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[[quoteright:300:[[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fotnscollage_3904.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[MemeticMutation ''NANI!?'']] [[YourHeadASplode *splat*]]]]

->''"He hits you with his fingertips at five different pressure points on your body. And then he lets you walk away. But once you’ve taken five steps, your heart explodes in your body, and you fall to the floor, dead."''
-->-- '''Bill''', ''Film/KillBill'', describing Pai Mei's legendary Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

The FinalBattle has begun. The two opponents square off, and one of them hits the other with a [[RapidFireFisticuffs series of mighty blows that would fell a mountain]]. But what's this? [[DelayedReaction Nothing seems to be happening!]] That's when your opponent tells you that You Are Already Dead, right before [[YourHeadASplode your head explodes]], your [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe body separates in two]], or you [[LudicrousGibs disintegrate into a fine mist.]] If you're unlucky, [[FateWorseThanDeath only one of those happens]]. Sometimes, you may also discover that you were MadeOfExplodium.

A common trope in works featuring martial arts, this involves some form of FinishingMove that does not take effect immediately. When used with martial arts, it may involve PressurePoint attacks or some form of KiAttacks. Assassins may use UniversalPoison to achieve a similar effect. In video games, DamageOverTime abilities often have this effect.

When used with swords there are a number of common variations, often shown with a DiagonalCut that doesn't seem to have cut through the object until an outside force reveals the cut was ''so'' surgically neat that at first you didn't see it. In the SingleStrokeBattle, the two sides charge each other and attack. There will be a pause as the two hold their finishing pose, then one (or both) will fall down. One of the most stylish versions is for a MasterSwordsman to perform a series of lightning-fast slashes, and then slowly and dramatically sheath their sword until you hear a *click*, upon which their opponent bursts out bleeding or literally falls into pieces.

This trope is not necessarily limited to close combat, either. In more modern settings, gunshot wounds can often have this effect, since getting shot typically feels like getting punched hard and it is not uncommon for victims to take some time to realize it. This can be exploited for dramatic effect in war movies, where fatally wounded soldiers wander the battlefield before succumbing.

Compare DelayedReaction for the comedy version. ExactlyWhatIAimedAt has a similarly delayed effectiveness, but is usually less fatal. May lead to DiedStandingUp. See {{Determinator}} or HeroicSecondWind for when it doesn't work, and also beware of NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow. May be invoked with a DiagonalCut, as previously stated. Can overlap with BadassBoast. A subtrope of TimeDelayedDeath. Not to be confused with DeadAllAlong or DeadToBeginWith.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' is the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
** Kenshiro, the protagonist, used this as his CatchPhrase (お前はもう死んでいる "Omae wa mou shindeiru") when he made his opponent's [[YourHeadAsplode head]] or [[LudicrousGibs entire body explode]] with superpowered PressurePoint martial arts. To elaborate, he uses pressure points in the opponent's body so that said pressure points communicate with the brain in such a way that over time, the body will be commanded to bend unnaturally, disable parts of itself, or most commonly, become so overtaxed that [[YourHeadAsplode the head and everything else explodes]].
** Subverted a couple of times. One time a mook attempts to do this to Kenshiro, only for his own head to explode[[note]]Kenshiro hit a pressure point in his face a few moments before, making it a TimeDelayedDeath[[/note]]. And Bat claims to be able to do this to a mook, only he was lying so he could use the mook's horrified reaction to retreat.
** A non-lethal version occurs during Ken's short-lived duel with Shin at the beginning of the series. Countering Shin's Nanto Gokuto Ken with his own Hokuto Hiei Ken in a memorable instance of AirJousting, Ken lands, slowly rises, and turns around to face his rival, only to realize Shin's attack has incapacitated him by cutting the tendons in his limbs. Ken repays the favor in his rematch with Shin. Once Shin starts panicking, Ken tells him to relax, he had missed his vitals.
** Also happens to Kenshiro in his first duel with Souther. Kenshiro strikes one of Souther's fatal pressure points and tells him he's dead in three seconds. Souther responds by counting down himself... At which point he reveals he's not only [[NoSell immune to Kenshiro's style]] but used a delayed attack on Kenshiro, opening a series of wounds on Kenshiro's body. Things rapidly go downhill for Kenshiro.
** ''Manga/FistOfTheBlueSky'''s protagonist does much the same thing, only the CatchPhrase he uses is Chinese (你已经死了 "Ni yijing si le") instead of Japanese.
* Shows up in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', when [[PsychoForHire Ladd Russo]] slits the throat of an underling in his uncle's office. He has time to turn away and close his switchblade before the HighPressureBlood kicks in.
* ''[[Manga/{{Gunnm}} Battle Angel Alita]]'':
** Vershlag, a technique from Panzer Kunst anti-cyborg martial arts, basically works like this. Instead of manipulating Ki, however, it sets up inside a metal body a large number of Solitary Waves (from several hundreds to tens of thousands if the Kunstler using it is good enough) that are set to converge in one point after a certain amount of time, blowing up the victim's head (and sometimes a good part of his/her surroundings). Bonus points for the fact that the delay set on this technique allows it to kill its victim even a month after it was set up, effectively making them live with an unavoidable death sentence.
** In the Sechs vs Zekka fight. The first major blow Zekka does to Sechs' side is what kills or destroys his body. Everything afterward was Zekka toying with Sechs.
* In ''LightNovel/BlackBullet'', Kisara Tendo faces her treacherous brother in a duel. When she slashes his leg off, he panics, begs for mercy, and confesses that he was the one who arranged their parents' deaths. Satisfied, she walks away. Rentaro commends her for showing mercy. She asks what he is talking about, as behind them, her brother suddenly splits in half vertically.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** There's a {{lampshade|Hanging}}d ShoutOut to this trope when Love quotes it while reading manga.
** Sui-Feng's shikai guarantees death in two hits, which combined with her high speed, leads to this trope. The target won't even notice they've been stabbed once half the time, let alone stabbed twice.
** Byakuya has a special technique called Senka that is based around this trope. He stabs the target in two very specific places on the body that guarantees both the destruction of their powers and their death without them even being aware they've been hit until they're already dying. The main difference between his technique and Soifon's shikai is that Soifon can hit anywhere on the body whereas Byakuya's technique is based around the two parts of the body that generate both life and power in an individual, so he has to hit a very specific location twice for his technique to work at all. Only the main character has survived being hit with this technique; even he couldn't tell he'd even been hit once, let alone twice, until he was actually falling, and even he lost his powers. [[spoiler: Sort of. Being the main character, LoopholeAbuse occurred.]] Rather pragmatically, Byakuya prefers to use this as his opening move to a fight. If his opponent is fast enough to block or dodge it, he moves on to the rest of his arsenal of moves. If they're not...why should he have wasted any more time on a weakling that he can dispose of in less than a second?
* Said almost verbatim in ''Burning Hell'' - a VillainProtagonist DeadlyDoctor can use this trope with his sword... for FlayingAlive his opponent.
* This actually happens ''a lot'' in ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'', due to the main characters being sword-wielders who can move at incredible speeds. The Quicksword technique is probably the best example of this; at one point, Clare "dodges" past three monsters, and then has a conversation with them that lasts a good thirty seconds before they collapse in pieces. A minor variation occurs in most non-human cases, though; most ''realize'' they're already dead, and there's a moment of horror before the laws of physics decide to pay attention.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'':
** If your true name is written in the eponymous ArtifactOfDoom and the writer had your face in mind, you are dead; most likely, you will have a lethal heart attack in 40 seconds.
** Light literally says "He's already dead" in episode 24, at 10:30.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'': [[spoiler: At the climax of the 49th episode, Agumon warp evolves to [=WarGreymon=], slices up [[BigBad Machinedramon]], makes a ThreePointLanding and reverts to [[SleepModeSize Koromon]] before Machinedramon falls to pieces. It only happens after a brief debate over the effectiveness of [=WarGreymon=]'s assault, where Koromon reminds Machinedramon of the special power of [=WarGreymon=]'s claws. This trope is dub-only - in the original, Koromon instead responds to Mugendramon with a [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming touching]] WorldOfCardboardSpeech.]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** Future Trunks' first battle with Freeza's henchmen is actually a {{Subversion}} of this: Trunks charges through Frieza's henchmen with his sword. He leaves [[SoleSurvivor one henchman standing]]... whose armor and scouter proceed to fall apart after several seconds, having been cut into pieces in a fraction of a second, and yet the henchman actually survives.
** In the seventh movie Future Trunks battles Android 14, their fight comes to an end when their blows collide with Trunks using his sword, Android 14 comes out seemingly unscathed and as he runs out at Trunks his body splits in half just before he reaches him.
** Parodied at one Martial Arts Tournament, when Mr. Satan and Android 18 are fighting. 18 says she'll throw the match if he agrees to pay her double the prize money. He does, and throws a heavy punch to knock her out of the ring. 18 just takes the punch to the face without moving, asks if that was really the best finishing move Mr. Satan could come up with... ''then'' throws herself backward out of the ring. Mr. Satan then tries to pass off this bizarre chain of events as this trope to the confused audience: a "delayed reaction" punch.
** In the dub of ''Anime/DragonBallKai'', Future Trunks says "You're already dead." to Cyborg Frieza just before their fight. [[CurbStompBattle If you can call it a fight]]. This very fight involves Trunks unnoticeably dicing Frieza into several pieces. Cue Frieza gloating about the ineffectiveness of the attack moments before falling apart.
** Gohan does a non-lethal variant to a group of Freeza's soldiers in ''Resurrection F''; he attacks various vital points in a matter of seconds to knock them all out at the same time.
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' parodies this in their ''Fist of the North Star'' episode by having victims turn into plushies.
* In the 2003 ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' anime, [[MadBomber Kimblee's]] favourite trick is to use alchemy to [[WhyAmITicking turn people into delayed time bombs]] by transmuting their bodies' sulphur and phosphorous into a slow-oxidising explosive. [[spoiler:He eventually does this to Al.]]
%%* Fuhrer King Bradley does this a lot in ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]''.
* In one of the tests in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', Killua was faced off against a hulking mass murderer from a high-security prison. Killua took three steps, then [[spoiler:held out the killer's still-beating heart in his hand]].
* In ''LightNovel/TheIrregularAtMagicHighSchool'' main character Tatsuya's decomposition magic instantly renders anything he wants to, into pure elements, including humans. You get to see a hazy outline of the person's shape before their now unbound atoms bond together.
* ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'':
** In ''Part 2'', Lisa Lisa dispatches a vampire mook in this manner. She brushes him with her [[ThePowerOfTheSun Ripple-infused]] scarf and moves forward, not waiting for him to catch on and melt.
** Played with in ''Part 3''. When DIO uses The World to stop time and circumvent Kakyoin's 20-Meter Emerald Splash trap, he has The World punch a hole through his torso, then casually comments on how, as a result of time having stopped, he didn't realize yet that he was dead.
* In the final episode of ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}'' [[spoiler:Shichika hits an opponent who is wielding a sword that is meant to keep people from dying with an attack that kills him several times saying ''"You've now died 272 times"'' before said opponent collapses to the ground.]]
* Parodied in ''Manga/LuckyStar'' when Soujirou tenses up his arm muscles to demonstrate how to get a mosquito stuck:
-->'''Soujirou:''' ''(pointing at the mosquito)'' [[ShoutOut You are already dead.]]
-->'''Konata:''' [[PyrrhicVictory You are already bitten.]]
* In ''Franchise/LupinIII'', Goemon does this frequently, though usually not against actual people. Nevertheless, most things he cuts only fall apart after he has sheathed his sword.
--> Goemon: [[CatchPhrase Once again I have cut a worthless object.]]
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima:'' Kuu Fei and Mana's fight in the fighting tournament ends with one of these (in a non-lethal way). Kuu's palm is on Mana's abdomen as Mana believes she has bested Kuu, but that Kuu put up a remarkable fight. And they have a brief exchange before Kuu informs Mana that that wasn't all. Then the back of Mana's shirt ''explodes'' from the attack. Even if the attack was released after the exchange, Kuu clearly landed the strike at the start of the conversation. [[TookALevelInBadass This is the first time Kuu ever uses a ki technique.]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** This is Brook's preferred method of fighting, his trademark and one of his catchphrases. He is able to slowly walk ten feet, and then put his sword away with enough time to say "I already cut you" and the name of the attack before his slash takes effect. His original attack would "merely" cut the opponent, while his improved attack with his sharpened sword Soul Solid harnesses the full potential of his Devil Fruit powers, [[GhostlyChill channeling the underworld's energies to freeze all the blood in the opponent]] as they are cut.
** Zoro's Shishi Sonson (translation: Lion's Song), which he used to [[spoiler:finish off Mr. 1]], also fits this trope.
** Jinbe's Arabesque Brick Fist attack fits as well.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'':
** {{Subverted}}, where Ranma spends half an episode dodging Ryoga's [[FingerPokeOfDoom Bakusai Tenketsu]], which can supposedly shatter anything by [[AttackItsWeakPoint exploiting natural weakpoints]]. When Ranma finally beats Ryoga, he is casually hit with the technique by Cologne. A look of horror spreads across his face... [[spoiler: only for [[TricksterMentor Cologne]] to reveal its true nature - a mining technique designed for use against rocks (which it had been used on every other time) and inert against humans.]]
** A more literal example happened earlier in the fight. Ranma had been unable to deal any damage to Ryoga during the fight, so he tries launching a punch using the recoil from a tree branch to add to the damage. Ryoga immediately shouts, "You punch like a baby!" while delivering a counterattack. A second later, though, Ryoga begins to double over in pain.
* Very common in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', to the point where people can receive an attack, wax philosophical, and suddenly get flung across the room, usually through some pillars.
* Happens at least once in ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'', [[spoiler:when Jin is stabbed in the back by Kariya, only for Kariya to wince in pain and have the camera pull back to reveal that Jin left himself open so he could fatally wound Kariya.]]
* Done on a fairly regular basis in ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo'', especially during the beginning chapters and/ or when a new enemy is introduced. As the series progresses however, this becomes rather rare as the Mooks and [[RedShirtArmy Red Shirt Armies]] are gradually replaced with [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Quirky Miniboss Squads]], various [[TheDragon Dragons]] and the BigBad, whose power levels range from [[CharlesAtlasSuperPower Charles Atlas]] to MadeOfIron to ''PhysicalGod''.
* In ''LightNovel/TheSlayers'', Gourry rushes between two rows of would-be bounty hunters. Reaching the end, he clicks his sword in his scabbard. Cue the bodies dropping to the ground. (Amelia: "Make that eleven...")
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' does this with ''mechs''. Simon does this with Lordgenome.
* ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'':
** [[EvilOldFolks Old Lady Chiyo]] is capable of [[spoiler:[[FlayingAlive completely removing all the flesh off your bones from under your armpits to your hips with a pair of kitchen knives]]]] so fast that you don't even see her move, much less realize it for a short time.
** One of the main character signature moves is Kugi punch - actually series of really fast punches, each one stronger then the last, with slightly delayed effect. Normally enemies stay alive after that, but when it hits someone except arc villain, results get really messy.
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' has this happen during a fight between Virgilia and Beatrice. One of the combatants makes an illegal move which means that she lost the fight automatically, as she did not successfully counter all attacks.[[spoiler:The soon to be loser is about to kill her opponent when she informs her of this. This causes all attacks made after that point to be illusory because she was already dead. The previously checkmated opponent is therefore left completely unharmed]]
* Happens to Seiryu in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. Sliced 16 times by Hiei, and he wonders what happened before the camera (meaning he) starts dropping to the ground in pieces. Happens again (though not a killing blow this time) against Makintaro in the Dark Tournament. Hiei flashes his sword, Makintaro tells him to bring it on--and Hiei pulls out his severed arm, saying he already did.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This happens to assassin Evelyn Cream in ''ComicBook/{{Miracleman}}'' when he's decapitated by a monster dog but doesn't realize it until the end of the issue.
* Lobo uses his special attack "Five-Second Delayed Special Whaperoo" in ''Lobo: Infanticide''
* A nonlethal example happened in one ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' comic where the hero fought [[EvilAlbino Tombstone]]. Spidey put all he had into one punch to the villain's face. Tombstone didn't seem hurt at first (even though his nose was bleeding), he threatened Spidey, then lifted his fist to hit him... Then he got dizzy, and finally collapsed, out cold. Spidey quipped, "Well what do you know? Like a dinosaur. Took a few seconds to reach his brain."

* In ''Fanfic/FateLongNight'', after Nymeria stabs Arturia in the arm, she starts walking away. Arturia calls her a coward, but she chuckles and says she already won. Arturia didn't notice the stab infected her with Greyscale, and the infection was slowly traveling up her arm and would have reached her body if Brandon hadn't stepped in and chopped it off.
* In ''[[http://kinsfire.fanficauthors.net/Like_A_Phoenix_From_The_Ashes/Chapter_12/ Like a Phoenix from the Ashes]]'' Harry cast an overpowered Reducto that hit several Death Eaters and "all three fell to the ground dead, even though their bodies weren't aware of this fact yet."
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10305062/2/Speed Speed]]'' Ron accidentally acquires super-speed and uses kinetic energy to send a mess of splinters at a couple of giants shortly before the final battle while thinking "They're dead, they just haven't noticed yet."
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10068083/1/Troll-Troll-in-the-Dungeon Troll, Troll in the Dungeon]]'' the troll in the bathroom continues to fight for a minute or two after Harry vanishes its brain.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11682581/8/Trichromatic Trichromatic]]'':
-->Just as the front doors opened, revealing a panting Amelia Bones and a small squad of rather exhausted-looking Aurors, two foot-long metal spikes hit the troll, one in its throat and the other in its left eye. The troll roared in pain, stumbling toward its attacker. It took the troll a full ten seconds to realize that, yes, in fact, it ''was'' dead, and fall forward, driving the spikes further into its body as it collapsed with a ground-shaking thud onto the flagstones.

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Film/KillBill'' has this with the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which is delivered to [[spoiler:Bill himself by the Bride at the end of the film]].
* Used for dramatic effect in ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' during the Normandy scene, where severely injured soldiers in the throes of shell-shock wander the battlefield before succumbing.
* In ''Film/GhostShip'', a thin wire rips through everyone on the dance-floor of the ship, instantly cutting them all in half; and yet they remain standing perfectly upright... and slowly all fall apart (when in actuality they'd obviously fall immediately).
* Something similar happened in ''Film/{{Underworld 2003}}'' where Selene decapitates Victor. And it takes several seconds for his head to fall off.
* In one of the ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' movies, a ninja-master gives a demonstration where he strikes a rock, and nothing happens; then he leaves, and the entire room collapses.
* ''Film/WagonsEast'': During the gunfight at the end of the movie, Julian and Slade have a stand off during which Slade is shot but doesn't notice until Julian points it out to him.
* Darth Maul takes a second to realize he's been cut in half at the end of the climactic fight scene in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace''.
* ''Film/VForVendetta'': A more peaceful version than usual.
--> '''Dr. Delia Surridge:''' Are you going to kill me now?\\
'''V:''' I killed you ten minutes ago. ''[reveals empty syringe]'' While you slept.\\
'''Surridge:''' Will there be any pain?\\
'''V:''' No.\\
'''Surridge:''' Is it meaningless to apologize?\\
'''V:''' ''Never''.\\
'''Surridge:''' I'm so sorry. ''[dies]''
* In ''Film/KissOfTheDragon'', Jet Li hits the bad guy with the titular attack, paralyzing him. Jet Li then has time to describe what is about to happen, right before starting the process of death by yanking the needle out and walking out of the room. The bad guy then starts to have extreme pain and blood starts leaking out of every possible opening until he dies.
* In the obscure horror film ''Skinned Deep'', the Surgeon General takes a swing at a kid with his knife. Nothing seems to happen, and the kid remarks that he missed. Cue kid splitting in half.
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'': Barbossa takes a few moments to realize that Jack ''didn't'' waste that last shot.
* The guy who challenged Kyuzo to a duel first with sticks, then with swords in ''[[Film/SevenSamurai The Seven Samurai]]''. Kikuchiyo's death could also qualify.
* [[spoiler:Spock's]] HeroicSacrifice to repair the Enterprise in ''[[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan Wrath of Khan]]''.
-->'''[=McCoy=]:''' No! You'll flood the whole compartment!\\
'''Kirk:''' He'll die!\\
'''Scotty:''' [[TearJerker Sir, he's dead already.]]\\
'''[=McCoy=]:''' [[YouAreTooLate It's too late.]]
* The titular character of the ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' series describes the death of one of his fellow soldiers in ''Film/FirstBlood'' this way to his commanding officer, after learning that exposure to Agent Orange gave him cancer. "Got himself killed in 'Nam, didn't even know it."
* ''Film/TheMenWhoStareAtGoats'' [[ParodiedTrope parodies]] this with the Dim-Mak, a technique which can supposedly kill a person with a simple touch... 20 years after it's been executed. [[spoiler:At least, [[UnreliableNarrator Lyn]] believes this]]
* In ''Film/{{DOA}}'' (1950) Edmond O'Brien goes to a doctor when he feels ill, only to be told he's been poisoned, and that it's too late to do anything, leaving him a day or two to live. When he tells the doctor he has no idea how he was exposed the doctor tells him "I don't think you fully understand, Bigelow. You've been murdered."
* A variation of this occurs in ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough''. The anarchist Reynard has an untreatable bullet wound to the head; the injury will ''eventually'' kill him, but until it does, it makes him stronger and more resistant to pain every day. And he ''knows'' this, giving Bond an enemy that literally has nothing to lose - he is not just losing the ability to feel pain, but the ability to feel ''anything''. In fact, when Bond threatens to kill him in one scene, Reynard chuckles and says, "You forget... I'm already dead."
* A variation that is actually used as a strategic ploy in ''Film/TheManFromUNCLE2015''. Napoleon Solo entices the BigBad, Victoria Vinciguerra into answering her ship's radio [[spoiler: by telling her that he killed her husband and said husband died very ignominiously. She retaliates by explaining in detail how she's going to kill him and everyone he knows slowly and painfully. Solo replies by that simply by answering the radio signal and thus giving away her position, she inadvertently set every last piece of action into play and that a warhead that homed in on the signal will be with her before she can make it to shore. She looks up, and BOOM!]]

* In the Iranian tale of "What the Rose Did to the Cypress" Prince Almās-ruh-baksh cuts a man in two at the waist. He mutters something unintelligible, reaches for the prince and then collapses.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/LineOfDelirium'', this is the favorite tactic of the [[BearsAreBadNews Bulrathi]] when fighting humans during the Vague War. They would strike the liver with a special move then let the prisoner go. The victim would feel perfectly fine for several days before the liver would suddenly fail, and the person would die. The main character ends up on the receiving end of this strike at the beginning, during his TrainingFromHell, but [[UnexplainedRecovery gets better]]. He later accidentally hits a guy the same way during an interrogation, but reasons that the guy probably deserves it. Several such attacks are described in the book against aliens. The Bulrathi themselves have a gland that, when punched hard, causes them to die of intense pleasure. There are also the unexplained "reflexive points" that can also be used to kill within seconds. The Bulrathi, being obsessed with hand-to-hand combat, also develop a technique for taking down a [[SiliconBasedLife Silicoid]] (a hovering column of rock) with ''singing'' and a single punch. The main character is the first human to use this technique.
* Gar Quithnick from Roger Zelazny's ''Forever After'' practices ''Tian-shi-sheqi'', a martial art that demands that death be a summation of life, rather than a mere cessation. To that end, he employs the ''kuo-tak'' strike to set up a sort of psychic resonance that kills the victim upon experiencing a certain stimulus. With it, he causes a predator to die the instant it pounces, tells a deposed despot that he will die the moment he considers himself greater than another man ([[CoolAndUnusualPunishment though he can still live a long life of humility]]), and even turns one enemy into a MacGuffinDeliveryService.
* Creator/DavidLangford's ''fractal basilisks'' infect the human mind with [[BrownNote an image it cannot process]], producing this effect. In the short story "BLIT," a vandal is HoistByHisOwnPetard when he accidentally looks at a stencil of "The Parrot" while using [[GogglesDoSomething protective goggles]] (the cops who arrest him die instantly). The effect doesn't kick in later, and can only be countered with [[WhatDidIDoLastNight strong drink]] to ensure short-term memory loss.
* Creator/JackVance's ''Literature/TheDemonPrinces'' series has ''cluthe'', a microbiological agent delivered by needle (usually fitted to a protective glove) which has a progressive paralytic effect. Essentially an extremely accelerated case of tetanus, except that you're dead in minutes instead of hours to days. The onset seems to be able to be varied, from instantaneous to something like twelve or more ''hours'' later.
* A number of creatures in the [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Aiel Waste]] are known for this, by name. They are also apparently a snack. This is one of the many good reasons to not mess with the Aiel.
* In ''[[Literature/HumanxCommonwealth Mid-Flinx]]'', Teal concludes her contemptuous tirade at the mercenaries' inability to survive the jungle by announcing that one of their party is already dead. Within moments, the native woman's words are proven true, as the tuft of flowers one of the group has been wearing in her hair [[BodyHorror sprouts parasitic tendrils]] that spread rapidly throughout the wearer's body and reduce her to a lump of nurturing compost.
* In ''The Clocks'' by Agatha Christie, Detective Inspector Hardcastle describes a fatal stabbing: "Don't suppose she even knew she'd been stabbed. People don't, you know. Remember that case of Barton in the Levitti Gang robbery? Walked the length of a street before he fell down dead. Just a sudden sharp pain—then you think you're all right again. But you're not. You're dead on your feet although you don't know it."
* In ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', Rincewind stabs a troll. The troll realizes it's been stabbed, but doesn't realized it's been killed for a good fifteen seconds.
* ''[[Literature/TalesOfDunkAndEgg The Hedge Knight]]'' by Creator/GeorgeRRMartin. Prince Baelor feels strange after helping the protagonist win his TrialByCombat, and asks his fellow knights to help remove his helmet. That's when they discover that ''the back of his skull has been crushed,'' and the helmet was basically the only thing holding it together.
* Midway through the ''Literature/StarTrekDestiny'' trilogy, some Hirogen attack a Starfleet vessel that's searching for the Borg invasion route. The Alpha kills a Chelon with his bare hands, and another member of the security team promptly starts talking to his subordinate instead. When the Alpha protests, she explains that Chelons secrete a lethal contact poison in times of danger.
* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheWitches'' features a non-lethal version in the form of the witches' delayed-action [[BalefulPolymorph mouse transformation potion]]. There's a chilling scene in the middle of the book when the [[MonsterLord Grand High Witch]] demonstrates the potion on an unwitting boy. Earlier in the day, she gave him a candy bar laced with the potion and promised to give him more candy if he met up with her at a specified time -- which just so happens to be the time that the potion is to take effect. He arrives in the room full of witches, expecting more candy, but then he sees the strange women's excitement and slowly realizes that they're anticipating something he doesn't know about. [[TransformationHorror Then the potion kicks in...]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
* In the ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' episode "The Sign of Three", Sherlock realises that someone in the building intends to commit murder, but once he figures out whom they intend to kill and how, he regretfully informs the living victim that they’ve already been murdered. [[spoiler: Due to the method of murder, however (a thin blade unobtrusively inserted into the victim’s torso through a tight belt), all the man has to do is not take his belt off to prevent bleeding out and to seek medical attention. He survives.]]
* In ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive'', Kamdor, one of several major {{Big Bad}}s, and Black Ranger Will charge at each other, and strike in passing. Will falls, and Kamdor, thinking he's won, turns to leave... and then goes kaflooey. Will pulls himself to his feet a little later.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDenO [[TheMovie I'm Born]]'', Den-O Sword form and [[BigBad Kamen Rider Gaoh]] have one final showdown. After the two have an exchange of slashes, Gaoh suddenly starts being reduced to sand after a few moments.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'', the title character's [[SuperMode Hyper Muteki]][[note]]Invincible[[/note]] form has a FinishingMove that strikes the opponent multiple times, seemingly with no effect...and then a few seconds later all those hits catch up with them and they get launched into the air like a rag doll.
* In ''Series/UltramanTiga'', Tiga and [[EvilCounterpart Evil Tiga]] have a midair attack exchange. Tiga falls to his knees, causing Evil Tiga to turn and laugh before suddenly clutching his chest in pain and falling to the ground. While it doesn't kill him in the series, it gives Tiga the oppertunity to finish him. In ''Ultraman Fighting Evolution 3'', this is how he kills him.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': Xena has a move where she could cut off blood flow to a person's brain. It required precise strikes to the underside of the chin, and could be reversed with a different series of nerve strikes. She mainly used it for interrogating {{Mooks}}, though, before her HeelFaceTurn, she used it more like this trope.
-->'''Xena:''' I've cut off blood flow to your brain. You'll be dead in two minutes.\\
'''Mook:''' ...what...do you want to know?\\
'''Xena:''' Nothing. I just thought I'd tell you.
* On the ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'' episode "Subway", a man is pushed into the path of a subway train and winds up lodged beneath the car from the waist down. Medics rush to the scene, but quickly realize there's nothing they can do to prevent him from bleeding out internally as soon as the train's weight is removed. Needless to say, the pinned man is not pleased with this prognosis.
* An episode of ''Series/QuincyME'' hinged on the killer using the "Dim Mak" quivering-palm technique -- he could "program" his victim to die at a specific later time just by setting up vibrations in the victim's body.
* In one episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', the Scoobies (minus Buffy) are fighting a vampire. Spike gets in a few blows, then pulls back and lights up a cigarette. Giles, currently pinned to a fence by the vampire, calls out for help. Spike replies "I already did." We then see that Spike [[KillItWithFire lit the vampire on fire already]], and it just took a few seconds for the flames to grow. The vampire screams and turns to dust.
* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Khal Drogo delivers this to Mago during their fight and giving a BadassBoast about what will happen after Mago is dead, just before before cutting his throat open with his own weapon, reaching into the wound, and ripping his tongue out.
-->'''Mago:''' First you have to kill me!
-->'''Drogo:''' I already have.
* One of Daniel Jackson's many, ''many'' deaths on ''Series/StargateSG1'' involved this. Pulling from the Real Life example of radiation poisoning below, Daniel was exposed to a very lethal dose of really bad radiation, and the rest of the episode was was about knowing that he would die, basically no matter what anyone did.
* Early on in the ''Series/StargateUniverse'' episode "Alliances", Wray and Greer seek out the crashed Lucian Alliance ship in order to disarm the naquadria bomb set to destroy Washington D.C. The bodies they are in take a massive does of radiation, so Senator Michaels and Dr. Covel, the owners of the bodies, are already dead. Once Senator Michaels learns that she is dead, she devotes her remaining time to learning to disarm the bomb so she can save the city.
* In ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' episode "The Light Brigade", a human fleet makes a last-ditch effort to destroy TheReptilians against who they are waging a desperate (and losing) war. However, one of the crewmen aboard the flagship is TheMole, and the enemy ambushes the fleet, destroying all ships but the flagship. Only a few crewmen are left alive on the flagship. Each crewman has a patch on the chest that displays a color indicator, which detects the levels of radiation. The crewmembers are horrified to discover that the indicator is black, which signifies a lethal dose of radiation. They don't have long.
* Happens to the victims of the [[Series/DoctorWho Weeping Angels]] if they're sent far enough into the past.
* Season 3 of ''Series/{{Eagleheart}}'' features an episode involving "lagging", the art of slicing a person in half in such a way that they don't immediately fall apart. [[spoiler: In the final episode, Chris reveals that he had been lagging Brett/Satan for almost a year.]]
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'' had an example of this in the form of a gun which caused some sort of molecular instability or something. Victims were shot, but they would not die until the instability was triggered. At one point, a huge beast of some sort is shot and someone asks why it isn't dying. The scientist replies that he hasn't told it it was dead yet.
* Used as boast by a hitman in an episode of Series/{{Kojak}}: The hitman says his target doesn't die when he pulls the trigger, but when he accepts the contract. [[spoiler:Which makes things go awry when he misses a particular target: The attempted murder scared the victim into paying his debt to the contractor, who now wants to cancel the contract. In response, hitman mentions his boast and refuses to "resurrect" the victim for a personal reason he doesn't disclose. When the contractor threatens to ruin his reputation over it, the hitman kills him and sets out to complete the contract.]]

[[folder: Music]]
* Claus "Leaether Strip" Larsen says this at the end of the vocal version of Decoded Feedback's ''Soultaker'': "If you look into his eyes, you're already dead!"
* Punk band band Music/{{Crass}} has a song titled ''You Are Already Dead''.

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* This can happen regularly in pro wrestling matches. The most common use has been [[FanNickname nicknamed]] the "[[Wrestling/AllJapanProWrestling AJPW]] sell," wherein Wrestler B [[NoSell no-sells]] an attack, one of his own to Wrestler A, and ''then'' sells the initial attack.
* Three days after Wrestling/ShawnMichaels and Wrestling/TheUndertaker's Casket Match at Wrestling/RoyalRumble '98, during which he landed back-first on a corner of the casket, Michaels couldn't get out of bed. That sparked his first retirement and contributed to his final retirement.
* Receiving this became one of Wrestling/RicFlair's signatures in the later parts of his career: he'd be backed into a corner and receive some sort of pummeling/squashing, only for his opponent to back away. He'd let out a [[VerbalTic WOOOO]], take a couple of steps (usually strutting) like nothing happened, then [[FacePlant fall flat on his face]]. It's since become known as the "Flair Flop."

[[folder: Stand-up Comedy ]]
* On David Cross's CD, ''Shut Up You (lift flap for dirty word) Baby!'' he launches into a long tirade mimicking the puffed-up threats rednecks make when they're about to start a fight:
--> "I just take my eyelash, man, and then you fuckin' put it in your eye, and you're fuckin' dead, man, you're dead for an hour, you don't even know it, man. You'll be walkin' around, thinkin' you alive, but you been dead for an hour, man."

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In 1st, 3rd, & 5th Edition, this is basically what the monk's Quivering Palm does. Once per week, a high-level monk can declare an unarmed strike to be a Quivering Palm attack. Any time within the next several (at least fifteen) days, the monk can simply will the target to drop dead (although he gets a saving throw to survive).
** In the TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} setting, Ivan Dilisnya is a master poisoner who takes pride in his ability to secretly dose dinner guests with a toxin that won't kill them until after they've headed home and ''think'' they've gotten away from his mansion safely.
* In the ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' fan supplement ''Out For Blood'', the fu power "Harmonious Fist" from the Path of the Harmonious Chord, a fu path for those adept in both Martial Arts and Sorcery, allows its user to launch a Martial Arts attack that doesn't deliver its damage until you make a Sorcery check, and among other things can be used to deliver many strikes that only take effect when the Sorcery check is made to activate them all. ''Omae wa mou shindeiru'' indeed.
* The Ninjas And Super-Spies RPG from Creator/PalladiumBooks contains the dreaded Dim Mak technique. Only a few Martial arts allow you to learn it and one must be of the most evil (Diabolic) of alignment. A successful infliction of this technique destroys one's ability to recover the positive chi required for healing, leading to one slowly wasting away and dying from the incurable breakdown of the body over the following weeks. It can even be delivered with a finger poke where the victim never knows what happened, and an advanced version can even work (with more difficulty) through phone lines!
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', one of the iconic powers of the Solar Exalted is exactly this: Your attack connected, but damage will only happen when you will it. It's learned as a thrown combat technique, but may be used with all other arts.
* A particularly time-extended version of this occurs in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' lore, when an Inquisitor inadvertantly tries to speak to the bound daemon Cherubael. Cherubael's very first words to the Inquisitor are, "In my world, you are already dead," before explaining that he had fourteen more years to live until he would be shot by a traitor with his own gun.
* Controlled Effect, a [[GameBreaker Stop Sign]] advantage to any attack power in ''{{Champions}}''.

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* OlderThanSteam: In ''{{Hamlet}}'', Act V, Scene 2, Laertes pulls this on Hamlet:
-->'''Laertes''': Hamlet, thou art slain. No medicine in the world can do thee good. In thee there is not half an hour of life. The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, unbated and envenom'd.
%%* ''Theatre/JohnGabrielBorkman'' by Creator/HenrikIbsen. The titular character gets this from his wife.
%%* ''Theatre/PeerGynt'' gets it from the god-sent Button Moulder.
%%* As does Arnold Rubek in ''Theatre/WhenWeDeadAwaken''.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Many fighting games in general, particularly modern ones, tend to have this if you finish off an opponent early on in a [[OverlyLongFightingAnimation rush combo]]. You will keep on attacking and keep on attacking [[DeadCharacterWalking long after the opponent is defeated]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that if the opponent's death animation played mid-attack, the character would be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czleG6aYk-k comically attacking nothing]].
* This can happen in any online game if a player's internet connection is bad enough. Watch in awe as you or another player takes lethal damage, yet [[DeadCharacterWalking survives]] for the brief time the server takes to register their death. If you're particularly unlucky, you can kill an opponent who survives postmortem long enough to [[TakingYouWithMe kill you in return]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Trove}}'': The [[AnIcePerson Ice Sage]]'s ultimate "The Big Chill" inflicts a unique status that, in addition to rendering enemies completely unable to move or act, delays all damage dealt to them until the effect expires. This means you can "kill" an enemy many times over while they're frozen, then walk away, and they'll spontaneously explode when they thaw.
* A common tactic among feral druids in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' is to land your bleed attacks when the opponent is fairly low on health (40%) and instantly move to another target, knowing your original foe will die in seconds.
** Independent of player attacks, there's a comical version of this in the death animation of the Tenders (small walking trees inhabiting the Eversong Woods). When defeated, a tender looks briefly confused, then glances down to find that its body has been sliced clean through on a diagonal. It looks up in disbelief as its top half slides sideways off the bottom half, and collapses.
** An interesting example was the now removed Curse of Doom warlocks could use, as a reference to the Doom spell from ''Warcraft 3'', below. Curse of Doom was a unique damage over time effect, instead of [[DeathOfAThousandCuts many weak hits over time]], it would inflict a single, very powerful (but not necessarily a OneHitKO) hit... after a whole minute. It also had a chance (sadly small) to summon a powerful Doomguard for the Warlock to enslave and control. The spell was firmly AwesomeButImpractical, as the Doomguard would not spawn unless the victim died from the Curse's damage and not before, which required waiting a whole minute (most enemies die in seconds, and for the ones that don't, you usually needed to cast something more practical than Curse of Doom anyways). Even in the unlikely event the demon ''was'' summoned, it was still hard to control (as it could turn on its master at a moment's notice), and was not powerful enough to be worth it. The new Doom is a more standard damage over time spell (although there are still more gaps in it than in most spells of the sort, it only damages every fifteen seconds) and summons imps instead of a Doomguard (which has become summonable with its own separate spell).
* A common event in any game with Damage Over Time effects: if you hit an opponent with an effect that does damage over time that exceeds the remaining hitpoints of the opponent, then unless they can heal or dispel the effect, they're already dead.
* Gen from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha 2'', whose martial art style is classified as an "assassination fist" like Kenshiro's, has a Super Combo called ''Shitenshuu'' or the "Death Point Attack". When Gen performs the Lv. 3 version on his opponent, it will cause a timer to appear above their head, which will cause an instant K.O. Unlike other examples, the effect can be canceled if the opponent manages to strike Gen before the countdown reaches zero. His other Super Combo, ''Zan Ei'' is a lesser version of this. He dashes forward hitting his opponent once, but after the pass, the opponent receives multiple mysterious hits. His Zetsumei Ultra Combo in SF4 is a more elaborate Zan Ei, with four quick silhouetted strikes, a BadassBoast, and then his opponent gets hit a bunch of times.
* ''VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarTwinBlueStarsOfJudgment'' gives Kenshiro two attacks with "the line." One is his [[OneHitKill Fatal KO]], the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken. The other attack is the Zankai Ken, a Super that gives the opponent three seconds before being defeated. [[MythologyGag Just like in the original series]], however, this attack doesn't work on Souther.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has the Walking Bomb spell, which causes whatever it is cast on to explode after a set amount of time. Its upgrade, Virulent Walking Bomb, turns anyone else in the blast radius into bombs themselves.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' has the Assassin's Mark of Death skill, which adds up all the damage the victim takes during a short period then deals an equal amount in one hit. The flavor text invokes this trope: "Trigger your mark when you are ready, and watch them fall from injuries they never even noticed."
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has the various spells and attacks that inflict the Doom or Condemned status effect. This places a countdown timer above the victim's head. When the timer hits zero, the character dies. Usually, the only way to avoid this fate is to win the battle before the timer hits zero.
** Some enemies have a doom-like ability that is un-dispellable. Essentially, you're already dead, you've just been given a short grace period. This also appears in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'':
*** The Air Anchor is a guaranteed hit that does no damage, but the next action the target takes - any action, including healing itself or just waiting - kills it instantly. It's also not a standard status effect, so it can't be dispelled. It's ineffective against zombie-type enemies though, as it's considered an instant-death attack (which zombies are immune to).
*** One boss has a move called "Cloudy Heaven", which inflicts a doom counter on all party members. Except this comes with a twist, it turns the character into a zombie (which is effectively dead). You can't dispel it, if the character dies anyway they turn, and Reraise won't work.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has a status effect known as Heat, which can be inflicted through Quina's Blue Magic attack "Mustard Bomb." How this works is that the afflicted will automatically KO if they take any action due to the intense heat surrounding them. If a character has already chosen their next move when they get inflicted with this status, they are pretty much doomed.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', most primals have a phase consisting primarily of a [[TimedMission DPS check]]. Be it Ifrit's nails, or Titan's heart - they all have in common that at the end of the phase, the primals become unattackable and unleash their ultimate attacks. Normally they only result in high, but survivable damage, however, the party failed to do sufficient damage, the attack will always prove fatal, giving you a few more seconds to live after Ifrit's nails disappeared, during which you can attack normally, even though in reality you are about to die.
** The AI in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' takes this trope literally. It will not attack a character with the doom status since they're going to die of it anyway.
* In ''VideoGame/AnarchyReigns'', Zero's mutant execution attack involves slicing through a mutant's body, causing the arms to fall off: usually non-fatal, considering mutants can regenerate arms. Then Zero turns his back to the mutant, and the second he sheaths his swords, the mutant is [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe cut in half]] and dies.
* One of the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' comics shows a High Frequency Blade-d guard's head [[DiagonalCut slowly sliding apart]] [[KilledMidSentence in mid-sentence]].
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', the Monk class's skill Exploding Palm causes the target to [[LudicrousGibs explode]] if it is killed by Damage Over Time. Given that Diablo III is chock full of [[ShoutOut/DiabloIII Shout Outs]], the reference to ''Fist of the North Star'' was no doubt intentional. There is a Legendary item called "Gungdo Gear" that causes this explosion to apply Exploding Palm to every enemy in the wake of the first, which can, if applied carefully, can lead to "You ''all'' are already dead".
* [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Taokaka]]'s Astral Heat has her (intending) to finish the opponent after saying this, word for word. Considering the nature of Blaz Blue, it is very likely that it's a ShoutOut.
** Hakumen even has an achievement named this in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift''. Its objective is to deal 10,000 damage in one combo, which is such an absurdly high amount that if you're not dead, you're probably one good poke from dead (unless the opponent is also Hakumen or Tager, who are the only characters that can withstand such a combo at whopping 12,000 and 13,000 health respectively).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Shinobi}}'' for the [=PS2=], Hotsuma can attack multiple enemies in a chain, and after the chain attack is completed, they all [[LudicrousGibs fall to pieces]].
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception'': One of Li-Mei's fatalities involves this.
* Vergil's SignatureMove in ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry Devil May Cry 3]]'' is {{Diagonal Cut}}ting his opponent, then waiting several seconds before sheathing his [[KatanasAreJustBetter sword]] (with an audible CLICK), and only then the enemy goes asunder.
** [[LightIsNotGood Beowulf]] actually managed to ''speak'' to him before [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath his head went in pieces]].
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' for the NES opened with this happening to Ryu Hayabusa's father in a [[IncrediblyLamePun Cut]] [[CutScene Scene.]]
* One of the [[CatGirl Nekomata]]'s attacks in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 4| A Promise Unforgotten}}'' is a dead ringer for the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken. After delivering multiple blows, the opponent becomes irate and walks up. Cue the explosion about halfway there.
** Made more obvious in Disgaea D2 where they rip health bars straight out of the Fist of the North Star fighting game whenever the attack is used.
* At the beginning of Shadow's story in [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic '06]], Shadow briefly pulls this with several robots by simply running through/by them.
* The [=NoMoment=] sword tech and Fist fighting tech in ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier''.
* Reiji and Xiaomu in ''VideoGame/EndlessFrontier'' when they perform their ''Shinra Banshou'' overdrive. After Reiji wails on the enemy with his guns and swords, Xiaomu finishes with a slash from her sword staff. As soon as she clicks it into her staff, the enemy gushes out blood in the air.
* In a really wrong way, ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' makes it impossible to let someone go after grabbing them without killing them. So they are pretty much dead once you get your hands on them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' has [[WhyAmITicking the BioBomb]]. Where you insert into an victim a variation of the virus that incubates for a short time, enough to leave the scene, before exploding them into a mass of tentacles impaling everything near him.
* Evie's Drain attacks in ''VideoGame/{{Vindictus}}'' have this effect, particularly the Mark of Death and [[RazorFloss Bloody Thread]] attacks. You can hit an enemy with a smash and then hit them with the Drain attack, which you can then explode later for extra damage.
* Ukyo Tachibana from the ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' series inflicts something like this as his special and his finisher. He runs up to his opponent, walks "through" him or her a few times, stops behind him or her, twirls and sheaths his sword... and one torso is no longer attached to its legs.
* Played with in the Reckoning state from ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning''. During the Reckoning, the player character [[ScrewDestiny gives destiny the middle finger]] and tears apart his enemies' fates. Completing a command kill on a defeated enemy causes all defeated enemies to die spectacularly as their fates are literally shredded. To an outsider, it probably looks like the Fateless just killed a handful of creatures in the blink of an eye. Failing the command kill before Reckoning ends allows Fate to reassert itself and the enemies regain a bit of health (Fate has a lot of power in the [=KoA=] setting, but not enough to undo grievous bodily harm from a Fateless attacker).
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'':
** In the fighting game spin-offs, one of Reimu's ultimate spellcards requires you to hit the opponent six times, and a few seconds after you did that, she will release a huge wave of [[PaperTalisman [=Ofuda=]]] strong enough to [[OneHitKill finish the round in one hit]]. The name of the spellcard? Musou Tensei, translated as Fantasy Heaven.
** Youmu can also literally dodge it AND take down Reimu with precise timing of one of her ultimates. Nearly impossible to pull off, but it can be done.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Goldeneye 1997}}'', ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'', and ''Perfect Dark Zero'', enemies killed with grenades or other explosives may stand still for a second before being BlownAcrossTheRoom.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'':
** Creature Stage. If the other creature is down to five or fewer hit points and you hit it with +5 spit (you need the "Porcupain" part to do this) or [[ZergRush have all of your pack target the creature with Spit]], the other creature fights on a few seconds before the poison takes effect.
** If you kill the specified amount of creatures to "Extinct" them, all surviving members will float up and evaporate in a cloud of sparkles, even if they were still fighting.
* ''VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarKensRage'':
** True to the series it's based on, Kenshiro can do this to mooks he performs a [[LimitBreak special maneuver]] on. Several such maneuvers can be performed on multiple mooks or even a mass of mooks at once, leading to much carnage among the enemy.
** The equippable "Hokuto Wisdom" Skill can give this to any other character, including Mamiya, who uses weapons instead of the Hokuto and Nanto kung fu arts.
* The ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' GRA DLC exclusive PowerFist weapon "Two Step Goodbye" behaves in a manner very similar to Kenshiro, and not just because they're both in a post-apocalyptic setting. If you score a critical the enemy will ''explode'' a few seconds later. Oddly, there's also a weapon that's named for the aforementioned series, the Fist of the North Rawr, that sadly lacks this effect (it's a unique Deathclaw gauntlet that's otherwise called the "Fist of Rawr" if you don't have the [[SillinessSwitch Wild Wasteland trait]]).
* ''[[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients DotA]]'' has Zharvakko the Witch Doctor and his spell ''Maledict''. It deals delayed damage based on how much hp the enemy has lost since the spell was cast and escaping from heavy damage becomes nigh-impossible. In ''[[{{VideoGame/Dota2}} DotA 2]]'' he even has special responces when the enemy dies to the spell's last damage tick.
-->'''Witch Doctor (finishing off an enemy with Maledict):''' [[http://dota2.gamepedia.com/images/6/68/Wdoc_killspecial_01.mp3 "Wait for it… waaaait for it… "]]
** In general, damage over time spells are like this if the victim cannot heal themselves in time. Special mention goes to Ancient Apparition and his ultimate, ''Ice Blast'', which prevents all source of healing and immediately shatters the enemy if their health is below a certain percentage. If the affected target's health is low enough and they have no magic immunity or death-preventing effects like Dazzle's ''Shallow Grave'', then they are truly already dead.
* Zed's Death Mark ultimate in VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends has a debuff attached that triggers three seconds after the ult was cast, dealing damage based on how much damage Zed inflicted during those three seconds. If timed right, Zed can rush in, burst an enemy down, then let the Death Mark proc while he escapes to safety and they explode.
* ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' has the fourth case's victim die of atroquinine poisoning. When atroquinine is ingested, particularly in a lethal dose, it takes fifteen minutes for the effects to kick in and kill the victim. Another person in the same case ingests it, [[spoiler:and this time it's the defendant, who collapses in the courtroom because throughout the court session she had been chewing on her nails; her nail polish, unbeknownst to her, had been laced with atroquinine. Fortunately, she subverts this trope because she didn't ingest enough to kill her, and she fully recovers the next day.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' did this in an odd way. The heroes' health is tracked by an odometer-style rolling display that scrolls downward when damage is taken. Even if you take lethal damage, you won't die until it rolls down to zero, making it possible to survive if you get off a healing effect or finish the battle in time.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** The franchise has a variation of this in the move "Perish Song." Once it's used, both the user and the target will faint after three turns. Unlike a lot of examples of this trope, there is a way out for the hapless victims of the move: switching them out for another Pokemon. But if you can't do that for some reason (last remaining Pokemon or under the [[YouWillNotEvadeMe Arena Trap/Shadow Tag]] ability), you're screwed.
** Pokémon has a number of timed-delayed attacks, and they're usually quite powerful to compensate. Doom Desire, Future Sight, Phantom Force and its big brother Shadow Force, and Sky Attack all take a turn to actually inflict damage, but the're almost all unblockable by the likes of Protect/Detect, and the recipient WILL feel it. "Badly Poisoned" is an [[StandardStatusEffects ailment]] that does progressively more damage as time goes on: pretty soon, it'll outrun any attempts at healing. A non-lethal variant appears in the move Yawn: on the turn it's used, it does nothing. At the end of the following turn, however, the recipient [[StandardStatusEffects dozes off]], leaving it at the mercy of its foe.
* ''Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae'' has a gameplay mechanic where sheathing your katana makes glowing enemies bleed in fountains. This doesn't always kill them.
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' has the security camera footage of Foxy running down the west hall if the left-side door to your office isn't closed already. By the time you've put down the monitor to even reach the door button, Foxy's probably already entered your door and is screaming in your face.
** This also applies to the door/light switches being disabled by Bonnie or Chica and you have the monitor up (keeping it down runs the risk of Foxy getting to you), or the power going out, UNLESS you are near the end of your shift and [[LuckBasedMission luck is on your side]].
** If you have your camera screen up, and start hearing a sound like a dying man wheezing, ''don't lower that screen''. Or do, at least you'll see it coming. On that note, if you hear a [[HellIsThatNoise sound like the clopping of a horse's hooves sped up]] in your office, you are also very dead - it means Bonnie or Chica is inside your office, waiting to kill you next time you check your monitors.
** In ''Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys2'', the two above have been neutralized, but several, ''worse'' ones have been added.
*** You might want to put your headphones away if you hear ''Pop Goes the Weasel'' on a music box. That means that you failed to keep the music box wound up and now the Puppet is coming for you.
*** If Mangle makes it into your office, it becomes a matter of not if, but ''when'' you die. She'll hang around on the ceiling, watching for just the right moment to swoop in for the kill.
*** Keep an eye out for Balloon Boy. If he makes it in, he won't kill you, [[InterfaceScrew but he will render your flashlight useless]]. After that, it's only a matter of time before Foxy dives into your face (if the other animatronics don't get their hands on you, first).
*** If you see Toy Freddy or one of the old animatronics after lowering your camera screen (or if one of them yanks down said screen) and you don't put on your Freddy mask ''immediately'', the next time you use either the mask or the camera will spell your doom. Unlike in the first game, there are no audio cues to notify you that an animatronic is about to kill you, so you may not even realize you reacted too late until you are dead.
** In ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys3'', if you see Springtrap lurking just outside your office doorway, there's precious little you can do except keep your eye on him and pray that the ventilation system holds out until the end of your shift, because if it fails and you suffer a hallucination, no force on this green earth will save you. If you see Springtrap run past you while you have either control panel up, don't put them down...or do. As with the wheezing breathing in the first game, at least you'll see it coming. It can be averted if you see him staring at you through your office window. You can call up the camera and play an audio cue in a nearby room, and there's a chance he'll leave to follow it, as shown in Markiplier's Let's Play.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} WarCraft III]]'' has the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Pit Lord]] hero's ultimate spell, appropriately titled [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom]]. Doom deals severe damage over time to a unit and cannot be dispelled or canceled in any way - if a unit is afflicted with Doom, it '''will''' inevitably die. To add insult to injury, [[BigRedDevil a powerful demon]] [[SummonMagic spawns from its corpse]] when it dies, under the Pit Lord's command.
* The Oracles of ''VideoGame/TreeOfSavior'' have a skill called Death Sentence which will instantly kill a target after a period of time.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Dragonsphere}}'', it was the one who announced it dies instead. [[spoiler: It doesn't really help that you have an [[ChekhovsGun amulet]] [[NoManOfWomanBorn which can only be invoked by a person who's already dead]].]]
--> "You don't even know how to hold a sword. [[BeCarefulWhatYouSay You Are Already Dead]]!"
* This was added to the already-significant selection of anime-tropes in the fourth ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai'' game.
** A SuperMode, poetically dubbed 'Spring Harvest', allows you to slice rapidly through surrounding enemies for a few seconds, leaving them staggering in your wake... until you end the massacre by dramatically sheathing your sword, and they all collapse in fountains of HighPressureBlood the moment the guard clicks against the sheath.
** You can also do it with unarmed attacks, in which case you just finish with a dramatic flourish - though sadly, this does NOT make your enemies explode instead...
** Used for the death-scenes of some major characters - when killed, they simply drop to one knee, and then get a final scene where they stagger to their feet and keep going for a few seconds before collapsing with a dramatic line on their lips.
* ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' features the Mole Rat Repellent Stick developed by [[CloudCuckooLander Moira]]. A Mole Rat hit with this will start to smoke for a few seconds and then...[[YourHeadAsplode POP]]. Moira's less than pleased with this outcome: she meant to make it non-lethal.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'': Stung by a Cazador or Radscorpion? Started to feel woozy? Down some antidote, '''and fast'''. Out of antidote? Well, you're fucked: their poison doesn't wear off over time, and it'll chip away at your health until you keel over.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', if you're playing on [[HarderThanHard Survival Mode]], where Stimpaks heal much slower, and you get hit by a [[GiantMook Mirelurk Queen]]'s [[HollywoodAcid acid spray]], even when in PowerArmor, you're as good as dead, as it will drain your health to zero faster than the healing items can counteract it.
* In ''LegoMarvelSuperHeroes,'' Gambit's super power allows him to defeat enemies this way.
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' lets you do this accidentally to yourself. If you use a scroll of genocide on your normal race while polymorphed into something else, "you feel dead inside" and [[DevelopersForesight will die should you change back]]. If you quit, the death message is "quit while already on Charon's boat".
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'':
** When using an [[CombinationAttack All-Out Attack]] that wipes out the enemy party, the victims will freeze in place for a few seconds while the initiator of the attack begins performing a VictoryPose. When the pose is in place, a GoryDiscretionShot ensues that shows the enemies' silhouettes erupting into [[HighPressureBlood a spray of blood]].
** For Yusuke's follow-up attack, [[IaijutsuPractitioner he unsheathes his sword]] and slices through the foe. He then turns his back to the target and sheathes his blade, the target [[SingleStrokeBattle immediately expiring when the sword audibly clicks into place]].
* In ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'', if you get knocked into the air by an attack and lose your remaining HP as a result of the attack or while in the air (such as due to Fireblight or poison), you won't faint just yet; only when you try to get back up will it suddenly happen. If you can get someone else to heal you in the meantime, however, you'll get back up just fine.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'':
** Hitting an enemy with a fatal Ice Arrow shot won't kill it immediately. Instead, the enemy will be frozen and intangible until it thaws, at which point it will collapse and die.
** An enemy under the effect of Stasis+ won't take damage as it is attacked. Rather, it takes all of the accumulated damage in quick succession after the effect wears off.
* ''Videogame/DwarfFortress'': Some syndromes can act like this; the game doesn't have generic poison, instead simulating various symptoms and effects depending on the toxin applied, and in many cases the effects are unstoppable. The most consistent examples are Giant Cave Spider bites if you're anything relatively small and alive (paralysis will set in and suffocate you), and Giant Desert Scorpions if you're ''anything with a nervous system'' (which will be subjected to unstoppable necrosis no matter the creature's size, and has little to no effect until it all rots off completely and the creature instantly dies about a day later). Procedurally-generated creatures can of course have any of these and more, and when killer effects are involved the dwarf in question will usually die with no chance of saving some time later.

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' used this trope along with DiagonalCut against ninja mooks in the first Franz Rayner arc.
--> '''Dr. [=McNinja=]:''' Aaaaand the split...
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' web comic ''Webcomic/TheChosenFour'' subverted this in a very funny way, doing a ShoutOut to ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''. TheHero Ness is lost inside a dungeon and getting angrier, more upset and more frustrated every second. A {{Mook}} tries to harassing him, and he replies telling "No. YOU listen. You are already dead", suddenly looking right like Kenshiro. It is subverted because Ness had not actually done anything -yet-, but the {{Mook}} got so scared -wondering if he was dead and he was now a ghost- that he answered Ness' question.
* Aldran does this in [[http://antiheroescomic.com/comic/163 this]] ''Webcomic/AntiHeroes'' comic by magically force-feeding an opponent some "berries".
-->'''Evil Druid''': While I appreciate the snack [cough], you didn't have to shove 'em down my throat!
-->'''Aldran''': Actually, I did. See if I had given you the time to actually taste them, you might have noticed that not all of them were, in fact, berries.
-->'''Evil Druid''': ...What he hell did you just feed me?
-->'''Aldran''': Are you familiar with the spell "[[DelayedExplosion Delayed Blast Fireball]]"?
-->'''Evil Druid''': [[OhCrap ...Oh Gods.]]
-->'''Aldran''': And sadly, [[NoSavingThrow I don't think you get a reflex save in this kind of situation]].
* Given the author's tendency to use and abuse [[ShoutOut shout outs]] for fun and profit, ''MSPaintMasterpieces'' uses this as [[http://ferretcomic.com/249 a deliberate reference]] to ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' with a cameo appearance by Kenshiro himself. [[http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/i-cant-take-credit-for-this-joke "You are already fed."]]
-->'''Assessor:''' I'm not sure how I'm supposed to score that.
* Played for laughs in [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/237 this]] NerfNow comic, where [[spoiler:Kenshiro performs his technique on a ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' zombie]].
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Melissa plants herself before a monster and a downed Elliot and screams for Noah's help. A few seconds later, she tells the monster "You were dead the moment I screamed."

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* Episode 18 of ''WebVideo/YuYuHakushoAbridged'' has this example:
-->'''Seiryu:''' Hm. Seems you're pretty fast... but not fast enough.\\
'''Hiei:''' Oh really? You have no idea how fast I am.\\
'''Seiryu:''' Oh yeah, smartass? Then how fast are you?\\
'''Hiei:''' You really want to know?\\
'''Seiryu:''' Enlighten me.\\
'''Hiei:''' You ''sure'' you want to know?\\
'''Seiryu:''' ''Yes'' I'm sure!\\
'''Hiei:''' Positive?\\
'''Seiryu:''' Positive!\\
'''Hiei:''' Absolutely sure?\\
'''Seiryu:''' Yes, goddammit!\\
'''Hiei:''' You've been dead for twenty seconds.\\
'''Seiryu:''' [=AhhhhAHHHHHH=]!!!
* This happens twice to [[TheBigGuy Axem Yellow]] in ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosZ'', first it took him several seconds to realize that, after an attempted attack on Mecha Sonic, his axe had fallen apart. Later, Mecha Sonic spin-dashes him. Five seconds later, he [[spoiler:splits in half. Both halves explode.]]
* ''WebVideo/AvatarTheAbridgedSeries'' did a ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' parody, complete with the line.
* WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall gave us [[spoiler:Pollo's]] HeroicSacrifice to repair Comicron-1's engines after Mechakara's latest attempt at domination. This was a direct ShoutOut to [[spoiler:Spock's]] death in ''[[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan Wrath of Khan]]''.
* Wiki/SCPFoundation: [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-023 SCP-023]], the [[HellHound Black Shuck]]. Looking at it in the eye, or [[EyesDoNotBelongThere any other eyes it spawns elsewhere]], will cause your innards to be ''completely'' incinerated exactly one year after you break eye contact, if it doesn't kill someone in your family instead.
* In one episode of ''WebVideo/TalesFromMyDDCampaign'', Angel is listening to a mysterious possible enemy discussing the situation with his comrades, and hears them determine that should the "raj" engage the party, he will die, but will in return kill 1.5 party members. Not precisely an example of this trope, but the effects it had on the [=PC=]s were quite similar.
* [[http://imgur.com/gallery/cCCeizL This]] NSFW parody of ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''.
* The WebAnimation/{{Animutation}} ''[[http://www.animutationportal.com/modules/debaser/player.php?id=80 HOLY SHIT! NINJAS!!!!!]] has this among the ninja tropes in the video. The scrolling text at the end can't hide how awesome he found that move.
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' brings the TropeNamer to the [=#CellGames=] to fight Perfect Cell so he... can see if he's made out of bug meat. He, then proceeds to deliver the ''Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken'', deliver the line... and cause Cell to ''explode''. Of course, it's a [[GoodThingYouCanHeal Good Thing He Can Heal]], because we get this wonderful sequence.
-->'''Cell:''' ''(regenerating)'' AH! CHRIST! Did anyone ever tell you you're already an ''asshole!?''\\
'''Kenshiro:''' ''(pointing at Cell's severed arm on the ground)'' Are you going to... eat that?\\
'''Cell:''' No! No, I am not!\\
'''Kenshiro:''' Well, may I?\\
'''Cell:''' ''(seething with anger)'' Sure. Make it your last meal. Because after that, ''you're dead!''\\
'''Kenshiro:''' NoYou are. Already. ''Again''. ''(Cell blows up again)''

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Frequently in boxing and kickboxing, a strike to the point of the liver has a delayed reaction. The struck fighter often feels nothing at all for two or three seconds - and then collapses. An [[http://gifsoup.com/webroot/animatedgifs7/2987623_o.gif example from Mirko CroCop]].
* Also a common response to a GroinAttack when in a pressure situation; In the right circumstances, you won't realize you have been hit there by a kick hard until some time has passed. Typically, it's just a few seconds, but sometimes it can stretch to a full minute before the opponent falls to the ground, writhing in pain.
* A lighter example is smashing your toe. You'll feel the impact, but the real pain hits you in a wave a second or two later.
* Though not necessarily a fatal instance, an adrenaline rush running as a result of or alongside some physical incident can have the side effect of deferring pain. As a result, one could be experiencing anything from a sprained ankle to much worse and not realize it, carry out various tasks, and only experience the intense pain of the incident itself much later. Often happens with car or motorcycle accident victims, who may even walk out of the wreck and then collapse to ground, or be calm when they're taken over by paramedics, only to howl in pain later, when the shock of the accident wears off and pain begins. It's sometimes consciously exploited by soldiers on the battlefield or in similar instances (firefighters in a disaster), when the man involved may still do his job deferring pain, to collapse afterwards.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crush_syndrome Crush Syndrome]]. Caused by myoglobin getting into the bloodstream from muscle breakdown due to trauma and playing merry hell with the kidneys, it's experienced by people who are rescued after being crushed or buried under a heavy weight; they appear completely normal at first, but start losing renal function over the next days; it can be severe enough to mean a complete loss of renal function.
* Can happen with heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest victims.
* Secondary drowning, which is pulmonary edema (the lungs getting filled with liquid) some time after the inhalation of fluid.
* Take a high enough dose of hard radiation and you're guaranteed to die rather suddenly... in about three days. There's even what's known as the walking ghost phase after the exposure there are no direct symptoms and you feel fine for up to a day. What is happening is it takes time for things to die, and they're normally replaced, but those replacements aren't happening now, as your bone marrow is dead. And if you see critical fissionable material, such as the molten reactor core in the ruins of Chernobyl, you've already received a lethal dose of gamma rays.
* Ricin, one of the deadliest non-radioactive poisons (it prevents protein synthesis), has a similar delayed sudden death effect of about two to five days.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_mercury Dimethyl mercury]]. Exposure to a drop the size of the head of a pin on a gloved hand for a matter of seconds is inevitably fatal... but only months later and after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Wetterhahn further months of agonizing pain and debilitating neurological symptoms]]. You don't want to be anywhere near the stuff.
* Being fatally shot doesn't always kill people outright. Considering being shot feels kinda like being punched really hard, it's entirely possible you wouldn't realise you were dead until it all goes black.
* Shallow water blackout. Don't hyperventilate before breath-hold diving.
* If your hard drive starts clicking, it's already dead.
* Cerebral edema, which sometimes develops in the wake of a head injury, can cause compression of the medulla oblongata and abrupt cessation of breathing. This is why doctors don't let patients who've suffered a blow to the head leave the ER and go home by themselves, as undetected brain swelling can cause the victim to drop in their tracks without warning.
* Epidural hemorrhage: You get hit in the head; get confused for a few minutes; recover completely and then, six to eight hours later, you collapse.
* Tylenol (known outside the USA as Paracetamol) overdose. Occasionally used to attempt suicide by people who don't know that if you take a high enough dosage you will die... in about three weeks as your liver slowly shuts down.
* Burn victims are sometimes this. They are still "alive", but if burned bad enough over too great an area, they're basically roasted humans and there is nothing that can be done for them (the amount of skin/flesh grafting that has to be done quickly would kill them anyway). [[AndIMustScream They feel no pain (nerves are burned/gone), they can't move, speak or do anything (muscles melted) but, still conscious, wait for the end.]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irukandji_syndrome Irukandji syndrome.]] According to Wiki/TheOtherWiki the initial sting may go unnoticed, or feel like little more than a mosquito bite. 20-30 some minutes later though... well, it won't ''kill'' you most of the time, but the sheer amount of pain will make you beg for death.
* As mentioned in the ''Homicide: Life On The Street'' example, people caught between trains and the platform like that can survive as long as the train is keeping them in place. The train is keeping all of their bodily organs in their upper body. They can live for several hours and stay alive long enough to have full conversations with their loved ones. The second the train moves, all their internal organs come spilling out and they are dead.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_stem_death Brain stem death.]] If the brain stem stops functioning, then there is no way to reverse this and the patient is literally already dead.
* Prolonged starvation can leave a body so fragile that eating food can, in itself, be fatal. Filling the stomach only causes blood flow to shift to the digestive tract, denying it to other organs too weak to endure the loss. Only intravenous nutrition and ''tiny'' mouthfuls of liquids can ease such a person back from the brink; if neither option is possible, they're Already Dead. Additionally, food has a thermogenic effect; it requires energy to process food before the food can be used as energy. Overfeeding a starving person whose body has shut down a lot of digestive functions puts an enormous energy strain on them.
** This actually happened to some Holocaust victims shortly after being released from concentration camps.
* SIRS (systemic inflammatory response syndrome) and it's big brother MODS (multiple organ dysfunction syndrome) describe a state where a stress (sepsis, blood loss, hypoxia, etc) causes extensive tissue damage to multiple organ systems. The heart and brain may be alive and might survive the inciting incident, but if the tissue damage to those other organs is irreparable, the death spiral begins. Because the body has a stereotyped inflammatory reaction to these stresses, the pathophysiology is the same regardless of the cause. More at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_organ_dysfunction_syndrome The Other Wiki]].
* A ruptured spleen can feel like nothing worse than a bellyache, at least until you've bled out so severely that you turn gray and keel over.
* One of several potentially lethal species of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_snail Cone snails]], ''Conus geographicus'', is known as the "cigarette snail"- those unfortunate enough to pick up one of these pretty shells with an occupant are said to have just enough time left to smoke a cigarette before the snail's cocktail of toxins turns off their entire nervous system. There is no antidote, but some victims have survived by being placed on heart-surgery level life support until the toxin wears off.
* Rabies. By the time one starts showing symptoms like violent movement and paranoia, the virus has already made it to the brain, at which point there is next to no chance of survival. Only a handful of people have ever reached that stage and lived to speak of it, and only after receiving an experimental treatment called the Milwaukee Protocol, which involves an induced coma.
* The "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel Destroying Angel]]" mushrooms in the genus ''Amanita''. It prevents RNA replication, and like radiation poisoning there is a "walking ghost" phase (after gastrointestinal symptoms) where you feel fine as it turns off your liver and kidneys. Treatment is possible if it's caught in time, but ''Amanitas'' are responsible for most mushroom deaths.
* Something resembling a "five point palm exploding heart technique" is technically possible. A strong blow to the area of the chest in front of the heart (precordium) during the small period in which the heart is highly sensitive to mechanical or electrical disruption can induce ventricular fibrillation, which produces light-headedness followed quickly by unconsciousness and eventually (within a few minutes) death. This is called [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commotio_cordis Commotio Cordis]], and does happen on occasion to young athletes, especially children, such as when they are struck in the chest by baseballs. An elevated heart rate provides more opportunities for a fatal disruption to occur. Because the window of vulnerability is so fleeting (on the order of a few tens of milliseconds), doing this ''intentionally'' to a person without them being hooked up to a heart monitor (and knowing precisely when during the cardiac cycle to time the blow) is impossible.
* Leaving an injury untreated could result in an embolism later.
* The whole point of murder by poison is that the victim dies sometime after the deed is technically done.
* A non-lethal variant can be seen with drugs that don't immediately take effect, in which case You Are Already Intoxicated. For example, cannabis edibles don't produce a high for thirty to sixty minutes, so inexperienced cannabis users have been known to consume more edibles than they should because they don't initially feel the effects. They're better off just waiting -- when the THC does kick in, they're often in for a nasty shock because all those edibles produce a high that's far too intense.
* ADDENDUM TO ABOVE ENTRY: In Funny/TheWolfOfWallStreet, Jordan and Donnie take the coveted "Lemmon 714" Quaaludes [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methaqualone]] that had been in storage for a number of years. After taking one and feeling no effects, they take another pill each, followed by two more each, and so on. Jordan, not knowing They Were Already Intoxicated, left for the country club to make a phone call and soon found out that the Quaaludes had "developed a delayed fuse," resulting in him discovering "a completely new phase - the cerebral palsy phase" when the combined total of all the drugs finally hit. Note: though this entry should be located in Film, it is related to the previous entry, thus justifying its location.
* A series and potentially fatal condition known as an aortic dissection, which started garnering attention in 2003 when one claimed the life of actor Creator/JohnRitter and, more recently, from the death of actor Creator/AlanThicke in 2016. [[https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aortic-dissection/symptoms-causes/syc-20369496 As described by the Mayo Clinic]]:
-->An aortic dissection is a serious condition in which the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, tears. Blood surges through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate.