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.
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 dont 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.
As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Comic Strips
- Films Animation
- Films Live Action
- Live-Action TV
- Myth and Legend
- Professional Wrestling
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Original
- Western Animation