C-List Fodder

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Deadpool loves his C-List fodder.

"Her name is... Veronica Crabtree, busdriver for the elementary school. She was considered an ancillary character, one the fans wouldn't miss much."


This trope involves the cold realization that Shared Universes enjoy events, but not necessarily changing the status quo. Whenever a purported big shake-up occurs, you can bet it's your so-called "C-list" characters and below who will be brought out of the woodwork.

An optimist will say this is because "minor" characters (and the authors writing for them) are allowed leeway to change more than big shots, and if they're lucky they can become newly popular due to this. A cynic will say the main use of bringing in C-listers is so you can kill them off, creating a sense of "change" without really affecting the universe in any way.

Since newer characters tend to be more C-list than older characters, and also tend to include more females and minorities, this may lead to Women in Refrigerators and Bury Your Gays.

The cynical would say that this ruins the attempt to make an Anyone Can Die and Tonight Someone Dies atmosphere when the only real deaths are these characters. Same with a Sacrificial Lamb.

This is a double-edged sword. It certainly can be shocking and emotional to fans of the character, but remember... the main people who recognize these characters are the same people who will be most angry if you kill them off, whereas those who do not recognize them will not care. Thus, you toy with the emotions of they who are likely to be your most dedicated fans.

But it can be a winner-winner deal if you manage to use a character which seriously sucks. This way, you clean the universe from a bad character, the readers rejoice, while you create the fear atmosphere. Marvel Comics has a specialty on this: see Civil War or Maximum Carnage.

When the character has the shortest, smallest, most stereotypical background possible (especially ended by a He's Dead, Jim to show he's really dead), we're probably dealing with a Red Shirt instead. If one of these "major" characters were created so they can be killed then it might be a Mauve Shirt.

A disturbing tendency in the comic book industry is to use teenage super-team characters as this. It works dramatically because of the impact of a child (or young adult) dying, but is over-used to the point where the Teen Titans actually hang a lampshade on this frequently. Similar young teams the New Mutants and Legion of Super-Heroes also fall victim to this with regularity.

As a Death Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware.

Examples of C-List Fodder include:

Marvel Comics

  • Marvel's Decimation event involved the depowering of 99,999% 90% of the world's mutant population, in an attempt to re-establish mutants as a "minority" (i.e. give newer writers and editors much less work and focus-splitting to do and younger readers less things to follow). Nearly all the depowered characters were fairly minor, and the major characters who lost their powers have mostly gotten them back.
    • With the 2011 repowering of Chamber and Rictor, the biggest-name character to still be powerless is probably low-B-List villain Blob. Jubilee, Dani Moonstar, and Prodigy haven't gotten their original powers back, but are once again superhuman.
  • The villain Scourge's whole point was the killing-off of C-list Marvel villains, something that creator Mark Gruenwald later came to deeply regret.
  • Marvel's "Mutant Massacre" storyline promised big changes, but ended up killing off only a bunch of Morlocks (tunnel dwelling mutants), most of whom had never appeared before the issue in which they died. There were at least some serious injuries to A- and B- list characters, though.
  • Three characters died in Necrosha, each of whom was more obscure and minute than the other: Onyxx, Meld and Diamond Lil. Lampshaded soon after by Namor, who wonders why they were even worth noting. Cyclops responded by claiming that with the mutant population so small, each death in their small band mattered.
    • Diamond Lil at least had the distinction of being a B-lister in a title that in all fairness was itself B-list. Still averages out to C-list overall, but unlike the other two, she actually had a fanbase.
  • When The Collective showed up in New Avengers, he killed off the entirety of Alpha Flight—a superhero team with over thirty years of history in the Marvel Universe—before taking on the Avengers. Sure, that history consisted of being "Canada's premiere superhero team", but they were still mainstays of the setting. To add insult to injury, the guy who was possessed by The Collective at the time ends up on the new version of Alpha Flight and wears the same costume as its former leader.
    • They've since done a major amount of backpedaling on Alpha Flight: Sasquatch was upgraded from dead to just injured after the "Collective" storyline and only Shaman and James MacDonald Hudson (the original Guardian) have been officially declared dead in the aftermath. The rest of the Alpha Flight members from that crappy storyline remain in literal limbo, as far as Marvel refusing to confirm their deaths.
    • Their defeat (and this trope) was amusingly referenced in Mighty Avengers #27, when a new supervillain wipes out a Chinese government team - USAgent (who was briefly a member of Alpha Flight, believe it or not) whispers in horror "Oh my God... He Alpha-Flighted them."
    • And finally, they all came back. Except for the second Puck.
  • A grand total of four superpowered characters—not counting the cloned cyborg Thor, the New Warriors (before the actual war) or Captain America (comics) (after the war) -- are killed during Marvel's Civil War. They consist of Goliath, Bantam, Typeface, and Stilt-Man. Most readers would need to look at least three of these up in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe before being able to properly mourn.
    • Don't forget that the New Warriors started primarily as an attempt to move youthful has-beens like Nova and never-weres like Speedball from C-List Fodder to Ascended Extras. The latest incarnation continues the tradition with minor depowered mutants like Jubilee and Chamber.
    • Coming straight out of the Civil War event is the Initiative, which is an attempt to give every state a team of superheroes. Realistically, they're not always up to scratch. The Great Lakes Initiative is probably one of the best known and strongest teams. Entire teams have been all but wiped out, notably Florida in Marvel Zombies 3 and Nebraska in Iron Man. They don't do very well in their own series, either; cadet fatalities have included MVP, Dragon Lord, two Scarlet Spiders, Proton and Crusader (though MVP continues to be a huge part of the storyline after his death and Crusader was the viewpoint character of the Secret Invasion issues). Recent graduate Gorilla Girl put it best:

I'm black. I'm female. I turn into a gorilla, and nobody's ever heard of me. I might as well have cannon fodder stamped on my forehead.

    • The Punisher doubled the casualty list of Civil War by himself. He killed the super villains Jester, Jack o' Lantern, Goldbug, and Plunderer. Referring to them as C-List would probably be a promotion for those four characters. Punisher's next move at the start of the War Journal relaunch was to blow up a super villain bar where villains were holding a wake for Stilt-Man, though it's eventually revealed that everyone in the building survived with injuries.
    • Later Plunderer (Ka-zar's brother) was revealed to be alive, noting that the guy Punisher killed was his "American representative."
  • In Marvel Zombies 3 this happens to Siege and Conquistador, two heroes almost nobody heard of. Similar with Ogre, Razor Wire and Lighting Fist, murdered in Marvel Zombies 4 and combined into one zombie. In subversion, Night Shift, team of C-listed villains - Dansen Macabre, Tatterdemallion, Needle and Digger - was killed and resurrected as zombies only to later be cured and left unharmed.
  • In The Mighty Thor, the death of C-list villain Skurge the Executioner is widely regarded as one of the series' Crowning Moments Of Awesome—in the middle of one of the comic's better runs, no less.
  • The Poor New Mutants and their co-stars were often victims of this, pre-dating the Teen Titans' over-use of the trope. Doug "Cypher" Ramsey and Warlock didn't survive the 100-issue run of the series, Magik/Illyana was de-aged and then killed later, and nearly the entire team of Hellions (a few had quit since then, and Roulette and Empath both escaped) were horribly killed by Trevor Fitzroy's Sentinels in one fell swoop, wiping away several beloved (but little-known or referenced) characters. The New Mutants later returned, but the Hellions didn't.
    • What is frustrating with the Hellions is the manner that they died. They were killed as part of a wider storyline featuring the Upstarts wiping out the old Hellfire Club members in order to replace them. The story had Sebastian Shaw killed, Emma Frost comatose and Selene captive. All to prove the Upstarts were badasses. Guess which three Hellfire Club members returned and guess how poorly remembered are the Upstarts themselves two decades later.
  • In the Underbase Saga in |The Transformers, almost all of Starscream's victims are characters who had not appeared in a couple of years and whose toys were no longer available. This was explained by having organic components grant some protection from the Underbase energies; thus, the Headmasters, Powermasters, and Pretenders were safe, though the faily recently introduced Seacons bought it.
    • Issue #50 was a double-sized issue featuring Starscream amassing immense power and going on a worldwide rampage against Autobots and Decepticons alike. Given the Merchandise-Driven nature of the title, this was a perfect excuse to cull older toys characters and allow newer ones to take center stage. Casualties included C-listers like Gears, Buzzsaw, the Throttlebots, and the Seacons, as well as established A-listers like Jazz, Astrotrain, Omega Supreme, and the Predacons.
  • Averted in the Ultimate Marvel universe's Ultimatum cross-over event, which did kill large numbers of very big-name characters, in extremely graphic ways.
  • G.I. Joe scribe Larry Hama was finally given permission to kill off some of the members of the Joe cast who did not currently have a toy to sell. The result? Arc after arc featuring side-characters and various Fodder getting killed. At one point, Duke led a mission that resulted in a glorified Mook offing an entire squadron of once-sold toys! Quick Kick, we hardly knew ye... A dozen other characters (including Dr. Mindbender, Crocmaster and Raptor) were given a horrible demise after Cobra Commander left all of the people who had betrayed him to die in a freighter on Cobra Island.
  • Craig Kyle and Chris Yost kicked off their New X-Men run with an arc where a whole bunch of classmates of the protagonists whom it would probably be generous to call C-list get blown up by the Purifiers. The least obscure character to die in this scene was Tag, who was The Generic Guy in the Jerkass posse. Another character, DJ, got Famous Last Words that were literally the only thing he has ever said in any comic ever. Kyle and Yost would go on to kill two main characters (main for this title, anyway) and were responsible for the aforementioned Necrosha, so at least that's something.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #676 did this twice in the one issue. The Intelligentsia, a supervillain team from the Hulk books, have invented a weapon that can teleport anything and anyone into deep space, and using it, they kill the obscure Russian superteam the Winter Guard. Subsequently, the Intelligentsia themselves have the same weapon used against them by the Sinister Six. Fittingly, the only (named, a few anonymous Mooks made it out) survivor of the latter culling was the only B-Lister in the group, MODOK.
  • Averted in X-Men: Second Coming. A-Listers Nightcrawler and Cable both die (even if you argue that they're not A-Listers, they're still definitely two recognisable and fairly popular characters), in addition to Vanisher (C-List, although arguably B-List since moving to X-Force), and Ariel (couldn't be more C-List if she tried).
    • Although Cable, Vanisher and even Ariel were all revived in relatively short order poor Nightcrawler still remains K.I.A.

DC Comics

  • DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis each killed off minor characters by the dozen, often bringing them back later through Cosmic Retcon.
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths: Supergirl and Barry Allen were the main A-Lister deaths, as well as B-Listers Clayface, Mirror Master and Dove. However, C-List casualties included Angle Man, Psimon, Nighthawk, Sunburst, The Ten-Eyed Man, Prince Ra-Man, Kole, The Bug-Eyed Bandit, Icicle, and, most ironically, Immortal Man.
    • Infinite Crisis: The whole thing was kicked off by the deaths of certified B-Listers Maxwell Lord and Blue Beetle. C-List casualties included Rocket Red, Monocle, Black Condor, Baron Blitzkreig, Star Sapphire, Wildebeest, Pantha, Rat Catcher, Geist, Doctor Polaris, Human Bomb, Chemo, Peacemaker and Breach.
  • When James Robinson wanted to kill off an ex-Justice League Europe member in Starman #38, his editor suggested he kill off more, since they weren't using them at the time. Robinson did so, taking a whole issue to depict The Mist's slaughter, eventually having a part of Jack Knight's Shut UP, Hannibal being mocking her for taking on innocent, easy targets.
    • The Justice League also has a pretty storied history of C-listers who ended up being brutally killed off, ranging from Vibe and Agent Liberty to Triumph and Black Condor.
  • DC's Miniseries Death of the New Gods did exactly what it said on the label, killing off the entire suite of these well-known-yet-rarely-high-selling characters. Note that, while their original creator had Kill'Em All as part of their original planned arc, it was wildly different than the story we got here.
  • DC's 52 event killed off the cult-favourite, yet clearly C-list, The Question. As a fan favorite, expect a speedy return, though his mantle has already taken up by yet another fan favorite, Canon Immigrant Renee Montoya.
    • The catch there was that the version of The Question that had become a fan favourite was the DCAU version, not the actual comics version, which couldn't really be reconciled with his animated counterpart (objectivist zen philosopher v. wacky conspiracy theorist - FIGHT!). Odds are, he'll return, but due to trauma/brain damage/however you wanna Hand Wave it, he'll now act suspiciously similar to the Justice League Unlimited incarnation.
  • Preparatory to kicking off the dramatic Mordru arc, DC's post-Zero Hour Legion of Super-Heroes comic introduced a set of minor characters—specifically new Legionnaire Magno, Workforce recruits Radion and Blast-Off, and Uncanny Amazers member Atom'x -- in order to brutalize them to lend impact to the climactic battle at the end of the arc, which saw Blast-Off and Atom'x killed, Radion disfigured, and Magno permanently depowered.
  • The recent Legion of Three Worlds limited series quickly killed off several lesser-known Legionnaires—the Threeboot Sun Boy and Element Lad, Kinetix, and the second Karate Kid—and a large handful of minor villains. Minor character Rond "Green Lantern" Vidar, on the other hand, was given an extended send-off and proved instrumental in moving the plot along.
  • Thanks to a resurgence of nostalgia and a desire to improve old characters, at least one C-List Fodder massacre, Zero Hour, has been almost entirely undone, with the Hawks and the first Hourman brought back to life. Similarly, other heroes have been shown to survive the Eclipso event of that same time.
  • Teen Titans makes so much use of this that at least one person has made the rather morbid observation that the superhero group made of teenagers has one of the highest death-rate of any team in DC Comics. In-story, Beast Boy once lamented that seveal of the team's recently deceased C-list members were destined to be quickly forgotten after their funerals.
    • This isn't even taking into consideration how many of them have children who are either dead (Lian Harper, Robert and Jennifer Long, Cerdian, and Baby Wildebeest) or have been dead (Jai and Iris West).
  • Followed closely by The Legion Of Super-Heroes, another group of teenagers. In this case, the sheer number of characters attached to the team may help to explain the higher body count. (Because of the Legion's frequent reboots, though, dead characters frequently turn up alive in the team's next incarnation. To date, the only Legionnaire who was killed off and stayed dead is Monstress.)
    • Easiest way to spot the deadee is to find non-legacy characters, or those with you barely remember. Legacy's have the best chance of survival (unless history says otherwise (ie Donna Troy), and those that are killed will have their legacies taken over (ie Hawk and Dove).
  • Sometimes, it seems like the bulk of the Green Lantern Corps exists to provide C-List Fodder for the latest Crisis Crossover.
    • Green Lantern #27 revealed that the average life expectancy for a Green Lantern is "four years, three months, one day, thirteen hours and seven minutes".
  • To set up their new addition to Batman's Rogues Gallery, Hush, in the aptly titled comic "Batman: Hush" as villainous enough, they have him Kick the Dog by killing Harold. Who is Harold? Well, he's a character that's barely ever been mentioned in Batman comics in the last 10 years, a mute and deformed homeless person with a gift for mechanics that Batman took in and hired to work on the Batcave. No, you're not really supposed to know about him.
  • In Batman, following the year of 52 where Harvey Dent protected the city, to have a Face Heel Turn again, they had the Great White Shark frame Harvey for the murders of C-Listers, Magpie, the KGBeast, and Orca (To add insult to injury, her corpse was later found partially eaten by Killer Croc). He also took out certified B-Lister (or should it be certiglied g-Lister) The Ventriloquist, so that has to give them some solace. Also, a new version of c-lister Tally Man appears during the story, and lasts for all of three pages.
  • The Knightfall event also indulged in a little house cleaning of minor baddies: Film Freak was killed by Bane, Abattoir was killed by Jean-Paul Valley (thus leaving Abat's hostage to die in a torture chamber), and the two puppets of The Ventriloquist shot each other in what ended up being a form of suicide.
  • Interestingly handled in The Sandman: Forgotten minor character Element Girl gets a story about being minor and forgotten, with powers that make it impossible to have a normal life or death.
  • Seemingly averted at the start of Blackest Night: the first victims of the Black Lanterns were relatively well-known heroes Tempest, Hawkgirl and Hawkman, with the latter two resurrected by the end of the event. However, C-list former Teen Titans Damage and Hawk are killed, as is Gehenna (Firestorm's girlfriend and partner) and Doctor Polaris (who is killed offscreen).
  • Happens twice in DC's Identity Crisis, wherein Elongated Man's wife is killed and raped (in a flashback) and Firestorm explodes after being stabbed through the chest with another c-lister hero's sword by a c-lister villain. The whole series was a c-list-fest!
    • Elongated Man even Lampshades it in his narration. Saying that since he and Firehawk are relatively minor characters, the reader cannot be assured they won't be killed.
  • In JLA: Cry for Justice the villain Prometheus mentions having killed off several members of the little-known Global Guardians team in passing with a brief flashback.
    • A member of the Global Guardians, Tazmanian Devil, was eventually revived by a friend in the one-shot Starman & Congorilla special.
  • Most of the heroes created during the 90's Bloodlines event ended up quickly falling into obscurity, only to be brought out of limbo in order to be used as cannon fodder in events such as Infinite Crisis and Faces of Evil. The high mortality rate of the Bloodlines heroes was referenced in-universe several times, with the Flash chalking this up to a general lack of competence on their part.
  • Similarly, Roulette (who runs the House, where kidnapped metahumans fight for their lives on the wagers of supervillains) has a wall of pictures depicting all the heroes who fell under her supervision. These include Maximan, Impala (of the Global Guardians, even), and the third Firebrand. Yeah, who?
  • Sort of the point of Suicide Squad. They would send C-list super powered scumbags on dangerous missions because they are expendable.
  • The Atom (Ryan Choi) was killed to show how dangerous Deathstroke's new Titans team was, which occurred during the same month that the company was launching a new one-shot and co-feature starring Ryan's predecessor. After some controversy regarding killing off one of the company's few Asian heroes to push his white originator, DC decided to retcon Ryan's death and give him a slot on the Justice League.
  • The Ur example of this one for comic books has to be Doom Patrol. At least two entire incarnations of the team were destroyed. The only survivor of any of these teams has been Cliff "Robotman" Steele, and he often wonders if it wouldn't have been better to join them.

Other Comic Book series

  • In Invincible, the original Guardians of the Globe were killed off in their introductory issue. All of them, except, of course, the Immortal (two guesses as to what his powers are), have remained dead since. Kirkman hasn't been afraid to permanently kill off well-known characters, though, and dead means dead with him.
    • After a new Guardians team was formed, the first member to die was Shrinking Ray, by far the one with the least screentime and characterization. Capes, another Kirkman book, featured several deaths during its run—most of them minor background employees who are lucky to be given names afterwards.
  • In All Fall Down, this happens to any number of characters killed in their first appearance, mainly the first chapter.

Fan Fic

  • The whole point of the fanfiction series Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams and Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With The Light is to focus the spotlight on underrated C-list characters and mess with the traditional A/B/C-list pecking order of the Marvel Universe. Mainstays like Captain America and Spider-Man do show up, but they are typically guest stars. Heroes like Iron Man, The Mighty Thor, The Avengers and Doctor Strange don't even live in New York, with New York's hero population instead being rounded out by the likes of Moon Knight and Darkhawk.
  • DC Nation lampshades the Teen Titans example above big time, and inverted it. Arsenal gets angry enough challenge Hades for Donna Troy and convinces the other Titans to go in on it by arguing to the effect "The Justice League die and come back. Titans die and stay dead. Why are we putting up with it when we can have a chance of fighting back?!" As an indirect result, the Nation-verse Titans have thrown a few more challenges and are now the largest hero team in the storyline. This bit in the ass when Nationverse launched their take on Blackest Night.
    • It's not just the Titans. Nation is notorious for making use of obscure, underwritten, and "c-list" characters. The Dibnys, for example, are major players. The Doom Patrol is getting re-launched, the Metal Men and the JSA are starting to get more plots...Conversely, it's been very difficult to get a JLA plot done.


  • In the 1987 Masters of the Universe film, Suarod was killed due to the fact that the producer wanted one of Skeletor's generals to be killed off in the film, and they wanted to make sure it was one who did not appear in the cartoon.


Live Action TV

  • In the new Battlestar Galactica, with the exception of Kara Thrace and Laura Roslin, every character who died was either a C- or B-list character, or has turned out to be a Cylon. Or both, in the case of named Cylons who have died since the Resurrection Hub went up. (This changed in the finale.)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer eventually ended up with the same cast that they started the series with, and a few extras. The only major deaths in the Grand Finale were Spike (He got better on Angel) and Anya who, while popular, her role was never desperately needed on the show. Imagine the outrage from fans if Xander or Willow died in the Grand Finale. Also, throughout Season 7, the group of potentials often seemed to take the role of "people who get killed so as to show the situation is serious."
    • In the commentary track to the final episode Joss Whedon tacitly acknowledges this trope, saying that he couldn't kill off any of the major four (Buffy, Giles, Willow or Xander) or it wouldn't seem like a victorious ending. It also bears mention that Whedon had to kill someone important and Emma Caulfield said explicitly at the beginning of the season that she would not renew her contract, whether Buffy continued or not. So, as Whedon said, she was the logical choice.
  • Stargate SG-1, rather unsurprisingly, had a tendency to pop off secondary characters every so often, between the inevitable RedShirts. Most obvious with Dr. Frasier, the medical officer who spent 78 episodes on the show, and 1 as a corpse standing in for O'Neill (who the writers tried to fake out as being the actual casualty). Later, she made one more appearance as an Parallel Universe version.
    • You can figure out which seasons they thought they were being canceled on, due to how many C-Listers get killed. The only C-Lister to escape this was Ensemble Darkhorse Bratac, who was mentioned as dead once. Turns out it was a lie to break Teal'c spirit. A few times he has been dragged off to his doom, left for dead, poisoned, stabbed, shot, and all sorts of lethal thrown at him. They didn't take.
  • Heroes was originally intended to have a new group of heroes each season. Due to the popularity of the characters, this didn't happen. So later seasons have a tendency to bring in lots of new characters only to kill them off or drop their story line. For some examples Daphne dies, Elle dies, Usutu is killed almost immediately, Maya loses her abilities, West is introduced and then quickly forgotten, Alejandro is around for only a few episodes before he dies, Bob dies, Candace dies, Monica's plot is dropped, and we could really go on forever here. There was even Bridgette, who seemed like she had potential, only to be eaten by Sylar seconds later. Sue Landers? Never stood a chance.

Newspaper Comics

  • Stephan Pastis kills off minor characters regularly in Pearls Before Swine - then frequently brings them back with no explanation or the cheap explanation that they "un-died." Examples include the killer whale that lived next door to the seals, Chucky the Non-Anthropomorphic Sheep and Leonard, AKA "Tattuli the Self Esteem Building Bear" (Leonard has yet to be brought back). Of course, the crocodiles have clearly been promoted to A-list, and they keep dying also.

Tabletop Roleplaying

  • Game Masters frequently do this with RPGs. You want to shock your characters out of apathy? Kill a named NPC that the party knows and may even sort of like. But if things go as they normally do, only half of your party will even remember the NPC, making them firmly C-List. Further, if the party starts developing resources, such as subordinate NPCs, you can get their attention by killing off some of those resources... again assuming that the party even remembers them aside from a bullet point on an inventory sheet.
    • This can be subverted if the DM decides to kill off a prominent setting-specific NPC that is often criticized as a Mary Sue of some sort. When a supposedly A-list character like Elminster is killed off, you know that the villain means business. Either that, or you have a case of And the Fandom Rejoiced.

Web Comics

  • Superbowl Sunday in Holiday Wars is nothing but cannon fodder and killed off at almost the very start of the story.
  • Sluggy Freelance has been known to kill so many characters during certain story arcs as to inspire an "secondary characters killed weekly" ad banner for the site, an official killcount site which ran several years (no longer functioning), as well as a contest with the reward of appearing in the official comic to die a horrible death with a horribler pun. Then there was the entire C-list universe that blew up while the main characters were distracted by "space porn".
    • During the Star Trek parody, they subverted it by having Torg and Riff look in mortal danger whenever the emergency lights flashed red, because it made them look like Red Shirts. Then a Kirk-lookalike gets eaten by the aliens because he's too used to the Red Shirts dying first.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Galasso, owner of the titular toy store in Shortpacked!, decides to lay off one of the staff. It isn't one of the established cast, it isn't one of the new cast he hired for Christmas, it's some random girl the audience—and the rest of the cast—have never seen before.
    • However, in a subversion this was really a Sequel Hook. Sydney Yus (Get it?) Came back years later as the Big Bad of a later arc.
  • Irregular Webcomic killed off the entire cast, background characters were visible in the crowd scene on the Infinite Featureless Plain.

Western Animation

  • Star Wars: Clone Wars introduces General Grievous—and establishes him as a threat—by having him defeat a team of seven Jedi: Daakman Barrek, K'Kruhk, Tarr Seirr, Sha'a Gi, Shaak Ti, Aayla Secura, and Ki-Adi-Mundi (all but the last three are killed). Who? Exactly.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars prefers to use simple redshirts and mauveshirts over this trope in most situations but they managed to kill off one of their better known clone trooper protagonists and even one Jedi who survived the Clone Wars in the EU. In "Grievous´ Intrigue" however this was averted. Eeth Koth was brought back after an artwork stated him as one of the dead Jedi from Attack of the Clones and originally died in the script but this idea was scrapped in favour of him being too interesting to be simply killed off.
  • Family Guy: almost nothing changes over 100+ episodes, except Cleveland and Loretta (supporting character and minor character, respectively) separate, Mr. Weed chokes to death and the vaudeville guys (joke characters) are killed by Stewie (though they do show up in the afterlife). Also all the victims in the hour-long special And Then There Were Fewer count, though as there was a bunch of other C-Listers hanging around, this actually served to make it more suspenseful: you really didn't know which minor characters would be dead by the end of the episode.
    • To expand on the above: of all the characters who died in the murder myetery episode, two of them were introduced in that episode (Priscilla and Stephanie), another one only appeared in one episode, and wasn't too popular nor interesting (Derek Wilcox) and another one was pretty much an extra (Muriel Goldman. Although they did try to make her into a recurring character by making her to hang out with Lois and Bonnie during season 6, without any success). The only important death was Dianne Simmons.
  • The Simpsons: one of the most Status Quo Is God series ever. Bleedin' Gums Murphy, Mrs. Glick and Maude Flanders died, as did Marvin Monroe (and he got better). Frank Grimes died on the episode he was introduced. Dr. Nick apparently died in the movie, but got better. Mona Simpson (Homer's mother) did die but the number of episodes she had a major role in can be counted on one hand. And numerous other characters have died, but only in non-canon Treehouse Of Horror episodes.
  • Justice League and Batman the Brave And The Bold: Averted (not a hero, but a villain) with the animated adaptations of Professor Milo, a minor Batman villain. Normally, being part of Batman's rogue gallery grants you Joker Immunity, but this has been averted hard for Professor Milo, who has the dubious distinction of having been Killed Off for Real not once, but twice in truly gruesome deaths in two different animated series:
  • Other examples from Justice League Unlimited:
    • A massive Enemy Civil War breaks out in the penultimate episode "Alive!" and while there are a few major deaths, most of the casualties are villains who've had few-to-no lines in the series: people like Monocle, Neutron, Merlyn, Major Disaster, Lady Lunar, Fastball, Goldface, Hellgrammite, Electrocutioner, Doctor Cyber, Crowbar, Bloodsport, Angle Man...