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Sorting Algorithm of Deadness
On a scale of one to four, how dead is this guy?

It's a sad state of affairs when a beloved character dies; some fans won't even accept it as real, a predicament made all the more confusing because characters rarely stay dead. Because of this, fans love to speculate (morbidly) on the odds of a character coming Back from the Dead. The result is a kind of "Sorting Algorithm Of Deadness", where the circumstances, cause, genre, and reaction caused by a death are tallied up to see just how dead a character really is.

To use the Algorithm, take each column's "Death Value", multiply it by the number of ticks in that column, add it all up and divide by the number of applicable rows.

Relative deadness factor Deader than Dead Maybe Back Later Be Back Soon Death? What's That?
Death Value 4 3 2 1
Cause of death Irony, Bridge Drop, Overkill, Stuffed In The Fridge, Ret Gone Redemption, Sacrifice, Bus Crash, Mortal Wound Reveal No One Could Survive That, just plain killed in battle Jumping
Audience Expectation Anyone Can Die, Kill 'em All Killed Off for Real, Tonight Someone Dies Disney Death Back from the Dead, Death Is Cheap, Nobody Can Die
Body Found? Dead and Buried
Only Bits And Pieces
At The Morgue, death witnessed and confirmed onscreen Never Found, Frozen, Petrified Left for Dead
Reaction Montage, Bond One-Liner, Meaningful Funeral He's Dead, Jim It's Personal Faux Death
Last Words Crap, Killed Mid-Sentence, Carry on men, His Name Is... Catch Phrase, Famous Last Words, Final Speech, Obi-Wan Moment "Fly, you fools!" "Piece of cake" "My Death Is Just the Beginning"
Characterization Red Shirt, Loved One, Mauve Shirt Recurring Character, C-List Fodder Regular Character Protagonist, Archvillain, Ensemble Darkhorse
When did they die? 10+ years ago, Series Finale 5-10 years ago Same year Same arc
"Died" and come back? Not yet Died once, but got better Twice I've lost count

To see calculations-of-permanence-of-death in action, see the Wild Mass Guess Sorting Algorithm of Deadness, where this table has been copied for clarity's sake. Also remember that the author may choose to subvert this trope and bring back a character no matter how 'dead' he should be, sometimes horrifically as an Undead. Of course, sometimes a low score on the algorithm is no guarantee that the character hasn't been Killed Off for Real.

See the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality to determine whether a character is likely to die in the first place.

Death TropesResurrection TropesUndead Index
Sorry That I'm DyingDeath TropesSorting Algorithm of Mortality
Soldiers at the RearAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Southern-Fried Private
Sliding Scale of Content Density vs. WidthSorting Algorithm of TropesSorting Algorithm of Evil

alternative title(s): Sorting Matrix Of Deadness
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