[[quoteright:321:[[Anime/SerialExperimentsLain http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d5de9d98ff6cafc32382488563f9dcaa.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:321:[[WeHardlyKnewYe We Hardly Knew Ye]].]]

A story starts off with someone attempting or committing [[SuicideIsPainless suicide]]. And the rest of the story goes from there. If it's the main character, expect a DeadToBeginWith story, often with an IronicHell or MundaneAfterlife. If it's a [[{{Whodunnit}} mystery story]], such opener often implies the character was DrivenToSuicide. Another possibility is a HowWeGotHere story.

In comedies, a thwarted suicide is often used to set up a MeetCute between the suicidal character and their rescuer.

'''See Also:'''
* DownerBeginning
* TheEndOfTheBeginning
* MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning
* PlotTriggeringDeath
* PosthumousCharacter
* StartToCorpse


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys''. Sort of. We don't actually see the suicide in question but the plot begins when the protagonist is informed of it.
* The ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'' short "Kid's Story" bookends with the same (apparent) suicide, from there it's a HowWeGotHere story.
* ''Manga/{{Arisa}}'' begins with the titular character inviting her [[PolarOppositeTwins twin sister Tsubasa]] to her house (their parents are divorced), having Tsubasa play her for a day and attend school in her place, and then falling backwards out the window after mysteriously alluding to her "secret." She doesn't die, but she doesn't wake up from her coma for a long time.
* The anime of ''LightNovel/BeyondTheBoundary'' even starts with the word "suicide" and begins with Mirai standing at the edge of the school roof and Akihito trying to talk her out of suicide. Subverted when it turns out a minute later that that weren't her actual plans.
* The ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' NonSerialMovie ''Phantom of Baker Street'' starts with the suicide of [[spoiler:[[ChildProdigy Hiroki]]]].
** More than one case in the series begins with someone commiting suicide, and the reader/watcher just ''knows'' that said death was caused when someone ruined that person's life. And obviously, whoever is to blame will become the AssholeVictim. A good example is the death of [[spoiler: Sakurako]] in a {{filler}} episode: she climbs to a tower from her college, stares sadly at the skies, closes her eyes [[GoryDiscretionShot and throws herself off]]...
* One episode of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' starts with a montage of gynoids killing themselves.
** The 'Complex' part of the Second Season begins proper with the mass suicide of an Individual Eleven cell, who [[spoiler:mutually decapitate each other on the roof of a skyscraper. Hideo Kuze, the initial protagonist, doesn't go through with it.]]
* ''Manga/HalfAndHalf'' begins when Yuuki commits suicide by jumping off a roof and landing on Shinichi. [[spoiler: A later chapter reveals that she was pushed.]]
* ''Manga/TheHeartOfThomas'' opens with the titular character jumping from a bridge, after leaving a single letter at the post office for the boy he loves.
* The first ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' movie starts with the latest of several suicides.
* One case in ''Manga/KindaichiCaseFiles'' shows soemone found dead hanging, presumably from suicide (said victim's fate is not elaborated further) to establish the setting as a cursed place where people are driven to suicide by being there, the serial murder's gimmick in the case.
* The ''Manga/KiriNoMoriHotel'' manga begins with Shouko Shimura ''attempting'' suicide, before being interrupted by a cat that brings her to the titular hotel.
* One of the ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'' movies begins with a scientist committing suicide, which is eventually revealed to be the final step to set his plans in motion.
* In ''Psychometrer Eiji'', there is a case beginning with a girl jumping into a moving train. Said girl is a victim of gang rape committed by 5 teenagers who become the case's list of potential victims.
* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei''. At least, he ''tries'' to. Until one of his students saves him.
* Pictured above: ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' kicks off when middle schooler Chisa Yomode jumps off a building. It then follows up with an internet conversation.
-->How does it feel to die?
-->[[NightmareFuel It really hurts :-)]]
* Subverted in ''Manga/{{Spiral}}: Suiri no Kizuna''. It's [[spoiler:a murder staged as a suicide--or, in the anime, attempted murder staged as attempted suicide]].

* ''[[ComicBook/SinCity Hell and Back (A Sin City Love Story)]]'' starts with an attempted suicide.
* Played with in ''ComicBook/TheLoners'': The first issue opens with Julie Power's friends begging her not to jump, but it turns out that their worry isn't that she'll kill herself, but that she'll use her powers to fly; Julie and her friends are all members of a TropaholicsAnonymous for former teen superheroes who've all made a vow not to use their powers anymore.
* In the third issue of ComicBook/TheMultiversity, ''The Just'', [[SpinoffSpring the daughter of Metamorpho]] kills herself [[spoiler:due to falling prey to the cursed comicbook of the previous issues]].
* ''ComicBook/XFactor'' opens up with Rictor on the roof about to jump. Madrox sends one of his dupes to convince him not to, with a little help from Wolfsbane yelling from the street, but [[spoiler:the dupe pushes him off anyway. At this point in the series, the dupes took on different facets of Madrox's personality, and that one was the "asshole" facet. Don't worry. He's saved by Monet St. Croix.]]
* One of the first ComicBook/XMen stories after the end of John Byrne's run on the book involved the father of a supporting character. Bonus points in this case for being [[DrivenToSuicide driven to it]] by "D'Spayre," the AnthropomorphicPersonification of...well...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin take a wild guess.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Pretender}}'' opens with Robin attempting suicide over [[spoiler: failing to stop Emmeryn's HeroicSuicide]]. Frederick [[InterruptedSuicide intervenes]] by cutting the noose and revives him before he succeeds.
* ''Fanfic/TimeOutOfMind'' is set off by John Laurens' attempted suicide.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ThirteenAssassins'' begins with a {{seppuku}}.
* In the film inspired by Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Theatre/{{Alegria}}'', the story starts with street performer Frac attempting suicide by lying down on train tracks. He's only stopped from going through with it when his [[InnocentFlowerGirl abused urchin friend]] Momo lies down beside him with the ''same intent''.
* ''Film/{{AboutAlex}}'' starts off like this. Alex dresses, sits in his bathtub, and slits his wrists in the opening scene.[[spoiler: He survives.]]
* ''Film/{{Ariel}}'' begins with Taisto's father shooting himself after the mine where they both worked is closed.
* ''Film/{{Begotten}}'' begins with God disembowelling himself, upon which Mother Earth emerges from his body.
* The first shot of ''Film/TheBigHeat'' is Tom Duncan putting a bullet in his head. The plot unspools from there.
* ''Film/{{Constantine}}'' starts with the apparent suicide of Angela's twin sister.
%%* Played straight in ''Film/{{Devil}}''.
* ''Devil in Miss Jones'' -- An otherwise saintly woman commits suicide and is therefore damned, but gets one last wish before she goes to hell for all eternity. It's a porno movie, so guess what that wish is.
* ''Film/TheFirstWivesClub'' opens with Cynthia Swan suiciding after her husband leaves her for a woman several decades younger than she is. When three of her college friends meet at her funeral and find that they're all in similar situations, they form the titular club.
* ''Girl on the Bridge'' starts with a woman about to jump off said bridge. A knife thrower looking for an assistant stops her...
* ''Film/{{Head}}'' starts off [[BookEnds (and ENDS)]] with Music/TheMonkees' Micky Dolenz jumping off a bridge...which makes the whole film arguably his near-death hallucination.
* ''Film/TheHours'' begins this way.
* In ''Film/TheHousemaid2010'', Eun-yi is inspired to leave her job at a restaurant and become a housemaid when she and her friend witness a suicide.
* ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'': Mr. Hudsucker leaves the building through an upper-storey window just as Tim Robbins's character is walking in.
* The plot to ''Film/IRobot'' is kicked off by the apparent suicide of Docotor Lanning, the world's foremost expert on robotics, which the main character Detective Spooner, a friend of Lanning, believes was a murder committed by a robot. [[spoiler: It turns out he was half-right. Lanning's robotic "son" Sonny did kill him, but only because the doctor asked him to do it in the hopes that Spooner would investigate and discover the plans of the BigBad, making it an Assisted Suicide, and this example an InvokedTrope]].
* ''Film/KenPark'' begins with the suicide of Ken Park.
* ''Film/TheLastEmperor'' begins with Pu-Yi attempting to cut open his wrists, triggering the flashback to his childhood.
* The Thai film ''Film/TheLastLifeInTheUniverse'' begins with a suicide attempt by Creator/TadanobuAsano's character.
* The first ''Film/LethalWeapon'' opens with a woman on cocaine jumping from a high-rise suite. The plot begins when heroes [[CowboyCop Riggs]] and [[ByTheBookCop Murtaugh]] are assigned to investigate the circumstances of her death.
%%* The InNameOnly ''Film/IRobot'' movie.
%%* ''Film/LittleMissSunshine'' starts with an attempted suicide.
* ''Film/TheNinthGate'' begins with Andrew Telfer's suicide
* 1988's ''Permanent Record'' is about a young man who commits suicide at the biggest party of the year. Keanu Reeves plays his best friend, who's left to pick up the pieces.
* Creator/JackieChan's ''Police Story 2013'' opens with his character shooting himself in the head with a gun, and the movie shows the events that lead up to it. [[spoiler: In the scene where he does it, however, the gun jams.]]
%%* So does ''Film/{{Amadeus}}''.
%%* ''Film/TheOmen1976''
* The plot of the Japanese mystery film ''Film/SchoolDayOfTheDead'' kicks off when a high school girl commits suicide.
%%* ''Film/SevenPounds''
* ''Film/SuicideClub'' opens with 54 schoolgirls committing mass suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming subway train. As you may have guessed from the movie's title, other people soon follow suit.
* ''Film/{{Suspect}}'': The Supreme Court Justice kills himself with a shotgun at the end of the very first scene, setting the plot in motion after he gave a file clerk mysterious messages to deliver.
%%* ''Film/TheBigChill''
* The horror movie ''Film/{{They}}'' begins with the public suicide of the protagonist's childhood friend.
* ''Film/{{Unfriended}}'' opens with Blaire watching a [=LiveLeak=] video of Laura Barnes killing herself.
* ''Literature/TheVirginSuicides'': A big family full of sisters commit mass suicide, starting with the youngest, and a group of boys become obsessed with them.
* ''Film/WristcuttersALoveStory''
* ''Film/HaroldAndMaude'' opens with death enthusiast Harold fake-hanging himself.
* ''Film/TheWorldOfKanako'': After about ten minutes in we see the suicide of Ogata (Kanako's first boyfriend), who jumps from the roof after he has been bullied for a long time by the Matsunaga Gang. Nobody seems to take much notice of this.

* Creator/AgathaChristie
** ''Literature/TheMurderOfRogerAckroyd'' starts off with Mrs. Ferrars' suspicious Veronal overdose. It is eventually confirmed to be a suicide.
%%* Stephen King's ''Literature/{{IT}}''.
%%* ''Nerve'' by Creator/DickFrancis
* ''Literature/OnAPaleHorse'' begins with the protagonist having a bad day that's the final straw driving him to attempt suicide. Just as his finger tightens on the trigger, TheGrimReaper arrives to collect him, and he instinctively turns the gun toward the perceived threat. Result: a dead Death, and a living protagonist whose troubles are just beginning.
* ''Literature/ThePerksOfBeingAWallflower'' begins with the protagonist's best friend having killed himself.
%%* ''Literature/SongofSolomon''
%%** ''Towards Zero.''
* ''Tunnel Vision'', a YA problem novel by Fran Arrick.
%%* ''Literature/TheVirginSuicides''
* ''Literature/TheWinterQueen '' by Boris Akunin. Although the young man who shoots himself in the first chapter did in fact shoot himself, detective Erast Fandorin still discovers a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a secret society that wanted the young man's vast fortune.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' has, near the beginning of "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I," Gaius Baltar persuading Boomer to kill herself. She doesn't succeed, but it's the beginning of BreakTheCutie for Boomer.
** The plot of ''Series/{{Caprica}}'' is set off by a suicide bombing in the first few minutes that starts off the entire plot.
* The narrator of ''Series/DesperateHousewives'' commits suicide at the start of the series.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E6Extremis "Extremis"]] starts off with ''many'' suicides, thanks to someone leaking the translation of a book called ''The Veritas'' online, a book that makes anyone who reads it kill themselves.
* An episode in Season 5 of ''Series/{{House}}'' starts out with one of the main characters doing this. ''For no reason''. (It was actually because the actor decided to quit the show.)
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' has an episode that starts with a woman walking on a bridge and then shooting herself in the head in an elaborate posthumous revenge plot.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' opens with Blaine singing "Cough Syrup" over [[spoiler: Karofsky preparing to hang himself. He survives.]]
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': "The Martin Baker Fan Club" starts with a former naval aviator jumping out of a window at a VA hospital.
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'':
** An early episode has a cop's suicide start an investigation that eventually leads to uncovering the cop and many of his childhood friends had been sexually abused by the neighborhood priest. [[spoiler:One of the victims was Detective Mike Logan.]]
** The 2009 episode "Illegitimate" begins with the perplexing case of a cop committing SuicideByCop. The rest of the episode deals with the detectives tracing down why he did it.
* The ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Leap of Faith" starts with a naval officer about to commit suicide, which Gibbs [[TalkingDownTheSuicidal steps in to prevent]]--and then the officer is sniped.
* The ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'' episode "Chinatown" starts with a naval officer killing himself [[spoiler: so he can't be used to commit treason]].
* ''Series/OrphanBlack'' starts with Beth Childs jumping in front of a subway train - right before the eyes of her clone, Sarah Manning.
* In ''Series/PleaseLikeMe'', the main character's mother attempts suicide in the first episode, leading him to move in with her.
* ''{{Series/Sense8}}'': Angelica's suicide occurs at the beginning of the first episode, which sets off the plot.
* The fourth season of ''Series/{{Skins}}'' begins this way. We see the main characters partying in a club through the eyes of a new character, Sophia, as she climbs the floors of the club. She then proceeds to jump off the top one.
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Eye of the Beholder" starts with a Starfleet lieutenant jumping into a plasma stream.
* The entire premise of ''Series/ThenCameBronson'' is the title character riding around the country on the motorcycle purchased from the widow of his friend who killed himself.
* ''Series/{{Wilfred}}'' begins with the main character [[BungledSuicide attempting to kill himself.]] After he fails, [[SanitySlippage things start getting a little weird...]]

* ''Theatre/CactusFlower'' begins with Toni trying and failing to kill herself by leaving the gas on overnight.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Videogame/BlackKnightSword'' begins with the protagonist preparing to hang himself before getting dragged into the strange adventure as Hellebore's Black Knight. [[spoiler:It ends with him finishing the attempt after the adventure is over.]]
* ''VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth'' begins [[spoiler: and ends]] with the protagonist in an asylum attempting to hang himself in his cell. [[spoiler: While it's not completely confirmed, apparently he succeeds.]]
* The eponymous protagonist of ''VideoGame/TheCatLady'' starts the game off by swallowing "a whole bunch of pills" thirty-four, to be exact.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' starts off with Kratos stepping off of a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea... which for some reason is also "the highest mountain in all of Greece." [[spoiler:In fact, this is a scene of the ''end'' of the game, after Kratos has defeated Ares. The gods will not let him die, though.]]
* ''Videogame/TheLastDoor'' begins with Anthony hanging himself in his house. The mysterious letter he sent beforehand to his childhood friend, Jeremiah Devitt, leads him to investigate what happened... And sets the plot in motion.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' apparently begins with Yukari attempting to commit suicide with a gun... but it doesn't take long for it to become clear that she's only trying to gather the courage needed to evoke her Persona. The gun doesn't even [[AbnormalAmmo shoot bullets]].
* ''VideoGame/TexMurphy: Overseer'' (which is a remake of the original Tex Murphy game, ''Mean Streets'')

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Demon}}'': Jimmy hangs himself on the very first page. The fact that it doesn't stick kick-starts the entire plot.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''[[ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier Justice League: The New Frontier]]'' opens with the writer of a children's book, whose sensitivity picks up on the emergence of the Centre. He tries to put everything down in a story, then, overwhelmed by despair at the coming catastrophe, picks up a gun and aims it straight at the viewer, since we see everything from his perspective. He then pulls the trigger, and the opening credits start to roll.