Bob long ago learned the painful lesson that Humans Are Bastards. They kill each other over the most trivial of reasons and treat anyone who is different as an outcast. And so Bob has given up on them, perhaps to the point of becoming the villain or even the Big Bad.
And then along comes Alice, a shining example of why humans aren't that bad after all. She'll listen to Bob's rhetoric about how humans are unworthy to live, smile, and retort with an impassioned speech about everything good about humanity or she'll just show him how wrong he is through her actions.
Bob will come to see that maybe he was wrong about humanity all along (it's very rare for Bob to accept simply that Alice in particular isn't so bad, or, if he does, he's missing the whole point), perhaps performing a HeelFace Turn or sacrificing himself to save humanity.
- Dragon Ball:
- As stated in the King Piccolo Saga, Kami had originally created the Dragon Balls to serve as a symbol of hope for humanity, but the exact opposite happened as humans only wanted to use the Dragon Balls for their own self-centered purposes. Thus, after King Piccolo destroyed Shenron after getting his youth restored, Kami initially chose to just let Shenron stay dead. It was seeing Goku's true love for his friends, as well as his valiant efforts against Piccolo, that convinced Kami there were still genuinely good people in the world.
- In the finale of Dragon Ball Super: Android 17's wish to restore the seven annihilated universes after the Tournament of Power convinced Zen'O that the lower eight universes contained people with the capacity for genuine good... it's suggested that he was beginning to wonder if the mortal life in those universes was worth keeping around. It's stated that had the winner of the Tournament made a selfish wish, he would have annihilated the winning universe as well, leaving only the upper four in existence. Gowasu, Supreme Kai of Universe 10, also smiles approvingly after being restored; he had previously been a major advocate for mortals' ability to learn and grow past their sins.
- Aoyama Masaya/Mark in Tokyo Mew Mew acts like the nicest person on the planet as a defense mechanism, and secretly hates humans while being unaware that he himself isn't human at all. He starts to see Ichigo/Zoey as "different" when she steps out of her comfort zone to understand him more — something she really doesn't want to do at first — and, by the end of the series, he sacrifices himself (and gets better) to save the entire world.
- In Gankutsuou, when it seems to Albert that everyone is lying and good people are helpless to do anything, a letter from his dead friend Franz restores his faith in humanity, and he in turn restores The Count's humanity.
- Ceres from Ceres, Celestial Legend starts out despising humanity (especially men) for what had been done to her in the past. As the series progresses, Ceres learns that humans aren't evil, just flawed, and her faith in the human soul was restored from watching Aya and her friends and loved ones.
- Tokyo Ghoul: Nishiki Nishio had an older sister who was killed after a human she trusted sold her out to the CCG; after killing said human, he resolved never to trust anyone again. This lasted until his human girlfriend, Kimi, discovered he was a ghoul and not only accepted him, but offered to let him eat her, showing him that some humans can be trusted.
- The blue Zygarde (a.k.a. Z-2) in Pokémon XYZ already had a jaded view on humanity; it was after getting captured, experimented on and mind-controlled by Team Flare, culminating in the organization setting it loose on Lumiose City that only worsened its perception. Even after being freed from its mind control, Zygarde allowed Team Flare's true superweapon, the Megalith, to wreak more havoc. It was when the heroes try to stop the Megalith, in spite of the futility of the situation, that the red Zygarde (Z-1, aka "Squishy" (courtesy of Bonnie), who's been travelling with Ash and friends) finally convinced its other half that humans needed to be protected by them in spite of, and maybe even because of, their flaws. With the two Zygarde in Synchronisation, they fuse and transform into Complete Forme Zygarde to finish off Team Flare's leader and the Megalith once and for all.
- Naofumi of The Rising of the Shield Hero lost the ability to trust anyone after Malty betrayed and defamed him with the help of the King and other Heroes. He only trusts Raphtalia because she's a slave and so magically cannot betray him. When she's freed and Naofumi is losing all hope, Raphtalia tells him she believes in his innocence and willingly becomes his slave so he'll be able to trust her again. His attitude, while still grim and hateful, is very much improved afterwards.
- Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen, though for him it's Humans Are Boring and Predictable. When the Silk Spectre finally breaks down upon realizing the Comedian is her father, he realizes that Humans, against all improbability, managed to live - and that's more than enough to realize that Earth needs him.
- The High Evolutionary's plans to wipe out humanity were once waylaid by the Hulk's determination to survive in spite of everything.
- In Grimm Fairy Tales, the Wicked Witch Belinda shows her friend Sela around a beach and explains that Humans Are Bastards by pointing out Jerk Jocks who bully others, a shallow girl who Really Gets Around, etc. When a building collapses, everyone Belinda pointed out immediately rushes over to help. The jocks use their strength to clear rubble and pull people to safety, and the shallow girl turns out to be a highly qualified doctor. Belinda gets disgusted and leaves, but Sela is amazed and is so touched that she decides to help too.
- Manchester Black goes through a darker variant of this after trying and failing to provoke Superman into killing him. When Superman remains dedicated to his principles even after Black apparently killed Lois, Manchester realized that true heroes like Superman really did exist. This also leads to Manchester realizing that he had become just another supervillain. After erasing the knowledge of Superman's identity from the minds of the villains he granted it to in the first place, Black promptly killed himself.
- An alien variant appears in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #8 when the disgruntled semi-defected Decepticon Fulcrum is motivated to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Scavengers because they've proven to him that the Decepticon cause is still worthy, even if their ranks did become infested with psychoes, sadists and monsters who just used it as an excuse to kill.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: Though she no longer works for Fairy Tale as of Act IV, Akua still believes that Humans Are the Real Monsters and can't understand why Moka and other monsters would want to co-exist with them. Spending time with Tsukune and the others gets her to change her mind, leading to her rescuing a human boy from death during the climax of the act; by the time of Act V, she's become an advocate of co-existence.
- For an unlikely (and, technically, inhuman) "Alice", seek no further than the Doctor from The Road To Shalka, who manages to restore Angela's faith in humanity, herself and the wonders of universe by being honest, uncompromising and able to admit to his mistakes.
- Jaune does this twice in Lords Among The Ashes.
- When he and Sun go to explore the ruins outside of Normandy, Sun confides in him about his past and the abuse and racism his family suffered through that led to him losing faith in the world. He then goes on to say that the work Jaune was doing and the constant effort he put forth to uphold his ideals had put a spark of hope back into him that people were worth believing in.
- Simulation!Salem herself had her faith restored by Jaune after witnessing how far he would go for his people and how far they were willing to push themselves for his sake. This convinces her to advise Jaune on how he too could ascend to Godhood: by getting the scroll from her real-world counterpart. She has faith that if he manages such a thing, he will have earned it.
Film - Animated
- In Once Upon a Forest, Cornelius, due to an experience as a child where hunters caused him to be separated from his parents, believed that humans were monsters, his belief refortified by an accident that released a deadly gas into the forest. During the climax, however, when Edgar was caught in a hunter's trap, one of the men who were cleaning up the accident let him go before smashing the trap, opening Cornelius's eyes in realization that there were humans who genuinely cared about animals.
Film - Live-Action
- In The Fifth Element, Leeloo loses her motivation to save mankind after witnessing its in-fighting and learning about its war-ridden past. However, Korben manages to restore her faith in humanity with The Power of Love.
- Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and its 2008 remake is convinced that humans are worth saving, although in different ways.
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka, by the end of the film, has become dejected after years of people stealing his secret recipes and all five children, even Charlie, fail to measure up to his expectations, and slinks into his office considering the day a waste. Charlie Bucket gives back the Everlasting Gobstopper, a candy which would revolutionize the confection industry, despite having been offered hundreds of thousands of dollars for it by Wonka's competitor. This marks his acceptance that he did fail and resigning his family to poverty once more. It is enough to atone for his actions in the film and prove himself worthy to Wonka, and helps Wonka see the good in the world again.
"So shines a good deed in a weary world..."
- ParaNorman: Has an odd example where Norman restores his own faith and Agatha's, as part of their Not So Different moment.
- As it turns out, future Charles Xavier does this for his younger self in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- In The Dark Knight (2008), the Joker has put two bombs in two ships, one of them full of convicts, the other full of ordinary people. The people on the ships are informed that they can detonate one of the ships and save their own lives. Of course, everyone immediately wants to blow up the other ship, but they hesitate, not sure whether this is the right thing to do. Finally, one of the criminals orders one of the guards to give him the remote, telling him: "I'm going to do what you should've done ten minutes ago." After he gets the remote, he simply throws it out the window and returns to his seat. Meanwhile, one man also wants to have the remote, because "after all, the people on that other ship are criminals and they deserve to die anyway". As he stands there with the remote in his hand, he suddenly gets a change of heart, and after a long hesitation, decides not to go through with it. Later, the Joker is surprised that none of the ships have exploded by now, but Batman tells him that he underestimated the people's sense of humanity.
Batman: What were you trying to prove? That deep down, everyone's as ugly as you?! You're alone!
- In Dragon Bones, Ward does this to a horse. As he knows the horse has been mistreated, it's completely intentional. He intends to do the same with the slave he inherited (he can't get rid of him, it's the magical kind of slavery), but that proves to be lot more difficult.
- Les Misérables:
- Jean Valjean, after being put in prison for almost twenty years for a minor infraction, is wandering the streets of a small town looking for somewhere to spend the night after a day in which nobody will pay him full wages or rent a room to him because he is a convict. Nobody will let him even stay on their stoop, but one person points out the door of the local bishop. He is given pride of place at the bishop's table, a room for the night, and respect as a fellow human being. However, this trope doesn't take effect until he steals the bishop's silver and makes a run for it, and instead of denouncing him to the police, the bishop actually gives him the rest of the silver as a gift. Cue Heel Realization, My God, What Have I Done?, and redemption. Valjean goes on to become one of the most benevolent and just characters in fiction.
- Inverted with Javert: Unable to reconcile his beliefs that a criminal remains a criminal and the fact that Jean Valjean is, well, benevolent and just, commits suicide.
- Bartimaeus, the demon of The Bartimaeus Trilogy is given faith in humanity when he meets Ptolemy, the only human who ever treats him with respect, turning him into both The Woobie and a Noble Demon.
- In the Callahans Crosstime Saloon story "The Time Traveler," the Rev. Tom Hauptmann has lost his faith after being imprisoned for a decade by a Latin American dictator, no longer understands the world around him, and is on the verge of suicide when he tries to hold up Callahan's. The patrons convince him that life is still worth living and Mike Callahan even hires him as a backup bartender.
- In Smallville, Clark usually regards himself as human, but when something makes him doubt it, Chloe is always there to pull him back.
- Inverted and then subverted in House. House has a deep faith in the negative attributes of humanity. His favorite phrases are "everybody lies" and "people don't change." Cameron, and later Thirteen, try to prove him wrong whenever possible. However, just about every patient House has lied to him and usually also the patient's family.
- Doctor Who: The Doctor is an...interesting case. He'll occasionally go on a very vehement Humans Are the Real Monsters phase, calling them violent, selfish and stupid, and then, something will happen (usually sparked by his companion) that restores his faith in them. After all, there's got to be a reason he hangs out on Earth so much.
- It's actually discussed in the much darker Torchwood: Children of Earth with Gwen, who reminisces about when Jack used to tell her about the Doctor, and wonders why he sometimes just fails to appear, mostly around atrocities committed by humanity itself. She concludes that it is during those times that Humanity so utterly disgusts the Doctor that even he must look away. This has never been confirmed however.
- In the Mork & Mindy episode, "Mork the Gullible," Mork is talked into freeing an escaped criminal who claims that he just needs to visit his sick mother and will return to turn himself back in afterward. Sure enough, Mork is arrested for freeing him and Mindy tells him that it is obvious that the crook took advantage of him and won't be back. In a genuinely moving moment, Mork tearfully agrees that he can't trust anyone again, until the crook suddenly returns as promised to turn himself in and get Mork released. With that, Mork's innocence is restored.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: When she was a kid, Skye was shuffled around different families, and she took this to mean that none of the families wanted to keep her. When Coulson manages to find out proof that showed that it actually was due to a SHIELD protocol meant to protect her and all those families, she realizes that perhaps some of them would have wanted to keep her, and her faith (and that of Coulson) is restored.
- One Bloom County strip had Opus wallowing in gloom, thinking he's lost the Christmas spirit forever. Portnoy appears and gives him a gift which turns out to be plastic dog-vomit. Opus hugs him, saying in total sincerity: "Thank you. You've pulled me back from the brink. I'll cherish it forever." Cue Portnoy wallowing in gloom.
- In the Fire Emblem series:
- Gotoh in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem directly explains why he didn't like humanity in the first place. He gave them magic, and they used magic for war.
- Word of God for Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn notes that Nolan (who suffers from the game's general lack of character expansion) has this as part of his backstory.
- Ike can restore Sephiran's faith in humanity as well, though the requirements for it are a bit... obscure.
- Ideon does this in the Normal and Good endings of Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, deeming that humanity has a possible future after talking it over with the loli manifestation of a powerful goddess.
- In Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun and Blue Moon, Duo is a sentient asteroid that intends to wipe out earth because its people are sufficiently wicked. After his fight with Megaman. EXE, he seems to rethink it.
- The World Ends with You: The Conductor, Kitaniji, was trying to achieve an Assimilation Plot so that the Composer, Joshua, wouldn't destroy Shibuya. After all, people in Shibuya are self-centered and uncreative. But Neku, former poster child for cutting himself off from society, has learned about The Power of Friendship, so...
- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Richter's plan, and every evil scheme leading up to it, was to find a way to seal off Niflheim without Ratatosk's help, so he could kill Ratatosk without dooming the world. Because Ratatosk wanted to Kill All Humans (and elves and mixes) because they've been causing problems for mana. But Ratatosk has been posing as Emil the entire time, and he's met Marta and the others, and decided that they're not so bad...
- Duke in Tales of Vesperia initially intends to sacrifice the lives of every single human being in the world (Himself included) to destroy the Eldritch Abomination that's threatening its existence, feeling the world would be better off without them. After the party shows him their firm resolve by defeating him, though, he ultimately decides to help them with their plan to destroy it instead, which while still requiring sacrifice, doesn't involve any loss of life.
- In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Reality 2.0", the internet has lost faith with all living things as Sam and Max infect the whole net with a computer virus, and the final puzzle in the game involves finding something called "respect for all living things" before the internet erases itself.
- Mocked, naturally, in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle when you complete the "Stings So Good" minigame.
"Amazing! You've restored my faith in mankind! Actually, no, I still hate mankind. But at least you're okay."
- The Silvite Elders in Skies of Arcadia.
- In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, resurrected Commander Gore has received the power of supernatural insight, or "brilliance," from the Schwarzwelt. Upon briefly returning to the Red Sprite in the Neutral Path, he assures the crew that he has seen into humanity's future, and —despite having been revived and manipulated by the forces behind the Schwarzwelt— he implies that humanity can improve itself and prevent its self-destruction if given a chance to survive.
- In Strange Journey Redux, the extended Law route has Alex restore Zelenin's faith in humanity. She quotes this trope word for word before deciding to make a world of Law where all humans can live in peace and harmony, not just God's chosen.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne's "Resurrection" Ending, Miss Takao, who started the game thinking humanity could no longer advance and needed to be wiped out for the world to advance, has come to realize the foolishness of this line of thinking. Whether humanity continues to stagnate, or whether it actually improves itself after the old world's resurrection, your example has given her faith in the possibility of the latter, and she'll never wish for humanity's destruction again.
- The storyline conclusion of Pokémon X and Y comes after facing the Elite 4 and the Champion, when the player character is confronted by the immortal warrior-king of ancient Kalos, AZ, an embittered, nihilistic Death Seeker who wants to know what it is you fight for so passionately. Naturally, the correct answer to this question is to sicc your Pokemon on him, and the aftermath of that battle not only restores his faith in humanity, but also that of his runaway Floette, who decides it's finally time to forgive and return to her master.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, if the Warden takes the time to befriend Shale and help uncover her forgotten memories from her pre-Golem life as Shayle Cadash, she eventually comes to see organic beings as not completely worthless. At the end, she even can admit to the Warden that she's interested in seeking out a way to become a Dwarf once more.
- In Quest for Glory IV, a paladin can do this for Dmitri (whose grandfather, a famous paladin, had allegedly abandoned his fiancee) by showing him proof that said grandfather had not run off and had instead been killed fighting the undead. "I did not believe you before when you said you were a hero, because I did not believe that heroes existed. Never was I happier to be wrong."
- In Hatoful Boyfriend, the Bad Boys Love route reveals that this was why the heroine was attending a boys' school for birds in the first place, to prove to the sapient birds that humans could coexist peacefully with them.
- In the Tokimeki Memorial series, this is the storylines of Kaori Yae (in 2) and Taku Komori (in Girl's Side 2) in a nutshell. Thanks to their relationship with their respective games' protagonist, they get to realize that there are trustworthy people out there, and as a result they gradually open themselves to others. Takafumi Wakaouji in GS2 also claims in his ending that the heroine has restored his faith in humanity, although this seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.
- In The Adventure Zone, John (through most likely magical means) "saw all of eternity at once" - which caused him to believe that the existence of individual life is completely pointless and become the Hunger, an Eldritch Abomination bent on assimilating all other planes of existence. Through many parlay meetings and impassioned speeches, Merle "the Peacemaker" Highchurch changes his outlook on humanity. When they meet for the last time during the Grand Finale, John appears much changed, lamenting the fact that he never had children and giving Merle a final hint on how to defeat the Hunger (which, having taken on a mind of its own, becomes enraged and ultimately kills him).
- In Justice League, the Martian Manhunter flies off to what he thought was a secluded area on Earth, since after a telepathic sweep of the city, leaves him (accidentally) accessible to the petty and selfish thoughts of humanity. However, he soon notices a search party looking for a girl that has gone missing, and hearing their thoughts, as well as the lost girl, learning that humans are decent after all, after finding her returning her back to the camp. He goes another one of this of sorts, in Justice League Unlimited when Wonder Woman notices he doesn't like humans and is "cooped up" in the Watchtower. She then insists he take part in the team's mission, before announcing he's taking leave and descends on Earth to live among humans. When he returns for the Grand Finale, it's later revealed that he not only was capable of living with humans, but he was in a relationship with one.
- In Gargoyles, human ally Elisa Masa helps to restore Goliath and the Manhattan Clan's faith and trust in humanity after they had been betrayed by humans who destroyed their home and their people.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Ben 10: By the time Ben met Azmuth in "Secret of the Omnitrix", the scientist had completely given up on the whole universe, to the point that he was willing to let it, along with himself, be destroyed. However, after seeing Ben in action, he has a Heel Realization, helps Ben win, and becomes more rational in later episodes.
- The phrase "Faith in humanity restored" is a popular phrase used by the Internet in response to a report of somebody doing an exceptionally good deed.
- The St. Valentine Day's Massacre: During the 1920s Al Capone was almost seen as a superstar by many people, who knew he was a gangster but felt he was somewhat above the general corruptness of society. Since nobody actually saw him commit any crimes himself and judges always declared him innocent he came across as a lovable Magnificent Bastard. That is until the St. Valentine Day's Massacre occured in 1929. Capone's thugs had disguised themselves as policemen and shot several other gangsters in cold blood. The news, and especially the photos of their bloody bodies, shocked the nation and reminded them again why Capone was actually not to be admired. Despite an attempt to deflect suspicion by getting himself locked up on a concealed weapon charge in Philadelphia soon after, Capone's image never recovered from this public backlash, and he was eventually imprisoned on tax evasion charges.
- During World War II some Jewish people had hid themselves in an attic to hide from the Nazis. One night they heard intruders in their hiding place so they kept quiet. Unfortunately it were indeed German soldiers investigating the place and one of them did open the attic door. When he saw the Jews there was a moment of awkward silence and fear, but then he simply shouted back at his fellow soldiers: "I see nothing upstairs either", closed the attic door and left. All the Jewish refugees in that attic managed to survive the war thanks to the unsuspected humanity of this one Nazi.
- The Battle Of Solferino (1859) was one of the bloodiest battles ever. No mercy was shown among the soldiers, who slaughtered each other and left the wounded ones to die off alone in agony. Yet one witness was so shocked by this bloody aftermath that he founded an organization that could take care of these victims, while remaining neutral about the conflicts themselves. His name? Henri Dunant, founder of The Red Cross.
- As awful as World War II was, with all the genocides and mass killings, it did produce several laws and organizations in order to provide humans with an official, legal confirmation of their basic human rights: The United Nations, Unesco, Unicef, the Universal Charter of the Rights of Man, The World Health Organization, The World Bank, The International Court of Justice, the World Food Programme,.. War crimes are officially punishable since these declarations came into effect. The European Union was also created as a result of World War Two to maintain peace and economic collaboration between all its member states, thus ending all wars that have been fought in these countries for centuries.
- The Watergate scandal might never have been uncovered if one White House member didn't step forward to help the investigative journalists Woodward and Bernstein with solving the case. Nicknamed "Deep Throat" this member couldn't take the corruptness inside the White House any longer and decided to bring it all to an end. As Richard Nixon faced impeachment the entire believability of the United States and the Presidency was at stake. Yet Nixon decided to put the nation's interests before his own benefits and resigned.
- German general Erwin Rommel fought for the Nazis during World War Two, but was generally admired for being a decent human being who respected his prisoners of wars. He was even involved in plotting against Hitler to stop his ongoing atrocities, but the assault failed and he was executed via suicide by poison. The very idea that even a high ranking official in an ethically despicable ideology and regime would keep doing what was fair and good for his fellow man and even resist orders from his superiors is amazing.
- Joseph McCarthy's witch hunts against communists during the 1950s made his position almost untouchable. Not many people dared to question his tactics and general paranoia, which ruined the careers and reputations of many people who would normally be protected by the United States law to have free expression. Yet Edward Murrow, a journalist, risked his entire career by directly challenging McCarthy's ethics and methods. His bold stance worked and soon the senator and the general anti-communist climate was deemed unconstitutional and caused his downfall.
- The single most unbelievable act of humanity occurred on Christmas 1914, when both German and Allied troops decided to have an armistice for one evening. They celebrated Christmas together and even played a game of soccer in the fields.