"Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints."
We all know there are a large amount of tropes revolving around characters who happen to be blonde. But what about when you have the Dumb Blonde
, Evil Blonde
, Innocent Blonde
, or Lovable Blonde
in a slasher movie setting. It's almost inevitable that the blonde is going to get it. There may be a number of reasons for this but you're almost guaranteed to have a blonde getting killed off in contrast to a raven-haired Final Girlnote
. Whether she's the Final Girl's best friend or the Alpha Bitch
, her chances of survival aren't high. And God help the blonde if her best friend is Jamie Lee Curtis
. This may be unintentional by the filmmakers but the blondes tend to get really elaborate deaths. As for blond males, their death rates in horror films can be attributed to a combination of other tropes
Note that this trope only applies to horror films. It doesn't count if a blonde character happens to die in another genre.
As a Death Trope, be aware of spoilers!
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- The original teen slasher film Halloween (1978) has both blonde Judith (in the opening) and Laurie's wild friend Lynda get offed. In the sequels, none of the blonde characters survive apart from Molly in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later.
- Tina from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The first of Freddy's victims in the movie.
- Helen from I Know What You Did Last Summer. Gets a really elaborate chase scene as well. Her blonde sister Elsa is also killed.
- Invoked unknowingly (maybe) by Rose McGowan for Scream (1996) where she dyed her brown hair blonde in order to contrast with brunette Neve Campbell. Strangely, this is one trope the film doesn't lampshade. Drew Barrymore also wore a blonde wig for her part in the film.
- Mitchy from Terror Train.
- Wendy from the original Prom Night, one of the instances in which the Alpha Bitch gets offed.
- Played straight in the film adaptation of The Ruins, where blonde Stacy dies and brunette Amy survives. In the book, Amy was killed off first and Stacy was the last to die by killing herself.
- Played straight in Psycho where the fair-haired Marion is killed off halfway into the film. Her blonde sister survives though.
- Sam from Devil's Prey, just after subverting Asshole Victim.
- Alice from Friday the 13th (1980) is one of the rare subversions and one of the few Final Girls that are blonde. She gets killed off in the sequel but the Final Girl of that film is also blonde.
- A delayed subversion comes in Hitcher In The Dark where Mark kidnaps a hot blonde teenage girl. Then he dyes her hair brown while she's asleep...
- The studio tried to enforce this for Leprechaun when they wanted Jennifer Aniston to bleach her hair blonde. The director refused.
- Clear in Final Destination. In the sequel, she has blonde hair and gets killed.
- In Brigham City the serial killer targets redheads. He's asked at the end why he killed a blonde. He replied that she was a redhead... when he was done with her.
- Peeping Tom, an originator of the Slasher Movie, has the killer off a blonde prostitute in the first ten minutes. And his last victim is a blonde model who's posing nude for him.
- The Charmed episode "Chick Flick", which is an indecisive parody of horror films, features a scene from an original slasher "My Axe Husband" where the killer is, indeed, chasing a blonde victim.
- Serial killer Howard Epps from Bones targeted young, attractive blonde women exclusively. His other victims were targeted to send a message, for 'necessity', or in the case of Brennan, exclusively for the reason that she defied his normal MO: a strong, smart, self-assured brunette who he was unable to kill. None of the blondes he personally attacked survived.
- 3XK from Castle targets blonde women.
- Pretty popular with unsubs in Criminal Minds
- Silent Hill 2: James (pulled into the town because of guilt, has various horrible things happen to him, and can end the game Driven to Suicide), Maria (a...something that looks a lot like James' late wife and constantly being killed by Pyramid Head), and Eddie (goes homicidally insane and is killed by James) are all blonde.
- In The Cabin in the Woods, Jules dyes her hair blonde shortly before going to the eponymous cabin, locking her in as the first victim of the film. The organisation behind the film's events actually puts some chemical in the hair dye to make sure she is a Dumb Blonde. Probably to add further irony to this, actress Anna Hutchinson is a natural blonde - while Kristen Connolly (whose character is likewise shoehorned into being the Final Girl) dyed her hair red for the film.
- In Scream 4 when the killer calls Marnie he says of course she will die as "you're the Dumb Blonde with the big tits". She responds by saying she's a straight A student. She still gets killed though.
- Joss Whedon stated that he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer to exist as an inversion of the helpless blonde who always gets killed in horror movies. As such, Buffy's appearance was tweaked in the second season so that she would look like a Valley Girl and make the inversion even more pronounced. In a hilarious coincidence, one episode has Buffy turned into a Distressed Damsel thanks to her Halloween costume - and her hair is brunette.
"The idea of Buffy came from the very simple thought of a beautiful blonde girl walks into an alley, a monster attacks her and she's not only ready for him, she trounces him.
- It's interesting to note that two of the examples above were played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. And both made alongside Buffy
- The series began with Darla being a subversion as it looked like she was going to get killed, but instead she turned out to be a vampire who killed the boy she was with.
- In the episode of All Grown Up! "Curse of Reptar" that acts as an Affectionate Parody of horror films, Angelica (blonde) says "it's always the blonde girl with the perfectly bouncy hair that stays home and gets killed".