[[quoteright:203:[[LoneWolfAndCub http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/disposablewoman.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:203:His wife only appears in this chapter.]]

->''"Needless violence against a woman character who is only significant as an object of a male character's desire? Hot damn, I'm a real comic writer now!"''
-->-- '''[[Webcomic/EightBitTheater Brian Clevinger]]''', on [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2009/01/31/episode-1089-special-delivery/ this comic]]

A female character, typically the wife, sweetheart or occasionally the mother or daughter of the protagonist, who is present in the story ''just so that'' she can be either kidnapped by the bad guys, thus [[DistressBall becoming]] a DistressedDamsel, or [[FriendlyTarget find herself]] StuffedIntoTheFridge, [[CrusadingWidower giving the protagonist]] a [[ItsPersonal pretext]] for {{Revenge}}. In a series, she can be frighteningly easily [[ForgottenFallenFriend forgotten]] or [[GirlOfTheWeek replaced]] once her value as a plot device has expired, if she has been previously developed at all. If instead of being conveniently forgotten one or more characters continues to mourn her or think about her, if she appears in ongoing flashbacks or dream sequences, she is not a DisposableWoman, she is a [[TheLostLenore Lost Lenore]] (see below).

This trope is closely related to TheLostLenore. The key difference is that a [[TheLostLenore Lost Lenore]] continues to have a recognised impact on the characters and story after her demise rather than conveniently vanishing from the minds of characters, audience and creators after having served her function as catalyst.

Compare ILetGwenStacyDie, DoomedHometown, MenAreTheExpendableGender, and ForgottenFallenFriend.

Contrast DisposableSexWorker and DisposableVagrant, where what makes them disposable is the expectation that ''no-one'' will miss them.

When it happens to male characters, it's often {{Retirony}} (the hero cop losing his partner, etc.). Literal {{Gender Flip}}s do exist (ie a man who is killed off to start a woman's search for {{Revenge}}) but are seldom seen. Tragic death of other family members may need [[ParentalAbandonment another trope]]. Even if they somehow survive one movie, there's still SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome. If this happens often enough with love interests, it can become a CartwrightCurse.

Not to be confused with DisposableLoveInterest, a character who is there for a TokenRomance and gets written out with little explanation so a fresh one can happen in the sequel. Related to TemporaryLoveInterest, where a character has a serious relationship with a short-lived character who is then inevitably written out to preserve the status quo.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* ''Manga/DeathNote'': Once Sayu is done serving as a motivation for Light and Soichirou, she gets all of one panel of credit for the rest of the series. [[spoiler: She doesn't die, though she does suffer from a crippling case of PTSD.]]
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' did this rather (in)famously with the "Astray Girls".
** Done even more infamously with the Shrike Team (and several others) in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]''. YoshiyukiTomino had pretty much [[CreatorBreakdown hit the bottom of the barrel of his depression]], and ''it shows''.
* ''MazingerZ'': Rumi. She was a maid Dr. Kabuto hired to take care of his orphaned grandsons while he was building [[HumongousMecha Mazinger Z]]. She was cold-bloodly murdered by [[TheDragon Baron]] [[TwoFaced Ashura]] less than five minutes after her first appearance in the first episode. Kouji and Shiro cried when they found the corpse, but she was not mentioned again. A number of adaptations (like ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' or ''Anime/ShinMazinger'') remove the character, flat out.
* ''Manga/BlackCat'''s Saya, who, being Train's first real friend, gives Train the reason to want to kill Creed.
** It is implied that she was also the reason he left Chronos in the first place.
* Azami from ''LoneWolfAndCub'', the hero's wife. The flashback chapter where we see her death is her sole appearance in the entire manga.
* Kanan from ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'' only showed herself a few brief moments in flashbacks within the series but constantly plays a part to represent Hakkai, hearing him constantly bring up the subject of her whenever referring to his past.
* Subverted in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' with [[spoiler: Lelouch's mother Marianne. It looks like her death will be nothing more than a pretext for Lelouch to get revenge on his father, but really she's using another character as her SoulJar and [[EvilPlan has been cooperating with his father from the start!]]]]
* Both played straight and subverted in ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', with regards to Kenshin and [[spoiler: Enishi. In Kenshin's case, while Tomoe's kidnapping does ''indeed'' give Kenshin cause to explode into a killing spree-turned-suicide mission to rescue her, the time he spent with her does have far-reaching consequences: it is the happiness that he found in the little things in the life he shared with her that partly influenced him to [[ThouShaltNotKill vow never to kill again]] after the war. Played straight with Enishi--his sole purpose in life is to punish Kenshin for making his sister miserable, and then killing her.]]
* Early in the ''GunsmithCats'' manga, one of Rally's bounties takes a girl hostage. The next time we see her, she has just been raped and is then unceremoniously murdered. After taking the bounty down, nothing more is said.
* Sys, Guts's adopted mother from ''{{Berserk}}'', was the only other person who truly loved Guts, aside from [[LoveInterest Casca]]. However, her only real purpose in the story was to show how much [[AbusiveParents Guts's adopted father]], Gambino, despised Guts for supposedly [[YouShouldHaveDiedInstead being the cause of her death]], and so she is only presented for a few panels until [[spoiler: she died of the plague when Guts is three, and is only mentioned thereafter by Gambino right before Guts [[SelfMadeOrphan killed him in self defense]].]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Comic books are rife particularly in [[TheDarkAgeofComicBooks The Dark Age of Comic Books]] with such characters, especially in the [[SuperHeroOrigin backstories]] of several characters from 1982 to present. It could even be called ''The Women In Refrigerators Age of Comic Books'':
* Although she wasn't created to be this many people have argued that Gwen Stacy basically became this trope that she had regressed so much as a character there was nothing to do with her but kill her.
** [[AntMan Henry Pym's]] first wife, a Hungarian émigrée who was kidnapped and murdered by Soviet agents.
** Also from the 1960s a male example: Bennett Brant, Betty's lawyer brother, was introduced and killed in ''Amazing Spider-Man'' #11 so that Betty could blame Spider-Man for his death and thus throw a spanner in the works of her romance with Spidey's alter ego Peter Parker. Bennett practically never was mentioned or made an appearance again after that subplot ended, and if it was it was to work out the ContinuitySnarl that developed when Marvel decided that Betty must be around Peter's age. If Bennett behaved as if he was Betty's younger brother, how could he be an attorney when Peter was still in high school?
** Ron Marz wrote a letter to the WomenInRefrigerators website, attempting to justify the event he wrote that gave WIR its name. He actually tried to use the fact that Kyle Rayner's girlfriend was meant to be the DisposableWoman from the beginning as an excuse!
* Goldie in ''SinCity: The Hard Goodbye'' exists to be murdered and start Marv's RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* One variation of this trope may be wolfman (or foxman with somewhat wolflike appearance) Mokoshan from ''Comicbook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures''. He was introduced in the last regular story arc, where one of the major characters, Ninjara left the cast to join him and his tribe. Eventually the latter received her own, short-lived spin-off (unfinished due to the real life issues of the artist at time), where Mokoshan had been murdered and Ninjara was seeking for revenge against the killers while trying to take care of her and Mokoshan's daughter. It can be debated, whether Mokoshan was deliberately introduced only to be killed off.
** Not to mention that this is [[HerHeartWillGoOn only one of the tropes]] applying to this situation.
* Peter Rasputin ([[ComicBook/XMen Colossus]]) broke up with Kitty Pryde because of Zsaji, a Disposable Woman he met in the ComicBook/SecretWars planet and fell hopelessly in love with despite not even speaking her language. Karma then came and kicked his ass in the form of the Juggernaut. Afterwards, Wolverine lectured him on not letting Kitty Pryde down gently.
* Taiyan, in the ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' back-up series ''Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer''.
* In a storyline of ''SheHulk'' volume two, a normal couple gets caught up in matters involving a hostile space alien far from civilisation. The wife gets killed so that after being rescued the husband can get falsely accused of murdering her (because "space aliens killed my wife, and She-Hulk saved me" didn't convince people).
* Caiera, from ''PlanetHulk'', the titular "hero"'s wife. Apparently she was introduced mainly to get killed to make the Hulk angry enough to kick off the bigger crossover-event ''World War Hulk''. Further cementing the "plot device in favour of male characters" status: [[spoiler:Later it turned out that her supernatural abilities did save her only just conceived sons.]]
* Narrowly averted in the original [[ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel G.I. Joe]] comic. TheBaroness was originally intended to be a comics-only secondary character who would go on to sacrifice her life to save Destro, which would in turn give Destro an excuse to go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the Joes (who were innocent). Her popularity proved to be too strong, and she ended up surviving the fatal explosion and going on to become a mainstay of the franchise in every incarnation (as well as a trope namer!). Played dismally straight many years later though with [[spoiler:Lady Jaye]], whose death would give [[spoiler:Flint]] his excuse to go on his own Roaring Rampage against the Red Shadows.
* [[spoiler: The [[NoNameGiven unamed]] Vietnamese woman]] in ComicBook/{{Watchmen}} only exists to show us how much of a {{Jerkass}} the Comedian is and how much Dr. Manhattan is detached from other people.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''Fanfic/BoysDoTankary'', Nyra is thought to be this. She was Vincent's sister, and, due to a series of events, they ended up on opposite sides during a war. He refused to kill her when she was captured, so the two of them were imprisoned until one would kill the other. He was forced to give in, but promised her that he would find someone and protect her until the end of their days. He even ends up with [[Anime/GirlsUndPanzer Saori]], who looks almost exactly like Nyra. [[spoiler:This is arguably subverted when it turns out Nyra is alive]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

* The hero's wife in the martial arts thriller ''Firepower'' is present just so that the hero can be enraged when the baddies kill her. As if killing his partner was not enough.
* Jocelyn Brando's character in ''Film/TheBigHeat'' is one of these, offed just to make sure her cop husband is extra-motivated to take down the mob.
* The family, friends and love-interests of Charles Bronson's character in the ''Film/DeathWish'' series of movies serve this purpose, and this purpose alone. It starts relatively realistic, showing him to become physically ill after killing his first man. By the later movies, however, he seems to [[AxeCrazy positively delight]] in finding creative ways to rid the world of scumbags.
* The Jet Li vehicle ''Film/TheOne'' spends quite a bit of time building up the relationship between Li's heroic character and his wife, just to let everyone watching know with absolute certainty what her fate will be. This fate is the hero's entire motivation to face off against Li's villainous incarnation. Once the original guy catches his evil counterpart and sends him to jail, the authorities reward the original by dumping him into a reality where the first person he meets is an alt-version of his wife.
* Murron in ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', whose [[KillTheCutie gratuitous scene of execution]] by the king's men (her crime was fighting back ''against her rape'', I might add) was there solely for William Wallace to start his rebellion. Also qualifies as a [[TheLostLenore Lost Lenore]], since he brings her up frequently through the rest of the film.
* Judy Davis' character in ''BartonFink'' shows up to sleep with the main character and is then murdered in his bed. Barton is able to dispose of the body without anyone noticing, and Davis is never mentioned again in the movie.
* [[GenderFlip Gender flipped]] in ''Film/TheBraveOne''.
* Marla [=McGivers=] is given this role in ''Film/{{Star Trek II|The Wrath of Khan}}''. This served the double purpose of giving Khan a [[ItsPersonal motive for vengeance]] against Kirk and eliminating her character. In the original episode she was introduced in she was not there solely to die, but died offscreen and before the action begins in the movies, and to many viewers who may not have seen that episode of TOS Khan's Dead Wife would only be a name and an implication. The meta reason this happened was that Madlyn Rhue was unable to reprise the role [[RealLifeWritesThePlot due due to her suffering from multiple sclerosis]]. [[TheOtherDarrin This usually wouldn't stop Star Trek from using a character]] but Nicholas Meyer thought it would be in bad taste to recast a terminally ill actress.
* Goose from ''Film/TopGun'' was this for Maverick, though his character had a bigger role than the other examples here.
** Parodied in the ''Film/TopGun'' spoof ''HotShots!'' with the character whose call sign is "Dead Meat".
* Richard Kimble's wife in ''Film/TheFugitive''.
** Although he likely had some motivation in wanting to clear his own name as well.
* Marian fills this role in ''Film/DantesPeak''. Harry's fiancee is a psychotically involved geologist. She's so gonzo for volcanoes Harry has to practically drag her kicking and screaming to leave the site of the eruption because the ''readings'' are so incredible. As they're driving frantically from the area, volcanic rock is falling from the sky. [[spoiler: One punches through the roof and hits Marian in her head. Harry has to look on in horror as she convulses. He reaches for her and she dies in his arms.]]
* The adoptive mother in ''Film/FourBrothers'', whose murder brings them back to their hometown.
* Another GenderFlip in ''Film/KillBill''- The Bride's fiance Tommy exists only for the titular villain to murder.
* An ongoing trend in ''Film/JamesBond'' films. Beautiful women would appear for two scenes at least, three at most, before dying, usually after being ploughed by Bond and doing something vague. Often the actresses playing these women would receive star billing in the credits (i.e. "And Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole"). Examples include Jill and Tilly Masterson in ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' (StuffedIntoTheFridge?), Plenty O'Toole in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', Rosie Carver in ''Film/LiveAndLetDie'' and Corinne Dufour in ''Film/{{Moonraker}}''.
** Which was [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the second ''AustinPowers'' movie, where Austin's former love-interest explodes within the first five minutes, inspiring less than a minute of grief before Austin takes off to enjoy single life again.
** Della Churchill, loving wife of Felix Leiter, is killed less than twenty minutes into ''Film/LicenceToKill'' and Leiter himself fed to a shark. Bond decides ItsPersonal.
*** And then [[spoiler:Leiter survives and doesn't seem too fazed by the death of wife.]]
** The "New" Bond films have continued this trend. Witness Strawberry Fields in ''Film/QuantumOfSolace.''
*** Bond is appropriately horrified, however. He doesn't sleep with Camille either. Hopefully this realism will continue.
**** Not really. In Film/{{Skyfall}} when Silva kills Severine, Bond doesn't seem to care. His only response is 'That was a waste of perfectly good scotch'. And he slept with her.
** When Roald Dahl was hired to write the screenplay for ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'', he was told that every Bond movie needs three Bond girls: one is pro-Bond and dies; another is anti-Bond but is won over by his charms; and the third, pro-Bond woman is the one he gets to bed at the end of the film. Not every Bond movie has used these exact rules, but Dahl followed the template with Aki, Helga and Kissy ([[AllThereInTheScript unnamed in the movie]]) respectively.
* This is the entire plot of Film/{{Taken}}. The whole reason Kimmy exists is so that she can be kidnapped by a human trafficking ring and, by doing so, give her father a sympathetic excuse to prove what a BadAss he is.
** Also seen with Kimmy's friend Amanda. Her only roles are to encourage Kimmy to go in the first place and [[spoiler: to be found dead by Byran to show how the bad guys are monsters and thus how much more important it is for Bryan to find her ASAP.]]
* Played straight in ''[[Film/TheBourneseries The Bourne Supremacy]]'' with [[spoiler: Jason's girlfriend Marie]].
** If you only consider the second movie, sure, but she was the sidekick for the first movie, so in the series as a whole she wasn't exactly disposable. Nor yet StuffedIntoTheFridge, as [[spoiler: hers was an accidental death]].
* Maximus' wife and kid in Film/{{Gladiator}}: "Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
* [[spoiler:Irene Adler]] tragically becomes this in [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome the second]] ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' film, being killed off in the first few minutes with poison [[VictorianNovelDisease that produces tuberculosis-like symptoms]].
* This seems to be almost ''obligatory'' in origin stories from the 2000s - female characters exist to motivate men by their deaths:
** In the first Craig Bond film, ''Film/CasinoRoyale'', Vesper's purpose in-story is to betray Bond and then be murdered, entrenching his character streak as both a womanizer and a cold-blooded killer; however, she does also have characterization.
** In the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film, Spock's mother (along with his entire planet; but losing his mother seems to hit him harder) is killed off to cause him emotional trauma and contribute to his character development.
** In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', Rachel Dawes' primary plot function is for the Joker to use her death to push Harvey Dent over the edge and deliver a major emotional punch to Bruce Wayne, though she gets some characterization. In ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', Selina Kyle averts this trope, as she does have major character development and is still around at the end of the movie.
** In, ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', Wolverine gets a love interest for the purposes of this trope - bonus points for her dying twice, once for fake and once for real!
** In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', Erik's mother is murdered in front of him for the sole purpose of motivating him, and his search for revenge is a major element in his StartOfDarkness.
*** Although in this case is actually a subversion, as the prologue to ''X-Men'' had already implied that both of Erik's parents died in Auschwitz, so in ''First Class'' his mother, but not his father was upgraded from "Disposable Parent".
* Olga Kurylenko's character in ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' is one of these. She exists in the film solely for the purpose of getting Tom Cruise's character to remember his past and become a hero. She's so disposable that Morgan Freeman (oh right, his character has a name--but face it, he's Morgan Freeman) is willing to leave her to be killed by robots, ''just'' to test whether or not Tom Cruise will decide to save her.
* Gender flipped in ''Film/TankGirl'', when her boyfriend dies in bullet-riddled convulsions during Water & Power's attack. Subverted; as shocked as she appeared at the time, he just as suddenly becomes a ForgottenFallenFriend.
* Sandra Brody in ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}''. She promises young son Ford that they'll work out a way to surprise dad Joe after work. She helps him hang the HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign for Joe before coming out to kiss Joe and wish him happy birthday (he'd forgotten in his concern over the tremors). She then dutifully follows Joe's request that her team go check the reactor. She wisely commands her team out when the tremors begin again, stops to pick up a fallen comrade, and then pulls off her mask when it no longer matters because she won't get out -- just to tearfully say goodbye to the grieving and guilt-wracked husband who sent her down there in the firs place, setting him up for 15 years of obsessive guilt-fueled angst.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

* OlderThanPrint: In the ''Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae'', or "Lives of the Saints of Britain", which predates the 9th century, warfare breaks out when a [[DistressedDamsel lovely maiden]] is kidnapped by King Maelgwn's soldiers. St. Cadog approaches the king and convinces him to repent and recall his army, [[WhatTheHellHero but never asks for the maiden back]], despite her father being an offical in Cadog's church. [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse She is never mentioned again]]. Cadog's own mother was abducted and raped in similar circumstances, [[ChildByRape conceiving him]], and was also never released.
* Back in the '20s, the author 'Sapper' admitted that he'd let BulldogDrummond marry his girlfriend because he thought she'd make a good kidnapping victim for future adventures.
* This is not surprising, given [[ValuesDissonance historical views on women]]): In the Chinese epic ''Literature/OutlawsOfTheMarsh'', aka ''The Water Margin'', the Outlaws want a WorthyOpponent to stay with them. They kill a whole lot of innocent civilians and make it look like he did it. His wife is executed for being married to the presumed criminal. The husband is outraged and prepares to kill the outlaws, who explain that they only did it so he would be outlawed and have to join them. At this he is touched and agrees. They basically say, "Sorry about your missus, but we know lots of women, we'll give you a new one." He accepts.
** They get theirs; the TV version notwithstanding, the heroes win major battles, are invited to the capital; meet the Emperor's court, have all the demands met, are murdered in their beds, villain wins.
* Audra, Bill Denbrough's wife, in ''{{It}}'' has no real importance to the plot except for being kidnapped.
* [[spoiler: Laura Murphy]] in BabylonRising.
* Rachel, {{Magnus}}'s first wife is crucified in his back story, and very little was said about her relationship with him. It pretty much just gives him a motivation to angst.
* Subverted by ''Literature/AmericanGods'' with Laura. It looks like a case of this, but [[spoiler:she comes back to (half)-life and continues to impact the story in important ways.]]
* Also subverted in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'' with Angua, it looks like she had become the disposable girlfriend after [[spoiler:she is shot by ''The Big Bad'', but what with her being a werewolf, she comes back to life at moonrise and is now one of the most important characters in the City Watch Discworld arc.]]
* Sadly, this is the fate of [[spoiler:''Catti-brie'' of all characters]] in her final appearance in the [[TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt novels]]. [[{{Wangst}} Because what Drizzt needs is more angst]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'': Seemingly every episode that introduced a female love interest for the Cartwrights. The girl would invariably harbor a sinister secret or have someone stalking her, with the villain of the week succeeding in his mission to kill the girl.
* ''EarthFinalConflict'' - The wife of the Season 1 hero William Boone. Dies in a car bomb first 10 minutes or so. Spurs the hero to go work for the alien Taelons.
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'': Hercules' wife and family is arguably used this way, although it's used to explain both his sympathy for the common folk and why he stays a ChasteHero for so long despite women throwing themselves on him... that and not wanting to repeat his father's track record for bastards...
** The ''original'' myth, of course, has Hercules ''killing'' his family in a (Hera-induced) rage, which cues off his herculean tasks to make up for it...
* Sam's girlfriend who dies in the first episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' and serves as his motivation from that point on.
** Not to mention Mary, who motivates John and Dean. [[CrusadingWidower Especially John.]]
*** Subverted with Mary, actually. She starts out as this, but what with flashbacks and time travel she later becomes an actual character. Minor, but a character.
*** Jess also recurs. A bit. She's mentioned. And Lucifer impersonates her ''years'' after her death and it gets Sam right in the heart.
** Supernatural has problems with the female fanbase, so its female characters are even more marginal than TV standards dictate. Ellen and Jo were the only recurring women who weren't a) villains and b) prone to switching bodies, and they get blown up just for pathos halfway through season five.
*** Dean's occasional girlfriend Lisa survives! Has her memory wiped and is removed from the story forever, but she does live. Barely. Also Becky the DerangedFangirl. It's not a good series for women, but the writing's generally better than to just throw them away.
*** Best candidate for this to my mind is Sam's one-episode girl Madison, who turns out to be a werewolf and he has to shoot her. Of course, she does come up again in conversation two seasons later.
*** Sam has a problem with female mortality, summarized by Dean as, "Christ, Sammy, have you forgotten the ''average lifespan'' of your hookups?"
*** They also tend not to be human. It's kind of unfair how often Sam gets targeted by supernatural femmes when Dean is such a man-whore half a dozen things could have bitten his head off before he realized they weren't just hot chicks.
* In the film ''Film/{{Stargate}}'', Daniel Jackson ends up with a gorgeous human from another planet for a wife. She's also intelligent and feisty, and affects the plot by rallying her people to drive off the alien overlords. However, in the first episode of the series ''Series/StargateSG1'', she gets captured as a host for the BigBad aliens, setting Daniel's motivation as finding a way to rescue her. But over the course of the series he attracts flocks of alien babes, and in the midst of not refusing their attentions he never seems to remember his wedding vows. To make it worse, when the writers finally remember that he ''has'' a wife waiting for him, they spend ''one whole episode'' detailing how he finds her and she dies. Now that his motivation is gone, does Daniel quit the team? [[TenMinuteRetirement For about five minutes.]]
** She was not an alien. She was a human descended from a group of proto-Egyptians kidnapped thousands of years ago to serve as slaves for Ra. Also, who in their right mind would want to give up an amazing career studying living offshoots of ancient cultures on other planets to go back to a job where EVERY SINGLE PERSON in academia thinks the character is a two-bit hack?
* ''Series/{{Airwolf}}'' featured one of these in the PilotMovie.
* The pilot for ''Series/{{Alias}}'' features a male version.
* Also the pilot for ''Series/{{Fringe}}''.
* And so does the pilot for ''{{Series/Damages}}'', but because of [[HowWeGotHere the peculiar structure of the show]] we get to actually know him before he's definitely dead and gone.
* Male example: Jesse served this purpose for Willow and Xander in the first episode/s of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. He was [[ForgottenFallenFriend promptly forgotten]].
** The potentials in season seven: a collection of young females with limited character development, a number of whom are killed off in brutal ways so that Buffy has something else to angst over. They eventually TakeALevelInBadass.
* This befalls many characters in the ''Series/TwentyFour'' universe (''especially'' towards women who have been married to/dated Jack Bauer):
** Teri Bauer, although her death is alluded to throughout the series, instead of just having impact in that specific season.
** Kim Bauer (for the first three seasons where she's a main character). She's held hostage/against her will no less than ''five'' times. This even extends to the video game, wherein her first day as a CTU analyst involves her being caught by terrorists who've stormed into the building.
** Claudia, Jack's ex-girlfriend who lives in Mexico working for the Salazar brothers. As soon as she, her father and Chase Edmunds make plans to escape the Salazar ranch, her life expectancy is measured in minutes, not episodes. She ends up dying off-screen during their escape.
** Audrey Raines: kidnapped in the ''first episode she appears in''. Rescued several times from perilous situations by Jack until she gets captured and tortured by the Chinese for a year in the sixth season. She's now in an unresponsive coma.
** Renee Walker, whose murder powered Jack on a "revenge" cycle which ended the series in season 8. [Season 8 Renee turned trope, having to be rescued by Jack with her death ultimately a plot device for his cycle of revenge. Season 7, she was one of the few developed female characters in the 24-verse, advertised as a "female Jack" and very strong on her own, with some of the same motivations as the hero].
* Patrick Jane's murdered wife and daughter in ''TheMentalist''.
* In ''Dead To Me'', Tamara shows up on page 1, stumbling drunkenly into Simon's apartment, and is gone three pages later. She shows up a few times more: as ranty answering machine messages and Simon's guilt thereof, and then dead so Simon has something to angst and guilt over.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' did this, but it wasn't played entirely straight. Gibbs is known to be divorced three times; what it takes the cast a while to learn is that [[spoiler:he was married four times. His first wife Shannon and their daughter Kelly were killed after Shannon witnessed a murder.]]
* ''NoOrdinaryFamily'' took all of two episodes to give viewers the death of [[spoiler:Detective Cho]], just after said character should've entered an interesting plotline. Instead, she dies pleading, having [[SarcasmMode learned well]] from the [[ComicBooks source genre]].
* In ''Franchise/KamenRider,'' a recurring feature of the ''Franchise/KamenRider'' franchise is that women who become Riders are doomed to die, [[StuffedInTheFridge usually for cheap drama]]. Examples (and aversions):
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderStronger Stronger]]'': Yuriko[=/=]Tackle, the original Disposable Rider Woman. Not considered a Kamen Rider, which remains something of a sticking point among the fandom.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderAgito Agito]]'': The first Agito was Shouichi's sister, who died pre-series.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderRyuki Ryuki]]'': Miho[=/=]Femme only appears in the movie ''Episode Final'', where she dies quietly after a battle and is subsequently forgotten.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderFaiz Faiz]]'': Several women borrow a Rider Gear (only to be [[CurbStompBattle immediately knocked out of morph]]) but the only woman to have one long-term, the original Delta, operated mostly offscreen, only to die just before what would have been her first onscreen battle. Harsh.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderBlade Blade]]'': Natsumi[=/=]Larc only appears in the movie ''Missing Ace'' and is killed, but in fairness so are her teammates.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderHibiki Hibiki]]'': Shuki is a [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bitch]] and antagonist, so naturally she dies. (Mind you, this was part of the heavy ReTool to make the series - based on a ShotaroIshinomori {{Toku}} story that wasn't intended to be a KR series - in line with what ThePowersThatBe thought a KR series should be like. Neither this nor any of the other changes went over well.) Akira doesn't become a full Oni, but transforms once (we don't see her Rider form well) and survives the series.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderKiva Kiva]]'': Yuri, who uses Ixa a time or three in 1986, dies off-camera but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with being a Rider. Her daughter Megumi, who uses Ixa on two brief occasions in 2008, survives the series and moves on to get married in the ending. Neither is the long-term owner of the Ixa armor; like ''Faiz,'' borrowing it from its true male owners is often [[CurbStompBattle a bad idea]], but this time, there's exceptions: TheMovie (Megumi ''still'' just gets beaten up, but Yuri gets to use it well), and the time the male users defeated Rook but allowed the girls to have the final blow.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderDecade Decade]]'': Natsumi becomes a Rider in the GrandFinale movie and survives the whole series[[note]]Okay, so technically she '''did''' die, well before she became a Rider, but TheHero Tsukasa sacrificed a portion of his life to bring her BackFromTheDead. Fans have joked that she gets to survive because she's already satisfied the death requirement[[/note]]. The series also gives better treatment to some past Riders, allowing Larc ([[OneSteveLimit renamed Haruka]]) to live and upgrading Akira to a full-fledged Rider, Kamen Rider Amaki. Tackle's back, and is ''still'' dead (it's complicated) but she's a much more effective fighter than the original FauxActionGirl.
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderFourze Fourze]]'' actively subverts it. When a movie-only female Rider ''named after Tackle'' arrives, wondering whether she'd survive or not was quite the source of drama; introducing and then killing a female Rider in the movie had happened often, but with ''Decade,'' a female Rider who survives was no longer a contradiction in terms. Will the mysterious Kamen Rider Nadeshiko make it? [[spoiler: No, it's the same old story. She's restored to the primordial ooze she was made from, to be used by the bad guy as a power source and a reason to make the main Rider cry by the plot. Then again, when the main villain is defeated, she survives as pure energy and returns to space.]]
** ''[[Series/KamenRiderWizard Wizard]]'' is the first season that indisputably subverts this trope with Kamen Rider Mage. Not only that, she's given much more development compared to the other two Mages, and established herself as the show's Tertiary Rider.
* In the BBC's retelling of ''Series/RobinHood'', it is Maid Marian - yes '''Maid Marian herself''' who is turned into this after she is stabbed to death by Guy of Gisborne. True to the trope, after a brief RoaringRampageOfRevenge, Robin more or less [[AngstWhatAngst moves on]] and acquires [[ReplacementLoveInterest two new love interests]] in the course of the third season. They try for an AuthorsSavingThrow at the end of the season in which Robin ultimately dies and gets a TogetherInDeath scene with Marian.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' had a bad track record with its woman-shaped plot devices:
** Queen Ygraine, whose death begins Uther's reign of terror against all those who practice magic.
** Freya, whose death provides Merlin with plenty of manpain (and for someone who can fetch Excalibur from the bottom of Lake Avalon).
** Isolde, whose death motivates Arthur to get back with Guinevere.
** Kara, whose death spurs Mordred into turning against Arthur and Camelot.
** Valdis, an elderly witch who is rescued by Arthur, gives him the episode's PlotCoupon in gratitude, and then promptly dies anyway.
** Alice, a non-fatal example, who is Gaius's old girlfriend. She needs Gaius to dispose of the manticore whose thrall she's under and break her out of prison, before she promptly disappears, never to be seen or heard from again.
*** In fact, Ygraine's death prior to the start of the show (which begins the ban on magic) and Kara's death in the penultimate episode of the entire series, (which results in Mordred's FaceHeelTurn) means that the show essentially begins and ends with a woman's PlotTriggeringDeath.
* In ''BeingHuman'', Nicholas Cutler's wife was brutally murdered by Hal to serve as his StartOfDarkness (they'd wanted Cutler to kill her himself [[IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten to prove his devotion to their cause]], but he couldn't do it). Cutler later does the same to Alex, Hal's LoveInterest, only for it to be subverted when she comes back as a ghost and continues to play an active role in the story. The end of the season even heavily hints that she'll be stickin around as one of the new housemates.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Podcasts]]
* Male version: TheLeviathanChronicles introduces Jimmy in episode 2 as Macallan's lab partner and casual romantic interest. By episode 3 he's been StuffedIntoTheFridge and she's framed for his murder, forcing her off the grid and motivating her distrust for other players.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In the MagictheGathering [[CardGames collectible card game]], Mirri the catgirl is portrayed as a [[InformedAbility skilled, experienced warrior]] who has a crush on Gerrard, the main character of the arc. Despite her "skill", Mirri loses [[FauxActionGirl every single fight]] she is in and has to be continually rescued by Gerrard. Eventually this gets tiresome and she sacrifices herself just so he won't have to rescue her again.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* VideoGame/MaxPayne's wife and daughter (TheLostLenore at a push, as he's still guiltily obsessed with her even by the second game, three years later).
** In the third game, DistressedDamsel Fabiana suffers from this, being rescued in the first chapter only to be recaptured in the second and eventually [[StuffedIntoTheFridge fridged]] halfway through the game.
* Eve in ''DeadToRights''. You have to protect her for several scenes including disarming a bomb in the stadium. After she's served her purpose, she receives a [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Bridge Drop]] via being stabbed from behind by one of the villains.
* Madeline Taylor in ''SoldierOfFortune II: Double Helix'', an only slightly important accomplice who you never really get to know before she [[DroppedABridgeOnHim gets a bridge dropped on her head]]. And she's not an ActionGirl either.
* Marian from ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' is rescued from her captors in the end of the first game, only to be [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome killed off at the beginning of the second]]. She's KilledOffForReal in the arcade version (which ends with a ReallyDeadMontage), but the NES version has a RevisedEnding where she gets better.
* Mia Fey begins as this in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney''. Her murder (and her sister being framed for it) are the plot of the second case of the first game. [[SpiritAdvisor Then Maya's channeling abilities kick in]] and she becomes [[BadAss far less disposable]].
** The victim in the very first case of the series, Larry's girlfriend, is a far straighter portrayal.
** Now, all the rampant ParentalAbandonment (our orphans to date are [[spoiler: Maya, Ema, Edgeworth, Kay, and Trucy]]) is another story.
** And Celeste Inpax to Adrian Andrews, which resulted in Adrian [[spoiler: attempting suicide before setting out to get revenge on Matt Engarde.]]
* Women in the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series frequently fall into this trope (if she's not evil, of course, that's [[EvilIsSexy something else]]), but the most blatant is probably Hector's dead fiancee Rosaly from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness'', who doesn't even appear onscreen and is purely motivation for his revenge.
** Especially Wallbanger is his hooking up with Julia, the sister of his wife's murderer. You'd think that sort of thing would dredge up unpleasant memories every now and then.
** Every bit as bad as Rosaly is Elisabetha, whose death gets all of one mention in the intro to ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence'' [[spoiler: and motivated Mathias to become a vampire as his revenge against God for her death.]]
** In Eric Lecarde's bio for ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines'' is his lover being turned into a vampire, serving as his motivation to kick ass. However, like Elisabetha and Rosaly, we don't actually see her and we only know about her because she was [[AllThereInTheManual mentioned in the manual]].
** Soma's SheIsNotMyGirlfriend in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow'', [[StuffedIntoTheFridge whose corpse you find crucified inside a locked room in the castle]] near the end. [[spoiler:It turns out the villains were trying to invoke this trope to let Soma's SuperpoweredEvilSide take over, but it's subverted if you resist it as it turns out the villains couldn't get ahold of the real [=McCoy=] and were using a body double.]]
** Leon Belmont's girlfriend, Sara, does get more screentime than most, [[spoiler:but she just ends up getting turned into a vampire and sacrificing herself to create the Vampire Killer whip.]]
** Richter Belmont's girlfriend, Annette, is an interesting example. It actually is possible to save her, rendering her a mere DistressedDamsel, but she's still quite disposable. The two remakes of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' (counting the SNES version ''Vampire's Kiss'' as a remake) have her become a boss if you don't save her, but it gets absolutely no mention aside from a brief pre-boss cutscene in the most recent one.
** Gabriel Belmont's wife in ''Videogame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'' is dead before the story even begins, and it's revealed that [[spoiler:the BigBad, {{Satan}} intentionally invoked this trope to use Gabriel as an UnwittingPawn. Marie herself even gets in on the act in the form of a ghost, helping Gabriel from the afterlife under the pretext that his quest will resurrect her. She knows it won't, but she knows Gabriel would never undertake this quest (even if it damned the world) if it didn't bring her back.]]
*** Marie reappears in the sequel, ''[[Videogame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2 Lords of Shadow 2]]'' as Gabriel's mental image. Her appearances? [[DistressedDamsel Gets locked up in a cage during a boss fight]], [[UpToEleven where you can suck her dry for extra magic points.]]
* Trask in ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' serves as nothing more than a voice for the tutorial at the start of the game. He [[HeroicSacrifice heroically sacrifices]] himself and aside from one mentioning of his name when facing his killer, is promptly never thought of again.
* ''EveOfExtinction'' has the hero's girlfriend killed and her soul bonded to a morphing weapon. Debate rages as to whether or not this is a vast improvement, though most lean towards yes.
* Lampshaded at the end of ''VideoGame/TheHouseOfTheDeadOverkill'', when the characters start [[ContemplateOurNavels Contemplating Our Navels]]. G notes how the only significant female character ends up as [[spoiler:a BrainInAJar while her body becomes a host for Warden Clement's mother before horribly mutating and becoming the FinalBoss.]]
* Though she was only a TemporaryLoveInterest in ''{{Phantasmagoria}} 2'', [[spoiler:Therese]]'s death brought on (albeit briefly) InelegantBlubbering for Curtis.
* CJ's mom in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas''.
* Kratos' wife and daughter in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. Their deaths do turn out to be crucial to the plot, however, as [[spoiler: Kratos was the one who killed them.]]
* In ''StarOceanTheLastHope'', the unnamed woman from the Black Tribe is introduced as a possible love interest for Faize, appearing in one scene showing heavy subtext between him and her, and later killed senselessly off-screen (which nearly drove him insane). [[spoiler: This became the partial basis for his later FaceHeelTurn]]. It should be noted that he wears the cloak she gave him for the remainder of the game.
* This happens to many of the female characters in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption''. For instance, Bonnie [=MacFarlane=]'s quest chain ends with her getting kidnapped, abused and hanged (before she's rescued by lead character John Marston). [[spoiler:Luisa]] dies in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment after you've finished her quest chain (and rescued her from kidnappers/saved her life many times before), several Mexican peasant girls are implied to have been captured/raped/killed during the course of the story, and one poor bank patron in Blackwater is caught solely for the purpose of getting a bullet between the eyes, courtesy of the game's BigBad. Of course, this is partly because the game is a {{Deconstruction}} of Wild West myths (the hero doesn't always save the damsel-in-distress).
* [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Setzer's]] dead girlfriend Darryl only exists in the story to give him some literal last minute CharacterDevelopment. This is a similar deal with Locke's girlfriend, the mothers of at least five characters, and Cyan's wife and kid.
* ''WoW'' plays this straight at times - the most recent example is Thassarian's mother, who was introduced and killed in the same comic and did little more than beg for her life and provide angst for her son.
* Odessa in ''{{Suikoden}}'', who starts the liberation movement and then [[QuicklyDemotedWoman dies]] because [[StayInTheKitchen she's a woman and too ruled by her maternal instincts to lead an army]]; mainly this is to give Flik something to angst about, and she's mostly forgotten after the first quarter of the game. (Though Flik's sword is named after her, in traditional Warrior's Village fashion).
* The ultimate motivation of the title character in ''Videogame/AsurasWrath'' is essentially this trope, mixed with rescuing a DamselInDistress in the form of a daughter.
* The maids in ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying'' pretty much exist to get killed by Howlers. The male servants seem a bit better at living. The butler survives as well as you do.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Alt-Zoe from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' exists so that Torg can explore how a relationship would go between him and the real Zoe. Of course, being an AlternateUniverse version of a regular character, it's [[UpTheRealRabbitHole somewhat expected she'll be less important than someone from the "real" world]].
* Vaarsuvius from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'''s spouse Inkyrius and two kindergarten-age children are introduced one comic before a dragon crucifies Inkyrius to a tree, breaks the childrens' legs, sets fire to their house, and would have killed and soul bound the children had Vaarsuvius not [[spoiler:acquired Ultimate Arcane Power from the IFCC]]. However, it is unknown whether this is the Disposable ''Woman'' trope, as their [[AmbiguousGender genders are ambiguous]].
** Aversion. Inkyrius survives, recovers, and [[spoiler: divorces Vaarsuvius over the incident.]] There's also the matter of Inkyrius not directly ''appearing'' in the comic, but having been mentioned many, many strips earlier, and Vaarsuvius' family being his reasons for sympathizing with Roy over the matter of his sister.
** Julia more clearly fits into this trope, since she only appears just in time to be kidnapped and to date has yet to be heard of again at all. She was rescued, of course, but she's a non-entity in the plot so far. Though, with Rich Burlew, [[BrickJoke you]] [[ChekhovsGun never]] [[ChekhovsGunman know]].
* Golden Jane from ''EverydayHeroes'' was introduced, and disposed of, solely to motivate her partner's HeelFaceTurn.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' with the character of Jack Flowers, a CaptainErsatz of Jack Bauer from ''Series/TwentyFour''. A flashback montage reveals that each of his ex-lovers were violently killed by his enemies, leading to an overly-dramatic SkywardScream every time.
* The ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' franchise has the ill-fated Tang Shen, whose purpose in the narrative is [[DeathByOriginStory to die]]. The rivalry over her between Hamato Yoshi and another suitor associated with the Foot Clan (usually the Shredder himself), along with her eventual death, is what inevitably starts the conflict between the turtles and the Foot Clan that drives the plot of nearly every series in the franchise.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life Media]]
* [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/opinion/04holmes.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 This New York Times article]] discussing Creator/CharlieSheen's proclivities towards [[WouldHitAGirl violence against women]], [[DomesticAbuser including his girlfriends]] and [[DisposableSexWorker prostitutes]], references this trope by name.
[[/folder]]
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