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Reasonable Authority Figure

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The Governor: Parasitic aliens are invading Earth. And my husband is controlled by one.
Marco: Yeah. Basically, that's the story.
The Governor: Thank God. I was beginning to think something much, much worse was happening. Aliens we can fight.
Animorphs #51: "The Absolute"

Heroes like the Ignored Expert have a hard enough time dealing with idiotic peasants, but their deepest problems invariably come from the antagonistic local authorities, who are dead set on ignoring their warnings and running them out of town because it's politically expedient. This makes the existence of the Reasonable Authority Figure all the rarer.

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Fully aware that Machiavelli Was Wrong, he'll listen to those "crazy kids" when they say there's a fugitive nearby, and logically consider their arguments instead discarding them out of hand. However, their openness to the heroes' ideas doesn't mean they'll follow Agent Mulder's crazy ideas blindly. Often, they'll ask for proof and facts rather than follow baseless accusations, but even then, they'll usually humor the heroes and go check out their theories; whether it pans out or turns into a dead end depends on how far along the story is.

Usually Lawful Good and the person characters must Bring News Back to. They are the chain of command that goes past the basic Command Roster. The Rebellious Rebel is motivated by loyalty to him.

Noteworthy because, if the hero does manage to convince them, they can help in the fight but they may have to Shoot the Dog as part of their position. Being in a position where you are responsible for millions and do not think that A Million Is a Statistic can be hard.

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May present The Hero and his companions with valuable gifts before The Quest or as a reward afterward.

This position means that they can end the story quickly unless other obstacles intervene. Which means they usually do intervene.

  1. They're made inaccessible by the Obstructive Bureaucrat and Evil Chancellor who has it in for the heroes, trying to stop them getting an audience or outright lying to destroy their arguments and reputation. Barring this, the Reasonable Authority Figure might just be busy, overworked, or under-funded and might not have the time or resources to adequately solve the hero's problem as quickly as he or she would like.
  2. A young ruler (usually hereditary) may have difficulty either getting to the heroes to listen, or asserting his theoretical authority. Usually they are surrounded by manipulative "guardians" out to start pointless wars.
  3. The Reasonable Authority Figure will inevitably be displaced when a Tyrant Takes the Helm, leading to a 10-Minute Retirement.
  4. If he is not the absolute ruler, Interservice Rivalry and Divided We Fall can be a problem even after you persuade him. Indeed, that you speak with this character may induce his rivals to regard you as an enemy or to undercut you in hopes of ensuring that their favorites succeed in your place.
  5. If he needs approval from the Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering to take action, the chances that he can convince them to agree about anything are less than favorable.
  6. Of course, sometimes the threat is so overwhelmingly catastrophic that even his help merely upgrades the heroes' situation from "completely hopeless" to "fighting chance."
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A common subversion is to have this character turn out to be the Treacherous Advisor. Sometimes, also, they will merely have a Treacherous Advisor, and be undermined because they listen to him too much.

It should be noted that a reasonable authority figure isn't somebody who simply says yes to all of their subordinate's requests. It may be that they have a good reason to deny a request, perhaps because it would interfere with the big picture and throw off some other more important task that must be completed, or that there is a morally ambiguous situation and while he has sympathy for his subordinate's position he can't agree with it due to conflicting ethics. This often crops in To Be Lawful or Good situations. It may also be that while he personally believes his staff when they come to him with an outlandish story, he's aware that his own superiors may not and would require proof, and therefore must refuse their requests on that basis. Conversely a leader who lets his subordinates do whatever they please may not be a good leader at all, but may be completely ineffectual, or even possibly malevolent, for example by making his subordinates so loyal to him that they willingly and eagerly hurl themselves into situations for him that more guarded people would realise were insane. In other words, a reasonable authority figure doesn't always have to support his underlings if he has good reasons not to, and somebody who does always back his subordinates up isn't always a reasonable authority figure.

The type's opposite is Head-in-the-Sand Management. Also contrast the Clueless Boss, who means well but is desperately out of touch with things in his own organization and possibly incompetent. If male, the Reasonable Authority Figure may be The Patriarch and A Father to His Men, or Da Chief, or a Benevolent Boss. If female, the Reasonable Authority Figure may be an Iron Lady or The High Queen.

In school-type shows featuring the Sadist Teacher (or possibly a strict dean or vice-principal), it's usually the principal that fills this role. Mind you, sometimes this is just elaborate Good Cop/Bad Cop.

See also In Its Hour of Need.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Prime Minister Wong in Mobile Fighter G Gundam is portrayed this way in his first appearances. Cheerful, friendly, applauding the hero's victories and inviting him to his penthouse for a drink, he's a stark counterpart to Master Asia. And then it's revealed he's a villain and he rapidly stops applauding Domon and starts rigging the matches to get him killed.
  • Detective Ooishi from Higurashi: When They Cry borderlines between this and Agent Mulder. He's always searching for clues as to the cause of the string of murders and takes any useful information, but is considered too obsessive over the topic and has been urged to step off the case a few times.
    • Dr. Irie might be a straighter example from the same series. Except for the whole, you know, paedophilia thing, and even that might be a joke. The problem is, once he figures out what's going on it's not always to the benefit of the person telling him what's going on.
      • Keiichi's father, Ichiro Maebara (who only really consistently appears in the manga) is this, to a much lesser extent than the above. He fully supports Keiichi's efforts in Satoko, regardless the fallout his family faces; on the other hand, he also makes sure to let Keiichi know that he should not resort to violence to save his friend and instead handle it the right way.
  • The Time-Space Administration Bureau at the start of Lyrical Nanoha is a surprisingly understanding and helpful instance of The Federation. They're perfectly willing to cooperate with the heroine even though she's Just a Kid (it helps that Midchilda apparently lacks age of majority or child labor laws) and are quite understanding of the franchise's numerous Anti-Villains. Lindy Harlaown is by far the most representative of this...some of the higher-ups, less so. Nanoha's Muggle parents are also quite understanding and helpful, for a Magical Girl's parents.
    • Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever is somewhat of a partially alternate universe, but even with that caveat, Nanoha's parents (and siblings.. and shop assistants..) are about as Muggle as a desert is wet. They just don't use magic the same way, if at all.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Konoemon Konoe, the principal of Mahora. All he needs is his granddaughter, a lesbian half demon Samurai, and a talking ermine to show up with a message from a ten-year-old that said ten-year-old's supergenius Chinese descendant from the future is going to use an army of robots to break The Masquerade, and he sends out for a huge shipment of weapons from the Magic World, and helps organize the student body into a Redshirt Army.
    • It helps that he's at least an amateur chessmaster himself, and, being a mage in a Crazy Awesome universe, has probably seen weirder in his day.
  • Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist seems to be one of these, but like Palpatine, he's really a bad guy.
    • Ling Yao appears to become this. To begin with he was already a Prince with the belief that the duty of a King is to serve his people and that a King is nothing without his subjects, but when he actually obtains what he needed to success to the throne, his first promise is to accept and protect each and every one of the rival clans within the Xing empire, which every generation up to then would war with each other over who will be next to inherit the throne.
    • Basque Grand is without a doubt one of these, doing his best to limit his men's casualties (often by leading the charge himself) and not only accepting the surrender of Ishval's head cleric (despite his own superior's orders to the contrary) but making sure that he gets to see Fuhrer Bradley, no matter what. It doesn't do a lot of good in the long-run, but given the circumstances Grand is being as reasonable as he can be.
  • One Piece has former Fleet Admiral Sengoku. You'd think that, being in charge of the Navy, he would be one of the most evil characters in the series - but he genuinely puts the safety of the world first. His superiors in the World Government, as well as his successor, on the other hand...
    • Former Admiral Aokiji and Vice Admiral Garp are also examples. They're harsh on pirates but will go out of their way to protect civilians. Likewise for Vice-Admiral Smoker and Captain Tashigi, Captain Coby, and even more so with the brief character Commander Ripper from the Captain Morgan arc…really, despite the fact that many marines are Lawful Evil, there are some Lawful Good ones as well.
      • Smoker and Tashigi get to show just how much they are this trope during the Punk Hazard arc. Tashigi is even willing to beg Trafalgar Law, a pirate, to free her not for herself, but as she tell Smoker, because they cannot go help their comrades or the kidnapped children if they remain in chains. They then direct the rest of the Marines to work with the Straw Hats to evacuate the children before Caesar's gas kills them all.
    • We are now introduced to Prince Fukaboshi of the Neptune Army. Most people would have freaked out if they heard that their father was being held hostage inside the palace and the kidnappers started making demands (especially since said kidnappers are prophesized to destroy Fishmen Island). Fukaboshi was very calm, agreed to the demands in return of the hostages and then passed on Jimbei's message for Luffy to Zoro as part of his duty to Jimbei, whereas most people would have been "screw that" to the kidnappers.
    • With Aokiji's leaving his post new Admiral Fujitora has stepped into this role in a big way. Upon realizing Dressrosa is full of New World Pirates due to a tourney its ruler Doflamingo is holding he instantly...calls in medical teams for the inevitable fallout, and gets a count of how many civilians are in Dressrosa so his men know who to protect. His goal as an Admiral? Demolish the broken Warlords system that allows scum like Doflamingo to get away with atrocities. Doflamino's crew is attacking everyone on the island now? Work alongside the good pirates to keep them safe. His superiors will want to twist the truth of what happened on Dressrosa, where pirates saved the day? Fujitora gets out the information of what really went on to neighboring islands before reporting in to them so they can't change the story, fully understanding that Akainu will want his head for this.
  • In Dairugger XV, Teles was the Reasonable Authority Figure in the Galbeston Empire who wanted to end the war with The Alliance, but he didn't have the authority to do it.
  • In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, the Student Council President. How reasonable is he? Well, he thinks Sōsuke's way of disposing of an unknown item in his shoelocker (i.e. detonating the entrance hall with a high-yield plastic explosive) to be perfectly reasonable. After all, anything could have been in there.
    • Though exactly how "reasonable" it is to automatically believe and trust in all of Sousuke's actions is debatable, especially among the other students.
      • In the light novels, it turns out he's actually figured out that Sousuke is a soldier for Mithril, so that could potentially have something to do with it.
  • In Freezing, among all the Axe-Crazy of a Blood Knight third years, only the strongest among them, Chiffon Fairchild, is the one who isn't interested in beating Sattelizer into a messy pulp.
  • Both the Third Hokage, Sarutobi and the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade from Naruto, have fulfilled this role over the course of the story.
    • Another example is post-timeskip Gaara. Notably, he's the only one of the Five Kages apart from Tsunade, below, who pushes for cooperation between the ninja villages in response to the threat of Akatsuki.
    • Tsunade appears to be this because of the way she's always generous to Naruto... but that's just it, she's always generous to Naruto. She sends him up against the people who are after him, consistently allows him to go after Sasuke (as well as not actually seek to eliminate Sasuke, which would be standard procedure) and refuses to place restrictions on him that would better protect him (and the Eldritch Abomination inside him) from his enemies. She chooses to do these things entirely based on her personal feelings and opinions of Naruto, which is realistically an unreasonable thing to do. There is the fact that Naruto is The Hero of the story, is marked by a prophecy to become a Messianic Archetype, and has defeated powerful enemies that nobody else could and ruined some of the plans of the major antagonists (even if admittedly he has been in mortal peril and requiring help many times), so Tsunade's trust in him is not entirely unfounded.
    • The Third Hokage is later on shown to be a deconstruction or subversion; He was too reasonable. A lot of problems in Naruto's world are the result of Orochimaru and Danzo being allowed to do as they pleased, and they all could have been stopped had the Third learned to put his foot down.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, despite the fact that White did forcibly draft Black into her talent agency by footing the enormous bill for the movie equipment he destroyed, she doesn't actually expect him to be able to pay off the entire thing. She acknowledges that he does have his own life and dreams to follow. That said, she still tries to get him to understand the world of showbiz and business a little better, and is quick to call him out whenever he ruins a potential job opportunity.
  • In the undersea horror manga 6000, Wein, the director, is initially set up as a Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrat who ignores his engineers' warnings that the instillation isn't ready for prime time; once he's convinced there's a real danger, though, he shows himself to be remarkably Genre Savvy, immediately arranging to evacuate the entire instillation at the first possible opportunity — going so far as to avoid informing any higher-ups until everyone is safe (because they wouldn't recognize the danger fast enough and wouldn't approve an expensive complete evacuation), declaring his intention to personally take full responsibility for any objections they have to this course of action.
  • The Roman Emperor from Sound of the Sky is never shown in the anime and is only mentioned as the guy Rio's older sister, Iliya refused to marry even if it would end the war. When episode twelve roles around Rio appears right before the final confrontation and claims that due to her recent marriage to him, the war is now over and during the ending credits she returns to the Bastion and tells them that the emperor is a pretty reasonable guy and granted her any one wish because she ended the war.
  • Captains Kyoraku and Ukitake from Bleach are this. Unlike the Head Captain Yamamoto, (who follows Central 46 orders to the letter, and embodies blind obedience to tradition above all else), these two will take the time to listen to progressive mindsets from their subordinates and non-combatants give a fair audience to the accused, and even defy tradition and law when the situation calls for it. Byakuya also becomes a variation of this after Ichigo helps him resolve an issue he had with two conflicting vows that was the reason he had been compelled to support Rukia's execution despite not wanting her to die. Captain Hitsugaya counts as well, since he realizes that something is amiss, and eventually sets out to find the Central 46 and stop the execution rather than see the Seireitei fall into chaos.
  • Center-sensei from His Coool Seha Girls is a fair teacher who tries to help the Sega Hard Girls whenever he can, but is not above withholding medals if he thinks the girls did not earn them (although Sega Saturn seems to get the worst of it, in this regard). For example: in the Virtua Fighter lesson, Dreamcast and Mega Drive were given no medals because they each attacked an opponent before the round actually began; then in the Space Channel 5 lesson, he awarded no medals to Sega Saturn because of complaints lodged by the Space PTA concerning her flagrant use of sex appeal to drive up ratings.
  • Senzaemon Nakiri from Shokugeki no Soma. As the headmaster of the prestigious cooking school where the series takes place, he is revered and dreaded as the "Gastric Godfather" and "Food Demon". However when looking at his actions it's kind of difficult to see how he got that reputation. For example, he overrode his granddaughter's rejection of the protagonist's entrance application after having a single bite of his food and realising his granddaughter rejected the protagonist out of spite, and will always give a reasoned, well-balanced critique of any food he is asked to judge. He also has a track record of not playing favorites, not hesitating to call out even members of his own family when they don't perform well enough.
  • Pretty much everyone in Judgment and Antiskill are this in the anime of A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun. In Railgun it's not so surprising that Kuroko and Uiharu from Judgment (and by extension, their mentor) are reasonable authority figures since they're in the main cast, but Aiho and Tsuzuri from Antiskill count even for Railgun. They're not major characters, and they'll stop the characters from doing things they shouldn't be, but when push comes to shove, they'll even ignore orders from the conspiracy in order to act as The Cavalry. Antiskill in general, while often incapable of doing their job without the heroes, are savvy enough to help keep things clear for them, trusting that the middle and high schoolers will take care of things.
    • Taken even further in the later volumes with the British Royal Family and the current president of the United States, Roberto Katze. They both are shown to have a deep love of their respective countries, and are willing to accept the bizarre explanations Touma and the others sometimes have to give them when magical forces are at work.
  • Early in Ai Yori Aoshi, Aoi's mother comes to Kaoru's apartment determined to take Aoi home despite her insistence that she stay with Kaoru. However, she soon relents and even enables their Secret Relationship, provided they don't let it get out and cause a scandal. One reason for this is she notices that Aoi wanted to stay by Kaoru so much that she willfully defied her family for the first time in her life.
  • Kotori Minami's mother, the director of Otonokizaka High School, in Love Live!, who allows μ's to perform in the opening campus on the condition that they pass their final exams.
  • Digimon Adventure 02: Some militaries don't outright attack wild Digimon and observe them as long as the Digimon do nothing hostile. Special mention goes to the officer leading the Chinese army, who acknowledges that the strange creatures are intelligent and is willing to communicate with them, letting them pass through the country border, knowing that they won't cause any more trouble.
  • The Japanese government in Re:CREATORS treats the appearance of fictional characters in the real world in a very pragmatic way: instead of silencing everything, makes a special committee with these characters' creators working back to back with government agents, doesn't bother too much with The Masquerade since it's almost impossible to control the net and every electronic device, and instructs its agents to learn about their country's popular culture. However, the show goes almost too far in the opposite direction, since at times the people in charge seems too eager to believe in the words of several costumed whackos who know nothing of the world they found themselves in.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Despite his rather...reserved attitude towards the insanity in Yokai Academy on a day to day basis, Headmaster Mikogami really supports Tsukune and friends, is a very fair individual (though not above bending the rules if it's harmless amusement) and is a true advocate for peace between monsters and humanity. And he used magic to keep human deaths to a minimum when Fairy Tale's HQ fell onto a human city.
    • Ms. Nekonome is one of the few teachers who isn't a Jerkass or horribly deranged and is actually helpful and non-prejudicial to her students. When Kuyou has Tsukune scheduled for execution and Mikogami forbids her from intervening, Ms. Nekonome calls him out on it, reminding him that Yokai Academy is supposed to support human/monster co-existence.

    Comic Books 
  • This is one way to describe the relationship between Batman and Commissioner James Gordon, who, let's face it, is really sticking his neck out as a policeman and a city official by consistently trusting in a shadowy, anonymous vigilante who dresses up as a giant bat to beat up criminals. In Frank Miller's run, and The Dark Knight Saga, this is justified as the rest of Gotham's police force are corrupt cops.
  • Hank Pym is this towards the Runaways. After Nico Minoru casts a spell that enables him and Tigra to see things from the kids' perspectives, he finally ends the Avengers' longstanding policy of trying to forcibly disband the Runaways, in exchange for the Runaways reporting to Avengers Academy once a month so that he can be assured that they're all still alive, and rather than ask them to bring Molly and Klara to teach them actual school classes, he created a robot to do that for them. Admittedly, he had some selfish motivations for this change in policy: one of the Runaways is technically his grandson.
  • Although less famous than Gordon, Spider-Man has had a few cops that see past J. Jonah Jameson's rants and recognize Spidey for the hero he is, and give him whatever help they can. Notable examples include George Stacy, Jean DeWolff, Lou Snider, and William Lamont. (In terms of "obstacles intervene", two of them are dead, though one may have returned as a demonic monster.)
  • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Cameron Chase is Director of Department of Extra-normal Operations, a Government agency created to neutralize hostile alien threats. She doesn't trust her newest agent Supergirl, but she's willing to work with her and give her a chance to earn her trust. She is also pretty indulgent towards her subordinates.
  • The Transformers: Till All Are One: Windblade forces Starscream to make a Council of Worlds with all of the planets they get together with in an effort to curb the absolute power he'd claimed for himself. Obsidian, the delegate from Carcer, immediately starts trying to overhaul all the corruption in the system starting with appointing an honest third party security company to administer over the current police force. Of all the delegates it's Obsidian whom Starscream sees as his biggest threat.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Katsuichi is the biggest example, being a respected swordsman and fair, if stern, teacher. Inspector Ishida is a kind and pleasant old policeman, and Usagi's firm friend, never once falling under Inspector Javert. This trope is usually played with in the many towns Usagi visits, often meeting the magistrate or other headman. Sometimes the result is friendly, where one magistrate and the police force sided behind Usagi against a team of bandits. Sometimes they're corrupt, like Magistrate Oda, who taxed people heavily and killed several who oppose him. Sometimes they just don't like the main character, but are otherwise not villainous.
  • When the X-Men were based out of Utopia (an artificial island off the coast of San Francisco) the mayor of San Francisco practically went beyond "reasonable" and into "pushover" territory. She basically deputized them and declared the city a safe haven for mutants.
    • Speaking of the X-Men, there was FBI Agent Fred Duncan. During the early stories, before mutant hysteria started running rampant, he was their official government contact. Once the government shifted to an anti-mutant viewpoint and they started ignoring him when he said mutants should be judged individually and the X-Men were trustworthy, he resigned, though not before shredding his files on them as a "security precaution." He's appeared a handful of times since then, always supporting the X-Men.

    Fan Works 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Friendship Is Magical Girls: When the Neighpon government starts to get an inkling of the Secret War between the mahoushoujo and the Changelings, the Chrysanthium Empress advises her ministers to not take any drastic measures against the girls until such time as they know what's actually happening, so as to avoid complicating matters or harming innocents.
    • The Stars Ascendant is about Celestia questioning whether she truly remains one after seemingly destroying Twilight Sparkle's confidence.
    • Mirror's Image: Celestia, as in canon. However, as flashbacks and the Princesses' own testimony prove, she wasn't this when she was younger, punishing and banishing ponies for minor slights, or even just irritating her. And by punishing, she usually just turned ponies to stone. And that's before the Fantastic Racism, the violence, or how she treated her old student, Chrysalis.
    • The Pony POV Series has many of them:
      • Celestia, as is to be expected, is this, generally acting in the absolute best interests of her subjects. Luna is a bit more harsh, but ultimately also this trope.
      • Cadence is very kind and polite, both to her subjects and to her guard detail.
      • Shining Armor is a firm Captain of the Harmony Guard, but is a kind and just one. His squad comes to consider him and each other True Companions and are genuinely enraged when they discover Chrysalis has brainwashed him into her slave, and if Cadence hadn't saved him, they were going to give it a shot.
      • Most of the rulers Shining and Cadence meet on their world tour count. Including the Actual Pacifist Mother Deer, the Deer's true ruler.
      • Queen Tiamat and King Bahamut, the Gods and Rulers of the Dragons, view their entire species as their children, and are generally kind and good to their allies as well (of which Celestia and Luna are included). Though Queen Tiamat wasn't always this trope and needed to grow into it, while Bahamut always was.
      • The Pantheon in general are Lawful Good (the Alicorns) or Chaotic Good (the Draconequi) (with the exception of the Outer Concepts, but even they aren't very evil) and just desire to make life in the universe thrive and when encountered by mortals generally act respectful and nice.
      • Havoc, the male Elder of the Draconequi, is relatively this. While he is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Fear itself and the Warden of Tartarus, he's generally polite, hears mortals out when he actually talks with them, and gives straight answers. He's also the Big Good for the CMC's journey during the Rumors Arc, doing his best to help them stop Discord's endgame plan. His wife is much less reasonable, but she's also the personification of Endings, and thus normally doesn't do much of anything until the end of the universe where she eats what's left after Heat Death happens. Even then, she's also the End of Suffering and hates the concept of suffering without end.
      • The Alicorn Elders, Fauna Luster and the Father of All Alicorns, are the personifications of Empathy and Wisdom respectfully, with Fauna Luster literally being the mother of all creation and the Father being HEAVEN, so both naturally are this. Both answer questions without complaint, treat beings they meet with respect and kindness, and generally are kind and benevolent.
    • In The Bridge, quite a few of the higher ups in Equestria are this, by logic of they wouldn't be in power for a long term without it.
      • Princess Celestia might as well be this trope personified, having a millennia of experience and being forced to "grow up" very quickly after the Nightmare Moon incident. She managed to defuse an entire civil war from even happening with logic and comedy of all things as she knew force would only make things worse.
      • Princess Luna is less experienced than her sister and can be a bit quick to the trigger if the situation seems dire, but once she knows who's on the side of good she unfailingly helps them.
      • A good chunk of the elected officials like Mayor Mare and numerous nobles like Fancy Pants also keep a level had even with the chaos and confusion caused by the kaiju being revealed. Even Archduke Blueblood, while very haughty and smug, works to keep the situation as calm, rational, and clear as possible.
    • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
      • Principal Celestia, who is not only willing to give the group information, but employment at the school while they try to figure things out.
      • In the sequel, Picking Up the Pieces, Deputy Commissioner Iron Gates is far more reasonable about a comparatively minor violation of rules than her superior; she's more interested in taking down any actual corrupt Guards who were abusing their position.
    • Escape From the Moon: In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, Princess Celestia is one, accepting Spliced's gesture of fixing her broken nose in the spirit that it was meant, and being willing to hear her out about her past. However, upon hearing about her past, Celestia and Luna have a private conversation on their thoughts on Spliced, recognize the danger she poses and agree to handle her with extreme care.
  • In the Uplifted series Erwin Rommel qualifies. As does Gerald Langer. Rommel is self explanatory, especially in regards to his real life actions, while Langer quite successfully manages the quarians and the first contact.
  • Enemy of My Enemy gives us two: Administrator Amanda Jennings and Shipmaster Vtan 'Arume. Helped by the fact that the latter saved the life of the former's young daughter.
  • The Dragon Emperor Prometheus in The Chronicles of Utopia Volume II can always be counted on by the people around him to have a cool head on his shoulders and consider their words carefully before making a decision. Even when a major faction in his Empire seeks to stage a coup, he still considers things carefully and checks everything out before taking them on rather than flying off the handle in a rage.
  • In Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover we get the usual inversion of the Citadel Council alongside extra-galactic newcomers like Admiral Adam Grayson. The Local Cluster Council and Federated Cluster Union appear to be this compared to aforementioned Council because they recognize the Reapers as a legitimate threat as well. In the sequel, Admiral Allison Nimitz replaces Grayson in the military version of the trope, while Grayson becomes a Big Good bureaucrat who tries to push the Council in a less Head-in-the-Sand Management direction. Urnot Wrex remains one for his entire species—continually urging them away from pure Blood Knight tendencies. Wolf Schmidt offers plenty of assistance through advanced technology but considering he works for the Republic Intelligence Service he may have an ulterior motive.
  • What About Witch Queen? has one for each nation: queen Elsa of Arendelle tries to use diplomacy instead of trying to freeze the entire conflict and plunge her nation into very cold war, queen Lisa of Southern Isles is Genre Savvy enough to recognize Evil Prince when she sees one, and scout captain appears to be the Only Sane Man among Weselton officers.
  • In the fanfic Co-op Mode, the coach at Winslow is an odd variant of this, as he's not actually a good coach, being more interested in self-gain and personal success than his actual job - the man asked James if he would pass a Tinkertech drug test just in case he could enter the team for crying out loud - but as James is conducive to his goals, he ends up looking like this.
    Coach Shane: “I’ll be honest here. I don’t approve of steroids. But with the girls’ track team bringing home medals, Blackwell wants the other teams to earn some trophies. If our football team doesn’t start winning games, she’s going to make me do weekend training for the guys. And that would cut into my weekend plans. I think I can turn you into a decent running back or a passable lineman, but there’s no point if you’re going to get disqualified. So. Can you pass a drug test?”
  • In The Tainted Grimoire, Judgemaster Cid waits for proof of Vaticus' crimes before taking action against him.
  • Queen of All Oni: When Nameless realizes that Jackie and the rest of the J-Team aren't evil, he quickly allies with them to stop the evils sealed in the Vault of Endless Night from escaping. Jackie lampshades that unlike the last MacGuffin Guardians (the Three Sages), he's actually willing to listen to them and work together.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade, like Queen of All Oni above), Himerish is willing to give Jade the benefit of the doubt rather than assume the prophecy he saw involving her was inevitable.
  • In the Mai-Otome fanfic, Oneesama, Miss Maria comes off as one. When Shizuru kicks off the plot by giving a Skinship Grope to her prospective room attendant Natsuki, Miss Maria tells Shizuru that she could expel her if she felt it necessary, but she won't because she believes Shizuru is a better person than that. Her alternative punishment- not allowing Shizuru to select a room attendant until she gains Natsuki's forgiveness- is meant to humble Shizuru, teach her a lesson, and get her to approach Natsuki as herself, not under the persona she's adopted as top student of her grade.
  • Surprisingly, in Soulless Shell, Leif is one. When a girl is accused of trying to kill one of his advisors, Councilman Arnold, whom she says raped her, he hears her out, tricks Arnold into confessing his guilt, and sentences him to death while exonerating her.
  • Most of the Angel leaders in Sonic X: Dark Chaos, except for Metatron. They don't want the Metarex war to escalate, and immediately realize that Dark Tails is the biggest threat to the galaxy.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Governor Cochran and Governor Deacon, as well as President Henry, have helped and are helped by Mega Man at times.
  • In the Saki doujin, So Hold My Hand One More Time, Masae Atago, coach of the Senriyama mahjong team, is this. In a flashback, she's understanding of Toki's decision to withdraw from the individuals because of her health, saying that it's common for school aces to not go on to the individuals. Masae then tells Toki that she's mistaken if she thinks herself weak, advising her to believe in her strength, a lesson Toki comes to realize over the course the doujin.
  • In Origin Story, after Alex and Louise Harris are asked to leave a diner for picking a fight with a homophobic customer, the Sheriff's Deputy outside walks them to their car and advises them to get a hotel at the next exit so they won't have to deal with more bigots.
  • Because Good Feels Good, Anko comes off as this instead of her usual Blood Knight portrayal in A Teacher's Glory. As she says, she's charged with not just teaching her students ninja skills, but proper behavior as well.
  • Ths US and Canadian governments get this portrayal in Emergence. After learning about the existence of four superhuman teenage girls from another world, they aren't eager to dissect them, and are willing to help them find new identities and learn from them, even if one of them butchered several NAVY Seals.
  • In The King Nobody Wanted, King Stannis tries to be this. How successful he is varies greatly depending on who you ask.
  • The mayor of Luffy's village in A Different First Crewmember holds off on calling Garp when the Red Hair Pirates first show up and instead offer them all the village's money if they'll leave peacefully. Luckily, Shanks and the rest just want to unwind for a while and are even willing to pay for all the food and alcohol they consume.
  • In Crystal Gem Academy, Rose does not blame Steven's handler when the boy gets into a nearly fatal accident, and reassures her that she won't be punished.
  • In the Worm fanfic Recoil, Taylor has encountered few enough Reasonable Authority Figures in her own time. When she comes back to the past, she finds:
    • Nina Veder, part-time ship's doctor and psychiatrist, who takes her under her wing and sees about trying to find out who she really is (not going to happen) and fitting her back into society.
    • Principal Woodbine of Winslow High School, a direct contrast to Principal Blackwell of her own time.
    • Major (and then Lt Col) Brian Hamilton of PRT Intelligence, her boss and father figure.
  • The Council in The Zeppo in Mind start generously paying the Slayers and the Scoobies once it's made clear that they're the reason the world hasn't ended yet and covers their various expenses so long as they keep fighting the good fight. As Giles put it, even the stuffiest of bureaucrats recognizes the need to help those who keep the world spinning and that it's hard to hold down a job when you also have to save the world regularly.
  • Mythos Effect:
    • Primarch Quentius is literally the only Turian leader who realizes that trying to force the New Earth Federation to give up arcanotech (effectively gutting their military and technological bases) in favor of Element Zero technology and submitting to the Citadel Council as an associate race will not only cause a war, but that it's a war they can't win.
    • Prior to that Captain Jorus asks his commanding officer why they simply didn't warn the humans not to open a dormant Mass Relay instead of blowing up their ships. He's further frustrated when ordered to invade Shanxi, stating it will only escalate the situation.
    • The Council itself, other than Sparatus, likewise realize that going to war with the NEF is a bad idea, and when it breaks out, keep their people out of it, making it clear that it's the Turians' problem, not theirs.
  • Cycles Upon Cycles: Primarch Fedorian is this when Kerrigan announces her plans to absorb the Krogan into the Zerg and remove the genophage. While Matriarch Benezia is condescending about the whole thing and Dalatrass Lintron spends the whole meeting panicking, Fedorian is upset but realizes that the Koprulu Alliance has always kept their word, so they can be trusted here.
  • Princess of the Blacks: Madam Marchbanks tries to do what's best for Hogwarts and it's students. Unlike Dumbledore, she harshly punishes students who horribly endanger others regardless of house, listens to the Head Boy and Girl's suggestions, and is willing to change policies if it's in Hogwarts best interest. Unfortunately for her, she's not Dumbledore so close to half the school is dead set against her. Such actions include giving Fred and George four weeks detention for a prank that left several students injured after they offer no defense beyond "It was funny." She also allows Snape to hire a couple 7th year students to teach 1st and 2nd year potions, something Dumbledore flat out refused to do.
    • Luna's father tells Jen about how Bellatrix was a False Friend to him in school, causing Jen to assume he's trying to tell her to stay away from Luna. Xeno corrects Jen that he isn't holding her parentage against her; he's simply informing her that he doesn't trust her.
    • Flitwick has been attempting to cultivate this image ever since Jen exposed the bullies in his House. He makes a point of no longer helping McGonagall with her duties as it kept him from helping his Ravenclaws.
      • Averted with McGonagall who (unlike every other Head of House) is actually shown to be less trusting of her prefects, frequently demanding they do more, such as set up a study session or supervise a club.
    • Scrimgeour is willing to overlook a few misdemeanors Jen committed while fighting Voldemort, though he does note a colleague of his wouldn't.
    • Amelia is willing to work with Dumbledore and has suspended his arrest warrant until Voldemort has been dealt with. Should he toe the line until then, she won't press charges. Otherwise, she'll arrest him in a heartbeat.
    • Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody refuses to act against Jen when it's obvious he doesn't have all the relevant information, citing that if it doesn't put you at risk to get more information, only an idiot thinks he knows enough. Moody compares doing otherwise to "sticking [his] head into a room before knowing if something's going to chop it off".
  • A Brighter Dark: Garon can count as one as, given his genuine affection for his children and his willingness to be up-front and honest to any and all questions. Despite many uncomfortable things about his actions, it is clear that he always has solid motivation for what he does.
  • In Robb Returns, Eddard Stark, upon learning about the incoming threat of the Others, is willing to make a deal with the Wildlings/Free Folk so that they can settle south of the Wall, even though he knows every of his northern bannermen have a great dislike (if not hate) of them.
    • Similarly, Mance Rayder, who intended to bring his people south of the Wall in order to better defend it, is willing to kneel to Eddard just so that he will help them.
  • In This Bites!, Iceburg quotes the trope by name as part of why he worked with the World Government.
  • In Supernova, one of the Marine officers is notably reluctant to assign bounties to the Straw Hat crew given that so far they'd only gone after other pirates or horribly corrupt marines.
  • Koharu and Homura in The Scorned Son (unlike most portrayals that paint them as corrupt and/or jerkasses) calmly listen to Sasuke's well reasoned and thought out argument of why he shouldn't be teamed with certain people (Naruto, Sakura, and Ino chief among them) then investigate the academy themselves to see if his argument is valid. As a result, they not only change the planned team structures but also advise the Hokage to restructure the academy in general due to slipping standards.
  • Joyce Summers in Hurt Me is furious with Buffy and Xander for having unprotected sex and lays down some ground rules for their relationship. Most notably, they have to use protection from now on, stating that they're both sixteen and they really don't want to be parents at their age. Also, they can't have sex in the house while she's there. She's fully aware that a pair of teenagers will sneak off to have sex anyway so she's not going to waste her time trying to stop them.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
  • In The Outside, Aikuro (a tutor) slides between this and the closest thing that Ryuuko has to a Parental Substitute. He cares for her well-being and is worried about how much of an effect Satsuki's care has on her but does put his foot down when he feels need be, however, he did let plenty slide before that (i.e not reporting Satsuki to social services sooner).
  • Professor Slughorn in Wind Shear shows a great deal of levelheadedness and understanding, especially in comparison to Professor McGonagall, when it comes to Harry Potter. Harry's first lesson for his 7th year students in Defense Against the Dark Arts is to have them attempt to escape a trio of earthen constructs which he charmed to inflict no damage. Slughorn calmly discusses the matter with Dumbledore and admits that, given the current brewing war and that none of the students were injured, he's only bringing up the students' concerns while withholding his own judgment for now. McGonagall first storms into Harry's office to shout at him for his actions, then goes to Dumbledore (still shouting) about it when Harry dismisses her arguments.
  • Haruka in Love Hina: Like It Could Have Been initially tells Kitsune that she'll be evicted if she doesn't have her rent paid by the end of the month, including the three months back rent she owes, but when the due date comes and Kitsune is only a little short, she gives the younger woman an extra month to pay it off, knowing she'd been working her ass off.
  • In Tony's Girl, Isiah Bradley (Ross' replacement on the Sokovia Accords Central Committee) asks Tony Stark to hold Wanda at the Avengers Compound, despite Tony's misgivings, because the last time Wanda was imprisoned, her rampage upon getting loose left nearly thirty guards permanently traumatized and one of them later committed suicide. While Bradley agrees that the compound isn't a prison nor meant to be one, the Avengers are the only ones who can currently handle Wanda if she breaks loose, and he's only asking Tony to keep her there temporarily until the UN can find a more permanent solution.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Emperor in Mulan, who is clearly the wisest and most level headed person in the movie, especially when contrasted with Chi Fu, his obnoxious, opinionated advisor.
  • Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame had an Archdeacon to clean up the church's name after Judge Frollo's Kick the Dog moment where he contemplates killing the deformed baby Quasimodo.
  • General Rogard in The Iron Giant attempts to understand the situation and not assume the worst when confronted with a giant alien robot. Unfortunately, the FBI agent on the scene happens to be a complete bigot (and a Dirty Coward to boot), and goes out of his way just to provoke the Iron Giant into retaliation.
  • The Grand Councilwoman from Lilo & Stitch is rather reasonable for being the head of the Galactic Federation, although like most aliens, she believes Pleakly when he tells her to spare Earth from destructions because mosquitos are endangered.
    • She's also willing to give Stitch a chance to speak for himself when he's initially introduced at Jumba's trial, rather than outright condemning him. Then at the end of the film she expresses regret at having to take Stitch in after he's shown to have calmed down and matured somewhat, and seems rather satisfied when Lilo provides a loophole as to why the Grand Councilwoman can't take Stitch.
    • Cobra Bubbles is this as well; rather than remove Lilo from Nani's custody right away, he listens carefully to the evidence and ultimately tries to do what he feels is best for Lilo's wellbeing. The ending reveals he was also a CIA member. The thing about mosquitoes being endangered was something he made up to deter an alien invasion.
  • Monsters University Dean Hardscrabble, though some of her decisions are a tad personal. She holds an understandable grudge against Mike and Sulley for breaking her scream canister and she's often unpleasant to Mike about his endeavors. Still, she enforces fair punishment and still permits them a chance of redemption at the Scare Games and does not let Oozma Kappa suffer for the actions of Mike and Sulley.
  • La Muerte from The Book of Life, is the Only Sane Woman among the Gods and said it was fair to return Manolo back to life since Xibalba cheated.
  • Aladdin: Despite his flaws, the Sultan is generally a worthy ruler knowing when to put his power to good use. In The King of Thieves, he agrees to drop all charges against Aladdin for busting Cassim free because Aladdin only did so out of love and willingly came back to accept the consequences of his actions (plus he does like and respect Aladdin). That's on top of changing the law so that Jasmine can Marry for Love.

    Music 
  • The title character of "Good King Wenceslas" represents the Christian ideals of charity and caring for the meek.
    • Though the real Wenceslas seems to have been more pious than competent and might have been better as a cleric than a king.
  • Kids Praise:
    • Psalty himself whenever he acts as an authority. In one of the Li'l Praisers videos, it begins raining outside, and Psalty uses that as a song cue for the song about the Wise Man and the Foolish Man, and he has the kids put on their raincoats. One kid points out that they're indoors, and while other adults might scold the kid for questioning orders, Psalty just explains that they're costumes.
    • God as well: at times, even Psalty makes mistakes, but every time God intervenes, He's understanding and forgiving.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • It was common in the past for all authority figures in the pro wrestling business to be depicted this way when they showed up on television, acting as a Foil for the antics of the heels and the zanier faces. Jack Tunney is a good example. It wasn't until the nineties that the Corrupt Corporate Executive version of the authority figure rose to popularity (in the form of Vince McMahon in the then-WWF and Eric Bischoff in WCW).
  • After years and years of the WWF being run by Lawful Evil heels like Vince McMahon and Triple H who screwed the faces at any chance, a bit of fresh air surfaced when Mick Foley became Commissioner in 2000 and actually treated everybody equally. It was a nice if brief change of pace to watch a heel like Triple H finally get his just deserts— at the hands of the man he forcefully retired, no less. Besides Triple H, Foley's actions would frequently anger Edge, Christian, and Kurt Angle. Chris Benoit got it the worst when two of his world title victories were overturned by Foley due to the referees making bad calls. Still, Mick's reasonableness didn't save him from getting booed when backed into a corner by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
  • Teddy Long, a former long-suffering general manager of WWE's Smackdown brand, is apparently a little too reasonable for Vince McMahon's tastes; one of his storylines had him being put on probation, ostensibly for being too bland and not having any major accomplishments, but implied to be more because he didn't give special consideration to Vince's favorite wrestlers (Heels one and all).
    • Case in point; Drew McIntyre ignored repeated warnings by Teddy to stop attacking an injured Matt Hardy, so Teddy stripped him of the IC title and fired him. The next week, McMahon reversed the decision, much to the dismay of Long and Kofi Kingston, who won the IC belt while McIntyre was gone.
  • Booker T was this during his time as the Smackdown general manager.
  • In Progress Wrestling, Jim Smallman and Glen Joseph come across as this; their other business partner Jon Briley most likely is as well, he just doesn't really get involved publicly.
  • It should be noted the baby face "promoter" used to be the default mode of every authority figure ever. Even before kayfabe was broken, most owners, staff, athletic commissions, governing bodies, TV executives, sponsors and the like used to find the idea of the fans turning on them—and by extension, the product—nightmarish. Even when there was an evil boss, said boss would always be below the 'real' boss in authority. A good example is Victor Quiñones leading W*iNG and IWA Japan against FMW. Everyone from Ray Gonzales to Savio Vega to Carlito Caribbean Cool to Jeff Jarrett tried to take over whatever was the biggest promotion in Puerto Rico at the time, but would always end up dismissed.
  • Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins became one in a public relations move to try and save TNA (and later NWA). It was not a ratings stunt, this was real. On-screen, he's a pretty neutral character, something the business sorely needs. His involvement and visibility was a positive for TNA because the actual chairman, Dixie Carter, looks like a Real Housewife from central casting. (After 8 years of running TNA she had no idea what kayfabe was.)
  • Even when Eric Bischoff and the nWo were running roughshod over WCW, they still had to answer to "Ted Turner", who frequently came down hard on them.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Examples from the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting, Forgotten Realms: Alustriel of Silverymoon; Khelben Blackstaff, leader of the heroic breakoff organization from the Harpers; Piergeiron the Paladinson, one of the Lords of Waterdeep; and both the late King Azoun IV of Cormyr and his son, Azoun V. Given the scale of the setting, many, many others exist.
    • Similarly, many of the men and women who rule the nations of Eberron are reasonable. Even King Kaius III, a freakin' Lawful Evil vampire, can occupy this role, as can Keeper of the Flame Jaela Daran, King Boranel of Breland and so forth.
  • There are a few officials in Warhammer 40,000 who fit this trope, such as Ciaphas Cain, Ibram Gaunt, and a handful of their fellow officers. Warmaster Horus was one, at least before the heresy. Unfortunately, they are very much in the minority. To be fair, this is not entirely unjustified in a setting where having an open mind is practically an invitation to Chaos.
  • Paragons (people who have a high Obligation in Genius: The Transgression) radiate a sense of trustworthiness and knowledge. As a result, they get a nice bonus to social rolls when they act like this.
  • In In Nomine, the player characters are often angels reporting to Archangels. The books give directions for the GM to play these Archangels as anything from Knight Templar fanatics to Reasonable Authority Figures. Their counterparts, the Demon Princes, not so much.
  • Pretty much every authority figure in Ptolus has a reason they're in the position in the first place, are well-respected, and haven't been enveloped by the city by the spire's intense politics. DMs are given advice to not trot the players to these people for no reason, and to treat the encounters with gravity.

    Theatre 
  • John Hancock as president of Congress in 1776. He's an independence man like John Adams, although he doesn't actively participate in debate or voting (except in case of deadlock, which Adams is quick to remind him of). He breaks one of those ties in favor of Dickonson's motion that a vote on independence must be unanimous and explains that not doing so would tear the country apart right from the get-go. Later, he offers to go beyond his authority to help the cause of independence when it looks sunk, but Adams tells him he needs to stay as this trope.
  • Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. It depends on the adaptation.
    • He doesn't take the feud as seriously, and when Romeo crashes a party, his response is to just shrug because Romeo has a good reputation. When his younger relatives are raving about how Romeo's crashing the party, Capulet tells them to just leave Romeo alone because he's not done anything wrong. Some play it like him trying to avoid trouble, seeing as the Prince's relatives are also at the party and the Prince made it clear that he wouldn't put up with any more feuding nonsense.
    • The Prince is just about the only consistently reasonable figure across any adaptation. He doesn't want the feud to tear the city apart and is doing everything he can to keep the two sides from going too far.

    Visual Novels 
  • Alex Cyprin in Astoria: Fate's Kiss, the protagonist's boss, has immense faith in her and backs her up as much as they can even when she's acting well outside the auspices of the organization they both work for. Higher up the chain of command, Hades is an even better example: in the best ending of Hydra's route, once Hades hears what Hydra and the protagonist have to say about what's going on he puts an end to Hercules's plans immediately, and one gets the impression that the whole trouble could have been avoided by simply going to Hades about it from the beginning.
  • Ace Attorney is lacking in these, but there are a few. The Judge is easily swayed, intimidated and distracted by prosecutors and witnesses but never ignores a possibility or discrepancy that's presented, no matter how minor and occasionally has moments of incredible wisdom and courage.
    • Miles Edgeworth becomes one after his Heel–Face Turn, when he stops worrying about his record and starts sincerely pursuing the truth. He takes it upon himself to play Devil's advocate with Phoenix specifically to get him riled up and working at his best. Then he becomes Chief Prosecutor and reinstates Phoenix after he was disbarred just so the two of them can team up and dispel the Dark Age of the Law.
    • Klavier Gavin doesn't care about winning, only the truth. He's willing to share information and indirectly help Apollo from the get-go.
    • Ambassador Colias Paleano never once lies to, hinders, insults, annoys or ignores Edgeworth. He always gives all the help and information he can to the best of his ability. It is refreshing for both players and Edgeworth to have a genuinely helpful witness for once.
    • The judge gets an upgrade in Dual Destinies, such as when he's confronted with a choice over whether to allow Athena to use analytical psychology on Detective Fulbright. The argument is made that emotions are not evidence, and cannot be used in court. The judge declares this is exactly right, but also says that the process has, in the past, helped uncover the truth, and allows it to go forward regardless, as court cases should be less about legal technicalities and more about the truth.

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja's Mayor Chuck Goodrich will listen to you if you have some kind of World of Weirdness related problem. This is because as a time traveler who has to solve the problems of every parallel universe, he's probably heard it before.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
    • Mikkel tries to be this in , slowly shaping up to be Rare Male Example of Team Mom, but Sigrun just keeps on overruling him.
    • While Sigrun seems like an inversion in the beginning (Absolutely Unreasonable Authority Figure), she proves surprisingly fitting to this trope after the team crosses Oresund Bridge.
  • Mr. Verres of El Goonish Shive is far more reasonable than one would expect from the head of an organization that essentially acts as The Men in Black. He has a reputation for resolving situations in a manner that tends to favor the well-being of those involved over preserving secrets, and he has earned so much respect from those serving under him, that they still often secretly report to him even when he is no longer their boss. Most dangerous plotlines occur when he is impossible to reach.
    • His replacement, Arthur, is likewise quite reasonable, despite being initially antagonistic. While he's positioned as an opposing force initially, it turns out to be due to working from incomplete information - and once he and Tedd get the full story, he immediately agrees that Tedd was correct and offers support and funding.
  • The mayor in Freefall is not initially an example, but her intern is. Up to and including risking his employment to protect sapient robots from the Gardener in the Dark program, going directly against the mayor's decisions to do so.
    • Both Mr. Raibert and the Police chief also count.
    • The Mayor eventually accepts that the artificial intelligences she'd been dismissing really are sapient, because mounting evidence caused her to rethink the issue. Later, she resigns, because she feels her trouble with seeing AI as genuinely sapient means she can't be a Reasonable Authority Figure.
      • The Mayor also tried to give Mr. Kornada a fair trial after the news about "Gardener in the Dark" broke. Especially notable since there was only one other judge on the planet, and that one literally wanted him to burn.
  • An abbot early in Get Medieval establishes the comic's lack of Medieval Morons. He shelters, clothes and feeds two marooned Human Aliens because they're in need. When a paranoid monk points out that one of them has slept in for morning mass, the abbot notes that the one who attended paid more attention than half the brothers.
  • Baron Wulfenbach of Girl Genius runs a ruthless dictatorship. He allows his subjects to parody or even mock him in the press, and generally he only uses lethal force when the need for it becomes blatantly obvious - even a full-fledged French Revolution-style uprising is put down with Stun Guns. A very reasonable dictator.
    • He has two rules: The (apocalyptic) devices of the Other must immediately be turned over to him for study, and nations/city-states are not allowed to go to war with each other (in fact, the motto for his Pax Transylvania is "Don't make me come over there"). Also, aside of keeping crack troops to uphold the peace; he builds and maintain roads, schools, and hospitals; provides support to cities and even has firefighting and emergency communication forces. On top of that, his tax policies are so reasonable that the only time they're mentioned is when Gil defends the Wulfenreich - people have so little problem with being taxed they simply don't consider it worth mentioning.
    • When he took hostages from the royal families to ensure that they didn't go to war with their neighbors, he didn't ignore them or abuse them. Instead he got the best nanny he could and proceeded to educate them out of being potential Royal Brats and into Royals Who Actually Do Something, his own son being among them. Tarvek mentions that being released from his hostage status was "the worst punishment ever." Also the novelization mentions that he passed an equivalent of a Civil Rights act, forbidding discrimination against constructs.
    • Klaus managed to keep power in most of Europe (mainly excluding England and the city state of Paris) in a world ruled by mad scientists. He accepts aid from Ax-Crazy ex-pirate queen Bangladesh Dupree and former servants of his enemies — having them under his control is more effective and helps keep the peace, so he not only assimilated armies as casually as Genghis Khan, but made it a standard procedure. He made sure it's well-known that he also offers surrendering soldiers the opportunity to join his army or take generous severance packages. He also keeps a reasonable base of young sparks and royals loyal to him (or at least completely awed and understanding it's the best place they could find), many becoming good friends with his heir, so that war won't break out once he's gone. It still did the moment he landed in a hospital, but at least with a few clear-cut factions and even possibility to salvage his empire, instead of the open-for-all war he stopped.
  • Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is viceroy of Earth's solar system, and (apparently unlike a lot of Nemesite aristocrats) takes her job seriously and responsibly. Even Zippobic, who hates the Nemesites in general, has conceded that he respects and trusts her. When Bob reported that Earth was being attacked by lobster aliens, she promptly sent help because it was a "legitimate police call." However, when he needed her help to find a home for a baby giant, she again helped, but this time with the warning that he shouldn't count on her to help him out of messes that she and her government have nothing to do with.
  • Last Res0rt plays with this slightly with White Noise, Captain of the Executioners... which makes him in charge of a band of criminals.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • General Tarquin, despite being, you know, a Lawful Evil man behind the man who by genre conventions should be holding at least one of them hostage and assuming they're trying to manipulate him. He recognizes that the heroic party is probably fighting a global scale threat that is as much a danger to him as to anybody else, and aids them unconditionally regardless of the philosophical differences... Until the trope is subverted when he double-cross the protagonists later on because it turns out Tarquin only sees the main plot as a "side quest" and believes the party's real quest is an epic about Elan aka his son bringing him down in spectacular, myth-making fashion. As soon as it's made clear that he is the side quest, not the other way around, the facade shatters entirely.
    • Lord Shojo, who was quite a capable ruler of Azure City, even when he needed to fake senility to stave off assassination by ambitious rivals, and recruited the Order of the Stick behind the backs of his paladins because he realized that with their hidebound code, they could not both keep their oath and save the other gates.
    • For that matter, Shojo's nephew Hinjo, who is quite reasonable for a paladin, often taking the advice of our heroes and accepting the fact that he cannot do everything himself. Then again, no paladin is bad compared to Miko...
  • A PvP arc had Brent being stalked and bullied by a bike cop after he got on the latter's wrong side. When Brent and Francis go complain to the cop's supervisor, we see that he's a nice, down-to-earth and reasonable person, who promises to look into the matter. Problem solved, right? Well...not quite. Unfortunately for Brent, Francis finds the fact that said supervisor is a midget very (and offensively) amusing...
  • Schlock Mercenary has Thurl, whom even Tagon recognize as the prime source of advice. Elf was promoted after leading a rescue mission, after which she designed a communication device that impressed the local Mad Scientist without being taught such things (or much of anything), but when wondering why Thurl is so effective:
    Elf: Thurl, why did she give you a "yessir?" She won't even listen to me but she outranks you!
    Thurl: That's the difference between personal authority and position authority.
    Elf: I don't get it.
    Thurl: I know. That's why you're in charge, but you're taking orders from me at the moment.
    • Captain Tagon also has his moments; one noteworthy meeting not only saw him ask Lieutenant Pibald about a plannote  to take over a base as part of a Batman Gambit to get their client to renegotiate a contract, but have Kevyn provide an estimate on how valuable the site was.
    "I gave you an order with loopholes in it."
  • The U.S. military from the alternate wraith universe in Sluggy Freelance. Torg, who's somewhat Genre Savvy, is surprised to discover that a post-apocalyptic world can have a very friendly and helpful military-industrial complex.
    • The Prime counterpart of their Secretary of Defense also qualifies.
  • In Cheer!, Mr. Madison is considered nice and well-liked by his students. He's the one the girls go to for help when they find that the class president was chained up in the Student Council room, and when we see him teaching, he tries to make obscure math formulas interesting before admitting that the students can forget them after the test.
  • Darths & Droids has Palpatine as one of these. Instead of him corrupting Anakin (like in the films), it's the other way around.
    Jar Jar: Dis meaning war, wesa needs to have a stronger leader! Mesa suggests Chancellor Palpatine gets emergency powers!
    Palpatine: What?!
    Palpatine: In the wrong hands, such a thingnote  could be... disastrous.
    Anakin: But in the right hands?
    Palpatine: There are no right hands!
    • However it does remain somewhat ambiguous just how much is truly Anakin's influence. Palpatine does very promptly put a Restraining Bolt on Anakin once he's forced to don the armor, so at least everything from the end of Episode III on may indeed be Palpatine's doing. Of course, it turns out he actually put it on Padme after Anakin died. And then it turns out that Anakin's vengeful ghost has been haunting him and driving him to madness.
  • Lero-Ro, a Ranker from Tower of God.
  • Godslave has Sobek, who takes one good look at Anpu and decides (correctly) that the fennec-shaped god has no qualifications to take care of Edith by himself. He then sets up an account for her to solve her money problems while she's Plot Coupon-hunting, and tells her to come to him for aid anytime. The problem is, of course, that he's supposed to be working for Heru, Anpu's enemy.
  • Sparklecare: Most of the nurses seem to be genuinely caring, especially Nurse Kills, who defends and tries to comfort Barry.

    Web Original 
  • The "Denazra" plot line produced by ''Nat One Productions' invokes this trope frequently. While there's a fair amount of inefficiency and dithering, the Coalition generally seems to be a benevolent organization trying to get a bunch of different species to join together and fight against a common foe. Unfortunately, they're still losing.
  • Both the headmistress and the head of Security at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. The headmistress turns out to be one of the great superheroines of the 20th century, and the head of security turns out to be a highly trained ex-special Forces military expert. So maybe the people who hired these guys count too.
  • Explored in the short story "The Big Bitch" http://strangestoriesaboutsadpeople.blogspot.com/2010/08/big-bitch.html
  • The Lord of the Supreme Council in The Questport Chronicles.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor himself. Bitter and caustic as he may be, he's genuinely upset at what has become of the Imperium and is slowly trying to put it back the way it was before the Horus Heresy, even considering letting the aliens join his nation.
    • The Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard tries to be this to a very minor extent among his fellow High Lords. He tries to impede them from weakening the Imperial Guard, by keeping laxatives and air legal.
    • Ecclesiarch Descius, despite his organization being disbanded by Imperial order, still tries to fulfill this role and stop Karamazov from killing the Custodes.
  • A large part of the reason that Skitter became a Villain Protagonist in Worm was because none of the authority figures she ever encountered were reasonable. That said, Miss Militia, a superhero in Brockton Bay promoted to lead the local superhero team after her predecessor's retirement, is unquestionably evenhanded and responsible.
  • His Honor, Edward Dyer, Mayor of a fictionalized Orlando in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe setting. Are you a superior coming to him to report an alien invasion? He'll listen and even take your advice on how to defend the city. Zombies? He'll listen. Supervillains infiltrating the mayor's office. He'll even listen to you if he's your prime suspect. Of course, if you're wrong, he'll read you the riot act for wasting his time.
  • RWBY: The Beacon staff all seem to be very tolerant of extra-curricular activities and approachable mentor figures. Professor Ozpin in particular is very perceptive about things the heroes want to keep hidden, such as Team RWBY investigating the White Fang and Torchwick, as well as Blake being a faunus. He is mostly willing to overlook rule breaking and even borderline-criminal activities if the student in question truly has good reason for doing so. He is also very kindly and is always prepared to offer advice to his students, even in personal matters a teacher need not necessarily pay attention to.
    • On the other hand, Ozpin's behaviour may actually not be entirely benevolent, making him a subversion. He has had pupils die on his watch in the past, and Raven implies that this may be due to them being manipulated by him into doing his bidding when they think they're acting of their own free will. She even goes so far as to hint that he has a tendency to take an unhealthy interest in one or two particularly good teams in a given intake and bend the rules for them so they can operate as off-the-book agents for him, even though the students in question may not realise that it's even happening. Cinder describes him as arrogant, a description apparently given to him by Salem
  • Arthéon from Noob seems to be this. Notably, he and his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits guild ended up involved in the second novel's plot because he was willing to follow a lead given by a random player nobody else was believing.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: In "Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney", when the two devolve into childish insults, Abraham Lincoln interrupts and reroutes the debate back to the actual issues at hand, then accurately assesses the faults of both sides while also acknowledging the valid points they make. In general, of the authority figures shown in the series, Lincoln is the one portrayed most sympathetically and the one who seems most fit to be in charge. And he refuses to make fun of a show without watching it first.
  • Heroes Save the World: Several of the Children have approached adults about what is happening. While they were met with disbelief, this gave way to acceptance after receiving proof of superpowers.

    Western Animation 
  • Commander Joseph Walsh, Da Chief from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. He's a Benevolent Boss who does his best to protect the Rangers from the political pressure inflicted by Obstructive Bureaucrat Senator Whiner.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Principal Brown is often petty and frivolous, but in "The Apology" he refuses to punish Gumball or Darwin unless he's given solid evidence that they're causing trouble, and he threatens to fire Miss Simian if she keeps trying to frame them, in spite of his personal feelings for her.
    • While the Doughnut Sheriff is often reckless and the embodiment of Police are Useless, has his moments of being this, such as in "The Car"; when the Robinsons demand he arrest the Wattersons for destroying their car, he refuses to do so without a warrant, gives the Robinsons multiple warnings to calm down, and ultimately subdues and arrests them once they smash the Wattersons' own car and attack him in a fit of rage.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Earth King, he even had an Evil Chancellor, Long Feng, who tried to discredit Aang and co. (among other unpleasantness). He listens to Aang and co. even though they fight their way into his throne room, and is eminently reasonable and rational when deciding their case. He eventually agrees to help plan an invasion of the Fire Nation and arrest Long Feng. It's averted in the Promise comics: the Earth King refuses to have an audience with Zuko after the latter withdraws his support of the Harmony Restoration Movement, instead choosing to go to war with the Fire Nation over the colonies.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Katara has become this, the prime example being that unlike the other White Lotus members, who would stop Korra from going to Republic City, she gives her her blessing to go there, remembering how she went on her journey in the original series. That, and she decides to let her son Tenzin train Korra in Airbending.
    • Lin Beifong may look like a hardhearted lady who continually sticks to the law, but once you get to know her, she's a good ally and will listen well if you have a crime to tell her about.
    • Fire Lord Izumi firmly establishes herself as one. She readily agrees to lend resources to defend and retaliate against Kuvira, but she is under no illusions about the Fire Nation's reputation and the political fallout of being party to a preemptive strike.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Numbuh 362 is the Supreme Leader of the KND, and even though she often has to play parent to "eleventy-billion operatives with short attention spans", the safety and wellbeing of her fellow operatives is always her top priority.
  • Dan Vs.. Normally, the universe hates Dan, and Dan reciprocates, but sometimes the universe throws Dan a bone in the form of this trope.
    • In "Dan Vs. Traffic", Dan is having a Potty Emergency while stuck in traffic, and breaks several laws in his haste to get home. A cop pulls him over as he's driving on the sidewalk. Dan explains how badly he has to use the bathroom, and the cop simply lets him leave.
    • In "Dan Vs. Baseball", Dan and Chris go to ludicrous lengths to kidnap the Commissioner of Baseball. However, when Dan actually stops to explain his grievances against baseball (namely that it broke his car's mirror, and it pre-empted his favorite show), the Commissioner immediately gives Dan the money to fix the mirror and promises to make sure the show never gets pre-empted again. (Turns out the Commissioner is also a fan of that show.) So the kidnapping was completely unnecessary.
    • Jeremiah Burger in "Dan Vs. Burgerphile" understands that customer service is supposed to be about the customer, and chastises Jeff for forgetting the first rule of their trade: the customer is always right. Earlier in the same episode, when Jeff tries to get the police to arrest Dan, they recognize that he's exercising his right to protest, so instead of using force they just ask him politely to leave and then go away once they find a more important issue to deal with.
  • Daria's lawyer mother Helen is more or less this, at least compared to the other adults. She's very competent at work (if quite workaholic), is more emotionally stable than her borderline Manchild husband Jake (though not without her share of problems) and attempts to be a good mom to both Daria and Quinn.
  • Principal Geraldine Waxelplax from The Fairly Oddparents. Sometimes played for laughs, sometimes not
  • Family Guy: Mr. Weed, Peter's deceased former boss. From what we saw, he was a pretty fair employer. Despite Peter's stupidity causing him problems note , he still gave Peter plenty of chances to fix his mistakes. In his last appearance, he gave Peter a big promotion all because he was treated to a good dinner... just before he choked to death on a dinner roll.
  • The head of the monastery from Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "Expedition to Khumbu". When the villains try to frame the boys for stealing an artifact from the monastery, he is ready to give them the benefit of doubt, despite the evidence against them. He then immediately turns the table on the bad guys by asking them one sensible question which they fail to answer.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012)
    • Mrs. Twombly, the littlest pet shop owner, helping out Blythe Baxter on certain situationsnote .
    • Fisher Biskit is this to his daughters most of the time.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Princess Celestia, who in addition to being a kind, gentle pony (willing to forgive her formerly insanely evil sister after Luna tearfully apologized), is also a ruler that isn't as stuffy and proper as one would think, as she once pulled a light-hearted prank on the Cakes to get them to loosen up during a visit from her. Two episodes in particular highlight this trait for the Princess:
      • "A Bird in the Hoof", in which her reaction to Fluttershy's well-intentioned bird-napping of her pet to nurse it back to health is primarily to chide Fluttershy for not asking about the bird, a phoenix on the tail end of its rebirth/death cycle, in a "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot, in addition to having said phoenix apologize to Fluttershy for intentionally making her life difficult when the pegasus was only trying to care for it.
      • "Lesson Zero" has Twilight Sparkle having a monumental Freak Out! because she hadn't written her weekly aesop report to Celestia. The princess shows up after Twilight's attempts to rectify the situation have wreaked chaos upon Ponyville, and is implied to given Twilight a well-earned, offscreen lecture before starting to reassure her. When her friends burst in begging Celestia to forgive Twilight, citing their not taking her feelings seriously as the cause of the problems, she takes the chance to drive the lesson home and lighten Twilight's (perceived) workload by having the others join in the reporting only when there's something to report.
      • In "The Crystal Empire," Celestia gives Twilight very specific instructions for how to resolve the episode's crisis... which Twilight then throws out once the situation gets truly bad. Although Celestia is seemingly disappointed that things didn't go the way she wanted them to, she praises Twilight for having the good sense to recognize the severity of the situation and make an appropriate judgement call, instead of blindly following orders.
    • Rarity is this for Sweetie Belle in "Ponyville Confidential." Rarity confronts Sweetie Belle upon learning that her little sister is one-third of the new local gossip columnist. Despite her anger (since a recent story had been excerpts from Rarity's diary), Rarity scolds her, uses her own going through Sweetie Belle's stuff for proof to drive home the point about personal privacy, and finish it up by questioning whether Sweetie Belle wants writing hurtful gossip to be her destiny-declaring Cutie Mark. Everypony else was either so angry they sent the fillies away rather than risk an out of line outburst or just shunned them outright.
    • In the episode "Sweet and Elite" we have Fancypants, a wealthy and influential unicorn that befriends Rarity. Unlike many other high society ponies, he's humble, kind, and by the end of the episode establishes himself as both a Nice Guy and Uncle Pennybags when he stands up for Rarity and her friends in front of what is basically the cream of Canterlot high society.
    • Twilight herself is this for Spike, being the main adult figure in his life. She pulls him back when he starts to go out of line.
  • From the children's TV series Recess, we have Principal Prickly, who, although tough on disobedience and often somewhat at odds with the main characters, has joined many an Enemy Mine or cut them a very generous amount of slack when he felt their hearts were in the right place.
    • Not to mention King Bob, the "ruler of the playground".
    • Don't forget the kids' teacher, Mrs. Grotke. Probably the antithesis of the Sadist Teacher trope.
    • Although playground monitor Ms. Finster is generally shown as a stern authority figure, she is usually portrayed as unfailingly fair and given several humanizing episodes.
    • Really, most of the adults in Recess are portrayed this way, with the exception of Smug Snake Mayor Fitzhugh. Substitute teacher Mr. E is another textbook example.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Mayor Nettles in season two who, unlike the previous mayor and most of the adults in general, is generally supportive of Mystery Inc.'s actions. In fact she actively worked to get the group back together in the season two premiere.
  • The Simpsons has plenty of unreasonable authority figures (strangulation is a running gag), but some are this, including of all things the Commandant of the military school in The Secret War of Lisa Simpson. When the Simpson family observes a group of cadets standing at attention, Homer mocks them by throwing stones and the Commandant seems to be genuine shocked: "They're just children, Mr. Simpson!"
    • Judge Roy Snyder is also this. Although he has his quirks (the clown on his desk) he is actually one of the few authority figures in Springfield who can't be bribed and is pretty lenient in his punishments.
    • Seymour Skinner. Depending on the Writer, he can either be an Obstructive Bureaucrat, but he is usually a well-meaning (if nerdy) principal constrained by excessive budget cuts and apathetic teachers.
      • When he's not yelling at Skinner, Superintendent Chalmers can be fairly reasonable and was perhaps the only teacher able to reach out to Bart.
    • Played with in "Homer Goes to College" where Homer is made to enter a college nuclear physics course to be eligible to work in the power plant. He imagines the dean to be a severe authoritarian like the Animal House parodies he's watched, and never seems to realise the dean is really a friendly and fair-minded person.
  • Of the four rulers in Shadow Raiders, King Cryos of Ice is far and away the most sensible. It's a lucky thing that he's the first one Graveheart and Tekla have to deal with.
  • Cortes in Skyland, though he often wonders why he listens to kids.
  • South Park had Chef (until they killed him off). It wasn't so much that nobody else would believe the kids, so much as he was often the only vaguely competent and intelligent adult in the entire town. It tends to be a town full of Mulders, with the kids usually playing Scully. Also, Principal Victoria and President Bush, as he was the only one in "Cartoon Wars Part 2" who defended the Family Guy writers rights to free speech instead of having them arrested like many people were recommending.
    • The Governor of Colorado in Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000, who was willing to pardon Cartman after the boys pointed out the hypocrisy of charging him with a hate crime.
  • King Kenric is the only authority figure in Super 4 who actually plays the trope straight, while Dr X has too much of an ego to listen opinions, the Fairy Queen exiled Twinkle due to mistakenly turning her into a frog, and Captain Sharkbeard is outright antagonistic.
  • Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs from SWAT Kats. Unlike the Lovable Coward Mayor and Inspector Javert-ish police chief, she realizes that Megakat City needs the titular vigilantes and serves as The Commissioner Gordon.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Splinter is this. It's highlit in the season one episode "It Came From The Depths", where he professes that Michelangelo is right when he says that the Turtles owe it to Leatherhead to give him a chance, but also agrees that Leatherhead must be reasonably restrained, since he is a super-strong giant gator-man prone to sporadic bursts of violent fury.
  • Transformers Animated has Ultra Magnus from Cybertron (who unfortunately has Sentinel Prime as his primary advisor), and Captain Fanzone from Earth. Later in the series, when Ultra Magnus is out of action and Sentinel Prime takes over, Alpha Trion fills this role.
  • Transformers Prime has Special Agent William Fowler. While he does get frustrated with the Autobots from time to time, he lets them do their thing as long as no one gets injured (besides Decepticons and MECH). And when the Autobots need something only a human can provide, Fowler will cooperate if he's available.
  • In TRON: Uprising there's Able, the boss of Able's Garage. He stands up to the Occupation whenever they harass his employees, and lets Beck get away with having so many breaks and being absent so often due to Able knowing that Beck is The Renegade.
  • Faragonda, the headmistress of Alfea in Winx Club. She is generally kind to her students, though she is willing to put up with no nonsense from them, and will discipline them as she sees fit. As well, she does not take kindly from students from other schools causing trouble at Alfea either and will take action if necessary.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Hawk and Dove," the North Kasnian leader might qualify. Both sides of the civil war are being manipulated by Ares, who just gets a kick out of seeing people kill each other, and to this end supplies the North Kasnians with a superweapon called the Annihilator. Ares is furious when the North Kasnian leader calls off his troops once they drive the South Kasnians off their land since he doesn't want to run the country, he just doesn't want his people to be oppressed. When Ares insists that he use the Annihilator to wipe his enemies off the face of the earth, insulting him in the process, the North Kasnian leader immediately breaks off their agreement and tells him to bugger off and take the Annihilator with him. Unfortunately, Ares kills him right after and impersonates him to lead the attack himself.
  • Melanie Baker from Clarence is the most (and possibly only) reasonable faculty member at Clarence's school.
  • Samurai Jack: In "Jack Remembers The Past", Jack recalls bullies picking on him and refusing to give him his ball. When he tells his father, his father is sympathetic, but he says he cannot interfere with the bullying because he did not want to abuse his power. In the end, he trusts his son to learn how to handle them...which he does.


Alternative Title(s): Reasonable Authority Figures

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