Basically, if a character experiences an extended flashback sequence, often explaining his origins and, especially, getting rid of all the loose ends in his BackStory, there is a good chance that he is going to be KilledOffForReal. If this is combined with gloomy omens, such as cracking pottery or falling flower petals, he is almost certainly done for.

A subtrope of ADeathInTheLimelight. Somewhat related to MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes, ReallyDeadMontage, except it happens before the character's death. Can be part of a SympatheticMurderBackstory. See also HowWeGotHere, {{Retirony}} and FatalFamilyPhoto.

!!'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime And Manga]]
* ''{{Naruto}}'' loves this trope though subversions also appear. Fans often joke about a character going down with "a terminal case of flashbacks".
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in a recent Filler episode, when a character begins flashbacking in mid-battle and is immediately convinced that his own death is imminent. He even defines flashbacks as visions of the past that a person sees just before their death.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' is quite similar, except it tends to be terminal for villains more than it does for the heroes. Well, except for Yamamoto.
* For a long time this was the only way characters died in {{One Piece}}. That is until Ace and Whitebeard.
* In the ''CowboyBebop'''s GrandFinale, we finally get to see what went down between Spike and Vicious, something that had just been hinted at earlier. Guess which two that are going to end up killing each other...
* The ''{{Trigun}}'' episode, ''Paradise'', focuses a lot on Wolfwood and he dies at the end.
* This is what literally happens to Carossea Doon in ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'': his memory returns in a flashback and reveals that he has actually been DeadAllAlong for twelve years.
* Regius Gaiz and Zest Grangaitz of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', who both get killed soon after we receive a flashback that reveal their BackStory.
* Surprisingly, this was used in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. Ash's Bulbasaur was at Oak's lab helping bring a stop to some territorial disputes, when a boulder falls. It looks like [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids it was crushed]], with a series of flashbacks playing highlights of Bulbasaur from the series. [[SubvertedTrope Bulbasaur used Dig and popped up a few seconds later.]]
* L has an oddly expository dream about his childhood before he dies in ''Manga/DeathNote''.
* Episode 25 of ''Anime/{{Fullmetal Alchemist}}'' places heavy focus on the relationship between Maes Hughes and Roy Mustang during flashbacks, and gives Maes in general a lot of attention. He was doomed.
* Somewhat subverted in "Anime/{{Psychopass}}". Episode 12 is centered around a flashback to when Yayoi Kunizuka joined Division 1 as an Enforcer. Yayoi survives the whole episode and through the first season, while the members of the Division who do die, Shusei Kagari and Tomomi Masaoka (to a lesser extent), receive very little exposition.
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[[folder: Literature]]
* Almost the entirety of ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' is a flashback narrated by Victor Frankenstein to the explorer Walton. He dies not long after finishing his tale. There's also a possible aversion here, as the Monster narrates a flashback within a flashback, and his fate is left ambiguous at the end. He ''says'' he's going to kill himself, but we don't see it happen.
* {{Averted}} ''and'' PlayedWith in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Harry dies, he recounts his origin story as a ghost, walks into the light... and wakes up in ''Mab's'' arms.
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[[folder: Film]]
* The entire movie ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' is a flashback from the main character, Lester Burnham, as he recounts the year before his death. In fact, he is telling it from the afterlife.
* Similarly, ''Film/{{Ladder 49}}'' is about a firefighter who is trapped in a very large burning building after saving someone's life and is unsuccessful in escaping, with flashbacks involving his career, marriage, and family making up the bulk of the movie.
* In the 1975 TV movie ''Katherine'', the main character sits on a stool as she tells you how she went from college student to violent radical. At the end she dies when a bomb she is delivering goes off prematurely. We return to the stool and it is empty and she is gone. About 3/4 of the way through I suddenly thought of Spoon River Anthology.
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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Shannon, Ana, Eko, Nikki, Paolo, and Faraday in ''{{Lost}}''. Subverted by Charlie whose final flashback episode is about him coming to grips with his impending death, and preparing himself for it. Due to a ProphecyTwist the end of the episode, he is still alive. He dies in the next episode, after the spotlight has moved on. Juliet might also qualify, as said character did have a flashback in her (possibly) final episode, even though the episode was centered on another character. And the character said episode ''was'' centered around, Jacob, also seemed to meet his doom by the end.
* On ''Series/{{Angel}}'' Fred got both extended flashbacks before she was taken over by Illyria and a ReallyDeadMontage after she died and Illyria took over.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDragonKnight.'' Normally, we get a Rider's backstory soon after meeting him, but Torque's past remained a mystery for most of his arc. Guess what happened to him soon after we find out his history?
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' Season 3 we finally find out why Bela was being targeted by the ghost ship almost literally a minute before her death. She had made a contract with a minion of the BigBad ten years earlier to kill her abusive father and neglectful mother. For some it was an AlasPoorScrappy moment, but mileage varies.
* The Sheriff in ''Series/OnceUponATime'' dies in the episode where we learn his fairy-tale identity.
* In ''{{The Vampire Diaries}}'', Elena has flashbacks about life before the Salvatores came to town. She dies the same way her parents did.
* In ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'', Jimmy Darmody has an extended flashback throughout the episode "Under God's Power She Flourishes", which explains his previously murky reasons for dropping out of college and joining the army, basically filling in the last, crucial gap in his backstory, as well as officially confirming the IncestSubtext with his mother. The next episode, season finale "To The Lost", sees him dead.
** On the other hand, Owen Slater's death is [[InvertedTrope succeeded by a flashback.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Opera]]
* In ''[[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Götterdämmerung]]'', Siegfried tells the hunting party the story of his youth (i.e., most of what happened in ''Siegfried''), and the orchestra supplies the appropriate {{Leitmotif}}s. Hagen gives him a potion that makes him remember something he had previously forgotten about: the story of how he first met Brünnhilde. Gunther is shocked, because she's now his wife. A few moments later, Hagen plunges his spear into Siegfried's back.
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[[folder: Video Games]]
* After failing to cast suspicion on Falsetto, Claves of ''EternalSonata'' is killed by one of the people she was working with. She does not, however, die immediately; we have to watch several snippets of conversation from earlier cutscenes, some extremely recent. This is mingled with musing on why she failed, both in her mission, and in her love life.
** There was also the part where, while in Baroque, Polka and Beat recall what they went through to get to the castle. The scene shifts to a really long flashback in which the player takes control, and if the party is killed by the pirates that attack, [[TimeParadox you get a game over.]]
* In ''Infinity String'', the protagonist starts an interactive flashback sequence. In two of the endings (an early bad ending and the good ending), the protagonist is killed by a GrandfatherParadox.
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[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Mosp from ''SluggyFreelance'' got her own flashback [[StoryArc mini-arc]] immediately before being [[DroppedABridgeOnHim getting killed off quick]].
* An unusual example in the ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' parody issue of ''{{Nodwick}}''. Because the two warriors of Clan [=MacClod=] were concentrating on their extended flashback to a previous adventure, they weren't paying attention while Yeager walked up to them and cut their heads off.
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[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Bleeding Gums Murphy in ''TheSimpsons'' reveals a whole bunch of [[BelatedBackStory previously unmentioned backstory]] about him before he dies in the episode "'Round Springfield". There's also a hint that he may be Dr. Hibbert's long-lost brother, but it never goes beyond a brief throwaway joke.
* Ted Kord in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''. He is, of course, not quite the BlueBeetle focused on for this show, but his extended flashback shows how he was as a character and the legacy Jaime must live up to.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' we know in the first episode that the Fire Nation killed Jet's parents,but then we see it all in flashbacks in the episode "Lake Laogai", which is his last episode. In fact we see the flashbacks in fast mode just minutes before a failed attempt at ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendofKorra'' both Tarlock and his brother Noatok get an extended flashback moments before they die.

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