Tear Jerker: 1000 Ways to Die
Despite it being a show about death, this show actually averts the trope by showing the victims as jerks and deviants who deserve to die. Then, there are the handful of deaths in which the victims were more-or-less innocent and didn't deserve what was coming to them:
- #1: Ichi-boned: The story about Serika and Hitoshi, the Twice Shy Japanese couple who died of a heart attack while having sex for the very first time (they were so sexually repressed that they've never experienced an orgasm prior to their being married) after trying several times to consummate their marriage and failing. Being a Tear Jerker (and, according to the narrator, the least horrific and most awesome way to die), it's probably why it's listed as number one on the list.
- #96: Poi Vey: An Orthodox Jewish rabbi who had a crush on a hula dancer, got rejected by her, and died when he drunkenly stumbled into a Hawaiian torch ceremony. His attempts to woo her were invasive note , but getting burned alive for it is a bit harsh.
- #146: Belly'd Up: A belly dancer training for a competition accidentally hangs herself on a moving ceiling fan. Other than leaving the ceiling fan on while practicing, she didn't seem to be a bad person (she even put herself through veterinarian school with her talent). At least she died doing what she loved.
- #171: Nite Capped: A random man is killed when a group of revellers having a New Years' barbecue several miles away fires a gun into the air. The bullet came down and killed the random man on impact.
- #196: Radium Girls: A group of female workers from the 1920s discover that the radioactive paint that they use for the watches they detail can make skin glow in the dark (one of the workers uses this as glow-in-the-dark Body Paint during sex). Overtime, the radioactive paint gets absorbed in their bodies and causes bone cancer. Some of the girls died; those who survived filed a lawsuit against the company and pushed for better safety standards in the workplace.
- #208: Semi-cide: Frank, who got cut into two while working on his car at a gas station. Not only his death was among the ugliest in the bunch (and both halves were sent to different hospitals by mistake), but there was nothing that suggested he was a Jerk Ass or anything. Worse still, the story was set up with the viewer thinking that a honeymooning couple who made a pitstop were the ones that were going to die (whether by a gas station explosion or one or both of them getting hit by a car that didn't see them on the road).
- #232: Nine Inch Nailed: A trio of cleaners at a local dump slack off, deciding that it'd be more fun to roll down a hill in a giant tire with a ramp at the bottom. When one of the men rolls down and hits the ramp, the ramp collapses and exposes two nine-inch framing nails from the ramp that puncture through the tire and sever the man's spinal cord. You may be saying to yourself, "These are the typical idiots that appear on 1000 Ways, so why is this in the Tear Jerker section?" Shortly after, one of the men let's out an anguished Big NO, and cries as he cradled the now-deceased man in his arms, wailing that "he was like a brother to me!" DAMN. Talk about Mood Whiplash... even the narrator shifts from mockery to pity as he sums up the story.
- #393: Deep Sleep (Walk): A woman sleepwalks off a dock into the water and drowns before she can wake up. Nothing indicated she was a jerk or an idiot note .
- #412: Hair Today, Dead Tomorrow: A nudist painter compulsively eats her own hair (a condition known as Trichophagia) has a large trichobozear (hairball) in her stomach from the hair she's ingested over the years, because hair isn't digested and she dies when her stomach rupture from the bozear exceeded her stomach's capacity killing her. The worst this woman did was eat her hair (which she couldn't control because of her trichophagia) and not go to a doctor (the story took place in 1968)
- #414: Hydrau-licked : YMMV on this one. A man who is a low rider (a sport where you rig the hydraulics of a car to make it bounce) is fixing up his car when he catches someone eyeballing his girlfriend. (of whom he's overprotective of) While going out to confront the man, a nut pops off his car. After winning, a large coil (which was loose after the nut popped off) hits him and causes the other car to bounce on him until he dies. Sure, he should've checked his car again, but that was really small and it popped off when he wasn't looking. Other than that the worst he did was be overprotective of his girlfriend, which isn't uncommon for guys to do sometimes. The doctor said it wasn't a good way to go (suggesting he felt the whole thing) And to top it all off everyone watching went to check if he was okay and his girlfriend started crying after he died. He wasn't the nicest guy, but he wasn't nearly as bad as most other victims on the show and having a car bounce on him to death was pretty harsh.
- #444: Deadliest Munch: A lesbian chokes to death on her lover's edible G-string. Neither was a particularly bad person (the worst thing either of the girls did was ruin dinner by leaving the roast in the oven for too long, and she wasn't even the one who died).
- #518: Jake-N-Baked: A metal worker who suffered from narcolepsy and ended up sleeping inside a curing oven and getting burned to death. Other than constantly falling asleep in unusual places (like the bathroom or at his work station), he seemed like a pretty okay guy.
- #595: Wedding Crasher: Perry, an angry drunken man, attends his ex-girlfriend Carla's wedding to an older, wealthy man. When Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace is spoken, he stands up and rants at Carla, stripping down in the process, before turning and running through what he thinks is a door. It's a glass window. What makes this sad? When he dies, Carla breaks into what looks for all the world like genuine tears of anguish. And then the priest gives him last rites. Even disruptive jerkasses have people who care about them.
- #630: Ex'd Ex: A couple enjoying a hay ride are surprised by a stalking ex dressed as an ax murderer. The new boyfriend pushes him off, and he gets crushed by the tractor's wheels. What makes this sad? When the new boyfriend pulls the attacker's ski mask off, he and his girlfriend are horrified that it was their old friend. The girlfriend bursts into tears and the boyfriend hugs and comforts her.
- #645: Amish-Tinguished: It features Jebediah, a Na´ve Newcomer in his Rumspringa, gets caught in the middle of Halloween celebrations, seems to be having a good time... only to get drunk and die for it for something that was completely out of his reach (being born without an enzyme that processes alcohol, making the chemical act like literal poison when ingested). Poor dude!
- #710: Tanked Girl: After making an emergency swim back to the surface, a scuba diver's body explodes after a careless maintenance worker does not check if she's in the room, and ups the pressure in the room. The woman seemed to actually care about her health, mentioning that she would prefer to do nothing in the chamber than risk her life by going outside, and the worker is not portrayed as an idiot like usual.
- #832: Lesbocution: A young woman who has been in a string of bad relationships with men gets up the nerve to go on a date with a female friend. As she and her date step out of a club that evening, she stops at a crosswalk to remove her uncomfortable high heels and accidentally steps on an exposed electric wire in her bare feet, dying instantly. Going barefoot on the city streets isn't the brightest of ideas, but she was young and had only just found a chance at real happiness. Moreover, she died because of someone else's negligence.
- #1000: Premature Endings: Much like "Ichiboned," this segment featured a death that wasn't caused by stupidity or accident or a freak medical condition. The death was an elderly man (seen as a caring, hard-working, and faithful man to his family and friends) dying peacefully in his sleep while his adult daughter stayed by his bedside, sad that he's about to die, but understanding that he's been sick for a while, he's lived a rich and full life, and it's his time to go. As he dies, the narrator notes that the show, as a whole, is more than just a lurid docu-fiction on strange and brutal deaths; it's a show about how to live, summed up in this Aesop: You can either end up like the idiots, freaks, and JerkAsses in the hospital waiting room (or, worse, like all of the people who have died in past episodes) and end up as a 1000 Ways to Die story, or you can just watch the show as entertainment, try and live a good life where you use your common sense and brains, and get rewarded by dying of natural causes with your family and friends at your side. Considering the show's content, that's pretty deep.