How to make a 2D launch pad

I am working on a 2D side-scrolling platformer. I want to launch my character toward a platform when he enters a trigger.

I have tried:

void OnTriggerEnter2D(Collider2D other)
{
if ((other.name == “Character”) || (other.name == “Character 2”))
{
other.GetComponent ().AddForce (Vector3.up * 500f);
other.GetComponent ().AddForce (Vector3.right * 500f);
}
}

but when the character enters the trigger he gets launched to the outside of the trigger, then stops dead.

You’d have to add a bit more information on how the character is moved and controlled when not hitting a trigger. If it is controlled using physics and a rigidbody, then what you are doing should work, unless the character hits another collision. Add some Debug.Logs inside your character script’s OnTriggerEnter and OnCollisionEnter functions to see what is going on.
You can also try to debug with breakpoints inside those.

IF you are moving character with a character Controller or some other script, then you will have to disable it while your character is launched with addForce and let gravity and physics take over until they have landed back on the floor, then turn on your character control script again. Thats as much as I can guess without knowing more.
good luck