Inappropriately Ignominious Death
A character (usually major) who one would expect to have a fairly badass death, instead gets an ignominious one
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Tywin Lannister is The Patriarch of an extremely dangerous family, one of the strongest candidates for Big Bad, a hardened battle commander, a shrewd and experienced Manipulative Bastard and wisely feared by many as The Chessmaster of the series. Consequently, one would expect his death to be the result of some sort of climactic showdown with Robb Stark (until his own death) or possibly Daenarys, who both lost parents to his family's ambition. Instead, he gets shot in the groin by Tyrion, the despised Unfavorite, while taking a dump, and with the same Unfavorite's former whore in his bed. Even though his abuse of Tyrion and his various instances of hypocrisy make his death extremely appropriate in many ways, the expected path of an epic story like this one would not have him suffer this.
- Subversion: Robert Baratheon considers himself to be the victim of this, having gotten drunk and ripped open by a pig he was trying to hunt, he is well aware of what a ridiculous end for a formerly badass warrior king this has been. The subversion is that, unbeknownst to him it was an assassination designed to look like an accident.
- YMMV heavily on this one, but Voldemort's death in Harry Potter might count as this, and might be the reason they changed it for the film. In the book, Harry and Voldemort's final duel is a Single-Stroke Battle, that has nothing whatsoever to do with magical skill. This is totally appropriate in some ways; it has been stated many times that Harry is not even close to a match for Voldemort in a fair fight, it means that Voldemort's downfall is (again) caused by his own hand and it shows that, even from beyond the grave, Dumbledore is till Voldemort's most dangerous foe. However, it means that The Hero does not have a chance to be particularly Badass in a straight fight with the Big Bad (his great courage in facing him in the first place notwithstanding), and the fight itself consists more of a conversation which shows how great Dumbledore was, rather than how great Harry is. The film featured a proper duel between them, with Harry surviving it and putting up quite a good fight, despite the fact that Harry is merely a reasonably talented wizard, whereas Voldemort is supposedly the most powerful wizard in history.
- Light Yagami in Death Note, especially in the manga. Though his downfall is appropriately caused by him being outgambitted by a team of enemies who collectively outwit him, is actually The Fool who shoots him, and Ryuk who kills him, pretty much on a whim, because he was no longer going to be any fun. Also, in the manga, he went out crying and begging, which is appropriate for showing that he's just an arrogant schoolboy rather than a god, but is still unexpected for someone who is considered by many to be the poster boy for Magnificent Bastards in anime and manga.
- Averted, lampshaded and then played straight in Gangs of New York; Bill the Butcher, who is a badass of the highest calibre, narrowly avoids getting assassinated by "a nobody", and Bill himself says "what an ignominious end that would have been", and the audience is likely to agree that it would not have seemed "right" for someone like him to die in that fashion, especially since The Hero has his own designs on Bill's life. Later, the climactic duel between Bill and his archenemy is abruptly cut short by the film's subplot suddenly hijacking the story, and he ends up getting mortally wounded by cannon shrapnel fired by some nameless, faceless soldier who wasn't even aiming at him specifically.
Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable