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Playing With: Black Dude Dies First
Basic Trope: African ethnicity means you're first for the chop
  • Straight: Bob, the Token Minority black guy, dies before all the white characters, such as Alice.
  • Exaggerated: Dozens of black people die right at the beginning. All of the black cast, in fact.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob barely beats out dying before a non-black cast member, being fatally wounded less than a second before Charlie.
    • Bob is injured first.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Alice, the only white character in an otherwise all-black cast, dies first.
    • The black dude is the killer.
    • The black dude is the only survivor.
    • The black guy is the last to die.
    • The black guy is the first one to be brought back to life.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is made a very obvious sacrificial lamb, being Alice's best friend/boyfriend, getting lots of screen time, etc. Only Charlie, who is white and has stayed in the background, is killed first instead.
    • Alternately, Bob dies a Disney Death in the beginning.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...except Charlie is actually Not Quite Dead, and while gazing in horror at his "corpse" Bob is really killed first, possibly by Charlie, who was faking his death to lure Bob into a trap.
    • Later on, Bob dies for real. He's the first casualty in the story, in fact.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob is incredibly unlucky, comically falling victim to Everything Trying to Kill You. Maybe drawn out and subverted several times over for maximum comic effect, but ultimately something does get Bob. Or, Bob is a black They Killed Kenny Again character, with much lampshading.
    • An arrow about to hit a Mighty Whitey changes its course at the last second to hit Bob.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Same as parodied, but played for suspense rather than for laughs, and it's the whole cast who are faced with Everything Trying to Kill You
    • Same as double subverted, but Bob knew Charlie was trying to kill him and either fakes his own death or else avoids Charlie's attack, thus allowing Bob to kill or apprehend him as so desired.
  • Averted:
    • Nobody dies.
    • The cast is mixed race, so the deaths of various ethnicities are spread out.
    • Bob either survives, or dies at some other point in the story without his ethnicity having any significance or relevance to this
    • OR: Bob lives long enough to be the only living hero or, at least, dies last.
    • The entire cast is black, or there are no black cast members in the first place
  • Enforced:
    • In order to woo young black viewers, the studio insists that Bob, as a black superstar, be cast. But Bob is very busy and can only be on set for a couple of hours. The script is hastily rewritten to ensure Bob dies first, thereby allowing his name to be plastered all over the production without risking Bob's other commitments.
    • The director is a racist. So are his fans. Killing off black people is expected of him, it's one of his trademarks. Of course, the actor who plays Bob didn't know this.......
    • The characters weren't originally meant to be a specific race or ethnicity. But the casting agency decided this black guy would be perfect for the role of Bob who is the first to die.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Hey, Bob, how come Alice died when you were standing right next to her?"
    • "There's a serial killer on the loose and I'm the only black dude in the neighborhood. Screw this, I'm moving to Canada!"
    • "Well, we should've seen that coming."
    • The rest of the group reacts to Bob's death with "Well, now that that's out of the way..."
  • Invoked:
    • Bob is blatantly the biggest threat to the evil force, so it targets him first
    • The cast arrive on an island full of people who have never seen a black man before, and consider Bob some sort of evil spirit. So, they kill him first to protect themselves.
    • Bob knows he's going to die very soon so kills himself painlessly at the start to avoid the possibility of a more drawn out and painful death.
    • Alternately, Bob knows he's going to die soon, so panics and tries to escape/avoid his fate, causing him to be predictable and easier to pick off.
  • Exploited: Bob pulls off a plan to exploit his death. He has a grenade wired to go off if his life signs fail. Bob is ambushed and ends up the only one to die to the monster.
  • Defied:
    • Bob is Genre Savvy and does everything he can to stay away from danger for as long as possible.
    • Bob is Genre Savvy and gets out of town on the first sign a serial killer is on the lose.
    • Bob's very protective friends are equally Genre Savvy and risk danger themselves to keep him safe.
    • "Okay guys, we're a bunch of teens and a serial killer is on the loose. We all know that serial killers go for the black dude first (you can beat the crap out of me later, Bob) or for defenseless young girls (same for you, Alice). Therefore, all us white males should do whatever we can to protect the black guy and the girl while we all get the hell out of here. As long as Alice and Bob are alive, then the rest of us are pretty much invincible (hopefully)."
  • Discussed: "Don't you hate it how the black guy always dies first in this sort of situation?".
  • Conversed: "I like horror films, but it's a bit jarring how the black guy always dies first".
  • Deconstructed: Bob spends all of his time cowering in fear due to the existance of this trope.
  • Reconstructed: Bob receives constant death threats from racist groups, perhaps due to his being outspoken about an issue which negatively impacts upon them. Therefore, he spends all his time cowering in fear from the potential invokation of the trope. Ultimately, near the start of the story, the threats are acted upon.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: The writers made Bob the first guy to die in the story to set the audience up for a Plot Twist: When Bob died, he went to hell. But since he was a Badass, he managed to fight his way out. However, he only actually comes back to life near the end, when the rest of the gang face the murderer. More than half of the fandom is shocked, and the twist is so well-known that it becomes an It Was His Sled situation (forgetting the rest of the film, by the way).
  • Played For Laughs
  • Played For Drama: The highly racist Caucasian cast conspire to ensure that Bob is always in the most danger, thus making it inevitable that he'll die first. Alice is appalled by this, and a major theme of the rest of the story is the conflict between those like her who tried and failed to protect Bob, and those who ensured he was the first victim. The drama is even greater if this scenario, takes place before the Emancipation, thus bringing overtones of Fair for Its Day into the mix.

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