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Evil Cannot Comprehend Good / Webcomics

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  • The Villain Protagonists of 8-Bit Theater are not only confused by Good, they are confused by any plan which does not include murder or theft. And apparently, they cannot comprehend why the Other Warriors don't hate each other, either.
  • A rather bizarre subversion occurs in Goblins. When Kore, a Knight Templar Extraordinare chases a group of goblins and takes one of them prisoner, he proceeds to torture him, (correctly) expecting the others to hear the screams and try and save their comrade. However, judging from his uncompromising approach to "evil" races, you'd think he'd consider such "irredeemably corrupt and wicked beasts" as goblins to be incapable of selflessness and comradeship.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • In #547, Redcloak assumes that the humans would think highly of the goblins who spared them and despise the paladin who did not save them. In fact, the humans are heartened by the paladin's resistance to Redcloak. That strip shows the real problem the humans and goblins have with each other—neither sees the good in the other.
    • Similarly, Redcloak seems honestly perplexed that O-Chul doesn't know anything about Girard's Gate, since obviously the paladins would need to know about it in order to protect it. He knows about the oath they took to leave Girard alone, but simply can't understand that they'd risk the apocalypse in order to keep their word.
    • There's a similar "Chaos Cannot Comprehend Law" example in Girard's emnity with Soon, spelled out starting in #694. Girard was so unshakably certain that Soon would find some excuse and loophole to come find his Gate—in spite of his Oath not to—that he gave Soon the wrong coordinates (which led to a trap). It never occurred to him that Soon would honor his oath and hold his subordinates and successors to the same oath. His distrust of Soon ended up being a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment, as Serini's diary, which held the true coordinates, was in the possession of Xykon, and the heroic Order of the Stick was left with the wrong coordinates.
      Belkar: Hey, back it up a second: I thought you said that bluffing against a paladin was easy money?
      Haley: Sure, if you grasp how paladins think. Mr. Booby Trap here clearly doesn't, or he wouldn't have bet on one to break his oath.
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    • Earlier, in #69 the following exchange occurs after Elan saves his brother from falling:
      Nale: I'll never tell you anything about Xykon.
      Elan: Yeah, I know. But I didn't save you so we could interrogate you. I saved you 'cause I'm the Good twin, not the Neutral twin.
      Nale: ...I don't get it.
      Elan: Yup.
    • Yet another example is Nale's inability to understand that despite their differences, Roy and his sister Julia really do love each other. After all, shouldn't all siblings have a violent hatred for each other?
    • A protagonist example in #523, in which Belkar is unable to understand the benefit in freeing slaves.
    • In Start of Darkness, Xykon defeats Dorukan and seals his soul within a gem along with the soul of former teammate Lirian. His only understanding of love being mostly just sex and rape, he just assumes that this is And I Must Scream. However, he actually unites the souls of two lovers for eternity.
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    • Actually, no, Elan does not appreciate atrocities being committed on his behalf.
    • Similarly, strip #783. No, it's not that weird that Elan doesn't like watching people suffer just because they got the better of him once.
    • In strip #813, General Tarquin attributes Roy going out of his way to rescue bystanders to "stylistic differences".
    • In strip #880, it's how Haley knows that Belkar's telling the truth about Durkon having been killed and turned into a vampire by Malack. She knows that Belkar couldn't make up the part about Durkon's last wish being for Malack to spare the rest of the Order, since Belkar couldn't conceive of anyone being that selfless.
    • In strip #936, Tarquin, who is hanging from the edge of the Mechane attempts to use this trope to his advantage, thinking that Elan will save his life to prove the hero is better than the villain. Elan refuses, abandons his father, and points out that the rules for falling in their RPG-Mechanics Verse mean that Tarquin isn't actually in any danger, turning this trope into Evil Cannot Comprehend Good Is Not Dumb.
    • In Strip #963, the High Priest of Hel seems incapable of following the emotional link between one of Durkon's childhood memories and a more recent one. Later, in strip #1009, his inability to comprehend Character Development comes back to bite him—in an attempt to break Roy's spirit, he mentions having "always wondered" how many pieces Eric's body ended up in when he died, which Roy knows is something Durkon would never even consider before becoming Evil.
    • It ultimately proves to be the downfall of the High Priest of Hel, starting from strip 1128 and culminating in #1130. Being formed from one of Durkon's worst memories and essentially being a personification of who he was on the worst day of his life, HPoH proves unable to process the memory that Durkon's mother had given up 25,000 GP (which would have been more than enough to have a cleric both resurrect her recently-departed husband and regenerate her arm) to save five strangers who had died without honour in a mining accident. Even Durkon himself admits to having trouble understanding it at times, but, with a Patrick Stewart Speech about how it's not only the worst day of one's life that makes a person who they are, he floods HPoH with all of his positive memories at once, converting the vampire spirit into a more accurate image of himself.
      High Priest of Hel: What? Why would she... Why would anyone?
    • Belkar, as part of his Character Development, comes to this conclusion after learning the above.
      Belkar: So... those people are cowards, then. Right? ...Those weak posers can't handle intense hardcore introspection.
  • Why Bud's plan to destroy the Turquoise Lake summer camp falls apart in Precocious. It hinged on the campers acting like the Gemstone kids.
  • In Sinfest. Buddha is happy, despite not having all Satan's stuff. Therefore, obviously, Buddha's priorities are screwed up.
  • Tales of the Questor:
    • A group of politicians dig up an old, unfulfilled contract involving ancient relics to seize Quentyn's old hometown. Quentyn pulls the thread on the whole thing by going out to try and fulfill the contract, even if it takes him the rest of his life. Because of laws concerning such contracts, even if he dies trying, the contract is canceled.
    • In fact, a few comics later, other characters outright state this trope. The politicians have no answer to the heroic sacrifice, because when they started their bid to take over the town they completely overlooked the possibility that this could happen.
      "[The Hero] made a move that they completely failed to prepare for. Unsurprising, I've found that schemers and plotters are rarely able to cope with simple things like honor and courage."
  • Girl Genius: Baron Wulfenbach is definitely an antagonist, though perhaps not an outright villain. However, he can't understand that some things don't have a sinster ulterior motive behind them. For example, when an opponent allows his severely battered army to withdraw from the battlefield, he immediately sends out scouts to search for the flanking force preparing to destroy them they must have missed. That his opponent is genuinely trying to avoid further bloodshed never even crosses his mind. To be fair, such a thing is pretty unprecedented in the setting.
  • Grim Tales from Down Below: Him is upset when his daughter betrayed him but not at the betrayal itself, but the reason for Mimi's betrayal is for the lover of her friend. Him even said that if she betrayed him for petty reasons, he would've been proud.
  • In this page of Looking for Group, Token Evil Teammate Richard listens as Kale and Benny finally consummate their sexual tension. But since he has no concept of making love, his first thought is that Kale is killing her.
  • Deconstructed with Meenah in Homestuck. When her girlfriend, pre-Retcon Vriska, is being tormented by post-Retcon Vriska, she proclaims to agree with the latter party, deciding that all of the loving and kind qualities that led to the pair being lovers in the first place really does make the former party a weak person. Meenah figures that being evil is simply a part of her genes and cannot be changed and leaves to help the bully's plans, clearly distraught by her choice.
    MEENAH: what you need to know is
    MEENAH: like
    MEENAH: ...
    MEENAH: im
    MEENAH: bad
  • El Goonish Shive: Sirleck cannot understand why Raven would do charity work for military veterans.
    Sirleck: What's the point of living for centuries if you're going to let your heart bleed?
  • The spirits of the Seven Deadly Sins in Widdershins aren't evil so much as antagonistic and utterly single-minded, but Lust freely acknowledges that he doesn't understand how humans function with "such a mess of chaotic emotions." Consequently he assumes that Love Is a Weakness and overlooks how strong some of the couples in the story are with each other as backup.

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