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Token Heroic Orc

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A subtrope of Token Nonhuman and Token Enemy Minority. This trope is to Token Enemy Minority as Token Nonhuman is to Token Minority. It's about a member of the Villain or Mook race who joins the main cast and their good (mostly human or The Federation) organization.

There are many shades of this trope which may appear:

  • Defector from Decadence: He can't abide the evil ways of his people. Often the result of Klingon Scientists Get No Respect.
  • Mook Rebel: Sometimes, if his race are Slave Mooks for the Big Bad, he may have rebelled and joined the opposition to fight his former evil master and free his people.
  • Orc Raised by Elves: The heroes are closer to him than to the rest of his race.
  • Heel–Race Turn: His race used to be the enemy, but has now become neutral or friendly with humans, so having him join the heroes' crew shows that things have changed, and the two races are getting along now.
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  • Defeated enemy: His race stops being villainous because they lost. At best now his nation is a Vestigial Empire; at worst he's the Last of His Kind.
  • Enemy Mine: He shares a common enemy with the heroes, in some cases a rival faction of his own race.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: He's personally loyal to his (human or otherwise not of the mook-race) master who goes through a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Assimilation victims: Someone who was assimilated but later saved, now has free will again but doesn't get restored to his original form.note 
  • Rogue Drone: He's a member of an evil Hive Mind who developed an independent personality that happened not to be evil.

See also My Species Doth Protest Too Much, Monster Allies and Pet Monstrosity.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Most members of the Saiyan race introduced in Dragon Ball Z are vicious monsters. Some exceptions include Goku (who lost his memories of being a Saiyan), his and Vegeta's offspring (although they are part human), Vegeta's younger brother Tarble, and Goku's mother Gine. Vegeta starts off as a villain, but becomes an Anti-Hero through character development. Bardock, Goku's father, also starts off as a villain, but ends up pulling a full Heel–Face Turn in a spin-off manga. In Minus, he becomes more mellow after meeting Gine, although he's still a mass-murderer.
      • Going back even further, the ancient Saiyan Yamoshi is stated to have been a right-hearted Saiyan in an era where those were not common.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Frost, Frieza's counterpart from Universe 6, is the only member of Frieza's race not to be evil. Justified, as we didn't see other members. Eventually it's revealed he is just as evil as Frieza, but he's a lot more clever about it. This isn't the case in the manga, where he's more of an Anti-Hero.
  • Greed of Fullmetal Alchemist is a homunculus like most of the main villains, but rather than blindly obeying his creator, his greedy nature got the better of him, and he'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He's Affably Evil and treats his gang of human followers well, rather than as pawns to be sacrificed. After Father kills him and uses his essence to turn Ling into a new Greed, the combination of getting his old memories back and Ling continually Fighting from the Inside eventually leads him to join the heroes.
  • GaoGaiGar has played with it with Soldat J alien cyborg created on Red Planet to fight Primevals and their mechanization virus. He was turned into Zonderian Pizza after Red Planet was conquered and participated in the invasion on Earth. Later, after his Heel–Face Turn Heroic Sacrifice he was restored by Arma to his original form. While fighting Primevals along the heroes, he has to tell them more than a few times that he is no longer Pizza, and Gai correcting himself after calling him "Pizza" has almost become a Running Gag.
  • Discussed in Goblin Slayer: The titular protagonist is specifically asked if there are any good goblins. He concedes that you probably would find some good-hearted ones if you looked hard enough, but considers it a moot point; the only goblins that interact with humans (i.e., the ones Goblin Slayer considers worth his attention) are of the Always Chaotic Evil Rape, Pillage, and Burn variety. Any good goblins simply don’t figure into the story, since they’re just minding their own business.
  • Macross:
    • Millia, Konda, Warera and Loli all eventually qualify as Token Heroic Zentraedi in Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Before Space War One is over, they are joined by Exsedol and Britai; in fact, heroic Zentraedi become fairly commonplace in later Macross series, as large numbers of them have successfully integrated into human society, to the point where several characters are of mixed human-Zentraedi origin.
    • In Macross Delta, Freyja Wion is the Token Heroic Windermerian.
  • The Harmony Dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid are commonly shown to have just as much Fantastic Racism towards humans as Chaos Dragons, and often engage in Human Sacrifice and other Knight Templar actions for their self-proclaimed desire for "order and peace". Elma, the first introduced and most prominent among them, completely lacks those problems. In the beginning she still had hints of being a Noble Bigot with an emphasis on "noble", but from the start she's been neutral to friendly with humans and actually practices what she preaches about the Harmony faction's ideals, genuinely trying to bring peace and coexistence between the dragon factions and humanity, along with utterly refusing to engage in Human Sacrifice when being fed human-cooked food is much more worthwhile to her.
  • In Soul Eater it's revealed that Kim Diehl is a Token Heroic Witch, who lacks their normal affinity (and love of) destruction because her magic's healing based. Her partner being able to transform into a broomstick is just a coincidence.
  • Grasshop of Spider Riders, once he stops faking his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had Viral, who's a Beastman, caught and imprisoned after the Time Skip. When Simon is put in the next cell, the two are initially on bad terms... until Yoko busts them out and Simon asks Viral to pilot Gurren (the mecha of Viral's ex-Foil, Kamina) on the grounds that if they fail, the Beastmen will be destroyed as well, not just the humans. He accepts and permanently becomes the Gurren Lagann's co-pilot despite the fact that as a Beastman, he can't use Spiral Power (though the penultimate episode suggests otherwise).
    • Downplayed in that post-Time Skip, crowd scenes show various types of beastmen living and working peacefully alongside humans.

    Comic Books 
  • Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men includes a notable Deconstruction of this trope, where we learn that the character who's set up as the Token Heroic Orc is actually the arc's true Big Bad. It turns out that the prophecy that kick-started the story's events (that one of the X-Men would destroy the home planet of that story's "Orcs") was actually planted by said character, who wanted it to come true because she thought that living under her Emperor's barbaric rule was a Fate Worse than Death. The story points out that, even in an alien culture that seems evil to us, a person willing to completely reject every underlying value of their species' culture probably wouldn't be a paragon of mental health.
  • Rook in Birthright is a literal Token Heroic Orc. Most of his people fight in God-King Lore's army, but Rook not only leads one of the resistance cells opposing Lore, he summoned and trained the Chosen One prophesied to defeat him. Though, given the nature of the series, the results weren't entirely what he was hoping for.
  • Blade is a half vampire who hunts vampires, his ally Hannibal King is a friendly vampire who steals blood from blood banks in lieu of killing humans.
  • Bone:
    • Bartleby is a young rat creature who runs away because he doesn't like the harsh life of his fellow rat creatures. Fone and Smiley Bone help Bartleby rejoin his kind, but he likes the Bones better and eventually runs away again to permanently join them.
    • The two stupid, stupid rat creatures that the Bones keep encountering. They are quick to surrender to human forces during a fight, are even quicker to avoid a fight in the first place, and in the end work out a tentative truce with the villagers that allows them to live in the woods on the condition that they don't eat anyone with a name.
  • Karkas is a friendly but monstrous-looking Deviant who hangs out with his people's traditional enemies, the Eternals.
  • Marvel Universe has several members of the villainous Skrull race who for different reasons ally with various Earth's heroes.
    • Lyja from Fantastic Four, who posed as Alicia Masters and hooked up with Johnny for seven real-life years (which was explained via Retcon so as to not destroy the real Alicia's relationship with Ben). But while she did genuinely fall in love with him and has helped the FF on occasion, she sometimes finds herself stuck in the Heel–Face Revolving Door when she's not riding the bus.
    • Hulkling from Young Avengers, bonus points from being half-Skrull, half-Kree, Kree being another race Earth has bad history with.
    • Xavin from Runaways is a heroic Skrull.
    • John the Skrull and Skrull Beatles from Paul Cornell's Wisdom and Captain Britain and MI13
    • She-Hulk's ally Jazinda, daughter of the Super-Skrull.
    • Crusader, from Avengers: The Initiative
    • In a divergent timeline where he was the last remaining Olympian, Hercules wound up with an elderly Skrull named Skyppi as his sidekick.
    • Even Kl'rt the Super-Skrull, the most iconic of Skrull villains is more willing to team up and work together with humans after he and Skrulls as whole were forced to pull on an Enemy Mine with other races and few human cosmic heroes during Annihilation.
  • Purity Brown in Nemesis the Warlock is a prominent member of the pro-Nemesis faction on Termight, and one of Nemesis' closest confidants; due to being a human, she is often mistrusted by the Cabal. Notably, when Nemesis flies into a rage after hearing that his wife and son have been murdered, she along with Hammerstein calls out Nemesis on his intention to kill every human, citing herself as an example of a human who isn't evil.
  • Orion, son of Darkseid, raised by the New Gods of New Genesis. Also Big Barda, a former fury of Granny Goodness who helped Scott Free escape and eventually married him.
  • No-Name in Planet Hulk is member of the Brood, a race of evil bug aliens and Xenomorph Expies that fight against the X-Men on regular basis. No-Name on the other hand is a Rogue Drone that fights alongside the Hulk as a Warbound member. She proves to be an exceptional individual unlike the rest of her race (who are by large sadistic and evil) during World War Hulk when she shields civilians from the impacts of Hulk's blows against Sentry, stating that they only came to make the people responsible for their home's destruction would pay, not to destroy another world.
  • The two orc main characters in Rat Queens, Braga and Orc Dave, are heroic but have different origins:
    • Braga was originally next in line to be her tribe's chief, but left after her brother killed her boyfriend and tried to kill her to seize power and she realized she would never be able to reform them from their warlike ways. We don't know for sure, but she may have also feared they wouldn't accept her being Transgender.
    • Orc Dave is a Gentle Giant Friend to All Living Things who was raised alone in the woods by his father, separate from any orc tribe.
  • Several years before Worf, DC Comics' movie-era Star Trek spinoff comic series introduced Konom, a Klingon defector who joins Kirk's crew.
  • Superman Unchained: Wraith is an alien that was raised by the U.S. military and has helped protect Earth since 1938. He serves as a Hero Antagonist to Superman due to their ideological differences. In the finale, Wraith sacrifices his life to save Earth from his own people.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Miss Martian, through she is a White Martian hiding as a Green Martian who suppressed her nature and turned it into a Superpowered Evil Side.
    • Raven is the daughter of the demon Trigon but has long been an ally of the Titans, not counting the occasional Face–Heel Turn.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Count Dendum seems to be the only Saturnian who honestly feels bad about the empire's history of kidnapping and slavery and doesn't want to return to the system or start a war with earth.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Wondy's '90s Anti-Hero substitute Artemis was one, hailing from the violent, man-hating, arms-dealing Bana-Mighdall Amazons, who split from the main tribe in antiquity. It should be noted that the Bana-Mighdall Amazons in general were treated as more of a persecuted race after George Pérez left the book, but Artemis remains the White Sheep of the tribe... comparatively speaking. Akila, their champion, is also more decent than the average, preferring scholarship to war.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In the story's last chapter and in the AbraxasVerse Timeline by the author, Camazotz is an inversion. Whereas the other awakened Titans have submitted to Godzilla and are genuinely loyal to the maintenance of Earth's natural balance so long as Godzilla remains the dominant Alpha, Camazotz disappeared from the surface after Godzilla ended King Ghidorah's control of the Earthborn Titans in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), and he re-emerges solely seeking to take over Skull Island for himself, and he risks destroying all life on the island in the process.
  • Played with in Dungeon Keeper Ami as part of the A Lighter Shade of Grey theme. Ami's employees are predominantly amoral, evil, sadistic, stupid, or some combination thereof. However, Ami herself, as an unquestionably heroic heroine, enforces laws in her domain that generally discourage the aforementioned tendencies in her minions. As such, her goblins begin to show pride in their work — even in work that includes mopping floors and being clean. The dark mistresses show restraint (after one insists on Ami torturing her). And the youma have shown signs of genuine loyalty to Ami, their first decent employer in centuries.
  • Son of the Black: While Gumm-gumms are thought of as Always Chaotic Evil, feared and reviled by the rest of troll-kind for their warmongering, Jatar turned against them and fled. He does not hold the same taste for blood as the rest of his kin and has no problem with humans or other trolls, even if he feels like he no one would accept him. While reluctant, he agrees to act as the trollhunter until he can figure out how to dismantle the enchantments on the amulet, mainly so that he can protect Barbara and Toby from being hurt.

    Films — Animation 
  • An example of Defector from Decadence is Tiger in Don Bluth's An American Tail, a cat that can’t stand the evil ways of his people and choose not to hunt mice again, helping the protagonists against other cats.
  • Back to the Outback: Downplayed. Norine is not only the only child to not be afraid of the protagonists upon seeing them, but the only human in the entire film they encounter who realizes at first glance that they aren’t actually doing anything to try and hurt anyone, and as a result decides to try and help them escape so they can find their way to the outback.
  • Friendly baby Tyrannosaurus rex Chomper in the The Land Before Time sequels seems to be there to show that the Sharptooth are not just mindless flesh-eating beasts. This leads to the obvious Fridge Logic of what's going to happen when he gets too big to subsist on bugs anymore... Though this will probably never be explored because they never age the characters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Critters Attack has the heroes encounter and befriend a female Crite who they name Bianca, who actually helps them in wiping out the rest of her kind.
  • Evolution (2015): Stella, the Sea Monster assigned to look after Nicolas during his first pregnancy, comes to regret her role in his fate and ultimately smuggles him back to human civilization after he survives being surgically delivered of his twin daughters.
  • Godzilla:
    • Invasion of Astro-Monster: Amongst the Xiliens invading Earth, Namikawa was sent to Earth as a spy but came to sincerely care for her human lover, to the point that she betrays the invasion force by revealing the Xiliens' secret weakness.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The Queen MUTO is the only member of her species thus far who's demonstrated that she's capable of coexisting peacefully with Godzilla. The MUTO pair from the previous movie and the "MUTO Prime" from the spin-off graphic novel Godzilla: Aftershock sought to kill Godzilla and flood the world with a new generation of MUTO spawn at any cost — the Queen MUTO however, though initially serving King Ghidorah alongside the other Titans in creating global destruction, bows to Godzilla as her new Alpha without a fight following Ghidorah's death at the end of the global apocalypse.
  • Gremlins: Gizmo, one of the main characters of the series, is seemingly the only one of his kind whom is truly benevolent. Gizmo's personality is just as cute as his appearance, and he outright acts in heroism against the gremlins in both movies; whereas the Mogwai that spawn from Gizmo in both movies are mischievous or even outright vicious from birth, and are actively interested in metamorphosing into their even-more-dangerous gremlin forms as quickly as possible.
  • In Society, Clarissa and her mother turn out to be Token Heroic Shunters, even helping the human heroes escape in the end.
  • Stake Land: A couple of the vampirized characters.
    • The morning after the attack where he was bitten, Officer Harley retains both his sentience and his humanity as he talks to the main characters about how his town will rebuild and advises them on a safe manner of travel.
    • Lady in the sequel seems to have a little more control over herself than the rest of the vampires, to the point where she knowingly forces Mister to kill her.
  • Nova (from the Apes' perspective) is this in War for the Planet of the Apes as she's a good human, as for them Humans are orcs.
  • The Witches (1990) introduced one such witch as a plot device to turn the hero back into a boy in the end. In Roald Dahl's original book, no such character existed, and the hero was doomed to permanently remain a mouse (which also meant that he probably wouldn't live very long). Dahl did not take kindly to the changes, reportedly going so far as to stand outside his local cinema with a megaphone urging moviegoers not to see The Witches ([1], [2], [3], [4]). Mind you, this was mere months before the man died; that's how pissed off he was.

  • Most of the pigs in Animal Farm, especially their leader Napoleon, end up just as tyrannical as the human farmers they overthrew. But it's worth remembering that the original revolution arose from the idealism of a prize boar named Old Major, though he didn't live to see the revolution itself.
  • Bazil Broketail: Inverted. While dragons are good guys in this setting, Smilgax is the only one who is unambiguously an antagonist.
  • The BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, is the only friendly member of his species, the rest of whom are Always Chaotic Evil brutes who prey on humans.
  • Discworld: In Unseen Academicals, Mr. Nutt, a non-human Raised by Humans (and vampires) discovers that he actually is an orc. He takes it upon himself, as the first and possibly only orc people will meet, to become a Token Heroic Orc and show everyone what his species is capable of. (Turns out that while they are incredible fighting machines, they're also great at learning and teamwork off the battlefield, including on the football field.)
  • In The Edge Chronicles, Hekkle is a shryke, a member of a usually antagonistic race. He actively serves as a respected, trusted, and resourceful spy for the heroes. Another, female, shryke, Mother Bluegizzard, is also benevolent and kindly, in contrast to the other female shrykes met in the series, who are for the most part bloodthirsty warriors and slave-traders. Even Mother Horsefeather, although a greedy Jerkass, is nowhere near as vile as the shrykes encountered later in the series, and has a friendly relationship with Cloud Wolf if nothing else. Sister Bloodfeather is another example, being the only shryke ever to captain a sky pirate ship and close personal friends with at least one other captain — and shrykes in general are not on good terms with the sky pirates.
  • Harry Potter
    • Werewolves aren't inherently evil, but they are dangerous when their condition isn't properly managed, leading to widespread prejudice. At the time that the series takes place, this discrimination has driven them into the arms of Voldemort, who promised them better treatment. It doesn't help that the sadistic Fenrir Greyback, a werewolf supremacist who attacks people even when not transformed and who takes a creepy interest in infecting kids to recruit them, sided with Voldemort and enforces the party line among other werewolves. This makes Remus Lupin, the one werewolf we encounter who didn't join Voldemort, a Token Heroic Werewolf who serves as the good guys' spy among his kind.
    • Most of the giants likewise sided with Voldemort because he promised them better treatment than they were getting under the current regime. Nonetheless, a few giants do side with the heroes, including the half-human Rubeus Hagrid and Olympe Maxime along with Hagrid's fully giant half-brother Grawp.
    • The only Acromantula who behaves in an at least somewhat civilized manner is Aragog, who refuses to eat human flesh because Hagrid raised him from an egg (though he won't prevent his offspring from eating humans other than Hagrid, who's not even fully human himself).
    • Though not exactly evil, centaurs are standoffish and sometimes outright hostile toward humans—except Firenze, who even briefly stands in for Sybill Trelawney as Hogwarts's Divination professor. This leads the other centaurs to shun him as a Category Traitor. The character of Firenze may be a Shout-Out to the Greek centaur Chiron (mentioned below under Mythology).
  • Adam from I Am Number Four is a heroic Mogadorian.
  • The Legend of Drizzt:
    • Drizzt Do'Urden, a Chaotic Good drow, started out as this before he inspired a Fountain of Expies and quickly lost his uniqueness.
    • From The Thousand Orcs into The Orc King, King Obould Many-Arrows starts out as a homicidal warlord bent on dominating everything like most other orc warlords, but after becoming the avatar of the orc god Gruumsh, One-Eye he calms down considerably, becoming able to see things in a far broader perspective than any orc before him, which has already led to speculation as to a pending change in orcish society under his leadership. In the prologue of The Orc King, a hundred years have passed, and the kingdom which Obould created, the Kingdom of Many Arrows, has survived the years, establishing trade agreements and treaties with the surrounding cities of the "goodly races", and with a descendant of Obould, Obould VI, in control but being contested fiercely by shamans of Gruumsh who believe in the old ways of being self-dependent and not being peaceful with the good races. The situation being as it is in The Orc King furthers the growing desire for peace within Obould I. This, of course, is only strengthened by the story of the prologue, which obviously shows Obould's vision of the future as an inevitability.
  • Implied in The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien, a devote Catholic, struggled deeply with the idea of a race that was purely evil, even taking into account the fact that they were corrupted not created. At the Council of Elrond, it is mentioned that ALL races (save the Elves) were found on both sides of the conflict, meaning that there must have been at least some orcs and trolls fighting against Sauron.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars, Tars Tarkas starts out this way, as a Defector from Decadence among the Proud Warrior Race of Green Martians, in contrast to the civilized and more human-like Red Martians. As the story goes on, however, we learn that not all of the Red Martians are as benign and noble as we had first assumed, and when Tars Tarkas gets a Klingon Promotion to become the chief of a major Green nation, it's the Green hordes who ride to The Hero's aid to sack a Red Martian city.
    • In the later book The Chessmen of Mars, we meet a group of bizarre Puppeteer Parasite aliens called Kaldanes, who pride themselves on their absolute logic and fealty to an evil Hive Mind. When one of the Kaldanes, Ghek, hears the heroine sing and realizes the value of beauty and emotion, he has a crisis of faith, eventually undergoing a Heel–Face Turn and helping her escape. He remains an unsettling presence throughout the story.
  • Vampire Lucilla working for the vampire-hunter private agency known as the Raven Corporation in Ravencraft series.
  • Semiosis: Stevland is a sapient bamboo-like Plant Alien who chooses to live in a mutualistic relationship with human colonists. Late in the book, his narration reveals that most bamboo are brutal warmongers and he made a deliberate choice to break from that mold.
  • Shannara: Slanter the gnome in The Wishsong of Shannara. He befriends Jair Ohmsford and helps him on his quest to destroy the Ildatch. He is the only heroic gnome in the entire series. Otherwise, the gnomes are almost always faceless cannon fodder for the Big Bad.
  • In Space Captain Smith, Suruk the Slayer is one of these, and as the series is "The British Empire Recycled IN SPACE!", he has some inspiration from examples like the Kipling one below. Suruk is a Morlock (which in this case seems to be a Space Orc), and is a Proud Warrior Race Guy who loves a chance to use his ancestral weapons.
  • Starsight: Deconstructed. Brade is from an aggressive, warlike species who have been quarantined to protect the rest of the galaxy. She was raised by a more peaceful species, but she is still angry, violent, and refuses to work with anyone else. Everyone is constantly suspicious of her, which she believes is only justified—she understands how dangerous she is, and repeatedly calls herself a monster. The deconstruction is that she is in fact human. Spensa, who is also human (but in disguise) is horrified that the aliens have convinced Brade that she should be thankful for being kidnapped from her family at age seven, and it's clear that most of Brade's problems arise from being told her entire life that she's a monster. Note that Spensa is considered an eye-rolling Blood Knight by her Proud Warrior Race, but even she is far less aggressive and violent than Brade.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Yuuzhan Vong warrior Vua Rapuung takes this role in the New Jedi Order book Conquest. He's almost (but not quite) a Defector from Decadence — he has a very specific bone to pick with his people, and he's more than willing to help the Jedi to get his revenge, though he doesn't object to their ways on the whole. He does soften up some across the book, and finally gets Redemption Equals Death.
    • Thousands of years before Vua was Blotus, a Hutt Supreme Chancellor. Hutts are infamous for being crime lords, but Blotus was a benevolent ruler whose economic reforms and actions led to prosperity and had a term of over two hundred years and even thousands of years later is known as one of the greatest to hold the office.
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Rlain was the only Parshendi to defect to the side of the humans, and is quite possibly the only one left who hasn't evolved into a Voidbringer.
    • As is typical with Brandon Sanderson, it gets more nuanced than that. By the end of Oathbringer, Venli has chosen to be a hero and become a Knight Radiant despite being a prominent member of Odium's army, Moash, once Kaladin's brightest protégé, has joined the Fused, and the Skybreakers, an entire order of Knights Radiant, have decided the legally required thing to do is to fight on the side of the Parshmen/Voidbringers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The titular heroes of Akumaizer 3 are a trio of demons from the Akuma Clan who rebelled when their Clan began a war against humankind, mostly because their leader is a half-human half demon and the other two are demons who swore loyalty to him after he saved their lives. As the series goes on however, the three gradually gain more allies in likeminded demons, until eventually they're able to reform the Akuma Clan and make peace with humanity, which ironically leaves Big Bads Mezalord and Geberu as the Token Evil Orcs.
  • Andromeda:
    • The show has two in one cast; Rev Bem (Reverend Behemiel Fartraveler), a member of a Horde of Alien Locusts converted by peaceful religion, and Tyr Anasazi, a member of the Nietzschean race of genetically-enhanced humans who are screwing the galaxy (Pride wiped out by the dominant Drago-Kazov Pride), but he never claimed to be on the Hunt side.
    • In the later seasons Tyr switches sides and is replaced on the crew by Telemachus Rhade, another Nietzschean who is somewhat ashamed of his species.
    • In a one-episode alternate timeline that may or may not have been the original one, another Nietzschean, Gaheris Rhade, was part (actually leading) the crew, and unlike Tyr and Telemachus he was firmly committed to the goal of restoring the Commonwealth... as he had had a hand in helping it fall, and was really angry with what the Nietzscheans had become instead of what he'd dreamt of. So firmly committed, in fact, that once genuinely convinced that it would be better if the protagonist of the rest of the series was the one to survive in the past and end up leading the effort he barely even hesitates to go back in time, take his old self's place and ensure that's precisely what happens, despite knowing it'll ensure he'll forever be remembered only as a traitor to his captain and to the Commonwealth.
  • While the spin-off Angel has Lorne, a friendly demon working for Angel Investigations, an agency of demon hunters for most of the seasons. Although Lorne is far from token, since demons are shown to be no more evil or violent than humans. Angel's first sidekick Doyle is a half-demon, and he dies in the process of them saving a group of demons. Indeed, Angel spends nearly as much time helping innocent demons as he does humans.
  • Hawk in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is a variation of this. He is the Last of His Kind because his people were persecuted by Evil humans. However he sides with the heroes because they are Good humans.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Angel and then Spike both act as the token vampires on the show, only serving this role at the same time in the series finale. In Angel's case this is due to soul curse, in Spike's because of a control chip that stops him hurting people. And then because of getting a soul.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Considering the general moral bankruptcy of Time Lord society, heroic Time Lords like the Doctor, Susan Foreman, K'anpo Rimpoche, Romana, and Jenny could count.
    • Strax belongs to a hostile Proud Warrior Race called the Sontarans but nonetheless appears as an ally in several episodes.
    • One episode features a Dalek who makes psychic contact with the Doctor and becomes a Hunter of His Own Kind (although the Doctor doesn't view this as a Heel–Face Turn so much as a redirection of the Dalek's inherent drive to kill).
  • In Farscape Aeryn Sun is a Rebel Mook (former Peacekeeper, the main villains) although later characters like Crais and Scorpius have similar roles.
  • In First Wave, Joshua believes that his people, the Gua, are making a huge mistake planning an Alien Invasion of Earth. In his mind, if even 1 in 117 humans have the same The Determinator qualities as Cade Foster, then the invasion is doomed to fail, or, at best, will be a Pyrrhic Victory. However, Joshua doesn't technically join Cade. Their interests merely align most of the time.
  • Grimm Adalind is the most obvious example, as a former Hexenbeist (one of the most agressive of the Wesen).
    • To some extend also Monroe, granted, the series shows that many Blutbaden live normal lives not harming humans, but also is hinted that he, in the past, was as wild as many others.
    • In general the relationship of Nick with several Wesens (Monroe, Rosalee and Renard) is something that his mother, a more traditional Grimm, can't understand. Since Grimms are The Dreaded among Wesen for the Van Helsing Hate Crimes some of them committed in the past, Nick is this to the entire Wesen community.
  • In any Kamen Rider series, there's usually at least one member of the Monster of the Week species who is a supporting protagonist or at least not all that villainous. Faiz has three Orphenochs living together Being Human-style (before Being Human!) and then reveals that the main Rider is also one. Kiva from the same series has a trio of monsters from other monster races that were all but wiped out by the series' villains, the Fangire, with Jiro/Garulu being the one who really holds the role in the cast. There are several non-evil Fangire, but mostly one-shot civilians - the one that's a main character is again, our hero. Or at least he's half Fangire. Kabuto has the Native Worms, though they're not on the level, in the end. However, more than one character turns out to be a Worm and is genuinely good. No, it isn't Kabuto himself this time. There's the -taros quartet of Imagin in Den-O (as well as Sieg, Deneb, Teddy, and a few more), Ankh in OOO, Chase in Drive, and more. Also, most series have Rider Transformation Trinkets being refined versions of the tech that created the monsters, or at least work on the same principles, making heroes and Orcs the same thing. (See Fourze, Double, and several of the older ones.) When compared to some of other works by Shotaro Ishinomori, it becomes clear that this is part of the theme he generally has, that the line between the physically human and inhuman are blurry, but humaneness is not strictly inherent to natural humans; sometimes, the most evil monsters are natural humans, while the most humane are the ones that physically aren't human.
    • In both Rider and Super Sentai this is a fairly common Monster of the Week, normally with either a reveal that they're just faking it or the monster dying somehow. Especially notable is Kamen Rider Ghost as the Gazai Ganma actually survives and becomes a regular (if background) member of the team, renamed Cubi.
    • In Kamen Rider Amazon, the Mole Beastman failed to take out the hero, and was saved from You Have Failed Me by him. He went on to become a main character and ally. Unfortunately, he does not survive to the end.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has this in the form of Poppy Pipopapo, a mascot character of a rhythm game who is also a Bugster. Emu and Hiiro already had it figured out long before she revealed herself though, as her human name, Asuna Karino, is an anagram of kari no naasu, meaning "provisional nurse", and a human with a name that fits their profession is tad suspicious. Later on, she also gains the power to become a Kamen Rider.
      • Later in the same series, The Rival Parado, who was one of the major villains since the start, makes a Heel–Face Turn after dying and being resurrected, giving a comprehension of death, how valuable lives are in context of it, and how awful all his actions were in light of this new understanding.
      • Also, Kuroto, another major villain, manages to come Back from the Dead as a Bugster due to his data being saved into a Gashat, and it's revealed that his plan was to to make humanity immortal by saving them as data and resurrecting them this way. Kiriya, a Rider who was killed early on, was also resurrected this way, though at the end of the Another Ending trilogy, he gets his human body back.
  • Cara the ex Mord-Sith in Legend of the Seeker. The Mord-Sith are evil in the show, she joins the heroes.
  • Isaac in The Orville once we learn that the Kaylon are actually intending to wipe out all organic life in the galaxy.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Teal'c rebels against the Goa'uld and joins the SGC in the first episode, becoming a Shol'vah (Renegade) in the eyes of the other Jaffa for most of the series. His reasons for rebelling were because he realized that despite their claims, the Goa'uld are not all-powerful Gods and despite acting as their enforcers and slave-masters, the Jaffa are just as much slaves as the Humans on their worlds.
    • Master Bra'tac, Teal'c's mentor and predecessor as First Prime, who spent over a hundred years working as a Noble Top Enforcer for Apophis, before finally telling his "God" where he can shove it at the beginning of the second season. He goes onto founding the Jaffa Rebellion, which grows in strength over the course of the rest of the series and becomes a major faction responsible for ensuring the eventual downfall of the System Lords.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Worf is a Klingon, the primary antagonists from The Original Series, raised by humans (and belonging to a former enemy race now allied with the Federation) and the Enterprise's head of security. Captain Kirk would be shocked.note 
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Head of security Odo, originally thought to be be the Last of His Kind, retroactively became this trope after the second season, when his people became the Big Bad.
      • The Cardassians were the villains in TNG and remain so in this series, but DS9 has a resident friendly Cardassian in the tailor Garak, although he is often suspicious and has a murky background in Intelligence.
      • Nog, a Ferengi who joins Starfleet and serves on the Defiant. To a lesser extent, his father Rom who becomes a non-Starfleet station engineer, and Quark who is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but is on the side of the heroes when it really counts. Most Ferengi encountered in other series are Space Pirates even after the attempt to make them the new Klingons was abandoned.
      • Julian Bashir is an unusual example. While genetic engineering is banned within the Federation due to the risks of Khan style threats, Bashir is genetically engineered himself and is a heroic member of Starfleet.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: Seven of Nine was a Borg drone, and she doesn't fully become human again. Again, having a Borg on the crew would be unthinkable for Picard.
    • Star Trek: Picard: Elnor is the first heroic Romulan character who's part of the main cast in the franchise, being a member of Jean-Luc Picard's motley crew and is even the latter's surrogate son. The Romulans were the enemies of Spock's Vulcan people in TOS (and they still are enemies of the Federation in this series), so the younger Picard could not have predicted that his elderly self would embrace a Romulan as family. Elnor is the most un-Romulan Romulan in the Trek Verse because he follows the Way of Absolute Candor as taught to him by the Qowat Milat.
      • And then there are Laris and Zhaban, Picard's loyal housekeepers at his chateau, who are both former agents of the Tal Shiar (the Romulan secret service)!
  • In Supernatural, angels are "monsters with good publicity", as Dean puts it, but Castiel is a regular (if not the most reliable) ally, and counts as a Defector from Decadence.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger has Charcoal Grill Org who is the sole good member of the otherwise Always Chaotic Evil Orgs, his turn to good leads to him being harrassed and targeted by Highness Duke Org Rasetsu, who wished to force him back into evil so that Grill Org would make good food for him; when he continues refusing, Tsuetsue and Yabaiba brainwash him into going berserk but GaoYellow and GaoBlack, who befriended him after learning that he was genuinely good, snap him out of it, sadly the two Duke Orgs and Rasetsu kill him on the spot and resurrect him as a giant mindless monster who the Gaoranger have to tearfully kill. The ending of his episode implies that he survived or was resurrected by GaoGod, however.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger has Trinoid #12 Yatsudenwani who becomes a comic relief sidekick type character to Mikoto Nakadai/Abarekiller after the latter had seemingly destroyed the day he was deployed to attack. By the end of the series, he works for the Dino Curry restaurant (and later on becomes the CEO). And in that series the villains are not a species or altered humans — he was created for evil but isn't particularly good at it and got too infatuated with Ranru to oppose her and her teammates.
  • V has Willie who is a Visitor, but plays on the humans' team, as did Ryan from the new series. It turns out, though, that there is an entire underground of Visitors who resists the leaders from within.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Ur-Example could very well be Chiron of Classical Mythology, one of the few centaurs who's not a booze-swilling, sexually predatory brute. This could be because other centaurs were begotten in an incident of Attempted Rape.note  Meanwhile, Chiron was the son of the Titan Kronos/Cronus.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Several jötnar join the main pantheon (the Aesir) and live in Asgard. Loki before his Face–Heel Turn is probably the most famous thanks to pop culture, but other examples include Gerd, the wife of Freyr, and Skadi, wife of Njord and goddess of hunting and skiing. Freyr and Freyja may count as well as they were Vanir, not Aesir (both lineages of gods were at war for a time, after they make peace two of each kind went to live with the other faction as peace hostages). However while Aesir and Vanir were frienemies, Aesir-Vanir and jötnar were outright opponents.
  • In the Book of Genesis, Noah and his family are this to the corrupted antediluvian human race, hence why God spared them from The Great Flood.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Gary Gygax once related a tale of his original group, when one of the players (Lord Robilar, played by Rob Kuntz) decided to try recruiting a lone orc named Quij. Fast forward a few sessions of play and some amazingly good rolls on Quij's behalf, and he got promoted to the party's full-on sidekick and started advancing in class levels, a pretty significant thing for the "monster races" at the time.
    • Needless to say, token heroic orcs are very popular concepts for player characters in all editions, fueling an oft-contentious demand for legitimate monstrous player character race options. Indeed, the Half-Orc race was initially born out of a desire to support this, and this trope is why the Drow and Tiefling races became corebook options by 5th edition.
      • 5th Edition's Volo's Guide to Monsters gives the player options to play six different monster races: bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, and yuan-ti. While all of their racial traits will say that their alignments very rarely stray away from the evil variety, there is technically nothing stopping a player from making a good character from these races if they so desired. In fact, bugbears, hobgoblins, goblins, and orcs appear in Eberron: Rising from the Last War and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, with goblins also showing up in Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. Then there's the Duergar, the Dwarf counterpart to the Elves' Drow, who show up in Sword Coast Adventures Guide and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Other races could also go either way — Good, Neutral, Evil, Lawful, Chaotic, or some combination.
  • One of the class options GURPS Monster Hunters provides is the Inhuman, allowing you to play as a demon, vampire, Half-Human Hybrid, Fallen Angel, or lycanthrope.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Xantcha, from the novel Planeswalker was likely the first, and possibly only Phyrexian to go against Yawgmoth's vision and help Urza in his crusade against Phyrexia. Urabrask has become the second, with all the Quiet Furnace following him.
  • Middle-earth Role Playing : Utumkodur was the only dragon not to be a purely evil, destructive monster. Instead, she was distinguished by possessing a noticeably even temper for her kind, and for developing a peculiar fascination with the Men of Hildor and teaching them sorcery.
  • Paranoia: In Orcbusters, the Troubleshooters get stuck with Randy the Wonder Lizard when the evil wizards abandon him. "Heroic" may be an overstatement, but he does try to help ...
  • Space 1889 Red Sands' version of the game allows you to play a High Martian who, unlike the vast majority of his race, is not brutal, filthy and bestial.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Despite his monstrous appearance, Sylvan Guardioak is quite faithful to his fellow Sylvan. Also, he doesn't have the Dark attribute.

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum has Gar, "the world's smartest orc". Subverted because he is pure human who has some sort of genetic mutation (orcs, humans and elves in this setting are so close genetically humans can produce fertile offspring with both orcs and elves). He has the mind, education and manners of Quintessential British Gentleman, but the appearance, strength and vitality of an orc.
  • Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear has a goblin party member, for the first time in the Baldur's Gate series that a goblin has been on your side. (Of course, whether "your side" counts as "heroic" is ultimately up to you.)
  • Attikus from Battleborn is one of the hordes of Jennerit Thralls that commonly swarm against the eponymous Battleborn on the battlefield. Due to opposing the game's villain Rendain and being a Battleborn himself however, he's this.
  • In Best Fiends, there is Bo and Splendid, two slugs that have joined the team of the Fiends against the other ones. However, Bo is a dragon slug and Splendid is a sea slug, in comparison to the common black slugs the other ones are.
  • Borderlands 2: one of the playable characters is Krieg, who is a Psycho. In gameplay, you will kill hundreds of Psychos — every two-bit bandit gang seems to have a bunch of them to run around throwing axes at you. Krieg is the only one who's semi-consistently portrayed in a relatively positive fashion.
    • This trope is also subverted with the broken Hyperion loaders who promise to change its way if you help it finding a new body, only to betray you, apologize, ask for another body and betray you again.
  • Zasp of Bug Fables is a wasp, a race that makes up the main villainous faction, but he left the Wasp Kingdom because he didn't like what was happening there. This ends up being foreshadowing that the Wasp Kingdom is actually dramatically different under the Wasp King than it was previously.
  • Robo from Chrono Trigger is one of a very small number of robots that aren't obsessed with killing all humans, and the only one to actively assist the party and be friendly to them. Aside from Johnny and his crew, who are at best neutral irreverent jerks who'd rather just race you for fun, every other machine has one thing in mind. As it turns out it's a single rogue AI that turned on humanity and corrupted and reprogrammed all the rest to do the same, and Robo happened to be derelict and out of commission when this happened.
  • Coffee Crisis has the baby Smurgliens, the sole alien who oppose his race's plans to invade planet earth for their rock music, WiFi, and coffee, and will actually help the two player heroes stop the invasion.
  • Literally in Divine Divinity with Kroxy, the orc warrior you need to recruit for the Council. He's the only orc in the game who isn't an enemy. Predictably, you find him locked up by his brethren and awaiting execution for disagreeing with their warlike ways.
  • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening:
    • The Architect is a Mook Rebel, being a self-aware Darkspawn who's attempting to try and sever their connection to the Old Gods, thus preventing the outbreak of further Blights. He suffers from a lot of Blue-and-Orange Morality though so is not really a straight hero. There are hints that he's far more than a simple mook.
    • The Messenger, a member of the Architect's faction, seems to be the only Disciple who is a totally straight example of this. During the Darkspawn assault on Amaranthine he warns the Warden that the Mother is also attacking Vigil's Keep. He can be persuaded to join in the defense of the city and if set free afterwards, becomes a mysterious cloaked hero protecting travellers from bandits, although responsible for accidentally spreading the Blight to a few of them.
  • Downplayed in the game Dragon Rage with the Orc Galthran Etruk. He's on your side, but only because it's what is best for him right then.
  • Elden Ring:
    • Demi-Humans, the ape-like creatures that are the game's equivalent to orcs, are mostly hostile, with the exception of Boc...although, since Boc is also one of the smallest and his one attempt at actually doing anything dramatic gets him beaten within an inch of his life, his heroism mostly extends to doing your tailoring for free. At least he's enjoying himself. He can be reborn as a human in the right circumstances, but it's a flawed rebirth and he loses his identity, then dies.
    • You find a village of non-hostile Living Jars known as Jarburg, but Alexander is the only known one who's genuinely heroic, fighting alongside you against Radahn and then later the Fire Giant. He does try to kill you at the end of his questline... after challenging you to an honorable Duel to the Death which you are free to simply decline. Whether he achieves victory over the greatest warrior he knows or suffers a glorious death by their hand are both satisfactory outcomes for him.
    • Most of the Spirit Ashes are based on hostile creatures, allowing you to summon a Token Heroic Mad Pumpkin Head or Token Heroic Bloodhound Knight. You can even summon a squad of the same demi-humans mentioned above. Of course, they're not so much "heroic" as they are "compelled to obey their summoner". The only exception in Latenna, who joins you as a spirit willingly and is still fully intelligent in that form. Though you likely won't find the enemies she's the token heroic example of until many, many hours after you acquire her.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In the series' backstory, the Ayleids (Wild Elves) once ruled all of Cyrodiil and took the Nedes, human ancestors of most of the modern races of Men, as slaves. So vile was their torment of the slaves that, when the slaves revolted, several rebel Ayleid lords sided with the slaves (although some sources imply it was less 'the other lords were just that bad' and more 'there was already a civil war between Aedra and Daedra-favouring Ayleid lords' — everyone involved on the winning side, including the Ayleids on the rebellion's side, had an interest in playing up just how bad the Ayleid rule had been). As a result, they were allowed to keep their lands as vassals to the new empire the slaves would found. (At least for about a century or so until an extremist anti-elven religious sect came to power within the empire and either killed or drove away the remaining Ayleids.)
    • Scamps are the weakest and smallest known form of lesser Daedra, and in almost every game where they've made an appearance, there is typically at least one non-hostile Scamp who can be conversed with. The Scamp merchant Creeper, who appears in Morrowind and Online, is one prominent example.
    • In the Skyrim backstory, Paarthurnax was this among the dragons, having been responsible for Alduin's initial defeat. He now serves as the Big Good during the events of the main storyline. There were other dragons that rebelled against Alduin's rule, but their names are never given and they were all killed by the Blades in the intervening millennia.
    • Similar to Paarthurnax, the series' spin-off Action-Adventure game Redguard includes Nafaalilargus (a.k.a. Nahfahlaar), a dragon who managed to overcome his draconic nature and would ally with worthy mortals. For this reason, he was spared by the Blades in the 1st Era and would eventually find his way into the employ of Tiber Septim.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: Gladius, a member of the human-assimilating Eldritch Abomination Bem species, who fight on the side of humanity against the Bem. His primary motivation is to secure medical treatment for Flamerge, who was only partially assimilated, but willingly helps the defense of the Earth even after the Bem threat is destroyed.
  • The Fallout series carries a tradition of having a few friendly super mutants per game, with at least one being a recruitable companion:
    • Fallout 2 Marcus the Super Mutant. A former solder from the Master Army, who with a Brotherhood Paladin creates a town where humans, mutants and ghouls can live together. He later joins your party, if you're good.
    • Fallout 3 has Fawkes, who is simply more intelligent, better-natured (and more cultured, thanks to him studying the records in a cell he was trapped in) than his "peers". He helps you retrieve a MacGuffin, helps you escape when you're captured with it and joins you as an ally if you have high enough karma. There's also Uncle Leo, who appears as a Random Encounter and will give you random stuff simply by talking to him, lamenting that he cannot give you more.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has Lily, a Nightkin. Unlike most Nightkin, she's fairly sane (and you can make her even more sane if you wish) and friendly, to the point she regards the Courier as a surrogate grandchild. There's also Mean Sonofabitch, a friendly supermutant who protects the community of Westside from raiders. Marcus also returns, and is now the leader of a small isolated community of super mutants who simply want to be left alone.
    • Strong of Fallout 4 is something of a mixed bag. While he is comparatively heroic for a Super Mutant and approves of acts of benevolence and selflessness, he's also the most brutish and savage of the companions and loves acts of violence and killing.
    • The Far Harbor DLC has Erickson, a friendly Super Mutant dog trainer who was altered by the radioactive fog to realize how pointless the lifestyle of a typical Super Mutant was and lives a quiet secluded life. He also sells you dogs to guard your settlements with, and gives you a bandana if you have Dogmeat in your party.
    • Also, files of the first game feature Re — a rebellious supermutant. If we have enough speech skills, we'll be able to talk him to helping us killing The Master. Sadly, he isn't present in the game, though there are mods fixing it.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the Ascians are a race of immortal energy beings known for possessing mortals, manipulating entire nations, and sowing misery wherever they go in order to resurrect their sealed-away god, Zodiark. The Shadowbringers expansion reveals that one Ascian actually cares about mortals and has been fighting the machinations of their brethren — none other than the player character themself, whose superhuman status as The Ace turns out to be because they've been a reincarnated Ascian the whole time. The Ascian in question spends a long time unaware of this.
  • Fuga: Melodies of Steel's main antagonist is The Berman Empire, A Nazi by Any Other Name that suddenly invades the peaceful lands of Gasco, taking in slaves and subjugating the magic-abled Felinekos to inhuman experiments. Britz Strudel is the only Berman who actively opposes his country's invasion by teaming up with the heroes, in part due to his family being mistreated by the Empire for something his father did prior to the events of the game.
  • Glamrock Freddy from Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is notable in that he's the firstnote  animatronic seen in the franchise to actively help the player character, who in this game is a young boy named Gregory. He is only able to kill you under three specific circumstances: running out of power, failing the Simon Says Minigame, and while possessed in the True Ending. Otherwise, he not only serves as Mission Control, a gameplay mechanic, and a father figure to Gregory, but he is essentially the game's Deuteragonist.
  • Gooey from the Kirby games is implied to be a piece of usually Always Chaotic Evil Dark Matter that turned good and became one of Kirby's friends.
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Canderous Ordo is human, but also member of Mandalorian Clan. Mandalorians are treated as a different race, he is a defeated enemy. He falls under the Defector category, as many of the defeated Mandalorians have become brigands who prey on farmers and weaker opponents. As far as Canderous is concerned, they've forfeited the honor of wearing the armor.
    • This might not seem to count at first, given that he's working as a mercenary who recruited him, but the player character is actually Revan, the one who previously defeated the Mandalorians in war.
  • League of Legends has Shyvana the Half-Dragon, a unique offspring of a dragon and a human mage whose mortal allegiance is towards Demacia, a kingdom whose general policy is to reject mages and magic like her. This came about because Shyvana rescued the weakened Warrior Prince Jarvan IV and the two became a quasi-Battle Couple, and Jarvan entrusts her so much that he made her the leader of the Dragonguard, a squad to protect Demacia's borders from other, more dangerous dragons. Her loyalty to the kingdom is sincere, but due to her draconic nature, she's pretty divisive among her subordinates.
  • Mass Effect:
    • After spending the first game fighting a machine race called the geth, you can recruit a geth teammate, Legion, in the second. Instead of a Defector from Decadence, they turn out to represent the majority of their speciesthe ones you've been fighting are fanatical "heretics."
    • Sort of Urdnot Wrex. A definite believer that His Species Doth Protest Too Much and one of the few friendly krogan in Mass Effect (where most of them were criminals, pirates or agents of Saren). If he survives the first game, he returns to the krogan homeworld of Tuchanka and retakes his position as leader of Clan Urdnot in order to drag his species back to something resembling the time when they were respected and glorified for saving the galaxy during the Rachni Wars, before the Krogan Rebellion lead to their defeat and disgrace.
    • If you decide to save her in Mass Effect 1 and again in Mass Effect 3, the last surviving rachni queen becomes this, although she is an ally rather than a party member.
  • Metro Exodus has Sam, a US marine who was part of the US embassy security staff and was waiting for the train at a Moscow Metro station when the US dropped the Big One on Russia. He is also (somewhat oddly, given Melnik's paranoia about NATO) part of Melnik's inner circle, and, when pressed, states that he has been one of Melnik's Rangers for so long that it overrides any other loyalties he may or may not have had.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Averted with Ratbag. Despite him allying with Talion, it's out of convenience and pragmatism than any benevolence. He's not motivated by any noble cause (stopping the Black Captains, freeing the Outcasts, etc...), he wants to be Warchief because he wants to be the one calling the shots. He decides to aid Talion because the latter is incredibly skilled at killing his competition, which he takes credit for (a popular way amongst Uruk kind to get promotions is to kill whoever is bossing you around).
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War: Forthog Orc-Slayer is a mysterious orc ronin who will occasionally save Talion from a deathblow, then say some cryptic words and leave.
  • The Pathfinder Owlcat games:
    • Pathfinder: Kingmaker has Nok-Nok the Goblin join your party. Though he sticks to his race's Always Chaotic Evil tendencies, he mostly cares about sticking it back to the tribe that tried to execute him. The main character can encourage his silly antics and turn him into a clown, or push him towards becoming somewhat heroic.
    • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous adds Arueshalae to your party, a succubus who was pushed to repent by the goddess Desna and seeks to help the crusaders destroy the Worldwound and atone for her sinful life as a demon. She can be supported, or tempted into a relapse to become a demonic minion for an evil-aligned character.
  • Deekin the kobold bard from the Neverwinter Nights expansions. In Hordes of the Underdark, your other potential companions include a non-evil tiefling (a less-than-half-fiend) and a drow who judging from her actual behavior is only called Lawful Evil because it's required for her to have the assassin class.
  • In Persona 4, it turns out Teddie is actually just another one of the Shadows that the Investigation Team has been fighting off for the majority of the game, but he represents mankind's desire to be loved and as such is not malicious at all. He kept telling himself he wasn't a Shadow so he could appeal to regular people, though this denial resulted in his own Shadow.
  • In Prey (2017), the rest of the cast is trying to invoke this with your character. You're actually a Typhon organism that has been implanted with Morgan Yu's memories, then placed in a simulation of the Talos I outbreak. Alex Yu and his Operators are trying to make you empathize with humans, in order to make you a Token Heroic Typhon who can make peace between humans and aliens. You're given the choice to either accept this or to stay a monster.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • Qyzen Fess, the Consular's first companion, is a Trandoshan. In the Star Wars universe, Trandoshans are depicted as mercenaries, bounty hunters, and mooks for various unsavory factions. Their long-standing war with the Wookiees (and their taking of Wookiee pelts as a trophy) doesn't help matters. A Trandoshan allied with a Jedi is practically unheard of. Qyzen is indifferent to his people's overall loyalties, and follows the consular as he sees them as a prophet of his Goddess.
    • Lord Scourge of the Jedi Knight storyline is a Sith Pureblood, meaning that his race were the original masters of the Dark Side and as such sticks out like a sore thumb among the Knight's crew. He joins the protagonist because he believes them to be the one to finally bring down the Sith Emperor and makes it clear that he considers it purely Enemy Mine. According to the novel Revan, Scourge previously made an alliance with Revan and the Exile against the Sith Emperor, only to betray them and stab the Exile In the Back, after seeing a Force-vision of another Jedi standing over the Emperor's corpse.
  • Marina, the dark-skinned Octoling who makes up one half of the idol duo "Off the Hook" in Splatoon 2. She lives in Inkopolis as opposed to underground with the rest of her Octarian brethren, and gets along with the Inklings with no tension. Downplayed by the fact that, according to Word of God, no one except her partner/mentor Pearl is even aware that she's an Octoling despite both characters doing very little to hide that information. The Octo Expansion DLC eventually subverts it by introducing Octolings as a playable race, with the in-universe explanation being that they broke free from DJ Octavio's anti-Inkling propaganda.
  • Terraria:
    • Goblins are pretty much universally depicted as barbarians who wage war for no reason, and the player will be fighting off more than one invasion by goblin armies. After the first invasion, however, they can find the Goblin Tinkerer tied up somewhere underground. The Tinkerer explains that he has no ill will towards humans and thinks the goblins are invading and fighting for stupid reasons, so his fellows tied him up and left him for dead. He'll move in to the player's town and is a valuable ally for the items he can provide. He even develops a crush on the Mechanic (which is apparently reciprocated).
    • Thought it's hard to tell under his outfit, the Witch Doctor is actually a Lizarhd. The rest of the Lizarhd tribe are extremely hostile and remain in seclusion in their underground Temple. The Witch Doctor, by contrast, is a friendly and personable guy perfectly happy to live alongside humans.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Consuls/Moebius are manipulative shapeshifters who leech off the Colonies' lifeforce via the Flameclocks. Consul T/Captain Triton, however, is not only an overall decent man (his Sore Loser tendencies notwithstanding), but is so enamored with the idea of freedom he happily lets the Ouroboros destroy his Flameclock and liberate his colony's inhabitants once he's beaten in a treasure hunt and "friendly" scrap, joining the party as well as a selectable Hero.
  • Warcraft: Sort of defied and played with in the Warcraft universe, as it was revealed in Warcraft III that the reason the Orcs were so evil in the first two games was that they formed a pact with the Burning Legion and drank the blood of Mannoroth, but by the time of Warcraft III, Thrall helps them rediscover their original shamanic magic and become more peaceful, allying with the humans and Night Elves to stop Archimonde. Then in World of Warcraft, Garrosh Hellscream becomes Warchief and leads the Horde to become a villainous force again... although they still team up with the Alliance sometimes against greater threats, like the Lich King and the Old Gods.
  • Wing Commander: Hobbes who mostly was a defector from the evil Kilrathi Empire until it was revealed to be a Memory Gambit.
  • Hermann Wolff in Zombie Army Trilogy is a rare human example of this, being a Captain in the Wehrmacht during World War II — after Hitler desperately unleashes "Plan Z", he immediately turns on his former commander in disgust and willingly allies himself with the rest of the Survivor's Brigade, who consist of Americans, Russians, and both a French and a German resistance fighter, in order to survive and stop the zombie outbreak.

    Visual Novels 
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • As opposed to every other spirit, D-Man is not murderous, and rather is polite and well-spoken. Even after he was turned into a spirit, he continued to assist the characters of Spirit Hunter: Death Mark with their spirit hunting.
    • In her specific Bad End, Rosé is revealed to be some form of spirit. While spirits are usually malevolent and blood-thirsty, she has been helping the protagonist all throughout the game, and even her decision to transform him into a spirit himself was done with good intentions at heart.

    Web Animation 

  • Hawk from City of Reality may count as this: in his original society he was a low-ranking drone in a vast army; on his new team, he is considered special.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Discussed in Adventure Time when Flame King claims the people of the Fire kingdom are Always Chaotic Evil, including Finn's Love Interest Flame Princess. He notes that it would be theoretically possible to make Flame Princess into a Token Heroic Orc by having her hang out with good guys, but warns that she would take a penalty to her experience for acting out of alignment. Ultimately played with; Flame Princess does become heroic, but it's hinted the fire people were never actually "evil" to begin with, just normal people living in a culture that prizes deceit and cunning. Once Flame King is overthrown and Flame Princess starts reforms, they become noticeably more friendly and open.
  • Tara in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! is a tomato working with the good guys, albeit only Chad knows she's a tomato. Same can be said about F.T. the tomato-dog. Of course, other tomatoes are shown to be not evil including a parody of the Creature from the Black Lagoon and an Elvis Impersonator tomato.
  • Castlevania (2017): Alucard, the dhampir son of Dracula, is the only inhuman creature in the setting who is genuinely on humanity's side for genuinely-noble reasons without ulterior motives, and as far as we know he's rarely if ever killed anyone who didn't have it coming. All the vampires and other creatures, even the ones with plenty of sympathetic qualities such as Dracula and Lenore, only care about the fate of humans insofar that it affects their own interests, or in Dracula's case only tolerated mankind while they had a Morality Chain in place. Even all the Forgemasters introduced in the series, who seem to be more empowered humans than supernatural monsters, are anything but saints and have hundreds to thousands of humans' blood on their hands.
  • Disenchantment: In this show's universe, Ogres have a reputation of being blood thirsty, man eating brutes. And while that's true for the majority of them, the season 2 episode "Our Bodies, Our Elves" reveals that The Ogre Queen is secretly not as blood thirsty as the other Ogres. She even helps Bean and Elfo to escape the Ogre Homeland with the Legendberries they came to collect there. She also apologizes for killing and eating Wade.
  • Exo Squad: At least several Neosapiens count as much, but none are more notable than Marsala. Still loyal to his people, he led the original rebellion against humanity (who originally created the Neos as a Slave Race), but opposed Phaeton's because he didn't want Neosapiens to become the ones who enslave others.
  • As in the example in the film section, in the animated series Fievel's American Tails based on Don Bluth's film, Tiger is a friendly cat that is one of Fievel's (a mouse) best friends in a town full of mean cats. This becomes even polemic at some point as Fievel's parents do not fully approve the friendship.
  • Similar to Tiger, the cat Fencer in Foofur is a cat that belong to a gang of stray dogs, and is Foofur's (the eponymous dog protagonist) best friend. Fencer's loyalty is never questioned even when most cats shown in the series are antagonistic, and even when Fencer decides to live among cats he is unable to adapt. Nevertheless the series does show that Fencer is not the only nice cat, as Cleo (Fencer's Love Interest) seems to be too.
  • Downplayed in Hilda. The elves are not evil, they just operate on Blue-and-Orange Morality. However, Alfur is the only elf who comes to Hilda's defense when the rest of the Little People try to evict her from the woods. Later on, he ends up joining her on her adventures.
  • The Lion Guard, a spin-off of The Lion King, features Jasiri, a hyena whom Kion meets and finds out she's not like any of the other hyenas, who are portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil. She even explains that most hyenas besides her are good.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Season 6 episode "The Times They Are a Changeling" introduces a good Changeling named Thorax, who spends the bulk of the episode trying to win over the trust of the ponies with the help of Spike. In the season finale, he ends up causing a Heel–Race Turn for the rest of his kind and becomes their new leader, implying that most of their villainy was due to Queen Chrysalis' influence.
    • Spike the Dragon as well, with his race being greedy and self-centered jerks while he was Raised by Ponies. His friendship with Dragon Lord Ember has started to change that, however.
    • Gabby the Griffon isn't like the rest of the griffons of Griffonstone, who are penny-pinching grumps. She's bright, optimistic, and very friendly towards others with a big heart of generosity and enthusiasm.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: The Origins Episode "Lad and Logic" reveals that Mr. Logic, the robot hairdresser who owns a shop at Lakewood Plaza Turbo, was actually created by Boxmore to serve as an advisor. After Logic turned against him, Lord Boxman was so enraged that all his future robots were programmed to be mentally incapable of performing a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Slimer, a ghost who helps hunt other ghosts.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: In the latter half of the show, we meet Horde Prime and his hundreds of clones, all of whom exist to serve his evil will and help him carry out his conquest of the universe. However, the previous Big Bad used to be one of them, but was cast out for having free will and subsequently developed a personality and motivations of his own, showing that the clones aren't inherently evil beings, but are instead connected to a Hive Mind run by an utterly evil man. Hordak, while still a villain, is much more sympathetic and nuanced than his "brothers", with plenty of Pet the Dog moments. In the fifth season, our heroes accidentally disconnect a random clone from the hive, which causes him to freak out, since he's never not been mind-controlled in his entire life. Nicknamed "Wrong Hordak", he winds up going home with the team, and joining them, revealing that when he's not being forcibly controlled by Prime, he's a sweet, curious person with the enthusiasm of a child, who only wants to be helpful to his new "brothers". Once he realizes Prime is a liar who doesn't care one ounce for his clones, Wrong Hordak becomes one of the loudest dissenters. The series ends with Prime's death, meaning that the hive mind is gone for good — which means there's now hope for his underlings.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: D'Vana Tendi is the first Orion series regular in the franchise and the first Orion Starfleet officer seen in the prime timeline. Her species is mostly portrayed as villainous criminals.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Citadel arc features a trio of Separatist battle droids that have been captured and reprogrammed by the Republic to serve under R2-D2's command as infiltrators for a rescue mission behind enemy lines.

Alternative Title(s): Token Enemy Nonhuman