The killer goes through a door, which closes behind them. Then we hear screams and gunshots. Used with those Driven to Suicide
A subtrope of Gory Discretion Shot
or Battle Discretion Shot
. See also Scream Discretion Shot
and Shadow Discretion Shot
. Goes together well with the lethal variant of Mugged for Disguise
. Sometimes an example of Nothing Is Scarier
or Darkness Equals Death
, where the scene is more disturbing because we can't see it.
As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked. You have been warned.
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Anime and Manga
- Elfen Lied: The lone survivor of a squad of guards who had been trying to kill a naked teenage girl is trapped unarmed and alone in a room with her. She crouches down in front of him as he cowers in a corner, shitting his pants in fear...
- Noir. The Intocabile murders the family of a Mafia boss this way, after he commits treason. This was done to get around the heavy restrictions placed on gore by the network (which is why the series uses Bloodless Carnage) and it works.
- Debatably, also the ending of the series. But most fans don't sign to this theory, as the gun-sounds in the end belong to the protagonists' guns, which at this point were destroyed.
- The Count's death in The Castle of Cagliostro, when he's crushed by the clock tower's hands. You hear him in pain, and then a gurgle accompanied by a nasty-sounding crunch as the hands move to the 12:00 position.
- Karyuudo Tsukishima's death in The Future Diary is heard from a walkie-talkie as Officer Kurusu shoots him point-blank.
- Though we do see him bleed out, the actual shot that killed Maes Hughes in "Fullmetal Alchemist" is just a sound effect over a black screen.
- Black Lagoon. Yukio's suicide where she stabs herself in the throat with a katana. We only see Rock staring in horror (as Revy screams at him not to) and the sound of Yukio choking to death on her own blood.
- Done in Watchmen when Rorschach went into the prison restroom and killed Big Figure.
- Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog has one in the milestone issue #225; Sonic and Sally infiltrate the newly-built Death Egg Mark II, where they are then immediately confronted by Silver Sonic Mark II. Sonic decides to fight. However, Sally runs down a corridor to trace Eggman's intercom signal, where she encounters a giant gun turret that pops out of the wall. Sonic, while still fighting Silver Sonic, hears 3 sickening loud blasts (Possibly made worse by the art detailing in the onomatopoeia of the blasts.) from outside the corridor. The only thing we see afterwards of Sally is her shattered goggles and a silhouette on the floor of her lifeless hand, as Mobius reboots itself. She's not dead...but then gets roboticized.
Films — Animated
- Bambi: We don't actually see Bambi's mother getting killed by the hunter. We just hear a gunshot after Bambi runs away, and later his father tells him that his mother "can't be with him anymore". Interestingly, the hunter himself is never shown in the film either.
Films — Live-Action
- In A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, the titular sound is used to refer to three things: 1) The Roar of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, 2) The guns that kill said Tyrannosaurus, and 3) The sound that the gun makes when aimed at the Protagonist who destroyed the present by tampering with the distant past.
- The Guns of Navarone. Mallory tells the others how Andrea Stavros killed a roomful of Germans — entering disguised as a collaborator, breaking the lightbulb, then after the shots and screams had died he comes out the door covered in blood.
- In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the story is told from Bella's first-person POV, so all the action is usually described through her own eyes. But when Bree is executed by the Voluturi, Bella closes her eyes, so can only describe the sounds of a vampire being dismembered.
- Done in Euripides's Greek myth-inspired Medea, when the eponymous character murders her children, making this trope older than dirt.
- Kim in Miss Saigon steps into a curtained alcove to shoot herself, although she staggers out for a Died in Your Arms Tonight finish.
- Unreal. After a couple brief sightings of a Skaarj on your crashed ship, you come to a locked door. Behind the door, you hear some of the other prisoners or guards (unsuccessfully) fighting the alien. Once the door finally opens, you see the Skaarj run off, leaving a pile of what used to be people on the floor behind him.
- Also used twice in Fable II. The Hero leaves the room where an artist is either painting or sculpting Reaver's likeness, followed by a comment about how the artist has made a mistake, and then a gunshot.
- Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. Mendoza orders his thugs to kill William, then leaves and closes the door as gunshots are heard from behind it. We later learn that those gunshots were fired by Ray doing his Big Damn Heroes thing.
- Iji, sector 9.
- In Jedi Outcast, Desann tells Tavion to kill Kyle's friend, Jan. You can hear an activating lightsaber and then a grunt. Later, when Tavion ends up being dangled over an abyss after an enraged Kyle defeated her in a lightsaber duel, she confesses that it was all a trick to anger him and that Jan is still alive, so the trope is averted in this case.
- Mass Effect:
- The cutscene ends after Saren pulls out his gun on Nihlus, but the player can hear the gunshot when gameplay resumes.
- In the DLC Bring Down the Sky, one of the missing engineers' bodies shows signs of "burn marks and concussive damage." You can listen to her final audio log: "They're trying to find a way in. I think they're attaching something to the door. If I don't make it, tell my family I love—"(sound of huge explosion).
- Mass Effect 2 has one that's very easy to miss. If you give quarian merchant Kenn a thousand credits for his ticket off Omega and then hang around after he leaves, you hear him cry out and get cut off by a gunshot. Ouch.
- In Mass Effect 3, if you fail to save Dr. Archer's brother David at Grissom Academy—or if you do, but decide to not tell him and let him worry—he pulls out a gun and walks away to "escape from this nightmare." Then you hear a gunshot.
- Done in the bad ending of Wing Commander IV. Blair is taken offscreen to be executed by firing squad. "Blindfold?" "No." "Ready, aim, fire." (Gunshots, thump)
- Subverted in Final Fantasy Tactics: Delita approaches Valmafra, sword drawn, and the "camera" pans upwards out of the scene as a scream is heard. Later on, we learn that the person in question is still alive. The game never really explain what caused the scream, but many fans speculate that Delita cut off Valmafra's tongue.
- Rule of Rose goes its way to avoid actually showing any violence against children, so all deaths involving them happen off screen, with only screams to accompany them. Even bodies don't appear afterwards, only empty clothes, though the nature of the story justifies this rather well.
- After defeating Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid, she's lung-shot and asks to be finished off. The camera zooms so far out that all you can see is the fog, and you hear the gunshot echo in the distance.
- In the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake kneels in front of Big Boss's grave, puts his Springfield Operator in his mouth with one bullet, cut to black, BANG. Averted since he pulled the gun out at the last second. Good thing, too. Since Big Boss is standing right there.
- In the first level of Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, after climbing down to the ground, if you go off the screen to the right (into the city) instead of left (towards the harbor), the view doesn't change screens, and you hear sounds of violence from offscreen while your health meter slowly decreases to zero.
- Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. Worst Ending. Adell kills and devours Hanako and Taro. And you hear all the splurchy nightmare-inducing noises.
- In The Reconstruction, the screen abruptly fades to black right before Dehl kills Havan, who we only hear screaming. This is rather odd, considering that there was a graphic Family-Unfriendly Death not much earlier, plus the fact that the game has no reason to pretend it's still a happy-go-lucky family-friendly adventure story at that point.
- Although, it could be a way of showing that the extremely dark tone of chapter 6 is finally over, and that the story is now going to return to a more lighthearted state.
- Borderlands 2:
- You can find an ECHO recording of Jack strangling someone to death. He corrects someone that choking is what happens when you get food caught in your windpipe, and what he's doing is actually strangling.
- One side quest is finding inspiration for Scooter to write a love poem. When you present it to the object of his affections, she excuses herself, walks through a door, and you hear a gunshot.
- In the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, you can find ECHO recordings of live human experimentation. Although for the most part it's not outright stated whether they lived or died (though they almost certainly did die), there is a case where the victim is known to have died; Tina's parents. The final recording is of Tina being instructed to use a grenade to escape. Doing Tina's "Tea Party" side quest confirms that her parents died there.
- Happens in the third arc of Umineko no Naku Koro ni where Jessica (and the reader) only hears Nanjo getting murdered by Evatrice outside the room she is in. It is as scary as it sounds especially when Evatrice begins to taunt the blinded Jessica (earlier a gun went of next to her face and she was blinded by the discharge) from the other side of the door.
- Rise of the Triad puts up confirmation messages such as "Press Y to signal firing squad" when you go to exit the game. If you do confirm the quit out, the screen goes to black and the game plays an appropriate sound-bite ("Ready, aim, fire!" BANG!). There are several such messages, almost all of which suggest being executed (the two exceptions being driving your car over a cliff and pulling the plug on your life support), and every one with its own sound-bite.
- In The Order of the Stick Redcloak takes control over Tsukiko's wights and orders them to drain her to death and then eat her corpse. Then comics provides four panels of Redcloak's face and speech bubles with Tsukiko's dying screams as he watches her die.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Does it Twice. Yes from a Scooby Doo cartoon.
- Ed Machine comes home to find Pericles Waiting for him. He says he wants to deliver his boss a message, Ed tells him to say it and leave... Pericles informs him that he doesn't intend for him to say anything, cut to the outside where Ed's screams and Wing flutters can be heard.
- After Marcie "Hot Dog Water" Fleach's failed attempt at holding Pericles captive, he orders his Kriegstafflebots to execute her. They advance, open up their Gatling Guns, cut to Velma and Scooby, they hear gunshots, and Scooby starts whimpering.
- This must happen to 911 (999) operators from time to time.
- Ditto for those working on Suicide Prevention Hotlines.