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Must Make Amends

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"Brangwen, my love, forgive me! If we ever meet again, I swear I'll put this right. I swear to you — I'll never rest until I set this right."
Prince Galrion, Daggerspell

A character, usually a Hero, sometimes an Anti-Villain or Anti-Hero, has done something that led to terrible consequences. Often they have had the best of intentions, but due to inexperience, lack of foresight, or something else, the results were the opposite of what they wanted and intended.

It is the thing that happens next that defines Must Make Amends: the character will do everything in their power to undo the thing they've done or caused. It might have been the death of a loved one, helping a tyrant to power, or something else. If they succeed and receive gratitude, Think Nothing of It is likely to follow; gratitude only reminds them of what they did to cause the problem.

Compare The Atoner, who is usually making up for a whole set of bad deeds following a Heel–Face Turn or Kick the Morality Pet, whereas Must Make Amends is usually about a specific bad deed that can come from any type of tragic mistake. My God, What Have I Done? is typically the lead-in to this situation, with Redemption Quest being a sister trope. If making amends involves Time Travel, this becomes Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Contrast Buy Them Off and I Regret Nothing. If the actions crossed the Moral Event Horizon, it may result in Heel–Face Door-Slam or Rejected Apology.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the rogue zanpakuto filler arc of Bleach, Ichigo is tricked into breaking Yamamoto-Genryusai's barrier, allowing Muramasa to find out the location of his master, Kouga. Ichigo, upon learning his mistake, determines that he must go stop Muramasa so that he can fix his mistake.
  • The events of Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The plot gets started when Ed and Al try to bring their dead mother back to life and pay a terrible price for trying. Then they begin their quest to find the philosopher's stone, set things right and get their bodies back, not knowing that the philosopher's stone is souls of human beings. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) adds the detail that this attempt created the homunculus Sloth.
    • More specifically, this is Ed's way of thinking. Al wants things to be alright again, and he knows they did wrong, but Ed has a whole The Atoner mindset and his primary goal is always to fix Al, whose predicament he feels is his fault. Some of this of course is Big Brother Instinct at work.
    • Roy Mustang is even more The Atoner, and his entire life revolves around achieving enough power to fully make amends for his participation in the massacre at Ishval.
    • Scar has a bit of this with his survivor's guilt.
    • Hohenheim is also like this about his role in the destruction of Xerxes and the birth of the Big Bad. Also survivor's guilt and I Am a Monster. (this is his catchphrase for a while.) This is why he left the family — he had to deal with his eldest son.
    • Izumi possesses shades of this vis-a-vis her miscarriage and subsequent attempt at human transmutation. Arakawa likes this trope.
  • What Nina Einstein tries to do in Code Geass R2, after the bomb she built under Schneizel's orders completely obliterates a good part of Tokyo.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry when Shion Sonozaki kills Satoko Hojo in the underground torture chamber, she believes at first that she's avenging her essentially dead boyfriend Satoshi Hojo. Then she tries to talk to his shadow that has appeared on the wall (she's gone nuts at this point), when she realizes the last words of him were: "Take care of Satoko for me". She literally pisses in her pants at the realization, but realizes she's already crossed the Moral Event Horizon and goes off to finish her sister, whom she still thinks is guilty. Cue the final scene in the visual novel where, no longer feeling the Hate Plague, feels extreme remorse to the point of regretting ever being born, apologizing to everyone and committing suicide.
    • This particular example is played straight in a later arc, however, when Shion and Satoko are shown to be much closer, with Shion acting as Satoko's surrogate big sister. Shion at one point says that she remembered the above mentioned brutal murders (but dismissed them as nightmares) and it's implied she's subconsciously trying to make up for it. In the final arc, it's explicitly stated that she always felt guilty about Mion not being able to live a fully normal life due to her accidentally becoming the family head and that she remembers Satoko's speech from Meakashi-hen, and wants to atone by sacrificing her life to save everyone from the Yamainu.
  • Ken Ichijoji, in Digimon Adventure 02, after discovering that the Digital world is not just an artificial construct in which he can play out his anger and issues concerning his brother's death. This method essentially turns him from the Big Bad to The Woobie.
    • In the first 02 movie, Willis had one of his Digimon go rogue; he had been chasing the corrupted Kokomon (now a Wendigomon) all over the US in an attempt to fix it. Even after the rest of the main kids show up, he is initially insistent that because it is his Digimon, he needs to make it right, himself.
    • Beelzemon of Digimon Tamers takes the cake, though. Since it's his fault Jeri's trapped by D-Reaper because it likes feeding off the despair she has for her dead partner, who he killed, he practically went insane trying to set things right, screaming "I'll save you if it's the last thing I do!"...and it almost was.
      • To elaborate on this: he's trying to break her out of an energy bubble, and gets it open. She freaks out because it's the guy who killed her partner, increasing his guilt. By the time she snaps out of it, the hole is closed and he starts trying to punch it open. He's so focused on saving her that he's shot in the back by about six razor disks in a truly disturbing was-this-really-for-kids scene and plummets to the sea of deletion goo below, trailing data in lieu of blood. And only got saved at the last possible second. And nearly died of his injuries afterwards. Good God.
  • In the Trigun manga, part of The Reveal in the flashback arc is that Rem was complicit in the testing to destruction of Tesla, the girl born from the bulbs before Vash and Knives were. Her mothering of the twins is an attempt to make amends for not doing anything to save Tesla. When they are found out by another researcher, he turns out to feel the same way.
    • Of course, Knives does not much care about that part, concludes with justification that Humans Are Bastards, goes Ax-Crazy, and makes a good shot at a Kill All Humans plan. And Vash spends the next several decades feeling he has to make amends for that, somehow, until Knives uses him to blow up a fucking city, and then he feels the need to make up for that. Then Knives does it again, although Vash managed to evacuate that one first.
  • A major villain successfully pulls this off as the punch line to one of Naruto's more spectacular Wham Arcs.
  • In Tsukigasa, Azuma feels incredibly guilty about cutting off Kuroe's arm but doesn't know how to make amends. Eventually he gives Kuroe a blade and tells him to do whatever he likes to even the score but it's only when they finally are completely honest about everything that it gets resolved and Azuma can let go of some of the guilt.
  • In World Embryo, this is become Riku's motive, recently. His habit of lying had made many victims, including his friends and loved ones, and he intends to repair that.
  • In Fairy Tail, Loke, really the Celestial Spirit Leo, was banished from the Spirit World after indirectly, inadvertently causing the death of his abusive Celestial wizard. He spent three years blaming himself for it, convinced that the only way to atone for it was to wait for his life force to drain so that he could die, too. Luckily, Lucy manages to save him, and Loke decides to make amends by serving and protecting her.
    • Jellall and later Ultear do this by forming a secret crime-fighting guild to make up for their past transgressions.
  • This is Hime Shirayuki/Cure Princess' story in HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! as she accidentally opened up the Axia Box, releasing the Phantom Empire, who is now causing havoc across the planet. However, despite her drive, she's... pretty pathetic.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: This is Vegeta's primary reason for choosing to fight Majin Buu alone, partly because he was responsible for Majin Buu being revived in the first place and Gohan apparently being killed by the monster, and partly because he wants to make amends for Goku dying during the Cell Games since, in letting Cell absorb 18 and become Perfect because of his own Pride, it was his fault the entire mess with Cell got so bad.
    • Dragon Ball Super: After he discovers how evil Zamasu is, as well as the fact that he's participating in a genocide of all mortals in Future Trunks' timeline, Gowasu decides to go to the future to help stop said genocide, since he was the one who chose Zamasu as his apprentice and eventual successor in the first place.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans mocks this trope in the second season. Iok Kujan's actions cause a Mobile Armor — a massive, powerful Killer Robot — to be re-activated, and his subordinates sacrifice themselves to ensure his survival. When Julietta Juris finds Iok, he's become convinced that he has to destroy the Mobile Armor personally or else he won't be able to face his men in the afterlife (Julietta's reaction is stunned disbelief). Not only is this stupid (because his weapons can't even scratch the Mobile Armor's paint) and not only does it risk turning his men's deaths into a Senseless Sacrifice, but Iok's actions ruin Tekkadan's plans to take down the monster, allowing it to reach and destroy an entire farming village, killing everyone there.
  • Doraemon: Occurs in "Soap Bubbles". The Soap Bubble Straw causes people to want to make up for their bad deeds, no matter how minor they are.
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: In the episode "Pokémon Scent-sation!", Ash, after being banned from the Celadon Gym for insulting the perfume they make there, forms an Enemy Mine with Team Rocket to get in to compete with Erika for the Rainbow Badge. As it turns out, the Rockets were just using him as part of a plan to break into the gym and steal the ingredients for said perfume, taking it a step further by planting bombs that set the building ablaze. Ash immediately realizes that it's all his fault for helping Team Rocket inside in the first place, and makes up for his blunder by helping manage the fire and risking his life to save Erika's Gloom. Taking responsibility for his actions convinces Erika to hand over the Rainbow Badge to Ash despite their battle being interrupted.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, After seeing his little brother hypnotized by Noah, Seto not only made it his mission to save him but also to make things right with Mokuba as he felt guilty for how he treated him.
  • Rebuild World:
    • The protagonist Akira believes in something akin to a Karma Meter, and that he must do good deeds to restore his luck, despite often being an Unscrupulous Hero. So this is going on all the time with him. Some notable examples:
      • After having saved Elena and Sara in what was an act motivated by hatred for their attackers rather than altruism, feeling guilty and that he must help them for genuine reasons in the future after seeing how grateful and kind they are to him over it.
      • When Akira feels that Vengeance Feels Empty after killing the little girl who pickpocketed him, he figures he must do this by sparing and saving her best friend Nasha.
    • After Erio accidentally walks in on Sheryl naked after taking lightly her warnings to knock before entering her room, Erio frets and overworks himself to restore his image in her eyes so that he won’t lose his place in her gang. But Sheryl has forgiven him and continues to treat him as her Morality Pet.
    • When Elena and Sara take Katsuya’s side in an argument over a major Berserk Button of Akiras, the two see the dark side of Akira’s Sugar-and-Ice Personality and paranoia for the first time. The two realize they Didn't Think This Through by judging based on only Katsuya’s perspective, and spend a long time trying to rebuild their friendship with Akira.
    • Shiori feels this about under-paying Akira for a MacGuffin which leads to two further negotiations with him over it, partly motivated to keep Akira from taking revenge on Reina if he found out on his own, and partly to avoid being killed by its Macguffin Guardian Olivia. In the first meeting Shiori offers her sword, and in the second Reina makes The Promise to him in a heart to heart.
  • In One Piece, as an apprentice shipwright Franky built dozens of one-man battleships to hunt Sea Kings and left them moored in the open. CP5 commandeered those ships to frame Franky's mentor, Tom, for attacking a judicial ship, resulting in hundreds of deaths. After failing to save Tom, Franky abandoned his passion for building ships and became a wrecker while doing his best to help the town by giving the outcasts and destitute a home in the Franky Family. After the events of Enies Lobby, Iceburg finally convinces Franky that he doesn't need to continue denying himself and can pursue his own dream now.

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: Hal Jordan completely loses his sanity and decides to fix his failure to save Coast City... by killing the Green Lantern Corps, killing Sinestro, and then killing the universe... so he could remake reality "right". Fittingly, after all this nonsense, He went on to try and make all of that right and ended up sacrificing himself to save the world (of course, he got better). Then a few years later, Geoff Johns retconned the whole thing to Jordan being possessed by a killer space bug made out of fear...
  • In the Superman story War World, Mongul blackmails Superman into retrieving a device guarded by Martian Manhunter which would allow him to control a super-weapon. Superman's plan -playing along with Mongul's plan and waiting for a chance to defeat him- fails, so Supes sets out to bring Mongul down to atone for his failure and earn Martian Manhunter's forgiveness.
    J'onn: Now, because of you, Mongul has the key that can unlock chaos — and I demand to know what you intend to do about it!
    Superman: First, J'onn — I'm going to construct a protective bubble, and return my three friends to Earth!
    J'onn: Is that all-?
    Superman: That's just the beginning! Next, I intend hunt up some heavy-duty super-help! And then, I'm going to take down Mongul, no matter where in the universe he may be hiding — and recover the Crystal Key... or die trying!
  • Supergirl: In the first issues of her Post-Crisis series the titular heroine behaved as an obnoxious brat because of Kryptonite poisoning until in issue #19 she decides to turn over a new leaf and apologize to everyone for her jerkass behavior.
  • Batman does this on Nightwing's behalf toward the tail end of The Joker's Last Laugh: Batman doesn't want Nightwing to think of himself as a murderer.
  • This happens to Magneto. He's always been opposed by the X-Men, so by now he often attacks them at full power (which is a lot) instinctively. Sadly, the X-Men are mutants... some of the people Magneto wants to protect. Even worse, the one he accidentally hurts is the newest recruit, a 13-year-old (mutant) girl. "My God, What Have I Done?" is the short version of his monologue, when he realizes what he has done. Follow his Villainous BSoD and his first Heel–Face Turn as The Atoner.
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark, after the events of Civil War (2006).
  • An Archie comic story had Jughead driving Reggie crazy with his lame puns and wordplay to the point where Reggie was losing his marbles. When Archie tells Jughead this, Jughead feels guilty about it and runs to make amends. But all he could offer Reggie was "I didn't mean to make you crazy," which drives Reggie completely over the edge.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: Shinji is determined to not leave Asuka alone again because he abandoned her several times in the past right when she needed him, and she got butchered and later raped. He also joins the military campaign to overthrow the warlords ruling his post-apocalyptic world even though he hates to kill because he caused the end of the world, and he thinks this is his chance to make things right.
  • Scar Tissue: Shinji would never leave Asuka or go away because he defiled her and betrayed her when she needed him the most, which led to her very horrible and extremely painful death. So he remains by her side and tries to protect her and take care of her, no matter what, even though he thinks she hates him, because he feels he owes it to her.
  • The Witch of the Everfree: Fluttershy nearly died in an accident (implied to be her fall from Cloudsdale) and Rainbow Dash blamed herself for not being there, so she dropped out of school in order to stay with Fluttershy and make sure that she would always be there for her in the future.
  • Children of an Elder God: Rei wanted to make amends with Asuka after an Eldritch Abomination forced her to rape the red-haired girl. She felt so guilty that she was willing to let Asuka kill her if that was what her teammate wanted.
  • In the Power Rangers Zeo fic "Memory Lapse", Billy and Tanya are forced to tell Aisha's girlfriend Shawna that Aisha left her to live in the past in Africa after the quest for the Zeo Crystal, leaving Shawna with only vague memories of Aisha due to the temporal distortions caused by the Orb of Doom. However, after circumstances lead to Shawna realising that Tanya and Billy are Power Rangers, Tanya lets Shawna hold her fragment of the Zeo Crystal, which helps to restore Shawna's full memories of Aisha.
  • For His Own Sake: Kitsune upon realizing how much the Hina Inn Girls antics have hurt Keitaro, vows to make it up and change for the better.
  • Neon Metathesis Evangelion: After her realization about how she has always treated the pilots, Misato is determined to now make amends - to always be on their side, to show them the proper respect and gratitude, to shield them from unreasonable burdens by NERV, etc.
  • This motivation turns King into The Determinator in the second Ultimate Video Rumble, after he realizes what his employers are up to.
  • At the beginning of Loved and Lost, Prince Jewelius usurps Equestria's throne by holding Princess Celestia, Shining Armor, and Twilight's friends responsible for the Changeling invasion on the grounds that they refused to believe Twilight's misgivings regarding the impostor Cadance and focused too much on the wedding to be properly prepared against the (at the time) unknown attackers. They (along with Princess Cadance and Princess Luna) are banished from Equestria, but they return to Canterlot one week later, determined to redeem themselves in the eyes of Twilight and everypony who suffered from the invasion that they inadvertently allowed to occur.
    • Twilight later on has this mindset after discovering that Jewelius is every bit as evil and selfish as her loved ones (whom she disowned as retribution) said he was. She escapes from Canterlot and flees to Ponyville with the Elements of Harmony to reconcile with her loved ones and bring the tyrant down.
  • In Heated Storm Yields a Wild Horse's Heart, once Nabiki proves to Shampoo that "Girl Ranma" and "Boy Ranma" are the same person, Shampoo decides to make up for trying to kill Ranma and/or split him from Nabiki by offering for her and Nabiki to both marry him.
  • The One to Make It Stay: Alya's decision to edit some footage to make it look like Ladybug accepted Chat's Love Confession sets off a cascade of disastrous events, with the worst fallout being that Hawkmoth uses that information to his advantage and successfully steals the Black Cat Ring. In the aftermath, Alya's desperate to set things right, having been severely humbled by the whole experience.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail has Goh realizing he had been an asshole after he chewed Childhood Friend Chloe out for never having any dreams and joining him and Ash on any excursions. It gets worse when he finds her hair scrunchie left in an alleyway (as she had run away from the Cerise Lab and got picked up by the Infinity Train) and is doing all he can to find her...completely oblivious to the fact that Chloe is glad to be away from him and is doing all she can to never see him again.
  • After Jon Snow disappeared to the world of Skyrim in A Thank You Gift From Madness Himself, Catelyn Stark felt immense guilt for treating him so horribly that when Sheogorath sent Jon back home as a thank you to House Stark sheltering him, she sincerely apologizes to Jon for being a Wicked Stepmother. Luckily for her, Jon accepted her apology and the two are now on more amiable terms
  • In Brother to Sister, Donald and Douglas are ordered to make amends to Emily for accidentally derailing her. They do so by arranging for a choir to sing her favourite Christmas carol and for her to have her own Christmas tree.
  • Defragmentation: The Addisons decide to help Spamton get back on his feet to make up for cutting contact with him out of jealousy back when he was successful.
  • Discussed in Shadows over Meridian. When talking about what they can do to atone for what they did to Jade/Kage (namely assuming she was a minion of Phobos as soon as she first showed up and attacking her on sight), Tibor suggests offering compensation, noting that if she really is a royal, diplomacy may not be off the table. However, the only idea they can think of is Will suggesting they offer to help her with whatever drove her to Meridian, which they assume is a conflict of some kind. Luba scoffs at this, being skeptical of possibly getting involved in a conflict they know nothing about, assuming that their offer of help would even be accepted at this point.
  • This, along with a soupcon of The Chains of Commanding, is why Star was crowned queen in Queens of Mewni, despite all she did that nearly caused Mewni's destruction: now she must spend her entire reign making up for it.
  • In The Artist's Garden at Madripoor, Steve goes to Madripoor in order to acquire the last component for the Quantum Tunnel and discovers that Sharon is the Power Broker, the city's Judge, Jury, and Executioner. She refuses to give him the component unless he hands over his shield or Sam's wings (which she stole for him and led to her becoming a fugitive) as well as more or less stating that she's largely uninterested in bringing back everyone who disappeared in the Snap because it could threaten her position. When Steve angrily asks what happened to the woman he used to know, Sharon bitterly fires back that "That woman died when [he] abandoned her," causing Steve to feel anger and guilt for failing to find her and causing her fall from grace and resolve to actually help her, such as getting her a long overdue pardon.
  • In Which the Fox Flees: The fic kicks off with Marinette wanting to befriend Lila after the Volpina incident. Problem is Lila (who’s certain that Marinette is Ladybug) wants to avoid Marinette at all costs.
  • Hours 'Verse: After the news reports on Akira's supposed suicide, the Shadow Operatives regret that they weren't able stop things from getting that bad and set out to figure out what happened to their youngest Wild Card.

    Films — Animated 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire has this with Audrey, Sweet, Mole, Vinny, Cookie, and Ms. Packard after witnessing Rourke punching Milo in the face and breaking the photo of his grandfather in front of him.
  • Coco: After learning the real reason why her husband never returned home, Imelda decides, despite not being able to forgive him right away, to make up for the years of resenting him by saving him from being Deader than Dead.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Basically, Jack and Oogie's whole fight is all about Jack trying to fix the damage he caused by pretending to be Santa Claus.
  • The Powerpuff Girls affect this in their movie when while they serve a self-imposed exile on an asteroid, they hear the Professor being threatened.
  • ParaNorman's zombies are desperate to do as much as they can to make up for the harm that they did in killing an innocent child who they believed was a dangerous witch. Given that this is a universe where death decidedly isn't cheap, the most that they can hope for is to help her pass on.
  • Shrek 2, Fiona's father King Harold after his Heel–Face Turn. He attempts to convince Fairy Godmother and Charming to abandon the plan to marry Fiona to Charming after seeing how Fiona will never fall in love with Charming. After being unsuccessful and threatened into giving Fiona a love potion, he then goes back on the plan anyway by switching the cups last minute after a heart-wrenching talk with Fiona and how she says she wants Shrek the way he was. Then, he protects Shrek when the Fairy Godmother tries to attack him with a magic blast, killing her in the process. He finally then accepts Shrek into the family and blesses Shrek and Fiona's marriage.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Ace in the Hole (1951), Tatum, an unethical reporter, forces the crew rescuing a trapped man in a cave to use a slower rescue technique of drilling through the mountain, which will take a week, rather than entering via the side, which will take less than a day — all in order to increase the dramatic tension and sell more newspapers. Once he realizes that this puts the crew in danger of reaching the man too late to save him, he orders them to use the original, faster technique but it turns out that they no longer can, because the drilling has weakened the mountain's structural integrity too much, and the man dies. To further twist the knife, Tatum then attempts to confess his role in the death, but dies before getting the chance.
  • Frankie in Daybreakers betrays his brother, but then comes to his senses and redeems himself with a You Shall Not Pass!.
  • In The Empire Strikes Back, Lando does his best to get Leia, Chewie, Threepio, and Han out of Vader's power, though he was not entirely successful.
    • Vader goes through something like this near the end of "Return of the Jedi".
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle: While driving to White Castle, Harold and Kumar pick up a hitchhiking Neil Patrick Harris. However, after they stop at a gas station, Neil steals their car. Later, when Harold and Kumar finally make it to White Castle, Harold discovers he'd been robbed by a racist policeman they encountered earlier, and when it looks like the trip's All for Nothing, Neil comes in, having also arrived at that White Castle, and agrees to pay for their meal.
    Kumar: Do you know what the hell we had to go through after you took the car?
    Neil: Yeah, it was a dick move on my part. That's why I'm paying for your meal. (muttering to self) Prick. (pulling out money) Here's $50 for the meal, and $200 for the car.
    Harold: (confused) What happened to my car?
    Neil: I made some love stains in the back. (awkward silence) You'll see.
  • Home Alone: Kate, after realizing that her son Kevin had been left behind at home, and feeling terribly guilty for how she and the rest of her family treated him the previous night, makes it her mission to make it back to him and apologize to him.
  • In Iron Man, Tony Stark realizes what enormous damage his company's hyper-effective, super-powerful weapons (which he designed himself) are doing to the world, and is subsequently so horrified he shuts down the weapons department of Stark Industries and becomes a superhero to do damage control, also becoming The Atoner in the process.
  • John Woo's The Killer (1989) is about Ah Jong, the title character, and his attempt to fix a tragic mistake that he made, which resulted in Jenny, the singer at the night club, being blinded by the muzzle-flash of his gun. The last hit that he goes on is an attempt to raise the money to have her eyes fixed, but unfortunately for him, Wong Hoi, his boss, has other ideas. It does not end well for him in the end, though then again, it takes the triad boss himself to finally kill him.
  • The plot of Labyrinth follows this.
    • Specifically, Sara makes a very dumb wish which is then granted and spends the rest of the movie trying to undo the mistake by winning her (half) brother back, since Jareth doesn't allow takebacks on wishing.
  • Legend (1985). Lili inadvertently lures a unicorn into position to be attacked, which leads to its death. She tracks down the other unicorn and finds Brown Tom guarding it.
    Brown Tom: You! You're the cause of all our sorrow.
    Lili: I'm — I'm so sorry. I didn't know. Please, please forgive me.
    Brown Tom: I'm not the one you should be askin'.
    Lili: Try and understand. I'm only trying to make things right. Darkness has sent the goblins back for the mare. It's not safe to stay here. You'll have to hurry! Leave now! Go!
  • This is also the plot to the classic film Magnificent Obsession. The life of wealthy asshole Merrick is saved at the expense of a brilliant, beloved, and selfless elderly doctor's. The doctor's widow blames Merrick, he responds by stalking her and ends up causing a car wreck that blinds her. Merrick becomes a doctor himself so he can operate on the widow and fix her eyes.
  • This is pretty much what the third act of the movie Mean Girls is about.
  • Me Before You: Will is forced to admit, in front of Louisa's entire family, that he trained the person responsible for shutting the local factory in an asset-stripping raid. He later secures Bernard, Lou's father, a job as Head of Maintenance at the local castle, with the dual purpose of freeing Lou from her breadwinner role.
  • In Spider-Man 3, after freeing himself of the black suit, Peter sits alone in his apartment depressed after all his crimes he did while under the black suit. Aunt May comes in and checks on her nephew to see how he's doing and if he proposed to Mary Jane. Peter tells his Aunt that he's not ready for marriage because he had hurt Mary Jane and feels he is now lost on what to do. Aunt May then tells her nephew that he needs to forgive himself and that she believes that Peter will make things right again and that he is a good person, despite how Peter feels at the moment.
    Aunt May: Well, you start by doing the hardest thing: You forgive yourself. I believe in you, Peter. You're a good person. And I know you'll find a way to put it right.
  • In There's Something About Mary, Pat Healy is visiting Mary Jensen's house and accidentally kills her dog. And his reaction to this is to, quite literally, attempt to resuscitate the dog.
  • In In Bruges, Ray accidentally kills a child during his first job as a hitman. While he initially can't face his responsibility, by the end of the film he accepts that he must amend for his terrible crime, whatever the personal cost.

  • Roland, the "good guy" in The Dark Tower, ends up letting Jake, a boy he has grown to love, fall to his death by dropping him off an underground railway into a bottomless cavern in order to continue his quest. However, Jake is only in the same universe as Roland because he re-incarnated there after being killed in New York City. Roland unexpectedly ends up in Jake's New York at the point in time immediately before his death, and, because Roland still loves him and regrets his previous decision, takes the opportunity to prevent it. This not only saves Jake but creates a horrible paradox solved only when Roland helps him cross again to his world, where he embraces him as a son and trains him to take part in his quest.
    • It is said that this is due to Stephen King's own guilt at having killed off the character of Jake, whom he liked, in the first place, in which case Jake's role in the next six books is nothing more than a successful attempt to make amends.
  • Prince Galrion later named Nevyn in the Deverry books spends several hundred years trying to teach magic to various incarnations of his lover Brangwen after he had caused her death.
    "Brangwen, my love, forgive me! If we ever meet again, I swear I'll put this right. I swear to you—I'll never rest until I set this right."
  • This is a major theme in the Discworld novel Wintersmith. After a moment of thoughtlessness, Tiffany attracts the romantic attention of the personification of winter, messing up the cycle of the seasons. Though she insists that she's sorry for her mistake, the ever-blunt Granny Weatherwax informs her that sorry won't cut it, invoking this trope by name. She does eventually manage to fix things.
  • Ward of Dragon Bones didn't make any mistakes himself, but his ancestors did mess up very much. Oreg (who was Made a Slave by the founder of the bloodline, and treated badly by many ancestors), uses Ward's guilty conscience about this to guilt-trip him into killing Oreg, thus freeing him of his slavery, but ruining the castle , to set things right again.
  • Harry in The Dresden Files to an extent, during Ghost Story, when he realises the effects of some of his actions during the last book. Easier said than done since he happens to be dead, and the 'action' in question was dying and leaving his apprentice all alone.
    • Harry also feels at least a little bit of an urge to set right all the innocent people he is told (several times) whose deaths he caused by destroying the entire Red Court and thus creating a HUGE power vacuum in the supernatural world.
  • In Harry Potter, this is why Severus Snape was a good guy after all. He loved Lily Evans (Harry's mother and his former childhood friend), and ever since relaying the information that convinced Voldemort to kill her family, Snape's worked with Dumbledore to oppose Voldemort and to secretly protect Harry.
  • MonsterVerse: The movie novelizations have a couple cases. In the Godzilla: King of the Monsters novelization, Madison Russell wants to make up for her own part in helping the eco-terrorists to unleash a King Ghidorah-led army of Kaiju on the world when she takes matters into her own hands by stealing the ORCA and risking her life to help the heroes put an extra dent in Ghidorah's plans. In the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization, Dr. Ilene Andrews admits during the mission to find Kong a new home that she feels guilty about Monarch's role in Skull Island's destruction by Camazotz.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Daylen is partially responsible for what a mess the world is in due to his days as an Evil Overlord. After beginning his Redemption Quest, he considers it his duty to do everything he can to fix it, making restitution to as many of the millions of people he's wronged as possible.
    Who better to fight back the darkness of the world than the one responsible for most of it?

    Live-Action TV 
  • This happens with Londo in the second season of Babylon 5, right after he realizes that he's basically started an interplanetary war by being an idiot and working with the Shadows.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike's instant feelings of self-condemnation following his attempted rape of Buffy ultimately drove him to try to Must Make Amends by regaining his soul.
    • Pretty much Angel's entire character, since he's The Atoner. Especially apparent after he gets his soul back and returns from hell. Nobody trusts him at all, especially Giles and Xander, so he spends the whole season doing good and helping them from the background to slowly show that he isn't evil anymore. In Season 9, Angel wants to make up for killing Giles by finding a way to bring him back from the dead.
    • What Andrew spends most of Season 7 trying to do.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Tenth Doctor in both parts of "The End of Time" is working from this trope, and to a lesser extent Blood Knight, after an A God Am I moment in "The Waters of Mars" resulted in history changing for the worse instead of the better as he intended, with Captain Brooks committing suicide to make sure time wasn't destroyed altogether.
    • In "Time Heist", the heist is a rescue mission contracted by the future dying Karabaxos for just this reason.
    • In "Hell Bent", the Doctor has become The Unfettered Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds desperate to save Clara Oswald from her death by pulling her out of time at the last possible moment, which creates a paradox that threatens to destroy the universe, alienates him from others, and triggers another, briefer A God Am I moment. This is because he believes he is partially, if not entirely, to blame for Clara's death via his recent actions and choices, thus not living up to his "duty of care" as a Doctor. He hopes to make amends by wiping her memories of him and dropping her off on Earth to live a nice, safe life free of his "bad" influence. His Heel Realization reveals to him that what he wants is a Tragic Dream and what he truly must make amends for is his misguided, selfish attempt to undo something he wrongly blamed himself for. In the end, he is mind wiped of crucial memories of her, forgetting even that he loved her; as well he's alone again for — after years of seeking it — he probably won't be able to return to his homeworld for a while as he's a wanted man. But he accepts this, noting that one must "Never be cruel and never be cowardly. And if you ever are, always make amends."
    • In "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls", the Doctor is desperate to save Bill Potts when his plan to test Missy's capacity for goodness goes unexpectedly wrong and she is blasted through the chest and sent to the other end of a gigantic starship. Unfortunately, thanks to Time Dilation and Missy's previous self he isn't able to pull this off; by the time he reaches her, Bill is the very first Mondasian Cyberman and he doesn't know how he can fix that under the grim circumstances they are now in. She doesn't hold this against him, probably because he really didn't have a hope. Ultimately another character restores her to a humanoid form and they take the thought-to-be-dead Doctor back to his TARDIS before departing. Bill and the Doctor later reunite in "Twice Upon a Time", the finale for that particular incarnation of the latter.
  • Frasier: In a mid-season 10 episode, it is Frasier's son's bar mitzvah and Frasier wants to give a blessing in Hebrew to his son. At his radio station works Noel Shemsky, a huge Trekkie and fluent in Hebrew, and Frasier asks him for help. As the time to do this is around a Trek convention, Noel asks Frasier to get him Scott Bakula's signature. Frasier attempts but fails to get there in time because of traffic. Noel still teaches him the words. After the lesson Frasier feeling guilty, spends an undisclosed amount of money buying an authentic wig from one of the Original series' most famous episodes as an apology. Noel is shocked with emotion especially as he taught Frasier what to say, but in Klingon out of anger at the first failure. And Frasier ends up reciting it to his son in front of the entire audience.
  • In Heroes
    • Sylar attempts one of these during Volume 3. It didn't take.
    • Interestingly enough though, a version of the future that Peter visits during that arc shows what would've happened if Syl-erm, Gabriel Grey did complete his Heel–Face Turn. That one didn't work out for long either.
  • Law & Order: When Claire Kincaid dies, a drunk driver picked the worst possible time to kill someone in a hit-and-run. Jack covers up evidence to get him a murder one conviction —and death penalty. Only at the last minute — and after much shaming by Jamie — does he change gears and let evidence of the defendant's drunkenness in.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has one of the main characters accidentally shoot a suspect, who turned out to be a cop. Cue the Big "NO!".
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit when Elliot realizes that a little girl falsely accused an innocent man of being her rapist, under pressure from Elliot himself and the shrink. The guy does not forgive Elliot since his life is already ruined, but Elliot throws himself wholeheartedly into finding the true culprit - and does so.
  • The end of Life on Mars has the main character betray his friends and leave them all to die, in order to return home. However, he decides he isn't really all that fond of 2006 after all and jumps off of a roof in order to go back and save them. He still thinks he's in a coma, but he likes his coma dream better. Maybe. See the WMG for more speculation.
  • This is mainly Tommy's reason for staying as the Green Ranger in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Despite the fact the Rangers knew he was under Rita's spell, he felt horrible for the trouble he caused and stayed on.
  • In episode 43 of Mimpi Metropolitan, minor character Bobby reveals that this is his motivation for trying to become a watchman. He believes he was responsible for Soleh's (the original watchman) death five episode prior, as he made the Deadly Prank that accidentally caused Soleh's heart attack. So when the watchman job is open, Bobi tries to become one so he can gives the earnings to Soleh's family.
  • The titular character of My Name Is Earl starts a list of all the things he must make amends for at the beginning of the series, being a newly-converted believer in karma. The entire series is Earl and his friends completing the list, one item at a time.
  • Connor does this in Primeval, in episode 5 of series 5, though he shows the intention a little beforehand.
    Connor: I helped build this. I need to make it right.
  • This happens with Clark in Smallville as he tries to go back in time to save Lana Lang from dying but in turn causes his father's death.
  • In Supernatural, season five is this for Sam after accidentally starting the Apocalypse. The second half of season six starts like this for him after he finds out what he did while soulless.
  • DG in Tin Man is already motivated to take down her evil sister, but then sees a vision in a cave revealing that, as a small child, she accidentally freed the witch possessing Azkedellia.
  • In the fifth season of The Wire, McNulty's plan to fake a serial killer probably loses all sympathy with the audience when he kidnaps a crazy homeless man to use as a "victim" and then dumps him in a homeless shelter in Virginia to ensure he's never found. McNulty's final action in the series finale is to track him down and drive him back to Baltimore so he can fix at least one consequence of his screw-up.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • It's not uncommon for scores to be changed within the course of the game. This is usually due to either the judges or Alex mishearing a response; Alex failing to explain a category with a gimmick; or an inaccurate or ambiguous clue misleading a contestant. Should a correction be needed, it will usually be given upon returning from commercial, or before a Daily Double.
    • If a contestant is found to have lost a game via an unfair ruling on a question that impacted the outcome, or via a flaw in game mechanics, they're often brought back on later episodes as a concession. Contestants like India Cooper, Paul Croshier, Bob Mesko, Tom Nichols, and Claudia Perry have benefited from such re-invites to later secure Tournament of Champions slots.
      • Averted if a contestant is brought back after an aforementioned error, only to lose worse than they did originally. For example, October 2002 4-day champion Phillip Steele was brought back for a second shot at his 5th win (and a 2003 TOC berth) the following April after a technical error in his original 5th game, only for his return episode to be the day that Brian Weikle won a then-record $52,000 in an absolute runaway.
    • In a unique example from tournaments, high school senior Milo Dochow was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the February 1999 Teen Tournament, but after a questionable judges ruling was found to have possibly cost him a semifinal spot, he was brought back for the February 2000 College Championship (though he didn't make it any farther there).
    • This happened three times in Season 34:
      • Rebecca Zoshak lost on the January 11, 2018 episode, which had the Final Jeopardy! clue "It's the first Oscar nominee for Best Picture to be produced by an internet streaming service" with the correct response being "What is Manchester by the Sea?" Rebecca wagered $7,575 and gave no response. In a dubbed-in clip during the credits, Alex pointed out that the clue was imprecise due to the film being distributed, not produced, by a streaming service. Zoshak was brought back for March 21, 2018, where she became a one-day champion with $14,407.
      • Ryan Fenster, on his fifth game airing February 2, 2018, was faced with "St. Thomas Aquinas died traveling to Lyon, France while attempting to heal this rift between the Latin & Greek churches" in Roamin' Catholics for $1,200. He gave an incorrect response of "What is the great schism?", which was deemed too precise for the intended response of just "schism", and he ended up losing the game. Later on, a former clue writer contacted the show and pointed out that "great schism" should've been accepted, so Fenster was brought back to defend in July 2018, where he went on to play for three more games.
      • Vincent Valenzuela was a challenger on the July 13, 2018 episode, where Final Jeopardy! was "This slang term for an environmentalist is literally true of groups that used passive resistance vs. deforestation, as in India in 1973." However, when the clue was displayed on the monitors, the "T" was missing, causing it to say "His slang term..." instead and misleading Vincent into crossing out the correct response of "What is a tree hugger?" in favor of a different response. Due to the typo, the producers agreed to bring Vincent back. He reappeared on the September 25, 2018 episode.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "The Creature Whisperer", Ocean accidentally lets a Hopinbob, an odd six-legged creature, loose in Headquarters on the same day that the Big O is set to arrive. He and Olympia are unable to catch it, and when it begins heading for Oprah's office (where she, Otis and the presumed Big O are located), Olympia initially suggests everyone give up, get grandma faces, and start over with new lives. However, Ocean decides to take initiative and says that since he caused the problem, then he should fix it. Eventually he manages to catch the creature after putting it to sleep.
    • The episode "A Job Well Undone" revolves around Otis attempting to make up for his mistake of not turning his paperwork in on time by doing just that in order for him and Olympia to properly claim the Agent of the Month award after winning it. However, the catch is that he adamantly refuses to have Olympia help him, telling her that it's his mistake and that he feels he should take sole responsibility in fixing it. This ends up biting him in the butt when Opa (read: Orson in disguise), the receptionist, keeps refusing Otis's submitted paperwork due to small mistakes on them, and he becomes overworked trying to fix them all on his own. Eventually Opa is exposed, Olympia and Otis claim the award, and Otis learns an Aesop about not being afraid to ask for help in fixing a mistake.
  • The Price Is Right: The show uses physical props for the pricing games, and if there's ever a breakdown in the prop(s), they'll award the prize (or top prize) to the player.
  • Shtisel: Lippe for most of the show after he realizes he shouldn't have abandoned his family and returns to them. He has a few stumbles, but by Season 3 is unmistakably a better person, and even more on his children's side than his wife is sometimes (in the case of Ruchami and Yosa'le's romantic lives).
  • Played for laughs in an episode of Seinfeld, involving an alcoholic guest character played by James Spader who is undergoing a process of this due to working through the Twelve Steps. George is especially pleased by this as a few years ago he asked to borrow a sweater belonging to Spader's character only to be refused because Spader's character feared that he'd ruin the neckline, implying that he thinks George has an abnormally large head. Unfortunately for George, Spader's character doesn't happen to feel he did anything wrong by doing this...
  • That '70s Show: In "Kitty's Birthday (That's Today?!)", Red and Eric forget Kitty's birthday and tried to pass it off as a Not-So-Forgotten Birthday, but she sees through it, and after an extremely dumb and insensitive defense by Red, they agree to take her square-dancing to apologize about that.

  • In The Duchess of Malfi, Bosola strangles the duchess, but almost immediately attempts to revive her once he learns that her brother, who hired him to commit the murder, is refusing to pay him. It doesn't work. He tries to make amends by spending the remainder of the play trying to protect the life of the duchess's lover. That doesn't work either, in fact, he ends up killing the guy he's trying to protect.

    Video Games 
  • Chell of Portal made a huge mistake by putting Wheatley in charge instead of GLaDOS, and spends the rest of the game trying to put GLaDOS back before Wheatley's incompetence blows everything up.
  • The Light Side run of both Knights of the Old Republic games is fueled by this.
  • Faldio from Valkyria Chronicles. After shooting Alicia to bring out her Valkyria powers, he justified his actions to Welkin, Captain Varrot, and to himself that it needed to be done for Gallia's survival. After spending some time in confinement, he began to regret his actions and went to kill himself and Maximilian at the Marmota, even apologizing to Welkin and Alicia that his reasoning did not justify his actions.
  • From Tales of the Abyss, we have Luke, who ended up destroying the mining town Akzeriuth from his blind loyalty to his mentor Van. He spends some time in denial, but after some soul searching and an Important Hair Cut to boot, he starts almost going to become a Martyr Without a Cause thanks to the overwhelming guilt.
  • The Nameless One from Planescape: Torment. The entire point of him seeking out Ravel Puzzlewell in order to sever his body from his mortality — thus making him immortal and accidentally causing his amnesia — is that he knew he would never live long enough to make up for all of the crimes he had committed before he became good. It didn't work out too well.
  • Roxas from Kingdom Hearts fits this. After killing off Xion, he tries his best to respect his dead friend's wish—by setting all the hearts that both he and she had collected free from Kingdom Hearts and foiling Xemnas's plan for gaining ultimate power. The way he goes about doing so wasn't really what Xion had intended him to do to begin with, and it was all because he wanted his life with Xion and Axel back. Riku stops him from going about his suicidal rampage to confront Xemnas, setting the stage for Kingdom Hearts II.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Terra gets tricked by Master Xehanort, and as a result not only nearly causes the apocalypse and puts Ventus in a permanent coma, he is on the receiving end of a Grand Theft Me, and Master Xehanort riding around in his body would cause uncountable calamities a decade later. As his Lingering Will falls into slumber, he thinks to himself:
    "Aqua, Ven... One day I will set this right."
    • DiZ ends up being an example. When he reveals himself as Ansem the Wise to King Mickey, he recounts the deep shame he felt when he saw what his bid for revenge brought upon poor Riku, and later even tries apologizing to Roxas. He uses the name of this trope outright by saying "I must make amends to these young people".
  • Raven does this twice over in Tales of Vesperia after he delivers Estellise to the Big Bad Alexei. After his Heel–Face Turn, he saves the entire party by holding up the collapsing ceiling of Baction long enough for them to escape. After surviving this, he follows the party to the Heracles for the sole purpose of settling accounts with them. He's also a virtually immortal Death Seeker and fully expected them to kill him, but they settle for taking turns punching him in the face.
  • Scorpion from Mortal Kombat cannot get over the fact that Sub-Zero, who at the time was Noob Saibot, murdered his family and clan and is constantly after revenge.
  • Victor Lazarin from WildStar invented the "Everlife Elixir," which mutated into the Contagion that nearly wiped out his species, and then invented the Vitalus Serum that lets them keep together what little shreds of themselves — physically and mentally — they have left. These days, he's working tirelessly for a cure alongside being instrumental to solving numerous epidemics on the Exile fleet.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hawke feels that Corypheus is his/her responsibility as s/he was the one who woke him and agrees to help due to wanting to fix that mistake. This is one of the reasons s/he is willing to sacrifice him/herself later in the story.
  • The "Burning Tides" story arc in League of Legends had estranged friends Graves and Twisted Fate doing this simultaneously for each other in what they thought was their final hour. Graves (who hated Fate for abandoning him when a fight went south), gave Fate the means to escape; Fate (who left because he could see it was hopeless), immediately turned around and risked his life to free Graves. They survived and departed as friends again.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Princess Cedani's tendency to adopt wild animals and Velek's timing in answering the job ad for Court Hunter interact in exactly the way one would imagine, with Cedani's current pet killed by mistake. When told of the mistake by Cedani's father, Velek gets even more motivated in taking the job so he can make up for it.
  • In Infamous, Cole's Best Friend Zeke betrays him and joins Kessler because Kessler claims that he can give Zeke the one things he desires, Powers, if he hands over the Ray Sphere. After realizing Kessler lied and that he betrayed his friend for nothing, Zeke does his best to make it up to Cole, who doesn't fully forgive him until the end of the second game.
  • CJ in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is constantly called a "busta" (coward) by his brother, Sweet, and his friends. This stems from two events; while it's not clear how it happened, it's implied that CJ wasn't around when his brother, Brian, needed him before he got killed in a gang shootout. Brian's death caused CJ to flee to Liberty City to get away from it all instead of helping Sweet and the Grove Street gang when they needed him most. A few years after that, CJ and Sweet's mother was shot and killed in a driveby from the Ballas gang, which has CJ return to Grove Street. CJ himself doesn't seem to deny the allegations of his cowardice, but he tends to make weak excuses to justify his actions. By the final mission, CJ realizes that Sweet was right about him by not helping everyone when he was needed, so CJ decides to confront Big Smoke alone to atone for abandoning his family and gang.
  • Barry Burton in Resident Evil betrays his teammates due Albert Wesker blackmailing him. When the truth comes to light, Bary's teammates assure him that he is not to blame for what he did, but Barry still feels awful that he went against his friends and vows to make up for it. He saves Jill and Carlos in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis before the city gets nuked and then he moves his family to Canada for their safety while he rejoins his teammates to take down Umbrella, who were responsible for the viral outbreak.

    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: An enraged Linkara destroys a pocket watch belonging to the mysterious antagonist known as the Gunslinger, and is horrified to find out a) that the Gunslinger is trying to free his home dimension from a ruthless tyrannical government, and b) without the watch, he can never go home. Linkara immediately pledges all his resources to trying to fix the problem. And makes good on it too.
  • In Worm, Taylor discovers that the first job she went on with the Undersiders served as a decoy for Coil so that he could abduct and imprison a twelve-year-old girl with precognitive powers. Taylor dedicates her life to rescuing the girl.


    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: The look on Vander's face as he sees a crying Vi and Powder makes it clear that he considers himself responsible for them becoming orphans as their parents were killed following him in revolution. He abandons his uprising and chooses to take them to safety instead. Its implied he became their adoptive father to redeem himself.
  • Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix: In the past, Sam Fisher brought his young daughter Sarah to the anti-Eden hacktivist group DedSec to ask them to wipe all records of her subversive status, giving her a chance to leave the country and start a new life elsewhere. But unbeknownst to Sam, Sarah had been indoctrinated by Eden's propaganda, and she immediately ratted DedSec out to the cops, resulting in its members being captured and sent to prison. Sam blamed himself for what happened, so he spent the next eight years plotting a successful attempt to rescue DedSec's leader Marcus Holloway. As Sam told Sarah before starting his rescue operation:
    Sam Fisher: A good man is rotting in hell because of me. It's my responsibility to make things right.
  • Justice League: Hawkgirl was already torn between loyalty to her home planet and her feelings for the teammates on whom she was spying. After she sold out the Earth and the League to her Thanagarian brethren, she discovered to her horror that they intended to destroy Earth in a bid to save Thanagar. Hawkgirl turned on them and provided the League with information crucial to defeating the Thanagarians. Ashamed by her prior actions, Hawkgirl resigned from the Justice League and secluded herself in Dr. Fate's household in order to think long and hard about what to do with the rest of her life. She came to the conclusion that resuming superheroism would be her best means of atoning for her wrongs and reconciling with the League. In a heartwarming moment, the League let her know that they voted to let her stay a Leaguer with Superman being the tiebreaker ("I believe in second chances").
    • This also makes a nice Call-Back to Superman: The Animated Series, where Superman has a similar need to make amends after Darkseid brainwashed him and turned him loose on Earth. A popular fan theory is that Superman's actions in the first episode of Justice League (essentially trying to become the world's policeman) is him still trying to make up for that.
  • Futurama followed the old trope title (Resuscitate the Dog) quite literally. Fry finds his old dog from the 20th century fossilized in a construction site. Feeling bad for abandoning him (despite not meaning to) he arranges for the professor to actually revive him. With Science!
    • In that same episode, Bender, in a fit of jealousy, literally kicked said dog's fossil into hot lava, but after realizing what he did, he went in to save him and recovered him.
  • Constantly happens in the Thomas & Friends series starting from season 8 to 16. After an engine makes three mistakes in their given job due to their Fatal Flaw or is just being plain incompetent, and after The Fat Controller calls them out for causing "confusion and delay", the engine will begin making things right with absolutely no problem at all. The engine finishes their job on time and The Fat Controller praises them by calling them "really useful engines".

    Real Life 
  • One could consider the scientific efforts to clone extinct animals this.
  • "I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead."
  • Many of the scientists who participated in or were otherwise linked to the development of nuclear weapons became fierce and vocal opponents of the nuclear arms race and advocates of nuclear disarmament. This list includes:
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer, head of the Manhattan Project
    • Andrei Sakharov, developer of the Soviet hydrogen bomb.
      • He later parlayed his disarmament campaign into a campaign for human rights and democracy in the Soviet Union. This naturally got him exiled to Siberia, but he was later rehabilitated and was elected to the first, last, and only (more or less) freely elected Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was shaping up to be a major leader of the Soviet democratic transition until his sudden death in December 1989.
    • Otto Hahn, part of the team that discovered nuclear fission (with Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann)
    • Albert Einstein, who sent a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, co-written with Leo Szilard, that led to the establishment of the Manhattan Project.
      • Szilard as well urged the abandonment of the Project once it became clear that Germany was not developing an atomic bomb. (His fear that they were was the reason he wrote the letter to Roosevelt in the first place.)
    • Niels Bohr, who had been on the Manhattan Project. He didn't quite advocate disarmament, but he was an architect of the "Atoms for Peace" vision that led to the creation of the IAEA.
  • Any suggestion of overt nationalism, interest in military conflict, and especially any allusions to the Holocaust or other deeds of Nazi Germany tends to go over badly in modern Germany. Nearly seventy years after the fall of Nazi Germany, making amends is still Serious Business to the Germans.
  • Earl Warren was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1953 to 1969, and he led the Court in a highly liberal direction that included major rulings in favor of equal civil rights for African-Americans and other minorities, voter rights, rights of the accused, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Before that, during the 1940s, he was the Attorney General of California and pushed the federal government to intern the Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast. Many people believe he realized just how awful that decision was and tried to make up for it with his time on the Supreme Court.
  • The Nobel Prize. Alfred Nobel was an inventor and industrialist who invented both dynamite, one of the first smokeless powders, and who was heavily involved in armaments manufacture. Upon reading a prematurely published obituary which identified him as a "merchant of death" who "became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before," Nobel became obsessed with cleaning up his legacy and significantly revised his will so that most of his estate would go to establishing the prizes. It seems to have worked since he is remembered today almost exclusively in connection to the awards.
  • After the success of Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the movie based on it, sharks were slaughtered en masse out of misguided fear that they actively hunted people. This panic — dubbed "the Jaws effect" — ended up driving a third of all shark species to the brink of extinction. Benchley came to regret the role he'd played in this, eventually becoming a conservationist and dedicating the rest of his life to trying to teach people that sharks are not the monsters he had portrayed them as.
  • One the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous involves making amends for any harm the recovering party caused while drunk.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Resuscitate The Dog


Jack Atlas

Jack regrets what he did to Yusei and decides to leave his old life behind, forge a new path, and make amends to the friends he betrayed.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheAtoner

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