11 Hours Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Death by Irony

See it and laugh. Then feel terrible for doing so. And then laugh again.

"How does it feel to be killed by the very research you dedicated your life to?"
Nui Harime, Kill la Kill

This trope occurs when a character is killed in an allegorical or lyrical manner; often this is due to their own actions. A favoured fate in tragedies, or to kill off The Villain Of The Story. If they are killed by their own hubris, then the hero doesn't have to get their hands dirty and instead has a chance to demonstrate their moral fibre by attempting to Save the Villain or say Alas, Poor Villain. If the cause of death is too trite or unlikely, it will challenge the Willing Suspension of Disbelief, so be careful.

Deadline News, Death by Ambulance, Death by Looking Up, Hoist by His Own Petard, Karmic Death, Vehicular Turnabout, and the more lethal variations of Turned Against Their Masters are all SubTropes. When this trope is frequently invoked by one person, it falls under Poetic Serial Killer. Compare Russian Reversal for a humorous play on this.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Examples that don't fit into any subtropes

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     Anime and Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, each of the Homunculi dies in a manner thematically appropriate to the associated Deadly Sin:
    • Lust is brutally incinerated by a man “well known as a serial dater” whose probable love interest she was about to kill.
    • Greed Mk.I is boiled down for his most valuable part. However, he came back later.
      • Greed Mk.II performs a Heroic Sacrifice after admitting that all he wanted were friends, and that he doesn't need anything else.
    • Envy commits suicide out of self-loathing because he envies his enemies.
      • Even more, someone who prides himself on being a Master Manipulator, his suicide was the result of Ed sympathizing with him.
    • Gluttony is eaten by another homunculus.
    • Sloth is worn out by a long fight.
    • Wrath's Death By Irony wasn't necessarily appropriate for his Deadly Sin, but it was for his character. After saying several times that there is no such thing as God, the solar eclipse, the symbol of God in alchemy, plays an instrumental role in his defeat.
      • Well, when you think about it, what is that but the "wrath of God"?
      • Other bits of irony appear in his death. Wrath's actions lead to Scar becoming a rage filled killer and it is Scar who finally defeats him. Wrath's final words suggest that he dies completely at peace with the world.
      • And finally based off his very name, Wrath, his death was ironic. He died with peace of mind, completely content with his life.
      • Wrath also fell at the hand of a person who earned Redemption Equals Life.
    • Pride was stripped of most of his powers and lost to Ed after badly underestimating both him and what's left of Kimblee's soul. (Plenty of other irony relating to his previous actions, too.)
      • Pride tries to possess Edward's body. What does Ed do? Use a fraction of his soul to cut off the other souls in Pride's body. He essentially defeated Pride by possessing him.
      • Pride had eaten Kimblee because he was no longer useful. Father abandoned Pride to die because he was no longer useful.
      • Also, Kimblee came back to bite Pride too.
      • In the final chapter, it is shown that Pride has lost his memories of being a homunculus, and is now being raised as a human child; ironic because of his hatred and scorn for humanity and the great pride he took in being a homunculus.
    • Barry the Chopper, a bodiless soul bound to armor by a blood-seal, tracks down and supposedly kills his original body (now a mindless creature). Shortly after that Lust destroys the armor, leaving the piece of armor with the seal on it as the only part of him still alive. His real body then crawls over, picks the piece up, and scratches the seal off (which destroys his soul).
    • The gold-toothed doctor, who had apparently participated in all kinds of hideous alchemical human experimentation and had just gone to some pretty despicable lengths to force Roy to open the Gate, gets transmuted into a hideous blob of Body Horror by Pride, in the process of forcing Roy to open the Gate.
  • Macross Frontier. You just had to poke the fourth wall, didn't you, Michel?
  • In Dragon Ball Z, in the regular timeline, Krillin marries Android 18. In the alternate timeline where Goku dies of a heart virus, he is killed by Android 17, Android 18's brother, in assistance with Android 18.
  • Fisher Tiger from One Piece hated humans for enslaving him and treating Mermen badly in general. Despite this, he fought to free all slaves, Mermen and human alike, and tried to avert the Vicious Cycle by not killing his pursuers. Then he was seriously injured in an ambush and his blood-type was unique among Mermen — none of his crew had the right type of blood to save him. The only blood that could save him was from the very humans Fisher Tiger despised. Which he refused because — to his own shame — he could not let go of his hatred.
  • In Pokémon Special, the Big Bad of the GSC arc AKA Pryce tries to control time itself. He ends up being forever trapped in the time stream, albeit with no regrets, as he accomplished his goal of reuniting his baby Lapras with its lost parents.
    • Also, in the Pokemon anime, Big Bad Cyrus gets close to undoing the world and creating his own, Palkia and Dialga open a dimension to start but cease when the heroes break Cyrus' mind control. Cyrus refuses to believe his plans have failed and jumps into the pocket dimension just as it closes, and while it's possible he's creating his own universe separate from the main one, it's far more likely the dimensional gate destroyed him when it shut.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, a group of socialist assassinates millionaires with a custom shrapnel gun loaded with rolls of coins.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni's "Eye Opening Arc" ends with local Yandere Shion Sonozaki falling from her apartment building to her death. The irony? She had spent the majority of the arc masquerading as her twin sister Mion so she could frame her for her infamous murder rampage, and she had just finished her grand plan by sneaking out and stabbing Keiichi. While she scales her apartment building to sneak back in, the fall is caused by the holster she is wearing (which is part of her disguise) snagging on the wall. Note this does not happen in "Cotton Drifting", or in the original Visual Novel or Manga adaptation of "Eye Opening".
  • In the first season finale of Attack on Titan the priest of the Wall Church that has been harassing the heroes the whole season is preaching to his congregation that the Walls will protect them from the Titans, when the Female Titan crashes down through the temple roof and crushes all of them but the preacher.
    • And it gets averted a few moments latter. The wall gets damaged and it gets revealed that within the wall, there are titans. And not just the ordinary ones, we're talking about colossal ones here. Luckily, these are inactive and actually the reason why the wall could be built in the first place.
  • Hell Girl has banishment scenes in most episodes as a prelude to the targets being boated off to Hell.
  • Devo the Cursed (named Soul Sacrifice in the English version) in Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure brags about how he's going to bite Polnareff's balls off during his fight with him. Disgusted with how vulgar he is, Polnareff finishes him off in a manner that leaves him a completely mutilated, unrecognizable mess...except for his crotch.
    Kars: To think that I would annihilate a practitioner of Hamon with his own discipline... Surely you can appreaciate the irony in that!
  • In the anime version of Sailor Moon, Rubeus gave Koan a bomb to kill herself with after giving her a Breaking Speech. Four episodes later, Esmeraude gives him a Breaking Speech before leaving him to his death... by an explosion.
  • The page quote from Kill la Kill is between Nui Harime and Professor Isshin Matoi. Nui had come to get Prof. Matoi's prized research and was introduced to the Rending Shears, a giant pair of scissors able to cut life fibers. After a short brawl, Nui stabs the old professor with the very scissors he touted as the product of his life's work. However, this is a subversion, as the scissors are actually not Prof. Matoi's greatest work. He claimed they were so Nui will set her sights on them, thus successfully hiding the Kamui Senketsu, the true product of his life's work.

    Comic Books 
  • A Star Wars Tales comic is told entirely from the perspective of a career storm trooper who's about to board the Tantive IV. As he thinks back on his life in the military and the things he's done, his ruminations are interspersed with the present as the Star Destroyer pulls the ship into its docking bay and they prepare to board. The man dreads being chosen to be sent in first, because the guy sent in first always dies—he's seen it dozens of times. Naturally, the sergeant chooses him. They set the charge on the door, and the storm trooper dryly remarks on its functionality, designed to blow the door inward and hopefully make the enemy flinch. And for once... it works. The rebels flinch, buying the man time to get into the hallway and start shooting. And right behind him, the sergeant that ordered him in first is shot in the face.
  • The DCU
    • This is the fate of Darkseid's mother, Queen Heggra. She didn't appreciate how her son was falling in love with a beautiful and understanding scientist, Suli, so she had the court poisoner, Desaad, poison her potential daughter-in-law. Darkseid returned the sentiment by having Desaad poison her, too. This parley would eventually come back to bite Desaad in the ass, too. When Darkseid accidentally freed his father, Yuga Khan from the Source Wall, Desaad grovelled before him, telling him how his service to Darkseid "was a lie." Yuga Khan then reminded Desaad how he murdered his beloved wife, then promptly disintegrated the sniveling toad. He came back with help from Darkseid after Yuga Khan, ironically, got himself re-stuck in the Source Wall.
    • A possible future demise for noted immortal villain Vandal Savage. In DC One Million, after having lived up to the 853rd century, Savage goes back in time to the 20th-century and arrives in Montevideo, Uruguay just in time to get caught in a nuclear blast that devastates the city...an attack that is ordered by 20th-century Savage.
  • In the older Iron Man comics, Iron Man traveled back in time to Ancient Egypt where he fought an Evil Sorcerer called the Mad Pharaoh. The latter tripped and fell to his death on the blade of one of his swords, something that is described by Iron Man as "ironic".
  • Reverend Craig of various X-Men media got this in X-Force; he lures his illegitimate mutant daughter, Rahne Sinclair, aka Wolfsbane, into the clutches of his current allies, the Purifiers, so she can be Mind Raped into becoming an assassin. During the fighting, her conditioning gets tripped by accident on his part and she attacks, kills and eats him. Making things more poignant is that he has tried to kill her repeatedly since her mutant powers first manifested.

  • Raven in The Tainted Grimoire killed Sir Loin by burning him. Raven's own death came about by burning him.
  • Ludlow in Rise of the Galeforces. In Chapter 25 he reveals himself to be an Omnicidal Maniac who intends to destroy all non-human life. 10 chapters later, he is himself destroyed by non-human life.
  • In The North Remembers, the Late Lord Walder Frey is notorious throughout the Seven Kingdoms for being extremely untrustworthy, particularly when he betrays his liege lord Edmure Tully for personal gain at the Red Wedding. He is then betrayed by House Lannister, the house that had promised him power, when they take away his daughter Roslin, who is married to said liege lord, and execute her because Edmure had allowed Robb Stark's widow to escape with Ser Brynden Tully. He then promptly dies after hearing the news.
  • Fallout: Equestria has Killing Joke, a plant which specializes in this. Either it kills them directly in some ironic way, such as a zebra who said at one point she felt like her stripes were great wounds in her skin, having her stripes becomes massive open wounds when touched by a vine. Or simply setting things up for a third party to cause it, such as turning a Hellhound who was about to kill some ponies, into a pony. Said ponified Hellhound was then killed by the other Hellhounds who thought he was simply one of the ponies they were hunting.
  • Ra's Al-Ghul in A Spark of Genius claims that Xander is a more fitting heir than Batman as unlike Batman, he's willing to kill those who stand against him. He later pushes Xander too far by trying to take his fiances and minions hostage, causing Xander to kill him then vaporize the body to insure he doesn't come back.
  • In Mario Warfare, Wario killed the King. He gets finished off by using a piece of the King's cape to choke him to death.
  • In Vengeance from the Grave Harry, who was forced by the toad-like Dolores Umbridge to write "I must not tell lies" with a Blood Quill until it was carved into the back of his hand, magically compels her to write "I must not eat flies" with a Blood Quill stuck to her hand before leaving the room. She's later found dead of blood loss, having written all over her office walls after running out of paper.
  • In Naruto fanfiction Catch Your Breath Black Zetsu's death is very ironic and very satisfying (for the readers). Minato gives him to the Shinigami as the soul price for sealing Yang Kurama into Naruto. Black Zetsu was the one who extracted said half of Kurama from Kushina in the first place.
  • I Am Going To Save And/Or Destroy Equestria!: Arabus gets eaten by King Sombra, who comments, "A fate both ironic and poetic: The shadow-eater, eaten by the king of shadows."

    Films — Animated 
  • At the climax of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the last thing Judge Claude Frollo says before his Disney Villain Death is, "And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!" The gargoyle he is standing on then breaks, and he falls to the pit of copper below and to his doom, letting loose with a Big "NO!" all the way.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 ends with Lord Shen crushed to death by his own cannon.
  • Syndrome’s Omnidroid in The Incredibles originally rips out its own innards while attempting to kill Mr. Incredible, who has sneaked inside the droid, having realized that “the only thing strong enough to penetrate it is itself.”
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Oogie planned to make Santa and later Sally into snake-and-spider stew and ends up having all his bugs fall into the concoction, becoming stew himself.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The evil queen who wanted to be the most beautiful of all dies while being in disguise as an ugly old witch. Cornered on a cliff by the dwarfs, the disguised Queen then tries to knock a boulder loose and bellows "I'll fix ya! I'LL CRUSH YOUR BONES!!" She cackles madly...when suddenly, a bolt of lightning shatters the ledge she's standing on, sending the wicked Queen falling into her doom, shortly followed by the boulder falling after her. Don't even guess who got their bones crushed...
  • Coonskin: Madigan, a racist white mafiosi, is drugged and blackfaced by the Brothers, then shot to death by police men who think he is just some black man with a gun.
  • The Little Mermaid, As Ursula is about kill in Ariel with the trident, she bellows, "SO MUCH FOR TRUE LOVE!!!". Then Eric steering one of the sunken ships Ursula rose from the waters, plows the bow of the ship into Ursula's chest, killing her. True Love DOES conquer all!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alien vs. Predator 2, a guard walks off to take a quick smoke. His partner warns him - smoking will kill him. Seconds later Predator rips out a hatch to enter the facility that these guards are guarding. Said hatch lands on poor mook, crushing him to death. Sign on said hatch says: No Smoking.
  • In The Final, the Vietnam veteran winds up getting taken out by a punji stake trap — exactly the kind once used by the Viet Cong.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Gunny Hartman. More emphasis on this in the book than in the movie. In the book, when he gets shot, before he dies, he says "Private Pyle, I'm so proud." He's glad that was finally able to make him a killer which he had been struggling to do all through boot camp.
  • Used to surprisingly good effect in The Asylum's version of Sherlock Holmes. The factory owner who put bars on the inside of his windows to keep his illegal workers in? Can't get out when the monster comes to eat him.
  • Land of the Dead does this with the electric fence. Zombies are shown in one scene getting fried on the electric fence that borders the city of Pittsburgh, while humans on the other side of the fence laugh at them. Later on, that same electric fence ends up becoming a deathtrap as a large group of refugees trying to escape end up trapped between it and the zombies.
  • In Snakes on a Plane, one character throws a small dog to a snake to try and escape. However when the others gasp at his brutality, he stops to chastise them saying "Oh what, you'd have done it too!" But this is just long enough for the snake to eat him alive... and in the end, his corpse gets sucked out of a window into the engine. The moral of this story: if you kill a puppy, God kills you.
  • Most of the victims in Theatre of Blood, most notably George Maxwell, a pompous egotist who is killed in the manner of Gaius Julius Caesar (and who wouldn't have even been present at the murder scene if he hadn't allowed his vanity to override his common sense); Oliver Larding, The Alcoholic, who is drowned in a barrel of wine in the style of Clarence in Richard III; and Chloe Moon, a vain woman who ends up electrocuted at her hair salon.
  • In Collateral, Vincent will talk at length about the need to change, adapt, and roll with whatever life throws at you, yet he shoots entirely by rote. He always uses the Mozambique Drill: two shots to the chest and one to the head. In the climactic shootout at the end of the film, which takes place in a blackout and aboard a subway train, this ensures that not a single one of his shots hits Max, as they all plunk dead-center into a set of sliding metal doors. Max, meanwhile, fires randomly and kills Vincent with a lucky shot.
  • The last thing The Joker says in Batman before his Disney Villain Death is, "Sometimes I just kill myself!!" This likewise results in Batman anchoring Joker to a gargoyle with his harpoon gun, and then eventually being forced to plunge to his death due to the heaviness of the gargoyle statue that broke him.
  • The Cabin in the Woods. After spending the entire film wishing he could see a merman, Hadley is finally done in when a merman enters the control room and chews his face off. Hadley is pretty aware of the irony, too; his last words are "Oh, come on!"
  • In Miss Nobody, Sarah Jane started her malicious, serial killing ways by accidentally killing the executive she worked as a secretary for. She dies when her own secretary accidentally serves her the drug-tainted water she had prepared for Ormsby.
  • In The Seventh Seal, Death chops the tree an actor is hanging on. "But I have a play tomorrow!" "The play will be cancelled due to the main actor's death".
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom, who plans to obliterate Toontown and all Toons with the Dip, is revealed to actually be a Toon himself. Guess what Eddie Valiant ultimately uses against Doom to vanquish him for good?
  • Constantine. Two characters are killed by The Dragon in an ironic way.
    • Beeman is obsessed with insects. He's killed by being infested with flies.
    • Hennessy drinks a lot to drown out the voices he hears due to his psychic ability. He's killed by being made to drink himself to death.
  • In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, there is one part of the Final Battle where the heroine, his daughter, stabs the infamous killer in the gut with the clawed glove that is his iconic weapon. This is not what truly kills him (she does that by stuffing a bomb down his throat), but it's still ironic.
  • In Heathers, J.D. is responsible for killing several other teenagers throughout the film, and sets the murders up to look like suicides. After failing to blow up the school, he commits suicide by blowing himself up with his own bomb.
  • Mulholland Falls culminates with the bad guy being tossed off the plane, the same way he murdered his victim.
  • Count Dracula is always known for biting his victims' necks and then either kill them or turn them in to vampires. Guess how he finally dies in Dracula III: Legacy.
  • In The Hunger Games, Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane revokes the both-can-win rule, meaning that only Katniss or Peeta can survive. But instead they almost commit suicide with poisonous berries, until they are declared the winners to prevent this. As punishment for this unprecedented screw-up, he is locked in a room with... the same kind of poison berries.
  • In Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, it's lampshaded with Patches O'Houlihan's death by the "Luck o' the Irish" sign.
  • The villains in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Walter Donovan wanted the Holy Grail so he could become immortal. However, Elsa Schneider selects a fake grail for him to drink from in the secret chamber. He dies by aging rapidly to death - exactly the opposite of what he expected to happen. Schneider’s own ironic death comes moments later. Refusing to heed an obvious warning by the grail’s guardian, she triggers a Cataclysm Climax by attempting to take the grail anyway. Indiana saves her from falling in a chasm but when she spots the grail below, she irrationally pulls a hand free to reach it. Her obsession to reach the cup that gives eternal life results in her falling to her death.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), Dr. Hannigan claims that Lawrence will no more likely change into a werewolf than he is likely to sprout wings and fly out the window! He doesn't sprout wings at any rate...
  • X-Men: First Class: Sebastian Shaw. Magneto kills him to avenge his mother's death. This is made possible because Magneto had taken Shaw's helmet that was manufactured to protect Shaw from telepaths like Charles Xavier. Ironically, this is what prevented Charles (who could not release the dangerous Shaw from his telepathic grasp) from stopping Shaw's death at the hands of the newly-helmeted Magneto.
  • Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is killed by being thrown from a massive height after pleading with his enemy Caesar to spare his life — the exact same way he killed Big Bad Jacobs in the previous movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004): It's impossible to know that there is a Zombie Apocalypse going on yet, but Anna's neighbor is Genre Savvy enough to keep a loaded gun and tell bloodied people to stay away from him. He's run over by an ambulance.
  • Female Agents: Jeanne was sentenced to death by hanging, but spared so she could join the SOE. She creates a diversion through killing a soldier, goes to Ravensbruck, and is hanged there instead

  • Similar to the beaver in the picture, an Iguanodon dies in The Lost World (1912) when it brings the tree where it was trying to feed on over itself.
  • In the Codex Alera, Chronic Backstabbing Disorder-afflicted bitch Invidia Aquitaine dies by... being stabbed in the back by an invisible opponent.
  • Invoked by one of the villains in The Dresden Files. In Dead Beat, Harry kills the Corpsetaker by shooting her in the back of the head. She returns as a ghost in Ghost Story, and gleefully points out the irony when she tries to kill Harry by shooting him in the back of the head. Since Harry himself was a ghost at the time, it didn't actually kill him, but it did destroy his spirit's physical manifestation, and at that point he was too weak to materialize himself again.
  • In Eternity in Death, the killer, who thinks he's a vampire, attacks Dallas. In the struggle, he's stabbed by a wooden stake.
  • This is a reoccurring theme in The Reynard Cycle.
    • Torture Technician Ghul falls victim to his own poison in Reynard the Fox.
    • The Calvarians of The Baron of Maleperduys are defeated by an army of mercenaries who are paid with the gold that they were offering in exchange for Reynard.
    • In Defender of the Crown, Acteon is killed by a Chimera that he intended to kill the Queen with.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Viserys Targaeryn is obsessed with reclaiming his (golden) crown. Khal Drogo obliges by pouring molten gold onto his head.
    • At the end of A Storm of Swords, Lady Lysa's demise has all sorts of irony wound into it. In the first book, she'd tried to throw Tyrion out the Moon Door for a whole slew of crimes he didn't commit, including the murder of her first husband Jon. Later, she attempts to throw Sansa out the Door as well after catching her being kissed by Lysa's new husband Petyr, at which point it's revealed that Lysa was herself the one who killed Jon so she could be with her new man. And then Petyr throws her out the Moon Door.
    • When Daenerys marches on Meereen, the Great Masters of the city taunt her by nailing a disemboweled slave child to every milepost, for a hundred and sixty-three miles. When Dany captures the city, though:
      Meereenese Noblewoman: How many must you have to spare us?
      Daenerys: One hundred and sixty-three.
    • At the beginning of A Game of Thrones Lord Eddard beheads a deserter of the Night´s Watch, who claims that the White Walkers are back, which the reader knows is the truth. At the end of the same book he gets beheaded for claiming that the royal children are in fact bastards born of incest, which the reader also knows is true.
    • Joffrey Baratheon dies in the same way as Robb Stark: both are betrayed while at a wedding, dying painfully as their mothers are forced to watch, and the corresponding Game of Thrones episodes "The Rains of Castamere" plays just before both are killed. For bonus points, Joffrey had a performance of dwarves put on to mock Robb's demise!
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy relates the story of a civilization whose world was doomed and decided to send everyone to safety in Arks... only that's a big fat lie they told to the "useless" members of society like the beauticians, telephone washers, etc. to get rid of them. Then the rest of the civilization dies when a disease spreads via dirty telephone receivers. As for the exiled Ark, it crash-lands on Earth; those useless people may or may not be, in fact, humanity's ancestors, which would explain an awful lot.
  • In Malevil, rogue army commander Vilmain is killed by Maurice, one of his unwilling, "join or die" recruits, who puts the discipline and training Vilmain inflicted on him to good use.
  • In Suite Francaise, Charlie Langelet, a collector of fine porcelain, while making his way along roads full of refugees fleeing the fear of German bombing, reaches safety in his automobile by stealing gas from a pair of young lovers. Safely returned to Paris, he orders his cleaning woman to clean his entire apartment. When she protests that she can't do it in a single day, he replies that she'll just have to work faster. Before leaving the apartment, he puts his very favorite porcelain, a figurine of Venus, on display. He has arranged to have dinner with the beautiful dancer Arlette Corail; she said she'd meet him in her car. How did she get the gas? Well, a woman has ways. Charlie hesitates before crossing the pitch-dark, blacked-out street, but thinks that there won't be any cars on the road anyhow. And then he's struck, his head smashed, by a car traveling too fast with blacked-out headlights: it's Arlette Corail. Back in his apartment, the cleaning woman has been working long into the night, getting more and more exasperated. Just as she finishes, she knocks over the figurine of Venus, smashing its head. Imagining trying to explain this to her employer, she exclaims, "I don't care what he says. He can drop dead!"
  • One of the nobles in A Tale of Two Cities proclaims that the starving peasants can just eat grass. The rebels make sure to stuff grass in his mouth as they drag him to his death.
  • In James Herbert's post-nuclear holocaust novel Domain, a particularly obnoxious character chortles with glee at having had the foresight to build himself a nuclear bunker. He takes great delight in denying his neighbours entry and when he discovers a cat has accidentally joined him ends up killing it. However, when he gets sickened by the stench of dead cat and tries to leave he discovers that the exit hatch has been blocked shut by the remains of his house landing on it.
  • In The Pale King, a soybean farmer was decapitated by a Think Farm Safety billboard during a tornado in 1987.
  • In The Color Purple, Celie's abusive step-father dies while having sex with his latest wife - definitely ironic, since he raped Celie and had at least three wives, the last two being in their teens.
  • Tad Williams's Otherland applies a liberal dose of irony to the deaths of all of the members of the Grail Brotherhood conspiracy. Many die by committing suicide, believing that they are uploading themselves into virtual bodies, not knowing that the procedure has been sabotaged by Dread. (For further irony, the process does work, and the Other ends up using it on two of the heroes.) Shortly afterward, Daniel Yacoubian, a powerful general, is killed by getting stabbed in the chest by a teenage boy. After Dread's apocalypse, the remaining members die in similarly ironic ways: Jiun Biao, the powerful financier, is killed by a giant bug in Kunohara's simulation. David Wells, software mogul, is killed by Dread in a You Have Failed Me. And Jongleur himself dies at the hands of his own creation.
  • In Tim Dorsey's first novel, Florida Roadkill, an assassin who is a member of a Satanic cult is preparing to sacrifice Serge and Coleman (By kneeling in the middle of the highway and praying in black clothing in the middle of the night) when he is run over by a bus full of devout Christians.
  • The backstory of the Vorkosigan Saga includes the tale of Lord Vorloupulous, who tried to get around the law forbidding private armies by hiring 2000 "cooks", arming them with butcher knives, and sending them to carve up his enemies. The Emperor was not amused, and sentenced Lord Vorloupulous to death by starvation.
  • The Twits are offed by gluing them upside-down to the floor after they have tortured Muggle-Wump and his family by making them stand upside-down on top of one another.
  • Santer, the murderer of Winnetou's father and sister, is crushed by the very gold that he has been after from Winnetou I to Winnetou III.
  • In Comrade Death, Sarek is killed by the masterpiece chemical weapon that bares his name. "Sarek's Last Word" is the pinnacle of his company's weapon research and so perfect that it can't even be contained and stored.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the episode where he first appears, Principal Snyder talks about how the previous principal got eaten. Guess what happens to him in the Season 3 finale.
  • Smallville:
    • In "Supergirl", an anti-vigilante crowd almost got crushed by the anti-vigilante billboard. For added irony, they were saved by the titular character.
    • In the Grand Finale, Clark came very, very close to one. Over three years ago, Zor-El tricked him into wearing a blue kryptonite ring that removes his powers temporarily. Chloe stops him from trying to saw it off, and tells him to refrain from wearing any rings till his wedding day (which in itself is a reference to the times when he wore a red kryptonite ring, over three years ago). Oliver, possessed by Darkseid, presented him with a gold kryptonite ring at the altar which would permanently remove his powers. And it is Chloe, as bridesmaid, who spotted the switch and stopped it from being worn Just in Time.
  • In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Your Witness," an Amoral Attorney gets a hit-and-run driver acquitted by introducing misleading medical reports indicating that the sole eyewitness is legally blind and therefore incompetent as a witness. When the attorney is later run down in the courthouse parking lot by his long-suffering wife, the only witness is the same man he had earlier discredited, who gleefully tells the cops, "It's a legal fact that I am incompetent as a witness!"
  • Lost
    • A character whose name is a reference to Bram Stoker is killed by a piece of wood through the heart by a supernatural monster.
    • Also, a character is killed in a dynamite explosion while giving a lecture on the dangers of dynamite.
    • And then there's the guy who complained about how the survivors couldn't even make a fire. Cue flaming arrow hitting him in the chest.
    • And Locke is murdered by Ben, who had just talked him out of suicide.
    • Daniel goes back in time to 1977 only to get killed by his own mother, who had just conceived him.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show sees Chuckles the Clown die from a rogue elephant attack... while wearing a peanut costume.
  • On QI, Rob Brydon suggests killing a bee by drowning it in honey.
  • Supernatural
    • There's a certain ironic beauty to how crazy vampire hunter Gordon Walker is turned into a vampire himself, and subsequently killed by Sam... the same Sam that Gordon had been ruthlessly hunting for like a season.
    • Half the Title Sequence Victims of the Week get killed in some ghoulishly ironic way, the camera inevitably lingering for a few gruesome seconds on the instrument of their demise before showing the title card.
  • Power Rangers Samurai: Serrator wanted to split open the world. Instead, he was split open. He lampshades the irony with his last words.
  • Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger: Every Monster of the Week so far has been defeated in a way that is either Laser-Guided Karma or in a way that reflects how they torment people to gather darkness.
  • In The Closer, a cheating wife teamed up with her boyfriend to hire a man to kill her husband. The boyfriend got money to pay the hitman so that the wife won't be connected. Unfortunately, the wife gave the hitman the wrong date and the hitman accidentally killed the boyfriend.
  • On Reno 911!, the Reno PD responds to calls about Klansmen performing a cross burning in a neighborhood. At the conclusion of the incident, one of the Klansman's robes catches fire, and he screams around while on fire. It provides both the image and accompanying quote on Karmic Death.
  • In Gavin and Stacey, Ness mentions a former lover who died while faking his own death.
  • On The Originals, Sophie Devereaux spends the first half of the first season trying to resurrect her niece Monique. The first thing that Monique does after being resurrected is kill Sophie.
  • On Community, Pierce leaves each member of the study group a canister of his frozen sperm in his will. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that filling these canisters is what caused him to die of dehydration.
  • ER: Dr. Romano loses an arm when it catches in the tail rotor of a helicopter. After having it re-attached and struggling to deal with a barely functioning arm for a couple of years, he finally has it amputated in favor of a prosthetic. Then he dies when the same helicopter falls on him.
  • Season 6 of The Vampire Diaries introduced Tripp, a man who liked to capture vampires and kill them by taking them over into Mystic Falls' new anti-magic border. He ends up being killed by being turned into a vampire and being forced into Mystic Falls.
  • In the Metal Hurlant Chronicles episode "Three on a Match", three survivors of a destroyed ship try to ride to safety in an Escape Pod, only to discover that they were hit by debris from the ship and have a leak. The two Space Marines throw the maintenance guy out the airlock first (they at least gave him a spacesuit), then fight each other, only to have the survivor asphyxiate as the rescue ship comes into sight. Ironically the maintenance guy survives because the thing that hit the Escape Pod was an oxygen canister.
  • In Midsomer Murders:
    • One episode revolves around the death of a stage actor in a production of Amadeus. He's the actor who plays Salieri and dies when he slits his throat open with a razor that's been switched out for the prop he was supposed to use. The irony is that Salieri survives getting his throat slit in the play.
    • After three murders, brushing off an oblique death threat with "Nobody is killing anyone!" is more than Tempting Fate. For bonus points, irony is delivered by falling liquor cabinet when he goes to pour his (quite sensibly) spooked wife a drink to shut her up.
  • Criminal Minds: In "Paradise", the UnSub abducts couples that stay at his motel, steals the women's underwear, then rapes them while their men watch, murders both, and leaves their bodies inside their car parked on a road frequented by trucks at night, to stage road accidents and disguise his murders. He also makes sure that the woman has her legs spread open because he sees the truck's impact as one big final rape. In the end, he's run over by a truck himself while being chased by law enforcement.
  • CSI:
    • "Fur and Loathing": A member of the Furry Fandom that likes to dress as a mapache, is abandoned in the desert, at night, while wearing his mapache costume and having been forced to crawl like a real animal after being poisoned by another guy. A local farmer mistakes him for a coyote and shoots him.
    • "Unleashed": A woman with a Human Pet fetish wishes to live as a Cat Girl in a house, walking on all fours and refusing to talk even when a Good Samaritan tries to "rescue" her. She jumps off a moving car, loses her speech in the impact, and crawls into the face of a real cougar, who promptly mauls her.

  • The vocaloid songs series The Seven Deadly Sins by mothy has plenty of this:
    • In "Conchita", the titular character eats herself.
    • In "Venomania", the duke is killed by a man dressed like a woman.
    • In "Judgement", Marlon is sent to Hell with the exact same words he gave criminals.
    • In "Princess who Brought Sleep", Margarita commits suicide by drinking the poison she had given to everyone.

    Religion And Mythology 
  • Jesus, son of a carpenter, died on the cross, one of the things carpenters manufactured in his lifetime. Even more ironic is the fact that the Roman authorities crucified him because it was considered to be the most degrading execution method. A few centuries later the cross has become a symbol of martyrdom, worn by many Christians to commemorate whom they consider to be the most admirable human being who ever lived.
  • The Bible describes one of the rebellious sons of King David, Absalom, as a very handsome man with a magnificent mane of hair. His death is therefore rather ironic. To clarify: Absalom instigated a revolution, and overthrew his father, King David. Eventually, David would regroup, and waged more battles in order to drive out Absalom. At the Battle of Ephraim Wood, Absalom got his magnificent mane caught in the low-hanging branches of an oak tree as his steed rode beneath, leaving him hanging there for days until Joab, David's chief minion, found and killed him.
  • Greek Mythology is so rife with this trope, one could even say the Greeks lived in the "Irony Age." Case in point: Procrustes was an evil innkeeper who made all of his vict–, er, "guests" sleep in an iron bed. If the guest was too short, he would stretch them to fit, too tall, and he lopped off whatever overlapped. When he took in the hero, Theseus, as his guest, Theseus killed him by forcing him to lie in the bed he made. No one knows if he was too short or too tall, though, one version simply had Theseus chopping the jerk to bits. In another, Theseus finds him too short, overstretches him, and then cuts him back down to size.
  • Another one of Theseus's villainous victims was an elderly bandit, Sciron, who lived on a cliff-side path. Sciron demanded, because of his apparent age, that everyone who passed by must give him his due respect by washing his feet. Of course, when the schmuck bent over to do so, Sciron pushed them off the cliff, where the corpse would be eaten by his partner in crime, a monstrous sea turtle. Guess what happened when he tried to pull this schtick with Theseus.
  • King Diomedes was given a quartet of fire-breathing, man-eating mares by his father, Ares. Hercules stole these mares, and tamed them by forcing them to eat their former owner.
  • A form of posthumous irony occurred with the Nemean Lion, which had an impenetrable pelt. After Hercules strangled it to death, he skinned the beast with its own claws.
  • Hercules, himself, fell victim to this trope. He was fatally poisoned by the Hydra's blood when his wife, Deianira, mistakenly used the blood of the centaur, Nessus, whom Hercules slew with his poisoned arrows, as a love potion. To clarify (as much as one can, given the various interpretations of Greek myths), the centaur attempted to kidnap Deianira, and Hercules came to the rescue and slew the centaur with an arrow coated in hydra-blood poison. As he lay dying, Nessus told Deianira to take some of his [the centaur's] blood, and if she ever feared that she was losing Hercules to another woman, use the blood as a love potion to keep Hercules faithful forever. Eventually, Dieanira became concerned that Hercules was straying in his devotion (whether or not he was depends on which writer you choose to believe) and spread the blood on his famous lion-skin cloak. Although Hercules was too strong for the potion/poison to kill outright, the pain did drive him to suicide (effectively), so this story actually contains heavy irony on multiple levels.
  • To add insult to mortal injury, the primordial sea monster-goddess, Ceto, was slain when Perseus petrified her with the decapitated head of her own daughter, Medusa.
  • Speaking of Perseus, the king, Polydectes, wooed his mother, Danae, hoping to marry, then ravish her. In order to get rid of Perseus, who knew of his foul intentions, Polydectes invited Perseus to a lavish banquet where all the guests had to bring a horse, as a gift. As Perseus had no horse to give, he, instead, was tasked with bringing back the head of Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon. Of course, Polydectes assumed that Perseus would either die trying, or live in exile as a failure. He did not anticipate that Perseus would receive divine assistance from Athena, and as a result, paid for it very dearly.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Forgotten Realms: Cyric, a mortal thief, murdering Bhaal, the god of murder. That is all.

  • In The Insect Play, the Chrysalis, after spending two whole acts promising to do great things when born, finally emerges in the epilogue as a Moth. She says she will explain the meaning of the whole world, then falls dead just like all the other moths did.
  • In the play The Whipping Man, the whipping man is beaten to death (Off screen) by a slave, using the first whip that the whipping man had used on that slave.
  • In Romeo and Juliet, the Prince sees the irony in the deaths of two lovesick children of the feuding houses:
    Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
    See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
    That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
  • Raised as a horrible possibility in the 2013 stage musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which ups the infamous Laser-Guided Karma fates of several of the naughty kids (namely, Augustus, Violet, and Veruca [plus her dad]) into potential offstage deaths — certainly the Oompa-Loompas' songs suggest that's their fates!

    Video Games 
  • In Arcanum, Kerghan's goal is to create a technological portal that will exploit the fragile balance between magic and technology and free him from the void. The game encourages you to destroy him with the Vendigroth Device, a technological weapon which utilises the same principle to turn his own magic against him.
  • If the player chooses to kill Sander Cohen in BioShock, then they can add as many delicious layers of irony as they want. After an entire level has been devoted to you running about Fort Frolic, murdering Cohen's ex-students and using the photographs of their dead bodies to complete his self-proclaimed "Masterpiece", the player can kill Cohen and take a picture of his corpse to net the appropriately-named "Irony" achievement. But wait, there's more! For some sweet poetic justice, why not kill him with the crossbow he gave to you? Better still, load it up with Incendiary Bolts — because nothing says irony like burning to death in an underwater city.
  • The Abbot in the 6th Chapter of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow suffers this after losing the relic in his tower, which could have saved so many needlessly sacrificed lives in the village from the vampires. He curses Gabriel and Zobek to hell for taking it from him, only to find himself THE one going to hell! Also counts as a Karmic Death. What's even more ironic about his last words is that Gabriel and Zobek do in fact go to hell, and Zobek was actually one of the bad guys who orchestrated the starting events of the game.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can kill Caesar in a variety of different ways, some of them ironic:
    - Stab him with a knife, like how the real Caesar was killed. There is even a challenge for doing so!
    - Shoot him with 12 Gauge coin shot (shotgun shells loaded with Legion denarii, i.e., his own army's money). Alas, there is no challenge called "Render Unto Caesar What Is Caesar's".
    - Shoot him in the head with "A Light Shining In The Darkness", the same gun used by Joshua Graham, the guy he (tried to have) executed for failing him.
    - Kill him as a female Courier, since his army is a sexist, raping, slavery organization who regard women as inherently inferior.
    • If you let Benny go free the first time you encounter him, you find him at Caesar's Fort, tied up. If you bring a pistol, you can shoot him in the head while he's kneeling before you — exactly what he did to you at the start of the game. Extra points if you pick-pocketed him and shoot him with his own gun (there's a challenge for that too).
    • You can get the Omerta bosses, who are planning on siding with Caesar's Legion to betray Vegas and slaughter civilians, to backstab and kill each other.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel are a faction of heavily armed isolationists who openly think that anyone but them is inferior and stupid, and as a result constantly steal technology from the "ignorant" wastelanders, including yourself. One of the ways you can take them down is using a high Science skill to hack the terminal that controls their turrets, and watch them slaughter the entire facility.
    • In the Dead Money expansion, you can seal Elijah permanently in the vault he desperately wanted to get into. The vault was actually designed to do this to someone else who wanted to get into the vault but never actually made it that far.
  • Fallout 2. Myron is a smug, obnoxious teenage brat who keeps bragging about inventing Jet, the most addictive and lethal drug around. The fact that he killed several slaves to get the formula right doesn't bother him at all, nevermind the fact that it kills tons of people on a daily basis. Even if he isn't killed by the many horrible things out in the wastes, or by the player, then karma still manages to get the last laugh on him: the epilogue reveals that he gets stabbed to death by a Jet addict in a bar and he's more or less completely forgotten about in a month.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 3 implies that the child murderer who lured at least five children away and killed them used a Spring Bonnie animatronic/suit hybrid and an unseen Safe Room to commit his crimes. The Night 5 minigame shows what happened years after the fact - returning to the long-dead pizzaria to dismantle the animatronics, the murderer is cornered in the Safe Room by the spirits of his victims and tries to hide in the same Spring Bonnie suit. However, time, a leaky ceiling and his laughter aren't too kind to the suit's already hazardous springlocks, which break - releasing the animatronic parts and tearing the murderer's body apart from within, killing him in the very same Safe Room and costume (and perhaps by the very same method) he had used to kill others. And it's implied he's haunting the animatronic that his corpse is trapped inside of, just like his victims had done.
  • In the Fate route of Fate/stay night Shirou kills Kotomine Kirei with the same Azoth Dagger that the latter gave to Rin 10 years ago. Even more ironic that it also was the same dagger he killed Tokiomi Tohsaka (Rin's father and the one who gave it to him as a gift in the first place) with in Fate/Zero.
  • In the background of the Tsukihime story, the magus Zelretch defeated Brunestud of the Crimson Moon, a being who could be called the personification and embodiment of the Moon's spirit, will, and power. How did Zelretch deal the final blow? He teleported the two of them to an alternate universe where humanity was extinct and Earth barren, and then dropped the Moon itself on Brunestud's head.
  • Happens to both of the Combine Hunter-Choppers encountered in Half-Life 2. The first one stalks and hounds you through the Canals, tormenting you with a Heavy Pulse Gun mounted on it's underside. However, a group of Rebels have managed to scavenge the one of the very same Pulse Guns used by the Chopper, which is given to you to use against the Helicopter. The Pulse Gun tears the Helicopter apart, forcing it to retreat and leave you alone for a little while. Soon after you duel the Chopper 1 on 1, using the very same weapon it's been using against you the whole time. Then in Half-Life 2: Episode 2, another Hunter-Chopper again chases you to a Rebel Base, the chopper begins peppering the base with spherical mines, which are set to go off about 5 seconds after hitting the ground. You defeat the Helicopter by tossing these mines back at it until it's significantly damaged, loses control and spins out, then crashes into a hillside.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic IV, Mardor, captain of the town guard of Vitross, attempts to burn necromancer Gauldoth to death when the latter is wrongfully accused of being a child murderer. Gauldoth flees the town, and returns several months later with an army which he uses to besiege and capture the town. One of his first acts as lord of Vitross is to have Mardor burned at the stake.
  • In Mass Effect 2, you take Morinth the serial sex-murderer back to her apartment as a trap; shortly before you (can choose to) kill her, and she thinks she'll get what she wants, she remarks about chess:
    Morinth: I love any game where your opponent can believe he's about to win—just before you kill him.
    • Of course, this can apply to the player, too. If you go in thinking you can out-Paragon/Renegade her without 100% in the appropriate track, things go... poorly.
    • And if Morinth is allowed to live through ME2, then, in Mass Effect 3, she winds up ditching you to resume her life of indulging in her appetites as an Ardat-Yakshi. The very genes she claims make her the "true destiny" of the Asari then draw the Reapers right to her and they turn her into a Banshee, resulting in the PC blowing her brains out in the final mission.
    • The DLC mission pack "Lair of the Shadow Broker" reveals that this is a favored trope for Garrus (during his Archangel days, at least). Examples:
      Har Urek (saboteur): Suffocation (environmental suit malfunction)
      Gus Williams (weapons smuggler): Headshot (smuggled weapon)
      Thralog Mirki'it (red sand dealer): Chemical overdose (red sand, direct contact with all four eyes)
      Zel'Aenik nar Helash (viral specialist, serial killer): Cough
      • Garrus also says he would have harvested the organs of Dr. Saleon (a Mad Scientist who grew organs inside volunteers and later sold them, with horrific consequences for the failed subjects), but says that he'll have to settle for just shooting him.
    • Also from ME2: A Batarian bartender on Omega hates humans, and poisons any drink he serves a human. Shepard orders a drink, but due to his/her Cerberus cybernetic implants, s/he survives, and goes back to confront the bartender, who, not recognizing Shepard, pours him/her a free (obviously poisoned) drink. The renegade option? Make the bartender drink it, threatening to blind him one eye at a time if he refuses. No, good is definitely not nice.
    • This can happen to Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3, depending on your choices in the series. During the attempted Cerberus coup on the Citadel, Kai Leng kills Thanenote  by stabbing him in the chest with his sword. Then, at the end of the assault on the Cerberus base, Shepard kills Kai Leng by stabbing him in the chest with his/her omni-blade. For bonus points, only two of the six player classes use the standard omni-blade in gameplay. So the other four classes use the omni-blade once in the entire game just to invoke this trope.
  • Volgin, the Psycho Electro of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, gets killed by lightning. Naked Snake lampshades the irony of the situation. For an extra dose of Irony, the entire game Volgin used the phrase "Kuwabara Kuwabara" (A Japanese saying that was believed to ward off lightning) every time it rained. Right before his death he hears thunder go off and instead of saying the phrase, taunts the storm with "Who's afraid of a little lightning?"
  • Interestingly, Scorpion now has the original Sub-Zero's Spine Rip fatality as his own in Mortal Kombat: Deception. For a real twist of irony, pull this classic fatality off on Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot. Maybe that'll teach them for pulling that stunt on him in Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 4. This is also how he killed the first Sub-Zero in the story mode of Mortal Kombat 9, alongside his classic "Pull Off Mask and Kill It with Fire" Fatality: all that's left of Bi-Han is a skull with the spine still attached.
  • In Mega Man 2, Metal Man is easily one hit KOed by the Metal Blade. Not that it'll help much in the first fight.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, Myrkul, the former god of death, is noted as being a huge fan of ironic deaths. Fittingly, you can utterly annihilate him using the powers his curse gave you. He even lampshades it, taking a perverse pleasure in the fact.
  • At the end of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, villain Dr. Nefarious ends up stranded on an asteroid drifting through space. When he captures the heroes in the later game Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, he has them tied to an asteroid and shot into space. (They do not die, however.)
  • In Team Fortress 2, one of the Medic's new weapons is the bust of Hippocrates, so now players can be beaten to death by the father of medical ethics. What makes this even more ironic is that if you zoom in on the bust of Hippocrates, there's a little brass plaque underneath that says "DO NO HARM", the time-honored motto of the health profession. And even better. What does "Hippocrates" sound like?
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, if Guardian Force Odin appears during the player's last fight with Seifer, just as he rushes in to deliver his signature blow, when the screen flashes and shows Odin having passed him by, he reveals to have been OKDO'd himself by Seifer.
  • In one quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim you meet a Dunmer trapped in a spider web. After killing the Giant Spider involved, he asks you to cut him loose in exchange for a MacGuffin. After you do, he shouts "You Fool!" and runs deeper into the dungeon. Should the player choose not to pursue and kill him, he wakes up draugr that kill him, or failing that, steps on a pressure plate and gets splattered by a booby trap.
    • Genre Savvy players who know that he's going to betray them can also keep swinging after he's loose, often killing him before he even has the chance to run. He did say "cut me down," after all.
    • Ulfric Stormcloak supposedly started the Civil War by killing the High King with the Thu'um. If you join the Imperial Legion, at the end of the questline, when Ulfric lies at your mercy, you can execute him and end the war with your own Thu'um.
  • In The World Ends with You, you end up killing Game Master Konishi with the same pin she used in order to manipulate you and your partner. In fact, due to the way the boss fight works, it's impossible to not kill her like that.
    • And a few minutes later, you find Sho Minamimoto "crunched" and added to one of his own trash heaps.
  • World of Warcraft does this sometimes:
    • In the final battle with the Lich King, he proceeds to instantly kill the players attacking him before invoking this trope: his rival, Tirion Fordring, by arming the players and training them in preparation for this very fight, Tirion just delivered a world class 10 or 25-man army to Arthas' feet, who now lie fresh for Arthas to resurrect as unstoppable Scourge champions (which was actually his plan all along) and then kill Fordring, currently encased in ice mere feet away.
      • Averted only to be played straight when Tirion breaks free of the ice using the power of the Light and shatters Frostmourne, allowing Arthas to be killed - the irony being not only that by not killing Tirion, Arthas allowed himself to be killed, along with the fact he was a paladin before a death knight.
    • This is how Deathwing meets his end in World of Warcraft. The artifact he forged long ago to help him conquer the world, the Dragon Soul, is used by the heroes to kill him in the finale of Cataclysm.
  • In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Ignitus, the Guardian of Fire, dies in the wall of fire left in the wake of the Destroyer, whilst escorting Spyro and Cynder through it.
  • The Big Bad of Electronic Super Joy stole your butt. You kill him by butt-stomping him.
  • Near the end of Knights of the Old Republic II, the Jedi Masters you spent the game reassembling at Dantooine decide that everything that's happened is your fault and therefore you must be cut off from the Force entirely. Kreia promptly steps in and drains them of the Force to save you - and, them being old men who have depended on the Force for their entire lives, the shock of losing their connection to it immediately kills them.
  • In Dangan Ronpa, the execution scenes are tailored so they all invoke this trope. Examples include a baseball player being executed by repeated shots from a pitching cannon, and a leader of a biker gang being centrifuged by being forced to ride a very fast motorcycle in a spherical cage.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, Killbane does a Neck Snap on Kiki DeWynter and dishes out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on his own gang. So the Boss kills him by giving him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that ends in a Neck Snap.
  • Not exactly "death", per se, but the create-a-wrestler storyline in WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2010 starts off with Santino Marella calling out the player's custom wrestler out of the audience to fight him, to which he loses and loses the Intercontinental Championship. This is exactly how Santino first debuted in the WWE (except there it was Bobby Lashley pulling him out of the audience instead of being chosen by his opponent).
  • In FreeSpace, the Shivans is the first who discovered Subspace, and made the Shielding system, the latter doesn't work while in the former. something that the SD Lucifier learned the hard way.
  • In Trauma Center, Big Bad Erich Von Reitanau plans an ironic death for the entire human race by engineering synthetic diseases that each correspond to what he perceives as humanity's "sins." For instance, there's one that represents war that makes the victim suicidal, one that represents overpopulation that gives the victim an extremely aggressive cancer, one that represents pollution that fatally poisons the victim, and so forth.
  • In the backstory of Star Trek Online, several Starfleet representatives proposed to enter the Klingon-Gorn War on the side of the Klingons on grounds of Undine infiltration of the other side. Councillor Sokketh blocked the proposal, saying that peace with the Undine was still possible. In the game proper, he's killed and replaced by an Undine.
  • Near the end of Persona 4, when the party has cornered the killer they've been tracking the whole game, Naoto half-suggests throwing him into the nearby TV, which would kill him in the same manner as he's been killing and attempting to kill others the whole game. The group argues over what to do, and it leads to the protagonist having to make the decision. If done, not only does the group commit their first murder, but it results in the death of a mostly-innocent man and leads to a bad ending, the real killer still unsuspected and on the loose.
  • The fate of all Noble Team members in Halo: Reach, listed below:
    • Jorge loved reach but didn't die on it.
    • Kat was the brains of the team but got shot in the head.
    • Carter was essentially the team captain and went down with the scarab he was piloting.
    • Emile loved sharp things and died by being stabbed.
    • Jun was a stealth expert and he went MIA.
    • Noble Six was a lone wolf and died alone on reach.

  • In The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness, Right-Eye the rash, impulsive brother of analytical and carefully planning Redcloak is killed when he finally thinks something through carefully and formulates a well-thought out scheme... Only to have it ruined during the execution stage when his brother does something rash and impulsive. Redcloak lampshades it.
    • More recently, Tsukiko is killed by her own wights after Redcloak takes control of them.
    • Earlier in the strip Durkon is relieved that since he'll return home posthumously, he won't be eaten by some monster. How does he die? his blood is drained by a vampire.
  • In Paranormal Mystery Squad's debut, the deer woman they are chasing is incapacitated when she runs in front of a car.
  • In Homestuck, Equius, Kanaya, Eridan and Nepeta are killed in this way. Equius is garroted with his own bow - that is to say, the Heir of Void is left void of air. Additionally, he was shot through the leg with an arrow and strangled with a broken bow - after dedicating himself to being an archer, but always breaking his bows and never firing a shot successfully. Kanaya is shot through the stomach by the wand she made for Eridan; her sign is Virgo and she's left barren. Eridan himself is chainsawed in half by Kanaya after she was revived as a rainbow-drinker, or rather, the magician was sawed in half by his lovely assistant (and the Aquarius sign consists of two separate halves, to increase the irony). Nepeta's fate was been left unknown for some time after being advanced upon by Gamzee - that is to say, the catgirl existed in a state of possible life or death until it could later be observed; additionally, Nepeta was the Rogue of Heart, and had the person she cared about most taken away from her just before her death.
    • Then there was Vriska, whose murder of Tavros by impaling him on his own lance led to Terezi impaling her with a stabbing cane.
  • Taken to extremes in Sire. The Binding being a force of the universe as strong as fate will use dramatic irony as a weapon to punish anyone who does not live up to their story. They call it a tragic ending.
  • Matt attempts to do so to Regules in White Dark Life. The irony being Matt using an Instant Kill attack on a boss with two instant kills. Unfortunately, it didn't work.
  • Stockyard in Unsounded dies from hanging (which also decapitates him for good measure). He is clearly fixated on noose imagery (he ties his hair into noose shapes and uses noose iconography in his brothel), and his father was hung — with an implication that he took the fall to save his son, no less.
  • The main villain of Welcome To Chastity is a witch who can among other things conjure fireballs and make women's breasts grow larger. She gets killed because of a fire she started triggers a gas explosions which she couldn't escape from since someone made her breasts so huge she couldn't move.

    Web Original 
  • This is the most common way of choosing an execution method in Protectors of the Plot Continuum.
  • Season 3 of Penny Arcade's D&D Podcast ends with Aeofel dying in the villain's mansion by getting caught in a acid pit. Later in the first PAX live game, the group ventures to hell so they can bring him back while getting their revenge on the Big Bad. When they finally get to her, she ultimately falls into an acid pit and dies.
  • In Splinter Cell: Extinction, Julian Hunter is ordered by director Ward to shoot Douglas Hyland (who didn't expect that) in episode 4. And then he's shot by Ward in episode 7. He didn't expect that.
  • RWBY: While fighting on top of an airship, Roman rants about Ruby's determination to be a hero, furiously telling her that idealism just gets people killed, and she'll die just like all other huntresses because of this lack of survival instinct; she should instead focus on the practicality of survival by any means necessary. As a master of survival, he believes supporting an unstoppable villain is the only way to survive. However, he's so angry and focussed on Ruby that he forgets he's surrounded by people-eating monsters who are attracted to negative emotions, and his survival speech is cut short when he is Swallowed Whole by a Griffon.
  • General W of the SCP Foundation locked two small children in a room with SCP-682 an immortal, extremely malevolent Eldritch Abomination claiming it was an attempt to kill the creature. They both got brutally murdered. Later, someone else locked him in a room with 682, claiming it was an attempt to kill the creature. He got brutally murdered.
    • It's all but explicitly stated, however, that this was supposed to be karma.
    Dr. Clef: Fucking sadistic asshole. I've got no sympathy for that moron whatsoever. Introducing children to this fucking monster? What the hell…
    • SCP-823 ran on this trope before it was abandoned. The following are just a few deaths that occurred there:
    One (1) individual wearing a "Happy Hippo" mascot uniform, found dead of suffocation. Mouth, trachea, and lungs were discovered to be filled with a fibrous substance later determined to be identical to the stuffing in said mascot uniform. (dead)

    Fifteen (15) individuals recovered from the "Thriller Chiller" roller coaster, all decapitated by blunt force. Witnesses reported that the deaths did not occur simultaneously, but in groups of two, starting with the front row of seats and ending with the back. Forensic analysis indicates that each set of deaths corresponded to a loop or turn in the roller coaster's tracks. (dead)

    One (1) individual recovered from under the "Thriller Chiller" roller coaster, dead of broken neck and massive cranial trauma caused by a fifty-foot fall from an inverted position. Individual was seated at the back of said roller coaster, and somehow managed to extricate self from the ride's safety harness halfway through the ride. (dead)

    One (1) individual found dismembered inside the "House of Mirrors" attraction. Left arm was found sixteen feet to the north from the torso. Left leg was found inverted and attached to the ceiling by sinews. Right leg was found in the possession of Subject 79, partially consumed (forensic analysis indicates that teeth marks found on flesh and bone of said leg are human in origin). To date, no trace of right arm has been found. (alive)

    Western Animation 
  • Gravity Falls: Bill Cipher is shown to turn much of the town into stone during Weirdmageddon. He is finally killed after Ford tricks him into entering Stan's mind, leaving his body as stone itself. It's also worth noting that Stan and Ford tricked him into making a deal. (Ford had the knowledge to stop the forcefield that prevented Bill and his minions from leaving Gravity Falls, so Stan and Ford disguised themselves as each other so that Bill would enter Stan's mind instead.) This is fitting for an entity which tricked people into making dangerous deals himself. Finally, even though Bill wanted to leave the town, his death resulted in his stone body being trapped in Gravity Falls forever.
  • In the Grand Finale of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the evil entity below Crystal Cove had spent centuries manipulating groups of mystery solvers together in an effort to free himself, corrupting them in the process. He tried to do this to the gang, but they managed to catch on, and in the end, they destroyed him, ERASING HIM FROM EXISTENCE!
  • Metalocalypse: The Dethklok song "Bloodtrocuted" tells the story of an electrician who is being chased by bounty hunters because he happens to look like a dangerous criminal with a large bounty on his head. He escapes into the woods and stumbles across a power station, where he kills the bounty hunters by cutting his arm and electrifying a puddle of his own blood for them to step in. However, he cannot stop his arm from bleeding and dies as a result.
  • The Simpsons
    • Famously (or infamously) done by Frank Grimes in "Homer's Enemy" where during his rant about Homer's incompetence and him being Too Dumb to Live, ends up electrocuting himself by grabbing High Voltage wires without gloves.
    • Subverted in one episode, in which Sideshow Bob is hoisted by his own petard when getting into a debate with Lisa that would end with his plan failing, but that was the plan all along.
    • Ned Flanders decides to watch the car race from the top of the stands to avoid flying debris (and the drivers' swearing). Their spot high up helped do Maude in. Well, kinda. Homer 'kills' Maude by picking up a frickin' bobby pin on the floor. This causes the T-shirt cannon to hit Maude, knocking her off the stadium and killing her. He also parked in an ambulance zone, preventing the first responders from having any chance of reviving her.
  • Alright, he didn't die (given he's a spirit, he probably can't die), but Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic receives his Fate Worse Than Death in this fashion. After spending two episodes using the mane cast's flaws to break and Mind Rape them, his own flaws — namely his inability to think the mane cast could reunite their friendship after he effectively broke it apart and his ego further blinding him to that fact — are his undoing. Because of this, he lets them take a second free shot at him under the belief the Elements Of Harmony are useless thanks to their broken friendship and it'll fail. He realizes he was wrong when the Elements actually fire and it's too late for him to do anything about it, resulting in him being Taken for Granite (Until his resurrection and semi-reformation in Season 3).
  • Justice League gives us a great example of literal irony when Felix Faust summons Hades to bargain for ultimate knowledge, and is killed by the god instead, who claims that "ultimately, pain and suffering are all man will ever know"." Going by the definition of "ultimate," Hades is quite correct: at the end of any life is the experience of death.
  • Bender almost died ironically moments after his introduction in Futurama. Driven to suicide by the revelation that he had been unwittingly helping construct suicide booths, he tried to do himself in by using one of the booths. At least the company wouldn't have made a profit, as he used a coin on a string.
  • In one episode of Regular Show Mordecai gets pursued by a gang of croquet players that kill people who use cell phones on their turf, whose leader dies when his car flies into a cell phone billboard.
  • In Titan Maximum the first episode has a guy who works at the Aviation Disaster Museum about to be killed by a jet that was shot down. He even lampshades this trope just before it hits him.
    Museum Worker: (Looks up) Oh this is ironic as hell!
  • In Daria, we have Tommy Sherman, the former quarterback for Lawndale High, who would frequently run into the goalpost because he would wave to the crowd as he attempted to run a touchdown. At one point, the goalpost left him unconscious, so the school was putting in a safe new goalpost designed to fall apart rather than split the player's skull, and named it after him. However, as he went to go check out the new goalpost, it fell on top of him and crushed him. The fact that it was still in a sharp edged wooden crate leaning precariously against the bleachers didn't help matters.

    Real Life 
  • Believe it or not, the situation depicted in the page image (beaver killed by tree it cut down falling on it) actually happens occasionally.
  • The Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, was obsessed with obtaining immortality through alchemical elixirs. In Chinese Alchemy, mercury was considered a potent ingredient, so one of his solutions was to always have a daily dose of mercury everyday. In the end he died of mercury poisoning when he tried a new formula of mercury pill. The irony of it was in his quest for immortality, he instead found a way to die faster.
    • Even worse, his greatest friend and most trusted adviser told him that he shouldn't be taking the potion and that the apothecaries were killing him with it. A special on The History Channel showed him dying from the potion right after his adviser told him to stop. Though this may not be ironic and be more Too Dumb to Live.
    • Legend says that the Chinese inventor of gunpowder came with the formula while also trying to fabricate an elixir of immortality... and promptly got a severe case of explosion to the face.
    • Another legend states that a Chinese philosopher once ascended to heaven by strapping a bunch of gunpowder rockets to a chair. Mythbusters attempted to replicate this, and after witnessing an impressive pyrotechnic display, they acknowledged that the rockets might have indeed helped him get to heaven, but he still most likely got there the usual way.
    • During Emperor Qin Shi Huang's reign, Sinister Prime Minister Li Si devised the Five Pains, a lethal form of torture. After the Emperor's own Ironic Death, Li Si became anxious that the Emperor's successor Fusu would order him to forfeit his position as Prime Minister to Fusu's friend Meng Tian, so he underwent a Face–Heel Turn and forged a letter from Qin Shi Huang saying that both Fusu and Meng Tian must kill themselves, which was successful. He was found out, and he was then sent to his doom through the aforementioned form of torture that he himself had devised, the Five Pains.
  • According to legend, pirate Bartholomew Roberts's famous sobriety was a direct cause of his death. When the British Navy finally caught up to him, most of his crew was so hungover they couldn't stand up. As one of the few guys in any condition to move around and tend to the ship, Roberts presented a perfect target for the British guns...
  • Throughout much of his adult life, Malcolm X preached about how the white man was the devil and how they were out to get black people. But in 1965, when Malcolm made the Hajj to Mecca and then had a change of heart about his earlier beliefs, it was people of his own race (and the same group he was such a prominent part of) who ended up assassinating him.
  • Sam Kinison, who had spent all eight years of his career either advocating drug use or sarcastically telling people not to, drinking heavily, and other such things, died in a drunk driving accident. The irony is that Kinison was totally sober when a drunk 17 year old in a pickup hit his car head on.
    • Not to mention this part of his schtick:
      Sam Kinison: We don't WANT to drink and drive ... But there's no other way to get the fucking CAR back to the HOUSE!! How are we supposed to get fucking home??!!
    • Even more ironic is Kinison's following quote from his guest appearance in Married... with Children where he played Al Bundy's guardian angel. He told Bundy in one scene: "I hated driving home so much I had vanity plates written up that said 'hit me'."
  • Grizzly Man: Timothy Treadwell, self-professed activist and friend of bears. Eaten by a bear.
  • Chrysippus was a Greek philosopher who belonged to the school of thought known as Stoicism. He died of laughter.
  • Famous French comic strip writer René Goscinny, best known for Astérix and Lucky Luke, died from cardiac arrest during a cardiac stress test.
  • Basil Brown, an English health food advocate, died of liver damage caused by hypervitaminosis after drinking ten gallons of carrot juice.
  • Michael Anderson Godwin, sentenced to death by the electric chair but commuted to life in prison, was electrocuted while fixing a television while sitting on a metal toilet seat.
  • American comedian and actor W.C. Fields died on the day he despised the most: Christmas Day.
  • Josef Stalin terrorized Russia for decades. One morning he couldn't breathe and was in desperate need for medical help, but nobody dared to enter the room without his explicit permission...
  • During The American Civil War, General John Sedgwick was very dismissive of the Confederates' shooting skills. At one point during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House (1864), he said: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance". He was shot seconds later, which is why we have a trope named after him.
  • Captain Buckey O'Neill believed that an officer should never take cover in order to keep the morale of his men high. During the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War, he kept walking through the American trenches while chain smoking and laughing at his men's fears that he was going to be shot. "The Spanish bullet is not molded that will kill me", he said. A moment later, he was shot in the mouth.
  • Terry Kath from the rock group Chicago was toying with a gun when he said: "Don't worry, guys. It isn't even loaded. See?", before he accidentally shot himself.
  • Stunt man Bobby Leach, who had crossed great heights during his career, died in 1911 when he slipped on a banana peel and broke his leg. The injury became gangrenous.
  • 19th century lawyer Clement Laird Vallandigham died during a court case. He tried to defend someone who was accused of murder by showing that the victim might have accidentally shot himself. Vallangdigham showed this by using a real gun and accidentally shot himself dead with it! The silver lining: Vallandigham's client was acquitted because the jury was convinced by his defense.
  • Comedian Tommy Cooper died in 1984 on stage during a live TV broadcast. While he suffered a heart attack, the audience thought it was all part of the act and laughed as he drew his final breath. Even more ironically, he was known for performing stage acts where a large chunk of the comedy was that everything went wrong!
    • Beloved British comedian Eric Morecambe also had a heart attack during a stage performance in 1984, and died the following day. In that stage show, ironically enough, he joked about the death of Tommy Cooper (whose death recounted above happened a month prior) and how he'd "hate to die like that".
    • Actor Redd Foxx had a similar exit. Foxx is best remembered for his catchphrase in Sanford and Son in which the cantankerous Fred Sanford would clutch his chest and yell, "It's the big one!" While filming a different series in an episode ironically titled "Chest Pains", The Big One was real, but the cast and crew laughed at what they thought was a joke until Foxx fell to the ground and stopped breathing.
  • On 17 February 1673, French playwright and actor Molière collapsed on stage playing the title role, the hypochondriac Argan, in his play Le malade imaginaire ("The Imaginary Invalid"). He incorporated his agony into his performance and died a few hours after the play ended.
  • Playwright J. I. Rodale died while he was a guest on the Dick Cavett show. During the recordings Rodale ironically claimed he felt great and said: "I'm in such good health that I fell down a long flight of stairs yesterday and I laughed all the way", "I've decided to live to be a hundred", and "I never felt better in my life!" He had also previously bragged, "I'm going to live to be 100, unless I'm run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver." A few minutes later, he suffered a heart attack and passed away. The show was never broadcast.
  • Singer Felix Powell, best known for the song "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag (And Smile, Smile, Smile)", later committed suicide.
  • Motorcyclist Philip Contos was riding without a helmet in protest of helmet laws. He lost control of his bike, hit his head, and died. Troopers say he would have survived if he were wearing a helmet.
  • 18th century politician Maximilien Robespierre ruled a reign of terror and ordered many people to be guillotined for plotting against the Republic. Eventually, he was beheaded for the same reason.
    • Subversion of this trope: it is often believed that Joseph Ignace Guillotin, "inventor" of the guillotinenote , died on the very execution device that he invented himself. This is an urban legend because he simply died of old age.
    • Another legend, based on the apocryphal 1860s "Memoirs of Henri Sanson" (the public executioner of Paris), claims that Louis XVI himself was responsible for the change of the design of the guillotine's blade from a curved, sickle-like shape to the familiar trapezoidal (diagonal) knife.
  • John F. Kennedy: The last thing anyone ever said to JFK while he was alive was: "Well, you can't say the people in Dallas don't love you, Mr. President."
  • John Lennon: As a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, the Beatle who once sang "shoot me" in the chorus of "Come Together" was eventually shot dead. Lennon also wrote the Beatle song "Happiness Is A Warm Gun". Tori Amos covered the song in 2001 and included voice samples of Lennon in the number.
    • When the Beatles first arrived in the USA some journalist asked Lennon: "Are you scared when crowds scream at you?". He snapped back:"More so in Dallas than other places."
    • Another Harsher in Hindsight quote by John: "I don't intend to be a performing flea any more. I was the dreamweaver, but although I'll be around I don't intend to be running at 20,000 miles an hour trying to prove myself. I don't want to die at 40." When he was murdered in 1980 he was exactly that age!
    • And, this is getting rather eerie, there was an interview in the 1960s where Lennon was asked how he expected to die? His answer: "I'll probably be popped off by some loony."
  • Kurt Cobain, the rock singer who once wrote a song called "I Hate Myself And Want To Die" eventually committed suicide and left a note that in a nutshell had the same message. Even more ironic is that CNN, only a month earlier, had incorrectly reported he had died from an overdose. It was in fact only a coma as a result of an overdose.
  • Phalaris, the tyrant of Akragas, Sicily, contracted the "Brazen Bull" in which a victim was put into a bronze replica of a bull and the bull was slowly heated. When Tellemachus overthrew Phalaris, Phalaris himself became a victim of the "Bull".
    • It is sometimes reported that the first victim of the Bull was its designer, Perillos of Athens. However, ancient sources say that Phalaris only tested the Bull with Perillos, then took him out and threw him over a cliff.
  • Over the course of his life, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 men, his first victim being Stephen Hicks, who, in 1978, had been bludgeoned by Dahmer with an exercise weight. In 1994, while in prison for his crimes, Dahmer was killed by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver, who bludgeoned him to death with an exercise weight.
  • The owner of Segway Inc, Jimi Heselden, was killed in a Segway accident. Specifically, he was killed when he apparently rode a Segway off a cliff.
  • A member of the Jolley Gang (a notorious group of British party crashers) choked to death on a canape at a funeral he had not been invited to.
  • Marie Curie, famous for discovering radium, died from overexposure to radioactivity. That isn't exactly ironic though, just a consequence of her spending her entire career studying radioactivity. Thanks in part to fates like hers, people in that line of work nowadays know how to protect themselves.
  • In February 1978, Dutch comedian, singer, poet, journalist and songwriter Clinge Doorenbos was surprised to read his own obituary in the local papers. The next day, in that same newspaper, he published a humoristic poem about his own premature death. Only three months later of that same year, he passed away for real!
    • This happened to Sid Vicious too. After a first non-lethal heroin overdose "The Sun" reported he was dead. Sid was photographed reading this particular newspaper. [1] Eventually he would die from a heroin overdose.
  • King Mithridates VI of Pontus always lived in fear of being poisoned to death, just like his predecessor did. So he took small doses of poison throughout his life to gain Acquired Poison Immunity. Eventually his empire was conquered by the Roman general Pompejus and Mithridates VI decided to commit suicide by swallowing poison... only to discover that he had indeed become immune to it! He eventually died by sword.
  • Genghis Khan. Is it any more fitting that a brutal warlord who carved a massive empire from warriors who lived and died on the backs of horses, died after falling off his horse?
    • His predecessor Attila the Hun invaded the Western Roman Empire after receiving a marriage proposal from Valentinian III's sister, Honoria. When he failed to get Honoria, he married the Ostrogoth Ildico... and died from complications after their massive wedding banquet.note 
  • Poor President William Henry Harrison. Accused of being old, frail, and unintelligent, he set out to prove his critics wrong. By delivering a two hour inauguration speech. In the freezing rain. With no coat. He was dead 30 days later.
  • Frederick Treves, a surgeon who performed the first appendectomy in England, died from peritonitis, a disease commonly resulted from a ruptured appendix.
  • Fighting the Romans with the phalanx (an infantry formation designed to trample the enemy under weight of men in tight formation) or war elephants tended to end in this trope: the phalanx would end broken up by flanking attacks or loads and loads of javelins and then trampled upon by Roman infantry in tight formation, and the Romans were masters in scaring the elephants into turning around and charging at their own army.
    • Also, they once did it with scythed war chariots (another weapon they were masters at ridiculing). Chariots worked by charging and trampling the enemy... But in that occasion, the Romans defeated the chariots by charging at them and stopping before impact to get back in a compact formation, resulting in the chariots being unable to build up speed, bouncing back on the shield wall, and then getting overran by the legionaires. For added irony, scythed chariots are nowadays associated with the Romans themselves (even if only in chariot races).
    • Speaking of Romans, we have Hannibal Barca. In history, only twice an outnumbered army was able to surround the enemy. The first time was at Cannae, where Hannibal obtained his greatest victory against the Romans. The second time was at Zama, where the Roman survivors of Cannae surrounded Hannibal's army after (barely) foiling his own attempt to repeat Cannae.
  • A man in Australia named Tommy Johns set the world record for being arrested the most times. He was arrested roughly 2,000 times for public drunkenness. He eventually died... from a brain tumor and not an alcohol related illness.
  • It's rumored that the executioner who carried out serial killer Ted Bundy's death sentence was a woman with her hair parted in the middle. Women with their hair parted in the middle were the women Bundy mostly targeted.
  • 1980s Miami drug Queenpin Griselda Blanco used motorcycle drive-by shootings as a favorite method of killing her enemies. In 2012, she was killed by a motorcycle drive-by shooting after she left a butcher shop in Columbia.
  • During the Metropolitan Opera's premiere of Leos Janacek's "The Makropulos Affair", tenor Richard Versalle suffered a heart attack and fell from a fifteen-foot ladder on-stage, moments after singing the line, "Too bad you can only live so long."
  • Actor Antony Wheeler accidentally hanged himself while performing Judas' climactic suicide scene in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • Actor James Dean, who had a famous scene where he's speed chasing towards a cliff in Rebel Without a Cause and who once made a commercial to warn the youth about safe driving, died while speeding too fast in his car on the road, causing an accident that killed him.
  • In 1987, comedian Dick Shawn was playing a politician reciting cliches. One of them was "If elected, I will not lie down on the job." He then fell down and didn't get up. The audience thought it was part of his act. When he didn't get up, there were actually catcalls from people who thought he was dragging it out too long. Finally someone went on stage, examined him and said "Is There a Doctor in the House?" Another audience member performed CPR on him, but it was to no avail. The audience didn't know if the people coming on stage to examine him were part of the act or not. They weren't: he died of a massive heart attack on stage. There is sad irony in the fact that he had played Lorenzo St. Du Bois (the actor playing Hitler) in the scene in The Producers described above.
  • Devon Clifford, drummer for the Canadian indie rock band You Say Party! We Say Die!, collapsed on stage during a gig in Vancouver in 2010 and died two days later in a hospital. After his death, the band changed their name to You Say Party, then split up the next year (they've since reunited with a new drummer).
  • Operatic baritone Leonard Warren died from a cerebral hemorrhage during a performance of Giuseppe Verdi 's "La forza del destino". His final aria started with the words "Morir, tremenda cosa (to die, a momentous thing)". More trouble with Verdi: Conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli suffered a fatal heart attack while conducting a performance of Aida in 2001.
  • French virtuoso organist and composer Louis Vierne gave the performance of his life one evening at Notre Dame de Paris - then collapsed and died of a massive stroke while preparing stops for his encore. He purportedly told his assistant before beginning the concert: "I think that I'll die tonight."
  • Most people know that TV presenter and biologist Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray spine while filming a documentary. The name of the episode? "Ocean's Deadliest". After years of interacting with some of the planet's deadliest creatures, he was killed by a relatively harmless one.
  • Stuntman Tip Tipping was killed when his parachute failed to open while he was filming an episode of the British series 999, which was - ironically enough - a show with the premise of reenacting dangerous accidents.
  • Artist Patrick Nagel (the guy who did the cover for Duran Duran's Rio album) died of a heart attack shortly after participating in an "Aerobathon" for The American Heart Association.
  • The USS Utah, an American Dreadnought battleship built in 1910, had her guns removed and was converted to a target ship, as part of the 1930 London Naval Treaty, which limited the number of battleships each signatory nation could have. During the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, the aforementioned target ship found herself the target of several Japanese bombers, and capsized with 65 officers and crew dying with her (465 of her crew survived).
  • Paul Walker, one of the stars of The Fast and the Furious series (except for Tokyo Drift, where his character Brian O'Conner did not appear), died in a car crash on November 30, 2013, even though he wasn't driving. Police investigation is currently factoring in whether street racing played a part in the accident. Even more ironic is that only a day earlier an Internet hoax had reported he had died. This is one of the reasons why many people didn't believe it when he passed away for real.
  • Adult antlions (which resemble dragonflies) occasionally fall into the sand traps of the larvae and are eaten.
  • Margaret Thatcher, a British prime minister known for her countless privatizations and a vocal champion of the free market, received an official state funeral, paid with taxpayers' money. Critics like Ken Loach and George Galloway immediately noticed this ironic contradiction.
  • A magazine known as Continuum (which ran from 1992 to 2001) was published by its eponymous owner group that claimed that AIDS and HIV were a conspiracy of homophobia and did not exist (it also claimed to be a scientific journal in spite the loads of pseudo-science in its pages and no peer review in sight). Of its three editors, the first two died sequentially of conditions now known as iconic secondary complications of AIDS and HIV infection. The final editor took up the reins as the last request of the second editor, but in lieu of continuing the magazine (and perhaps seeking to avoid the Rule of Three), he published a single final issue and closed the magazine, meaning that Continuum's end also came about because of AIDS.
    • A similar example is Nigerian musician Fela Kuti who didn't believe AIDS existed. He eventually died of it, yet denied his condition to the very end, despite all signs to the contrary. Ironically his final recorded song mocked AIDS hysteria. Even more ironic is the fact that Kuti was such a superstar to the African population that his death actually increased awareness about the disease in Africa.
  • Amy Winehouse spent a large portion of her life unrepentant about her drug use (her most famous song even being about rehab). When she decided to finally go cold turkey, she had been a user for such a long time, the withdrawals were ultimately what killed her according to the autopsy.
  • Princess Diana was hounded by the popular press ever since she became Prince Charles' wife. Everywhere she went paparazzi were chasing her. Even after her divorce they still couldn't leave her alone. One night she was being car chased by sensation crazy journalists who desperately wanted a scoop. They got one: her chauffeur was speeding so fast to escape from the journalists that she and her lover, Dodi Al-Fayed, died in a car crash.
    • Driving the point home (ahem), Diana had stimulated her relationship with the paparazzi in an attempt to get back at Charles and the British monarchy. When she had enough of it, she told them to stop... but they wouldn't.
  • Musician Ritchie Valens, best known for the song "La Bamba", suffered from severe aviophobia after two airplanes collided over the playground of his high school, killing or injuring several of his friends. Valens was not at school that day as he was attending his grandfather's funeral. He eventually overcame his fear enough to travel by airplane. In 1959, when he had to travel a plane that could only carry a small amount of passengers Valens did a coin toss and went on board, while the other potential passenger took a bus instead. As it would turn out the plane crashed and Valens was killed, along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.
  • Several men in Ancient Rome took their power by assassinating the ruling Emperor. Only to be murdered by their own successors afterwards...
  • Ancient Roman politician Crassus was famous for being the richest man of his day (even one of the richest in history). He was killed by Parthians who poured molten gold in his mouth as a symbol of his thirst for wealth.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica, a small island near Italy that became a French colony in the mid 18th century. During his youth he was frequently mocked by Frenchmen for having a thick Corsican accent. In a twist of revenge this man who came from an island that most Europeans saw as a backwards primitive nation eventually conquered most of Europe. And in an even more ironic fashion he was eventually banished to live on another small pathetic island, St. Helena, in front of the African coast, where he died.
  • John Denver first became famous for the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane". But after Denver died in a plane crash in 1997, his rendition has all but disappeared from mainstream radio, with Peter, Paul, and Mary version primarily played instead, even though Denver wrote the song himself.
  • Not one, but two people were killed on the former PeopleMover attraction at Disneyland when they were run over by the vehicles of what was known as the slowest-moving and most harmless-looking ride in the entire park.
  • 1930s Chinese movie actress Ruan Lingyu portrayed an actress hounded by tabloids in the film "New Women" (1935), where her character eventually commits suicide as a result. After the premier both the film and Lingyu herself were scolded and badmouthed by the press. Just like her movie character Lingyu couldn't take it anymore and choose to end her own life. To make everything even more ironic: the film itself was based on the life and death of another actress, Ai Xia, who had also committed suicide because of tabloid slander!
  • PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were sworn rivals. Both had a reputation for having spent a lot of innocent bloodshed to accomplish their goals, yet they both died a relatively peaceful, virtually similar death. In 2004 Arafat was sent to a hospital in Paris, where he fell into a coma and died. Two years later Sharon too succombed in a coma and remained in a hospital in a vegetative state until his death in 2014.
  • A memorial tree planted in the honor of George Harrison, a member of The Beatles, was killed in July 2014 by a beetle infestation.
  • Rezső Seress was a Hungarian composer, best known for the song later translated as "Gloomy Sunday". Back in the 1930s it was notorious for inspiring a lot of suicides. In 1968 Seress himself threw himself out of a window, survived, then choked himself to death on his hospital bed.
  • Orson Welles is most famous for his film Citizen Kane about a man who has a blitz career to the top, then loses everything and eventually dies alone in his house. Welles too became a famous and well respected actor and director before he was 30 years old, but then his career gradually went downhill. By the end of his life he was reduced to voicing commercials or narration in films and died alone in his home.
  • Roy C. Sullivan set the world record for surviving the most lightning strikes, an amazing seven times. The worst effects he suffered were burns and some loss of hearing. He killed himself.
  • French comedian Pierre Desproges was infamous for his black humour. Cancer was one of the topics he seemed to be obsessed about. He made countless jokes about it [http://www.desproges.fr/citations?tag=cancer], among which: "I don't have cancer and it won't happen to me. I'm against it." Guess what illness killed him in the end?
  • In 1993 Belgium changed from a unitary state into a federal one. King Baudouin, symbol of the old Belgium, died that same year, only a few months after the law came in effect. Many Belgians back then noticed this symbolic coincidence.
  • Maus is a graphic novel based on author Art Spiegelman's father experiences during the Holocaust. Spiegelman's father tells the anecdote how he put his faith in a group of Polish smugglers who would help him and his wife escape to another country. In reality they were betrayed by them and thus deported to Auschwitz. Though, in an ironic twist of fate Spiegelman's parents both survived the death camps, while the smugglers eventually ended up in Auschwitz themselves and were murdered there.
  • Gavrilo Princip assassinated archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in 1914 and provided other countries a reason to start the First World War. Princip himself died in april 1918, four months before the war ended that very same year.
    • It ought to be noted that Princip died of tuberculosis, while in prison, because he was too young to receive the death penalty under Austro-Hungarian law. The man who fired the first shot of the Great War died before the war was over - but was not shot. The tyranny he felt compelled to rebel against was too merciful to kill him! By the way, before it did kill him, the disease rotted the arm he used to fire at Franz Ferdinand so bad that it had to be amputated.
    • Nedeljko Cabrinovic, who had tried to murder Franz Ferdinand with a grenade earlier that morning, was not executed for the same reason, and also died of tuberculosis in prison, a couple of years before Princip (the two were buried in the same unmarked grave). Cabrinovic had tried to evade arrest by swallowing a cyanide pill and jumping on a river, but the cyanide was past its due date and the river was only 10 cm deep.
    • Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, the brains behind the attack on Franz Ferdinand and also the regicide of Alexander I of Serbia and his replacement with the anti-Austrian Peter I in 1903, was put at the end of a Kangaroo Court in 1917 and executed for his part in the attempted assassination of Peter I's son Alexander, in which he was actually not involved.
    • Finally, Franz Ferdinand himself died because he refused to leave Sarajevo in the aftermath of the grenade attack to visit the victims at the hospital. The driver took a wrong turn, appearing before Princip, and the engine malfunctioned when he tried to reverse, giving Princip time and aim. The street the driver made the wrong turn at? Franz Joseph St.
  • Paula Yates, partner of singer/activist Bob Geldof, died of a heroin overdose in 2000. Her daughter Peaches Geldof felt devastated by the loss, yet died of the same cause in 2014.
  • Joan Rivers, whose plastic surgery is extremely well-documented, died of complications of a botched procedure in 2014.
  • The Greek philosopher Thales of Milete, who believed that water was the principle behind everything in the universe, died of dehydration while attending a sporting game while sitting in the sun.
  • Roberto Calvi, head of the Vatican Bank, was obsessed with the novel The Godfather and carried a copy along with him everywhere he went. To him it was the only book that tells you how the world is really run. He would have known, because he was heavily involved in mafia intrigues, which eventually brought him into debt troubles. In 1982 he went missing and was found hanging on top of a bridge in London, which ironically would inspire the character Kenzig in The Godfather Part III, who is murdered by the Mafia in the same fashion.
  • In 1959 French writer Boris Vian attended the premiere of a movie adaptation of one of his novels when he was suddenly struck by a heart attack only minutes after the film had started. He died on his way to the hospital. The title of the movie adaptation? J' irai cracher sur vos tombes (translation: I will spit on your grave.)
  • General José Sanjurjo, leader of the 1936 coup that would devolve into the Spanish Civil War, died in a plane crash three days in, while trying to take off from his exile in Estoril, Portugal and fly to Burgos. The tiny DeHavilland Puss Moth, which Sanjurjo had chosen to fly in rather than wait for a bigger DeHavilland Dragon Rapide that had just arrived in Lisbon, crashed shortly after taking off because of the excessive weight of Sanjurjo's large trunk, that contained the uniforms and medals that he intended to wear during his victorious entry in Madrid. The cherry on top of the cake? The aistrip was at Boca do Inferno ("Hell's Mouth" in Portuguese), and the plane went up in flames, but only Sanjurjo died. The pilot escaped with minor burns.
    • Sanjurjo was a figurehead. The real thinking head was another general, Emilio Mola... who died in a separate plane accident the next year. By decapitation.
    • Given the fate of his predecessors, it is ironic too that Francisco Franco, who had been once the youngest general in Spain and was not considered a possible leader before the coup, instead lived to die of ripe old age and with his leadership never challenged.
  • Early in the Libyan Civil War, Muammar Gaddafi dismissed the rebels as "rats". At the end of the war, he was fished out of a drainage pipe and shot by those rebels.
  • In 2012, a 19 year-old Ohioan run a stop sign, was hit by a semitruck and died. He was out that night stealing stop signs.
  • Salvatore Maranzano, "Boss of Bosses" of The Mafia for about 5 months in 1931, was fascinated by The Roman Empire and considered himself a modern version of Julius Caesar. Like Caesar, he was betrayed and stabbed to death. But that's not the end of it: Caesar was the last dictator of Rome, having become that after a long Civil War with Pompey and his successors, and his death led to the establishment of the Roman Empire. Maranzano was the last Boss of Bosses, having become that after a long Mob War with Joe Masseria, and his death led to the establishment of the Commission.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense was forced to change the color of the packaging on Humanitarian Daily Rations from yellow to blue to avoid their being confused with cluster munitions. A civilian on the ground was reportedly killed when an airdrop of HDR's over Bosnia in 1999 landed directly on him.
  • Chris Farley wished to be the next John Belushi, who had tragically died of a drug overdose at 33, shortly after signing to play the main character in the reputedly cursed script, Atuk. Farley then died of a drug overdose at 33, shortly after signing to play the main character in Atuk.
  • Peer Augustinski, a German actor well known as the German voice dub of Robin Williams, died less than two months after Williams, though in his case of old age.
  • Roland Freisler was the Hanging Judge in charge of Nazi Germany's People's Court, an organization without constitutional authority that made show trials of members of the German Resistance, and where the only guarantee was a death sentence at the end. In February 1945, when the People's Court was targetted by an American air attack (led by Robert Rosenthal, a Brooklyn Jew), Freisler ordered the accused to be taken to a bomb shelter, but he went back to retrieve their files himself, and was killed when a beam collapsed over him in his own courtroom. Freisler was thus the only person that met death in court that day. It is said that Freisler's body was found holding onto the file of Fabian von Schlabrendorff, who went on to become judge of West Germany's Constitutional Court after the war.
  • Dutch actor Hans van Tongeren was best known for playing Rien in the Dutch movie Spetters (1981), where his character commits suicide after being paralyzed. In 1982 he was cast to play another character commiting suicide in a movie adaptation of Van De Koele Meren Des Doods, but this never came about because the mentally ill actor made an end to his life.
  • There are cases of hog farmers that fell inside the pen and were eaten by pigs.
  • In 1668 the vicious French pirate François l'Olonnais was defeated by the Spanish army in South America. While on the run, l'Olonnais ambushed two Spanish soldiers, cut out the heart of one and ate it before the other, then said he'd do the same to him if he didn't give l'Olonnais a safe passage to the sea. The terrified soldier complied, but l'Olonnais didn't escape for long. He run ashore in Panama and was captured by a cannibal tribe.
  • The medicine Keith Moon accidentally overdosed on which led to his death in 1978 was prescribed for him to cure his alcoholism, which Keith was trying to cure after more than a decade of rock excess.
  • Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen were two polar explorers who both wanted to become the first man to set foot on the South Pole. Scott in particular wanted his name to be remembered in history. Unfortunately for him Amundsen beat him to the historical deed. As Scott and his team turned back disappointed they all died on their way home from frostbite, starvation and/or exhaustion. Yet, ironically enough Scott has become more famous in history than Amundsen, because the tragic fate of his expedition turned out to be far more interesting subject matter for books, documentaries and films than Amundsen's successful, yet dramatically dull achievement. Case in point is the fact that there is a movie about Scott- the 1947 film ''Scott Of The Antarctic' - but none about Amundsen's expedition.
  • Composer Arnold Schoenberg had a phobia for the number "13", despite being born on that date. He died on Friday the 13th, 13 minutes before midnight.
  • A situationally ironic tragedy: While taking simulated training flights to learn from mistakes and accidents in a safe environment, three people are killed after a plane crashes into a flight simulator.
  • Older Than Dirt: There is good fossil evidence (like fossilized fish pellets with pterosaur bones in them and shark teeth lodged in the bones of Pteranodons) that some fish-eating pterosaurs met their ends when a big predatory fish decided to turn the tables on them.
    • Another prehistory example; many theorize that the marvelously preserved fossils of oviraptorid dinosaurs brooding their nests formed when the animals' parental instincts backfired on them, leading them to be buried in sandstorms because they just couldn't bring themselves to leave the nest unguarded.
  • Oda Nobunaga, a big fan of using fire to solve his problems and forcing enemies to commit seppuku, and who also loathed the Buddhist warrior monks, was ultimately cornered in a burning temple and forced to commit seppuku by an attack by a devout Buddhist.
  • On a related note, Akechi Mitsuhide fled from Yamazaki to avoid being killed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a peasant that had become one of Nobunaga's trusted officers and was now deadset on avenging Nobunaga and claiming his power. While running from the battle, Mitsuhide was ambushed by peasant bandits and died an ignoble death.
  • Greek playwright Aeschylus feared that he would be killed by a falling object and thus stayed indoors. When he did get out once he was hit on the head by... a tortoise which had been dropped by an eagle who tried to break open the shell.
  • Actor Gareth Jones played a character in a live TV play, "Undergound", that was supposed to have a heart attack. No points guessing what he died of during that play...
  • Actor Renato di Paolo portrayed Judas in a play the day before Easter, accidentally hanging himself during the hanging scene.
  • Otto Lilienthal, inventor of the "hang glider", died when this flying device crashed.
  • Scientist Kurt Gödel was paranoid about being poisoned. So much that he only trusted his wife to make dinner for him. When she was hospitalized he eventually died from starvation because he refused to eat food prepared by anyone else. So in the end his fear of a food related death did come true.
  • Activist Marcus Garvey suffered a stroke in January 1940, which led to a newspaper accidentally reporting that he had died and described him as "broke, alone and unpopular." This shocked him so much that he suffered a second stroke and died.
  • André-François Raffray was a French lawyer who signed a deal with a 90 year old lady in 1965, who had no heirs. He agreed to pay her a monthly sum of 2.500 francs for living in her apartment, which would end when she passed away. Seeing that she was already darn old the 47-year old Raffray was confident that his payments would be over soon. Unfortunately for him this woman was Jeanne Calment, who would eventually grow to become the oldest verified human being in existence! At age 77, in 1995, Raffray died and his widow had to continue paying Calment for another two years before Calment finally passed away at the age of 122!
  • A very tragic example: In the wake of 9/11, cockpit doors now can be locked to keep terrorists out, increasing the security...but these people might have been saved if not.
  • Ignaz Semmelweis, medical hero against after-birth sepsis, died from a sepsis.
  • Wolfgang Pauli, physics nobelist. He was obsessed by the fine structure constant, some ~1/137. When he came into a hospital with stomach problems and saw the room number 137, he said "I never get out alive!" He was right.
  • British comedian Benny Hill felt devastated when his popular show The Benny Hill Show was cancelled after 20 years. It was all he lived for and as a result his health started to decline. Still he wasn't forgotten. Many viewers kept asking for a new series, so eventually Thames Television gave in and sent Hill a new contract by post. It arrived in his mailbox the day he died.
  • Michael Jackson died about a month before his comeback concerts would take place. In an ironic twist of events his sudden passing actually did more to revitalize his public image and career than the shows probably would have. Lisa Marie Presley has also said in interviews that Jackson feared going out the same way Elvis Presley did. Both singers died from a drug overdose, though in different circumstances.
    • Evan Chandler, the father who accused Jackson of having sexually molested his son in 1993, committed suicide only six months after Jackson passed away. Ironically, by that time, Chandler himself had also underwent plastic surgery that made him almost unrecognizable.
  • Jimi Hendrix died at age 27 of a drug-related death. When Janis Joplin heard of this she said: "I can't go out this year, because he was a bigger star." Hardly a month later she died at the same age from a heroin overdose. When Jim Morrison heard about the deaths of Hendrix and Joplin during an interview he told the journalist, while holding up his glass: "You're drinking with number three." About a year later Morrison too died at the age of 27.
  • Ramón Artagaveytia developed an intense fear of sailing after surviving a sinking off the coast of his native Uruguay, in 1871. It took him 4 decades to overcome it, but he finally sailed again to visit a nephew in Europe. Ramón then died on the voyage home... aboard the Titanic.
    • For added irony, while in Europe Artagaveytia had written a cousin about how much safer sailing was now, thanks to the introduction of the wireless telegraph. The Titanic was warned of icebergs by the wireless operator aboard the Californian, only for the Titanic's operator, who was busy transmitting the first class passengers correspondence with the continent to rudely tell him to shut up. The other operator closed down, went to bed, and 20 minutes later, the Titanic struck an iceberg. If it wasn't for that incident, the Californian would have come to the other ship's rescue.
  • Merle Travis' song "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)" is a song critical of smoking, with lines like : "...And I don't reckon that it'll harm your health/Smoked all my life and I ain't dead yet". He was a smoker himself and eventually died from pancreatic cancer.
  • Lu Bu, most well known in the Dynasty Warriors series as a serious Badass with an equally serious case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, was most known for two betrayals of father-figure masters, considered especially heinous under the Confucian tenets of loyalty and filial piety. It was only fitting that he would be betrayed twice before his ultimate humiliation and execution—first by his men surrendering their defensive position of Xiapi to Cao Cao's army, then by Liu Bei, who had been expected to put in a word for him to Cao Cao after Lu Bu offered his fearsome talents as a warrior to his captor. Unfortunately for Lu Bu, those words were "Do you remember what happened to Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo?", which encouraged Cao Cao to just have Lu Bu executed rather than risk being another potential victim of betrayal.
  • Narrowly averted by a guy who tried racially abusing a certain Jeremy Green, only to collapse in the street and require 15 minutes of solid CPR to keep him alive for the ambulance to get to him. Had Jeremy chosen to leave him there, the trope would have been fully in effect.
  • Robert McKimson, one of the Looney Tunes directors, told Friz Freleng (who he was working for) one day in 1977 that his doctor said he could expect to live a long time, due to family history. Freleng later reflected, “He had just come from the doctor who told him he had a long life coming because of his [family] history, and he was bragging, ‘I’m gonna be around after you guys are gone!’” A few days later, McKimson died of a heart attack while lunching with Freleng. Freleng outlived him by 18 years.
  • Carole Lombard's last role was in the film To Be or Not to Be. She originally had a line where her character said: "What can happen on a plane?" Before the film was be released she died in a plane crash and thus the studio executives cut the line from the movie.
  • Clark Gable was so stressed out at Marilyn Monroe's antics during the filming of The Misfits that when the film was finished, he remarked "Christ, I'm glad this picture's finished! She damn near gave me a heart attack!" Gable died of a heart attack eleven days later. The Misfits turned out to be the last completed film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, who died a year later.
  • Jerry Garcia, who struggled for years with drug addiction, actually died of a heart attack while in rehab.
  • Eric Fletcher Waters, a devout, anti-war Christian and member of the Communist Party, avoided the draft as a conscientious objector via his Christian beliefs, refusing to fight in World War II and becoming a truck driver. He later changed his mind, enlisted as a Second Lieutenant, and was tragically killed by a sniper near Anzio, Italy. It affected his son Roger very deeply, who grew up without a father and would incorporate his experiences and a similarly pacifistic stance into many of his Pink Floyd and solo works.
  • The bullet that almost killed Ronald Reagan in 1981 injured him after ricocheting off his bulletproof limo. Had it been a normal car, he would have been unharmed.
  • Marc Bolan of T.Rex was afraid of dying prematurely in a car accident and so never learned to drive. His fears came true when he died in a car accident (as a passenger) two weeks short of his thirtieth birthday.
  • Not so much "death" (yet, at least) but Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith was permanently disabled after going into cardiac arrest (which was even the band's first name.) At a MyBloodyValentine concert during their infamous "You Made Me Realise" noise jam, no less.
  • One theory about the Iron Age bog bodies is that they were criminals who had committed acts so heinous that they were sentenced to being erased from memory by dumping their bodies where they could not be retrieved and buried. The irony, of course, is that while it took thousands of years, people ultimately did find a way to retrieve them from the bogs, and that by this point they were the best preserved remains of the non-writing, long forgotten cultures that had condemned them.
  • Peace Pilgrim gained fame by walking across the United States six times over the course of 28 years, more than 25,000 miles. She was killed in an automobile accident while being driven to a speaking engagement.
  • The darkest examples yet would be serial rapist/killers Dennis Rader "BTK" and José Antonio Rodríguez Vega picking their victims among their clients, because they made a living installing home security measures (alarms the former, reinforced doors the second) and there is a possibility that some victims hired them because they had heard about their murders.
  • TV producer Matthiew Klinck was murdered while vacationing in Belize on January 2016. He was involved at the time in the production of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, a show about a FBI unit that investigates crimes against American nationals in other countries. The second episode of this show takes place in Belize.
  • Jerome Moody drowned in a pool during a lifeguard party in New Orleans, in 1985. The party had been organized to celebrate that the season had ended with no drowning deaths in the city.

Alternative Title(s): Ironic Death