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Now or Never Kiss
Harry: OI! There's a war going on here!
Ron: (ungluing himself from Hermione) I know, mate... So it's now or never, right?

The Last Kiss, except it's not the last. But the characters don't know that. Death appears imminent — the temperature is rising, the room is filling up with water, the plane is about to hit the ground, the rope they're dangling from is about to break and drop them off the cliff, the room is on fire and the door's locked... The point is, this is no place for UST. The Not-A-Couple don't want to go out without revealing how they really feel. It's now or never. They kiss.

This can also be Now or Maybe Never; one or both are heading into danger. Can result in a combination of Fridge Logic and Facepalm if the war is raging all around them and people need help right the hell now.

Then the Big Damn Heroes burst in, save the day, and they survive to either get a Relationship Upgrade (even Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex) or insist That Didn't Happen.

If one or both of the kissers don't survive, it's a Last Kiss. If they decide to take it a little further, it's Must Not Die a Virgin.

A sub-trope of Dying Declaration of Love.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asobi Ni Ikuyo, right before what they believe to be a suicide mission, Aoi kisses Kio, which prompts Manami to give him one. Elis, the catgirl, gets a bit jealous, and kisses him as well.
  • Holy Roman Empire and young Italy ("Chibitalia") in Axis Powers Hetalia kiss as HRE leaves the manor Chibitalia works in, not knowing if he'll ever come back.. They meet as adults and get together again, but whether Italy's partner and boyfriend Germany and HRE truly are the same person is still foggy.
  • In Baccano!, Jacuzzi gives one to Nice before they split up to take on the various train hijackers aboard the Flying Pussyfoot. They were officially "together" at the time, but neither of them had bothered to take it even to first base beforehand even after 7 years!
  • In Hellsing, Pip Bernadotte attempts to kiss Seras during Zorin Blitz's attack on the Hellsing mansion (by getting her to close her eyes) just before they're hit by the main assault. She opens her eyes just before he manages, and is quite angry (as are his men, who felt that for him to get a kiss was unfair). He manages to finally get one right before he dies (helped by Seras being wounded and blinded at the time).
  • Kaneda kisses Kei in the famous AKIRA manga before he goes off to kill Tetsuo, taking her place.
  • In Code Geass, C.C. kisses Lelouch on Kamine Island before they split up: him to rescue his sister from the clutches of an unknown new enemy, her to drag the other Knightmare Frame to the bottom of the sea and get both mecha crushed. Considering the overall state of affairs, they might never have seen each other again.
  • In InuYasha, when Miroku's curse finally threatens to kill him at any moment, the only way to save him is by killing the Big Bad, so before Sango leaves to fight him, she kisses an unconscious Miroku goodbye.

    Comicbooks 

    Fan Fic 
  • Subverted in The Sealed Kunai. Right before they go out to fight Hidan and Kakuzu, Yugito Nii kisses Naruto, then firmly tells him that it was not any sort of last act, and they were both going to survive. They do, thanks to Naruto pulling off the most epic Determinator moment ever written.
  • Implied in The Immortal Game between Applejack and Rarity during the climactic battle/storm; while it's interrupted before the actual kiss, they are described as moving closer after very brief (lip-read and unexplained to the reader) dialogue, then are very startled when the storm clears up and show embarrassment around each other for most of the rest of the story.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Han and Leia's kiss in Star Wars, right before he was lowered into the carbonite freezing chamber and an uncertain fate.
    • Leia's mother did the same thing! Padmé and Anakin kiss in Attack of the Clones right before they are led into an execution arena.
    Anakin: I thought we agreed not to love. That it would destroy our lives.
    Padmé: I think our lives are about to be destroyed anyway.
    (cue passionate kiss and dramatic swell in the soundtrack.)
  • Will and Elizabeth get a now-or-never marriage in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. In the midst of the big climatic battle, on board a ship in a whirlpool, they get Captian Barbosa to marry them as they recite their vows between sword blows and fending off opponents. They then manage a long kiss, while somehow managing not to be attacked by anyone. Even other crew members stop to stare.
    Elizabeth: (After Will asked to marry her during a climatic battle) Do you really think this is a good time?!
    Will: (Also fighting) Now might be the only time!
    • In the same film Elizabeth was given a now-or-never kiss by her one-time fiancé James Norrington, as he helped her with an escape then refused to follow, presumably parting from her forever. He was- he gets fatally stabbed a few seconds later.
  • In The Mummy, Rick suddenly kisses Evelyn while they're talking about Hamunaptra, when he first meets her while a prisoner in Cairo. Later on in the movie, Evelyn asks him why he kissed her, to which he replies matter-of-factly, "Well, I was about to be hanged. It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time."
  • In Galaxy Quest, the two leads have one these towards the end.
  • Both played and subverted in the same scene of The Matrix. Trinity gives Neo a kiss as it appears the Machines have triumphed, only for him to revive from her kiss. At the same time, it's subverted because Trinity knows that they're not going to die just yet.
  • Averted in Serenity. As the final fight is approaching, Simon gives a solemn confession to Kaylee, which seems like it would lead to one last kiss. Rather than responding with a kiss, she cocks her gun and excitedly declares "To Hell with this! I'm gonna live!"
  • In National Treasure, as the good guys (Ben, Riley, Abigail, and Ben's father) are heading down the creepy underground passages to the unknown dangers that lie below, basically as hostages of the bad guys (Ian and his goons), Ben pulls Abigail aside and kisses her.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has Harry and Ginny immediately going for the kiss after Neville announces that he's going to tell Luna he likes her, because "we'll probably both be dead by dawn."
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve and Peggy kiss just before he goes to stop the Red Skull. This is probably also their Last Kiss, since while neither actually dies in the aftermath, he becomes frozen in time for seventy years.
    • Amusingly, after doing so he turns and looks at Colonel Phillips:
    Phillips: I ain't kissing you.
  • Jason and Kelly in Mystery Team.
  • Edge of Tomorrow. Rita Vrataski grabs William Cage for a Last Kiss when they're on a Suicide Mission and (having broken out of the "Groundhog Day" Loop) know that this death will be the final one. Up till then Rita had avoided getting close to Cage or any other soldier, having experienced the pain of watching her friends die over and over again.

    Literature 
  • In Mark Anthony's The Last Rune novels, Beltan kisses Travis (who he thinks has previously rejected him; in reality Travis has no idea he's even interested) while the former is mortally wounded. In an interesting twist, after Beltan recovers he apologizes, saying it was a coward's move and a terrible position to put Travis in.
  • Exaggerated in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, where just as it seems that they are about to drown, Luke asks Mara to marry him. They do kiss, but not 'til after they get out of trouble.
    • Played straight with Anakin Solo and Tahiri, who share a kiss in the storage locker of a decompressing space station. True to the trope, they end up getting rescued by Corran. Would likely have led to a Relationship Upgrade had Anakin survived the war.
    • Tenel Ka tried to give one of these to Jacen, but Vergere stopped her. And she lived through it.
  • A Tale of Two Cities - Sydney Carton gets one from a seamstress as they go to the guillotine. Maybe it's not true love, but considering the circumstances, one could do much worse.
  • There's an element of this in Ron and Hermione's first kiss in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
    Harry: OI! There's a war going on here!
    Ron: I know, mate. So it's now or never, isn't it?
  • In The Death Gate Cycle, Paithan and Reaga are finally able to admit their feelings to each other when the tytans come for them.
  • In Elizabeth Peters' novel, Crocodile on the Sandbank (which launches her long series of Amelia Peabody books), Radcliff Emerson, the dashing Egyptologist whom Amelia thinks merely respects and grudgingly admires her, realizes that either or both of them could be killed within minutes by the villain, and refuses to die without having at least kissed her — passionately and at length, right on the floor of the tomb where they're hiding.
  • The Dresden Files book Cold Days has a Big Damn Kiss between Harry and Murphy based at least partly on this reasoning, though it was less the prospect of imminent death that brought it about (which they deal with on a practically daily basis,) and more a determination not to miss out on a possible Relationship Upgrade a second time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Smallville, Chloe does this twice, the first time on the fifth season, when she gives Clark a goodbye kiss before he goes to face Zod, and the second in the seventh season, when she is stuck in the Daily Planet's elevator with Jimmy Olsen and a bomb.
    • Clark too gets in on this once more with Lois: Season Nine ending, right before facing Zod and sending the Kandorians away in a a method that may result in him being banished to New Krypton with them. Lois asks 'the Blur' if he can ever forgive her for mistaking Zod for him and gets kissed, resulting in her figuring it out.
  • In Chuck, Sarah kisses Chuck when they fail to deactivate an artifact they thought was a large biological bomb, showing her true feelings for him for the first time. Cue incredibly awkward silence when the timer finishes counting down...and nothing happens.
  • Subverted in Stargate SG-1 when Jack takes advantage of a "Groundhog Day" Loop situation to kiss Sam just before time resets. No-one else remembers, but he does; fondly.
  • In Sanctuary Helen kisses Nikola just before sending him away while she stays behind to fight the bad guys and blow up the Sanctuary.
  • In Robin Hood, Will and Djaq share their first kiss just before the gang faces an enormous army of mercenaries.
  • Nick and Claudia during episode 5 of Primeval.
  • In the Torchwood "Cyberwoman", this is how Owen justifies kissing Gwen.
    Owen: "Last kiss for the condemned man. Embarrassing given that we havent been killed."
    • Also, Jack and Ianto have a desperate and passionate kiss in Day 1 of Children of Earth just before the Hub explodes.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Lodger", this is actually used to save the day.
    The Doctor "No, not now, not again Craig, the planet’s about to burn, for god’s sake Kiss The Girl!"
  • The X-Files. Mulder goes back in time to 1939 and encounters a past version of Scully. As he's about to depart for the present day he grabs her for a passionate kiss "just in case we never see each other again." Scully being Scully (past or present) she responds by punching him.
  • Averted in Supernatural; Dean wants to do this with Jo, who stays deadpan until leaving him hanging at the last second. Not to worry, he gets to kiss her the next day!
    Jo: Sweetheart, if this is our last night on Earth I'm going to spend it with a little thing I like to call "self-respect" !
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, it looked like Tom and B'elanna were trying to, but the fact that they were in closed-face space suits running out of oxygen sort of ruined it. Their first kiss ended up being a "Shut Up" Kiss instead.
  • Carter and Abby share one on ER, FINALLY, in the eighth season finale "Lockdown," when it seems that there might be a smallpox breakout in the hospital. There isn't. And then he leaves for the Congo.
  • Played for Laughs in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Duet". Before the dangerous separation is attempted, Lieutenant Cadman (a woman) in McKay's male body kisses Dr. Beckett (also male) "Just in case it doesn't work."
  • John and Aeryn have one of these in the final episode of Farscape, just before being crystallized. Lucky for them, there was a miniseries.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Although it isn't their first kiss, Willow and Xander start kissing (in front of Oz and Cordelia, though this is accidental) in season 3 when they think they are about to be killed.
  • In The Nanny Max and Fran kiss when they think the plane they're on is going to crash. Max immediately takes it back once the danger passes. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Murdoch Mysteries, Inspector Brackenreid convinces George Crabtree to "check his med kit" with Emily Grace before going out on a potentially fatal mission. Cue the kissing.

    Video Games 
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a shocked Starkiller receives a kiss from his gorgeous pilot, Juno Eclipse, before he heads off to infiltrate the Death Star and save the other members of the rebellion. It is possibly Starkiller's first kiss, as he was raised in seclusion by Darth Vader, and also his last.
  • In Mass Effect 3, in the Forward Operations Base on Earth, if you romanced Kaidan he will grab Shepard for one of these. It's a rare case of a kiss being a Tear Jerker, since in most cases, it's their last.
    • Also applies to Ashley, whose goodbye plays out very similarly to Kaidan's, as well as Liara and Garrus in their respective scenes.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 
  • Just before going their separate ways in Azure City, Elan and Haley of The Order of the Stick share one so passionate and involved they have to be reminded they don't have time to start ripping each other's clothes off. This inspires a nearby Red Shirt to ask his colleague on a date If We Get Through This. Elan and Haley are split up for several months by the post-battle chaos, while the now-Mauve Shirted soldiers hook up and eventually get married.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • In Justice League, Far From Home, Kara kisses Brainiac 5 before going into battle against the entire brainwashed Legion of Super Heroes plus Green Lantern which is foretold to lead to her death.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The fact that he's finally going to face the dreaded Firelord, and possibility that he might not come back alive from that battle, gives Aang enough motivation to kiss Katara.
  • The Simpsons: When Springfield thought it was The End of the World as We Know It, Smithers declares "Oh, what the hell!" and kisses the love of his life... Mr. Burns.
  • The Danny Phantom Grand Finale Phantom Planet: With the possibility that he may not come back from the Ghost Zone let alone execute the last plan to stop an asteroid from colliding the Earth, Danny delivers a kiss to Sam (but not before she first triggered it with a kiss on the cheek).
  • In an episode of Family Guy, Neil uses the threat of impending death to get a Last Kiss from Meg, which turns into this trope when they're rescued by Hugh Downs. It hits the fan when he plays a tape of the kiss on local TV.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents "Wishology" trilogy, Timmy shares a kiss with Trixie just before sacrificing himself to the Darkness. Naturally, he recovers, but attempts at a Relationship Upgrade has other problems.
  • Rio: Blu and Jewel kiss as they fall towards the ocean (The situation got better, though).
  • Similar to the Simpsons example above, an episode of CatDog has the town thinking the world is going to end. Shriek takes the opportunity to kiss Dog (who seems kind of perturbed by it). After they live, she threatens him.


Motivational KissKissing TropesOfficial Kiss
First KissRomance ArcSlap-Slap-Kiss
Not Blood SiblingsLove TropesOblivious to Love

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