The gold standard of differentiating the heroes from the bad guys is making the heroes color scheme sufficiently brighter
and the villains sufficiently darker
. However, this ends up looking pretty bland
. Sure, it's very intuitive
, but still cliche'd and overused. However, the striking dichotomy of dark shades against solid white backdrops is striking
... and highly effective
Cue this trope, where villains feature mostly black and white color motifs, with at the most a dash of red
here and there for effect. The heroes might occasionally where black or
white when this trope is in effect, but rarely at the same time or to a degree that exceeds the villains. The heroes will instead favor a more vibrant color scheme with fluid colors and a rainbow mix, to further contrast the villain's shady complexion.
Compare Light Is Not Good
. Contrast Dark Is Not Evil
- Star Wars:
- Darth Vader in black, Stormtroopers in white. George Lucas made a point of this in fact, using warmer earth tones for the heroes.
- Averted by Princess Leia.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Uses the trope fairly often.
- Todd Ingram and Envy Adams.
- Played even straighter with the Katayanagi Twins. One wears black, the other white.
- 101 Dalmatians: Cruella DeVil. Black leather, white furs. Wants to butcher a bunch of black and white puppies to make clothes.
- Once Upon a Time: Everything Regina wears after becoming evil is this. Her office even moreso.