The Heart

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    Green Arrow: I still don't think I belong up here.
    Batman: That's the point. Someone like you will keep us honest.


    The Heart is a personality aspect that comes up quite often in the Five-Man Band or really just about any ensemble. Their personality is based on getting the others to recognize that there are more things at stake than their personal vendettas. Especially if the team is starting to become Knight Templar or if any individual becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist, this is the person who will argue and fight against the justification of "I Did What I Had to Do."

    Quite often The Heart character will also be The Messiah, where they go out of their way to help all of the little people. Also similar to The McCoy in that they are strongly guided by their morals, but they are usually not as forceful. Sometimes they take on the role of both The McCoy and The Spock (but never just The Spock) in that they are an advisor to offer different viewpoints on the same scenario.

    Within the ensemble, this character will most often be merged with the role of The Chick. They are actually a good fit, since the chick is usually a non-action character, having personality traits of The Heart will give them more to do. Especially if the team is always fighting with each other. For the same reason The Heart can also be The Hero, his leadership keeps them from falling apart. May be part of the Command Roster.

    The character whose death or loss is most likely to trigger Losing the Team Spirit.

    Subtrope of The Face. See also Restored My Faith in Humanity and Morality Chain. Compare The Conscience, Token Good Teammate. Not to be confused with What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?, though this trope often overlaps with that one.

    Examples of The Heart include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Francoise/003 from Cyborg 009.
      • And in the 2001 version, Professor Koizumi.
    • Fuu from Samurai Champloo.
    • Towards the end of Gundam Wing the Romefeller Foundation, as perplexed as ever by these strange things people call morals, instate Relena Peacecraft as their leader on the basis of this trope.
    • Orihime from Bleach. Infamously Lampshaded by Ulquiorra: "THE HEART".
    • Tower of God provides us with Baam, the Wide-Eyed Idealist and Rak, Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Rock from Black Lagoon. He isn't much for violence like Revy and Dutch are, but he makes up for it by being the Lagoon Company's negotiator and "Villain in Training". He's also the most idealistic of the crew, which occasionally puts him at odds with the more cynical Revy.
    • Anzu/Téa in Yu-Gi-Oh!. She used to be better than Jounouchi/Joey at everyone's favorite children's card game, and this point is made when she duels Mai for Yugi during his Heroic BSOD. Must've traded that in for her skill in making the Circle of Friendship.
      • Her constant "friendship speeches" are an object of humor in the Affectionate Parody, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series.
      • Regular Yugi can also be considered The Heart, as his gentle kindness is what changes Yami Yugi from a dangerous psychopath to a noble hero.
      • In the manga, Anzu never played competitively, thus the above mentioned duel against Mai was pure Filler.
    • Hayate Yagami of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha in regards to her Wolkenritter group, particularly in the second season, being the reason that said group even have hearts in the first place. Unsurprisingly, she chastised them quite a bit in the supplementary manga when she found out what they were doing behind her back.
    • Naruto reference: Naruto is an expert at Defeat Means Friendship and tends to be so idealistic, honest, straightforward and caring that it causes people around him to catch on to it. Also odd, considering that he's also a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. After defeating Pain, he becomes something of a Messianic Archetype.
    • In Rozen Maiden, despite being a Screwy Squirrel at times, Suiseiseki fits this role best amongst the main cast.
    • Bamboo Blade has Kirino, who is often thought of as this by her teammate Saya and Coach Toraji.
    • Nao is this in Liar Game. It is often because of her honest nature and her genuine desire that she would save everyone in the game and pay off their debts that helps turn the enemy/competitors towards her cause. A few of the dealers watching the games have commented that she is the key component to winning the games
    • Oddly enough in Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Battler actually plays this role for the people trapped on the island, at least in the early arcs. Although he's relentlessly anti-fantasy (again, in the early arcs), he also wants to think the best of everyone (a trait that's shown more in the original novel and manga than in the anime) and so constantly winds up jumping up in the middle of fights to explain a scenario in which person X might not be the culprit.
    • Wendy Garret plays this role in Gun X Sword.
    • As a part of her Character Development, Ringo Oginome becomes this for the Takakura siblings (and specially Shouma) in Mawaru Penguindrum.
    • Remy Shimada in GoShogun. In Go Shogun: The Time Étranger she becomes also The Heroine.
    • Post-eclipse Casca from Berserk. Guts' new True Companions might squabble and even physically brawl out in some situations, all them are willing to protect Casca, since she's not capable of protecting herself and the whole group was put together by Guts in the first place in order to do so.
    • In Saint Beast, Rey tends to be the one who is either encouraging or worrying over the others.
    • In Tiger and Bunny, Kotetsu tends to act like this for all the Heroes, being an overly-idealistic Hero in a world of Corporate Sponsored Heroes who believes that saving lives and stopping bad guys is more important than earning points for heroism. He also tends to lend a sympathetic ear to his fellow Heroes' problems and help them with their own emotional difficulties. His role is somewhat Deconstructed however since he tends to prioritize his work as a Hero and his relationship with his fellow Heroes, particularly his partner Barnaby, over his own family.
    • In the first Sailor Moon movie, when it looks like Usagi is dying, each one of the Sailor Scouts remembers the different ways that Usagi helped them. The English dub actually has one of them say that she's the glue that keeps them all together.

    Comic Books

    • Beak during his time with The Exiles
    • Stargirl is the heart for the Justice Society of America (it helps that she's the youngest hero with continuous membership on the team).
    • Martian Manhunter in the Justice League of America. He was a full-time member of every incarnation of the League since its founding. One of the possible reasons that the JLA comics have not been received as well since 2006 is because he hasn't been on the team since then.
    • Captain America is not only The Leader of The Avengers, he's also The Heart seeing as the Mighty Avengers without him seemed more like a military institute (which is Fridge Logic a bit, but yeah) and he's the one that most people rally behind when someone cries Avengers Assemble!
    • Nightcrawler often ended up in the position of being the one to call the other X-Men on it when the team was going too far. Shadowcat and the Beast also fit the role when Kurt isn't around.
    • Karolina in Runaways. After her return from a brief bus trip, Chase makes it clear he doesn't think things would have gone quite as badly as they had if she'd still been there.

    Fan Works


    • According to Power Chick, Amok is the heart of The Specials. He "keeps them from resting on their laurels".
      • Though, given her cheerful attitude and motherly affection for her teammates, Power Chick arguably should look in the mirror to see the Specials' heart.
    • The Bowler could be seen as this in Mystery Men. Spleen or Invisible Boy might fit this too.
    • Cambridge from The Hurt Locker attempts to be this. He Fails.
    • Silent Bob.
    • Sheriff Woody in Toy Story is definitely The Heart and soul of Andy's toys.
    • The Muppets establish Kermit as the Heart of the Muppets. So much that, when he went depressed, everything just fell apart.
    • Towards the end of the first Ghostbusters, Venkman proudly declares Ray to be "The Heart of the Ghostbusters".
    • The Echidna from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole calls Mrs. Plithiver The Heart of the band.


    • Cassie from the Animorphs doubles as this and The Smart Guy.
    • Dameon from the Obernewtyn Chronicles.
    • Wraith Squadron has several characters who will say "Screw it, we're having a party" to raise morale when it's low. Wedge actually starts the twenty-four hour "Rebellion of Anonymity" to get General Han Solo's spirits back up during the pursuit of Warlord Zsinj.
    • Sephrenia, in the Elenium trilogy by David Eddings, serves this role for literally hundreds of Pandion Knights—and has done so for generations. They don't call her "little mother" for nothing.
    • Mary Palmer from Caleb Carr's The Alienist.
    • The Tin Man from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels. In fact, he greets old friends with no less than a "tender, loving embrace" every single time.

    Live Action TV

    • Xander of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which the other Scoobies readily acknowledge. In one episode his position in the gang as 'The Heart' was a key component of a spell - the others were 'The Mind', 'The Spirit', and 'The Hands'.
      • Of course, Willow is arguable for this position too - she feels things deeply, and sees the best in everyone, although she doesn't really have the strong sense of morality common to this trope though, especially past the first few seasons.
    • Much, in Robin Hood: The character identifies himself as the "one who deals with little things".
      • Djaq could also be considered this, since she's the resident healer and occasionally counsels the guys on their problems (especially Allan)
    • Daniel Jackson of Stargate SG-1, one of television's best male "heart"-examples.
    • Carly Shay from iCarly.
    • Leonard "Bones" McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series. He's a doctor (not a lumberjack), and he provides the emotional side of the show's Power Trio.
    • Cordelia from Angel. A supreme example of Character Development, in that she was the Alpha Bitch on Buffy and thought that hitting a cyclist with her car was all about her own pain. This change was addressed when she received a demonic curse that amplified her regular visions to see all the suffering of the human race, rendering her catatonic. When she was brought out of it, she became the glue that kept the team together and focused on their mission.
      • Fred had this role as well, especially after Cordelia was no longer around. In a later episode Angel and Spike were having an intense argument, to the point that Spike was ready to travel the world and leave everyone behind. When she became infected with an ancient evil, the argument between the two dissipated instantly as the only thing they could agree upon was her.
    • Gwen from Torchwood.
    • Gwen from Merlin
    • Yuusuke/Kuuga plays this role in Kamen Rider Decade, since Tsukasa/Decade is a bit of a Jerkass. Unfortunately, it means he hasn't become Kuuga since leaving his homeworld, to the annoyance of the fans.
    • Kaylee on Firefly.
    • Hodgins describes Angela as such in a season 2 episode of Bones.
    • Princess Deirdre in The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog.
    • Abby on NCIS. Which makes her the target of choice for many an antagonist, even those who know she's not a pushover. When she's in trouble, the rest of the team drops absolutely everything.
    • Noah's Arc: This is Noah's role, as hes often the "peacekeeper" of the group and reminds everyone else how much they care about each other.
    • In Doctor Who, The Doctor's usually human companions often play this role, regularly keeping him from going too far or losing his grip on right and wrong. This is most evident in "The Waters of Mars" where his lack of a companion means that there is nothing to stop him from changing the course of history
    • Delenn on Babylon 5.
    • None of the members of the study group on Community is a flawless human being, but Britta, with her numerous causes, tries to act this trope more than the others (who may actually have more claim to it than her).
    • Dale Horvath on The Walking Dead. He's one of two out of a group of about a dozen that doesn't want to kill a prisoner.

    Video Games

    • Princess Peach from the Super Mario Bros. and Super Smash Bros. games. In The Subspace Emissary she makes herself useful by breaking up fights and turning potential enemies into friends.
      • Case in point: She stopped Fox and Sheik from attacking each other by offering them tea!
    • Kairi in the Kingdom Hearts series fits the bill. Aside from the personality, she is a Princess of Heart with ties to the heart of all worlds, Kingdom Hearts, and spends much of the first game as a heart, inside of Sora's heart. Yeah, this trope is taken quite literally here.
      • Ventus in Birth By Sleep is arguably a male example. Unlike Aqua and Eraqus, he's willing to give Terra the benefit of the doubt with regards to him potentially falling into darkness. And like Kairi, he has no darkness in his heart (since it was forcibly extracted to make Vanitas). Further, by the end of the game, he also ends up as a heart, inside of Sora's heart. There's more than a few reasons to think that Ven's role more closely resembles Kairi's than Sora's.
    • Aino Heart from Arcana Heart. Powered with love at that.
    • Rather than any of the girls in the party, Irvine Kinneas occupies this role for Squall's team in in Final Fantasy VIII, serving as the group's emotional center from the last stages of Disc 2 onward.
    • Aerith Gainsborough is this in Final Fantasy VII. Amazingly, she continues that role post mortem.
      • In the spinoffs, anyway. Her personality in the original game is much more blunt, direct, and feisty. She is also quite clever, having grown up in the slums. Tifa Lockheart much better fits this role, what with her stabilising effect on the party (otherwise, Cloud and Barret would probably have killed each other already) and her being the single tether that prevents Cloud from completely losing himself when he goes off the deep end (...several times).
    • Shingo Yabuki has this role in The King of Fighters XI, keeping Kyo and Iori from pretty much killing each other when Chizuru, the original Heart of the Power Trio, is gravely injured by Ash Crimson.
    • Amy Rose from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. In Sonic Adventure, she almost single-handedly convinces Gamma to undergo a Heel Face Turn. In Sonic Adventure 2, her conversation with Shadow is what convinces him to help stop the ARK's planet-destroying superlaser from firing. In |Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, her companionship with Silver, and her subsequent What the Hell, Hero? speech upon discovering that he was trying to kill Sonic, causes Silver to start rethinking that strategy.
    • Mission from the first Knights of the Old Republic. She's higher on the Karma Meter than the party's Jedi, is first to defend your PC after The Reveal, and quick to point out Good Feels Good or call What the Hell, Hero? if you're exploiting Video Game Cruelty Potential. It's no surprise that you have to kill her in the Dark Side ending, essentially killing the last bit of good in yourself.
    • Leliana fulfills this role best in Dragon Age Origins... if the Grey Warden isn't doing the job him- or herself.
    • In the Mass Effect series, this is the job of Shepard, resident hero[ine]. Unsurprising, given the Dysfunction Junction nature of the crew and Shepard's status as an extreme Magnetic Hero.
    • Sebastian Vael and Aveline Vallen do double duty for this trope in Dragon Age II.
    • Stocke, the protagonist of Radiant Historia starts off as The Stoic, but also starts off with a growing circle of friends who he cares about dearly. He helps his party members through a variety of internal and external conflicts, and is always sensitive to their issues. And at one point, he helps his best friend Roche and an NPC with relationship advice.
    • Emil from NieR does what he can to keep an upbeat attitude and help his friends get along.
    • In the first three games of the Assassin's Creed series, Lucy Stillman plays this role. In Assassin's Creed I, she works to keep Desmond's morale up against the hopelessness of the situation he finds himself in and helps to protect his sanity (and eventually his life) from Vidic's demands. In Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, she acts as both the leader of the Assassin cell that she takes Desmond to and their moral/emotional compass, helping to keep the team's doubts and fears from overwhelming them. It even seems as if she and Desmond might be developing a romantic relationship. This makes the Wham! Episode of her death at the end of Brotherhood and the subsequent revelation in the Assassin's Creed: Revelations "Lost Archive" DLC that she was a Templar mole all along doubly shocking.
    • Matt in Epic Battle Fantasy 5, although not very intelligent and morally ambiguous (mainly when it comes to stealing), keeps the party together despite their differences and conflicts by being equally nice to everyone. He is the first one believing Lance is redeemable and forgivable for his misdeeds when he's initially forced to join the party and the only one genuinely nice to him.

    Web Comics

    • Elan, from The Order of the Stick. Clueless, but concerned for the rest of the group, and skilled in Social-Fu Trope-Fu. Idealistic to a fault, occasionally The Load and a Spoony Bard to top it off, but he's a genuinely nice guy. Heck, you could make a case that he's the one person that everyone else on the team likes.
      • Haley sums it up very well in a recent comic.

    Haley: ...But he's...I don't know. Pure. Honest. Better than I am, that's for sure. He makes me a better person just by being around, and I like feeling that way.

    • Dave, in CRFH. Lampshaded when the others vote Dave out of NOES. Marsha says "I can't believe how MEAN you guys are being. Dave is our moral compass. We NEED him." To turn him into The Zeppo, The author, Maritza Campos, decided to Nerf his power but leave him as the most earnest, conscience-stricken and foolishly brave character. It's somewhat self-referential, as she killed off Dave but brought him back because her readers said that for all his flaws he was the "heart" of the series.
    • Nathan Hale from The Dreamer. Also Beatrice.
    • Julie, from Our Little Adventure. She's also the leader of the group, and the only one who doesn't like fighting.

    Web Original

    Western Animation

    Real Life

    • The now-departed President Maria Corazon "Cory" Aquino of the Philippines is claimed by many to have been a real-life The Heart. Even the critics shed genuine tears to her passing. Her very name Corazon is in fact, the Spanish word for "heart".
      • Mrs. Aquino was originally the spouse of high-ranked politician Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, messily murdered via Boom! Headshot! in 1983. Three years after losing her husband, she rose to power through one of the best remembered non-violent revolutions: the People Power Revolution, an uprising that included iconic images of nuns kneeling in front of tanks clutching rosaries and people walking up to soldiers to hand them flowers, all to depose the reignant tyrant Ferdinand Marcos (who may have been the one to order the assassination of Benigno in the first place, as he was the most popular opposition leader). Her presidency ended a regime of authoritarian rule and reinstated democracy in the Philippines.
    • George VI and Elizabeth shared this role for The British Empire during World War II both in Real Life and in the film Bertie and Elizabeth .
    • Ringo Starr was considered the least talented/helpful member of The Beatles by many. The band itself recognized him as a guy who helped them stick together even at the worst moments. (they even put more focus on Ringo in the movies!)