->''"The most terrible thing in the world is that everyone has their reasons."''
-->-- '''Octave''', ''Film/TheRulesOfTheGame''

In [[BlackAndWhiteMorality some stories]], the good guys are squeaky embodiments of shiny goodness that fight bearded stage magicians who cackle a lot. Then again, sometimes you [[WhiteAndGrayMorality have stories]] where your caped crusaders largely go up against the misguided and distraught. [[GrayAndGreyMorality Other stories]] might have the pragmatic freedom fighters against a government who alternately sing orphans to sleep or murder their kittens. Still [[BlackAndGrayMorality other stories]] have the world's mightiest, most murderous, most-pants-wettingest "[[ComicBook/TheAuthority heroes]]" you've ever seen against a guy who made entire worlds into slave-states for [[{{Greed}} profit]] and [[ForTheEvulz kicks]].

Then you have stories that don't fit into any category like this.

Rather than discrete groups or distinct moral systems, you have a sliding scale, and all groups and characters fall somewhere between "Hero" or "Good" at the furthest extreme and "Villain" or "Evil" at the other extreme. In most cases, the people closest toward the "Hero" end of the scale will be the main characters, but they're usually not perfect (and they can become even less perfect as time goes on). Their opponents fall further toward the "Villain" end of the scale, more often than not, with some that are so close to the Villain end that they don't really have any heroic qualities.

In short, none of the groups fit cleanly into the White-Gray-Black categorization, as all of them do things both good and evil with varying degrees of frequency. This generally makes for more dynamic stories, as you're never sure if the heroes will stay on the straight and narrow or villains will keep wreaking havoc.

See also ShadesOfConflict and SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains. When you've got a specific group to which this trope applies, you've got a FourPhilosophyEnsemble. Compare TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil along with WhiteAndGreyMorality. Contrast EvilVersusEvil, where nothing is good or morally ambiguous about the characters. Also contrast GoodVersusGood where nobody is truly evil.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' becomes this as the story develops, contrasting strongly with [[TheHero Eren Yeager]]'s original view of the world as [[BlackAndWhiteMorality Black and White]]. The story fully explores the themes of HeWhoFightsMonsters, with heroes ranging from the idealistic to the pragmatic and villains that are complex individuals driven by understandable motivations.
* ''LightNovel/TheAsteriskWar'': Only the protagonists and Sylvia are in the White area of morality. Several characters like Claudia are willing to use underhanded means to achieve noble goals. Others like Irene and Orphelia used to be good people until they were forced into villainy by circumstances beyond their control. The Integrated Enterprises Foundation is a power-hungry MegaCorp that keeps entire countries in poverty simply because it's profitable to them.
* The manga version of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade''. Azmaria, Mary Magdalene and most of the members of the Magdalene Order are clearly heroes. Rosette's very heroic, but [[NunTooHoly has a number of vices and character flaws that get the best of her]]; Chrono is kind and gentle but has a dark past (including [[HeelFaceTurn formerly being one of the villains]]); and Satella is mostly concerned with her own goals but still shows empathy towards others. The Sinners, although being the main villains, are mostly in the gray, from Joshua (who is devoted to Aion because the demon horns on his head are [[ComesGreatInsanity making him lose his mind]], but who has understandable and occasionally noble motives) to Shader (who hates violence and expresses remorse for her actions but goes along with Aion because she believes in his ideals) to Aion himself, who is a WellIntentionedExtremist. The closest to the actual "villain" scale are the other demons, who are either beasts who take pleasure in attacking humans or soldiers sent to kill the Sinners and whoever gets in their way--but some of ''these'' are somewhat sympathetic, since many of them are simply [[spoiler:aliens stranded on a strange planet who are struggling to survive and believe in a lie perpetuated for generations]]. The morality structure is explained by the mangaka as being inspired by the idea that people aren't ''born'' evil, but ''become'' evil through their selfishness.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': There is ''one'' genuinely, unquestionably good person, [[RebelliousPrincess Euphemia]], ([[NaiveEverygirl Shirley]] is debatable, because while she is certainly kind-hearted and sweet, she is only concerned about her own feelings and school life while all hell is breaking loose outside, so she can come across as somewhat self-centred). At the same time, there is ''one'' genuinely, unquestionably evil person, [[BloodKnight Luciano Bradley]]. Every other character falls somewhere in between, with most of the "good guys" being flawed and somewhat hypocritical, and most of the "bad guys" being either fiercely nationalistic or a WellIntentionedExtremist.
** Taken to extremes with the main character, who can be convincingly argued to fall under [[http://alsosprachodin.deviantart.com/art/Lelouch-s-Alignment-Chart-148296568 any moral alignment]] depending on the situation.
* ''LightNovel/DateALive'': Characters range from idealistic heroes (Shido and his allies), the cynical but well-intentioned (Origami and the AST), [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] (Kurumi) and the supremely evil (Westcott).
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' has a pretty wide variety of character morality-wise, and who is truly good and truly evil is often discussed by the characters and a major plot point. Some of the characters do mostly good things for selfish motivations while others do terrible things with noble purposes in mind. Pretty much any character that declares themselves completely good is portrayed as misguided or near psychotic and good luck trying to establish with any certainty who are the anti-heroes and who the anti-villains, towards the end of the story the triumphant character even makes a reflection about the subjective nature of good and evil.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' where many of the protagonists are former villains [[HeelFaceTurn who change sides]] after meeting Goku.
** ''Manga/DragonBallZ'' takes this further. Many characters (such as Piccolo, Vegeta, and Android 18) start out as evil and never truly become good (at least compared to the villains that they and the other protagonists fight), but they are still accepted as allies of the characters who are actually good. Characters like Goku seem to have no problem associating with them, so long as their actions don't threaten anyone. And then of course there are the irredeemable villains like Frieza and Cell.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': The Elric brothers and Winry are the most purely heroic characters; the heroes from the State Military are more gray, being former war criminals who want to atone for their sins; Greed and Scar are fairly sympathetic antagonists [[spoiler:until they become {{Anti Hero}}es]]; there's Barry the Chopper who is the TokenEvilTeammate for the State Military heroes- he's clearly Evil; finally, the other villain characters are definitely very far down toward the evil extreme of the scale (Shou Tucker and "Dr Goldtooth"). [[spoiler:And even one of the worst villains [[RaiseHimRightThisTime is spared]]]]. Then of course we get [[BlueAndOrangeMorality Kimblee]].
%%* ''KarakuridoujiUltimo''. Naturally, as it's a series about the different kinds of good and evil.
%% * ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes''
* ''Manga/{{Gantz}}'' has this, as the hunters are very different in terms of morality, ranging from an IdealHero like Katou to a SociopathicHero like Nishi. The same applies to the aliens, as they are pacific (until attacked) in the early missions, but more hostile kinds of aliens appeared later on.
* ''OnePiece'' is a '''''huge''''' example of this. The protagonists are [[ChaoticNeutral morally ambiguous]] pirates that are motivated by self-interest and [[ToBeAMaster personal goals]] rather than any abstract moral considerations, but tend to do good anyway by defeating more evil pirates (or marines) that happened to [[ItsPersonal do something to offend them]]. Other pirates can be anything from ChaoticGood adventurers to SelfishEvil [[JerkAss jerkasses]]. Likewise Marines can be anything from [[HeroAntagonist legitimate heroes]] to [[PunchClockVillain guys who just want a check]] to [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-meaning extremists]] to [[KnightTemplar Knight Templars]]. One Piece characters have all kinds of varying motivations and alignments - it very much depends on the individual person rather than what group they belong to, which is quite realistic.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' is all over the place. This trope becomes most distinct after it's revealed that [[spoiler:Jack isn't the squeaky-clean hero everyone believed him to be but rather a TragicVillain driven to insanity by his [[LoveMakesYouCrazy love for Lacie]]. Furthermore, Oswald/Glen isn't the ManipulativeBastard BigBad he's been portrayed as but an endearingly socially awkward WellIntentionedExtremist who hasn't handled being betrayed one too many times by those close to him so well]]. And that's only ''two'' [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters of the characters]].
* Despite being the protagonists of the show (as well as priestesses), the Sybillae of ''Anime/{{Simoun}}'' have moralities that are all over the range. On one end, you have the innocent Limone and the truly and actively ''good'' Rodoreamon, Yun, and Morinas. Then there are the more ambiguous Paraietta, Mamiina, and Dominura, and the self-absorbed and venal Floe. The romantic leads Aaeru and Neviril and the nations of Argentum and Plumbum are a little hard to place, while the Defense Minister of Simulacrum is decidedly at the bottom of the proverbial drain.
%%* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' is all about this, especially from the Chapter Black saga onward.
* ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'' [[DarkerAndEdgier eventually]] [[CerebusSyndrome divulges]] into this [[spoiler:when the MythArc [[AnotherDimension interdimensional]] war was revealed]]. Sort by factions and individual characters, we have: White (the You Show Duel School, Yuya, Yuzu and Gongenzaka) vs. Lighter Grey (Yuto [[spoiler:plus [[HeelFaceTurn Selena]]]]) vs. Darker Gray (the BigGood LDS, Kurosaki [[spoiler:and [[TheHero Yuya]]'s [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Berserker mode]] for kicking only [[KickTheSonOfABitch assholes]]]]) vs. Black ([[spoiler:[[ForTheEvulz the]] [[LackOfEmpathy heartless]] [[AcademyOfEvil Aca]][[WarForFunAndProfit demia]]]]). Yugo [[spoiler:and the Synchro Dimension]] didn't appear enough to sort into these shade of conflict while a few of the {{Asshole Victim}}s are just {{Jerkass}}es. [[spoiler:Sora]] seems to go from Dark Gray to Black with a few PetTheDog moments, before beginning a HeelFaceTurn due to a HeelRealization. Unusual for a ''[[Franchise/YuGiOh YGO]]'' franchise because it focuses on [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a lot more characters]] at the same time than its predecessors, allowing for more shades of conflict during one arc. More amazingly, the anime has a [[GenreShift change in genre]] and in morality within only about ''30'' episodes, impressive for a Shonen series.
** There's also some work put into showing how characters who do evil things think and why they do what they do. [[spoiler: Sora]] and [[spoiler: Dennis]] both have a lot of humanizing traits. [[spoiler: Serena]] shows the mentality that leads people to becoming Black, since she wanted to be [[spoiler: a soldier]] until she stopped to consider that her victims might be ''innocent''. [[spoiler: Sora]] suffers from a bad case of FantasticRacism, but is shown to have grown up with no friends, trained not to ask questions and obey orders unquestioningly, and [[spoiler: starts thinking for himself and avoiding commands [[MoralityPet once he makes real friends for the first time in his life]], and begins to have a HeelRealization]]. In fact, all the characters from [[spoiler:Academia]] are either TrappedInVillainy which leads them to despair and ThenLetMeBeEvil, or see themselves as ProudWarriorRaceGuys with UndyingLoyalty to their leader, even the nastier characters [[spoiler:like [[TheDreaded Yuri]]]]. Speaking of Yuri, it becomes clear that his twisted personality is a result of being raised as a monster by a man who, due to preconceived notions, saw him as a "demon" and rewarded him for doing evil, which was the ''only'' time someone paid personal attention to him. [[spoiler: Kurosaki]] is a [[spoiler: genocide survivor]] and a ShellShockedVeteran trying to rescue his friends and family, who has become paranoid and [[WellIntentionedExtremist ruthless]] due to all he's lost. Reiji's invasion of privacy and ruthlessness has saved the lives of the three LID students and enabled him to ensure that [[spoiler: his dimension isn't caught by surprise and destroyed the same way the Xyz dimension was]]. [[spoiler: Duel Chaser 227]] became a CorruptCop in order to avoid poverty. Most of [[spoiler: the Tops]] actually believe the lie that they are equals and friends with [[spoiler: the Commons]], when they're actually the oppressive ruling class in a CrapsackWorld. [[spoiler: [[TheScrappy The Commons]]]] are starving and manipulated by their oppressors BreadAndCircuses, but while the crowd can be nasty every individual member that we meet is genuinely nice or has a HiddenHeartOfGold somewhere. [[spoiler: Shinji]] truly believes the only way to change the system [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption is through a violent revolution]] and [[spoiler:his rebellion]] gets swallowed by BlackAndWhiteInsanity, but ultimately [[spoiler:pull a mass HeelFaceTurn]]. Jean-Michel Roget [[JerkWithAHeartOfJerk is just a greedy bastard]], although he tries to justify his actions to himself by claiming MightMakesRight. Kaito is in the same boat as Kurosaki, except [[spoiler: every member of his family was killed, whereas Kurosaki still had his sister, and Kaito thus pushed everyone away to avoid being hurt- causing him to become HeWhoFightsMonsters even more than Kurosaki.]] [[spoiler: Edo]] feels TrappedInVillainy, and once he finally breaks out of it he manages to abuse the aforementioned UndyingLoyalty of [[spoiler: the Academia soldiers]] to convince his subordinates to [[spoiler: get the soldiers in Heartland to pull a mass HeelFaceTurn]]. Leo Akaba [[spoiler: doesn't think that anything in the four dimensions really "counts" and just wants to get his daughter back]], but he goes ''far'' beyond WellIntentionedExtremist, fucks up royally in the process, and refuses to listen to any perspective but his own. Even [[spoiler: Zarc was pushed to the edge by his need to fulfill the sick desires of his fans, as well as the implications that he had ability to understand the pain of duel spirits when everyone was forcing them into battle]].

[[folder:Animated Film]]
* Amazingly, a few Disney movies have this morality scale:
** ''{{Disney/Frozen}}'' makes use of this as part of a GenreDeconstruction of the typical Disney fairytale. The only true heroic characters are [[GenkiGirl Princess Anna of Arendelle]] (who, as a Deconstruction of the typical Disney heroine, suffers a few WhatAnIdiot and WrongGenreSavvy moments), Kristoff (who's gruff and standoffish, but turns out to be a JerkWithAHeartOfGold) and [[PluckyComicRelief Olaf]] (as a living symbol of the bond between the two sisters). [[AnIcePerson Queen Elsa]], a Deconstruction for the Evil Queen archetype, is a {{Dark Magical|Girl}} [[PersonOfMassDestruction Girl of Mass Destruction]] who can create ''sentient life'' and declares herself AboveGoodAndEvil. But she soon suffers a severe case of PowerIncontinence that plunges her country in an EndlessWinter [[spoiler:that she eventually learns how to lift]] and has one TraumaCongaLine after the next. Anna and Elsa's parents, serving as a deconstruction for the typical Missing Parent, are just [[ParentsAsPeople regular people]] who are UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom by isolating Elsa (and Anna) from the rest of the world for so many years. The trolls, despite their best intentions, are rather [[PoorCommunicationKills vague]] on their instructions and caused the above misunderstanding on the part of the Arendelle royal family. The Duke of Weselton is a NotSoHarmlessVillain who is very [[ItsAllAboutMe egocentric]] but he is a WellIntentionedExtremist who wants to save Arendelle from the winter Elsa cast (if only for selfish reasons). [[spoiler:And then there's the Deconstruction of PrinceCharming, Prince Hans who is a manipulative would-be usurper but has, according to WordOfGod, a FreudianExcuse]].
** ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', despite (or perharps ''because of'') its {{Disneyfication}} from the [[Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame source material]], which ran on GrayAndGreyMorality. [[GentleGiant Quasimodo]] and the [[AllLovingHero Archdeacon]] are the only truly good characters in the movie (and even the former has several LetsGetDangerous moments). Esmeralda is a KnightInSourArmor. Clopin and the gypsies in general are {{Unscrupulous Hero}}es. Phoebus is a PragmaticHero in sour armor [[spoiler:who later has a HeelFaceTurn]]. The crowd of Parisian citizens start off as a bunch of bullies that mock Quasimodo, but [[EveryoneHasStandards end up siding with the heroes when Frollo goes too far]] and accept Quasimodo at the end. Even [[BigBad Judge Frollo]], for all his [[ChurchgoingVillain nasti]][[EgocentricallyReligious ness]], [[TheSociopath sociopathy]] and [[WouldHurtAChild monstrosity]], is given a very humane and relatable moment in his VillainSong "Hellfire."
** ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''. The heroine is nice, loves her family, and saves the country, but gets an ArsonMurderAndLifesaving speech for it. Her closest companions are a selfish attention-seeker with a conscience (Mushu), [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold two mundane jerks who get better]] (Ling and Yao), and [[GentleGiant a guy who is so unbelievably nice]] it's a wonder he ever made it to hero of war status (Chien-Po). Her authority figures include several mostly nice but not perfect people, several good-but-hard people, and two people who are just flat-out mean, one of whom--Chi-Fu--is bad enough that he operates as a [[TokenEvilTeammate civil antagonist]]. And her one enemy with real characterization is outright sadistic to the point he deliberately slaughters a village of civilians including children, and yet is the ''only'' character in the movie who never expresses surprise at a woman fighting him or brings up her gender as a negative.
** ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'', as a film exploring prejudice, shows varying degrees of prejudice among characters: Judy tries to be anti-prejudice [[spoiler: but has some implicit prejudices of her own she needs to overcome]]. Nick lives up to the "sly fox" stereotype and is cynical about animals' abilities to overcome them [[spoiler: because he tried and failed to in his backstory, but eventually does, thanks to Judy]]. Bogo is unwilling to budge on his preconceived notions [[spoiler: until he sees results, at which point he does so unapologetically]]. Clawhauser is not malicious in any way but still stereotypes Judy out of innocent ignorance and then immediately apologizes for it. Judy's parents are kind, well-meaning people, who are openly prejudiced against predators, especially foxes [[spoiler: but get better thanks to Judy]]. Gideon Gray is shown as a kid attempting to reinforce predator superiority [[spoiler: but has grown out of it as a young adult]]. Lionheart leads a type of affirmative action program to get animals into non-traditional jobs but treats his own small animal assistant mayor like dirt [[spoiler: and was willing to kidnap several animals to protect himself from being a victim of prejudice]]. Bellwether is sweet and friendly, attempting to raise Judy up [[spoiler: while [[TheMole trying behind the scenes]] to systematically [[BigBad tear all predators down]], and willing to turn against Judy when she refuses to do the same]]. And Gazelle has reached a level of enlightenment few can.

* Creator/NeilGaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' was notable for dealing in multiple stories with highly gray, conflicted and deeply disturbed characters who are across the morality spectrum. Gaiman was also quite wary about invoking KarmicDeath and LaserGuidedKarma and as such a number of individuals who do bad, evil, and horrible things end up surviving and going unpunished. The protagonist, Dream of the Endless, is a primordial concept who has BlueAndOrangeMorality and a CodeOfHonour but he's also prone to jealous acts of cruelty, DisproportionateRetribution and much of his story-arc is about learning some humility. Most of his family are of a similar nature. The most likable, sane and "normal" of his family are ''Death'' and ''Destruction''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' demonstrates this trope. Each of the major characters is based around a different system of morality, and the conflict between these different moral outlooks drives much of the story.
** The Comedian is a Nihilist who sees the world as nothing but a joke, and just doesn't care about right or wrong, Rorschach is an Objectivist and a moral absolutist, [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity incapable of seeing the world in any terms other than Black and White]], Dr. Manhattan is [[BlueAndOrangeMorality so alienated from the human experience that the very concept of morality escapes him]], and Ozymandias favors a utilitarian ideal of doing good to build a better society, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans by any means necessary.]]
** What demonstrates this trope is that none of the characters are truly consistent to their ideas. The Comedian's facade of cynicism shatters utterly [[spoiler:and he turns out to be a lonely, self-loathing wreck who is truly pathetic on the inside. Dr. Manhattan, the most seemingly misanthropic of the superheroes, gives the ultimate HumansAreSpecial speech in the book. Ozymandias and Rorscharch follow an HourglassPlot: they at first see each other as being a guilty liberal (Ozymandias) and a fascist (Rorscharch). The morally absolute Rorscharch, who once justified Harry Truman's UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki, is stunned when Ozymandias launches a similarly brutal attack using the same justification. This time Rorscharch takes the opposite tack and denounces this action, willing to die rather than uphold this facade.]]
* Within the ''ComicBook/XMen'', Xavier, Cyclops, Wolverine and Cable all have different ideas about when its right to cross certain lines. To say nothing of when people like the White Queen or Magneto himself join the group. There are the outright villains like ''ComicBook/{{Apocalypse}}'' and Mister Sinister or the Sentinels, but much of the drama of the stories' most famous arcs deals with internal divisions and inner conflict, most painfully during the ''ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga'' where the X-Men, the Shi'ar Imperium, and Jean Grey have differing and believable reasons and arguments, and the only resolution is tragedy.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak'', a SonicTheHedgehog fanfic, takes place in a prison, and almost all the characters are morally dubious criminals, including those Sonic allies himself with. The most obvious exception is BigBad Mephiles.
* In ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland'', most of the cast are varying shades of gray, but the following are notable and/or representative:
** Black: Chris, {{the host}}. He shows a callous disregard for human life.
** Near-black: Heather, the {{alpha bitch}}. She seems to enjoy her antagonist role a little too much to be a “gray”; but unlike Chris, she draws the line at the prospect of bloodshed.
** Dark gray: Duncan, the juvenile {{delinquent}}. He’s an experienced knife fighter and tends to view girls as objects, but he has too many PetTheDog moments to be a “black”.
** Neutral gray: Chef Hatchet, Chris' aide. He’s a textbook PunchClockVillain. He understands and accepts the role of hardship in separating the game's contenders from the pretenders, but when approached with proper deference [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure he can sometimes be persuaded]] to give the petitioners more help than his duties require [[TheStarscream or even technically allow]], although he won't do anything that would affect the course of the game.
** Light gray: Katie and Sadie, the [[HeterosexualLifePartners co-dependent clones]]. They’re friendly, loyal and supportive, but are also willing to [[BewareTheNiceOnes get their hands dirty to get what they want]].
** Near-white: Courtney, the [[GoGetterGirl Muskies' nominal leader]]. She is well-meaning and compassionate, but is also willing to do [[IDidWhatIHadToDo what she thinks she must]].
** White: Bridgette, the {{granola girl}}. She’s almost [[IncorruptiblePurePureness incorruptibly pure]] and is the only contestant known to have mourned the [[RedShirt dead interns]] from the beginning.

* ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'': The heroes range from almost pure heroism to rather questionable, the antagonists range from evil to people who could be heroic under slightly different circumstances and/or are just victims of ValuesDissonance.
* ''Artemis Fowl'' is pretty much this for the first few books then leaning towards BlackAndGrayMorality towards the End. The Kitchen Sinkers are mostly Artemis (even towards the end) and the Fairy Counsel. The villains are pretty much black morality after book one. That is if you don't count Artemis.
* ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'': There are so many plots and counter-plots going on that this is bound to happen. The three heroes need to constantly reassess who they can trust depending on which evil plot they're fighting at the moment.
* In ''Literature/ChungKuo'', there are some very upstanding characters on both sides, who rub shoulders with pure villains.
* Daniel Suarez' ''Literature/{{Daemon}}'' and its sequel ''Freedom[[superscript:TM]]''. Apart from Roy Merritt, who earns immortalisation as a genuine embodiment of justice, the reader's perceptions of who the good guys and bad guys are is constantly changing.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': At the furthest extreme of the Hero end we have Michael Carpenter, [[RedBaron the Fist of God]], who only fights monsters, has a grand total of one recorded instance of swearing in the series proper (which was in a side story), and is all around about as wholesome as a person can be. Slightly away from the good extreme would be the majority of the series other heroes e.g. [[TheHero Harry Dresden]], he's a generally upstanding guy with a '''''massive''''' case of ChronicHeroSyndrome, but isn't above a bit of pragmatism if it's necessary. More towards the middle of the scale is [[MagicalSociety The White Council]] which is made up of plenty of KnightTemplar {{Jerkass}}es, but has methods which are shown to oftentimes be necessary. The main representative of dark grey is John Marcone, who is a ruthless crime boss, but ends up [[EnemyMine joining forces]] with Dresden more often than opposing him and '''''[[BerserkButton will not]]''''' [[EvenEvilHasStandards tolerate any violence against children]]. And when it comes to his usual criminal activities, he believes, as characters of his type often do, that crime's going to exist no matter what, and it's better than it be controlled by someone like him than descend into every-gang-for-itself warfare. As for the monsters of the setting, we have any one the supernatural villains, e.g. the Skinwalker, a terrifying and sadistic monster whose [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm true form]]'s mere sight is enough to send Harry into a HeroicBSOD. To top it off, we even have BlueAndOrangeMorality in the form of [[TheFairFolk the fae]], whose Winter Court [[spoiler:guards the universe against monsters from Outside, who don't ''enter'' reality so much as ''parasitize'' it]], and whose Summer Court [[spoiler:protects the universe from the Winter Court]]. On top of that, we find that Winter has the ability to be ''logical'' and stay its hand when it's best to in the long term, while Summer is more prone to going off half-cocked (and when a fae as powerful as the leaders of the courts does that, we can be talking armageddon.)
* Creator/BrandonSanderson's ''Literature/{{Elantris}}''. Furthest toward the Hero end, you have Sarene, who's upstanding but can be a little deceptive. A little further away from the Hero end, you've got Raoden, who resorts to some practical tactics. On a good deal toward the Villain side, you have Hrathen, but he shifts further toward Hero before the story is done with. All the way down at the Villain end, you have [[spoiler: Dilaf]].
** Also the case in his ''[[Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy Mistborn]]'' trilogy, with [[TheWisePrince Elend]], [[ActionGirl Vin]], [[BadassBookworm Sazed]], [[WarriorPoet Ham]], etc. on one end, characters such as [[GuileHero Kelsier]], [[NobleBigot Dockson]], [[JerkassFacade Breeze]], [[spoiler:[[IFightForTheStrongestSide Cett]], [[IDidWhatIHadToDo Rashek]], and Yomen]] falling somewhere in the middle, and [[spoiler: [[BigBad Ruin]]]] as an almost irredeemable force for evil.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is somewhere between this and BlackAndGrayMorality. The Death Eaters are pretty consistently on the black side, but the protagonists can vary from saints to assholes.
* In David Weber and Linda Evans' ''Literature/HellsGate'' series both Sharonans and Aracans are a hodgepodge of good, bad and in between, although Arcana in general has many factions with different goals (some gravitating towards the morality scale extremes), while Sharona is more unified and thus more uniformly ({{a lighter shade of|Gray}}) grey.
* ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' has their characters all over the map. On one side, there's Sanguinus, the MessianicArchetype of the piece, with Vulkan and Loken not too far behind, as both have blind spots in their consciences. Closer to gray, there's most of the "good"-aligned characters and some villains, like NobleDemon Magnus, who all have good intentions but a healthy dose of pragmatism. Some loyalists, such as shockingly brutal, but undyingly loyal Azaellon are in the deeper grays along with most of the traitors, including Horus himself, while series' resident HateSink Erebus occupies the deepest black. And then there's the Emperor, with whose morality your guess is as good as ours, and Chaos Gods, who run on {{Blue and Orange|Morality}}.
* Present in Madeleine L'Engle's ''A House Like a Lotus'', with the addition that even one person is never completely good or evil. It basically boils down to "people are complicated."
* ''Literature/LesMiserables'' is also a book with LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters that are, morally, all over the map. The character who ''does'' believe in BlackAndWhiteMorality, InspectorJavert, is no worse than LawfulNeutral but believes with all his might that Law = Good and anyone who breaks the law is evil forever. In this light, he continually tries to arrest Jean Valjean, a petty crook who skipped parole but did a HeelFaceTurn and made good. When Valjean's selfless virtue finally proves Javert's mindset wrong, the resulting cognitive dissonance makes him [[DrivenToSuicide throw himself off a bridge]].
%%* The {{Aesop}} of Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey''.
* ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}'' by Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt covers the entire scale of morality. White morality is represented by Beatrice (a good but still flawed DitzyGenius) and Sofia and Johan (who are close to being flawless). Grey morality is represented by Seth (a JerkWithAHeartOfGold), Jacques (Seth's equally morally ambiguous friend) and Vivienne (a GoodBadGirl). Black morality is represented by the three (!) abusive misogynistic villains.
** ''Betvingade'' has a similar set-up. White morality is represented by Illiana and a few minor characters. Grey morality is represented by Markus and his friend Stellan. Black morality is represented by [[BigScrewedUpFamily most of Illiana's family members]], and by Roland Birgersson (a sociopathic murderer).
* ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'': Morality ranges from ActualPacifist Morgon [[spoiler:though even he spends most of the second book hunting someone down with express intent to kill them]], pragmatic but still very good-aligned Raederle, very grey [[spoiler:Deth]], whose actions verge on NecessarilyEvil sometimes but whose intentions are good, pretty damn awful [[spoiler:Ghistelwhchlohm, who is the type to MindRape someone for a year to get a piece of information]], and the shape-changers, who verge on BlueAndOrangeMorality.
* J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-Earth, especially in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''. On the heroic side of things you have most of the more noble characters like Frodo, Eärendil and Beren (though, even they aren't immune from making mistakes and moral lapses) and most of the Valar who always mean well but often make misguided choices. All the free peoples vary greatly, with morally ambigous characters like Thingol, Malgor, Túrin, Mîm, Fëanor, Gollum, and Thorin hovering in the middle and with Morgoth and his directly corrupted minons at the evil extreme. However, the moral compass of the series varies between each story, with ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' mostly (though not completely) revolving around BlackAndWhiteMorality while {{Black And Grey|Morality}} dominates ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' and ''Literature/TheHobbit'' (with shades of GreyAndGreyMorality in both).
* Given that ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters and no clear heroes or villains, it's no surprise that the morality spectrum comes in about a thousand shades of gray. You've got extremely honorable, well-meaning people like Ned Stark and Brienne of Tarth, bastards like Gregor Clegane and Ramsay Bolton, and more [[AntiHero Anti-Heroes]] and [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] than can be listed. Among the "anti-"s, fans can't even agree which ones of them are anti-''heroes'' and which are anti-''villains''. It's largely a matter of perspective.
* Justified in the ''Literature/RealmOfTheElderlings'' series. The Six Duchies folk, the Bingtowners, and the Outislanders all have very different standards of morality, depending on their previous histories, and even those groups are not morally homogenous, with each individual character bringing their own reasons and morals to the story.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Series/Deadwood}}'' uses this to some extent; much of the early part of Season one casts the character of Al Swearengen as the most morally corrupt character in town. That is, of course, until Cy Toliver shows up, who quickly quickly steals the spotlight as villain most evil. Al is made to look almost a hero as the result. This is possibly subverted however, as the show in general uses the morality kitchen sink, and both Cy and Al do indulge in purely "good" acts on occasion. And then George Hearst shows up in season three, a wealthy sociopath who cannot abide things not going his own way and sets about turning Deadwood into a CompanyTown.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Or rather, white and black plus a thousand shades of grey. Between Ned Stark on the one hand and Ramsay on the other, every one of the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters has his own unique shade of grey.
* ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' is a rare Toku example [[note]] Tokus generally tell stories that depict BlackAndWhiteMorality[[/note]]. [[TheHero Shinji Kido/Ryuki]] and [[FortuneTeller Tezuka Miyuki/Raia]] are unambiguously good, if not flawed in their reluctance to fight against the other Riders. While [[TheRival Ren Akiyama/Knight]] and [[AmoralAttorney Shuichi Kitaoka/Zolda]] are both portrayed sympathetically and are more often than not Shinji's allies, they're still complicit in the Rider War's continuation, making them land mostly in the grey territory. Most of the other Riders such as [[AxCrazy Takeshi Asakura/Ouja]] and [[TheSociopath Satoru Toujou/Tiger]] fall into the evil category, and even [[BigBad Shiro Kanzaki]] can be argued to be within a very dark shade of grey.
* ''{{Series/LOST}}''. Most of the characters are [[AntiHero Anti-Heroes]] or [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]]. The show's BigGood is still a ManipulativeBastard who is the embodiment of GoodIsNotNice, and the BigBad is ultimately given a rather sympathetic motivation (although by the time of the show's main events he is still unmistakably at best an AntiVillain). There are only a few characters who could be considered unambiguously good or unambiguously bad (Martin Keamy, Locke's father) characters, but the distinction between good and evil is still there, even if the viewer's perception of which characters are which is constantly changing.
* From the directors of the above mentioned Lost is ''Series/OnceUponATime''. On one end of the spectrum you have people like Prince Charming as the heroic, noble and sacrificial if not sometimes pragmatic hero. And on the other, you have people like [[spoiler: Peter Pan and the Black Fairy]], manipulative evil bastards (or bitches) who only cares about themselves. However, in between you have everyone else, including several villains like Regina and Gold who are on a road to redemption, villains like Cora who slowly became worse despite sympathetic beginnings, and TheMessiah who's also an Anti-Hero.
* ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'' doesn't have even one character who is simply ''good''. Even the nicest, most moral characters, like Poussey or Fisher, have distinct moral flaws. And this isn't limited to the prison walls - some of the most selfish and mean people in the series have never set foot inside a prison. Things are the most [[GreyAndGreyMorality grey]] when it comes to the main characters, who constantly slide on the scale between AntiHero and [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Anti Villian]] - most notably Piper.
* The main cast of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' runs the gamut from [[TheCape do-gooder "boy scout" heroes]] like Ray, to {{Pragmatic Hero}}es like Sara, to [[AntiHero well-intentioned but often selfish characters]] like Rip, to [[NobleDemon seemingly villainous characters with a hidden good side]] like Snart, all the way to [[HeroicComedicSociopath Mick Rory]], an unrepentent thief, murderer, and arsonist who only joins the team's ostensibly heroic mission because he likes the company and because it gives him lots of opportunities to indulge his violent tendencies.
* ''{{Series/The100}}'' makes sure that black, grey and white are represented among all of the three main groups (sky people, grounders and mountain men). Clearly good characters, such as Clarke and Lincoln, can do or turn a blind eye to terrible things, and act selfishly. Monsters such as Pike and Cage are still shown to care about their people. And most characters are just grey (Lexa, Jaha), conflicted (Finn,Dante Wallace), or bounce all over the range (Murphy, Bellamy).

[[folder:Table-Top Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and spin-off ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' in most of its settings has this. There may be a necromancer who is repeating Mengele's work on his victims, a paladin who spends all his days feeding the poor and treating the sick when not rushing off to battle nasties like the necromancer, amoral thieves who just look to make a quick coin clipping purses in the market, well-meaning but ruthless knights who seek to put down the aforementioned thieves without realizing their oppressive lords have beggared the people, and a cult to a god of chaos and magic whose followers BlueAndOrangeMorality pushes them to do things no one understands. Really, the limitation is the player's and GM's imagination and their willingness (or not) to have certain things in their game. They may even be in the same AdventureTown. Newer, more "mature" games often aim at the more limiting Gray and Gray or Black and Gray morality.
** TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} may most exemplify this. You could be a divine servant from a fantasy version of Dante's Purgatorio, a SnarkKnight anti-hero out of fantasy Charles Dickens, or a monster from a Milton-like hell. The various groups in the game are all over the map on their ethical stance.
* While most of the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' has BlackAndGrayMorality, ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheDreaming'' and ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' follow this trope.
** Most Changelings are Seelie dominant and generally good, but not necessarily supremely virtuous. Most Unseelie fae are still decent folks. Some Seelie and a few Unseelie are so old-school knightly they might as well be D&D paladins. Seelie and Unseelie villains alike range from operatic HarmlessVillain to ruthless PragmaticVillainy to cannibalistic {{Blood Knight}}s to EldritchAbomination-worshipers.
** Mages as individuals are usually trying to achieve good ends. The main conflict is RomanticismVersusEnlightenment, with the Romantic Traditions embracing old school mysticism and trying to awaken humanity and the Enlightened Technocratic Union trying to empower humanity ForScience. Then there are the EldritchAbomination-serving Nephandi and the insane-as-all-Hell RealityWarper Marauders. The conflict started with the Traditions clearly being morally superior to the Technocrats, but the Technocracy got a little CharacterDevelopment later on and it became very hard to say either side was right. Individual mages in each group were all over the map, while the Marauders are very much BlueAndOrangeMorality and the Nephandi are a faction serving evil masters.
* While all Table Top Role Playing Games allow you to make a character who is anywhere on the map, different games have within their "default" tone different views. Please consider a game's "normal" tone and not what players might decide to do. For example, you ''could'' play a completely virtuous character in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', but that doesn't change the fact that it's a dark and grimy cyberpunk world where amoral mercenaries work for backstabbing corporations and inhuman spirits.

* ''Theater/{{Wicked}}'' adds a dimension of moral gray to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''. Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) is a WellIntentionedExtremist and TragicHero who is trying to destroy the Wizard's apartheid regime; the Wizard himself is a sad and lonely old man and WindmillPolitical who desperately wants to be loved and uses Oz's talking animal population as an "other" to unite the Ozians against an enemy and in adoration of him; while Glinda is a StepfordSmiler and AttentionWhore who becomes the Wizard's propaganda tool, which she rationalises as giving people hope and someone to look up to. All of them are fairly sympathetic and none of them are evil, but they all make bad choices and all have their regrets.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Hoo boy does ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' have this going on in later games. It was initially seen as a BlackAndGrayMorality conflict at first, but then the plot and characters got fleshed out significantly so now its pretty hard to pin down who's a clear cut hero or villain. Most cast members are mostly motivated by their own personal interests rather than concepts of "Good" or "Evil", and they tend to fight when these interests clash with one another. The cast ranges from the idealistic, to cynical but well meaning, to the sadistic sociopaths.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has Praetoria, which was assumed at first to be a standard MirrorUniverse. [[{{Retcon}} Then we find out]] in ''Going Rogue'' that Praetoria is actually very much this. The members of the Resistance and Loyalists alike are scattered all across the morality spectrum.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has shades of this. The only wholly villainous faction are the Darkspawn and even they become more sympathetic in ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]''. ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' takes it even further to the point that there is no BigBad responsible for everything going wrong. Every major faction in the game is sympathetic to some degree and all of them are partially responsible for the DownerEnding. The games do have a few truly heroic and truly monstrous people, but they have surprisingly little impact on the setting as a whole.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series as a whole fits. In each game, individual quests, quest lines, and characters can have moralities all over the various scales. Naturally, the choices of the player determine where on the scale the PlayerCharacter falls. This can range from the purest KnightInShiningArmor to a thieving, murdering psychopath. The main quests of each game (and major expansions) are typically such that, even if you are playing as an "evil" character, you won't be able to continue that lifestyle unless the BigBad (who more often than not is seeking to bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt) is defeated, giving a player character of any morality a good reason to defeat said villain.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'': In addition to the KarmaMeter, several games in the series have used various forms of AllianceMeter to add complexity and allow the player to have a more complex reputation in the game. Starting with ''VideoGame/Fallout2'', the generic reputation stat was split up and tracked on a town-by-town basis, with additional [[RedBaron epithets]] that had a more universal effect on the player's reputation. Following ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' and it's return to a conventional KarmaMeter, ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' returned to the complex AllianceMeter, in addition to (and separate from) the KarmaMeter it retained.
** The main factions in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' are also this, with the Legion being a very dark grey and the NCR and Mr. House competing to be the lighter shade of grey faction in comparison. Meanwhile, the [[spoiler:Yes Man ending where the Courier takes power]] can range from darker than a Legion ending to also much lighter, depending on the Courier's actions and Karma.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry4'' initially appears to be a straightforward LaResistance vs a dictator story, but things get complicated fast. The BigBad Pagan Min is indeed a brutal despot, but he is also genuinely AffablyEvil, and later on you learn that [[spoiler:his hatred for the rebels is a PapaWolf RoaringRampageOfRevenge writ large against the scum who [[WouldHurtAChild murdered his infant daughter]]]]. Several other villains have EvenEvilHasLovedOnes and {{Morality Pet}}s on their side. On the other side, the rebels are TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized types, and whichever of the two rebel leaders one survives to the end succumbs to HeWhoFightsMonsters and becomes little better. And [[PlayerCharacter Ajay yourself?]] That's anyone's guess.
%%* A common part of ''Franchise/FireEmblem''.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series. There are anywhere from two to five factions the player can join in each game. With the possible exception of 2's [[AGodAmI Barzites]], they pretty much all have arguments in their favor. While the world itself is more about GrayAndGreyMorality, the individual sides play out this trope. The WellIntentionedExtremist tends to be the most common type in each, but they all have their share of saints and monsters, and everything in between.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'', particularly in its later installments, is surprisingly dependent on this trope for a Disney property. Sora's pretty close to the hero extreme (though he's more personally-motivated than he seems), while the Disney villains actually ''come'' from 'verses with BlackAndWhiteMorality. The grey areas range from Roxas (whose lack of memories sometimes leads to a sense of AmbiguousInnocence) and Riku and Axel (who are so devoted to their friends that they'll [[ShootTheDog shoot whatever dogs]] are necessary to save them) to [=DiZ=] (who works for the same end as the good guys out of a need for revenge) and Organization XIII (which, in itself, has everything from the apathetic Demyx to the EvilOverlord Xemnas).
* Because it's a game by Creator/{{Obsidian|Entertainment}} (formerly Creator/BlackIsle), it should come as no surprise that ''VudeoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' features this trope pretty significantly. If the player should choose to be Light Side, then s/he and his/her group are fairly close to the Hero extreme. A little further away from the good end, but hard to say by how much, would be the Jedi Council, who are shown to have good intentions but be seriously flawed in their execution of them. Further toward the Villain side, you would have Darth Traya. Then, practically sitting on the Villain extreme, you have Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus, with the second one the most non-Heroic, most Villainous person in the game.
* While the first ''Franchise/MassEffect'' had this to an extent, the second game features it a lot.
** Furthest toward the hero end, we have [[NeutralGood Paragon]] Shepard. There's also [[spoiler:[[RobotBuddy Legion]]]], who is... [[BlueAndOrangeMorality strange]], to say the least, but seems to be LawfulGood, and [[NiceGuy Jacob]], who seems to be [[TokenGoodTeammate a good man who's just involved with bad people]].
** In the middle, we have [[IceQueen Miranda]] ([[KickTheDog who has]] [[InsufferableGenius her moments]]), [[CowboyCop Garrus]] (who is a decent person but [[WellIntentionedExtremist rather doesn't like criminals]] and [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge takes retribution a little too far at times]]), [[BadassBookworm Mordin]] ([[IDidWhatIHadToDo who will happily do bad things]] [[ShootTheDog to stop even worse things happening]]), [[WarriorMonk Samara]] (who lives by a [[GoodIsNotNice mostly good]] code of ethics but [[LawfulStupid follows it quite closely]]), and [[WarriorPoet Thane]] (who is a [[HitmanWithAHeart kind-hearted assassin]] who only [[PayEvilUntoEvil kills bad people]]).
** On down toward the villain end, you have Zaeed, a rather unpleasant [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenary]] with [[LackOfEmpathy no empathy]], [[BrokenBird Jack]] the convict, and [[BloodKnight Grunt]] the [[AxCrazy violent]] [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy krogan]] SuperSoldier. [[AntiHero Renegade]] Shepard also fits in here.
** Even closer to the far end, you have the [[AffablyEvil surprisingly charming]] [[MagnificentBastard Illusive Man]], and [[spoiler:Morinth]].
** And at the bottom are [[EldritchAbomination the Reapers]], who plan to assimilate everyone useful and kill the rest. Although the argument could be made that they are beyond the morals of the "lowly organics."
** Don't forget the BlueAndOrangeMorality of different cultures, most obviously the geth. For this reason, [[spoiler: Legion's loyalty mission]] has one of the most contentious choices in the game.
* The ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'' mod, ''{{VideoGame/Thera}}'' is a standalone mod set in a LowFantasy AfterTheEnd scenario with a bunch of {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}} factions duking it out. They all morally run the gamut between white, black and every shade of grey, with the majority falling into grey.
** The closest there is to a good guy is [[TheGoodKingdom Avalon]], which is basically [[KingArthur Arthurian]] England which [[LawfulGood places the protection and prosperity of its people as its ultimate priority, with all citizens and the king under the rule of law]]. That said, they still maintain close ties with the brutally dogmatic Inquisition, and they have a very backwards view of things like scientific development.
** A very good example of a morally grey faction is the Uruk Dominion. Basically, they're a city-state reminiscent of [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Isengard]], which came to be after a GladiatorRevolt. It's the only place in the world where the Uruks, Ly Kan and Reptarri are truly free, and their long-term goal is to free the other members of their oppressed races. But not so fast. They breed vast armies of warriors using breeding facilities, using human women, ones that the Uruks have ''[[{{Hypocrite}} captured and enslaved]]'' themselves.
** Probably the closest this game has to a bad guy is a tie between the Warriors of Kukulcan or the Grand Duchy of Dracule. The former is an unholy mix of a {{Mayincatec}} ReligionOfEvil and TheHorde, united and driven by the worship of the god Kukulcan and [[AbsoluteXenophobe their hatred of everyone else]]. The latter is basically Transylvania under the rule of Vlad the Impaler, with all the [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence brutality]], [[DeadlyDecadentCourt corruption]], [[MightMakesRight barbarism]], [[EvilOverlord brutal kings]] and [[TheDungAges harsh lifestyles for the common folk]] turned UpToEleven.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' might look like it's a cheery good vs evil showdown, but it runs deeper than that, everyone HAS their reasons to fight. If there is a scale of comparing the characters, they would be divided to the 100% heroes, the AntiHero, the neutral heroes, the AntiVillain, and the 100% villains.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' was more black-and-white early on with its underlying Demacia (good) vs Noxus (evil) backstory, but it has become far more complex over the years, with Demacia being rewritten as a LawfulNeutral kingdom with occasional UsefulNotes/KnightsTemplar tendencies and Noxus developing into a SocialDarwinist culture that values honor as well as strength. Individual characters can fall anywhere on the scale regardless of origin, and include various shades of MartialPacifist, AntiHero, WellIntentionedExtremist, and CardCarryingVillain. Add a few [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]] into the mix alongside BlueAndOrangeMorality spirits to round out the cast and you have a rather complex scale with characters falling all over the place.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'': This is usually how the games start: humanity has been plunged into a terrifying environment where the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is either looming on the horizon or is a very recent memory, [[FantasyKitchenSink all manner of mythical beings]] are running rampant, and a [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits bunch of humans of varying personalities, backgrounds, and degrees of morality and idealism]] are just trying to stay alive, with finding a solution to the mess an ever-present ([[ActionSurvivor but often secondary]]) concern. Then [[LawfulEvil Law]] and [[ChaoticEvil Chaos]]-aligned beings start pressuring the heroes to take a stance. By the third act, almost everyone [[WithUsOrAgainstUs will have taken a side]] and [[MortonsFork demand you do the same]]. Should you choose neither, you end up as [[OnlySaneMan one of the few sane people]] in an EvilVersusEvil scenario.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' is shaping up to be an example of this. From what we know so far, it's just as possible to play a Light sided Sith as it is to play a dark sided Jedi, and a number of characters on both sides are morally grey.
** However, let it be known that "Light Side" and "Dark Side" are very different concepts for Imperial characters and Republic characters. At worst, a dark sided Republic character will be a TokenEvilTeammate, generally they'll be [[AntiHero Anti-Heroes]]. On the other side, Light sided Imperials are generally [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] of various degrees, with the best being [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type IVs]], devoid of villainous actions, but still on the "bad side."
*** The smuggler (Republic) Dark Side story ends with you [[spoiler: seizing control of a massive interstellar pirate fleet through murder and betrayal, then using the "distraction" of the climactic good-versus-evil battle of the other storylines to loot and then raze most of the starports in the galaxy in an orgy of murder, rape, and pillage]]. Additionally, the only person to make any kind of attempt at non-murder conflict resolution in the Jedi Knight storyline is [[spoiler:a Sith officer, who ends up nobly sacrificing himself for morality]] while the actual player, Light Side or Dark, takes the easy and bloody way out. I'd say they've got the GreyAndGrayMorality covered pretty well.
*** And the goal of one of the Sith lords on Korriban is the fantasy equivalent of curing cancer.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' has multiple plot shakers vying for the possession of the [[MacGuffin Ankaran Sarcophagus]]: the [[AncientConspiracy Camarilla]] formally led by the ruthless but intelligent slimebag [=LaCroix=] (but a much OlderAndWiser Tremere traditionalist Maximilian Strauss pulls the Camarilla strings behind the scenes), the moral pragmatist Nines Rodriguez leading the [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters rebellious Anarchs]], the [[BlueAndOrangeMorality mysterious newcomers]] Kuei-Jin, and the Sabbat, who are [[HardCodedHostility so evil, you can't side with them under any circumstances]]. And then there is [[spoiler:Jack, who seems a friendly enough Anarch at first, but turns out to have been [[BiggerBad behind the whole Ankaran Sarcophagus scheme the entire time]] and [[TheBadGuyWins gets away scot-free in the end]].]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': There two main kinds of conflict, roughly corresponding to player-vs.-player and player-vs.-environment play: The Horde vs. Alliance (PVP) is GreyAndGrayMorality, a conflict maintained mainly by jerks and ordinary people failing to see things from the other faction's point of view, and the occasional truly bad apple spoiling everything further for everyone else. For example, some of the humans of the Alliance are appalled at the city of Lordaeron having been transformed into an undead hive with rivers of slime, whereas the Forsaken undead living there could point out that as survivors and rebels against the Lich King's plague of undeath and often former inhabitants of the kingdom, they certainly have a claim to their rebuilt city. (But they're also obsessed with trying to poison everyone else.) The other type of conflict is of both factions against destructive, wholly evil forces like the Lich King's Scourge or the OmnicidalManiac LegionsOfHell of the Burning Legion. (Mind you, the Lich King had a bit of a personality conflict himself, and the Burning Legion's founder was driven by an extreme case of UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans.) Some organisations opposing such threats, such as the Argent Dawn/Crusade, are clearly good, whereas the otherwise similar-ish Scarlet Crusade is a pretty much unambiguously evil KnightTemplar organisation.
* ''ChroniclesOfElyria'', will have characters on a spectrum of good and evil, helped by the fact that much of the conflict will be between political entities with [[GreyAndGreyMorality no obviously evil faction]]. Of course, some players are likely to become the more sophisticated version of griefers, even if they will have to evade the authorities.
* ''VisualNovel/ZeroEscape'' Trilogy has recuring themes including HiddenDepths and WhatAreYouInTheDark and most characters tend to be morally complex individuals. While there are few clearly good people([[spoiler:Seven, Luna, Diana]]) and few clearly bad people ([[spoiler:Hongou, Dio]]) almost everyone is varrying shade of grey with motivations ranging from "save everyone" to "save people i care about" to "save myself" with a few people with higher goals thrown in for good measure, as well as varrying degrees of ruthlesness and moral standards in pursuing those goals. Even the same character can be morally different depending on the situation and player's choices.
* The ''VideoGame/NexusClash'' lore is largely about deconstructing [[BlackAndWhiteMorality Black and White Morality]]. The series ''presents'' itself as [[TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil Black vs White vs Grey]], but the seemingly all-important KarmaMeter is a charade set up by the most belligerent angelic and demonic deities to force people to take sides and reward their followers solely for keeping the conflict going. Even the angels are divided into zealots who fall easily into KnightTemplar territory and more conciliatory angels whose kindly ways make them vulnerable to a PacifismBackfire. Much of the roleplaying in this setting revolves around trying to find a definition of good and evil that doesn't just play into the pantheon's warmongering hands.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Comes with the the territory of being based on the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' alignment system in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. You have good characters doing good things because it's the right thing to do (Roy mostly), bad people doing bad things for a greater good (Redcloak kind of), bad people doing bad things for amusement (Belkar, more or less, though he becomes...somewhat better), characters operating on something more resembling BlueAndOrangeMorality than anything else, and some fiends doing bad for the greater good... [[BadIsGoodAndGoodIsBad of bad]] (Xykon). And then of course there's Vaarsuvius and [[spoiler:Familicide]].
%%* ''Webcomic/ErrantStory''. Oh, my, ''yes'', Errant Story.
* In ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'', well, technically there are forces of good and evil but those are generally A) [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil too busy stalling eachother]]. B) Not allowed to (directly)interfere with the free will of people. So the main characters include a chaotic jerkass trickster with BlueAndOrangeMorality and ItAmusedMe attitudes and an extremely disillusioned LawfulNeutral ex-cop, and this is just the beginning.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}''. Satan is definitely evil, if [[AffablyEvil affably so]]. God isn't evil but definitely [[JerkassGods a jerk]], his son however is definitely good, the Dragon neutral and Buddha somewhre technically neutral but nice. The mortals are all over the place.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has this in ''spades.'' The kids are more or less good, and the underlings are more or less antagonistic, but once you hit Hivebent things start getting complicated. [[spoiler:Trolls are various shades of gray, ranging from sweet little Nepeta to Kanaya's GoodIsNotSoft attitude to BaseBreakingCharacter Vriska and her HeelFaceRevolvingDoor tendencies to Eridan's straight-up HeelFaceTurn in a last-ditch attempt at survival,]] [[spoiler:carapacians are really more of a GreyAndGrayMorality than it seems at first,]] [[spoiler:the [[EldritchAbomination Horrorterrors]] just want to be left alone,]] [[spoiler:[[SatanicArchetype Doc Scratch]] is AffablyEvil and really just Lord English's pawn anyway,]] [[spoiler:[[OurAngelsAreDifferent cherubs]] are [[BlueAndOrangeMorality just plain weird]],]] [[spoiler:and one could even argue that even [[BigBad Lord English]] can't really help what he's doing, since he's [[InTheBlood evil by nature]], and the only other choice he ever had was for [[TheDreaded Yaldaboath]] to kill him.]] Just try and keep track of all that.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Any online roleplay is prone to this, due to the number of creators. ''Roleplay/DestineEnormity'' has a wide variety of good guys and bad guys on both sides. The sides are more divided by the OrderVersusChaos axis than anything else, but even that's an informal OOC distinction.
* ''WebVideo/ThereWillBeBrawl'' uses this a lot. Farthest towards the "Hero" side would be [[TheStoic Luigi]] and [[spoiler: Red]], who genuinely want the best for the Mushroom Kingdom and its inhabitants, and work to solve the mysteries in the show ''without'' resorting to more extreme methods like [[FallenHero Mario or Link]]. Characters closer to the "Villain" side are people like Wario, who's only out for his own self-interests, then [[spoiler: Zelda]] who forcibly attempts to usurp the Kingdom's power, and finally [[spoiler:Kirby]] at the most extreme, who just likes killing people and sowing fear among the populace.
* The ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' does this in spades. Start with the heroes of Team Kimba. They range from the 'I don't even want to hit people' attitude of Phase to the 'I had to slaughter a hundred bad guys to rescue people' switch of Tennyo to Bladedancer, who killed an ordinary family man in cold blood to prevent a possible BadFuture. The villains are all over the place too. Supervillain Dr. Diabolik is apparently a great father, and his children have said he only does the things he does to advance mankind.
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' is full of this. Each faction has their own ups and downs; the superheroes range from genuine {{Nice Guy}}s and literal and metaphorical [[KnightInShiningArmor Knights In Shining Armor]] to having sociopaths and [[GloryHound glory-seekers]] among their ranks, while the villains range from ForTheEvulz sadists and TakeOverTheWorld types to several examples of JustifiedCriminal and WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds, and in one case an unrepentant Neo-Nazi who presided over race crimes gives his life for the sake of his city.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', most of Team Aang is unequivocally good and the most powerful members of the Fire Nation are power-hungry imperialists, but almost everyone else falls somewhere in between. [[spoiler: Ba Sing Se]] turns out to be a CrapsaccharineWorld, and the Northern Water Tribe has some pretty sexist moments. The rank-and-file and civilians of the Fire Nation are more often misguided patriots than outright evil. You could make a decent argument that the whole series is a subversion of the AlwaysChaoticEvil trope.
* The SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' takes this even further. There are some outright evil characters, but all of the series' major villains are [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] who [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans genuinely believe that they are making the world a better place]]. While [[TheHero Korra]] and most of her allies are unquestionably good, a major part of her character arc is rejecting BlackAndWhiteMorality and understanding that [[VillainHasAPoint her enemies can have worthwhile ideas.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'''s cast contains an optimistic NiceGuy who only causes problems by accident, a cynical NiceGuy who is harmless except for a few BewareTheNiceOnes moments, a MamaBear who wants the best for everyone but is ruthless in enforcing it, an HighSchoolHustler who spends half his time going out of his way to help his friends and family and the other half taking them for granted, a BrattyHalfPint who also shows sympathy when it's needed, and a {{Jerkass}} who can also be a PapaWolf when the situation calls for it. Morality of minor characters are not quite this nuanced, but still cover a range from "completely good" to "outright evil" with many places in between.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' features characters from all over the moral spectrum, where the absolute majority fall within the grey middle-zone. In the case of the heroes or "good guys" in general, this is usually facilitated by MrViceGuy, and most of the villains are NotEvilJustMisunderstood. Princess Celestia and King Sombra are two notable exceptions, from different ends of the moral scales.

[[folder:Truth In Television]]
* ANY large group of people will invariably have members of all moral and ethical stances