History Main / ADeathintheLimelight

15th Oct '16 4:43:01 PM GhostHouse
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Related to BackForTheDead, and can happen in the same story if the character hasn't been on screen for a while but never actually said to have left. This is a leading cause of AlasPoorScrappy. If done very well it can be [[TearJerker heartrending]].

to:

Related to BackForTheDead, and can happen in the same story if the character hasn't been on screen for a while but never actually said to have left. This is a leading cause of AlasPoorScrappy.AlasPoorScrappy, if the character was disliked. If done very well it can be [[TearJerker heartrending]].
15th Oct '16 4:42:24 PM GhostHouse
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Related to BackForTheDead, and can happen in the same story if the character hasn't been on screen for a while but never actually said to have left. If the character was [[TheScrappy considered annoying]], this is a leading cause of AlasPoorScrappy. If done very well it can be [[TearJerker heartrending]].

to:

Related to BackForTheDead, and can happen in the same story if the character hasn't been on screen for a while but never actually said to have left. If the character was [[TheScrappy considered annoying]], this This is a leading cause of AlasPoorScrappy. If done very well it can be [[TearJerker heartrending]].
9th Sep '15 4:42:11 PM eroock
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->''If you start learning a lot of information about a member of your team you barely knew, get your funeral attire ready.''

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->''If ->''"If you start learning a lot of information about a member of your team you barely knew, get your funeral attire ready.''"''
1st Dec '13 11:15:54 PM AnandaQ
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In Reality Television, it's marked by one contestant getting more "confessionals" (individual solo interviews) than they usually do, or by footage of them talking to other contestants about a) how much they want to win or how much the win will mean to them / their family / their future; b) how good they are at some particular aspect of the competition (in this case, it will almost certainly be that aspect that proves to be their undoing); c) that they've realized that one particular aspect is their weak spot and that they are going to be especially careful to do that thing correctly from here on out (in this case, they most likely will be eliminated for making exactly the mistake they said they were going to avoid); or d) how much they are controlling the game.

to:

In Reality Television, it's marked by one contestant getting more "confessionals" (individual solo interviews) than they usually do, or by footage of them talking to other contestants about a) how much they want to win or how much the win will mean to them / their family / their future; b) how good they are at some particular aspect of the competition (in this case, it will almost certainly be that aspect that proves to be their undoing); c) that they've realized that one particular aspect is their weak spot and that they are going to be especially careful to do that thing correctly from here on out (in this case, they most likely will be eliminated for making exactly the mistake they said they were going to avoid); or d) how much they are controlling the game.
11th Jul '13 6:27:38 PM XFllo
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Briefly, an episode or issue that [[ADayInTheLimelight suddenly focuses on a character]] specifically because [[KilledOffForReal they're going to die at the end (or fairly close to the end)]].

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Briefly, an episode or issue that [[ADayInTheLimelight suddenly focuses on a character]] specifically because [[KilledOffForReal they're going to die at the end (or fairly close to the end)]].
end).
21st Apr '13 2:49:55 PM TiggersAreGreat
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[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' built an arc on Luffy and Whitebeard trying to rescue Ace. In the end though, [[NotQuiteSavedEnough they were unsuccessful,]] with both Ace and Whitebeard dying in the ensuing battle against the Marines.
* ''Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex'' has this for the cute and quirky Tatchkoma's. The robots have their brief day in the limelight, before dying their tragic demise. [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Poor Robots]].
** It won't be the last time they die, either.
* Admiral Sadaako Munetake in ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' spends most of the series between ButtMonkey and {{Jerkass}}. When he gets his own episode, the effect of both roles crashes on him, and he commits [[SuicideByCop suicide by Jovians]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' devotes the plot of an episode to Kaworu Nagisa, the only person to ever explicitly show Shinji Ikari [[HoYay love]], who only appears in this very episode. Yet this person's relevance to the plot is that he is the last Angel, meaning that Shinji has to kill his new best friend.
* In ''BlackButler'', Angelina Durless appears to be an important major character, only to be murdered by her own butler (who also happened to be a Shinigami), complete with a half-chapter montage of her story.
* Asuma Sarutobi in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has little to do until after the time skip. Even then, he doesn't get much "screen" time in the manga until a chapter or so before he's killed. It was lengthy and dramatic too. The anime's giving him a role in the Temple of Fire filler arc seems to have been an attempt to defuse this trope.
** Likewise, Jiraiya appears in the Three-Tails Filler arc and gets a fair amount of screentime early in arc despite not being present very often for much of Part II. In the manga, he reappears in the Hunt for Uchiha Arc to infiltrate the Hidden Rain Village and find Pain, and dies in the course of doing so.
** Danzo, whose only significant onscreen involvement in the plot until then was to get Sai enrolled into Kakashi's team, takes centre stage in the midst of the Pain invasion arc, [[spoiler: plotting to overthrow Tsunade by ''not'' intervening to protect the village, kills the messenger frog to prevent Naruto from returning, gets himself appointed as the Sixth Hokage with a BreakingSpeech, promptly orders Sasuke's execution, attends the Five Kage meeting, reveals what was underneath his bandages, attempts to take control of the ninja alliance, and is promptly disposed off by Sasuke with some help from Madara.]] All in the space of about 20 chapters or so (if you would exclude the lengthy flashbacks and discussions that Naruto and Nagato have).
** A recurring theme as far as villainous characters are concerned:
*** Sasori, Deidara, Nagato and Konan all got flashbacks shortly before their deaths (in Nagato's case, he actually narrated his), as did the aforementioned Danzo.
*** Kisame did not, but that turned out to be a hint that he was FakingTheDead and not long afterwards he played it straight.
*** The enslaved zombies of the Edo Tensei undead army are already dead, but they sometimes get the spotlight shortly before their defeat.
*** Orochimaru and Itachi have averted this, as they get or appear in numerous flashbacks before and after their respective "deaths", but oddly not during (Oro got a very brief one in his fight with Sasuke, though he wasn't technically dead and still isn't); in both cases their character arcs and influence on the story continued afterwards, and they were major if rarely seen recurring characters.
*** To the annoyance of many fans, averted with Hidan and Kakuzu, and less controversially the Sound Four.
* ''Manga/BattleRoyale'', in which most characters die within a chapter or two of the point where the story starts to focus on them. Practically guaranteed if it starts talking about their past.
* The ''{{Trigun}}'' episode "Paradise" focuses on Nicholas D. Wolfwood and ends with his death.
** In the manga he gets two whole volumes to himself, with Vash only appearing right at the end. Needless to say, following the full reveal of his tragic backstory and the resolution of said backstory, he winds up dying after overdosing on the same chemicals that aged him and gave him his enhanced skills.
** Legato also gets one of these in the manga, focusing on his traumatic past as a sex slave in a town of criminals and cowards, where he was rescued by Millions Knives and pledged himself to his service. Shortly after this spotlight story, Legato winds up dead.
* Although L is a major character in ''Manga/DeathNote'', his death episode is the first glimpse the viewer gets of his childhood. The episode also focuses more on his thoughts, feelings and doubts than ever, whereas before he was single-mindedly devoted to exposing Kira. You just know something bad is about to happen!
* Used ''very'' frequently in ''MobileSuitGundam''. If a minor character is given his/her own episode, chances are they'll die ''very, very'' soon.
* ''MacrossFrontier'' devotes an episode to Ozma Lee and deliberately drew outrageous parallels between him and [[SuperDimensionFortressMacross Roy Focker]] to hint at his upcoming death/[[HeroicSacrifice self-sacrifice]]. In the end, [[SubvertedTrope he survives]], and the other characters [[LampshadeHanging comment on how the drama was lost]].
* In ''{{s-CRY-ed}}'', Kirishima and Scheris die in the episodes bearing their names.
* The ''entirety'' of ''{{Bokurano}}''. You can tell a pilot's the next one to go once he/she gets focused on. Although it was subverted for a little bit. The next chapter after Kana's death is Jun's, so everybody figures he'll die next. Then Yoko makes the contract, something she wasn't supposed to be able to do, and the next few chapters after that are her DayInTheLimelight - [[WhamEpisode then she gets shot in the head.]] After that the focus goes straight back to Jun.
* Maes Hughes in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
* Nuriko of ''FushigiYuugi'' fame. The infamous Episode 33 (or manga volume 8). And Episode 34, which was mostly spent eulogizing Nuriko.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon R'' has Sapphire. He never mounts any attacks against the Sailor Scouts at all, unlike Rubeus and Emerald before him. He is only seen talking to Emerald and Diamond. In the episode "Brotherly Love", he discovers Wiseman's plans, is injured by Wiseman, and revealed to have been in love with Prizma, and essentially does a HeelFaceTurn, before he attempts to warn his brother about Wiseman's treachery and is killed by Wiseman.
* Episodes Twelve and Thirteen of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' R2, with Episode Twelve acting as a breather; and contrast, to Shirley's death.
* ''FafnerInTheAzure'' does this several times, in conjunction with DyingMomentOfAwesome. Shouko's and Mamoru's HeroicSacrifice, Kouyou's and Sakura's assimilation, and Michio's suicide attack. Subverted with both Kouyou and Sakura in that both [[UnexplainedRecovery recover]]. Kouyou ends up becoming a Master-Type Festum anyway to protect the island, then he [[BackForTheFinale comes back in Meir form for the movie,]] piloting the Fafner Mark Vier, the Fafner he originally used. Finally, his Fafner is immediately trashed and his Meir core promptly vanishes.]]
* ''PandoraHearts'' does this with a ''lot'' of characters, most notably [[HeroicSacrifice Elliot]] [[TomatoInTheMirror Nightray]]. Subverted with Leo, who was impaled in the middle of his fight with Oz, and lives [[HealingFactor thanks to being a Baskerville]].
** Also subverted with Reim Lunettes and Lily Baskerville, who, after getting a chapter's worth of attention with each other, [[FauxDeath put himself in a death-like state]] after being non-fatally wounded and got shot in the head then recovers respectively.
* When Team Dai-Gurren is trapped in the space ocean during episode 25 of TengenToppaGurrenLagann, Kittan gets his time in the limelight. He is featured more than in other episodes and over the course of the episode we find that Kittan has insecurity about not being as good of a leader as Kamina and that he loves Yoko. Yoko also brings our attention to the fact that while "Simon pulled from the top; Kittan pushed from below" reminding us that Kittan was indeed a big part of the rebellion. All of this right before he leaves the ship to perform an epic HeroicSacrifice in order to help Team Dai-Gurren escape the ocean.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''Countdown to InfiniteCrisis'': The Ted Kord BlueBeetle, who'd undergone {{Flanderization}} to the point he was a FlatCharacter and then barely seen for a few years, is suddenly brought back in a story that highlights his positive character traits and strengths as a hero, specifically to make his death at the end actually mean something (as opposed to the characters who were CListFodder for the upcoming CrisisCrossover event).
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' #62: [[{{Superfriends}} Wendy and Marvin]], teen geniuses who came on during the One Year Later plotline to repair Cyborg and maintain the Titans Tower gear, generally treated like background characters until needed for hostages. In this issue, they discuss their dissatisfaction with their minor roles, [[MythologyGag adopt a dog]], and are repeatedly assured by other characters that they're vital to the team's functioning. Then the dog turns into a monster that mauls Marvin to death and puts Wendy in a coma when none of the heroes are looking.
* ''TheInvisibles'' features an issue dedicated to the life, good and bad, of one of the nameless henchmen gunned down by the heroes in a previous issue.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novels, individual Ghosts are brought forward, by name, with details for a scene or a few scenes before their deaths. This is not distinguishable from the characters who are named and developed to play more important roles in the books until the character dies. In other words, sometimes it's just a DayInTheLimelight, and sometimes it's a Death.
* The ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' novels have [[MemeticMutation over 9000]] [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters characters]], but if the narrative abruptly switches to an unknown character, then it isn't really that hard to tell how they're going to end up. A specific example being the Havenite soldier on leave in ''At All Costs'' whose total experience in the limelight is getting in his air car and crashing it into a plot-relevant character's vehicle.
* Goes all the way back to ''[[{{Homer}} The Iliad]]'', though technically inverted: Many characters (most relatively minor) are sometimes given some rather detailed obituaries in the narrative right after someone kills them.
* The twenty-second ''Literature/WarriorCats'' book ''Night Whispers'' focused on EnsembleDarkhorse Flametail's attempts to unravel a mysterious prophecy. At the end, he drowns.
* In ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', the POV character of every prologue and epilogue dies at the end of it. Granted, the series tends to practice AnyoneCanDie in general.
* ''Literature/BattleRoyale'' has a few chapters like this. One notable one is Mizuho's, which is only ''three pages long'' and ends in her getting gunned down by Kazuo.
* ''InDeath'' series: If the book looks through the viewpoint of anyone who isn't Eve or Roarke, then there's a 90% chance this trope will occur. The viewpoint may be the killer, a victim, or sometimes both.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' uses this trope a lot, often killing a character (or mortally wounding them) during their spotlight {{Flashback}} episode. Shannon, Ana-Lucia, Eko, and Faraday have all been killed in their flashback episodes.
** Charlie subverts this trope just a little: he's told that he will die for real this time, spends the episode reviewing his favorite memories, does the thing that will kill him...and doesn't die. He dies in the next episode, when the limelight is on another character.
** [[TheScrappy Nikki and Paulo]] are only ever shown a few times before their flashback episode in which they die, although the flashbacks indicate that they were around but didn't interact with the main cast. Most other characters who die in the limelight have at least some presence before they enter the limelight.
** Another variant is Jacob, who is mentioned dozens of times before being shown onscreen in his first centric episode (though he isn't having the flashbacks, he appears in all but one of them). Then he gets offed at the end of the episode.
** Arguably, the death of Daniel Faraday echoes this trope as well. Though he was a member of the main cast, his backstory was lacking until his centric episode "The Variable", in which his backstory was filled in and then he was killed.
* ''TheSopranos'' does this with Gene Pontecorvo, a soldier who spends a solid three seasons providing background filler for many a group scene before having the season six premiere episode ("Members Only") focus on him, his hopes and dreams, his family life... and his suicide.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with Hesh Rabkin. He's a recurring character since the pilot episode, but never has an episode properly center on him until "Chasing It", nearing the series finale. It focuses on Tony owning him money and reluctantly paying his points while close associates discuss Hesh's demise. Hesh himself fears for his life throughout the episode as tensions rise. In the end, it's his girlfriend who suddenly dies, and Tony swings by to pay his respects/debt in full, though remaining estranged with him for the rest of the series.
* ''[[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Battlestar Galactica]]'': "The Passage", with Kat, who had at least made a few appearances prior; "Razor", with Kendra Shaw, who within the span of a double-length episode is introduced, made one of the most important figures in the fleet, and killed off, never to be mentioned again; and "Sacrifice" with Billy Kekeiya, who had been an important secondary character since the beginning. Lastly, Gaeta and Zarek start a mutiny, during which Gaeta, who is normally a significant background character, took the spotlight. He was executed at the end.
** Galactica has had a few others as well. Cally got an episode devoted to her just to wind up getting airlocked at the end. Dee was a prominent supporting character in the first three seasons, but was mostly a background character in the fourth season. She got a lot more attention in the Season 4.5 "premiere" only to off herself halfway through. There was also Simon, arguably the least developed of the Cylons throughout the series. ''The Plan'' puts a Simon copy in a starring role and makes him a sympathetic figure with a family. He kills himself with no chance of resurrection to avoid having to kill his family.
* ''{{Primeval}}'': Episode 4 did this for Tom, to a degree.
* Doyle in ''Series/{{Angel}}''
* In ''Series/{{Buffy|TheVampireSlayer}}'', Cordelia dies about halfway through her first DayInTheLimelight. She got better, though.
** The episode in which Tara dies isn't centered around her, but she finally gets her name added to the main cast in the opening credits.
** Joyce's death could count in a sort of drawn-out way. Having previously been mostly "Buffy's mom," in season 5 she gets a subplot where she has to undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor. Then we finally have an episode where she's well again, gotten out of bed, and starts dating a nice (though never-seen) man. The episode ends when Buffy gets home, [[MoodWhiplash smiles at the bouquet of flowers said guy has sent, walks into the living room... and finds Joyce's pale,]] [[FunnyAneurysmMoment unmoving body on the couch]], leading into the CrowningMomentOfSadness episode "[[SomethingCompletelyDifferent The Body]]."
* Lt. Joe Carey on ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' was a recurring character in the first ten or so episodes, but then he fell off the radar. Near the end, they brought him back for a spotlight episode just to provide {{Wangst}} when they killed him off.
** The extreme BelatedBackstory version is also seen in ''Voyager:'' two episodes had {{Redshirt}}s created ''just'' to be brought BackFromTheDead in that episode. You gotta wonder why they did this instead of bringing back redshirts we'd ''actually seen die.''
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'''s episode "Lower Decks", Sito Jaxa, one of the cadets from "The First Duty" who was reprimanded for unauthorized flight activity, was shown to have stayed on the straight and narrow and become an ensign on the Enterprise. She's then sent on a dangerous mission by Captain Picard. She doesn't survive. There was a story planned for ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' that would have involved her turning up alive in a Cardassian prisoner camp, but said story never made it to the air. As far as canon's concerned, she's dead.
* Inverted in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Who Mourns for Morn" in which Morn, a minor character who NEVER SPOKE is presumed dead by the station crew. However, he only turns out to have been hiding in fear of his life.
* ''Series/{{House}}'': The season 4 two-part finale starts features House knowing ''someone'' is going to die, but having been hit with a dose of LaserGuidedAmnesia. It turns out to be ''holy shit Amber''. So ''that's'' what the sudden focus on her character in the previous few episodes had been leading up to...
* RealityTV does this often. If an episode is focusing on a contestant, chances are they are [[CatchPhrase auf'd]] that episode. This is particularly true if their confessionals emphasize 1) How much winning the competition would mean to them; 2) How much they have come to appreciate their teammate/showmance partner; 3) How much they have learned / grown / matured because of their participation; 4) How wonderful the experience has been or how many new friends they've made; and 5) How much better / stronger / more skillful / better-liked / more in control of the game they are than one or more of their fellow competitors.
** ''Series/AmericasNextTopModel'' is an {{egregious}} offender. Whenever a girl shows up who isn't one of the handful of prominently featured girls in each cycle, she's either getting called first that week or being sent home. Expect her to be suddenly struggling with the judges' critiques, even though she's never been shown doing so before that point.
** ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' has a bad habit of doing this to its more under-the-radar players, particularly in later seasons. Once a contestant is revealed to the audience to be a homosexual in the same episode, he is voted out. One of the most famous examples would be the episode of Tocantins where Coach is voted out, after being sent to Exile Island, finding a "Dragon Slayer Cane", and (presumably) faking a back injury when losing the immunity challenge to JT.
* This has become a way for ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' fans to determine who will be eliminated at the end of the episode. In Season 15, when the other eight teams were ignored in favor of devoting an episode to Zev & Justin. Zev & Justin had more airtime, both on the course and in interviews, than the other eight teams combined. Considering how quickly the season went downhill after they were gone, this was probably justified.
* Series/DoctorWho:
** Father's Day. Granted, that character's death was a ForegoneConclusion and we are explicitly told this at the start of the episode.
** Earthshock.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'' did this in the very first episode, relating almost every plotline to Dino Ortolani only to have him burned to death at the end.
* Ianto Jones in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' gets a lot more development, backstory and screen time in part 1 of the ''Children of Earth'' serial than in most of the past two series. Come part 4...
* ''[[{{Series/BandOfBrothers}} Band Of Brothers]]''. The third episode, largely focusing on an otherwise unknown character named Pvt. Blithe, concludes with him being shot in the neck and effectively dying (he leaves permanently and is said to have died from this wound years later). Unfortunately for this miniseries that prides itself on TruthInTelevision, Blithe didn't die from this wound, and continued serving in the military for most of the rest of his life until he died in 1967.
* ''ThePacific''. The eight episode, which focuses on John Basilone's time as a Drill Sergeant later in the war and meeting his future wife. He's killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima at the end.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Jimmy Novak, the guy whose body [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Castiel]] was borrowing. It's not clear at the end of his episode if Cas saved him soon enough to keep him in his body, or if he got sent on and Castiel just kept the shell. Given the sort of stuff Castiel has been through right from the start of season 5, [[AndIMustScream death might be the better option for the poor guy.]] It seems that he was still in here, as evidenced by "My Bloody Valentine". Cas was exploded, AGAIN, in the finale, so who knows.
** "Abandon All Hope" counts for Ellen and Jo Harvelle. They haven't been seen for quite a while and then they come back after their appearance in the beginning of season 5 only for Jo to be wounded by a hellhound, and her and Ellen volunteering to stay behind and blow up a store to help the Winchesters escape. There's also "Hammer of the Gods" for Gabriel/The Trickster who had a big reveal about him in "Changing Channels", but then was murdered by his brother while doing exactly what the aforementioned duo had done.
** In Season 7, "At Death's Door", is all about a comatose Bobby (who was shot at the end of the previous episode), trapped in his own head and trying to evade the [[TheGrimReaper Reaper]] chasing him and trying to find a way to wake up, in order to give some vital information to Sam and Dean about the Leviathans, all while running through his memories (telling us more about him than we'd learned in the past). At the end, he's given the choice of either moving on with the Reaper or staying behind and becoming a ghost -- either way, he's dead.
* ''HarpersIsland'' did this quite a lot. Particularly with Booth, Kelly, Richard, Maggie, and Beth. They had so many characters that they didn't have time to properly let us get to know them first.
* In ''Series/BurnNotice'', Victor died almost as soon as we found out what his deal was. Later, in season 6, we start seeing a lot more of the usually absent Nathan just before someone puts a bullet into him.
* In "DesperateHousewives", the episode where Martha Huber dies begins with saying how much she wanted her life to be exciting and to be famous, and at the end, she was famous for her horrific murder.
* In ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', while Alex Cabot occasionally had episodes in which her legal case was bigger than the investigation, the absolute crowner was "Loss", at the end of which she dies. (No, [[NotQuiteDead not really]]. She goes into Witness Protection.) And as one of Alex's main roles on the show was to have {{UST}} with Olivia Benson, this episode was also a crowner of LesYay.
* In ''FlashForward2009'', Al Gough receives this as his send-off episode. In fact, it is the first time that more than a few moments are devoted to his flash-forward and the mental turmoil he is experiencing, although it is hinted at every so often in the previous episodes.
* Claude on ''Series/DegrassiHigh'' plays this trope completely straight; he had appeared in a couple episodes in the first season (though he did have a significant amount of screen time in them) before [[DrivenToSuicide committing suicide]] near the end of Season 2.
* ''Series/TheMentalist''
** One episode had the minor character of a medical examiner take an active part in an investigation which is something the character never did before. He intentionally put himself into the limelight because he needs Jayne to help him. He is dying of cancer and wants to kill himself but needs a law enforcement officer to witness the suicide so there is no need for an autopsy.
** The series also has a tendency to give a character their limelight episode right before the episode where they die or is effectively written out. Bosco and Jane bond in 2x07, right before Bosco is shot dead in 2x08. Hightower parttakes in an investigation in 3x15, before being framed as a Red John accomplice in 3x16. Finally Wainwright [[TookALevelInBadass stands up to Jane]] in 4x23 before he's murdered by proxy in 4x24.
* When Waruzu Giru from ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' started getting character development beyond being the "emperor's idiot son", it was clear he didn't have long to live.
** TheDragon Damaras as well, getting offed at the end of the two-parter when he finally steps into the battlefield.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' did this to the Alternate Lincoln after giving us a much wanted episode with the two Lincoln's trying to figure out how they ended up so different from each other. The obvious guess would probably be Altlivia's influence in his life.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. In series 3, Guinevere's brother Elyan is introduced and knighted. The writers went on to do absolutely nothing with his character until mid-series 5, in an episode which explored his relationship to his sister, made him the key figure in a rescue mission, and gave him more lines than in any previous episodes. Any GenreSavvy viewer could see the giant bullseye on his head from the very first scene. Elyan did get a DayInTheLimelight episode in season 4 (that revolved around him being BrainwashedAndCrazy and trying to murder Arthur) but he's still an excellent example of this trope.
* ''BoardwalkEmpire'': It is done repeatedly in the third season.
** "Resolution" has a record of scenes featuring Manny Horvitz ([[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters four]]), three of which with him as the main character. In the first, he demands his own distillery from Nucky in exchange for killing someone for him, in the second he has a very cute interaction with his [[TheGhost previously mentioned, but unseen]] wife, and in the third he is getting his brains [[BoomHeadShot blown out]] by [[OneManArmy Richard Harrow]].
** Billie Kent receives hers in "The Pony".
** Averted in "Two Imposters", where BumblingSidekick Eddie is shot. He gets more screentime than usual and we get a glimpse of his backstory, but he is successfully operated on by Chalky White's med student son-in-law, [[ChekhovsGunman Samuel]].
* Series/TheWalkingDead. Dale, T-Dog, Axel, Oscar...oh hell, it's gotten to a point where if an actor of a minor (or major) character shows up as a guest on TalkingDead (the talk show that analyzing each episode after its premier) they are usually expected to die in that episode...effectively making the title a pun.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* The ''CallOfDuty Modern Warfare'' series does this at least once in each game. In the first one, it's the just-got-ousted President of the generic Arab Country, whom you get to play as during the moments leading up to his execution. In the second, it's [=SatCom=] 1, who you use to watch Price's plan unfold. When it does, the resultant [[FridgeLogic space-shockwave]] destroys the station you're on, killing you in the process.
* Happens multiple times in the Story Mode of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', in which a character will be killed immediately once his chapter in the story ends.
* Chapter 11 of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' includes Isara inventing smoke bombs to get the squad past a narrow field without being gunned down by the enemy... and then ends with her being KilledOffForReal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Mosp from ''SluggyFreelance'' died almost immediately after she was given her own week-long arc detailing her backstory.
* A brief story arc in ''SomethingPositive'' focused on Faye and Fred, with Fred planning to tell Faye about his Alzheimer's diagnosis at the end of a day they spent together but losing his nerve. The next morning, he woke up - and Faye did not.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' did this for several deaths in a row, giving characters lots of screentime in a flash page right before killing them. First "Kanaya: Return to the core" gave Eridan and Feferi a lot more screentime than they're used to and dove into developing Eridan's character for the first time ever, just before Eridan murdered Feferi, and himself getting killed soon after. Not much later, "Equius: Seek the highb100d." was nothing but Equius and Nepeta getting the most screentime and character development either had ever had, and was shortly followed by both of their deaths.
** It also did this to genuine-major-character Kanaya (and to a lesser extent Tavros) around the same time, though only one of those stuck, and to Rose's waking-self. In fact it's safer just to say that Andrew Hussie likes this trope in general.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: WebOriginal]]
* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' has this come up a few times (although it's not so much an episode as a limelight ''post'') an example of this treatment is Andy [=McCann=], who is killed in his first appearance in the game (that being because his handler left, but still). Notably, his section of the post is about three times as long as that of the character that actually killed him, detailing what he had been doing up to that point on the island and nostalgically thinking about his favourite superhero. Due to the system that deals with inactive characters, this tends to happen to them the majority of the time.
* ''[[DragonBallAbridged Dragon Ball Z Abridged]]'' started doing this about Episode 17, when they killed Zarbon. Although it's more obvious from Episode 19 on, you could add Episode 18 if you count the death of Vegeta's sanity.
** 17) Zarbon. 18) Vegeta's sanity. 19) Guldo. 20) Recoome (dies in 21). 21) Burter. 22) Jeice (dies in 23). 23) Ginyu. 24) Super Kami Guru. 25) Nail. 26) Dende. 27 and 28) Vegeta (fatal blow in 27, dies in 28). 29) Krillin. 30) Freeza.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''[='=] second season gives Dinobot a major role in two or three episodes leading up to "Code of Hero" where he's seen at his best, and then bites it at the end.
** Seeing as season two of ''Beast Wars'' had 12 episodes, those three episodes do form 1/4 of the entire season, so it may not be a negligible amount of time.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' used this trope in Season Six's episode "'Round Springfield". Bleeding Gums Murphy, the jazz musician who Lisa met in an early episode in the first season, faded into the background quickly (showing up here and there in crowd scenes for a while) and was almost forgotten until he appeared in the hospital in this episode. There, he tells Lisa his whole [[BelatedBackStory previously unrevealed back story]], about how he was a successful jazz musician who made a guest appearance on the Cosby show, and doing a saxophone duet with Lisa. Lisa goes off to school and wins a talent competition, and then returns to the hospital to be told Bleeding Gums has passed away. This occurs in the middle of the episode, and the rest of it revolves around Lisa's quest to arrange a tribute to him. After she succeeds, Bleeding Gums Murphy's ghost appears in the clouds in a parody of ''Disney/TheLionKing'' ([[Creator/JamesEarlJones Mufasa, Darth Vader, and the CNN announcer briefly interrupt]]), and they have one last saxophone duet over the end credits before Bleeding Gums heads off for his afterlife date with Billie Holiday.
* The ''JusticeLeague'' episode "The Terror Beyond". Beforehand, Solomon Grundy was TheBrute and DumbMuscle with no motivation beyond greed. In this episode, Grundy's backstory is revealed, and he's given a very sympathetic motivation to fight alongside the good guys. Naturally, he dies fighting Icthultu and many tears are shed over him. One of his powers is the ability to come BackFromTheDead, which was the whole reason he agreed to come along, as a HumanSacrifice was needed to defeat Ichthultu and someone like Grundy was going to present less of a moral dilemma to that end. He returns for an episode of ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' but has CameBackWrong and devolved into TheBerserker and has to be killed by AntiMagic, again PlayedForDrama. Given the manner of his death, its not clear if he will again return from the grave or was finally KilledOffForReal, but regardless he does not reappear in the series again.
* Nabu was introduced in Season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' as Aisha's love interest [[SatelliteLoveInterest ...and that's all]]. However, the final episodes of season 4 focused on him a lot, showing his sheer badassery, to the point of beating one of the four {{Big Bad}}s all by himself. Shortly after that, he performed an HeroicSacrifice.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', Kenny, although always part of the main cast, barely had any effect on the plot up until "Kenny Dies", after which he is killed off ([[DeathIsCheap for a season]]).
* ''MassEffect3'' does this with several missions that involve former members of your squad from the second game: they receive some notable focus and then wind up dying by the time it's over. For some such as Miranda, Grunt, and Samara it can be optionally subverted, since you can save them from dying.
[[/folder]]

to:

\n[[foldercontrol]]\n\n[[folder:Anime and Manga]] \n[[index]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' built an arc on Luffy and Whitebeard trying to rescue Ace. In the end though, [[NotQuiteSavedEnough they were unsuccessful,]] with both Ace and Whitebeard dying in the ensuing battle against the Marines.
ADeathInTheLimelight/AnimeAndManga
* ''Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex'' has this for the cute and quirky Tatchkoma's. The robots have their brief day in the limelight, before dying their tragic demise. [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Poor Robots]].
** It won't be the last time they die, either.
ADeathInTheLimelight/ComicBooks
* Admiral Sadaako Munetake in ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' spends most of the series between ButtMonkey and {{Jerkass}}. When he gets his own episode, the effect of both roles crashes on him, and he commits [[SuicideByCop suicide by Jovians]].
ADeathInTheLimelight/{{Literature}}
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' devotes the plot of an episode to Kaworu Nagisa, the only person to ever explicitly show Shinji Ikari [[HoYay love]], who only appears in this very episode. Yet this person's relevance to the plot is that he is the last Angel, meaning that Shinji has to kill his new best friend.
ADeathInTheLimelight/LiveActionTV
* In ''BlackButler'', Angelina Durless appears to be an important major character, only to be murdered by her own butler (who also happened to be a Shinigami), complete with a half-chapter montage of her story.
ADeathInTheLimelight/VideoGames
* Asuma Sarutobi in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has little to do until after the time skip. Even then, he doesn't get much "screen" time in the manga until a chapter or so before he's killed. It was lengthy and dramatic too. The anime's giving him a role in the Temple of Fire filler arc seems to have been an attempt to defuse this trope.
** Likewise, Jiraiya appears in the Three-Tails Filler arc and gets a fair amount of screentime early in arc despite not being present very often for much of Part II. In the manga, he reappears in the Hunt for Uchiha Arc to infiltrate the Hidden Rain Village and find Pain, and dies in the course of doing so.
** Danzo, whose only significant onscreen involvement in the plot until then was to get Sai enrolled into Kakashi's team, takes centre stage in the midst of the Pain invasion arc, [[spoiler: plotting to overthrow Tsunade by ''not'' intervening to protect the village, kills the messenger frog to prevent Naruto from returning, gets himself appointed as the Sixth Hokage with a BreakingSpeech, promptly orders Sasuke's execution, attends the Five Kage meeting, reveals what was underneath his bandages, attempts to take control of the ninja alliance, and is promptly disposed off by Sasuke with some help from Madara.]] All in the space of about 20 chapters or so (if you would exclude the lengthy flashbacks and discussions that Naruto and Nagato have).
** A recurring theme as far as villainous characters are concerned:
*** Sasori, Deidara, Nagato and Konan all got flashbacks shortly before their deaths (in Nagato's case, he actually narrated his), as did the aforementioned Danzo.
*** Kisame did not, but that turned out to be a hint that he was FakingTheDead and not long afterwards he played it straight.
*** The enslaved zombies of the Edo Tensei undead army are already dead, but they sometimes get the spotlight shortly before their defeat.
*** Orochimaru and Itachi have averted this, as they get or appear in numerous flashbacks before and after their respective "deaths", but oddly not during (Oro got a very brief one in his fight with Sasuke, though he wasn't technically dead and still isn't); in both cases their character arcs and influence on the story continued afterwards, and they were major if rarely seen recurring characters.
*** To the annoyance of many fans, averted with Hidan and Kakuzu, and less controversially the Sound Four.
ADeathInTheLimelight/{{Webcomics}}
* ''Manga/BattleRoyale'', in which most characters die within a chapter or two of the point where the story starts to focus on them. Practically guaranteed if it starts talking about their past.
ADeathInTheLimelight/WebOriginal
* The ''{{Trigun}}'' episode "Paradise" focuses on Nicholas D. Wolfwood and ends with his death.
** In the manga he gets two whole volumes to himself, with Vash only appearing right at the end. Needless to say, following the full reveal of his tragic backstory and the resolution of said backstory, he winds up dying after overdosing on the same chemicals that aged him and gave him his enhanced skills.
** Legato also gets one of these in the manga, focusing on his traumatic past as a sex slave in a town of criminals and cowards, where he was rescued by Millions Knives and pledged himself to his service. Shortly after this spotlight story, Legato winds up dead.
* Although L is a major character in ''Manga/DeathNote'', his death episode is the first glimpse the viewer gets of his childhood. The episode also focuses more on his thoughts, feelings and doubts than ever, whereas before he was single-mindedly devoted to exposing Kira. You just know something bad is about to happen!
* Used ''very'' frequently in ''MobileSuitGundam''. If a minor character is given his/her own episode, chances are they'll die ''very, very'' soon.
* ''MacrossFrontier'' devotes an episode to Ozma Lee and deliberately drew outrageous parallels between him and [[SuperDimensionFortressMacross Roy Focker]] to hint at his upcoming death/[[HeroicSacrifice self-sacrifice]]. In the end, [[SubvertedTrope he survives]], and the other characters [[LampshadeHanging comment on how the drama was lost]].
* In ''{{s-CRY-ed}}'', Kirishima and Scheris die in the episodes bearing their names.
* The ''entirety'' of ''{{Bokurano}}''. You can tell a pilot's the next one to go once he/she gets focused on. Although it was subverted for a little bit. The next chapter after Kana's death is Jun's, so everybody figures he'll die next. Then Yoko makes the contract, something she wasn't supposed to be able to do, and the next few chapters after that are her DayInTheLimelight - [[WhamEpisode then she gets shot in the head.]] After that the focus goes straight back to Jun.
* Maes Hughes in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
* Nuriko of ''FushigiYuugi'' fame. The infamous Episode 33 (or manga volume 8). And Episode 34, which was mostly spent eulogizing Nuriko.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon R'' has Sapphire. He never mounts any attacks against the Sailor Scouts at all, unlike Rubeus and Emerald before him. He is only seen talking to Emerald and Diamond. In the episode "Brotherly Love", he discovers Wiseman's plans, is injured by Wiseman, and revealed to have been in love with Prizma, and essentially does a HeelFaceTurn, before he attempts to warn his brother about Wiseman's treachery and is killed by Wiseman.
* Episodes Twelve and Thirteen of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' R2, with Episode Twelve acting as a breather; and contrast, to Shirley's death.
* ''FafnerInTheAzure'' does this several times, in conjunction with DyingMomentOfAwesome. Shouko's and Mamoru's HeroicSacrifice, Kouyou's and Sakura's assimilation, and Michio's suicide attack. Subverted with both Kouyou and Sakura in that both [[UnexplainedRecovery recover]]. Kouyou ends up becoming a Master-Type Festum anyway to protect the island, then he [[BackForTheFinale comes back in Meir form for the movie,]] piloting the Fafner Mark Vier, the Fafner he originally used. Finally, his Fafner is immediately trashed and his Meir core promptly vanishes.]]
* ''PandoraHearts'' does this with a ''lot'' of characters, most notably [[HeroicSacrifice Elliot]] [[TomatoInTheMirror Nightray]]. Subverted with Leo, who was impaled in the middle of his fight with Oz, and lives [[HealingFactor thanks to being a Baskerville]].
** Also subverted with Reim Lunettes and Lily Baskerville, who, after getting a chapter's worth of attention with each other, [[FauxDeath put himself in a death-like state]] after being non-fatally wounded and got shot in the head then recovers respectively.
* When Team Dai-Gurren is trapped in the space ocean during episode 25 of TengenToppaGurrenLagann, Kittan gets his time in the limelight. He is featured more than in other episodes and over the course of the episode we find that Kittan has insecurity about not being as good of a leader as Kamina and that he loves Yoko. Yoko also brings our attention to the fact that while "Simon pulled from the top; Kittan pushed from below" reminding us that Kittan was indeed a big part of the rebellion. All of this right before he leaves the ship to perform an epic HeroicSacrifice in order to help Team Dai-Gurren escape the ocean.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''Countdown to InfiniteCrisis'': The Ted Kord BlueBeetle, who'd undergone {{Flanderization}} to the point he was a FlatCharacter and then barely seen for a few years, is suddenly brought back in a story that highlights his positive character traits and strengths as a hero, specifically to make his death at the end actually mean something (as opposed to the characters who were CListFodder for the upcoming CrisisCrossover event).
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' #62: [[{{Superfriends}} Wendy and Marvin]], teen geniuses who came on during the One Year Later plotline to repair Cyborg and maintain the Titans Tower gear, generally treated like background characters until needed for hostages. In this issue, they discuss their dissatisfaction with their minor roles, [[MythologyGag adopt a dog]], and are repeatedly assured by other characters that they're vital to the team's functioning. Then the dog turns into a monster that mauls Marvin to death and puts Wendy in a coma when none of the heroes are looking.
* ''TheInvisibles'' features an issue dedicated to the life, good and bad, of one of the nameless henchmen gunned down by the heroes in a previous issue.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novels, individual Ghosts are brought forward, by name, with details for a scene or a few scenes before their deaths. This is not distinguishable from the characters who are named and developed to play more important roles in the books until the character dies. In other words, sometimes it's just a DayInTheLimelight, and sometimes it's a Death.
* The ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' novels have [[MemeticMutation over 9000]] [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters characters]], but if the narrative abruptly switches to an unknown character, then it isn't really that hard to tell how they're going to end up. A specific example being the Havenite soldier on leave in ''At All Costs'' whose total experience in the limelight is getting in his air car and crashing it into a plot-relevant character's vehicle.
* Goes all the way back to ''[[{{Homer}} The Iliad]]'', though technically inverted: Many characters (most relatively minor) are sometimes given some rather detailed obituaries in the narrative right after someone kills them.
* The twenty-second ''Literature/WarriorCats'' book ''Night Whispers'' focused on EnsembleDarkhorse Flametail's attempts to unravel a mysterious prophecy. At the end, he drowns.
* In ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', the POV character of every prologue and epilogue dies at the end of it. Granted, the series tends to practice AnyoneCanDie in general.
* ''Literature/BattleRoyale'' has a few chapters like this. One notable one is Mizuho's, which is only ''three pages long'' and ends in her getting gunned down by Kazuo.
* ''InDeath'' series: If the book looks through the viewpoint of anyone who isn't Eve or Roarke, then there's a 90% chance this trope will occur. The viewpoint may be the killer, a victim, or sometimes both.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' uses this trope a lot, often killing a character (or mortally wounding them) during their spotlight {{Flashback}} episode. Shannon, Ana-Lucia, Eko, and Faraday have all been killed in their flashback episodes.
** Charlie subverts this trope just a little: he's told that he will die for real this time, spends the episode reviewing his favorite memories, does the thing that will kill him...and doesn't die. He dies in the next episode, when the limelight is on another character.
** [[TheScrappy Nikki and Paulo]] are only ever shown a few times before their flashback episode in which they die, although the flashbacks indicate that they were around but didn't interact with the main cast. Most other characters who die in the limelight have at least some presence before they enter the limelight.
** Another variant is Jacob, who is mentioned dozens of times before being shown onscreen in his first centric episode (though he isn't having the flashbacks, he appears in all but one of them). Then he gets offed at the end of the episode.
** Arguably, the death of Daniel Faraday echoes this trope as well. Though he was a member of the main cast, his backstory was lacking until his centric episode "The Variable", in which his backstory was filled in and then he was killed.
* ''TheSopranos'' does this with Gene Pontecorvo, a soldier who spends a solid three seasons providing background filler for many a group scene before having the season six premiere episode ("Members Only") focus on him, his hopes and dreams, his family life... and his suicide.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with Hesh Rabkin. He's a recurring character since the pilot episode, but never has an episode properly center on him until "Chasing It", nearing the series finale. It focuses on Tony owning him money and reluctantly paying his points while close associates discuss Hesh's demise. Hesh himself fears for his life throughout the episode as tensions rise. In the end, it's his girlfriend who suddenly dies, and Tony swings by to pay his respects/debt in full, though remaining estranged with him for the rest of the series.
* ''[[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Battlestar Galactica]]'': "The Passage", with Kat, who had at least made a few appearances prior; "Razor", with Kendra Shaw, who within the span of a double-length episode is introduced, made one of the most important figures in the fleet, and killed off, never to be mentioned again; and "Sacrifice" with Billy Kekeiya, who had been an important secondary character since the beginning. Lastly, Gaeta and Zarek start a mutiny, during which Gaeta, who is normally a significant background character, took the spotlight. He was executed at the end.
** Galactica has had a few others as well. Cally got an episode devoted to her just to wind up getting airlocked at the end. Dee was a prominent supporting character in the first three seasons, but was mostly a background character in the fourth season. She got a lot more attention in the Season 4.5 "premiere" only to off herself halfway through. There was also Simon, arguably the least developed of the Cylons throughout the series. ''The Plan'' puts a Simon copy in a starring role and makes him a sympathetic figure with a family. He kills himself with no chance of resurrection to avoid having to kill his family.
* ''{{Primeval}}'': Episode 4 did this for Tom, to a degree.
* Doyle in ''Series/{{Angel}}''
* In ''Series/{{Buffy|TheVampireSlayer}}'', Cordelia dies about halfway through her first DayInTheLimelight. She got better, though.
** The episode in which Tara dies isn't centered around her, but she finally gets her name added to the main cast in the opening credits.
** Joyce's death could count in a sort of drawn-out way. Having previously been mostly "Buffy's mom," in season 5 she gets a subplot where she has to undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor. Then we finally have an episode where she's well again, gotten out of bed, and starts dating a nice (though never-seen) man. The episode ends when Buffy gets home, [[MoodWhiplash smiles at the bouquet of flowers said guy has sent, walks into the living room... and finds Joyce's pale,]] [[FunnyAneurysmMoment unmoving body on the couch]], leading into the CrowningMomentOfSadness episode "[[SomethingCompletelyDifferent The Body]]."
* Lt. Joe Carey on ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' was a recurring character in the first ten or so episodes, but then he fell off the radar. Near the end, they brought him back for a spotlight episode just to provide {{Wangst}} when they killed him off.
** The extreme BelatedBackstory version is also seen in ''Voyager:'' two episodes had {{Redshirt}}s created ''just'' to be brought BackFromTheDead in that episode. You gotta wonder why they did this instead of bringing back redshirts we'd ''actually seen die.''
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'''s episode "Lower Decks", Sito Jaxa, one of the cadets from "The First Duty" who was reprimanded for unauthorized flight activity, was shown to have stayed on the straight and narrow and become an ensign on the Enterprise. She's then sent on a dangerous mission by Captain Picard. She doesn't survive. There was a story planned for ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' that would have involved her turning up alive in a Cardassian prisoner camp, but said story never made it to the air. As far as canon's concerned, she's dead.
* Inverted in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Who Mourns for Morn" in which Morn, a minor character who NEVER SPOKE is presumed dead by the station crew. However, he only turns out to have been hiding in fear of his life.
* ''Series/{{House}}'': The season 4 two-part finale starts features House knowing ''someone'' is going to die, but having been hit with a dose of LaserGuidedAmnesia. It turns out to be ''holy shit Amber''. So ''that's'' what the sudden focus on her character in the previous few episodes had been leading up to...
* RealityTV does this often. If an episode is focusing on a contestant, chances are they are [[CatchPhrase auf'd]] that episode. This is particularly true if their confessionals emphasize 1) How much winning the competition would mean to them; 2) How much they have come to appreciate their teammate/showmance partner; 3) How much they have learned / grown / matured because of their participation; 4) How wonderful the experience has been or how many new friends they've made; and 5) How much better / stronger / more skillful / better-liked / more in control of the game they are than one or more of their fellow competitors.
** ''Series/AmericasNextTopModel'' is an {{egregious}} offender. Whenever a girl shows up who isn't one of the handful of prominently featured girls in each cycle, she's either getting called first that week or being sent home. Expect her to be suddenly struggling with the judges' critiques, even though she's never been shown doing so before that point.
** ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' has a bad habit of doing this to its more under-the-radar players, particularly in later seasons. Once a contestant is revealed to the audience to be a homosexual in the same episode, he is voted out. One of the most famous examples would be the episode of Tocantins where Coach is voted out, after being sent to Exile Island, finding a "Dragon Slayer Cane", and (presumably) faking a back injury when losing the immunity challenge to JT.
* This has become a way for ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' fans to determine who will be eliminated at the end of the episode. In Season 15, when the other eight teams were ignored in favor of devoting an episode to Zev & Justin. Zev & Justin had more airtime, both on the course and in interviews, than the other eight teams combined. Considering how quickly the season went downhill after they were gone, this was probably justified.
* Series/DoctorWho:
** Father's Day. Granted, that character's death was a ForegoneConclusion and we are explicitly told this at the start of the episode.
** Earthshock.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'' did this in the very first episode, relating almost every plotline to Dino Ortolani only to have him burned to death at the end.
* Ianto Jones in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' gets a lot more development, backstory and screen time in part 1 of the ''Children of Earth'' serial than in most of the past two series. Come part 4...
* ''[[{{Series/BandOfBrothers}} Band Of Brothers]]''. The third episode, largely focusing on an otherwise unknown character named Pvt. Blithe, concludes with him being shot in the neck and effectively dying (he leaves permanently and is said to have died from this wound years later). Unfortunately for this miniseries that prides itself on TruthInTelevision, Blithe didn't die from this wound, and continued serving in the military for most of the rest of his life until he died in 1967.
* ''ThePacific''. The eight episode, which focuses on John Basilone's time as a Drill Sergeant later in the war and meeting his future wife. He's killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima at the end.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Jimmy Novak, the guy whose body [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Castiel]] was borrowing. It's not clear at the end of his episode if Cas saved him soon enough to keep him in his body, or if he got sent on and Castiel just kept the shell. Given the sort of stuff Castiel has been through right from the start of season 5, [[AndIMustScream death might be the better option for the poor guy.]] It seems that he was still in here, as evidenced by "My Bloody Valentine". Cas was exploded, AGAIN, in the finale, so who knows.
** "Abandon All Hope" counts for Ellen and Jo Harvelle. They haven't been seen for quite a while and then they come back after their appearance in the beginning of season 5 only for Jo to be wounded by a hellhound, and her and Ellen volunteering to stay behind and blow up a store to help the Winchesters escape. There's also "Hammer of the Gods" for Gabriel/The Trickster who had a big reveal about him in "Changing Channels", but then was murdered by his brother while doing exactly what the aforementioned duo had done.
** In Season 7, "At Death's Door", is all about a comatose Bobby (who was shot at the end of the previous episode), trapped in his own head and trying to evade the [[TheGrimReaper Reaper]] chasing him and trying to find a way to wake up, in order to give some vital information to Sam and Dean about the Leviathans, all while running through his memories (telling us more about him than we'd learned in the past). At the end, he's given the choice of either moving on with the Reaper or staying behind and becoming a ghost -- either way, he's dead.
* ''HarpersIsland'' did this quite a lot. Particularly with Booth, Kelly, Richard, Maggie, and Beth. They had so many characters that they didn't have time to properly let us get to know them first.
* In ''Series/BurnNotice'', Victor died almost as soon as we found out what his deal was. Later, in season 6, we start seeing a lot more of the usually absent Nathan just before someone puts a bullet into him.
* In "DesperateHousewives", the episode where Martha Huber dies begins with saying how much she wanted her life to be exciting and to be famous, and at the end, she was famous for her horrific murder.
* In ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', while Alex Cabot occasionally had episodes in which her legal case was bigger than the investigation, the absolute crowner was "Loss", at the end of which she dies. (No, [[NotQuiteDead not really]]. She goes into Witness Protection.) And as one of Alex's main roles on the show was to have {{UST}} with Olivia Benson, this episode was also a crowner of LesYay.
* In ''FlashForward2009'', Al Gough receives this as his send-off episode. In fact, it is the first time that more than a few moments are devoted to his flash-forward and the mental turmoil he is experiencing, although it is hinted at every so often in the previous episodes.
* Claude on ''Series/DegrassiHigh'' plays this trope completely straight; he had appeared in a couple episodes in the first season (though he did have a significant amount of screen time in them) before [[DrivenToSuicide committing suicide]] near the end of Season 2.
* ''Series/TheMentalist''
** One episode had the minor character of a medical examiner take an active part in an investigation which is something the character never did before. He intentionally put himself into the limelight because he needs Jayne to help him. He is dying of cancer and wants to kill himself but needs a law enforcement officer to witness the suicide so there is no need for an autopsy.
** The series also has a tendency to give a character their limelight episode right before the episode where they die or is effectively written out. Bosco and Jane bond in 2x07, right before Bosco is shot dead in 2x08. Hightower parttakes in an investigation in 3x15, before being framed as a Red John accomplice in 3x16. Finally Wainwright [[TookALevelInBadass stands up to Jane]] in 4x23 before he's murdered by proxy in 4x24.
* When Waruzu Giru from ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' started getting character development beyond being the "emperor's idiot son", it was clear he didn't have long to live.
** TheDragon Damaras as well, getting offed at the end of the two-parter when he finally steps into the battlefield.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' did this to the Alternate Lincoln after giving us a much wanted episode with the two Lincoln's trying to figure out how they ended up so different from each other. The obvious guess would probably be Altlivia's influence in his life.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. In series 3, Guinevere's brother Elyan is introduced and knighted. The writers went on to do absolutely nothing with his character until mid-series 5, in an episode which explored his relationship to his sister, made him the key figure in a rescue mission, and gave him more lines than in any previous episodes. Any GenreSavvy viewer could see the giant bullseye on his head from the very first scene. Elyan did get a DayInTheLimelight episode in season 4 (that revolved around him being BrainwashedAndCrazy and trying to murder Arthur) but he's still an excellent example of this trope.
* ''BoardwalkEmpire'': It is done repeatedly in the third season.
** "Resolution" has a record of scenes featuring Manny Horvitz ([[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters four]]), three of which with him as the main character. In the first, he demands his own distillery from Nucky in exchange for killing someone for him, in the second he has a very cute interaction with his [[TheGhost previously mentioned, but unseen]] wife, and in the third he is getting his brains [[BoomHeadShot blown out]] by [[OneManArmy Richard Harrow]].
** Billie Kent receives hers in "The Pony".
** Averted in "Two Imposters", where BumblingSidekick Eddie is shot. He gets more screentime than usual and we get a glimpse of his backstory, but he is successfully operated on by Chalky White's med student son-in-law, [[ChekhovsGunman Samuel]].
* Series/TheWalkingDead. Dale, T-Dog, Axel, Oscar...oh hell, it's gotten to a point where if an actor of a minor (or major) character shows up as a guest on TalkingDead (the talk show that analyzing each episode after its premier) they are usually expected to die in that episode...effectively making the title a pun.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* The ''CallOfDuty Modern Warfare'' series does this at least once in each game. In the first one, it's the just-got-ousted President of the generic Arab Country, whom you get to play as during the moments leading up to his execution. In the second, it's [=SatCom=] 1, who you use to watch Price's plan unfold. When it does, the resultant [[FridgeLogic space-shockwave]] destroys the station you're on, killing you in the process.
* Happens multiple times in the Story Mode of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', in which a character will be killed immediately once his chapter in the story ends.
* Chapter 11 of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' includes Isara inventing smoke bombs to get the squad past a narrow field without being gunned down by the enemy... and then ends with her being KilledOffForReal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Mosp from ''SluggyFreelance'' died almost immediately after she was given her own week-long arc detailing her backstory.
* A brief story arc in ''SomethingPositive'' focused on Faye and Fred, with Fred planning to tell Faye about his Alzheimer's diagnosis at the end of a day they spent together but losing his nerve. The next morning, he woke up - and Faye did not.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' did this for several deaths in a row, giving characters lots of screentime in a flash page right before killing them. First "Kanaya: Return to the core" gave Eridan and Feferi a lot more screentime than they're used to and dove into developing Eridan's character for the first time ever, just before Eridan murdered Feferi, and himself getting killed soon after. Not much later, "Equius: Seek the highb100d." was nothing but Equius and Nepeta getting the most screentime and character development either had ever had, and was shortly followed by both of their deaths.
** It also did this to genuine-major-character Kanaya (and to a lesser extent Tavros) around the same time, though only one of those stuck, and to Rose's waking-self. In fact it's safer just to say that Andrew Hussie likes this trope in general.
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[[folder: WebOriginal]]
* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' has this come up a few times (although it's not so much an episode as a limelight ''post'') an example of this treatment is Andy [=McCann=], who is killed in his first appearance in the game (that being because his handler left, but still). Notably, his section of the post is about three times as long as that of the character that actually killed him, detailing what he had been doing up to that point on the island and nostalgically thinking about his favourite superhero. Due to the system that deals with inactive characters, this tends to happen to them the majority of the time.
* ''[[DragonBallAbridged Dragon Ball Z Abridged]]'' started doing this about Episode 17, when they killed Zarbon. Although it's more obvious from Episode 19 on, you could add Episode 18 if you count the death of Vegeta's sanity.
** 17) Zarbon. 18) Vegeta's sanity. 19) Guldo. 20) Recoome (dies in 21). 21) Burter. 22) Jeice (dies in 23). 23) Ginyu. 24) Super Kami Guru. 25) Nail. 26) Dende. 27 and 28) Vegeta (fatal blow in 27, dies in 28). 29) Krillin. 30) Freeza.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''[='=] second season gives Dinobot a major role in two or three episodes leading up to "Code of Hero" where he's seen at his best, and then bites it at the end.
** Seeing as season two of ''Beast Wars'' had 12 episodes, those three episodes do form 1/4 of the entire season, so it may not be a negligible amount of time.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' used this trope in Season Six's episode "'Round Springfield". Bleeding Gums Murphy, the jazz musician who Lisa met in an early episode in the first season, faded into the background quickly (showing up here and there in crowd scenes for a while) and was almost forgotten until he appeared in the hospital in this episode. There, he tells Lisa his whole [[BelatedBackStory previously unrevealed back story]], about how he was a successful jazz musician who made a guest appearance on the Cosby show, and doing a saxophone duet with Lisa. Lisa goes off to school and wins a talent competition, and then returns to the hospital to be told Bleeding Gums has passed away. This occurs in the middle of the episode, and the rest of it revolves around Lisa's quest to arrange a tribute to him. After she succeeds, Bleeding Gums Murphy's ghost appears in the clouds in a parody of ''Disney/TheLionKing'' ([[Creator/JamesEarlJones Mufasa, Darth Vader, and the CNN announcer briefly interrupt]]), and they have one last saxophone duet over the end credits before Bleeding Gums heads off for his afterlife date with Billie Holiday.
* The ''JusticeLeague'' episode "The Terror Beyond". Beforehand, Solomon Grundy was TheBrute and DumbMuscle with no motivation beyond greed. In this episode, Grundy's backstory is revealed, and he's given a very sympathetic motivation to fight alongside the good guys. Naturally, he dies fighting Icthultu and many tears are shed over him. One of his powers is the ability to come BackFromTheDead, which was the whole reason he agreed to come along, as a HumanSacrifice was needed to defeat Ichthultu and someone like Grundy was going to present less of a moral dilemma to that end. He returns for an episode of ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' but has CameBackWrong and devolved into TheBerserker and has to be killed by AntiMagic, again PlayedForDrama. Given the manner of his death, its not clear if he will again return from the grave or was finally KilledOffForReal, but regardless he does not reappear in the series again.
* Nabu was introduced in Season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' as Aisha's love interest [[SatelliteLoveInterest ...and that's all]]. However, the final episodes of season 4 focused on him a lot, showing his sheer badassery, to the point of beating one of the four {{Big Bad}}s all by himself. Shortly after that, he performed an HeroicSacrifice.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', Kenny, although always part of the main cast, barely had any effect on the plot up until "Kenny Dies", after which he is killed off ([[DeathIsCheap for a season]]).
* ''MassEffect3'' does this with several missions that involve former members of your squad from the second game: they receive some notable focus and then wind up dying by the time it's over. For some such as Miranda, Grunt, and Samara it can be optionally subverted, since you can save them from dying.
[[/folder]]
ADeathInTheLimelight/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]
17th Apr '13 8:37:27 PM PaulA
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* In DanAbnett's ''GauntsGhosts'' novels, individual Ghosts are brought forward, by name, with details for a scene or a few scenes before their deaths. This is not distinguishable from the characters who are named and developed to play more important roles in the books until the character dies. In other words, sometimes it's just a DayInTheLimelight, and sometimes it's a Death.

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* In DanAbnett's ''GauntsGhosts'' Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novels, individual Ghosts are brought forward, by name, with details for a scene or a few scenes before their deaths. This is not distinguishable from the characters who are named and developed to play more important roles in the books until the character dies. In other words, sometimes it's just a DayInTheLimelight, and sometimes it's a Death.
7th Apr '13 1:08:14 PM DavySprocket
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** Arguably, the death of Daniel Faraday echoes this trope as well. Though he was a member of the main cast, his backstory was lacking until his centric episode "The Variable", in which his backstory was filled in and he was killed.

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** Arguably, the death of Daniel Faraday echoes this trope as well. Though he was a member of the main cast, his backstory was lacking until his centric episode "The Variable", in which his backstory was filled in and then he was killed.
25th Mar '13 2:14:01 PM Bcdeidarauno1
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Briefly, an episode or issue that [[ADayInTheLimelight suddenly focuses on a character]] specifically because they're going to die at the end (or fairly close to the end).

to:

Briefly, an episode or issue that [[ADayInTheLimelight suddenly focuses on a character]] specifically because [[KilledOffForReal they're going to die at the end (or fairly close to the end).
end)]].
24th Mar '13 6:25:27 PM LongLiveHumour
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* Asuma Sarutobi in ''{{Naruto}}'' has little to do until after the time skip. Even then, he doesn't get much "screen" time in the manga until a chapter or so before he's killed. It was lengthy and dramatic too. The anime's giving him a role in the Temple of Fire filler arc seems to have been an attempt to defuse this trope.

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* Asuma Sarutobi in ''{{Naruto}}'' ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has little to do until after the time skip. Even then, he doesn't get much "screen" time in the manga until a chapter or so before he's killed. It was lengthy and dramatic too. The anime's giving him a role in the Temple of Fire filler arc seems to have been an attempt to defuse this trope.



*** Kisame did not, but that turned out to be a hint that he was FakingTheDead and not long after he played it straight.
*** Gaara did not die, but he got a HeelFaceTurn after his, while Zaku was murdered offscreen shortly after his, though his teammates averted this.
*** Its played with with the Edo Tensei undead army, where the enslaved zombies usually do not die but sometimes get one shortly before their defeat (not all of them are villains, but they are antagonists, regardless this trope applies).
*** Orochimaru and Itachi have averted this, as they get or appear in numerous flashbacks before and after their respective "deaths", but oddly not during (Oro got a very bried one in his fight with Sasuke, though he wasn't technically dead- and still isn't); in both cases their character arcs and influence on the story continued afterwards, and they were major if rarely seen recurring characters.
*** To the annoyance of many fans, averted with Hidan and Kakuzu, and less controversially the Sound 4.

to:

*** Kisame did not, but that turned out to be a hint that he was FakingTheDead and not long after afterwards he played it straight.
*** Gaara did not die, but he got a HeelFaceTurn after his, while Zaku was murdered offscreen shortly after his, though his teammates averted this.
*** Its played with with
The enslaved zombies of the Edo Tensei undead army, where the enslaved zombies usually do not die army are already dead, but they sometimes get one the spotlight shortly before their defeat (not all of them are villains, but they are antagonists, regardless this trope applies).
defeat.
*** Orochimaru and Itachi have averted this, as they get or appear in numerous flashbacks before and after their respective "deaths", but oddly not during (Oro got a very bried brief one in his fight with Sasuke, though he wasn't technically dead- dead and still isn't); in both cases their character arcs and influence on the story continued afterwards, and they were major if rarely seen recurring characters.
*** To the annoyance of many fans, averted with Hidan and Kakuzu, and less controversially the Sound 4.Four.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ADeathintheLimelight