So, you have a big idea for a LegacyCharacter you're really itching to try, but there's just one problem: the original character is still active in your continuity, and shows little inclination to retire.

Well, then. We'll just have to [[ThePlotReaper do something about that]], won't we?

Contrast YouKillItYouBoughtIt when a character ''in-story'', instead of a writer, kills another character to take on his job or MacGuffin.

This trope is similar to MentorOccupationalHazard from an in-setting standpoint, but differs significantly as a trope in that such a mentor exists only to die so the hero can replace them; victims of this trope, on the other hand, are always established characters in their own right.

May invoke TakeUpMySword. If the character's been absent for a while, they might have to be brought BackForTheDead (or just suffer a BusCrash).

Beware: This is an easy way to create a ReplacementScrappy in some fans' eyes.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': Goku was killed by Cell because [[Creator/AkiraToriyama the author]] wanted to replace him with Gohan, but his popularity made him return.
* In ''Manga/YonaOfTheDawn'', once a new "dragon warrior" is born, their predecessor slowly loses their powers and subsequently their life.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The original (Creator/CharltonComics) ComicBook/BlueBeetle was mortally wounded in the line of duty, and had to hastily pass the mantle (though not the AppliedPhlebotinum behind his powers) off to Ted Kord.
** Who was killed off much later to introduce a third completely different version of ComicBook/BlueBeetle. Really, if they'd given the characters different names, it wouldn't have been such a problem, considering they all have different power sets.
** Though according to WordOfGod, the third Blue Beetle was created AFTER Ted's fate had been decided. So despite popular belief, Ted was not killed in order to introduce Blue Beetle III.
* The original [[ComicBook/TheQuestion Question]], reporter Vic Sage, became a primary character in ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'' as mentor and supporter to [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Renee]] [[ComicBook/GothamCentral Montoya]]. Throughout the series he trained her in meditation, martial arts and learning to deal with her own inner demons (And boy, does she have some demons), until he died of lung cancer and Renee took over the mask and title of ComicBook/TheQuestion.
* Ronnie Raymond, the original ComicBook/{{Firestorm}}, was impaled on a magic sword and exploded, directly becoming the [[FreakLabAccident Freak Accident]] that turned Jason Rusch into the next Firestorm. They recently brought back the original Firestorm and decided to merge him with Jason, which then resulted in Jason's partner Gehenna being killed off to make room for Ronnie. It's now been retconned so that Ron never died and he and Jason became Firestorm at the same time.
* Sabbac, an enemy of Captain Marvel Jr., was reintroduced to the ComicBook/PostCrisis Franchise/DCUniverse in Judd Winick's ''Outsiders'' title... just long enough to be sacrificed by a mob boss to steal his powers.
* The Franchise/{{Batman}} foe Spellbinder was shot by his girlfriend after turning down an offer for demonically enhanced powers during the ''ComicBook/UnderworldUnleashed'' storyline, so she could receive them (and his identity) instead.
* Creator/NeilGaiman killed off the original ComicBook/BlackOrchid, Susan Linden-Thorne, in order to replace her with his own creation Flora Black. Flora later got this treatment herself in order to be replaced with the third Black Orchid, Suzy.
* ''Franchise/TheFlash'':
** Barry Allen, the Earth-One Flash, was killed off in ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' so that Kid Flash, Wally West, could inherit his superhero identity. Oddly enough, an even older Flash, Jay Garrick of Earth-Two survived the Crisis.
** Wally's ''successor'' as The Flash, Bart Allen, was killed at the end of his own 13-issue series, paving the way for Wally's ''return'' to the role. In a bit of LampshadeHanging about the tendency of comic book characters to [[DeathIsCheap not stay dead]], Batman actually expected Barry to show up instead of Wally and his family.
** Subverted in Barry's return to comics, which didn't kill anyone. The line of succession so far has been: Jay being written out of existence to make way for Barry (Jay got better) who was killed to make way for Wally, who was PutOnABus to make way for Bart, who was killed to make way for Wally (Bart got better) who discovered Barry was really alive. Really it just means that being the Flash makes you reality's ButtMonkey.
* The original ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' Kara Zor-El was killed off in ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' and replaced with a non-Kryptonian Supergirl in ''ComicBook/TheSupergirlSaga'' due to the fact that DC wanted to do away with all Kryptonian characters other than Superman but they still needed to keep a Supergirl around for copyright purposes.
* The collected edition of Creator/GrantMorrison's ''Comicbook/NewXMen'' run revealed that he had planned to kill off Rogue and replace her with a teen successor who was closer to the character's depiction in ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' and the [[Film/XMenFilmSeries live-action movies]]. As Creator/ChrisClaremont had claimed Rogue as part of his ''X-Treme X-Men'' title, Morrison was unable to follow through with this plan.
* Steve Rogers, the original ComicBook/CaptainAmerica was killed off in the end of the ''Comicbook/CivilWar'' crossover, with his mantle passing to his former sidekick Bucky. Bucky himself apparently died during the ''Comicbook/FearItself'' storyline (suspiciously around the time the [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger Captain America movie]] was coming out) so Steve could reclaim the mantle. In a twist, it turned out that Bucky's death had merely been a fake-out so that he could return to the Winter Soldier identity.
* Holly Granger, the second Hawk (of the ComicBook/HawkAndDove duo), was killed during ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'' so that Hank Hall (her deceased predecessor), could return to life and join the ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey.
* The ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' Terra 2 was killed off in battle, seemingly abruptly, without knowing her [[DeathIsCheap true origins]]. She was later replaced with a Terra 3, due to the fact the writers wanted a new Terra.
* Tempest, the original Aqualad, was recently killed mere months before DC introduced the new Aqualad from ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' into their continuity.
* The [[EnsembleDarkhorse original]] [[MagnificentBastard Hobgoblin]] was reintroduced after ten years of being PutOnABus, only to be easily killed off by a Z-list ex-superhero-turned-villain named Phil Urich who took up his mantle. This turned out to be a RedHerring, as it was later revealed that the Hobgoblin Urich killed was simply an impostor, and that the ''real'' Hobgoblin has decided to boost his profits by [[PragmaticVillainy leasing his identity to various criminals]]. Phil currently goes by the name Goblin Knight.
* The ComicBook/UltimateMarvel universe contains a few other examples. A boy named Ray Connor became the new Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} after the death of Matt Murdock, while ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} was succeeded by his illegitimate son Jimmy Hudson. ComicBook/TheWasp was also killed and replaced by Petra Laskov, a DarkerAndEdgier version who works as an assassin for ComicBook/NickFury.
* Speaking of Wolverine, the mainstream Wolvie was killed off to make way for a few others, with ComicBook/{{X23}} becoming the ComicBook/AllNewWolverine. And ComicBook/OldManLogan dropping in as well. As well as the aforementioned Jimmy Hudson joining the ComicBook/XMenBlue. And for the original Logan to come back to life!

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' [[spoiler: Judi Dench's M dies and is replaced by Ralph Fiennes' character Gareth Mallory]]. [[TropesAreNotBad This worked fairly well]], mostly because the replacement character got a reasonable amount of screentime during the movie and an EstablishingCharacterMoment or two to prove that he's ''not'' a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Each time a slayer dies, another has her power activated and replaces her predecessor. After Buffy's temporary "death", a new slayer (Kendra) was activated. Kendra was killed off after appearing in only a few episodes, and was replaced by Faith, [[EnsembleDarkhorse who came to be a lot more popular]] and was [[RoundedCharacter fleshed out a lot more]].
* ''Series/InspectorRex'': The series did this with two of Rex's owners to get a replacement, namely [[spoiler:Richard Moser and Lorenzo Fabbri]]. For the other owners, [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome they just disappear as though they have never existed]].
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' saw [[MagnificentBastard Lionel]] [[HeelFaceTurn Luthor]], the man who could easily be considered the BigBad of the first five or six seasons, get [[DisneyVillainDeath shoved out a window]] by his own son, [[FaceHeelTurn Lex Luthor]], who would remain the series villain until his [[NeverFoundTheBody death by exploding truck]] in season 8. The final season featured a Lionel doppelganger (played by the same actor of course) from an AlternateUniverse and Lex's resurrection via cloning.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', while this generally happened to each Doctor for RealLifeWritesThePlot reasons, the most obvious example is the Seventh Doctor, who is brought back after being absent for six years just to be killed off in the first twenty-five minutes so he can be replaced by the actual main Doctor of the story, Creator/PaulMcGann's Eighth Doctor. The BBC even wanted this to be Creator/TomBaker's Doctor on the grounds that, since he's the most recognisable Doctor, it would be more shocking to the audience and more proof of quality to Paul [=McGann=]'s (fifth?) Doctor to see him die.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/LegendOfDragoon'', this happens on several occasions -- it's pretty much a given that all your party members will be Dragoons. So when you get a party member who is a dragoon, yet fight another Dragoon, guess what's going to happen - and guess who will take up the mantle? This is especially true with Lavitz, who has no reason to leave the party sans ''dying'' - which surely does happen.
* Rather unusual for a ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' game, ''VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria'' does this, somewhat controversially with [[spoiler: Dezel]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Non-comic example (initially): Optimus Prime may have survived getting blasted in the internals on an operating table by Laserbeak in the original ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' series, but he dies after a lengthy duel and several "gut shots" in the [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie 1986 animated movie]] to make way for new leader (and [[MerchandiseDriven new toy]]) Rodimus Prime.
** He's not the only one; the first half of the movie is an exercise in killing off old characters to make way for [[MerchandiseDriven new toys]]. Sometimes in nigh identical roles, such as OldSoldier Ironhide being killed off and replaced by OldSoldier Kup.
* This is one of the reasons [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark Kenny]] was KilledOffForReal at the end of Season 5, rather than in the [[TheyKilledKennyAgain usual fashion]]. The final episode was meant to establish Butters' {{ascen|ded Extra}}sion to MainCharacter status and his replacing of Kenny, who the creators [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness had gotten tired of]]. [[BackFromTheDead It didn't take for long, though.]]