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Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Feb 27th 2015 at 12:31:59 PM


This page is a mess. First, we've got the over-long description that doesn't really make it clear what it's about, full of unorthodox formatting, and an inexplicable "Please Add Examples!" at the end.

The laconic just confuses things further, with it being "In Balance Between Good and Evil stories, people confuse Good with Order." This and some examples are more along the lines of a "Utopia Is Boring" trope

We've got at least three very distinct tropes here: "A character thinks good is boring or uncool," "Audiences find good characters bland," and "Conflict is necessary for a plot (AKA Utopia is boring)."

Examples are split between them, both on the page and in wicks. The Comic Books section, for example, seems to be almost entirely "Good characters are bland" (though half the examples don't even get that far, and just say they're good characters."

At the very least, we need a cleanup and focusing of the description. There's no way it needs to be this long and cover this much. If we can't decide what the description should be, we may want to turn it into a disambig for the two tropes and one Audience Reaction I mentioned above might be wise.

shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Aug 24th 2015 at 8:23:56 AM

Poking this up for responses.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
GnomeTitan from Scandinavia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Aug 24th 2015 at 9:16:43 AM

I think Utopia Is Boring is a distinct trope from Good Is Boring.

The latter could be either "A good person/character is bland" or "Being good is boring".

For "A good character is bland" I don't think we need to separate the audience reaction from in-universe use as separate tropes - we could make the trope YMMV and then list in-universe examples in the usual way.

"Being good is boring" is not so much about outwards appearances but about that it is hard to stay to the narrow path - "I can't do anything fun since I'm trying to be good!", so this should probably be a separate trope. Both these tropes can of course apply to the same character (she has to abstain from her usual idea of fun activities to make a favourable impression, at the same time worrying that her old friends will find her awfully dull now that she's being good).

The other trope, Utopia Is Boring seems like a subtrope of "an interesting story needs conflict", because a world without conflict doesn't have to be a utopia; it could also be a really hopeless dystopia where there's no conflict because everybody has given up.

NativeJovian from Orlando, FL
Aug 31st 2015 at 1:23:59 AM

I'm not sure this page is salvageable. All three of the definitions either seem to be duplicates or just not tapeworthy.

"Bad guy does bad things because good is boring" is It Amused Me and/or For the Evulz.

"Good guy characters are bland and uninteresting" is better covered by specific personality tropes like The Cape or The Paragon.

"Stories can't happen without a conflict between good and evil" is just flat out wrong. See Comedy, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Slice of Life, etc.

So what's left for this page to be about?

Vos iustus a diversis genus delirus.
Aug 31st 2015 at 7:32:13 AM


  1. Cut all meta "I think this good character is boring" misuse, leaving only in-universe examples.
  2. See what's left.

shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Aug 31st 2015 at 8:33:12 AM

[up] You know, that's a very good idea. Cut what we know is bad and see if there is a trope left.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
ObsidianFire Relationship Status: Not caught up in your love affair
Aug 31st 2015 at 4:08:02 PM

I like that idea as well.

Adept from Online Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Aug 31st 2015 at 9:01:25 PM

I honestly thought this trope was sort of the flip version of Evil Is Cool, but I suppose that sort of definition would attract a lot of complaining.

Leaorem Cyrisus Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Aug 31st 2015 at 9:06:24 PM

The only thing I could think of this being used for is in a video game, where you have the option to be good or evil, and the good side is well, boring. Most likely YMMV at this point though.

Aug 31st 2015 at 9:13:35 PM

[up] Not really, many times good has additional actions required, longer paths, costs more, and such. Evil takes shortcuts at the expense of others.

RavenWilder Raven Wilder
Raven Wilder
Aug 31st 2015 at 9:49:35 PM

What about someone like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons? In one episode, he attributes his incredible good health to his pious lifestyle, saying he avoids "all the major urges". Cue all the other characters feeling sorry for Ned (and eventually Ned feeling sorry for himself) because a life without sin and irresponsibility is treated as inherently dull and bland.

Or there's Sluggy Freelance, which has an Alternate Dimension where everyone is nice and friendly and would never dream of hurting anyone, but they also have no alcohol or pornography, eat nothing but salt-, sugar, and meat-free foods, and the only telvision channels they get are PBS and the Disney Channel. Because of this, the main characters refer to this dimension as "The Dimension of Lame".

So it seems like Good Is Boring is definitely a thing. It's just the "good" referred to by the trope isn't stuff like giving to charity or standing up to injustice; it's stuff like eating all your vegetables, never using profanity, flossing after every meal, and not having sex until your wedding night.

"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Aug 31st 2015 at 10:03:52 PM

Examples to keep when we cut out the YMMV shit:

Anime and Manga
  • In Naruto Orochimaru believes this. He uses a twisted logic to convince himself that if a windmill (the world) isn't turning (is peaceful) then it's just plain dull. Naturally, he believes things will be interesting if he destroys the leaf village. It's revealed that this wasn't his only motive, since he wanted revenge on the Third Hokage.

Comic Books

  • Towards the end of Supergod, the artificial metahuman Daijal who can see all possible timelines at once reveals that the joining of Krishna and Jerry Craven will result in a Singularity-based utopia... which is why Daijal immediatly detonates himself and destroys the world because he considers utopia to be so boring that extinction is preferable.


  • Used in Hackers, when the villain describes the moral philosophy that allows him to frame a bunch of teenagers for his crimes:
—> "There is no right or wrong. There's only fun and boring. A twenty year prison sentence sounds a trifle dull to me."


  • In the novel Good Omens, the demon Crowley persuades the angel Aziraphale that they can't allow Armageddon to take place by pointing out that eternity in Heaven means eternal boredom, since all the interesting things exist either on Earth or in Hell.
—>"Can you imagine eternity with Elgar?"
Aziraphale shut his eyes. "All too easily," he groaned.
  • Heaven in the book Angel Face by Narinder Dhami bores the teenage-angel protagonist senseless.
  • The children's book series The Great Brain states this trope outright. The protagonist is a Sociopathic Hero who enjoys tricking people out of their money. When he reforms in the later books, his younger brother complains that things are too boring, and secretly celebrates when his brother returns to his old schemes.
  • Rand al'Thor has this reaction at the climax of The Wheel Of Time, in rather interesting and nuanced way. During his duel with a powerful cosmic evil, in which each combatant forges a simulated Alternate Universe in an effort to break the other, he creates a world totally cleansed of evil. It horrifies him, because although everyone he knows is happy and good, they also lack the free will and the capacity for evil to make being good meaningful. More specifically he realizes that everyone has some measure of good and evil in them, and its that contrast, and the urges and negative emotions coupled with the urges and positive emotions that makes the people he knows who they are, gives them depth, makes them actual, complex people. He meets Elayne and discovers that she has gone from a politically savvy Action Girl to what can essentially be described as all the Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits all in one character, with none of the complexity anything on that list might possibly have. And not just her. Everyone is like that. Everyone is happy that way. But they have no choice '''but''' to be happy that way. They have no options except for the "perfect" ones. They have no ability to choose any option that is less than completely selfless and "good". And he made them that way. He is utterly horrified and repulsed by what he sees.
  • Inverted in C. S. Lewis's The Great Divorce. People in Heaven are vibrant and happy, while denizens of Hell are bored and full of themselves - or, at the very best, tend to chase trivial things (like attempts of one of them to get a Heaven's apple to Hell).
  • Inverted by Lewis again in The Screwtape Letters, where demons try to minimize the enjoyment people get out of sin, hating joy just like other positive emotions. Moreover, they see God as a hedonist bent on undermining the order and dignity of Hell.

Live Action Television

  • Lois & Clark alluded to a Utopian future in "Tempus Fugitive." Superman and Lois' legacy is a completely perfect, balanced world - which drives the villain of the episode to try and change it. He just can't stand it.
—>Tempus: A world of peace. A world with no greed or crime. A world so boring you'd blow your brains out, but there are no guns.
  • When Cordelia ascends to a higher plane on Angel, the first thing she says: "I am so bored!"

Video Games

—>Link: "Gee, it sure is BORING around here!" —>King Harkinian: "Mah boi, this peace is what all true warriors strive for!" —>Link: "I just wonder what Ganon's up to!"
  • In Ocarina of Time, the soldier inside the house full of pots wishes Hyrule was more chaotic, as standing all day in a peaceful place bores him.
—>"This little hamlet has too much boring and not enough burning! Torch everything!"


Web Original

  • In WarpZone Project, the protagonist has just entered the world of super-heroes and super-villains, choosing the side of good. His mentor's arch-enemy tries to get him to become his pupil whenever they run into each other, his main if not only argument being that he's going to get bored fast otherwise.

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons episode "Viva Ned Flanders", Springfielders are amazed at Ned's longevity and youthfulness at age 60 until he reveals how much he's deprived himself in order to attain it.
—>Ned: I resist all the major urges. —>Sideshow Mel: All of them? —>Marge: You mean you've never splurged and say, eaten an entire birthday cake and blamed it on the dog? —>Edna Krabappel: You've never licked maple syrup off your lover's stomach? —>(Agnes Skinner glares at Seymour) —>Bart: (halfway outside, holding a crowbar) You've never snuck out of church to break into cars? —>Ned: No, no, and double no! I haven't done any of those things, folks. You name it, I haven't done it! —>Homer: Jeez, Flanders, you're sixty, and you've never lived a day in you life! —>Carl: Yeah, even the boy in the bubble had a deck of cards.
  • This is shown as an issue between Tom and his wife in The Boondocks. Tom, a straight-laced, calm, morally upstanding man, apparently bores his wife to tears, to the point where she throws him out of the house at one especially low point, and is shown to lust after "bad boys" like Pretty Boy Flizzy. Flizzy himself sums up his success with women with the term "bitches hate being bored".

There seems to be an actual trope here underneath all the mess, and one that's actually rather fitting to the name. Characters In-Universe find the idea of being good boring.

edited 31st Aug '15 10:04:39 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
ObsidianFire Relationship Status: Not caught up in your love affair
Sep 1st 2015 at 4:04:32 PM

So it looks like making this trope In-Universe would work then?

edited 1st Sep '15 4:04:41 PM by ObsidianFire

Sep 1st 2015 at 5:32:39 PM

Native Jovian said above that he thinks that's already covered under It Amused Me and/or For the Evulz, though. Is there an argument against that?

shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Sep 1st 2015 at 5:41:59 PM

Most of those examples don't have the characters do anything evil or things that amuse them. They just complain that what is happening now is boring. The characters are protesting that Good Is Boring, but they aren't really doing anything to change things for the lulz or doing things because they're evil instead. They're just complaining about Good.

edited 1st Sep '15 5:44:03 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
ObsidianFire Relationship Status: Not caught up in your love affair
Sep 1st 2015 at 5:43:50 PM

[up] It seems to me that this is a commentary about the situation by the characters. It's rather interesting that inversions exist of this in-universe as well.

The Cape and The Paragon are both character tropes. It Amused Me and For the Evulz are both reasons villains give for their actions.

shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Sep 1st 2015 at 5:45:50 PM

Yeah, this isn't an excuse that characters give so much as a commentary they give that shows their view of the world. Often times they don't want things to be amusing all the time or evil all the time, but the prospect of being good constantly seems mind numbing to them.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
Sep 2nd 2015 at 12:07:03 PM

At least the Ned Flanders example is clearly more Boring Is Good than Good Is Boring.

Does the trope hinge on the idea that everything interesting is in someone's opinion evil or sinful?

shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Sep 2nd 2015 at 12:17:00 PM

[up] Nope. That doesn't seem to be mentioned in any of the examples.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
Oct 10th 2015 at 8:38:42 AM

Looks like the call for making this In-Universe is pretty clear. Single-prop crowner?

All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day. Put the pieces back together my way.
Oct 13th 2015 at 10:55:21 AM

I'll wait a few more days for responses before going ahead with that crowner.

All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day. Put the pieces back together my way.
shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Oct 13th 2015 at 9:32:59 PM

If you make it, they will vote.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
MercuryPenny1 needs to contribute more from behind your shower curtains Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
needs to contribute more
Oct 15th 2015 at 2:52:36 PM

So is this trope going to be renovated to be about characters thinking that good is boring, or the setting itself presenting good as boring?

Or is it both? Both are present when you cut out the YMMV examples so it might be a good distinction to make.

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Oct 15th 2015 at 5:55:48 PM

There is no objective way to observe "good is boring" from the setting; that's YMMV.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Oct 28th 2015 at 10:11:57 PM

seems unanimous. start the white washing

Page Action: Good Is Boring
13th Oct '15 9:33:32 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:

Total posts: 33

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: