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♪ You might even like being together
and if you don't it won't be forever... ♫

Green Arrow: I still don't think I belong [with the Justice League].
Batman: That's the point, someone like you will keep us honest.
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The Heart is a personality aspect that comes up in just about any ensemble. They're the caretaker, the peacekeeper, or just generally the bringer of goodwill. The barometer of the team's emotional wellness. Their role is based on getting the others to recognize that there are more important things than personal grievances, especially if The Team isn't getting along among themselves, or becoming a group of Knights Templar and Well Intentioned Extremists. This is the person who will argue and fight against the justification of "I Did What I Had to Do". Quite often The Heart character will also be an All-Loving Hero, where they go out of their way to help all of the little people.

Within the ensemble, this character will most often be merged with the role of The Chick. Like The Hero and The Leader, they aren't one and the same, but they often overlap since they are a good fit. The Chick often has a higher emotional intelligence than other teammates and may go out of her way to make sure everyone is taken care of.

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Alternatively, The Heart can also be The Hero (in the case of the Magnetic Hero) or The Leader, as their leadership skills keep the team from falling apart. Characters like the Plucky Comic Relief, the Tag Along Kid, and the Gentle Giant are also prime candidates for The Heart since they're often just as lovable to the characters as they are to the audience. This also means their death or loss is most likely to trigger Losing the Team Spirit for dramatic effect.

Due to their usual relative introversion, and tendencies towards pacifism (whether technical or actual), this character is sadly often C-List Fodder and a prime target for a single character (rather than the entire show) version of The Firefly Effect. Many series will start out with a Heart character, but the writers will begin to view them as boring and impossible to write for, so they end up being either Put on a Bus/kept Out of Focus at best or Character Death at worst. This also tends to happen when studio executives want to replace the character with a more talented or physically attractive character, in an attempt to boost ratings.

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Given that said characters are usually sweet types, this also tends to seriously anger a certain portion of the fanbase, but because the studio executives care more about ratings than they do about upsetting what is normally a minority, the character will stay dead. If fan outrage is sufficiently vocal, and the executives haven't managed to completely alienate the actor, then the character may come back periodically as a ghost or a clone.

Compare The Face who does the talking on The Team. See also Restored My Faith in Humanity and Morality Chain. Compare The Conscience, Token Good Teammate. Not to be confused with What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?, Heart Is an Awesome Power, or (if Elemental Powers are a factor) a Heart Beat-Down though they often overlap. Contrast with Lack of Empathy.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asteroid in Love, Mikage's antagonistic attitudes have the potential to cause operational issues to the newly merged Earth Science Club, formed by the merger of two Club Stubs. Ino acts as a mediator between Mikage (of the former Geology Club) and Mari (of the former Astrology Club) to make sure the astronomers and geologists in the club can work together.
  • Banished from the Hero's Party: Back when he was in the Hero's Party, the mere presence of Gideon, later known as Red, helped iron out the contrasting personalities of the Hero's Party, not to mention being the one person that kept Ruti motivated. When one of their companions convinces Red to leave, the party falls apart in short order due in part to conflicting personalities clashing and Ruti increasingly losing interest in being the Hero and growing to hate the comrades she was left with.
  • In Beastars, Juno becomes this to the drama club after Legosi indirectly imparts words of wisdom after she was bullied by other students. Even Loius notes she has the power to unite people with her words. Taken to a more serious level when she uses this newfound potential so that she may one day become the next Beastar, which makes Louis her rival and will do what she can to defeat him. However, she starts to feel that she can't truly be the next Beastar due to the fact she couldn't put her jealousy on Legoshi liking Haru over her, despite the fact Juno gets along with any other herbivore.
  • Post-eclipse Casca from Berserk. Guts' new True Companions might squabble and even physically brawl out in some situations, all them are willing to protect Casca since she's not capable of protecting herself (most of the time, anyway) and the whole group was put together by Guts in the first place in order to do so.
  • Rock from Black Lagoon. He isn't much for violence like Revy and Dutch are, but he makes up for it by being the Lagoon Company's negotiator and "Villain in Training". He's also the most idealistic of the crew, which occasionally puts him at odds with the more cynical Revy.
  • Bubuki Buranki has Azuma Kazuki filling this position among the protagonists, as well as being The Hero within the series (so far). This is also an unusually literal case of the trope since his Bubuki is explicitly Oubu's heart — they can't summon/form Oubu to fight other Buranki without working in unison, and it's Azuma who has to unite and coordinate them in combat.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro is undisputable in this regard for the entire series, the guy is such a lovable protagonist that he builds an extensive record of characters that changed for the better by coming in contact with him, and while Tanjiro always kills the demons in his path, if they seek for some sort of sympathy in their final breath Tanjiro will give them one last moment of empathy before they die, the demons who haven’t completely pissed Tanjiro off that is, which are the completely unredeemable ones who really excelled in being evil bastards.
  • In Dragon Ball Z when the Earth warriors make their final stand against Cell each of them muse about how they were changed into better people because of Goku and Gohan's good hearts and kindness.
  • Fruits Basket both deconstructs and reconstructs the trope: Tohru's unceasing desire to help others stems from a Guilt Complex and leads her to ignore her own pain. She eventually realizes this and achieves catharsis, becoming a positive example who nurtures happiness in herself and everyone around her. Notably, the Sohmas realize that she is this trope and cherish her fiercely.
  • For a villainous example, Lust in Fullmetal Alchemist plays an important role in keeping the rest of the Homunculi (except for Greed) on-topic and working together. After Mustang fries her, they show markedly less coordination and unity and even start turning on each other to a degree.
  • Gundam:
    • Towards the end of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing the Romefeller Foundation, as perplexed as ever by these strange things people call morals, instate Relena Peacecraft as their leader on the basis of this trope.
    • Loran Cehack, who is also The Hero of ∀ Gundam, is certainly this. When he gets his hands on a mobile suit that is more powerful than anything on either side, he uses it mainly to try and protect innocent civilians and tries to persuade people to quit shooting and listen to each other for a change. His sincere belief in peace goes a long way towards reshaping Queen Dianna's goals and methods.
  • Gon Freecs from Hunter × Hunter, thanks to his nigh-undying innocent and cheerful attitude as well as him being an absolute Determinator. Despite not being that strong of a fighter, his existence attracts, enlightens, and gives hope to many people, even the most cynical and the most hopeless ones.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • What Robert E. O. Speedwagon lacks in combat ability, he makes up his emotional support for the rest of the heroes.
    • Noriaki Kakyoin from Stardust Crusaders acts as the Crusaders' voice of reason, and is usually the one trying to prevent the group from making rash decisions.
    • Lucy Steel from Steel Ball Run, is a kind and caring girl who only gets involved in the events of the plot to make sure her husband Stephen doesn't get hurt.
  • Shiranui in Kagerou-Nostalgia ends up in this role despite his poor interpersonal skills. As the reincarnation of Kagerou, who was an absolutely key player in the team that originally fought King Haku, he immediately grabs the attention of the other reincarnations, who find themselves drawn to him in one way or another.
  • Nanami from Kamisama Kiss is a Plucky Girl who is probably the most idealistic and optimistic person in the entire series. She also works hard to keep Tomoe on the path of heroism instead of jerk-ism.
  • Yui Hirasawa from K-On! holds the rest of the band together with her kindness and selflessness towards others.
  • In Kuroko's Basketball, Kuroko tried to be this for the Generation of Miracles. He failed when they were teammates, but is slowly getting to them now.
  • Nao is this in Liar Game. It is often because of her honest nature and her genuine desire that she would save everyone in the game and pay off their debts that helps turn the enemy/competitors towards her cause. A few of the dealers watching the games have commented that she is the key component to winning the games
  • Hayate Yagami of Lyrical Nanoha in regards to her Wolkenritter group, particularly in the second season, being the reason that said group even have hearts in the first place. Unsurprisingly, she chastised them quite a bit in the supplementary manga when she found out what they were doing behind her back. It's unclear what exactly is said when they sit down to discuss what the Wolkenritter were doing (having put it off until after the final battle), but she mainly reminds them to take responsibility for their actions as well as the potential for problems for all of them down the line, and in the Sound Stages, she seems more concerned about depriving them of their immortality (which they don't seem to mind).
  • In Monster Rancher, Holly acts as the main peacekeeper among the Searchers and prevents their differing persoanlities from tearing the group part; all of them have joined her quest to find the Phoenix and stop Moo.
  • My Hero Academia has the "Symbol of Peace" All-Might as this for all of Japan, his retirement after his rematch with All For One being the catalyst for greater threats appearing. Protagonist Izuku 'Deku' Midoriya and All-Might's chosen succesor is already this for Class 1A alongside ironically Katsuki Bakugou which is pointed out and lampshaded by Eraserhead.
  • Naruto: Naruto himself is an expert at Defeat Means Friendship and tends to be so idealistic, honest, straightforward, and caring that it causes people around him to catch on to it. Also odd, considering that he was a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in Part I. After defeating Pain, he becomes something of a Messianic Archetype.
  • In The Promised Neverland, Emma is the emotional element of the main trio, notably demanding that they help all the children escape, not just themselves. Norman and Ray, while not completely insensitive, appear more coldly rational most of the time.
  • Madoka, who spends most of Puella Magi Madoka Magica trying to keep Mitakihara's magical girls from killing each other (and/or themselves). Upon failing at this, she sacrifices her human identity to become the goddess of hope, whose job is to comfort the dying. This is why Homura remembers her more fondly than the other girls: no matter what timeline she fought in, Madoka was always kind and always willing to listen to her.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, Kurumu's character arc is how she transitions from a Clingy Jealous Girl into a genuinely selfless friend who protects and supports her teammates/romantic rivals. Given that she's a succubus (and therefore biologically monogamous) who starts off spouting racist insults at the other monsters, this is suitably difficult for her.
  • In the first Sailor Moon movie, when it looks like Usagi is dying, each one of the Sailor Soldiers remembers the different ways that Usagi helped them. The English dub actually has one of them say that she's the glue that keeps them all together.
  • In Saint Beast, Rey tends to be the one who is either encouraging or worrying over the others.
  • Son Goku from Saiyuki. He's the reason Sanzo, Gojyo, and Hakkai's past lives befriend each other at all, linking the affiliation of their current-day counterparts.
  • Rento of Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³ is the one keeping everyone spirits up in the club. She plays a large part in making it possible for Yura to return to the club once she's abandoned them, and been kicked from Rin's team.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu tends to act like this for all the Heroes, being an overly-idealistic Hero in a world of Corporate Sponsored Heroes who believes that saving lives and stopping bad guys is more important than earning points for heroism. He also tends to lend a sympathetic ear to his fellow Heroes' problems and help them with their own emotional difficulties. His role is somewhat Deconstructed however since he tends to prioritize his work as a Hero and his relationship with his fellow Heroes, particularly his partner Barnaby, over his own family. Also, the fact that despite his willingness to help others, he has trouble being open about his own issues and ultimately hurts those close to him because of it.
  • Komatsu from Toriko is one of a select few who can be said to have a friendly relationship with all Four Heavenly Kings. All four are willing to go out of their way to protect Komatsu from danger generally, and he's become something of a Morality Chain for Zebra in particular, thanks to his cooking skills and honest nature (Zebra hates liars).
  • Despite usually an Emotionless Spock, Robo in Wasteful Days of High School Girls is an important cornerstone of the main trio, often being the voice of reason for when Baka and Ota had a falling out to help them reconcile with each other. Being the only one capable of talking sense into Baka says a lot about how much she cares for and understands her friends.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
  • This trope is downplayed by Hiragi Yuzu in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V due to the fact that she is the Deuteragonist whose plotline and Character Development doesn't revolve around this trope but she is still the one who was forced to control the You Show Duel School more manic personalities. Probably why her disappearance in episode 50 hits them so hard, especially The Hero Yuya Sakaki.
  • Sakura pretty much stumbles into this role in Zombie Land Saga almost entirely by accident. Being the first zombie awake, and assuming that the idol performances are the only way for her to regain her memory, she is determined to make the girls into a legitimate Idol Singer group. And she does so by addressing their concerns and doubts directly in the form of Battle Rapping in the second episode. Later episodes have her take a more standard method of encouraging the others and being The Caretaker for Tae, but it's still a very unique way to take the position.

    Comic Books 
  • Especially in modern times, it's (one of) the Flash(es) that do this. As seen in the Justice League TV series, but prior to that, it was the Flash, due to being a poster boy for Nice Guy and keeping a smile on his face.
    • In the Justice League Year One series, it was Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, who suggested forming the group, who arranged for everything to be set up, who went out of his way to approach potential candidates such as Superman, and when trust issues began to tear them apart, he was the one to pull them back together by revealing his identity to the group. In Crisis On Infinite Earths, it was his death that signified that the DCU was on the cusp of changing. His successor, Wally West, eventually grew into this but had to deal with some issues first.
    • Wally West is an interesting case. After receiving a lot of Character Development he was certainly up to the role but it wasn't until his erasure that it was understood just how vital he was to the overall tone of DCU. His return in DC Universe Rebirth is cited as the return of "love, hope and legacy" and comic books following after make a huge emphasis on Wally being the heart of Flashfamily and beyond. Writer Geoff Johns admits that's why he chose Wally as the lead character of DC Universe Rebirth one-shot.
      Geoff Johns: There's no single character in the DC universe that represents legacy, hope, and optimism as well as Wally West does. He's been my favorite character since I was a kid. I grew up reading Wally West and the Flash, and the whole reason that change comes in the DC universe is always led by a Flash story. Showcase #4, Crisis on Infinite Earths when Barry died, Flashpoint when Barry was back and the universe changed again. It just felt ... Everything fell into place very quickly, he was the representative of everything I thought was missing, and again, you need a Flash on the forefront, it just feels natural to have a Flash on the forefront of change in the DC universe.
  • Stargirl is the heart for the Justice Society of America (it helps that she's the youngest hero with continuous membership on the team).
  • There's also Dick Grayson, aka the first Robin and later Nightwing, who is sometimes believed to be The Heart of the DCU. Of course that's understandable for someone who is best friends with Wally West. It's seen in detail during Infinite Crisis. It was originally planned to Kill Dick during the climactic battle(you can even see the frame in-comic where the event originally was). Some writers pushed for it to be changed, as Dick Grayson as a character provided such a lynchpin in the series, both in character — being one of those who most frequently crossed over and directly connected the Batfamily to so many other in-universe series — and as a writing tool. (In the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, Dick being alive was the only reason Batman thought their earth was worth saving).
  • While Dick is unquestionably the heart of the Batfamily it's Tim Drake who fills this role for the outliers Bruce doesn't accept like Helena and Jason (before he snapped) whose extreme methods make them outcasts left out by the rest of the family. He's also the first person to give Stephanie any training or support in her efforts as a hero and encouraged her to preserve life and never kill as she was not originally a firm believer in the sanctity of criminal lives.
  • Nightcrawler often ended up in the position of being the one to call the other X-Men on it when the team was going too far. Shadowcat and the Beast also fit the role when Kurt isn't around.
    • As well as them, there's Jean Grey. Having been the only one who could call both Wolverine and Cyclops into line and mitigate all their issues, she was the one who kept the team honest, which might explain why they became so much Darker and Edgier after her death.
    • Oddly enough, Deadpool served this role in Uncanny X-Force. It says a lot about a team when the person who has to remind everyone of the moral implications of their actions is a notoriously amoral degenerate mercenary.
    • Another shocking example would be Sabretooth, after his inversion during AXIS. He does what he can to atone for his past, but nobody trusts him. He finally joins Magneto's X-Men in Uncanny X-Men (2016), and Bunn says that Creed was this for the team — if they wanted to kill someone, Creed would be trying to convince them otherwise. We see a glimpse in the first chapter when the team fights guards to get to their fellow mutants. Everyone is perfectly at home using lethal force. Creed just settles for scaring the guards and eventually warning them to play dead if they want to get out alive.
  • Runaways:
    • Karolina is pretty much the glue that keeps the oft-dysfunctional Runaways together, and her willingness to put herself on the line to bring peace has twice extended to offering herself up to potentially hostile aliens in order to end conflicts that her parents started. After her return from a brief bus trip, Chase makes it clear he doesn't think things would have gone quite as bad as they did if she'd still been there.
    • The 2017 reboot shifts this over to Gert as the team actually fell apart in between her death and her resurrection. It's lampshaded as she can't believe it happened because of her, claiming she was the "appendix" of the group. Both Nico and Chase claim that she wasn't the appendix — Chase was.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim is more or less this in his group of friends. While he isn't perfect, prone to making dumb decisions, and being insensitive, he still means well and is learning to be a better person. Furthermore, from an initial glance, he's the most open and friendly out of his group of friends, especially when compared to the stoic Stephen Stills, the moody Kim Pine, and the quiet Neil Young among others. He's also the glue that holds the circle of friends together (since they all met each other through Scott).
  • Spider-Man: Marvel's flagship hero is also the core personification of what it means to be truly kind and honest. The height of idealism and great responsibility for heroes and occasionally anti-heroes everywhere.
  • Deconstructed/subverted in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye. Getaway seems like this at first, being a voice of reason who helps direct the others and gives them encouragement. However, it's eventually revealed that he's actually a Manipulative Bastard who's exploiting this trope to seemingly sabotage the crew, starting with demolishing Cyclonus and Tailgate's friendship.

    Fan Works 
  • Steven in A Triangle in the Stars works like this, much like his canon counterpart. Even in spirit, he provides emotional motivation for the Crystal Gems to return to him safely and as quickly as they can. And, most importantly, he consistently provides Bill with warmth and kindness and support. It eventually leads to Bill unwittingly regrowing his own heart. He also settles Connie's quiet hostility and distrust towards Bill down in Chapter Forty-Six, and is overall relatively quick to resolve conflicts in the first place.
  • Dreaming of Sunshine: Shikako is the emotional and moral center of Team Seven, and on a larger scale, of the Konoha Twelve. Hinata and Ino are as well, in different ways. Hinata because she is a rallying point for the others, someone they gather around to support. Ino, because she is someone who supports everyone else.
  • Nala in The Lion King Adventures. She is kind, beautiful, and holds the trio together.
  • Kyon in Kyon: Big Damn Hero. His name also served as the one thing stopping Haruhi from killing several people for shooting him.
  • Discussed in World of Ponycraft, when Pinky Pie describes her role as a shaman in relation to the elements... and makes a brief Captain Planet spoof.
  • Horseshoes and Hand Grenades has Jun Shigeno. In A Month of Sundays, she's the one comforting others. Her role is crucial in stopping the conflict between Damballa and Quetzie and making them allies against Ophiuchus.
  • Lots of characters fill this role in Twilight Pretty Cure on occasion, but the one who fills this role the most is Anzu, who is the most down to earth and understanding of the cures, trying to make sure nobody gets into any fights before or after a battle.
  • Elissa is this for her companions in Shadow and Rose. Regardless of how the rest of the group feel about each other, they all care about her, and are willing to tolerate one another for her sake. It becomes especially evident when she's taken prisoner in Denerim.
  • While Ringo was this in Real Life for the four, in The Keys Stand Alone he's so fucked up that he doesn't serve this function as much as he should (though he does at least once). It ends up falling to Paul, who is also fucked up but dealing with it better, to keep them focused and at least marginally hopeful when everything looks blackest. It helps that Paul has a built-in calm-down factor in his "background noise."
  • While her counterpart Mahanon is more of a Magnetic Hero, Victoria holds this position in the Inquisition in the Twice Upon an Age series. It's remarked upon by more than one character.
  • Kurama in Blackkat's Reverse reminded the jinchurikis they were people and could have a family in each other. The jinchurikis return the favor by being ready to stand against their own villages for his sake.
  • This is Jaune's roll in Forged Destiny along with The Hero and The Leader. He is often the first one to act when there are lives to save and the most likely to call the others out for their actions. His consideration of others and ability to unite such a diverse group is the primary reason The Hunters guild was formed.
  • After joining the Team in A Subtle Knife, Edge quickly makes them more than teammates, he makes them friends. It helps that one application of his power is being The Social Expert, so he always knows what to say no matter the situation. Politeness Judo for the win!
  • In Thieves Can Be Heroes! Izuku is this, The Hero, and The Leader at the same time. His own desire to do good no matter what happens to him in the end is what brings the Phantom Thieves together, and his heroic sensibilities like Thou Shalt Not Kill and Comes Great Responsibility keeps the Thieves honest and prevents them from going overboard on their heists, as best seen when he's begging Ann not to kill Kamoshida's Shadow.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: As Kindness, Page Turner acts as the moral guidance of the six Element-Bearers.
  • Alice Denham is generally the most calm and level headed member of the rescue team, as well as the one most likely to provide emotional and moral support as The Chick and serve as peacemaker between some of the more hotheaded and volatile members of the team in Prehistoric Earth and its Continuity Reboot Prehistoric Park Reimagined.

    Film 
  • Amazing from Amazing Grace and Chuck. Normally in a story like this, you'd expect the kid (Chuck) to fill this role and the adult (Amazing) to act as the real leader. But in this case, it's reversed, with Amazing serving to remind people why the fight is worth fighting and inspiring them to keep going, and Chuck making the actual decisions and leading the protest movement. The dynamic becomes clear when Amazing dies and the movement takes on a notably more somber tone but nobody questions whether Chuck is still the one to decide whether it continues and what they will do next.
  • Frozen (2013): Anna is the emotional centrepiece of the story and she is the one who brings everyone together for a common goal. She's also an All-Loving Hero who uses The Power of Love to find a way to save both Elsa and the kingdom of Arendelle when at first it looks like only one can be.
  • Towards the end of Ghostbusters (1984), Venkman proudly declares Ray to be "The Heart of the Ghostbusters".
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: On the titular team of thieves, murderers, and mercenaries, friendly tree-man Groot is the most moral and dependable of them all. After he sacrifices his body to protect them all from an impending starship crash, the team is pushed to unite for good in honor of Groot's loss. He continues this role in the sequel, as the team becomes parents to the growing Baby Groot, and will put aside all to care for him even in the middle of battle.
  • In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Bilbo is the one who comes closest to breaking Thorin out of his gold sickness and without any threat of violence or war. When Bilbo shows Thorin the acorn he got from Beorn's home, he says he intends to plant it once he returns home to the Shire and watch it grow and remember his amazing journey every time he looks at it. There is a brief moment when Thorin returns to his old self. And later on, Bilbo's voice and words are the last hallucinations Thorin sees and hears before he finally shakes off the gold sickness.
  • Cambridge from The Hurt Locker attempts to be this. He fails.
  • Juice: It's clear that Raheem is the level-headed leader who holds the group together. After his death, the tensions between the group escalate.
  • In Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About A Fake Real Sport, heel Randy Tyler is this behind the scenes. When the promoter, Al, suddenly disappears, Randy is the one who steps up and ensures that the matches get booked. He also changes the ending of the final match so that Justice can go out with the belt because he realizes that it's what the fans want and what Justice needs.
  • The Echidna from Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole calls Mrs. Plithiver The Heart of the band.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Agent Coulson in The Avengers, and to a lesser extent in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He helps to bring the team together and eventually performs a Heroic Sacrifice which is used by Nick Fury to make the team overcome their differences and work together for the final battle.
    • In the sequel, Clint (Hawkeye) fulfills this role as the only emotionally stable member of the group. He even admits to his wife that the others may be the most powerful collection of beings in the world, and he's just a guy with a bow and arrows, but they still need him.
    • Frigga appears to have been this to the Asgardian royal family. With her death, Odin undergoes full-blown Sanity Slippage and Thor and Loki agree to an Enemy Mine and embark on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Metropolis (1927) this was Freder's role. The trope was even referenced by name with the film's classic tag line, "The mediator between head and hands must be the heart."
  • The Muppets establishes Kermit as the Heart of the Muppets — so much so that, when he became depressed, everything just fell apart.
  • Roshan from Ice Age. Roshan is the Peace Child whose love for the animals brings them together in an unlikely herd and leads Manny on a journey of forgiveness to let go of his anger against Roshan's tribe.
  • This bit of dialogue from Red 2 (2013).
    Marvin: Frank, c'mon. A little trust. She has talents you and I will never have.
    Frank: What talents?
    Marvin: People like her.
  • Heihachi of Seven Samurai was hired to be the moral support of the samurai. However, over the course of the film, Kikuchiyo upstages this role more and more.
  • According to Power Chick, Amok is the heart of The Specials. He "keeps them from resting on their laurels".
  • Star Wars: Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy and his mother Padme in the prequel trilogy are the only ones who still believe in Anakin's inner goodness even after his turn to the Dark Side.
  • Sheriff Woody in Toy Story is definitely The Heart and soul of Andy's toys.
  • Silent Bob is the heart of The View Askewniverse.
  • By the end of The Waterboy, Bobby's team sees him as this. Even the quarterback, who up until that point had been a major Jerkass to Bobby, straight up tells him this as he apologizes for the hard time he gave Bobby the entire season.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Professor X is this in X-Men: First Class and in all the other team films to a lesser extent. The X-Men obey him because his warmheartedness is the glue that keeps the team unified even when there are internal disagreements, such as between Beast and Havok or Cyclops and Wolverine.
    • Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Ironically, it's his major role in the film, with very few fight scenes. He's more there to galvanise the young Charles Xavier into action.

    Literature 
  • Cassie from the Animorphs is pretty adept at reading people and uses the ability to keep everyone together. One of her main struggles is how she starts to inverse this trope and becomes more callous and, instead of nurturing, manipulative.
  • Bazil Broketail: Jak is the youngest, physically smallest and most sensitive among the members of the 109th Dragon Squadron.
  • Mina in Dracula keeps the men's morale high and reminds them of why they're fighting.
  • Sephrenia, in the Elenium trilogy by David Eddings, serves this role for literally hundreds of Pandion Knights — and has done so for generations. They don't call her "little mother" for nothing.
  • Harry Potter: Ron Weasley, despite being The Generic Guy on the surface, is the source of the Golden Trio's emotional stability. Notably, his and Harry's two major falling-outs (in Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows) strain Harry's morale considerably, and Hermione, no matter how much Harry may value her friendship, can't replace Ron in that regard.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: Percy the hero from the previous series becomes this. Although he's a capable fighter and one of the most powerful demigods in existence, he's picked because of his ability to hold the team of heroes together rather than his physical powers. His girlfriend Annabeth is actually The Leader.
    Hazel: Percy had been their backbone. He'd given them confidence.
  • The Hunger Games: Peeta Mellark. Later used as a weapon against Katniss. The night before the 74th Hunger Games Peeta tells Katniss he doesn't want the games, or by extension anything the Capitol puts him through, to change him. In the third book of the series President Snow, who probably overheard the conversation thanks to the Orvellian nature of Panem's rule, tortures Peeta and hijacks him, brainwashing him into hating Katniss. It's implied that one of the things that pains Katniss the most about seeing him that way is that the sweet boy who once took a beating to give her bread has been completely changed by the Capitol.
  • While several characters play this role in various parts of The Silmarillion, the two that stand out the most are Fingolfin and his son Fingon. When the Noldor arrive in Middle Earth, there is dissension among them because of Fëanor being jealous of his half-brothers Fingolfin and Finarfin. Furthermore, when King Thingol learns that they killed Telerin elves in order to acquire the ships they came to Middle Earth in: he pretty much refuses to help the Noldor ever again. This is all playing right into Morgoth's hands. What Morgoth doesn't count on though is that Fingon will go rescue Maedhros-son of Fëanor-from prison anyway, despite Fëanor's actions. This doesn't just return one of the most powerful elves to the fight, it also reminds everyone who the real enemy is. Maedhros abdicates the (mostly ceremonial) Kingship, in favor of Fingolfin, who then tries to keep the Noldor focused on Morgoth. His initial attempts don't work well, Maedhros' brothers don't want to listen to him. Fingolfin then decides "fine, I'll do it myself." and goes to challenge Morgoth in single combat. He loses but the point gets across. J. R. R. Tolkien says "the Eldar do not sing of that duel" which is because it was really sad, but is clearly also because they realize it was kind of their fault that Fingolfin had to risk his life. Fingon and Maedhros later gather everyone together to fight Morgoth, including getting Thingol's herald Mablung to help, although Thingol doesn't officially send anyone. They try to storm Angband-Morgoth's fortress-and end the fight forever, and they nearly succeed. Unfortunately, Maedhros' vassal betrays him and this results in Fingon sacrificing himself so that the rest of the Noldor can get off the battlefield. Nearly all the examples of this trope in Tolkien's Legendarium are male and none of them are The Chick. Which is interesting given how much the two tropes tend to overlap in other fantasy works.
  • Trapped on Draconica: This is Ben's functional role in the group; emotional support.
  • Clay from Wings of Fire is this, having hatched first and being the "bigwings" of the group. He's a cheerful guy who keeps the peace between the Dragonets Of Destiny.
  • The Tin Man from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels. In fact, he greets old friends with no less than a "tender, loving embrace" every single time.
  • Wraith Squadron has several characters who will say "Screw it, we're having a party" to raise morale when it's low. Wedge himself starts the "Rebellion of Anonymity"note  to get General Han Solo's spirits back up during the pursuit of Warlord Zsinj.

    Live-Action TV 
  • As mentioned above in the film folder, Agent Coulson continues to be the Heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as being the Heart of his own team (a role partially shared with Skye/Daisy). In fact, this is even explicitly stated by Nick Fury in the last episode of the first season, where he tells Phil that he was always the heart of SHIELD, that he considers him a true Avenger and that he's the only man Fury trusts to rebuild SHIELD after the events of The Winter Soldier. Later confirmed in an exchange between May and Daisy in Season 4 when May calls Daisy out on her recklessness:
    May: I know what you're doing. Trying to distance yourself from everyone else so they don't drown in your wake? I invented that move. It doesn't work, for one simple reason: Phil Coulson. He found me in that cubicle and dragged me out. He didn't give up on me, and he won't give up on you.
    Daisy: I never wanted that—
    May: Un-uh, no. You don't get to choose who cares about you. And Coulson... he's got a bigger heart than most.
  • All Creatures Great & Small (2020) has housekeeper Audrey Hall, the resident Team Mum of Skeldale's ad hoc family. She is not only a caring mother figure to James and Tristan, but Siegfried's sounding board and chief source of support, and it's made fairly clear that all of them would be lost without her.
    Dorothy: [to Siegfried] Audrey has a big heart, and she opens it up to everyone — even those who don't always deserve it. Look out for her for me.
  • Angel:
    • Cordelia. A supreme example of Character Development, in that she was the Alpha Bitch on Buffy and thought that hitting a cyclist with her car was all about her own pain. This change was addressed when she received a demonic curse that amplified her regular visions to see all the suffering of the human race, rendering her catatonic. When she was brought out of it, she became the glue that kept the team together and focused on their mission.
    • Fred has this role as well, especially after Cordelia was no longer around. In a later episode, Angel and Spike were having an intense argument, to the point that Spike was ready to travel the world and leave everyone behind. When she became infected with an ancient evil, the argument between the two dissipated instantly as the only thing they could agree upon was her.
  • Bones: Hodgins describes Angela as such in a Season 2 episode.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander, which the other Scoobies readily acknowledge. In one episode his position in the gang as 'The Heart' is a key component of a spell — the others are 'The Mind' (Giles), 'The Spirit' (Willow), and 'The Hands' (Buffy).
  • Community: Troy. After Season 1, he's consistently shown to be the friendliest member of the group and often tries to mediate conflict. As additional evidence, notice his timeline from "Remedial Chaos Theory" — when he leaves the group, everything goes to Hell, leaving everyone either dead, injured, or traumatized. When the study group are expelled from Greendale and begin to wallow in self-pity, it is Troy who snaps them all out of it and reminds them that even though their situation is bleak, they are still together.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor's usually human companions often play this role, regularly keeping him from going too far or losing his grip on right and wrong. This is most evident in "The Waters of Mars" where his lack of a companion means that there is nothing to stop him from changing the course of history.
    • In Series 8 and 9, Clara Oswald explicitly takes on the role of "the heart" following the Doctor's transformation into a somewhat colder, less socially adept incarnation, to the point where she even creates a set of Cue Card's for the Doctor to crib from during social interactions. After she is Killed Off for Real, her absence as the heart of the partnership turns the Doctor into The Unfettered.
    • In the 2016 Christmas special, "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", new companion Nardole acts somewhat as the heart, and it is heavily implied that this is why he is now travelling with the Doctor.
  • Los Espookys: Renaldo is positive and supportive of the others in Los Espookys, helping them deal with their personal or emotional issues just by being someone they can lean on. When he's in Los Angeles by himself, Andrés and Úrsula are barely able to cope with their personal issues and wind up discussing how they need someone like him around just to tell them that everything will be okay.
  • In Firefly, this is Kaylee's role on Serenity. As a result, everyone on the ship is fiercely protective towards her, even Jayne, who harbours a secret crush on her according to Word of God.
  • Game of Thrones: Subtle, but there with Jaime Lannister (of all people). He's the only Lannister who likes all the other Lannisters, and the only Lannister whom all the other Lannisters like. When he's captured by Robb and imprisoned for a season and a half, the rest of his family start tearing each other to pieces. In Season 4, during the course of Tyrion's trial, he's become the go-between between Tywin, Cersei, and Tyrion, though his public support for Tyrion rankles his father and Cersei. And once he's forced to choose loyalties between different family members, things really fall apart.
  • Jam and Jerusalem: Kate frequently tries to be this, much to the chagrin of her less emotionally open guildmates.
  • Kamen Rider: This is often the role of a primary rider. Examples include:
    • Ryotaro Nogami is this in a big way. He's the mediator between Yuuto, Hana, who hates the Imagin wholeheartedly, and the Taros, who are Imagin and are also five very different personalities. Then there's Sieg, another Imagin, who is hated by basically everyone except Ryotaro.
    • Shotaro Hidari is acknowledged as such by his companions. He is emotional, hot-headed, and devoted to protecting the city he loves.
    • Emu Hojo has this position among the Doctor riders, a group consisting of Doctor Jerk, Fallen Hero, and Consummate Liar. He is also the teamwork guy. His efforts usually have only mixed success, though.
    • If the primary rider is a jerk, then it's up to someone else:
  • Lost: Hurley grows into this role, after initially being a self-doubting comic relief character. In the end, he arguably becomes the Heart for the entire human race.
  • Merlin: Gwen and Merlin share this role. Merlin also acts as The Mentor to Arthur but since Arthur thinks he's just a servant, it comes across as this.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Trini is split between this role and that of The Lancer. She's the conscience of the team and is usually the one to stop the others from doing something bad. She's the crutch holding Billy to the team & helps him feel less out of place. Extremely thoughtful and dedicated.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: If Abigail is the brains of her unit, and Raelle is The Medic, Tally is the one who keeps her teammates from fighting each other.
  • NCIS gives us Abby. Mascot, cheerleader, Morality Pet. Which makes her the target of choice for many an antagonist, even those who know she's not a pushover. When she's in trouble, the rest of the team drops absolutely everything.
    • For this reason, she is also their Berserk Button. While Gibbs functions as Papa Wolf for his entire team, the entire team will turn into Papa Wolves (and Mama Bear, in Ziva's case) with regard to Abby. It's mutual, too. Her departure in Season 15 was scripted to show just how mutual it really is.
  • Noah's Arc: This is Noah's role, as he's often the "peacekeeper" of the group and reminds everyone else how much they care about each other.
  • Person of Interest: Harold Finch doubles as this and The Smart Guy. Though he has his dark side like the rest of the team, he's a loyal, compassionate, and selfless leader whose moral compass helped save the other main characters from themselves and kept their mission about saving lives rather than taking them. Carter also serves as this.
  • Revolution: Charlie Matheson. Despite her flaws, she was the one who brought Team Matheson together in the first place, inspired Miles Matheson to become The Atoner, and helped a number of helpless people. "The Children's Crusade", "The Love Boat", and "The Dark Tower" are episodes that have her arguing for the moral decision
  • Robin Hood: Much: The character identifies himself as the "one who deals with little things". Djaq could also be considered this, since she's the resident healer and occasionally counsels the guys on their problems (especially Allan).
  • Smallville: Lois Lane and Chloe Sullivan share this role. The two cousins often act as voices of reason and compassion, and both become an essential part of the JLA family by the end.
  • Stargate SG-1: Daniel Jackson, one of television's best male "heart"-examples.
  • Though he could be tied with John Chrichton of Farscape. John is instrumental in keeping the group of strange aliens together, his strange human perspective uniting them in a way none of them alone could have. Zhaan also gets a lot of credit in the Heart department.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Leonard "Bones" McCoy. He's a doctor (not a lumberjack), and he provides the emotional side of the show's Power Trio.
  • Stranger Things: Will Byers to a T. He's a sweet and sensitive kid and putting him in danger is the easiest way to distress the rest of the Party.
  • Supernatural:
    • Dean Winchester, when he is in danger every single major and recurring character on the show goes off the rails, despite the fact that he's the best fighter by far of all of them. When he's out of the picture? Sam Winchester becomes an inhuman killing machine, Bobby Singer falls into an epic depression and Castiel decides to try and become God in order to keep him safe.
    • Sam fulfills the same function on occasion; it can be argued that the two of them switch around this role in the team dynamic.
  • Victorious: Andre fulfills this role, often being the one to pacify the other members of the group when they start to argue. It's telling that Jade treats him much better than her other friends.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Dale Horvath. He's one of two out of a group of about a dozen that doesn't want to kill a prisoner.
    • Later, Herschel fills this role as well, arguably far better than Dale ever did.
    • Glenn Rhee has been this role in Rick's group ever since the beginning, as well as being a great strategist and scavenger.
  • Warehouse13:
    • Pete Lattimer is pretty much a gender-flipped version of The Chick: whereas his female teammates are all professional, rational, and supremely competent, he is intuitive, emotional, and highly protective of the relationships between them all.
    • Leena is practically the Team Mom, serving as the spiritual and emotional center of the group. Her death is the catalyst for a major change in everyone's relationships.

    Roleplay 
  • Quite a few characters in Dino Attack RPG. Zenna filled this role rather nicely in the RPG's early days, as did Rex at first:
    • Zenna starts as a genuinely kind and compassionate agent who does everything she can for those around her.
    • Rex is at first a Wide-Eyed Idealist (though granted this changes quite a bit near the end).
    • Also nearly every medic in the RPG (the exception being the Morally Ambiguous Doctorate Deitrich "Medic" Luzweit) would qualify on some level. Pierce and Shaw do somewhat stand out, both being genuinely kind people that put their patients above all else.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: Rinley, who is basically the entire group's goofy younger sister, is explicitly intended to serve this role in the Glass-Maker's Dragon campaign. When she's not breaking into everyone's house at the crack of dawn or meddling with the horror under the Titov shrine, anyway.
  • Dead of Winter: The public speaker Kumar Sen's unique ability lets him roll to No-Sell a Morale loss for the Colony once per round. Since it's the Zombie Apocalypse and the game is lost at zero Morale, this can be a lifesaver.
  • This is the function of the Mundane label in Masks: A New Generation. Characters with a high Mundane label basically function as amateur therapists for their teammates, helping them through insecurity, fear, and doubt to get them back in the game.
  • Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined has The Light and The Friend based around this, as they get bonuses for forming strong connections with their friends and protecting them.

    Video Games 
  • Aino Heart from Arcana Heart. Powered with love at that.
  • In the first three games of the Assassin's Creed series, Lucy Stillman plays this role. In Assassin's Creed, she works to keep Desmond's morale up against the hopelessness of the situation he finds himself in and helps to protect his sanity (and eventually his life) from Vidic's demands. In Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, she acts as both the leader of the Assassin cell that she takes Desmond to and their moral/emotional compass, helping to keep the team's doubts and fears from overwhelming them. It even seems as if she and Desmond might be developing a romantic relationship. This makes the Wham Episode of her death at the end of Brotherhood and the subsequent revelation in the Assassin's Creed: Revelations "Lost Archive" DLC that she was a Templar mole all along doubly shocking.
  • Bug Fables: Kabbu is a noble soul that adventures to help others, and does his best to respect everyone he comes across. Early on, he even learns a skill to revive his allies in battle by just giving a pep talk.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Leliana fulfills this role best in Dragon Age: Origins, if the Grey Warden isn't doing the job him/herself.
    • Hawke and Aveline Vallen share this role in Dragon Age II, with Aveline trying to keep the party on the (more or less) right side of the law and Hawke being the Magnetic Hero responsible for keeping them all together across all seven years. Sebastian Vael often takes a tertiary role as this, espousing this philosophy due to being a member of the priesthood. However, if Hawke doesn't execute Anders for destroying the Chantry during the endgame, Sebastian ends up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and turns into a Church Militant.
    • The Inquisitor can become this in Dragon Age: Inquisition, not only for the Inquisition itself but arguably for most of Thedas. It's their cunning, charisma, and/or willpower that unites warring factions under one banner and makes allies from enemies.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, Souma is this for Akatsuki. The unit was originally established solely to carry out Eichi's will and raise the unit fine into the dominant force in school by scapegoating other students. Keito agreed to this out of Undying Loyalty to Eichi, and Kuro due to having the same towards Keito, with neither having any intention of acting as idols themselves. But Souma genuinely believed in Akatsuki, and once he was added, intentionally and unintentionally encouraged Keito and Kuro to take their unit seriously and really work on it. When he found out about Keito's plan (on Eichi's orders) to take down Kanata, he argued with him earnestly, despite heavily admiring and caring about Keito and seeing serving others as his life's duty. Ultimately, Keito and Kuro agree that Souma was the primary reason they were able to grow and become better and that Akatsuki was able to become a highly well-regarded and successful unit, and he remains their Morality Pet.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Aerith Gainsborough is this in the spinoffs, anyway. Her personality in the original game is much more blunt, direct, and feisty. She is also quite clever, having grown up in the slums. Amazingly, she continues that role post mortem.
    • Tifa Lockheart fits this role, what with her stabilising effect on the party (otherwise, Cloud and Barret would probably have killed each other already) and her being the single tether that prevents Cloud from completely losing himself when he goes off the deep end (...several times).
  • Rather than any of the girls in the party, Irvine Kinneas occupies this role for Squall's team in Final Fantasy VIII, serving as the group's emotional center from the last stages of Disc 2 onward.
  • Tidus and Rikku share this role in Final Fantasy X. Tidus acts as Yuna's Manic Pixie Dream Guy and emotional support as well as having this effect on the rest of the group. The cynical Lulu eventually softens up through consistent meaningful talks to him. Rikku is the youngest of the team and the most innocent, keeping the team grounded. Tidus and Rikku both believe that Summoners killing themselves to destroy Sin has to be stopped.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening:
    • Lissa, whose Genki Girl and White Mage traits keep the morale of the Badass Crew up. Lampshaded openly by her brother Chrom and her bodyguard/possible love interest Lon'qu:
      Chrom: "You make people happy, Lissa. You motivate and inspire them just by your presence. I might instill confidence, but I don't make them happy. And neither would Emmeryn."
      Lon'qu: "Do you truly not see how your presence energizes the others? How your smile and demeanor put everyone at ease?"
    • The second generation gives us Cynthia, who cranks the genki up to eleven. While her endless Heroic Wannabe antics "impacted the world of comedy more than the world of legend" as the game itself puts it, everyone from your army to random NPCs love her for the sheer happiness she radiates. Even Gerome, whose goal in life seems to be emulating Batman as much as possible, can't help but smile when thinking about her.
      Gerome: Please don't misunderstand me. I don't dislike you. Your good humor raises people's spirits and dispels the horrors of war. You are a shining beacon of hope, reminding us there can be a better future. You light the fires of optimism and inspire us to keep striving.
  • Fire Emblem Fates has the younger sisters of the Hoshidan and Nohrian royal families, Sakura and Elise (respectively). While their brothers and sisters are itching to go to war and lay low the Player Character out of duty or vengeance, they steadfastly believe the PC is doing the right thing and hope against hope that their families can be made whole once more. In the case of Elise in Birthright, she even takes a mortal blow from her brother Xander to save the PC in the hopes that it will snap him out of his desire to kill her beloved sibling.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Gamora believes Peter is this, as, without him, the group will fall apart. In a Tear Jerker fashion, she is right. When everyone thought Peter was dying in episode 1, the team almost immediately dissolved fighting among themselves, blaming each other for Peter's condition.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kairi fits the bill. Aside from the personality, she is a Princess of Heart with ties to the heart of all worlds, Kingdom Hearts, and spends much of the first game as a heart, inside of Sora's heart. Yeah, this trope is taken quite literally here.
    • Ventus in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep as well. Unlike Aqua and Eraqus, he's willing to give Terra the benefit of the doubt with regards to him potentially falling into darkness. And like Kairi, he has no darkness in his heart (since it was forcibly extracted to make Vanitas). Further, by the end of the game, he also ends up as a heart, inside of Sora's heart. There's more than a few reasons to think that Ven's role more closely resembles Kairi's than Sora's.
  • Shingo Yabuki has this role in The King of Fighters XI, keeping Kyo and Iori from pretty much killing each other when Chizuru, the original Heart of the Power Trio, is gravely injured by Ash Crimson.
  • Mission from the first Knights of the Old Republic. She's higher on the Karma Meter than the party's Jedi, is first to defend your PC after The Reveal, and quick to point out Good Feels Good or call What the Hell, Hero? if you're exploiting Video Game Cruelty Potential. It's no surprise that you have to kill her in the Dark Side ending, symbolically killing the last bit of good in yourself.
  • Aisha Blanchette from Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy. She's extremely friendly and caring, especially to Leon and especially to Mina.
  • In the Mass Effect series:
    • This is the job of Shepard, resident hero(ine). Unsurprising, given the Dysfunction Junction nature of the crew and Shepard's status as an extreme Magnetic Hero. Shepard's status as this is lampshaded heavily in the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, highlighting the sheer amount of True Companions they've gained and turned into Fire-Forged Friends across the entire series. Paragon Shepard fits this role to the “t”, especially acting to reign in the bloodthirsty tendencies of people like Garrus, Zaeed and Jack. Renegade Shepard on the other hand is more of a Sergeant Rock '90s Anti-Hero.
    • Liam Kosta and Lexi T’Perro both fill this role in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Lexi as the ship’s doctor does this in a more detached clinical manner, while Liam always keeps trying to cheer you up and inspire you in his emails, arranges social gatherings, makes an effort to form social bonds with the Angaara species, but also criticizes you if you place operational security above building relationships if you detain one of his contacts.
  • Would you believe a pompous egotist can be this? In the world of Mortal Kombat, it turns out that Johnny Cage of all people has an unusually strong sense of morals, especially by the time of Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. He dislikes killing (at least in the storyline canon) to the point that he has to stop Sonya from nearly strangling Kano to death, because he knows that it's not the right thing to do and that he knew she would regret it once she wasn't blinded by her Mama Bear tendencies.
  • Alonai from Nexus Clash is The Heart to the greater angelic alliance, keeping their technocratic and Knight Templar tendencies in check by constantly reminding them of what they're fighting to protect.
  • Emil from NieR does what he can to keep an upbeat attitude and help his friends get along.
  • Overwatch: Reinhardt was the original strike team's most optimistic and idealistic member, upholding the organization's values of peace and justice. After being forced into retirement, Overwatch began to collapse under the weight of its internal corruption.
  • Stocke, the protagonist of Radiant Historia starts off as The Stoic, but also starts off with a growing circle of friends who he cares about dearly. He helps his party members through a variety of internal and external conflicts and is always sensitive to their issues. And at one point, he helps his best friend Roche and an NPC with relationship advice.
  • Amy Rose from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. In Sonic Adventure, she almost single-handedly convinces Gamma to undergo a Heel–Face Turn. In Sonic Adventure 2, her conversation with Shadow is what convinces him to help stop the ARK from plummeting into the Earth. In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), her companionship with Silver, and her subsequent What the Hell, Hero? speech upon discovering that he was trying to kill Sonic, causes Silver to start rethinking that strategy.
  • The Heavy from Team Fortress 2 is the core of his team. He's certainly big and boisterious enough to be the natural center of attention, and he brings along a strong sense of being "credit to team" as well as a freshly-made Sandvich for teammates who demonstrate the same.
  • There's two layers in Tears to Tiara 2. Hamil and Tart are The Heart to their people, the Canaanites, while Charis is The Heart of The Team.
  • Princess Peach from the Super Mario Bros. and Super Smash Bros. games. In The Subspace Emissary she makes herself useful by breaking up fights and turning potential enemies into friends. Case in point: She stopped Fox and Sheik from attacking each other by offering them tea!
  • Clementine is easily this in The Walking Dead, with the highlight being her insistence that, when a vote on leaving him behind comes up, she argues that Ben is a nice guy and her friend, and friends don't leave each other behind. This gets another group member to change their vote against him to instead abstain.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Johanna is this out of her her siblings (the protagonist and Tamara). They are all better people due to her influence, and the protagonist calls her the only functional one of the three.
  • In The Fruit of Grisaia Michiru quietly made herself into the heart of the group without anyone noticing by supporting Sachi so she wouldn't collapse from exhaustion and acting as a mediator between Yumiko and Makina. Without her assistance, the group tends to fall apart into bickering. However, in The Eden of Grisaia she's demoted to comic relief and Amane takes her position by acting more as an anchor of stability while the rest of the girls all run around.
  • Oddly enough in Umineko: When They Cry, Battler actually plays this role for the people trapped on the island, at least in the early arcs. Although he's relentlessly anti-fantasy (again, in the early arcs), he also wants to think the best of everyone (a trait that's shown more in the original novel and manga than in the anime) and so constantly winds up jumping up in the middle of fights to explain a scenario in which person X might not be the culprit.
  • in Doki Doki Literature Club!, Sayori is shown to be this, which is why she is the Vice President of the club. She keeps the club together in the event things get heated, as demonstrated when she manages to defuse an argument between Natsuki and Yuri about their poetic styles. This is more apparent when Sayori is absent and when Natsuki and Yuri argue again. Monika admits to the player that she may look like a good leader, but she is not good with people and has trouble breaking up the arguments, especially when they become more vitriolic and frequent down the line. Should the player eventually delete Monika, Sayori becomes the President of the club, and Natsuki and Yuri get along very well, without any major fights between them.

    Webcomics 
  • Dave, in College Roomies from Hell!!!. Lampshaded when the others vote Dave out of NOES. Marsha says "I can't believe how MEAN you guys are being. Dave is our moral compass. We NEED him." To turn him into The Zeppo, The author, Maritza Campos, decided to Nerf his power but leave him as the most earnest, conscience-stricken, and foolishly brave character. It's somewhat self-referential, as she killed off Dave but brought him back because her readers said that for all his flaws he was the "heart" of the series.
  • El Goonish Shive: Grace, our all-loving Wide-Eyed Idealist squirrel girl.
  • In Homestuck:
    • Dirk characterizes Roxy as the heart of the alpha kid team, saying that her efforts to keep the group together despite the teen relationship drama that threatened to tear them apart made her the true leader of the alpha session.
    • Bizarrely, Vriska, despite having spent most of her life as a free-roaming disaster looking for people to happen to, ends up being this to the meteor trolls in the version of the timeline where John alters canon to save her life. As the main extrovert on a voyage laden with introverts of various stripes, she prevented them from splitting off into small groups on a large asteroid and kept them interacting with each other.
  • Any, from M9 Girls!, is setting herself to be the heart of the group, trying to get Professor T.X. to come out of his isolation, even after sensing he has a darker nature.
  • Bina from Monster Pulse keeps her group together. Her drive is so strong that when one of them is dragged into a flashbacky dreamscape, she subconsciously joins him and drags the rest of the group with her. Also, her monster is her heart, now a rhinoceros-sized quadruped.
  • Phantomarine: the young and adorable Pavel is a ray of light.
  • Elan, from The Order of the Stick. Clueless, but concerned for the rest of the group, and skilled in Social-Fu Trope-Fu. Idealistic to a fault, occasionally The Load and a Spoony Bard to top it off, but he's a genuinely nice guy. Heck, you could make a case that he's the one person that everyone else on the team likes. Haley sums it up very well in a later arc.
    Haley: ...But he's...I don't know. Pure. Honest. Better than I am, that's for sure. He makes me a better person just by being around, and I like feeling that way.
  • Julie, the protagonist from Our Little Adventure... up to the end of book 2. The role of The Heart seems to have been passed to Jordie, the group's Cleric.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Tuuri is the Cunning Linguist in a team where the Language Barrier means everyone else has at least one other person with whom they're unable to converse. She also frequently uses Tactful Translation to keep things harmonious in the crew, to the point that it frequently falls into Translation with an Agenda. Furthermore, since she isn't The Immune, and most of the other people on the crew are, she holds a downplayed Protectorate status.
  • In Weak Hero, Eugene's non-confrontational but courageous personality lends itself well to the main group, and he's surprisingly good at pulling the others together after they get out of a tough spot. He's the reason that Teddy ends up becoming a friend after previously being a bully, and later on Alex feels comfortable enough with Eugene to confess his insecurities to him. After the harrowing battle between Jake and Ben, the group spend a panel all praising Eugene for always knowing how to make them feel better.

    Web Original 
  • Dreamscape: Ahjeen, The Chick of the Five-Man Band, makes sure everyone feels special and in good spirits, especially his friends.
  • Doodlecute from Dusk's Dawn. She seems to be the most emotional and fragile of the group.
  • In his analysis of Homestuck and Steven Universe. the blogger Bladekind explores this trope:
    Many carve their wills into reality by helping others find strength, and in the process finding strength through others. There was an entire episode, "Coach Steven", devoted to the concept of being "strong in the real way", showing that Steven’s true strength wasn’t the muscle he hoped to earn, but his skill at motivating and strengthening others. He works to help others live up to what he believes they can be as well, working to help the alien gems act more human and relate to humanity because that’s what he personally sees in them.
  • Ellen Rose's character Merilwen in Outside Xbox's Dungeons & Dragons campaign. While, unlike most examples of this trope, she's ethically True Neutral and tends to mostly care about animals rather than people, she's the one who even Corazon and Prudence will try to be nice to and protect.
  • In Pretty Dudes, this is Zario at first, before Sunji reveals himself to be so caring that he doesn't even charge the other Dudes rent.
  • Generator, the least powerful member of Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe, has been known to use Big Sad Puppy-Dog eyes to get her way. She is this trope so much that she is Team Kimba's Plan A to deal with Tennyo if she goes world-endingly evil.
  • RWBY: Ruby Rose is an example of this trope combined with The Leader; she's the most idealistic and optimistic member of the cast. Many other cast members acknowledge, both in her main team and their ever-growing circle of friends and allies, that her seemingly-unshakeable belief in their mission, and Incorruptible Pure Pureness, is a major part of why they're able to keep fighting, even as circumstances turn more and more hopeless. They have hope because she has hope, and that strength radiates outward to others.

    Western Animation 
  • Katara of Avatar: The Last Airbender, a medic with Healing Hands and Love Interest of The Hero. begins as this. Her natural tendency is to help people ("Imprisoned", "The Painted Lady", "Crossroads Of Destiny"), but just like her role as an All-Loving Hero, the role is debatably given to Aang by the end of the series. In one of the final episodes, "The Southern Raiders", Katara is hellbent on finding her mother's killer and killing him in revenge, and Aang is the one who tells her it's not worth it. Katara spares the man because she sees that he's not a dangerous monster, just a pathetic "empty" person who, while not deserving of forgiveness, isn't worth the moral cost to herself of taking a life for revenge. She leaves him personally disgraced and emotionally broken, but takes the lesson from Aang and forgives Zuko after truly seeing how he has changed and sought to make up for his past.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!: Wasp and Captain America tend to share this role. This is most apparent when they are the only two team members who go to save Hulk during the Red-Hulk-joining-the-Avengers incident.
  • Philip Fry in Futurama; he might be an idiot, but whenever he leaves the crew, such as when he moved on to join the police, the rest of Planet Express swiftly realize that the office isn't as pleasant a working environment without him, ranging from the professor no longer saying "Good news, everyone!" and Bender and Leela having nothing to talk about while out on deliveries without Fry as a buffer and the rest of the employees finding the ordinary business meetings Hermes gives very dull. Although they aren't clear what it is Fry actually does at work, they know they desperately need it.
  • The title character of Hey Arnold!. It's been shown on more than one occasion that everything in Hillwood would fall apart if not for him.
  • Green Arrow in Justice League Unlimited was forcefully recruited to the League against his will because Batman wanted someone who could look at the League critically. In his own words, someone to "Keep us honest." This pays off later when the League tried to disband after current events demoralized everyone. He got in their faces and forced them to remain dedicated to the ideal.
    Green Arrow: Batman said I was supposed to keep you guys honest.
    Superman: Do I look like Batman to you?
    Flash: Actually, you kinda do. Especially when you’re all scowly like that.
  • Toki Wartooth from Metalocalypse. When he's not going psycho and painting the walls with blood, anyway. The rest of the band is so brutal that he's almost The Heart by default. It's made more clear twice, however:
    • When Toki and Murderface are kicked out thanks to Murderface not doing anything, the others realize the band is made of their talent, Murderface's negativity, And Toki.
    • In "Church of the Black Klok", when Toki gets abducted, his contribution to the overall story is realized as being essential.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Fluttershy is Friend to All Living Things and represents the Element of Kindness. For example in the episode Bats! she is the one arguing that the vampire fruit bats are important to the orchard and should be moved to a sanctuary. She'll also put her foot down and be resolute if she thinks it'll be important in the long run, such as with her brother and The Breezies.
    • Pinkie Pie is this too, arguably even moreso than Fluttershy — as "A Friend in Deed" and especially "Magical Mystery Cure" show, Pinkie isn't just one to the Mane Six, but to the whole town.
    • When Twilight becomes the Princess of Friendship, she and the Mane Six become the Heart for all of Equestria.
  • Graveheart from Shadow Raiders is The Hero but also acts as a stabiliser for the many cultural, personality and agenda clashes within his shaky team.
  • Bow in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the most dependable, empathetic, and friendly person in the cast. He was the first friend Glimmer had, and the first non-Horde person to reach out to Adora during the early stages of her Heel–Face Turn. For bonus points, his character design features a red heart shape as, essentially, a Chest Insignia.
  • It may be hard to believe given the setting and his role, but Kenny McCormick serves this role to the rest of the main group in South Park. When their group's friendships are crumbling in South ParQ Vaccination Special, they try to make arrangements that will keep Kenny happy, and yes, that does include Cartman.
  • In Steven Universe, Steven himself plays this role. While Garnet can keep Amethyst and Pearl away from each other's throats, it takes Steven to make them actually get along. It appears that he inherited this from his mother. Fittingly, his unique powers are all defensive in nature - healing spit, force bubbles, and a summoned shield.
  • For most animated iterations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles you can usually rely on Michelangelo to fill the role. Typically the youngest of the four he is also the most fun-loving and laid back member, which keeps the others in check (particularly Raphael and Leonardo, who frequently butt heads as contrasting personalities).
  • Starfire from Teen Titans (2003), when she's not kicking ass. The episode "How Long is Forever?" is dedicated to this: upon being flung through time and disappearing, she ends up in a Bad Future where the Titans have split specifically because she wasn't there to keep their spirits high enough.
  • Optimus Prime generally fills this role in Transformers: Prime. In fact, at the start of Season 2, it's painfully clear that the Autobots are barely managing to keep it together without him.
  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: Yadina serves as the middle point between Xavier and Brad, balancing them out, and she has a strong sense of justice and compassion.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Believe it or not, Superboy from Young Justice (2010). He may try to cover it up, but he's easily the most empathetic of the team. In the past, he's tried to reason with an insane clone trying to kill him, called What the Hell, Hero? on M'gann leaving an enemy in a catatonic state, even if the information was necessary, adopted both an alien sphere and a genetically enhanced wolf, and even talked a rampaging alien golem out of suicide in one episode.
    • In a slightly more conventional example, Virgil is this to the runaways. Unlike his more Heroic Neutral companions, he genuinely wants to be a hero, enjoys having his powers, and is the first to go into danger to protect someone else.

    Real Life 
  • Ringo Starr was considered the least talented/helpful member of The Beatles by many. The band itself recognized him as the guy who helped them stick together even at the worst moments. They even put more focus on Ringo in the movies!
  • George Lucas in early years had his first wife Marcia playing this role. On top of being a terrific film editor, as her Academy Award attests, she was a positive influence for him with the emotional side of his films. After their bitter divorce, George's films never had that same resonance.
  • Similar to Ringo Starr, The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, despite not having the sort of larger-than-life persona that bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have, was widely seen as the heart of the Stones. The time the Stones came closest to splitting up was in the 1980s when Watts struggled with drug addiction.

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Bow

Bow helps She-Ra and Glimmer sort things out. He even wears a heart on his clothes!

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