Sometimes a story will have loads and loads of generic characters; they could be soldiers, warriors, monsters, anything. They either exist as enemies for the hero to blow through on his way to the Big Bad or as his friends (but never actually of the True Companions) to die to show how serious matters have become. Either way, the deal is they're expendable.
See also Sorting Algorithm of Mortality.
- Battle Thralls
- Big Dumb Body: Someone takes over a big person to use as their new body.
- Boss in Mook Clothing
- Com Mons
- Disposable Intern
- Disposable Pilot
- Disposable Sex Worker
- Disposable Vagrant: Not many people will notice or care what happens to homeless people, so it's considered okay to kidnap or kill them.
- Disposable Woman
- Expendable Alternate Universe
- Expendable Clone: It's not considered a big deal when a clone dies because more can always be made.
- Henchmen Race
- Immortal Life Is Cheap: A character can't be killed at all, which others use as an excuse to not care about doing anything to them that could cause serious harm.
- Joggers Find Death
- Meat Puppet
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Male death and suffering isn't considered as bad as female death and suffering.
- Monster Munch: Character only exists to be a victim of the Monster of the Week.
- Mooks: Generic minions of the main villain, who are less likely to make it through the story unscathed than their boss.
- Our Phlebotinum Child
- Punch-Clock Villain
- Red Shirt: The only reason this character exists is so that they can get killed in lieu of the important characters.
- Mauve Shirt: A character who seems like they're in danger of becoming another expendable underling is developed enough that they're somewhat safer from being killed off.
- Red Shirt Army: An entire army of nameless characters die.
- Cannon Fodder: An entire army whose sole purpose is to get killed so that the leader doesn't have to.
- C-List Fodder: Minor characters are killed off on the grounds that it's unlikely many people will be upset about their deaths.
- Rental Car Abuse: Someone rents a car and acts as if the car being a rental means that it's not their problem if the car gets damaged.
- Unknown Character
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy
- Pluto Is Expendable: Since Pluto is now classified as a dwarf planet, works are okay with depicting Pluto being destroyed.
- Sacrificial Planet
- Throwaway Country
- We Have Reserves: As long as the underlings can be replaced, the boss doesn't care if any of them die.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness