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Basic Trope: When a series kills off a character, the network plays it up for all its worth as a Ratings Stunt.

  • Straight: The Family Drama Big Screwed-Up Family is going to kill off one of its main cast. Upon learning of this, the execs air commercials advertising that Tonight Someone Dies.
  • Exaggerated: Middle child Courtney, after being abused and treated as The Unfavorite since the series began, is about to abruptly commit suicide in a Wham! Episode. The executives spoil the shock entirely by airing tons of advertisings declaring that Tonight Someone Dies and strongly hint that she's the one.
  • Justified: Ratings are plummeting, and they want to attract viewers by advertising something that the general public will find interesting.
  • Inverted: For a show where main characters die weekly, the Season Finale contains no deaths and is heavily advertised as such.
    • Someone is coming Back From the Dead, and the networks make sure the trailers tease the hell out of it.
  • Subverted: The creators want this death to be a Wham! Episode, and the execs agree not to spoil the surprise.
  • Double Subverted: ...However, the advertising tack they take instead make it clear things are going to change dramatically and drop hints that it involves somebody's untimely demise.
  • Parodied: Not only the advertising, but the narrator and the characters themselves repeatedly hint that "something unfortunate!" will soon happen to one of the main characters.
  • Deconstructed: By turning a character's death into a hyped-up Ratings Stunt, the network actually decreases the impact of the event and make it appear as if the death is more about bringing in ratings than dramatic storytelling.
  • Reconstructed: Despite this, the episode is written well enough that it still brings in the ratings, encouraging the network to continue the process.
  • Zig Zagged: Some deaths in Big Screwed Up Family are foreshadowed and advertised well beforehand. Others occur out of the blue with no warning.
  • Averted: No one dies. Ever.
    • Deaths are not over advertised.
  • Enforced: The whole point of this trope is that it is enforced.
  • Lampshaded: "Sooo, was she the death the network advertised so heavily?"
  • Invoked: "I have to kill you, my love. The ads for this episode say so."
  • Defied: She gets better...
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played For Laughs: ???
  • Played For Drama: ???

Back to Tonight Someone Dies, and...wait. What're doing with that- BANG

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