- One example is the death of Andrew Lipson. He is hit by lightning, and survives, however, the electronics on his wheelchair are shorted out. This leaves him attempting to arrest his descent down a slope, an endeavour in which he fails, causing him to fall from a cliff. He doesn't die, and is left, immobile, on the beach below as the tide comes in, causing him to slowly drown. The fact that he was talking to his best friend on the phone when the lightning struck makes it even more saddening.
- Hawley Faust's death - giving in to his injuries after days of struggling to overcome his wounds. The emotional reactions of the other characters around him are what makes this especially upsetting.
- Fred Hughes trying to save Lyndi Thibodeaux from Cody Jenson by fighting him off with a wrench outside the building his group is in. He dies because of this.
- Not long after this his brother Glenn Hughes dies trying to help Mallory De Luca. They get attacked by the duo of Peri Barclay and Stevan Hyde who forces Mallory to choose who lives. She chooses Glenn. Peri then kills Glenn and gloats at her before leaving her behind with his corpse.
- Jeremy Torres holding Heather Pendegrast as she dies of her wounds after spending days apart from each other. With Heather's last thought being how Jeremy has been like a good luck charm to her.
- Later on is the death of Jeremy himself, after having had a car chase with Lucinda Garret across the island that results in her death. Sitting in his car not far off and in a bad shape. The came pans to a handwritten note he had left for his family before turning his gun on himself, content with how he'd refused the game.
- Joshua Moore's life before the game. A gay teen raised in a religious household, he was sent to church by his parents to "pray the gay away", traumatising him. He later ends up in a relationship with another boy whom gets found out by his family and he's forcibly moved to Denton, with his boyfriend left behind and sent to conversion therapy which he pretends works. The two have a last conversation through the phone proclaiming their love for each other. And then he's sent into the game.
- Andrew Ponikarovsky being left in the burning remains of his car as his ally, Carmen Somerset, leaves him for dead.
- Edgar Judah's fight with Dan Johnson, trying desperately to survive against his bigger and stronger opponent, before succumbing to a syringe to the neck. Punctuated by Dan apologising to the dead boy before saying that he'd at least get to see his dead brother.
- The accidental kill of Huy Tran by his girlfriend Anna Dibenidetti.
- Seth Mathlock's death, after saving Tori Johnson's life he gets wounded and asks Bryan Calvert, Tori's boyfriend and one of his friends to mercy kill him, also asking him to kill Mariavel Varella, a member of their gang and the killer with the biggest kill count, convinced she's beyond saving at that point.
- Tori Johnson getting wounded at the hands of Mariavel Varella in retribuiton for Seth's death, she dies as her boyfriend, Bryan Calvert desperately tries to save her.I wish we were on the beach again.
- Bryan Calvert accidentally shooting Whitney Acosta thinking she was Mariavel Varella in front of Ricky Callahan, a friend of Whitney's who had spent most of the game with the goal of Whitney winning. After forcing Bryan out of the room, Ricky holds Whitney in his arms as she dies and tells him that he needs to live. Distraught at her death, Ricky apologises before shooting himself in the head.
- V3. Three people needlessly die in under a minute, and the rest realize just how empty the game has really made them. Words cannot do it justice.
- The one where the members of SADD came in before that chain of events was Tear Jerker as well. Corbin's death from poison after committing an Heroic Sacrifice to give the rest of the members time to recover before slowly dying and requesting the song American Pie by Don McLean and rain falling down and Dominica crying.
- As long as we're on the subject of v3 deaths, the death of Jake Henkie counts. All the guy does is yell his best friend's name upon seeing her - unfortunately, a student hiding in the bushes nearby is startled, and shoots him in the head, blowing off half of his jaw. He dies in the arms of Trish McCarroll, unable to even speak to her, and Trish is completely devastated. Read it here for the depressing details.
- The Answer, from v3, gives us a threefer:
- Quincy Archer, after realizing that he has a melee weapon while the remaining students have guns, evaluates his chances of survival. He takes the only option he can think of.
- Resident Wide-Eyed Idealist Emma Babineaux tries to reach out to J.R. Rizzolo, and it seems to work. It looks like The Power of Love is going to prevail and that Riz is about to pull a HeelFace Turn. Except it's revealed that Riz was pulling her strings. He instead stabs her while her guard is down and then shoots her.
- Lyn "Laeil" Burbank gets tortured and left inside a burning hangar with Emma's corpse. Luckily, she's saved in the nick of time and patched up. Only to die of blood loss in her sleep. She gets a Dying Dream where the friend she had a crush on forgives her for her actions. Yup.
- A White and Soundless Place. The death of Dutchy Ayers as he bleeds out in the arms of a friend.
- In a scene similar to the above, V5 has the death of Finn Grant, who tried to become a player but found that he didn't have the nerve to carry through and got mortally wounded by the person he tried to ambush. He is found by his friend Amaranta Montalvo, who up to this point has been a fairly self-centered and controlled person, and she completely breaks down upon his death.
- Part of V5's failed escape group, Ian Williams, Mirabella Strong, Juhan Levandi, and Takeshi Yoshikawa, discovering their dead allies after their leader's plan falls apart. The group splinters not long afterwards and by the end of it all they've all given into paranoia and anger, Mirabella and Ian have both become killers, and Mirabella is left completely shattered and insane after killing the other three before Hansel Williams picks her off.
- Early on, Min-jae Parker and Hazel Jung have sex while seeking comfort from each other. It's mutually uncomfortable, awkward, and not enjoyable, and full of desperation for affection on Hazel's end and Gayngst on Min-jae's. It directly leads to the collapse of their relationship and Min-jae's murdering someone in a fit of emotional instability later on, and Hazel's death several days after that.
- Caleb Diamond goading Kimiko Kao into killing him because he loved her and wanted her to have the best chance possible of winning. Their exchange as he is dying, which invokes a similar death in Battle Royale, makes it.<You're the coolest girl in the world.> - Caleb in sign language to Kimiko as he bleeds out.
- The above example gets worse when it turns out that Kimiko didn't win that day's Best Kill Award as was Caleb's goal, making his death pointless.
- Tyler Yazzie discovering the body of his girlfriend, Bernadette Thomas. What follows is an entire scene dedicated to Ty's internal narration about his relationship to Bernadette and how much she improved his life, ending with Ty burying her and marking her grave with the rings that the two used to symbolize their love for one another.
- In V6 a group of idealistic pacifists (composed of Penelope Fitzgerald, Ben Fields, Raina Rose, Kiziah Saraki, Lili Williams, and Johnny McKay) got together with the goal of convincing everyone to stop fighting and either escape or force the terrorists to blow them all up. The one killer that they do manage to convince, Alessio Rigano, gets rejected by Raina and Johnny and goes on to kill again before finally being put down and after Ben, Kiziah, and Penelope are all murdered within about a day of each other, the group splinters and Lili, Raina, and Johnny all end up killing themselves in different ways after crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
- The death of Jeremy Frasier at the hands of Caedyn Miller. In addition to the death itself, where Jeremy struggles and fails to give last words to home thanks to getting shot in the lung, there's the driving home of his failure to complete most of the items on his personal bucket list, which he had made his main goal as he believed he didn't have much of a shot at surviving.
- Vincenzo/a Gatti's whole game was one long Trauma Conga Line, from seeing their best friend murdered in front of them and getting blamed for it, to seeing an ally shoot someone in a panic and then failing to save the victim, to losing track of their last remaining friend and only catching up with her after she has succumbed to her injuries and died. By that point, their suicide comes off as more of a Bittersweet Ending since they did it to stay true to their ideals rather than giving in to the game.
- Madison Springer killing Nathan Coleman. A brutal death involving the victim getting his neck snapped and his face beaten in with a rock. On anyone else it'd be horrific, but the relationship between these two characters and the context of their entire island story just makes it completely heartbreaking.
- The Meanwhile section, introduced in V5, lets readers see just how far-reaching the devastation SOTF causes is. Among other things, we see families fall apart, friends and family members Driven to Suicide, and people trying to capitalize on the tragedy, some ruining their own lives by doing so.
- All About My Mother details how V6 student Noah Whitley's family falls apart after his abduction, providing ups and downs worthy of a telenovela.