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Was Actually Friendly

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"We are the angels and we live forever
We're waiting for you to share our life
We show you the world through our eyes
Come follow us into the night"

There's this group that Bob believes/suspects to be totally evil. Maybe the group has been subjected to Demonization, or maybe it simply looks really scary/suspicious to Bob. However, a little friendliness can go a long way. Maybe it doesn't take more than an outstretched hand for Bob to change his mind?


If Dark Is Not Evil, then this might be how Bob makes a Heel–Face Turn as he stops being a Principles Zealot or Windmill Crusader or whatever his problem was. However, if the group really is The Dark Side (rather than merely Darker and Edgier), it might instead be how he makes a Face–Heel Turn. This subversion is closly related to Affably Evil. If BOTH sides are good (at least in Bob's eyes), then this may be how Bob becomes a peacemaker between them... or get stuck in the Face–Heel Revolving Door.

If the group is religious or political this social conversion might lead to Easy Evangelism, as Bob listens sincerely to whatever his new friends are saying.

On a psychological level, this phenomenon is largely the same thing as Critical Backlash. (Note however that this trope is an in-verse reaction while Critical Backlash is an audience reaction trope.)


Compare Easy Evangelism for the religious or political version - this trope works on a purely emotional level. Of course, it can still lead to Easy Evangelism, as a righteous hero or Manipulative Bastard gain Bob's trust on a personal level before he drops the anvil. Also compare Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind.


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    Films — Animation 
  • In Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole, the Pure Ones seem really scary at first. (And it's also clear from the narrative that they actually are evil.) However, because their queen shows Kludd some kindness, he quickly "realizes" that they are the good guys.
  • Toy Story
    • In the first film, Woody is initially afraid of the toys Sid operated on, but realizes they're friendly when they repair Buzz's arm.
    • Toy Story 3: The toys at Sunnyside at first seem friendly, then turn nasty, and then end up nice again. This is especially true of Big Baby, who initially seems very creepy, but in actuality is really just a... well, baby.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Preaching to the Perverted runs on this trope, with the protagonist being very surprised that the people at the club he's infiltrating turns out to be really nice people.
  • The Pact: Jennifer Glick's ghost is actually trying to alert Annie that there's a serial killer living in the basement. During her acrobatic struggle with the ghost, Annie embeds her kitchen knife in what she later realizes is a false wall covering the door to a secret extra room.
  • Easy A: We know from the get-go that Olive's a nice girl, but Marianne believes that Olive is a "whore," and absolutely hates her for much of the film, and the feeling is very mutual. Then, when Marianne has a breakdown in the principal's office, Olive decides to comfort her and show her some compassion in spite of how awfully Marianne treated her. This stuns Marianne, who instantly goes from being determined to get Olive expelled to being determined to be friends with her instead. It doesn't last, but that was due to circumstances beyond both Olive and Marianne's control.

  • The Hobbit:
    • Wood Elves. They and the dwarves mutually distrust each other, so the dwarves refuse to say why they're there, making the elves suspicious, since they assumed the starving dwarves approaching their banquet to beg for food were attacking. They turn out to be a lot nicer later on, with Bilbo giving them some treasure on his way back home, in payment for the food he stole while orchestrating the dwarves' breakout .
    • The men of the lake as well since they join the elves in laying siege to the old keep. Crosses with Fire-Forged Friends; everybody is about to kill each other until Gandalf shows up to warn them that they're about to be attacked by goblins.
  • The Sini Mira in The Native Star turn out to be Actually Friendly, although the main characters never discover this.
  • Some of the suspicious-looking characters in Galaxy of Fear turn out like this — because of the Cliffhangers on most chapters, often when someone's introduced it's in a somewhat threatening way. Notable is the titular character of Ghost of the Jedi, who could only be perceived by Tash, and not very well at first.
  • In the German novel Der Krähenturm ("The Tower of Crows"), a witch-hunter comes to realize that witches are not actually evil - after torturing a witch on a mere suspicion that she killed his brother (with whom she was actually best friends). While some witches are actually evil, they're as diverse as humans, and the witch hunter comes across as anti-hero, at best. The actual hero of the novel, when confronted with a nice witch, adjusts to this with much more ease, as he's already friends with vampires.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a Star Fleet officer is tasked with infiltrating the Maquis, a group of outlaw Federation citizens fighting the evil Cardassian empire in clear violation of a peace treaty between The Federation and The Empire. This gets harder and harder for her as the local leader insists on being really nice to her and talking about various sentimental stuff. After he is killed by the Cardassians, she betrays Star Fleet and defects to join the Maquis.
  • In one episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the protagonists themselves do this to a civilization that is very powerful but also very afraid of them. Well, this is Species 8472. First they pushed back the Borg that was invading their realm, but then the humans show up, siding with the Borg, and start exterminating them. Considering this background, it really didn't take much to win their confidence.
  • Stargate SG-1 episode "Forsaken". The team runs into a group of humans with a downed spaceship harassed by evil-looking Rubber-Forehead Aliens. They later found out that humans were convicted criminals on the way to Penal Colony and said aliens were crew of the ship — Serrakins who once liberated criminals' homeworld of Goa'uld and settled there living in harmony with locals.
  • A lot of old old Doctor Who monsters are like this. The Optera in "the Web Planet", the Didoans in "The Rescue", whatever's going on in "Galaxy Four", plus some newer(= 1970s) examples like the Martians in "The Ambassadors of Death", the Ice Warriors in "The Curse of Peladon" ONLY, and the Foamasi in "The Leisure Hive."
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Trial by Fire", a newly-inaugurated President is taken to a bunker after an object is detected on the way to Earth. It is eventually revealed that alien ships are about to enter Earth's orbit. They send a message in, apparently, their own language, which linguists are trying to translate. Meanwhile, several of their actions are perceived as hostile by the US and, especially, by Russia. Faced with the possibility of an Alien Invasion and the threat of a nuclear exchange with Russia (who claims that anyone who doesn't fight the aliens will be seen as a collaborator), the President orders a strike on the aliens. It utterly fails due to the aliens' advanced technology. Furthermore, the aliens launch powerful missiles against Washington, D.C., and Moscow. Right before they hit, an advisor tells the President that the alien message was in English all along, just garbled due to their aquatic environment, offering friendship to humans.
    • In "Second Soul", an alien race arrives on Earth. This time, they're openly asking to be allowed to live on Earth by possessing dead humans. Throughout the episode, several characters get increasingly paranoid about the aliens' agenda on Earth. It is revealed, though, that the aliens have no evil agenda and are merely building a museum to their race, as all their children are 100% human.

  • Several Blutengel songs run on this theme, with the cool vampires inviting the humans to hang out with them and maybe becoming immortal themselves.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • On South Park, a Mormon family moves to town and prove to be so nice that Stan and his family literally can't help becoming friends with them, even when they try, and Randy soon succumbs to Easy Evangelism. The episode seems to hint that their kindness is a ploy for this purpose, but by the end it's revealed that no, Mormons really are just insanely good people, regardless of how weird their other religious beliefs might be.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Welcome To The Dark Side We Have Cookies


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