Taking You with Me

"To the last, I grapple with thee; from hell's heart, I stab at thee; for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."
Captain Ahab, Moby-Dick note 

You're really in trouble now. You've been defeated, captured or otherwise humiliated by your enemies, and are now at their mercy. But you've got one last ace up your sleeve. The only problem is, this final attack is going to spell death for you as well as your enemies. But hey, you're going to die anyway! Might as well try to take some of them down with you.

Cue Earth-Shattering Kaboom via a Superpower Meltdown by using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique involving a Painful Transformation into a One-Winged Angel, or anything that suits your tastes, really. Don't forget, however, to growl in a menacing tone: "If I'm going to die, I'm Taking You With Me," or perhaps "See You in Hell."

When this trope is invoked, the hero usually survives, and the villain nearly always dies, regardless of who is trying to take whom with them. If it's the villain trying to take the hero, the attempt inevitably fails. If it's the hero trying to take the villain, the attempt inevitably succeeds, and it's likely (but not certain) that the hero will find a way to come out of it alive. (Exception: If the hero is a redeemed bad guy, the attempt inevitably succeeds and kills both of them.)

One form of Taking You with Me is when a villain deliberately sets up a Load-Bearing Boss situation, hoping to collapse his lair on the victorious heroes (over cries of "You'll kill us both\all!"). When cornered, one might decide that it's Better to Die Than Be Killed, and take a Cyanide Pill; too bad that those don't bring down the opponent with you. Alternatively, the threat of taking an attacker down with you can allow you to achieve a Victory Through Intimidation. If this action is taken by a usually stoic villain, may have been preceded by a Villainous Breakdown. If all of the universe/reality is included with "you", this becomes a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum.

A Last Stand is a prolonged version of this, involving more characters. It may, in fact, have several Taking You with Me incidents in it. This trope often goes hand-in-hand with Do Not Go Gentle.

See also Sealed Evil in a Duel, Self-Destructive Charge, Mutual Kill, and Heroic Sacrifice. The Double Knockout is a nonlethal cousin of this trope. May be the purpose of some variants of a Deadman's Switch. Compare Last Ditch Move for (not necessarily lethal or even offensive) scripted final actions. A Sore Loser might resort to this if they're upset enough. Contrast Villain's Dying Grace. Not to be confused with Taking Them Home With Me. It also should not be confused with Backstab Backfire, where the death of the person trying to do a last ditch effort in killing his enemy did not plan the possibility of death when attempting to backstab them after being defeated.

As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


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     Card Games 
  • Doomtown has a card called Take Ya With Me. Which was part of a cheesy strategy dubbed "lose to win" (use it with a mook to give your opponent a Pyrrhic Victory, maybe healing the mook afterward to add insult to injury) until it received errata that you can only target someone who's more of a mook than one of your dudes getting killed.
  • Nuclear War has the "Retaliatory Strike" rule where a player who has lost the last of his population may immediately launch all of his missles and warheads at whomever he likes. If one of his targets is eliminated in the process, then that nation may make a retaliatory strike of his own. It's possible to launch the unique 100 Megaton warhead in the hopes of getting a lucky roll and destroying the world in the process.
  • In Magic: The Gathering any spell that deals damage to both you and an opponent such as Earthquake or Pestilence can be used for this.
    • There are also creatures that can kill themselves to take out other creatures, or which hurl damage or direct creature killing around when they die.
  • Poo: the card game (a game based around monkeys throwing you-can-guess-what at each other) contains two copies of a card called Blaze of Glory, which allows a player, when eliminated, to fling all the poop he currently has at whoever he chooses. This tends to be hoarded along with all the really good poop, and has been known to produce a game which nobody wins thanks to chain reactions.
  • There are several cards that invoke this in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. An obvious one is Self Destruct Button, which kills both players if there is a 7000 Life Point difference between players. A couple more would be Ring of Destruction (a card which dealt damage to both players equal to the targeted monster's attack, now Forbidden) and Morphing Jar (if a player flips it when both players have less than five cards in their deck.) On a smaller scale, there are some Monster Cards that can either destroy the card that destroyed them or a completely different card depending on their effect; the best example is Man Eater Bug, best-played face-down to trick someone to attack with their own monster and then use the otherwise pathetic Man Eater Bug to destroy their biggest monster and there’s (usually) nothing that the opponent can do about it.
  • We Didn't Playtest This At All features one card that reads that everyone loses by the end of the turn.

     Comic Books 
  • The Punisher
    • In the Suicide Run storyline, the Punisher has just finished killing all the heads of the big Mafia families from around the world (again). He is helped by the fact he's carrying a dead man's trigger in his left hand, connected to a huge bomb in the otherwise empty building. But wait... there's one guy left. A jerk-ass nobody who runs some gangs out of New York. The punk points out it's just him and the Punisher and maybe both could walk away. Nope. No deal. BOOM.
    • In the MAX series arc "Six Hours to Kill", Punisher is poisoned and told to kill someone to get the antidote. Instead, he kills the person who poisoned him and pulls out his list of scumbags, going through the methodically before the poison kills him. He actually runs out of targets before he runs out of time.
  • The end of Crisis on Infinite Earths has the Anti-Monitor coming after Superman of Earth-2 one last time, with the words "Superman... I will not die... unless you die with me!"
  • In the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series — technically, the side-sides starring Knuckles the Echidna — Tobor (a former Guardian who was unknowingly replaced by a member of the Dark Legion thanks to an accident during battle) emerged from the Legion's former prison with Kragog back into the real world and proceeded to slam themselves into an energy cannon being used by the Legion. This turns into a Stupid Sacrifice when you realize that the energy cannon was being used to rescue the trapped citizens of Echindaopolis on Knuckles' orders.
  • The Joker is often so Axe Crazy that he's willing to include himself among his victims if that will get his point across. In the Spider-Man/Batman crossover, for example, he couldn't bear the thought of Carnage killing Batman, and threatened to spring a lethal virus that would have likely killed everyone in the city - himself included - unless Carnage backed off. (And neither Batman nor Spider-Man thought for a second that he was bluffing.)
  • In Blackest Night, this is how Kyle Rayner takes out the Black Lanterns assaulting the Green Lantern Central Power Battery— he traps them in a forcefield with him and an Alpha Lantern Battery on the verge of Going Critical.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-the original Eastman and Laird series is far more brutal than the cartoons or movies made in its name. In its climactic Turtles vs Foot Clan scene, the Foot Clan is slashed to pieces (with blood and severed limbs all about) and Shredder beaten to a gasping pulp. Leonardo offers him a dagger with which to perform seppuku, so he could go out like the samurai he dresses like. Instead, Shredder pulls out a grenade and attempts to perform this trope.
  • In Final Crisis, Batman, about to be hit with Darkseid's Omega Sanction, shoots the literal God of Evil with a radion bullet, killing his physical body, starting the process of his final defeat.
    • The actual story of Final Crisis is Darkseid attempting to do this to all of reality.
  • In X-Men, at the end of the Inferno arc, Madelyne Pryor tries to trap Jean in her dying mind and thus take her with her, recreating the incident that awakened Jean's powers in the first place (Jean nearly died inside the mind of her friend Annie, who was run over - Madelyne was given this memory by Sinister). Madelyne would succeed if it weren't for the Phoenix Force offering Jean the opportunity to live if she absorbs both Phoenix and Madelyne's personalities.
  • Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp's Black Summer has Tom Noir use his old girlfriend's gun to blow up a cemetery, taking both John Horus and Frank Blacksmith with him, thus taking out the main people behind the whole situation.
  • From Infinite Crisis, Brother Eye, after being attacked and its stabilizing unit sent hurling down to earth, activated its defense systems on the satellite to bring down its creator Batman with it as well.
  • In the prologue to DC: The New Frontier, John Cloud jumps into the mouth of the Tyrannosaurus Rex that killed the rest of his unit while holding two live grenades. It's currently the Page Image for Dying Moment of Awesome. King Faraday takes his place in the Animated Adaptation.
  • In the Spider-Man storyline, Ends of the Earth, the Rhino, unable to live on after the new Rhino murdered his wife, ends up pinning Silver Sable to the floor of a flooding floor, the two seemingly drowning as Spidey makes the tough decision to face down Doctor Octopus. (He may not have been successful, however. The seer Madame Webb later told Spider-Man that Sable survived. She may have been lying - she has decieved Spider-Man to manipulate him before - but if it was the truth and Sable did escape, then it is possible that the Rhino did too.)
    • Speaking of Doc Ock, this was his plan all along - he plotted to flash fry the Earth with the exception of a VERY small fraction of the human race left alive to rebuild and remember him as the greatest monster to have ever lived. However, Spidey throws a wrench in that when he reveals that, even if those people lived, they'd be brain dead. Ock doesn't take that well.
    • Another storyline, Morlun's introduction, had Spidey inject himself with radioactive material so that if he died from Morlun's feeding, Morlun would suffer a lethal dose of radiation.
  • From The Darkness:
    Jackie: I don't suppose you'd let me have One Last Smoke... Say, do you smell gasoline?
  • In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor isn't dying any time soon, but the realization that he's aging normally and his Arch-Enemy isn't is what drives him to finally "get serious about killing Superman."
  • Convergence:
    • In Convergence #3, Earth 2 Thomas Wayne blowing himself for killing several pre-Flashpoint Gotham's villains.
    • Happens twice in Convergence: Suicide Squad #2. First Star Sapphire to Cyborg Superman to avenge the destruction of Coast City. At the end Amanda Waller blows herself up to destroy New Oa with Alan Scott and take out Captain Boomerang, who'd turned traitor.
  • In the original Men In Black comics, Agent Jay was set to be disintegrated by the Arbiter Doran. At the last second, Jay pulled Jerkass Agent Kay in with him. They both die, and are subsequently reformed as clones. Kay is led to believe he was talked into willingly dying alongside Jay, and wipes his partner's memory of the event.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown Of Stars: In chapter 57 a character explains Shinji and Asuka that the first time troops of the Avalon army were cut off a whole regiment performed a kamikaze raid and sacrificed themselves to destroy to the enemy and save the people they were protecting.
  • Advice And Trust: Invoked. In chapter 7 Zeruel is ignoring, destroying and obliterating all Nerv's defenses and the Evas seem useless against him. It has already invaded the Geofront and Misato is running out of options. She remembers there were self-destruct charges placed throughout the Geofront for the ultimate contingency and she orders they are armed and she gets ready to call in a nuke strike on the city in case they can not stop Zeruel and need blowing themselves up to destroy it.
  • Batman Beyond Revisited: The cause of Bruce Wayne’s death in a successful effort to put an end to his nemesis’ Joker Immunity.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: With both of them fighting over a lake of molten lava in an alternate dimension, Calvin and Holographic Retro manage to do this to each other as they both go over the edge, ending the season on a cliffhanger.
  • The Child of Love: In chapter 3 after being defeated by the three Evas, an Angel explodes trying to destroy them before dying. It does not work.
  • Equestria: A History Revealed: Luna's entire reasoning behind the Battle of the Everfree Fields. After learning that her war was practically lost, she gathered all her remaining forces for one last stand; to wipe out as many Celestia's forces as she could. The only main difference between this and most of the other examples on this page was that Luna chose to sit this battle out, waiting for Celestia to confront her herself.
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 15 Asuka resorted to this tactic to win her and Mari's "friendly" duel. Asuka's plane was about to fall down and she decided she only needed to survive long enough to shoot Mari's down, so she performed a suicidal attack to take Mari with her.
  • Getting Back on Your Hooves: After Checker Monarch is tricked into an Engineered Public Confession that will result in her going to jail, she has a Villainous Breakdown and knocks out Trixie and the Mane Six before using a highly-illegal dream infiltration spell to enter their minds in an attempt to kill them all with their worst nightmares, regardless of what happens to her afterwards. She fails completely.
  • In A Growing Affection, the last fight between Gai and Kisame has this. After Kisame breaks out his Tailed Beast cloak, Gai opens the Eighth gate to counter, allowing him to kill Kisame at the cost of his own life.
  • In I Did Not Want To Die, the protagonist reaches for the last grenade at the very end.
  • Justice League of Equestria:
    • Mare of Steel: During the final fight between Supermare and General Zod, Zod ultimately realizes that he can't beat her, so he decides to overload his magic and blow both of them — and Canterlot — to kingdom come. She responds by flying him into space and letting him detonate harmlessly although she gets caught in the blast and badly injured.
    • The Princess of Themyscira: During the Final Battle, Diana destroys the Alicorn Amulet, thus closing the portal that Ares was using to unleash the demons of Tartarus on Equestria. When Ares' desperate attempts to keep it open result in him starting to be dragged into it himself, he grabs Diana and tries to drag her in with him, only to be stopped by Soarin's timely intervention.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Sachiel blew itself up to try to destroy Shinji and Unit 01. It did not work. Shinji lifted it off the ground and it detonated high above the city, harming nobody, not even Shinji, since he endured the explosion.
  • The Eldar do this at the end of their Last Stand against the Reapers in the crossover The Mission Stays The Same; they pour their psychic energy into their homeworld's star, causing it to go nova and vaporize most of the invading fleet, along with all remaining traces of the Eldar race.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series Gallantmon Crimson Mode uses up his remaining life to unleash a massive explosion that wipes out Daemon.
  • In Mega Man Recut, Ice Man tries this to both Wily and Mega Man, though he fails. It gets him killed.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Metal Man tries to do this to ProtoMan in episode 9.
    • Splash Woman blows up her underwater hideout after losing, saying that if she can't have Mega Man no one will.
  • The Lion King Adventures:
    • At the climax of Friends to the End, Simba and Hago end up dangling off of Pride Rock, hanging over the burning inferno below, with Hago trying to drag Simba down with him. He nearly succeeds, but the pain from the heat below causes him to let go and fall in.
    • In The End, Simba ends his Final Battle with The Writer by grabbing him and jumping off of Pride Rock, mortally wounding them both. Fortunately, the Writer dies first, and his death reboots the universe, restoring Simba along with his friends.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, this happens when Loz and Yazoo shoot Cloud through the back whilst he's having a Redemption in the Rain moment, before making a huge explosion. It partly works, killing themselves, but only sending Cloud to The Lifestream for a couple of minutes.
    • Having been somehow formed almost exclusively by Jenova, they were actively dissolving in the purifying rain—explosion unrelated. Still, the were avenging Sephiroth, Jenova, and Kadaj by killing Cloud even as they went down, so it still counts. Only Cloud had a Get Out of Death Free card for world-saving, apparently.
  • At the end of Aladdin, just before Jafar gets sucked into a lamp after being tricked into becoming a genie, he grabs Iago the parrot by the tail feathers and pulls him into said lamp along with him.
    • Iago was actually his ally. Really more a case of "misery loves company."
  • Just before the end of Toy Story 3, Lotso, after Big Baby throws him into a dumpster, grabs Woody by the leg and pulls him into said dumpster, just as the garbage truck comes to take them to the dump. Subverted afterward as after Woody and Buzz save Lotso from being shredded to bits, leaves the other toys to be incinerated rather than push the emergency stop button to save them. They do get saved by the Squeeze Toy Aliens at the last second.
  • Sitka's method of dispatching the bear that was attacking Kenai (after Kenai went after said bear alone for reasons explained earlier) in Brother Bear; they're on top of a glacier, and Sitka drives his spear into the ice, causing a huge block of the glacier to break off and fall into the river below, taking the bear with him. Sitka dies but the bear survives, motivating Kenai to once again track the bear down and slay it in an act of revenge, which in turn invokes the wrath of the Great Spirits and kicks off the rest of the plot.
  • In the climax of The Great Mouse Detective Basil manages to defeat Ratigan by activating the chimes on the Big Ben clock tower, the resulting shockwave sends Ratigan falling from the tower he grabs a hold of Basil and takes him with him, Basil manages to survive by grabbing a part of the blimp he was hanging onto and using it like a propeller.
  • Original production materials for Beauty and the Beast indicated that Gaston killing the Beast before falling off the castle was actually closer to this trope than the final version's Backstab Backfire.
  • At the end of Dinosaur, as the Carnotaurus is about to fall into the ravine, he immediately bites onto Aladar's leg, but the Iguanodon manages to shake him off before climbing back up.
  • In Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole, Kludd tries to do this with Soren by dragging him down into a fire in the forest. However, while he's holding onto a branch, he lets go of Soren for a bit...grabs onto the branch he was holding to (thanks to a broken wing) and falls into the fire below. Sorry it didn't work out for you, Kludd.
  • In the Made-for-TV Movie Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost, when Thorn traps the ghost of Sarah Ravencroft back inside her (Sarah's) own spellbook, she takes her great-great-great-grandson Ben with her.
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Batman has reached his Despair Event Horizon and grabs on to the Joker's escape jetpack as an abandoned amusement park is exploding.
    Joker: I'm your only chance to get out of here! Let me go or we'll both die!
    Batman: Whatever it takes!
  • In The Book of Life, Chakal tries to use his bombs in order to destroy the entire town. Manolo however ends up trapping the both of them inside a bell, containing the explosion to just the two of them. However, Joaquin secretly gave Manolo the Medal of Everlasting Life, which let him survive unscathed.
  • In Thumbelina, Grundel grabs Cornelius as they tumble into the tunnel bridge abyss below.
  • In The Land Before Time, Sharptooth grabs Petrie as they plummet into the pond below, though the flyer survives.
  • In Tangled, after being lethally stabbed by Gothel, Eugene decides to cut Rapunzel's hair, the only thing keeping Gothel young, rather than allow Rapunzel to use her hair to heal him.

  • Rob Dougan's Left Me For Dead features this as the last line before the final refrain.
    I wanted to say
    To say that your shot proved the death of me
    'Cause now I've reached a dead end
    And I can't go back
    But if I'm going down you'll come with me
  • Twista's Kill Us All
  • Averted by Emilie Autumn in her song 'Let The Record Show'
    "If I'm going down, then I'm going down good"
  • Similar in spirit, but lacking an actual enemy, in Voltaire's "The Ship's Going Down". The ship is utterly destroyed, and the captain takes a small bit of solace in the fact that his crew is going down with him and he's not dying alone. Then he spots the guy no one likes trying to make a getaway on a raft; not having that, he lances a fish-gig into Seaman Shaft's eye.
  • The Dixie Chicks song If I Fall You're Going down with me is an inversion of this trope since the song is actually about falling in love as opposed to dying.

    We're hanging right on the edge now baby
    The wind is getting stronger
    We're hanging on by a thread now honey
    We can't hold on much longer
    It's a long way down but it's too late

    If I fall you're going down with me
    You're going down with me baby if I fall
    You can't take back every little chill you give me
    You're going down with me baby heart and all ooh yeah
  • Five Finger Death Punch's If I Fall. Especially the ending.
    If I fall,
    Fuck You All.
    I'm taking everybody out.
    If I fall I will take everybody down.
    If I fall I will.
  • The Marilyn Manson song The Minute Of Decay has this refrain:
    I'm on my way down now, I'd like to take you with me...
  • In the full video for The Decemberists' "O Valencia!", Colin Meloy's character meets at a diner with the man who betrayed him and poisons his drink. The man stabs him in the neck just before he dies.

  • The Russian bylina tales tell of Chuds, when cornered, digging up dungeons, going there with their valuables, women and children, taking their last stand there and then collapsing them, killing themselves along with their enemies. Several such sites have actually been found.

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Denis Leary, in one of his '90s routines, had a bit (here, starting around 3:00) that could at best be described as "offensively sacrilegious". If the audience's net reaction is even somewhat positive, he adds a denouement, the implication that taking them with him will soften the sting a bit:
    "—I'm goin' to Hell for that bit. And you're all comin' with me! 'We didn't laugh at that bit Jesus, pleeeaase!' 'Shut up! Get on the bus with Leary and Scorcese; you're goin' right to fuckin' Hell!' "
  • George Carlin: On wrathful gods: "If there is a God, IF there is... may he strike this audience dead. See? Nothing happened. Okay, if there is a God, may he strike ME dead. Still nothing." On terrorism: "I think just the concept that a man can blow up a bomb in a crowded market and kill a couple hundred people is exciting and stimulating and I see it as a form of entertainment. I have always been willing to put myself at great personal risk for the sake of entertainment. I'm also willing to put YOU at great personal risk for the same reason."

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Quite a lot of beings in Warhammer 40,000 tend to follow this trope.
    • The prime culprit in the tabletop game itself is possibly the Eversor assassin, whose gene-boosted body explodes upon suffering sufficient physical trauma, usually taking with him whatever he was fighting at the time.
    • The Super-heavy units in the mass-combat expansion Apocalypse. They'll often take out entire squads if they explode, even if the squad(s) in question wasn't even in close combat with it. Titans have a special rule called "reactor meltdown" which causes them to explode with an even bigger blast that's also strength D (auto wound or penetrating hit on anything in range). An exploding Titan can take every unit on the board with it!
    • The Brass Scorpion, a Chaos superheavy walker gets +2 on the table that determines the size of the explosion as the daemon controlling it is driven to spill as much blood as possible, even in death.
    • There is also an ability for the Imperial Guard in the upcoming Apocalypse books called "Fire on my coordinates!" Any Imperial Guard soldier with a radio can roll for a leadership test. If he succeeds, an orbital bombardment is dropped right on top of his own position - assuredly killing himself (and his squad) along with any nearby enemies in the process. For the Imperial Guard - who are renowned for their ability to stoically take massive casualties - this is simply a badass way to go.
    • The larger ships in Battlefleet Gothic have a chance of opening a portal to hell when their reactors blow, sucking everything nearby in along with it.
    • The Tau leaders are sometimes given a bomb so they can blow themselves up, if they have to, this is viewed as "the greatest expression of the Greater Good one can make" it's only a matter of time until they start using waves of suicide bombers.
    • After losing one of his two hearts, Space Wolf character Lukas the Trickster had it replaced with a stasis bomb. If he's ever killed in combat, there's a chance his opponent will be trapped in a stasis field with him for eternity.
    • Tends to be averted by the Eldar, who see this tactic as an act of barbaric cowardice. They also dislike it because they're already on the verge of extinction themselves, even though they believe that their racial demise will awaken the death god Ynnead, who will destroy Chaos forever and play this trope straight.
    • The Grey Knight codex gives us the Brotherhood Champion, an exemplary swordsman of the Chapter capable of going toe to toe with the best fighters of chaos and standing a decent chance of winning. But even when killed, he draws upon all his psychic might and delivers a mutual deathstroke to his foe. this has a fifty fifty chance of succeeding, and it kills anything, even Eternal Warriors and Physical Gods.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the staves of power, minor artifacts that are a great boon for any spellcaster wielding one of them. In dire straits, their wielder can also break the staff they have... resulting in a retributive strike, which does vast amounts of damage to almost anything capable of threatening them.
    • There's a possible side-effect of a retributive strike that subverts the trope: A 50% chance of the strike opening a rift and casting you into the astral plane...where a thousand years will pass with you only aging a single day.
    • The Draconians in the old Dragonlance setting were evil creatures magically created by evil clerics from the eggs of metallic (good) dragons to fight in the War of the Lance. When mortally wounded, depending on the type, they tended to go up in flames, emit poisonous gas, trap the killing weapon by turning to stone, explode, go berserk and then explode...
    • Lich is not killed permanently until someone destroyed its phylactery, which is supposed to explode immediately.
      • A campaign run by Shamus Young has a lich's phylactery cursed and trapped so while it might be possible to destroy it with ordinary means, it would kill everyone within a 100 mile radius.
    • When a balor dies, at least in 3.5, it explodes in a ball of fire that deals 100 points of damage.
      • Which was made even better because it happened instantaneously, as soon as they dropped to 'dead' (-10) hit points. So if you didn't kill the sucker from afar, you were face with a Total Party Kill anyway (if everybody's still clear of 100 HP after a fight with a Balor, you've probably passed the level at which Balors are meant to be sufficient challenges)
      • Or someone cast a spell.
    • The balor is topped by the nuclear elemental from d20 Modern, which exploded for 400 points of untyped damage in a 400 feet radius, and 100 points of untyped damage to those farther than 400 feet away but within a one mile radius. (Reflex save for half). That, and it also makes a highly radioactive crater.
      • Barring special rules, the Reflex Save for half allows anyone with Evasion to dodge the blast entirely.
    • Forgotten Realms dragonmagic includes "death matrix". Needs to be cast only once, after this the dragon's body will explode upon death, unless disintegrated or something like. As an implanted magic ability, it can't be detected or dispelled like normal waiting enchantments.
      • Red Wizards' "spell lash". It's a spell that kills the caster and makes body explode. Invented during Red Wizards' independence war with Mulhorand theocracy (the experimental variant "mark of Gur", naturally, was castable on another guy).
      • Long before this was "blood dragon", a spell castable only by an elf (not even half-elf): caster cuts down him- or her- self, then the eponymous magical construct rises from the spilt blood and attacks the target. If it as much as touches, it dissolves the target's flesh. They were rather vengeful bunch, those elves.
    • 3.5 edition Complete Scoundrel has "fatal flame" spell which, should its target die before it expires, explode the body in a fireball of power proportional to the target's level. Naturally, can be used on ally or foe alike.
    • In 4th Edition, there is the low-level Boneshard Skeleton that has an absolutely brutal blast for its level that goes off both when bloodied and when reduced to 0 hit points. Worse, if you have a group of them, it's possible that their blast can cause chain reactions with other Boneshard Skeletons caught in the area, with one blast triggering another.
    • In almost any edition, it's become a Running Gag for a person's dying words to be "Hastur, Hastur, Hastur". Canonically, Hastur will then pay a quick visit that results in a good-sized crater where the PC, their party, and whatever they were fighting used to be.
  • The Swedish RPG Chronopia allowed its mages to perform such a manoeuvre. By expending all their remaining Wisdom points (the mana of the game)(which is instant death by itself), they get to spend half their maximum Wisdom points as well, using it all to power a single spell without the usual skill penalties for using high level magic. While it's still possible to fumble the skill throw and not all spells are suitable for a suicide casting like this, a spell like Explosion is sure to cause some severe damage to the topography and anyone unlucky enough to be caught within the blast radius...
  • In Warhammer anyone who kills a Tomb King is attacked by voracious beetles. The Heart of Woe also explodes if the wearer is killed, causing a great deal of damage to anyone in range.
    • And Dwarfs have the option to put selfdestruct runes on their war machines.
    • An orc and goblins war machine specifically fires goblins at the enemy, goblins line up for the chance to go out in a blaze of glory as living ammunition. Night Gobbins too have their fanatics, almost certainly a death sentence but nothing is more inspiring and magnificent than a tiny goblin whirling a huge ball and chain around its head.
    • There's also a special Orcish amulet that explodes when the bearer dies. However, it's usually given to goblins, whose default reaction is "Dat wuz nice o' da boss ter give me dis shiny fing, but why's 'e sendin' me orf alone on dis wolf?"
      • This would be the heart of woe - the orc's magic item section includes several items looted from other armies, though only one is called by its proper name.
  • More complex versions of the party game Mafia (as well as its variations, like Werewolf) will often include a "killing role" character, such as Hunter or Rambo. Rules for these characters vary, but their usual role is to take a set number of other players down with them when they're killed.
  • Dragon-Bloods in Exalted have access to a series of Charms with the Martyr keyword, which become significantly more terrifying when they're used by a dying man, many of which are combat effects. The most notorious is the Essence 7 elemental nuke called As In The Beginning, so a dying DB gets to take entire battlefields with him.
  • An optional rule in Earthdawn allows players to do a "dying act." The character is allowed to spend all of their karma dice on a single roll, after which he or she is dead beyond the reach of any resurrection magic. If the roll in question is a damage roll, it becomes this trope.
  • Paranoia encourages this, even above and beyond survival (because clones mean Death Is Cheap anyway): "What's more important— that you survive, or that your enemy gets his?"
    • Especially if you're on your last clone anyway, and thus (at least personally) have nothing left to lose: "Friend Computer, I wish to make a full confession. All the charges leveled against me are true. And all the other charges that Suck-R knows about and hasn't mentioned yet are true. And all the vidtape footage that Gone-R collected and hid in his locker is accurate..."
  • Memetic Call of Cthulhu player character Old Man Henderson, upon finally being targeted personally by the Hastur cultists with a siege of zombies and shoggoths, holed up with his allies in a skating rink and rigged it with "enough explosives to make Michael Bay blush", thus taking the cultists, monsters, allies, and the Yellow King himself with him in a literal blaze of glory.

  • Camille Saint-Saëns's opera Samson et Dalila ends the same way as the Biblical legend, with Samson bringing down the temple on himself and the entire Philistine cast.
  • In Pokémon Live!, MechaMew2 tries to do this to Giovanni; sadly, the Rocket boss escapes before it blows up.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: During "Confrontation", Jekyll threatens Hyde with this and follows through at the end of the show.
    Jekyll: If I die, you die too.

    Theme Parks 
  • In Transformers: The Ride, when Megatron is about to fall off a building to his doom, he pulls the riders down them with him, though Bumblebee saves them at the last second.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • The final choice you make in Unlimited Blade Works route is as follows: After beating the Big Bad up, a sphere of nothingness begins to swallow him up. He throws out a chain and grabs Shirou; the choices are "try and break free" or "take him down with me". Picking the second one leads to a Bad End. This choice is so obviously dumb that once the Tiger Dojo starts up, it begins with Taiga beating a Super-Deformed Shirou. They then use it to hint towards a way to get the Good End of the route, due to them likely assuming that since the right decision is so obvious that the only reasons someone would do the wrong is is curiosity after beating the route.
    • Also in Unlimited Blade Works, Lancer kills Kotomine, stabs Shinji, frees Rin and sets fire to the castle even after being stabbed by Gae Bolg. Justified, because one of his abilities is called Battle Continuation; it allows the user to continue fighting even at the verge of death.
    • Heavens Feel has one too in Shirou's fight with Saber Alter, if you don't bring Rider along. Shirou kills himself to stop her, to let Tohsaka proceed without interference. Taiga and Ilya in the Dojo are a bit troubled because they can't really call it a bad end due to beating Saber in a one on one fight, which is pretty damn badass.
    • And in the manual on The Dead Apostle Ancestors, El Nahat seems to have this as his shtick. Blowing himself up to kill an enemy. The Church has captured him and turned his stomach into a weapon.
  • Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai has Cookie, the robot, who gets ensnared in several ropes against class S in the Kawakami War. As a last ditch move, he releases his remaining energy to shock the students holding the ropes, then shuts down.
  • The Safe Ending in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors features Snake taking SIX bullets from Ace while the incinerator they are trapped in is about to burn them all to death. He STILL has enough strength to keep Ace inside while the others get away...

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Evil Overlord List advises against doing this.
  • KateModern: Precious Blood: "If it's the end for me, I hope you realise I'm the kind of vindictive bastard that's gonna take as many people with him as I can."
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd at the end of his Crazy Castle review. Woody Woodpecker intends to blow the Nerd up with a bomb, but the Nerd grabs him and holds him in place.
    • "I don't give a fuck, I'm taking you with me! So you like to play with bombs, huh? Well, BOMBS AWAY YOU WOODY BUNNY FUCKING PECKER PIECE OF SHIT!"
  • Premier Jacade in Darwins Soldiers: Card of Ten blows up Planet Gaman and everyone on it (including himself) to stop the rebels from taking power from him.
  • Melina Frost from Survival of the Fittest kills Beth Vanallen this way. After the latter stabbed another almost fatally and left her to die in quicksand, the former grabbed hold of her hair in her last act and dragged Beth under with her, killing them both.
  • Parodied in Kickassia, when The Nostalgia Critic makes clear early on that if the others try to overthrow him, he'll blow up Kickassia and everyone in it (including himself) with twenty tons of dynamite, then later on tries to do just that. Pity that The Cinema Snob disconnected the dynamite when he got exiled.
  • In the finale of Red vs. Blue: Revelation, as the Meta is being dragged to his death by a Warthog jeep over a cliff, he grabs Grif along the way down. Sarge starts delivering a eulogy even after Tucker suggests that maybe Grif caught a branch on the way down. He did.
  • In Spoony's review of the failed 70s Captain America pilot, he sent a copy to The Nostalgia Critic (who hanged himself) and invited Linkara on the show just to waste his time.
    "If I have to suffer, I'm taking every one of you bastards with me."
  • The character Riot Breaker in The Guildhall D&D podcast. Notably, he's used this strategy twice, somehow managing to survive both attempts. The first time was against a robotic dragon that, if not for his (attempted) Heroic Sacrifice would have killed the party almost definitely. The second time, a dawning realization of just how badly he'd messed up pushed him beyond the Despair Event Horizon, and as a result he intended to drag the villain into the murky depths with him.
  • In Look to the West, Fox does this to Hoche.
  • Lord Slug tells Goku this in Lord Slug Abridged.
  • In Worm, Armsmaster attempts this against the serial killer Mannequin, reasoning that while he doesn't deserve to live, Mannequin will kill hundreds more if he is allowed to escape. It doesn't take and Mannequin simply beats Armsmaster to within an inch of his life before leaving a mocking message.
    • Later, the supervillain Blasto is trapped in a sealed room with Bonesaw and Defiant. Bonesaw has modified herself so that if she dies, her body will release hundreds of deadly plagues. While the room is hermetically sealed and Defiant is armored, Blasto is not, but he resigns himself to his fate if it means that Bonesaw will die. it doesn't take and Blasto ends up as Bonesaw's slave.
    • In 22.4, Skitter does this to Tagg. It took this time. On Tagg, at least.
    "I had only the chance to think of how they’d just signed Tagg’s death warrant, that my power would work while I was unconscious. I could have rescinded the order in the last moments. I didn’t."
  • Whateley Universe: This is the reason for the Star Stalker's creation, on a cosmic scale: if the invading Elder Gods couldn't be stopped, the Destroyer's mission was to destroy everything, in all dimensions, everywhere. Sara has refrained from explaining this to Billie for the sake of her sanity.

    Western Animation 
  • ReBoot played with this trope and subverted it and eventually pretended it never happened. Big Bad Megabyte is trapped in a Room101 by Bob in an early episode (though Bob later becomes retconned into a Technical Pacifist), and so Megs uses the last of his strength to self destruct himself using a panel on his forearm that appears to be a Shout-Out to Predator. His chamber of doom is ejected into orbit to keep him from destroying everything. Even though Bob would never do something like this later in the series, and Megabyte turned a sickly black blotch as he prepared to kaboom, the chamber lands on the outskirts of Mainframe and we see Megabyte's fist punch through the chamber door in a Finger Twitching Revival (well, by his standards).
    • The supervirus Daemon has this as her entire purpose. She infects the entire Net and once her personal clock runs out she self-destructs and in sixty seconds everything infected by her gets destroyed as well.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: "The Boiling Rock" has the warden telling the guards to cut the gondola our heroes are using to escape, with him still in it. Seems he's really that obsessed with keeping a no-escape record. (On top of that, what's below the gondola? Boiling water. The episode is named after The Alcatraz of the setting, and it got its name by being in the crater of a volcano, dormant but with magma near enough to the surface to make sure the water that surrounds the facility is boiling. Which means to be sure he gets the heroes, he is willing to suffer one of the most horrifically agonizing deaths imaginable.)
    • At least some of the Technical Pacifist Air Nomads fought back against the super-powered firebenders before the genocide was completed. Aang finds the skeleton of his mentor Gyatso next to a pile of enemy corpses.
  • The Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra had Lin Bei Fong attempt this in Turning The Tides, when she ordered Tenzin to go on without her as she attacked the airships, leaving her to go down with them. In a double subversion, she fails to take down the second one, although she manages to stop their pursuit of Tenzin and his family.
    • In the last episode of season 3, Ghazan chooses this over going back to prison - and collapses a cave on himself, Bolin and Mako. They make it out, he doesn't.
      • In "The Battle of Zaofu", Varrick of all people tries to do this to the people holding him captive. He manages to blow up the train, preventing Kuvira from getting the spirit vine technology, and only lives because Bolin saved them both.
  • Done interestingly in Transformers Armada. Megatron knows that if he and Optimus Prime both live, the war will restart and Unicron will be revived. He ends their final battle by allowing himself to be sucked into the space vortex, even shiving Optimus' hand when he tries to stop his fall.
    • He does it again at the end of the next season, Transformers Energon. The fledgeling new universe is powered by a 'sun' made of Super Energon and the head of Unicron. Unicron's spark has entered him, but when he realizes he's being used, he enters the Super Energon sun, apparently vaporizing himself, so that Unicron won't return; if Unicron really is alive, there'll be no escaping its gravity. Interestingly, Megatron returns for Transformers Cybertron, with spiffy new Unicron based armor but not that of Noble Demon-ness that makes him the kind of guy who'd sacrifice himself for the universe.
    • In Cybertron, Unicron does this in a way. The balance of good and evil is disrupted with Unicron gone, so a giant black hole that could consume The Multiverse has formed. If it's not stopped, Unicron will basically have taken all reality with him.
  • The two-part premiere of Transformers: Beast Wars had Megatron transforming to robot mode and risking fatal Energon exposure, in order to blow up Optimus Primal. Yeah, neither dies.
    For if I must die, I shall take you with me.
    • Depth Charge goes out this way, taking Rampage with him by stabbing the crab with a spike of raw energon.
    • However, in the Grand Finale of Beast Machines, Optimus grabs Megatron and jumps into a device that turns all of Cybertron into a technorganic paradise, reviving all the sparks Megatron took. Both die, although Optimus's spark appears once to pass the torch to Cheetor before joining the Matrix.
  • In what seems to be a reoccurring trend, in the Grand Finale of Transformers Animated, Megatron once again attempts this with Optimus Prime, intending to vanquish his spark in the ensuing Starscream Supreme explosion. Notable in that Megatron did not fully acknowledge Optimus until this episode — it really goes to show how Optimus dug under him, and had the show continued, the event is what would fully kick start their legendary rivalry.
  • In the Justice League: The New Frontier DVD, Agent Faraday has just enough strength to grab and unpin two grenades before the monster swallows him. The Martian Manhunter is moved by his Heroic Sacrifice and subsequently goes on a nice little rampage.
    • In the comic the film is based on, the action was done by John Cloud instead. While it was insanely awesome, the subplot had little to do with the plot, so it was cut, and the moment was integrated into Faraday's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In the straight-to-DVD Futurama movie Bender's Big Score, Lars, knowing that he's doomed to die eventually, presses Nudar and himself to the duplicate Bender, which was about to self-destruct. His video will reveals that he was actually a duplicate Fry, and wanted to die doing something useful (neatly wrapping up all the movie's loose ends) instead of causing Leela the pain of dying unexpectedly.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this is quite possibly the only Moment of Awesome ever awarded to a mook.
    Battle Droid: (after critically wounding a Clone Trooper)) Do we take prisoners?
    Heavy (Clone Trooper): I don't (cue explosion.).
  • Used in the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers episode "Smuggler's Gauntlet." The antagonist of the episode stole some high-end Psycho Serum, and the Rangers are sent out to retrieve it. They break into the antagonist's hideout and are surrounded by mooks. Queue Zachary activating a neuron bomb capable of wiping out all life in a city block's radius and threatening to detonate it unless the antagonist backs down. Goose may have the Cowboy Cop reputation, but push Zach, and he proves to be crazier.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Harlinquinade" the Joker plots to level Gotham City with a nuclear bomb. When it's clear that his plan is going to fail due to Batman's interference, he aims the gun turret of the plane he planned to escape with on the bomb, vowing that, "That bomb's going to go off even if I go with it!" Fortunately, he doesn't succeed.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The turtles' Triceraton ally Zog does this to the Shredder by keeping him immobile inside an exploding ship. While he succeeds in his intention of giving the turtles enough time to escape, the Shredder survives, while he himself...doesn't.
    • Villainous example: 2K3 Shredder in Turtles Forever made up his mind to end it this way by ending all of existence if only so he could destroy the TMNTs from Turtle Prime/the original Mirage comic.
  • Demona and Macbath from Gargoyles had a curse placed on them that made them both immortal. The only way either one can die is through the use of this trope, i.e. one must kill the other, which will result in both of their deaths.
  • Captain Marcus tries to do this in episode 11 of Exo Squad, after his attempt to liberate Earth results in catastrophic defeat. Subverted in that he fails: the Resolute is destroyed before it can ram Phaeton's flagship.
  • An episode of TaleSpin has Rebecca tell Baloo, "I'm going insane! And I'm taking you with me!".
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series episode, "The Alien Costume, Part 3," Spider-Man tries to defeat Venom by luring him to the launch site of a NASA rocket. He intends to use the roar of the rocket to force the symbiote off Eddie Brock and then to web the symbiote to the rocket. The plan works perfectly, but Spidey was prepared to go this way if it didn't.
    "Hope this launch doesn't fry my molecules, but if I'm gonna go, at least I'll take him with me."
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) episode "Metalhead Rewired", Metalhead does this. After holding a portal open in order to allow all the mutants to escape (turtles included), Metalhead lets the Kraang all pile onto him, and then self-destructs by exploding.
  • Steven Universe: In "Jail Break", Jasper tries to convince Lapis Lazuli to fuse with her to destroy the Crystal Gems by reminding her of the way they mistreated her. Lapis goes through with it and they form Malachite, but Lapis, fed up with being a prisoner (first in a mirror, then on Jasper and Peridot's ship), uses her powers to shackle them together and drag them both down to the bottom of the sea.
    Lapis: I'm done being everyone's prisoner. Now you're MY prisoner. And I'm never letting you go! Let's stay on this miserable planet TOGETHER!