Parting the Pair
Two people are defined by their relationship with one another, and one of them is killed off.
Oh, Those Two Guys, you're so nutty! We love you with your crazy background antics and hilarious hijinks! In fact, you're so close and are constantly together, you're practically The Dividual! Yup, I'm sure we'll be seeing you guys together forever. What's that? Guy #1 just died a horrifically gruesome death? Oh. ...Awkward. Where does a character who had previously been defined solely by his relationship to another character go when the other character kicks the bucket? When this happens, this usually results in one of two things. 1) The surviving character becomes more fleshed out, and is now considered their own person, instead of just one of a group of two guys. 2) The surviving character remains defined solely by their attachment to the now-deceased, and without their other half to make them whole, either sink away out of focus, or are killed off themselves. Supertrope to Angsty Surviving Twin.
As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
ExamplesAnime & Manga
- Attack on Titan gives us Hannah Diamant and Franz Kefka, whose affections for each other are made obvious and teased a bit by the other trainees of the 104 Cadet Squad. Franz ends up getting his legs bitten off by a titan early on during the Battle of Trost. When Hannah finds him, she's in complete denial that he's dead, trying to give CPR to his torso. It isn't clarified how, but supplementary materials list that Hannah died later on in same battle.
- Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle were Those Two Guys for most of the '90s. They practically never got up to anything important of their own. Then in the '00s Beetle died heroically, and Booster went on to star in his own series again.
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., FitzSimmons are separated between Seasons 1 and 2, partially due to Fitz's brain damage. Even after Simmons returns, the shockwaves from their separation can still be felt.
- In Harry Potter Fred and Weasley are defined, for the most part, by their relationship with one another. Then Fred gets himself killed by a Death Eater, leaving George without a brother and without an ear. According to Rowling, he never gets over it.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.