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"After a fair and square fight, everyone becomes friends -- That's the Rule of Right of Shonen Manga!"
Ken Matsushiro, Yakitate!! Japan

In a series based around an endless series of one-on-one fights, defeating a Worthy Opponent or The Rival will sometimes convert them to the hero's side, if not always to his cause. Furthermore, no matter how many people the Worthy Opponent has killed, how much grief he has caused, even if he slaughtered helpless children or the hero's own family, as soon as he shows a bit of remorse or goes out of his way to help the hero even once, he will be welcomed into the hero's circle of True Companions with open arms.

It helps if the story is idealistic enough for the hero to forgive the villain after s/he is safely defeated. Correspondingly, the villain in this kind of story is so surprised and moved that the hero would be big-hearted enough to do that, that they have a change of heart.

From the writers' standpoint, this trope is a way to keep characters around longer. If it's a show about fighting, and if the hero is always getting stronger, what's the use of a defeated enemy? We want to see him fight some more, but he can't fight the hero again because that would be repetitive and we all know he would lose. So instead, he becomes an ally and gets to assist the hero.

In video games, this may simply be an instance of the designers wanting to include more Boss Battles; this is even more obvious in several cases where a character is already an ideological ally but wants to "duel" or "practice" against you anyway, or needs to "test your strength" before he'll join up. (Summons love to do this, as do Mons and even warrior tribes.) These fights are, then, essentially Filler. Of course, more Boss Battles are usually what the player wants, as well, so there are rarely complaints.

Compare Kill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand, another way to win over your enemies. Also compare Let's You and Him Fight where the two character are heroes who are already on the same side but still fight each other before joining forces, and Fire-Forged Friends, where enemies end up fighting on the same side to become friends. Contrast Villain's Dying Grace.

See also Love At First Punch and Best Her to Bed Her for romantic variations, Defeat Means Playable, I Fight for the Strongest Side.


Examples of Defeat Means Friendship include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • Magical Project S: after Pixy Misa is beaten in the "journey to the mind" episode she befriends and even fights alongside Sammy.
  • In Variable Geo, this is the protagonist's fighting style. More specifically, she has the ability to form an empathic bond with those she fights; once she's in tune with their soul, she's able to defeat them spectacularly, and whoever she defeats has a high probability of becoming a fast friend with her.
  • In Fairy Tail both Gajeel and Juvia join the guild after being defeated. While Juvia falls in love with Grey, Gajeel is approached by the master himself and persuaded to join Fairy Tail.
  • In Soul Eater, Maka is able to befriend Crona after matching his/her wavelength and finding out that he/she wasn't really bad, but timid due to a traumatic childhood.
    • That she tried the understanding plus violence tactic without actually knowing Crona's background made the sequence all the more awesome.
    • Was perhaps the expected outcome of Black Star's encounters with Mifune, and indeed turned out that way in the anime. In the manga, however defeat means death. In a large, obstinate amount of honour over reason, Black Star ends up killing Mifune because neither could conceive of an alternative to fighting to the death. Nice aversion (?), interesting outcome, total Tear Jerker.
    • Death the Kid, Liz and Patty's backstory is essentially that Liz and Patty tried to mug him. All we see is flashbacks, but this was most likely the outcome.
      • Though, according to ch78, not the entire story - Kid, being a naive rich guy with symmetry on the brain, comes to find the pair known as the 'Demons of Brooklyn' to have them as his Weapons. They agree originally because they want his money, and only later come to realise they genuinely like being with the boy. The Defeat's there, but the Friendship took time.
    • Black Star tries a new job as Warrior Therapist when he faces Crona. It doesn't work, for if anything Crona's mental state is worse, and no amount of Kung Fu Strength was enough to snap them out of it.
  • It is wryly noted that this is how Nanoha of Lyrical Nanoha seems to make all of her friends, both Muggles and other mages. So much so that fans use the word "befriend" as a synonym for "beat the crap out of". Before anyone is deemed worthy of her affection, (s)he first has to miraculously survive one of her massively aggressive onslaughts, which Fate experiences first-hand.
    • The current title of most befriended goes to Vivio, who took the title from Fate when she received five Starlight Breakers at the same time and managed to remain conscious and stand on her own afterwards. A considerable feat since Fate couldn't even claim that when Nanoha struck her with one. Nanoha officially adopts Vivio as her daughter afterwards.
      • In Fate's defense, Vivio was powered up well beyond her normal capacity by a Lost Logia at the time. Also, Fate was weakened by a Divine Buster just prior to being hit by the Starlight Breaker.
    • That explains why she isn't as close to Chrono as to the rest of her friends. She never blew him up! Het Option Yuuno is around, but has less and less presence each season.
    • Coincidentally, the first time Nanoha met Fate, the latter "befriended" her nearly into the hospital. Is it any wonder she fell in Love At First Sight Punch?
    • Lampshaded in the third Megami sound stage, where Hayate, in response to Erio and Caro becoming friends with Lutecia (whom they had defeated in the final battle), and the reformed Numbers cyborgs, notes that children have an amazing capacity for forgiveness. Similarly, in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid, Vivio acknowledges that while she is friends with Lutecia and the Numbers now, they were involved in her kidnapping from Section 6 four years ago.
    • Referenced in episode 12 of Kämpfer when Seppuku Bunny (voiced by Nanoha's voice actress) threatens to befriend several other characters just before they're about to fight.
    • Nanoha has finally explained the whole "befriending" process herself in the movie manga when she thinks back to how she became friends with Arisa only after they fought.
    • Jokingly brought up in The Movie sound stages, the full excerpt is on the Ascended Meme page.
  • This is a recurring theme in Pokémon:
    • Many of the Pokémon the characters capture either only agree to join them after they prove themselves by beating and catching the Pokémon in a battle. Main character Ash Ketchum had to earn the obedience of Pokémon like Bulbasaur, Snorunt, Treecko, and many more this way, even after he'd already befriended them.
    • And then there are the Pokémon who are just plain hostile and only become friendly after the characters have beaten and captured them. Ash only befriended Pidgeotto, Krabby, Muk, Corphish, and several other Pokémon after he'd beaten them up and caught them in a Poké Ball.
    • Many of the human relationships are this way too. At first, Ash couldn't stand either Gary or Paul, but once he'd fought them in the Pokémon League he formed a new friendship, or at least mutual respect, with the both of them. More generally, the To Be a Master nature of the series means that many non-evil characters are after the same goals as the protagonist, and while they compete against one another there's no real hatred between the majority of trainers.
    • This was subverted to hell and back in at least one episode, though. After being tormented the entire episode by a wild Rotom in an abandoned hotel, Ash and Dawn eventually use their combined powers to defeat it, and then are concerned for its safety when it seems down for the count. The Rotom wakes up and looks ashamed, and Ash conjectures that Rotom was just lonely and wanted someone to play with. Rotom nods in agreement... then shocks all of them before darting away, cackling madly.
  • Naturally Dragon Ball, as every member in the Z team at one point had the sole goal in life to defeat and/or kill Goku (or "send him to another dimension"). Overall, Piccolo and Vegeta were the most reluctant, but both became allies in the end, even though they were evil at first. Note that Vegeta does this twice; the others are all too ready to forgive him after he had voluntarily became a minion and killed thousands of Innocent Bystanders. Those were revived, but the people he killed on Namek and East City were explicitly left dead, thanks to accidental mis-wishing.
    • The original Dragon Ball series could be pretty much defined by this trope, and some of it even carries on to the very end of Dragonball Z. Uub anyone?
    • Avo and Cado from the JUMP Super Anime Tour special have got to be fastest example in the history of fiction.
    • Subverted with Tenshinhan, though. He beats both Kamesennin and Goku, but still does the Heel Face Turn, mostly after Kamesennin gives him a good talking-to about why idolizing an assassin kind of sucks and he realizes that he doesn't want to kill Goku, he just wants to fight him square.
  • Ippo in Hajime no Ippo takes this trope to a ridiculous extent. He often becomes friendly with the opponent even before fighting them (Sendo, Date, Volg) and resulting fight just seems to seal the deal, so to speak. This does not work for any of the other boxers.
    • Itagaki and what's-his-name might be considered another example.
      • Arguably a Truth in Television for boxing and other sports. Foreman and Ali is the best known example.
  • Ryuji Otogi (Duke Devlin in the dub) begins his appearance on Yu-Gi-Oh nursing a tremendous grudge against Yugi Muto for destroying his chance at success (by ruining Pegasus's reputation, and a potential publishing deal). After a single defeat at the game he designed, however, Ryuji does a 180 and becomes part of Yugi's inner circle of friends. Ever since, fans of the series have called such drastic, absurdly frequent turnarounds "pulling a Devlin". No characters are ever genre blind about this.
    • Bear in mind, Ryuji's entire case was "Pegasus's defeat was bad for me, so clearly Yugi is a cheating bastard". It wasn't so much Yami winning the game as Ryuji getting over himself. Yugi beating him in a 'fair' game, or one where Ryuji is cheating, and the fact that he got back the publishing deal, too.
      • It's different in the manga version where Ryuji fought against Yugi to take revenge for his father's loss against Yugi's grandfather (which made his father's face monstrous) as well as to take possession of the Millenium Puzzle. Yugi was almost killed as Ryuji's store burned afterwards.
    • MANY other important characters in the show follow this trope ranging from Mai and Mokuba and even to villains like Pegasus and Marik. Seto Kaiba is very unusual in that although he is repeatedly beaten by Yugi and has had the invitation of friendship extended to him by the group more than once, he only admits to respecting Yugi but never would call him his friend.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh GX deconstructs this with the Society of Light, who "recruits" their members by beating them at Duel Monsters. Interestingly, a good deal of the main characters that fall into the Society's sway were trying to use this trope to snap their friends out.
    • The whole of Yu-Gi-Oh GX seemed to be about this trope. Every season there seems to be at least one type of adversaries who convert the important characters by beating them and then the Good Guys Turned Bad are turned good again when a main character beats them in a duel. And the Big Bads die or become good after losing a game. Of course, this is partially explained by the fact that according to the show, the universe was created of card games.
      • That would explain A LOT.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo has a habit of befriending the people he defeats: Ishida, Ganju, Ikkaku, Renji, Kenpachi and Byakuya (in that order) all end up becoming his friends. He even manages this with several Arrancars he fights. Dordoni tried to hold off other Arrancar pursuing Ichigo after he was defeated by him.
    • After Chad defeated Arrancar #107 (Gantenbainne Mosqueda), Mosqueda warns him to run rather than fight an even more powerful Arrancar.
    • Perfectly summed up by Tsukishima's Fullbring. One cut of his sword, and he will insert himself into your life in whatever way he wants and a second cut ends the effect. It's so powerful it can break strong bonds although he quickly learns Byakuya's loyalty to Ichigo is unbreakable even when under this effect.
  • Pretty much the same story with Sagara Sanosuke in Rurouni Kenshin.
    • It helped that Kenshin monologued at Sanosuke for a couple of pages, and admitted that the revolution Kenshin helped push through was very superficial and still had a long way to go before true equality happened. Sano realized that they were fighting for the same cause and therefore gave up, letting himself pass out from the injuries he'd sustained in the battle.
    • Kenshin would then go on to monologue at just about everybody else while beating the snot out of them and winning. It only failed to work against Shishio Makoto, but Deus Ex Machina kicked in and Kenshin didn't have to break his all-important vow.
  • Rosario to Vampire. Notice how every girl in the harem wanted to kill Tsukune before Moka literally kicks the living daylights out of them.
    • Change Tsukune to everyone except Tsukune for Mizore, and Moka for Kurumu and... well, they all wanted to kill someone in the group, right?
      • Except for Yukari. She was just being a harmless prankstress who managed to be more annoying than dangerous.
        • It would probably be more accurate to say that they became friends because Tsukune always forgave them for everything.
  • A longstanding tradition in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure. The first real friend that Jonathan Joestar makes is Robert E. O. Speedwagon (haha), who tried to mug him. Jonathan's great-great grandson Jotaro makes friends with Kakyoin and Polnareff by freeing them from Dio's mind control, and nearly all of Jotaro's 16 year old uncle (long story) Josuke's friends were people who tries to kill him the first time they met.
    • Not ALL of Josuke's friends tried to kill him, just the vast majority. The minority being Koichi. Just Koichi.
    • And Mikitaka, but he may or may not be all there.
      • Who, himself, does the same. No, really, he got a Yandere to become a nice girl, and started dating her. By (accidentally) throwing her out of a cliff, then saving her.
  • Misaki from Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer uses a combination of skill, cuteness and "you're not alone!" speeches to win over every other player. (Add obliviousness, if it's a battle with someone who cheats -- apparently, the ability to win anyway is heightened by her honestly thinking that her opponent would never mess with the odds.)
  • The entire Shuffle Alliance in Mobile Fighter G Gundam is assembled in this fashion (except Sai Saici, who fought Domon to a draw rather than being beaten). Main rival Chibodee Crocket goes back and forth between violently beating the hero and having breakfast with him at least three times.
  • Various antagonists in Naruto -- Neji and Gaara most obviously, to the point where one fan artist referred to a "We Got Some Sense Beaten Into Us By Naruto Club" (members include the above plus Inari, Konohamaru and Tsunade...) Seen here.
    • Naruto is a Warrior Therapist, so it isn't just that he defeats them.
    • Averted with Ino and Sakura, who renew their friendship after fighting to a draw. The nature of their rivalry suggests that a clear victor would have been detrimental to reconciliation. Then again, technically, they both lost, since as a result of the draw, both failed that attempt at the Chunin exam.
    • Mostly inverted with Tsunade; Naruto loses both his "fights" against her, but technically wins her bet.
    • Naruto's actually gotten so used to this happening that when Sasuke, his best friend and rival, becomes a villain, Naruto just seems to assume that beating Sasuke in a fight will make him a good guy again.
      • He's probably right, too.
      • Sasuke and Naruto are something of an inversion, since Sasuke was ready to admit that yes, they are best friends, though this wasn't necessarily a good thing since Itachi told him, even advised him, that killing his best friend would unlock a new power, a power he'd need if he wanted his revenge. When it came to it Sasuke (barely) defeated Naruto, but chose not to kill him because he still thought of him as his friend, and he didn't want to achieve power by following Itachi's ways. May or may not be played straight now that Sasuke is batshit insane, but still an inversion since every time Sasuke was about to get better and abandon his vengeful power-seeker ways, some evil villain came along and deliberately put a stop to it by giving him another reason to dive off the deep end. So, Naruto really has to deal with the people corrupting Sasuke first before defeating him.
    • Kabuto plays with this trope in a very dark way. He does come to consider Naruto his friend after losing to him in battle, but he's so messed up in the head that he sees no contradiction in befriending The Hero and trying to become the next Big Bad. In fact, it was the self-confidence Naruto inspired in him that motivated Kabuto to become an even worse villain than he was before.
    • Now Naruto's even gone so far as to have this trope happen with not only the Nine-Tailed Fox, but all nine Tailed Beasts! Well, except for the Eight-Tailed Ox-Ogre, who he befriended without a fight.
  • It would take less time to list the antagonists in Beyblade that didn't do this than take the time to list those that did. Suffice it to say, by the final arc, there were 30-some good guys.
  • In Ranma One Half, after Ranma defeats Shampoo as a male, she becomes his fiancée by tribal law. Later Ranma defeats Ukyo and they go back to being friends (in her case, an Unlucky Childhood Friend). Before both fights the girls were out for revenge, and after the fight they more-or-less became friends (or clingy unrequited love interest) with him. Other then that though, none of Ranma's many rivals have ever become friend and always get madder at him after defeat.
    • In Ryoga and Mousse's cases, battling common foes and saving each other's lives have made them True Companions, however. But not friends.
  • And, of course, a key plot point in Super Dimension Fortress Macross / Robotech for the elite female Zentraedi warrior Miriya, who ends up marrying Max. The broadcast of their wedding then gives Breetai, the enemy commander, much food for thought...
  • Subverted in Yu Yu Hakusho, when Hiei is defeated and captured by Yuusuke; he subsequently becomes one of Yuusuke's comrades (and later friends), but is initially only helping him because he was assigned the task for parole. It is also mentioned that Karasu and Bui in the Dark Tournament are only working with the Toguro Brothers for the chance to get stronger and then turn around and kill them.
    • Also, the younger Toguro is not only fully aware of this fact, he welcomes it. The elder Toguro, on the other hand, is simply unkillable and thus has no reason to care.
    • Chu, although he didn't wait for defeat, Rinku, Jin, Toya, arguably Kuwabara (and his posse by proxy, although that's practically manga-only), reluctantly both Shishiwakamaru and Suzuki, Murota, Mitarai, slightly Amanuma, hell all of the seven except Sensui, Itsuki, and Gourmet (did we ever learn his name?), although the Doctor and Sniper just went non-antagonist. AND Sayaka in the pre-resurrection arc, although in the anime she was merely a Spirit-World inspector. Suzuki even went so far as to provide Kuwabara and Kurama with weapons that they would have been pwned without, although technically this was to further his own ends. Yomi became friendlier after the Demon Tournament arc, although he was by no means a friend or ally, as well as Mukuro and Raizen's old friends. Luka got out of the force-field for hire and switched to doing a radio show with Koto and Juri after nearly being incinerated by Hiei. This series exploits the trope almost as much as DBZ.
  • Happens several times in Shaman King. Ren, Ryu, Faust and Lyserg all attempt to kill Yoh and/or Manta before joining Yoh's posse, often executing bizarre Heel Face Turns.
    • Not really, as after defeating them, or not quite defeating them, Yoh has gone to great lengths, (or in one case Anna didn't go to great lengths, just lengths) to help them find what they sought. In two cases, this won Eternal undying loyalty. And Lyserg took ages to figure it out anyway.
  • Gokudera Hayato in Katekyo Hitman Reborn, declaring his undying devotion to Sawada Tsuna after the latter defeated the former by going into "Dying Will" mode.
    • Er, not to mention that Gokudera was about to die from setting off his own dynamite, and Tsuna saved his life?
    • After being defeated by defeated Gokudera, Gamma seems to be going this way
    • In a way, this happens to two of the major Big Bads from two of the arcs. Namely, Rokudo Mukuro and Xanxus (though both are very reluctant and stubborn about admitting it).
  • In Outlaw Star, Gene Starwind earns Suzuka's allegiance this way, though it's been theorized she was really just tired with the life of a hired assassin. This incident is especially interesting because Gene ends the fight by literally disrobing her.
  • Arguably subverted in Hellsing. Everyone Alucard kills becomes one of his summoned monsters. They have no choice in the matter, and definitely aren't too happy about it.
    • Also arguably subverted with the Iscariot organization in the final chapter. At first it seems that Iscariot, who lost almost everyone during the war, have formed a somewhat friendly relationship with the Hellsing organization afterward. It turns out that they're really just waiting until they've properly rebuilt themselves to launch their next crusade.
  • Lampshaded in the final episode of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei where a character declares himself to be an enemy of Itoshki specifically because of the assumption that Defeat Means Friendship. Harumi Fujiyoshi then points out that Defeat Means Friendship tends to mean something else too...
  • The girls from Magic Knight Rayearth managed to convince the summoner Ascot to stop fighting them after defeating his beasts and teaching him the value of friendship. The fact that he had killed Presea, which really upset them at the time, was conveniently forgotten.
    • Presea's death only occurs in the anime. In the manga, it's his idea of letting his beasts use the unconscious Hikaru and Fuu as toys that really upsets Umi, especially when he calls them stupid for trying to protect Umi.
    • They also managed to convince Caldina to back off through their passion and commitment to their cause -- Caldina may be a mercenary, but she wasn't that much of a fan of Zagato's pointless-seeming quest to destroy Cephiro.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Kotaro becomes The Rival after Negi defeats him during the Kyoto arc. Chisame and Chachamaru also become relatively good friends after their massive hacking battle during the Mahora Festival arc. Later, Jack Rakan is revealed to have had one of these with Nagi in a situation surprisingly similar to the thing with Kotaro.
    • Rakan appears to be a subversion. His version of this tropes sounds more like "Draw Means Friendship". Just take a look at his fights. He fought Nagi to a draw, Friendship, he fought Vrixas Nagasha, the ancient dragon, to a standstill and they were on good terms since then, his fight with Kage-chan never reached a conclusion so it can be considered a draw, after the fight they went drinking and became friends.
      • Though in the latter case, it's more like they became drinking buddies before the fight, hinting that he arranged the whole thing to look like this trope.
    • Appears to be the same deal about to happen with Luna (Shiori) ... though it might more be Defeat Means Love.
    • Seems like this is about to happen again, since as of chapter 292 Negi wants to be best friends with Fate. And it seems to be mutual, too... in a way.
  • In Samurai Pizza Cats Bad Bird is the arch rival of Speedy until he is fully defeated in the final ep. After Speedy gives a speech telling him it's not too late to change, Bad Bird sees the light, becomes Good Bird, and helps Speedy destroy a comet heading for Tokyo.
    • Might be a bit of an inversion - Bad Bird actually won the battle and had Speedy helplessly trapped. He was planning to leave him there to die when the comet struck, but the defeated Speedy appealed to him and was able to convert him to goodness just in time. It might have helped that, having proven his combat superiority in a way, Bad Bird had less of a motive to be evil.
  • Flame of Recca is notorious for this, particularly during the Tournament Arc. People who were trying to kill Team Hokage just hours ago are suddenly eating snacks, playing videogames, and sharing stories with our heroes in their hotel room.
    • And one of them creates a fan club for Fuko.
  • This shows up as a recurring theme in Hayate Cross Blade, probably because the premise of having pairs fight each other means that one half of a team can get into trouble with somebody else, getting their partner involved in the process. Other than the Momotaro-gumi, a Four-Girl Ensemble that came about after the members had fought each other to the point of bloodshed (a nosebleed, that is); examples also include Mizuchi, who becomes a lot more likable after her defeat at Ayana's hands.
  • In Harlem Beat, almost all rival teams become this with Johnan team.
  • Possibly subverted in Black Lagoon: Chang and Balalaika became friends after their (intended) fight to the death turned out a draw.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, the Seigaku and Fudomine teams become rather acquainted after the first team wins the matches against the latter. Something similar happens with the Rokkaku and Hyoutei teams, to different degrees (Well, Saeki from Rokkaku was Fuji's Forgotten Childhood Friend).
  • In Dragon Half, when Mink defeats the necromancer Dead Lie and the four elemental generals, they become quite friendly, treating Mink and her party to a picnic and wishing her luck on her quest.
  • In Cynthia the Mission, the Big Bad Cybele does this. All of her subordinates became her loyal and loving followers after she destroyed them in battle. Phantom got his lips torn off. The guy in the glasses got his eyes gouged out. Bridget got her arm torn off. And the boxer guy got his neck slit. Yes, the least crippling injury was a throat cutting. Cybele herself gave Bridget and the boxer medical attention and a prosthetic arm in Bridget's case.
  • Interestingly inverted One Piece, where Mr. 2 Bon Clay makes friends with the Straw Hat Pirates and then they find out they are enemies. Though Bon Clay considers them still friends, he still fights them he's just doing his job, after all.). After his boss is defeated though, he sacrifices his freedom and is imprisoned to help the pirates escape.
    • Also kinda subverted during the fight between Sanji and Mr. 2 Bon Clay, in which Sanji wins. Bon Clay tells him to finish him off and instead...Sanji offers his hand to apparently help him up. Bon Clay is touched (his inner thoughts say stuff about 'enemies becoming friends!' or something like that), and then Sanji promptly knocks him out and retrieves Usopp's goggles from him.
    • One Piece, unusually for shonen manga, tends to avoid this trope for the most part. Most villains are irredeemably evil (though their minions might be somewhat sympathetic, it's usually due to their comedic quirks) and Luffy usually decides he wants someone on his crew within seconds of meeting them, giving villains no chance to make a Heel Face Turn anyway. The only real exception is Franky (Robin is debatable, since no one ever defeated her; she just showed up on the ship and asked to join.)
    • The only major exception is that a defeated villain (again, usually a minion) gets a mini title-arc where they sometimes become more humane, and sometimes even end up helping the hero later on, like with Hachi.
    • Minor villain Duval is an exception. He decides he likes the Straw Hats and pledges loyalty to them as soon as he's defeated. Though it may have something to do with Sanji giving him reconstructive facial surgery with his feet, turning him from Gonk to Bishonen.
    • Taken Up to Eleven by the Whitebeard Pirates. When these guys kick your ass, they don't just become your friends. They become your family. Whether you want to or not.
  • All but a few members of the Shinpaku Alliance in Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple were members of rival gang Ragnarok before being beaten by Kenichi and being either convinced or blackmailed by Niijima to join Shinpaku.
  • Seen more or less often in Saint Seiya, where the Bronze Saints and Saori manage to make several of their enemies realize they should join their cause after Seiya and Co. defeat them in battle.
  • Subverted in Dragon Drive, where Reiji's defeat of Daisuke Hagiwara only increased the tensions between them; They eventually do become friends after enduring a long Enemy Mine situation.
  • Many of the highlighted players from teams defeated by the Deimon Devil Bats (even some of the freakishly destructive ones) in Eyeshield 21 end up as personal trainers for the players they opposed when the Devil Bats are preparing to play in the Christmas Bowl. They genuinely seem to want to be helping out (in other words, they're not there because Hiruma threatened them) and cheer their formal rivals from the stands.
    • Though really, it's because they're all from the same region of Japan, and they want them to win against Kansai. Plus, since their teams were out of the running, they didn't have anything better to do anyway.
      • This continues to the next phase when they form the Japan All-Star team and go international.
    • Gaou takes this to the next level. If someone he faces proves themselves to be a Worthy Opponent (such as Bamba, Riku and Kurita), Gaou will become a surprisingly loyal friend to them and he will defend them in every sense of the word (including attacking ANYONE who insults them).
  • Sixknight becomes an ally of the Autobots after his defeat at the hands of Ginrai in Transformers Super God Masterforce.
  • Local gang leader Anego in Dai Mahou Touge becomes pretty chummy with Punie after being brutally defeated.
    • Given that the alternative would be regular fights against a frighteningly powerful opponent who usually considers it standard practice to utterly cripple her foes upon defeat, Anego is only being sensible. And very, very lucky.
    • There's also Paya-tan. And Elise. Actually, including Anego, I would put them not so much as "become her friends" as "are conquered and become bondsmen.
  • Inverted a bit in Yugo the Negotiator. Yugo always get his ass handed to him, but he manages to get all cooperation he needs from them in the end, being the stubborn person he is. As a negotiator, it helps that he is also always looking for the best outcome for all sides involved.
  • Graham Spector of Baccano concludes that Ladd Russo is his best friend in the whole wide world after the latter takes a high-speed monkey wrench to the side without even a flinch and subsequently owns him. Of course, Graham's batshit insane, so that might explain it.
    • Good thing Ladd is too.
  • A strange semi-example in a bit of Star Wars Manga - yes, there is Star Wars manga (although it's non-canon, meaning it didn't happen ) - happened when Darth Vader slaughters a group of hidden Jedi, sparing the last one - a very young boy named Tao - because the kid's anger and horror is so strong that it hints at serious Dark Side potential. He takes the boy as a secret apprentice (rather creepier than Starkiller), and even though Vader killed Tao's family and razed his world, Tao somehow can't really hate Vader. Even when the Emperor finds out and has Vader kill him - really, he was Only Mostly Dead, and Tao was able to save his master from something else before dying happy, since Vader took him back to his razed homeworld to be buried.
    • ... The whole thing comes off as Shotacon-ish fanfiction that stops just short of actual sex. Still, after having his people killed and being curb-stomped by the Dark Lord, Tao randomly became very loyal, and Vader for his part went a little soft.
  • Grenadier goes slightly overboard with this trope. In one episode we see the main characters beat a gang of bloodthirsty thieves with a known murderer as their boss, and the evil mechanic genius that helps them. Next episode, the whole ex-criminal gang is helping repair the damage they've done, and the boss (who has in the past killed the innocent family of a child over petty extortion) serves as benevolent comic relief. The evil genius is helping with defense, and is incredibly happy over being complimented for his work.
    • Note: the damage they had done was to a place called "The Pleasure Palace". While the insta-redemption might be a bit "Huh?"-worthy, it's honestly not that odd for a bunch of guys who have just had some sense beaten into them to realize "Hey, helping out a lot of really hot women works out a lot better than threatening them!"
  • Near the end of Adachi Mitsuru's H2, Hiro receives encouraging letters from various defeated players and teams. Even Hirota, the series' jerk, writes "You're an eyesore. Lose already.".
  • This trope is part of the bread and butter of Great Teacher Onizuka. Heck, it's basically his entire teaching style.
  • Invoked (badly) in S-Cry-ed. One of the antagonists attempts to use his "script-writing" powers to rewrite reality where Kazuma joins HOLY. He botches it when Kazuma instead takes his defeat personally and punches the altered reality back into shape.
  • Averted in Shootfighter Tekken. Kiichi defeats Kiba handily after a long and grueling fight, but Kiba still thinks he's just some punk kid. After telling him what a damn fool he was for being merciful, Kiba probably continues to be a massive asshole of a teacher.
  • In the Shoujo Demographic manga Crown, bad guys come after Mahiro, get their butts kicked by Ren and Jake, and then hang around and help with the housework.
  • In the ecchi romance ninja manga Ninja Girls, this is how the rivals in the Love Triangle for Raizo's affections become friends... during a friendly game of kemari that turns violent. If they weren't Stripperific you could almost mistake this as an occurrence in a typical male oriented sports manga, as they fall down laughing, and handclasping.
  • Amazing Agent Luna has Luna offering her protection to the evil clone she had just defeated.
  • From Liar Game, the only times that Nao does lie is to help out those in the game. And once she advances to the next round, she gives her winnings to them, so they could pay off their debts. Once she does, they see that her honest character isn't faked and they become friends/allies with her to help her advance. Best example would be Fukunaga and Akagi.
    • Also subverted spectacularly with Yokoya who walked away with a huge sum of cash and his own teammates in debt. All of his teammates were not pleased at all. In fact, Fukunaga who wasn't even on his team and had his debts all paid in full, returned to the revival game so he could "rip every last yen outta that damn bastard".
  • In the Dragon Quest manga, Dai earns several allies after beating them in one on one combat.
  • Hayato from Future GPX Cyber Formula makes friends with Kaga, Osamu, Shinjyo, Johji and others after a few or more races with them, although he made friends with Kaga and Johji before the race started.
  • Played straight with some villains-of-the-week (such as Bucci) in Gun X Sword. Subverted in that this is what The Claw wants, or claims to want, with all of his enemies. In the latter case, the desire to make friends with everyone comes across as a sign of extremism at best, and insanity at worst.
  • Not only used multiple times, but practically trumpeted as an ideal in martial arts in Sumomo Mo Momo Mo. Momoko even has a flashback where her father tells her that such clashes, and chats over drinks afterwards, result in the best friendships (and the best-tasting drinks). It's shown via quick flashbacks that the Arranged Marriage that drives the plot came about after Momoko's and Koushi's fathers played this trope straight.
  • Medaka Box ,being a Deconstructor Fleet of Shounen tropes, plays with this one too. Medaka actually can't befriend people without somehow defeating and "fixing" them first. As Ajimu points out, Medaka values her enemies more than her allies. In chapter 118, Medaka deliberately provokes Zenkichi further after Ajimu convinced him to fight against Medaka by beating the crap out of him and mocking him afterwards. Medaka tells Kikaijima that she hopes Zenkichi will become a Worthy Opponent that she can defeat and "befriend", and mentions that she should have set him up to be her enemy from the very beginning.
  • This is standard operating procedure for Sailor Moon. Usagi believes that there is always a way to solve things without violence or killing and that somewhere inside of them, everyone has some good to them. While there are some villains she has to outright destroy, she has a pretty good track record of turning enemies into friends.
  • One arc of Sakigake Otokojuku featured a bunch of transfer students from the closest thing to Otokojuku anywhere else in the world -- the prep school for the Annapolis naval academy. Principal Edajima organized a series of "friendly" boxing matches between select new students and old students, ostensibly as a bonding exercise. In reality, the gloves used in the matches were metal and covered in spikes. The American students all lost their matches, but became the best of pals with their adversaries (and the Japanese students in general); when time came for the new arrivals to head home, unofficial class leaders Momotaro Tsurugi and Kieth Jackson both state that they cherished their time together.
  • There's an interesting variant in Claymore. Miria vows not kill any of her former comrades when she leads a revolt against The Organization. She fights and defeats all of them... only to get butchered horribly when they regenerate. Her resolve not to kill inspired every single enemy Claymore to defect to her side and they faked her death.
  • In Holyland, Iwado, Shougo, Taka and Tsuchiya after their defeat by Yuu.


Comic Books Edit

  • In Elf Quest, after centuries of festering rivalry (not to mention Rayek abducting Cutter's entire family so that he has to be lonely for a couple hundred years!), Cutter and Rayek decide to settle their differences by beating the crap out of each other. Once the fight is over they don't exactly become friends, but they're at least willing to cooperate with each other.
    • The Wolfriders tend to treat all internal conflicts this way, which makes sense given that their society is modeled on the wolf pack.
  • In the original Little Nemo newspaper comics from the early 1900s, self-centered prankster Flip torments Nemo endlessly, even getting him exiled from Slumberland and hindering his attempts to return, until Nemo insists they settle their dispute in a boxing match. Upon being soundly trounced, Flip immediately declares himself to be Nemo's loyal friend and companion, and remains so until the Reset Button years later.
  • Defeat means switching sides? In Rogue Squadron, Baron Fel, the best surviving pilot in the Empire, is captured after a Y-wing shoots him with some ion bolts. He asks to talk to the leader of the Rogues. Turns out Wedge Antilles's sister is Fel's wife, and despite being very, very good at killing Rebels, he'd been having doubts ever since his wife told him about her brother, and he was disgusted by his side. The gist of it is captured on this page here. They take him up on it.
    • Defeat definitely means switching sides, at least if ion bolts are involved. In the first Rogue Squadron there is an Expy/DistaffCounterpart of Fel in Kasan Moor, a very good pilot who is part of a very good Imperial squadron. She gets captured... by being shot with a Y-wing's ion cannon... and transmits not only her surrender, but her willingness to defect and provide useful intelligence. Sure enough, the next several missions involve targets she's chosen, and she's flying in an X-Wing with the Rogues, musing that now she knows what it's like to be on their side of these little raids. Why she defects is never really elaborated on, but none of the Rogue Squadron games are famous for plot.
      • Her biography in the manual identifies her as Alderaanian. Why it took her over a year to find an opportunity to jump ship is another matter, however.
        • Well, the Rebels didn't exactly make a habit of being easy to find, especially to the Imperial Navy. Defections are somewhat more difficult when the enemy army is almost always in hiding.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage comics, Casey Jones spent most of his first appearance having a knock-down-drag-out brawl with Raphael over Casey's overly violent street vigilantism. Raphael ultimately won, and Casey thereupon became one of the turtles' closest allies and Raphael's best friend. The 2003 cartoon had a similar sequence.
  • A Wrong Genre Savvy character in Birds of Prey that later becomes Misfit assumes this is the reason Oracle ends up attacking her when she breaks into the clocktower.
  • This trope is how Popeye befriends Toar, the immortal caveman. After Toar admits defeat ("You hit too hard, no fight crazy fool like you!"), Popeye offers him a friendship and Toar accepts.


Fanfiction Edit

  • Hogyoku Ex Machina lampshades this when Ishida asks, "Kurosaki, is there anyone you've fought that you haven't become best friends with?"
  • The vermin who join up with Urthblood's army in The Crimson Badger, a Redwall fanfic.
  • Two examples in With Strings Attached, though in both cases the “defeats” were pretty mild:
    • As'taris, dying to take the newly revealed Kansael from John, threatens to cut it out of his chest. Ringo telekinetically shoves him away, takes his sword, and threatens to drop him in the ocean if he tries it again. As'taris is so impressed that Ringo actually fought back that he immediately drops his main objection to the four (that they were noncombatants) and thereafter views them as peers—more or less.
    • The four “defeat” the Hunter (and by proxy Jeft) simply by being themselves; their obvious love for one another makes him long for an alternative to his friendless, loveless life of adventure and murder. He becomes the best friend they make in the entire book.
  • Legend of Zelda Rings of Dualty subverts it with the main characters, Link and Samba, because their battle came to a draw. Played pretty straight with the Leviathans of Material.


Film Edit

  • The Karate Kid: "You're all right, LaRusso!"
  • In The Remake of The Karate Kid, Cheng and his group of friends who had once bullied Dre respect him after he wins the tournament. In fact, Cheng, the main bully, is the one to present the trophy to him.
  • It's a one fight thing, but when the documentary film, When We Were Kings, won its Oscar, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman went to the podium with the winners as a gesture to show they'd reconciled over the 1974 bout. (Particularly touching was Foreman's very gentle attempts to assist Ali up the steps). No such luck getting Smokin' Joe to forgive the Uncle Tom comments, though.
  • In the 2008 Horton Hears a Who, Horton is triumphant getting his neighbours to believe the microscopic Whos exist and is hailed a hero of the ages. However, he can't help but notice the Sour Kangaroo is now alone, ashamed and hated for what she did to him and almost to the Whos. Fortunately, Horton has a heart as big as his ears and he immediately goes to offer his forgiveness to the Kangaroo. The Kangaroo, realizing how lucky she is to have a friend as noble as Horton, immediately offers to help him shelter the Whos for the trip to Mount Nool.
  • Puss in Boots, in Shrek.
  • The Disney Channel seems to like the trope. Well, there's no actual fighting, but after the protagonist wins/beats their opponent/whatever, the antagonist suddenly becomes BFFs with them.
  • Blazing Saddles. After Sheriff Bart blows up Mongo and captures him:

 Mongo: Mongo stay with Sheriff Bart. Sheriff first man ever whip Mongo. Mongo impressed, have deep feelings for Sheriff Bart.

Waco Kid: Uh oh, you better watch out, big fella. I think Mongo's taken a little fancy to you.

Mongo: Aww, Mongo straight!

  • In the Mixed Martial Arts-meets-The OC film Never Back Down, the hero and villain share a HoYayish smirk the day after their final brawl. Apparently there were no hard feelings about putting the hero's friend in the hospital.
  • In Boorman's Excalibur:
    • Lancelot is seeking to serve the man who can best him in combat. Arthur loses to Lancelot, then cheats by using Excalibur's power to knock Lancelot silly. Lancelot doesn't realize what happened when he wakes up and agrees to join Arthur. Of course, things don't turn out so great in the end...
    • The first knight Arthur bests in battle -- Sir Uriens, who knights him -- winds up being Arthur's lifelong ally, and the first to obey Arthur's order to find the Holy Grail. He ultimately dies on the quest to find it.
  • When the mechanic mom finally accepts the evidence that her son was murdered, she still harbors a grudge against The Machine Girl, who she previously blamed for it. Before joining her on a vengeful warpath, she's determined to engage the one-armed girl in a fight that culminates in an arm-wrestling match. After she's defeated, the mother immediately makes friends with Machine Girl.
  • When Matthias and Balthazar go at it in The Scorpion King we know how it's going to end. Call it a curious form of pre-historic male bonding.
  • Rocky and Apollo from the Rocky films. For Apollo, the only way to get back at the man who reminded him of his worthlessness is by befriending the one who took it away.
  • The King and the Clown: When Jaeng-sang and Gong-gil arrive in Seoul they crash the show of some local jesters and engage in a little showdown. Their double act clearly wins and that evening the Seoul clowns propose to join forces.
  • In Avatar, the Na'vi knows which banshee is destined to be theirs because it will try to kill them. They also have to 'tame' it through violence.
    • That's likely a dominance thing. They want the most dominant, spirited ikran they can find in a flock, and that'd be the one that'd meet a challenge and go toe to toe rather then fly away. Also doubles as a way to get warrior cred; much tougher to break an animal that's trying to kill you then one that just wants to run away.
  • Double subverted in Ip Man 2. After Ip trashes Wong Leung the first time they meet, the latter up and leaves. He comes back with three friends to try to defeat Ip. It's only when this fails that Wong asks Ip to accept him as a student.
    • Played straight from the first movie to the second: The leader of the ne'er-do-wells from the first movie gets defeated by Ip in it, and in the second movie comes to his aid. He even credits Ip for helping to turn his life around.
  • In The Horror of Party Beach, shown on MST3K, at a beach party in the beginning the main hero fights with a leader of a biker gang and defeats him(with some help from some scrawny bystanders in speedos). The leader shakes his hand.

 Mike: (in upperclass British accent): "You have defeated me sir! You and your noble band of choreographers!"

  • After Jerry beats up his bully in Three O'Clock High, the bully shows up to return some money so that Jerry can get out of a theft charge. He even gives him the very faintest of smiles before walking off.
  • At the end of Back to The Future, Biff is a friendly (if sycophantic) worker for George after George beats the crap out of him in the past.
  • American Ninja has this. Jackson starts a fight with Joe, when Joe effortlessly kicks his ass, Jackson becomes his buddy, willing to risk court-martial for his new friend.
  • In the Directors Cut of Legend The Gump is furious with Jack for allowing Lily to touch the unicorn, and then throws a massive tantrum when Jack solves his subsequent riddle - but once he's over it he forgives Jack immediately (as he promised) and joins his quest to save the unicorns (and Lily) from Darkness.
  • The villains of the Spy Kids movies are often defeated this way.
  • Swede, the violent and unruly marine from Heartbreak Ridge has been in and out of the brig on one charge or another until Recon Platoon recruit him to remove Drill Sergeant Nasty Tom Highway. Highway himself has been on a great many charges for violent disorder and when Swede offers to turn himself in after losing, Highway instead orders him to get on parade. Later when a Lieutenant is trying to get evidence against Highway after he embarrassed the local Major, Swede stands in his way and he backs down.
  • 'Borsalino' starts with Roch Siffredi and François Capella beating each other up over a woman. The rest of the movie is about their friendship.


Literature Edit

  • Older Than Dirt, coming from the oldest surviving written heroic epic (ca. 2700 BCE): In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become friends after Gilgamesh defeats Enkidu in a fight.
  • Robin Hood and Little John.
    • A very large number of Robin Hood ballads were based on the same formula of a sturdy fellow defeating Robin Hood and being welcomed into his band, to such an extent that he is threatened by The Worf Effect.
  • Hamlet and Laertes.
  • Similarly, Dantes and Jacopo from le Compte de Monte Cristo.
  • Somewhere in between: Fionn mac Cumhaill and Goll mac Morna (in some versions).
  • A likely inspiration for the trope's appearance in anime is the legend of Minamoto Yoshitsune's defeat of the monk Benkei on the Gojo Bridge in the 12th Century A.D. Minamoto spared Benkei's life, after which Benkei swore to serve him to the death. The story bears an uncanny resemblance to the story of Robin Hood's first meeting with Little John, but they could simply be examples of parallel invention.
    • The aforementioned meeting of Robin Hood and Little John is a subversion of the trope, since John wins but joins Robin's band anyway.
      • Robin got more or less all of his band this way, and he won some and lost some. He considered it necessary to building a good band, as a sort of test to make sure that each new man was both strong and loyal, so that in a pinch they would be competent and true.
      • In many versions of the tale, a key aspect is that Robin Hood lost to every single Merry Man he recruited and then congratulated the winner unabashedly. Merely defeating them would have proven nothing to them about his worth as a leader. What inspired them to join him was that his will and wry good character could not be defeated by any amount of physical besting -- that he was both a good sport and an indefatigable visionary in one. After all, an idealist revolutionary who can't handle a single loss or being shown up on occasion isn't going to last very long.
    • While perhaps a very long bow to draw, it's not impossible that both stories were influenced by the Epic of Gilgamesh. Sumerian culture had demonstrable influence (either directly or through its cultural successors) on all subsequent Old World cultures, except sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, anyone?

 Yukon Cornelius: I've reformed this Bumble!

  • In Tales of MU, Sooni's belief in this trope is central to her Wrong Genre Savvy. She believes herself to be in a Shojo anime, with herself as The Hero and Mack as the evil, demonic, Schoolgirl Lesbian Rival who needs to be defeated to become her friend. When Mack continues to refuse to admit defeat and cede the election to her, she flies into a homicidal rage and begins attacking her, to the extent that the almost-invulnerable Mack ends up in the hospital (granted, this was mostly because Mack was using more magic than she should have been, but still). Sooni later visits Mack and happily tells her that she has defeated Mack, and therefore they can be friends now. Mack is naturally furious, but then the story heads for a Double Subversion when Mack agrees out of exasperation, pity... and Foe Yay. Blatant Foe Yay:

 "Subtext!" Sooni said, practically dancing with joy. "See? We have subtext now!"

"I'm not sure that qualifies as sub anything."

  • In Christopher Stasheff's The Warlock In Spite of Himself, a goon named Big Tom picks a fight with the hero, Rod Gallowglass; when Rod proves he can best him, Tom asks humbly to be Rod's man. Subverted in that Tom is a canny agent of Rod's enemies, taking advantage of this trope to get close to him.
  • A rare example of pre-emptive Defeat Means Friendship occurs in the Malloreon, when Emperor Zakath finally dawns to the awareness that the Alorn religious myths are real, and Belgarion isn't just a rival overlord but also the designated custodian of cosmic power. Zakath takes one look at the odds and decides to just skip the "defeat" and get right to the "friendship".

 Belgarion: Oh yes. [The Orb] has no conception of the word "impossible". If I really wanted it to, it could probably spell out my name in stars. * Orb twitches* Stop that! That was just an example, not a request. * Belgarion grins sheepishly* Wouldn't that look grotesque? 'Belgarion' running from horizon to horizon across the night sky?

Zakath: You know something, Garion? I've always believed that someday you and I would go to war with each other. Would you be terribly disappointed if I decided not to show up?

  • In The Dresden Files novel Turn Coat, Harry calls up the very foreboding spirit of an island and essentially challenges it to a contest of strength and will. By winning, he forges a magical alliance between himself and the spirit. He later explains it in terms of this trope: see the quotes page.
  • While the Great Skeeve normally plays this straight during his Myth Adventures, he subverts it in the sixth book, Little Myth Marker. After thwarting the Ax, a "character assassin" hired to ruin his reputation, Skeeve flatly refuses a request to join his group, which the Ax had grown fond of. His reason is that, while he doesn't hold a personal grudge against the assassin, because Skeeve's team often succeeds on The Power of Friendship the fact that the Ax makes money be betraying that leaves a bad taste in his mouth.
  • Happens rather regularly in Stackpole's X Wing Series books. All right, so the Rogues kill or drive off most of their enemies, and the retreating ones are still enemies. But when they, for example, shoot down the freighter ship that is the only way the TIE fighters could get out of the system, the TIEs tend to surrender, and Rogue Squadron accepts readily. Once this happened near a station that the Rogues had just captured, and the highest-ranked TIE pilot who had just surrendered warned the leader of Rogue Squadron that the station master was wily. It's a little different in Aaron Allston's parts of the series.
  • Justified group example in There Will Be Dragons by John Ringo. The inhabitants of a town are rather irritated with the legionnaires stationed nearby. The farmers and craftsmen all work hard for their living, while the soldiers are just lazing around in the woods, and coming to town with lots of unearned money and making trouble... Tension is high and there are fights between townspeople and soldiers. To solve the situation, the legionnaires challenge the town militia to a mock battle, and proceed to beat them soundly. The townspeople realize that the soldiers are not just lazing around, but are training hard to be able to defend the town if needed. And all are friends again.
  • Dave Barry Slept Here outright parodies this, repeatedly using the term "befriend" to describe Gunboat Diplomacy.
  • Aliens try this on an interspecies scale in Larry Niven's Footfall--they figure humanity will either submit to their armies, or accept the submission of their armies, and either way it'll lead to good relations in the long term. They're quite surprised when humanity responds with total war.

Live Action TV Edit

  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anya's first two appearances actually have her as the (or one of the) villains of the episode.
    • Andrew was originally one of the Big Bads for Season 6, was a hostage for a bit after killing long-time minor character Johnathan and then became one of the Scoobies.
  • And on Angel, the Big Bad of the first four seasons, Wolfram and Hart, becomes an ally (or the employer) for the fifth, after the defeat (murder) of its representative, Lila Morgan, and the defeat of their 4-season-long master plan. (They at least set things in motion by bringing Darla back, having Drusialla re-vamp her, and so on). It's an example of the trope where the corporation is the character and one that changes the very structure of the show, since the nemesis from the first episode onward is transformed into the ally. Very Wheedonesque.
  • Invoked on Burn Notice, when Michael has to gain the trust of an enforcer for the Russian Mob that he has captured. He pretends to be another member, locked in the same cell. They fight, and, typical on this show, Michael narrates the action by describing the importance of learning Russian martial arts if you're going to pretend to be Russian.
  • On Leverage, Nate chased all of the team members when he was previously an insurance investigator. One flashback reveals that Nate and Sophie even shot each other when he was chasing her.
  • On Disney's Davy Crockett mini-series, Mike Fink becomes friends with Davy and Georgie after the beat him in a riverboat race.
  • In Rumpole and the Married Lady Horace Rumpole by an underhand trick makes neophyte barrister Phillida Trant (acting for the prosecution against him) quote legal precedent to such an extent that it antagonizes the judge and she loses the case. It turns out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship...
  • Discussed Trope and then Defied Trope in Garrows Law by Garrow after his duel with Silvester.


Professional Wrestling Edit


Tabletop Games Edit

  • Traveller: During the Intersteller Wars a number of Vilani defected and took the Terrans side. This was especially the case with the Khimashargur who were Space Cossacks that had fled from the vilani mainstream because of philosophical differences, and held a resentment against the Vilani government.


Video Games Edit

  • Command and Conquer Red Alert 2: Happens in the Soviet campaign of Yuri's Revenge when they defeat the Allies and team up to take on Yuri's forces.
    • ...and vice versa in the Allied Campaign, although the Soviets using time travel to force a different outcome is much more plot-critical.
  • Civilization 5: Bismark's Furor Teutonicus creates a chance that barbarians will join you after taking their encampment.
    • The Mongol scenario also has militaristic city-states provide you with soldiers when you conquer them.
  • Final Fantasy games often require you to defeat various monsters as bosses before they offer you their power as Summon Magic.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, Amarant is a bounty hunter hired to kill Zidane and company, until they best him in a fight and he decides to throw in with them. This is one part honour and one part trying to figure out exactly how he beat him.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, it's Yuffie, who joins your party after a fight in an attempt to screw you over. Eventually becomes a sincere member of the party after you save her from Don Corneo.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Most of the monsters you beat (non-boss only) become your familiar and help you in fights.
  • In Castlevania III Draculas Curse, Trevor Belmont picks up allies Grant and Alucard only after defeating them as bosses.
  • In the Shin Megami Tensei series if you defeat a boss you can create it through fusion, and this will remain in the compendium even in New Game+ and can be summoned regardless of level provided you have enough money to summon it.
    • Devil Survivor has the Nintendo DS lookalike COMP, which upon activation summon a demon for you to fight. If you defeat it, it will become your subordinate. And then a fraction of the way into the game, Midori defeats a Jack Frost and teaches him about The Power of Love and Friendship. A few days later, he reappears and depending on your choices, you can recruit him into your party on the last day.
  • Star Wolf in Star Fox, tend to fight the main characters first before joining them. Although to be fair, it was Star Fox who bothered them in their base.
  • This is the hallmark of the Touhou doujin game series. The only playable character that didn't start as a boss is Reimu herself. In fact, almost every game ends with the good guys sitting down for tea with the bad guys and unlocking a bonus stage.
    • It's also heavily implied in the backstory of the goddesses in Mountain of Faith. Kanako defeated Suwako to conquer her kingdom, but didn't exile her and even agreed to share the shrine.
    • One of Reimu's alternate outfits/color schemes in 12.3, Hisoutensoku, is a Shout-Out to the Nanoha herself. Makes sense, as they both are fans of Friendship Through Superior Firepower.
    • In Labyrinth of Touhou, a fanmade CRPG based on Etrian Odyssey, a boss fight with one of the major Touhou girls pretty much always ends with the girl (or guy, in the case of Rinnosuke) in question "joining" Reimu's party in the post-battle cutscene. How willing each girl is at the matter varies individually, though.
  • A continuing video game example: Many newcomers in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise fight Sonic, usually out of misunderstanding, before joining his side. This dates back as far as Knuckles (from 1994's Sonic 3 and Knuckles, but several times since) to the additions of Blaze (Sonic Rush Series) and Silver (Sonic the Hedgehog 2006). The real baddie usually shows up midfight, making the opposing character perform a Heel Face Turn split-second.
    • Shadow in Sonic Adventure 2 is an exception in that he's the one orchestrating the evil, so even after his defeats at the hands of Sonic, he continues to be evil. His Heel Face Turn comes later.
      • Speaking of Sonic Adventure 2, this is definitely played straight with Knuckles, who manages to befriend Rouge after he defeats her in a battle, and soon afterward saves her life and earns her respect.
    • Though with Shadow and Silver, Sonic never actually defeated them (events with the Last Story seem to imply that their fight ended in a draw), and Silver actually beat Sonic, so basically, you become Sonic's ally regardless of whether or not he beats you.
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl uses this as a common means of getting new allies in the Subspace Emissary mode. The odd thing is that you can often fight as either, so it works both ways.
  • Nippon Ichi really likes to use this one. In addition to the storyline battles mentioned below, this is the standard method of recruiting Secret Characters.
    • In Disgaea, Flonne, Hoggmeiser, Maderas, and Gordon all get converted to Laharl's side after he beats them handily in boss battles.
      • However, Hoggmeiser and Maderas are noted as joining without Laharl's approval, and plenty of the other cases are "Laharl beats the crap out of someone so they'll become his new vassal".
      • Also, defeating a monster-type enemy makes it available for you to create and use in battle. Killing more and more of the same type results in it costing less and less Mana to summon. If you're impatient and have strong characters not in play on the field, you can also just throw an enemy monster-type into your base panel (where your characters start in a given battle) and, if your reserves can subdue the monster, that monster will join your team assuming you defeat the others.
    • Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice's Raspberyl is a big believer in this trope. In the ending to the first chapter of Raspberyl Mode, her advice for making friends is as follows: "First, bust into their house... then, use your passionate fists and fight them till the end. Once the two of you collapse to the ground and start laughing, you guys will always be friends."
    • All the members of the main cast of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten who aren't with you from the beginning join after being defeated.
    • In Phantom Brave, killing a few of an enemy type will make it possible to recruit that enemy type.
    • In La Pucelle Tactics, if you "purify" just about any enemy before killing it, it will join your party and can be fielded immediately if you don't already have 8 units in play.
    • In Makai Kingdom, Zetta can challenge and beat most of his fellow overlords and obtain either them or some other form of stand-in (they've got netherworlds to run, after all) as party members -- including Laharl -- during a New Game+. Just don't expect this to work on Salome, though.
    • Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories has Yukimaru, who joins you after Adell beats her in the tournament and talks her down from probably-very-honorable-but-not-really-wished-for suicide.
    • Soul Nomad and The World Eaters has Odie as a main story example, and Asagi and Lujei as Bonus Boss examples. The Demon Path is full of this, but it's more a case of 'defeat equals slavery' there -- except for the previous villains, who line up to join you with a smile on their faces.
  • In the Expansion Pack to Baldurs Gate II, you can recruit Sarevok, Big Bad of the first game, into your party. This is after you've killed him. Twice. A popular mod also allows you to recruit Big Bad of the second game (that's the one this is an expansion to). After killing him. Twice.
    • Shar-Teel, in the first Baldurs Gate is less over-the-top version, as she simply insists on dueling a male member of your party before she joins you.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has you, in one of your early missions as a Jedi, track down and defeat the fallen Jedi apprentice Juhani. After you duel her, you can talk her back to the Jedi path with relative ease. Or kill her, if you're Dark Side-inclined, but that's more than a bit of a waste.
  • Bully: After Jimmy beats up all of the nerds, he says that he did it so they could team up to take over the jocks. Earnest, the leader of the nerds even says "You have a strange way of making friends!"
    • Though in Jimmy's defense, this is after the Nerds tried to stab him in the back after he spent 2/3 of the game protecting them from pretty much the rest of the school. Otherwise, this is pretty much a clear cut example.
  • Tales of Symphonia has this in spades. Sheena joins you after beating her twice. Regal joins almost right after defeating him. Many bosses often convert to your side as friendly NPC's once Lloyd beats the stuffing out of them. With an epiphany speech tossed in for free.
    • Don't forget Kratos. After defeating him three times, the third being a one-on-one duel between Lloyd and the aforementioned character. Depending on certain conditions filled earlier in the game the aforementioned character may join your party.
    • The sequel, Dawn of the New World, gives you the option (almost requirement) of recruiting monsters after defeating them in battle.
  • Tales of Vesperia also does this, only with Duke, the final boss. Yuri and friends beat the crap out of him, then completely forgive him after he joined their cause and helped to defeat the Adephagos. Despite the whole, y'know, attempted omnicide thing.
    • Also with Raven, only the eventual defeat didn't so much cause the friendship as affirm it.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: In the SNES RPG, similarly as in the animé, every major antagonist will have a change of heart and join your party, and then leave right before you fight the next major antagonist. Well, except for Caldina, who lets you hire her for 3000 gold if you want her to tag along, and doesn't tag along if you don't hire her. But Fenrio, Ascot, and Lafarga all join your party temporarily, after they are taught the meaning of friendship, or in some cases, de-brainwashed.
  • In Ristar, a weird alien kid follows you around stage 5-1 in the background, and at the end of the stage you must beat him in a Snowball Fight. Later on, when you fight the stage 5 boss he helps you.
  • Both subverted and played straight in Grandia with Gadwin's two duels, the first being an impossible boss fight.
  • The GBA remake of River City Ransom allows you to recruit most of the gang bosses into your party after you beat them.
  • An odd variant occurs in The Force Unleashed: rogue Jedi Master Rahm Kota is defeated and apparently killed by Starkiller in the first mission (he doesn't bite it). Much later, after Starkiller's death is faked by Vader, they run into each other again under Imperial fire, and immediately team up, forced together by circumstance. Their earlier struggles are quietly forgotten.
    • Officially, Kota knew it was Starkiller but pretended not to recognize him from their earlier fight so he could secretly try to turn him to the light side and use him against Vader. From Kota's perspective, he is using Starkiller; and meanwhile, Starkiller thinks he is duping Kota.
  • Big Boss, as a younger man, seemed to attract a number of allies in this way. Ocelot, Python, and even Gray Fox. Though in Python's case, they were already friends before they were dropped on opposite sides of the conflict, and after finishing their fight, they were friends again.
  • Nintendo and Sega were very bitter rivals during the 16-bit era Console Wars, but after an embarrassing defeat with the Sega Dreamcast causing them to give up consoles, Sega now happily makes games for Nintendo's systems.
    • This is, however, a bit of an aversion as well...Sega couldn't join Sony due to the demographics Sony typically aims for, especially in the US, meanwhile Microsoft wants too much control over projects. Nintendo allowed Sega to do their own thing, Nintendo makes the most non-gory platformer games, and their rival mascots were both the most well-known in the business, leading to a naturally forming in-game plotline reflecting this as well.
  • Devil May Cry has Dante and Lady team up after the former defeats the latter as a boss. The same goes for Dante and Nero, sort of.
  • More like Defeat Means Grudging Allegiance in Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries; you can challenge a Clan colonel to an honor duel. If you win, she is bound by honor to serve your merc company (as a pilot, so don't get any wrong ideas, mkay?). Your second-in-command calls this out as an unreasonably bad idea, and while Falcon doesn't disobey orders, she's not exactly happy with the whole arrangement.
  • In Pokémon, the Friend Ball automatically makes anything it catches friendly to its owner. Otherwise, catching a Pokemon only guarantees obedience; captured Pokemon will start with a rather low happiness rating.
    • The fan comic Char Cole shows some more reasons for Pokémon to follow their trainers: "Charlie" Cole eventually agrees out of concern for Brian and his other Pokémon(s), while Raijal's Pikachu, Kraker, apparently just likes to kick fry some Pokémon butt and be praised for it.
  • This trope has a major role in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
    • To be more specific, after an enemy faints there's a percentage chance that they will want to join your rescue team. How likely this is is affected by the many different aspects, such as level, the Pokémon being recruited, etc. So basically, it's a whole game based on this trope. However, you have to leave the dungeon "successfully" in order to keep them, and not all Pokémon can be obtained this way.
      • In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2, it's changed so all you have to do is beat them. If your party's full, they just teleport out. You no longer have to complete the dungeon with them. Success!
    • The entire concept behind the captures in Pokémon Ranger is conveying one's feelings of good will to the Pokémon, requesting their (temporary) help in whatever heroic campaign you are undertaking. It's really not as cheesy as it sounds.
    • The Black/White generation of games hints that most of the wild Pokémon you come across want to be caught so they can get stronger and see new places. An NPC who apparently figures out how Pokemon feel about you by looking at their footsteps tells you that ones that like you fairly well hear wild Pokémon telling them that they've forgotten what it's like to be wild, whereas Pokemon who love you see the wild Pokémon as envious of the partnership.
      • It may be the fact that the Pokémon respect you because you were able to catch them. This may also apply to the Legendaries that you catch, including ones like Dialga, Palkia, Arceus, and Giratina, who are essentially the pantheon of the Pokémon world. It was alluded to as far back as the first generation when you're told that if your Pokemon don't respect you, they won't listen to you anyway. To earn a Pokemon's respect, you have to have the Gym Badge that ensures that Pokemon below a certain level will obey you, which symbolizes your increasing skill as a Trainer.
    • Shows up in Poke Park Wii with a twist - battles are only one of the skill games, with tag and hide-and-seek being the other two competitive ones.
  • In Pokémon fashion, certain monsters have a random chance of doing this in Dragon Quest V after you... er... kill them. Look, death in the Dragon Quest universe is weird enough, just go with it.
  • This is one of the ways to obtain additional Pokémon in Pokémon Rumble.
  • In Telefang, when defeating enemy Denjuu, they often offer you their phone number so that you can befriend them and use them to battle other opponents.
  • Mortal Kombat spoofs this with the "Friendship" Finishing Move.
  • In Battle For Meridell, a game available on the website Neopets, you battle monster versions of the species you can fight as. When defeated, they turn good and fight for you. This also works both ways, as them defeating one of your characters turns them evil (and makes them lose any equipment they were carrying).
  • This happens to Roxis of Mana Khemia Alchemists of Al Revis, as the terms of a bet made by the heroes against the Goldfish Poop Gang, the latter of which Roxis was a part of. However, it's subverted in that Roxis doesn't think of The Hero as his friend throughout the game.
  • In the NES version of Double Dragon III, the bosses of the China (Chin) and Japan (Ranzou) stages join your side after you defeat them. Interestingly, they actually become playable characters, allowing you to continue if Billy or Jimmy is killed or even to temporarily use their strengths (powerful claw punch and speedy ninjato respectively) where most useful.
  • In Mega Man Powered Up, The Updated Rerelease of Mega Man 1, if you defeat the bosses using only Mega Man's Buster said boss will be left intact upon defeat and be taken back to Dr. Light's lab for repairs, making them playable. Using any other weapon will just destroy them.
  • This is the standard mode of character recruitment for the Wei campaign in Warriors Orochi, though most of the time it's more "defeat = forced to join your side". Eventually, though, Wei defects from Orochi control and a large chunk of disgruntled ex-Wei officers show up to help. The other campaigns are a mix of this and Big Damn Heroes.
  • In Star Ocean 1, if Ratix tries to reach C rank in the arena after a certain plot event, Tinek Arukena will announce that he wants to fight Ratix since he finds him a worthy opponent, then leaps in from the audience bleachers and replaces the end boss for the fight. If you defeat him and has less than eight members, he'll join up afterwards. (If you have no free spaces, he just leaves.)
  • Marcus the super mutant from Fallout 2 narrates to the player a one-on-one battle between himself and a member of the Brotherhood of Steel. After three days the two combatants reconcile, become good friends, and found a town together. Doesn't quite fit the trope 100%, as Marcus seems to imply that the fight was a draw.
    • Arguably this applies to all the mutants in broken hill, who after the death of the master at the hands of the vault dweller, reconcile with humanity and try to live in peace with the towns humans (most of them anyway). Also Marcus becomes friends with the PC, whose grandfather destroyed Unity.
  • In Cave Story, the protagonist does this to Toroko, Curly Brace, and eventually Balrog. In Toroko's and Curly's case, it's because they preemptively attack him, thinking he's a killer--so by defending himself and not killing them, he wins their trust. In Balrog's case, it's because Balrog is a decent guy, only working for the Big Bad because he's magically forced to do so.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, this can happen with Zevran, potentially leading to a romance, as well as Loghain.
    • Played with in the case of Loghain though; while the player may forgive him for showing remorse as he is defeated, Alistair will most certainly NOT. He becomes infuriated with the player, reminding them of all the evil Loghain has done in the recent past, contrition or no.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Deadpool does this after you prove you're not aiding the terrorist attack in his debut level. In the penultimate level you fight Green Goblin and Venom, and when you defeat them to free them from The Fold they go into an Enemy Mine with you, so it sort of counts, though both are very agitated working alongside their archnemesis Spider-Man.
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette, Spiritia has to fight her friends to get them to listen to her, which is no easy task given they are all magical girls. And then there's Grolla trying to convince them that an "unassuming" child is behind all the madness.
  • The Suikoden series is full of this trope. There are 108 recruitable characters in each game, and many of them start off as enemies, or simply won't join you if you can't defeat them in a fight. In the first game, 3 of the 4 enemy generals join up after they're beaten, though you do have the option of killing them instead, but this is not recommended as you won't get the "good ending" because you didn't gather the 108 Stars of Destiny.
  • This occurs once in Valkyrie Profile. Throughout the game, you witness the deaths of heroes, and recruit their souls for Ragnarok. At one point, the Valkyrie is commanded by the goddess Freya to kill a wizard named Gandar and take his soul. After he's dead, he refuses to join up with Valkyrie. She gives him the ultimatum of joining her or being sent to Hell. He grudgingly accepts.
  • In Paper Mario, Lakilester Spike fights Mario on Huff N. Puff's orders. After Mario beats him, he joins his party.
  • A few of Earthbound's supporting characters are introduced as bosses, even one in particular who helps you defeat Giygas.
  • In Recettear an Item Shops Tale, Charme gives you her Adventurer Card a few days after she's defeated at Jade Way, allowing you to recruit her for other missions.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, Terry, the boss in Terrydactyland, accuses Banjo and Kazooie of stealing his eggs, and they fight him in a boss battle. After Terry is defeated, Banjo says that they haven't stolen his eggs, and offers to look for them for him. After finding them, he thanks them and rewards them with a Jiggy.
  • Inverted and lampshaded in Golden Sun Dark Dawn. The spirit of the sentient Sand Prince Gem is enthusiastic in greeting the party characters and happily offers them his/its assistance... but he/it needs them to pass a test of character before they can use him/it.
  • Inazuma Eleven is full clock of this. Even the most evil people becomes good by the end of the third games after you have beaten them again and again. Bonus point goes to the fact that you can recruit almost every of them into your team.
  • Opponents also become allies after they are beaten in Danball Senki, which is from the same creator as Inazuma.
  • In Sin and Punishment Star Successor, the Griffin Keeper boss of Stage 5 befriends the main characters after they defeat it, and it offers to carry them to their destination Mt. Fuji.
  • In Solatorobo, a quest with Alman has him asking Red to teach his new apprentice to work harder. The apprentice wants none of it, telling them to leave him alone, and eventually prompts Red to fight him. Once beaten, his attitude does a 180 and he'll do anything "Boss" Red tells him to, including working as hard as he possibly can.


Visual Novels Edit


Web Comics Edit

  • Played with in Misfile while most of Ash's races are nothing more than just races (some friendly, some less so), when Ash gets defeated by Kamikaze Kate it is Kate that declares Ash not only to be her friend, but surrogate "little sister".
  • Played straight in Erfworld with Ansom, although this is largely due to a MacGuffin whose entire purpose is to bring about Defeat Means Friendship. When it raises you from the dead.
    • Though just about everyone at least suspects that mind control is involved, with most people believing it completely.
  • El Goonish Shive clearly wants to subvert it at the climax of Sister II, even using the title "Not Quite BFFs", but no one actually expected it in the first place.
  • Played straight in Our Little Adventure. Pauline the barbarian joins the group after getting defeated in combat.
    • Inverted later in the comic when Norveg 'defeats' Angelika by deflecting a thrown bottle at him back at her. Norveg joins her after as her familiar.
  • A rather extreme example in Fite -- once Lucco takes the upper hand while fighting Guz, Guz suddenly puts down his sword and gives Lucco a big ol' hug.


Web Original Edit

  • Wyn from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes makes a deal with Rob: if he can defeat him in battle, he'll join them in their fight against the Dark Overlord Clonar. And maybe become their friend, as well, but that might be pushing it.
  • On The Guild, Codex manages to defeat Fawkes, leader of the Axis of Anarchy. He invites her to drinks, and she wakes up next to him in the morning.
  • In Misfiled Dreams, Jenny loses everything she has/is to Ash. Emily and Ash eventually bring Jenny through a Heel Face Turn.
  • Played somewhat straight in The Leet World with Cortez and the Domination Guy, who is hired by Cortez's insane brother Mendoza to kill him. However, Cortez earns his respect when he beats him in single combat. While the Domination Guy doesn't join Cortez's side, he does return later in the series to save Cortez's life during the final confrontation with Ahmad. Possibly partially subverted in that Mendoza is not pleased with the Domination Guy's Heel Face Turn and captures, tortures and eventually executes him.
  • Appropriately enough, given Stinkoman's clichéd Shonen Demographic personality, in the Homestar Runner cartoon "20X6 vs. 1936", Stinkoman befriends The 1936 Homestar Runner soon after being defeated with a pea shooter.
  • In Greek Ninja, Sasha and Daichi came close to defeating each other. Later on, Daichi joins her and her team on their quest.


Western Animation Edit

  • Garfield and Friends: in the first episode with the singing ants, Garfield joins their ranks at the end after they ruin his picnic.
  • Dinobot, of Transformers: Beast Wars, joins the Maximals after a heated swordfight with Optimus Primal (which they didn't finish since the Predacons interfered and tried killing them both), impressed by the Maximal leader's honor. (Initially the plan was to kill Optimus and take over. That he thought the other Maximals would fall in line after that says a lot about the Predacons.)
  • Lockdown in Transformers Animated was both surprised and pleased that Prowl was able to "get the drop on him", and immediately set about trying to get him as a bounty hunting partner. And possibly some other kind of partner.
  • In the first episode of Ben 10 Alien Force, Ben's old nemesis and Evil Counterpart Kevin 11 is defeated by Ben in their first encounter, and subsequently becomes one of Ben's two closest allies. This is quite a break from the original Ben 10, where each defeat at Ben's hands only made Kevin even crazier and more determined to kill him, even after two Save the Villain moments by Ben.
  • Happens a lot in The Backyardigans everytime there's a villain. Since it's a kid's show, nobody gets killed off or arrested, so this is the only way.
    • Also likely because they are using their imaginations and are all friends anyway.
  • In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Monterey Jack only joins the team after a fight with the titular chipmunks.
  • In a Popeye short, Popeye gets roped into being a matador despite his belief that bullfighting is cruel and barbaric, and finds himself facing a typical raging bull. After some cartoon hijinks and the devouring of spinach, Popeye manages to defeat the bull but refuses to kill it, earning the bull's respect, and it carries him and Olive Oyl off as Popeye sings about how he doesn't like bullfighting.
  • A very rare Space Ghost example in the episode "The Time Machine". After Space Ghost defeats him, the 12th Century Viking Tarko invites him back to his lodge as his guest.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "Calcutta Adventure". When Jonny and Hadji first meet, Jonny thinks Hadji is threatening Dr. Quest (he actually just saved Dr. Quest's life). Jonny attacks Hadji, but Hadji uses a judo move to throw Jonny away and Jonny lands in a heap. After the misunderstanding is explained, Jonny praises Hadji's judo skill and they become friends.
  • Happens to Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli at the end of Cars 2.
  • Nightmare Moon from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is defeated and purified by the Elements of Harmony.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Groundskeeper Willie defends the school from a wolf, fighting the beast with his bare hands. A later scene shows the two of them battered and bruised and sharing a drink.
  • In a Kung Fu Panda: Secret of the Furious Five, a short feature that explores the backstory of Kung Fu Panda, we learn that Monkey was once a mischievous trickster, and only become good after being defeated by Oogway.
  • This is how Liloand Stitch tame Jumba's other experiments. Stitch fights them and once they're subdued Lilo finds their 'one true place'. Some of them, like Splodihead, even help Stitch befriend other cousins.


Real Life Edit

  • In many cases, this is a better choice than continuing to aggravate a superior power.
  • The main example in modern history (although the situation was of course far more complicated than in fictional stories) was the treatment the Axis nations received from the western allies after World War II. Instead of trying to punish the Axis powers and keep them poor and powerless, the Allies helped them into rebuild their economies and introduce stable democratic systems (while still maintaing military occupation for a good while). The result? More than 60 years of mutual prosperity and relative peace. West Germany in particular was a close friend of the former Allies and a valued member of NATO within 10 years of the end of the war. Today, Germany and Japan are two of the biggest economic powerhouses in the world and the centers of two of the world's foremost currencies (euro and yen, respectively).
    • That was because doing the exact opposite after World War I was part of what led to World War II in the first place. So it's less about the Allies being all kindly and more about not making the same stupid mistake twice. It was also to avoid allowing communism to gain a foothold in any of the defeated countries, especially West Germany.
  • Salah-al-Din, a Muslim warlord of Kurdish ancestry, became something of a "Noble Heathen" folk hero to Europeans following his conquest of Jerusalem, which inspired the Third Crusade. According to legend, Saladin made friends with Richard the Lionheart, although in real life they more or less fought each other to a standstill and never met in person.
    • Most importantly was what Salah-al-Din (romanticized as Saladin) didn't do: when he conquered Jerusalem, he didn't slaughter the Christians or Jews living there. This is the absolute opposite of what European Crusaders had done when they first took Jerusalem - the Crusaders mercilessly slaughtered every Muslim and as many Jews as they could find. When Salah-al-Din took Jerusalem back, Europe was positive news of massacre would follow, but they never did. Salah-al-Din simply took the city back and nothing more. Hence, the legend of the Noble Heathen.
      • Also more of a case of the above, most European countries had other conflicts to worry about and was perfectly happy to ignore the Middle East as long as there was no compelling motivation to have another war. Massacres in Jerusalem or the destruction of Christian holy sights would have been such a reason, and the Church would have forced Europe to put aside their various petty conflicts and launch another crusade. Salah-al-Din was supposedly not stupid and realized what would happen if he played the part of the brutal conqueror.
  • Britain is perhaps the best example. After fighting the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 with the USA, relations between the two have been quite peaceful.
    • Even before the War of 1812, Alexander Hamilton was a big advocate of this as a way to develop America's commercial economy, though his preferred policies didn't go over that well in the climate of Anglophobia immediately following the Revolutionary War.
  • Also the reason why the Nepali Gurkhas fights in the British Army. In 1814, the British invaded the Kingdom of Nepal in order to expand the British Empire; however the Gurkhas fought the British so hard that the British only managed to conquer a third of Nepali land and even than it took them two years and large numbers of casualties to do so. The British were however impressed by the Gurkhas' fighting spirits and abilities so ever since 1816 they have recruited Gurkhas in their forces.
  • Abraham Lincoln and the man who was previously the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 1860, William Henry Seward. Seward became his Secretary of State and one of his most loyal and trusted supporters. Pointedly not the case with Salmon Chase, the other vanquished rival who joined Cabinet, though.
    • The trope was still played straight with white Northern and Southerners after the end of the Civil War, unlike some other places where a civil war leads to a Cycle of Revenge. Unfortunately it was done at the expense of America's black population, who lost a lot of the initial gains (there were several black members of Congress during Reconstruction, and many black members of southern state governments; after that it was effective disenfranchisement and Jim Crow in the south, and a refusal to recognize black contributions to the Union cause during the Civil War) they had made post-war.
  • This is actually how Rome grew as fast as it did. Those it defeated in battle were treated well and made a part of the Roman Empire. This is actually why Carthage was unable to defeat Rome despite doing so well earlier on in the Punic wars; Rome's allies wouldn't abandon it. Even though the Roman Empire wouldn't have lasted to do anything about it if they had.
  • In one of the most epic boxing matches ever, George Foreman was defeated by Muhammad Ali in 1974. The two became good friends afterward.
  • Howard Stern often gained the praises or at least acceptance of many former radio and celebrity rivals once he established his ratings supremacy and celebrity credibility.
  • The first encounter of Turkey and Australia was on opposing sides of a battlefield in World War One. The conflict was both fierce and gentlemanly - an odd combination which, despite the eventual defeat of the Australian forces, created a bond of mutual respect, admiration, and friendship between the nations which continues to this day.
  • Jimmy Carter became good friends with former rival Gerald Ford after his presidency ended.
    • Likewise with Bill Clinton and George Bush, who seem to have spent most of the last decade co-organizing charity events.
      • Speaking of Bush, in 1980 he and Ronald Reagan were competing for the Republican nomination. When Reagan won, Bush agreed to be his running mate.
  • Katie Sandwina defeated a man in a wrestling match. They later married and had a kid.
  • In the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis' first encounter with Flea involved telling Flea off for bullying one of his classmates. Then they became friends when they discovered they had similar music tastes.
  • One of the oldest ones in the book: When Persian King Cyrus the Great conquered a country, he often let its king live, letting him become a royal advisor instead. This most famously happened to Croesos (the King of Lydia and literally the man who invented money, or rather his grandson), whose later loyalty to Cyrus is documented in several places.
  • This is pretty much how early man tamed and bred dogs by establishing dominance as the "pack Alpha" while offering food and affection. Even nowadays dog owners need to make sure their dogs know that the dogs are their pets and not the other way around.
  • On the set of Enter the Dragon, a martial artist extra continually challenged Bruce Lee to a sparring match. Bruce accepted, kicked the crap out of the guy as expected, and the extra quickly became his student.

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