-> ''You can't believe all the things I've done wrong in my life.''
-> ''Without even trying, I've lived on the edge of a knife.''
-> ''When I play with fire,''
-> ''I don't want to get myself burned.''
-> ''To thine own self be true,''
-> ''So I think that it's time for a turn....''
-->-- "Burn In Hell" by Music/TwistedSister

Tropes about characters shifting on the morality axis, redemption and corruption.

See SortingAlgorithmOfFaceHeelTurning for a sheet of factors figuring into the probability of a turn.

This is a sub-index of BetrayalTropes. Spoilers abound.


[[folder: Good to Evil ]]

* AdaptationalVillainy \\
An adaptation of a work makes a character more villainous than they were in the source material.
* BaitTheDog \\
A character set up to be the more 'charming' type of evil is revealed to be much nastier than their initial impression.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis \\
The character has changed so much that an alignment shift is the logical conclusion of his CharacterDevelopment.
* BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil \\
A character who undergoes prolonged torture [[DespairEventHorizon gives up on their ideals and morality]] and joins Team Evil.
* BewareTheNiceOnes (sometimes) \\
A gentle, sweet, or polite character shows a nasty side.
* BreakTheCutie (sometimes) \\
Destroying ThePollyanna's optimism just ''might'' turn her evil.
* CameBackWrong (sometimes)\\
An alignment change can be one of the ways in which the resurrected character is now "wrong."
* CantTakeCriticism (sometimes)\\
A character who resents those who point out his flaws may double down and become even worse.
* CharacterDerailment \\
Either, technically, but good to evil is more common because it's [[ShockingSwerve more of a surprise]].
* ChronicVillainy \\
All attempts at a genuine HeelFaceTurn are unsuccessful.
* CorruptTheCutie\\
The gentle, sweet, and kind Alice begins a slow creep toward the dark side, losing what made her appealing in the process.
* DarkerAndEdgier \\
A "gritty" reboot turns a formerly strait-laced hero more grey and {{Anti Hero}}ish.
* DerailingLoveInterests (sometimes) \\
The author turns Bob evil in order to facilitate Alice's relationship with Charlie (see {{Demonization}}).
* DespairEventHorizon (sometimes) \\
Bob abandons his ethics because he has lost all hope.
* DirtyCop \\
A man with a badge turns against the people he swore to protect and serve.
* DrunkWithPower \\
A normally level-headed character gets a taste of power and becomes a {{Jerkass}}.
** DrunkOnTheDarkSide \\
[[EvilFeelsGood Evil is just so orgasmic]] that a character can't get enough.
* EtTuBrute \\
A hero's loved ones, particularly [[TrueCompanions his friends]], have all turned their backs on him.
* EvilFormerFriend\\
A hero's best friend is now his worst enemy.
* FaceHeelTurn\\
The general trope for any morality switch from good to evil.
* FaithHeelTurn \\
Alice crosses the DespairEventHorizon after learning that her religious beliefs are false or mistaken.
* FakeDefector \\
''Appearing'' to go evil (or good) without a real morality change.
* FallenHero \\
A once-respected hero turns evil, which often sets up a CryForTheDevil.
* ForcedIntoEvil \\
Alice does evil deeds because someone or something else is giving her no other choice.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation \\
A character driven insane because he saw something [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow humans were not meant to see]] often loses his morality in the process.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters \\
Mentally steeling yourself to fight evil might destroy your ethics.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim \\
Bob [[ThouShaltNotKill will not kill]] his enemies because that would make him a killer too.
* IfYouTauntHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim \\
Bob refuses to get back at a bully or a {{Jerkass}} because that would make him no better than they are.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope \\
A character goes evil ''very'' quickly after doing some warned-against but otherwise innocuous thing.
* TheKillerInMe \\
One of the protagonists has been the villain the whole time -- which can be as much of a shock to him as to everyone else.
* KnightTemplar \\
An evil character is firmly convinced he is on the side of Good.
* LawmanGoneBad \\
A character whose job is to uphold the law goes lawless himself.
* LoveMakesYouEvil\\
Nothing throws off Bob's moral compass like the existence of another person for whom he would do ''anything'' (related tropes are LoveMakesYouCrazy and GreenEyedMonster).
* MoralEventHorizon \\
The moment when Alice loses the audience's sympathy forever by doing something unforgivably evil.
* MoreThanMindControl \\
Bob did something evil because of {{Brainwashing}} but he also did it willingly, if only slightly.
* NotBrainwashed \\
Bob did something evil because of "{{Brainwashing}}," but then we find out he was acting on his own free will the entire time.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain \\
A comedic, laughable villain is revealed to be much more threatening than she originally seemed.
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels \\
Where even a savior figure can become evil, because of the drama inherent in that.
* PeerPressureMakesYouEvil \\
When Bob's morally shady friends influence him to lower his own moral standards.
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain \\
Surprise! That innocent fellow you were following from the start is now a villain.
* APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil \\
The lament of a mentor figure who had a student who used to be good, but no longer.
* ReforgedIntoAMinion \\
Forced to abandon your friend Alice? Now the BigBad has twisted her into his [[TheDragon Dragon]].
* RevengeThroughCorruption \\
Where a villain gets revenge on Bob by making his loved ones evil, insane, and/or under her control.
* RivalTurnedEvil \\
A once-respectable, if persistent, opponent gradually becomes more evil, turning their existing antagonism/competition into something more serious.
* RonTheDeathEater \\
{{Demonization}} renders a heroic character evil in order to suit the author's purposes.
* SuddenSequelHeelSyndrome \\
A heroic character becomes an outright villain in a sequel to a work.
** RogueProtagonist \\
The heroic protagonist of another story is now the antagonist in this one.
* StartOfDarkness \\
The tale of a character's slow but inevitable plunge into black villainy. Often this is the backstory of someone we already know as a villain, making his alignment change a ForegoneConclusion.
* {{Superdickery}} \\
A normally morally-upright character is shown to be indulging in some evil behavior, but it's just to shock you into buying the issue.
* ThenLetMeBeEvil \\
Treat Bob like a villain long enough and he'll decide he might as well become one.
* TookALevelInJerkass \\
A once-[[NiceGuy gentle and kind-hearted character]] turns into a rude and callous {{Jerkass}}.
* TrappedByGamblingDebts \\
A character is forced into serving the one who holds his debt, often a criminal organization who makes him do their dirty work.
* VillainCorner \\
A character, not quite a Heel yet, is rapidly being pushed in that direction.
* WeUsedToBeFriends \\
Two friends become enemies after one of them turns into a Heel.
* WhatTheHellHero \\
The story calls [[TheHero Bob]] out for doing something morally shady. Unless he heeds the warning and immediately takes steps to correct his behavior, this is often the first step towards a full FaceHeelTurn.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity \\
Alice gains enormous power at the cost of her sanity, which usually means the loss of her morality too.
* WellIntentionedExtremist \\
Bob has noble goals but takes ignoble actions to accomplish them.
* WhosLaughingNow \\
A ButtMonkey or TheWoobie turns evil in order to get respect or take revenge on his tormentors.


[[folder: Neutral to Aligned ]]

* AdoptTheDog\\
A character with no real stake in the fight takes an interest in Team Good.
* NeutralNoLonger\\
The general trope for any morality switch from neutral to good or neutral to evil.
** AwakeningTheSleepingGiant\\
The heroes or villains do something to arouse the enmity of a powerful but neutral faction.
** HeroicNeutral\\
A hero who would just as soon be ''left alone'' becomes involved in the plot.
** DefaultToGood\\
If the plot comes down to whether an unaligned loner will choose Team Good or Team Evil, he will almost always choose Team Good.
* LonerTurnedFriend \\
A solitary character becomes a member of a group of friends/allies.


[[folder: Evil to Good ]]

* AdaptationalHeroism\\
A nasty character is changed to a good guy in an adaptation.
* TheAtoner\\
A villainous character turns good in an attempt to make up for the pain she caused while evil.
* AuthorsSavingThrow\\
The author steps in to correct a bit of character development. (This can go either way, but evil to good is more common).
* BefriendingTheEnemy\\
A good character tries to become an evil or antagonistic character's friend to act as an emotional crutch for them and turn them good.
* BeingEvilSucks\\
An evil character realizes that being evil is making him miserable.
* BreakTheHaughty\\
A proud character gets some much-deserved comeuppance and learns humility, becoming a kinder person.
* CharacterCheck\\
The writer reminds us that a villain (or hero) slowly drifting towards the opposite alignment has ''not'' officially switched sides.
* ComesGreatResponsibility\\
Alice gains vast power and then develops a correspondingly large sense of obligation to use it for good.
* ConspiracyRedemption \\
When a {{Knight Templar}}ish (or just plain assholish) organization as a whole goes from evil to good, or at least to ALighterShadeOfGray.
* ContagiousHeroism\\
When the hero's morality rubs off on his less scrupulous co-worker (contrast PeerPressureMakesYouEvil).
* CuriosityCausesConversion\\
"What's the good guy got that makes him so special? I must find out."
* DefeatMeansFriendship\\
The defeat of a villain causes him to change his evil ways, often to take up the heroes' way instead.
* DefeatMeansRespect\\
The defeat of a villain causes him to develop a healthy respect for the hero, even if he doesn't change his ways.
* DefectorFromDecadence\\
When Alice defects from Team Evil because she no longer finds it satisfying.
* DeliverUsFromEvil\\
A villain switches to Team Good because she's pregnant and does ''not'' want her child to end up like her.
* DiminishingVillainThreat \\
An ordinary villain has been foiled and humiliated so often that he doesn't seem all that evil anymore.
** BadassDecay \\
Which can result in an IneffectualSympatheticVillain.
* DracoInLeatherPants\\
The fanbase or an in-universe crowd sees the character as a hero, but it's all in their minds.
* EasilyForgiven\\
Other characters don't hold the villain's misdeeds against him.
* EvenMooksHaveLovedOnes\\
A villainous underling defects to protect people she cares about.
* EvenEvilHasStandards \\
There are lines even a villain won't cross.
* FaceRealization\\
A supposed villain realizes she's actually a good person.
* ForgivenButNotForgotten \\
The villain is forgiven ''this'' time, but he's reminded he ''won't'' be if it happens again.
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard\\
A villain who has reformed is spared the punishment she rightfully deserves for former misdeeds.
* GoAndSinNoMore \\
A villain realizes the error of his ways and prepares for punishment from the hero. Instead, the hero lets him go and tells him to atone for what he's done.
* GoodFeelsGood \\
A villain learns that being good leads to greater happiness.
* HeelFaceBrainwashing\\
The heroes use mind control or similar devices to turn an evil character good.
* HeelFaceMole\\
A villain fakes his or her conversion; essentially the inverted FakeDefector.
* HeelFaceReturn\\
A character who left the story as a villain returns as a hero.
* HeelFaceTurn\\
The general trope for any morality switch from evil to good.
** HighHeelFaceTurn\\
If the villain has only one female associate, she will betray him.
* HeelFaithTurn\\
Religion or a religious experience turns a character from evil to good.
* HeelRaceTurn \\
An entire race of people goes from evil to good.
* HeelRealization\\
An evil character admits (if only to herself) that her actions are evil.
* IgnorantMinion \\
A minion who is clueless about his employer's true villainous nature, and who may jump ship at once when the truth is out.
* InLoveWithTheMark\\
"I was sent to destroy you, but I just couldn't do it."
* KarmaHoudini (sometimes)\\
A villain who escapes the consequences of his villainy might step back and reevaluate his life.
* KillMeNowOrForeverStayYourHand\\
The hero offers his antagonist a chance to kill him, knowing the other person isn't so far gone as to commit murder.
* LittleBrotherIsWatching\\
A villain converts because she doesn't want someone who looks up to her to also become a villain.
* LoveRedeems\\
The hero's unconditional love for another makes her change her evil ways.
** DefectingForLove\\
A female character who's on the evil side falls in love with the hero and joins his side.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil \\
A {{Mook}} who simply doesn't know ''how'' to be evil, even if he wants to be.
* MookFaceTurn\\
The villain's loyal followers become the hero's loyal allies.
** MistreatmentInducedBetrayal\\
The villain's loyal followers defect to the hero after the villain makes it clear he doesn't care ''what'' happens to them.
* MonsterAdventurers\\
Creatures who are generally disposable {{Mook}}s decide they want the PlotArmor that comes with being a hero.
* MustMakeAmends\\
A character who has done an evil act seeks to make it right.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone\\
A character's HeelRealization delivers a weight of remorse, which may drive her toward the path of atonement.
* ThePardon \\
Bob's past misdeeds have all been forgiven and forgotten. Will he decide now is the time to leave his old life and start over as a good person?
* PowerOfTrust\\
After seeing that the hero trusts her, the villain decides she wants to live up to that faith.
* RapePortrayedAsRedemption\\
Characters who are raped automatically have a change in their behavior.
* RedemptionDemotion \\
A character who is overwhelmingly powerful as a villain becomes merely average as a hero.
* RedemptionEarnsLife\\
Convert and live.
* RedemptionEqualsAffliction\\
Convert and suffer crippling injury or a huge loss.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath\\
Convert and die, but at least you won't die evil.
* RedemptionEqualsSex\\
Convert and you'll get some.
* RedemptionInTheRain\\
Convert and let the rain metaphorically wash you clean.
* RedemptionPromotion \\
A comedic, ineffectual villain becomes a {{Badass}} once they start fighting for good.
* RedemptionQuest\\
A former villain accepts an ImpossibleTask or other difficult quest in hope of earning forgiveness.
* ReformedButNotTamed\\
A character joins the side of good while retaining his villainous qualities.
* ReformedButRejected\\
A villain seeking redemption finds that no one trusts him.
* ReformedCriminal\\
A former expert in law-breaking now spends his time catching lawbreakers.
* RegretfulTraitor\\
The betrayer has second thoughts and tries to make amends to those he betrayed.
* RestoredMyFaithInHumanity\\
A character who believes that HumansAreBastards soon comes to the realization that [[RousseauWasRight they aren't.]]
* RivalsTeamUp\\
Two opponents (neither of which may be truly evil) join forces against a more villainous threat.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere\\
A villain's less-evil forces decide the master's evil cause isn't worth dying for.
* SexFaceTurn\\
Sex with the hero converts the villain to the side of good.
* SymbioticPossession \\
A [[DemonicPossession demon]] (or any other sentient force) takes control of a person's body, but the host manages to befriend him, turning him into an ally.
* TearsOfRemorse\\
An evil character's potential for redemption shows when s/he sheds tears over an evil action.
* TookALevelInKindness\\
A once [[{{Jerkass}} cruel and unfriendly character]] becomes a NiceGuy.
* VillainousBSOD\\
A villain overcome with the weight of his/her evil deeds may become a hero to atone for them
* WelcomeBackTraitor\\
A character who betrayed the team is EasilyForgiven.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove\\
A villain feels love for the first time and is shaken out of his/her evil ways.
* WhiteSheep\\
A good character has difficulty fitting in with his evil family, and often turns against them.
* WorthyOpponent\\
When the hero and the villain begin to operate more-or-less from the same side, while remaining rivals.


[[folder: Either ]]

* AmbiguouslyEvil\\
A character appears to be a villain, but has yet to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant\\
The villains (or heroes) turn a powerful but neutral third party against them.
* BecomingTheMask\\
A character pretending to be a {{Face}} or {{Heel}} is no longer pretending
* BreakupBreakout\\
Characters who used to be partners split up as one becomes more popular.
* NobleDemon\\
A villain who isn't 'good' but who never goes all that far into evil
* TemporarilyAVillain\\
Going from hero to villain and back.
The alignment change of an individual character may be caused by (or have repercussions on) his/her relationship with others.
* BringThemAround\\
A hero or villain switching sides needs to convince his underlings to join him.
* DefectorFromDecadence\\
A former member of a villainous (or heroic) group switches sides because she no longer enjoys being a member.
* EpiphanyTherapy\\
Allies help a character overcome a personal/psychological issue which is affecting his moral development.
* EvilIsEasy \\
Will you take the easy and fast way to the top, or the long, hard, and more rewarding way? Evil people will choose the former.
* FaceHeelDoubleTurn\\
A hero turns evil at the same time as a villain turns good.
* FreakOut\\
Suffering a permanent alignment change due to unbearable mental/physical/psychological stress.
* FreudianExcuse \\
Where the turn is caused by a traumatic childhood incident. Letting it go unchecked tends to leads to a FaceHeelTurn, treating it tends to lead to a HeelFaceTurn.
* GoingNative\\
A character adopts the customs and morality of a group which s/he was originally sent to infiltrate.
* GoodGirlGoneBad\\
A female character who changed from good to bad after [[MoralEventHorizon going through]] [[BreakTheCutie hard experiences]].
* HazyFeelTurn \\
Switching sides in a situation where neither side is particularly good or evil.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor \\
Unable to decides whether you're good or evil.
* KarmaMeter\\
"By kicking that dog, you earned 20 Villain Points!"
* LiteralChangeOfHeart\\
Effecting morality change by removing a bad heart and replacing it with a good one (or vice versa).
* MirrorMoralityMachine\\
AppliedPhlebotinum changes a character to the opposite of what s/he was before.
* MoralityAdjustment\\
Becoming more or less of a hero/villain without making an alignment change.
* MotiveDecay \\
A villain gradually discards the reasons why they became evil in the first place, either losing their sympathy if they keep at it or give up their villainy after no longer caring about their FreudianExcuse
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch\\
If Bob the Spikey comes from a race of ChaoticEvil beast-men, expect Bob to be a pacifist who rescues kittens from trees.
* SuddenHumility\\
A character suddenly finds him/herself in a difficult position another is routinely in and realizes the hardships it involves.
* TheyStillBelongToUsLecture\\
Villains attempt to drive a wedge between a reformed villain and his heroic allies.
* TomatoInTheMirror\\
"The villain was me all along!"
* TraumaCongaLine \\
When a hero or villain has so many things go wrong at once that they lose faith in their old ways and explore 'the other side'.
* WildCard\\
"What side am I on, you ask? [[Film/DickTracy The side I'm always on: mine.]]"


[[folder: Specific Aversions/Subversions ]]
where an [[HeelFaceIndex alignment shift]] ''should'' occur but [[StatusQuoIsGod does not]].
* EnemyMine \\
Even though the villain came and saved the day, it was only a temporary thing not caused by a change of heart.
* EasyRoadToHell \\
In universes with this in effect, it's impossible not to be defined as "evil".
* TheFarmerAndTheViper \\
A character is set up to be redeemed through kindness or ThePowerOfTrust, but it's shown that it didn't work at all.
* GoKartingWithBowser \\
("Hey, Skeletor - this is He-Man. [[VillainsOutShopping Wanna go to the mall this afternoon?]]")
* HeelFaceDoorSlam \\
The villain ''wanted'' to reform, but it was too late.
* HeroicHeelizationSpeech\\
The hero admits that he doesn't care if his actions are evil.
* IgnoredEpiphany \\
"MyGodWhatHaveIDone... Actually, come to think of it, I've done ''nothing''."
* KickTheSonOfABitch \\
A character does something nasty to show how evil they are, but it falls flat because [[AssholeVictim the victim seriously deserved it]].
* NeutralityBacklash\\
A character suffers the ramifications of choosing neither sides.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene \\
The heroes KickTheDog (or worse) in an inexcusable way without experiencing a HeelFaceTurn, because WarIsHell and even TheHero can't maintain their goodness throughout it.
* PostMortemConversion\\
A character who died a villain is remembered as a hero.
* RedemptionFailure \\
A formerly-evil character ''almost'' reaches redemption... and then stuff happens that forces them back into villainy against their will.
* RejectedApology \\
A character's heart-felt apology is rejected by another.
* SlowlySlippingIntoEvil \\
Gradually becoming evil without a marked alignment change.
* VillainyDiscretionShot \\
A character is saved from BaitTheDog or [[MoralEventHorizon worse]] because their evil acts are glossed over by RuleOfEmpathy.