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Sorry That I'm Dying
I regret to report that I am no longer fit for duty...
A Random Hobgoblin, after being crushed under a boulder, The Order of the Stick

Death. This is (usually) the final time this character will ever get to do anything. This gives us such tropes as Anguished Declaration of Love, where a character realizes this is the last chance they'll ever get to say, "I love you."

But sometimes what they have to say is... 'sorry'. 'Sorry' that they can't keep their promises, that they can't do the things they said they would. 'Sorry' that they will upset others. 'Sorry' that they're dying.

Part of many a Heroic Sacrifice. In some ways an inversion of How Dare You Die on Me!, and in others, I Can Still Fight.

Death Trope means spoilers.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Sailor Moon, Nephrite apologizes to Naru for not being able to take her out for a chocolate Parfait (known as Milk Shake in English language world) just before he dies.
  • In RG Veda, one of the most Tear Jerkers moments (and in this manga, that's a lot) is when The Cutie of Ryou-oh is killed by Ashura's just awaken Enemy Within and Ryou-oh apologizes to him for now being unable to fulfill his promise of protect him...all of that with a geniune but sad smile.

    Film 

  • The Road: The father to the boy.
  • Buckaroo Banzai. The black Lectroid John Gant is about to destroy his thermod (and himself) to prevent the red Lectroids from capturing it.
    John Gant: My most profuse apologies to my homeland and loved ones...Perhaps John Parker will get through with our message to Buckaroo Banzai.
  • In Serenity Simon, while lying on the ground shot, and thinking he is dying, apologizes to River for not protecting her enough. Hopefully the patron saint of big brothers (whoever it is) puts in a good word for him. Good thing he gets better.
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Nuka dies trying to make his mother proud by killing Simba. His last words as his mother frantically tries to save him (showing for the first and only time in the movie that she really does care for him) he whispers "Sorry...I tried."

    Live Action TV 
  • In Smallville, Fracture, unusually, Chloe Sullivan acts apologetic for dying after she comes back to life with Resurrective Immortality.
  • Season four of Dexter gives us a non-verbal variant: Agent Frank Lundy, after having rekindled his romance with Deb Morgan, is shot dead a few episodes in. Deb watches him take his last breath. Although he says nothing, she describes the look on his face as he's dying as "apologetic."
  • Doctor Who:
    • Rory's last words to Amy after throwing himself between the Doctor and a laser blast are "I'm sorry".
    • In the series 6 opener, the Doctor apologises to his horror-stricken friends just before the mysterious astronaut shoots him mid-regeneration, killing him for good.
  • On Growing Pains Mike's big acting break (or so he thinks) is when get gets a gig on a Police Procedural as a cop who gets shot in a shootout, saying something like "I guess I'll never get to [something]." But when it's shown on TV his one line gets cut.
  • "The Even Chance" from Horatio Hornblower Mini Series: Midshipman Clayton, Horatio and Archie's friend, is dying after the third of the episode. Horatio challenged their sadistic bully to a pistol duel, and Clayton didn't want him to fight it because Horatio is way too young and Simpson is one of the best shot in the Navy. The scene at Clayton's deathbed is truly heart-wrenching. Clayton's sorry he's dying so very young and feels that much younger Horatio shamed him, being more courageous when dealing with their nemesis. He explicitly says he's sorry he didn't kill Simpson.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • The Order of the Stick: A random hobgoblin sees a boulder flying in and knocks his commander out of the way. Last words, and possibly two out of his only three lines are:
    I regret to report that I am no longer fit for duty...Supreme Leader...

    Web Original 
  • Dogfight's lasts words before he was crushed in the collapse of the North Tower after the 9-11 attacks was an apology to his son for not being there to watch him grow up. This was part of his son's Freudian Excuse to become a supervillain.
  • Powder Keg: Harvey apologizes to the Driver for his blood ruining the car during their getaway.

    Western Animation 
  • Liberty's Kids has an episode that starts off with Nathan Hale (see Real Life), and the British commanders commenting that they can't let word get out that an American was able to face death so calmly.
  • In Adventure Time when Betty comes to modern Ooo only to realize her fiancé Simon is dying, she says "Don't die, Simon. I just got here," to which he replies "I'm sorry, Betty."

    Real Life 
  • Nathan Hale is said to have said, just before being hanged at 21: "I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country." Actually, he said: "It is the duty of any good man to oppose tyrants", and a writer at the time said one life to give about his death.
  • Satoshi Kon, after expressing regrets about being unable to finish the movie he was working on at the time, ended his farewell letter with a phrase that is used when somebody leaves work while others have to stay and roughly translates as "Sorry for leaving early".
  • Wehrmacht Sergeant Anton Schmid, who was executed in 1942 for rescuing 250 Jews from the Vilna Ghetto in Lithuania. In his last letter to his wife and daughter, he wrote "Please, please forgive me. I only behaved like a human being. I didn't want to hurt anyone."

Sorry I'm LateIndex of ApologiesSorry to Interrupt
See You in HellLast WordsTake Care of the Kids
Someone to Remember Him ByDeath TropesSorting Algorithm of Deadness

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