Someone to Remember Him By
"When every private widow well may keep
By children's eyes her husband's shape in mind."
Just before the Big Damn Heroes
scene, or just after the hero's done his Heroic Sacrifice
, the girl he left behind discovers that she's pregnant. He's gone, but not forgotten. Subtrope of New Child Left Behind
Bonus points are awarded if this is the result of them having sex exactly once
. Double Bonus if it was the girl's first time, too
, or if the reaction to her pregnancy later on is "Well thanks for leaving me with a child to raise by myself
." Triple bonus if the one time was a Pre-Climax Climax
It's generally considered very
romantic, even in historical settings where a single mother can be expected to have a hard time of it (especially during wartime; even if he didn't die in the war itself—or at all—she can say he did), on top of all her other problems. Unsurprisingly, it is assumed in these circumstances that Babies Make Everything Better
The intersection of Her Heart Will Go On
with Babies Ever After
. May involve a Birth/Death Juxtaposition
, or result in Dead Guy Junior
. This trope seems to be a recurring theme in horror films, sort of an extension of the puritanical belief that sex equals death
. For when "Someone" wants to know about "Him", see Tell Me About My Father
Usually an Ending Trope
, so there will inevitably be spoilers in the examples section. Sometimes a Beginning Trope
, to introduce Turn Out Like His Father
— and sometimes both, as Changing of the Guard
If the trope is ever gender flipped, the baby will be found somewhere around the female's corpse.
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Anime and Manga
- Kazama Masamune spent the last few years of his life pining after his old girlfriend, who after a long relationship had suddenly moved away and cut off all contact with him. He was never able to move on from her and never started up any relationship since. He ends up being contacted by the girl's mother years later... to be told his old love had just died suddenly in an accident. Soon after he meets the girl's daughter, who is in fact his daughter, who he had no idea existed until that point...
- Dragon Ball Z: Goku ones up the other examples by not only leaving behind a kid after his (second) Heroic Sacrifice, but leaving behind a kid that's completely identical to him.
- After Asuma Sarutobi dies in Naruto, Kurenai Yuuhi, hinted to be having a relationship with, is revealed as very, very pregnant.
- Happens at the end of Naru Taru. There's a bit of Art Major Biology in there, since the father concieved the kid while dying of radiation sickness from having a tac-nuke dropped on him.
- Emperor Hotohori in Fushigi Yuugi can fall under this trope. Though he was officially married and the pregnancy wasn't necessarily discovered after his death, the whole point of having the child was to leave behind an heir in case he died in the battle with Kutou. And said child, Prince Boushin and later Emperor Reitezei, looks remarkably like him as well!
- Possibly inverted in the backstory of Air when Ryuuya finds out he is slowly dying of a curse. Uraha suggests that the only way he can work to save the soul of their beloved Kanna is for him to leave a line of descendants to do it for him and offers herself to be the mother of his child. He dies when she is heavily pregnant and their child becomes the ancestor of the series' main character Yukito.
- Mine Kujyou discovers she is pregnant by Shuro (a.k.a. Akiba) at the very end of Eternal Sabbath, after Shuro has died in the final battle with Isaac.
- Kinda what happens to Hayate after Nanoha A's. Following the Heroic Sacrifice-slash-Suicide by Cop of Reinforce (a magically-created Artificial Human), she creates Reinforce Zwei (a smaller magical Artificial Human who looks a lot like the original). The thing is, she ostensibly refers to the latter being "born" from her Linker Core (magical heart of sorts) after it merged with the former's Linker Core, in order to live the life the former wished for. In other words, we have here an example of technological lesbian procreation for the sake of this trope. Yes, it's weird like that.
- Happens in the little-known anime movie Like The Clouds, Like the Wind. It's an especially sad example since the male member of the couple kills himself soon after having sex with his wife for the first time.
- Marbette from Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, who goes from Action Girl to Pregnant Badass... and we find out about this a while after the baby's father, Team Dad Oliver, has perished in an Senseless Sacrifice.
- Happens a couple of times in Pet Shop of Horrors.
- One memorable episode was about the vengeful girlfriend of a criminal Leon killed in the line of duty. D manages to break the cycle of revenge by appealing to her that she did not want her unborn child's mother to be a murderer.
- A second, much darker version occurs in Pet Shop Of Horrors: Tokyo. A woman's dead boyfriend is temporarily brought back to spend O-bon with her on the one-year anniversary of his death. At the end, he prepares to return to the land of the dead, but she is unwilling to let him go. She is found a week later in her apartment with the rotting corpse of her boyfriend... and now pregnant.
- Another one from Tokyo involves a down-on-her-luck novelist adopting a cicada larve simply because it was unusual. Through the actions of the larve turned human boy who helps her a la Tramps Like Us she hooks up with a composer who happened to be at Count D's the same day she was. Obviously they get together, but in true fashion when it comes to cicada's both males both die and leave the females (the man had gotten a female cicada larve) pregnant.
- Gender-flipped in Nicoichi, when the main protagonist adopted the son of his single mother girlfriend, who had passed away after being involved in a traffic accident. This act became the trigger for the plot of the series.
- In Ai-Ren, Ai and Ikuru both die, but their child - gestated in an artificial womb - is "born" and taken care of by Haruka-sensei, who possibly would have been Ikuru's lover had circumstances between them been different.
- In Jojos Bizarre Adventure Jonathan Joestar is killed by his Arch-Enemy Dio Brando during his honeymoon with Erina. Erina wants to be Together in Death with Jonathan, but he tells her to escape and rescue a recently orphaned baby girl in the process. As it turns out, Erina was already pregnant with Jonathan's son whom she names George.
- In a late arc of Silent Mobius, Katsumi Liqueur's boyfriend Roy is murdered by the Big Bad and she is possessed by a demonic weapon. After being freed from possession, she discovers a pregnancy that had been magically put on hold for several months. Their daughter is seen at the very end of the manga.
- A different take on this appears in Gunslinger Girl. After the Hilshire/Triela fratello are killed during the Turin operation, Roberta Guellfi talks of how she resents being left alone again after discovering love with Hilshire. Turns out Hilshire had a hospital preserve some eggs from his cyborg Triela, whom he once promised to help live a normal life (after she got turned into a cyborg, this was impossible due to the danger and the fatal effects of her conditioning). He leaves a letter asking Roberta to carry on in their stead; Roberta carries and gave birth to the child, eventually revealed to be a girl named Speranza, though it's not revealed if her father was Hilshire himself or an anonymous sperm donor.
- In Koizora, after Hiro dies of cancer, Mika reveals that she's pregnant with his child again.
- While never expressly stated, it could reasonably be suggested in the anime version of Trigun, considering the last lines of dialogue Milly and Wolfwood share.
- In the Child Ballad Fause Foodrage, the queen pleads for her life after her husband's death for her baby's sake.
- Gender-flipped in "The Foggy, Foggy, Dew": "Now I'm a bachelor, I live with my son, we work at the weaver's trade..."
- The Wash one-shot "Float Out" of the Serenity comic features a memorial of sorts for Wash that takes place after his death in the film. The last page reveals a very pregnant Zoe.
- Crossing over with Real Life, in Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical comic Persepolis, she tells the story of one of her relatives who was in jail about to be executed by the government. His girlfriend bribed a guard so they could have one last night together, wanting a baby to remember him by. He's not happy about it and warns her about how terrible life is for an unwed mother, especially in totalitarian Iran.
- In ElfQuest, Krim is revealed to be pregnant with Sust after Skot dies.
- In American Vampire, Abi does this with Book before putting him out of his misery.
- The Transformers: Sector 7 comic has William Simmons sacrifice his life while fighting a traitor in order to let his wife (who has just found out she's pregnant) escape before his grandfather Joseph Simmons dropped a liquid nitrogen bomb on the location in order to keep
Megatron NBE-1 on ice. Even then, she only survives because of Jetfire, whose life William spared during World War II. Jetfire also tells Joseph that she's carrying William's child. Joseph tells her to abandon this life and keep her child away from it. She opens a deli and has a son named Seymour, the same guy we see in the movies.
- This puts a whole new spin on Seymour not wanting his mother to know about his research. It's not that she's unauthorized to know. It's that she knows this life got her husband killed and doesn't want to lose her son.
- This contradicts with the Ghosts of Yesterday novel, which states that Seymour's father is named Walter, and he is alive and well in the late 60s. In the comic, William dies in 1954.
- Ultimate Captain America slept with his girlfriend just before his fateful mission. The child ended up being raised practically from birth by the US Government, trying to create a new Cap. What they got was Ultimate Red Skull.
- Much of the last volume of Strangers in Paradise revolves around the characters attempting to fulfill this trope.
- Judge Dredd: There's a very rare Gender Inverted Example in the "America" story. America Jara, a democratic protester, is accidentally killed during an arrest to stop a terrorist attack. Her childhood friend and recent lover Bennet Beeny transfers his brain to her comatose body so they can always be together, but not before impregnating the body. He names their daughter "America" in her honor.
- The whole reason why everyone is going after C.C in a Code Geass continuation, In the End.
- Toward the end of A Sad Story, Harry's girlfriend Maria tells him that he's going to be a father, and thus can't die yet.
- In The Simpsons badfic Lisa Is Pregnant, Bart dies while trying to keep Lisa from freezing to death by having sex with her. This results in her getting pregnant, and Marge opposes Lisa getting an abortion because the last living part of her child is inside Lisa, causing Lisa to change her mind and have the baby out of respect for Bart.
- The Titanic fandom uses this trope all the time, on the assumption that Jack could've gotten Rose pregnant when they made love in that Model T.
- Firefly fanfic frequently invoked this trope after Wash's death in Serenity, even before it was confirmed by the canon comic "Float Out", due to Wash and Zoe discussing starting a family in "Heart of Gold".
- In the Axis Powers Hetalia AU 1983: Doomsday Stories, it's revealed that Sopron is this for Austria, considering that he's the father, with Hungary being her mother.
- The Legend Of Korra fanfic Two Wrongs and a Right has this and a Dead Guy Junior. And a Family Relationship Switcheroo.
- In the For Better or for Worse fanfic Who Silenced Elly Patterson, it's implied this happened with John and his second wife Kortney, with hints that he died not long after she gave birth to his twin sons.
- There are a number of Sherlock fanfics where a gender swapped John (Joan) finds out she's pregnant after Sherlock's "death".
- Jeyne Westerling in The North Remembers, who discovers her pregnancy while at Greywater Watch, after being led there by Ser Brynden Tully for her safety. At first she's shocked, and then overjoyed because the potions she was given by her mother were actually contraceptives intended to stop her from conceiving an heir for Robb Stark. Unfortunately, the baby boy she gives birth to is blind and without a right arm because of this, and so the crown to the North passes to Sansa instead.
- Subverted in Harry Potter and the Spiritus Crystalus. Ginny stops using contraception spells in case Harry doesn't survive the final battle, but Harry can sense it and avoids sex in such cases - wizards don't look kindly on out-of-wedlock children and their mothers.
- In "Remembrance of the Fallen" Tiana Lanstar is in her third trimester with a baby conceived in vitro using technobabble applied to her Bajoran wife Sobaru's genome.
- In Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, Spartacus makes his heroic sacrifice and is crucified along with his men. While escaping out of Rome, Varinia shows her dying lover their newborn son, who will grow up to be a free man.
- The World According To Garp. See Literature.
- During the credits of the 2010 Live-Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato Yuki is seen with her son from Kodai who died destroying the last Meteor Bomb. This is during the ending credits no less.
- A variation occurs in Carlitos Way. Carlito finds out Gail is pregnant before he dies, but the effect is still the same.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Incidentally, the pregnancy (which allows Krueger to attack through the unborn child's dreams) is indirectly responsible for Dan's death.
- Austin Powers, the supposed reason why Scott was created. It would later turn out to be not totally true.
- Candyman Farewell To The Flesh. Paul dies, but not before leaving Annie a parting gift.
- The Candyman himself, whose death (after impregnating the daughter of a wealthy landowner) qualifies as terrifying.
- The Terminator; Kyle Reese dies after impregnating Sarah Connor, enabling her to give birth to John Connor.
- Cold Mountain; the main character, after reuniting with his wife.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, although it doesn't quite follow the usual pattern...since Will gets to come back after ten years
- Planet Terror ("I told you, I never miss.")
- Premonition: Apparently this is supposed to make the film's ending uplifting rather than horribly depressing.
- Prometheus: The heroine's husband not only leaves her with Something to remember him by, but also something to remind her of the terrible process of his death.
- Inside. As depressing as it is, it only begins this way and gets much, much worse.
- In Taking Lives, after taking out the serial killer, lead detective Angelina Jolie and star witness Ethan Hawke decide to resolve the sexual tension that had been burning between them for the whole friggin' movie. Of course, the next morning, Jolie discovers that the real killer is the guy she'd just been sweating all night long. The killer goes on the run, leaving Det. Jolie in the family way from their one night stand. Of course, it turns out the pregnancy was really faked with a prosthetic belly, to lure the killer into a trap. Which is good, because he stabs her in the stomach.
- Revelation sees our hero and heroine searching for an ancient box containing the nails that held Jesus on the cross, while trying to evade an evil cabal. Upon finding the box, the cute but bookish heroine notices it has a male/female symbol on the front and has a sudden urge to "love thy neighbor." Of course the guy, whom she's known for all of 12 hours, has no problem in putting off their escape from the baddies for a couple minutes while he takes care of business. The goons show up literally as he finishes and he soon dies while escaping, after losing the box. It turns out that he's the descendant of Jesus and his last act was to put the second coming (get it?) in the heroine's belly. Meanwhile, an evil bishop finds the nails and uses the residual Jesus DNA to create a clone which turns out to be the antichrist. Yeah, it's messed up.
- Rumpelstiltskin. Partially subverted in that the father is temporarily brought back via a wish made by his grieving wife, however, whether this wish was real or an illusion is not made clear (although, given the demonic nature of the wish-granting title character, it is probably the latter).
- The ending of An American Werewolf in London is set up so that, while David is killed, his relationship with Alex ensures the possibility of a bouncing baby sequel. Although not explicitly stated, the character played by Julie Delpy in the An American Werewolf in Paris was, in fact, intended to be David's daughter.
- In Starman, the alien knocks up the heroine before returning to his home planet for good. As his human form is identical to that of the heroine's dead husband, the baby is both someone to remember the alien by and someone to remember the dead husband by.
- The Painted Veil. In the book, it isn't his. In the movie it's unclear.
- In Demonic Toys, a cop tells her boyfriend (also a cop) about her pregnancy right before a drug bust. You can pretty much guess what happened right afterwards.
- Black Christmas (1974). Somewhat subverted in that the father was depicted as kind of a jerk, and the heroine may have had an abortion, assuming she never learned the truth about what actually happened.
- The Fly (1986): Veronica is impregnated by Brundle before the end of the movie. Their son is the protagonist of the 1989 sequel The Fly II.
- Rawhead Rex: A heavily pregnant woman is inexplicably spared by the monster. Her husband? Not so much.
- The remake of Children of the Corn (2009), the movie ends with a proclamation that the cult's "age of sacrifice" has been lowered from 19 to 18. Enforcer Malachai is clearly one of the people who is now too old to live and resigns himself to his fate, leaving behind a very upset wife with a bulging belly. (This is in the original Stephen King story.)
- Also Implied: The movie features an occult ceremony deemed "The time of fertilization" by the Creepy Child high priest leading it. The ceremony includes a very vocal sex scene between two non-speaking unnamed extras. It is strongly implied that the woman gets pregnant from this. Her ceremonial sperm donor mightn't have a name, but he is addressed in the credits as "The oldest boy". So if other members of the clan were past the age of sacrifice, obviously the oldest boy must be, too.
- In the 2009 Star Trek film this is used as a beginning trope.
- Although, not completely true to form. Baby Jim Kirk was born moments before dad died, and Dad got to name him, instead of being conceived without soon-to-heroic-sacrifice dad knowing as is typical with this trope.
- Subverted in My Life in which Michael Keaton's character isn't expected to live long enough to see his baby born. He does anyway.
- Forms the plot of the 2009 tearjerker The Greatest. In this case, parents of a dead teen take in his pregnant girlfriend.
- Happens in the epilogue of Dario Argento's The Card Player.
- Pearl Harbor leaves Our Heroine and Our Hero together with Dead Hypotenuse's baby.
- A Mighty Heart
- In Braveheart Isabella of France, wanting to rub Edward I's nose in the fact that she will ultimately be having the last laugh, tells him that the child she is pregnant with, the future Edward III, was not fathered by Edward II, but rather by William Wallace, meaning that the reign of Edward I's bloodline is effectively over.
- In the 2009 film Grace, the father-to-be dies in a car accident. The unborn child dies as well, but she gets better...sort of.
- At the end of Gloomy Sunday, Ilona is shown to be heavily pregnant. It isn't revealed if Laszlo or Andres is the father, however both are dead by the end, so the trope applies either way.
- This is the surprise twist at the end of Crush: Kate is revealed to be pregnant with Jed's baby. It is the only reason the movie avoids an unbelievably Downer Ending.
- People Will Talk, this is the basis for the plot with the added complication that they never married. When the doctor tells her about her pregnancy, she is so distraught about having to break her father's heart and admit to premarital sex that she attempts suicide. The doctor tells her that there was a mix-up with the tests and she wasn't pregnant, then proposes so that when she does have the baby, there will be nothing shameful (except the fact that she will give birth about seven months after the wedding, which no one seems to notice.)
- Jack Bull's daughter with Sue Lee in Ride With The Devil.
- Not of the romantic variety (at least, not human), but in Turner & Hooch, after Hooch dies, Turner ends up with one of Hooch's pups.
- After Jack's suicide mission in Oblivion (2013) the film skips ahead two years to show Julia with a daughter that is obviously his. Then another Jack Harper clone who had appeared earlier and also showed traces of the original Jack's memories of Julia finds them.
- Defied in Pans Labyrinth, in which a villain obsessed with his posterity is survived by a newborn son. As he's dying, the women who will care for the baby tell him point-blank that his boy won't even know his name.
- In the Troma/Astron 6 spoof Fathers Day, the act of impregnating a woman makes you a target for the Big Bad, a rapist and serial killer whose preferred victims are fathers.
- Parodied in Man Bites Dog. After Patrick, one of the film crew, is killed, Remy tearfully gives his condolences on camera to Patrick's pregnant girlfriend. After Franco, another crew member, is killed, Remy gives the same condolences...to the same girlfriend.
- In The Shaft (2001), Mark's partner Jeff leaves behind a pregnant wife after being strangled to death by elevator cables.
- The World According To Garp: "He said 'Garp', then he said, 'Good!', then he died."
- The Sally Lockhart novel The Shadow in the North. Though this does address the "unwed mother in 1870s England" issue by making the custody of Sally's child a plot point in the next book.
- Seren Pedac in Reaper's Gale after Trull Sengar has a particularly random bridge dropped on him.
- The High Lord by Trudi Canavan
- In Gone with the Wind, after Scarlett's first husband dies she has his son. Subverted in that Scarlett is actually annoyed at how people keep saying how lucky she is to have something to remember her husband by.
- In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Katie is pregnant when her husband dies. Annie Laurie Nolan is born five months and three days later.
- In the Backstory to Edgar Rice Burroughs's Gods of Mars, Dejah Thoris was consoled for losing John Carter with his son, Carthoris. It was when Carthoris vanished as well that she did something foolish.
- Cold Mountain: between Inman and Ada. Apparently this is based off of the real conception of the author's great-great aunt, but still.
- This book contains multiple examples of this trope. Again, its use is somewhat justified—it takes place during the American Civil War, prior to which many couples were married—and then, of course, many of the guys didn't come back...
- Similar to the midpoint of The Thorn Birds, where Meggie becomes pregnant by Father Ralph just before he leaves her and returns to the Church and specifically says that this baby will be a part of him that she can keep. The child becomes one of the two major protagonists of the second half of the novel, and is a prime example of the "Turn Out Like His Father" trope.
- After Claire leaves Jamie in the 1700s, their daughter Brianna fills this role at the end of the second book in the Outlander series.
- At the beginning of Private Wars, Tara Chace learns she is pregnant by her lover Tom Wallace, who died at the end of A Gentleman's Game.
- In The Rapture of Canaan, James commits suicide out of fear when he learns that he is the father of Ninah's unborn child.
- A side plot in Jill Paton Walsh's A Presumption of Death concerns a young RAF aviator who has disappeared, leaving a pregnant fiancee in great want. Harriet determines that he died the day after the two of them consummated their relationship, but that the military is covering up his death because they planted false information about Norwegian defences on his body, then secretly dumped it off the coast of Germany to be found by the Nazis. Lord Peter is able to convince the military to declare the young man dead, which frees up his estate.
- In the Ngaio Marsh book Vintage Murder, an English theatre impresario is killed during a theatrical tour of New Zealand. His wife, the leading lady, is suspected of having committed the murder along with the leading man, with whom she is supposedly having an affair. It turns out that the wife had indeed fallen in love with her leading man but refused to have an affair, citing moral grounds; after her husband's death, she agrees to marry the leading man only to discover, joyfully, that she's pregnant with her husband's child. The killer is the deceased's business partner, who has a secret gambling problem.
- At the end of Mockingjay, Annie has this from Finnick. (Katniss also finds it something of a consolation.)
- In Michelle Magorian's A Little Love Song/Not a Swan, Hilda, who is a nurse during World War I, falls in love with an injured soldier. They have sex just before he has to go back to war, and then he dies in battle. Even more heart wrenching in that when Hilda's brothers find out she's pregnant, they put her in a mental institution and force her to give up the baby for adoption as soon as he's born.
- Subverted in Robin Mc Kinley's Beauty. Grace's father suggests that she and Robbie marry quickly and "get started on a baby" before he departs for his voyage, but both Robbie and Grace refuse, preferring to wait until he returns.
- In Robert Buettner's Orphanage the besieged Ganymede Expeditionary force have finally located the enemy base. Because it's on the other side of Ganymede and they are about to be overrun, their only hope is for their mothership to bombard the site the next time it overflies the target. The ship's captain Metzger confesses that their computers are out and that it'll be another orbit before they can take the shot, which will too late. The expeditionary force's CO then tells Metzger that Mrs Metzger, currently on the surface, is pregnant. Evacuating the rest of the crew, Metzger manually pilots the ship to crash into the enemy base, saving the expeditionary force and his unborn child.
- A Thread of Grace: Claudia and her fiance play this trope very straight at first. They get married, have sex (her first time), and he dies in an attempt to save the local townspeople. They even marry knowing that he's likely going to be dead by the end of the week. Subverted in that the child is born premature and dies two days later.
- Inverted in Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma, as Karen, the titular girlfriend gives birth while in a coma, giving her boyfriend someone to remember her by.
- Played with in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, in that Cimorene's pregnancy was revealed well before there was any hint that anything would happen to Mendanbar, and that he's not actually dead, simply Sealed In A Can. The baby turns out to be a really good thing, though, since only a member of the royal family (which is currently quite depleted) can wield the sword and release him.
- Anthony Trollope's Barchester Chronicles opens with Eleanor's husband having died between books, leaving Eleanor completely devastated. Until their baby was born. "And thus the widow's deep grief was softened, and a sweet balm was poured into the wound which she had thought nothing but death could heal."
- Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses - a pretty big plot point towards the end, with a bit of a twist. Callum gets Sephy pregnant, and soon after gets arrested for terrorism and raping Sephy (the latter is a lie, it was consensual) but Sephy's dad, a high-ranking government official, offers them a choice: he will free Callum if Sephy has an abortion, or if she keeps the baby, Callum will be hung. They choose the latter, resulting in this trope and a Heroic Sacrifice of sorts from Callum.
- In the Witcher cycle, it appears at least some elves believe in it. Justified in that their numbers are limited, so those about to die make an attempt to remedy this. Possibly averted given low elven fertility, which could mean they see it as a variety of another trope, Last Dance.
- Time Scout: Carl's got a baby on the way.
- In Beyond the Summerland, the first book of L.B. Graham's The Binding of the Blade series, Joraiem is murdered right after the end of his and Wylla's honeymoon; in the epilogue, when they are bringing his dead body home to his parents, we find out that Wylla is pregnant with his baby.
- It does not happen at the end of the book, but in A Brother's Price the Whistler husband died a few months before the book started. Eldest Mother had slept with him the night before the accident, but initially assumed that the early signs of pregnancy were actually the signs of approaching menopause. Social conventions hold that talking openly about a pregnancy will jinx it, so her family keeps quiet. At the end of the book it turns out to be a healthy boy. Since men are generally more susceptible to heart attacks, disease, and inherited weaknesses, this actually isn't uncommon in the book.
- Technically Eldie was this for Keifer to his sister Kij, five years before book's start.
- The Dresden Files: Played with in Changes when the mother dies and leaves behind a child for the father to remember her by — an eight-year-old child that the mother had until then kept secret from the world.
- A particularly bizarre version happens in Skin Game, in which it's revealed that Lash, the mental copy of the fallen angel Lasciel that used to live in Harry's head, had committed an "act of love" when she sacrificed herself to save him, resulting in the creation of a new spiritual entity formed of herself and Harry, which has been dwelling and growing within Harry's mind ever since, and now needs to leave to be able to continue its growth. Or, as Harry puts it, he's pregnant.
- In Jasper Fforde's The Woman Who Died a Lot, when Thursday is attacking her irresponsibility, one of Tuesday's defenses is that she might get this trope if Gavin does indeed die on destiny's schedule.
- Subverted in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes Of Olympus novels, seeing as male gods love to impregnate female mortals and then leave, never to see them or the kid again. This is Percy's main criticism of his father, Poseidon. However, it is subverted by the fact that some of them occasionally visit their lovers/kids (like Hermes, for example, though it is rare). Most are pretty much out of the picture though.
- You could also argue that the female gods pull similar shit on male mortals, deliberately having a one night stand to purposely impregnate herself, and then dumping the guy with a baby nine months later with no convictions to pay child support or help raise it. (Like Athena, for example)
- The Last Werewolf ends with Jake's death, but Talulla already knows she is pregnant with his baby, although she never gets a chance to tell him that. In the second book in the series, Talulla Rising, she gives birth to twins.
- At the end of 'Secret Sacrament' by Sheryl Jordan we find out that Gabriel has (and will no doubt die of) the disease that has been plaguing the Shinali and it's also revealed that his Shinali girlfriend is pregnant. The sequel is about his daughter.
- 'Tandia' by Bryce Courtenay (sequel to 'The Power of One') ends with the protagonist Peekay dead but the woman he loves - Tandia alive, safe and carrying his baby in Switzerland
- The Bronze Horseman ends with Alexander arrested by the Soviet secret police, but his wife Tatiana makes it to America with their baby (then Paullina Simons wrote a sequel getting them back together via a number of Contrived Coincidences).
- The Last Dragon Chronicles: The end of David's first story, Snigger and the Nutbeast. And at the end of the third book, Zanna reveals she's pregnant with David's child.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Barrayar, Padma is in fact killed while his wife is in labor, but Alys finds baby Ivan if not a consolation at least a distraction from grief.
- The Kingdom of Little Wounds looked at this trope and said "nope." Ava is left pregnant after Jacob runs away, but she miscarries. Isabel is still pregnant when Christian dies, but she also miscarries. Midi manages to carry her baby to term, but she's not sure who the father is and the afterword would suggest she's not so attached to Arthur, the man she supposedly loved, after all.
Live Action TV
- Subverted in an episode of ER, in which a woman claims she is pregnant with her deceased husband's child. In fact the "pregnancy" is a nasty teratoma with hair and teeth.
- Happened to Karen after Keith was killed by Dan in One Tree Hill. She has a daughter she names Lily.
- Parodied in Kids in the Hall, with a sketch where recurring character Flying Pig is killed by flying into power lines. Then, we see some pregnant chick lifted off her feet. That's right, she's having Flying Pig's baby!
- Inverted in an episode of Private Practice. An older women (about sixty) and a young man (thirty) are married. The woman is nine months pregnant after being artificially inseminated, ready to have her baby. The baby has complications, Addison fixes it, but the mother dies after giving birth due to complications associated with her age. The woman very nearly says this trope's name.
- Played straight in season 3 of Eureka, though this is also a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as the woman who plays Allison Blake was really pregnant.
- Dr Sara in Prison Break
- Baby William becomes this for a short time on The X-Files. Luckily, Mulder isn't as dead as we thought.
- Played straight in 'Skins with Jal and Chris but then averted with Jal getting an abortion
- Gender flipped at the end of MacGyver, when Mac discovers that the girl he loved and wanted to marry back in college had given birth to his son, and he now has someone to remember her by.
- Gender flipped in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Reunion". K'ehleyr, whom Worf had sex with in second-season episode "The Emissary", introduced him to their son, Alexander, then was murdered.
- Played straight at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with Kasidy, who was revealed to be pregnant with Ben Sisko's child in an earlier episode
- Mirai Sentai Timeranger:
- In the Farscape episode "Taking the Stone", one of the young hedonists, Das, leaves behind a pregnant girlfriend after committing ritual suicide. It isn't considered a tragedy (at least, by the hedonists), since their society demanded it, and the alternative was becoming an outcast and slowly dying of radiation poisoning. The girlfriend isn't affected at first, though, despite being heavily pregnant, later tries to get drunk.
- In a way, Aeryn Sun's son D'Argo Crichton-Sun could be considered an example. John Crichton was "twinned" in one episode and in the next the party split in half for multiple episodes and the two Johns went with different groups. The John Crichton who was with Aeryn developed a relationship with her, then died shortly after. It took a while after the group reunited for Aeryn to get together with the other Crichton, by which time she was confirmed to be pregnant by the dead Crichton, the live one considers it his son all the same though.
- Invoked in-universe in FlashForward: Demetri Noh, having seen nothing in his flashforward, fears he's doomed to die. Janis, his lesbian coworker, laments that she won't conceive a child in time to have the sonogram/pregnancy she sees in her flashforward. Demetri proposes sleeping together so that he can have a kid before he dies, and she will get her baby.
- Played with in an episode of Chicago Hope. A woman suffers a miscarriage and her husband dies of a heart attack on the same day. She convinces the doctors to artificially inseminate her with her husband's sperm before they too die off and she successfully becomes pregnant.
- The Shadow Line has Jonah Gabriel's wife, who gives birth to his son after he's been shot dead.
- Genderflipped in Angel, where Darla dies giving birth to Connor.
- Genderflipped in the finale of Chinese Paladin, when Ling'er dies in a heroic sacrifice, leaving Xiaoyao to return home with their infant daughter. For additional irony points, the baby is named after Xiaoyao's ''other'' dead love interest.
- Stargate Atlantis: Teyla's pregnancy seemed to be going this way, as the (previously unmentioned) father of her child was kidnapped by Michael and (as she found out later when she was also kidnapped), experimented on. Ultimately subverted when the Big Damn Heroes rescue Teyla, her baby, AND Kanaan and Dr. Keller is able to undo his mutation.
- In one episode of Law & Order SVU, a teen girl, as part of a pregnancy pact, has sex with a schizophrenic homeless man in his early 20's. The girl's brother reacts by castrating and immolating the homeless man. After both the girl's brother and mother are sent to prison the girl is left pregnant and alone, but is taken in by the homeless man's father, so that he can support her and his grandchild.
- NCIS: Los Angeles: Very fond of this trope. At least 5 murder victims have left behind pregnant wives/girlfriends so far and they are only in Season 5.
- Downton Abbey:
- Genderflipped. Sybil dies from eclampsia just hours after giving birth to her daughter, leaving Branson to raise the baby alone.
- Happens in the Series 3 Christmas special when Matthew Crawley dies in a road accident while driving back to Downton just after Mary has delivered their baby.
- DA also subverts the romantic aspects. Housemaid Ethel's upper-class lover has already rejected their illegitimate child by the time he is killed in World War One. The consequences of unmarried motherhood in the early twentieth century are not pretty for Ethel; then the father's parents swoop in offering to raise the baby so that they can have someone to remember their son by. Ethel refuses but by S3 has descended even further into poverty and prostitution, and eventually decides she must give up her child to his grandparents for his own good.
- In the Black Mirror episode "Be Right Back", a woman's boyfriend is killed the day after they move into their new house, and she discovers shortly afterwards that she is pregnant. Her grief drives her to use new software to create a clone "substitute" of him.
- Everwood: Defied. One episode featured Dr Brown's patient whose husband died several years ago, but tried to invoke this trope during his illness. He made her promise to have in vitro with his sperm and have his child. He really longed to propagate. She wants to do it for him, but it took her a long time to recover from her grieving and prepare to go through it. She's also in a new relationship. Her new spouse originally claimed he was OK with it, but in fact he was very uneasy about the whole thing and wanted to conceive his own child. She considered breaking up with him but Dr Brown ultimately convinced her that it was unfair of her late husband to ask her for such a thing and that she's not bound to fulfil his wish.
- Referenced in Bones: In "The Critic In the Cabernet", Brennan decides she wanted to have a baby via artificial insemination, and wants Booth to be the donor. Later, after Booth starts to hallucinate Baby Stewie haranguing him, Brennan has him rushed to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Before the surgery, Booth tells Brennan that if he doesn't make it he wants her to use some of his "stuff" to have a baby.
- On One Life to Live, after Patrick is "killed", his pregnant widow Marty is comforted by her archenemy Blair of all people, who reminds her that at least she has his baby.
- In a non-romantic gender-flipped example, several young women were kidnapped and forced to bear children for an evil infertile couple on Criminal Minds. One of the captives was murdered after having a girl (the couple wanted boys to act as a surrogate for their own stillborn son), but genetic tests revealed that a toddler raised by the couple was actually her son, leaving her parents with Someone To Remember Her By. The grandparents are also granted visitation rights to their granddaughter, who has been Happily Adopted.
- In an episode of Law & Order, the cops and prosecutors are surprised to learn that the much younger Trophy Wife of their victim not only isn't a Gold Digger, she's equally devastated by the fact that they didn't get a chance to have children—she suffered several miscarriages and the surrogate they hired ran off with the baby.
- The end result of the story of The Hazards of Love, The Decemberists 2009 concept album.
- Actually a subversion, as the lyrics of the last song imply that the whole family - father, mother, and unborn child - die together. There is no mention of the child's birth or a miscarriage, and Margaret is obviously in the sinking boat with William when the river claims them (she is described as arranging rocks around the hull to weigh it down). A better Decemberists example of this trope would be "Yankee Bayonett," a surprisingly cheerful love song between a pregnant woman and her dead soldier lover.
- Gender-flipped in the music video for Travis Tritt's 1994 song "Tell Me I Was Dreaming". The song is the second of a trilogy (with 1991's "Anymore" and 1998's "If I Lost You") where Tritt plays a Vietnam veteran in the music videos of the trilogy. In this video, his wife, who is heavily pregnant, falls off a boat dock and hits her head on the way down. Their child is born, but she dies. The baby is even named after his wife, Annie.
- The Statler Brothers song "Silver Medals and Sweet Memories", with the narrator's father never returning from World War II.
- Tommy. Subverted in that the father comes Back from the Dead to kill the mother's new lover (or to be killed by him in the film adaptation).
- "Never Went To Church", by british rap group The Streets plays with this trope. It's about a man, the narrator, lamenting his father's death and emulating his actions, both on purpose and subconsciously. In the last verse, it is revealed that the narrator himself embodies this trope.
- This happened to Devora Brukhis in Cerberus Daily News, with one twist - she was the one who went off to war, leaving her boyfriend behind. He was killed in a terrorist attack a few days before she found out she was pregnant.
- In Carousel, Billy dies before his daughter Louise is born. He does get brought down to earth so he can visit her before meeting his judgment.
- Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, although her husband knew she was pregnant (as it saved her from being executed for witchcraft like him).
- Averted with Serafina in The Rose Tattoo. The shock of her husband's death causes her to have a miscarriage.
- Mass Effect 1 has a sidequest where Shepard has to resolve a debate between a woman, Rebekah, and her brother-in-law, Michael. Rebekah's husband, Jacob, died recently and she's pregnant with his baby. It turns out Jacob had a rare heart defect that could shorten the baby's lifespan. Michael wants the embryo to get routine genetic therapy to eliminate the possibility of the baby developing the same condition, but Rebekah refuses because it has a tiny chance of killing the baby.
- After the Time Skip in the sequel, the two can be seen again in the Citadel, discussing other ways to improve the health of the new toddler, also named Jacob.
- The couple are seen arguing again in the third game, this time over whether Jacob should be allowed to socialize in daycare or if he should be kept at home to minimize the danger to him during the Reaper War.
- If you encouraged her to hook up with Charr in the second game, Ereba will be pregnant with his baby in the third game. Unfortunately, he gets killed after only six months of marriage. You have to bring her his final letter.
- This can potentially occur at the end of Dragon Age: Origins. When a Grey Warden slays an Archdemon, both of their souls are destroyed, and both perish. If the PC is male and romances Morrigan, she will want him to make love to her on the eve of the final battle, as part of a magic ritual where they will conceive a child that will absorb the soul of the Archdemon instead of him, and save the his life. However, if he refuses to do so, she gets upset and leaves, and if he subsequently slays the Archdemon himself, he will die. The epilogue tells that she already became pregnant at some point before the endgame (since the ritual was refused), and is now carrying his child.
- Played with in the ending of Overlord: Raising Hell. After you complete the Bonus Level Of Hell only to get stuck down there, the final cutscene shows Gnarl reminiscing on the sinister exploits of the Villain Protagonist, and discovering that the Overlord's mistress is bearing the Overlord's child. "Evil always finds a way..."
- One of the more absurd examples occurs in FireEmblem: Radiant Dawn. Ena discovers she's pregnant with Rajaion's child 23 years after the last time it would have even been possible for him to get her pregnant. Additional materials reveal that the child even becomes a Dead Guy Junior. This could be explained by the fact that she's a dragon, but it becomes confusing again when the sporadic accounts of Ena's almost-sister-in-law Almedha's pregnancy makes it clear that it did not last nearly as long. (Though to be fair, Almedha's baby daddy was a human and their kid was a Branded...)
- This can potentially happen in Fire Emblem Awakening, if a married first generation male character that isn't a Lord is killed in battle while his girlfriend/wife survives to the end, since their Kid from the Future is slated to be born after the game's ending. Though this might also happen to a Second Generation male, shall said girlfriend/wife be a Female Avatar.
- The second campaign of Age of Empires III ends with the hero's Native American girlfriend giving birth to his son. Since the campaigns follow a family over six generations it was practically the only way that one of the hero characters could make a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Occurs in Ever17. Tsugumi is pregnant with Takeshi's children after he dies on LeMU. However, subverted because he gets better.
- Noh is implied to be pregnant in her ending for Sengoku Basara 2, despite the fact that historically she never bore Oda Nobunaga any children.
- The ending of Muv Luv Unlimited has Takeru's girlfriend and their daughter standing on a field of a distant planet, looking towards the night sky in the direction of the Earth. Takeru himself had died in the last stand of humanity against the BETA back on Earth.
- Soul Calibur V: Sometime between the conclusion of SC IV, yet prior to V, series' protagonist Xianghua and Kilik finally consumated their feelings for each other. But since he was still plagued by feelings of guilt, due to being infected by The Evil Seed, he left her before she awoke and departed for the Astral Chaos to train, in hopes of purifying himself. Kilik hasn't been seen, or heard from since; leaving Xianghua to wonder what's become of him and ultimately marry another man to rebuild her life on her own. What he didn't know is that he had left her with child: their then-unborn son, Xiba.
- In the "Severed" DLC for Dead Space 2 Lexine is pregnant with Gabe's child; both the Government and Religion of Evil had plans for her. Gabe sacrifices himself in order to allow Lexine to get away from the Necromorph-infested Sprawl.
- In Sampaguita (the 3rd game of the Yarudora series), this happens in the 3rd Good Ending: the main protagonist ultimately dies, and his soul lingers for several years in Japan, before he finally manages to go find his lover Maria; she's now returned to her native Philippines and lives with her family. She now has a child, who's the fruit of the time she and the protagonist spent together during the storyline. The child is able to see his father's soul, so they can meet for the first time.
- In Batman: Arkham City it is revealed if you look near Harley's old outfit from the first game, there is a positive pregnancy test on the floor; The Joker dies at the end, making this a villainous example.
- Also, she can be heard briefly singing to the baby during the credits at the end.
- However, the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC heavily hints that Harley is not actually pregnant, having instead gotten a false positive after many negative tests. It might be even worse, since it's been speculated that losing the Joker caused enough stress to create a miscarriage. Hence the reason her methods are both erratic and self-defeating, insanity notwithstanding.
- Knights of the Old Republic: The canonical version is that LSM!Revan trucked off to the great unknown to fight the True Sith, never returning, and leaving Bastila knocked up (with the likely prospect of exile, among other consequences). Their descendant Satele Shan is a major NPC in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
- After completing the bonus dungeon in Dragon Quest VIII, the origins of The Hero are revealed: a girl from the Dragovian Tribe visited the human world and fell in love with a human prince. The girl's father disapproved of their courting, and took his daughter away, back to the Dragovian Village. The prince searched all over the world for his lost love, eventually dying just before he could reach the village. The girl was heartbroken, but soon after she received word of his demise, she discovered she was pregnant with his child...
- Metal Gear Solid: While it has been known that Solid Snake is a clone of Big Boss very early on in the series, it's revealed near the end of the series that he wasn't grown in a test tube but inside an actual woman. The clones were created by the Patriots when Big Boss appeared to be mortally wounded and the woman who volunteered was his occasional girlfriend EVA.
- In the final route of Duel Savior Destiny Taiga goes off to fight an eternal battle. Apparently, though, he had gotten Crea pregnant a few days before despite being unconscious during their only time together. He does return a few years later, though.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, this shows up at the end if the player chooses the "Deal" ending and Roman dies at his wedding. Malorie reveals she is pregnant after Nico avenges his death. In the "Revenge" ending, this doesn't apply.
- Another gender-flipped example in the After Story of CLANNAD, with Nagisa dying giving birth to Ushio, leaving Tomoya alone.
- A decidedly skewed version occurs at the end of It's Walky!: After Walky's heroic sacrifice, Joe mentions that they may be able to resurrect him using Imported Alien Phlebotinum, but only if they can find a complete genetic sample. Cut to Walky's deeply religious (and assumed-to-have-been virginal) girlfriend Joyce looking extremely embarrassed.
- It should be noted that she was only "assumed to be virginal" by the other characters—there was a month long storyline about Walky and Joyce's first time having sex (and then the multiple times they had sex afterwards) that came right before the final storyline (and served as foreshadowing for this moment), so the readers were certainly in on the joke.
- In the Back Story of The Order of the Stick, for the black dragon and his mother.
- Fans!! has a two-in-one: the time-travelling Joseph Oberf was born after both his father (Rikk) and his genetic mother (Rumy) were killed, since he was implanted as a fetus in his birth mother (Ally).
- Suspecting he might die if he goes off to war, Candi invokes this trope by trying to get herself pregnant with Donte's child in the Ciem Webcomic Series.
- In Wurr, the dog Niavel, who "got involved with hellhounds," was recently confirmed to be pregnant with what are likely the now-deceased Issan's pups.
- Anti Bunny: Morris and Knull have a kid, Morris dies, and then she gets on the train and-
- An interesting variation that circumvents the pregnancy occurs in Red vs. Blue. In it, there are several A.I. programs that are eventually revealed to all be severed fragments taken from a single, original A.I. known as Alpha, which was in turn copied from an actual human mind. Later, it is revealed that Church, one of the main characters of the series, is actually what was left of the Alpha A.I. implanted into an artificial body (something that he himself was unaware of). Long story short, Church, or rather, the Alpha A.I., dies for real. Shortly before his death, however, Caboose is entrusted with Epsilon, one of the A.I.s that were severed from the Alpha A.I. (in this case, Church's memory), which he decides to befriend, raise, and basically use as a Replacement Goldfish for Church, which isn't especially hard since Epsilon remembers being named Church and acts just like him and Caboose loves to tell him stories about the Alpha. Interestingly, the Reds and Tucker don't seem to be aware of the switch, despite "Church" not remembering who they are since Epsilon was severed from the previous Church before they met him.
- Very much Truth in Television for any event that leaves a high enough body count. There will almost certainly be some pregnant spouses left behind.
- The documentary Dear Zachary tells the story of how Dr. Andrew Bagby was slain by his sociopathic pregnant ex-girlfriend Shirley Jane Turner. However, even the Babies Ever After was subverted in the end: the Canadian courts judged Turner to "not be a threat to society", and after her release, Turner regained custody of their child. She took the baby and jumped with him into the Atlantic Ocean.
- Happens often in wartime, as many women will attest. A soldier has that "I'm deploying in the morning...tonight could be the last time we see each other..." moment with his sweetheart before heading overseas. Many women find out that they're pregnant...at about the same time they get the news of their beloved being killed in action.
- Military couples dealing with infertility issues sometimes ask that lab-conceived embryos be saved longer than is usual, just in case the husband dies overseas and the widow wants to invoke this trope in his memory.
- Subverted with Marilyn Monroe and her first husband. She wanted to get pregnant in case this happened when he went overseas to fight World War II, but he convinced her this was a terrible idea- she'd have a hard enough time getting by during the war, and that if something did happen to him her life would become a complete mess. All of which are, in fact, Real Life consequences of having a baby in such a situation.
- Brian Wood, a game developer at Relic Entertainment, was killed after his car was hit by an intoxicated driver. His final act was to swerve so that he absorbed most of the impact, saving the life of his wife and unborn child in the process.
- Singer Roza Rymbaeva was seven months pregnant with her second child when her husband suddenly died of a heart attack.
- Broadway actress and singer La Chanze was eight months pregnant when her husband was killed in the 9/11 attacks.
- Ethel Kennedy had her 11th child six months after RFK's assassination.
- Buddy Holly's wife was pregnant with their first child in 1959, when an airplane carrying Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) crashed in Iowa and killed everyone onboard. In a sad subversion of the trope, she miscarried soon after his death.
- J.P. Richardson's wife was also pregnant and didn't miscarry. What is interesting is that said Child, J.P. Richardson III, sometime after his mother's passing, viewed his father's well-preserved body when the cemetery wanted to move his parents to a section that allowed a more noticeable monument.
- The sinking of the Titanic left a few pregnant spouses and girlfriends in its wake (no pun intended).
- When Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen died in February 1789, his wife was about a month pregnant with their fourth child (his eighth), and gave birth the following October.
- In a modern variant, husbands faced with risky surgical procedures or terminal illness have been known to have their sperm stored with their wives' approval, so that this trope might be posthumously invoked in the event they don't make it off the operating table.
- A surprising lot of kings and nobles. Shapur II of Persia is reputed to be the only king crowned before his birth.