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Moral Dissonance

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Moral Dissonance may refer to:

  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: A group of people who won't act maliciously towards each other but will act maliciously towards everybody else.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: A good guy makes an exception to their moral code treated as O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: A character embodies the very thing that their previous moral code stood against.
  • Broken Aesop: The work breaks their own moral message by having its narrative conflict resolved by the very thing it preaches against.
  • Designated Hero: The work portrays the character as a paragon of virtue when their actions are anything but heroic.
  • Designated Villain: The work portrays the character as reprehensible, even though they don't do anything that warrants that label.
  • Hypocrite: The character preaches one thing and acts in a way that contradicts it.
  • Informed Wrongness: The work tells us that what a character did is supposed to be seen as wrong despite there being nothing to justify that conclusion.
  • Jerkass Ball: Someone acts uncharacteristically cruel or selfish for the sake of enabling Conflict.
  • Karma Houdini: When a character don't get punished for their reprehensible actions.
  • Karmic Overkill: The audience thinks a character doesn't deserve the punishment they receive.
  • Moral Myopia: Judging an action as either good or bad, not on its own terms, but according to who does it.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: A moment when character acts in a way contradictory to their usual morality.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: The protagonist is subject to different moral standards than other characters.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The audience thinks a "wrong" argument within a story makes more sense than the author's "correct" argument.
  • Tautological Templar: Somebody assumes they're inherently good and therefore everything they say or do is also inherently good.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: When a character is intended to be seen as unsympathetic but the audience doesn't think they are.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: When a character is intended to be seen as sympathetic but the audience doesn't think they are.
  • Values Dissonance: What is totally acceptable or even applauded in one time or place might be seen as odd or shameful by another.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A good guy is called out by in-work characters for failing to live up to their moral code.

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