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Basic Trope: Characters of African ethnicity die earlier.

  • Straight: Bob, the Token Minority black guy, dies before all the white characters, such as Alice.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Dozens of black people (indeed, every black character) die right at the beginning.
    • Bob died before the story proper even began. (See Posthumous Character or Dead All Along.)
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob dies just before a non-black cast member, being fatally wounded less than a second before Charlie.
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    • Bob is injured first, and dies to his wounds much later in the story.
    • Bob dies first along with a non-black character.
    • While nobody dies, Bob is the first to get KO'd.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Alice, the only white character in an otherwise all-black cast, dies first.
    • The only black character is the killer.
    • The black dude is the only survivor.
    • The black guy is the first one to be brought back to life.
    • The movie is about the lives of pregnant women and the first to give birth has a black baby.
  • Subverted:
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    • Bob is made a very obvious Sacrificial Lamb, being Alice's best friend or boyfriend, getting lots of screen time, etc. But Charlie, who is white and has stayed in the background, is killed first instead.
    • Alternately, Bob dies a Disney Death in the beginning.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
  • Zig-Zagged:
    • Same as Parodied, but played for suspense rather than for laughs, and it's the whole cast who are faced with Everything Trying to Kill You.
    • Same as Double Subverted, but Bob knew Charlie was trying to kill him and either fakes his death or avoids Charlie's attack, thus allowing Bob to kill or apprehend him as so desired.
  • Averted:
    • No one dies.
    • Everyone in the cast is biracial.
    • Bob is one of the survivors.
    • Bob dies too late in the story for his race to be significant.
    • The entire cast is black, or there are no black cast members in the first place.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Hey, Bob, how come Alice died when you were standing right next to her?"
    • "There's a Serial Killer on the loose and I'm the only black dude in the neighborhood. Screw this, I'm moving to Canada!"
    • "Well, we should've seen that coming."
    • The rest of the group reacts to Bob's death with "Well, now that that's out of the way..."
  • Invoked:
    • Bob is blatantly the biggest threat to the evil force, so it targets him first.
    • The cast arrive on an island full of people who have never seen a black man before and consider Bob some sort of evil spirit. So, they kill him first to protect themselves.
    • Bob knows he's going to die very soon, so he kills himself painlessly at the start to avoid the possibility of a more drawn-out and painful death.
    • Alternately, Bob knows he's going to die soon, so he panics and tries to escape/avoid his fate, making him predictable and easier to pick off.
  • Defied:
    • Bob is smart and does everything he can to stay away from danger for as long as possible.
    • Bob is smart and gets out of town as soon as he learns a serial killer is at large.
    • Bob's very protective friends are smart and risk danger themselves to keep him safe.
    • Mike says, "Okay, guys, we're a bunch of teens and a serial killer is on the loose. We all know that serial killers go for the black dude first — you can beat the crap out of me later, Bob — or for defenseless young girls — same for you, Alice. Therefore, all us white males should do whatever we can to protect the black guy and the girl while we all get the hell out of here. As long as Alice and Bob are alive, then the rest of us are, hopefully, pretty much invincible."
    • The murderer or monster somehow decides Bob is Not Worth Killing.
  • Exploited: Bob pulls off a plan to exploit his death. He has a grenade wired to go off if his life signs fail. Bob is ambushed and ends up the only one to die to the monster, who dies with him.
  • Implied: Bob is the first character to disappear, but it's not made entirely clear whether it's because he was killed.
  • Discussed: "Don't you hate it how the black guy always dies first in this sort of situation?"
  • Conversed: "I like horror films and all, but it's a bit jarring how the black guy always dies first."
  • Deconstructed: Bob spends all of his time cowering in fear due to the existence of this trope.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob receives constant death threats from racist groups, perhaps because he is outspoken about an issue that has a negative impact on them. Therefore, he spends all his time cowering in fear from the potential invocation of the trope. Ultimately, near the start of the story, the threats are acted upon.
    • Bob learns every self-defence technique he can, and knowing he can fight off anyone who wants to kill him replenishes his self-confidence.
    • Alice and the other characters are just as worried as Bob for this trope to happen, so they prepare themselves and end up saving his life.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: The writers made Bob the first guy to die in the story to set the audience up for a Plot Twist: When Bob died, he went to Hell. But he was badass enough to fight his way out. He doesn't actually come back to life, however, until the rest of the gang face the murderer near the end. More than half the fandom is shocked, and the twist is so well known that it becomes an All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" (or at least It Was His Sled) situation.
  • Played for Laughs:
  • Played for Drama: The highly racist Caucasian cast conspire to ensure that Bob is always in the most danger, thus making it inevitable that he'll die first. Alice is appalled by this, and a major theme of the rest of the story is the conflict between those like her who tried and failed to protect Bob, and those who ensured he was the first victim. The drama is even greater if this scenario takes place before the Emancipation, thereby bringing overtones of Fair for Its Day into the mix.

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