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Final Speech
"Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings."
Ed Gardner

A major character doesn't just get killed straight away. Oh, no. They've got to deliver a speech before dying. It can run the full gamut from Narm to some of the most touching and memorable scenes in media.

This speech usually goes along the lines of the following:

In Real Life, as long as the heart, lungs, major arteries and brain remain inviolate a person is well more than capable of carrying on a conversation. However, given that losing a certain amount of blood causes the mind to be flooded with first a sense of panic and doom, then confusion and fear, and finally lethargy, these conversations aren't exceptionally enlightening or deep. They do tend to ask for water a lot. Dying makes you thirsty.

Famous Last Words is where they keep it brief. Killed Mid-Sentence is the ultimate inversion, and Distracted from Death is usually an aversion where the person dies and someone who is right near them or was just with them doesn't notice.

This is a Death Trope. Expect unmarked spoilers ahead.


Examples

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     Anime/Manga  
  • Mew Ichigo's Stalker with a Crush in Tokyo Mew Mew is killed by her Brainwashed and Crazy boyfriend and tells her he really did love her... of course, upon coming Back from the Dead, he's back to his perverted ways. (It's at least partially a redemption for Quiche, anyway, but he could have at least apologized for trying to kill her friends and forcing her to watch.)
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: As with many other things, this trope is taken to extremes. The Spiral King, Lord Genome gives his final speech with a basketball-sized hole in his chest, while the Anti-Spiral delivers his with a hole in him that's wider than he is.
  • In Kannazuki no Miko, Chikane's death speach makes up all of the last episode. AFTER having been run through by a katana. Really.
  • The Asgardian God Warriors of Saint Seiya already peppered their duels with the heroes with angry, melancholy, or simply expository monologues of their life's stories (several of them depicting quite the Break the Cutie processes), but they saved the longest (and most dramatic) bits for their dying moments.
  • Asakura Ryoko dying at Yuki's hands in Suzumiya Haruhi. While slowly being disintegrated, she delivers this speech:
    "I lost. It's great that you can survive. But you'd better be careful. The Data Overmind isn't as united as you think; there are quite a number like me with dissenting opinions. It's just like humans. There will be extremists like me next time. And who knows, even those who control Nagato-san might change their thinking and turn to kill you instead."
  • One Piece: Dr. Hiluluk combined a Crowning Moment Of Awesome with a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in his Final Speech.
    "When does a man die? When he is hit by a bullet? No. When he suffers a disease? No. When he ate a soup made out of a poisonous mushroom? No! A man dies when he is forgotten! Even if I die, my dream will come true. The people's hearts will be cured!"
    • Done by Portgas D. Ace and Whitebeard, Ace his entire torso, inside and out, was burnt by Admiral Akainu's magma yet he was still able to tell everyone on the battlefield that he was grateful for being loved by them. Whitebeard had been slashed 267 times, was hit by 152 bullets, withstood 46 cannonballs, had been in bad health for quite a while and had half his face blown off by Akainu (seeing a pattern here?). Despite all this, he was still able to shout his last words across the entire island loud enough that it was broadcast over the entire world.
      • Ace points out late in his speech that he knows his voice is going and his words won't be able to reach anyone except Luffy. In the anime, he's talking as loudly as he can for his final declaration of gratitude toward those who loved him, and it's still not as loud as his normal speaking voice.
  • Bleach: Subverted with Kariya in the Bount Arc: He starts up a speech but turns into a cloud of dust after letting out about a sentence and a half.
  • Ouran High School Host Club hung a big lampshade on this trope - when Haruhi was kidnapped by the Zuka club and roped into taking part in their School Play, Benibara's character gave a long speech while he lay dying in the arms of Haruhi's character. Haruhi spent the entire time wondering why somebody who was supposed to be dying could carry on for so long, and whether it might make more sense to call for a doctor or something.
  • Hansel in Black Lagoon delivers a truly epically creepy dying speech, bleeding away on the pavement of Roanapur. Not only is the content truly Ax-Crazy, but midway in, the voice starts switching from Hansel to Gretel... and finally to both speaking in chorus with each other. The speech's response is a cold-blooded dismissal of all the dying person stands for by Balalaika.
  • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 The Movie, Dark Dream echoes the "it's because I love" speech that converted her to the side of good, showing that redemption really does equal death.
  • Trigun Has one of the most heart-rending final speeches in all of anime, delivered by Wolfwood. As a confession. Part of the reason it's so memorable is that the tone of it shifts back and forth from happy to delirious to optimistic to desperate. And it ends on desperate.
    Wolfwood: "I hope you don't mind me barging in like this. In spite of the profession I've chosen, I've never actually made a confession before. "It's these times we live in. I did what it took to protect the children at any cost." That's how I always justified my actions. I took many people's lives. All that time believing there was no other way. My sins are so heavy. Too heavy. Too heavy to ever atone for. And yet, somehow I feel happy. At peace with myself today. It really can be done! Once you stop to think about it, there are plenty of ways to save everyone! Why didn't I ever listen to him? Why didn't I see that before it was too late ...
    Wolfwood: lighting a cigarette, inhaling once. "That tastes good".
    Millie: In a flashback. "You know cigarettes are bad for the baby, darling."
    Wolfwood: "I'm sorry, honey." the cigarette falls from his mouth
    Wolfwood: "If I'm reincarnated, I'd like to live somewhere where life is easier. Somewhere with nothing but peaceful days...somewhere with no stealing. And no killing. Eden. In Eden, I could live happily with him and the girls...I'm not ready yet! There's still so much left to be done! I want to stay with them! I don't want to die!"
    "I'm a man. Was everything I did in my life a mistake? Would I be wrong now, to ask for your forgiveness?"
    "...I did not want to die this way!"
  • Shirley from Code Geass has one of these after being shot point blank by Rolo:
    Shirley: "You know... When my memories came back, I was so scared... a fake teacher... friends with no memories... Everyone was... lying to me. It was if... the whole world was watching me. Lulu, you've been fighting all by yourself... against this world. So that's why... I wanted... to become the one thing truthful to you."
    Lelouch: "...Shirley."
    Shirley: "I love you, Lulu. Even when I knew you killed my father... I couldn't... bring myself to hate you. Even when you tried to make me forget everything... I still fell... in love with you again. Even my memories were altered... I still fell in love again."
    Lelouch: activates his geass "No! Don't die Shirley!"
    Shirley: "No matter how many times I'm reborn... I'm sure... I'll fall in love with you again, Lulu. This is... fate, right?"
    Lelouch: "Don't die, Shirley! Don't die! Don't die!"
    Shirley: "So it's okay, right, Lulu? That I fall in love with you again when I'm reborn? No matter... how many times... I'll... fall in love... with you."
  • In Bubblegum Crisis episode 5, Sylvie manages to give a final speech after falling out of the mecha she was killed in. Especially silly since the plot is that she has to be dead before the mecha would even stop.
  • Lampshaded by Sebastian in episode 12 of Black Butler II, upon Claude's death.
    Sebastian: I'm impressed that you're so talkative with a fatal wound like this.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka managed this everytime she made a Heroic Sacrifice, also double as Tear Jerker.
    "Despite that, I'm a Magical Girl. I must protect everybody. Homura-chan, I'm so happy to become friends with you. Even now, I'm so proud of saving you from a witch just on time that day. Therefore, I'm so glad I had became a magical girl. Farewell, Homura-chan. Take care."
    "May I ask you once more? I don't want to become a witch. Although awful and sad things happened, there are still countless things I want to protect on this world. Homura-chan, you finally call my first name! I'm so happy."
  • Katanagatari. Togame takes a good fifteen minutes to finally die. Her killer admits that he deliberately missed her vitals specifically for this reason.
  • Naruto. Kisame's last words are one whole Dying Moment of Awesome
    Kisame: Itachi..... It looks like I'm not such a bad person, after all.
    • Naruto loves this trope. When we flash back to Kushina and Minato's death, the former gives a freaking monologue of advice for her son — all ranging from mundane tasks to what woman to marry — and then lampshades it with "Sorry I'm such a chatterbox." The latter's Final Speech is much shorter: "Yeah, everything she said."
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, after Reinhard von Lohengramm's fleets completely surrounded the Alliance fleet led by Alexandre Bewcock during the Battle of Mar-Adetta, he ordered a temporary ceasefire to give Bewcock a chance to surrender. The latter refused politely and gave a Final Speech instead.
    • And of course, Yang Wenli died of blood loss after being shot in the leg, alone.
    Yang: I didn't know it'd shed this much blood, but of course, it's tiny compared to the amount of blood I've made people shed up to now. In a place like this… I feel pathetic myself. It’s strange. (limping forward) If the blood flows out this much, my body weight is supposed to become lighter, but… why is my body so heavy? (collapse) Well, this doesn’t look good. Oh dear, Miracle Yang became Bloody Yang. I’m sorry, Fredrica. I’m sorry, Julian. I’m sorry, everyone.
  • Romeo X Juliet loves this trope. Pretty much every character who dies on screen gets some variant of this, whether it's the heroes or the Ill Boy.
  • Dragon Ball Z provides one of the most memorable and iconic final speeches through Android 16, which achieves being a Tear Jerker, Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Crowning Moment Of Awesome and Dying Moment of Awesome:
    Android 16: Gohan... let it go. It is not a sin to fight for the right cause. There are those who words alone will not reach, Cell is such a being. You are gentle, you do not like to hurt. I know because I too have learned these feelings, but it is because you cherish life that you must protect it. Please, drop your restraints, protect the life I loved, you have the power, my scanners sensed it, just... let it go

    Comic Books 
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, issue #168, Antoine's father dies, but gets to tell mon filsnote  how proud he is of him, and also urges him to stay together with Bunnie.
    • In issue #18, this happens to Sally's mentor, Julayla.

    Film 
  • In Serenity, a dying Shepherd says to Mal, "Hey. I don't care what you believe. Just believe it. Whatever you..."
  • The Core had a self-sacrificing character making a final speech into a recorder, stop, then begin laughing at himself because no one would ever hear it.
    Zimsky: ...What the fuck am I doing?
  • The Matrix: Revolutions
    • After being massively lacerated by attacking Sentinels, Captain Mifune lives long enough to tell the Kid to open the gate so the Hammer can enter the Dock.
    • In spite of the fact that she's been impaled, Trinity manages to keep talking... and talking... and talking... and talking. Mostly about how she's really glad she gets to give a speech this time. Half the speech is lead-up to The Reveal that she is impaled (Neo being blind, he didn't notice at first).
  • In Lord of the Rings, while both Boromir and Theoden had some last dying words in the book, they really spice it up in the films, especially with Boromir's last line to Aragorn: My brother, my captain, my king.
  • In Signs, the wife offers advice for her husband, children, and brother-in-law. That advice turns out to be prophetic.
  • In Dancer in the Dark, shortly after getting hung, Selma sings a Final Song, which is cut short when the executioner pulls the gallows' lever.
  • L.A. Confidential: Jack Vincennes' last words are "Rollo Tomasi", and his killer winds up outing himself by repeating them. Jack has remarkable presence of mind in his last moments.
  • Parodied in The Mask, where after a shootout, The Mask stumbles over to the man that shot him, and dramatically enacts several death scenes one after another, while the shooter blubbers.
    The Mask: Hold me closer Ed, it's getting dark... Tell Auntie Em to let Old Yeller out... *cough cough*, tell Tiny Tim I won't be coming home this Christmas... tell Scarlett I do give a damn...
    • Then, the silhouette of an audience suddenly appears to gives a standing ovation, and the Mask immediately gets up to accept an acting award handed from out of frame ("You love me! You really love me!") and the bad guys surrounding him are at loss at what is going on. At least one of them actually starts applauding.
  • In The Bourne Identity movie, after the Professor has been mortally wounded, he ponders the meaning of what he was doing in the first place with Bourne, exchanges notes on their condition, and ends with a lament.
    Professor: Do you get headaches? I get these massive headaches. ...look at this. Look at what they make you give...
    • Bourne himself paraphrases this in the third film which prompts the other Treadstone/Blackbriar 'asset' to let him go.
  • In The Prestige, when Angier is shot by Borden, he stays around long enough to have a looooong conversation, just long enough to have The Reveal thoroughly explained to him before finally dying.
  • V for Vendetta: The man known as V, despite being riddled with bullets, actually manages to walk for several minutes in order to give one of these. (In the graphic novel, he manages to get back to his lair, but is dead by the time Evie arrives.) Of course, it's implied he's not exactly limited to human norms...
  • The Man Who Would Be King: Sean Connery's Daniel Dravott, having posed as a god, is condemned to walk out to the middle of the bridge built in his own honor, and wait while it is cut, as his last friend watches. He goes out onto the bridge, stands there a moment looking out to the horizon, then yells to his captors, "Can't you ———s cut?!" Then, to pass the time, he sings "The Minstrel Boy," paired with the words of a Protestant hymn. Peachey joins him from the cliff's side in song, their voices combining into a ballad of courage and faith. And then the bridge is cut, and "like a penny-whirligig... it took him half an hour to fall."
  • In Heaven's Gate, a character trapped in a burning cabin writes a letter explaining that he was trapped in a burning cabin and giving farewells. He then puts the letter in his pocket and runs out of the cabin, where he meets his end.
  • The Star Wars series has a couple, played mostly straight.
    • The Phantom Menace shows Qui-Gon Jinn pleading with Obi-Wan to train Anakin, no matter what the Jedi Council says, as he is certain Anakin is the prophesied Chosen One will bring balance.
      • This is, of course, after surviving through several minutes of Darth Maul Vs. Obi-Wan
    • Subverted in Attack of the Clones—after Zam Wesell is hit by a saber dart loaded with an exceptionally virulent poison that will kill her in seconds, she isn't even able to intelligibly finish her sentence which would have informed the heroes who The Dragon of the man in front of the man behind the man was (get all that?)...though to her credit, she tries.
      • In the same film, Shimi's last words sort of play with this trope: She does manage to say a few things to Anakin, but she eventually dies mid-phrase as she's saying "Anakin, I lo—".
    • Padme, in Revenge of the Sith, doesn't get much of one, just saying her children's names before she kicks off from being killed by the plot/script.
      • That, and that there's still some good in Anakin.
    • Episode IV gives Obi-Wan a rare post-death Final Speech: "Run, Forrest Luke! Run!"
    • As mentioned above, in Return of the Jedi, Yoda tells Luke that death is the way of all things, confirms that Vader is his father, that he won't be a Jedi until he defeats Vader, and that he has a long-lost family member (but by that point is too weak to say what kind or who it is). Cheery. This is somewhat more believable in that he's dying of old age, not an injury. Also, Darth Vader, after his suit is damaged to the point it can't sustain him anymore, asks Luke to take his helmet off so he can look on his son's face with his own eyes, then tells him to leave him behind. (Luke doesn't.) At Luke's protestations, Anakin tells him that he's already been saved, and he should tell his sister he was right—that there was some good left.
    "You already...have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister...you were right..."
  • Subverted in The Dark Knight, where Rachel Dawes is killed about half a word into hers.
    • Listen... somewh* CHOOM!*
    • The Dark Knight Rises: Talia al Ghul taunts the heroes with her dying words. A terser final speech from Batman himself, reminding Catwoman and Gordon of their inner morality before flying a bomb away from the city to his death. Presumably.
  • In the original Wicker Man, Sgt. Howie gives an absolutely badass one, predicting divine punishment for the villagers, singing a bit of the 23rd Psalm, and finally reciting the last words of Walter Raleigh. Oddly enough, it's justified - he's being burned alive in the Wicker Man, so until the fire gets to him he has plenty of time to talk.
  • In the movie adaptation of Battle Royale, characters occasionally get in last words before dying. There are quite a few, but what's most memorable is when Kitano was shot several times by Shuya, and is apparently dead, until his phone rings. Then, he picks himself up like nothing happened, talks on the phone, yells at his daughter, shoots the phone with the actual gun he had with him, then gives his last words, complimenting Noriko on the cookies she made. Keep in mind that this scene was original to the movie, as the character's counterpart in the novel was simply stabbed in the throat with a pencil, so giving a final speech would be a little more difficult for him.
  • Subverted in Barnyard Ben appears as if he's going to say something to Otis, but dies before actually saying anything.
  • Roy Batty in Blade Runner, who uses his last operative moments to deliver one of film's most defining Tear Jerkers.
    Roy Batty: I've... Seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams... Glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those... Moments will be lost in time, like... Tears... In rain. Time... to die.
  • Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan gets a dying dialogue with Kirk after receiving a fatal dose of radiation while fixing the Enterprise's engines.
    Spock: Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh...
    Kirk: The needs of the few...
    Spock: ...or the one. I never took The Kobayashi Maru until now. What do you think of my solution?
    Kirk: ...
    Spock: I have been, and always shall be your friend. Live long... and prosper.
    Kirk: ...No...
    • And Khan gets one too, as he watches the crippled Enterprise try to flee the coming detonation of the Genesis Device.
    Khan: No! No, you can't get away! To the last I grapple with thee...from Hell's heart I stab at thee...for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee...
  • Kung Pow! Enter the Fist: "Watch out for his song about big butts... he beats you up while he plays it!"
  • The Last Starfighter. Centauri's big death scene.
  • Dans une galaxie près de chez vous plays it straight in the movie with Flavien's death scene. "It was fun, the mission. But it was over so quickly", * thud* . Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
  • The Last Hurrah: Defeated mayoral candidate Frank Skeffington more-or-less reconciles with the Roman Catholic Cardinal on his deathbed. As Skeffington fades off into death, Roger Sugrue (a longtime nemesis of Skeffington and self-appointed arbiter of acceptable Roman Catholic behavior) suggests that Skeffington would do everything differently, if he had it to do over again. Skeffington then summons the energy to say one last thing before he dies: "Like hell I would!" Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • In The Blues Brothers, as they are falling to their death in a car, one Illinois Nazi says to the other (the leader), "I've always loved you."
  • Subverted in Captain America: The First Avenger, when after Dr. Erskine is fatally wounded by an assassin, he is unable to draw up enough strength to speak. Instead, he points to Cap's heart, recalling a conversation the day before when he had told him, "No matter what happens, stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier... but a good man."
  • Subverted in Way Of The Gun, where a dying man delivers a tedious final speech and refuses to die on cue, to the obvious frustration of his partner, who wants to continue his mission. Eventually the dying man says that he'd rather be alone anyway and lets his partner go.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, Shaun's stepfather Philip, dying of a zombie bite, tells Shaun that he always loved him, and to look after his mother.
  • In Star Trek VI, the dying Gorkon begs Kirk to save the peace process. This convinces Kirk that Gorkon's desire for peace was genuine, and he spends the rest of the movie honoring Gorkon's dying wish.
  • Parodied in Casino Royale (1967) - SMERSH agent Mimi, after her Heel-Face Turn, gets a little bit of shrapnel in the chest and coughs out a big impassioned goodbye to Sir James, followed by a big kiss.
    Sir James: Madam! Are you quite sure you're dying?
    Mimi: Not dying...but moving on to a better place. ...there's a convent over the next hill!
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly the final words of soldier Bill Carson provide The Ugly with the cemetery's location and The Good with the name on the tombstone (each individually) where $200,000 is buried. This forces the two to work together and sets up the rest of the movie.
    • The film in general contains a handful of final speeches of otherwise unimportant soldiers of the American Civil War. note  Being a Western, the speeches are often very short and contain more body language than words.
  • The villain in Ben Hur gives one.

    Literature 
  • In Animorphs, Hirac delest is an Andalite term for one's last thoughts or final words. It is a fairly common practice among Andalite warriors to record it just before their demise. The Andalite Chronicles takes this concept Up to Eleven, as the entire text actually serves as Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul's hirac delest.
  • Maskerade takes the page quote and runs with it. The villain reveals that he absolutely hates opera. After being stabbed by a fake sword, no less, on an opera stage - this being Discworld, Narrative Causality determines that he dies anyway he spends a good two pages ranting about how terrible opera is, including how long!!!! people!!!! take!!!! to!!!!! die.
  • Dave Barry Does Japan describes a visit to a Japanese opera. The main character has lost the Sacred Incense Burner (don't ask). Deciding that suicide is the best option, he stabs himself and sings about it. For fifteen minutes. As Dave puts it, "I would have shouted 'Somebody stab him again!' if I knew how in Japanese."
  • Warrior Cats: Most main characters that get killed off. The award goes to Bluestar, who speaks to Firestar for about four pages before she dies.
  • The Iliad: Sarpedon and Patroclus both get rather lengthy ones. When the latter kills the former, he politely waits for him to finish his speech before pulling his lungs out with a spear.
  • Thorin in The Hobbit.
    "There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage, and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell."
  • In Taiko, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's advisor Hanbei, knowing that he's about to die of illness, gives him a long Dare to Be Badass speech, telling him that he, Nobunaga, and Ieyasu all have their seperate roles to play in bringing unity to Japan.
  • Tennyson intended "Crossing The Bar" to be one of these, although it was written approximately three years before he died. The poem acknowledges his impending death and tells his loved ones not to mourn for him because he's going on a peaceful journey to meet his Pilot (a metaphor for God). Tennyson told his son that he wanted people to put "Crossing The Bar" at the end of all collections of his poetry.
  • The Song of Roland takes this Up to Eleven. While secondary characters just get cleaved in two and drop dead, mortally wounded heroes will have time to say goodbye to their comrades, deliver final monologues, pray God for forgiveness and arrange themselves in aesthetically pleasing positions before finally dying. Archbishop Turpin also takes the time to bless the corpses of the previously fallen. And all that, of course, only comes after they did one or two final charges against the enemy to take as many of them with them as possible... while already mortally wounded.

     Live Action TV  
  • Twin Peaks had a great one, when Cooper thought he was dying:
    "At a time like this, curiously, you begin to think of the things you regret, or the things you might miss. I would like in general to treat people with much more care and respect. I would like to climb a tall hill, but not too tall, sit in the cool grass, but not too cool, and feel the sun on my face. I wish I could have cracked the Lindbergh kidnapping case. I would very much like to make love to a beautiful woman who I had a genuine affection for. And of course it goes without saying that I would like to visit Tibet. I wish that the Tibetan government would allow the Dalai Lama to return to his native land. Oh, I would like that very much."
  • In Doctor Who, "The Satan Pit", one character gets a Final Speech version of a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
    • Likewise, the Eleventh Doctor closes out with one before regenerating.
    "We all change, when you think about it. We're all different people, all through our lives. And that's okay, that's good - you've got to keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day...I swear. I will always remember...when the Doctor was me."
  • During a host segment of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba, Dr. Forrester is at death's door. He says, "Frank, I'm... dead... No, wait, now I'm dead... No... now..." And then he decides he wants to live after all, gets up, and starts walking around.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Funnily enough, when Damar died, the original script had him die without saying anything. The writers decided that he was important enough to get a final "speech", which consisted of "Keep..."
    • In context, he was probably trying to tell Garak to "keep going", leave him behind and accomplish the mission.
      • Actually credit goes to Casey Biggs, who played Damar, and lobbied not to go down without a word. So they gave him approval to ad lib something. He admits that he has no idea how he would have finished the line.
    • Keevan in the episode "The Magnificent Ferengi" gets a short and quite funny one after being shot by Quark's cousin: "I hate Ferengi."
  • Captain Freedom, the costumed vigilante in the second season of Hill Street Blues gets a very nice exit speech.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Played with in the Season 5 finale. Buffy whispers her Final Speech into Dawn's ear before jumping into the portal. We hear it as a voiceover accompanying the visuals of Buffy's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Half the fun of Engine Sentai Go-onger fights are the monsters' dramatic orations made after the Finishing Move but before going spoom.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Captain Archer gets one when he flies off to destroy the Xindi superweapon, knowing he'll most likely die in the attempt.
    Archer: I'm going to ask all of you to think back to the day when this ship was first launched. We were explorers then. When all this is over, when Earth is safe, I want you to get back to that job. There are four hundred billion stars in our galaxy ? we've only explored a tiny fraction. You have a lot of work to do. Of all the captains who will sit in this chair, I can't imagine any of them being more proud than I am right now.
  • Subverted in The Cape where Max gives the traditional inspiring speech given by any mentor who just got killed helping out the middle-class white dude he met earlier that episode - then realizes he's not dying, laments wasting a good speech, and gets up.
  • Well deserved ending for such a beloved character, but Zhaan's final speech in Farscape is surprisingly lengthy, especially considering that she's about to perform a time-sensitive Heroic Sacrifice.
    Zhaan: No - no more. If I am so needed - and so valued - and so wise. Then you will honor my words. You will obey me. For the longest time I feared physical demise - because my spiritual essence was suspect. But now I know I'm worthy. Now I know the transgressions have melted from my soul. Now I know I shall meet my Goddess, and be accepted to her bosom. Sensitive D'Argo - Exuberant Chiana- Wise Rygel - Selfless Aeryn - Innocent Crichton - My children. My teachers. My loves. There is no guilt. There is no blame. Only what is meant to be. Grow through your mistakes, and know that if patient, redemption will find you.
  • Horatio Hornblower: Has several rather poignant moments when important characters are dying.
    • When Mr Nice Guy Clayton is on his deathbed, he's Sorry That He's Dying, and his world goes black. He asks Horatio whether it's evening.
    • When Lt. Eccleston dies after they've successfully boarded and taken a French ship, he gives Horatio a command over another midshipman who was Horatio's senior, but not officially assigned as the Indefatigable's officer. Moreover, a few moments ago, Horatio accused him of attempted murder, and Eccleston has reasons to trust Hornblower over Simpson. Eccleston asks Horatio to take the ship and crew safely to the Indy.
    • Finch was a lower-deck character who once saved Horatio's life. When he's dying, he has a fever. He keeps asking whether they are in England yet, despite the fact that their ship was not headed there. Poor man.
    • Mr Wellard has a sad dying scene when he's shot by the Spaniards who have taken Renown. He's a young Plucky Middie, nearly broken in spirit. He tells Gunner Hobbs that his Captain, who died before him, assured him that he was brave. Hobbs reassures him as well

    Mythology 

    Theatre 
  • Masterfully parodied by Lill Lindfors in Operadöden (Opera Death). Sung in German, with comments and some translation to Swedish.
  • William Shakespeare's plays have several.
    • Romeo and Juliet.
    • Including, ridiculously, Othello in which Desdemona gets a final speech after her death by asphyxiation. This gets left out of adaptations a lot, understandably — but in the operatic adaptation by Giuseppe Verdi and Arrigo Boïto, what's remarkable is that it doesn't go on longer. (After all, Verdi gave the title character of Macbeth an entire aria to sing as he lies mortally wounded.)
    • Pyramus's death scene in "Pyramus and Thisbe" in A Midsummer Night's Dream must be seen, or at least heard, to be appreciated.
    • Parodied in the Beyond The Fringe sketch when Jonathan Miller took forever to die: "Now is steel twixt gut and bladder interposed!"
    • Antonio gets one in The Merchant of Venice as he prepares to face Shylock's knife. Subverted in that he doesn't end up dying at all.
  • Bobby Strong from Urinetown gets a whole song for his Final Speech, called Tell Her I Love Her
    • Though it's delivered by another character, and partly delirious, and Lampshaded: "He started fading in and out for a while. It was a miracle he was alive at all..."
  • Tristan does this for almost an entire act: "Ohhh, Im dying... where is Isolde? Meanwhile, Random Feverish Hallucinations... where is that woman? Still not here... Okay, hallucinating a bit more... hey, Kurwenal, do you think the traffic is that bad on the Channel?"
  • Edgar, in Lucia di Lammermoor, stabs himself, then sings happily for another five minutes.
  • Violetta from La Traviata may be dying from consumption, but this doesn't stop her singing the entire final act.
  • Siegfried. Stabbed in the back, still going strong... reliving how he Got The Girl definitely isn't bad.
  • In Il Trovatore, Leonora, while dying, sings the same melody over and over and over again. Can feel really long. Then subverted — Manrico is dragged out and decapitated before he could sing an aria. Poor Luna must've been really pissed off.
  • Marquis of Posa from Don Carlo has a big, heroic aria about a better future and freedom and that kind of stuff, while dying from a bullet in the lungs...
  • In the musical version of Les Misérables, Eponine gets a whole damn song with Marius after getting shot.

     Tabletop Games 

     Video Games  
  • Killer7: Subverted: an assassin/organ dealer attempts to deliver a final speech, only to have his killer yell, "Trying to die in style?" "Give me a break you sick old man!" and shoots the lever to a nearby machine that eviscerates the assassin, cutting the speech short.
  • Assassin's Creed series.
    • Upon a successful assassination in Assassin's Creed I, the game fades to the surreal Animus background while the victim gives an implausibly long death speech. This player was left wondering if the speeches actually happened, or were fabricated by the Animus system. But it is kind of stated that the Animus can not show every possible detail, and the implication is that the final speeches you encounter are really conversations Altaïr had with his victims after cornering them and before delivering the killing blow.
    • Assassin's Creed II does away with these. While the screen still falls away to the Animus background after a kill, the scenes within said background are much shorter, usually only enough time for Ezio to deliver final rites, a Post-Mortem One-Liner, or for the assassinated to say one or two sentences, and make for much more believable death scenes. One early target even lampshades the speeches in the first game; when Ezio asks him what he's up to and what his group is doing, the guy wimply says "What were you expecting, a confession?" and promptly dies.
  • Mikau's death in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. A guitarist of a popular band, he explains the situation and what he wants the player to do for him by hopping up, going into a song and dance routine, and when he finishes, immediately flopping right back down, to die soon after.
  • Claves' death in Eternal Sonata. It takes ten minutes, during which she monologues and flashes back to a conversation she just had half a minute ago.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, if the player is bored by Zeeairee's long ominous final speech, he can snap her neck to skip it.
  • Subverted in Phantom Brave: Ash gives a long speech in preparation for his Heroic Sacrifice. Walnut cuts him off, and sacrifices himself in Ash's place.
  • Nearly every names character in Fire Emblem. They range from something as as short as another character's name to a full paragraph in size.
    • This was actually subverted at one point in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. When Ilyana dies, all that comes up in the text box is Visible Silence. In the sequel, Radiant Dawn, she has a more standard death quote.
  • Used so often, so lengthily and so absolutely ludicrously in the Metal Gear Solid series that it became a trademark of the series that all the bosses tell their entire life story before dying, and everyone complained when the enemies in the third game merely repeated their codenames a few times and then exploded.
    • The fourth game has it both ways. Upon defeating the Beauty and the Beast Corps, they shed their armor, and freak out at you before you shoot'em dead. Then a supporting character calls you up and tells you their (invariably horrific) life stories.
    • All the way back in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, when ice-skater-Secret Service-defector-bodyguard (yes, really) Natasha Markova is hit with a missile and still finds time to deliver lines like:
    Natasha: Me, I could only walk over ice. I only skated... I never walked.
  • In Jedi Academy, one mission has you meeting with an informant on the Sith cult. Before you can do anything, he's shot by a sniper, and gurgles out "Cult...must..." before expiring.
  • In the Blade Runner game, the expy of Roy Batty can be found lying on his cot, and greets the player with his Final Speech - quoting William Blake, about the only time any of the poems he's been spouting fits the context. The player can purposely subvert this by having Ray shoot him, to which Ray would remark "I never did like poetry."
  • The Big Bads of both Knights of the Old Republic games deliver Final Speeches after the Player Character defeats them. Darth Malak makes some rather somber observations about Revan before his death, but it's Kreia who really wins the prize, relating to the Jedi Exile the futures of most of the main cast and the various planets visited over the course of the game, and making several other observations regarding the Exile and the game's plot, before she finally kicks off.
    • Saul Karath, Malak's more competent Dragon gets a particularly nasty one, especially considering who it's directed to and what's it's regarding.
      Saul:" You didn't know, did you? *cough* Ha-ha-ha. Remember my dying words. Remember them whenever... whenever you look at those you thought were your friends!
  • Mass Effect 2 does this with the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. Apparently, rogue Spectre Tela Vasir's own self-righteousnss is enough to keep her alive long enough to chastise Commander Shepard for working with Cerberus, a terrorist organisation, before telling Shepard not to judge her. This is after a high-speed car crash and being shot several hundred times.
    Vasir: "You want to judge me? Look in the mirror! Kidnapping kids for biotic death camps! Hell, your own unit on Akuze! And you're with them! Don't you dare judge me! Don't you..."
  • Zero's best moment in Mega Man Zero are his final words, a Kirk Summation, "World of Cardboard" Speech and sum up exactly what he really was to the world: A true hero, showing exactly what he's fighting for. All rolled into these 4 sentences:
    Zero: "I never cared about justice and I don't recall ever calling myself a hero... I have always only fought for the people I believe in. I won't hesitate... If an enemy appears in front of me, I will destroy it!"
    • Here's another from the series:
    Mega Man X: Can you hear me, Zero? My energy is almost all spent. I can't... stay in this world... much longer... Zero... I want to leave this world in your care. The threat Weil represents has not left this world. I want you...to protect humans and Reploids. Ze...ro... You can do it... You...can...
  • In Mega Man X4, Magma Dragoon gets special mention here for being the only animal Maverick that does this. Granted, he does tell his reasons why he betrayed the hunters by joining Sigma and bringing down the Sky Lagoon.
  • Final Fantasy
    • As far back as Final Fantasy II for the NES, a dying prince manages a straighforward "Tell her I love her" to the party — then recants and orders them to not say anything. She's still young, tying her to a dead man would be no kindness.
    • Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V gets one heck of a speech when he comes in to perform Heroic Sacrifice for the heroes. He first tells a character that her grandfather was "a pretty strong guy" as a compliment, then tells the cross-dressing pirate to "fall in love, or something". Then he tells the Princess Classic to keep her pure spirit and the main hero that he'd have liked to fight him one more time. When the enemy boss standing three feet away, listening to the whole spectacle, tells it's time for him to die, Gilgamesh snorts and exclaims "I think that's my line!" before self-detonating. He will be missed dearly.
    • Averted in Final Fantasy VII. Really, Aeris had the perfect opportunity for one, and think of everything she could have said... and then be thankful she didn't, because it probably wouldn't have been half as dramatic as it ended up being.
  • Subverted heavily in Sengoku Basara II in Nobunaga's campaign, where Hideyoshi attempts to make a final speech. While he's doing so, Nobunaga calmly walks up to him and finishes him off with a slash, preventing him from finishing.
  • Raziel from Legacy of Kain gives one before he is absorbed by the Reaver.
  • In Crusader, after you kill Doctor Gregor Hoffman, he gets off a speech in classic Mad Scientist Large Ham style. It's really quite entertaining.
  • In Cave Story, if you go talk to Professor Booster after he falls down the pit in the labyrinth, he gives a speech, hands you an item, and dies. If you don't go talk to him, then he lives and escapes. While there are some plausible explanations for why this happens, the funniest is that Booster couldn't die until he delivered his dying speech—so with no audience at all, he survived long enough to recover.
  • In the first Yakuza game, Fuma gives one to Kazuma as he is dying. Despite being hit by a damn grenade, he finds the strength to reveal several important plot details to Kazuma, then, just before dying, revealing that he was the one who killed his parents.
  • In Resident Evil 2, one scenario has Annette Birkin lament that she was a poor mother after being mortally wounded.
  • Parodied in Sam & Max: Freelance Police Season 1 with Max's fake death speech after Sam pretends to shoot him:
    Max: Mother of mercy! Is this the end of little Maxie? Oh Death, where is that guy, Sting? *collapses*
    Villain: Very g—
    Max: Arghh! The pain! The pain! And only two days to retirement! You gotta promise... to... Tivo the Dukes of Hazzard for me! Promise me! *collapses*
    Villain: Ok. So —
    Max: For cowards die a thousand deaths, while heroes die but once... Unless they're playing videogames, in which case heroes die a lot, too. So goodnight Fresh Prince! And may Charlie's Angels sing thee to thy rest. *collapses*
    Villain: ...Right. Well —
    Max: So... Cold! Why am I... So cold?
  • In Fable II, Lucien delivers one of these while chastising you for interfering with his Well-Intentioned Extremist-ism. However, considering that this man is responsible for every bad thing that's happened to you over your whole life, it's better to Just Shoot Him, before Reaver beats you to the punch.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Axel delivers one of these to Sora after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Early in Earthbound, when Buzz Buzz dies, it tells a long story instructing Ness what to do. Furthermore asking if you need it repeated.
  • In God of War II, Athena manages to keep talking for a good few minutes after Kratos accidentally stabbed her. Subverted in all three games by Kratos himself: The first time, he doesn't have the strength to talk before he kicks it (of course, there was no one around to talk to), the second, he gets out a single sentence (and it sounds like he struggled to get out that much), and the third and possibly final time, he doesn't say anything at all.
  • In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, Fenrich has quite a long, emotional conversation with Valvatorez after Taking the Bullet for him, pleading for the vampire to drink his blood to restore his power... And then when Valvatorez refuses, he gets right back up, dusts himself off, and admits he was just faking in hopes of getting Val to break his vow of blood abstinence. The rest of the party is not amused.
  • Professor Gerald Robotnik gives one to Gun (Which is later shown on the airwaves to all of humanity in a cutscene in the "Last Story") prior to being execuition in Sonic Adventure 2 which Outlines the Colony Drop and pointing out his Disproportionate Retribution (If Maria's death has any indication).
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, the dying sage Khelavaster blocks the stairs down from floor 16 of the main dungeon, forcing you to hear his speech about the source of The Corruption plaguing the game's world before you can continue. You can give him an Amulet of Life Saving first, in which case he will reward you with several goodies. This is required to achieve an ultra ending.
  • Fallout 3 has a few of these, such as the holotape to Sydney from her Disappeared Dad, and Marcella's final instructions to the player in Point Lookout.

     Visual Novels  
  • In Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai in Mayucchi's route Matsukaze "dies", though she uses the speech as an opportunity to finally accept another part of herself.

    Webcomics 
  • Endlessly parodied in The Chosen Four, where it seems like even the most minute enemies relates their tearful life story after getting beat up by the heroes.
  • Nature of Nature's Art. Every single antagonist in Lycosa.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Parodied. Haley is about to declare her love for Elan as she dies, only for a cleric to show up and cast Cure Serious Wounds. She's incredibly embarassed.
    • Redcloak and Xykon are having one of these when Miko destroys the gate, causing the happy force spirit paladins to lose the ability to kill them.
  • Played straight in Our Little Adventure with Pauline, in the loving way she does: "Fix this world (Julie) or else I'll beat your ass when we do meet again."
  • Done with Honest Stu in this Sluggy Freelance strip. Being Sluggy Freelance, however, the Final Speech ends up being more of a Final Pun.
  • Strays. The man Feral was hunted knows Meela from the past — which she was too young to remember — and tells her to flee Feral.
  • Averted and Played for Laughs by those pesky healers in this Dominic Deegan comic.

     Web Original  
  • In lonelygirl15, Bree leaves one of these as a voicemail message.
  • A whole lot of characters in Survival of the Fittest. Specifically, v1 runner-up Jack O'Connor manages one despite having been shot in the chest several times, and Bobby Jacks rants to the cameras before he commits suicide.
    • More in tune with the speech nature, Sarah Atwell lets loose with one after being mortally wounded:
    "It's dark now isn't it? Can't you turn on the light mum? Why won't you turn on the light mum?" Mum. Why won't you hold me mum? Why aren't you here? Mum. Do you remember the day my cat died? Mum? There was this pain in my heart that day that I had never felt before. Remember. The vet let me hold her before they pressed the needle in. When I left her she gave me this look of profound betrayal as if I had been the one to kill her. I couldn't go back in. Promise me mum. Promise me you won't leave me like that. Don't let me go."
  • Naruto The Abridged Series gives us this when Sasuke 'dies'.
    Sasuke: Tell my fangirls...I'm...Not...Gay.... bleh.
    Later, after Sasuke comes back:
    Sasuke: Just because I said 'bleh' doesn't mean I'm dead!
  • Yamauchi-sensei's last words in Greek Ninja, were the reason Sasha set off on a dangerous journey to Delphi and ultimately, the start of the story.
  • Ultra Fast Pony
    • This is discussed this in "The Cheesen One". Rainbow Dash claims that her mom had some profound words for her, but Twilight doesn't believe the story.
    Rainbow Dash: Let me tell you something my mother used to say to me.
    Twilight: Your mother died giving birth to you!
    Rainbow: So I'll tell you what she said.
    Twilight: Unless she said, "Guys, I think I might be dying, I think I'm dying, oh god I'm actually dying, I'm dying, I'm dead," I won't believe you.
    Rainbow: She said life is like a wheel of cheese...
    Twilight: I don't believe you.
    Rainbow: ...and you have to eat the cheese before it gets moldy.
    • In "The Best Episode Ever", the cast put on a play, complete with a dramatic scene of three characters about to die together:

     Western Animation  
  • Darkwing Duck
    • There is a death speech in the episode "The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck". This jaunt into the future has Darkwing telling a slightly exaggerated tale of his origins to a couple of kids from the future, and involves a Passing The Torch moment from the Mysterious Masked Avenger of Evil after she dies from falling into a soda vat. Avenger (played by Gosalyn) gives a long speech about how Darkwing should take up the mantle of fighting Evil, then falls silent. Then gasps and says more, then falls silent. Then gives one last monologue.
    Darkwing: She's gone.
    Launchpad: Ya sure?
  • Futurama
    • Parodied. When His Neutralness (the king of a Planet of Hats whose "hat" is absolute neutrality) says "If I don't make it, tell my wife 'hello.'"
    • Also parodied when the cast fake gender-swapped Bender's soap-opera-style death in order to get her out of marrying Calculon: "Coilette" gives a very long speech before finally "dying."
  • Parodied in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft", where Randy's character is attacked by the griefer the boys are in battle with just after delivering the Infinity+1 Sword they need to finish him. Despite Randy's character being low level enough that it should have died instantly, it survives long enough for the boys to take the guy down just so Randy can give an in-character one of these to Stan afterwards. For added fun, at the very end it shifts to Randy's POV, showing him perfectly fine at a computer groaning his "dying breaths" into his headset.
  • It's common for Bugs Bunny to give a fake Final Speech after Elmer Fudd supposedly shoots him, like the one from his first official short A Wild Hare.
  • Very nearly done straight (it is, at any rate, a "final" speech) in the last episode of the '90s X-Men animated series, where a mortally wounded Professor Xavier - just recently brought out of a coma as a side effect of trying to contact an alien race that might still be able to help him - delivers an individual poignant goodbye to every one of the X-Men present from what appears to be his deathbed.

What Does This Button Do?Last WordsKilled Mid-Sentence
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alternative title(s): Dying Speech
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