->''"How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news?\\
Man, what do you do?"\\
And he says,\\
"I went sky divin',\\
I went Rocky Mountain climbin',\\
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu."''
-->-- '''Music/TimMcGraw''', "Live [[TropeNamers Like You Were Dying]]"

A character knows that [[YourDaysAreNumbered the end is nigh]]. They're usually sick but sometimes doomed in another way. As a result, the character is left in either anger or despair. But then, they meet someone: a character who's equally doomed, TheAntiNihilist, a LoveInterest or a [[CheerfulChild happy]] [[ChildrenAreInnocent innocent]] child. This person's attitude can be summed up with: "Yep, dying sucks, [[TheWorldIsJustAwesome but life is fun anyway]]." Then, brought together by their understanding of what the other is suffering, they form a close bond.

Usually no one gets healed, but before the movie or the character's end, the second character's attitude has rubbed off on the first one. Sometimes a character recovers or [[MistakenForDying the diagnosis was wrong in the first place]], then they decide to still [[AnAesop make the most of their considerably elongated lifespan.]]

Sometimes the roles are reversed, and it's the dying person's winning attitude that rubs off on some loser that doesn't know how to live. The basic lesson is the same, though.

Compare with TheLastDance and MustNotDieAVirgin. Not to be confused with LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In the ''Manga/DNAngel'' manga it's found out that the people in [[spoiler:Hiwatari's]] family have short lifespans, and he doesn't have much longer to live. However, at the same time, he notes that Daisuke was the only person who gave him joy in life.
* ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' plays with it some, uniquely in a way. [[spoiler:Sheryl Nome gets hit with YourDaysAreNumbered thanks to an IncurableCoughOfDeath in the second half of the series, and Alto Saotome ([[WillTheyOrWontThey finally]]) ends up getting romantically involved with her after he finds out. There is a subtext to this that it might all be something of an act that the two of them are playing out, ignoring all other considerations just for Sheryl's sake. Sheryl even tries to let Alto off like this, presumably so he'd be free to chase after her rival in the LoveTriangle in their last talk before the FinalBattle, but we never find out what Alto had to say about that, as Sheryl gives him a ShutUpKiss, declaring that no matter what he said, she wouldn't be able to sing (It's a Macross, music is [[ThePowerOfRock VERY IMPORTANT]]). The series ends promptly after the FinalBattle without Alto ever finishing what he was going to say]]. As you might have guessed from the wall of spoiler text, it's complicated, and this is [[DoorStopper the short version]]. Still, it's clear that Character Two was very important to Character One.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SeekingAFriendForTheEndOfTheWorld'': said friend, [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Penny]], has this effect on [[TheEveryman Dodge]] while [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the world ends]].
%%* ''Film/TheBucketList''
* ''Film/StrangerThanFiction'' has a similar idea with a truly creative kind of doom.
* The Timothy Dalton/Anthony Edwards movie ''Hawks''. Two terminally ill friends decide to live as best they can for as long as their bodies hold out.
%%* Basically the movie ''Film/AWalkToRemember''
%%* The UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} movie ''Kal Ho Naa Ho''
* ''Film/HaroldAndMaude'' - An EmoTeen who attends funerals and commits mock-suicide for fun gets into a relationship with a 79-year-old woman who is basically the septuagenarian equivalent of the ManicPixieDreamGirl. [[spoiler:She kills herself for real in the end, but he still stops faking his suicides and starts actually living life.]]
* In fact, there seems to be a subtrope of ManicPixieDreamGirl films - such as ''Film/AutumnInNewYork'' and ''Film/SweetNovember'' - that center around the fact that the girl in question is dying, and wants to try to live life to the fullest. The fact that this effectively makes their life goal "help some guy remove the stick from their ass" is incidental.
** ''Dream With the Fishes'', where a morose voyeur is saved from suicide by a happy-go-lucky fellow that is terminally ill and wants help living out a few fantasies before meeting his maker.
%%* ''Film/LastHoliday''?
* The 90's German movie ''Film/KnockinOnHeavensDoor'' (yeah, like the song) is about two men with terminal diseases spending the last of their days enjoying some millions in cash from the mafia they got their hands on.
* ''Film/JoeVersusTheVolcano'' has this as its plot. Joe has a decidedly mediocre life, with a mediocre job, but even his mediocrity is ruined by his massive hypochondria. When he is told that he really ''is'' dying, from a "brain fog" that has no detectable symptoms until it ultimately proves fatal, an eccentric millionaire offers to give him an all-expenses-paid trip to a tropical Pacific island where he will then sacrifice himself in a volcano in accordance with native tradition to secure the millionaire the mining rights for the island. [[spoiler: At the end it is revealed that he never had a "brain fog," and his doctor was on the payroll of the millionaire looking for a schlub that he could trick into leaping into a volcano.]]
* In ''El juego de la verdad'', Ernesto is mistakenly told that he has three months to live. During a game of truth or dare, his friends convince him that he should do the things he's always wanted to do and assure him that they will go along with anything he says. The things he wants to do include skinnydipping and sleeping with his best friend's fiancée.
* The film ''Film/ScentOfAWoman'' does this trope in both directions. Colonel Slade teaches poor, outcast prep student Charlie that you don't have to lie down and let other people's expectations of you determine your life. Charlie teaches the blind, bitter Colonel that you don't always have to spit in people's faces to make yourself important, helping others and sticking to your principles accomplishes the same thing. The Colonel stays blind, but is a little less bitter and Charlie accepts that he'll never be one of the rich White kids at his school, and is okay with that.
* In ''Film/LChangeTheWorld'', L spends the last week of his life taking care of two children, even holding a picnic for them while on the run.
* In ''Film/ShortTime'', Dabney Coleman plays an overly cautious, by the book cop who due to a mix-up is [[MistakenForDying told he's terminally ill]]. He then discovers that his cop life insurance policy will only cover "professional damage" meaning he has to be killed in the line of duty. Wanting his wife and son to have the money, he decides to no longer play it safe, tosses "the book" out the window, and becomes the sort of risk-taking supercop who you only find in movies. Finally, after nearly twenty years of drudgery on the force, begins to believe that his life and his job means something.
* In ''Film/IronMan2'' when confronted with his poisoning and seemingly imminent death, Tony asks [[SpyFiction Natasha Romanoff]] what she would do if she had only a brief time to live. Natasha, evaluating him for ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}, tells him that she would do whatever she wanted. As a result, he decides to have a wild party at his house in Malibu and get completely drunk ''in full armor'', thereby endangering everyone around him, making him a rather less positive than usual take on the trope.
* ''Film/{{Melancholia}}'' has an interesting take on this. Justine develops from being miserable and depressed to calm and peaceful when she realized everyone was going to die from planet Melancholia colliding with Earth. The final scene had Justine and Claire’s son making the magic cave as an attempt to calm him down and [[LetThemDieHappy try to enforce hope]]. Justine came through in the end at keeping everyone calm and together, showing how certain situations can sway our attitudes and actions.
* PlayedForLaughs (with some surprising existential reflection) in ''Fantozzi in Paradiso'': when Fantozzi discovers that [[YourDaysAreNumbered he has a single week to live]] he tries to do a few things he never managed, including having sex with his coworker miss Silvani (thanks to Fantozzi's wife, who found out of his illness and organized them a vacation)... But on his last day the doctor tells him he switched his diagnosis with that of the priest that had just given him the last rites (and proves it by suddenly falling dead). He reacts by running away cheerful... [[CosmicPlaything And, being Fantozzi, gets hit by a truck that pushes him under a steamroller]].
* In the French film ''The Brand New Testament'', the daughter of God gets back at her curmudgeonly, antagonistic father by texting everyone on Earth, letting them know how long they will live down to the last second (ItMakesSenseInContext). Pretty much everybody who gets put on short time (the folks who only have a few days, or even a few months to live) takes this trope to heart and starts living their lives the way they'd always been afraid to, because why not, right? Interestingly enough, the same thing happens at the opposite end of the spectrum. One man, in his 20s already, is informed he still has almost 120 years to live; as a result, he loses all sense of caution. Not only is he perfectly willing to live life to the fullest and try every new thing, he becomes a professional daredevil, armed with the knowledge that no matter how crazy his stunts, some lucky break will keep him alive and kicking for the next 120 years.
* The classic Creator/AkiraKurosawa film ''Film/{{Ikiru}}'' (''To Live'') is a feature-length medication on this trope. A petty bureaucrat in the Tokyo city planning department learns he is dying of stomach cancer and realizes he's just been going through the motions for most of his life and decides he wants learn to truly live before he dies. So he tries a lot of things from dissipation to hedonism to a platonic affair with a former subordinate, which all leave him dissatisfied until he realizes the solution has been sitting on his desk all along: a plan to build a playground in a poor neighborhood on land coveted by commercial developers: something only someone with his skills developed over a lifetime in the bureaucracy will be able to get accomplished. It's a goal he spends the last months of his life relentlessly and humbly pursuing, eventually dying on the completed playground shortly after the dedication ceremony, happy that he's finally made a real difference for somebody.

* Early in ''Literature/{{Remnants}}'', when Mo'Steel rides The Pipe.
* The entire premise of ''Deadline'', in which the narrator knows he's dying but keeps it a secret from everyone, decides to not go through treatment and live the last year of his life as best he can. While all he seems to care about is getting a street named after Malcolm X, the book has a feel of "life is AWESOME!!" to it.
* OlderThanTelevision: Valancy Stirling of [[Literature/AnneOfGreenGables Lucy Maud Montgomery]]'s ''Literature/TheBlueCastle'' (1926). Valancy gets a diagnosis of terminal heart disease, then uses her new-found remaining time on earth to live like a free spirit, talk back to her rude relatives, and fall in love. [[spoiler:After a great shock doesn't kill her, she goes back to the doctor and finds out her letter of diagnosis was mistakenly exchanged with that of an old woman with the last name Sterling.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The premise of the ''very'' short-lived {{Sitcom}} ''Twenty Good Years'' starring John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor.
* In one episode of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Quark gets diagnosed with an incurable and frequently fatal syndrome by a doctor on Ferenginar. He auctions off his vacuum-dessicated remains in traditional Ferengi fashion before he dies, but then it is revealed that the diagnosis was incorrect. His initial response? "It means I get to sue Dr. (whoever) for malpractice!"
* ''Series/{{House}}'':
** Subverted in an episode where Wilson finds out that he had earlier misdiagnosed a patient with terminal cancer. When telling the man that he is in fact perfectly healthy, he is surprised to find the man is outraged: knowing that he was going to die within six months had given the man real happiness for the first time in his life. He then promises to sue Wilson for malpractice. Made funnier when House gives the man the name of a good lawyer. Because he's House.
** Played straight in a different episode. A young girl with terminal cancer who has an astonishing bravery and dedication to enjoying the little time she has left. Despite his best efforts at misanthropy, the girl's zest for life rubs of on House and he ends up buying a motorcycle. [[spoiler:The series' last shot is of House and a terminally ill Wilson going touring on motorcycles]].
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** In an episode made to parody sitcom cliches, one patient was found to only have 24 hours to live, and was taken out by the doctors to go through a list of adventures before he died. Then, at the end of the day they found out his chart had been switched with another patient, so he was not going to die, and the patient who was was antisemitic so no one cared about him. Subverted in that [[spoiler:this turned out to be [[AllJustADream a dream sequence in JD's head]], none of the above adventures actually happened, and the patient dies. The moral of the episode ends up being "sometimes [[CrapsackWorld bad things happen to good people]], which is why it's a good thing we have sitcoms to cheer us up."]]
** They had a separate episode with a subplot almost exactly identical to the ''House'' example above.
* ''The Big C'' has Laura Linney's professor character diagnosed with terminal cancer, deciding not to tell her family (to spare them misery), and spending her last few months taking life by the balls. The first season of the show then ''thoroughly'' deconstructs this trope, as her actions look extremely bizarre to her family and only widen existing riffs, while not really bringing her a lot of joy.
* During the third season of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Dean knew he was going to die, as at the end of season two, he [[spoiler: [[DealWithTheDevil sold his soul to a demon to save Sam's life]]]], and ended up with a year to live. So, he spent most of the season living it up [[TheHedonist whenever and however he could]]... at least until he got a taste of what would happen to him when he died, at which point he fought [[{{Pun}} like Hell]] to survive. [[spoiler: He died anyway. [[StayingAlive He got better.]]]]
* In the KoreanSeries ''Series/ScentOfAWoman'', the lead is given six months to live. She creates her bucket list, including dinner with a pop star and the chance to fall in love.
* In the Israeli sitcom ''Series/{{Zanzuri}}'', the eponymous character is told he has sixth months to live before dying from a heart disease. He then sets out to do everything he’s always wanted to do (being in a rock band, making love to another woman who is not his wife) and taking care of his affairs before dying (entering the [[GuinnessEpisode Guiness Book of World Records]] to be remembered by, finding a new husband for his soon-to-be-widow). He finally dies just a second after [[spoiler:[[LawOfInverseFertility his wife tells him she’s pregnant]]]].
* A variant from ''Series/BabylonFive'': Londo Mollari isn't dying anytime soon but, being one of those Centauri who [[DreamingOfThingsToCome has dreamed of their death]], ''knows'' that he will die in old age as the Centauri emperor, strangled by G'kar as he strangles him, thus he acts even more unhinged than most Centauri and, in dangerous situations, fights like a madman (that's even his nickname in his duelling circle) because, no matter what, he ''will'' survive it until that fatal confrontation.

* Music/TimMcGraw song "Live Like You Were Dying":
-->''"How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news?\\
Man, what do you do?"\\
And he says,\\
"I went sky divin',\\
I went Rocky Mountain climbin',\\
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Fu Manchu]]."''
* "One Day Left to Live" by Sammy Kershaw. The singer barely avoids a fatal accident, and decides that from then on, he will live like he's got one day left to live.
* "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Music/{{Nickelback}}
* "DC-10" by Audio Adrenaline, although the cause of death is a bit more sudden and humorous than illness.
* "Live Like We're Dying" by Kris Allen.
* "Die Young" by Ke$ha is about partying like you were.
* "One Day Too Late" by Music/{{Skillet}} is about doing good while you can.

* A "couples" example from ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'': Angel and Collins are the "live like you're dying" couple who get Roger to open up a little. Mimi, who is Roger's love interest, finishes the job despite a considerably rocky start with him.
* Lampshaded in the revival of ''You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'', at the end of Sally's song "My Philosophy":
-->'''Sally:''' You know, someone had said that we should live every day as if it were the last day of our life.\\
'''Lucy:''' This is it? Help me! Help me! I've got twenty four hours to live! AAAAAAAAAA!!!\\
'''Sally:''' Clearly, some philosophies aren't for all people...

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': Played straight by Vivi, whose race has a very short lifespan. Averted by Kuja, [[SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum who doesn't take the news of his pending demise very well...]] [[spoiler: Until the very end, where he finally regrets his actions and attempts to make peace with his arch-nemesis.]]
* In the Visual Novel ''Heart De Roommate'' [[spoiler:the main heroine Asumi and her older sister both possess an incurable heart disease which will kill them before they hit their twentieth birthday, something that both girls understandably found depressing. The older sister finally realized the truth of this trope on her death bed, [[MySiblingWillLiveThroughMe charging Asumi with living it]]. This is all revealed in an unlockable scene taking place after the events of the main plot. In it Asumi and the [[PlayerCharacter PC]], are [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments reunited after nearly two years apart]]. Of course, said disease [[BittersweetEnding finally catches up with her; confining her to a hospital bed]] [[YourDaysAreNumbered for what seem to be the few remaining days in her already short life]], all in front of the [[PlayerCharacter PC's]] eyes. This finally explains the main reason for her {{Jerkass}} "''Beauty of Youth''" obsessed GenkiGirl attempts to get all the people she met to live their lives rather than mourn the things wrong with it.]]
** [[spoiler:The [[PlayerCharacter PC]] asking her to [[PleaseDontLeaveMe live for him]] and her renewed determination [[ThePowerOfLove to do so for as long as she can]] moves it from firm DownerEnding territory into a more [[BolivianArmyEnding open yet still tragic conclusion]].]]
* This happens to several characters in ''Tales of the Abyss,'' but some take it better than others...
* ''[[VideoGame/ShadowHearts Shadow Hearts: Covenant]]'' has a strange example. [[spoiler: In the good ending, Yuri is impaled on a rock spire to prevent his soul and memories from disappearing, so he could essentially die as himself and be reunited with his dead lover's soul. After the credits, though, it is shown that he is reborn as the man he was in 1913, heavily implied to have all of his memories intact, and he's restarting his life from the moment he met his lover as his second chance to save her life and create the good ending of the first game (Covenant begins as a sequel to the bad ending of the first game).]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''. The protagonist is not only extremely old,[[spoiler: but has to commit suicide to save the world. He saves the world, is talked out of suicide at the last moment, and then attempts to leave to spent the six months he has left to live agonizing about how miserable his life was. Fortunately, his best friend visits him post-credits and says he'll be by the main character's side for the rest of his life, and promises he'll always remember how amazing he was.]] He also quits smoking.
* Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/JakAndDaxter Jak II]]''. The audience is made more aware of this than the characters, given that they're regularly bombarded by creepy voice overs from Baron Praxis's City-radios, which often serve as "Wanted Dead or Alive" adverts or handy little reminders to Jak that the Dark Eco in his body will eventually kill him and he's just delaying an inevitable and highly painful end when Praxis could make it so much faster and painless... It doesn't stop Jak, however, who doesn't so much plan to end his days happy as he does plan to gun the living bejeezus out of the Krimzon guard and seek his revenge against Praxis.
* The unnamed terminally ill protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Narcissu}}'' provides the impetus for the also terminally ill Setsumi to go on a road trip to see the flowers instead of dying in hospital.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'': While not actually on the verge of death himself, due to a tragic accident during his childhood that claimed his parents and grandmother, Arihiko Inui was painfully aware that death could come at any moment. Luckily for him, he becomes friends with a certain Shiki Tohno, a boy who really ''was'' commonly on the verge of death when he was younger, but whose maturity and philosophical outlook were far beyond his years...

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.bugcomic.com/comics/even-steven/ Examined]] by {{Webcomic/Bug|Martini}}, who shows that you need to plan your spending wisely while doing this.
* Alisin from ''Webcomic/{{Fans}}'' in early strips. Finding a cure was the first step of her CharacterDevelopment from the hedonistic "Alisin" of the first two books to the "Ally" of the fifth and onward.
* This is first hinted, then confirmed, to be the motivation of Larisa from ''Webcomic/SandraAndWoo'', who's certainly diabetic, and also hiding some additional drug regimen from her friends. She eventually reveals (via AsYouKnow to Sandra) that she has [[spoiler:Wolfram syndrome]], which is causing her diabetes and slowly killing her.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Kirk in ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'' lives vicariously all the time due to having just a few more years to live.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', of course, has mocked this a few times, most notably with Homer believing that he would die after eating an improperly prepared poisonous fish.
** In another episode Homer reads a self-help book that advises him to "Live each day like it was your last". Cut to Homer sitting on the curb sobbing "I don't want to die!"
* ''[[WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory Dexter's Lab]]'' had Dexter eating a comically oversized burrito and assuming that the gas cramps would make him explode, due to [[NoControlGroup testing his hypothesis on a balloon]]. [[spoiler: There ''was'' an explosion, but the only thing it destroyed was [[{{Fartillery}} the television he was standing in front of.]]]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', D.W. and Binky [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lojX5sJ5AU0#t=04m09s each discover that they've eaten a "poisonous" green potato chip and become unlikely friends]]. Cue a montage them bodyboarding in a lake, watching 4th of July fireworks, carving jack-o-lanterns, and building a massive snow castle -- apparently "dying" for the better part of a year.
-->'''D.W.:''' "It's amazing what you can do in one day if you try real hard."
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'':
** Parodied in the episode "Terminal Pete". Of course, it turns out to be a MistakenForDying near the end.
** Then there was another episode with PJ doing this because he thinks his dad [[YouAreGrounded will kill him]] when he sees his report card which he thinks will have a failing grade on it. Turns out that he passed and made a BucketList for nothing.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo'', Scoutmaster Lumpus steals a wheel of rare cheese from Raj because he had never tried it. As it turns out, this particular type is ''extremely'' deadly and Lumpus only has a few minutes to live. He spends it doing everything he was not allowed to or unable to do in his life. [[spoiler:Naturally, it turns out to be a [[MadeInCountryX cheap knock-off]] and completely harmless]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TimonAndPumbaa'' features the duo being stung by a rare scorpion whose poison will lead to death in twenty four hours and is incurable. Timon decides to make up for being a {{Jerkass}} his whole life by spending his remaining time doing good deeds while Pumbaa decides to live life to the fullest. In the end, when the twenty four hours pass, the duo is still alive and find out that the scorpion's poison is harmless to meerkats and warthogs. They are relieved at first, until Timon realizes he did [[IgnoredEpiphany all that charity work for nothing]] and that Pumbaa has to [[CrossingTheBurntBridge pay for all the expenses he racked up]]. However, they do come to the realization that [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming they should've spent what they thought were their last hours together]].