Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Blue and Orange Morality

Go To

Basic Trope: Characters or societies whose ideas of right and wrong seems totally alien or even downright silly.

  • Straight: Singing at night is an indication that you are a priest, even if you don't want to be one. Few want to be a priest because everyone listens to you. Having others listen to you is considered to be very wrong. If you are a priest, everyone will respect you while also ridiculing you for doing wrong things. Doing wrong things may make you lose your title as priest, but you can easily have it reinstated by singing at night. Publicly getting into fistfights is normal, but only bullies kick each other. Insulting a stranger is fine and dandy, but only behind their back. If you insult someone to their face, you're considered an utter jerk who nobody would ever want to be friends with. It is illegal to live behind the times. Divorce is very common, but voluntary termination of friendship is extremely rare; friendships nearly always end with either the death of one party or an accidental loss of touch. Betraying a friend is considered to be worse than murder. Eating in public is generally frowned on, with the obvious exception of restaurants. Tipping in a restaurant is regarded as an insult to the quality of the food. Skipping any meal is illegal, unless for medical reasons. Weight loss does not count as a "medical reason"; it must be a matter of life and death.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: It is normal to publicly hug and kiss one's friends, but holding hands with anyone other than a Love Interest may result in accusations of cheating. Everyone goes to extreme lengths to return lost property; "finders keepers" is unheard of. Among loved ones, white lies are openly encouraged as a way to avoid conflicts. However, false advertising is considered to be the worst possible crime other than murder. Table manners essentially don't exist, but it is considered rude to watch someone else brushing their teeth. In short, the fictional society's norms and values are somewhat strange but mostly comprehensible.
  • Justified:
    • The less human the characters, the more justified.
    • The character is an alien from another planet/dimension, or even an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • A character claims this, only to be shown that they have a poor understanding of morality instead.
    • What seems like a nonsensical superstition is literally true and thus the behavior fits in with normal morality given the circumstances. Eating the dead causes reincarnation into the bloodline of who ever ate the most of them which makes eating someone after they die the right thing to do.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But for a few issues they act less human.
    • The other characters teach the “proper” morality, which is every bit as incomprehensible.
  • Advertisement:
  • Parodied: When a non-human explicitly points out they are who they are and not human to another of their kind (even when humans are unknown to them).
  • Zig Zagged: Recently transformed humans have to decide whether to act like humans or follow the instincts they have obtained and change their minds every day in accordance with the new morality.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: By having non-humans not act like humans, you can justify the actions they make more easily, allowing for more plot flexibility.
  • Lampshaded: "Many humans would have objections with eating each other's flesh as a sign of friendship." "Maybe, but we're not humans. Duh!"
  • Invoked: A group of civilized people are shipwrecked on a desert island. They end up Going Native in order to survive, and develop their own set of norms in the process.
  • Defied:
  • Exploited: The character transforms into something to avoid the moral implications involved with an action they are taking.
  • Implied: A character claims that they once visited an alien society with buzzard laws and values, but never describes them in detail.
  • Discussed: "What if their social norms are completely different from ours?" "That's ridiculous! They just live in the next town. It's not like they're from another planet or something."
  • Conversed: "Finally, a fictional society with its own culture. I can't tell you how tired I am of seeing aliens act like humans, even when they've never had contact with us."
  • Deconstructed: The characters' cultural differences lead to a series of misunderstandings.
  • Reconstructed: There's a person in a group who navigates this sort of thing.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • A human tries to raise an alien as human and teach it human values.
    • The aliens are embarrassed about the implications of their value system.
  • Played For Drama: In a foreign land the characters are subject to laws they don't think are right.
  • Plotted A Good Waste:

If you don't return to Blue and Orange Morality, you're guilty of misappropriation of state funding! Which is punishable by eating cakes!