Final First Hug
"I know now why you cry... but it's something I can never do."

"Trunks... Papa has not hugged you once... not since you were born. Please let Papa hug you."

Some characters (and some real people) consider the very natural act of a father showing his love for his children to be un-manly and anathema. They so habitually maintain their stoic badass attitudes they never tell their children they love them or hug them, not till their dying hour.

Heroes or antiheroes who enact this trope have lived their entire lives true to the notion that emotion is weakness, still loving their children but never even saying so.

Yet, at the moment of death, such a father might find that his pride seems immaterial and insignificant compared to the crying child before him. Deciding that it's not worth it to go to his grave honorably with regret for it, he dissolves into the long overdue personification of love for the first and last time before facing the final journey.

The source of many Tear Jerker endings. Doing this means usually also to Go Out with a Smile. See also Last Kiss, Real Men Hate Affection, and Fond Memories That Could Have Been.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • The Terminator may not be able to cry, but his love for his "adoptive son" John was more than affirmed with his one and only embrace for him in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Perhaps not a hug, but the tone of this trope is certainly there in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader asks Luke to remove his helmet so he can look at his son through his own eyes 'just one time'. Since they'd been enemies on the opposite sides of the war and all, and Luke's father was in the process of showing us that Redemption Equals Death, it's understandable why this was the first and final display of affection.
  • Near the end of Rogue One, Jyn and Cassian embrace each other for the first time near moments before the explosion caused by the Death Star kills them off.
  • In the 2007 Beowulf movie, it is revealed the the dragon Beowulf fights to the mutual death is actually his own son, by way of the same creature that was mother to Grendel. After the climax of the movie, wherein the dragon has mortally wounded Beowulf, and he has torn out the dragon's heart, they both crashland on the beach. There, the dragon's form melts away into the waves, revealing a shiny, golden humanoid. It's not quite a hug, but Beowulf looks his son in the eyes and lays a hand on his shoulder before his corpse washes away.
  • TRON: Legacy: The reintegration between Flynn and Clu looks a lot like this, with Flynn wrapping his arms around his "wayward son" even as Clu is being absorbed back into his body.
  • The Man from Nowhere has Cha Tae-Sik hug So-Mi at the very end. Subverted, however, because while Cha Tae-Sik isn't dying or in any danger, he still has to leave So-Mi to spend time in jail, possibly for a long time.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Yondu rescues Peter as Ego's planet collapses due to Ego's death. Sadly, there is only one spare spacesuit left, which Yondu uses to protect Peter from the vacuum of space, leaving him exposed. Peter is horrified and tearfully screams in denial while desperately trying to tear off the spacesuit so he can save Yondu, having only realized at that moment that Yondu was the dad he had always wanted. Yondu spends his final moments reassuringly patting his son's head, his first and last open display of paternal affection.

    Live Action TV 
  • Sam and Dean in Supernatural would die for each other, have killed for each other, would sell their soul for each other but when do the fans finally get to see them hug? When Sam's just been stabbed in the back and dies in Dean's arms. Oh Kripke, you Magnificent bastard! I watched your show!
  • In The X-Files episode "Anasazi," Mulder visits his father, who gives him a big hug shortly before he is killed in his own bathroom. Earlier in the season, he had noticeably declined to hug his son. Probably not the first hug ever, but likely the first in a long while.
    • Similarly, in season 8, Mulder only gets to see his son for two days before having to leave to go into hiding. Originally intending just to be a long absence, this turns out to be the only time he ever got to see William.
  • On Lost, Jack's father is hard on him believing this will mold Jack into a great doctor. Their "final first hug" occurs in the finale, after they are both dead.

    Video Game 
  • Big Boss of Metal Gear Solid 4 hugs his cloned son for the first and final time as he dies in front of the grave of The Boss, his adoptive mother and teacher. Notable since Solid Snake and Big Boss were enemies in the original Metal Gear games.
  • It's not exactly the trope, but after the final battle of MOTHER 3, after Claus kills himself with his own lightning, he stumbles towards his twin brother Lucas and hugs him for the last time.
  • It's pretty safe to assume that Jecht hasn't praised Tidus once, at least not that Tidus can recall. So after the party defeats Sin/Jecht and Jecht collapses, dying For Real, it means a lot that Tidus rushes to his dad's side and that Jecht doesn't push him away.
  • In Halo 4 In a variation, the first time that Cortana manages to physically touch John-117 (by making a Hard Light body for herself following the detonation of the Havok nuke) is what is assumed to be the final time they see each other ever again.
  • Undertale has a non-fatal example of it - the player character gets a hug from Toriel, the friendly creature that saved their life and was acting like a mother to them, if she is still alive after the battle with her. However, she told the player character not to return, explaining why this is a last hug. They can meet again later on, subverting the trope, but she is not expecting this at the time.
    • Finally, there is the moment with Asriel, whom the player can hug after defeating him in the True Final Boss battle. This comes with one extreme Tearjerker line... "I don't want to let go." because he'll revert back to a flower form and be alone again.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied a bit in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft". Within the game, Stan's father's character is killed in combat, and the two avatars play out a tearful Final First Hug. Meanwhile, Stan and his father are both alive and well in front of separate computers. (Not to mention that Death Is Cheap in the video game, and Randy can revive his character with only minor inconvenience.)
  • One the American Dad! episode "Pulling Double Booty", Stan reveals that withholds from telling Hayley "I love you" specifically to invoke this should she ever be on her deathbed.
  • In Adventure Time "The Light Cloud", Finn hugs his mother Minerva in virtual reality (she only exists as a Virtual Ghost uploaded into Founders' Island's computer network). Sadly, he is doing this as he is sailing away from the Island, and Minerva's signal can't go too far from it. As the signal fades and his virtual mother vanishes in his arms, Finn whispers "Goodbye" and sheds a Single Tear.

    Real Life 
  • David Vetter spent his entire life isolated in a plastic bubble (yes, this is the original Bubble Boy). His parents were only able to hold him as he lay dying.