-> ''"There really aren't that many evil men out there. It's mostly just good men working at cross purposes."''
->-- ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'', by Ursula Vernon

Near the very [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism idealistic]] end of the many ShadesOfConflict (only GoodVersusGood is more), a setting with White and Grey Morality features no truly ''evil'' characters, but ranges through a spectrum of [[TheCape squeaky-clean heroes]], [[KnightInSourArmor slightly more sarcastic heroes]], [[AntiHero borderline heroes]], {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s, and the occasional AntiVillain at worst. Conflict is generated either through misguided ideals or simple misunderstandings, so there is often an undercurrent of "if only people would sit down and talk to one another, they'd find they're NotSoDifferent after all".

Expect a great deal of [[PetTheDog dog-petting]] and {{Heel Face Turn}}ing, from characters only nominally "heels" to begin with. Someone will likely say SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers at some point.

This does not necessarily imply that there is little conflict or that the conflict is lightweight. Two powerful forces working at cross-purposes can cause an amazing amount of destruction and mayhem even though both of them have good reasons for what they're trying to do.

Contrast BlackAndGrayMorality, where {{Anti Hero}}es are the best you can expect from the good guys; because TrueArtIsAngsty, though, this trope is a lot less common than that one, at least among works intended for older audiences. If the antagonists only became so due to a negative influence from outside, this may overlap with RousseauWasRight. In that case, the occasional villain may pop up, but they will inevitably be shown to be [[FreudianExcuse a victim of horrible circumstances that shaped them into what they became]] (rather than simply expressing a monstrous nature they always possessed).

----
!!'''Examples:'''
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''StellviaOfTheUniverse'' is all about this. There isn't even a single negative character in the series -- even the [[spoiler:aliens]] are good. Or at least, [[spoiler:they expressed regret after slaughtering a Keiti wing almost wholesale.]]
* The ''LyricalNanoha'' franchise was like this until ''[[BlackAndWhiteMorality Force]]'' (or not):
** The EvilMatriarch Precia Testarossa, whose villainy defined the original series, was, as Alicia reveals in Fate's HappyPlace sequence in ''A's'', has originally been a very kind and gentle person. But exactly because she was so gentle, [[MadScientist her psyche couldn't handle Alicia's sudden death]] and she "[[BrokenBird broke]]". TheMovie expands her character to be even more of a TragicVillain.
** ''A's'' is ''the'' example of this trope in the franchise. The only entity that can be considered villainous is [[spoiler:a self-defense program of an [[GreatBigBookOfEverything ancient artifact]], which was corrupted long ago under unrevealed circumstances]], while the rest of the cast only attempt to do what they believe would be best for everyone and [[TrueArtIsAngsty angst heavily]] about having to hurt others (''"It was such a small wish..."''). Basically, the Team Nanoha vs. Wolkenritter is a GoodVersusGood conflict.
** ''[=StrikerS=]'' seems to feature a straight-up MadScientist villain with Jail Scaglietti until TheReveal that [[spoiler:he was ''made'' that way by a group of old men who spent their youth fighting to stop a senseless, centuries-long war and were desperately seeking a means to prevent such wars from breaking out in the future]]. There is also the fact that the "Doctor" has a very family-like relationship with his [[RobotGirl Numbers]] and not in a PetTheDog way: even after seeing the error of his (and their own) ways, none of the Numbers turns their back on Scaglietti, continuing to see him as a parent figure.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'': While the titular character and his gang are criminals, they wouldn't do anything really heinous, so even at their worst, the crew are {{Anti Villain}}s. Their antagonist, Inspector Zenigata, is a HeroAntagonist, and their relationship can be described as an almost friendly rivalry, rather than confrontation between criminals and law-enforcement. Whenever a serious bad guy comes up, Lupin and Zenigata usually ally against him - though they always resume their antics when the alliance is no longer needed.
* ''Anime/TowaNoQuon'': Although the group out to capture awakened children [[spoiler: (dead or alive)]] is a ''very'' dark shade of gray, their ultimate goal is to protect the public. [[EvilPlan For now.]]
* A common theme of Creator/HayaoMiyazaki's movies. [[AntiVillain The antagonists are sympathetic and/or have reasonable motivations]].
** ''PrincessMononoke'': Ashitaka was very much an AllLovingHero, but both Lady Eboshi and San had valid reasons for their actions. The enemy samurais seemed to be bad, but then, you feel if they had been explained then they too would have fair motivations.
* ''KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'' and ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'' lack any really evil characters. There are lots of less pleasant individuals, like the cheaters in the former and the outright perverts in the later, but the closest things to villains in the storylines are concerned about victory like the protagonist or are interested in protecting other persocoms from the damage Chi could potentially cause.
* In almost any sports manga/anime, there are no villains. The closest to villains are people who toy with or break the rules to achieve victory, as well as people who treat their friends or companions like crap.
* In ''Manga/{{ARIA}}'', the planet Aqua (formerly known as Mars) is populated by nothing but well-meaning, friendly people--or at least [[CityOfCanals Neo-Venezia]] is. Every time someone seems to act in less than 100% positive manner it generally is only a matter of slight misunderstandings, which mostly get resolved quickly.
* ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' has no villains either; in the first arc, [[MonsterOfTheWeek the Cards]] are portrayed more as mischievous beings than truly evil troublemakers and are all subject to DefeatMeansFriendship, and in the second arc, the "villain" is quickly hinted (and revealed at the end) to be much more of a TricksterMentor. All the intelligent characters are presented as decent people, which underscores the "HumansAreGood" part of the trope.
* ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''. There are pretty much no villains, aside from maybe, possibly Asakura Ryouko, and even then she's just a really, really, really far [[WellIntentionedExtremist extremist]]. All forces are genuinely trying to create the world they think is ideal, and only very few seem too extremist for rationality. The Data Entity wants to just "observe"; the Organization wants to maintain the world as it is; the Time Travelers want to keep a StableTimeLoop. Haruhi herself isn't evil, just a {{Jerkass}} who wants a little more excitement, and Kyon just wants his peace. Even [[spoiler:the Anti-SOS Brigade has somewhat stinted yet good intentions: Fujiwara wants to keep his race from being "slaves to time travel", Kuyou Suou just wants to communicate in the first place, Tachibana Kyouko just thinks the world is more ideal under Sasaki's influence, and Sasaki wants to figure out the truth behind ''everything''. Not to mention the fact that it might even ''be'' better for Sasaki to become God.]]
** Which basically proves that this trope is ''not'' synonymous with the idealistic end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. True, if the story were told from [[spoiler: the Anti-SOS Brigade]]'s point of view, [[SympatheticPOV they would probably seem a lot more sympathetic]], and the SOS Brigade would appear to be deluded fanatics who deliberately put the universe in danger for sentimental reasons. Thus, an unbiased observer is forced to conclude that ''[[GrayAndGrayMorality neither]]'' [[GrayAndGrayMorality side is wholly right or wholly wrong]], though the SOS Brigade is ''definitely'' ALighterShadeofGray.
* ''GundamWing'' seems to like this trope, too, at least for most of the main characters. Save for the few like Dekim Barton, most of the characters desire for justice and peace, despite that their ways of achieving it is questionable, as pointed out by Relena Peacecraft. Fortunately, EveryoneLives except Treize Kushranada, who willingly dies by his own choice, and the world achieves true peace as Relena sees it. This way, [[RousseauWasRight Gundam Wing]] is a total opposite to the [[CrapsackWorld Universal Century series]].
* ''SeireiNoMoribito'' has a total of two human characters in it whose motivations and methods are presented as unsympathetic, and they're both one-shot. The main conflict is entirely caused by a misunderstanding by the traditionalistic/dogmatic {{anti villain}}s, and the fact that their cause manages to come across as understandable when it involves ''child-killing'' speaks volumes for the tone of the series.
* StarDriver is full of this. The Glittering Crux want to use the HumongousMecha LostTechnology to achieve world peace ([[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans by force]], but the force part is only implied and never stated outright.) Many of the Crux deplore loss of civilian life and go out of their way to prepare ways to get the innocent out of the way in the event if a crisis (such as keeping a ''luxury ship large enough to carry the population of a small island'' on hand). The only reason they're at odds with the heroes at all is the "force" part. Both parties are ''fully aware'' of this and even ''act as genuine friends'' when off of the battlefield. There are a total of '''two''' named characters who are portrayed as genuinely bad and unlikeable people in the whole of the series, which stands out for its surprisingly large cast.
* ''Anime/AstroBoy'': While minor human crooks and such may be genuinely evil, the BigBad Dr. Tenma and related characters are just Well Intentioned Extremists. If a robot is portrayed as a villain, it's always due to a misunderstanding. This is in contrast to the rest of OsamuTezuka's work, where pretty much everyone but the main character is always a [[HumansAreBastards bastard]]. Especially [[ChaoticEvil Rock]].
* A lot of SliceOfLife animes have no villains: ''{{Sketchbook}}'', ''Anime/LuckyStar'', ''IchigoMashimaro'', ''CandyBoy'', ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'', and others.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. The characters split fairly cleanly into Idealists (Madoka, Sayaka, Mami) and Pragmatists (Kyubey, Kyouko, Homura). The latter group are the antagonists, but are often ''right'' (and in fact, Homura arguably turned out to be [[DecoyProtagonist the real protagonist of the story]]).
* ''VisionOfEscaflowne'' qualifies. Even the BigBad is eventually revealed as a particularly ruthless WellIntentionedExtremist. The closest any character comes to "evil" is [[TheDragon Dilandau]], but [[spoiler: s/he turns out to be more BrainwashedAndCrazy than anything else.]]
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', the majority of the major villains have reasonable and sympathetic motives. The first one is trying to release a monster [[spoiler: so he can defeat it, which is the thing his teacher died doing; he merely wants to prove himself by surpassing her.]] Another notable villain was a slavemaster who spent 8 years building a tower to revive the most dangerous dark wizard in history [[spoiler: because he was brainwashed into thinking it would bring about a Utopia]]. Both of these later pulled a HeelFaceTurn. Some later enemies, like the Oración Seis and Grimoire Heart guilds had guild masters and some members truly in the black morality pitch. However, most of the guild members were given sympathetic backstories and reasons for joining these guilds - like how Ultear's entire "evilness" is because of a misunderstanding in her childhood.
* The closest things ''Anime/ALittleSnowFairySugar'' has to a "villain" would be Joe Crow, who is not so much that as [[{{Jerkass}} just a typical bully]]. Ginger is fairly callous, [[ThoseTwoGuys Basil and Cinnamon]] are rather mischevious, Greta is a rich snob and sees Saga as a rival, but everyone else in the show is usually super-nice to one another.
* In ''Popotan'', the most evil thing anyone ever did (in this case, Keith) was attempt to kill someone [[WellIntentionedExtremist in order to prevent the sisters' secrets from leaking out to the general public]] (which he never tried again after Ai calls him out for it). There was also that ghost girl who puts others to sleep, but also for understandable reasons.
* {{Kanon}}. Not counting everyone who drove Mai away in the past, the worst we have are the [[EldritchAbomination Demons]], who, despite their destructive behavior, mainly wanted to show Yuichi said past of Mai's and how they came to be, so that he can send a message to her that her constant battle with them can end as soon as she stops fighting. In general, everyone in the show is mostly good, even though a few of them (such as Makoto and Kuze) are {{Jerkass}}es in some way or another.
* ''DigimonTamers ''proves'' that yes, you can have intense conflict without anyone who is properly "bad." Every BigBad is actually trying to prevent threats to their worlds, and you can see why they consider the other side to be bad news. Even the final BiggerBad is just [[spoiler: a program acting on its orders; see GoneHorriblyRight]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* In Season 9 of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Drusilia returns, sane, and seeming to have pulled a genuine HeelFaceTurn. So just what is she up to these days? She encountered a demon that feeds on trauma (the reason she is so well,) trained it to work only in that regard, and sets up a shelter for those who have been traumatized, willing to have the demon feed on them so the pain they feel goes away if they ask for it. Angel sees the whole thing as a abomination and MindRape, believing people must suffer for what's happened to them and that if they did not feel bad about (in his case, Angelus) there's no reason not to make amends. Faith, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have a problem with it since the people are going willingly. After Angel kills the demon Drusilia is back to being the vicious Slayer killing psychotic.
* Most ComicBook/{{X-Men}} stories where the antagonists are humans or government forces. Barring genocidal maniacs like [[SinisterMinister Reverend Styker]], in most cases their motive is simply the belief that mutants should be accounted for in some way.
* ComicBook/GastonLagaffe. Gaston wants to sleep, have fun, protect the environment, etc., and the people around him want him to get his work done and obey traffic laws. If Gaston thought his actions through at all, there wouldn't be any problems, but of course he doesn't.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animation]]
* {{Pixar}} has some examples.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}'', absolutely. The villain of the film was [[spoiler:a robot that was [[PunchClockVillain doing exactly what it was programmed to do]] by programmers who themselves just had incomplete information]], and all the humans soon fell head over heels in love with the world as soon as they were jerked out of their reverie and take responsibility to work to undo their ancestors' mistakes.
** ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' - Dr. Sherman took Nemo because he mistakenly believed he would not be able to survive on his own with a deformed fin, and Darla is a "fish-killer" because she is a child who doesn't know any better. The other antagonists of the film are simply mindless predators. It's worth noting that both ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}'' were directed by Andrew Stanton.
** The original ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory''. Sid is a bit of a JerkAss, but he's mostly just a boy who likes playing in an unorthodox way with his toys. Unfortunately, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality the protagonists are]] LivingToys. In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'', Al is also a JerkAss but otherwise is just a bit of a slob. He steals Woody as well, but considering it got him a deal with a museum that could have gotten him hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's hard to not understand why. Note that this trope is completely averted in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' with [[UngratefulBastard Lotso]].
** And in Al's defense, he ''did'' try to buy Woody legitimately.
** ''{{Brave}}'' might fit for the "[[BearsAreBadNews vicious animals]] are TrueNeutral" rule. Even if it's one hell of a AnimalNemesis. [[spoiler:Which used to be human.]]
** ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'', as many a college film, is this instead of the BlackAndWhiteMorality of the original. The two protagonists (flawed people themselves) are only trying to prove their value in front of both the DeanBitterman who expelled them from their major, and the JerkJock posse [[OpposingSportsTeam with whom they are competing]].
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanVsTheElite'': Superman is definitely a good guy, but the Elite, rather than bad guys, are at worst {{Anti Hero}}es; they do display actually heroic intentions, and hurting Black's team-mates typically is his BerserkButton. In addition, while the film does end on the side of Superman, his black and white views of the world are heavily questioned not just by the Elite, but Lois and the ordinary citizens who suffer every time a villain Superman has spared [[JokerImmunity escapes and kills more people]]. Neither solution is perfect, but White is considered the better choice in the end.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'' - although Roy Neary's wife and kids might not agree about the film having no villains given their distress resulting from his possession. The [=ETs=] originally come across as if they're auditioning for ''Film/TheExorcist'', scaring Gillian half to death and then ''abducting her infant son'', although he wanted to go, and they do return him later.
* ''ForbiddenPlanet''. Morbius: it implies that even the worst people have good intentions
* Basically everyone in ''TheTerminal'' has good intentions, [[ToBeLawfulOrGood the conflict stems from Viktor Navorski's pragmatic goodness versus Frank Dixon's adherence to the rules]].
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. The Na'Vi are just minding their own business, and the humans just want the planet's resources to ensure their own survival - but unfortunately the diplomacy ísn't working. ([[GeneralRipper Quaritch]] [[ArmiesAreEvil and his troops]] are not considered among the Gray, though)
* Most romcoms probably fall into this category.
* ''Film/TigerBay'' has a SympatheticMurderer (possibly an [[AccidentalMurder Accidental Murderer]]) being pursued by a SympatheticInspectorAntagonist.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Many Creator/TomClancy novels feature something like this, especially those which deal with full-scale war, like ''Literature/RedStormRising''. Usually, the deal is that good, patriotic souls from different countries will struggle with each other because of the actions of one or two people (usually politicians) who are motivated by pride, fear, or ignorance. Although some villains might be delusional beyond reckoning, ForTheEvulz types are exceedingly rare.
* A lot of Creator/OrsonScottCard's writing, particularly in ''[[Literature/EndersGame Ender's Saga]]'', deals with the idea that no-one is really evil, and it's all a matter of perspective.
** Usually. For instance, the Formics are discovered to have attacked humanity because [[spoiler:they have a HiveMind and didn't know each human was individually sentient]]. On the other end, the Descoladores of the later books are either seeking outright planetary conquest or are [[StarfishAliens just too alien to comprehend]]. And the BigBad of the ''Shadow'' spinoffs, Achilles, is most definitely evil.
* James White's ''Literature/SectorGeneral'' space hospital series, a deliberate attempt to write ScienceFiction with both tension and a murder deficit. Any aliens who may be trying to kill you have just been misinformed.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov tended to be this way. He also had no real villains in his books. Asimov and Creator/KurtVonnegut were much alike. In the ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series, the psycho-historians behind the GambitRoulette believe every conflict in human history comes from people not understanding each other. This is no GutFeeling: they have human reactions and brain chemistry [[ScienceMarchesOn down to an exact science]].
* ''Literature/TheMasterAndMargarita'' had this exchange:
-->'''Pontius Pilate:''' And now tell me: why do you always use the expression "good people"? What, do you call everyone that?
-->'''[[{{Jesus}} Yeshua ha-Nazri]]:''' Yes, everyone. There are no evil people in the world.
* Every character in BrandonSanderson's works is revealed to have "good" (or at least sympathetic) motivations for their actions, though he does include a handful of geniune villains for contrast. Perhaps the most spectacular example is the [[EvilOverlord Lord Ruler]] of ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', who in life is portrayed as pure evil [[spoiler: but is gradually revealed after death to be a very human figure who basically had unlimited power dropped in his lap and did the best he could with it while it slowly [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity drove him mad]].]] One of the major themes running throughout all of Sanderson's novels is that "evil" is usually a ''lot'' more complicated than people realize.
* The majority of books written by Creator/TimothyZahn don't have many evil people at all. He doesn't really set up along the good guys and the bad guys. The Empire is not all bad. The New Republic is not all good. Other people have their own allegiances. Plenty of antagonists on any side are doing what they think will be best in the long run. He does have some actually unambiguous villains, but most of them at least have solid reasoning behind what they're doing. No one ever wakes up and decides to be evil.
** In the ''Literature/HandOfThrawn'' Duology, after all the bad blood Supreme Commander Pellaeon signed a [[PeaceConference peace treaty]] with President Gavrisom.
** Zahn's non-''StarWars'' fiction tends to have a lot of this as well; ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'' in particular features a galactic war caused by essentially a misunderstanding. The humans' standard "greet the unknown aliens" transmission is sent via radio, which causes varying degrees of pain for the non-human side of a FirstContact scenario, and thus the aliens understandably interpret the greeting as an unprovoked attack. There are at least four, possibly more, distinct factions involved, none of whom act unjustifiably throughout the course of the brief but intense war that follows.
** Also, there are plenty of characters who, despite a fall to DarkSide, eventually come to realize the error of their ways.
** Averted with the Vagaari, who, as an entire slaver species, are one of the nastier cultures in the Star Wars EU, surpassed only by the Vong and a few others.
* ''Literature/TheVampireDiaries'' veers between this and GreyAndGreyMorality. Countless times, characters are introduced and seem [[ObviouslyEvil just so mean]] but often turn out to have genuine motives behind their actions.
* Oddly enough, KurtVonnegut states in the introduction to ''Welcome to the Monkey House'' that this is one of the guiding principles of his work: there are no villains, just people with conflicting interests.
** Then again, his characters don't tend to be heroic either. [[GreyAndGreyMorality So...]]
* Most of Edgar Pangborn's antagonists are misguided rather than evil, but that doesn't prevent them occasionally causing horrific tragedies. Example: ''Tiger Boy'', in which the semi-[[WildChild wild]] title character and a friend he meets are killed due to the belief that he is a demon.
* The ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' is at different places on the morality scale DependingOnTheWriter.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' certainly ''does'' feature many an irredeemable villain -- and some [[BlackAndWhiteMorality truly, deeply unambiguous conflicts]]-- but it's also at constant pains to point out that this trope is in play ''most'' of the time. In fact, the first part of the series (with the Manticore/Haven war) really only has five or so really evil characters, right at the top of the enemy food chain. The [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters many dozens]] of other Havenite enemies given names and faces all tend toward MyCountryRightOrWrong at worst.
* Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin's work tends to feature this; in fifty years of publishing, only one of her stories(''The Word for World Is Forest'') features an character she described as "purely evil"
* [[PlayingWithAtrope Played with]] in the novel ''Literature/MiracleMonday'', where {{Superman}} faced TheDevil's agent on Earth. While the demon ''was'' truly evil (we get to read his thoughts to confirm it) Superman himself holds this belief, and it's ''because'' of it that he ultimately wins.
* Four Literature/SherlockHolmes stories involve this: "A Scandal In Bohemia", "The Man with the Twisted Lip", "The Noble Bachelor", and "The Yellow Face". In each case, it is revealed that there is [[spoiler:[[NoAntagonist no villain]], and the apparent victim turns out to be the morally gray character.]]
* In ''Literature/DoctorZhivago'', most of the characters are treated sympathetically in one way or another, even the ones who come closest to being "villains": Komarovsky has some PetTheDog moments in spite of all his manipulative seediness, and the two main communist characters, Strelnikov and Liberius, are portrayed as {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s swept up in the fervor of the Revolution rather than malicious murderers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Kingdom}}''
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' veers between this and GreyAndGreyMorality. Countless times, characters are introduced and seem just so mean but often turn out to have genuine motives behind their actions.
** Anna seemed to be a sinister vampire using Jeremy for her own ends - until we found out about her mother, and her BecomingTheMask.
** Damon seemed to just be trying to make his brother's life a living hell, and then his history with Katherine was revealed, and his gestures of humanity to Elena.
* In ''Series/TheWestWing'', most of the antagonistic politicians wanted what was best--they just had different opinions of what was "best" for America. At worst, they tended toward [[StrawmanPolitical stupid corruption, greed, and tendency to stretch the truth]]. There were actual evil people like the WesternTerrorists, but they mostly stayed off-screen and seldom lasted long.
** Even corrupt characters often had redeeming qualities. Russel, for instance, is probably the morally second-worst person on the show who isn't one of those briefly appearing or off-screen terrorists mentioned above, but even he won't let the president bomb the wrong country on the mistaken belief that they'd developed atomic bombs of their own in ''The Warfare of Genghis Khan'' and is disgusted at hearing on the news about a woman in Turkey being executed for adultery in ''King Corn''. The worst non-terrorist character is Robert Ritchie, who even goes so far as to not seem to feel any sympathy when he hears about a secret service agent being killed in the line of duty ("crime...boy, I don't know"). Aside from some terrorists and homophobic activists, Ritchie's arguably the only complete villain on the show. Even the Christian right are portrayed as low and mean, but not pure evil.
** For a discrete moment of RousseauWasRight, see the end of "Evidence of Things Not Seen": [[spoiler: [[ItMakesSenseInContext the egg stands]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming on its end.]]]]
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' starts out as BlackAndWhiteMorality, but as it has continued its run it has drifted ever closer to White and Grey Morality, giving even most of its most monstrous characters sympathetic backstories that give them {{Freudian Excuse}}s or sympathetic motivations, and giving CharacterDevelopment to at least one of them that results in her becoming vastly more sympathetic. Now we have many villains who are tragic and heroes that are flawed.
* ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'' has the Gaiark, who, while they are the antagonists and at first may resemble your typical evil empire or something of the sort, are actually intent on polluting the earth to give someplace for their world's inhabitants to live, away from the dictator Yogoshimacritein. In the end, the two remaining ministers [[spoiler: sacrifice themselves to save the other Go-Ongers and stop Yogoshimacritein]]. So while it was a horrible way of doing things, they had their mechanical hearts in the right place.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Dave Mason's "We Just Disagree."
-->''There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys. / There's only you and me and we just disagree.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* An important theme in ''Theater/LadyWindermeresFan''. The woman whom the titular character thought to be irredeemably wicked makes an enormous self-sacrifice for her, forcing her to re-evaluate her worldview.
* A number of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's comedies, such as ''AMidsummerNightsDream'', ''TwelfthNight'', ''LovesLaboursLost'', ''TheTamingOfTheShrew'', ''AllsWellThatEndsWell'' and ''TheMerryWivesOfWindsor'' involve this. The antagonist, [[NoAntagonist if any]], is an AntiVillain or IneffectualSympatheticVillain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In one of the many endings for ''VideoGame/BioShock2'', the child you have been taking care of grows up to realize that there is no "evil", only "pain." Because of the mercy you have taught her, she is able to forgive her mother, and live a healthy life on her own.
* ''MetalGearSolid4'' reveals that most of the villains were actually good people whose plan to make the world a better place did [[GoneHorriblyWrong horribly go wrong]]. Most events of the series were actually the villains' attempts to use whatever means neccessary to correct their mistakes.
* Used tragically in ''MegaManZero''. In the midst of this rebellion, barring the psychopaths (Copy X, Elipzo, Omega, and Weil), no one on either side is truly evil. The Zero series has some of the most sympathetic antagonists (Harpuia being #1) in the whole franchise.
** Even Copy X and Elpizo are simply {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s, fighting for a goal (protect humans and reploids respectively). Sure, their methods would result in mass death of the other but it's far more sympathetic than Omega (AxCrazy BloodKnight [[TheBerserker Berserker]]) and Weil ([[ItsAllAboutMe Egomaniacal]] CardCarryingVillain).
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', with some exceptions, ultimately comes down on the side that most baddies are {{Anti Villain}}s, and the ''BigBad'' performs a HeelFaceTurn when he realizes he was wrong in his position that HumansAreBastards.
** VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia has three [[BigBad Big Bads]]. Only the third one counts as an AntiVillain, and even then he's [[spoiler: trying to kill off humanity]].
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' makes it clear from beginning to end that both sides ultimately want to accomplish the same goal, removing the Score's hold on the world. They just have very different methods on doing so.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' [[spoiler:Anyone doing bad things is just proven to be manipulated by a sort of cross between a crazy computer system and GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere.]] The guy seen as the BigBad is actually just misguided rather than truly evil and the hero even forgives him at the end, though he refuses to forgive himself. Another recurring antagonist is a sympathetic character forgiven by the heroes and even comforted by them after his defeat. The two warring nations are shown to be full of mostly good people and make peace. Even the leader of the evil empire is actually on your side for the most part. The entire theme of the game in fact seems to be that the goodness of humanity can triumph even in a CrapsackWorld.
** To be fair, there's only one truly evil person in the entire game, Miang, and she gets taken out in the end.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' series is full of {{Designated Villain}}s who are unilaterally revealed to be GoodAllAlong by the time the game ends - in most cases, your character [[DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu has a tea party]] with the FinalBoss following their defeat. BadPowersBadPeople is completely averted. The only things in the series that could be considered evil at all are the Saigyou Ayakashi, more popularly known as the Cherry Tree of Doom, from Perfect Cherry Blossom (it hypnotizes people into languishing to death under its leaves, and then eats their souls), and the final boss of ''Subterranean Animism'', who flat-out threatens to [[ILoveNuclearPower nuke]] all of [[FantasyKitchenSink Gensokyo]] and even then the latter turns out to be under the influence of a temporary but bad case of [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity power induced crazy]] on top of being much, ''much'' more [[TheDitz stupid]] than evil.
** Then again, Reimu the [[GoodIsNotNice Good but Not Nice]], Marisa the {{Kleptomaniac|Hero}} AntiHero, Sakuya the [[MyMasterRightOrWrong loyal servant of whoever defeats her]], Youmu the [[HonorBeforeReason Honorable Before Reasonable]], and ''especially'' Sanae the [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Fighter of Monsters]] [[GreyAndGrayMorality aren't much better]].
* Unusually for an AlienInvasion game, ''VideoGame/JeffWaynesWarOfTheWorlds'' has an arguable case of white vs grey. The humans are fighting for their home and way of life, and the martians are only fighting because ''their'' home and way of life is dying. This does, however, lead to some rather nasty FridgeLogic in that whichever race you play as, you are dooming the other to extinction.
* ''DynastyWarriors'' generally holds to this in its modern installments with the exceptions of [[TheHedonist Dong Zhuo]], [[BloodKnight Lu Bu]], and [[BlueBlood Yuan Shao]]. Every one of the major factions is comprised of largely sympathetic people attempting to end the chaotic wars of the terminal years of the Han Dynasty and produce a better future for the greater good of all. However, they disagree, frequently in very lethal ways, about what sort of future it should be and how it should be achieved.
* In [[DungeonSiege Dungeon Siege III]], just about every major villain [[spoiler: up to and including the BigBad]] is a [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-intentioned extremist]] or has a FreudianExcuse.
* ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' and its prequel ''Dissidia 012'' at first tell your typical OrderVersusChaos story with the BigBad Chaos summoning some of the most sinister villains of ''Final Fantasy'' to battle their heroes serving the BigGood Cosmos. However, the backstory reveals the conflict to be this trope. [[spoiler:Chaos is a literal DesignatedVillain, as he and Cosmos ''agreed'' to war with each other as part of a pact with Cid and Shinryu, and ''Chaos'' was the one hesitant to participate at first. As for Chaos's forces, they variably have no interest in the way, are fighting for personal reasons, are BrainwashedAndCrazy, or are {{Anti Villain}}s who try to help the heroes win. The only villains who are totally and umambiguously evil are The Emperor, Ultimecia, Kefka and Exdeath, but of them, Ultimecia has a FreudianExcuse, Kefka has the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that he's [[EvilCannotComprehendGood too insane to know any better]], and Exdeath is a MadeOfEvil EldritchAbomination that simply [[ItsWhatIDo does what he does]].]]
* Despite having a dark entity known as Sulphur, ''PhantomBrave'' certainly fit into this. Most characters, at worst, act like {{Jerkass}}es who [[UngratefulBastard cheat off]] [[NiceGirl Marona]] [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer and treat her as trash]]. Some of who have selfish motivations does have a particular reason of being so. For example, Walnut, a KillSteal bounty hunter, have a mindset of caring about money [[spoiler: because he is trying to fund medicine for his [[IllGirl sick little sister]]]]. And some who fell into the path of darkness is mostly due to [[TragicHero tragic circumstances]], such as [[DarkIsNotEvil Sprout]], who lost his family to Sulphur. Regardless, everyone is EasilyForgiven by Marona and those who were treating her like trash [[spoiler: came to realize she's the only hope of defeating Sulphur and realize her [[AllLovingHero kindhearted nature]], [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming started treating her an actual human being, and rally to aid her]]]]. In the end, Marona's "treat everyone with kindness" favors her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Creator/UrsulaVernon, creator of ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'', has complained that she can't seem to come up with a real villain, since all of them have reasons for what they are doing and believe that they're doing the right thing. Some of them admittedly think it's the right thing because ''they're'' doing it, yes, or that the ends will justify the means, but no one so far is truly evil. Well, no one except [[spoiler:[[BigBad Sweetgrass Voice]].]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' forgoes villains in favor of lots of geek-tickling tech-talk. Even the {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s tend to be simply narrow-minded and incompetent, rather than willfully malevolent. It's just that they're not smart enough to figure out that AIs have become sentient, and still think that they're just products. It doesn't help that some of the AIs agree.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' is known for lacking "proper" villains; Coyote is ([[AlternateCharacterInterpretation arguably]]) more of a general {{Trickster}}, and Ysengrin is simply insane. And Reynardine is... [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation who knows]]? Tom Siddell confirms this in [[http://www.wizarduniverse.com/082008wcotw.html an interview]]: "There are no outright evil characters, for example, just situations in which a character might act in a way perceived to be evil."
** On the other hand, [[spoiler:Diego]] is a pretty evil character. It's bad enough that [[spoiler: he causes the death of the woman he "loves" because she rejected him.]], but then in [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=657 this]] comic, [[spoiler:when Jeanne desperately comes to him for help, [[MoralEventHorizon he just smugly smirks at her fear]]]] An alternative interpretation is that he is a coward and strongly in denial. He does seem to be [[spoiler:horribly broken after Jeanne dies.]]
*** Sort of a combination of the whole buffet line. Definitely a coward, but he did it of his own free will, because he's too petty and selfish to think of anything except how she's getting her comeuppance. Then, rather than face his wrongdoing, he goes into denial; it haunts him for the rest of his life and on his deathbed he claims he was forced to come up with the plan by the same men who asked him if there wasn't an alternative at the time.
** [[spoiler:Jack was just some variant of [[GoMadFromTheRevelation gone nuts from the whole Zimmyham experience]] or [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity high on his new creepy powers]]. He got better, though.]]
* ''AMiracleOfScience'' has no real villains. The BigBad is a WellIntentionedExtremist who actively avoids civilian casualties and even the Venusian Mafia is mostly just selfish.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has no one who does things ForTheEvulz. Save one bad egg[[note]]and even he had been convinced he was a deific saviour and the world needed him[[/note]], there are no really evil characters in the comic; all of them so far have either been misguided or acting off their own sense of what's right rather being downright evil.
** Not-Tengu may have broken this trend. He enslaves people's minds and even alters them physically to suit his tastes simply because he can, and seems delighted at the prospect of killing anyone who tries to stop him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This used to apply to most American Animated TV series, mainly because the MoralGuardians forced them to. Ironically, [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman non-human villains were allowed to be truly evil- and often destroyed]].
* The first season of ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends''. There were no supervillains (with the possible exception of the Raven, who put Superman on trial), just {{Anti Villain}}s who were all doing the utterly wrong thing for what they felt were the right reasons. In the end, they always Saw the Light, Repented for their Wickedness, and never even went to jail.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' - While Candace is often the antagonist, she's neither evil nor truly spiteful - only impulsive and a bit high-strung. Heck, even the [[MadScientist evil genius]] has his decent moments! The only really unpleasant people to appear are Doofenshmitz's parents (in his tales of his HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood) and the drill sergeant from "Phineas And Ferb Get Busted!" (Which [[spoiler: was a dream.]].)
* Unsurprisingly present in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Moments after the climax of the second episode, the goddess of darkness, who is effectively the BigBad of the ponies' entire mythology, runs crying into a hug with her sister and counterpart day goddess. Who [[EasilyForgiven instantly forgives her]]. Indeed, the worst villains in the first season were Gilda from "Griffon the Brush-Off" and the Great and Powerful Trixie from "Boast Busters", who were both realistic {{Jerkass}}es rather than deliberately kid-friendly villains, neither of which learned their lessons in their respective episodes. This changed with the season 2 premiere "The Return of Harmony", which featured as its antagonist Discord, a [[TricksterArchetype trouble-making]] RealityWarper with [[ForTheEvulz a cruel sense of humor]]. [[note]] But even Discord may be an example of this trope, if you interpret his behavior as BlueAndOrangeMorality. He eventually got [[HeelFaceTurn reformed]] in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E11KeepCalmAndFlutterOn Keep Calm and Flutter On]]". [[/note]] Some of the show's conflicts even border on GoodVersusGood, like the Dragon from Dragonshy, who was [[spoiler:just trying to sleep until Dash kicked him in the face]]. Averted for Queen Chrysalis, who was very much an [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen evil queen]], and [[EvilOverlord King Sombra]].
* WesternAnimation/KimPossible has the recurring villain Senor Senior Senior. He had (quite likely) built his fortune legitimately: he turns to evil as a hobby (subverting EvilIsNotAToy), seeing how closely he can mirror a classic BigBad complete with setting up death traps for the heroes to escape from. In one episode, Sr. Senior Sr.'s fortune is stolen by a swindler, and he tries to get it back by robbing businesses owned by the person who scammed him: meanwhile, Kim attempts to stop him. She is stopped by his son who turns him in, and Kim settles for Senior earning his money back through the reward money that he'll gain for his capture.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': 80% of the time, Finn and Jake's enemies are less evil and more morally challenged, ObliviouslyEvil or just simple jerks. The Ice King and Lemongrab are good examples of this: the former is [[TheSociopath a sociopath]] who [[DirtyOldMan has an obsession with kidnapping princesses]], however it's out of loneliness and his Jerkass moments come from not realising the social impact (due to an incredibly tragic backstory). The latter is a crazy ControlFreak who [[DisproportionateRetribution puts people in dungeons for little reason]], but it's because he was born [[GoneHorriblyWrong utterly nuts]] instead of being a cruel person. Even [[EldritchAbomination Marceline's Dad]], who's basically ''the Devil'', is semi AffablyEvil and [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes loves his daughter]]. There are exceptions who [[VileVillainSaccharineShow definitely stand out]], but they're few and far between.
** Occasionally, however, the show will drift into BlackAndGrayMorality.
* While ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'' has its share of villains, the large majority of its antagonists are either various Types of [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] (including two of the {{Big Bad}}s) or {{Punch Clock Villain}}s.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' Orel is a genuinely good kid with IncorruptiblePurePureness. While Moralton has many horrible people (including his own parents), lots of them are sympathetic, most of whom have their own FreudianExcuse. His parents both [[GenerationXerox had issues with their own parents]], while Miss Censordoll is pretty awful, she has one of her own [[spoiler:it's hard not to feel bad for her when you learn her mother removed her reproductive system]]. Reverend Putty is a bit cynical and jaded, but he has his own PetTheDog moments in regards to Orel and [[spoiler:his daughter]] Stephanie. Joe's a brat who bullies Orel and beats up kissing boys but he [[spoiler:he's afraid of growing old and didn't know his own mother]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' generally portrays things this way narrative wise. While Zordrak is as evil as they get, he is usually too petty and ineffectual to do anything himself, and his Urpney army mostly consist of [[MinionWithAnFInEvil sympathetic minions]] JustFollowingOrders. The Land of Dreams is generally portrayed as a SugarBowl (though their occasional fondness for [[DisproportionateRetribution Disportionate ]]/{{Misplaced Retribution}} may lean them more as ALighterShadeOfGrey).
* ''Franchise/LegendsOfChima'': On one end you've got the Lions whom are the paragons of good and keep the other tribes in line by distributing Chi, and the Eagles and Gorillas whom are kindly scholars and spiritualists but are quick to ally with the Lions. On the other end you've got the Crocs whom are lead by a prince being manipulated by his sister, the Ravens who are master con men, and the Wolves who are savage and will seize power if deemed necessary. The other tribes fall somewhere in between.
[[/folder]]
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