I lifted her head, she looked at me and said "Hold me, Darling, just a little while." I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss; I found the love that I knew I would miss And now she's gone, even though I hold her tight I lost my love, my life, that night.
— J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, "Last Kiss"
The only kiss that's more meaningful and dramatic than the First Kiss
(unless, as is frequently the case, they happen to be one and the same). It's not just the last one we'll see, it's the last one these two characters will ever share... as far as they know at this point, at least. If the characters don't think it could be their Last Kiss, the music and color scheme of the scene will definitely indicate to the audience that it is.
The favorite time to write it in seems to be when one (or both) of the partners is/are on their deathbed (or past it), literally or proverbially, such as just before someone goes off into battle (or their wedding). Possibly will be teary. Less dramatic in old shows where the main character could share one with every new Girl of the Week
or Temporary Love Interest
May be a Last Request
See Also: Final First Hug
and Go Out with a Smile
. Death's the time to show you love someone.
Sometimes overlaps with Dude, She's Like in a Coma
Not to be confused with Kiss of Death
or Sealed with a Kiss
. And definitely
not with I Love the Dead
. If the characters think it's their Last Kiss but it turns out not to be, it's a Now or Never Kiss
As a Death Trope
, there may be unmarked spoilers ahead.
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Anime and Manga
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Misato, knowing she's about to die from the bullet wound in her back, kisses Shinji, possibly to snap him out of the near comatose depression he's in. It backfires spectacularly as, moments later, Shinji wipes her blood off his mouth and realizes she has probably died.
- Ninja Scroll - In the cold universe of the film, where lust, violence and greed has cheapened sex as an expression of love, Kagero's simple kiss for Jubei was an expression of love stronger than any other.
- Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a prime example of these, being kissed by Kamina and Kittan before both of them died in battle. This is prominent enough for her to earn the Fan Nickname "Doombitch".
- Kittan subverted it as he stole a kiss from her fully knowing he was going to die anyway, and he apologizes for his selfishness right after breaking said kiss. She understands and even hugs him before he leaves.
- Nia's last act before she disappears into nothingness was kissing Simon.
- Played straight and subverted in the same episode of Mai-HiME:
- Yukariko and Ishigami share one before they go down together.
- Subverted moments later with Mai just barely missing out on one of these as Yuuichi disappears before their lips touch.
- That, or he vanished at the exact instant their lips do touch. Either way, she doesn't get to... uh, 'enjoy' it.
- Natsuki kisses Shizuru and tells her how she feels about her (she may not have the feeling Shizuru wanted, but she's happy she loved her and also loves her) before destroying both their Childs, killing them both.
- Tokyo Mew Mew combines this with Almost Kiss, Final Speech, and Pietŕ Plagiarism when in the second to last episode Kisshu gets killed trying to help Ichigo.
- In Hellsing, as Seras is heavily wounded and blinded and Pip lays dying after getting impaled by Zorin, Pip manages to kiss Seras and tells her to drink his blood before dying. A grieving Seras does so, thus healing her wounds and unlocking her full vampiric power. She proceeds to rip Zorin to shreds.
- Subverted in Basilisk. The dying, despaired and insane Kagerou tries to kill a severely injured Gennosuke with her literal Kiss of Death, but she commits the mistake of briefly looking at her love rival Oboro... who's got the power of neutralizing any ninja's powers. Even more - Oboro had her eyes sealed with some Applied Phlebotinum, but the effect had just worn out as Kagerou was getting ready.
- Almost played straight in Bleach where Orihime is given 8 hours to say goodbye to one person before being abducted by Ulquiorra. She enters Ichigo's room. Unfortunately he's unconscious because of a battle, but she says goodbye anyway. She tries to sum up the courage to kiss him, but her insecurities hold her back.
- Code Geass has a case of both First Kiss and Last Kiss between Lelouch and Kallen near the end of the show, complete with background music and all. The irony is that while Lelouch really IS on his way to his death and this IS the last thing he does before crossing the point of no return, Kallen initiates the kiss without knowing it at the time.
- Or maybe she's just trying to resolve their UST one way or another. She gets the bad ending as not only Lelouch doesn't return it, he completely ignores the fact that he had just been kissed and looks at her with such neutrality as if nothing happened. Though technically Kallen actually gets the good ending because of this as she lived to see the new, peaceful world that Lelouch was preparing to give up his life to create. Lelouch's whispered goodbye after she's out of ear-shot hints that he may have shared her feelings but played stoic because he knows she would die with him otherwise.
- Also subverted at the end of season 1 with CC since death is a non-issue for her.
- Kikyou and Inuyasha share a last kiss in InuYasha, right before she definitely dies in his embrace.
- In 5 Centimeters per Second, Takaki and Akari share a (first and) last kiss at the end of the first chapter. The remaining two chapters are about their separate lives afterward. Heartbreak ensues.
- Used in +C: Sword and Cornett to portray Linna Orhadi's final moment with his Prince.
- Sadly, Pip and Seras share their first and last kiss in Episode 7 of Hellsing Ultimate. To be fair, it is the most impressive combination of a Tear Jerker, Crowning Moment Of Awesome, and Crowning Momentof Heartwarming to date.
- Yoga and Msyu in [C] - The Money and Soul of Possibility.
- Zero no Tsukaima: Season two, Louise and Saito come incredibly close to this before the knockout potion Saito put in her champagne kicks in. Almost literally, a split second before they kiss, she passes out.
- Steins;Gate has another (rather heartrending) first-and-last-kiss between Kurisu and Okabe, as the latter confesses his feelings to her... the day before he has to switch timelines to a world where she's killed.
- Elfen Lied: Lucy kisses Kouta shortly before confronting the soldiers who have been assigned to kill her. (Her fate, however, is left ambiguous.)
- In Sonic X, after the Kill Us Both scene, Cosmo kisses Tails as she fades away.
- Subverted in Toriko. Near the end of the Regal Mammoth Arc, Rin is fatally wounded by a GT Robo. Toriko fulfills her dying wish by giving her a farewell kiss. Fortunately, Rin's Gourmet Cells respond well to Toriko's saliva due to Rin's obsession with him and they keep her alive long enough for her to get proper medical treatment.
- Near the end of the Area 88 manga, Mickey and Sela kiss before they're both killed in an explosion.
- At the end of Mirai Nikki Yuno decides to give up her plans to kill Yukiteru and then stabs herself so he will become the new god. After doing so she asks for one Last Kiss then dies in his arms after remarking that he had gotten so much better at kissing.
- When Raven and Beast Boy had their First Kiss, Beast Boy asked if she did it just because they were facing "certain death".
- He also admitted that he did this with Firehawk, and didn't seem too happy about it. But why? She's hot!
- In the Total Drama story, Legacy, Chef Hatchet kisses a dying contestant on her forehead, "as a father might kiss a favorite daughter."
- In "Every Good Fairytale", Sherlock Holmes kisses his wife one last time as she's dying from a bullet wound. And then she dies as they do so.
- His Dark Materials: Will and Lyra and their respective dćmons share one final kiss (rushed, clumsy, and tearful) before Will seals their universes apart forever.
- In G. K. Chesterton's The Return of Don Quixote, when John Braintree and Olive admit that their opposing principles mean they should not be a couple, they part after a kiss. At the climax, they realize that their principles can, in fact, be reconciled, so they are reconciled, too.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events had Count Olaf steal one last kiss from his old paramour, Kit Snicket. The two of them then recited poetry while dying from toxic mushroom spores.
- In Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword, the dying hero's Last Request is for a Last Kiss.
- In Outbound Flight, Jedi Knight Lorana Jinzler and the Chiss syndic Mitth'ras'safis of the Eight Ruling Family, pulling an epic Heroic Sacrifice together, reach out and hold hands for a long moment. It overlaps with Security Cling and It Has Been an Honor, they were on a Full-Name Basis since there hadn't been time to exchange first and core names, and both of them were from emotionally cold societies, so exactly what the gesture meant is left to the reader, and some say it was the equivalent of a kiss.
- Glinda and Elphaba of Wicked fame share such a kiss the last time they see each other. Changed to a hug for the musical.
- Liesel and Rudy share one in The Book Thief. Too bad Rudy was just killed in a bombing. The worst part is, Rudy has been trying to get Liesel to kiss him the whole book!! There's your kiss....
- The book subverts this trope somewhat in that the narrator tells us halfway through the book that Rudy will go to his grave without being kissed by Liesel. After that, every time Rudy asks for a kiss, what is a light-hearted moment for the characters feels a little painful for the reader...
- Subverted in the Star Wars novel Star by Star, when Tahiri Veila leans in to kiss Anakin Solo, but pulls back, saying, "For that, you have to come back." He doesn't.
- In the Midnight World novel Igor shares the Last Kiss with his wife when she is already beheaded by him (but still alive!)
- In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel On the Razor's Edge, when Issa tells him to go in the Flashback, he can't even stay for a last kiss.
Live Action TV
- Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" tells the story of a motorcycle-riding outlaw and his beloved, ending with her coming to the hospital and finding him shot and dying. He "gave her one last kiss and died," slipping her the keys to his titular motorcycle as he does so.
- Marty Robbin's song "El Paso" tells the tale of a man who loved a dancer in a bar and killed a man who shared his interest. He later runs off into the badlands of New Mexico to escape vengeance from the family of the man he killed only to come back to El Paso and be shot off his horse. Crawling to the door of the bar, the woman cradles him in her arms and kisses him before he succumbs to his wounds.
- In the 1960s, Teenage Death Songs were remarkably popular, including such classics as "Teen Angel" (Mark Dinning), "Patches" (Dickey Lee), "Tell Laura I Love Her" (Ray Peterson), "Leader of the Pack" (the Shangri-Las), "Ode to Billy Joe" (Bobbie Gentry), and, of course, the Trope Namer.
- Not necessarily an impending death, but still... "Ae Fond Kiss," by the 18th century Scots poet, Robert Burns:
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!
- "Last Kiss" by Taylor Swift. However, the lyrics are more akin to a breakup song than a death one.
- A quite dark twist happens in the Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave duet "Where the Wild Roses Grow" that ends with:
And I kissed her goodbye, said, "All beauty must die"
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth
- Rammstein's song "Nebel" is about a parting couple's teary last kiss. The final lines say that the kiss was so long ago, the man no longer remembers it.
- City And Colour's "As Much As I Ever Could". While not about death, it does talk about a great distance that would separate the lovers soon.
So give me one last kiss
For soon, such distance
Will stretch between our limbs
Now the day's losing light...
- In Richard Wagner's Die Walküre, Wotan's kiss that strips his daughter Brünnhilde of her powers. The Leitmotif is quite touching.
- In certain productions of Wicked, like the Helsinki one, the usual hug between Elphaba and Glinda is changed to a Last Kiss.
- Romeo and Juliet. Juliet's final kiss to Romeo before stabbing herself may count, despite that Romeo was already dead. This happens twice more: once before Romeo is exiled (a Fate Worse than Death), and Romeo's line, "Thus, with a kiss, I die."
- In the Leon B scenario of Resident Evil 2, after dispatching Mr. X and getting mortally wounded herself, Ada shares one last kiss with Leon before she (apparently) dies in his arms. (She gets better a little later without any explanation, though.)
- Subverted in the ending of Final Fantasy X wherein the hero begins losing physical form, so that when the heroine runs after him for the effective Last Kiss she runs through him instead, denying the characters (and the player) a sense of closure.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed ended its romantic subplot with this.
- Knights of the Old Republic had a possible figurative one for a male player and Bastila (it happens just before she is captured and tortured into turning to the Dark Side), which would become an actual one if you kill Bastila on the Star Forge instead of turning her back.
- Dragon Age: Origins has the possibility for one. If playing a female character who pursued a romance with Alistair, you don't take the third option, and the romance survives to the finale, Alistair and the main character share one before one of them has to make the ultimate sacrifice to kill the Archdemon. Hint: It's not going to be you.
- It may or may not be a trope in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, but at the end of the chapter, as Elaine holds a dying Guybrush in her arms, after he utters out his last words, "Kick [LeChuck's] two-faced butt for me..." she is on the verge of tears as she promises, "From Melee to Monkey and all the islands in between, my love," and gets close to Guybrush as she closes her eyes and puts her lips on his cheek between her sobs. At least we think it's a kiss.
- In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Layton and Claire share one before the latter walks off into her fate.
- When Nier is forced to kill Kainé in the third ending, he finally realises that he loves her and (despite her being a Shade at the time) gives her a hesitant kiss. Doubly emotional, since not only was it also their first kiss, but it's left unclear whether Kainé knew that Nier returned her feelings, since she couldn't speak.
- In Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, if you say the right thing, Tatsuya will give a final kiss to Maya before giving up the memories of the other side ruining any chance they have of being together since keeping would bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Princess Yue's already in spirit form when she gives Sokka one last kiss before disappearing.
- Teen Titans: After several tries, Cyborg finally lets Sarasim kiss him as the two wait to go into battle.
- Admiral Horatio Nelson, while lying on his death-bed, asked the captain of his flagship, Thomas Hardy, for a kiss before he died. Hardy kissed him twice, on the cheek and the forehead, as a last gesture of affection to the man who had been his mentor and leader for his entire adult life.
- According to her biography by Carolly Erickson, Queen Victoria nursed her husband, Prince Albert, through his fatal illness (presumed at the time to be typhoid fever, though modern physicians suspect he had stomach cancer). When she knew the time was near, she leaned over and asked him for a last kiss, which he gave on her cheek.