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CaptainCrawdad
topic
04:36:52 PM Nov 25th 2012
Removed these from Boardwalk Empire:
  • In season 2 Manny shows up at Jimmy's home to kill him in revenge for attempting to have him murdered, but accidentally ends up shooting Angela's lover, Louise. He is at first stunned, but then seeing the opportunity to Break the Cutie in the cruelest way ever, he shoots Angela as well, despite her protests that she has a child, telling her "your husband did this to you."
  • Season 3 gives us Billie Kent - Nucky Thompson's young, charming and vivacious actress girlfriend, abruptly killed with a bomb meant for him. Although this time the woman was not the intended target, the villain does phone and taunt the male character regarding the death of his girlfriend in the next episode.

None of these are examples of people who were killed and displayed for the viewing of another.
WarriorEowyn
topic
07:12:46 AM Aug 25th 2012
edited by WarriorEowyn
Can we either change the definition for this topic or get a new one that describes the phenomenon which "Women in Refrigerators" is actually referring to - i.e., the killing or maiming of female characters purely for its effect on the male protagonist? It's common enough, and problematic enough, that it deserves a trope of its own. It sort of fits with "Disposable Woman", but not quite - sometimes it would be Disposable Woman, sometimes it might be Lost Lenore, sometimes it would be something else. The female character could either have or not have some characterization or personality apart from the hero and be this trope regardless, provided their primary role in the work is for their death to have a strong impact on the hero. The core point is that a female character is killed off to facilitate Character Development of the male hero - the character's death isn't about her. Also, if a woman connected with the protagonist was killed but it didn't impact the protagonist's character development or have a major emotional impact (e.g.: a lot of the Bond girls, including Paris Carver, the woman in the Caribbean in Casino Royale, and Strawberry Fields) they would be a Disposable Woman but not this trope.

And yes, it is gender-specific, just because it's so common with female characters (e.g.: Vesper in Casino Royale, Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, Wolverine's girlfriend in Origins, Magneto's mother in X-Men First Class, Spock's mother in the new Star Trek - and that's just looking at relatively recent films). An example where a male character was killed off purely for the impact on a female protagonist would an inversion, and is comparatively rare.

The term "stuffed in the fridge" wasn't coined to refer to gruesome death; it was coined to reference and discuss how comic books use the death and trauma female characters to further the development of male protagonists. So ideally, the trope should be used to describe that, and another name can be used for "gruesome death of person of any gender displayed to protagonist by villain for for shock value".

So - can we please take this to the Trope Repair Shop?
CaptainCrawdad
04:33:49 PM Nov 25th 2012
Yes, as it stands now, the trope is about a victim being killed and displayed for the psychological effect on a second victim. It has little to do with sexism and the actual "Women in Refrigerators" criticism.

There are a bunch of examples in here that use the Women in Refrigerators definition instead of what the trope describes.
AravisLaserleean
topic
11:37:33 PM Apr 17th 2012
It only favours women because they believe all male characters who die get resurected and believe all female characters stay dead. So naturally they all believe all men are in favour of the trope.
gibberingtroper
topic
02:23:12 PM Mar 22nd 2012
edited by gibberingtroper
Kyle even has this happen with friends. Terry Berg, his assistant (who happened to be gay), was horribly gay-bashed and beaten into a coma. Like in your standard Stuffed into the Fridge story line, the story focused more on Kyle's angst that someone could do this to a friend of his, rather than Terry dealing with the trauma himself. He terrorizes the thugs responsible, then takes a leave of absence from Earth because he's despairing for the state of humanity. While his friend is still bedridden.

I don't know if I should edit this or not but what bugs me is the sentence about how the story focused more on Kyle than on Terry. Terry was an ancillary character with little screen time who had been a part of the title for maybe a year tops. Kyle is the title character of the series. In a series about a space cop with a magic ring, a story about a topical street level issue that was basically Ripped from the Headlines was already intrusive to the flow of the story. Should a comic called "Green Lantern" have been taken over by a hospitalized supporting character for months to tell a story about gay bashing?
Therapsid
09:32:33 PM Apr 14th 2013
I believe the point of that last sentence was to highlight that despite Terry being an alleged friend of Kyle, Kyle's reaction to the incident was to do everything but try to help him. And that if you're going to do a comic book about a space cop with a magic ring, then perhaps a Ripped from the Headlines street level story wasn't a very good idea in the first place.
Aurabolt
topic
09:41:14 AM Mar 15th 2012
From the way this trope is treated by a number of writers and people who read comics and the like where it is prevelent and rather disliked, would this trope be considered a obvious addition for Bad Writing? I can't think of many people who actually enjoy or believe this trope-used in any form with any two characters of race or gender-would find this particularly appealing.
TiggersAreGreat
topic
05:30:23 AM Nov 20th 2011
So, what's the difference between Stuffed into the Fridge, Dropped a Bridge on Him, and Anyone Can Die? It seems to me that these tropes could have some overlap between them.
gfrequency
12:12:22 PM Jan 9th 2012
edited by gfrequency
There's some overlap, but they're definitely separate tropes. Stuffed into the Fridge is when someone (important to the hero) is killed off and left for the hero of the story to find her (well, usually her). It's a cheap narrative ploy to make things personal for the hero, in other words. Dropped a Bridge on Him is just the killing of a character in an almost off-hand fashion. Imagine Commissioner Gordon being taken out by a stray bullet in a gang shootout and you get the idea. Anyone Can Die is just that — main characters are not immune to being killed off, as one would expect. There's no reason to merge the tropes, and it's entirely possible for a character to fulfill all three at once without invalidating their entry on each page.
RealHawaiianIce
topic
03:09:56 AM Oct 23rd 2011
Real Life: Although not a heroic example, Muammar Gaddafi is currently a literal example of this. I'm not sure if it should be mentioned or not.
malonkey1
02:30:03 PM Jul 20th 2012
I'd probably avoid Real Life examples...
Clay
topic
12:50:06 AM May 24th 2011
I think in a way it's less that female characters are stuffed into the fridge because they are female and more because they aren't the main character. Also they are a little easier to kill than the hero's best friend and the hero's girlfriend is going to be in the way of some story lines.
Vidor
topic
03:22:16 AM May 9th 2011
Had to take out quite a bit of inappropriate examples. The trope is specified to be when a person is killed and their corpse is dumped in such a way as to send a message to someone. Quite a few of the examples were simply someone getting killed.
Galaxyspinner
topic
10:11:55 PM Jan 10th 2011
This page seems to credit the name of the trope to two different sources. Is it that "Women in Refrigerators" popularized the term after borrowing it from a Green Lantern comic, or do we have some disagreement here?
MrDeath
07:44:54 AM Jan 11th 2011
I think Women in Refridgerators was directly referencing the GL comic, yes.
94.9.133.108
topic
09:21:48 PM Jul 24th 2010
I don't know whether to laugh or sob at that caption.
SleetWintergreen
topic
05:08:47 PM Mar 8th 2010
Does Lian Harper in Cry For Justice really count? I was under the impression that being fridged generally meant when a loved one is singled out by the villain and murdered, not when they die along with several thousand other people.
Blue_Biro
07:49:16 AM Jun 5th 2010
Hi, I'm a first-time poster. I properly discovered this site when someone on Bad Astronomy and Universe Today (BAUT) posted a link. I was up till 3am this morning promising myself I'd go to bed after reading just one more trope.

Anyway, I can cite a couple of literal examples of Stuffed Into The Fridge. One is from the Jeffrey Deaver novel The Coffin Dancer, in which an unfortunate woman makes the mistake of thinking a contract killer actually likes her. The killer also plants a bomb to kill the investigating detective - but the detective actually survives because the dead woman's body protects her from the blast. Does this count as subversion? Dunno...

I also recall things stuffed in a fridge in Silent Hill 4: The Room - not the best work in terms of gameplay, but outstanding in terms of story.
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