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Playing With / Black and Gray Morality

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Basic Trope: One side is clearly evil while the other side is morally ambiguous.

  • Straight: Evulz is a Big Bad who plans on taking over Tropeville. On the other hand, there's Bob, who is pragmatic, vengeful, cynical, and sometimes unfriendly. You can't really compare the two, however.
  • Exaggerated: A Lighter Shade of Black, despite being unambiguously evil, Bob the main character is still more noble than Big Bad Evulz.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is friendly and benevolent to people who treat him the same as well. But when it comes to people who enjoy hurting him, he is often mean and unforgiving to them.
    • Bob may be kind for the most part, but he can prove how to act appropriately to people like Evulz when necessary.
    • Evulz is a Jerkass while Bob is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: White and Grey Morality; Bob is a shining, pure hero while Evulz is a Well-Intentioned Extremist at worst, but is nevertheless, redeemable.
  • Subverted:
    • It would seem that Bob is cynical and unfriendly, but after realizing how far he has gone in his goal to save Tropeville, he becomes become more idealistic and forgiving.
    • The series introduces Lukas, a fourth grader who is idealistic, benevolent, and a shining example for humanity.
    • Evulz turns out to be misunderstood, and is grey morality at worst.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Bob eventually suffers a bad case of Aesop Amnesia but he's still good when compared to the villains.
    • Lukas undergoes Break the Cutie. He dies, turns evil, or becomes like Bob.
    • Advertisement:
    • Evulz was lying.
  • Parodied:
    • Evulz is clearly evil while Bob is a foul-mouthed, sex driven, alcoholic dolt.
    • The bad guys are demons act expectedly evil while the good guys are angels who behave rude towards each other.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob's level of morality varies depending on how sympathetic the writers are to them.
  • Averted:
    • Black and White Morality; Evulz is pure evil while Bob is pure good.
    • Grey and Gray Morality; Both Evulz and Bob have flaws and both deserve sympathy from the audience. Neither one is more good or evil.
    • There is no conflict at all.
  • Enforced: The author disregards pure heroes and wants to write story about flawed heroes.
  • Lampshaded: "There are no goody-goody-two-shoes in this world. It's just these guys fighting against our oppressors."
  • Invoked: Bob feels that being a pure hero is boring him to death, so he decides to change his look and attitude.
  • Defied: Bob doesn't want Tropeville to think he's Not So Different to Evulz, so he follows a strict moral code and avoids breaking it at all costs.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Discussed:
    • "It feels unsafe to be protected by these heroes just as much as it feels unsafe to be harmed by the villains."
    • "It's the battle of the douchebag factions! Except one is way less scummy than the other..."
  • Conversed: "Why does this show have the heroes who are fighting against the villains as a bunch of douchebags?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob defeated Evulz, but this didn't stop him from keeping Tropeville safe with these stricts laws to help humanity. Because of this, the citizens feel they would rather have been killed by Evulz than being "oppressed" by this hero.
    • Evulz publicly calls out Bob for being a hypocrite. He claims that Bob isn't any better than he is, and while he may be a evil man himself, Evulz still admits his flaws. As a result, Tropeville begins to view Bob as a lying, self-righteous attention-seeker.
  • Reconstructed:
    • A good person is capable of doing bad or cruel things, justified or not, and even if others don't agree with it, it's more preferable than purely evil people running rampant in the town.
    • Bob admits to Tropeville that he's not a perfect man, but that doesn't automatically make him evil. He claims how even though he can act as ruthless as Evulz, he doesn't behave that way to people he doesn't even know, unlike Evulz, who hurts everyone for his own good. In the end, Bob is still a loving man who can express compassion while Evulz is a complete sociopath.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob is an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist who the fans still adore none the less because he stands against the villains.
  • Played For Drama: The more Bob fights off evil, the more vicious he becomes.

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