History Main / BlackDudeDiesFirst

20th Aug '16 8:21:05 PM LeahJ
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* ''Series/TheWestWing'' - In the second ever episode of the show we're introduced to a sweet, funny military doctor who's been specially requested by the President. He gets on really well with him, and has just popped in to give him a check-up before flying to an overseas teaching hospital for a couple of weeks. Not only is he black, he has a wife he adores and a lovely newborn baby girl whose picture he shows everyone. He is of course dead by the end of the episode (terrorists blow up his plane), and his death is used as a plot point to explore how the President deals with a military situation despite not having the experience. First person to die in a series that racked up quite a few corpses over the years. The West Wing is usually trope-savvier than this, though I suppose it was the still nineties. At least we get Charlie (the series' main non-white regular from that point) from the following episode, though the fact that he's the only one until Santos several seasons later kinda makes the Episode 2 thing worse in my opinion.

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* ''Series/TheWestWing'' - In the second ever episode of the show we're introduced to a sweet, funny military doctor who's been specially requested by the President. He gets on really well with him, and has just popped in to give him a check-up before flying to an overseas teaching hospital for a couple of weeks. Not only is he black, he has a wife he adores and a lovely newborn baby girl whose picture he shows everyone. He is of course dead by the end of the episode (terrorists blow up his plane), and his death is used as a plot point to explore how the President deals with a military situation despite not having the experience. First person to die in a series that racked up quite a few corpses over the years. The West Wing is usually trope-savvier than this, though I suppose it was the still nineties. At least we get Charlie (the series' main non-white regular from that point) from the following episode, though the fact that he's the only one until Santos several seasons later kinda makes the Episode 2 thing worse in my opinion.
6th Aug '16 7:16:42 PM merotoker
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The character doesn't have to be male, or even strictly black. As long as they're the only minority present, their chances of seeing the end of the movie are rather slim. As minority actors became more common in significant roles, this trope found new ways to stay relevant. Films would take a ScaryBlackMan, turn him into TheBigGuy, and kill him off to [[TheWorfEffect show how strong the monster is]]. In action or horror films, TheHero (typically a WhiteMaleLead) might have a BlackBestFriend {{Lancer}} that gets killed off or do a HeroicSacrifice to show that [[ShooOutTheClowns this is no laughing matter]]. 80s horror shows were good at this, and film makers had growing backlash against all the exploitation films.

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The character doesn't have to be male, or even strictly black. As long as they're the only minority present, their chances of seeing the end of the movie are rather slim. As minority actors became more common in significant roles, this trope found new ways to stay relevant. Films would take a ScaryBlackMan, turn him into TheBigGuy, and kill him off to [[TheWorfEffect show how strong the monster is]]. In action or horror films, TheHero (typically a WhiteMaleLead) might have a BlackBestFriend {{Lancer}} [[TheLancer Lancer]] that gets killed off or do a HeroicSacrifice to show that [[ShooOutTheClowns this is no laughing matter]]. 80s horror shows were good at this, and film makers had growing backlash against all the exploitation films.



* The major inciting event behind ''Comicbook/{{Civil War II}}'' is the death of Comicbook/WarMachine at the hands of {{Thanos}}.

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* The major inciting event behind ''Comicbook/{{Civil War II}}'' ''Comicbook/CivilWarII'' is the death of Comicbook/WarMachine at the hands of {{Thanos}}.ComicBook/{{Thanos}}.



* ''Film/{{Scream 2}}''. The first character to die is black. Omar Epps (pre-Series/{{House}}), through use of barely audible whispers to draw him close enough to the wall of the toilet to get stabbed in the ear.

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* ''Film/{{Scream 2}}''. The first character to die is black. Omar Epps (pre-Series/{{House}}), (pre-''Series/{{House}}''), through use of barely audible whispers to draw him close enough to the wall of the toilet to get stabbed in the ear.



* Played with in ''Film/KillBill'': Vernita Green's death is the first ''shown'', but the second on the Bride's hit list; O-Ren Ishii's name is already crossed out. ''Part 1'' then [[AnachronicOrder jumps back]] to [[HowWeGotHere the Bride hunting down and killing O-Ren]] (and most of her {{mooks}}, and a couple creeps back at the hospital).
** Before Vernita Green was killed, the bride came to, killed two guys in the hospital, recovered, flew to Okinawa and got a sword. She then flew to Japan and killed hundreds of Yakuza and O-Ren Ishi. She then dumped Sophia Fatale at the hospital, after which Fatale was reunited with Bill. However, when The Bride showed up at Green's door, she was taken totally by surprise. She was not the first, but apparently no one cared to give her a heads up and apparently she never watched TV or read a newspaper.

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* Played with in ''Film/KillBill'': Vernita Green's death is the first ''shown'', but the second on the Bride's hit list; O-Ren Ishii's name is already crossed out. ''Part 1'' then [[AnachronicOrder jumps back]] to [[HowWeGotHere the Bride hunting down and killing O-Ren]] (and most of her {{mooks}}, and a couple creeps back at the hospital).
**
hospital). Before Vernita Green was killed, the bride came to, killed two guys in the hospital, recovered, flew to Okinawa and got a sword. She then flew to Japan and killed hundreds of Yakuza and O-Ren Ishi. She then dumped Sophia Fatale at the hospital, after which Fatale was reunited with Bill. However, when The Bride showed up at Green's door, she was taken totally by surprise. She was not the first, but apparently no one cared to give her a heads up and apparently she never watched TV or read a newspaper.



* At the beginning of ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', the film shows a black father desperate to save his bedridden daughter who is suffering from some fatal sickness. He's approached by John Harrison, who tells the man he can save his daughter if he does something for him first. The black man commits a suicide terrorist bombing that kills hundreds of people and sets the movie's main plot.

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* At the beginning of ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', the film shows a black father desperate to save his [[IllGirl bedridden daughter who is suffering from some fatal sickness. sickness.]] He's approached by John Harrison, who tells the man he can save his daughter if he does something for him first. The black man commits a suicide terrorist bombing that kills hundreds of people and sets the movie's main plot.



* {{Discussed|Trope}} in ''{{Everworld}}'', as a joke from Christopher to Jalil.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheHost'' . The one black man present in the human colony does ''not'' die first. [[spoiler: He does, however, die the only ''violent'' death onscreen, when the Seeker shoots him]].

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* {{Discussed|Trope}} in ''{{Everworld}}'', ''Literature/{{Everworld}}'', as a joke from Christopher to Jalil.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheHost'' . The one black man present in the human colony does ''not'' die first. [[spoiler: He does, however, die the only ''violent'' death onscreen, when the Seeker shoots him]].him.]]



* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', T-Dog laments and {{Lampshades}} this situation frequently (see page quote) to the point where it even becomes a paranoid belief when he's sick with a fever. Though he does eventually die mid-way through Season 3, over two seasons after the character was introduced, he does in fact outlive at least seven of his initial companions, including [[spoiler:Amy, Ed, Jim, Dale, Jaqui, Sophia, and Shane.]]

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* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', T-Dog laments and {{Lampshades}} {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this situation frequently (see page quote) to the point where it even becomes a paranoid belief when he's sick with a fever. Though he does eventually die mid-way through Season 3, over two seasons after the character was introduced, he does in fact outlive at least seven of his initial companions, including [[spoiler:Amy, Ed, Jim, Dale, Jaqui, Sophia, and Shane.]]



* WWE's Wresting/TheNexus faction sort of did this. Barring Daniel Bryan's legit firing, the first two guys officially dumped were black (Darren Young [beaten down and thrown out after losing to Cena] and Michael Tarver [taken out by Cena himself]). David Otunga did not leave the Nexus, in fact he was the only original member to still be in the Nexus when it disbanded. Wrestling/WadeBarrett split from the Nexus and formed The Corre which had a black guy named Ezekiel Jackson. He was the first to be ejected.

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* WWE's Wresting/TheNexus faction sort of did this. Barring Daniel Bryan's legit firing, the first two guys officially dumped were black (Darren Young [beaten down and thrown out after losing to Cena] and Michael Tarver [taken out by Cena himself]). David Otunga did not leave the Nexus, Nexus; in fact he was the only original member to still be in the Nexus when it disbanded. Wrestling/WadeBarrett split from the Nexus and formed The Corre which had a black guy named Ezekiel Jackson. He was the first to be ejected.



* ''InThe1stDegree'' has only one character die. His name is Zachary Barnes, and he is a black guy shot dead by his white business partner James Tobin. Fortunately, the point of the game is to make sure Tobin goes all the way down for Zack's murder.

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* ''InThe1stDegree'' ''VideoGame/InThe1stDegree'' has only one character die. His name is Zachary Barnes, and he is a black guy shot dead by his white business partner James Tobin. Fortunately, the point of the game is to make sure Tobin goes all the way down for Zack's murder.



* The first casualty of the entire WorldWar3 in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' is the black guy who refuse to launch the [[NukeEm nuclear missile]] in the opening cinematic.

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* The first casualty of the entire WorldWar3 WorldWarIII in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' is the black guy who refuse to launch the [[NukeEm nuclear missile]] in the opening cinematic.



* In the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' episode ''Dark Heart'', Billy the rock climber gets eaten by the alien first.

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* In the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' episode ''Dark Heart'', "Dark Heart", Billy the rock climber gets eaten by the alien first.



* [[DiscussedTrope Set up]] in ''Film/TheExpendables''' parody, where there is a character known only as (even by that character himself) "Muscly Black Dude Who Dies A Gruesome Death", and whose purpose is only to say "You're totally mad, bro!" and "You said it, dude!". He frequently [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this behaviour, and even explains how a [[FatalFamilyPhoto family photo]] is the way they chose to give depth to his character.

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* [[DiscussedTrope Set up]] in ''Film/TheExpendables''' parody, where there is a character known only as (even by that character himself) "Muscly Black Dude Who Dies A Gruesome Death", and whose purpose is only to say "You're totally mad, bro!" and "You said it, dude!". He frequently [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this behaviour, and even explains how a [[FatalFamilyPhoto family photo]] is the way they chose to give depth to his character.



* In ''Machinima/ADayInTheLifeOFACommissar'', two Guardsmen see Commissar Steve get gassed. One trooper, horrorstruck, wonders who's going to be the first to die. His buddy says "we should go by the movie rule that states the black guy always dies first." They're relived that none of their troops are black. But then one trooper says, "wait, I'm half-black!" and is promptly blown to pieces.

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* In ''Machinima/ADayInTheLifeOFACommissar'', ''Machinima/ADayInTheLifeOfACommissar'', two Guardsmen see Commissar Steve get gassed. One trooper, horrorstruck, wonders who's going to be the first to die. His buddy says "we should go by the movie rule that states the black guy always dies first." They're relived that none of their troops are black. But then one trooper says, "wait, I'm half-black!" and is promptly blown to pieces.



'''Harry:''' [[GenreSavvy I've seen this movie]]; the [[TropeNamer black dude dies first]]. [[DefiedTrope You snag it!]]

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'''Harry:''' [[GenreSavvy I've seen this movie]]; the [[TropeNamer [[TropeNamers black dude dies first]]. [[DefiedTrope You snag it!]]



* Preacher of ''Film/DeepBlueSea'' is well aware of this trope, and records his legacy - the perfect omelet recipe - in anticipation of his death. He lives all the way to the end, although the other black character does die mid-way through the film.
** The lampshading may have also been intentionally magnified in that out of the two black guys in this horror movie, one is played by a rapper (Music/LLCoolJ), and the other one by... Creator/SamuelLJackson. And ''Jackson'', the bigger star, is the one who gets closely acquainted with the film's [[GoneHorriblyRight superintelligent genetically enhanced angry sharks]].

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* Preacher of ''Film/DeepBlueSea'' is well aware of this trope, and records his legacy - the perfect omelet recipe - in anticipation of his death. He lives all the way to the end, although the other black character does die mid-way through the film.
**
film. The lampshading may have also been intentionally magnified in that out of the two black guys in this horror movie, one is played by a rapper (Music/LLCoolJ), and the other one by... Creator/SamuelLJackson. And ''Jackson'', the bigger star, is the one who gets closely acquainted with the film's [[GoneHorriblyRight superintelligent genetically enhanced angry sharks]].



* In a 1999 ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'' strip, Huey writes an e-mail to GeorgeLucas saying how excited he is that Creator/SamuelLJackson will be playing a Jedi Master (Mace Windu, for the uninitiated) in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' (and very formally so). He then pauses, and with a grim expression, writes "...but he had '''BETTER''' not be the first one to die."

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* In a 1999 ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'' strip, Huey writes an e-mail to GeorgeLucas Creator/GeorgeLucas saying how excited he is that Creator/SamuelLJackson will be playing a Jedi Master (Mace Windu, for the uninitiated) in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' (and very formally so). He then pauses, and with a grim expression, writes "...but he had '''BETTER''' not be the first one to die."



* In ''BadGuyHigh'' a corrupted Super Dan killed Jacob, the black member of the team, and it's lampshaded.

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* In ''BadGuyHigh'' ''WebComic/BadGuyHigh'' a corrupted Super Dan killed Jacob, the black member of the team, and it's lampshaded.
3rd Aug '16 8:41:25 PM Eagal
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* While ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' as a whole is good at averting this, the same can't be said for ''Anime/HaloLegends'':

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* While ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' as a whole is good at averting this, the same can't be said for ''Anime/HaloLegends'':''Anime/HaloLegends'':



** That said, the sergeant in ''Homecoming'' is an aversion; [[spoiler:he's one of the ''last'' to die]].
3rd Aug '16 2:12:05 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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** "The Babysitter" follows a four-man ODST squad. The one AmbiguouslyBrown member doesn't even get a name or dialogue before he dies.
** The one black Spartan in "The Package" is the first of the bunch to die.
** That said, the sergeant in "Homecoming" is an aversion; [[spoiler:he's one of the ''last'' to die]].

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** "The Babysitter" ''The Babysitter'' follows a four-man ODST squad.squad and one Spartan. The one AmbiguouslyBrown member doesn't even get a name or dialogue before he dies.
** The one black Spartan in "The Package" ''The Package'' is the first of the bunch to die.
** That said, the sergeant in "Homecoming" ''Homecoming'' is an aversion; [[spoiler:he's one of the ''last'' to die]].



** That said, the franchise as a whole is generally good at averting this trope; in fact, [[spoiler:Johnson ends up being one of the ''last'' characters to die in the first trilogy]].

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** That said, the franchise as a whole is generally good at averting this trope; in fact, [[spoiler:Johnson ends up being one of the ''last'' characters to die in the first original trilogy]].
21st Jul '16 7:26:56 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The ''Anime/HaloLegends'' short "The Babysitter" follows a four-man squad. The one AmbiguouslyBrown member doesn't even get a name or dialogue before he dies.
** In another ''Legends'' example, the one black Spartan in "The Package" is the first of the bunch to die.

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* The ''Anime/HaloLegends'' short While ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' as a whole is good at averting this, the same can't be said for ''Anime/HaloLegends'':
**
"The Babysitter" follows a four-man ODST squad. The one AmbiguouslyBrown member doesn't even get a name or dialogue before he dies.
** In another ''Legends'' example, the The one black Spartan in "The Package" is the first of the bunch to die.die.
** That said, the sergeant in "Homecoming" is an aversion; [[spoiler:he's one of the ''last'' to die]].
5th Jul '16 12:22:09 PM comicwriter
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Added DiffLines:

* The major inciting event behind ''Comicbook/{{Civil War II}}'' is the death of Comicbook/WarMachine at the hands of {{Thanos}}.
2nd Jul '16 9:56:30 AM Doug86
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* In the ''Comicbook/{{Elseworld}}'' comic series, ''ComicBook/JLAActOfGod'', {{Steel}}, a.k.a. John Henry Irons ends up being first hero who bites the dust as he gets stomped to death by a giant robot.

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* In the ''Comicbook/{{Elseworld}}'' comic series, ''ComicBook/JLAActOfGod'', {{Steel}}, ComicBook/{{Steel}}, a.k.a. John Henry Irons ends up being first hero who bites the dust as he gets stomped to death by a giant robot.
22nd Jun '16 1:36:50 PM Someoneman
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* In ''Film/ResidentEvilExtinction'', the only black guy was the first to be attacked by a zombie, resulting in an ultimately fatal wound. Of course [[ZombieInfectee he covers it up]] and endangers his fellow zombie apocalypse survivors. Not to mention his black girlfriend managed to sacrifice her own life, and on a bus no less. To top it off, the same character managed to survive all the way through the previous movie, ''Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse'', despite being a minor character and the EthnicScrappy.

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* In ''Film/ResidentEvilExtinction'', the only black guy was the first to be attacked by a zombie, resulting in an ultimately fatal wound. Of course [[ZombieInfectee he covers it up]] and endangers his fellow zombie apocalypse survivors. Not to mention his black girlfriend managed to sacrifice her own life, and on a bus no less. To top it off, the same character managed to survive all the way through the previous movie, ''Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse'', despite being a minor character and the EthnicScrappy.character.
21st Jun '16 10:07:23 AM Eagal
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** Much earlier, there was Donovan, the pedophile among Gambino's mercenary band who bought and raped the young Guts, who killed him a little later.

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** Much earlier, there was Donovan, the pedophile among Gambino's mercenary band who bought and raped the young Guts, who Guts. Guts killed him a little later.
21st Jun '16 10:07:03 AM Eagal
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* In ''Film/TheShining'', Dick Halloran ([[Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest Scatman Crothers]]) ends up being the ONLY character Jack Torrance (Creator/JackNicholson) kills throughout the entire film. ([[DeathByAdaptation And he wasn't killed in the book, by the way.]])

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* In ''Film/TheShining'', Dick Halloran ([[Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest Scatman Crothers]]) ends up being the ONLY character Jack Torrance (Creator/JackNicholson) kills throughout the entire film. ([[DeathByAdaptation And he wasn't killed in the book, by the way.]])
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