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Only the Pure of Heart

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Oscar: [heads toward a wall at top speed] I'm gonna die!
Glinda: It's a magic wall. Only those who are pure of heart may pass through it.
Oscar: ...I'm gonna die!

Some things are just too good to let everybody get their hands on; they might be too rare, too dangerous or maybe just too evil to start dishing out all willy-nilly. However, people with pure hearts will have the chance to access things less pure-hearted people cannot, such as:

Note that despite the heavy-handed Aesop, pure good is usually portrayed as extremely difficult both to attain and maintain: Just as Virgin Power requires that you Can't Have Sex, Ever, any small stumbling will destroy your powers, too (even if it is in mind only).

Occasionally Pure Is Not Good and the pure evil characters pass muster as well.

In some cases, the concept that Unicorns Prefer Virgins is tweaked to an affinity for pure-hearted characters as well.

A Wide-Eyed Idealist (or otherwise, just The Idealist) may fit this trope, in which case the bad guys might exploit them to get around this security feature.

For a weaponized form of this trope, see Morality-Guided Attack.

Subtrope of Phlebotinum-Handling Requirements. Compare Only the Knowledgable May Pass, Only Smart People May Pass, Only the Worthy May Pass, Children Are Innocent, All Crimes Are Equal. Related to Fantastic Aesop. Super-trope for Only Good People May Pass.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • This trope was formerly called Nimbus Privileges, after the dub name for Goku's Kinto'un cloud. Neither Muten Roshi nor Kuririn/Krillin can hope to ride it because Kuririn stole dirty magazines for Muten Roshi, although a few other characters more pure of heart apparently can. Gohan, Goten, Chi-Chi, and (in a tellingly specific way) "Good" Lunch/Launch, but not Bulma. As one might expect from shounen, this isn't a Virgin Power; Goku, Gohan, and Goten mainly stop riding it in adulthood because they and many other characters simply fly on their own, much faster than Kinto'un can (although it is a handy transport when wanting to save on energy).
      • For his part, Goku started off as a comedic example because, not one chapter/episode before riding the cloud, he was patting Bulma's crotch wondering where her balls were, and several chapters after that, does it to Chi-Chi (his future wife) and an old lady. However because Goku is such a Chaste Hero with No Social Skills, he genuinely doesn't mean any harm by it and the social reasons for why he shouldn't do this simply don't occur to him.
    • In Cross Epoch, a crossover with One Piece, Luffy rides the Kinto'un as well, as do Arale and Gatchan 1 and 2 when Goku visits Penguin Village.
    • Goku's pure heart also renders him immune to Akkuman/Devilman's ultimate move, the Akumaito Kōsen/Devilmite Beam, which works by causing the negative thoughts in a person's mind to explode.
    • At one point it's mentioned that only someone of a pure heart can become a Super Saiyajin/Super Saiyan. Vegeta then explains he was capable of it because his heart is pure evil. The trick with becoming a Super Saiyajin/Super Saiyan is a combination of purity and rage. So you have to be pure, and then something has to piss you off in a big way. Emotional bursts flares up one's Ki, and causes the transformation; the purer and kinder the individual, the more potent the rage-burst when it happens (potentially explaining why Vegeta had such a hard time - he's always angry, so him raging isn't that big an emotional burst). "Need" is also a factor. In Vegeta's case, he ended up putting himself in an extremely dangerous position while training in order to force himself to need the power just to survive. It might sound crazy, but consider that he probably wouldn't want to live anymore anyways if he couldn't pull it off after seeing Goku achieve it.
      • A bit of a Zig-Zagged Trope in this regard as while the need for a pure heart is greatly emphasized early on, by the middle of the Cell arc it's never brought up again and seemingly dropped as a requirement. It has never been demonstrably confirmed that a Saiyan can't turn Super Saiyajin/Super Saiyan because they aren't pure of heart, and at least one character, Bardock, has achieved it despite a dubious personality at the time, albeit in a What If? story.
    • The Genki Dama/Spirit Bomb can only be used by someone of pure heart as well. Therefore, when Goku enters the Super Saiyajin/Super Saiyan form, he's unable to use it, because the Super Saiyajin state taints his heart with rage and bloodlust. This doesn't prohibit him from going SSJ after forming the attack, which he does in the Android 13 movie (outright absorbing the energy), in the final battle against Kid Buu, and against Jiren in Dragon Ball Super. Through training, Goku and Gohan learn to activate and stay in Super Saiyajin/Super Saiyan form as if it were their normal state, likely why these acts can happen.
      • Cell claims to be able to use the Genki Dama/Spirit Bomb, but never actually does so in the anime. Fans speculate that like Vegeta's Super Saiyajin/Super Saiyan, being pure evil satisfies the "pure of heart" requirement, while others suggest that his line in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai ("Okay planet, gimme that stupid energy!") implies that he's forcibly taking the energy rather than asking for donations.
  • Inuyasha: Mt. Hakurei has a purifying barrier around it so only the pure-hearted can enter. When Sango and Miroku enter, the latter finds it difficult to proceed when he thinks dirty thoughts about Sango.
  • In the third season of Sailor Moon, the purity of the heart can be extracted as a crystal. The Big Bad guys, called the Death Busters, as well as Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are searching for three specific Pure Heart Crystals that contain powerful treasures known as Talismans. When the three Talismans come together, they produce the Holy Grail, which could either purify the world or put the world into eternal silence, depending on whose hands it falls into (The Messiah of Light or the Messiah of Silence).
    • The Holy Grail reacts with the Silver Crystal, essentially giving Sailor Moon her first power-up, into Super Sailor Moon. Because of this, they initially thought Sailor Moon was the Messiah of Light, but this theory died quickly when Sailor Moon proved she couldn't handle the immense power of the Holy Grail.
    • After Mistress 9, the Messiah of Darkness, allows the Final Big Bad, Pharaoh 90, to absorb the Grail, she explains to Sailor Moon that the Holy Grail is the Crystal of the purest heart in existence, and the only way to save the world now was to produce a heart of greater purity. Hotaru eventually takes her body back from Mistress 9 and awakens as Sailor Saturn. She goes off to fight Pharaoh 90 at the cost of her own life.
    • Saddened by the possibility of losing Hotaru, Sailor Moon produces her own Pure Heart Crystal with the help of the other Sailor Soldiers. She transforms into Super Sailor Moon and helps Sailor Saturn defeat Pharaoh 90 before he can plunge the world into eternal silence.
    • Minako was initially worried that her heart wasn't pure after the Death Busters targeted the rest of the Sailor Senshi. She became very cheerful after the Death Busters attacked her and extracted her heart crystal...until she collapsed because her spiritual heart had just been ripped out.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam can only be used by someone who is pure of heart and has good intentions. How this actually works is unknown. Note that this is only true in the novel: the OVA makes no such mention of any such system, and the reason only Banagher can pilot it is that the Unicorn was registered to his DNA in the first episode as a security measure.
  • It isn't actual purity per se, but Luffy's total lack of lust in One Piece grants him complete immunity from Boa Hancock's Love-Love powers.
  • In one of the manga adaptations of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link's pure heart shields him from being transformed by the Dark World. To a lesser extent, Ganty seems to be somewhat shielded as well; she was transformed, but unlike the rest of the cursed people, she can shapeshift between her transformed form and her normal form at will. Of course, that doesn't mean Link's heart can't be tainted by rage and hate, which Agahnim tries to use to his advantage.
  • Crops up occasionally in Saint Seiya, as in how the Gold Clothes of Athena's most powerful saints are said to have just enough sentience to tell whether their owner truly fights for justice or not. This eventually leads to the Cancer cloth abandoning Deathmask mid-fight for being a murderous psychopath, though it of course waits until an appropriately dramatic moment to do so. However, even those who desire peace and justice can be lead astray, and the entire conflict of the Twelve Houses ordeal comes straight from the Goldies failing to recognize the evil in their current Pope until it's too late.
    • On the flip side, every time a Holy War crops up, the person with the purest heart on Earth is ultimately destined to become the human vessel of Hades, through which he intends to destroy the world. This happens even if said soul is already on the other side of the conflict.
  • In the Kirby anime, Meta Knight's sword, Galaxia, is an ancient Empathic Weapon that senses the intent of those who try to wield it. If it doesn't like their intent, it electrocutes them.
  • Only one who is pure of heart can retain their humanity when possessed by a demon and become a Devilman.

    Comic Books 
  • Only the purest and most devoted of warriors can even lift the hammer of Thor (as depicted in the Marvel Universe, anyway), and fewer can actually use it. The list of people who can do this is very short (though Beta Ray Bill, Captain America, and Jane Foster the "new" Thor have been able to wield it, and Deadpool got his hands on a pretty close copy) and Thor himself lost the ability during The Reigning when he veered into serious Knight Templar territory. Beta Ray Bill temporarily lost the ability to wield his own hammer Stormbreaker which has the same enchantment after his quest for vengeance against Galactus for eating his homeworld ventured into He Who Fights Monsters territory.
    • Notably, during the DC crossover JLA/Avengers, Wonder Woman can manage it but not Superman. (Supes used the hammer, but only because Odin lifted the restriction due to the critical situation; afterwards Thor explains this but also remarks that it's never been in worthier hands.)
    • In Original Sin, Nick Fury whispers something to Thor that instantly makes Mjölnir find not only Thor but every single Asgardian unworthy of it. It's later revealed in The Unworthy Thor that the thing that made Thor and the rest of Asgard unworthy was that "Gorr was right", that is Gorr the God Butcher claimed that the gods were unworthy of the love and affection mortals gave them because they were such vain and vengeful creatures.
    • Oh, it gets better. In AXIS, Loki becomes worthy of Mjölnir as an effect of being Inverted (i.e. Heel-Face Turned). Not related to the hammer but in the same event said person expressed the notion that "...pureness of heart is the greatest magic of all!", before turning into a unicorn. Yes. That happened.
  • In Justice Society of America, Power Girl was specifically told that Stargirl, not she, had to defeat the King of Tears because purity of heart was needed. (Earlier in the same story, Stargirl had her heart broken because a villain had needed her love to cast a spell for her purity of heart.)
  • In both the Marvel and DC universes, reigning Lords of Hell (Mephisto and Neron respectively) have attempted to ensnare the most incorruptibly pure souls only to be unable to actually HOLD them in Hell because of that very same trait. The souls in question? Silver Surfer and Captain Marvel (again respectively).
  • Part of the plot of The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul involves the Fountain of Life, a fountain in Nanda Parbat which Ra's considers a more pure version of the Lazarus Pit, which according to the monks of Nanda Parbat, can only be used by people with pure hearts. The Sensei, Ra's father, scoffs at this as he intends to taint it, but sure enough, when his fight with Batman results in the two of them landing in the Fountain, he is destroyed while Batman's injuries from the fight are healed.
  • In King In Black: Black Knight, this trope is flipped on its head. Dane Whitman, the current Black Knight, learns that the Ebony Blade can only be welded by impure hearts and that the wizard Merlin has lied to him and the previous welders.

    Fan Works 
  • Be All My Sins: Natalie has a sobering moment when she realizes the presence of a holy relic of a martyr burns her. It's quite the wake-up call as to how far she's fallen into corruption... which she does her best not to think about.
  • In Equestria: Across the Multiverse, Innocence Magic can only be used by those completely lacking the desire to do harm, even the temptation to do so. As a result, it can only be wielded by the World of Empathy ponies or ponies channeling past lives that were from there. Innocence Magic is no better than normal magic on its own and its true power comes from how it interacts with other forms of magic. Namely, it gives a significant boost to Light Magic but weakens Dark Magic by the same degree, and is a straight-up Kryptonite Factor to those using corruptive magics. This makes it a perfect fit for them, as they're Actual Pacifists and thus can use it to provide support for their more combat-willing allies.

  • The Golden Child's immunity to being harmed by Sardo Numspa's demonic forces is based entirely on him maintaining his innocence. Even the slightest slip, such as drinking blood, would be enough to allow him to be slain. So they lock him in a cage with no food, hoping to wear down his resistance. Given that he's a Buddhist monk (and managed to sneak some leaves along with him), he holds out for just long enough to be rescued.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of Aaaaaauuuuggghhh..."
  • In Highlander: The Source it was revealed that the prize the immortals fought for was claimable only by virtue, rather than strength. This, of course, made the millennia of immortals killing each other to gain the strength to claim the prize a bit pointless. Also the fact that the prize was the ability to have children.
  • Deconstructed in SHAZAM! (2019). The wizard Shazam wants to find someone pure of heart to pass his powers on to after the last champion abused his powers, but can't find one pure enough to pass his Secret Test of Character even after many decades of testing countless people and one of the people who failed his test (who grew up to become the villain Sivana) tells him point-blank that he'll never find someone pure-hearted enough to meet his impossible standards. Shazam ultimately passes on his powers to Billy who's definitely not pure of heart and admits as much himself, due to him having no more time left to find a successor and settling for the best candidate he can find.

  • David Eddings:
    • Eriond from The Malloreon is this trope personified. Despite (apparently) having no power to speak of, being pure and innocent enough to be one of three people in the entire world who can touch the Orb of Aldur without being destroyed, and being inoffensive as milk, evil is incapable of harming him. The quintessential example of this comes when he stands in front of the Big Bad who has shapeshifted into a dragon and emerges completely unscathed from her fire. It helps that his ultimate destiny is to become a God.
    • The prequel novels claimed that the whole "pure of heart" thing was bull that some bard invented later. The reason why the Orb burned Torak was that it hated Torak personally. The reason the Orb was entrusted to Riva was that he was the one person in the party who retrieved it that had no ambition and therefore could be trusted not to use it for anything.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Silmarillion:
      • Evil and tainted-by-evils characters cannot touch the Silmarils without getting burned. Morgoth put them into his crown and it's said that the burns continued to hurt him forever.
      • When Maedhros and Maglor finally recover the gems, they will no longer suffer their touch because of all the evil deeds they've committed to fulfill their oath to get them back.
    • Beren and Lúthien: Carcharoth, a giant wolf raised by Morgoth to guard Angband's gate, eats Beren's Silmaril-holding hand and goes on a mad rampage through the continent while it burns him from the inside out.
  • Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain: When Taran first tries to wield the sword Dyrnwyn in The Book of Three, he's blasted by its power. In The High King he's able to use Dyrnwyn to destroy the Cauldron born and Arawn Death-Lord. Dyrnwyn has an inscription: "Draw Dyrnwyn, only thou of noble worth, to rule with justice, to strike down evil. Who wields it in good cause shall slay even the Lord of Death." When Taran first drew Dyrnwyn he was a callow youth. When he drew it the second time he had matured into a noble man.
  • In Hannu Rajaniemi's The Fractal Prince, Matjek, questioned about why he appears like a child, says that innocence is the key to the Kaminair jewel — and when he had thought Christianity ridiculous.
  • In Madeleine E Robins's Sold For Endless Rue, Crescia enjoins Laura to keep everything scrupulously clean, and keep washing her hands, and make up the brews in clean pots — no soap traces, even. She explains that the saints love purity, so they must keep things pure to invoke their aid. Later, after Laura's seduction, she explains that Laura would have had to remain a virgin to follow her.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet novel Guardian, the ships they find keeping patrol on Earth refuse to let them pass because of some impurity, which they do not define well but are obsessed with.
  • In The Dresden Files, only the pure of heart may wield a Sword of the Cross; if someone who isn't picks one of the blades up, it only acts as a normal, somewhat dingy sword. We meet several Knights of the Cross in the series, and all of them are different shades of the Messianic Archetype. (Incidentally, belief in God is not required; the wielder must simply be honest, faithful, and truly devoted to helping mankind, even at the cost of their lives.) This is a good thing, as the Swords are extremely powerful weapons that can slay nearly any being, human or supernatural, when fully empowered.
    • It should be noted that the swords' stringent requirements are also constant, and their Fatal Flaw; if a Knight lies, hurts innocents, or kills without very good reason, their Knight abilities are instantly lost, and the sword they bear has a chance of breaking. Once broken, a sword can never be fixed, and one of humanity's greatest weapons against evil is destroyed. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. However, there is hope. Even after an improper use of the Sword's power, Michael Carpenter reminds Harry that the key aspect in any of the Swords is not sword but the trait it represents. When the Sword of Faith was depowered and broken by improper usage, it was reconstituted when a worthy man grabbed it and reformed in the shape of his faith.
  • In Harry Potter, the Good Hurts Evil Patronus Charm is an exceptionally difficult spell to perform and is said to only be able to be performed by the pure of heart, as an Evil Sorcerer in the past attempted it and was devoured by a swarm of maggots pouring from his Magic Wand. However, Evil Principal Dolores Umbridge ends up being a case of Pure Is Not Good as she's able to cast it perfectly fine.
  • Raziel from The Mortal Instruments will only help those with pure intentions, such as Jonathan Shadowhunter. In City of Glass, out of total displeasure at Valentine's dream, Raziel swiftly kills him.
  • In Sunshine, a vampire's vulnerability to light seems to be proportionate to the amount of evil they have committed: Constantine (the closest thing to a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire we encounter) can tolerate moonlight and starlight while Bo (particularly depraved even for a vampire), can't even speak words related to light.
  • The The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign series implies this to be the reason that Kyousuke could build a gateway to the world of Materials when many others tried and failed. It's like the difference between building an arch and building a high-tech secure door: one is a simple, egalitarian construct that lets people enter and exit as they wish, the other is a complex device that places restrictions/demands on those who use it. Since Kyousuke was just trying to let Materials through, not control or trap them, his gateway was more successful than those of his greedy peers.
  • The Talking Weapon Nightblood in Warbreaker was created to destroy evil, defining evil by anyone who wants to use him to rob or kill someone (except in self-defense). Those with those desires end up killing themselves with the sword. Those without can wield him, which only makes Nightblood a little less dangerous for them because Nightblood drains the user's life.
  • A Master of Djinn: The Ring of Sulayman only reveals its true form to someone who has pure motives.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Teen Wolf: This is what makes a True Alpha a True Alpha.
    • In 3x07 Currents, Dr. Deaton is taken. Knowing it would (most likely) be Scott who'd come to save him, the villain, put Dr. Deaton in a ring of Mt. Ash - which supernatural creatures cannot cross. Scott indeed does come to the rescue and tries to break through anyways, and in the process, Scott's eyes turn red - but he is still a Beta. This also confirms what Dr. Deaton reveals he had believed. As Dr. Deaton explains to Scott post-rescue:
      "It's rare. It's something that doesn't happen within 100 years, but every once in a while a Beta can become an Alpha without having to steal or take that power. They call it a True Alpha. It's one who rises purely on the strength of the character, by virtue, by sheer force of will."
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Under Zedd and Rita's castle on the moon is the Cave of Deception, where the mythical Zeo Crystal is held, but surrounded by a force field. Only one pure of heart can grab the crystal from inside it; anyone else will be destroyed if they try. Tommy goes down to try to steal it, but he's worried that there is still a lingering amount of evil in his heart from when he was brainwashed in season 1. When he grabs the crystal, he is hurt a bit, but ultimately manages to grab the crystal, proving that he truly is pure.
  • In the Wizards of Waverly Place movie, "The path will only reveal itself to those whose intentions are pure".
  • On Grimm, the only way to lift Juliet's curse is a kiss by someone who is pure of heart. This is difficult to do these days, so they do it chemically via a potion that purifies your heart. Unsurprisingly, this has some lingering psychological effects. Like obsessing over the person you kissed...
  • This comes up a few times during the last two seasons of Stargate SG-1. In the season 9 premiere, both knowledge and "truth of spirit" are required to access Merlin's hidden treasures. Comes up again the following season when "only those of virtue true may win the prize concealed beyond the reach of the flawed and tainted"; i.e., only those with truth of spirit can access the Sangraal. This proves to be true when Adria discovers she can't use her Ori mind powers during the quest for the Sangraal and she is left behind when the others are teleported away during the journey.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, in the Season 5 episode "Chakram", only the purest soul could obtain the Chakram of Light (which could kill gods). Xena, newly reborn and innocent, was the only one who could do it.
  • In the Raven game show's spin-off Raven: The Dragon's Eye, only someone who fits this trope can retrieve the title MacGuffin without getting corrupted by its power. Once it is retrieved, Raven destroys it.
  • Kingdom Adventure: It requires a pure heart to make a special, magical flower called a trilly grow. When Pitts walks past trillies, they tend to wilt.
  • Arrow. In a flashback to how they met on Lian Yu, Oliver Queen (posing as a mercenary) is taken by John Constantine to recover a magical artifact. There are words in Egyptian in the cave where it's located that Oliver thinks mean "Keep Out" but are actually this trope. Constantine handcuffs Oliver outside then enters himself. Oliver releases himself from the cuffs and follows, saving Constantine's life from a Booby Trap to demonstrate that he too has a pure heart.

  • Mentioned in the lyrics of Queen's "Flash's Theme" from Flash Gordon:
    No one but the pure at heart
    May find the Golden Grail

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Russian folklore, only those who are pious and pure of heart will be able to see and enter the city of Kitezh which sits at the bottom of Lake Svetloyar.
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • Galahad gets these privileges, as befits the man who represents Incorruptible Pure Pureness so much that he's otherwise a very flat character. He's also Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
    • The Siege Perilous (Dangerous Seat) from some Arthurian stories can only be safely occupied by a pure knight. Again, this tends to be Galahad in most versions.
  • In The Bible, Jesus indicates that only the pure of heart would get to Heaven in several occasions. One of them is in the Sermon of the Mount: "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." (St. Matthew, 5:8). Another one is in St. Matthew 18:3: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven." And in the Book of Hebrews, Scripture tells us to strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
  • According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the kingdom of Shambhala can be accessed only by those who are enlightened and spiritually pure.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Character Alignment system in Dungeons & Dragons leads to this trope sometimes:
    • The Paladin is granted their powers through their dedication to their path, which, prior to 4th Edition, means that they must remain Lawful Good and adhere to a code of conduct to retain their special abilities.
    • In 3.5 Edition, evil clerics could not cast Good spells, lawful clerics could not cast Chaotic spells, and so on (giving True Neutral the best spell selection in the core). Furthermore, in some supplements, there were Corrupt spells that only evil characters could cast and Sanctified spells that only good characters could cast.
    • Eberron averts the normal restrictions on Good, Evil, Lawful, and Chaotic spells, though gives no specific ruling as to what the rules are concerning Sanctified and Corrupt spells.
    • This is a Phlebotinum Handling Requirement for several Holy and/or otherwise heavenly magic items. Subverted in that any character with the right training can trick a magic item into believing that they meet the prerequisites.
  • Hackmaster: The GM guide contains a full-page graph on which the GM is supposed to plot each character's alignment infractions on two axes. Character's actions are considered to move their alignment by a certain amount towards a certain alignment. One character class (Knight Errant) even has a certain innate resistance to alignment changes.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has Pure Faith for the Sisters of Battle that allows them to perform certain miracles. Whether a bunch of holier-than-thou Knight Templars who tend to apply Kill It with Fire to everyone less holy if given the chance can be considered to "lack evil in their hearts" is another question...
    • It also seems odd, given that half of everyone else in the entire universe is like that but doesn't have such powers.
    • Keep in mind that in this universe, "magic" and "psychic powers" are pretty much the same thing. In the Sisters' case, it's not that they lack "evil," but rather they lack "doubt"; their faith in the Emperor is so unwaveringly strong, even though they're not (all) Psykers their combined faith is able to direct some tiny fragment of the Emperor's power to the battlefield. Other times, they're using "weapons/armor of faith" that they THINK are magic, but that's only because the Mechanicum tells them they are.
  • In Blue Rose, there's a magical artifact that makes sure Only The Pure Of Heart become nobles in the Kingdom of Aldis. It only works once on any given person, though, so there's nothing stopping nobles from becoming corrupt after they pass the test.

    Video Games 
  • Absinthia: Methusaleh claims that he'll only allow those who are pure of heart to enter Ambervale. In a twist on this trope, he cares more about the purity of the party's future actions rather than their past actions.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: Delfador came across the Staff of An-Usrukhar during his misadventure in the land of the dead in Delfador's Memoirs. It was only granted to him because its guardian tested him and found him to be a complete servant of the light and thus worthy to be its wielder.
  • Mega Man in Mega Man Battle Network 4 and 5 has "Light" Mega Man. If you've never used a Dark Chip except for plot-required moments, he eventually is able to achieve "Full Synchro" with Lan more easily (in 4) and is able to use certain chips that he couldn't otherwise.
    • This applies the other way too: when Mega Man uses Dark Chips he becomes Dark Mega Man, and he can use DS chips and others that are based in darkness like Static.
  • In Ultima, the Avatar character class can equip any weapon, any armor, and cast magic. This originally required a Karma Meter or 8 of them.
  • Kairi of Kingdom Hearts and the assorted Disney Princesses are the only beings in the world(s) that have no darkness in their hearts, and therefore are the only ones allowed to open the door to Kingdom Hearts, the center of all the worlds and greatest kingdom in existence. They also have the ability to send their hearts into other bodies for safekeeping, causing their bodies to remain comatose but magically protected until the hearts are returned.
    • Birth By Sleep gives us Ventus, who had the darkness in his heart forcibly removed. This caused him to have nothing but light allowing him the same privileges the princesses have including access to Kingdom Hearts, as well as the ability to seal his heart in another being (which he does at the end of the game, by seeking shelter in Sora's heart) while leaving behind a comatose body (à la Kairi in KH1).
    • Sora also deserves mention here, as the purity and courage within his heart is what makes him the Keyblade bearer. In fact, it's revealed late in the game that Riku was intended to be the bearer from the start, seen when he claims his weapon by force, but it snubbed him in favor of Sora for allowing darkness into his heart.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, particularly the second installment, having high Light or Dark Side scores affected not only dialogue but the Force Point cost of Light and Dark Force powers. Also, some items could only be wielded by adepts of a particular side and there were even a few restricted to "Grey Jedi", i.e. Force users who don't venture too far into either extreme. Lastly, the sequel had a lightsaber crystal that changed its properties as your Karma Meter rating grew.
  • The Triforce in The Legend of Zelda is bound by such rules. The Triforce will grant a wish to anyone whose heart is balanced with power, wisdom, and courage. If someone is lacking in that balance, then the Triforce will break apart into its component triangles—the person who touched it will get the piece that corresponds most to themselves, while the other two go and find someone else who shows a great affinity for that component. Hence Ganondorf gets Power, Zelda gets the Triforce of Wisdom, and Link the Triforce of Courage. The Triforce can be recompiled after this and the wish can be carried out once it is.
    • Another restriction on the Triforce is that only mortals may use it. The three Goddesses intentionally created the relic such that no being of divine power could use it.
    • The Master Sword was also like this originally. That restriction came back around in Skyward Sword. When the blade is blessed by the goddess, it is said that only Link may now wield it.
  • In Star Fox Adventures, Fox is told that "only the pure of heart can return the spirits to Krazoa Shrine". Ironically, Fox is not the right choice as he is only in it for money and has a scene where he is bewitched by her looks (complete with sexy saxophone music). The latter is humorously interrupted by Peppy.
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Vyers The Dark Adonis Mid-Boss can touch Flonne's pendant (which harms evil) without being punished. He says that "the heavens wouldn't punish such a pure heart as mine". This is foreshadowing, as he is King Krichevskoy, and working with Seraph Lamington in a Batman Gambit (it depends on the actions of the player) to make his son a better person (or demon), and unite the Netherworld and Celestia.
  • In Fate/stay night, rejecting the physical corruption of The Grail requires a truly pure heart and those who are not are consumed by the corruption. Notably, the only person in the show who's able to shake it off without effect is Gilgamesh, a self-centred sociopath who is so beyond human that he cannot regard humans as anything but possessions.
  • In Jak II: Renegade the only one who can open the Precursor Stone is young Jak because he still has "the pure gift". It won't open for the older Jak because he was corrupted by Dark Eco through the experiments in prison.
  • In Skullgirls, only a pure-hearted woman can make a purely selfless wish on the Skullheart without being turned into a Humanoid Abomination. One character was close, who wished for another to have a good life, but the skull noted that the wish was driven by guilt, so was slightly impure. The wisher didn't immediately turn into a Humanoid Abomination but was slowly turning into one.
  • In Harry the Handsome Executive, you must prove that you are "pure of spirit and blameless of heart" by emptying your weapons before proceeding, leading to a No-Gear Level.
  • In Watcher's Keep in Baldur's Gate II, there is a pillar on the third floor that gives, when touched, a warning that only the pure may uncover the secret. Any Lawful Good characters then touching the pillar get a powerful sword, put there by a righteous hero who infused his essence into it. Anyone else gets an Abi Dhalzim's Horrid Wilting thrown at them, this being a powerful spell that can decimate entire parties, especially those of a low level.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, Kiefer initially believes that the path to the Shrine of Awakening is opened by The Power of the Sun, and nicks various sun-related artifacts to try to open the gate to no avail. He is later told by a wise hermit that the way to open the shrine has nothing to do with sunlight whatsoever, but that it actually requires a pure-hearted soul to present itself before the statue outside. Using this knowledge, he and the protagonist return to the shrine and pray in front of the statue, which then uses a mystical light from its torch to open the gate, allowing them to enter.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 4: Kate of Greenwood Village refers to Slime Bunnies as "magical creatures who reveal themselves to those with pure hearts"
  • In Shuyan Saga, calling on the full power of each kingdom's guardian spirit is partly down to Royal Blood, but partly down to purity of heart. As such, Ganbaatar considers Shuyan to be potentially more dangerous than her father — and therefore in need of being "broken".
  • In Pokémon Masters, it's explained that only the pure of heart can even see Ho-Oh, and he'll only choose those that are exceptionally worthy. He chooses Silver. The Chosen One in question is extremely surprised, and thinks he's unworthy because he has a rather checkered past. Lance sets him straight.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Path of Blood is a test of character left by Lucian the Divine. A player character who has never stolen, killed, sworn to the God-King, or taken souls wins angel wings, a holy glow, and access to the endgame level without the usual quest. One who has gets death by Bolt of Divine Retribution. Meeting those prerequisites is a grueling Challenge Run.
  • The potential player characters of Darkstone are the only ones capable of assembling the Dismantled MacGuffin needed to defeat the evil Draak for this reason. Bonus points for fulfilling this trope literally, as they are members of a group called the Pure of Heart owing to their Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
    • What's also worth mentioning is that even the manual itself comments on the fact that your character may be a slightly unscrupulous rogue or a mage whose magic arouses suspicion from everyone else yet STILL be one of the Pure of Heart, waving it off as being a good person even if your methods are a bit shady.
  • According to the Moon Goddess in Goldilocks and the Fallen Star, the Fairytale Detective of the Dark Parables franchise can succeed in her various quests because of her unusually pure heart.

    Web Animation 


    Western Animation 
  • Samurai Jack:
    • The MacGuffin in one episode of Samurai Jack. It would probably have accepted Jack, but the traveling companion who led him there in the first place was Aku in disguise.
    • Jack's sword as well: in one episode, it's taken by Aku, who then chases Jack down and stabs him with it, only to fail. Jack then remembers that the sword can be held by anyone, but only when wielded by the pure of heart can it be used as a weapon. And it can never hurt those who are pure of heart themselves.
      Jack: (with a smile) But it can hurt you, Aku. (Commence Curb-Stomp Battle.)
    • In the timeskip before the last season, Jack lost his sword because his rage following Aku destroying the last time portal in existence led him to slaughter innocents. Jack's guilt over this cost him the pureness of his heart and with it the sword. He ultimately goes on a journey into his own mind and confronts his inner rage, once again becoming pure of heart and worthy of the sword.
  • The Winx girls in Winx Club poured fairy dust from their wings onto themselves to cleanse themselves of darkness and to gain access to the Golden Kingdom, as only the pure of heart were allowed to enter.
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas and forsakes his grinchy ways, which makes his heart grow three sizes, thus breaking the narrator's Heart Size indicator, and he somehow gains super strength and a glow as a result.
  • Care Bears (1980s): Grams Bear once told Hugs and Tugs a tale about an Evil Queen (Shreeky) who wanted a magic lamp so she could rule the whole world instead of just her kingdom. However, as her Captain of the Guard (Mr. Beastly) pointed out, the lamp was being guarded by a dragon and only the pure of heart can have it.
  • Daphne is kidnapped by the antagonist of Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire, as he seeks a person of beauty and is pure of heart. Velma gets in a strange snark upon hearing this.
    Velma: You know, I'm pure of heart. Does anyone ever think of kidnapping me??
  • In The Incredible Hulk (1996) episode "Innocent Blood", Rick Jones could not be harmed by Ghost Rider's flames. Ghost Rider said this meant Rick had no evil in his heart.
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots, only the pure of heart is said to be able to pass through the barrier protecting San Lorenzo. It seems to be somewhat lenient though, as when Dulcinea uses this as evidence that she can trust Puss in Boots completely, it leads to him accidentally breaking the spell by stealing a coin from the treasury. Later on, the world is threatened by an Ancient Evil, and the Chosen One who can stop it is the one with a heart so pure, it is incapable of fear.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Last Mabelcorn", a unicorn named Celestabellebethabelle says that she'll give away some of her hairnote  to someone who's pure of heart. This leads Mabel to an identity crisis when the unicorn insists Mabel is still not pure of heart no matter what she does. It turns out that Celestabellebethabelle is a liar and unicorns can't see into anyone's heart.
  • In Episode 105 of Kaeloo, Planet Smileyland gets destroyed and can be created again if somebody presses a button. But the person pressing the button has to have a pure heart, because the planet will create itself according to their thoughts, so they are put through a machine that temporarily removes all bad thoughts.
  • The rule for the Golden Lance in Galtar and the Golden Lance is that only Galtar can use it, and anyone who tries to use it for evil will be destroyed. The exception to this is when Rava uses it in one episode. She's a Wild Card villainess and has no business being able to use it at all.
  • One episode of Shaolin Wuzang concerns a magic mirror that will only unlock its secrets if someone with a pure and innocent soul looks into it. For the impure, it releases a monster. Heihu kidnaps an innocent young girl to try and unlock it, but the main trio manage to rescue her. Heihu, having grabbed Hua during their fight, tries making her look into it — this unleashes the monster, and she uses the opportunity to escape.
  • Played with in Young Justice (2010): The Sword of Beowulf can only be drawn by the pure of heart. Harm became pure evil by murdering his own sister, the only person he ever loved, so he could wield it. The Sword rejects him when he feels a shred of remorse after seeing his sister's ghost, becoming impure. The point is, of course, that while Pure Is Not Good, pure is also not easy.
  • In season 3 of Skylanders Academy, we are introduced to an object called a Wumpan Puzzle Box, which only opens when it is held by someone pure of heart. Unfortunately, the one who seeks to open it is the Evil Doppelgänger of our hero Spyro the Dragon, who is The Dragon to Big Bad Strykore at this point in the show.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Nimbus Privileges, Purity Privileges, Only The Pure In Heart


Santa's Magic Sack

In The Late Show with Stephen Colbert animated special "Twas The Coup Before Christmas", Santa Claus's magical sack has the power to magically generate a person's heart's desire, Joe Biden asking to use its power to create something to help reunite a divided America. Donald Trump and his goons (Mitch McConnell and Rudy Giuliani) storm the North Pole and steal the sack, intending on using its power to magically win the election. When he opens it, it encases all of them in ice, Santa implying that his corrupt actions and intentions made it useless in his hands.

How well does it match the trope?

3 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArtifactOfHope

Media sources: