Black Guy Dies First
and Bury Your Gays
are acknowledged tropes. However, there seems to be a deeper pattern that runs through the survival rate of a cast. The pattern is this: each character can likely be categorized by what minorities they represent. Any person who contains NO "minority points" (for purposes of this argument, we'll be all sorts of offensive and set "heterosexual white male" as our null set) has the highest chance for survival. Anyone with a single minority point (See above, also include Death by Sex
[because sex is bad]) has a very low chance of survival. Anyone with two "minority points" (black girl) will surprisingly have as high a chance of survival as the null set. Three minority points (let's say gay Latino woman
) puts your odds right back in the crapper. Four points raises your odds back up, but at this point that's more likely because you're the killer than anything. An odd number of minority points has a significantly LOWER chance of survival, where an even number (including zero) has a HIGHER chance.
Minority points can be awarded for:
- Non-white racial classification
- Non-male gender (include transexuals et al. here)
- Homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or other "deviant" desires
- Non-Christian religious beliefs (Non-Protestant in extreme examples)
- Age over 40 years
- High intelligence or awareness (The "I have a plan" guy)
- Drug usage
- "Extreme" sexual desire (in most cases cases, having sex AT ALL
- Physical or mental disability [NOTE: People tend to be squeamish about killing off the mentally handicapped, so expect this category to throw the equation off]
Note that this equation can be thwarted by Genre Savvy
writers or well-written/well-balanced casts. Also note that by and large, being a child usually removes you from the equation altogether
, and being the child's caretaker usually helps.
Examples of this YKTTW include
- Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil: As a deconstruction of horror films, one would expect this concept to be defied. But it is actually perfectly inverted.
- The Dark Tower: Susannah is a black woman (2 points), who is also paralyzed and has multiple personality disorder (+2 points). She survives to the end of the series, making her unique aside from the main character.
- True Blood - Lafayette is black, gay, criminal, and partially psychic. 4 points, and still kicking in a series where people die more than a fair bit.
- Community - As a comedy subversion, the equation is again inverted. In order of zombification: Pierce (2, old and racist), Starburns (0), Leonard (2, old and "crazy"), Rich (VERY PAINFULLY 0), Brita (appx. 2, feminist woman), Annie (2, Jewish woman), and Jeff (0). Shirley (2) appears as a zombie onscreen, but is never shown getting bitten. Troy (1) technically survives until the end. Sr. Chang (1, Asian) seems to survive unscathed, and Dean Pelton (1, DEVIANT) escapes the entire incident. Abed (???) serves as the only X factor, as his character is too complex to apply minority points to.