Examples of this trope:
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Furuya in Muhyo and Roji, whose identity is claimed by Face-Ripper Sophie.
- In the last episode of Girls und Panzer, careful watching reveals that one of Black Forest's tanks did not make it to the town where Miho had retreated. It's possible that it broke down on the way there.
- In Naruto Orochimaru does this on two separate occasions during the Invasion of Konoha Arc. He sacrifices Zaku and Kin to summon the First and Second Hokages, and it's revealed after the invasion that he killed the Fourth Kazekage, his own ally, to steal his identity.
- Murasakiiro no Qualia has this happen to Yukari, after she's sent off to be under Jaunt's protection due to her abilities. Despite spending time there clearly alive, she's one day announced to have died without specification.
- Shinzo: Three of the Enterran Generals are killed off by Queen Rusephine without the heroes ever meeting them.
- Attack on Titan
- Marco dies at some point during the Battle of Trost, and the readers only learn of his death when his body is found during the aftermath. Much later, however, his actual death is shown in a flashback.
- Ymir is last seen being taken away by Reiner and Bertolt, something they say will guarantee her death, and because of that writes a letter to Krista under the assumption that she'll be dead by the time Krista reads it. After the four-year Time Skip, it's mentioned in passing that Porco inherited Ymir's Titan powers from her, a process that involves the giver being Eaten Alive by the recipient.
- In The Prayer Warriors, this happens at several points.
- In The Evil Gods, Chiron, after being converted, goes to convert the rest of Camp Half-Blood. One of his students comes back and reports that he's been killed and eaten alive.
- In Battle with the Witches, Ebony kills Harry Potter offscreen, and this is revealed when Ron walks in and finds his body.
- In Threat of Satanic Commonism, this, surprisingly enough, happens to Disc-One Final Boss John Lennon; Mary arrives with a gun, kills Annabeth's opponent, and then points it at John Lennon, only for the next chapter to begin with her talking to her husband Jerry, and a mention that John Lennon is dead.
- Surprisingly enough, this happens to the main character, Jerry, who is killed off at the beginning of The Titans Strike Back.
- In The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity, Pinkie Pie has died by the start of The Changelings Have a King, from unspecified natural causes.
- Aliens: Spunkmeyer is killed by a xenomorph in the cargo hold of the dropship as it prepares to lift off.
- The Thing (1982): Both Fuchs and Nauls die offscreen. Only Fuchs' burnt corpse is found.
- A Very Brady Sequel: At the end of the movie, a dog – identified as Tiger – is running through a yard where a party is happening. A little boy, later referred to as Cousin Oliver, runs after the dog … and then there are sounds of what's implied to be a collision between the boy and a car. Bobby and Cindy, who witness the crash, simply shrug their shoulders and are unfazed.
- The Viral Marketing for X-Men: Days of Future Past reveals Angel and Azazel were shot by the CIA between X-Men: First Class and the JFK assassination. In the actual movie, Magneto lists them among some mutants who died. Later Angel's wings are seen stored in a government vault.
- The Cabin in the Woods: Subverted. The stoner Marty is wounded and dragged offscreen by one of the Buckners to be killed, and the Controllers assume he died a gruesome death. It turns out that they really should have made sure, because during that time he dispatched the zombie, found an entrance to the Organization's HQ, and went back to save Dana from Pa Buckner. No offscreen inertia here, folks.
- In Foolish Wives, we see Count Sergius—liar, seducer, con artist, all-around dirtbag—climbing through the window of poor innocent Marietta, almost certainly to rape her. He makes a "shh" gesture—but the plant he knocked over has already woken up her father, Ventucci. The next we see of Sergius is when Ventucci is dragging his corpse out of a closet.
- In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Katniss's fears about Cinna are confirmed. When Effie gives her Cinna's design for the Mockingjay outfit, she sadly asks "He's dead, isn't he?" Effie whispers "Yes, dear" and shows her the message he left her:
- "I'm still betting on you! - Cinna"
- Combining this with type 2 of Death by Adaptation, a deleted scene in the film adaptation of Hannibal revealed Jack Crawford, who'd died near the end of the book, died between the film version of The Silence of the Lambs and it. This is because of Enforced Method Acting that Scott Glenn was subjected to during the filing of Silence scarred him and he refused to returnnote . It's also the reason the role was recast with Harvey Keitel for Red Dragon.
- In St. Vincent (2014), Sandy dies while Vincent is in the hospital after his stroke. She's cremated because the facility was unable to contact him in case he wanted any other action to be taken.
- Reservoir Dogs: Of the two robbers who are revealed to have been killed in the fall-out of the jewel store robbery gone wrong, one of them was witnessed by two others (and shown in flashback), but nobody has any clue what happened to Mr. Blue until the end of the movie, when Joe confirms that Blue was killed by the cops.
- A lot of beloved Season 1 characters were killed during The Transformers: The Movie. However, when Season 3 started, very few Decepticons and even fever Autobots from the pre-movie seasons appeared and most that didn't appear were assumed to be this.
- In the episode "Dark Awakening", Daniel lists off some of the Autobots that died during the Great War. Prowl, Ironhide and Ratchet were explicitly and violently killed on-screen, but he also mentions Huffer, who only appears for less than a minute in the movie and doesn't die or even appear harmed.
- In the 2016 film Dark Night, heavily based on the 2012 Aurora shootings, a spree shooting is strongly implied to have happened, even though no one is actually seen shot. The intro shows a woman sitting in a cinema car park with flashing police lights reflecting on her. The ending shows the suspected perpetrator grinning psychotically, sneaking into the cinema, and carrying a large duffel bag.
- Canyon Passage: George Camrose. Johnny reports the death to Logan at the end of the film, and hands Logan the gun he had given him. Logan asks if it was the Indians who killed him, and Johnny admits it was one of the townsmen. He adds that if things had happened slightly different, they might have been lynching Logan on the hanging tree.
- Coco has probablly the most gentle version of this trope. At the end of the movie, which takes place one year later, we find out that the the titular Mamá Coco has passed away due to old age and her picture is now placed at the Ofrenda of the Rivera's family. Then we cut to the land of the dead, where she's finally reunited with her Disappeared Dad, Hector.
- The Wages of Fear: Bimba and Luigi are killed when their truck blows up off-screen. Mario and Jo find the wreckage of the truck but no sign of what caused the explosion.
- During the Harry Potter series, Igor Karkaroff, Ted Tonks, Remus Lupin, and Tonks were all killed while the reader's focus was elsewhere.
- Balon Greyjoy from A Song of Ice and Fire has a brief but important role to play in the story's multiway civil war before dying off screen.
- Happens fairly often in the Warrior Cats series, mainly due to diseases. One of the biggest examples is Crookedstar, who dies rather abruptly in A Dangerous Path from greencough.
- In City of Lost Souls, Camille Belcourt is revealed to have been killed by Maureen Brown, who usurps the position of leader from her.
- Loyal Enemies:
- Virra's sister Danka is found to have been killed by one of the bird-reptile monsters the heroes thought to just have successfully fought off. As a non-combatant, she'd been hiding in a corner and everyone thought her safe there.
- When the final battle is over and it looks like a completely happy ending, battle mage Liara's corpse is dug up from the ruins of the villain's castle. She must've not gotten out fast enough when the retreat was announced.
- The Running Man: Richards briefly meets another contestant of the Running Man contest before they're separately sent out into the field. He later hears a news report that the other contestant was found in another town hiding in a container and killed by the Hunters.
Live Action TV
- Happens fairly often in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when killing off fodder vampires to save money on the CGI for the dusting effect, usually by cutting away the moment a vampire is staked with only a demonic shriek to inform the audience of its death. This also happens in Series/Angel, but is rather poorly executed at times as the shot doesn't cut in time, resulting in a vampire getting staked but not dusted with the sound effect still used.
- Pippa and Kelly in Dead Set.
- Game of Thrones:
- The scene cuts before Osha grants Maester Luwin his requested Mercy Kill.
- Septa Mordane's execution was not shown. Her severed head on the other hand...
- This possibly happened to Syrio Forel since they Never Found the Body. Also, his head wasn't included on the spikes along with Ned and the Stark crew when Joffrey forces Sansa to look at them.
- Lady's execution was given a Gory Discretion Shot.
- Harrion Karstark is killed by Jaime during Robb's first battle at Riverrun.
- The Greatjon apparently died sometime after the Red Wedding.
- Maege Mormont is confirmed by her heir Lyanna in Season 6 to have died during Robb's Riverlands campaign.
- Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps:
- Donna's mother, Flo, was run over by a truck sometime between the third and fourth seasons.
- In the sixth season opener, "When Johnny Met Sharky", Johnny spends most of the episode in florida. Near the end, we learn that he failed to jump over a shark, and was eaten.
- The Walking Dead:
- Sophia is killed offscreen, later appearing as a walker.
- Shumpert dies sometime during his journey with Martinez, but we don't see his death.
- While we do see Meghan getting bitten by a walker, we don't actually see her die onscreen. Although later on, we see Lilly carrying her dead body over to the Governor.
- Breaking Bad: Gomez bites it ofscreen during the very short time between two episodes. Granted, the previous episode ended with a Bolivian Army Ending.
- Married... with Children: In "Ship Happens", Al, Peg, Jefferson and Marcy go on a cruise. Except, it's a fitness cruise for fat women. At night however, the crew members have an orgy after locking up the fat women for the night. Just as the party gets underway, one of the fat women smells the jerk chicken and tries to cut through the deck with a blowtorch, causing the ship to sink. The four along with fat woman Kay and Gilbert Gottfried wind up stranded on a raft and they're the only survivors.
- The Killing: Bullet is last seen being stalked by an unseen person in a car. The next episode, her bloodied body is found in a car trunk.
- The Flash (2014): Francine West succumbs to her disease in between episodes 11 and 12 of the second season after having made peace with both of her children.
- In the third season, after Barry changes the timeline by saving his mother, then changing it back again, it is revealed that Cisco's brother died in a car accident, which gets brought up many times, but the event itself is never seen, not even in a flashback. Some fans believe that due to the fact that this has serverly damaged Cisco and Barry's friendship, the death was far too coincidental to just be a random result of Barry messing with the timeline, and think that this season's Big Bad actually caused it, among other things.
- Oz: Death row inmate Moses Dyell volunteers to donate his organs immediately after his execution, even getting Said to vouch on his behalf. Said later hears the news that Moses was shot when he attempted to escape from his prison transport.
- Sons of Anarchy: Father Ashby is last seen when he allows himself to be taken hostage by Jimmy O'Phelan in exchange for Jax's baby. It's later confirmed that Jimmy killed him during the trip to America.
- The BBC's 14—Diaries of the Great War is a World War I documentary that focuses on fourteen specific people on all sides of the conflict. One of them, a Scottish volunteer nurse named Sarah Broom Macnaughtan, only appears in two episodes in the middle of the series; it's only at the end that we learn that she died in 1916, while all of the other focus characters lived to see the war's end. (For what it's worth, her last appearance does mention her having a bad cough...)
- In Tales of Xillia 2, this is done to Rideaux. He's last on-screen when some Spirius Corp employees incapacitate and begin to drag him off. When the party sees a soul bridge leading Bisley to the Land of Canaan, Julius mentioned that Rideaux is the most likely candidate to have been used to create it.
- Until Dawn follows slasher movie tropes to a T, meaning all character deaths are on-screen, so if a character appears to die off-screen, they're actually alive.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Vigil of Stendarr is a Church Militant order dedicated to hunting down and destroying supernatural threats to mortal life, including Daedra, Daedra worshipers, vampires, lycanthropes, and others. You can visit their headquarters, the Hall of the Vigilant south of Dawnstar, and speak with the members there, but it has no quest relevance. However, with the Dawnguard DLC installed, the Hall is destroyed and the members present are wiped out offscreen by the newly introduced Volkihar vampire clan.
- In Girl Genius, Lady Selnikov dies in this fashion, with the protagonists finding her body being watched over by her former hostage (who isn't the one who killed her.)
- Older Questionable Content strips had a barista named Sara working in Coffee of Doom. She vanished without explanation, and when fans asked when she was coming back, Word of God declared that she had been eaten by an allosaurus.
- This happens alarmingly often in Worm. Examples include the Siberian, Phir Se, Heartbreaker, Raymancer, and Grue.
- In Hells Paradise Elijah is apparently killed when a house that it's implied he's in explodes. Apparently the actor couldn't make it to the shoot. They were on a tight schedule so they unceremoniously killed him off.
- In The Animals of Farthing Wood, Mole wanders off with his newfound love during the winter midway through the second season. After the winter is over, Mole's love and his son Mossy find Mole's friends and tell them that Mole has passed away.
- Mr. Vole, the strong defender of the smaller creatures' rights, also dies off-screen during the winter.
- In the Ewoks episode "Asha", Kneesaa and Asha's mother, Ra-Lee is implied to have died while protecting her daughters from a hanadak, but the actual death is not taking place onscreen.
- During week 5 of Toonami's The Intruder II has the titular villain (of both it and the original Intruder) gloat about killing TOM 4. The last time TOM 4 was onscreen was a brief appearance not long after Toonami's revival.
- Wander over Yonder introduces in Season 1 Janet, a sentient planet, and in Season 2, Lord Dominator, who wants to destroy every single planet in the galaxy for fun. By the season finale, only one planet remained, and it isn't Janet.
- SWAT Kats: In the episode "Katastrophe," two lab security guards are killed this way. Dr. Viper's mushroom monster oozes out from under a door and rises up behind the first guy. He senses it behind him and starts to turn, only to have the shot cut away. The second guy is treated to a Second Person Attack in the form of a slimy tentacle reaching towards him, only for it to cut to the monster battering down the door, having gotten the guy offscreen. Dr. Viper confirms both of them died: "Now that you've had your dinner..."
- In Samurai Jack, The Guardian of the portal to the past is killed by Aku at some point in the 50-year Time Skip between seasons 4 and 5.