!Species Morality Coding

Many predators (whether omnivorous or carnivorous) and scavengers are usually pegged as bad, mean, or evil even though most are not especially mean or aggressive in RealLife. Most herbivores are pegged as good, friendly, or nice even though many large herbivorous mammals are especially mean and aggressive in RealLife. Despite this trope's existence, animals that are pegged as bad or evil in fiction are actually not evil at all in RealLife and deserve respect and conservation as much as animals that are pegged as good in fiction, do.

Sometimes, there are differences with the species' moral coding across different cultures. For example, in Western cultures, ravens are generally portrayed negatively morality coding wise, but in Pacific Northwest Native American folklore, they are {{Guile Hero}}es.

Sometimes, some types of animals within a larger group of animals are portrayed either more negatively or more positively morality coding wise. For example, turtles and tortoises are pegged as good guys whereas other reptiles are generally pegged as bad guys. [[CreepyCrows Ravens and crows]] are technically songbirds, but unlike other songbirds, they are generally pegged as bad.

Sometimes, there are differences in the moral coding of a species across different time periods or locations. For the longest time, wolves were among the most demonized animal species, and in Europe this attitude still prevails. In North America, however, with its much larger tracts of wilderness, the wolf is viewed more positively. Also, sperm whales were generally pegged as bad guys in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but that portrayal of sperm whales has faded away as whaling became discredited. Before people knew that gorillas were gentle animals, they were generally cast as [[KillerGorilla pugnacious bad guys]].

Some animals are usually pegged as good despite the negative expressions and associations attributed to them. For example, skunks are usually portrayed as good despite being associated with sneakiness and the expression, "drunk as a skunk." Also, when a person is called a "dog," the label usually refers to their disloyalty, even though real dogs are loyal and fictional dogs are usually heroic or otherwise good.

With some animals that are often pegged as bad or evil, the young of the species doesn't normally follow the moral pegging often attributed to the species' adult form. For example, when humans are cast as bad guys, it is usually adults that are cast as such. Children can be cast as villains, but it's usually done as a subversion or as an EnfantTerrible. Teens can be either/or in moral pegging. Also, adult cats are often cast as bad or mean, but kittens are usually not cast with that moral pegging. If a kitten is cast as evil, it's usually CuteIsEvil.


!!Species Morality Coding List
[[folder:Bad Guy Animals]]
* Barracudas
* [[FeatheredFiend Birds]] in some cases
* [[FullBoarAction Boars]]
* [[BigCreepyCrawlies Bugs]], with a few exceptions
* [[CatsAreMean Cats]], traditionally in Western media
* [[CreepyCentipedes Centipedes]]
* [[CreepyCockroach Cockroaches]]
* [[CreepyCrows Crows and Ravens]] (though ravens are {{Guile Hero}}es in Pacific Northwest Native American folklore).
* [[RaptorAttack Dromaeosaurids]] (traditionally, because of ''Film/JurassicPark'', more recently it's either/or)
* [[PsychoElectricEel Electric eels]]
* [[KillerGorilla Gorillas]] (traditionally, before TheNineties, nowadays it's either/or)
* [[HumansAreBastards Humans]] (like it or not, we're nearly always the villains in stories about animals, although there are often exceptions)
* Jackals
* [[SlipperyAsAnEel Moray eels]]
* [[MacabreMothMotif Moths]], when compared to butterflies.
* Mosquitos, especially since they spread disease.
* [[PredatorsAreMean Most predators]]
* [[ScavengersAreScum Most scavengers]]
* [[PiranhaProblem Piranhas]]
* [[YouDirtyRat Rats]]
* [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent Reptiles]], although turtles and tortoises are often an exception
* [[RhinoRampage Rhinoceroses]]
* [[ScaryScorpions Scorpions]]
* [[ThreateningShark Sharks]]
* [[SnakesAreSinister Snakes]], especially [[PoisonIsEvil venomous ones]] (though non-venomous snakes are either/or)
* Sperm whales (in the 19th and early 20th centuries)
* [[SpidersAreScary Spiders]] (traditionally, more recently it's either/or)
* [[TermiteTrouble Termites]]
* ''TyrannosaurusRex'' (before TheNineties, nowadays it's either/or)
* [[CirclingVultures Vultures]]
* Wasps and hornets, when compared with bees.

[[folder:Good Guy Animals]]
* Antelopes
* Ants
* [[PrettyButterflies Butterflies]]
* [[TheMarvelousDeer Deer]] (although TheRival may be an exception)
* [[HeroicDolphin Dolphins]]
* [[HonorableElephant Elephants]]
* Fishes
* Frogs
* [[GenialGiraffe Giraffes]]
* Hippopotamuses
* [[KangaroosRepresentAustralia Kangaroos and wallabies]]
* [[NiceMice Mice]], especially when paired with [[CatsAreMean villainous felines]] or [[YouDirtyRat rats]]
* Mongooses
* [[HerbivoresAreFriendly Most herbivores]]
* Ostriches
* [[PlayfulOtter Otters]]
* [[PandaingToTheAudience Pandas]]
* [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins Penguins]]
* Sloths
* Songbirds
* [[SwansASwimming Swans]]
* [[TurtlePower Turtles and tortoises]], with the occasional exception of snapping turtles.
* Whales, especially baleen whales
* WoodlandCreatures
* Zebras

[[folder:Either/Or Animals]]
* Badgers
** Badgers can be good
** [[BadOlBadger Or they can be bad]]
* Bats
** Bats can be good
** [[BatOutOfHell Or they can be bad]]
* Bears
** [[BearsAreBadNews Bears can be bad]]
** [[BearyFunny Or they]] [[BearyFriendly can be good]]
* Bees
** Good bees
** [[BeeAfraid Bad bees]]
* [[PantheraAwesome Big cats]] ([[KingOfBeasts lions]], tigers, leopards, etc.)
* Birds of prey (eagles, falcons, and hawks)
** NobleBirdOfPrey
** FeatheredFiend or KidnappingBirdOfPrey
* Cats
** [[CatsAreMean Bad cats]]
** [[CuteKitten Good cats]]
* [[ThoseWilyCoyotes Coyotes]]
* Crocodilians
** While there are many [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile negative images]], just as many positive ones, especially alligators, have also been seen especially in children's shows.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Dinosaurs]]
* Dogs
** [[HeroicDog Most dogs are often portrayed as heroic]].
** Although [[AngryGuardDog some breeds]] are cast as bad guys.
* Ducks
** [[MorallyAmbiguousDucktorate Bad Ducks]]
** Good Ducks
* [[CunningLikeAFox Foxes]]
* Horses, donkeys, and mules
* Hyenas
** While there have been many [[HeinousHyena negative portrayals]] in the past, recent years have seen a few positive ones.
* Lizards
* Monkeys and apes
** [[ManiacMonkeys Bad monkeys and apes]]
** [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Good monkeys and apes]]
* [[EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods Octopuses and squid]]
* Orcas
* Owls
** [[OminousOwl Bad owls]]
** [[TheOwlKnowingOne Good]] [[CuteOwl owls]]
* Parrots
* [[MessyPig Pigs]]
* Plesiosaurs
* [[PteroSoarer Pterosaurs]]
* Pythons and other non-venomous snakes
* Rabbits and hares
** [[RighteousRabbit Good rabbits and hares]]
** [[HairRaisingHare Bad rabbits and hares]]
* [[RascallyRaccoon Raccoons]]
* Seals and sea lions
** SweetSeal
** MonstrousSeal
* [[SmellySkunk Skunks]]
* Spiders
** [[FriendlyNeighborhoodSpider Good Spiders]]
** [[SpidersAreScary Bad Spiders]]
* Toads
* Walruses
** WarmHeartedWalrus
** WilyWalrus
* Weasels
** WeaselMascot
** WickedWeasel
* Wolves
** SavageWolves
** NobleWolf
* Humans can be either/or as well.
** Evil and Bad Adult Humans
** Good Adult Humans
** [[ChildrenAreInnocent Good Human Children]]
** [[EnfantTerrible Evil and Bad]] [[KidsAreCruel Human Children]]