[[noreallife]]

[[quoteright:327:[[ComicBook/{{Squee}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Killed_Blacky_6513.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:327:''[[TheyKilledKenny You bastard!]]'' Wait, wrong show!]]

->''"I'm the one black guy. [[LampshadeHanging Do you know how precarious that makes my situation]]?"''
-->-- '''T-Dog''', ''Series/TheWalkingDead''

Pretty self-explanatory trope: in a film which involves a lot of character deaths, it seems like the TokenMinority will inevitably be the first to go.

In the past this perception was because black leads were kept away from any big-budget films outside of those that focused specifically on race or used it to make a point. Historically moviemakers were generally writing to white audiences, so it was natural (in their opinion) for whites to get more screen time. And if the writers throw in a TokenMinority to give the cast more believable racial balance, who do you think is going to die first, them or the folks who have a bigger role in the script?

Nowadays the film is known more for popularizing {{Blaxploitation}} films, but most of those films were popular with audiences at the time for ignoring this trope altogether. Over time and due to social push, access to higher-paying jobs and relative economical stability began to open up for black people, with more and more prominent black characters and more big-name black actors emerging--many of which were not likely to get killed off quietly. Studios had also finally accepted that white audiences are not generally as racist as was once assumed, and do not need to have a white protagonist. In other words, if you're gonna go after the black man nowadays, you might want to check the credits to see who's playing him. If it's no one you've actually heard of, they're probably fair game. Tony Todd? Go for it. Creator/SamuelLJackson? You can take your chances. Creator/RosarioDawson? Yeah, good luck on that. Creator/DenzelWashington? Bad idea. Creator/MorganFreeman? You should give up. Creator/WillSmith? Run away and hide.

The character doesn't have to be male, or even strictly black. As long as they're the only minority present, their chances of seeing the end of the movie are rather slim. As minority actors became more common in significant roles, this trope found new ways to stay relevant. Films would take a ScaryBlackMan, turn him into TheBigGuy, and kill him off to [[TheWorfEffect show how strong the monster is]]. In action or horror films, TheHero (typically a WhiteMaleLead) might have a BlackBestFriend {{Lancer}} that gets killed off or do a HeroicSacrifice to show that [[ShooOutTheClowns this is no laughing matter]]. 80s horror shows were good at this, and film makers had growing backlash against all the exploitation films.

Compare BuryYourGays as well as RedShirt and VasquezAlwaysDies.

!!'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* Gorobei is the first to die in ''SamuraiSeven.'' This despite the fact that, in the original ''SevenSamurai'' film, the first to die was Heihachi. Gorobei was the only black man among the samurai.
* In ''{{Berserk}}'', Pippin is the first named character to die during the Eclipse.
* Inverted in ''The08thMSTeam'' with Terry Sanders Jr. Every squad he was in before joining the title MS Team has been completely wiped out [[SurvivorGuilt and he is not happy about it]].
* The ''HaloLegends'' short "The Babysitter" follows a four-man squad. The one AmbiguouslyBrown member doesn't even get a name or dialogue before he dies.
** In another ''Legends'' example, the one black Spartan in "The Package" is the first of the bunch to die.
* In ''BloodTheLastVampire'', the script seemingly goes out of its way to find a black character to kill first (Some monsters had died, but he was the first human to have a graphic onscreen death.) We have an old white woman, running from demons when she runs into a giant black American military man on base. She explains to him that said demons are chasing her, and he starts laughing stereotypically, complete with Giant nostrils and lips. Needless to say, he ends up standing under that one creepy tree, and the demon grabs him by the head. Disemboweled instantly.
* In the ''GunsmithCats'' OVA, the sole black character, Jody, is the only good guy to die, and he dies because he's TooDumbToLive.
* Out of the 11 students who died during the attack on the Mars base in the first episode of ''BlueCometSPTLayzner'', Judo is the both only one who was named and the only one who was black.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Kaname Tousen is the first of Aizen's inner circle to die.
* In one arc of ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', Sousuke is sent on a mission with five other soldiers to kill [[AxeCrazy Gauron]]. Out of the group the first to die is the black team captain.
* ''Anime/LilyCAT'' averts this trope, by having the only black crew member of the ship die after two other characters bite the dust.
* Also averted in ''Manga/GunslingerGirl''. [[spoiler:All the girls either explicitly die or are implied too however Triela isn the third to die. Heck, [[TheHeroDies Henreitta dies]] before her]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Black Goliath is the first superhero to die in ''ComicBook/CivilWar''. And he wasn't just any black dude, he's a ''giant'' black dude. For the record, perhaps four other people died in that conflict.
** His nephew, who became his LegacyCharacter (but simply calling himself "Goliath"), is a member of the Revengers, a group of heroes with grudges against the Avengers. Goliath got knocked out early into their assault on Avengers Mansion and was the only one of the bunch to be badly hurt.
* [[DiscussedTrope Set up]] in ''TheExpendables''' parody, where there is a character known only as (even by that character himself) "Muscly Black Dude Who Dies A Gruesome Death", and whose purpose is only to say "You're totally mad, bro!" and "You said it, dude!". He frequently [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this behaviour, and even explains how a [[FatalFamilyPhoto family photo]] is the way they chose to give depth to his character. Eventually [[AvertedTrope averted]], because the first one to die is Creator/DolphLundgren's [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed character]].
* The ''GIJoe'' comics kill off their black [[ShootTheMedicFirst doctor first.]]
* In the ''{{Elseworld}}'' comic series, ''ComicBook/JLAActOfGod'', {{Steel}}, a.k.a. John Henry Irons ends up being first hero who bites the dust as he gets stomped to death by a giant robot.
* Who is the first character to die in ''ComicBook/MidnightNation''? That would be the black guy who tries to clue in heroic detective David Gray about what is ''really'' going on.
* Variation in ''[[ComicBook/AvengersVsXMen Avengers: X-Sanction]]''. The first [[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avenger]] to be taken out by Cable is TheFalcon, who is knocked out without a fight and used as bait to lure his teammates into a trap.
* Comicbook/BlackPanther is the first hero to be killed onscreen in ''Comicbook/AgeOfUltron'' (though [[TheMightyThor Thor]], Comicbook/{{Cyclops}}, and [[Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk the Hulk]] [[GreatOffscreenWar were all stated to have been killed prior to the start of the story]]).
* In the What-If version of ''ComicBook/AvengersVsXMen'', Wolverine accidentally kills ComicBook/{{Storm}} getting into an argument with {{Namor}}. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone He is understandably horrified at what he did.]]
* Mettle, the first victim of ''Comicbook/AvengersArena'' is half-black, half-white Jewish. This is made a bit more egregious as in an earlier issue of ''Comicbook/AvengersAcademy'' his friend lamented [[FunnyAneurysmMoment feeling like the black guy in a slasher movie.]]
* ''Tribe,'' by African American Larry Stroman, was a short-lived series about the adventures of a predominantly African-American superhero group. Issue 1, page 2, panel 4 features the first death: a black dude getting his neck snapped.
* The page image comes from a strip at the back of an issue of ''Comicbook/{{Squee}}'', which parodies Hollywood action movie cliches, including this one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Referenced in ''Film/{{Evolution}}'', but otherwise averted as [[Creator/OrlandoJones Orlando Jones']] has a near miss but otherwise survives.
* In ''Film/TheShining'', Dick Halloran ([[OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest Scatman Crothers]]) ends up being the ONLY character Jack Torrance (JackNicholson) kills throughout the entire film. ([[KilledByTheAdaptation And he wasn't killed in the book, by the way.]])
* The remake of ''Film/{{Carrie}}'' averts this. Both George and Erika survive the Black Prom. George's survival is particularly notable as he was in the middle of the prom, trying to help people escape.
* In ''Film/{{Heat}}'' the first member of the criminal gang to get killed during the bank robbery shotout is the getaway driver Donald Breedan, played by Dennis Haybert. Doesn't seem fair, since he'd only been a gang member for mere hours. Subverted as Sergeant Drucker ([[ForrestGump Mykelti Williamson]]), one of Hanna's detectives, is still standing after the shootout, and the first police casualty is Detective Bosko ([[TheSilenceOfTheLambs Ted Levine]]).
* In ''Film/{{Red}}'', Morgan Freeman dies first, then turns up alive, then is the first to die for real.
* In ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', Frost is the first major character to go, and Apone isn't far behind him.
** But averted in the first ''{{Film/Alien}}'', since Parker ([[Film/LiveandLetDie Yaphet Kotto]]) is one of the LAST crewmembers to die.
* In ''TheIsland'', Starkweather Two Delta provides a major hook to the film in his horrific early death, while the very distinctly African Albert Laurent manages to escape the violent deaths that claim most of his teammates and make a rather significant HeelFaceTurn at the end.
** As Michael Bay mentions on the commentary track to the DVD, he actually asked the actor Djimon Hounsou something like "How would you like to be the black guy who ''doesn't'' die?"
* In ''Film/TheMonsterSquad'', the only character with any lines to die in the movie is the black cop who serves as partner to Sean's dad. His consolation prize, at least, is that he'll have one damn good story for St. Peter: {{Dracula}} '''blows him up with a stick of dynamite.'''
* Corporal Eightball in ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', sent to do recon, first to be abated.
* In ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'', the black science teacher dies first.
* ''Film/EnterTheDragon'' plays it straight. Of the three main protagonists, Williams exists only to show off his fabulous afro and be killed by the villain first. However, this did not happen by design. In the original script, Roper died in Williams's place. ExecutiveMeddling switched their roles around.
* In ''Film/{{Stargate}}'', the black soldier is not even present during the first alien attack, but is still the first one to die. As it happens, the team had split into two groups, and the group without the black soldier came under attack; however, that group was incapacitated by solely non-lethal means, simply knocked out with hard blows to the head. When the other group (with the black guy) returns, the first thing the aliens do is shoot the black guy, and then proceed to start firing wildly at the rest of the soldiers.
* In ''{{United 93}}'', between the two pilots of the aforementioned plane, one is white while the other is black. Give ya three guesses who's the first to get shanked by the hijackers.
* Paul Winfield has had this happen to him in his SF films:
** Twice in the Franchise/StarTrek universe (as Capt. Terrell in ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' and as Dathon in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'').
** In ''Film/DamnationAlley'', he wasn't the very first to die, but he still gets eaten by killer cockroaches.
** He's also the first person to die in ''Film/MarsAttacks''
** Averted in ''TheTerminator'', as several other people die before him, and he ends up dying in a huge massacre that takes out an entire police station.
* In ''Film/ResidentEvilExtinction'', the only black guy was the first to be attacked by a zombie, resulting in an ultimately fatal wound. Of course [[ZombieInfectee he covers it up]] and endangers his fellow zombie apocalypse survivors. Not to mention his black girlfriend managed to sacrifice her own life, and on a bus no less. To top it off, the same character managed to survive all the way through the previous movie, ''Resident Evil: Apocalypse'', despite being a minor character and the EthnicScrappy.
* In the 90s slasher film ''Film/DrGiggles'' this is almost exaggerated as the first two teens to die are both black. The film also has a black cop who has a much more prominent role. He still dies at the end though.
* In ''Film/{{Virus}}'', the black crew member appears to die halfway through the movie, but in a surprise twist, comes back at the end armed with a rocket launcher to save the hero and the heroine from the monster. Only to die in the process.
* In ''Film/TheEdge'', Harold Perrineau is eaten by the bear first.
* Happens twice in the film version of ''Film/TheCrow''. The first of T-Bird's crew who Eric encounters and kills is Tin-Tin, the black knife-wielding guy. Then, near the end of the film when Eric is trying to rescue Sarah, Grange is the first to die when Albrecht guns him down.
* ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'' begins with Lestat waking up from his sleep and drinking a black man dry.
* The first person to die in ''Film/AlienNation'' is Sykes' original partner, who is shot and killed by a shotgun-wielding crook while he's wearing a BulletProofVest ''and'' crouched behind a car. It turns out the shotgun slugs were armor-piercing.
* ''Film/ThreeThousandMilesToGraceland'' has five Elvis impersonators setting out to rob a casino. The black one dies first.
* Among Sinbad's crew in ''Film/SinbadAndTheEyeOfTheTiger'' is the party-loving Maroof. He is the first (and only) member of the crew to get killed by the bad guys. Guess what skin color he has? Some guards were killed by Zenobia and the Minotaur near the start, and Maroof escapes from a giant walrus while one of his comrades gets stepped on; Maroof dies only a few minutes from the end of the film.
* In BMovie ''TheKillerShrews'', as seen on ''MST3K'', the white protagonist's black friend/employee/servant/Dixieland jazz musician goes outside to take care of the boat during the storm and gets eaten by the shrews first. When the hero finds out, he seems genuinely angry for a moment. Their next victim is a Mexican, who gets much less mourning.
* ''[[Film/RedDawn1984 Red Dawn]]'' (the original) is an extreme example. In the storyline, millions of people die offscreen. Dozens of white people die on screen. Only one black guy is seen to die in the whole movie, but he's dead within the first two minutes!
* In ''Assignment Outer Space'', this is why TheCaptain gets the HeroicSacrifice. (TheMillstone saves the day).
* The Agony Booth recap of ''Film/{{Hulk}}'' featured the insight "It's not so much that the black guy dies first, it's that the black guy dies first ''[[TwentyMinutesWithJerks 90 minutes into the movie]]''".
* In the miniseries adaptation of of Creator/StephenKing's ''TheLangoliers'', the sole black man in the group of survivors dies first. (In the original, he wasn't black, though he wore a RedShirt.)
* Not a dude, but the first member of the team killed in ''Film/HollowMan'' is the token minority.
* ''Film/{{Scream 2}}''. The first two characters to bite it are black, both in horrifying ways. Omar Epps (pre-Series/{{House}}), through use of barely audible whispers to draw him close enough to the wall of the toilet to get stabbed in the ear, to Jada Pinkett being stabbed repeatedly in front of hundreds of witnesses [[AllPartOfTheShow who think it's an act and even encourage the killer.]]
** The black cameraman later points out that "Brothers don't last long in situations like this.". He smartly leaves town shortly, and lives.
* In ''Film/AmericanPsycho'', The first victim the films shows Patrick Bateman killing is a homeless black man. Of course, it's debatable whether he really did the killing, or if it was just a figment of his imagination - like the other killings in the film.
* In ''Film/DeepBlueSea'', the actual first deaths are of white people; however, of the group of survivors trying to reach the surface Russell Franklin (played by Creator/SamuelLJackson) dies first. The other black character, Preacher, is [[GenreSavvy well aware of this trope]].
--> '''Preacher:''' I'm done. Black guys never make it out of situations like this, not ever.
** He lives. One of only two characters who do.
** Interestingly, this film appeared to be following the modern take, with Samuel L. Jackson being the most prominent actor among the cast. [[SacrificialLion It certainly looked like he was the hero/main character]] right up until his RousingSpeech. His death is essentially a ShockingSwerve. Also, Jackson's character's race was not written in the script; anyone could have been cast in the role.
* Possibly intentionally lampshaded in another deep-sea creature feature, ''Film/{{Leviathan}}'': Ernie Hudson bravely survives 90 minutes of battling the [[GoneHorriblyRight unholy result of a top-secret Soviet experiment]] on the bottom of the sea... after which, as he, [[TheHero Peter Weller]] and [[LastGirlWins The Girl]] make it to the safety of the surface, the monster returns and offs him 2 minutes before the end credits. Still a good way to go, especially considering [[Franchise/RoboCop who avenges his demise]].
* No lampshading or reversal in Roger Corman's ''Deep Star Six'': there is only one black guy among the crew, and the [[GoneHorriblyWrong accidentally dug-up deep-sea monster]] bites him in half as the first appetizer.
* ''Film/FantasticFour: Rise of the Silver Surfer'': The gruff black general is killed by Doctor Doom.
* ''Film/WingCommander'': When Paladin and Knight (the black guy) are making a torpedo run on a battleship, Knight blows up even though he took just as many hits as Paladin did.
* In ''Film/{{Stealth}}'', not only does the black dude die first, he was the one trying to avoid the conflict that led to it.
* The GaiasVengeance flick ''Film/KingdomOfTheSpiders'' plays it straight as well. The one farm in town owned by a black couple is ground zero for the imminent tarantula invasion. The husband is the first human to die, after the spiders kill his cattle [[KickTheDog and dog]].
* In the British/Irish horror movie ''Wilderness'', the only black inmate was the first one to die.
* The first death shown in the ''Saw'' rip-off ''Are You Scared'' was that of a white girl, but when the actual cast of six teenagers was introduced, the obnoxious black guy was the first one to kick the bucket.
* In the 70s picture, ''The Great Santini'', a black dude does die first, but he manages to kill his killer too.
* The heroic party in the ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons'' movie consisted of the heroic white thief, the plucky comic relief black thief, the love interest white mage, and the gruff Scottish dwarf, as well as a black female elf. The black thief dies, though the elf survives the film.
* The SciFiChannel movie ''Sand Serpents'' has the only two black members of a Marine platoon die first, the first eaten by the serpents, the second killed in a car wreck.
** Another [=SciFi=] Original, ''Scream of the Banshee'', has the black police officer get killed off first. Otto's actor Creator/ToddHaberkorn [[http://twitter.com/#!/ToddHaberkorn/status/51816502881550336 immediately lampshaded this]] during the premiere.
** [[RunningGag And another one]], ''Ice Age 2012'' (not related to ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' or ''Film/TwoThousandTwelve'') has a giant glacier [[ArtisticLicensePhysics somehow plow its way across Canada propelled by a bunch of volcanoes erupting]], but a black scientist still manages to die first by accidentally flying his helicopter into one of the eruptions.
* Panic in ''Film/{{Ticks}}'' is only one of the protagonists to die.
* Happened in ''DeathWishVTheFaceOfDeath'' when Tommy O'Shea's goons killed a lesser black worker from the fashion department execution style.
* In ''Film/{{Christine}}'', a black assembly-line worker is the first victim of the eponymous killer car.
* The first victim in ''Film/NewYearsEvil'' is the main character's female BlackBestFriend.
* The only black character in ''Film/SpiderBabyOrTheMaddestStoryEverTold'' is killed in the film's intro. Interestingly, from the same director who would later bring us {{Blaxploitation}} classics ''Film/{{Coffy}}'' and ''Film/FoxyBrown''.
* ''The Mutant Chronicles'': Both black guys who appear in the film [[DroppedABridgeOnHim die by bridge]] within a couple minutes of each other.
* ''Magma: Earth's Molten Core'' has the {{Jerkass}} mayor die in on coming lava while screaming "NO!" Or was it him getting buried in hot rocks? It's hard to tell.
* In ''Film/{{Super 8}}'', when Colonel Nelec's bus is attacked, he tells one of his soldiers to shoot the attacker with a tracking dart while having the driver open the door. Both are black, and both evidently have seen this movie before, because they both immediately give him a look which just screams "Oh, hell no." Predictably, both die.
** Earlier, the movie actually subverted the trope. There was Doctor Woodward, the black man in the AlmostDeadGuy state after a train crash. You'd think he would die by the time the Air Forces reached him. But nope, the doctor survived the train crash and the capture, then died after the deaths of a sheriff, a shop clerk and a cableman (all white, in that order).
* In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', Darwin, the only Black mutant/character (other than Angel), is killed after only a few minutes onscreen, before the major battle, and other than the head villain of the film, he is the only mutant protagonist or antagonist (besides the BigBad) to die. [[UselessUsefulSpell His power to adapt to anything to survive really helped him.]]
** Taken to its logical extreme in ''XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. Over the course of the film, ''every'' racial minority character is killed, some even killed ''twice'' thanks to time travel. The future segments show an X-Men team formed of a highly varied cast (Of a team with eleven members, six are white (two of whom are Jewish), while there's two black characters, one Asian character, a Southern American, and a Native American), and during both Sentinel attacks, the only characters to survive both times are four of the white characters (though, two ''are'' close to death, both of whom are the Jewish ones). Making it all the worse, none are given ''any'' development or characterization before any of this happens, and in the opening scene, the only thing to identify any of the characters are their powers, racial ethnicity, and the method to which they're killed, and they are the ''only'' racial minorities in the film. While time travel negates all of these deaths, its still pretty damn iffy.
* In the hip-hop drama ''Film/EightMile'', one of B Rabbit's opponents, Lotto, raps during their freestyle battle: "I'll spit a racial slur honkey, sue me/This shit is a horror flick [[AvertedTrope but the black guy doesn't die in this movie]]."
* In ''AliensVsPredatorRequiem'', a group of five high school students (including one black student) is ambushed by an Alien inside the high school. Guess which one the Alien kills first.
* The black character Luther is the first person to die in 1973 film ''Film/TheSting''.
* In ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', the two black guys are the first and second members of the boat crew to die.
* Played straight in the beginning of ''Film/JurassicPark'' when raptors snatch one of the workers.
** Although averted later when SamuelLJackson is killed off only after the lawyer and [[{{Seinfeld}} Newman]] die.
* The first major character to die in ''Film/TheSubstitute'' is the Black teacher friend, Mr. Sherman. The first commando to die is also the Black member of the team, Wellman.
* A pair of black policemen fall off a building to their deaths while attempting to pursue a criminal in ''TheOtherGuys''.
** Noteworthy in that it's Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the last people you would expect to die.
* ''[[Film/DeadAir2009 Dead Air]]'': The security guard at the radio station, while not technically the first on-screen death, is the first of the named characters to die as the SyntheticPlague spreads through the city.
* This happens twice in ''Film/MortalKombat'': Liu Kang's first (black opponent) ends up having his soul sucked out by Tsung after Liu refuses to finish him, and Art Lean ends up dead at Goro's hands.
* ''TheBucketList'', which is about two men diagnosed with terminal illnesses, has MorganFreeman's character die first at the end.
* Both ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' movies open with this trope; the rhinoceros characters are consistently played by black voice actors, most prominently MichaelClarkeDuncan, and they die (in the first movie, in droves) first.
* In ''Film/ThreeHundred'', Leonidas kicks the black messenger down a well.
* ''Film/RealGenius'' opens with a bunch of military and intelligence bigwigs discussing a [[KillSat space-laser-based assassination system]]. The one black man at the table gets up, announces that he has moral qualms about the project, and asks to be reassigned. After he leaves the room, one of the other bigwigs says "We may have to liberate him." Another says "Liberate? As in 'liquidate?'"
* ''Film/StateOfPlay'' begins with a black thief being shot to death.
* ''Film/AChristmasStory'': When Ralphie gets his BB gun and fantasizes about shooting the villains, the black guy gets shot first.
* Played straight after the opening scene in ''Film/FridayThe13thPartIII''. Two of the three bikers are all black, and they get killed off one by one.
* Creator/JohnCarpenter's ''Film/GhostsOfMars'' has a triple-header: Braddock, the first of the main cast to die, is black, a woman, ''and'' a lesbian.
** His other movie ''Film/TheThing1982'' is interesting that beside the main character, the two black characters survive up to the very end, one of them even a RedShirt. The film doesn't even have one black character die in the whole film, with Childs surviving and Nauls presumed dead, although so was Childs at the time.
** An interesting inversion in his earlier movie ''Film/AssaultOnPrecinct131976'', in which a black police officer manages to hold his own against a seemingly endless hoard of gangsters, ultimately being one of the few survivors. Most if not all the other cops who are present at the station at the time are white, and all of them are killed early on.
* In ''Film/AttackTheBlock'', the first people to die are a pair of white police officers, but the first ''named'' character to die is black, as is every other casualty. All the white characters survive. However, Moses and Biggz both survive and Moses is the one who ultimately saves the day.
* Inverted in ''Film/IndependenceDay''. The hero is black and sidekick/comic relief is white. The white guy is the first named character to die in the movie.
** Not quite. The first named character to die is Jasmine's friend Tiffany, on the roof of a Los Angeles skyscraper. And the first unnamed character to die is the flight crew of the EC-135 that flies into alien ship fire cloud.
* In ''Film/SlaughterHigh'', black janitor Digby dies first.
* 2006 ghost movie ''La Llorona'' a.k.a. ''The Wailer'' is another example.
* In the French zombie flick ''Mutants'' the only black character in the film is the third to die. The first two to die were men killed due to them being infected. The reason for her death was because she shot a guy who the couple didn't think was infected and they protested. She was going to shoot them if they didn't cooperate and they shot first. Ironically the man ''was'' infected and his blood contaminated the husband.
* {{Discussed}} in ''Film/CanadianBacon'', by Boomer and Karbal who is worried it will happen to him.
* In Baz Luhrmann's ''Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet'', Mercutio, played by a black guy, dies first. (Mercutio dies first in the play as well.)
* Played with in ''Film/KillBill'': Vernita Green's death is the first ''shown'', but the second on the Bride's hit list; O-Ren Ishii's name is already crossed out. ''Part 1'' then [[AnachronicOrder jumps back]] to [[HowWeGotHere the Bride hunting down and killing O-Ren]] (and most of her {{mook}}s, and a couple creeps back at the hospital).
** Before Vernita Green was killed, the bride came to, killed two guys in the hospital, recovered, flew to Okinawa and got a sword. She then flew to Japan and killed hundreds of Yakuza and O-Ren Ishi. She then dumped Sophia Fatale at the hospital, after which Fatale was reunited with Bill. However, when The Bride showed up at Green's door, she was taken totally by surprise. She was not the first, but apparently no one cared to give her a heads up and apparently she never watched TV or read a newspaper.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}'' [[spoiler:Queen Tara (voiced by BeyonceKnowles) is shot by an arrow from a Boggan soldier, and is the first important character to die on screen.]]
* In ''[[Film/TheHangover The Hangover Part III]]'', [[spoiler:Black Doug]] is shot by [[spoiler:Marshall]] and is the first character to die in the film.
* In ''Film/ForrestGump'', an unnamed black RedShirt gets sniped at the very beginning of the ambush in which Bubba, Forrest's best friend, dies. However, Forrest manages to save several fellow squad members, one of whom is also a black man.
* ''Film/TerminatorSalvation'' has a blink and miss it shot of an unnamed black soldier among debris towards the beginning who seems to have died recently.
* ''Film/TheKarateKid'': The first Cobra Kai kid Daniel-san beats at the karate tournament is black.
* ''Film/GrumpyOldMen'': Chuck the black bait shop owner is the first to die.
* In ''Franchise/EvilDead'' (2013), the first cabin member to die is the ''only'' non-white member, Olivia, played by a mixed-race actress. (''WebVideo/AndreTheBlackNerd'' was particularly annoyed by this.)
* In ''{{Film/Serenity}}'', Shepherd Book goes first.
* At the beginning of ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', the film shows a black father desperate to save his bedridden daughter who is suffering from some fatal sickness. He's approached by John Harrison, who tells the man he can save his daughter if he does something for him first. The black man commits a suicide terrorist bombing that kills hundreds of people and sets the movie's main plot.
* In ''Film/TheHungerGamesCatchingFire'' the first district they go to on the victory tour (District 11) contains the first and only death on the victory tour. That district is prominently black people. [[spoiler:Averted in the Quarter Quell with Beetee]].
* Largely averted in ''Film/{{Elysium}}'', as the only prominent black character ends up being a MauveShirt that survives to the end of the film. However, there is a rather high Latino body count, although this was kinda unavoidable since nearly every Earth-based character (including Max, Frey, and Spider) is Latino, and it's set in a future LA.
* Averted (and lampshaded, sort of, by the character at the end) in ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1999'' when Taye Digg's character survives along with Ali Larter's character.
** Considering the background in universe, Taye Diggs could lead to a headscratcher until his line near the end explains his being in the movie.
* Averted for the most part in ''Film/DieHard'' - Theo (the criminals' computer guy) is the only one of the thieves who ''doesn't'' get killed (besides the Frenchman Kristoff); [=McClane=]'s chauffeur Argyle also survives and gets the last line of the movie to boot; and Sgt. Powell not only survives the night but gets to finish off the final villain. On the other hand, the black half of FBI agents Johnson and Johnson ''does'' get blown up - but so does the white one, and it was at the same time so that can't really be called getting singled out.
* ''Film/AloneInTheDark1982'' the first victim of the escaped lunatics is black orderly Ray Curtis. The only other black character in the film, Detective Barnett, is killed by them too.
* ''Film/OperationDumboDrop'': H.A. is scared shitless [[GenreSavvy he's gonna die]]. [[spoiler:He survives the whole movie]]. In this case, there are two black guys, the other being Captain Cahill, TheHero of the story.
* Averted in ''The Killing Room'' (2009). Four subjects are locked in a room and told they'll be eliminated one at a time in a psychological experiment. The sole female member is then immediately shot [[AnyoneCanDie to set the stakes]]. The only black subject appears to have the least will to survive, and when they're down to two members decides to kill himself in a HeroicSacrifice. Mooks then burst into the room and kill the other subject, as that's what they're testing for (the experiment is meant to brainwash people into becoming suicide bombers). As the movie ends with him being scheduled for "Phase 2" of the experiment, it would have been more merciful if the trope had been played straight.
* ''{{Film/Snatch}}'' has four black characters. Sol, Vinnie and Lincoln are last seen being arrested, and the last time we see Tyrone he manages to not get shot by Bullet-Tooth Tony. While none of the characters do very well out of the events of the film, they all survive.
* Ironically, averted in page-quote inspirer ''Film/Jaws3D'' - Shelby (the first character to get killed) is a white guy, and Calvin (the main black character) survives the entire movie.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* {{Discussed}} in ''{{Everworld}}'', as a joke from Christopher to Jalil.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheHost'' . The one black man present in the human colony does ''not'' die first. [[spoiler: He does, however, die the only ''violent'' death onscreen, when the Seeker shoots him]].
* The Literature/InDeath series: ''Judgment in Death'' has a black cop named Kohli be the first murder victim.
* Though not the first death in the series, Ajihad is the first to die in the second book of the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''.
* The novel ''Morrigan's Cross'' by Creator/NoraRoberts. It's pretty obvious what's going to happen because (a) he is the only black guy, and (b) there's 4 guys and 2 girls and it's a romance novel, so you have to get another girl in the mix somehow.
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'''s fifth book, Beckendorf is the first to die (in a HeroicSacrifice, but still). On the one hand ''The Last Olympian'' [[ADeathInTheLimelight was his debut as a major character]] (he had been more of a background figure before). On the other, given Bianca and Zoe in ''The Titan's Curse'', he's not exactly the first major character to die in the series.
** Subverted in TheFilmOfTheBook--while Grover stays in the Underworld so the others can leave, he returns by the end of the movie, and appears to have had quite a good time with Persephone.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} novel ''[[Literature/{{Ravenor}} Ravenor Returned]]'', dark-skinned Zeph Mathuin is the first of Ravenor's warband to die "on camera."
** While on the subject of Dan Abnett, in ''[[GauntsGhosts Salvation's Reach]]'' [[ScaryBlackMan Usain Edur]] the [[BaldBlackLeaderGuy black commissar]] is the first named character to die. This is strange considering that he survived the previous book.
* Tiberius in ''Literature/{{Robopocalypse}}'', in what appears to be a trap set by the BigBad to kill the rest of Brightboy squad as they march to Alaska. It slightly works.
* Inverted in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''; Cassie, the black character, is the only one spared by the BolivianArmyEnding.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* One [[TieInNovel Tie-In]] ''Series/{{Monk}}'' novel, ''Mr. Monk on the Couch'', has a serial killer case where the first victim is a black thrift shop manager.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'': There are examples of black RedShirts all throughout the ''Star Trek'' universe who die before their similarly-garbed comrades.
** A ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' example - in "Where Silence Has Lease" an alien face on the viewscreen says that he wants to understand death by way of killing about half the crew and starts by killing the helmsman, the spot normally manned by [[CreatorsPet Wesley Crusher.]] But he's away from the post at the time, for the only time in the whole episode, replaced by a RedShirt black guy.
** In an alternate timeline of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' wherein the Xindi are successful in their genocidal bid to eradicate humanity, Travis Mayweather is the first of the main characters to die.
** Averted in at least one episode (TOS "By Any Other Name"), where of the two redshirts reduced to small polyhedrons in the first act, it's the white woman who gets crushed and the black man who's restored.
* The first person to die in the pilot of ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' is a young black officer named Thompson. He's named after Cronan Thompson, a young black internet personality who was involved in many online arguments with the show's creator, Robert Wolfe. Cronan died of cancer at 19, and Wolfe included Thompson in his pilot as a tribute.
* In the New Zealand [=TV3=] docu-series ''Aftershock'', the first person shown to die as a result of the Cook Strait earthquake is a Maori man.
* In BBC's ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', they added black knights to Uther's court. The MonstersOfTheWeek seem to love killing them, and if a knight needs to die to establish the threat, it will be the black dude. Being a Black Knight in Merlin appears to be like being a RedShirt in Star Trek. Heaven help you if you're a black Knight and wearing a red tunic.
** The first major character to be killed in the series was Tom, who is also black.
** However, the first Knight of the Round Table to die was [[SubvertedTrope Lancelot, not Elian]].
* Also from the BBC is ''Series/RobinHood''. A couple of faceless {{Mooks}} die in the two-part pilot, but the first named character to die (get stabbed in the back, to be precise) is De Fourtnay, the Sheriff's Man-at-Arms. [[WTHCastingAgency He was played by a black actor in a beret in a show set in 12th century England]].
** Brother Tuck was played by David Harewood (black), and was one of the few characters to survive the EverybodyDies finale of the show.
* In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', although his death is [[NeverFoundTheBody ambiguous]], the first character to leave the main cast is the black Lieutenant Ford.
* In the pilot episode of ''TheGreatestAmericanHero'', the first person to die is Bill Maxwell's black partner.
* In ''{{Jekyll}}'' Benjamin is Hyde's first (human) kill. After Hyde has tortured, mauled and, um... [[FateWorseThanDeath done other things]] to people, the first time he actually takes a someone's life is to slice Benjamin's throat for threatening his family.
* Following a number of near-death experiences for various members of the ''AshesToAshes'' team, the first regular character to truly cop it is black desk sergeant [[SacrificialLion Viv James]].
** Technically, given what was revealed in the finale, Viv wasn't the first to die. But he was the only one that ended up in Hell, which is worse.
* ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'': Of the main cast, the first cast member to die is Louis Young, the SRU's sole black officer.
* In the ''Pro-Life'' episode of the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' series, the black security guard is the first to die.
* In ''Series/TheOuterLimits'' {{Revival}} episode "The Vaccine", the helpful young black man is the first of the group of survivors to die, when feral dogs attack him outside of the quarantine zone and compromise his environmental suit, exposing him to a lethal virus. Ultimately subverted, when he turns up alive at the end; the survivors lived not because they hadn't been exposed to the virus, but because they were immune.
* In the first paintball episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'', Troy is the first member of the study group to be "killed." This is shockingly unlampshaded.
* ''TwoPintsOfLagerAndAPacketOfCrisps'' lampshades and parodies this trope in the [[SomethingCompletelyDifferent horror special]], "When Janet Killed Jonny". Louise, who is black (and is indeed the first character to die in the episode), comes out with this when creepy things start happening:
--> Anyway, you know the rules. [[GenreSavvy The black one always dies first]]. ''({{Beat}})'' [[CloudCuckoolander And nobody here's black]]!
--> ''(Everyone stares at her)''
* In the slasher-esque ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episode "Pick Me Up", the black bus driver is the first person to be murdered by one of the killers.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E6TheMoonbase The Moonbase]]'', the base is staffed with an international group of scientists, all white except for one black man. He is the first to be killed, getting bumped off in Episode 1 [[spoiler: although it is later revealed that he was just kidnapped by the Cybermen and made a partially-converted slave]].
** ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E5TimeHeist Time Heist]]'':\\\
The Teller's first onscreen victim.\\\
Saibra, the only black member of the heist crew and the first to fall by the wayside, appears to be an example [[spoiler:until it turns out she survived]].
* ''{{Series/Extant}}'': Molly's ex-boyfriend Marcus, who died before the show even began. [[spoiler: It doesn't stop him from becoming a recurring character, though.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pro Wrestling]]
* WWE's Wresting/TheNexus faction sort of did this. Barring Daniel Bryan's legit firing, the first two guys officially dumped were black (Darren Young [beaten down and thrown out after losing to Cena] and Michael Tarver [taken out by Cena himself]). David Otunga split from the Nexus and formed The Corre which had another black guy Ezekiel Jackson. They were the first to be ejected, though at least Otunga was against their will. Otunga did not leave the Nexus, in fact he was the only original member to still be in the Nexus when it disbanded. Wade Barrett started the Corre.
* There have been instances such as in Elimination Chamber or Survivor Series matches where the black wrestler is the first one eliminated,
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* The first named character to die in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' was the black DARPA Chief, Donald Anderson. Subverted when it turned out that he was [[LatexPerfection an albino disguising himself as Anderson]], and then twisted back around again, because the real Anderson was killed off-screen before Snake's arrival.
** ''MetalGearSolid2'' is divided into two chapters. In both chapters, the first named character to die is a black man - Scott Dolph in the Tanker portion and Peter Stillman in the Plant portion.
** Apparently averted in ''MetalGearSolid3'' when Sigint lived through the end of the game. However, in ''MetalGearSolid4'', it's revealed that Sigint was actually Donald Anderson, who was, of course, the first character to die in the very first ''Metal Gear Solid''.
** ''MetalGearSolid4'' itself averts this, since the only two black characters in the game, Ed and Drebin, both managed to survive.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', the opening sequence shows an African leader, who was successfully bringing peace to his country after decades of civil war, getting assasinated by the villains of the game whom want to keep the conflict going for their own profit.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' the first character to die is the scientist Jonas who was a friend of your character's father. It's his death in fact, that kicks off the main storyline.
** Also, your character's mother at the very beginning, during the birthing sequence. (According to the ingame files, she's African-American)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'', the two black and one Hispanic teammates get eaten by aliens in the first couple of levels. One of the black teammates gets better, though.
** Oh, that black guy who got better? His name is Prophet, and he dies first in the sequel. Although he did get better...sort of. ItMakesSenseInContext.
** Not only does he get better, but by the third game in the trilogy it's made clear that he's the main protagonist the story is about. [[spoiler: Even though he's no longer human.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Siren}}: Blood Curse'' The black camera man Sol Jackson is the first to be killed. Then everyone goes back in time because Crazy Cult lady's plan got screwed over. Sol is alive again! ...Until he dies first a second time.
* [[KillEmAll A lot of people]] died in ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' before the Kellion crew (including player character [[BadassBookworm Isaac Clarke]]) arrived, and he wasn't even the first of the Kellion's crew to die (a pair of redshirts bit it at the start), but Hammond was the first major character to bite it; torn limb from limb by a Brute.
** In ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2'', the ''VideoGame/DeadSpaceIgnition'' protagonist Franco Delille dies within seconds of the game starting.
* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', the first major non-gameplay casualties are the black Sgt. Johnson's [[NumerologicalMotif seven]]-man squad. WordOfGod indicates this was originally [[http://forums.bungie.org/halo/archive4.pl?read=82872 intended to stick]].
* In ''Win Back'' for the N64, the main story involves tracking down your fellow squad members from whom you were separated. One of the first to be encountered is Matt, the black squad member, who instantly receives a sniper bullet to the face from [[DragonInChief Cecile]].
* The early ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' games played this straight with the likes of Kenneth J. Sullivan (''VideoGame/ResidentEvil''), Marvin Branagh (''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2''), and Tyrell Patrick (''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis''). While technically speaking none of them die first, they don't really contribute much in the story other than get killed as soon as they appear. The most egregious example listed is Marvin, who was actually intended to be an important side-character in the canceled first version of ''Resident Evil 2'' (aka ''[[{{Vaporware}} Resident Evil 1.5]]''), but was DemotedToExtra in the actually released version.
* The first named character to die in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' is the token black man, Commander Gore, in the first hour of the game. But he later comes back as the MagicalNegro.
* The first member of your squad to die in ''Blacksite: Area 51'' is Mitchell Ambrose, the only black man. He's also introduced by showing you pictures of his family and was also going to ask for leave after this mission.
* In the ''VideoGame/ChzoMythos'' game ''7 Days a Skeptic'', Barry dies first. The assignment also [[{{Retirony}} happens to be the last before his retirement]], so he never really stood a chance.
** Also in ''Trilby's Notes'', Abed is the first, and only, character to die. Unless you count the prologue and the flashbacks. Not a typical example since this happens near the end of the game.
* In the suicide mission at the end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Jacob Taylor, the only black party member, volunteers for the first task. If you select him for this task, he gets shot in the face with a rocket. Avertable, if the player is GenreSavvy, or if you didn't upgrade the Normandy's weapons, shields, and/or armor (if any of the three are not upgraded, someone else dies, first). The player can also send ANYONE into the shaft (except [[CreatorsPet Miranda]]) and get any number of non-black crew members killed. They can also get the entire team out alive, thus sparing Jacob. So really, if Jacob dies first, one could argue that the player is the one enacting the trope.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersJericho'', where the Firstborn explodes two party members before the final battle. It actually targets [[HollywoodNerd Cole]] for trying to analyze it, but [[TokenMinority Jones]] stands closest to her and gets [[LudicrousGibs gibbed]] along with her. And true to the trope, Jones is blasted to chunks just one instant before Cole.
* ''InThe1stDegree'' has only one character die. His name is Zachary Barnes, and he is a black guy shot dead by his white business partner James Tobin. Fortunately, the point of the game is to make sure Tobin goes all the way down for Zack's murder.
* In the ''VideoGame/SoldierOfFortune'' series, Hawk is the first named sympathetic (player's side) character to die.
* In ''VideoGame/FrontMission Evolved'', Captain Hamilton is the first major NPC to die after being ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', General Leo is the first character to be seen killed by Kefka, who is black in the Yoshitaka Amano design. Whether or not it is evident in the sprite is left for the individual to assume.
* In ''SilentHill4'', Cynthia, a [[TokenMinority Hispanic/Latina]] and the sole minority character, is the first to die in-game [[spoiler:but also the first to be turned into a ghost]].
* In the ''MechCommander'' intro, who is the first target of the Mad Cat? The black guy (Hardcase) piloting a Hunchback. He survives, barely, by ejecting from his stricken 'Mech.
** Justified, in that he had the biggest gun. The Mad Cat's pilot likely felt it was prudent to take the Hunchback and its massive cannon out of the equation as quickly as possible.
* The first casualty of the entire WorldWar3 in ''RedAlert2'' is the black guy who refuse to launch the [[NukeEm nuclear missile]] in the ''[[UpToEleven opening cinematic]]''.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'' where [[spoiler:Lee, the main character]] is the ''last'' person to die.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'', Ajax, the first member of the titular team to die, also happens to be the only black member of the group.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis''. Not only is Cooper, a white guy, the first to get the axe, but [[MissionControl Rick]] is the only character in the game besides Regina herself who can ''not'' die in the game.
* The very first mission in ''CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' begins with the scene of a black African soldier burning to death. The player then spends the entire mission killing a bunch of black Africans just to get information on [[spoiler: where to find and rescue Woods.]] The fact that you're helping another black African leader who's excited about fighting and killing doesn't discredit the trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* In ''{{Erfworld}}'', Lord Manpower the Temporary is killed on page 2, and is black at the time. (Later, he's green, like the rest of the uncroaked.) Technically, though, he was the last of Stanley's warlords to die. Just the first dead character in the story proper.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', episode "The Hand of Fate". First demon to spring from the giant hole goes straight for the black dude.
* ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen'': Swat team flees from faceless terror in the middle of a blizzard. Black guy gets dragged off.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' episode ''Dark Heart'', Billy the rock climber gets eaten by the alien first.
* The ''Film/WonderWoman'' movie's first loss on the good guys' side is the black guy.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Island'', neither DJ nor Leshawna gets killed first during the horror movie challenge---but, DJ is the one to get voted off. The same thing happens in ''Action''.
** On ''Pahkitew Island'', Beardo is the first contestant to be voted off.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpacedOut'' a black Krach Industries suit got dissolved by acidic pulp, which security aimed at an escaped experimental organism that had to be taken out at all cost.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'':
** Averted in season 1. Artemis, not Aqualad, is the first one to die in the episode "Failsafe". [[spoiler: She's later the first member of the team to be FakingTheDead.]]
** Played straight in season two. [[spoiler: Aqualad is the first member of the Team to have something unequivocally horrible (and potentially irreversible) happen to him on screen when he's rendered catatonic by M'gann.]]
** Later it gets subverted. [[spoiler: Not only does Aqualad come out of his catatonic state, his plan is the major reason the heroes were able to {{OutGambit|ted}} the villains by the end of the season.]]
** Kid Flash (Wally) dies and remains dead for good.
* Subverted TWICE in ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}'':
** During the [[PlagueZombie zombie plague]] episode, 'Going Dutch', the Burner's black member, Dutch, is the only one not infected, and ends up saving the day.
** During the episode 'Mayhem Night', both Dutch and Chuck were the only Burners not infected by the Terras' [[MushroomSamba hallucinatory]], fear inducing gas, though Chuck is a NonActionGuy.
[[/folder]]

!!Lampshaded/Parodied

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* When Ambrose Chase dies in ''ComicBook/{{Planetary}}'', the GenreSavvy villain comments that "this is science fiction movie. The black guy always dies in the science fiction movie." (They were in a reality-warping field that made reality follow movie cliches, so this was, literally, the reason he died.)
* Parodied in a comic by JhonenVasquez describing the worst movie ever made.
-->"In classic tradition, ethnicity means a deathmark, and a reason to motivate that noble white guy."
-->White guy: "AAARGH!! YOU KILLED BLACKY!!"
* In Kyle Baker's[[note]]himself an Af-Am comics creator[[/note]] war comedy ''Special Forces'' the opening splash page of the very first issue is the black squad member's head exploding and the main character actually lampshading this quote in her narration.
* Gorilla Girl from ''[[Comicbook/AvengersTheInitiative Avengers: The Iniative]]'' sums it up perfectly:
-->'''Gorilla Girl''': I'm black, I'm female, and nobody's ever heard of me. I might as well have '[[CListFodder Cannon Fodder]]' [[GenreSavvy stamped on my forehead]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Machinima/ADayInTheLifeOFACommissar'', two Guardsmen see Commissar Steve get gassed. One trooper, horrorstruck, wonders who's going to be the first to die. His buddy says "we should go by the movie rule that states the black guy always dies first." They're relived that none of their troops are black. But then one trooper says, "wait, I'm half-black!" and is promptly blown to pieces.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Evolution}}'' comically [[TropeNamer named]] this trope, but actually avoids it with a verbal DefiedTrope. Since it's a rather light-hearted comedy, almost EverybodyLives.
** The guy who said it (Orlando Jones) had even originally used the line in a ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' sketch.
* In ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'', a black guy [[GenreSavvy decides to defy it]] when he leaves town after a few bodies pile up. He ends up surviving the entire ordeal.
* ''Film/ScaryMovie'':
** Parodied and defied in the first movie. After the ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'' parody that opens it, a line of reporters discuss the story in front of the school. The last one is from BET (Black Entertainment Television), and the reporter declares "white folks are dead, [[GenreSavvy we're gettin' the fuck outta here!]]" - at which point he and his crew jump into their van and speed off.
*** Also, it's discussed fully in another scene, with text to this effect:
-->"The worst thing a brother can do is to party with white people, 'cause you know you're gonna die first. You should all get out of here."
-->"W-what about me?"
-->"Mulattos, too!"
** Lampshaded ''again'' in ''Scary Movie 2'', when it's suggested [[LetsSplitUpGang they split up]]. Dwight [[KickTheDog decides to invoke it]].
-->'''Brenda:''' Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh UH! Now wait a minute, hold up! How come when anytime this scary shit happens, and we should stick together, you white people always say "let's split up"?
-->'''Theo:''' She's right, we should stick together.
-->'''Dwight:''' She's right. Okay.
--> [points to the white people in the group]
-->'''Dwight:''' You three, follow me!
-->[the three black people are left alone]
-->'''Shorty:''' Ain't that a bitch.
-->[the three of them begin to cry]
-->'''Brenda:''' We gonna die, y'all.
* ''Film/UndercoverBrother'''s Conspiracy Brother complains about this trope.
-->"Hey black man, [[Franchise/JurassicPark turn on the power there's dinosaurs running around]]. Hey black man, look out he's got a gun!"
* ''Film/CanadianBacon'' features a scene in which this theory is discussed, and various examples are given. It ends with the one black guy looking really nervous. He not only survives, though, he goes on to prove that black athletic superiority extends to hockey, too.
* Defied in ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', where Chef has joined the military, and is an all-black battalion - the only one there, in fact. The General wants to use them as "Operation: Human Shield" in conjunction with everyone else in "Operation: Get Behind The Darkies". Chef seems to be the only one to notice how much of a raw deal they're getting, and gets the rest of his group to abort the mission, leaving the soldiers behind to get blown up, though.
--> '''Chef:''' Operation Human Shield, my ass!
* Preacher of ''Film/DeepBlueSea'' is well aware of this trope, and records his legacy - the perfect omelet recipe - in anticipation of his death. He lives all the way to the end, although the other black character does die mid-way through the film.
** The lampshading may have also been intentionally magnified in that out of the two black guys in this horror movie, one is played by a rapper (Music/LLCoolJ), and the other one by... Creator/SamuelLJackson. And ''Jackson'', the bigger star, is the one who gets closely acquainted with the film's [[GoneHorriblyRight superintelligent genetically enhanced angry sharks]].
* Lampshaded in the DVD extras for ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. In the "commentary" for an episode of an in-universe cartoon about Mr. Incredible, Frozone complains when his character is captured by the villain: "The black superhero gets caught!" When Mr. Incredible reminds him that he had already complained about the show making "him" white, he amends it to "The ''TAN'' superhero gets caught!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Wayne Brady on an episode of ''Whose Line is it Anyway'' during a game of Questions Only set at the [[Film/{{Psycho}} Bates Motel]], and also during a game of Themed Restaurant, with the theme being horror.
-->'''Wayne''': "Am I going to be the first one to die, like I always am?"
** Wayne nearly always lampshades this trope in any game that involves horror movies.
* Wayne also lampshaded it on a ninth season episode of HowIMetYourMother, although the death is not...death. He sacrifices himself by talking to the old people so Barney and Robin can sneak away and not have to talk to them.
* In an episode of ''{{Psych}}'' parodying slasher films, Gus refuses to leave the house because "I've seen enough slasher movies to know that when the brother goes off to the woods, he doesn't even sorta come back!" Ironically he not only survives, but is the ONLY person to best the killer in a one-on-one fight.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' season 7, the following exchange occurs after some of the potential slayers (including Rona, who is black) are "killed" in a training exercise:
-->'''Spike:''' OK, these two are dead. Why?\\
'''Rona:''' 'Cause the black chick always gets it first?
* In an episode of ''MarriedWithChildren'', Al, Jefferson, and Griff join the National Guard and have to quell a garbageman strike. They've holed up inside a truck during a riot and Jefferson orders Griff to get out and do something.
-->'''Griff:''' Haven't you ever seen a war movie? The black man ''always'' gets it first! ...Jim Brown in ''TheDirtyDozen'', LaurenceFishburne in ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', Bubba in ''ForrestGump''! ''Any'' [[RedShirt black man in]] ''Franchise/StarTrek''! We go in, test the waters, get killed, and you white guys go home to your families.
-->'''Al:''' See? We ''both'' lose.
* Discussed by Turk in the ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode "My Long Goodbye".
--> "If this were a horror flick, I'd be so scared that I was next. They always kill the black folks off first. Now I'm not really worried about it, 'cause there's still Snoop Dogg Resident and Leonard the security guard... y'know, when you think about it, this is a white-ass hospital." (beat) "I'm gonna miss you. You take care, okay?"
* A skit on ''Fridays'' called "The Moral Majority Variety Hour" included a magician who made the only black man in the audience disappear.
* In one rather funny moment on ''SmartGuy'' Moe and Marcus are sitting down to watch ''{{Film/Scream 2}}''. Marcus' girlfriend objects to the violence, Moe says he's only watching it for Jada Pinkett. Marcus and his girlfriend get into an argument about something else, and are suddenly cut off by loud screaming. Moe, oblivious to the argument, moans "Oh no, Jada's in the beginning. Black folks ''always'' get killed early in these things!" Seconds later, a woman's scream is heard in the movie and Moe says flatly "There goes Jada."
* Mentioned by Liz Lemon in ''Series/ThirtyRock''.
--> "Word of advice: If the will says you have to spend the night in a haunted house you better hope that everybody else there is black guys and [[DeathBySex sl]][[DisposableSexWorker uts]].
* During Series/{{Community}}'s [[ZombieApocalypse Zombie Apocalyptic]] Halloween special "[[Recap/CommunityS2E06Epidemiology Epidemiology]]" this trope is inverted when Abed sacrifices himself to make sure that Troy escapes, though Troy gets infected only a scene or two later.
--->'''Abed:''' "Troy, make me proud. Be the first black man to get to the end."
** "[[Recap/CommunityS2E06Epidemiology Epidemiology]]" also has a deleted line from Troy saying he was going to run alongside Shirley in order to [[LampshadeHanging double his chances.]]
* Parodied in ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'':
-->'''Damon:''' Why am I always the decoy?
* Inverted in the ''KeyAndPeele'' sketch "Suburban Zombies". The ''white'' guy ([[Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys Kevin Sorbo]]) is [[DeathByCameo killed and eaten first]], and it later turns out that the zombies intentionally spared the black protagonists because they're afraid of black people.
* Nicole Beharie of ''Series/SleepyHollow'' is well aware of this trope, and has said one of the major reason the show appealed to her was because unlike most other horror or fantasy narratives, the black woman isn't just the white heroine's [[BlackBestFriend best friend]] who ends up getting murdered.
* In an episode of ''Series/AreYouThereChelsea'', DeeDee and Olivia are watching horror movies. Olivia says "There are no black people in this movie, so I don't know who dies first!"
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[[folder: Music]]
* Busdriver references this trope in "Unemployed Black Astronaut":
-->Oh my / sorry I / left my acceptance speech / in the back of the private car / and I rewrote the Hollywood ending / fluxed the motion picture screen / made it so the black guy doesn't die by the opening scene
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[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* In a 1999 ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'' strip, Huey writes an e-mail to GeorgeLucas saying how excited he is that Creator/SamuelLJackson will be playing a Jedi Master (Mace Windu, for the uninitiated) in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' (and very formally so). He then pauses, and with a grim expression, writes "...but he had '''BETTER''' not be the first one to die."
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[[folder: Web Original]]
* During the ''TwoBestFriendsPlay'' episode featuring ''DeadSpace2'', Pat wonders out loud if Franco's death is "the fastest black guy death in a video game ever".
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[[folder: Webcomics]]
* In ''BadGuyHigh'' a corrupted Super Dan killed Jacob, the black member of the team, and it's lampshaded.
* Sort of referenced in [[http://www.captainsnes.com/2008/10/24/guest-halloween-special-7/ this]] ''CaptainSNES'' Halloween special, despite several people having died already.
* One of many horror movie cliches parodied in the "KITTEN" arc of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''.
* Discussed in ''AnsemRetort'', where Zexion notes that as long as the black dude is alive, the rest of them are safe. Then Namine points out that racism aside, they don't ''have'' a black dude.
-->''Ooh, right. Yeah, we're gonna die. Painfully, too.''
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[[folder: Web Original]]
* [[http://graphjam.com/2009/07/22/song-chart-memes-life-horror/ This chart on GraphJam]] detailing the life expectancies of horror film characters.
* In ''[[SurvivalOfTheFittest SOTF-TV]]'', the first character to die is Anthony Rollins, who is, well, black. He actually [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on this right before he dies.
-->"Really? I'm the black guy that dies first? I knew I could've done more for this fucking show working the camera."
* And [[http://d.facdn.net/art/drakefenwick/1208912065.drakefenwick_screwed.jpg this]] shows even polar bears are subject to this trope.
* {{Tobuscus}} lampshades this in his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2W32cOTgo8&feature=related literal trailer]] of ''SharkNight'', when the black man Malik is attacked.
** "She can't believe that THAT guy died first."
* The idea is repeatedly and viciously lampshaded in SFDebris [[http://blip.tv/sf-debris-opinionated-reviews/tng-where-silence-has-lease-review-4923330 review]] of the aforementioned "Where Silence Has Lease".
--> "...And naturally there'd be no shortage of volunteers [From red-shirted black men for bridge positions]. People who've seen Science Fiction know the black dude dies first. And people who've seen the original series know the guy who beams down in a red shirt dies. So, black dude pluse red shirt equals get a bridge job as fast as you can and hope an alien doesn't show up on the view screen [[TemptingFate looking to kill people for no reason]]."
** and later. He does the voices of the various cast members to summarize the scene:
--> '''Negilum''': "Now would be a good time to learn about death by killing one of you."
--> '''Riker''': "Oh, no!"
--> '''Picard''': "Oh, no!"
--> '''Troi''': "Oh, no!"
--> '''Data''': "Oh, no!"
--> '''Black Red-Shirt''': "MOTHER FUCKER!" *dies*
--> '''Picard''': "Send another red-shirted black fellow to the bridge."
--> '''Geordi''': *leaves*.
* [[http://weknowmemes.com/2012/01/if-theyre-all-black-then-how-are-we-supposed-to-guess-who-dies-first/ This]] poster of ''Film/RedTails''.
* From the [[http://letterstomrpotter.tumblr.com/post/20504874220 "Letters to Mr. Potter" tumblr]]:
-->'''''Dear [[Characters/HarryPotterHogwartsStudents Dean,]]'''''
-->'''''Thank you for not being the first one to die.'''''
-->'''''Sincerely, Black People Everywhere'''''
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic [[GagSub dubs the thoughts]] of the only black guy in ''Film/Jaws3D'': "All I can say is, I'm worried. We're in a lousy horror movie and I'm the only black person around. Clearly I need to hire more black people." He does, and just as planned, they get eaten by the shark instead. Success!
** ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'': Linkara created several X-COM squad members based on Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses contributors. The one based on the RapCritic was the first to die. [[https://twitter.com/Phanto/status/358783403899895809 Read about it here]].
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] with a strong dosage of [[GenreSavvy genre savviness]] by [[TokenMinority Malcolm]] in ''[[Recap/TheNostalgiaCriticS6E17 The Shining]]'' review.
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[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', itself a parody of the movie ''Film/TheCore''. In the original, a black scientist dies after engaging a switch deep while in almost direct contact with the Earth's mantle; in the parody, Cartman explicitly picks Chef as "the black man who will sacrifice himself". This is subverted, however, as Chef safely makes his way through the crowd of Hippies, does what was asked, and gets back... only for Cartman to keep going on as though Chef had died.
* The episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' with the infamous MENDOOOZZAAAAA! SkywardScream features [=McBain=]'s black partner getting killed.
* The animated series ''FunnyFace'' has the black watermelon as the first and only character to die.
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