Created By: mr.whim on May 23, 2014 Last Edited By: mr.whim on June 26, 2014
Nuked

One-Offed

A One-Shot Character dies before their One-Shot even ends.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A new character is introduced in a chapter, issue or episode of a series. They might even seem like they're going to become a Recurring Character, only for them to be killed off before the end of their debut. They've just gone from One-Shot Character to One-Offed.

A sub-trope of One-Shot Character, related to Back for the Dead and We Hardly Knew Ye.

Likely to overlap with:

Not to be confused with Death by Newbery Medal, where the entire story is told in one sitting, rather than episodically, and ending with the death and its aftermath.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Rolling Updates


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The universal fate of any villains introduced in a Dragon Ball/Z/GT movie, never to be mentioned again. Notably averted by Cooler and Brolly, who returned for subsequent movies.
    • Barely avoided by King Cold, managing TWO episodes, being killed by Trunks in the second.

Comic Books
  • DC Comics Series: Artemis Crock in the New 52 during "The Culling" event. After being introduced as a participant in the event, she is Stuffed into the Fridge at the end of the issue so Robin can swear revenge. Fans of Young Justice were not amused.
  • New Mutants: Larry in New Mutants issue #45, introduced as a bullied mutant with the ability to create sculptures from light. Classmates taunt him and leave him a note saying a mutant-hunting organization is coming for him. He commits suicide, not knowing the note was a cruel bluff.
  • In JLA: Superpower, the League gains a new member named Antaeus, who is a massive fan of Superman and has had his entire body cybernetically enhanced in the hopes of becoming the perfect hero. Unfortunately, Antaeus disagrees with the notion that the League should stay out of politics, and when they nix his plans to overthrow a Saddam Hussein expy, he decides to go it alone, with disastrous results. Needless to say, he doesn't survive the one-shot.

Live-Action TV
  • Lost: The original plan for Jack Shephard in the original outline for the show to establish Anyone Can Die. Producers feared that letting the audience become attached to a character, only to kill him at the end of the first episode, would cause fans to resent the show, so the character became a regular.
  • Misfits: Ollie Smiley, whose pacifist Talking the Monster to Death approach does nothing to dissuade the Monster of the Week from seeing him as nothing but a polygonal target. His teleportation powers are transferred to another established character via a transplanted heart.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Lynda, from the double episode "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" seemed to be set up to be the Doctor's next companion. She was EX-TER-MINATED! before even setting foot in the TARDIS.
    • This trope is so common for characters in this show, it becomes a plot point when a villain sends the Doctor on a Guilt Trip with memories of all the people who have died for him.

Video Games
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Shadow's apparent death at the end of Sonic Adventure 2 was meant to be permanent until he was revived by fan demand for Sonic Heroes.
    • More straight examples would be E-102 Gamma, as well as the other E-series robots from E-100 Alpha to E-105 Zeta from Sonic Adventure. All these characters were built by Dr. Robotnik and destroyed by each other (or in the case of Alpha, Amy Rose) within the same game. While E-101 Beta, E-103 Delta, E-104 Epsilon, and E-105 Zeta play this straight by having not been seen in new games since, E-102's only appearance since was as an unlockable character in the non-canon party game, Sonic Shuffle and he has had expies in the forms of Chaos Gamma from Sonic Battle and E-123 Omega from Sonic Heroes onwards. E-100 Alpha's only appearance since was as an enemy in the special stages of Sonic Advance 2.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The titular trio come across a stray kitten, naming him Cookie Chomper III. He is run over by a car, leaving the Chipmunks to deal with their grief.
  • As Told by Ginger: Carl befriends an elderly woman named Maude, who seems to bring out the worst of Carl's mischevious personality. She attends a dinner that Ginger arranged in an attempt to impress Courtney Gripling, only to keel over into her plate.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Powerpuff Bunny, the girls' Sixth Ranger in the episode "Twisted Sister". Created with artificial sweetener, twigs and leaves and stuff, a mix of the three girls' favorite things, and Chemical X, resulting in a hunchbacked, snaggletoothed, inarticulate Powerpuff Girl. Her creation left her with an Unstable Genetic Code, leading to a Heroic R.R.O.D. when she pushed herself too far saving her sisters.
  • Family Guy: New Brian's perfect behavior won over the Griffin family, causing a dejected Brian to move out. Stewie was not so easily charmed, and attempted to get New Brian to just leave, only for New Brian to reveal that he has been humping Rupert, Stewie's teddy bear. Cut to Stewie dragging a bloody trash bag to the curb and Peter reading an improbable suicide note.
  • Bravestarr: Jay in his own Very Special Episode, "The Price", dying off screen because Drugs Are Bad.
  • Adventure Time:
    • Downplayed with James. He sacrificed himself at the end of his debut episode to save Jake, Finn and Bubblegum. The Princess makes a clone of him at the end to honor the original. His reanimated corpse appears in a later episode, while clones of him to continue to die and be replaced.
    • Lemonjon, a Lemon Person so large he occupies the entirety of the Earl of Lemongrab's castle. He blindly followed Lemongrab's order to attack the Candy Kingdom, prompting Jake and Finn to attack his heart. This caused him to start feeling and launch into a Purple Prose speech about suffering and the greater good. He then explodes, raining down lemon candies on the Lemon People, saving the Candy Kingdom from their assault.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • May 23, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    So... Monster Of The Week is not part of the show's formula?

    What kind of Insane Troll Logic is that?
  • May 23, 2014
    mr.whim
    Good point.
  • May 23, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • In JLA: Superpower, the League gains a new member named Antaeus, who is a massive fan of Superman and has had his entire body cybernetically enhanced in the hopes of becoming the perfect hero. Unfortunately, Antaeus disease with the notion that the League should stay out of politics, and when they nix his plans to overthrow a Saddam Hussein expy, he decides to go it alone, with disastrous results. Needless to say, he doesn't survive the one-shot.
  • Also possibly related to Drop-In, Drop-Out Character.
  • May 24, 2014
    Arivne
    • Blue Links: Changed double curly braces to Wiki Word(s).
    • Corrected spelling (explicity).
    • Moved "Commonly the fate of most boss enemies that do not explicitly survive the fight." to the Description as per How To Write An Example - Keep it an example. Examples are about specific works and instances in them.
    • Deleted unnecessary blank line(s).

    The Lost example and most of the Western Animation examples are Zero Context Examples and need more information about how they're this trope.

    The Goblins example is a Zero Context Example that violates Weblinks Are Not Examples.
  • May 24, 2014
    Xamhoq
    I believe Dragon Ball movie villains should count as Monster Of The Week. Anyway, we have two examples from Doctor Who: Lynda from the double episode "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" and Rita, from "The God Complex". The former asked was accepted by the Doctor as a new companion, only to be EX-TER-MINATED! before she could even enter the TARDIS, while the latter might not be straight example: the Doctor joked that she could come (and the Ponds were fired), but it was never stated that she would actually join him, and she was killed in that episode.
  • June 16, 2014
    Synchronicity
    How is this different from We Hardly Knew Ye?
  • June 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Because it's a bad name.
  • June 16, 2014
    mr.whim
    There's both the timeframe, and the fact of death. A We Hardly Knew Ye character could simply vanish without explanation ala Chuck Cunningham Syndrome several episodes/issues in, whereas a One-Offed character specifically dies at the end of their debut.
  • June 16, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 17, 2014
    lakingsif
  • June 17, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ The only difference between the two is that We Hardly Knew Ye doesn't only cover the character dying, but also cases where he/she is Put On A Bus. Do we really need a subtrope for that?
  • June 17, 2014
    mr.whim
    Are there any examples here that people think wouldn't fit under We Hardly Knew Ye? Because all the examples here are absent from We Hardly Knew Ye.
  • June 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Maybe I'm seeing the problem here: We Hardly Knew Ye rarely gets any development or characterization before they died, while here, they may have motives, goals, and characterizations.

  • June 18, 2014
    mr.whim
    Yes- you can have a One-Offed character in a series, but not in a movie, because a movie doesn't have "recurring" characters, so therefore doesn't have one-shot characters.
  • June 18, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Movie series like Harry Potter do have "recurring" characters, but they're the exception rather than the rule.
  • June 18, 2014
    mr.whim
    ^Right, good point.
  • June 19, 2014
    TrustBen
    Doctor Who also has characters now and then who look like they could become companions but who never make it that far. These include Astrid Peth in "Voyage of the Damned" and Rita in "The God Complex."
  • June 19, 2014
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    • More straight Sonic The Hedgehog examples would be E-102 Gamma, as well as the other E-series robots from E-100 Alpha to E-105 Zeta from Sonic Adventure. All these characters were built by Dr. Robotnik and destroyed by each other (or in the case of Alpha, Amy Rose) within the same game. While E-101 Beta, E-103 Delta, E-104 Epsilon, and E-105 Zeta play this straight by having not been seen in new games since, E-102's only appearance since was as an unlockable character in the non-canon party game, Sonic Shuffle and he has had expies in the forms of Chaos Gamma from Sonic Battle and E-123 Omega from Sonic Heroes onwards. E-100 Alpha's only appearance since was as an enemy in the special stages of Sonic Advance 2.
  • June 19, 2014
    mr.whim
    Okay, I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

    A One-Offed character is a One Shot Character who dies before their "Shot" is over.
  • June 19, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Many (but not all) OSC do that. See examples.
  • June 19, 2014
    synchronicity
    Between We Hardly Knew Ye and One Shot Character I really think we have this covered.
  • June 19, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Agreed. Motion To Discard.
  • June 26, 2014
    tryrar
    ^seconded
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ngf7xfskro3zshun6cilin5j&trope=DiscardedYKTTW