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Quotes / Protagonist-Centered Morality

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Fan Fiction

Hello, Emma dear. Let me begin by thanking you for the most wonderful death a womanizing government hitman could ask for. Oh, so sorry, you should instead be focusing on how good you feel. After all, your loved ones have all been properly avenged. Granted, they’re all still dead, and you’ve done nothing to stop my work as M. But that’s not important. What’s important is that you did what hundreds of terrorists and war profiteers could not. You deprived England of her greatest defender. Do you feel like a hero yet?

Film - Animated

We've done a lot of things we're not proud of—robbin' graves, plunderin' tombs, double parking...But nobody got hurt! (Beat) Well, maybe somebody got hurt, but nobody we knew...

Film - Live-Action


It was so dark when I entered the Coach that I could not distinguish the Number of my Fellow-travellers; I could only perceive that they were Many...'What an illiterate villain must that Man be! (thought I to myself) What a total want of delicate refinement must he have, who can thus shock our senses by such a brutal Noise! He must, I am certain, be capable of every bad action! There is no crime too black for such a Character!' Thus reasoned I within myself, and doubtless such were the reflections of my fellow travelers.

Live-Action TV

(The protagonists of Atlantic Rim are engaged in a brawl they started with two bystanders)
Tom Servo: Jonah, I don't understand who to root for. Those officers bumped into him.
Jonah: Uh, true, but they're the heroes of this movie so they're always right.

Web Animation

He was a hacker who did any work for hire and stole money from bank accounts, but then accidentally targeted someone powerful who killed his six-year-old niece, which gave him a little Spider-Man moment and he declared that from this day forth he would use his powers to—! ...continue working for hire and stealing money from bank accounts. But also fight crime! ...In-between. If he can be arsed. Not stealing-money crime, or property-damage crime, or murdering-policemen crime; just, you know, all the bad crimes, the ones committed by people other than himself.

"...Need to make a clear distinction between good and evil characters? Mary Sue makes it easy! If a character disagrees with her, then they are most certainly a bad guy, while all those who agree with her are one hundred percent virtuous without fail. This removes any character who could call out Mary Sue for her mistakes, which she never makes, so it isn't needed."

Video Games

Sam: (holding a time bomb) Max, where should I put this so it doesn't hurt anyone we know or care about?
Max: Out the window, Sam! There's nothing but strangers out there.
(Sam throws the bomb out the window; shortly thereafter, it explodes)
Sam: ...I hope there was nobody on that bus.
Max: Nobody we know at least.

Web Original

Is it acceptable to kill people to save more people? The answer, of course, is that it depends on whether it’s the hero doing it or the villain.
Dr. El Sandifer on Torchwood, "Reset"

Did you ever read Rick Veitch’s Question mini that was part of Superstorm? It had a lot of flaws, but there was this great bit where all Metropolis drug deals and stuff took place in bathrooms, since Superman is too good a guy to ever look. It’s like moral lead. This is not that Superman.
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman Returns

Ray testifies against Ned and gets him thrown out of the CIA, before resigning himself... it would seem he’s been making a living by taking gun-for-hire jobs over the web. You know, because that’s totally different from killing people for the government. He’ll grumble out an explanation for this later, but it’s still dumb.

Usual practice for Moffat-era Who is to suggest extremely crude, superficially worrying moral equivalences in dialogue which are then papered-over by the actual behaviour of the Doctor and his gang (whom we might want to start calling 'Our Boys and Girls', since it is assumed that they deserve 'our' support whatever they do).

Archer’s position is very stereotypically Star Trek. It’s a philosophy that argues humanity are fundamentally brilliant, and so should behave in a manner that befits being so fundamentally brilliant. It’s a philosophy that comes dangerously close to evoking Gene Roddenberry’s simplistic utopianism, indicating that mankind is wired with a fundamental decency that is almost unique in the entire cosmos.
Darren Mooney on Star Trek: Enterprise, "Fortunate Son"

I know she is duped but lets not forget that Janeway willingly wakes up a battalion of an aggressive, homicidal species and inflicts them upon the Quadrant in order to get a handful of light years closer to home...This looks like the perfect opportunity for the First Officer to question his Captain’s decision but instead he is falling asleep on the Bridge.
Joe Ford on Star Trek: Voyager, "Dragon's Teeth"

Lana is at best a dark 'hero' character using the word hero loosely. She kills, she kidnaps, she tortures, and she has plotted and schemed in a way that even caught Lex Luthor off guard. She is basically what I would call a reformed villain AT BEST and honestly I think her character works better as a villain. Maybe a tragic villain but still the 'bad guy'. To put her in a position where she is the one lecturing an iconic DC superhero about how to be a superhero is just insulting.
Douglas Trumble on Smallville ("Bride")

“It’s acting that way because of who wrote it. Bradley raped her daughter and her sons. Bradley believed that bloodlines and special genetics were superior to actually learning or being taught a good moral code. Bradley knew society considered incest and pedophilia to be wrong... but she hated it.
“And so she wrote this, no doubt hoping that the cover of ‘it’s a different time and culture!’ would disguise that she agreed with it. I’d bet good money that most readers of the time accepted this ‘heartwarming’ reunion because they thought that there really was just a difference of viewpoints and the two should just let bygones be bygones. Hell, the All The Tropes page for this booknote  lists Viviane as having Blue-and-Orange Morality! People really think it’s just a case that she’s perfectly well-meaning but operating under a different view of morality than most people!
“(None of the synonyms for ‘well-intentioned’ apply to the woman who deliberately plotted the drugged rape of her niece and nephew, who is also using magic to curse an aspiring mother with infertility because said mother wouldn’t raise her child in Viviane’s religion, and whose only objection to having that same aspiring mother raped and impregnated by her brutal maybe-brother as a forced divorce was that no woman would help Avalon do this. None of them.)”

Web Video

Janeway: A long time ago, I made a decision that stranded this crew in the Delta Quadrant. I don't regret that decision.
Chuck: (as Janeway) Carey, Hagan, Jonas, and a few others might, but they're not here to complain.
SFDebris on Star Trek: Voyager, "Endgame"

Real Life

The ultimate hypocrisy at the heart of the Doctor, which is fun to poke a stick at, is that he’s so nasty about soldiers and about people who carry guns, yet look at him — always in the middle of the fight, usually taking command, and I’m not so impressed at his refusal to pick up a gun when he’s inclined, occasionally, to blow up entire planets!


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