Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure has Jonathan and his father George in Part 1, the latter was a kind man who lent mercy to an otherwise awful man and his even worse son, while wishing he and his own son would get along eventually no matter how much he scolded them something that is not rewarded as the ungrateful adoptee decided to kill him in order to become a vampire. The former in his final moments, despite everything horrible he did to him throughout his life felt only brotherly love rather than hatred for him, as well as pleading his pregnant wife to take care of a stranger's orphaned baby girl. A truly kind and gentle soul like his father before him, also murdered by his ungrateful brother.
Rubina from UFO Robo Grendizer -one of the Mazinger Z sequels-. All she ever wanted was people stopped killing each other and being happy with the man she loved. What she got for her efforts in stopping the war and try to convince everybody to forgive, forget and rebuild? She got killed.
Euphemia. It was her naivete and goodwill that led her to do something that led to the political need to meet with the man who could control people's minds, which ultimately led to her death.
Susannah Julia Von Wincott from Kyo Kara Maoh falls under this trope. Can almost be called the Messianic Archetype. It is said that she was too pure for the Shoushu, the Big Bad of the show, to possess her. Thus, making Yuuri the last hope. She sacrificed her life trying to help injured soldiers.
Ace's death in One Piece. While not having a happy childhood, with nearly everyone unknowingly telling him that his father Gold Roger was a cruel, unsympathetic bastard and with the World Government claiming that a child of Gold Roger's didn't deserve to live, this character was a relatively friendly, polite and all-round nice person.
Haku of Naruto was incredibly selfless and kind. His death to protect Zabuza was what spurred the man into his Self Destructive Charge and revealed the humanity he had long since buried. And then, as if the double-death scene wasn't poignant enough, it snowed.
Subverted with Enrica; for the first several volumes of the manga we only know Enrica through Jose's flashbacks, all of which portray her as incredibly innocent. When the manga begins to detail the Croce family's backstory, Enrica is portrayed with a lot of human flaws that weren't initially shown. Not that her dying in the backstory doesn't suck, mind you.
Played upon in Gestalt. Ohri, the resident Cute Mute and Manic Pixie Dream Girl starts as a slave girl, offered to Oliver, the main character. As Oliver flatly refuses to accept her (as he's staunchly opposed to slavery), Ohri, willing to follow him, describes this trope point-by-point, telling him that being too cute and helpless to thrive in a world so sinful to accept slavery, she would be eventually sold to someone else, without Oliver's morality, and die in the most Anvilicious manner possible. Oliver finally relents, and accepts her as one of the True Companions.
Hare in episode 15 of Guilty Crown. When a group of students fear they'll be allowed to die because their voids aren't useful enough, they go out to try and get more vaccine from a hospital and prove they aren't useless. Shu and Hare head out to stop them so they won't get killed pointlessly. Before Shu can get them to listen to reason, they are found and attacked by the Antibodies. Souta, having been among the group going to the hospital, asks Hare to use her void in order to "heal" a car so they can escape. She gets targeted by Daryl, Shu sees this, and he dives to save her. They both get caught in an explosion and get badly hurt. Hare chooses to use her void to heal Shu while she's bleeding out of her stomach and talks about a picture book she read once about a "kind king" who tries to make everyone happy, but his kindness ends up ruining his kingdom and angering his people. she says she liked him despite this, and loved Shu because he was similarly kind to a fault. she then dies and starts to crystallize, only completely disappearing after Shu wakes up to see her dead body. What helps prove how good she is is that the sight of her fading from existence causes Shu's worst Heroic BSOD yet, sends him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and quite possibly (at time of writing) led to a Start of Darkness in Shu as he seems to lose all hope and kindness.
Shouyo-sensei in Gintama is shown in flashbacks as an oasis of kindness, patience and wisdom for his students during the Amanto war. He is perhaps the only purely gentle and caring character without any bizarre personality defects in the series. His death is a driving motivation for the serious storylines, particularly how his students responded to it: Gintoki accepts the sinful earth that killed his teacher and protects it anyway; Takasugi thinks an earth so sinful should only be destroyed completely.
Spoofed in Fate Zero's Einzbern Consultation Room extra. Lancer learns from Irisviel that the source of his suffering was not actually from his curse. As it turns out, being noble fangirl bait voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa in an "Urobutcher" series makes his likelihood of dying horribly and tragically 170%.
There is also Senna from the film, "Memories of Nobody".
In Barefoot Gen, there is Tomoko Nakaoka, along with Shinji, Eiko, and many children who were vaporized in the bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath effects.
Marco Bott, from Attack on Titan. Idealistic, kindhearted, genuinely selfless without any sort of complex, always there to encourage the others, and pivotal in holding the 104th Trainees Squad together emotionally during their first battle. His best friend, Jean, discovers what's left of Marco on the second day of cleaning up after the battle, and is horrified when he cannot find anyone that saw his final moments. This tragedy serves as a catalyst for Jean's evolution from a selfish Jerkass into The Leader Marco always believed he could become. Later events suggest something more sinister may have been involved in his death....
Rebuild of Evangelion has Kaworu "Bishonen space Jesus" Nagisa. Although his morality was far more ambiguous in the anime series and the manga adaptation, all Rebuild Kaworu wanted was to see Shinji happy.
The storyline in the comic Lenore where the eponymous character dies (again) makes reference to this trope in its opening. This is intended to be ironic, as the title character has been dead for 100 years, has a wonky eye, is childish, has hair like straw, and tends to directly cause the deaths of nearly every person or animal she encounters — the closing in fact seems to indicate that her death is the opposite of this trope, with nature finally getting around to fixing a mistake.
Spider-Man's girlfriend Gwen Stacy is treated this way in retrospect. Before her death she was a more well-rounded character who was actually allowed to have flaws like a real human being, but the way she's spoken of nowadays has earned the sarcastic nickname "St. Gwen."
Like Gwen Stacy, Jean Grey of the X-Men was held up as the standard to which all women in the book she'd departed could only aspire after her first "death" (later retconned to be more of a weird coma). After her second death, she didn't loom as large over the books, partly because her primary torchbearer, Cyclops, was already falling for someone else when it happened, and partly because she'd been incorrectly labelled as someone who kept dyingand coming back, though Wolverine still worships her memory.
In an odd way, Wanda in The Sandman. She isn't particularly "pure" (in fact, she's rather snarky), but she's a very sympathetic character caught in a world in which far too many people (and supernatural entities) impose their own ideas of gender on her instead of accepting her for the awesome woman she is.
Lisa of Funky Winkerbean was promoted to this shortly after her cancer returned. After she croaked, it seemed like one could hardly go a month without Les making reference to her. Like Gwen Stacy, a detractor nickname for her is "Saint Lisa".
In Connecting The Dots, a Naruto/Justice League crossover, there's a benign, saintly old minister named Norman McCay who advises Hinata and consoles Sasuke. Guess what happens to him.
Riku quotes this almost word for word when describing Sora's eyes as he's dying in "A Dirge For You".
Inverted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. The human world is sinful, but David, rather than dying, gets trapped and frozen underwater — and winds up outlasting the human world, eventually awakening to find it long gone.
Any one of the Billy Jack films will roll out a cartload of Anvilicious dead Native Americans, minorities, white hippies and disabled children. All victims of the horde of rednecks that inevitably end up surrounding their peaceful little commune.
Sister Agnes in Agnes of God surmises that her immaculately-conceived (?) daughter is this.
Ofelia in Pans Labyrinth who refused to hurt her baby brother and decided to face the wrath of her evil stepfather who coldly shoots her in the stomach.
Subverted by Alice in Super 8. She's practically a saint compared to her troubled father, and she gets swept up by the alien just as the father tries to apologize to her for being cold to her. In the end, her friends save her from becoming an item on the alien's menu, and she lives to reconcile with her now-redeemed father, who had reconciled with Joey's father after her capture.
Chicago gives us Hunyak. The only woman to not commit the murder she was accused of is the only one to hang. What makes this even worse is the fact that this is because no one at the police station could speak Hungarian, and they didn't bother with getting a translator.
The Song Of Bernadette, based on the life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, is basically "Too Good For This Sinful Earth: The Movie". Unsurprising given that Saint Bernadette is still regarded by the Catholic Church as this.
One of the best-known examples is Evangeline St. Clare, alias Little Eva, of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Elizabeth "Beth" March of Little Women is right behind, complete with a loving poem written by her older sister to Beth's honor.
Also from Alcott is Ed from Jack and Jill. He dies from typhoid because he's basically a male, less-known Beth and too good and pure for the world.
Simon from Lord of the Flies is the purest of the boys, who is senselessly murdered by the others. Subverted, however, in that Ralph is the only one of the group who actually cares... and aside from Piggy, seems to be the only one who notices, or at least, be willing to admit noticing.
Simon was a full-fledged Christ figure. Seriously, there have been professional literary critics who've written essays on this very point.
The title character of "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen carries it off. Well, the narrative does not so much carry this trope as flamboyantly juggle it while singing the complete score to Handel's Messiah. Few works treat a little girl freezing to death as such an unequivocally wonderful thing.
"The Little Mermaid", by Hans Christian Andersen, subverts this trope. The innocent and sweet mermaid who sacrifices her undersea life for love ends up giving up the boy she loves and sacrificing herself instead. However, the story makes it clear throughout that she doesn't have a soul — and upon her death, she is given a purgatorial afterlife where she might, with hard work and dedication, win a soul and go to heaven. So after her death, she begins to work her way up to Too Good for This Sinful Earth. Depressing, but not hopeless - which could well be the point.
Ill Girl Helen Burns, Jane's best friend in Jane Eyre, dies of tuberculosis right before a typhoid epidemic kills many girls in the Boarding School of Horrors. But Helen still has time to impress on Jane the importance of dedication to God and trusting in her own conscience more than the love of others.
John Coffey of the book and movie The Green Mile is a stellar example. Although not a child, he is a childlike Gentle Giant on death row for a crime he couldn't reasonably have committed, with magical healing powers and rather obvious significantinitials.
The book and movie Pay It Forward, where the little boy at the story's center is killed while performing his third and final good deed... and is all but canonized by everyone else in the story.
Referenced in Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead, as a possible reason why the pequeninos are ritually killing the humans that did them most good.
Harry Potter. If you are a kind, loving, sympathetic, well liked character chances are YOU WILL DIE. This happens to Harry's mother Lily pre-series, and later, Cedric, Dumbledore (In his later years anyway), Hedwig, Dobby, Fred, Snape, Sirius, Lupin, and Tonks. The only obvious aversion/subversion is Hagrid, who appears to be killed off a couple of times but manages to survive until the end.
Remedios "The Beauty" Buendia from One Hundred Years of Solitude.(from The Other Wiki: "She rejects clothing and beauty, sewing a cassock as her only clothing, and shaving her feet-long hair to not have to comb it. Ironically, it is her touch with base human instinct that perpetuates her as an object of lust for more men, whom she treats with complete innocence and no reservations. Too beautiful and, arguably, too wise for the world, Remedios ascends into the sky one morning, while folding laundry."... while Fernanda watches horrified as she is taking the clean sheets away with her.
Parodied in Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: when the eponymous character is believed to be dead, many in the funeral service use variations of the titular phrase... even though all of them had previously declared Tom to be a little devil.
From Twain's drafted-but-never-quite-finished Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy:
Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Except that, at the end of the story, Scrooge's knowledge of the future allows him to prevent Tiny Tim's death.
Played straight with Scrooge's little sister Fan, whose Death by Childbirth is offscreen and only alluded to.
Also from Dickens, Little Nell Trent from The Old Curiosity Shop exemplifies the Victorian fascination with this trope. Oscar Wilde's opinion on the trope in general and Little Nell in particular was that "one must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing."
The Doctor agrees with Wilde; in "The Unquiet Dead", he tells Dickens that he found Little Nell's death hilarious.
Dickens probably did it on purpose as a Take That to his fans, who were almost fanatic about it— they arranged prayer groups for Little Nell, continuously sent of letters begging him not to kill her (allegedly going so far as to offer their own children to save her), etc. According to one source (a friend/colleague), Dickens was reading some of them, turned to him with the most malicious look on his face, and said (roughly) "I'm going to kill off Little Nell."
Simon Callow claims in his one-man stage show about Dickens that one fan, on first reading it on a train, threw his copy out of the window and shouted, "He should not have killed her!"
In the Casteel books by V. C. Andrews, Leigh (known as "Angel") suffers a tragic life and is eventually raped by her stepfather. She succumbs to Death by Childbirth at the tender age of just 14. By the same author, the saintly Laura Logan from Music in the Night, Gabriel(le) Landry in Tarnished Gold, and Ill Girl Eugenia Booth in Darkest Hour are also examples. Heaven and Dawn, who both die in tragic accidents in their early to mid-30s, may also count.
A variant in the Gemini series: the rather bratty and annoying Noble does not fit the usual image of this trope, but his mother certainly considers that he does, and when he dies suddenly she forces his twin sister, Celeste to dress as a boy and "replace" him.
David Eddings's Elenium series gave us a minor character named Sir Parasim, a young knight stated by the (male) main character to be beautiful, with a singing voice to match. The words "clear" and "pure" are used to describe him more than once. Turns out, he's the youngest of 12 knights destined to give their lives to help keep the Queen of the kingdom alive. You know the rest...
Heavily foreshadowed by Eddings, who has his characters actually discuss Parasim with language like "He's too good for this world" and "God will probably call him home very soon.". It's actually a comfort to Sparhawk when he finds out (after the fact) that Parasim's death was in a good cause.
Notable in that this reveals more about the other characters than Sir Parasim himself. As old professionals, they've seen the good ones die young often enough to recognize the signs.
In Eddings's Belgariad series there is mentioned (very briefly) to be a member of the good guy army who is a young, brain-damaged lad with a transcendent musical talent, playing songs of exquisite beauty. He sits and plays one of the most lovely songs the world had ever heard during a battle and is killed by an enemy ignoring it. This is presented as an indication of how cruel war is.
Georgiana, from Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birth-Mark had a birthmark on her cheek. When her Mad Scientist husband eventually removes it, she dies, going directly to heaven since she has no other flaws separating her from being an angel. Because Science Is Bad.
Deconstructed in The Scarlet Letter: The congregation believes this is the reason that Dimmesdale's health is declining, but the actual reason is his inner torment over his secret sin.
The "twist" death of Willow in Handle With Care has strong overtones of this - several reviews have mentioned that the character was so wise and saintly that the story felt unrealistic.
Subverted in Jerome's Three Men in a Boat with the narrator's dog Monmorancy. When the narrator first got the dog, he was sure it was so good and fragile it would die shortly... until he witnessed the fox-terrier's aggressive nature.
Briana in The Dead And The Gone, a book about an asteroid hitting the moon. She gets adult-onset asthma due to the ash in the air from volcanoes. She never stops believing that her parents are alive, despite Alex and Julie's warnings, and prays for everyone. One day, when the electricity comes back on, she goes down to their old basement apartment to write her parents a letter. As she is going back up, the power goes out and she dies in the elevator. Alex and Julie find her 3 days later.
The poem "Ye xu" ("Perhaps") by Chinese poet Wen Yi-duo, written as an elegy for his young son.
Perhaps you've tired from your cryings.
Perhaps, perhaps you need a sleep.
Perhaps, listening to the earthworms burrowing
The root-tips of young grass seeping water
Listening to the music of such
Is better than the curseful sound of humanity.
In Edith Pattou's East, the main character, Rose, was born to replace her dead older sister Elise, her mother's favorite child. In one of the sections Rose narrates: "Mother was always telling me about Elise—how good she was, how she always did as she was told, how she stayed close by, and what a great help she was to Mother in the kitchen."
John Grisham's The Testament: Rachel Lane, a beautiful, saintly missionary and long-lost daughter of tycoon Troy Phelan, dies of dengue fever and malaria in the penultimate chapter.
In Romantic literature there was a series of characters who committed suicide because they felt they were too sensitive or too idealistic for a crass, corrupt world—from Werther in 1774 to Delphine Gay de Girardin's Napoline in 1833, by which time it was just about a Discredited Trope.
Raamo in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green Sky Trilogy. Even by Kindar standards, he is quiet, humble, and completely without a violent bone in his body. Snyder killed him off at the end of the trilogy...but then realized she made a mistake with that and inverted the trope with possibly the first canonical video game sequel to a book.
Joshua in Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels dies at the age of seven after a blow to the head during a vacation. He was not only a perfect little boy (incredibly intelligent, good at sports, insightful, said the darndest things, etc.) but didn't lose his cheerful disposition despite being kidnapped and almost murdered — his mother Jennifer was so desperate to prevent that that she asked a Mafia prince to do everything he could to rescue him, up to and including killing the kidnapper. Jennifer sees his ultimate demise as karmic payback for, during the aforementioned trip, spending a night with his father Adam (the boy was the product of an illicit affair).
Invoked in In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (based on the true story of the Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic). Mama says that she thought Patria was going to die at a young age because she was such a good child.
In the well known novel A Separate Peace, the main character Gene reflects on the death of his best friend Finny and comes to the conclusion that Finny had to die because he was too good hearted to be able to live during a war.
Almost literally played straight in Awakened in The House of Night series. Jack is killed by Darkness because Neferet needed to give Darkness a soul she could not taint (as a payment for trapping Kalona's soul). Later, when Nyx appears to the crowd at Jack's funeral, she tells his boyfriend Damien that he is one of the happiest souls she's known.
In Montgomery's other series, Emily of New Moon, there is a Murray cousin who died young. This trope is invoked, almost by name, and the young boy is described as being handsomer and more virtuous than anyone. Ever. So naturally, he had to die.
So many of the women from Edgar Allan Poe's stories and poems. Poe himself wrote: "The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world"-"The Philosophy of Composition" (published 1846)
Roy Meritt from Daemon. In Freedom Loki/Gragg muses that his idealism and nobility were too far at odds with the nature of the world.
Henry Darger's Story of the Vivian Girls includes a subplot about a turbulent, half-mad girl named Jenny, who is killed (in a weather disaster, naturally) at the very end of the story. She lingers for a time, saying lovely Little Eva-like goodbyes to everyone. Her final words (and the last words in the book) are Oh, I see God!...
Henry's got boatloads of characters like this. Six-year-old Jennie Anges, who is "already marked for heaven", snatches consecrated communion hosts out of a church tabernacle to protect them from enemy soldiers who would desecrate them. Naturally, she gets desecrated instead.
In Death: Poor Marlena Kolchek. She was beautiful, innocent and pure. Unfortunately, a gambling syndicate that Roarke was in a rivalry with kidnapped her, and performed a torture murder on her that involved breaking her kneecaps and raping her. When they were done, they left her body on Roarke and Summerset's doorsteps. Her father Summerset wanted them punished, but the Inspector who was called in was a Dirty Cop in the syndicate's pocket, and he made sure the investigation led to nowhere. What a horrible thing to happen!
Sir Humphrey: Bishops tend to lead long lives — apparently the Lord isn't all that keen for them to join him.
In the Amazing Stories episode that apparently inspiredThe Green Mile, a death row inmate gains special healing powers, but is put to death anyway just so the episode can pack a dramatic punch. Said punch is somewhat lacking due to the inmate being played by Patrick Swayze.
In Heroes Season 3 Peter goes to the future and finds that Sylar is a waffle-making soccer dad with a four- or five-year-old son named Noah. As soon as you saw that sweet, innocent, and adorable kid, you knew he wouldn't make it to the end credits alive. Claire, Knox, and Daphne barge in, and Knox crushes Noah with furniture in a battle in Sylar's kitchen, after which Sylar literally explodes.
Deconstructed on an episode of Law & Order where a woman smothers her baby and then incinerates the body so the child won't have to live in this terrible world. Her defense lawyer then argues that it was the Will of God that she murder her baby.
Supernatural pokes fun at this trope in the episode "Tall Tales", with Dean exaggerating Sam's empathy in a recollection.
[to a guy Dean and Sam are interviewing about a case]
Sam: You brave little soldier. I acknowledge your pain. Come here. [hugs him] You're too precious for this world!
And then this trope smacks you straight in the face by killing the only truly good angel.
Chelsea Dawn Anderson, oldest sister of Deadliest Catch fisherman Jake Anderson:
Jake Anderson: She's in a better place, Mom. (chokes up) She's finally beautiful now. She can run.
Chris Miles from Skins fits this trope, although he's a rather odd choice for it: he does lots of drugs and has lots of sex. Not "sinless" by many people's standards. He's clearly meant as this by the show, though, when they take care to point out how he has so much more love in his heart than just about anyone and how he's an innocent Woobie who got repeatedly shit on by life. There's also his method of death; he dies due to an illness that has been plaguing him since childhood, and which previously claimed his brother's life.
Only Fools And Horses: Del considers his mother Joan as having been an example of this. Subverted big-time in Rock and Chips where it's revealed that Joan was nearly as devious as her son—if a bit more kind-hearted—and not only did she have an affair which resulted in her becoming pregnant and giving birth to Rodney, she used Rodney's birth to secure the family a better home in Nelson Mandela House.
Even before Rock and Chips, it was obvious just how oblivious Del was to what type of lady she was. Such as how Joannie was the first woman in Peckham to smoke menthol cigarettes, how she was often to be found in the corner of a pub with two geezers and of how she used to buy her school aged son alcohol in pubs.
The Priest has Nera, one of the fallen angels who serve Temozarela and the only genuinely good character in the entire series. She refuses to infect the village close to her caravan with the Dark Doctrine despite given the order to do so and in fact protects it from any harm. Nevertheless, the villagers mistake her as a witch, slaughter her friends, and hang her. Even then she refuses to spite people; when Temozarela himself appears to Nera as a vision and offers to free her if she declares her hatred against God, she tells him that despite everything Temozarela has done, deep down he still wants forgiveness from God and then camly accepts her fate.
TAL brings us Laon Hiljo, a blind, somewhat blunt chachaoong under Ja Gwi's orders. He was only following Ja Gwi to ensure survival for himself and his two children, Haje and Jenna, and hopefully be freed from him by having their marks somehow removed even though Ei Mae had already removed Jenna's mark. Attempting to hide Yu Jin's identity from Ja Gwi, however, resulted in Ja Gwi detonating Hiljo's mark, killing him. Haje was so angered he was about to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, but was stopped by Yu Jin 'awakening' as the Second King and disabling Ja Gwi, followed by Chau Yoong arriving and sending Ja Gwi to Hell for eternity. Chau Yoong stated he would ensure Hiljo's soul was taken care of, before taking him away to properly bury him.
Very darkly played with in "Rum to Whiskey" by the Murder City Devils
She was the only decent thing In a good for nothing town She was the prettiest girl In an ugly town He must feel sorry I know He hates sin He switched from rum to whiskey Bang, bang, he put her down
Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell"
Baby you're the only thing in this whole world That's pure and good and right And where ever you are and where ever you go, There's always gonna be some light * Michael Jackson's "Little Susie" (HIStory) has an extreme example with the title character, an abandoned tyke. She sat alone in an apartment and in her loneliness sang along to a music box song all day; "She knew no one cared" and "Neglection can kill/Like a knife in your soul". Only one other person was aware of her and did nothing — and then she was found dead and bleeding at the bottom of some stairs. As Joe Vogel's book Man in the Music points out, for all the song tells the listener, it could have been suicide, an accident, or even a murder (in which case it would have to have been a stranger throwing her down there For the Evulz!). In any case, everyone in the building gathers around to weep and gnash their teeth over the wasted life.
The title character of "Ocean Gypsy" by Renaissance, after being dumped.
The sculptor's lady in "Turn of the Century" by Yes, motivating him to memorialize her in stone.
In Warhammer 40,000, this is a common view of Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels. A man with a kind heart who genuinely believed in the goodness of others, he still tried to turn his brother Horus back from Chaos in their final battle and gave his life in a battle he knew he could not win, but still fought.
Though now non canon, the imperial guardsman Ollanius Pius was another such figure, standing between Horus and the Emperor with nothing more than a lasgun.
He's back- in the newest Horus Heresy novel Know No Fear.
Rodrigo di Posa in Verdi's opera Don Carlo (not in Schiller's play) might be a male version of Liu, only with a different social status.
The Nurse's daughter in Romeo and Juliet: "Well, Susan is with God; /She was too good for me."
And, of course, Romeo and Juliet themselves.
From RENT: Angel Dumott Schunard. S/he is a talented, compassionate, cross-dressing (and homosexual) percussionist who wastes away from AIDS, which is depicted in the movie. Not only was s/he in a happy relationship with Collins, s/he is by far the most beloved person among characters and fans, despite a tendency towards paid dog-killing.
The Princes in the Tower, in Richard III. This is certainly justifiable from our point of view because Richard almost certainly had them killed, but in Richard's time there was no big outcry - people didn't sentimentalize childhood like they do now, and the average Englishman of Richard's time didn't care about the Princes' deaths as much as he did about the survival of his own children, which was more likely under the stable government Richard had set up.
IRL, he probably didn't do it. The evidence they've got at The Tower of London paints a pretty convincing case for Henry being the guy who did it.
That's a bit generous. He remains to most historians the most likely suspect, but there's nothing totally conclusive; Henry VII is a distant third as the most likely (#2 is Buckingham, to most people).
There are documents dealing with the princes' care dating after Richard died. This does seem to make him an unlikely suspect.
There is a contemporary diary from an Italian merchant living in London, who records that people were weeping because the princes had ceased to appear and they assumed they had been murdered.
Though it might fall more under Mentor Occupational Hazard, Abuela Claudia in In The Heights is probably the most selfless, good-hearted person in the entire barrio, and probably the most beloved person in the entire community. Guess what happens to her at the beginning of Act 2?
But she's not a completely straight example, in that she's an older woman to begin with (and what this means is that her death is more understandable than these other examples).
In Time and the Conways by JB Priestley, Act 2 is set nineteen years after the events of the first act and shows how the lives of all the Conways have completely fallen apart. Carol does not reappear, and we discover that she died of appendicitis at age eighteen - implied to be because she was too good and innocent to deserve the same fate as the rest of the family.
Isara in Valkyria Chronicles, who then becomes Welkin's dead little sister; unfailingly kind and forgiving, gentle and demure. Her death is more significant to the story and the development of the rest of the cast than her life.
Faize Sheifa Beleth from Star Ocean The Last Hope, who becomes the Final Boss due to the amount of senseless death and destruction that he encounters throughout the course of the game.
Edge: "You were just too kind... kinder than anyone... anyone else. But... your kindness was too much for this universe..."
Lirum, Kaim and Sarah's daughter from Lost Odyssey. Thought to be dead by the main character for most of the first disc, then dies of a chronic illness roughly five minutes after he finds her and realises that this isn't the case - talk about a Player Punch...
The intelligent deathclaws of Vault 13, from Fallout 2. After visiting numerous places, most of which suck to varying degrees, you come upon a clan of what you've by then come to recognize as animals that are pretty much massive biological killing machines. Cue their leader greeting you in the entryway, and rather than charging you with a growl... he politely greets you and welcomes you. With words, of course. When you explore the vault, you see that amazingly there are humans living there, too. And they're all free to leave at any timenote except one man who openly wants to exterminate the deathclaws, despite all the obvious evidence that they are not evil (which he ignores) - yet choose not to, because they're quite happy there. The deathclaws see it as their duty to protect these people, in the same way that they would do so for any deathclaw of the clan. Oh, and once you do a fix on the Vault's computer, the above mentioned clan leader gratefully gives you the vault's G.E.C.K., which is the MacGuffin you've been searching for the whole game.
This society, strange as it is, is all things considered the best one there is in the entire area where Fallout 2 takes place. It's the one place you might feel like settling down permanently at... a little slice of heaven in the wasteland. About a week or two after you leave the vault, it's raided by Enclave troopers who didn't take kindly the escape of their living weapon a year or so ago (the deathclaws; they were genetically altered by the Enclave, granting them intelligence). Everyone living in the Vault is massacred.
Leah of Diablo is this. She was a good and nice girl until her mother betrayed her and the entire team including an angel to bring back the Prime Evil Diablo into full power.
Metroid Prime 3 had a Player Punch in the form of three amazing bounty hunters being corrupted early on and eventually fought and killed. One of them, Ghor, was perhaps the nicest guy in the franchise, as revealed through his backstory.
Klik of Goblins is one of the all-around kindest, most loyal characters in the series. He is brutally and mercilessly killed while defending the severely wounded Dies Horribly from his (Klik's) psychotic, murderous offspring. His death is one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the comic, at least as much as Chief's.
The Platnium haired Galits of Unsounded are the shortest-lived caste. The popular explanation for this is that Plats are the Gods' favourites and they cannot bear to be away from them too long. Plats aren't necessarily "good" people, though; Quigley is something of an Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain. His pollyanna son would definitely fit this trope, but he hasn't been killed off...yet. As the author said about an unrelated character:
"Pretty nice lady all things considered. We should kill her off violently."
Feferi Peixes from Homestuck. She was a very idealistic character who wanted to create a more equal and just Troll society. She was murdered for standing up for this, and died long before any of her ideas could take effect.
Penny in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Played with in that (almost) everyone mourns her loss as "Captain Hammer's Girlfriend" rather than recognizing the good, selfless person that she was.
Spoofed by The Simpsons when Smithers cradled an apparently dead Mr. Burns and cried he was too beautiful to die.
Even better, Smithers thought Burns drowned and screamed "Why do the good die so young?"
Played Straighter with Bleeding Gums Murphy, Frank Grimes and Maude Flanders.
Also spoofed by Futurama, where Bender and every other robot on Earth is being tricked into getting deactivated. They are the cause of global warming, as it turns out. Bender, in a rare moment of altruism, is willing to die (for the turtles), and Fry claims that the world isn't good enough for him. Bender simply replies, "Not even close."
Played shockingly straight in the Adventure Time episode "All Your Fault," with the death of Lemonjon, the eldest child of the Lemongrabs. He sacrificed himself so he could save his family. In his Final Speech, he says, "I must dissolve the bonds uniting me, and become component to all!" Finn and Jake are respectfully silent for a moment, before Finn sadly says, "Man, that Lemonjon was all right."
King of the Hill when Buckley dies and causes Luanne to go a little crazy and lose faith in humanity's goodness.
Played with in South Park with Kenny who is arguably the most down to earth and morally centered of the four boys and he of course gets killed in nearly every episode of the first five seasons and nowadays once a season
Played Straighter with Chef who was possibly the most down to earth of the townsfolk
Beast Wars mixes this trope with Sacrificial Lamb, introducing a deformed, yet powerful robot with a child-like innocence that starts off its episode not even knowing good from evil. It winds up befriending Silverbolt and Ravage, who both want to protect it for different reasons. Silverbolt cherishes its innocence, while the insane mutant Rampage feels A Shared Suffering. By the end of the episode, it winds up sacrificing itself to stop its two friends from fighting.
The following are people depicted in media (occasionally including news media) as this trope.
Abraham Lincoln said his son Willie was this. "My poor boy. He was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!"
Shiloh Jade Pepin: the -once- only person in the world living with mermaid syndrome. Mermaid syndrome occurs when a baby is born with the legs fused together like a mermaid's tail. Most babies die within a few hours. Two other girls who were born with the disease were able to survive past infancy and successfully had surgery to separate their joined legs, but Shiloh's condition was so severe that surgery wasn't even an option. TLC ran a couple specials on her because of her remarkability and adorableness. She died of pneumonia at the age of ten.
Beatrice Portinari believed by scholars to have been the inspiration for Beatrice a character in the Divine Comedy and in the game based off the book, The Other Wiki cites that Dante viewed her as the mortal representation of purity and virtue. She also died at age 24 where as Dante lived to be 54 so this may invoke Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
Michael Jackson gets a lot of this from his fanbase, perhaps best exemplified by this website, and his estate and Big Screwed-Up Family support their efforts, even arguing that his drug overdose death was really only the fault of his doctor, concert promoters, etc. — never mind that he had been addicted to prescription drugs for years. (As a bonus, the aforementioned website holds a similar opinion of Princess Diana, regarding the two as bullying victims for how they were so cruelly treated by the media.)
The Catholic church has a slew of young saints who are this. St. Maria Goretti died in 1902 at age 12 fending off a rapist. She lived for a day or so, forgiving her attacker. Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the kids who saw the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, died of influenza compounded by self-imposed neglect ("sacrifices") at age ten (1919) and nine (1920) respectively. Jacinta was an especially good example of this; she lingered for over a year, quietly enduring Body Horror and preaching sermonettes to all and sundry.
Speaking of young saints, it's said that Oprah's favorite poet/prophet/inspirational figure Mattie Stepanek, who died at the age of 13 from cerebral palsy and was the only one of his equally-afflicted siblings to survive past the age of four, is on the path to sainthood.
Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine Massacre, was known for being incredibly kind to students, and is now the symbol of anti-bullying in high schools with the "Rachel's Challenge" program dedicated in her memory.
All the child victims of the Sandy Hook massacre have received this treatment in the media.
Anne Frank may be the poster child for this trope. Given everything that happened, the fact that she was still an optimistic and good-natured girl until the end say volumes of her quality as a human.
Ricky Wilson, late guitarist of The B-52s was by all accounts incredibly nice, not to mention shy. He didn't want to tell his friends and sister that he had AIDS, for fear of upsetting them. Ricky is deified by fans of the band.