Melvin: Now, who wants a hug?Bob and Alice meet in secret for a night of passion. Bob draws Alice close, kisses her deeply and... BLAM! Alice slumps down dead with Bob holding up a previously hidden pistol. She's just been on the receiving end of a Deadly Hug. A sudden gunshot is the most common, but a stab is not unheard of. When a bad guy does this, it's usually during The Reveal that they're evil. When a good guy does it, it tends to be a Mercy Kill. A horror variant has the hugger turn into a monster in mid-hug and crush the victim. Subtrope of Died in Your Arms Tonight. If the killer had some genuine affection for the victim, this may segue into Cradling Your Kill and/or Pietà Plagiarism. May be the result of a Cooldown Hug gone wrong. For a hug which is accidentally deadly, see Does Not Know His Own Strength or And Call Him George.
Tristan: I do!
Yami: Tristan, no! He's just going to stab you or something!
Melvin: Don't listen to him, Tristan. He just wants all the hugs to himself.
Tristan: I do!
Yami: Tristan, no! He's just going to stab you or something!
Melvin: Don't listen to him, Tristan. He just wants all the hugs to himself.
As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
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Anime And Manga
- In Scrapped Princess, this is how Prince Forsythe kills his twin sister, Pacifica, shortly after meeting her for the first time in his life. When they embrace, he draws his sword and stabs her in the back. Then kills himself, along with her, out of remorse; which sets the end of the world special in motion. They get better.
- Bleach: Hinamori hugs Aizen, who had faked his death earlier, talking about how much she missed and admired him. His response is that admiration is the furthest thing from understanding, and he stabs her through the chest and almost kills her. She physically heals well thanks to Unohana, but it takes her a LONG time to emotionally and mentally bring herself back.
- Done to Keiichi in the Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen arcs of Higurashi: When They Cry
- Also done in the ending of the Onisarashi-hen manga arc by Natsumi to Akira. Akira doesn't die, though.
- In Claymore, this is how Rafaela kills her sister Luciela, who has become an Awakened Being, and who she has made it her life's mission to kill. The sisters embrace, and Rafaela breaks Luciela's spine. Made particularly sad by the fact that Luciela genuinely doesn't understand why Rafaela is trying to kill her.
- In GUN×SWORD, the Claw kills a disobedient minion this way. First he cracks some bones with the strength of the hug and then he impales the guy through his back. It's not clear whether this was deliberate or accidental.
- In Battle Royale, Megumi Eto realises that the school bad girl, Mitsuko Souma, is just as terrified as she is of the situation they are in. Promising to look out for each other, the two embrace. Mitsuko then slashes Megumi's throat.
- Attempted in Episode 4 of Darker Than Black. Mai's father hugged Mai in what seems to be a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, only to reveal that Mai's father was going to stab his daughter to stop his daughter from becoming a Contractor. Subverted when Mai's father is killed by a Contractor assassin before he can kill his daughter, which leads to his daughter sacrificing her emotions to kill the person who hired the assassin.
- In Soul Eater this is how Tsubaki kills her (evil) brother. Although it's approaching it from the other direction; until that point she was unwilling to attack him (even though he was more than willing to kill her and eat her soul to copy her alternative forms for himself) and it's more of a hug while she's attacking him than a bluff of any sort. This shows him that she really cared about him and wasn't pitying him when they were kids (It Makes Sense in Context) and he dies, allowing her to take his soul and gain his powers.
- In Naruto, Sasori's first puppets were replicas of his dead parents. When he's impaled by those same puppets, their posture mimics their original function: to hug him as a child.
- In one of the last episodes of Revolutionary Girl Utena Anthy appears to hug Utena from behind before stabbing her through with a sword.
- Innocent Venus has one combined with The Reveal, though it didn't actually kill Jo.
- How the Black King killed the Red King in the backstory of Accel World.
- In Fairy Tail Jellal tries a variant of this on Erza. He needs to kill her in a more specific way than with a sword or weapon, so he uses the hug to place a spell on her that completely restricts her movements, then he goes for the kill.
- In Fruits Basket, Akito stabs Kureno when he attempts a Cooldown Hug. Kureno survives, but Akito goes spiraling into a Villainous Breakdown and Tohru is the one who calms her down, but through a You Are Not Alone speech.
- Non-fatal variant in the first movie Affections Touching Across Time. A mind-controlled Kagome hugs/falls into Inuyasha's arms, which leads him to assume that she was worried about him. He apologizes for scaring her, she whispers "r-run… away…" and then stabs him in the chest with acid fingernails. He survives, of course, but what follows is a ten-minute long Curb-Stomp Battle which ends with Inuyasha getting shot to a tree again.
- In the fourth movie Fire on the Mystic Island when Inuyasha can't bring himself to kill the Kikyo clone, she embraces him and seems poised to bite into his neck before the real Kikyo shows up and takes her down.
- This is how Clementine meets her end in Overlord. Except Ainz does not bother actually pulling a knife on her, oh no. He just slowly crushes her to death with his undead Super Strength until her spine snaps.
- Pictured above, the end of Bruce Timm's story "Two of a Kind" from the first volume of Batman: Black and White.
- Sin City does this a couple of times. Dwight does it to villain Ava at the end of A Dame to Kill For and a nameless hitman does it in one of the short stories to a woman who apparently put the hit out on herself.
- In Marvel Comics, the Soviet Super Soldier Ursa Major is a man who transforms into a bear - his bearhug can be deadly.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Blade stakes his vampire mother this way.
- A variation occurs in Gladiator, when Commodus hugs his father Marcus Aurelius, and then a few seconds later it's revealed that Commodus is suffocating his father to take his throne and frame Maximus. Shockingly, he later does a twofer by fatally stabbing Maximus while hugging him.
- This is also how Freddy kills Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, while impersonating her deceased father. She tearfully embraces him and says her goodbyes... only to have him gut her, much to the horror of her friends and the audience who felt certain she'd survive since she was the main character!
- Neff kills Phyllis like this in Double Indemnity.
- X-Men: The Last Stand:
- How Wolverine finished off Phoenix.
- Kid Omega kills Dr. Rao by hugging her and then extending his spikes.
- In the mostly forgotten David Cronenberg film Rabid, the girl has a spike that allows her to feed on her victim's blood in her armpit. She therefore kills by hugging them.
- In All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Mandy and Chloe reunite so they can flee to safety together and Chloe is in hysterics. They embrace; Mandy soothes her and thrusts a hunting knife into her.
- The 1988 Carl Weathers film Action Jackson has Craig T Nelson's Big Bad doing this to his wife (Sharon Stone).
Dellaplane: I love you. *gunshot* More than life itself.
- Ella almost does this in Ella Enchanted, on account of the corrupt regent ordered her to kill the prince and her curse won't let her say no. So as they embrace, she pulls out a stiletto, and... The Power of Love allows her to refrain from stabbing him and also breaks the curse, but she still gets thrown in jail for attempted assassination.
- Total Recall (2012). Quaid's wife Lori comforts him with a hug after he comes home with wild stories of having killed ten people after his visit to Rekall. She then tightens the grip to smother him until Quaid is able to break free. That's only the beginning of her attempts to kill him!
- Beautifully exercised in the opening scene of Sin City.
- At the end of Howling V: The Rebirth, Peter and The Count tell Marylou to shoot the other, the Count being convinced that Peter is the werewolf killing everyone and Peter believing the Count is a crazy murderer. Marylou fires once...and Peter rushes to hug her telling her everything is okay now. Then the full moon shines down on the pair as Marylou grins savagely.
- In Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Julia lures Kyle into her embrace and devours him with a kiss.
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra has a third party doing it; Storm Shadow stabs The Baroness' husband while she's kissing him.
- In The Thief of Bagdad, the sultan of Basra gets a Robot Girl as a gift from Jaffar; she stabs him when he goes to embrace her.
- Voltan's son Drogo stabs an informer while hugging him in Hawk the Slayer.
- At the end of The Face of Another, Okajima hugs Dr. Hira, the guy who gave him a Latex Perfection mask after Okajima's face was blasted off in an accident. Unfortunately, the mask has pretty much driven Okajima mad, as Dr. Hira discovers to his regret after Okajima plunges a knife into his back.
- Species II: Patrick kills his Senator father by hugging him, during which his body inadvertently sprouts alien tentacles that pierce the other person's flesh.
- In Mickey Spillane's debut novel I the Jury, Mike Hammer fatally gut shoots the murderous Charlotte Manning just as she embraces him. Supposedly a Justified Trope because she was reaching for a hidden gun to kill him as she hugged him, so we're supposed to think it was self defense. But since Hammer was already pointing a gun at Manning and openly saying he was going to kill her anyway, it was arguably she, not he, who was acting in self defense.
- In one very strange short story, a man has rescued his little daughter from the cult her seemingly crazy mother had taken her to. The mother calls him that night, begging him to bring her back, he doesn't know what she is, and they're the only ones who can contain her. The man scoffs at this, but then takes a closer look at the ball his daughter's been playing with. Just as he realizes it's a puppy's head, his daughter hugs him from behind. Tighter... and tighter.
- King Imre stabs Cathan Macrorie in the back in Camber Of Culdi. Imre promises reconciliation after their disagreements (including over the fifty human hostages), and the embrace to seal the deal is the moment Imre chooses to act.
- In Dragon Bones, Ward has to kill Oreg, his immortal slave, whom he inherited, and whose life is bound to castle Hurog, in order to make the castle collapse and stop the villains. Oreg has wanted to die for a long time, so it is a mixture of Mercy Kill and Heroic Sacrifice. Ward holds him as he drives a dagger into his brain, a method that he supposes "is painless. At least for Oreg."
Live Action TV
- In the Grand Finale of Smallville, Lex stabs Tess this way.
- Buffy does this to Angel in the season 2 finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although she has to let go of him first since she does it with a sword.
- In Angel, Gunn does this to his vampirized sister.
- Done in the Doctor Who episode "The Pandorica Opens" by an unwilling Manchurian Agent replicant of Rory to Amy, who refuses to flee despite his increasingly desperate warnings.
- A slight variant occurs in Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy. Clay Morrow confronts a traitorous former colleague at the top of a building. In a quite powerful scene, the biker gives up running, then Clay embraces him, kisses him on the cheek and shoves him to his death.
- Victor does this to Sierra, then collapses and is shot by rioters so they can escape the attic in the Dollhouse episode "The Attic".
- An unusual heroic example occurs in the Psych season 5 finale when Yang embraces Yin, while both attempted this, Yang reacted first and impaled Yin with a syringe.
- Note: Yin was Yang's father.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003). After finding out their daughter is alive on a Cylon basestar, Helo does this to his Cylon wife Sharon, shooting her after she pleads that her death and resurrection is the only way to get on board the vessel. The shock effect is because the audience comes in in the middle of the conversation, so we don't realise what it's about until the gunshot.
- Saul Tigh, leader of La Résistance on New Caprica, feels compelled to do this to his wife when it's revealed that she aided the Cylons holding them captive, resulting in the deaths of several Resistance fighters. In a rare bloodless example of this trope, Saul hugs his wife after she drinks a cup of coffee that he poisoned, holding her until well after she dies. It's a moving scene, and it marks a major Despair Event Horizon for his character. (Though considering her "charming" personality, one wonders if Saul hadn't appreciated the irony of that particular method of execution...)
- The X-Files ("Leonard Betts"). The eponymous character gives one to his partner after she starts freaking out on finding he's still alive (hardly surprising, as the last time she saw Betts his head had been ripped off). While hugging he injects her with a lethal dose of potassium chloride to keep his secret.
- Oz. When prison guard-turned murderer Clayton Hughes takes over the solitary wing and declares himself "President of Huru", Warden Glynn (who regards Hughes as a surrogate son) goes in alone to try and talk him down. Hughes promises to give himself up if Glenn hugs him "like you did when I was a child". Glenn does so and nearly gets stabbed in the back by Hughes, his life only being saved by an inmate seeking the Warden's favour. Clayton however gets fatally stabbed by his own blade during the struggle.
- Star Trek: Enterprise. In the Mirror Universe where Klingon Promotion is a way of life, Ensign Hoshi tries to stab Captain Archer while snogging him; Archer grabs the knife before it descends without breaking his liplock.
- A very unusual variant appears in the Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever. Captain Kirk kills Edith Keeler by hugging not her but Dr. McCoy, thus stopping McCoy from pushing Keeler out of the way of a car. It's poignant because Kirk loved Keeler, but she was going to unintentionally destroy the Enterprise, not to mention plunge the world into a Nazi dark age.
- Played with in Rome. After Caesar's assassination, Quintus Pompey tries to murder Marc Antony on the steps of the Senate. Antony barely escapes with his life, but surprises everyone by forming an alliance with Brutus instead of fleeing the city. The two embrace in public to show they're now friends, then a smiling Antony walks over to a puzzled Quintus as if he's going to embrace him as well...and slashes his throat.
- Parodied in one episode of El Chapulín Colorado where he retells his own version of the story of Samson and Delilah. A female slave makes a wig with the hair they cut off so he can put it on and regain his Super Strength. The slave declares she's "Loyal to him until her death". Samson promptly hugs her, and she drops dead. He says "Effectively, loyal until her death".
- In the Dungeons & Dragons book Greyhawk Adventures, a non-player character is described as the last she smiled was when she enticed a man into a hug and stabbed him in the back in order to rob him.
- Call of Cthulhu campaign Masks of Nyarlathotep. The Cthulhu Mythos leader M'Weru likes to embrace her victim and cast the Hands of Colubra spell. When the spell changes her hands into the heads of poisonous snakes, she uses them to bite her victim and poison them.
- In Battle Chess this occurs when a King or Queen captures the opposing piece. In the case of a checkmate delivered by the Queen, she stabs him in the back with a concealed dagger. In the case of a King capturing the Queen, she tries the same stab but is knocked down by the King with his scepter before she can pull it off.
- Mass Effect 2 shows dying assassin Thane killing Nassana Dantius this way, hugging her right after dispatching her bodyguards and shooting her in the stomach, cradling her gently as she expired a few seconds later and laying her down on her desk.
- Dragon Age II - Anders delivers the Mercy Kill to his old friend / lover Karl this way. Huon, an elf mage who went mad in the Circle, kills his own wife to fuel blood magic after escaping. Finally, "Marethari" gives a non-fatal one to Merrill if you fall for the Pride Demon's trick, restarting the battle.
- The protagonist can do this in one of the endings of Fatal Hearts - walking into the embrace of someone who believes her to be his long-lost-love reborn, and then ripping his heart out
- Actually, several endings can be seen as this, as well as the woman Sebastien killed in the past. Romancing a vampire is apparently the best way to get close enough to kill them.
- This is how Haruka dies in her ending of Divi-Dead, complete with hug graphic that slowly pans down to show the stabbing.
- In Drowtales, Jer'kol attempts to smother Ariel with a hug but is stopped by Vaelia.
- In The Chapel Chronicles, Chapel and Rupert are crying in panel two because Buffy just stabbed Angel.
- Blazen! has Nu-13 use a program called hug.exe whenever Ragna's around. The ensuing hug involves lots of stabbing from the blades on her.
- In The Order of the Stick, Haley is nearly stabbed by Nale (disguised as his identical good twin Elan) attempting this trope on her on page 392. Elan arrives in just the nick of time to prevent this.
- Boa constrictors and pythons.
- And bears.
- The Brazilian expression abraço de tamanduá (anteater's hug, which means to betray someone's trust), refers to the very strong arms and sharp claws of anteaters. Their hug is deadly to anything that tries to attack them.
- Inverted with Najih Al-Baldawi, who hugged a suicide bomber to contain the blast.
- The picture for the trope Mercy Kill features a very emotional version of a deadly hug.