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Redemption Equals Death / Western Animation

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  • Tarrlok of The Legend of Korra is a classic Smug Snake who, at one time, kidnapped the Avatar and set the benders and non-benders of Republic City against each other. After he gets Depowered by his brother, Amon, Tarrlok has a moment of My God, What Have I Done? as he comes to terms with the fact that their abusive father, Yakone, manipulated them both into becoming exactly what he wanted them to be. Yakone, having been Depowered by the previous Avatar, Aang, manipulated his kids into fulfilling his quest for revenge against Aang and Republic City, leading Tarrlok becoming a tyrannical councilman and Amon becoming a Bender loathing Knight Templar as his own revenge for mistreatment. Later on, while Tarrlok and Amon are fleeing Republic City by boat, Tarrlok notices the boat is full of Equalist weapons. While Amon's intentions aren't made known, Tarrlok decides to take one of the shock gloves and use it to ignite the boat's gas tank, killing them both and end both Yakone's legacy and the Cycle of Revenge he started. A single tear from Amon right before Tarrlok blows the boat up suggests Amon knew that Tarrlok was going to kill them both, but chose to let him do it, or perhaps actually wanted a life of peace with his brother, but would now never realize it.
    • Fast forward to Book 4: Hiroshi Sato is still paying for his crimes in Book 1 in prison, but he's genuinely remorseful that he ruined his relationship with his daughter, the only family he had left. Come the series finale, Lin frees him from prison to help Asami and Varrick finish the Hummingbirds to attack the Colossus, and in the process gets an opportunity to reconcile with his daughter. When the time comes to assault the Colossus, while Korra attempts to freeze it in place so the Hummingbirds can cut through the armor, Kuvira manages to free one of the arms. But the cutting isn't finished, so Hiroshi whispers "I love you" to Asami and fires her ejector seat just as the giant metal hand comes down and crushes the suit.
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  • Anti-Pops/Malum-Kranus from Regular Show, during his last seconds of life.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Terra, The Mole for Big Bad Slade during season two, ended up turning on him in the season finale. In the ensuing battle between her and Slade, Terra triggered a volcanic eruption, and ended up having to sacrifice herself to save the city and her friends. She exhausted all of her powers and was turned into a statue. However, in the series finale "Things Change", Beast Boy encounters a schoolgirl who looks mysteriously like Terra, and after noticing that her stone statue is gone, begs the girl to return to the team. Despite repeated insistence that she doesn't know him, the girl finallly tells him that "Things were never the way you remember...'', ending the series on a sweetly sad note.
    • It's interesting to note that in the comics, Terra is merely a Psycho for Hire, and dies as she lived... trying to kill the heroes. Years later, a new, heroic Terra appears in the comics, with the body of the old Terra disappearing, and eventually it's strongly hinted that she's actually the original with amnesia. A central aspect of this character is that she's aware of the possibility and terrified that it could be true. Then she dies pointlessly in a later storyline to make way for yet another Terra.
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  • Dinobot of Beast Wars was a Predacon who defected to the Maximals in the first season. In the second season, he betrayed the Maximals and gave Megatron the golden discs. Though Dinobot would return to the Maximals after realizing Megatron's evil, the Maximals had little reason to trust him from that point on. Redemption finally came in the episode Code of Hero where Dinobot battled against all the Predacons to save the early protohumans and won, but at the cost of his own life.
    Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence.
  • Franz Hopper from Code Lyoko could be argued to have done this, having sacrificed himself to allow Aelita and Jérémie to destroy the malevolent program that he himself created years ago. The argument comes from the fact that this is played as a Heroic Sacrifice, but considering his track record of creating XANA and working intently as a Well-Intentioned Extremist to stop Project Carthage, one could come to the conclusion that he wasn't looked too well upon by the Lyoko Warriors, even if they were trying to save him.
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  • Iron Man: Titanian Man allies himself with Dark Aegis out of the belief that the new tech Aegis has promised him will allow him to rid Russia of the economic and political corruption it'd been suffering from since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, he undergoes a Heel Realization upon learning that Dark Aegis is a monster who annihilated an inhabited alien planet, and decides to help Iron Man and War Machine stop his former master. After saying that he has "The sins of a lifetime" to atone for, Titanium Man ultimately sacrifices himself to destroy Dark Aegis once and for all.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Living Laser, who spent most of the series searching for his purpose in life, ends up sacrificing himself to help stop M.O.D.O.C. and save Iron Man's life after Tony Stark had shown him kindness when no one else in his life had. However, the second season later inverts this when Mr. Fix brings him back to life.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man The Sandman apparently dies after helping the people on the oil tanker he wrecked escape and using his body as a shield to stop its explosion from killing everyone near. Of course, his character has come back from things like that before.
  • Mr Freeze in most of his most well known DCAU appearances (even though he doesn't really die in most of them).
    • In one episode of Batman: The Animated Series, Mr Freeze is coaxed into helping an aging industrialist named Grant Walker into achieving immortality (by giving Walker the same icy biology that he has) and to use his freezing weaponry to initiate a new ice age, from which a new utopia will emerge led by Walker, all in exchange for the chance to cure his cryogenically frozen wife. After Batman arrives and convinces Freeze that destroying the world just for her would be wrong (and that she would think so as well) he helps destroy Walker's island, with himself still on it. It is revealed at the end of the episode that he survived with his wife's stasis tube frozen in a block of ice.
    • In the animated movie Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, he attempts to save his dying wife by capturing Barbara Gordon and attempting to use her as a live organ transplant donor with assistance from one of his lying, scheming money-grabbing former friends (in actuality it turns out that his wife would not have needed the operation to survive and the dude was just lying to get the 'kaching'). Which, of course, would kill her. After Batman and Robin show up, Freeze is injured after being betrayed by his friend, yet he helps them escape with Barbara, his unconscious wife and an Inuit boy he had earlier adopted, urging them to leave without him. When Batman returns to save him, he seemingly falls to his death.

      He is later revealed to be alive and well in the Arctic (although with a broken leg) with his two pet Polar Bears and listens in to a television report in cabin outpost that Bruce Wayne had used his medical facilities to cure his wife and that she was now awake and stable. This causes a very happy tear to fall from his eye as he limps back into the cold wilderness.
    • In his appearance in Batman Beyond, he is given a new body in an attempt to experiment for creating a new body for Derek Powers. After it is revealed the experiment was faulty, Powers tries to have him killed and biopsied. Freeze survives and comes for revenge in a new armoured suit and attempts to blow up a reactor plant, with the reason being once it goes up, it will take him with it, ending the suffering he has caused and the suffering caused to him. After Batman is attacked by Blight (Powers' irradiated super-villain form), a critically injured Freeze saves Batman from his finishing blow (by shooting Blight halfway across the city) and forces Batman to leave him to die, stating that 'you're the only one who cares'.
  • In Exo Squad, after Captain Marcus leads a mutiny and takes the unprepared Exofleet into battle, resulting in the Neosapiens slaughtering them, he refuses to evacuate the heavily damaged Resolute, instead using it to ram the Neo flagship, giving the rest of the fleet the chance to retreat.
    • Earlier, during the "Veil of Doom" story-arc, Diana, Shiva's spy in the Resistance attempted to make up for her treachery by capturing Prof. Algernon. Her attempt fails and she is herself captured by Draconis, who promises her a painful death.
  • Van Rook from The Secret Saturdays had been a good guy for all of the show's final season, but seemed only in it because Doyle owed him money. He finally cements his good guy credentials rather sadly, by taking an energy blast intended for Drew. The show ends with the characters mourning his loss at a graveyard, and Doyle giving the shows final line. "Two's plenty."
  • Nebula in the season 4 finale of Winx Club tries to die with the Fairy Hunters after having joined with the titular team in fighting them. Just thank Bloom for averting this.
  • Averted in the Darkwing Duck episode "Aduckyphobia" when a character goes to fix the problems caused, expecting to die. It doesn't fallout the way expected. Pun intended.
  • In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "The Midnight Zone", the gang forms an uneasy alliance with Angel Dynamite, the radio DJ who is actually original Mystery Inc. member Cassidy Williams who along with the other original members sought the hidden treasure of Crystal Cove. She had since disassociated herself from the others, and in this episode joins the gang underwater to a trench where Germanic robots are being assembled (the same robots that destroyed Cassidy's radio station and tried to kill her). They are joined by Tom, Tubb and their pet seal Scooby (from the 1967 Moby Dick cartoon—Moby here is a whale-shaped submarine), and as the episode's villain, Professor Pericles (the original team mascot) sets off explosives to destroy the city, everyone boards the sub but it cannot move due to a claw holding its tail. Cassidy stays behind to release the sub's tail as the robots converge on her and the explosions draw near. Everyone presumes Cassidy did not survive, to their heartbreak. (Exective producer Tony Cervone confirms that Cassidy did not survive.)
    Scooby: (sadly) She saved us...
    • Also in the finale Mr. E. But he and Cassidy are alive and well in the new timeline.
  • In the Justice League episode "Hereafter", Vandal Savage spends 30,000 years alone after destroying the world in one of his attempts to conquer it. When Superman is accidentally sent forward to his time, he gladly helps him get back home in order to prevent this from happening, knowing that it will erase this version of himself from existence. He gets a brief moment to see that the plan works, as a timeline full of people fades in and he fades out of existence.
  • Archer:
    • In "Crossing Over", Nikolai Jakov, head of the KGB, gets a lot of Character Development, defects to ISIS, and even apologizes to Archer for his previous actions before being brutally murdered by his replacement, Barry Dylan.
    • In "Sea Tunt: Part II", Captain Murphy gives up on even pretending to be a real threat, admits to the main characters that he had neither the means nor the intent to actually carry out his threat to bomb the East Coast, and uses his last words to tell Archer, Lana, Cyril, and Ray how to save themselves.
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots has Uli, who after unexpectedly feeling bad about betraying his friends to summon an Ancient Evil, and after said evil decides he's going to destroy Uli along with everything else, ultimately decides to steal The Chosen One's amulet and use it to seal himself and the evil away forever.
  • In Samurai Jack, Ashi ends up gaining Aku's powers and activating a time portal to take herself and Jack to the past, knowing that she will be erased from existence after Jack defeats Aku. It comes off as "Redemption Equals Ret-Gone," but it still counts.
  • In the end of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Honerva sacrifices her life along with Allura as they then go with the spirits of the original Team Voltron and Lotor to rebuild the multiverse.
  • In the season 2 finale of Marvel's Spider-Man , Otto Octavius, after genuinely becoming a hero, uses the Neuro Cortex to stop Adrian Toomes, but it ends up costing his own life.

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