Noose Catch

Ofttimes, a villain shall tumble forth from a high place, never again to be seen. For many reasons, this allows The Hero to remain virtuous and ethical. However, sometimes, this is simply not quite enough.

Perhaps they can swim.

Perhaps one is worried that they'll never find the body. They definitely want him gone.

Or perhaps he's just really evil, yet no court will find him guilty.

When one of these annoying problems poses itself, there is a solution; Noose Catch.

This is when a (character, usually a) villain falls from something rather tall, such as a tree, a cliff, a construction site, or a building, and is stopped by some long, thin, dangling object that happens to wrap around his neck. Vines, chains, ropes, most anything will do.

But no, this doesn't just stop them from falling. It also kills them. Sometimes, their neck just snaps. Otherwise, they get to hang there, dying, as the ropes slowly chokes them to death...

This is commonly used as something like an Ironic Death, as you may have avoided being hanged due to a normal trial, due to lack of evidence or a broken court system, but you still get to be hanged by "other" means. Fate can truly be a cruel mistress. Similarly, it could be the Vigilante Man taking matters into their own hands. Because really, many fatal falls only needed a neatly placed push.

A Sub-Trope of Disney Villain Death. Compare There Is No Kill Like Overkill.

As this is a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked. Beware.


Comic Books
  • This happens to a criminal in a Golden Age Seven Soldiers story—he's already been sentenced to death by hanging and escaped prison to avoid that fate. Naturally, while fighting Green Arrow and Speedy, he manages to fall off a cliff with a rope in such a way as to hang himself.

Film - Animated
  • Clayton's death in Tarzan, where he falls out of a tree and is hanged on vines below.

Film - Live Action
  • In the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, Lord Blackwood falls and is hanged by chains.
  • In Hard Candy, this is what happens to Jeff, the pedophile photographer. Hayley, his would-be victim, makes him jump from the rooftop of his house with a noose around his neck tied to the chimney.
  • The Golden Child. One of the Big Bad's henchmen had a chain that he used to snare opponents. Near the end of the movie the title character managed to wrap the chain around the henchman's neck. When the henchman fell over a balcony, he ended up being hanged by his own chain.
  • The Corrupt Corporate Executive in The Island was hanged with his own grappling hook.
  • A variation occurs in the Dutch horror movie De Lift ("The Elevator" later remade as "Down" and "The Shaft"). As the titular homicidal elevator is destroyed and crashes to the bottom of the shaft, the Corrupt Corporate Executive responsible for its creation gets entangled in the loose cables and is hanged in the elevator shaft.

  • Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist accidently hanged himself while trying to escape out a window; the plan was to have the rope under his shoulders, but he got freaked out and fell out with it around his neck. Possibly the Ur-Example.

Newspaper Comics
  • One adaptation of Two-Face (where he was a stage actor called Harvey Apollo) had him die in this fashion after slipping on his own Two-Headed Coin and falling from the top of a cinema screen.

Video Games