All resistances are against The Empire. Only evil governments provoke rebellion. No matter their hold over information, striking against the authority will never be wrong. In the land of tropes, the revolution will not be vilified. It is always a force for the good, freedom, equality, freedom, justice, freedom, and democracy. And freedom. (For Great Justice, of course.)
This isn't necessarily an unrealistic trope, as rebellions and revolutions almost never happen for no reason at all. They're usually the expression of real (or at least perceived), preexisting problems and grievances, often founded on economic inequality or long-lasting cultural discrimination. Revolutionaries tend to be people who are sick of bad conditions and they're demanding something better, and it's easy to sympathize with them.
Having said that, reality is complicated. Sometimes the rebels have misread the situation, for instance believing that the government has caused all their problems when actually the government had nothing to do with it. And if the government really is evil or incompetent, that doesn't necessarily mean that the revolutionaries actually know how to fix it. Sometimes they establish a new government that's just as bad as the old government.
For instance, Animal Farm (based on the Russian Revolution) depicts the animals revolting against a corrupt establishment and establishing a new government with new leadership...and then one of the leaders overthrows the other and becomes a murderous tyrant. Oops. Less destructive examples usually involve the revolutionaries breaking into factions, where each faction has a different idea of how to run things now that the old regime has been defeated, and they can't agree on a common plan even if they all have good intentions. This may even lead to a civil war among the revolutionaries.
If things go bad, the new regime may have to confront a lot of pissed-off government workers, businesses, and common folk who didn't want a war in the first place. All that unrest might produce a new crop of revolutionaries...who might just end up repeating the exact same mistakes.
(Try not to confuse "Revolution" and "Rebellion". All revolutions are rebellions against the established order, but all rebellions need not be revolutions. Rebellions are driven mostly in opposition to the existing system without necessarily an idea in place to replace the new regime. Rebellions can even include military and parliamentary coups which are usually not seen as positive examples of this trope. They are also vague, limited in outcome, and yet, ironically, they are generally more spontaneous as expressions and reactions of genuine sentiments than a revolutionary program.)
It goes almost without saying that things taking place in the modern-day country they are made in are as likely to avert this trope as not.
Contrast with Full-Circle Revolution, The Remnant, and the Dark Messiah. See also the related and often confused trope of La Résistance. When the rebels are generally good but hampered by infighting, it's We ARE Struggling Together. For the opposite, when the rebels are anti-heroes or outright villains, see The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized. For the case where the whole conflict really was "civilized" (for better or worse), see Velvet Revolution.
The title of this article is a pun on The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron.
- The entire point of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (which became the third season of Robotech) was an armed insurgency against the Inbits occupying Earth. Any Inbits that saw the error of their treatment of humans underwent a Heel–Face Turn eventually, while those that did not defect became progressively more genocidal in attempting to wipe out the human resistance.
- The rebel group Katharon from the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is basically fighting the good fight, standing up for the neglected (and sometimes downright oppressed) Middle Eastern countries and going against the oppressive Earth Sphere Federation.
- The Anti-Earth Union Group from the earlier series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam fills much the same role, standing against the oppressive Titans.
- And Terminal in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, who fights against Blue Cosmos which controls the Earth Alliance and the dogmatic army of ZAFT which plans to cull the Natural Population.
- The pilots in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing attack OZ and Earth Sphere Alliance military bases in order to secure independence for the space colonies. But while the series makes it clear that war is a terrible thing, the pilots are treated as the noblest and most heroic characters in the show. While unpleasant, their actions are portrayed as totally justified, and the only people who refer to the organization that funds or controls the Gundams as terrorists are OZ officials when they're lying to the media. And the original plan was to deliver a Colony Drop and have the Gundams mop up the survivors, they opted for this option instead. It is worth noting, however, that while the pilots are treated as being noble because of their role as people who, particularly in the first arc, carry out orders rather than actively making decisions, the series doesn't attempt to depict their tactics as being any less violent, aggressive and deceitful than their enemies, frequently more so. In the first four episodes, the audience sees: Heero conclude that the safest option to avoid detection is to shell a civilian aircraft, Heero try to murder an unarmed civilian, Wufei kill a dormitory full of trainees in their sleep with explosives and Duo blow up part of a hospital in order to rescue Heero. From the standpoint of Earth's residents, the Gundam pilots are nothing more than romanticized terrorists for the first ten or so episodes.
- The League Militaire of Victory Gundam fights only to protect the Earth and space colonies from being taken over by the crazed bloodthirsty fanatics of the Zanscare Empire since the Earth Federation is no longer able to do so.
- All these are an interesting reversal from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, in which the antagonists are the ones looking for independence.
- Mustang's rebellion in Fullmetal Alchemist has Mustang and crew trying to take on a good portion of Central Army without killing a single person to do it. Olivier Mira Armstrong mocks Mustang for this since her soldiers are at least willing to kill. Their opponent is The Empire who has slaughtered their own civilians, waged war since it was founded, and plans to sacrifice everyone in the country. Though, in Roy's defense, it quickly becomes clear that most of the regular soldiers have no idea what their superiors are planning to do and are only doing what they truly and honestly believe to be the right thing. And are severely ticked off when they find out the truth and rip off their badges and threw them in the corrupt officers' faces. A lot of them have Heel Realizations after hearing Central Command's plans and realizing that their families and friend will be among the dead.
- For all its attempts at down-to-earth gritty realism, the revolutionaries in Fang of the Sun Dougram are always portrayed in a sympathetic light, while authority figure Donan Cassim is presented as the bad guy but is so good-intentioned that he borders on being a Designated Villain.
- The AKB0048 are portrayed as a heroic rebel group dedicated to restoring to bringing back entertainment and cheap clean FTL drives for everyone against an evil Corporate Government.
- Both the government and the anti-government rebellion in Area 88 are portrayed as essentially good people who just couldn't agree over certain issues. Then again, Area 88 isn't really about the Aslani Civil War, but the dehumanising and destructive effects war has on people. And awesome dogfights.
- Tweeny Witches: The wizards are a heroic rebel group dedicated to overthrowing the dictatorship of the warlocks. Technically speaking, this is a counter-revolution, as they are the last remnants of the old order that have been driven out ever since the foundation of Wizard Kingdom.
- Liberty Leading the People presents the revolution as a positive force, as the citizens (backlit by the sun) are fighting for their rights and liberty against an oppressive and stingy government (evidenced by the dead soldier who lies in the foreground).
- Wonder Woman (1987): Diana's Slave Revolt is a bunch of escaped slaves and sympathizers fighting the Kreel Empire to abolish their slavery practices and allow women to be equal citizens. The core group does their level best to do so without any casualties as they are led by Diana. They are not all treated as saints and some of them have very checkered backgrounds but their cause and their methods are the opposite of villainous.
- Minor Spider-Man foe Tarantula's origins involved him being a member of a Cuban Revolution-style rebellion against a South American dictatorship, robbing banks and holding corrupt politicians hostage, only to get thrown out of the group when the other members got disgusted with his indiscriminate bloodshed against innocent civilians as well as government soldiers, at which point he joined up with the dictatorship's forces instead, becoming their twisted version of Captain America. His habits remained completely unchanged, and the dictatorship too got tired of his feckless violence, forcing him to flee abroad or be hunted down and killed.
- The Patriot plays it straight, in best Hollywood tradition. The noble Ragtag Bunch of Misfits shooting surrendering British soldiers is all but glossed over, and the various atrocities of the British army are actually fabricated much of the time.
- Star Wars:
- Zig-Zagged with the Clone Wars in the prequel trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. A lot of the Separatists have legitimate reasons to want to secede from the Galactic Republic: the level of government corruption and dysfunction is frankly mind-bogglingnote , and hardly anybody on the Republic side seems to have a problem with raising an army of Slave Mooks to put down the independence revolt. Unfortunately, they're fighting on the same side as the megacorporations that are largely responsible for that dysfunction in the first place, to say nothing of figures such as General Grievous who just want revenge against the Republic and Jedi. And that's before you get to the part where the Sith are secretly commanding both sides, to arrange things so they can take over the galaxy.
- The Galactic Empire in the original trilogy is remarkably evil, what with the racist motives and the Earth-Shattering Kaboom. The Rebellion, on the other hand, wore halos. This was eventually fleshed out in the Expanded Universe with both sides kicking or petting the dog. However, the Rebellion is still much better. This is explored in Rogue One; quite a lot of blood is being spilled in the background in order to keep the leadership's hands clean.
- Pan's Labyrinth: A historical exception to the "If the revolutionaries are wearing brown, they're the bad guys" which tells us a bit about the sorting algorithm of political ideologies: If you want the Dirty Commies to be the good guys, the bad guys pretty much have to be fascists. We still see them doing the old "line up soldiers to shoot them in the head" shtick that the fascist military was doing itself earlier.
- Played painfully straight in Black Mama, White Mama. The government is a dog-raping bureaucracy that is really just another gang, and the revolutionaries are Big Damn Heroes, with a Che Guevara-like leader, and aided by a beautiful, blond American woman. The film never goes into much detail about exactly why the government is so bad, or what exactly what the guerillas are fighting for. It was the '70s though!
- In Sleeping Dogs, though two members of La Résistance were revealed to have framed an innocent man (the main character, Smith) for a bombing, the guerrillas overall are portrayed being better by far than the brutal Special Police Force they fight.
- The Battleship Potemkin and any other Soviet depiction of the Russian Revolution, for obvious reasons. Western depictions (which are quite rare) will usually portray it as a Full-Circle Revolution.
- Warren Beatty's Reds, a biopic of American communist John "Jack" Reed which defends the Russian Revolution and portrays the Bolsheviks sympathetically, though still marred with flaws of bureaucratic fussiness, whose authoritarian nature also irritates other leftists.
- Some film versions of Les Misérables made at points of anti-communist hysteria, portray Enjolras as a dangerous kook and Marius as a wide-eyed innocent caught up in his overzealous mission. This trope is however played straight in the highly popular Les Misérables (2012) where Enjolras is portrayed in the same manner as Victor Hugo's original vision.
- Spartacus by Stanley Kubrick, Dalton Trumbo and Kirk Douglas portrays the Third Servile War as a fight between the slaves and The Roman Republic. Spartacus and his fellow ex-gladiators initially fight for their freedom from bondage and escape from Rome, but they don't seem to have any desire to topple the Republic and establish an abolitionist regime. The historical record is fuzzy on this point.
- Downplayed in V for Vendetta, unlike the graphic novel where V gets more Kick the Dog moments and often comes across as a full blown Villain Protagonist. In the film, while his revolution is still violent, the Norsefire government is clearly so much worse. Making it clear that in spite of all of V's faults, he's still in the right. Not to mention, he was genuinely wronged by the government who experimented on him while creating a Synthetic Plague.
- Viva Zapata! by Elia Kazan was an attempt at reconstructing this trope. Kazan had become an ex-communist, but unlike other ex-communists that swung hard to the right, he believed that genuine revolutionary change was a good thing to strive for. In the film, Zapata after succeeding in his rebellion takes office but worries that he'll become a tyrant like he once opposed, so he resolves to fight and live among the people inspiring them from below rather than above.
- Wild Wind has the good Communist partisans against the evil Nazis. The only partisan who disobeys orders and shoots the prisoners is put on trial and shot by his commander.
- In Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, of course the heroes of the French Revolution proper and the meager student rebellion of the book's later chapters are portrayed as heroic defenders of the common man, right down to the token drunkard. To balance the scale, however, the saintly and sympathetic Bishop of Digne is described as a once-noble victim of the Revolution of 1789, and early in the book has a debate with a dying revolutionary regarding who deserves more pity, the oppressed and hated poor, or the nobles who are murdered for a crime that is not their fault. The poor win.
- Les Mis is made into an exaggerated parody of itself in the Discworld novel Night Watch, in which the ultra-cynic Sam Vimes is propelled back thirty years into the past of his city and realises he has to take the place of the man who led a revolution. The theory, practice, and ideology of revolution are seriously questioned along the way.
- Deconstructed and Reconstruction in the Inheritance Cycle. Oromis challenges Eragon to explain why he opposes the Empire. Most of the Empire's subjects, Oromis points out, are decent people and a war would have negative consequences for them. Eragon counters that unless Galbatorix is overthrown, his rule will never end, so upheaval over a single time is better than an eternity of oppression.
- In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel On the Razor's Edge, Gidula tells Donovan that his own attack, in his pre-amnesiac days as Padaborn, had killed many innocents, but they can stage a more effective one.
- The Crimson Shadow: The Eriadorans' rebellion is against an evil wizard king and his minions for their freedom. It's never once shown as anything except entirely justified and good.
- Babylon 5:
- Not only is there big resistance against President Clark, but Mars and Proxima 3 are also rebelling and generally seen as oppressed planets under the thumb of the increasingly fascist Earth Forces.
- Some cells of the Mars Resistance do use terrorist tactics such as bombings that kill civilians (though they take place offscreen). Sheridan's forces tell them in no uncertain terms that this has to stop if they are going to work together. Since they have no chance of winning without coordination, it does.
- Subverted later when rogue telepaths rebel against the Psi-Corps, as while the Psi-Corps are quite literally telepathic Nazi wannabes, the tactics used by the rogues make no distinction in their targets, making it all too easy for Psi-Corps to spin it as wanton terrorism.
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor tends to end up allied with the resistance against the Evil Totalitarian Despot of the Week and rarely is the resistance shown as being anything less than favorable.
- In 'The Sunmakers', the 'resistance' — at least initially — are depicted as brutal, self-interested, and venal criminals out for themselves rather than any higher purpose; it's only when the Doctor effectively takes over that he starts directing them to a better purpose.
- While this show's revolution is already over and failed, despite the rather ugly mess it caused, it's looked back on rather favorably. We didn't get to see a lot of Alliance oppression before Serenity, but the Academy and the Blue Hands and what they did to River was pretty damned evil. There are some indications that the Browncoats were not all squeaky clean, though; in "Bushwhacked" an Alliance officer implies that he personally encountered prisoners who had been tortured by Browncoats, and in the tie-in comics there were extremists known as "Dust Devils" who kept on fighting after the war ended, performing terrorist attacks on civilians and soldiers.
- The implication is that, overall, the Alliance wasn't generally tyrannical. Its greatest fault was, as River Tam said in Serenity, that it is "meddlesome." Word of God has it that the Core worlds generally were more progressive than the outlying worlds, and the poor living conditions in the outer worlds were unnecessary. The formerly leading worlds of the Independents are the ones with aristocracy and slavery (though the connection isn't clearly drawn in Firefly). Malcolm Reynolds is an Antihero, but his desire for independence is set against the tendency of the Alliance to overreach, which could lead to disaster.
- Politibongo: This German children's TV show cranks this trope up to 11. The revolution might be stupid and constantly messing things up which their contact on earth as to fix for them, but they never are evil.
- Revolution: Played with. The Monroe Republic is a dictatorship that will terrorize and kill anyone who dares to stand up to them. A number of the rebels are genuinely good. Episode 2 shows that the rebels are considered traitors and terrorists by Monroe. Episode 3 shows that any rebel who sells out his comrades will be killed by the militia in short order, and the rebels will generally not have any sympathy for any member of the militia, former or otherwise. Episode 5 shows that the rebels have little teamwork between them, with one of them willing to blow up a train to kill off militia officers...and a civilian. Episode 9 shows that the rebels are willing to rough up Miles Matheson in interrogation and have even adopted military ranks...too bad they didn't notice that a mole had been in their ranks for years. Episode 11 has Monroe deciding to exterminate every single rebel in the Monroe Republic. Episode 13 shows that the rebels are not going to show mercy to any militia member they capture, but the militia is generally unsympathetic anyway. Episode 14 onward has the rebels and 200 Georgian soldiers working together to fight Monroe, making the number 300. Unfortunately, episode 17 has one drone strike kill off so many men that the number goes down from 300 to 30. It's not clear how many of those 30 men were rebels and Georgians. Finally, episode 18 has the rebel leader Wayne Ramsay killed off. All in all, you can generally root for the resistance, but they are certainly not angels.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine downplayed this overall. The Bajorans' main claim to the moral high ground in their ultimately successful guerrilla war to drive out the Cardassians is that they were defending against a brutal foreign occupation involving concentration camps, forced prostitution, religious persecution, and pillaging of artistic, cultural, and material resources. However, several episodes take pains to point out that the Bajorans were hardly angels themselves, being just as willing to kill Cardassian civilians as they were soldiers, murdering Bajoran civilian collaborators, and in some cases continuing the fight against the Cardassians after they had already withdrawn and even targeting fellow Bajorans who tried to push for official peace at that point.
- Star Trek: Voyager: Subverted in the episode "Resistance". Instead of the usual selfless support of outsider Good Guys, the underground battling the despotic Mocra only help Voyager's crew in exchange for payment in medical supplies and aren't the least bit interested in helping free Tuvok and B'Elanna from prison. As their leader points out: "If I could get people out of there, I'd free my own first!" In fact, Voyager effectively subverted this trope several times. The episodes "Nightingale" and "Flesh and Blood" both involve a crew member attempting to help a resistance group, only to find out the situation is more complicated than good rebels vs. evil empire.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron, announces a revolution in a cool but self-assured way that makes the listener believe that it will be a just event.
- SIGMATA: This Signal Kills Fascists explicitly aims to teach the players that this is the case in Real Life, albeit in the form of Black-and-Gray Morality. The Resistance is full of fallible human beings with often different ideas on how to go about things and the occasional bad apple giving others a bad name. However, the Regime is pure unadulterated evil and any method of fighting it is morally justified, except insofar as causing too much collateral damage will cost you public support and is thus counterproductive.
- Hamilton portrays the American Revolution as a just cause of revolution against an oppressive English government (to the point that King George III outright says that he'll kill the revolutionaries' friends and families to get them to fall in line). Thus, all the actions taken by Hamilton and Co. against the English (the Boston Tea Party, stealing British cannons, etc) are justified, and when Samuel Seabury offers a contrast (the fact that all Americans don't necessarily agree with the Revolution), he is talked down and mocked for his statements.
- Like the above Literature example, Les Misérables portrays a France post-Revolution of 1830, where the populace is angry with the new king and already ready to rebel once more. Les Amis de l'ABC are brave, noble revolutionaries, and even the worst among them, the token drunk Grantaire, is still dedicated to the cause enough to fight and die along with the rest of them. Justified in that many of the revolution scenes are adapted from and inspired by scenes from the book, which were taken directly from author Victor Hugo's own experience with the June Rebellion of 1832, making it Truth in Television. Subverted by Javert and the Thenardiers, who each pretend to be revolutionaries for their own purposes — Javert to crush the rebellion and the Thenardiers to line their pockets with the belongings of the dead students.
- In 1776, when asked why a written Declaration was needed, Thomas Jefferson replies to put forth to the world the reasons why they are rebelling. John Dickinson asks why would they actually want to write down the reasons for an illegal revolution.
- Ben Franklin: Mr. Dickinson, all revolutions are legal in the first person, such as our revolution. It is only in the third person, their revolution, where it becomes illegal.
- In the Mega Man Zero series, Zero is found by the Resistance to Neo Arcadia, an empire that Zero's friend X (hero of the previous series) created with the best of intentions, only for it to go bad after he left. The Resistance is full of spunky, heroic types with French names, and they're always in the right — with one major subversion. Elpizo, the leader in Mega Man Zero 2, is zealous and aggressive; when his new methods fail, he goes nuts and becomes the game's Big Bad.
- In Mega Man X: Command Mission, there's a Rebellion, and they're not very nice guys. But there's also a Resistance to the Rebellion, and they're swell. X gladly helps them fight the Rebellion... until the big twist, when it turns out that BOTH groups are basically good and have been manipulated by The Man Behind the Man.
- Deus Ex: The National Secessionist Forces (NSF) begin the game clearly portrayed as The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized, terrorists who blew up the Statue of Liberty and don't hesitate to threaten innocent civilians for their cause. As the game progresses, it turns out that the NSF really are mostly heroic, and were framed for the bombings by an evil government conspiracy, while the hostage situations were desperation tactics from panicked individual grunts.
- Also the French Silhouette are portrayed like a bunch of young and relatively harmless idealists, who limit their action to information warfare. In the sequel they win and immediately join the Illuminati to introduce hidden authoritarian government.
- City of Heroes both averts this and plays it straight with the Praetorian Resistance faction. On one hand, many Resistance Crusaders engage in acts of deliberate terrorism. While the Warden faction of the Resistance tends to be more heroic, the Crusader faction is far more visible than the innocent doctors and reporters trying to protect the people from Cole and his cronies (and on occasion their own comrades). On the other hand, Cole really is as evil as the Resistance makes him out to be, and by the end of the Neutropolis quest chains, even Responsibility Loyalists are horrified by his plans.
- What Could Have Been: Issue 24 would have dealt with Calvin Scott's last gasp. Embittered by the revelation that his marriage to Aurora Borealis, the woman he founded the resistance to save, was just a delusion, Scott redirects his rebellious tendencies onto Primal Earth at the urging of the Council. The Moral Event Horizon is crossed when he drops a bomb onto the First Ward Refugee Island, nearly killing the people he wants to "save". The Resistance definitely isn't wouldn't have been blue skies and grannies anymore.
- Played with in Yggdra Union. Yggdra and her army are unambiguously good people who believe that they're doing the right thing. Yggdra's enemies, Gulcasa and his army, are exactly the same. Both characters are revolutionaries—Gulcasa overthrew his country's corrupt government via coup d'etat; Yggdra seeks to reclaim her country from Gulcasa's invasion—but Gulcasa is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes he has to conquer the world to save the poor and weak, and Yggdra has been raised since birth to believe that she has an Omniscient Morality License. The body count by the end of the game includes almost every character who isn't in Yggdra's army. The narrative doesn't hesitate to call you out repeatedly.
- Red Faction and Red Faction: Guerrilla, Ultor and the Earth Defense Force are absolutely evil tyrants who have NO redeeming personalities and the revolution rarely commits acts of genuine evil. Red Faction 2 is slightly more ambiguous.
- The Militia of the Frontier in Titanfall only want the iron-fisted IMC out of their homeworlds while the IMC are regularly seen committing atrocities against non-militants.
- Tyranny has several rebel groups in The Tiers still opposing Kyros' occupation. While not all the groups are presented flatteringly, the Vendrien Guard is presented as generally good, being a band of Haven's remaining military and noble class with a goal of becoming Doomed Moral Victors who will inspire others to rebel. Thanks to the Fatebinder they utterly fail, as the first chapter sees them either killed by Kyros' Edict of Swords, brutally suppressed by the Fatebinder, or being appointed Agents of the Court of Fatebinders.
- In Detroit: Become Human, the android rebellion can be pacifistic if Markus makes peaceful choices (like using graffiti instead of destroying property, choosing calm language when making speeches, sparing human lives, etc.) North is against the idea of peace, as she believes humans are incapable of negotiating, but Josh supports it. In fact, the game itself seems to be pushing a peaceful rebellion, as it's the only way that has a chance of every character surviving.
- Dungeon Munchies features a revolt by sentient, mutated plants against their guardian deity, the Lord Protector. They ally themselves and support the player character, as they work for the Lord Protector's archnemesis, Simmer. Much more sympathetic than other examples as the Lord Protector really has no interest in protecting her plant followers.
- Subverted in Lost Ember. A famine compounded by the emperor's soldiers seizing their crops drove Kalani to banditry and protest against the Yanren emperor, but it ends in tragedy as Kalani's father orders her house burned down with her lover inside and only radicalizes Kalani further. She then proceeds to infiltrate the capital, incite riots, and try to overthrow the emperor. The only thing her revolution accomplishes is the destruction of the capital city, the downfall of the Yanrana, and the death of herself and all of her followers.
- Averted in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn; while Part 1 follows the trope, glorifying the revolutionary Dawn Brigade fighting against the occupying Begnion soldiers, Part 2 runs against it by glorifying Queen Elincia's established rule of Crimea, vilifying the rebellion headed by a newly introduced Crimean noble named Ludveck.
- Serves as the lifeblood of Tonight We Riot, where a group of universally heroic (if ruthless) revolutionaries take down the corrupt rule of the despotic Trumplica Chet Whippleton III.
- In Homestuck, what little we've seen of Alpha!Rose and alpha!Dave's actions as La Résistance against Betty Crocker/The Condesce have been portrayed as completely justified and reasonable. To be fair, when your opponent is trying to enslave the earth and is accidentally killing everyone in the process, it's pretty hard to do worse. It also might help that all our information so far comes from Dirk, who looks up to alpha!Dave pretty heavily.
- In The Doctors of the Cat Family, the leader of the revolution is OK with Thomas healing their captured enemies.
- In The Fire Never Dies, the Red Army and the General Defense Committee is characterized with this. They mostly avoid serious atrocities and allow some of their former opponents to participate in the postwar political system. That said, they do employ chemical weapons during the war, not to mention effectively destroying three major cities in artillery barrages (Salt Lake City, Wilmington, and Washington, D.C.).
- The Fairly OddParents!' take on the American Revolution goes into this trope rather shamelessly. They even show what modern-day America would be like, were it still under British rule: a nation of bad-toothed Evil Brits stuck in the early 19th century, and still regularly ravaged by the taxman.
- She-Ra: Princess of Power led an example of a good rebellion... though with the majority of her Rogues Gallery being even more incompetent than that of her Spear Counterpart He-Man with a 0% Approval Rating to boot, it's a wonder she wasn't running Etheria by the end of the first season.
- In the reboot, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, the dynamic is repeated, although with more competent villains. The only time that the Rebellion is shown to look bad is in paper-thin Horde propaganda, and the only thing that makes the conquering, warmongering Horde look good is the number of sympathetic or Punch Clock Villains in its ranks (though they do commit significantly fewer human rights violations than in the original series, so they have that going for them).
- Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): The Freedom Fighters are a strictly heroic group that is trying to overthrow the evil Dr. Robotnik. Technically however this is a counter-revolution, as they are lead by a princess who happens to be the daughter of the king Robotnik deposed in his revolution.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The corrupt ruler of the Triceraton Empire is eventually overthrown by a rebellion, led by a heroic former gladiator (with a little help from the Turtles themselves).
Prime Leader: This is revolution!
Traximus: Revolution is usually what happens... when the world needs to change.
- Steven Universe: The Crystal Gems are the members of a Servant Race who Turned Against Their Masters to prevent Homeworld from destroying all life on Earth to make new gems and a colony. Homeworld is expansionist, wanted to wipe the Crystal Gems out entirely, treat their own members as expendable and interchangeable, and committed atrocities such as resurrecting the dead to create a Weapon of Mass Destruction and inflicting The Corruption on most of their enemies — along with much of their own forces. The Crystal Gems have an essentially defensive mission, took their enemies alive whenever possible (i.e. most of the time because of gems' regenerative abilities), and most of them joined their leader's cause because they were treated with respect and dignity. Bismuth wanted to take the Crystal Gems into shadier territory, planning to deliberately kill enemy gems as a means to topple Homeworld's leadership, but Rose put a stop to that (and apparently reined in anyone else who felt similarly).
For if it prosper, none dare call it 'treason.'"