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Death by Adaptation

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Vegeta: Oh, alright, fine!
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Vegeta: Psych, eight for eight!
Goku, Gohan and Krillin: Awwwwwww!

A character who remains alive in the original work dies in the adaptation. Or dies a lot sooner in the adaptation.

The reasons for doing this vary. Perhaps the crew wanted to surprise everyone, including fans of the source material. Perhaps they personally viewed the unfortunate character as The Scrappy and wanted to get rid of them. Maybe Executive Meddling required this change to be made. Maybe this happened as a result of Adaptational Karma when the character in question was a villain, and in grand movie tradition, the villain had to die at the end of the movie even if he or she was a recurring villain in the source material. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: a character you did not expect to die met their end. Frequently a cause of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and is actually one of the cases where that can be a very valid complaint.

Despite the above hypothetical example being a movie, this trope is hardly limited to book-to-film adaptations, as you'll see in the examples.

Compare with Schrödinger's Cast where a character's fate is different from the source material, but the source material is still ongoing (which may create the need for a drastic rewrite if the character in question becomes important later on in the source material) and Superhero Movie Villains Die for when death in adaptations is more permanent than the source.

The exact opposite of Spared by the Adaptation where a character who died in the source material does not die in the adaptation.

Not to be confused with Doomed by Canon (which is when the prequel cannot prevent a character's death from happening) or Dies Differently in Adaptation (where the character dies in both the original work and the adaptation, but the difference is how they died).

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.

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Examples where the character did not die in the source:


    Comic Books 
  • Afterlife with Archie takes place in a Zombie Apocalypse so this is obligatory:
    • There are three notable examples that occurred prior to the start of the series: Veronica's mother died some time ago due to illness, Cheryl's puppy Sugar was murdered by her jealous brother, and Kevin states that his father died in the Gulf War. All three are alive and well in the main series.
    • Characters that have died in this comic include Hot Dog, Jughead, almost all the major adults, Ethel, Moose, Midge, Vegas, and Jason.
  • In the original Batman comics, Arthur Reeves was forced to resign in disgrace after Rupert Throne made him look like a fool to set up Hamilton Hill becoming mayor. When the first annual issue of Batman & Robin Adventures followed up on the events of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Reeves was killed by the Phantasm for his role in her father's death.
  • Batman: In Darkest Knight has both Commissioner Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth die at the hands of Sinestro.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold has a multipart retelling by Tom King of the original Joker story from Batman #1. In the original, the Joker uses a paralysing agent to incapacitate the police when he kills Jay Wilde. King's version uses this ... and then has him butcher them all while they're conscious but helpless.
  • Batman: Two Faces:
    • Pamela Isley, who doesn't become Poison Ivy in this continuity, is dropped to her death by Two Facenote .
    • Bruce Wayne ultimately pleads Harvey Dent to let him drop to his doom, seeing no other solution possible for his transformations into the murderous Joker caused by the Twilight Orchid serum he created to try and cure Harvey.
  • In Marvel's adaptation to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, De Nomolos is killed rather than arrested. Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book runs with this and occasionally shows him breaking rocks in Hell. They even bring him back to life and kill him again.
  • DC Comics Bombshells: While Steve Trevor has died in the main DCU it's usually played off with him coming back in some form or another very quickly, even if it's just his body being possessed, in this continuity he dies and stays dead. By the overview at the end even his gravesite has been lost.
  • Earth 2:
    • The premise is based on the Golden Age DC heroes (such as the Jay Garrick Flash and the Alan Scott Green Lantern) being a new generation of heroes showing up after Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman perished fighting the forces of Apokolips. A Hope Spot is given when the villain Brutaal appears to be a Brainwashed and Crazy Superman, but he ends up killed and crumbles to dust upon his death, turning out to be a clone. The real Superman is eventually revealed to be still alive and kept prisoner to serve as a source for clones of him in Earth 2: World's End, but he doesn't make it in the end.
    • Kent Nelson dies with this continuity's Dr. Fate instead being his surrogate son Khalid.
    • Four Furies of Apokolips member Pestilence is a woman who is the last surviving Czarnian, Lobo being among the rest of the Czarnians who were wiped out in this continuity.
  • G.I. Joe:
  • G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers kills off several G.I. Joe and Transformers characters who usually survived until the end of the series. The most notable casualties are Bumblebee, Xamot, Major Bludd, Mercer, and Megatron.
  • Adam Fya's adaptation of The Great God Pan has Dr. Raymond die alongside Helen during the finale. Austin, one of Villiers' friends, is also Driven to Suicide by Helen.
  • Robert Bloch's The Shambler From the Stars ends with the narrator surviving his encounter with the creature and fearing its possible return. The comic adaptation Marvel did in Journey into Mystery instead has a Bolivian Army Ending where the Shambler is seen entering Robert's jail cell and creeping up on him from behind, implying that it kills him.
  • In Gerry Conway's adaptation of Theodore Sturgeon's Killdozer! for the Worlds Unknown series from Marvel, Kelly is killed by the titular Killdozer. This is in contrast to the original novella, where Kelly was one of the three survivors at the end of the story.
  • In the New 52 universe, a flashback in the Lois Lane oneshot reveals that Elinor Lane died in Lois and Lucy's childhood. Her post-Crisis self was still alive as of the Flashpoint (DC Comics) universe reboot.
    • Similarly, while a very minor character who only had two major appearances, the mother of Jonathan Crane, aka The Scarecrow, Karen was alive and well in the post-Crisis continuity, but became a victim of Death by Origin Story in the New 52 (and subsequently in the Gotham TV series) much like Elinor Lane. Gerald Crane also never died.
  • Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern:
    • The miniseries begins with Sinestro killing Arkillo, G'Nort, Saint Walker, Fatality, Larfleeze, Bleez, and Munk in a ritual sacrifice to activate the Universal Ring that the Guardians disposed of by dumping it into the Forbidden Zone.
    • Atrocitus ends up torn in two by Nova and Lucius.
  • A major part of the premise of Ruins is that many of the individuals who became super-powered beings in the standard Marvel Universe were instead subjected to horrible deaths, and some of the non-powered beings end up getting killed anyway (e.g. Hawkeye gets shot and the protagonist Philip Sheldon at one point trips over the Punisher's corpse).
  • Scooby Apocalypse kills off Fred Jones in the 25th issue and revives him as a nanite zombie in the 28th issue before he ultimately gives his life for good to aid in the destruction of the nanites that have caused the apocalypse at the end of the series. Every other continuity in the Scooby-Doo franchise to date has had every member of Mystery, Inc. still alive by the end of the series.
  • The Smallville: Season 11 comics made Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner into Posthumous Characters, with John Stewart being Earth's last surviving Green Lantern.
  • Chaos in Sonic the Comic is eaten alive, but in the games, he's dragged to a safe place.
  • Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), although he's a rather odd case: the comics treat Ivo Robotnik and Eggman Robotnik as two separate characters, then Ivo was Killed Off for Real and Eggman took his place. Splitting him into two characters is pretty much the only thing that prevents this from falling under Schrödinger's Cat.
  • Ken Masters in Street Fighter (Malibu Comics) is brutally beaten and scalped by Sagat after already dealing with Balrog and a handful of Shadaloo gunmen.
  • Gen is killed by Akuma in UDON's Street Fighter series. While something similar did eventually happen in Street Fighter V, it wasn't until many years after it had occurred in the comics.
  • Superman & Batman: Generations kills off a fair number of recognizable characters who remain alive in the standard canon, primarily due to its premise of averting Comic-Book Time and Plot Armor by having events follow a realistic passage of time and the importance of certain characters not being enough to save them from getting killed by the villains. The only established characters shown to survive to the end are Superman (due to his Kryptonian physiology enabling him to live far longer than a human being can), Batman (who achieves immortality via Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus pits) and Lana Lang (who becomes immortal from prolonged exposure to magic).
    • Lois Lane gets her neck snapped by the Ultra-Humanite in Luthor's body.
    • Dick Grayson gets killed by the Joker after Bruce passes him the mantle of Batman.
    • Supergirl is murdered by her brother Joel Kent.
    • Alfred Pennyworth dies of old age in 1967.
    • The Ultra-Humanite in Luthor's body eventually reveals to Superman in 1989 that he murdered several of Superman's loved ones and their relatives, Jimmy Olsen being among them.
    • Steve Trevor gets killed on the day his and Wonder Woman's daughter is born.
    • Hal Jordan falls to his death as a result of Luthor's blackout bomb deactivating his power ring.
  • The Superman Monster:
  • Transformers: Deviations, a comic book one-shot consisting of a What If? story that tells a version of the events of The Transformers: The Movie where Optimus Prime did not get killed, features some characters who survived the source material getting killed off.
    • Rather than sustaining injuries in his fight against Optimus Prime and being reformatted into Galvatron by Unicron, Megatron is offlined from the start when Optimus Prime shoots him in the head. As a consequence, the damaged Decepticons end up completely devoured by Unicron after being dumped into space from Astrotrain rather than being reformatted into Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps.
    • Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Springer, and Perceptor end up perishing when their shuttle explodes, when they not only survived the events of the original animated movie but also lived to the very end of the associated cartoon's remaining episodes.
    • Hot Rod ultimately sacrifices himself to aid in defeating Megascream (a reformatted Starscream) and Unicron when he survived to the very end of the original cartoon even after he gave the position of Autobot leader back to a resurrected Optimus Prime.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, when J. Jonah Jameson gives his Freudian Excuse for not trusting Spider-Man, he mentions in passing that his son is dead when John Jameson is still alive in the regular Marvel continuity.
  • In the second volume of Victorian Undead (aka Victorian Undead II) which covers vampires and retells the Dracula novel. It's revealed that Mina killed herself after being bitten by Dracula via sunlight rather than turning into a vampire. Arthur, who turns against the heroes and sides with Dracula for the sake of Lucy, dies when Lucy turns on him to heal herself and Seward is killed during the fight against the vampire brides. Oddly Quincy dies in this version too but he likewise did so in the main book.
  • Warlord of Mars:
    • Zig-Zagged with Tardos Mors and his son Mors Kajak end up dying in the storyline adapting Book 3 in John Carter of Mars, whereas in the books they survive. It was a rather odd choice to kill them, since we never see their corpses and the nature of their death's ends up being extremely ambiguous. Tardos seemingly returns to life in a later story arc, but that is revealed to be simply a copy with the real one's skull being found, confirming his death. Other publications following this have decided to ignore this with either Tardos or Kajak being alive and well without explanation.
    • Emperor Bandolian was the Big Bad in Skeleton Men of Jupiter and a notorious Karma Houdini as a sad result of the author dying. He ends up meeting his end in one special issue that serves as conclusion for that book, which ended on a cliffhanger note.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • While Volume 1's Hippolyte of Earth-Two and Hippolyta of Earth-One were both immortal and well off the Post-Crisis Volume 2 Hippolyta died while acting as Wonder Woman, though given the medium she did eventually make a return.
    • Wonder Woman: Amazonia: This continuity's version of Steve Trevor, in addition to becoming a misogynist with no qualms against raping his wife Diana, gets killed in the end when he's impaled on some wooden stakes.
    • In Wonder Woman (Rebirth) Hercules legitimately learns and repents for his actions, growing over time to become humble even. Then he gets killed and leaves all his stuff to Diana even though his own series Hercules Unbound, published back in the 1970s, had him walking the earth After the End and previous continuities never killed him off despite his antagonistic qualities.
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth) has Adrianna Anderson, a character who was alive and well in the pre-Flashpoint continuity and had given up on her amoral friend to start a relationship with Ferdinand die off in an experiment of Cale's early on. This drives Cale to further desperation and she ends up building an AI based on her one true friend's mental map.
  • In the Bad Future of Zombies Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit dies instead of Tiny Tim, who instead becomes a zombie who can't die. In the present day, Scrooge himself dies after saving the day.

    Films — Animation 
  • J. Thaddeus Toad in the Disney Theme Parks version of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, who apparently dies after being hit by a train during his escape from prison, and actually goes to Hell!
  • In the film adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin, Barnaby does not recover from his injuries after being shot by goons before he can tell Tintin about Sakharine.
  • In Animal Farm, Snowball is simply run out of the farm by Napoleon's dogs and Napoleon will probably rule the farm for the rest of his natural life. In Animal Farm (1954), the dogs actually killed Snowball and the film ends with all the other animals attacking Napoleon and the other pigs while his dogs are too drunk to defend them.
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon sees Jade Nguyen killed by Rip Jagger during her training years, long before she could even adopt her comic book persona of Cheshire.
  • Hrothgar in the 2007 Beowulf. In the poem, we don't see him again after Beowulf kills Grendel's mother, and the story skips to Beowulf as a king in a different country. In the film, once Beowulf claims to have killed her, Hrothgar gives him his throne and commits suicide out of shame for being a fraud who fathered Grendel in the first place.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Cinderella and Snow White's fathers are alive in their respective Perrault and Grimm fairy tales, although the Disney counterparts kill them off to avoid the moral implication of them abandoning their children to their second wives.
    • Prof. Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective falls to his death from Big Ben during a final battle with Basil. His counterpart in the Basil of Baker Street books is still alive and antagonizing Basil; he was behind bars as of Basil in the Wild West, the most recent book when the movie was made.
    • Quasimodo's mother in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In the original book, he was Switched at Birth with Esmerelda and then abandoned because of his ugly appearance before being adopted by Frollo, who took pity on him. In the movie, she loved him, but Frollo killed her and made him think that his mother abandoned him as a baby.
  • In the DC comics, when Bolphunga the Unrelenting discovers that Mogo is a living planet, he flees from him fast. In Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Mogo kills Bolphunga before he could get away.
  • In the original The Hobbit, only three of the thirteen dwarves (Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli) die. In the Rankin Bass version, besides Thorin, five of them die, including Bombur.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Bill the pony is eaten by the Watcher in the Water. In the original novels, Bill is initially presumed dead but later turns up alive and well.
  • Both Rowf and Snitter, the main heroes, drown in the ending of The Plague Dogs instead of being saved by real-life naturalists Sir Peter Scott and Ronald Lockley on a nearby boat.
    • This is actually the ending the book was supposed to have originally, before the publisher and friends convinced Richard Adams to save the heroes and give the already extremely depressing story a happy ending. There are two conflicting versions about how the original ending appeared in the movie - first one claims that the ending was animated before the Deus ex Machina was added to the book, the second one that Martin Rosen, the director, liked the original ending better and used it on purpose instead, as he has gone on record saying he did actually prefer the original ending to the new one.
    • Also Snitter's owner, who turned out to be Not Quite Dead in the book, is Killed Off for Real in the film.
  • In Ratchet & Clank (2016), Planet Novalis is destroyed by Chairman Drek (though the entire population is able to evacuate), whereas in the game it was adapted from, the worse that happens to it is the mayor going paranoid and pleading for his life. Drek's Lieutenant is also killed off through rusting in this adaptation.
  • Metallo in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In the comic version, outside of a mention that he might've been involved in the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne that turned out to be a Red Herring by Lex Luthor to keep Batman away, his subplot didn't have anything to do with the main plot; In the movie version, he was killed by Major Force (under orders from Luthor) to frame Superman.
  • In Superman: Doomsday, Luthor murders his longtime assistant Mercy after she erases all evidence of his hand in Superman's death.
  • General Woundwort kills Blackavar in the animated adaptation of Watership Down.
  • Wonder Woman: Bloodlines: Julia Kapatelis was kind ally in Wonder Woman (1987) whose life was threatened on occasion but was always saved. In this iteration, she dies at the hands of Diana's foes to give her daughter motivation to turn on Wondy, instead of having her tortured and mind raped into it.
  • Superman: Red Son:
    • Superman's childhood friend Svetlana, having been condemned to an underground gulag and suffering from an unspecified illness, dies in Superman's arms after he frees her and the other inmates.
    • The shrunken and bottled city of Stalingrad and its people are destroyed by Brainiac in the climax.
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is the first DC animated film to feature the deaths of Batgirl, Blue Beetle, Steel, Batwing and Bumblebee.
  • Injustice (2021), this trope, Spared by the Adaptation and Dies Differently in Adaptation hits this movie:
    • The Flash, who is a major player in the comic prequels and the games themselves, is unceremoniously killed off by The Joker early on by getting his head chopped off while under the effects of Fear Gas.
    • Cyborg, another major player in the comics and games, is ripped apart by Amazo. The same happens to Amazo.
  • In The Last of the Mohicans Uncas’ father Chingachgook survives the novel, in the 1975 animated film by Hanna-Barbera he is killed by the villain Magua when he throws him off a cliff.
  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox:
    • Steve Trevor is personally strangled by Wonder Woman, when all that became of him during the Flashpoint timeline in the source material was being held prisoner by the Amazons.
    • Deathstroke dies instantly after being gravely wounded rather than being able to recover from his injuries with Sonar's help.
    • Abin Sur appears as a corpse in the custody of the U.S. government when in the comics his Flashpoint timeline counterpart was still alive as a member of the Green Lantern Corps and only died briefly before being revived by the Life Entity as a White Lantern.

  • In the novelization of Back to the Future Part II, Marlene McFly commits suicide after her brother Marty Jr.'s incarceration. The film has her attempt to break him out of prison, only to get caught and incarcerated too.
  • There is actually a pro-hunting educational book out there called Little Jake and the Three Bears that has the titular Little Jake off one of said bears and Bambi's father. As if kids weren't traumatized enough by Bambi's mother's death.
  • The novelization of Batman: No Man's Land sees Two-Face kill the original Tally Man, whereas this didn't happen in the comics and Tally Man had a cameo in Infinite Crisis. Additionally, while someone who claims to be Gilda Dent appeared during Dick Grayson's second tenure as Batman, her fate after the events of The Long Halloween was never revealed and Dick doesn't believe it was really her, but the novelization likewise depicts her as dead.
  • Pretty much the entire supporting cast (or their Suspiciously Similar Substitutes, anyway) get axed in the Carl Dreadstone Novelization of Creature from the Black Lagoon. In contrast to the one written by Vargo Statten, which follows the movie more faithfully, Dreadstone's adaptation mercilessly gives pretty much everyone who survived the film a Cruel and Unusual Death at the hands of the Creature, a giant beast referred to as "AA" ("Advanced Amphibian"). Maia gets eaten, Dr. Thompson is impaled with a tree branch, and "José Goncalves Fonseca de Souza" (this book's incredibly unlikable Jerkass version of Lucas) has his head bitten off. Ouch.
  • The novelisation of the Doctor Who story "The Curse of Fenric" apparently decided that the ending didn't go far enough, so Vershinin and Bates, practically the only guest characters to survive the TV version, get shot dead by Commander Millington.
    • Likewise, the novelisation of the next story, "Survival," makes a point of having Derek, one of the few survivors, killed by the Master, as well as having minor characters Harvey and Len transported to the Cheetah People's planet and presumably killed.
  • In comics following Final Crisis, Director Bones is depicted as having survived a failed attempt to lay siege to Darkseid's fortress in Bludhaven and Count Veritgo's fate is unknown. In the novelization, they died with Negative Woman, the Atomic Knights, and several Checkmates agents.
  • Chief in the Disney Read-along record/picture book version of The Fox and the Hound (he is simply never seen, heard, or mentioned again after being hit by the train, which implies his death). Interestingly, he died in the original novel as well, making the Disney film the only adaptation where Chief survives.
    • Some tie-in storybooks based on the Disney movies actually changed how the villains are defeated: For example, one out-of-print storybook based on Robin Hood (1973) had Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham all simply disappear after the castle fire at the end, "and were never seen again" is what the book stated of their fates, implying that they were burned alive in that fire; while some storybooks based on The Lion King (1994) had Scar simply die after being thrown off a cliff by Simba, despite in the actual movie Scar survived the fall but is instantly killed by his own hyenas when he lands.
  • The novelization of Ghostbusters II has Jack Hardemeyer devoured by the Museum's slime barrier. This was filmed but left out of the final film, where he's last seen singing Auld Lang Syne outside the museum with the other bystanders.
  • The Hardy Boys: In the original version of The Short-Wave Mystery, Jimmy Gordon's Evil Uncle Elly Batter is The Dragon while in the reprint, he's a Posthumous Character who did assist the villains in the past but double-crossed them and died of natural causes afterward. A new villain has some of his lines and scenes.
  • The first book in The Hardy Boys Casefiles killed off Joe's longtime girlfriend Iola Morton via car bomb, to show how these books would be different from the main ones. However, the Casefiles series was being written alongside more traditional style Hardy Boys books, in which Iola was still alive. note 
  • The novelization of The Jewel of the Nile kills off Omar's Dragon Rachid. In the film, Rachid just gets defeated when Ralph uses a firebreathing trick to burn off his eyebrows (and possibly blind him). In the book, he ends up falling to his death down the bottomless while Omar has Joan and Jack dangling over in the dungeon.
  • Quentin Coldwater in The Magicians. In the books, he survives saving Fillory and leaves with Alice to guide the world he created. In The Magicians he died saving Earth from evil minor gods, by fixing a mirror needed for their banishment.
  • The Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots novelization reveals that Solid Snake lived long enough to raise Sunny into adulthood and gave her away at her wedding before dying peacefully. The original game left Solid Snake's final fate ambiguous.
    • The novelization of The Phantom Pain ends with Quiet committing suicide by pouring gasoline on herself and lighting a match. In the game, nobody knows what happens to Quiet after she leaves Diamond Dogs following the events of Episode 45.
  • The novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team has Kiki commit suicide by biting off her tongue when she is captured and gang-raped by Federation soldiers.
  • Morphine by Mikhail Bulgakov is a story about how a doctor becomes a morphine addict during the revolution and is based on Bulgakov's own experiences, with the main protagonist Polyakov clearly based on Bulgakov. The story ends with Polyakov being Driven to Suicide. In real life, Bulgakov was able to overcome his addiction and lived for over 20 more years.
  • Speedball dies alongside the rest of the New Warriors in the novelization of Civil War. In the original comic, he survives and becomes the Darker and Edgier Anti-Hero Penance.
  • The novelization for Pacific Rim pretty explicitly states that Hannibal Chau's trip down the gullet of a Kaiju was fatal. In the movie, he's spared by The Stinger.
  • The novelization of RoboCop 2 includes a scene with one of Cain's lieutenants, Catzo, getting into a knife fight with Officer Lewis, where she kills him. The scene was filmed but cut from the final film, resulting in Catzo's fate becoming ambiguous. The scene was used in the comic adaptation as well, though in that instance it was an unnamed thug who looked nothing like the Elvis wannabe from the film.
  • Transformers Film Series:
  • In The Twilight Zone (1985) episode "Healer", the mob boss Joseph Rubello has a bad heart which Jackie Thompson is unable to heal as he has begun using the healing stone for selfish purposes. In spite of this, Rubello is still alive when he is last seen. In the short story adaptation by Alan Brennert, Jackie is able to heal Rubello in the short term but his heart problems return and he dies two weeks later.

  • More likely "Death by Cover Version": In "Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las, the girl, Betty, was forced to break up with Jimmy, the titular "leader of the pack" after her parents declared that he's not good for her. As he leaves on a motorcycle on a rainy night, she warns him to go slow, but her efforts are in vain as she watches him get killed in a motorcycle accident. In Twisted Sister's version, however, the gender and perspective roles are swapped: After her forced breakup, it is Jimmy who watches (and lives) as Betty gets killed in an automobile accident.
  • The "Extra Gory" version of the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "The Night Santa Went Crazy" ends with Santa getting shot in the head when the regular version merely has him serving a 700-year prison sentence.
  • In the traditional version of "Whiskey in the Jar", Jenny saves Captain Farrell by getting the narrator's powder wet so his gun won't fire. In the Metallica cover, unfortunately for the captain, Technology Has Marched On, and Molly fails to disable the gun.

  • Blood Meridian revokes Judge Holden's Karma Houdini status and has him killed by The Kid; this is reversed from the novel's ambiguous ending, where it's implied Holden killed The Kid instead.
  • In Watchmen, Adrian Veidt is killed when Dr. Manhattan kills him with a blast of energy for his plan to kill his past self. This is in contrast to his comic counterpart, who not only survived, but was never even punished for his crimes.

  • In As You Like It, Orlando comes to Arden with his Old Retainer, Adam, who's elderly, starving and close to death. Searching for food, Orlando stumbles upon the banished Duke Senior, who's feasting with his lords. The Duke, who was a great friend of Orlando's father, immediately sends Orlando to bring Adam to the table and feed him. However, Adam is conspicuously absent for the rest of the play, which has led some directors to imply that he died anyway. The 1996 RSC production went so far as to show a grave covered in flowers. Whether or not Shakespeare actually intended Adam's death, killing him off would be a case of this trope, since As You Like It is itself an adaptation of Thomas Lodge's novella Rosalynde, in which Adam lived to the end.
  • Schaunard, the musician, survives to the end of La Bohème. His counterpart in RENT, Angel Dumott Schunard, does not.
  • In Voltaire's Candide, the pessimistic Martin survives to the end. In the 1956 and 1989 versions of Leonard Bernstein's operetta, he dies in a shipwreck, and unlike most of the other characters who "die", doesn't come back. This is because his part is written to be doubled with Pangloss, who needs to come back. (The 1973 version adapts him out altogether.)
  • The 2013 musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cranks up the Black Comedy of the source material by, after establishing that Backstory-only character Prince Pondicherry died in the melting ruins of his chocolate palace (unlike in the book), having three of the naughty kids plus Veruca's father threatened with death as a result of their misadventures. Augustus might be rescued offstage, but that's Uncertain Doom at best. Violet might get an offstage Disney Death if she's lucky (given that she explodes). Veruca and her father are much iffier cases as they are last seen headed for an incinerator, with no hope of rescue mentioned. The fourth and arguably worst kid, Mike Teavee, doesn't face death, but he instead looks to remain shrunken forever (because his long-suffering mother prefers him that way). In the book and most adaptations, all the characters survive their potentially lethal experiences but are definitely changed for them, while the 1971 film version left their fates ambiguous.
  • In the TV versions of Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein), the king and queen are benevolent, funny supporting characters. The 2013 Broadway stage production makes the prince an orphan raised by a villainous prime minister named Sebastian, whose influence Cinderella helps him learn to break free from.
  • In the Broadway version of Into the Woods, Cinderella's step-family starves to death while lost in the woods.
  • Both Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell end after Jesus dies but before we find out if he resurrects or not.
  • King Lear was panned in Shakespeare's time because of this trope: the widely-known old fable that Shakespeare adapted had a happy ending, with Cordelia and Lear reconciling and successfully retaking the throne. Shakespeare's audience got a nasty surprise.
  • The musical Little Shop of Horrors kills off several characters that survived in The Little Shop of Horrors, the movie on which it is based. These include Audrey (who is, however, spared in the film of the musical) and Mr. Mushnik (who isn't).
  • In the often forgotten original novella of Madame Butterfly by John Luther Long, Cho-Cho-San only attempts suicide: her maid Suzuki stops her and they take her little boy and run away before Mrs. Pinkerton can come back to claim him. When David Belasco adapted the story for the stage, he changed the ending to have the heroine go through with her suicide, and of course Puccini followed suit in his opera, as has every subsequent adaptation, retelling and deconstruction.
  • A notable staging of The Merchant of Venice had Shylock stab himself before exiting the court scene.
  • In Persona 4 Visualive the Evolution, a play adaptation of the second half of Persona 4, Tohru Adachi is struck down by the hero. His body disappears, and that's the last you see or hear of him for the remainder of the story, giving the implication that he died.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera musical (and its maligned sequel, Love Never Dies), Christine dies and becomes The Lost Lenore for Raoul and the Phantom: the original musical has a prologue showing an elderly Raoul as a widower, the 2004 film version reveals that the Phantom is still alive and secretly visits her grave too, and Love Never Dies shows her death. In the original novel by Gaston Leroux, Christine survives all the way to the end and elopes to Scandinavia with Raoul and her adoptive mother. Contrary to Webber's version, she actually outlives the titular Phantom himself, who has a Death by Despair.
  • The serialized tale of The Cunning Little Vixen ended with vixen Sharp-Ears alive and wed (the latter may have just been a hallucination by the woodsman), though the last paragraph suggested that she was probably dead by now since this was all set in an unspecified but idyllic past. The opera had her shot dead in front of her defenseless cubs, then skinned and her pelt presented as a wedding gift by the one stealing the woodsman's love interest. And yet it's still considered a comedy.
  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Enfield is murdered by Hyde, who also kills Utterson's butler when he comes to Enfield's defense. Both characters survive to the end of the original novel. (Enfield's death in the play is an adaptation of the murder of Sir Danvers Carew in the novel; Carew is Adapted Out in the play.)
  • In the National Theatre's 2014 production of Treasure Island, all the pirates wind up dead, including the ones who survive in the novel; some are killed along the way and most, including Long John Silver, are caught by a cave-in in the cave where the treasure is hidden. By that point the pirates have killed many of the loyal crew members, again including some who survived in the novel. (The production rather glosses over the question of who sailed the ship home again.)
  • Witness for the Prosecution deals some Adaptational Karma to Leonard Vole. Both the play and original short story see him acquitted of murder thanks to his wife, Christine, letting herself get caught for perjury. In the play, she kills him when he leaves her for another woman after the trial.

    Web Animation 

    Video Games 
  • The video game adaptation of A Bug's Life has Thumper, Thud, and even Molt die at the hands of Flik during their respective boss battles.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Talia al Ghul, Ra's Al Ghul, Hugo Strange, Clayface (possibly), and even the Joker bite the bullet in Batman: Arkham City.
    • And in Batman: Arkham Knight, Poison Ivy is killed during the climax. Black Mask also dies when the Red Hood kicks him out a window.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series:
    • The last episode of season 1 sees the death of Vicki Vale.
    • The first episode of season 2 sees the deaths of Lucius Fox and the Riddler.
  • Blaster Master Zero II: Roddy and Elfie, who were Jason and Eve's children in Blasting Again, are totally not related to them here. They were already dead by the time we even know about them. Elfie only exists as a soul, and we don't even get to see Roddy. But this also ends up not being the case because Eve names her two children after them at the end of Zero III.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: In the TTRPG, Kei Arasaka was Saburo's right-hand man, heir apparent to the Arasaka corporation, and Saburo's most loyal supporter among his children. In the video game, Kei is mentioned in a blink-and-you-miss-it dialogue to have died some years before the game, and it was this incident that led Saburo to turn his eyes and hand to his other children Yorinobu and Hanako.
  • In Dead Rising 2, Vikki Taylor is one of the random survivors that can be found and rescued by the player. In her case, she's being held hostage by Brandon Whittaker, whom the player must defeat in order to rescue her. In Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, Vikki is once again held hostage by Brandon, but this time he kills her in a cutscene, with no chance for the player to rescue her. note 
  • In Fighting Fantasy Legends by Nomad Games, which combines The City of Thieves, Citadel of Chaos and Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the The City of Thieves book has a Hag who's hair you need. If you used a Mind Control Potion, your character became immune to Hag's magic and throws her into an open sewer for an Uncertain Doom. In this video game, your character does throw the Hag into the sewer, but in this adaptation, there's also a giant venomous snake in the area and it attacks the Hag until there's only one survivor.
  • Gotham Knights (2022):
    • The first trailer mentioned Commissioner Gordon has having died, making the Gotham City Police fall back into being absurdly corrupt and hostile to the Bat-Family. One of the various events the player can do within the game is even visit Gordon's grave and meet Renee Montoya when she arrives a few minutes later to pay her own respects.
    • The events kick off with the death of Batman fighting Ra's al'Ghul one last time and self-destructing the Bat-Cave to make damn sure Ra's is dead. The final act of the game sees Batman returning thanks to a Lazarus Pit (and serving as a Final Boss thanks to being driven crazy from the Pit's chemicals), being knocked back to his senses by his proteges, giving them one final So Proud of You speech and blowing up the Lazarus Pit, dying again and for good.
  • In Guerrilla War, the Big Bad flees after being defeated in the Arcade version; but in the NES version, he dies instead.
  • In the adventure game Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Indiana himself can be killed in one of the Multiple Endings. The characters would lament it and the game would display the normal victory credit and score screens.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the one-shot villain Midler is last seen unconscious after Star Platinum punches her Stand's teeth out. She has a greatly increased role in the Heritage for the Future fighting game, where DIO kills her and drinks her blood in her ending.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • In the 1982 Interactive Fiction of The Hobbit, you can 'kill Gollum with sword'. Okay, Gollum's dead! You just derailed the plot of The Lord of the Rings! Gollum survived the source novel of The Hobbit, and took an important role in the sequel.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link's uncle gets killed off by Agahnim and later brought back to life by Link's Triforce-empowered wish, but he doesn't get wished back to life in any of the three manga or the comic.
  • In LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game and The Complete Saga, Commander Cody fights General Grievous along with Obi-Wan and is killed, rather than surviving to order Obi-Wan's death under Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. Averted in The Skywalker Saga, where the latter events happen as in canon.
  • Thanos seemingly dies at the end of Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems, despite retiring peacefully at the end of The Infinity Gauntlet (the comic the game was based on).
  • In the SNES fighter Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition, one of the last opponents is Rita Repulsa's top minion Goldar...who gets blown up like any other monster.
  • The Coachman in the video game version of Pinocchio, and ONLY in the video game version. In the game, the Coachman is knocked off a cliff by one of the children he turned into a donkey. In the movie, he was a Karma Houdini.
  • In Serial Experiments Lain, Lain is given a chance to kill her physical self but refuses. She ultimately opts to retgone herself out of existence. The video game incarnation however ends with her shooting herself.

    Visual Novels 
  • Interesting case with Higurashi: When They Cry. When the game was ported to PS2, the original ending was changed into one where Hanyuu gets Killed Off for Real. Other adaptations used the original ending. Curiously, the author claims that the PS2 ending is the "True" ending while the "normal" ending is the "Good" ending. This is probably because traditional, route-based Visual Novels frequently have two endings to each route (aside from bad ends). The True ending is typically bittersweet, while the Good ending ensures everyone lives happily ever after. It's not to do with one being canon, as the PS2 ending certainly isn't.

    Western Animation 
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood: Badger dies of old age in the show's second season, despite not dying in the books. Largely as a result of this when the show's third and final season was in production, he was replaced by Hurkel.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
    • Wonder Man, who was given Adaptational Villainy to be loyal to the Masters of Evil because Enchantress was the only thing keeping him alive, dies in a Heroic Sacrifice to stop her when she targets the team in revenge.
    • When the Avengers form an Enemy Mine with the supervillains they locked away in Prison 42 against Annihilus, several supervillains perish in the fight, these being Iron Man villain Blizzard, Thor villain Radioactive Man, and Ant-Man villain Whirlwind.
  • Mei-Ling, Hsien-Ko's sister, was killed by Demitri at a young age in the Darkstalkers cartoon. In the games, Mei-Ling is still alive as an adult and appears in some of Hsien-Ko's intros and victory poses (in addition to transforming into the talisman on Hsien-Ko's forehead during combat).
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Static Shock sees the title character's mother, Jean Hawkins, die before her son Virgil becomes the titular Static, whereas in the Static comics, she's still alive.
    • Dan Turpin died in Superman: The Animated Series. While his fate was ambiguous in the initial releases of Final Crisis, the expanded version in later versions does show he survived Darkseid possessing him and the Black Racer's exorcism of him.
  • DuckTales (2017): In the 1987 series, Duckworth was alive and well. In the reboot, Duckworth is confirmed to have died a few years before the show began. That said, he comes back as a ghost in the same episode.
  • The special Garfield: His 9 Lives changes up the ending segment from the book. In the book's version of "Space Cat", it turns out that the ship Garfield is on is actually just a simulation video game he's been playing, while in the special, it's all real, and when the ship is destroyed he and Odie both get killed. Of course, this being a family special for prime time, it isn't permanent: after the two go to Heaven, Garfield's able to convince God to give the both of them a second chance.
  • Gurth, Demoted to Extra and all, is dead at the beginning of his sole appearance in Ivanhoe: The King's Knight.
  • Captain Smollett is killed by Pew in the finale of the loosely based The Legends of Treasure Island cartoon, while Long John Silver, who had already died once and revived himself from hell previously, was dragged back down for cheating Death.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina:
    • Archibald Desnay was a very different character compared to his Critical Role counterpart and is a younger character more capable of taking the leadership role of the Whitestone rebellion. Unfortunately, Percy's refusal to take the lead left a lot of red flags not existent in the D&D counterpart. Sure enough, Archibald attempted to duel Duke Goran Vedmire to protect Snanlan, which resulted in Archie getting chopped in half, leaving Percy horrified.
    • Duke Goran Vedmire himself also had a different fate. In the original livestream of Critical Role, he was captured by the townspeople of Whitestone off-screen, then sentenced to atone for his service to the Briarwoods by helping with Whitestone's reconstruction. In the animated series, his crimes are much more severe and clearly shown. As punishment, Percy shoots him in the leg and lets the townspeople have their way with him. The next time he's seen, his corpse is being hung on the Sun Tree.
    • In the campaign, the sphinx Kamaljiori gave Vox Machina information on where to find several Vestiges of Divergence after they passed his trial, but otherwise never featured in the story again. In Season 2 of the show, Scanlan passes his trial and befriends the sphinx mere minutes before they are attacked by the black dragon Umbrasyl. Kamaljiori ends up suffering a fatal wound in the ensuing battle while saving Scanlan from Umbrasyl.
  • Doctor Octopus has died and came back to life a few times in the comics. In Marvel's Spider-Man, he dies a Redemption Equals Death by saving New York from the Goblin King at the cost of being erased.
  • Both Tom Sawyer (Bart Simpson) and Huckleberry Finn (Nelson Muntz) in The Simpsons version of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Their version ends with both Tom and Huck jumping into a river as an attempt to escape a mob of angry townsfolk, but the townsfolk were waiting right at the bottom. A funeral is held for them, where at first we see both Tom and Huck hiding in the rafters of the church said funeral is held in, as if they had survived and faked their deaths like in the original story, but then it is revealed that they both actually died when it was time for "the lowering of the bodies into the coffins."
  • Mysterio notably died in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and it actually stuck (this was before he was Driven to Suicide by Daredevil in the comics).
  • The Lizard falls to his death at the end of his debut episode in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.
  • Tak and the Power of Juju (2007): Travis the Dark Juju still lived after his defeat in Tak: The Great Juju Challenge, but his counterpart in the animated series, Darkness Juju, was vaporized by Tak at the end of the "Destiny Schmestiny" special.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In the original live-action films, Rahzar's fate was being reverted back into an ordinary wolf. Here, he first gets drowned by Leatherhead, then he gets brought back to life by Kavaxis only to suffer a Disney Villain Death two episodes later.
  • What If…? (2021):
  • Red Torpedo and Red Inferno, the android siblings of Red Tornado, are melted in lava as they bring down their villainous sibling Red Volcano in Young Justice (2010).
    • L-Ron, robotic sidekick to Justice League International, undergoes Adaptational Villainy in Young Justice: Invasion, participating alongside Despero in attempting to conquer Earth, but is destroyed by the heroes.
    • In the season finale of that same season, a Reach chrysalis activating and nearly dooming the Earth sets in motion the death of a speedster by disintegration right out of Crisis on Infinite Earths, but what makes it this trope is that despite the presence of Barry Allen in the scene, Wally West dies instead due to his slower speed making him the vent for the released energy (the change was because according to Word of God, Wally's death would've resonated better with audiences than Barry's since Wally was a main character and Barry wasn't).
    • Ex-Prince Orm, the supervillain known as Ocean Master and the original Aquaman's evil brother, is decapitated by Lady Shiva in the revival season Young Justice: Outsiders, after having been captured offscreen since at least after season one, when he attempts to kill the Justice League's loved ones (something the Light was against). It becomes a subversion when Operation Thrinos is used to create an Ocean Master clone, which survives, as well as inserting the original's mind into a clone body of Arion, which dies as well when disintegrated by the Lords of Order.
    • The show's villainous reinterpretation of Lor-Zod as a rogue time traveler from the Legion of Super-Heroes' future is blown up when Metron, vengeful towards his earlier break-in to his vault for the Phantom Zone projector, exploits Lor-Zod stealing the Time Sphere Metron sent Rocket to Earth in, setting him up to return to the gene bomb on Mars he tried to get Superboy killed with, which then disintegrated him. However, Lor-Zod had already succeeded in freeing his family from the Phantom Zone, including his mother Ursa who had been pregnant throughout the entire duration of her stay (which is why he was born in the future of that timeline when the Zods were originally paroled there). With her escape, now as the Emerald Empress, during the battle that sees General Zod re-imprisoned and Lor-Zod escaping in the rigged Time Sphere to his death, Ursa's pregnancy continues as normal with a new version of Lor-Zod likely about to be born.

Examples where the character died a lot sooner in the adaptation than in the source:

    Comic Books 
  • Another Warlord of Mars example: Matai Shang dies in the climax of the third book, at the hands of his former ally Thurid. In the comics, he dies much earlier than his book counterpart at the hands of Salensus Oll, another ally besides Thurid, because he didn't feel like honoring his agreement.
  • In Spider-Man: Life Story, Flash Thompson is killed in The Vietnam War after enlisting during college. This is in contrast to the mainline continuity, where Flash became a teacher after the war and even had a crime-fighting career as Agent Venom before meeting his end at the hands of the Red Goblin.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the 1954 adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm, Old Major dies peacefully as the animals sing "Beasts of England" during their meeting, while in the original book, he dies a few days later. In Animal Farm (1999), he is accidentally shot by Mr. Jones during the meeting.
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon sees Rip Jagger himself die after killing Jade Nguyen during his training years, long before he could even adopt his comic book persona of Judomaster (and by extension, long before the point he'd meet his death at the hands of Bane).
  • In the comics, the Joker followed up crippling Barbara Gordon with killing Jason Todd, with Barbara even attending his funeral in a wheelchair and Joker's actions being motivated to get more money after the GCPD seized his assets after what he did to Barbara. Even ignoring that Jason was later resurrected, the Animated Adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke suggested the inverse happened, as one of the images Bruce looks up on the Batcomputer after he learns the Joker escaped from Arkham is an image of a bloodied Jason based on the cover of the issue where Bruce finds Jason's body.
  • In the original The Long Halloween, Alberto faked his death on New Year's Eve only to reveal himself alive on the night of Labor Day, and Sofia Falcone was revealed to have survived her fall at the climax of that story in its sequel, Batman: Dark Victory, the final issues of which would see them both die. In Batman: The Long Halloween, Alberto really is killed on New Year's and the fall Sofia takes in the film is fatal.
  • In the Grimms' Snow White, the Queen dies dancing in red-hot shoes at the Wedding of Snow White and the Prince. Her Disney Counterpart never makes it that far: immediately after poisoning Snow White, she's pursued by the Dwarfs and their animal friends. She falls to her death while trying to kill them with a boulder.
  • Superman: Doomsday sees Martha Kent living alone, suggesting that Jonathan Kent had already passed on. While he did suffer a heart attack during The Death of Superman, he recovered and wouldn't die until the Brainiac arc that'd serve as the basis for Superman Unbound (where he ended up with the opposite trope). Additionally, given Doomsday came out in 2007 and Brainiac the following year, it was type 1 at the time.
  • Giant-Man dies at the end of Ultimate Avengers 2. In the actual Ultimate comics, he didn't die until the Ultimatum crossover. However, as said comic was published a few years after the movie was released, it was type 1 at the time.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's backstory sees its version of Vanessa and Richard Fisk dying in an accident right after finding out about Wilson being The Kingpin. Vanessa's main comic counterpart was already aware (though not approving) of Wilson's criminal activities, died of illness once, and was brought back and killed as a revenant and clone. Spiderverse's Richard was a young boy, while mains Richard was an adult, and was likewise killed and brought back a few times. Additionally, as the story is set in a universe based on the Ultimate Marvel universe, it doubles as type 1 for Vanessa as her Ultimate counterpart was merely comatose (Richard was Adapted Out).

  • The novel for The Death of Superman has Mongul killed at the hands of the Eradicator instead of getting knocked out by Hal Jordan, due to the fact that Hal was removed from the storyline entirely despite Coast City still being destroyed. Interestingly, Mongul does get killed in the comics, but in a later storyline, so his death in the novel was type 1 at the time.
  • The novelization of Raiders of the Lost Ark has Toht aboard Gobler's jeep when it flies off the road during the truck chase. This keeps him from his gruesome fate along with the other Nazis (and Belloq) via the Ark at the end of the movie.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam has Amuro Ray die near the end, he and the Gundam (the G-3 rather than the original RX-78-2, which also suffers this trope) is destroyed by a Rick Dom due to a Poor Communication Kills moment. Though Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack would end with Amuro's implied (later explicit) death about a real-life decade and 14 in-series years later, when the novel was released, this was a type 1, as Yoshiyuki Tomino had no idea Gundam would become popular.

  • DanganRonpa: The Stage introduces a new rule to the Class Trial system which executes students if they vote against the correct majority vote. Because of this, Kiyotaka Ishimaru is executed alongside Mondo Owada in the second trial and the events of the game's third case (in which Ishimaru dies) never happen.
    • The play's next case is when Sakura Oogami dies. This means that she dies before Celestia Ludenberg and Hifumi Yamada, who die in the game's third case, while Sakura dies in the game's fourth case.
    • In the play's sequel, Super DanganRonpa 2: The Stage, Gundham Tanaka and Nekomaru Nidai die together when they take on the Monokumas just after the third class trial. In the game, Gundham was the one who killed Nekomaru and was executed for it after the fourth class trial.
  • Hamilton places the death of Hamilton's son Philip before the election of 1800: one of the musical's many cases of Artistic License – History for dramatic effect. Philip's fatal duel actually took place in 1801.
  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hyde murders Dr Lanyon at the end of the confrontation in which Lanyon learns Hyde's secret. In the novel, Hyde leaves him alive, though the shock of the revelation ruins his health and he dies some time later, after writing an account of the confrontation which would have been superfluous in the stage version where the audience saw the confrontation directly.

    Video Games 
  • The second episode of Batman: The Telltale Series sees Carmine Falcone die after his first encounter with Batman.
  • In the Nintendo Wii GoldenEye, Zukovsky is killed less than a minute after Bond meets him, instead of living until The World is Not Enough like he does in the films.
  • In Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, Video Game Remake of the first Mega Man X game, Dr. Cain is killed off in the Day of Sigma OAV before the game even starts. In the original version, he's a major character in the first three games and dies of natural causes sometime between X4 and X5.
  • In the Coraline video game, the Beldam is defeated outright and ends the game right then and there. Unlike the movie, where her severed hand doesn't survive for a final confrontation.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, Ramza survives the game's events. His counterpart in the Return to Ivalice raid questline in Final Fantasy XIV isn't as fortunate, as he sacrificed his life to seal Ultima away until a Warrior of Light can destroy her for good and all.

    Web Animation 
  • Gaming All-Stars Remastered: Quite a few characters who lived for a good portion of the plot in The Ultimate Crossover are given the boot earlier in this version, such as Glover and Fancy Pants Man (The former who only shows up as a trophy, getting knocked into lava during the Giga Bowser fight, and the latter getting killed in the penultimate episode in favor of keeping Knuckles the Echidna alive).

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (2017): In most other continuities, Donald was raised by his loving parents who died when he was a young adult. In this version, they both died when he was a small child, leading Donald and Della to be raised by their Uncle Scrooge.
  • Ferro Lad in Legion of Super-Heroes was around for only three episodes before his Heroic Sacrifice, staying behind to destroy the Sun-Eater machine. In the comics, he was around for about two years before this event and his character was more fleshed out.
  • Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi: In the Legends continuity, Jedi Master Yaddle died in 26 BBY (four years before Attack of the Clones). Here, she is killed by Count Dooku in 32 BBY, during the events of The Phantom Menace.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Commander Zog, the turtles' Triceraton ally in the original comics is sliced to pieces by the three mutant Shredder clones. In the second cartoon, he is mortally wounded by a stab to the stomach from Shredder and dies in the collapsing lair, taking Shredder with him.
  • Kent Nelson, the original Doctor Fate, lives to be over 100 years old in Young Justice (2010), only to be struck down by Klarion the Witch Boy, who wants the Helmet of Nabu for himself. He just can't catch a break!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Killed By The Adaptation


Dan Curtis' Dracula [Vampire Harker]

Edited clips from a 1973 TV version of "Dracula" (helmed by "Dark Shadows" creator, Dan Curtis). In the original novel, Harker survives his ordeal in Dracula's castle and the entirety of the book. In this version however, he isn't as lucky, being fed to the brides Dracula initially saved him from. An act that ultimately killed and turned him into a ravenous vampire who attacks Van Helsing and Arthur, forcing Arthur to put him down.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeathByAdaptation

Media sources: