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Spurned Into Suicide

If you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did and you will know why
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die
"Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow."
Ko-Ko, The Mikado

"If I can't have you, I'd rather die!"

Someone (most likely a Yandere) can't deal with the fact that the person they love wants to leave them, becomes attracted to someone else, or is already in love with somebody else. Instead of killing their love rival or the object of their affections so they won't ever belong to someone else, they decide/threaten to kill themselves. Might also be used to guilt the object of their affections into choosing/staying with them. Of course, sometimes they even attempt to take the object of their affections with them in death as well.

When played more sympathetically or for tragedy, the rejected's despair and pain alone can be considered the impetus for suicide. Rather than spending the rest of their days with the intense psychache of unrequited love (because Unrequited Love Lasts Forever), removing themselves from the equation seems to be the easier solution. In lighter or very sarcastic works this trope may overlap with Suicide as Comedy, even when people often say Dude, Not Funny! in regards to it. See also, Not Good With Rejection.

Obviously, this is known to happen in Real Life. For anybody that either is feeling this way, or knows someone else who feels like this, click on this suicide prevention page. No matter how bad things may feel, you or your acquintance will be happy again.

As a Death Trope, there will be marked AND unmarked spoilers ahead. Beware.


Examples:

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     Anime & Manga 
  • In Princess Princess Sayaka threatens to jump off a cliff when Tooru tells her outright that he only ever thought of her as a sister, saying that "If Tooru-kun doesn't choose me, I'd rather die!" He gets her to come to her senses by slapping her and saying "Don't say you want to die so easily! If you kill yourself we won't be able to see each other anymore!"
  • Played for Laughs in Slam Dunk. When the Hot-Blooded protagonist Sakuragi Hanamichi is yelled at by the girl he likes (she thought he'd beaten up the guy she liked), he tried to jump off the roof of the building while crying Berserker Tears. Of course, his friends kept him from jumping and it was never mentioned again.
  • Happens at least twice in Detective Conan. The first time, the guy not only killed himself... but he made it look as if the Idol Singer who rejected him actually murdered him.
    • Subverted in a case where it seemed that a beautiful girl had drowned herself after her Dr. Jerk ex-boyfriend got in an Arranged Marriage, but she actually was murdered by said Dr. Jerk so she wouldn't get between him and such a convenient union. Additionally, the victim's Genre Savvy best friend immediately realised what had happened and it was up to Conan and Kogoro to prove it at the other girl's request.
    • Subverted very cruelly when a half-Japanese/half-American woman hung herself, apparently because she got heartlessly dumped by her fiancè right before their wedding. The real reason was that the poor girl commited suicide after having learned that the guy had been fatally hit by a car. (She even was one of the persons who identified his corpse.)
  • Played straight and subverted in Gunslinger Girl. First we have Elsa, who shot her handler Lauro and then put a bullet through her eye (the cyborg girls's only weak point) because Lauro did not return her feelings and was incredibly neglectful of her anyway. Many chapters later, Henrietta, who as of late had been ignored by Jose, frags him during a rampage against Dante's men brought about by Ski Mask Guy. Jose has her finish the job, but Henrietta puts one more through Jose... and Jose subverts the trope when he uses his last shot to shoot her through the eye, killing her instantly.
  • Almost played straight (and for lulz) by Ai Ebihara in Persona 4. After she overhears that Kou doesn't care for her romantically and likes Chie better, Ai is so distraught that she runs off crying to the roof of the school and prepares to climb over the fence and jump over the edge. Luckily, The Protagonist Narukami gives chase and manages to talk her out of it.
  • Akari from Girl Got Game is a Type 2 Yandere for poor Kyo. She'd never try to hurt "him", no matter how much "he" refuses, but she is willing to threaten suicide for a date.
  • In chapter 11 Rune of Karakuridouji Ultimo is perfectly willing to kill his best friend because he doesn't love him back and then commit suicide.
  • Yoshino from Sakura Gari, who after being thrown out of the Saiki household tries to stab his ex-lover Souma in the streets, and then commits suicide.
  • The main character of Riyoko Ikeda's Claudine, who shoots himself in the head when his third girlfriend leaves him for his older brother.
  • Played with in Haou Airen, since Reilan sets a cruel Thanatos Gambit in which she ends up being shot dead by the Bastard Boyfriend that abandoned her to hook up with the female lead — specifically to both spit on the boyfriend's face and traumatise her love rival into hating the dude forever.
  • Berserk provides a particularly depressing example with Griffith. After enduring a year of torture that left him permanently crippled, seeing all his dreams and ambitions go up in smoke, and finding out that both his love interests hooked up with each other, he tries to kill himself and fails.
  • In Natsu e no Tobira, Claude commits suicide after Marion rejects his confession while he tries to rape Marion while being drugged. The next day, his body is found floating on the river, with his wrists slit.
  • It's implied that this may have part of the motive behind Asuka's mother Kyoko's suicide in Neon Genesis Evangelion, since her husband was already seeing Kyoko's own doctor behind her back and everyone around them knew about it -- Asuka herself included.; and with Kyouko already being very mentally unstable after having half her soul sucked out into Unit 02, it's not that unplausible. It's also implied that part of Asuka's distance with her father may be a result of her firmly believing that his actions played a role in her mother's death.

     Comic Books 
  • In an unusual instance of Black Comedy for an Archie Comics story, Big Ethel, standing on a bridge with Jughead, threatens to climb onto the ledge and jump off if he won't be hers. "Well," she says, "aren't you going to do anything?" Jughead smiles and gets down on his hands and knees, as though to give her a boost.

     Fan Fiction 

     Film 
  • The originally planned ending of Fatal Attraction had the trope namer for Bunny Boiler commit suicide at the end... before Test Audiences said no.
  • This is prominent plot point in The Rules of Attraction and is also subverted in it (when Sean Batemen repeatedly and ineffectually tries to kill himself after Lauren Hynde rejects him).
  • This happens in the first five or so minutes of Wristcutters: A Love Story.
  • In Don Juan DeMarco, rejection by the one woman who really mattered is what prompts the title character to attempt suicide, and so set the plot in motion.
  • Used rather cleverly in He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not. The first half of the movie sets up that a girl named Angélique is the lover of a doctor and nearly commits suicide upon learning that he will not be leaving his wife to marry her.
  • Play Misty for Me: Dave (Eastwood) is a womanizing DJ who constantly gets calls from a woman asking him to play the song "Misty". He eventually meets the woman, named Evelyn, and has a one-night-stand with her. Evelyn insists on making herself part of Dave's life and, at first, Dave likes the attention. However, his ex-girlfriend, Tobie, moves back to town and Dave decides to patch things up. After he attempts to tell Evelyn that he's not interested, she responds by attempting suicide.
  • Susanna from Legends Of The Fall.

     Jokes 
  • There's a Polish joke about a man who comes home early to find his wife in bed with her lover. He pulls out a gun and holds it to his own head. His wife starts laughing, and he responds, "What are you laughing about? You're next!"

     Literature 
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther: a young wangster kills himself because his lover Charlotte is married to his friend.
    • In the Chilean novel Golondrina de Invierno, a young would-be poet and Expy of Werther commits suicide when the female lead's cousin, whom he fancies, is engaged to marry a rich friend of hers.
  • A Tale of Two Cities and Last of the Mohicans feature similar endings, i.e. the spurned lover sacrifices himself to save the one she chooses; effectively, they are spurned into suicide and take I Want My Beloved to Be Happy to its biggest extremes.
  • Les amitiés particulières (Special Friendships). Fourteen-year-old George is forced to return his twelve-year-old boyfriend Alexandre's letters, a classic method of breaking up. Alexandre promptly takes poison.
  • Borderline example in Daddy-Long-Legs After Judy rejects his marriage proposal, Jervis Pendleton believes she doesn't love him (which she actually does, but she refuses him due to the social class difference , so he goes hunting in Canada, gets seriously sick and nearly dies as a result. He wasn't deliberately trying to kill himself, but he was so utterly depressed that he had a very difficult time recovering. And he still isn't recovered when Judy visits him, learns that he's her dear DLL, and they reconcile.
  • Dido in The Aeneid kills herself after Aeneas leaves her. She had sacrificed her honor for him and betrayed her late husband, as widows were not supposed to remarry or take a lover. Add this to the fact that her feelings were goddess-induced and rather obsessive, and that Aeneas was kind of a jerk...
  • Sybill Vane in The Picture of Dorian Gray, who takes a fatal dose of poison right after Dorian cruelly dumps her.
  • The ending of Francoise Sagan's novel Bonjour tristesse (Hello, sadness). The protagonist Cécile interfers way too much in the relationship of her dad Raymond with a his girlfriend Anne, an old friend of Cécile's Missing Mom, since she fears that her and her dad's carefree and hedonistic lifestyle won't last if he marries Anne. Hoping that Anne will break off her and Raymond's engagement and leave, Cécile ultimately manipulates her father into visiting his old mistress Elsa, and Anne sees them kissing in a forest; she completely cracks, then drives her car into a cliff. Everyone believes it was just an accident, and Cécile is the only one who knows the truth.
  • In Peter Moore's Caught In The Act Ethan tries to tell Lydia (who's Yandere for him) that he is not dating her. Apparently heartbroken by the news, she attempts to take hers and Ethan's lives.
  • This is the modus operandi of the Deathtalker in the Portals series.
  • Part of Shada D'ukal's plan to sneak up on the Solo residence in the Star Wars novel Specter of the Past involves pretending to be this, in order to distract the house guards. She climbs up to the roof and threatens to jump, leading to a strange moment where one of Leia's characteristically stoic Noghri bodyguards is trying to talk her around, before she disables him and rappels down the side of the building. Good thing she's ultimately on their side...

     Live Action TV 
  • Cheers episode "A Ditch in Time". Sam Malone gets involved with Amanda Boyer (Carol Kane), who becomes obsessed with and possessive of men she goes out with. When he tries to break up with her she implies that she'll commit suicide if he does.
  • Parodied in the Chilean telenovela Sucupira, where the local pharmacist Don Segundo constantly tries to commit suicide whenever he doubts about his Femme Fatale wife's fidelity. And since that happened very often, well... Among other methods, he tried to: I.e: hang himself, blow his brains out, throw himself in front of a train, etc.
  • Sophia in Skins. Bonus points because this suicide is how we first become aware of her existence, and the reasons for her death and her importance to other characters lives are only discovered later.
  • In an episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean have to protect a girl from a spirit who kills people who have been involved in other's deaths. The girl's past includes a boyfriend who threatened her with this trope when she tried to break up with him. When she left anyway, he did go through with it and she's felt guilty ever since.
  • In Oz after Beecher rejects him for the final time Keller ultimately responds by committing suicide.
  • Two and a Half Men: When his wife left him, Walden tried to drown himself in the ocean. Apparently he didn't realize that the water would be really cold.
  • Fran of The Nanny gets her own stalker in the form of Jeffrey Needleman, an old classmate from middle and high school. He threatens to fling himself out a window if Fran doesn't start a relationship with him.
  • In Desperate Housewives George became very obsessed with Bree after she rejected him and ultimately killed himself by overdosing on sleeping pills.
  • On Soap, Billy Tate is in a relationship with his teacher Leslie Walker. When he ultimately breaks it off, Leslie makes numerous Played for Laughs attempts at committing suicide in front of him, which generally fail spectacularly (often due to intentional or incidental interference by other members of the Tate or Campbell families). Billy eventually tries to convince her that it's not worth killing herself over. It works, and she then decides to kill him instead.

     Music 
  • "The Letters" by King Crimson.
  • The song "I Can't Stand Losing You" by The Police is a darkly humorous example. It's implied that he won't go through with it, though.
  • The traditional folk song "The Butcher's Boy" (also known as "The Railroad Boy").
  • The Armor For Sleep song "Car Underwater" is about the protagonist of the album sitting in a car which he drove into the water thinking about the pain of losing his beloved.
    I didn't care that you left and abandoned me
    What hurts more, is I would still die for you

     Newspaper Comics 
  • A now infamous series of strips in the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic had Mickey attempting to commit suicide after being rejected by Minnie.

     Theatre 
  • Cio Cio San, the protagonist in Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly.
  • "Tit Willow" from The Mikado is about a bird who commits suicide due to "blighted affection"; the song is Ko-Ko trying to persuade Katisha that he feels similarly infatuated with her. Earlier in the show, Nanki-Poo is threatening to hang himself or commit Seppuku if Ko-Ko marries Yum-Yum, which gives Ko-Ko an idea of fulfilling his duties as the Lord High Executioner by executing someone who has already made his mind up to die.
    • Also happens in H.M.S. Pinafore when Ralph Rackstraw decides to say Goodbye, Cruel World! after being turned down by Josephine. Fortunately, this moves her to declare that she loves him after all.
  • Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas ends with Dido committing suicide after Aeneas is tricked into leaving Carthage by a false "Mercury". The story is loosely based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid.
  • The title character in Stanisław Moniuszko's Halka is jilted at the beginning of the opera, and kills herself over it at the very end; the plot is basically her spiral into despair.
  • In Follies, when Young Ben walks out on Young Sally, she pleads with him not to leave her, saying she'll kill herself. It's implied that Sally attempted suicide at least once since then.
    Ben: She said she'd kill herself. I didn't think she meant it...

     Video Games 

     Webcomics 
  • The Order of the Stick has Therkla, although in her case it was more "made a conscious decision not to come back to life" than commit suicide. It also wasn't the only factor in her decision- she had just been betrayed by her long-term mentor, and was likely to face prison time for her assistance in his crimes, Heel-Face Turn notwithstanding.
    • Note that it is possible to deliberately fail saving throws, such as a fortitude save against secondary poison damage.
  • In Something Positive, Davan's old friend Scotty committed suicide after his relationship with Donna went sour. Some of their mutual acquaintances blamed Donna for it, but later strips reveal that Scotty had been suffering from clinical depression and generally felt so worthless that he believed the world was better off without him.

     Western Animation 
  • In the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Blue Cat Blues", a very depressed Tom is sitting on a railroad track, waiting to be run over, after his girlfriend leaves him for another. The cartoon itself is a Whole Episode Flashback explaining how this took place. At the end, Jerry joins him after his own girlfriend does the same.
  • The Planet Express Ship from Futurama. She tries to kill herself and the rest of the crew after Bender breaks up with her.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Barely Legal", Meg threatens to kill herself after her date for the dance rejects her and also threatens to kill herself if Brian refuses to go to the dance with her.
    • It also happens in "I Take Thee Quagmire". When Quagmire wants to annul the marriage, his wife suddenly holds a knife to her wrist in response.
  • In the Looney Tunes short For Scent-imental Reasons, Pepe Le Pew is chasing Penelope Pussycat again and, at one point, she locks herself in a glass cabinet. The scene is done in mime with him trying to lure her out sweetly and then demanding her to come out, and her refusing, followed by her indicating that it's because of his odor. Pepe finally gets the picture and then sadly aims a gun at his head before walking out of sight. A gunshot is heard and a horrified Penelope rushes outside only to land in Pepe's arms. "I missed, fortunately for you."


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