Follow TV Tropes

Following

Context Main / BigGuyFatalitySyndrome

Go To

1A specification of the HeroicSacrifice. Things are going really well for our heroic party: the infiltration in the BigBad's [[SupervillainLair evil fortress of doom]] is advancing steadily and without a problem. Then, suddenly, things take a turn for the worst: the villain turns some phlebotinum-powered device on the heroes, or a dangerous foe long thought dead has reappeared and is endangering not only the quest of our heroes but their very survival. What happens then? "Not to worry, you go ahead, [[TheRestShallPass I'll deal with this inconvenience]]!" Famous words... and usually the {{last|Words}}. For reasons unknown, the largest man of the crew will usually be the one who does the sacrificing.께Whenever there are characters in a show, book, etc., the biggest/strongest/most massive one will be, against common sense, the first to die, usually saving the rest of the crew so they can go on and finish their epic quest.께Similar to TheWorfEffect, only in that trope a) it's the tough one who's affected (often TheLancer or a SixthRanger instead of TheBigGuy), b) he usually survives, and c) the Big Guy Fatality Syndrome normally goes at the end of a book, series, whatever, while TheWorfEffect goes at the beginning. If they're TheBigGuy in the FiveManBand, or female, or both, they're less likely to die. When this happens to a HuskyRusskie, it is a clear indication of RussianGuySuffersMost at work. Also can overlap with BlackDudeDiesFirst if the big guy is a ScaryBlackMan.께See also VasquezAlwaysDies, a related AlwaysFemale trope where the more badass of two leading female characters will always be the first to go. Since strength is associated with masculinity, see MenAreTheExpendableGender.께Often an early step in a DwindlingParty situation.께!!'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''----!!Examples:께[[foldercontrol]]께[[folder:Anime & Manga]]* ''Manga/GetterRobo'':** It happens to Musashi Tomoe [[TheyKilledKennyAgain over and over again]].** AND his sucessor, Benkei Kuruma. By the end of the manga, only Ryoma and Hayato amongst the original team survives, until Ryoma himself may or may not bite the dust as well.* Hilariously spoofed in ''Anime/AngelBeats''.* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Ryu Jose combines this trope with BlackDudeDiesFirst. Or rather, AmbiguouslyBrown Dude Dies First.* Hayato Kakizaki ([[Anime/{{Robotech}} Ben Dixon]]) from ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' was TheBigGuy on Hikaru/Rick's team and the only {{wingman}} he ever lost.* ''Manga/OnePiece'': Zoro tries this at the end of Thriller Bark, but [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat can't manage to die from mere lethal damage]].* The towering, hulking Gold Saint [[GentleGiant Taurus Aldebaran]] of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' is usually hit with the WorfEffect just to prove a point how serious the menace ''du jour'' is. But while he was revealed to have survived in the anime {{Filler}} ''Asgard'' Arc, he went and bought the big one in the ''Hades'' Saga. Though not without making his death a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome due to a time-delayed TakingYouWithMe for the opponent who did him in, and who didn't even realize he was already a corpse until it was pointed out to him that he ''hadn't'' survived Aldebaran's final attack.* ''Anime/SailorMoon'':** Sailor Jupiter is the first Senshi to die at the end of the first season of TheNineties anime. Like all the others, she gets better.** Inverted in Stars's initial mini-arc, where she was the second-to-last Senshi to go down and be captured by Nehelenia. She's later released by Sailor Moon.* Ryoma from ''Manga/LegendOfHeavenlySphereShurato'' isn't ''the'' first character on the good guys's side to die, but he ''is'' the first member of the FiveManBand to kick it. He gets better, though.* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': Pippin, by far the biggest member of the Band of the Hawk, is the first of the major Hawks to buy it when the Eclipse goes down and the demons start coming out of the woodwork. He goes down fighting, buying Judeau and Casca time to escape the initial attack, and it takes a multitude of demons to bring him down.* ''Manga/ShinMazingerZero'': This actually happens to '''[[Anime/MazingerZ Boss]]''', [[PluckyComicRelief of all people]].* Subverted with Honda during [[LateArrivalSpoiler the pre-Duelist Kingdom arc]] Death-T in the ''Manga/YuGiOh'' manga. Due to his jacket getting stuck in the falling blocks level, he can only help Yugi get out before uttering a resigned "it's too late for me..." and [[DisneyDeath getting blocked from his friends' (and the reader's) point of view]] by another falling block. While [[BigDamnHeroes he reappears at the very end]], this event serves to trigger Yugi's second breakdown of the arc and his reveal of the Other Yugi's existence to his friends.께[[/folder]]께[[folder:Comic Books]]* Subverted when Hal Jordan goes on his mad rampage and kills Kilowog. Though he's the last Franchise/GreenLantern he slays, it marks Hal's point of no return.* Thunderbird, one of the new ComicBook/XMen's two big guys along with Colossus, was killed on one of his first missions with the team, attempting to bring down the jet of [[GenericEthnicCrimeGang Maggia]] leader Count Nefario.** Colossus later dies in more dramatic circumstances in self-sacrifice to cure the Legacy Virus.** Strong Guy by the nature of his powers dies protecting the rest of his team from a bomb. He didn't die from the explosion but from the heart attack it induced.* Omega Supreme is offlined in ''ComicBook/TheTransformersRobotsInDisguise''. He's alive but the damage is so severe that he still isn't healed after the book changes over to ''ComicBook/OptimusPrime'', which is several years later both in and out of universe.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Film - Animated]]* In ''WesternAnimation/RiseOfTheGuardians'', it's [[CuteBruiser Sandman]], unquestionably the strongest character of the FiveManBand, who {{di|sneyDeath}}es first, to establish the BigBad of the movie as real threat, and make things much harder for the rest of the team.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]* This trope is probably why they {{Dropped a Bridge on|Him}} Dozer in ''Film/TheMatrix''.* While he's not the first to die in the invasion of the Black Fortress during the climax of ''Film/{{Krull}}'', Rell the Cyclops is the first to die when they actually get inside the Fortress. He holds open a closing wall just long enough for his companions to get past, before it crushes him to death.* Lewis Romero, a member of a school football team in Film/FinalDestination is killed off after his head is crushed by weights.* Dagonet (Ray Stevenson's character) in the Clive Owen Film/KingArthur film.* The ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' finale movie featured the death of D'argo in a bit of a TearJerker HoldTheLine moment.* Buck the gorilla in ''Film/RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' dies taking down a ''helicopter''.* Ironhide, likely the most powerful Autobot on the team bar Optimus, is the first Autobot casualty of ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'', leaving the Autobots without their signature heavy-hitter. It takes the three Wreckers to equal the amount of ass-kicking that Ironhide had.** The Driller also dies quite early in the movie. Optimus easily kills it by flying through its head, snapping it off. Driller dies before any of the signature Decepticons such as Shockwave, Soundwave and Starscream. * In ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', Groot performs a HeroicSacrifice by using himself to shield the rest of the team when the villain's ship crashes with them inside. [[spoiler: Another, different Groot grows out of a twig left from his demise to replace him in future films.]]* Averted in ''Film/TheGoonies'' when Sloth remains behind to hold up the boulder so the kids can escape, but then later makes it out (with his Ma, like a good son, even though she had been bad).* ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' being [[AnyoneCanDie Saving Private Ryan]], local HotBlooded contrarian Reiben fits the criteria. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope He's one of the only guys who lives,]] despite nearly going AWOL at one point and being ironically the squad member with the biggest problem with the mission to save Ryan in the first place.]] * In ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven2016'', it is the MountainMan Jack Horne who is the first out of the Seven to die.* Inverted in ''Film/SevenSamurai'': [[spoiler:Kyuzo and Kikuchiyo, who are both considered the muscle of the group in different ways, are killed last.]][[/folder]]께[[folder:Literature]]* Porthos, in ''Literature/TheVicomteDeBragelonne'': when a massively enormous rock threatens to crush the entire party, guess who's the one to hold it, sacrificing his own life in the process? Obviously, Big Guy Porthos. The writer goes one for about half a page then explaining how no other living human before or after could have managed such a feat.* In ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000: Literature/SpaceWolf'' novel ''Wolf's Honour'', it's Big Guy Haegr who takes the blunt of the Thousand Son's attack, obviously making a heroic sacrifice in the process.* In ''Buttercup's Baby'', ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'''s second part (at least in theory), it's BigGuy Fezzik who throws himself over an enormous cliff to save Waverly, who is Buttercup and Westley's daughter.* In the ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'': Chewbacca dies fighting the Yuuzhan Vong. Although when they drop a MOON on you it might not really be this trope.** In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe, do not be a chubby starfighter pilot, especially if your name is a [[PunnyName fat joke]] like "Porkins."*** Subverted later in the ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries Wraith Squadron]]'' series. Voort "Piggy" [=SaBinring=], a Gamorrean who was experimented upon to increase his intelligence to living tactical computer levels, is described as a large and somewhat portly pilot (and porcine besides), but in spite of his role as a GeniusBruiser, he manages to stop an assassin after taking a blaster shot to the gut... [[MadeOfIron and not dying like normal people should have.]] Notable for sharing a callsign with Jek Porkins, mentioned above.*** Played straight with [[spoiler:Runt]], however. While short for a member of his species, [[spoiler:Runt]] still barely fits in an X-Wing cockpit. He receives a MercyKill after an amphistaff bite during the Yuuzhan Vong War.* In the Legend of Drizz't: Legacy, Wulfgar dies bringing the roof of a tunnel down on a monster that was attacking the group.* ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy'':** ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannara'': Keltset the Troll, messiah of the Troll nation, and GeniusBruiser, dies holding up the roof while his best friend Panammon Creel, and [[TheHero Shea Ohmsford]] make their getaway.** In ''Literature/TheWishsongOfShannara'' it is Helt, the gigantic Borderman, who stays behind to raise the drawbridge after his companions. Justified, as Helt had already been poisoned in a battle against an earlier monster, and knew his time was short.* The ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' books in general have a surprisingly high casualty rate on the good guys' side. The trope is played straightest by the death of the massive Northlander hare [[HeroicSacrifice Rockjaw]] [[SacrificialLion Grang]] in ''The Long Patrol'' holding off a band of vermin alone.* In ''Literature/AStormOfSwords'', [[NonIndicativeName Small Paul]], a minor character who is described as being one of the biggest members of the Night's Watch, is the first and only person to be killed when an [[TheDreaded Other]] attacks Sam's group.* Almost played straight in ''Literature/WatershipDown'', but ultimately averted. Richard Adams originally intended for Bigwig, the biggest and best fighter among the heroes, to die in his fight against [[BigBad General Woundwort]], but the [[SavedByTheFans author's daughters pleaded otherwise]].* At the climax of the ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad Malloreon]]'', the GentleGiant Toth is killed by a {{Demon Lord|s And Archdevils}}-[[DemonicPossession possessed]] dragon in a last-ditch effort by Zandramas to [[DisqualificationInducedVictory keep Belgarion away from the final confrontation between Light and Dark]]. It was also intended to leave his {{Platonic Life Partner|s}} [[TheChooserOfTheOne Cyradis]] too emotionally vulnerable to arbitrate. [[spoiler:It fails miserably on both counts and Toth gets a crystal tomb for his trouble.]]* In the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' novels, Spartan-II Blue Team goes through no less than THREE Big Guys - [[spoiler: Samuel, James, William]] - all while the other four members survive throughout. [[/folder]]께[[folder:Live Action TV]]* In ''Series/BlakesSeven'', the crew's resident GentleGiant Gan was the first to die.* Happens twice in Season 3 of ''Series/TheWalkingDead''. Both times this trope also overlaps with BlackDudeDiesFirst; first the massive inmate Big Tiny is the first prisoner to die. The second time T-Dog is the first member of the group to die.** In the Season 7 premiere, it's revealed that [[spoiler:Abraham]] was Negan's victim, making him the first living casualty of Season 7. * In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', the series's Big Guy D'Argo is the only regular character (regular at that point, that is: another former regular was brought BackForTheDead) to die in the GrandFinale.* In the made-for-TV Star Wars movie ''[[Film/StarWarsEwokAdventures Caravan Of Courage]]'', the experienced warrior and woodsman Ewok Chukha-Trok is the only one on the mission to die.[[/folder]]께[[folder:TabletopGames]]* Invoked in the ''[[https://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=1687 Random Anime]]'' rulebook: [[LovableJock Football jock]] and iconic BigGuy Tank Doyobi is mortally wounded by the BigBad early in the fight, but survives long enough to [[TakingYouWithMe take the villain with him]].* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' CollectibleCardGame, there's a card for "Security Sacrifice," which details the duty of [[RedShirt security personnel]] to die so that the crew can achieve their objectives.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Video Games]]* Chopper in ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' is the only member of Wardog Squadron to die under Blaze's command. He dies in pure HeroicSacrifice fashion, buying time for the civilians of a crowded stadium to evacuate under enemy attack.* In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', Jorge, Noble Team's only [[SuperPrototype Spartan-II]], dies when he heroically activates the slipspace bomb in the Covenant supercarrier, after throwing the player down to Reach. [[spoiler: Although most of Noble Team is dead by the end anyway, so it's really more of a KillEmAll scenario.]]* Sergei from ''Videogame/CallOfDutyBlackOps''.* An interesting case of this occurs at the end of ''Videogame/StarcraftII''. It's [[TheUntwist "revealed"]] that Tychus was working for [[TheEmperor Arcturus Mensk]] all along as a [[TheMole mole]], and has been given the task of killing [[RomanticInterest Sarah Kerrigan]]. Tychus, whose [[PoweredArmor Power Suit]] has been rigged to kill him on Mengsk's command if he fails, forces a SadisticChoice on [[TheHero Raynor]] between him and Kerrigan. Ultimately Raynor picks Kerrigan, blocks Tychus' shot at Kerrigan with the shoulder of his armor, and shoots Tychus before he can react.* ''VideoGame/FearEffect'' plays with this trope. Deke gets killed off in the first game, and it was not even a HeroicSacrifice. (In the true ending, he gets better.)* Mareg's death in ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'' comes fast and hard. During the escape from Valmar's Moon, he uses his huge frame to [[YouShallNotPass block off a chokepoint]], buying his friends enough time to get back on the ship. An insectoid flies at Mareg from behind and impales him with its stinger. When one (beast)man stays behind to hold off a million demons, there's really only one way it can end.* Dom crashes a truck into a tanker full of flammable fuel in ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 3'' to destroy the Locust and Lambent surrounding the group.** In ''Gears of War 2'', Tai (who has so far been built up to be MadeOfIron, able to shrug off being inside an exploding vehicle without a care in the world) is captured by the Locust. When you later rescue him, he is covered with cuts and has hooks dug into his back, having been heavily tortured. Marcus hands him a gun, assuming he would be eager to get back to fighting and get some revenge on the bastards, but the torture had broken him so completely that [[DrivenToSuicide he immediately turns the gun on himself instead]]. An issue of the comic book shows that he even manged to fulfill the HeroicSacrifice part of this trope, as he was captured while rescuing Dizzy from Skorge.** In an early issue of the comic, Barrick has a DyingMomentOfAwesome when he allows the rest of Delta Squad to escape from a group of Beast Riders on Bloodmounts by rushing in and beating the crap out of them with his bare hands. Given that he would have died in a few months/years anyway due to [[IncurableCoughOfDeath rustlung]], choosing to go out like a badass was undeniably the correct choice.* Grunt [[YouShallNotPass stays behind]] to give [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] and their team time to escape from Reaperized Rachni in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', killing over a dozen of the walking alien tanks with his shotgun, fists and [[GrievousHarmWithABody alien limbs wrenched from their owners]] before tackling one final foe off of a cliff. A rare subversion in that if the player had gained his loyalty in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', he can live through sheer badassery, [[DisneyDeath limping out of the cave covered in gore and asking for food]].* Basilio of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' is killed by [[OneManArmy Walhart]] on the battlefield despite being warned ahead of time by someone from [[BadFuture the future]] that he would die there. [[spoiler:Actually subverted; it's later revealed that Basilio was PlayingPossum. He ''did'' die in the [[BadFuture original timeline]], but because of the warning, he knew to play dead this time around rather than give into his pride and fight to the death.]]* Attempted by [[TheBigGuy Rand]] in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII''. At the last moment his mother takes his spot.* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'', Jiao ends up being the first member of the Chimeriad to perish when he decides to stand alone against the Arknoah group to buy the others time to escape. He manages to wipe out their ground forces, but ends up being done in by a cannon shot from one of their airships.* If the player sides with the Railroad in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', the Brotherhood will find out their hidden base and attack them at one point. Glory, a Railroad Heavy who is their strongest named member will be fatally wounded while trying to [[YouShallNotPass hold the Brotherhood soldiers off from the front entrance]]. This takes place in normal gameplay, but it's a scripted event so even if you manage to kill all the Brotherhood troops before they can get a shot off, she'll still spontaneously expire.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Visual Novels]]* In every ''Franchise/{{Danganronpa}}'' game, the largest cast member ([[VisualNovel/DanganronpaTriggerHappyHavoc Sakura]], [[VisualNovel/Danganronpa2GoodbyeDespair Nidai]], [[VisualNovel/DanganronpaV3KillingHarmony Gonta]]) always dies, in some cases in the same chapter. Even in their non-game works, they have a large cast member die at some point in the narrative.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Web Comics]]* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', Pauline was more or less considered the main [[TheBigGuy Big Guy]] in the adventuring group, despite being female. She dies at the end of 'The First Book' and since she's female and the biggest badass female of the group she also qualifies for VasquezAlwaysDies.* ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'': Krunch is killed when fighting against King Tavor.* In ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'', K'seliss is [[ImMelting liquefied]] by an [[TheUndead undead]] [[EldritchAbomination horror]]. ([[DyingMomentOfAwesome In his last moments]], he ''[[TakingYouWithMe bites its head off]]''.)* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' - Played straight for the PrecursorHeroes, who permanently disbanded after their muscle (Kraagor) died sealing the last rift. Played with for the Order themselves - their leader has already died and been revived, but the two most obvious "Big Guys" both have ominous prophecies over their heads. Belkar is scheduled to take his last breath before the in-universe year ends, while Durkon can only return home posthumously. [[spoiler: Then Durkon dies protecting Belkar and is brought back as a vampire.]][[/folder]]께[[folder:Web Original]]* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': While she doesn't die, [[spoiler:Yang becomes the first member of Team RWBY to suffer a life-threatening injury when her right arm is sliced off above the elbow by Adam during the Battle of Vale.]] Also, Yang has the dubious honour of being the first member of Team RWBY to decisively lose a fight against an antagonist, which in her case would be Neo (and said case very nearly proved to be fatal for the poor girl too).* Tetsuo Shingen of ''Roleplay/RouletteRampage'' is the largest and heaviest of the cast, and he bites it in Chapter 2 as a last minute target for that Chapter's killer. As it wont for a fanwork based off of ''Franchise/{{Danganronpa}}''.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Western Animation]]* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'': Grundy, from the [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Most Definitely Not]] ComicBook/TheDefenders group, in "The Terror Beyond."* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/TitanMaximum'': [[BigGuy Spuds]] dies falling off his ridiculously high balcony while partying.* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'':** [[TheBrute Breakdown]] is the first of the recurring cast to bite the dust. Made much crueler by virtue of the fact that Airachnid, who Breakdown admitted to having a crush on, [[ShipSinking is the one to kill him]].** The "big, heavy hitting guy" role in the Decepticon side seems to have the most lethal position in the Decepticon Army next to "mook Vehicon". Prior to Breakdown, Skyquake showed up and was killed off ''in his debut episode'', though he managed to hold his own against Optimus Prime and Bumblebee for a time. Later, Hardshell ends up getting killed in his second episode; though his actions in his first are ''another'' example of this trope.*** And then Dreadwing bit the dust, though admittedly he was more a composite of TheBrute and TheDragon during Season 2.*** While not dead, Predaking was made into a [[HumanPopsicle Robot Popsicle]] one episode after his introduction. [[spoiler: It doesn't last.]]** [[TheBigGuy Bulkhead]] is grievously injured in the finale of the mid-season arc, shot in the back by the Insecticon Hardshell. Ratchet managed to stabilize him, however, it appears the damage that Hardshell did to his chassis may be permanent; leaving whether or not Bulkhead will return to action an Open question.*** He did return to action, but his recovery still took time before completion... For another example, Cliffjumper in the first episode was also a [[TheBigGuy Big Guy]], and he was the SacrificialLamb of the series.* Though he didn't die, the ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' version of Bulkhead is definitely aware of whose job it is to take the heavy hits.--> '''Bulkhead''': [Charging forward] I'll keep him distracted. He always shoots at me first.--> '''Blitzwing''': Let's see how tough you are without your big bolt-brained bruiser! [Fires shoulder cannons. Bulkhead is blown back, leaving a giant groove in the pavement.]--> '''Bulkhead''': [weakly] Called it.[[/folder]]께[[folder:Real Life]]* OlderThanPrint: Saito UsefulNotes/MusashiboBenkei met his end buying Minamoto no Yoshitsune and his young wife time to kill themselves.[[/folder]]----

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report