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Dropped a Bridge on Him

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Death in superhero comics sucks either way.

"Apparently, not everyone gets to have a dramatic death."
Jean Kirstein, Attack on Titan

When a character is permanently written out of a show, especially killed off, in a way that is unexpectedly anti-climactic or mundane, they Dropped a Bridge on Him.

This can be a case of Writer on Board (or worse, Running the Asylum), but may also be an attempt to make the best of a difficult, real life situation.

Sometimes, when a character is Killed Off for Real in a universe where Death Is Dramatic, a lot of work is put into it. They may make a Heroic Sacrifice, or have A Death in the Limelight in their last appearance. If done well enough, it might even be their Dying Moment of Awesome. This trope applies when such things are generally expected, often because of previous dramatic deaths in the series, but don’t happen. Note that when Anyone Can Die, this trope does not apply.

To compare, take the NYPD Blue death of Det. Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits) versus the death of Det. Danny Sorenson (Rick Schroder). Smits dies of Soap Opera Disease with a Tear Jerker sendoff. Schroder left the series, so his character is killed off-screen, between seasons.


Named for the death of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) in Star Trek: Generations, which was expected to be a key, climactic event after 30 years of adventuring. Instead, he was killed beneath a collapsed bridge in a manner typically reserved for Red Shirts.

When done off-screen (like the Sorenson example), it's known as a Bus Crash. See also McLeaned, Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome, Distracted from Death and Not So Invincible After All. If this is done to a character repeatedly with the aid of Negative Continuity, see They Killed Kenny Again. If you're looking for this trope on an expanded scale, see Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies.

Not to confuse with Dropped a Bridget on Him, the former trope name for Unsettling Gender Reveal, or with dropping a literal drawbridge onto someone, though it may overlap with this trope.


As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Drop A Bridge On Them, Dropped A Bridge On Her


Bridge on the Captain

The Trope Namer scene in which Captain Kirk dies under a collapsed bridge

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