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Slashers Prefer Blondes

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"Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints."

We all know there are a large amount of tropes revolving around characters who happen to be blonde. But when you have a Dumb Blonde, an Innocent Blonde, or a Lovable Blonde in a slasher movie setting, it's almost inevitable that the blonde is going to get it.

There may be a number of reasons for this, but you're almost guaranteed to have a blonde getting killed off in contrast to a raven-haired Final Girlnote . Whether she's the Final Girl's best friend or the Alpha Bitch, her chances of survival aren't high. And God help the blonde if her best friend is Jamie Lee Curtis.

This may be unintentional by the filmmakers, but the blondes tend to get really elaborate deaths. As for blond males, their death rates in horror films can be attributed to a combination of other tropes.

Note that this trope only applies to horror films. It doesn't count if a blonde character happens to die in another genre.

Contrast Everyone Loves Blondes and Black Dude Dies First. Compare and contrast Missing White Woman Syndrome. See also Monster Misogyny, which usually focuses on non-human monsters.

As a Death Trope, be aware of spoilers!


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • The original teen slasher film Halloween (1978) has both blonde Judith (in the opening) and Laurie's wild friend Lynda get offed. In the sequels, none of the blonde characters survive apart from Molly in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later. Rachel, a blonde, does survive in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers but is almost immediately killed in the sequel.
    • All the way up to Halloween (2018), where Myers, now 61, brutally murders the blonde babysitter Vicky (played by Virginia Gardner) in a mirror of how he murdered Lynda in the first film. Old habits die hard.
  • Tina from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The first of Freddy's victims in the movie.
  • Helen from I Know What You Did Last Summer. Gets a really elaborate chase scene as well. Her blonde sister Elsa is also killed. Notably neither of them died in the book the film was based on. Not that that's the only difference. Also a male example with Barry being the first person killed during the climax.
  • Scream: One of the few tropes the films don't lampshade.
    • Invoked unknowingly (maybe) by Rose McGowan for Scream (1996) where she dyed her brown hair blonde in order to contrast with brunette Neve Campbell. Strangely, this is one trope the film doesn't lampshade. Drew Barrymore also wore a blonde wig for her part in the film.
    • Other blondes who get offed in the sequels include Cici from Scream 2 and Christine and Sarah from Scream 3.
    • Scream 4 has three blonde victims in the first twenty minutes. Jenny, Marnie and Anna Paquin's character from the Show Within a Show.
    • Scream (2022) has Sheriff Judy Hicks (who survived Scream 4) and her son Wes murdered by Ghostface within minutes of one another.
    • Scream VI has Laura Crane die in the opening scene, although Kirby (having survived Scream 4) survives once again.
  • Mitchy from Terror Train.
  • Wendy from the original Prom Night. This is admittedly downplayed, as she is in fact the last of the protagonists to die, and the girls who died before her were both brunette.
  • Played straight in the film adaptation of The Ruins, where blonde Stacy dies and brunette Amy survives. In the book, Amy was killed off first and Stacy was the last to die by killing herself.
  • Played straight in Psycho where the fair-haired Marion is killed off halfway into the film. Her blonde sister survives though.
    • Played even more straight in the 1998 remake, where Marion's sister is now a redhead. Marion, still a blonde, shares the same unfortunate fate.
  • Sam from Devil's Prey, just after subverting Asshole Victim.
  • Alice from Friday the 13th (1980) is one of the rare subversions and one of the few Final Girls that are blonde. She gets killed off in the sequel but the Final Girl of that film is also blonde.
  • A delayed subversion comes in Hitcher In The Dark where Mark kidnaps a hot blonde teenage girl. Then he dyes her hair brown while she's asleep. But she still survives the film, and a blonde pedestrian was killed off in the opening.
  • The studio tried to enforce this for Leprechaun when they wanted Jennifer Aniston to bleach her hair blonde. The director refused.
  • Clear in Final Destination 2, where she has blonde hair and gets killed. She was brunette in the first film.
  • Played with in Brigham City, where the serial killer targets redheads. He's asked at the end why he killed a blonde. He replied that she was a redhead... when he was done with her.
  • Peeping Tom, an originator of the Slasher Movie, has the killer off a blonde prostitute in the first ten minutes. And his last victim is a blonde model who's posing nude for him.
  • The House on Sorority Row has three blonde characters and none of them survive. The remake has more survivors and none of them are blonde.
  • Two adaptations of Carrie play it straight, while the third averts it. Alpha Bitch Chris Hargensen is given an Adaptation Dye-Job to become a blonde and of course is killed off. Likewise her Beta Bitch Norma is killed off (and she survived in the book). The 2002 film has Chris remain blonde and also kills off blonde Helen Shyres. The 2013 film has Chris as brunette and this time Sue the sole survivor is blonde.
  • House of Wax (2005) has Paige - played by the eternally blonde Paris Hilton - becoming the last victim of the film. Notably the Final Girl is played by Elisha Cuthbert - who is usually blonde herself - but is a brunette for the film.
  • Played with in Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U. There's only one real victim, but she gets killed over and over and over again.
  • Black Christmas:
    • Black Christmas (2006) inverts it! Kelli is both the only blonde in the major cast, and the sole survivor. Word of God is that he cast actresses who looked like obvious Final Girls in most of the parts specifically to make it less clear who the actual Final Girl would be. A blonde minor character called Eve is killed off though.
    • Black Christmas (2019)'s first victim is a blonde, and all the survivors are brunette. The protagonist Riley is played by Imogen Poots, who is normally blonde, but is brunette for this film.
  • New Year's Evil: Zigzagged. The first victim is an African-American woman, and Diane (who Evil is saving for last) is a redhead, but Evil attacks four blonde women between them.
  • In Urban Legend Tara Reid plays resident sexpert and radio host Sasha, who is the final victim of the ax-wielding killer in the film. Her death plays up the character's sexual nature by dressing her in a skimpy, low-cut dress for a long chase scene through a campus building.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning: Of the two female protagonists, the blonde Bailey was the first to be offed by Leatherface, who unceremoniously slashed her throat.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022): The blonde Ruth is the first main protagonist to die, with Leatherface slicing open her belly as she attempts to escape from the van.
  • Valentine: Zigzagged; the Final Girl Kate is blonde (thus inverting the trope) while two other victims Lily and Dorothy are blonde (the latter seems to have dyed her hair since she was a brunette as a child).
  • Chrissie Watkins from Jaws has blonde hair and is the shark's first victim.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Charmed episode "Chick Flick", which is an indecisive parody of horror films, features a scene from an original slasher "My Axe Husband" where the killer is indeed chasing a blonde victim.
  • Serial killer Howard Epps from Bones targeted young, attractive blonde women exclusively. His other victims were targeted to send a message, for 'necessity', or in the case of Brennan, exclusively for the reason that she defied his normal MO: a strong, smart, self-assured brunette who he was unable to kill. None of the blondes he personally attacked survived.
  • 3XK from Castle targets blonde women.
  • Pretty popular with unsubs in Criminal Minds.
  • Scream Queens (2015) - the first of the protagonists to die is Tiffany aka 'Deaf Taylor Swift', who is blonde. This is marginal though, considering the other blondes in the cast - Chanels 1, 3 and 5 and Grace - all survive. The only Chanel to be killed off is the brunette of the group.

  • Eminem's alter ego Slim Shady seems to target blond women during his Relapse-era Slasher Movie-inspired period. In "Stay Wide Awake", he kills Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, and in "I'm Having A Relapse" he kills a cheerleader with long blond hair (an event also mentioned in "Framed", where he also kills Ivanka Trump). Lampshaded in "Campaign Speech", where Slim expresses his hatred of blondes (yet famously made himself into one).

    Video Games 
  • Clock Tower (1995) features a shear wielding maniac murdering orphan girls. Laura Harrington is the sole blonde girl in the group of orphans and although she can survive in one of the endings, the canon ending has her (and every other girl who isn't Jennifer) dead.
  • Rise of Nightmares features a train of passengers being abducted and tortured after crashing in the Romanian countryside. Of these, a blonde American, Monica, is one of the first to die, being decapitated by Ernst. We later find out that Mary was killed too, by her husband Viktor.
  • Silent Hill 2: James (pulled into the town because of guilt, has various horrible things happen to him, and can end the game Driven to Suicide), Maria (a...something that looks a lot like James' late wife and constantly being killed by Pyramid Head), and Eddie (goes homicidally insane and is killed by James) are all blonde.
  • Zigzagged in Until Dawn, where, of the two blondes, Jessica is the first possible death, and Sam has Plot Armor until the final scene. However, Anyone Can Die means that the player can have it so everyone but the two live, or have just Jess and Sam alive at the end.
    • Also Zigzagged in The Quarry, the spiritual successor to Until Dawn. Of the two blondes, Emma is the second possible death in the game whereas Laura cannot die until the penultimate chapter of the game. Also played with in that Laura appears to die in the prologue of the game, only to show up alive much later to essentially take on the role of Final Girl.


Lampshade Hangings:

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, Jules dyes her hair blonde shortly before going to the eponymous cabin, locking her in as the first victim of the film. The organisation behind the film's events actually puts some chemical in the hair dye to make sure she is a Dumb Blonde. Probably to add further irony to this, actress Anna Hutchinson is a natural blonde - while Kristen Connolly (whose character is likewise shoehorned into being the Final Girl) dyed her hair red for the film.
  • In Scream 4 when the killer calls Marnie he says of course she will die as "you're the Dumb Blonde with the big tits". She responds by saying she's a straight A student. She still gets killed though.
  • Final Girl: Jameson is the leader of a group of teenage serial killers and has a fondness for picking blonde female victims. Veronica, his most recent target, is actually a Serial-Killer Killer who turns the tables on him. Also, it's clearly a dye-job done specifically to catch his attention, since the opening of the film shows her as a brunette when she was a little girl.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Joss Whedon stated that he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer to exist as an inversion of the helpless blonde who always gets killed in horror movies. As such, Buffy's appearance was tweaked in the second season so that she would look like a Valley Girl and make the inversion even more pronounced. In a hilarious coincidence, one episode has Buffy turned into a Damsel in Distress thanks to her Halloween costume - and her hair is brunette.
    "The idea of Buffy came from the very simple thought of a beautiful blonde girl walks into an alley, a monster attacks her and she's not only ready for him, she trounces him."
    • It's interesting to note that two of the examples above were played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. And both made alongside Buffy
    • The series began with Darla being a subversion as it looked like she was going to get killed, but instead she turned out to be a vampire who killed the boy she was with.
  • Only Murders in the Building: Oliver has a social deduction parlor game based on the Son of Sam Killer — one of the players is assigned to be the "killer", the others are "innocent blondes".


    Western Animation 
  • In the episode of All Grown Up! "Curse of Reptar" that acts as an Affectionate Parody of horror films, Angelica (blonde) says "it's always the blonde girl with the perfectly bouncy hair that stays home and gets killed".