This question already has an answer here:

In some movies, you can tell when a character is there only to make a dramatic moment when he/she dies.

Is there a term for a character written specifically to die for dramatic purpose?

marked as duplicate by Paulie_D, mattiav27, Napoleon Wilson Jul 9 '17 at 13:23

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


The word redshirt originiated in Star Trek where security personnel wore red shirts and would frequently die during missions. The term has since spread beyond Star Trek and is often used these days for a character whose death provides dramatic effect.

Another commonly used expression is sacrifical lamb which comes from the Bible story where Abraham sacrifices a lamb instead of his son. This phrase has also been adopted in literature annd films with a similar meaning i.e. someone who is only there to die for dramatic effect.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .