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Basic Trope: Anyone can die.

  • Straight: Anybody, even the main characters, can die in a story.
  • Exaggerated: Practically everybody dies.
  • Downplayed: Anybody can die, except main characters die less often, and if they do, they get a dramatic death.
  • Justified: Anybody can die in real life, so it makes sense for that to continue into the story.
  • Inverted: The main characters all have Plot Armor, but the Red Shirts are dropping like flies.
  • Subverted: At the beginning, many characters we're just introduced to die... but then it stops and everybody else lives in the end, aside from a few RedShirts.
  • Double Subverted: It looks like everybody's going to live, but some of them end up dying in the end anyway.
  • Parodied: The story is just about people standing at a bus stop, but some of them die anyway.
  • Zig Zagged: At first the main characters have Plot Armor, but then some major characters die... and then they get their Plot Armor back again, everybody surviving a war even though many RedShirts kick the bucket. However, at the end, in the climatic battle with the Big Bad, two more important characters die at his hands.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "We need to make this feel real! Let's kill off some main characters!"
  • Lampshaded: "You know, usually heroes like us don't die. I guess this is a bad day, then."
  • Invoked: The Big Bad goes out and actively kills the people he considers his greatest opposition.
  • Exploited: A character is aware that anyone can die, and so he runs away from the place of the conflict in hopes he won't be killed instead of keeping in the background or fighting the big bad.
  • Defied: See "Exploited".
  • Discussed: "It's funny how in stories, the heroes never die, but in reality... well, I believe we all know that Anyone Can Die."
  • Conversed: ???
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