A character's death as an unintentional highlight (*Spoilers*)

I’m not talking about bad guys getting their just desserts or hateful types getting their comeuppance.

But sometimes, completely counter to the filmmaker’s intentions, a character’s death brings joy and happiness to the audience’s hearts because of how terrible (or perhaps, terribly acted) that character is. That may even be your favorite part of the movie.

Two of my examples:

Harry Connick Jr. is so awful in Independence Day, his early demise brought a huge sigh of relief to me because I wouldn’t have to see him for the rest of the film.

While Deep Impact is ridiculous in so many ways, I did not derive any enjoyment in the mass destruction and countless deaths. Except for one: the insufferable Tea Leoni.


The death of Marvin.

One of the highlights of the movie.

Steven Seagal’s sudden “no really, he’s really dead” death in Executive Decision made the movie for me.

I remember the audience being astonished when Samuel L Jackson bit it, in Deep Blue Sea. Personally, I didn’t think it was particularly amazing, but when I asked my family, they said they were surprised since he was such a big actor.

But he was also advocating for smart and reasonable approaches to dealing with the sharks, so it seemed pretty obvious that they’d off him.

The audience applauded when I saw it.

My jaw fell open in total astonishment. They actually did that? Gutsy!

Then, gradually, I started to smile…

I saw the Godfather III in theaters. When Sophia Coppola’s character was killed, the theater erupted in cheers.


I was so happy when Gwyneth Paltrow died in Contagion that I started to feel guilty about it.

Also, I will actually stick around if I’m surfing along and see Mr. Brooks, just so I can watch Dane Cook getting his neck sliced open, then rewind it and watch it again.

I found myself cheering really loud when the stage lights when out on Tom Jones in the movie Mars Attacks. :smiley: It was a comedy anyway, but I was slow to realize the rest of the audience was laughing at how overjoyed I seemed about Tom & his band getting targeted by the martians.

Unfortunately, Tom was one of the few real survivors of the movie :mad:


It’s not unusual.


I’m guessing maybe…Rita from Dexter?

Yup, Rita Morgan. I know I wasn’t the only person happy to see her gone.

There were only two things I loved about The Mist. The ending, and the death of Mrs Carmody. There was actually applause in the cinema. I think the ending is the highlight of the film. Five people, four bullets and a terrible realization.

Paris Hilton dies in House of Wax, which is pretty much an intentional highlight-killing.

I’ve now realized you specifically sated unintentional and my post is pointless. :smack: Well, I’ve formatted the whole thing and it even cuts right to the moment she dies, so I’m leaving it.


Marlon Wayans was arguably the worst thing about Dungeons and Dragons: The Movie. His character eating it was definitely the best.


I’m not a fan of annoying kid characters in films, so I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when del Toro killed off a couple of kids in Mimic. (Kind of wish he’d gone for the trifecta, but ah well.)

I recall a moment in Snakes on a Plane when a jerk character threw somebody’s dog to be a snake-snack. I thought “oooh, they killed the dog. That’s bold and might possibly save this movie from descending into pure cliché…” and then the jerk character got killed and it was back to formula-as-usual.

Am I really the first one to mention Ellis from Die Hard?

A lot of people on this board dislike Steve Guttenberg. Some claim that they will never watch any movie that has him in it.

Too bad. They would really enjoy The Boys from Brazil.