1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

History Main / DeadmanWriting

18th May '16 6:40:21 PM nombretomado
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* ''TheMiddleman'' has the Code 47, which is a posthumous note that Middlemen are supposed to record for every mission.

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* ''TheMiddleman'' ''Series/TheMiddleman'' has the Code 47, which is a posthumous note that Middlemen are supposed to record for every mission.
12th May '16 6:54:57 PM eroock
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* Rachel's letter to Greg in ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' that she [[VoiceoverLetter voices out]] post-mortem in the last scene.
12th May '16 2:57:03 PM eroock
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* ''Film/AmericanHistoryX'' uses this trope to create an extremely powerful ending.
12th May '16 2:54:17 PM eroock
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** Buffy (just got bitten by a zombie and is about to herself become one, which she fully knows) tells Georgi

to:

** Buffy (just got bitten by a zombie and is about to herself become one, which she fully knows) tells GeorgiGeorgia, Shaun, and Rick to look in a particular directory on the file server. They find a video of her [[spoiler:confessing to being part of the conspiracy that led to two nasty zombie outbreaks and will eventually get Georgia killed]].
** Later in the same book, Georgia says early in her final blog entry "I [[LegallyDead legally died]] eleven minutes ago", after her blood test showed she was going into viral amplification (about to become a zombie). She keeps up her narration as long as her mental capacity and motor coordination allow.
* In the second book of the ''Isaac Asimov's Caliban'' series, the planetary governor is assassinated. Sheriff Kresh, who's investigating the murder, is shocked to be told he was recently made the governor's successor -- and to receive an "in case I'm assassinated" letter from him giving him advice on the political situation and wishing him luck.
* In ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'', Hazel and Lidewij track down Augustus' last letter to Van Houten, which turns out not to be the sequel to ''An Imperial Affliction'' but his eulogy for Hazel.
* In ''Series/TheBabysittersClub'' Mystery #5, Mary Anne reads a letter her mother wrote to her shortly before her death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''
*** Kirk's taped message from the episode "The Tholian Web" is revealed even though he doesn't actually die.
*** "That Which Survives". In Losira's ApocalypticLog about the death of her colony she says "...we who have guarded the outpost for you will be dead by the time you take possession of this planet."
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
*** Tasha Yar's [[KilledOffForReal farewell]] holo-message is played at the end of the episode "Skin of Evil".
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''
*** In the episode "Civil Defense", a message like this from Gul Dukat to his Cardassian underlings is revealed, as part of a long-buried computer subroutine that's assuming the Cardassians still control the station and there's a slave revolt in progress. Dukat is not only still alive, but ''vastly'' amused by the whole thing -- at least until another facet of the subroutine locks him out as well. Apparently one of his own superiors had added a few things without bothering to tell Dukat.
*** In the episode "Visionary", Chief O'Brien, before taking on a dangerous time-travel mission, informed Dr. Bashir that he had left a message for his wife Keiko in the event of his death.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode "The Parting Of The Ways":
-->'''The Ninth Doctor''': If this message is activated, then it can only mean one thing. We must be in danger, and I mean fatal. I'm dead, or about to die any second with no chance of escape.
** It happens again in the finale to series 3: a reporter has a video message set to be automatically sent to Torchwood in case she dies confronting Mr. Saxon.
* A sort-of roundabout example in ''[[http://jabootu.net/?p=585 Baywatch: Down Under]]'': When his former lover dies, Cody travels all the way to Australia (her home) and finds a "goodbye" note left amongst her possessions.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has a few examples:
** In "The Parliament of Dreams", G'Kar receives a message from an old enemy: "By the time you get this recording, I will already be dead... Ah, but then, very shortly, so will you."
** In the episode "Z'ha'dum", one such message is left [[spoiler: by Sheridan for Delenn]]. This death ends up non-permanent, but the accompanying LoveConfession is still heartbreaking.
** As seen in the prequel movie ''In The Beginning'', Dukhat leaves such a message for Delenn so she can take up his role as liaison with the Vorlons in the event of his death. This message is also apparently what causes her series-long quest to become closer to the Humans.
** As seen in the penultimate episode, at least one message was recorded [[spoiler: by Sheridan for his unborn child]], as he knows his years are numbered.
* "[[http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/18964 This]] ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' short. "Dear sister, by the time you read this I'll be dead. Here's how I think it's going to happen: first Dave will shoot me, then I'll shoot Dave..."
* In the fourth season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', this is used in Mayor Wilkins' video will to Faith. The mayor notes that it's either her watching it, or a bunch of kids at a museum celebrating his glory--"[[AffablyEvil In which case: hi, kids!]]"
* You could say it was inverted in the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "The Message", where the guy arrives in a coffin, with a tape recorder, asking them to bury him. Later on, he wakes up, having faked the whole thing to escape with the organic goods he was hiding in his chest. But the audio message still ends up being relevant, and ends up acting like the trope played straight when it plays at the end of the episode, after he's KilledOffForReal.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' season 3 episode 1, Hiro finds one of these left to him by his father. "Whatever you do don't open the safe." Hiro opens the safe to find another DVD, plays it: "I '''told''' you not to open the safe!"
* ''TheMiddleman'' has the Code 47, which is a posthumous note that Middlemen are supposed to record for every mission.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshall and Lily write notes to each other to be opened only when the other died. HilarityEnsues when Marshall opens Lily's note beforehand.
* In ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'':
** Tosh makes a VideoWill in case of her death. The remaining team members find it after she (and Owen) die. It's quite the TearJerker.
** Owen in "Dead Man Walking": "...I died and was brought back to life... And they think I'm fine."
* One ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' client uses Echo's body to write a note after her death and passes it off as one of these, making herself seem incredibly prescient by identifying her murderer and the method used to kill her, and leaving messages for loved ones informed by what she's learned of them while [[AttendingYourOwnFuneral attending her own funeral]].
* Denholm's video will in ''Series/TheITCrowd'' uses this trope and mixes in TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', a dying scientist working with ZFT leaves the team a videotape revealing that Walter's old partner William Bell is the group's backer.
* In ''Series/PrisonBreak'', the final scene of the series is Michael Scofield's posthumous message to his brother, his wife and his unborn child.
* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', episode "Truck Stop": An fatally injured man records a message describing how he came to kill two people. He's partly covering for someone else.
** In the episode "To the Last Will I Grapple With Thee", the murder victim left a video tape claiming that a friend of Jessica's was out to kill him. He actually committed suicide, arranging his death to implicate Jessica's friend, a man whom he blamed for making his life miserable.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'', on the series finale, it's revealed that Trudy left Monk a tape as a Christmas gift before she died. While the entire tape wasn't shown yet, she does reveal that she knew she was in danger.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' had a twist on the trope, in which a video message was left by the murder victim. As it turned out, he was not a murder ''victim'' at all -- he knew he was dying of cancer, so had hired a hit man to kill him and frame both his cheating wife and her lover. The video was given to his best friend, with instructions that he was to show it to the district attorney if anyone ever tried to pin the murder on him.
* The letter Bart leaves for Chuck on ''Series/GossipGirl'' (which oddly enough mentions that he's left Chuck Bass Industries, but fails to mention the morality clause).
* In ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'', Tully leaves a warning for George in this manner. Annie attempts to do this with an answering machine message, but it gets listened to before she's gone anywhere. (Both in the same episode, too!)
* In ''Series/MurderMostHorrid'', an episode begins with a woman recording her suicide note that begins "Dear Mum, by the time you read this, I will be dead.", but she ends up embroiled in an assassination attempt of sorts. By the time it's over, she's decided not to kill herself, and also decides to phone her mother to tell her all about it. Unfortunately, she dies anyway and the last words she says to her mum before the tape begins playing are 'I've got so much to say I could explode!'. Guess how she dies.
* On ''Series/{{Rubicon}}'', Katherine's husband is DrivenToSuicide under mysterious circumstances, and ends up leaving her a cryptic note reminding her to celebrate their anniversary, as per usual, which includes watching ''Film/MeetMeInStLouis''--but the DVD in the case is actually a message from him explaining TheConspiracy that caused his and others' deaths. Too bad it doesn't save her from getting killed a few days later.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', before Gabriel faces his brother Lucifer and is ultimately killed by him, he leaves a video for Sam and Dean containing some important information. In the form of a porno. Him as the leading man, of course, [[PornStache 'stache]] and all. He halts the action for a moment to deliver the info. After admitting that Dean was right, Gabriel had been too much of a coward to face his family, he ends with this [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments little gem]]:
-->'''Gabriel:''' This is me standing up. And ''this''... is me lying down.
::: The porno then resumes.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Numb3rs}}'', a body washes up on the beach with Chinese numbers tattooed on its feet. The numbers turn out to be a phone number, and the message machine that picks up says, "Hi, if you're listening to this, then I guess I'm dead." The victim was an investigative journalist going undercover, who got the tattoos so she could be identified if she died.
* On ''Series/TheXFiles'', Scully begins writing a diary to Mulder, for him to read after her death from terminal cancer.
* ''Series/ElleryQueen'': "The Adventure of Veronica's Veils" opens with a group of people being attending a funeral and then being shown a film in which the dead man says that if they are watching this then he has been murdered and that one of them is the killer.
* In the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode featuring ''Film/TheAtomicBrain'', when the companion of villainess Mrs. March reads the letter that'll be used to give Nina Mrs. March's fortune, Mike quips "By the time I read this, you'll be dead." Ironically, it's the man who's killed instead.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Snow White asks the huntsman to deliver a letter to her WickedStepmother Regina after he kills her. He looks at the letter and is inspired ''not'' to kill her by how selfless the letter is. It essentially says that Snow White hopes that with her out of the way, Regina can devote her energies to ruling the kingdom as well as Snow's father would have wanted. Regina is nowhere near as impressed by the letter as the huntsman is.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}''; In the episode "In The Belly Of The Beast", Beckett is trapped in a {{deep cover a|gent}}ssignment gone wrong. Preparing for the worst, she writes a letter to Castle, hiding it in an air vent and planting drops of her own blood to lead a CSU team to discover the letter if necessary.
-->'' I hope you never have to read this... that I can tell you all of these things in person, but if something happens and I don't make it, I need you to know that our partnership, our relationship is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You're an amazing man, and I love you with all of my heart. Always.''
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E22AllHellBreaksLoosePartTwo "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two"(S02, Ep22)]], Ash left the map, which revealed the large Devil's Trap in Wyoming, in a safe before he died. This information was the reason that the demons burned down the Roadhouse and killed him.
* In the second season of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', when Brennan and Hodgins were trapped in a car that had been buried in the desert by the serial killer Gravedigger, Brennan wrote a letter for Booth to read if she did not survive. The contents of that letter were never revealed until seven seasons later, when Brennan read the letter to Booth as the two of them got married.
* At the tenth season finale, in a tape left by the latest suspect (a devotee of SerialKiller Christopher Pelant), there was one of these by him for Brennan. It talked about him still living on in the digital world, but unlike most instances of these, Brennan closes the video before it could finish.
* On ''Series/OrphanBlack'', Sarah records a message like this for Art on her phone before going to meet [[SerialKiller Helena]] for the first time. She doesn't end up dying, but the message does come back to bite her when he discovers it a few episodes later...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "By The Time You Read This I Will Be Dead" by Suicide Watch.
* The video for the Decemberist's song "O Valencia" includes one of these. You can see the long version [[http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ad7XFStuB8 here]].
* At the end of the second Music/TheProtomen album, when Dr. Light has lost all hope and is waiting for Wily's robot army to arrest him, he finally reads his murdered love's last letter - which (somewhat presciently) tells him not to give up hope and continue fighting.
* "If You're Reading This" by Music/TimMcGraw - a letter left by a fallen soldier for his wife.
* "Riding With Private Malone" written by Wood Newton and Thom Shepherd, and recorded by American country music artist David Ball. The letter is left in the glove box of a '66 Corvette by a soldier heading off to Viet Nam.
* The opening line of Music/RoxyMusic's "Strictly Confidential", from ''Music/ForYourPleasure'' is "Before I die I write this letter."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Occurs repeatedly in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' products, including ''The Universal Brotherhood'', ''Awakenings'', ''Threats'', ''Threats 2'', ''Dragons of the Sixth World'' (twice!) and ''Emergence''. Always involves someone trying to publicize information about a dangerous conspiracy, with the conspiracy trying to kill the person to prevent this.
* The prologue of ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}: Hell on Earth'' is a ApocalypticLog written by a Templar named Jo about the state of the world and events that led to it meant to bring players up to speed on the lore. She is on her death bed, and is most likely dead by the time the player would realistically read it.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill'' RPG.
** In the sewer system under the amusement park the {{PC}}s can find the diary of W. Irving. It says that two of his friends have been killed by a monster in the sewer water and that he's going to try to kill it.
-->If you find this note, consider it my will.
** In the Indian Runner delivery office there's a journal of an undercover officer working for a drug gang. The last entry says:
-->As I write this I am already dead. I have committed the worst crime of all! I talked. My tongue slipped and that was my death sentence. They came.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' supplement ''Dark Designs'', adventure "The Eyes of the Blind''. The note Elias Cartwright sends to Jeremiah Ordacre starts "By the time you read this I fear that I shall be dead". Shortly thereafter Elias is killed by being pushed under the wheels of a carriage.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' ''The New Era'' supplement ''Survival Margin''. The New Era takes place after the collapse of a galactic empire called the Third Imperium. The description of a Bootstraps Campaign has a man leaving a message for his descendants.
-->Hello. I am your grandfather. By the time you see this I will have been dead for many years, but on this tape I will show you how to repair a radio...
* ''TabletopGame/HollowEarthExpedition'' supplement ''Mysteries of the Hollow Earth''. The journal of Professor Alexander Trader details his exploration of the Hollow Earth. The journal was found abandoned: Professor Trader's fate is unknown. Near the end of the journal it says:
-->If you are reading this, then all is lost for me, and I most certainly have already shuffled off this mortal coil. My life will not have been in vain, however, if this journal makes it to those who can appreciate my discoveries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/IndependenceWar2: Edge of Chaos'' has one such last will in Lucrecia's Base, stating that the base's vacancy and lack of activity boils down to her being dead, and that the finder of the base gets to keep it. It ends up in the hands of her grandson [[PlayerCharacter Cal Johnston]], albeit with guidance from mentor Jefferson Clay, who even in AI construct form was old enough to have known Lucrecia.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', where Bian Souldark leaves a holo-recording for his daughter, Lune, hidden in her Valsione - along with comprehensive data on secret DC bases, since he apparently predicted that she'd join up with the heroes after they'd killed him, and figured that they might need a hand taking down the remnants of DC. Nice of him, huh?
* One of these letters also appeared near the beginning of ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness: Sanity's Requiem'', as a letter to the main character from her dead grandfather.
** She finds several more letters from him throughout the game, including one that, when selected in the pause menu, is accompanied by a recording of him reading it.
* Used straight, from your former commanding officer, at the start of the HumongousMecha game ''[[TabletopGame/BattleTech MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries]]''.
** And then ''Mechwarrior 4 Vengeance'' starts with the protagonist receiving a message from his late father.
* One of Mario's quests in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' is to deliver such a letter to Admiral Bobbery, thus releasing him from the mental torment that keeps him from sailing the seas.
** Earlier in the game, Koops finds such a message in a pile of bones that he believes to be his father's. As it turns out, that wasn't his father's skeleton after all.
* ''VideoGame/TheGuardianLegend'' has one of these after you complete the introductory space shooter level, when you first enter the labyrinth.
* Mary's letter in ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', though we don't get to read it all until James lets himself read it all. The very first thing James says in the game is that it can't be possible he got a letter from Mary, since she's been dead for years now. But near the end, we find out that she's only been dead about a week.
* Your foster father Gorion in ''BaldursGate'' leaves one of these kinds of letters for you to pick up late in the game. (He also apparently ''lies''--{{Fanon}} is divided on whether the two stories of your mother can be reconciled--but then he is TheObiWan.)
** The whole thing smells of {{Retcon}}. Probably done in order to be able to say that Sarevok and the PC could have exchanged places but for the smallest accident of chance.
* Near the very end of ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'', as SHODAN starts warping reality, the player finds another of the {{Apocalyptic Log}}s left by Delacroix, although earlier in the game the player found her body and final log. This one, floating in the air all on its own, starts, "Re: some small assistance. If you are receiving this, I am already dead. When I realized SHODAN had betrayed me, I integrated these comments into her primary data loop." Her messages then guide the player.
* George Crabtree's journal in ''VideoGame/DarkFall: The Journal''.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'':
** During Tali's loyalty mission, she and Shepard find a holovid on the corpse of Tali's father.
** Kasumi's partner leaves a holo-message as well.
** If you romance him, Thane writes a message to be delivered in the event of his death (he has an incurable disease, and expects to die within a year). In the third game, he dies fighting Kai Leng and the message is indeed delivered to Shepard's email.
* Papas'/Pankraz's letter in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV''. When you obtain the Zenithian Sword, he wants you to fulfill his objective to find the legendary hero and your mother.
* As a rule, every NCR soldier in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' must carry a letter to their loved ones, to be read only in the event of their deaths.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has a number of these, such as the note from Sidney's late father found in the Statesman Hotel.
** In ''Honest Hearts'', you find a trail of holotapes left by a survivalist named Randall Clark in the years after the bombs fell, leading up to the day of his death.
* John's letter to Ada in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil''.
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 4'''s Maximilian Thermidor leaves the player this type of message in the ORCA path, stating that, as the sole remaining member of [[LaResistance ORCA]], ItsUpToYou to complete the Closed Plan. If you're playing hard mode, you find out that Thermidor has both lied and inexplicably decided to kill you as you attempt to complete the mission he assigned you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'''s FramingStory involves one of these from the protagonist. To kick off the game's plot, ''he'' gets a letter from his dead father, as well.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', Bladewolf plays Jetstream Sam's final message to Raiden to him during the final battle.
* The ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' mission "A Fistful of Gorn". Your contact on Nimbus III, an old Romulan lawman named Law, sends you a note saying he's going after a Gorn pirate gunning for your head. Cue cutscene of the two of them squaring off in an Old West-style pistol duel, which cuts away just as the shots ring out. [[spoiler:Next scene has [[SubvertedTrope Law walk up to you and shrug]], then says [[LampshadeHanging it looks kinda stupid for him to leave a death note for you and then survive]].]]
* The original ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' for the Nintendo opens with Ryu's father in a life and death duel. As might be expected, his father is killed in the duel, leaving only a message for Ryu to find containing instructions to go to America and a final condolence from his father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* At the end of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' Season 13, Epsilon/Church leaves a recording for his friends just before they face off against Hargrove's forces. However, it's not so much a question of ''if'' he's dead (he erases himself moments after recording it), it's if his friends are alive at the end of the fight to hear the recording.
--> '''Epsilon/Church:''' Hey guys... if you're hearing this then it means you did it. You won. You kicked the shit out of [[BigBad Hargrove]]'s forces. I knew you could. But this is my last stop. See, when I came into this world, I was really just a collection of somebody else's memories. But with your help, these memories... they-they took form! They became my voice, my personality. And, after a while, I... I began to make brand new memories of my own. All of these things are what make me who I am... but they're also holding me back. I can't run this [[PoweredArmor suit]] as Epsilon, but if I erase my memories, if I... deconstruct myself, the fragments I'll leave behind will have the strength to get you through this. I believe that. I wish that there was another way. But, I'm leaving this message as well as others, in the hopes that you'll understand why I have to go this time...hehe, it was actually Doyle who made me realize something that I've never thought of before. There are so many stories where some brave [[HeroicSacrifice hero decides to give their life to save the day]], and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith. Ain't that a bitch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/mackenzie-s-proposal Dr. Mackenzie's SCP-001 Proposal {"The Legacy")]].
*** In one of the pages of The Administrator's diary it says "If you are in possession of — and reading — this document then I am probably dead."
*** The last page was written by someone who loved The Administrator in their original reality. They write "By the time you read this, I will already be dead."
** The [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-110 entry for SCP-110]] has a note from the Chief Engineer of the buried city. It begins "My name is Stephen Kolsnik. Rather, my name was Stephen Kolsnik. I will be dead by the time you read this." The life support for the city had been damaged and couldn't be repaired in the time they had left.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-557 SCP-557 ("Ancient Containment Site")]]. A note found in SCP-557 says (in part) "I will write in Greek, so that any learned man who finds this place will understand. I am the last of the Keepers, and I will be dead soon."
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1082 SCP-1082 ("The Whole Truth")]]. Document 1082-25 was written by an Agent under the effect of SCP-1082. Near the end he says "I will be dead by the time you read this, but it will be worth it."
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1260 SCP-1260 ("HMS Tiresias")]]. The Agent in charge of the first exploration of SCP-1260 left a personal log. Several members of his team died after hearing voices, so when he started to hear the voices he knew he was going to die horribly very soon.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1281 SCP-1281 ("The Harbinger")]]. The message provided by SCP-1281 starts out:
-->This is our harbinger. It brings good tidings. We will be dead when it reaches you. Our planet is dying. We do not have time to save ourselves. We only have time to ready ourselves, and to send a message.
** A note found in [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1983 SCP-1983]]:
--->'''Special Containment Procedures''': You're going to die, you poor dumb fuck.\\\
This isn't a threat. I'm Agent Barclay. I'm in the middle of this goddamned thing, and I'm telling you, if you're here? You're going to die. I'm probably already dead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Appears twice in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' played straight (in "Homer's Odyssey" and "I Married Marge", although the second one is not a death, but instead him trying to run away) and once parodied ("Marge, if you're watching this, it means I worked out how to operate the video camera" in "Half-Decent Proposal").
** Again, during the episode where Mona dies.
-->'''Mona:''' Homer, if you're watching this, either I'm dead, or you've gone through my stuff. If I'm dead, this is my video will; if not, please keep away from my stuff.
* Professor Farnsworth leaves a holographic message to his crew after he is taken to the Near Death Star in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "A Clone of My Own". He even anticipates a smart remark by Bender and reveals that he recorded over Bender's soap operas.
* ''IronManArmoredAdventures'': Tony's father does one of these for Tony.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', Chuckie's late mother Melinda left a poem for her son to read when he got older. Unlike most examples, it is a huge TearJerker.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'': Ellie dies in the prologue, but it's only near the end of the movie that Carl realizes that her old scrapbook [[spoiler:was full of pictures from their marriage, plus a message: "Thanks for the adventure - now go have a new one! Love, Ellie"]].
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' when Brock conveniently finds a video from the late Dr. Venture with explicit directions for Rusty that had to be carried out within the next day.
* ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'': Subverted. When Zack and Ivy attempt to close the titular character's file following her death, they receive a video of one of these. Then at the end of the episode, Carmen is revealed to not be dead after all, and to have in fact staged both the video and the avalanche that supposedly killed her specifically in order to determine who was "worthy" to be the successor(s) to her crime organization in the event that anything should actually happen to her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In a bizarre case of TruthInTelevision, controversial Australian politician Pauline Hanson made a video that began "If you are watching this, I have been murdered...", apparently believing she was in danger of being assassinated by foreigners. It was naturally leaked to the media (which may have been her intention all along). The general reaction from the public, however, moved her perception from that of merely being an unpleasant redneck xenophobe to being an absolute raving looney (or an easily manipulated stooge).
* There's also the famous, [[TearJerker/RealLife impossibly sad]] [[http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=ken+burns+civil+war+sullivan+ballou&hl=en&sitesearch=# Sullivan Ballou]] letter.
---> Dear Sarah. The indications are very strong that we will move soon...
* Guatemalan attorney [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxZptUp9a44 Rodrigo Rosenberg]]. It's understandable how it ended up in the right hands: he made it for the entire country and was uploaded to Website/YouTube. This could be counted as a subversion; the following UN investigation ultimately concluded that Mr. Rosenberg had arranged for his own murder.
* Robert Scott. "For God's sake look after our people."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyCk2ygkqEU Press play, and cry]]
* Creator/ThomasPaine wrote "The Age of Reason" while imprisoned during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution (he'd gone to France to help with their struggle for liberty, and been arrested by the revolutionaries [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized after their regime became tyrannical]]). He felt free to write down his highly controversial criticisms of Christianity, because he thought he'd be dead before they were published. It didn't work out that way.
* Jack Layton, a Canadian politician who was Leader of the Opposition, [[http://www.ndp.ca/letter-to-canadians-from-jack-layton dictated a letter]] as he was in the final stages of terminal cancer, addressed not only to members of his party but also to the public at large (even going so far as to tell other people with cancer to not take his death as a reason to give up hope).
--> ''My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.''
[[/folder]]
----
12th May '16 2:50:15 PM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message


''"Homer, if you're watching this, either I'm dead, or you've gone through my stuff. \\

to:

''"Homer, ->''"Homer, if you're watching this, either I'm dead, or you've gone through my stuff. \\
12th May '16 2:49:15 PM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message


-->-- '''Mona''''s vide will, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''

to:

-->-- '''Mona''''s vide video will, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
12th May '16 2:49:09 PM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

''"Homer, if you're watching this, either I'm dead, or you've gone through my stuff. \\
If I'm dead, this is my video will; if not, please keep away from my stuff."''
-->-- '''Mona''''s vide will, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
12th May '16 2:46:27 PM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message


->''"I'm Yul Brynner and I'm dead now." -- I'm sitting there, thinking, what the fuck is ''he'' selling?''
-->-- '''Creator/BillHicks'''



** Buffy (just got bitten by a zombie and is about to herself become one, which she fully knows) tells Georgia, Shaun, and Rick to look in a particular directory on the file server. They find a video of her [[spoiler:confessing to being part of the conspiracy that led to two nasty zombie outbreaks and will eventually get Georgia killed]].
** Later in the same book, Georgia says early in her final blog entry "I [[LegallyDead legally died]] eleven minutes ago", after her blood test showed she was going into viral amplification (about to become a zombie). She keeps up her narration as long as her mental capacity and motor coordination allow.
* In the second book of the ''Isaac Asimov's Caliban'' series, the planetary governor is assassinated. Sheriff Kresh, who's investigating the murder, is shocked to be told he was recently made the governor's successor -- and to receive an "in case I'm assassinated" letter from him giving him advice on the political situation and wishing him luck.
* In ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'', Hazel and Lidewij track down Augustus' last letter to Van Houten, which turns out not to be the sequel to ''An Imperial Affliction'' but his eulogy for Hazel.
* In ''Series/TheBabysittersClub'' Mystery #5, Mary Anne reads a letter her mother wrote to her shortly before her death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''
*** Kirk's taped message from the episode "The Tholian Web" is revealed even though he doesn't actually die.
*** "That Which Survives". In Losira's ApocalypticLog about the death of her colony she says "...we who have guarded the outpost for you will be dead by the time you take possession of this planet."
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
*** Tasha Yar's [[KilledOffForReal farewell]] holo-message is played at the end of the episode "Skin of Evil".
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''
*** In the episode "Civil Defense", a message like this from Gul Dukat to his Cardassian underlings is revealed, as part of a long-buried computer subroutine that's assuming the Cardassians still control the station and there's a slave revolt in progress. Dukat is not only still alive, but ''vastly'' amused by the whole thing -- at least until another facet of the subroutine locks him out as well. Apparently one of his own superiors had added a few things without bothering to tell Dukat.
*** In the episode "Visionary", Chief O'Brien, before taking on a dangerous time-travel mission, informed Dr. Bashir that he had left a message for his wife Keiko in the event of his death.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode "The Parting Of The Ways":
-->'''The Ninth Doctor''': If this message is activated, then it can only mean one thing. We must be in danger, and I mean fatal. I'm dead, or about to die any second with no chance of escape.
** It happens again in the finale to series 3: a reporter has a video message set to be automatically sent to Torchwood in case she dies confronting Mr. Saxon.
* A sort-of roundabout example in ''[[http://jabootu.net/?p=585 Baywatch: Down Under]]'': When his former lover dies, Cody travels all the way to Australia (her home) and finds a "goodbye" note left amongst her possessions.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has a few examples:
** In "The Parliament of Dreams", G'Kar receives a message from an old enemy: "By the time you get this recording, I will already be dead... Ah, but then, very shortly, so will you."
** In the episode "Z'ha'dum", one such message is left [[spoiler: by Sheridan for Delenn]]. This death ends up non-permanent, but the accompanying LoveConfession is still heartbreaking.
** As seen in the prequel movie ''In The Beginning'', Dukhat leaves such a message for Delenn so she can take up his role as liaison with the Vorlons in the event of his death. This message is also apparently what causes her series-long quest to become closer to the Humans.
** As seen in the penultimate episode, at least one message was recorded [[spoiler: by Sheridan for his unborn child]], as he knows his years are numbered.
* "[[http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/18964 This]] ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' short. "Dear sister, by the time you read this I'll be dead. Here's how I think it's going to happen: first Dave will shoot me, then I'll shoot Dave..."
* In the fourth season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', this is used in Mayor Wilkins' video will to Faith. The mayor notes that it's either her watching it, or a bunch of kids at a museum celebrating his glory--"[[AffablyEvil In which case: hi, kids!]]"
* You could say it was inverted in the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "The Message", where the guy arrives in a coffin, with a tape recorder, asking them to bury him. Later on, he wakes up, having faked the whole thing to escape with the organic goods he was hiding in his chest. But the audio message still ends up being relevant, and ends up acting like the trope played straight when it plays at the end of the episode, after he's KilledOffForReal.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' season 3 episode 1, Hiro finds one of these left to him by his father. "Whatever you do don't open the safe." Hiro opens the safe to find another DVD, plays it: "I '''told''' you not to open the safe!"
* ''TheMiddleman'' has the Code 47, which is a posthumous note that Middlemen are supposed to record for every mission.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshall and Lily write notes to each other to be opened only when the other died. HilarityEnsues when Marshall opens Lily's note beforehand.
* In ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'':
** Tosh makes a VideoWill in case of her death. The remaining team members find it after she (and Owen) die. It's quite the TearJerker.
** Owen in "Dead Man Walking": "...I died and was brought back to life... And they think I'm fine."
* One ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' client uses Echo's body to write a note after her death and passes it off as one of these, making herself seem incredibly prescient by identifying her murderer and the method used to kill her, and leaving messages for loved ones informed by what she's learned of them while [[AttendingYourOwnFuneral attending her own funeral]].
* Denholm's video will in ''Series/TheITCrowd'' uses this trope and mixes in TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', a dying scientist working with ZFT leaves the team a videotape revealing that Walter's old partner William Bell is the group's backer.
* In ''Series/PrisonBreak'', the final scene of the series is Michael Scofield's posthumous message to his brother, his wife and his unborn child.
* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', episode "Truck Stop": An fatally injured man records a message describing how he came to kill two people. He's partly covering for someone else.
** In the episode "To the Last Will I Grapple With Thee", the murder victim left a video tape claiming that a friend of Jessica's was out to kill him. He actually committed suicide, arranging his death to implicate Jessica's friend, a man whom he blamed for making his life miserable.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'', on the series finale, it's revealed that Trudy left Monk a tape as a Christmas gift before she died. While the entire tape wasn't shown yet, she does reveal that she knew she was in danger.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' had a twist on the trope, in which a video message was left by the murder victim. As it turned out, he was not a murder ''victim'' at all -- he knew he was dying of cancer, so had hired a hit man to kill him and frame both his cheating wife and her lover. The video was given to his best friend, with instructions that he was to show it to the district attorney if anyone ever tried to pin the murder on him.
* The letter Bart leaves for Chuck on ''Series/GossipGirl'' (which oddly enough mentions that he's left Chuck Bass Industries, but fails to mention the morality clause).
* In ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'', Tully leaves a warning for George in this manner. Annie attempts to do this with an answering machine message, but it gets listened to before she's gone anywhere. (Both in the same episode, too!)
* In ''Series/MurderMostHorrid'', an episode begins with a woman recording her suicide note that begins "Dear Mum, by the time you read this, I will be dead.", but she ends up embroiled in an assassination attempt of sorts. By the time it's over, she's decided not to kill herself, and also decides to phone her mother to tell her all about it. Unfortunately, she dies anyway and the last words she says to her mum before the tape begins playing are 'I've got so much to say I could explode!'. Guess how she dies.
* On ''Series/{{Rubicon}}'', Katherine's husband is DrivenToSuicide under mysterious circumstances, and ends up leaving her a cryptic note reminding her to celebrate their anniversary, as per usual, which includes watching ''Film/MeetMeInStLouis''--but the DVD in the case is actually a message from him explaining TheConspiracy that caused his and others' deaths. Too bad it doesn't save her from getting killed a few days later.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', before Gabriel faces his brother Lucifer and is ultimately killed by him, he leaves a video for Sam and Dean containing some important information. In the form of a porno. Him as the leading man, of course, [[PornStache 'stache]] and all. He halts the action for a moment to deliver the info. After admitting that Dean was right, Gabriel had been too much of a coward to face his family, he ends with this [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments little gem]]:
-->'''Gabriel:''' This is me standing up. And ''this''... is me lying down.
::: The porno then resumes.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Numb3rs}}'', a body washes up on the beach with Chinese numbers tattooed on its feet. The numbers turn out to be a phone number, and the message machine that picks up says, "Hi, if you're listening to this, then I guess I'm dead." The victim was an investigative journalist going undercover, who got the tattoos so she could be identified if she died.
* On ''Series/TheXFiles'', Scully begins writing a diary to Mulder, for him to read after her death from terminal cancer.
* ''Series/ElleryQueen'': "The Adventure of Veronica's Veils" opens with a group of people being attending a funeral and then being shown a film in which the dead man says that if they are watching this then he has been murdered and that one of them is the killer.
* In the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode featuring ''Film/TheAtomicBrain'', when the companion of villainess Mrs. March reads the letter that'll be used to give Nina Mrs. March's fortune, Mike quips "By the time I read this, you'll be dead." Ironically, it's the man who's killed instead.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Snow White asks the huntsman to deliver a letter to her WickedStepmother Regina after he kills her. He looks at the letter and is inspired ''not'' to kill her by how selfless the letter is. It essentially says that Snow White hopes that with her out of the way, Regina can devote her energies to ruling the kingdom as well as Snow's father would have wanted. Regina is nowhere near as impressed by the letter as the huntsman is.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}''; In the episode "In The Belly Of The Beast", Beckett is trapped in a {{deep cover a|gent}}ssignment gone wrong. Preparing for the worst, she writes a letter to Castle, hiding it in an air vent and planting drops of her own blood to lead a CSU team to discover the letter if necessary.
-->'' I hope you never have to read this... that I can tell you all of these things in person, but if something happens and I don't make it, I need you to know that our partnership, our relationship is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You're an amazing man, and I love you with all of my heart. Always.''
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E22AllHellBreaksLoosePartTwo "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two"(S02, Ep22)]], Ash left the map, which revealed the large Devil's Trap in Wyoming, in a safe before he died. This information was the reason that the demons burned down the Roadhouse and killed him.
* In the second season of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', when Brennan and Hodgins were trapped in a car that had been buried in the desert by the serial killer Gravedigger, Brennan wrote a letter for Booth to read if she did not survive. The contents of that letter were never revealed until seven seasons later, when Brennan read the letter to Booth as the two of them got married.
* At the tenth season finale, in a tape left by the latest suspect (a devotee of SerialKiller Christopher Pelant), there was one of these by him for Brennan. It talked about him still living on in the digital world, but unlike most instances of these, Brennan closes the video before it could finish.
* On ''Series/OrphanBlack'', Sarah records a message like this for Art on her phone before going to meet [[SerialKiller Helena]] for the first time. She doesn't end up dying, but the message does come back to bite her when he discovers it a few episodes later...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "By The Time You Read This I Will Be Dead" by Suicide Watch.
* The video for the Decemberist's song "O Valencia" includes one of these. You can see the long version [[http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ad7XFStuB8 here]].
* At the end of the second Music/TheProtomen album, when Dr. Light has lost all hope and is waiting for Wily's robot army to arrest him, he finally reads his murdered love's last letter - which (somewhat presciently) tells him not to give up hope and continue fighting.
* "If You're Reading This" by Music/TimMcGraw - a letter left by a fallen soldier for his wife.
* "Riding With Private Malone" written by Wood Newton and Thom Shepherd, and recorded by American country music artist David Ball. The letter is left in the glove box of a '66 Corvette by a soldier heading off to Viet Nam.
* The opening line of Music/RoxyMusic's "Strictly Confidential", from ''Music/ForYourPleasure'' is "Before I die I write this letter."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Occurs repeatedly in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' products, including ''The Universal Brotherhood'', ''Awakenings'', ''Threats'', ''Threats 2'', ''Dragons of the Sixth World'' (twice!) and ''Emergence''. Always involves someone trying to publicize information about a dangerous conspiracy, with the conspiracy trying to kill the person to prevent this.
* The prologue of ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}: Hell on Earth'' is a ApocalypticLog written by a Templar named Jo about the state of the world and events that led to it meant to bring players up to speed on the lore. She is on her death bed, and is most likely dead by the time the player would realistically read it.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill'' RPG.
** In the sewer system under the amusement park the {{PC}}s can find the diary of W. Irving. It says that two of his friends have been killed by a monster in the sewer water and that he's going to try to kill it.
-->If you find this note, consider it my will.
** In the Indian Runner delivery office there's a journal of an undercover officer working for a drug gang. The last entry says:
-->As I write this I am already dead. I have committed the worst crime of all! I talked. My tongue slipped and that was my death sentence. They came.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' supplement ''Dark Designs'', adventure "The Eyes of the Blind''. The note Elias Cartwright sends to Jeremiah Ordacre starts "By the time you read this I fear that I shall be dead". Shortly thereafter Elias is killed by being pushed under the wheels of a carriage.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' ''The New Era'' supplement ''Survival Margin''. The New Era takes place after the collapse of a galactic empire called the Third Imperium. The description of a Bootstraps Campaign has a man leaving a message for his descendants.
-->Hello. I am your grandfather. By the time you see this I will have been dead for many years, but on this tape I will show you how to repair a radio...
* ''TabletopGame/HollowEarthExpedition'' supplement ''Mysteries of the Hollow Earth''. The journal of Professor Alexander Trader details his exploration of the Hollow Earth. The journal was found abandoned: Professor Trader's fate is unknown. Near the end of the journal it says:
-->If you are reading this, then all is lost for me, and I most certainly have already shuffled off this mortal coil. My life will not have been in vain, however, if this journal makes it to those who can appreciate my discoveries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/IndependenceWar2: Edge of Chaos'' has one such last will in Lucrecia's Base, stating that the base's vacancy and lack of activity boils down to her being dead, and that the finder of the base gets to keep it. It ends up in the hands of her grandson [[PlayerCharacter Cal Johnston]], albeit with guidance from mentor Jefferson Clay, who even in AI construct form was old enough to have known Lucrecia.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', where Bian Souldark leaves a holo-recording for his daughter, Lune, hidden in her Valsione - along with comprehensive data on secret DC bases, since he apparently predicted that she'd join up with the heroes after they'd killed him, and figured that they might need a hand taking down the remnants of DC. Nice of him, huh?
* One of these letters also appeared near the beginning of ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness: Sanity's Requiem'', as a letter to the main character from her dead grandfather.
** She finds several more letters from him throughout the game, including one that, when selected in the pause menu, is accompanied by a recording of him reading it.
* Used straight, from your former commanding officer, at the start of the HumongousMecha game ''[[TabletopGame/BattleTech MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries]]''.
** And then ''Mechwarrior 4 Vengeance'' starts with the protagonist receiving a message from his late father.
* One of Mario's quests in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' is to deliver such a letter to Admiral Bobbery, thus releasing him from the mental torment that keeps him from sailing the seas.
** Earlier in the game, Koops finds such a message in a pile of bones that he believes to be his father's. As it turns out, that wasn't his father's skeleton after all.
* ''VideoGame/TheGuardianLegend'' has one of these after you complete the introductory space shooter level, when you first enter the labyrinth.
* Mary's letter in ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', though we don't get to read it all until James lets himself read it all. The very first thing James says in the game is that it can't be possible he got a letter from Mary, since she's been dead for years now. But near the end, we find out that she's only been dead about a week.
* Your foster father Gorion in ''BaldursGate'' leaves one of these kinds of letters for you to pick up late in the game. (He also apparently ''lies''--{{Fanon}} is divided on whether the two stories of your mother can be reconciled--but then he is TheObiWan.)
** The whole thing smells of {{Retcon}}. Probably done in order to be able to say that Sarevok and the PC could have exchanged places but for the smallest accident of chance.
* Near the very end of ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'', as SHODAN starts warping reality, the player finds another of the {{Apocalyptic Log}}s left by Delacroix, although earlier in the game the player found her body and final log. This one, floating in the air all on its own, starts, "Re: some small assistance. If you are receiving this, I am already dead. When I realized SHODAN had betrayed me, I integrated these comments into her primary data loop." Her messages then guide the player.
* George Crabtree's journal in ''VideoGame/DarkFall: The Journal''.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'':
** During Tali's loyalty mission, she and Shepard find a holovid on the corpse of Tali's father.
** Kasumi's partner leaves a holo-message as well.
** If you romance him, Thane writes a message to be delivered in the event of his death (he has an incurable disease, and expects to die within a year). In the third game, he dies fighting Kai Leng and the message is indeed delivered to Shepard's email.
* Papas'/Pankraz's letter in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV''. When you obtain the Zenithian Sword, he wants you to fulfill his objective to find the legendary hero and your mother.
* As a rule, every NCR soldier in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' must carry a letter to their loved ones, to be read only in the event of their deaths.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has a number of these, such as the note from Sidney's late father found in the Statesman Hotel.
** In ''Honest Hearts'', you find a trail of holotapes left by a survivalist named Randall Clark in the years after the bombs fell, leading up to the day of his death.
* John's letter to Ada in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil''.
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 4'''s Maximilian Thermidor leaves the player this type of message in the ORCA path, stating that, as the sole remaining member of [[LaResistance ORCA]], ItsUpToYou to complete the Closed Plan. If you're playing hard mode, you find out that Thermidor has both lied and inexplicably decided to kill you as you attempt to complete the mission he assigned you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'''s FramingStory involves one of these from the protagonist. To kick off the game's plot, ''he'' gets a letter from his dead father, as well.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', Bladewolf plays Jetstream Sam's final message to Raiden to him during the final battle.
* The ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' mission "A Fistful of Gorn". Your contact on Nimbus III, an old Romulan lawman named Law, sends you a note saying he's going after a Gorn pirate gunning for your head. Cue cutscene of the two of them squaring off in an Old West-style pistol duel, which cuts away just as the shots ring out. [[spoiler:Next scene has [[SubvertedTrope Law walk up to you and shrug]], then says [[LampshadeHanging it looks kinda stupid for him to leave a death note for you and then survive]].]]
* The original ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' for the Nintendo opens with Ryu's father in a life and death duel. As might be expected, his father is killed in the duel, leaving only a message for Ryu to find containing instructions to go to America and a final condolence from his father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* At the end of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' Season 13, Epsilon/Church leaves a recording for his friends just before they face off against Hargrove's forces. However, it's not so much a question of ''if'' he's dead (he erases himself moments after recording it), it's if his friends are alive at the end of the fight to hear the recording.
--> '''Epsilon/Church:''' Hey guys... if you're hearing this then it means you did it. You won. You kicked the shit out of [[BigBad Hargrove]]'s forces. I knew you could. But this is my last stop. See, when I came into this world, I was really just a collection of somebody else's memories. But with your help, these memories... they-they took form! They became my voice, my personality. And, after a while, I... I began to make brand new memories of my own. All of these things are what make me who I am... but they're also holding me back. I can't run this [[PoweredArmor suit]] as Epsilon, but if I erase my memories, if I... deconstruct myself, the fragments I'll leave behind will have the strength to get you through this. I believe that. I wish that there was another way. But, I'm leaving this message as well as others, in the hopes that you'll understand why I have to go this time...hehe, it was actually Doyle who made me realize something that I've never thought of before. There are so many stories where some brave [[HeroicSacrifice hero decides to give their life to save the day]], and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith. Ain't that a bitch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/mackenzie-s-proposal Dr. Mackenzie's SCP-001 Proposal {"The Legacy")]].
*** In one of the pages of The Administrator's diary it says "If you are in possession of — and reading — this document then I am probably dead."
*** The last page was written by someone who loved The Administrator in their original reality. They write "By the time you read this, I will already be dead."
** The [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-110 entry for SCP-110]] has a note from the Chief Engineer of the buried city. It begins "My name is Stephen Kolsnik. Rather, my name was Stephen Kolsnik. I will be dead by the time you read this." The life support for the city had been damaged and couldn't be repaired in the time they had left.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-557 SCP-557 ("Ancient Containment Site")]]. A note found in SCP-557 says (in part) "I will write in Greek, so that any learned man who finds this place will understand. I am the last of the Keepers, and I will be dead soon."
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1082 SCP-1082 ("The Whole Truth")]]. Document 1082-25 was written by an Agent under the effect of SCP-1082. Near the end he says "I will be dead by the time you read this, but it will be worth it."
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1260 SCP-1260 ("HMS Tiresias")]]. The Agent in charge of the first exploration of SCP-1260 left a personal log. Several members of his team died after hearing voices, so when he started to hear the voices he knew he was going to die horribly very soon.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1281 SCP-1281 ("The Harbinger")]]. The message provided by SCP-1281 starts out:
-->This is our harbinger. It brings good tidings. We will be dead when it reaches you. Our planet is dying. We do not have time to save ourselves. We only have time to ready ourselves, and to send a message.
** A note found in [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1983 SCP-1983]]:
--->'''Special Containment Procedures''': You're going to die, you poor dumb fuck.\\\
This isn't a threat. I'm Agent Barclay. I'm in the middle of this goddamned thing, and I'm telling you, if you're here? You're going to die. I'm probably already dead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Appears twice in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' played straight (in "Homer's Odyssey" and "I Married Marge", although the second one is not a death, but instead him trying to run away) and once parodied ("Marge, if you're watching this, it means I worked out how to operate the video camera" in "Half-Decent Proposal").
** Again, during the episode where Mona dies.
-->'''Mona:''' Homer, if you're watching this, either I'm dead, or you've gone through my stuff. If I'm dead, this is my video will; if not, please keep away from my stuff.
* Professor Farnsworth leaves a holographic message to his crew after he is taken to the Near Death Star in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "A Clone of My Own". He even anticipates a smart remark by Bender and reveals that he recorded over Bender's soap operas.
* ''IronManArmoredAdventures'': Tony's father does one of these for Tony.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', Chuckie's late mother Melinda left a poem for her son to read when he got older. Unlike most examples, it is a huge TearJerker.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'': Ellie dies in the prologue, but it's only near the end of the movie that Carl realizes that her old scrapbook [[spoiler:was full of pictures from their marriage, plus a message: "Thanks for the adventure - now go have a new one! Love, Ellie"]].
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' when Brock conveniently finds a video from the late Dr. Venture with explicit directions for Rusty that had to be carried out within the next day.
* ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'': Subverted. When Zack and Ivy attempt to close the titular character's file following her death, they receive a video of one of these. Then at the end of the episode, Carmen is revealed to not be dead after all, and to have in fact staged both the video and the avalanche that supposedly killed her specifically in order to determine who was "worthy" to be the successor(s) to her crime organization in the event that anything should actually happen to her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In a bizarre case of TruthInTelevision, controversial Australian politician Pauline Hanson made a video that began "If you are watching this, I have been murdered...", apparently believing she was in danger of being assassinated by foreigners. It was naturally leaked to the media (which may have been her intention all along). The general reaction from the public, however, moved her perception from that of merely being an unpleasant redneck xenophobe to being an absolute raving looney (or an easily manipulated stooge).
* There's also the famous, [[TearJerker/RealLife impossibly sad]] [[http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=ken+burns+civil+war+sullivan+ballou&hl=en&sitesearch=# Sullivan Ballou]] letter.
---> Dear Sarah. The indications are very strong that we will move soon...
* Guatemalan attorney [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxZptUp9a44 Rodrigo Rosenberg]]. It's understandable how it ended up in the right hands: he made it for the entire country and was uploaded to Website/YouTube. This could be counted as a subversion; the following UN investigation ultimately concluded that Mr. Rosenberg had arranged for his own murder.
* Robert Scott. "For God's sake look after our people."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyCk2ygkqEU Press play, and cry]]
* Creator/ThomasPaine wrote "The Age of Reason" while imprisoned during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution (he'd gone to France to help with their struggle for liberty, and been arrested by the revolutionaries [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized after their regime became tyrannical]]). He felt free to write down his highly controversial criticisms of Christianity, because he thought he'd be dead before they were published. It didn't work out that way.
* Jack Layton, a Canadian politician who was Leader of the Opposition, [[http://www.ndp.ca/letter-to-canadians-from-jack-layton dictated a letter]] as he was in the final stages of terminal cancer, addressed not only to members of his party but also to the public at large (even going so far as to tell other people with cancer to not take his death as a reason to give up hope).
--> ''My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.''
[[/folder]]
----

to:

** Buffy (just got bitten by a zombie and is about to herself become one, which she fully knows) tells Georgia, Shaun, and Rick to look in a particular directory on the file server. They find a video of her [[spoiler:confessing to being part of the conspiracy that led to two nasty zombie outbreaks and will eventually get Georgia killed]].
** Later in the same book, Georgia says early in her final blog entry "I [[LegallyDead legally died]] eleven minutes ago", after her blood test showed she was going into viral amplification (about to become a zombie). She keeps up her narration as long as her mental capacity and motor coordination allow.
* In the second book of the ''Isaac Asimov's Caliban'' series, the planetary governor is assassinated. Sheriff Kresh, who's investigating the murder, is shocked to be told he was recently made the governor's successor -- and to receive an "in case I'm assassinated" letter from him giving him advice on the political situation and wishing him luck.
* In ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'', Hazel and Lidewij track down Augustus' last letter to Van Houten, which turns out not to be the sequel to ''An Imperial Affliction'' but his eulogy for Hazel.
* In ''Series/TheBabysittersClub'' Mystery #5, Mary Anne reads a letter her mother wrote to her shortly before her death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''
*** Kirk's taped message from the episode "The Tholian Web" is revealed even though he doesn't actually die.
*** "That Which Survives". In Losira's ApocalypticLog about the death of her colony she says "...we who have guarded the outpost for you will be dead by the time you take possession of this planet."
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
*** Tasha Yar's [[KilledOffForReal farewell]] holo-message is played at the end of the episode "Skin of Evil".
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''
*** In the episode "Civil Defense", a message like this from Gul Dukat to his Cardassian underlings is revealed, as part of a long-buried computer subroutine that's assuming the Cardassians still control the station and there's a slave revolt in progress. Dukat is not only still alive, but ''vastly'' amused by the whole thing -- at least until another facet of the subroutine locks him out as well. Apparently one of his own superiors had added a few things without bothering to tell Dukat.
*** In the episode "Visionary", Chief O'Brien, before taking on a dangerous time-travel mission, informed Dr. Bashir that he had left a message for his wife Keiko in the event of his death.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode "The Parting Of The Ways":
-->'''The Ninth Doctor''': If this message is activated, then it can only mean one thing. We must be in danger, and I mean fatal. I'm dead, or about to die any second with no chance of escape.
** It happens again in the finale to series 3: a reporter has a video message set to be automatically sent to Torchwood in case she dies confronting Mr. Saxon.
* A sort-of roundabout example in ''[[http://jabootu.net/?p=585 Baywatch: Down Under]]'': When his former lover dies, Cody travels all the way to Australia (her home) and finds a "goodbye" note left amongst her possessions.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has a few examples:
** In "The Parliament of Dreams", G'Kar receives a message from an old enemy: "By the time you get this recording, I will already be dead... Ah, but then, very shortly, so will you."
** In the episode "Z'ha'dum", one such message is left [[spoiler: by Sheridan for Delenn]]. This death ends up non-permanent, but the accompanying LoveConfession is still heartbreaking.
** As seen in the prequel movie ''In The Beginning'', Dukhat leaves such a message for Delenn so she can take up his role as liaison with the Vorlons in the event of his death. This message is also apparently what causes her series-long quest to become closer to the Humans.
** As seen in the penultimate episode, at least one message was recorded [[spoiler: by Sheridan for his unborn child]], as he knows his years are numbered.
* "[[http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/18964 This]] ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' short. "Dear sister, by the time you read this I'll be dead. Here's how I think it's going to happen: first Dave will shoot me, then I'll shoot Dave..."
* In the fourth season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', this is used in Mayor Wilkins' video will to Faith. The mayor notes that it's either her watching it, or a bunch of kids at a museum celebrating his glory--"[[AffablyEvil In which case: hi, kids!]]"
* You could say it was inverted in the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "The Message", where the guy arrives in a coffin, with a tape recorder, asking them to bury him. Later on, he wakes up, having faked the whole thing to escape with the organic goods he was hiding in his chest. But the audio message still ends up being relevant, and ends up acting like the trope played straight when it plays at the end of the episode, after he's KilledOffForReal.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' season 3 episode 1, Hiro finds one of these left to him by his father. "Whatever you do don't open the safe." Hiro opens the safe to find another DVD, plays it: "I '''told''' you not to open the safe!"
* ''TheMiddleman'' has the Code 47, which is a posthumous note that Middlemen are supposed to record for every mission.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshall and Lily write notes to each other to be opened only when the other died. HilarityEnsues when Marshall opens Lily's note beforehand.
* In ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'':
** Tosh makes a VideoWill in case of her death. The remaining team members find it after she (and Owen) die. It's quite the TearJerker.
** Owen in "Dead Man Walking": "...I died and was brought back to life... And they think I'm fine."
* One ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' client uses Echo's body to write a note after her death and passes it off as one of these, making herself seem incredibly prescient by identifying her murderer and the method used to kill her, and leaving messages for loved ones informed by what she's learned of them while [[AttendingYourOwnFuneral attending her own funeral]].
* Denholm's video will in ''Series/TheITCrowd'' uses this trope and mixes in TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', a dying scientist working with ZFT leaves the team a videotape revealing that Walter's old partner William Bell is the group's backer.
* In ''Series/PrisonBreak'', the final scene of the series is Michael Scofield's posthumous message to his brother, his wife and his unborn child.
* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', episode "Truck Stop": An fatally injured man records a message describing how he came to kill two people. He's partly covering for someone else.
** In the episode "To the Last Will I Grapple With Thee", the murder victim left a video tape claiming that a friend of Jessica's was out to kill him. He actually committed suicide, arranging his death to implicate Jessica's friend, a man whom he blamed for making his life miserable.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'', on the series finale, it's revealed that Trudy left Monk a tape as a Christmas gift before she died. While the entire tape wasn't shown yet, she does reveal that she knew she was in danger.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' had a twist on the trope, in which a video message was left by the murder victim. As it turned out, he was not a murder ''victim'' at all -- he knew he was dying of cancer, so had hired a hit man to kill him and frame both his cheating wife and her lover. The video was given to his best friend, with instructions that he was to show it to the district attorney if anyone ever tried to pin the murder on him.
* The letter Bart leaves for Chuck on ''Series/GossipGirl'' (which oddly enough mentions that he's left Chuck Bass Industries, but fails to mention the morality clause).
* In ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'', Tully leaves a warning for George in this manner. Annie attempts to do this with an answering machine message, but it gets listened to before she's gone anywhere. (Both in the same episode, too!)
* In ''Series/MurderMostHorrid'', an episode begins with a woman recording her suicide note that begins "Dear Mum, by the time you read this, I will be dead.", but she ends up embroiled in an assassination attempt of sorts. By the time it's over, she's decided not to kill herself, and also decides to phone her mother to tell her all about it. Unfortunately, she dies anyway and the last words she says to her mum before the tape begins playing are 'I've got so much to say I could explode!'. Guess how she dies.
* On ''Series/{{Rubicon}}'', Katherine's husband is DrivenToSuicide under mysterious circumstances, and ends up leaving her a cryptic note reminding her to celebrate their anniversary, as per usual, which includes watching ''Film/MeetMeInStLouis''--but the DVD in the case is actually a message from him explaining TheConspiracy that caused his and others' deaths. Too bad it doesn't save her from getting killed a few days later.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', before Gabriel faces his brother Lucifer and is ultimately killed by him, he leaves a video for Sam and Dean containing some important information. In the form of a porno. Him as the leading man, of course, [[PornStache 'stache]] and all. He halts the action for a moment to deliver the info. After admitting that Dean was right, Gabriel had been too much of a coward to face his family, he ends with this [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments little gem]]:
-->'''Gabriel:''' This is me standing up. And ''this''... is me lying down.
::: The porno then resumes.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Numb3rs}}'', a body washes up on the beach with Chinese numbers tattooed on its feet. The numbers turn out to be a phone number, and the message machine that picks up says, "Hi, if you're listening to this, then I guess I'm dead." The victim was an investigative journalist going undercover, who got the tattoos so she could be identified if she died.
* On ''Series/TheXFiles'', Scully begins writing a diary to Mulder, for him to read after her death from terminal cancer.
* ''Series/ElleryQueen'': "The Adventure of Veronica's Veils" opens with a group of people being attending a funeral and then being shown a film in which the dead man says that if they are watching this then he has been murdered and that one of them is the killer.
* In the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode featuring ''Film/TheAtomicBrain'', when the companion of villainess Mrs. March reads the letter that'll be used to give Nina Mrs. March's fortune, Mike quips "By the time I read this, you'll be dead." Ironically, it's the man who's killed instead.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Snow White asks the huntsman to deliver a letter to her WickedStepmother Regina after he kills her. He looks at the letter and is inspired ''not'' to kill her by how selfless the letter is. It essentially says that Snow White hopes that with her out of the way, Regina can devote her energies to ruling the kingdom as well as Snow's father would have wanted. Regina is nowhere near as impressed by the letter as the huntsman is.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}''; In the episode "In The Belly Of The Beast", Beckett is trapped in a {{deep cover a|gent}}ssignment gone wrong. Preparing for the worst, she writes a letter to Castle, hiding it in an air vent and planting drops of her own blood to lead a CSU team to discover the letter if necessary.
-->'' I hope you never have to read this... that I can tell you all of these things in person, but if something happens and I don't make it, I need you to know that our partnership, our relationship is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You're an amazing man, and I love you with all of my heart. Always.''
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E22AllHellBreaksLoosePartTwo "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two"(S02, Ep22)]], Ash left the map, which revealed the large Devil's Trap in Wyoming, in a safe before he died. This information was the reason that the demons burned down the Roadhouse and killed him.
* In the second season of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', when Brennan and Hodgins were trapped in a car that had been buried in the desert by the serial killer Gravedigger, Brennan wrote a letter for Booth to read if she did not survive. The contents of that letter were never revealed until seven seasons later, when Brennan read the letter to Booth as the two of them got married.
* At the tenth season finale, in a tape left by the latest suspect (a devotee of SerialKiller Christopher Pelant), there was one of these by him for Brennan. It talked about him still living on in the digital world, but unlike most instances of these, Brennan closes the video before it could finish.
* On ''Series/OrphanBlack'', Sarah records a message like this for Art on her phone before going to meet [[SerialKiller Helena]] for the first time. She doesn't end up dying, but the message does come back to bite her when he discovers it a few episodes later...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "By The Time You Read This I Will Be Dead" by Suicide Watch.
* The video for the Decemberist's song "O Valencia" includes one of these. You can see the long version [[http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ad7XFStuB8 here]].
* At the end of the second Music/TheProtomen album, when Dr. Light has lost all hope and is waiting for Wily's robot army to arrest him, he finally reads his murdered love's last letter - which (somewhat presciently) tells him not to give up hope and continue fighting.
* "If You're Reading This" by Music/TimMcGraw - a letter left by a fallen soldier for his wife.
* "Riding With Private Malone" written by Wood Newton and Thom Shepherd, and recorded by American country music artist David Ball. The letter is left in the glove box of a '66 Corvette by a soldier heading off to Viet Nam.
* The opening line of Music/RoxyMusic's "Strictly Confidential", from ''Music/ForYourPleasure'' is "Before I die I write this letter."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Occurs repeatedly in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' products, including ''The Universal Brotherhood'', ''Awakenings'', ''Threats'', ''Threats 2'', ''Dragons of the Sixth World'' (twice!) and ''Emergence''. Always involves someone trying to publicize information about a dangerous conspiracy, with the conspiracy trying to kill the person to prevent this.
* The prologue of ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}: Hell on Earth'' is a ApocalypticLog written by a Templar named Jo about the state of the world and events that led to it meant to bring players up to speed on the lore. She is on her death bed, and is most likely dead by the time the player would realistically read it.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill'' RPG.
** In the sewer system under the amusement park the {{PC}}s can find the diary of W. Irving. It says that two of his friends have been killed by a monster in the sewer water and that he's going to try to kill it.
-->If you find this note, consider it my will.
** In the Indian Runner delivery office there's a journal of an undercover officer working for a drug gang. The last entry says:
-->As I write this I am already dead. I have committed the worst crime of all! I talked. My tongue slipped and that was my death sentence. They came.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' supplement ''Dark Designs'', adventure "The Eyes of the Blind''. The note Elias Cartwright sends to Jeremiah Ordacre starts "By the time you read this I fear that I shall be dead". Shortly thereafter Elias is killed by being pushed under the wheels of a carriage.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' ''The New Era'' supplement ''Survival Margin''. The New Era takes place after the collapse of a galactic empire called the Third Imperium. The description of a Bootstraps Campaign has a man leaving a message for his descendants.
-->Hello. I am your grandfather. By the time you see this I will have been dead for many years, but on this tape I will show you how to repair a radio...
* ''TabletopGame/HollowEarthExpedition'' supplement ''Mysteries of the Hollow Earth''. The journal of Professor Alexander Trader details his exploration of the Hollow Earth. The journal was found abandoned: Professor Trader's fate is unknown. Near the end of the journal it says:
-->If you are reading this, then all is lost for me, and I most certainly have already shuffled off this mortal coil. My life will not have been in vain, however, if this journal makes it to those who can appreciate my discoveries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/IndependenceWar2: Edge of Chaos'' has one such last will in Lucrecia's Base, stating that the base's vacancy and lack of activity boils down to her being dead, and that the finder of the base gets to keep it. It ends up in the hands of her grandson [[PlayerCharacter Cal Johnston]], albeit with guidance from mentor Jefferson Clay, who even in AI construct form was old enough to have known Lucrecia.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', where Bian Souldark leaves a holo-recording for his daughter, Lune, hidden in her Valsione - along with comprehensive data on secret DC bases, since he apparently predicted that she'd join up with the heroes after they'd killed him, and figured that they might need a hand taking down the remnants of DC. Nice of him, huh?
* One of these letters also appeared near the beginning of ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness: Sanity's Requiem'', as a letter to the main character from her dead grandfather.
** She finds several more letters from him throughout the game, including one that, when selected in the pause menu, is accompanied by a recording of him reading it.
* Used straight, from your former commanding officer, at the start of the HumongousMecha game ''[[TabletopGame/BattleTech MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries]]''.
** And then ''Mechwarrior 4 Vengeance'' starts with the protagonist receiving a message from his late father.
* One of Mario's quests in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' is to deliver such a letter to Admiral Bobbery, thus releasing him from the mental torment that keeps him from sailing the seas.
** Earlier in the game, Koops finds such a message in a pile of bones that he believes to be his father's. As it turns out, that wasn't his father's skeleton after all.
* ''VideoGame/TheGuardianLegend'' has one of these after you complete the introductory space shooter level, when you first enter the labyrinth.
* Mary's letter in ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', though we don't get to read it all until James lets himself read it all. The very first thing James says in the game is that it can't be possible he got a letter from Mary, since she's been dead for years now. But near the end, we find out that she's only been dead about a week.
* Your foster father Gorion in ''BaldursGate'' leaves one of these kinds of letters for you to pick up late in the game. (He also apparently ''lies''--{{Fanon}} is divided on whether the two stories of your mother can be reconciled--but then he is TheObiWan.)
** The whole thing smells of {{Retcon}}. Probably done in order to be able to say that Sarevok and the PC could have exchanged places but for the smallest accident of chance.
* Near the very end of ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'', as SHODAN starts warping reality, the player finds another of the {{Apocalyptic Log}}s left by Delacroix, although earlier in the game the player found her body and final log. This one, floating in the air all on its own, starts, "Re: some small assistance. If you are receiving this, I am already dead. When I realized SHODAN had betrayed me, I integrated these comments into her primary data loop." Her messages then guide the player.
* George Crabtree's journal in ''VideoGame/DarkFall: The Journal''.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'':
** During Tali's loyalty mission, she and Shepard find a holovid on the corpse of Tali's father.
** Kasumi's partner leaves a holo-message as well.
** If you romance him, Thane writes a message to be delivered in the event of his death (he has an incurable disease, and expects to die within a year). In the third game, he dies fighting Kai Leng and the message is indeed delivered to Shepard's email.
* Papas'/Pankraz's letter in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV''. When you obtain the Zenithian Sword, he wants you to fulfill his objective to find the legendary hero and your mother.
* As a rule, every NCR soldier in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' must carry a letter to their loved ones, to be read only in the event of their deaths.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has a number of these, such as the note from Sidney's late father found in the Statesman Hotel.
** In ''Honest Hearts'', you find a trail of holotapes left by a survivalist named Randall Clark in the years after the bombs fell, leading up to the day of his death.
* John's letter to Ada in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil''.
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 4'''s Maximilian Thermidor leaves the player this type of message in the ORCA path, stating that, as the sole remaining member of [[LaResistance ORCA]], ItsUpToYou to complete the Closed Plan. If you're playing hard mode, you find out that Thermidor has both lied and inexplicably decided to kill you as you attempt to complete the mission he assigned you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'''s FramingStory involves one of these from the protagonist. To kick off the game's plot, ''he'' gets a letter from his dead father, as well.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', Bladewolf plays Jetstream Sam's final message to Raiden to him during the final battle.
* The ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' mission "A Fistful of Gorn". Your contact on Nimbus III, an old Romulan lawman named Law, sends you a note saying he's going after a Gorn pirate gunning for your head. Cue cutscene of the two of them squaring off in an Old West-style pistol duel, which cuts away just as the shots ring out. [[spoiler:Next scene has [[SubvertedTrope Law walk up to you and shrug]], then says [[LampshadeHanging it looks kinda stupid for him to leave a death note for you and then survive]].]]
* The original ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' for the Nintendo opens with Ryu's father in a life and death duel. As might be expected, his father is killed in the duel, leaving only a message for Ryu to find containing instructions to go to America and a final condolence from his father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* At the end of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' Season 13, Epsilon/Church leaves a recording for his friends just before they face off against Hargrove's forces. However, it's not so much a question of ''if'' he's dead (he erases himself moments after recording it), it's if his friends are alive at the end of the fight to hear the recording.
--> '''Epsilon/Church:''' Hey guys... if you're hearing this then it means you did it. You won. You kicked the shit out of [[BigBad Hargrove]]'s forces. I knew you could. But this is my last stop. See, when I came into this world, I was really just a collection of somebody else's memories. But with your help, these memories... they-they took form! They became my voice, my personality. And, after a while, I... I began to make brand new memories of my own. All of these things are what make me who I am... but they're also holding me back. I can't run this [[PoweredArmor suit]] as Epsilon, but if I erase my memories, if I... deconstruct myself, the fragments I'll leave behind will have the strength to get you through this. I believe that. I wish that there was another way. But, I'm leaving this message as well as others, in the hopes that you'll understand why I have to go this time...hehe, it was actually Doyle who made me realize something that I've never thought of before. There are so many stories where some brave [[HeroicSacrifice hero decides to give their life to save the day]], and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith. Ain't that a bitch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/mackenzie-s-proposal Dr. Mackenzie's SCP-001 Proposal {"The Legacy")]].
*** In one of the pages of The Administrator's diary it says "If you are in possession of — and reading — this document then I am probably dead."
*** The last page was written by someone who loved The Administrator in their original reality. They write "By the time you read this, I will already be dead."
** The [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-110 entry for SCP-110]] has a note from the Chief Engineer of the buried city. It begins "My name is Stephen Kolsnik. Rather, my name was Stephen Kolsnik. I will be dead by the time you read this." The life support for the city had been damaged and couldn't be repaired in the time they had left.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-557 SCP-557 ("Ancient Containment Site")]]. A note found in SCP-557 says (in part) "I will write in Greek, so that any learned man who finds this place will understand. I am the last of the Keepers, and I will be dead soon."
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1082 SCP-1082 ("The Whole Truth")]]. Document 1082-25 was written by an Agent under the effect of SCP-1082. Near the end he says "I will be dead by the time you read this, but it will be worth it."
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1260 SCP-1260 ("HMS Tiresias")]]. The Agent in charge of the first exploration of SCP-1260 left a personal log. Several members of his team died after hearing voices, so when he started to hear the voices he knew he was going to die horribly very soon.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1281 SCP-1281 ("The Harbinger")]]. The message provided by SCP-1281 starts out:
-->This is our harbinger. It brings good tidings. We will be dead when it reaches you. Our planet is dying. We do not have time to save ourselves. We only have time to ready ourselves, and to send a message.
** A note found in [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1983 SCP-1983]]:
--->'''Special Containment Procedures''': You're going to die, you poor dumb fuck.\\\
This isn't a threat. I'm Agent Barclay. I'm in the middle of this goddamned thing, and I'm telling you, if you're here? You're going to die. I'm probably already dead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Appears twice in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' played straight (in "Homer's Odyssey" and "I Married Marge", although the second one is not a death, but instead him trying to run away) and once parodied ("Marge, if you're watching this, it means I worked out how to operate the video camera" in "Half-Decent Proposal").
** Again, during the episode where Mona dies.
-->'''Mona:''' Homer, if you're watching this, either I'm dead, or you've gone through my stuff. If I'm dead, this is my video will; if not, please keep away from my stuff.
* Professor Farnsworth leaves a holographic message to his crew after he is taken to the Near Death Star in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "A Clone of My Own". He even anticipates a smart remark by Bender and reveals that he recorded over Bender's soap operas.
* ''IronManArmoredAdventures'': Tony's father does one of these for Tony.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', Chuckie's late mother Melinda left a poem for her son to read when he got older. Unlike most examples, it is a huge TearJerker.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'': Ellie dies in the prologue, but it's only near the end of the movie that Carl realizes that her old scrapbook [[spoiler:was full of pictures from their marriage, plus a message: "Thanks for the adventure - now go have a new one! Love, Ellie"]].
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' when Brock conveniently finds a video from the late Dr. Venture with explicit directions for Rusty that had to be carried out within the next day.
* ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'': Subverted. When Zack and Ivy attempt to close the titular character's file following her death, they receive a video of one of these. Then at the end of the episode, Carmen is revealed to not be dead after all, and to have in fact staged both the video and the avalanche that supposedly killed her specifically in order to determine who was "worthy" to be the successor(s) to her crime organization in the event that anything should actually happen to her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In a bizarre case of TruthInTelevision, controversial Australian politician Pauline Hanson made a video that began "If you are watching this, I have been murdered...", apparently believing she was in danger of being assassinated by foreigners. It was naturally leaked to the media (which may have been her intention all along). The general reaction from the public, however, moved her perception from that of merely being an unpleasant redneck xenophobe to being an absolute raving looney (or an easily manipulated stooge).
* There's also the famous, [[TearJerker/RealLife impossibly sad]] [[http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=ken+burns+civil+war+sullivan+ballou&hl=en&sitesearch=# Sullivan Ballou]] letter.
---> Dear Sarah. The indications are very strong that we will move soon...
* Guatemalan attorney [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxZptUp9a44 Rodrigo Rosenberg]]. It's understandable how it ended up in the right hands: he made it for the entire country and was uploaded to Website/YouTube. This could be counted as a subversion; the following UN investigation ultimately concluded that Mr. Rosenberg had arranged for his own murder.
* Robert Scott. "For God's sake look after our people."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyCk2ygkqEU Press play, and cry]]
* Creator/ThomasPaine wrote "The Age of Reason" while imprisoned during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution (he'd gone to France to help with their struggle for liberty, and been arrested by the revolutionaries [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized after their regime became tyrannical]]). He felt free to write down his highly controversial criticisms of Christianity, because he thought he'd be dead before they were published. It didn't work out that way.
* Jack Layton, a Canadian politician who was Leader of the Opposition, [[http://www.ndp.ca/letter-to-canadians-from-jack-layton dictated a letter]] as he was in the final stages of terminal cancer, addressed not only to members of his party but also to the public at large (even going so far as to tell other people with cancer to not take his death as a reason to give up hope).
--> ''My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.''
[[/folder]]
----
Georgi
12th May '16 2:40:15 PM eroock
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->''"I'm Yul Brynner and I'm dead now.... I'm sitting there, thinking, what the fuck is ''he'' selling?"''

to:

->''"I'm Yul Brynner and I'm dead now.... now." -- I'm sitting there, thinking, what the fuck is ''he'' selling?"''selling?''
12th May '16 2:38:05 PM eroock
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->''" 'I'm Yul Brynner and I'm dead now.'... I'm sitting there, thinking, what the fuck is ''he'' selling?"''

to:

->''" 'I'm ->''"I'm Yul Brynner and I'm dead now.'...now.... I'm sitting there, thinking, what the fuck is ''he'' selling?"''
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.DeadmanWriting