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Heroic Sacrifice / Live-Action TV

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  • Writers must love writing this trope for Chronically Killed Actor Jamie Bamber. Aside from Archie Kennedy, Tony Dewhurst (the very first of his characters to be killed off) was shot and killed trying to protect The Scarlet Pimpernel from being gunned down (adding insult to injury is that Dewhurst lived throughout the series of books the miniseries is based on), and the most recent one, DS Matt Devlin of Law & Order: UK was shot protecting his friend Alesha Philips (along with the young witness in their case) from a hail of gunfire.
  • Joss Whedon examples:
    • Merrick in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film.
    • Buffy in the season 5 finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She comes back. Again.
    • Spike in the Grand Finale of Buffy. Once again, it doesn't stick.
    • Doyle in Angel's first season.
    • Darla on Angel as well, in order to allow her son to be born.
    • Wesley sacrifices himself in the grand finale of Angel, but comes back as a ghost in Angel: After the Fall.
    • In the Angel (IDW) oneshot "Lorne: The Music of the Spheres", Lorne sacrifices his corporeal body by leaping into the Music of the Spheres, thereby restoring balance to the universe. This one has real-world subtext as well, as his actor Andy Hallett had just died.
    • Ethan Rayne in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. He knew he was going to die when he helped Buffy.
    • Giles also sacrifices himself in Season 8. He got between a Twilight possessed Angel and Buffy as they fought near the Seed of Wonder, wielding the Scythe to try and destroy the Seed himself and end Twilight's invasion of Earth, or get killed by Twilight and give Buffy the motivation she needed to take the Scythe and end things herself.
    • In the final issues of Buffy Season 9, Severin sacrifices himself to help create a new Seed of Wonder and restore magic to Earth.
    • Simon Tam in Firefly was a very good one. He does not just die quickly as in most Heroic Sacrifices. He gives up his life, fortune and safety and lives the life of an outlaw just to be able to save his little sister from being tortured by the Alliance.
    • Topher has stepped up to join the ranks by going out with a very literal bang to save the world in Dollhouse.

  • On 24, George Mason (the former director of CTU) is accidentally exposed to radiation early in the second season, and slowly begins to die. He secretly stows away on a plane that contains a nuclear bomb, and is being piloted into the Mojave Desert by Jack Bauer. He ends up convincing Jack to let him fly the plane on a suicide run, letting Jack parachute out and live, as well as saving millions of innocent people.
    • In Season 3, a terrorist named Stephen Saunders orders that Ryan Chappelle be killed or he will release another vial of a weaponized virus. Saunders has already released one vial resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people. Chappelle is scared at first but when their attempts to find Saunders fail, he agrees to sacrifice his life so others can live.
    • In Season 7, a chemical plant manager called John Brunner attempts to cut off supply, when terrorists attempt to release it into the atmosphere. He instead releases a large dose into the chamber he's in, to minimize damage. Subverted, slightly, in that the attack is stopped by events elsewhere, but still, pretty damn heroic.
    • A moment of silence for Bill Buchanan, who set off an explosion in a gas filled room with himself still inside it to save the President's life.
    • Jack is a fan of this trope, too bad he never gets to pull it off.
    • And now we can add President Omar Hassan to the list, who gives himself up to the terrorists to prevent a bomb detonating in New York. They torture him and eventually slit his throat before Jack can rescue him.
  • On The 100, both Kane and Jaha are eager to perform heroic sacrifices to atone for the things they've done. That they both keep surviving their attempts to sacrifice themselves is actually a minor source of frustration for them.

  • American Gods (2017): Mexican Jesus dies placing himself in between undocumented Mexican immigrants and right-wing thugs shooting them while trying to cross the US border.
  • Arrow, in which the main character Oliver Queen, under the crime-fighting persona 'The Vigilante' and later 'The Green Arrow', frequently stands to lay down his own life in order to protect those closest to him and the city he swore to protect.
    • During the show's second season, Oliver finds himself coming face to face with a former comrade turned enemy, Slade Wilson, who seeks to enact a vendetta against Oliver as revenge for events which took place on the island, notably his failure to stop Dr. Ivo from killing Shado, with whom Slade was in love with; injecting a severly injured Slade with the 'super-soldier' drug Mirakuru, which both gives him superhuman strength and drives him insane. At their last encounter, Oliver faced off against Slade, finally driving an arrow into his right eye, presumably killing him. Slade survived, however, and resurfaces as the terrorist mercenary 'Deathstroke'. In "Seeing Red", Slade captures Oliver and his family and forces him to chose between his mother Moira and younger sister Thea over who will live or die. Moira, having recently strained relationships between both her children, sacrifices herself to save her children by allowing Slade to kill her by stabbing her through the abdomen before both Oliver and Thea.
    • In "City of Blood", Oliver finds himself resolved to end Slade's vendetta against him without anybody else getting hurt by sacrificing himself. After not showing up to Moira's funeral, Felicity and Diggle confront Oliver, who reveals to them that he intends to surrender to Slade. He accepts responsibility for Slade's actions, having not acted to cure Slade on the island, thus accepting responsibility for his mother's death. He tells them that after killing Moira, Slade told him that before this was to end, one more person would have to die, and having seen what Slade is capable of, Oliver is convinced that his own death is the only thing that will stop Slade from harming those remainig closest to him and the city he swore to protect. When Felicity desperately tries to dissuade him from surrendering, Oliver tells her "someone once told me that the essence of heroism is to die so others can live." Admitting defeat, Oliver tells them he sees no other solution and leaves to prepare for his surrender, after which Felicity and Diggle inform Laurel of Oliver's intentions, who in turn confronts him in another effort to dissuade him. She reveals to him that she knows he is the Arrow, and that she knows he was with Tommy when he died following the earthquake. Oliver, still determined to face Slade, tells her that although he couldn't save Tommy or his mother, he could still save the rest of them and Starling City from Slade. Laurel responds by pointing out the effect his death would have on Thea, having just lost their mother. She finally manages to dissuade him by telling him she has proof that Sebastian Blood, Starling City's newly elected mayor, is working with Slade, thus giving him another way to stop Slade.
    • In "Life Sentence", crime lord Diaz demands mayor Quentin Lance have the F.B.I. leave the city or he will shoot Black Siren (his sort of daughter). Quentin refuses Diaz's demands, but takes the bullet for her and dies on the operating table.

  • Babylon 5:
    • Londo Mollari, one of the most complex characters in the series, saves his people from complete annihilation by allowing himself to be implanted with a mind-controlling alien symbiote.
    • Years later, in the future of the Time Travel sequence, Londo, under the control of the symbiote, has the heroes at his mercy. In a moment of lucidity, he lets them go, then asks G'Kar — either his sworn enemy, his best friend, or both — to kill him so the symbiote won't alert anybody to the escape. This G'Kar does, in a manner which Londo had foreseen decades earlier in a prophetic dream — which at the time he took to mean G'Kar would eventually murder him in cold blood. Londo is therefore an example of Heroic Sacrifice, Redemption Equals Death and Prophecy Twist. The symbiote then wakes up, kills G'Kar, and fulfills the rest of the prophecy.
    • "The Long Night" and "Into the Fire" feature multiple examples:
      • To lure the Vorlons and Shadows to Coriana VI, a shipful of Rangers (led by Bryan Cranston!) have to die protecting a piece of disinformation, so it will be convincing enough.
      • In order to save his planet, Londo destroys the Shadow presence on Centauri Prime by blowing up their island base (including a number of Centauri who knew they were being asked to sacrifice themselves). When the Vorlon Planetkiller takes station above the planet, his sidekick Vir points out that there's still one person on the planet who's been touched by the Shadows... Londo himself. Londo orders Vir to kill him. He doesn't, but events conspire to save Centauri Prime anyway... temporarily, at least
      • At the end of the battle at Coriana VI, the Shadows attempt to destroy Sheridan's White Star with two missiles. A Drazi Sun Hawk and a Minbari Sharlin interpose themselves between the White Star and the missiles, not only saving Sheridan but also showing the Shadows and the Vorlons that the younger races will no longer take their crap.
    • Near the end of the fourth season, Marcus dies so that Susan can live.
    • Kosh deserves a mention. By getting the Vorlons to strike at the Shadows, he opened himself up to be assassinated by them.
    • To end the Minbari Civil War, Delenn manages to trick the leader of the Warrior Cast to join her in a ritual which will decide the outcome of the war by whoever lasts in a wheel of fire the longest. She's replaced at the very last second by Neroon who pushes her out, announces his conversion to her side, and dies, thus allowing her to reorganize the Grey Council.
    • John Sheridan pulls one of these when he detonates a nuclear warhead in the capitol city of the Shadows ... using his own position to guide it in.
    • At the beginning of "Acts of Sacrifice", an unnamed Narn cruiser does this to allow a civilian transport to escape from a war zone, interposing itself between the attacking Centauri and the jump point.
    • Sinclair also deserves a mention, in that he travelled back in time to live out the rest of his life as Valen. Though he got to assume the role of a venerated, messianic figure among the Minbari, in doing so he left all he knew in his life as a human, with no reasonable hope of ever returning to it, leaving the familiar for an alien society in a different age. Plus, to avoid disrupting the timeline in any way, he sort of had to follow a script laid out by history. (He couldn't even use his regard as a prophet to somehow avert the Earth-Minbari War through any forewarning about the Humans.) In the final farewells before this time travel ("War Without End Part II"), clearly Sheridan and the others recognize that this is a big sacrifice on his part, some trying to talk him out of it.
    • In The Legend of the Rangers, the Valen's weapons are knocked out by the ships working for the Hand. The ship's captain sends all the dignitaries to the Liandra in a shuttle and then utilizes the only weapon he has left - the Valen herself. The ship rams one of the Hand ships to their mutual destruction. "We die for the One" indeed.
    • In the TV movie A Call to Arms, Captain Anderson has his ship Victory (sister to Crusade's Excalibur) ram the control center for a Shadow planetkiller before it can lay waste to Earth.
    • In the Earth-Minbari War, some humans rammed their ships into the Minbari vessels to protect Earth.
      • During the Battle of the Line, Jeffrey Sinclair attempted a kamikaze run on a Minbari ship after his Starfury was damaged. Obviously, it ended differently than he expected it to.
    • 3.10 "Severed Dreams": The EAS Churchill was already critically disabled up from damage taken, so it rammed a hostile Earth Alliance Ship to take it out as well.
    • 3.22 "Z'ha'dum": Sheridan took a one-way trip to Z'ha'dum, home of the Shadows, hoping that it will end the war sooner and prevent the destruction of Centauri Prime. Since he figured it was a trap, he took along some bombs as well, enabling him to destroy their capital city. This one is seemingly subverted in the following episode, but then turned back around with the reveal that when he came back to life, he could only be given twenty more years. He accepted this, but some of his loved ones weren't happy about it.
    • 4.05 "The Long Night": A Ranger ship went on a suicide mission solely to give the Shadows information that would get them where the good guys wanted them, without their becoming suspicious.
    • 4.06 "Into the Fire": The one on Centauri Prime. A few Centauri remained on the island the Shadows were using as a base to keep up appearances when Londo set up his gambit to get rid of Shadow influence before the Vorlons came to destroy them. He wasn't able to convince the Shadows to leave, so instead he put nukes in place without them noticing, and those citizens were killed in the process.
      • Also from "Into the Fire"''': The one by Coriana VI. A number of ships take one for the team as part of their collective "screw you" to the Vorlons and Shadows at the final battle, when they are trying to destroy Sheridan's ship but the others fly in front of the missiles.
    • 4.14 "Moments of Transition": Delenn was willing to do this as part of an ancient ritual, with the hope that it would mend the rift between the Minbari castes and end their civil war. In the end, Neroon pulls her out of the circle before it activates, and dies in her place, so there is still a sacrifice, just not the one initially expected. It helps that, in his final moments, he converts to the Religious caste, thus signifying their moral victory.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • Done rather problematically in a later episode. After having her criminally shady past revealed, the pilot Kat voluntarily exposes herself to lethal levels of radiation while guiding a passenger ship through a star cluster. The episode was well-written and actually made sense, as well as providing an unexpected degree of depth to a heretofore slightly two-dimensional character, but... given that Kat had not only served quite adequately as CAG for the last year, but was one of maybe two or three pilots who'd never actually committed mutiny during the run of the series (and that one of the others was a Cylon), would anyone other than Starbuck actually have cared that much? Might even count as Driven to Suicide. She's already taken too much radiation when she decides to fly the last mission. For her it's a choice between staying behind and probably dying anyway, or going out there, definitely dying, but making a difference, atoning not only for her past but for losing the other ship earlier in the episode.
    • In the BSG DVD movie Razor, Kendra, who shot some civilians under direct order of her commanding officer, Helena Cain, and was troubled with guilt over it ever since. This trope was invoked extremely obviously - someone had to stay behind and manually trigger a nuke, she forced the team at gunpoint to let her be the one to do it, and after her death, she was awarded a frakking medal. Also, the Cylon ship she died to destroy told her, specifically, that it knew what she had done and she was absolved, right before the nuke went off.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome: The Osiris suicide attack on a Cylon basestar.
  • Urd of Beforeigners steps in front of a person attempting to assassinate Tore Hund, taking all the bullets meant for him and earning herself a place in Valhalla. This resolves her season-long dilemma over whether or not she should let herself die of the cancer ravaging her body or undergo chemotherapy and radiation which would leave her almost as debilitated as the cancer would.
  • Bones
    • : Brennan’s dad Max fought a squad of hired guns to save his grandkids. The guys were working for the son of a warlord Booth killed during his sniper days. Max took out a couple of the guys while being shot himself. He died at the hospital because it was too much for his weak heart.
    • In the same story arc, Booth’s friend and former Army chaplain Aldo Clemens was captured and tortured to force him to give up Booth’s location. He couldn’t escape but freed himself from the table he was tied to just enough to whip his head backward and kill himself. Booth outright says it wasn’t suicide but a sacrifice so he wouldn’t give in and talk.
  • In the finale of Breaking Bad, Walt pays a visit to Jack Welker and his crew and accuses him of reneging on their deal to kill Jesse Pinkman by partnering up with him to produce his brand of meth instead. Walt's initial intention was to kill everyone with a rigged machine gun, including Jesse and himself, but upon discovering that Jesse has been chained up and forced to cook for them, he modifies his plan by tackling him to the ground before activating his contraption, bodily shielding Jesse from the ricocheting bullets, one of which hits him instead.
    • Discussed earlier in the series, when Walt and Jesse have been captured by Tuco and Jesse suggests that Walt, being sick with cancer, be the one to attack him (he even name drops the Jumping on a Grenade trope). Walt is not amused.
  • This occurs in the series 5 finale of The Brittas Empire, with Gordon Brittas himself pushing Carole out of the way of a collapsing roof and getting crushed himself. This allows him to get into Heaven despite all the lives he's doesn't last, because even Saint Peter can't stand Brittas.
  • On Burn Notice, Ian sacrifices himself to stop a rogue diplomat.
    • A few episodes later, Fiona turns herself in to make Anson's leverage over Michael worthless.
    • In the Grand Finale, Madeline Westen goes out with a bang in order to protect her grandson and give Michael a little more time to stop James Kendrick. "This one's for my boys..."
    • Sam tries to do this in one episode, when he's captured by a group of mercenaries, who want to send a photo of him to Michael. Sam makes a weird gesture that Michael recognizes from another photo of him and Sam and realizes Sam is trying to tell him not to come for him, knowing it's a trap. Naturally, Michael isn't about to let Sam die and manages to rescue him.

  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future: In the series finale, Corporal Jennifer "Pilot" Chase sacrifices herself to manually activate the Power Base's self-destruct mechanism, taking The Dragon and its invading horde down with her.
  • Channel Zero: Candle Cove ends with one of these. Mike knows that the paranormal force behind Candle Cove the spirit of his dead brother Eddie wants to pull a Grand Theft Me on him, in order to regain total access to the real world and spread Candle Cove's influence, and is forcing his compliance by abducting his daughter Lily. So, Mike allows himself to be dragged into Eddie's realm, securing Lily's freedom in exchange for going along with the plan... only to then distract Eddie long enough for his mother to Mercy Kill Mike's body, cutting the link to the real world and trapping Mike and Eddie in the other world forever.
  • Choudenshi Bioman: After being hit with a ray that was already starting to kill her Mika/Yellow Four 1 took the rest of the shots saving the other four team members as well as rendering the weapon useless.
  • In Community episode "Epidemiology" Abed allows himself to become infected in order to allow Troy time to escape.
  • In the Criminal Minds episode "Ashes and Dust", Evan Abby lures the serial arsonist into a warehouse (which has been doused with benzene) and incinerates both himself and the arsonist. Somewhat falls under Redemption Equals Death, since Abby was the head of the company that the arsonist believed was a club for setting fires.
    Vincent: Seriously, how do you plan on getting out of here?
    Abby: I don't.

  • Delete: Daniel connects to the AI knowing it could kill him, as a means of stopping it. He survives though.
  • Diablero: In the first season finale, Ventura gives himself up so that Mariana will survive having been used to summon Tezcatlipoca.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor in general tends to go out with a bang: most of his regenerations are heroic sacrifices of some kind or another. Honourable mentions go to Three (walks into a radiation-drenched cave to confront the Great One), Four (unplugs a cable with an effort that throws him off a tower and incidentally saves the Universe) and possibly Eight (purposefully abandoning his identity to create a regeneration capable of ending the Time War).
      • The Fifth Doctor at the end of "The Caves of Androzani", which is seen as one of the best stories. Both he and Peri (a Damsel Scrappy if there ever was one) were suffering from fatal poisoning, and the Doctor gives the antidote to her, without even knowing if he will be able to regenerate. He then collapsed, and willed on by his past companions, regenerate into a new body in (arguably) the best such sequence in the series.
      • The Ninth Doctor performed a similar feat in "The Parting of the Ways", when he absorbed the energies of the spacetime vortex from his companion, Rose Tyler, so that they would not kill her. Instead, they killed him, forcing him to regenerate. (Actually, this episode has lots of Heroic Sacrifices, including the one made by the Doctor's other companion, Jack Harkness. He stands there and flips off his enemy before giving a "come and get me" type gesture (he gets brought back to life, though.) Brought back to life, but also Came Back Wrong. The event made him physically incapable of death for a few billion years, at least. He has it tough after that.
      • In "Smith and Jones", the Doctor allows the Plasmavore to drain his blood in order to save the hospital from eradication by the Judoon. Luckily, Martha is on hand to revive him.
      • The 10th Doctor in the second part of "The End of Time". He switches places with Wilf in a box-thing which was going to fill with radiation when opened. Cue Tear Jerker as The Doctor comes out dying, and then proceeds to say goodbye to all his friends and/or companions from throughout the series. And incredibly, The Master! But then again, the viewers should have seen it coming... "Get out of the way!" It might mean "My prey. Scram." He's too pissed off to care about anything other than making the Time Lords pay dearly for what they did to him, in the sense of The Only One Allowed to Defeat You. This is Big Damn Villains. This is the Master. And they Never Found the Body...
      • The Eleventh Doctor gets two. First one is in "The Big Bang", when the Doctor triggers a second big bang to reboot reality and restore everything erased by the cracks in time, sacrificing his entire existence. Fortunately, Amy brings him back at the end. The second time is probably one of the most prolonged examples of this trope to date, when he spends NINE HUNDRED YEARS defending the planet Trenzalore in "The Time of the Doctor" from entire armies and fleets of his enemies, including the Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Ice Warriors, Sontarans, Judoon, Silurians, Slitheen, Krynoids, Mara, Krotons and Nestene to name a few. All this to protect the residents of a little colony called Christmas, and Gallifrey, which sits on the other side of the very last crack in the universe, on the wall of the town's clocktower. The reason this counts as a sacrifice is since he spends SO long defending the place he starts dying, not of injuries, but OLD AGE. Even more profoundly, he's using up all this time with the full knowledge that he is out of regenerations, and when he dies this death will be his last. Fortunately, Clara convinces the Time Lords to chip in and grant the Doctor a new cycle of regenerations.
      • In "The Almost People", the Doctor's Ganger (who is exactly the same as him and has all his memories) sacrifices himself to stop another Ganger who has turned into a monster.
    • It has been debated whether Time Lord sacrifices count, since they can regenerate up to 12 times; at any rate, several of the Doctor's incarnations regarded it as death. Besides, when a Time Lord sacrifices an incarnation they are still drawing closer to the limit and thus bringing their death nearer.
      The Doctor: I don't want to go... [regenerates]
    • The show has developed a very specific subtrope of its own in which an (often unwilling) agent of the Daleks betrays them and tells them off, only to get exterminated, of course.
    • "The Daleks' Master Plan": A desperate convict is holding Katarina hostage to hijack the ship to Kembel; he's so ignorant of Earth's history that he actually thinks the Daleks will help him. Rather than risk the Doctor risking all their necks and their chance to get word to Earth, Katarina blows the hatch.
    • "The Krotons": Serlis charges into the machine to bring the Doctor the acid he asked for. He gets it to him, but the Krotons kill him.
    • "Colony in Space": The Colony leader, Ashe, does this by piloting the doomed spacecraft alone, thereby tricking the mining corporation into believing all of the colonists have died. This allows the group to mount a successful surprise raid against the corporation later, and to regain control of the planet.
    • "Revenge of the Cybermen": One of the men carrying a booby-trapped bomb deliberately sets it off as a weapon against the Cybermen. This frees the other victims.
    • Leela's father takes her place in a trial for heresy and dies minutes into "The Face of Evil". Neeva does a not-entirely-intentional version later on.
    • Adric's death in "Earthshock". Ultimately, he failed in his goal (and achieving it would have been impossible without a major paradox being created), but he was trying to be heroic. Technically, he didn't fail completely — his actions prevented the entire population of the Earth from being killed. Well, the human population, anyway.
    • "The King's Demons": Hugh insists on taking up the king's champion's gauntlet, to protect his father from having to fight the Duel to the Death. (He is quite offended when the Doctor intervenes to save his life after he fails.)
    • "The End of the World": Plant Alien Jabe sacrifices herself to hold down a switch that slows a gauntlet of fan blades just enough to allow the Ninth Doctor to escape to safety. She then burns to death, on-screen at that, from the extreme heat vented in shortly afterwards.
    • "The Unquiet Dead": A clairvoyant maid named Gwyneth becomes the voice for a race of ghost-like aliens named the Gelth, who claim to wish to pass through a rift to Earth using her as a gateway in order to possess human corpses to regain physical form. The Ninth Doctor and Gwyneth agree, only for the Gelth to pour through the rift and reveal their true intentions of taking Earth by force. Gwyneth promptly traps the Gelth within the house, has the others flee, and lights a match, igniting the gaseous Gelth and destroying the house with her inside.
    • "Father's Day": After Rose destroys the timeline by saving his life, Pete Tyler allows himself to be run over by the car that was meant to kill him to restore it.
    • "The Doctor Dances" subverts it: Captain Jack places a bomb in stasis on his ship and takes it away from the place where it was supposed to land in order to save the lives of the people at the site, including the Doctor and Rose. However, the stasis is decaying, and after getting to space Jack discovers that there is no way to jettison either the bomb or himself from his ship before it explodes. He has the ship make him a martini and sits back with a smile on his face… and then the Doctor and Rose arrive in the TARDIS to rescue him.
    • "Bad Wolf": The Controller, a human woman hooked up to Satellite Five since her childhood as part of the machinations of the Daleks to destroy the human race, takes advantage of a brief solar flare that disrupts the communications between her and the Daleks. At that point, she transmits the coordinates of the kidnapped Rose (and the Dalek fleet) to the Ninth Doctor, knowing full well the Daleks will discover her betrayal after the flare passes and exterminate her. They do just that moments after she finishes.
    • "Tooth and Claw": Captain Reynolds and Sir Robert MacLeish are both killed holding off the alien werewolf, knowing they don't stand a chance but doing it to buy time for the Queen and her protectors to escape.
    • "School Reunion": K9 MK III blows up a room full of Krillitanes pursuing the Doctor and co. by shooting a cluster of explosive barrels while he's still in the room. Fortunately, he gets rebuilt later as the MK IV model.
    • "Love & Monsters": The still-conscious members of LINDA absorbed by the Absorbaloff (Ursula, Colin, Bridget and Bliss) immobilize the monster long enough for Elton to destroy it, killing the 4 victims in the process. Ursula gets brought back, however. Sort of. Maybe.
    • "The Satan Pit": Mr. Jefferson is trapped in a maintenance shaft slowly draining of oxygen while busy fighting off possessed Ood, in order to buy time for Rose and the other workers to escape.
    • "Doomsday":
      • A minor one when Torchwood scientist Dr. Singh offers himself up to give information to the Daleks in place of Rose and Mickey. The Daleks consent and drain the information forcibly from his brain in a horrific process that only leaves a blackened husk of a skull behind.
      • Rose nearly falls into the Void getting a lever back in place so they can send the Daleks and Cybermen there, and is considered dead in her home universe.
    • "Gridlock": The Face of Boe sacrifices himself to provide enough energy to open up the motorway in which the last surviving citizens of New New York are trapped, releasing them from both the doomed fate of driving on the motorway forever and from being preyed on by the Macra below. Specifically, this saves the life of Martha and numerous other minor characters met throughout the episode who are stuck in cars on the motorway with no escape.
    • "Evolution of the Daleks": Dalek Sec, after becoming a Human-Dalek hybrid and gaining emotions, takes a shot from another Dalek to save the life of the Tenth Doctor.
    • "The Family of Blood": John Smith — a fake personality created by the Doctor while hiding from some villains — sacrifices himself and dies so that the Doctor can save the day.
    • "Utopia": Jake, the blink-and-you'll-miss-him character who's the first person sent into the radioactive chamber beneath the rocket to fix the couplings so that the rocket can launch. He's in a suit to protect himself from the radiation, but when it becomes clear that, due to sabotage, the build-up is about to reach a point where it'll fry him and his comrade urges him to get out, he simply barely seems to consider it before going back to the task of fixing the couplings. This leads to him vapourizing as he tries to continue getting the rest of humanity shooting into space. Good thing Jack was there to take the helm afterwards.
    • A whole lot in "Voyage of the Damned". Foon sacrifices herself to take down a Heavenly Host by grabbing it and diving into the ship's engine. Later, Bannakaffalatta uses up the power in his cybernetics to disable several more Hosts and also dies. Finally, Astrid Peth sacrifices herself by driving a forklift to pick up the villainous Max Capricorn and send them both into the engine.
    • Luke Rattigan in "The Poison Sky". He teleports himself onto the Sontaran ship in the Doctor's place and blows it up, in part to atone for his actions in helping the Sontarans in the first place after learning that they had been lying to him all along.
    • Similarly, Jenny takes a bullet for the Doctor in "The Doctor's Daughter", causing Ten to flip out to the point where he actually threatens the killer with a gun. Earlier on, the Hath Peck jumps into a quicksand pit to pull out Martha after she falls in. Unfortunately, she is unable to help him out before he sinks below the surface.
    • "The Unicorn and the Wasp": This is attempted by Agatha Christie by using herself to lure off the attacking Vespiform towards the end of the episode. She gets all the way to a lakeside where she is prepared to sacrifice her life, which is connected to the Vespiform's, in order to destroy it. Fortunately it's ultimately subverted when Donna intervenes and chucks the Firestone (the object linking Agatha and the Vespiform) into the lake, with the Vespiform diving in after it to its demise.
    • River does this in "Forest of the Dead" to free the people trapped in the Library's hard drive. Although she may be doing this to keep the timeline. If the Doctor died then he would have never met River's parents and took them on the TARDIS, thus preventing her from being conceived.
    • The Hostess in "Midnight" sacrifices herself to destroy the monster possessing one of the passengers by opening the door of the shuttle they are all in and dragging the possessed passenger, along with herself, outside into the lethally radioactive sunlight. Also invokes He Had a Name as none of the other passengers, including the Doctor, bothered to get her name, much to their shame.
    • "Turn Left" treats us to a whole conga line of these, as the episode occurs in an alternate universe where the 10th Doctor never met Donna, and died defeating the Racnoss. One by one, the various alien invasions of Earth since then occur, and without the Doctor around to stop them, things go wrong extremely quickly. First, the Judoon abduct the Royal Hope Hospital, and Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde and Maria have to intervene instead. They are less successful than the Doctor was and the Hospital is returned with only one survivor, who was saved by Martha Jones, who gave him the very last oxygen mask before dying. Later on, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones are killed defeating the Sontaran plot to gas the planet with the ATMOS devices, and Captain Jack is captured and imprisoned on Sontar. Finally, after the stars themselves start going out, Donna decides she has had enough and seeks out Rose, who sends her back in time to the moment she made a decision that prevented her meeting the Doctor, to prevent herself from making the same mistake and causing the bad timeline. Unfortunately, Donna lands in the past a significant distance away from her past self and isn't able to catch up in time to talk to her personally. To stop her past self, the future Donna throws herself in front of a truck, killing her and causing a traffic holdup that forces the past Donna to make the correct decision. Luckily, since it was an alternate universe, the events are undone and all the characters who perished survive.
    • "The Stolen Earth": Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister, (WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) whose personal timeline and career were destroyed by the Doctor, still sacrifices herself to allow the Companions the time to summon him.
    • "Journey's End":
      • The new series has used this trope to the point where there seems to be more episodes with it than without. Davros actually calls the Doctor out on it.
      • It's revealed that UNIT has planned this for the entire human race: the Osterhagen Keys will trigger nuclear warheads which will blow the Earth apart — to be activated if humans are reduced to such a state by some alien invasion that it's agreed they'd be better off ending it — or, as in this case, if said aliens need the Earth for some far worse purpose, and destroying it will defeat them. As shown in "The Day of the Doctor", they have a similar situation set up in the event of the compromise of the Black Archive, which contains all the alien technology they've acquired. In this case, it's a nuke that would destroy London. It should be noted that Martha is one of the holders of the keys and is only stopped from using it and destroying the Earth when the Daleks teleport her to their base.
      • Sarah Jane, Captain Jack and Jackie get one later on when they also threaten the Daleks with an object called a warp star, planning to blow up the Dalek base and foil their plans, while still inside. Like Martha, they are only stopped when the Daleks cheat using teleports.
    • "The Waters of Mars": Ed Gold blows up the rocket ship, the only escape for the survivors on the Mars base, with himself inside when he gets infected by the Flood to prevent the virus from using it to reach Earth and destroy it.
    • "The End of Time":
      • Lucy Saxon sabotages the Master's resurrection at the cost of her own life.
      • Later on, the Master of all people gets one when he takes revenge on Rassilon by attacking him with lightning, trapping both of them inside the Time Lock.
      • The Woman in White and her fellow, unidentified Time Lord, who give the Doctor the help he needs to save the day, but are also pulled back inside the Time Lock.
      • Wilf gets inside the Nuclear Bolt cabinet to free a trapped scientist. This, in turn, leads to the Doctor having to regenerate after he lets Wilf out by entering the other booth and getting irradiated with 500,000 Rads.
    • "Victory of the Daleks": A group of Daleks successfully enact a plan to resurrect stronger, pure Daleks. The new Daleks' feelings toward their predecessors? "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness." The old Daleks' response: "We are ready." Those Daleks took a course of action to save their race knowing full well it would end in their deaths.
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The 11th Doctor and Rory enlist the aide of a boatbuilder named Guido, whose daughter (and Amy) was taken by the titular alien vampires. Eventually the vampires come after them in force, and Guido lures them away from the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory into a building full of gunpowder barrels, which he promptly ignites, blowing up the building and killing himself and all the female vampires.
    • Rory, who takes a shot meant for the Doctor in "Cold Blood". It goes From Bad to Worse though, because his body is very near one of the cracks in time, and it starts to erase him from existence. Even worse, Amy forgets all about him.
    • "The Big Bang": The Doctor pilots the Pandorica into the exploding TARDIS to restore reality, at the cost of being erased himself. However, the unique Ripple Effect-Proof Memory of his companion Amy ensures she's able to bring him back.
    • "The Almost People": The human worker Dicken sacrifices himself to hold off the crazed Ganger of Jennifer Lucas to buy the remaining human workers, the good Gangers, 11, Amy and Rory a chance to get away. Later, the Gangers of Miranda Cleaves and the 11th Doctor dissolve themselves willingly to defeat Jennifer's monstrous Ganger once and for all.
    • "A Good Man Goes to War": Soldier Lorna Bucket defects to the side of the Doctor's allies and participates in the final showdown with the Headless Monks to defend Amy and her baby. Unfortunately during the skirmish she takes an energy blast to the chest and is killed. Strax is seemingly killed too, but gets better later in a short.
    • "Asylum of the Daleks": The Dalek Oswin Oswald wipes the memory of the Doctor from ALL of the Daleks and lowers the defenses of the Asylum, allowing it to be destroyed with her still on it to prevent the insane Daleks within from escaping and invading the universe.
    • "A Town Called Mercy": The sheriff of Mercy, Isaac shoves Kahler-Jex out of the way when he is about to be shot by the Gunslinger and is killed himself. Granted, Jex deserved it, but Isaac had noble intentions attempting to save him and thus this still qualifies.
    • Rory, again, in "The Angels Take Manhattan" when he and Amy, who refuses to live without him, plunges off of a building to his death, creating a paradox that destroys the Weeping Angels. Both of them get brought back shortly after, but Rory is caught by the last remaining Angel and sent back permanently into the past, and Amy joins him soon after willingly.
    • "Into the Dalek": Soldier Gretchen gives her life holding off the Dalek antibodies so that Clara and Journey Blue can escape. She ends up in Heaven, seemingly fine, with Missy. However, the events of the season finale confirm that she is dead.
    • "Time Heist": Psi deliberately overloads his mind with the criminal records of hundreds of infamous bank robbers to lure the Teller away from Clara, figuring her ties to her loved ones make her life more valuable than his. Subverted when the "Shredder" he uses to avoid becoming lunch teleports him to safety instead of killing him.
    • "Flatline": Rigsy attempts this by getting onto a train and attempting to drive it into the oncoming Boneless in order to defeat them and save Clara and the others. Fortunately, it's subverted when Clara also gets on the train and wedges the wheel in place, allowing Rigsy to get off with her. Good thing too, since the Boneless end up just flattening the train into the wall.
    • A very interesting example in "Death in Heaven" with Danny Pink, who was hit and killed by a car in the previous episode. In this one, he gets brought back as a Cyberman, retaining his emotions and memories and uses his new form to rescue Clara and eventually save the day by rallying the Cybermen and leading them into the clouds of conversion pollen to detonate themselves, saving the world and killing him again. What makes this example interesting is that the real sacrifice is due to the fact that the 12th Doctor finds a way to bring back 1 soul from the Nethersphere, and ensures Danny has access to it. Later, Danny's voice speaks from the Nethersphere to Clara, but instead of returning to life he sacrifices his chance to instead send back the child he killed long ago by accident in a war.
    • "Empress of Mars": The awakened Ice Warriors are curb-stomping the Victorian soldiers, but then one of them manages to sneak up on Queen Iraxxa and puts a blade to her throat to get her warriors to stop shooting. He then plans to have her pilot the Ice Warrior ship back to Earth, leaving his men behind. However, his superior sneaks up on him and shoots him for treason and cowardice. He then begs the Queen to take his life both to spare his men and to allow him to die honorably (having been dishonored previously by abandoning his post). She agrees to give him an honorable death, making the guy almost cry with relief, but then decides not to kill him right away, as he has earned her respect and deserves a warrior's death in battle. He immediately drops to his knee and swears fealty to his new Queen.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": At the climax, Grace O'Brien falls off a crane while attempting to subdue the antagonist's data coil (a ball of electricity and moving wires), and dies of her injuries shortly thereafter.
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum": General Eve Cicero has a heart condition from her years of piloting that makes rushes of adrenaline potentially lethal. She volunteers to manually pilot the ambulance ship to safety anyway, and dies in the process.
    • "Demons of the Punjab": Prem buys time for Umbreen, who he just married, and her mother to escape from a band of armed killers by confronting his brother, who led the killers to the farm. He pays for this with his life.
    • "Orphan 55": After learning of Benni's death, Vilma, who is elderly and can't move very fast, sacrifices herself to the Dregs so the others can escape.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": Lee Clayton gives himself up to the Judoon and Commander Gat so his wife Ruth can escape with the Doctor, and is summarily executed by Gat.


  • Falling Skies:
    • Mike holds off the 7th Mass long enough for Hal to help the kids escape, but is killed by Clayton in the process.
    • Tom gives himself up to the aliens so they won't take his son again.
    • Alexis pilots the beamer right into the Espheni Power Station, destroying it and being killed in the process.
  • Farscape — two words: "Talyn, Starburst!"
    • A bit of a subversion in that the sacrifice, while incredibly moving and sniffle-worthy, isn't purely selfless, and Crais does take the opportunity to deliver a grand Just Between You and Me speech to Scorpius before he and Talyn self-destruct. Truly, he was a megalomaniac to the end. And we loved him for it.
    • When Talyn!Cricthon exposes himself to radiation to save everyone, knowing that he will die for it.
    • At the end of The Peacekeeper Wars, Crichton arguably knew that both the universe and he might not make it if he used wormhole weapons to stop the war. And he did it anyway. Granted, he came out fine, but he very well might not have, but he figured out that the only way to make the Scarrans and the Peacekeepers see reason—and leave him and his new wife and son alone—was to make them stare their own death in the face. And by this point, Crichton basically had nothing left to lose. He put it like this: "Either way, this war is over."
    • "My Three Crichtons" has Crichton split by an energy probe into the original, a caveman version and a highly evolved version. As the probe will continue to tear their ship apart until one of the Crichtons is fed to it, a game of cross & double-cross ensues. The Neanderthal Crichton, by killing future Crichton, saved Crichton. Then proceeds to save everyone else by sacrificing himself to the probe.
  • Fear the Walking Dead: In "No One's Gone" after the falling of the stadium, Madison sacrifices herself to save Nick, Alicia, Victor, and Luciana.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In the Season 2 finale, Barry creates a Time Remnant of himself in order to stop Zoom from destroying The Multiverse. While Barry fights Zoom, Barry's Remnant runs faster than his body can handle in order to create a feedback loop on Zoom's device. His body disintegrates from the stress, as the Remnant screams in agony, but the machine is stopped. In an unusual departure from the Expendable Clone trope, everyone, including Barry, honors the Remnant for his sacrifice.
    • In a Season 3 episode, Barry heads into the Speed Force in order to take Wally's place in the prison. However, the Speed Force is having none of that, telling him that it's high time he stopped blaming himself and took responsibility for the problems he'd caused. Jay ends up taking Wally's place until such time as Barry can put Savitar back in prison.
    • Later H. R. switches places with Iris using a holographic cover to make himself look like her, so Savitar kills him instead. In addition, Barry voluntarily goes into the Speed Force to take his place in the prison (Cisco having freed Jay), happy in the knowledge that Iris is safe and willing to atone for his sins. On the other hand, the Speed Force (as his mother Nora) tells him and the others that, for him, the prison will be a paradise, not hell.
  • In FlashForward (2009), FBI agent Al Gough learns from his flash forward that his actions at some point result in the accidental death of Celia, a woman he has never even met. He also knows that fellow agent Demetri Noh had no flash forward and has been told he will be murdered. He chooses to sacrifice himself by jumping from the roof of the L.A. FBI building to prevent Celia's death and to show Demetri and others that the flash forwards can be changed. Sadly this proves to be pointless, she ends up dying anyway.
  • Flashpoint: In "One Wrong Move", Lew steps on a landmine during a call and Spike proposes an incredibly risky plan to save him. Lew recognizes that the plan might well get Spike killed as well, so he gets Spike out of the blast zone on a pretext and intentionally triggers the mine, giving up his chance of survival rather than let Spike risk his life.
  • A French Village:
    • Daniel offers himself in place of civilians who have been taken hostage by the Germans. This is rejected by the German HQ, but Kollwitz admired him for his offer nonetheless.
    • Hortense later switches places in the Jewish prison with Sarah, so the latter can escape. She's nearly shipped off to Poland after this, which the viewer knows would mean death.
  • In Fringe, William Bell manages to pull this twice. First by splitting all the atoms in his body, using the energy to send the Fringe Team back to their own universe. Second, after revealing he transferred his consciousness into Olivia and possessed her body, he realizes how much damage he's causing and how it could end up killing her, so Bell instigates a Journey to the Center of the Mind to save her while fully aware that doing so will kill him. He lies to Walter in order to accomplish this, claiming that something can be done to save his consciousness, even though it was never possible.

  • Game of Thrones:
    • "What do we say to the God of death? Not today! Now go!" This was said by Syrio Forel as he defends Arya and holds off their attacker long enough for her to make good her escape.
    • Septa Mordane stands in front of Lannister soldiers to prevent them from taking Sansa, whilst urging her to flee. It costs the woman her head. Her sacrifice ultimately fails, but she would've been killed either way.
    • "Hold the door!" This was said by Hodor in "The Door" when he, Summer and Leaf all die to save Bran and Meera from attacking wights, though he is under the control of Bran at the time.
    • Theon assures Robb that the two thousand men he sent to their death on the Green Fork were this, but Robb is still uncomfortable with it.
    • Yoren refuses to surrender any of his charges and goes down fighting for them.
    • Grenn and his chosen men die defending the tunnel through the Wall against the giant Mag the Mighty.
    • Summer buys Bran and Meera precious time to escape at the cost of his life.
    • The Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran how Jojen's entire journey with Bran to the cave was this, considering Jojen was very weak and that he fully expected and accepted death when they reached it.
    • Barristan goes against utterly impossible odds for the sake of saving his comrade's life.
  • The Gifted: In the Season 2 finale, Reed Strucker — who has been struggling to control his destructive powers all season and realizes that they'll eventually kill him anyway — confronts Reeva Payge during the assault on the Inner Circle's headquarters and allows himself to have a Superpower Meltdown, killing them both in the process.
  • The Good Place:
    • In Series 2, Michael claims to have solved the philosophical thought-experiment 'The Trolley Problem' by saying that rather than choosing who should die, the right thing to do is sacrifice yourself. He shows this by giving Eleanor his badge to escape from the Bad Place and staying behind to be tortured.
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God:
    • Kim Shin finally pulls the sword from his chest to destroy Park Joong-heon, disappearing into the afterlife in the process. He gets better.
    • In the finale, Eun-tak puts herself in the way of an out-of-control truck in order to save a bus full of schoolchildren. She does not get better, but promises to look for Shin again in her next life.

  • The Handmaid's Tale:
    • Luke tries to hold off the soldiers while June and Hannah run, with just a revolver. He's quickly shot, but manages to survive and escape into Canada.
    • The Season 3 finale has June and the Mayday women distract the Guardians from the children who they're rescuing by throwing stones at them, resulting in some being shot. June leads a Guardian into the forest after this by running from him, resulting in her being shot by him in the back. She plays dead, and shoots him when he comes to check her non-fatally, forcing him to radio the all clear, then shooting him dead. Her Handmaid friends take her away for help on the next day.
  • Eden, of Heroes, who kills herself to prevent Sylar from gaining her influencing abilities.
    • Then subverted. D.L. takes a bullet from Linderman to save Niki. Enter season two: he is dead, and we are lead to assume that that is how he died. But then a flashback to four months ago has him make a full recovery from the hospital, and is indeed well enough to go fight fires and stuff... only to get shot by some random crackhead with the hots for Niki.
  • Homeland:
    • In "A False Glimmer" Qasim tries to stop Bibi from triggering the gas, gets shot for his trouble, but still manages to pull him away from it long enough, letting Carrie shoot him and therefore saving thousands of lives. He dies in Carrie's arms as she recites an Islamic prayer for him.
    • In "America First" Quinn is killed getting Carrie and the President elect to safety.
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • In the first episode "The Duel", Midshipman Clayton takes Horatio's place in a duel and as one episode guide described it, "becomes the first in a long line of people to cheerfully die for Horatio".
    • In the episode "Retribution", Archie Kennedy takes sole blame for a mutiny in order to save Horatio from being hanged. It wasn't his life he was sacrificing — he had been wounded in a battle shortly before and was dying anyway — but his good name and the pension for his surviving family members, suggesting how loyal he is to Horatio.
  • House of Anubis: In the finale of the second season, Nina is willing to send herself into the afterlife with Senkhara, in order to release the curse off of her friends and family. She doesn't end up leaving, though, as Senkhara was taken away by Eddie.
  • Humans:
    • Mia triggers a device which will destroy Hester, knowing it would do the same to her since she's in range there. Thankfully she can be revived before it's too late.
    • Karen sacrifices herself to save her son when he's exposed as a synth, identifying herself as one to an angry mob so he has time to get away. They beat her to death.
    • Mia again. This time, all the characters agree she's not coming back. She willingly martyrs herself for the sake of a possible peaceful future.

  • Kamen Rider:
    • Riderman in Kamen Rider V3 saves Japan from a nuke, apparently being taken with it, leading to V3 to declare, officially, that he was the fourth Kamen Rider. He shows up in Kamen Rider X no worse for the wear, though, and Kamen Rider Spirits reveal that he did survive, but suffered amnesia for awhile.
    • Multiple examples in Kamen Rider Ryuki.
      • Miyuki Tezuka/Kamen Rider Raia, being a fortune teller, predicts the next rider death as that of Shinji Kido/Kamen Rider Ryuki, but lies about it, saying he will. He then sacrifices himself to change fate, prove his otherwise always right prophecies wrong and save Kido so he could continue trying to stop the Rider War.
      • Satoru Tojo/Kamen Rider Tiger, after realizing how his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder made a mess of his life, jumps in front of a truck to safe a father and a little kid. Ironically, his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder came from his wish to become a hero and his twisted interpretation of what a hero is, is that a hero is someone who sacrifices what's most dear to them, which in this case were the people he cared about.
      • Shinji Kido/Kamen Rider Ryuki dies protecting a little girl from a monster in the series' finale.
      • Ren Akiyama/Kamen Rider Knight sacrifices himself to protect Shinji Kido in alternate timeline of Ryuki special 13 riders.
    • In Kamen Rider Faiz Yuji Kiba sacrifices himself against the Orphenoch King so Takumi Inui/Kamen Rider Faiz gets the chance to finish him off.
    • In the alternate timeline of Kamen Rider Blade movie Missing Ace, Hajime Aikawa/Kamen Rider Chalice links himself to the Big Bad and asks Kazuma Kenzaki/Kamen Rider Blade to kill him, so the Big Bad will become mortal.
    • Kamen Rider OOO combines this with Last Dance. Ankh had his main Core Medal damaged by Doctor Maki so he decides to aid Eiji Hino/Kamen Rider OOO in the final battle, knowing full well that the strain will shatter it and kill him.
    • Subverted in a comical manner in Kamen Rider Gaim. Camp Gay Oren Pierre Alfonzo/Armored Rider Bravo throws himself in the line of fire to save Takatora Kureshima/New Generation Rider Zangetsu-Shin from an attack by the Overlord Deemushu, causing him to revert into his human form. It may seem dramatic with Oren lying weakly in Zangetsu-Shin's arms, as if Oren is going to succumb to his injuries in the arms of his lovely warrior in white. Then it turns comical as Zangetsu-Shin nonchalantly throws Oren out of his arms and out of harm's way. He got better, though.
    • Kamen Rider Drive: Chase/Kamen Rider Chaser protects Gou Shijima/Kamen Rider Mach from Gold Drive and dies after passing his Shift bike to him. Asskicking ensued.
      • In the Direct-to-DVD crossover special Kamen Rider Yongou, released during Kamen Rider Drive's run, the evil organization Shocker uses a machine to trap the Kamen Riders in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, giving Shocker the time to strengthen their army. Each time one of the Riders dies, the loop resets. In the end, it is revealed [[Series/Kamen Rider 555 Takumi Inui]] keeps the loop active with his desire keep everyone he cares for alive, making him the anchor for the loops. In the original timeline, he was supposed to have died after the events of 555, but with Shocker's meddling of history, Takumi survived. If the original timeline is restored, Takumi would cease to exist. In true heroic fashion, Takumi destroys Shocker's time machine and restores the timeline to normal, at the cost of his own life.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost: Alain/Kamen Rider Necrom tries to pull this twice, but the first attempt is interrupted by his fellow riders and he can't go through with the second attempt because he realized that he doesn't hate his brother as much as he thought.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Poppy Pipopapo sacrifices herself to spread the cure for Bugster Virus epidemy in series' finale. Parado does the same to help Doctor rider defeat Gamedeus Cronus only little later.
    • Kamen Rider Build: Multiple examples of this:
      • Sento/Kamen Rider Build attempts to use an incomplete Genius Bottle to increase his Hazard Level to lure Evolto out of Banjo's body, then attempts a suicide attack to eliminate him. It ends up backfiring Sento, because Evolto manages to survive and possess him.
      • Kazumi/Kamen Rider Grease after transforming into Grease Blizzard and knowing that he wouldn't survive it, decide to use his body to complete the final Lost Bottle,causing his ultimate demise.
      • Gentoku/Kamen Rider Rouge manage to broke Evolto's Evol Trigger giving both Sento and Banjou a fighting change in exchange of his death.
      • Banjo/Kamen Rider Cross-Z knowing that he has some of Evolto's DNA in his body, decide to be the one who takes Evolto to the Dimensional Rift, probably causing his death, instead of Sento.
  • Killjoys:
    • Weymer Simms triggers the explosive to destroy the virus which is killing his family, dying in the process. He was already infected himself.
    • Khlyen infects himself with a toxin that poisons the source of the green plasma to stop the Sixes in the Quad, dying in the process.
    • Pip sacrifices himself to trigger the RAC's self-destruct sequence.
  • Kingdom (2019): When Prince Chang, Lord Ahn Hyeon, Yeong-shin and the other survivors from the failed blockade try to flee through a canal, they are unable to close the gates, which would allow the horde of undead to follow them into the city. Lord Ahn Hyeon’s lead guard stabs himself through a chain linking the gates, blocking the passage.
  • Kingdom Adventure: The Prince allows himself to be murdered as part of The Emperor's plan to save Lumia. This is all part of this Religious Edutainment show's allegory.

  • Last Resort: Captain Marcus Chaplin makes one of these to make sure the Colorado and its nuclear weapons do not fall into Chinese hands and explicitly forbids his second-in-command from joining him.
  • Legend of the Seeker:
    • James the artist manages to paint everyone out of his enchanted painting before it burns, dying in doing so.
    • Leo diving in front of Nicci's lightning to save Kahlan.
    • Richard finally meets his biological father Panis Rahl. Unfortunately, Panis and Zedd don't get along, since Panis killed Zedd's father long ago (to be fair, though, Zedd's father had been trying to kill Panis's infant son Darken) and then used a disguise to seduce and impregnate Zedd's daughter, producing Richard and Jennsen. Near the end of the episode, the group is attacked by Sister of the Dark, and one of them hurls her Dacra (a large shuriken) at Zedd, whose back is turned. Panis calmly takes a step, interposing himself, and receives a fatal wound. He's able to make amends with Zedd and Richard before expiring.
    • Kahlan lets herself fall when she's left hanging from Richard after she slips when going up a cliff, so he can take the Stone of Tears off to stop the Keeper in "Eternity". Luckily it turns out to be just a magical illusion and she's fine.
  • Near the end of Season 1 of Legends of Tomorrow, Rip is shown the vision of Ray dying in a blast of energy. When the team attempts to destroy the Oculus to prevent the Time Masters from interfering with the timeline and helping Savage, Rip recognizes the circumstances of Ray's impending death and warns him. Ray decides he doesn't mind dying for a good cause and continues rigging the device. He's knocked out by Mick, who has grown to grudgingly respect Ray and intends to take his place; when Leo finds out, he comes back, knocks Mick out in turn, and ends up being the one who blows up with the Oculus. He also gives an awesome Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Leonard Snart: There are no strings on me.
    • In the Season 2 finale, all the remaining Legends choose to travel back to 1916, crossing their own timeline, in order to save the reality from Thawne's manipulation. They know that, by doing that, they themselves become Time Aberrations and will disappear upon the success of their task. All but Future!Sara end up dying in different manner (with Future!Jax taking an arrow for Past!Stein), though, and Future!Sara vanishes with a smile on her face after the Black Flash kills Thawne.
    • In Season 3, during the final episode of the Crisis on Earth-X crossover event, Stein is mortally shot by Nazi soldiers, with only his link to Jax keeping him alive, but at the cost of slowly killing Jax as well. Realizing this, Stein takes a serum to sever that link, killing himself in order to save Jax's life.
  • In the third season finale of Lost, Charlie accepts his prophesized death and decides to go out doing something helpful. He manages to undo the jamming signal, but his real contribution is alerting Desmond to the fact that the people who have arrived at the island claiming to be rescue aren't who they seem.
    • In the fourth season finale, the helicopter flying from the island to a ship waiting offshore is rapidly leaking fuel. To reach the boat, it has to lose a lot of weight. Sawyer jumps out and swims back to the island.
    • In the same episode, Michael, who is trying to atone for the killings he committed, remains behind on the freighter trying to cool the bomb to give the others a chance to escape, and is subsequently killed when it explodes.
    • In the fifth season finale, Juliet is pulled down a shaft, and Sawyer grabs her hand to prevent her from falling. When it becomes clear that they will both fall, Juliet professes her love for him before letting go of his hand.
    • In one of the last episodes of the sixth season, as most of the Losties are escaping on a submarine, it is revealed that Fake!Locke put a bomb in Jack's bag. Before it goes off, Sayid grabs it and runs as far as he can to save the others. It worked. Mostly.
    • The indisputably biggest Heroic Sacrifice in the series is Jack's. The Man in Black had Desmond remove a stone from the heart of the island so as to destroy the place. Jack, after being stabbed by him, still manages to get down there and reactivate the heart, thus saving the island. He then manages to get back to the same bamboo grove where he woke up in the first episode in time to die there with Vincent at his side.
  • Logan's Run: In "Carousel", having regained his memory of the last year, Logan plans to reveal everything that he has seen outside the City of Domes to a full assembly of Carousel, knowing that the Sandmen will shoot him dead before he can finish. Jessica, Rem and the resistance manage to rescue him before he can do so.

  • Parodied on Malcolm in the Middle, when Dewey and Hal accidentally throw a spider out the front door and straight into Lois' face.
    Dewey: [locks the door] Go. She can only ground me. Get your keys and go.
    Hal: B-but...
    Dewey: GO!
    • Played straight in a later episode. Grandma Ida, the biggest Jerkass in the entire show, sees that Dewey is about to be hit by a truck. She then clamps her cigarette in her mouth, runs as fast as she can, and pushes him out of the way. It costs her a leg, but it's undoubtedly the only nice thing she's ever done in her life, and she did it with nothing to gain and no one pushing her to do it.
  • The Man in the High Castle: Thomas Smith surrendering himself to be "euthanized" is portrayed this way afterward by the Nazi regime in the US.
  • Merlin2008: In the two part season four premiere, someone must sacrifice themselves in order to fix The Veil. Both Arthur and Merlin plan on being the one, but it is Lancelot who does the deed so neither of them would have to.
  • Misfits: Superhoodie takes a bullet intended for Alisha in episode 4 of the second series, ending his mission.
    • And Simon later takes a knife in the gut to save Curtis, in order for Curtis to be able to rewind time to save the others.
    • Rudy attempts one to save Alisha from Time-Control Girl but they're rescued before he actually dies.
    • In the Nazi timeline, Peter, the guy who can direct the future via comics, presumably makes one when trying to escape, knowing the unimaginable damage his power could do.
    • Nadine later lets the Four Horsemen kill her rather than having the gang sacrifice themselves to save her.


  • The Orville: Isaac broadcasts a signal which shuts down all Keylons on the Orville, including himself. However, the crew are able to revive him due to Yaphet's knowledge of them.
  • The Outer Limits (1963): In the episode "A Feasibility Study", aliens who have been immobilized by disease abduct a whole neighborhood of humans. The people are informed that if they can survive the harsh environment of the aliens' home world, then the rest of the human race will be abducted and turned into slaves. The humans decide to deliberately infect themselves with the alien disease to save Earth, causing the aliens to cancel their plans for mass abduction.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Corner Of The Eye" Father Jonascu kills Fletcher, one of the aliens, to save his friend Father Royce despite it killing him in the process.
    • "The Voyage Home" has the protagonist blow up his spaceship to prevent an evil alien from reaching Earth.
    • In "To Tell the Truth", the protagonist chooses to stay behind and fend off an angry mob. He is beaten to death, but his action buys just enough time for his friends to activate and launch an escape pod.
    • In "In the Zone", a scientist uses his own body to absorb excess energy from his device, and vanishes, trapped in Super Speed to be invisible to normal people and rapidly age until death.
    • In "Feasibility Study", an entire Earth neighborhood is transported to a world ruled by powerful but lazy aliens who want a race of servants; if the people from the neighborhood prove able to survive on their world, all of humanity will be enslaved. When a teenage girl inadvertently contracts a fatal disease from another alien race, her father, and eventually everyone who was taken, decide to deliberately infect themselves to trick the kidnappers into thinking that humanity is a bad fit for their experiment.
  • The Outpost:
    • Talon's mother saved her as a child by distracting Toru, slashing his leg as he attacked Talon, then being killed by him as Talon escaped.
    • In the Season 3 finale, Queen Rosmund takes on the black kinj to kill Yavalla and free everyone from the Hive Mind her white kinj has created. She does this knowing full well that the resulting Yin-Yang Bomb from the two kinjs interacting will kill her too.

  • John Reese in Person of Interest replaces Harold Finch in the Grand Finale and makes a last stand against Samaritan's forces, resulting in him being fatally wounded in a shootout with Samaritan's men before the cruise missile strikes. There's also Root, who swerves a car and ends up taking a bullet for Finch several episodes prior. Considering God Mode, her Disability Superpower, it's hard to believe she didn't know what she was doing.
  • In Power Rangers in Space, Zordon, who, after being held hostage and drained of energy for a year, begged the man that had finally arrived to rescue him to stab his can, which was done after some convincing. The resulting magical explosion destroyed the enemy army throughout the universe, turned three villains human, and brought the rescuer's recently deceased sister back to life.
    • The viewers' response to this was so overwhelming positive, that the writers felt they were safe using such a plot element again; in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Kendrix sacrificed herself to save Terra Venture from Psycho Pink. (In this case, it was done because Valerie Vernon had to leave the show after being diagnosed with leukemia. Kendrix did get better in the finale of the series.
  • Quite a few in Primeval.
    • Season 2: Stephen locks himself in with Helen's captured creatures to trap them, in among the most dramatic and heartwrenching scenes in the entire series. Cutter offers himself up for one multiple times throughout the episode, but is constantly stopped at the last minute by other characters. This episode is the one most often regarded as the best by fans and critics.
    • Series 5 Episode 6, a.k.a. the finale: Phillip Burton realises that his anomaly chanelling power station is out of control. Matt is with him in the control centre when Phillip tells him to leave, and that he will shut down the machinery holding the artificial anomaly open. He says, "Hey, I'm the bad guy." But it isn't enough. He shuts down the machine, but the artificial anomaly no longer needs it, and it is large enough that it destroys the building. Phillip is killed as the building collapses. This is distinct from a Redemption Equals Death because Phillip neither intended the destruction, nor did he die following rather than during it.
    • Matt Anderson does one in the climax of the episode, but... he lives.
  • Princess Silver: Rong Le is dying of poison, so Rong Qi transfers it to himself. He knows it will kill him, but she'll survive.
  • In Prison Break, Brad Bellick, who spent the first two seasons as a main antagonist and the third as a pain in the arse before joining the heroes in season 4, sacrificed himself to ensure the grand plan would be completed. They make a point to show the character's dead body by the time the episode is out, just to be clear.
    • The series finale has Michael Scofield sacrificing himself so the final prison break can succeed and his wife and unborn child can be free. However, the nosebleed implies that his condition was not cured and he was going to die anyway. Possibly averted in Season 5, where it's revealed that he may yet be alive.

  • Two non-fatal examples in Resurrection Ertugrul:
    • Selcan taking an arrow meant for her husband Gundogdu near the end of season 1.
    • If it wasn’t for Banu Cicek reaching her arm in front of Gunduz in the third season, the arrow that was headed his way could have easily killed him. Downplayed in that Gunduz still gets seriously injured by the projectile, but the limb-blockade was able to soften the impact just enough to prevent it from being fatal.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Feng Hao drinks the poisoned wine meant for Zhi Wei.

  • Scholar Who Walks the Night: Myung-hee runs into Gwi's knife so that Sung-yeol can feed on her and survive.
  • Sherlock:
    • In "The Reichenbach Fall", Moriarty issues Sherlock an ultimatum: commit suicide and be remembered as a fraud, or doom his three closest friends to death by sniper. Sherlock manages to fake his death convincingly enough to both call off the snipers and walk away. However, the public disgrace remains, and he spends the next two years in exile to avoid further endangering his friends.
    • In "His Last Vow", the only way to stop Magnusson from blackmailing Mary Watson is to kill him. Acting alone, Sherlock shoots Magnusson in front of multiple credible witnesses so that John cannot possibly be accused of the murder, knowing that he is risking arrest at best and a virtual death sentence at worst.
    • In "The Six Thatchers", Mary returns the favor by taking the bullet for Sherlock.
  • Sliders:
    • In "The Exodus", Professor Arturo steps in front of Quinn Mallory and takes a bullet meant for him. At this point Arturo is already severely brain-damaged thanks to Colonel Rickman, but he still sacrifices himself so that Quinn can live to get the others home.
    • In the Grand Finale, Rembrandt injects himself with the anti-Kromagg virus and jumps to his own Earth despite the seer's vision that anyone who did that would die. While his fate remains unknown, it's clear that, even if he dies, the virus has a chance to spread and free that Earth from the Kromaggs.
  • Smallville:
    • In "Fracture", Chloe uses her healing powers to bring Lex, who is pretty obviously a villain at that point and has done her great personal harm previously, back from the brink of death at the cost of her own life. Luckily, she has Resurrective Immortality, although she remained dead for 18 hours. Clark is worried the next time she won't be coming back.
    • Deconstructed in "Lazarus". Clark Kent finds himself in the afterlife after dying in the previous episode to stop Zod. Jor-El calls him an idiot for not realizing that even though he did save the day, he's now left Earth vulnerable to future threats. Fortunately, Lois manages to revive him.
  • Sons of Anarchy has Hale trying to stop a van with shooters at Half-Sack's funeral... But unfortunately, they run over his head.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • Dr. Jackson exposes himself to a fatal dose of radiation to deactivate a nuclear device and dies. Dying has never actually stopped anyone in the Stargate universe (and most especially not Daniel Jackson, to the extent that other characters joke about it while he's alive and wait expectantly for his return when he's not), so one year later, he was Back from the Dead.
      • This isn't the only time Daniel's sacrificed himself by far. He took a staff blast for Jack in the original film, pulled a You Shall Not Pass! at the end of the first season (but managed to make it back), entered the virtual reality where he keeps getting "killed" to save Teal'c in "Avatar", got killed by RepliCarter after stopping the Replicators long enough for the rest of the team to kill them all, prepares to send himself to the Ori galaxy with the Sangraal in order to destroy the Ori (although his friends intervene and beam him off the ship before it goes through the supergate, leaving the Sangraal onboard to activate after it gets through), and so on. This guy really likes his heroic sacrifices.
      • Gerak, who chose to heal the Prior plage from Earth despite having been made a Prior himself, also qualifies. Especially when you consider that his last words were, "If I do this, I will die. But I... will die... free!". "I die free!" was practically the rebel Jaffa's Catchphrase.
      • The entire team pulls this in "2010" in an alternate future. In Moebius, they all sacrifice themselves in an alternate past. Both times, they fixed it.
      • Samantha Carter in the alternate universe in "There But for the Grace of God" has a particularly awesome sacrifice, which allowed Daniel to get to the gate and back into the normal universe and stop the Goa'uld there.
        Samantha: Oh, yeah. [holds up grenade] And I also wish to blow us all to hell.
      • Dr. Janet Fraser in the series 7 episode "Heroes". She absolutely will not leave the side of a badly injured soldier on a battlefield. It saves his life, but she loses hers in the process. The soldier she saved named his newborn daughter Janet after her.
      • During Apophis' attack on Earth in the early seasons, Bra'tac's plan was for him and a chosen few to pilot their Death Gliders and attack Apophis' ship. They hoped that Apophis would, naturally, assume that his son Klorel was trying to usurp power (a common practice among the Goa'uld) and withdraw, saving Earth, while fully expecting to be blown out of space for their trouble. When SG-1 shows up and comes up with an alternative plan, he still plans to die.
        Col. O'Neill: I think what the Captain's asking is, "What now?"
        Bra'tac: Now we die.
        Col. O'Neill: Well, that's a bad plan.
    • Stargate Atlantis:
      • In the Alternate Reality Episode "Vegas", Sheppard takes the Wraith's cash, quits his job, and leaves to live the life of a rich man (or lose it all in the nearest casino). However, on the way, he has a change of heart and manages to find the Wraith and radio his location in time for the alien to be destroyed by an airstrike before he can call in the others. Unfortunately, he himself is shot in the process and is shown bleeding severely in the middle of nowhere.
      • The episode The Last Man presents an alternate timeline wherein Sheppard was transported several thousand years into the future. Things quickly went south without him. The UN's IOA pulled support out of the Pegasus galaxy when the wraith/human hybrid Lastlight (Michael Kenmore to the humans) became a challenger on the galactic stage. With the Tau'ri pulling out support, and the wraith hives defeated or assimilated by Lastlight, la resistance was left to a few humans. Colonel Samantha Carter took the USS Phoenix to lead a guriljea war against Lastlight, relying on her superior technology to match Lastlight's vast numbers. Eventually they managed to lure her into a trap by attacking a densely populated planet. With no chance left, she beamed her crew down on the planet, and piloted the Phoenix on a suicide attack against one of the hive ships, using the resulting explosion to destroy two others.
      • Meanwhile, Ronon Dex led his own guriljea war against Lastlight, using what little means Stargate Command were willing to provide, and a force of volunteer pegasus humans. During a mission to destroy one of Lastlight's cloning facilities, he encountered an old friend: Guide/Todd the Wraith, an unreliable ally of the Atlantis expedition. While Ronon's forces escaped, the two held the wraith off, until they detonated the explosives while inside the facilities.
      • In the Grand Finale, Sheppard is fully prepared to do this, strapping a nuke to his F-302 and flying it into the Super-Hive in order to detonate it inside, as the ship is too damn tough for any weapon to penetrate it from the outside (even the vaunted Asgard beams). Luckily for him, the rest of his team ends up aboard the ship on a similar mission and he uses a timer to detonate the nuke instead. Ronon does die heroically during the mission... but the Wraith bring him back to life in order to interrogate him.
    • In the pilot of Stargate Universe the senator seals a damaged shuttle through which they were losing oxygen, though doing so means being trapped inside and asphyxiating. His daughter got to watch. He was going to die anyway from either internal bleeding or a heart condition, so he was just choosing a third option.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • "The Doomsday Machine" has a rather heart-wrenching inversion. Commodore Decker and his crew are facing an unbeatable foe, so he beams his crew down to a nearby planet and intends to go down with the ship. Except it doesn't play out like that. The enemy in question is a Planet Killer, and his ship isn't what it's after. However, since Decker is a Four-Star Badass, he still gets his Heroic Sacrifice. But in a roundabout fashion.
    • In "The Alternative Factor", the crew is menaced by a time-traveling madman named Lazarus, who is constantly being forced to switch places with his more benevolent counterpart from a parallel antimatter dimension, where the natives learned how to pass through one universe to the next. The evil Lazarus threatens to destroy both universes by bringing himself and Anti-Lazarus into the same one; Anti-Lazarus, however, instructs Kirk to destroy his spaceship when he tries, which will seal him in the tiny "corridor" between the two dimensions. This, however, will also destroy Anti-Lazarus' ship, and he knows it; he won't die, but is willingly condemning himself to a Fate Worse than Death, trapped forever with a madman to save both universes. Having no other option, Kirk complies.
  • Two different starships Enterprise get this in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise". Short version: A Captain Picard from a timeline where the Federation is losing a war against the Klingons pulls a You Shall Not Pass! against a squadron of Klingon battlecruisers, sacrificing the Enterprise-D in order to allow the Enterprise-C to return to her own time and get destroyed defending a Klingon outpost from a Romulan attack, cementing the Federation's status as a Fire Forged Friend to the Klingon Empire.
    Picard: Attention all hands! As you know, we could outrun the Klingon vessels, but we must protect the Enterprise-C until she enters the temporal rift. And we must succeed. Let us make sure that history never forgets the name, "Enterprise."
    • "The Quality of Life" has one for one of the Exocomp droids (who had just been established to be self aware). Three of them enter a highly dangerous radiation field in order to allow Picard and Geordi to be rescued. However, in order to rescue the Exocomps, one chooses to stay behind to prevent the radiation from killing the other two, and it is destroyed in the process.
    • In "Face of the Enemy", Troi is persuaded (well, forced) to act as a double agent for a member of a Romulan underground resistance movement named N'Vek, who uses surgery to disguise her as a Romulan officer of the Tal Shiar. At the climax of the episode, when Troi is about to escape back to the Enterprise after completing the mission - helping three high-level dissenting members of the Romulan government defect to the Federation - the Romulan Commander is onto her, and N'Vek threatens the Commander to buy Troi time. The angry Commander vaporizes him using a disrupter, but the stalling works, and Troi manages to escape.
  • At the end of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 2 opening arc, one of the conspirators tries to shoot Sisko in retaliation for Sisko having foiled their attempted coup. Guest character Li Nalas intervenes and takes the shot instead.
  • The Star Trek: Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages" ends with Trip sacrificing himself to stop a group of boarders who were threatening the ship. However, many fans dislike this and believe it to be a Stupid Sacrifice, since all he had to do was stall for time until the MACOs intervened. Star Trek Expanded Universe RetCons this into a cover-up: Trip was recruited by Section 31 and was doing black ops missions after his death was faked. The impossibility of the "pirates" catching and boarding the warp 5 Enterprise with a warp 2 ship is also addressed - Archer hired them to fake Trip's death.
  • This is discussed in Star Trek: Picard after Picard's Heroic Sacrifice, where his consciousness ends up in Data's simulation once he died. Since Data did not remember his own death, having uploaded his memory to B-4 before sacrificing himself during the Enterprise-E's battle with the Scimitar, Picard told him about it, and expressed fury that he had done it, and regret that it wasn't himself instead. Data countered that if Picard didn't regret sacrificing himself for the synths (Soji and the others), then he shouldn't expect Data to regret his own sacrifice, nor should Picard regret Data's sacrifice either.
  • Supernatural: In the second season, John did this for his comatose son, Dean (who was surely about to die, or at least never wake up), causing the fandom to actually like him for once. Dean also did this for Sam, who died in the finale, so he would get better - but the fanbase are torn between this being a true Heroic Sacrifice or something to do with being Driven to Suicide. In a subversion, the show treats these as destructive, selfish acts instead of noble sacrifices.
    • Beyond those two big ones, Sam and Dean offer themselves up as Heroic Sacrifices on multiple other occasions. One example is Dean with the djinn in season 2. He sacrificed the ability to stay in his "dream world" - one where he doesn't have to "be a hero" and can have a normal life, including having his mother alive and his kid brother happy and not demon tainted - after realizing that in that world, all the people who the Winchesters have saved over the years are instead dead. The means for "returning" to the real world? He had to die. (Which could very easily tie this one back into Driven to Suicide, but this is * Dean* we're talking about; the two often aren't exactly far from each other when it comes to his motivations!)
    • Sam's season 4 Heroic Sacrifice which is averted when his own attempt to sacrifice his soul to save Dean is rejected. His resulting decision to damn himself slowly by using his powers seems like a noble act - until you get to the end and realize that Sam's efforts have been fueled by demon blood that intensifies pride in his own abilities and a sense of superiority to the point where he believes he is The Only One who can stop the Apocalypse. While Sam is genuine in his desire to help his brother and save the world (see When The Levee Breaks for his huge inner conflict), he goes about it in a very destructive (especially self-destructive) way. He can't know that killing Lilith starts the Apocalypse; the angels hid that so he would kickstart the Apocalypse by doing what he thought would prevent it. The goal is noble, even with the horrible outcome. It's part of the show's deconstruction of this trope that everything turns out so badly.
    • Gabriel. He decided that he was on humanity's side (eventually); went up against Lucifer and tried to kill him (even though he still loved all his brothers and left because he hated watching them fight); gave them a DVD which told them how to put Lucifer back in the cage and was killed by his brother. Particularly heroic as he told them before that he'd 'skipped ahead' and knew how it would all end, so it's very possible that he knew that he would be killed and still did it because his death would be the only way that Sam and Dean could save everyone.
    • Sam in season five finale Swan Song: Throwing himself (and Satan, who's possessing him) into hell's solitary confinement in order to prevent the planet from being razed, with certain knowledge that Lucifer's going to spend eternity torturing him, is a pretty heroic thing to do.
    • In the season 12 finale, of all people, Crowley pulls one of these, killing himself to trigger a spell to trap Lucifer in an Alternate Universe.
    • In the season 14 finale, Sam tries this to take down God/Chuck himself with the Equalizer (which is supposed to kill both shooter and shootee) when Chuck reveals himself to be putting everyone through complete misery just for his entertainment. It doesn't work, so Sam isn't dead, although it is revealed to have caused an injury.
  • Sweet Home:

  • Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms:
    • Mo Yuan sacrifices himself to win the war against Ghost Tribe.
    • Yao Guang volunteers to lead a suicide mission that will give the Celestial Tribe a chance to defeat Ghost Tribe.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "In Praise of Pip" is about Max Phillips, a bookie who learns his son, Pip, was seriously wounded in Vietnam and is possibly dying. After getting in a serious argument with his boss, Max ends up getting shot and stumbles into a darkened amusement park. There he finds Pip as a ten year old, hugging him, apologizing for not being a better father or role model, and begging for him not to die. Knowing it may be too late for both of them, Max pleads with God to take his life in exchange for Pip's. God obliges.
    • "The Changing of the Guard": A teacher forced into early retirement questions if he's made any impact on the world. He's visited by the ghosts of some of his former students who all gave their lives to save others. One was killed at Iwo Jima, another died as a result of experiments into X-ray treatment for cancer, yet another saved twelve men on the USS Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and all alongside so many others. They were inspired by lessons they taught him.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Profile in Silver", Professor Joseph Fitzgerald, a time traveler from 2172, allows himself to be assassinated on November 22, 1963 in place of his Famous Ancestor John F. Kennedy, whom he sent to his own time to save his life.
    • In "The Last Defender of Camelot", Morgan le Fay engages in a magical battle with Merlin, knowing that he is far more powerful than her and that she has little prospect of victory. She does so in order to save Lancelot and Tom's lives and to prevent Merlin from taking over the world. Merlin manages to defeat her and she dies shortly afterwards.

  • In season two of The Vampire Diaries, Stefan Salvatore sacrifices himself by handing himself over to Klaus in order to get the cure for Damon when he is dying from a fatal werewolf bite. During this process, Stefan is forced by Klaus to shut off his humanity, become the blood addicted Ripper and to torture and kill innocents.
    • And in the third season finale, Elena insists that Stefan rescue Matt while the two of them are drowning, mirroring how Elena's father insisted Stefan save Elena before the show began.

  • The Walking Dead: In season 3 episode "Killer Within" there are two: first, T-Dog (who was already bitten and was as good as dead anyway) threw himself at two zombies so Carol could escape (which she did), and then Lori forced Maggie to give her a C-section, even though Maggie had no experience with the procedure, to save her baby that couldn't be born naturally. After a tearful goodbye with her son Carl, Maggie cut her open and saved the baby.
  • The War of the Worlds: George sacrifices himself by going outside to draw the Martian's attention so Amy can escape. She does, though it kills him.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: In "Night at the Lazerama", Justin goes to the museum to tries to hunt a mummy, whose gaze puts one under his control, with Juliet tagging along to help him. The museum soon closes, trapping them inside with the mummy, and Justin suggests they try to avoid it until morning. But because Juliet, a vampire, will die in the sunlight, she decides to stare at the mummy and allow herself to be taken to save herself and her boyfriend.


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