The First: You don't have the strength to kill yourself.
Angel: I don't need the strength. I just need the sun to rise.Vampires who want to kill themselves tend to do it by waiting for the dawn or walking into sunlight. There are a lot of reasons for a vampire to get fed up with their undead condition: Who Wants to Live Forever?, What Have I Become?, Horror Hunger and Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere just to name a few. However should they choose to kill themselves and end their undeath they won't have it easy; being a vampire means they're immune to most methods of suicide except for those that involve extreme force. Sure, Our Vampires Are Different means they vary in toughness and weaknesses, but they're immune to things like poisons, exsanguination just sends them into a feeding frenzy and hanging or drowning do nothing (no breathing). Even stepping into traffic may not do the job, leaving them a painful heap of broken but still unliving bones. This leaves only things like decapitation, which is impractical since not everyone has a personal guillotine, and self-immolation, which is easy to chicken out of. For these reasons, suicide by sunlight is the preferred method for a lot of vampires. They'll avoid the hassle by simply going out during twilight and waiting for the dawn, or even just stepping out into direct sunlight mid-day. From a story telling perspective and for an added and romantic bonus, it's hard to top this method for sheer pathos. There will be a quiet scene as the vampire waits nervously yet resolutely for the dawn, only to break out into screams and flames as the dawn's rays hit. In very rare cases the vampire achieves a level of inner peace beforehand that allows them to ignore the pain and die in peace. For extra extra pathos, a loved one of theirs will try to get them to find shelter, only to have them soon mourning over a small pile of ashes that scatters in the wind. Naturally, this trope only applies in settings where Our Vampires Are Different and has sunlight as a deadly weakness. Contrast Kryptonite-Proof Suit. See also Undeath Always Ends and Weakened by the Light. Not to be confused with Disappears into Light, which is about characters who dissolve into light after dying. Should be obvious, but for the sake of fair warning, since this is a trope about suicide, Spoilers abound.
— Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Amends"
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Anime and Manga
- On Blood+ the Schiff are a group of people who were used in lab experiments to create artificial Chiropterans(although ironically they resemble more traditional vampires than the chevaliers or the chiropterans themselves, the Schiff are susceptible to sunlight, the chiropterans and chevaliers are not), however, they were a failed attempt and suffered from a disease called "The Thorn" that basically meant that their bodies would end up crystalizing. They were all chased by both cinq-fleche and the chevaliers, in the end there were just three left, and one of them was suffering an Anti-Heroic BSOD and was showing signs of also having the Thorn. In the end, after Moses (the leader of the group) was able to help Karman (the Thorn afflicted) to come to terms with himself and with the death of his friends, both of them decided to face the sunlight for the first (in years since they were turned into Schiff) and last time. As for Lulu (the youngest of them, and only remaining Schiff) she was put to the care of the main characters after being cured of the Thorn.
- In the backstory of Shindo in Nightwalker, we learn that after an attack on his family, his mother was killed but his little sister was alive enough to be turned. However, when she learned Shindo was responsible for their mother's death, she was so desperate that she choose to kill herself by jumping into the sunlight, much to his dismay.
- In one story of the manga Beautiful People, a vampire encounters a little girl with blue eyes who had been abandoned in a park. On a whim he decides to care for the girl. She is unafraid of his vampiric nature, merely pitying him because he can't look at a sunny blue sky, and she tells him that he just needs to look at her blue eyes to see the sky. They grow closer as the years go by, until one day she closed her blue eyes forever. The vampire doesn't grieve because he knows how to find her again. He opens the window to look at the blue sky...
- In part 2 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Straizo kills himself using the ripple after warning Joesph of the Pillar Men.
- Preacher: Cassidy chooses to go out this way in atonement. Subverted in that he had made a deal with God to come Back from the Dead as a regular human.
- At the end of 30 Days of Night, Eben purposefully lets himself be bitten so that he'll become a vampire; he uses his newly acquired super-strength to kill the Big Bad. Afterwards, knowing that he'll eventually feel the urge to kill/drain his loved ones and probably turn evil, he commits suicide via sunlight.
- In X-Men Annual #6, Rachel Van Helsing has been turned into a vampire by Dracula. She asks Wolverine to kill her. He hugs her and stabs her with a stake. Before she dies, she sees one last sunrise which turns her to ash.
- A Hellblazer two-parter had the King of the Vampires palling around London with some of his undead, murderous buddies, and breaking away from the group to harrow a drunk and desperate John. When John gets a second wind and drags the King out into the sunlight, one of his buddies feels the King's death, leading another to say he's going for a walk. "And I may be some time."
- Arguably the most popular stories from DC's Elseworld series is the Batman & Dracula trilogy; Red Rain, Bloodstorm and Crimson Mist. In the third and final installment, Batman no longer feels able to control his lust for blood and invokes this trope in a final act of nobility.
- Varnae the first vampire in the Marvel Universe eventually grew weary of his existence. After bequeathing most of his power to a young fledgling vampire named Dracula, Varnae stepped out into the sunlight.
- Victorian Undead II: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula: Mina does this after Dracula bites her and seeing what how vampirisim has affected Lucy's dememor after she was turned and not wishing the same to happen to herself.
- In Technomad's The Trio Who Returned, Harry, Ron and Hermione, having become vampires and done what they originally set out to do, sit outside and wait for the sun to rise.
- Underworld: Awakening- A human character explains to Selene that his vampire wife chose to die this way during The Purge.
- Blade II. After she's infected by the Reaper virus, Nyssa Damaskinos asks Blade to carry her out in the open just before dawn so she can see the sunlight and die while she's still a vampire. When the sun comes up she disintegrates in his arms.
- Exaggerated in Let the Right One In when one of Eli's victims realizes that she's turning into a vampire, asks a nurse to open the blinds, and promptly erupts into a gigantic pillar of flame that extensively damages her hospital room.
- In Thirst, the main character decides upon this fate for him and his wife. His wife naturally refuses at first but eventually accepts.
- In The Chronicles of Riddick, there's the Furyan Necromonger "The Purifier". Not really a vampire (but possibly could be considered "undead" due to his religion): he commits suicide by walking out into the sunlight of Crematoria. Of course, Crematoria is basically Mercury, so anyone caught in the open would burn like a vampire. Much in line with the rest of this trope, he walked into the sun after explaining to Riddick that he was tired of the brainwashing the Necromongers used to force him to serve them, and trusted Riddick (a fellow Furyan) to avenge their people.
- Not a vampire example either: in Sunshine, the crew psychologist has a fixation on the Sun and goes out this way after being trapped on the first ship.
- Moon Child ends with Sho and Kei being incinerated together in the daylight.
- The titular character of Blacula ends his un-life this way, once he decides there's nothing to keep him in the world anymore.
- Dracula attempts this early on in Dracula Untold, and much later, though he is stopped by Shkelgim.
- Innocent Blood. The Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire tries this at the end of the movie, but is talked out of it by her human Love Interest.
- 30 Days of Night: Eben waits with Stella on the morning when the sun returns, and is burned into ash.
- A vampire does this in book two of the The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries.
- In Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Horst Cabal is arguing with his brother just before the dawn-when he realizes Johannes is simply too far gone, he walks across a plain despite his brother's pleas to get indoors and dies very quickly, turned to dust.
- In "Passionato" by Sharon Lee, an artist accepts an invitation to become a vampire because being immortal will give her more time to master her art, and then learns too late that this form of immortality includes Creative Sterility.
"I'm going for a walk," she said. "It's going to be a beautiful morning."
- Relatedly, there's a pair of White Wolf vampire short stories having to do with artists. One kills himself before he can be made into a vampire, in order to avoid Creative Sterility and/or having to give up the sun. One who is already a vampire then becomes obsessed with sunlight and starts staying up late every dawn to try to watch it rise, only barely managing to drag herself away with growing burns each time. The implication is that eventually it will become this trope.
- In The Vampire Chronicles, Lestat tries at one point, but at that point he's actually too powerful to die and just develops a permanent tan. Louis tries it too, but again is so powerful that his friends get the chance to save him before it can outright kill him.
- In The Vampire Lestat, the "Mother" and "Father" of all vampires went out in the sun; it's not clear in-text whether this was a suicide attempt, a murder attempt, or if they knew they'd be fine. Anyway, it did not harm them because they were so powerful, but all the other vampires suffered serious burns (at best), even halfway around the globe in the middle of the night.
- Armand tries one too at the end of Memnoch the Devil, but like Louis or Lestat, he is too old and powerful to actually get killed by the sun. It takes him quite a long while to recover, however.
- We only find out about his "survival" in a later book. All the characters in Memnoch the Devil just assume he really did meet the sun. Interestingly, his reasons for this are not any of those mentioned above. He found religion after hearing Lestat's story (in which he drinks Jesus's blood) and seeing Veronica's Veil. The idea is that his spontaneous combustion would make people believe even more.
- The minor character Mael succeeds where Armand fails.
- Downplayed in Twilight book 2 New Moon: Edward plans to commit suicide this way, but it wouldn't be the sunlight that killed him— instead, after sparkling in public the other vampires would have him Killed to Uphold the Masquerade.
- Played with in the Discworld novel The Truth, where Otto the vampire loves flash photography but the light involved gives him a lot of pain or disintegrates him. He ends up having to carry a vial of blood around his neck that smashes in his remains when he dies, causing him to come alive again.
- Possible twist at the end of Soulless. Lord Akeldama (a very old vampire) and Alexia watch the sunset the day before Alexia's wedding. However, since Alexia is a walking supernatural suppression field, Lord Akeldama was effectively a human again and was unharmed by the sun.
- In Fevre Dream, Joshua York tries this after his Horror Hunger gets the better of him. He chains himself up outside, throws the key out of reach, and waits for the sun to come up. It's an excruciating process that takes several hours. He changes his mind halfway through, severing one of his hands to get away in time. Despite being very badly burned, he recovers over the course of a week, and even regrows his hand, much to his surprise.
- In The Saga of Darren Shan Vancha March attempts this while on a drunken bender after a fight with his vampaneze brother. But since sunlight isn't instantly fatal to his type of vampire (and he had been building up a resistance to it) the others have time to drag him back indoors.
- In the third The Librarian movie, Simone does this so that her soul can finally be at peace.
- In The Silver Kiss, which is pretty much the original modern teen vampire romancenote and much, much better than that description makes it sound, this is what Simon does at the end, having settled things with his prepubescent evil older brother and become somewhat less insane.
- Jander Sunstar plans to greet the sunrise at the end of Vampire of the Mists. Interestingly, the story does not reveal what happens when he does. Later game materials produced by authors other than Christie Golden said that he survived by being whisked away by the Mists. That same source claimed that he continued to want to fight Strahd, however, which he had quite expressly given up on at the end of the novel. Within the novel itself, however, Jander's fate is unrevealed.
- A horrified newly-made vampire tries this in The Last American Vampire. As any reader of the previous book in this world, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter knows, it doesn't work.
- The demon prince Azhrarn does this at the end of Tanith Lee's first Flat Earth book, Night's Master. His seductions of earth women have finally caught up with him, when a girl's fiancé, transformed by him into a horrific monster, lets loose a torrent of hate upon the world. The Hate continues even after the poor boy is dead and is about to consume the earth. In a rare moment of decency, Azhrarn realizes he loves the earth and humanity, not just as a plaything. He goes to where the Hate has made a terrible wound in the sky, sits out in the sun and lets himself be crucified on its rays and burnt to ash. And the ashes of his love banish Hate, bringing a time of innocence like Arcadia to the earth.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- In "Amends", Angel tries to do this despite Buffy's pleading, but a miraculous snow shower clouds the sky so the sun doesn't show.
- Earlier in Season 2, Angelus sends a henchvamp to deliver a message to Buffy in broad daylight as part of his campaign of psychological warfare. Why a vampire would do this is unexplained; as Angelus is trying to bring about The End of the World as We Know It, perhaps his minions are swept up in the apocalyptic fervor.
- Forever Knight:
- The female vampire who turned Vachon and his enemy the Inca into vampires committed suicide by sunlight soon afterward.
- Nick Knight attempted suicide this way once, only to pull back as he started to burn.
- A Vietnamese vampire who LaCroix brought over so he could get revenge on the army troop who slaughtered his village does this after the last one is dead (also by suicide over regret of the massacre).
- There's a female vampire in an early episode who does this as well. It's assumed to be Spontaneous Human Combustion by a witness.
- True Blood:
- Godric facing the sun on a rooftop. This suicide by sunlight comes complete with weeping friends, inner peace and dissolving into the light.
- In the fourth season, a witch tries to make every vampire in Bon Temps do this. She succeeds with a few nameless extras, but most strapped themselves down and rendered themselves immobile to avoid this fate.
- Shortly after being made a vampire, Tara tries to commit suicide by tanning bed. As her maker, Pam was not pleased.
- Eric tries to have a Taking You with Me moment with Russell Edgington in revenge for Russell killing his parents 1000 years ago by pretending that Sookie's blood provides permanent ability to survive the sun. He takes a bite and then walks out. Seeing this, Russell follows suit, only for Eric to reveal that he's already burning up. He then chains both of them with silver handcuffs. However, thanks to the faerie blood, they survive long enough to be dragged back inside. Being 3000 years old, Russell should have gone up like a firecracker.
- The Vampire Diaries:
- Stefan attempts this in the first season, but is persuaded not to do it by Elena.
- Towards the end of the second season, Elena's biological mother Isobel is mind controlled into killing herself this way in front of Elena.
- Averted in Moonlight, as sunlight does not cause vampires to burst into flames but merely dehydrates them very fast, usually resulting in a feeding frenzy. Dying this way would take a long time and would be very painful. Self-immolation is much faster (instant, in fact) and much less painful, although at least two old vampires are shown to have survived contact with fire (Coraline and Lance). The finale does feature a vampire choosing to die by flamethrower with his wife rather than spend eternity alone..
- Discussed in Blood Ties, when Henry is watching Nosferatu with Vicki. He explains that it's bullshit that Orlok was tricked into exposing himself to the sun, as every vampire instinctively knows the time of day. By that logic, Orlok knew was he was doing.
- "Blue Sunny Day" by Jonathan Coulton is all about this. Every night, the narrator stands outside as long as he can, and at the end of the song he finally manages to stay outside until dawn.
- The music video of Hammerfall's "Always Will Be" ends like this.
- "Der Graf" (The Count) by German punkrock band Die Ärzte is about a vampire who cannot keep up with modern life (he eats rats because he is afraid of AIDS). The song ends with him crying while sitting on a mountain and waiting for the sun.
- Both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem have this happening regularly, to the point that "watch the sunrise" is a vampiric euphemism for committing suicide. They also use it as a form of execution, amusingly; it's frequently mentioned that punishments for extremely foul crimes may include being chained to an east-facing wall.
- Black Luther from Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption ties himself to a cross and asks the Player Character to open the church's windows so the sun's rays can burn him to dust.
- NieR has a non-vampiric, but still sunlight-vulnerable character. Shade Yonah does this by purposefully emerging from her human host into a beam of sunlight.
- In Castlevania 64, Rosa tries this in her second appearance before Reinhardt stops her. This causes Fridge Horror when you consider that you only see her once as Carrie.
- In The Sims 2, NPC vampires living in apartments originally engaged in a behavior that strongly appeared to be this trope. Actually, they were just trying to mail their rent payments. The bug eventually got resolved.