Death By Pilot
We'll show you how high far we're willing to go by killing off this character
Up For Grabs Motion To Discard Tropeworthy?

(permanent link) added: 2012-01-24 16:59:40 sponsor: MarkDStroyer edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-08-03 04:25:57)

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It's a TV pilot, maybe pilot movie, and a cast of characters is introduced. However, always one character whose job is to fill a specific role; dying before the pilot is over.

The meta reasons vary.

  1. To show how serious a situation it is.
  2. To make room for a designated main character.
  3. Because they're the first bad guy and have to die to show the scale of the threat.
  4. Because the writers want to prove that they're willing to kill people.

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Examples

Live-Action TV
  • Xander and Willow's friend Jesse McNally from Buffy the Vampire Slayer died to show how dangerous the vampires are and to make room for Buffy.
  • Stargate Atlantis
    • Col. Marshall Sumner, to show how dangerous the situation was are and to make room for Sheppard.
    • The Wraith Keeper, as the first villain.
  • Half of the crew of Voyager to show how dangerous the situation was are and to make room for the main cast.

Western Animation
  • Cliffjumper is murdered by Starscream in the first episode of Transformers Prime to show that the Decepticons mean business.
  • In the second episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Shyir Rev sacrifices himself in order to buy his planet's colony enough time for them to escape from the Red Lanterns' world-destroying Liberator. His final words to Razer, who was previously shown to be having second thoughts about being a Red Lantern, help kick off the latter's Heel-Face Turn.

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