01:03:17 PM Sep 27th 2017
edited by SomeoneImSure
edited by SomeoneImSure
The summary, imo, is too short and needs a lot more explanation than it has been given, but I think I get the point of what they are trying to say. The character involved is a Mary Sue who is considered by everyone in the story to be a neutral character, but the explanation in story for this neutrality is that the character switches between moral extremes at any given point in time. To take from the example used, this means that the character will save a cat stuck in a tree in one moment but kill the cat immediately afterwards with no explanation given in story. This means the character has a very inconsistent morality or no reason behind that morality whatsoever, which is a common enough trope that it requires a page. However, the summary is still a problem here due to a slight inconsistency on the Main Page and the Playing With trope. Main Page: "But, here's the interesting part... this means they have license to do anything. Want them to save a kitten from a tree? They can. Want them to kick the kitten in the very next moment? They can, with no contradiction of character." PlayingWith Page: "A Mary Sue or Marty Stu whose neutrality allows for an inconsistent personality and moral decisions." I might be misunderstanding the terms "inconsistent" and "contradiction" but surely if a character has an inconsistent morality than that means that the character does things that are contradictory to choices the character previously made. There needs to be a deeper explanation for this if both statements are true, because one cannot be absolutely true if the other is absolutely true. This could be cleared up simply by explaining that the character's moral inconsistency is never contradicted, meaning that the character is stubbornly inconsistent about it's own established morality. I might be misunderstanding what the troper who made this is trying to say but that is just why I think the summary needs to be longer or just better at explaining itself.
06:59:24 PM Aug 18th 2015
This trope has no examples, means nothing, and should be deleted. It's one thing to avoid Flame Bait, but this page has devolved into total incomprehensibility. If anyone thinks the page should be kept, please reply with some examples of the trope in works. Maybe we can use them to write a description that makes sense.
01:50:29 AM Aug 19th 2015
It's fairly clear to me, actually. Such a discussion would be for TRS which as of now is not open.
01:35:07 AM Aug 24th 2015
edited by Saieras
edited by Saieras
If it's so clear, then name an example. Based on the description, I can see such a character popping up in the fandom of a work that makes a big deal of Character Alignment, as some authors might put more focus on the neutral alignment than writing a plausible character. Alternatively, it could be a role-playing style in which a player alternates between good and evil actions because neutral ones are uninteresting or unrewarding. However, the description doesn't mention character alignment or role-playing, so I can't be sure. Should it mention those things?
02:11:11 AM Aug 24th 2015
It's about a character type which is unrealistically described and hand-waved as a "neutral" character.
07:33:40 PM Aug 24th 2015
I have some guesses as to what that even means, but I don't know for sure. That's the problem. The trope description is at once too vague and too esoteric to be useful. New guess: Since the author doesn't know how to write a morally grey character, they just mix and match good and evil actions. Rather than have a clear personality, this Sue will just Pet the Dog to gain sympathy and kick it to be edgy and cool. The result is a character who is inconsistent, poorly defined, and not very interesting. Overlaps heavily with Jerk Sue and Designated Hero. Is that in the ballpark?
11:34:42 PM Aug 25th 2015
Between that approval and the few explained mentions of the trope on the wiki, I think I finally get it. This is a character for whom the author has no plan, yet insists on shoehorning into the story. Like an Anti-Sue in that an unlikable character is inexplicably getting attention, but this one is undefined instead of abhorrent. Key symptoms include inconsistent personality and vague motivations. Though if that's the case, the neutrality part is unnecessary and misleading. Maybe something like "Wild Card Sue" or "Mysterious Sue" would fit better? Or maybe "New Personality As The Plot Demands", though that would change it from a character to a descriptor. Sorry if it seems like I'm trying to hijack this trope. I just wanted to make sense of it.
01:27:43 PM Sep 27th 2017
I agree 100% with Saieras here. The summary is too short to have any real meaning. I know the Sue character fits certain Mary Sues I've run into but this page needs to better define these character traits or all instances in which the trait could appear so that the readers know the full scope of the Neutrality Sue. Even adding what Saieras said up here could make it better. However, to avoid having the trope's definition change due to multiple different interpretations of other multiple different interpretations over time (aka the trope ends up being hijacked), it should be the original author of this trope who decides what goes into the page or not. Then, afterwards, perhaps we can review the page and see if it actually does have as much merit as we all currently think it does.
03:28:07 PM Jun 15th 2014
Are there any examples of characters in fiction who (at least, arguably) fit this "narrative approves of everything they do because they're neutral" trope? I'm asking because it seems like a pretty rare Mary Sue trope.
01:31:05 PM Sep 27th 2017
I know this is an old topic post but I think this is worth saying; No examples are allowed to be posted anywhere on Tvtropes, so I'm afraid no one can answer your question. If you need help better understanding the trope, then I would suggest having a look at the other topics in case they have already answered your questions.
04:04:46 AM Aug 22nd 2013
"this trope usually is either devoid of emotion, or varies from deadpan to emotional to outright unstable" That's an all-encompassing net. What exactly was it trying to catch? It's usually...what?
06:18:53 AM Dec 28th 2012
edited by VVK
edited by VVK
The way this page was when I saw it (meaning I don't know its earlier history), it started out describing someone who is morally allowed to do anything because they're "neutral", but then it switched partly to talking about someone who has great neutrality superpowers that can do anything (or something). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I assumed the first was supposed to be the definition (they certainly are not the same thing) and removed the following: "... if they're taken Up to 11, the only one of their kind, and their effects can't be suppressed or countered. Expect them to have Power of the Void, a Hand of Life/Hand of Death, and Yin-Yang Bomb as their power. Usually the protagonist, since as a secondary character their power is usually downsized. ... If the character is a Yin Yang Master, but fits smoothly within the party, they are probably another trope. If they affect the whole balance of the good and evil within the universe, or are the only defender of nature, and without whom the universe suddenly and inexplicably collapses due to the natural laws being disordered, then they might be this trope." (For reference, the above were placed in the article between things I didn't remove, marked in bold here, as follows: "The Heroic Neutral, the Nature Hero, Badass Normal, and the Red Mage are all good candidates, if they're taken Up to 11, the only one of their kind, and their effects can't be suppressed or countered. Expect them to have Power of the Void, a Hand of Life/Hand of Death, and Yin-Yang Bomb as their power. Usually the protagonist, since as a secondary character their power is usually downsized. Related to the Fixer Sue, a combination of Purity Sue/Villain Sue, and in some cases the Sympathetic Sue (if backstory and personality flaws are played out heavily). If the character is a Yin Yang Master, but fits smoothly within the party, they are probably another trope. If they affect the whole balance of the good and evil within the universe, or are the only defender of nature, and without whom the universe suddenly and inexplicably collapses due to the natural laws being disordered, then they might be this trope.")