->''"The dog always dies. Go to the library and pick out a book with an award sticker and a dog on the cover. Trust me, that dog is going down."''
-->-- '''[[RepetitiveName Wallace Wallace]]''', ''Literature/NoMoreDeadDogs''

There is a SliceOfLife story about childhood and {{coming of age|Story}}. [[ABoyAndHisX The main character has a best friend]] (an animal, another child, or a family member) who is a source of joy, wisdom, and understanding in their life. This friend is often frailer, more unworldly, or otherwise more "special" than TheProtagonist. Bonus points if [[KillTheCutie the character is cute or adorable]].

At the end of the story, this [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth very special best friend is abruptly killed off]], usually in a clear-cut case of DiabolusExMachina. A favorite trick is to have the death happen entirely off-screen. The more [[TearJerker horribly poignant]], the better.

All this is generally accompanied by lots of "[[InnocenceLost end of the innocence]]" angsting from the main character, along the lines of "[[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids That was the day my childhood ended...]]" Really, it's just the author's way of having a child suddenly make the jump to adulthood via a [[MyGreatestFailure single defining tragedy]].

The [[http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal.cfm Newbery Medal]] is a prestigious award given to American novels written for children. Even a nomination without a win (called a Newbery Honor) can net your book a healthy amount of prestige. To win one, it helps a lot to use a story like this. The British equivalent is the [[http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/home/index.php Carnegie Medal]], which has a similar reputation.

''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'' won a [[UsefulNotes/NewberyMedal Newbery]] for its handling of the topics embodied by this trope. Thirteen years later, ''Literature/{{Shiloh}}'' may have won its medal because it ''didn't'' go for the easy win by [[AvertedTrope killing off the dog at the end]] (there were still two sequels to be written, after all). Still, most books for "young readers" (and similar movies) deal with these issues in a fairly {{Anvilicious}} fashion, and are obviously bucking for critical acclaim or recognition by killing off a beloved character in a children's book.

This trope is so pervasive, some readers ''expect'' that the most lovable character won't get to see the end of a critically acclaimed work of fiction.

Remember, one reader's predictable, {{Narm}}-filled [[OscarBait Award Bait]] can be another's [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Heartwarming]] Childhood Classic that will always hold a special place on their bookshelf.

Compare OscarBait (which often employs the same principle), TrueArtIsAngsty, ThePlotReaper, and ManicPixieDreamGirl (not a coming of age, but the character of spirit, spunk, and unconventional wisdom is very likely to die by the end).

This trope is about a character's death as a critical aspect of the storyline they're in. Any instances where a character is killed with an ''actual'' Newbery Medal should go to ImprovisedWeapon (or OnceKilledAManWithANoodleImplement if it's not shown).

And see these [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/inventory-nine-classic-instances-of-animal-snuff-f,1507/ two AV]] [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/your-mother-cant-be-with-you-anymore-17plus-entert,63422/ Club lists]].

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

Note: [[SpellMyNameWithAnS There's only ONE "r" in Newbery]].


[[folder:Newbery Winners and Honorable Mentions]]
* Elizabeth Coatsworth's ''Literature/TheCatWhoWentToHeaven''. Yup, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. (Newbery winner, 1931)
* In Esther Forbes's ''Literature/JohnnyTremain'', 1944 Newbery Medal winner and another favorite middle-school reading assignment, Rab dies at the end.
* E.B. White's ''Literature/CharlottesWeb'': Admittedly, it is a pig, not a child, who suffers the loss, but the theme of death and emotional maturity is still present. And it's still quite sad. (Newbery Honor, 1953)
* Scott O'Dell's ''Literature/IslandOfTheBlueDolphins'' (Newbery Medal, 1961) kills off not only the heroine's little brother in the beginning of the novel but her friendly wolf companion toward the end. Given that these were her only companions on a deserted island, it's pretty harsh.
* Lloyd Alexander's ''The High King'' (Newbery Medal, 1969), final book of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'', takes this trope UpToEleven. While the series hadn't exactly shied away from death before, the fifth book kills off Prince Rhun, Annlaw Clay-Shaper, the High King Math, Loino, Coll, and Achren, depicts veritable carnage in what's ostensibly a children's book, and then throws in a rape threat for good measure. The previous book, ''Taran Wanderer,'' had been the series's ComingOfAge story, and had its own angsty death. Alas, no Newbery for that one.
** Averted in that it's a HighFantasy epic, something that rarely wins the Newbery award.
* William H. Armstrong's ''Literature/{{Sounder}}'' (Newbery Medal, 1970).
* Jean Craighead George's ''Literature/JulieOfTheWolves'' is a Newbery Medal winner (1973) that ends with Amaroq the Alpha wolf of the pack that adopted Julie getting shot and killed and the heroine turning her back on humanity, in part because it kills animals for sport.
* ''A Taste of Blackberries'' (Newbery nominee, 1973). A boy and his pal pick blackberries: One will die from bee stings, the other will survive to eat delicious fresh berries and angst about the loss of his friend. Considered by many to be the children's book that firmly cemented the death-of-a-friend trope, it ironically did not receive a Newbery honor but was only nominated; the aforementioned Death by Newbery Medal selection ''Julie of the Wolves'' won for 1973.
* The 1974 Newbery Medal winner ''The Slave Dancer'' by Paula Fox has its protagonist, already forced to perform music to exercise the human cargo of a slave ship, witness the crew tossing most all of the slaves overboard to avoid detection by authorities. While a young slave boy survives and escapes a life of slavery, and the protagonist finally makes it back home, he is so traumatized by what happened that he never enjoys music again. A ''colossal'' downer, and [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]] to boot.
* James Lincoln Collier's ''My Brother Sam Is Dead'' (Newbery Honor, 1975): ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
%%* Susan Cooper's ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series; for the final battle between good and evil, nobody really dies. But the only book in the series which won a Newbery Medal (1976) is the one where they literally ShootTheDog, ''Literature/TheGreyKing''.
* Mildred Taylor's ''Literature/RollOfThunderHearMyCry'' is another Newbery Award winner (1977). A young black boy is accused of a murder, made into the scapegoat by the older, white instigators. There's [[SubvertedTrope almost]] a lynching of a thirteen-year-old boy. Almost. [[DoubleSubversion Instead, he gets tried and executed in the sequel.]] The book after that includes a premature death, too.
* Creator/KatherinePaterson's ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'' (Newbery Medal, 1978). While [[DroppedABridgeOnHim killing a little girl out of the blue]] may seem way over the top for a children's novel, the book was based on a real-life incident when a friend of the author's son was struck dead by lightning at the age of eight.
%%* Turtle from ''Literature/TheWestingGame'' (Newbery 1979) has to face death three times: first by finding Westing's dead body, then by witnessing the fatal collapse of her doorman friend Sandy, and finally (as a grown woman) by staying at the bedside of dying Mr. Eastman. The book is a ''very'' convoluted puzzle-mystery; all three are the same man, who'd faked his death twice. Turtle's maturation is typical of this trope, nonetheless.
* In ''A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal 1830-32'' by Joan Blos (Newbery Medal, 1980), the main character's best friend dies of an illness.
* Jane Langton's ''The Fledgling'' (Newbery Honor, 1981), in which the young girl (as shown on the cover) learns to fly with a Canada goose; he is shot.
* Averted by ''Literature/RamonaQuimby: Age 8'', the 1982 Newbery Honor winner. The book is full of AgeAppropriateAngst and light-hearted humor, with no one dying. In the following book ''Ramona Forever'', however, the family cat Picky-Picky dies: but even this is a downplayed example, with the loss itself emphasized less than the positive sisterly bonding it leads to between Ramona and Beezus.
* Cynthia Voigt's ''[[Literature/TheTillermanFamilySeries Dicey's Song]]'' This one would have a greater effect on readers who have read the preceding book, ''Homecoming.'' The mother dies but she's been missing/hospitalized for most of the book - her death is only a confirmation of what was coming all along (Newbery Medal, 1983).
* Marion Dane Bauer's ''Literature/OnMyHonor'' (Newbery Honor, 1987) In this one, the friend dies doing something the protagonist had promised not to do, and thus gets inflicted on tweens whose teachers think it's an important lesson.
%%* Avi's 1990 Newbery Winner, ''Literature/TheTrueConfessionsOfCharlotteDoyle'' (1990). One person is thought to be dead, while three other people die for real.
* Lois Lowry's Newbery winner, ''Literature/NumberTheStars'' (1990). Involves Nazis, and ends with the leader of LaResistance Peter Nielsen dying, although protagonist's Jewish friend survives, as she is evacuated along with other Danish Jews. Also, the protagonist's elder sister died before the events of the book - but she only discovers the truth about how it happened during the course of the story, as she develops a more adult understanding of the realities of the war and occupation.
* In 1991's winner, ''Literature/ManiacMagee'', the title character befriends an elderly zookeeper, Earl Grayson, who adopts him. They live together for a few months until Earl dies in his sleep.
%%** Maniac became an orphan at age three after his parents were [[ParentalAbandonment killed in a train crash.]]
* 1993's winner, ''Missing May'': The titular character, the narrator's Aunt and adoptive mother, dies very early in the book, the coming of age story focuses on the narrator and her uncle dealing with their grief. Later, the narrator fears her uncle has lost the will to live from the disappointment, only to quickly snap out of it for her sake.
* In Sharon Creech's ''Literature/WalkTwoMoons'' (Newbery Medal, 1995), this trope is played twice. First time it's subverted because the girl's mother has been dead the whole time, she's just in denial about it. Played straight when her Grandma dies though.
* Gail Carson Levine's ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'' (1997), Ella's mom dies early in the book as a result of not doing what the fairy godmother told her to. But, hey, it's a [[TwiceToldTale take]] on "Literature/{{Cinderella}}"; the mom has to die.
* [[UpToEleven Taken to soul-crushingly depressing levels]] in Karen Hesse's ''Literature/OutOfTheDust'', the 1998 UsefulNotes/NewberyMedal winner. The main character's mother's body is [[BodyHorror disfigured]] in a horrific freak accident, she later dies while [[DeathByChildbirth giving birth to a baby boy]], and, to put the icing on the cake, the whole mess could've been avoided if the protagonist hadn't been in the wrong place at the wrong time. [[EarnYourHappyEnding She gets better]].
* Subverted in Sharon Creech's ''The Wanderer'' (Newbery Honor, 2000). Sophie and her family are sailing from USA to England to see Sophie's grandfather Bompie, whose health deteriorates as they sail. Seems that they are going to arrive just before or after his death... but ultimately he starts to feel better and they spend time together and go back.
** Played with in relation to Sophie's biological parents - they were missing from the beginning, but only in the end do we learn how they died, and Sophie finally realises, and accepts, the fact they are dead.
* Joan Bauer's ''Literature/HopeWasHere'' (Newbery Honor, 2001). The protagonist's father figure is dying of leukemia throughout the book.
* Averted with ''Because of Winn-Dixie'' (Newbery Honor, 2001). The dog goes missing at the end but does come back. The protagonist is on a quest for maturity and a major theme is accepting the sadness in your life and moving on, but nobody dies within the book. Two deaths that ''would'' fit the trope happen before the book even begins.
* Linda Sue Park's ''A Single Shard'' (Newbery Medal, 2002): "Wherever you are on your journey, Crane-Man, [[BittersweetEnding I hope you are walking on two good legs]]."
* ''A Corner of the Universe'' (Newbery Honor, 2003) by Ann M. Martin, where the heroine meets a [[LongLostUncleAesop long-lost uncle]] she didn't know she had and they become great friends. Unfortunately, he has a learning disability and is mentally ill, and commits suicide at the end. Wasn't that cheery, boys and girls?
* ''Literature/KiraKira'' by Cynthia Kadohata (2005). Katie and her sister Lynn move to 1950s Georgia. While Katie struggles with being the only Japanese-American in her classes, Lynn seems to be becoming more popular. Eventually, Lynn gets lymphoma and dies, and teaches Katie that one should never lose hope.
* ''Savvy'' (Newbery Honor, 2008). Mibs's father does not die after entering his coma, but he wakes up with amnesia and severe paralysis, making him effectively "dead" despite still technically being alive and still with the family.
* ''Literature/TheUnderneath'' (Newbery Honor, 2008). The calico cat drowns in the river when Gar-Face tosses her into it.
%%* ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'', Creator/NeilGaiman's 2009 Newbery Medal winner, is an interesting case. It does kill off the [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolf]] character, but in spite of a climactic set-piece or two it focuses on the very long process of maturation, beginning with childhood. It's not death that changes the main character, with all but one of his loved ones consisting of a [[FriendlyNeighbourhoodVampire vampire]] and many ghosts; it's life.
* Rebecca Stead's ''Literature/WhenYouReachMe'' (Newbery winner, 2010). Miranda slowly becomes friends with sometime bully Marcus. At the end of the book she discovers that an older version of Marcus has traveled through time to die for another child.
%%* Subverted with ''Moon Over Manifest'' (2011). The character Ned in the gypsy Miss Sadie's stories dies in battle during World War I. [[HeroicBSOD Abilene Tucker is shattered by this]], believing Ned was her father. This turns out not to be the case, and her father is still living, and his name in the story was "Jinx". In ''The One and Only Ivan'' (2013), by Creator/KAApplegate, the aunt of the elephant on the cover dies.
* Kwame Alexander's ''The Crossover'': the twin protagonists' father dies of a heart attack. (Newbery winner, 2015)
* Originally averted in ''Literature/MySideOfTheMountain'' (Newbery Honor, 1960), where Frightful the Falcon survives to have three sequels focusing on her, but played straight in the FilmOfTheBook, where she gets shot at the end.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/AnohanaTheFlowerWeSawThatDay'': If there was a Newbery medal for anime, this would win one hands down. It's a sort of double-subversion layer cake with played-straight icing in the middle. The doomed character is a CuteGhostGirl named Meiko "Menma" Honma who died years ago, but she still manages to "die" at the end by going to Heaven after finishing her GhostlyGoals, in the most tragic possible way; and her literal death in the backstory turns out to be a total Newbery Medal death in itself (at what would have been the climax of a PuppyLove-like LoveTriangle plot in a SliceOfLife series, poor Menma falls into a river and drowns, and her death totally changes her friends and family's dynamics).
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'' is ultimately the over-the-top tale of an abandoned, friendless teenage girl growing-up and finding her place in the world with the help of her sentient, vampiric Sailor Fuku who dramatically gives up his life for her with final words that make the coming of age theme of the story more than evident.
* ''Anime/GargantiaOnTheVerdurousPlanet'' is what happens when Creator/GenUrobuchi et al. try to write something that can be presented to the Newbery committee. This anime is a lot of things, but ultimately it's about a boy growing up and finding a place in the society. Oh, and his RobotBuddy dies in the end.
* By the end of chapter 14 of the SliceOfLife manga ''Manga/{{Solanin}}'', Meiko’s boyfriend Taneda has suffered a head injury in a scooter accident. By chapter 16, he has already been buried. The cover of the first volume of the German edition shows a peaceful-looking face. When you look for that image in the manga it turns out to be Taneda while he is dying.
* This trope takes place in ''Anime/KujiraNoJosephina'', with a whole episode dedicated to Josephina helping Santi to deal with the death of his beloved grandmother. And by the end of the series, Santi himself is stepping into adolescence, FirstLove included, and ''Josephina'' is the one who must go. [[spoiler: Though it's implied that she might stay around as the ImaginaryFriend of Santi's little sister.]]
* Played with in ''Anime/DaisukiBuBuChaCha''- the titular Chacha dies while saving his owner's preschooler from an oncoming car. Then gets reincarnated into a toy car. And that was the start of the show.

* ''Film/MarleyAndMe''. Within a week or so of the movie's release, [[ItWasHisSled everyone knew the ending was this]].
* ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'' suffered from this after his mother got shot.
* ''Film/{{K-9}}'' subverts the trope: Dooley delivers an emotional soliloquy to what he assumes is Jerry's corpse, only to be told that patients aren't allowed in the recovery room.
* The French-Canadian film ''La Guerre des Tuques'' (of the Film/TalesForAll series) took its English title, ''The Dog who Stopped the War'' from the ending of the movie. Of course the dog ends the (snowball) war by dying. Poor girl has a snow fort collapse on her. No Newbery (obviously), but several awards and nominations anyway, and an acclaimed and beloved classic to this day in Quebec, to the point where it was remade in 2016 as an animated film under the new English name ''Snowtime''.
* ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104739/ Little Heroes]]''. Not only does the dog die but it dies in a [[DiabolusExMachina random way]] when he eats poisoned bait meant to kill a fox that is a nuisance to the local chicken farmers.
* ''Film/WhatsEatingGilbertGrape''. At the beginning of the film it's established that Gilbert's younger mentally-impaired brother Arnie was expected to die as a young child and still "could go at any time": viewers familiar with the trope would naturally assume that Arnie would die near the end of the movie. It turns out he lives -- their morbidly-obese mother is the one who dies.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven''. Once again, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin just read that title]].
* Thomas Sennett (Macaulay Culkin) in ''Film/MyGirl'' (1991). Which, by the way, has a [[RecycledPlot remarkably similar plot]] to the above-noted ''Literature/ATasteOfBlackberries''.
%%* Trevor getting killed by the bullies at the end of ''Film/PayItForward'' arguably counts as this.
* ''Film/MyDogSkip'' looks like it's heading this way (twice, if you also count the initial possibility that Skip will starve to death in the crypt he got trapped in) but subverts it with a DisneyDeath. Skip does eventually die of old age at the very end of the movie, but it's more of a footnote than anything else; his owner has grown up and moved an entire ocean away by that point.
* Pretty much everyone who sees ''Film/OldYeller'' these days knows how it's going to end for the title dog.
* ''Ring of Bright Water'': most of the film about a guy and his adorable pet otter. Then a ditchdigger randomly murders it with a spade. And it's BasedOnATrueStory, too.
* The film adaptation ''Paperhouse'' of Catherine Storr's ''Marianne Dreams'', in which the main character never meets the best friend who dies thanks to the action taking place in [=DreamLand=]. (The novel averts the trope: both the main character and her best friend survive.)
* ''Film/TheOddLifeOfTimothyGreen'', about an infertile couple who write down what they would like their child to be like on little paper slips, lock them in a box and bury it in their backyard. After a thunderstorm, a little boy named Timothy "grows" from the box, and the couple instantly adopts him. They prove to be bad parents, but Timothy gradually teaches them lasting lessons. As each of the requests from the paper slips are fulfilled, the leaves growing on Timothy's legs fall off one by one, and when they're all gone, [[BittersweetEnding he "dies" having done what he set out to do, and the couple then finds themselves model parents to a new adopted kid.]]
* In ''Film/AGirlNamedSooner'', the titular character - a mountain child - is taken in by a childless couple in town. She has a pet bird who meets its sad demise when Sooner and other neighborhood kids attempt to encourage the bird to fly.
* In ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'', a film that was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2015, Bing Bong, the {{imaginary friend}} of Riley, pulls a HeroicSacrifice during the climax so Joy can reset Riley's emotions and restore her happiness.

%%* ''Bel Ria'' by Sheila Burnford, better known as the author of ''Literature/TheIncredibleJourney'', which was made and remade into films. The dog doesn't die. All its masters do, though.
* Lampshaded in ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid'', where Gregory is told to read ''Literature/CharlottesWeb'', and predicts that either the girl or the pig doesn't make it to the end of the book ([[spoiler: he's wrong--it's the spider]]). He never finds out what happens because he only reads three chapters.
** Earlier, he said that his mom was picking out what she called "classics", the criteria of which being, in his opinion, it has to be more than 50 years old, and some person or animal has to die at the end. While most things he says are untrue and biased, this is the (unfortunately brutal) truth.
* Parodied in Creator/HarlanEllison's post-apocalyptic novel ''A Boy and His Dog'' (Nebula Award for Best Novella, 1969). The titular boy escapes with his new girlfriend to find that, in his absence, his telepathic, erudite dog has been beaten nearly to death. His girlfriend, who's kind of a jerk, makes clear that he can either save the dog, or save her. Cut to the next scene, with the dog's injuries wrapped in the girl's dress, both of them complaining about how full they are, and... [[ImAHumanitarian something]]... roasting over the remains of their fire.
* Fred Gipson's ''Literature/OldYeller'' -- but '''not''' its sequel ''Savage Sam'', [[FirstInstallmentWins which far fewer people have probably heard of, let alone read.]] Although it was ''also'' filmed by Disney.
%%* ''Literature/TheBookOfTheDunCow'', relentlessly grim, National Book Award winner/''New York Times'' best children's book of the year
%%* ''A Girl Called Al'' and ''Beat the Turtle Drum'', both by Constance C. Greene.
* Spoofed in ''Literature/NoMoreDeadDogs'' by Creator/GordonKorman, which starts out with the main character writing a book report about "Old Shep, My Pal", a fictional medal-winning book. He notes he knew Old Shep was going to die when he saw the award sticker, and then name-checks ''Literature/OldYeller'', ''Literature/{{Sounder}}'', ''Bristle Face'', and ''Literature/WhereTheRedFernGrows''.
* Inverted in Jack London's ''Literature/TheCallOfTheWild'', where the dog is the protagonist, undergoing a transformation through hardship (and sometimes abuse) from dutiful pet to wild wolf, and when a DiabolusExMachina abruptly kills his loving human master (off-screen), it allows him to make the final jump to fully wild. Not primarily for children.
* Carolyn Meyer's ''Elliot and Win'' has as its climax a (extra-disturbing since the actual act is all that's offscreened) fairly brutal rape of the main character's best friend, who heretofore was a spunky, active, well-developed character.
* ''Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru'' ("Night on the Galactic Railroad") - a novel by Kenji Miyazawa, made into an anime film - although the death doesn't occur at the end of the story, only the reveal of it.
* The pig named Pinky dies in the climax of Robert Newton Peck's ''A Day No Pigs Would Die''. Not an official Newbery Winner either, but the themes present in the other examples are most definitely there.
* Wilson Rawls's ''Literature/WhereTheRedFernGrows'' gives us ''two'' dogs, both of which are dead by the end of the book. The horrible wounds of the first dog to die and the death of the bully who disembowels himself on his own hatchet are [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence described in graphic detail]].
* ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows}}'' included one death that J.K. Rowling has acknowledged as being for this purpose, that of Hedwig. Readers might see other examples in the preceding three books, ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire}}'' (check Cedric's noble, mournful look on some versions of the cover, and certainly the movie poster), ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix}}'' (being Harry's father figure and friend rolled together makes [[{{Foreshadowing}} Sirius]] a prime GrowingUpSucks death), and ''Literature/{{Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince}}'' (Dumbledore finally gets a cover! Oh.)
** In ''Deathly Hallows'' [[BadassAdorable Dobby]] [[HeroicSacrifice especially falls into this.]]
** Sirius gets extra points for being able to turn into a dog, therefore pretty much counts as both a dead father figure ''and'' pet.
* Most of the latter half of Felix Salten's ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'', starting when Bambi loses his mother, is one long series of Deaths by Newbery Medal. Particularly Gobo, the deer who was rescued and raised to adulthood by Man; he assumes all humans are his friends and dies horribly for it. Unsurprisingly, the Disney version [[AdaptedOut adapts him out]] and makes Bambi's mother the only major character who dies.
* Viciously and repeatedly mocked in Brandon Sanderson's ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries''. Sanderson himself has gone on record as saying that as a kid, he hated reading because of books living up to this trope, until he found fantasy novels.
* Anthony Simmons's novel ''The Optimists of Nine Elms'' (adapted into a film starring Peter Sellers) is an interesting variation. The old busker Sam's dog, Bella, indeed dies, but it's not a shock to the kids who befriend them or the reader. Sam knows and accepts this will happen sooner or later. The climax of the novel is not Bella's death, but the children managing to bury her in Hyde Park's little dog cemetery to fulfill Sam's wish that she be laid to rest there. The kids accomplishing Bella's burial--and leaving their own dog with Sam--is actually a [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet triumph]] for [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism idealism]].
* Theodore Taylor's ''The Cay'' features a MagicalNegro who cares for a racist blind boy while they live stranded on a tropical island, then dies in a hurricane. The book has become a classic and received a number of awards, though not an actual Newbery.
* Bill Wallace's ''A Dog Called Kitty''. The dog actually survives being mauled by wolves and makes a full recovery, only to be crushed under a falling truckload of drill pipe.
* James Hurst's short story "The Scarlet Ibis", but with a physically disabled little brother.
* ''Each Little Bird That Sings'' by Deborah Wiles. Slice-of-life story? Check. Dog featured on cover? Check. Award winner (not Newbery, but you get the picture)? Check. Does the dog get killed off? Oh yeah. Does the main character turn angsty and {{Jerk Ass}}y over the dog's death? Surprisingly, no - that happened earlier in the novel, but it continued for a while after the dog died. Three out of four isn't bad, though.
* ''Literature/GoodnightMisterTom'' won half a dozen awards; the protagonist's baby sister dies of starvation in his arms, and his best friend is killed in an air raid.
* ''Literature/StoneFox'', a critically acclaimed children's book about a boy and his dog, Searchlight, entering a sled race to save his ailing grandfather's farm. At the end, Searchlight dies during a race when her heart gives out.
* Roger, the heroine's best friend, dies in the first book of ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials''. It's especially gut-wrenching because Lyra, the heroine, spent most of the novel trying to find a way to save him, and then she ended up causing his death unintentionally (to make things even worse, she leads him right into it, and at the hands of her own father. "Bringing him what he needs", indeed.).
* David, the heroine's brother, in Cherie Bennett's ''Searching for David's Heart''. For extra angst points, she blames herself for his death.
%%* ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears Lose a Friend'' deals with the loss of a pet goldfish.
* ''Jock of the Bushveld''. Jock winds up getting shot by accident, because people were on the lookout for a chicken-stealing dog. Jock, having killed the actual culprit, returns to the farm and gets shot in a case of mistaken identity.
* ''Literature/{{Mick Harte Was Here}}'' is a well-done example that shows how the narrator Phoebe and her family deal with the loss of her brother. It won the William Allen White Children's Book Award.
%%* ''Hurt Go Happy'': Poor, poor Sukari.
%%* The titular ''[[Literature/TheSnowman Snowman]]''.
* The ''Literature/GreenSkyTrilogy'' played this one straight by giving TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth Raamo a DisneyVillainDeath. Snyder realized (after being swamped with mail) that the SenselessSacrifice was a bad idea, but couldn't go back and change it...But then she got approached by some video game designers, and made what was probably the first {{Canon}} video game sequel to a book, having the player take on the role of one of Raamo's TrueCompanions to save him.
** Snyder's earlier book ''The Changeling'' seems to be heading in this direction, to the point that some readers still think Ivy dies toward the end. Snyder settled for [[PutOnABus sending her to a New York ballet school]].
* The title character in ''Literature/FreakTheMighty'' has Morquio Syndrome -- or, as one character puts it, he died because his heart was too big for his body.
* E. Veltistov's ''A Gulp of Sun'' pulls this off brilliantly. We '''do''' know from the beginning that somebody was killed by the cloud, but we assume this is Singaevski, the other pilot. However in the end he ends up OnlyMostlyDead and Ryzh, the younger brother of hero's LoveInterest and a very close friend of the protagonist dies instead.
* Carlos Ruiz Zafón's ''Literature/{{Marina}}'' is one of the most heartwrenching examples on Spanish modern literature. Despite the book is quite dark and depressing, you probably never figure what is going with Marina until the very end, when she is revealed to have the same illness which killed her mother. After the entire adventure, she dies and the protagonist loses the only light in his life.
%%* Of the books in the Literature/{{Redwall}} series, ''Martin the Warrior'' is generally held as the best, and the most tragic. Martin's true love Rose is [[DroppedABridgeOnHim senselessly killed]] at the end. Also note that as this was a prequel, it was pretty much [[ForegoneConclusion guaranteed]] to have a DownerEnding.
%%* To the nameless narrators in ''Literature/TheVirginSuicides'', the events are this and shown to be never overcome.
* All books by Creator/FrancesHardinge are so dark, they are one step from being BlackMetal songs. Don't expect any of them to end with ''just'' a death.
* ''The Yearling'' - young boy on a farm, emotionally distant parent, adorable pet deer...you know where this is going. Pulitzer-prize winner.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The famous episode of ''Series/SesameStreet'' where Big Bird learns that Mr. Hooper has died. [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim The actor had actually died]] and the writers decided to address the topic directly.
* Another Creator/JimHenson-related example is the ''Series/FraggleRock'' episode "Gone But Not Forgotten," in which Wembley meets and befriends a rare "mudbunny," Mudwell, just as the latter reaches the end of his short lifespan. [[HarsherInHindsight It's since become more depressing to watch]] due to the death of Mudwell's puppeteer, Richard Hunt, from AIDS-related complications in 1992.
* In ''Series/VeranoAzul'', the death of [[spoiler: CoolOldGuy Chanquete]] happens almost to the end of the series and ''completely'' [[WhamEpisode changes the mood of the following episodes.]] And since the series itself is a ComingOfAgeStory for the young protagonists, well, here it is.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in a {{ComicStrip/Dilbert}} Sunday strip. According to [[GenreSavvy Dogbert]], if a movie is said by reviewers to have "powerful performances", then...
-->'''Dogbert:''' It's a [[TearJerker downer]]. Somebody probably [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth gets a disease]] and [[SavingTheOrphanage loses the farm]].
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' has an early storyline where Calvin finds a wounded baby raccoon. His parents put in a box with a blanket and food in hopes of helping it, but it dies by the next morning. Calvin is left to come to terms with its death. According to its cartoonist Bill Watterson, this storyline was based on his wife finding a dead kitten. He also said that [[GrowingTheBeard this story was the moment where he felt his strip was ready to handle more emotionally heavy topics]].
* ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse''- one of the story arcs had the family dog, Farley, dying while saving the life of the then-infant April.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Rule of Rose}}'', your loyal dog Brown is the object of the Princess of the Red Rose's jealous tyranny.
* Despite being predicted by several fans and even lampshaded by the developers themselves, Riley, your dog companion in ''VideoGame/{{Call of Duty Ghosts}}'', averts this trope narrowly. Riley is injured by enemy gunfire and evacuated by helicopter, but he ends up just fine by the start of the next mission.
-->'''Hesh:''' Sorry, boy. Your job's done. You're going with Merrick.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' riffs on this trope by insinuating that you develop an emotional attachment to a "companion cube" that you need to carry around to solve a level's puzzle. [=GlaDOS=] tells you that the companion cube does not ''actually'' love you, and ultimately requires you to "euthanize" it at the end of the level. She then chides you for cruelty by being so quick to destroy your only companion. Graffiti from Doug Rattmann includes tearful epitaphs to his own companion cube. This was all added after the designers noticed that testers were reluctant to destroy their cubes. The only reason the cubes were marked as special to begin with was to let players know that they'd need them throughout the level. Ultimately ''Portal 2'' has a callback when at the end of the game, your scorched companion cube is kicked out the test facility door along with you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fable II}}'' has your sister in the beginning of the game and your dog at the end. With the right DLC, you can resurrect your dog.
** Or you can just choose to resurrect your loved ones (which includes your dog) almost ten minutes after the dog dies. It's not like the other choices do anything important.
%%* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' toys with this. During the build-up to the #3 battle, It ''looks'' like they're going to kill Jeane, Travis's kitten, just to make the fight personal, but instead it's Travis's gym trainer, Thunder Ryu, who dies and Jeane walks back home without a scratch.
%%** And Thunder Ryu goes back to running his gym as a ghost-like nothing even happened.
%%* This is the favored theory when Team Ico (creators of ''VideoGame/{{Ico}}'' and ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'') announced "The Last Guardian". To sum up - either the boy will die, or the baby gryphon dies. ''At least'' one of the two will occur.
* ''VideoGame/HauntingGround'': Hewie - a white German Shepherd dog - is introduced early on, immediately comes to Fiona's aid after she frees him, and continues to act as her sole companion and protector for the game. Mid-way through the game, he will run off into the forest to tackle a Stalker, and gets shot. If you didn't treat him well enough, he dies and you get a BadEnd.
%%* ''VisualNovel/{{Planetarian}}'', by Creator/KeyVisualArts. The death of Reverie, the robot girl at the end is an incredible, if predictable, TearJerker.
* ''VideoGame/BrothersATaleOfTwoSons'' is arguably one of these- though the person who dies isn't frail, they are the protagonist's (one of them, anyway) faithful companion, and their death both teaches him a valuable lesson and launches him on the path to adulthood. It ''feels'' like it's this trope.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Mother3}} MOTHER 3]]'' has Lucas getting more mature after he recovers from his mom Hinawa's death, and this ''again'' happens when his brother, Claus, commits suicide.
* In ''VideoGame/OriAndTheBlindForest'''s prologue, Naru, Ori's adoptive mother, dies of starvation following the blinding and decay of the forest, though she is brought BackFromTheDead near the end of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hiveswap}}'', protagonist Joey Claire's in-game narrative refers to this trope directly when interacting with the books on her shelf in the first room of the game. She uses the medal as a warning for which books to get and not get as [[FriendToAllLivingThings she]] ''loathes'' this trope.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied, along with other OscarBait-related tropes, with "Oscar Gold" in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''
** Brian's death in another Creator/SethMacFarlane show, ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', specifically the episode "Life of Brian", this time plays the trope straight.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode titled "Squeaky," in which Smurfette finds and befriends a sick mouse. With the help of Papa Smurf, the mouse is nursed back to health, but dies later after being in a house fire.
* The story arc of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' when Buckley died was not nearly as touching as the episode in which his angel comes back to help Luanne get over her loss and advise her to go to college. Especially touching is the last scene before the credits when he is shown from behind walking down the street and pulls a halo from his pocket he didn't have before; the music packs an especially powerful punch.
%%* The 1980s cartoon of ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' did this with their new cat, Cookie Chomper III, Within the last 5 minutes of the episode, Cookie Chomper dies in an accident. Don't worry, they get a new puppy at the ending.
%%* The ''WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost'' short ''WesternAnimation/TheresGoodBoosTonight''.
%%* The ''Literature/CharlieAndLola'' episode "I Will Not Ever Never Forget You Nibbles" deals with Charlie helping Lola come to terms with the death of her pet mouse.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS4E7JurassicBark Jurassic Bark]]" - Fry finds the fossil of his dog, and the rest of the episode chronicles Fry dealing with the angst from the death of his dog, and his eventually letting it go in the end. The end of the episode makes this tragic by showing the dog spent the rest of its natural life waiting for Fry to come back, but this was retconned even later into showing Seymour did live and die happily with a time-paradox clone of Fry that was accidentally created by an unrelated incident.
%%* The ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Yesteryear" ends with young Spock's pet mortally wounded, and he had to choose between letting it live a while longer in pain or [[MercyKill ending its life]]. Of all the ST:TAS episodes, this one comes the closest to being accepted as {{Canon}} by fans and officialdom alike.
* The ''Literature/HaroldAndThePurpleCrayon'' AnimatedAdaptation series episode "I Remember Goldie", which was about Harold's goldfish, Goldie, dying, and Harold coming to terms with her death.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'' episode "Audie and Tweak" involves the heroes going to a [[IntelligenceEqualsIsolation socially isolated supergenius]] named Audie who has developed organic microchips that he uses in his robot buddy, Tweak - who also happens to be his ONLY friend. By the end of the episode, Tweak is fatally damaged; due to his unique construction from organic microchips, he cannot be repaired or rebuilt. The death of his robot, however, leads to [[BittersweetEnding Audie gaining real live friends]].
* The ''{{WesternAnimation/Rugrats}}'' episode, "I Remember Melville". Chuckie has a pillbug named Melville which he takes in as a pet and as a friend. However, after only a few minutes in, he unexpectedly dies and it is here where Chuckie and the rest of the babies go through the process and concept of death.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Sixteen}}'' episode "Fish and Make Up", Jude's pet fish [[ADogNamedDog (named Fish)]] dies at the end of the episode due to improper (yet well-meaning) care from his owner. Jude is quite broken up about it, and when Jen arranges a funeral, the main cast comes to term with Fish's death. By the way, this was the episode that got the show its first award nomination.
* Invoked ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Thursdays with Abie". Grampa makes friends with an aspiring author, who writes a biography about his life. Later, Homer goes through the author's office and finds a UsefulNotes/PulitzerPrize application form and a draft of the book's final chapter saying that Abe died peacefully in his sleep, making him realize that he is plotting to kill Grampa for the sake of getting the award.
* Subverted in Creator/GoldenFilms' ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xod98kh1fck Little Angels: The Brightest Christmas]]'', where a truck bears down on Daniel and his dog Scout on a highway while they are trying to find their way home, and despite the Angels' efforts to steer it out of the way, Scout is struck and killed by the truck, but the Angels [[DisneyDeath resurrect him shortly after]].