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Death By Irony / Live-Action Films

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  • In The Final, Parker, the Vietnam veteran, gets hit by a double-dose of this when he's taken out by a punji stake trap. First, this was a notorious trap employed by the Vietcong against American soldiers. Second and, more importantly, earlier in the film he'd given tips to Dane on how to improve the traps he was laying around the ranch to catch runaways. (However, he manages to crawl away from it and kill two of the guards, and his ultimate fate is uncertain.)
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  • Full Metal Jacket: Gunny Hartman. More emphasis on this in the book than in the movie. In the book, when he gets shot, before he dies, he says "Private Pyle, I'm so proud." He's glad that was finally able to make him a killer which he had been struggling to do all through boot camp.
  • Used to surprisingly good effect in The Asylum's version of Sherlock Holmes (2009). The factory owner who put bars on the inside of his windows to keep his illegal workers in? Can't get out when the monster comes to eat him.
  • Land of the Dead does this with the electric fence. Zombies are shown in one scene getting fried on the electric fence that borders the city of Pittsburgh, while humans on the other side of the fence laugh at them. Later on, that same electric fence ends up becoming a deathtrap as a large group of refugees trying to escape end up trapped between it and the zombies.
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  • In Snakes on a Plane, one character throws a small dog to a snake to try and escape. However, when the others gasp at his brutality, he stops to chastise them saying "Oh what, you'd have done it too!" But this is just long enough for the snake to eat him alive... and in the end, his corpse gets sucked out of a window into the engine. The moral of this story: if you kill a puppy, God kills you.
  • Most of the victims in Theatre of Blood, most notably George Maxwell, a pompous egotist who is killed in the manner of Julius Caesar (and who wouldn't have even been present at the murder scene if he hadn't allowed his vanity to override his common sense); Oliver Larding, The Alcoholic, who is drowned in a barrel of wine in the style of Clarence in Richard III; and Chloe Moon, a vain woman who ends up electrocuted at her hair salon.
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  • In Collateral, Vincent will talk at length about the need to change, adapt, and roll with whatever life throws at you, yet he shoots entirely by rote. He always uses the Mozambique Drill: two shots to the chest and one to the head. In the climactic shootout at the end of the film, which takes place in a blackout and aboard a subway train, this ensures that not a single one of his shots hit Max, as they all plunk dead-center into a set of sliding metal doors. Max, meanwhile, fires randomly and kills Vincent with a lucky shot.
  • The last thing The Joker says in Batman (1989) before his Disney Villain Death is, "Sometimes I just kill myself!!" This likewise results in Batman anchoring Joker to a gargoyle with his harpoon gun, and then eventually being forced to plunge to his death due to the heaviness of the gargoyle statue that broke him.
  • The Cabin in the Woods. After spending the entire film wishing he could see a merman, Hadley is finally done in when a merman enters the control room and chews his face off. Hadley is pretty aware of the irony, too; his last words are "Oh, come on!"
  • In Miss Nobody, Sarah Jane started her malicious, serial killing ways by accidentally killing the executive she worked as a secretary for. She dies when her own secretary accidentally serves her the drug-tainted water she had prepared for Ormsby.
  • In The Seventh Seal, Death chops the tree an actor is hanging on. "But I have a play tomorrow!" "The play will be canceled due to the main actor's death".
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom, who plans to obliterate Toontown and all Toons with the Dip, is revealed to actually be a Toon himself. Guess what Eddie Valiant ultimately uses against Doom to vanquish him for good?
  • Constantine. Two characters are killed by The Dragon in an ironic way.
    • Beeman is obsessed with insects. He's killed by being infested with flies.
    • Hennessy drinks a lot to drown out the voices he hears due to his psychic ability. He's killed by being made to drink himself to death.
  • In Heathers, J.D. is responsible for killing several other teenagers throughout the film and sets the murders up to look like suicides. After failing to blow up the school, he commits suicide by blowing himself up with his own bomb.
  • Mulholland Falls culminates with the bad guy being tossed off the plane, the same way he murdered his victim.
  • Count Dracula is always known for biting his victims' necks and then either kill them or turn them into vampires. Guess how he finally dies in Dracula III: Legacy.
  • In The Hunger Games, Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane revokes the both-can-win rule, meaning that only Katniss or Peeta can survive. But instead, they almost commit suicide with poisonous berries, until they are declared the winners to prevent this. As punishment for this unprecedented screw-up, he is locked in a room with... the same kind of poison berries.
  • In DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, it's lampshaded with Patches O'Houlihan's death by the "Luck o' the Irish" sign.
  • The villains in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Walter Donovan wanted the Holy Grail so he could become immortal. However, Elsa Schneider selects a fake grail for him to drink from in the secret chamber. He dies by aging rapidly to death - exactly the opposite of what he expected to happen. This death is made even more ironic by the fact that earlier in the movie, Walter Donovan told Indy not to trust anybody, and then chose to trust Schneider when he made it clear he had no way of choosing the correct grail. Schneider’s own ironic death comes moments later. Refusing to heed an obvious warning by the grail’s guardian, she triggers a Cataclysm Climax by attempting to take the grail anyway. Indiana saves her from falling in a chasm but when she spots the grail below, she irrationally pulls a hand free to reach it. Her obsession to reach the cup that gives eternal life results in her falling to her death.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), Dr. Hannigan claims that Lawrence will no more likely change into a werewolf than he is likely to sprout wings and fly out the window! He doesn't sprout wings at any rate...
  • X-Men: First Class: Sebastian Shaw. Magneto kills him to avenge his mother's death. This is made possible because Magneto had taken Shaw's helmet that was manufactured to protect Shaw from telepaths like Charles Xavier. Ironically, this is what prevented Charles (who could not release the dangerous Shaw from his telepathic grasp) from stopping Shaw's death at the hands of the newly-helmeted Magneto.
  • Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is killed by being thrown from a massive height after pleading with his enemy Caesar to spare his life — the exact same way he killed Big Bad Jacobs in the previous movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004): It's impossible to know that there is a Zombie Apocalypse going on yet, but Anna's neighbor keeps a loaded gun and tells bloodied people to stay away from him. He's run over by an ambulance.
  • Female Agents: Jeanne was sentenced to death by hanging, but spared so she could join the SOE. She creates a diversion through killing a soldier, goes to Ravensbruck, and is hanged there instead.
  • In Machete Kills, El Chameleon is an assassin who specializes in Latex Perfection disguises to get close to his targets. He gets the drop on Machete by disguising himself as a Mexican, but while chasing him, he runs into a bunch of racist rednecks who threaten to shoot him for being a Mexican. While pleading for his life, he removes his fake mustache, talks in his regular accent, and says he is from Ontario, only for the rednecks to say they hate Canadians too and shoot him anyway.
  • In Jurassic Park, it happens less so than in the book, but it does happen:
    • Denis Nedry shut down the park's security systems, everything from surveillance, to the electric fences so that he could steal some frozen dinosaur embryos and deliver them to his contact as soon as possible. While trying to deliver the embryos, he crashes his car and gets eaten by a Dilophosaurus that got out after the electric fences were turned off.
    • Genaro, the lawyer that left Lex and Tim to their fate when the Tyrannosaurus got out and hid in a nearby bathroom stall so that he could not get eaten. After the T.rex chases Malcolm, it destroys the bathroom stall, and eats most of Genaro.
  • In the Bond film GoldenEye, a key enemy for Bond is Xenia Onatopp, a sadistic and sexy Georgian assassin whose favorite method of assassination is seducing her victim and then crushing them to death with her Murderous Thighs. Bond disposes of her by shooting her helicopter while she is in the middle of crushing him, causing it to crash while her harness is still strapped to it. She is flung several feet in the air and crushed to death against a tree. Bond, famously never letting a moment like this go by unmarked, quips "She always did enjoy a good squeeze."
  • In girlhouse, the voyeuristic murderer Loverboy is killed by Kylie when she beats him to death with one of the cameras in GirHouse that allowed him to watch the girls.
  • Subverted in Hot Fuzz. Skinner kills a guy with a church steeple and in the climax gets impaled on a model steeple. He does not actually die however.


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