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Love Redeems

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"Love doesn't lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled, but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love, that's what they should teach you to beware, but love itself will save you, not condemn you."

Love is as (or more!) addictive as The Dark Side. These two forces interact very curiously, Love can just as easily lead a Knight in Shining Armor into the Dark Side, as it can drag the most committed, bloodthirsty, puppy-kicking villain kicking and screaming into being redeemed. Whether they're a Fallen Hero who starts Dating Catwoman, a Professional Killer who fell In Love with the Mark, or the Necessarily Evil who gains a Morality Pet that gives them something to live for, love tends to corrode evil like lemon on popcorn (and it tastes so good!) even if it frightens at first. By and large, Love tends to subvert rather than aid evil, Unholy Matrimony not withstanding. If it isn't Heroic Resolve it's Heroic Willpower, making even the most soul corrupting evil as weak as a Cute Kitten.

Some characters consciously invoke it in order to try to invoke Single Woman Seeks Good Man — or its Gender Flip.

Beware Redemption Equals Death but they may decide it's worth the price and Go Out with a Smile. Alternately, a spurned evil genius is that much more likely of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and Nuke 'em. If the villain manages to hold on to enough of their evil (or love), they become an Anti-Villain. Sometimes, this comes about when the villain ends up Becoming the Mask, the love they get so freely sorely tempting them to change sides and do a Heel–Face Turn.

It's worth mentioning that this is what the Love Martyr wants to happen, as does the Monster Fangirl and many shippers who put Draco in Leather Pants. In Real Life, this attitude often leads people to The Jerry Springer Show; "But he really loves me! These bruises will heal!" On the other hand, it may very well be the hero who bruises the baddie, channeling the power of love through violence and thus bringing redemption.

If the redeemer dies, it's possible their memory and lessons they taught their beloved will stick. On the other hand, the deceased could have been simply holding back the person's evil and they now revert with a vengeance. There's also the possibility that instead of curing them, love may very well never change or addict the intended beneficiary.

It should be noted that romantic love isn't the only type of love that can redeem someone. Familial and Platonic Love are both capable of this.

Naturally, Love Makes You Evil is the counterpart to this trope, where love leads you into evil instead of out of it.

See also I Can Change My Beloved, where someone tries to invoke this trope but fails. Contrast with Love Cannot Overcome.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • In Aquaman, the post-Brightest Day origins of Mera, Aquaman's wife. Once the princess of Xebel, an ancient penal colony of outcasts and rebels from Atlantis, she was born, bred and raised as a tool to find, infiltrate and destroy Atlantis from within, starting with the then current king. While feigning closeness to Orin, however, she started to get real feelings for him, eventually defecting from Xebel and becoming a powerful heroine on her own.
  • In Green Arrow, Emiko Queen was introduced as part of a plot to infiltrate Team Arrow to help her mother destroy them. However, after growing to genuinely love Green Arrow (her half-brother), Emiko betrayed her mother and became a true hero. These days, she operates as Red Arrow, Green Arrow's Kid Sidekick.
  • In Invincible, the love of his family ultimately changes Omni-Man for the better, though he spends a long time in denial. Other Viltrumites start falling for this too when they become emotionally attached to the humans with whom they are siring a new generation of Viltrumite hybrids.
  • In Nexus Sundra Peale was sent to Ylum to spy on Nexus. She fell in love with him almost immediately and left the spy game behind her—putting her at odds with her ex-boss (and, it's implied, ex-lover) Ursula for the rest of the series.
  • In Crystar, Crystal Warrior, Lavour had spent the whole series hanging off of Moltar's arm because she saw him as a ticket to power; but in the last issue, when Moltar finally finds his conscience and stands up to the evil Zardeth, Lavour realizes that she has come to actually love him and stands by him. With his dying breath, Zardeth punishes them by transforming Moltar from a magma man back into a normal human being, but still leaving Lavour as a burning hot magma woman. The two will never be able to touch again.
  • Sarah Kinney entered the project to clone Wolverine with as little conscience over what they would be creating as her superiors, Sutter and Rice, and was mainly drawn by the challenge. It all began to change when she was forced by Rice to act as the surrogate for the newly-conceived X-23, and effectively became her mother. She found it increasingly difficult to blindly accept the torture and abuse inflicted upon the girl, and her subtle resistance to the Facility's efforts to dehumanize her ultimately saved X from becoming the heartless Living Weapon they desired. Sarah's resulting Heel Realization led her to write a letter of confession for her part in the project, and to help X-23 escape. Redemption Equals Death soon followed, and with her dying breath gave Laura her real name and told her she loved her.
  • This almost happened to Darkseid when he fell in love with Suli. His mother Heggra had Desaad poison her to put an end to that. Darkseid would later return the favor with Desaad's aid. The only remnant of this past love is Darkseid's relative leniency with his and Suli's son Kalibak. Yeah, Darkseid will brutalize and vaporize Kalibak just like any other minion, but he'll also always bring him back to give him another chance — eventually.
  • A sort-of in Harley Quinn's first solo series (pre-New 52/Rebirth). Harley, being a lover of love, decides to help it grow wherever she can - being in love is the easiest way to get her to spare you. Early on she fights Two-Face to save a hostage he was taking as his own because she felt the story was romantic, and later on she plays matchmaker to a pair of bounty hunters trying to bring her in.
  • The reason why the Star Sapphire Corps use Conversion crystals on female criminals. Though as of yet, they've only succeeded on one Sinestro Corps member (Fatality).
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Paula's love for her daughter Gerta redeems her, as while the Nazis were forcing her to aid them by keeping Gerta prisoner Paula was rather nihilistic and had thrown herself into the work. Once reunited with her daughter the cruelty she's allowed to shape her actions since her husband's murder fades away and she becomes one of Diana's most useful allies.

    Eastern Animation 
  • A recurring theme in Scissor Seven, covering both romantic and platonic love.
    Thirteen: Master. I'm sorry... I can't do it.

    Fan Works 
  • In the popular Fallout: New Vegas mod series by someguy2000, Esther in her first two appearances is a child slaver with ties to the Legion, and justifiably has Very Evil karma. By her third appearance, however, she has fallen in love with a vigilante and has left her previous life behind in order to raise a family with him. For all that you have reason to believe she can’t be trusted, if you don’t kill either of them, the ending slides show her repentance really is genuine.
  • In The Sun Soul, Misty's fight against Team Rocket goes from a quest for revenge against the former teammates that tried to kill her to an outright Heel–Face Turn because of love for/from Ash.
  • In the Oneiroi Series, Redcloak's love for Vaarsuvius and Tiasal makes him Heel–Face Turn where even the death of his brother couldn't. To a lesser extent, Vaarsuvius's love for him smoothed out the edges and made her considerably less on the evil side of neutrality. With any luck, love for her family will redeem Tiasal before she goes too far down a dark road...
  • At the end of The Public Life of Sweetie Belle, Silver Spoon has one of these when Sweetie Belle is arrested for the murder of Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara's foals (though it was actually Blossom, Sweetie's own Foal. Diamond Tiara is yelling at Sweetie Belle, only for Silver Spoon to fly into a rage and blame DT for teaching their children to hate Rarity's family, which she believes is what caused their deaths. In the sequel, Broken Blossom she stops Diamond Tiara from attempting to murder Blossom, and when Diamond Tiara tortures Blossom, only for Blossom to break free and kill her, Silver Spoon reveals to Sweetie Belle that she regrets the way she and Diamond Tiara treated her as fillies, and blames her self for her foal's death.
  • The MLP fanfiction series from 'MasterofNintendo' seems to like this trope, particularly where the OC Rick is concerned. At first, he was FAR from willing to change his insane and chaotic ways, but after a whole season living with Twilight Sparkle, he began to warm up to the place. It's when Discord corrupts Twi does Rick make a Heel–Face Turn and decides to use his powers for the greater good. Later, a top ranking demon falls for Pinkie, and rebels against the devil just to be with her.
  • In The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn every major villain who makes a Heel–Face Turn does so due to love for someone else. Cyros' love for her Parental Substitute Kage snaps her out of her being Drunk on the Dark Side and her love for her brother Pyrus finishes the job. She then takes an attack meant for Spyro and Cynder, causing Deadlock to have a My God, What Have I Done? reaction and snap out of her own insanity out of love for her children. Finally, the Nagas' love and loyalty towards Deadlock triggers their mass Heel–Face Turn as well. The Big Bad General Grendel subverts this trope by murdering his lover in cold blood as a intentional Foil for Deadlock and Cyros.
  • Fluttercruel in the Pony POV Series, of the Parental Love variety. She is technically Fluttershy's and Discord's daughter, or at least considered such by herself and Fluttershy, despite the fact that they're Sharing a Body. At first she behaved like Discorded!Fluttershy, but Fluttershy's maternal love ultimately turns her into a much better pony.
    • Subverted with Discord. Neither Celestia's romantic love for him nor Shady's maternal love were capable of redeeming him. Then Double Subverted when it turns out that his paternal love he develops towards Diamond can, even if it takes having his insanity literally erased from existence for it to meaningfully influence his behavior.
    • Subverted with Chrysalis, as in her backstory, no one's love, be it her best friend, her parents, or a lover she met at one point could change her. Even gaining Sweetie Belle as a Morality Pet and developing some material love for her couldn't reform her, though it did enable her Reincarnation into Kifuko.
  • Nictis, the Changeling Infiltrator in Without a Hive. At first, Spark Wheel is just a convenient source of affection for Nictis' cover identity of "Meadow Song" to harvest. As the years pass, Nictis increasingly ''becomes'' Meadow Song, to the point of falling in love with Spark Wheel. Meadow Song's friendship and love for Spark Wheel causes Nictis to adopt Pony values, becoming by Pony standards basically "good" (and by Changeling standards essentially an insane traitor).
  • A key elements of the Star Wars fic Eros Turannos, when Darth Vader- who has been raised as a Sith since he was four years old- is assigned as ‘bodyguard’ to Padme Amidala; while both of them are aware that there are ulterior motives behind the Emperor’s official reasons for this act, the two end up developing genuine feelings for each other.
  • The author of the Facing the Future Series seemed to feel that the reason Desiree went bad because she was spurned. She eventually finds redeeeming love in Sidney Poindexter.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Tron and Robert's love prompts Tron to turn good.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race:
    • ProtoMan is forced to kill Mega Man via the Mad Grinder, and seems helpless to do so due to Wily's override command. But memories of his brother, Nomad, and Mega Man never doubting that he loves ProtoMan enable him to turn his back on Wily, saving his brother's life and the world.
    • Bass' initial attraction to Roll starts out as a very unhealthy obsession with a dash of We Can Rule Together. As the story moves forward, he grows to genuinely care for her (helped also by learning that Good Feels Good), and during the second-to-last episode, he decides to step aside to allow Mega Man and ProtoMan to aprehend Wily.
  • In Those Gilded Chains We Wear, due to a complicated series of events involving an Unbreakable Vow, Hermione is put in charge of Bellatrix Lestrange's house arrest. Hermione's compassion and eventual romantic love gradually breaks down Bellatrix's preconceived notions about Muggleborns and causes her Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage: During Season 2, Ahuizotl realizes that he's in love with Daring Do. When she's captured and tortured by the Church of Majora, his feelings — plus his disgust at the Church's actions — cause him to pull a Heel–Face Turn and rescue her.
  • A Crown of Stars: In the past, Gendo committed all kind of crimes to get his wife back. Now she is back, and she's told him that if he wants her to forgive him, he must earn their son's forgiveness. So he's now giving his all to be a decent person and make amends to his son for abandoning him and abusing him.
  • My Immortal has Enoby travel back in time to seduce Voldemort in order to invoke this trope. Subverted when she gets Satan and Hedwig back together.
  • Second Chances: His love for L allows Light Yagami (as Rae) to pass his hell test and move on to the third world. As of the sequel, it seems to have stuck — Light specifically refrains from evil acts as he knows L would be disappointed in him.
  • A Marriage Of Convenience: After years of brutal torment by his unloving family and punishment for his crimes against the sisters of Arendelle, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles finds a positive influence in his growing feelings for Queen Elsa that Anna encourages. In the epilogue he's long since given up his desire to become a king and favored by his father out of his love for his wife and daughter.
  • Cupid's Wrath: Developing real feelings for Danny is what causes Ember to regret her crimes.
  • Fever Dreams has a complex case with Light. His realization that his feelings for L are strong enough that killing him would irrevocably destroy what was left of his sanity is the catalyst for his decision to stop being Kira and come up with a new plan to save L and convince him that he might have been only a pawn of the real Kira. At the same time, an in-love and no-longer-murdering Light is still an egotistical Manipulative Bastard who feels disdain toward Misa and anyone else he views as beneath him and rationalizes to himself that his mass-murdering with the Death Note was still justified. Nonetheless, by the end of the fic, Light has learned how to swallow his pride enough to sincerely apologize, consented to L having total authority over when and how they'll meet, and even inflicted third-degree burns on himself to ensure the destruction of the Death Note, all to develop a semi-functional relationship with L who he loves, or at the very least finds fascinating enough that he will never become dangerously bored again. The author says in their notes that Light is not redeemed because he's done too many terrible deeds in the past for that, but he can be considered to have been rehabilitated.
  • The Bridge has most of the Noble Demon or more benevolent villains get distinguished from the more evil ones by the fact they love someone, platonically or romantically; with the development thereof showing to make them kinder over time. For example Aria Blaze transitions from a villainess that casually caused mayhem out of boredom to a neutral party who put her song magic to kinder uses due to rekindling familial love between her and her cousins, Adagio Dazzle and Sonata Dusk; as well as gradually developing a romantic relationship with X.
  • In Resurrected Memories, befriending and ultimately falling in love is Danny causes Ember to undergo a Heel–Face Turn.
  • WastedTimeEE's Zootopia fanfic, The Rehabilitation Of Dawn Bellwether, zig-zags this. While she genuinely feels remorse for her actions, particularly what she did with Judy, it's implied she's still not too comfortable around predators, or anyone, really, especially after the Night-Howler scandal. That is, until she meets Vernon Hunter, one of her new co-workers, and a wolf, who's one of two mammals (the other being her parole officer, who's also a predator) who are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. He is later revealed to be her long-lost childhood friend, escalating their relationship even further.
    • A more straightforward example of this trope with Bellwether's character can be found in A New Dawn. At the beginning of the story, she is fully convinced that all predators are heartless monsters and that everything she did was justified. And then she meets Gideon Grey, who is the exact opposite of everything a predator is supposed to be. Because of Gideon's own past, he believes in the power of redemption and second chances, and gradually becomes more and more involved in Bellwether's case, to the point where not only do they fall in love, but she is able to genuinely change for the better.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: In the ending where she is his chosen match, Felicia Hardy has long since given up her life of crime for Danny.
  • Commonly used for Reverse Dipper in the Gravity Falls AU known as Reverse Falls, should he be taken with Reverse Pacifica (and he usually is). Less commonly used for Reverse!Mabel.
  • White Sheep (RWBY):
    • This happened in the backstory. Salem, the Queen of all Grimm, had been trying to annihilate the human race for thousands of years, until she met the huntsman Nicholas Arc. The two fell deeply in love, had eight children, and Salem became a Doting Parent who spent most of her time trying to convince her children to produce grandkids. She is still trying to conquer the world, but only in a vague sense; her final goal is to find a way to get rid of her immortality so that she can die peacefully with her husband.
    • Mercury starts the fic as he did in canon: A smug asshole who considers everyone around him idiots. He ends up dating Velvet, and breaks ranks to defend her at the Battle of Beacon. When he is captured after the battle, he pulls an official Heel–Face Turn, and is later seen as a Beacon student, still dating Velvet.
  • Wilted Is about this happening to Mercury after falling in love with Ruby during the infiltration of Beacon, and eventually Becoming the Mask. It also happens to Neo when she develops a relationship with Scarlett. I'ts worth noting that it's not just the romantic love, but also for the close friendships they form with the rest of RWBY, JNPR, and SNNN, giving them a sense of family and belonging that they didn't have before. In the end Mercury and Neo make a Heel–Face Turn to stop Cinder, Roman follows suit out of a desire to keep Neo safe, and only Emerald remains loyal to Cinder, despite Mercury and Neo begging her to come with them.
  • Played for Laughs in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic This is a Stick-Up. The pony who came in to rob the bank soon discovers that the bank doesn't have any actual physical money in it, and is trying to figure out a way to leave gracefully and try again elsewhere, when he spots the owner's daughter. He ends up getting a job at the bank in order to earn a date, and many years later he is the owner with a happy and wealthy family.
  • Averted in Elegies Under the Moon: Despite genuinely falling in love with Cornelia, Phobos is not at all interested in changing his ways. In her P.O.V chapter, Cornelia admits it's strange how she prefers him being honest in his cruelty than faking kindness just to get her to like him.
  • Actively invoked in to love another (and to learn yourself), as Shen Yuan refuses any of Luo Binghe's attempts to seduce him unless the demon king genuinely develops empathy and kindness. It ultimately works.
  • It's hinted in Cinderjuice, and then outright stated in one of the sequels, that Beetlejuice has made a number of small subconscious changes over the years, both to his appearance and his behavior, for the sake of his beloved Morality Chain. As this is toonverse Beej and not movieverse, his 'crimes' were never anything lethal or horrible, but he's still acknowledged to be much better than he would have been without Lydia's influence.
  • It is not uncommon in Danganronpa fanfics to have Junko's main enforcer Mukuro Ikusaba pull a Heel–Face Turn because of her canonical Villainous Crush on the All-Loving Hero/Ordinary High-School Student Makoto Naegi.
    • In A New Hope (Danganronpa), her love, coupled with her friendship with Sayaka Maizono and him performing a nearly-fatal Heroic Sacrifice, eventually leads to her turning against the Mastermind (tragically revealed to be Makoto himself, turned to despair as he watched a clone take his place in his life) and ending up in a One True Threesome alongside Makoto and Passionate Sports Girl Aoi Asahina.
    • In Danganronpa: Another IF, she slowly falls for Makoto while disguised as her sister, and because of this, she turns against Junko (especially since Makoto shows Undying Loyalty towards her and Junko fakes his death to drive the rest of the participants to despair) and escapes the Killing Game.
      • At the same time, the same happens to her romantic rivals Sayaka and Celeste. The two both attempt murder (with Celeste even being found guilty and getting executed alongside Leon, only for Monokuma to whisk her away to safety). However, their bond with Makoto ultimately drives them to better themselves, and both of them also escape the Killing Game.
    • In What Are The Odds?, where Makoto retains his memories, he easily recognizes the disguised "Junko" as Mukuro, and seeing herself backed into a corner, she admits the truth, with Makoto constantly asking her to leave, saying that Junko will eventually betray her. When Junko does, she tries to turn her sister's love for Makoto into Love Makes You Evil through Manipulative Editing, making it look like Kyoko's trying to make a move on Makoto. This is eventually dispelled when Makoto plainly states that Mukuro is the one he's in love with, leading to the two becoming an Official Couple, having a Big Damn Kiss and becoming each other's closest confidants. At the end, when Makoto kills Junko with a hidden blade given to him by Mukuro, he is devastated, but Mukuro assures him that while she loved Junko, she loves him too. The last chapter is them having Their First Time, plainly happy with one another while having pure vanilla sex, and the story ends with them snuggling together.
  • Temporal Anomaly: Word of God states the reason the Intoners are actually able to pull a Heel–Face Turn is due to the fact that Sougo, unlike the Disciples or the people they rule over, not only has a strong will of his own but also won't bow to them or expect anything less than what he wants from them, forcing them to improve simply through someone who actually has expectations for them and a willingness to help them change, allowing them to become better individuals as a result.
    Three: You actually push us towards improving ourselves even if you don't know it. You force us to think for ourselves and hone our skills for the sake of ourselves rather than the duty our title entails, even if just to please you.
  • In ending 1 of The Real Poor Unfortunate Soul and its continuation chapter, Ursula fell in love with Ariel to such a degree that she couldn't bear to cause her any suffering, resulting in her not only freeing Ariel from their deal, but all the merfolk she turned into polyps as well.
  • Quick Man's Villainous Crush on Roller Brawl evolves into this in Roller Brawl: The Mega Cyborg, as he betrays Dr. Wily for her to help her get a reprogrammed Mega Man back, warning her of the Mecha Dragon and giving advice on how to destroy it while also helping her do so.
  • In the Infinity Crisis side-story Skysurfin' Surprise, Cerina from Skysurfer Strike Force is shown to have defected from her evil father Cybron and married Jack Hollister, who she had an attraction to in canon. She has even joined the Skysurfers under the codename Skysurfer Two.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Bad Guys (2022): Mr. Wolf, along with his gang, are trying to feign reformation so they can get another chance of stealing a trophy. But when he starts bonding with Governor Diane Foxington, Wolf starts questioning if he really should stay as a feared criminal. Diane's compassion, empathy and trust in him ultimately win him over, as he can't bring himself to betray her.
  • Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast is cursed to look horrible by an enchantress. He doesn't earn Belle's respect or compassion until he starts acting kinder to her and the others, and ultimately their love is what breaks the curse on him.
  • Brave: A non-romantic example. The only way for Merida to turn her mother back into a human is to "mend the bond" between them.
  • The villain in Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation is turned from being an entity of pure evil into a human after he realized what he felt for a human girl.
  • The basic moral of Despicable Me, where Gru's love for his adopted daughters triggers his Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Frozen, Queen Elsa's familial love for her sister, Anna, helps her make her Heel–Face Turn and end the Endless Winter that she started.
  • In Hercules, Broken Bird Megara worked for the villain for two-thirds of the movie and only changed her ways out of love for Hercules, eventually even sacrificing her life for him (don't worry, she comes Back from the Dead).
    • Interestingly, the movie has that this was subverted in her backstory - she sold herself to Hades to save her lover's life, and the Ungrateful Bastard promptly ran off with another girl.
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, this actually gets subverted, as Kovu clearly already hates the plot well before he falls in love with Kiara. While falling in love with her ultimately certified it, it was not the primary factor in him turning on his mother Zira.
  • In Mavka: The Forest Song, the big henchman of Kylina who has a crush on the nymph Ondina saves the latter from the storm Mavka causes after becoming fiery and stops serving Kylina afterward.
  • The title character in Megamind makes a Heel–Face Turn after falling in love with his former rival's (supposed) love interest, Roxanne. She falls for him because he makes the turn.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers: Clarabelle Cow was hired by Pete to dispose of Goofy, with whom she falls in love.
  • In Tangled, Flynn's attraction to Rapunzel leads him to abandon his Greed, try to make things right with his old partners he betrayed, and face imprisonment and execution because of his desperate fears of what Gothel is doing to Rapunzel. And finally to die rather than let Gothel get Rapunzel's promise to stay prisoner if she can save him. Fortunately, he gets better.
  • Ken in Toy Story 3 pulls a Heel–Face Turn after falling in love with Barbie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Street Angel: Love makes Gino recover from what he became after Angela disappeared. It also makes Angela literally a saint.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • In a slightly roundabout way; it's pretty much a given that Will's love for Elizabeth is what leads him to accept his new duties of ferrying the souls of the dead on the Flying Dutchman at the end of the third film. This frees the crew from the corruption that Jones had caused with his actions, and they also seem to lose their mindless bloodlust.
    • Angelica from the fourth film attempts to do this for Blackbeard. But he's a bad man.
  • The Star Wars Franchise:
    • Disney Canon:
      • Darth Vader, after a tense scene where he balances the death of his only son against his long-held dreams of power, makes his choice, abandons everything he has worked for, and sends the Emperor hurling down the Death Star reactor shaft. He then dies, redeemed. Ironically, love both redeemed and corrupted him, as he joined The Dark Side because of his love for his wife, whom he had prophetic dreams of death about. Too bad about the Prophecy Twist.
      • Played with in The Force Awakens, as it seems that when Han confronts his son, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, it seems as if Ren will perform a Heel–Face Turn. Defied heart-breakingly, with Kylo instead proceeding to kill Han at that moment.
      • Internally Deconstructed in The Last Jedi once again with Kylo Ren. Rey confronts him and tries to convince him to perform a Heel–Face Turn, and Kylo, upon seeing Snoke torture Rey, decides to kill him. And later he and Rey take on the Praetorian Guards as a team. Rey for a moment, believes that she has turned Kylo back to the Light... But it turns out that Kylo is just more convinced that he and Rey only have each other in the universe. He borderline asks for her hand in marriage and assures her that they will rule the Galaxy together, but Rey refuses.
      • Finally played straight in The Rise of Skywalker: Kylo Ren's love for his parents and Rey (and theirs for him) finally sees him pull a Heel–Face Turn and become Ben Solo again.
    • In Star Wars Legends:
      • Leia's love for her brother redeems him in Dark Empire. While Jacen gets stuck with a Heel–Face Door-Slam, there are hints that his love for Tenel Ka and Allana redeems him, making this trope obligatory for the Skywalker family.
      • While Mara Jade was never trained in the dark side by the Emperor, Mara Jade's grudging respect for Luke Skywalker, after originally having wanted to kill him, leads Mara down the path of the Jedi. Their ten-year journey of falling in love allows Mara to let go of her past as The Emperor's Hand and finally marry Luke.
      • In Fate of the Jedi, Luke's son Ben, has a Sith Apprentice girlfriend. Jaina's response:
      "I don't want to get too sentimental here, uncle Luke, but don't underestimate The Power of Love. It's pulled two family members back from the Dark Side already. Ben's sixteen, but he's not a fool."
  • In the classic Beatles animated film Yellow Submarine, the group is able to free Pepperland from the Blue Meanies. However, they immediately offer to forgive the Meanies if they join together in peace. True to the spirit of the times, the Meanies sincerely accept the offer and everyone celebrates with the music of the band.
  • Played straight but ultimately subverted in Unforgiven, where William Munny (Clint Eastwood), known in his youth as an infamous gunfighter, murderer, and bandit, has since retired and gone straight, having forsworn his criminal ways through the influence of his late wife: "She cured me of that, cured me of drink and wickedness." Except by the end he reverts to type as "a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition."
  • In The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Phantom straight up tells Christine that her loving him will redeem him.
    The Phantom: If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved, it is because your love redeems me.
  • Nicholas pulls a Heel–Face Turn for Mia in The Princess Diaries 2.
  • In Salt, thanks to her husband's genuine love, Evelyn Salt had no intention of carrying out Orlov's orders. In fact, all her actions, including faking the Russian Prime Minister's death, was to save her husband.
  • If The Deaths of Ian Stone is any indication, love can even redeem Eldritch Abominations—or love for a human can, at least.
  • The way Bill Murray gets out of the time loop in Groundhog Day.
  • In the original, silent The Thief of Bagdad (1924), the thief magically gets into the palace and falls in love with the princess, leaving without taking more than a token. Then he disguises himself as a prince and tries to win her, and gives that up because it's lying. He is in despair until receiving the advice to become a prince to win her. He then sets out to win her properly.
  • Maleficent: Maleficent's maternal love for Aurora drives her into a Heel–Face Turn.
  • In the James Bond movie Moonraker, the giant mook Jaws is redeemed after falling in love: the realization that Drax's plan to exterminate anyone not fitting the image of his "master race" would include tiny, glasses-wearing Dolly is what prompts him into his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hades in Wrath of the Titans, finally putting Everybody Hates Hades to rest.
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town: Babe Bennett does a Heel–Face Turn because she fell in love with Deeds.
  • Played with in Looper. Old Joe thinks this is what happened to him. While this is true to a certain extent, he's nowhere near as good as he'd like to think: love didn't redeem him so much as it turned him from an amoral thug into a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Magneto finally turns his life around after starting his own family. Unfortunately, both his wife and daughter are killed by accident, which results in his re-Start of Darkness. This gets Double Subverted in the end when his friendship with Charles Xavier redeems him again.
  • In Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man, The Everyman hero desires romantic love so much that he makes a Deal with the Devil for material gain, believing that he can use it to possess love. He gets the material goods, becoming rich and well-read — but the poor soul forgets why he wanted them to begin with and sees them as an end in itself, not a means to an end. Thus, he becomes chilly and aloof, and his life becomes completely devoid of love until a Vagabond Girl and her friends reach out to him with an offer of friendship. This expression of selfless, platonic love moves him so much that he remembers his youthful ideals... becoming a human embodiment of unconditional love, and a guide to others, in the process.
  • A major plot point in The Handmaiden. The two protagonists each turn out to be working on cons to have the other one committed to a mental institution, but after genuinely falling in love with each other, decide to abandon their respective schemes and run away together.
  • D.E.B.S.: Lucy Diamond is a supervillain criminal who once tried to destroy Australia. After she meets and falls in love with her arch nemesis Amy Bradshaw, she realizes that "being bad doesn't feel good anymore" and gives up her life of crime to be with Amy.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Loki's final act that bookends his redemption is one of familial love to his brother Thor. Loki dies trying to defend Thor from his former master, Thanos.
    • Thor: Love and Thunder: Gorr claims his wish from Eternity and is relishing his victory. Thor, with the choice of comforting Jane or fighting Gorr, chooses love and advises Gorr to do the same. Gorr is shocked to realize his wish could be used to revive his lost daughter, and ultimately forsakes his vengeance for her sake.
  • Batman & Robin:
    • Poison Ivy purposely invokes this while seducing Robin. After Batman and Robin discover that Poison Ivy is a villain and is working with Mr. Freeze, they set out to arrest her as well. However, Ivy still manages to easily seduce Robin, despite this prior knowledge, and make him fall in love with her. She pretends to fall in love with him too, saying she has chosen him over Batman and will "turn over a new leaf" so she can be by his side. Robin is so blinded by love that he is quick to believe her, and turns against Batman when he tries to keep them from kissing. This is averted, however, since Ivy never truly loved Robin at all, and Robin discovers this himself when he meets with Ivy in her lair, and she reveals her true colors to him after they share a fateful kiss.
    • Mr. Freeze plays this trope straight. After Batman shows him proof that Poison Ivy was the one who tried to kill his wife Nora, but Batman managed to save her, Batman appeals to Mr. Freeze's inner doctor, telling him that he can still save lives instead of taking them, and that the man his wife fell in love with is still alive. Touched by Batman's words and out of gratitude for saving his wife, Freeze gives Batman the cure to MacGregor's Syndrome so he can save Alfred, and Batman promises Freeze will be able to continue his research to save his wife as he carries out his sentence in Arkham.
  • In Jane Got a Gun, Ham falls in love wih Jane when she and the other women are being transported to the brothel. He wants to marry her and leave the Bishop gang. When John Bishop refuses to let him and sends Jane to the cathouse anyway, Ham quits the gang and storms the brothel to rescue her. He kills several of his former comrades and carries her off. He and Jane set up a farm and have a daughter together.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's a reason he's the Trope Namer for Friendly Neighborhood Vampire.
  • In a Real Life example from Survivor, Jonny Fairplay was invited back onto the show for Fans vs. Favorites. Fans who remember Fairplay from the season he previously appeared on, Pearl Islands, remember him as a deplorable bastard who went so far as to lie about his grandmother's death to win an immunity challenge. During Fans vs. Favorites, however, he was noticeably subdued, mentioning his girlfriend and his unborn child several times, and then getting himself voted off the island so that he could return and be with them.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, Athena was supposed to seduce Helo into impregnating her so her race could get their hands on a human/cylon hybrid. However, she switches allegiances when she realizes that she had fallen in love with him. Caprica-Six starts a movement to change the Cylon plan because she's in love with Dr. Baltar.
    • In The Plan, we see that the titular plan of the Cylons unraveled because so many of them fell in love with humans and switched sides.
  • Doctor Who:
    • This trope is supposedly what caused the Ninth Doctor to not be totally depressed/suicidal/batshit insane after the Time War because he met Rose.
    • It is because of how strong Amy and Rory love each other that Rory is able to come back to life with his soul and overcomes his impulses to kill. A bit too late for Amy, but she too gets better.
      • It runs in the family. River Song is redeemed from being a purely heartless and brainwashed killer by love.
  • In The Vampire Diaries Damon becomes less of a villain around the time he begins to fall in love with Elena, and notably remains a good guy even when Elena is taken out of the picture, meaning it's not just a case of her being a Morality Chain.
  • Kamen Rider has a few examples:
    • In Kamen Rider Double, Ryu Terui loses his craze for vengeance partly because of his love for Akiko.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki's Ren/Knight claims that his fiancée is the reason he gave up his previous life of delinquency and petty crime. He ultimately enters the Rider War to save her.
    • In Kamen Rider Decade, Natsumi's influence over Tsukasa is a major reason why he ultimately stops being the Destroyer of Worlds.
    • In Kamen Rider OOO Ankh is ultimately redeemed through his friendships with Eiji (who appears to love him in a True Companions way) and Hina (who has grown to love him as much as her brother, whose body Ankh was possessing.) This allows him to sacrifice himself by giving his last Medal for Eiji to defeat Maki.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost has Igor ultimately go through a Heel–Face Turn due to the influence of Akari, with whom he falls in love and marries in the series tie-in novel.
  • Psych has one in Season 2, Episode 11: "There's Something About Mira", though it's a major part of the plot: Mira's fiancée, Jann, was a con man whose job was to romance Mira and have her marry him on a beach, then leave her at the altar while he and his partner robbed her family's winery. But Jann actually fell in love with Mira and couldn't go through with the plan, and unfortunately, that leads to a Heel–Face Door-Slam... or something close to it.
  • Subverted on American Horror Story: Murder House. Tate is a total sociopath who has done terrible things. Then he falls in love with Violet and begins to turn around. However, when Violet finds out about the terrible things he's done she dumps him and the finally remorseful Tate is left alone. That ends up being his punishment for his behavior.
  • In Castle episode "Death Gone Crazy", soft-porn mogul Beau Randolph is willing to dismantle his entire porn empire and put the money towards funding children's television because he had learned that he was going to be a father and wanted to be able to be a better example for his daughter.
  • On Orphan Black, Delphine's love for Cosima leads her to betray the Neolutionists.
  • Rosie from Wizards of Waverly Place.
  • Charmed: Subverted for the most part, as both good and evil have a tendency to reject any demon that attempts to pull this.
    • The most glaring example is Cole, though he's a double-subverted case. He seduced Phoebe in Season 3 as part of many plans to kill the Charmed Ones, but in time he genuinely fell in love with her, and she returned his feelings after the truth came out. He worked hard to prove himself and managed to earn the good graces of Prue, Piper, and even Leo. But through it all, the evil side never stopped trying to drag him back, and eventually, in Season 5, Phoebe ended their relationship in spite of still loving him. Cole went mad and eventually his efforts to win Phoebe back resulted in his death; only in the tie-in comics was their relationship mended, Cole understanding that he was never right for Phoebe. So, in the end, love did redeem him...but ultimately, not long after that, a Heroic Sacrifice for Phoebe's sake leaves him Deader than Dead.
    • From "Love Hurts" in Season 1: A Darklighter named Alex was assigned to kill a human named Daisy who was a future Whitelighter. Instead, he fell in love with her, but she rejected him when she found out what he was, and Leo also intervened, refusing to believe that any Darklighter was capable of love.
    • From "Heartbreak City" in Season 2: Drazi, a demon of hatred, fell in love with a human. Cupid redirected that human to love someone else, and Drazi retaliated by stealing Cupid's magic ring and using it to spread hatred instead of love.
    • Even with all of these, though, there are a couple of instances that play it straight; at the conclusion of Season 3's "Wrestling With Demons", a human recruited to be a demon and one step away from the point of no return manages to turn away from evil when the Charmed Ones remind of his love for his mother.
  • Once Upon a Time: Tying into the overall theme of true love is the most powerful magic of all, this applies to both Regina and Rumpelstiltskin. Both of them have a certain amount of Love Makes You Evil as well.
    • Regina's love for her son Henry, and desire to be loved by him, is what leads to her redeeming herself.
    • Killian Jones, A.K.A. Captain Hook, came into the show as an Anti-Villain obsessed with revenge against Rumpelstiltskin, but repeated encounters with Emma Swan eventually led to his falling in love with her, and joining with the heroes to try and win her heart.
    • Played with in regards to Rumpelstiltskin, as while he does genuinely love both Belle and his son Baelfire, and has tried to be a better man for them, he also loves the power being The Dark One grants him, and his unwillingness to choose one over the other has resulted in an unending Heel–Face Revolving Door.
  • Rebelde Way: Pablo stops behaving like his father's puppet once Marizza shows him there are nobler ways of achieving the goals he wants. It really helps that he falls head over heels for her.
  • Supernatural:
    • The Demon Meg starts out as a pure evil villain, working for Lucifer and causing violent destruction. In her later incarnation, she runs afoul of Crowley and starts working with the Winchesters, but it is her growing attraction to Castiel that causes her to sacrifice herself for Team Free Will.
    • Castiel also counts, especially since in Season 15 he outright declares that he has always loved Dean. He has always had a soft spot for humanity and difficulty following orders, but when he rescues Dean from hell and begins working with the Winchesters, his affection for Dean becomes a primary reason he never stays bad.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Black Leather Jackets", Scott realizes that his race's plan to wipe out humanity is wrong after he falls in love with Ellen Tillman.
  • Deconstructed and then reconstructed on Gilmore Girls with Jess and Rory. Their relationship is set up to be this trope, but Jess's issues with communication and emotional vulnerability put a strain on his relationship with Rory and causes it to crash and burn. He leaves town, ashamed. However, when he returns a Self-Made Man full of Character Development, he tells her he couldn't have done it without her, as she was the first one to give him unconditional support and believed he could do something with his life. And also slightly subverted, since not only does his Character Development happen independently of her, it's also Luke's support that's shown to have a big impact on Jess and his character arc.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Simply Luscious ultimately abandoned The Prophecy and its plot to destroy Ring of Honor in an attempt to win back her boyfriend, Steve Corino. A cheap example though, as Corino's group weren't exactly good.
  • Subverted in the same company for Jimmy Jacobs, leading to The Age of the Fall angle. Jimmy fell madly in love with his manager, Lacey; after she eventually came around and told him that she loved him too, he crossed the Despair Event Horizon when he realized that her love didn't redeem him, or make him feel any less hollow, or magically turn him into a better person. Quite dark and heavy stuff, if you think about it.

  • In Survival of the Fittest, John Rizzolo pulls a Heel–Face Turn when the lover he's been after the whole time, Emma Babineux, kisses him. Cruelly subverted when Rizzolo reveals he was just using that as a way to get Emma in a vulnerable position, and proceeds to stab her and then shoot her in the head.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted gives us the Abyssals, the result of what happens when Solar Exaltations are corrupted to serve the cause of death by the Neverborn. There's just one small problem — those Solar shards still have bonded Lunar mates. And where an Abyssal usually picks up Resonance from engaging in "lively" activities (e.g., siring children, having sex with the living), they accrue none of it if they're with their Lunar mate. Oh, and since the Neverborn stripped out the Great Curse to make way for Resonance, if the Lunar manages to actually redeem the Abyssal back into being a Solar... they now have no psychological limitations that would directly drive them towards being nanners. Good show, dead gods.
    • Return of the Scarlet Empress also suggests that the Yozis will run into a similar problem with their corrupted Solars, the Infernals. Once their work gets underway, odds are likely that quite a few of them are going to rediscover their bond with the Lunars and turn their back on the Reclamation. Considering the fact that the Neverborn are undead Primordials and the Yozis are Primordial survivors who were imprisoned in hell by their servants the Gods (who made the Exalted in turn), it would seem this shortsightedness runs in the family.
    • Gervesin started out as a malevolent blight-spreading demon-spear, but he fell in love with a warrior named Kinnojo... at the exact moment he was thrust through Kinnojo's heart. Now, while Gervesin is still a blight-spreading demon-spear, he's also deeply invested in protecting Kinnojo's home.
  • Three Pathfinder adventure paths exist, so far, that include romanceable, redeemable monster NPCS.
  • Magic: The Gathering: During the "Nemesis" storyline, Belbe - a Phyrexian built to resemble a murdered elf - turns from them and becomes heroic due to her relationship with Ertai, a recurring character and former Weatherlight crew member, leading to Redemption Equals Death when the father of the elf in question kills her. And how does Ertai react to his girlfriend moving to the side of the angels? He defects to Phyrexia pretty much immediately after her death.


    Visual Novels 
  • Extra Case: My Girlfriend's Secrets: Downplayed with the Serial Killer. "Seira"/Shadow, Sally's Split Personality, agrees to spare Marty as long as he can give Sally the love and support she deserves, but will kill him if he fails. In the ninth ending, she emerges again when Sally falls into despair over becoming a pariah.
  • Inverted and then played straight in Fate/stay night. Sakura, the heroine of Heaven's Feel, is possessed when her confusion over Shirou returning her feelings makes her vulnerable to its influence. Played straight in that she gets better because Shirou and even her sister don't abandon her.
  • In the Grand Finale of Higurashi: When They Cry, The Big Guy Jirō Tomitake pulls a Save the Villain on the Big Bad Miyo Takano by stepping in when she's going to be arrested for her crimes and convincing the authorities that she's mentally unwell. He declares that he's going to help her reform despite knowing she plotted to murder him, and the two have Babies Ever After as the "Groundhog Day" Loop ends before she can do the real damage she got away with so many times before.
    • The author said that he had gotten tired of stories where the Big Bad being punished wraps everything up, which is also reflected in Takano's monologue about how the world always seeks to find a scapegoat to pin blame upon and how all conflicts need a "loser" in order to be resolved. Takano is spared in order to reject this nihilistic view and to end the cycle of suffering for everyone, including her who suffered greatly before turning to villainy.
  • Kohaku in Tsukihime when you finally find out how messed up she is and then get the chance at her path. She almost lampshades it at the end of Hisui's route where she notes rather calmly that if Shiki hadn't confused the behavior of her in the past for Hisui now and given her back the ribbon she would have called off her plan.
  • In Yo-Jin-Bo, Ittosai is slowly redeemed by your love for him if you choose his path.
  • The (unknown) kidnapper is one of the potential love interests in Nicole, and if you end up taking his route, he'll be wracked with guilt over his actions and one step away from being Driven to Suicide. Nicole convinces him to turn himself in order to atone for what he's done. In all other endings, he's a Smug Snake when he reveals himself.
  • Tyrna can try this one on Loric in Sword Daughter, believing that he's not too far gone to be turned onto the right path. It ends badly.

    Web Comics 
  • In the final part of Demonology 101, Isaac Jenner agrees to give up on what has been up until then his driving motivation, namely killing his older brother Gabriel in order to become the head of the Jenner family, as part of a deal with The Hero to save the life of Madeline, a demon with whom he has fallen in love. He keeps his promise, and does not bother the protagonists again (though he is still evil enough to get married on Labor Day weekend).
  • Of all comics, Sinfest took this route with Fuchsia, one of the Devil's "Booth Babes", as falling for Criminy has made being evil considerably less fun for her. She asks him to re-read a story that's been altered to feature her redemption.
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space gives a glimpse of this in the science fiction arc when one strip follows Morgan down the years in her plots to tear Arthur's kingship apart. She eventually realizes that Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere genuinely love each other too much to be jealous at the love triangle, and asks herself, "I wonder what that's like?" Realizing that such love exists, and wanting it, will ultimately redeem her and bring her to join the Round Table.
  • Minmax of Goblins was never really evil, but his attraction (eventually blossoming into full-on love) towards Kin is what kick-starts his Character Development from a callous warrior who slays goblins on principle into an altruistic and kind individual who thinks through his actions and is willing to work with the goblin protagonists against a larger threat.
    • Likewise, Grem was never exactly a villain, but it's his love for the genuinely heroic and selfless Saves-A-Fox that's starting to make him doubt the increasingly less-than-altruistic intentions of his mother.
  • Vriska in Homestuck got this in her conversations with John. Eventually subverted, because she didn't really change, she just spilled her guilt and insecurities to John and went right back to her old ways with a less burdened conscience.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Haley's a complicated example. She was already Chaotic Good-ish, as she put it, in obedience to her mother's Last Request. But meeting Elan, she found, made her able to be a better person.
    • Hearbreakingly subverted with Elan's father, Tarquin. Elan initially hopes this to be the case given that Tarquin used to be married to his unquestionably good mother, but grows increasingly disillusioned with the idea as it's steadily revealed that their marriage actually drove Tarquin into ever-deeper levels of depravity in defense of her (note that this is not a case of Love Makes You Evil, Tarquin was a total monster long before he married Elan's mother).
  • The Central Theme of Cobweb and Stripes is the idea that love redeems, and no one is beyond redemption. Lydia is pretty much the only one who believes it's at all possible for Betelgeuse to become a better person, and it's his growing attachment to her that leads him to do so.
  • In Girl Genius Othar claims Tarvek has been redeemed by his love for Agatha and Gil indignantly asks why Tarvek gets to be redeemed while Othar still considers Gil a villain. Interestingly flashbacks hint that Tarvek started down the road to redemption and fighting his family as a child when he first befriended Gil and while his subsequent betrayal put him back on the same path as the rest of his family he is relatively quick to jump at the chance to ditch them and is horrified when one of his grandmother's agents tracks him down to drag him back again. He's still a sneaky backstabber though.

    Web Original 
  • Supervillainess Sahar in the Whateley Universe. She has a psychic ability to - once she's seduced a Psi - get so close that she can learn to copy that Psi's best 'knacks'. This makes her a ruthless femme fatale, until she falls in love with a mark, Zenith. She doesn't know how to handle that. So it takes a different kind of love - friendship - to get her to finish her Heel–Face Turn. And she gets Zenith back.
  • Matt Walsh expresses in this interview with Ben Shapiro his views on Christianity, which depart pretty heavily from mainstream Christian Theology and even the Catholic Church which he is a part of (in fact if he were alive during The Spanish Inquisition he probably would've been branded a heretic and executed). He states that the only people who go to hell are ultimately those who go their whole lives without learning to love (including platonic love) anyone but themselves, because in his words "If Hell is a place where no love can be, then how can someone who is able to love be sent there?"

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • One of the two big bads of The Delta State begins to develop feelings for Philip early in the series. It evolves from that to her intentionally not spotting him when she and Sven are looking for them, to her full on taking a shot for him and joining their side. Unfortunately it's pretty short-lived.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Mai, out of love for Zuko, aids his and Sokka's escape from the Boiling Rock. She even tells Azula that she loves Zuko more than she fears her. When Azula tries to kill her for that defiance, Ty Lee blocks Azula's chi out of love for Mai. Both end up prisoners, but their platonic and romantic love outweighing their fear of her spelled the beginning of the end for Azula. Oh dear God(s), was it ever.
  • To a lesser extent, Kevin Levin from Ben 10: Alien Force. According to his character profile on Cartoon Network's new MMO, Fusionfall, his fondness for Gwen is keeping him in check.
  • Gargoyles' David Xanatos starts his lengthy path to redemption (or at least relative neutrality) after admitting his love for Fox.
    • His love for his and Fox's son Alexander also plays a part; after Goliath saves his son from Oberon, he becomes determined to repay the gargoyles for their help. While Goliath isn't willing to fully forgive or forget everything Xanatos has done up to that point, he is willing to give Xanatos the benefit of the doubt, because he knows firsthand that having a child can change a person for the better.
  • The Venture Brothers: Word of God has stated that The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend are meant to be a subversion - they are still irredeemably evil even if they do have a loving, functional relationship. The fandom, however, tends to ignore their Moral Event Horizon moments and assume that this trope is in effect. It helps that said moments are usually absolutely hilarious.
  • ReBoot:
  • In the series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the Omnicidal Maniac Spider-Carnage regains his sanity for a brief moment when he meets the Uncle Ben of another alternate universe (all of the alternate universes have critical differences in Peter's life, in this one the big difference is that Ben didn't die). Sadly, the Carnage symbiote's grip on him is too strong, so he evaporates himself to keep himself from destroying all reality.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: Although not "evil", Kimmy was at first an Alpha Bitch and quite mean to Ilana. She was trying to persuade Newton to do her homework for her, but when he convinced her she's not as shallow or dumb as she thinks she is, she falls in love with him and ends up becoming his girlfriend. She starts to get along with Lance and Ilana after that as well.
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • Minos and Fatima, a pair of villains from Aladdin's past wind up being redeemed and cured of their Forced Transformations through The Power of Love..
    • Mirage despite being one of the most dangerous villains in the series and committed rather nasty acts, is believed to be this could happen to her by the Blind Seer Fasir in the episode, The Eye of The Beholder. Because the two used to be a couple in the past, and Fasir still believes there's good in Mirage.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Thus trope gets Zig-Zagged by the Joker in season 2 when he suffers Amnesiac Dissonance and gets a girlfriend who has two kids he adores. When he gets turned back into the Joker again he initially is disgusted by the boring and wholesome person he became and dumps her, but then he gets nostalgic for the time he spent with her and realizes that he still loves her in a far more genuine way than the abusive relationship he had with Harley and gets back together with her, but then insists that he still is unrepentantly evil. But then in season 3, we see him living as a normal family man and deciding to make Gotham a better place by running for mayor and doesn't do anything evil to accomplish his goal.
  • The Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Angel" features Stitch falling in love with the titular experiment, except that she's using him to get to the other reformed experiments to turn them evil again. In the end, however, she's touched by Stitch's kindness and devotion, and goes against Gantu. Though she's taken away at the end of the episode, she's rescued in the Grand Finale of the series, "Snafu", along with the other experiments that were captured by Gantu.
  • Heinz Doofensmirtz in Phineas and Ferb. It is made clear throughout the Show that it’s his love for his daughter, Vanessa, as well as his friendship with Perry The Platypus, which has prevented Doofensmirtz from becoming a complete monster. It is ultimately Vanessa who gets him to become good.
  • Completely averted in the original G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon. Destro and Baroness have a loving, if messed up relationship, which never interferes in them being utterly evil.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Hordak begins to question his assumptions about himself and his devotion to Horde Prime when he falls in love with Entrapta. Over the course of season 5, his love for Entrapta and his memories of their time together persist after two mind wipes. When Horde Prime orders him to kill Entrapta in "Heart, Part 2", Hordak refuses and attacks Horde Prime instead, killing Prime's physical body.
    • Catra's love for Adora goes a long way in driving her redemption in season 5 as much as it had hurt her.
  • Young Justice: In a notable departure from The Judas Contract and most of its adaptations, this time, the love and kindness Terra receives from the heroes (particularly Artemis) is enough to get her to turn against Deathstroke and pull a full Heel–Face Turn.


Video Example(s):


Peanut Hamper & AGIMUS' Plan

Peanut Hamper and AGIMUS both planned to fake their rehabilitation to escape the Daystrom Institute and conquer a planet together, but while Peanut Hamper wrote her fake redemption speech, she realized she really did feel remorse for all of the people that she had hurt and decides to abandon the plan and genuinely seek to better herself. AGIMUS realizes that conquering is pointless if he can't do it with his best friend, so he also decides to change for the better.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / BecomingTheMask

Media sources: