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Died in Your Arms Tonight

"Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must have been something you said"
Cutting Crew, "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"

Death Is Dramatic, depressing, and emotional enough, but sometimes, just for the extra emotional kick-in-the-gut Tear Jerker, the author will make a character die in the arms of a futile onlooker. As the onlooker (usually one of the dying character's True Companions) holds them dearly, the dying may flash them a smile or make a final dramatic statement before finally closing their eyes and succumbing to their fate.

If this is done on an Anyone Can Die show, expect the character to be Killed Off for Real (usually). Can turn into It's Personal for the witness, and very often overlaps with How Dare You Die on Me! and Dying Declaration of Love. May be an extension of the refusal to let your loved one Die Alone.

Compare with Pietà Plagiarism, the pose characters generally find themselves in, Cradling Your Kill, when a character dies in their killer's arms, and Deadly Hug, where the victim is killed during the embrace. Contrast Intimate Healing, where a wounded or ill character is less likely to die while in a loved one's arms. (Though strangely enough, intimacy is exactly what's being referenced by the Cutting Crew song.) May overlap with Cradle of Loneliness, especially if the body of a loved one is cradled long after their death.

This is a Death Trope, so be warned that UNMARKED SPOILERS are abound.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Meer Campbell in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny dies in the hands of Lacus Clyne after Taking the Bullet for her. For an extra kick, Meer is Lacus' Body Double and her once biggest fangirl, now ridden by a volatile mix of jealousy, admiration, and the wish to be noticed by her.
    • Also, Stellar Louissier dies in Shinn Asuka's arms.
  • Romeo dies in Juliet's arms, in Romeo X Juliet, after being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
    • Technically, in the manga they die at the same time.
    • Same goes to Lord Montague, who perishes in the arms of both Romeo and Juliet.
  • In Angel Beats!, Kanade Tachibana aka Angel finally manages to pass on in Otonashi's arms.
  • In Battle Royale Yutaka is shot by Kiriyama while he's in Mimura's arms during their emotional embrace after Shinji accidentally shot Keita
  • Masaki in young Ichigo's and Shiba Kaien in Rukia's in Bleach. Subverted a little with Orihime whose brother (presumably) didn't die in her arms but his ghost did.
    • While it was more a case of Rangiku crying over his broken, dying body, this appears to be the fate of Gin.
  • L in Light's in Death Note, although Light cradling L in his arms as he dies is actually just an act; when Light thinks nobody but L can see his face, he flashes a smugly victorious Slasher Smile at L just before L expires. However, if you ask the shippers...
  • In Black Cat, Saya died in Train's arms.
  • In Code Geass, Shirley in Lelouch's arms.
    • And then there's Lelouch, who was in Suzaku's arms for a while, but died in Nunnally's in the end.
    • Rolo in Lelouch's arms, Euphemia in Suzaku's arms, Marianne in Nunnally's arms in the past, and C.C. in Lelouch's arms in the beginning, though she recovered.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin Tomoe died in Kenshin's arms after he accidentally attacked her with his katana. In the OVA, this is when she decides to add the other stroke of his cross-scar (in the original, the scar happened accidentally).
  • Pip Bernadotte in Seras' in Hellsing. Though technically he was just absorbed.
  • Sailor Mars dies in Sailor Moon's arms in the climax of Sailor Stars.
    • Prince Diamond dies in Sailor Moon's arms as well.
    • Mamoru, in his first death.
    • Nephrite and Blue Saphir, whose Redemption Equals Death demises happen while in Naru's and both Moon and Tuxedo Kamen's arms, respectively.
    • Kakyuu dies in the arms of the three Starlights.
      • In the manga, it was Kakyuu in the arms of Sailor Moon.
    • Zoisite in Kunzite's arms.
  • Weiß Kreuz gets some mileage out of this one: Aya gets to both Asami and Sena just in time for this, Sister Ruth dies in the arms of both Ken and Omi, Nagi catches Tot as Fafarello stabs her (she recovers) and has a nice Freak Out, and, most dramatically of all, Ouka Sakaki is shot as Omi embraces her, telling her they'll always be together...
  • GB towards the end of the Hybrid Bear Arc of the Ginga Densetsu Weed manga.
  • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, both Four and Emma die in the arms of Kamille. Whereas Blex Forer dies in Quattro's.
  • In One Piece, Ace shields Luffy from a killing blow, and he dies while Luffy holds him in his arms. This trope contributes to the sheer emotional impact this death has on both Luffy and the viewer.
  • Nuriko of Fushigi Yuugi dies in Tamahome's arms, as does Tamahome's little sister. Soi dies in Nakago's.
  • CLANNAD: Ushio dies in Tomoya's arms.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms: Ill Boy Seishuu dies in Youko's arms, and Ikuya Asano perishes in Shoukei's.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Emily Sevensheep dies (or better said, was written out of reality) in the arms of Yue Ayase.
    • Also a Senseless Sacrifice, as she died making a Diving Save, against a projectile which wouldn't have even harmed the intended recipient. She had no way of knowing that...
  • In Inuyasha Kikyou dies in the title character's arms the final time, after a Last Kiss.
  • In X1999 Seishirou dies in Subaru's arms at the Rainbow Bridge. Made all the more ironic since we also learn that when Seishirou killed Subaru's twin Hokuto... she died in his arms as well. (There was a famous Tokyo Babylon picture featuring that moment already, but only then we see the details.)
    • Also potentially subverted when Kotori is killed, and once everything has died down, Kamui cradles her severed head while the Seals look on in horror and sadness.
  • In Bokurano, Anko dies in either Kanji's arms or her dad's, depending if you're following the anime or the manga.
  • Kagero dies in Jubei's arms in Ninja Scroll.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! LOVES this trope:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh Season 4: Joey dies in Mai's arms (it turns out to be of the undoable kind).
    • Yu-Gi-Oh Season 5: Kisara dies in Seto's arms.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Carly dies in Jack's arms (undone at the end of the season).
      • In the same season, Kiryu dies in Yusei's arms, complete with Ho Yay shoujo sparkles.
  • Happens in Rozen Maiden on two separate occasions. First, Souseiseki dies in Suiseiseki's hands after a futile attempt at taking on Suigintou, made especially heartwrenching because Suiseiseki had desperately tried to convince her not to do it up to that point. In the very next episode, Hinaichigo slowly unwinds during the course of the episode and finally in the hands of Tomoe.
  • Julia dies in Spike's arms in the last episode of Cowboy Bebop. Her death scene is iconic as well as heartbreaking (until Julia was made to sing "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight" in one of the AMV Hell compilations).
  • Alfeegi in Dragon Knights dies in his friend's arms after he was stabbed by the main character, who later cut off his own head.
  • But perhaps the most tear-jerking of them all is Misuzu dying in Haruko's arms in AIR. The kicker? It plays to the most heart-wrenching award bait song EVER.
  • Berserk: Judeau dies in Casca's arms (sort of) after shielding her from a demon attack during the Eclipse. Made even worse by two additional heart-wrenching factors: his love was unrequited, and she didn't even know how he felt. Worse, in the manga, the poor guy doesn't even succeed in spitting it out before he dies.
  • Another instance of this trope occurs in Gantz, where the protagonist's girlfriend Tae Kojima dies in his arms after being hunted down and murdered.
  • In the Ginga Densetsu Weed manga, Weed's oldest friend GB who's been a coward all his life finally finds his courage when they're fighting a giant hybrid bear and ferociously attacks it, only to suffer fatal wounds in the attempt. Upon dying, GB cries and asks Weed to hug him, and (as much as it's possible for a dog to hug someone) Weed concedes while crying heavily himself, and he keeps holding onto him until GB suffers death cramps and dies completely.
  • In Future War 198X Michael frantically searches for Marina after a fight breaks out in Neinberg, only to find her crushed under the rubble of a building. He pulls her out and she dies in his arms.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Meruem beautifully dies in Komugi's arms after he converses with her until his last breath, asking if she was there with him. Komugi dies soon after..
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke appears to die in Naruto's arms in the very first arc, after stands in front of about twenty senbon heading for Naruto.
    • During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Neji really does die in Naruto's arms.
  • In s-CRY-ed, Ayase dies in Kazuma's arms when she loses the will to live. It sounds a bit idiotic, but it's justified in that being refined weakened her body severely, so the only thing she was living for was her brother. When he died, that was it.
  • In Gungrave episode 24, Sherry ended up taking a bullet meant for Harry when he was attacked by an assassin. Harry screamed her name while he clutched her to his chest.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Episode Zero, Wufei's wife Meiran dies in his arms after she tried to save her space colony.
  • In Kaze no Stigma, Ayumi dies in Ren's arms.
  • Near the end of the Vamdemon arc of Digimon Adventure, Wizardmon died in Gatomon's arms after Taking the Bullet for her and Hikari. Then we have Wormmon in Digimon Adventure 02, who died in Ken's arms to kick-start his Heel-Face Turn. Wormmon got better... Wizardmon didn't.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, the end of episode 24 has a scene that looks like a classic example (which all the characters believed it to be), but this was subverted as of ep. 25.
  • Inverted in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure during Phantom Blood's (the first part of the Manga) ending, where Jonathan Joestar dies while holding Dio Brando's severed, but quite alive, head in his arms.
    • It's also played straight at some points too, like earlier on when George Joestar, Jonathan's father dies on his arms after being stabbed by Dio.
  • Hare, while being eaten alive by the Apocalypse Virus, dies this way in Guilty Crown. Averted, she was already dead, but her body shattered in Shu's arms.
  • Though it's not shown in the final version Izumi died in Wrath's arms according to an early script for the first Fullmetal Alchemist movie, complete with her going out with a smile.
  • In the manga version of Chrono Crusade, Rosette does this in Chrono's arms. Twice.
  • In episode 14 of Sword Art Online, Asuna does this to Kirito after taking an attack meant for him. Thankfully, Kayaba put her in the waiting room rather than having her brain fried immediately, so when Kirito won the game a minute or so later, she was able to survive.
  • The climax of Earl Cain takes this and applies Rule of Three: First, Jizabel Disraeli, already dying of a gunshot wound, slits his throat in Cassian's arms; second, Alexis succumbs to poison while being cradled by his dragon, Ida, and finally Cain refuses to save himself alone, preferring to be crushed by rubble to stay alongside Riff.
  • In the Soul Eater anime, Crona appears to die in Maka's arms. Zhe gets better.
  • Tokyo Ravens: Twice, Harutora cradles Hokuto and later Natsume as they make their Dying Declaration of Love.
  • The ending of The Dagger Of Kamui features, among other things, the death of Oyuki, who eventually dies in Jiro's arms after making a last stand against Tenkai, her caregiver-turned-enemy.

    Comic Books 
  • Comic book covers in general, especially in the Silver Age and Bronze Age, absolutely loved this trope. Almost always accompanied by a Tonight Someone Dies.
  • Elektra had her first death in Daredevil. After taking a vicious curbstomping from Bullseye that ends in her throat getting slashed by a thrown card and then her getting impaled on her own sai, Elektra crawls out from the parking lot they were fighting in. She stays alive long enough to crawl to Matt's house and call out to him, before dying in his arms
  • Superman died in Lois Lane's arms in The Death of Superman.
  • In both the comic and movie versions of V for Vendetta, V dies in Evey's arms after being shot.
  • Happens twice in Runaways. To the same person. Both times are with the same guy, too.
  • On one occasion, it was a Berserk Button for Namor that entirely too many people over the years had died in his arms after Taking the Bullet for him, and the latest one didn't even get to speak any Last Words.
  • After sacrificing himself to kill Kang, Tony Stark dies in Steve Roger's arms. Very dramatically.
  • While he was technically already dead, Jason Todd (Robin II) was held in the arms of Batman during A Death In The Family.
  • In "The House That Haunted Batman", one of the many tortures that Dr. Tzin-Tzin uses on Batman is a simulation of Robin/Dick Grayson aging into dust as he holds him.
  • Troia died in Nightwing's arms in Graduation Day. As they were each other's closest friends and Like Brother and Sister, it really messed him up.
  • Done, by all people, Wolverine in a What If?? comic. Granted, he had just killed his son Daken and was moments away from killing himself but it doesn't make it any less sad.
  • The Ultimate universe's version of Peter Parker ended up dying in Mary Jane Watson's arms, after succumbing to wounds he received after Taking the Bullet for Captain America and fighting the Green Goblin and (what was left) of the Sinister Six to protect her, Aunt May and Gwen.
    • And in the Amazing Spider-Man comic, Spider-Man cradles Gwen's body in his arms as he cries out that the Green Goblin will pay in the end of The Night Gwen Stacy Died.
  • In the Belgian comic Papyrus, the issue Tears of the Giants finishes with Papyrus cradling and later carrying the lifeless body of a Hitite princess who loved him but couldn't spit it out since she was to marry the Pharaoh aka Papyrus's boss, and could only tell him as she lay dying in his arms.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Wild at Heart: Sailor and Lula kneel beside a dying car crash victim as she coughs up blood and mutters nonsense.
  • Blade 2 - Nyssa disintegrates in the sunlight while Blade cradles her.
  • Fiamma dies in Miss. G's arms in Cracks. Subverted in the fact that Miss. G is killing Fiamma by withholding her inhaler while she has an asthmatic attack.
  • Nathan in Shilo's arms in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
  • In Galaxy Quest, Quellek gets shot by one of Saris' minions after he and Dr. Lazarus free some Thermians from certain death. Before dying in his arms, Quellek tells him that the doctor was like a father to him. Dr. Lazarus quotes his famous line seriously for the first time in the film before rushing and attacking the minion, who's having some gun jamming issues.
  • In Hook, Rufio dies in Peter Pan/Banning's arms.
  • Subverted in John Woo's The Killer when the title character dies. He and his love interest Jenny miss each other as they grope for each other on the ground near the burning church due to both of them being blind at this moment, Jenny due to the tragic mistake that kicked off the whole thing, and Ah Jong due to getting shot in the eyes by Wong Hoi. The reason the scene came out like it did was because Chow Yun-Fat and Sally Yeh, the actors of the two in question, could only be scheduled to shoot on different days.
  • in The Lord of the Rings, King Théoden dies in Éowyn's arms during the battle of the Pelennor Fields.
  • Morgan Earp dies in his brother Wyatt's arms in Tombstone.
    Morgan Earp: Remember what I said about people seein' a bright light before they die? It ain't true. I can't see a damn thing.
  • Reservoir Dogs ends with Mr White cradling the mortally-wounded Mr Orange and finishing him off after the latter confesses he was the rat.
    • Maybe. It's actually pretty ambiguous on whether White shot Orange or if the cops just started shooting at him before he would have the chance. This is Tarantino we're talking about here, so this is probably completely intentional.
  • The original ending to Little Shop of Horrors has Audrey dying in Seymour's arms after the plant, Audrey II, tried to eat her.
  • Serenity: Shepherd Book dies in Mal's arms after the Alliance attacks Haven.
  • In Rob Zombie's Halloween II (2009), Annie dies in Laurie's arms.
  • Moulin Rouge!: Satine, in Christian's.
  • The Phantom Menace ends with Qui-Gon Jinn dying in Obi-Wan's arms. (This seems to happen to Ewan McGregor a lot and also to the character of Obi Wan - who never had an official love interest in the movies, but he has several in the Star Wars EU and they all seem to go out this way.)
  • In Onmyoji, Hiromasa dies in Seimei's arms. However, he gets better.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Death Note had Light dying in his father's arms (made all the more poignant on Soichiro's part by the fact that Light tried to kill him only minutes before).
  • There is a variation of this trope at the end of The Boondock Saints. Rocco is shot while tied to a chair, which is knocked down by the force of the shot. Connor and Murphy are tied to chairs on either side of him, and Murphy falls to the ground beside him, taking his chair with him. While there can be no arms involved (because they are all tied), Rocco dies with Murphy's head buried in his shoulder while the brothers scream with grief. It is a very touching scene, and conveys the general emotion of this trope, complete with Rocco's Famous Last Words.
  • Adam Sandler's character in Click dies in the arms of his son. However, it turns out to be a dream of sorts.
  • Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 3: just after he finally forgives Peter and helps him defeat Sandman.
  • In Pan's Labyrinth, Ofelia dies in Mercedes' arms, while Mercedes hums a lullaby to her, trying (and failing) not to cry.
  • Romeo dies in Juliet's arms in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, in which he takes the poison right when Juliet awakens. Earlier, Mercutio dies in Romeo's arms.
  • Subverted with Jason in the climax of Mystery Team.
  • Barry Lyndon had a slight variation with the title character's son Bryan in that the actual death occurs off-screen. Nonetheless, this is still his last scene and it involves him lying in bed and holding the hands of both of his parents as they try to comfort him before the movie suddenly cuts to his funeral.
  • Matthew Cuthbert dies this way in the 1985 film of Anne of Green Gables after suffering a Hollywood Heart Attack.
  • Inverted in Once AroundSam Sharpe dies while holding his newborn daughter in his arms.
  • A version in Inception: Mal is already a Posthumous Character, but she "dies" one last time in Cobb's arms when Ariadne shoots her in Limbo, where Cobb is finally able to make peace with her death and let her go.
  • 1408: Room 1408 gives Enslin has a vision of his already dead daughter. She dies in his arms, and then her body crumbles into ash. And the room keeps going.
  • Parodied in the first ending of Wayne's World.
  • Loki in his brother Thor's arms in Thor: The Dark World. He got better though.
  • In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Peeta cradles the District 6 morphling as she dies from the monkey-mutt bite.
  • In Camille, Marguerite dies in Armand's arms in the very last scene. The 1982 film version of Annie, which has the titular character attend the film at the cinemas, includes this scene, making it a case of It Was His Sled.
  • In Stitches, the titular villain holds Bulger in his arms after removing his brain with an ice-cream scoop.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), after Gwen's Shoot the Dog moment, Lawrence returns to human form and spends his last moments of life in Gwen's arms before he appropriately dies at the end.

    Literature 
  • In William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing", Benedick swears to Beatrice that he will die in her arms. Typically for Shakespeare, however, it's a Double Entendre; yes, he is swearing to be with her forever, but he's also using "Die" as a euphemism for accheiving sexual release...
  • In Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Carlo holds Francesco when he dies, telling him that he always loved him.
  • In The Song of Roland Roland's best friend Olivier dies in his arms while Roland weeps.
  • In Wolf Hall, Cromwell's youngest daughter dies in his arms. It's done very, very well.
  • Ralph dies in Isabel's arms in Portrait Of A Lady.
  • Dobby dies this in Harry's arms. Later, so does Snape.
  • In Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline tracks Gabriel from Canada to Louisiana only to find him moments before his death.
  • Hank Rearden picks up the Wet Nurse and carries him until after his death in Atlas Shrugged.
  • An interesting example occurs in A Song of Ice and Fire: Joffrey Baratheon dies in the arms of his helpless, grief-stricken mother Cersei. To a person who doesn't know the series, the scene could definitely be considered tragic. But since the two characters are generally considered villainous— Joffrey in particular— by those who read the books, it's not very sad and can even count as a Karmic Death for Joffrey.
  • Subverted in Artemis Fowl when Artemis sacrifices himself to bring down Opal Koboi. He is dead before Butler can catch him.
  • In Cold Mountain, Inman dies in Aida's arms after being shot by the Home Guards.
  • No character ever dies alone in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. All deaths are slow, and many in the arms of a significant other, platonically or otherwise;
    • Zoe Nightshade dies in the arms of her beloved goddess Artemis from internal bleeding.
    • Silena Bauregard dies in the arms of her unlikely friend Clarisse La Rue.
    • Luke Castellan dies in the arms of his former adoptive little sister Annabeth.
  • The anarchist murdered at the start of Death at Victoria Dock dies in Phryne Fisher's arms.
  • At the end of The Mark of the Lion trilogy, Julia dies in her brother’s arms after making peace with Rapha/Hadassah. Given the context and her history, it doubles as a Tear Jerker and a Heartwarming Moment.
  • In the book version of Les Misérables, Éponine dies in Marius's arms, declaring with her last breath that she was in love with him.
  • In The Hunger Games, Rue dies in Katniss's arms after being hit by a spear.
    • In the second book, an old recording about Haymitch's game reveals that he cradled his district tribute, Maysilee, as she was dying.
  • In The Sunne in Splendour, Anne died in Richard's arm. No, Richard did not poison her as portrayed in Richard III.
    • Any novel that portrayed Richard III sympathetically described Anne's death as this. In reality, although it's unlikely that Richard poisoned her, she probably died alone due to protocols of the time.
  • Happens on ocassion in TheElenium. Notable examples:
    • Sparhawk cradles Sir Parasim as he dies during his first battle.
    • Kring cradles a dying Peloi after the battle with the Dawn Men.
    • Sephrenia gives Martel her blessing one last time before he dies.
    • Subverted with Ehlana. Sparhawk cradles her immediately after she is cured of poison.
  • In The Maze Runner, Chuck dies in Thomas' arms.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 10th Kingdom: The Evil Queen dies in Virginia's arms after trying to kill her and being hoist on her own petard. As she dies, the memories of her past life come flooding back and she caresses Virginia's cheek whispering "My little girl - I gave away my soul."
  • 24: Although they're already dead by the time they find them, both Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida respectively cradle their wives' bodies when they're killed in the first and fifth seasons (in Tony's case he isn't given much time to mourn since he gets caught in an explosion that nearly kills him too). It's played straighter later on in season five when Tony dies with Jack holding onto him. Of course, in Tony's case, he recovers.
  • Angel: Fred in Wesley's arms before her soul is consumed by Illyria. A few episodes later, Wesley dies in Illyria's arms while Illyria takes the form of Fred.
    Illyria: Would you like me to lie to you now?
  • Ashes to Ashes: Gene Hunt holds Sally (the prostitute from Hyde in 2.1), Supermac and Martin Summers in his arms as they die. This is much more allegorical than what is presented on the surface, because as is revealed in the Grand Finale, Gene Hunt's abilities as a psychopomp include being able to transfer a persons soul to the afterlife by holding the dying person in his arms. In Season 3 the word "soul" is also vaguely whispered when this occurs.
    • However, this can only work if the dying person had a soul, i.e. if they are real as opposed to being collective constructs or creations to help the protagonists with their indvidual journeys. (Which Sally and Mac likely are.)
    • Jim Keats in the same show, who holds both Louise (the undercover police officer) and Viv in his arms. It later emerges that at least in Viv's case they probably went to hell as Keats was the devil.
      • Gene Hunt also held Viv however, meaning that Viv might have gone to heaven (as indicated by the accompanied whisper.) However, if Chris's dream later in the series is correct, Viv is indeed in hell.)
    Gene: I'll take him.
    Keats: It's too late Gene.
    Gene: I'LL TAKE HIM!
  • Blood Ties: Mike dies in Vicki's arms after being shot, but Henry hits the Reset Button on the "Groundhog Day" Loop and he's fine.
  • Bonanza: Virtually every episode where a Cartwright has a girlfriend; the girl will end up being shot to death, poisoned or whatever, and the appropriate Cartwright will be there to hold his girlfriend as she whispers her last words before losing consciousness. This even happened to Candy in one episode. This was so common that by the late 1960s, these intended tearjerkers became the legend of Narm.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Subverted Trope; Tara is dead before she hits the floor, but Willow still holds out hope.
  • Chuck: In the first part season three finale, Chuck cradles his father Stephen as he dies after being shot by Shaw.
  • Coronation Street: Hayley Cropper dies with Roy by her side on their bed. Anna and Carla come in to discover her in Roy's arms.
    • Mike Baldwin died in 2006 in his son Danny's arms.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Warrick in Grissom's arms, in which we later learn Grissom was like a father to him. Grissom goes on to solve Warrick's murder.
  • Dark Angel: Max dies in Logan's arms after being shot in the season 1 finale. She gets better.
  • Doctor Who: The Master (in “The Sound of Drums”) and Jenny (in “The Doctor’s Daughter”) both die in the Doctor’s arms. Both get better.
    • Also, in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, his daughter Miranda.
    • At the end of The Pandorica Opens, Rory is last seen cradling the body of Amy, half-fallen away from him after he accidentally shot her. Don't worry, she gets better too.
    • Also, "Amy's Choice". In the world in which Amy and Rory are married and have settled down, Rory disintegrates slowly and dramatically in Amy's arms. Only in an alternate dream world, though.
    • Again with Rory in “The Curse of the Black Spot,” when Amy has to resuscitate a drowning Rory and thinks she failed.
    • In “The Doctor’s Wife,” Idris’ human form gives out while being cradled by Rory. But since she’s actually the TARDIS, all her energy and consciousness goes back into the TARDIS itself and normalcy is restored. But the interaction between her and the Doctor in this scene is still quite the Tear Jerker.
    • Promotional art and sneak-peek photos for the upcoming season 7 appear to feature, among much other Pond-centered angst and drama, Amy dying in the Doctor’s arms.
  • Game of Thrones: King Renly Baratheon collapses into Brienne of Tarth's arms after he is stabbed through the heart by a Living Shadow, and she holds him for a moment before he dies. Brienne later tells Catelyn that this was the only time she was ever able to hold him.
    • Robb Stark cradles his wife Talisa's dead body during the Red Wedding, shortly before being killed himself.
  • Farscape: One of the two John Crichtons (long story) dies in Aeryn's arms of radiation poisoning.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: During Gilgamesh's ritual to raise Dahok, he throws the sacrificial dagger at Nebula. Iolaus yells and dives in front of her, taking it in the chest. He dies shortly afterwards in Hercules' arms. He later is possessed and gets better. Also, Iolaus had died twice in Hercules' arms previously.
  • Heroes: Nathan Petrelli dies in Peter's arms in the second season (though he gets better); Daphne Millbrook dies in Matt's in the third season. Also, Claire Bennett dies in her mother's arms in one of her many, many deaths in the first season.
  • Hex: Thelma is stabbed by Azazel when she tries to save Cassie and falls into her arms. She got better... sort of.
  • Los Hombres De Paco: After getting gut-shot on her friggin' wedding day, Silvia spends the rest of the two-hour season finale suffering until she finally dies in the arms of her new wife and her father. In the same finale, Kiki died in Paco's arms and Rita was in Montoya's arms when he died. There wasn't anything the rest of the team could do except sing to the ones dying because cell phone service was cut off by the ones shooting the people at the wedding. Kleenex please.
  • Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: Kai's second death occurs this way, after he is badly burned during the 2nd destruction of Dora Talos. Losing her son a second time causes Bandora to shed a tear, robbing her of her witch powers.
  • Tokumei Sentai Go Busters plays this for laughs in the alternate universe of Bestial Battery Go-Busters, introducing a new character who's The Ace and killing him off within less than two minutes. The death is played as over the top as possible, including this trope.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Alex "died" in Olivia's arms.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Several episodes has this happen. The most notable example was Season 7's "Sylvia," where in the final scene where Sylvia pledges her forever love for Albert, he holds her as they have one last kiss … after which she loses consciousness and dies.
  • LOST: Sawyer holds Juliet as she dies in the final season opener.
    • Also, Sayid holds Shannon in his arms after she is mistakenly shot by a paranoid Ana Lucia.
  • Mash: The groundbreaking episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet," in which Hawkeye's friend (author of a book he was writing under the episode title) dies on the operating table. Hawkeye asks why he weeps for his friend and not the kids who have died before, and Henry rationalizes only this:
    Henry: All I know is what they told me at medical school. Rule one: Young men die. Rule two: Doctors can't change rule one.
  • Merlin: Merlin has had a fair few people die in his arms. In series two, his girlfriend Freya and father Balinor both ended up dying in his arms. In the show's final episode, The Diamond of the Day Part II, it was Arthur who died in his arms from the wounds inflicted by Mordred. Also in the final episode, Gwaine dies in Percival's arms after being horrifically tortured for Arthur's whereabouts by Morgana.
  • Misfits: Future!Simon dies in Alisha's arms after taking a bullet for her. And then in season three, ALISHA dies in SIMON'S arms. It's that sort of a show.
  • Monk: In "Mr. Monk and Mrs. Monk", Monk holds onto a woman who looks just like his late wife as she dies. This sends Monk, who's been finally starting to recover from his phobias after they went overboard after his wife's death, into a horrible relapse.
  • Mork and Mindy: In the episode "Mork In Wonderland", Mindy's alternate universe counterpart, Mandy, dies in Mork's arms, telling him that Mindy is a lucky woman.
  • Mr. Show: Terry sells Ronnie Dobbs' story to the movies, which features a movie version of Ronnie and Terry. This happens to the movie version of Ronnie Dobbs, as he's held by the movie version of Terry.
  • The O.C.: The Season 3 finale "The Graduates": due to a car-crash, Marissa dies in Ryan's arms.
  • The Outer Limits: The episode "Corner of the Eye'': Two best friends successfully foil an alien invasion, then one dies of his injuries in the other's arms.
  • Revenge: Amanda dies in Emily's arms on a sinking life raft in the middle of the ocean after their poignantly named boat, The Amanda, explodes and sinks.
  • Revolution: In the season one finale, Nora Clayton dies in Miles Matheson's arms. What really drives it in home is the fact that they were trying to get to a nearby infirmary in an attempt to save her, and she died before they could even get there. Also, you get to see a closeup view of Miles's face, showing that he is very unhappy with her death.
  • Robin Hood: Marian dies in Robin's arms at the end of season two, surviving a fatal sword wound just long enough for them to finish their wedding vows.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: This is how Charley Dixon's wife dies, with Charley holding her and sobbing. He's not the only one.
  • Sharpe: Poor young Perkins dies in Harper's arms, surrounded by the other two supporting members of The Squad, after being gutstabbed.
  • Skins: Chris dies in Cassie's arms.
  • Smallville: Kyla dying in Clark's arms played it dead straight. Alicia is already dead when he held her in his arms, he didn't quite hold Evan in his arms, Chloe in Arrival didn't manage to die, but the dialogue just before almost have you worried. Chloe in Labyrinth also dies in Clark's arms after being shot in the chest. But All Just a Dream. A really horrible one at that.
    • In Phantom and the next episode, Bizarro, Chloe and Lois manages to die in each other's arms, separately. Lois is stabbed, Chloe arrives and weeps over her body, which heals Lois but instead kills Chloe.
    • In Fracture, Chloe dies (again) in Lionel's arms.
    • In Odyssey, Clark (almost) dies in Chloe's arms. Extra emotional impact comes from that Green Arrow shot him and Chloe tries and fails to heal him.
    • In Bride, Jimmy almost dies in Chloe's arms, right after they get married. He died for real in Chloe's arms in Doomsday, complete with Dying Declaration of Love.
    • In Injustice, Chloe dies in Clark's arms, but in another twist, it is actually Eva in disguise.
    • In Kandor, clone Jor-El dies in Clark's arms.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Sura dies in Spartacus's arms.
  • Spooks: Fiona dies in the arms of her husband Adam after being shot by her ex-husband who had come Back from the Dead. Her dying wishes that he look after their son Wes made it even sadder.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Weyoun 6 dies in Odo's arms after activating his termination implant. ("Treachery, Faith, and the Great River") His last request is that Odo, whom his species regards as a god, perform a blessing.
  • Supernatural: Sam is stabbed in the back severing his spinal cord as he and Dean are reunited at the end of the penultimate episode of season 2. Sam dies in his arms, but Dean makes a deal with a demon to bring Sam back.
    • Actually subverts the usual form of this trope in that Sam doesn't get a chance to say goodbye or really anything at all—he just gets stabbed in the back, falls down, looks vaguely unfocused and dies. He barely seems to register Dean's presence.
    • As a result, at the end of season 3, Dean dies in Sam's arms. Dean dies in Sam's arms three, no, six times (at least) in "Mystery Spot".
    • Jo dies in her mother's arms. Made even more tearjerkier when Ellen makes a Heroic Sacrifice shortly after.
  • Teen Wolf: Allison dies in Scott's arms after being stabbed through the stomach with one of the Oni's swords
  • Torchwood: In order of death: Estelle, Tosh, and Ianto in Jack’s arms.
  • Touched by an Angel: A few of Andrew's assignments die in his arms, such as in the season five episode, "The Peacemaker".
  • Xena: Xena and Gabrielle have each died in the other's arms more than once. They got better.
  • A Running Gag in Danger 5 involving Pierre cradling a dying friend or enemy, who'd use their dying breath to pass on the ingredients of a perfect cocktail they'd invented.

    Music 
  • "Run, Joey, Run" by David Geddes, where Julie, a teen-aged girl who had become pregnant by her boyfriend, is accidentally shot by her father. When he realizes what he's done, he rushes to her and holds her in his arms as she whispers her last words:
    Daddy please don't
    It wasn't his fault
    He means so much to me
    Daddy please don't
    We're gonna get married … .
  • "Arms Tonite" by Mother Mother.
    I died in your arms tonight,
    I slipped through into the afterlife,
    It was nice.
  • "This is because I can spell confusion with a K and I can like it/It's to dying in another's arms and why I had to try it..." Konstantine, Something Corporate.
  • "My Last Breath" by Evanescence. The narrator in the song is dying, and singing the song to her lover.
    Can you feel me in your arms?
  • Naked as We Came by Iron And Wine.
    I lay smiling like our sleeping children / One of us will die inside these arms.
  • "Sons of Fate" by The Protomen.
  • Concrete Blonde's 'The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden'.
  • J. Frank Wilson's Last Kiss (The Pearl Jam version is a cover.):
    But somehow I found my baby that night
    I lifted her head, she looked at me and said,
    "Hold me, darling, just a little while."
    I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss;
    I found the love that I knew I had missed.
    Well, now she's gone, even though I hold her tight.
    I lost my love, my life, that night.
  • The album titled "My Arms, Your Hearse" by Opeth.
  • The song "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, told in Posthumous Narration, ends with the cowboy dying in the arms of his Spicy Latina lover Feleena after being fatally shot down by a posse for killing a guy who tried to rape her. The song's sequel confirms this, as his death also drives her to suicide.
  • "The Ghost of You" by My Chemical Romance makes mention of it.
    At the top of my lungs, in my arms, she dies.
  • "Last Dance" by Covenant:
    My heart is blackened
    I am dying in your arms
  • "In Your Arms" by Magenta:
    I just wanna die in your arms
    Found I had lost my chance
    I just wanna die in your arms
    I just wanna die tonight

    Theatre 
  • Eponine dies in Marius' arms in Les Misérables. In the 2012 film, it happens in the rain, Pietà Plagiarism included.
    • And Fantine dies in Valjean's.
  • Both Christian and Cyrano in Roxanne's, in Cyrano de Bergerac.
  • Rodrigo in Schiller's and Verdi's Don Carlos dies in the title character's arms.
  • Verdi LOVED this trope actually. Here's a list of characters of his that die in the arms of others:
    • Rigoletto: Gilda, in her fathers' arms.
    • Il Trovatore: Leonora, in Manrico's.
    • La Traviata: Violetta, to Alfredo's.
    • La forza del destino: again a Leonora, in Alvaro's.
    • Simon Boccanegra: Simon, in his daughter's and Fiesco's.
    • Ernani: Ernani to Elvira...
    • Un ballo in maschera: Gustav (Richard) to Amelia.
  • Tristan to Isolde.
  • The title character, Kim, of Miss Saigon. She dies in the arms of Chris after shooting herself.
  • Audrey in Seymour's in Little Shop of Horrors.
  • In most Walküre stagings, Siegmund to Wotan.
  • Mark Antony with Cleopatra.
  • Hamlet in Horatio's.
    • In some adaptations, Gertrude in Claudius's.
  • In many if not most productions, Hotspur in Prince Hal's (also a case of Cradling Your Kill, with a dose of Foe Yay).
  • Schiller's Kabale und Liebe: Luisa to Ferdinand.
  • Mimì in Rodolfo's arms in La Bohème by Puccini; subverted in the modern musical Rent, where Mimi has a new lease of life.
    • Then played straight in Rent, when Angel dies in Collins' arms.
  • Many, many operas and ballets based on Abbé Prévost's character Manon, who dies in the arms of her lover Des Grieux.
  • In the famous dramatization of East Lynne, Lady Isabel, disguised as Madam Vine, takes her son William into her arms in his dying moments, and asks him to call her his mother. He does so, and dies. Isabel's ensuing lament that her child died without knowing she was his mother is famous although invariably misquoted.
  • In Aida, the titular character's former servant Mereb dies in her arms, fatally injured trying to protect her and her father.
    • Aida and Radames die in each other's arms in the tomb.
  • In bare: a pop opera, Jason dies in Peter's arms.
  • In Love Never Dies, Christine dies in the Phantom's arms.
  • King Lear: "Enter Lear, with Cordelia dead in his arms."
  • In Dream Girl, in the Dream Sequence where Georgina becomes a fallen woman, she takes a lethal dose of poison and melodramatically collapses into the arms of the brother-in-law she used to love.
  • Henrik Ibsen used this in his early plays. Thus, Catilina dies in the arms of Furia in his very first play, and Sigurd dies in the arms of Hjørdis in The Warriors at Helgeland. Both also doubles as Cradling Your Kill. Further, Peer Gynt arguably dies in the arms of Solveig. After that, Ibsen seems to have discarded the trope. Although this may be a possible position for Oswald and his mother in Ghosts

    Video Games 
  • The first Baten Kaitos game has Xehla die in Kalas's arms after you beat the final Big Boss.
  • Arcueid dies in Shiki's arms in the end of her route of Tsukihime. She gets better. Double Subverted in the True Ending, where she decides she can't stay with Shiki.
  • Nanami in Riou's in Suikoden II. She gets better if you collected all 108 stars before this scene.
  • Steve Burnside's in Claire Redfield's in Resident Evil: Code: Veronica. Alfred's just a bit too late for him and Alexia to do this in the same game, also Luis to Leon in 4 to a lesser extent.
  • In Fire Emblem 7, Ninian is seen in Eliwood's arms in the CG that follows her death scene.
    • In another CG, Archsage Athos dies in Hector's arms. 20 years later, according to Fuuin no Tsurugi, Hector himself would perish in the arms of Roy.
    • And in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, if you chose Eirika's path, the first CG you see in the epilogue shows her holding the dying Queen Ismaire in her arms.
  • In Project Justice's Taiyo High ending, Hyo dies in his brother Kyousuke's arms.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has Xion's death, or rather Xion's individuality as a separate being. As it wasn't depressing enough already imagine dying in the arms of someone who's forgetting you even as he tries to hold on.
    • Kingdom Hearts almost did this when Kairi is revived and Sora has stabbed himself with the Keyblade of People's Hearts. Sora falls backwards, Kairi goes to catch him, and...he disappears, sparkling out of existence. Yes, folks, this is when Roxas was born.
    • Ditto in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, as Master Eraqus dies in Terra's arms.
  • In Mega Man X 4, if you choose to play as Zero, after you defeat Zero's love interest, Iris, Zero cradles her in his arms until she "dies". A rather touching scene, if you can get past the bad voice acting.
  • A few Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors endings have a character's love interest dying like this. In at least one case, it's because the player killed him.
  • At the end of Mother 3, Claus dies in Lucas' arms. *sniff*
  • In Persona 3, during the October Full Moon operation, Shinjiro is shot to death by the leader of Strega. His childhood friend Akihiko is the one who holds him as he passes away and and the others grieve. Also, at the very end of the game, during graduation day, a weary protagonist, having used all of his (or her, if you choose a female protagonist for the Playstation Portable version of the game) power to seal away the harbinger of death, falls asleep and dies in Aigis' arms.
  • And in Persona 2: Innocent Sin's ending, Maya dies in Tatsuya's arms.
  • A couple of examples of this in the .hack series:
    • Mia dies in Elk's arms after the party defeats her true form Macha the Temptress, the sixth phase of the wave. She gets better..
    • Alkaid gets data-drained by an AIDA and "dies" in Haseo's arms, providing one of the saddest cutscenes in the G.U. games.
  • Shauna dies in Trish's arms in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters.
  • The absolutely heartbreaking death of Isara in Valkyria Chronicles.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, Guybrush finds Morgan LeFlay mortally wounded by her own Blade of Dragotta and runs to her side, holding her in his arms (or rather with his hook hand) as she slowly dies after telling him about the incident in the Marquis De Singe's lab.
    • Also, Elaine holds Guybrush in her arms as he is slowly dying from his wounds inflicted by LeChuck's Cutlass of Kaflu, and after she tearfully makes her promise to stop LeChuck for him, Guybrush slumps down to the ground as he dies while still in her arms. (He gets better later in Chapter 5.)
  • Depending on your choices throughout the game, any of your team members in Mass Effect 2 can die in Shepard's arms during the assault on the Collector Base
  • In Mass Effect 3 this can happen with Conrad Verner in one of the ways his story is resolved. Also hilariously subverted, as depending on your actions, Conrad has the touching death scene with Shepard... only for another of Shepard's old acquaintances, Jenna, to reveal that she sabotaged the gun and that Conrad was never shot at all.
    • Miranda if you don't complete certain prerequisites.
  • Bioware does it again in Dragon Age II: Hawke's mother dies this way.
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors: June dies in Junpei's arms in the "safe" and "submarine" endings.
  • In a discarded storyboard for Team Fortress 2 promotional video Meet The Medic, a BLU Sniper dies dramatically in the arms of a BLU Soldier. Cue Big "NO!"...and then both of them get run over by an incoming train.
  • NieR's third ending has Kainé dying in your character's arms after you're forced to kill her when the Shade inside her takes control. There's also Fyra in the King's arms, and Devola in Popola's arms.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2: At the end, Serah has her final vision, and as she collapses, Noel pulls her into a hug to hold her upright. After a few seconds, Serah dies, and both of them fall to the ground together, still embracing. When Hope arrives a few minutes later, Noel is still cradling Serah's body against his chest.
    • Yeul is shown dying several times throughout the story; on at least two of these occasions, she is cradled in either Noel or Caius' arms.
  • At the end of Jak 3: Wastelander Damas dies in Jak's arms after he is crushed beneath a vehicle.
  • In Halo: Reach, Kat dies in Six's arms from being headshot by a sniper, and is cradled in Pietà Plagiarism fashion.
  • Sgt. Johnson in Halo 3, while being held by Master Chief.
  • Happens to Grovyle and Celebi in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. Except it isn't just one of them. It's both of them that disappear.
  • Both General Frings and Ion die in Luke's arms in Tales of the Abyss. Can't catch a break, can he?
  • In The Last of Us, a Zombie Apocalypse breaks out, and when trying to carry his daughter Sarah to safety, Joel runs into a soldier who's ordered to shoot them both. He mortally wounds Sarah, who dies in Joel's arms while he pleads for her not to leave him. It got to the point the voice actors/motion capture performers themselves cried.
  • In Project Firestart, if Mary dies while following Jon, the player gets a short cutscene of her last moments while cradled in Jon's arms.
  • In Thor: God of Thunder, a game set before the events of Thor, Sif becomes dead for a short time. She pushes another Asgardian out of danger, is impaled, and dies in Thor's arms, causing him to be enraged and seek vengeance for her death.
    Thor: Sif...
    Sif: Stupid. I should've seen it coming.
  • Happens quite a few times in the Batman Arkham Series:
    • In Batman: Arkham City, it happens in a strange way: when Hugo Strange is stabbed by Ra's al Ghul, Batman cradles the dying doctor in his arms while sharply arguing with Ra's. But by then, the doctor initiates Protocol 11 before dying in Batman's arms, seconds before Batman quickly lets go of him and escapes from the exploding tower along with Ra's.
      • And near the end, Talia al Ghul gets shot In the Back by the real Joker after falling for the "fake Joker gag" and falls into Batman's arms before dying.
    • In Batman: Arkham Origins, Alfred Pennyworth sadly dies in Batman's embrace right after being rescued in the damaged Batcave. Only temporarily, though, as the former is Only Mostly Dead and can be revived by Batman and the power of Electrocutioner's Magical Defibrillator Shock Gloves.
  • In Ni No Kuni, when the party suddenly ends up back in time, they meet the Emperor of Hamelin, whom they already know died fifteen years ago. He dies being cradled by Swaine, whom he knows perfectly well is his son from the future. The elder Swaine has just had to watch his younger self run away from home, fully believing his father only loves his younger brother. The elder only realizes how wrong this is as he embraces his father one last time. This naturally leads to a hugely, giganticly, screen-shaking "NOOO!"
  • The Galerians series has one of these per game, involving the same characters, though they trade places. In the denouement of the first game, Lilia holds Rion as his brain shuts down from psychic overstress. As the second game approaches its finale, Rion holds Lilia as her body shuts down from radiation poisoning.

    Webcomics 
  • In Girl Genius:
  • Therkla in Elan's in The Order of the Stick. To make matters worse, despite the fact that resurrection is relatively easy for an adventuring party...
    Therkla: "I'll take my chances that the Afterlife won't have any punishment worse than not being with you."
  • Zoë from Sluggy Freelance was last seen cradled in Riff's arms, although no one knows if she's really dead or not.
  • Growp from Spacetrawler, in the process of being disintergrated, is caught in the arms of Emily before confessing his love. He proceeds to break up into small pieces.
  • TAL has Hiljo's death in Chapter 47, in which he dies in Yu Jin's arms. Doubles as Tear Jerker when Haje and Jenna, who he raised from their childhoods, show up; Jenna panics, noting that Hiljo isn't moving or breathing, and asks Haje what they should do... Haje, being mute, can do nothing but cry.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Wakfu, Idiot Hero Sadlygrove dies in the arms of his Love Interest, Evangelyne.
  • Beast Wars: Silverbolt thinks this happens with Blackarachnia (complete with Big "NO!"). Rattrap and Rhinox let him get it out of his system, before mockingly pointing out that she's merely in Stasis Lock.
  • Aang dies in Katara's arms in the season two finale. He got better with the assistance of the spirit water and Katara's healing powers, though he can't access the Avatar State until the final battle against Ozai.
  • ThunderCats (2011) has The Hero Lion-O doing this twice.
  • Yakko Warner cradles his sister Dot as she dies near the end of Wakko's Wish, breaking down in tears as she makes him tell her special story "one last time." We see later she, and arguably he, were just acting but it's no less heartbreaking to watch.
  • Used on the odd occasion in Celebrity Deathmatch, notably after Christopher Walken enters a psychotic rage and crushes Gary Oldman's head, he then snaps out of it and cradles his opponent in his arms.
    • Also during Nick Diamond's version of Moses leading his people out of Egypt, Moses loses to Rhameses the Pharaoh, but the fight is interrupted by Harrison Ford, who holds Moses in his arms before he dies and agrees to lead the Israelites out in his place.


Did Not Get the GirlTear JerkerDisney Death
Dem BonesThis Index Is Not An ExampleDifferent for Girls
Mulholland FallsImageSource/Live-Action FilmsThe Mummy 1999
Died Happily Ever AfterDeath TropesDied Standing Up

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