Created By: Xzenu on September 24, 2010 Last Edited By: Xzenu on October 31, 2010
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Happily Failed Suicide

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A character puts a gun to his head or whatever. Afterwards, he is very happy to be alive, glad that the suicide attempt failed. Maybe he realizes that he wants to live after all, or maybe he never truly wanted to die in the first place: The suicide attempt was not based on a genuine wish but rather on desperation - at the moment, he just couldn't stand his life.

Compare Driven to Suicide


Examples

  • Arseface in Preacher, who tried to kill himself because he was sad and lonely and his idol and his only friend had both just killed themselves and the friend had told him to do the same. After the failed suicide attempt he does all he can to turn his life around, but can never get away from his face being horribly mutilated by the shotgun blast that so fortunately missed his brain.

  • Depending on how things play out, Celes may attempt suicide, but fail... happily, because from where she lies, she sees evidence that one or more of the others may have survived, which gives her the will to live.

  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, of course. In the opening scene the heroine finds the titular teacher in the process of hanging himself. After she nearly strangles him while trying to get him down he indignantly asks her "what if I died?"

  • Jodie, from the 70s sitcom/soap opera parody Soap. He takes a bunch of pills, falls asleep, and wakes up as the most emotionally healthy character in the series. Go figure.

  • Welcome to the N.H.K.!: in the end of the series, the perpetual loser Satou throws himself off a cliff in an honest-to-God suicide attempt, only to discover that a hidden metal net has been installed just below the cliff after the previous suicide on that spot. After that, he seems to become quite happy with his life again.

  • In an episode of The Simpsons a man jumps off the ledge of a building just as a masssive ball of humanity comes rolling by. Based on his voice he seems pleased with the result.
Goodbye, Cruel World!! falls into the ball Hello ironic twist!

  • The opening scene of the novel White Teeth is a complex example. Archie Jones is devastated after his Italian war-bride from the 1940s leaves him three decades later to go live with her family (in her defense, she's a paranoid schizophrenic by this point and needs her family's care), and contemplates suicide mostly because he doesn't know what else to do. He finally settles for flipping a coin (his stock method of making decisions) but then doesn't immediately kill himself when the coin tells him to do so. He finally works up the courage to die about a week later and tries to gas himself in his own car, but is rescued by a Pakistani butcher. Afterward, he is suddenly happy to be alive - but he doesn't truly acquire a new lease on life until he journeys to a hippie commune and becomes infatuated with a Jamaican girl half his age, whom he later marries. One of those rare cases of a lighthearted book that begins with a Despair Event Horizon.

  • An old Mickey Mouse comic actually involved him trying to commit suicide. He jumps off a bridge but lands on a boat, an angry sailor(who resembles pete ) yells he throws stowaways overboard and Mickey starts pleading by saying he can't swim.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • August 31, 2010
    Xzenu
    Aw, come on?

    In real life, it's verry comon that people who attempt suicide are afterwards happy or relieved to still be alive. Surely there must be more then one media example??
  • August 31, 2010
    Vree
    Of course IRL it is often a "cry for help" - the person does not really want to die, but rather does not see a way out of a situation, and choose the suicide attempt as an extreme way of trying to get other's attention. (Either to gain their help Or just to show them all.)

    • Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, of course. In the opening scene the heroine finds the titular teacher in the process of hanging himself. After she nearly strangles him while trying to get him down he indignantly asks her "what if I died?"
  • August 31, 2010
    Bailey
    Jodie, from the 70s sitcom/soap opera parody Soap. He takes a bunch of pills, falls asleep, and wakes up as the most emotionally healthy character in the series. Go figure.
  • September 1, 2010
    Koveras
    ^^According to statistic, IRL the majority of female suicide attempts are actually cries for help, whereas men tend to honestly try to end their lives. Hence women prefer poisons (from which they can be rescued), while men choose more radical means like firearms, falling from heights, etc. For the same reason, while women generally have higher suicide attempt rates, men have much a higher suicide success rate.

    As for examples, well, maybe Welcome To The NHK! counts: in the end of the series, the perpetual loser Satou throws himself off a cliff in an honest-to-God suicide attempt, only to discover that a hidden metal net has been installed just below the cliff after the previous suicide on that spot. After that, he seems to become quite happy with his life again.
  • September 1, 2010
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of The Simpsons a man jumps off the ledge of a building just as a masssive ball of humanity comes rolling by. Based on his voice he seems pleased with the result.
    Goodbye Cruel World! falls into the ball Hello ironic twist!
  • September 1, 2010
    MeanDean
  • September 2, 2010
    randomsurfer
    ^Mmm, I don't think so. He never gets around to actually attempting suicide, since Clarence interrupts him by falling into the river.
  • September 4, 2010
    Lefty734
    happens in flashforward
  • September 14, 2010
    HawktureShorts155
    The opening scene of the novel White Teeth is a complex example. Archie Jones is devastated after his Italian war-bride from the 1940s leaves him three decades later to go live with her family (in her defense, she's a paranoid schizophrenic by this point and needs her family's care), and contemplates suicide mostly because he doesn't know what else to do. He finally settles for flipping a coin (his stock method of making decisions) but then doesn't immediately kill himself when the coin tells him to do so. He finally works up the courage to die about a week later and tries to gas himself in his own car, but is rescued by a Pakistani butcher. Afterward, he is suddenly happy to be alive - but he doesn't truly acquire a new lease on life until he journeys to a hippie commune and becomes infatuated with a Jamaican girl half his age, whom he later marries. One of those rare cases of a lighthearted book that begins with a Despair Event Horizon.
  • September 15, 2010
    DaibhidC
    A supposedly true story I read years ago described a man who jumped off the top of a skyscraper, but the wind caught him and blew him into a news studio. The studio interviewed him, and he said he'd changed his mind almost immediately.
  • September 15, 2010
    Monsund
    An old Mickey Mouse comic actually involved him trying to commit suicide. He jumps off a bridge but lands on a boat, an angry sailor(who resembles pete ) yells he throws stowaways overboard and Mickey starts pleading by saying he can't swim.
  • October 24, 2010
    Nyperold
    • Depending on how things play out, Celes may attempt suicide, but fail... happily, because from where she lies, she sees evidence that one or more of the others may have survived, which gives her the will to live.
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