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  • 19-2: In the English version, Amelie's death's sole purpose is to create angst and sow a rift between her lover, Ben, and her brother, Nick.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Skye's mother, Jiaying, was brutally vivisected and tossed aside like trash for her husband, Cal, to find. This got very few accusations of sexism, likely because it was a backstory event; we already knew the man was crazy, this just helped explain why. Subverted further when she turns up alive (Cal stitched her back together and let her Healing Factor do the rest), and subverted even further when she turns into the Big Bad of the season, and has to be killed by Cal while she's draining the life from their daughter. Cal says that she always had a kind and compassionate heart. Unfortunately, it wasn't fixed when he stitched her back up.
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    • Rosalind Price is a straight example, killed off unceremoniously just one episode after she was finally confirmed to be one of the good guys. She was killed partly to keep her from spying on the villains, but also to motivate Coulson to take risks to get revenge on her killer. It was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot as Constance Zimmer no longer had time for the show, but many fans argued she could have at least done a Heroic Sacrifice rather than being randomly taken out by a sniper.
  • Airwolf: Done by Moffat in the pilot episode. Whether pissing off Stringfellow Hawke was the intent or not, it certainly had that effect, leaving Moffat with a life expectancy only slightly longer than the series Theme Tune.
  • Altered Carbon: The entire Garcia family and other members of Kovacs' "pack" are massacred by the Ghostwalker because Rei was a sociopath that didn't liked her brother having anybody but her in their lives (sure, there's also an "eye for an eye" element because Garcia is investigating her actions, but this is her primary reason. Even when Kovacs actually tries to ask her to stop and bargain that he will stay with her if she doesn't, she invokes "They Were Holding You Back" to carry on). Kovacs and the rest get pissed as a result.
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  • While Steve Rogers was previously refrigerated to further his own plot, Agent Carter takes that set-up and runs with it, with love interest and usual fridge target Peggy Carter becoming the hero of her own story. From her perspective, Steve was absolutely fridged, and she feels guilty for not saving him. But just to be safe, Peggy's roommate is also fridged in her second scene, shot in the head by an assassin while Peggy was trying to defuse a bomb. Her death causes Peggy to distance herself from Jarvis and Angie, believing she can only get the people she loves killed, a thought backed up by the fact her brother died in the war after attempting to recruit her into intelligence.
  • Alias: Male example: Sydney Bristow's original fiancé. She found him in the tub with his throat slit, after which she turned on her evil employers.
  • Arrow:
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    • Shado is killed off when Oliver jumps in front of Sara during a sadistic choice by Ivo, sending both him and Slade into an emotional spiral. note 
    • Slade Wilson offs Moira Queen, Oliver's mother, in much the same way Shado was killed, thereby upholding his promise to make Oliver suffer.
    • In "Eleven Fifty-Nine" Damien Darhk fatally stabs Laurel Lance because he made a promise to her father that if he had betrayed him, he would kill his daughter. This then leads Oliver to kill Damien in "Schism".
  • Bitten:
    • A male example occurs in the season one finale. The episode concludes with the Daniel Santos's Mutt rebellion threat supposedly neutralized, only to reveal that Daniel Santos was not actually the mastermind of the uprisings—the real mastermind, Malcolm Danvers, is still at large, and has sent Elena Michaels a "declaration of war" in the form of her human lover Philip's severed head, left sitting on her bed in the Danvers mansion. In this case, Philip's gruesome death serves as a motivator for the pack to hunt down Malcolm, particularly Elena—for whom the fight turns very personal.
  • Boardwalk Empire:
    • In the first season, Jimmy Darmody gets embroiled in a war with Irish mobsters. One of them scars the face of his mistress as a means of getting back at him. This would be a non-fatal example of the trope, but she eventually commits suicide, so it's an indirectly fatal example.
    • Nucky sends Owen to kill Joe Masseria, and we don't see him again until Masseria mails his bloodied body back to Nucky in a crate. The hit was already doomed to fail since Masseria didn't die until 1931. The twist comes in the fact that Nucky's relationship with Owen was merely professional, so he is not nearly as devastated as his wife, Margaret, who was having an affair and planning to run away with Owen.
    • Jimmy's wife Angela AND her girlfriend Louise are murdered by Manny Horowitz, though the latter was an accident; he was looking for Jimmy and was shocked to find Angela with someone else. He then deliberately kills Angela, however, telling her that "[her] husband did this to [her]." A somewhat odd example in that Word of God stated that it did indeed serve to further Jimmy's plotline: it was a large part of his motivation to basically admit defeat and allow Nucky to kill him, which he did just a few episodes later.
    • Season three keeps it up when Billie Kent is killed in an explosion planned by Gyp Rosetti as part of his ongoing feud with Nucky. And it's never really confirmed in-universe, but it seems that Babette also died in that same incident.
    • Season 4: Chalky's daughter Maybelle is accidentally killed by Richard, of all people, during his One Last Job before escaping Atlantic City for good to be with his family. Much like with Angela and Jimmy, this leads to Richard being shot and dying as well.
  • A trademark of Max in season 2 of Bones. He takes to leaving the people who threaten his family as charred corpses strung up on poles with Columbus coins in their mouths.
  • In Season 5 of Breaking Bad, Jesse's love interest, Andrea, is shot in the back of the head by Todd as punishment for Jesse trying to escape his slavery at the meth lab. Andrea also has a son, and Todd's group threaten to kill him as well if Jesse tries to escape again.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Passion", Angelus, the demonic alter ego of Angel, kills Rupert Giles's girlfriend, Jenny Calendar, and leaves her in her lover's bedroom, complete with a trail of rose petals and champagne to make the character believe he's in for a romantic rendezvous. However, it is not a straight example of this trope. Although the circumstances behind the way her body is discovered draw from it, she was actually killed because she was researching a magic spell that could stop Angelus' plans.
    • A straight example happens earlier in the aforementioned episode, as Angelus kills Willow's fish and deliberately leaves them in an envelope for her to find, just to let her know that he was in her bedroom.
    • Drusilla was deliberately driven mad by Angel's torture and murder of her family and friends. He also leaves Buffy a sketch he made of Joyce in her sleep, telling Buffy that he planned to stuff her into a fridge as well (she stopped this). And then at some point in the past there was the puppy...
    • Tara in "Seeing Red". Her death occuring for the sole purpose of pushing Willow over the edge and transforming her into Dark Willow, the season's Big Bad.
  • Burn Notice: Michael sometimes invokes this trope when he needs to convince the target that his persona of the week gets off on this sort of thing. Since it's an illusion and the "victim" is either Fiona or his current client, the dirty deed is merely implied rather than shown explicitly.
  • Chicago Fire: Shay's death seems only serve as emotional pain/drama for Severide and Dawson.
  • In another MCU example, Cloak & Dagger (2018) plays the trope as literally straight as one could imagine (most likely a Shout-Out to the trope's origin in comics), but flips the gender, when Detective O'Reilly's boyfriend Officer Fuchs is brutally killed and shoved in his refrigerator, apparently in retaliation for putting away the crooked Detective Conners. Naturally, O'Reilly finds him when she shows up to his apartment expecting "girlfriend pancakes."
  • Criminal Minds:
    • One episode has an especially dark example in which a man gets Forced to Watch as thugs murder his pregnant fiancé before beating him and leaving him for dead. Instead of making him just more motivated or somewhat darker, it causes an outright psychotic break, resulting in him running around killing the perps in horrendously violent ways. The victim was also a relatively famous up-and-coming comic book artist/writer; after his break, he switched to a Darker and Edgier new comic depicting his violent revenge on the thugs.
    • It also has another example in "100", when the Reaper/George Foyet kills Haley Hotchner. Foyet, after stabbing Hotch and spending months stalking him and his family, lures Haley and Jack out from protective custody, and forces her to say goodbye to Hotch over the phone. He draws it out, taunting Hotch and telling him he's going to kill his son as soon as he's done with Haley. He shoots Haley, leaving her body on the floor of the Hotchner's old bedroom. Hotch goes off the rails, beating Foyet to death with his bare hands. Haley's death is absolutely a fridging, done explicitly to cause Hotch pain and further used within the narrative to provide more angst for Hotch's decision about whether or not to leave the BAU.
    • Season 7 has a particularly blatant example of this when Rossi's first ex-wife reappears in one episode, and commits suicide at the end of the next episode in order to avoid the painful degeneration and death she would have faced from ALS. Her second episode ends on a shot of her grave and, for added angst, she's buried next to her and Rossi's stillborn son. Though she did ask him to help her if it got to the point where she couldn't do it herself.
    • Season 8 takes it even further, when the first on-screen appearance of Reid's long-distance girlfriend — and for them — their first meeting in the flesh — is also their last, as she is kidnapped and killed by her female stalker in a murder-suicide while Reid watches. Particularly irritating as she seemed like she could have developed into a fantastic character in her own right, and only served to provide more emotional angst for Reid. Another almost comical example is the murder of Section Chief Erin Strauss, comical because it happens in the same episode she and Rossi are revealed to have developed a romantic relationship... and his grief and self-blame for not saving her are given much focus. Made more egregious by the fact that her replacement in the BAU is male.
  • In CSI: NY, the team found their former colleague Aiden as a charred body, though they only knew it was her after reconstruction.
  • In Damages, a similar thing happened in the first season to David, Ellen's boyfriend. And guess what Ellen did against her boss Patty Hewes in Season 2…
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Wilson Fisk is having troubles with Matt interfering in his partnerships with the Hand and the Russians. In the midst of a falling out with Nobu, Fisk decides to take two birds out in one stone: he has a junkie kill Elena Cardenas, an elderly woman who Matt and Foggy are representing in a tenency dispute against Fisk. As he predicts, Matt will be outraged enough to come for him, just like the Russians had earlier kidnapped a young boy to use as bait for Matt. Meanwhile, Nobu wants to get rid of Matt because of his and Stick's interference at the docks, so he ambushes Matt when Matt arrives at the dockhouse looking for Fisk. The fight ends with Nobu burning alive, and Matt taking a second beating from Fisk, and then escaping as James Wesley and Francis shoot at him. This sidelines Matt temporarily, while with Elena dead, Fisk is able to give her tenement to the Hand so they can construct Midland Circle Financial.
    • In a subversion, season 3 incorporates the "Guardian Devil" church fight between Matt and Bullseye from the comics. But the moment where it looks like Karen is going to die the same way she dies in the comics, Dex throws the baton but it instead hits and kills Father Lantom. Instead, Karen survives the fight, even giving the finishing move against Dex to stop him from finishing off an overpowered Matt, and the scene ends with her crying over an unconscious Matt. The camera is positioned so that the shot is framed exactly like the panel where Karen takes her last breath, only with Matt and Karen being switched.
    • There's also a straight example in season 3. Fisk has Julie killed to destabilize Dex and firm up his loyalty to Fisk. A particularly blatant example given her brief screen presence and Dex later finding her body in an actual walk-in freezer, as well as those of the two hitmen that had killed her.
  • Dexter:
    • Season 1 is a play on this trope. The "Ice Truck Killer" tries to get the interest of Dexter by brutally murdering people, knowing that he will not get mad about it. He puts most of his victims "on ice" and puts a dismembered doll into Dexter's fridge as a clue. It turns out both Dexter and the killer (his brother) were turned into what they are by witnessing the brutal murder of their mother and being left in the container in inch-deep blood for days. In the final episode the trope is inverted when the killer tries to kill Dexter's adoptive sister, which he thinks would reunite the brothers for good.
    • In the fourth season, Dexter comes home after killing the Trinity Killer only to find his wife, Rita, another victim of Arthur's. Unlike most examples, this is, to a great extent, Dexter's own fault rather than a misfortune to turn him into a woobie. While Arthur killed her, he was only able to do so because Dexter deliberately protected him from arrest to have the satisfaction of playing with him a bit more.
    • In season seven, Dexter becomes the perpetrator of this trope when he kills Viktor, a Russian gangster who murdered a stripper and a police officer. Viktor was the lover of Isaac Sirko and Isaac vows revenge. Isaac is particularly enraged by the casual way Dexter killed Viktor and then disposed of his body.
  • Diagnosis: Murder: This was done very frequently. Any time some relative or old friend of Dr Sloan turned up, odds were that that person would be the victim of the week (unless he/she turned out to be the villain of the week). In one episode, Dr Sloan's son-in-law was murdered offscreen and stuffed in his car. It later turned out the entire town was involved, to some degree, in the murder or the cover-up.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Terror of the Autons", the Master kills a scientist by shrinking him, and then makes a point of stuffing the tiny body in the scientist's lunchbox for the Doctor to find later.
    • Peri in "Mindwarp", the first time a female companion had been killed off since the William Hartnell era. After several serials of her being objectified and abused in a kinky sort of way by every villain, she gets a Traumatic Haircut, a Mind Rape and is murdered, her brain is physically removed and replaced with that of a foul sluglike anarcho-capitalist baddie. Then her possessed body is killed by a warrior king who had fallen in love with her. ...Well, apart from that nonsensical last-minute ending that reveals this was actually a fabrication and she decided to stay and get married to the king, which was added at the last minute when the producer got cold feet about killing her off.
    • In "Death in Heaven" Osgood was killed by the Master purely because a) The Doctor liked her and b) Steven Moffat wanted to show that The Master was still evil even though she was a woman. He admitted saying “Osgood was the one we flung on the fire to make the Master burn brighter.” Luckily, it was later revealed that either the original Osgood or her Zygon double was still alive, and she refused on principle to explain which one she was. The same story ends with another Osgood duplicate being created, as well.
    • In "The Woman Who Fell To Earth" Grace is killed off pointlessly towards the end of the episode, and her death is subsequently used to define the relationship between Graham and Ryan.
    • The Cliffhanger of "World Enough and Time". Bill Potts is converted into a Mondasian Cyberman thanks to the Harold Saxon Master stepping in just before the Doctor was arriving to rescue them. This is specifically done by Harold Saxon Master in order to not only enrage and anguish the Doctor but also to encourage Saxon's future self, Missy, not to go through with her Heel–Face Turn, since the Doctor will resent her for this even if she doesn't remember doing it. However, the episode that follows, "The Doctor Falls", puts a major twist on the matter to stand the trope on its head: Bill still has her identity and the episode focuses more on her struggle than the Doctor's guilt; she and he end up making a Last Stand against the other Cybermen. And thanks to her now-partially alien soulmate returning to her afterward, Bill is freed of her Cyber-body and goes on to Ascend To A Higher Plane of Existence — free and happy.
    • Kira's death in "Kerblam!" is a rare instance of this being done to provoke the villain, by the Kerblam! computer system in order to disssuade him from the similar murders he is committing. It doesn't work, though. This drew some criticism from those less favourably inclined to the episode.
  • Subverted in Dollhouse. It looks like Adelle's going to do this to Paul's new girlfriend, Mellie, when she sends Hearns (who's also a serial rapist) to kill her. Except it turns out Mellie is a Doll programmed as an assassin, who kills Hearns instead. Sends the same message and gets rid of a rather nasty employee, too.
  • Elementary: Sets this up and makes it a Deconstructed Trope. Early in the series, we learn that Sherlock's dead love interest Irene was murdered by Moriarty, causing him to spiral into drugs, overdose, and land himself in rehab. In the finale, Irene is Moriarty, and was deliberately exploiting this for all it was worth. Sherlock had foiled several of her plans in London, so Moriarty became Irene and set up a Honey Trap. Then she then faked her own murder so that Sherlock's guilt would incapacitate him and distract him from her actual business. It works.
  • The Escape Artist: Kate, Will's wife, is killed in the first episode to set up the rest of the plot.
  • The Flash:
    • The third season invokes this. The Bad Future is created when Savitar stabs Iris West in front of her boyfriend Barry Allen/The Flash. What follows are years of fruitless attempts to kill Savitar as his family and social life falls to ruins. However, Iris manages to subvert this by shooting Savitar dead after his first attempt on her life is foiled.
    • In Season 4, a metahuman character named Izzy Bowin is introduced, and she appears to be a potential love interest for Elongated Man. In the same episode she is introduced, Clifford DeVoe gets to her and erases her mind, taking over her body and effectively killing her, all while Elongated Man and The Flash are Forced to Watch. Some people accused the show of sexism due to the horrific brutality and pointlessness of the character's death, and expressed hope for the character's eventual revival, and others have taken it as a sign of the show's Seasonal Rot.
  • Game of Thrones plays with this trope a lot.
    • Played straight with (in the traditional "woman dies for man's angst" sense) in the cases of Ygritte for Jon Snow, and in the back story Tywin Lannister's wife Johanna, who, while not brutally murdered, seems to be dead for the sole purpose of justifying Tywin hating his son, Tyrion.
    • Inverted (Man dies for woman) with Khal Drogo and Daenerys since his death inspires her to get revenge not only on the woman who killed him but to also conquer the known world. Also the death of Ned Stark pretty much tips off a whole world of character development for his wife and all his children.
    • Subverted with The Red Wedding. To those unfamiliar with the books, the brutal murder of the newly pregnant Talisa Stark would seem to be this for her husband Robb, except he too is brutally murdered minutes later. Which itself could have looked like this for his mother Catelyn but she doesn't survive the attack either. One other subversion, before Catelyn is killed, she threatens the young wife of Walder Frey (one of the orchestrators of the massacre. Unfortunately for Walder's young wife, Walder doesn't really care about her, even after Cat kills her.
    • Played with again in the sixth season finale. The explosion of the sept kills Margaery, which would devastate Tommen for years to come — oops, he crossed the Despair Event Horizon instead and walked out his window. Thus, Tommen's death is played ramrod straight for Cersei, shattering her emotionally, which is shown when she sits on the Iron throne as Queen at the end. At the moment of her greatest triumph and the height of her power, she looks absolutely dead inside.
    • Prior to Jon and Ramsay's battle over Winterfell, Ramsay releases Rickon and plays a "game" with him. He tells Rickon to run across the battlefield to his brother Jon, who rushes forward to save Rickon, and as Rickon flees, Ramsay fires arrows at him. He misses deliberately until Rickon is mere feet from Jon, at which point Ramsay kills him. Rickon's death ends up serving no purpose but to cause Jon pain and give him another reason to hate Ramsay. Indeed, he has no lines at all in Season 6.
    • In the middle of Season 8, Daenerys is set to conquer King's Landing from Cersei except she and her forces are ambushed by the Iron Fleet and Euron Greyjoy slays one of her two surviving dragons, Rhaegal. Then, her best friend, Missandei, gets captured by Euron and Cersei uses her as a hostage to force Daenerys down. After negotiations failed, Cersei has Gregor Clegane behead Missandei in front of her best friend and her love interest, Grey Worm. Missandei's death seems to serve in making Daenerys and Grey Worm become more ruthless by burning down King's Landing and slaughtering the citizens.
  • Hannibal: Beverly Katz, with insult added to injury by her being killed thanks to acting quite uncharacteristically stupid and not leaving Hannibal's house with the evidence she found while the getting was good.
  • The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: The third-season episodeLast Kiss of Summer. We're introduced to Jamie, the love of Joe's life who he's willing to marry and throw over his entire life for — a woman who hasn't been mentioned throughout the entire series to this point — and 10 minutes into the episode, right after the wedding rehearsal where we're shown Joe and Jamie pledging vows, Jamie's killed by a random drunk driver, as Joe is driving, followed by Joe weeping over her bloody body. Jamie only existed to die and to fuel Joe's Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the rest of the episode.
  • Hell on Wheels: At the end of Season 2, this is the fate of Lily Bell: strangled by The Swede.
  • Near the end of the series finale of How I Met Your Mother the titular Mother actually died of a Soap Opera Disease 6 years prior to Ted telling the story to his kids. This revelation became very controversial among the fans and critics because after being a Plot Device for eight seasons, the Mother was given a Character Development for the viewers to see why she deserved to be Ted's wife and then, she's killed off in the final episode just to give Ted more angst and the motivation to ask his kids permission to date Robin by telling them the story in the first place despite that some issues which resulted to their break-up remained unresolved. It doesn't help that the ending is written 6 or 7 years ago and most viewers see this move as a Die for Our Ship in the writers' part.
  • Kamen Rider is rather fond of doing this:
    • Kamen Rider V3 started it all, with Shiro Kazami losing his parents and little sister to Destron, which prompts him to become V3 in the first place.
    • Kamen Rider Agito: Not one, but two of Ashihara's girlfriends (Risa and Aki) are killed off to provide him with angst and/or added motivation.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Ren Akiyama's girlfriend is deliberately targeted and rendered comatose to force him into the Rider War. In the "Episode Final" movie, Miho is killed off by Shinji's evil counterpart to provoke him into existential angst.
    • Kamen Rider Faiz: Yuka dies in order to ultimately drive Kiba over the edge of a Face–Heel Turn.
    • Kamen Rider Blade: The murder of Tachibana's girlfriend gives him the drive to defeat the Peacock Undead. In addition, the murder of Haruka's husband/Amane's father drives their plot in helping Hajime discover his humanity.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto: In the God Speed Love movie, an AU to the TV series, Hiyori is Kagami's girlfriend and the impact upon him and Tendou of her death is used to kick off the climactic ending to the film.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva: Mio is ultimately killed off to resolve the struggle for dominance between Wataru and Taiga.
    • Kamen Rider Decade: Various things happen to Natsumi and/or Yuusuke solely to provoke Tsukasa into action. The death of Yuusuke's love interest Ai Yashiro spurred him on to fight as Kuuga.
    • The Commander Dopant tries this in Kamen Rider Double during the Accel spin-off movie; he believes that by killing Akiko, Terui will be consumed with vengeance and "cleanse" the city of its evil. However, Terui has been redeemed by Akiko's love, and defeats the Dopant instead.
    • Subverted Trope in Kamen Rider OOO. Shintaro Goto is able to become Kamen Rider Birth for the first time to avenge the "death" of his beloved mentor Date, but then it turns out Date was just unconscious. (Word of God had it that the original plan for the show was for Date to be killed off, so this trope would have been played straight.)
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: This is largely the reason for Nadeshiko Misaki Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence and Jiro Iseki ending up in a coma through misuse of a Switch.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard: Koyomi (or rather the revived shell of Koyomi) being destroyed by Gremlin in order to take the Philosopher's Stone from within her drives Haruto's motivation and ultimately allows him to take Gremlin down.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: Rare male example. Sid, as Kamen Rider Sigurd, deliberately kills Hase (who had turned into in an Inves) in front of Kota, who is screaming and begging for him not to because Hase is Kota's friend. Hase's death then becomes Kota's motivation to save others.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: In the show's backstory, Hiiro's girlfriend Saki was killed off by the Bugster Virus, which not only motivates him in general but gives him a specific hatred of Graphite, the Bugster born from her death. Tragically, he has to go through it again later in the series, when Big Bad Masamune Dan dangles the possibility of Saki being brought back to life under Hiiro's nose. He spends several episodes in the throes of a Face–Heel Turnnote , but eventually realizes that it's wrong to betray his Hippocratic Oath just for the sake of his own happiness and turns on Dan, who erases Saki's data out of spite.
    • Kamen Rider Build: Subverted: The Entrance to Build's base is hidden inside a mini fridge and anyone who enters or leaves said base has to enter the fridge. Played straight with Ryuga's girlfriend Kasumi who was forcefully converted into a Smash by Faust and later killed; it was a Mercy Kill requested by Ryuga himself to Sento since there is no way to save her. Her essence was used as a Full Bottle by Banjou and is one reason why Banjou fights as a Rider.
    • Kamen Rider Amazons: Litteral example. The Queen Ant Amazon puts her victims' remains in one this way and the Crab Amazon also does this to serve human meat to unawakened Amazons. Yep.
  • The Killing In Season 3, Holder discovers the savagely murdered body of Bullet, a homeless girl he had befriended stuffed into a car trunk (left deliberately for he and Linden to find). He spirals into a depression for much of the rest of the season as a result.
  • Killing Eve: Kenny is thrown off the roof in the Season 3 premiere.
  • MacGyver (1985): Early episodes would often introduce an old friend of the title character, who would be killed off in close proximity to him by the bad guys. This would set the stage for the rest of the episode, where MacGyver will then foil the greater plan that necessitated the killing. These characters were almost never mentioned or alluded to ever again.
  • MacGyver (2016): The character of Jill is randomly murdered by Murdoc at the end of the first episode of season 3. She had been a background character built up throughout the series. The killing is used as Macgyver's motivation to come back to the Phoenix Foundation, on the proviso that he is given the full resources of the agency to hunt down Murdoc.
  • The Mentalist:
    • Jane's wife and child are this. They don't even have names.
    • In episode 3.02 (Cackle-Bladder Blood) we find out that their names are Angela Ruskin Jane and Charlotte Anne Jane.
    [Big Bad's note on Jane's bedroom door]: If you were really psychic, you wouldn't need to open this door to find out what I've done to your lovely wife and daughter....
  • Miami Vice: Ricardo Tubbs' love interest (and the mother of his child) Angelina. After disappearing for almost two seasons, she returns to rekindle her relationship with Tubbs — as well as introduce him to his son (which she gave birth to after he left Cuba in "Calderone's Return, Part II"). Soon after she returns, she's kidnapped by her brother (the new drug kingpin in Cuba), is tied to the steering wheel of a limousine that's rigged to blow if she escapes, and forced to watch as her child is taken from her and replaced with a fake one to fool Tubbs. Then, just as it looks like Crockett and Tubbs have defeated the Calderone's, Angelina accidentally(?) triggers the bomb in the limo, killing her and leaving Tubbs grief-stricken.
  • Misfits: The death of Alisha. Completely random to a Dropped a Bridge on Her degree, and solely to drive Simon to go back in time to his death. Particularly annoying as it's exactly the kind of regressive superhero comic plot cliche the show usually mocks.
  • MrRobot: Shayla is killed and stuffed into the trunk of a car so Elliot can learn a valuable lesson about being a sucker.
    • Male Example: Cisco is shot down by the Dark Army, which serves as a catalyst for Darlene's deep depression.
  • NCIS:
    • Kate's death had this effect on Gibbs. Even though Ari had a bead on Gibbs, he killed one of his team instead because it would cause Gibbs more pain. He learned the hard way that you do not mess with team Gibbs.
    • Ari originally was going to shoot McGee, but when someone else fired at McGee Ari ended up missing; McGee went for cover and out of Ari's line of sight, so he decided to shoot Kate instead. Gibbs was never intended to be the target that time. It is later stated that Ari had researched Gibbs and deliberately went after the women Gibbs worked with to remind him of the deaths of his first wife Shannon and his daughter Kelly.
    • He then tries to go after Abby, barely missing (it is debatable on whether missing was intentional).
    • In "Broken Bird", in a series of flashback moments, an interrogator uses Cold-Blooded Torture on an innocent young man just to break Ducky's spirit. And there's bonus guilt because Ducky resorted to Mercy Killing to free the innocent man from torture.
    • Ziva's death. She was killed off three years after the actress left, solely so Tony could be left responsible for their daughter and be written out of the show. Subverted, as season 16 reveals that she's alive.
  • Nikita:
    • Nikita's civilian boyfriend, a male example.
    • Thom. He is one of Division's recruits who grows close to Alex, until she has to kill him to protect her cover and frame him as Nikita's mole.
  • One West Waikiki: In one episode, a mobster's girlfriend was accidentally shot by his ex-mistress (who then got killed herself in a hit-and-run accident with an unmarked police car). Later, the mobster's henchman, trying to frighten another character into compliance, shows him the dead body of the first woman stuffed inside a refrigerator in the mobster's mansion.
  • Prison Break: This is a common occurrence on this FOX series. Whether it's Veronica Donovan being stuffed into multiple Hefty bags, L.J.'s mother and her husband being killed by government agents, or Sara Tancredi's head getting sent to Michael in prison, there aren't many happy endings on the series. Sara got better, though.
  • Revenge: In the season 3 finale Victoria drugs Aiden with a paralyzing agent she snuck in his tea then smothers him with a pillow. Later in the episode Emily returns home to find him propped up on the couch due to the effects of rigor mortis with the final look of terror and sorrow forever etched on his face Victoria is then shown smiling on her balcony when she hears Emily's hysterical wailing and sobbing.
  • Revolution: In the episode "Home", Sebastian Monroe intends to do this to Emma Bennett, Miles Matheson's highschool fiance, to get to Miles. She gets killed off by the Georgian soldier Dixon in front of Miles and Monroe, traumatizing the two greatly. Miles, because he worked so hard to save her life, and Monroe, because he just found out that she gave birth to his son and she got killed off before she could tell him where the son is.
  • This happens to Yolande in Salamander. Secretary to an influential judge, she disturbs the hit-men sent to assassinate him. She is not only murdered, her corpse is then left in an undignified sexual position for the police to find. The photos also get leaked to a salacious newspaper.
  • Skins: Did this in a notable fashion in Series 4. Freddie, one of the principal characters, was brutally murdered by Effy's crazed psychiatrist John Foster, and his bloody clothes were bagged and found by best mate Cook in Foster's house. This being Cook, he did not take the news well, and his response was more than appropriate.
  • Smallville:
    • This is the occupational hazard of being involved with Clark Kent.
    • Skinwalker: Kyla was stabbed to death with glass (although that is sort of an accident).
    • Pariah: Alicia was hung on a noose.
    • Reckoning: Lana died in a gruesome car crash. Blame the Reset Button.
    • Vessel: Subverted with Chloe, who just had The Big Damn Kiss with Clark but was dragged away by the mob after he left to battle Zod. Many fans apparently panicked and thought she is going to be gang-raped then killed to heap more angst on Clark as well as clear the way for Lana. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
  • The Society: Just as she is made the official mayor of New Ham, Cassandra is murdered early on by Greg Dewey. This is what makes Allie more cynical and takes charge of being the leader.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Icheb is killed simply to fuel Seven of Nine's revenge against Bjayzl.
  • Supernatural:
    • The pilot begins with Mary Winchester being killed by the yellow-eyed demon, and ends with Jessica Moore dying in the same way. Both deaths serve textbook "Stuffed Into the Fridge" functions.
    • Episode 9x20, a (failed) Poorly Disguised Pilot, has main character Ennis' girlfriend brutally murdered seconds after he proposed to her.
    • It's such a ubiquitous backstory for Hunters that it serves as a SubvertedTrope in the rare cases when it doesn't apply. e.g. When Dean is sent back in time and finds out that Eliot Ness is also a hunter, he asks what horrible event happened in his past. An outraged Ness replies that there wasn't one, he fights monsters because it's the right thing to do, and something is seriously wrong with Dean for assuming such a thing.
    • Charlie Bradbury's death in episode 10x21 was a textbook case: committed off-screen, gratuitously gory, and written for the sole purpose (from a Doylist perspective) of evoking rage and despair in the male main characters who discovered her mutilated body. Fans, and even several Powers That Be, lambasted the unnecessary slaughter and the Idiot Plot leading up to it. Additional Unfortunate Implications from multiple Holocaust-related elements in the murder of the show's only recurring openly LGBT character (see: Bury Your Gays).
  • True Blood:
    • Happens in season 6 when Nora is killed by the Hep V virus to create more pain for Eric and to motivate him to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Vampire Camps that are holding vampires prisoner.
    • Happens again in season 7 when Eric has a flashback of a woman he knew (and had a brief relationship with) named Sylvie. She's barely developed as a character, she only appears once in season 7 (despite never having been mentioned in the previous seasons), she has very little screen-time, and is killed by the Yakutza so that Eric has a reason to despise them and want revenge on them later.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Julie Plec, the creator of the series, outright states that Ensemble Darkhorse character Anna was created to be killed for the sole purpose of causing Damon and Jeremy angst. As if they didn't have enough. Damon didn't even seem affected past the season finale.
  • Veronica Mars: In the revival, In an episode aptly named "Years, Continents, Bloodshed", Veronica's love interest and Ensemble Darkhorse Logan Echolls is killed off-screen by the bomb left in Veronica's car by the Neptune Bomber Penn Epner, mere hours after Logan and Veronica had married. Creator Rob Thomas has since said that he had done that because Veronica works best as an underdog and she was getting to be too happy with Logan, so he had to go. To add insult to injury, they didn't even show his funeral or Veronica mourning, just a quick voicemail from the day of the wedding, in which Logan explains that he wants to marry Veronica because she is the strongest person he knows, a few tears from Veronica And the Adventure Continues. Suffice to say, Fanon Discontinuty was in full swing after that finale - many fans consider last ten minutes of the episode non-canon and for them the series has ended after the Logan and Veronica wedding.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Uses it that way quite often. Many episodes open off with an "old friend" showing up. By the end of the episode, you can guess they'll end up dead, and in the rare cases they don't, something bad will happen to them if they ever show up again (which is itself incredibly rare, normally they're never mentioned again). Most of these deaths take place when the friend stumbles upon the villain's plot, and get intercepted by them on the way to telling the Rangers. It also makes it seem like Walker and company are "good friends" with everyone in the city with the frequency it happens, but that's another story.
  • Warehouse 13: Pulls this trope at the end of season 3, when one of the characters goes undercover but is killed by the people he was infiltrating and left for the rest of the team to find, one of which was his best friend. Thankfully, Death Is Cheap
  • War of the Worlds (1988): The opening episode of season 2 of this show. The military general who has been giving the team missions throughout the first season has been kidnapped and presumably killed by alien beings. The military lieutenant leading the main characters is kidnapped, cloned, found by his former comrade (who swears vengeance), then shoots himself in the head out of desperation to save a little girl (who is being held hostage by the clone). The wheelchair-bound tech support character is shot multiple times, then shot 'again' when he activates a panic button. And then they both get blown to bits in an exploding mansion. Only the wheelchair-bound character is ever mentioned again. Also, the brutal execution of the Advocacy (the villains from season one).
  • Westworld:
    • The Season 2 finale has killed off Elise Hughes by Charlotte Hale because She Knows Too Much about Delos' goal of extracting data from the guests and laxs the moral flexibility to keep it a secret. While her death is meant to prove that Ford is right about humanity's failing, it actually serves to awaken Bernard's consciousness.
    • In turn on Season 3, Charlotte (the host version of her who is a copy of Dolores) becomes protective of her son, Nathan, and does her best to rekindle her relationship with her ex-husband. Predictively, Serac has both of them killed off with a car bomb when she and her family try to escape. This eventually causes Charlotte to slide further into despising humanity and betray Dolores by the end of the season.
  • The Wire:
    • Season one has Omar's boyfriend Brandon Wright displayed on the hood of a car in the projects.
      McNulty: Jesus, they must have killed this kid four or five times.
      Edward Norris: Cut him in a dozen places. Burned him with cigarettes. God-damned torture-fest is what it was.
    • And this isn't even the full reckoning of his injuries: he's also left with only one eye, two cracked forearms and several broken fingers, according to later exposition.

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