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Loon with a Heart of Gold

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In some stories, a person who is insane or at least eccentric may at the same time be one of the kindest and most generous characters. There may be various reasons for this: for example, such characters may preserve childlike innocence lost by the "normals", or their madness (especially if it is of religious character) may inspire them to do things that are considered "irrational" or "meaningless", like assisting a seemingly desperate cause or sacrificing oneself for the Greater Good. This trope is Older Than Print: in medieval times, it was common belief that eccentrics and weirdos were "touched by God", and many saints and blessed ones behaved in a quirky manner.


Contrast Insane Equals Violent. Not to be confused with Kindhearted Simpleton and Dumb Is Good: while these two tropes imply low intelligence, a Loon with a Heart of Gold may be smart, but quirky/unhinged.


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  • Sailor Moon: On the one hand, Usagi is Book Dumb and dim-witted. On the other hand, she is very caring and will go out of her way to protect the ones she loves.

    Card Games 
  • The Gaian Tarot, created by Joanna Powell Colbert, has such a card called the Teacher (also known as Holy Fool and Crazy Saint). According to the description, "Crazy saints speak in riddles, they tease, they laugh uproariously and act intentionally ridiculous. At the same time, they are guileless, transparent and open to a sense of wonder."

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Marianne Engel from The Gargoyle is a clearly unhinged sculptress of gargoyles, with her madness having religious overtones (she talks to unseen apparitions in Latin, etc.). She physically and psychologically helps the main character after a crash that leaves him severely burned and crippled.
  • Emmanuel from Boris Akunin's Sister Pelagia series is a saintly mad prophet who possibly has supernatural powers and makes people whom he meets understand their flaws and change for the better.
  • Lori from Thomasina, The Cat Who Thought She Was God by Paul Gallico is an apparently crazy girl who says that she sees angels and can talk to animals. She also has a gift for healing sick animals.
  • Jenny Wren from Our Mutual Friend; interestingly, she seasons this with Deadpan Snarker.
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli: the sane but extremely quirky titular heroine is literally the kindest and most pure-hearted character in the novel, making her classmates look like jerks in comparison (the protagonist even jokingly tells her that she's "running for saint").
  • Auri from The Kingkiller Chronicle is a kooky yet good-natured girl who helps out Kvothe in various ways. It is implied in The Slow Regard of Silent Things that her quirkiness and her high moral standards are interrelated: she sees all things as sapient and believes that even a little bit of self-interest on her part would violate the laws of the world.
  • Professor Selkeem aka Axel from Molly Moon series is an unusual case since his madness is a direct consequence of his moral qualities and self-sacrificial love. In order to protect his wife, he agreed to transport Princess Fang and her people in time, and multiple time travels shattered his mind.
  • Luna Lovegood of the Harry Potter series is a Cloud Cuckoolander and a total sweetheart, if sometimes unsettlingly direct.
  • Cousin Jimmy from Emily of New Moon hasn't been "all there" since a childhood accident. Emily's not sure what part of him isn't "all there," but she knows his heart is firmly in place, as he's always kind and respectful to her.

    Video Games 
  • Dagail of Oblivion certainly qualifies. The old mystic has a hereditary condition that makes it difficult for her to communicate with others to the point she was forced to retire from the Mages Council and take-up stewardship of a backwoods Guild Hall. A magic charm is all that keeps her lucid, but even without it, she is a sweet, intelligent, deceptively powerful master mage. Whether you need Mysticism training or want some back-up evading demonic cultists once you enter the Guild Hall the old senile wood-elf has your back.
  • Fran Bow has Fran herself: an innocent, polite little girl who suffers from vivid and often horrific hallucinations. Maybe.
  • Hello Charlotte: Charlotte is easily the nicest character in the game, but she's... odd, to say the least.
  • In the Shadow Hearts series Roger Bacon, appears to be a senile old man living alone in Wales. It is an act though - he is one of the smartest people on the planet but plays senile to avoid having to interact with others, finding most people to be selfish and short-sighted. Show him an even halfway decent human being though and he will go to the moon and back for them, and that’s no metaphor!
  • A3 has Homare Arisugawa, a noisy, Insufferable Genius eccentric poet who randomly recites poems whenever he feels like it (even in his sleep) and has a strange way of thinking and the tendency to be Innocently Insensitive. Despite that, he always means well and tries to help others. He even gladly takes care of Hisoka, even though he is fully aware of how selfish and unfriendly the Sleepy Head can be, much to Guy's confusion.

    Web Comics 
  • Elan the bard in The Order of the Stick is The Fool and, while not quite mad, is certainly eccentric, considering he believes his own hand puppet is a god and puts adherence to dramatic convention well before common sense. He's also unconditionally kind and loving to everyone, even offering mercy and forgiveness to his evil brother who had repeatedly tried to kill him.

     Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
Lady Gaga. Despite her very odd personality she's usually really sweet.


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