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[[quoteright:350:[[Series/CoronationStreet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/unbroken_vigil_4_6499.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1165329/Drunkard-Corrie-dad-Peter-Barlow-keeps-vigil-son-Simons-bedside-fights-life.html Source]]]]

->'''Bender:''' You were in the best coma I've ever seen!\\
'''Amy:''' [Leela, you were out for] two weeks. Fry never left your side for a minute.\\
'''Zoidberg:''' And he talked nonstop, like a parrot of the sea, he was!\\
'''Fry:''' I thought if you heard a familiar voice, it might help you wake up.\\
'''Leela:''' ''(hugs Fry)'' You could really use a shower.\\
'''Fry:''' You too.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', "[[Recap/FuturamaS4E12TheSting The Sting]]"

If a character, often a hero, is in a coma, unconscious, ill beyond lucidity, has had their soul stolen, has just had major surgery or whatever, then the odds are that they will have a friend or family member who refuses to leave their side. Ignoring all distractions and necessities, they will keep watch over them. Other well-meaning characters may urge the watcher to go take care of themselves, but their efforts always fail. As long as their charge is helpless, the watcher isn't going ''anywhere''.

The watcher may keep their vigil until they pass out from exhaustion, usually slumped over their charge's bed. Sometimes they'll be reawakened only when their charge comes to. Other times they're found by a third party who was just coming to see if they could talk the watcher into going home and resting ''this'' time. Having realized its futility, they will make do with a ComfortingComforter.

You might well find this trope in a SickEpisode or FeverDreamEpisode (though in the latter it can be tricky to tell what's going on...) Occasionally emotion has nothing to do with it. Maybe the unconscious is the primary witness in a murder case, and the watcher is a detective waiting to spring the second there's a flickering of consciousness, for example.

Sometimes they are trying to save the unconscious person from the terror of DyingAlone.

Sister trope to ConverseWithTheUnconscious, which often occurs in conjucture with the UnbrokenVigil.

See also DudeShesLikeInAComa.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Mikiya Kokutou visits Shiki every damn week for two years that she spends in coma in ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai''. This even earns him the nickname "Puppy-kun" among the hospital staff.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' subverts this when Guts leaves Casca in the elf mine, where Rickert and Godo are supposed to look after her while he is off slaying demons and avenging the Hawks. Turns out that was maybe not such a good idea, as Casca, insane as she is, has left off on her own, starting the Rite of Birth arc. When they do reunite, the mine, one of the last safe havens they had, is destroyed and their relationship has become quite sour.
* LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya herself did this for Kyon [[spoiler:after he gets stabbed but she thinks he fell down the stairs. It's complicated.]]
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Sayaka to Kouji in episode 52, when he was hospitalized after being badly wounded in a battle (she was also feeling guilty, since they had got a fight before -they bicker constantly, but this time it was ''serious''- and she had refused backing in battle). And Kouji to his little brother Shiro in ''Mazinger-Z versus Great General of Darkness'' when he fell into coma after a ceiling crumbled onto him.
* The titular character of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' does this, in [[GenderBender female form]], for a [[IllGirl sickly young boy]]. He had nearly died the night before because he [[IntimateHealing would only accept his medicine if she delivered it with a kiss]], and she felt responsible for the situation. Predictably, by the time he wakes up she has fallen asleep on his bedside, so the first thing he does is try to kiss her again, and gets a pounding for his efforts. He never did find out that it was the ''[[{{Gonk}} doctor]]'' who [[IntimateHealing gave him the medicine]].
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'', Fate wakes up from having her Linker Core absorbed and discovers her familiar Arf asleep at her bedside; Lindy, who is still awake and has recently arrived, notes she has been there since the previous night.
* In ''{{VisualNovel/Shuffle}}'', when Asa wakes up in the hospital in Episode 20 after collapsing at the end of the previous episode, Rin is asleep at her bedside.
* This happens in ''Player Kill'', when Yonggi spends the night at the hospital after [[spoiler:Gihoon gets blinded by Harata for [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim sparing him]]]].
* Repeatedly done by Asuka and Rei for Shinji in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' several times throughout the series ([[UnfamiliarCeiling Shinji does a lot of waking up in the hospital]]). The tension that results when Asuka does it makes for some of the show's best scenes.
** Also, Shinji remained by the side of [[spoiler:a comatose Asuka]] in ''End of Evangelion''. However the usual conotations of "caretaking" are subverted [[ADateWithRosiePalms rather harshly.]]
* Whenever Manga/{{Naruto}} is in the hospital, Shikamaru is inexplicably sitting in his room. The first time, it was coincidental; he was there to visit Choji, who had been hospitalized for overeating. The second time, it was more likely intentional, as he presumably was also visiting the other injured members of his five-man team.
* Yomiko in the ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' OVA does this with Nancy.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'', Yuiichi is staying by Makoto's bed, as she's supposed to die that night from high fever. He falls asleep, and wakes up in the morning thinking she died and he wasn't there for her - only for her to crack a smile at him.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'':
** After Maka is paralyzed, she has to ''tell'' Soul to go home. The scene seems to imply that he hadn't left her before then.
** Similarly, after Soul had his torso bisected by Chrona, Maka stopped short of doing this for him (and was implied to have stayed by his side while he was unconscious after surgery).
* In ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'', Clare suffers a serious injury after a fight against a very strong yoma and as a result she is AsleepForDays. During this time Raki stayed by her side praying for her to wake up.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', Chi-Chi remained by Goku's side, caring for him, during the entire time he was sick with the Heart Virus. Yamcha also helped, only leaving to help the others with the Androids.

* Happens in a ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Annual''. Including the falling asleep by his side thing. Understandable in that not only is Data his closest friend, but Geordi's the one trying to ''repair'' him so it's probably better that he sticks around.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Excalibur}}'', Nightcrawler keeps a constant vigil with Rachel/Phoenix after she lapses into a coma following the defeat of Necrom.
* In ''ComicBook/{{NYX}}'', Kiden finds her former teacher nearly dead in a bathtub after a suicide attempt, and after getting her to the hospital, stays by her side until she regains consciousness.
* In the last arc of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', Molly keeps a vigil over Klara after the latter is magically knocked out.
* In ''ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen: Minutemen'', Hollis Mason [[spoiler:stays by the Scout's side as the poor kid dies from radiation poisoning]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Daniel managed to rescue and mend Kyoko's soul and bonded it with her body. However Kyoko needed several weeks sleeping as her body and soul healed until she was ready to wake up. While she was comatose Asuka remained by her side constantly, and a priestess took her place when Asuka had to leave her and Shinji's cabin.
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'':
** In chapter 3, after retrieving [[AcePilot Asuka]] from the Sea of Dirac, [[LoveInterest Shinji]] and [[TrueCompanions Rei]] stood by her bedside in the hospital room until she regained consciousness.
** In chapter 8 when Ritsuko comes around after getting hurt Maya is by her side. She had spent hours waiting for her waking up.
--->'''Maya''':''"I... I don't know, Akagi-sempai. I... I left Central Dogma as soon as the combat alert was over and came straight here. I... um... [...] I... haven't left your side since then. That was... um... last night. Afternoon... er..."''\\
'''Ritsuko'''(thinking):''....you haven't left my side since the end of the fight, and I woke up with you asleep on my leg and holding my hand.''
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'':
** When Asuka collapses in chapter 2 Shinji remains by her side the whole time examining her.
** In chapter 6 Rei and Shinji keep watch over her when she faints in Misatoís living room.
** In chapter 7 Shinji got knocked out during a battle and slept for two days. Asuka stood sleeping by his side, waiting for him waking up.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': After her transformation into [[spoiler:[[http://lovecraft.wikia.com/wiki/Deep_One a Deep One]], Ritsuko]] fell unconscious and was in a coma for five hundred and twenty-eight years. [[spoiler:Maya]] kept watch over her, leading a mostly normal life and even occasionally dating, but remaining as long as possible by her bedside, patiently hoping for [[spoiler:Ritsuko]] waking up. When she finally and suddenly woke up, [[spoiler:Maya]] was overjoyed.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'':
** After [[spoiler:Asuka fell into a coma, Shinji]] kept watch over her relentlessly. He spent the whole of his free time beside her bed, and you needed a crane to pry him away that room.
** Kaworu also remained the whole time by Reiís bedside after her accident.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': [[spoiler:When Asuka was in a coma]] Shinji was by her side the whole time, talking to her and praying for her waking up. He only left the hospital room when the nurses needed to take care of her. In an alternate epilogue [[spoiler:where she does not wake up after the FinalBattle,]] she spent fifteen years comatose, and there was not a single day Shinji did not visit her.
* In a Code Geass continuation C.C [[spoiler:watches Lelouch, waiting for him to wake up from his first]] death. Found [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6969408/6/In_the_End here]]''Comic
* A lot of ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' fanfic has [[spoiler:Mia]] acting like this to [[spoiler:Diego]], before eventually giving up.
** A few fics have Edgeworth doing this for Phoenix during case 3-5 before he starts the investigation.
* In ''TroperWorks/ThePrivateDiaryOfElizabethQuatermain,'' [[spoiler:Elizabeth]] grows seriously ill and falls into a coma. Her love interest takes a seat next to her bed and will not leave.
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', after Kyon had a bullet surgically extracted, Haruhi, Yuki, Mikuru and Tsuruya stay the night in the hospital keeping him company, even if Yuki had already healed him. As a bonus, both Haruhi and Yuki sleep in the bed with him.
* Most fanfics that start after the ''Series/{{Castle}}'' season 3 ending have Castle doing this for Beckett.
* In [[Fanfic/WeightlessMassEffect Weightless]], Shepard, without eating or resting, spent 7 days watching over Garrus until she has to go to Normandy SR-1 on Alchera.
* Contrary to the canonical example above, a lot ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' fanfics centering on Casca getting cured of her insanity involve Guts never leaving her side until she awakens (since in most of these fics, Casca goes into a coma-like state as part of the healing process).
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' fanfic ''FanFic/MemoriesBornOfFire'', Spock plants himself by Kirk's side after the captain is poisoned on Altair VI, only leaving (reluctantly) when Kirk orders him to get some rest.
* This is a staple of Kent/Lyn shipping fics in the ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' fandom, with Lyn getting seriously wounded or collapsing from illness or exhaustion and Kent fretting by her bedside.
* In ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' fanfic ''Regret Part 2'', Creator/RoseOfPollux has this show up when it's mentioned that Napoleon hasn't left his chair since Illya had been brought in to Medical. Flipped later in I Fly to You, when it's Illya's turn to keep vigil over Napoleon in Medical. He apparently does so all night.
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'':
** [[spoiler:Rei]] didn't leave [[spoiler:Shinji's]] bedside while he was in a coma.
** After waking up from his above-mentioned coma, [[spoiler:Shinji]] kept watch over a comatose, mind-broken [[spoiler:Asuka.]]
* In the Anime/{{Gungrave}} fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11750894/1/The-Hellhound-of-Billion The Hellhound of Billion]], after having the anti-necrolyzed bullets taken out of him, Brandon almost dies of a hemorrhagic shock. As he remains comatose with dropping blood pressure, increasing heart rate, and a cold body, William, [[BenevolentBoss Biscoe]], and [[MoralityPet Mika]] spend the night watching over him. Mika, however, [[TummyCushion eventually falls asleep on his torso]], after shooing [[MeanBoss Norton]], who tries to wake Brandon up by hitting his surgical wounds.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': When [[spoiler:Gendo is rendered comatose, his ex-lover Ritsuko]] visits him and keeps watch over him constantly. Don't ask her why, though.
* ''Fanfic/CorrinReacts'': [[spoiler:When Scarlet barely survives the attack by Gunter that [[SparedByTheAdaptation killed her in canon]], Ryoma watches over her the whole night.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', after the final battle against Ursula, Eric lies motionless on the beach for a long time. Ariel sits on a rock and watches for him to wake up, finally causing her father to realize that she really does love the guy.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded''. Neo falls unconscious after destroying several Sentinels.
-->'''Maggie:''' He's in some kind of coma, but his vitals are stable. What about you?\\
'''Trinity:''' I'm fine.\\
'''Maggie:''' You could use some rest.\\
'''Trinity:''' No, I'm gonna stay with him.
* ''Film/RockyII'', when Adrian falls comatose from stress over her husband's return to the ring and having to work while pregnant, Rocky begins a vigil broken only by visits to the church to pray, neglecting his training for the big rematch against Apollo.
* ''Film/SteelMagnolias'': Shelby is in a coma after rejecting a transplanted kidney. Her mother M'Lynn refuses to leave, even as her husband urges her to. Even when Jackson[[note]]Shelby's husband[[/note]] visits, she's pacing outside the room, waiting for her daughter to wake up.
* In ''Film/GoodbyeLenin'', Alex is seen falling asleep while watching over his comatose mother in hospital.

* Happens multiple times in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''. "He's hardly left your side these last three days."
* Edward in ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' doesn't leave Bella's side while she's in the hospital for several broken bones and loss of blood and maybe a few more things.
** Nevertheless, he's perfectly willing to leave her AFTERWARDS.
* Caitlin to [[spoiler:Bran]] in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. [[spoiler:She goes pretty mad with grief, but her madness, and his dire wolf saves his life from the hired idiot of a killer Joffrey sent.]]
** Subverted when Jaime Lannister guards [[spoiler:the body of his father Lord Tywin for seven days without rest. It's actually atonement for having indirectly caused his death.]]
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', Cloudtail does this with Brightpaw in ''[[Recap/WarriorCatsADangerousPath A Dangerous Path]]'' when she gets attacked by dogs. Eventually the [[TheMedic medicine cat]] has to order him to eat and rest.
* In ''Literature/DeadWest'' , this occurs a few times. Somehow justified, as Gervas occasionly functions as a human restraint if the Porcelain Doctor has an "episode", and there was that time that Gervas got shot about eleven times. He almost died (Louis told him he looked dead, and the Merry Company contemplated giving him an "Irish Funeral"), and most likely he was only saved by the Porcelain Doctor [[spoiler:Healing Hands amplified by the crystals reviving him]]. Niall spent at least for days by his side, constantly attending to him. Our narrator was a bit angry about this, because the good doctor was sick and tired even before the vigil, and ended up in worse shape than before.''
* Butler began his career by watching over Literature/ArtemisFowl in the maternity ward, and hasn't let up since (except the parts involving time-travel).

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', ''Fracture'', Clark stayed by Chloe's bedside when she is [[spoiler:"dead" after healing Lex from a near-fatal injury until her ResurrectiveImmortality revived her.]]
* In the ''Series/{{Bones}}'' season 3 finale, the team's commitment to their intent to constantly watch over their injured co-worker Zack leads them to assigning shifts. In doing this, they unwittingly [[spoiler:prevent him from escaping, as he was working with the SerialKiller and had engineered the explosion that injured him.]]
* Done in an episode during the first season of ''Series/{{Titus}}'', Erin refuses to leave Christopher's side after his dragster crashed, leaving him braindead. Played for laughs in that her refusal to even let go of his hand leads her to almost drag him completely out of bed.
* ''Series/GhostWhisperer'': After he's injured by a gunshot wound, Melinda stays by her husband Jim's bedside for hours while he's recovering from surgery, to the point where she falls asleep. When she awakens, Jim lovingly says hello [[spoiler:unfortunately it's because he's trying to explain as gently as possible that he's died of an aneurysm.]]
* Played straight and subverted in ''Series/HannahMontana'' where Billy Ray promises to be awake and smiling when his daughter wakes up only to predictably fall asleep. The subversion comes when Jackson tells him that there's pie in the cafeteria. Not only does this wake him up instantly, but he runs off instantly and doesn't come back until after she's left the hospital.
* Series 5 of ''Series/DoctorWho'' has what might be the best example: [[spoiler:Auton!Rory spends almost ''two thousand years'' protecting the Pandorica that holds Amy, becoming the [[ShroudedInMyth legendary Last Centurion]] in the process.]]
* Often on ''Series/TheXFiles'' whenever Mulder or Scully got hurt, though the vigil was not unbroken all the time. The one who was unharmed also had to finish the investigation sometimes or avenge the partner for the wound.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'': When Donna Moss [[spoiler:is critically injured in a bombing in Gaza]], [[TheNotLoveInterest Josh Lyman]] drops everything (keep in mind he is the ''Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of the United States'') to go to Germany and be with her. He stumbles into the hospital exhausted from the flight and refuses to leave her bedside until she wakes. It takes these two a further season and a half to [[RelationshipUpgrade get together]].
* Not a completely unbroken vigil, but an episode of ''Series/MysteriousWays'' has a man continue to visit his comatose wife every day for sixteen years.
* In the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' season 1 finale, Gwen will do a vigil when [[spoiler:Jack]] is assumed dead.
* In the ''Series/{{Happy Days}}'' episode ''Richie Almost Dies'', [[BreakoutCharacter Fonzie]] maintains a bedside vigil at Richieís bedside after he is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. During that time, he is seen praying and shedding {{Manly Tears}}.

* Ianto to [[spoiler:Jack]] in the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' radio play "The Dead Line".

* Theatre/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer: Tom is frightened after testifying against Injun Joe, and Aunt Polly sits next to his bed on at least one night to comfort him.
* Delibes' ''Lakmé'': Lakmé's Act 3 aria "Sous le ciel étoilé" is sung as she watches over her sleeping lover, British army officer Gérald, whom Lakmé healed after he was attacked by her father.

* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' liked this one: first, it was [[TheChick Yukari]] watching over the [[HeroicMime Main Character]] during his week-long coma after he first summoned his Persona, saving her life in the process. Later in the game, [[IdiotHero Junpei]] would utterly refuse to leave [[ElegantGothicLolita Chidori's]] side throughout her hospitalization/confinement, despite her own insistence. In fact, it's ''because'' of this dedication that Chidori [[spoiler:[[DefrostingIceQueen warms up to him]], then realizes that her life is worth something to someone, which goes against everything she believed in while she was a part of Strega]].
** [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Aigis]] [[RobotGirl herself]] takes this to a rather [[StalkerWithACrush creepy]] extreme, watching over the Main Character ''all the time'', to the point of timing herself on how fast she can pick the lock to his room each night.
* [[TheStoic Squall Leonheart]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' did this for [[TheChick Rinoa]], when possession by [[BigBad Ultimecia]] left her in a magically-induced coma. Frustrated that he was getting nowhere watching over her at Balamb Garden, though, he took the vigil on the move by carrying her across the world to [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Esthar]].
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Tifa did this for Cloud.
* Carlos does this for Jill in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'' after she gets infected with the T-Virus by Nemesis. While you don't get to actually see it, it's stated that Carlos spent two days watching over Jill until she woke up.

* In ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'', Fooker remains awake at Maddie's side for several hours until she comes to from being poisoned on a mission to capture Dr. Nefarious, and eventually falls asleep to catch up on lost sleep.
* In ''Webcomic/ItsWalky'', [[spoiler:Joyce]] is shown to have brought a bedroll and food to stay near [[spoiler:the Martian Resurrection Machine that is reconstructing Walky]].
* In ''Webcomic/DragonMango'', [[http://www.dragon-mango.com/comic/chapter07/dm07-67.htm Mango decides to interpret Cherry's having fallen asleep on the bed as this.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', Jeremie and Jim stay by Aelita's side until she wakes up in "False Start."
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** One episode has Leela fall into a coma, and Fry stays by her side for weeks talking to her. When she wakes up, they hug, and then:
-->'''Leela:''' ''(whispers)'' You could really use a shower.
-->'''Fry:''' ''(whispers)'' So could you.
** There was also Fry's puppy, who grew old and fossilized waiting for his master to come back. [[spoiler:[[CosmicRetcon Thanks to]] TimeTravel in the movie Bender's Big Score, he actually spent the rest of his life with a time-loop duplicate of Fry, before being flash-fossilized in an explosion]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'', Enzo keeps a vigil over [=AndrAIa=] after she falls into a coma from having part of her code stolen by a Web Creature.
* In the official materials between ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' books 2 and 3, Katara is said to have stayed by Aang's side the entire time he was unconscious.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}} Dreamland'', Lana and Malory take turns watching over Sterling while he's in a coma.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Happens in real life far more often than many people realize [[UnreliableNarrator if the stories are to be believed]].
* The famous [[http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/dog-stands-guard-over-deceased-owner-grave-six-190556479.html Japanese dog]] UsefulNotes/{{Hachiko}} was so beloved that a statue stands in his memory at the train station where he would return to wait for his late master to come home from work every day after said master died at work.
* There is always a guard at the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Unknowns Tomb of the Unknown Soldier]]. Not even a hurricane can make this guard abandon post. During the hurricane, the officers in charge offered to let the guard take off. The guard refused.