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WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

'Cause I love to make you smile, smile, smile

Yes I do

It fills my heart with sunshine all the while

Yes it does

'Cause all I really need's a smile, smile, smile

From these happy friends of mine


Bob really likes happiness. Not only for himself or for his loved ones, but for everybody. Since it's often impossible to let everyone be happy, he'll settle for as much happiness as possible to as many as possible.

Let's, for example, say that Alice is having a great time hurting Charlie. Bob disapproves: It's a good thing that she's doing something she enjoys, but it's not cool that she's doing it at his expense. Bob has no desire to punish her for her misdeeds, but might do so if that's the most efficient way to make her stop and to help Charlie get his self-esteem back.

While Bob might be any average guy, his desire to make happiness possible - and especially the fight against needless suffering that comes with it - might drive him to become a hero. In some interpretations of Order vs Chaos, Bob is a Chaotic Good kind of character who might clash with a Lawful Good hero who disregards For Happiness in favor of having For Great Justice as his only driving principle. A hero who in such a setting embrace BOTH For Happiness and For Great Justice, keeping a balance between them when they clash, is Neutral Good.

If the character is also promiscuous or such, he is it in an Ethical Slut kind of way. One way of maximizing happiness while keeping the risks of suffering minimal is to make sure that your play (sexually and otherwise) is Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

This is an available basis for morality while being secular and without relying on "Because God and the priests said so."

Compare Good Feels Good. Compare and contrast Totalitarian Utilitarian and Happiness Is Mandatory, as well as Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul.

Examples of For Happiness include:

Anime & Manga

  • Black Lagoon: Rock has this as his hobby. The rest of the cast thinks he's out of his mind, but they also think it's enough reason to let him live.
  • Trigun: Vash The Stampede LOVE AND PEACE!
  • Elmer from Baccano has this as his raison d'etre: he just wants everyone (particularly his more melancholy immortal bretheren) to smile.
    • One of said immortal brethren, Begg Garoto, is developing the perfect drug in the hopes of providing easy, instant happiness to everyone in the world.
  • Love Momozono from Fresh Pretty Cure, period.
  • Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Nessa from Fractale, who "loves love and hates hate."
  • In G Gundam, Domon and Rain modify the attack call for the God Finger in the Grand Finale to reflect this attitude.

  This hand of mine is burning red! Its loud cry tells us to grasp HAPPINESS! Erupting God Finger! Sekiha Love! Love! Tenkyoken!



  • In Prime Baby, the sluglike aliens turn out to be "missionaries of smiles and happy feelings". They hold sing-alongs and knit socks for the homeless.
  • Superman is a rare Lawful Good example of this trope, at least with regards to his treasured home city of Metropolis. For the rest of the world, he usually takes a more low-profile For Great Justice route.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Zeltron hat is this...mostly. Justified as they're a race of empaths. If someone's unhappy, the whole block knows it and can feel it. The sociopaths of their species usually travel off-world to get away from the good cheer.


  • Amelie, who decides her destiny is to bring happiness and beauty to the lives of others - though she's not above cheating, fabricating, or deceiving to do so.
  • In Happy-Go-Lucky, Poppy just wants to share the joy and that everyone is happy. That goes so far as trying to cheer up even the grumpiest of people she meets.
  • Giselle in Enchanted pretty much acts on this as her life philosophy, up to and including impromptu (delightful) musical numbers.

Folk Hero

  • Johnny Appleseed was famous for this. Though he spent most of his life a simple hermit, he made it his mission to cover the United States territories with apple trees so that everyone could enjoy their flowers and fruit. That and get drunk. Apple cider (what he was best remembered for giving to people) ferments very quickly.


  • Kushiel's Mercy has Ptolmey Solon, the world's probably smartest man, who holds that happiness is the highest form of wisdom.
  • Stranger in A Strange Land had Patricia Paiwonski, who "wanted to sacrifice herself on an altar of happiness for the world."
  • Vianne from the novel Chocolat doesn't believe in God or sin or forgiveness. She believes that "The only important thing is to be happy" - and does her best to make it happen with amazing gourmet chocolates. Sounds like a solid strategy to me!
  • Wicked Lovely has the Summer court, who are described as 'happy by nature' and 'frivoulous and passoionate'. They oftentimes tell others to 'choose happiness'. However, due to their nature as part of The Fair Folk, they often put happiness before things like morality and loyalty, on one occaision telling Seth to leave Aislinn because he'll be happier that way.

 "Sometimes it's not about being happy, but courting happiness." -Siobahn.


  "Happiness is a hard master—particularly other people's happiness."


Live Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • In the Dungeons and Dragons setting Scarred Lands, the titan Gulaben held the powers of granting happiness. The mortal peoples believed her to be For Happiness, and her popularity made her a threat to the God's reign over the world. Claiming that her power was merely a sinister kind of Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, the Gods captured her and destroyed all memories of her so that no one would try to set her free. The official truth is that she was a fickle and cruel titan, she might kill you even as she induces pleasure beyond imagination. The gods simply did what they had to do. And since no longer remember the real truth about Gulaben, we'll just have to take their word for it.

Video Games

  • This is the rallying cry of Hayama Mizuki from Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two..
  • This is pretty much Felicia's outlook on life — pursue happiness, and try to make as many other people happy as possible along the way.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

Fan Fiction

Real Life

  • This ethical position is an important form of utilitarian philosophy, and has been consistently popular among moral philosophers since the Enlightenment. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill were both major developers of the theory, although "happiness" may sometimes be replaced with a more generally defined "good" or "well-being", or something else altogether like "freedom" or "beauty".
  • The United States' Declaration of Independence includes "the pursuit of Happiness" as one of man's inalienable rights.
  • The King of Bhutan measures the prosperity and success of his nation (and, hence, his rule) in terms of Gross Domestic Happiness. While one of the worlds poorest countries when measured in dollars, there are more important things in life than luxuries and the Bhutanese people are considered among the most happy ones with the life they have.
  • The people who give out "Free Hugs" on the street.
  • Random acts of kindness.
  • The Wiccan Rede translates to "If it harms none, do what you will." Of course, that means stopping to think about the potential harm of one's actions before undertaking something and taking the route that will cause the least harm and the most happiness when harm cannot be prevented.
  • This is really the soul of entertainment. Given, these days a large portion of it is made for monetary purposes, but the first person to transcribe a story couldn't have done it out of greed, and still those writing for money are outnumbered greatly by those who just hope for somebody to enjoy their tale. And even with the monetary slant, much of that ends up being cost of living. When it comes down to it, any entertainment/creative industry from music to video games has such high levels of risk/reward and employment that if you really wanted to be rich, you're better off being something like a doctor or lawyer.