"It's so much easier to see the world in black and white. Grey? I don't know what to do with grey..."In Real Life, seeing the world in absolute Black and White Morality is considered normal for small children, but seen as a far less healthy trait in adults. A person who regards the people around him as entirely good or entirely evil has this. This type of thinking is called "splitting" in psychology, and it is a symptom of many real-life mental disorders. Some authors have picked up on this, playing belief in Black and White Morality as a sign of the character being insane or at least mentally unstable. While this is almost always done in settings that are not of Black and White Morality themselves, exceptions exist. In such cases, a Lawful Good Anti-Hero suffering from Black and White Insanity can be very disturbing indeed in the eyes of their fellow Lawful Good real heroes. This trope is not about regarding everyone as either completely sane or completely insane. A Character suffering from Black and White Insanity is likely to reason in False Dichotomies and keep their worldview coherent by applying huge quantities of Insane Troll Logic and meeting criticism with Abomination Accusation Attacks. Black and White Insanity might also be what makes a Well-Intentioned Extremist, well, an extremist. This kind of insanity is pretty much the characteristic of the Obliviously Evil Knight Templar. Character development might lead to the insane one becoming a Troubled Sympathetic Bigot. A justice system that operates on Black and White Insanity believes that All Crimes Are Equal. Compare Activist Fundamentalist Antics, Wrong Genre Savvy, Windmill Crusader, With Us or Against Us, Moral Myopia. Contrast Black and White Morality (for settings where the world actually operates in a way that makes this kind of world-view completely rational). A failed attempt at Black and White Morality will make the main character come across as suffering from Black and White Insanity. Note: This trope is about characters who have a black and white worldview AND are mentally unstable.
— Garrus Vakarian after realizing what he was becoming, Mass Effect 2
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Eren Yeager, the protagonist of Attack on Titan. He reacts to Tragic Villains expressing remorse by exploding into a rage and stating they are inhuman monsters not allowed to feel emotions. When confronted by situations that are morally complicated, he tends to either freeze up or get angry. It makes his attempts to understand Annie's reasons for killing people all the more shocking. For whatever reason, he cannot simply dehumanize Annie like he does to other villains. However, given how ugly and bleak the world he lives in is, it's easy to see how he would develop such a mentality, and sometimes, he's downright on the mark. The "animals disguised as humans" he killed could hardly be called anything but. They killed Mikasa's father and mother(In her case, one of the gang objected, but only because she would've fetched a good price on the slave market) and planned to sell the child Mikasa as a sex slave.
- In Claymore, Priscilla believed that she and the Organization were absolutely good because they protected Humanity from the predations of the Yoma, therefore all those who opposed them - Yoma but also traitors like Teresa - were evil, stemming from highly-traumatic experiences in her childhood. Her beliefs were so entrenched that she couldn't even understand why she wasn't winning against Teresa if she was the "bad guy". Once Teresa beats her she completely loses it, she throws herself at Teresa and awakens, becoming the very thing she hated so much. And the series' Big Bad too.
- To complicate things further, one of the scientists at the organization has a theory about her black and white insanity: she had to develop such a twisted view of the world or she would have awoken much sooner; the secret to cultivating a strong Awakening involves a contradiction of self hate. Claymores hate Yoma, which are fueled by stress (and human entrails), but Claymores ARE part Yoma. Thus, the more they hate the Yoma and themselves, the more stress they develop, and the more inner power they can possess when they awaken. Priscilla in particular had the perceptive skill to realize that when she killed the Yoma that looked like her father, it actually was her father, then resorted to cannibalism on her father's corpse to survive (she was quarantined and everyone assumed she was a Yoma who killed her family). From there, she deluded herself into thinking that she was raped by an evil Yoma instead because the truth can basically be summed up as "your father was driven insane and wanted to kill you and eat you, and then you killed him and ate him and were driven insane'' and that is basically stress city. Yeesh.
- In Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou, Earth-chan subscribes to extreme black and white morality. She views any improper behavior, even anything as innocuous as a white lie, as absolutely Evil; and she cannot even understand why anyone would willingly lie. Likewise, she cannot understand someone trying but failing to live up to a moral ideal — any failure to measure up is in her eyes a willful embrace of Evil. This attitude is shown to be at odds with a world filled with shades of grey, and results in Earth-chan coming to hasty conclusions about who is in the right and taking actions which solve the immediate situation but don't actually address the underlying problem — for instance, trying to address the problem of pollution by destroying a factory's smokestacks and then flying away with the satisfaction of a job well done, not comprehending that the factory will simply fix the smokestacks and continue as usual.
- This tends to come up in Death Note a lot. Light Yagami starts to shift into this as the series goes on. He sees himself and all the actions he takes as good, including killing hundreds of people. He also sees anyone who criticizes him as wrong, killing a man on live television for condemning him. The fourth Kira is this through and through (he essentially had this as a child, but couldn't quite grow out of it).
- Martian Successor Nadesico has this in the form of the Jovians. An Aesop for you, children: don't mould the society of your Lost Colony around an old-school Anime series that espouses Black and White Morality, especially to the point that said colony forgets how reality is.
- When first encountered in Mega Man Megamix, Duo seems to have this problem. He arrives specifically to kill Dr. Wily and all his robots, but runs into Mega Man, who adheres to Thou Shall Not Kill and would rather bring Wily to the courts. Duo takes this to mean that Mega Man has turned evil, with his Robot Master brothers from the first game considered as still tainted by their prior programming, and attempts to kill them to get to Wily.
- Flit Asuno winds up with this after Yurin's death in Mobile Suit Gundam Age becoming convinced that all Vagans are inhuman monsters that must be destroyed, even after the truth about their origins is revealed.
- Shinn Asuka's greatest problem in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is his inability to accept shades of grey. He's not exactly insane as opposed to being highly unstable as, unlike other examples of the troupe, it isn't even that he can't see introspection - it's that he just doesn't want to. By the finale though, he has definitely gone off the deep end, being willing to defend a Kill Sat about to destroy an entire country - one that he's decided to be pure evil simply because they're opposing his side (the fact that he was until recently a native citizen of said country actually fuels this belief).
- Shinn's mess of anger issues are the root cause of this way of thinking; or rather lack of thinking. He's not an inherently bad kid, but he is too Hot-Blooded for his own good. Moreover, his "we're good, everyone else is bad" mentality is implied to largely self-enforced, so as to allow him to justify clinging to the vengeful anger that's kept him going all this time. This is because not only is that anger his best weapon in battle, but it's also the only thing he really has left to give him any purpose in life.
- One Piece has the concept of "absolute justice," where law enforcers have a very strict black-and-white view of justice to the point where any deviation from the law in favor of piracy, is met with swift, harsh punishment. Fleet-Admiral Sakazuki of the Marines, who will execute people who so much as know certain criminals. A ship full of refugees met a fiery end due to the fact that a criminal might have gotten aboard (treating criminal tendency there as though it were Mad Cow Disease, if you will). Granted, these are all based on well-known global laws. Even worse is Robb Lucci with his "Dark Justice" which goes further in that things against the government don't need to be destroyed for the greater good, but because they are evil by nature of being against the government. He doesn't just think the soldiers he killed for being so weak as to get taken hostage was inexcusable or killing Robin is necessary to maintain world order, he thinks the soldiers' weakness and Robin's existence are unforgivable sins.
- Sensui from YuYu Hakusho. Emphasis on "insanity." "Humans are good - Demons are bad." Sensui existed and killed by this creed. When confronted face-to-face with atrocities committed by humans upon demons instead of the other way around, he snapped so hard he formed six additional personalities just to deal with the trauma.
- In Zetman, the Amagi corporation's heir Kouga idolizes Alphas, a Super Hero who fights For Great Justice, and tries to emulate him even into adulthood by having some of his father's scientists make him a power-enhancing superhero costume. For a while he manages to do more good than harm because he is not mentally unstable, just idealistic and naive. However, everything goes wrong when Hayami injects him with a bug from a clone of Ichirou that turns him into a delusional Knight Templar while he's under control.
- This is Zamasu's primary problem from Dragon Ball Super. He has a very black and white view of mortals and gods. Namely, mortals are evil and needs to be cleansed, while the gods are good, if not a bit lazy for not taking care of the mortals. His inability to understand that mortals can learn and grow, and the gods themselves are also flawed and needs to learn from their mistakes is a point of tension between Gawasu and him.
- In Batman Two-Face is sometimes portrayed as having this as the root of his multiple personality disorder.
"Harvey": Good boys don't do bad things."Two-Face": BAD BOYS DON'T DO GOOD THINGS.
- This is particularly obvious in his post-Year One characterisations, where the "good" persona believes in fairness and the hope of goodness in people, while the "evil" side sees unfairness and cheating everywhere. To quote his revised origin:
- His original character concept was even more so. Originally he was actually supposed to do good deeds when the coin landed unscarred face up.
- Batman himself occasionally comes into this Depending on the Writer, usually in stories in which it's pointed out how close to insanity he often walks. The Joker in particular seems very fond of calling him out on this, most famously in The Killing Joke.
- An early version of the Heterodyne Boys (the basis of the characters of the same name in Girl Genius, but specifically not the same guys, according to Studio Foglio) has the characters traveling to an alternate universe with Grey and Grey Morality (Grimjack #40), where they end up killing the first guy they meet in a bar. They then proceed to conclude that he must have been evil, because where they come from, only evil people ever die. In their own universe, that is assumed to be true, but in the universe they ended up in, that combined with their abilities essentially makes them a pair of Omnicidal Maniacs.
- In Logicomix, Ferge is totally honest and devoted to truth and logic. Sadly, this devotion combined with Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance leads to Black and White Insanity in the form of a Straw Vulcan despite for women and Jews. On the whole, this makes him a Troubled Sympathetic Bigot who is desperately trying to do the right thing.
- Rorschach in Watchmen, meant deliberately as a comment on Steve Ditko's more fanatically Objectivist characters. This is clearly reflected in his Expressive Mask, where the black and white never mix. This also led to his death, as he refused to compromise and decided to tell the world the truth despite knowing it would only make all the deaths from the plan meaningless and will put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Which is why Dr. Manhattan killed him to prevent him from doing so.
Rorschach: No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.
- Detective Gould in Red Handed sees all crime, regardless of the justification, as an intolerable evil. Many of the criminals in his city of Red Wheel Barrow are more sad than sinister, and in a conversation broken up among chapters of the graphic novel, another character tries to break the certainty of his worldview.
- Discussed in Total Drama Nations. Dmitri tells Emma that she's applying this to all of the other contestants and that it is unhealthy to think that way. Emma, thinking that she is just being a hero, doesn't know how to react. The Insanity part of it comes later, once she starts hallucinating voices and attempts murder on three of her more villainous teammates.
Emma: No. Dmitri's wrong. Sure, there may be a few neutral people in the world. But, especially in Total Drama, everyone can be split into good or evil.
- In Why Am I Crying, Scootaloo has a hard time accepting the fact that Diamond Tiara actually did nice things in her life, and that her kind-hearted teacher Miss Cheerilee was a cruel bully in her high school days, since those facts challenge her perception that all bullies are heartless monsters who are born pure evil and are incapable of change. She gets better.
- A significant plot point in Six Paths of Rebellion is Suzaku's inability to understand that Britannia can do evil and the Black Knights can do good. He even goes so far as to insist that the Shinjuku and Saitama Massacres were the Black Knights' fault. Though to be fair, it's suggested that Suzaku actually is insane.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures/W.I.T.C.H. crossover Kage, Caleb is shown to harbor a black-and-white viewpoint bordering on this trope. From the moment of first meeting Jade (who's partially turned back into a Shadowkhan) when she appears by chance, he refuses to consider her to be anything but a minion of Phobos or a threat nonetheless even more adamantly than the Guardians or Elyon (due to her shadow powers, actions of her Super-Powered Evil Side and Nerissa's manipulations). He also states that he'll have all the villages who supported Phobos punished, regardless of their reasoning. Jade lampshades this trope by comparing Caleb to comic book heroes who have no place for gray in their black-and-white viewpoint.
- In the Pony POV Series:
- This was the reason D___t was really erased from existence: he saw gods as inherently tyrannical to the point of trying to wipe them all out to 'truly free' mortals. Even in the timeline we see where he won, he can't seem to comprehend how wicked his actions are, even when reality has been reduced to an empty void with disembodied souls floating with not rhyme, reason, or free will, as the concepts of those things are dead.
- Nightmare Eclipse, the true Big Bad of Dark World has this problem. She has a very good reason for hating Discord (namely she's the original Dark World Twilight Sparkle who spent a thousand years his brainwashed, murderous Dragon and he took everything from her), the problem is she's developed the mentality of 'me and everyone associated with me is good, Discord and everything associated with him is irredeemably evil.' This includes Dark World itself, meaning she has absolutely no compulsions about erasing the whole thousand year period and condemning everyone in it to Oblivion as part of her "Groundhog Day" Loop revenge scheme. She's this to such a degree that by the end, her and Discord's sides on the 'black and white' scale of flipped without her noticing: Discord has long since realized what a monster he was and would gladly stop being one, but Eclipse is forcing him to remain an Evil Overlord so she can keep punishing him over and over again.
- Dumbledore in Princess of the Blacks series outright insists that either you're good and would never kill anyone under any circumstances or you're evil and have to be redeemed. Even someone like Voldemort shouldn't be killed in his book.
- Two-Face's condition is even worse in Batman Forever, where his good side, if he even has one, seems to be an excuse at best. To emphasize the point, he has two female henchmen named Sugar and Spice, a pair of attractive women who are supposed to represent his good side (Drew Barrymore) and his evil side (Debi Mazar) in very sexy ways. However, Sugar, the one who is supposed to represent his good side, is just as evil as Spice.
- Two-Face's actions show that rather than having a good side and an evil side, he only has the evil side but becomes obsessed with wanting the world to be fair. He only looks to commit murders but everyone gets a coin toss for a chance to be let go.
- In Detective Story, Detective Jim McLeod views the world this way, even refusing to give a break to a man who embezzled a small amount of money despite the victim not wanting to prosecute. He tells them that he'll commit another crime and another until he's like the gibbering idiots they've also arrested. His world collapses when he finds out his saintly wife knew men before him, became pregnant and had an abortion.
- God Bless America: With his strict morality of right versus wrong, Frank Murdoch's reality crumbles. He comes across as being less capable of comprehending the world than Roxy Harmon, who easily exploit his insecurity to get him to embark on his misguided crusade. While he's a Windmill Crusader, she seems to simply be in it For the Evulz.
- The television ranter, tea party members and Westboro Baptist Church picketers Frank kills are also portrayed as suffering from this - either genuinely or simply pretending to get attention.
- In The Ledge, Joe lives in his own personal world of strictly black and white morality. This gives a life that is very good but also very fragile. When reality doesn't conform to his over-simplified world-view, everything crumbles.
- Overzealous mall cop Ronnie Barnhardt in Observe and Report suffers from this flaw, in addition to Bipolar Disorder.
- In Silent Hill, Christabella and her cultists see the world in black-and-white, refusing to understand how horrible their own deeds are or that the hellish state of the world they live in is their own fault.
- Star Wars: In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker slowly becomes more and more deluded that all opponents of Chancellor Palpatine are enemies of the Republic, culminating in him declaring a With Us or Against Us to his former mentor. Obi-wan retorts by saying "Only Sith deal in absolutes", which might also function as this trope.
- In Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, Chad keeps insisting in a black and white narrative with himself as the good guy and the hillbillies as the villains. Since said hillbillies are the eponymous characters, well...
- Played with in the Discworld books. Granny Weatherwax is accused of having an overly black-and-white view of the world in Carpe Jugulum, but as she explains to Mightily Oats, in her opinion "gray's just white that's got grubby."
- In Flatland, the ruling caste enforce a Black and White Morality worldview to the point where they outlaw color, enforcing the world to literally be black and white. Their excuse for this draconic law is that it's needed for preserving the sexual purity of their women.
- In Iron Druid Chronicles, the Hammers of God have very clear lines on what constitutes good magic (i.e. the faith type they practice) and what is evil magic (i.e. pretty much anything else). And deal with practitioners of "evil" magic As the Good Book Says... (i.e. Suffer not a witch to live). Though in Staked it's revealed that Atticus managed to make them see the error of their zealotry, and to allow some grey to creep into their worldview.
- Javert from Les Misérables has no room in his worldview for moral ambiguity. No matter how minor your crime was, if you break the law at all, you are evil in his eyes. He chases down Jean Valjean for twenty-one years because Valjean broke his parole. Javert's case of Black and White Insanity is so strong that when events force him to confront his worldview and his worldview creates a moral dilemma he can't solve, he is overtaken by despair and throws himself off a bridge into the Seine.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire:
- The priestess/sorceress Melisandre of Asshai is convinced that everything she does, including burning people alive or using magic to fake the appearance of a prophecy coming true, is all in the name of the greater good. This is probably best exemplified when she speaks to Davos Seaworth. She asks if he is a good man or an evil one, he says that like most men he has both. Her response:
If half an onion is black with rot, it is a rotten onion. A man is good or he is evil.
- Davos reflects the metaphor right back at her: when he delivered his ship of much-needed supplies to the besieged soldiers of Storm's End, many of the onions were half-rotten, and eagerly eaten nonetheless.
- Daenerys Targaryen has a fair bit of difficulty understanding that not all of the people who rebelled against her father and usurped her family's throne are faithless, power hungry traitors. In particular, every time she hears anyone say anything good about Eddard Stark (who the readers know one of the only genuinely heroic characters in the series) she refuses to listen, and continues believing him to be a cold hearted villain. She starts to grow out of this after finding out from Barristan Selmy that her father really was The Caligula. She's also not as quick to condemn Eddard for his association with Robert Baratheon when she realizes that by the same logic that she uses to condemn him, (essentially guilt by association) she is a childkiller like her dragon.
- Try telling Cersei Lannister that fawning sycophants do not great allies make. Or that criticism aimed in her direction does not automatically make somebody a deadly enemy to put on the "accident" list. Well, she doesn't always do that: she also verbally abuses and belittles them enough to actually making them loathe her enough to become active roadblocks. If you are not her child, her twin or a Yes-Man, she just doesn't see why she can't abuse and discard you, as you're never going to be worthy to be truly on her side.
- The priestess/sorceress Melisandre of Asshai is convinced that everything she does, including burning people alive or using magic to fake the appearance of a prophecy coming true, is all in the name of the greater good. This is probably best exemplified when she speaks to Davos Seaworth. She asks if he is a good man or an evil one, he says that like most men he has both. Her response:
- In The Stormlight Archive, Nale divides people into law-obeying and law-breaking. In his eyes, only the law-obeying are allowed to live in peace; the law-breaking, regardless of the severity of their crime, must be punished with death, because to spare them is to invite recidivism.
- Galad from The Wheel of Time has a comparatively minor case of this; he's described as "always doing the right thing, no matter who it hurts" and has very strict ideas concerning what right and wrong entail. This leads him eventually to join the Children of the Light, an organization (in)famous for this kind of thinking. In the later books he begins to be lighten up, at least a little, especially after people he respects challenge his world view and point out how even the best intentioned person can be simply wrong, even working from the best information that they have. On the plus side, because he's now influential in the Children, his lightening up is taking the organization with him.
- As a whole, the Children of the Light. Quite a few of them smell rabid to wolves.
- Discussed in The Witchlands, when Caden accuses Safi of this after noting that her power (she's a Living Lie Detector) lends itself for neatly arranging people into "true" and "false", stating that she's too focused on it to see the reasons behind truthfulness or falseness. Safi retorts by telling him that she can't do that because everybody lies.
Live Action TV
- The Watchers Council says all demons are evil. Of course, this is first disproved by the vampire with a soul Angel, and then the soulless vampire Spike, who actually goes and gets a soul for love. Not to mention Clem, a demon so non-evil that not only does Buffy trust him with Dawn, but Dawn is able to push him around (and he comes to Buffy's birthday party). Not to mention that the Slayers themselves have powers that are demonic in origin.
- Angel showed the Council's position to be nonsense, with scores of non-evil demons appearing. Even many of the demons they fight are "evil" not in a Legions of Hell apocalyptic way, but in a career criminal, thug-for-hire way.
- Connor. The sad fact is that he never really adjusts to our world. Angel is a killer; therefore, he should die. The world is harsh and cruel; Jasmine made it a paradise, so she must be good.
- He considers himself above Angel Investigations in this respect, accusing them of fighting empty battles and helping to maintain the status quo.
- Game of Thrones:
- Melisandre believes in a constant struggle between the good force of Light and the evil force of Darkness. Consequently anything that doesn't align with the Lord of Light is evil and must be destroyed because if half an onion is black with rot, it's a rotten onion.
- Daenerys shows signs of this during her Slave Liberation, particularly in Meereen, when she starts dealing out vengeful punishments to the ruling class with the rationale that it is justice because they deserve it because they are evil.
- Satoru Tojo from Kamen Rider Ryuki is a Heroic Wannabe with a habit of killing off his close acquaintances and dismissing the other Riders in the Rider War as unworthy of being 'heroes'. Notably, it's his presence and conviction that what he is doing is right that causes protagonist Shinji Kido to seriously take into consideration that the participants of the Rider War are not simply made up of bad people wanting to do bad things, and that there are a lot of gray areas to be considered.
- Shijima Gou from Kamen Rider Drive has all Roidmudes classified as pure evil and most of time he is pretty close. Enter Chase, their Noble Demon top hitman. As if that was not bad enough, Gou soon learns that his sister maybe in love with him. He loses a few marbles afterwards.
- Monk will try prosecuting people for letting their dogs pee in the street, having an uneven number of buttons undone on their shirts/sweaters or wearing mismatched socks, because such "crimes against the universe" will "invariably" lead to crimes like Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking. And don't even get him started on nudists....
- Virginia in the North and South (Trilogy) miniseries is against slavery. Fine. Believing that everyone from the southern USA is Always Chaotic Evil? Not so fine. And it keeps going downhill from there, with her ruining her own life and arguably becoming more of a liability to her cause rather then an asset.
- Police commander Howard "Bunny" Colvin from The Wire bemoans how police adopting a black and white mentality and an increasing determination to never compromise or question the "War on Drugs", regardless of its obvious failings, has changed being a police officer for the worse throughout his career. In one frustrated speech, he says that police officers are being turned into wartime soldiers, and outlines what he sees as the differences between the two. (According to him, one protects a community and the people within it, while the other kills their enemies.) He goes on to add this has only succeeded in turning the very community police are supposed to protect into their enemies.
I mean you call something a war, and pretty soon everyone is going to be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, racking up body counts. And when you at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And pretty soon the neighborhood you're supposed to be policing, that's just occupied territory.... Soldiering and policing, they ain't the same thing.
- In Bad Religion lyrics, this trope is implied to be one of the main problems with people and society.
- In Billy Joel's song "Shades of Grey", while he notes his own departure from Black and White Morality and how much easier it was, he also cautions in the vein of this trope:
And the only people I fearare those who never have doubtsSave us all from arrogant men,and all the causes they're for
- This is also exemplified in the title character of his "Angry Young Man."
- The video for the Insane Clown Posse song "Chris Benoit" touches on this in the form of a rubix cube that arranges itself from evenly checkered to solid black or white on each side, representing the titular wrestler's descent into the insanity that led him to kill his family. The use of chess pieces and dice also add to the Black versus White theme prevalent in the video.
- The Monkees also did a song "Shades of Grey" with the same theme, but without the caution aspect.
- A Vocaloid music video called "Super Hero" has the title character Kagamine Len choose to become a super hero like his idol on a cartoon show in order to administer justice. Over time, he finds the real evil lies in the government and tries to destroy the system for the greater good.
I'm a super hero!!
The time has come to change the world
Call me insane? Call me a murderer?
You're the ones who are evil!Terrorist, you say? That's outrageous!
Hey, where do you think you're taking me?!
I protect everyone, this town, this world, and you!
I'm your great and noble hero!!
This wasn't the way it ended on TV....
- In another Vocaloid song, "Karakuri Burst," Kagamine Len states that his views of morality are separated only by 'black and white'.
- Downplayed and Discussed in Poets of the Fall's "Nothing Stays the Same," as the singer describes wallowing in absolutist thinking in darker, depressive moments.
And black and white thoughts have all bowed to me
As I’ve walked through their unlit corridors
- Tuyet from BIONICLE. She's a Lawful Evil character, who wants to take over the Matoran universe because she genuinely believes she could make it a better place. However, an Alternate Universe shows that this would mean brainwashing all the other Toa into Knight Templars, and killing anyone who poses a potential threat to her position as Empress.
- Heroes in Beast: The Primordial represent the dangerous end-result of mixing this trope with Axe-Crazy; they are defined as Knights Templar who will seek out and destroy all Beasts, even those who choose pretty innocuous methods of sating their Horror Hunger. In fact, Heroes see the universe in terms of "me as good; Beast as evil" that they easily slide into delusions of Protagonist-Centered Morality, allowing them to effortlessly justify anything they do to themselves as being For The Greater Good.
- The Oracles from Genius: The Transgression have this as their defining character flaw. They've rejected any sort of possible nuance or greyness in morality, and act on very old and simplistic moral philosophies, being quite proactive in righting all the supposed wrongs they find. And no matter what you say, they always think they're the ones in the right.
- In Magic: The Gathering, this is White's main flaw, which is why Knight Templars are fairly easy to create. A specific example were the Loxodons from Mirrodin (metal covered anthropomorphic elephants), which were mentally incapable of accepting the concept of moral shades of grey. The white phyrexians that took over Mirrodin were even worse in that regard.
- Planescape went in for the "Lawful Stupid Knight Templar" presentation of Lawful groups a bit much, at least those that weren't overtly Lawful Evil. The Harmonium and Mercykiller factions were especially bad, presented as draconian monsters - the courts often had to throw out cases where someone was arrested by the Harmonium for minor infractions like membership in a "wrong" faction. This came from being in a setting where belief is power and strong belief is more power, leading factions to resort to dogmatic extremism to get and keep their power.
- In an interesting subversion, it also suggested that for creatures who are born from and composed of the pure force of Good (or Law, or whatever), that to cease to see the world in the black-and-white terms of their alignment was a sign of mental instability. The main example being a group of celestials (beings of pure Good) who conspired to keep the fiends (demons and devils) wrapped up in their Enemy Civil War by running arms to both sides. Some seemed to be close to losing their grip from seeing things in shades of gray. In other words, shades-of-gray is a healthy and mature view for mortals but unhealthy for immortals, and black-and-white absolutism is the reverse.
- In Warhammer 40,000, pretty much every single sentient being is afflicted by this, due to Fantastic Racism. Except the Always Chaotic Evil ones. Of course, this being Warhammer 40000, the only mistake most of them make is assuming there's a 'white'.
- In Dragon Age II, as Anders becomes more and more obsessed with the Mage/Templar issue of Kirkwall and as he's starting to lose the battle against Vengeance, he becomes more and more hostile to those he perceives as pro-Templar or just generally an enemy of the mages, including those in Hawke's party.
Anders: But Grace... we saved you.
- He seems to struggle equally with the idea that mages can do wrong. No matter how many blood mages you encounter in Kirkwall, he will always assume that accusations of blood magic or wrongdoing on the part of a mage are Templar lies until confronted with direct evidence. When you encounter the conspiracy between mages and Templars in Act III, Anders is completely shocked and disbelieving that the prime driving force for attacking Hawke was Grace, a mage they had previously rescued.
Merrill: You really do believe, don't you? In freedom, in mages... in good spirits and bad Templars, with more fire than the sun.
- This is invoked directly in game, by one of your other companions:
- Fenris, too, in the other direction, to a slightly lesser extent. Fenris believes that all mages are evil, period. Interestingly, he's actually aware that it's generally a bad idea to overgeneralize the innocent many based on the actions of a guilty few. But reminding him of that will cause him to rationalize that bad magic is so tempting that all innocent mages, with the possible exception of Mage!Hawke, will eventually become guilty. The "lesser extent" part comes in because Fenris never quite acts on his belief that all mages are the same beyond insulting the mages in the party, and Fenris will sometimes apologize for being rude if it's pointed out to him, where Anders... well, play the end of the game for details.
- Hell, Fenris will even help mages when you point out their treatment in the game could be considered a form of slavery; the one thing Fenris hates more than mages.
- As per the quote above, this is played with for Garrus Vakarian in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, both of which portray him as someone who thinks along these lines before he finally mellows out in Mass Effect 3.
- In the first game, he was someone who saw lawbreakers as people who needed to be put down, with his entire reason for joining Shepard to stop Saren being simply to kill the latter on principle. His introduction has him risking a civilian's life to snap-kill a thug, and his backstory reveals that'd he'd once advised a transport of civilian hostages be destroyed in order to stop one criminal, willing to write them all off as necessary losses purely because they were in the way. Shepard can choose to reinforce or reprimand this behavior, but it won't change who he is at his core; only get him to accept another way of doing things is possible.
- In the second game, he's slid further into this after seeing all the political hogwash on the Citadel in response to (or rather denial of) the Reaper threat, heading to Omega purely because of how easily he could find lawbreakers - and he not only didn't hesitate to kill anyone who broke the law (be they legally-enforced or just unspoken edict), but he sometimes gave them rather cruel or ironic deaths in line with what crimes they comitted. As before, Shepard can work to either encourage or discourage this behavior, with a Paragon Shepard (who themselves arguably classes as a Lawful Good Anti-Hero by this point via association with Cerberus) being particularly disturbed by Garrus' more ruthless behavior.
- N and Team Plasma from Pokémon Black And White has this. If you're not in support of their insane Cartoonish Supervillainy, then you're a cruel and abusive Lillipup-kicking Pokémon trainer! It turns out that Team Plasma's claim to having this is merely a cover-up for their true motives — to Take Over the World. N turns to be the true Plasma King. The only one who wants to Take Over the World is Ghetsis. N even all but invokes the idea by name:
"Many different values mix together, and the world becomes gray... That is unforgivable! I will separate Pokémon and people, and black and white will be clearly distinct!"
- In the sequel, Ghetsis and co are still trying to take over the world, while N is still interested in freeing Pokémon, but more specifically freeing them from Poké Balls. As the end nears, he begins to question if people and Pokémon really can live alongside each other.
- In Super Dangan Ronpa 2 you have Nagito Komaeda, the Ultimate Lucky Student. He believes hope is good and despair is bad, therefore, all actions done in the sake of hope are good. The problem is his twisted perception of hope that leads him to create an opportuinity to a murder on Chapter 1 and masterminding his own death in Chapter 5 on a Thanatos Gambit to kill everybody on the island.
- Heavily implied with the apparent Big Good Rohoph in the MARDEK series, due to the Violet Crystal's influence. Qualna calls him out on it and gets a Fate Worse Than Death for his trouble.
- Zealot Angels in Nexus games fall into this trope with frightening regularity, although it's hard to tell whether Namm (their patron god)is immune to it as his PR says or the worst example.
- Megami Tensei: By the end of any of the games in the main series, both the Chaos and Law factions will have degenerated into this. Don't much care for a World of Silence? Then get thine ass hence, for thou art a greedy, war-mongering Jerkass that placeth his own whims before the needs of thy fellow man's! Think that a world of social darwinism where Might Makes Right isn't your thing? Then FUCK YOU, you goody-good, backstabbing peace-lover!
- Ishida Mitsunari in Sengoku Basara. He defines 'good' as his master, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. If you are a fellow servant of Hideyoshi, he will (grudgingly) tolerate you. If not, you are a vile sinner who will be beaten until you become a servant of Hideyoshi at best or killed in the most gruesome fashion imaginable for the 'sin' of disobedience. It doesn't help that he's quite a Horrible Judge of Character.
- Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2 operates off of the reasoning of "Hyperion = good, everyone else = bad", completely disregarding everything good his enemies have done and his own moral bankruptcy.
- "Black Mask", The Heavy in Persona 5, actually mocks the concept of justice for not being morally clear enough when you confront him. As far as he's concerned, his enemies, his allies and even all of society should be thrown into chaos as recompense for the crimes and injustices they've ignored.
- From Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Atris has a simplistic sense of morality: everything is either completely good or completely evil. This caused her to turn on the Jedi Order, whom she previously saw as perfect and infallible, when their actions during the Mandalorian Wars and Jedi Civil War challenged these notions, leading her to secretly plot to recreate the Jedi Order according to her values—where any force sensitive would be killed for showing even the slightest sign of turning to The Dark Side. By the time of her final confrontation with the Exile, it's clear that Atris' inability to reconcile morally grey actions has caused her to snap and turn to the Dark Side.
- In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, Max Force labels people who disagree with him about just about anything as "druggies" and attempts to shoot them down. Once he is convinced someone is a druggie, no force in the world can convince him otherwise. And when he fails to shoot his target, he comes up with insane excuses as to why he didn't actually miss; he was just aiming at something else.
- Goblins: Kore the Paladin is nominally Lawful Good, a requirement maintaining his paladin status. However, he believes certain races of monsters are inherently evil, and that anyone who comes into contact with an evil creature becomes "infected" with evil themselves, which can only be cured by death. This includes people who merely come into contact with evil creatures, people who are kidnapped by evil creatures, and even people who might potentially sympathize with evil creatures. And no, children are not exempt. And the scariest part? Kore still retains his paladin magics, which means that either the divines who guide the church agree with and/or tolerate his philosophy, or there is something very WRONG with heaven. It's also possible it's a "I believe I'm right therefore I have power" type deal. Given however that it's explicit in the comic that evil is triumphing in a multiversal sense, it's more likely to be a problem with his god.
- Turns out demons "cursed" him a millennia ago. It's not confirmed if that is the main cause of his insanity, but it probably prevented him from getting psychological help.
- Miko in The Order of the Stick is built on this trope, growing increasingly delusional over the course of the story arc. As her insanity increases, it changes her from a mere Knight Templar into a total Windmill Crusader - handwaving even the fact that the Gods have stripped her of her paladin powers.
- Irina Tepes from Rasputin Catamite hacks up people in the name of God, and is absolutely convinced that her activities are virtuous.
- The partisan climate of the US devolving into this on both sides was the driving force behind the less-than-stellar state of affairs in Remus
- Glinda comes off as this in the Kings War arc of Roommates, when she goes to war against an evil, greedy, glory seeking villain who fooled people into thinking that he changed and got his hand on a magical kingdom, but villains are villains and heroes heroes, period... In her own world she might be justified, OZ is not the land of great moral ambiguity, but because the comic is a Morality Kitchen Sink that villain happened to be a Lawful Good ex-Hero Antagonist, who is also the Token Good Teammate of the main cast. When she explained her reason boiled down to: "There are heroes and there are villains, you are a villain so you must be opposed."
- Worm: Panacea aggressively categorises capes as heroes and villains with no grey area, to the point that she continues to view Skitter as an irredeemable villain even after the other breaks her back protecting a civilian shelter from Leviathan. Furthermore, in the Slaughterhouse Nine arc, she actively sabotages the Undersiders even though they're the main force opposing the SH9 and save her life multiple times, just because they're "villains". Her adoptive sister Glory Girl and foster mother Brandish are just as bad if not worse due to the latter's past and subsequent raising the other two in such a manner.
- Near the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender, especially in the finale, Azula begins to adopt this mindset, seeing everyone as being either completely for her or a complete traitor to her. Most notably, the end of the two-part episode "The Boiling Rock" after Mai and Ty Lee turn on her.
- Parodied when she banishes one of her twin handmaidens, convinced one is loyal and the other is treacherous, despite the fact that she can't tell them apart. They themselves couldn't decide who's supposed to leave as a result.
- Danny Phantom's first episode has Sam and Tucker on the opposing sides of a Meat vs. Veggies, and put Danny in the middle:
Tucker: you're either with me...Sam: ...or you're against him!Both: SO WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?!
- Gravity Falls has Rumble McSkirmish. A character from a fighting game played by Dipper, he comes to the conclusion that Robbie, Dipper's romantic rival, is evil and killed Dipper's father. When Dipper admits he lied, Rumble decides that Dipper is a villain as well and beats him too.
- Steven Universe: Bismuth sees the world as Crystal Gems= Good Homeworld Gems= Evil. Her view goes to the point where she creates the Breaking Point, a weapon meant to render gems Deader Than Dead, and when Rose (and later Steven) protest, she attacks them, as she sees anyone trying to show mercy to the Homeworld Gems as just as evil.