Suicidal Lemmings
Lemmings off themselves by way of jumping off of cliffs.


(permanent link) added: 2013-05-18 19:45:49 sponsor: MadMan400096 edited by: Alucard (last reply: 2014-03-15 08:56:01)

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Rodents in fiction tend to have specialized roles. The mouse steals food and spreads disease while avoiding cats and other predators, the rat does pretty much the same thing, the beaver builds dams, the squirrel acts nutty, and the hamster and guinea pig act as adorable house pets. One rodent, the lemming, has a very special role: killing themselves.

While it is true that real life lemmings jump off cliffs, it's done for the purpose of migration. It is not the mass suicide that the media claims it to be. That doesn't stop writers from milking the urban legend for all its worth.
Film - Live Action
  • The Disney documentary White Wilderness is notorious for supposedly codifying this trope. However, it's a case of Beam Me Up, Scotty!, as the actual film averts it by flat out saying that the cliff-jumping was probably less suicide and more migration (which was on the money).

Video Games
  • Unsurprisingly, one can make the titular creature of Lemmings do this.

Western Animation
  • Parodied in a Robot Chicken sketch parodying nature documentaries, where lemmings gain the title of "Nature's Retards" for not only the typical behavior, but also running right into the path of moving cars, jumping into a blender, and not using condoms.
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