If you are on a TV show as a villain and last more than one season, you may find yourself becoming a good guy. While this isn't a truth universally acknowledged, it is a trope that has found it's way on to many a TV series, and usually is thanks to "The love of a woman." While it is a predictable idea, especially if there is a woman involved, we as a viewing audience can't help but eat it up. Maybe it's the longing looks, maybe it's because the guy is inevitably played by a hot guy, or maybe it is the romantic inside of us, but this is one TV trope that we can never get enough of. So here is a list of some of our favorite bad guys turned to the light side.
1. Logan Echolls in Veronica Mars
OK, so maybe Logan isn't a cloak and dagger antagonist, or blood thirsty or even just out for some sort of revenge. But he is a jerk, and was a pretty consistent thorn in Veronica's side, usually mocking or tormenting her for the sheer fact that he could. Like a lot of bad guys, though, we do learn early on that he has his own tormentor and demons, in the form of his father who was overtly strict in the discipline. He became Veronica's biggest help, and their relationship has definitely had it's ups and downs, though with the movie release it definitely looks up. And who doesn't love a men in uniform?
2. Captain Hook/Killian Jones in Once Upon a Time
I don't think many women have ever found Hook quite so attractive until he was brought onto the show Once Upon a Time. He started off as a man that was just looking out for himself trying to get revenge on Rumplestiltskin, taking down anyone who would get in the way of that and at whatever cost. As his bond grew with Emma, however, he started being more of a help to the group, to the point where revenge was no longer something he cared about and even offered his ship to take all of them, including his old enemy, to Neverland. He's changed a lot in the seasons and definitely seems more interested in doing whatever he can to help Emma than in feeding into bloodlust, though he isn't afraid to throw a punch as Will Scarlet well knows.
3. Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries
Oh The Vampire Diaries... Remember when the biggest issue was worrying about whether or not Damon was going to go on a killing spree? Oh those were simpler times. Damon started off as an antagonist on the show, and seemed as though he was going to be a major villain. All of this, of course, was thanks to the love of a woman, Katherine. Along the way, though, he developed feelings for Elena and started to do things more to help her. While he has back pedaled into being a "bad" character numerous times, he has always found his day back to the character we have come to love.
4. Logan Huntzberger in Gilmore Girls
What is it with the spoiled rich guys named Logan? He was trouble from the start, not caring about school, relationships, or even his own health and safety at times. He was a jerk to Jess, convinced Rory to be something she wasn't for awhile and never seemed to want to take responsibility. He eventually grew, started a real job, and tried to be the kind of man that Rory would be proud of. In the end they didn't end up happily ever after, but I like to think he continued to grow the rest of his life.
5. Eric Northman in True Blood
Eric is the kind of character that is completely charismatic. He could smile so sweetly at you while plotting out your death in his mind. He didn't always show kindness or mercy, but when he did it was usually because of or to Sookie. He wasn't always good, he didn't always do the right thing, but when it came to her he always did his best to help, even if it didn't look like it right away.
6. Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl
He had his mistakes. He did things that were so vile, I won't even begin to list them here. He was the Upper East Side resident jerk, and for awhile we all loved to hate him. But, like many of the guys on this list, he would do anything for the girl that he loved. While he constantly made mistakes, he was also constantly growing as a character, and as he grew eventually grew tire of the games. He became a true man, worthy of an empire and of the woman he loved and that makes him OK in my book.
7. Oliver Queen/The Arrow in Arrow
I know some of you are thinking to yourself "what???" But this is actually twofold. When we meet Oliver, he is a playboy with very little care in the world. In fact he is cheating on his long time girlfriend with her sister. Not exactly a stand up guy. When he takes up the mantle of the Arrow, he is a vigilante, going in head first and committing murder, playing judge, jury and executioner without letting others handle it justly, which is weird because as far as we know the police department isn't corrupt just inept at catching these guys. It's only after the death of his best friend that he stops murdering people who have failed the city. He has grown though, and is willing to allow others to help him and let them in, not being the one to make all the choices, especially when at times the choices he made were selfish.
8. Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Spike was very much a bad guy in Buffy for awhile, there was no getting around that fact. But time passed and he became Buffy's biggest supporter. He was there for her and listened to her when she explained why she wasupset about being brought back from the dead. He was the only one who truly understood her, and because of that their connection was one of the strongest when the show ended it's run. Even when he was soulless he was there for her, helping out the gang and protecting Dawn. He also went through the painful and grueling torture of getting his soul back for her! If that doesn't show you a redeemable bad guy, I don't know what does.
Honorable Mention: Klaus Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries/The Originals
Look, I am the biggest Klaus fan there is, but he is not a good guy. He is a bad guy who does good things when it benefits him. He CAN do good, like taking care of his daughter or helping out his siblings, but he always takes two steps back, most notably in the recent season finale putting the wolf curse on Hayley so that she couldn't take his daughter away. He has his good moments, even charming moments, but you always get the feeling that whatever he does, no matter how long it takes it will somehow benefit him in the end. he takes the saying "The road to Hell is paves with good intentions" to new heights. In the end, he is an evil character. But he is one that we love and will root for at times anyway.