The polar opposite of Only a Flesh Wound
. If a major character loses an arm, a leg, their eyes, or some other crucial body part in a fight, they won't survive the fight.
Despite the obvious fact that in Real Life
, getting your arm lopped off will get you killed if it's not treated almost immediately, this can also serve as a Mercy Kill
of sorts, for the audience at least. While the audience may love a character, they'll want to remember them as the Badass
who took down 500 mooks at once, not the one-legged hobo who lives in a retirement home. It's like euthanasia, only for your favorite characters! Cruel, but effective, we know.
Please note that this trope isn't "a character has lost a leg in the past, so he's going to die eventually". This is for when a major character, hero or villain, loses a part of their body during a fight, which directly or indirectly leads to their inevitable death by the fight's end.
Contrast, obviously, Only a Flesh Wound
This is a death trope, so unmarked spoilers ahoy