Suicide Dare

"Planning suicide? Then get to it."
Kimura's boss to Suzuki, Tekkonkinkreet

This is one of the worst insults you can dole out. It's dangerous, especially if the target is already depressed or mentally ill. It's also so offensive that saying it to someone as a joke is rare, even among people that usually take Vulgar Humor.

...And it says much more about the person saying it than the recipient. It's often a used as a bloodless Moral Event Horizon, at the least launching a character straight into Jerk Ass territory and making the audience seriously question his/her sense of empathy. Good guys almost never do it, unless they're a Sociopathic Hero in a Sadist Show. A "Just Joking" Justification may be used if the offender's called out on it, but it usually falls flat, both with the other characters and the audience. About the only way it can get a pass is if it's a case of Comedic Sociopathy— and even then, it puts a heavy emphasis on the sociopathy.

If a character does this seriously, with the intent of actually driving someone to it, the only time they can pull this off and retain a shred of sympathy is if the target is a terrible person themselves.

Leave Behind a Pistol is similar, but done with different intent. Compare Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die, which does this by accident (normally).

Truth in Television, and often goes hand-in-hand with Kids Are Cruel, G.I.F.T., and Teens Are Monsters. Worth noting: in many countries, deliberately inciting someone into suicide is an extremely serious crime that may even be treated the same as premeditated homicide.

It bears saying that, if you feel this way, we triple-dog dare younote  to not hurt yourself. Please, get whatever help you need. You Are Not Alone.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • In Monster, Johan does this to several characters, most notably when he teaches kids to balance themselves on guardrails as a "game."
  • The Tekkonkinkreet quote at the top of the page. A rare example of a character not meaning this seriously.
  • In the second episode of Durarara!! Izaya Orihara talks a girl into committing suicide using what can only be described as reverse reverse psychology.
  • Ajin: Kei Nagai to Kou.

  • D-list villain Whirlwind verbally demoralized Hank Pym to the point that Hank put a gun to his head in a once-controversial West Coast Avengers storyline. Only another superhero interrupting Hank prevented it from being a successful attempt.
  • This is how the Great Lakes Avengers defeated Maelstrom in their miniseries: Mr. immortal convinces the villain that life isn't worth living, and even "goes first" to cap his argument, prompting said villain to blast their own head off.
  • Captain America once defeated the Super-Adaptoid — who was at that time nigh-omnipotent thanks to a Cosmic McGuffin — by convincing it that the thing that kept it from equalling his "human spirit" was that it could not die. The Adaptoid proceeded to prove Cap wrong by dying on the spot, thereby ending its threat.
  • In Alan Moore's Captain Britain series, the sentient computer Mastermind once used holographic illusions of the Captain's dead parents who almost successfully urged him to kill himself out of guilt at their deaths.
  • Ms. Marvel: It is revealed that the selfish, amoral psychologist and psychiatrist Dr. Karla Sofen (AKA Moonstone) convinced depressed patients to kill themselves while she watched. Despite this, there have been a number of attempts to redeem her. If the characters knew the character the way the reader does, they would stop trying to redeem her, and either kill her or give her a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Pearls Before Swine: In one set of episodes, Rat takes a job as a late night radio show host, which means that he gets to listen to people call in to say that they abducted by aliens and things like. One such person calls from his truck to say that aliens took his brain. Rat responds by saying that the aliens took his brain because he's a smart fellow, that they'll want the rest of his organs for military use and he must not let that happen. The caller panics and asks what should he do. Rat tells him to drive off a cliff. The caller does it, and lets out an "AAAaaahhh" as he falls. One staff member points out the F.C.C. frowns on killing listeners and Rat says "Rules rules rules." This one is Played for Laughs.

     Fan Fiction 
  • Back To The Future Prequel: Someone (who Doc later realizes was the villain) calls Doc on Thanksgiving to say, "Why don't you kill yourself? Nobody likes you anyway."

  • In Canadian Bacon, the US city of Niagara pays its cops extra for cleaning up suicides. This led to unfortunate consequences...
  • Happens in Lethal Weapon multiple times.
    • Murtaugh and Riggs are responding to a suicidal man standing on the ledge of a building. Riggs goes up to the roof in an attempt to talk the man down. After talking a bit, Riggs manages to get very close to the man and slaps a handcuff on him, handcuffing them together. The man starts freaking out, but Riggs actually starts encouraging the man to jump; he insults the man, saying that he's a coward for backing down now, just because his death will kill Riggs as well. Eventually Riggs jumps and pulls them both down...onto a crash-pad the police had already set up.
    • Immediately afterwards, Murtaugh, furious with Riggs, drags Riggs into a nearby building and they being arguing. Murtaugh thinks Riggs is suicidal and is a danger to himself and others. Murtaugh tells Riggs to just kill himself already. Riggs actually pulls out his gun and points it at his head, screaming at Murtaugh that he'll do it. Murtaugh one-ups this and yells back, telling him to go ahead and do it, since it'd be doing him a favor. Ultimately, Murtaugh is horrified when Riggs almost goes through with it. He assumed he was bluffing.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: Potter's cruel, heartless remark to George – "You're worth more dead than alive" – virtually drives our hero to the brink of suicide.
  • A rare case of someone trying to do this for the "victim's" own good occurs in Lean on Me. When Joe Clark runs into Sams (who had been expelled for dealing crack), who pleads to be let back into school, Joe drags him up to the roof of his building, gives him a very harsh lecture on what could happen to him if he keeps using crack, and then dares him to jump off. Sams breaks down in tears and refuses, making a promise to clean up his act, prompting Clark to give him another chance.
  • Different from the Others: The letter Paul’s father writes to him essentially says that Death Is the Only Option. In the end, Paul does kill himself.

  • In Discworld, Ankh-Morpork citizens spying a potential building jumper will start shouting advice on the best buildings to jump from. Played for Laughs, (like virtually everything else) in Ankh-Morpork.
  • Charles Dickens uses this to firmly establish Scrooge as a Jerk Ass at the beginning of A Christmas Carol. When told that many of the poor would rather die than go to the hellish workhouses, Scrooge replies, "If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
  • Back Story of Dune. While Liet Kynes is teaching the Fremen about his dream of making Arrakis a garden, a decision is made to kill him because he's a security risk to the sietch. A Fremen fighter is sent to execute him. When he approaches, Liet tells him "Remove yourself", and the man deliberately falls on his own crysknife. The other Fremen see this as an omen and decide to do anything Liet says.
  • In Neverwhere, Richard's trial involves billboards that tell him to just jump in front of the underground train. Which may be the entire point - those who fail the trial do, more often than not, end up dead.
  • In Rebecca, the Creepy Housekeeper Mrs Danvers very seriously encourages the second Mrs de Winter to commit suicide. That was because she was passionately devoted to the first Mrs de Winter and felt the successor was taking her place. (Mrs Danvers was, as you may presume, a total psycho.) She is not impolite or emotional when she does it, which makes it all the more scary.

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the episode "Dalek", the Ninth Doctor delivers this line almost verbatim to the titular creature, and gets a great big Shut Up, Hannibal! for his efforts. An unusual case of the (anti-)hero delivering this line to the villain.
    • "New Earth": The Doctor was also pretty insistant Lady Cassandra die, not just due to being a sociopathic mass murderer that takes over people's bodies, but he believes she has so greatly outlived her natural lifespan, and not in the right way, either (see the mass-murdering sociopathic body-snatcher thing).
  • On The Story Of Tracy Beaker (a live action children's show based on the series of books by Jacqueline Wilson) a character brushed off the main character by telling her to "go and play in the traffic".
  • In the first season of Dexter, one of the title character's targets was a Serial Killer that used this as his modus operandi; he was a psychologist who would encourage his vulnerable, mentally ill patients to kill themselves by taking an overdose.
  • Women on Maury who are looking for their babies' daddies sometimes say this when the possible daddy is particularly belligerent about paternity. Subverted in that the daddies (probably) aren't suicidal.
  • The Benny Hill Show: Benny is a minister who happens upon a man (offscreen) who is threatening to jump off a ledge. Benny tries to talk him down but the guy will have none of it.
    Benny: Don't jump! Think of your wife and family.
    Man: I am. That's why I'm jumping.
    Benny: Think of next Saturday, going to Elland Road and seeing our beloved Leeds United play?
    Man: I hate Leeds United. I'm a Liverpool fan.
    Benny: Well, flaming well jump then!
  • M*A*S*H: Col. Potter deals with a suicidal patient by giving him the Radish Cure: Potter puts the mask from the knockout gas on the boy and forces him to continue to breathe in the fumes even when the boy tries to struggle free. Potter then points out the dichotomy, which makes the patient no longer suicidal.
  • In the Breaking Bad finale, Walter asks Jesse to kill him. Jesse doesn't oblige, and tells Walter he should do it himself. Walter doesn't, and spends some time in the lab while he bleeds out and Jesse escapes.
  • In a Law & Order: SVU episode Ripped from the Headlines, a woman poses as the boyfriend of a pregnant teenage girl, and says all kinds of horrible things to her, leading to the girl's suicide.
  • Person of Interest actually plays this for Black Comedy pretty well in the Batman Cold Open of "Prophets", though this is due almost entirely to surrounding circumstances. After chasing a perp all the way up onto the ledge of the roof of a building, he threatens to jump, and Reese tells him to go ahead. What turns this from Moral Event Horizon to Black Comedy is the fact that the perp is guilty of embezzling money and killing to cover it up, he is thrown off (figuratively, not off the ledge) by Reese's response rather than spurred on (as in, "Did he just tell me to kill myself? I was not expecting to hear that from a cop!"), and the whole thing is part of a larger plan by Reese to save his life.

  • The Bloodhound Gang song "Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)"
  • The song "Backmask Warning!" by Mindless Self Indulgence has this as it's central theme, with the chorus encouraging the listener to go kill themselves, with the verses featuring all kinds of horrific imagery that presumably would also encourage suicide:
    Hate and devour the young and the weaker ones, and dont forget the guns
    You're gonna need em to go kill yourself
    All the people you love in a river of blood
    And dont forget the guns
    You're gonna need em to DESTROY

    New Media 
  • 5 Second Films:
    "Hey lobster. How do I make money off the internet?"
    "Oh, oh. Kill yourself."
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Kaiba stands on the edge of a building, threatening that if Yugi attacks him he'll be thrown off by the shockwaves, meaning that Yugi has to throw the duel, as he did in canon. Unlike in canon, Yami tells him to go ahead. Later, Yugi sees him again, after having lost the duel:
    Yugi: Hey, why don't you threaten to kill yourself again? Only this time, actually do it!

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Played for Laughs in Dilbert in a strip where the boss is showing a new employee around, and asks Dilbert to show her the ropes. Dilbert shows her a noose. The last panel after completing Dilbert's tour of working at Incompetence, Inc. has her readying to hang herself.
  • Played for Laughs in The Wizard of Id. The Friar comes across a crowd of people chanting, "Jump! Jump! Jump!" at a suicidal man on a ledge.
    Friar: What's the matter with you people? Can't you see this poor man needs help?
    Crowd: Push him! Push him! Push him!

    Stand Up Comedy 

  • Invoked and Averted in Richard III
    Lady Anne: Arise, dissembler; thought I wish thy death, I will not be the executioner
    Gloucester: Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
    Lady Anne: I have already
    Gloucester: Tush, that was in thy rage; speak it again, and, even with the word, that hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love, shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love; to both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.

    Video Games 
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Madd Dogg is on top of a building thinking about jumping after losing all his money and his rhyme book. A couple of bystanders encourage him to jump.
  • Fallout 3 has the sad case of Mister Lopez who goes to the top tower of Rivet City each day to contemplate jumping. The Lone Wanderer can choose to talk him into it, out of it, or just shove him over the edge.


    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Hello Gutter Hello Fadder": When Homer deliberates a little too long in a line to jump off a skyscraper, the guy behind him says "Less chat, more splat, pal" and pushes him off. Subverted both in that Homer wasn't hurt by the fall, and because the guy was planning to do the same thing himself immediately afterwards, so he wasn't being a hypocrite.
    • Another example: The Season 19 episode "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind", where Homer can't remember what he did last day and he wrongly assumes that he hit Marge. He goes to a bridge to kill himself and Patty and Selma encourage him to do it, but when he goes to avert it, Patty and Selma push him off. When Homer instead lands on a yacht that's holding a party for him, he assumes they did it for this purpose; they go along with the assumption, and they offer him a rope and boulder for an "afterparty at the bottom of the ocean".
  • Lois shrewdly hints to Meg doing this in an episode of Family Guy.
  • Roger briefly implied Steve had to kill himself in American Dad! after unknowingly pleasuring himself with a nude painting of Hayley.
  • South Park:
    • One episode has Cartman tell the hall monitor to kill himself.
    • Another episode has Stan calling a shopping network when his grandfather was spending all his savings buying from them, and, in a nod to the Bill Hicks example below, telling the presenters to kill themselves for taking advantage of old people. The elderly viewers join in and all start telling him to kill himself in a Running Gag. In the end, it works.
  • In the Futurama episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back," Hermes is poised to jump off the tower when he fears he may be demoted. Bender heckles him, "Do a flip!"