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Wendy: But why you? Why are you willing to go up against Roark for someone you barely know?
Marv: She was nice to me.
Wendy: She was desperate. She needed protection and knew how to keep you around. It didn't work out. You don't owe her anything.
Marv: She was nice to me. She gave me something I didn't know existed. I wasn't never even able to buy a woman, the way I look.

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye.

A character, sometimes the Butt Monkey of a given work, is treated for the first time in their lives with genuine kindness and friendship. As is such, they will be exceptionally loyal to their benefactor, even if the benefactor themself admits that it was all a lie.

The nature of this character type is such that their loyalty to their benefactor will extend to generally absurd lengths. Not even the benefactor themself will be able to persuade them that they had cruel ulterior motives—this can be problematic if the Butt Monkey in question ends up turning Axe Crazy. Can be part of a Heel Face Turn.

Will be immune to Twisting the Words. Often is also The Woobie. Related to It Meant Something to Me. See also Disproportionate Reward and the animal version, Androcles' Lion.

Examples of Because You Were Nice to Me include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Banagher's main motivation when it concerns Audrey is that she made him feel like he belonged for the first time.
  • In Gantz, as The End of the World as We Know It approaches, Nishi goes on a rampage and kills his entire class after they pushed him out of a window. The only classmate he spares is the girl who gave him a love letter earlier in the day.
  • Code Geass has a big one late in the second season. Rollo continues to be loyal to Lelouch even after the latter has a nervous breakdown and tells Rollo in no uncertain terms that the affections he showed to Rollo were fake and all part of his machinations. Lelouch is naturally astonished when Rollo comes out of nowhere to save him from execution by the Black Knights. Lelouch, resigned to his death, begs Rollo to stop, insisting that Lelouch's life is not worth Rollo killing himself through overexerting his Geass. Rollo explains in spasms while freezing time that even if Lelouch's affections were fake, they were still meaningful to him- and that being with Lelouch was the only time in his whole life where he genuinely felt happy.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako towards Kazehaya simply because he's the first classmate to return her morning greeting.
  • This is the basis of the relationship between the two characters in Okane ga Nai—the Uke feels like the Seme is being nicer to him than anyone ever has been. This, despite the repeated rape.
    • And likewise the driving motivation of Kanou's obsession with Ayase is because of one occasion where Ayase showed him kindness when he was feeling down. More exactly, he once was very depressed unbder the rain and Ayase covered him with his umbrella.
  • Kaze no Stigma. Kazuma goes to extreme lengths to protect and help one of the women of the Kannagi household, even while she's desperately (and fruitlessly, considering their respective Power Levels), trying to kill him. Both she and others are downright shocked by this, since it's heavily out of character for the otherwise-cold Kazuma—heck, he even charged the family head an outrageous fee for rescuing his own kid brother. Ayano is halfway to eating her own liver out of jealousy, convinced that Kazuma must have fallen in love with the girl, but in the end, the truth is revealed...
    • When Kazuma was a kid in the Kannagi household, he was constantly bullied by the other kids, since they're all Playing with Fire to a greater or lesser degree, while he was powerless. Ayano was the only one who ever stood up for him, stopping the other kids from hurting him, more out of pity than anything else, but he still remembered it — and sought to repay her for it, no matter what.
  • World’s End Harem: This trope is why Shota Doi chooses Yuzuru Hanyu to be one of his mates. (In the setting, men need to reproduce with women in order to ensure her race’s survival, because an epidemic killed most of the world’s men, so they can’t afford to be chaste.) While he had a habit of being bullied, Yuzuru (a school nurse) was always there for him when he needed it. Admittedly, Yuzuru is nine years older than he is, though he is eighteen years old in the present. However, the relationship is entirely consensual, so Yuzuru truly is a good person. Shota has demonstrated emotional dependency on her, however, though this is not her intention.
  • Bleach: This is the reason why Nel follows Ichigo, protects him from Dordonii, shows concern over his injuries and, ultimately, transforms back into her unbelievably hot adult form to fight Nnoitra.
    • Both Chad and Orihime feel like this towards Ichigo, since he protected Chad when people harassed him and kept a watchful eye on Orihime.
    • Orihime herself also feels this way towards Tatsuki, the other one who protected her from bullies. Since the bullies at some point cut her hair short by force, Orihime vows to not cut her now Rapunzel Hair ever as a symbol of her friendship.
    • Ichigo himself goes to rescue Rukia to Soul Society because, via giving him her own powers and making him a Shinigami, she saved his and his family's lives and let him protect people better.
    • At the very end, Renji reveals that he also thinks this way about Ichigo despite their very rough first encounter. Since it's thanks to Ichigo that Rukia was saved, this let both Renji and Rukia rekindle their Childhood Friend bonds, and towards the end of the manga, Renji lets Ichigo know about it and then swears to be Bash Brothers with him forever because of it.
  • Possibly the case with Creepy Child Gretel of Black Lagoon. Since, by the end of her arc, it seemed that the only other human beings she actually liked were her brother and Rock. This is because Rock, the only truly decent human being in the Crapsack World of Roanapur, listens with sadness and horror rather than disgust at the coldly delivered Hannibal Lecture of Gretel, a little girl so traumatized by rape and torture with her twin brother Hansel back in Romania that murder has become the sole source of joy for them. He holds her in a tight embrace and weeps, begging her to accept the possibility that there is hope, and still a possibility of a new and happy life for a little girl like her. This act of sincere kindness, so alien to Gretel, was enough to move even a mass murderer like her to blush like a real little girl for the briefest of moments... leading to one of the saddest moments of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good ever. Her version of thanks was to offer herself sexually to Rock, thinking that is the only way an adult will appreciate her in return. Before she left Rock she stated happily "I hope we can meet against someday mister! We can have a picnic!" Sadly, she was shot in the back of the head by a guy with a revolver immediately afterward, as karma catches up with her for having pissed off Balalaika for torturing two of her men to death alongside Hansel.]]
  • In Ranma ½, the "genius kunoichi" Konatsu becomes slavishly devoted to Ukyo because she treats him better than the abusive family that raised him.
    • And Tsubasa does this when Akane and Female Ranma express kindness to him.
    • This is the entire reason that Maomolin tries to "help" Ryoga win Akane's heart in the anime-only story "Ryoga's Proposal".
  • Girls Bravo: It's pretty obvious that Yukinari was going to fall for Miharu considering that she's the only girl who treats him with genuine kindness and doesn't bully him or beat him up. Needless to say, he doesn't really hold feelings of love for Kirie who has a crush on him but brutally beats him up constantly or for Lisa who's insane and constantly tries to abduct and seduce him.
    • Made ridiculously Anvilicious by the fact that Yukinari has an allergy to women: every woman in both worlds the show takes place in, except for Miharu, causes him to break out in hives.
    • Yukina The Big Bad falls for Yukinari for similar reasons. She is also in a similar situation: Yukinari is the only guy that does not trigger her allergy to men. By the end of the series she takes every opportunity to cling to him to make up for a lifetime of being starved of physical intimacy. Too bad Yukinari is still allergic to her.
      • Actually, Yukinari discovered earlier that the allergies turned out to be psychological. Her clinginess however, happened to bring his allergies back.
  • Elfen Lied: This is more or less Lucy's reason for falling in love with Kouta. In her words "All those days we spent together as children? Those were the only good days I have ever known in a life that's been nothing but a hellish nightmare."
  • Bishop Mozgus's Quirky Miniboss Squad in Berserk is made of inbred freaks (and a Bishonen who catches on fire if exposed to sunlight) who'd be stoned to death in minutes in a peasant village, who are undyingly loyal to him because he's the only one who ever treated them nice.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn it's shown that the main reason Tsuna likes Kyoko is because she was the only girl in 12 months who bothered talking to him regularly.
  • Possibly the reason Nagato Yuki acts like Kyon befriended her in Suzumiya Haruhi; because he got a library card. (Ironic in that Kyon seems to have done this just to avoid an argument with Haruhi, giving him little clue as to Yuki's true feelings. Also, she's an Emotionless Girl). As we found out in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, she's only three years old, and basically spent the first three years of her life being bored out of her skull, so Kyon getting her a card was probably literally the nicest thing anyone had done for her up to that point. One of her few memories of earlier time when she rewrote the world was Kyon getting her a library card. It was partially false, but still enough to give her a crush on him. Given the nature of the series though, any number of other explanations could apply.
  • Haku of Naruto was fiercely loyal to Zabuza because the older man said he had use of Haku's abilities. It turned out he was not necessarily wrong to stay at his side.
    • Kimimaro was perhaps even more fanatic in his loyalty to Orochimaru, willing to sacrifice his soul and body as the man's next vessel or, failing that, dying to secure the one who would become his vessel. And all because Orochimaru was the first person to ever show him kindness.
    • The only reason Karin ever gave a dang about Sasuke is because he saved her from a bear (offscreen) during the Chunin Exams.
  • In the Vampire Knight light novel Vampire Knight: Ice Blue no Tsumi, Fuuka grows to believe in Aidou because he was her only ally—having rescued her so several times and was the only person who was honest with her. So, naturally, this is why Fuuka asks Aidou to be the one who kills her before she turns into a Level E vampire, rather wanting to die by Aidou's hand than hunted down when she loses control.
  • In Volume 10 of Zero no Tsukaima, there is a particular exchange between a dragon and the protagonist of the epic tale "The Hero of Ivaldi", in which the protagonist is preparing to rescue a girl who had betrayed him from the dragon:

Dragon: What a small being. Get lost. This is not a place you should come.
Ivaldi: Return Roux!
Dragon: That girl is your wife?
Ivaldi: No.
Dragon: What kind of relationship do you have with her?
Ivaldi: Nothing. I had only stopped by at the village to have some bread.
Dragon: You are throwing your life away just for that?
Ivaldi: For that I have gambled my life!

    • Josette's unwavering loyalty to Julio contains elements of this trope as well: her family had to raise her in secret since she is the twin sistert of Tabithas/Princess Charlotte, but twins are seen as a bad omen in their country; Julio reached for her despite this.
  • In Durarara!!, this turns out to be the reason for why Tom is one of the only people that can keep Shizuo's temper in check: Tom was one of the first and only people outside of his immediate family to treat him like a normal person instead of a freak.
  • Piccolo said this to Gohan when he took the hit for him in early Dragonball Z.

Piccolo:You were the first person to not be afraid of me.

  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this is part of the reason Homura wants to protect Madoka. More exactly: in the original timeline Madoka saved Homura from the Witches but died few later in battle, and Homura's Wish to Kyuubey in exchange for Magical Girl-dom was that she wanted to be the one saving Madoka instead.
    • Harshly used in the case of Sayaka. She decides to use her Wish to heal Kamijou, her prospective Disabled Love Interest, but deep down she wanted him to swear by this trope and fall in love with her. Unfortunately, she doesn't want to admit it even when Mami and later Kyouko confront her about it... and when her more straightforward friend and love rival Hitomi (who, alongside Kamijou, knows nothing about the Magical Girls) gives her an ultimatum to confess to the boy, it becomes one of the several reasons why she falls into despair and becomes a Witch.
  • In Pet Shop of Horrors, one story centers around a girl named Maggie, who abuses her dog, Daisy. Count D takes the dog and lets Maggie pick a "little sister" (human girl) from his shop in exchange. Maggie chooses the girl who is the most scared and weak and names her Daisy as well, only for the girl to quickly become far more loved than Maggie is. At the end of the story, D tries to take Maggie to keep in his shop as a pet, however Daisy stops him. It's revealed that Daisy the dog and Daisy the girl were one and the same, and had loved Maggie after she found and adopted the puppy. After Maggie chose her again, in the pet shop, Daisy was determined to return the favor.
  • In Dorothy of Oz, Abee is so devoted to Mara because she was the only person to treat him like a human being and not beat the crap out of him for being unable to answer a question. He even states this in the second volume when they first meet.
  • In the film Spirited Away, No-Face follows Chihiro around and attempts to shower her with gifts, becoming practically obsessed with her, simply because she speaks kindly to him and leaves a door open so he can come out of the rain.
    • In that case, it's a direct example. Because of his lack of face (identity), No-Face takes on the personality of whoever he's around. Chihiro's kind nature literally inspires him to be kind and repay her favors.
  • A romantic example in Fruits Basket. The reason Rin struggles to find a cure to the Zodiac curse is because her boyfriend Haru was the first person to ever want her. As a result, she's determined to thank him by breaking the curse and giving him a chance to escape the confinement the Zodiac are all under.
    • Non-romantic (maybe) examples: Arisa became friends with Tohru after her mother Kyouko helped her out by protecting her from other delinquent girls, and later Saki joined them because Tohru and Arisa insisted on befriending her despite her bad fame and Psychic Powers.
    • It's implied that Kureno fell so hard and fast for Arisa because of this too, since as Akito's Number Two he could barely deal with people outside the Sohma Estate, and yet Arisa reached for him without any reservations.
  • Koharu no Hibi: The reason Koharu gears her deep affection towards Akira, and the reason he decides to reciprocate. ( Deconstructed)
  • Ennis of Baccano!, an Artificial Human whose creator treats her like garbage, tries to sacrifice her own life to protect the first people who were ever nice to her. A third party jumps in and saves her.
  • Hayate Cross Blade: This is why Isuzu Inugami became Momoka Kibi's swordfighting partner; all the other students avoided Isuzu because she looked like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.
  • Snake in Black Butler. He was close to the circus crew because they befriended them despite his appearance, to the point he would attempt to kill Ciel when all his friends disappeared, thinking that Ciel was the cause of their disappearance. He wasn't entirely wrong as Ciel's staff killed the circus crew for ambushing Ciel's mansion. He would eventually become loyal to Ciel after Ciel takes him in and like the circus crew, didn't care about his snake-like appearance.
  • Barnaby Brooks Jr. from Tiger and Bunny has a rather absolutist perception of trust—he either trusts someone entirely, or not at all. Thus, when Kotetsu takes one of Lunatic's flamebolts for him, his Ice King persona starts to melt—and it melts fast.
  • Mirai Nikki: Yuno's devotion to Yukiteru stems from him jokingly making a marriage proposal to her right after (unbeknownst to him) she killed her Abusive Parents as punishment for their mistreatment of her alias the darkest moment in her whole life, spurring her into devoting her future to him.
  • In One Piece, during the Baratie arc, Gin of Don Krieg's crew fights with Sanji, the only person who gave him food when he was starving and begging for food. When having the opportunity to finish off Sanji, he is unable to because Sanji offering him food was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him.
    • Hancock's love for Luffy comes from this as well: he could've easily revealed that she and her sisters Sandersonia and Marigold were lying about having Gorgon Eyes that petrify people if they look at them, but he did not and instead he covered Sonia's bare back during their fight. Since what they actually have are tattoos that brand them as former slaves of the World Nobles, the three were incredibly touched by his kindness and Hancock fell in love...
    • Even more importantly... this trope saves Vinsmoke Sanji's life and induces a Heel Face Turn on Charlotte Pudding. More exactly: Pudding was a Honey Trap whose Evil Matriarch mother, Charlotte Linlin aka Big Mom from the Four Emperors, set as Sanji's bride so she can murder his Big Screwed-Up Family, and she was fully on the plan itself. . . until right during their wedding (when the Big Mom Pirates were supposed to execute their plan), Sanji complimented her on her Third Eye. She, a very angry and hurt Broken Bird who had been bullied and abused her entire life because of said eye, ended up collapsing in Broken Tears, couldn't kill him at all, and ultimately fell in love with him for real.
  • Fiore in the R movie tried to kill Usagi both because she was Sailor Moon and out of jealousy over Mamoru, whom he was in love with apparently because of how kind he was to him when they were kids. Turns out that both Usagi and Mamoru were kind to Fiore. Young Mamoru gave him his friendship and a red rose - and it was young Usagi who gave the rose to Mamoru in the first place..
    • In the series proper, the Inner Senshi were always shunned by people due to one or another reason - Ami, for her brilliant grades and apparently standoffish behavior; Rei, for her Psychic Powers that others found freaky; Minako, because her classmates though she was too childish for them; and Makoto, because of her bad rep as a delinquent). And in came Usagi, who befriended each girl without fear and was kind to them...
  • In No. 6 because Sion saved and took care of Nezumi when he was injured one night Nezumi became devoted to him.
  • In Mamotte Shugogetten Kaori Aihara towards Tasuke after he saves her from tripping and offers his umbrella to her.
  • In Hekikai no AiON, Sheila One of the evil mermaids fell for Tatsuya because he was the only aside Ariel to show her kindness. Also, because of fear to loss him, she stopped thinking about avenge herself against Seine, the one who let her without voice and "killed" her
    • Seine decided go with Shimon, a man she didn't absolutely know nothing about just because he was nicer to her than her abusive foster father.
  • In Mayoi Neko Overrun, Chise, the local rich girl, tries really hard to make friends with Takumi and his group of friends. In a flashback, it turns out that the reason why was because she felt isolated since no one wanted to associate with her due to her status, and when she tripped and fell, Takumi was the only person who offered to help her back up. Eventually she does become a part of their group.
  • Horribly, Legato Bluesummers People Puppets maestro of Trigun. Perfectly well aware that his master, Knives, despises him for being human, bit of a poster child for Mad Love after Knives breaks his back for trying to kill Vash, and his loyalty doesn't waver even though he's crippled for life. (Or, in the anime, when Knives sends him to force Vash to shoot him dead and suffer forever.) It's all because of this trope (and some Boomerang Bigot misanthropy).
    • In the manga we got his absurdly complicated backstory. Knives stepped in coincidentally while, as a kid, Legato was being raped to death in punishment for a plot to kill everyone he hated (which was a lot of people). His exact status at the time is not spelled out, but is generally understood as research specimen, sex slave, or some hellish combination of the two.[1] Knives cut the building apart, killed everyone except Legato because Legato's psychic powers kicked in just in time to steer the feather-blades away from his body. Then he more or less swore his allegiance on the spot and gave Knives permission to kill him now if he wanted. And Knives...asked him his name. And let him tag along. And eventually gave him responsibilities and a budget and things.
      • Asking him his name meant Knives was treating him more like a person than anyone ever had before, because he didn't have one to give. Seeing the scuffed, naked kid tear up in joy at that is a Tear Jerker in its own right.
      • And for those wondering how he could deal with Knives' angel arm and not with Rapey Mc Earlobes, the people at the whatever-it-was were clearly aware of his abilities and probably originally developed the blocking mechanism that he built into the coin-case as the prize for Vash defeating all the Guns, and insisted on activating. So Knives probably sliced the device and let him out of lockdown, with the net result of accidentally saving his life as well as killing all his enemies.
  • In Pandora Hearts, Jack's obsession with Lacie stems from this.
  • In the manga version of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, this is the reason why Silvia is in love with Prince Lewyn. She explains to Erinys that everyone treated her horribly just because she was a Dancer, and he was the first one to offer her kindness and partnership.
  • In Attack on Titan, Mikasa's unwavering loyalty and devotion towards Eren stems from the day that he rescued her by ruthlessly murdering the same group of human traffickers who killed her parents at great risk to himself, then brought her into his own family.

Comic Books

  • Marv's attitude toward Goldie in the first issue of Sin City. He's not an idiot—he realizes that Goldie almost certainly got close to him because she needed protection from whoever it was that killed her in the opening pages. But be that as it may, she's the only stranger that's ever shown Marv any genuine kindness, and it's also implied that she's the only woman who wasn't too terrified of his appearance to be with him. So he searches relentlessly to find her killer.
  • Subverted horribly in Miracleman. Upon his escape from the hospital, Kid Miracleman invokes this trope to the only nurse who was kind to him during his stay. Then returns and punches her head into pieces while she was smiling at being spared. Then it's Double Subverted: He did it more because he felt he needed to maintain his rep rather than real malice. He even apologised and didn't look happy to do it.
  • Tintin gets several allies this way: in Prisoners Of The Sun, for instance, he defends a boy from some bullies, and the boy later offers to guide him to a secret Inca temple, even though he could be killed for doing so.
  • In BPRD: 1947, agent Jacob Stegner gives a coin to a homeless beggar woman. The woman later appears to him to tell him that one of his missing comrades is still alive. Before she mysteriously disappears, she says, "I tell you this... because you were kind."
  • Huntress' devotion to the Black Canary in Birds of Prey definitely has shades of this, especially when you realize that Huntress had never had a friend before, in her entire life.

Fan Works

  • In chapter 89 of The Naru Hina Chronicles, Naruto reveals to Hinata the reasons behind his love/pathological obsession with ramen: he was beaten very badly once as a little child (before entering the Ninja Academy), and he was discovered by Ichiraku, who took him to his restaurant, fed him, and got him cleaned up. He was the first person who was ever nice to Naruto. It's one of the main reasons—alongside his Supreme Chef reputation—that he tries to convince Hinata to let him cater their upcoming wedding.


  • Shrek: This trope is most likely the reason why Dragon falls for Donkey. Everyone else she met tried to kill her with a sword (which led to their fiery ends). Donkey instead tried to reason with her by complimenting her, which works surprisingly well.


  • In the Sweet Valley High series, hospital volunteer Elizabeth Wakefield is kidnapped by a mentally disturbed orderly. When she asks why he did it, he explains that he loves her and invokes this trope as the reason. She once helped him with his tray and it was apparently the only time anyone showed him kindness.
  • When Raistlin is nice to a gully dwarf, she becomes quite loyal to him. (He did cast a Charm spell on her, but that's supposed to wear off ... eventually. Based on Intelligence, so in her case it lasted a long time.)
    • It's reciprocated, however, and Raistlin's Crowning Moment of Heartwarming is when he drops everything to try to protect her, even when his friends abandon the gully dwarves. It also leads to his Heel Realization in a sequel series, as his lust for power led to her death. He willingly condemns himself to an eternity of torment to avoid this.
  • Gollum/Smeagol is like this to Frodo in Lord of the Rings. Right until Sam accuses him of "sneaking".
  • The house elves in Harry Potter take on this attitude to anyone who is nice to them—this starts with Dobby in Chamber of Secrets and Kreacher in Deathly Hallows. It's also implied that this trope is how Voldemort was able to garner support from non-human magical creatures like the giants—they were so used to being treated with rank condescension or outright persecution by the Ministry of Magic that Voldemort had little trouble convincing them he'd do a better job.
    • Also implied to be part of Snape's reason for turning to the Dark Side - Lucius Malfoy, one of the wizarding aristocracy, welcomes the no-name working-class halfblood as soon as he's sorted into Slytherin, and their friendship seems to have continued even when Snape became a double agent, and remained strong enough that Narcissa asked him to protect Draco from the consequences of a mission assigned by Voldemort primarily to get him killed.
      • And ultimately what made him turn back as well. Lily Potter was likely his first friend, and given his troubled home life, the first person who cared about him.
    • Luna, and to a lesser extent Neville, basically have this sort of relationship to the Trio and Ginny. As a result, they were the only members of the D.A. to help defend the castle in Book Six. Luna is especially blunt about her general loneliness.

"I miss the D.A. It was almost like having friends."

    • Not to mention the Tear Jerker / Heartwarming Moment that is Luna's room in Deathly Hallows. Portraits linked with chains that said "Friends"?
    • This is definitely one of the series' recurring motifs. Imagine how different Harry would have turned out if Hagrid hadn't been the first person in his life to show him any kindness. It was Malfoy's contempt for Hagrid in Madame Malkins that really kicked off their animosity. The same goes for when he taunts Ron, Harry's first ever friend, on the train. If it weren't for Harry's loyalty, would he have accepted Malfoy's offer of friendship and been put in Slytherin instead? The entire series would veer off course....
  • This is the sum of Quasimodo's attitude toward Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame—when the Hunchback is put on the rack and pelted with fruits, she takes pity on him and brings him water. This is especially noteworthy as the reason he's being punished was for trying to kidnap her.
  • In the Daughters of the Moon books, the Atrox has several rules binding the behavior of those who have given themselves over to them - one rule is, no Atrox agent can ever harm someone who has done them a genuine kindness.
  • There's a Bruce Coville edited short-story about a tormented and ostracized elf child whose school assignment is to interview a troll. Trolls' favorite food is elf-children, but the troll doesn't eat the boy because he sees how lonely and kind the poor thing is. At the end of the story, the elf child gets revenge on his schoolmates and teachers by freeing the troll and letting him eat them all, but tells the one other elf child who was kind to him that he won't feed her to the troll because "You're the sweetest girl I know"...before eating her himself, thus subverting the trope.
  • Keladry of Mindelan has this happen frequently. There's a reason she's called the Protector of the Small.
    • Her war-horse Peachblossom whose last owner was abusive agrees to work on his behavior when she promises not to yank of the reins or ever use spurs, but only for her: do not imply you are interested in stealing or buying him. Or in buying Kel.
    • Her lady's maid Lalasa admits in a stressful moment that she was so skittish at the beginning because she kept waiting for Kel to show she was like all the other nobles she'd met, realizing it wasn't going to happen lead to Taking a Level In Badass, teaching other servant class women the self defense tactics Kel had taught her and becoming one of Kel's staunchest supporters.
    • Tobe, the 10 year old indentured servant she rescued from an abusive situation rides into an enemy country in the middle of a war because she might need him and doesn't like to let her out of his sight for fear she might forget about him like a couple of other seemingly-nice people did.
  • In Uncle Tom's Cabin, a Kentuckian slave owner relates a story about a native African slave, brutalized by another owner, that had pledged undying loyalty to him when treated like a human being.
  • A partial example in Les Misérables, after being jailed for decades for stealing a loaf of bread, and forced to poverty and starvation due to the difficulty of criminals to find jobs, Jean Valjean comes upon a Priest who shows him kindness and houses him. At first, it seems like a subversion, with Jean Valjean taking advantage of the Priest and stealing his stuff. Then, when he's caught the Priest decides not to press charges, giving Valjean the stuff on the condition that he "buys his soul for God". Jean Valjean is converted from a bitter convict to the paragon of integrity of virtue for the rest of his life through all the crap he's put through out of loyalty to the Priest's one kind act.
  • Bothari in Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold, though it is a little more complicated than that.
  • In Peter Moore's Caught In The Act Lydia is an outcast, no one will associate with her except for Ethan. Because of this, Lydia seems to fall in love with him and becomes devoted to him to a Yandere degree.
  • In the Warrior Cats graphic novel Shattered Peace, Minty stops her mate from killing Ravenpaw since Ravenpaw was nice to her kits.
  • Lieutenant Mon of the RCN Series was a competent officer but with bad luck. Daniel Leary gave him a second-in-command position, and later a job managing a shipyard of which Daniel is part owner—and hired Mon with a share of the ownership, too. The shipyard does very, very well under his management (either he was unlucky only in the service, or Daniel somehow negates his bad luck) ... and Mon's loyalty to Daniel is absolute.

Live-Action TV

  • Happens twice in the Buffyverse, both with Faith. First, it happens with her and the Mayor and then again with her and Angel. She was willing to die to save him, all because he helped her come back from being evil while everyone else hated her (mainly because he understood her, seeing as he was in the same situation about 100 years previously).
    • Also seen with Spike who likes Buffy's mother and sister for this reason, and shows his best side when Buffy treats him with respect; his demonic aspect comes out when she forgets this trope.
  • A villainous example: In the 1998 miniseries Merlin, Morgan le Fay becomes an ally of Queen Mab because "the Old Ways have been good to me."
  • In the season 1 finale of Young Dracula, Ingrid saves the Branaughs from a pack of hungry vampires because Mrs. B gave her a present.
  • In Glee, the event that sparks Kurt's crush on Finn is when Finn once berated one of his friends for slamming Kurt into a locker. Even though Finn's seen taking part in this sort of bullying in the first episode, this one instance of kindness made Kurt like him. And once Finn joins the Glee club and they become friends, he starts to like Finn almost too much...
    • And later this happens again between Kurt and Blaine, and Blaine and Jeremiah
  • In Being Human (UK), the only reason Herrick has any compunctions about killing Nina is because she was the only one who was kind to him and protected him when he lost his memory. He still stabs her.
  • In one episode of Bones, a female suspect who had previously stalked the victim becomes smitten with Booth after he had briefly comforted her.
  • In Sherlock, much of the reason why Sherlock allows John into his life and befriends him comes from John praising his deduction skills as "incredible" and "fantastic" while everyone else just calls him "freak." As the show progresses, it's clear that they would both die for one another.


  • Georges Brassens' "Chanson pour l'Auvergnat" tells the story of a man who has been thoroughly hated and condemned by society, but fondly recalls three persons: the titular "Auvergnat" (a person from the Auvergne region) who gave him firewood in winter, a hostess who fed him bread when he was starving, and a traveler who kindly smiled at him when he was about to be taken to jail. Each memory finishes with the narrator hoping that they will go to Heaven for their kindness.

Stand Up Comedy

  • Dane Cook has a routine invoking this trope. The idea is that every workplace has one person in it who is creepy or awkward in some way, and thus shunned by all of their coworkers. Dane states his approach is to always befriend such persons, with spontaneous gifts of candy bars and a willingness to talk about the awkward person's strange hobby—because when that person inevitably snaps and starts killing everyone in the office, you'll be the one spared their wrath, with a comment of "...Thanks for the candy..." instead of a shotgun shell to the face that everyone else got.

Tabletop Games

  • During the war on Tolkein of Rifts, the forces of Tolkeen liberated the Daemonix, a race of sub-demons from enslavement in another dimensions, and then asked them to help them fight the Coalition. Because the Tolkien asked them. As far back as the despised Daemonix could remember, no one has ever asked them anything. No previous master has ever given them a choice or the freedom to say no. Overwhelmed with gratitude, the Daemonix fought side by side with Tolkeen.


  • Turandot has Liu, who follows Calaf like a dog, looks after his elderly father, suffers torture, and kills herself so that he can marry the unattainable title character...because he smiled at her once.

Video Games

  • Fire Emblem is massively fond of this trope:
    • Leads to two Heel Face Turns in Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade. Jaffar encountered Nino while too wounded to move. Instead of killing him, as per Black Fang custom, she bandages him up. Later, he saves her from being sacrificed as a scapegoat, and, if the player is willing, kills her tormentor in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Soren in Path Of Radiance feels this toward Ike, as it was Greil and his family who took him in after a lifetime of hardship. In one support conversation, Soren describes this life to Ike, who is astonished, describing it as the most terrible thing he's ever heard and chastising Soren for his impression that Ike thought it was nonsense
    • Maribelle in Fire Emblem Awakening has this towards Lissa, who became her first and Only Friend in their childhood when everyone else shunned Maribelle for her prickly nature. To a smaller degree, she extends this to Lissa's older brother Chrom.
      • Panne is a very bitter beast-woman from the Taguel tribe, who loathes humans due to them killing pretty much all of her kin (including her mother, her younger brother and her best friend/adoptive sister). Chrom and Lissa's older sister Emmeryn, however, did what she could to stop the persecution against Taguels, and when Panne hears that she's in danger of being assassinated she sneaks into the Ylissean Royal Castle to stop it, which lets the party recruit her.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, the Team Pet Lilith says that she follows the Avatar because he/she nursed her back to health when younger, thinking she was an injured bird. Her true reasons are also linked to this, but very differently: the Avatar's birth father, Anankos' Soul, gave her the love she had never received from her father (the real Anankos) and even gave his life to protect her.
      • The Avatar's Battle Butler Jakob explains to Princess Azura in their supports that he was practically sold off by his Abusive Parents to the Nohrian royals, and since up until then he was a nobleman, he had no idea of how to perform even the most menial chores. The young Avatar insisted on keeping Jakob around as his/her companion despite his initial blunders, so he became their loyal Battle Butler to repay the favor. To a smaller degree, the Ninja Maid Felicia feels likewise: she has always valued how, despite being a servant technically speaking, the Avatar has never ever treated her as such, but as family.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Dedue Molinaro is Prince Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd's own Battle Butler for this. Dedue is from Duscur, a region that was razed to the ground after the people there were blamed for the murder of the King of Faerghus aka Dimitri's own father, King Lambert, plus many others. The few surviving Duscurians are treated like absolute dirt by the rest of Faerghus, but Dimitri himself never really believed that they were guilty (plus he blamed someone else for it) and took Dedue in as his retainer and bodyguard despite everything.
      • Cyril, Shamir Nevrand and Cassandra Reubens Charon aka Catherine were saved and/or taken in by Lady Rhea at one point or another (twice, in Catherine's case), which is why they work for the Church/Knights of Seiros and, in the cases of Cyril and Catherine, hold one heck of an Undying Loyalty to her.
      • Balthus von Albrecht was once a fugitive due to his massive debts, but Lysithea von Ordelia's parents gave him food and temporary shelter despite being in a desperate situation themselves (as in Those Who Slither in the Dark were pressuring them and using their kids as experiment subjects). In the present, Balthus is determined to help Lysithea and her family because of this.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2's built in campaign Neeshka mentions this about the PC if Relationship Values are stable before fighting the final boss, allowing her to resist The Dragon's mind control. It's a big part of the reason why the "romance" path with her, even though mostly cut, comes off as better written than most of the ones seen in video games. Inversely, Neeshka won't even need to be mind controlled into betraying the PC if their relationship values are low enough.
  • Listening to Jack in Mass Effect 2, only one other person besides Paragon!Shepard has ever been nice to her, and he got killed saving her life, even after they'd both agreed not to do something like that. Afterwards, she found a message saying he wanted to settle down with her, the whole picket-fence fantasy. The whole thing fucked her head up even more - what she took from the whole experience was that there were good people in the galaxy... and they're all doomed to die because only assholes survive. Like she did. Survivor Guilt was never so Anvilicious.
  • Metal Gear's Big Boss uses this trope to play the benefactor role a LOT. This has essentially become his MO for converting enemies to his side and inspiring unwavering loyalty in his men, and he has become frighteningly efficient at this.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian joins Mario's party simply because he was the first to be nice to her.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Sora's party were the first only people ever to be nice to Naminé, even despite everything she'd done to them, which is why she spends the next year straight working on their behalf.
  • This is part of the reason Princess Sapphire Rhodonite falls for Almaz in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice: Sapphire faced a lot of derision as a heartless sociopath because she didn't cry at the Queen's funeral. Almaz was the only one to realize she was mourning her mother's death and stand up for her.
  • In Fallout 3, Gob will give the player a discount if they treat him nicely since everyone else in the town (especially his boss Colin Moriarty) treat him like crap for being a ghoul.
    • This is also most likely the only reason that, when you're in Raven Rock and have the option to free a Deathclaw from its cage, that it doesn't attack you on sight. Granted the base was going to go up in flames soon and it either wanted out or wanted its revenge, but it could have attacked you at that moment but didn't.
  • In the Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, if you manage to befriend or help out four of the Think Tanks, they'll stand up to Dr. Klein when he tries to do away with you, meaning you won't have to kill them.
  • Several characters in Dark Souls have this. Lady of the Darkling is fervently loyal to Gwyndolin because he accepted her as a follower despite her hideous appearance, providing her purpose in life. Eingyi is similarly devoted to Quelaag's sister because she sucked the deadly Blightpuss from his body, saving his life but becoming deathly sick in the process. Also, it's possible for Maiden Rhea to become friendly towards the player should the player save her from the Tomb of the Giants after her escorts all either hollowed or abandoned her.
  • Basically the reason why Phoenix becomes a lawyer in Ace Attorney—he remembers this one incident when he was nine years old, where Edgeworth was in his class, and stood up for him in a class trial after Edgeworth's pocket money was stolen, and it was thought Phoenix had been the culprit. It later turned out that Larry had been the culprit all along, but it was still what Phoenix cites as being his reason to become an attorney.
    • Also, when Phoenix's mentor Mia Fey was murdered and her younger sister Maya was believed to have killed her, no one wanted to take up her case and defend her until he arrived. That's why she becomes his assistant.
    • In Dual Destinies, Athena Cykes became a lawyer to save Simon Blackquill from being executed. This is because her mother Metis was murdered in very strange circumstances and a child Athena was believed to have killed her (she didn't), but Metis' disciple Simon went Taking the Heat to save her and even now refuses to clear his own name so she won't be blamed again.



O-Chul: Who do you know that treats you as a friend?
MITD: Well ... Xykon, because he gives me toys to shut me up. And Redcloak, 'cause he feeds me to shut me up. And Right-Eye, although I haven't seen him around lately. And you, because you're nice and listen to what I have to say.

  • In Long Exposure, Mitch's love for Jonas is based on this trope. As detailed in the prequel mini-comic, Mitch, already a troubled child, states that nobody likes him as a result of his Dark and Troubled Past. Jonas telling him he liked him shattered this worldview, though thanks to his No Social Skills, he demonstrated his crush in screwed-up ways, and it's not until the main storyline things got sorted out and eventually become an Official Couple.
  • In Sakana, Yuudai becomes less of an angry Jerkass once someone shows genuine kindness to him (emphasis on "genuine") This is especially evident when he befriends or better said, falls for Taisei, who treated him as his friend immediately after they've just met; and even warms up to his former Sitcom Arch Nemesis Jiro after he kicks out his abusive ex-boyfriend for harassing him at work (and who is responsible for Yuudai's attitude in the first place) and helps him in hooking up with Taisei.

Western Animation

  • In Jimmy Two-Shoes Chuck, a bus driver, becomes an obsessed stalker of a friend to an unwilling Jimmy after Jimmy called him "pal" and apologized for accidentally wrecking his bus. Chuck is shown to try to become a persistent friend to anyone who's even remotely nice to him.
  • Invader Zim: Although Zim was pretty mean to Keef for the most part, because he called them "friends" and pretended to enjoy his company (for appearances sake) Keef became obsessed with Zim even after Zim made it clear he wanted nothing to do with him.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Helga On The Couch" it's shown that Helga fell for Arnold when she was in preschool because he was the only person in her life that noticed her and treated her kindly, by complimenting her and giving her his crackers at snack time.
  • The Simpsons did an episode where Homer and Marge entered a Wife Swap-style reality show. The Henpecked Husband ends up falling for Marge, while his frigid, controlling wife falls for Patty.
  • Foxglove the bat from the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Good Times, Bat Times" claims that she works for Winnifred because before she met the Rescue Rangers, Winnifred had been her only friend. Based on how we actually see Winnifred treat her, either Foxglove was lonely to a degree not accounted for by human language, or the writers couldn't come up with anything that would actually work.
  • Family Guy: In one episode, Meg accepts a pity date from Brian, her family's talking dog, and becomes obsessed with him after he insults another girl in her defense and kisses her while drunk.
  • This is why Keith is so devoted to Shiro in Voltron: Legendary Defender. After losing his only parent at a young age, Keith was basically all alone, and his prickly nature made other people dismiss him as a problem child or just ignore him. One day he stole Shiro's car, and instead of having him sent to juvie for it Shiro reached out a hand to him and became his friend.
  1. They kept him around naked except for a chain and chose a...novel...method of punishing him for anything but a sex slave, but his psychic powers were under examination in some way.