Suicide Attack

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Generals_Terrorist.jpg
"I will die for our cause!" Wait a minute, what cause?

"Suicide fucking bombing, there's a bright idea! Everytime there's a bang, the world's a wanker short...I want to see the instructor: 'Right lads, I'm only going to show you this once!' Fucking pricks."

A cousin to Taking You with Me and a technique used by the Cornered Rattlesnake, a Suicide Attack is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: an attack where the attacker has every intention of sacrificing himself to destroy his target. Suicide attacks are mostly associated with explosives nowadays, either strapped to the body or packed in a vehicle. However, this trope is actually Older Than Steam, with the first recorded example occurring in 162 BC. Truth in Television, needless to say (terrorists do this all the freakin' time.)

Some involuntary instances are cases of Why Am I Ticking?.

Action Bomb is when this is treated as a Heroic Sacrifice rather than a case of We Have Reserves. Unlike Why Am I Ticking? (where the person rigged with explosives has been so rigged against his or her will, and is perhaps unaware of it until the kaboom) it's voluntary either way. When the trope is considered to be Suicide Attack, though, the bomber has usually been indoctrinated to believe it to be noble and justnote ; needless to say, this means that the Suicide Attacker is more often than not a terrorist suicide bomber, or a mook for an Evil Empire that has reserves, and either way they're a Card-Carrying Villain. (The Redshirt Army sometimes uses Suicide Attacks too, though if the good guys are resorting to this, the work is probably using Grey and Grey Morality at best.)

An Action Bomb is the straight-up heroic version, who blows himself up to make absolutely certain that his explosive is killing the Big Bad or one of his most dangerous subordinates, or outright destroying the Big Bad's lair/superweapon/plans/army/evil stuff. Furthermore, the Action Bomb resorts to this after considering all other options and deciding that they just won't do enough damage to the enemy in a timely enough fashion, or more commonly, when circumstances such as being under attack or captured by the bad guys prevent the formulation or execution of a less risky plan. Finally, the Action Bomb sometimes survives his attack, while the Suicide Attack is in virtually all cases Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

In realistic settings the Suicide Attack is almost always an explosion but in fantastic settings it can take many other forms. Compare Cast from Hit Points in which life must be sacrificed and perhaps irreparably damaged, but not necessarily ended.

Compare Taking You with Me. Contrast with Suicide Mission, where survival is unlikely but self sacrifice is not mandatory.


Examples

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    Multiple Media 
  • In V for Vendetta, V uses this as a threat against the receptionist at the BTN building.
  • The music video for the Disturbed version of Land of Confusion (made by Spawn artist Todd McFarlane) features a young girl with a bomb strapped to her body and a detonator in her hand, preparing to press the button as a gnarled cleric spouts off rhetoric.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Armitage III: The villain D'anclaude has a habit of turning second-generation robots into walking bombs.
  • Played for Laughs in Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts. Class F, the worst class, is at war with Class B. They seem to be having some trouble, until the Class F leader gives Akihisa a secret weapon. He tells his classmates that the Class B rep is dating the Class C rep, which enrages them and causes them to blow their characters up in the summoner war in order to take out the much stronger Class B students. It largely works, although the Class B rep has a trick of his own...
  • Choujin Sensen: Baron swallows a live grenade and forcibly grabs onto Tomobiki in an attempt to take out his target.
  • The second episode of The Cockpit is about a kamikaze squadron.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • The Mafuba (Evil Containment Wave) from the original series, which Master Mutaito used to imprison Piccolo. Roshi attempts to reseal him with it, but fails and dies in vain. However, a sufficiently powerful user can survive the technique (as Tenshinhan did when he tried it against Piccolo, not to mention Future Trunks in Dragon Ball Super).
    • The Saibaman's self-destruct attack is the only instance in the entire series that kills its target as intended, and now Yamcha forever bears the shame of having been killed by cannon fodder.
    • Chiaotzu tried this on Nappa. He died, Nappa didn't.
    • Later, Tien tried to avenge him with the Kikoho (Tri-Beam), an attack so deadly that it eats up the life of its user, with the objective of both killing Nappa and killing himself, so he would see Chiaotzu again. It didn't worked either.
    • Android #16 tries to destroy Cell by grappling him and activating the self-destruct system Dr. Gero built into all his Androids...and unfortunately, that's when he learns that Bulma removed the bomb when they were rebuilding him; Cell doesn't waste any time in destroying him. More's the shame, Cell's reaction suggests that it might have actually worked.
    • There's one example of a self-destruct successfully killing a target, but falling short of the intended effect. When Cell's fight with Gohan wasn't going as planned, in desperation he opted to take everybody with him via a self-destruct so powerful it would destroy the entire planet. What Cell failed to account for was that Goku could grab Cell and teleport him off the planet before the explosion.
    • In the Buu Saga, Vegeta figures out since Majin Buu can regenerate From a Single Cell, the only way to kill him for good is to destroy him all at once, and performs a Sphere of Destruction attack that expends his life energy (somehow causing his body to turn to stone in the process). Unfortunately, he failed to get all of Buu with the attack.
    • In GT Goku attempted a suicide attack on Omega Shenron which appeared to be a mixed of Chiaotzu and Vegeta's suicide attacks, he grabbed Omega and was going to release all the energy in his body at once. He was stopped by Vegeta who reminded him of his own lack of success with that technique.
  • Digimon
    • In Digimon Adventure, Angemon's first appearance has him put all of his power, along with much of the other Digimon's power, into one attack to destroy Devimon. It works… and Angemon is immediately reincarnated as a Digi-Egg, though Patamon doesn't reach that stage again for almost thirty episodes.
    • In Digimon Adventure 02 Magnamon calls this attack...Extreme Jihad.
  • Towards the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Fu tries to pull this on Wrath by leaping at him with a belt full of lit dynamite. Wrath cuts the fuses off the dynamite and disembowels him with one stroke.
    • Fortunately, Buccaneer exploits the distraction to pull off his own example of this trope.
      Buccaneer: We'll take him to hell together.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig episode "Ambivalence". Section 9 has to deal with a series of suicide bombings carried out by Asian refugees in Japan in retaliation to the terrorist strikes against the refugees by the Individual Eleven. One of the bombers is a young girl with the detonator in her mouth. Fortunately Bateau isn't fooled by the fact that she's got her hands up.
  • In "Fearless", an enemy of Golgo 13 tries to kill him by kidnapping and brainwashing people who have survived a Near-Death Experience and therefore no longer have a fear of death. Thus Golgo 13 finds himself being attacked by apparently ordinary citizens who are carrying suicide bombs. Golgo of course survives these attacks, pointing out that it's the fear of death that keeps him from dying.
  • In The Hating Girl the Mad Bomber who's been attacking schools attempts to blow himself up and take the female lead with him as a final stab at the "normal" people he hates.
  • The events of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade are set in motion when the protagonist hesitates to shoot a young girl armed with a suicide bomb.
  • In the final battle of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, practically all of Ribbons' forces are clones piloting MS designed only to use Trans Am and crash into the enemies.
  • In One Piece, Franky claimed to do this, when he inflated his ass...to use his Fartillery for himself and Nico Robin as a propellant for his escape.
  • In Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! several Neo Team Galactic members plant a bomb in the middle of Stadium when a Pokemon championship is going on. Alas they seemingly forgot they were in the middle of a Pokemon championship, and the trainers find the bomb and surround it with Light Screen.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Kyouko does this against Oktavia by ''destroying her own Soul Gem. Given that Oktavia is Sayaka's witch form, the undertones here are... odd.
  • At the end of Samurai Champloo, main character Jin, facing a superior swordsman he can't beat, uses a technique that opens his guard completely to get in a counter-attack, leading to both men stabbing each other fatally. Jin actually survives by a freak chance, but states that he wasn't expecting to.
  • Highway To Hell from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a Stand that inflicts damage taken by the user onto a target, apparently requiring the user to try and kill themself in order to use it to kill anyone else. This becomes a pretty dangerous ability in the hands of its Death Seeker user Thunder McQueen.

    Comics 
  • In Holy Terror, the terrorists attack with suicide bombers before sending in jets and stinger missiles.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye introduced K-Class Decepticons, Decepticons who have their alternate mode replaced with that of a bomb. These individuals are either fanatically devoted to the cause or criminals sentenced to this in lieu of execution.
  • Worst X-Man Ever is about a boy who discovers his mutant power of being able to explode and promptly die, thus meaning that he faces the fear and prejudice that mutants face without any of the potential benefits. His powers eventually drew the attention of Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who want to use him to assassinate Xavier. In the end, he uses his ability to kill off his former classmate, who actually went through with killing Xavier and took over the world.

    Fanfics 

    Films 
  • Contact. A religous fundamentalist blows up the FTL machine.
  • Executive Decision. A sweat-covered man in an overcoat walks into a London restaurant and gives everyone an Oh, Crap! moment before blowing them to bits. Turns out the plane hijacking which is the main plot is also this — supposedly a hostage exchange, the plane is carrying nerve gas in its cargo and it's made clear the Big Bad never actually intended to properly land.
  • From Paris with Love has a band of terrorists who are planning such an attack. The main character's girlfriend turns out to have been convinced into being the main delivery method. It fails, of course, though the climax is somewhat unsatisfactory as the only real explanation for their suicidal efforts is along the lines of "because reasons".
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan orders his Necrocraft pilots to dive-bomb the city as a distraction for the Nova Corps.
  • Independence Day: the good guys have an epiphany over the alien ship's weak point, but nobody has any missiles left - save for one, which malfunctions. With no other choice to stop the all-destroying enemy attack, the pilot of the malfunctioning jet pilots it straight in said weak point. Boom go the missile, the jet, the pilot and the gigantic alien ship.
    • It's made far more explicit in the rejected original ending, which had the pilot not participate in the battle in a jet, but instead turn up with a huge bomb tied to his crop-duster biplane. In other words, Fridge Logic suggests that he went with the plan from the outset knowing he was going to blow himself up. The filmmakers recognised how Narmy this idea was and changed it to the famously poignant Heroic Sacrifice we know today.
  • The War Boys in Mad Max: Fury Road, who are dying of radiation poisoning anyway and have a religious belief that their leader Immortan Joe will resurrect them in Valhalla. The attacks include leaping on their enemies with explosive-head spears, or flooding their vehicle with their own fuel to make it into a car bomb.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian the "Judean People's Front's Crack Suicide Squad" committed mass suicide by killing themselves with swords. Famous last line: "That will show em!"
    • No Roman soldier may have died, but they did all run away in terror!
  • This scene from the Korean film My Way. The Japanese soldiers don't have anti-tank weapons when taking on Soviet tanks in Manchuria, so they...improvise.
  • In Speed, Howard Payne threatens this in the beginning while holding Harry hostage. Unfortunately for him, Jack's earlier Shoot the Hostage discussion with Harry comes into play, depriving Payne of his hostage. The bomb was fake, anyway, just to make the LAPD think he was dead long enough for Plan B.
  • Implied in the Tom Cruise version of The War of the Worlds where it's mentioned that the Japanese were able to destroy one of the giant alien tripods. Presumably because, you know, the Japanese have a tradition for that sort of thing (kamikaze attacks I mean, not giant mecha). Presumably they let one of themselves be 'eaten' with grenades attached. Tom Cruise does this but is fortunately pulled free from the alien orifice by his fellow captors, leaving the grenades behind.
  • Spoofed in the comedy Water (1985). Michael Caine and the Cascaran Liberation Front seize the Spenco well and threaten to blow it up using dynamite strapped to a CLF member's body. First Caine can't get his lighter to work, then the CLF guy promptly faints when he does.
  • Logan: Caliban goes out by detonating some grenades against his captors and kills himself in the process.

    Jokes 
  • What does the suicide bomber instructor say to his class? "Pay attention, I'm only going to do this once."
  • A man was working in the Middle East, but being away from home was depressing him greatly. He called the local suicide hotline and the counselors got all excited, asking "Can you drive a truck?"

    Literature 
  • The backstory to "Frictional Losses" by John W. Campbell mentioned the Japanese super-charging airplane engines, packing the planes full of explosives, and crashing them into enemy ships. The enemy in Campbell's story were extraterrestrials, and once the Japanese gave us the idea, the rest of Earth's nations started using kamikazes against the aliens, too, which is why they didn't wipe out humanity entirely (they did nuke Japan off the face of the Earth). He wrote this story in 1936.
  • In the Alternate History series, Timeline-191, suicide bombers are called "People Bombs". The tactic was invented by the Mormons during the Second Great War and later adopted by Black Marxists, Armenians, and other resistance groups.
  • In the Safehold series, Grand Inquisitor Clyntahn creates "Project Rakurai", which is designed around the use of such bombers carrying wagons loaded with gunpowder as the bombs.
  • In the Gaunt's Ghosts story Necropolis, a group of stranded workers of the war-torn Vervunhive banded together to fight off the invaders of their home, with military forces happening to meet and aid them. Their enemies have tanks; the workers' leader explained they've adapted wraps of mining charges that they have run up and attached to said tanks. This being the Imperium, the workers have used the method diligently. The military officer's initial surprise at hearing about such dangerous tactics being constantly employed quickly turns to awe at the workers' courage and determination.
    "How many tanks have you taken out with that method?"
    "Twenty-four, I think."
    "How many men has it cost you?"
    "Twenty-four, of course."
  • In Unwind, clappers are terrorists who are injected with an explosive substance — so when they start clapping, you know you're in trouble. At one point, Connor and Risa spontaneously start applauding to create panic and escape. Lev, Vincent, and Mai become clappers themselves after certain disillusioning events for each, though Lev realizes he can't go through with it at the last moment.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch novels, the Romulans send ships to make suicide runs on planets at warp speed. One such world is Coridan; the attack causes an antimatter explosion that kills a billion people and leaves the world aflame. Two hundred years later, even though the population has recovered, dilithium fires still burn on Coridan; indeed, the Burning Sea is a tourist attraction. The Romulans went on to do the same thing to the planet Draylax.
  • In Shards of Honor, the Barrayarans cover their retreat from Escobar by having a ship self-destruct in the middle of a wormhole, making the wormhole unusable for weeks afterward.
  • A wizard's death curse in The Dresden Files involves the wizard using up their entire available store of energy, including the part that keeps their body running, to cast a single spell. Due to the sheer power behind them, a death curse is an order of magnitude greater than regular spells.
  • The Big Bad of Scorpius, an Arms Dealer who specializes in trading with terrorists, established a cult to produce suicide bombers for profit.
  • The Green Storm in the Mortal Engines series uses this in the form of Tumblers, bombs that are designed to be dropped from airships, piloted to a specific location by their operatives, and detonated. Notably, the Storm has access to Stalker technology and could conceivably program A.I.s to pilot the bombs, but why bother when they have so many young men and women willing to die for their cause?
  • Wizards can do this in the Sword of Truth books with Wizard's Life Fire, a spell that uses their life force to consume their surroundings.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Shardbearers are One Man Armies with Soul Cutting Blades and Magitek Powered Armor. If you don't have Shards of your own, any attack against them is a suicide attack, a desperate move to do enough damage to the armor that eventually someone will be able to kill the Shardbearer within. The person who actually strikes the killing blow wins the Shards for himself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In "Day of the Daleks". Two suicide bombings in that one, both against Daleks.
  • The Daleks themselves do this in "Destiny of the Daleks", despite having said earlier that suicide for a cause isn't logical.
  • The Expanse: A Belter who's been pushed one time too many flies his ship straight into the Martians who messed him over.
    A man's got to stand up!
  • In Farscape, this tactic is employed by the Hynerians, of all people. After the Charrids invaded their space (devouring more than a million Hynerian children in the process), Dominar Rygel IX ordered endless waves of suicide attacks against the much more capable Charrid forces. As the grievous war took its toll on the Dominar, he eventually decided to lead one such wave. This strategy eventually proved successful in driving the invaders out of Hynerian territory.
  • Similarly, in Lie to Me, two young men blow themselves up in what seem to be suicide terrorist attacks. It turns out they are innocent and unaware, having been given remote-controlled bombs disguised as innocuous items.
  • In the beginning of the season 3 finale (and almost series finale) of The Mentalist, the cold opening has a suspicious guy arriving to a convenience store, only to end up blowing himself up. It turns out he was actually an innocent victim: He was forced to carry an explosive device on him in order to deliver transaction records to the guy responsible, the clerk of the convenience store, and he unfortunately caught the attention of some police who happened to be nearby, forcing the clerk to blow him up.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. What makes the Queen's Kamikaze Highlanders so keen to kill themselves? ("The money's good..." "And the water skiing!") Sapper McDonald is recruited to infiltrate Russia and retrieve secret documents.
  • Oz. IRA terrorist Connelly constructs a homemade bomb to blow up Em City in revenge for the US Government extraditing him back to Britian. Fortunately it turns out to be a dud.
  • During the Grand Finale of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Big Bad Trakeena has her entire army of Stingwingers equiped with bombs and sends them on a massive suicide attack against Terra Venture and the Rangers. They take down two megazords and a great number of buildings this way, as well as wearing out the Rangers, who spend a lot of time directing them away from innocent civilians. It's one of the things that makes this season Darker and Edgier than an average PR season, and the fact Trakeena kills off her own army this way is one of the reasons her Dragon Villamax does a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The X-Files.
    • In "Monday" Scully and Mulder keep getting killed because they don't know the bank robber is wired with explosives, which he detonates when the situation appears hopeless. Even when Mulder does become aware of this he can't stop events until the robber accidentally shoots his girlfriend, and is too emotionally stunned to even commit suicide.
    • "Babylon" starts as Islamic terrorists commit a suicide bombing against an art gallery displaying cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. One of them survives, with Mulder and Scully seeking to communicate with him so they can find his cell, who are planning further bombings.
  • Colony: Red Hand uses this against government targets, recruiting men who have nothing to lose (the one we see is already dying) using sex with a female operative as a tool. He attempts to flee when he's discovered, and the bomb gets detonated remotely instead. Mia volunteers to blow the alien ship up later this way too.
  • Humans: Mia triggers a device to destroy Hester which does also affects her. She's revived afterward though.

    Music 
  • In the video clip of Rammstein's "Ich Will", the band commits a terrorist heist on a bank. Five members get out, one stays behind with a bomb strapped to his chest which he eventually detonates.

    Religion 
  • In The Bible Samson pulls down the temple he's chained to on top of his Philistine captors' heads.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A lot of goblin cards in Magic: The Gathering, the Goblin Grenade from Fallen Empires being the exemplar of this trope.
  • Warhammer 40,000, naturally. A small minority of Tau commander battlesuits are equipped with bombs. The Tau themselves consider this "the greatest expression of the Greater Good one can make". This isn't used en masse because battlesuits - and good commanders - take a long time to produce. The Tau otherwise do not have suicide attacks in their army, and view suicidal last stands as foolish; they prefer to feign retreat, or really retreat, then come back when the situation is more favorable.
    • At least as of 4th Edition, and we're in 7th as of 2016, this is portrayed not as a suicide attack but as a Heroic Sacrifice; the model with the bomb, when it would be dead anyway due to wounds or a sweeping advance, triggers a bomb that damages the attackers. In the older edition, it allowed the bomber's comrades to pull away from close combat and have a chance for survival. In the newer edition, battlesuits generally will save against the bomb, and the explosion may tip combat in their favor, allowing the Tau line to hold. In either case, the model with the bomb only sets it off when the model would already be dead and when its unit is almost certain to be overrun and slain.
    • Orks have been known to use Gretchin as missile guidance systems - as in, the gretchin sits on the missile and makes sure it goes where it's meant to - when not using them as duck boards, squig bait, bullet shields or footballs. Generally the Gretchin only realises this is what's going on when it's too late to back out.
    • Sisters Repentia are nuns wearing a few rags and a few pieces of holy text who are armed with two-handed chainsaw swords, led by a black-clad Mistress who has a high tech whip in each hand, and who charge into battle in a fervor trying to redeem themselves in death or slaughter. Never let is be said Warhammer 40,000 knows what restraint means.
    • Now canceled Warhammer Fantasy and Age Of Sigmar have flagellants, who are doing essentially the same thing as the Sisters Repentia, but with proper Dung Ages clothing, medieval weapons, no fanservice, and no BDSM undertones.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Mecha Phantom Beast Concoruda's capable of converting the decoys into energy to perform a suicide attack that breaks the sound barrier. However, the risks to Concoruda are immense, as the burden on the aircraft is immense, enough that it causes it to self destruction.
  • The Illuminati collectable card game includes a "Suicide Squad" card which can launch this sort of attack on enemy assets.
  • In Rocket Age the 31st Seal (either a Martian resistance group or terrorist organisation, depending on who you ask) frequently orchestrates suicide attacks, typically in the form of gigantic warriors with axes, although they occasionally deploy bombers too.

    Video Games 
  • Video Game/Dune:
    • In Dune II Ordos Saboteur units had bombs strapped to themselves, and had a suicide attack.
    • In Emperor: Battle for Dune Besides the original Saboteur units, a new aerial unit called the Eye In The Sky also had an attack where it self-destructed with a Saboteur ejecting out of it.
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series:
      • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Expansion Pack The Aftermath provided the two first suicide units in the game: The Nuclear Demolition Truck and MAD Tank. The MAD Tank is a special case, in that the pilot actually gets out before it explodes, and the MAD tank only harms vehicles, not infantry. Both are Awesome, but Impractical however, as the Demo Truck had a tendency to explode at the slightest provocation (i.e: infantry gunfire) and mass producing them sometimes caused your base to be crowded with mini-nukes that'll go off in a chain reaction of anything bad happend (like an airstrike). MAD Tanks on the other hand had to deploy for several seconds, more than enough time for any enemy units nearby to simply flee the vicinity, not to mention it cost quite a lot to deploy in the first place.
      • The (Cuban) Terrorist unit in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is the infantry variant, while the Libyan nuclear demolition truck is the vehicular variant.
      • Crazy Ivans in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 can attach time-bomb to virtually every unit, including friendly or mind-controlled, thus making any unit ingame potential Suicide Bomber.
      • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: One of the special abilities of the Empire is "Final Squadron X'', a squadron of suicide aircraft (although they are only drones). The Yari Minisubs are manned though, and while not a pure suicide unit, it can be used as such with devastating effects. The Empire also has the Honorable Discharge upgrade, which makes all of their units explode and damage other nearby units when they're killed.
    • In Command & Conquer: Generals:
      • In the original game, the Global Liberation Army has the Terrorist and Bomb Truck units. The latter can upgrade with even more explosives and/or poison warheads. They also have the aptly-named Demo Traps, which are cheaply constructed roadside bombs.
      • Taken Up to Eleven with General Juhziz in the Expansion Pack Zero Hour, who has an upgrade that will turn everything (bar main structures) into suicide attackers, and his Advanced Demo Traps are both cheaper and stronger. Meanwhile, Master Poisoner Dr. Thrax has Toxin Terrorists, i.e. Terrorists that explode and leave behind poison clouds and Toxin Demo Traps, which do the same. Their Bomb Trucks are also locked into high-explosive and anthrax warheads, respectively.
    • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series:
      • Command & Conquer: Renegade had no innately self-destructive enemies in the single player mode, but more than a couple of deranged folks in multiplayer would stack bricks of C4 onto a cheap, fast vehicle and charge headlong into the fray. As only repair guns could disarm C4 and the healing beams didn't discriminate against friend or foe, this meant that most attempts ended only with the willful detonation of the C4 blocks (or waiting until the 30 second fuse burned down). In most servers, allies were Friendly Fire Proof, so it was theoretically possible that allies could stick each other with C4 before joining a pitched fight, especially since even the cheapest, Mookiest infantryman spawned with a timed C4 block.
      • As well as the Nod Fanatics from Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.
  • The vehicular version is featured in Project Reality, though there is talk of adding the infantry version.
  • In StarCraft, the Infested Terrans, which are essentially the science-fiction version of the aforementioned Toxin Terrorists.
    • The scourge are the flying version of this for the Zerg.
    • In addition, the end of StarCraft has Tassadar carrying out a Suicide Attack on the Overmind.
    • In the sequel, Zerglings can morph into Banelings, which are a purely biologic version of this.
  • In the Warcraft franchise:
    • The Goblin Sappers seen in Warcraft II (as well as their counterpart the dwarven demolition squad), Warcraft III and World of Warcraft are trained only to blow themselves up and damage enemy buildings. World Of Warcraft also has an engineering gadget called "Goblin Sapper Charge", which allows the player to do this as well.
    • The Warcraft III expansion pack The Frozen Throne features troll batriders who can set themselves to explode on enemy flying units.
  • There's a weapon in Worms called the Kamikaze that causes the worm to fly in a straight line and explode when it reaches a certain point. There's also the Suicide Bomb, that, depending on the game, either makes the worm explode like a Holy Hand Grenade or detonate in a small blast that leaves a cloud of poison.
  • The petard unit (the real life basis of which is the Trope Namer for Hoist by His Own Petard) in Age of Empires II is a medieval suicide bomber. There is also the demolition ship, although it might be unmanned.
    • Pirate fire ships in Age of Empires III which are essentially ships with parts on fire and the decks filled with black gunpowder. I'd suppose they are manned, but I assume the crew will jump to the sea or escape on lifeboats as soon as they set the ships on collision course on enemy ships.
  • The Soldier's aptly-named Kamikaze taunt in Team Fortress 2 has the soldier pull the pin on a hand grenade but not throw it, the explosion killing the Soldier and any enemy within a six foot radius of him.
    • The Ullapool Caber is this for any Demoman who has taken moderate damage and doesn't have a shield.
  • Bungie's Myth games have Wights, zombies that explode when attacked or when they get close to enemies, and spray a paralyzing toxin over nearby units. The Left 4 Dead games feature similar enemies called Boomers.
  • Bungie's Marathon games feature Assimilated BoBs, who look like civilians but run up to the player and explode,
  • Halo:
    • From Halo 3 onward, Grunts will sometimes light up two plasma grenades in their hands and charge at you. Suicide Grunts are even a specific unit in Halo Wars.
    • Additionally, Flood Carrier Forms have no means of attack other than walking up to someone and exploding; the Infection Forms they carry are a half-example, as they only explode when attacking shielded foes.
  • The Garry's Mod game mode Trouble In Terrorist Town has a Traitor weapon called the Jihad bomb, which is basically a C4 that blows up in your hands with a 5 second warning to everyone around you before you explode, taking you and everyone in a large radius. The weapon isn't on all servers due to how overpowered it is by using it on a crowd of players or in a small room. While you die with it, you can usually take nearly 5 lives with you, which is difficult to do over one round.
  • From the Pokémon series, there are two attacks that let you do this: Self Destruct and Explosion. Not a pure example as the Pokemon who learn these moves can learn other moves as well, and because they faint rather than die. There is, however, a minefield in a Team Rocket base in Gold/Silver that spawns enemies with Self Destruct in their move lists (though in an odd example, due to levels changing, in the remakes, one of these is unable to use their suicide attack.)
    • Second Generation introduces Perish Song, which makes both the user and the target faint in three turns.
    • Fourth Generation has the friendly version Healing Wish, which heals the user's team instead of causing damage, and Memento and Grudge, which severely cripple the opponent in exchange for the user's life.
    • Fifth Generation gives us Final Gambit, which has the user sacrifice all of its remaining HP to cause the same amount of damage to the enemy. Because of its nature, it is best used by Pokémon with high HP.
  • City of Heroes gives you one of these as a bonus power if you bought the Cyborg super booster. Use it and it counts down from 10, then detonates in the single most damaging attack in the game. The downside? Not only do you die instantly but it prevents you from being targeted by any of the various resurrection powers in the game, forcing you to go back to the hospital.
    • Masterminds with Traps as their secondary powerset can also get the Detonator power, which allows them to do this to their henchmen, though henchmen that aren't zombies or robots will try to set the bomb down and get away before it blows.
  • The Kamikaze Darkling from The Darkness video game is a little maniac in a top hat and tails (and an inexplicable Russian accent) strapped with dynamite. His attack is to run up to the enemy, pull out a detonator box and push the plunger. He's also good at blowing out walls and doors.
    • Your sidekick Darkling in the sequel performs a LOT of actions that keep constantly killing him, but since he respawns each time, he bears with it. Until the ending, when he dies for real by burning from Hell-stored sunlight.
  • In Mass Effect, one of Zaeed's retirement plan ideas (since the other ones are unlikely retirement opportunities) involves taking a ship filled with explosives and ramming it in to the Omega station.
  • In Mass Effect 2, this trope is basically one of the themes, as the entire game revolves around Commander Shepard recruiting new team members to help fight against the Collectors in a direct assault on their base (which is pretty much a Death Trap).
  • Several enemies in Superhero League of Hoboken have attacks that can hit everyone in the party (for example, "Lawyer SUES!"), but knocks them out in the process.
  • Alice Margatroid of Touhou seems to have this as a recurring theme in her attacks: "Suicide Squad," "Suicide Pact," "Straw Doll Kamikaze," "Artful Sacrifice," etc. Note that it's not Alice sacrificing herself, but rather sending legions of her dolls to blow up on the enemy.
    • Fujiwara no Mokou, the Extra Stage boss of Imperishable Night, dies after her spell cards. However, since she's immortal, she just comes back to life and continues pelting you with danmaku until she gets tired. When she reappears in Urban Legend in Limbo she has gained an attack that effectively annihilates her body in a pillar of fire. On the flip side, this Suicide Attack actually heals her of all self-inflicted damage.
  • In MechWarrior 4, the High Explosive Pack was a two-slot missile weapon with precisely one shot, no additional ammo, and an ominous skull and crossbones for its weapons icon. The premise behind this weapon was that, in multiplayer, a 'Mech on its last legs or with all other weapons lost could charge at the enemy and trigger the bombs it'd strapped to itself. As there was no visual indicator of what 'Mechs had these suicide kits installed, any charging opponent in a 'Mech design with missile slots could mean bad news. This weapon was eventually removed from later expansions.
  • In Killing Floor stacking proximity bombs on your head and rushing the Patriarch used to be a quite effective way of taking him out. The bombs have since been nerfed to prevent this.
  • Beheaded bombers from the Serious Sam series.
  • A "bomb" type monster in Final Fantasy series sometimes grow larger when it's attacked or when it targets a party member before it explodes. The damage dealt is usually lethal, like the Mom Bomb in Final Fantasy IV and some other bombs in Final Fantasy XIII, in which an explosion can kill your entire party in a second if the attack is not guarded.
  • In Super Robot Wars, some pilots like Boss and Heero Yuy have a "Detonate" command, which is basically a self-destruct ability. It works against any surrounding unit and the damage is based on how much the unit's damaged. In Boss Borot's case, its repair cost is very low that it's safe to use this skill in an emergency. And, yeah, the pilots never die from doing this.
    • Of course they would survive. Boss Borot would routinely fall apart during combat because it was made out of junk. In Heero's case, he actually did make his Gundam self-detonate while standing just outside the cockpit and survived (though he hadn't intended to).
  • In Minecraft, the Creepers are a race of hostile green creatures whose only battle tactic is to walk up to your face and blow themselves up. Or to creep up behind you, silently, and blow themselves up. This led Yahtzee to label them "kamikaze shrubs" and "suicide hedges."
  • The Shofixti Scout's Glory Device in Star Control is just a big bomb that Shofixti ships carry. Once set off, it automatically kills the Shofixti ship, but, if close enough to the enemy ship, it can also damage or destroy that ship as well. Interestingly, if a Shofixti ship kills the last Hierarchy ship in a scenario with its Glory Device, the Alliance wins, even if the Alliance has no ships left either.
  • Psychos reduced to low health in Borderlands may pull out a grenade and charge nearby players. The grenades don't disarm when the Psycho is killed and are more than powerful enough to take you from full shields and health to fighting for your life, if they can close the distance before the grenade goes off. Hey, they are crazy.
    • The sequel has Suicide Psychos, who has this as their primary attack as well as the EXP Loader, robots who run up to the player and self-destruct.
    • ...and with the Psycho DLC pack, you can even play as a Suicide Psycho: One of Krieg's skills replaces Fight For Your Life mode with a phase called Light The Fuse in which you throw dynamite left and right and finally blow yourself up, instantly coming back to life if you manage to kill something in the process.
    • Wilhem's "Termination Protocols" skill in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is similar to Light the Fuse: Wilhelm no longer goes into normal Fight for your Life; instead, he can fire normally, generates a constant electrical field, and explodes when Termination Protocols ends, gaining Second Wind if he gets a kill.
  • At one point in Act 1 of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (specifically, Urban Ruins), a Middle Eastern soldier arrives behind a PMC soldier and blows himself up, also taking the PMC soldier with him.
  • Subverted with Hubriks, the weakest enemy units in Future Tactics: The Uprising. They have dynamite strapped to them and attack by blowing themselves up within range of your own units. A major plot point half-way through is the discovery that said enemy creatures revive thanks to a device that brings back their dead.
  • Hom in the Tobal series can push a button on his back to switch himself off; seeing as this costs him the round with no effect on the opponent, this is purely a gag maneuver.
  • In The Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Joe Musashi can use an attack called Mijin, which destroys all enemies on screen at the cost of his own life. If the player has at least one life remaining after using Mijin, Musashi's body parts will reform, allowing him to continue on the spot at full health. If not, his body simply explodes, and the game is over.
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, the barrel enemies from the first world stop dead and explode after a brief moment when you get close.
  • Who could forget the Bob-Ombs and other explosive enemies? Paper Mario has shown us that not all of them die from their self-destructions, however.
  • The Techies have Dota 2 merely have a Suicide Attack to fall back on if they don't get the time to lay down traps, but it deals massive damage to compensate. To make this skill less painful to use on the long term, it also halves their respawn time and gives them the kill experience reward if their attack kills.
  • Super Mutants in Fallout 4 have a "Suicider" type. When they detect an enemy, they arm their mini nukes and charge, hoping to tank gunfire until they can blow up. If you kill one before it blows up, you can loot the mini nuke; if not, you loot nuclear material. If it kills you, you get an achievement the first time it happens.
  • Luxaren Allure has Heal Potion Blobs, whose Signature Move, Healsplosion, has them sacrifice themselves to heal everyone on the field. Enemies and allies alike.
  • In Infamous, the Reapers and Dust Men street gangs both include some suicide bombers wrapped up in explosives, who will try to run towards Cole and blow themselves up.

    Web Originals 

    Webcomics 
  • Volaster from Heartcore and his Blast Bomb spell. This is pretty much an ability with the same power as a nuke, meant to take down entire cities with him.
  • This Subnormality strip gives a Take That! towards them with a unique approach to the old 72 virgin joke.
  • Baskets of Guts: Myconid terrorists explode themselves in highly populated areas not to kill as much people as they can, but to infect them with their spores.

    Real Life 
  • One reason why suicide bomb attacks these days are so fearsome is because they can come without warning and you can't really know who orchestrated the attack as the only evidence is already dead. Also the Collateral damage caused by a detonation, whether the attack was successful or not, always has a negative psychological impact with physical damage tending to be a second priority.
  • The War on Terror, the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Sri Lankan Civil War, sadly, have produced countless examples.
  • In the final months of World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy developed - with the tacit approval of the rubber-stamp civilian government - separate programs for 'Tokubetsu Kogeki'/'Special Attack' units. Today these units and their function are better known by the informal term "kamikaze" - after the 'Divine Wind' (a great typhoon) that sank one-and-a-half of the two invasion fleets Kublai Khan forced the Mongol-controlled Yuan Empire of China to send against Shogunate Japan in the 13th century. Given the US Navy had countless numbers of anti-aircraft guns and the US Army had nearly fifty years of experience dealing with suicide attacks from infantry, they failed.
    • The experience above was caused by dealing with the Islamic Filipino Juramentados, who would tie ropes around their bodies, sneak upon enemy soldiers, officers and policemen and then charge with a sword. The Spaniards, who had experienced this before the Americans, were terrified, as their handguns weren't powerful enough to drop them at once and the ropes would slow the bleeding out. The Americans adopted more powerful guns (including the Colt Single Action Army in .45 Colt as a stopgap, revolvers in the .38 Special round developed just for them, and, ultimately, the Colt M1911), allowing their men to drop the attackers.
  • The Japanese Red Army, a Marxist terrorist group operating in Lebanon in the 70's, allegedly developed this as one of the attackers in the Lod Airport Massacre reportedly killed himself with a grenade launcher. They are thought to have introduce suicide bombing to the Middle East by training and inspiring their allies the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who in turn trained and inspired others until it reaches Hamas and Al-Qaeda.
    • According to The Other Wiki, Hezbollah introduced suicide bombing to the Middle East in 1983. Suicide attacks were introduced in 162 BCE by Eleazar ben Mattathias, younger brother of Yahuda the Hammer, who hit upon the technique of killing a war elephant by running under it and stabbing up from underneath.
  • An Older Than Print variant was a striking tactic of the original Assassins/Hashishin. They'd walk up to an emir and stab him in broad daylight, fully expecting the guards to kill them. The purpose of this was twofold: it's easier to assassinate someone if you don't care about living yourself, and it scares the hell out of your enemies, who realize people are willing to die to kill them.
    • They did usually have an escape plan ready - sometimes every single bodyguard was in on the plot, for example. They only used this tactic when they wanted to make a really strong impression or were desperate. Good assassins take a long time to train.
  • The brander, or fire ship. It is basically a sailing ship filled with gunpowder and explosive liquids, and it is steered by a skeleton crew at an enemy flotilla with the intention to ram one or more vessels, and set on fire just before the actual contact. The usual result is a conspicuous explosion, sinking not only the brander herself, but also the vessels around her. The crew members are intended to leave the brander just before the contact, but more often than not the skeleton crew will actually become one - literally. A brander attack at night against an anchored enemy can be devastating, as the Spanish Armada got to realize.
    • Somewhat subverted in that the crew of a fire ship would tie all the important lines tightly, so the ship would continue on its way for a while, then escape in a smaller boat or, if desperate, by swimming (presuming they knew how. Most sailors didn't, back then.) Actually dying with a fire ship was not usually on the cards.
  • These tactics are not limited to humans; certain species of ants have the ability to explode when the colony is under attack. Similarly, for some species of bees, a sting is a suicide attack when used on mammals: their stingers have barbs that get trapped in mammal skin and flesh. If the bee tries to pull out its stinger, it just rips off its body, fatally wounding it. However, unlike humans, worker and soldier ants and bees are not reproducing parts of the colony; it's more analogous to your immune system cells sacrificing themselves to stop bacteria.
  • While terrorist bombings in Northern Ireland could be devastating, suicide bombing was never a tactic used by the IRA or INLA, probably at least in part because of being at least nominally Catholic, and apparently the Vatican is a bit more specific than various sects of Islam about the definition of suicide versus martyrdom. Every so often, however, due to ill-trained operators or unreliable bomb components, a terrorist would be killed alongside the device he was planting. British security forces dryly referred to such incidents as "own goals". It is also suspected that if the IRA command suspected a member of being unreliable or having been "turned" by British Intelligence, he would be cold-bloodedly sent out with a device timed to explode long before he planted it, so as to resolve the unreliability issue. It is also suspected that British Intelligence, hearing about this, deliberately planted suspicion that known IRA terrorists were acting as double agents, so as to provoke the IRA to kill its own members just to be on the safe side.
  • The Reichenberg, formal designation the Fieseler Fi 103. Take one V1 flying bomb, and add one cockpit with basic controls. Technically not a suicide weapon, at least post-World War II the claim was that the pilot was supposed to bail out once the Reichenberg was lined up on its target. Never mind that the canopy would catch on the pulsejet intake when the silly thing was parked on the ground, so the odds of getting it jettisoned at 500 MPH aren't exactly good (and there wasn't room in the cockpit for both a pilot and a parachute anyway.)
    • On the same basic lines, the Japanese fielded the Ohka (Yokosuka MXY7). They were more honest about the pilot's chances and bolted the canopy in place once the pilot climbed inside.
  • Azel von dem Bussche was a German officer who was traumatized after witnessing the mass executions in Dobno (Ukraine), so he joined the Resistance group led by Claus von Stauffenberg. Then, he unsuccessfully tried to pull this trope on Adolf Hitler in November 1943 during some briefings in Rastenburg; as a result, he survived but lost one of his legs, which kept him out of Stauffenberg and co.'s own attempt on Hitler's life. He'd later become a lawyer and diplomat, and lived until 1993.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuicideAttack