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Playing With: Good Angel, Bad Angel
Basic Trope: A character has a crisis of conscience personified as an angel and a devil.
  • Straight: Alice has a crisis of conscience. A good angel with wings and a halo dressed in a modest white kimono appears on her right shoulder, appealing to her good or nice side. A demon with a skimpy top, fishnet stockings, and a miniskirt and stiletto heels appears on the other, appealing to her selfish or mean side.
  • Exaggerated: Other Exposition Fairy type characters (representing all aspects of her personality) appear to offer their two cents.
  • Downplayed: Alice either has only one angel or only one devil. She can choose to agree or disagree with either.
  • Justified: Alice is having a crisis of conscience; caught between what she should do and what she maybe wants to do.
  • Inverted:
    • The Devil is the one who gives good advice The Angel is the one who gives evil advice
    • The angel and the devil go to her for advice.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice has a crisis of conscience. An angel and a devil appear on her shoulders and start arguing about what she should do, but Alice can't see or hear them.
    • The angel and devil appear but they say nothing.
    • Diabolica raises a valid point, and Angelica takes her side. A Lternatively Angelica raises a valid point, and since Even Evil Has Standards, Diabolica sides with her.
    • Alice assumes they're an angel and a devil but they're actually Order Versus Chaos.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Alice is pretending she's unaware of them.
    • The simple appearance is their argument. It is intended to make Alice think of the choices she has available.
    • The one that shrugs says "Just kidding".
    • The argument of "society's rules" vs "personal freedom" boil down to similar "selfless vs selfish" as if they were an angel and a devil.
  • Parodied:
    • The appearance of the angels is set up like the beginning of a wrestling or boxing match: "In this corner, from the Superego, representing virtue and selflessness, Angelica! And her opponent, from the Id, representing vice and selfishness, Diabolica!" *ding, ding!*
    • The ensuing battle sets Alice's head on fire and she runs away screaming.
    • The two characters' fighting literally gives Alice a headache.
    • The only character to appear is Diabolica. (Angelica is duct taped to a chair and gagged.) note 
    • The shoulder angels have shoulder angels of their own advising them.
    • The shoulder angels that appear aren't Alice's.
    • The two angels represent opposite ends of a Blue and Orange Morality scale, baffling Alice.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: No conceptual representations of conscience appear on Alice's shoulder or anywhere else.
  • Enforced: "We need to show an abstract concept like a crisis of conscience in a way the audience can understand."
  • Lampshaded: "Hey Angel, Devil, what advice do you have for me?"
  • Invoked: Alice is faced with a tough moral decision to make.
  • Exploited: The angel and devil are illusions cast by a low-level mage looking to manipulate Alice.
  • Defied: Alice decides for herself, rather than letting an Exposition Fairy make the choice for her.
  • Discussed: "Man, I wish we had those shoulder angel things that help you with moral decisions."
  • Conversed: "Alice is just staring off into space, muttering to herself. You think she has those two things on her shoulder that tell her what's good or bad?"
  • Deconstructed: Alice has a mental disorder. When she tells her family that there is an angel and a devil telling her what to do, the family gets worried and puts her on medication.
  • Reconstructed: Alice has a mental disorder and receives counseling from her parents. She just happens to think of her mother as an angel and her father as a devil or vice versa.
  • Played For Laughs: The two characters have an Escalating War going on, and focus on attacking each other more than helping Alice think.
  • Played For Drama: Both raise equally valid points, and so neither one is particularly helpful.

Back Good Angel, Bad Angel

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