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Killed Offscreen

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"Well Brian, I'm sorry that Jess died during the commercial break, but it was a very nice funeral."
Lois Griffin, Family Guy
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Killed Offscreen is the term used to describe the occurrence of a character dying outside of the audience's view. The character's corpse may be seen later, or confirmation may be given by another character, who witnessed the death/found the corpse.

See also The Character Died with Him. Bus Crash is when this happens to a character who'd previously been written out of the series in a non-lethal manner. When a character dies out of the view of another character due to a brief distraction, that's Distracted from Death.

Compare Gory Discretion Shot and Sound-Only Death. As this kind of death tends to not be a very dignified exit for a character, seeing how it is in all regards a rather anti-climatic way to die and often (though not always) carries with it the implication that that said death was not important enough to be shown on-screen, there tends to be a lot of overlap with Dropped a Bridge on Him. Can also overlap with Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome when the death takes place between works.

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Occasionally, this can be used for when the viewer and most of the cast are under the impression that the character was still alive between the character's death and when it is learned that the character is actually dead. This often happens when the killer performs a Kill and Replace on the victim, or otherwise hides the victim's body to keep the fact that the latter is dead secret.

Contrast Never Found the Body. Compare and contrast Uncertain Doom.

As a Death Trope, beware of spoilers!


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Marco dies at some point during the Battle of Trost, and the readers only learn of his death when his body is found during the aftermath. Much later, however, his actual death is shown in a flashback.
    • Ymir is last seen being taken away by Reiner and Bertolt, something they say will guarantee her death, and because of that writes a letter to Krista under the assumption that she'll be dead by the time Krista reads it. After the four-year Time Skip, it's mentioned in passing that Porco inherited Ymir's Titan powers from her, a process that involves the giver being Eaten Alive by the recipient.
  • Krillin's first death in Dragon Ball. Goku hears him scream and runs over to investigate, he finds his dead body on the floor with the tournament announcer trembling in fear, Goku asks what happened and he replies that he was killed by a monster. We later see what happened in Dragon Ball Super when his killer Tambourine recalls in a flashback, he killed him with a kick to the head that broke his neck.
  • In the last episode of Girls und Panzer, careful watching reveals that one of Black Forest's tanks did not make it to the town where Miho had retreated. It's possible that it broke down on the way there.
  • Furuya in Muhyo and Roji, whose identity is claimed by Face-Ripper Sophie. Biko discovers the person in question's body, helping her to realize that Sophie had impersonated the murder victim.
  • Murasakiiro no Qualia has this happen to Yukari, after she's sent off to be under Jaunt's protection due to her abilities. Despite spending time there clearly alive, she's one day announced to have died without specification.
  • Midnight in My Hero Academia is seen being attacked by villains before her call with her students gets cut short. Her body is later seen several chapters later when Best Jeanist thanks everyone who helped stop Gigantomachia, though it is left ambiguous whether she is dead by that point due to him thanking several unconscious heroes as well. At the end of the Paranormal Liberation War, several of her students are seen crying over her body, and she is confirmed as deceased when she is the first face on a list of casualties.
  • In Naruto Orochimaru does this on two separate occasions during the Invasion of Konoha Arc. He sacrifices Zaku and Kin to summon the First and Second Hokages, and it's revealed after the invasion that he killed the Fourth Kazekage, his own ally, to steal his identity.
  • Shinzo: Three of the Enterran Generals are killed off by Queen Rusephine without the heroes ever meeting them.
  • One Piece
    • Gecko Moria enters Blackbeard's territory to find his former comrade, Absalom. Unfortunately for him, "Absalom" turns out to be a fake, and Blackbeard had killed Absalom to take his Devil Fruit power.
    • In the flashback arc showing Kozuki Oden's past, Kurozumi Higurashi impersonates Oden's son Momonosuke during Oden's fight with Kaido, causing Oden to be distracted long enough for Kaido to defeat him. During Oden's execution, Kaido reveals that he killed Higurashi for interfering with his fight with Oden.
    • In Wano Arc Act 3, the Red Scabbards are starting to fight the traitor among them midway through Chapter 985. When the scene cuts back to them at the start of 986, the traitor is lying on the ground, defeated and apparently dead. Subverted when it turns out that he was fatally wounded but not dead, and ends up returning to fight the Red Scabbards again, resulting in him being cut down by Kin'emon.
    • In Franky's flashback, Tom was taken to Enies Lobby and executed offscreen.
  • In Death Note, Mello is last seen driving a truck with his captive Takada in it, thinking about Matt's death. The next time he's seen is as a dead body, when Takada calls Light to inform him that she was able to kill him with the Death Note.
  • In the sequel of Inuyasha, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, Shiori's mother dies of an illness years before the series start.
  • At some point before the last chapter of YuYu Hakusho, Genkai passes away offscreen, a death that does not happen in the anime. While she had died and been resurrected during the Dark Tournament arc, this death is permanent.

    Comic Books 
  • Match, Kon-El's arch enemy from Superboy (1994), was killed off panel by Superboy-Prime who then used his body to make himself several clones of Match to set against Kon-El.
  • Double Header, of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, was said to have been killed by Earth-Man, prior to Action Comics' "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" storyline.
  • Ultimatum:
    • The Academy of Tomorrow (Emma Frost, Sunspot, Cannoball, Polaris) and Longshot, Forge, Detonator and Hardrive were all listed as dead at the start of issue 3.
    • Toad is merely listed in the "In Memoriam" listing of all the deceased. The X-Men: Requiem one-shot also establishes Psylocke among the dead.
  • Initially was the case for Barry Allen's parents, Henry and Nora Allen. Back during the arc where Wally West first encountered Barry's Evil Twin, Malcolm Thawne/Cobalt Blue, it was established that Henry and Nora died shortly after Barry himself fell during Crisis on Infinite Earths, so even without the Cosmic Retcon that Thawne went back, murdered Nora, and Henry died in prison after being framed for it, Barry was coming back to a world where his parents were no longer among the living.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crooked Man: Zander Rice is last seen screaming before Johann prepares to cut him piece by piece with Wolverine-like claws.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, the Beetle Gang, a group of minor upstart supervillains who were given Mysterio's tech, is offed as part of the Enforcers' introduction.
  • On separate occasions in Celestia's Rocket Adventures two members of Team Flare get killed off, the first by a group of fully evolved Pokémon that had been enslaved in Dark Balls, and the latter utterly incinerated by a vindictive Houndoom. The chapters that both events feature in end before the deaths actually take place.
  • In The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity, Pinkie Pie has died by the start of The Changelings Have a King, from unspecified natural causes.
  • Deku? I think he's some pro...: All For One dies offscreen fighting the League of Villains after they turn on him, whilst Izuku makes an (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to escape from them, with the reader finding out after Tsukauchi tells Aizawa about the results of an autopsy on his corpse.
  • Heart of Ashes: The deaths of Thorin Oakenshield, Fíli and Kíli (who appeared in the trilogy's first story) are this in the second book. Their deaths are about the same as in book canon. In Thorin's case, it's also debatably a slightly more Karmic Death for his responses — or lack thereof — to Kathryn's and (implied) Bard's arguments against his cause in the first story.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger:
    • Petros Krizoz dies offscreen during his Last Stand against Vale's army. The reader is only shown the prelude and aftermath of his death rather than the death itself. Right as Petros is about to fight General Alixandre, the chapter uses a Charge-into-Combat Cut to transition to the next scene which shows an exhausted Alixandre standing triumphantly over Petros's eviscerated corpse.
    • Roman Torchwick, who spent the entire fic as The Ghost, dies when the airship Ironwood was holding him prisoner aboard is telekinetically pulled down and forced to crash into Beacon by Nihilus, igniting all the Dust on the ship and creating a massive explosion that destroys everything onboard.
    • Ivori and Kobalt of Team FNKI are among the many killed by Ironwood's airship crashing into Beacon's courtyard. Their deaths happen offscreen and Ironwood only learns of their deaths after coming across their corpses while clearing out one of Beacon's hallways.
  • In the Kingdom's Service: Over the course of the story, Velvet, Coco, and Ciel all die offscreen. Velvet due to Alpha's torture/brainwashing and the latter for standing against Cinder.
  • Natural Histories: In "The Fountain", a disagreement between the leader of the cockatrice flock and a younger specimen sees the youngster ousted and chased away. After he vanishes into the thick veneration, there's a loud crash, the sound of breaking branches, and an abruptly cut off bird's cry as he runs afoul of one of the Everfree's many predators.
  • In The Prayer Warriors, this happens at several points.
    • In The Evil Gods, Chiron, after being converted, goes to convert the rest of Camp Half-Blood. One of his students comes back and reports that he's been killed and eaten alive.
    • In Battle with the Witches, Ebony kills Harry Potter offscreen, and this is revealed when Ron walks in and finds his body.
    • In Threat of Satanic Commonism, this, surprisingly enough, happens to Disc-One Final Boss John Lennon; Mary arrives with a gun, kills Annabeth's opponent, and then points it at John Lennon, only for the next chapter to begin with her talking to her husband Jerry, and a mention that John Lennon is dead.
    • Surprisingly enough, this happens to the main character, Jerry, who is killed off at the beginning of The Titans Strike Back.
  • Radiance: The werewolf Brady is killed when the Volturi turn his imprint, Pera, and the vampire mate-bond turns out not to reciprocate werewolf imprinting. This possibility is mentioned while Pera is turning, but neither Elspeth nor the audience finds out that it has actually happened until two weeks later.
  • Son of the Sannin: Mizuki is arrested for treason and slated for execution just before the start of the Time Skip. While the reader never sees him being killed, the fact that he shows up as an Edo Tensei zombie during the Fourth Ninja War confirms it.
  • What If I Know Too Many Reasons I Can Be Strong?: Tanjiro kills Doma, Hantengu, and Nakime between Chapters 11 and 12.

    Film — Animated 
  • Coco has probably the most gentle version of this trope. At the end of the movie, which takes place one year later, we find out that the the titular Mamá Coco has passed away due to old age and her picture is now placed at the Ofrenda of the Rivera's family. Then we cut to the land of the dead, where she's finally reunited with her Disappeared Dad, Hector.
  • Coraline: The Other Wybie, who was already on thin ice with his mistress, helps Coraline escape back through the door to her world. When Coraline next returns to the Other World, all that's left of Other Wybie is his clothes hanging in the wind as a flag.
  • The Incredibles doesn't actually show the various supers being lured to their deaths by Syndrome and his people, but we do see a distraught Mr. Incredible learning of their deaths later - and even stumbling across the remains of Gazerbeam.
  • Among the deaths in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War are The Joker (who was killed by the Darkseid-corrupted Batman during the two year Time Skip) and Amanda Waller (who was already revealed to be terminally ill in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay; AW reveals it was cancer and confirms it claimed Waller).
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning: We never really get to see Athena get killed by the ship.
  • The Prince of Egypt: Pharaoh Seti dies offscreen during Moses's exile with the Midianites; hence his son Rameses is pharaoh when Moses returns to Egypt. Since Queen Tuya never appears again either, we can assume she also died during the same Time Skip, and since Moses's birth mother Yocheved never appears again after his infancy, we can assume she died offscreen some time before the young adult Moses finds his birth siblings.
  • Tarzan: We never get to see Kala and Kerchak's son get killed by Sabor. Nor do we see Tarzan's parents get killed as well, save for a scene of their dead bodies amidst Sabor's blood coated paw prints.
  • A lot of beloved Season 1 characters were killed during The Transformers: The Movie. However, when Season 3 started, very few Autobots from the pre-movie seasons appeared and most that didn't appear were assumed to be this.
    • In the episode "Dark Awakening", Daniel lists off some of the Autobots that died during the Great War. Prowl, Ironhide and Ratchet were explicitly and violently killed on-screen, but he also mentions Huffer, who only appears for less than a minute in the movie and doesn't die or even appear harmed.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 21st Century Serial Killer: When Aaron can't bring himself to kill the guy who saw them kill the bartender, Charles opts to do it. When Aaron leaves, it cuts to a shot of him in the main room of the bar, where the gunshot is heard.
  • Absolute Power: President Richmond's death is made ambiguous by having the screen cut away just as Walter Sullivan walks in to meet with him. Sullivan has nothing other than revenge for his wife's murder on his mind, and Richmond's death is later reported on as an apparent suicide, the two options either being that A] Sullivan killed him with the letter opener (unlikely given that he's a fragile 80-year-old man and Richmond is a stronger middle-aged man, albeit one recovering from an earlier knife wound), then passed it off as a suicide, or B] Sullivan managed to spurn Richmond into killing himself after their meeting with a very devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Alien:
    • Aliens: Spunkmeyer is killed by a Xenomorph in the cargo hold of the dropship as it prepares to lift off.
    • Alien: Covenant: Lope dies by Chest Burster offscreen, his death revealed when his corpse is discovered. It's also strongly hinted this might have happened to Walter after David impersonates him.
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos is stated to massacre half of the Xandarians to obtain the Power Stone from them. Later, when Thor meets the dwarfs to forge a new weapon, the Dwarf King there states that he had to watch Thanos murder all the rest of his people, leaving him as The Last of His Kind. At the film's end, Thanos snaps half of all life in the universe out of existence, which includes a lot of secondary MCU characters besides the characters we see dying onscreen, before the Snap is reversed in Avengers: Endgame.
  • The Cabin in the Woods: Subverted. The stoner Marty is wounded and dragged offscreen by one of the Buckners to be killed, and the Controllers assume he died a gruesome death. It turns out that they really should have made sure, because during that time he dispatched the zombie, found an entrance to the Organization's HQ, and went back to save Dana from Pa Buckner. No offscreen inertia here, folks.
  • Canyon Passage: George Camrose. Johnny reports the death to Logan at the end of the film, and hands Logan the gun he had given him. Logan asks if it was the Indians who killed him, and Johnny admits it was one of the townsmen. He adds that if things had happened slightly different, they might have been lynching Logan on the hanging tree.
  • In Cold Pursuit, Dante is murdered offscreen in Denver, and Nels only learns of it when Kim tells him.
  • In Coroner Creek, Andy is gunned down by Ernie and his thugs offscreen.
  • In The Criminal, Johnny is told when he returns to prison that Ted and Chas had sold their shares of the stolen loot to Highgate gang. He is also told that young Quantock, the driver on the job, had refused to sell his and has been run over and killed.
  • In the 2016 film Dark Night, heavily based on the 2012 Aurora shootings, a spree shooting is strongly implied to have happened, even though no one is actually seen shot. The intro shows a woman sitting in a cinema car park with flashing police lights reflecting on her. The ending shows the suspected perpetrator grinning psychotically, sneaking into the cinema, and carrying a large duffel bag.
  • In Foolish Wives, we see Count Sergius—liar, seducer, con artist, all-around dirtbag—climbing through the window of poor innocent Marietta, almost certainly to rape her. He makes a "shh" gesture—but the plant he knocked over has already woken up her father, Ventucci. The next we see of Sergius is when Ventucci is dragging his corpse out of a closet.
  • Combining this with type 2 of Death by Adaptation, a deleted scene in the film adaptation of Hannibal revealed Jack Crawford, who'd died near the end of the book, died between the film version of The Silence of the Lambs and it. This is because of Enforced Method Acting that Scott Glenn was subjected to during the filing of Silence scarred him and he refused to returnnote . It's also the reason the role was recast with Harvey Keitel for Red Dragon.
  • The Hoodlum: According to the 'box score' Lt. Burdick reads Vincent when he is trying to persuade Vincent to surrender, most of the gang was been killed. Any survivors are either in hospital or jail.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Katniss's fears about Cinna are confirmed. When Effie gives her Cinna's design for the Mockingjay outfit, she sadly asks, "He's dead, isn't he?" Effie whispers, "Yes, dear," and shows her the message he left her:
    I'm still betting on you! - Cinna
  • Rosie from Jojo Rabbit is killed this way for her work with La Résistance against the Nazis (though it’s never stated if it’s because she got busted distributing leaflets or if they found out she was hiding a Jewish girl). Jojo finds her hanged body in the middle of the town square while he’s out playing.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Jurassic Park: Mr. Arnold. The last time he is seen alive onscreen in the film is in the blackened control room, where he tells the others he'll have the park back online in 3 minutes and walks off to the energy bunker. Eventually Ellie realizes he didn't make it and goes to the bunker herself; Arnold is devoured by the Raptors at some point between him leaving the control room and Ellie reaching the bunker, at which point she finds his arm.
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Ajay. He's last seen in the film running into the Velociraptor-inhabited long grass after the rest of the disoriented party whilst warning them not to. Word of God says Ajay is ripped apart in the long grass by the raptors albeit we do not see him get attacked. His death is only confirmed verbally by a despondent Tembo in a later scene in the film, although cause of death is never specified.
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: The sub pilots in the film's opening. The last we see of the two of them is the Mosasaurus creeping up behind their sub, then on the water's surface we see the sub's floodlights' underwater glow cut out.
  • The Killer That Stalked New York, a 1950 film Very Loosely Based on the 1947 New York City smallpox outbreak, wraps up with the narrator informing us that Patient Zero Sheila Bennet succumbed to smallpox after telling the authorities what they needed to know to contain the outbreak.
  • Most film versions of Little Women avoid actually showing Beth's death. Of the major screen adaptations, only the 1994 film and the 2017 TV miniseries give her an onscreen death scene.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: We don't actually see the death of Uglúk when the Uruk party is ambushed and massacred by the Rohirrim.
  • The Love Bug’s third sequel Herbie Goes Bananas reveals that Herbie’s (first) girlfriend Giselle, who first appeared in the previous sequel Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, did not survive an accident in a race both characters were in which took place between the two movies. Later, in the short-lived TV series, Giselle’s driver Diane Darcy is shown to have lived, however.
  • In None Shall Escape, Janina gets shot at the Nazi "officers' club", apparently accidentally. The viewer finds out about this when her body is brought to the church for the funeral service.
  • In One Foot in Hell, Harry Ivers is killed offscreen. Dan sees Mitch and the Posse returning to town with Ivers body slung over a horse, and knows that Mitch must be planning to double-cross him and Julie as well.
  • The Kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Despite being one of the central threats in the previous film, where it is main weapon of the villain Davy Jones and apparently kills series protagonist Jack Sparrow, it appears in At World's End only briefly in one scene as a corpse washed ashore, after Cutler Beckett ordered Davy Jones to kill it, lest it be used against Beckett
  • Pumpkins: A number of murders in the film happen this way. In one instance, the camera pans up before Pumpkin Man kills someone.
  • Rampage: President Down opens with Bill being pursued by the authorities for pulling off a political assassination on the sitting U.S. President, which occurs entirely offscreen. The President isn't even named.
  • Reservoir Dogs: Of the two robbers who are revealed to have been killed in the fall-out of the jewel store robbery gone wrong, one of them was witnessed by two others (and shown in flashback), but nobody has any clue what happened to Mr. Blue until the end of the movie, when Joe confirms that Blue was killed by the cops.
  • Se7en: Tracy is an infamous case — her head is what's in the box at the movie's climax, with John Doe revealing he paid her a visit and killed her offscreen.
  • Aurra Sing was a Palliduvan bounty hunter briefly seen in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and a recurring character in Star Wars: The Clone Wars where she was shown to be a ruthless Psycho for Hire. In Solo it's revealed that she was killed by Tobias Beckett pushing her to her death prior to the events of the film.
  • In St. Vincent (2014), Sandy dies while Vincent is in the hospital after his stroke. She's cremated because the facility was unable to contact him in case he wanted any other action to be taken.
  • Terminator:
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The death of Janelle is not seen onscreen, and neither is her corpse. However, the script reveals that the T-1000 killed her while she was in the shower.
    • Terminator: Dark Fate: Dani's father Vincente. The Rev-9 takes on his form and since Dani and Diego never got a call from their father warning them that there was a suspicious man coming for them, it's all but spelt out that he's dead.
  • In The Ten Commandments (1956), though we are not told specifically, during the interlude between Moses being quietly adopted by Bithia, the daughter of then-ruler Rameses I, it is implied that her father must have died during that period, because thirty-something years later we see that his son Sethi is now Pharaoh. And when Rameses I is mentioned, it is generally in the past tense.
    • A more sad example is with Moses' real mother Yochebel. We are told with Moses by the future Pharaoh Rameses II as a parting Take That! when he is being banished into the desert, that his mother had personally delivered him a tribal robe to the prison just before dying (presumably from a broken heart).
  • The Thing (1982): Both Fuchs and Nauls die offscreen. Only Fuchs' burnt corpse is found.
  • A Very Brady Sequel: At the end of the movie, a dog – identified as Tiger – is running through a yard where a party is happening. A little boy, later identified as Cousin Oliver, runs after the dog... and then there are sounds of what's implied to be a collision between the boy and a car. Bobby and Cindy, who witness the crash, simply shrug their shoulders and are unfazed.
  • The Wages of Fear: Bimba and Luigi are killed when their truck blows up off-screen. Mario and Jo find the wreckage of the truck but no sign of what caused the explosion.
  • The Viral Marketing for X-Men: Days of Future Past reveals Angel and Azazel were shot by the CIA between X-Men: First Class and the JFK assassination. In the actual movie, Magneto lists them among some mutants who died. Later Angel's wings are seen stored in a government vault.

    Franchise 
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Gunpei Ikari, featured in the opening sequence of Kong: Skull Island. His Fire-Forged Friend Marlow reveals he was killed by a Skullcrawler at some point during the 28-year Time Skip between the opening and the film's main time frame.
    • In the above film's graphic novel sequel Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, this fate befalls the Sirenjaw that attacks Aaron and his group when it gets into an offscreen fight with Kong shortly afterwards, with the team going back and finding its corpse.

    Literature 
  • In the third Alex Rider book, Skeleton Key, Alex is working undercover with two CIA agents, Troy and Turner (the plan being that having a child with them will make them look like a family, and hence above suspicion, as the Russian general they are investigating owns a villa on Cayo Esqueleto, a major tourist trap). Alex watches as they dive into the sea, looking for the underwater passage into General Sarov's complex, and the narration notes that this is the last time Alex ever sees them alive. Alex dives in himself later, and upon discovering the passage is lethally booby-trapped when he sees it take out a great white shark, he realises what must have happened to them, but by that point they have not only been dead for several hours but the trap's disposal system has destroyed their remains.
  • Bazil Broketail: Zetilla's death is not explicitly described, but since the island with Gingo-La's temple where she resided gets completely overtaken by Sephisti forces — who either slaughter everyone present or take them as slaves — her eventual fate seems obvious. Her death is pretty much confirmed later when Banwi mourns her.
  • Chocoholic Mysteries: Pretty much all of the victims in the series.
  • In City of Lost Souls, Camille Belcourt is revealed to have been killed by Maureen Brown, who usurps the position of leader from her.
  • With battles in Grent's Fall bouncing from one viewpoint to another, it's not surprising they don't cover all deaths.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry is knocked unconscious when Professor Quirrell dies in the first book. This causes an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole in the films, where Harry is still conscious when Quirrell dies, but cannot see Thestrals until the fifth year (in the books, he gains the ability to see them in the fifth year because his first real experience with death was Cedric's, in the preceding year).
    • Barty Crouch Sr. ends up missing midway through the fourth book. It's later revealed that Barty Jr. killed him, then transfigured his body into a bone which he buried in the Forbidden Forest, so no one will know where it is located.
    • Igor Karkaroff is mentioned to have been murdered in the fifth book after going on the run for an entire year to escape Death Eaters bent on capturing a traitor.
    • The seventh book casually kills off Moody, Lupin, Tonks, and many other people offscreen, particularly during the climactic Battle of Hogwarts.
    • Bathilda Bagshot had also been killed sometime between Rita Skeeter’s interview over the summer and Christmas when Harry and Hermione go to visit her thinking she was entrusted with the Sword of Gryffindor by Dumbledore.
  • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas: The serial killer's attack on Sakura is not depicted. The protagonist (and audience) only find out via news broadcast, with the animated film only showing a small portion of the crime scene.
  • The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali: Sohail is murdered by extremists over being gay. This isn't shown, with Rukhsana only learning about it later after he doesn't appear to fly off with her.
  • Loyal Enemies:
    • Virra's sister Danka is found to have been killed by one of the bird-reptile monsters the heroes thought to just have successfully fought off. As a non-combatant, she'd been hiding in a corner and everyone thought her safe there.
    • When the final battle is over and it looks like a completely happy ending, battle mage Liara's corpse is dug up from the ruins of the villain's castle. She must've not gotten out fast enough when the retreat was announced.
  • The Running Man: Richards briefly meets another contestant of the Running Man contest before they're separately sent out into the field. He later hears a news report that the other contestant was found in another town hiding in a container and killed by the Hunters.
  • Balon Greyjoy from A Song of Ice and Fire has a brief but important role to play in the story's multiway civil war before dying off screen.
  • In the Vita Nuova, the story of how Beatrice's passed from Earth to Heaven is left unsung in Dante's poetry, because he didn't feel he could do the subject justice.
  • Happens fairly often in the Warrior Cats series, mainly due to diseases. One of the biggest examples is Crookedstar, who dies rather abruptly in A Dangerous Path from greencough.
  • Will in Scarlet:
    • Guy's master of bribes suffers from an abrupt Sickbed Slaying as a Pretext for War, well away from any point-of-view character.
    • Hugo Blunt, the Shackley's steward, helps Will escape when Guy of Gisbourne turns on the Shackley's. The next chapter features Will alone and mentions that Hugo was killed in the interlude between chapters.
    • Gilbert, the original leader of the outlaws, is found dead in the aftermath of a raid on the outlaws' camp that Will and Much were absent for.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad: Gomez bites it offscreen during the very short time between two episodes. Granted, the previous episode ended with a Bolivian Army Ending.
  • The death of Hoss Cartwright happens offscreen of Bonanza and is rarely even mentioned in the show. This is a sad case of The Character Died with Him, as Hoss's actor Dan Blocker died unexpectedly between seasons. One of the TV movies later explains that Hoss died while rescuing a woman and her daughter from a flood, giving him a Heroic Sacrifice death.
  • Happens fairly often in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when killing off fodder vampires to save money on the CGI for the dusting effect, usually by cutting away the moment a vampire is staked with only a demonic shriek to inform the audience of its death. This also happens in Angel, but is rather poorly executed at times as the shot doesn't cut in time, resulting in a vampire getting staked but not dusted with the sound effect still used.
  • The BBC's 14—Diaries of the Great War is a World War I documentary that focuses on fourteen specific people on all sides of the conflict. One of them, a Scottish volunteer nurse named Sarah Broom Macnaughtan, only appears in two episodes in the middle of the series; it's only at the end that we learn that she died in 1916, while all of the other focus characters lived to see the war's end. (For what it's worth, her last appearance does mention her having a bad cough...)
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Aliens of London": The real Joseph Green, Margaret Blaine, Commissioner Strickland and Oliver Charles were all murdered and replaced by the Slitheen before the story starts. So was the Prime Minister, only without the impersonation.
    • "Kerblam!": Dan Cooper is last seen being cornered by robots, with the confirmation of his death only coming when the Doctor and company find the liquefied remains of all the missing employees.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Francine West succumbs to her disease in between episodes 11 and 12 of the second season after having made peace with both of her children.
    • In the third season, after Barry changes the timeline by saving his mother, then changing it back again, it is revealed that Cisco's brother died in a car accident, which gets brought up many times, but the event itself is never seen, not even in a flashback.
  • Frontier: Chesterfield, after an implied truce with Harp standing on a cliff at the end of Season 2. He dies offscreen, as Harp reveals at the beginning of Season 3 that he immediately threw Chesterfield off said cliff.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The scene cuts before Osha grants Maester Luwin his requested Mercy Kill.
    • Septa Mordane's execution was not shown. Her severed head on the other hand...
    • This possibly happened to Syrio Forel since they Never Found the Body. Also, his head wasn't included on the spikes along with Ned and the Stark crew when Joffrey forces Sansa to look at them.
    • Lady's execution was given a Gory Discretion Shot.
    • Harrion Karstark is killed by Jaime during Robb's first battle at Riverrun.
    • The Greatjon apparently died sometime after the Red Wedding.
    • Maege Mormont is confirmed by her heir Lyanna in Season 6 to have died during Robb's Riverlands campaign.
    • Only Rakharo's decapitated head returned with his horse to Daenerys' camp after patrol.
  • The Killing: Bullet is last seen being stalked by an unseen person in a car. The next episode, her bloodied body is found in a car trunk.
  • Lost Tapes: being a low-budget Found Footage series, many deaths occur off-screen. Many of them are indicated as taking place in some way—namely the character screaming in pain or terror as the one with the camera runs away—but special mention should go to "Dover Demon" which has probably the straightest example of this in the series. As shit starts going down, Chad and Shannah split up from Glenn to try and find their injured friend Royce more quickly, and Glenn is shown taking out a switchblade to defend himself from the Dover Demon. A few scenes later, Chad and Shannah trip over something which turns out to be Glenn's jacket, now bloodied from a deadly encounter with the Demon.
  • The L Word: Generation Q it turns out that Kit died from a heroin overdose at some point after the end of the original show.
  • Married... with Children: In "Ship Happens", Al, Peg, Jefferson and Marcy go on a cruise. Except, it's a fitness cruise for fat women. At night however, the crew members have an orgy after locking up the fat women for the night. Just as the party gets underway, one of the fat women smells the jerk chicken and tries to cut through the deck with a blowtorch, causing the ship to sink. The four along with fat woman Kay and Gilbert Gottfried wind up stranded on a raft and they're the only survivors.
  • M*A*S*H The Season 3 finale famously ends with Radar announcing to the OR staff that Col. Henry Blake's homebound plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan with "no survivors".
  • The Outer Limits (1995): Prisoner 98843 died of unknown causes between the events of the previous installment, "The Camp", and "Promised Land".
  • Oz: Death row inmate Moses Dyell volunteers to donate his organs immediately after his execution, even getting Said to vouch on his behalf. Said later hears the news that Moses was shot when he attempted to escape from his prison transport.
  • Planet Earth: Dynasties: After a scene cut, Sienna is noted to have mysteriously disappeared. It's assumed she died of poisoning off-screen.
  • Romper Stomper: Gabe mentions that all of the original gang died, aside from Cackles and Magoo, since the film's events.
  • Sons of Anarchy: Father Ashby is last seen when he allows himself to be taken hostage by Jimmy O'Phelan in exchange for Jax's baby. It's later confirmed that Jimmy killed him during the trip to America.
  • Supernatural:
    • In "All Hell Breaks Loose", a couple occur. Dean and Bobby discover the Roadhouse has been burned down offscreen, causing the deaths of a bunch of hunters including Ash, whose severed hand is discovered among the ruins. Ash's reappearance in Heaven three seasons later puts any doubt over his death to rest. Lily is killed while trying to escape the Ghost Town, with her body being found hanging from the windmill.
    • Henriksen, Nancy and Sheriff Melvin Dodd in "Jus in Bello" are seemingly killed by Lilith in a blast of white light, but Henriksen's ghost reveals in the next season that that was not the case: according to him, Lilith actually spent forty-five full minutes torturing them to death before she blew up the police station.
    • In "First Born", the hunter Tara is last seen trying to fend off a demon who pays her a visit. When said demon later confronts Dean and Crowley, he mentions he found out where the two are and what they're up to by interrogating Tara and apparently flaying her alive.
    • Charlie is murdered offscreen by Eldon Stein. The last we see of her alive is her making a stand with her Oz-native blade, before Sam and Dean arrive at her location too late and only find her corpse.
    • Toni. When Dean is awoken from his mind link with Mary, he finds Toni with her throat slit, thanks to Ketch.
    • Lucifer kills Rowena for the second time in "All Along the Watchtower", and while the killing is not shown, her burnt corpse is. Not that it stops her from resurrecting.
    • "Let the Good Times Roll" opens with Bobby and Mary discovering Maggie's bloodied corpse in the forest outside the Men of Letters bunker. It gets undone via resurrection by the end of the episode.
    • Mary Winchester in Season 14. "Game Night" ends with her trying to snap Jack out of his violent episode. "Absence" opens with Dean and Sam learning from Rowena that she's died. Dean later finds her ashes and Jack materializes her dead body, but her death itself is never shown in the episode.
    • Eileen Leahy, twice. After her first death, Sam gets a call from Jody that she is dead and identifies her body. She's furthermore one of the first people to be Reduced to Dust by Chuck in "Despair", although she doesn't appear in the episode itself. Sam only knows she's gone because her texting suddenly stops and he finds her phone on the front lawn of her house. She's returned to life again, like everyone else by the season finale.

  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps:
    • Donna's mother, Flo, was run over by a truck sometime between the third and fourth seasons.
    • In the sixth season opener, "When Johnny Met Sharky", Johnny spends most of the episode in florida. Near the end, we learn that he failed to jump over a shark, and was eaten.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Sophia is killed offscreen, later appearing as a walker.
    • Shumpert dies sometime during his journey with Martinez, but we don't see his death.
    • While we do see Meghan getting bitten by a walker, we don't actually see her die onscreen. Although later on, we see Lilly carrying her dead body over to the Governor.
  • The Waltons: Grampa Zeb passed away between seasons 6 and 7 because, in a case of The Character Died with Him, Will Geer had died unexpectedly of a respiratory illness over the hiatus. The family is seen putting flowers on his grave in episode 7.01, "The Empty Nest."

    Podcasts 
  • In The Adventure Zone: Balance, Boyland is found dead and crystallized halfway through The Crystal Kingdom, having taken his helmet off for a smoke.
  • In the Cool Kids Table game Creepy Town, Alli gets trapped in the Shining-themed room of the Haunted House and nobody sees how she dies. They only hear a creepy music box get louder and then stop, followed by Alli's blood dripping from under the door.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: Enemy Chatter during the Predator sequence in Red Hood's DLC story reveals that Red Hood killed Killer Moth at some point between the main game and the DLC.
    Thug: Is this Red Hood guy the same guy who took out Killer Moth last month?
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: Sammy is killed by Bendy behind closed doors, but not out of Henry's earshot.
  • Bleeding Sun:
    • The Tsuru who helped Yori escape Hitoshima is not the same as the one who joins the party. The former trained the latter to succeed her, but got killed while protecting her apprentice.
    • If the player tells the bandit leader Jun'ichi to flee to the pier and escape Hitoshima, there will be a bloodstain at the pier indicating that he was killed by Ichiro's forces.
  • In the Updated Re-release of The Caligula Effect, if Eiji is kicked out of the club following The Protagonist learning the truth about him, he dies off-screen following Shadow Knife's apparent Disney Villain Death — he lands on a glass ceiling that Eiji is standing under, the shards from which kill him instantly.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Vigil of Stendarr is a Church Militant order dedicated to hunting down and destroying supernatural threats to mortal life, including Daedra, Daedra worshipers, vampires, lycanthropes, and others. You can visit their headquarters, the Hall of the Vigilant south of Dawnstar, and speak with the members there, but it has no quest relevance. However, with the Dawnguard DLC installed, the Hall is destroyed and the members present are wiped out offscreen by the newly introduced Volkihar vampire clan. Slightly averted as the Vigilants are still very much active and even have another base near Riften.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, Ravus is mentioned to have been sentenced to death in the aftermath of the invasion of Altissia. If you play through Chapter 13 as Noctis, you'll eventually find Ravus's body.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword, this is the fate of both Brendan Reed and Sonia if you skip or don't unlock Night of Farewells. If you do play the sidequest you directly witness Sonia kill Brendan, and then kill her in a boss fight.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, depending on which sibling you follow in chapters 9 through 14, at least one major antagonist dies offscreen. On Eirika's route, Selena and Vigarde die offscreen, while on Ephraim's route Glen dies offscreen.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, on the Golden Deer route as well as the Church of Seiros's route, Dimitri fights against Edelgard and is killed offscreen. A similar fate befalls Rodrigue (Felix's father) on the Church route. In the Crimson Flower route, Ladislava dies in battle offscreen in Chapter 15, and the dying Randolph tells Edelgard about Ladislava's death with his final breaths.
    • In Fire Emblem Heroes, Helbindi is last seen fighting Surtr, the Arc Villain of Book II, while securing Ylgr and Veronica's escape. Since Surtr is the Final Boss of the Book and is defeated and slain by the heroes, Helbindi lost the fight and died.
  • Kindergarten:
    • You will never get to see the principal shooting your other classmates in face if they get sent to his office. You may, however, see the direct aftermath of the principal shooting Lily (namely, him being absolutely covered in her blood) in Ms. Applegate's route.
    • When Cindy gets run over by a car due to blindly running into traffic after you dump a bucket of blood on her, you never see her die. The only part of her you can see is her shoe.
    • If you expose that the janitor's using her dog as food, Cindy will chase him off the screen. When she returns, she's holding his decapitated head.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, according to Word of God party member Bao-Dur dies in a Heroic Sacrifice helping HK-47 reach the factory during the game's final act, which is never shown as a result of the game being Christmas Rushed. The only remains of this plot thread - only accessible with the restored content Game Mod - are Atton briefly mentioning that he's missing and a scene where his force-ghost gives an inspirational monologue to The Exile prior to Malachor.
  • This is Vile's fate on the hard mode of Mega Man X8. You fight him as a miniboss in the game's final level, after which he attacks the reserve character and locks them in the room with him, forcing the active character to do the rest of the stage solo. They reunite just before the Final Boss, with your reserve character looking no worse for wear.
  • In Mother 3, Lucas, Claus and their mother Hinawa go missing in Sunshine Forest while coming back from visiting her father. After an intense search the twins are found, but Hinawa is revealed to have been found dead with a Drago fang pierced through her heart (her body isn't shown either) as a result of saving Claus and Lucas from a Mecha-Drago at the cost of her own life. Her husband Flint obviously doesn't take it well.
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, this is done to Rideaux. He's last on-screen when some Spirius Corp employees incapacitate and begin to drag him off. When the party sees a soul bridge leading Bisley to the Land of Canaan, Julius mentions that Rideaux is the most likely candidate to have been used to create it.
  • Until Dawn follows slasher movie tropes to a T, meaning all character deaths are on-screen, so if a character appears to die off-screen, they're actually alive.
  • In World of Warcraft, Nadun, the younger brother of Phaoris, king of the Ramkahen tol'vir, is killed in a skirmish with the Neferset tol'vir. The news of his death, which the player receives at the same time as Phaoris, motivates Phaoris to overcome his uncertainty and commit to all-out war with the Neferset.
  • When checking the Victim Videos of the candidates that did not make it past the First Trial in Your Turn to Die, most of them show the victim's face. The exception is that of a girl who seems to be dangling with her face offscreen. This is actually a clue that one of the Ridiculously Human Robots you meet later is actually an imposter.

    Webcomics 
  • In Girl Genius, Lady Selnikov is last seen alive forcing her way into the crypts, with the protagonists finding her body being watched over by her former hostage (who isn't the one who killed her).
  • Older Questionable Content strips had a barista named Sara working in Coffee of Doom. She vanished without explanation, and when fans asked when she was coming back, Word of God declared that she had been eaten by an allosaurus.
  • TREVOR: Terry was killed by Trevor after the medical team split up, but they don’t find out until it’s too late.
  • Unsounded: Ilya is last seen fleeing into Litrya's Inaktown; her body is later found crushed under rubble after the self-destruct spell destroys Inaktown.

    Web Original 
  • AFK: Maybel is killed in between seasons.
  • In Hells Paradise Elijah is apparently killed when a house that it's implied he's in explodes. Apparently the actor couldn't make it to the shoot. They were on a tight schedule so they unceremoniously killed him off.
  • In Minilife TV, Snowball's vampire friend, Rob, dies some time between the episodes "Longview" and "The Lost Undead", which kicks off the plot of the latter episode. Given how he looked in the former episode, it's inferred that he succumbed to old age.
  • This happens alarmingly often in Worm. Examples include the Siberian, Phir Se, Heartbreaker, Raymancer, and Grue.
  • Happens to quite a few people in Farce of the Three Kingdoms, with even important characters who have been around for decades disappearing unceremoniously. Usually this is lampshaded, and the other characters' biggest complaint is that their friends and/or enemies missed out on entering the death scene competition.

    Western Animation 
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood:
    • Mole wanders off with his newfound love during the winter midway through the second season. After the winter is over, Mole's love and his son Mossy find Mole's friends and tell them that Mole has passed away.
    • Mr. Vole, the strong defender of the smaller creatures' rights, also dies off-screen during the winter.
  • In the Ewoks episode "Asha", Kneesaa and Asha's mother, Ra-Lee is implied to have died while protecting her daughters from a hanadak, but the actual death is not taking place onscreen.
  • During week 5 of Toonami's The Intruder II has the titular villain (of both it and the original Intruder) gloat about killing TOM 4. The last time TOM 4 was onscreen was a brief appearance not long after Toonami's revival.
  • In the season one finale of Kid Cosmic, Queen Xhan returns to Earth to inform the heroes that the leaders of the destroyed planets went to face Erodious, but they were killed by him offscreen. She was the only survivor.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • Trenchcoat Rick. Sometime after providing Campaign Manager Morty with the information about now-President Morty's identity, Trenchcoat Rick is Thrown Out the Airlock (presumably because He Knows Too Much), as his already-dead body is seen floating in space around the Citadel along with all the other Rick and Morty corpses.
    • The secretary of Tony's job informs Rick that he died skiing down Space Mt. Everest.
  • In Samurai Jack, The Guardian of the portal to the past is killed by Aku at some point in the 50-year Time Skip between seasons 4 and 5.
  • SWAT Kats: In the episode "Katastrophe," two lab security guards are killed this way. Dr. Viper's mushroom monster oozes out from under a door and rises up behind the first guy. He senses it behind him and starts to turn, only to have the shot cut away. The second guy is treated to a Second Person Attack in the form of a slimy tentacle reaching towards him, only for it to cut to the monster battering down the door, having gotten the guy offscreen. Dr. Viper confirms both of them died: "Now that you've had your dinner..."
  • Wander over Yonder introduces in Season 1 Janet, a sentient planet, and in Season 2, Lord Dominator, who wants to destroy every single planet in the galaxy for fun. By the season finale, only one planet remained, and it isn't Janet. However, while one of the people who worked on the show implied that she died, another one said that she and her moon were actually away on their honeymoon.
 
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