->''"Dad was such a'' drag. ''Every day he'd eat the same kind of food, dress the same, sit in front of the same kind of games... yeah, he was just that kind of guy. But then one day he goes and ''kills'' us all!"''
-->-- '''The Radio Voice''', ''[[VideoGame/SilentHills P.T.]]''

The family annihilator is a type of murderer that, in recent decades, has gained prominence in the media and pop culture in the world of MurderTropes.

The murderer, almost always a man, kills his wife and children (and in rare cases, his in-laws or parents) as a means to "protect" the family from discovering the killer's own failures at life (e.g., UnconfessedUnemployment, financial ruin, or the disintegration of the family unit for some other reason). Often has shades of PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery. After killing his entire family, the killer [[MurderSuicide will usually then turn his weapon upon himself]]. If he can't bring himself to kill himself, he will either flee town to escape his crimes, or [[FrameUp blame it on an outside party]].

The trope gained fame mainly through the murderous antics of John List, arguably the TropeCodifier. Having lost his job and become deeply in debt, List's InsaneTrollLogic was that poverty was an affront to God, so it would be better for his family to go straight to heaven than on welfare. List then went into hiding and successfully stayed hidden until ''Series/AmericasMostWanted'' featured him on the show, bringing about his arrest as a result.

Current social mores play a big part in how sympathetic the murderer remains to the audience -- while few would suggest that debt is a good reason to kill your family, fantasy situations involving the threat of a FateWorseThanDeath will leave many people arguing that the act was justified, or at least sympathetic. However, the variant where the killer [[DirtyCoward doesn't follow through and end his own life]] is almost always portrayed as unforgivable.

While OffingTheOffspring describes premeditated filicide, this trope involves the head of the household unilaterally killing their kids and their spouse. A subtrope of MurderInTheFamily. Compare WhereIWasBornAndRazed. The occasional RealLife examples get massive attention in national news -- these might be part of what gives this trope its resonance. The examples from Myth/GreekMythology below make this OlderThanFeudalism.



* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', it's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:Kyouko Sakura]]'s father killed the rest of her family and then himself [[spoiler:after he realized that the increased number of followers at his church was not due to people actually believing him, but because of Kyouko's powers as a Puella Magi (born from her wish for him to be more successful) making them listen]].
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Haku's father killed his mother and tried to kill him when he found out about their SuperpowerfulGenetics.
* ''Manga/FullMetalAlchemist'': Shou Tucker, on the verge of losing his State Alchemist certification and unable to support his family without it, transforms his daughter and pet dog into a Chimera to pass the re-certification evaluation. He did the same thing to his wife two years before, for the same reason. In the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime]], he goes so far as to claim he was screwed either way, since he'd either have to use Nina in a transmutation or watch her starve to death, so he picked the transmutation [[ForScience just to see if it could be done]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Maus}}'', Art's older brother and his cousins were poisoned by his aunt in order to avoid [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled a crueler fate with the Nazis]].
* The NYC cops in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' arrested a father who admitted to murdering his kids, because he feared that the possibility of nuclear war would make their lives miserable. Of course, the irony of this situation comes twofold: [[spoiler:the war never happened, though that's because NYC was blown up by Veidt and made to look like an interstellar attack. So they would've all died, anyway]].
** [[spoiler:Threefolds, if you considered that Adrian Veidt's plan might be doomed to failure.]]
* ''{{ComicBook/Enigma}}'' has a group called the Interior League who break into peoples homes and [[GasLighting rearrange their furniture]] in such a way that when the owner enters the room, seeing the new furniture pattern [[BrownNote triggers some response in their brain]] that causes them to go stark raving mad and murder their whole family.
* In the graphic novel ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: EGO'', one of ComicBook/TheJoker's henchmen (who Batman had convinced to betray him) did this upon learning that his former boss was going to [[CardboardPrison get out (again)]] and come after him and his family. Considering [[FateWorseThanDeath the Joker's idea of 'fun']], it can be argued this actually ''was'' mercy. [[HeroicBSOD Batman doesn't take it well.]]

* [[spoiler: Deputy Billy]] in the horror film ''Film/ThirtyDaysOfNight'', in order to [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled save them from what would be (at least for them) a far more horrific death]].
* ''Film/TheMist'', but tragically, [[spoiler:the protagonist knows he's one bullet short for their group, but "takes care of" everyone else (including his son), before turning the empty gun on himself and pointlessly pulling the trigger in shock over and over. The real kicker is that the ominous pounding that prompted their giving up draws closer and is revealed to be the BigDamnHeroes clearing out the mist and killing the monsters, making for a harrowing ShootTheShaggyDog ending]].
* Creator/NicholasRay's ''Film/BiggerThanLife'' made in TheFifties of all decades, provided an OlderThanTheyThink example. The finale [[spoiler:has Ed Avery (Creator/JamesMason) the patriarch, strung out on prescription drugs, decide to murder his son. His wife tries desperately to talk him out of this by reminding him of the guilt with which they would have live with, to which Ed asks her, "You don't expect either of us to live after this do you?". More or less stating that after he kills his son, he will kill her and then himself]].
* This is Billy Bedlam's rap sheet introduction in ''Film/ConAir'' after finding his wife had cheated on him. He drove four towns over to his wife's family house; killed her parents, her brothers, her sisters...and ''even the dog''.
* ''Film/DeathOnDemand'' has [[DeliberatelyMonochrome a black and white]] opening which depicts the then-living killer butchering his wife, mother in-law and two daughters during [[HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday Thanksgiving]] dinner.
* Alec Trevelyan's backstory in ''Film/{{Goldeneye}}'' has his father kill his mother and himself so that they won't have to live with the shame of having survived the Soviet purge of Lienz Cossacks.
* In ''Film/{{Downfall}}'', Ernst-Robert Grawitz commits suicide in his apartment during dinner with his wife and three children -- by detonating a grenade and killing his family along with himself. It's believed he did it in RealLife as well (a grenade exploded inside his house, killing him and his family), although there were (obviously) no witnesses around to prove it.
** The film also shows Magda Goebbles' murder of her children, which is mentioned in the RealLife section.
* In ''Film/FallingDown'', it's heavily implied that Bill Foster intends to do this to his wife and daughter, even though he refuses to admit it when Prendergast draws this conclusion when they finally meet face to face. Drawing a gun on his family while tearfully saying that he's sorry says it all.
* ''Film/ForColoredGirls'' has the alcoholic, PTSD-suffering war vet toss his kids out of the window when he suspected his wife of cheating (which she did, years earlier), and thought her lover pulled up in a limo one afternoon, saying that it's time to return the kids to their rightful father (the limo actually housed her female boss). The wife tries to save her kids by grabbing them before they fell, but her grip couldn't hold for too long, and no one else managed to get into the room in time.
* This is what kick-starts the curse of the ''Film/{{Juon}}'' series of films, as well as the [[ForeignRemake remake]] series, ''Film/TheGrudge'': In the Japanese series, Takeo Saeki reads his wife Kayako's diary, discovers that she harbours an obsessive crush on her old college friend, Kobayashi, and becomes so [[GreenEyedMonster jealous]], paranoid and [[AxCrazy outright crazy]] that he starts to believe that a) Kayako is having an affair, and b) that he is not the natural father of their son, Toshio (none of which are true). He then [[NeckSnap snaps Kayako's neck]], leaving her paralysed but not quite dead until he slashes her with a utility knife, drowns Toshio, and even slaughters Toshio's beloved cat. Takeo himself is later killed when Kayako, now a ''seriously'' angry spirit, takes her revenge. In the American series, the murders and his motives are very similar, except in this continuity, the object of Kayako's desire is instead a university professor named Peter, and there is no suspicion with regards to Toshio's parentage.
* A particularly disturbing variation occurs in the 1999 remake of ''[[Film/TheHaunting1999 The Haunting]]'': Hugh Crain, the EccentricMillionaire who built Hill House, not only seems to have killed or [[DrivenToSuicide driven his wife to her death]], but the children from the mills whom he 'adopted' were also slain by him, or else allowed to waste away due to neglect. So even though, presumably, the mitigation of what ruined his life (no offspring) should have made him happy and fulfilled, the industrialist instead destroys the very thing he'd been seeking for so long.
* In the backstory of ''Film/{{Madman}}'', the eponymous villain murdered his sleeping family with an axe. A mob tired to hang him for it, but he survived, and now kills anyone who gets his attention.
* ''Film/TheOthers'' has a GenderFlipped version: a mother, delirious with isolation and worried sick over her husband's fate in World War II, uses a VorpalPillow on her children, and then, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone in remorse]], a [[BoomHeadshot shotgun]] on herself. [[spoiler:The TwistEnding is that the main characters ''are'' this family, and "the others" they've been dealing with are the still-living people who have since moved into the house.]]
* For the title character in ''Film/TheStepfather'' this got to be a habit, followed by changes of identity to start the process again.
* The [[DeathByOriginStory backstory]] of in-universe MemeticBadass Keyser Soze in ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'' involves a unique take on this; his family had been taken hostage, and ''he'' [[ShootTheHostage killed them]] simply to show the hostage-takers how not-to-be-fucked-with he was.
* ''Film/TheWolfman2010'': [[spoiler:Given that John is the one who killed his wife and Ben and probably would have succeeded in killing Larry if the hunters hadn't come along...]]
* ''Film/{{Haunter}}'': This was and is the Pale Man's favourite way of killing families as a ghost, by [[DemonicPossession possessing the father]] to kill his wife and children, then himself.
* ''Film/ASerbianFilm'': [[spoiler: The whole family got involved in the sexual horrors Milos was forced into after being drugged. Thus after the evildoers have been all killed, Milos' wife agrees that [[RedemptionEqualsDeath they should die together]], and the couple plus their son embrace before Milos shoots a bullet through all three.]]
* Gender-inverted in ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn3TheHangmansDaughter''.
-->'''The Hangman:''' You killed your mother and father? Why?
-->'''Catherine Reece:''' They were starvin', there was no food, so I sent 'em to a better place.
-->'''The Hangman:''' What about your aunt, your uncle, and all your cousins?
-->'''Catherine Reece:''' [[ComedicSociopathy I never liked them.]]

* Jack in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheShining'' is driven to do this and fails, unlike his predecessor who previously stayed in the cursed hotel.
* In Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/{{Medea}}'', Medea kills her children (along with Jason's new wife and father-in-law) as revenge against Jason for leaving her. (In the original legend, she also killed and dismembered her brother during her initial escape with Jason.)
* The short story ''A Family Supper'' has this happening in the background, and one of the central questions is whether it's happening in the main story as well. The story begins with a discussion of fugu, a type of fish that can be lethally poisonous if prepared incorrectly, and the titular meal is described only as "fish".
* Sethe tries to do this in Toni Morrison's ''Literature/{{Beloved}}'' to keep her children from being sent back into slavery, although she only succeeds on one count out of four.
* Thomas Hardy's ''Jude The Obscure'' has a ''frater'' familicide. Jude's family is poor, he is ill and another child is on its way; his eldest son, deciding that his parents would be better off without their children, kills his siblings and then himself - which also drives his mother to a miscarriage.
* One of the other psychics in Creator/DorothyGilman's ''Literature/TheClairvoyantCountess'' is rescued from one of these.
* One of the patients that Doctor Kreizler sees at the very beginning of ''Literature/TheAlienist'' has killed his children to protect them from evil.
* It's mentioned that a main character's father in the novel ''Literature/FinalDestination: Looks Could Kill'' went insane at a reunion and killed most of his family, and a number of other random people, before committing SuicideByCop.
* Gerald Tarrant of the Literature/ColdfireTrilogy became the immortal being known as the Hunter by vivisecting his wife and children - except for one who was out of town that night. In later centuries, he would repeat this feat on his descendants whenever any of them dared to declare themselves to be the second Count of Merentha - always leaving behind one survivor to carry on the family name.
* In ''Literature/BraveStory'', Mitsuru's father killed his wife and daughter before killing himself. (Mitsuru escaped by not being home at the time, but was left with... a few issues.)
* Tana French's ''Broken Harbor'' raises the possibility that this is what happened to the family whose murder kicks off the plot. As the detectives find out more about the father, the evidence against him mounts: he'd just lost his job, it was possible he might have [[MistakenForCheating thought his wife was cheating on him]] with an old friend of theirs, and he'd become convinced there was an animal in the house and was obsessively pursuing it, clearly undergoing massive SanitySlippage. [[spoiler:It was actually the mother.]]
* In ''Literature/ShutterIsland'', it's strongly hinted near the end that Daniels was the one to kill his family. [[spoiler:It turns out it was his wife was the one to kill the kids, while suffering severe depression; Daniels killed her when he found them, then went insane over the whole situation.]] The film has the same ending.
* Charles Brockden Brown's ''Wieland'', an early American novel, has a small, tight-knit circle of friends and family haunted by voices that appear to know more than human knowledge can tell. And then the most staunchly religious member -- the eponymous Wieland -- hears voices from God telling him to kill all his family. He complies. The results aren't pretty.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' features the PosthumousCharacter Lews Therin Telamon, TheChosenOne--also known as "Kinslayer," because, after [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity after going insane like all male wizards do]], he killed every friend and family member he could get his hands on. Since he was TheArchmage, this was all of them. ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne.
* In ''[[Literature/NemesisSaga Project Nemesis]]'', Maigo was killed when she walked in on her father shooting her mother for adultery. Her father then shoots her to eliminate any witnesses. [[spoiler:When Nemesis escapes, she makes her way to Boston to exact vengeance on her human side's murderer]].
* ''Literature/TheExecutioner'' series is kicked off by Mack Bolan's father going insane and murdering his wife, daughter, younger son (the SoleSurvivor, besides Mack who's serving in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar), then shooting himself. He was being squeezed by Mafia loan sharks, and snapped after discovering his daughter had turned to prostitution to cover the debt. Mack Bolan decides that a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against TheMafia is a more appropriate response.
* ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' depicts Liu Chan's killing of his wife and children before committing suicide, following the surrender of Shu to Wei. In the story, Liu Chan is portrayed in heroic terms, comparable to his grandfather Liu Bei.
* In the backstory of ''Literature/WingsOfFire'', the [=SeaWing=] prince Albatross killed almost his entire family when he was [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity driven insane by the overuse of animus powers]] required to build the Summer Palace, in what was known as the Royal [=SeaWing=] Massacre.
* ''The Dry'' by Jane Harper starts with an apparent one - wife and son dead, father found some way away having apparently killed himself. There are just enough confusing details for the protagonist to wonder, and he has to piece together whether or not it was staged by someone else.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An episode of ''Series/CSIMiami'' had a guy who did this and then claimed post-partum depression; that is, he claimed his ''wife'' had been suffering post-partum depression in the weeks leading up to the slaughter. Only, she hadn't.
* Occurred (naturally) on ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'': The wife seemed to be unstable; later, the detectives (who had just been to the house that day) find everyone dead, save the husband who was only grazed. Elliot is sympathetic, only to learn from the Crime Scene Unit that the only way the husband could've been injured is if he was aiming the gun at himself.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has a particular kind of ghost called a "Woman in White" that results from a woman killing her children and then committing suicide. The idea seems to have come from South American legends of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llorona La Llorona]].
** Supernatural loves this trope. It appears in an episode in which a house is haunted by the ghost of a farmer who murdered his family so they wouldn't starve, and pops up again with the father in a haunted family portrait who killed his family, and now murders whoever owns the picture. [[spoiler: It's subverted both times. The farmer ghost isn't real (long story), and it was the adopted daughter that killed everyone and then framed the father.]]
* In the series finale of ''Series/TheShield'', [[spoiler:Shane's last play to keep his pregnant wife out of jail has failed, and they're faced with the prospect of having their children go into the foster care system. Seeing no other way out, he slips fatal doses of painkillers to his wife and son, and then simply waits for the cops. When they break down his door, he puts a bullet in his head]].
* In the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' miniseries ''Children of Earth'', [[spoiler: civil servant John Frobisher is told that his two daughters must be sacrificed to the invading aliens (leaving the children to a fate worse than death) in order for the government to save face. He returns home, sends his family to one of the bedrooms, takes a gun and follows them up. [[GoryDiscretionShot The door closes]] and [[TearJerker three gunshots are heard, then a pause followed by a fourth]]. The final [[KickTheDog kicker]] comes from the fact that Torchwood defeats the alien threat a mere few hours later, which means Frobisher did it all for nothing.]]
* In the ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "Normal", the BAU predict that since the killer is murdering women resembling his wife, eventually he will kill his real family. [[spoiler:TheReveal is that he'd done it before the episode even began, and was hallucinating that they were still alive. In the end, he gets told that he killed them and [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone breaks down]]]].
** Another episode, "The Fox," has a serial killer who stages his crimes to look like this in order to keep the police from looking for a murderer outside the family.
* One of Series/{{Dexter}}'s victims was a cop who murdered her husband and daughter, because she found them to be a burden.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' had a case similar to List's (with elements of Romand's), in that the father lied about having a job with the UN -- actually, of having a job at all [[spoiler: fortunately the wife was unharmed and the detectives were able to save the kids.]]
* Averted in a ''Series/LawAndOrder'' episode in which the father seemed to fit the profile, but actually it was the daughter's druggie boyfriend.
* Similarly averted in a ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' episode in which a man has apparently been cheating on his wife online, only for his family to be killed after this is discovered. Turns out he was framed on both counts.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' had a similar aversion in "Blood Drops," where the murder looks like the father killed everyone save for the youngest daughter (who was hiding) and the eldest daughter (who was out with her boyfriend). [[spoiler: It turns out the eldest daughter and her boyfriend killed them all, as [[ParentalIncest her father had been raping her for years]], no one would speak out against him, and he was moving on to the youngest girl -- who was actually the eldest's ''own daughter by him'']].
* Senator Bracken [[spoiler: Beckett's mother's murderer]], gives this as his political backstory on ''Series/{{Castle}}''. He was bringing an absent classmate some homework and found the entire family dead. The mother had drugged the children and then shot herself because she had lost her job. Bracken claims this inspired him to help build a better society where no one would ever feel that hopeless again. However, we don't know whether this is true or just made up to garner sympathy.
* A Series/ColdCase case was thought to be this, but was reopened when the sole survivor, the daughter, began to regain her memory and realized that it ''wasn't'' her father who shot everyone.
* In ''Series/Class2016'', April's father tried to kill himself, her mother, and her when she was a small child by deliberately crashing the family car. All of them survived, but her mother was left paralysed from the waist down and her father served a jail sentence for attempted murder.
* In an episode of ''Series/HomicideHunter'', Joe Kenda (the titular character), is very upset to realize that a man murdered his wife, daughter, and grandson before turning the gun on himself (he was upset about his daughter's impending divorce and somehow convinced that it reflected badly on him as a father). Ironically, Kenda was already suspecting this trope, he just assumed that the woman's ex was the one responsible.
* In the 4th season finale of ''Series/{{ER}}'', the bickering doctors must put aside their differences to save the wife and children of a depressed man who finally snapped and shot them all. He tearfully admits that the only reason he isn't dead himself is because, "There weren't any bullets left". The episode ends with all three still being tended to, so it's not clear who, if any survived.
* At the climax of the first season of ''Series/AshesToAshes'', Alex discovers that [[spoiler:the car bomb that killed her parents and that she's been trying to avert all season was actually a suicide-murder by her father, who also intended it to kill her]].

* The "hopeless unemployment" version of this trope forms the plot of Music/BobDylan's "Ballad of Hollis Brown."
* The Music/{{Metallica}} song "Harvester of Sorrow", in madness and drug related form.
* Voted in top 10 for "the most depressive song ever" in Finland, ''Pimeä tie, mukavaa matkaa'' ("Lightless road, have a pleasant journey") is the voice of a young couple, who have failed to get a loan for buying a home, are disappointed in the society ("suppose they'll soon put a price tag on breathing air"), and are in a car with their children to end it all. In the chorus the other parent urges the driving one to "close your eyes, now we're leaving at full throttle" as the children sleep in the back seat, and tells the audience "it's okay to forget us in case we paid too little".
** Another example from Finnish music is ''Murheellisten laulujen maa'' ("Land of sorrowful songs", a play on the country's nickname of "Land of a thousand lakes"), which tells of a man who doesn't want to be like his fathers before him, refusing to drink alcohol and beat his family. However, [[RealityEnsues he is unable to get a job to support his family]], which eventually leads him to hit the bottle after all, and the song ends with him [[AnAxeToGrind murdering his family on their snowy yard with an axe.]] The last verse then [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on [[SelfDeprecatingHumor how many popular Finnish songs are based on depressing subject matters like this]] (and before you ask, yes, ''Murheellisten laulujen maa'' is indeed rather popular in Finland).
* Music/{{Suicide}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXCC7_Nu7o8 Frankie Teardrop]] is about a desperate underpaid factory worker doing this.
* Heavily implied in the song "River Below" by Music/BillyTalent. Made more explicit in the music video. [[MindScrew (He kills the band too.) ]]
* "Wave of Mutilation" by Music/ThePixies was inspired by reports of Japanese families doing this (mentioned in the Real Life section below) by driving into the ocean.

[[folder:Myth and Legend]]
* [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Heracles]], the archetype of testosterone-overdose, was cursed by Hera with a fit of madness, and he killed his wife Megara and all their children. As an indirect result, he ended up undergoing his famed Twelve Labors.

* ''[[http://www.fredvanlente.com/cthulhutract/pages/ Why We're Here]]'' is a Lovecraftian parody of the infamous ''ComicBook/ChickTracts''. In it, a good family man talks to Old Man Whateley who converts him to the Truth of the ''Franchise/CthulhuMythos''. The good family man promptly chops up his family with an axe to spare them from the horror of the Elder Gods.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In a variant, Tristan apBlanc of ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' caused the deaths of almost his entire immediate family: his sons by accident, and his foster mother and wife on purpose. He also sealed his daughter up in prison, although whether she dies there or not depends on [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong the outcome of an adventure]].
* In the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' book ''Ghost Stories'', one of the stories centers its background around the death of Thomas Moth's family. Supposedly, they were killed by the gardener Henry Creed. In truth, Moth killed his wife and children on discovering they were Henry Creed's children, not his. He then lynched Creed and spent the rest of his life as a broken recluse. The ghosts of Creed and Moth's slain family possessed the tree on which Creed was lynched, the primary antagonist of the story.

[[folder:Video Game]]
* The page quote comes from the playable teaser P.T. for ''VideoGame/SilentHills'', where it is part of the backstory that after a long period of unemployment, a father learns that his wife is now pregnant with her boss' child, and murders her and their two existing children. [[MindScrew What that has to do with the gameplay]] [[SurrealHorror or characters involved is still debated]].
* The award-winning atmospheric Creator/HPLovecraft pastiche InteractiveFiction game ''VideoGame/{{Anchorhead}}'' has this happen in BackStory to a distant relative of the player's husband. And he was doing them all a ''favor''.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'''s Kratos killed his wife and child in a fit of battle rage induced by Ares. The subsequent nightmares drive him through the game's story and eventually cause him to [[DrivenToSuicide leap off a tall cliff]].
* In the mediocre game ''Spy Fiction'', the villain, Scarface, married a female terrorist and had a son by her. Then he discovered she was a DoubleAgent killed her and shot his son in the head. [[spoiler: [[StartOfDarkness The kid survived to become the other villain]].]]
* In the video game ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'', main character Torque is sent to Abbott State Penitentiary on being convicted of killing his family. Of course, he [[LaserGuidedAmnesia doesn't remember doing it]]. The MultipleEndings reveal different circumstances of how his family really died, depending on your KarmaMeter.
** Good: [[spoiler: Blackmore hired thugs to do it after Torque stopped working for him. It wouldn't count normally but Blackmore is his SplitPersonality.]]
** Neutral: [[spoiler: Torque accidentally killed his wife in an argument and his child who he beat killed the other one and then committed suicide.]]
** Evil: [[spoiler: Torque killed them all himself, as in Torque and not Blackmore.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2'', Nolan Stross killed his wife and child in a fit of madness induced by contact with the Aegis VII Marker.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' had a quest in which the main character had to help exorcise a haunted hotel. The ghosts are from a family that was killed by the father in the 1940s when he became convinced a gift his wife received from her mother must have been from someone she was cheating on him with. It's pure NightmareFuel.
* Captain Brage in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' gets his hands on a cursed bastard sword, goes berserk and kills his family, along with several of his fellow officers.
* In the first ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' game, the Master of the Himuro Mansion goes insane when the Rope Maiden ritual fails, and he proceeds to kill not only his family, but the priests, the attendants, and everyone in the household not previously killed by the Dark. Then he becomes a ghost that continues to slay anyone who enters the Mansion.
* In the sequel to the flash game ''VideoGame/{{Exmortis}}'', [[spoiler: you find the bodies of three children, a woman, and their father/husband. A revolver lays next to him with but one bullet remaining, and the blood splatter suggests he took his life. Oh, he also spells it out in a journal you find.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'': [[spoiler:Huey]] murdered his wife [[MurderByInaction by inaction]] when she objected to ''using their infant son as a Metal Gear test pilot''. Years later, he committed what appeared to be a MurderSuicide when he [[spoiler:drowned himself and almost drowned his stepdaughter in his pool]] when he found out that his second wife [[spoiler: was an ephebophile who cheated on him with his now-14 year old son]]. In the latter case, though, it's not clear if he intended to murder [[spoiler:Emma]] or if it was an accident.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''. Hey, my successors are unworthy and I'm about to die. What is my choice of action? Gee, let's try [[KillEmAll slaughtering them all]] for a magic ritual to revive my [[SealedEvilInACan dead witch lover]]. Good plan, Kinzo. [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when it is revealed that Kinzo was actually dead before any of the games started (and that only an UnreliableNarrator made him appear to be alive), and that he therefore never killed his family. [[DoubleSubversion Double subverted]] as it turns out the killer is Sayo Yasuda who is Kinzo's grandchild and planned to kill the whole family. [[ZigZaggingTrope And then]] it turns out the killer in the real world is Kyrie, another family member.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SayaNoUta'' Yousuke Suzumi kills his family after [[spoiler:Saya operates with his brain, resulting that he can see the world like the protagonist does and that makes him insane.]] He believes that he kills two [[spoiler:{{Eldritch Abomination}}s.]]

* In ''Webcomic/WarbotInAccounting'', the titular character [[NiceJobBreakingItHero becomes responsible for one of these]] when trying to help out a co-worker who needs a report to file, making one itself. Unfortunately, Warbot being... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin A warbot]] without human appendages, the report is not in presentable form and the co-worker is fired. [[DownerEnding The story ends with Warbot reading on the newspaper about the man committing the murder-suicide of his family in grief.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Joked about in at least one episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', in a cut away involving a couple in debt.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', when the family seemingly run out of options to resolve the issue of air traffic over their house, Homer suggests a murder-suicide pact as their ultimate way to escape their troubles. [[AvertedTrope He then tells Marge that it's just an expression.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_DeFeo,_Jr The [=DeFeo=] Murders]]: On Wednesday, November 13th, 1974, around 3AM, 23-year-old Ronald [=DeFeo=] Jr. shot and killed both his parents, his two younger brothers and two younger sisters at their home in Amityville, New York. Reasons varied between "self defense" as he thought his family was plotting to kill him for some reason to [[DemonicPossession being possessed]] by a paranormal entity. The murders were popularized by the film ''Film/TheAmityvilleHorror1979'' which depicts the horrific and ''supposedly true'' story of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lutz the Lutz Family]] who moved into the [=DeFeo=] home a year after the killings and experienced traumatic supernatural activity that, to this day, they feel is not worth mentioning.
* In 1905, Swiss farmer Jean Lanfray murdered his pregnant wife and their two daughters in a drunken rage after quarreling with his wife. The police soon discovered that Lanfray had drunk seven glasses of wine, six glasses of cognac, a coffee laced with brandy, two creme de menthes, and two glasses of absinthe after eating lunch and before killing his family. Despite the fact that Lanfray had consumed a very large amount of alcohol, moral panic cited his consumption of absinthe as the sole motivator for the crimes. Not only was Lanfray found guilty of the murders, but the sensationalism of the case fueled the then-fledgling temperance movement, resulting in eventually getting absinthe banned, first in Switzerland in 1908, then soon after in most of Europe and the United States. As of 2011, these bans have largely been repealed.
* John List murdered his entire family rather than admit to them that he lost his job and that the family was in dire financial trouble. He went into hiding and adopted an alias and remarried and would have gotten away with his crime if not for America's Most Wanted doing a special on him. In a real-life example of a CruelTwistEnding, when the abandoned List home burned down the year after the murders, investigators found an antique stained glass ceiling that was worth more than enough money to solve the family's financial problems, at least in the short term, making the deaths especially pointless.
* Another real life version was the tragedy surrounding professional wrestler Wrestling/ChrisBenoit, who murdered his wife and son then hanged himself using his weights machine. Exactly why it happened is not known, but a history of steroid use and some pretty significant brain injuries were likely involved, since the autopsy showed that "Benoit's brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient." Another reason would be the death of his best friend Wrestling/EddieGuerrero, which was reportedly something he was never fully able to move on from.
* The father of Creator/JudithBarsi, young star of many a Creator/DonBluth film, killed Judith and her mother, burned their house down, and shot himself. ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' and ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'', in which she voiced Ducky and Anne-Marie, respectively, were actually released posthumously.
* For a brief time in the fall/winter of '08/09 you couldn't watch TV for half an hour without hearing of some guy who lost everything due to the financial crisis and decided to off his family, random relatives, a few people at work, and finally himself.
* [[http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/Sesler_Indicted_for_Murder_of_His_Waller_Family_146196575.html Trey Sesler]], an amateur anime reviewer on Youtube, who killed his parents and brother because he was planning a school shooting and didn't want them to live with the pain of knowing what he did.
* The Korean general Ge Baek did this because he was going out into battle and knew he would lose. He killed his whole family before he left [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled to prevent the enemy from capturing them]]. In fact in Tae Kwon Do there is a pattern dedicated to him because of this.
* It's suspected that now-deceased James Matory did this to his wife Earlene Williams and their children [[http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/matory_ivy.html Ivy Matory]], [[http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/matory_violet.html Violet Matory]], and [[http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/williams_yolanda.html Yolanda Marie Williams]], along with a small boy staying over at the Matory/Williams household the evening of Earlene's murder, named [[http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/marshall_sir-kristopher.html Sir-Krisopher Clay Marshall]] (unrelated to the Matory/Williams family). The last time any of the children were seen was with James at a Denny's in the early morning hours of July 19, 1977. They have never been seen again and James was prosecuted for the four children's murders, but the outcome of that trial is unknown.
* Ronald Gene Simmons killed ''fourteen'' members of his family, eight of them his own children (and one them [[ParentalIncest was also his grandchild]]).
* Dozens of these occurred during the fall of Nazi Germany; the most notable one is the case of Magda and Joseph Goebbels, who killed their own children with poison while they slept, before killing themselves as Berlin fell in 1945.
* A Japanese teacher commented (after 30 years of living in there) that suicide numbers in Japan would be a lot higher were family members dying via familicide counted. According to him, the most usual way is to clean the house, get the family in the car, and have [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident a fatal driving accident in steep mountains]].
* Jean-Claude Romand: a French drop-out from medical school, managed to make everyone in his family believe that he was a doctor working for the World Health Organization. The biggest irony is that he was knowledgeable enough in medicine so that genuine doctors would not realize that he was an impostor when they spoke to him, making you wonder why he just did not just [[CutLexLuthorACheck pass his exams and become what he claimed he was]]. He killed his entire family when he was about to be exposed.
* Cambodian immigrant Chhouy Harm, who had been struggling with schizophrenia and depression, killed her son in law and two of her granddaughters and injured her daughter in their West Seattle home, before taking her own life.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_Bishop Bradford Bishop]] is believed to have murdered his wife, mother, and three sons after not getting a promotion at work. The world may never know for sure if he did do it because he disappeared in 1976 long before the bodies were discovered and there hasn't been a sighting of him since 1994. If he is still alive, he'd be well into his seventies by now.
* The Celts used to do this if they lost a battle. The father would escape from the battlefield, come home, murder his wife and children before killing himself to prevent his family [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled from being captured by the enemy]].
** As did the Fenno-Ugric nations in the early Middle Ages. The Russian ''bylina'' stories are full of descriptions of mass murder-suicides by defeated Chuds.
* In 2001, Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal went berserk at a palace party, killing nine other royals (including his parents, the King and Queen, and two siblings) and wounding five more. He shot himself in the head, but survived three days in a coma, during which Nepal's constitution mandated that he be declared King, regardless of his invocation of this trope.
* Back in the early 20th century, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_Bergen_(baseball) Marty Bergen]], a well-regarded catcher in Major League Baseball post-humorously diagnosed as a schizophrenic with possible manic depression, murdered his entire family with an ax.
* ''{{Dateline}}'' once had an episode about a family with a failed example of this (the father didn't have a chance to kill himself). Most of the children were found dead in the house after a police stand-off. The father of the children, Marcus Wesson, ran the family as a small cult and believed he was the Second Coming of Jesus. The survivors were interviewed and said that their father actually told them to kill all small children and then themselves if the police ever found them. Wesson lived and was sentenced to death row.
* In early 2007, Thai businessman Boonchai Surawuthipong was in debt, and worried that the mafia would abduct his children. [[http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/02/07/headlines/headlines_30026198.php So he shot his wife, his three children, and himself.]]
* Another female instance: People's Temple member Sharon Amos killed her two younger children (ages 11 and 10), then convinced 21-year-old daughter Liane to assist her suicide before Liane's own death. Amos was convinced that she and her children would be murdered anyway as a result of the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his party at a nearby airstrip by People's Temple members. That assassination also triggered the mass murder/suicide at Jonestown. Since leader Jim Jones was considered a parental figure by his followers, he may well also qualify for this trope, especially since his own wife and several of his own children also died there.
* There was a rash of these in pre-Revolutionary America; in fact, it's from descriptions of the events that we get the term "family annihilator" to describe such scenarios.
* Manling Williams suffocated her two young sons in their sleep and chopped her husband up with a Japanese sword because she had grown bored with her domesticated family life, but couldn't face the shame of divorce. She confessed to the crime when the police found evidence that was too overwhelming to get out of and sentenced to death on January 18th, 2012. She remains on death row to this day.
* During China's Three Kingdoms Era, following Liu Shan's surrender of Shu to Wei, his son, Liu Chan, unwilling to live with the disgrace, is said to have killed his wife and children before killing himself.
* In April 2011, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dupont_de_Ligonnès_murders_and_disappearance Xavier DuPont de Ligonnes]] murdered his wife and their 4 children at their home in Nantes, France and buried their bodies in the backyard before disappearing. His primary motive is believed by authorities to be the significant debt he'd acquired (and hid from his wife and kids) due to failed business ventures and generally living way above and beyond his means. As of March 2016, he has yet to be found.
* Another GenderFlip version paired this with IfICantHaveYou. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Blood Susie Newsom]] divorced her husband Tom Lynch and took up with her ''cousin'' Fritz Klenner. When Tom filed for custody of their two sons because of the incestuous relationship (and among other things, Klenner was a fraud practicing medicine though he'd never even been to college, as well as a virulent racist), Fritz and Susie began killing people who could support Tom either financially or personally--his mother and sister as well as ''her'' parents and grandmother. When the cops came to confront the pair, they grabbed the boys and took off in their SUV. After a 15-minute chase, Susie detonated a bomb located under her seat, destroying the car and killing them all.
* Overlapping with {{Music}} above: in 1929, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lawson_family North Carolina sharecropper Charles Lawson]] murdered his wife and six of his seven children before killing himself. The only child spared was his eldest son, whom he'd sent on an errand shortly before the crime. This crime and its suspected motivations (Lawson was rumored to have been sexually abusing one of his daughters, resulting in her pregnancy) have entered into local lore, inspiring a MurderBallad.
* [[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_R._MacDonald Dr. Jeffrey]] [=MacDonald=] was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife and their two daughters in 1970. Police grew suspicious of his story that the murders were committed by drug-crazed home invaders when they noticed how minor his injuries were compared to the bludgeoning his wife and daughters received. It's believed his motive was simply no longer wanting the responsibility of marriage and fatherhood. That said, [=MacDonald=] maintains his innocence to this day and there is some evidence that indicates that his story is true--for starters, his description of one of the assailants matches that of a local drug user.[[note]] In what might be the most horrific example ''ever'' of HarsherInHindsight, the above-mentioned Creator/JudithBarsi played one of the murdered [=MacDonald=] children in the MadeForTVMovie based on the incident. [[/note]]
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Newton Frances Elaine Newton]] fatally shot her husband Adrian (23), her son Alton (7), and daughter Farrah (21 months), after purchasing life insurance policies worth $50,000 on each of them. She was convicted in 1988 and subsequently executed by lethal injection in 2005.
* [[http://murderpedia.org/female.E/e/eubanks-susan.htm Susan Eubanks]] shot all four of her sons (Brandon, 14, Austin, 7, Brigham, 6, Matthew, 4) in the head as revenge for her two husbands and boyfriend leaving her. She was sentenced to death on October 13, 1999 and is now on death row.
* In December 2009, [[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Susan_Powell Susan Powell]] disappeared from her Salt Lake City home. Suspicion immediately fell on her husband Josh thanks to his flimsy alibi, IncriminatingIndifference, and multiple actions that indicated that he knew she wasn't returning--canceling her appointments, giving away her belongings, etc. Unfortunately, there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge him. However, as their two sons got older as time passed, they both made several statements that hinted at their mother's fate--"Mommy was in the trunk", etc. During a court-ordered visitation in February 2012, Powell grabbed the boys, locked the accompanying social worker out of the house, and set off an explosion, killing them all. Police officials have stated that they view his actions as a confession to his wife's murder.