Why aren't you dead?! Yami:
As I explained earlier, I'm the main character. You, however, can just go right ahead and die.
So you're watching a horror show, slasher flick, or maybe an action show that promises a high body count. In order to prove just how high the stakes are and how willing the show is to be Darker and Edgier and scarier, it bravely advertises that Tonight, Someone Dies! Not just anyone though, but someone on the poster!
So who dies? That's a tricky question. Kill the wrong person, or too early, and you risk angering the viewer. Execs and writers have, through time, trial, and (mostly) error, discovered that killing off "unpopular" minorities is safer than popular ones or majorities.
This has led many to notice patterns, a kind of Sorting Algorithm of Mortality, whereby a character's odds of gruesome, violent death are established relative to the rest of cast. The following is a rough generalization; some movies or shows might mix it up depending on which roles and traits a given character has, but few outright subvert or avert it, and when they do, it's painful.
Compare Acceptable Targets. Once killed, see Sorting Algorithm of Deadness to see how likely they are to come back. See also Rule of Empathy.
To use the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality, simply add the Scream Score for each applicable row, then divide by the number of applicable rows (at this point, 13 or fewer). Remember: this is a relative score, so you need at least 3 characters from the same movie or series to establish a baseline. To keep this page clean, please put speculation on the mortality of a cast in the Wild Mass Guessing Sorting Algorithm of Mortality page.
| Likelihood of death || So dead || || Average life expectancy || || Die? Me? Ha! |
| Scream Score! || 5 || 4 || 3 || 2 || 1 |
| Age || Older and Wiser || Parent, clueless and/or vicious teens || Single adult || Protagonist teens || Child |
| Sexual Orientation || Slut, Bisexualnote , Innocent Virgin || Gaynote || Straight || Reluctant, Asexual || Celibate |
| Love Interests by Genre || Rich Bitch, Horror Genre || Hooker with a Heart of Gold, Temporary || Shallow, Romance show || Shrinking Violet || Damsel in Distress, Action Series |
| Role || Villains, Faceless Goons, Mooks, Red Shirt, The Mentor, The Big Guy, Decoy Protagonist || Loners, Plucky Comic Relief, Mauve Shirt, Long-lost Friend, The Smart Guy, Mr. Exposition (often has some overlap with another role such as mentor) || The Lancer, Hero of Another Story, The Sidekick, The Scrappy || Ignored Expert, |
Those Two Guys, The Chick, Supporting Protagonist
| Hero, Creator's Pet, Mary Sue |
| Race || Black, Twofer's || Mexican, Arab || Asian || Indian/Native American || White |
| Gender || Tough Girl, Ambiguous Gender || Feminine Man || Male || Token Girl || Action Girl, Final Girl note |
| Aesthetics || Ugly || Fat || "Average" || Fashionably Scarred || The Cutie note |
| Personality || Nihilist, Crazy Survivalist, Innocent || Jerk Jock, The Ditz, Insufferable Genius || Nerd, Jerk with a Heart of Gold || The Captain, The Watson || All-Loving Hero, Friend to All Living Things |
| Flaws || Too Dumb to Live, Skeptical, Genre Blind, Dirty Coward, Greedy || Fell astray, The Stoner, Butt-Monkey (gritty), Smartass || Wears Glasses || Crippling Phobia || Mentally Handicapped |
| "Virtues" || Holier Than Thou, Curious, Pragmatic, Ambitious || Quiet Girls and Quiet Guys || Smart, Genre Savvynote || Determinator || The Pollyanna, The Fool |
| Species || Robots (non-living), Undead, Snakes, Arthropods || Cats, Clones, Mechanical Lifeforms || Human, Human Aliens || Pretty Aliens || Dogs note |
| Occupation || Retiring Law Officer, Villain by Default, Happy Family Man, Competent secondary female || Military Commander, Redshirt Army, Vehicle Drivers, Hero's Best Friend, Mentor || Scientist with Questionable Ethics, Innocent Bystander || Adventurer Archaeologist, Teacher || Super Hero, Nun |
| Prognosis || You Are Already Dead, Take a Moment to Catch Your Death, Post-Mortem One-Liner, Last Stand || Your Days Are Numbered, Pre-Mortem One-Liner, You Shall Not Pass! || Prepare to Die, He Didn't Make It, Time Bomb, Pre Ass Kicking One Liner, Jump Scare || You Have No Chance to Survive, If My Calculations Are Correct || Badass Boast, Million-to-One Chance, Ineffectual Death Threat |
| Health || Chunky Salsa Rule, Incurable Cough of Death || Overdrawn at the Blood Bank, Soap Opera Disease || I Can Still Fight!, Made of Plasticine, Littlest Cancer Patient || Made of Iron, Only a Flesh Wound, Ill Girl || Nigh-Invulnerable, Healing Factor, Consumption |
| || 5 || 4 || 3 || 2 || 1 |
| Pool predictions || Killed Mid-Sentence || Drop A Bridge On Him || Sacrificial Lion, Stuffed into the Fridge || Sacrificial Lamb, Dead Star Walking || Plot Armor, The Worf Effect |