"Those who break the rules shall be subjected to a fate worse than death."
— Freed Justine from Fairy Tail
"They say, this city, she's been dead for years now... for years now,
So death is not something... not something that scares me... that scares me
There's worse things than death here..."
— Joe, Keep Quiet
Kirk: Khan. Khan, you've got Genesis. But you don't have me! You're going to kill me, Khan. You're going to have to come down here. You're going to have to come down here.
Khan: I've done far worse than kill you... I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her... marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive... buried alive...
".... And as your classmate has pointed out, sometimes death is not the worst punishment you can give. Sometimes the worst punishment is kindness. For the proud, the worst death is a slow death, over many decades, watching everything they have built crumble before their eyes as you replace it with your kindness. Threaten them with this fate should they not comply, and you will get better results than if you threaten them with just death."
— Lars, The Open Door
The Daemonic leads two crimes. You turn away from the path of righteousness and you abandon the Emperor as the object of your devotion. For the first death is merely a just retribution. The second is a Heresy so terrible that no punishment can be sufficient. Yet the search for an appropriate penalty continues, and it shall be found.
— Ecclesiarch Isus, Warhammer 40,000
There is a fate reserved for those who betray the Emperor's trust. It is not death. It is not life. What is it when flesh and mind are taken into the body of the Golden Throne? What is it when organs are absorbed slowly into the flesh of the living machine? Is there a mind that suffers for eons as the Emperor suffers, or does the personality fade and melt away as the flesh that houses it dissolves into nothing?
"At the door of life by the gate of breath, there are worse things waiting for men than death."
— Algernon Charles Swinburne
Plum: What are you afraid of, a Fate Worse than Death?
Peacock: No, just death. Isn't that enough?
Red Mage: Maybe eternal torment is fun.
Black Mage: That's your alternative?
Red Mage: It's all we've got left.
Immortal: I can't swim. What do you think would happen if I fell in the water?
Middleman: Well, I suppose you'd drown, come back to life, and drown again, for all eternity.
Immortal: Yeah... I'm not getting on the boat.
"You are home, Counciler, and I'd rather be dead than you."
Raziel: As your agent, I am beyond death.
Today, just dying is a result!
— The Doctor, Doctor Who, "The Big Bang"
Voldemort: You do not seek to kill me, Dumbledore? Above such brutality, are you?
Dumbledore: We both know there are other ways of destroying a man, Tom. Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit -
Dumbledore: You are quite wrong. Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness -
"Did you not recognize the creatures that moved in the shadows? The Apes too had served the Dark Master, but more for their own greed and thirst for power than any true loyalty to him. This is how Malefor repaid them...doomed to remain in the dark... feeding off the power of others, never being fulfilled."
— The Hermit commenting on the fate of the Apes. The Legend of Spyro: Dawn Of The Dragon
Kassandra: Why couldn't he just kill me? Nothing could be worse than this!
Giles Redferne: His very thought.
Zuko: If the Earth Kingdom discovers us, they'll have us killed.
Iroh: But if the Fire Nation discovers us, we'll be turned over to Azula.
Both: Earth Kingdom it is.
Batman: Why didn't you just... kill me?
Bane: You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
(Talking about Belle)
Regina: I could've killed her. But I didn't.
Gold: You did much worse than that. You kept her alive so you could kill her when it suited you. A fate worse than death. Which, incidentally, is exactly what I've got in store for you.
If you fail, if the Tesseract is kept from us, there will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevice where he cannot find you! You think you know pain? He will make you long for something as sweet as pain.
— The Other to Loki, The Avengers
Talking about House's self treatment for Amber hallucinations
Wilson: Heart attack, stroke, seizure, death, or worse.
House: Worse? Double death?
Wilson: You live, but you damage the only thing you care about: Your rational mind.
Illyria: This fate is worse than death. Condemned to live out existence in a vessel incapable of sustaining my true glory. How am I to function with such limitation?
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, Christ I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
Griff: Haven't you ever seen a war movie? The black man always get it first!
Al: What do you mean?
Griff: Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen?note Laurence Fishburne in Apocalypse Now? Bubba in Forrest Gump? Any black man on Star Trek? We go in, test the waters, get killed, and you white guys go home to your families.
Al: See? We both lose!
Fenris: I still can't believe Hawke saved you.
Isabela: You've been saying that for years. Would you have turned me over to the qunari?
Fenris: No, but I know what they do to their prisoners.
G.I. Joe: You Motherfucker! You killed everything I love! Take Me Too! TAKE ME TOO!
Trouser Snake: No. No, you live with it.
Abis Mal: But genies can't kill! You said that!
Jafar: You'd be surprised what you can live through.
"I will not kill you. I will not kill you. I will not kill you! Under no circumstances will I bring about your death! I will not allow you to lose consciousness or even your sanity! I will submerge you in an ocean of pain and fear, and cause you to live out an eternity wishing for the bliss of death!"
— As Nodt to Byakuya Kuchiki, Bleach
“So, ma sister,” breathed Pinkie Pie, “she… she’s alive?”
The Lost looked at her. Pinkie and Applejack were both sharing that same hopeful expression. He wanted to lie. God, he wanted to lie so badly. Just tell them that their sisters were dead and gone and spare them both the horrible truth of the matter. Just let them remember their sisters as who they were, just a bunch of cheerful fillies trying to get their cutie marks. But…
“Maybe,” he said. “There is a very good chance that all three of them are still alive.”
You put yourself in an awkward position, setting the bar at ‘killing me’ with our first meeting. Now you’ve got to top that, which means jumping straight to fates worse than death. But where do you go after that? I mean, it’s hard enough threatening fates worse than death without sounding like a deranged fuckwit.
— Blake Thorburn, Pact