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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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    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who drama "The Skull of Sobek", 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.

    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.
  • In Runaways, Gert pulls this on Victor in order to snap him out of his dad's control. Fortunately, it works.
  • 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.
  • In the first part of The Legend of the Chaos God Rebecca ends up pulling one on herself against Solego's possession because her daughter ended up in danger. Solego later lampshades that this is why he's beginning to prefer possessing technology, since they can't fight him, lacking souls and all.

    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 (2009) 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 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • "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."
  • Arrowverse:
    • 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.
    • 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 the episode "Killer Frost", Cisco fights Killer Frost, aka Caitlin, who has been taken over by her Super-Powered Evil Side, all the while pleading with her that this isn't her. It fails, and Killer Frost escapes after almost killing The Flash. Barry is finally able to bring her back to normal by refusing to fight her, just telling her that if she's so evil, she'll have no problem just simply murdering him in cold blood.
    • In Supergirl 2015 the mother of Kara and Alex was able to stop a brainwashed Alex from killing Kara.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Children of Dune, Ghanima tries to convince Alia to fight, and also tells Alia's possession to give her a chance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • Averted with a 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."
    • 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.
    • "The Witchfinders": The Doctor tries to invoke this with Becka Savage, after she's taken over by the Morax Queen. The Queen responds that there's nothing left of Becka, and since we never see a response from her again, the queen could have been telling the truth.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jekyll:
  • In the Lexx universe, this never works.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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*
  • 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.
  • 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 BSoD in the next episode.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 .
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Tsukiko tries to persuade some undead wights that she made but that are under another's magical control that they don't have to obey him. It doesn't remotely work, but then, she's always had an unrealistic idea of how much the undead are people or care about her.
    • Parodied and Inverted 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:
    • In "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted", the boys are sent to a reform school after their shenanigans are revealed, ostensibly to instill discipline and a respect for authority, but in fact its true purpose is to systematically crush any creativity out of them. When Candace busts them out, she finds them reduced to Empty Shells. She's horrified, and pours her heart out to them in a desperate attempt to bring them back. It works, but then it turns out it was All Just a Dream, and then learn it was a Dream Within a Dream.
    • 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.
    • In "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted", the boys haven't been turned evil, but instead have been zapped with a rogue shot from the Dull-and-Boring-Inator. When an inventive solution is needed to save Candace's life, Isabella, Buford and Baljeet rally them back into themselves by urging them to get creative.
    • 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.
  • Final Space: In Episode 6, the Lord Commander has brainwashed Little Cato into attacking his father, Avocato. Naturally, Avocato tries to snap him out of it while only putting up a token effort to fight back. He finally success by giving his son a Cooldown Hug.

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