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Red shirt

From The TV IV
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A red shirt is a minor character, irrelevant to the overall series, who can easily be killed off.

The term is a reference to the away teams on the original Star Trek, which often consisted of Kirk (in yellow), McCoy and Spock (in blue), and an ensign (in red). If anything went wrong, the red-shirted ensign would be the one who died.

See also character shield.