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Face Death With Dignity / Live-Action TV

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People facing death with dignity in live-action TV.

  • Ace Lightning pulls one during an episode when he and Ace have essentially been thrown to the wolves (or rather the giant killer bee), The Hero, Ace, gives up. The Butt-Monkey, Mark, doesn't.
  • In the season 3 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hive and Lincoln are trapped in a quinjet, floating outside of Earth's atmosphere with a warhead about to explode. Despite being enemies for the entire season, they acknowledge that their deaths are now inevitable and further fighting would be pointless. They simply admire the view of Earth from space and have a calm, polite conversation before exploding where Hive laments that he truly did want to make the world a better place and Lincoln believes him.
  • Angel Season 1, Episode 14, "I've Got You Under My Skin"
    Ethros Demon: I know you bring death; I do not fear it. The only thing I've ever feared is in that house.
  • Arrow: Subverted in the Season 2 finale. The titular character attempts this but is stopped by his team.
    • Earlier in the season, Moira faces her execution at Slade's hands with total composure. He even admits to admiring her resolve.
  • Subverted in Andromeda. Tyr does not intend to die gracefully, because he does not intend to die at all.
    Tyr: So, don't you tell me that I'm going to die here today, because the sun has not yet risen on the day when Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria by Barbarossa, will face death graciously. I will kick, and claw, and bite, and scratch, and spit my last breath in its face, and as long as you are with me, you will do the same.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Regent Virini.
      "I have been many things in my life, Mollari. I have been silly. I have been quiet when I should have spoken. I have been foolish. And I have wasted far too much time. But I am still Centauri, and I am not afraid."
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    • In the episode Passing Through Gethsemane, we eventually learn that one of the friendly monks living on the station used to be a serial killer. He was caught years before the series started, his memories wiped by telepath(s) and given a new personality, essentially becoming a new person. Eventually, he is tracked down by the friends and families of the people he murdered, who set up a complex plot to force him to remember his old personality. The monk eventually learns of his old persona and is horrified. He fully embraces his new life and knowing he is walking into a trap, he faces his tormentors. Needless to say, the monk dies at the hands of a friend of one of his victims, but not before knowing the answer to a question which cements his faith in Jesus. For full reference, look up the episode title mentioned above to soak in the full meaning. Facing death with dignity indeed.
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    • Londo Mollari welcomes mutual death at the hands of his beloved arch-nemesis G'Kar as a release from the enslavement of a mind-controlling parasite.
    • Urza Jaddo saved his family from disgrace and dissolution by challenging his good friend Londo Mollari to a duel to the death, with the intention of losing. He was willing to die so that Londo would be allowed to take over the Jaddo family, rendering it protected.
      • Londo knew it, as he admits to Vir that Urza could have struck him down any moment he wanted.
  • Lampshaded and mocked in a conversation on Barney Miller:
    Dietrich: Personally, I admire the Oriental attitude toward Death. They show a serene acceptance.
    Yemana: [aside, to Wojciehowicz] I dunno about him, but I intend to go kicking and screaming every step of the way.
    Wojciehowicz: Why don't you tell him that?
    Yemana: I like my image.note 
  • In the finale episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the titular character, having spent the entire series attempting multiple Zany Schemes to get out of the trenches does this. Instead of doing what the Blackadders are famous for, he leads his men over the top and, along with the rest of the castnote , meets death with dignity.
    Blackadder: Good luck, everyone. [blows whistle]
  • Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad. After being fatally shot by Walter, he gets out of his car, crawls away and sits down near to a river. When Walt catches up with him and tries to apologize, Mike says "Shut the fuck up and let me die in peace." Soon after, he falls over, dead.
    • Hank Schrader point blank refuses to let Walt beg for his life, and gives a final fuck you to Uncle Jack before he kills him.
    • The last we see of Gus Fring, he walks out of the room, where a bomb has just exploded, calm and composed as ever, and adjusts his tie. You'd think he somehow miraculously survived the explosion until the camera pans and shows that half of his head is a churned skull.
  • In the Grand Finale of Burn Notice, Madeline, Jesse, and Charlie are holed up in a safe house while Michael, Fiona, and Sam lead a probable suicide mission in hopes of defeating James Kendrick. The mission soon goes south, and Kendrick informs Michael that he's already sent men to the safe house to eliminate his mom and nephew, and the only way to avert this is to surrender himself and die. Michael readily agrees, asking only for the chance to say goodbye to his family. But when he calls, he discovers that Madeline's already seen the men heading towards the safe house and has decided that, rather than let herself be used as a pawn again, she'll set a trap to blow Kendrick's goons to hell and thus allow Jesse and Charlie the chance to escape. Sadly, this trap requires her to remain within the blast radius...
  • In the Castle episode "Still", Beckett accidentally steps on a pressure-plate, tripping a bomb that will go off in 30 minutes, or until she moves off the plate, whichever comes first. Ultimately she orders the bomb squad and Castle to leave, believing that there's no hope of defusing the bomb and not wanting anyone else to die, especially Castle. After Beckett tells Castle she loves him, he reluctantly leaves...only to come back with the detonator, refusing to let Beckett die alone, especially if there was even a Million-to-One Chance of saving her.
  • A flashback to the victim's murder in an episode of Cold Case has her killer demanding that she beg for her life. She irritably and dismissively tells him, barely even looking at him, "You don't exist."
  • Criminal Minds has many of the main characters almost do this, but they survive. They play it straight in "100", though, with Haley facing the Reaper and refusing to scream, run, or beg for her life. Foyet shoots her over the phone so Hotch can hear.
    Hotch: Haley? Show him no weakness, no fear.
    Haley: I know.
    • Averted when Strauss has been fatally poisoned by The Replicator. She's terrified, crying about how she misses her children and wishes The Replicator had just killed her instead of humiliating her first. Unusually, said aversion actually makes her more sympathetic and humane.
  • Victor in Season 7 of Dexter is afraid, but not cowardly.
    Victor Baskov: Is there anything I can do to keep you from killing me?
    Dexter Morgan: No.
    Victor Baskov: Then get it over with.
    Dexter Morgan: I don't normally take requests, but in your case, I'm prepared to make an exception.
  • Narrowly averted in Dixon of Dock Green in the episode "The Roaring Child": the old copper finds himself unarmed and faced with a crazed gunman. In an effort to protect the other hostage, he asks to be shot first and then requests he be allowed to die with his helmet on (it was knocked off in an earlier struggle). Averted when he stoops to pick up the helmet and pulls the rug out from under the gunman.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Depending on how we define "death", several of the various incarnations of the Doctor as they face their regenerations would count here, but particular mention would go to the Fifth, who sacrificed a cure for the fatal poisoning he'd experienced in order to give the cure to his companion, and the Fourth and Ninth, both of whom calmly tried to reassure their companion(s) about what was happening.
      • Surprisingly averted with the Tenth Doctor, who fights to the end to survive but ends up making a Heroic Sacrifice in order to save an old man, absorbing a lethal dose of radiation. Right before regenerating into the Eleventh Doctor, he almost whimpers "I don't want to go."
      • The Eleventh Doctor follows the examples of his previous lives, giving his companion Clara one final resigned smile after taking off his bowtie for the last time.
      • Arguably the thematic heart of "Twice Upon a Time", the Twelfth Doctor's regeneration story. In the previous episode, "The Doctor Falls" — which was originally written to serve as the regeneration — he nearly goes through with this trope in the sense of him dying permanently to destroy the Cybermen on Floor 507, a situation that arose from his efforts to redeem Missy going horribly awry, but gets a reprieve via the tears of the now-more-than-human Bill Potts. He becomes desperate to meet his final death, having become weary with his long lives, but the TARDIS takes him to meet his original self before he regenerated, who turns out to be afraid of what his future selves might be like and thus is also desperate to die instead of change. Over the course of the special, the First Doctor is convinced to regenerate and embrace his future and the good he can do, and the Twelfth Doctor decides that helping others is Worth Living For, both fulfilling this trope in the process. Twelve's Final Speech is to his own next self, urging them to be brave and kind, and his last words — often seen as a repudiation of Ten's — are "Doctor, I let you go." See below for a non-Doctor character in this story's relationship to this trope.
    • The Controller in "Day of the Daleks", who triumphantly tells the Daleks that his actions will mean the end of them.
    • Adric went out like this in "Earthshock", pulling it off to such an extent that it was pretty much a posthumous Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • "The Doctor Dances" gives an honourable mention to Jack Harkness, who first saves the Doctor and Rose from a bomb, only to find he's doomed himself in the process. His only response is to calmly wait for the end sipping a martini, but then the Doctor returns the favour. Later, he's cornered by a bunch of Daleks and responds to the usual "EXTERMINATE" with "I kind of figured that." This one doesn't stick either, after which he's given Resurrective Immortality.
    • "The Parting of the Ways": Besides Jack, mentioned above, at the climax, the Doctor is surrounded by Daleks, and he just closes his eyes and waits for them to shoot. Cue the arrival of Bad Wolf.
    • "New Earth": Lady Cassandra's last act is to tell her younger self that she's beautiful, before closing her eyes and dying without a fuss.
    • "The Satan Pit": John Maynard Jefferson, who takes up the rear guard as he, Toby, Danny, and Rose escape through ventilation tunnels, pursued by the Ood. After running out of bullets, John is caught on the wrong side of the gate and asks Zach to turn off the oxygen in the section, before the Ood can get to him. Especially harrowing, considering Jefferson was one of the toughest, hardest characters the series had seen.
    • "Doomsday": Although not technically "death", Yvonne Hartman faces her inevitable, painful conversion into a Cyber slave with nothing but dignity.
      Yvonne: I did my duty for Queen and country. I did my duty for Queen and country. Oh God, I did my duty!
      • Later she does go down fighting both her conversion and other Cybermen, still repeating the line.
    • Another Dalek-related case: in "The Stolen Earth", Harriet Jones helps set up the network that will enable the Doctor's Companions to contact him, but in doing so reveals her location to the Daleks. Rather than breaking down or trying to escape, she calmly addresses them with the following exchange:
      Harriet: Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.
      Dalek: Yes, we know who you are.
      Harriet: Oh, you know nothing of any human. And that will be your downfall.
    • "Flesh and Stone": Father Octavian sets a new standard for this trope. Knowing he will die any second, he expresses satisfaction that his courage has not deserted him. It becomes clear that his death cannot be averted any longer and, following on from the former page quote (see it on the quotes page).
      The Doctor: I wish I could have got to know you better.
      Father Octavian: I think, sir... you knew me at my very best.
      The Doctor: Ready?
      Father Octavian: Content.
    • "The God Complex": Rita requests that the Doctor let her do this by not watching when the Minotaur comes for her. She then bravely faces her death, defying the Doctor's attempts to save her.
    • The next regular companion to be killed on-screen, Clara Oswald, chose to stand and face the Raven, instead of running like all the others had, after first taking the time to make sure that the Doctor won't go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge on their behalf.
      Clara: Let me be brave. Let me be brave.
    • "Twice Upon a Time": The Captain Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart is caught in a World War I trench standoff with a German soldier when first seen. As neither speaks the other's language one is going to have to shoot the other dead despite not wanting to, and when the Captain is pulled out of time and learns that history records him as dying this day, he remains willing to face his death with dignity when he is returned there, even with the hope that the Doctors might be able to help him being raised. In the end, he is returned and has his memory wiped of his experiences beyond the trenches, but the Twelfth Doctor moved the standoff forward a few hours that it might be interrupted by the Real Life Christmas Truce, saving both men. Incidentally, this act creates a snowball effect that allows both Twelve and the First Doctor to meet this trope via regeneration.
  • ER's Scott Anspaugh quietly tells Jeanie (who's been working as his personal physician assistant) that he doesn't want any more chemotherapy after learning that the leukemia he's been battling has recurred.
  • Although ultimately he doesn't die, Rygel the 16th from Farscape plays this well, at the series' climactic battle. Zhaan also qualifies.
    Rygel: If it is the largest black hole, then it's a death worthy of a Dominar.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The finale of Season 5 gives us the death of Stannis Baratheon. His army is defeated and he himself lies injured, but he faces his death with stubborn dignity all the same. On his last legs, he manages to kill two more of Bolton's men before encountering Brienne, his executioner; he does not cry nor scream nor beg nor try to talk his way out of it, and when asked by her if he has any final words, all he has to say is: "go on, do your duty", encouraging her to fulfill her duty to Renly. This is perhaps the single most dignified death to appear on a show otherwise infamous for its number of deaths. Earlier, he willingly faces Bolton's army head-on, despite being vastly surrounded and outnumbered.
    • Syrio Forel's You Shall Not Pass! stand to protect Arya, if, of course, he actually died. He faces off against five Lannister Mooks and Ser Meryn Trant with no fear and only a broken sword handle. Said sword is made of wood.
      Syrio: The First Sword of Braavos does not run.
    • Ned Stark closes his eyes and quietly embraces his impending death once he knows Arya will not see.
    • Ygritte's only requests when she believes Jon is about to execute her are that he kill her clean and burn her body.
    • Theon Greyjoy has every intention of going out in a blaze of glory, but his men don't give him the chance.
    • The horse breeder the wildlings capture in "The Rains of Castamere" is granted permission to stand up for his execution.
    • During his execution, Ser Rodrik Cassel shows absolutely no fear of death, calmly comforting the children who are begging and crying for him to be spared and giving Theon one last insult before his beheading.
    • Robb Stark stands to deliver his Famous Last Words, which was calling out to Catelyn in a tone that suggests he's accepted his inevitable death and there's no point in fighting it, which was later confirmed to be intended by Richard Madden.
    • Despite being killed while on the privy, Tywin Lannister shows great composure and remains as belligerent and arrogant as ever throughout the tense scene leading up to his death. Though he initially tries to talk his way out of death, he grimly accepts his fate after Tyrion fatally wounds him but not without cursing his son one last time, though Tyrion gets the last word in:
      Tywin: You're no son of mine.
      Tyrion: I am your son. I have always been your son.
    • Mance Rayder walks to his execution with absolute composure and dignity. Even as he's being burned at the stake, he manages not to scream before Jon gives him a Mercy Kill.
    • Septa Unella tries to go out like this, but eventually Subverted, and for good reason, as it's made abundantly clear that Unella is going to be tortured and raped by a zombie until she dies.
    • Sansa doesn't even flinch when Myranda is pointing an arrow at her face. Luckily, Theon gives Myranda a Disney Villain Death before Myranda has a chance to hurt her.
    • Maester Luwin was very calm in his final hours, as he slowly bleeds to death from a gut wound.
    • Olenna Tyrell goes out with all the composure and grace we've come to expect from her — she downs the poison offered to her, and spends her last minutes insulting Jamie and Cersei by extension, including revealing that she was the one who killed Joffrey. All while maintaining perfect regal posture in her chair.
    • Upon being surrounded by the Sons of the Harpy in the Great Pit of Daznak, Daenerys simply takes Missandei's hand and calmly closes her eyes. Luckily, that's when Drogon shows up.
    • With Cersei about to execute her to spite Daenerys, Missandei stands tall and proud and for her last words merely shouts out "Dracarys!" as a final show of loyalty to Dany.
    • When Daenerys prepares to execute him by dragonfire, Varys stays utterly composed. Even when he's burning, he doesn't scream.
  • In The Handmaid's Tale, Eden and Isaac are to be executed for adultery for running off with each other. They are repeatedly told to "repent." Isaac remains silent. Eden recites I Corinthians 13 about love.
  • Heroes:
    • Isaac Mendez, an artist with the ability to paint the future, creates a series of paintings that show him being killed by Sylar. So what does he say when Sylar shows up at his door? "You're late." He continues to tell Sylar that neither of them can fight fate, that he already saw Sylar being killed and is quite happy that he could be of use to the good guys after all the mistakes he made. He does so while having all his limbs impaled by paintbrushes. That's right, Isaac Mendez is such a great artist, he can turn his own death into a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for himself.
      Isaac (last words before having his skull opened): "I finally get to be a hero."
    • In the first episode of Volume 2, Hiro's father Kaito is thrown off a building to his demise. Hiro tries to travel back in time to avert this, but when Kaito is told of his impending death, he doesn't want to be saved, telling Hiro that it's his fate and they can't use their powers to play God. Hiro is eventually convinced and allows the murder to play out, but nonetheless takes advantage of the opportunity to find out who killed Kaito.
  • Parodied heavily in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger where Nobuo Akagi reminds the kids to keep watching Super Sentai every Super Hero Time day before he and his time crash to the sun.
  • In the episode "Retribution" of Horatio Hornblower, Captain Sawyer regains some of his lucidity and is matter-of-fact about his impending death—initially Wellard intends to kill Sawyer in the confusion of the prisoner uprising since he believes either Kennedy or Hornblower caused Sawyer's fall and Wellard refuses to let either man hang. Sawyer finally treats him with respect and even advises him on how to hold the pistol. When the Spanish burst in, Sawyer stands side-by-side with Wellard and commends his bravery just before they're both shot.
  • Referred to by name and then subverted in the very first episode of House.
    Rebecca: I just want to die with a little dignity.
    House: There's no such thing! Our bodies break down, sometimes when we're 90, sometimes before we're even born, but it always happens and there's never any dignity in it. I don't care if you can walk, see, wipe your own ass. It's always ugly, always! You can live with dignity; we can't die with it.
    • Gets a Call-Back with James Wilson after his chemo doesn't work and his cancer becomes terminal, when he decides to enjoy the five months he has left to live, rather than spend years wasting away in a hospital bed. House initially makes the same comment, but while he never accepts the idea of "dying with dignity", he is eventually able to accept that Wilson is choosing quality of life over longevity. Last time we see Wilson, he and House (who went Faking the Dead) are riding together into the sunset in their motorbikes.
  • Taken to ludicrous extremes in The IT Crowd, when Denholm, the CEO of Reynholm Industries is told in the middle of a board meeting that some policemen are in the building looking to ask him about irregularities in the pension fund. Denholm calmly tells his secretary to make them some tea, then steps out the window, leaving his stunned board members gaping after him.
  • Played for Laughs in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Compromised", where Mick and Ray Palmer are faced with a Time Bomb in the White House. With only seconds until detonation, Mick's reaction is simply to shrug, decide there are worse ways to go and take a bite out of a stolen eclair. Fortunately, Ray is able to defuse the bomb Just in Time.
  • Li Tsung's (and to an extent, Bruce Lee's) philosophy when it comes to martial arts in Longstreet, is this trope combined with Graceful Loser.
    Li Tsung: Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never accept the way to lose. To accept defeat, to learn to die, is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.
  • Million Yen Women: Minami is shown staying calm through being bound to a chair in a burning house.
  • Subverted in Oz with Shirley Bellinger. When the time for her execution comes, she walks to it calmly and dignified; but when she sees the noose, she (quite understandably) panics, tries to run, breaks down sobbing, and begs God for mercy and forgiveness. Far from being used to portray her as cowardly, it's a deeply human and tragic moment.
  • Keeper in Power Rangers Dino Charge inadvertently caused the extinction of the dinosaurs after sending a bomb to Big Bad Sledge's ship and letting his asteroid collection loose. Keeper silently closes his eyes and lets the dust cloud overtake him. He gets better though.
  • Winnie the Pooh, of all people, according to Red Dwarf episode "Meltdown", where he refuses the blindfold before facing a firing squad made up of Mussolini, Al Capone, Richard III, Napoleon and James Last. Badass, Mr. Sanders. Bad. Ass.
    • Subverted in "Future Echoes." After learning that he's going to die in an explosion, Lister grabs a pipe to attack Death with, proclaiming "If he comes near me, I'll rip his nipples off!"
    • Subverted once again during Rimmer's "death" in the eighth series finale: upon being approached by the Grim Reaper, Rimmer actually looked as though he might literally face death with dignity for a change... up until he's helped to his feet, whereupon he knees Death in the balls and runs away.
  • Rome: Marcus Tullius Cicero, who goes so far as to rebuke a loyal slave trying to defend him for making a fool of himself.
    • Extra points for being partly Truth in Television.
    • Octavian and Pullo invoke this when interrogating the man they suspect to be Lucius's real father.
      Octavian: Your life is over. You stand at Pluto's gate. Do you wish to sully his door with lies?
  • One episode of Scrubs has a Character Of The Week, a terminally ill patient who's projected life expectancy was, at best, barely a full day. J.D. and Turk, the patient's attending physician and surgeon, are quickly reminded of their own mortality and fear death much like the patient. However, the three of them spend the last few hours having a quiet, philosophical conversation on the matter, ending with the patient rolling over to take a nap. This is after J.D. has informed him that his body will gradually become more fatigued until he falls asleep, never to wake up again. The patient is sober but extremely calm, even saying he'll see J.D. and Turk when he wakes up, even though all three of them know that's not going to happen.
  • A Sliders episode has a "bubble" universe form around Quinn and Maggie about the life together they never had. Meanwhile, the real Quinn and Maggie are dying, as their life force is being drained by this new reality. A man arrives to help them and reveals he's the son of the Quinn and Maggie from the "bubble" universe. He takes the team to his universe and lets the two Quinns and Maggies interact. They reveal that they have chosen to restore the real Quinn and Maggie by unraveling their own reality, basically erasing their entire universe out of existence. Before the end, they thank their son for making this sacrifice (they themselves having lived a long and happy life together). Their son doesn't mind doing this and reads his father's favorite poem before the end.
  • Several villainous examples show up in Sons of Anarchy
    • At the end of series 2, AJ Weston fits this trope to the point that you almost feel sorry for him, despite his being a white supremacist, rapist, and all around scum bag.
    • In the last episode of season 3, the Sons assassinate the two antagonists of the season, Jimmy O'Phelan and ATF Agent June Stahl. Stahl breaks down crying and begs for her life, but Jimmy barely seems to care, even when his mortal enemy pulls knives on him. Then again, as a crimelord and high ranking IRA officer, Jimmy had probably long ago made peace with the fact that he would not die a natural death.
    • In Clay's final appearance, when he sees the corpses of the IRA guys who were supposed to take him to Belfast, he realises he won't be leaving the building alive. He calmly walks to a good spot for Jax to shoot him in the throat.
    • In prison, the Triads order Juice to kill the leader of the Nazis. Since the Nazis had already arranged to kill Juice on behalf of the Sons and failing to do so would damage their relationship, Juice tells Tully what's going down and hands him the knife, asking only to finish his dessert. In the end, after several series of running, cowardice, and betrayal, Juice stands firm as Tully stabs him to death.
    • When Gemma confronts Jax for the last time, she walks out into her beloved childhood garden and asks Jax to end it quickly.
  • Played with in the first season finale of Stargate SG-1:
    O'Neill: So what do we do now?
    Bra'tac: Now, we die.
    O'Neill: Well that's a bad plan. Where's the glider bay?
    • In another episode, Teal'c is captured by the Jaffa Trelak who tells Teal'c that, for his betrayal, Teal'c will die a slow death. Teal'c promises the Jaffa that he will die quickly. Naturally, in the end, Teal'c makes good on his promise. Just before expiring, the Jaffa calmly notes that Teal'c is a man of his word.
    • Teal'c manages to pull it off in another episode where he has been put on trial by the inhabitants of a planet his former master had systematically terrorised. He admits his guilt and stoically accepts his execution for his role in the atrocities, even though he tried to use what little power he had to mitigate the terror inflicted. He offers no resistance at all and is ready to accept his punishment for what he did. He avoids his fate though when Apophis launches another attack on the village and he fights his former master off, protecting the villagers from him, before calmly taking his place to be executed. The man who had demanded the execution has a change of heart and lets Teal'c go.
    • The Asgard as whole pull this off in the series finale, deciding to commit mass suicide rather than suffer through the final disease their Clone Degeneration has led them to, and risk their technology being looted by all comers - said knowledge and technology gets given to the SGC, with the Tau'ri becoming the Fifth Race.
  • Crowley in the Supernatural episode "Meet the New Boss". When Castiel pays him a visit, Crowley knows that the jig is up. He doesn't resist and prepares for the ensuing smiting. Subverted, as Castiel doesn't kill him, but orders Crowley to work for him instead. Five seasons later, he plays this trope straight as an arrow, this time for good.
  • In "Yellow", one of the few episodes of Tales from the Crypt not to feature any supernatural elements, a lieutenant (Eric Douglas) in the trenches in World War I is found guilty of cowardice in a court-martial after abandoning men under his command to die, and sentenced to death by firing squad. His father, a general (played by Douglas' real-life father, Kirk Douglas), tells him that he will order the guns loaded with blanks and leave a pack in the trench into which he should fall after being "shot" so that he can leave the army, as he wishes. He is, therefore, able to face his firing squad with quiet dignity. At least until he sees his father close his eyes and turn away on the word "Aim", and realizes a split second before the guns fire that they are actually loaded with live ammunition, and the "escape" plan was a ploy by his father to get him to face death with dignity in the only brave act of his life.
  • The Walking Dead: Merle, having suffered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from the Governor and facing down his gun, merely says that he isn't going to beg.
  • The Wire features this with several characters, all of whom get some very impressive lines before they go:
    Stringer: Well, get on with it, motherfu- (Gets shot.)
    Bodie: Yo, this is my corner. I ain't runnin' nowhere!
    Snoop: How my hair look, Mike?
    Michael: You look good, girl. (Shoots.)


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