"Oh I, I just died in your arms tonightDeath 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 helpless 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. At least, not literally. (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 abound.
It must have been something you said"
It must have been something you said"
— Cutting Crew, "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"
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.
- Earlier, Takako dies in Sugimura's arms, who had been trying to find her the entire time.
- 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.
- Happens twice in Mobile Fighter G Gundam: when Gentle Chapman loses to Domon and collapses, he dies in his wife's arms (though he Comes Back Wrong later), while Master Asia dies in Domon's arms after their final battle.
- 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.
- In a flashback of the Dressrosa arc, Scarlett died in her husband Kyros' arms. This one is especially cruel since since Kyros had been turned into a Living Toy by Sugar, everyone had forgotten about him, which means Scarlett died not even remembering she had a husband, let alone knowing he was holding her. And Kyros couldn't even feel the warmth of her dying body. Holy crap.
- Nuriko of Fushigi Yuugi dies in Tamahome's arms, as does Tamahome's little sister Yuiren. Soi dies in Nakago's.
- In the Suzaku Hi Den novel and third OVA, Shu Tendo dies in both Hotohori and You Houki's arms after Hotohori tells him they can fix the Konan nation.
- 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.
- In the Dragon Ball Z special, Bardock - The Father of Goku, Bardock finds his entire team dead save for Tora, whom he picks up and is told by him that Freeza is afraid of him and plans to kill the entire saiyan race. He shortly died in Bardock's arms afterward.
- In Inuyasha, Kikyou dies in the title character's arms for 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. It's played straight in the anime series, however, since she still dies but doesn't get dismembered, letting Kamui hold her entire body — and later, Karen dies in Aoki's arms, while Hinoto dies in Kamui's and later Sorata perishes in Arashi's.
- 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. They kiss just before she dies, which, thanks to Kagero's Poisonous Person nature, provides the antidote to the poison in Jubei.
- 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 Priest Seto's arms.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: 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.
- Also, Gaston, Guts' second in command, died in his arms and was the last of the Hawks to die. He didn't go out as kindly as Judeau did, though.
- 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..
- Sasuke appears to die in Naruto's arms in the very first arc, after stands in front of about twenty senbon heading for Naruto. Since Haku's attacks weren't intended to be fatal, he lives.
- During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Neji really does die in Naruto's arms.
- In S Cryed, 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, in an early script of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa Izumi died in Wrath's arms, complete with 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.Also in the last chapter of the second season of the anime Yuuki dies peacefully in Asuna's arms
- The climax of Count 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.
- In the anime of Detective Conan, Ai's older sister Akemi Miyano bleeds to death in the arms of Conan Edogawa himself. And much later, we find out that decades ago, Matsumoto's partner Morimura died in Matsumoto's arms.
- Happens twice in K. In the flashback in episode 6, Totsuka dies in Yata's arms after being shot, and later Mikoto dies while slumped into Munakata's arms.
- Xerxes Break dies in the arms of the two people he loves: Sharon and Reim in Pandora Hearts.
- In Arata Kangatari, Akachi dies in Kannagi's arms after the former submits to him, complete with Kannagi not letting go of Akachi until Homura's flames have completely burned Akachi's body away.
- Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden has Takiko Going Out With A Smile in Uruki's arms, after summoning Genbu and being killed by her father to prevent her from being devoured by Genbu.
- In the final episode of School-Live! Team Pet Taroumaru died in Miki's lap. He had turned into a zombie and was given an anti-zombie vaccine. However it was too late and he died quickly after getting the vaccine, though at least he didn't die a zombie puppy.
- In Tokyo Ghoul:Re, the blood flows freely.
- Shirazu is mortally wounded saving his squad from Noro and ends up bleeding to death. After spending the entire series manipulating and plotting against him, Urie is the one that ends up comforting Shirazu in his final moments. Afterwards, he stays with the body and refuses to let go until medics come to retrieve it.
- At the conclusion of their climatic battle, Arima commits suicide and dies in Kaneki's arms, confessing his many secrets. The chapter ends with a shot of Kaneki cradling his body in his arms, screaming in grief.
- Dream!Alicia Disappeared into Light during her Final First Hug with Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's.
- Comic book covers in general, especially in the Silver Age and the 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◊.
- Tony almost dies in Steve's arms here◊, too. Luckily, he recovers before dying this time.
- 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.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Renee Montoya takes an enormous dose of a special durability pill, hoping to take down Superman once and for all. After a brief fight, however, she suffers a massive heart attack, and Superman holds her in his arms as she dies.
- Shippers in general are quite fond of this.
- In The Lion King Adventures, Haiba's cousin, Binamu —whom he unknowingly had an incestuous relationship with — tragically dies in his embrace.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Done brilliantly in Last One Standing. Twilight Sparkle dies tucked under Celestia's wing.
- In Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, the first-person protagonist Blackjack dies under Glory's wing from a combination of cancer, mutation, multiple limb amputation, blood loss, pneumonia and finally, heart failure.
- The absolutely heartbreaking moment in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War when Carrot Top dies in Derpy's arms.
- Friendship Is Magic: The Adventures of Spike: Celestia, after being mortally wounded by Chrysalis, dies in Spike's arms.
- In My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III, Twilight dies in Lightning's arms.
- Silver Spoon dies that way in Sleepless.
- Done twice in The Hunger Games fanfic Some Semblance of Meaning: Kit dies in Vale's arms after being mortally wounded by a mutt, and much later, Vale herself dies in the arms of Obsidian.
- All in the Family: The Mistress, after being mortally wounded by the recoil of her weapon, dies in Warden's arms in Chapter 19.
- Though the fanfic video has not been released yet, it's confirmed that Rinzler dies in Sora's arms in The Return of Bad Alert.
- In the Star Trek fanfic Memories Born Of Fire, Christine Chapel holds Spock as he dies from self-inflicted stab wounds. However, it was All Just a Dream.
- Hermione in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic Asshai's Flames, High Priestess Joanna dies in her sort-of granddaughter Arkhia's arms after revealing that it was her younger daughter and Arkhia's aunt, Selye who poisoned her.
Films — Animation
- Tangled: Flynn dies in Rapunzel's arms. Thanks to a teardrop and the healing incantation, he gets better. The position of the characters in this scene is very reminiscent of...
- Beauty and the Beast: Beast dies in Belle's arms. Thanks to Belle's timely, spell-breaking "I love you," he recovers.
- In Epic, Queen Tara dies in Ronin's, much to his chagrin.
- Christophe/Ze Mole in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut died in Kyle's arms after failing to free Terence and Phillip. The two then take part in La Resistance's Dark Reprise duet. Cue the shipping.
- In Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, the title character doesn't die in Princess Camille's arms, per say, for he's incapacitated beforehand after the knockback from shooting the Morning Rod at Nightmare King forces him off his flying bed and lands his head on a rock. When Princess Camille, Professor Genius, and Flip regain consciousness, Camille discovers Nemo, rushes to his side, and cradles him, pleading for him to wake up until she bursts into tears. Of course, it's not long before King Morpheus awakens him with the Morning Rod.
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 II - 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 Alexander Dane free some Thermians from certain death. Before dying in his arms, Quellek tells Alexander that he (in the persona of "Dr. Lazarus," his character on the Show Within a Show) was like a father to him. Alexander quotes his character's 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.
Rufio: "I wish I had a dad... like you."
- 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. The light in his eyes fades away in the arms of Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker: 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.
- In Test Pilot Gunner dies in Jim's arms after Jim pulls him out of the plane they just crashed together.
- Matthew Cuthbert dies in Anne's arms in the 1985 film of Anne of Green Gables after suffering a Hollywood Heart Attack.
- In Cimarron, after not seeing her husband Yancey for at least 12 years, Sabra discovers him just as he's been mortally injured in an oil rig accident. She cradles him as he dies.
- 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.
- And on The Mask.
- Loki in his brother Thor's arms in Thor: The Dark World. However, it turns out that he was Faking the Dead...
- 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 (2012), 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.
- The Last Days on Mars (2013) shows the problems of doing this trope with a Zombie Infectee; notably being attacked at close quarters after they've died.
- Sam on Ghost.
- Bubba on Forrest Gump.
- The little boy who survived the Persian Immortals sacking his village in 300 survived long enough to die in Leonidas' arms.
- In The Untouchables, Malone dies in Ness' arms after Nitti ambushes him with a Tommy Gun, but not before passing on vital information about the bookkeeper whose testimony can bring Capone down.
- In The Wages of Fear, Jo dies in Mario's arms just before they would have arrived at their destination.
- Cathy dies in Heathcliff's arms in the 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights, though not in the novel or most other adaptations.
- Inverted in Cinderella (2015), when the King dies with Kit in his arms.
- Faust: Love of the Damned: John Jaspers manages to destroy Mephistopheles after he is released from his contract, but he then dies in Jade's arms as the only thing keeping him alive were his hellgiven powers.
- In Purgatory, Dolly Stone dies in Sonny's arms, which is why he's so adamant on who she is when she turns up in Refuge.
- Like the animated version, Beauty and the Beast (2017) has the Beast die in Belle's arms at the climax; so does Plumette in Lumiere's arms (this really does happen to Ewan McGregor a lot!) as the end of the curse changes all the Enchanted Objects into ordinary inanimate objects. Of course when the spell breaks, everyone comes back to life.
- In Dragon Bones, Ward has to kill Oreg, his immortal slave, whom he inherited, and whose life is bound to castle Hurog, in order to make the castle collapse and stop the villains. Oreg has wanted to die for a long time, so it is a mixture of Mercy Kill and Heroic Sacrifice. Ward holds him as he drives a dagger into his brain, a method that he supposes "is painless. At least for Oreg."
- 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 achieving sexual release...
- Furthermore, in William Shakespeare's other play, Hamlet, Hamlet dies in Horatio's arms. Hamlet had been poisoned by Laertes during their duel. Upon realizing he was dying, Hamlet stabbed his Uncle, the king, who was technically also Hamlet's father because he married Hamlet's mother. Hamlet's mother had already died because she drank from a poisoned cup that the king had meant for Hamlet. Anyways, everyone's pretty much dead except Hamlet, Horatio, and Osric by this point. Hamlet lies dying in Horatio's arms, telling Horatio to live and "report [him] and [his] cause aright to the unsatisfied." Horatio offers to die with Hamlet by drinking from the poisoned cup, but Hamlet tells him to continue living "to tell [his] story."
- 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 way 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.
- This is also how Ygritte dies. Her boyfriend, Jon Snow, holds her and gives a rather desperate Planning for the Future Before the End speech, to which she responds sadly, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."
- In the prequel The Princess and the Queen, Joffrey Valeryon falls from the back of a dragon onto the city streets below. Witnesses claim a commoner girl held him while he died, but Archmaester Gyldayn believes that part was just a folktale.
- Lyanna Stark when her brother Ned found her.
- 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 brothers arms after making peace with Rapha/Hadassah. Given the context and her history, it doubles as a Tear Jerker and a Heartwarming Moment.
- Les Misérables: Éponine dies in Marius's arms. In the movie musical, we also see other students dying in their friend's arms. And in the stage musical, Fantine dies in Valjean's.
- 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.
- Another example from the same book: the death of Edmund, Earl of Rutland. Though he didn't get the chance to say anything after being wounded, his friend Rob Apsall was cradling (or trying to cradle) him as he died, and kept trying to save him "long after he knew Edmund was dead". When all else fails, Rob just sits there holding him and weeping.
- 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.
- In The Goblin Emperor, Maia remembers the story of Hanevis Athmaza, who was horribly injured in protecting the emperor Beltanthiar III against Orava the Usurper, and died in his emperor's arms. Disturbingly enough, this story is implied to have inspired Maia to want to become one of the four nohecharei who are sworn to die before they would allow harm to come to the emperor. As unloved son, he saw this as a chance to win his father's (the emperor's) love.
- At the end of the Six of Crows duology, Matthias dies in Nina's arms after being shot.
- 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.
- American Horror Story: Coven: Misty Day dies in a sobbing Cordelia's arms after she gets stuck in hell while performing Descensum during the Seven Wonders test. Her body turns into dust in her embrace.
- 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?
- Arrow: Happens twice in "This Is Your Sword". In the flashback, Akio dies in Tatsu's arms after contracting Shrieve's virus. In the present day storyline, Maseo dies in Tatsu's arms after she stabs him.
- 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.
Gene: I'll take him.Keats: It's too late Gene.Gene: I'LL TAKE HIM!
- 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.)
- 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.
- Criminal Minds has Strauss dying in the arms of Hotch in the 8th season finale after the Replicator drugged her.
- 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: 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 Last of the Time Lords) 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.
- Subverted with Talisa, as by the time Robb Stark cradles her during the Red Wedding shortly before being killed himself, she is already dead.
- Jon Snow holds his ex-lover Ygritte as she dies, as in the novels.
- Jaime also tells Bronn that dying in the arms of the woman he loves is how he wants to go.
- King Joffrey Baratheon's wedding feast happens in a bright morning and everything seems fine until Joffrey's Incurable Cough of Death at which point Jaime and Cersei rush to his side only for him to gasp his final breaths in his mother's arms.
- Pyp dies in Sam's arms in "The Watchers on the Wall".
- Lyanna dies in Ned's arms.
- Myrcella collapses and dies in Jaime's arms after they have a first and sweet father-daughter conversation.
- 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.
- M*A*S*H: 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 & 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 (1995): 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.
- Once Upon a Time: Neal dies in Emma's arms after separating from his father along with a very tearful goodbye to both of them.
- In the midseason finale of Season 5, Hook also dies in Emma's arms after she reluctantly stabs him with Excalibur to stop the Dark Ones.
- Revenge: In Season 2 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.
- In Season 4 Daniel dies in Emily's arms at Grayson Manor after taking two bullets for her. As he dies Emily confesses to him that her initial romance with him wasn't all a lie.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: This is how Charley Dixon's wife dies, with Charley holding her and sobbing. He's not the only one.
- 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: Warrior Princess: 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.
- "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" from Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs 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
- "Annie's Song" by John Denver:
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms.
- In Terry and the Pirates, Raven Sherman dies in Dude Hennick's arms after Captain Judas shoves her out of the back of a moving truck.
- 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, in Alfredo's.
- Aida: Aida and Radames, in each other's (see also the Elton John/Tim Rice musical).
- 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.
- Eponine in Marius's, after being shot returning to the barricades in "Les Misérables".
- Audrey in Seymour's in Little Shop of Horrors.
- In most Walküre stagings, Siegmund to Wotan.
- Antony and Cleopatra: 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 there are two examples:
- 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
- In West Side Story, Maria cradles Tony in her arms as he dies.
- In Hamilton, Philip dies in his parents' arms.
- As written, the musical of Little Women has Beth die offstage, but some productions have her die in Jo's arms at the end of their duet "Some Things Are Meant To Be" instead. See, for example, this video.
- In the final photo memory of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda unleashes a burst of holy energy to protect Link from an attacking Guardian, incapacitating said Guardian. However, the blast ends up mortally wounding Link, who promptly takes his last breath in a tearful Zelda's arms. Thankfully, he gets better.
- The first Baten Kaitos game has Xehla die in Kalas's arms after you beat the final Big Bad.
- 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.
- Fire Emblem:
- In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, 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.
- In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, if the player chooses Eirika's path, the first CG in the epilogue shows her holding the dying Queen Ismaire in her arms.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, if the player chooses the Birthright path, later in the story Elise dies in her brother Xander's arms after she takes a hit from him that was meant for the Avatar. Xander does not take it well.
- Before the route split, the Avatar's mother, Queen Mikoto, also takes an attack meant for them and expires in their arms shortly after. They don't take it well, either.
- Subverted with Azura, also on Birthright. As she dies, she makes a motion that looks like she planned to crawl towards the Avatar's arms, but she evaporates into water before she can reach them.
- Almost at the end of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Alm's group finds a mortally wounded Fernand. He dies in the arms of his once-best friend, Clive.
- In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Ninian is seen in Eliwood's arms in the CG that follows her death scene.
- 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.
- Similarly in the remake of the first game, Zero's death scene is redone to have Zero die in X's arms.
- 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 his brother Lucas' arms.
- 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 the player chooses 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.
- As an another addition, Persona 3 Portable's ending on a New Game+ gives the protagonist the choice to meet whomever he/she maxed a Social Link with romantically to die in their arms. For the female protagonist, this includes Shinjiro Aragaki, who merely woke up from a coma three days before.
- Many are Anguished Declaration of Love and Declaration of Protection. Ken has Please Don't Leave Me (well, he's been "left behind" before), Akihiko's is a straight up love declaration, and Shinjiro is still as upbeat as always: "I'm glad I met you."
- Chidori romantically dies in Junpei's arms after performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save him from dying of a bullet wound by infusing him with her Persona's power. In P3 FES, she can get better if the player fulfilled certain requirements before the scene.
- 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.
- The death of Gusurg in Valkyria Chronicles III.
- 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.
- Zero Escape Trilogy:
Junpei: I'm glad... i got to hear your voice one last time...
- Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors: June dies in Junpei's arms in the "safe" and "submarine" endings.
- Virtue's Last Reward:
- Zero Time Dilemma:
- Sigma in Diana's arms in the ending where Diana didn't push the blue button.
- Inverted in Monty Hall segment if you get the answer right. While the room is filled with carbon dioxyde you'll get a gas mask but only one. Junpei will give it to already nearly passed out Akane and she'll be held in his arms while he dies.
- Getting the wrong answer leads to straighter example, except they both die.
- 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.
- 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?
- Pictured above: 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 Batman: Arkham Knight, Poison Ivy collapses in Batman's arms after using the last of her strength to disperse Scarecrow's fear gas spread by the Cloudburst. After muttering, "Nature always wins," she dies and her body disintegrates into pollen.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sands of Destruction features two, one which happens during play and one which is only told about through Flash Back:
- Digital Devil Saga does this three times over the course of its two games. In the first game, Jinana and Lupa die in the arms of, respectively, Argilla and Gale. In the second game, Angel and Gale are Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by one another and die in an embrace.
- In Snatcher, Harry dies in Gillian's arms.
- In the Code Geass Dating Sim Lost Colors, there are two downer endings in which the Player Character dies in the arms of either Kallen Kouzuki or Nagisa Chiba
- Minecraft: Story Mode: Either Ellegaard or Magnus will give you their armor before the confrontation with the Wither Storm and will end up being fatally wounded in the ensuing chaos. After the Wither Storm is defeated, you find Soren cradling his dying friend.
- In Sunrider Liberation Day, Chigara, who had just been mind-controlled by the Big Bad into kicking off the Liberation Day massacre, gets shot by Veniczar Fontana mere seconds after kicking the Big Bad’s spirit out of her body. As Kayto cradles her in his arms, she apologizes that they won’t be able to open their bakery and dies.
- After the climactic battle with the Climax Boss of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, Crow dies after performing a Heroic Sacrifice in Rean's arms to the latter's regret.
- In the opening level of Dishonored, Empress Jessamine dies in her bodyguard Corvo's arms after a supernatural assassin runs her through.
- In Homestuck: in one of the latest acts, Rose dies in Roxy's arms. Made all the more poignant because Rose got stabbed trying to avenge her girlfriend, and because both girls had only just met each other after years of eagerly waiting for it, especially since they are each other's mother in two different realities.
- 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.
- It still counts because Riff believes she died. She didn't. It was actually far, far worse. Until it wasn't.
- 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.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja has this played out word-for-word. After Gordito kills the zombified Ben Franklin, Doc accusingly says "You just killed my mentor. He died in my arms." Gordito reprimands him by saying "It must have been something you said," and reminds him they still have work to do and don't have time to mourn.
- Ma-Ti in The Nostalgia Critic's arms at the end of Suburban Knights.
- Clio Gabriella died this way in v4 of Survival of the Fittest, in the arms of her boyfriend Simon Telamon. She even begged for him to help her.
- In the 10th season Red vs. Blue CT in the arms of The Insurrection Leader after being mortally wounded by Tex
- In the penultimate chapter of The Pirates Covered in Fur, Tully dies in Michum's arms after being fatally wounded in the swordfight against Lyle Krinkor.
- At the climatic ending to the Reflection arc of AJCO, the Doctor perishes in the re-education chamber and A_J gathers her corpse up in her arms while the others watch on, horrified at what they had just done.
- A fan's take on a Team Fortress 2 "Meet the Spy" animation has the Spy over-selling his "death" to an Engineer who just shot him, collapsing dramatically into the Engineer's arms (complete with Pietà Plagiarism), so he can have a point blank shot to the Engineer's head, just as planned. (See it here.)
- 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.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender 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:
- In "Omens Part Two" he holds his father King Claudus as he dies having been stabbed In the Back by the series Big Bad, and Claudus has just enough time to tell Lion-O he's So Proud of You.
- In "Song of the Petalars" Lion-O holds his Lilliputian Plant Person friend Emrick in the palms of his hands, as Emrick dies of old age, due to his race's one-day lifespan. Lion-O grieves that Emrick hasn't achieved all his goals, but Emrick, who by his reckoning has led a rich, fulll lifetime, assures him that It's the Journey That Counts.
- 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.
- In a Batman: The Animated Series episode Batgirl gets pushed off a building by Scarecrow. She just happens to (graphically) fall on her father's police car and dies in his arms. This causes Gordon to blame Batman and try to capture him. The episode was thankfully All Just a Dream and Barbara is alive and well decades later in Batman Beyond.
- In the Grand Finale of Samurai Jack, Ashi fades from existence in Jack's arms. On their wedding day, to boot.