Created By: Withoutaname on June 7, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on June 17, 2015

Forced Suicide

A person commits suicide not of their own free will.

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Trope
When someone commits suicide due to an outside influence, but the causes are not immediately obvious to the people around them.

Causes of forced suicide can take any of the various forms of Mind Manipulation, including Mind Virus, Puppeteer Parasite, Psychic-Assisted Suicide, or Mass Hypnosis; it can even be something as simple and inconspicuous as an earplug threatening the victim into committing suicide or else worse will happen (like Cold-Blooded Torture or killing the victim's family. In more horrific variations of Mind Manipulation, sometimes the victim is fully conscious but unable to stop themselves from committing suicide.

The difference between this and Psychic-Assisted Suicide is that this also covers examples where the perpetrator is a non-malicious entity, such as an unknown Mind Virus in the form of a rogue AI that kills at random.

Related to Never Suicide. Mostly averts Dying as Yourself.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Read or Die OVA, one character attempts to broadcast a "Death Symphony" that will cause mass suicide.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Oyashiro-sama's curse (or whatever it really is) causes many characters to kill themselves throughout the various story arcs, some more than once. Methods include clawing out your own throat.

    Comic Books 
  • In Ultimate Marvel, the Vision sent a psychic broadcast around the world that was so nightmarish that it caused mass-suicides around the world. The broadcast turned out to be a recording of what the Eldritch Abomination Gah Lak Tus had done to previous worlds before coming to Earth, in hopes of warning the population. Gah Lak Tus itself also uses a similar tactic to thin out the populations of the worlds it attacks before it arrives, and sends silver, angel-winged emissaries to mollify the populace into cults that will either commit mass-suicide or embrace their coming destruction when Gah Lak Tus finally arrives.

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Freddy's first victim is a young man named Dean, who falls asleep at a diner while meeting his girlfriend Kris. In the dream Freddy slits Dean's throat, but to Kris and the rest of the diner, Dean does it himself with a knife from the table.
  • In M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, people are committing suicide in vast numbers under mysterious circumstances. The audience never gets to know the actual cause of the mass suicides, but speculation about it is sprinkled throughout the film (radiation fallout, a plague, etc.) and some have even spread their own Wild Mass Guessing entries.
  • In Village of the Damned, and its remake, the psychic children often forced people to kill themselves in various ways if they displeased the children—such as putting their hands in boiling water or garbage disposals, or being forced to shoot themselves in the head.

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Subverted in Paranormal Witness. In the episode The Good Skeleton. A family of three move into a haunted house, and at a later point a poltergeist starts possessing the wife, provoking her with nightmares urging her to drown herself in a lake. One night while possessed it makes her walk into traffic to get there and she's almost run over by a truck. They later find out that the reason behind it was the spirits haunting them had died in a car accident in front of their house.
  • In the episode of The X-Files "Pusher", the Monster of the Week uses his powers of extreme suggestion to make people kill themselves in many different ways.

    Video Games 
  • In Bioshock Infinite, the player can make Mooks do this after acquiring an upgrade for Booker's Possession Vigor.
  • In the Dead Space franchise, the presence of the Markers (or the Brethren Moons themselves) tends to brainwash any organic beings into a cult which eventually commits mass-suicide, has their dead flesh converted into Necromorphs, and then proceeds to kill and infect others.
  • In the Mass Effect universe, various forms of Mind Control may force this on a person. Most noticeably, in the first game, you run into what's left of a machine cult that impaled themselves on spikes and converted them into mindless zombie-like bio-mechanical Husks that did the machines' bidding.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Psycho Mantis attempts to force Meryl to blow her own brains out with her handgun via mind control. Snake has a few ways of preventing this, including stun grenades or punching her into unconsciousnesses.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Cults that commit mass suicide might fall under this. The mass suicide of Jim Jones' People's Temple congregation in Guyana would be a Real Life example—aside from the manipulations of a very charismatic cult leader (and his warnings—possibly with some truth, as a visiting U.S. Congressman was recently killed by Jones' men there—that their "enemies" were about to invade the commune), there were some members who did try to sneak away rather than drink the poisoned Kool-Aid (or rather, "Flavor-Aid"), but many of these were caught and killed by Jones' goons.

Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • June 7, 2013
    hevendor717
    Anime & Manga: In the Read Or Die OVA, one character attempts to broadcast a "Death Symphony" that will cause mass suicide.
  • June 7, 2013
    hevendor717
    In Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Oyashiro-sama's curse (or whatever it really is) causes many characters to kill themselves throughout the various story arcs, some more than once.

    Methods include clawing out your own throat.
  • June 7, 2013
    Withoutaname
    Thanks.

    I'm new to this so I'm not sure where to put the 'edited by' header next to the sponsor (or whether I should put one for you at all). Actually, maybe I'll just put this up for grabs since I don't have time to always edit the new entry.
  • June 7, 2013
    randomsurfer
    See also Better To Die Than Be Killed, for one reason of the "forced" suicide.
  • June 7, 2013
    MiinU
    We already have this, see: Driven To Suicide.
  • June 7, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Film:
    • In the 2010 reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy's first victim is a young man named Dean, who falls asleep at a diner while meeting his girlfriend Kris. In the dream Freddy slits Dean's throat, but to Kris and the rest of the diner, Dean does it himself with a knife from the table.
  • June 7, 2013
    KingZeal
    It's not the same thing. Seriously, people.

    • In The Village Of The Damned, and its remake, the psychic children often forced people to kill themselves in various ways if they displeased the children--such as putting their hands in boiling water or garbage disposals, or being forced to shoot themselves in the head.

  • June 7, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Live Action TV
    • Subverted in Paranormal Witness: In the episode The Good Skeleton. A family of three move into a haunted house, and at a later point a poltergeist starts possessing the wife, provoking her with nightmares urging her to drown herself in a lake. One night while possessed it makes her walk into traffic to get there and she's almost run over by a truck. They later find out that the reason behind it was the spirits haunting them had died in a car accident in front of their house.
  • June 7, 2013
    KingZeal
    • In Ultimate Marvel, the Vision sent a psychic broadcast around the world that was so nightmarish that it caused mass-suicides around the world. The broadcast turned out to be a recording of what the Eldritch Abomination Gah Lak Tus had done to previous worlds before coming to Earth, in hopes of warning the population. Gah Lak Tus itself also uses a similar tactic to thin out the populations of the worlds it attacks before it arrives, and sends silver, angel-winged emissaries to mollify the populace into cults that will either commit mass-suicide or embrace their coming destruction when Gah Lak Tus finally arrives.

    • In the Dead Space franchise, the presence of the Markers (or the Brethren Moons themselves) tends to brainwash any organic beings into a cult which eventually commits mass-suicide, has their dead flesh converted into Necromorphs, and then proceeds to kill and infect others.

    • In the Mass Effect universe, various forms of Mind Control may force this on a person. Most noticeably, in the first game, you run into what's left of a machine cult that impaled themselves on spikes and converted them into mindless zombie-like bio-mechanical Husks that did the machines' bidding.
  • June 7, 2013
    TheTitan99
    In the episode of The X Files "Pusher", the Monster Of The Week uses his powers of extreme suggestion to make people kill themselves in many different ways.
  • June 7, 2013
    arbiter099
    In Metal Gear Solid, Psycho Mantis attempts to force Meryl to blow her own brains out with her handgun via mind control. Snake has a few ways of preventing this, including stun grenades or punching her into unconsciousnesses.

    In Bioshock Infinite, the player can make Mooks do this after acquiring an upgrade for Booker's Possession Vigor.

    oh, and we may already have this one or at least all of these Mind Control examples, Psychic Assisted Suicide
  • June 7, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Seppuku and Leave Behind A Pistol can be related, particularly if execution otherwise is imminent--but also to avoid a Fate Worse Than Death, such as lifelong imprisonment in a dungeon or (in some cultures) grave dishonor and lifelong shame and ostracism, upon yourself and possibly your family.
  • June 7, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Cults that commit mass suicide might fall under this. The mass suicide of Jim Jones' People's Temple congregation in Guyana would be a Real Life example--aside from the manipulations of a very charismatic cult leader (and his warnings--possibly with some truth, as a visiting U.S. Congressman was recently killed by Jones' men there--that their "enemies" were about to invade the commune), there were some members who did try to sneak away rather than drink the poisoned Kool-Aid (or rather, "Flavor-Aid"), but many of these were caught and killed by Jones' goons.
  • June 7, 2013
    Koveras
    Just how exactly is this different from Driven To Suicide?
  • June 8, 2013
    Withoutaname
    It could be considered a subtrope: in most of the examples I've seen for Driven To Suicide the suicides were voluntary, this trope discusses involuntary suicides.

    Besides, how are Psychic Assisted Suicide or any of the tropes in Choosing Death different from Driven To Suicide?

    EDIT: DTS gives "At the other extreme, victims of The Corruption, Compelling Voice, or other forms of compulsion may resort to this to prevent the monster they are about to become from being unleashed on the world." This trope is opposite in the sense that these victims are DTS because of these things, not trying Dying As Yourself.
  • June 8, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^^ Judging by that trope's description, there might be some overlap (as it encompasses Leave Behind A Pistol and Seppuku), but it seems to mainly deal with someone who's been depressed or tormented for awhile, and finally to the point of giving up--whereas this proposed trope seems to emphasize instances where the person really may not want to give up and commit suicide of their own free will, and was just fine before some agent or very sudden circumstance actually compelled them.

    I think there's a distinction there, although Driven To Suicide also includes sudden circumstances that would also fit here. Perhaps the two should be better demarcated between whether the person had been suicidal and finally decided to go through with it (maybe after some last straw), or whether the person had not been suicidal and the act was more forced on them by either direct compulsion (which might technically be murder actually) or sudden extreme change of circumstance.

    (Edit: was response to Koveras' question--I cross-posted with Withoutaname above)
  • June 8, 2013
    XFllo
    Driven To Suicide is decidedly different. That is suicide by choice, either from feeling hopeless and seeing no other solution, or mental health problems like severe depression, bipolar disorder etc.

    Psychic Assisted Suicide is close to this trope (Forced Suicide), but it is not the same. However, and we should not list examples of that here. Personally I would move The X Files example -- I think it's already listed there.

    I think this should focus on cases when it's used as a thread or what is actually a murder.

    Examples of what I think fits this YKTTW, and not to other suicide tropes.

    Literature
    • In Quo Vadis, a Roman nobleman Petronius is ordered to commit suicide by Emperor Nero. It's clear that if he doesn't do it, he can expect a Fate Worse Than Death. Petronius cuts his wrists and dies in a warm bath of water, which is supposed to be relatively painless. His beautiful slave and lover voluntarily joins him to invoke Together In Death.

    Television
    • Dexter: Serial Killer "Trinity" from season 4 kept killing people in cycles. His second victim of each cycle was a mother of two who was forced to jump to her death. He threatened them that he would do unspeakably horrible things to their family members had they not jumped.
  • June 8, 2013
    Withoutaname
    When I thought of this trope, the quintessential example I had in mind was M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening since it A) is different from Driven To Suicide, because it's involuntary; B) is different from Psychic Assisted Suicide, because there's no malicious intent, obvious cause, or psychic around; C) is the exact opposite of Dying As Yourself.
  • June 8, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Does it have to be limited to psychic influences or mind manipulation? I can think of at least two instances where someone is forced to commit suicide by another person.

    Real life:
    • Field Marshall Irwin Rommel was "allowed" to commit suicide by Hilter's orders instead of being executed for his involvement in the July 20 Bomb Plot.

    Film:
    • In Enemy At The Gates, when Kruschev arrives in Stalingrad, he immediately hands his predecessor - who had lost almost all of his command - a pistol and tells him he's on orders from The Boss and it will spare the paperwork.
  • June 10, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ Actually suicides that employed Psychic Powers and Mind Manipulation should be excluded, because there is a trope for that already: Psychic Assisted Suicide.
  • June 10, 2013
    ClockStopping
    • The first episode of Sherlock revolves around a serial killer who apparently never directly kills their victims, but merely talks them into killing themselves. It turns out that basically, he gives them a 50/50 choice between two pills, one of which is poisoned, with him taking the other, and he always wins. If they refuse, he just shoots them.
  • June 10, 2013
    Larkmarn
    "The difference between this and Psychic Assisted Suicide is that this also covers examples where the perpetrator is a non-malicious entity, such as an unknown Mind Virus in the form of a rogue AI that kills at random. "

    This is already covered by Psychic Assisted Suicide.

    Really, as-is, this is just a repeat of PAS. However, I think that instances where someone is "convinced" to commit suicide ("kill yourself or I'll kill someone you care about," etc) is distinct enough that it should have its own trope separate from Driven To Suicide.
  • June 10, 2013
    Withoutaname
    ^ A trope like that would warrant another YKTTW.

    OK, so how many of you think this is just a repeat of PAS? Personally, I believe the trope definition and summary page for PAS is too specific/misleading and does not cover enough about non-psychics or nonmalicious entities in general, and that's why this proposed trope is separate. But if it's too overlapping and there's a majority consensus (say 10 votes?) found that this trope is just a repeat of PAS, then I'll move the examples from this page to PAS, update PAS's trope summary, and provide a motion to discard afterwards.

    Sign here in favor of discard:
  • June 10, 2013
    JoeG
    In Elementary, Moriarity forces Moran to commit suicide by saying if he doesn't Moran's sister will be killed.
  • June 10, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Maybe a trope repair shop thread should be opened to broaden Psychic Assisted Suicide and fix any misleading parts of the description.

    I think this trope is salvagable, but it just needs to be changed so it's actually different from PAS.

    Personally, when I read the title, I think of instinces like in Enemy At The Gates and Irwin Rommel, where they commited suicide not of their own free will.

    It is tropeworthy, it just needs to be changed to differentiate from Psychic Assisted Suicide.
  • June 10, 2013
    darkclaw
    Fate Zero has Lancer, in this case, Diarmuid die this way in both the book series and anime.
  • June 11, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Real Life:

    • In the so-called "Todesnacht von Stammheim" (Death / Killing Night of Stammheim), incarcerated leaders of the infamous left-radical terrorist group "Rote Armee Fraktion" that made headlines in 1970s West Germany, were found dead in their cells the morning after a plot to extort the goverment for their release by allied palestinian terrorists had failed. One hanged herself, and two died by gunshots to the head (the guns were smuggled in by a lawyer sympathetic to their cause), while a woman who stabbed herself narrowly survived. Especially in leftist circles, the official ruling as suicides was disputed, many theorizing that the state had ordered them killed that night and just made it look like suicides.
  • May 13, 2015
    DeisTheAlcano
    In Dishonored, Corvo is capable of posessing people and making them walk over to a balcony, Arc Pylons (Security meassures designed to electrocute anyone that doesn´t have the proper authority), to a swarm of hungry rats, or (In case they have a pistol) right through their own gunfire.
  • May 13, 2015
    Lythande
    I was looking over this because I saw how old it was and thought about taking it over, but while looking around I came to the conclusion that what we really have here is a missing supertrope to Driven To Suicide, Psychic Assisted Suicide, Leave Behind A Pistol, Seppuku, and a missing trope of a person being ordered to kill themselves as punishment. I marked all the examples in my file that would be sorted into one of those, and it leaves only a few brainwashing and "impersonal force" versions that could reasonably be caught as miscellaneous examples on a supertrope, as well as some Sadistic Choice examples I'm torn about. Does that seem accurate?

    Hypothetical supertrope writeup: here.
  • May 15, 2015
    DeisTheAlcano
    I agree Lythande. The example I posted, for example, doesnt involve someone taking control of someones mind or telling the to kill themselves, its just a guy posessing people and leaving their bodies in places were they would die.
  • June 16, 2015
    eroock
    How does this trope relate to Murder By Suicide?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=9cp3iwpogd08o7782ydh3y87