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In a sudden and shocking betrayal, The Mole reveals himself, screws over the rest of the team, and runs off to go change sides. Except... he doesn't really run off. Maybe he was under Mind Control and comes to his senses soon after. Or maybe he was just temporarily misguided, and once the team either talks him down or beats some sense into him, he reverts. Or maybe he has a change of heart shortly after the betrayal and has a Heel–Face Turn for real. No matter the circumstances, the guy who just backstabbed the party five minutes ago is welcomed back with open arms, and the whole incident is quickly put behind them. Yay for party unity!

Not a Fake Defector (that's someone who never really changed sides but pretended to do so as part of a deep undercover operation). We're talking about people who really did turn on the heroes, but then turned back or explained the incident away fairly quickly, and everyone is surprisingly okay with this. Probably preceded by We Used to Be Friends.

A specific instance of Easily Forgiven where the unmasked traitor remains a contributing part of the team.

Multiple spoilers below.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Happens several times with Kai in Bakuten Shoot Beyblade, following his seemingly endless walk through the Heel–Face Revolving Door. The most notable occurrence is near the conclusion of the third season when Kai makes his return to the G-Revolutions after running around on different sides for the entirety of the season. Takao literally forgives him with three simple words and completely forgets about Kai's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, appointing him The Lancer once again.
    • And it's not just Takao who's so ready to forgive him. Neoborg is more than happy to welcome Kai back to their rankings - and appoint him Team Captain - at the start of the third season, even after he so abruptly deserted them for the BBA in the first season.
    • And while Kai never returned to his original team, the Shell Killers, the manga makes it very clear he'd so much as have to sneeze in their direction and it'd be all good again.
  • In Endride, this happens with Louise although it's played with in that while Demetrio and Eljuia are willing to grant her easy forgiveness, Mischa and Felix explicitly aren't, and Louise's guilty conscience is somewhat eased by someone holding her accountable for what she's done.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, after everything that's happened between them, Miaka finds it in herself to forgive Yui, possibly because of Yui's decision to essentially sacrifice herself to save the world, although she does come back, and the two go back to being best friends.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Athrun and Dearka defect from ZAFT to Orb; by the time of the sequel, Dearka's back with ZAFT, though he did get demoted for his defection. Athrun, on the other hand, not only gets into the best-of-the-best FAITH Squadron but the fifth Super Prototype Gundam, entirely because Chairman Durandal was the one trying to get him to rejoin.
  • Rio Kurotori in Muhyo and Roji briefly angsts about everything that she's done after realizing that while she joined Ark to avenge her mother's death, Teeki was responsible for sending the ghost that killed her, but her student Biko delivers a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man punch, and despite acknowledging the crimes committed, says everyone wants her back.
  • Naruto: The remainder of Team Kakashi have made it very clear to Sasuke that they're willing to welcome him back, despite his numerous crimes, and, as of Chapter 698, it's finally happened.
    • The possibility of this was shut down for awhile when Danzo was made the acting Sixth Hokage, and his first act was to make Sasuke a missing-nin, which means he's a criminal with a bounty on his head. While he was later killed (at Sasuke's hand, no less), the missing-nin status remained, until the very end.
    • Most of the rest of the Rookie 11 have also more or less slammed this door in Sasuke's face in light of him joining Akatsuki and potentially starting a war with the Cloud village by kidnapping Killer Bee, with Shikamaru resolving that they can't leave this issue hanging out anymore and they will deal with Sasuke themselves.
    • To some degree this also happened with Sai, who is initially revealed as passing classified information on to Orochimaru, supposedly to help Danzo destroy Konoha so he can rebuild it as he sees fit (they don't know he wants to assassinate Sasuke), after he pulls a Heel–Face Turn. Yamato doesn't seem to mention that he let an unconscious Sakura almost fall to her death while going to meet with Orochimaru.
    • Taken to a fairly bizarre extreme in Naruto Gaiden, with both Kabuto and Orochimaru himself now on friendly terms with Konoha.
  • Double subverted in One Piece. An argument between Luffy and Usopp over getting a new ship results in Usopp challenging Luffy to a duel and leaving the Straw Hats, with the winner getting to decide what happens with the Going Merry. Luffy wins, but gives Merry over to Usopp and says they're getting a new ship, and that's final. Later in the arc, the traitor wishes to come back to the Straw Hats, to which Luffy is enthusiastic, but Zoro tells Luffy to back off. The traitor not only left, but undermined Luffy's authority as captain of the ship. Zoro argues that regardless of how Luffy personally feels about his crewmates, he can't have his crew questioning his decisions or trying to subvert his will, because that will mean trouble down the line. Luffy can't find fault with Zoro's argument, even if Zoro is being harsh about it. It's only after the traitor formally apologizes and admits they made a mistake that they're allowed back onto the crew.
  • Subversion: In Rosario + Vampire, every time Hokuto Kaneshiro has appeared, Tsukune has welcomed him with open arms. Even when Moka has an eyewitness account of Hokuto with a monstrel. Even after Hokuto went One-Winged Angel on him. Even when he strangled him with a hand made of tentacles and taunted him that he couldn't protect Moka. Even Hokuto himself tells Tsukune they're not friends and that he shouldn't be trusted when they team up against another villain later on. However, Tsukune is the only one who does this; everyone else in the Unwanted Battle Harem isn't fooled.
  • In Slayers, Xellos is tolerated as a team member even though everybody knows that he follows his own agenda, and will betray the party at the drop of a hat if it suits his purposes. And they allow him to come back every time that happens, since he's too useful to leave out, and indeed it's impossible to stop him from coming along if he wants to, which is pointed out in the manga. It's also brought to attention in Slayers Revolution, where Lina warns Pokota not to pick a fight with Xellos, because she's not sure they could take him. A few episodes later, it's shown that she's right: he can easily take down the entire team. Although, it is shown in the anime that Lina will dish out some physical abuse if she survives one of Xellos' betrayals, and he is sort of obligated to take it if his betrayal didn't net him his intended objective.
  • In the second season of Vandread, Buzam A. Calessa is eventually revealed to have been a spy and a high-ranking officer from Taraak (male planet), who has undergone a complete sex change to infiltrate the female-only crew of Nirvana. However, within an episode of The Reveal, s/he ends up betraying Taraak and rescuing her/his True Companions from imprisonment, so The Captain allows her/him to remain on the ship under a single condition—that s/he reverts back completely to the she from before the reveal (it helps that she never technically betrayed Nirvana and only revealed her true colors to save the ship and the crew).
  • Wolf's Rain: Hige, sort of., He wasn't exactly welcomed back after being brainwashed into leading the heroes into a trap, but was tolerated as long as no further stunts were pulled. (It was near the end of the series by then anyway.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Exactly why the True Companions still let Bakura approach within 100 feet of them, given that his evil side continuously takes over without warning, and all attempts to defeat it have been proven to work only for a short time or not at all, is unclear.
    • Because in the manga, while the group had initially been outraged at Bakura's apparent betrayal, they eventually saw good Bakura struggling to regain control, causing the evil side to fumble at a few points that saved their lives, and even joining them to defeat Zorc, and realized that Bakura's real personality was truly their friend. Little of this comes through very well in the anime, though.
  • YuYu Hakusho, in the sense that Mitarai is a traitor to the whole damn human race. Kurama welcomes him with a smile, and Yusuke even turns down Yana's offer to "copy" Mitarai's memories to be sure. Hiei is the only one who openly questions just why they're trusting him.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Legion of Super-Heroes Brainiac 5 set up Ultra Boy for a woman's murder, nearly killed Chameleon Boy, was planning to destroy the entire universe, and resolved the universe-destruction in a way that sent a former teammate hopelessly insane for years—but he was crazy, spent five issues in an insane asylum, was cured and welcomed back to the team with open arms. (This included their ignoring the murder he'd framed Ultra Boy for; a few years later a story was written establishing that someone else entirely had been responsible for the actual killing. Because just because you want to destroy the universe doesn't mean that you're so lost to morality as to commit one murder!)
  • In the Fantastic Four it was discovered that the Human Torch's wife was actually a Skrull disguised as Alicia Masters. She agreed to help them get back the real Alicia & was believed killed on the mission. However her Skrull superior decided to give her superpowers so she could help him get revenge on the Fantastic Four, which she did until her Heel–Face Turn & was allowed to stay with the FF & apparently had free run of their headquarters despite her untrustworthy history.
  • Thoroughly averted with Hal Jordan. He becomes Parallax, wrecks the Green Lantern Corps, then dies and comes back good. Most of the Corps takes a long time to trust him again, despite his resurrection establishing that Hal's evil phase was due to being Brainwashed and Crazy. The Lost Lanterns, who he had previously attacked and left stranded, tried to kill him when he had just rescued them from A Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Lampshaded and exploited by Mycroft Holmes in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He says of the double-agent Campion Bond, "Nothing at all [will happen to him]. It is often useful to have employees whom you know to be treacherous."
  • Chase Stein once betrayed the Runaways in a bid to resurrect his dead girlfriend that nearly resulted in Nico Minoru getting sacrificed to the Gibborim. He was welcomed back with more or less open arms, despite the fact that this stunt resulted in the Runaways losing the Hostel (Iron Man raided it while the team was busy trying to save Chase from his own terrible decisions, and by the time they got back, they were too exhausted to fight Stark and his army of "cape-killers".)
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Luke joins the Empire in Dark Empire. That was initially a plan to kill Palpatine, but Luke ended up falling to the Dark Side for real until his sister's love saved him and he went back to the New Republic. Who never brought up his defection and time as a Sith Apprentice again.
    • In the X-Wing Rogue Squadron comics, Ace Pilot Soontir Fel, the best Imperial pilot since Vader's death, defects to the Rebel Alliance, where his brother-in-law Wedge Antilles welcomes him. Not long after the comic ended Fel vanished; in the X-Wing Series novels Iron Fist and Solo Command he seemed to be working with an Imperial offshoot, but this was an actor. In the Hand of Thrawn duology it's seen that the Empire of the Hand, a pragmatic but good Imperial offshoot, kidnapped him and persuaded him to join. There was a novel planned that would've gone into more detail about all this, but it languished in Development Hell before eventually being cancelled. The same duology has that fairer, more cautious offshoot of the Empire try to recruit Mara Jade, who had been forced away from the Empire by treachery. Unfortunately, the way they did this involved violence when she refused, even if they weren't shooting to kill, and so of course it didn't work.
  • In X-Men, Colossus, driven by grief over the death of his sister, betrayed the team and joined Magneto's Acolytes. He later left the Acolytes (mainly just because the Acolytes had disbanded) and visited the X-Men's England-based sister team Excalibur, where he beat up Pete Wisdom for no good reason (Pete was dating Kitty Pryde, Colossus' ex-girlfriend at the time). Despite all this, Excalibur welcomed him into their team, and he later rejoined the X-Men after Excalibur broke up. Justified as Colossus' earlier actions were caused by an injury that trapped him in his steel form. Once he was freed from it, he was forgiven for his actions and only stayed with the Acolytes to make sure they don't try anything shifty.

    Fan Works 

  • Clint Barton/Hawkeye for Nick Fury in The Avengers (2012), mostly because Fury realizes he was Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to Loki. The director's commentary even points out that the Creepy Blue Eyes effect given to victims of the brainwashing was added late in production to make it more obvious when characters were and were not under its effects and to make their use of this trope more understandable.
  • Brink!: Andy "Brink" Brinker. When he's offered a job to work with Val, his nemesis. Goes far as to injure his friends with the We Used to Be Friends trope, later on he learns his lesson and reforms.
  • The Expendables: After everything that's happened, Gunnar is back with everyone at the end of the film. It is outright stated that many of his issues were substance abuse-related, and in the sequels, he appears to be cleaned up, although still not entirely sane.
  • MirrorMask: Valentine, although he completely redeems himself.
  • Over the Hedge: Zigzagged with RJ. While he saves everyone after having a Heel Realization, most of the cast is still pissed at him for putting them in danger in the first place, and try to drive him away. The only one who's actually happy to see RJ is Verne, who'd spent most of the movie distrusting him, but now can see that he's genuinely repentant. When Verne explains why he's willing to welcome RJ back, the rest of the cast quickly drops their anger.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Empire Strikes Back: Lando. Justified, to a point, as it was explicit from the beginning that he was acting under duress.
    • The (most recent) ending of Return of the Jedi indicates that force ghost Anakin gets a similar pass for his atrocities as Darth Vader.
  • Subverted in Super Troopers with Farva, who betrays the Highway Patrol to the local Sudbury Police. He becomes a hero long before the others and his actions in the finale would have made him a hero in the precinct. It's clear the former Highway Patrol still want nothing to do with him, less than ever in fact, but they simply have no choice but to work with him once more.

  • Doctor Skinner in Dr. Franklin's Island has some conscience left and while drunk attempts to help the protagonist and her friends to escape, twice, and is caught, twice. Each time his boss, the titular island-owning doctor, chides him mildly and forgives him, and has him keep working for him. Doctor Franklin knew Skinner well enough to anticipate what he'd try to do each time, wanted to see what would happen each time, has enough help to be able to keep him from doing serious harm, and there aren't many people with his qualifications willing to work on what they're working on.
  • Emperor has this happen with Brutus after he betrays Caesar during the civil war. Which is pretty much how it went down in real life, so...
  • This happens in the Gone series to Jack in Hunger.
  • Laura from the HIVE series is welcomed back in book eight by the rest of squad four, although the remaining members of the Alpha stream and Penny are nowhere near ready to forgive her. Justified in that the Alphas don't know she was forced to betray them against her will, and Penny blames her for Tom's death. Also, the main characters feel for her because she was mind raped by Zero and is even offered the opportunity to go home.
  • Edmund in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Granted he is their brother, and none of them are that cold yet. Also, it's pretty much shown outright that he was enchanted by the Witch at the first meeting with her. It's a fairly strong argument against taking candy from strangers, even if they are androgynously sexy.
  • The Silmarillion:
    • Morgoth— basically Satan— makes a really pretty pouty face after the Valar (extremely powerful archangels; basically gods) kicked his ass all over Arda in the backstory, so Manwë gives him time off for good behavior. The narration explicitly says that it's because Good Cannot Comprehend Evil and he really wants to believe that Morgoth, basically his brother, has pulled a for-real Heel–Face Turn. It ends badly and the next time Morgy tries pleading for mercy, Manwë opens up a cosmic airlock into the primordial void and drop-kicks him out of it.
    • On a more positive note, Ossë betrays the other Ainur and joins Morgoth for a while, but they drag him back and convince him to Heel–Face Turn and rejoin the good guys. He stays relatively loyal after that, but occasionally throws a temper tantrum that creates storms at sea. The rebellious Noldor who gave up the rebellion and returned under Prince Finarfin got a rather colder welcome home.
  • This happens numerous times in Star Wars Legends.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Graystripe leaves ThunderClan in the first series so that he can raise his kits in their mother's Clan, RiverClan. Once he's exiled from RiverClan for saving his best friend, Fireheart, during a battle, he rejoins ThunderClan. The Clan has divided opinions on him upon his return; half view him as a traitor for joining another Clan (something that is almost never done), while half are welcoming and happy to see him back.
    • In Omen of the Stars, Hollyleaf returns to the Clan after having murdered Ashfur, gone into hiding for over a year, and experienced a change of heart about her birth mother and adopted mother. Upon her return, her family covers for her - Brambleclaw claims that he saw Ashfur attack her, and Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Leafpool, who know the truth, keep quiet - and the Clan welcomes her back pretty much with no questions asked.
    • Also in Omen of the Stars, Ivypool is lured into joining the Dark Forest, and even helps guide the Clan into an unnecessary battle that results in a ShadowClan death and Firestar losing one of his nine leader's lives. However, once she realizes that they're actually plotting to destroy the Clans and repents, she is welcomed back to the side of the heroes.
  • After being outed as the mole, Skitter from Worm is welcomed back by the Undersiders, though it took Bitch and Grue a long time to forgive her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Utterly and beautifully subverted on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as season 2 has Ward honestly thinking that the team will be willing to take him back after he turned out to be a HYDRA agent who had killed many innocent people, including several SHIELD agents. Instead, it's made abundantly clear the team are never going to forgive Ward, especially since he keeps deflecting responsibility about why the team is so angry at him in the first place.
    • It's shown when a captive Ward is giving info to Coulson and openly stating that he wants to help as "this is still my team", which stuns Coulson.
      Coulson: My team? Y-you... You are not, nor will you ever be, on my team! You dropped Fitzsimmons out of a plane. You murdered Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig. You betrayed every one of us, you deluded son of a bitch!
    • A later episode has the team forced to work with Ward against a mutual foe. He gives them a warm speech on how he knows it'll be hard to win back their trust but is willing to try. Over the course of the episode, the others openly tell Ward they consider him absolute scum and would gladly kill him if given the choice and Simmons soon attempts to do exactly that, although she fails.
    • Happens for real after Daisy betrays the team for Hive in season 3, mainly because everyone knows from the start that the traitor was Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • On Angel, Wesley gets there eventually, although things between them are pretty cold for a while, even when they're working together.
    Gunn: Why do you keep coming back here after everything you've done?
    Wesley: Because you keep needing my help.
  • Babylon 5:
    • After Garibaldi betrays Sheridan to Clark's forces. The betrayer had been Mind Controlled, and soon afterwards, decided to rescue the betrayed. When he goes to the Mars resistance for help, there's a lot of tension until telepath Lyta Alexander confirms that he was mind-controlled and isn't anymore, and during the actual rescue attempt, the betrayed turns out to be sufficiently out of it that he can't remember why he's mad at the betrayer.
    • Subverted with Lennier, who regrets the betrayal moments after making it, only to be caught when trying to make good. He leaves rather than face the shame and accusation that isn't coming, as Delenn remembered his bravery before the betrayal, and realizes that Lennier's moment of weakness lasted only a moment before he tried to do right. There's a bit of subtext; Delenn too had once had a Moment of Weakness (with far worse results) that she regretted afterward, and that's the very reason she forgives Lennier.
  • Farscape has Rygel, who betrayed the crew at the end of the first season before coming back when he realized he couldn't benefit from it. It wasn't the last time he betrayed them in some way. At least the characters don't seem to completely forget it:
    John: Shut up, you miserable excuse for a life! I'm sick of having you sell us out every chance you get!
    Rygel: I don't do it every chance!
  • Firefly: Jayne. Though somewhat justified, as Mal holds that fact over his head to keep him in line, and Simon dismisses a grudge between them because they're all supposed to be on the same side, and holding a grudge would be counterproductive to things like survival. Also, as a surgeon he is Jayne's only real hope in case of serious injury, something Simon leaves as a vague but unsubtle threat. Meanwhile, River is capable of killing him with her brain. Lastly, the rest of the crew don't actually know the extent of Jayne's treachery.
  • Happy Days: Zig-zagged in an episode where Richie encounters his friends after a night of being blackout drunk and apparently insulting or irritating each one of them. Even Fonzie wants to beat him up. In the end, he's so penitent everyone agrees to let it go and never mention it again.
  • Heroes: A little attempted genocide won't stop the Petrellis from having family brunch together.
  • In a season finale of NUMB3RS, Colby Granger is revealed to be a spy for the Chinese in the FBI. While next season's premiere reveals it wasn't quite true, he IS and always has been a plant by the Department of Justice.
  • Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space should be the poster child. Every other episode he's trying to sell out or betray the Robinsons to the latest Monster of the Week, and yet everyone forgets his betrayal by the end of the episode.
  • Alan A Dale in the BBC's Robin Hood betrays the merry men throughout series 2. Makes a Heel–Face Turn in the penultimate episode and turns against Gisbourne and the Sheriff. Just in time to die at the end of series 3 due to the gang not trusting him.
    • Roy in the first season led the Merry Men on a wild goose chase to find the mother of a baby they found, even though he himself actually knew who the mother was. Then he tried to kill Robin and almost succeeded. Then Robin quickly decided to forgive Roy. Though to be fair, he only betrayed them because he was presented a Sadistic Choice by the Sheriff and it is obvious that he betrayed them reluctantly.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures has a justified example: the computer Mr. Smith was an enemy spy but could continue to act like he did before he was unmasked because, after all, he's a computer and can be reprogrammed.
  • Star Trek: DS9: Garak tortures Odo almost to death to try getting back in his old mentor's and father's good books. In the episode's final scene, Odo suggests he and Garak start having breakfast together. This friendly gesture hinged on a revelation during the interrogation which saw Garak mentally torturing himself as much as he was physically torturing Odo over what he was doing to Odo (both of them desperately wanted to return home to their own people).
    • Quark gets this treatment frequently over the course of the early seasons (before his "heart of latinum" status was clearly established)
  • In one season finale of Star Trek: TNG, Data, having been fed negative emotions, sides with evil brother Lore against the Federation and proceeds to help capture a number of his friends, then experiment on and torture Geordi. The crew eventually manage to turn his ethical subroutine back on and pretty much literally welcome him back with open arms after Lore is defeated.
  • Stargate SG-1: Teal'c was once brainwashed by Apophis into loyalty, but was reverted by a near-death ritual, and could return to duty immediately. This is despite him successfully tricking almost everyone prior to the ritual.
  • Ted Lasso: Season 2 ends with Nate Shelley betraying Ted's trust by leaking his panic attacks to the media, tearing the "Believe" sign, and becoming head coach of rival team West Ham United under Big Bad Rupert Mannion. Season 3 shows Nate taking a level in jerkass, but also feeling guilty about hurting Ted and being emotionally manipulated by Rupert. While the team (minus Ted) was pissed off at Nate for most of the season, after Nate leaves West Ham and makes amends with Will the kitman, showing he Took a Level in Kindness, the rest of the team offer him a place back at Richmond. It actually takes Beard (Nate's biggest critic) reassuring Nate of his and Ted's forgiveness for Nate to accept the offer.

    Multiple Media 
    • Ahkmou managed to pull this off twice. First, he betrayed his people to the Dark Hunters but was later forced into working together with the heroes. He later went back to work and his deal with the Hunters never came up afterwards as he, along with the rest of his people, were forced into a coma by the the Makuta. Then, with his memories gone, he was brainwashed by Makuta who planted him back into society as his servant. Ahkmou helped Makuta cause an epidemic by selling infected sport balls but was soon found out. Following a period of hiding, he was accepted back into his village where he continued to work as a trader, though under close watch. The story didn't touch upon what became of him after he betrayed everyone for the third time, again due to Makuta's influence.
    • Vakama had a brief Face–Heel Turn during his time as a mutant half-beast. Just when the bad guys are about to win, he finally comes to his senses and saves everyone, though in the process unwittingly setting the Makuta free, who they'd managed to seal away in the previous arc. Not only is he welcomed back, he becomes the leader and one of the most respected individuals of his people. The fact that he had been under the influence of Hordika venom at the time of his betrayal gave him some leeway (and they chose to keep their past a secret from the villagers).


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Far too many to list. The Face–Heel Turn and vice versa are very common. The past is forgiven, if not forgotten.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Promo cards for the hidden traitor game The Resistance: Avalon introduced the Lancelot role, before being transferred into the expansion for the base game. The pair of players with this role may switch sides during the game. Rarely, they may switch sides twice and return to their original team - but it's still disruptive on whom can be trusted even after the return to normal play.

  • In Henry VI Part 3, George, Duke of Clarence, is angered by his brother Edward's decision to marry Elizabeth Woodville (a minor English noble) instead of the French princess he was supposed to and gets into a blazing row by saying that Elizabeth would have been a better match for himself. Fed up with not being listened to, George takes up with the Lancastrian cause and marries Warwick's daughter to seal the deal. Edward nonetheless chooses to make an emotional appeal before Tewkesbury, which convinces George to turn back. (However, this betrayal does contribute to how easily Edward believes that the traitorous 'G' in a prophecy refers to George and not his brother the Duke of Gloucester in the next play.)

    Video Games 
  • Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean: Kalas.
  • Averted in Battletech: The Crescent Hawks' Inception. When you find the traitor in the party, he's summarily executed. There's a war on, after all.
  • Breath of Fire:
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Your party members will leave if their approval is low enough. A few will attack you before they leave, and beating them will instantly earn back their loyalty.
    • In a more straightforward example, the player has a chance to recruit Loghain, a Well-Intentioned Extremist who left the King to die, tried to have you and your party assassinated, and almost caused the entire nation to erupt in civil war. Not everyone is happy about it, and Alistair point-blank refuses to work with him, leaving your party and the Grey Wardens in disgust.
    • If you are kind enough to Isabela in Dragon Age II, she will come back after making off with the Tome of Koslun. This is a more realistic example, however, as it takes three years of separation for Hawke & Co. to forgive her.
      • In the finale, there are different ways you can handle Anders, depending on whose side you take in the mage-templar war. If you side with the templars, you can either convince him to join you (which requires full rivalry) or kill him - telling him to leave just means you kill him later when he tries to stop you. If you side with the mages, you can kill him, have him join you, or tell him to leave. He'll find you at the Gallows and offer to help, giving you another leave/join choice.
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Jessica. To be fair, it wasn't really her fault, she was possessed by the real Big Bad.
  • In Exit Fate, the hero is declared a traitor by his home country at the beginning of the game and joins the other side to try to bring the war to a close with as little loss of life as possible. However, the fact that an enemy Colonel is immediately accepted into the highest ranks of the military does not sit well with the corrupt politicians in charge, and they eventually fabricate an excuse to charge him with treason in a Kangaroo Court. As a result, Daniel has to switch sides again; he's welcomed back with a lack of distrust that would be more surprising if it wasn't for the fact that the Kirgard leadership was in deep, deep trouble, and nothing he could do could possibly make their situation any worse.
  • Final Fantasy has several examples:
    • Final Fantasy II: Leon, the Dark Knight
    • Final Fantasy IV: Yang, Kain turned and came back twice - although the second time, Edge refused to trust him and Kain outright asked to be killed if he was brainwashed again.
      • Yang had amnesia and was being manipulated by Baron while he lost his memory. The only party member who holds this against him is Bratty Half-Pint Palom.
      • In Palom's defense, when someone repeatedly kicks you in the head when you first meet them, it's probably not conducive to offering your total trust and respect right away.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Yuffie, Cait Sith. In the latter's case, the moment of turning is just a short chase segment and brief cutscene in which you don't have access to the party command, and thus, it's entirely possible that the time before Cait's Welcome Back, Traitor moment is so brief that he literally never even left.
      • Though at least Cait Sith's is justified in that he reluctantly threatens to kill a hostage if the heroes don't let him keep tagging along. His full forgiveness doesn't come until much later, after he's repeatedly proven his loyalty.
      • Yuffie, on the other hand, forces herself back into the group.
      • A Mind Control example of this happens when Cloud gives the Black Materia to Sephiroth.
  • Half-Life 2: Dr. Judith Mossman. Two seconds after the Heel–Face Turn, she and Alyx (who had been frosty towards each other the whole game, even before the initial betrayal,) are hugging and on first name terms.
    • It's not quite clear, but one interpretation is that Dr. Mossman was a double agent from the start, so this was not as outrageous as some examples of the trope.
    • There's also that Mossman's Heel–Face Turn is the only reason Alyx and her father didn't end up tossed headfirst through a Combine portal to be brainsucked by Advisors. At this point, Alyx probably felt that Mossman's sincerity had been sufficiently proven.
  • Jay's Journey has this with Frost. Jay Lampshades it a bit by saying that everyone always comes back to the team in games like these, except for that one flower girl.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, partway through it is revealed that the player character is an amnesiac Darth Revan. Only one member of the party seems to have a problem with this; several characters are actually pleased - though admittedly that's in character.
    • Also, in the light side playthrough, Bastila is welcomed back with open arms after turning away from the dark side, despite previously causing massive casualties to the Republic fleet with her Battle Meditation. Also an example of Protagonist-Centered Morality.
  • Nash in Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and all subsequent versions. Different in the original Lunar: The Silver Star, where he was a Fake Defector instead.
  • In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the former SHIELD agent Frank Payne defected to villainy and became Constrictor; he returned to SHIELD after becoming financially secure and realizing that he still wasn't happy.
  • Inverted in Overlord I: Gnarl, shortly after betraying you, says he'll welcome you back, if you can defeat the old Overlord.
    • He brings it in a funny but also justified way, considering his 'advisory' role up to then.
      Gnarl: If you beat him I'll gladly have you bac— I mean, serve you again.
  • Subverted in Persona 5. The Phantom Thieves offer to take back the Traitor/Black Mask/Goro Akechi, but then they suffer a Heel–Face Door-Slam. It's double subverted in the Royal Updated Re-release, where they turn up Not Quite Dead and do rejoin you to investigate the new events of the third term.
  • Ratbeard from Pirate101 betrays the player and the other member of the crew sent to find Captain Gunn's treasure in order to claim it for himself. While he's running from the player he even poisons his own crew for a larger share. The killing his own crew part was an accident, someone had replaced his knockout drops with poison. But once the player saves his hide after his new allies betray him, he begs for forgiveness and the player lets him join their crew.
  • In the Seijyun ending of Project Justice, Yurika is revealed to be The Mole Kurow planted in that school as part of his plans, so when she has her Heel–Face Turn due to him viewing her as an expendable pawn (and she's his sister!) and her Becoming the Mask, she disappears following his defeat. When she gathers the courage to return, Akira welcomes her with open arms.
  • In Star Wars The Force Unleashed one of the later level bosses is Proxy, who snuck out of the ship so he could assassinate you and fulfill his program as a Cato-like training droid. After you beat him, at the end of the level you pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky using the Force. The shockwave fries Proxy's processor. He's essentially the same but his "primary programming" has been erased. He's welcomed back, no problems
    • The Apprentice knew he was trying to kill him though, as is shown in the opening scenes. He was a training aid.
      • It's pretty much outright stated Starkiller knew this (and hinted this has happen more than once), plus he's more annoyed by this being a bad time than anything else.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • In the Sith Warrior storyline, Malavai Quinn eventually betrays you under Darth Baras' orders. Upon his defeat, you can either forgive him or angrily tell him that you're only letting him back in because he's useful; there's no real option to actually execute him. Considering that he's the healer of your group. Bioware had planned to allow players to kill or lose their companions but decided that losing them would be a big issue gameplay-wise. Later updates gave players the ability to switch any companion to any spec at will, and the Iokath storyline belatedly does provide the option to kill him, what with all PCs by now having plenty of other options.
    • In the original post-game content, Darth Malgus attempted to break away from the Sith and form his own empire before being defeated. Several years later, he returns on Ossus, once again serving the Sith—though it's later revealed that the Empire implanted explosives inside him to ensure that he doesn't try to rebel again. It doesn't work: he slips his leash and has to be recaptured during Legacy of the Sith, and at time of writing is still imprisoned.
  • Suikoden has Pahn and Sanchez. After you meet Pahn again later in the game, he joins after helping you out in a hostage situation. Sanchez is a spy for the Scarlet Moon Empire and because of him both Odessa and Mathiu Silverberg had to die. After the war, Lepant pardoned Sanchez for his crimes due to the fact that punishing him in any way would be a shock too great for the new republic to handle. Sanchez was forced to swear that he would not associate with any of the officials of the Toran Republic in the future. He then entered Qlon Temple.
  • Jowy in the best ending of Suikoden II.
  • Super Robot Wars: Axel Almer (only in Advance), Lamia Loveless (both versions).
  • Happens twice in Tales of Vesperia:
    • Judith betrays the party by destroying the blastia core of their ship and abandoning them. After she reveals she had a good reason for destroying it, she's welcomed back.
    • Raven is revealed to be Captain Schwann of the Imperial Knights, who, under the order of Alexei, kidnaps Estelle and hands her over to him. After being confronted by the party in the temple, it begins to collapse, causing Raven to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to save the party, though he later turns out fine, at which point the party welcomes him back... but not before giving him a smack or two and Yuri telling Raven his life now belongs to Brave Vesperia.
  • Tales of Xillia: Exaggerated with Alvin, who betrays the party five times and is let back in every time, with Jude even giving Alvin speeches about how much he trusts him. However, Milla, the secondary protagonist, says she doesn't trust him but wants to keep an eye on him. It's worth noting that the party's seeming blind trust in Alvin plays a huge part in his motivation to actually redeem himself after he critically wounds Leia.
  • Trails of Cold Steel: During the second and third games, several members and allies of Class VII turn out to be traitors. The remaining members usually react to this by saying "We will welcome you back, whether you like it or not."


    Web Original 
  • Achievement Hunter had an "arc" like this - Gavin Free had been costing Team Lads a number of victories in Let's Play Grand Theft Auto IV "Cops n' Crooks III" and told leader Michael Jones and member Ray Narvaez, Jr., that he was trying to spice things up because they kept winning against Team Gents and he felt things were getting stale. during the following episode "Cannon Ball Run". Michael is so incensed at this, he kicks Gavin off of Team Lads. When Gavin helps Team Lads win Let's Play Minecraft "Lava Wall", Michael brings him back in, proclaiming that "it was only temporary."
  • In Noob, Gaea has a summoner main avatar and an archer second avatar. In Season 4, she pulls a Face–Heel Turn on her guild using her main avatar. Some time after this, her (original) guild gets disbanded. When one of her ex-guildmates decides to rebuild it in the fourth novel, Gaea applies for membership as her archer avatar and gets taken back after promising to behave despite her known Manipulative Bastard tendencies.

    Western Animation 
  • Theresa was forgiven pretty quickly at the end of Class of the Titans.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • Hawkgirl is allowed back onto the team after she voluntarily quit back in Justice League over having sold out Earth to the Thanagarians. Despite also betraying the Thanagarians back to stop them from destroying Earth, the initial betrayal means much of the public and a good chunk of the League still don't fully trust her.
    • Superman himself had to go through this, as a result of his brainwashing at the hands of Darkseid at the end of Superman: The Animated Series. This is possibly why he was the one who cast the deciding vote in Hawkgirl's favor.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Celestia welcomes back her little sister Luna after she's defeated as Nightmare Moon after Luna sincerely apologizes. Justified as Luna wasn't entirely well in her head when she tried to overthrow her sister, having become a Mad Goddess until the Elements restored her. And even then, while Celestia forgave her, it takes time for their subjects (and Luna herself) to do so.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Discord betrays all of ponykind to the most titanically dangerous threat it has ever faced... and yet Twilight rescues him with the rest of her friends. Towards the end when the Mane Six are having a Group Hug and Discord is nervously waving from off to the side, Twilight uses her magic to pull him into the group, making this trope literal.
  • Downplayed with Entrapta from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, who is a complete Wild Card for most of the series thanks to her For Science! mentality. This makes it very easy for Catra to lure her over from the Rebellion to the Horde late in the first season. Said mindset also means that, for Entrapta, it's really Nothing Personal: she has people on both sides of the war whom she genuinely considers friends, and it doesn't fully register to her that she's switched sides and is now building robots that regularly threaten to murder the princesses. She's back as a Rebellion member in the final season after Adora and Bow find her on Beast Island, due to Catra betraying her and sending her to die there (which, thanks to all the old technology there, doesn't completely register as a punishment either), but most members of the Rebellion — while glad she's alive — are still pissed at her, precisely because she kept building robots that almost blew them to smithereens. She's taken aback when they call her out for this, and from then on buckles down on really being a team player and actually helping the Rebellion, proving she really is loyal this time around.
  • Tangled: The Series: Cassandra getting Easily Forgiven at the end of the third season was divisive with fans, especially given Varian wasn't easily forgiven and was actually jailed for his crimes (though he did get subject to this in smaller form when he broke out of prison and they let him stay out). It's unknown where the rest of Corona stands with regards to her, but Rapunzel and Eugene certainly seem more than glad to forgive her despite all the trouble and heartache she put them through.
  • Transformers:
    • Megatron in Beast Wars welcomes the treacherous Tarantulas back into his forces repeatedly in spite of the fact the spider is never not actively plotting against him in secret. It's simply Megatron being Pragmatic, however, as he's confident he can out-gambit Tarantulas in the end (he does) and he simply needs the spider's unarguable expertise in spite of his many shortcomings. Megatron makes it very clear in one episode that the only reason Tarantulas is still alive is because he's useful to him:
      Megatron: I can suffer your treachery, Lieutenant, but not your incompetence!!!
    • Starscream deserts from the Decepticons towards the end of the first season of Transformers: Prime. Throughout the second season he proceeds to work on his own, align with the Autobots out of convenience, and launch assassination attempts against Megatron until setbacks and defeats lead him to return to his former comrades and beg forgiveness. It should be noted that his return is smoothed over by some extremely important artifacts that he brings to the negotiation table.
      • Of course, these artifacts only convince Megatron not to just kill him outright, so he also has to undergo a psychic interrogation that can't be fooled. It takes the form of a clip show, overlaid with snarky commentary from Megatron. While the footage doesn't make Starscream look particularly good, it also shows that his intentions for returning to the Decepticons weren't a lie. Megatron accepts him back, on the basis that Starscream could be useful, if not particularly loyal. After this, though, Starscream does indeed act legitimately loyal to Megatron.
  • Raimundo betrayed the team towards the end of the first season of Xiaolin Showdown, but eventually saw the error of his ways and went back to join the heroes, who welcomed him back with a minimum of fuss. It helps that Raimundo's return was the main factor allowing the good guys to overturn a Near-Villain Victory. The incident was not totally forgotten, though, and later episodes occasionally alluded to it.
    • In season 3, it is not only alluded to but becomes the basis of the Batman Gambit made by Master Monk Guan and himself to trick Hannibal Roy Bean into losing a powerful artifact he had stolen earlier in the series.

    Real Life 
  • Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, who, having betrayed King Louis XVI., the Revolution, Napoleon, ''etc., etc.'', was asked by the restored King Louis XVIII how many governments he had belonged to, replied imperturbably, «Hé! sire, c'est le treizième» ("Well, sire, this is the thirteenth!")
    • Another view is that Talleyrand was just an extremely skillful diplomat who worked to advance French interests whenever possible, no matter which political orientation the French government had at the moment.
  • During the Peloponnesian War Alcibiades, who was facing charges of defacing religious statues at the time, defected to Sparta and advised them how to defeat the Athenian expedition to Sicily. Thanks to his efforts, the expedition was a disaster, with over 10,000 Athenian soldiers killed or enslaved. He was later recalled to Athens... and appointed to the rank of general.
    • Well, in his case, the states did their share of betraying first... so who was welcoming whom back?
    • Alcibiades was the Four-Star Badass that every other Four-Star Badass of City-state era Greece aspired to emulate, the Alexander of his day, if you will. The Athenian Navy was made of win with him in command, and when he returned, he did so in magnificent fashion by whipping them back into shape, scoring magnificent victory after magnificent victory, and saving the Athenian war effort. Had he not had Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, he likely would have won Athens the war, he was that good. Athens, consequently, was a bit Hot And Cold for him.
  • Hieronim Radziejowski, a nobleman of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, came into conflict with King John II Casimir when he found out that his wife was the King's mistress. He started to conspire against the King with the Ottoman Empire, and as a result was sentenced to infamy and banishment (exile). He left Poland for Sweden and convinced the Swedish King, Charles X Gustav, to attack the Commonwealth. In 1655, Radziejowski accompanied the Swedish forces during their invasion of Poland (later to be known as the Deluge). After the Deluge in 1662, he has been pardoned by the Sejm (Polish parliament). Deputies forgave him all the insults and Radziejowski regained all his former possessions and estates in Poland (he did not regain his ranks and titles, though).
  • Benedict Arnold, from the perspective of the British. To the United States, he's considered a modern-day Judas, the icon of treason. But to the British, it was joining the rebellion in the first place that was the act of treason, while selling the rebels out and becoming a British general was returning to the fold.