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Good Colors, Evil Colors
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Guess who's the bad guy.

Brainstorm: Color-coded lasers. Red if you're an Autobot, purple if you're a Decepticon. And the best bit is this: the color would change depending on who's firing the gun.
Nautica: So the gun would-
Brainstorm: Know if you were bad or good! Yes! What do you think? Good idea? AMAZING idea? Be honest.
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In an age where every other hero is an Anti-Hero, how do you tell who to root for? Why, you look at what color the character wears, of course! In visual entertainment, who's good and who's evil is usually distinguished by the colors, and woe be to those who are colorblind.

In this trope, different factions will have competing color schemes that makes it instantly clear who the good guys and bad guys are. This can be in the form of clothing, hair or eyes, auras, Energy Weapons, magic powers or a general Color Motif for factions. This has some basis in real life, as during the musket era (i.e. the American Revolution) armies wore contrasting colors to avoid friendly fire. Nevertheless, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Tropes like Shades of Conflict and The Dark Side take their names from this idea, but are about moral differences rather than actual colors.

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Subtrope of Color-Coded Characters. See also Color Character, Color-Coded Multiplayer, Chromatic Arrangement, Dress-Coded for Your Convenience, Evil Costume Switch, Good Hair, Evil Hair, Law of Chromatic Superiority, Light Feminine and Dark Feminine, Rainbow Motif.

If you're looking for the Trope Pantheon page regarding the deities of these tropes, see here.

Please only add examples that don't clearly fit any of the subtropes, or combine multiple subtropes in an unusual way. To fit, a work must have both good colors and evil colors, and a color contrast between the two.

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Good Colors

Evil Colors


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Afro Samurai, the hero wears a white shirt; his robotic doppleganger wears black. Afro's gold colored jewelery is matched by Afro-Droid's silver.
  • The demons in Ah! My Goddess have red Facial Markings, while the goddesses have blue. When Belldandy was temporarily given demon magic, her aura turned red from its normal gold. Additionally, Urd's angel is half-white/half-black, reflecting her half-demon heritage.
  • Inverted in Berserk with the hero Guts being known as the Black Swordsman while the Big Bad Griffith is sometimes called the White Hawk, has white hair and usually wears all white armor. When Griffith takes on his Femto form, it is jet-black in the manga and movies, and blood-red in the anime.
  • In The Big O Roger Smith, his servants, and his eponymous Humongous Mecha are all in black, whereas Alex Rosewater and Big Fau are all in white.
  • The killer and detective in Death Note are lit by vivid red and blue lights respectively during internal monologue, regardless of the natural lighting of the scene. Later on, Matsuda gets yellow, and both Mogi and Aizawa get green. Even outside their monologues, Light (the murderer) tends to wear darker colours, while L is in an off-white T-shirt and jeans. Also, the ruthless and slightly unhinged Mello wears all black, while his calmer, less aggressive rival Near wears all white and has white hair. However,Naomi Misora, undoubtedly one of the good guys, bucks the trend by always wearing black and had a fondness for leather.
  • D.Gray-Man: Allen is white (hair included), Kanda is blue and black, Lavi is red, Lenalee is green / pink, and Cross is red and gold. As for the baddies, gray and black are the colors for the Noah Family.
  • Eyeshield 21 isn't subtle about this in the least. In the manga, Jerk Jock Agon Kongo has normal black dread locks and wears a black, gold, and red football uniform. The anime decided to re-color him with purple dreadlocks, (which give the illusion that tentacles are coming out of his head) and a purple and blood-red uniform. Because there's obviously no way the audience would know he's bad without coloring him in purple from head to toe.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, the first season had identical colors for Lambda Driver energy fields. The Second Raid, however, introduced color coding: Codarls always had red energy fields while the Arbalest had blue. Though if the painting of Arm Slaves count, then this is the coding:
ARX-7 Arbalest: white color and green eyes (The Hero), ARX-8 Laevatein: white/red color, white ponytail and green eyes (The Hero). Plan-1056 Codarl: silver color, blonde ponytail and three red eyes (Big Bad), Plan-1058 Venom: red color and single red eye (Big Bad), Plan-1055 Belial: black color (Big Bad).
  • The main protagonist's Humongous Mecha in the Gundam metaseries is always white, with red, blue, and/or yellow highlights. Allied and antagonist Mobile Suits, though, vary in color schemes between series (though you can bet there will be at least one enemy Ace in a red one), and sometimes there are enemy "Gundams" that share the hero's paint job. One thing is fairly certain: That the antagonist faction (one of them at least) will have their standard "Grunt" mecha in green.
    • Gundam 00 plays this straight with GN particle emissions. Celestial Being uses drives that give off blue-green particles, whereas the antagonists give off red and gold particles. Justified in that Celestial Being uses "true" GN drives, whereas the antagonists use incomplete, reverse-engineered GN drives.
    • The color of beam weaponry, especially in UC and AD were especially color-coded, with the protagonists using purple/pinkish colors with the villains using yellow/orange-ish colors. UC in particular used different colors for special suits such as Delta Plus used blue colors and Kshatriya using green. However, Wing and SEED mainly used a singular color (yellow and green, respectively). Although the AC Gundams' melee beam weaponry are colored green and pink for OZ suits instead. And in SEED's case, Gundams stolen through Gundamjacks and the beam weaponry tech developed from those suits are main reasons for having mostly similar beam colors in the CE timeline.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny The factions are: Orb uses mostly white MS (with the nation's leader having a gold Ace Custom), while the Alliance uses black and purple ones. ZAFT, which spends time as both a heroic and antagonistic faction, goes through most of the spectrum.
  • Kill la Kill inverts the black/white relationship. The REVOCS corporation and Nazi-esque Honnouji Academy is strongly associated with the color white, whereas what little clothing the heroes wear is predominantly black and red. To further drive the point home, the Elite Four swap out their white Goku uniforms for gunmetal Nudist Beach gear upon revealing their true colors as Antiheroes All Along.
  • Kimba the White Lion has the hero being a white lion while Claw, the resident Evil Overlord, is a brown lion with a black mane.
  • All over the place in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Nanoha has a white outfit based on her schoolgirl clothes, including a bright red bow. Fate Testarossa goes with a black uniform with dark red accents, though it remains like that even after her Heel–Face Turn (although, from StrikerS onward she switches over to deep blue with a white Badass Cape). She's also blonde.Precia Testarossa wears purple and black. The Wolkenritter all wear heroic colors (pink, red, mint green, and blue respectively) despite being introduced as antagonists, foreshadowing the fact that they were Anti-Villains.
  • The characters from Popotan glow whenever they use their powers; the protagonists are green, Keith is dark red. Subverted in that Keith is not so much evil as an asshat, and not really an antagonistic one at that.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica uses and subverts these for pretty much every character.
  • Soul Eater is a very colorful series, literally and otherwise.
    • The given colors for evil tend to be red and black (predominantly Asura, but also madness and bad things in general), with the series' grim reapers adopting the classic black-and-white combination (even down to their hair color) in contrast to the protagonists' usually bright surroundings.
    • Souls (when they're seen by someone who can sense soul wavelengths) in the anime also fit this: Blue: Good/Normal human (only villains eat these). Red: Corrupted human (anyone with a red soul is fair game). Purple: Witch or misc. (act as Upgrade Artifacts, mostly chaotic evil. Yellow: Lord Death and Death the Kid have yellow/gold souls. Fitting for being the Big Good and The Ace, respectively. The werewolf Free has a unique green soul, and is generally working with purple-souled witches.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has Simon and Kamina's titular mecha as primarily Red (The Hero), while the Spiral King, Lordgenome, has his mecha almost entirely black (Card-Carrying Villain). Additionally, Viral's Enkidu is mostly white. Given his unflinching loyalty to Lordgenome and the Four Generals, this seems appropriate.
  • In the first Yu-Gi-Oh series (also known as Season Zero), the good Bakura had natural green eyes, while his darker counterpart had purple eyes. Also, the Shadow Realm has a purple color scheme to it. Yugi's hair, though much of it is black, has pink/red and gold/yellow in it, as if to offset the "evilness" of the black.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman dresses in gray with blue and yellow. Robin dresses like an explosion in a paint factory. Lampshaded when Batman explains that one of the reasons Robin wears bright colors is because he plays good cop to Batman's bad. With some Deus Angst Machina in Tim's life, he changed his costume to be less colorful than before — and his first costume was less bright than that of his predecessors, fitting his more subdued personality. Tim was also associated with green as the Smart Guy in comparison to his more impulsive Young Justice teammates. Batman's rogues like the Joker, the Riddler, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Ra's al Ghul, and Two-Face (sometimes) favor green and/or purple.
  • In Blue Beetle (New 52), Blue Beetle wears blue and black. His Evil Counterpart, Blood Beetle, wears red and black.
  • Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja has white-haired John Doe using his Ninja skills to stop the black-haired Psychopathic Manchild Reality Warper Alfie O'Meagan.
  • In Scion, sky blue is associated with the Heron Kingdom (the good guys) and blood red with the Raven Kingdom (the bad guys). Of course, the Ravens also like to wear lots of black leather too...
  • Lampshaded in the Spider-Girl comic The Buzz. When Spider-Girl first encounters Buzz (red, blue, and yellow) fighting Doctor Jade (green and black) she immediately and correctly identifies Jade as the villain and Buzz as the hero based on their costume colors.
    Spider-Girl: I'm not the type who usually leaps to rash conclusions, but you are dressed in green, and bad guys have traditionally favored secondary colors since the advent of color comics.
  • There's a Star Wars Expanded Universe comic series called Infinities, which is basically What If?/For Want of a Nail, speculating about just what would happen to the saga if, respectively, Luke's proton torpedo used on the Death Star was defective, if Han's tauntaun died a little earlier, if Threepio was incapacitated and couldn't translate between Jabba and Leia-as-Boush. The last case leads, eventually, to Luke and Leia confronting Vader and the Emperor together, Vader turning on his master to save his children and surviving, and then being taken by them off the Death Star before it blew. It wraps up very quickly with the characters saying that the Emperor also survived, but the Rebellion will be ready — and incidentally, Vader switched sides and wore a white version of his former costume.
  • A classic example of the association of heroes with primary colors and villains with secondary ones would be the 1980s Lex Luthor in his super-armor (purple, green) battling Superman (red, yellow, blue). Other villainous colors worn include Brainiac (purple), Parasite (purple), Metallo (silver, green Kryptonite), Mr. Mxyzptlk (purple), and Darkseid (navy blue).
  • Or take Spider-Man (blue, red, and black) and his villains Doctor Octopus (green, sometimes combined with orange/ochre), Electro (green), Green Goblin (green, purple), the Lizard (green), Mysterio (purple, two shades of green), the Sandman (green shirt), the Scorpion (green, purple, gray), the Vulture (two shades of green), the Rhino (gray), Venom (black and white), Carnage (blood red and black), and the Jackal (green).
  • One of the more egregious examples was when black kryptonite created an evil version of Supergirl — who popped into existence wearing a black version of the Supergirl costume.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: Mad scientist Brainstorm once came up with an idea for a color-coded laser gun. It detected if the wielder was an Autobot (good) or a Decepticon (bad), and would fire red or purple lasers respectively. Nautica, however, disapproved of a weapon that promoted "long-discredited notions of moral absolutism." Brainstorm, who was infamous for inventing things just to prove he could invent them, somewhat missed the point. Of course, this lampshades the use of this trope in the cartoons (though it was GI Joe, a different Hasbro series, that actually had an instance of the same weapon changing laser colors when picked up by a member of the other side.)
    Brainstorm:...It doesn't have to be red and purple...
  • In Green Lantern each color of the rainbow is associated with a different emotion (some good, some bad) They are: red (anger), orange (greed) ,yellow (fear), green, (willpower, courage), blue (hope) indigo (compassion), and violent (love).

    Fan Works 
  • Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon has the Etherium, a group of villains who wear white and those who turn good get black uniforms (Anti-Hero). Smug Snake Kainatrol has a dark red colour scheme setting off her white uniform, while more sympathetic villain Mekuramast (her opponent in the Enemy Civil War) has light blue. Dark Magical Girl Millusion has dark blue-green, and the other villains wear bright green, purple, and gold (though the last one, wearing a Good Colour, gets considerably less pagetime). Asa and Yoko themselves are symbolized by pink/orange and blue/black, though these choices came from the design sheet the story was based upon and the inversion of black and white has already been stated. Dawn and Mia are both symbolized by pink and bright red.
  • In My Immortal, black is good and pink is bad. What? It's true.

    Films — Animation 
  • The characters in Disney's Aladdin were specifically designed around this trope, on the notion that, in a desert, water is a life-giving force, sand is unavoidable, and heat kills people. Blue = good, yellow = neutral, and red = evil. Genie and Jasmine sport blue. The Sultan wears mostly yellow, with a splash of blue. Jafar and Iago sport red (though Iago had blue wingtips; perhaps a foreshadowing of his side-switching in the sequel). Aladdin and Abu sport purple, because they're in transition from being thieves (red) to heroes (blue). After Jafar gains control of the Genie, Genie often goes purple. When Jafar puts Jasmine in Go-Go Enslavement, she wears a reddish-orange. Though Carpet looks mostly blue from a distance, close-ups reveal an intricate weaving of colors, including blue, yellow, purple, and red. The lamp is yellow, suggesting that the power of the lamp is itself neutral and unbiased. The guards wear yellow and black fringed with purple: they themselves are neutral but controlled by both good and evil forces. The yellow scarab, harmless in itself, becomes red as the eyes of the Cave of Wonder; similarly Jafar's staff is an innocent yellow until he activates the glowing red eyes. The disguised Jafar's cloak is a foreshadowing purple. In the sequel, Abis Mal, despite insisting how evil he is, wears mostly yellow and blue with a purple hat and belt: he's really a harmless fool who tries, and fails, to "wear" the image of evil.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Both Belle and the Beast occasionally wear blue, Big Bad Gaston always wears red, and all of the villagers wear brown or green.
  • In Big Hero 6, the team checks off almost all of the stated "good" colors - blue, cherry red, green, pink, and yellow. In concept art for Hiro's supersuit, you can see that his suit was originally planned to be blue and red instead of purple and red and the purple can apply to the "neutral" side. Yokai, on the other hand, is clothed almost entirely in black with a tiny bit of red.
  • Coco: In the Land of the Dead, most of the skeleton citizens wear multicolored clothes; Ernesto de la Cruz wears silver, making him appear almost black-and-white, hinting he's the Big Bad.
  • Dinosaur: The hero is a blue Iguanodon, while the villain is a red Carnotaurus.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The evil Frollo and his henchmen always wear black, while the far-more heroic characters of Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus, Clopin, and the Gypsies all wear bright colors, and at the end of the film both Phoebus and especially Esmeralda wear white.
  • In Kung Fu Panda the villain Tai Lung, whose color was cold compared to the gold and green associated with the heroes.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 3, chi and the Spirit Realm are represented by a pure golden color, while the chi-stealing power of the villain Kai is a corrupted green.
  • Leroy & Stitch: The heroic and good-hearted Stitch is colored blue, while Leroy, his Evil Twin, is colored red.
  • The Lion King: The hero, Simba is a heroic gold lion with a red mane and red eyes, while the villain, Scar, is an evil reddish-brown lion with a black mane and green eyes.
  • Megamind first has the titular Megamind, clad in black and blue (blue skin, too), pitted against the yellow and white Metro Man, and later on, we have Megamind, still in black and blue pitted against the red and white Titan.
  • In Quest for Camelot: Kayley has a yellow shirt underneath her purple tunic, Garrett has a blue shirt underneath his green tunic, and King Arthur and his knights (even the late Sir Lionel) wear blue tunics, whilst Ruber wears a black cleavage and pants with red armor and his mechanical henchmen have the grey and black color scheme on their bodies - before they were transformed, they wear black loincloths or tunics.
  • Toy Story 3: Both Andy's bedroom and the Butterfly Room are colored blue (representing safety) and both the Caterpillar Room and the Incinerator are colored red (representing danger).
  • In Pixar's WALL•E, the bureaucratic robots (AUTO, GO-4, the "cyclops" doorkeeper) have red glowing eyes and use red forcefields. EVE, a friendly robot, has blue glowing eyes and uses a blue forcefield. The stylist/beautician robots (with female voices) are pink. WALL-E himself is school-bus yellow, indicating his naive, somewhat clumsy character.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • American Ninja: Ninja Joe is decked out in a black ninja outfit for the final battle. The enemy ninja army are also decked out in exactly the same black ninja outfit. The only way to identify Joe is by his red belt, which from many angles can't even be seen. I guess it's a cunning plan on Joe's part.
  • Coherence: the main characters all grab blue glowsticks when they walk outside to investigate. When they see an alternate group of themselves, the other group all have red glowsticks, helping to portray "our" group as the good guys and the other group as creepy doppelgangers. It's ultimately revealed to be more complicated than that.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Good is black, bad is brown. This is especially obvious when Batman dressed in Black leads the Gotham Police (who wear black uniforms, despite being boys in blue) in the Bat (comes in black), while Catwoman (black catsuit) rides the Bat-Pod (also comes in black). Bane wears a brown jacket, and the League of Shadows/freed inmates all wear brown or orange gear, and their stolen Tumblers are all in brown camos because they hadn't been repainted black yet. This also tips you off early on that Catwoman is destined for a High-Heel–Face Turn.
  • El Mariachi and Desperado both invert the traditional white/black symbols. The Mariachi wears a black mariachi outfit, while the villain always wears white.
  • The Final Battle in Enter the Dragon: Han's men wear white gi, while the prisoners, who descend on the scene while Lee and Roper are fighting Han's men, wear mainly black outfits. This is a sign the film was made in Asia, which inverts the North American convention.
  • Although all of the main characters in Equilibrium, both evil and good, wear black for the majority of the film, the climactic final battle sees the protagonist in a stunningly-white ceremonial uniform, while every one of the antagonists he fights — from the motorcycle-helmeted goons to the Big Bad himself — is dressed entirely in black.
  • Extreme Prejudice (1987). This modern-day Western has both the sheriff (Nick Nolte) and the villain (a former friend turned Mexican drug lord played by Powers Boothe) wearing white hats; in fact the latter wears a pristine white suit while Nolte mostly wears a black shirt.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow, the evil ninja, always wears white, while Snake Eyes, the good ninja, always wears black. Given that both are Asian and thus black and white are associated with heaven and death respectively in their culture it makes sense that they would choose to reflect their roles as hero and assassin using those colors.
  • An in-universe example in the finale of Gladiator when the Genre Savvy Commodus with his aimed heroic victory in the arena, where the villain wears White to cast himself as the hero, while the hero Maximus is in Black armour, and earlier a full helmet.
  • Used in The Great Race. The hero, The Great Leslie, wears white. And all his gear is white. His car, his rope, his grappling hook, his pipe, his clothes. He even gets hit with a white pie in a pie fight. The villain, Professor Fate, wears black and his car is black.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the protagonists have white smoke when they Apparate, and the antagonists have black smoke.
  • In Heathers, the three main Heathers only wear their own colors and the protagonist, Veronica, wears black and blue to show her outsider status inside their clique. Heather Chandler wears red, showing her leadership status. Her red hair bow shifting to Heather Duke shows the latter's replacement of the former. And Veronica snatching it back from her is used to symbolize the end of the Heathers. The homocidal J.D. is clad entirely in black, showing him as the villain.
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the titular army glows red once they are activated by Prince Nuada. When Johan takes control of one soldier, it glows blue.
  • The simplest way to tell apart good and bad robots (i.e. bluish three-laws compliant vs reddish Big Bad-controlled) in the not-actually-Isaac Asimov-based I, Robot.
  • The Karate Kid (1984): In the tournament, Daniel is in white gi while Johnny (the Cobra Kai fighter) is in black gi. Deconstructed in that Johnny was trained by an Evil Mentor rather than being an outright bad guy.
  • The only time that John Woo avoids his usual "white villain, black hero" color scheme is in the final church shootout of The Killer, which has Hitman with a Heart Ah Jong in a white suit and the villain Johnny Weng and many of his men in black suits. But then again, Ah Jong is the one who ultimately dies, and Weng was finished off by Jong's friend, Cowboy Cop Inspector Li Ying, who in turn was arrested by the entire police force for shooting Weng in front of them.
  • Inverted in Ladyhawke, where Captain Navarre dresses like a stereotypical villain, wearing all black with a flowing cape lined in red, and yet is a noble hero. Meanwhile, The Dragon wears primarily white and gold, and the Big Bad is a Sinister Minister wearing all white.
  • In Logan's Run the Sandmen all wear black and silver uniforms.
  • Weirdly applied in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, where some fighters who defend the gasoline-rich community wear white, in defiance of the ragged and dusty garments of everyone else. Probably more symbolic of their civilized qualities than "good" per se, as it's not exactly "good" to sucker a passing stranger into a diversionary suicide mission, while you head for the hills with the petrol.
  • Star Wars movies:
    • The Jedi typically use blue or green lightsabers, while the Sith always use red. Star Wars spacecraft however, reverse the trope, with the heroes' ships usually firing red laser blasts and the bad guys' craft firing green. The only character to go against the scheme is Mace Windu with his unique purple lightsaber, showing how important he is. The actor playing him specifically asked for it so he would stand out more easily onscreen. In episodes IV through VI, hand-held blasters always fired red bolts regardless of affiliation. However, in The Phantom Menace, the Trade Federation blasters fired red while the Republic blasters fired green. In Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Republic blasters fire blue bolts, while Separatist blasters continue with red.
    • In the original trilogy, clothing followed a fairly simple white = good/innocent, black = evil metric: Luke as a farm boy: pure white clothing. See also Leia as rebel princess. Han Solo: black vest over a white shirt (his lawless exterior conceals a good interior. Darth Vader: Pure black, evil all the way down. Stormtroopers: White armor over black under-clothing (ostensibly the space cops/good guys but actually evil underneath). This coloring is even more notable with the Clone Army. Though the initially appear good, they are eventually revealed to be evil and kill the Jedi. Luke in danger of falling to the Dark side: black clothing, ripped in ROTJ to reveal it's actually white underneath. "Neutral" characters that help the heroes, but aren't heroes, dress in brown (Chewbacca, Obi-wan). And note that Obi-wan wears brown over white. He's been in self-imposed exile for many years, staying clear of the Empire and the Rebellion, but at his core he's a good guy who is quick to help when he learns he is needed. On the remastered collector's edition of Return of the Jedi, George Lucas comments about the costume choices for the Empire and Rebels. Empire uniforms typically were colorless (black or white) or otherwise subdued to make them less friendly. Rebel uniforms however used natural colors to emphasize warmth and friendliness.
  • The Three Musketeers features (good) Musketeers in blue and (bad) Cardinal's Guards in red. Historically, both groups wore blue, and in both real life and the original Dumas novels, the two groups simply had a fierce rivalry rather than being a good/bad dichotomy.
  • Movie-verse Transformers continues the tradition: The Autobot good-guys have glowing blue eyes, whereas the "evil" Decepticons have glowing red eyes. The usage of this trope is best seen when Wheelie's eye gets damaged when he's convinced to leave the Decepticons for the Autobots, turning one of red eyes blue.
  • TRON:
    • The film is probably one of the best-known "blue heroes, red villains" works. This carries over into the newest film TRON: Legacy. In both, it's a case of Exaggerated and Justified Trope, as a Program's Tron Lines give away its alignment, function, and origin. The best example of this is when Rinzler (aka the "believed deceased" Tron) snaps out of Brainwashed and Crazy. His lines change from orange-red to bluish-silver. In the early designs for the film, however, the colors were different. It would have been yellow for those allied with the Users, and light blue (which showed up as green for some reason) for the MCP and his forces, but Executive Meddling forced the filmmakers to change it to the more standard "blue for good, red for bad" seen in the final film.note 
    • Inverted in the Intellivision version of TRON Deadly Discs — Since the people making the game were given an earlier draft of the script, Tron in that game is red while the MCP's warriors are (mostly) blue. note 
    • The video game sequel, Tron 2.0, takes this farther with an extended color-coding scheme. Good guys are blue, neutrals are yellow, and villains are red (for security programs), sickly green (for virally infected programs), or purple (for the rival company's programs), depending on their affiliation.
    • The Space Paranoids portion of Kingdom Hearts II has a similar setup, since it's directly based on Tron. Same with the Grid in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, being inspired by Tron Legacy.
  • David Lynch often uses red and blue in his films — though given the sort of things that typically happen in David Lynch movies, they tend to subvert the usual coding. Blue is obviously evil in Blue Velvet, while red is evil in Twin Peaks.
  • Most sports movies have the main character/team's final opponent(s) wearing black uniforms, and it's almost certain they will cheat at some point in the match.
  • Bruce Campbell relates an interesting anecdote in his autobiography, "If Chins Could Kill", about how costume designers use this trope to subtly enhance the story, as on the set of The Hudsucker Proxy his character started dressing in lighter colors and gradually got darker as he became more sinister.
  • The film Targets has its sets colored to match the two main characters: beloved aging horror actor Byron Orlock is mostly surrounded by mellow autumnal shades, while Ax-Crazy murderer-to-be Bobby Thompson's home is marinated in cold ugly blue-gray.

    Literature 
  • In David Eddings' novels, the good guys and their MacGuffin are blue, the bad guys and their MacGuffin are red. Every. Single. Time. Lampshaded by Silk, who was disappointed that the Cthrag Sardius (The Malloreon's MacGuffin) couldn't have been green for a change. Deities tend to be color-coded as well, appearing in a particular shade of light whenever they show up.
    • The Elenium does avert black armor = evil with the Pandion Knights, however, who are on the side of good, even if the main protagonist tends toward Anti Heroism at times. The Corrupt Church still wears red, of course.
  • In Deltora Quest the colour schemes of the Tribes/Territories are generally made up of earthy tones or bright primary colours (you can tell the Gems are good because they're brightly coloured). Everything associated with the Shadow Lord or his minions, on the other hand, tends to be ugly grey, black, or dull red (usually grey).
  • In the Dragonriders of Pern books, the eyes of dragons (and fire-lizards) change color according to their state of friendliness (or mood). Calm, happy dragons have green/blue eyes; angry, violent or fearful dragons have red/orange eyes.
  • Inverted in Mikhail Akhmanov's novel The Faraway Saikat with the Kni'lina, a race of bald Human Aliens whose color-coding system (among many other things) is different from that of the humans. In the past, their homeworld of Yezdan only had one moon. A large passing asteroid was snatched up by Yezdan and turned into the second moon, with the tides and earthquakes causing widespread devastation for the Kni'lina. Since then, the Kni'lina consider green to be a warning/danger color, thanks to their second moon having a greenish hue. In contrast, red is the morning color (i.e. good). Hence, on all their consoles, if all indicators are red, then all is well. Once they start turning green, that's when you have to worry.
  • Inverted and lampshaded in Gregor The Overlander when the Bane (an evil giant rat) is pure white, and Gregor is dressed in completely black armor. Gregor thinks that with that color scheme, everyone would be rooting for the Bane if this was a movie (except for the fact that he's, you know, a giant rat).
  • Harry Potter:
    • For the most part, it seems that red is good and green is bad. Gryffindor House is represented by scarlet red and gold, the non-fatal combat spells normally used by the heroes (Stupefy and Expelliarmus) create red light, and the Weasleys all have flaming red hair. Conversely, Slytherin House is represented by emerald green and silver, the Killing Curse used pretty much only by the bad guys (Avada Kedavra) create green light, and two snakes employed by Voldemort (the basilisk and Nagini) are both described as being greennote . However, there is one huge dent in this pattern — it is constantly mentioned that Harry has green eyes while Voldemort has red eyes. Inverted in one of the most evil persons in the books: Dolores Umbridge - she loooves pink (and cute little kittens).
  • Somewhat averted in the Honor Harrington universe in that the uniforms of the Royal Manticoran Navy are black, and they're (among) the good guys, but played straight in Shadow Of Freedom. A Solarian representative to a planet run by a dictatorship snarks to herself that the local Presidential Guard dresses in black uniforms, just like the "elite" troops of every tin-pot dictatorship on backwards planets everywhere. Of course, the uniforms of the Solarian Office of Frontier Security Gendarmerie security forces are also in black uniforms...
  • It's subtle, but the hero and villain of Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah are color-coded, and it's even called out on the surprisingly honest (if abstract) cover (if you have the paperback, which includes the back cover): Jack (hero and supposed deity) is in his dirty but white bunny suit when he's taking care of business (and the cover image even includes a little golden halo), while the Princess (villain and devilishly evil) is in pink (the stereotypically feminine sister of red), giving the book a blatant visual "Heaven vs. Hell" conflict.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the Istari are all associated with a specific color: Gandalf the Gray, Radagast the Brown, and Saruman the White (there were also two more Istari known as the Blue Wizards, though they're only mentioned briefly in some of Tolkien's other works and never actually appear). When Saruman becomes corrupted, he styles himself Saruman of Many Colours, though still uses a white hand or S sign as his symbol. When Gandalf returns to Middle Earth, he replaces Saruman as Gandalf the White. Sauron is associated with black and red. His banner is a red eye on a black field. In the fight on the bridge of Khazad-Dum, Gandalf's sword Glamdring glows blue (as Elvish swords always do in the proximity of evil creatures), while the Balrog's sword glows red, similar to the page image. Gondor/The Reunited Kingdom, being an entire nation of badass heroes, has black as its main heraldic color.
  • In Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat, the Rat is sent to infiltrate a closed society where every trade and occupation has its designated colours. As an alien offworlder, Jim di Griz is dressed in clothing coloured in yellow and black bands - he explicitly likens this to the colours of a wasp, a highly visible and highly unwelcome insect everyone is on the alert for. He also notes the planet's loathsome military dress in uniforms the colour of venuous blood. But the really dangerous caste, mind-controlling sociopaths in charge, dress in plain drab grey.
  • The Star Wars: Jedi Search novel by Kevin J. Anderson features a Force-sensitivity detector that allows to analyze a person and displays a halo if she is Force-sensitive, blue for the light side and red for the dark side. But anyway, Luke Skywalker is too dumb to figure out what the colors mean.
  • Juggled all over the place in The Stormlight Archive. The heroic House Kholin has blue as their color, while the evil House Sadeas wears green. On the other hand, Highprince Sadeas is always noted to have a very ruddy complexion. Furthermore, we have Shallan Davar, who has bright red hair and whose Shard has glowing red lines along it. While she is a Radiant, she's a Lightweaver, the Order of Radiants whose specialty was manipulation and lies. Then we have Kaladin, whose Shard glows blue to mark him as a Windrunner, the order of Radiants focused on honor and protection. Just to round things out, the inhuman Parshendi have red and black skin, and their eyes turn red when they evolve into Voidbringers but most of them aren't evil, they just want to take back their planet which was stolen by the original Voidbringers, humans. Odium, the God of Evil, is most directly associated with white and gold. He is often incorrectly associated with the color red (as demonstrated by his Voidbringers), but red actually symbolizes one Shard using the power of another, and Odium loves corrupting things.
  • Reversed in the Sword of Truth series, where the villain of the first book wear pure white, and the protagonist wears black since the fourth book. Oh, and one woman only wore black because of a subconscious desire to escape evil.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel The Killing Ground, when the Gray Knights have determined that Uriel and Pasanius are not Chaos-tainted, the ceremony afterwards includes not only arming them again, but giving them white cloaks, explicitly a symbol of their purity.
  • In the original novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it's specifically pointed out that Dorothy is seen as a Good Witch by the Munchkins because she wears blue (the color of Munchkinland) and white (symbolizing witchiness). As one of many parallels, Wicked has Nessarose (a.k.a. The Wicked Witch of the East) specifically wear blue and white as her Boarding School uniform colours, before she turns evil.
    • Wicked - particularly the musical - is built around a subversion of this trope; everyone assumes Elphaba is evil because of her lurid green skin. She is, in fact, the misunderstood heroine.
  • Sometimes in fairy tales, more often in illustrations, the heroines are fair (blonde) as a hint to their purity and innocence and the villainesses are dark (brunette or black-haired). Who knew moral standards were dictated by hair color? Averted by Snow White (whose mother wished for her to have hair as black as ebony).
  • Inverted in Dune, House Atreides are the good guys and have red, green and black as their colors, and the evil House Harkonnen have blue and white.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Gothic (1995), Spirit Advisor/angel Merlyn is always depicted dressed in white, while Sheriff Lucas Buck (the Devil Incarnate) is quite often dressed in black. Faux Symbolism?
  • Blake's 7: Blake favored light-colored clothing and earth tones. Avon favored dark clothing and leather, which only got darker and nastier-looking the further he plunged off the slippery slope. Cally seemed to have a thing for blues while Dayna liked jewel tones. Vila's clothing was as drab as possible, probably because he did not like drawing attention to himself. Mercenaries Tarrant and Soolin favored gray. Their nemesis, Servalan, had it both ways - wearing mostly whites for most of Seasons 1 and 2, switching to black for Seasons 3 and 4. Travis, however, was always in black.
  • Doctor Who frequently contrasts the generally more casual and natural tones (with some incarnations as the exception) against clinically sterile white high tech (especially during the black and white era of the Second Doctor) or gray gunmetal environments. (Significantly, the Doctor switched from darker clothes when the series switched from black and white to color.) The Doctor's Evil Counterpart, the Master, wears black, except when in disguise.
    • In "The Trial of a Time Lord," the Sixth Doctor's multi-colored suit is in stark contrast with his antagonist Knacker's Yard Farmyard Valeyard's black with-white-trim robes. Made all the more jarring when it is revealed that the Valeyard is actually his evil self.
      • It should be noted that the Sixth Doctor plays with this trope; while all the other Doctors tend towards black, brown, beige, or otherwise muted colors, the Sixth, the most anti-heroic Doctor, wears almost ludicrously garish colors, and even has blonde, curly hair.
      • Subsequent novels and audio dramas reclad him in blue.
      • The End of Time plays it straight with the Doctor in a brown suit and blue shirt, and the Master in a black hoodie and jeans and a red shirt. And the Big Bads? The Time Lords wear red robes with black and gold accents. Clearly they're evil.
    • Played with by the colour scheme of Davros' new Daleks with their friendly gold and off-white cream-colored scheme. (But then he originally designed them while passing himself off as a good guy in "Revelation of the Daleks".)
      • And played with in "Victory of the Daleks", where the "New Paradigm" Daleks are color-coded by function— all in fairly bright and cheerful hues.
  • Although the superpowered characters of Heroes are Not Wearing Tights and tend to realistically cycle through varied daily attire, there are a few noticeable costuming patterns. Beat cop Parkman tends to wear jackets in various shades of blue. Single mom Niki wears normal clothes while her evil split personality Jessica likes all-black femme fatale suits. Boy Scout Hero Peter Petrelli ends up in white quite a bit. And Ubervillain Sylar really, really likes black.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Everything associated with Kilgrave is purple. Luke Cage's surroundings often have yellow lighting, the flash drive containing information on Kilgrave is colored yellow, and Jessica herself wears a yellow dress in a flashback.
  • Lost: Jacob wears white, Jacob's nemesis wears black (this plot point was apparently foreshadowed since the pilot, when Locke tells Walt about how backgammon has two players, two sides, one light and one dark). Subverted, however, by the fact that this color more reflects their philosophy (humans are good but flawed vs a more cynical view) and neither appears to have an upper hand morally (Jacob seems to have caused the death of Nadia and basically manipulates everyone in their past to come to the Island while Jacob's nemesis manipulates Locke in order to take his body.
  • In Merlin, we have:
  • The Outpost: Good characters tend to wear blue, green or earth tones. The bad guys wear black, dark colors or red, generally speaking.
  • Extremely prevalent in Smallville.
    • Clark normally wears lots of reds and blues. Red jacket/blue shirt is basically his only outfit in the middle seasons. When he becomes detached from humanity, he wears black.
    • Chloe usually wears a lot of bright colours and you know something is wrong when she wears black. Or white.
    • Lex almost always wears black.
    • Lana wears so much pink in the first three seasons it has become a Running Gag. It got more varied later and goes all black when she becomes shady in middle-late seasons.
    • Zod and all Kandorians wear black or a dark, murky green/brown.
    • How do you show that Bizarrow is the opposite of Clark, and evil? Well, you swap the colors to blue jacket/red shirt and make both darker.
    • Another indication is the "speed aura", a translucent trail left behind by a character with Super Speed. Bart Allen (good) has red, Zod in Lex's body (evil) has orange, Lana has a faint purple aura when evil and a burning orange aura when good, making it the straightest example, Raya (good) has yellow, Maxima (neutral-ish) has green, Bizarro (evil, but interestingly, when masquerading as Clark his aura turns blue; we'll leave the question of whether it is covered by Willing Suspension of Disbelief to you) and Brainiac (Obviously Evil) had black, Doomsday (pure evil) has dark grey, Alia (evil-ish) has white, Stephen Swift (good) has gold, Major Zod has white/yellow when he still in an uneasy alliance with Clark, but once demonstrated a black aura later (it is actually recycled footage of Bizarro in flight, though).
  • In Stargate SG-1, the Tau'ri usually wear blue on-base and green offworld (justified: those are standard US Air Force and Marine Corps uniforms). Asgard ships come in dark gray and shiny white. The Goa'uld use gold and purple (for decadence) and armor their Jaffa in silvery gray, and Anubis' Kull warriors are armored in jet black. That gets subverted after the Jaffa pull a Heel–Race Turn, then played straight when the Lucian Alliance appropriates Goa'uld technology for their own use.
    • In Stargate Atlantis, anything Wraith is bluish purple.
    • In the episode "Ripple Effect" of Stargate SG-1, SG-1 teams from alternate realities are redirected to the show's Stargate Command, all wearing different uniforms so that we can tell them apart. One team wears an all-black uniform; who would've guessed that they'd be the ones behind the entire disturbance.
  • In Westworld, the heroine Dolores is wearing a blue dress. When William, who does not want to kill the hosts, arrives at the park, he is wearing brown and earthy colours and a white hat, whereas his friend Logan, who enjoys showing his dark side in the park, is wearing black. When William is beginning to show a darker side, he is wearing dark grey and eventually black. The Man in Black who is revealed to be William in 30 years is dressed in black.

    Music 

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Bible, scarlet is often associated with sin, while white is almost always holiness. This is especially significant in the sacrifices, where the innocent substitutes for the guilty and (literally with lambs, symbolically with Jesus) white becomes covered in scarlet.
  • Dennis Wheatley, student of Western occult and ritual magick traditions, and author of atmospheric horror stories such as The Devil Rides Out, asserted that purple or magenta light heralded the manifestation of spirits of evil. As he was an associate of Aleister Crowley, it can be assumed he learnt this from the Master.
  • Egyptians associated the color red with the god Set, who represented chaos, desert storms, and general disorder, generally not "good" things. Osiris was associated with green (the color of healthy, growing, living things) and sometimes black (the color of moist soil those things need to grow in). White wasn't really associated with either.

    Pinballs 
  • In F-14 Tomcat, the player protagonist, "Hitman", is dressed entirely in a white flight suit. The protagonist, the Russian General Ripper Yagov, wears a dark green suit with a black helmet.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • When Hulk Hogan did a Face–Heel Turn and started the nWo, he traded in his traditional red and yellow gear for black and white (which soon became the official colors of the nWo). Sting also traded in his colorful neon garb for black and white during this angle, though in his case, it was to symbolize his transformation into a brooding Anti-Hero.
  • When Sin Cara debuted in WWE, he was a Face dressed in blue and gold. The Costume Copycat Heel who took his place while he was on suspension dressed in these colors too, until the genuine article came back and revealed the ruse, at which point he switched to black and silver.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons is an obvious example. Not only are all Spectrum agents specifically color-coded, the leader of the good guys is one Colonel White and the main agent of the baddies is Captain Black.
  • 'Ik Mik Loreland', a Dutch educational series made to help teach reading to kids, has played with it: in the beginning of the series, the reading-loving, letter-crazy village Loria is very colourful while the illiterate antagonist Karbonkel (English: Carbuncle) wears brown and lives in a brown cave with brown stuff. The moment Karbonkel magics all the letters away from the village (up to and including the brains of the villagers) everything, including the clothes of the villagers, turns into shades of brown. As soon as the protagonist Mik learns the letters 'I' and 'K' (forming the Dutch word for 'I') she gets her colourful clothes back, but the village itself doesn't get restored until she comes back from her travels with all the letters from the alphabet. So the colourlessness doesn't stand necessarily for evil but for illiteracy. Most good creatures in the show are somewhat literate though, and the more literate the people in a place are, the nicer it is with more kind creatures to meet. 'Being able to read makes you a better person' has some unfortunate implications about illiterate adults but as noted, children shows tend to have simplistic morality. Here, even the villain wants to read, he just doesn't want anybody else to be good at it while he can't!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Metallic dragons (gold, silver, copper, brass and bronze) are good and chromatic dragons (red, green, black, white and blue) are evil. Some settings also include gem dragons (amethyst, crystal, emerald, sapphire and topaz), who are neutral. The idea of color-coded dragons was probably lifted from the Dragonriders of Pern novels, particularly given that metal-colored dragons are physically larger than their non-metallic counterparts in both Pern and D&D.
    • The Eberron campaign setting plays with this. Whereas dragons all have "Always [Character Alignment]" in the core books, in Eberron this is changed to "usually" or "often". Surprise your party with a principled revolutionary red dragon fighting against a charming but tyrannical gold dragon!
  • Exalted: Green is considered unfortuitous, due to association with the Green Sun of Hell. Gold and Silver are considered good, due to their association with Unconquered Sun and Luna. Red is considered good within the Realm and bad anywhere else, since it's the color of Scarlet Empress.
  • This is actively averted in Magic: The Gathering. Each of the five colors (white, black, blue, red and green) have equal amounts of heroes and villains.
  • In Avalon Hill's Rise and Decline of the Third Reich the German counters are black with bone-white markings, evoking the colors of death. Their minor allies are a dull, lifeless-looking gray, while the Italians are a sickly light green. The Western allies are much more colorful, while the Soviets are a neutral-looking brown.
  • Talislanta: Everyone in Aaman wears pure white, because it's a repressive theocracy. Green is the favored color of Cymril, although it hasn't been mandatory since the game's first edition.

    Toys 
  • Nexo Knights: The knights all have primary colours (blue, white, green, red and yellow), and their vehicles are blue, silver and neon orange (with side-details related to who's vehicle it is). Meanwhile, the monsters tend to stick to red, orange, black and brown, with a small dash of yellow on occasion. Later on, the stone monsters use pale blue, purple and grey.

    Video Games 
  • In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the protagonist U.S. Army Rangers wear bright green-and-tan uniforms (the Army's real-world Universal Camoflage Pattern, soon to be discontinued), while the Russian Spetsnaz, the antagonists, wear red and black ones.
  • Ace Combat has a tendency to give the protagonist's nation a flag with cool colors, especially blue, while the antagonist nations tend to have hot colors, especially red.
  • In the RPG Albion, you enter a dungeon with red and green pressure plates. The green plates have positive effects (they open doors that block your way, or treasure rooms), while red ones more or less negative ones (they release monsters or open rooms with cursed items). There's also a room with a blue pressure plate, which serves as a bait for anybody curious to find out what it does. (It opens a trap door, sending the party crashing down below.)
  • The Eagle Vision in Assassin's Creed I lets Altair and Ezio use their instincts to color-code people, allies are blue, potential enemies are red, and quest targets are yellow. Also, while Assassins traditionally wear white hooded robes, both the Templar-aligned Rodrigo Borgia and Hunter wear black instead.
  • The Big Daddies and security devices in BioShock all use their lights' colors to indicate their allegiance — green if they're on your side, red if they're hostile to you. This can be explained by Ryan wanting to avoid another Suchong incident for the Big Daddies (letting the public know when not to approach one). The security bots can be explained as intimidation value, as can the siren; thieves get scared if a screeching, red glowing machine gun armed bot comes flying at them, and they stop thinking properly long enough to get shot.
  • The Bomberman series often portray a rivalry between the Bomberman in the white suit and the Bomberman in the black suit. The Bomberman Land series takes this trope further by having a full team of color-coded characters and giving them all names like "Cheerful White", "Cool Black", "Cute Pink" and so forth, explaining what each character's color represents.
  • City of Heroes/City of Villains: While the characters themselves are not subject to this trope, the intro and character design screens and all the main screen interface elements are, to the point that some players refer to City of Heroes as "Blue Side" and City of Villains as "Red Side". Additionally, Pocket D — the extradimensional night club accessible from both games — is red from the middle of the dance floor all the way to the villains' entrance, and blue from the middle to the heroes' entrance.
    • It occasionally goes beyond that into powers. The Energy Blast powerset is blue-white for heroes and red for villains, and the same goes for lightning.
      • Now averted as Power Customisation has finally been implemented, but the default powers are still the same.
    • The developers have noted this, and mention that the armour and banners of the alien-fighting Vanguard group, who will work with both heroes and villains, are gray and purple to indicate their (supposed) neutral morality.
    • And now, Going Rogue has a yellow interface, symbolizing the different moral choices presented in the game.
      • The Loyalists' emblem is golden, and the Resistance's emblem is blue.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert. The Soviets are red, the Allies blue.
    • Justified in that Soviets were, of course, communist, hence "Reds."
    • And in the Yuri's Revenge expansion pack for Red Alert 2, the renegade faction led by Yuri is purple.
    • The earlier Dune games (made by the same people as Command & Conquer) took this trope to a ridiculous degree by having blue Atreides (good guys) and red Harkonnens (bad guys), with the Ordos being a sickly green. Note that the books don't have the Ordosnote , and that the Atreides are a (natural) green (and black), with the Harkonnens blue and the Corrino being scarlet and gold. But apparently, you're not allowed to have green good guys and blue bad guys in an RTS.
    • Oddly, however, it seems you are allowed to have green good guys and red villains: the original Command and Conquer had a green-and-gold scheme for the GDI, and a red-black-silver scheme for Nod.
  • In Deadlock, each of the seven races are represented by a different colour - and that's the only thing visually separating many of their things, such as tanks and flags. The colours are often somewhat representative of the races (the Cyth get black and are the most devious and "evil" of the races, whereas the mighty Tarth warriors get a dark, blood red).
  • In EVE Online, friendly targets are highlighted with a blue background while hostiles are highlighted with red. Thus, the two most common rules of engagement are called Not Blue Shoot It (defaults to hostile) and Not Red Don't Shoot (defaults to friendly).
    • Any legal target, regardless of relationship, is also displayed as red by default.
    • With pink being the default colour for other people in your fleet, there is also the slightly less common Not Pink Shoot It rule of engagement which is the default MO on Ganknightsnote  usually leading to hot blue-on-blue action and diplomatic fallout in the aftermath.
      Gank nights are large coordinated overview bugs. Shoot blues and ask for forgiveness later.
  • In Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, a character, Gurdy even draws attention to this after your character catches him swindling a naive professor out of a lot of money. He indicates his bright red clothing and compares himself to a poisonous flower, saying that his bright red colors warn the wise not to deal with him.
  • Played straight in Final Fantasy VI with white healing spells, black damage spells, and gray status altering spells.
  • Color-coding is employed in Final Fantasy VIII to highlight the parallels and contrasts between Squall and Seifer: Squall, a Good Is Not Nice Anti-Hero, wears mostly black and has dark hair, while his Rival Turned Evil Seifer, who has aspirations toward knighthood, wears a white Badass Longcoat.
  • Many Turn-Based Strategy games have allies in blue and enemies in red, especially if there's a "radar" where individual characters are represented as dots. Fire Emblem and Super Robot Wars are both examples of this.
    • Path of Radiance's tutorial lampshades this: when two generic soldiers are used to demonstrate how recruiting enemies works, the conversation goes something like this:
      Blue Soldier: Good sir, will you join our cause?
      Red Soldier: Sure, I'm tired of wearing red anyway.
    • Advance Wars, however, colors the player's units red in its campaigns, and enemy units (assuming there is only one enemy faction in the scenario) are usually blue or black.
      • Battle for Wesnoth does something similar in its solo campaigns. Player characters have a red circle, while enemies and allies will have a wide array of colored circles, with each army getting a color.
  • Front Mission: In the first game the IFF beacon behind dialogue text always shows up blue when the Canyon Crows or their allies speak and red when the enemy forces are talking.
    • The first game begins with OCU soldiers piloting white wanzers.
    • Later in the game has a good-vs-evil that splits the two common villain colors green and purple: the Canyon Crows are said to be mercenaries of the PMO (later to be seen in green wanzers, a peaceful and down-to-earth color) and are fighting against terrorists in violet wanzers. The Reveal leads to a Perspective Flip, showing green in its villain spin and purple in a mere Anti-Hero interpretation.
  • Gears of War includes lights on the guns which change color whether a COG (Blue) or Locust (Red) is wielding them.
    • The sequel has the colour of players in multiplayer appear more red if they are Locust or blue if they are COG the farther away they are.
  • The rollermines in Half-Life 2: Episode 1 are similar; they're normally blue, but when they've been reprogrammed by Alyx they turn yellow. Then when they are about to explode they turn red.
  • Halo:
    • Most Covenant technology comes in a shade of purple, while humanity typically uses a mix of earthy, camouflaging greens, plus utilitarian browns and grays. The robots of the ancient and highly advanced Forerunners tend to be silver, and the parasitic Flood go for unnatural green.
    • In Halo 3, "stealthy" Jiralhanae wear black. Because they're ninja space gorilla-men. Stealth or Spec-Ops Elites tend to wear dark colors, the main exception being the white Spec-Ops commander Rtas 'Vadum.
    • 343 Guilty Spark's eye and Eye Beams are blue when he is on your side, but turn red when he goes rampant.
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, the Covenant remnant still come in purple, but the heroic Swords of Sanghelios have all their stuff in red.
  • The Homeworld series in terms of ship, ion beam and hyperspace colors. Homeworld 2 is this trope:
    • Hiigaran: blue/green/gray ships, blue ion beam & hyperspace
    • Vaygr: red/gray ships, green ion beam & hyperspace
    • Bentusi & Progenitor: yellow ion beam & hyperspace (Bentusi ships are golden, Progenitors are brown/gray with a single red stripe)
  • inFAMOUS: Evil Cole shoots red lightning, while Good Cole shoots blue lightning.
  • Investi-Gator: The Case of the Big Crime: The kind Investi-Gator is a deep, rich shade of green, while his sneaky criminal brother Insti-Gator is more of a sickly, pale yellowish-green.
  • Kessen II, another Koei game set in the Three Kingdoms period, switches the colours of Wu and Wei, to give Wu, the allies of the player's faction Shu, a suitably "good" blue and Wei, the enemy, a more appropriately "evil" red.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Every character-page picture has a colored background reflecting their force alignment. Neutrals will have gray, dark siders have red background, and light siders have blue (and at the very top, they will stand in a pillar of radiant light, against a dark-blue starry sky backdrop). They will also take on an increasingly hostile stance the darker they get.
    • There was also an aversion of this in the second game. At one point on Onderon, you come across two aliens arguing about who the people should support, the good Queen Talia or the two-faced General Vaklu. The alien in support of the "evil" General is blue-skinned, while the one supporting the Queen is not only red-skinned, but has horns!
      • There was also a subversion in the form of Atris, who is a Jedi dressed in the whitest of pristine white with a blue lightsaber and is even depicted in the game's promotional material as the 'face' of the Light Side for the game. She goes Sith towards the end, without the obligatory Evil Costume Switch for black, and even before then never appears as anything more than a judgemental, self-righteous bitch.
    • Blue and red were also used throughout the interface as shorthand for "light side"/"dark side", which was carried over to Jade Empire for Open Palm/Closed Fist ratings as well. In Mass Effect, however, this changes to blue and orange (no relation) to emphasize that Renegade is less about card-carrying villainy and more about pragmatism.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon Emperor Doel, the evil purple trope straight, being the Emperor as well as the Dragoon of Thunder. Lloyd, Meru, Lenus, and the rest of the Winglies have white hair, referred to as platinum in-game. The good guys are bound to their elements though, which means they play about half the colours straight and subvert the rest.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The game company Bungie color codes enemies in most of its games. Marathon, Oni, and the original Halo trilogy all had enemies who used the same model but different colors indicated they had more health and did more damage, and were higher-ranked. Contrasted with the muted greens and browns of the human military, this actually inverted the typical Sci-Fi convention that the heroic army wears brighter colors.
  • The entire Mega Man franchise loves using dark purple auras for everything from Evil Energy, to the Maverick Virus, Dark Elf and Model W, to the point that it's spawned numerous Epileptic Trees about whether or not they're related.
  • Mega Man X is mostly blue, and plays The Hero in his series. Zero remains the same shade of red in both his Ax-Crazy and Lancer periods, but has black armor as a powerup. Axl's normal form subverts the trope, as he's black and gray without being an Anti-Hero. Lumine combines white and purple, and plays the trope very straight. As for the original series, Mega Man is blue and cyan, while Bass is black and purple.
  • Mega Man Zero plays with this on multiple accounts. Zero (Good Is Not Nice) is mid tone red and dark blue (subversion of dark blue being evil as it seems to be for providing contrast in his sprite). Harpuia is natural green and white, but is an antagonist. Foreshadows him being a decent person stuck in a bad situation. Omega (Ax-Crazy) is blood red and dark blue, or more accurately, a darker version of Zero's color scheme.
  • Isn't it interesting that all the protagonists in Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent have green eyes, and all the non-pseudoroid antagonists (including Master Thomas) ALL have red eyes?
  • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, helpful characters are represented with a prominent motif of a particular shade of yellow in their design - Big Boss's yellow stripes, Kaz, Amanda and Chico all wear various yellow scarves, Cécile has a yellow necklace, and Huey has a yellow detail on his wheelchair. Antagonists are represented with a prominent motif of a particular shade of red - red details on Pupa, Chrysalis, Cocoon and Peace Walker, Coldman has a red pocket square, Strangelove wears a red coat and a red tie, and Zadornov has a literal Red Right Hand. This becomes foreshadowing when you notice Paz wears a red coat and a red bow.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, the country you're fighting for as a mercenary, Dolphan Kingdom, has a blue and white crest and its soldiers' armor is light blue, while the enemy country, the Dukedom of Procchia, has a red and black crest and its soldiers' armor is jet-red. Subversion in that the enemy side has sympathetic characters and reasons to fight, while Dolphan is ruled by a Deadly Decadent Court who will discard you like an old rag by voting a law explusing all foreigners from the country, after you win the war for them.
  • NetHack: Unicorns are color-coded by alignment: black/chaotic, gray/neutral, white/lawful.
  • In the newer Persona games, player characters always summon their Personae with a blue aura. Shadows and enemy Persona users have a red aura.
    • In Persona 5, the Traitor, Goro Akechi, is a double subversion; they have the heroic blue aura as a Guest-Star Party Member, but after showing their true colors at the start of the second phase of their boss battle, they switch to the usual villainous red. In Royal, after pulling a Heel–Face Turn and rejoining your party, they go back to blue.
  • Phantom Brave - You can palette-swap your characters based on title, but the life bars follow the "blue ally, red enemy, yellow neutral" scheme.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the hero, Phoenix, wears blue, while the primary antagonist for the first game, Edgeworth, wears red, well, he isn't evil, so, this plays as a subversion. Then played straight with Manfred Von Karma which wears navy blue.
    • As of the Apollo Arc, the hero Apollo wears all red, and Big Bad Kristoph Gavin wears blue.
  • In Red Faction: Guerrilla multiplayer, you are always on the blue team, regardless of which side you're dressed as. Everyone whose business it is to kill you always shows up on your screen as red.
    • The first Red Faction is even worse for this; all the miners except Eos wear identical red suits, and all the Ultor Guards wear similar blue suits. The Mercs are a bit more technicolour, but their headquarters are all an ominous black.
    • Done differently in Red Faction II, where your commando team are colour-coded rather than everyone. The player character Alias is protagonist red, Tangier is stealth gunmetal gray, heavy weapons guy Repta is green, sniper Quill is electronic yellow, vehicles guy Shrike is crazy blue, and leader Molov is in stately muted tones.
    • The Red Faction: Origins telemovie adds to this, with the demented, violent, zealous White Faction wearing, um, white.
  • In the Resident Evil series heroic Chris favors green, Leon and Jill wear blue, while Claire and Ada wear red. And of course, Big Bad Albert Wesker is always decked out in black.
    • Leon is something of a combo-breaker in that he does seem to favor blue, but half the times he appears he wears no blue at all, instead wearing black, brown, army green and/or dark gray. Also, his original outfit was a police uniform, so he didn't get any say in picking the color.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei games have traditionally used blue/white for the forces of the Law (religious nutjobs) and red/black for the forces of Chaos (plain evil or Anti-Hero depending on the game).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic (the hero) is blue, Knuckles (the tough guy) is a cherry red, Amy Rose and Rouge the Bat (the chicks) have extensive pink colouring, Shadow the Hedgehog (Anti-Hero) is red and black, and Eggman is covered in red, yellow, and black - good old evil commie colours.
    • Team Chaotix include a lot of the transition colours, alluding to their use as more neutral characters.
    • It's still going on - Princess Blaze consists of much purple (for royalty). Silver is almost entirely white, with some hints of gold and blue as a Messianic Archetype.
  • Splatoon and Splatoon 2 use randomly-assigned but vibrantly contrasting color schemes for the two Inkling teams competing against one another in the main game. But the three AI-controlled factions have designated colors:
    • Octarian ink is always a highly saturated purple.
    • Salmonid "ink" is always a sickly shade of dark green; it's implied to not be ink as an Inkling or Octoling would use, but toxic waste with similar properties.
    • "Sanitized" Octarian "ink" is a uniquely uneven cyan. Like the Salmonids, it's implied that it's not ink, but actually a cross between a bioweapon and a new primordial soup, made from the test subjects before you.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront 2 the player's team is always designated as blue and the team they play against is red. However the colour corresponds to which ever team the player chooses, not the teams themselves.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds puts soldiers in different coloured suits to represent what side they're on (with instant repaints and costume changes upon being converted by a Jedi).
  • Count Bleck, the Big Bad of Super Paper Mario, wears all white - though all of his powers are black or violet.
  • Sanger Zonvolt and Elzam Branstein from Super Robot Wars are both enormously badass and both temporarily work for the Necessarily Evil antagonists in Original Generation. Accordingly, they favor black Humongous Mecha with yellow trim and black Humongous Mecha with red trim, respectively. Especially noticeable in Elzam's case since he goes through nearly half a dozen mechs in a given continuity, and paints every one of them black and red. And names them Trombe.
  • In Sword of the Stars II, the Horde Zuul use dark colours while their Prester counterparts use white and gold.
  • In Toontown Online, the Toons come in a variety of bright colors (though they can be black or white under certain conditions), while the Cogs are universally associated with gray.
  • If there is something consistent in Touhou, it's that characters in red are violent and Purple characters have certain aura of nobility.
  • Ever since Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, blue has been the colour of the humans (later the Alliance) and red of the orcs (later the Horde). Warcraft III subverted this by making the orcs commit a Heel–Face Turn but keep their traditional red colour, as well as bringing in the undead Scourge (purple = evil), night elven Sentinels (blue or teal = good, natural) and demonic Burning Legion (green, purple, red = evil).
    • The third game also gives the option to turn your units blue, allies teal, and enemies red, literally colour-coding them for your convenience.
  • In Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, soldiers from The Empire use lasguns with a red beam, while those faithful to Chaos wield green ones. This being 40k, you ultimately can't call either faction good, though.
  • In all of Koei's Warriors series, allies have blue life bars, enemies have red ones, and neutrals yellow. This color scheme extends to the game map.
  • World of Warcraft colors the nametag of each player according to this, blue being allies (or PvP-disabled enemies in some zones and servers) and red being hostiles. Inbetween we have green for allied NPCs and yellow for neutrals, as well as orange for unfriendly (which is mostly the same as neutral, except that you can't talk to them).
    • Outside of gameplay mechanics, there are also elements of this trope in the storyline.
      • Blood Elves took to wearing red in mourning of their fallen brethren. As a result, the High Elves (who the Blood Elves have had a bit of a falling out with) never wear red.
      • Red, Green, and Bronze dragons are (for the most part) good. Black dragons are evil, and Blue dragons are only evil in Northrend. The creation of the Twilight Dragonflight also adds purple, dark blue, and magenta to the list of evil dragon colors.
      • Bright, unnatural green is firmly in the Evil Color territory as it is the color of corrupt Fel magic. Naturally, the Burning Legion likes this color a lot.
      • In Val'Sharah, the Emerald Nightmare is represented by red and rather visceral-looking violet while the uncorrupted land is very green with a touch of purplish blue.
  • In the X-Universe series, the Good Republic, Evil Empire trope is subverted with Grey-and-Gray Morality. That said, the factions that are generally treated as good and evil tend to follow this trope. The Argon Federation uses gunmetal gray, and the Kingdom of Boron use bright green. The Split Dynasty uses rusty red, and the Paranid Empire uses bluish purple. The neutral Teladi Space Company leaves their ships mostly unpainted, which translates to dark gray and tan.
    • Meanwhile, the unaligned Terrans paint their ships white with black trim, pirates add Nose Art of red flames and paint the ship red, Xenon ships are black, and Kha'ak ships are purple.
  • In The 12 Labours of Hercules 4: Mother Nature Hercules is dressed in blue while his evil twin appears in red.
  • Streets of Rage have the heroes in some combination of red, yellow, blue, and white. Mr. X weras a green suit and a red and black tie. Shiva had gray and red clothing in the second game while changing it to blue or green in the third game, depending on where you fought him.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue. It's in the name, it's lampshaded, averted, subverted, and generally thrown out the window starting with the first episode. However, when they wrote the first episode, it was merely making fun of that aspect of Halo's multiplayer, so it was entirely justified.
    • Generally ignored or lampshaded with the BG crew — they're more or less team colored. Even Donut. Doc wears purple because he's on loan to both Red and Blue teams, but becomes the villain when O'malley possesses him. He returns to being a pacifist when O'Malley leaves.
    • The Freelancers take this trope and throw it through a meatgrinder. To whit:
      • Agents North and South Dakota both wear green/purple. One is the nicest, friendliest, team-centric, most heroic mercenary you've ever met, and the other is a jealous, competitive, backstabbing, second-stringer.
      • Agents Wyoming and Maine wear white armor. For Maine it could be argued that he fits the crazy mold. Wyoming, however, is merely a coward.
      • York wears tan.
      • While Carolina starts as a hero...
      • Tex actually fits this, being the distilled anti-heroine badass that she is.
      • Wash wears black armor; though he was introduced as a relatively-light anti-hero, he was adorkable in the backstory and an actual effective villain later, though never even remotely as effective an Agent as Tex, Maine, York, or Carolina.
      • There's the anonymous blue guy though Played Straight in that he turns out to be the very laidback Butch Flowers... and evil as PHUCK.
      • CT wears brown. She's the least down-to-earth person there is.
      • The Director and Councilor actually play this one straight, wearing all black and often remaining in shadows.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick on at least four occasions character's clothes have changed to indicate alignment shift:
    • Belkar's clothes turn white when a Wisdom boost gives him empathy and briefly makes him intend to become Good.
    • Miko Miyazaki's uniform turns gray when the gods punish her for murdering Shojo. Word of God is that this represents alignment-restricted magic items powering down.
    • When Vaarsuvius makes a Deal with the Devil, their robes turn black and their speech bubbles switch to a black background.
      • Lampshaded when Haley notices the color change and starts panicking over the implications. Belkar calls her on being prejudiced and overreacting which calms Haley down. Belkar being Belkar, he then whispers a congratulations to them for coming over to the "deep end" of the alignment pool.
    • When Durkon is turned into a vampire by Malack, which forces an alignment shift to Evil, his armour becomes dark grey and black.
  • Used in Looking for Group as to why Richard needs his "red fwoosh" back by having Cale describe fire and the sky.
    Richard: What do you see?
    Cale: Fire.
    Richard: Describe it.
    Cale: Hot.
    Richard: Look closer.
    Cale: Mysterious. Consuming. Intimidating. Powerful.
    Richard: Now look up and tell me what you see.
    Cale: Beauty. Endless possibility. Hope... Oh. We need to get rid of your blue fwoosh.

    Web Original 
  • Cobra Kai: Downplayed in "Mercy." Miyagi-do member Robby, in white gi, and Cobra Kai member Miguel, in their signature black gi, are the finalists at the All-Valley tournament. Robby emerges as a Martial Pacifist while Miguel falls into serious He Who Fights Monsters territory.
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has this in spades. Both inverted and played straight in that Dr. Horrible (the villain/protagonist) wears white while Captain Hammer (the hero/antagonist) wears black. Dr. Horrible's white outfit also represents his innocence and kindness, which is sharply contrasted when he switches to a blood red lab coat to represent the blood on his hands, and as a standard villain color to demonstrate that he's taking his villainy more seriously.
  • The MMORPG in which Noob is set has different colored cursors for the members of each player faction (yellow for the Empire, red for the Coalition, green for the Order). The cursor turns grey if a player get kicked out of their faction, which means they can be attacked by all three. Early Installment Weirdness from the webseries gave Game Masters blue ones.
  • Hero Lab is an educational contest for kids to design "scientific" superheroes. Not surprisingly, the "hosts" presenting the challenge fit all hero (blue, white)/villain (red, black) tropes (not only the color ones) to a T. It will be interesting whether the kids entries also do that.
  • A Practical Guide To Evil enforces this trope because its world runs on heroic fantasy tropes. Heroes, Villains and Anti-Heroes are conveniently color-coded and dressing out of element has been known to make people feel uncomfortable: “Don’t mind me,” I grunted. “It just suddenly hit home that I’m leading a Legion of Terror while wearing a black cape and plotting nefarious things in the dark.”

    Western Animation 
  • The guns on G.I. Joe shoot red or blue lasers, depending on the affiliation of the shooter. You can tell how old a show was by the color of the weapons: In the early animated series, the Joes had red beams but Cobra had blue beams. Later on, the two sides have switched colors. Sometimes, the laser guns would even change their color to accommodate the wielder. A Joe could pick up a discarded Cobra rifle and still be assured of it firing his own team color (this was probably an animation error rather than intentional, but it's fun to imagine that there's a "good/evil" switch on the side of each weapon).
  • In Code Lyoko, the villain XANA is most often identified by the color red. Most notably, the towers activated by XANA are surrounded by a red halo (blue is neutral, green when activated by Jeremie, white by Franz Hopper). There are many other examples, like the Digital Sea turning red when XANA's creatures are about to attack.
    • William originally wore a white, gray, green and blue costume on Lyoko, but it changes to a black and red one once he becomes The Dragon under XANA's control.
    • Ulrich's swords normally glow blue whenever he strikes or parries, but they glow red in the hand of any warrior controlled by XANA, making such swordfights look like direct shout outs to Jedi vs. Sith duels.
  • Even before she turned evil, Lydia from Barbie & The Diamond Castle dressed in muted red and purple, as opposed to the other muses, who wore blue and royal purple.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Comparing the greens worn by Long Feng and the Dai Li to most other members of the Earth Kingdom, you'll notice theirs are much darker (to the point of being mistakable for black), symbolizing their corruption.
    • The Grand Finale completely messes with this trope, having two determining fights happening in parallel: Aang/Ozai and Azula/Zuko. Both were red, or a kind of orange, versus blue. But in one fight, Blue was good, in the other, blue was evil.
  • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra is usually just as blatant about this, with a few aversions and subversions:
    • The Equalists, Vaatu, and the Red Lotus all go for the classic red and black (despite very different ideologies to both one another and the Fire Nation that wore it in the previous series). Dark spirits are meanwhile invariably black or near-black highlighted with a variety of harsh neons. And the Northern Water Tribe, led by fanatical Unalaq, Vaatu's servant, goes for deeper navy blues instead of the Southern Water Tribe's light tones.
    • Meanwhile Korra and Raava are both in cyan and white, and non-corrupted spirits are typically bright but natural shades. Korra's best friends Mako and Bolin wear earthy red and green, respectively, and even the reformed Fire Nation's tones are more warm and subdued, though Fire Lord Izumi keeps the same color tones her grandfather (and his predecesors) had.
    • On the other hand, the Earth Empire's green and silver look downright heroic, and Varrick wears the same cyan and white as Korra while gleefully conning everybody out of everything, while Red Herring Mole Asami Sato wears pretty much the same color scheme as the aforementioned Equalists, but remains loyal to the end.
  • On the classic 1960s Spider-Man, want to know who the villain is if they aren't already established in the comics? Their skin is green. Even if they are entirely normal humans. And no one really notices.
  • ReBoot color codes the character's Icons.
    • White and black: Nothing special
    • Gold and black: Guardian
    • Green and Black: Viral minion
  • Samurai Jack tends to dress villains in red, black, or green (Aku's colors), and puts good guys in white, brown, or other earth tones. Morally ambiguous characters (Like The Scotsman) will have a mix of both.
  • Detentionaire has some red-vs-blue symbolism, but here, red generally indicates good (the Red Tazelwurm, Lee's hair) and blue bad (the blue robot Tazelwurms, The Serpent's hair). A slightly more on-the-nose example would be Borrage's robotic eye changing from its usual red to blue whenever he's being Mind Controlled by the bad guys.
  • The heroic Dinotrux all feature bright primary colors, while the unaffiliated members of the same species are slightly darker shades of the same colors, while the villains are either black or rusted out grey.
  • On Steven Universe, the heroic Crystal Gems were led by Rose Quartz, who was light pink. Her son Steven inherited her gem. Pearl is extremely white-pale, Garnet as a fusion is light reddish purple , a combination of Ruby's red and Sapphire's blue, and Amethyst is a light purple. Lion is pink, and Connie's glasses are red before she stops wearing them. Most of the enemy gems have been green-yellow or blue in color.
    • Jasper, the Centipeetle, and the Desert Glass all are yellow or green in hue.
    • The Drill Parasites, the Invisible Monster's gemstone, the Light House gem, and Malachite are all blue.
    • This is because Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond have been set up as part of the show's Evil Empire Hierarchy, and naturally those who share their coloration would be enemies.
    • Played with concerning Peridot and Lapis Lazuli. Both are gems sharing colors with the Big Bads, and both are antagonistic towards the heroes. However, in subsequent episodes, they grow more sympathetic to the heroes' cause and join the Crystal Gems.
    • Orange and Black also seem more associated with adversaries. For Orange: The not-really-Red Eye, the Sea Worm Monster, the gemstone Garnet is seen returning with in the episode Garnet's Universe, and the Giant Crab the Crystal Gems battle in Rising Tides/Crashing Skies. For Black: The Smoke Creature from Together Breakfast, the Giant Bird defeated by Opal, the Injectors at the Kindergarten, and of course The Slinker.
    • The finale of Season 5 has the colorful Crystal Gems going up against the monochrome White Diamond. Anyone mind-controlled by her also becomes colorless.


Alternative Title(s): Good Colours Evil Colours

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