'''On a scale of one to four, how dead is this guy?'''

It's a sad state of affairs when [[CharacterDeath a beloved character dies]]; some fans [[HesJustHiding won't even accept it as real]], a predicament made all the more confusing because characters ''[[JustForFun/HowToCheatDeath rarely stay dead]]''. Because of this, fans ''love'' [[WMG/SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness to speculate (morbidly) on the odds]] of a character coming BackFromTheDead. 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 and the chances of their return.

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.

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|| ''Relative deadness factor'' || '''DeaderThanDead''' || '''[[PutOnABus Maybe Back Later]]''' || '''[[InferredSurvival Be Back Soon]]''' || '''[[ContractualImmortality Death? What's That?]]''' ||
|| '''Death Value''' || '''''[[FourIsDeath 4]]''''' || '''''3''''' || '''''2''''' || '''''1''''' ||
|| ''[[JustForFun/HowToKillACharacter Cause of death]]'' || [[DeathByIrony Irony]], [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Bridge Drop]], [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Overkill]], StuffedInTheFridge, RetGone || [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Redemption]], [[HeroicSacrifice Sacrifice]], BusCrash, MortalWoundReveal || NoOneCouldSurviveThat, just plain killed in battle || [[SuicidalGotcha Jumping]] ||
|| ''[[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt Audience Expectation]]'' || AnyoneCanDie, KillEmAll || KilledOffForReal, TonightSomeoneDies || DisneyDeath || BackFromTheDead, DeathIsCheap, NobodyCanDie, StatusQuoIsGod ||
|| ''Body Found?'' || [[DeaderThanDead Dead]] and [[MeaningfulFuneral Buried]]\\
[[NotEnoughToBury Only Bits And Pieces]] || [[WakingUpAtTheMorgue At The Morgue]], death witnessed and confirmed onscreen || [[NeverFoundTheBody Never Found]], [[HumanPopsicle Frozen]], [[TakenForGranite Petrified]] || LeftForDead ||
|| ''Reaction'' || [[ReallyDeadMontage Montage]], BondOneLiner, MeaningfulFuneral || HesDeadJim || ItsPersonal || FauxDeath ||
|| ''Last Words'' || [[OhCrap Crap]], KilledMidSentence, [[SedgwickSpeech Carry on men]], HisNameIs || CatchPhrase, FamousLastWords, FinalSpeech, ObiWanMoment || [[YouShallNotPass "Fly, you fools!"]] [[TemptingFate "Piece of cake"]] || "MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning" ||
|| ''[[{{Characters}} Characterization]]'' || RedShirt, [[DeathByOriginStory Loved One]], MauveShirt || RecurringCharacter, CListFodder || RegularCharacter || [[ContractualImmortality Protagonist]], [[JokerImmunity Archvillain]], EnsembleDarkhorse, [[TheyKilledKennyAgain The Kenny]] ||
|| ''[[SeasonFluidity When did they die?]]'' || 10+ years ago, [[GrandFinale Series Finale]] || 5-10 years ago || Same year || [[StoryArc Same arc]] ||
|| ''[[BackFromTheDead "Died" and come back?]]'' || [[NotQuiteDead Not yet]] || Died once, but got better || [[FakingTheDead Twice]] || [[JokerImmunity I've]] [[StayingAlive lost]] [[DeathIsCheap count]] ||

To see calculations-of-permanence-of-death in action, see the Wild Mass Guess WMG/SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness, 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 [[FirstLawOfResurrection no matter how 'dead' he should be]], sometimes [[CameBackWrong horrifically]] as an [[TheUndead Undead]] or ReforgedIntoAMinion. Of course, sometimes a low score on the algorithm is [[DeathIsDramatic no guarantee]] that the character hasn't been KilledOffForReal.

See the SortingAlgorithmOfMortality to determine whether a character is likely to die in the first place.