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The definition of this trope seems to be: "a character is Put on a Bus, then the actor playing them dies''. Many (if not most) examples both on and off the page seem to read it as "character is retired after the actor dies", which would be The Character Died with Him. The trope description seems clear enough, and I don't really see anything wrong with the title either. All it probably needs is a quick go-through with the pruning shears, maybe moving the wrong examples to more appropriate trope pages, as well as changing the links to it on other pages that don't really fit. Reasons I'm posting this here on TRS is mainly so I know I haven't misunderstood anything before I go on a deletion spree.
edited 2nd Jul '11 4:18:13 AM by KorKhan
I see a problem with the title. You have to think through the metaphor for the snowclone to make sense, and if there's one thing people have a problem with, it's thinking. (It's a similar problem to Beyond the Impossible, at least for those for whom that title makes sense.) I can easily see where people might misinterpret the title to mean The Character Died with Him, and I can certainly see where people might misinterpret it to mean Put on a Bus to Hell or Bus Crash. I don't think the phenomenon described is tropable, to be honest. At the very least, there needs to be a statute of limitations on how long it must have been since the character was Put on a Bus when the actor dies (if a variable one like the end of the series).
edited 4th Jul '11 7:31:19 AM by MorganWick
I can see a few possibilities in there for this to be tropeable: 1. A wider definition that doesn't account for any specific type of creator input: Actor for an already absent character dies; the character is perhaps stated to have died, or is treated as still alive, or is simply not mentioned again. This would probably be more of a bit of trivia than an actual trope, though, since it is simply a type of Real Life event that affects the possibilities of the fictional universe. 2. A narrower definition, where the input of the author(s) is crucial: Actor for an already absent character dies, but the character is still treated as if they were alive, even though there's no chance for them to return (short of The Other Darrin, or similar tropes). This would count as a trope in my book, since it's a conscious decision on the part of the creator. If there's a problem with the name, what would you change it to? The current one fits in well with existing snowclones, and the only alternatives I could think of would be of the highly prosaic variety, e.g. The Actor Dies After The Character Left.
The Laura Sadler example I'm not sure about - although Sandy Harper is still alive off-screen, she was written out with a lottery win and emigration abroad because of Sadler's death. The character didn't die with her so it doesn't fit under The Character Died with Him
I am definitely willing to support a rename here. There's a pretty clear potential for confusion with Bus Crash (I would have assumed it was a redirect for that) and I suppose Put on a Bus to Hell too. If that's borne out in the wicks, then I think we have a bad title on our hands. The OP claims there are a lot of bad examples, so...
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Well we are looking at 45 wikilinks (294 inbounds), so it shouldn't be difficult to sample the entire range. IMHO, I've always thought that Bus Crash and Died On A Bus are the opposite of what they should be: Bus Crash sounds like something you witness where Died On A Bus sounds like something you're told in passing, when the tropes are more or less the other way around.
From what I can tell, The Character Died with Him doesn't necessarily mean that the character literally dies, just that he or she gets written out of the show as a result of the actor's death. So The Editor's example would be an example of that. That title is also a little misleading in that regard.
Giving a whole new meaning to the term Wick Check:
- 7th Heaven: Unclear; description is solely "Averted; Barry Watson survived his Hodgkins Lymphoma and returned to the show." Was his character Put on a Bus beforehand?
- Dad's Army: Character Put on a Bus, actor dies, character is later noted as still being alive. Pretty much correct.
- A-C: If it's correct that the character has to be kept alive afterwards, the name is worse than I thought.
- Adventures in Odyssey: Actor died while his character was still ongoing, character is Put on a Bus as a result, actor is later replaced and character is brought back. Inclined to say misuse.
- Bus Crash: See A-C.
- Characterization Tropes: Index, not applicable.
- Characters and Casting: Index, not applicable.
- Clueless Aesop: Actor dies, is Put on a Bus as a result; misuse.
- Commuting on a Bus: "Due to his untimely death in Turkey, the character was quietly retired for a time." Misuse.
- Doctor Who S10 E3 "Frontier in Space": See immediately above.
- Elemental Doom and Elemental Doom: Unclear in the former, X Just X in the latter, probably Bus Crash, most likely misuse.
- Getter Robo: X Just X.
- GL Green Lantern Corps: A drawn character noted as having died off-panel. Misuse.
- How to Cheat Death: "Refer to them to indicate that they're alive off-screen without appearing on-screen." Largely correct.
- Jack Attack: See Adventures in Odyssey.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Appearance by a character whose actor died long ago. Not sure what to do with this one.
- Laconical List of Subtle Trope Distinctions: Amazingly, contradicts the Canonical List: "The actor died, the character is written out of the show." Misuse.
- Long Bus Trip: Character is Put on a Bus, could come back, then the actor dies. Largely correct.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: First of all, it's fanfic-only and probably shouldn't be on the page; nonetheless, actor dies, fanfic writers kill her character as a result. Probably misuse.
- NCIS: Actor dies, character is referred to as still alive and dies later. Probably correct.
- Only Fools and Horses: Actor dies, character is Put on a Bus as a result. Misuse.
- Other: See Adventures in Odyssey.
- Passions: Character dies but Death Is Cheap so it's really a nice bus trip, actor dies later. Largely correct.
- Porridge: From what I can tell, actor dies, character is written out as a result. Probably misuse.
- Put on a Bus: Unclear.
- Replacement Scrappy: See Adventures in Odyssey.
- Sealab2021: Lolwut?
- Sesame Street: Actor is fired and character is written out, then the actor dies. Probably correct.
- Six Feet Under: Unclear, but I have a sinking feeling it's horrible misuse.
- Stock Footage Failure: Not entirely clear what is meant by the metaphor. Knowing the story behind Plan 9, though, more likely than not correct.
- Survivors: Probably means Bus Crash.
- That Night Felt Like Months: See Adventures in Odyssey.
- The Character Died with Him: Called the inverse. Probably correct.
- The Dark Knight Saga: Heath Ledger dies, the Joker is executed offscreen as a result. Misuse.
- The King Of Fighters The NESTS Chronicles: Character is Put on a Bus to Hell, then: "SNK has displayed great disgust towards him, so it's safe to assume he Died On A Bus." Lolwut? Misuse.
- The Pink Panther: X Just X, but my guess is misuse.
- The Sims: Virtual characters. Misuse.
- The Wheel of Time: Prose characters. Probably misuse.
- Trick 'r Treat: "Quite literally." Misuse.
- Tropes on a Bus: Index, not applicable.
- YMMV/Wallander: Actor dies, character stops appearing as a result. Misuse.
- Wishbone: Actor dies, the whole show is cancelled as a result. Misuse.
edited 20th Sep '11 3:13:33 PM by MorganWick
Personal thought: The Character Died with Him: Should be restricted to when the character is said to actually die when the actor does (i.e. Detective Briscoe) Bus Crash / McLeaned: Actor is still alive but the character is killed off in some manner. So, we have a spot for when the actor is dead or injured but the character may not be dead (i.e. there is no Word of God on the matter). That is this trope. Side Note: When the character is confirmed to be alive and referenced off-screen, that's The Ghost, though it could also fall into here. Which means that the name "Died on a Bus" is a Non-Indicative Name. Perhaps this is due to splitting off examples of characters that did die with the actor. Still, I think that a rename is also needed. I would like to propose The Bus Broke Down, as the difficulties in returning the character lie in the actor being indisposed. All that would be needed to restore the character would be to put a new bus on that route.
No-one's saying we have to stick with the snowclones if it only makes things awkward. My problem with The Bus Broke Down is that I think it's similarly confusing and likely to be misused as all the other "bus" tropes. I hate to be boring, by I get the feeling that a SPOONy rename might be the best way to go. Edit: Otherwise I think I agree with Donald, especially regarding making The Character Died with Him restricted to actual character deaths.
edited 16th Oct '11 3:04:47 AM by KorKhan
I see a consensus for a rename, but this seems to have been forgotten.
AXTE INCAL AXTUCE MUN
Here, have an alt-titles crowner. Let's add some suggestions.
This needs more votes.
While the proposed name has the right idea, Character Outlives Actor is too broad a name, it covers pretty much anything filmed during the 50s for example. If another better scoped verb could be substituted in it would be idea. Character Goes On Without The Actor more or less would point in a better scoped direction.
AXTE INCAL AXTUCE MUN
^Agreed. Character Outlives Actor would seem to include examples of bringing in The Other Darrin to replace a deceased actor, but the trope definition doesn't include that. Maybe Character Outlives Actor Offscreen? Anyway, there's been a holler to call this crowner, but for the above-stated reason I'm reluctant to do so.
edited 29th Feb '12 7:39:12 AM by MetaFour
"A narrower definition, where the input of the author(s) is crucial: Actor for an already absent character dies, but the character is still treated as if they were alive, even though there's no chance for them to return (short of The Other Darrin, or similar tropes)." This is good.
Yes. Let's keep the crowner a while longer to see if any of the new alternatives gather votes.
Bumps for vote.
Calling crowner in favor of Character Outlives Actor.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
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Alternative Titles: Died On A Bus
6th Feb '12 7:48:51 PM
Total posts: 211