Nothing Left to Do but Die
I have done all that can be done. There is nothing left. No quests to be undertaken. No villains to be slain. No challenges to face.
— The Ebony Warrior
, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
One of the reasons that immortality
is boredom. Eventually you've seen everything
, done everything, eaten everything, had sex
in every possible way
, and you haven't read, seen, heard or played anything for a thousand years that seemed truly new or original. So, it's time to end it all.
This is when a pseudo-immortal (can die in some particular way but doesn't die of old age) character decides to kill themselves simply because they're bored.
Can occasionally happen with a character with human lifespan, if they're very old or if their life has been very
See Seen-It-All Suicide
for when a disposable character is shown to do this as a gag to hammer home how weird some event they've just seen is. Contrast Living Is More Than Surviving
and Worth Living For
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Anime and Manga
- Shiba from Zombie Loan kills himself just because he was bored with life, but wound up being the undead Big Bad of a Story Arc.
- This is Maiza's reasoning for approaching Firo and asking the kid to kill him (more specifically, he's both Seen It All and finally received closure over his dead younger brother) at the end of the first arc of Baccano!. Firo's response is to nod, smile...and then give a number of entirely bullshit reasons for why he can't do that, Dave, before admitting that he really just doesn't want to lose his mentor.
- DC Comics: this was the origin story of the first Mr. Terrific, who was seriously considering suicide because he was just too damn good at everything to find anything interesting anymore. Then he discovered crime-fighting. Problem solved.
- After shooting and burying his nemesis Spider-Man, Kraven had no further goals and committed suicide.
- One of the possible motivations for Morpheus's probable suicide in The Sandman.
- But not Morpheus's long-time friend Hob Gadling. Despite being nearly a thousand years old, having held innumerable jobs and done and seen as much as a human can, and after losing countless friends and wives and lovers, and generally holding a cynical view of his fellow human beings, he's finally offered a chance to die by none other than Death herself. After thinking about it for a minute, he tells her, "I can't die yet. There's still too much to do."
- At the end of Superman: Red Son it's the far future, humanity has become quasi-immortal and the Earth is about to be swallowed by the Sun which has grown into a red giant. Lex Luthor's distant descendant Jor-El tried to come up with a plan to stop it but was ignored, theorizing that the trope is applying to the species as a whole. He then decides to send his son Kal-El to the past so that humanity doesn't become "this cold complacent lot"...
- Inverted in an advertisement for high-end bathroom fixtures, when a bedridden grandmother reassures her gathered relatives that she's already experienced everything good in life, so is content to pass on. Then she glances out a window and notices the fancy new tub in a neighbor's bathroom, and uses her last breath to curse that she missed her chance to try it.
- Phil fails to do this in Groundhog Day. Or, rather, he succeeds multiple times...Crowning Moment of Funny too.
- In Hook, Captain Hook remarks, "There is no adventure here," and puts a flintlock to his head, but Smee stops him from killing himself. Subverted in that Hook has no intention of actually killing himself, and has to order the dumbfounded Smee to stop him from doing so. It's implied that he does this a lot.
- Fall Out Boy's song "Thriller" (no, not a cover of the Michael Jackson song) contains the lines "The only thing I haven't done yet is die/and it's me and my plus-one at the afterlife."
- REM's song "Try Not To Breathe" appears to be written from the point of view of someone with this attitude.
- In The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the eponymous Lady is kept in isolation by a magical curse which will kill her if she looks upon the world through any means other than her magic mirror. When she sees the image of her love interest, she is driven to go and find him, knowing that it will mean her death.
- Happened in Exalted- in the First Age, some Celestial Exalted died because they were just bored and wanted to start over.
- Not quite suicide, but similar: in the Classic D&D game, characters who attain supreme Immortal status, but get bored with playing super-godlings, can forfeit their Immortality to be reborn as a mortal again. Characters who do this once, then work their way up to supreme Immortal status again, Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and are permanently removed from play.
- In Scion, there's a character named Niobe. Ever hear the story from Greek Mythology about how the gods created a cloud that looked like Hera to test Ixion's intentions? She was that cloud. She's lived for thousands of years, taken hundreds of husbands and borne thousands of children, and she can't die. Even if someone kills her, she comes back a few minutes later. Players can get on her good side by either rejuvenating her will to live or coming up with a way to end her life for good. (A major reason to do so: she always knows where the Golden Fleece is.)
- This site suggests the possibility that humanity could all one day evolve into a super intelligent singularity, learn everything there is to learn, get bored and decide to end their own existence.
- After Linkara poked a MASSIVE hole in Missingno's plan to absorb all of existence, he followed that up by suggesting that it kill itself. And it works.
- From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, The Shield is a superhero whose sole power is utter and complete indestructibility. He literally cannot be hurt by anything. What he hasn't told his teammates is that he's actually over 20,000 years old, his immunity to harm includes being immune to time, and that he started superheroics because he desperately hopes he'll eventually find someone who can nullify his indestructibility. His entire career as a superhero is a slow form of Suicide by Supervillain.
- Sadly, too many people in retirement homes follow this way of thinking. As a culture (in the United States at least), we feel that once you're in a home, it's over. Time to just wait for death. And this attitude causes quick degradation of physical and mental abilities and become a self fulfilling prophecy. A lot of Developmental Psych textbooks and experts say that retirement homes need to avert this trope with their residents.
- Deliberate suicide by self-starvation as a response to the belief that you have become as spiritually advanced as is possible in your current life is an accepted (albeit rare) practice in certain religions that believe in reincarnation, such as Jainism (where it's known as "Sallekhana"), Hinduism ("Paryopavesa"), and in the past in Japanese Buddhism ("Sokushinbutsu").