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Impaled with Extreme Prejudice

When someone just needs to be run through with a big rod. Bigger is better in bad. The defining element is the shock value of the impalement. Imaginative impalements qualify. Death by bladed weapon (knife, sword, foil, lightsaber, beheading) generally does not qualify (unless the victim is stabbed through the face or something). Garden-variety vampire stakings, à la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, don't count, but extraordinary stakings do count. Often appears with Anvilicious symbolism with a side dish of Freudianism. If it's a bad guy who's been impaled on a long, sharp thing (or sword) in the hero's hand, he'll sometimes pull himself along the shaft towards the hero, either to get close enough to kill the hero or just to creep them out.

Sometimes it's done to a good guy in a type of visible Stuffed into the Fridge moment.

When a person is impaled through their... ahem... alimentary canal (starting at either end), it qualifies as a Cruel and Unusual Death. If the victim is impaled through their neck, it's an Impromptu Tracheotomy. If the victim is impaled multiple times, you have an example of Human Pincushion.

Since this is a Death Trope, beware of spoilers.

See also Pinned to the Wall.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Freezing a Brain Washed And Crazy Satellizer stabs Kazuya Aoi right through the chest, mortally wounding him. The shock of doing so is enough to let her shake off the brainwashing, only to Freakout seconds later when she realizes what she did.
  • This happens fairly often in Naruto:
    • Kakashi uses his Raikiri against an immobilised Zabuza, only for Haku to take the blow for him. In the anime this gave him a sizeable stomach wound, but in the manga, Kakashi's forearm went most of the way through his abdomen.
      • This happens again almost identically when Zabuza and Haku are revived as part of Kabuto's zombie army.
    • Sasuke does something similar to Naruto in their fight at the end of Part I, with a similar degree of censorship in the anime. He aims for the heart, but Naruto jolts his arm at the last second and it "only" takes out a lung. Good Thing You Can Heal.
    • Killer Bee turns Sasuke into a pincushion by impaling him with six swords at once.
    • In the Rescue Gaara arc, Sasori impales Sakura with a poisoned sword. Luckily, Chiyo is able to save her with a forbidden life-giving technique.
    • Hidan pretty much makes this trope his way of life. He does this to himself but, through a combination of immortality and a voodoo-like technique, he gets the pleasure of it happening to whoever he used for a ritual.
    • Pain does this quite brutally against both Jiraiya and Fukasaku, although it's unclear whether Hinata was actually impaled or just "poked". Later the same metal stakes nail Naruto to the ground.
    • A flashback shows Madara was impaled after fighting the first Hokage, and everyone assumed he must have died.
    • Jugo was partially impaled by the Raikage's arm, even after it went all the way through his shield. Luckily for Jugo, he can survive that.
    • In chapter 504, Minato and Kushina sacrifice themselves to save Naruto by letting the Kyuubi impale them on his claw.
    • A flashback to the 8-Tailed Beast before Killer Bee was its host showed impaling Motoi's father was the last thing it did with its left horn before A cut it off.
    • Konan was killed from impalement with a broken pipe.
    • Neji impaled multiple times by Tobi/Obito's wood release technique. The next chapter reveals that many of his fellow ninja suffered the same fate.
      • Obito and Kakashi later impale themselves on each others' weapons. They both survive... kinda.
    • A certified past time for Tsunade, along with gambling and drinking. Good Thing You Can Heal indeed.
  • Mazinger Z:
    • One of the Mechanical Beasts, Toros D7, had a huge metallic spike on the front side to ramming the enemy and impaling it.
    • Great Mazinger: Big Booster -Great Mazinger's Mid-Season Upgrade- consisted of a Jet Pack with a huge, retractable metal spike. One of the Tetsuya's favorite moves was throwing the Big Booster suddenly and impaling his enemy when it was flying.
    • Shin Mazinger Zero gave a horrific example when in one of the first chapters Sayaka was impaled by several huge, metallic rods.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, The Movie: Poltergeist Report, Kurama grows an entire bamboo forest in the battlefield he's in, impaling one of the villains with several bamboo shoots. Pissing off Kurama is never a good idea.
    • Elder Toguro curb stomps three members of the Gorenja team by stretching out his body to impale them. One dies instantly, and Toguro offers to spare one of the other two. He impales the one who begs for his life through the head, then, despite claiming to respect the other one's warning him to kill him lest he take revenge, kills him too because he is not a man of his word.
  • Survived in Suzumiya Haruhi, when, during her chronologically first on-screen battle, Yuki was suddenly run through with a big collection of nasty-looking shards of metal. It is a testament to this character's awesomeness that she was undeterred by this development.
    • Played straight in the Disappearance film, where Asakura manages to stab Kyon as he's about to shoot alternate Nagato with a gun to fix the broken timeline. She nearly succeeds in killing him too, if not for the meddling of a future Kyon, robo-Nagato, and young Mikuru, who then successfully fix the timeline for the dying Kyon.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion does it twice: first with the Mind Raping Angel, where Rei throws him the Lance of Longinus; then, in The End Of Evangelion, one of the vulture-esque Mass-produced EVAs attacks with a blade that magically becomes a replica of Lance of Longinus and impales Asuka's EVA-02 right through the eye. When Asuka manages to move her powered down and crippled EVA with her sheer force of will/hatred another one strikes, slicing the EVA's and Asuka's arm in two. And then they throw about a dozen more...
    • And then in Rebuild Of Evangelion 2.0, Kaworu shot Shinji's now God-level Unit 01 through with a lance that, curiously, does not seem to be the Lance of Longinus that featured so prominently in the original series.
  • Both the Anime, the Manga and the OVAs of Hellsing shows this, mostly because of Alucard being Vlad the Impaler.
    • In the ending of the Hellsing TV series, Alucard manages to use a half broken gun and the molten silver from a cross to shoot a lance of molten metal into his opponent, thereby evoking the whole Vlad the Impaler thing. Never mind that guns don't work that way by any stretch of the imagination.
    • The manga and the OVAs also presents a few examples:
      • When Alucard confronts Rip Van Winkle he defeats her, disarms her and impales her with her own rifle through her left breast... The amount of rape imagery that's squeezed into this scene is likely one of the reasons why this scene is considered the undeniable proof that Alucard is a Villain Protagonist.
      • When he telekinetically impales an entire Brazilian police commando team on the flagpoles outside a Brazilian hotel.
      • And near the end when he impaled all citizens of London after they were turned into ghouls. He did this to Enrico Maxwell as well.
  • The ultimate villain of Saint Seiya, Hades, dies when Athena hurls her Staff of Nike through him. Quite a mean feat, considering the artwork depicts him run through with the staff portion (with a hole about one or two inches wide) even though the headpiece of the staff is a golden circle about two feet wide.
  • In Utawarerumono a villain is slowly impaled with a folded metal fan. While we don't actually see the impaling, we can definitely hear his ribs cracking under pressure. Ouch.
  • A sort-of good guy example in Kamen no Maid Guy episode 12. In a surprisingly serious moment, Kogarashi is paralyzed by a special whistle and impaled by several spikes, apparently killing him. Since he's Kogarashi, Maid Guy, he gets better.
  • In Zeta Gundam, Scirocco is impaled by the titular Humongous Mecha. He manages to fry Kamille's brain before dying.
    • In Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn loves doing this. Too bad for him, he only stabs main characters who refuse to stay down.
      • He does it successfully a few times, such as against the Abyss, along with its pilot with a beam javelin, and later on against some Destroy Gundams.
    • In Stardust Memory, Kou Uraki stabs the Dendrobium Orchis's beam cannon into the Gerbera Tetra, then pulls the trigger.
  • Gemmu in the second Galaxy Fraulein Yuna OAV is impaled on one of the giant spikes she herself had raised throughout the city. Karmically appropriate, both for the irony, and for how she'd killed her sister.
  • In One Piece, The first of Luffy's three battles with Crocodile ends with Crocodile impaling Luffy on his pirate hook. Crocodile soon does the same to Nico Robin after he realizes she won't tell him where Pluton is.
    • In a Wham Episode, Whitebeard gets impaled with a BFS, wielded by one of his own allies, no less.
      • The rest of these are tame compared to Admiral Akainu punching a hole through Ace with his Lava powers, destroying most of his torso in the process. Ace actually dies because of this. He later pulls the same trick on Jimbei, managing to not only burn through his chest but hit Luffy, too. Both barely survive with medical attention.
    • Poor Hachi being attacked by a hail of arrows sent by Van Der Decken, almost killing him.
  • No one's mentioned the revelation in Revolutionary Girl Utena of Anthy being a... goddess?... who put herself between a mob and her love, and thus got impaled (onscreen but in silhouette) with "The Million Swords of Humanity's Hatred". Of course, only some of them are actually visible in most of these scenes, but in the Grand Finale all one million are shown in their full glory, all seeking to impale poor Anthy simultaneously.
  • Inuyasha
    • Inuyasha gets impaled several times, the most extreme example being early in the manga when Sesshoumaru plunges his hand all the way through Inuyasha's torso, in what is Sesshoumaru's signature unarmed attack. Inuyasha is hard to kill, however.
    • Late in the story, this happens to Sesshoumaru, who gets impaled three times through his only arm, requiring him to be rescued by Inuyasha. He tries to claim he can still fight but Inuyasha doesn't buy it. When Inuyasha has no more luck against Magatsuhi, Sesshoumaru does keep fighting but is promptly impaled twice through the chest. Sesshoumaru, however, is even harder to kill than Inuyasha.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! does a variation of this on a good-ish character. Of course, Evangeline is a vampire with regeneration powers, so when Fate impales her with a chunk of stone, she just gets pissed off at him. note 
    • Later on, Fate also impales Negi with a stone spear. Unlike Evangeline, Negi nearly dies of blood loss before Konoka heals him.
    • Negi has Jaculatio Fulgoris and Titanoktonon spells, both having shape of spears made of lightning. Titanoktonon is actually huge enough to leave the target hanging a few feet above ground.
    • It's also subverted in chapter 225. Dramatic use of black makes it look like Setsuna got impaled by a stone spike, but it really just ripped her suit.
  • As an unfortunate victim of The Worf Effect, poor Haji in Blood+ falls victim to impalement on a regular basis (read: pretty much every single fight), sometimes with actual weapons, but just as often with things like sharpened logs and people's arms.
    • Haji redeems this trope when he turns the tables on the villain Amshel in the penultimate episode by dramatically impaling him on the tip of a skyscraper. Which is then struck by lightning. It slows him down for about ten minutes.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is also how Marcoh tries to kill Lust early on in the manga. Too bad she's immortal.
    • Lust manages to impale Havoc through the spine, paralyzing him.
    • This also happens when Edward got caught in an explosion causing the mine he was in to collapse. When he started to get up after the explosion, he found that he had a huge metal beam through his gut. It took a risky trick with alchemy that shortened his overall lifespan to heal himself.
    • This is how Sloth is finally killed. After already being impaled a dozen times in the preceding fight, so it fails to be really spectacular...
    • Also done by Ed to Father in chapter 107. It worked much better.
    • In the 2003 anime version, this is also how Ed (unintentionally) kills Greed.
      • Also in this version, Envy kills Ed in this manner with his fist after revealing that he was actually Ed's half brother, Hohenheim's son from a previous relationship. He got better, though.
  • Toward the end of the fight between Rukia and Aaroniero in Bleach, Rukia is impaled on Aaroniero's trident, but after a flashback, manages to gain enough of her resolve to use a technique to reform her blade and impale him through his head after he carelessly lowers his trident and brings her closer to him.
    • Rukia has been impaled many, many times. It's become a rather morbid running joke among fans.
    • Hinamori. For the second time, we must add. First, it was her Evil Mentor Aizen, who hugged and then stabbed her to kill her right before revealing his treachery. Later, Aizen himself uses his zanpakuto's shikai powers to fool Momo's childhood friend Hitsugaya into stabbing her. Poor kid DEFINITELY has no luck.
    • In the anime, Hiyori got impaled by Gin's shikai. It was to censor the more... gruesome version from the manga.
      • Gin does it again to Aizen but it failed
    • For no apparent reason other than the fact the captain was looking his way, Wonderweiss puts his arm through Ukitake's chest. He gets better.
    • Grimmjow/Ulquiorra does this to Luppi/Ichigo with his hand. The latter gets better.
      • Ichigo gets this A LOT.
    • Mayuri kills Szayel this way and gets bonus points for combining it with an Impaled Palm.
    • During the Training from Hell, Ichigo gets impaled by Ginjou. And then, in 457, Ginjou saves Ichigo from Tsukishima by jumping in front of the blade. In a subversion, that wasn't to save Ichigo, but to set out a part of a much bigger plan.
      • And this is how Byakuya defeats Tsukishima, with his bare hand - albeit full of Senbonzakura blades.
    • As of 492, the most recent victim of this is Apacci, "thanks" to Kirge Opie.
    • And we have another victim in 549: Oomaeda's sister Mareyo, "courtesy" of BG9 from the Vandenreich.
  • Okoi dies in this way in Basilisk when Nenki's hair impales her all over her body. It's messy. Very messy.
    • Her brother Saemon dies this way too, but he's impaled with several lances after his cover is blown, gets mocked by the man he was impersonating (Tenzen) as he dies, and then his body is dumped into a river.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has Vita's surprise impalement from behind by a Type IV Gadget Drone's massive, sickle-like arms immediately after Tempting Fate. Considering how the impalee had the body of a little girl, the blade punched through around half the length of her upper body. Cue Vita having to show just how much of a goddamn Determinator she really is.
    • In Force, Signum and Hayate follow suit.
    • It's implied that Due was killed this way toward the end of StrikerS, after inflicting this on Regius.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi: Tamahome kills Nakago by running his fist riiiiiiight through the latter's chest. He did promise to kill him with his own bare hands, right?
  • Towards the end of Ayashi no Ceres, Shiso stabs Aya and by extension, her and Tooya's unborn child bigtime. And what's worse is the blade in the anime is much bigger than the one he used in the manga. She and her baby got better.
  • Gara in Bastard!! gets impaled on a bony spike extruded by an Eldritch Abomination, and does the pulling-himself-along-the-impaling-instrument trick. And then the Eldritch Abomination helps him the rest of the way along it.
  • This is the favorite tactic of the Zaibach soldiers in Vision of Escaflowne
  • In Fairy Tail Gray gets impaled through the stomach with a sword while fighting Leon. This, of course, does not impede his fighting ability AT ALL.
    • He gets impaled yet again while fighting Silver countless times and manages to defeat him using a metal ball.
  • In King of Thorn, the "cyclops" monster which was partially blinded by Marco ends up dying after having its head impaled on a statue of the crucifixion. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic??
  • In the Soul Eater anime, Crona is impaled by Medusa's arrows which had been aimed at Maka (they got better). Maka, naturally, is not very pleased (as if she needed more of a reason to go after Medusa). Actually the second time Crona got run through with something sharp, poor thing.
    • Can't forget the Dangerously Genre Savvy Asura impaling Death The Kid near the end of the anime.
    • Black Star kills Mifune in the manga this way.
    • Asura does this to Maka in the manga.
  • Happens often in various Kamen Rider manga. Kamen Rider Spirits alone, we have Kazami Shiro getting impaled through the side with a giant spike, the replica of King Dark having a harpoon kicked through his head, Kamen Rider Stronger taking a grappling spike and chain shot through the chest, and... Needle. Needle's entire deal is that he can make spikes shoot from the ground. Anyone that pisses him off gets impaled. Many, many times. Hell, even the original Kamen Rider manga featured a scene with Rider 1 impaling a monster through the back with the cross of a church.
  • The hero-as-victim (and very What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?) instance in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, when Kamina is fatally wounded by way of being impaled, both mech and body, by Thymilph.
    • Again in the finale, to a certain extent, after Simon's last bad-ass boast, the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Granzeboma each create 2 drills and impale each other with them. Of course, this doesn't prevent Simon from launching in the smaller versions of Gurren Lagann.
  • In the final great battle of his childhood, Son Goku punched a hole clean through Demon King Piccolo in Dragon Ball. Goku himself is impaled in Dragon Ball Z when holding Raditz still so Piccolo Jr.'s Makankosappo (Special Beam Cannon) wouldn't miss.
    • Frieza runs Krillin through on one of his horns after his first transformation (good thing Dende was there). Unsurprisingly, most of the videogames have this as that form's ultimate move.
    • Yamcha gets nearly killed by Dr Gero this way. He retired from fighting shortly after that.
  • In Mai-Otome, Fiar Grosse, the Otome of Cardair's emperor Argos, gets impaled when Midori's Gakutenou bursts through the castle roof beneath her.
  • In Karakuridouji Ultimo, Eko, on two occasions, gets impaled; the first time, by Rage, the second time, by Vice. This also happens to Iruma, who gets stabbed by Jealousy.
  • In Muhyo And Roji, Panza is mortally wounded this way while protecting Roji from Mick's thrust.
  • In Berserk, while rescuing Griffith, the Hawks get locked in Griffith's prison cell by the butt ugly warden and torturer, where he commences to brag about exactly how he tortured Griffith for a year, including showing off Griffith's severed tongue. The torturer does this under the impression that the door is solid and unbreakable and so he's protected during this Evil Gloating session. But, being Too Stupid To Live, he didn't take into account what Guts' Unstoppable Rage is capable of doing - like ramming his humongous sword straight through the door and impaling the warden right in the heart (keep in mind that Guts' sword isn't meant for piercing and impaling, but rather smashing, cleaving, and smashing). And before Guts lets the warden slowly slide off his sword into the pit below he takes the time to cut off the warden's tongue.
  • Happens to Madoka Kaname in the Puella Magi Oriko Magica manga, when Oriko gets the last laugh before dying at Homura's hands by shooting a huge shard of the already dead Kirika's witch body and hitting Madoka in the torso from beyond the witch barrier.
    • And right before that, Oriko allowed herself to be impaled by Kyouko's spear to prevent her from destroying Kirika's body and breaking the barrier. Then Homura shot her Soul Gem and destroyed it, killing her... but she still wasn't able to stop Oriko from checkmating her and killing poor Madoka.
    • In the official manga adaption, Oktavia von Seckendorff impales Kyouko.
  • In Air Gear Mimasaka Ryou gets impaled with a helicopter rotor blade.
  • Happens at least once during the Elder Bairn's destruction of Saya's hometown in Blood-C.
  • Taimanin Asagi: Asagi kills off her Arch-Enemy Oboro in this way at the end.
  • This is how Shougo and Sayo's father was murdered in Rurouni Kenshin, during the annihilation of their Doomed Hometown for being Japanese Christians. And it happened in front of his kids.
  • The main villain, Mr. Burton, in Lupin III: The Columbus Files, meets his end this way; impaled on the hull of his submarine after he's become a giant monster.
  • This is the fate of Ususama Wisdom King Mayuri in Tenkuu Senki Shurato. Not only that, but he's also hit by several arrows into his body.
  • The entire group except for Carrot in episode 24 of the Sorcerer Hunters anime. They get better, though.

    Comic Books 
  • Also not bad guys, but there are two examples from ElfQuest. In the first Lord Voll and his giant bird get run through by a giant ground-to-air crossbow bolt. Since the bird is in flight at the time and also carrying Cutter and Ember, this gives them a bumpy landing. Shortly afterward in a climactic battle scene Cutter gets speared through the gut and subsequently lives. Artist Wendy Pini once joked that she did it so they could put a pencil sharpener in the character's action figure.
  • Dick Tracy foe the Brow ended up impaled on a flagpole. Worse, he slid all the way down to the ground. Understandably, Chester Gould once cited it as the worst death any character in the comic ever suffered.
  • Non-bad-guy Marvel Comics example: Openly-gay hero Freedom Ring fought an evil Alternate Universe version of Iron Man, with neurokinetic (controlled by his brain) armor. Unfortunate Implications abounded.
  • The first Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man, impaled on his own glider.
  • In Marvel, Omega Red frequently impales people with his tentacles and drains their life right out of them but what happens to his captive, Jubilee, isn't his fault as the building they're in is bombed and a beam falls through her chest.
  • A Golden Age hero named (or numbered) #711 is probably most famous for killing a crook by throwing a harpoon through him once.
  • Wormwood: At the climax, to prevent Armageddon, the title character runs Satan (a badass horned devil) and God (a masturbating, levitating old man) through with the Lance of Longinus. They stay that way. Shish-kabobbed together, floating through space, forever.
  • Subverted in the early 1990s Sleepwalker comics when a villain attempts to impale the alien hero on a roasting spit and appears to succeed. After the villains leave, Sleepwalker gets up, revealing that he merely warped the spit around his body to make it look like he'd been skewered, as a means of getting the villains to leave so no Innocent Bystanders would be hurt by their fight.
  • Daredevil #181: The death of Elektra.
  • Most of Wolverine's enemies die like this.
  • Dee Tyler (also known as Phantom Lady) was killed by Slade Wilson (also known as Deathstroke the Terminator) this way. See here.
  • Ryan Choi (also known as The Atom) was killed by Slade Wilson (also known as Deathstroke the Terminator) this way. See here. Is this Slade's modus operandi or something?
  • Angela del Toro (also known as White Tiger) was killed by Lady Bullseye this way. See here. She was revived soon after though.
  • Kendra Saunders (also known as Hawkgirl) ended up experiencing this in the Blackest Night storyline. See here.
  • G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes actually does this to Scarlett! See here. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • X-Men: Mystique did this to Rogue at one point. Gambit and Rogue both received this simultaneously at another point!
  • Ultimate Universe: Loki did this to Valkyrie. See here.
  • Elektra eventually returned the favour to Bullseye. See here. Sweet revenge!
  • Daredevil ended giving this treatment to Bullseye. See here. Bullseye will Never Live It Down when it comes killing Elektra.
  • Superman, having a very bad day. At the end of "Reign of the Supermen", Supes jams his arm through the chest of the cyborg Hank Henshaw and vibrates so fast that Henshaw is torn apart into individual atoms. Worth noting that Henshaw's current body was largely made of cloned Kryptonian tissue, meaning he was almost as tough as Superman himself.
  • Magik does this to Karma. See here.
  • Happens in Nextwave to a hero, but doesn't work out the way the villain hoped.
    Aaron Stack: Excuse me. Have you really ever met a robot you could kill by stabbing it through the chest? My beer-deprived robot brain says: No, pusbag, you haven't.
  • In The Golden Age, Liberty Belle rammed Starman's broken cosmic rod through Dynaman's body after Green Lantern softened him up, electrocuting him to death.

    Fan Works 

    Film 
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula makes extensive use of this trope during the battle montage early on.
  • In a deleted scene of Donnie Darko, Donnie is impaled on a rafter when the plane crashes through his bedroom roof.
  • In Flesh For Frankenstein, after having his hand severed (and throwing it at his attacker) Baron Frankenstein manages to give a final monologue while impaled on a sharp-tipped pole.
  • The Underworld series:
    • Underworld Evolution - Marcus impales Kraven to a wall with his wings while extracting information from him; he also fights Michael and seemingly kills him by shoving him onto a raised and sharpened piece of debris— Michael later heals from this; later, Seline rips one of Marcus's spiked wing pinions off and impales him through the head with it before shoving him into a helicopter's rotating blades.
    • Underworld Rise Of The Lycans - Lucian, after agreeing that Viktor should have killed him when he was born, impales Viktor through the mouth with his sword.
  • Excalibur. "Come, father. Let us embrace at last." Mordred impales Arthur, pulls himself down the shaft and returns the favour with Excalibur. In Le Morte Darthur, though, it's the other way round, with Mordred dragging himself along the spear and Arthur getting a sword through the head (see below).
  • 10,000 BC: The Pyramid God is impaled by the White Spear, which The Hero hurls over the heads of his guards.
  • Flash Gordon
    • Emperor Ming is impaled on a freakin' spaceship.
    • Also, Ming's right-hand man, Klytus, is impaled on the spike-covered floor of an arena in the hawkman city.
  • Dark City: Villain alien Mr. Book is impaled through the body. However, it's not until he's thrown into a watertower that he's killed.
  • The well deserved death of a child-killing brute in Cliffhanger, at the end of a meter-long stalagmite.
  • Commando
    • The Hero hurls a pipe that impales the Big Bad, and steam vents through his torso! Steam that's flowing oddly well considering there's a chunk of Bennett in the pipe...
    • Earlier, Cooke is impaled on a table leg.
  • Hot Fuzz: Hilarious impalement with survival.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982): During the Battle of the Mounds, Thorgrim, one of Thulsa Doom's two Dragons, gets impaled by a big old trap set up by Conan, which involves a spike the size of your average birch tree getting him right through the chest. Ouch.
  • Apocalypto: The villain is impaled by a trap made for boars.
  • Saruman dies in the extended version of the third Lord of the Rings by getting stabbed, falling off the tower of Isengard and onto a spiky wheel of a machine. For bonus symbolism points, the wheel then shifts because of his weight and turns until Saruman is on the bottom, hidden beneath the pool of water.
    Treebeard: The filth of Saruman is washing away.
    • The fact that Saruman is played by Christopher Lee adds extra significance to his impalement (which of course doesn't happen in the book).
    • Aragorn also stabs the Uruk-hai leader Lurtz in The Fellowship of the Ring, who merely pulls the sword into himself to get closer to him. Aragorn promptly pulls the sword out and beheads him.
    • Special mention should go to Sam's stabbing of an orc from behind in Return of the King, as he does this with Sting and the orc-detecting blade glows blue as it emerges from the target's chest.
  • Star Trek: Nemesis: The villain Praetor Shinzon gets impaled by a length of pipe and pulls himself along the bar towards the cornered Picard. It's extremely creepy if it's the first time you've seen this done.
  • The Matrix: Trinity dies this way during the final movie.
  • In the Mortal Kombat movie, Liu Kang hurling a bucket of water, the "element which brings life", into Sub-Zero's ice-shield attack causes the water to freeze into an icicle that goes right through him. Later on, Shang Tsung meets his end when Liu Kang learns how to throw a fireball and blasts him off a ledge and into the Spikes Of Doom below.
  • The Green Goblin in Spider-Man.
  • Averted in 300, when the spear thrown by King Leonidas wounds, but fails to kill, Xerxes.
    • Something similar to the above example happens to the Captain; in the last stand he's impaled on a Persian's spear and a couple swords, so he hacks at the soldiers holding the swords, then pulls himself up the spear to finish off its (at this point terrified) wielder.
  • Top Dollar meets his end in The Crow this way after living through "thirty hours of pain" all at once courtesy of Eric Draven.
    • Judah in the second film is also impaled, though that's not what kills him.
    • Not to mention Sarah.
  • At the end of The Lost Boys, Grandpa piles fenceposts on the hood of his jeep, drives the vehicle in through the window of his house and impales the Head Vampire.
    • Mere minutes earlier in the same film, Michael impales David on the horns of a stuffed antelope head.
  • The Big Bad in Exit Wounds died this way. What added to the "ouch" factor was the girth of the pipe he fell on and that it wasn't sharp.
  • Hollow Man has the invisible lead doing a non-fatal impalement with a crowbar.
  • In End of Days, Jericho (Arnold Schwarzenegger) stops his demonic possession after jumping on the sword of a statue.
  • Subverted in Doomsday, as nobody gets impaled in a fight on an arena full of spikes.
  • After Indiana Jones is poisoned in Temple of Doom, he throws a flaming shish-kebab at the son of the villain.
  • Serenity with Wash. Also, in the final battle with the Operative, Mal gets run through the stomach with his sword. It doesn't do much more than annoy Mal, though.
  • Subverted in Black Rain. The final fight ends with Michael Douglas' Rogue Cop wrestling the Big Bad towards a large pile of jagged spikes. The camera cuts in a way that seems as though he's going to impale the guy, but the scene immediately cuts to Douglas bringing him in to the police instead, alive, well, and unimpaled.
  • Also subverted in The Cable Guy. During the climactic fight Jim Carrey's unnamed titular villain suffers a nasty fall onto a giant satellite dish which sports a central spike, but instead of landing on the spike, he lands next to it and survives the fall to be rescued by helicopter.
    • Given how trope-obsessed he is, he is visibly disappointed by this development.
  • In the final scene of The Dead Pool, after delivering his final line, Dirty Harry Shoots the big bad with a harpoon gun pinning him to a wall with camera shot showing the tip of the harpoon piercing the wall.
  • In Australia, Fletcher is impaled by a metal rod thrown by King George. This is a Karmic Death, as Fletcher speared the husband of one of the protagonists at the beginning of the movie in order to gain his property and frame King George.
  • In Frostbite, one of the vampires is impaled upon a garden gnome.
  • In Cobra, Stallone lifts up the Big Bad and impales him on a hook which then proceeds to wheel into a furnace. It's just that kind of film.
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park
    • A velociraptor dies like this after being kicked out of a window.
    • Narrowly averted, twice, when a Stegosaurus swings its spiked tail at Sarah Harding.
    • And then a third time when Peter Ludlow is nearly gored from behind by a charging Triceratops.
  • In Sleepy Hollow, Baltus is impaled through the chest by a fence post attached to a rope that the Headless Horseman launches at him like a javelin, in order to pull him out of the church, which the Horseman cannot enter. Of course, the impalement isn't what kills him, given the Horseman's love of head-chopping...
  • In the Hellboy movie Implacable Man Kroenen is impaled (at least) twice - obviously the first time didn't take. The last time he's hurled into a pit of giant spikes and then has a giant cog slammed onto him for good measure.
    • And apparently even that wasn't enough: rumor has it that Kroenen will be appearing in Hellboy III, if it gets made.
  • James Bond
  • In Ladyhawke, the evil bishop is impaled quite suddenly, with the blade going right through a stone pillar behind him while he was attempting to impale the heroine.
  • Star Wars:
  • Near the beginning of Mission: Impossible one of Ethan's team, sitting on top of an elevator, gets a ride straight up into triggered spikes, and gets his face impaled.
  • Alien
    • Aliens: Near the end of the movie, Bishop the gentle android (one of Ripley's surviving allies) gets impaled from behind quite suddenly and unexpectedly by the sharp spike on the end of the Alien queen's tail. And then the queen rips him apart, literally. Being an artificial lifeform, he does "survive", although badly damaged.
    • When she wakes up on the prison planet in Alien³, Ripley learns that Corporal Hicks was impaled in the crash. (And that Newt "drowned".)
  • Alien vs. Predator: The Predators attack and impale several people with their spears (and in one case, their retractable claws). Later, the lead Predator (having performed a Heel-Face Turn) is himself impaled from behind on the Queen Alien's tail (obvious nod to Bishop from Aliens).
  • In Predators, the RUF soldier sets off one of the Predators' booby traps and is impaled multiple times by spikes rising from the ground. Also, the Mexican drug cartel enforcer is shown to be impaled for bait to lure the other humans into an ambush.
  • Transformers
    • In the first film, one of the commandos is impaled through the chest from behind by Scorponok's tail.
    • In the sequel Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Optimus Prime does this to The Fallen, with the bad guy's own weapon.
    • Then again, Optimus himself was impaled by Megatron in the forest scene.
  • Patrick Troughton's priest character is transfixed and killed by a falling metal bar, knocked loose from a lightning-struck church, in The Omen.
  • In The List of Adrian Messenger, the bad guy gets impaled on a harrow.
  • Gore-fest Cannibal Holocaust has a pretty infamous scene (that also served as the movie poster) in which a native girl is impaled in a way that makes most of the other examples on this page look tame. It was so Squicky that the director was actually accused of murdering the actress for that scene and had to show how he pulled the scene off and present the very much alive actress to avoid the charges. The most unnerving part of the impaling (besides, well the impaled girl) is The Reveal that the titular cannibals didn't kill her. The camera crew did it to get more exciting footage.
  • The Butcher from Wanted dies by being shot with a sharpening steel (Wesley even kicks it to ensure it really impales).
  • In the 2008-2009 film version of Russian science fiction classic Inhabited Island, resident Drill Sergeant Nasty Captain Chachu is eventually staked with a military standard.
  • Team America: World Police has Kim Jong-Il meet his doom on top of a Prussian spiked helmet.
  • Scotland PA has the tragic hero Joe McBeth get impaled on the cattle horns on front of his own car.
  • A humorous double example: In Forklift Driver Klaus (watch it here), a parody of safety videos, Klaus first impales a man with a chainsaw on the fork, followed by a man with sound-proof headphones. At the end, Klaus now headless, thanks to said chainsaw keeps driving away from the factory with both of them still impaled.
  • Subverted in Hero, where it looks for a moment like the Emperor has been impaled on the protagonist's sword, but he actually just rammed the hilt against the Emperor's abdomen.
  • In Dead Again the main villain is impaled by a giant pair of scissors.
  • In The Crazies one of "the crazies" (armed with a pitchfork) shambles into a field hospital full of people who are strapped to beds and cannot move — completely helpless and unable to escape. You can guess what happens next.
  • The House of Wax (2005) remake has Paris Hilton being impaled in the head with a pole. Arguably the best moment of the film.
  • Terminator
    • The T-1000's Shapeshifter Weapon allows for plenty of this in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, most notable when he stabs a security guard in the head with a finger grown into a metal spike. He later uses an actual metal bar to impale and deactivate the T-800 - but he returns through a back-up power system.
    • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, a disguised T-X is on the back seat of a police car. She puts her arm through the driver's seat and the cop driving it.
  • In the film version of The Virgin Suicides, one of the daughters is killed by landing on a picket, as in the book.
  • In First Blood, one of the traps Rambo constructs during the manhunt in the woods impales a marine with spikes.
  • Many of the deaths in the Halloween series are an example of this trope:
  • In Lethal Weapon 4 Big Bad Wah Sing Ku is impaled by a spear from Murtaugh, this doesn't kill him he does die later when Riggs shoots him with a machine gun.
  • This has happened a few times in the Friday the 13th series:
    • Jeff and Sandra are impaled by a spear in bed in Part 2.
    • Chili is impaled with a firepoker in Part III.
    • Roy in Part V is impaled on tractor harrows.
    • Burt is impaled on a tree branch and Jeff and Sandra are impaled on a machete in Part VI
    • Jane is pinned to a tree with a tent spike in Part VII.
    • Jim is impaled with a spear gun, Miles is impaled on the mast, and one of the gang members is impaled on a syringe in Part VIII.
    • Vickie and Robert are impaled on fire pokers on two separate occasions in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. The unrated version shows Deborah being impaled and ripped apart by a signpost (this is only implied in the normal cut.)
    • In Jason X Dr. Wimmer is impaled on a metal pole, Stoney is impaled on a machete, Condor is impaled on a drill, Briggs is impaled on a hook, and Brodski is impaled with a spike and a machete but he somehow survives and later sacrifices himself.
    • And in Freddy vs. Jason Trey is impaled three times with a machete, Gibb and a raver who was trying to rape her are impaled on a pole, Shack is impaled on a flaming machete, Charlie is impaled on a shelf bracket. The monsters don't get off either. During the final battle Jason is impaled by multiple metal bars and Freddy Krueger is impaled with his own arm.
  • One of the thieves in Dracula 2000 is impaled by spikes in Van Helsing's vault, triggered by their attempts to open Dracula's coffin. Given what happens later, he's the lucky one.
  • A redneck in Drive Angry gets half a broken baseball bat thrown through his head, while ALREADY hanging impaled by the other half of the bat through his shoulder.
  • The protagonist of Nightbreed gets a sword through the back, pinning him to a card table. Being semi-undead, he removes the table and continues fighting with the sword still in place and a card stuck on it. He finally kills his enemy by hugging him, impaling him on the sword as well.
  • What the British and the Zulus do to each other whenever the Zulu's Zerg Rush manages to get through the British's dakka in Zulu.
  • At the end of Chronicle, Matt impales Andrew using a statue's spear.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Just before Sir Robin and company meet the three headed knight they pass by the evidence of his combat ability: three knights impaled on a lance which is stuck into a tree.
  • The Amazing Colossal Man features a scene where the good guys try to cure Glenn Manning by injecting him with an antidote, using a cartoonishly giant syringe. Glenn responds by grabbing the syringe which is normal sized to him, and hurling it at them, impaling one of them.
  • In The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the seventh victim, Dr. Whitcombe, is impaled on a brass unicorn head catapulted from across the street.
  • Hired killer Lyle in Red Rock West is mortally wounded when Michael pushes him on a bayonet held by soldier statue. But it's not what ultimately kills him.
  • G.I. Joe
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Sao Feng dies when a cannonball fired by the Flying Dutchman sends a piece of wood through his spine.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, a zombie is shoved onto a wide pipe sticking up from the ground: when she extricates herself from it, we can see clear through her midsection (and what we see is the aghast heroes).
  • X-Men:
    • Dr. Kavita Rao by Kid Omega in X-Men: The Last Stand.
    • The Wolverine:

      Harada gets skewered by the Silver Samurai's massive sword.

      Logan does it to Shingen, by piercing the latter's throat while he's attempting to stab the former with his katanas.

      Logan again to the Big Bad at the end of the film.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:

      The Sentinels just love to stab people with the Blade Below the Shoulder. And this is by far the nicest way they kill people.

      Blink. Twice by Sentinels, thanks to the Reset Button. She got it three times in succession the second time.

      Storm by a Sentinel in the climatic battle. Thankfully the Cosmic Retcon later spares her life.
  • Elysium: Kruger doesn't just use that sword for cooking. He stabs his sword full length through Julio and into the ground beneath him without difficulty.
  • Thor: The Dark World: Double whammy, when Loki stabs Kurse with a giant blade through the back, only for the guy to turn around and impale Loki with the same blade whilst it's still in his body. Needless to say, the shock value was the main thing here.
  • Deveraux's ends the fight with NGU in Universal Soldier Regeneration by impaling on a big industrial hook.
  • Godzilla (2014): The male Muto's fate. Godzilla hits the male Muto with a Tail Slap, smashing it into a building and impaling it on the structure.
  • Dr. Hoenneger in The Wolfman (2010).
  • Bobo, in The Haunting Of Whaley House, sees a dead body and somehow manages to complete impale himself on a water pump next to him.
  • In Gladiator, in their first fight in the Roman Coliseum Hagen bodily lifts his defeated opponent and impales him on the spikes lining the top of the arena walls.

    Literature 
  • The Bridge on the Drina features a slow, harrowing impalement, although in this case it's the Turks punishing a would-be saboteur.
    • Just to make this clear, they carefully inserted a long wooden spike trough the guy's rear end, while carefully avoiding all vital organs. He was then left dying in agony for days. The executioner's pay depended from the time the victim stayed alive. The longer, the better.
  • Similar to the entry above, several examples of Turkish impalement are described in gruesome detail in 1453, which is a historical novel that chronicles the fall of Constantinople in that same year to the Ottoman Empire.
  • Reversed in The Virgin Suicides, when the first daughter is impaled on the fence.
  • In Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos the Shrikenote  impales its victims on a vast tree of metal spikes - where they all remain indefinitely, incapable of escaping the pain. Mega ouch. It's hinted in a later scene that the tree of spikes is actually a virtual reality construct, but their agony is no less intense for being artificially induced.
  • Also note that most vampires die this way. The most famous one, however, was actually killed with knives.
    • Averted in J R Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood as the vampires kill their enemies, the Lessening Society, by stabbing them back to The Omega by staking the area where their heart used to be.
    • Also averted in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, where the Dark Hunters destroy the Daimons that prey on human souls. When they are stabbed in the black spot on their chest, they explode into gold powder.
  • A very unfortunate man in one of Simon Scarrow's Eagle series gets impaled in a most brutal fashion in 'Where the Eagle Hunts'. For clarification it was via the rectum piercing method from the Truth in Television examples.
  • Welkin Weasels: In the first book, Sylver is caught in a snare by Magellan, and attempts to attack him one last time before he dies. He manages to charge with enough momentum that the stake the snare is attached to is yanked out of the ground and spears Magellan, killing him.
  • Warrior Cats: Feathertail kills Sharptooth by impaling him with a freaking stalactite, by leaping at it and knocking it loose from the cave roof.
  • John Nike from Jennifer Government ends up impaled on the sharp end of a Nike store's swoosh-shaped door handle.
  • In Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, the Lord Ruler gets this in a gory-poetic callback to the earlier incident when the same was done to finish off Kelsier. Impaling criminals through the neck with a hook and leaving them to hang somewhere visible is also the Steel Ministry's favourite method of execution. In the sequel, Well of Ascension, Lord Venture could be said to get this, except the sword in question is so big he may have been bisected.
  • According to Non Campus Mentis,note 
    An angry Martin Luther nailed ninety-five theocrats to a church door. The Pope's response was to declare Luther hereditary.
  • This was the over-the-top cause of death in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Black Peter", in which the retired sea captain is found pinned to the wall with a sealer's spear.
  • In The Last Dragon Chronicles, an ice spike through the chest is what does in David, the protagonist himself. Yes, it is gut-wrenching.
    • And lets not forget Hannah, a minor character in Dark Fire, who got impaled by Gawaine's claws.
  • In Le Morte Darthur, Thomas Malory's definitive rendition of Arthurian Legend, Arthur runs Sir Mordred through with Sir Lucas the Butler's spear. Unfortunately, with his last bit of strength, Mordred manages to cut Arthur in the head before collapsing dead.
  • The heroic demise of Oy the billy-bumbler in The Dark Tower.
  • A character in The Lost World finds skeletons of victims who were obviously thrown onto bamboo trees from the plateau.
  • Biblical examples:
    • In Judges 4, the enemy commander Sisera is fleeing a losing battle with the Israelites. Jael, wife of Heber, invites him into her tent, waits until he is asleep, and drives a tent peg straight through his temple.
    • In the book of Esther, some translations have Haman plotting to impale Mordecai on a sharp pole. After his treachery is discovered by the king, he is impaled on the pole.
  • Count Olaf gets impaled by a harpoon in the last book of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Dewey died the same way in the preceding book as a heroic variant.
  • In the Belisarius Series, this is the Malwa Empire's favorite method of execution.
  • In the backstory of A Land Fit for Heroes, the Heteronormative Crusader government of Trelayne inflicts the Cruel and Unusual Death version on Ringil Eskiath's lover. In the first novel, one of the alternate selves whose memories Gil lives through while traveling with the Dwenda is also killed in this manner.
  • In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, Rustam, one of the instructors of the janissary group that included young Hans, says he hates the Greeks and Serbs, thanks to many of his fellow soldiers having been staked, castrated, and eyes gouged out when fighting in the Balkans.
  • Any form of dissent against The Draka is likely to result in any survivors suffering this. Then they plant them along the road.
  • In Stephen King's "'Salem's Lot", Jimmy is killed when he falls into a basement onto an array of knife-blades driven through pieces of plywood, which are laid at the bottom of a wooden staircase with most of the stairs sawn away.
  • In Fate/Zero this is how Rider meets his end. Charging straight into curtain fire from Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon he's skewered numerous times. The monment he's close enough to strike and brings down his sword he's captured by Enkidu with his blade barely an inch from Gilgamesh's head. Gilgamesh impales him through the chest with Ea shortly after.
  • Completely expected on Fate/Apocrypha, since the Lancer of Black is Vlad III. One of his Noble Phantasms is an entire field of spears that rise from the ground to impale foes.
  • This is constantly refered to in John Norman's Gor where impalement is described as the prominent method of execution in almost all gorean cities. Despite this, very little impalement is actually showed on screen, though.
  • Both Nightrise chairmen in The Power of Five. The CEO, however, just gets normal-impaled.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Desperate Housewives, Gabby's evil mayor husband ended up impaled by a white picket fence. Symbolism anyone?
  • Buffyverse:
    • Cordelia Chase is impaled on rebar and subsequently lives. This was based on a similar incident that happened to Cordelia's actress, Charisma Carpenter.
    • The same thing happens to Angel on his own show. A Continuity Nod is made.
      Angel: Do you have any idea how much it hurts to get a piece of rebar through your chest?
      Cordelia: Actually, yes.
    • Another example is the MoTW in "Gingerbread," who is impaled on the stake on which they were going to burn Buffy, while Buffy is still strapped to it.
    • Also, most vampires, generally in a fairly perfunctory fashion. The Master and Kakistos got the more dramatic version. Angel also got repeatedly impaled, always non-fatally.
      • Well, except that one time, though in that case it wasn't the impalement that killed him. It was a metal sword after all. And probably not through his heart.
    • This happens to Vampire Willow twice.
    • How Forrest was killed by Adam.
    • In the movie, Lothos stabs Merrick with his own stake.
  • LOST:
    • Phil gets a magnetically-thrown iron through his chest in the season 5 finale.
    • Bram gets impaled on a piece of wood. That guy never had a chance.
    • Sayid runs Flocke through with a sword. Flocke calmly pulls it out of his chest.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis series premiere "Rising," the Wraith Queen gets impaled on the rather large poky bit on the back of a Wraith Stunner rifle by Sheppard, killing her.
  • Peter in Heroes. Good thing he can heal.
  • Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior:
  • In the Harper's Island episode "Sploosh", Madison's jerkass dad Richard is killed when he is impaled through the chest with a harpoon and pinned to a tree. Then again, he kind of had it coming with the affair.
  • In the BBC's Robin Hood Maid Marian is impaled on Guy of Gisbourne's sword. He gets a Karmic Death at the end of the series in which he's likewise impaled on the Sheriff's sword.
  • In Teen Wolf, Peter Hale literally slams his entire arm straight through Derek's chest and then flings him into a building.
  • The A&E production of The Lost World has an allosaurus falling into a deep, spiky trap at the beginning of Episode 2. Toward the end of the episode, another allosaurus gets a spear through the upper jaw, but survives that. It later gets killed with an elephant gun.
  • Many a Smallville character has died this way: it seems everyone is Made of Plasticine and metal rods (however blunt) will punch right through you as if you were made of tissue paper. This even extends to Jimmy Olsen, of all people, though he turns out to be the older brother of the Jimmy we know - James is his middle name. He and Davis killed each other this way. It is a pretty bad Retcon.
  • In the superhero drama Misfits
    • A day after being unburied from previously dying by impalement on a metal spike, poor Nathan is impaled again- on a metal pipe by Simon's crazy stalker friend. He is immortal by now, but still. This time wasn't instant. Extra brutality points for the fact that this happens to one of the good guys.
    • In the season two finale, Daisy gets impaled on her own "Mother Teresa Young Humanitarian of the Year" award.
  • Doctor Who goes even more extreme in its impaling in State of Decay when the Doctor impales the Great Vampire with a rocketship.
    • Rory Williams, the Last Centurion has one of his own in "The Pandorica Opens." To summarize, a view of the scene from the side: Tip of sword, gargantuan-and-thick-as-hell door, torso of a Cyberman hanging off the ground, hilt. "Extreme Prejudice" indeed, but then, that's what that Cyberman gets for messing with the woman he loves.
  • In an episode of 24, this happens off-screen. As part of Jack's Roaring Rampage of Revenge, we are led to a display of the entire Russian Delegation massacred, only one survivor who makes a trail of blood trying to reach the phone of the Big Bad The Dragon Minister Novakovich... who is then shown to be dead, impaled with a FIRE POKER!!!.
  • On Primeval, a Future Predator is killed by a Columbian Mammoth in this fashion, impaled on one of its tusks.
  • It seems to happen a lot on Supernatural, although often because its literally the only way to kill something. They do it to Gabriel some four or five times before it actually works. And this is a character who's in a total of four episodes.
  • The US version of Being Human has Aidan being impaled on a metal stub by a guy seeking revenge for his father. Of course being a vampire, this just pisses him off.
    • Bishop's staking Aidan in the second-last episode of Season 1 deserves special mention. Though it's unsuccessful, Bishop jumps through a window into the house uninvited (burning himself as a result), impaling Aidan and just missing his heart. The "extreme prejudice" part is covered for sure.
  • Forever Knight had this, Nick did it to Lacroix with a burning rod after Lacroix came into his apartment in the pilot and the place caught fire. Somehow,despite what usually happens to vampires that catch fire, Lacroix survived, though, and came back to haunt Nick in season 2.
  • Truth in Television examples of people who survive being impaled have been featured on Untold Stories of the ER.
    • The short-lived Discovery Channel series More Than Human highlighted a few cases of survivors. Perhaps the most amazing of these, Neil Pearson of Scotland, was impaled in the armpit and out the neck by a metal garden stake. Not only did he survive, but the stake missed all of his vital organs, arteries, and veins, he drove himself to the hospital, and the removal consisted of merely pulling the damn thing out. The show's researchers chalked up his miraculous survival to the fact that the stake was planted in dirt, and therefore was able to move along with Neil's body as he fell onto it. If it were, for example, planted in concrete, it would have been more likely to puncture a lung or vein.
  • On Criminal Minds, Agent Prentiss's Roaring Rampage of Revenge ends in her confronting her Irish Mafia nemesis, only to be impaled upon a broken table leg. (The whole thing had more to do with Executive Meddling than Character Development, but at least the fanbase prevailed and it turned into a case of Faking the Dead.)
  • In the Masters Of Horror episode "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", the Young Woman is impaled through the thigh by one of Ellen's traps, which was intended for Moonface.
  • In the second season of Vikings, Rollo, under the influence of Berserker mushrooms, impales a former comrade of his on a spear during battle. Rollo then lifts the poor bastard up into the air until he dies, although it starts to cause Rollo to snap out of his berserker rage and do a My God, What Have I Done?. The scene communicates quite well what a horrifically painful and terrifying way to die it would be.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • A potential lifestyle your character can adopt in Crusader Kings II. This tends to reduce other characters' opinion of you.
  • In Mount & Blade, when moving forward above a certain speed on horseback, with a polearm readied, you can hit enemies for couched lance damage, that deals upwards of 400 points of damage, that can with practice can kill both horse and rider. Merely swinging a weapon in the same sort of circumstances deals 50-150 points of damage.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, killing an enemy with a melee attack will sometimes result in a short death sequence that can involve this; notable against Ogres, where the character delivering the attack will climb up them and knock them prone before killing them by stabbing them through the roof of their mouth. Hilariously, the game doesn't actually track what kind of melee weapon is used, so it's entirely possible to do this using a two handed warhammer.
    • Played for laughs when a scholar is asked if an ancient temple is really cursed and the Maker will punish infidels who set foot inside it:
    "After all, no one wants to hear 'Willie toiled for many a year to perfect the curious mechanisms that would sent a sharpened spike up the arse of the unweary intruder'."
  • This is one of the Arishok's attacks in Dragon Age II. He lifts Hawke up into the air on the point of his sword and thrusts up and down several times. Good thing Hawke is Made of Iron; a real person or NPC would not get up from that if they survived at all (which Hawke may not if the attack comes at a bad time).
    • The Final Boss also does this, with a mini-speech for you or the unfortunate party member they've grabbed (there's an And Your Little Dog Too vibe if it's your love interest). More importantly, they will kill Circle! Bethany this way during the Templar endgame unless you stand in their way.
  • In Bullet Witch, Alicia is able to summon a small field of bloody spears that burst up from the ground and impale all foes within the area of effect.
  • In Mass Effect, the geth impale their (not always dead) victims on spikes that turns them into zombies. The geth are actually using Reaper tech.
    • In Mass Effect 2, if you don't upgrade the Normandy's weapons systems, Thane is impaled by a bulkhead during the trip to the Collector station. If you never recruited him, Garrus is impaled instead. Ow.
    • In the third game, this is the fate that awaits you if you are foolish enough to remain within arm's reach of a Banshee. Arm through the chest. That's gotta hurt. Phantoms also do this, using a sword. For added insult, getting killed like this in multiplayer prevents you from being revived until the end of the round.
    • Also, Kai Leng does this to his victims, stabbing them to death with his sword. Unfortunately for him, he also does it to one of Shepard's friends. Shepard responds in kind.
  • Mortal Kombat is fond of this Trope, mostly for Stage Fatalities. The first game had The Pit, an arena where the winner could uppercut his opponent, causing him or her to plummet into the spike-filled room below. The second game had The Armory, where the correct combination could let you knock your opponent into the spikes on the ceiling. In fact, it seems every game had at least one death-by-impalement stage, and a few characters even did it themselves with their own Fatalities. (Jade did it in at least two games, knocking her opponent high into the air and then impaling him or her on her staff, and Shang Tsung had one in the third game where he conjured up a bed of spikes and hurled his opponent onto it.)
  • God of War enjoys this trope. Reversed and subverted in the first game where Ares throws a pillar which is flying many many miles into Pandora's Temple impaling Kratos. Kratos, however, finds his way out of Hades.
    • The Blade of Olympus is essentially the embodiment of this trope starting with the second game. First Kratos uses it to impale the magic out of the Colossus of Rhodes, then Zeus impales Kratos and kills him, at the end of the game Kratos tries to return the favor (which he eventually does in the third game). Also in bonus play you can use it to impale everything else.
    • Basically if Kratos isn't murdering you by magic, fire, crushing, slashing, bare hands or anything else, he's usually impaling you on something. Various spike traps exist to return the favor for careless players.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Rundas, the ice Hunter, dies by impalement on one several of his own icicles.
  • Lyle in Cube Sector: the final boss is impaled on a spike in his base, in hilarious fashion.
  • In Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun Big Bad Kane is impaled on a spike by the protagonist at the climax. This being Kane, he doesn't stay that way.
  • In Devil May Cry, Dante is introduced to his Empathic Weapon Alastor in this fashion. In Devil May Cry 3, taking his own sword Rebellion through the chest is how he awakens his Devil Trigger powers. In Devil May Cry 4, Nero is the one who gains the Devil Trigger, although it is not his own sword that impales him. Nero also manages to pin Dante to a statue of his father via Rebellion delivered at range with high velocity during their first major fight, but being a Made of Iron half-demon Badass, this doesn't much faze Dante.
  • Most of spear skills in Disgaea 4 either begin or end with the opponent being run through. The most painful looking one of them has the character piledrive the target through their spear after planting it in the ground.
  • The third case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney had this happen to the victim. It turned out that he was actually pushed onto a spiked fence. Plus, he himself killed someone that way five years before then.
    • Let's not forget in the last case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney which has Jake Marshall's brother Neil killed by Damon Gant on his suit of armour's sword. Trying to frame Ema Skye was just mean...
    • And in the final case of Trials and Tribulations, the victim is found skewered on a large ceremonial sword held by a gold statue, and the scene puts extra emphasis on the shock value. In fact, later in the case, we learn the scene is fake, and it is mentioned that Iris purposely made the fake crime scene so shocking so it would confuse the investigators.
  • Daniella in Haunting Ground (who is the second boss), dies via being impaled with a large broken shard of glass. She dies happy though, because even though it was only for a few moments, she finally was able to feel pain.
    • Daniella frequently kills Fiona this way if she manages to catch her with her kill moves; she'll grab Fiona's arm and laugh maniacally, and if you don't manage to get free or have Hewie attack her, she'll impale Fiona in the groin with that lovely glass shard (or fire poker) of hers.
    • Daniella can also dish this out with one of the many dead ends.
  • RuneScape: Zaros, the dark god, meets his end by getting impaled with the Staff of Armadyl. His impaler, Zamorak, then takes his place.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna impales Zant with her ponytail.
  • Not done to a villain per se, but in Final Fantasy VII, Big Bad Sephiroth impales a giant serpent on a tree. Too bad we don't get to see him do it; when the heroes find it, it is the Moment Of Awesome that firmly established Sephiroth's Badass status.
    • It's also another case of Faux Symbolism, as the image of the Crucified Serpent is important in Kabbalism, which is where Sephiroth's name comes from.
    • Don't forget Cloud himself, who has both given (his limit break Climhazzard) and received (from Sephiroth).
      • He also ran Sephiroth through with the Buster Sword in the Mt. Nibel reactor. That Sephiroth got back up and continued fighting is either a demonstration of his superhuman strength or a sign that it's time to invoke the MST3K Mantra, as given the size of that sword, it would have cut him nearly in half.
    • In Advent Children Complete, Cloud is impaled and suspended by Sephiroth's sword, in an explicit recreation on Sephiroth's part of the 'impale Cloud' scene in the Nibel Reactor years ago.
    Sephiroth: "Is this the pain, you felt before, Cloud? Let me remind you, this time you wont forget" cue cloud getting extra stabbings in mid air before being tossed to the ground. Ouch
  • AdventureQuest Worlds has the DragonSlayer class. One of its class abilities is Impale. What makes it worthy of this trope is that the ability can be done with a fish.
    • Not done to a fish, mind. With a fish.
  • In Dark Messiah, Arantir impales Sareth on a stone spike after their meeting in Asha's temple.
  • One of the most common mook deaths in Madworld. For an added spice, corpses impaled on handy meat hooks, wall spikes, and the like (collectively called "Rose Bushes" by the game) are the only ones that do not fade out over time, allowing you to... redecorate. The one drawback is that anything you've shoved through their bodies (like street signs and lampposts) get stuck on the wall with them.
    • The Shogun boss ends up with one of these as well.
  • Done to the hero in Final Fantasy VIII: despite defeating Seifer and Edea, Squall is impaled by a giant magic icicle courtesy of the latter, and he plummets over the edge of her platform as he loses consciousness. He awakes in prison quite some time afterwards, no worse for wear, and even he wonders where the hell his injury went.
  • Happens in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, when Kain impales Moebius with the Reaver. It helps that Moebius completely doesn't see the attack coming, as he previously thought Kain to be dead (and permanently this time), and his staff, which has the power to incapacitate vampires, no longer works on Kain at this point.
    • After Moebius dies from that, his soul goes on to the Spectral Realm where Raziel is waiting unseen behind him and impales his very soul with the Reaver yet again!
      • At which point, Raziel then takes over Moebius' body to return to the physical realm and is impaled once again by Kain all according to plan.
    • This is also one of the most useful tactics for killing vampires in Soul Reaver: Because Nosgothic vampires regenerate their wounds, one of the few ways to kill a vampire for good is to impale them with staffs and spikes...but removing the instrument causes the vampire to spring right back to life. This mechanic is also worked into one of the game's boss fights, where Raziel finds the corpse of one of his vampire brothers, lying on his throne with three spears shoved through his chest, and has to remove them to bring him back to life so he can kill him for good.
    • In the original Blood Omen Kain himself gets impaled with a sword one minute into the game.
  • In Doom II, impaled people can be seen in many places, some of which are still alive and wriggling.
  • In Drakengard's fifth ending, Angelus ends up impaled on the tip of a Tokyo skyscraper after being shot down by Japanese fighter jets. Talk about your Downer Ending.
  • This is yet another one of the ways Alex Mercer can kill things in Prototype. Run people through with claws, cause spikes to erupt beneath them to eviscerate them, explode into tentacles that rip through everything in a city block, it's all good. The Supreme Hunter, sharing some of Alex's abilities, can do the same to him.
  • Lars Halford is killed by Lord Doviculus this way in Brütal Legend.
  • Silent Hill 2: One of Pyramid Head's preferred methods of execution.
  • Silent Hill 3: The Closers frequently kill Heather by impaling her with their arm spikes. If Heather's health is low, they will lift her up bodily, position their spike in between Heather's legs and impale her in the crotch, killing her.
  • All over the place in Quake I; traps with spikes are quite common.
    • In Quake IV, Bidwell meets his end this way when he is impaled by the leg of a Strogg Harvester.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Layle does this to Bahamut, of all opponents, in a boss battle about three hours in. For bonus points, he skewers Bahamut with his own tail!
  • Assassin's Creed
    • In Assassin's Creed II, the majority of Ezio's spear counter-kills involve spearing the enemies that come his way as an especially brutal way of finishing them off. You can also throw spears at the enemies for long-range impalement.
    • In Assassin's Creed III, musket bayonets serve a similar purpose. More appropriately to the trope, in the final Sequence, Connor chases the Final Boss into a burning, half-built ship. Reality Ensues when both fall through a collapsing floor and Connor is impaled by a large pole. This injury impairs him for the rest of the game and, judging by the epilogue, he's still suffering from it years later.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards: How Kirby dispatches people with the Needle power. Needle + Needle takes this Up to Eleven by turning Kirby into a giant Swiss Army knife whose tools include a drawing compass, a cactus, a syringe, a pencil, a bee stinger and a nail.
  • Lenneth's Finishing Move. Three spears stab her enemy and hold it in the air, while she summons an additional stupidly huge fourth spear that turns into a fricken dragon before she throws it. Tsubaki's finisher is a Shout-Out to this.
  • In Ar Tonelico 2 Croix Bartel's Limit Break has him doing this with maximum PENETRATION!!!
  • In Touhou, impaling someone with Gungnir is Remillia Scarlet's signature attack. In the fighting games, this attack can be made uninterruptible and unblockable. Well, she does claim descent from a certain Vlad.
  • Resident Evil 5: Wesker impales Ozwell Spencer on his arm, and he can do the same to you. Post-Uroboros, he can impale you on a massive drill arm.
    • Fittingly enough, Wesker in the original Resident Evil is on the receiving end of Tyrant's very large, prong-based hand, resulting in him looking very much like a tomato salad. Wearing sunglasses. This can also happen to you.
  • In Godzilla Unleashed, Destroyah can impale his enemies using his laser horn and then throw them behind him using his tail.
    • Likewise, Kiryu can use his energy sword to impale enemies and throw them.
    • Megalon takes this even further. Not only does he impale his enemies with his drill-like hands, he even spins them around before throwing them.
  • The video game for Spider-Man 3 was less discreet about Venom's demise. Follows a Disney Villain Death.
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy, particularly the prequel Duodecim, is in love with this trope. No less than five characters explicitly work impalement into their EX Bursts, more have attacks that explicitly evoke the idea (even if swords and spells are set to "stun"), and with application of Fridge Logic, the movesets of the Blade on a Stick users pretty much consist entirely of variations on impaling the enemy.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush does this to LeChuck with a botched spell that only manages to turn him human. But all of a sudden LeChuck turns good and becomes an ally. However, LeChuck later reveals that he was faking it and does it to Guybrush himself, managing to kill him in the same way that he killed Morgan LeFlay.
  • Painkiller has the Stake Launcher, which pins baddies to walls with entire trees.
  • In the sequel to No One Lives Forever, Cate Archer entire the katana-wielding kunoichi Isako at the end of the first level. After a short dialogue, Isako runs Archer through with her katana. However, sometime later, Archer is shown recovering nicely in a bed at UNITY headquarters. Apparently, UNITY agents were able to recover her quickly and save her, despite her supposedly being stabbed through the heart. Oh, well.
  • A rare ranged example: you can do this to people in Team Fortress 2 if you're a Sniper using The Huntsman (a bow), which can pin people to walls.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Adam Jensen, can have blades come out of his mechanical arms during lethal take downs, which he uses against his enemies in a manner that rivals Assassin's Creed in brutality. He can also take down two enemies at the same time for double Video Game Cruelty Potential.
  • Two examples in The Reconstruction: One is the Cryomancer, who is actually impaled by one of his own icicles.
    • The second example is Dehl's father, who, unlike the Cryomancer, is graphically impaled in an aversion of Bloodless Carnage. Also a case of Hoist by His Own Petard, as he's impaled by falling into a sword he left lying around.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Ra's Al Ghul. Not only does he get stabbed by his sword but also gets impaled the gates of Arkham City!
  • Demons Souls has an example where a boss named Penetrator used his sword to impale the Fat Official that you have been chasing throughout the entire level. And he can do it to you too with the same results. You can also do this to the enemies too.
    • Dark Souls, Dragonslayer Onstein's most dangerous attack does this to the player while simultaneously shocking them with lightning. Abysswalker Artorias is seen doing this to a monster in one of the trailers for the Updated Re-release.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning this can occur, among other things, when you do your fate reckoning, effectively creating a huge spike from the very threads of fate and jamming your victim onto it, thus killing them.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Menacing spike traps are hilarious about this. If a spike trap is activated while someone is standing on it, something bad will happen to that person. It gets worse for them as the material of the spike gets nastier. For added hilarity, falling from a higher level onto an active menacing spike - say, because the bridge the goblins were standing on was retracted - it counts as a successful activation too.
  • In Resident Evil 4, several of the many deaths of Leon involve impalement, such as one of Mendez's One-Hit Kill attacks, Garradors' Wolverine Claws, a Spikes Of Doom pit trap where you have to Press X to Not Die, the Iron Maidens, and Krauser's Plaga claw. Saddler impales Luis Sera with his Plagas tentacle.
  • This happens in several of the deaths in Brain Dead 13.
  • The Penetrator in FEAR can pin enemies to walls.
  • This is a favorite in Soulcalibur, but Inferno is especially vicious with this with two of his exclusive moves. One uses one of Cervantes' attacks, but if it connects, he launches spirally upward with the opponent impaled with his weapons and then comes back spinning down and slams them into the ground with it. In the following game, he chucks the opponent high into the air, and as they're falling back down, thrusts his sword right into the opponent's back and slams them down. With the right weapons, either of these moves, at full health, is an a near instant kill.
    • Laser-Guided Karma seems to be at work since Siegfried impales Soul Edge TWICE in the eye, the second time also running Soul Calibur through Nightmare's torso.
  • In the first boss battle of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Gabriel impales a Warg on a nearby log. In another boss battle, he stabs the boss with his cross, then impales it on a spire and finishes it by impaling it through the heart and breaking off the tip of the stake on his cross. After all, he is Dracula, which was based on Vlad the Impaler.
  • Ghost Farm in Fallout2 is surrounded with several rows of stakes with impaled corpses to scare off would-be intruders. Those are dummies, but it's hard to notice. Under certain circumstances the "bodies" may provoke Modoc people to slaughter everybody on the farm and then go beyond Despair Event Horizon and later get killed by their neighbors.
  • War Of The Monsters uses this for pipes and radio towers, able to be tossed over huge distances. Those hit by one then have to mash a button to yank it out, which is amusing for Kineticlops since it hits him in his eye.
  • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron: Optimus and Megatron's final battle is a swordfight. Optimus runs Megatron through, and Megatron uses this as a chance to get close to Prime to start beating on his head.
  • In Black Rock Shooter: The Game, the eponymous BRS impales White Rock Shooter through the lower back. It does absolutely nothing, and she then proceeds to walk off of the blade as if it never happened. But what else would be expected of the Final Boss?
  • Kachi is impaled at the beginning of Stage 1 in Sin and Punishment 2. She then proceeds to pull herself off the spike, dust herself off and tell Isa rather passively that she's fine.(She really is fine, and the wound promptly goes away.)
  • In The Walking Dead, Ben gets impaled after the balcony he was standing on collapses.
  • Karma bites Commandant Steele in the ass in Borderlands. The Vault she killed and betrayed people for turns out to be the prison for an Eldritch Abomination. The monster stabs her from behind and kills her before she can even engage the Vault Hunters.
    • What should be a gruesome aftermath instead becomes Bloody Hilarious Bloodless Carnage in the Claptrap's New Robot Revolution DLC, when Commandant Steele's corpse has been found, returns to life as a Claptrapped boss encounter, gets Unpaused, and finally freaks out upon discovering the evidence of the originally fatal impalement.
    "WHY IS THIS HOLE HERE?!"

    Visual Novels 
  • In one of the endings of Fatal Hearts, the vampire meets his end when the PC channels mystical strength to drive her hand through his chest and PUSH his heart out of his body. That's a romance that did not end well. For bonus points, it's implied that he ripped the heart out of a woman in the past in order to become a vampire in the first place.
  • Several Fate/stay night characters get this treatment. Gilgamesh has an attack that launches hundreds of swords at one target; he uses it most memorably on Archer in the Unlimited Blade Works route,, mirroring how that Servant's human life ended, and Caster in the Fate route. And in the anime, we see Berserker impaled by dozens of swords after his fight with Archer — this was not an easy win.
    • And in Heaven's Feel, Shirou, overusing projection using Archer's left arm (which earlier replaced his own), gets to spend the last few minutes of his life getting skewered by swords. Swords slowly growing out from inside his body. In the Normal End we see him losing bit by bit his identity, memories and cognitive functions, until he dies in the process of Excaliiblasting Angra Mainyu. In the True End he is saved by Ilya at the last minute and put into a new body, at the cost of her life.
  • On the third Episode of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Maria and Rosa die this way in the second twilight. At the end of the fourth Episode's Tea Party, Beatrice gets impaled by Battler's blue truth stakes after their duel. And at the fifth Episode, Battler gets this from a red longsword. He gets back up on his feet later on, and boy does he come back spectacularly.
  • In Danganronpa, Junko Enoshima loses it after the first murder and kicks Monobear, breaking one of the rules ("never attack the Head Master"). As punishment, Monobear uses a move called Gungnir Spear, in which he magically summons multiple spears out of friggin' nowhere and in front of everyone he impales Junko through the torso. Or better said, he impales Junko's twin sister Mukuro who's posing as her through the torso. But the players won't know it until much, much later.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, the monstrous arachnid Khamul is impaled by a spike after a lengthy battle against the Alliance's strike team in Myridia.
  • A number of characters in Survival of the Fittest die by being impaled in all three versions, but the one that fits this trope best (mostly in the "dispatching of a Big Bad" way) occurs at the end of v1 where Adam Dodd uses a katana to pin Cody Jenson to a tree, and then uses a knife to carve the word "Rapist" into his chest as he bleeds to death. Cody dies before Adam finishes carving, but he doesn't care.
  • The canonical Whateley Universe example: A student with the revealing codename 'Bloodwolf' decides to pick on the wrong little girl and ends up nailed to a tree by multiple railroad spikes. He lives — regeneration is your friend —, but he hasn't tried that again since.
    • The same little girl gets stabbed through the heart with an athame much later and also survives through regeneration. Karmic retribution?
  • In Red vs. Blue: Revelation, Agent Texas is stabbed through the face with a two foot-long spike by the Meta
  • In the Xombie flash series, the fight with the zombie velociraptor ended with it impaled on the ribcage of a fallen dinosaur skeleton. Being a zombie, it was little more than an inconvenience, but it was enough to keep it in place long enough for its owner to arrive and befriend the heroes.
  • Penny, the designated love interest, is impaled and killed by a shard of the exploded Deathray gun near the end of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
  • Some stories in The Slender Man Mythos have said titular, faceless Humanoid Abomination doing this to its victims, with tree branches.
  • Faust receives this fate in Vaguely Recalling JoJo because Empress somehow managed to get a hold of his scalpel. He manages to survive and the scalpel is still in his head when he rescues the injured Kakyoin.
  • In Dick Figures The Movie, Lord Takagami uses his sword to do this to Col. Dingleberry. Neptune also uses his trident to do this to Trollzor.

    Webcomics 
  • Fafnir The Dragon: Vlad Tepes does this to some of his opponents. "Just like the good old days."
  • Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes: The sadistic Dellyn Goblinslayer falls into a sharp, upsticking bit of broken pipe during his duel with Thaco the old goblin monk. Although the impalement doesn't kill him, he probably wishes it did shortly thereafter, as he finds he cannot pull himself free and is effectively stuck, and Thaco is advancing on him with sword in hand and murder in his eyes...
    • and then horrifies him by...telling him he's Not Worth Killing, definitely not his nemesis, and then walking away.
  • In 8-Bit Theater White Mage gets (accidentally) impaled by a tendril of dark energy - caused by Black Mage whilst he's in 'full evil' mode.
    • And finishing an Rasputinian death-attempt, Vilbert von Vampire is impaled with the Armoire of Invincibility. It doesn't go through his heart, so he survives.
  • In Parallel Dementia Alexi sticks a pole from the base of a woman's skull so that it pokes through her mouth.
  • In MS Paint Masterpieces, one-shot villain Allegro is impaled with his own laser sword. Which wouldn't ordinarily count, except that said sword went through his face.
  • Mijuu of Juathuur gets impaled on a flower.
  • Penny Arcade makes fun of this in their strip about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Gabriel Belmont is leaping down upon a hapless werewolf, who cries out, "Don't stake me, bro!"
  • Zeetha and Higgs have this happen to them in Girl Genius.
  • This seems to be the preferred way of offing characters in Homestuck. Bro, John (twice), Dream Nepeta and the White Queen were killed by Jack Noir in this fashion, though John recovers both times. Vriska kills Tavros this way with his own lance, and Terezi does the same to her in turn using her cane. In addition, many mooks in the kids' session, as well as the Prospitian and Dersite royalty (and by extension, Jack Noir) and Davesprite, sheath swords through their chests by default as a result of Dave prototyping a crow accidentally skewered on a katana.
  • In Problem Sleuth, Mobster Kingpin suffers this fate by way of the Ham Needle after being defeated and falling all the way down.
  • A flashback in TwoKinds, shows a couple of examples from when trace went on a rampage in a wolf village.
  • Sluggy Freelance
    • Vampires generally need to be staked through the heart to kill them, although it may not be enough. One of Sam's many temporary deaths involves being impaled on the spoke of a wooden chandelier.
    • In "Mohkadun", the Destroyer impales his "ally" Symachus with one of his talons. Being a Physical God, he doesn't die; the Destroyer merely needs some of his blood to seal a magical box, besides of wanting to make clear he doesn't sympathise with his plans. Later, King Farahn stabs Kron clean through from behind, and since he made a Deal with the Devil to get a god-killing sword, this time it works.
  • Happens to Hero in The Property Of Hate, on an improbably sharp tree branch. She's somehow okay.

    Western Animation 
  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, NOS-4-A2 eventually suffers this fate - the only major villain to be Killed Off for Real.
  • The Futurama episode "Anthology of Interest I" (with a section called "Terror at 500 Feet") has a 500 ft-tall Bender impaled on the Empire State Building.
    • Fry was impaled twice: once by a pipe shot from an exploding boiler, and once by a giant space bee.
      • Amusingly, neither injury was treated as serious, though in the latter case, we don't find that out until the end of the episode.
  • Saddam Hussein dies(?) this way in South Park: The Movie.
    • In an episode of the series Kenny dies by getting impaled on a flagpole, then sliding to the bottom of it.
  • Ursula in The Little Mermaid winds up speared by the broken spar of a ship. In an original draft, she was actually going to be impaled by the Trident.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Mel Gibson impales a member of Congress on a flagpole, complete with waving Stars and Stripes.
    • Also spoofed, when in a scene from one of Wolfcastle's movies (where he is playing a nerd character in a highschool setting) he impales a bully with...another bully.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror XI", Groundskeeper Willy is cleaning a window when a dolphin jumps through it... and through him.
  • Rampage from Beast Wars, a seemingly-unkillable Predacon mutant meets his end when Depth Charge runs a spike of pure energon through his spark. Depth Charge is killed in the resulting explosion.
  • The Ren and Stimpy episode "Pixie King" at one point has Ren impaled on a giant bee stinger.
  • Has happened many times in Happy Tree Friends.
  • In Winx Club The Secret of the Lost Kingdom, Mandragora is stabbed right through her body by Sky with Oritel's sword, though Bloom is the one who finishes her off right afterwards.
  • Happens quite a bit on Sym-Bionic Titan
    • The Titan defeats the monster in Episode 6 by impaling it on a gigantic spear.
    • Lance does it again with a trident in Episode 13.
    • Octus is killed by the monster of episode 18 this way.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars absolutely loves this trope, doing it mostly to villains (though the impalers are usually other villains) with an alarming frequency and disturbingly graphic portrayals for a kids' show. While the above Qui-Gon example had a Gory Discretion Shot, the show does no such thing, playing up the killings in all their family unfriendly g(l)ory.
  • ''Steven Universe" has Pearl on the receiving end of this when she loses focus in a sword fight right through the gut. Thankfully, her "death" isn't permanent.

    Real Life 
  • A not entirely uncommon, though very harsh, medieval punishment. A certain Wallachian Voivode named Vlad III, whose surname would later be used for the lord of all vampires, used this punishment to put the fear of god into his numerically superior enemies. And just anyone he hated. Or was annoyed by.note  Then there's the fact that the nickname his Turkish enemies gave him translates to "The Impaler Lord" and that according to history- the infamous "Forest of the Dead" he had created made a pursuing Turkish (a superpower in that era known for their own barbarity - in fact Vlad learned impaling from them) army commander vomit and then retreat in fear.
  • Indians of Northeastern America would impale captives, then burn them alive.
  • As mentioned in the Detective Conan example, there exist a number of tall buildings with flagpoles in front of them in Real Life. Invariably, urban legends (sometimes true) spring up of suicide jumpers missing the ground and hitting the pole instead, resulting in this trope.
  • A hand rail impaled Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in a bus accident. Which was probably the least painful of her injuries.
  • Gather round and hear the story of Phineas Gage. While working on a railroad crew laying track in 1848, a dynamite mishap projected a metal rod 1.25 inches wide through his cheek and jaw, then behind his left eyeball, finally exiting through the top of his skull and landing 80 feet away. Despite both of his frontal lobes being damaged, Gage was sitting up and speaking within a few minutes. His skull is on display at the Countway Library of Medicine.
    • Of course, he spent the rest of his life Not Himself. The only upside is that biologists learned more about what frontal lobe damage does to a person.
    • Gage was essentially the first example of a frontal lobotomy — contrary to myth, however, his case did not inspire the medical procedure (his symptoms weren't anything people would want to replicate).
    • A rarely told epilogue of the story was that Gage eventually recovered enough to return to his family, and live with them for the rest of his life (unfortunately, his brain damage turned him from a kind and thoughtful gentleman to an impulsive and abusive drunkard). He died, probably of epilepsy caused by his injury, 12 years after the accident, aged 37.
  • Newbie insect-collectors sometimes fail to use a killing jar properly, and pin their specimens while they are unconscious rather than dead. A pin through the thorax is fatal, albeit not instantaneously.
  • In line with the many examples of the "baddie pulls himself up the spear to fight" subtrope, boar-hunting spears are forged with large crossguards to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
  • This is how Mapuche chieftain Caupolican was executed by the Spanish conquistadores, according to his legend.
  • In the US Army's SL-1 nuclear accident, one of the operators was impaled on the ceiling by a shield plug when the control rod was pulled out too far.
    • Note that this was the only control rod in the reactor. Its servo had a tendency to stuck, though, so when this happened a technician tried to help the motor with his hands. He was so successful, though, that instead of a couple of inches, he managed to pull the rod out almost completely, King Arthur-style. The reactor immediately went prompt-critical (increasing its power output almost 7000-fold in 0.004 seconds), flashing the cooling water into steam and created a water hammer effect which caused the entire reactor case to jump up an hit the ceiling. The pressure also caused the shield plugs to fly out with such force that one of them pinned one of the three operators to the ceiling as well.
  • Legend has it that Edward II died this way, involving a red hot poker up a very sensitive place.
  • Shrikes, those adorable lil' birdies, are known for their habit of impaling insects and small vertebrates on thorns. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, bite-sized fragments, and also allows them to store uneaten portions for later. Hey, they don't call 'em butcher birds for nothing!
    • Many wading birds hunt fish by impaling them on the tips of their pointed beaks.
  • Happened to Robert Kubica during a rally in Italy, where not only he and his partner crashed their vehicle but he got hit like this by a crash barrier.
  • A bit of casual searching will turn up a verified instance where a man fleeing narcotics police either jumped or fell from the side of a major interstate highway and landed on an iron fence. He was impaled somewhere through the back of the head in the fall. The rest of him landed in the parking lot eight feet further beneath the fence.
  • In Britain a few years ago a man was impaled by a telegraph pole in a car accident. He got better though, and apparently kept that section of the telegraph pole as a souvenir
  • A boy in England once fell onto a fence, impaling him at the jaw. The spike passed through his mouth and out the top of his skull. Miraculously, he survived without major brain damage, and wrote an autobiography on his experience.
  • In the Bible, this is what constituted as "Hanging someone from the gallows" in the era around the book of Esther. Remember Haman ordering a gallows built 50 cubits high? (or 22.86 METERS) That's Haman being impaled on a 22 meter high tree and hoisted up so he can slide......slowly......down.....

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