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Wall Slump

Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
Richard II, V.v

A classic way to show someone is dying. They have been shot, stabbed, poisoned, whatever, and then, recoiling from the wound, back into a wall and sink slowly to the ground. A smear of blood trailing down the wall is customary.

Can also be used to show a character is in shock or depressed (generally without the blood).

This is commonly used in theatre, because it's a good visual cue for the audience. It's also a reasonably cool death, combining Slow Motion Fall and Rebel Relaxation.

Also see Headdesk and Face Palm, two variations of the "extremely frustrated" version.

Unmarked Spoilers ahead, as this is a Death Trope.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In V for Vendetta, after V is shot at the end, he staggers and leans against a wall, leaving a V-shaped smear of blood. He still manages to walk a fair distance afterward, though.

    Film 
  • The Wall, naturally.
  • A rather clever example in The Cheat (1915) in which the victim, who is Japanese, slumps against a wall in his apartment—but it's a Japanese-style translucent window, so the slump and the trail of blood are shown from the other side, in silhouette.
  • Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, although he rallies afterward.
  • Resident Evil. After Rain Ocampo becomes a zombie, she's shot in the head, moves back and hits the wall of the subway car she's in, then slumps down.
  • Parodied in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. One of the vampire minions backs up against the wall, sinks, and then moans and groans and says "ow ow ow" for ten minutes. The Easter Egg at the end of the credits shows him still bellyaching.
  • Lee's death in The Magnificent Seven
  • The Matrix scene where Neo dies, when Agent Smith repeatedly shoots Neo after he backs up and hits the wall but before sinking to the ground.
  • Final Justice used this during the opening gunfight. As the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew helpfully pointed out, you can tell that the filmmakers recycled footage because you can see the dying guy slide down the same wall twice.
  • Ice Station Zebra features one when Ferraday shoots Anders.
  • Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs manages to hold himself half-up against a wall for a moment before slumping to the floor, having been shot multiple times by Mr. Orange.
  • Psycho: Marion Crane does this against the wall of the shower after being fatally stabbed.
  • In The Avengers, Agent Coulson immediately collapses against a nearby wall after being stabbed through the back by Loki and dies shortly after speaking to Director Fury.

    Live Action TV 
  • During a Halloween episode of Boy Meets World, Red Shirt Kenny gets stabbed through the head with a giant pencil and slumps to his death, leaving a pencil trail on the wall behind him. Cory points at where the trail begins and tearfully tells the others, "we'll always remember he was that tall."
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hitler", a poisoned Doctor slumps weakly against the wall of the TARDIS while talking to a Voice Interface hologram in the shape of a young Amy. He gets better - barely.
  • In Top Gear, after the "Race to the North" challenge Clarkson slumps against the wall of the hotel bar they were racing to. Because he's been on the footplate of a steam locomotive, he leaves a trail of soot rather than blood.
  • In the final episode of Forever Knight, Tracy Vetter has this after being shot.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel: Lord Tony Dewhurst dies this way in the first episode. He's shot and badly wounded, but he manages to stand up, and he leans on a wall. Chauvelin shoots him later in the head. He just slumps down and ends up half-sitting, half-lying, this time dead for good.
  • On ER, unaware that she's been injured while diving for cover during a shoot-out, a pregnant Abby is gathering supplies when she realizes that she's bleeding. The loss of blood—from a placental abruption—rapidly becomes enough for her to slump against the wall and pass out
  • The X-Files: Agent Scully is shot and falls down, slumping down against a wall, with the obligatory smear of her blood behind her. In happened in "Tithonus" of season 6. She got better.

    Theatre 
  • Page quote from Richard II, after the former king of England is stabbed by conspirators.

    Video Games 
  • In Mass Effect 1, Shepard slumps down after having his/her ship impounded and crew locked down right when they need them most. Shepard's love interest comes over and gives him/her a pep talk to keep fighting.
  • Nia Lochlain's last moments in Infinite Space shows her leaning against the wall of Eremon's ship after telling Yuri that she will make her escape soon. Whether she actually managed to fulfill her words or simply said that to assure him, we will never know.
  • Asch does this in Tales of the Abyss.
  • This is the position that Mia is found in after her murder at the start of the second case of the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game.
  • In the 'Missing Link' DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Netanya Keitner dies this way after Pieter Burke discovers her working with the player.
  • On rare occasions in Left 4 Dead, you can observe Common Infected leaning against a wall, slowly sliding down it, and then just falling over dead.

    Web Original 


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