Evil Cannot Comprehend Good
: Good characters can throw Evil for a loop by doing stuff that, from an Evil worldview, make no sense whatsoever. However, the converse is also true.
Good are fighting Evil. They have minusiously prepared for every contingency, they're well-armed, Crazy-Prepared
and Properly Paranoid
. But then the villain does something so incredibly nasty
that the heroes just plain didn't think
of it, could never have thought of it
. Expect outrage
from Good as they discover exactly how
Evil achieved victory, in terms of "How could
you?" "This Is Unforgivable!
" or shocked reactions from Dumb Struck
to a full blown Heroic BSOD
if their lack of insight caused some terrible loss that might have been otherwise prevented. This may also be the point where the heroes snap
and completely give up any restraint, sometimes going full on homicidal.
I can't think of any concrete examples right now, but Unhand Them, Villain!
tends to lead to this sort of situation, as well as the typical False Reassurance
and Exact Words
trickeries. The Joker
is a specialist
in causing those into even savvy and jaded Batman, and it's also one of the best ways to get Superman into a position where it's even possible to hurt him. Voldemort pulled this on the magical world at large by using Horcruxes, something so evil even the evilest of dark wizards revile it. In general, Voldemort's plans both in canon and fanon, even his public persona, rely a lot on shocking and surprising people by how unpredictably, extremely and casually nasty
he can be. On Glee, regular villains Sue Sylvester and Santanna get away with their horrible plots through this and Refuge in Audacity
(and a fair bit of Plot Armour
). In Neon Genesis Evangelion
: While NERV's leadership probably expected this from the start, both the audience and most of NERV's personnel are shocked and appalled beyond belief that the UN sent the army after them, with orders to Leave No Survivors to boot! NERV was hyperprepared for facing eldritch abominations from outer space, but they never were ready or expecting to fight people. They get slaughtered.
Very common in Real Life
, especially when it comes to breaches of trust (adultery, embezzelment, corruption...). One person's unforgivable sin (to the point of being an action they wouldn't ever think
of performing) is another's routine, and when the two meet, sparks can fly, and not in a good way.
An example: The Holocaust
. It was so
evil, people thought rumors about it were mere propaganda until Germany was occupied and they found the camps.