So you're watching a
Horror show, slasher flic, or maybe an action show that promises a high body count. In order to prove just how high the stakes are and how willing the show is to be Darker and Edgier and scarier, it bravely advertises that Tonight Someone Dies! Not just anyone though, but someone on the poster!
So who dies? That's a tricky question. Kill the
wrong person, or too early, and you risk angering the viewer. Execs and writers have, through time, trial, and (mostly) error, discovered that killing off " unpopular" minorities is safer than popular ones or majorities.
This has led many to notice patterns, a kind of
Sorting Algorithm of Mortality, whereby a character's odds of gruesome, violent death are established relative to the rest of cast. The following is a rough generalization, some movies or shows might mix it up depending on which roles and traits a given character has, but few outright subvert or avert it, and when they do it's painful.
Acceptable Targets. Once killed, see Sorting Algorithm of Deadness to see how likely they are to come back. See also Rule of Empathy.
To use the
Sorting Algorithm of Mortality, simply add the Scream Score for each applicable row, then divide by as many rows (At this point, 14 or less). Remember: this is a relative score, so you need at least 3 or more characters from the same movie or series to establish a baseline. To keep this page clean, please put speculation on the mortality of a cast in the Wild Mass Guessing Sorting Algorithm of Mortality page.
Likelihood of death
Average life expectancy
Die? Me? Ha!
Older and Wiser
Parent, Clueless teens
Protagonist teens Child
Slut, Bisexual, Innocent Virgin
Love Interests by Genre
Rich Bitch, Horror Genre
Hooker with a Heart of Gold, Temporary
Shallow, Romance show
Shrinking Violet Damsel in Distress,
Villain, Faceless Goons, Mooks, Red Shirt, The Obi-Wan, The Big Guy
Loners, Plucky Comic Relief, Mauve Shirt, Long-lost Friend, The Smart Guy
The Lancer, Hero of Another Story, The Sidekick, The Scrappy
Ignored Expert, Those Two Guys, The Chick Hero, Creator's Pet
Indian/ Native American Caucasian or The Same As The Writer
Tough Girl, No Biological Sex,
Token Girl Action Girl, Final Girl
Fashionably Scarred The Cutie
Nihilist, Crazy Survivalist, Innocent, Pragmatic
Jerk Jock, The Ditz, Insufferable Genius
Nerd, Jerk with a Heart of Gold
The Captain, The Watson The Messiah, Friend to All Living Things
Too Dumb to Live, Skeptical, Genre Blind, Dirty Coward, Greedy
Fell astray, The Stoner, Butt Monkey ( gritty), Smartass
Crippling Phobia Mentally Handicapped
Holier Than Thou, Curious, Pragmatic, Ambitious
Quiet Girls and Quiet Guys
Smart, Genre Savvy 
Determinator The Pollyanna, The Fool
Robots (non-living), Undead, Snakes, Arthropods
Cats, Clones, Mechanical Lifeforms
Human, Human Aliens
Pretty Aliens Dogs (except in literature) (or Disney)
Retiring Law Officer, Villain by Default, Happy Family Man, Competent secondary female
Military Commander, Anyone Serving Under Him, Hero's Best Friend, Mentor
Scientist With Questionable Ethics, Innocent Bystander
Adventurer Archaeologist, Teacher Superhero, Nun
You Are Already Dead, Take a Moment to Catch Your Death, Post Mortem One Liner, Last Stand
Your Days Are Numbered, Pre-Mortem One-Liner, You Shall Not Pass
Prepare to Die, He Didn't Make It, Time Bomb, Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner, Jump Scare
You Have No Chance to Survive, If My Calculations Are Correct Badass Boast, Million-to-One Chance, Ineffectual Death Threat
Chunky Salsa Rule, Incurable Cough of Death
Overdrawn At the Blood Bank, Soap Opera Disease
I Can Still Fight, Made of Plasticine, Littlest Cancer Patient
Made of Iron, Only a Flesh Wound, Ill Girl Nigh Invulnerable, Healing Factor, Consumption
Drop A Bridge On Him
Sacrificial Lion, Stuffed Into the Fridge
Sacrificial Lamb, Dead Star Walking Plot Armor, The Worf Effect
In order to apply this to
all of the characters from a work, the matching tropes are:
Nobody Can Die: Nobody dies.
Plot Armor: Characters that you're supposed to care about don't die.
Red Shirt: Unnamed characters exist in order to die.
Anyone Can Die: Exactly What It Says on the Tin Kill'Em All: Everybody dies.
As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.