• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


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

If a story has a hero who fights a villain, then the hero will win in the end. Always.

Sure, there might be stumbles along the way. It may take a Hero's Journey or two to Earn Your Happy Ending. Evil might score a few victories first, and maybe even almost win in the Darkest Hour before Good can save the day at the last minute. In the end, however, there's never any doubt that the forces of good will prevail. Even in video games that allow you to play as the bad guys, the minute the sequel comes out, expect it to make the "good" ending the only canon one.

It doesn't matter how big the Big Bad is or how puny The Hero is--not only can the Kid Hero foil the Galactic Conqueror, despite how improbable it logically ought to be, but the audience expects it, and will be sincerely shocked if he doesn't.

This trope is so omnipresent, especially in works with Black and White Morality, that attempts to subvert it can easily lead to Like You Would Really Do It, and any work with a Downer Ending where The Bad Guy Wins automatically catapults itself to the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.

Side effects of this trope may include Plot Armor, Invincible Incompetent, and Underdogs Never Lose. Compare Happy Ending and Happily Ever After, which are closely related, and Invincible Hero, where not only does the good guy win in the end, but he also wins in every intermediate step. Contrast The Bad Guy Wins. The villainous counterpart to this trope is You Can't Thwart Stage One--the good guy's victories always come at the end, and the bad guy's victories always come in the middle.

Please do not list examples on this page. After all, there is a reason for the "Always" in the trope name. (Plus, we'd be here forever.)