->''"If half an onion is black with rot, it is a rotten onion. A man is good or he is evil."''
--> -- '''Melisandre of Asshai''', ''Literature/AClashOfKings''

%%One quote is sufficient. Use the quotes tab for more.

Good versus Evil. [[GoodColorsEvilColors White hat]] versus [[EvilWearsBlack black hat]]. The [[KnightInShiningArmor shining knight]] [[MessianicArchetype of destiny]] with [[TheCape flowing cape]] versus the [[DastardlyWhiplash mustache-twirling]], [[CardCarryingVillain card-carrying]] force of [[ObviouslyEvil pure malevolence]]. The most basic form of fictional morality, Black And White Morality deals with the battle between pure good and absolute evil.

This can come in a variety of forms:

* Motivation: The villains ''never'' have a sympathetic motivation for their actions. There aren't any [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]], and TheMole will show his [[EvilCostumeSwitch true colors]] once he's [[FaceHeelTurn unmasked]]. Rather, their intentions are entirely [[ForTheEvulz for the sake of Evil]] (and may involve [[TakeOverTheWorld taking over]] or [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroying the world]]). Likewise, the forces of good never have any evil, ulterior motives for their deeds, as they do good because it's [[ForGreatJustice The Right Thing To Do.]]
* Choices: All major choices that the heroes are faced with are either unambiguously right or wrong. There are no real grey areas at all, and when a SadisticChoice ''is'' presented, there's always a [[TakeAThirdOption third option]]. Furthermore, the heroes will ''always'' make the right choice, unless they're about to learn AnAesop or pull a FaceHeelTurn.
* Characterization: [[ShapedLikeItself The good guys are good]], and the [[ObviouslyEvil bad guys are bad]]. If there are any morally ambiguous or grey characters around (such as an AntiHero or WorthyOpponent), they will eventually shift firmly to one side or the other. They'll either [[FaceHeelTurn switch]] to the side that matches their [[HeelFaceTurn actual perceived alignment]], or turn [[BadassDecay fully good]] or [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope fully evil]]. Minor characters may maintain some degree of neutrality, but the major characters will all be on one side or the other. Occasionally there will be a short scene explaining the [[AccompliceByInaction neutrality is inherently evil]] (or, very rarely, good). To avoid an AuthorTract, some writers prefer to claim that being neutral is similar to [[IFightForTheStrongestSide supporting the stronger side]]. However, as the Neutral Neutral page on this Wiki will show, the reasons for being neutral number in the double digits, not including Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral, or any combination thereof.

Stories using this trope usually have a HeroProtagonist and a VillainAntagonist, though this is not always the case. They're also where you're most likely to find BeautyEqualsGoodness, although there are stories with black and white morality where appearance doesn't reflect morality.

While it shows up in stories of all kinds, Black And White Morality seems to occur frequently in media marketed for kids. Many stories that use Black And White Morality tend to lean towards the idealistic end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, but this doesn't necessarily have to be the case - in a more cynical CrapsackWorld, there is more black than white, but the white can at least take [[KnightInSourArmor a sour form]]. Works that use both AdaptationalVillainy and AdaptationalHeroism, or HistoricalVillainUpgrade and HistoricalHeroUpgrade for different characters are also deliberately employing this trope to make the moral conflict simpler. Of course, usage of Black and White morality in stories [[TropesAreNotGood won't always end up sparkling white]]: this moral alignment is often associated with clichéd writing and propaganda.

Of course, the prevalence of this moral system may lead to the belief that GoodIsBoring. Thus, the aforementioned grey spots in a setting like this are a common EnsembleDarkhorse. BadassDecay occurs when the dark horse is whitewashed to conform to the prevailing system.

Compare GreyAndGrayMorality, BlackAndGrayMorality, WhiteAndGreyMorality, and MoralityKitchenSink. Also see ShadesOfConflict and GrayingMorality. See BlackAndWhiteInsanity when this sort of thinking by characters is presented as a sign of mental instability in the story.

Please note even in a world where the moral lines are sharply drawn, there may still be characters or organizations that are presented as being 'grey'. A general rule of thumb as to whether or not black-and-white morality is present is that the heroes are almost always considered to be in the right, while the villains are always 'wrong'. Of course, the audience might [[ValuesDissonance disagree with the author's moral compass]]. MoralDissonance occurs when a character with a black-and-white moral system is unaware that they're not always following their own values well (all-too-possible in RealLife).

If [[ValuesDissonance general attitudes on issues addressed change and/or the story is introduced to a very different culture]], it may be viewed as GreyAndGrayMorality, BlackAndGrayMorality, WhiteAndGreyMorality or BlueAndOrangeMorality.

* BlackAndWhiteMorality/AnimeAndManga
* [[BlackAndWhiteMorality/LiveActionFilms Films ó Live-Action]]
* BlackAndWhiteMorality/{{Literature}}
* BlackAndWhiteMorality/LiveActionTV
* BlackAndWhiteMorality/VideoGames
* BlackAndWhiteMorality/WesternAnimation


* A common element in ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'', the Christian protagonists are good while the nonbelievers are evil, or at least a {{Jerkass}}.
* ''ComicBook/NewGods'' justifies this trope by transforming a single planet into [[LiteralSplitPersonality two purely good and evil worlds.]]
** Almost. There are three major exceptions: Big Barda (started as a Female Fury soldier of Apokolips, underwent a HighHeelFaceTurn), Orion (Darkseid's son, but raised by Highfather, who rehabilitated him to mostly Good but with a violent temper), and Metron (approaching True Neutral).
* Creator/SteveDitko's ''ComicBook/MrA'' comic lives and breathes this trope, being Ditko's interpretation of Creator/AynRand's Objectivism in vigilante form.
* ComicBook/TheQuestion under Ditko was essentially a more marketable version of Mr. A. His CaptainErsatz [[{{ComicBook/Watchmen}} Rorschach]], however, deconstructs it to reveal BlackAndWhiteInsanity.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime''. The series runs on {{Deconstruction}} ''and'' {{Reconstruction}} of multiple elements, EvenEvilHasStandards, and there's one gut-wrenching case of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope. Nevertheless, the lines between Good and Evil remain painfully clear. The BigBad and [[TheDragon his Dragons]] are realistically ObviouslyEvil, and though the heroes' ethics are definitely put above the law, they ''are'' there and pretty strict.
* Elly Patterson of ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' saw life in this matter in the fanfic ''FanFic/TheNewRetcons''. The two problems were that she could not handle anyone with different viewpoints form her, and that her ideas of what 'black' and 'white' are were so twisted that they might as well be BlueAndOrangeMorality. This, among other things, contributed to Elly losing her mind for about two years.
* In ''Fanfic/MyBravePonyStarfleetMagic'' the unicorns are good, Titan is [[CardCarryingVillain evil]]. [[FlatCharacter There is no depth to any of the characters]].
* ''FanFic/OjamajoDoremiRiseOfTheShadows'': The [[DarkIsEvil Shadows are evil]] and trying to TakeOverTheWorld AND [[OmnicidalManiac exterminate their light halves]]. Said [[LightIsGood light halves are good]] and [[VillainsActHeroesReact only act to defend themselves]].
* ''FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi'': The Dungeon Keeper world works by this trope, having only two sides for people to be on. The side of the Light Gods, which is Good, and that of the Dark Gods, which is Evil.
** And the confusion inspired by a [[Anime/SailorMoon champion of love and justice]] keeping a [[ArtifactOfDoom dungeon heart]] is one of Mercury's greatest strengths. Even the [[BigGood one outside group]] that believes she's not irredeemably evil wants to imprison her for eternity.
** ''FanFic/DungeonKeeperOfLoveAndJustice'' shares the trope, as a RecursiveFanfiction of the above.
* In ''Fanfic/ChrysalisVisitsTheHague'', this is subverted - Most of the ponies are adamant about the fact that Chrysalis is evil incarnate and they themselves are the defenders of all things harmonious. Suffice to say, the humans (Chrysalis' lawyer Estermann in particular) are quick to contest this.
* In ''Fanfic/LoxareHinder'', it seems to be a recurrent mentality for any "big" hero: the Batfamily struggles very much with Jason's decision to murder criminals while Superman straight-up assaulted Red Hood because "killing is bad and mean, no matter the circumstances".

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon uses this all the time. {{Creator/Pixar}} uses it pretty frequently too, though their villains are more likely to have sympathetic motivations.
** The true exception to "sympathetic motivation" is ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'', where Hopper says that keeping the ants under control is more important than just getting food from them.
** ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' adds this morality in adaptation. Hercules, Zeus and Hera become purely good. Hades becomes purely evil. In the origional myths they were a lot more morally ambiguous. The only grey character in the movie is Meg. This is one side effect of being HijackedByJesus.
* In the CompilationMovie ''Once Upon a Halloween'', a villain is plotting to do something evil while her magic mirror tries to talk her out of while showing her clips of various Disney movies. In the end the villain decides she doesn't want to go through her plan anymore, but the mirror kills her anyway for even attempting it in the first place.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}'' all Boggans are completely evil without any redeeming feature, while all the Leafmen and their allies are good.

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* In its various incarnations, ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' has played this trope straight, explored it from interesting directions, and frequently given the villains [[AntiVillain sympathetic]] [[PetTheDog moments]] and [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds motivations]] ([[FaceHeelTurn heroes who turn evil are, thankfully, very rare]]). Batman himself ''[[DarkIsNotEvil looks]]'' [[DarkIsNotEvil evil]] but is almost always a model of IncorruptiblePurePureness; how sympathetic the villains are, however, varies by the medium. The 1960s TV series generally had straight-up Black and White Morality, with very few [[HeelFaceTurn Heel Face Turns]]; [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries the 1990s animated series]] was this way too, although it did provide the villains with more character depth. But the movies by Creator/TimBurton, Creator/JoelSchumacher, and Creator/ChristopherNolan were far more likely to have BlackAndGrayMorality, with ''Film/BatmanForever'' and ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' coming the closest to being pure black-and-white.
* ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' is always black-and-white - with some notable exceptions - reflecting creator Chester Gould's own [[LawfulGood rigid standard of societal values]]. The 1990 Creator/WarrenBeatty [[Film/DickTracy movie adaptation]] was the same way: Tracy is a CowboyCop but almost never gets called out on it, and only about 20 percent of the many [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters (MANY!)]] gangster characters seen in the film had any redeeming qualities.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* This was the general rule in pro wrestling from the 1920s all the way up until the 1990s, with the exception of a face sometimes [[PayEvilUntoEvil cruelly retaliating]] because [[AssholeVictim "the heel deserved it"]] [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality (which was]] ''[[ProtagonistCenteredMorality never]]'' [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality portrayed as a bad thing]]). The "Attitude" Era and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) tweaked this calculus quite a bit, but the standard formula has never truly gone away. Even today, you are far more likely to see GoodVersusGood or EvilVersusEvil than you are to see a feud with shades of gray/grey.
* In Mexican wrestling (known to the locals as ''lucha libre''), there's no such thing as a tweener. One is either a good guy ''(technico)'' or a bad guy ''(rudo)'', period.

* In religion, this idea is often called ([[TropeMaker Manichean]]) dualism:
** God is good, Satan is evil (Christianity and Islam).
*** Of Christian faiths, Calvinism deserves special mention. In Calvinism, human beings do not have free will to make decisions, and can only be capable of redemption through the grace of God. Thus not only are acts either good or evil, but human beings are, despite any attempt outside of God to be otherwise, evil.
*** Matthew 7:18: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither ''can'' a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." No middle ground is even hinted at.
*** It should also be noted that in most christian denominations, this kind of dualism isnít equal. God is good and has no equal in evil, Satan doesnít even come close cause God created him and everything else. Since God is absolutely good and has 'existed' before evil came to the world, theologians have theorized that good can actually exist without evil and that evil itself is a corruption of what was originally good, meaning evil canít exist without good.
** Ahura Mazda is good, Ahriman is evil (Zoroastrianism).
** Abba deRabutta is good, Ahriman is evil (Manichaeism).
** Devas are benevolent, Asuras are corrupted (Hinduism).
** During Ragnarok, the final battle is essentially between the forces of good and chaotic evil (Norse mythology).
* [[EverybodyHatesHades The Hollywood version of many mythologies]] tends to fit this; the real mores of such cases tend to be much, much more [[BlueAndOrangeMorality subtle]].
* UsefulNotes/ConspiracyTheories (a mythology of a kind) tend to follow this trope very well. The conspiracy is always purely nefarious and the people behind it are always blatantly trying to benefit themselves at the expense of the world. Anyone cast as resisting the conspiracy is a glorious hero deserving of the greatest reverence. If said hero has died, especially under circumstances deemed suspicious, then that hero is also a martyr killed for have gotten too close to exposing/destroying the conspiracy. There are never gray areas in conspiracy theories. Everyone in the know is either completely for the conspiracy or completely against it.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/BlueRose'', your CharacterAlignment is either {{Light|IsGood}}, [[DarkIsEvil Shadow]] or Twilight (neutral). There's a magic artifact used to make sure [[OnlyThePureOfHeart only light-aligned people]] get to become nobles in the kingdom of Aldis.
* Most ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' settings: People who go "ping!" on Detect Good are good. People who [[DetectEvil set off the paladin's slaydar]] are evil. (People who don't trigger either are either using Undetectable Alignment or are the resident shade of grey, the neutral alignments).
** Playable races (such as humans, elves, dwarves, and such) tend to be good, while orcs, goblins, and other 'monstrous' humanoids tend to be AlwaysChaoticEvil. There are plenty of exceptions, though, with a number of villains from PC races showing up from time to time. The occasional good orc or goblin may make an appearance as well (especially in ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'', which subverts a lot of the common expectations about alignment and race).
** There is a Succubus Paladin created on the Wizards site a while ago that detects as Lawful, Good, Evil and Chaotic via the sundry detect spells. This is because Demon are {{MADE of Evil}} and Chaos, while Paladins are philosophically Good and Lawful.
* The RPG ''TabletopGame/OverTheEdge'' is very much BlackAndGreyMorality, but a drug in the setting called "Zorro" (short for "Zoroaster") induces delusions of black and white morality in the user.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Talisman}}'': The "Lightbearers" alternate ending in the ''Blood Moon'' expansion changes the nature of the normally free-for-all game into a cooperative one, where every player must choose a character of good alignment. The players cannot fight each other, and instead can assist each other in combat against the forces of evil, freely exchange items, and work together to win the game as a group before time runs out.
* In ''Torg'' in the sub-universe of the Nile Empire, based on pulp fiction tropes, ''everyone'' is either good or evil...until one of the evil scientists of the Nile Empire accidentally infects himself with a meme virus based on the plays of Anton Chekov and becomes the sub-universe's only Neutral character.
* Invoked in ''TabletopGame/TheDarkEye'' by a kind of the FairFolk, who decided to split into a "good" and an "evil" kingdom faring war against each other to learn more about human behaviour and values.

* InspectorJavert of ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' provides an in-universe example since he has an obsessive, legalistic view of the world, with [[WellIntentionedExtremist an extreme sense of right and wrong]], such that his passion drives him [[ToBeLawfulOrGood to be lawful over being reasonable]] (even though he's free of any actual, well, ''villainy'' otherwise).
-->'''Javert:''' [[IAmTheTrope I am the law]], and the law is not mocked!

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/AxeCop''. Very evident as it is written by a six-year old. There are good guys (who can do [[DesignatedHero anything]] [[PsychopathicManchild they want]]), and bad guys (who don't need to do anything bad [[ShapedLikeItself apart from being bad]] to be such).
%%* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2010-07-22 played with.]]
* ''WebComic/FalconTwin'''s Evan views the world in this manner, in keeping with the teachings of his church. This causes considerable friction with the rest of the party's BlackAndGrayMorality.
* In ''Webcomic/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture'', the ninjas' only aim is to kill the "dragon rider", whose main reason to kill the ninjas is to not die.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'' functions in this way: Villains are rarely given any motivation beyond taking something that belongs to Sonichu or [[AuthorAvatar Chris Chandler]] or conquering something important to them, and Sonichu and Chris [[VillainsActHeroesReact fight mainly to reverse this damage]]. Slaweel Ryam, in particular, fights Chris merely because she dislikes him. As the characters in the comic are [[LifeEmbellished reflections of the author's real-life struggles]] and the author has a huge ego, he cannot bear to give significant flaws to any of his heroes or redeeming traits to any of his villains.
* Parodied in the ''WebComic/SluggyFreelance'' ''Torg Potter'' parodies (of ''HarryPotter'', obviously), where the wizards casually talk about people being good guys and bad guys, including [[CardCarryingVillain the bad guys proudly identifying as such]]. You're ''supposed'' to have bad guys, apparently -- even among students, where they are all sorted to the Wunnybun ("Slytherin") house. Gandledorf ("Dumbledore") even explains the Wunnybun students need to be treated badly enough to remain antagonistic because if treated well, they might become good, and then his paperwork would get all messed up.
* ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'' parodies this trope as it's used in classic literature with the character of [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=388 Goodman Brown]]. Anytime Goodman sees another character doing something remotely bad he chalks them up as purely evil. He gets called on it, but ignores them.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Franchise/TheFearMythos, the character "Achromatic Morality" demonstrates this perfectly -- the clue's in the name. In her words, "there are two sides. The side that I am on, which is righteous; and the side I am not, which is monstrous."
* This was mostly avoided in the Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse, but was especially enforced in the ''Golden Age'' campaign, which was set during World War II and featured ThoseWackyNazis as villains (along with {{supervillain}}s who were [[ForTheEvulz evil for the sake of being evil]] and [[TheMafia mobsters]]).