The underlying principle of all series on the idealistic end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: the good guys will always win in the end. Most of the drama in the show comes from the sacrifices they will have to make to this end, and sometimes from their lack of faith in this principle, though usually The Hero, The Love Freak, The Mentor or Messianic Archetype will be there to serve as an endless supply of optimism for the ultimate victory of their cause.
May come as a package deal with Right Makes Might, but not necessarily. If the show is idealistic enough or targeted to a very young audience, Justice Will Prevail without a single drop of blood being shed — indeed, justice usually prevails with the aid of karma, and the heroes won't actually have to beat anyone into submission. If it's cynical enough, the word 'justice' becomes propaganda that both sides of a conflict use to justify violent/controversial/misc shade of grey actions.
Compare For Great Justice, when this is explicitly stated in the opening, narration, or cutscenes. Contrast Concepts Are Cheap, for when this is just thrown in dialog, without actually meaning much. See also As Long as There is One Man.
- One Piece: This is the stated goal of the Marines (good and evil) and most of the people who oppose them, with the main conflict being "Absolute" (Disproportionate Retribution) or Moral (Exactly What It Says on the Tin). The Marines even have "Justice" printed on their uniforms.
- A memorable quote from Donquixote Doflamingo (which also incorporates Written by the Winners):
"Pirates are evil? The Marines are righteous? These terms have always changed throughout the course of history! Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war have different values! Those who stand at the top determine what's wrong and what's right! This very place is neutral ground! Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! WHOEVER WINS THIS WAR... BECOMES JUSTICE!"
- In the Marineford arc (which contains the above quote), the war between Whitebeard (the commander of the world's most powerful pirate fleet) and the Marines brings the theme of "which kind of justice?" to the forefront.
- This is a pretty blasphemous statement to make in a shonen manga, where clearly defined clashes between good and evil are usually major themes. So when a character basically says that good and evil are just labels the winning side in a conflict uses to justify its actions, it's a moment to take note of as this is rarely seen in a shounen genre.
- A memorable quote from Donquixote Doflamingo (which also incorporates Written by the Winners):
- Said right after "I am Justice" by characters in Death Note. The audience can be sure that Justice will prevail. The question is only: whose brand of justice?
- The series' position on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism makes a Zig-Zagging Trope out of it.
- Close to the end, it brings up the idea that justice will always prevail — not because it's right or good, but because whoever is victorious will claim it.
Light: If we catch Kira, he is evil. If he succeeds, he is justice.
- And then nobody prevails. Nothing changes, and they're all dead. Therefore, the question of "whose justice was real justice" becomes completely moot.
- Amelia in Slayers often makes speeches along these lines, but isn't taken very seriously. One particularly warped bit of reasoning on her part comes when trying to figure out whether Lina or another individual is the guilty party:
Amelia: "Justice always prevails! Therefore, whichever of you survives must be the good guy! FIREBALL!"
- Played straight and subverted in Martian Successor Nadesico. It's one of the Catch Phrases of the Show Within a Show Gekiganger 3...and a slogan of the Jovian Armed Forces.
- Mazinger Z: "Take this! Bossborot the Great's Iron Fist of Justice!"
- The Student Council President from Onidere is practically invulnerable as long as he believes he is fighting for justice. He even has a statue of some... thing... that he refers to as the 'statue of justice' and is commonly seen praying to it and making sure it stays clean.
- The Law of Ueki. If you had a shot for the number of times that word is mentioned, you'd be dead drunk after a few episodes.
- Lampshaded in Fullmetal Alchemist, where Maria Ross, during a broadcast, claimed that Roy Mustang and his party were specifically fighting for justice. Some comments from the less gullible flock:
"'Justice' was an excellent word choice. The people will eat that up."
"Justice is about as vague word as there is."
"Please, it was great. It has a great ring to it. 'Justice'. It's beautiful."
"Yup. Whoever uses the word first has the advantage."
- In Machine Robo: Revenge of the Chronos, this is the whole basis of Rom Stoll's speeches, emphasizing to the villains that justice always prevails, and that they don't deserve to know his name for being so evil.
- America from Axis Powers Hetalia is obsessed with being The Hero, and as a result often says things like this.
- Bleach: This is Kaname Tosen's schtick. He claims to follow the path to justice despite betraying Soul Society to a would be Omnicidal Maniac. It turns out he did so to avenge his long dead friend who was killed by a Shinigami who went unpunished. Tosen notes that forgiving the Shinigami would be beautiful and virtuous, but it wouldn't be Just.
- Fairy Tail: Fukuro loudly talks like he's a superhero, claiming that he's a Knight of Justice who will destroy the forces of evil, and referring to his opponents as evildoers. He does this even though he's an assassin who eats people alive.
- Zamasu from Dragon Ball Super proclaims that as the supreme god he will bring justice to the universe; by eradicating not only all the mortals but also every other gods that stands in his way including his own teacher. Nevermind the fact that he is exactly like or even worse than the mortals he hates or the fact that he is fully willing to steal Goku's body and kill him and his family for no reason other than petty revenge.
- My Hero Academia: All Might believes this, and he sees it as his job as the symbol of peace to make the masses believe it as well. According to All Might, heroes will always fight harder than villains because of their drive to protect others.
"There's so much... so much we heroes have to protect. And that's why we don't lose!"
- Name a superhero. If they've been around for more than a year, they've probably said it or some variation. Some are more driven by the idea than others, though.
- Inverted in a Justice League storyline about a villain named Prometheus, who is obsessed with the eradication of justice. His plan to destroy the League involves disguising himself as a superhero named Retro, whose catch phrase is "here comes justice!" After disabling half the League and revealing his true identity, Prometheus repeats the phrase one more time, this time with malicious sarcasm.
- The second graphic novel collection of PS238 is titled "To The Cafeteria... FOR JUSTICE!"
- In the Miss Marple book A Pocket Full of Rye, Helen McKenezie insists that the man responsible for her husband's death will be punished and that, "No question is ever settled until it is settled right." She claims to be quoting Kipling but doesn't give a source (it's Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Poems of Pleasure).
- In The Dresden Files faith in this concept is part of the mindset of two Knights of the Cross who, at different times, wield Fidelacchius, aka The Sword of Faith.
- One is a police officer who believes in Justice, that the bad people will be stopped and good will thrive. Her belief in the pursuit of Justice allows an Angel of the Lord to speak through her when facing ancient hordes of vampires who will now receive some well-deserved retribution for their centuries, and in some cases millennia, worth of evil actions.
- The other is a Star Wars geek, who before reawakening the Sword's dormant powers, believing Good will triumph over evil and that one person can make a difference, runs into a fight with the sole intention of delaying an enemy attack. His Faith in Justice and these other concepts causes the Sword to be reforged into a symbol of his faith; a beam of angelic light emitting a low thrum as light pulsed from it.
- The stable The Shield claims that they are on a mission to bring WWE's evildoers to justice, but everybody knows this is a lie because all they do is ambush the faces and give them No Holds Barred Beatdowns, while helping heels win. Or more specifically, they see the fans dictating the direction of the company as an injustice, everyone else sees that as "logical business". This changed however when Triple H's Authority targeted the semiretired Jerry Lawler, which they saw as an even greater injustice, turning them into the baby faces they once despised.
- Declared by Leva Bates, who felt opposing whatever Portia Perez's designs for the SHINE promotion might be was her civic duty as a superhero. It was more "stand for right" than "justice" but same idea.
- Much more subtly implied by Daffney after Mercedes Martinez vowed to eliminate all the members of Daffney's All Star Squad, one by one.
- In William Shakespeare's plays, innocent people are likely to die, but villains are practically certain to get punished. "Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but in the end truth will out." (The Merchant of Venice, act 2 scene 2)
- Or as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead put it: "The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily. That is what tragedy means."
- Inverted in Guilty Gear, where keeping Justice from prevailing is the entire goal of the game. Ky Kiske attempts to say the phrase in his ending, only to get his words thrown back into his face.
- Xianghua of SoulCalibur plays with this trope, as this is one of her win quotes, but she adds a "...just kidding!" to the end of it. Interesting, as she is the one character who can wield the eponymous holy sword in its true form.
- And quite arguably the only Lawful Good character aside from Sophitia.
- It's implied that the fact that she doesn't take justice so seriously — but just practices it as a matter of course, without getting high and mighty — is exactly why she is the purest character in the lineup.
- Xianghua's daughter, Leixia, has inherited this trait from her mother: she concludes her Critical Edge attack with an energetic "Justice will prevail!"
- One of the more frequently recited Dwarven Vows in Tales of Symphonia is dwarven vow number seven; "Justice and love will always win!" (Or "goodness and love", depending on whether you ask Lloyd or Colette). Despite his idealism, Lloyd cannot hear or recite this line without pointing out how cheesy it sounds.
Lloyd: Don't even start spewing the word "justice"!
- The line "Justice will prevail" is in the sequel. It is to note that the villains of Dawn of the New World seem to think "justice" is what they're trying to achieve.
- In Disgaea, this is literally the catchphrase of CAPTAIN GORDON, DEFENDER OF EARTH! Can be made especially hilarious when he yells it while fighting humans and angels.
- Ma Chao in Dynasty Warriors lives, eats and breathes this trope, with all of the series' subtlety and understatement... or lack thereof.
- Azai Nagamasa of Sengoku Basara is no different from Ma Chao, with the added bonus of being a literal Knight in Shining Armor.
- Fatal Fury: Kim Kaphwan because "Evil is unforgivable!"
- And from the past, there's also Galford D. Weiler, McNinja of Justice.
- Metal Wolf Chaos: Justice is always victorious in the end! Long live the USA!
- Minsc from Baldur's Gate is quite obsessed with goodness and justice, with whatever little he has in his brain. "Butt-kicking FOR GOODNESS!!!"
- Stand back, FOR JUSTICE.
- This is word-for-word Captain America's voiced victory message in the Marvel Super Heroes/Marvel vs. Capcom fighting games.
- Slightly more cynical version from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, in which Rundas comes up with this line when the hunters are all arguing with one another: "Hey, relax. We're the good guys, remember? Justice will prevail, and all that stuff. Right, Samus?" He's right in that Samus will make justice prevail by the end, but that's after she's avenged his and the other Hunters' Phazon corruption and deaths by Dark Samus.
- This is pretty much the catchphrase of the eponymous heroine of Yggdra Union. Because the game is on the cynical side, she learns that it's not justice that's winning her battles, it's power alone—and she's misused hers believing she has an Omniscient Morality License. Oops.
- One of the few characters to ever beat Calypso at his own game in Twisted Metal is Agent Shepard in Head-On. He doesn't make a wish. He doesn't do anything stupid. He wins the tournament, gets out of his car, and arrests Calypso outright.
- The Spirit of Justice from the Awakening expansion for Dragon Age: Origins will cry out "Let justice prevail!" during combat.
- Subverted by Dragon Age II, as the same Justice, corrupted to Vengeance, seems a bit cynical about himself prevailing at all. And in the best-case ending of the game, no one can say that Justice was done.
- In the Samurai Warriors series, Kanetsugu Naoe's character focuses solely on justice, bordering Large Ham territories. Most of his lines are about how sheer force of will can beat all odds and how "another has been slain in the name of JUSTICE!"
- Tyrael of the Diablo series wants justice to be done into Sanctuary, and, after three games, succeeds.
- The Jedi Consular from Star Wars: The Old Republic:
- In Megaman And Bass, this turns out to be King's motivation. After being defeated, he laments "Why won't justice prevail?".
- Mega Man Powered Up portrays Fire Man as a Hot-Blooded and kind of loopy self-proclaimed robot hero, even when he's been reprogrammed by Dr. Wily—apparently there are some things mind control can't change. He insists that he's on the side of good and that justice always wins, and he manages to be one of the most entertaining things in the game because of it.
- MUGEN fighting game Shades Of Manhattan 2 features this quote if you pit idealistic Anti-Villain Apollo (who says the trope name verbatim) against Detective Garret Laurel. Laurel's response is to flash his badge and go "Justice? You're looking at justice, kid."
- In the Sega Genesis version of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers game, whenever the Megazord strikes down an opponent, when it goes for the final blow, you'll hear the team cry out "JUSTICE SHALL OVERCOME!" just as they strike.
- Deconstructed in Planescape: Torment. Vhailor is the embodiment of justice itself, proclaiming himself as the hand of justice. But he takes so far, even other Mercykillers are terrified of him. Just look at his quote at the Quotes page.
- Apollo Justice will do anything to live up to his surname. So will Phoenix Wright.
- "Here comes justice!"
- Spirit Hunter: NG:
- Ooe joined the force due to her strong sense of justice - if playing rough, bending the rules, or outright breaking them is required to see that justice through, then so be it.
- The Killer Peach was a dietwoman in life who sought to investigate and expose the crimes of society. When she was killed by a group of criminals that she was trying to expose, she took her revenge on them as a spirit. When she kills, she proclaims that 'Justice is served'.
- One episode of Justice League has an alternate reality set in what amounts to the Golden Age of comics. The heroes were fond of catchphrases like "Let justice prevail!" The Justice League found the lines rather corny, but in the end it's shown that these are still heroes giving these lines, no matter how cheesy the setting is. They all willingly die to take down the villain maintaining an illusory world after a nuclear war ruined the world, knowing that they too are mere illusions. They give their catch phrase one last time before going into their last fight.
- This seems to be The Tick's motive, giving us such gems as "EVILDOERS! EAT MY JUSTICE!" It would be easier to take this idea seriously if he wasn't completely insane.
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Esmeralda speaks of this concept in her condemnation of Judge Frollo and his actions towards Quasimodo. At the time, she has no idea Follo is also Quasimodo's adoptive father.
Esmeralda: You mistreat this poor boy the same way you mistreat my people! You speak for justice but you are cruel to those that that need your help!
- A famous lawyer's joke: An attorney succeeds in getting a court judgment in his favor. He wires his client: "JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED". The client wires back: "APPEAL IMMEDIATELY".