Follow TV Tropes
On one hand, it's certainly a despicable, hateable moment, but the dude isn't a villain... so I guess you're right.
Warrior Cats has several examples that it might as well have its own page.
These two can stay definitely. These two are Deader Than Dead and have zero redeeming qualities. Scourge had good intentions at first but is so far gone that it doesn't even matter.
Tigerstar's MEH is pretty hard to find, but the biggest contender would probably be how he murdered the sweet-hearted Brindleface, fed her body to his dogs so they could get a "taste" of cat blood, and then set them on Thunder Clan. Where, by the way, his own mate and children were living.
Tiggystar is an interesting case. While he's never actually redeemed, he has at the very least an actual love for his family especially Sasha and Bramblestar, who he truly loved and still kinda does or rather did before he became Deader Than Dead. So if we're going by the "they must be pure evil with zero redeeming qualities" then I would say cut. However seeing as this thread has now taken on a new stance of "Villain can be redeemed and still have their actions accountable" then I don't really know. Maaaaybe cut? I could use a second opinion.
This was written long before the Erins even considered redeeming Breezepelt. It's incredibly dickish especially by WC standards, not even getting into the fact Breezy's a bonafide Jerkass Woobie, but that he also tried to kill his own half brother and a medicine cat is considered to be a priest/doctor hybrid. Second opinion would be nice.
This is an easy keep at least for now. The series isn't over yet but Darkstripe wasn't killed Deader Than Dead out of the Dark Forest cats or if he was I can't remember. He's unrepentant and a confirmed Hate Sink. Whether the Erins choose to bring him back for the last series is unknown.
Dickish indeed but he's actually redeemed In-Universe. On the fence about this one too. It doesn't help that as BBC's page image shows, he is the most loved and hated character at the same time.
Thistleclaw's a douche and a half but he has a soft spot for his family or at the very least his mate and kit. Maybe cut?
Can a character with a legit Freudian Excuse count as crossing the MEH? Because if not, easy cut. If so, I would say keep.
Moral Event Horizon isn't the same as Complete Monster. A character can cross the MEH and still have redeeming qualities, so long as the act cements them as a true villain. The point of the trope is that once you've crossed that line, you'll be seen as evil no matter how many good deeds you do afterwards, but the character can still do these good deeds.
"They must be pure evil with zero redeeming qualities" is describing the trope Complete Monster. A Complete Monster has crossed the Moral Event Horizon, but not everyone who crosses the Moral Event Horizon is a Complete Monster.
I'm not familiar with the work, but if Ashfur is redeemed afterwards, it's not a proper example. Darktail has two moments listed, which is also misuse as you can only cross the MEH once, so you'll have to pick one and delete the other.
Edited by Zuxtron on Jul 18th 2019 at 9:22:59 AM
Oof, Warriors, eh? What we need to keep in mind is that this is the moment when the audience feels the character crossed a line, an act so vile that even if they're redeemed this action cannot be forgiven as it was the proof of their utter villainy. You seem to be thinking with Complete Monster rules of "they cannot be redeemable", but the real question is, "Is this act evil enough to cement the character as a villain in the eyes of the fans?"
This fits for Scourge, Brokenstar, Tigerstar, Darkstripe, and possibly Darktail (haven't read the newer series, got bored halfway through Omen Of The Stars). Thistleclaw has a lot of supporters, so it's clear fans don't see him as evil, and it's the same with Breezepelt. Ashfur is Base-Breaking Character incarnate, and though I personally loathe him, that's probably not enough.
My opinion is that only redemption and/or being mentally incapacitated in some way will make a MEH candidate a null, and that the definition of CM makes it impossible for a CM to not have a MEH moment, though exceptions may exist for either.
Changing the subject, this was removed from here for apparently not being heinous enough:
My opinion is that heinousness compared to fellow villain in the same franchise is irrelevant so I would like this readded. Any thoughts?
Edited by FoxyGrandpa12 on Jul 19th 2019 at 11:40:05 AM
Honestly, I thought the Prospector's MEH came later when he threatened to chop Woody into pieces so he wouldn't ruin his plan for them to be put into the toy museum. That scene was when you realized that he would do anything to get what he wants, even if it means hurting those he seemed to care about.
As for the redemption thing, Idk. I originally wanted it to be irredeemable villains only, others fought me on it, now I gotta go with consensus. The trope description allows for it, anyway.
And yeah, agreed with +
Thanks, I'm readding Stinky Pete with chasemaddigan's example.
Edit: Sorry, wrong person.
Edited by FoxyGrandpa12 on Jul 19th 2019 at 2:03:29 PM
But yeah, it's starting to look as though we need do discuss once again whether or not we can allow for redeemable villains. I used to think we shouldn't, but I've firmly switched sides here, because I think this works better focusing on the moment and not the character themselves. Think about it like this:
The MEH is that moment when a character does something vile enough to cement themselves as being evil. Even if they redeem themselves, that moment will remain in the minds of the audience enough to make us question if they really aren't pure evil, or at least in a way that will forever act as a black mark against their personality. They can never be truly good because of what they've done- they can never fully go back. And of course, the audience may disagree on this moment, making it YMMV.
That's the best argument I can pitch for allowing redeemed villains.
Removed the following posts from the Pokemon Subpage:
Many problems with this entry. This post was just complaining about Paul's jerkass ways. He is a jerkass without a doubt, but he does show to have redeeming qualities (respecting his elders, has a good relationship with his brother, etc). The poster also exaggerated how he released Starly, which comes off as melodramatic. He also came around at the end of the anime and became a lot polite to the people who lost to him and also starts respecting Ash. This redeems him a little bit. IF anything, this goes under Kick the Dog.
With Shamus, he is a jerkass without a doubt. However, his intention was to abandon Tepig and to keep it from following him, not for it to starve to death. I doubt Shamus wanted Tepig to die. Shamus is a dick without a doubt, but shouldn't this fall under "Kick the Dog" because he just abandoned Tepig?
The only "non villain" Hate Sink that goes under MEH is Damien, simply because he showed that he didn't care about the possibility of Charmander dying in the rain.
After looking at these entries, I believe that all subpages of MEH need to be locked and cleaned up because there's serious misuse of this trope.
Again though, MEH does not exclude redeemed characters. I'd still exclude Paul because he's not an outright villain-esque character like Damien was, but his redemption doesn't mean it was impossible for him to have crossed the line.
...At least, that's where we are now. If we want to lock these pages and take control of cleaning them, we need to all agree on what our definition of the MEH is.
Moral Event Horizon is not and was never meant to be Complete Monster.
People definitely don't seem to grasp that concept...
Okay, I see. Should Shamus be added back since had no redeeming qualities.
@MsCC93 Yes. He had no redeeming qualities so is easy keep for MEH.
Moral Event Horizon does not care if the character is redeemable or not. This is not Complete Monster. This is not Hate Sink. This is not about redemption. It's about the action.
There's a reason "Event Horizon" is in the title. It refers to a boundary in which not even light can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole. The name means "the moral point of no return". That's what the page image illustrates as well; the point a character becomes irredeemably evil.
Now, a character can still have redeeming traits and cross the MEH. But the entire trope is about the point where villains become irredeemable. The entire trope description is about. So if that's not accurate, what's the real definition? The worst act a villain performed? If so, this needs a TRS, because everything the page says about the trope is wrong.
Named for the boundary around a black hole from which there is no escape once crossed, this trope uses the black hole as a metaphor for evil; the Moral Event Horizon refers to the first evil deed to prove a particular character to be irredeemably evil.
Note the word irredeemably. It is a demonstration of permanent evil: the moment which confirms that this character will always be a bad person. The moment where you know for sure that it's simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. The moment any Freudian Excuse they may have loses all meaning. And while many villains stay evil throughout, if you can find it in your soul to even consider forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you. Their existence is a blight on humanity. They. Are. Vile.
Emphasis not mine.
Edited by chasemaddigan on Aug 1st 2019 at 1:30:29 PM
As I've said before and will continue to say, I agreed with you at one point. But if you read back a few pages, you'll see thread consensus overruled me and changed my mind. I'm open for debate about this, but the current definition used by this thread allows for redeemed villains.
Redeemed in the eyes of the work, mind. This is an Audience Reaction. The way I see it is, characters can be redeemed by the work but still be considered evil in the eyes of the audience, because of what they did. They can be told all day how this character redeemed themself and turned over a new leaf, but they don't have to agree with the story- they can still see the character as being pure evil, even if the work doesn't. And YMMV on whether or not this character really is irredeemable.
If all we're going to be doing is debate back and forth over whether or not this trope allows for redemption or not, then we at least need enough of a regular crowd at this thread so once we come to an actual agreement we won't have to keep debating anyway.
Edited by WarJay77 on Aug 1st 2019 at 1:37:05 PM
Can we cut this bit? One, this concept is YMMV, and we're not here to give commentary on other people based on their opinions. Two, this isn't Complete Monster, so I don't know why this is in the description.
I love how as soon as we specify that Moral Event Horizon is not Complete Monster, we get people saying "this is Complete Monster" and thus act upon it as if the word "not" wasn't there. For Christ's sake, Moral Event Horizon had to be renamed from Rape The Dog in order to prevent this sort of misuse.
That's what got me too. The conversation basically went:
"Hey, here's some characters who aren't pure evil and I cut their examples."
"They don't have to be pure evil."
"...Okay, then I guess I'll put this character back for being pure evil."
Is there reason to debate over the scope of this trope? Yes. But would I be lying to say that I feel like our entire point was completely ignored? No.
Okay, so let me see if I can get things straight. MEH doesn't necessarily have to mean that a character is irredeemable despite:
I'm not saying that every villain has to be a Complete Monster in order to list an example, that's stupid. But I'm getting mixed messages in what the thread is saying and what the trope page actually says its about. If we're allowing villains who've been redeemed and atoned for their crimes, than the entire page should reflect that.
If the name's not reflective what this trope actually is, it should be renamed because a character can come back from a MEH. Even though an "event horizon" is the point of no return. We might as well rename it "Moral Staining" or something.
Besides, wasn't it misuse like this that prompted the creation of the thread in the first place? Because people wanted to add characters who redeemed themselves?
Can you at least go back and read the previous debate to see why consensus agreed on redeemable characters being allowed? It's hard to have this debate if we're not all on the same page about why this happened in the first place. That way you can argue with the points made in the previous discussion, not just the concept itself- context helps, is all I'm trying to say.
Otherwise, this discussion will keep going in circles.
...I mean, it's literally on page 6. Just please read page 6 so you can understand the basis for what definition we're using.
Edited by WarJay77 on Aug 1st 2019 at 2:54:48 PM
...And yet again the thread dies before any actual discussion could be had. Consider this a bump to try and get some conversation going.
I honestly don't think this should be subjective. It should be limited to cases where the work itself regards the character as irredeemable (after previously portraying them ambiguously). Otherwise it just devolves into "list every single evil act committed by every single character".
I think it is also important to understand that this trope doesn't apply to every single evil character. An evil character who is portrayed as unambiguously evil from the start shouldn't qualify. And even characters who do get progressively worse are not necessarily going to have a single definitive moment where they cross the line.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?