This is the converse of Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex, where instead of happening after the harrowing ordeal, it happens before. Knowing that they are about to face the final battle or some other potentially deadly or at least terrifying experience, two people finally consummate their affair. More loosely, it can be any character or characters having sex before some climactic moment in the story.
If at least one of the characters in question is a virgin, then the subtrope Must Not Die a Virgin applies, as an additionalsense of urgency is present.
If one of them is then killed during the final battle, there's a good chance the heroine will be left with Someone to Remember Him By.
In Real Life, sex before a strenuous or stressful activity is usually not encouraged because of the energy that sex supposedly uses up (this is especially true in the world of sports, where athletes often believe that having sex the night before a game will negatively affect their performance). There is no scientific evidence for this. Even so, sometimes Truth in Television: natural selection in the tribal days may have encouraged an instinct for such conduct, because those who have sex before battle are more likely to reproduce and leave descendants than those who don't.
Not to do with Ending Fatigue.
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Anime and Manga
Megazone 23 part 1. Shogo has sex with Yui before going off to probably die (though he ends up surviving for the sequel).
Though not right before the climax of the story, Ragnarok the Animation gives us a suggestive scene between Iruga and Judia while she's tending to his poisoned wounds. Fast-forward to the epilogue, where she's holding a grey-haired baby.
In Mirai Nikki, Yukiteru and Yuno "become one" in the middle of the world starting to end around them. Right after they have sex, Yuki says something to Yuno that triggers the final battle.
In Otaku No Musumesan, Haruka gets some alone-time with Kouta right before he goes to confront Nozomi who has just kidnapped Kanau away from his custody. Though Haruka didn't do this because they knew a climatic confrontation was coming, but to snap Kouta out of his Heroic BSOD over that whole sequence of events. Exactly how far Haruka went was left ambiguous until the Distant Finale when she's shown a couple years later with a toddler son with Kouta's distinctive huge eyebrows.
In Captain Atom issue 50, Cap and Plastique finally make love for the first time on the eve of the final battle with the Faceless One and his henchmen.
Before a climactic battle in ElfQuest the Go-Backs, Wolfriders, Rayek and Leetah partake in a mass orgy. This is a tradition among the Go-Backs before major battles. Elves have very slow reproductive rates, so the orgy increases the odds of more children being born to replace the fallen.
Iron Man and Black Widow apparently bump uglies just before the big climactic fight at the end of the first Ultimates series.
In Issue #5 of the Kieron Gillen/Ryan Kelly comic, Three (a sort-of Spiritual Successor/Take That to 300), the titular escaped Helot slaves are trapped in a cave in a dead-end canyon. Terpander (in the armor of a stray Spartan killed in the previous) holds off the pursuing Spartans in the mouth of the cave, giving Klaros and Damar a last moment together. Klaros and Terpander are both eventually killed by the Spartans. Damar escapes to Messene and gives birth to twins she names Klaros and Terpander.
The Wrong Reflection: Eleya and Gaarra have a quickie in the command deck locker room before the big fleet battle in chapter three, partly to work off some pre-combat jitters on Eleya's end.
In Closely Watched Trains, a film set in a train station during the Nazi World War II occupation of Czechoslovakia, an attractive female from La Résistance brings a bomb to the train station. The idea is to destroy the ammunition train scheduled to pass through the station the next day. Before she leaves, she deflowers the anxious young man who works at the train station.
A PG version was used in the Civil War-era miniseries The Blue And The Gray. The brother of the main character, a member of the Virginia militia, talks privately with the girl he's courting about what may happen in the war and that his last thought would be their kiss. After she replies that she's never kissed him, he convinces her to do so. Minutes later, his younger brother (who had been eavesdropping) tries the same with another girl at the family's Christmas party. She replies that if she wanted her to kiss him, he should have just said so.
In Dogma, Bethany promises Jay that she'd have sex with him if "the world was going to end and there were only five minutes left to live." This is mentioned again towards the end of the film as Loki and Bartleby attempt to execute their plan; Jay tells a shocked Bethany, "I'd say we've got about five minutes left to live; the whole world's going to end. You said you'd fuck me."
Subverted in Cabin Fever. Marcy and Paul end up in bed together because Marcy was convinced that they were bound to get the deadly disease that was going around. Just as she feared, she died shortly afterwards, however she was killed by a freak attack by a mad dog, not the disease.
The Quick and the Dead. Lady returns to the town of Redemption to take on the Big Bad, a superior gunfighter. So her first act is to barge into the brothel where Cort is held prisoner, drag him away from his guards at gunpoint into another room where she proceeds to rip off his clothes and Wall Bang Him.
Cort: Why are you doing this to me?
Lady: Because we both could be dead tomorrow.
In On the Edge, Rose tries to argue with Declan that she should be the one to risk her life, not him. Declan's fascination with her lips is not related to what she's saying. Finally they compromise that both of them will go together, and he carries her into the bedroom for a pre-death-defying-last-stand romp.
Narrowly averted in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — Francie has a brief romance with a soldier who tries to get her into bed with a "could be my last night in America and I've never been with someone I love" story, but she relucantly turns him down, and he goes home to see his mother and fiancee instead. Later it seems he wasn't quite in the emotional crisis he professed to be, but Francie still wishes she'd slept with him because she knows she'll never feel that way about anyone again.
In The Dresden Files novel Death Masks, Harry and Susan have sex prior to Harry setting off to confront both of the novel's villains. The timing is problematic, however, because Susan, being a partially-turned vampire, is losing control of her bloodlust, and she and Harry are locked in his house (long story; demons, entropy curses, thousand-year-old holy artifacts, and one hell of an active magical defense system were involved). So, Harry has to substitute one lust for another. And this one encounter has pretty long-reaching consequences This is what causes the events of Changes
In Vampire Academy novel Shadow Kiss, Dimitri and Rose get it on before the final battle with the Strigoi.
Spoofed in Rogue Squadron, Mirax and Corran, after growing closer together, have a last exchange before he goes on a dangerous mission, and he says he might not come back. Mirax archly tells him that if he's looking to use a Tomorrow We May Die line to get her to bed him, it's a little late for that, and he should have used it last night.
A variation in The Bacta War, when Mirax and Corran decide to get married right before the Battle of Thyferra.
Also spoofed in Death Star. A pilot named Villain Dance uses the "I might die tomorrow" line as an ironic pickup line, knowing the woman he's talking to can see right through it.
In the third season finale, Oz and Willow make love for the first time on the eve of the final battle with the Mayor.
And Xander and Anya before the final battle with Glory, though not for the first time.
Joss loves this one; this trope was actually the whole basis of the episode "Touched" near the end of the series, with even a bit of Deconstruction by the incorporeal First. Though it was still a few episodes from the final battle, the stress of a half-season-long war resulted in Willow and Kennedy having sex for the first time, Robin and Faith hooking up, and Anya and Xander having sex despite being technically broken up, all at the same time (and rather noisily, too). As for Spike and Buffy, they just held each other through the night. Aw.
Also used by Joss in Dollhouse, when Paul says that the only times Echo has "let him in" are when she's pretty sure they're going to die.
In the mini-series 1915, the two couples consummate their relationships before the boys ship off to World War One. One of the girls becomes pregnant.
Parodied in the Community episode "Modern Warfare", in which Jeff & Britta hook up before the final climactic paint-gun battle.
Done in "Heaven and Hell", except a girl (actually, an angel who has lost her "grace") suggests that to Dean, who is a little put off by the fact that it's usually him who tries to do the same. It doesn't stop him, though.
Subverted in "Abandon All Hope..", where Dean tries to do it with Jo, only for Jo to say that if this is really her last night on this Earth, she'll spend it with dignity.
Played for Laughs in "Free To Be You And Me". Another angel, Castiel, wants to spend his last night on Earth with dignity, but Dean hauls him off to a brothel on discovering he's still a virgin. Hilarity Ensues.
Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister tells Shae to fuck him like it's his last day on Earth, because his father has placed him in the vanguard for tomorrow's battle. On hearing this news, Bronn rushes off to find a woman as well.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles has a...variant of this in the final episode of the second season. John and Cameron, who have had enough Unresolved Sexual Tension throughout the last two seasons that one needs a chainsaw to cut through it, are talking in his room. Cameron confesses her personal fears regarding her instability (in her usual blunt way), both physically due to internal damage and mentally due to damage to her processors, and then asks John to physically "check" her reactor core by using a knife to cut open Cameron's skin layer and check the reactor with his hand. The subsequent scene plays out like a nervous, virginal sexual encounter, with the intimacy, nudity (Cameron has to remove her shirt so John can cut her skin open) and dialogue making it clear that while there's no real sex going on, the scene has comparable weight and significance for both of them.
Lost Girl, "Its Better To Burn Out Than Fae Away". Aware that it might be the last time they see each other, Bo and Lauren share a passionate night. In this case there's no battle coming, but Lauren is being taken back by her asshole of a boss/owner.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Dr. Bashir and Ezri Dax finally hooking up before the final battle in the last episode, "What You Leave Behind".
UFC fighter, Rhonda Rousey encourages this before a fight believing that it raises her testosterone level, thus increasing her toughness in a fight.
American Football League running back Cookie Gilchrist insisted that part of his prowess came from having sex right before a big game. Hall-of-Famer Ron Mix recalls asking Gilchrist about this at an AFL All-Star game. When Gilchrist confirmed, Mix followed up with "Was anyone else there?"
In the zombie-themed board game Last Night On Earth, one of the cards that the Zombie controller can play on the heroes is "(This could be our) Last Night On Earth." When played, a male and female character standing on the same square "lose a turn." The only character immune is the town priest.
In Mass Effect 1 where, before the narrative climax, Shepard can (assuming the player has completed all previous relationship subplot tasks) have sex with Ashley, Kaidan or Liara (depending on which character they romanced during the game).
Mass Effect 2 has the respective new love interest before the final showdown, unless the protagonist chose to stay faithful to their Mass Effect 1 love interest, in which case he/she "only" gets to stare longingly at the absent love interest's picture before the final battle...
Mass Effect 3 continues the tradition. Just before the final assault on the Cerberus headquarters, which begins the endgame, Shepard can have an intimate scene with his/her partner. However, it is implied throughout dialogue elsewhere in the game that this isn't the only time during the course of the game that Shepard and his/her partner are having sex, just the only one that we see.
Lucas and Carla do just this near the end of Indigo Prophecy, both of them under the belief that the next day may very well be the last of their lives. This becomes particularly squicky when you realize that Carla and Lucas have shown absolutely no romantic attraction towards one-another in the past, and that Lucas is essentially a reanimated corpse. This also becomes a plot-point in the end, when the end-game narration mentions that Lucas managed to actually inseminate Carla, and their child has been exposed to the Chroma source in the womb, so their child may very well be the next savior of mankind.
Fate/stay night: In the "Fate" route, Shirou and Saber (who has finally come to accept his feelings for her) have sex after they survive their encounter with Gilgamesh, knowing they likely won't survive if they go fight him the following day.
Happens in the Unlimited Blade Works route as well between Shirou and Rin.
A darker variety occurs in Dragon Age: Origins, when Morrigan asks the Warden (or the other Grey Warden if the Warden is female) to conceive a child with her so she can use a dark ritual to save their life.
Though true to BioWare's long tradition the Warden will have an intimate scene with his/her love interest regardless of whether that happens.
Neverwinter Nights 2 has either Casavir or Elanee, depending on your character's gender, approach you and make a love confession the night after the battle at Highcliff, and the night before the King of Shadows attacks your castle. The two of you end up in bed if you decide to return their affections.
In Red String, Kazuo and Miharu consummate their relationship after he's been ordered to dump her by his father, a very tense build-up to previous events. Although he tries to defy his father, he does dump her (without telling her why), and it completely changes the dynamic of the story.
Apu:[reading from a script] Gee, Betsy, it's such a nice night. Why don't we go all the way? Manjula:[also reading] But Greg, my Dad will kill me! And, you have that scholarship to Ivy League State. Apu: Loosen up, baby. Tomorrow, I'm shipping off to Vietnam. [looks up] I, I thought I was going to Ivy League State. Homer: My mistake, stay in the moment. Manjula: Just don't forget me on your dinosaur bone-digging-up trip. [they kiss]
From Apu's perspective: Gone Horribly Rightnote Although this likely has less to do with tempting fate and more to do with five different characters slipping them fertility drugs.