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Playing With / Dropped a Bridge on Him

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Basic Trope: A seemingly important character very suddenly leaves the story or is killed anticlimactically.

  • Straight: Alice had been set up as an important side character, having been given both some degree of Character Development and several hints of an expansive subplot centred on her. But in the new season opener, Alice suddenly drives off road in her car, which sinks in a nearby river, and she drowns. Back to the action!
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice suffers Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. A few seasons later, as our heroes are walking through a cemetery, we see Alice's gravestone, but the heroes don't notice.
    • Alice is the protagonist.
    • Alice is the main antagonist.
  • Downplayed: A whole dramatic scene is given to Alice's death and her companions' mourning. Although after ten minutes in the spotlight, her death is treated as if she'd just scraped her knee.
  • Justified:
    • Alice was just a Recurring Extra or a Mauve Shirt.
    • The writer is trying to make a point about how sudden and random death can be, and not everyone can have a big, climactic, meaningful death scene.
    • The lightness is a plot point; having people not notice Alice's death will later be part of the story.
    • In a video game it was a player choice, and the light death was either "an accident" set up or the player's choices in the game led up to it.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The superhero Amazing Girl comes just in time to save Alice from drowning in the river.
  • Double Subverted: But then Bob drives off road and knocks Alice back in the water by accident. Back to the action!
  • Parodied:
  • Zig-Zagged: Alice drowns in a river to no remorse of the other characters. She soon comes back as a ghost, and everyone suddenly feels apologetic for her death and throws her a 'proper' funeral with her found body. She then promptly disappears from the series for no reason, and nobody ever mentions her ghost nor her funeral again.
  • Averted:
    • Alice is given a climactic death.
    • Alice doesn't die at all.
  • Enforced:
    • "Nobody likes funerals. Let's just not give Alice one, she wasn't the title character anyway."
    • The actress who plays Alice is leaving the show for good, and they need a way to get rid of the character without taking up a lot of time.
  • Lampshaded:
    Bob: Alice was found dead in the river.
    Mike: How anticlimactic.
  • Invoked: "Let's go murder Alice, I'm sure no one will make a fuss about it."
  • Exploited: The Big Bad has the Five-Man Band's allies killed and then spreads the story that they're too callous to commemorate their Forgotten Fallen Friends.
  • Defied: Alice drowns in a river, and nobody mentions her after the fact — except Bob, who is sincerely sorry for her death and practically abandons the group in mourning for a couple of weeks.
  • Discussed:
    • "Hey, Dave, I haven't seen Alice in a while, have you?" "Eh, who cares, she wasn't very important anyway." "Yeah, you're right. Wanna get some pizza?"
    • "Hey, Dave, Alice's obituary is in the paper." "Well, that's sad ... I guess." "Also, the Packers got robbed by the Giants last night!" "Holy moley! That's terrible news!"
  • Conversed: "And jeez, do you remember that one time in this show where Alice died, and nobody gave a damn?"
  • Deconstructed: Many, many characters get bridges dropped on them in the series, leading the main characters to be paranoid of leaving their houses in fear of being killed suddenly.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Intended Audience Reaction: See Justified #2.
  • Implied:
    Carol: Where's Alice?
    Emma: Gone. It was sudden, too.
  • Played for Laughs: ???
  • Played for Drama: Bob gives his friends a What the Hell, Hero? speech for their compounding the suddenness and sadness of Alice's death by their failure to commemorate her.

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