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My Species Doth Protest Too Much

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Willow: Minuons are the other race on your homeworld, aren't they? They're like livestock to you.
Tristram: To my race, yes. Not to me.

When you're on the Planet of Hats for too long, someone's hat is going to fall off. The probability of this happening seems to be directly proportional to the flamboyance of the hat. That is, if Bob's planet is filled to the brim with Blood Knights, who proclaim "The greatest glory is to die in battle!" and "Only the strong survive!" over dinner, expect Bob to be a Pacifist.


There are a number of reasons why this happens:

  • There is a Writer on Board who wants to do An Aesop about hypocrisy or just an excuse to show why the Proud Warrior Race Guy has defected to a rival group.
  • So that the human characters can show their inherent moral superiority by demonstrating that they really care more about honor than the Proud Warrior Race Guy.
  • Deconstruction: Real people don't come from the Planet of Hats, and when you've got an entire species who has only one character trait among them, there are only so many interesting stories you can tell before you've got to make the characters more complex.
  • Plain old logic: Think about which individuals among them would choose to go live and work with humans.

Often happens to races who seem at first to be Always Chaotic Evil, resulting in them proving themselves to be Not Always Evil thanks to the occasional Token Heroic Orc. May lead to an Enemy Civil War as those who reject the hat fight the ones who love it. Despite the fact that the Klingon Scientists Get No Respect, they may not believe this trope and choose to "rebel" in order to enable their peers to wear their hat.


This trope's name comes from the oft-(mis-)quoted line from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Note that in Shakespeare's time, "protest" meant "proclaim solemnly or firmly" (which, in context "the lady" was suspiciously overdoing). That's the opposite of its modern western connotation, "dissent loudly", although it still occurs in "Protestant Christianity" and "to protest one's innocence".note  Using the example from above, Bob's warrior species "protests too much" by overly avowing violence, when all Bob wants to do is flirt with Alice the Granola Girl. It could also work with the modern definition, in that they are protesting against Bob's behavior.

Related to Cultural Rebel, Disappointing Heritage Reveal, Stop Being Stereotypical, and Stereotype Flip. All of the Other Reindeer is a variant of this. Square Race, Round Class is when the character's job (not necessarily their personality) contrasts with expectations of their species. Rogue Drone is an instance of this within a Hive Mind. Compare Father, I Don't Want to Fight and Pro-Human Transhuman. See also Black Sheep and White Sheep. If Bob is seen as more admirable by outsiders for having rejected his hat, You Are a Credit to Your Race may be invoked. When every member of a race that we see subverts their supposed attribute, it becomes an Informed Attribute.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, you have several Arrancars that all stand out from the others, but out of all of them, Nel was the only one who could be rightfully called a pacifist. All the other Arrancars (save for the occasional) cherished fighting, and if it was for a goal or revenge, even the most levelheaded ones would go out for blood.
  • Nobody in Damekko Doubutsu lives up to their Animal Stereotypes even though they're humans wearing animal outfits.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • This is how Goku feels about the Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z. Thanks to being raised on Earth and his head injury, Goku is a softhearted, kind man, while the Saiyans were ruthless Jerkasses who committed planetary genocide for profit. When Goku learned that he is a Saiyan, he initially denounced his race and wanted nothing to do with them. After the events of Namek, he does embrace his Saiyan heritage, although he makes a point to say that he's a Saiyan raised on Earth.
    • Dragon Ball Super has a perfect example with Zamasu. an apprentice Supreme Kai and one of the main villains (technically the only villain, just multiple versions of himself) of the Future Trunks Saga. As a whole, the Kais are Always Lawful Good and serve as benevolent Gods of Creation. Zamasu, however, looks down on mortals, views them as Always Chaotic Evil, and ultimately embarks on a genocidal rampage against them in the belief that the universe would be better off without them and even goes so far as to murder all his fellow Kais to keep them from getting in his way.
    • In Dragon Ball Heroes, this is how Froze, a member of Frieza's race, felt. In the debut trailer for Froze, an alien child throws a rock at him, clearly thinking that he's a bad guy like Frieza. He gets over it after Froze saves his life.
  • Elfen Lied: It's constantly stated that all Diclonii are genetically programmed to kill humans, but Nana is a Nice Girl and The Cutie.
  • No Game No Life: Elves tend to vary between self-righteous dicks and racist slavers. Feel holds with none of that, and her best friend is a human who is supposed to be her slave but is really the dominant one in their relationship. When Shiro and Soren ask Feel her opinion on their plan, which would disrupt elven society and endanger the entire species, Feel cheerfully says that she doesn't care if every one of those assholes dies.
  • Pokémon:
    • Mewtwo defies the idea that all Pokémon are loyal to and share a bond with their trainers. He regarded his cruel treatment by Team Rocket as evidence that humans torture Pokémon for their amusement.
    • Also Meowth. Even his teammates Ekans and Koffing tell him Pokémon are never bad, only their trainers are. However, Meowth either never had or no longer has a trainer and still has no difficulty committing criminal acts. He also hates the idea of being captured by a trainer (with a few exceptions of humans he would have chosen to serve).
    • One episode features a Rhydon, despite being a rock-type, enjoys swimming in lakes, rivers, and ponds. All the while doing so without being harmed by the waters. It's still shown to be weak against water during a battle though. A reference to how it can learn "Surf" in the games.
    • Dragonite are portrayed as noble, wise, and peaceful Pokémon despite being extremely powerful and really dangerous when angered. Iris' Dragonite, however, is extremely violent and loves to get into fights with strong opponents, though he's easily angered if he finds himself on the losing end.
    • The anime has very rarely featured Officer Jennys and Nurse Joys that have significant personality differences from the others, though it's been shown before all of them have very subtle differences.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders, some of the goats and wolves have grown tired of the constant fighting between their two tribes and work to make peace between the two groups, despite some being convinced there is no way the two can co-exist in harmony.

    Comic Books 
  • Rom Spaceknight encountered one member of the otherwise Always Chaotic Evil Dire Wraiths who had fallen in love while disguised as a human and become the mask. Unfortunately, his Half-Human Hybrid son was brainwashed by his people to embrace his evil legacy, killed both his parents and became one of Rom's most dangerous recurring enemies.
  • Loki in The Mighty Thor. Frost Giants are mostly depicted as very big, very stupid, and typically Dumb Muscle. Loki is, on the other hand, a Magnificent Bastard, a powerful sorcerer, and is usually shown as slightly shorter than Thor (the horns on his helmet notwithstanding) and pretty darn skinny. While he is still very strong and durable, that is primarily in comparison to Earth Superheroes/villains, not Asgardians and other Frost Giants. Notably, Frost Giants are an Always Chaotic Evil race, typically existing to be antagonists to the Asgardians. Loki plays this straight 9 times out of 10 (the other times can be excused as Enemy Mine situations).
  • Martian Manhunter: White Martians are the aggressive warmongering cousins of the Green Martians, not unlike the relationship between Star Trek Romulans and Vulcans. Miss Martian aka M'gann M'orz, looks just as fearsome as any other White Martian in her natural form, but she's a sweet girl at heart. Even the influence of her Bad Future evil self turned Enemy Within (long story) ultimately couldn't turn her evil.
  • In Superman: Last Son of Earth, Krypton matches the early Post-Crisis depiction (super-advanced but emotionally stilted, very Vulcan-esque), but Kal-El's free spirit, open mind, and drive to explore inspires his parents to embrace their emotions, donning Silver Age costumes and shedding their life-extending bio-suits on the grounds that a short, happy life is better than a stagnant eternity.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Judge Dredd: Sensitive Klegg is the one member of his species who defected because he doesn't like eating people. He's still shunned and nearly murdered by Mega City One citizens for his intimidating appearance.
    • The Ten-Seconders: The Scientist left the Gods when he realized their flaws and seeks to genuinely help humanity, despite being a God himself. However, he abandons this when he gains the opportunity to destroy his Fathers and take their truly Godlike powers for himself, even boasting that he'll leave the Earth a lifeless rock.
  • Fin Fang Foom, a longtime enemy of Iron Man, is a subversion. His people, the Makluans, are a race of colossal dragon-like creatures with amazing Super Strength, Voluntary Shapeshifting, and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens technology that could almost be seen as magical by human standards. They're also generally peaceful and good-natured, and are content to leave other races alone. Foom and some of his cohorts left their home planet because they were evil, and wanted to use their amazing power to enslave other planets and races.
  • The Brood in X-Men. They are a race of Wasp-like alien insects and Xenomorphs and the Brood are also very well known for being Always Chaotic Evil, although there are some exceptions such as No-Name of the Warbound and Broo of the The Jean Gray School for Higher Learning are two present-day examples of "benign" Brood. There's also a similar group that exists in Bishop's timeline.
  • New Gods:
    • The denizens of Apokolips are Always Chaotic Evil, even the Lowlies - the oppressed slave cast of their world subjected to constant abuse (so constant, in fact, that the idea of freedom is entirely alien to them) that ends with death - are said to be just as corrupt as their masters. Exceptions to this rule exist, such as Orion (due to him being raised by someone far nobler), his wife Bekka (born and raised in Apokolips and heroic in every way that counts), and Big Barda (groomed from young age to be a ruthless warrior for Darkseid's elite before she switched sides).
    • Darkseid's Parademons are typically mindless monsters with no free will of their own that obey their master without question. Though in very rare occasions, some Parademons develop their own sentience and turn become peaceful creatures that just want to be left alone such as "Mike" and 3g4.
  • Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run deconstructs this; the Token Heroic Orc ends up being the true Big Bad, as she hates her own people and culture so much that she's become a Misanthrope Supreme. She wants to destroy Breakworld and kill everyone on it, an action she perceives as a Mercy Kill. When the X-Men rightfully object to this, she immediately turns on them and tries to physically force Colossus to trigger the planet's self-destruct.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Groot's backstory is that he was a member of a whole race of Plant Aliens who used to abduct and experiment on other organic life-forms (and who also communicated solely by saying "I am Groot!"). When Groot helped free one test subject, a young human girl, Groot was seen as a traitor and banished from his homeworld.
  • Daxamites are almost universally xenophobic jerks, with the potential to be as powerful as a Kryptonian under a yellow sun. The most prominent Daxamite however is Valor/Lar Gand/Mon-El who is a peaceful explorer whose life goal is to help the oppressed wherever he finds them and whose most important relationships are with non-Daxamites. Another example of a good Daxamite is Sodam Yat of the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Shadows of the Empire: Evolution: Most Houks are violent, surly criminals. Gorb Drig is a polite, patient diner owner who recalls how he and his son saved their money to buy the diner before his son became a casualty of "another foolish Houk war of conquest."

  • Mario Ultimate Adventure: Despite most Goombas being weak and near-useless in combat, Goombarry is a great warrior who protects his town of Aridian and wants to become the World's Strongest Man to prove that not all Goombas are so pathetic. He joins Mario as soon as he can and plows through hundreds of Bandits alongside him.
  • Greenfire: Greenfire is nothing like other dragons. He admits that he's never had any contact with other dragons, so his behavior is a mix of his instincts and what he reads of dragons in his books.
  • In A Triangle in the Stars, Peridot's Homeworld hat fell off even before the final straw that made her flee. She's also, unlike her canon counterpart, more empathetic, and hates what her species does and has made her do.
  • In Shadows of the Past Will says that while he doesn't hate humans like the rest of the Decepticons, he really doesn't care all that much about them outside of his immediate Earth family.
  • The Powers of Harmony: The Changeling Princess Pupa firmly believes that Changelings and ponies can live in peace, unlike her sister Chrysalis and the rest of their kind, who happily enslave and feed off of them. This is a common interpretation of changelings, that most of them are evil like Chrysalis, but there are some who just want to live like normal ponies and not eat the love of other ponies... or at least would like to earn that love. This interpretation is Ascended Fanon, as of the Season 6 Finale.
  • Harmony Theory: Downplayed. Calumn has an existential crisis about his identity as a changeling and what that means, but changelings do not seem to be Always Chaotic Evil in this My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic. Just different.
  • Inverted in RealityCheck's Nyxverse, it turns out that the majority of Changelings consider Chrysalis to be a rabble-rousing fool whose short-sighted attempt to conquer Equestria with a bunch of malcontent youths ruined the lives of those who were content to quietly hide among pony society. In fact, judging from Flitter and her parents, they aren't even evil.
  • In Pony POV Series, the Changelings aren't so much evil, as having a severe misunderstanding of what they're actually doing due to Fantastic Racism enforced by their queens. That said, some Changelings, such as General Hercules Beetle, don't believe in that (Hercules is only on the villain's side out of loyalty to the Queen, not due to hating ponies) and some have even gone so far as to perform a Heel–Face Turn and defect after realizing ponies aren't cattle. Among them is Bon Bon's 'twin sister' Moth and three Royal Guards named Bombardier, Diver, and Weaver, all of which came to Equestria for this reason and aid in defeating Chrysalis.
  • In Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel Origins, Wrex keeps this up as per canon—annoyed that his species insists on continuing to be violent/destructive instead of working to help fight the greater threat. Ultimately, he takes advantage of the Alien Invasion to put himself in charge of whatever comes afterward since most of the species (including the violent ones) were wiped out.
  • In Crowns of the Kingdom, Hypatia is the one nice Dispiration, and she eventually convinces all the others to become nice.
  • In Fairy Without Wings the mixed universe has the mindset that not all demons are evil and some want to coexist with humans. However, because demons are considered Always Chaotic Evil that's not a likely outcome to happen any time soon.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • Dark's race, the shadow demons, are explicitly stated to only exist to kill at the behest of their summoners. Dark, however, is the exception.
      Dark: So what if I was born from hatred and fear? I never wanted to be evil. I never wanted to be a killer.
    • The chronoflies were all stated to be a peaceful race who kept to themselves, but Falla is a sadistic, sociopathic Jerkass who views all other races as Pitiful Worms, wants power for power's sake, and doesn't give a damn about anyone who's not her, not even her own family.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash catches a Yanma in a Bug-Catching contest. Later when teamed-up with Red in the Fuchsia Tag Tournament, Red notes how Ash's Yanma only used physical attacks during their first battle, which is odd given that Yanma are usually more special attackers. Ash replied that he noticed while training his Yanma that it didn't seem to like special attacks very much, so he had it work with physical attacks instead.
  • Cooler in Hermit is the only frost demon that's willing to actually do the dirty work himself rather than rely on far weaker minions. Notably, Cooler personally conquered an extremely valuable world that the Frost Empire had been trying to acquire for years but is mocked for taking matters into his own hands rather than sending in mercenaries to do the job for him.
  • In The Road to be a Pokemon Master, Serena catches a Zangoose that has no interest in fighting Sevipers, which is a trait instinctive to all other Zangoose, and rather be sleeping or play music. But before she caught it, her Sableye uses Torment on it and goad it into attacking her Seviper, which leads to her and Seviper working together to defeat it. Once it was caught, it reverts back to its peaceful nature.
  • Blessed with a Hero's Heart has a couple of examples, coming from people that Izuku Reincarnated once he gained that spell:
    • Keel the Lich and his wife Sasha get reincarnated as a Dark Elf and a High Elf respectively. The two being together at the Adventurer's Guild gets them looks from everyone, implying their species are at odds with each other.
    • Wiz becomes an Avariel, a race of winged elves that were driven to extinction in the last demihuman war by Harpies. This doesn't stop her from being obsessed with Chika (a Black Harpy) and wanting to cuddle her feathers, much to the chagrin of Chris aka Eris.

    Films — Animated 
  • In An American Tail, Tiger is the one 'nice' cat who is a vegetarian and doesn't eat mice. He admits to eating fish so he's more of a pescetarian.
  • Lenny from Shark Tale pulls the same deal... except, it's specifically fish he doesn't eat, since he lives in, y'know, the ocean. This leaves the mind boggling as to what, precisely, he does eat...
  • And then there are the sharks from Finding Nemo. Apparently having a carnivorous animal eschew the consumption of the diet it requires to survive makes it more likeable.
  • Chomper from The Land Before Time is the only sharptooth who is seen befriending leaf-eaters and is the only sharptooth who lives in the great valley. As such, he prefers befriending leaf-eaters and generally doesn't associate with sharpteeth outside his family.
  • In the film adaptation of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, the Oomps are a group of nice goblins who are outcasts in Nightmareland.
  • In Ronal the Barbarian, the titular character is a weak, thin guy who's relatively reluctant to combat and related activities. He comes from a tribe of super-strong barbarians whose favourite activities include combat, showing off muscles, training... you get the idea.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: This is more of a cultural example instead of species, but the principle is the same: Vikings are warriors obsessed with fighting and killing dragons. Hiccup, the protagonist, is a weak but smart kid that finds himself unable to do this. He can't fight the conventional way, so he builds a device to shoot at them. It knocks The Dreaded Night Fury out of the sky, which leads to the rest of the plot.
  • Odyssey Into the Mind's Eye features this with a factory full of hammers. Apparently, one hammer got tired of the same, stale rhythm and decided to bust out his own beat, turning himself into a red mallet in the process. The other hammers realize this and pause just to deliver a Death Glare (fairly impressive considering they don't even have faces). He is cowed into returning to the regular beat. Until the end, whereupon he resumes his outlandish beat without any concern for what his fellow hammers think.
  • Balto: This is a point of contrast between the title character and Steele. Balto is a Wolf-Dog, whose kind is reputed to be violent and unpredictable, but Balto is as good-hearted and heroic as dogs get. Steele, on the other hand, is an Alaskan Malamute, whose kind is known to be on average, the friendliest dog breeds out there. Steele himself, however, is a selfish, vainglorious, and all-around vicious mongrel.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Deaths of Ian Stone ups the ante—it seems The Power of Love can redeem even Humanoid Abominations.
  • Wheelie in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen did a Heel–Face Turn when he realized that, just because a Cybertronian is born a Decepticon, doesn't mean that they have to stay a Decepticon.
    • Jetfire also decides to defect:
      Jetfire: Tell me, is that robot civil war still going on? Who's winning?
      Sam: The Decepticons.
      Jetfire: Well, I changed sides to the Autobots.
      Sam: What do you mean, changed sides?
      Jetfire: It's a choice. It's an intensely personal decision. So much negativity... Who wants to live a life filled with hate?
  • In Pixels, Q*Bert doesn't want to take part in the destruction of Earth and longs after times when his species wasn't hell-bent on fighting a war with humans.
  • Star Wars:
  • Deconstructed in Bright: Thousands of years ago, orcs were servants to an Evil Overlord except for one named Jirak, who would unite the Free Peoples against the dark lord. Despite an orc being the one to have saved the world, the other peoples would focus on orcs' actions as a whole, instead of just one exceptional individual that was the "good orc", resulting in thousands of years of their race being despised and discriminated. In modern times, they are pretty much second-class citizens (at least in Los Angeles) and still treated as an Always Chaotic Evil, specially by humans and elves.
  • The Promise (2016): Many of the Turks are shown to not all be on board with the Armenian genocide and do what they can to stop it. Three notable examples include:
    • Mustafa, a driver who helps escort the orphans out to Musa Dagh and stays with the Armenians.
    • A deputy governor appearing before the American Protestant Mission in Turkey, risking his life to inform them that an evacuation must start.
    • Emre: the son of a Turkish aristocrat who betrays his father and government to report on Chris being imprisoned and nearly executed to Henry Morgenthau, the American ambassador to the Ottomans. This gets Emre shot for treason, but his actions allow Chris to inform the French navy that a large number of Armenians are trapped and need aid.

  • Ker in Battlefield Earth. Handwaved with very Hollywood Science in the book — all Psychlos except him are evil because they have a piece of metal in their brains that connects their desire nerves to their greed nerves... or something. Which makes "Goodboy"'s murder of their entire species another Designated Hero moment. To be fair, he didn't know that all female Psychlos were sterilized before being sent offworld or that the bomb he sent to their planet would do more than take out the capital city.
  • Naturally, this shows up sometimes in the Star Trek Novel Verse:
    • Two of the alien characters in the Star Trek novella series Starfleet Corps of Engineers fit the trope. The first is P8 Blue the Nasat, who likes to "shake things up" and have adventures, in contrast to the rest of the Nasats, who are typically super-cautious, conservative, and hate taking risks. There's also Soloman the Bynar (formally known as 110), who received his name after his mate died, and he refused to return home and take a new partner as expected. But the trope is averted with the third alien character, Tev, who is very much the stereotypical Tellarite. This is noted by a human character, who in fact thinks Tev is the most stereotypical Tellarite he's ever encountered.
    • In Star Trek: Ex Machina, there's Spring Rain on Still Water the Megarite. Most Megarite females spend their lives sitting on beaches, doing little else, and consider travel to be "beneath" a female. Spring Rain On Still Water, though, prefers a more adventurous life and believes her people's lack of interest in exploration or contact with offworlders is a dangerous trait in a culture. She has in turn been condemned by her matriarchs for "lowering" herself.
    • Imzadi features a female Orion scientist, who makes a point of being as unlike a typical Orion woman as possible because that is the only way anyone would take a female Orion scientist seriously. She even wears Purely Aesthetic Glasses.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan has Kurda, the one pacifist in a mountain full of Proud Warrior Race Guy vampires, is an interesting example. When the main character first meets him, we find out that he is soon to become a Vampire Prince, and that 54% of the Vampire Generals voted for him even though his beliefs go against the clan's traditional ways. As Darren tries to find his way as a vampire, Kurda provides a counterweight to the other vampires, who push Darren, a physically-immature half-vampire, into dangerous situations that could get him killed (and force him to undergo dangerous trials where failure would get him executed even if he survives). Kurda is the one who tells Darren that he shouldn't judge himself by the values of others, but that he should follow his heart. Then in book 5, Darren sees Kurda stab a friend of theirs, and lead members of an enemy clan into Vampire Mountain. It looks bad, and Darren does the only thing he can think of — he exposes Kurda's treason before his investiture as a Prince. The vampires slaughter the enemy invaders — but at Kurda's trial, it is revealed that those they slaughtered weren't attackers at all. They were trying to make peace between the two clans before the rise of the other clan's prophesied leader, who will start a war that will destroy them all. Nonetheless, Kurda is executed for his deeds. As the war drags on, more and more of those involved come to realize that Kurda was right, and in the end after he dies, Darren wishes he'd been more like Kurda.
    • On top of that, the prequels show that Kurda was one of the only vampires who tried to help the human victims during World War II, while the other vampires essentially turned up their noses at a "lesser" species.
  • Dobby and Firenze in the Harry Potter series. Interestingly, in Dobby's case, you don't find out he follows this trope until two books later in Goblet of Fire, when you encounter some house-elves still wearing their Happiness in Slavery hats. Leads to some Blue-and-Orange Morality, because, for most house-elves, "freeing" them (or even offering to pay them) is cruelty, because it essentially means firing them from the job they love. Dumbledore deals with this by keeping house-elves at Hogwarts, but treating them well and freeing and/or paying them if they should happen to want it. Dobby is also shown to downplay this trope when he reveals that Dumbledore offered him the standard human wage and weekends off, but Dobby instead requested 10% of the salary and one day off a month, saying that he didn't want too much freedom or at least compensation. Firenze is nearly killed by his herd for dismissing their ideology and "betraying them" by accepting a paying position as a teacher from a wizard in Order of the Phoenix and is only saved by Hagrid's timely intervention.
  • R.A. Salvatore's Chaotic Good drow, Drizzt Do'Urden, so much copied and parodied. Which also demonstrated the dangers of this trope — derailing or blurring the original concept:
    R.A. Salvatore: This will sound strange, I know, but I'm almost a bit saddened by the success of Drizzt. He was the "different" drow, but because of his popularity, others are emulating him more and more. Why does that make me sad? I fear for the integrity of the evil drow race as antagonist.
    • Drizzt's case later was partially self-deconstructed (Dark Mirror).
    • Also applicable to the surface-dwelling followers of Eilistraee, the only non-evil Drow deity. They convert "spider kissers", but it's not a "rebellion": Eilistraee chose to stick to her old ways (and keep followers there) despite the Face–Heel Turn of Araushnee-Lloth. Also, lots of ambiguousness ensued. They were pictured half as dangerous as other drow: paranoid, prone to gregarious overreactions and requiring constant supervision of alert semi-divine being to keep them on the right way — and then some questioned her dedication to Eilistraee (Silverfall).
    • In the War of the Spider Queen series, a few of the characters (notably the wizard) are set up to be possibly not evil, but then spectacularly banish this notion by murdering friends and the like. Pharaun Mizzrym betrayed out of fear and felt bad about it, so he doesn't quite fall out of implied Chaotic Neutral, and Ryld Argith stays as nice guy as he can afford to be, to the end. Even so, neither character did jump out of the Drow ways.
    • How to one-up Salvatore on this trope, in the same setting? How about orog paladin! Oh, and after he died, Queen Zaranda created the Loyal Order of Innocents (dedicated to Torm) and petitioned them to consider Shield of Innocence for a nomination as their patron saint.
  • One can find this reflecting different cultures of humans (Alderaanians compared to Corellians) as often as different species in Star Wars.
    • For example, in the Legends, Winter Celchu (a childhood friend of Leia's from famously-disarmed Alderaan) quickly came to favor military action against the Empire (and there had to be some Corellian actuaries.) Not to mention that in the EU, Alderaan only disarmed in the prior twenty years or so, making taking up arms once more fairly easy (one story even has it that all their war materials were put on ships that could be called home assuming this was necessary). For a more conventional example, after the Battle of Endor, Twi'leks were tired of being seen as a species of scheming male traders and their female merchandise, and the strong warrior tradition of the species came to greater prominence as the warriors became more vocal. Finally, it's noted that species that tend more strongly to the Planet of Hats (like the Ithorians) stay that way by kicking out troublemakers, so that members of the species encountered out in the galaxy are far more likely to be examples than those on the homeworld.
    • Note that in Star Wars (EU at least) "Hats" tend to be treated more as cultural stereotypes, usually mildly to extremely offensive to the given race, depending on the nature of the race (but not necessarily the accuracy of the stereotype) - i.e. Corellians, by and large, enjoy their reputation, while Voort SaBingring, the Gamorrean on Wraith Squadron, certainly does not enjoy his (though he is forced to admit that the reason he escapes his species' hat is due to being biochemically altered). Nat Secura is similarly shown to be distasteful of the attitude taken towards Twi'leks, as is Nolaa Tarkonaa (though she fits the scheming stereotype to a T).
    • Blotus the Hutt subverted the "Ruthless Gangster" stereotype of the Hutts, by having served 275 years as the Chancellor of the Republic, and is considered one of the most well-liked chancellors in its history. Then again, this was 9000 years before the movies. Hell, there was even a Hutt Jedi once, though he fell to the Dark Side, so that's kind of iffy.
    • During the New Jedi Order series, this was half of the point of the Edge of Victory duology - a chance to see a Yuuzhan Vong that wasn't a lunatic warrior. The books introduced Vua Rapuung (an embittered and vengeful but honorable ex-warrior who'd been burned by a love affair gone sour), Nen Yim (a Punch-Clock Villain with enough redeeming traits she probably would have been an outright heroine had she not been raised in a culture that had no problem with using sentient beings as lab rats) and fleshed out the Shamed Ones, the Vong's oppressed slave caste who didn't give a damn about their superiors' genocidal ambitions. Before that, we had Nom Anor, who was every bit as evil as his colleagues, but evil of a completely different flavor- he was a self-serving, cowardly Manipulative Bastard in contrast to their violent fanaticism.
    • The X-Wing Series invokes this more than once when it comes to Twi'leks. When Rogue Squadron visits Ryloth on a diplomatic mission, they meet with representatives of both the merchant and warrior castes. The latter laments the fact that Twi'leks are viewed as traders at best and slaves or criminals at worst, and accuses the former of playing into galactic stereotypes. Later, when a Twi'lek member of Rogue Squadron meets a fellow Twi'lek fighter pilot who had been a slave, she rebuffs his attempts at polite conversation, saying they had nothing in common.
    • A key aspect of Chiss culture is their aversion to preemptive strikes. Grand Admiral Thrawn, arguably the most well-known Chiss, is a strong, outspoken advocate of this military strategy. Suffice it to say, he is exiled by his people.
      • Later books, particularly Survivor's Quest, Thrawn's former disapproving superior Formbi seems to have come around to this perspective, as well.
    • Introduced during the Legacy of the Force novels, Darth Vectivus is one of the very few if not the only Sith in the entirety of Star Wars history who was not a completely insane conquering despot. An effective if ruthless businessman, he simply goes to the Sith, learns what they have to teach, works his way up to Sith Lord, and then goes right back to his old life without a hitch.
    • This is a bit of a running theme/gag in the Knights of the Old Republic comic by John Jackson Miller, as a few secondary alien characters are as opposed to their species' "hat" as can be :
      • The Moomo brothers are Ithorians, but also stupid and brutish, with one of them obsessed by explosives whereas the other has a fondness for bludgeons of all stripes.
      • Slyssk is a Trandoshan who gets nauseous at the thought of the hunt and would rather cook whatever the hunters bring back.
      • The Zeltron, a race famous for its empathetic abilities, gives us the sociopath Antos Wyrick.
  • Redwall:
    • To date, about three vermin have pulled the Heel–Face Turn. The first, Veil in The Outcast of Redwall, smacked into Redemption Equals Death. The third, Romsca in Pearls of Lutra, also had to die for her chance at redemption (although to be fair, the scene was moving). Blaggut in The Bellmaker is the only named vermin character who had never seemed evil to begin with, probably because he wasn't bright enough to be a true threat.
    • There were also all the surviving rats on the island in Marlfox. At least, they seemed pretty happy and content to live without weapons and evil rulers. The same thing seems to happen in Eulalia, which also contains a hedgehog who starts out a spoiled kleptomaniac (though he does reform) and a downright rotten vole (voles were an "either/or" species in the Redwall books— a previous vole character was entirely indifferent to others, spying on his fellow slaves for the villains).
  • Surprisingly averted in the fantasy novel Villains by Necessity. The near-extinct Nathauan race is known for their cruelty, rampant destruction, and penchant for eating any sentient race (including their own). Valeriana, one of the protagonists, is from said race...she can't be as bad as all that, right? Wrong. When she arrives and her power is questioned, she looses a fireball as a demonstration, with total disregard for anyone or anything in the way. She then treats the party as if she's an Evil Overlord and they her subjects, and after her weakness is exposed she only agrees to rein in her more extreme impulses because the fate of the world is slightly more important...and only because saving the world means there will still be a world to terrorize six months later. That said, it's shown that her kind were capable of love. At most, she's willing to admit her companions are useful and tolerable (plus agreeing that a fallen thief was brave), but cheerfully warns them at the end she may "have you for dinner" if they seek her out in the future.
  • Mo Willems' picture book Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.
  • The Judoon Commander in the Doctor Who novel Judgement of the Judoon. Over the course of the book he remains obsessed with justice and rather heavy-handed about delivering it, but he becomes less a Well-Intentioned Extremist version of the Old-Fashioned Copper, and more aware of how his definition of "justice" affects other people. He even develops a sense of humour.
  • This has happened to several draconians in the Dragonlance setting, most notably Kang and his regiment.
    • Gnimsh the gnome is one as well. He's the only gnome whose inventions actually work, and because of that, he's reviled by other gnomes since he "sets back creative development by decades".
      • There are a few gnomes whose inventions work. They're known as thinker gnomes (as opposed to the regular tinker gnomes), and they're sane. (Regular gnomes are supposed to be cursed by Reorx.) Similar are afflicted kender, the ones who survived Malystrx destroying Kendermore and now know fear. They are serious and not childish. One can play as either in the D&D setting, even though AT BEST there's a couple thousand of either.
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl. Giants are a race of violent, evil brutes who grind their teeth with human bones, especially children's. The BFG is the only good member of the race and is horrified at his cohorts' brutality and anthropophagy, which the other giants disown him for.
  • And Another Thing... features a Vogon who has feelings and doesn't want to kill anyone.
    • In this case, the book implies this is because the particular character is more highly evolved than the rest of his race.
  • The Dragaera books have each "House" as a Planet of Hats, and in general, major characters are developed outside of their hat, or even contradict it.
    • Teckla are supposed to be cowardly peasants, but in the novel Teckla, Vlad meets one who is a rather insufferable revolutionary. Athyra, which has a Teckla as the viewpoint character, suggests that Teckla only seem cowardly out of necessity because they're at such a disadvantage to other Houses.
    • Dragons are known for being militaristic and ultra-ambitious, but Vlad's partner Kragar is totally unambitious. He's also so completely ignorable that it became impossible for him to actually command troops, forcing him out of the house altogether.
  • Animorphs has a number of these. Ax, coming from a race of proud, xenophobic warriors ends up adopting humanity as a sort of second race and questioning many of the things he was taught by his own people. The individual Taxxons and Yeerks that our heroes encounter and befriend have also taken off their hats, but that's more of a subversion of Always Chaotic Evil. As many of those Yeerks are quick to point out, if you get all of your initial information on what Yeerks are like from Andalites, then it may just be that some of that information is not entirely accurate.
  • Rhunön from the Inheritance Cycle is not like other elves at all. Rather than gracefully singing to plants, she works in a forge. Where most elves are polite, reserved, and evasive, she's somewhat crude, loud, and honest. In a series with Elves VS Dwarves in effect, she and Orik get along very well. In the third book, she states that she hates what the elves have become, comparing them to statues in how much emotion they show.
  • A variant occurs in the 1632 novels. The Hapsburg family are easily the most solid antagonists of the series, most opposed to the changes brought by the Ring of Fire. They are also known for being generally ignorant - perhaps alone among European rulers, King Philip IV of Spain makes little attempt to replicate up-time technologies. His brother Fernando, on the other hand, who was essentially the Spanish viceroy in the Low Countries, decides to crown himself King of the Spanish Lowlands, creating the Dutch Hapsburgs as a third branch of the family. He also arranges an unofficial peace with the USE. While he remains nominally a vassal of his elder brother, the Spanish Lowlands are effectively neutral, and he is working to the point that he will be able to openly oppose the Spanish Hapsburgs (and the Austrians, although they will probably be busy dealing with the imminent Ottoman invasion).
  • Discworld
    • Cheery Littlebottom, the Watch's forensic department, is part this. She doesn't like many traditional dwarf activities like quaffing, mining and singing about gold, and she certainly doesn't like the fact that traditional dwarves aren't supposed to say whether they're male or female. She wants to wear earrings and makeup and a skirt, though shaving her beard is still out of the question.
    • Angua von Uberwald has rejected the usual life of a werewolf. She lives in a city and works as a Watch officer. She's a strict vegetarian most of the time, and when she does find herself compelled to kill chickens, she always pays for them afterward.
    • The League of Temperance is an organization of vampires who have sworn off "the B vord", and embraced a life of cheery sing-songs and delicious cocoa, oh my vord yes. The Temperance League is modeled after drug rehabilitation groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. We are informed that most people find "reformed" vampires to be very weird, and we see plenty of evidence that this is so. Apparently the craving cannot be eliminated, only channeled, and usually it is with laser-like intensity.
  • Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series has a violent race of Lizard Folk called the Grik who only care about the Hunt. Most of them are the mindless Uul. A few have grown to a level of maturity and intelligence to become members of the ruling class called the Hij. The Hij constantly seek out new prey for their hordes of Uul. The Hij care little for the Uul, using We Have Reserve tactics to defeat the prey. In the third novel, the crew of the USS Walker meets a Grik-like creature whom some humans have named Lawrence. Lawrence has striped coloring, unusual for a Grik, and is actually quite calm. He reveals that his people, the Tagranesi, who are of the same species as the Grik but are a different race. Unlike the Grik, the Tagranesi care for their young and teach them to be civilized and cooperative. They peacefully interact with the New British Empire and have even learned to understand and speak (to an extent) English. They still hunt but only for food and to kill dangerous predators. They also defend themselves against other tribes. They also never engage in cannibalism and consider the thought repugnant, unlike their Grik cousins.
  • Daetrin Haal of The Madness Season does not like to identify with vampire cliches, to the point where he refuses to transform into a bat, even when trapped underground where echolocation would really help him get around. During a number of flashbacks, he even has qualms against hunting humans for food, despite peer pressure from other immortals.
  • Mysterious Ways: A Divine Comedy stars Alex, a Pagan angel with no intention to serve this deity all the other angels insist he devote his entire life to.
  • Rlain in The Stormlight Archive was the only Parshendi to defect to the side of the humans, and is quite possibly the only one left who hasn't evolved into a Voidbringer.
  • A Mage's Power: Orcs are known as Proud Warrior Race Guys who consider The Law to be sacred. Tahart Ligo is a stock trader who exploits laws to avoid punishment for unlawful actions.
  • In The Lion King book canon, hyenas are evil, except for one individual named Asante. She is portrayed as nice, smart, and good-natured. She saves Simba's son Kopa.
  • In Strange Matter, the Strange Forces saga revolves around Rilo Buru. He is a member of the Buru race, a species of vicious reptilian predators from the swamps of northern India that prey on humanity. He's a Defector from Decadence and his actions are the only thing that save the heroes and Fairfield from the actions of The Collector and his army.
  • In the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the Jaghut are an ancient Proud Scholar Race who view civilization as being inherently exploitive and corrupt (they built a nation long ago; it didn't work out) and mostly live as hermits to the point that other races typically consider them either mythical or extinct. Every so often, however, a Jaghut would succumb to the lure of power and become a Jaghut Tyrant; being effectively immortal and immensely powerful mages, they would set themselves up as God Emperors among other races. Notable Tyrants include Raest and the Pannion Seer. Though very few Jaghut became Tyrants, the threat of them was considered so great that another ancient race, the T'lan Imass, dedicated their lives (and undeath) to exterminating the Jaghut just to be on the safe side.
  • The Wandering Inn: Rags and Garen are both this… of sorts… for Goblins. They do try to be more civilized than regular Goblins and form bonds with humans (Garen was even part of an Adventuring team, which was unheard of, and Rags plays regularly chess with other races...and a skelton)… but Rags goes on to become a Goblin Queen and Garen killed his partners to become chieftain of a large murderous tribe.
  • In Carrera's Legions, High Admiral Robinson, while still a villain, is considerably more sympathetic than the other United Earth big shots, and much less blind to the villainy and colossal hypocrisy of his culture. This is justified by the setting since it's largely the malcontents of the elite classes who join the Peace Fleet to get away from the corrupt regime on Earth in the first place—or else, who get sent there, if they complain too much about things.
  • Fungus the Bogeyman:
    • Generally, Bogeys like to be quiet, but some tried to start a rock band.
    • Sometimes, Bogey kids watch "horror" films on TV about being clean and then try to take baths.
  • The Heartstrikers:
    • Julius is a sweet, gentle pacifist, while dragons are supposed to be cruel and cunning monsters. There are other dragons capable of kindness and friendship (even if it's couched in terms of Pragmatic Villainy and Worthy Opponents), but none are as truly nice as Julius. Even dragons who go out of their way to avoid killing people are repeatedly gobsmacked by Julius.
    • The sequel series DFZ comes at it from a different direction with Yong, the Great Dragon of Korea. He hates all dragons as lazy, short-sighted idiots who will kill their own family for any advantage. He is not an exception himself, which is why he is the only dragon in Korea. He repeatedly tells his (human) daughter that if she were a dragon he'd have to constantly watch her for betrayal, but because she's human he can love her unconditionally. But again, he's just as greedy as the rest of the dragons, so he has trouble separating "unconditional love" from "treasure I must possess."
  • Noddy: While not evil, The Golliwogs from the older editions of the series enjoyed causing trouble and doing meanspirited acts. The exception is Mr. Golly, who runs a garage station in Toy Town and friends with Noddy and Mr. Plod. However, the Golliwogs later were replaced by The Goblins (notably Sly and Gobbo) due to the gollwogs being racial stereotypes.
  • All of the Outcasts of Tasakeru have gone against their cultures to some degree, from simply being a pain to deal with (Faun) to violation of their species' most ingrained laws (Zero, Hanami).
  • Mass Effect Annihilation: Applies to many of the characters, since the quarian Ark is packed with cultural rebels. Senna is a quarian who unlike every other quarian doesn't despise AI (and has much deep-rooted self-loathing about that one), and thinks their obsession with reclaiming Rannoch is stupid. Meanwhile, there's Borbala, who initially seems about as stereotypically batarian as it's possible to get... then it turns out other batarians hate her because she thought the Hegemony could've stood to knock off their attitude and focus on things like art and philosophy. And the Hegemony thought she was protesting too much, so they tried to kill her.
  • Bazil Broketail: Lady Tschinn, one of the Golden Elves living in Mirchaz, is openly disgusted with how low her people have fallen and offers her aid to Relkin when he is about to fulfill his destiny, destroying the Great Game and Mirchaz along with it.
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee:
    • Played with for the tortoise. It's not clear whether he's unusually fast for a tortoise, or if Amos lets him win.
    • The owl is afraid of the dark, even though owls are nocturnal.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda was for the most part able to sidestep the need for this among the Nietzscheans, as their "hat" was "Enlightened self-interest", which could be made to justify just about any action the plot required them to take. (Turn on my friends? Sure, if it's in my long-term interest. Not turn on my friends? Sure, if I think it'll be useful for me to keep on their good side. Sacrifice my life to save the universe? Sure, if it makes me posthumously famous and gets my kids all kinds of breaks in life.)
    • Interestingly, Gaheris Rhade, a Nietzschean in the series, was quite depressed at what a race of self-absorbed bastards his species turned out to be. In his own words, "Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport."
    • In a separate example from Andromeda, Rev Bem was a pacifist "Wayist" priest despite being a Magog, a species who are largely a nightmare-inducing plague on the galaxy and reproduce parasitically. Apparently the syncretic Wayist religion was actually founded by another of his race, who had a Heel–Face Turn after hearing about various faiths from the dying human he had parasitized, and it's now a fairly popular belief system in the Local Group, but very few of its current members are Magog.
  • Much time in Babylon 5 was spent showcasing how all the seemingly hat-like races are really more several individuals than anything else (well, at least the major races), meaning that this trope isn't really that applicable.
    • One big exception would be Vir, a Centauri who is pro-social reform and uninterested in status or advancement in society while being genuinely interested in exchanging cultural ideas with other aliens. He later becomes emperor of what is presumably a less asshatty Centauri Republic.
      • The Centauri courtesan slave Adira points out that not all Centauri engage in digging up dirt on others to gain leverage on friend and foe alike. Trakis—her master, a Golian who was once a slave of the Centauri himself and clearly takes sadistic pleasure in being able to legally own one—points out that such people tend to be at the lower rungs of Centauri society, like her.note 
    • This trope apparently also applies to Kosh. It's mostly his words and actions that make the Vorlons appear as benevolent though enigmatic Starfish Aliens. It later turns out that even though they appear to less advanced races in the form of "angels", they are not the forces of Good to oppose the Shadows' forces of Evil. Instead they are really just using the younger races to prove that their ideology of Order is superior to the Shadows' ideology of Chaos, while not having any actual interest in the well-being of lesser creatures. Kosh is the noticeable exception, as he constantly watches over people whom he believes to be important for the younger races to liberate themselves from the old ones, going so far as opposing his own government and sacrificing his life. Lyta comments after having Ulkesh in her head that she felt that unlike him, Kosh actually cared for the younger races.
      • Word of God is that Ulkesh was a better example of your typical (if such a word can be applied to them) Vorlon. Kosh was very much an outsider in his views on the younger races. Which makes sense. If the Vorlons take no interest in the affairs of others, as Kosh pointed out early in the series, what sort of Vorlon would become an Ambassador?
  • The Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (2003) don't necessarily stand in for communists, but still exhibit a fierce collectivism, at least until two Cylons Caprica Six and Boomer end up becoming celebrities of a sort prompting the other Cylons, or maybe just D'Anna, to try to box them, but of course that fails and ultimately leads to a cultural revolution away from total uniformity and utter hatred of humans, the two aspects of Cylon culture that Caprica and Boomer challenged. So, semi-subverted?
    • Religion is a major element in the series, with the Cylons characterized by their faith in the One True God, while the Colonials worship the Lords of Kobol (basically the Greek gods). However, Adama (the military leader of the Colonials) and Cavil (arguably the Cylon leader) are both atheists. Similarly, the Sagittaron "hat" is a more fundamentalist form of Colonial religion (which also involves a rejection of modern medicine), but Dee, the most prominent Sagittaron character on the show, doesn't wear the hat.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Cybermen are all emotionless, computer-controlled slaves... except for the one in "Doomsday", who manages to break her programming and stop the other Cybermen. She was already like a robot before she was Cybermanized though, so they might have just skipped a couple steps in her "upgrade." And then from Torchwood there's Lisa, who , well... tries. She does try. Also Kroton.
    • The Cult of Skaro has produced two of these. They are a select group of Daleks who exist to "imagine", to find new ways to assure that the Dalek race remains supreme. As such they have far more individuality than most Daleks, even their own names. First Dalek Sec merged himself with a human, and found that (even though the human in question was a bit of a bastard), he now feels empathy and knows that the Daleks are flawed. He intends to make them even more human than he has become, but is killed before doing so. Dalek Caan, on the other hand, is a pure Dalek who is driven mad (and given the gift of prophecy) when he flies unprotected through the time vortex. He sees the Daleks for what they are by observing their actions throughout time and space, and arranges for the (almost) destruction of the entire species to prevent them from destroying the universe.
    • The Doctor could be seen as one of these, as well. The Time Lords were described as being bureaucratic, self-important, deriding of all other species, and hesitant to interfere with the nature of time and accidentally cause a paradox. So, the Doctor decided to go nick a TARDIS and explore the universe, later deciding to use their powers to help people. In "The Ultimate Foe", the Sixth Doctor goes on a tirade against the rest of the Time Lords, claiming that in order to fight real evil, rather than exploring the rest of the universe he should have stayed on Gallifrey and opposed the corruption that had become so prevalent among them.
    • The villain of the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Return of the Living Dad turns out to be from the same race as the jovial Time Tourists of the Navarino 1950s Club in "Delta and the Bannermen". His motivation is largely that he's fed up with belonging to a species that nobody takes seriously; the Navarinos are seen as so harmless that the Time Lords never even bothered to stop them having time travel.
    • Inverted with the Slitheen. At first, the characters just assume the Slitheen are an invading evil alien race — then the aliens explain that "Slitheen" is not their race, it's their surname, and that they're merely a single, renegade crime family, comparable to The Mafia. Their goal is to reduce the Earth to slag by triggering World War III and then sell the remains as fuel. As far as anyone knows, the other Raxacoricofallapatorians are perfectly nice and normal — in fact, any Slitheen who returns to their planet faces execution.
    • In an early script for "The Stolen Earth", the Shadow Proclamation was supposed to have members belonging to races who'd previously tried to invade Earth but they were cut for budget reasons. It's unspecified if they were rare good members of villainous races or if it's a Slitheen scenario where the invaders were criminal members of benevolent species.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The Goa'uld were presented as Always Chaotic Evil in the first season. In the second, we got the Tok'ranote , effectively La Résistance against the System Lords. Later still, we got an actual explanation, based on a piece of Applied Phlebotinum used by the Goa'uld but not the Tok'ra, for why some of them become evil and others don't - repeated sessions in the sarcophagus that heals, resurrects, and maintains the agelessness of the Goa'uld have a bad effect on a person's sense of morality and empathy (and thus it's also dangerous for humans to overuse sarcophagi). Along with the fact that most of the Tok'ra are descended from a single queen who broke with the other Goa'uld in early days before they had become fully entrenched in their evil, and both Goa'uld and Tok'ra pass on their philosopies to their larvae through Genetic Memory. They've had a very few turnovers from the Goa'uld since, but none in the last few centuries.
    • Subverted in season four when a Jaffa named Shau'nac insists she learned to communicate with her larval Goa'uld and teach it the error of its ways. The possibility that Goa'uld with the evil-inducing genetic memory could be converted to the side of good is an exciting prospect for the heroes...then it turns out the Goa'uld tricked Shau'nac to infiltrate the Tok'ra.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • The main characters run into a single good Wraith over the entire span of the show, who was raised by a human adoptive father. And the poor girl dies in that same episode.
    • Todd may be a better example. He may be an admitted monster, but he's at least willing to try to work with humans, especially Colonel Sheppard, for mutual benefit. He's even open to giving up the Wraith's ability to feed when Atlantis starts experimenting with a retrovirus cure for their vampiric condition, though he wonders what effect it will have on Wraith culture.
  • Star Trek
    • The prime example would be the Klingons. They talk a lot — an awful lot — about how they are a Proud Warrior Race, but virtually any actual Klingon you might meet is almost certainly little better than a street thug. The most famous Klingon, Worf, knows this better than anyone, and it really disappoints him, having idealized his species while growing up in the Federation — and particularly because, although he could show his emotions more freely, he is otherwise already there: the ideal, moral, honorable, passionate Klingon warrior.
      • This trope is the central premise of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter Of Honor", where Riker serves aboard a Klingon ship in an officer exchange program. They don't outright contradict their stereotype, but they're shown in a much more complete and complex light than they had been in Star Trek: The Original Series.
      • In the TNG episode "Suspicions", there's a Klingon scientist who has the double stigma within her society because of her profession and her gender, Klingon society being male-dominated.
      • Also used with one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's recurring background characters, a Klingon restaurateur of all things who is overweight and loves to serenade his customers with Klingonese folk songs while playing an accordion-like instrument. Not threatening at all. Most of the Klingons we saw before were from at least minor nobility—this is one of the only Klingon commoners we've met.
      • In one Star Trek: Enterprise episode, we meet a Klingon lawyer who laments that the warrior caste had pretty much taken over and bullied the rest of their civilization into being the one-note Proud Warrior Race Guy stereotype they're associated with.
    • Another good example would be the Ferengi from DS9. As time went on, several of the more ridiculous aspects of their civilization (particularly their treatment of women) were discarded by various characters (particularly Rom and Nog, the latter of whom eschewed a life of business for one in Starfleet).
      • This is most evident in the episode "Profit and Lace" where two Ferengi discuss the emancipation of women, pointing out the extremely obvious fact (even more ridiculous when you consider the Ferengi's "hat" is rampant capitalism) that allowing women to make money allows them to spend money, and opens up all manner of new industries and opportunities for profit (creates more competition, though). It also shows that the Ferengi — or any other culture — will change in their own time and their own way, not by having change forced on them from outside.
      • The TNG episode "Suspicions" had a Ferengi scientist who notes that it's "almost a contradiction in terms" (presumably in that he's part of a scientific community that shares findings with no worry about "profit" — Ferengi tech does seem to be up to par with Federation tech throughout TNG)
      • Quark zig-zags on this trope. He is a Small Name, Big Ego who regularly claims to uphold (and often does) the Ferengi values of avarice and misogyny, yet he frequently runs into pangs of conscience that tell him to do otherwise (like not screwing over his friends for latinum or paying Pel to travel). Although Odo and the Federation frown on what he tries to get away with all the time, he also runs afoul of his Ferengi regulator by getting guilted into charitable, "hu-man"-itarian" and philanthropic activities, or taking "only" a 30% kickback on his employees' tips.
      • In the episode "The Magnificent Ferengi", we meet a Ferengi who finds more pleasure in fighting and hunting than in latinum. Quark and the others find him very strange for this, but they do acknowledge that he's a great warrior.
    • The Changelings in DS9 are fanatically obsessed with order. Having had bad experiences with fearful species, they turned to enslavement, brainwashing, and domination. Odo was abandoned to infiltrate other species and learn their culture before instinctively returning to the homeworld. However, integrating into Bajoran society went horribly well, and instead of wanting to dominate others, he devoted his entire life to justice. When he finally does return to his homeworld, he is shocked to find the rest of his species to be oppressive dictators, and instead stays with his friends to help them defend against being conquered.
    • A strange example occurs in Enterprise. The Vulcans are characterized not only by logic and the silencing of emotion but also by duplicity and paranoia, not unlike Romulans of earlier series. The Syrrannites are a rogue sect who strive towards the ideals of Surak, a legendary Vulcan pathfinder (in that, if Vulcans bothered with religion, he would be their Moses). The Vulcans in that series claimed to follow the teachings of Surak, but had "fallen," so to speak — they forgot what Surak had really stood for. T'Pol says that reading Surak's works were a life-changing experience for her.
      • Enterprise also introduces a group called "V'tosh ka'tur", aka "Vulcans without logic", who reject their species' Emotion Suppression and vegetarianism. They claim that their designation is incorrect, as they believe that expressing emotions doesn't mean rejecting logic.
      • Same Vulcan problem, different series: the "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" episode from DS9, in which Capt. Solok's anti-Sisko crusade, supposedly in the name of logic, bears an odd resemblance to the behavior of a schoolyard bully. As many fans have noted, Solok's resemblance to the Enterprise-era Vulcans is far greater than to the more recent (timeline-speaking) incarnations.
      • The issue with the Vulcans is primarily explained by Fanon and the various novels which assumed that Spock was a typical Vulcan and that his statements of what Vulcans were like is unvarnished truth. In reality, aside from Spock, the Vulcans that were seen in the TOS episode "Amok Time" demonstrated that Vulcans could be entirely duplicitous and exhibit jealousy and resentment as well as casually planning to have someone killed just to get what they wanted. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Valeris was proven capable of deceit and murder, and assorted Vulcans in later shows also demonstrated Vulcans were far from perfect. Spock is, in effect, equivalent to Worf in being a bit of an outsider who lives up to the ideals of what his people should be rather than what they actually are.
    • Another strange example are the El-Aurians, Guinan's people. Their hat is supposed to be that they're great listeners, but Guinan is the only example of this we've seen; the other two El-Aurians we've seen in major roles are Con Man Mazur from the DS9 episode "Rivals", whose ability to listen is an Informed Attribute (it gets mentioned, but he doesn't come across as especially perceptive) and Soran from Star Trek: Generations, who is far too busy being an Omnicidal Maniac. Soran boasts of the El-Aurians' listening skills while practicing Cold-Blooded Torture on Geordi, so he himself may be unclear on the concept.
    • The Cardassians are initially presented as the Planet of Secret Police, but as time goes on, it's eventually revealed that they do have a history of democracy and political diversity to rival humans — they're just stuck in an ongoing cycle of poverty, dictatorship, military overspending... And all of the Cardassians we meet for the first few seasons are from the military, which is coincidentally the only reliable way to get fed. Imagine judging humans if the only country you landed in was North Korea. They end DS9 on another major disaster and it's left unclear whether the cycle will continue.
      • Several episodes of DS9 involve Cardassians who are members of the Dissident Movement, an underground faction that's trying to move their culture away from a military dictatorship and towards democracy and social reform.
      • The TNG episode "Lower Decks" has a Cardassian officer who's turned informant for the Federation. He explains to another character that his choice wasn't because he supports the Federation over Cardassia, but because he knows that another war with the Federation would not be in Cardassia's best interests. He also understands that while the Federation would never start such a war, there are many within his own government who would.
    • Romulans are portrayed as conniving and secretive (the most notorious among them is the Tal Shiar, the Romulan Secret Police), but there are exceptions.
      • In the TNG "Unification" two-parter, there's a Romulan underground movement that opposes the Romulan government and supports a peaceful reunification between Romulans and Vulcans. The dissidents are friends and allies of Ambassador Spock.
      • In Star Trek: Picard, the Qowat Milat is an order of warrior nuns who practice the Way of Absolute Candor, meaning that they always speak the truth — all of the truth, whether or not others want to hear it. Elnor, a young man raised by the sisterhood, seems utterly incapable of lying and has trouble recognizing deception in others. They also champion worthy causes, while Romulans at large are not exactly known for their altruism.
  • Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. All vampires are evil except for him because his hat completely fell off when he got his soul back.
    • Potentially even more so the case with Spike, who although he joined the good fight much later, also freely chose it while soulless—unlike Angel, whose soul was forced upon him. While the series and comics will later introduce more soulless vampires with redeeming traits and who don't mind doing good if it's convenient for them, Spike seems to be the first and only to go as far as to retrieve his soul himself and firmly choose the side of good completely of his own volition.
    • Lorne, aka the Host, born in a demon dimension where humans are cattle, everyone is a deathly serious Proud Warrior Race Guy, and there is no music (only dancing!). Lorne, on the other hand, hates fighting, loves humans, and has the power to read people's souls when they sing karaoke.
  • Red Dwarf includes a rather bizarre example. In the Series 6 episode Rimmerworld, Arnold crash lands on an alien planet and begins cloning himself in order to gain companions. Skip a few hundred years, and the planet's inhabitants wind up revering any and all Rimmer-like behavior, including cowardice, selfishness, and honest to goodness double-dealing two-facedness, with those who deviate from the norm being hunted down. Ironically, it's the original Rimmer who becomes an outcast because he's too un-Rimmer-like.
    • "Outcast" is putting it lightly. They tried to kill him, but he was saved by his Hard Light drive so they locked him up instead. After all, he was Dead All Along.
  • In Smallville, it is shown that most Kryptonians are cold and logical, and believe that You Can't Fight Fate. They tend to look down on the human race. It was even implied that Clark Kent had been sent to Earth to conquer it. Naturally, Clark decides to Screw Destiny and protect the world, embracing his love and compassion. Clark later meets Dax-Ur, Raya, a clone of his mother Lara, and Kara, who think similarly (the first three died, and Kara went to the future).
  • Played with in Supernatural with the demon Ruby. There are a lot of suggestions (particularly in the third series) that she has retained her humanity, particularly the capacity for empathy. Throughout the third and fourth series, the other characters bring this into question a lot.
    • There's also the question of the Angel Castiel, particularly his unquestioning obedience and how disconnected he really is from human suffering.
      • Eventually Cas goes rogue from Heaven and begins to slowly Fall into a human, firmly joining the Winchester group of True Companions despite remaining a weirdo. Then he dies. Then he gets better, with new and improved powers. Then he goes slowly over the deep end while trying to lead the pro-human side of the Second War In Heaven, and eventually betrays everyone in the quest for enough power to end all this suffering, and declares A God Am I...if we throw in the mid-Season Four brainwashing to sew his hat back on, this guy has spent three seasons (half the series) playing Three-Handed-Hat-Juggling.
    • Ruby turns out to be a subversion, however, when it's revealed that she's actually The Mole, and the whole thing was an act to gain the Winchesters' (particularly Sam's) trust.
    • Meg is probably the least demon-y of all demons. Though still clearly evil and enjoys the pain of others, she is willing to work with the Winchesters for her own benefit even though killing them would effectively take the target off her back. Most demons torture or kill without question, which is why most of them wear Red Shirts.
    • Crowley seems better fit for human life as he is more civilized and always up for a good negotiation. This makes him similar to Todd from Stargate: Atlantis or Ba'al from Stargate SG-1. They're all bad but they at least give you time for a nice conversation before trying to kill you.
  • On Farscape, Scarrans are generally aggressive, tyrannical, and utterly ruthless... except for Naj Gil, the Peacekeeper test-subject encountered in "Fractures." Acting as The Big Guy to the Similar Squad of fugitives, he wasn't exactly the most sociable of the group, but he was definitely the calmest of them; apparently spending time being tortured and surgically abused by Peacekeeper weapons scientists did a lot to dispel the usual Scarran arrogance. He gets bridge-dropped in his second appearance.
    • While we don't see many Nebari during the show's run, what we do see suggests that Chiana was very atypical. The other Nebari are militaristic and devoted to the state, while she is a criminal and a tralk. One episode reveals that she and her brother Neri were secretly infected with a disease and allowed to flee Nebari space since they would sleep around and infect many members of enemy races.
  • Legend of the Seeker: A D'Haran who plans to kill Darken Rahl appears in the episode "Listener", while multiple ones with the same plan, disgusted by his horrifying magical experiments on innocent people, show up in "Conversion." They join with Richard et al in attempting to kill him.
  • The Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation episode "The Good Dragon" had Venus encounter a member of the Rank who wasn't evil like the others. He eventually explains that all dragons except the Dragon Lord used to be good until the rest of his kind were corrupted by the Dragon Lord. In the end, the Dragon Lord has him imprisoned in the enchanted mirror that originally had the evil dragons sealed away, but not before the benevolent dragon swears to one day find other good dragons to ensure the Dragon Lord's defeat.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Promised Land", Dlavan's great-grandparents disagreed with their people conquering Earth and then enslaving the humans who survived. They settled on Earth as penance after this.
  • The Orville: Isaac turns against his fellow Kaylons when he's ordered to kill Ty (who's just a boy) as punishment for him trying to help free the crew.
  • Boba Fett comes across as this in The Mandalorian. He never gives a straight answer whether or not he himself is a Mandalorian, despite his father having been a foundling. He seems to hold himself above the petty squabblings between different Mandalorian factions, and even dismisses reclaiming Mandalore as a fool's errand when he meets "true" Mandalorians Bo-Katan Kryze and Koska Reeves in Chapter 16. He only really engages them when they dismiss him as not being Mandalorian, and a disgrace to his armor. This causes a bar brawl between him and Reeves after Bo-Katan refers to Jango Fett as his "donor".
  • War of the Worlds (2019): Micah opposed the genocidal plan his people had, and he was killed for it.
  • The Outpost: Of all of the Masters, Aster's the only one that seems to not be a total dickhead who wants to take over the world. He loves humans abd Blackbloods and does all he can to protect them from his evil kin. In fact, he sired the Blackblood race by having a child with a human woman, and they're all descended from this union.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • On the topic of demons, Lucifer, the Big Bad of Christianity. He was an angel before he became, well, the Big Bad. Angels being a race whose "hat" is pure good and unquestioning loyalty to God, then some decided to say "Screw that, I wanna BE God." He's also a trope in and of himself. Even when you look at it from the point of view of his being a "demon" (which he isn't… he's still an angel, just a fallen one), he's got a pretty good rep in a lot of areas for not being one of the really violent, icky demons.
    • Averted in Christian theology (as opposed to the pop culture versions of Satan above): Satan was the ringleader of the rebellion, but all demons were once angels. Though you could view this as a mass version of the trope since the rebels essentially decided that they didn't like the hat of their species and went off to make a new 'planet' with a different hat instead.
  • Islam has the reverse: Satan was of a different race from the angels (the jinn, whence we get "genie") made of living, smokeless fire, who like humans have free will. Satan refused to bow to Adam when God created him, cursing that God created a creature of "dirt" (Satan, being a fire creature, viewed himself as more "pure") and led most of the Jinn against God. However, many of the Jinn returned to God over time, what with prophets and their messages trickling down to wherever they reside (frequently not Hell.)note 
  • Classical Mythology gives us Chiron, the only good Centaur. Almost all of the other Centaurs were vicious, self-serving brutes, but Chiron was a wise healer and teacher of Heracles, Theseus, and Jason. His accidental death at the hands of Heracles resulted in his transformation into a constellation (either Sagittarius or Centaurus). Chiron was not actually related to the other centaurs, although he looked like them. They were the children of Ixion, a mortal king, and a cloud that he mistook for the Goddess Hera, and were a punishment for his lust. Chiron was the son of the Titan Cronus. There was one other civilized Centaur—Pholus, who depending on what myth you read was either an unusual but ordinary Centaur or (like Chiron) not actually one. Pholus died in the same incident when he pricked himself with the arrow that killed Chiron while preparing Chiron's body for burial.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Early editions note that Always Chaotic Evil needn't mean Always, just "the exceptions are less than one-millionth of the overall population" (in the case of the Modrons, that exception is almost surely of the same alignment as the common Modron, ruleswise, but still). Merely usually Chaotic Evil races (such as the drow) have a fairly significant portion of the populace with other alignments... such as Neutral Evil.
    • A designer once mentioned in regards to cambions (half demon-half human Always Chaotic Evil types) that if you say one in one hundred cambions aren't evil, that's the one the party will meet.
    • Eberron: When the setting was designed, its writers figured this trope was inevitable and threw most alignment restrictions out the window.
    • Nusemnee, introduced in a supplement on dead gods, is the daughter of Zehir, evil god of poison and a devil, but became a good-aligned goddess of redemption.
    • One of the D&D Fight club characters is a succubus paladin named Eludecia. She is redeemed through The Power of Love and grows to become a powerful force for good. The main version is a heroic individual, but the same article provides stats for her assuming she falls back to evil somehow.
    • The Book of Exalted Deeds has a mind flayer who learned the error of its ways and chose to fight for the good guys. It has a feat, Vow of Poverty, that gives it the ability to survive without eating, but there's some Fridge Horror in what, exactly it did in the time period between when it became redeemed and when it earned that featnote .
  • Gamma World: Due to the vagueness of the randomly-rolled origins, you can easily refluff your character into one of these. And earlier editions did have playable versions of the monster races.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Goblins are often used to comical effect for their sheer stupidity (as the flavour text on most goblin-related cards shows). In the Mirrodin block, we're introduced to Slobad, a goblin who was outcast from his tribe for being too smart.
    • The Phyrexians, insane and evil machine demons, have Xantcha, who served as the sidekick to the Big Good, who was himself very much anti-Phyrexian. Strictly speaking, however, Xantcha was genetically engineered to resemble a human and didn't even know she was really a Phyrexian.
    • New Phyrexia has a straighter example in Urabrask the Hidden, the Praetor of Red mana. As a result of belonging to the colour of individuality, freedom, and emotion, he's marginally nicer than the other Praetors (he favours "non-interference" over You Will Be Assimilated or Final Solution on the matter of the Mirran survivors).
  • Pathfinder: Ghouls are, for the most part, either feral monsters driven insane by their constant hunger for flesh or manipulative, evil worshippers of Kabriri, a demon lord of undeath, necrophagy and cannibalism. An exception to this exists in the form of Tanaagar's Arrows, a cult of ghouls active within the underground ghoul city of Nemret Noktoria, who reject the evils of the ghoul empire's culture, dedicate themselves to the worship of empyreal lords, and seek to purge ghoul society of cannibalism, necrophagy and its worship of demons and hunger.
  • Talislanta: Somewhat trivially used in the first edition, where the Tanasian faction in Cymril wear the Hat of being Wizard-Guys In Green And Yellow. Their city is made of green and yellow glass, they dress in green and yellow, they're humans who have yellow-green skin. In contrast, the Pharesian sect are Cymrillians who got sick of the color green, left their homeland in disgust, and dress in multicolored garments while painting their bodies with every color but green. Later editions played it more realistically: the monochromatic color scheme is just a demonstration of Cymril's excessive conformity, which is what the Pharesians really hate.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tau have Commander Farsight. He and the forces under him broke away from the Tau Empire and formed their own faction, the Farsight Enclave, because they refused to go along with the Brainwashing for the Greater Good that the Ethereal caste are implied to practice.
    • Orks have a variation: while their basic strategy is to run towards the enemy firing guns and screaming Waaagh! (they're tough enough and numerous enough for this to work), the Blood Axes clan has been known to use highly suspicious tactics such as retreats and camouflage. Such distinctly un-orky behavior would be grounds for immediate execution, except that the Blood Axes tend to produce very successful warbosses.
    • Ork Kommandoes have a similar situation, although in their case it's less foregoing their species' genetic goal (run towards the enemy etc.) and sneaking up to the enemy and planting bombs before revealing themselves and shooting/blowing the place up.
    • The Ork gods, Gork and Mork, embody brutal cunning (hit you really hard when you're looking) and cunning brutality (hits you hard when you're not looking). The Blood Axes and the Ork Kommandoes are simply Orks who follow Mork's example over Gork's. The most successful warbosses are those who are brutally cunning and cunningly brutal.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Anytime an individual does not fit their clan stereotype, which is actually quite often. Canon examples include Theo Bell, a Brujah and a stoic Consummate Professional, Beckett, a Gangrel and perhaps the foremost Kindred scholar in history, and Hesha Ruhadze, a Setite who hardly comes across as Obviously Evil as the rest of his brethren, even though he totally is.
    • The Brujah are often the clan most likely to encounter this trope, as they used to be regarded as an esteemed line of warrior-scholars... that eventually traded reason for passion and have come to seen as the consummate angry punk vampire. Still, in modern nights, the line will occasionally produce an academic who is capable of mastering their rage and presenting an academic demeanor.

  • BIONICLE: The Brotherhood of Makuta are the main enemies in the series. They originally were supposed to be the protectors of the universe, but they reneged and sided under Teridax. The ones who, initially, protested were all hunted and killed. Krika is one of the few of the new order who's considerably less evil, granting mercy and offering the heroes escape to stop the Plan. It's implied he misses the time where he and his species were heroes. The original leader of the brotherhood, Miserix, while brutal was loyal to Mata Nui and didn't take his overthrow well, after he's rescued from prison, he really wanted to go after Teridax. It was noted that he, like all Makuta, was selfish, but he would never let his self-interest rule his destiny.

    Video Games 
  • Bug Fables:
    • Despite spiders being portrayed as nightmarish beasts to bugkind in this world, there are two notable exceptions; a friendly spider in the Forsaken Lands who possesses at least rudimentary literacy skills who will buy items for twice their usual price and a Spider Sorcerer in the Far Grasslands who possesses the same level of sentience as the rest of bug kind. Neither of these spiders bears any ill will towards the party, though the Spider Sorcerer is initially annoyed about the party crashing into his basement.
    • Similarly, despite the Wasp Kingdom being the game's leading hostile faction, you meet several friendly wasps hanging around Bugaria, the most prominent one being Zasp of Team Mothiva. But then it turns out that the hostile wasps are decent folk who are Brainwashed and Crazy, and the "Wasp King" who brainwashed them isn't actually a wasp.
  • A staple Trope of Bioware games:
    • In Baldur's Gate, the Player Character itself is a child of the God of Murder, and although you are allowed to follow in Daddy's footsteps as a force of evil, the game mostly expects the player to want to be a hero and act in a nice way. The PC's half-sister, Imoen, is in the same circumstance as a Child of Bhaal and is distinctly on the bright and cheerful side of Good. All your other Brothers and Sisters, however, are Warlords and Mass-Murderers to a man/woman/elf/drow/fire giant/dragon/half-dragon/werechincilla...
      • On the other hand, the first game shows that the murderous Children of Bhaal have actually been hunting the less power-hungry axe-wielding ones, and so the ones that the player gets to meet are the "cream of the crop". This is especially true for the Throne of Bhaal expansion, where most of the Bhaalspawn are met.
      • In a Brick Joke, we do actually get to meet a relatively peaceful, non Ax-Crazy Bhaalspawn- During the Shadows of Amn, a man in a bar yells, "A Bhaalspawn? Here?" And seemingly explodes/teleports. In the Throne of Bhaal, we learn that his Bhaalspawn ability is that he teleports whenever he gets really scared. Unfortunately, to "help him," the Big Bad removes his ability to be afraid. Which would be great- Except the city he's in is under siege by a Bhaalspawn who wants to kill all his siblings. A Side Quest involves helping him out, although it's possible the teleportation scrambling magic killed him- According to the end game, you and Imoen were the only ones left alive, so they probably got him somehow.
    • In the same game, one of the potential NPCs who can join your party is Viconia, a member of the evil drow race forced to flee from her home in the Underdark and live in exile on the surface. Despite an otherwise perfect setup for a 'hatless' existence, she specifically states that she is still power-hungry and a murderer and spends most of her time trying to convince the PC to give in to their murderous nature in order to exploit their godly power. And yet, if you enter into a romance with her, at one point she reveals that the reason she was exiled in the first place is that she was verging on being a paragon of morality among her kin - that is, while she was perfectly happy to murder and kill in the name of her evil religion she didn't want to sacrifice children on the grounds that they were worthless as sacrifices, and only represented unquestioned subservience to her spider-goddess rather than a valuable offering. If you continue the quest to its completion, you find out that she loved her brother (love supposedly an emotion alien to the vicious drow culture) and will eventually renounce her evil ways for the love of the PC, dropping her firmly in this Trope.
    • A reoccurring joke in the Baldur's Gate series is references to, and eventually the appearance of, Drizzt Do'Urden - another drow who forsook his evil birthright to champion goodness and justice. He is the archetype within RPG systems as being the one exception to an overwhelming Always Chaotic Evil situation.
    • In the 2nd game, an Ogre Mage named Madulf and his followers, a few Gnolls and other Ogres, are initially blamed for the attacks on the village in Umar Hills. You can kill them...or you can listen to his side of the story. Madulf explains that he and his men were just tired of fighting and arrived here hoping to live in peace. They are also in the same boat as the villagers since his men are also being killed by the same dark force. Madulf and his men just want to be left alone and allowed to trade goods in the village in peace. Helping them to do just that nets you a hefty amount of experience.
    • Neverwinter Nights has another long list of NPCs who seem to be the only exception to their races' normal behaviour. Daelan Red Tiger is a Half-Orc Barbarian who is not a psychopathic thug (even though he's Chaotic Good and obsessed with honor), Grimnaw is a Dwarf who has neither a battleaxe nor a beard, Linu Lanaeril is a clumsy Elf, Haedraline is an Old One who does not support Queen Morag's resurrection, and the Player Character can be just about anything you want, from an Intellectual Half-Orc to an Elven Barbarian.
      • The Shadows of Undrentide expansion features Xanos and Dorna as your companions. Xanos is an intellectual Half-Orc Sorcerer, whereas Dorna is a Dwarven Thief, and she has little interest in Dwarven culture.
      • The Hordes of the Underdark expansion keeps up the trend. Deekin the Kobold bard is apparently the only literate and adventurous member of his species; Nathyrra is another Good drow; and Aribeth is a Paladin who is not utterly prudish and takes several opportunities to flirt with the PC.
      • Nathyrra is both the proof of and the exception to the Trope. Although she is a Good member of an Always Chaotic Evil, she is also one of the followers of Eilistraee, a Good Goddess forbidden to be worshipped by most drow but still manages to garner a reasonably sized following, a good deal of whom are met in the game as NPC's. She does have an evil alignment, but this seems to be just a way to give her the Assassin specialisation.
      • In the vanilla campaign, you can find an intellectual orc who serves as an advisor to a fire giant leader. He gets offended if you comment that he's "quite well-spoken for an elf".
  • Neverwinter Nights 2, by a different developer, does this a few times.
    • Inverted with Khelgar Ironfist. Khelgar is considered by some fans to be a stereotypical dwarf but this ignores the fact that most of the rest of his clan looks down on him because he professes to be an honorable warrior while, in fact, being little better than a drunken thug. As a result, it is Khelgar who fails to live up to Dwarven standards of honor and dignity, though Player Character can remedy this.
    • Hagspawn are ugly, often violent brutes with none of the magical power their hag mothers have... except for Gannayev, your hagspawn companion in the Mask of the Betrayer expansion pack, who is instead a handsome Casanova with the ability to enter and travel through people's dreams (a power he uses to get laid even in his sleep). It's a Justified Trope in this case: Instead of his mother raping and then eating his father as is usual for hags, the two were actually in love.
    • Umoja the Druid from Storm of Zehir, is a hilarious Large Ham rather than being obsessed with balance like the typical druid. In the words of writer Annie Carlson "I made him SPECIFICALLY to be easygoing and not to be all "blah blah blee bloo balance" all the time but to just be awesome".
    • Belueth the Calm, also from Storm of Zehir, is a Neutral Evil aasimar, a cold, hard-hearted mercenary, and professional thief. Aasimar, humans with good-aligned extraplanar beings in their ancestry, are usually good-aligned and often attracted to paladinhood.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, The Grand Oak is a Sylvan that, unlike its highly aggressive brethren, is perfectly civil and will help you reach the heart of the forest if you retrieve his acorn for him. He also speaks in rhyme and jokingly calls himself a "poet tree".
  • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening: The Architect is a darkspawn who seeks to end the Blights that the rest of his species cause. Unfortunately, he has no comprehension of morality and thus is willing to kill millions to make this possible, making him more of a threat than the rest of his kind. This trope can be played straight by one of his subordinates, who, if spared, walks Thedas helping people in need, while inadvertently spreading the Blight.
  • In Dragon Age II, this is part of Bartrand and Varric's Sibling Yin-Yang. Bartrand is obsessed with reclaiming his family's place in dwarven nobility, while Varric has been soured on nearly every dwarf stereotype and thinks anyone who chooses to live underground is nuts.
    • If a Mage, Hawke frequently shows their irritation towards Apostates who resort to using Blood Magic and consorting with Demons.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • Dorian, who despises many things his homeland of Tevinter is known for, especially blood magic and slavery. He gains approval if the Inquisitor takes him along to kill Venatori (rogue Tevinter sorcerers) and outright scolds his evil former teacher Alexius for acting exactly like the "cliche villain" people think Tevinters act.
    • Iron Lady Vivienne is largely unsympathetic towards the plight of the mages because she feels they are the ones responsible for instigating the war. Being Pro-Circle, Vivienne also argues that complete mage independence is a bad idea - dangerous both for mages, since many non-mages have a very hostile and fearful attitude towards magic, and for non-mages, who are at the mercy of untrained and uncontrolled magic.
  • In the Dwarf Fortress fandom, there's Cacame Awemedinade, the Elf King of the Dwarves. Elves in Dwarf Fortress are usually cannibalistic extremists about protecting nature (they'll declare war on you if you cut down too many trees), but Cacame was raised in a Dwarven civilization and grew up with their ethics. Eventually, his elven wife was slain and eaten by other elves, and he later became the King of the Dwarves. The fandom has it that he rose through the ranks through sheer hatred of his own species, and he's the fandom's biggest Memetic Badass.
  • Elden Ring: Demi-humans are usually mooks or mini-bosses who will attack the player on sight. Boc the Seamster is a friendly Demi-human who wants to be a tailor.
  • Super Mario RPG introduces Monstro Town, a hidden village run by an elderly Toad lady for "reformed monsters." Surprisingly, Bowser himself is perfectly okay with several of his Mooks defecting and staying there.
    • The Paper Mario series further expands on this trope by introducing whole communities of Goombas, Koopas, etc. that are a part of and allied with the Mushroom Kingdom instead of Bowser. A handful of these monsters team up with Mario in each of the first two games and end up fighting members of their own species.
    • Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, naturally, uses the base mechanics of the series in question, so it allows the player to recruit normally antagonistic characters like Koopas or Cheep Cheeps to fight on their side.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda, friendly Moblins can be found underground and will give Link rupees in exchange for keeping it a "a secret to everybody." Presumably he means the other monsters.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, the Minish are a race who have For Happiness as their highest cultural ideal, to the point that they love living in hiding among humans to help them out in ways such as working on shoes while the cobbler sleeps and putting hearts and rupees in the grass. The one exception is Vaati, who was so fascinated by the evil that humans were capable of that he used Ezlo's magic cap to change into a human form and try to Take Over the World.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the Twili are a peaceful race who are content with life in the Twilight Realm. With the exception of Zant, who felt like an insect trapped in a cage, and wanted freedom for him and his people.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Batreaux, a friendly demon who wants nothing more than to be friends with people. He eventually gets turned into a human as part of a sidequest.
    • According to Queen Oren in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, River Zoras are technically allies of the Hylians but are usually very territorial and will attack anyone inside said territory despite her giving them orders NOT to attack Hylians. This also explains the River Zoras' hostility compared to the Zoras of the post-Ocarina of Time console games.
      • The same game features a timid Hinox who will give Link money for leaving him alone. Demand too many Rupees, however, and he'll get angry and attack. There's also a friendly Octorok who will play baseball with you.
  • A few friendly Kremlings have shown up in the Donkey Kong Country series, such as Klubba in Diddy's Kong Quest who will help the player if paid, and K. Lumsy in Donkey Kong 64 who refused to smash the "cute monkeys" and was locked up as a result.
  • Mass Effect: Paragon Shepard, of all characters, is a rare human example. Since most of the galactic community view humanity as greedy, selfish, and bullying Entitled Bastards, most aliens s/he meets are downright shocked to meet a human who is reasonable, respectful, and helpful to aliens. Paragon Shepard is subsequently accused of being a Race Traitor by more extremist and/or xenophobic humans, and can often retort that humanity needs to Stop Being Stereotypical. Averted for Renegade Shepard, who plays the Humans Are Bastards galactic stereotype dead straight.
    • Urdnot Wrex of Mass Effect, at first glance, appears to be another typical krogan. However, it turns out that a long time ago, he tried to convince his people to give up their warlike tendencies and just focus on breeding and survival after their last disastrous war. He wasn't very successful, and now is just another bitter, angry krogan mercenary who signs up with Shepard for the money. Later on in the game, however, Wrex reveals that he's stayed on with Shepard for so long because he felt that by joining Shepard, he could finally fight for a cause more valuable than just credits.
    • In Mass Effect 2, if Wrex survived the events of the first game, by the time Shepard meets him he's managed to unite the krogans of Tuchanka under him, attempting to bring his people out of their self-destructive ways.
    • Also in Mass Effect 2, Legion is an odd case. His role in the story fits this trope. He's the one geth you meet who doesn't worship the Reapers, and doesn't want to kill all organics. But he's actually the first representative we've seen of the mainstream geth culture. The geth that Shepard has been fighting all along are a splinter faction Legion refers to as "heretics", so labeled because of their worship of the Reapers while the mainstream geth believe they should determine their own destiny and have no desire to commit genocide: they just want to be left the hell alone.
    • Yet again in Mass Effect 2 could be the batarian you meet at beginning of Mordin's recruitment mission. While nearly all batarians we have met up to this point have been A) criminals, B) slavers or C) all of the above, this one is simply a normal guy afflicted with a plague, and is verbally thankful to Commander Shepard. It has actually been noted that due to the dictatorial batarian government, few people outside of batarian space actually meet an average batarian citizen.
      • Mass Effect 3 confirms the same is true of most batarians. From the refugees we see from Khar'shan - the batarian homeworld that was destroyed by the Reapers - most are very pleasant, and they are revealed to be a deeply spiritual people with their own pillars of faith. Most are more than happy to talk to Shepard and receive aid from him/her.
    • Matriach Aethyta, who works as a bartender in Illium, is extremely disillusioned with how her people prefer to spend their golden years being sexual playthings or mercenaries instead of serving the Asari republic meaningfully, such as strengthening their military and expanding their scientific knowledge. She even mentions how she was mocked by other asari for the "absurd" idea of studying and building their own mass relays. So now, she tends bar.
      • She is even a double... "Protester", since she is also half krogan. Although she does seem pretty violent sometimes, she is often shown as being not, too, as in the example above.
    • Garrus says he's "not a very good turian" because unlike most turians, he's more interested in working toward what's right than following orders and staying within the strict confines of a hierarchy.
    • Liara is at the age when you're told that most asari are out in the galaxy whoring it up and/or shooting it up. Instead, she's initially happy to be a solitary archaeologist and researcher. It's unknown if this is related to who her "father" is revealed to be: Aethyta. Asari are also commonly stereotyped as sexually promiscuous, and Liara's a virgin as of Mass Effect 1, though according to her just how prone to promiscuity asari are tends to be exaggerated by other species.
    • A sidequest on Illium in Mass Effect 2 can end in you sending a crime boss evidence that some of his people are stealing from him. You are later met by a meticulously polite krogan who wishes to pass on his employer's thanks and a small compensation for your help.
    • Elsewhere in the same game, you meet several krogan scientists and a krogan mechanic. While the scientists' opinion of their lots in life vary (one is enthusiastic, another simply laments that he's not able spend his time researching better ways to destroy things), the mechanic has a Badass Boast that without skilled technicians like him, there is no krogan might. And of course, the entire krogan arc in Mass Effect 3 is made of this, by allowing Shepard to learn what the krogan used to be like, and could be like again.
    • On Illium you find an asari and her krogan boyfriend who are "taking a break" as she's unsure whether he just wants to be with her so he can have kids. The krogan, Char, is trying to woo her and show that he really loves her... by reciting his poetry. Despite being a little corny, it is a really sweet love poem. Both Shepard and the asari comment on how unusual this is.
      • You can later find them on Tuchanka, where you find out that a few of the other krogans aren't too happy about her being there... and Char genuinely doesn't seem to care, whereas most krogans would have responded by headbutting anyone who badmouthed their girlfriend.
      • Unfortunately, they reappear in Mass Effect 3 - the asari is a shopkeeper on the Citadel who gets some background chatter about Char with a racist customer. She mentions that he is deployed. You can find Char's corpse and a farewell message to his 'Blue Rose of Illium' while entering the rachni nest with Aralakh Company, and deliver the message to his girlfriend.
    • The rachni queen is a member of a race famous for bringing the galaxy to its knees in a scuttling tide, who claims she wishes only to live in peace, far away from the rest of the galaxy. She's telling the truth, and it turns out the hat in question was installed on their heads by either the Reapers or the Leviathans.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda continues the tradition with Peebee, an asari who's tired of her species' tendency to take a long-term view of everything and prefers to live in the moment as much as she possibly can. This is because her parents were an elcor (a species noted for its slow, methodical ways and risk aversion) and an asari matriarch who'd reached the point in her life that Peebee's father was the active one of the two.
    • Andromeda also has Nakmor Drack, an old krogan like Wrex who wants his species to move on from its violent, self-destructive ways. Unlike Wrex, though, he's not interested in leadership, seeing himself as an example of what was wrong with the krogan. His granddaughter, Kesh, is the chief engineer on the Nexus, responsible for keeping things running, while her boyfriend is a Non-Action Guy botanist, who actually is respected by other krogan.
    • Nakmor Kesh herself is the only krogan we've seen who manages to get over her racial Moral Myopia enough to admit that the krogan earned the affliction of the genophage due to their unwillingness to temper their breeding and using their role in the Rachni War as an excuse to conquer more worlds to better suit their numbers. Note that she still supports curing the krogan of it, she just understands why they were infected in the first place and does want the krogan to get over the destructive behaviors that led to them being infected in the first place.
    • Vetra Nyx is a turian who never went into the mandatory military service of her people, and it definitely shows. She has very loose qualms about breaking rules in order to help people and is very open about being a former smuggler who says "screw protocol" whenever red tape shows up. While she does admit that her former choice in profession wasn’t the best idea, she does reveal in a couple of dialogues that most turians are pretty tense thanks to their culture and are happy working in the shadows rather than the front line.
    • Unusual for this trope, this even applies to the human party members in Andromeda, Liam and Cora. Most humans in the setting are stereotyped by other races as being pushy and believing that they should be in charge, Liam is trying to coordinate with some Angara behind the scenes but only takes charge at what he does best (disaster response) and knows when to fold em in favor of keeping the peace between other cultures. Cora has completely adopted asari culture after performing a service with asari military, something almost unheard of in any race. She even muses that if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s straight, she would think that she was born into the wrong race.
  • Done spectacularly with Fall-From-Grace in Planescape: Torment, a succubus - in D&D terms a creature formed out of raw chaos and lust - who has dedicated herself to chastity (she even wears a "chastity bodice"—it's not that nasty, as her clothing is enchanted to automatically clean itself and demons don't excrete) and civility, and is the only priest who can be in your party.
    • And more recently, Eludecia the Succubus Paladin from Wizards' D&D Fight Club, though her level advancement had her going back to being evil and becoming a Blackguard.
    • There's also Nordom from the same game, who's a rogue modron.
  • Robot examples in the Sonic the Hedgehog series: E-102 Gamma and E-123 Omega both overcame their evil programming and turned against Doctor Eggman. Gamma freed the other E-series robots and then sacrificed himself to free the Flicky inside him, Omega joined Shadow and Rouge and still fights against Eggman (though calling him "good" is a bit of a stretch).
  • In Star Control II, green tentacle alien Admiral ZEX is the only member of the xenophobic VUX who doesn't find humans repulsively ugly. In fact, he finds them "attractive". However, it could also be that he finds them as repulsive as the rest of his race, and is just sexually aroused by ugly things...
    • The Spathi have the Black Spathi Squadron, a band of rogue Spathi who, unlike the normal cowardly Spathi, wander space "performing brave and hostile deeds". They're never actually encountered in the game and are mentioned only in rumors; their existence is denied by the Spathi authorities.
  • This happens to Proud Warrior Race Guy Orlok The Eternal in Universe At War: Earth Assault as he abandons the Hierarchy and starts a rebellion against them. He even goes so far as to declare his species a disease because they're Planet Looters who rampage around the galaxy destroying planets and civilizations greater than they for essentially kicks.
  • Darkspear and Revantusk trolls from Warcraft are sociable, loyal to the orcs, and hate gave up cannibalism due to devotion to the Horde in sharp contrast to the other trolls who are cannibalistic and xenophobic. The latter is somehow even able to get along with, or at least tolerate, their ancient enemies the high/blood elves.
    • Another example would be Eitrigg, an Orc who left the evil Horde as he saw that they have abandoned the Proud Warrior Race Guy ways and have become Always Chaotic Evil under demonic influence. He later on returns to the Horde after they have become good again under Thrall's leadership.
    • The Darkspear/Revantusk-Blood Elf relations are a testament both to how atypical those tribes are and how far blood elves have come from being a race on the brink of extinction to where they are now.
    • Several of the undead who joined the Argent Crusade seem to feel this way about the Forsaken, most notably Leonid Barthalomew.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, one of the Frieza Race NPCs in Tokitoki City talks of how Frieza and his father, King Cold, were both ruthless tyrants, but that not all members of their race were as wicked and evil as them.
  • Tsukihime clearly established that once you've been bitten by a vampire, there's no turning back, you're boned, and the guy who bit you will now be a horrible bloodsucking monster. See: Satsuki, Arcueid. Six months of story time later, we have Melty Blood where Sion was bitten three years ago and is still almost entirely normal. In at least one route she even actually turns into a vampire after biting Wallachia but after getting beaten up for a bit she decides it's not really that much worse than it was before and she can still resist drinking blood and viewing people as lunch. She then leaves and goes back to work. Wait, what?
    • Justified Trope: Satsuki is actually pretty normal, as long as she is not under Roa's direct influence. Furthermore, Wallachia isn't a true vampire and didn't have a physical form. Thus, it allowed Sion, who is also a powerful mage, to take great lengths to prevent herself from turning fully. Furthermore, note that Shiki himself managed to resist possession by Roa for a long period, and Sion was not 'drained/revived' like Satsuki was. In Short, there's a TON of circumstances that explain Sion's issues. (Note also that Satsuki regains most of her normal personality when she's playable.)
  • Llyud from Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, who apparently "exhibits a curiosity not commonly found among the Aegyl, for which he is regarded as something as a curiosity himself.", and sides with the Sky Pirates.
  • One of the underlying realities of Touhou is that life in (and under) Gensokyo has turned a lot of its more volatile residents into examples, yielding, at its worst, a tense understanding between humans and youkai.
    • Possibly because a certain miko goes around beating offenders up until they stop offending.
  • Most of the Demons in Devil May Cry are absolutely evil bastards. Except for Sparda, who turned against his own kind to save the Human race, married a Human woman, who then gave birth to his twin children. One of whom, Dante, became the main protagonist of the series. His brother Vergil… kinda the opposite happened with him. The animated series features a demon that Dante has been contracted to kill who has fallen in love with a human. When Dante encounters him in the alley, he asks Dante about his parent's relationship to validate the possibility of love in a demon.
  • A minor example of this occurs in Final Fantasy IX with Vivi's grandfather Quan, who abandoned the swamps inhabited by the Qu race after becoming disenchanted with the traditional gourmand ways. Seeking new ways to taste food, Quan thought of attempting to fish the Mist from the sky and eat it, but eventually realized the importance of imagination and sharing one's experiences and memories after he catches Vivi instead. Teaching Vivi gives Quan a new perspective on life and eating, which he eventually shares with Quina and Quale. Quale, who used to be Quan's student and is now Quina's teacher, was himself fairly upset with Quan's deserting the traditional gourmand ways but seems to come around after Quina starts grasping Quan's teachings.
    • This actually ties in rather beautifully with the driving themes of the game when you think about it. Consider that the main theme of the game is, ostensibly, that "Life is precious not because of how long you live or how important you think you are, but because of how you choose to live it and what you do with the time you have". Quan's rejection of the shallow ways of most of his people - which basically consist of simply eating, and cooking for one's own self - enabled him to learn something deeper, giving him a unique individual strength and character which he shared with Vivi and later shared with Quina and Quale. Quina himself/herself is seen giving the same lesson to the Qu working in Alexandria's royal kitchens during the Epilogue.
  • Most tribes of Beastmen encountered in Final Fantasy XIV has a "friendly" tribe that you can do quests for in exchange for currency and special items, most of which follow this method of thinking
  • Ralgha nar Hhallas (Hobbes to his friends), who turns against the Kilrathi and fights for the Terrans in Wing Commander. Subverted in the third game, when he is revealed to have been The Mole.
  • Rakeesh Sah Tarna from the Quest for Glory series; his fellow Liontaurs tend to be arrogant hotheads who think humans are inferior, while he himself is more even-tempered and noble. This also extends to his wife and children, but not his brother Rajah.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons Online, Drow are unlocked as a player race after you get 400 Favor (Or you pay for them). Chaotic Evil isn't a valid alignment for PCs, so every PC Drow you meet will be Chaotic Neutral at worst. Of course, the game is set in Eberron, so it's somewhat justified.
  • So subtly used in Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer that you're likely to miss it unless you know the mythos. The ending level after defeating Ripto is Dragon Shores, which is manned by several friendly and cheery Gnorcs. Gnorcs, for those that weren't aware while playing it, were the enemies in the prequel to Gateway to Glimmer, the first game in the series. This example is not only subtle but indecisive; the Gnorcs in the first game were all created from gems. Does this mean that the Dragon Shore Gnorcs are the rogues to the overall horrible Gnorc race, or is Gnasty the rogue to the overall amiable Gnorc race?
  • The Grey Order from League of Legends, represented by Annie in-game, are a group of Noxians who decided that "being incredibly evil" wasn't much of a basis for a system of government and left to study dark magic.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the backstory, the Ayleids (Wild Elves) of Cyrodiil split off from their Altmer (High Elf) cousins when the Aedra-worshiping Altmer banned worship of the Daedra. Unlike some other groups, such as the Chimer/Dunmer, the Ayleids worshiped some of the more traditionally malevolent Daedra, leading their civilization down some very dark paths. Some of the Ayleids refused to worship the Daedra, instead worshiping the Aedra, and these two sides eventually went to war. The Daedra-worshiping Ayleids were victorious, and the Aedra-worshiping Ayleids were forced to flee Cyrodiil. (The most famous of these groups were the Barsaebic Ayleids, who settled in Black Marsh.) One of the dark paths the Daedra-worshiping Ayleids went down was the enslavement and vile torture of the Nedes, human ancestors to most of the modern races of Men. Some of the Ayleids were disgusted by the treatment of the slaves by their brethren and joined the slaves when they revolted. As a result, they were allowed to keep their lands as vassals of the newly-formed human Cyrodiilic Empire. (At least until, about a century later, the empire picked up an extremely anti-elven religion sect which killed or drove out the remaining Ayleids, leading to their extinction as a unique race.)
    • The Dwemer provide a few examples in the backstory as well:
      • The Rourken clan of Dwemer was so opposed to an alliance with the Chimer that they chose to self-exile themselves to Hammerfell. Their chieftain is said to have thrown the Volendrung Hammer across Tamriel and led his clan to "wherever the hammer fell", giving the region its name.
      • In the final days of their known existence, it's said that many Dwemer didn't agree with the general idea to unmake themselves and then reforge themselves into immortal godlike beings. Not because it was blasphemous or anything like that, just because they thought it would end poorly for every Dwemer on Nirn. Which it probably did.
    • After the events of Oblivion, Ocato, who served as the High Chancellor and Imperial Battlemage to Emperor Uriel Septim VII, was made Potentate of the Empire with no surviving Septim heirs left. Despite being an Altmer, Ocato utterly opposed the Aldmeri Dominion to the point where the Thalmor had him killed for his efforts, leading into the Empire's steep decline by the time of Skyrim while the power of the Dominion rose.
    • Skyrim
      • Paarthurnax, the leader of the Greybeards. During the Dragon Wars, he was the top lieutenant of Alduin, but had a change of heart and instead chose to aid the Ancient Nords, teaching them the Thu'um and thus allowing them to turn the tide against the Dragons. Despite being the closest thing in the game to a Big Good, he tells the Dragonborn that he still has the innate desire to destroy and dominate as all Dragons do and has to constantly fight to keep his urges in check. He lampshades that the same is true for the Dragonborn as well.
      • In Skyrim you can meet several Altmer who openly despise the Thalmor, the despotic State Sec ruling the re-formed Aldmeri Dominion. The Thalmor essentially play up the worst stereotypes of the Altmer overall. One is a Legate in the Imperial Legion who will readily tell you a story about dissident Altmer refugees being ambushed and slaughtered by Thalmor operatives. Another is a shopkeeper in Windhelm who offers to use her black market contacts to help smuggle the local priest and priestess of Talos out of the city should the Thalmor ever come by. Unsurprisingly, the Thalmor consider any Altmer who do not support them to not be "true" Altmer. One group that gets hit hard with this by the Thalmor are the Psijic Order, a powerful Magical Society and the oldest monastic order in Tamriel. The Order and the Thalmor have an extreme mutual hatred for one another. The second disappearance of Artaeum (the island home of the Psijics) in the 4th Era is believed to be directly related to the rise of Thalmor influence. The Thalmor come off as The Resenter, as the Order is an Aldmeri organization with immense magical knowledge but one that absolutely will not tow the Thalmor line or share that knowledge.
      • Reversed in one case with Gissur, a Nord beggar who acts as a Thalmor stool pigeon, selling information to them in exchange for coin. He thinks his fellow Nords complain too much about the Thalmor and is clearly an individual not meant to be liked or sympathised with, and would likely qualify as Too Dumb to Live as the Thalmor's hostility towards all humans is established fact. Gissur will usually meet his end at the hands of the Dragonborn during the main story, usually being killed in an attempted ambush along with his Thalmor masters.
      • Also in Skyrim, the Nords are portrayed as being mistrustful of magic at best, then you meet a few Nord mages who go against the general Nordic rejection of magic. This appears to be a societal thing, as when you go to Sovngarde, the Nordic afterlife, the gatekeeper Tsun says that modern Nords "have forgotten their forefathers' respect for the Clever Craft."
      • Faryl Atheron, a Dunmer in Windhelm, works at a Nord farm and complains of his fellow Dunmers' "harping about injustices."
      • Orcs have a reputation of being warriors, and you can meet some old ones while traveling who wish to challenge you to combat so they can die a good death in battle. However, the librarian of the College of Winterhold is an orc who takes his job quite seriously. The Gourmet, the most famous chef in Skyrim, turns out to be an Orc — and he's distinctly not a warrior, begging for his life if you come to assassinate him and going down in a single attack.
      • Some Reachmen, such as Ainethach (the owner of the mines of Karthwasten) and Bothela (the owner of the Hag's Cure alchemy shop), lament that so many of their friends and relatives are dying over what they deem a "lost cause" as members of the Forsworn. Non-Forsworn Reachmen are constantly accused by the Forsworn and the Nords of supporting the opposing side, leaving them stuck in the middle.
      • In the Dawnguard DLC, you can meet Knight-Paladin Gelebor, the last surviving uncorrupted Falmer. He prefers to be called a "Snow Elf" to avoid the negative connotations of the debased Falmer, who he refers to as "the Betrayed." He pities them, but also believes that their current situation is at least partly of their own making, averting the Freudian Excuse most give the Falmer.
  • Possible in Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • With the many playable species, each with their own hats, and full moral choices, it's common for your character to act in a manner unbecoming of what others expect.
    • Only 1/3 of the playable races can be played on both the Republic and Empire, with the rest being exclusive to one side. However, if you complete a character's story for one race, you can unlock that race for yourself, regardless of class or allegiance. This can result in Pureblood Sith and Chiss, overwhelmingly Imperial races, becoming light-sided defenders of the Republic, and pro-Republic races like Mirialan and Miraluka becoming some of the most dangerous Sith ever seen.
    • On the other hand, it's entirely possible to play a Pureblood Sith as a Light-Sided individual despite still being a Sith Lord.
  • One of the Imperial assassin droids in Star Wars Droidworks was this. These droids are meant to be nothing but relentless hunter-killers, but this droid refused to because he, being a prototype, had a droid brain installed that allowed him to question his programming. Even so, the Empire made his life hell by forcing him to do menial labor instead. At one point, he also became The Mole for the jawas who are looking for the factory that builds the droids, up until he stole a Data Crystal with a piece of its coordinates before the Empire found out and sent him to the Emperor's Salvage Yard to be sold for scrap. One of your missions is to build a droid that can finish his job.
  • A number of races in Star Trek Online:
    • Romulans and Remans siding with the Romulan Republic are this, tired of the backstabbing and treachery of old and would rather help reunite with their Vulcan comrades.
    • Federation players can play as Klingons with the reasoning that they'd rather not continue on with the Klingon Empire's constant bloodlust.
    • Players can encounter the Gorn aiding the Orion Syndicate on Nimbus III. When a Gorn player confronts them, they declare that they've strayed from their path by siding with the Klingons.
    • With the recent Season 8 addition, players can now add the Voth to their Duty Officer roster, the reasoning being that they believe that their long-held Doctrine, which made them Holier Than Thou, is a load of dino dung.
    • Downplayed with the Breen bridge officer you can get from playing the "Breen Invasion" story arc during featured episode events. Tran may have defected from the Breen Confederacy to whichever side you're on, but it's because he focuses on the "Proud" part of Proud Warrior Race Guy and believes his commanding officer's tactics, which include terror attacks on Deferi civilians, to be dishonorable.
  • Omega-Xis, and later Harp, from Mega Man Star Force are from the invading Planet FM, yet work with and empower humans rather than taking control of them like all the others who came to Earth. Except that it's later revealed that Omega is actually from Planet AM, which was destroyed by FM-ians, leaving Harp as the only genuine example.
  • The Angry Birds and the Bad Piggies are always fighting over the birds' eggs (the birds want to protect them, the pigs want to feed them to their king). Professor Pig, however, is a timid pacifist who wants the birds and pigs to get along. He's even supportive of the birds in both Angry Birds Epic and Angry Birds: Transformers.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, on the planet Smolg, you meet one of the inhabitants, who unlike the Two-Headed Smolgian Snapper enemies in the level isn't mindless and speaks in a refined voice. When Ratchet meets him, the former is immediately prepared to melee the latter to death until it turns out that he's sentient, but during that moment the mutant welcomes the potential Mercy Kill as he considers his abnormal intelligence a burden, which Clank can sympathize with due to being a defective warbot. Giving him some bolts to eat is required to progress to the planet Damosel.
  • In Faery: Legends of Avalon, trolls are usually stupid and violent, but Bert is an exception — he's bookish and likes to talk in verse. The other trolls bully him, naturally.
  • In the Splatoon series, almost all the Octolings the player will encounter during the single-player campaigns are antagonists. Justified in that you're fighting the opposing forces of an army. The sequel introduced both Marina, a friendly and rather adorkable Octoling who forms half of the rapper-and-DJ duo "Off the Hook", as well as a new Octoling protagonist for its Octo Expansion DLC campaign named Agent 8. Both characters do happen to be defectors from the Octarian Army, with enlisting into the military by one's teenage years implied to just be how their society works. The DLC also allows the player to use the Octoling avatar online, with other players' use of them being justified in-game as other random Octolings said to have found their way to the surface in a less Cyberpunk manner than you. By the events of Splatoon 3, Octolings co-existing with Inklings has become even more common in-universe, and you can freely choose your race at the start of the game.
  • In Pokémon, the Pokédex describes all Pokémon of a species as acting in a similar way — all Cubone are saddened over the death of their mother, all Banette hold a grudge against the child that disowned them, and Mewtwo (just the one) is a vicious Blood Knight with the darkest heart of all Pokémon. Thanks to Gameplay and Story Segregation, though, it's perfectly possible to obtain ones that have Natures that completely go against these descriptions.
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Regis is a higher vampire, a race of vampires so powerful and nigh-unkillable that to a large extent they view humans as particularly intelligent livestock. Regis, on the other hand, is unfailingly polite and courteous to everyone he meets and abstains from drinking blood. Regis views the vampires' existence in the human world as that of guests, and is patently embarrassed and mortified by how other vampires have treated their "hosts".
  • Moshi Monsters has the Uppity Croc Monsieurs, Funny Animal crocodiles who are known for being arrogant and extremely rude to everybody, but the one Uppity Croc Monsieur we see, Marcel, is never rude to anybody and, well never denied to be, never seems arrogant.
  • Anonymous BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm left his homeland of 4chan for an unspecified reason in the past, and still doesn’t seem to have much patience with his fellow Anons, usually acting annoyed whenever they show up to cause trouble during the story.
  • Darksiders: The Horsemen of the Apocalypse were the four members of the Nephilim race who finally got it into their heads that maybe committing genocide across Creation and destroying countless worlds and races to fuel it was a bit of an overreaction to how they were denied a world of their own, especially since it was threatening the universe itself. They finally turned on their own kind when they decided to attack and take Eden for themselves upon learning the world was to be given to the yet-to-be-born race of humanity, joining the Charred Council in exchange for power and getting their first mission: wipe out the rest of the Nephilim to the last.
  • Warframe:
    • The Grineer are a fascist empire of clones trying to conquer the Origin System. The Steel Meridian syndicate is a faction of defectors fighting back, specifically by protecting the innocent civilians and colonists caught up in the war. Several other syndicates dislike them for being too quick to forgive Grineer defectors, no matter the crimes they committed while serving the empire.
    • The Kavor take it a step farther, being fully pacifist Grineer just trying to escape the war altogether. The empire refers to this as the "Pacifism Defect," a genetic flaw that needs to be rooted out and destroyed. Steel Meridian, of course, recruits the Tenno to protect them.
    • The Corpus are a loose alliance of Mega Corps who will do absolutely anything for profit. The Perrin Sequence believe that the best way to make a profit is to look after your workers and your customers, not to screw everyone over. They often hire the Tenno to fight the larger Corpus factions.
    • On the other end of the Corpus hierarchy, the people of Fortuna are debt slaves who are supposed to be terraforming Venus for their Corpus masters. However, they've managed to avoid being outright mind-controlled like most poor Corpus soldiers, and hire the Tenno as a deniable strike force against the Corpus.
  • Might and Magic VIII does this a lot, reflecting the more exotic nature of Jadame:
    • Minotaurs are in most cases Always Chaotic Evil that are always the enemies. Not only you can choose a Minotaur as your starting race this time, but there is an entire friendly city of them (which was flooded by tidal wave at the beginning of the game), unlike in any other game. Even more, they are one of the required members of an alliance you have to form against the cataclysm that is happening, and their leader will agree to help you if you can save their city.
    • Same deal with Trolls. They are also usually the enemies, including in this game, but here they too have created city and you can help them find their original settlement.
    • Vampires you can recruit also count, as they will stay your allies regardless if you choose the Necromancers for the alliance.
    • Unlike any other game and place in the series, where they are usually high-end enemies, the dragons in Garrotte Gorge are friendly to you (and you can even recruit some) unless you do something to piss them off.
  • The End Times: Vermintide and Vermintide II take place in the world of Warhammer, and consist of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that includes Dwarf Ranger Bardin Goreksson. The Dwarfs of Warhammer are notorious for being a grumpy, insular lot who view grudges and the settling thereof as sacrament. Bardin, to put it simply, is... none of those things. Instead, he's a remarkably cheerful sort, who openly peppers his dialogue with Khazalid around the others, and even only occasionally gets angry at insults (most often directed at him by Kerillian), which even then, he tends to let slide. Sometimes, he'll even ponder setting aside grudges of old to stand against the End Times, a statement that would probably get him killed by other Dwarfs or even the Dwarfen gods. In short, he's far less of a downer than a Dwarf would otherwise be, and is more the life of the party.
  • Get Off My Lawn (2009): All mollets hate lawns and want to destroy them. The only exception is the protagonist, Blue Mollet, who loves his lawn and tries his best to protect it from other mollets.

  • The "That Which Redeems" arc of Sluggy Freelance has two examples:
    • Mosp, a Dimension of Pain demon ultimately betrays the demons in order to defend Torg. This is kind of an iffy example, however, as flashbacks reveal that Mosp was originally a human who was turned into a demon (though some Epileptic Trees believe this holds true for all demons).
    • Alt-Riff. As a citizen of the Dimension of Lame, he's supposed to be completely good/nice. However, it's eventually revealed that one of his inventions accidentally killed his dimension's Torg. He then set about kidnapping Torgs from other dimensions to try and make things right.
  • The ultimate parody of Drizzt comes in The Order of the Stick, in which we're told that all drow are now Chaotic Good rebels, yearning to throw off the shackles of their evil kin. (What evil kin? Details.) Although it shortly turns out that Zz'dtri (whom no one ever bothers to suspect) and later another drow are evil after all.
  • On their airship cruise, Dominic and Luna in Dominic Deegan meet Brian, the chubby, fun-loving Necromancer, who is also enjoying his vacation. He later turns out to be the immortal, quasi-divine First Necromancer, using the appearance he had in his youth as a disguise.
  • Thanks to Grey-and-Gray Morality, Drowtales deliberately deconstructs this. Instead of the Drow (and everyone else) being a Species of Hats it uses viewpoint characters who pretty much all have both flaws and things you can admire them for.
  • Goblins is the deconstruction of this trope.
  • Jerak the Quasit Imp and his Succubus and Balor pals (Winnie and Grull) of Planescape Survival Guide gradually shifted to good partially due to the "corruption" of too much interaction with mortals while trapped on modern Earth. Jerak still insists he's evil, while in the middle of rescuing the main heroes.
  • Hilariously parodied in the Transformers-based Insecticomics 494th comic.
    Starscream: What's going on? You called in a medical emergency but gave no details.
    Dreadmoon: Thrust decided to taunt The Fallen. The Fallen got a shot at us, but Thrust took the brunt of the blast.
    Starscream: You used her as a shield, didn't you?
  • Slightly Damned has Buwaro, and to a lesser extent, Sakido, who may well be the only demon who prefers hugs to blood. Although Buwaro was raised by an angel, brain damaged by an injury to his egg and repeatedly being hit in the head with a falling rock so he has reason to be different.
    • Cruelly subverted in chapter 6: The demons there are just playing nice until their champion kills a demigod. Then they start murdering people instead.
  • Phix of Wapsi Square is the only sphinx who refuses to kill demon-infested humans.
  • In Prophecy of the Circle there's (unnamed as of now) a tek with black stripes on his face, who seems to be pretty amiable towards the tikedi and was even shown to help them on one occasion, while all other tekk seem to fly into a rage and try to attack any tikedi they notice.
  • Tem in Steampunk'd is obsessed with reminding people that dark elves aren't a culture of sociopathic murders anymore.
    • Which would require less protesting if they weren't, in fact, still sociopathic murders.
    Ethan: Coup? I thought you said the last exchange of power was bloodless.
    Tem: It was!
    Guard: I've never had to choke as many politicians with my bare hands. Progressive politics is hard work.
  • In Homestuck, according to Word of God, the Dersites will always have at least one minion who follows this trope, and in a regular session, this Dersite essentially acts as an alternate questline to take down the Black King. In the main session, this is the Wayward Vagabond, who openly hates the monarchy and wants to create some form of democracy in its place.
  • Downplayed with Agrippa Varus of Terra. Like the rest of the Azatoth species he's a definite Proud Warrior Race Guy and not to be trifled with. However, as the son of a diplomat raised in frequent contact with other species, his emphasis of PWRG is on the "honorable warrior" connotation rather than the "Blood Knight asshole" aspect. He also doesn't treat members of other races with anywhere near the Fantastic Racism exhibited by other Azatoth.
  • Inverted in Girl Genius with Vole, the ex-Jaeger. Although technically Jaegers are human or used to be, being immortal Super Soldiers makes them basically a different species altogether. Their Undying Loyalty to the House of Heterodyne is one of their defining traits as a race, which led to Vole being officially thrown out by the rest of the Jaegers after he tries to kill the Lord Heterodyne and his brother for not being evil enough.
  • In The Bird Feeder, Lewis, a crow, is unique among them.
    • #78, "Dinner," showed that has very refined tastes.
    • #147, "One Bird," showed that he isn't well-liked by other crows.
    • #287, "Other Crows," showed that he doesn't like other crows much, either.
  • EATATAU!!!, which can only be described as "Bootleg Warhammer 40,000:"
    • Seargeant Johnson, a Renegade Space Marine who is a defector to the Tau Empire. While he has turned his back on the Imperium, he has not forsaken his humanity. The Greater Good resonates with his ideals of courage and honour just as deeply as, if not more than, the Imperial Creed.
    • Selene is a cheerful, bouncy, fun-loving Dark Eldar who is completely unconcerned with politics, and doesn't belittle aliens out of hand, a stark contrast to her jaded, dour, scheming, supervillain-insult-spewing fellows. She's basically a Cheerful Child by their reckoning, not even being a thousand yet.
  • Caelum Sky's protagonist, Neri is a demon who refuses to harm humans.
    • Similarly, Raziel, the angel is antagonistic to the protagonists being an exact opposite of this trope

    Web Original 
  • Dark Secrets Of Garry's Mod: Headcrabs are puppeteer parasites that acts out on basic instincts. Except SzpGamer who is a Plucky Comic Relief being a hardcore fan of, and obsessed over, Crysis.
  • Dark General Cobalt in Sailor Nothing comes from the Yamiko: A race of The Heartless who are low-functioning sociopaths that are mostly incapable of higher-order thought and planning beyond satisfying their nearest base needs. Cobalt is still a sociopath, but lacks the homicidal urges of the rest of his species and considers himself Surrounded by Idiots because of it. In his more lucid moments, Cobalt thinks it's because the person he 'spawned' from was such a bitter loser that he wasn't repressing much inner darkness in the first place.
  • Azrael's Watcher in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device - while most of its kind are utterly silent and cryptic, this one is cheerful and too talkative.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-6930, or 'Paty', is a Pattern Screamer, essentially a really pissed off bit of unreality given an imaginary existence (when a human imagination tries to invent something to fill in a void, like seeing patterns in clouds, that's pulling the Pattern Screamer partially into reality). Most Pattern Screamers are serious threats to anything with an imagination, because being forced to exist causes them pain. Paty, on the other hand, chose to become completely part of reality by becoming a virtual youtuber, to the point where existing is no longer painful. The Foundation tries to curtail her career to contain her, but they eventually realize that she's a Sheep in Sheep's Clothing and instead help her become a member of hololive.

    Western Animation 
  • Dinobot seems obsessed with the idea of Predacon honor in Beast Wars...but he's also the only honorable Predacon in the entire series and he pulls a Heel–Face Turn in the first episode. Everyone else is some combination of cowardly, treacherous, power-hungry, or loyal to the point of idiocy. Though we're only seeing a handful of Predacons to begin with.
    • He's still pretty treacherous and power-hungry, though, not to mention a bloodthirsty cannibal who only defected to the good guys' team because his bid to take over the bad guys failed. He just believes 'the strongest should rule' in a literal sense. Sure, Dinobot believes in a fair fight, but he's a nasty piece of work right up till the end.
    • Basically, Dinobot is an "orthodox" Predacon whose view of the others in that particular group range from "lazy" to "incompetent" to "threat to the species." Entering a full-time Enemy Mine scenario with the Maximals not only makes sense to surviving crashing on ancient Earth, but to make sure this bumbling assortment of scrap he got there with don't win. He says it the best when the Maximals have the chance to return to Cybertron and he opts not to go with them:
    Dinobot: I am a Predacon despite our alliance and when we return to Cybertron my fate will be the same as Megatron's.
    • In All There in the Manual, it explains that Predacons value treachery. An underling can challenge a leader for any grievance in the court of Might Makes Right. A good leader can fight off the challenge to his authority and a bad one is a victim to it. In the first episode, Dinobot does this, but Megatron sidesteps by having a flunky take care of Dinobot, which means Megatron was not honorable in combat. Dinobot later challenges Optimus and, while he does lose, Optimus won't let Dinobot die because of circumstances unrelated to their combat, endearing him. It's telling that while Dinobot's Honor does force him back to Megatron's side when Megatron is proven correct, he never directly betrays Optimus Prime, even if the pair have several heated disagreements. It's not so much that Dinobot is this trope, but rather, the rest of the Predacons are this trope to Dinobot.
    • Perhaps worse.
      Optimus: We won't let that happen. You're a Maximal now and we'll make sure you're treated as one.
      Dinobot: What makes you think I want to be?
  • One episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command dealt with one such example in the Hive Mind Little Green Men. He was derided by the rest of his species for being an "Independent Thinker". Going by the pilot episode, there's at least a cultural basis for this derision; when the Uni-Mind (which enables the LGMs' Hive Mind) gets stolen (and thus no longer unites the minds of the LGMs), the LGMs turn into utter morons; apparently, only a few individuals actually specifically know any given thing, and the others know it by being connected to the ones that do. On top of that, they're completely uncoordinated without the Uni-Mind's "my best friend is also my right arm" factor.
  • An episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog featured an alien robot who, instead of conquering planets, decided to whittle wooden reindeer.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Dragon Quest", Spike has an identity crisis and joins the Great Dragon Migration to learn more about what it means to be a dragon. After a few rough spots, he starts to bond with a bunch of unruly teenage dragons and seriously considers staying with them to learn more about being a dragon. Spike changes his mind when they try to goad him into smashing a defenseless phoenix egg. Spike decides that he's fine with being a pony at heart if being a "real" dragon means being a Jerkass.
    • Other episodes flip this however and imply that the teenage dragons were this with respect to "real" dragons, as other dragons are consistently shown to simply be loners who simply don't care about other creatures either way and simply wish to be left alone with their hoards. The dragon from Dragonshy is aloof but not intentionally causing problems for the ponies, is civil until Rarity tries to steal his hoard, only turns violent when Rainbow Dash kicks him in the face for no good reason, and is ultimately willing to listen to reason. The dragon from Owl's Well That Ends Well is much more aggressive and prone to Disproportionate Retribution, but only turns violent because Spike helped himself to his gems and otherwise seemed content to keep to himself. Gauntlet of Fire shows that most dragons are loners with the only one who's truly villainous being one of the ones from Dragon Quest. The two other dragons that become recurring characters end up being a Reasonable Authority Figure and Tsundere Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Finally, the villainous dragon from Dragon Quest is ultimately revealed to have Hidden Depths.
    • There was also the dragon that the group met during the second episode. His mad thrashings were creating severe turbulence in a river they had to cross. The ponies expect some insane beast, but it turns out he's just a particularly fabulous dragon that is having a breakdown because his mustache was ruined. An on-the-spot fix made him so happy he actually helped the ponies across the river.
    • In a Story Within a Story, ancient Pegasi are presented as a culture of Proud Warhorse Breed Ponies in the Hearth's Warming Eve pageant we see. However, Private Pansy, their second-in-command, is played by Fluttershy and basically has her personality, neither proud nor warlike.
    • Fluttershy can be seen as one of these as well, as her special talents (good with animals / nature) are usually the domain of Earth Ponies, and frequently seems to forget that as a Pegasus, she can fly.
    • Though we don't really know the circumstances about it, an undisguised changeling is invited to the wedding in "Slice of Life". They must be exceptionally trustworthy though given their species reputation at such events. note 
    • Another changeling named Thorax, who just wants to have friends, is the focus of "The Times They Are A-Changeling". Hanging around the other ponies starts to cause him to transform, which pays off in the season finale, "To Where and Back Again", where it's revealed that Changelings are actually starving with the way they live under Queen Chrysalis, who has been lying to them in order to "keep their hat on", so to speak. When Thorax comprehends what Changelings actually need as a society (to release love and not feed on it), it sparks a Heel–Race Turn and ousts the Queen.
    • Gabby the griffon is this to the whole of Griffinstone because she is energetic, friendly, and helpful instead of rude, greedy, and apathetic.
  • Subverted in Storm Hawks, Junko grew disappointed not that his people were obsessed with being strong, but that the leader of his people sided with the evil Cyclonians because he interpreted their mantra of "the strongest rule because strength brings power" into one that the Wallops should ally with the strongest faction out there rather than fight its evil. Junko then proceeds to beat his superior strength and win leadership of his Terra...or would have, if he'd "finished him". Nonetheless, he calls him on it twice, accusing him of being afraid of Cyclonia, and later denouncing that strength without the will to use it for good is worthless. In a more straight example, his actions do create a cell of resistance fighters that also disagree with collaborating with Cyclonia.
    • Actually a double subversion since he originally agreed with his species obsession with strength but later believed strength used for good is what's good.
  • Lion-O in ThunderCats (2011) is the only Cat in Thundera who doesn't see the Lizards as purely enemies, but as victims grown desperate from years of being oppressed. Indeed, Lion-O is treated like an outcast for that and also believing in the myths of ancient technology (which turn out to be very real). He also is one of the few Cats who sees how misguided Thunderan society is, valuing pride and power over kindness and mercy towards enemies to prevent a cycle of hatred. The only Cats who really come close to Lion-O's view are Kit, Kat, and Panthro, who are shown to get along with Dogs, another rival race of the Cats, as well as Pumyra after Lion-O does some convincing. While it's not clear if Cheetarah shares this view as well, she does show a willingness to trust in Lion-O's judgment. Tygra, however, sticks to the old ways for the longest time, thanks to his upbringing. Grune may also count since he can work together with the Lizard general Slithe.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost and Wendy the Good Little Witch.
  • Inverted in Mr. Bogus with Baddus, who is the only one who looks and acts like an actual gremlin, in stark contrast to Bogus, as well as all of the other denizens of Bogusland.
  • Ch'rell, AKA the Utrom Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). Utroms are known to be benevolent and peaceful. Ch'rell was the exact opposite. He was a cruel genocidal Evil Overlord bent on conquering and enslaving the universe.
  • Steven Universe revolves around a group of alien Magical Girl Warriors from a species called Gems. While they sometimes allude to other Gems having once been on Earth, for the first half season or so none appear (except as corrupted monsters). In a twist, it's eventually revealed that the larger Gem Empire is deeply cruel and utilitarian. They are obsessed with strength and efficiency, and create individual Gems only to fulfill a certain function in their Fantastic Caste System. The protagonists are actually the remnant of an army that rebelled to save the Earth from being colonized millennia ago, becoming a refuge for "defective" Gems in the process.
    • After this discovery, it seems that the Gems are divided into two factions: the protective Crystal Gems and the cruel Homeworld Gems. However, a trip to the Gem homeworld revealed the presence of the Off-Color gems, Gems who have either been rejected from their society for imperfections or who have chosen to become outcasts because they disagree with the Homeworld philosophy (mostly on the topic of fusion.)
  • The Lion Guard has a good hyena in the first episode. She is a subversion, though, because according to her most hyenas are good like her. Apparently, all the evil ones seen so far in the franchise are the ones that are behaving abnormally for their species.
  • World of Quest subverts this with the character Way, who's essentially a living GPS navigator. In one episode, we meet her people, the Waywayans, who have coloured lines and direction signs all over the place. As a race, they have trouble finding their way out of their own bedrooms. Or anywhere else. They consider her a freak.
  • Discussed in Disenchantment: the protagonists visit Dankmire, where Bean's stoic stepmother, Oona, is from, and find that the rest of her race are similarly grim.
    Luci: Hmm, so this is where Oona gets her sense of humor from.
    Oona: Is true. I was class clown. (Beat) Is joke. Or is?
    Bean: Whoa! I owe you an apology, Elfo. Relatively speaking, you're a badass.
  • Wishfart: One of the cornerstone tropes surrounding Dez's character is much of a maverick he is as a leprechaun. Whereas the rest of his kind hide to avoid having to grant wishes, Dez walks about granting wishes willy-nilly. It's something he's very proud of, and while some of the other leprechauns loathe him for this, he often tries to encourage them to try it as well.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Whole Lotta Shakin'", Celery describes Zerk as not being a typical Bortronian and she is absolutely right. Whereas most Bortronians are sweet and like to compete for fun, Zerk (at least in that episode) is a Competition Freak and constantly annoys his cousin. He's even somewhat racist to Sean and Sydney.
  • In Rick and Morty Rick C-137 is this, at least to the extent all the Ricks could be considered a "race". According to one of the Counsel of Ricks, he's a rogue Rick whose irrational and passionate, and unlike all the other Ricks, he actually does seem to (albeit very deep down) actually care about Morty and his family. "Doofus" Rick as well, for being apparently the only Rick to be kind and friendly, and the Token Good Teammate of The Citadel. Of course, the opposite may hold true instead, with the Citadel of Ricks being this to the rest of "Rick-kind" for preferring a structured life on The Citadel as opposed to anarchic existence, and Rick C-137 being an example of the norm for all Ricks. Take your pick.
  • In The Yum Yums, Sour Sue is the one nice Sourpuss, and helps the Yum Yums get their magic toolbox back.
  • Tendi in Star Trek: Lower Decks. Orions are usually Space Pirates, and the females have almost universally been presented as Green Skinned Space Babes, but Tendi is a cheerful scientist wearing the usual conservative Starfleet uniform. She actually hates the implication that Orions are all pirates, though it is initially implied and then confirmed that she used to be one herself, Syndicate and all.
    • Played With: The episode “wej Duj” features a Vulcan named T'Lyn. While still very stoic by human standards, she has good instincts and likes to follow them, and chafes under the obsessive "logic" of her crewmates.
  • In Thomas & Friends, most of the diesel engines seem hell-bent on ridding the Island of Sodor of steam engines. There are exceptions, though, such as BoCo, Mavis, and Salty, the last of whom even makes it clear that he doesn't want any part in the steamies vs. diesels feud.