Created By: JustDoIt2011 on May 8, 2011 Last Edited By: IonxZone on May 14, 2011

Heroes Never Lose Their Heads

Heroes never get shot in the head.

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A hero will almost never be subjected to a headshot death. It won't matter if the entire movie has him facing some sort of evil crackshot (which may end in an ironic headshot death for the aforementioned evil crackshot), or headshot deaths were handed out like Halloween candy throughout the movie; he will not be shot in the head, but, instead, usually the heart or abdomen (if at all).




  • Averted: In NCIS Kate is killed this way right between the eyes too.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • May 9, 2011
    • In the epic poem The Tales of Ensign Stål the dumb but hugely brave Sven Dufva misunderstands commands, and while others retreat, he advances and ends up defending a bridge aganist an entire enemy company alone. He ends up shot, and his superior says something along the lines of "that bullet knew its place; it didn't fly at the unfit head but the noble, brave heart".

    ^ that's supposed to be å there
  • May 9, 2011
    So... Plot Armor?
  • May 9, 2011
    Not really, since the hero does die. But not by a headshot.

    Headshots are just undignified and humiliating, for some reason. Maybe it's the frozen expression, maybe it's the destroyed cranium...
  • May 9, 2011
    Yea, I'm not seeing it. It just sounds like an aversion to Headshot
  • May 9, 2011
    Usually, the reason to avoid a headshot is to allow some last words, along with some drama as they die painfully from their wounds. A headshot is almost always an instant-kill in real life, and the audience will expect this.
  • May 9, 2011
    It would seem that the only instance in which this would actually be tropeable is if absolutely everyone else died of headshots in the work, otherwise it is People Sit On Chairs. However, limiting in such a way would make it far too specific, so there doesn't really seem to be a good way to trope this.
  • May 10, 2011
    ^ too narrow boundaries IMO. I agree that "hero happens to not die by headshot if shot" is PSOC, so the work should give meaning to the choice between headshot and other killshots by description or dialogue or something. For that reason, all examples should give context.

    I also think we could avoid listing out all the examples where averting headshot merely to allow dramatic last speeches etc.

    More reasons for creators to avoid head shots for heroes:
    • headshot is an "elimination" shot, thus too cold for a hero
    • headshot from sharpshooter would make the hero look generally less badass (via "sitting duck" imagery)
    • and then there's the fact a headshot is likely to ruin the hero's face, making for an ugly body and no chance for touching last kisses in the funeral
  • May 10, 2011
    ^ Unless you've got Word Of God to back that up I would avoid statement that claim an author intent for a specific situation.
  • May 10, 2011
  • May 10, 2011
    I think this is a combination of Too Rare To Trope and People Sit On Chairs.
  • May 14, 2011
    This is definitely People Sit On Chairs at the moment, but if you want to make it tropeable, focus instead on Ardiente's observation that a Headshot is a very undignified death. So, for a hero to die this way, it's far more impacting than just any normal hero death. That, and you already have two examples which fit that description.

    On that note: A character from Twenty Four is killed this way after Asian terrorists invade CTU, and execute whom they think is in charge, but it's actually a guy is in love with the person in charge.