Created By: arromdee on February 26, 2011

Death By Status Quo Breaking

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Trope
The supertrope of Death by Secret Identity and Cartwright Curse.

When something happens that would break the status quo of a show if a character were to remain alive, then the character conveniently (though often tragically) dies. Learning a secret identity is often one example of this, but there are others.

Some examples on Cartwright Curse could go here. For instance on Doctor Who if the Doctor offers to have someone travel with him in the Tardis in the middle of the show.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • February 28, 2011
    arromdee
    Um, bump? I can't believe this has zero responses.
  • February 28, 2011
    Earnest
    Not death related, but Derailing Love Interests does the same thing for love interests.
  • February 28, 2011
    PaleHorse87
    Live Action TV
    • On Lois And Clark the fastest way to get a character killed was to have them realize Clark is actually Superman.
  • February 28, 2011
    Kayube
    The other YKTTW "Found The Killer, Lost The Murderer" could also be an example of this, at least if the killer dies.
  • March 1, 2011
    Chabal2
    I remember a villain in the Superman cartoon realizing Clark Kent is Superman just as the purple cloud of lethal gas comes in to kill him (he was a Corrupt Cop, sentenced to death for a murder and covering it up).
  • March 2, 2011
    arromdee
    Palehorse, Chabal: Those examples are Death By Secret Identity. We really need more examples that don't go in the subtropes.
  • March 11, 2011
    arromdee
    Bump
  • June 18, 2011
    Earnest
  • February 16, 2012
    Stratadrake
    If this can solve another Missing Supertrope then let's go.

    How about Killed By Status Quo?
  • February 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the film version of The Shawshank Redemption Tommy, a fellow prisoner who could prove Andy's innocence, is beaten to death on orders of the corrupt prison warden just before his testimony can be taken. (In the book he's only transferred to a different prison far away.)
  • February 18, 2012
    Alvin
    Would this also be a supertrope of (sorry I forgot the name and I'm not comfortable enough with my computer to look it up) the trope where if Capt. Kirk (for example) fell in love with someone that someone would probably die?
  • February 18, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^That'd be Cartwright Curse, already mentioned.
  • February 18, 2012
    Alvin
    ^Thanks, brain fart I guess. How about under Movies, played with in 'Hot Shots' where a pilot nicknamed 'Dead Meat' (spoilers?)

    says a lot of things before his last flight that telegraph to the audience he can't come back, like knowing where Hoffa is buried. There may also be a Real Life Inversion: there was a mathematician named Hardy who once wrote his friends he'd solved a famous math problem so God wouldn't let him die on a cruise and become more legendary, but instead let him live to tell his friends it was a joke.
  • February 26, 2012
    TBeholder
    Supertrope is not missing, it's Status Quo Is God
  • February 26, 2012
    arromdee
    Status Quo Is God is a supertrope of this because it covers cases where the characters are not killed.
  • February 27, 2012
    Alvin
    This is Alvin; in that thing about the movie Hot Shots! I was wrong. I found a clip online and it's how to fix global warming and who really killed JFK. (And his wife may have been played by Heidi Swedberg.)
  • May 26, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • May 26, 2014
    DAN004
    Inversion in that "death affects status quo":
    • In One Piece, the climax of Marineford Arc involves this. The saying in the fandom goes "Nobody dies in One Piece outside of flashbacks". This arc proves it wrong: Ace (who Luffy is supposed to save) died protecting him from Akainu, and then Whitebeard (Ace's captain) died not long after on Blackbeard Pirates' hands. Both deaths affect the status quo greatly, Ace for Luffy (in that he expands his insight of things and becomes more mature) and Whitebeard for the enitre world (because if his vast influence).
  • May 27, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Not An Example. This is about cases where a character/characters die(s) because otherwise the status quo would be broken. Your example is the complete opposite: character deaths happen, but instead of preserving the status quo, they shake it up considerably.

    ... which we already have a trope for, by the way: Nothing Is The Same Anymore.
  • May 27, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ so I guess this can be called Died To Preserve Status Quo.
  • May 27, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ In my opinion that's only slightly clearer than the current title, but basically yes, you're right.
  • May 27, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Do we need a middle-management sub/supertrope between Status Quo Is God and Death By Secret Identity/etc? I mean, yes, we could have one, but it seems... unnecessary.
  • May 30, 2014
    Earnest
    ^I'm not sure I follow that distinction.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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