'Cause I love to make you smile, smile, smileFrom these happy friends of mine
Yes I do
It fills my heart with sunshine all the while
Yes it does
'Cause all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
—Pinkie Pie, "Smile Smile Smile", My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
Bob really likes happiness. Not only for himself or for his loved ones, but for everybody. Since it's often impossible to let everyone be happy, he'll settle for as much happiness as possible to as many as possible.
Let's, for example, say that Alice is having a great time hurting Charlie. Bob disapproves: It's a good thing that she's doing something she enjoys, but it's not cool that she's doing it at his expense. Bob has no desire to punish her for her misdeeds, but might do so if that's the most efficient way to make her stop and to help Charlie get his self-esteem back.
While Bob might be any average guy, his desire to make happiness possible - and especially the fight against needless suffering that comes with it - might drive him to become a hero. In some interpretations of Order vs Chaos, Bob is a Chaotic Good kind of character who might clash with a Lawful Good hero who disregards For Happiness in favor of having For Great Justice as his only driving principle. A hero who in such a setting embrace BOTH For Happiness and For Great Justice, keeping a balance between them when they clash, is Neutral Good.
If the character is also promiscuous or such, he is it in an Ethical Slut kind of way. One way of maximizing happiness while keeping the risks of suffering minimal is to make sure that your play (sexually and otherwise) is Safe, Sane, and Consensual.
This is an available basis for morality while being secular and without relying on "Because God and the priests said so."
Anime & Manga
- Black Lagoon: Rock has this as his hobby. The rest of the cast thinks he's out of his mind, but they also think it's enough reason to let him live.
- Trigun: Vash The Stampede LOVE AND PEACE!
- Elmer from Baccano! has this as his raison d'etre: he just wants everyone (particularly his more melancholy immortal bretheren) to smile.
- One of said immortal brethren, Begg Garoto, is developing the perfect drug in the hopes of providing easy, instant happiness to everyone in the world.
- Love Momozono from Fresh Pretty Cure, period.
- Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura
- Nessa from Fractale, who "loves love and hates hate."
- In G Gundam, Domon and Rain modify the attack call for the God Finger in the Grand Finale to reflect this attitude.
This hand of mine is burning red! Its loud cry tells us to grasp HAPPINESS! Erupting God Finger! Sekiha Love! Love! Tenkyoken!
- In Prime Baby, the sluglike aliens turn out to be "missionaries of smiles and happy feelings". They hold sing-alongs and knit socks for the homeless.
- Superman is a rare Lawful Good example of this trope, at least with regards to his treasured home city of Metropolis. For the rest of the world, he usually takes a more low-profile For Great Justice route.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Zeltron hat is this...mostly. Justified as they're a race of empaths. If someone's unhappy, the whole block knows it and can feel it. The sociopaths of their species usually travel off-world to get away from the good cheer.
- Amelie, who decides her destiny is to bring happiness and beauty to the lives of others - though she's not above cheating, fabricating, or deceiving to do so.
- In Happy-Go-Lucky, Poppy just wants to share the joy and that everyone is happy. That goes so far as trying to cheer up even the grumpiest of people she meets.
- Giselle in Enchanted pretty much acts on this as her life philosophy, up to and including impromptu (delightful) musical numbers.
- Johnny Appleseed was famous for this. Though he spent most of his life a simple hermit, he made it his mission to cover the United States territories with apple trees so that everyone could enjoy their flowers and fruit. That and get drunk. Apple cider (what he was best remembered for giving to people) ferments very quickly.
- Kushiel's Mercy has Ptolmey Solon, the world's probably smartest man, who holds that happiness is the highest form of wisdom.
- Stranger in A Strange Land had Patricia Paiwonski, who "wanted to sacrifice herself on an altar of happiness for the world."
- Vianne from the novel Chocolat doesn't believe in God or sin or forgiveness. She believes that "The only important thing is to be happy" - and does her best to make it happen with amazing gourmet chocolates. Sounds like a solid strategy to me!
- Wicked Lovely has the Summer court, who are described as 'happy by nature' and 'frivoulous and passoionate'. They oftentimes tell others to 'choose happiness'. However, due to their nature as part of The Fair Folk, they often put happiness before things like morality and loyalty, on one occaision telling Seth to leave Aislinn because he'll be happier that way.
"Sometimes it's not about being happy, but courting happiness." -Siobahn.
- Pollyanna's reaction to life.
- In Animorphs, the Pemalites fit this trope to a T. Created by The Ellimist to spread life, love and freedom, they did exactly that... until Crayak's pet creation, the Howlers, straight-up slaughtered their asses. It's worth noting that the Howlers are also like this, Crayak just gave them a warped sense of what people find fun.
- Brave New World is a merciless deconstruction: the government makes sure people are basically enslaved to happiness.
"Happiness is a hard master—particularly other people's happiness."
- Bertie Wooster is rolling in the right stuff, unashamed of his useless lifestyle, and spends all his time either going to clubs and golf courses or shopping for clothes. He'll let his exuberant way of life get interrupted for one reason only--if he has to help a pal in distress. As far as that goes, he's willing to survive anything.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: Voyager: As the self-appointed "Morale Officer", the character Neelix is constantly trying to live up to this trope.
- Yuusuke Godai, the hero of Kamen Rider Kuuga fights to protect people's smiles; likewise his Alternate Universe Expy Yuusuke Onodera from Kamen Rider Decade.
- In Kamen Rider Double, Shotaro Hidari makes it his mission to make sure no one in Futo cries. The fastest way to set him off is to make sombody cry in his presence.
- In the Doctor Who serial The War Machines, the bartender asks Polly to help cheer up Ben. Polly comments on how reliably she is called on for such measures.
- In the Dungeons & Dragons setting Scarred Lands, the titan Gulaben held the powers of granting happiness. The mortal peoples believed her to be For Happiness, and her popularity made her a threat to the God's reign over the world. Claiming that her power was merely a sinister kind of Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, the Gods captured her and destroyed all memories of her so that no one would try to set her free. The official truth is that she was a fickle and cruel titan, she might kill you even as she induces pleasure beyond imagination. The gods simply did what they had to do. And since no longer remember the real truth about Gulaben, we'll just have to take their word for it.
- In Order of the Stick, Elan and his mother both always try their best to live up to this trope.
- In Bob the Angry Flower, Bob realizes that he owes a lot of kharma. Since being nicer to people would be to much work, he decides to just dump fifty pounds of Ecstasy in the water supply.
- One Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip start out with featuring a Straw Character version of For Happiness. He soon becomes a Totalitarian Utilitarian, however.
- Redpanels #114 illustrates a little downside of Utilitarianism.
- Care Bears more or less revolves around this trope.
- Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Finn from Adventure Time wants to solve everyone's problems. In another show, the way this was set up would lead to him realizing he can't, and making most people happy, or giving up but finding that making himself happy makes everyone else happier. But this is Adventure Time, after all. So he does it.
- He does eventually learn that he can't make everybody like him for or by doing so though.
- Pinkie Pie's talent is making people happy, often via parties. Her song "Smile Smile Smile" (from the episode "A Friend In Deed") could be the anthem of this trope.
- This ethical position is an important form of utilitarian philosophy, and has been consistently popular among moral philosophers since the Enlightenment. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill were both major developers of the theory, although "happiness" may sometimes be replaced with a more generally defined "good" or "well-being", or something else altogether like "freedom" or "beauty".
- The United States' Declaration of Independence includes "the pursuit of Happiness" as one of man's inalienable rights.
- The King of Bhutan measures the prosperity and success of his nation (and, hence, his rule) in terms of Gross Domestic Happiness. While one of the worlds poorest countries when measured in dollars, there are more important things in life than luxuries and the Bhutanese people are considered among the most happy ones with the life they have.
- The people who give out "Free Hugs" on the street.
- Random acts of kindness.
- The Wiccan Rede translates to "If it harms none, do what you will." Of course, that means stopping to think about the potential harm of one's actions before undertaking something and taking the route that will cause the least harm and the most happiness when harm cannot be prevented.
- This is really the soul of entertainment. Given, these days a large portion of it is made for monetary purposes, but the first person to transcribe a story couldn't have done it out of greed, and still those writing for money are outnumbered greatly by those who just hope for somebody to enjoy their tale. And even with the monetary slant, much of that ends up being cost of living. When it comes down to it, any entertainment/creative industry from music to video games has such high levels of risk/reward and employment that if you really wanted to be rich, you're better off being something like a doctor or lawyer.