->''"So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don't you know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmoYpJIUWhY I just don't understand it.]]''"
-->-- '''Marge''' to '''Grimsrud''', ''Film/{{Fargo}}''

Bob and Alice are being terrorized by [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Doctor Deathmurderkill]]. He has hunted them, attacked them, and nearly gotten them killed on several occasions. Bob is convinced that Dr. DMK has [[KickTheDog kicked the dog]] more than enough times to warrant fighting back with lethal force. Alice, however, insists that he must have a good reason, or maybe that it's all just a big misunderstanding. Despite any evidence to the contrary, Alice refuses to believe that he can actually be 'evil'. After all, no one's that heartless, right?

This trope is, in its essence, a character who refuses to believe that someone could simply be evil for its own sake. If this character can talk things out with the villain than their motive will come out and together they can find a better solution, ([[DefeatMeansFriendship perhaps after pounding them into submission]]). It doesn't occur to them that there might not ''be'' a motive to discover.

Whether Alice is [[GenreSavvy right]] or [[WrongGenreSavvy not]] depends on the work's placement on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism. In an idealistic show, this attitude could very possibly lead to a HeelFaceTurn. In a cynical one, expect her death to be the very thing to push the villain over the MoralEventHorizon.

This trope is usually limited to the very naive and very young, or the very old and war-weary, who've grown tired of the "black and white, [[WithUsOrAgainstUs us vs. them]]" attitudes of those around them.

'''Note:''' Be careful not to just stick this trope onto any pacifistic characters, whether [[TechnicalPacifist technical]], [[ActualPacifist actual]], or [[MartialPacifist martial]]. The tropes are related, but one does not automatically imply the other.

Compare StupidGood, ThePollyanna, WhiteAndGrayMorality. Contrast EvilCannotComprehendGood, CompleteMonster, ThisIsUnforgivable.

[[noreallife]]
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* [[AllLovingHero Seiichiro Kitano]] from ''Manga/AngelDensetsu'' is always the target of thugs or other people who try to attack him because [[FaceOfAThug he looks like a monstrous, evil devil or something like that.]] Kitano is so naive and good that he never has bad thoughts and has no idea why would people do bad things and he cannot recognize bad actions very well. When people attack him, he believes that ''he'' did something bad to them that made them angry, that's why he ''lets'' them keep hitting him. And if (it happens rarely) he recognizes bad actions (which he mostly misinterprets), he tries to stop them.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', Touma Kamijou says he just doesn't get why people are assholes who grab power at the expense of others, constantly asking them [[YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood why they don't use their abilities to make the world a happier place]]. However, this doesn't diminish his effectiveness at all. Just because he doesn't know why people do bad things, doesn't mean he's unaware that they do.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* This is one of Danny's major flaws in ''WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance''. He proves to be too naive to realize how evil [[BitchInSheepsClothing Darla Dimple]] really is. This comes back to bite him in the butt when she sabotages his an the other animals' audition for movie studio mogul, L.B. Mammoth, initially thinking she wanted to help.
-->'''Sawyer''': ''She'' [Darla] was your "little angel"?
-->'''Danny''': She said she wanted to help.
-->'''Tilly''': [[WhatTheHellHero And you believed her?!]]
* Hiccup in ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2'' is insistent on trying to reason with [[BigBad Drago]] despite his father's warnings. Later events transpire to teach him that, unfortunately, some people just ''can't'' be reasoned with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': The Jedi Order suffers from this problem, and the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse has shown again and again that for a group that acts as champions of good, the Jedi Order has absolutely no understanding of the dark side. Justified since many of them refused to so much as study the Sith or the Dark Side, believing that even trying to understand evil would lead them to fall.\\
\\
This is taken to UpToEleven with the Jedi Order in the prequels, who, [[CultureChopSuey through a strange mix of Christian and Eastern philosophy,]] are convinced that all evil comes from emotional attachment, and the Jedi prohibition on said attachment [[CreateYourOwnVillain is quite alienating for those who want to, y'know, keep their emotions.]] For example, in ''Episode III'', when Anakin goes to Yoda for advice about fear and the possibility of loss, Yoda simply doesn't have the [[BlackAndWhiteMorality moral flexibility]] and/or life experience to give Anakin anything but platitudes about how emotional attachment is dangerous and wrong. [[BigBad Palpatine,]] on the other hand, gives Anakin actual advice, setting the stage for his MoreThanMindControl.
* Marge expresses this in ''Film/{{Fargo}}'', as seen in the page quote. Marge, a GoodCop, has just [[spoiler:arrested Grimsrud after she caught him stuffing his partner's corpse into a wood chipper]]. She simply can't believe that the crime spree that ended with five people dead, lives ruined and families destroyed, was all for money.
* Most characters in ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen'' also struggle with this, usually when they are facing Anton Chigurh. Likewise, Anton Chigurh cannot [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand why his victims always implore him to have mercy.]]
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', Bruce hits a dead end trying to understand and figure out the motives behind The Joker; it's with a little help from Alfred that he comes to accept that there is no ''why'' behind The Joker, [[ItAmusedMe he]] [[ForTheLulz just]] ''[[ForTheEvulz is]].''
* In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', the heroes had a lot of trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that [[spoiler:Admiral Marcus]] was a corrupt traitor.
* ''Film/SchindlersList'': For a long time Oskar Schindler seems to think that Amon Goeth would be a much better person if there weren't a war going on, which Schindler thinks brings out the worst in people. He's [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter incredulous that Goeth could enjoy killing people]] until Stern confirms the number of atrocities that the Nazi Captain has already committed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Dumbledore has shown that he can understand quite a bit about Lord Voldemort. However, it turns out that Dumbledore was unable to figure out that Voldemort hid one of his Horcruxes in the Room of Requirement. Why? Because Dumbledore was a model student who never cheated and hence had no need to use the room to hide anything. Harry, however, was certainly not a model student, he cheated a couple of times, and he used that room, so he could figure it out.
* Literature/InDeath series: Dr. Mira in ''Midnight in Death'' is unable to find out why David Palmer is such a CompleteMonster. Eve Dallas is unable to find out why her own mother is a CompleteMonster in ''New York To Dallas''.
* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', it is said that the Valar don't understand Morgoth's evil, and explicitly didn't understand it was incurable. The most obvious manifestation of this failure is when Morgoth was imprisoned for millenia after his first rebellion; the Valar ask him if he has repented, and believe him when he says he has because it doesn't occur to them that he could be lying. Cue Morgoth plunging the world into darkness yet again.
* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels: The Vigilantes have shown that they cannot understand why people like the Monarch HMO in ''Payback'', Karl Woodley in ''The Jury'', and Maxwell Zenowicz in ''Fast Track'' are such evil people.
* Early in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series, Granny Weatherwax of all people. The Duchess mocked Granny's attempt to make her have a HeelRealization, claiming that Granny was naive for believing that all people really are good deep down. One of Granny's core philosophies is basically "Once you truly comprehend good, you can't choose to be evil." A philosophy that she started vocalizing ''after'' her encounter with The Duchess.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, when Bluestar's suffering from dementia and is absolutely convinced that [=WindClan=] is stealing prey, she won't listen to Fireheart when he gives her evidence that a dog has been killing the prey. She tells him that he's a good and noble warrior, so he can't comprehend that other cats would have morals any less pristine than his own. He especially thinks this comment is odd, since ''he'' was the one that exposed Tigerclaw as a traitor and murderer.
* Annabeth Chase from Rick Riordan's ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' refuses to believe her former best friend [[spoiler:Luke Castellan]] is evil, even after he attempts [[spoiler:to kill her several times throughout the series]], insisting that he is just being manipulated by the titans and is a victim.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Savage Curtain", Surak, Spock, and President Lincoln have a hard time understanding the motives and actions of the opposing "evil" side. Only Kirk seems to have a grasp of their potential for deceptiveness and duplicity.
* The Highs in ''Series/RedDwarf'' when presented with the Lows.
-->'''High Kryten:''' The poor wretch, he has a faulty gun! He's accidentally shot me five times! [[ActualPacifist Oh, how I love him!]]
-->'''High Cat:''' [[TooDumbToLive Brother, there is a grievous fault with thine weapon.]] It [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe keepeth]] shooting people.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Mentiads in the serial "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS16E2ThePiratePlanet The Pirate Planet]]" state this as the reason they had not deposed the Captain prior to the Doctor's arrival. They are incapable of understanding ''why'' he does what he does, and are unable to properly work against him as a result.
** In the revival series, there's a downplayed example. The Doctor can't work out why the Weeping Angels' method of attacking Amy involves needlessly tipping her off in advance. He's briefly dumbstruck when he finds out that they're just doing it to terrorize her.
* The ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episode "Countrycide"[[note]]which was basically an [[AscendedFanFic Ascended]] ''Torchwood[=/=]Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre'' FusionFic, and much better than it sounds[[/note]] ends with Gwen confronting the main villain with a simple question:
-->'''Gwen:''' Why? Why would you wake up one morning and decide that this is what you want to do?
-->'''The villain:''' Because it made me happy.
* In ''Series/{{Fargo}}'', the murderous liar Lester is in conversation with his brother, who grasps to understand him and states, "There's just... something ''missing''."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* In the lore of ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'', this is what happened with Sargeras, the creator and leader of the Burning Legion. Originally belonging to a race of god-like beings called the Titans, he and his kind traveled throughout the cosmos to bring order to worlds; they were so powerful they defeated the Old Gods, the {{Eldritch Abomination}}s of Azeroth, and created the dragons to become the world's stewards. While defeating and imprisoning the demons of the Twisting Nether, their evil caused Sargeras to question the Titans' quest for order. He was driven into depression after witnessing the chaos wrought by the demons, especially after defeating the vampiric Nathrezim, whose manipulative bastardry on various worlds affected him deeply. Eventually, he went completely off the rails with the belief that the Titans' quest for order was essentially ''wrong'', given that he saw the Universe as intrinsically chaotic and evil. The last the Titans saw him, Sargeras had freed the demons he had personally previously imprisoned, made them a part of his army, and sent his Burning Legion to bring war upon the Universe, putting into action the corruption of the Draenei and Orcs, the birth of the Lich King, and the multiple near-destruction of Azeroth itself. An example of GoodCannotComprehendEvil taken to epic proportions.
** A more low-key example would be the nuking of Gnomeregan. Unlike most of Azeroth's denizens, the Gnomes didn't have any history of [[CivilWarcraft fighting among each other]], which is why [[GadgeteerGenius Mekkatorque]] didn't suspect [[EvilFormerFriend Thermaplugg's]] seemingly obvious traitorous plan, even if it involved [[NiceJobBreakingItHero setting off a nuke in their own capital city.]] He is [[MyGreatestFailure not proud of this.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'':
** A defector from an evil organization thought that she had hidden families safely on a remote world, because she "couldn't imagine" the organization's leader coming after them. Shepard says "That's what evil counts on..."
** After discovering the various atrocities at [[spoiler:Sanctuary]], Ash (who is by no means a naive character), says she truly cannot understand what motivated it. She also says that she's actually glad she can't, as it makes her feel human.
* In the first ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' game, there's a bit where the cute and cheerful [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII ninja girl Yuffie]] says that she just can't understand why people like Ansem are so [[EvilFeelsGood intoxicated by the power of darkness]].
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' and its sequel ''Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords'' show the Jedi to be very ignorant of the Sith order and the motives of those who turn to the dark side. In particular, Darth Revan was able to convert so many Jedi to his cause not only because of this trope, but also because he was a notable aversion of EvilCannotComprehendGood. Revan understood the order and its flaws far too well, exploiting them to deadly effect.
* Comes up again in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', the Jedi order is apparently blind to the massive corruption in the Republic and a large number of dark Jedi, Sith aligned and otherwise, in their own ranks.
* ''VideoGame/TreasureOfTheRudra'' takes this almost to the point of RunningGag. [[GentlemanWizard Surlent]] assumes that everyone he meets is as honest and compassionate as he is, which leads to him trusting the wrong people and getting screwed as a result of it several times throughout his scenario.
* In the intro chapter of ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'', the Wind Vestal Agnés is being hunted by soldiers from the [[TheEmpire Duchy of Eternia]]. At first she is willing to surrender to them to stop their attack on the city of Caldisla, assuming "they are men, not monsters". When she goes to turn herself in accompanied by Tiz, she meets the leaders of the assault. When they tell her how they want to beat her to within an inch of her life, then heal her just so then can do it again over and over, she realizes that they are, in fact, monsters. So begins the game's first boss fight.
* [[WideEyedIdealist Fenthick]] in ''Videogame/NeverwinterNights'' is another example; he is so good that he simply cannot conceive of the possibility that anyone else could be evil. It comes back to bite him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' has one episode where Franchise/{{Batman}} actually tries to make sense of SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker. By the end, it is safe to say that Batman figures out that doing this is an exercise of futility and madness.
* Henry Pym in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes]]'' will often try to reason with enemies first, especially if they used to be his villainy-rehab patients. In his defense, it almost works on Wonder Man before Iron Man brings down an InterruptedCooldownHug.
* Macbeth in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' didn't even consider the possibility that Duncan (and later Demona) might be... less honest than he, until they betrayed him.
[[/folder]]

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