All at once I've had enough;
As if I'm made of sterner stuff
I take a breath and open up the door
Dawn breaks hard and falls on me
For just one moment I can see
The pale blue sky, I close my eyes because
The world's so bright and beautiful I have to look away
Braced against the beauty of another perfect day
Vampires who want to commit suicide 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 Blood Bags Are Everywhere
just to name a few. However should they choose to commit suicide 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 dissolves into light after dying.
Should be obvious, but for the sake of fair warning, since this is a trope about suicide, Spoilers abound.
open/close all folders
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...
- 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.
- Underworld Awakening- A human character explains to Selene that his vampire wife chose to die this way during The Purge.
- Blade 2. 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.
- The very opening of Daybreakers has a preteen vampire girl commit suicide this way because she was not able to grow up.
- Indirectly, Bromley's daughter Alison also does this. After she is turned she willingly mutates herself into a Subsider so she will taken out into the sun and killed by the other vampires.
- In Let the Right One In, one of Eli's victims does this to herself.
- 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 of the first Icarus kill themselves by exposing themselves to the extreme heat of the Sun rather than carry out their mission because they believe the end of the world is God's will.
- 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.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel tries to do this, but a miraculous snow shower clouds the sky so the sun doesn't show.
- On Forever Knight, the female vampire that 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 ep who does this as well.
- True Blood has 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..
- "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.