk Button.
      Tony: You listening to me? That little witch is messing with your mind. You're stronger than her. You're smarter than her. You're Bruce Banner.
      [Hulk roars in outrage]
      Tony: Right... don't mention puny Banner. [Hulk throws a car at him]
    • Thor does this again with the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok when they are forced to fight each other in a gladiator match. Thor initially refuses to fight Hulk at all because they're friends, and once he's finally forced to fight back in self-defense, he still holds back and tries to get him to revert back to Banner, using Natasha's "lullaby" and even saying "I know you're in there, Banner". However, he's eventually forced to give up on this and fight Hulk for real when it's clear he won't be reasoned with.
  • Alex confronts a transformed David this way in An American Werewolf in London. It seems to work, briefly, as he stops growling. Then he leaps for her and the police shoot him dead.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes. After Chester Cragwitch is affected by a hallucinogenic drug that causes violent and self-destructive actions, Holmes tries to talk him down by reminding him of his name and that he's a banker. It works temporarily, but later he succumbs to the drug again and Watson has to talk him down while he's choking Holmes. The poor man is only stopped when a previously doubtful inspector arrives and knocks him unconscious.
  • 976-EVIL: After Hoax becomes fully possessed, Spike reminds his cousin about their youth to help him fight it. It only partially works, as it gives Hoax just enough time to sacrifice himself.
  • Species II: After Eve and Patrick transform into their full alien forms to mate, Dr. Laura Baker appeals to Eve's human side. It seems to work, as Eve turns against him but is killed in the process.
  • In WarCraft, Lothar tries this on Medivh when the latter is possessed by the fel. For a moment, things seem to calm down... and then it gets even worse as Medivh turns One-Winged Angel.
  • Upgrade: At the climax, and once she's completely at the mercy of STEM, Cortez tries to appeal to Grey by saying that he isn't like this. She's right, because the person she's talking to is no longer Grey and he can't hear her anymore, STEM has taken over completely.

  • The Legend of Drizzt:
    • Drizzt has one in R.A. Salvatore's The Dark Elf Trilogy against a zombified Zaknafein, his father. The zombie has all his father's amazing sword skills but is impervious to wounds. Finally, Drizzt attacks him with a maneuver that triggers his memory of one of their fondest moments, which allows Zaknafein's spirit to break his controller's hold just long enough to leap into the pool of acid they are fighting over, thus saving Drizzt and his own soul.
    • In The Neverwinter Saga Drizzt tries this with Entreri during the Fight against Herzgo Alegni during wich Entreri is under the control of the a magical sword. He succeeds, but only after almost being killed, because he had to stop fighting break the enchantment.
  • Animorphs:
    • In the series, controllers often experience this. It is possible for hosts to briefly regain control at a crucial moment, although usually not long enough to do anything lasting.
    • Also in the second Megamorphs book, Rachel talks Tobias into regaining control of his dinosaur morph by first telling him about all the human stuff from his life; this promptly fails and she resorts to bird things, which does work. He is after all, trapped with a red-tailed hawk as his "normal" form, and therefore spends a lot of time flying around. A bit strange though, because hawks are basically just weird-looking dinosaurs. Not to mention that the dinosaur morph Tobias is in is a raptor, which does a lot of things birds do anyway. They hunt prey with their talons, have flight feathers and wings, and a few species can even fly somewhat.
  • In the Grand Finale of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Annabeth pep-talks Luke into fighting Kronos, and Luke eventually establishes enough control of the shared body to reveal his 'achille's heel' and sacrifice himself with Annabeth's knife. Cue Moment of Awesome..
  • Zigzagged in Gav Thorpe's Warhammer 40,000 Last Chancer novel Annihilation Squad. When Kage is possessed by a daemon who goes to taunt Colonel Schaeffer, Schaeffer does not appeal to Kage but bitterly attacks the daemon, "He is one of mine! I want him back!"
  • Subverted in World War Z, where millions die after trying this on their zombified relatives. Later leads to a Heartwarming Moment when it works on orphaned, feral, non-zombified children during the fight to reclaim America, children the army was planning to shoot on sight as lost causes.
  • In A Wrinkle in Time, Charles Wallace has been taken over by the evil IT; Meg saves him with The Power of Love, quite literally.
  • Subverted in Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and ThornRebellious Princess Miriamele travels all the way back to the Hayholt in an attempt to use The Power of Love to pull her father, King Elias, back from the brink of the war he's started at Evil Sorcerer Pryrates' urging. Of course, she's far, far too late to prevent the evil plan from being completed, but in an ironic twist, Elias does repent for a split second after being temporarily released from the Storm King's power, just long enough for Miriamele to kill him.
  • Near the end of Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer, the end of the Skulduggery/Lord Vile and Valkyrie/Darquesse battle is something of one of these.
  • Creel has one of these with Velika in Dragon Slippers when the slippers take over her mind.
  • Said word-for-word in Divergent when Tris confronts Tobias while he's under the effects of a mind-controlling serum.
  • In The Shining, Danny uses his "shining" to reawaken his father's spirit long enough for him to say how much he loves him before the Overlook Hotel obliterate what's left of his soul.
  • In the New Jedi Order novel Conquest, Anakin Solo does one of these for his friend (later girlfriend) Tahiri, who is under the control of her implanted Yuuzhan Vong personality. It's very successful, thanks to their link through the Force at first. Turns out that Riina, aforementioned Yuuzhan Vong personality, wasn't subsumed but merely banished into Tahiri's subconsciousness — she ends up forced to go through a Battle in the Center of the Mind and Split-Personality Merge to finally end the problem.
    • In Galaxy of Fear: Spore, Tash Arranda faces her Spore-controlled brother and uncle and appeals to them while calling on The Force and the bonds between them and her. It works for a moment, but Spore is too strong. Fortunately, she was doing this as a distraction so she could knock them out.
  • Mockingjay features a version of this after Peeta has been hijacked and tries to kill Katniss.
    Katniss: Don't let him take you from me.
  • Lorelei and Malachi engage in one in Eludoran
  • Zigzagged in The Power of Five - Scott was brainwashed into working for Nightrise during the book of the same name, but his brother Jamie was able to snap him out of it at the last minute before he could kill Senator Trelawney. However, he never fully regained his old personality, and the Old Ones were able to use this to their advantage to turn him against the Five in Oblivion. He then managed to snap himself out of it after Matt died, sacrificing himself so that the Five could be reunited once more.
  • The villain in Eden Green sometimes falls into a psychotic, murderous fugue state, and blames it on the needle virus keeping him alive. The title character repeatedly tries to reason him back to sanity, with mixed results.
  • Ancillary Justice. Strigan doesn't understand why Breq wants to kill Anaander Mianaai, so assumes the original personality of her Meat Puppet is re-surfacing, and offers to help restore it. Breq is not impressed, saying Strigan just wants to replace her personality with one more to the doctor's taste.
  • In the last book of Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice trilogy, The Final Reckoning, Audrey finds herself fighting for her life against the ghost of her love interest, Piccadilly, who is being controlled by the evil magic of Big Bad Jupiter. Audrey begs him to remember who he was in life, and after an inner struggle, he does. They have a tearful farewell as he finds peace and crosses over to the other side.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one of its most heartbreaking scenes, Revolution has Charlie try this tactic on a Brainwashed and Crazy Jason by begging and repeating "this isn't you!" as he advances on her with a knife. It doesn't work, and she has to shoot him, leading to a Cradling Your Kill moment and her subsequent Heroic B.S.O.D. in the next episode.
  • Attempted in an episode of Babylon 5, and subverted with particular cruelty. The reply is simply for the Manchurian Agent to take particular glee in twisting the knife and taunting the hero about how their friend is gone, and how every nice thing they had said to them, the agent had whispered in their mind to tell them in order to get closer. A sequel-hook of sorts had been set up a season earlier that would have allowed them to bring the character back,note  but it was never used.
  • Best Friends Whenever: Shelby successfully pulls this on Cyd when the latter was transformed into a werewolf due to accidentally being infected by Barry's wolf serum.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander manages to talk the real Willow out of her black magic-induced big badness. Subverted earlier when Buffy tries it, only for her to remind Buffy that 'real Willow' was a Shrinking Violet nerd that everyone used to mock before she gained her powers.
    • Subverted when Angelus first emerges in Season 2: he taunts Buffy with it, insinuating that Angel is still a part of him, and she denies it and attacks. She can't bring herself to kill him yet, though.
    • Also subverted by Vamp Jesse. Indeed, Giles had earlier warned the characters against trying this tactic against a vampire, but Jesse's former best friend Xander still gives it a try.
    • In a more varied subversion, this exchange between Faith and Willow in the episode "Choices":
      Faith: Give me the speech again, please. "Faith, we're still your friends. We can help you. It's not too late."
      Willow: It's way too late. You know, it didn't have to be this way. But you made your choice. I know you had a tough life. I know that some people think you had a lot of bad breaks. Well, boo hoo! Poor you! You know, you had a lot more in your life than some people. I mean, you had friends in your life like Buffy. Now you have no-one. You were a slayer and now you're nothing. You're just a big, selfish, worthless waste.
      • It's particularly interesting since Faith's expression and reaction suggests that she wanted to be told that it wasn't too late. (Even if she did deck Willow immediately after this exchange.) It is Faith, though, so it's not that surprising.
    • Lampshaded and subverted in "Enemies." Angelus has (seemingly) re-emerged, and this exchange takes place between him and Buffy:
      Angelus: Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Maybe there's still some good deep down inside of me that remembers and loves you. If only you could reach me. Then again, we have reality.
      Buffy: I will kill you before I let you touch me.
  • Completely fails in the Dollhouse episode "A Love Supreme" when the Dollhouse staff tries to get the psychopathic rogue doll Alpha to not blow up one of Echo's romantic clients:
    Boyd: Alpha, do not do this. There's a part of you that knows this is wrong.
    Alpha: There are many parts of me that know this is wrong... none that care... and six (chuckles) that just find it funny!
    • Given that Alpha's original self was a serial killer-in-training anyway, there was no chance that negotiation would work.
    • Played straight and subverted again in the episode "The Hollow Men". When Echo and Whiskey imprinted with an evil version of Rossum co-founder Clyde Randolph fight, it doesn't work; however, when Paul and sleeper-activated Mellie fight, Mellie is able to hold onto "herself" long enough to blow her brains out rather than shoot at her boyfriend.
  • An early television example of this trope, at the climax of the 1953 six-part British sci-fi series The Quatermass Experiment, has Professor Quatermass defeat the menace, an alien plant which has absorbed three astronauts, by use of this technique. It's a pity we can't actually watch it.
    • Subverted in Quatermass II, where the apparent success of this trope on an alien-controlled human is actually the aliens changing his orders, and instructing him to go along with Quatermass' plan (to launch a nuclear-armed rocket at their asteroid base) because they intend seizing the rocket so as to bring the rest of their race to Earth.
    • But marvellously re-affirmed in Quatermass and the Pit, wherein Quatermass himself (along with most of the human race) falls prey to possession by ancient Martian psychic energy, and his friend Doctor Roney (one of the comparatively few people immune) has to shake and talk him desperately (Quatermass is at the same time doing his best to kill Roney) - but ultimately successfully - out of it. Unfortunately that scene got cut from The Movie adaptation.
  • Subverted in The X-Files episode Schizogeny when Mulder tries to talk down the villain. It doesn't work and the Orchard Man fixes it.
    • Played straight in "Pusher," when Mulder is being mind controlled and plays Russian Roullette with the killer. When he puts the gun to his own head, Scully tries to convince him that he's stronger than this. She's right, since Mulder begs her to run as soon as the killer makes him turn the gun on her...
    • Also done in "Wetwired" when Scully is suffering the effects of mass brainwashing. She is convinced Mulder was one of the men who abducted her and holds him at gunpoint while hiding out at her mother's. In that case, however, it isn't Mulder who talks her down—it's Maggie Scully who steps between Mulder and her daughter and convinces her to put the gun down.
  • There have been several such appeals to hosts of the Goa'uld in Stargate SG-1 (e.g.: Skaara) and Stargate Atlantis (e.g.: Colonel Caldwell). This almost never works completely, but a non-fatal attack (tasers or zats) is sufficient to buy time or to retrieve an important code. Occasionally, someone has to Shoot the Dog when such an appeal doesn't work, such as Teal'c having to kill Daniel's wife to prevent her Goa'uld Amonet from killing him.
    • Played with in one episode where Teal'c restrains Jack and several other characters because one of them may be a Goa'uld. Although they don't actually fight, it has all the elements of this trope up until:
      Teal'c: Trust in me, O'Neill.
      Jack: What if I'm not O'Neill?
      Teal'c: Then I was not talking to you.
    • Also happens between Daniel and Vala when the latter has lost her memories. She holds Daniel at gunpoint when he blocks her exit, trying to get her to remember her past life rather than shoot him and disappear forever.
    • In the Stargate Atlantis episode, ''Instinct," a young Wraith, Ella, who desperately trying to stop her feeding urges, takes an experimental retrovirus from the Atlantis team to help despite being warned that it is far from ready. Sure enough, it backfires and she becomes a rampaging beast attacking everyone around her. Everyone tries to invoke this trope to calm her down, but she is far beyond rescue at this point and Ronon is forced to shoot her dead.
    • However Stargate Atlantis also has a particularly heartwarming example when Elizabeth is infected with nanites and John breaks quarantine to grab her hand, risking his own life in the process and invokes the trope word for word. Also counts as a Moment of Awesome, as Elizabeth, through sheer force of will, proceeds to drive the nanites from her mind.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Locutus of Borg is the appellation Jean-Luc Picard takes after being (temporarily) assimilated. Subverted in that Picard doesn't willpower his way out. Instead it requires surgery and technobabble to free him. He does, however, manage to force out a hint on how to defeat the Borg.
    • Subverted again in the TNG episode "Schizoid Man". Picard, realising that Data is "possessed" by the soul of Ira Graves, doesn't try to communicate with Data — he gives Ira an earful instead.
  • In Season 5 of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Iolaus is possessed by the evil god Dahak and Hercules pretty much tells him the aforementioned quote.
  • Supernatural
    • Zig-zagged in "Devil's Trap". Possessed!John is making Dean bleed from the inside and Dean is begging for his life. When he says "Dad, please…", John manages to come back up for a few seconds and tries to hold the Demon in his body so that Sam can shoot him. But then the Demon escapes, of course.
    • Dean also ends up giving Sam this speech twice, once when he is possessed and once when he gets addicted to demon blood.
    • And again, when Sam is possessed by Lucifer in the Season 5 Finale, except Dean doesn't fight back.
    • Played straight when Possessed!Bobby manages to fight the demon and not kill Dean.
    • Dean does it again with Castiel, who is being controlled by Naomi in season 8, and it works.
    • And again in season 11, when Castiel is under a spell that makes the victim incredibly violent, although Cas had been able to resist the spell on and off previously, so Dean has pretty good reason to believe it'll work. Ironically, it works long enough to allow an innocent victim to escape, and then Cas starts attacking Dean.
  • The Equalizer. In "Splinters", Robert McCall's trusty sidekick Mickey Kostmayer is kidnapped by the KGB in order to test their evil brainwashing technology. They make Kostmayer think that his long-time friend has accused him of murder and treason, making Kostmayer kill an image of McCall in blind rage. When the Real McCall is sent into the room as a test, he gets through to Kostmayer by saying he forgives him, and that he hopes Kostmayer does the same.
  • UFO ("The Man Who Came Back"). Commander Straker tries this when his friend Collins turns out to be a Manchurian Agent sent by the aliens, but to no avail.
  • In Smallville, possession and other influence causing a main character to temporary become an opponent is very common; the phrase is often spoken but it is usually not much of a fight.
    • For example, in "Legion", there isn't much of a fight between Clark and Chloe (possessed by Brainiac) because Brainiac knows Clark can't bring himself to hit Chloe. He even taunts Clark about it.
    • Subverted in "Bloodline" when Faora has possessed Lois and is attacking Clark:
    Clark: Lois, stop!
    Faora: Lois can't hear you.
    • In "Booster", Booster Gold successfully talks down Jaime Reyes when he is taken over by the Blue Beetle scarab, proving to Clark that he is a true hero after all.
    • Played straight in the series finale when Oliver attacks Clark at his wedding while being controlled by Darkseid and Clark successfully talks him down.
  • A variation occurs in Misfits, where most of the main characters - who are notably dysfunctional, self-destructive and rebellious - get brainwashed into becoming eerie, do-gooding Stepford Smilers with no hint of their former personalities. Horrified by what is happening, Nathan tries to get through to his brainwashed tsundere love interest Kelly by swallowing his pride and confessing how much he liked her old personality (a big step for the guy as he's usually a snarky, sarcastic brat who refuses to appear vulnerable in any way). Unfortunately, the attempt fails miserably - even though Kelly does actually return his feelings, in her brainwashed state she's forced to turn against him. It's quite sad actually. Particularly considering Nathan's imminent "death", which totally devastates Kelly when she is returned to her natural state. And the fact that she can't even remember their final conversation.
  • In Primeval, Connor's best friend Tom is infected by a parasite that makes him want to attack other people. Connor talks him into controlling it for just long enough to allow him to die a hero...* sniff*
  • In the Lexx universe, this never works.
  • Angela and Peter Petrelli (Heroes) successfully use this on Nathlar. Arguably an inversion, since they're trying to convince the brainwashed personality to take control back from the real one.
  • Jekyll:
  • Doctor Who:
    • Subverted in "Pyramids of Mars" where Laurence Scarman tries to get through to his brother Marcus, who is under the control of Sutekh. Despite being told point blank that his real brother was dead, Lawrence refuses to believe the Doctor and ends up paying the ultimate price for it.
    • Lots of new Doctor Who series episodes have this. The only one who manages to play it straight is the Doctor himself in "42" when a friggin sun possesses him. All those who come in contact with it though don't end too good, despite the ship's captain hoping her lover is still in there somewhere. Oh and that Pig Man in "Daleks in Manhattan".
    • Double subverted in "Silence in the Library", where the Sexy Secretary isn't expected to fight or "survive", well, death, but in the next episode, she did exactly that, turning into a Cyber Ghost.
    • Played almost straight in the episode "The Pandorica Opens": when Rory begins to be taken over by the Autons, Amy remembers who he is and insists that he will not go under their control. He doesn't, but the mental battle's only won after he fatally shoots her.
    • The Doctor tries this with Melody Pond in "Let's Kill Hitler", only she doesn't understand why he's calling her River.
    • In "The Time of the Doctor", he does this to a Dalek-converted Tasha Lem. Though rather than an emotional appeal, he does it by insulting her and the cause she's devoted her life to until she seizes control partially so that she can slap him in the face.
    • Averted with another Dalek-convert in "Asylum of the Daleks". The Doctor tries to appeal to her to remember the human she once was, reminding her she has a daughter. She calmly replies "Yes, I know. I read my file".
    • Also used in the Big Finish Doctor Who drama called "The Skull of Sobek", wherein Lucie and the Eighth Doctor are chosen as the champions of the two big bads, who have been feuding for centuries. The Doctor won't have anything to do with it, but Lucie falls prey to her big bad's mind control and becomes hell-bent on killing him. During the ensuing fight (though it's probably more accurately described as a chase because the Doctor won't hurt Lucie and in the end she didn't land any blows anyway), he never actually uses the phrase "I know you're in there somewhere," but he says just about everything else you might expect.
  • The Suite Life on Deck: A brief moment of this occurs in "Can You Dig It?" when Bailey finds herself possessed by the demonic spirit of the late Princess Zarnanote .
  • A rare non-magical version pops up in Criminal Minds. Reid begs the kinder personality to take control of the UnSub with multiple personalities who's about to kill Reid. This fails, and he ends up killing the UnSub. Then, as the guy lies dying...
    Tobias: [after Reid shot him, regarding his evil personality] You killed him.
    Reid: [sorrowfully] Tobias.
    Tobias: Do you think I'll get to see my mom again?
    Reid: I'm sorry.
  • Merlin:
    • In episode 3x01, Merlin tries this on resident Heel–Face Mole and Broken Bird Morgana when she allies herself with the villainous Morgause and Cenred in an attempt to conquer Camelot out of her resentment towards Uther. She seems to listen to Merlin for a brief second, but it doesn't work. In the end, Merlin defeats Morgana and Morgause's plot fails, but Morgana takes the credit — cue them giving each other Death Glares and fueling the Foe Yay. Subverted in that Morgana isn't brainwashed and is well aware of the evil deeds she seeks to accomplish.
    • Actually works later when Gwen is brainwashed and Arthur has to convince her to willingly go along with the magic that will break the enchantment. He does so by reminding her what she said when he proposed.
  • Sanctuary:
    • This setup happens repeatedly between Helen and her brainwashed daughter Ashley as they keep facing each other in battle but Helen can't bring herself to fight back. The appeals do work, eventually, leading to a heartbreaking Dying as Yourself moment.
    • Will tries this on Helen after she's possessed by a parasite in "Requiem." She responds by beating him up.
    • Will also tries this on a Brainwashed and Crazy, transformed Henry. It doesn't work, and eventually it's up to another HAP to beat him out of it.
  • In Chuck, this is exactly what Chuck has to do in order to restore Sarah back to normal in "Chuck Versus Sarah". However, Chuck himself doesn't do any fighting, instead, trying his darndest to convince Sarah that she loves him. It doesn't quite work in the end, but Sarah does resolve to go after the Big Bad for revenge.
  • Warehouse 13 play this trope in the Season 2 finale when Myka delivers the below speech to HG when she is trying to destroy the world.
    Myka: You are so filled with grief and anger but there is a part of you, I know it, there is some small part of your soul that knows that this is wrong. And that part is still alive and it’s just pushing to get through. Yes…that’s the part that refuses to kill the very people who can stop you.
    Helena: No! Stay away from me!
    Myka: Alright. If I am wrong, then kill me. Do it! Kill me now! I mean, we’re all gonna die anyway right, so what’s the difference? So shoot me! Shoot me now. Kill me. But not like that. Not like a coward. I want you to look me in the eyes and take my life.
  • In Children of Dune, Ghanima tries to convince Alia to fight, and also tells Alia's possession to give her a chance.
  • In the second part of the Power Rangers Zeo story "King For A Day", The Zeo Rangers confront Tommy, who's been brainwashed (again) and made into the Machine Empire's king. When talking to him doesn't work and they refuse to fight him, Kat ends up demorphing and throwing her arms around him, it being enough to help Tommy snap out of it.
  • Happens between Eddie and Patricia in House of Anubis when Patricia is turned into a sinner. He begs her to try and remember how she felt about him, because she still had all of her memories, but none of the feelings. They ended up kissing, but it was unknown if the real Patricia actually slipped out, or if it was all part of the plan to get Eddie and KT to accidentally unleash Ammit.
  • Happens near the end of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, where Kendra tries to awaken the Past-Life Memories of the reincarnated Carter. Unfortunately, he has already been brainwashed by Savage and turned into his Praetorian Guard. When Kendra gets close to Carter, he nearly chokes her to death, smirking when Ray manages to pull her away. As far as Carter is concerned, Kendra is Lord Savage's enemy and is just trying to trick him. The attempt also puts an end to Kendra's relationship with Ray, who realizes that he can't compete with 4000 years' worth of romantic memories. Eventually, it's not Kendra's words that awaken Carter's real personality but Savage threatening her. Only then does the memory of Prince Khufu awaken, he spreads his wings and attacks Savage. Savage stabs him but not fatally.
  • In The Flash (2014), Roy G. Bivolo "whammies" Barry into acting on his baser instincts. He assaults Iris's boyfriend Eddie until Oliver intervenes and tries to get Barry to calm down. Oliver is savvy enough to know talking won't work and tries to survive long enough for Wells and Joe to arrive with a "cure".
  • In Supergirl the mother of Kara and Alex was able to stop a brainwashed Alex from killing Kara.
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Ye Who Enter Here", both Bobbi and Fitz try this on a Brainwashed and Crazy Mack. It doesn't work, and Bobbi is forced to use her sticks to electrocute him into unconsciousness.
    • Fitz tries this with Daisy when she was under Hive's influence toward the end of Season Three. It doesn't work, largely because Daisy's core personality is still there, just corrupted by Hive.
    • Mack attempts something similar to the Captain America: The Winter Soldier example with Daisy in "Failed Experiments". It doesn't work, and he ends up getting nearly beaten to death until May shoots Daisy so that he can be extracted from the scene.
    • Subverted when Fitz stops Giyera from attacking a now-cured Daisy in "Ascension":
      "People that are under Hive's sway, they're not in control of their actions. They're not bad people. Well...except you. You were a murderous wank before all this."
  • Blake's 7. In "Sarcophagus", Avon does a different take when he urges an alien possessing Cally to kill him. The alien is using More Than Mind Control, so the Conflicting Loyalties breaks its hold over Cally, who is implied to be attracted to Avon.

  • Mega Man tries to pull this off with his brother in The Protomen's Act I. To say it doesn't work is putting it lightly.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Kamahl somehow manages to get into these fights regularly. First, in Chainers Torment, he has one with Chainer. He's briefly on the receiving end in Judgment when his sister Jeska tries to snap him out of his Mirari obsession, and then later has one against his newly-zombified friend Balthor. Then in Onslaught, he is once again pitted against Jeska after she's transformed into Phage the Untouchable.
  • On One Life to Live, having finally realized that ex-wife Viki isn't Viki at all, but one of her many personalities (she suffers from DID), Clint proceeds to do and say everything he can to get Viki to come back. And when she finally does, he says and does everything he can to prevent the other personalities from taking over again—when she mentions that her vision is going blurry and that she can't focus, he realizes that Jean (who needs glasses to see) is trying to resurface and basically shakes her to keep her from passing out.
  • Mentioned by the villain in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising. If the traitor is Jonah Orion, he turns out possessed by a demon, who promptly tells the protagonists:
    Demon: Jonah is right here, infant. I can hear him screaming.
    • He still fights. While he can't stop the demon from attacking you or drive it out, he does prevent it from using it's powers to regenerate itself once its been mortally wounded.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, "Marauding Captain", recalling his and the past cooperation of "Gogiga Gagagigo", appears to be trying to reason with "Gogiga Gagagigo" in Memory of an Adversary. The circumstances could have been the cause of the transformation of "Gogiga Gagagigo" into "Gagagigo the Risen", through the purification of his soul.

  • Happened not once, but TWICE with Lewa in BIONICLE. First his mask got replaced with an infected, mind-controlling one. Onua had to knock it off his face. Later, a Bohrok (which are machines controlled by an organic face-brain) places its Krana (face-brain) at Lewa, making him more than willing to join "the swarm" and "cleanse the island". Onua showed up again, but this time it was a "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight, as he refused to hit his friend. (Never mind that he gave Lewa a pretty good beating last time...) Lewa ripped the Krana of his face himself this time.

    Video Games 
  • In Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, the final boss battle is essentially this. The party is sure that the real Flameu is in there somewhere and they're determined to save her. In the end, they do.
  • Baten Kaitos has one of these for a Climax Boss fight. Notably, it's the main character they're trying to save. By beating the crap out of him.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight does this with Azrael, whose masters, the Order of St Dumas, have brainwashed him to kill Batman and take his place. Batman tries to talk him down by reminding him of his real identity and telling him that the Order has lied to him, but whether Azrael breaks free is up to the player.
  • Batman The Telltale Series Played straight with Bruce Wayne to Harvey Dent, who is taken over by his other Two-Face personality threatening to kill hostages, though he does kill one, depending on your choices, Bruce can play this trope word for word in multiple dialogue options. Resulting in Harvey fighting the other half, letting hostages go, and eventually trying to commit suicide so he cant hurt anyone else
  • Chapter 4 of Bendy and the Ink Machine has Henry fighting Brainwashed and Crazy Boris. In the room is a crafting machine that has an option to make a spoiler: bone, which can make it seem like the fight will be this trope at first, but it's ultimately averted. Boris has no interest in the bone, and Henry has to kill him in self-defense. Players don't even have to attempt this trope.
  • In BlazBlue, any encounter between Litchi and Arakune. The fights themselves include heartbreaking pleas by Litchi for Arakune to "Wake up!"
    • Ragna's dialogue before fighting Mu-12 (a Brainwashed and Crazy Noel) seems to suggest the fight between the two at the end of Continuum Shift's story mode is this as well. The conversation between Ragna and Rachel in the previous scene regarding whether Noel's personality can be brought back reinforce the notion.
      • The anime adaption had Ragna screaming this at Noel: "I KNOW YOU'RE THERE! I'M NOT GIVING UP DAMMIIIIIIIIIIIT!"
    • A similar scenario happens in Chronophantasma. During the latter chapters of that game's story mode, Jin, Noel and Makoto devise a plan to lure and confront Tsubaki in order to break her free from the influences of Izayoi and the Imperator, Hades Izanami. Tsubaki, as the true incarnation of her weapon, confronts Jin for the last of the three-fight gauntlet, and the exchange between the two before their battle puts this whole ordeal into this territory.
  • Played with in Breath of Fire IV, where, if you choose to get the Bad Ending, you join up with your Evil Half Fou-Lu to become the Infini Dragon, and must kill your former teammates in an unwinnable (for them) boss fight. If during the fight you heal them with an item, Nina will say "that was you Ryu, right?". In the end, though, it's a fake hope, there's nothing you can do, you have to end the battle sooner or latter.
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance features this, requiring you to find specific quest items, go for the optional harder boss, and having a specific pendant equipped before it happens though.
  • Robo's fight with Atropos in Chrono Trigger, though she doesn't throw off the reprogramming until after she's already damaged beyond repair, and dying.
    • In the DS version, Magus's fight with the Dream Devourer. Schala only comes to her senses for a moment.
  • Then, at the end of a Task Force in City of Heroes, the player characters fight The Honoree, who those familiar with the backstory will quickly recognize as Hero-1 ("The Honoree." Get it? Get it?), who is being turned into one of the Scary Dogmatic Aliens by a bizarre biochemical transformation . This being a memorpuger, of course Status Quo Is God, and the opponent winds up fleeing, still Not Himself.
  • Depending on the ending you get, Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories provides both a straight example and a subversion when Rozalin accidentally unlocks her Superpowered Evil Side in an effort to defeat the Big Bad of the game. Of course, being a Superpowered Evil Side bordering on the verge of a cosmic entity, its not going to let Adell and the rest of the group walk away from the fight alive either. Depending on the amount of felonies and ally kills you rack up, this can go two ways:
    • Good Ending: Rozalin declares Adell her enemy, Adell refuses to attack, and Rozalin hesitates in blasting him long enough for him to snap her back to reality with a kiss.
    • Bad Ending: Rozalin doesn't hesitate and zaps Adell into oblivion. And if you've got really many felonies and ally kills, this further devolves into the...
    • Worst Ending: Adell fails to hold back during the ensuing fight and accidentally kills Rozalin during the fight. It only gets worse when the thing takes ahold of his body in Rozalin's place while he's BSOD-ing...
  • In Dragon Age II Anders is overtaken by Justice in a rage and threatens to kill Ella, believing her to be collaborating with the Templars. Hawke manages to talk him down successfully, allowing Anders control back.
    • Subverted when your party members fall to a demons temptation one by one while in the Fade, Hawke, being the only one who refused the demon, tries to talk their friends down but is unsuccessful and attacked.
  • Near the end of the final route of Duel Savior Destiny Super Mia and Selbium attempt to get through to their brother/friend Taiga due to his mind being blanked out by the Messiah Armor while he rampages. After the fight, they're briefly interrupted when the Big Bad shows up, leading to a Duel Boss that results in a mutual KO and the former person is left to try to get through. Naturally, she manages to break through and with the help of his other love interests they manage to snap him out of it.
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail plays this straight with the final battle. There is, however, a twist: It's the antagonist trying to draw his friend out of the main character, who is an amalgamation of two souls, one of which is said friend's.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Happens to two characters in Final Fantasy IV: Kain and Yang. Yang gets a good old beatdown, while Kain breaks the control, then loses himself again, then breaks the control a final time. Golbez is also Brainwashed and Crazy, but no one knows that except FuSoYa, so they never bother trying it.
    • The fight between Barret and Dyne in Final Fantasy VII isn't a typical example as both combatants are using full strength, but close enough to count. The real tragedy is that Dyne is so far gone that as soon as Barret non-fatally defeats him and tells him they can go back and see his daughter together, clearly assuming the trope worked, Dyne tells Barret he can't come back anymore and commits suicide.
    • In Final Fantasy X while fighting against Braska's Final Aeon, Tidus gains a "talk" command that attempts to reach Jecht, resetting the monster's Overdrive gauge. It stops working the third time...
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 uses this trope as well near the endgame. After ditching your clan, Adelle has a run-in with Illua. The mission you pick up at the bar is actually an encounter with a buttload of monsters and a controlled Adelle, who Luso has to talk back to her senses. Of course, to make things easier, feel free to kill the vanguard Illua entrusted to her.
  • In Fire Emblem 7, this is Nils the Bard's Moment of Awesome. He actually does it on his sister Ninian the Dancer, who may not be attacking people but has been brainwashed into summoning a dragon through the Dragon's Gate. Nils, however, gets through her and Ninian stops the ritual in the nick of time.
    • The same also occurs for Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, but also tries to avert it at the same time. Lyon summons the big bad demon that promptly possesses him, slowly and surely trying to kill Lyon's own soul at the same time as making him (on the outside) even more sickly than he already was as the process goes on. Throughout the game, he is fighting between being Lyon and being the Demon King possessing him and shows that Lyon may still be him to Eirika, but a lost cause to Ephraim. Eventually Eirika has many moments of invoking this trope for him once the twins are reunited and she tries to get Lyon to fight the Demon King for his body back, which works... Until it doesn't. The Demon King averted it by screwing with Eirika and destroying one of the last two sacred stones left on earth when she fell for it. He also pretty much confirms Eirika's fears that this is a wasted trope... Until it isn't. Lyon is, in fact, still alive but barely so and certainly wasn't strong enough to take back his body. Until he does... Right after Eirika, Ephraim and the others kill him, which lets him pull a Dying as Yourself.
    • Don't forget Mystery of the Emblem, where you have to get Merric, Minerva, Julian and Camu... er, Sirius to talk to Elice, Maria, Lena and Nyna respectively, who have been brainwashed into becoming sacrificial maidens for Medeus's resurrection. If you don't do it fast, they will be eaten by Medeus so he'll recover strength.
    • And certainly don't forget Genealogy of the Holy War! Where upon hitting the final part of the final chapter, Manfroy sends a Brainwashed and Crazy Princess Julia at you. Seliph tries this on her.... it doesn't work outright- instead you have to kill Manfroy first. Easier said than done, due to how powerful Julia is (and you have to deal with her attacking you) and the fact that on top of being a semi-powerful boss, armed with Fenrir, Manfroy is surrounded by Dark Mages with Hel tomes. Upon completing this ordeal, and having Seliph then talk to Julia and you're given a Heartwarming Moment along with Narga, which pretty much is the means to the end.
    • Played with in Radiant Dawn where, in part 3 chapter 7, Haar can recruit Jill away from the Daein forces by appealing to the same sense of justice that got Jill to defect from Daein in the previous game. A little nonstandard in that Daein is *also* heroic, so it's halfway between this and a "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture.
    • This is done in an interesting way to the Avatar in Awakening. When the fell dragon absorbed the Avatar, everyone within your party calls you back, telling you to fight. And, it actually works. What makes this situation different from others on this page is that the entire sequence is shown from the Avatar's point-of-view.
  • In the intro of Jak II: Renegade, Jak shifts into Dark mode and starts advancing on Daxter. "Easy now. Easy, buddy. It's, it's your old pal Daxter remember?" The claws stop about an inch from his face.
  • In The King of Fighters 95, the mid-boss before Rugal is Kyo's father Saisyu Kusanagi, who was believed to be dead... but is actually Brainwashed and Crazy. If you fight as Team Japan (Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon), Kyo is shocked to see his father like this (and for worse Saisyu tries to pull a We Can Rule Together) but after a rather Narm-filled talk due to "Blind Idiot" Translation, he decides to set that aside since Saisyu simply won't listen. It works in the end: the defeated Saisyu apologizes to Kyo and asks him to keep fighting before passing out, and then the Team focuses on Rugal.
    • It's done differently in the KOF: KYO manga: the manga starts after Saisyu has aleady defeated Benimaru and Daimon off-screen so Kyo fights Saisyu on his own, first screaming at his dad to recognize him ("Father, wake up! Don't you remember your own son?!") and then curb-stomping him with a single Orochinagi, de-brainwashing and disabling Saisyu but not knocking him out so he can explain to Benimaru and Daimon the deal with Rugal and the Orochi power he absorbed, as Kyo fights Rugal alone.
    • And later in KOF::KYO Saisyu returns the favor when Kyo falls in a state similar to the Yagami's Riot of the Blood., reminding him that the Kyo doesn't fight purely for the thrill of the battle but also to protect others.
  • Kingdom Hearts has, well, several instances of the trope:
    • It happens in Kingdom Hearts II, specifically in the fight against Beast, who goes stark raving mad out of paranoia and needs a lot of shouting from Cogsworth to calm back down.
    • Also happens a lot in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Every time a character is possessed by something/someone not quite well intentioned, the proper response is to fight them and "free their heart" or something like that. In the final chapter, this culminates in a fight between Aqua and a Xehanort-possessed Terra where the former actually says "I know you're in there".
      • Sadly, neither instances are truly successful. Aqua manages to hold off a possessed Ventus long enough for Ventus to free himself, but his heart is severely damaged in the process and he is left comatose. When confronting Terra, who is possessed by Xehanort, Aqua fails to free him. Terra/Xehanort lose all their memories, and are nearly lost to the Realm of Darkness.
    • A special version happens in "358/Days", where Riku taunts the bits of Sora inside Roxas, to make sure he's really in there before he gives himself up to the darkness.
    • Finally in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Sora attempts to reach out to a reprogrammed Tron, who was under the control of CLU.note  Despite his success, Tron falls down into an abyss, and is seemingly derezzed (The "seemingly" part comes from CLU mentioning how he needs to "retrieve" Rinzler, which wouldn't be possible if he had been derezzed).
      • The Final Boss of 3D is Sora trapped inside of Ven's armor that has been overtaken by darkness. The player plays as Riku during it.
    • Sora at one point fighting Riku in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The catch? It's not really Riku at all, but a clone created by Vexen, and the memories they're fighting over are fake too.
    Riku: I remembered it, Sora. I now know the one thing that is most important to me. Protecting Naminé. Nothing else matters—-not a thing.
    Sora: Hey... Riku... I think I'll jog your memory.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, which largely recycled the plot of NWN in this aspect. The same character you save this way will be completely disbelieving of your naivety when she finds out you tried it on the Big Bad.
    • This is also invoked on your Player Character if you're playing female, have done the Carth romance, and chose a Dark Side ending. Carth comes up and offers a Last-Second Chance to reject the Dark Side. Rather too bad you have to mod the game to get the full effect, because Sbarge earns the paycheck.
      • The Brotherhood of Shadow Game Mod for KOTOR has an epic one. After Shadow/Channa Mae/Matilda/Sera Degana is put into an Angst Coma by her now-insane former Jedi master, smuggler Kobayasi plays this card by shouting that they're Not So Different - turns out he was a failed Padawan who had to give up his own identity after his master was killed, letting her know how hard the fight will be because he's done it himself and expressing faith that she can win like he did. He comes just short of admitting he is head over heels in love with her, too.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel ends with your party discovering that Crow Armbrust, a slacker classmate who joined your party is actually C, the leader of the terrorists who've been troubling your party and the nation throughout the game. As Rean takes control of the Divine Knight that he awakened with the party's help, including Crow's, Crow shows up in a divine knight of his own. They have all-out robot battle, Rean determined to bring back the Crow the party loves, only to find that Crow is way out of his league. Most of the second game is about Rean getting strong enough to actually beat Crow to try to bring him back, only for Crow to end up doing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The Lufia series danced all around this trope before finally embracing it:
  • In Magical Cannon Wars this is the ending fight between Akira and Zero, trying to release the latter from the grip of "mechanical magic".
  • The same goes for Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis, using the main character (just like above) as the Final Boss.
  • Implied in the final level of Mark of the Ninja Master Azai does not fight the main character, but informs him to take the clan's ancestral sword and bring it to the garden. When you get there, you are given a choice to either kill Azai or Ora, the woman from whom you have been taking advice the entire game. Killing Azai implies that the ninja fails this fight, whereas killing Ora — who is revealed to be a hallucination — implies that the ninja wins out and does the right thing.
  • Played straight twice in Mass Effect. Benezia breaks Saren's indoctrination briefly during the fight on Noveria at Shepard and Liara's urging, and if you have sufficient Charm or Intimidate points, you can make Saren break Sovereign's control in the final fight. It's not much of a breakage in either case, though, as both kill themselves — Benezia goes for suicide by Spectre, Saren shoots himself in the head — rather than continue as evil pawns. This is because Reaper indoctrination is permanent. Any break is only temporary.
    • Except for Shiala, who had to become controlled by the Thorian and become subsequently freed.
  • Mega Man:
    • Done to death in Mega Man Battle Network. First in 4 Blue Moon with Proto Man, in 5 (both versions) with Mega Man and either Colonel or Proto Man again depending on your version, and Mega Man in both versions of 6.
    • Mega Man Star Force
      • Subverted. Fighting the first human-merged-with-alien, Mega Man is reluctant to attack because a human is in there and defeating the enemy would mean killing the human as well. Omega-Xis, the alien who gives Mega Man his powers, promptly corrects this misconception, assuring Mega Man that defeating the enemy is the only way to get rid of the alien and restore the human.
      • Played straight with Acid Ace, however. Joker, being Ace's "dark half", can corrupt Acid and drive Acid Ace into a berserk state, and he does near game's end. The first time around, you need to stall for time until Acid Ace's safety kicks in and forces him to revert; the second time you have to thoroughly beat the sense back into him, and just in time for a Heroic Sacrifice to boot.
    • The fight against Maverick Zero in Mega Man X 5, except X decides the best course of action is beating the crap out of Zero to bring back his true self, and does so (the fight ends more or less in a tie). Also Zero vs Iris in X4. In both cases, unfortunately, they die after becoming normal again, but for different reasons.
    • In Mega Man ZX, Giro finds himself being controlled by the Big Bad and forced to fight Vent/Aile, who try to reach him even as they fight. He finally does throw it off once he takes enough damage...but then the Big Bad decides to be a dick and blasts him with a lightning bolt, and follows it up on Vent/Aile with a similar attack. Giro ends up fatally injured by the accumulated damage, and has to give up his Biometal (the only thing keeping him alive at this point) to make sure Vent/Aile don't join him.
  • Subverted in Metal Gear Solid 4, where Solid Snake apparently beats Liquid Ocelotnote  so hard that he knocks Liquid's "ghost" (Ocelot was actually under autohypnosis the entire time) right out of him, and Ocelot enjoys the last few moments of his life as himself.
  • The final boss of MOTHER 3 has Lucas fighting his brother Claus, who has been brainwashed by the Big Bad into being a slave who is being used to destory the world. Lucas can't bring himself to attack him, so he just defends and heals against his barrage of attacks, all while the Ghost of his Mother comes back to talk Claus into remembering who he really is. He eventually comes back to his senses, and then he kills himself with his own attack, and dies in his brother's arms as repentance for his actions and to be with the Mother he loves again.
    "I'm going to where Mom is now."
    • Another fight against the same guy happens a few minutes before, though you don't get to see it, as Flint tries to fight the "Porky" that's in Claus. That is, fight off Porky's influence.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, a good-aligned character can pull this off with Aribeth, a supporting character from the first part of the game driven to madness by her lover's execution and turned Dragon to the Big Bad.
    • Note that you can't do this unless you either did a sidequest earlier in the game and still have the reward from that quest, which has no other real value, or you have an insanely high Persuade check.
  • The final boss of Ōkamiden' when you battle Akuro in the form of Chibierasu with a possessed Kuni on his back. After the fight, Kuni becomes your partner again... too bad Kurow doesn't make it.
  • At the end of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Peach is possessed by the Shadow Queen, but overcomes her to help Mario.
  • Sadly subverted in Phantasmagoria. Adrienne, almost totally strapped into the Death Trap, briefly breaks through to her possessed husband Don with a little help from an old snowman ornament. Unfortunately, if you don't do anything, the demon takes over and kills her. The only way to escape is to activate the trap while Don's distracted, killing him instead of Adrienne.
  • In Puyo Puyo 7, when Ringo and the gang confront Dark Arle in the depths of the forest, Satan was the very first one to notice that Arle was possessed. This might be because he knew something was off, since he had a series-long affection towards Arle.
  • In Resident Evil 5, Chris ends up subduing Jill during the fight by talking to her, trotting out the most cliché lines he can manage. "Jill, what are you doing? It's me, Chris! Don't you recognize me? Snap out of it!" The whole thing is just to get her to stop leaping around so your partner can yank The Virus off of her chest. Alternatively, you can just shoot it off.
  • In Rival Schools, if you choose to play with the teachers Hideo and Kyouko, at some point they're brainwashed. Later, one of them (the first one you picked) will snap out of it but not the other, so you'll have to team up with Batsu Ichimonji (whom you have just defeated beforehand) fight your companion.
    • Variation: In any other team up with charas of the same school, one of the characters will be kidnapped, get Brainwashed and Crazy and join The Dragon Raizo. Your characters will try to talk to him or her, but will have to defeat him and Raizo in battle to get their companion back. It turns out Raizo also was Brainwashed and Crazy... by the true Big Bad, his nephew Hyo. You have to defeat the old guy to de-brainwash him too.
      • Another variation happens in the second game, when Hyo himself is Brainwashed and Crazy... by the spirit of his evil Disappeared Dad, Mugen. We see the whole deal in the Taiyo team's route, when Batsu and Co. confront him right before the final battle: Hyo manages to push Mugen aside for a second and talk to his younger brother Kyousuke, explaining what happened and begging the group to Mercy Kill him so Mugen won't use him as a Soul Jar. And sadly, this is what happens: Hyo is dispossessed, but dies in Kyosuke's arms.
  • In Romancing SaGa 3, the two destined children who actually have created the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere from their energies, are tried to be convinced to use the energies that they have manifested for the powers of creation instead of destruction.
  • This has happened several times in RuneScape.
    • Zanik became possessed a fragment of Bandos. She manages to free herself when the Player Character asks her an Armor-Piercing Question.
    • Safalaan was turned into a super vampyre called a wyrd who acts as the final boss of the Myreque quest series. After a very long fight he regains control long enough to let the player take some of his blood so a cure for his hunger can be made.
    • When the player character confronts the High Priest of the genocidal Scabarites, they recognize that he is being manipulated by Amascut and help him to recognize this too by pointing out that his action are heresy against his god so he can free himself from her mind control.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, your friend Issachar starts the game as a perky teen whose greatest dream is to pass the Gauntlet Rite and become a Samurai. He fails and you, his best friend, pass. He becomes bitter and angry; soon after, he becomes a demon. You can invoke this, but Issachar's so furious and crazy it won't work at all. You can even try all speech commands with him. He'll respond to each with unique dialogue, still clearly fighting the demon from the inside. And losing.
  • In Shovel Knight, The Enchantress/Shield Knight.
  • Reversing what happened in the Street Fighter animated movie, in the Alpha games Ken is the one who pulls this on Ryu in Alpha 3, with the help of Sakura and even Sagat. More exactly, Ryu has been kidnapped and forcibly infused with Bison's power, which makes him go Brainwashed and Crazy. Sagat (who has just had his Heel Realization upon finding the brainwashed Ryu and being mocked by Bison himself) talks/fights to Ryu to make him return to his senses, while Ken and Sakura take on Bison. It only fully works when Sakura pulls a Go Through Me to protect a fallen Ryu and is hit point-blank by the fully Psycho Drive-empowered Bison, which triggers an Unstoppable Rage in Ryu that breaks through his brainwashing.
    • Played straighter in Ryu's path, where Ken is the one brainwashed and Ryu has to snap him out of it before taking on Bison himself. And then he gets infused with the Psycho Drive energy as it explodes, but manages to resist it this time.
    • If you play as Juli, the mid-boss fight with T. Hawk has him recognizing her as his childhood friend Julia and begging her to come back home with him. Since you are the one controlling Juli, it obviously fails. She does return to his side, but much later and in different circumstances. In IV, however, it's revealed that those circumstances are extremely tragic: Juli is freed from Bison's control, but her conditioning wiped out every trace of the girl she once was, so now she's a catatonic Empty Shell on life support.
    • Charlie Nash returns in Street Fighter V, but this time he's a Frankenstein's Monster who is hellbent on only one objective: Revenge. Against Bison. To make matters more tragic, Guile is in the game as well, but their reunion isn't a friendly one. Nash has fully committed himself to killing Bison, and he will do anything in order to achieve that goal, including killing his former friends.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Arado and Seolla, a set of partners from The School, are separated when Arado is shot down by the good guys. After he decides to join up with the team once he figures out that his old allies were merely brainwashing him, he gets into not one but three such fights with Seolla before finally breaking through her brainwashing.
      • Then in SRW OG Gaiden, this gets repeated when a Brainwashed and Crazy Lamia threatened to self destruct immediately to plunge the team into eternal despair for not being able to save her forever. Except she didn't do it immediately, which prompts Axel, who just performed a Heel–Face Turn, to scold and point out why she didn't do it immediately, which means he knows her real self has yet to be deleted by the brainwasher, which prompts Lamia to finally revert to her own self temporarily, but enough for Axel to reaffirm that the chance for her salvation is not lost and proceeds to activate Code DTD which reverses her brainwashing and plugs her out of her machine.
    • In Super Robot Wars V Kouji Kabuto loses control of Mazinger Z and it transforms into the massive Mazinger ZERO, taking control of Kouji as it does. Its initial rampage is stopped by Awakened EVA-01, but the others are forced to fight the beast. It takes the arrival of Mazin Emperor G and the power of Shin Getter Robo for Kouji to finally regain control
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Yuri has to fight a Brainwashed and Crazy Estelle, the most innocent person in the game solo. You can go all out, even to the point of using your Limit Break on her, and even so, Yuri will be able to bring her back to her senses.
  • Undertale.
    • On the Pacifist run, the boss has consumed the souls of everyone you'd met up to that point, and you're powerless to do anything until you realise that your friends can still be SAVED. Done by calling their names out of the boss's soul, the Lost Souls do not remember you and are hostile until you help them remember, wherein they say something encouraging and you move on to other friends. This works for depowering the boss, and then you call their name to try to convince them to stop fighting.
    • On the Genocide run, Sans tries to invoke this with the player. A player in this run is likely to have done the Pacifist run first and have already made friends with Sans at that point. He remarks that they are "someone who, perhaps in another time, might have even been... a friend?". Agreeing on his viewpoint gets you dunked on, with him killing the player before making them a simple request.
      "If we're really friends... you won't come back."
    • And not specifically a boss, but the Amalgamate enemies. They are fusions of other encountered enemies, are completely invulnerable, and are only pacified by interacting with them in the manner that their component monsters would have been satisfied with. Especially true for So Cold (Snowdrake's mother), who stops fighting immediately upon remembering that they're a fan of bad ice puns.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • If you play a death knight, you are ultimately given a quest to execute a helpless NPC of your death knight's own race. This NPC — who, it can be inferred from the dialogue, knew you somehow before you became a death knight — pulls this on you. Seeing as this leads to your death knight's inevitable Heel–Face Turn, one can only conclude that it works, but there's a twist: Your superiors wonder why you're taking so long, which causes your old friend to tell you to kill them to keep up the Masquerade.
    • Both lampshaded and subverted in a memorable World of Warcraft quest in which Big Bad Arthas openly accuses Knight in Shining Armor Tirion Fordring of falling victim to this trope. Tirion, however, displays a notable lack of Genre Blindness when he tells Arthas that he just wanted to see for himself if he had lost his humanity completely and proceeds to attempt to kill him. Unfortunately, he fails.
      • It was not a complete failure, as Tirion in this encounter destroys Arthas's heart, effectively wiping out the last bit of humanity in the Lich King. So now Tirion knows that Arthas is no longer "in there".
      • Links to confirm it or it's just a Wild Mass Guess.
      • Here is the text to the event that plays along with the quest. Most specifically, the quest completion text you get from Tirion.
      I do not view what we just went through as a failure, <name>... quite the opposite. By allowing me to peer into his heart, you allowed me to confirm what I needed to know. There is no Arthas Menethil anymore — there is only the Lich King.
    • In a quest given by Tirion in Eastern Plaguelands, your character delivers a bundle of childhood memories to his son Taelan, a member of the Scarlet Crusade. It causes Taelan to realize the corruption of the Scarlet Crusade and go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge through Hearthglen until he is killed by Grand Inquisitor Isilien on his path to reunite with his father.
  • Xenogears
    • Fei attempted this on Elly. This is because the latter used the Psycho Serum known as the Drive to fight the former since she is too much of a coward to do it. He eventually snapped her out of this by using The Power of Love.
  • X-Men Legends 2 has Sabretooth trying this to Beast after he is put under Apocalypse's control. Sadly, it fails when he arrives to stop it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dracu-Riot! plays with this in a hilarious manner:
    • In one chapter, Kouya hypnotizes Azusa and Naoto before Yuuto could arrest him. Yuuto counters this by telling Azusa that he's actually a lolicon and Naoto that he's also gay for him, the most outrageous things he could think of at the moment in order to break them free of the control. After he was successfully arrested, Azusa was convinced that Yuuto was indeed a lolicon, while Naoto actually serious considered about it.
      • It didn't help either that a few scenes prior to what has happened above, Yuuto was actually working undercover as a lolicon while being paired with a partner who has the appearance of a child. His acting was so convincing that even his colleagues started to doubt whether he secretly might be a lolicon.
  • Subverted in the Ciel Story Arc in Tsukihime where the protagonist is the reincarnation of the Big Bad and is only a matter of time before he would be completely possessed. Ciel his friend, sempai and current Love Interest who is secretly an immortal exorcist sent by the Church asks him to get to the school by night to help him. But her true intention is to fight him and kill him because she knows there is no cure and bears personal hatred against the Big Bad. It is only because the protagonist refuses to fight her to the death and to hate her for being deceived that she realizes she cannot do it.
  • In Sunrider Liberation Day, Chigara is suddenly taken over by the Big Bad and begins massacring the delegates attending the Liberation Day ceremony. Kayto tries to talk her down, reminding her of who she really is and how she isn’t the type of person who would do these things. Thanks to the Power of Love, Chigara is able to regain control and kick the BigBad out of her bodyonly to be shot by a third party and die in Kayto’s arms.

    Web Animation 
  • DC Super Hero Girls: In "Out of the Bottle", Art Teacher Miss Moone has been taken over by her evil split personality, and Harley Quinn tries to reach her out:
    Harley Quinn: Ms. Moone, I know you're in there. So listen up!
    Enchantress: (wheezing) June Moone is no more. I consumed her!
    Harley Quinn: Yeah, right! That's exactly what someone who didn't actually consume Ms. Moone, but was scared that my maneuvers might work, would say!
  • Dreamscape: Dylan pulls this off on Melissa when she gets brainwashed by the Overlord of Evil in "The Mystery of Melinda".

    Web Comics 
  • Hilariously averted here, when Dark Smoke Puncher is possessed.
  • Inverted in an early arc of It's Walky!: Sal shoots and kills her mind-controlled lover (and boss's son) without hesitation. Within a few minutes, somebody figures out how to break the control.
  • A character in Paradigm Shift actually says "I know you're still in there" when his partner changes into a werewolf and attacks him.
  • In the "Dangerous Days Ahead" Story Arc from Sluggy Freelance, Torg tries this a little bit on Aylee. Turns out it wasn't the real Aylee.
  • Ivitho and Emojueel in Juathuur.
  • In Fake News Rumble Jon says this almost verbatim to Stephen.
  • In Endstone, Lord Quandal makes the appeal to Cole, but it doesn't work.
  • Used successfully by Valjean on Javert (who was under a Character Rerailment spell) in this page of Roommates. Also used by Shadow!Erik on Mortal!Jareth (whose magic and memory got taken) with some mixed results.
  • Web Game Demon Thesis has a bout where one of the four main characters is the victim of a Baleful Polymorph which turns her into one of the more powerful recurring enemies. The other heroes attempt to talk to her, but unfortunately only knocking her senseless works in undoing the polymorph.
  • Zebra Girl: Crystal attempts one with Sandra, trying to talk to her out of her evilness. Sandra is fully aware of what Crystal is trying to do, and it fails miserably.
  • Snarlbear has this twice. Once when Prince Narcissico must confront his possessed and corrupted sister, and then Daisy has one with Flint after he turns into a dragon
  • Girl Genius: Subverted with Lucrezia (in Agatha's body) calling forth a copy of her own mind to take over Zola — because the expected possession isn't working.
  • Parodied and Inverted in The Order of the Stick, when a number of the members of the Order are under a Dominationnote  effect, and Elan tries to talk Roy into joining them — first as if Roy is the one who's turned traitor, and then by talking about how great it's to be Dominated.
    Elan: Join us, Roy. We have free massages, and pizza every Thursday.
    Roy: That can't possibly be true, you've been dominated less than a minute!
    Elan: Also, we can lie as much as we want.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • This is played with in the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, of all shows. Mario gets brainwashed by an invention of Ludwig Von Kooky Koopa, and it's up to Luigi to save him. However, reminding Mario of the good times they had together doesn't work, so he plays a trick on Mario as he had done earlier while they were arguing. This apparently works.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Happened with Jet after he was Brainwashed in "Lake Laogai". Aang manage to snap him out of it by reminding him of his past as a freedom fighter, causing him to throw his sword at the brainwashing bad guy. Who dodges it and kills him without a second thought.
    • Also happens a few times non-verbally with Aang in the Avatar State. It's generally Katara either talking to him desperately or hugging him at great danger to herself.
  • Subverted in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. Thor tries doing this when the other Avengers are mutated into Gamma monsters by the Leader. Sadly, it has no effect.
  • Rather beautifully subverted in Beast Machines. Blackarachnia has reason to believe the spark of her lover, Silverbolt, is being used to power the villain Thrust. She traps Thrust, breaks through the "shell program", demands Silverbolt come forth... and is told "Doggie-bot not home!" The spark inside Thrust is actually Waspinator. Silverbolt is inside the Jerk Ass.
  • In Ben 10: Race Against Time, Gwen does it to Ben who is turned into a young version of the villain Eon. After a while, it works.
    • Later in the Ben 10: Alien Force episode "Pet Project", Ship becomes brainwashed by the Forever Knights to serve as an Anterian Obliterator. In that form, he easily overpowers Ben Gwen Kevin and Julie and manages to corner them at gunpoint. But just when he was about to kill them, Julie appeals to the lingering part of their friendship to free Ship from their control.
    • Also in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, this is Gwen's mothod of confronting Ultimate!Kevin. She was right. He was in there somewhere...just not fighting it at the time.
    Kevin:...I was trying to get away from you!
    Gwen: Why?
    Kevin: Because I knew what I would do to you if I had the chance!
  • Subverted in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command when a villain uses a stolen, personality-swapping helmet on Booster. During the fight, Booster reveals that the helmet did not work on him, due to Bizarre Alien Biology: he has two brains, and his personality is stored in his "bottom brain." Booster is a comic relief character, after all.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Jérémie tries this on Sissi in episode "A Great Day", during the very first human possession by XANA's specter — to absolutely no avail. In retrospect, Jérémie probably isn't the most likely person to pull off this trope with Sissi.
      Jérémie: Sissi! You are being possessed by XANA! You have to resist!
      Sissi: Why? I never felt so well...
    • Despite numerous fights with William since he is possessed by XANA, this approach never comes up until the episode "The Lake"; Yumi's speech actually does bring him back for a few seconds... or so it seems: it's left unclear if she actually succeeded for a short amont of time, or if it was merely a Hyde Plays Jekyll moment (something William is known to have done twice before).
  • Codename: Kids Next Door :
    • Once Numbuh Five tries this on Numbuh One when he is turned into a Spanky-Happy Vampire. Sadly, it fails.
    • Also in "Operation: L.I.Z.Z.I.E.": After all attempts at getting through a brainwashed Numbuh One fail, it takes him receiving a Shockingly Expensive Bill to cause the Boyfriend Helmet to go haywire and explode to bring him back to normal.
    • Again in Operation: Z.E.R.O.: Nigel attempts this trope while he is forced to battle his own friends from Sector V who have been transformed into Grandfather's Senior-Citi-Zombies. It fails, though he manages to use the birthday suits from "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S." to partially to reverse the effect.
  • DC Comics Animated: In Justice League Action episode "The Goddess Must Be Crazy", Felix Fausts takes over Supergirl's body and attacks Wonder Woman. Diana tries to reach Kara out but finally the Amazon lassos the Kryptonian girl and forces her to touch the ground. The anti-male spell which protects Themyscira swiftly rips Faust from Kara's body and flings him from the island.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Subverted in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series. In one episode, the Parasite has absorbed the personality of a particularly cunning and devious villain, and the two personalities team up... for a while. Eventually it becomes clear that the clever guy is perfectly willing to let the Parasite die, since, after all, his real body and mind are miles away, and they start battling it out inside the Parasite's head. Meanwhile, Superman, on the sidelines, shouts encouragement to the Parasite personality. It's a subversion because both personalities are bad guys; Superman is just rooting for the lesser of two evils.
    • And he does it again in Justice League Unlimited, this time rooting for Lex Luthor after Brainiac hijacked his body and fused with him. Too bad for Supes that Lex was all in favor of the deal, and had even been the one to suggest complete fusion to begin with.
      Luthor: You're right. I am in here... and I like it!
    • Also from Justice League, in "For the Man Who Has Everything", Superman is trapped by the Black Mercy, dreaming of a world where he is married, has a son and Kypton still exists. As Wonder Woman fights Mogul, Batman does everything he can to snap Superman out of it. When none of his gadgets work, he frantically tugs at the Black Mercy attached to Superman, telling him to snap out of it. And in his dream world, Superman continually hears Batman's voice.
    • From Justice League Unlimited there's also the episode "Wake the Dead", where Solomon Grundy is resurrected by a group of amateur summoners, but the ritual is interrupted and he comes back wrong, leading to him going on a mindless destruction tour through town. Hawkgirl tries to stop the League from killing Grundy as well as stop Grundy's rampage by invoking this trope. Grundy is however beyond help, so she decides to end his suffering.
  • Danny Phantom in "What You Want" and "Control Freaks". In WYW, Danny tries to get through to a ghost-powered Tucker and fails. Danny winds up tricking Tucker in order to free Tucker from his evil ghost version. In CF, Sam attempts to get through to a brainwashed Danny, succeeding once, only to have Danny put under Freakshow's control again. She attempts later in the ending and only gets to Danny after getting tossed off a train over a bridge crossing in a valley. Danny comes to his senses and saves her before she falls to her doom.
  • Parodied in Dexter's Laboratory. He tries to fix a damaged DynoMutt (a dog robot with boatloads of hyperactivity). He comes up with a supercool and super-dangerous version that is ten times more badass than the leading brand. When it goes rogue, The Blue Falcon tries to use his friendship with DynoMutt to draw out his old personality. Dexter eventually reveals that DynoMutt was such an annoying buffoon that he decided to just start over with a new version. Blue Falcon is appalled, shocked, and stunned! But then he realises that he can now simply kill the evil robot with a clear conscience — after all, What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • Dragon Booster has a rather interesting example in The Wraith Booster for two reasons. One, the speech is given by Anti-Villain Moordryd Payyn, to Artha, who is The Hero. Second, he gives it when Artha is the Dragon Booster, and Moordryd doesn't actually know who the Dragon Booster is.
  • In the Futurama movie "Bender's Big Score", Bender is subject to this while under the power of the mind-control virus, under an order to kill his best friend Fry. He is only partly successful — still, at least it shows how much he cares about Fry.
    Bender: Must obey orders. Ohhhhh. Mustn't kill friend!! Ohhhhhh! Badly want to urinate!!!!! [monotone] Entering auto destruct sequence. [normal] Awww crap, I hate auto destruct sequence! [monotone] Explosion in 7, 6—
    [Fry duplicate kicks Bender duplicate back into a cryotube; Fry duplicate turns the dial to one million years]
    Bender: [much later — monotone] —4, 3, 2, 1, [normal] BOOM! [nothing happens; Bender starts to laugh] Woah! [he explodes]
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers:
    • Another subversion in Galaxy Rangers episode "Psychocrypt": by the time his team find him, Zach has already had his Life Energy ripped out and turned into a Slaverlord. Doc tries this, only to start dodging bullets. The Slaverlord-Zach also fires several direct shots at Goose, whose abilities allow him to shrug it off long enough to grab the crystal.
    • Played straight in an elegant way by Zozo in "Showtime". The normally prim and rational Andorians have been reduced to slavering brutes by captivity (captivity being so repulsive to them, their mind snaps). Zozo doesn't plead with the crazed Waldo — he simply asks his friend to solve a mathematical equation, which gets Waldo to stop long enough to shake off the crazy.
  • In the G.I. Joe: Renegades episode "Prodigal", Duke has one with Ripcord, who is being overtaken by his Cobra controlled bio-viper form. Duke is ultimately successful when he flat out orders Ripcord to break free from Cobra's mind.
  • In a episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) ("Masters of the Universe vs. the Snake Men"), Man-at-Arms and Teela are turned into snakepeople. He then proceeds to smack He-Man around a bit.
    He-Man: Man-at-arms, fight it!
    Man-at-Arms: I can't... nor do I want to!
  • Invader Zim:
    • Zim tries this on his robot henchman GIR after the latter is overtaken by his "duty mode". True to the Failure Is the Only Option nature of the series, it doesn't work.
      Zim: GIR, you were my servant once, remember?
      GIR: Yes. I didn't like it.
    • In "Dibship Rising", when Zim puts the Dibship under mind control and orders it to do away with Dib, Dib tries to persuade the ship otherwise by reminding it that it and himself are essentially the same person.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Jade tries doing this to her dog, Scruffy, after if has been possessed by the mask of an evil Oni warrior, to the point of tears. It doesn't work, but Jackie and her team of animals (who were given powers by the defeated dragon demon Shendu's talismans) and a stuffed animal (also given life by the talismans) save her before Scruffy kills her.
    • Played straight when Jade's same age friend, Paco, puts on another Oni warrior mask so that he can be scary for Halloween. The mask's evil slowly takes over him until he was willing to beat up his own wrestling idol, El Toro. On the edge of defeat, El Toro convinces him to remove his mask after he removes his own (which he and Paco agreed he would never do out of pride) and brings him back to his senses enough to fight off the demon's influence (in a rather comical, Jim Carrey like fashion) and use Uncle's potion to remove it.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: In "One of Us", Jimmy Neutron tries this trope on his friends and parents, who have been brainwashed by an alien disguised as a kindly old grandma through the use of televized mass hypnotism, but it doesn't work:
    Jimmy: Mom! Dad! You can't do this to me!
    Mom: Oh, we're happy to do it.
    Dad: Positively ecstatic!
    Jimmy: But you're not supposed to be happy all the time. You have to be sad sometimes!
    Dad: Happily that's no longer true.
    Jimmy: Can't you see, Grandma Tater's show has stolen your emotions and caused you to lose your humanity! Soon the whole world will be a pack of soulless, mindless zombies!
    Sheen: Wondering if I care... still wondering... NO!
  • When Johnny Test is possessed by the Super Smarty Pants, the twins convince Dukey to try one of these in order to get to the one part of Johnny's brain that hasn't been controlled. Dukey gives a speech laden with Continuity Nods to achieve this.
  • This happened in the Kim Possible episode "Emotion Sickness", where Kim had an emotion-manipulating device on her neck stuck on uncontrollable rage. In the end, she finally caught up with Ron, and began to beat him up (with uncharacteristic slowness) while he tried to get through to her, without success — until Shego picked up the slack and put him in real danger.
  • In Mega Man, Roll tries a version of this when she is trying to get through to Mega Man, who is under the influence of Wily's mind-control chip. He doesn't really listens to her until Dr. Light interferes and interrupts Wily's control, allowing Roll's words to free him.
  • Subverted on My Life as a Teenage Robot when Jenny's absorbed into a giant Cluster-bot. Her prototype sisters attempts to call out to her fail, but her youngest sister, a robot baby, pukes oil on her (seriously) manages to wake her up.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars has Phineas attempt this on Darth Ferb. It doesn't work.
    • Carl does this in "Remains of the Platypus" to Perry who has become Doofenshmirtz' butler due to the effects of an -inator. He indirectly succeeds after accidentally spilling a drink on Perry which got him to read the message "I Fight Evil" that he wrote for himself beforehand.
    • And in the episode "Bullseye", Lawrence accidentally gets zapped by the Ultimate-Evil-inator and wins the L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N Pageant of Evil. It only takes one look at the boys (who crashed into the arena in a carefully planned move by Perry) to snap him out of it.
  • Subverted in The Powerpuff Girls. Professor Utonium's latest invention, a pet named Beebo, goes on a destructive eating rampage throughout Townsville, even going as far as to eat both Blossom and Buttercup. He chases Bubbles around a bit until she's cornered in an alley, at which point she says "No, Beebo! No! I love you!" and stares at him with her giant glassy Powerpuff eyes. Beebo pauses, then smiles at her — then eats her anyway.
    • Also subverted when Him mind controls everyone in Townsville and makes them attack the Powerpuff Girls. When the girls cannot talk the townspeople out of Him's mind control they beat them up.
  • Samurai Jack Episode "C"; Aku discovers that Ashi is his biological daughter, and begins manipulating her into fighting Jack. Jack desperately pleads with Ashi to fight back and reject Aku, but no matter how hard she tries Ashi cannot break free before Aku fully corrupts her into a female clone of himself.
  • The Simpsons:
    • When Marge ends up in a roid rage, Homer talks her down in this manner. But not before she cripples all of Moe's regulars. And Disco Stu.
    • In the episode "Dog of Death", Burns takes in a runaway Santa's Little Helper and, through A Clockwork Orange-type conditioning, transforms him into a vicious attack dog. When Bart comes by looking for Santa's Little Helper, Burns releases the hounds on him. Bart recognizes his dog but not vice versa until, on the verge of being attacked, Bart calls out "I love you, boy!" This triggers in the dog a series of flashbacks to him having fun with Bart, and he reverts back to his old affectionate self.
      • Most of those memories are of Bart secretly feeding Santa's Little Helper.
  • Parodied in the Sonic Boom episode "Buster": Sticks tries to convince Buster (who is now a giant robot) to stop hurting her friends by asking him to remember all the good times they had, followed by a series of flashbacks featuring the two. Sticks then says in deadpan:
    Sticks: Yeah, I don't remember any of that either."
  • Done by Sonic the Hedgehog in the Sonic Sat AM cartoon to keep his robotizised uncle from doing the same to Tails and Antoine. It worked.
  • Subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man. The son of Dr. Connors aka The Lizard tries to get through to his rampaging mutated father. There's a flicker of recognition and hesitation in Lizard's eyes, and then it tries to bite the kid's head off.
  • The series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series has an example, although Spidey really had to work for it. It involves Spider-Carnage, an insane alternate-dimension version of himself, and a not-dead Uncle Ben from another alternate universe getting through to him. Even then, it was only enough for him to break free for a moment and kill himself before he could relapse.
  • In season 3 Star Wars: Clone Wars, Anakin tries this against a group of Nelvaan warriors who have been brainwashed by the Techno Union. It doesn't work, and when he has to take another approach - destroying the mechanism that's controlling them - his cybernetic hand is destroyed, and the pain again causes him to give in to rage, channeling the Dark Side to savagely kill the villains. (But he did rescue the Nelvaans.)
  • Subverted twice in Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In Season 2 episode "Brain Worms", Barriss Offee is taken over by a parasitic brain worm. When her friend Ahsoka Tano tries this trope on her, it has zero effect. In the end, she has to rely on science and lightsabers, followed up by some snuggly cuddling. She does manage to get through to her for a brief moment towards the end, however, with Barriss begging Ahsoka to kill her, which of course, Ahsoka refuses to do.
    • Later in Season 3, Ahsoka gets kidnapped and brainwashed by the Son, the embodiment of The Dark Side of the Force, and made fight against Anakin. During their duel, Anakin repeatedly tried to talk sense into her, but to no avail. She got better eventually thanks to the combined efforts of Anakin and the Daughter, the embodiment of the Light Side.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!:
    • Chiro does this in the first episode, "Chiro's Girl" when his girlfriend who turns out to be a robot, Jinmay, is going on a rampage under the control of both Sakko and Skeleton King. As he shows her the pictures of their date and swearing not to keep secrets anymore, it worked. Cue to Sakko controlling her arm to grab Chiro while her mind is intact in giant form.
    • Jinmay does the same for Chiro after he's turned into a Wraith later in the series.
    • In the final episode, after Sprx is turned evil by the Fire of Hate, Nova refuses to give up on him and tries to reason with him even while he's electrocuting her. She finally reaches him by confessing her love for him.
  • The Teen Titans episode "The Beast Within" puts a twist on it. Cyborg tries to reason with Beast Boy before he and Robin resort to fighting him, but as it turns out, the one he's trying to reason with is actually Adonis, who has been transformed into a similar monster. (Beast Boy, for the most part, was actually still able to discern his allies from his enemies, despite falling into bestial rage due to the change.)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • Splinter tries this twice on mutant Donatello in one episode.
    • This Trope is given a sadistic twist in the episode "The Unconvincing Turtle Titan", where the Mad Scientist Dr. Malignus brainwashed the heroic Silver Sentry and turned him against Michelangelo:
      Michelangelo: Snap out of it, Silver Sentry! You don't really want to hurt me!
      Dr. Malignus: Oh, but that's the beauty of it! He really doesn't want to hurt you! But he can't help himself!
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • In "I Monster" Leo pull this this strategy on a mind-controlled (by Rat-King) Splinter.
    • Several times in "Clash Of The Mutanimals" Shredder kidnaps the Mighty Mutanimals to test his mind control formula.
    • Splinter try this with her daughter Karai when she get mind-controlled.
    • In "The Outlaw Armaggon" April has to resort to her psychic abilities to bring Fugitoid back when he's being controlled.
  • The Tick manages to do this to his arms in Armless But Not Harmless. No, really.
  • Comically subverted in Tiny Toon Adventures, where Babs tries to convince a mind-controlled chimera-ish monster, who's obeyed into lowering her and her friends into a vat of goop that will mutate them into a monster like him, into remembering the good times together, which prompts a look of anger as she had spent the entire episode beating him up despite his Anguished Declarations of Love. It's finally played straight when she admits that she loves him and releases him from his mind-control.
  • Transformers Animated:
    • Prowl jacks himself into Omega Supreme when Megatron takes control of his body, while Ratchet gives him the trope's talk from the outside. It works and Prowl helps Omega throw off Megatron's control... only for Starscream to take over instead. Oops.
    • Bumblebee has more success with Optimus Prime in this classic scene, justified as Optimus is very much a Big Brother Mentor to him.
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "The Sinister Six" Peter tries this on the Lizard. It actually works and the Lizard reverts back to Connors. Unfortunately Doc Ock steps in to turn him into the Lizard again, and it doesn't work a second time. This trope appears again in "The Man-Wolf" with...well, the Man-Wolf. It happens twice in the episode.
  • Averted in The Venture Bros. "The Incredible Mr. Brisby". A group called the Orange County Liberation Front try to overthrow obvious Walt Disney parody, Roy Brisby and his empire using Bizzy Bee beanies taken from Brisby's laboratories intended for mind control and using them on the Venture brothers, Hank and Dean, as test subjects. As the battle erupts between the soldiers and the bee-suit workers, the hypnotized boys prepare to attack Brock. Instead of appealing to them, Brock threatens them: "You don't want to shoot me, boys. You know me. You know what I'll do to you if you do." It works, as the boys' mind control is momentarily overridden by pure terror, long enough for Brock to lightly bash their heads together and remove the caps.
  • In one episode of Voltron: Legendary Defender Shiro (technically his clone) is under Haggar's control, Keith however refuses to give up on him, even calling out "Your my brother! I love you!". Keith's word's manage to break through for a brief moment. However, a second later the clone tries to kill him again.
  • Winx Club has one of those as the end of Season 2. With Bloom turned into a Dark Magical Girl by the Big Bad, after her friends attempt to fight her yet cannot (half because it's their friend after all, half because Evil Bloom is VERY powerful), and after Riven almost gets killed to shield an injured Musa, it's up to Prince Sky to try talking Bloom out of it. It takes a while, but it finally works. It's also a mild subversion since this time the heroine is the one brainwashed and saved by her love interest.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • Subverted when Jean and Wanda try to snap Professor Xavier and Magneto respectively out of Apocalypse's mind control. Only defeating Apocalypse can free them.
    • Played straight twice before, by Kitty Pryde (against a Brainwashed and Crazy Wolverine) and Evan Daniels (towards a possessed Storm.)
    • And toyed with in regards to a Jean who experiences a serious Power Incontinence. While Scott does try to talk her down, what truly works is to have Rogue touch Jean, copy her powers, and contain her psychically.
    • Also played straight and subverted with Rogue. When all the personalities and powers she's absorbed start forcing their way to the surface, she's talked down at least twice. Each time, however, the one doing the talking makes some sort of slip that triggers one personality or another, causing her to go wild again. It takes Professor X's Psychic Powers and a pep talk from Wolverine to straighten her out completely.

Alternative Title(s): I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight