Main Stuffed Into The Fridge Discussion

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12:37:45 PM Jul 15th 2017
I was surprised that The 100 wasn't on here at all, as there are a few examples. Season 3 Gina was created just to force Bellamy to become dark, and Lincoln's death was solely to motivate Octavia to revenge against Pike, and onto a darker path for character development in Season 4.
04:34:58 PM May 19th 2016
I have a new writing objective: Have a minor villain sneak up on the hero's paramour while they're in the kitchen, then cut to the hero coming home... to find cop cars in the driveway and said paramour being questioned by the police as the villain is removed on a stretcher.

Because seriously, why would you sneak up on someone you want to murder in the one room in any suburban house where there is guaranteed to be multiple knives in easy reach?
08:46:22 AM Apr 1st 2016
edited by FantasyLover321
Does this example under Comic Books, from Spider-Man, really count as Stuffed Into The Fridge?

Two previous Spider-Man deaths can be seen as approaching this trope in a more roundabout fashion: in ASM #11, Betty Brant's barely-introduced brother Bennett is killed in the crossfire in a fight involving Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, providing Betty with a reason to hate the web-slinger and thereby throwing a spanner in the works of her budding romance with Peter Parker. Later, in #90, a similar fate befell the father of Peter's new girlfriend Gwen Stacy, leading to another temporary estrangement between the hero and his love interest. However, in both cases the deaths were accidental.

The way it's phrased doesn't make them seem like examples of the trope, as it neglects to mention whether or not they were specifically left for someone to find. So, should they be removed, or am I being too finicky?
06:27:29 PM Apr 23rd 2016
If no one objects, I'll remove them.
12:58:56 AM Nov 24th 2015
edited by TrollBrutal
I'm defending this now removed example

  • A heroic version in Die Hard. Tony, brother of Karl, is found dead inside an elevator, with a Santa Claus hat on top and with a message from John McClane to the terrorist.
    Now I have a machine gun, ho, ho, ho.

John is making a show of out it, he could have left the corpse anywhere (the guy is not killed in the elevator), but he arranges it specifically as a taunt and wants the other terrorists to find it, along with his message. He's messing with them and purposely getting under their skin with a dead body, which falls in line with the trope, doesn't it?

"The doomed character may be killed by natural forces or by a character who doesn't have the intent to cause someone else angst in this case, the intent comes from the writer, who wants to rouse strong emotions in another character"

John may not know the kinship, but Karl is definitely enraged for the rest of the story.
06:06:01 AM Nov 24th 2015
I can't see why it wouldn't be this trope.
09:59:48 AM Jul 3rd 2015
I pulled this entry on Charlie Bradbury from Supernatural. I think it needs to be cleaned up or even scrapped entirely.

  • Charlie Bradbury's death in 10x21 was a textbook case of fridging: committed off-screen, gratuitously gory, and done solely to evoke rage and despair in the male main characters who discovered her mutilated body. While fans of the show outright expect most characters to die sooner or later, many were outraged that her death was largely pointless (regular show writer Robbie Thompson called it a "terrible decision"[1] and had presented the showrunners with alternatives[2], and series star Jensen Ackles agreed that it was "complete crap"[3]); involved a complete IdiotPlot[4] (actress Felicia Day outright told showrunner and episode director Robert Singer that the plot was full of holes and her character's actions made no sense[5]; series regular Misha Collins also noted that it required a significant plot hole[6]); this episode's sudden, dramatic reversal of the season's overall movement away from the show's pattern of gratuitous misogyny; and the Unfortunate Implications of having the only recurring openly LGBT character (see: Bury Your Gays) killed in a shower by a villain who'd literally supported the Nazis during World War II, in light of the real-world fact that LGBT people were among those imprisoned and murdered (e.g. in poison gas chambers disguised as showers) in Nazi concentration camps.

Going by the page definition I don't think she really qualifies as the villains had a logical reason for killing her (she refused to provide information they wanted) rather than just doing it to hurt the other characters, and she wasn't left on display specifically to spite them so much as they just didn't bother disposing of her body afterward. That said her death is a major motivating factor for Dean in the following episodes so you could make an argument for her as a regular "Women in refrigerators" case.

At the very least, however, I think we need to lose all the YMMV and Unfortunate Implications stuff. The original post was clearly written by someone who was very upset over the death and tried to cram in as many quotes and references as to why it was a bad idea as they possibly could, which isn't really relevant to the trope at hand.
10:50:06 PM Oct 10th 2014
As this is a trope that is inherently full of spoilers, should spoilers be unhidden on this page?

A quick look at the pages shows more white space than text.....
12:59:02 AM Oct 11th 2014
I dunno. At least in the works I know, it happens fairly early on and is thus not a spoiler.
01:05:20 PM Aug 2nd 2014
Hi. What is the freaking problem with Rachel Dawes from Dark Knight being considered this? Why do people keep taking it down whenever it's put up?
01:14:36 PM Aug 2nd 2014
NTC3 removed it from this page while alphabetizing it; I dunno why. The work's wiki doesn't indicate any obvious reason for removal.
01:20:56 PM Aug 2nd 2014
Well, that isn't the first time it's happened.
01:35:58 PM Aug 2nd 2014
On this page, I can't find any other instances.

On The Dark Knight the example hasn't been removed either. Although it's poorly written (explaining little about the trope while going into an audience reception tangent).
01:59:08 PM Aug 2nd 2014
It was probably better written, but was given a Justifying Edit or something similar, and then hastily rewritten. I've seen a lot of that.

Also, I just found out she's also been removed from Dropped a Bridge on Him. I guess the mentality is "If I don't like the character, it doesn't count." Again, something I've seen before on this site.
02:14:54 PM Aug 2nd 2014
Dropped a Bridge on Him is " a character is permanently written out of a show, especially killed off, in a way that is unexpectedly anti-climactic or mundane". Given the description on Wikipedia, I can safely say that she doesn't count - being kidnapped and then blown up with a bomb during a high-tension hostage scenario isn't "anti-climactic or mundane" at all.
02:38:59 PM Aug 2nd 2014
The Laconic definition, from this site:

An important character is killed off in a very abrupt, unceremonious way.
01:40:35 AM Aug 3rd 2014
That wouldn't apply there, either.
02:13:07 PM Dec 18th 2014
Agreed, you get last words and everything. Granted, there is a jarring interruption but the buildup is firmly in place.

Now Stuffed into the Fridge, I'm guessing editors are thinking about Batman and how he already had plenty of motivation but this death is part of what drove Harvey off the deep end so yeah it counts.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
02:16:12 PM Dec 18th 2014
Its only a problem because its overused with women. Tropes Are Not Bad. But right now this is a cliche.
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.
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.
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.
02:30:03 PM Jul 20th 2012
I'd probably avoid Real Life examples...
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.
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.
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?
07:44:54 AM Jan 11th 2011
I think Women in Refridgerators was directly referencing the GL comic, yes.
09:21:48 PM Jul 24th 2010
I don't know whether to laugh or sob at that caption.
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.
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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