Oxidative stress has for a long time been associated with cell death, especially classical necrosis, however, its role in other cell death pathways is less clear. Here, we evaluated in a comparative way, the effect of four different reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), alpha-tocopherol and two superoxide dismutase mimetics, n(III) tetrakis(4-benzoic acid) porphyrin chloride, and 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-piperidine 1-oxyl (Tempol), in four different cell death models, including menadione-triggered necrosis, staurosporine-induced apoptosis and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced apoptosis and necroptosis. While menadione-triggered necrosis was completely prevented by the classical ROS scavenger NAC and to a substantial amount by the other scavengers, ROS targeting was found to have a marginal effect on the other cell death modalities investigated. Despite its side-effects at higher concentrations, Tempol was able to substantially prevent TNF-induced apoptosis and to a somewhat lesser extent TNF-induced necroptosis. However, this seems to be separated from its ROS-scavenging function.