Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / BlackAndGrayMorality

Go To



* ''WesternAnimation/TheEmperorsNewSchool'': Kuzco might be a jerk and a total narcissist, but he's far from being a villain and deep down has a heart. Izma on the other hand is actually evil, not that she's very good at it.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheEmperorsNewSchool'': Kuzco might be a jerk and a total narcissist, but he's far from being a villain and deep down has a heart. Izma on the other hand is actually evil, [[HarmlessVillain not that she's very good at it.it]].


* While the main cast of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' seems to be mostly good, the overall Autobot/Decepticon conflict is frequently shown in this light: Ultra Magnus is OK with lying to the public if he thinks it will protect the peace, someone like [[{{Jerkass}} Sentinel Prime]] is a [[TheNeidermeyer a high ranking officer]] while [[TheHero Optimus]] is [[AlmightyJanitor a space bridge repairman]], and they won the great war by [[spoiler:creating an Autobot as a superweapon and making him deliberately unintelligent so he doesn't question his own destructive actions]]. Meanwhile the Decepticons are [[AbsoluteXenophobe universally hostile to all other forms of life]], are more than happy to manipulate potential allies and scrap them when they finish serving their purpose, and field test [=WMDs=] in populated civilian territories out of petty revenge.

to:

* While the main cast of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' seems to be mostly good, the overall Autobot/Decepticon conflict is frequently shown in this light: Ultra Magnus is OK with lying to the public if he thinks it will protect the peace, someone like [[{{Jerkass}} Sentinel Prime]] is a [[TheNeidermeyer a high ranking officer]] while [[TheHero Optimus]] is [[AlmightyJanitor a space bridge repairman]], and they won the great war by [[spoiler:creating an Autobot as a superweapon and making him deliberately unintelligent so he doesn't question his own destructive actions]]. Meanwhile the Decepticons are [[AbsoluteXenophobe universally hostile to all other forms of life]], are more than happy to manipulate potential allies and scrap them when they finish serving their purpose, and field test [=WMDs=] in populated civilian territories out of petty revenge.


*** However, they're ''much'' more lax about those rules, and get much darker, if things get personal. And as Loki spells out very politely in the sequel, those rules only apply while they're 'on-duty'. When they're ''off'', so is the MoralityChain, and they tend to be morally much closer to the similarly ReformedButNotTamed Magneto. Even Wanda Maximoff, who rejects everything her father was, is, if pushed, capable of doing things like ''[[BodyHorror dissolving]]'' [[spoiler: Sinister]]. [[KickTheSonOfABitch Granted, he deserved it]], and [[SendInTheClones it didn't keep him down long]], but even still... And with examples such as Bucky and their concealment of just who he used to be has more than a faint whiff of hypocrisy about it, something that's addressed (it's not necessarily right, but for various reasons, it ''is'' necessary. Carol, who brought it up, isn't happy).
** It also speaks volumes that the setting's BigGood, Doctor Strange, is a [[ManipulativeBastard ruthlessly manipulative]] [[MagnificentBastard schemer]] who's an AntiHero and WellIntentionedExtremist desperately trying to [[TheAtoner make up for]] [[MyGreatestFailure his greatest failure on his good days]], while [[StepfordSnarker covering it in]] [[StepfordSmiler a mask of snark and charm]]. And on his bad days, he's [[TheUnfettered an unfettered]] and possibly insane AntiVillain, who sadly lampshades the HeWhoFightsMonsters trope. However, even at his worst, he is in opposition to the likes of [[GodOfEvil Chthon]], [[EldritchAbomination Shuma-Gorath]], [[HumanoidAbomination Gravemoss]], [[GodEmperor Surtur]], [[MultiversalConqueror Dormammu]], and [[ArchEnemy above all,]] [[BigBad Thanos]].
** As time goes by, the Avengers' attitude and inclination towards moral relativism starts to rub off on Harry, especially with all he's put through. The narration all but states that this is ''not'' a good thing. And the rest of the younger generation, for the most part, tends towards a lighter shade of cynicism too.
** That said, the narration also makes the point that there ''are'' unambiguously genuinely good and kind people in the world - chief examples being [[KnightInShiningArmour Sir Michael Carpenter,]] [[TheHero Clark Kent,]] [[CoolBigSis Jean]] [[NiceGirl Grey]] [[FieryRedhead (even with her temper)]], and even Harry, once he shakes off the darkness from what he's been through. And the story is ultimately optimistic, with the emphasis that people can and ''do'' choose to do the right thing.

to:

*** However, they're ''much'' more lax about those rules, and get much darker, if things get personal. And as Loki spells out very politely in the sequel, those rules only apply while they're 'on-duty'. When they're ''off'', so is the MoralityChain, and they tend to be morally much closer to the similarly ReformedButNotTamed Magneto. Even Wanda Maximoff, who rejects everything her father was, is, if pushed, capable of doing things like ''[[BodyHorror dissolving]]'' [[spoiler: Sinister]]. [[KickTheSonOfABitch Granted, he deserved it]], and [[SendInTheClones it didn't keep him down long]], but even still... And with examples such as Bucky and their concealment of just who he used to be has more than a faint whiff of hypocrisy about it, something that's addressed (it's not necessarily right, but for various reasons, reasons - including that Bucky would not get any kind of fair treatment - it ''is'' necessary. Carol, who brought it up, isn't happy).
happy, and [[{{Foreshadowing}} all indications are that it will backfire spectacularly]]).
** Another 'hero' is Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black, Agent, later Director, of [=MI13=] - Her Majesty's Spooky Secret Service. He's completely onboard with the idea of torture, oubliettes for disposing of politically inconvenient persons, blackmail, manipulation of all and sundry (including a young Warren Worthington who he successfully manipulates into becoming exactly what he feared his metal wings would make him - a killer), using morally ambiguous combinations of technology and magic to [[spoiler: resurrect James Bond as his Winter Soldier equivalent]], take effective command of the important elements of the Ministry of Magic in the sequel, influence (if not dominate) the muggle British government, and bluntly stating that if he deemed Harry a sufficient threat to Britain, he would personally shoot him in the head. To the faces of Thor and Sirius, Harry's father and godfather - the latter of whom is Wisdom's ''brother''.
** It also speaks volumes that the setting's BigGood, Doctor Strange, is a [[ManipulativeBastard ruthlessly manipulative]] [[MagnificentBastard schemer]] who's an AntiHero and WellIntentionedExtremist desperately trying to [[TheAtoner make up for]] [[MyGreatestFailure his greatest failure on his good days]], while [[StepfordSnarker covering it in]] [[StepfordSmiler a mask of snark and charm]]. And on his bad days, he's [[TheUnfettered an unfettered]] and possibly insane AntiVillain, who sadly lampshades the HeWhoFightsMonsters trope. trope, considering his actions NecessarilyEvil. However, even at his worst, he is in opposition to the likes of [[GodOfEvil Chthon]], [[EldritchAbomination Shuma-Gorath]], [[HumanoidAbomination Gravemoss]], [[GodEmperor Surtur]], [[MultiversalConqueror Dormammu]], and [[ArchEnemy above all,]] [[BigBad Thanos]].
Thanos]], and he's relieved that his former student [[spoiler: and successor]] Wanda ''isn't'' like him, as well as making a point of setting up the more classically good Gorakhnath (a colleague and former mentor of his) as an AntiRoleModel for his new student, Harry.
** As time goes by, the Avengers' attitude and inclination towards moral relativism starts to rub off on Harry, especially with all he's put through. This only gets worse after he starts spending more time around Doctor Strange. The narration all but states that this is ''not'' a good thing. And thing, and it is addressed - mainly by Strange, who doesn't want ''anyone'' to turn out like him. Nevertheless, the rest of the younger generation, for the most part, tends towards a lighter shade of cynicism too.
** That said, the narration also makes the point that there ''are'' unambiguously genuinely good and kind people in the world - chief examples being [[KnightInShiningArmour Sir Michael Carpenter,]] [[TheHero Clark Kent,]] [[TheMentor Charles Xavier]], [[NiceGuy Cedric Diggory]], [[TheMentor Gorakhnath]], [[CoolBigSis Jean]] [[NiceGirl Grey]] [[FieryRedhead (even with her temper)]], and even Harry, once he shakes off the darkness from what he's been through. And the story is ultimately optimistic, with the emphasis that people can and ''do'' choose to do the right thing.


[[folder:Real World]]
* This is how the real world works, basically. Very few (if any) people are truly good, but there is plenty of purely evil people here.
[[/folder]]






to:

* This is how the real world works, basically. Very few (if any) people are truly good, but there is plenty of purely evil people here.
[[/folder]]



to:

[[folder:Real World]]


As always, it is important to remember that TropesAreTools. If this is mishandled, it can make the protagonist difficult to sympathize with and lead to DarknessInducedAudienceApathy.

to:

As always, it is important to remember that TropesAreTools.Administrivia/TropesAreTools. If this is mishandled, it can make the protagonist difficult to sympathize with and lead to DarknessInducedAudienceApathy.


-->'''Little John:''' "Borrow"? Boy, our we in debt!

to:

-->'''Little John:''' "Borrow"? Boy, our are we in debt!


Obviously, the heroes of such settings tend to be {{antihero}}es. In such a world, any characters who appear to be good in any way will eventually be revealed as a KnightTemplar in disguise, a DarkMessiah inches from the edge, or a [[MoralDissonance deeply flawed]] AntiHero. And if there ''are'' any [[WideEyedIdealist genuinely good]] characters on the show, they'll either 'come around' to TheDarkSide, die horribly, remain a figure of [[ButtMonkey perpetual mockery]] or, if ''very'' lucky, [[KnightInSourArmor grow a protective shell of cynicism]].

to:

Obviously, the heroes of such settings tend to be {{antihero}}es. In such a world, any characters who appear to be good in any way will eventually be revealed as a KnightTemplar in disguise, a DarkMessiah inches from the edge, or a [[MoralDissonance deeply flawed]] AntiHero. And if there ''are'' any [[WideEyedIdealist genuinely good]] characters on the show, they'll either 'come around' to TheDarkSide, [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth die horribly, horribly]], remain a figure of [[ButtMonkey perpetual mockery]] or, if ''very'' lucky, [[KnightInSourArmor grow a protective shell of cynicism]].


* ComicBook/ThePunisher (especially ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX). Frank Castle is a sociopathic, cruel, KnightTemplar, BloodKnight, mass-murdering VigilanteMan, but is constantly pitted against UpToEleven versions of the worst sorts of people reality has to offer -- {{Serial Killer}}s, {{Serial Rapist}}s, WesternTerrorists, TheMafia, HumanTraffickers and many, many other types among them. Most Punisher villains neglect fancy costumes or entertaining gimmicks and don't seem to even have any character traits besides malice, greed, sadism, and selfishness, justifying his PayEvilUntoEvil approach to the Negative Zone and beyond. Garth Ennis writes the character as 100% aware of this, often repeatedly stating that his only reason to continue living is to punish those worse than himself.

to:

* ComicBook/ThePunisher (especially ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX).ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX, which was mostly written by the aforementioned Ennis). Frank Castle is a sociopathic, cruel, KnightTemplar, BloodKnight, mass-murdering VigilanteMan, but is constantly pitted against UpToEleven versions of the worst sorts of people reality has to offer -- {{Serial Killer}}s, {{Serial Rapist}}s, WesternTerrorists, TheMafia, HumanTraffickers and many, many other types among them. Most Punisher villains neglect fancy costumes or entertaining gimmicks and don't seem to even have any character traits besides malice, greed, sadism, and selfishness, justifying his PayEvilUntoEvil approach to the Negative Zone and beyond. Garth Ennis writes the character as 100% aware of this, often repeatedly stating that his only reason to continue living is to punish those worse than himself.

Added DiffLines:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheEmperorsNewSchool'': Kuzco might be a jerk and a total narcissist, but he's far from being a villain and deep down has a heart. Izma on the other hand is actually evil, not that she's very good at it.

Added DiffLines:

* ''[[https://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-28555-7/dspeyer+Bad+and+Worse.htm Bad and Worse]]'': The conflict between Voldemort's forces, the Ministry of Magic, and the [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer New Watcher's Council]] is between terrorists, a variably corrupt Ministry, and a number of {{Unscrupulous Hero}}es who will do anything to protect the innocent. Both the Ministry and the Watcher's Council are certain Voldemort is evil but think the other is too with each wondering whether Voldemort is the lesser of two evils or the greater.

Added DiffLines:

* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' fanfiction ''Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak'' turns canon heroes into prison convicts, pitted against the Senior Corrections Officer Mephiles, and MadScientist Doctor Robotnik. The canon heroes have been turned into murderers, rapists, terrorists, and Mobsters. It even borders on ALighterShadeOfBlack. Even if you consider a character like Silver a Woobie of sorts, he's still a first-degree murderer.
** Mephiles is only maintained as the villain by being the only one so far to stomp over the MoralEventHorizon.


* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' fanfiction ''Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak'' turns canon heroes into prison convicts, pitted against the Senior Corrections Officer Mephiles, and MadScientist Doctor Robotnik. The canon heroes have been turned into murderers, rapists, terrorists, and Mobsters. It even borders on ALighterShadeOfBlack. Even if you consider a character like Silver a Woobie of sorts, he's still a first-degree murderer.
** Mephiles is only maintained as the villain by being the only one so far to stomp over the MoralEventHorizon.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 472

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report