I was thinking about how death is handled from one show to the next,
how severe one show is willing to be vs. another, what lines they’re not willing to cross. I’ve come up with 10 different tiers, with explanations and examples for each of them, for the degree of severity with which a show may approach death. It’s not a ranking of how dark a show is, or how cruel it is. It’s only a focus on the treatment of death. The ranking comes down to opinion for the most part, so feel free to disagree with my stacking. It’s just kind of a fun list.
The examples are mostly spoiler-free, (except for what their location on the list implies).
1. Death does not exist
Nothing and no one dies. It’s never discussed.
It doesn’t exist. Everything’s fine and nothing hurts. These shows are probably
aimed at kids below 8.
Clues: No explanation needed
2. Death exists as a concept
The characters are aware that death exists and
is possible. They can find themselves in mortal peril. Characters may crack
morbid jokes. Skulls and skeletons may decorate the background of evil lairs.
However no one ever dies for real. These shows can only “kill” on a loophole: if the
killed character doesn’t count as real—A.I.s, clones, or alternate timeline
selves are fair-game. These episodes usually fall under the “Wow wasn’t it fucked up how–?” category
Falls: No one dies for real, except the paper copy Dippers, may they rest
in clone peace
3. Death can be undone
Fits the Death
exists as a concept criteria, but sometimes they do let character die for
real…they’re just brought back after a proper amount of shock and horror. But
for a period of time, those characters were really truly dead-as-a-doorknob
Phantom:Characters’ lives are threatened, clone Dannys die, and Ultimate Enemy very happily killed off
Danny’s whole family. (A timeline reset saves them.) The ghosts don’t qualify for further
on the list since they’re treated the same as living characters
steven universe episode 1:
steven thinks that eating his favorite ice cream sandwiches is the trick to activating his magical powers
steven universe episode 132:
after sacrificing himself for his friends, falsely claiming that he's responsible for the war crimes seemingly committed by his dead mother, boarding a space ship with the knowledge that he will likely never return home again, going on trial against two powerful alien dictators who want to murder him, getting chased by death drones, teaming up with a band of social outcasts, and watching his friend die violently in a desperate act of goodwill, steven discovers that his tears are the secret to resurrection and travels back to earth through his no-longer-dead friend's hair to reunite with his family
someone asked me the price on a annual flat four pack of snapdragons today and I said “$2.09″ and they said “TWO HUNDRED AND NINE DOLLARS???”…. yeah $209 dollars for four snap dragons, carol
at one point a customer stopped me and said “you have a flower in your hair” and I was so delirious with heat that I asked him to get it out for me and he did
a woman told me to my face that “your coneflower looks like crap” like it was my personal coneflower and I was responsible for it looking like crap
people were driving up to the entrances of the greenhouses, parking, putting stuff in their car and driving to the next greenhouse….. possibly they paid for it idk
waited literally twenty minutes for the parking lot to be clear enough for me to drive the golf cart and trailer full of plants across it…. and still almost got backed into
my phone’s health/pedometer app constantly going nuts because it’s registering all of my fast walking everywhere as a work out so my phone says I worked out for 209 minutes today…. 22k steps boys… 10+ miles