Music for the ArticleGood Cannot Comprehend Evil
Betty and John are being terrorized by a Mad Doctor. He has hunted them, attacked them, and nearly gotten them destroyed on several occasions. Betty is convinced that Mad Doctor has kicked the dog more than enough times to warrant fighting back with lethal force. John, however, insists that he must have a good reason, or maybe that it's all just a big misunderstanding. Despite any evidence to the contrary, John refuses to believe that he can actually be 'evil'. After all, no one's that heartless, right?
This is, in its essence, a character who firmly believes they're in a world of White and Grey Morality, that everyone can be redeemed, and there is no Such thing as crossing the line. Whether Alice is right or not depends on the work's placement on belifes of Idealism vs. Cynicism. In an idealistic show, this attitude could very possibly lead to a villian reforming. In a cynical one, expect their death to be the very thing to push the villain over the line. Evil Cannot Comprehend Good
This is when villain has developed a devious plot that is prepared for anything the hero might do — except for one glaring flaw. For some reason, the villain has not considered the possibility of a Heroic Sacrifice. After all, you'd never catch him throwing his life away to save a bunch of lazy, ungrateful civilians who don't care about anybody except themselves. Heck, even saving your True Companions comes after saving your own life. Only an idiot would throw his life away like that — and only because he didn't realize how much more profitable saving it would be. Well, sometimes that would be bad, but you only have to get him to where he can act secretly to get it out of him.
Too bad for the villain that Machiavelli Was Wrong.
Our Hero goes and makes the his Sacrifice anyway, thereby ruining the villain's plan with a Didn't See That Coming that a Dangerously Genre Savvy villain really should have seen coming. This is one of the ways those with Honor can continue to defeat the Big Bad. A major problem for villains who really believe they are Not so Different and think heroes could have used their powers for Evil, as opposed to villains who are just screwing with the Hero's head.
The inability to comprehend good altruistic behaviour (especially when it never results in any rewards whatsoever, and only ends up in the hero having his life go from bad to worse) is a common trait in cynics, Nihilists, greedy economics-minded people, Social Darwinists, and sociopaths (who really are incapable of feeling things that have no selfish incentive, such as compassion).
An alternative version involves the Hero giving into the villain's manipulative demands agreeing that yes We Can Rule Together. (Usually to the horror of his sidekicks, Love Interest, and True Companions). But wait! It was all a ruse to defeat the villain. The villain falls for it because it's what he'd have done if the situations were reversed.
Greedy villains may content themselves with bribing the hero. After all, justice, and even revenge, aren't shiny and don't get a good exchange rate. Yet The Hero goes and turns down the Briefcase Full of Money or a share in the proceeds of a robbery. (Or he takes it and then foils the villain's plan anyways, thus depriving the villain of victory and their Briefcase Full of Money.) Similarly, those affected by the Envious Villians often assume that The Hero is equally preoccupied with whatever inspired their envy, and the Knight Templar does not realize that other people differ about the relative values of what he supports versus what he is willing to sacrifice for its sake.