Created By: mythbuster on April 27, 2012 Last Edited By: Omeganian on May 9, 2012

Deathbed Conversion

A Face Heel Turn caused by being near death.

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A character is in danger of dying. He may be old, sick, or know that disaster is imminent, and has good reason to believe he is not long for this world. Instead of living Like You Were Dying, he uses his time to make his peace with God and with those he has done wrong or otherwise has strained relationships with. Related to Death Equals Redemption and Redemption Equals Death.


  • The Bible: The repentant criminal crucified next to Jesus.
  • Thirteen Days: Invoked with the sign: "Confessions 24 hours, pray for peace."
  • Ironically, the Trope Namer for Like You Were Dying contains an example of this trope, the line, "...gave forgiveness I'd been denying..."
  • The purpose of the Last Rites.
  • Jack Bauer tries to make his peace with God after being infected with a prion agent.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • April 27, 2012
    • The Simpsons: At one point this is Bart's plan.
      Brother Faith: When I was your age, I was a hellraiser, too. [holds up Bart's slingshot] My slingshot was my cross. But I saw the light, and changed my wicked ways.
      Bart: I think I'll go for the life of sin, followed by a presto-change-o deathbed repentance.
      Faith: Wow, that's a good angle. [contemplates for a second] But that's not God's angle. Why not spend your life helping people instead. Then you're also covered in case of sudden death.
      Bart: Full coverage? Hmmm.
    • Subverted in an old(?) joke I heard on Dave Allen at Large, told better than this:
      A man is lying on his bed dying. The vicar comes to him and says, "My son, do you renounce Satan and all his evil ways?" And the man replies, "Father, at this point I don't want to go making any enemies."
  • April 27, 2012
    There is also an old joke about a man who wants to convert to a religion (or, as a variant, a political party) he really hates before his death. That way, there will be one less of the bastards when he dies.

    • A variation of this turned up in Drawn Together with Captain Hero's girlfriend Unusually Flexible Girl.
  • April 27, 2012
    Just a heads up: you spelled "Heel" wrong in the Laconic description.
  • April 28, 2012
    You're right- how do I fix it?
  • April 28, 2012
    Whoops. I fixed it.
  • April 28, 2012
  • April 28, 2012
  • April 28, 2012
    The Da Vinci Code claims Constantine was unwillingly baptized on his deathbed. In reality, Constantine had delayed his baptism until then because it was believed baptism cleansed the Christian of previous sins and Constantine wanted to be forgiven of as much of them as possible.
  • May 2, 2012
    Should this be launched?

  • May 2, 2012
    No. It's the same thing as Death Equals Redemption
  • May 2, 2012
    So it seems.
  • May 2, 2012
    Death Equals Redemption is a trope, but doing a Face Heel Turn in your final hours, isn't, I believe.
  • May 2, 2012
    Face Heel Turn is turning "evil", though. These examples really don't reflect that.
  • May 2, 2012
    Indeed, it seems whatever was intended here is already covered under Death Equals Redemption.
  • May 8, 2012
    You mean Heel Face Turn?
  • May 9, 2012
    It is covered by Death Equals Redemption - at least that was my intent when I started that trope.