That's just TV. And that's just queer women. The trope also extends to films, and gay and bi men. No queer people are immune. Before Pose, basically every example of trans representation ended with a trans woman dying.
This goes all the way back to the Hays Code, a rule in early Hollywood that said sexual acts considered "perverted," including suggestions of same-sex relationships were banned, and that any sex outside of straight sex between a husband and a wife had to always be shown in a negative light and with negative consequences - usually meaning death.
Now, there are not rules, not even unspoken ones, that say queer characters have to be killed off, but the trope keeps coming back. Shows like Killing Eve, and most recently, House of the Dragon, are still brutally and needlessly killing off their queer characters instead of letting them be happy.
Here are 15 of the most egregious -- and brutal -- recent examples of the Bury Your Gays trope.
Throughout the entire series, fans were wondering if Eve and Villanelle would ever get together, and they finally did in the series finale. It seemed like fans were finally getting their happy ending. At least for a few minutes before Villanelle was shot by a sniper and left floating in the Thames. The fact that this happened in 2022 made it so much worse.
Game of Thrones — Oberyn Martell
House of the Dragon didn't blaze this trail for GOT burying its gays. Back in the original series, the show introduced Oberyn Martell, a handsome bisexual Prince of Dorn played by Pedro Pascal.
After King Joffrey's death, Oberyn is made a part of the judging tribunal in Tyrion's trial. When he decides to represent Tyrion in trail by combat, he has to go up against Gregor Clegane, also known as The Mountain, who had raped and murdered his sister. At first, Martell is handily beating The Mountain, but his taunting-nature gets the best of him, and The Mountain trips him, smashes out his teeth, gouges out his eyes with his fingers, and crushes his skull.
Voltron: Legendary Defender — Adam
All throughout its run, fans were begging for a gay couple to be introduced on Netflix's Voltron. When it finally happened, though, things did not go the way anyone expected. In season seven of the animated show, it was revealed that one of the paladins, Shiro, had an ex-boyfriend, and viewers couldn't wait to meet him.
Adam, Shiro's ex, showed up in episode one of season 7, then didn't come back until episode 8, where he was killed by enemy forces. And just like that, the show's only gay couple was gone.
Supernatural — Charlie
Supernatural always had a problem killing off women, but its treatment of Charlie, played by Felcia Day, was especially heinous. Charlie had become a strong ally to the Winchester brothers, even becoming a hunter in her own right. But then, she was unceremoniously chopped up and left in a bathtub by Nazis, never having had a chance to fight back against them.
Atomic Blonde — Delphine
While queer fans mostly loved this movie where Charlize Theron played a sexy queer spy, there was one scene that didn't go down so well. At one point, spy Lorraine (Theron) meets Delphine, a mysterious and beautiful woman, and the two immediately connect in some truly sexy scenes. Unfortunately, in the last act of the movie, we have to watch as Delphine is agonizingly choked to death.
It: Chapter Two's gay bashing scene
Yes, It is a horror movie about a murderous embodiment of evil, but that doesn't mean that viewers were ready to see an extremely graphic gay-bashing scene to open the film up. At the beginning of the movie we travel to Derry's past, where we see two gay men on a date get interrupted by a group of homophobic bigots, beat up, and thrown into the river.
It's an uncessecarly upsetting scene that followed a great first movie. Horror movies are supposed to scare us and frighten us, not make us cringe and want to turn the TV off.
Orange Is the New Black — Poussey
This was truly one of the most awful deaths to ever watch on TV. Poussey (Samira Wiley) was the most beloved character on the show. She was a lesbian inmate who was kind, sweet, a great friend, and had a gorgeous smile.
In season 4, Poussey has a best friend and girlfriend, things are going okay for her (as okay as things can be in a prison, at least). Then, when the prisoners stage a peaceful sit-in, something awful happens. A new officer at the jail slams Poussey onto the ground when she tries to help another prisoner. As he presses his knee into her back, Poussey struggles and says, "I can't breathe," in a reference to the murder of Eric Garner. The show had dabbled in trauma porn before, but this was a breaking point for many viewers.
Jane the Virgin — Rose
This death actually helped kick off the fervor that erupted around the death of Lexa in The 100. Rose was the first of four queer women characters to be killed off on their TV shows in one month in 2016.
It started with Rose, who died in an episode airing February 22 of that year. Then Lexa on The 100, Kira on The Magicians, and Denise on The Walking Dead. All these queer characters were killed off by March 20 of that same year.
Halloween Kills — Big John and Little John
This year, the Halloween franchise brought us its first gay characters in its 43-year history. Big John and Little John were introduced in Halloween Kills as just an average gay couple, who unfortunately, lived in the house that Michael Meyers grew up in. Of course, on Halloween night, he comes knocking on their door, brutally murdereing them, and ending any queer represention the franchise had.
The 100 — Lexa
This was the death that broke the dam. In 2016, the creators of The CW's beloved sci-fi show The 100 caused waves across the internet when they killed of Lexa, a fan-favorite lesbian character right after she slept with her lover Clarke for the first time.
It was considered needless and cruel, especially because of the way the show's creator and writers had been taking all the pats on the back they got for introducing queer characters and a queer love story.
The Magicians — Quentin Coldwater
Kira wasn't the only queer character killed off on The Magicians. The season 4 death of Quentin also hit fans extra hard, as the bisexual character had struggles with depression throughout the series and had a lot of growth around his mental health.
Then he sacrificed himself to save his friends. While it could've been seen as a noble move, Quentin himself traveled to the underworld when he died and asked, "did I do something brave to save my friends, or did I finally find a way to kill myself?" After four seasons of him fighting to stay alive, giving up like that really hurts.
Supernatural — Castiel
Dean and Cas had been one of the most popular ships on the entire internet since the characters first met. When Cas finally confessed his love for Dean in the final season, he was immediately dragged to The Empty, or what fans refer to as "Super Hell," the place where angels and demons go when they die.
You see, in an earlier season, Castiel had made a deal with a powerful being called The Cosmic Entity. The Entity let Cas return to Earth from The Empty - but only until "the moment he's truly happy." That moment comes when Cas confesses his love for Dean.
Degrassi — Adam Torres
Adam was introduced as Degrassi's first trans character, but he was kind of a disaster. His storylines included not being accepted by his parents, being outed by a fellow student, and ultimately, dying after he was texting while driving.
Chicago Fire — Leslie Elizabeth Shay
Leslie Shay, known as Shay to her friends, was a beloved lesbian paramedic who was killed in the first episode of season 3 of the show. Despite being one of the most beloved characters on in the series, writers decided to kill her off to advance straight characters' storylines.
House of the Dragon — Ser Joffrey Lonmouth
The latest show to cash in on this disappointing trope is HBO's House of the Dragon. In the latest episode, we finally got to see the show's lone gay male character, Laenor Valaryon, get a lover. But as soon as his love interest, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, showed up, he was brutally murdered, recalling the murder of Oberyn Martell in this same universe. It really is a shame.