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Basic Trope: A villain that is morally ambiguous

  • Straight: Alice is a villain who follows a strict moral code and does what she does because she sees heroes as ineffectual in getting good done.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Justified: Alice has a sympathetic Backstory and comes from a setting where the heroes are either incompetent, Knight Templars, or corrupt. Overlaps with Hero Antagonist.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted: Alice realizes her mistakes and is trying to keep herself on the blurry line of Antivillainy
  • Parodied:
    • Alice likes to think of herself as villainous, but in reality, she is a true hero whose fellow villains aren't even convinced of her evil.
    • "The fools! They called me mad! We'll see who's laughing when I end world hunger and cure cancer! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Being so close to the blurry moral line of Villainy and Heroism causes Alice to be constantly wracked with guilt and eventually have a complete mental breakdown.
    • Due to Alice's ambiguity, the cops don't know whether she's a hero or a villain this week. To be on the safe side, they shoot her anyway.
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...but returns to power to continue mission after deciding that what she has been doing is really for the better.
    • She takes the villain's position to heart and tries to either help the villain (if possible, to do so within good morals) or work harder to prevent people from becoming like the anti-villain (as in, she works to prevent the tragedies that resulted in the anti-villain to become a villain).
  • Zig Zagged: Alice continues to cross the line between hero and villain, depending on the situation.
  • Averted: Alice is a traditional villain with all that entails, only having enough sympathetic traits to make her believable.
  • Enforced: "Hey, we need a counter-point to our Anti-Hero...Let's make Alice sympathetic!"
  • Lampshaded: "You sure are very heroic for a villain."
  • Invoked: Alice intentionally acts as a morally ambiguous villain so as to capitalize on Protagonist-Centered Morality.
  • Defied: Alice tries as hard as possible to deny her good side so that she doesn't have to be upset with herself.
  • Discussed: "Don't feel bad that we defeated her, she was evil!" "But she was trying to save the world...just differently."
  • Conversed: "Why does Alice seem to be more heroic than the hero in this show?

Back to Anti-Villain