Kill off

The killing off of a character is a device in fiction, whereby a character dies, but the story continues. The term, frequently applied to television, film, video game, anime, manga and chronological series, often denotes an untimely or unexpected death motivated by factors beyond the storyline.
In productions featuring actors, the unwillingness or inability of an actor to continue with the production for financial or other reasons may lead to that character being "killed off" or removed from the storyline in another way.



Because of the episodic format of television shows, audience feedback and approval is often a factor in whether or not a character is killed off. Damon Lindelof, executive producer of Lost, has been quoted as saying that despite the widespread hate for Nikki and Paulo, "We had a plan when we introduced them, and we didn't get to fully execute that plan. But when the plan is executed, will be iconic characters on the show." In an example of a character being killed off as a result of an actor leaving the show, Raymond Cruz's character Tuco Salamanca on Breaking Bad was killed off because he found the part too difficult to play. Characters may be killed off when the actors die. John Ritter's character in 8 Simple Rules was written to have died off screen after Ritter himself died during taping of the show.
The Palestinian children's character Farfur is an example of a character "killed off" for political reasons in 2007. After the program received criticism from some government ministers in both Palestine and Israel for espousing anti-Israeli sentiments, the Farfur character was killed off. Even his death, at the hands of an "Israeli agent", making Farfur a "martyr", was similarly politicised.
Planters killed off its century-old mascot Mr. Peanut in an advertising campaign leading up to Super Bowl LIV, only to resurrect him as a baby during a commercial during that game.
When racing driver Perry McCarthy left the television show Top Gear his character The Stig was 'killed off' in a stunt involving driving a Jaguar off of an aircraft carrier, upon which he was replaced with a similar but white-suited version of the same character.

Comic books

Death is a frequently used dramatic device in comic book fiction, and in particular superhero fiction. Unlike stories in television or film, character deaths are rarely by unforeseen behind-the-scenes events, as there is no analogous situation to having actors portraying characters. Instead, characters are typically killed off as part of the story or occasionally by editorial mandate to generate publicity for a title. Teasers may hint at characters' deaths for an extended period. A number of factors often mean that the changes are not permanent.
Extremely long print runs make the popularity of characters and occasionally rights issues for using the character in licensed adaptations often make characters often be brought back to life by later writers. That can happen either as a depiction of their literal resurrection or by retcon, a revision that changes earlier continuity and establishes the character not to have died in the first place. This phenomenon is known as the comic book death. Killing off a main character such as Superman, Batman or Captain America can often lead to an uptick in publicity for a comic book and high sales for the story in which they are inevitably brought back to life.
Some writers have also criticized the trend for killing off supporting characters, particularly when female characters are killed off brutally to elicit a strong reaction in the male protagonist. This is known as the Women in Refrigerators trope.
Specifically, the Death of Gwen Stacy, long-time girlfriend of Spider-Man, caused great shock and long-lasting controversy among fans.