"Now that the smoke's gone
And the air is all clear
Those who were right there
Had a new kind of fear"
— Filter, "Hey Man Nice Shot"
There are lots of ways to do yourself in
: jump off a bridge, hanging, stick your head in the oven. One popular method in the USA and Hollywood is to wrap your lips around the barrel of your favorite firearm, and pull the triggernote
. One obvious reason for this: not a lot of room for error
. Of course, some people still screw it up.
Someone who wants to give you the chance to do this will Leave Behind a Pistol
and no, it doesn't mean edible firearms.
Sadly, this trope is very much Truth in Television
, and it is sufficient to say all Real Life
examples are therefore redundant.
As a Death Trope, the major part of the spoilers will be unmarked. Beware.
If you're thinking about killing yourself in this (or any other!) manner, we insist you get help and beg you not to do it. Please, talk to somebody.
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Anime and Manga
- In Gankutsuou, Fernard tries to do this after everything has fallen apart on him, but fails. He later succeeds in killing himself, though this time by shooting the side of his head.
- From the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist:
- A seriously traumatised Roy Mustang is crying Tears of Remorse as he gets ready to do this, and has to be stopped by his partner Hughes from going through it after killing Winry Rockbell's parents, Sara and Urey, under orders of the higher-ups.
- He also tried to commit suicide in the other continuities (manga and Brotherhood), though for different reasons. He is stopped too by Dr. Marcoh.
- In Serial Experiments Lain, a guy (using the drug Accela) at the club Cyberia kills himself this way... seemingly because Lain freaked him out somehow.
- Almost happened by accident to Nagasumi in Seto no Hanayome.
- In Attack on Titan a soldier resorts to this after their compound has been surrounded by Titans. Convinced that this is a far less gruesome way to go than being Eaten Alive, he even smiles about having this opportunity.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's fifth part, Polpo is actually tricked into doing this by Giorno to avenge an innocent man's death. He leaves a banana for Polpo to enjoy, which he proceeds to do. Thing is, the banana is actually a pistol that Gold Experience transfigured. As Polpo peels the "banana"...
- Subverted and Played for Laughs in My Bride Is a Mermaid. While at the Obon festival, Nagasumi and Sun get chocolate-covered bananas, unaware that the vendor is a member of the yakuza group that Sun's father runs. Sun does get a banana, while Nagasumi gets a chocolate-covered pistol made "just for him." He actually does stick it in his mouth, but realizes what it is and throws it away before anything truly unfortunate happens.
- Arseface got his distinctive looks by trying to kill himself by putting a shotgun under his chin; he was trying to emulate Kurt Cobain's suicide. His father's first words to him in the hospital? "Shoulda put it in your mouth, you dumb little fuck."
- Jesse at one point tells a gun-toting pedophile midget thug to "eat his gun" using his Compelling Voice... and the guy starts chewing on the gunmetal. By the time the cops show up, he was bleeding heavily from his mouth...
- After Arseface becomes a famous musician, several of his fans try to emulate him by mutilating themselves with shotguns and wind up dead.
- Sergei Kravinoff committed suicide this way in Kraven's Last Hunt, letting us know that he meant it when he told Spider-Man he (Kravinoff) was giving up the hunt for good.
- Mysterio killed himself this way after finding that Daredevil would not kill him for the death of Karen Page (He also references Kraven's suicide beforehand). He came back but with half of his head missing.
- In Vigilante, Adrian Chase kills himself this way in the last issue.
- In The Goon, Buzzard attempts this after being mind screwed by the bad guy. Being an immortal "Reverse-Zombie", he got better.
- The cover of one of The Punisher issues shows a POV shot of Frank holding a handgun pointed at his own mouth.
- This was Joss Whedon's original intent for Merrick in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The film changes it to him getting staked by the vampire Big Bad, but the Origin comic has it.
- In Grendel, Larry Stohler eats his gun when the cops come to arrest him for his crimes as Knowledge Broker for the late Hunter "Grendel" Rose. With a nice big splash page.
- Sin City:
- Transmetropolitan Spider plays with this trope a couple times:
- After seeing a movie loosely based on his life he sets his bowel disrupter to "fatal intestinal maelstrom" and sticks the end in his mouth. Fortunately the TV was programmed to switch to the porno channel to distract him if he did that. Unfortunately what came up was also based on him.
- In the last issue he's at his cabin, in the garden, his nerves wrecked by info-pollen. He lifts a gun to his mouth, and lights a cigarette with it, it was a novelty lighter. Then it hints he's starting to recover and keeping it secret.
- Jeong Jeong in Avatar: The Last Airbender Revised, due to a combination of Survivor Guilt and regret for the lives that he and his fellows had ruined during the war.
- Many examples are present in the Mass Effect series, The Council Era, with the most prominent being former krogan overlord Kurvok, following his forced retirement at the hands of his assistant, Halak Marr.
- Mass Effect Human Revolution: Fist, when caught between C-Sec and Shadow Broker mercenaries. Justified as he really would be in for a worse death had the Shadow Broker caught him.
- Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons: Blackjack attempts this at one point, only to realize that she left the safety on. She turns it off and tries again, but this time one of Watcher's Spritebots spots her and he manages to talk her down.
- Eugenesis states that this is what everyone thought would happen to Galvatron, and it's Soundwave's first guess as to what might have happened when he goes missing.
- Craig Brice in "Shock to the System", a Emergency! fic. Sadly, suicide is a too common problem of Real Life first responders.
- Jerome "Romey" Clifford at the beginning of The Client.
- Cpl. Lehto in The Unknown Soldier, as the night attack goes pear-shaped and he gets hit. Realizing the Soviet bullet left him paralyzed from chest down, he shoots himself with his rifle.
- As mentioned in Film, the protagonist of Fight Club completes his Glasgow Grin this way.
- Harold Lauder and one of the Army guys in charge of the flu project in The Stand.
- In Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, a character attempts this. What the results turn him into get him the nickname "Bag Man".
- In A Rising Thunder, Honor Harrington book #13, Mind Control Nano Technology used by the Big Bad forces an Admiral to off himself in this manner. It's made to look like suicide and everyone else believes that the Admiral did in fact off himself of his own volition.
- In I, Jedi it's mentioned that the husband of one of the Big Bads suffered some kind of stroke or fit and was paralyzed. He worked for months at physical therapy until he regained the use of his hands - which one character muses must have been a goal of his, because he immediately performed this trope with a blaster.
- In Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191, Hippolito Rodriguez is able to rationalize his work as a death-camp guard for a long time, until a few questions from an elderly inmate he's grown to like force him to realize he is involved in genocide. He performs this trope because he can't live with that knowledge. Turtledove also mentions other guards "eating their guns"
- He Who Would Sing at the end of Dreamspeaker.
- Larry Lipinski in the 5th Stephanie Plum novel dispatches himself this way after shooting his co-worker to death.
- In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Dolphus Raymond's fiancée does this on their wedding day.
- In Breakfast of Champions, Dwayne Hoover contemplates doing this, but takes the gun out of his mouth and turns it on his bathroom instead.
- Discussed in Cryptonomicon: a World War II special forces unit, members of whom know too much to allow themselves to be captured, receives instruction in the correct way to blow your head off with your general issue sidearm. It's the point where one of the characters, who has led a pretty weird life up to that point, realises just how much weirder things are going to get in this new assignment.
"You would be astonished at how many otherwise competent chaps botch this apparently simple procedure."
- This is how George McIntyre kills himself in the first Red Dwarf novel, because he owes thousands of dollarpounds to the Ganymedian Mafia. His final thought is "I bet this doesn't work." Of course, he knows he's going to be restored as a hologram which doesn't owe the Ganymedian Mafia anything.
- Carrera's Legions: In A Desert Called Peace, one of the Sumeri soldiers guarding Hill 1647 used his rifle to redecorate the back of his skull, in the continual artillery bombardment of the hill by the Legion.
- Frobisher in Cloud Atlas, in what might be one of the cruellest Wham Line moments in literary history.
HÔTEL MEMLING, BRUGES
QUARTER PAST FOUR IN THE MORNING, 12TH—XII—1931
Shot myself through the roof of my mouth at five A.M. this morning with VA.’s Luger.
- All You Need Is Kill. Immediately after waking in the past after dying in battle for the fourth time, the protagonist asks for his friend's service pistol, sticks it in his mouth and pulls the trigger just to find out if he really is time-looping.
- A variant form shows up in Cain's Last Stand. After one character realizes that he can't free himself from Varan's mental control,
... he snuggled the muzzle of his laspistol under his chin, and pulled the trigger.
Live Action TV
- Battlestar Galactica likes this trope.
- Boomer attempts it in "Kobol's Last Gleaming". Doesn't quite work because 1) she's a Cylon sleeper agent and it was against her programming, and 2) she screwed everything else she ever tried up, so blowing a suicide attempt was just par for the course for her.
- Brother John Cavil, ostensibly the leader of the (evil) Cylons, does it in response to his last hope of regaining Resurrection going straight down the shitter. To his credit, he managed to turn it into a spiteful "frak you" to everyone still alive on Galactica and the Crowning Moment of Funny for the finale.
- Once on The Incredible Hulk a guy with Napoleon Delusion thought he was Ernest Hemingway and was acting out scenes from his (Hemingway's) life; his friend didn't see any harm in a little LARPing until Banner pointed out that Hemingway killed himself.
- A minor character in Reno 911 threatens to do this, almost by name.
"Did you ever hear the story of 'Reading Ron eats a gun'?!"
- When one of George W. Bush's speeches was causing major mood swings, Stephen Colbert reacted to one of the bad-news parts by replacing the cigar in his mouth with a gun barrel.
- On another show, he juggles around his three favorite "American" things — an American flag, a hotdog, and a hand gun — around and eventually ends up holding his hotdog in his gun hand and chewing on the pistol.
- A third show featured a Formidable Opponent sketch where neither of his sides refused to back down. Both of them then pointed guns at the other, which culminated in Blue-tie Colbert sticking Red-tie Colbert's gun in his mouth.
- When he heard of a bill to allow firearms in baseball stadiums, he stated that he hoped he and Sweetness could get on the "kiss cam".
- Plenty of people have eaten firearms in 24. One of them, Charles Logan actually survived it.
- Ray Fiske does this towards the end of the first season of Damages.
- Derek met Jesse when she saved him from killing himself this way in The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
- Oz, When a white inmate is being bullied by a trio of black inmates, another prisoner sneaks him a pistol. When he's picked on again, he shoots two of the inmates, another random inmate, and a Corrections Officer. When the sort team, armed with guns and riot shields, corner the inmate, he realizes his chances and deep throats his handgun.
- A living teddy bear on Supernatural chose this option rather than live in a world that has no place for living teddy bears. It didn't work.
- In The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock's client attempted to do this - though he was saved by the main characters.
- Jim Moriaty appears to have killed himself this way at the end of The Reichenbach Fall, though many fans believe otherwise.
- Occasionally turns up in Law & Order. In one notable episode, D.A. Schiff discovers that a judge in a murder case, who was a friend of his, was bought by the defendant's family to avoid conviction. At the end of the episode, Schiff somberly announces that the judge "ate his gun". On two other occasions, convicted police officers chose this way out. One in lieu of life in jail for murder and corruption, the other out of guilt for having shot an unarmed youth in a panic, and then planting a gun on the body to try and justify the shooting.
- Kirby does this at the end of the Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns" under the effects of an Artifact of Death, while looking at a hallucination of his dead girlfriend.
- On The IT Crowd had Douglas pull the trigger of a gun while it was in his mouth to check if it was loaded.
- The Shield: Shane did this as part of the Humiliation Conga Vic Mackey was suffering.
- Brass Eye's Paedogeddon special, which mocked the burgeoning Pædo Hunt mentality in the U.K., had a Parody Commercial for "The Pedo-Files" in which the gun-crazy host announces that "I killed the pedophile in me" by shooting himself this way (and inexplicably survived).
- A literal example in the old George Reeves The Adventures of Superman serial. A clown was coming up with a new routine wherein he was a hero. He handed the prop gun to Clark Kent and explained there was no need to be bulletproof: his superpower was that he would just eat the gun. And he took a bite out of it to show everyone. Evidently, it was delicious.
- Big Chubby in My Name Is Earl would often scare people with a gun, which turned out to be a squirt-gun filled with vodka. One night, he wanted to squirt a shot of vodka in his mouth, but mixed up his guns.
- Anthony Finelli, Gabe's 7-year old brother, does this by accident offscreen on Six Feet Under, killing himself instantly and leaving his body for Gabe and his friend (who were smoking pot at the time) to find in his mother's room.
- Brad Bellick is about to do this in Prison Break after getting fired from Fox River Penitentiary due to the titular event. He locks himself in his room and is about to eat the gun, when his mother mentions that a large reward has been announced for the escapees. He changes his mind.
- Mentioned in the Firefly episode "The Train Job".
Sheriff: "It's funny, your uncle never mentioning the Bowden's problem... or that Joey Bloggs ate his own gun about eight months back."
Mal: "Did he?"
Sheriff: "Yep. Blew the back of his head clean off."
Mal: "So... would *his* job be open?"
- Danger 5. A Running Gag in "I Danced for Hitler". The French Resistance shoot themselves in depression over the Eiffel Tower being stolen, while a Death Glare from Dr Goebbels is enough to make his minions blow their brains out whenever one of them stuffs up during Hitler's birthday celebrations.
- The page quote, which is from Filter's Hey Man Nice Shot, about the Real Life on-camera suicide of politician Bud Dwyer.
- The end of the music video to Disturbed's "Inside The Fire" has the subject (the lead singer) do this with a rifle.
- Ludo's Save Our City has the mayor do this in desperation when the last vestige of humanity (his to protect) is almost certainly going to fall to the zombies:
"With a flash like the sun, his lips are unwrapped from the barrel of his gun..."
- "Like a Boss"'s protagonist comes close.
Buy a gun! (Like a boss)
In my mouth! (Like a boss)
Aww fuck man, I can't fucking do it, shit!
Pussy out! (Like a boss)
- Happens in the video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy", when the main character comes into his classroom with a gun and shoots himself in the mouth in front of his bully classmates. Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament wrote the song... partially inspired by the story of a kid who DID kill himself like this.
- The phrase is actually mentioned in the last verse of the Blue Oyster Cult song, "Monsters". Poor Joe.
- Firewater's "Hold On, Slow John" includes the line:
You'll never get used to the taste of a gun.
- "Albert Goes West", by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is about various characters traveling to across America. One of them "ended up in a bungalow sucking a revolver".
- Off the same album, "We Call Upon The Author To Explain" has a line about the poet John Berryman, who "went the Heming way". Both Berryman and Hemingway died of this trope.
- Implied in The Final by Dir En Grey in its original PV, where the protagonist, upon finding his family murdered, is implied to commit suicide in this manner.
- Ultrasound mentions this and a real life example:
G is for glory
Cuz my fate will be gory
If I do a Kurt Cobain to leave behind my story
- On his posthumously released final album, Rant In E Minor, Bill Hicks does a bit about Jay Leno killing himself this way on The Tonight Show after a particularly soul-crushing interview with Joey Laurence.
- Australian comedy trio Tripod. Yon does this during their one performances in 'Live At Woodford', using his hand as a gun. Some random mook starts yelling, "Do it!"
- Moritz in Spring Awakening does this; it is known amongst fans to be the point in the show when regular audience members who have no knowledge of the plot gasp as Moritz does this rather abruptly after his infamous "So dark..." speech. It then fades into his funeral, with the equally sob-worthy "Left Behind".
- In A Streetcar Named Desire, this was how Blanche's husband killed himself after she confronted him over his homosexuality.
- Hedda Gabler shoots herself this way (as opposed to a shot in the temple) in some productions.
- Charlie attempts this at the end of 25 Saints, only to find that his gun is empty, so he sets himself on fire instead.
- Solid Snake does this if you wait too long at the title screen of Metal Gear Solid 4. Why he would do it takes the whole game to explain.
- In System Shock 2, someone ended his life that way with the shotgun, considering the position of the gun on the body.
- Agent Stone of Twisted Metal: Black tries to do this during his backstory, but the gun is empty.
- There's a corpse in an armchair in Half-Life 2 Episode 2, with a shotgun on the ground and a large splat on the wall. Your Vortigaunt partner even comments on it.
- Also seen in the original Half-Life 2: if you hop the broken fence across the street from the gas station in Highway 17, there's a corpse close to a large splotch of blood, and a .357 revolver on the ground not too far from it.
- So why do you retrieve six rounds when you first find it?
- One boss fight in Killer7 ends with the boss, crippled by falling debris, sticking his gun in his mouth and committing suicide.
- The Serial Experiments Lain Playstation game ends (rather unlike the anime) with Lain committing suicide this way.
- In one/several of the Halo games, if the Master Chief dies, one of the Marines can occasionally be overheard saying something similar to "The Chief is dead? I...think I'll go eat my gun now."
- In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, you find the memo of a doomed police officer, David, who did or intended to do this:
When I finish this bottle, my old friend, Mossberg (a brand of gun), will be turning one last body into fertilizer.
- Far Cry 2 gives you the option to do this to your wounded mercenary buddies if you've run out of morphine or they're too grievously injured to be saved. Can't bear to watch? That's okay - neither can the protagonist.
- Jackie Estacado does this to himself in The Darkness after seeing Jenny get killed by his uncle.
- In Shadow Warrior, if the basic mooks spend long enough shooting at the player character to no effect, they'll feel so dishonored by their failure they'll put the barrel of their Uzi in their mouth and blow half their skull off.
- Done as one of the possible endings to Jacob's loyalty quest in Mass Effect 2.
- The E3 announcement trailer for ZombiU has a nameless British office worker preparing to do this (around the 1:10 mark) when it becomes quite clear that no amount of pills or injections will stem the tide of his infection. After a glass of liquor and a sad look at a photo of his wife and child, we see that in spite of his expression, he has already pulled the trigger because of the incoming horde of zombies mere feet from where he sits. The next tableau on the bridge shows that it really didn't work—he became a zombie himself.
- The president in season 2 and the dentist in season 3 of Metalocalypse.
- Stewie Griffin almost does this when Peter won't stop singing "Surfin' Bird". He sticks the gun in his mouth, and it cuts to commercial. He's fine in the next scene.
- South Park;
- Parodied when Cartman, thinking he's lost his sense of humor, appears to be writing a suicide note, and puts the barrel of a gun in his mouth, then takes a bite out of it, and adds a P.S. to his mom to buy more chocolate guns (marshmallow, not peanut butter).
- In "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset," Paris Hilton's pet dog kills itself this way.
- And Britney Spears. Not that it had any effect on her mental abilities.
- Another example is in the episode "Le Petit Tourette"; this was after an ambushee on Chris Hansen's Dateline NBC segment "To Catch A Predator" committed suicide this way, and at the end of the episode, perverts keep showing up at a taping of his new special, then killing themselves this way when they find out it's him.
- Played for laughs in an episode when a scientist shoots himself in the face to prevent from being attacked and joined by the homeless. No matter how many times he shoots himself, he just doesn't die.
- Butters is told to do this by a meme-hating teacher in "Faith Hilling". He ends up frozen in his seat with the gun in his mouth for nearly the entire episode's length.
- This seems to be the preferred method by Drawn Together when it comes to suicide by firearms (normally as Suicide as Comedy, considering the show's Crosses the Line Twice nature).