As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
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Anime & Manga
- Getter Robo:
- It happens to Musashi Tomoe over and over again.
- AND his sucessor, Benkei Kuruma. By the end of the manga, only Ryoma and Hayato amongst the original team survives, until Ryoma himself may or may not bite the dust as well.
- Hilariously spoofed in Angel Beats!.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Ryu Jose combines this trope with Black Dude Dies First. Or rather, Ambiguously Brown Dude Dies First.
- Hayato Kakizaki (Ben Dixon) from Super Dimension Fortress Macross was The Big Guy on Hikaru/Rick's team and the only wingman he ever lost.
- One Piece: Zoro tries this at the end of Thriller Bark, but can't manage to die from mere lethal damage.
- The towering, hulking Gold Saint Taurus Aldebaran of Saint Seiya is usually hit with the Worf Effect just to prove a point how serious the menace du jour is. But while he was revealed to have survived in the anime Filler Asgard Arc, he went and bought the big one in the Hades Saga. Though not without making his death a Moment of Awesome due to a time-delayed Taking You with Me for the opponent who did him in, and who didn't even realize he was already a corpse until it was pointed out to him that he hadn't survived Aldebaran's final attack.
- Sailor Moon:
- Sailor Jupiter is the first Senshi to die at the end of the first season of The '90s anime. Like all the others, she gets better.
- Inverted in Stars's initial mini-arc, where she was the second-to-last Senshi to go down and be captured by Nehelenia. She's later released by Sailor Moon.
- Ryoma from Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato isn't the first character on the good guys's side to die, but he is the first member of the Five-Man Band to kick it. He gets better, though.
- Berserk: Pippin, by far the biggest member of the Band of the Hawk, is the first of the major Hawks to buy it when the Eclipse goes down and the demons start coming out of the woodwork. He goes down fighting, buying Judeau and Casca time to escape the initial attack, and it takes a multitude of demons to bring him down.
- Shin Mazinger Zero: This actually happens to Boss, of all people.
- Subverted with Honda during the pre-Duelist Kingdom arc Death-T in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. Due to his jacket getting stuck in the falling blocks level, he can only help Yugi get out before uttering a resigned "it's too late for me..." and getting blocked from his friends' (and the reader's) point of view by another falling block. While he reappears at the very end, this event serves to trigger Yugi's second breakdown of the arc and his reveal of the Other Yugi's existence to his friends.
- Subverted when Hal Jordan goes on his mad rampage and kills Kilowog. Though he's the last Green Lantern he slays, it marks Hal's point of no return.
- Thunderbird, one of the new X-Men's two big guys along with Colossus, was killed on one of his first missions with the team, attempting to bring down the jet of Maggia leader Count Nefario.
Film - Animated
Film - Live-Action
- This trope is probably why they Dropped a Bridge on Dozer in The Matrix.
- While he's not the first to die in the invasion of the Black Fortress during the climax of Krull, Rell the Cyclops is the first to die when they actually get inside the Fortress. He holds open a closing wall just long enough for his companions to get past, before it crushes him to death.
- Dagonet (Ray Stevenson's character) in the Clive Owen King Arthur film.
- The Farscape finale movie featured the death of D'argo in a bit of a Tear Jerker Hold the Line moment.
- Buck the gorilla in Rise of the Planet of the Apes dies taking down a helicopter.
- Ironhide, likely the most powerful Autobot on the team bar Optimus, is the first Autobot casualty of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, leaving the Autobots without their signature heavy-hitter. It takes the three Wreckers to equal the amount of ass-kicking that Ironhide had.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot performs a Heroic Sacrifice by using himself to shield the rest of the team when the villain's ship crashes with them inside. He gets better.
- Averted in The Goonies when Sloth remains behind to hold up the boulder so the kids can escape, but then later makes it out (with his Ma, like a good son, even though she had been bad).
- Porthos, in The Vicomte De Bragelonne: when a massively enormous rock threatens to crush the entire party, guess who's the one to hold it, sacrificing his own life in the process? Obviously, Big Guy Porthos. The writer goes one for about half a page then explaining how no other living human before or after could have managed such a feat.
- In Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf novel Wolf's Honour, it's Big Guy Haegr who takes the blunt of the Thousand Son's attack, obviously making a heroic sacrifice in the process.
- In Buttercup's Baby, The Princess Bride's second part (at least in theory), it's Big Guy Fezzik who throws himself over an enormous cliff to save Waverly, who is Buttercup and Westley's daughter.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe: Chewbacca dies fighting the Yuuzhan Vong. Although when they drop a MOON on you it might not really be this trope.
- In the Star Wars universe, do not be a chubby starfighter pilot, especially if your name is a fat joke like "Porkins."
- Subverted later in the Wraith Squadron series. Voort "Piggy" SaBinring, a Gamorrean who was experimented upon to increase his intelligence to living tactical computer levels, is described as a large and somewhat portly pilot (and porcine besides), but in spite of his role as a Genius Bruiser, he manages to stop an assassin after taking a blaster shot to the gut... and not dying like normal people should have. Notable for sharing a callsign with Jek Porkins, mentioned above.
- In the Star Wars universe, do not be a chubby starfighter pilot, especially if your name is a fat joke like "Porkins."
- In the Legend of Drizz't: Legacy, Wulfgar dies bringing the roof of a tunnel down on a monster that was attacking the group.
- The Sword of Shannara Trilogy:
- The Sword of Shannara: Keltset the Troll, messiah of the Troll nation, and Genius Bruiser, dies holding up the roof while his best friend Panammon Creel, and Shea Ohmsford make their getaway.
- In The Wishsong Of Shannara it is Helt, the gigantic Borderman, who stays behind to raise the drawbridge after his companions. Justified, as Helt had already been poisoned in a battle against an earlier monster, and knew his time was short.
- The Redwall books in general have a surprisingly high casualty rate on the good guys' side. The trope is played straightest by the death of the massive Northlander hare Rockjaw Grang in The Long Patrol holding off a band of vermin alone.
- In A Storm of Swords, Small Paul, a minor character who is described as being one of the biggest members of the Night's Watch, is the first and only person to be killed when an Other attacks Sam's group.
- Almost played straight in Watership Down, but ultimately averted. Richard Adams originally intended for Bigwig, the biggest and best fighter among the heroes, to die in his fight against General Woundwort, but the author's daughters pleaded otherwise.
- At the climax of the Malloreon, the Gentle Giant Toth is killed by a Demon Lord-possessed dragon in a last-ditch effort by Zandramas to keep Belgarion away from the final confrontation between Light and Dark. It was also intended to leave his Platonic Life Partner Cyradis too emotionally vulnerable to arbitrate. It fails miserably on both counts and Toth gets a crystal tomb for his trouble.
Live Action TV
- In Blake's 7, the crew's resident Gentle Giant Gan was the first to die.
- Happens twice in Season 3 of The Walking Dead. Both times this trope also overlaps with Black Dude Dies First; first the massive inmate Big Tiny is the first prisoner to die. The second time T-Dog is the first member of the group to die.
- In Farscape, the series's Big Guy D'Argo is the only regular character (regular at that point, that is: another former regular was brought Back for the Dead) to die in the Grand Finale.
- Invoked in the RandomAnime rulebook: Football jock and iconic Big Guy Tank Doyobi is mortally wounded by the Big Bad early in the fight, but survives long enough to take the villain with him.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation Collectible Card Game, there's a card for "Security Sacrifice," which details the duty of security personnel to die so that the crew can achieve their objectives.
- Chopper in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War is the only member of Wardog Squadron to die under Blaze's command. He dies in pure Heroic Sacrifice fashion, buying time for the civilians of a crowded stadium to evacuate under enemy attack.
- Jorge in Halo: Reach dies when he heroically activates the slipspace bomb in the Covenant supercarrier, after throwing the player down to Reach.
- Feels a little invoked if you consider the value of a SPARTAN II (Cost as much as a naval battle group to create, UNSC's biggest of few assets) and the presence of comparatively worthless Marines and designed to be disposable Spartan III in Noble Six.
- Feels less invoked when remembering Six also wears Mjolnir armour (Mjolnir armour being why Spartan II's cost so much more than the normally SPI-clad Spartan III's), was removed from his company specifically because he was declared too valuable to be disposable (as with all of the NOBLE Spartan III's) and no Marines are present in the cutscene (implying their survival isn't canon).
- Jorge is also by far the most compassionate of Noble Team; he's unlikely to think any human life "worthless" or be willing to force somebody else to die for him.
- Sergei from Call of Duty: Black Ops.
- An interesting case of this occurs at the end of Starcraft II. It's "revealed" that Tychus was working for Arcturus Mensk all along as a mole, and has been given the task of killing Sarah Kerrigan. Tychus, whose Power Suit has been rigged to kill him on Mengsk's command if he fails, forces a Sadistic Choice on Raynor between him and Kerrigan. Ultimately Raynor picks Kerrigan, blocks Tychus' shot at Kerrigan with the shoulder of his armor, and shoots Tychus before he can react.
- Fear Effect plays with this trope. Deke gets killed off in the first game, and it was not even a Heroic Sacrifice. (In the true ending, he gets better.)
- Mareg's death in Grandia II comes fast and hard. During the escape from Valmar's Moon, he uses his huge frame to block off a chokepoint, buying his friends enough time to get back on the ship. An insectoid flies at Mareg from behind and impales him with its stinger. When one (beast)man stays behind to hold off a million demons, there's really only one way it can end.
- Dom crashes a truck into a tanker full of flammable fuel in Gears of War 3 to destroy the Locust and Lambent surrounding the group.
- In Gears of War 2, Tai (who has so far been built up to be Made of Iron, able to shrug off being inside an exploding vehicle without a care in the world) is captured by the Locust. When you later rescue him, he is covered with cuts and has hooks dug into his back, having been heavily tortured. Marcus hands him a gun, assuming he would be eager to get back to fighting and get some revenge on the bastards, but the torture had broken him so completely that he immediately turns the gun on himself instead. An issue of the comic book shows that he even manged to fulfill the Heroic Sacrifice part of this trope, as he was captured while rescuing Dizzy from Skorge.
- In an early issue of the comic, Barrick has a Dying Moment of Awesome when he allows the rest of Delta Squad to escape from a group of Beast Riders on Bloodmounts by rushing in and beating the crap out of them with his bare hands. Given that he would have died in a few months/years anyway due to rustlung, choosing to go out like a Badass was undeniably the correct choice.
- Grunt stays behind to give Shepard and their team time to escape from Reaperized Rachni in Mass Effect 3, killing over a dozen of the walking alien tanks with his shotgun, fists and alien limbs wrenched from their owners before tackling one final foe off of a cliff. A rare subversion in that if the player had gained his loyalty in Mass Effect 2, he can live through sheer badassery, limping out of the cave covered in gore and asking for food.
- Basilio of Fire Emblem Awakening is killed by Walhart on the battlefield despite being warned ahead of time by someone from the future that he would die there. Actually subverted; it's later revealed that Basilio was Playing Possum. He did die in the original timeline, but because of the warning, he knew to play dead this time around rather than give into his pride and fight to the death.
- Attempted by Rand in Breath of Fire II. At the last moment his mother takes his spot.
- In Tales of Xillia, Jiao ends up being the first member of the Chimeriad to perish when he decides to stand alone against the Arknoah group to buy the others time to escape. He manages to wipe out their ground forces, but ends up being done in by a cannon shot from one of their airships.
- If the player sides with the Railroad in Fallout 4, the Brotherhood will find out their hidden base and attack them at one point. Glory, a Railroad Heavy who is their strongest named member will be fatally wounded while trying to hold the Brotherhood soldiers off from the front entrance.
- In Our Little Adventure, Pauline was more or less considered the main Big Guy in the adventuring group, despite being female. She dies at the end of 'The First Book' and since she's female and the biggest badass female of the group she also qualifies for Vasquez Always Dies.
- Looking for Group: Krunch is killed when fighting against King Tavor.
- In Goblins, K'seliss is liquefied by an undead horror. (In his last moments, he bites its head off.)
- The Order of the Stick - Played straight for the Precursor Heroes, who permanently disbanded after their muscle (Kraagor) died sealing the last rift. Played with for the Order themselves - their leader has already died and been revived, but the two most obvious "Big Guys" both have ominous prophecies over their heads. Belkar is scheduled to take his last breath before the in-universe year ends, while Durkon can only return home posthumously. Then Durkon dies protecting Belkar and is brought back as a vampire.
- RWBY: While she doesn't die, Yang becomes the first member of Team RWBY to suffer a life-threatening injury when her right arm is sliced off above the elbow by Adam during the Battle of Vale. Also, Yang has the dubious honour of being the first member of Team RWBY to decisively lose a fight against an antagonist, which in her case would be Neo (and said case very nearly proved to be fatal for the poor girl too).
- Justice League: Grundy, from the Most Definitely Not The Defenders group, in "The Terror Beyond."
- Played with in Titan Maximum: Spuds dies falling off his ridiculously high balcony while partying.
- Transformers Prime:
- Breakdown is the first of the recurring cast to bite the dust. Made much crueler by virtue of the fact that Airachnid, who Breakdown admitted to having a crush on, is the one to kill him.
- The "big, heavy hitting guy" role in the Decepticon side seems to have the most lethal position in the Decepticon Army next to "mook Vehicon". Prior to Breakdown, Skyquake showed up and was killed off in his debut episode, though he managed to hold his own against Optimus Prime and Bumblebee for a time. Later, Hardshell ends up getting killed in his second episode; though his actions in his first are another example of this trope.
- Bulkhead is grievously injured in the finale of the mid-season arc, shot in the back by the Insecticon Hardshell. Ratchet managed to stabilize him, however, it appears the damage that Hardshell did to his chassis may be permanent; leaving whether or not Bulkhead will return to action an Open question.
- Though he didn't die, the Transformers Animated version of Bulkhead is definitely aware of whose job it is to take the heavy hits.
Bulkhead: [Charging forward] I'll keep him distracted. He always shoots at me first.Blitzwing: Let's see how tough you are without your big bolt-brained bruiser! [Fires shoulder cannons. Bulkhead is blown back, leaving a giant groove in the pavement.]Bulkhead: [weakly] Called it.