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Mutual Kill

Now, I don't know who is more metal. The guy who stabbed a man in the face with a three foot long sword. Or the guy who was stabbed in the face, kept walking forward, and still managed to stab the other guy in the chest with three feet of steel jutting out his skull.
The Dark Id, Let's Play Resident Evil

Two characters commit fatal damage against each other in the same confrontation.

Particularly heart-tugging when it appears the hero has won, it's over... and then they slowly drop to their knees, blood trickling from the side of their mouth. Expect a Big "NO!" from the Neutral Female and plenty of protests that "he'll be fine, we can get him to a doctor."

Can happen as a result of the Single-Stroke Battle, where both swordsmen inflict a mortal blow on each other, but, usually, one dies instantly, while the other has a moment to philosophically reflect on their demise. It also happens with some Western showdowns, where two gunslingers fatally shoot each other at the same time.

This is sometimes Truth in Television. With "ai uchi" (mutual killing — hence the trope name) being a common outcome of samurai duels. Potentially any duel where weapon inertia or lag can compensate for attack lag can have "mutual killing" as a normal outcome. It's not unusual either for one party to lethally wound another, only for them to return the favor very quickly before they die (or for both parties to pretty much strike or shoot each other at basically the same time). Quite a few shoot outs and sword duels ended up as blood baths this way. If you're so "lucky" as to be the better combatant in this case it may only mean your lethal wound is slighter and you die a slower and more prolonged death. In stories, this is sometimes used for the "winning" character to talk to loved ones or to have a touching character defining moment.

Compare Double Knockout, where both combatants inflict critical but non-lethal damage on each other. Similar to, though not quite, Taking You with Me. This is a common, albeit far from guaranteed, result of Deliberate Injury Gambit. May follow a Mexican Standoff. If damage is fatal, but does not prevent immediate retaliation, result may be the same (this includes Time-Delayed Death and Incendiary Exponent). Could also be from a Self Destructive Charge or Poisoned Weapons.

As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


Examples

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    Anime 

  • Technically happened in Advent Children: when Cloud defeats Sephiroth, and Kadaj and Cloud make amends before he magically dissipates into thin air, Loz and Yazoo reappear to deliver a mortal gunshot to Cloud. The three explode in a cloud of Mako energy.
  • Spike and Vicious from Cowboy Bebop.
  • Overlaps with My Name Is Inigo Montoya in the case with Kamina of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Thymilph deals him mortal wounds, but he decides not to die for long enough to obliterate an army (inventing a new Finishing Move on the spot), spitting out Arc Words like they were tobacco all the while. Then he basically tells his friends, "I have to go now," and finally goes out with a smile.
  • Subverted in the final battle of Samurai Champloo. Jin performs a technique which guarantees this happens as a result of it, but amazingly, he actually manages to survive from the supposedly mortal wound. Even more amusingly, the only thing he does after the recovery is leave the group on friendly terms.
    • Originally, Jin was supposed to die. Then Shinichiro Watanabe chickened out.
  • InuYasha starts out with this. It's later revealed that Naraku tricked Inu Yasha and Kikyo into killing each other.
    • And even that didn't work. Kikyo decided to seal him instead.
  • In Basilisk, Kouga Gennosuke tries for one of these with Iga-no-Oboro as a final resolution of the Kouga-Iga conflict. However, Oboro refuses to fight him and commits suicide instead. Gennosuke also commits suicide, so the resolution really isn't that far off from a Mutual Kill.
    • The anime also opens with Kouga Danjo and Ogen of the Iga, the grandparents of the two characters above, performing a Mutual Kill. First Danjo inflicts a fatal wound to Ogen, then Ogen backstabs him. First Episode Spoiler and all. Danjo is, mostly, played as the badder of the two, with Ogen receiving a moment or two of pity. Danjo kills Ogen on what appears to be mere SUSPICION that she's part of the contest. Ogen then avenges herself, and has a short moment of reminiscing about their past. They were to be married, as Gennosuke and Oboro were. Danjo's clan, if not Danjo himself, ambushed the Iga fleeing from their village (which was under attack by someone else) in an attempt to wipe them out, ruining the wedding plans. Yeah, it's a really, REALLY sad anime.
  • In Naruto the second Mizukage and Muu, the second Tsuchikage, had a long-standing grudge which led to them killing each other in a final battle. After Kabuto resurrects both of them with the impure world resurrection, Mu reminds the Mizukage of this fact, much to the latter's displeasure.
  • In the fourth arc of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Battler proposes a version of this to explain Kumasawa's, Genji's, and Nanjo's first arc murders. Lambda refutes this during her tea party with Bern.
  • Wolfwood and his former mentor in the Trigun anime. The good guy survives long enough to get to a church and decide to NOT light up one last cigarette (honoring a request made earlier by an unrealized love-interest that he stop smoking).
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyouko sacrifices herself to Mercy Kill Sayaka after the later falls to The Corruption.
  • Played straight and averted in Dragonball, with Mu Taito sealing away King Piccolo at the cost of his life. Master Roshi tried the same thing years later, but couldn't pull it off and died for nothing.
  • In the anime version of Sailor Moon, the Sailor Senshi trick Cyprine and Ptilol of the Witches 5 into doing this to each other.
  • Jose and Henrietta in Gunslinger Girl, sort of.
  • In Gantz, both Kato and Reika did this to a boss level alien.
  • The backstory of Record of Lodoss War involves this: both broadly with the Gods of light and darkness and specifically with the last two standing: Marfa and Kardis. The effects of their final clash (which neither survived) cracked the continent of Alecrast and gave birth to the island of Lodoss.
  • The anime adaptation of Gun Grave ends with one of these.

     Comic Books  

  • Superman and Doomsday, in The Death of Superman, pictured above.
  • G.I. Joe issue 19 (Marvel series) has Kwinn and Dr. Venom kill each other. Kwinn comes to Dr. Venom for revenge while threatening to shove a grenade down his throat. After an exchange of words, Kwinn changes his mind and turns his back on Dr. Venom. His former target then takes the opportunity to shoot him in the back. After Kwinn dies, he drops the grenade which blows Dr. Venom up.
  • Happens in Identity Crisis with Jack Drake and Captain Boomerang. Boomerang would return. (No pun intended)
  • The Northlanders story "The Viking Art of Single Combat" is a tale of a trial by combat that, with grim irony, ends in a Mutual Kill.
  • In Grendel, Argent and Christine Spar. Argent nearly had this with Hunter Rose, earlier, but survived with a broken back.

    Fanfiction 

    Film 

  • Kerim Bey and the assassin in the film From Russia with Love.
    • Or Was It all done by Red Grant? The novel is rather less ambiguous on the point, having them locked in a death embrace.
  • Robin Williams and Al Pacino's characters at the end of Insomnia.
  • Somewhat averted at the end of Fearless, where Jet Li's character could have created a near simultaneous death of he and his opponent by delivering a fatal blow, but instead only made the motions without delivering lethal force behind the strike.
  • Commodus and Maximus in Gladiator. Commodus stabbed Maximus in the back before their fight to weaken him so he can kill him in the arena... but it didn't weaken Maximus enough, as Maximus kills him before keeling over himself.
  • In Smokin' Aces, FBI Agent Carruthers and hitman Pascale Acosta shoot each other to death in an elevator when the agent realizes the hitman's identity. It's hinted at the end that the hitman survived, though.
  • At the end of 300 one of the Spartans gets stabbed with a spear. He then grabs the spear's shaft, pulls it further in order to draw the spearman closer and slashes the poor shmuck.
  • Hanzo and one of the Predators in Predators. It's pretty awesome.
  • While not a kill, given who the characters are, the spirit of the trope is invoked in Freddy vs. Jason. After Jason runs Freddy through with his own severed arm, Freddy sneers and sinks Jason's machete into his body.
  • During the climax of Exorcist The Beginning Merrin's native guide manages to shoot an angry tribesman at exactly the same time the tribesman throws his spear.
  • In Star Trek: Generations, the battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon bird-of-prey results in the destruction of both ships, although the crew of the Enterprise survives.
  • In the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie, Seso can throw any blade with surgical precision. He faces off against a Hashanshin firing bolts out of a wrist-mounted automatic crossbow. Seso has one blade left, so he jumps out of the column, runs, aims and throws it, while the Hashanshin is firing bolts at him. The blade flies true and kills the bad guy. Then Seso looks down and sees bolts embedded in his chest. He manages to throw the Dagger of Time off the tower before dying. Luckily, the Reset Button is pushed.
  • Dead Man: Nobody and Cole Wilson.
  • Reservoir Dogs has a four-man mutual kill at its climax (or three, as one didn't shoot and was already dying).
  • The beginning of Universal Soldier.
  • At the end of The Grey, Liam Neeson's character is the last one left after the wolves and the Alaskan environment kill off all the other plane crash survivors one-by-one. He finds himself in the middle of the wolves' den (which he thought he was walking away from all this time). In a Bolivian Army Ending, he grabs and knife and some broken bottles and rushes the alpha wolf, who rushes him. The Stinger reveals that they killed each other.
  • Near the end of Resident Evil: Retribution Barry, after Jill threatens to kill a prisoner, walks out from cover and is shot by One. His revolver flys into the air, and he falls down, seeming dead. A second later, he raises himself up, grabs his revolver before it hits the ground, and kills One. He's smiling as he is shot (again) and (really) killed.
  • Dune: The outcome of Gurney and Paul's duel, had they been fighting for real:
    Gurney: Good... the slow blade penetrates the shield... but look down.
  • A man fighting alongside Jackie in Drunken Master II manages to dispatch many mooks with an axe in his back.
  • Boyd and Ives fight to the mutual death in the climax of Ravenous.
  • V manages to kill Creedy before succumbing to bullet wounds. It was Creedy's mooks who shot him, but it's this trope in spirit.
    V: The only thing you and I have in common is that we are both about to die.
  • In The 6th Day, Adam Gibson tricks one of Drucker's mooks into shooting Drucker. A couple of minutes later, Drucker shoots the mook and instructs his remaining mooks not to clone him because he was an idiot.
  • The end of kung fu film Duel to the Death, which centers around a sword fighting contest between the best swordsmen of China and Japan, strongly implies that both men will die of their wounds and nothing good came of them fighting. Japanese fighter Hashimoto has composed himself to essentially Face Death with Dignity and without showing weakness to his enemy, and Ching Wan has suffered a number of very serious and horrific wounds, (deep stab in the chest, most of his fingers on one hand cut off from attempting a desperate Barehanded Blade Block, other arm cut off entirely) so, even though he ends the movie trying to walk away from the scene of their last confrontation, it's almost certainly so he can go and die in peace away from the site of their conflict.

    Literature 

  • Hamlet and Laertes in a classic example. Both duellists are stabbed with the same poisoned sword.
  • King Arthur and Mordred.
  • Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. At least, that was Conan Doyle's idea at first.
  • Rudyard Kipling did something like this in "The King's Ankus", a story in The Second Jungle Book. Several people kill each other to possess the jewelled relic of the title, finishing with a group of men who kill the previous owner, not realising that he's already poisoned their food.
  • The probable inspiration for this was "The Pardoner's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales. Two guys kill one, then drink the drink he'd poisoned before being killed.
  • Several examples in Needful Things by Stephen King.
  • Beowulf and the dragon, though Beowulf had Wiglaf's assistance.
  • Gandalf and the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings, though Gandalf comes right Back from the Dead.
    • Gothmog and Ecthelion in The Silmarillion.
    • And Glorfindel with another unnamed Balrog. This seems to be the only way you're gonna kill one of those things.
      • It's actually a Retcon after the one Gandalf fought ended up being much more powerful than normal. Before, Balrogs were not nearly that powerful and there were as many as a thousand. Later, they were reduced to only about 7 and made much more powerful to compensate. It's noticeable if you read the earlier Drafts, where even a Lowly Man killed at least 3...and without dying.
    • Celegorm and Dior are another example.
  • In the Horatio Hornblower saga, two minor characters died this way during a sea battle, one impaling the other on a sword and getting decapitated in turn. It was referred to as a "two widows' blow".
    • Also, Horatio destroyed or crippled three French ships at the cost of the Sutherland at the end of Ship of the Line.
  • Carrie and Margaret in Carrie. Margaret stabs Carrie and Carrie strikes back, telekinetically giving her mother cardiac arrest. Carrie survives after this exchange long enough to cause Chris Hargensen and Billy Nolan to have a fatal car crash before the combination of shock, blood loss from the knife wound, and overstraining her body finishes her.
    • The movie version has Carrie telekinetically crucifying Margaret in a doorway with assorted kitchen implements after Margaret stabs her. Carrie is then finished off by the burning, collapsing house.
  • The end of the Horus Heresy novel Battle for the Abyss.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Cold Shores, the Church of the Sister sends a paladin and several monks to escort Ilmar to Urbis (this world's Vatican). They are intercepted by a party of monks of the Church of the Redeemer, also headed by a paladin. The two parties kill each other, while Ilmar slips away. One paladin manages to crack the other's skull, while the other one was swinging his nunchucks; then the nunchucks connected and mortally wounded the first paladin.
  • In Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages, Galen's parents kill each other. Prior to that, his mother gave a ring to his father as a gift, which was a trap that electrocuted the guy. While he was convulsing, though, he managed to hurl several fireballs at her.
  • The Redwall series has quite a few examples of this, both hero-vs-villain and villain-vs-villain. Examples: Urthstripe the Strong and Ferahgo the Assassin both died when Urthstripe leaped from the top of Salamandastron mountain, clutching Ferahgo in a death grip. (Also doubles as a Taking You with Me). A villain-vs-villain example would be between Rasconza and Sagitar, where each mortally wounded the other within seconds of each other.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles Thor manages to smash Leif's head in with his hammer but not before Leif cut him with a magical sword that kills anyone it wounds.
  • In The Saga of the Noble Dead, the elves Sgaile and Hkuan'duv kill each other in a fight at the end of Child of a Dead God.
  • In Memory Sorrow And Thorn, the "pulling yourself up the sword that's impaling you to kill its wielder" version is pulled off by the Norns defending Naglimund.
  • Mentioned in a backstory anecdote from Priest-Kings of Gor. Two men from different cities went on a quest and were to each other as brothers. After the quest was over they returned to their cities; the cities later went to war with each other and the two men killed each other on the field of battle.
  • From A Song of Ice and Fire, we have the duel between Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane in A Storm of Swords. Oberyn manages to stab Gregor several times with his poisoned spear, bringing him to the ground, but gets too close, allowing The Mountain that Rides to pound him to death with his bare hands. The poison causes a long, agonising death for Clegane over the next few days although it is not yet clear how truly dead he is.
  • In War Of Honor, a Manticoran cruiser and an Andermani cruiser end up opening fire on each other during a period of particularly high tension between the two nations. Later investigation shows that the Manticoran warship actually had the Andermani ship handily outmatched, but suffered a lucky hit that left her crippled. Both ships ended up destroying each other with their missile salvos.
  • In the conclusion of Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Vin realizes that the power of Preservation, which she now wields, is perfectly balanced by the power of Ruin. Since humans were created with both Ruin and Preservation, Vin is able to destroy something to protect other things, and she fully melds the power of Preservation with that of Ruin, killing both of them.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • An odd example occurs in the climax of The Darkest Hour. Firestar, the protagonist, is killed by the villainous Scourge. However, Firestar literally has nine lives (one of the perks of being a Clan Leader), and he gets back up to continue fighting. With the warriors of StarClan (cat heaven) at his side, Firestar realizes that Scourge does not believe in StarClan, and only has to die once. Thus Firestar is able to defeat and kill Scourge. So both combatants die, but one is okay.
    • In one of stories told in Code of the Clans, ShadowClan's leader does before she can name her succesor. To solve this problem, two cats called Jumpfoot and Moosfire fought over the Leader position. Unfortunately, they both died of the wounds they received while fighting each other, and the medicine cat had to take action to chose ShadowClan's next leader.
    • At the end of The Last Hope, series protagonist Firestar confronts the vengeful spirit of his archnemesis Tigerstar. Firestar manages to destroy Tigerstar's spirit, ridding the Clans of him once and for all. However, Firestar dies from the wounds Tigerstar inflicted on him during the battle.
  • A classic example is the climax of Moby-Dick: Ahab spears Moby-Dick, fulfilling his quest of vengeance once and for all, but in its death throes it drags him into the sea, and rams the Pequod, sinking it.
  • In The Edge Chronicles, at the end of Vox, a Shrike and a Goblin kill each other at the same time. A particularly minor example, but an example nonetheless.

     Live Action TV  

  • Babylon 5:
    • There is a battle between a Centauri and a Narn warships, resulting in one ship being blown up and the other one receiving critical damage and exploding a few seconds later.
    • In their final confrontation, Londo and G'kar strangle one another to death.
  • This trope is a favorite of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation where a dead guy will lead to another character who was wounded in the altercation and is similarly dying (or else becoming severely harmed/handicapped).
  • One episode of Psych has 2 spouses murder each other, with the first poisoning the 2nd before they were killed, and the 2nd taking a more direct approach. Lassiter is not amused that Shawn called him when there was no one alive to arrest.
  • Ben and Justin end up doing this to each other at the end of the last season of Carnivāle, however both survive due to avataric healing powers.
  • Darkonda and Dark Specter in Countdown to Destruction.
  • This appears to happen in the season 1 finale of Earth: Final Conflict with Boone and Ha'Gel, who both fire energy blasts at each other. Ha'Gel is disintegrated, and Boone is heavily wounded. Subverted in that he would have survived if Zo'or had not disintegrated him while in the healing tank.
    • Also, Ha'Gel is an Energy Being and later comes back to talk to his son Liam Kincaid.
  • Happens twice in Legend of the Seeker. In Richard's nightmarish vision of a Bad Future, Cara does a Face-Heel Turn, forcing Kahlan to kill her. Before dying, though, she touches her Agiel to Kahlan's chest, killing her as well. In the season 2 finale, Kahlan herself is confessed by Nicci and flies into a "blood rage" when Nicci is wounded. She remotely confesses four Mord-Sith and orders them to kill each other. They do so by touching each other's hearts with the Agiel simultaneously.
  • On Justified Raylan almost convinced two criminals to drop their guns and surrender to him when they realize that only one of them will be able to make a deal for immunity and the other will go to prison for a long time. They turn on each other and before Raylan can stop them, they shoot each other. One dies instantly and the other sustains a fatal wound.
  • An episode of 7Days starts with a new US Navy destroyer patroling international waters in Asia, when they encounter a Chinese sub. We're not shown what happens from the location, but see the diagram on a screen of both vessels launching torpedoes at each other (destroyer first) and blowing up. It's initially assumed that the culprit is the female captain of the destroyer (the first in the US Navy, who also happens to be the Voyager's Chief Engineer), who cracks under pressure. However, when Parker goes back in time to save the ship, it turns out that the visiting admiral is an anti-Commie nut who wants to start a war with China in order to crush them before they're a full-fledged superpower. He's only stopped when the President himself calls him up with a What the Hell, Hero? attitude.
  • Isolde and Helios in Merlin.
    • As per the legends, Arthur and Mordred in the finale.
  • Averted in the teaser sequence of The X-Files episode "Ice". Two men in an Alaskan scientific outpost - who we later find out were infected with a parasite that caused them uncontrollable fits of rage - are pointing guns at each other. It seems headed for this trope until they wordlessly confer with each other, and then moments later it becomes a mutual suicide instead.
  • In the Revolution episode "The Stand", Danny shoots down a helicopter with a rocket launcher. A second helicopter crashes as a result, but peppers him with machine gun fire on the way down.

    Music 

  • Percy French's Abdul Abulbul Amir ends with both Abdul and his opponent Ivan Skavinsky Skavar fatally wounding each other.
  • At the end of the epic video for The Decemberists' "O Valencia!", when Colin Meloy's character and the Big Bad are talking in the cafe, Meloy reveals that he has poisoned his nemesis's coffee. The man crushes Meloy's windpipe with a karate chop and they die simultaneously.

     Myth And Legend  

  • King Arthur and Mordred. 'Nuff said.
  • In Norse Mythology, pretty much all the Norse gods bow out this way at Ragnarok: Loki and Heimdall, Jormungand and Thor, and Garm and Tyr. (Odin fails to kill Fenris, but is avenged by his son.)
  • In Greek Mythology, Oedipus's sons, Polyneices and Eteocles, killed each other. King Creon's prohibition of the former's burial due to him turning his back on the kingdom would set up the plot of Antigone.

     Tabletop Games  

  • Can happen if two units with the same Initiative score go toe-to-toe in Warhammer 40,000. One battle report ended with an Inquisitor Lord and a 13th Company Rune Priest simultaneously smashing each other flat, for example.
  • Possible in BattleTech, as damage is dealt simultaneously, so a mech or tank that's been killed still has the chance to fire back and get a possible kill in return. Especially likely if both units are heavily damaged.
  • Can happen in Exalted where combat actions are determined by ticks. if two characters are due to act in the same tick both their actions happen simultaneously and damage and effect caused by the other character take affect only after that characters turn. that way both characters can kill each other at the same time.

    Theatre 

  • Hamlet and Laertes. Hamlet survives just long enough to take final vengeance upon Claudius before dying from being poisoned by Laertes' sword.
  • The climax of Deathtrap, play and movie.

     Video Games  
  • In the Gamecube remake of Resident Evil, a rather odd puzzle involves a painting, which portrays two knights performing this trope. One knight has been stabbed in the face with a long sword, but still managed to walk up to his opponent and stab him in the chest with his knife.
  • In the Fate/Hollow Ataraxia game, pairing Fragarach (retaliates by altering time to kill the attacker's Noble Phantasm and cancel the attack) with Gae Bolg (reverse cause-and-effect).
  • Pretty common in multiplayer FPSs (Wolf Team especially). If there are any slower-than-instantaneous weapons in the game, mutual kills are bound to happen.
    • Team Fortress 2 has several possibilites:
      • The Pyro can set enemies on fire, which causes DPS. This means that it's possible for someone to die from the burning even after they killed the Pyro. The Pyro update includes two achievements for killing enemies this way.
      • It's also possible to do the same with Bleeding, which a few melee weapons can induce.
      • The WAR update also gave the Soldier an achievement for killing a Sniper with a rocket after he kills you, aptly named Mutually Assured Destruction.
      • In turn, the Sniper can kill an enemy with the Huntsman after he's already dead. This also rewards the Dead Reckoning achievement.
      • Can happen to classes with splash damage weapons. If you're playing as Soldier, are badly wounded and fire on your attacker point blank, you can expect a shower of both your chunks. Can also happen with Demomen, and Engineers if they're foolish enough to stand between an enemy and their own turret. If the hit crits, it can even kill the soldier/demoman while at full health. This ends up with many people simply charging head-first into soldiers when they feel they have no hope of surviving.
    • Rocket launchers are especially guilty of this in Quake III: Arena, Open Arena and practically any game which has them, as well as mines and grenades in Battlefield 1942.
    • Halo 3 has a multiplayer medal for anyone who does this, usually by tossing a grenade right before death.
      • Also common is where two players run at each other guns blazing, depleting their shields, but running out of ammo, then both do a melee attack, causing both to be sent flying back, dead.
      • The Needler is also good at causing these because of the delay between impact and damage.
      • It is also possible for two players to hit each other with a plasma grenade, causing them to blow themselves up.
    • Emile in Halo: Reach stabs a Zealot in the neck with his big knife while being impaled on the Zealots sword.
  • Can happen rather often in World of Tanks due to the fact that A) all shells are projectiles B) tank destroyers often can do almost as much damage as they have hit points, and C) long range Sniper Duels between two tank destroyers are not exactly uncommon, most people just laugh when it happens.
  • Can occur in World of Warcraft regarding Warlocks. Warlocks are able to cast many spells which cause damage over time, and remain after the caster's death. A common complaint against warlocks regarding PVP was that, in a duel to the death between you and a Warlock, you'd always die even if the warlock dies first (the fact that he might be able to resurrect himself afterwards didn't help).
    • While Warlocks are the most prominent class when it comes to damage over time, pretty much any class (and many mobs) can use damage over time effects and potentially get the same outcome. Shadow Priests, Death Knights and Balance Druids immediately come to mind.
    • Can also occur in the traditional fashion, often due to lag. Also, some boss encounters have special conditions that the group needs to look out for that can last longer than the actual fight. It's not uncommon for people to forget about it while rushing to the boss to check what he drops, and depending on what the respective effect is, they can accidentally blow up half the raid by doing so.
  • After making a Heel-Face Turn, Gamma in Sonic Adventure decides that he has to "save" the rest of the E-100 Series (That is to say, destroy them, saving the little animals inside). When he defeats the last one, his brother Beta, Beta gives him one last dying attack, that causes the both of them to be destroyed.
  • In Real-Time Strategy games, it is always possible to call in massive ordnance danger close, when expecting that your units won't survive the current engagement. In World in Conflict, for example, online players often decide to not withdraw the ground units before overwhelming enemy forces, summon an airstrike (which takes some time to arrive), and let the enemy pummel them to death — only to get hit by the bombs the moment they finish off the last defender. Sometimes, players call in the airstrike too early, killing their remaining units themselves and making it a Taking You with Me instead.
    • The nature of tactical aids in the game makes this tactic borderline essential, since it's hard to hit moving opponents and they might even suspect one to be incoming if the enemy gives up too soon.
  • In Shogun: Total War, attempting to kill a geisha with another geisha results in a cutscene that shows them having a tea ceremony before grabbing their swords and slashing each other. A moment later, both are lying in pools of blood. The strikes themselves are not shown, as the camera is zoomed in to the tea set before pulling back to reveal the bodies.
  • An infantry battle described in the manual of the third Wing Commander game over a totally worthless planet ended with the last surviving Confederation platoon overrunning the last Kilrathi position, with the survivors lasting just long enough to report their victory before dying themselves.
  • Goldeneye64 has a one hit kill multiplayer mode, which can often lead to this. It even has an award called "double kill", and the much more rare "triple kill".
  • In Master of Orion, when a ship is destroyed, its warp drive has a high probability of exploding violently, damaging any ship in the vicinity. It is thus possible to destroy an enemy ship and then have your own ship be destroyed by the warp wave. A technology can be obtained a number of ways (but not through research) allowing a ship's drive to be specially rigged to blow up even more spectacularly, dealing triple damage. The same can happen when a ship is ordered to self-destruct.
  • In the 4X game Starbase Orion for I Phone (a clone of Master of Orion), it is possible for two ships to kill each other if they're close in strength, especially with long-range weapons which take time to travel. This is because weapons always hit in this game (unless intercepted by point-defense systems).
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, the Dark Pieces of Rynith and Precia kill each other in the final stage of their Chapter, regardless of who you choose for their duel.
  • Near the end of Yakuza 4, Katsuragi shoots Yasuko in the back, resulting in a fatal wound. However before her death, she manages to retaliate by popping a headshot right back at Katsuragi.
  • In Cernd's epilogue for Baldur's Gate: Throne of Bhaal, it turns out this is how he dies. The killed killer is his son, who went on an anti-druid rampage due to his disgust at being neglected in favor of Cernd's druidic calling his entire life.
  • Resident Evil 2 features an accidental example. In the B Game, Leon or Claire can reach the helipad on the roof and see a cop trying to signal a helicopter. While waiting for a rope ladder, the cop is attacked by zombies. He's wrestled to the ground while firing his submachine gun and shoots the helicopter pilot. The helicopter goes into a tailspin and crashes into the cop.
  • In the multiplayer of Grand Theft Auto V, Players will often find themselves at the mercy of each other's murder, whether it be a mutual stabbing, shooting, or bombing; and sometimes more creative. Mutual kills occur more than often when two players spawn beside one another, face-to-face, and usually end up killing each other simultaneously. Another example being when I witnessed Player A drive towards Player B in a truck. Player B opened fire, killing Player A, but not before the truck flattened Player B, who became trapped under the wheel.

     Web comics 

  • K'seliss in Goblins, having lost both of his arms to an Eldritch Abomination that spreads a flesh-rotting curse through touch, kills the abomination with a bite that tears through its neck. This results in the curse spreading to the rest of his body and dissolving him.

     Web Original  

  • Happens occasionally in Survival of the Fittest, one particularly notable example being the fight between Cassandra Roivas and Kiyoko Asakawa.
    • Also related are Gail Smith vs. Sera Wingfield and Will Sigurbjornsson vs. Stephanie Evans.
    • And now we can add Holly Chapman and Johnny Marsh of the spinoff Evolution. Before this, this was how Cristo Ruiz and Otis Adelaide died.
    • Alex White and Jimmy Brennan also die this way in v4, after a rather brutal confrontation.
  • Played for laughs here. "Did you hit brain?" "A little."
  • Occurs three times in Mindcrack Ultra Hardcore: once in season six, when Pause and Nebris manage to stab each other at the exact same moment when both were already near death, then again in season seven, when BDoubleO kills Pause but gets burnt by Pause's Fire Aspect sword, and finally, once in season eleven, when Nebris gets killed by Pyro, but Nebris' wolf kills Pyro afterwards.
  • In Death Battle, Mike Hagger vs. Zangief and the Ninja Turtles Battle Royale, but subverted when Zangief stands up and raises him arms in triumph and Leonardo, Raphael's sai having missed his vital organs, realizes he's killed his brothers.

     Western Animation  

  • Depth Charge and Rampage in Beast Wars. Depth Charge got the last laugh... he was resurrected in the Universe comics.
    • Although it was less that they wounded each other than that Rampage exploded when he got stabbed. Depth Charge, however, almost certainly knew this was coming since he was forcing a wedge of crystallized Energon straight into Rampage's exposed Spark.
    • Likewise, Optimus Primal spends most of the last episode of Beast Machines getting owned by Megatron, but manages to turn the tables by plunging Megs into the "organic core" of Cybertron while he's holding Optimus, killing both of them. Realizing they both had to go was Optimus' final revelation, as they essentially represented the two conflicting sides of Cybertron. By going into the core together, Cybertron reformatted into a balanced synthesis of organic and technological.
  • The Flight of Dragons has Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe being bombarded with fire by Bryagh, with zero protection save for his full plate armor. Throwing his sword, he manages to penetrate Bryagh's bellyscales, forcing him to keel over from the sudden explosion of fire within him, and Sir Orrin himself succumbs immediately afterwards.
  • Unusual twist: former allies turned enemies Demona and Macbeth from Gargoyles are both immortal and will simply return to life no matter how they "die" unless one kills the other, which will cause them both to die.
    • Demona takes advantage of this to remain essentially immortal, Macbeth on the other hand has dedicated the last century or so to tracking her down and killing her so he can finally have peace.
    • Played straight with the Captain and Hakon, who pushed each other off a cliff.
  • In the 1939 MGM animated short Peace on Earth, this is how the last two human beings on Earth kill each other, leaving the Earth to be populated by sentient Ridiculously Cute Critters.
  • The Disney Villain Death in The Secret of NIMH.
  • Optimus Prime and Megatron in Transformers: The Movie. Prime died of his wounds, and Megatron was chucked out the airlock in a shockingly Genre Blind move by Starscream before he could die of his.
    • Although Megatron was too weak to resist Starscream and arguably could have died if his wounds weren't treated.
    • Also, the two boombox transformers Blaster and Soundwave engage in a duel in the first episode of Transformers Headmasters, resulting in Soundwave exploding and Blaster dying from fatal wounds. Both are later rebuilt as Twincast and Soundblast, respectively, with different color schemes.

     Real Life  
  • A traditional risk of boar-hunting, and the reason boar spears are designed with a cross-piece. If not stopped, the boar may run itself up the spear and gore you before it dies.
  • Firearm users refer to a weapon's stopping power, or ability to put a hostile down. It is very easy for a projectile to cause a lethal wound but still allow an individual to act for a few seconds, letting them shoot or charge and stab the user. Stopping power is the ability to put a target down, whether or not the wound is lethal.
  • This is the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction. Second strike capacity is defensive in nature; it ensures that any kill will be a mutual kill and (hopefully) scares the enemy into not attacking. A missile shield of some sort would, in the perverse logic of nuclear arms, actually allow an attack.
  • This can easily happen using most hand weapons. Most weapons, when wielded, inherently create an opening when used to attack. For example, someone using a rapier in a lunge is vulnerable to a counter-attack. The lunging swordsman would defend against this by either by having an off-hand parrying implement or assuming their opponent wants to live and will defend rather than simply counter-attack into the lunge. Japanese swordsmanship is perhaps the only style of make a virtue of cutting your enemy down as he does you. Since sword-fighting occurred before modern medicine, there were all kinds of lethal but not instantly-incapacitating wounds like punctured lungs or punctured bowels. Then there's head trauma, which can cause sudden death hours after "recovery."
  • It took a while for the second half to come about but before the British battlecruiser HMS Invincible got fireballed at Jutland, she was on a roll, doing most of the damage that caused SMS Lutzow to not make it home.
    • Similarly, it isn't unheard of for two opposing aircraft to shoot each other down, particularly if the fight happens far from home for both pilots. Ditto for an aircraft attacking a defending ground target, such as an Anti-Air position. The aircraft could lay in a strike on the target, but take severe enough damage not to make it home.
  • This is usually the primary objective of a one-way suicide attack: Try to take the target, or several targets, down with you.
  • During the American Civil War, the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley attacked and sank the USS Housatonic with a spar torpedo. Shortly after, the Hunley herself sank before making it back to Charleston, with the most popular theories for her sinking being an insecured hatch (the Hunley rode very low in the water even while surfaced), damage from the Housatonic's crew firing on the Hunley during her attack, or possibly damage caused by her own torpedo. Finding a definite answer is difficult, as Hunley took her entire crew with her.
  • According to available evidence, People's Temple members Sharon Amos and Liane Harris (mother and daughter), by mutual consent, on the day of the People's Temple mass murder/suicide. Amos and Harris evidently assisted each other in cutting their throats.
  • This video explains exactly how and why this could happen in sword-fighting (also briefly mentioning the "stopping power" of guns for the same reason). According to him, most sparring matches between novices (assuming they avoid simple Flynning) would have ended this way had they been real.


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